Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Valentine's Daze

Derek has made special plans for his official first Valentine's Day with Penelope. Will work and misunderstandings make them rethink their relationship?

BAU Headquarters – Derek Morgan’s Office – Morning

The pile of stuffed animals, boxes of chocolate, cards and several unmentionables, wrapped in unusually creative ways, was growing by the hour. Morgan could remember the time when the sight of the ever growing pile on his couch would make him chuckle as he struggled to decide who would be the lucky fling for the evening. Now, he knew he would have a problem explaining each and every Valentine gift to one person in particular.

“Knock, Knock.”

The familiar voice jerked him from his thoughts as JJ poked her head in the door. Smiling, ready to tease the poor agent she entered placing a rather large gift basket on his desk, right on top of the file he’d been reviewing.

“Sheila from Counter Terrorism caught me in the hallway and asked if I would bring this up to you.” She smirked.

“Thanks JJ.” He replied sarcastically rubbing both hands across his head and neck.

“Once again, you by far are the most popular person in the building, this year!”

“Why do I get the impression that you are really enjoying this, JJ?”

“Because I am!” She answered chuckling.

Morgan stood, grabbing the large gift and placed it with the others. JJ watched the troubled man as she shook her head in delight.

“You know Garcia is going to kill you when she sees all of this.”

“What am I going to do? This isn’t my fault!”

“I don’t know what to tell you my friend but you better think of something quick because I just saw her pull into the parking lot.”

“I’m dead!”

Morgan sat down with a thud and closed his eyes.

“So, do you have plans for tonight?”

Just before he could answer his door flew open and a highly pissed off Penelope Garcia, Oracle of All Knowing, stood in the doorway holding several more stuffed animals, and brightly colored boxes with giant bows and cards dangling from them. JJ saw the wide-eyed look in her eyes and for a brief moment she could have sworn there was steam coming from her ears.

Without saying a word she stepped into the office and slammed the pile of gifts on his desk. JJ placed a hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh as she looked from Garcia to Morgan and back.

“These are from, Betty in Accounting, Lori in the Receptionist Pool, Bambi from the Director’s office and the new girl in housekeeping! REALLY DEREK?”

“Penelope! I-I- didn’t…”

He didn’t know where to start to apologize. He hadn’t seen her this mad since he pissed her off and she decided to go out with Battle. He looked at JJ who had turned a bright shade of red trying to hold back her laughter. Before he could say another word, Garcia turned and left slamming the door behind her. All that could be heard was the click clacking of her heels as she headed to her lair, then of course the loud slamming of her door.

“I’m dead!” He repeated.

Defeated, he closed his eyes and laid his head on the small area on his desk that wasn’t covered with gifts.

Garcia’s Lair
Garcia couldn’t remember the last time she was this mad at Derek. Oh yes she could, it was when she had gone out with Battle to spite him after he’d pissed her off. Well, that hadn’t ended well, not well at all.

Garcia turned on her computers and tried to distract herself with work but it wasn’t working. All she could think of was those women bum rushing her in the lobby with their giddy smiles spread across their faces and Valentine’s gifts in their hands.

“How dare they! Shoving their cheap trinkets in my arms for my man! No they didn’t!” She fumed.

Garcia wasn’t sure if she was madder at Derek or herself. She knew he loved her he had proved it more times than she could count. God knew she had put him through hell and he had jumped through countless of hoops trying to prove his love. But today, Valentine’s Day, had shouted loudly to all of her insecurities. When the women had crashed head long into her personal space it had caught her off guard. In the back of her mind she kept wondering when he’d wake up and decide he wanted something or someone else.

“Get it together, Garcia! He loves you!” She thought to herself.

A knock at the door pulled Garcia back to reality and she knew exactly who it was. He cautiously poked his head in the door and was greeted with her back as she ignored him, typing furiously on the keyboard of one of her babies.

“Can we talk, Baby Girl?”

