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31 December 2012 @ 11:43 am
Fic Post: Comfort and Joy, Part 1/3  
There could be one more story before the year ends. Maybe.

Title: Comfort and Joy
Author: Montiese
Category: AU/Drama/Family/Holiday/Humor/Romance
Characters: Ashley Seaver, Erin Strauss, David Rossi, Spencer Reid, Penelope Garcia, Olivia Hopkins, OMC, OFC
Pairings: Rossi/Strauss, Ashley Seaver/Olivia Hopkins
Rating: MATURE
Summary: But he always wanted her to know if there was no other safe place in the world, this big old house with all of its strange inhabitants and visitors would be the one place that Ashley could be Ashley.



The yellow and black Mustang roared up the driveway and stopped. Ashley Seaver and her friend got out and looked around. The area was peaceful, it was always peaceful. A dog came running around the corner, barking happily. Ashley got down on her haunches to greet him.

“Hey Mudge! C'mere dude.”

The dog almost knocked her over as he licked her face. Her friend, Olivia Hopkins, came around the car and smiled. She reached to pet the dog too. He had a gigantic head.

“How you doing bud?” Ashley asked. “You're looking good, are they treating you good around here?”

The dog just barked and licked, happy to see her. Standing up, Ashley petted his head once more before going to the trunk of the car. She grabbed two big duffle bags and the girls went up the steps and onto the wraparound porch of the large Victorian house. The door was unlocked so Ashley just walked in with the dog in tow.

Home was never going to change. It was big and warm and always welcoming. Right now it smelled of Christmas; pine needles, cookies, and surely a roast bigger than her head. Ashley put her bag down as she inhaled. Then she hollered.

“Your favorite child is home! Who's coming to greet me?”

An attractive blonde boy came out of the dining room. He was wearing a huge grin as she rushed to Ashley and pulled her into a hug. Ashley kissed his cheek.

“It’s so good to see you.” she said.

“You're looking good kid.” He said.

“Who are you calling kid? I'm like five months older than you are.”

“But I'm cuter…it’s a known fact.”

“You wish.” Ashley laughed. Then she looked at her friend. “Olivia Hopkins, this is my baby brother Edward. We call him Ted and one of his many claims to fame is the weekend he sang lead for an INXS cover band.”

“I got two standing ovations and two encores.” He pointed to his shirt. The words Need You Tonight: An INXS Experience was written on it. “They wanted me to drop out of college and hit the road with them. They’re huge in Vegas and in Scandinavia.”

“That sounds really interesting.” Olivia smiled as she shook Ted’s hand. “I've heard a lot about you.”

“Well I've heard nothing about you. We’ll definitely have to change that.”

“Where is everyone?” Ashley asked.

“Spencer and I are playing wizard’s chess in the dining room. Nora’s around here somewhere and so is Dave. Mom and Nan went out for last minutes groceries and stuff. She took Noah with her, which was probably the worst idea ever. At least it was for her…he's sure to get some extra Christmas gifts out of the deal. C'mon in the dining room.”

The three of them walked in and Spencer looked up from the chessboard.

“I'm gonna know if you moved anything.” Ted said.

“No you're not.” Spencer Reid shook his head. “Hi Ashley.”

“Hi Ashley, that’s it? You haven’t seen your little sister in months and all I get is a ‘hi Ashley’. Do you see this Liv? This is family. Get up and come hug me.”

Spencer did what she asked. He wasn’t much of a hugger; he didn’t touch many people. She never wanted to make him uncomfortable but always wanted to show her affection for him. Ashley held him tight and kissed his cheek.

“You're too skinny.” She said, turning up her nose some. “We’re going to have to stuff you with cookies and cake. Mom isn’t going to be happy about this.”

“Erin's already expressed displeasure. I'm fine; I'm naturally skinny.”

“Mmm hmm. Well, this is my friend Olivia Hopkins. She’s going to stay with us over the holiday. This is Dr. Spencer Reid, my big brother.”

“You look a little young to be a doctor.” Olivia shook his hand. “Are you like Doogie Howser or something?”

“Who?” Spencer asked.

