"David! I need your help!"
He looked up from the file on his desk and beckoned Penelope inside his office, gesturing to the chair in front of his desk. She nodded and took a seat, trying to calm her nerves as she glanced nervously around the room. Silence fell around them, and Penelope fought the huff of irritation that threatened to break free from her lips as she watched him continue to work on the file he had open. Finally, he signed the bottom of it with his usual flourish and then he closed the folder and turned his gaze on her, pinning her to her chair. "What can I do for you, Kitten?"
"I may have done something really impulsive and blurted out that I wanted to marry Erin over the weekend. In my car. It was completely unromantic, and she humored me by being agreeable to the idea, but now that I have the thought in my head, I can't stop thinking about it. I'm no good at picking out jewelry for my friends, let alone even begin to think about choosing an appropriate ring for my soulmate! Is there any possible way that you could head out to lunch with me, and we could go looking for something spectacular for her? My budget isn't too large, but I know that you can help steer me away from crappy rings and find that diamond in the rough. Please?"
He chuckled a little as he nodded. "I suppose that we could go out hunting for something pretty for your soulmate. Do you want to head out now? It's nearly eleven, after all."
"Sounds good to me. Thank you!" He nodded at her, giving her that knowing look he always seemed to wear when he had more information about a situation than anyone else did. Frowning a little, Penelope got to her feet and followed David out of his office, stopping by her office to grab her coat before joining him at the elevators. "You look way too much like that cat that ate the canary. Care to spill?"
"There's nothing that I can tell you, Kitten. This is my normal look," he replied as he placed his hand on the small of her back, guiding her into the elevator as soon as the doors opened. Frowning a little, she pressed the button for the ground floor. "But you don't believe a word that I'm saying, do you?"
"Do you blame me? You always seem to know more than you let on," she shot back before nudging his side with her elbow. "I just want to make her happy."
"You are just by being with her, Penelope. I watched her change over the months while you were in London, seeing the way that she began to light up at work. There was an incandescence about her that I knew meant she had finally started to spark off you."
"But she didn't know about me. How did you know I was influencing her?"
He gave her a cheeky grin before leading her out of the elevator. "Because she was reacting the same way that Caroline reacted to me. Have you told Hotch yet?"
"No? I've just assumed that he would catch on, since we're not shy about hiding our relationship at work, but he hasn't quite seemed to catch on. And the longer that it goes, the harder it is to tell him? I know, that's not the smartest outlook to have, but I just can't seem to find a way to tell him the truth."
"Well, when Erin shows up wearing a shiny new rock on her finger, people are going to talk more than they already are. And those rumors might get back to Hotch. Do you want office gossip to be the one that lets him in on the fact that his boss is experiencing the sweetest pleasure in the arms of his friend and technical analyst?"
"Well, when you put it like that, I suppose not. But I have to be the one to find the right time and place to tell him. It's going to be a delicate conversation, and I have to do it my own way."
David rubbed her arm as he unlocked his car, opening her door for her. She giggled a little at the gallantry, and gave him a small wink before slipping into the leather seat and settling in. "I know that you will use a delicate touch, Kitten. But I'm assuming that it's the delicate touches that Erin likes most."
Penelope felt her face heat up in a deep blush as she fastened her seatbelt and tried not to look at him as she tried to think of something saucy to reply with. "We've both found that delicate touches are the sweetest. But you would know about that, wouldn't you? Tell me, did she mewl lowly when she was about orgasm when she was with you?"
He swallowed thickly as he started the car, backing out of his spot. Tony Bennett began to pour softly from the speakers, which caused her to relax a little and she turned to look at him, a smirk on her lips as she awaited his reply. "Yes. And she flushes all the way down to the tops of her breasts when she becomes aroused, and you just want to run your tongue around that skin." She cleared her throat as she shifted in her seat a little, finding his words affecting her more than she would like. "We can trade these little shots back and forth all day, Kitten. Somehow, I think that I'll be the one to come out on top. Even though it's sweet when Erin comes on top."
"OMG, stop! I do not need to have these mental images in my brain! And before you say anything, I will have you know that you were the one who started this!"
His rich laugh filled the car as he tooled down the road. "I love teasing you, just as much as I love teasing Erin. When you get home tonight, ask her about that."
"You can bet that I will, mister!" She gave him a small wink to let him know that she was all right with their banter, even though she was completely embarrassed by the mental images still running through her mind. "But turning to the more serious topics, what should I get for her? She's so elegant, but a diamond feels so impersonal. I know, it's traditional, and while Erin is super traditional, I feel like a diamond will just be so expected. But I get her something non-traditional, will she even like it?"
"Kitten, she is going to love whatever you choose for her because it came from you, from her soulmate. Erin's not pretentious, but you're right, she is elegant. Which is why I'm taking you to my personal jeweler."
"I can't afford anything you can afford!" she protested.
"I can call in a few favors, if you find something that you really love. Believe me, everything will work out in the end."
Penelope nodded as she tried to calm the nervousness in her stomach, wondering why she was so upset about this shopping excursion. She knew that Erin was ready for this step, too, given the way she had reacted to her impromptu proposal in the car. Still, she hoped that David's jeweler had exactly what she wanted, and that it would be something in her price range. Erin deserved the very best that she could give her, after all, and this was going to prove she could provide just that.