She continued to type as if she had not heard him. He knew he was in for a fight but he approached her anyway placing his hands on her shoulders and turning her to face him.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know all those gifts were coming.” He said remorsefully.

“Derek, I don’t know how long I can take these women throwing themselves at you! I’ve watched it for the last eight years but were together now. Enough is enough!” She said teary.

“I know but you’re the one that didn’t want to make it public about us.”

“I just didn’t want to have to defend ourselves against the frat rules but now…I’m feeling really disrespected, Derek!”

She was right and the hurt in her eyes broke his heart. He would not stand for anyone disrespecting his girl. Even though they had not made a public announcement, he was sure the word had gotten around that they were a couple. Still, now was the time to make it official to everyone and face whatever the consequences were.

Derek pulled her to her feet and pulled her close to him wrapping his arms around her waist. He looked deeply into her eyes and saw the woman of his dreams; he saw his present and his future, his wife and the mother of his children. Every other woman needed to know that he was officially off the market.

“Penelope Garcia, you are the only woman for me and even though I have not received as much as a Valentine’s kiss on the cheek or a card from you, woman, I want you to know that I love you with all my heart. I’m sorry I haven’t done a better job letting all these women, most of whom I don’t even know by the way, know that you and only you own my heart.” He said smoothly.

Her mouth dropped open and she was speechless. Before she could gather her thoughts and respond he captured her lips in a searing, toe curling kiss. When he finally released her, she was dizzy and had to grab his arms to steady her knees, which had suddenly gone weak.

“Wow, my Chocolate Thunder! Damn, that was some kiss!”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Princess!” He said with a smile as he looked deeply into her eyes.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Handsome! She replied still trying to clear her head from that kiss.

“You need to stop doubting me; us. I’m not going anywhere and it shouldn’t matter what other women do. I’m yours forever, okay?”

“Okay. I’m sorry, I just get a little crazy sometimes.”


She punched him in the arm and he pulled her into another kiss. A knock at the door interrupted the pair and he reluctantly released her from his embrace.

“Come in.” Said Garcia.

JJ poked her head in and looked at both of her friends.

“You two okay?”

“We’re fine.” Answered Garcia smiling.

“Good. We just got a case. Hotch wants us in the Conference Room pronto.”

JJ smiled and quickly left closing the door behind her.

“So much for my plans for tonight.” Derek complained.

“Duty calls.”

The two headed toward the conference room where everyone else had already begun to gather. Just as they reached the doorway another delivery of gifts were delivered to Derek. Immediately Garcia’s mood changed from happy to angry as the male receptionist handed the latest haul to the nervous agent. Derek knew he had to put an end to this immediately.

“Come in. Let’s get started.” Hotch ordered.

Derek awkwardly placed the packages on the counter on the far wall of the room. Garcia quickly took the seat between Alex and Reid forcing Morgan to sit on the opposite side of the table. He now had a bird’s eye view of her stone cold face as she ignored him while Hotch reviewed the particulars of the case.

“Three middle-aged men have been found dead in the last three weeks. All three where stabbed in the heart with an arrow and found dead in their homes the following morning and San Diego PD is asking for our help.” Hotch began.

“How original. Stabbed in the heart during the month of February.” Rossi said.

“Either Cupid’s aim is off or someone is pretty pissed off!” Reid added.

“Is that actually a joke, Spence?” JJ teased.

“Huh? No.  In classical mythology, Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. In pop culture he is often seen drawing his bow to inspire romantic love…”

“I’m sorry I asked.” JJ interrupted.

“Hmm…an arrow through the heart. This UNSUB may be on to something.” Garcia mumbled under her breath looking in Derek’s direction.

“I heard that.” He said returning her glare.

San Diego Police Department – Downtown San Diego – Evening
The team was greeted by Detective Sal Mendes the lead investigator on the case who seemed relieved when they entered the busy precinct. After introductions they were led to a small conference room that had already been set up for them.

“The press has already dubbed this guy the, “Cupid Killer.” Mendes began. “I know how you guys hate it when the killer is given a name.”