“He knows nothing about pop culture references.” Ashley told her.

“I'm actually working on my second PhD at American University. This one will be in Philosophy but I think for my third I'm going with Chemistry.”

“Your third?” Olivia’s eyes widened. “You're going to get your third PhD?”

“Eventually.” Spencer replied. “How do you and Ashley know each other?”

He sat back down at the dining room table where Ted was. There was a huge chessboard with big pieces on it. They seemed to be in the middle of a very intense game. Olivia could barely play chess, she actually wasn’t fond of board games, but she could tell from the looks on their faces that they were into it.

“We play field hockey together.” Ashley replied. “She didn’t want to go home to St. Paul this year so I invited her here. Mom always makes room for everyone. I didn’t think it would be a problem.”

“I don’t have a problem with it.” Spencer shook his head and moved a chess piece. “I see checkmate in three.”

“Spencer, are you going to see your mom over the holiday?” Ashley asked.

She wasn’t sure she was going to ask. Even all these years later, Ashley was almost 21; the subject of Diana Reid was a bit of a sore one. Spencer and Ashley were biological brother and sister. They had different fathers.

Spencer hadn't seen his since he was four and Ashley had no idea who hers was. Their mother was a brilliant but troubled woman. She was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who now lived in a home for the mentally ill. Diana doted on Spencer, as much as she could.

He was a genius and she saw him as her little piece of perfection. She seemed to look on Ashley like the Antichrist. The young woman never wanted to blame her for that; Diana wasn’t well. Still it hurt to be rejected by her own mother. Young animals that happened to were killed in the wild.

“I'm going to the Christmas Eve brunch this year. You're invited if you want to come. I think that you should. I know omelets are your favorite and they’re going to have them this year. Plus I think Mom has been disappointed the past few years when you haven’t come.”

“I doubt that seriously. But I’ll think about it. I don’t want to be a bad host and leave Liv on her own.”

“Did I hear my favorite child come through the door?”

“Dad!”

Ashley rushed into her father’s bear-like embrace. She was smiling as if she’d just won the lottery. Dave Rossi laughed and held her tight. They hadn't seen each other since Thanksgiving and though it was barely two weeks he missed his little girl.

At one time the house had been filled with kids. There was arguing, laughter, love, curfew breaking, and anything else you could think of associated with raising a big family. But now there was only one. Seven year old Noah remained while his two brothers and two sisters moved on and grew up.

Dave hardly wanted to let Ashley go to Sarah Lawrence College. The idea of her being in New York alone was not appealing. But her grandmother lived there too so there would always be family close by. In the middle of her junior year he could see that she was thriving.

“How was the ride in?” Dave asked, finally letting her go but still holding her hand.

“Oh my God, traffic was ridiculous. I expected it but I think I got my patience behind the wheel from you. Liv contemplated bludgeoning me a couple of times.”

“So this is Liv? I've heard a lot about you young lady.” He shook her hand.

“I can say the same.” Liv smiled. “It’s so good to finally meet you Agent Rossi.”

“You don’t have to call me that.”

“Are you kidding me? All I hear is Senior Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi this, that, and a million other things. Is the story that you actually founded the Behavioral Analysis Unit true?”

“Most of the time it is.” Dave replied. He looked at his daughter. “You’ve been embarrassing me?”

“No way.” Ashley laughed. “All the awesome stuff I say is well deserved. Everyone knows and acknowledges your legend. Its OK that Liv’s going to stay this two weeks, isn’t it? It’s like 20 below in St. Paul; she couldn’t take another winter break there.”

“The completely dysfunctional Hopkins family had a little to do with it as well.” Olivia said.

“Oh we put the funk in dysfunctional.” Ted said. “Mate.”

“What?” Spencer looked all over the board. “How did I miss that?”

“You're not thinking outside the box.” Ted replied.

“Thanks Yoda.” The 25 year old crossed his arms as he paid even more attention to what was in front of him.

“Yoda is a pop culture reference Spencer definitely understands.” Ashley said.

“Well if you're going to get anything Yoda would be a good place to start.” Liv said.

“Thanks.” Spencer smiled.