“The first thing we will need to do is get the press to stop using that name.” Hotch said.

“Good luck with that.” Rossi chimed in as his eyes studied the crime scene photos.

“None of these men knew each other?” JJ asked.

“No. We haven’t found any evidence that the three knew each other.” Mendes answered.

“All three were shot at close range. They must have known their attacker.” Morgan deduced.

“Or thought they knew him.” Garcia chimed in under her breath.

“I heard that!” Morgan growled.

Hotch frowned at the two troubled lovebirds and continued on with the review.

“The same poem was left at the scene of each murder. “ Hotch continued.

Everyone sleeps, except lovers, who stay awake, telling stories to God.” Reid read out loud.

“Sound familiar Reid?” Alex asked.

“Is that rhetorical?” He replied seriously.

Morgan smiled and shook his head and glanced at the other teammates.

“More accurately, this is a quote by, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, who was a 13th Century Persian poet.  He’s known simply as, ‘Rumi’ in the English speaking world.” He began.  “He was also a jurist and a theologian.”

“So does this mean that this UNSUB is a fan of 13th century poetry?” Rossi asked.

“I think it’s too early to tell.” Hotch answered.

Morgan looked at the picture of the arrows closely and noticed something very interesting and odd.

“Look at these arrows. They seem pretty primitive and something this old may be easy to track.”

“Garcia, see if you can find anything on the arrows; age, where it’s from…” Hotch ordered.

“Look for someone who’s bought several of them recently, Garcia.” Reid added.

“Not a problem, crime fighters.”

Garcia stood and headed toward her corner of the room and began unpacking her laptop.

“Morgan and JJ, you go to the first crime scene. Dave and Reid to the second and Alex and I will go to the last scene.” Hotch ordered.

The team headed out as ordered. Morgan wanted to say something to Garcia before leaving but he thought better of it. She was not happy with him right now and he didn’t want to make it worse. This was not how he imagined their official first Valentine’s Day to be and with them on this case, he felt as if the day had unfortunately crashed and burned.  He had planned to take her to dinner at the new restaurant he’d discovered several weeks ago. She loved trying new places and he loved experiencing that together watching the excitement in her eyes as she discovered something new. No matter how upset she was and no matter how twisted this case may get he wasn’t quite ready to give up on the day just yet.

Much later…

The visit to the crime scenes hadn’t yielded enough evidence to get them close to solving the case. The only possibility would have to come from whatever Garcia could find on the arrow. If she didn’t find a lead, then this case could drag on and another victim would lose his life.

Marriott Emerald Plaza – Downtown San Diego

After everyone had returned to the precinct, Hotch ordered everyone to the hotel to turn in for the night. Morgan wasn’t looking forward to spending the night alone and if he had his way, he’d have his Baby Girl next to him tonight.  So, he looked for a quiet corner away from the rest of the team and made a phone call. After he ended the call, he felt a small bit of relief. The day had gone horribly wrong but he wasn’t going to give up on the day without a fight.

Garcia wanted to kick herself, again for reacting the way she did when the last gift delivery made it up the steps to the Conference room. She acted like a pouting little girl and it wasn’t fair to Derek and she knew he’d done nothing to encourage the women.

He had long ago left his playboy ways behind. In fact, even before the two of them had decided to give love a try, he had turned his back on his old life but it seemed that his reputation would forever haunt him. Sadly, it seemed she was the main person that refused to let him forget how he used to be. He wasn’t sure if he’d ever live it down.

Garcia was exhausted and even before she stepped into her room alone she missed him. She had gotten used to not being alone and ending her day the same way it began and that was with his strong arms wrapped around her. She had let her insecurities get the best of her and she knew she had to find a way to make it up to him.

The team had arrived at the hotel over an hour ago. Morgan was miserable. He thought that by now he would have heard from Garcia. “Was she really that upset? Did she really doubt his love that much?” He thought to himself. He was at a loss.  The champagne and dinner that he’d ordered to be delivered to her room should have thawed the chill in the air. Maybe he still had a lot of work to do to truly win her heart the only problem he didn’t know where to start.

Garcia had decided to plan a special surprise for Morgan. So, instead of going in her room to sulk, she quickly put her key back in her pocket and headed toward the lobby of the hotel.  She noticed a private patio when they checked in earlier and if the room was vacant she’d ask to use it and order a romantic dinner for the two of them as a celebration of their very first Valentine’s Day.

She was in luck and since the young receptionist was a fan of the FBI, she was a great help in getting a special meal ordered and even gave Garcia a special rate on the room. Everything was ready; beautiful flowers and candles filled the room. Dinner was due to arrive in twenty minutes and Garcia had only one task left and that was to call Derek.  Just as she fished her phone out of her purse it rang. When she saw the name cross her screen, her heart sank.

Derek had given up on hearing from Penelope so he decided to take a shower and turn in for the night. Just as he stepped out of the shower, his phone rang and as he looked at the display screen he thought, “can this evening get any worse?”

As the agents headed back to the precinct, their plans of Valentine surprises were left untouched, the champagne, strawberries and a tray of her favorite finger foods uneaten and growing cold. Her surprise that was her hope of getting the two of them back on track was reduced to nothing more than a waste of money.

SD Police Department – later
“We have another victim.” Hotch announced.

The team dragged themselves into the small room where the new victim’s picture hung next to the first three. They each looked like their own version of, “Dawn of the Dead,” as they sleepily found a seat and struggled to focus on the latest victim.

Now, Derek was the one ignoring Penelope as she noticed his distant and moody disposition. JJ noticed too and look puzzled at her friend as he sat without as much as a glance Garcia’s way.

“Thomas Berry’s body was found by his wife when she came home early from a business trip.” Said Detective Mendes.

“That’s interesting.” Alex added.

“What do you mean?” Hotch asked.

“Well, all of the other victims’ bodies were discovered the following morning, but our latest victim was discovered shortly after he was killed, which may mean that the UNSUB may have known the victims and had access to these men’s lives in some way.”

“I think you’re on to something, Alex.” Rossi began. “Berry’s wife came home early. She wasn’t supposed to be home until the following morning.”

“The fact that they were found the next morning, then, is not a coincidence.” Reid deduced.

“Exactly.” Hotch said. “Who would have this type of access to our victims?”

“…A personal assistant, secretary maybe?” JJ guessed.

“Yes but we already established that the victims had nothing in common.” Morgan said.

“No we just established that the victims didn’t know each other.” Rossi clarified.

“What are you thinking, Rossi?” Morgan asked.

“Maybe the UNSUB provided some clerical support or assistance to these men. They wouldn’t have to know each other…only the UNSUB would have to know them.” Rossi continued.

“Like a virtual office. A lot of business owners are contracting clerical or personal assistance work to professionals who may have several people on their client lists.” Hotch said.

“Depending on what services they provided, they would have access to schedules, travel itineraries, personal and business information.” Said Alex.

“Our first victim, Travis Honors owned a successful internet business. He probably worked from home. He may have outsourced clerical support to a virtual office.” Reid said.

“Barry Stern, our second guy was a writer. He may have needed a personal assistant or a publicist or something that could very well have been outsourced too.” JJ added.

“Looks like all of our victims may have used freelance services.” Hotch noted. “Garcia, check to see who runs a business that offers clerical, personal, and executive support. Then see which one had all three victims as a client.”

“On it boss.”

Garcia was relieved to have an excuse to leave. She found it unbearable to see the look on Derek’s face as he sat ignoring her. She knew she’d brought it on herself and now she understood how he’d been feeling.

Hotch split the team into pairs and sent them out to the victims home to interview the families.  JJ and Reid visited the home of Travis Honors. His wife confirmed that he worked from home and often used the services of a virtual office professional to handle his clerical needs. 

Morgan and Rossi spoke with the son of the second victim, Hosea Martin. According to his son, he contracted his secretarial needs out to a service he’d found online. His father had only communicated with the person on line and wasn’t sure if they were male of female.

Hotch and Alex paid a visit to the last victim’s wife. Thomas Berry owned a busy neighborhood market and used a service to handle his bookkeeping.  After the visit Hotch ordered everyone back to the precinct to debrief.

All of the victims used the same service, “All-Purpose Professional Services.” None of the victims had ever met anyone from the company in person yet the service had access to all of their important information, which would make it very easy for someone to be able to find them and not be recognized.

“I found her!” Garcia said rushing into the room.

“What do you have, Garcia?” Hotch asked.

“I had to do a lot of digging because this woman took a lot of care hiding herself. But because I am the Oracle of All Knowing, I found her with just a few keystrokes.”

“Who is she?” Hotch said cutting her short.

“Oh, uh, sorry, Boss.” She began. “Meredith Dwyer is the owner and sole operator of, “All-Purpose Professional Services,” a virtual office where each of our victims was a client. She operates via the Internet and never sees her clients face-to-face.”

She paused for a moment before continuing. “Meredith Dwyer is also a member of an online poetry society that focus solely on the work of Rumi and according to recent credit card purchases she purchased a dozen very old antique arrows from an online medieval gift shop.”

“Do you have an address for her Garcia.” Morgan asked, his first words to her in several hours.

“Come on it’s me you’re talking to. Of course it’s on your PDA’s as we speak.”

The team headed out to apprehend Meredith Dwyer. Her house was located near the Tijuana border town of National City. When they arrived as usual Morgan was the first one through the door with the rest of the team close behind him.  One by one the rooms of the large house was cleared. On the way back to the main part of the house, Morgan noticed a hidden door.

“Hotch, I think there’s a basement.” Morgan whispered into his communicator.

“Where are you?”

“End of the hallway behind the drapes. I’m going in.”

“Wait! Morgan!”

Morgan quietly opened the door and immediately heard voices coming from below him. The female voice sounded shaky and out of control there was no time to wait he’d deal with Hotch’s disapproval later.

Hotch and the rest of the team rushed toward the hallway and to the door that Morgan had purposely left open. It didn’t take them long to catch up with Morgan who was halfway down the stairs when they came through the door.

“Meredith Dwyer! FBI! Drop the bow!” Morgan ordered.

Morgan met the eyes of a terrified man chained to the wall across from him. Meredith had a bow and arrow trained on the hysterical man who had been begging for his life unable to convince the crazed woman from taking his life. Meredith glanced at the agent and then back at her intended victim.

“No! He has to die! It’s Valentine’s Day!”

“Put it down! Now!” Morgan repeated.

Hotch and the others slowly descended the stairs to join Morgan with their guns aimed at the woman.

“Today is the day to profess your love but it’s all a lie! All they do is lie and then they cheat!”

“Is that why you want to kill this man?” Morgan asked glancing again at the man.

“Yes! He’s a cheater just like the others!”

“Margaret, I know you’ve been hurt, put the bow down and let us get you some help.”

“What’s your name?” She said calmly.

“My name is Derek. Derek Morgan. Now put the bow down.”

“Are you a cheater Derek Morgan?”

“No. I’m not a cheater. I’m not going to ask you again.”

The next few minutes seemed to play out in slow motion. Margaret Dwyer turned her attention to Derek. With a maniacal smile across her face she turned and looked directly into the agent’s eyes, bow still drawn and ready to fire in her hands and his gun still aimed at her. He saw it coming; the rest of the team saw it coming as she released the arrow. He pulled the trigger confident that his bullet would reach her before the arrow reached him. He wasn’t sure if he could dodge the arrow and hit her at the same time.

“Morgan!” JJ yelled.

“Damn!” He responded.

A wide-eyed opened mouth look of shock replaced the wicked smile on Margaret’s face as her body crashed to the floor. Rossi quickly rushed to her and grabbed the bow from her hand.  Morgan stepped toward the dead woman’s body and stared down at her.  Alex and Reid rushed over to the shaking man and released him from the chains that had held him pinned to the wall.

“Morgan, you’re bleeding!” JJ said.


He looked at his arm and noticed the blood on his sleeve. There wasn’t much pain and no doubt the adrenaline pumping through his veins had kept him from reacting to the arrow that had grazed him.

“It’s okay. I’m fine.” He assured her.

“No you’re not!”

“It’s just a scratch, really, I’m okay.”

He knew he had been lucky one centimeter to the right and it would have been a whole other story. He saw the fear in his partner’s eyes and again tried to reassure her.

“Hey, I’m fine, okay?”

“Yeah, well you better get it checked out anyway. If Garcia sees that she’s going to freak!”

“I don’t know about that.” He said in a somber voice.

Morgan headed toward the stairs as the local PD and CSI entered the basement and began their work. JJ caught up to him and grabbed his uninjured arm.

“Hey, what’s going on? I thought you’d made plans to surprise Garcia at the hotel?”

“I did.”


“Well what?” He wasn’t in the mood to discuss it.

“What happened? You both have been acting like the world has come to an end since we were called back in.”

“Nothing happened, JJ! Nothing. Not one word.”

“Are you sure she saw it?”

“She had to; we were back over an hour before Hotch called us back in. I’m telling you, not so much as a thank you!”

“That doesn’t sound like Garcia, Derek. Have you talked to her?”

“No. I haven’t I just …”

“You know Garcia. Walking into her room and seeing the romantic set up from you would have sent her flying into your arms.”

“JJ, I don’t know. She was pretty pissed more than I realized I guess.”

“Morgan, talk to her. There’s got to be a reason…”

“I don’t know what to say. Today was supposed to be our first Valentine’s as a couple and it’s been one disaster after the other. Maybe she’s having second thoughts.”

The two met up with the rest of the team outside and Hotch noticed Morgan’s arm.

“Morgan, get that arm checked out.”

“It’s fine, Hotch. It’s just a scratch.”

“That’s an order. JJ go with him and make sure he doesn’t get lost.”

“Yes Sir.”

The rest of the team headed toward the precinct while JJ and Morgan headed to the hospital. Garcia met the team as they came through the door. Reid had already told her what had happened and in the classic Garcia style she was panicked and when Morgan didn’t walk in with the rest of the team she was imagining all sorts of disasters in her mind.

“He’s fine.” Hotch said seeing the hysterics in her eyes. “It’s just a scratch. I sent him to get patched up.”

“Really? Why didn’t he call me himself?”

“I don’t know. You can ask him when he and JJ get back.” Hotch answered. “Oh and whatever is going on with the two of you, I expect it to be solved before we leave for Quantico tomorrow.”

Hotch walked past Garcia and headed to their work area to begin debriefing and completing paperwork for the local PD.

“Yes Sir.”

The last thing Garcia wanted to happen was for her and Derek’s relationship to affect their jobs. Hotch had sensed that there was something going on which meant everyone else did too. She had to fix the mess she had created and fast.

While waiting for Derek to return, Garcia looked over the case report and notes from the team. Margaret Dwyer, 45, had been married to a successful businessman for 25 years until suddenly he left her for a much younger woman and to make matters worse, he chose Valentine’s Day to profess his undying love for his mistress. An announcement of the couple’s upcoming wedding was Margaret’s stressor that sent her on her killing spree.

University Hospital – Later
Morgan and JJ were waiting in one of the Emergency Room exam rooms. Morgan had been cleared to leave and the minor injury to his arm has been stitched and bandaged.  JJ’s phone rings and is surprised at the name on the display screen.


“How is he?”


“He’s there isn’t he?”


“Crap! Now I really feel like an idiot.”

Morgan looked at JJ puzzled he suspected it was Garcia but he wasn’t in the mood to talk to her so he leaned back on the gurney and closed his eyes. JJ mouthed the words, “I’m sorry” and stepped into the hallway.

“Okay. I’m in the hallway. What’s going on between you two?”

“JJ, he’s really pissed at me! I think I’ve lost him…”

“Why haven’t you called him? He’s really hurting right now.”

“JJ, I think I really blew it! I had this surprise all set up and then we got called back to work.”

“Wait, you had a surprise?”

“Yes. I saw this really cool patio off of one of the rooms and I booked it for tonight…”

“Wait…Garcia, Morgan had a surprise too.”



The two women were interrupted as Morgan came up behind JJ with discharge papers in hand and ready to go. JJ quickly ended the call and turned innocently toward Derek.

“I’m out of here.” He said dryly.

“Let’s go then.” JJ replied.

The two walked toward the exit in silence and into the parking lot. JJ drove and Morgan sat in the passenger seat.

“JJ, can you drop me off at the hotel?”

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. I just want to go to bed.”

“You know Garcia is going to want to see you.”

“Well, she had her chance earlier she wasn’t interested. I doubt anything’s changed.”

“Morgan! You need to talk to her.”

“Please JJ, just drop me off at the hotel, okay?”

“Okay, fine.”

Marriott Emerald Plaza –
Morgan dragged his tired body slowly up to his room his mood growing worse by the moment. He was starving and desperately wanted a shower and a drink; no make that several drinks.

Morgan stepped inside of his room closing the door behind him he flipped on the lights and was stunned by the sight before him.  A small table just for two sat in the middle of the room with a bottle of champagne chilling on ice and a tray of strawberries, chocolate and an assortment of finger foods.

He stood motionless not sure what to make of what he was seeing. The light knock on the door pulled him back to the present.

“Garcia? What are you doing here? I thought you were still at the police station?”

“I wanted to make sure I caught you before you turned in for the evening.”

He was speechless still not able to wrap his head around the champagne and strawberries, the food and now her…Penelope Garcia…standing in his hotel room doorway waiting for an invitation to come in.

“Come in.” He said gently taking her hand and pulling her inside.

She smiled slightly and followed him into the room stopping next to the table. She had to remember to thank her new friend at the front desk as she looked down at the treats before her.

“Derek, I’m really sorry. I planned this surprise to say I’m sorry but we got called back in and when you weren’t talking to me I thought I’d lost you and I know I deserve your anger and know I shouldn’t have…”

She was rambling and she could see him trying to stop her and speak but she kept going afraid that he would say something that she couldn’t bare to hear.

He could have insisted on saying something but all it would mean was that there would be less time for the two of them to show each other how much they loved each other.  For once he wasn’t going to let his male pride get in the way and so he did the only thing he really needed to do…he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. He kissed her like a man that didn’t need air to live. He showed this woman who had long ago captured his heart that he forgave her for doubting him and his feelings for her.

…And she did the only thing that she could do, needed to do…she kissed him back. That kiss expressed her regret, her apology and her intense love for a man that had saved her life time and time again. A man who had proven his love and no longer had to convince her that she was his center and he was hers.

The two lovers stood there for a moment longer in a quiet embrace and then talked and enjoyed the champagne. They laughed at the comedy of events that threatened their first Valentine’s Day. They promised to tell the story to their children and grandchildren and after the champagne had been polished off and they had dined until they were about to burst, the two, Derek and Penelope made the evening complete making new wonderful memories of showing each other what they truly meant to each other that lasted well into the morning hours…

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Baby Girl.”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Handsome.”

I've never imagined that there can be this day.
A day that love will find its way.
Out of my heart and into your soul.
These feelings I have are beyond my control.

All my life I have waited patiently.
For a goddess like you, so beautiful, so lovely.
Words can't express the way I feel.
These feelings towards you are all for real.

You are the reason why I go on.
Eternity can't separate this special bond.
This heart of mine is reserved for you.
Forever it is yours, this love is true.

I'll be your first and you'll be my last.
My world, my everything, till my time has past.
I will always love you until the end of time.
My love, my sweetheart, my Valentine! – Sokea Meas

The End…