“Alright we need to talk about sleeping arrangements.” Dave said. “Nan’s in your room this year kiddo because she didn’t want do deal with the stairs. So I made you a room in the attic.”

“Aww yeah, it’ll be like The Little Princess.”

“There's a full size bed, a dresser, and a desk. I also got you one of those mp3 player-mabobs because your brother said there might be trouble if I didn’t. I sealed the windows; it can get cold at night in there but I bought two heater fans so that should be good. You still might need an extra blanket.”

“I'm sure the girls can cuddle.” Ted replied as he studied the chessboard. “I don’t think they’ll mind.”

“I loathe you.” Ashley stuck out her tongue.

“I hope you realize that makes my life complete.”

“I'm sure you girls will be just fine.” Dave said giving Ted the eye. “Olivia, as a guest here for the next two weeks, what's ours is yours. Please don’t feel like you need to ask for a drink or something to eat or to partake of anything we have. I just want you to relax and enjoy yourself. I'm sure Ashley will show you around.”

“Thanks Agent Rossi.”

“I can't believe Mom left when she knew I was coming. I talked to her this morning.”

“She wanted to get things for dinner tonight.” Dave replied. “We’re making pizza.”

“Seriously?” that cheered up the young blonde.

“Oh yeah…we’ll probably be cleaning up mozzarella for days. You should go upstairs, check out your new digs, and put your things down. Mom should be home soon. Go on.”

“I'm so glad to be home Dad.” Ashley hugged him again.

“And I'm glad you're here. It’s never quite Christmas unless I have all you guys bitching and moaning under the same roof.”

Dave smiled when Ashley kissed his cheek. Then she and Olivia left the room and he heard them walking up the stairs.

“You owe me $10 Dave.” Ted didn’t even look up from the chessboard when he spoke.

“Ted, I want you to leave your sister alone.” Dave said. “Need I remind you that you crawled out of the closet…at least with your mother?”

“Ashley won't be happy that you're betting on her sexuality.” Spencer said as he moved one of his chess pieces.

“Its all love Spencer.” Ted said. “Are you in for double or nothing that Mom already knows and is a better profiler than Dave.”

“I'm in. Checkmate.”

“Damn!”

***


“Am I going to be happy when I see your grades?” Erin asked. She came and wrapped her arm around her daughter from behind, pressing her temple to Ashley’s.

“I think I nailed all A’s. That should cushion the blow of that C in Chemistry. I need it to graduate or I wouldn’t have taken it at all. I got a tutor and everything, a cute tutor, but my brain doesn’t think that way.”

“I think all A’s will cushion my blow as well. You should mostly be working on classes for your major now.”

“I just picked up a Philosophy minor…Uncle Jason and Spencer will be excited. They’re offering some amazing classes that caught my eye and will be good for me when I join the Academy.”

“You still want to join the Academy?” Erin asked.

“Mom, I've wanted to join the Academy since I was like five.”

“That’s because your father regaled you with all of those stories. Most of them were entirely untrue.”

“But they were still awesome. It’s why he's such a good writer. You're in the FBI…no one regaled you with stories.”

“What's Olivia’s major?” Erin asked, changing the subject.

There were three pizzas cooking in the oven and Erin was cleaning her kitchen. She didn’t like mess but it was impossible to avoid when raising five children. She was ecstatic to have all of them home for the holidays, and her mother there as well, but it was going to be a lot to clean up over the next couple of weeks. Dave always told her he would just hire someone to clean but Erin never liked the idea of strangers traipsing through her house. It was her sanctuary; she and the people she loved could keep it clean.

“She's an International Studies major. There are so many great classes that she takes; it almost convinced me to take up a second minor.”

“You might never get to the Academy if you keep picking up minors.”

“Try to hold back your sadness at that notion.” Ashley smiled as she sipped her strawberry Bacardi Silver.

She wasn’t 21 and couldn’t drink legally but her parents never had a problem with her drinking responsibly in the house. They had wine with dinner since she was a little girl. Dave didn’t let Ashley drink her first glass until sixteen. At college she drank a lot more than this but she was home now and would stick to her parents’ rules. The rules were wine coolers, light beer, or wine. She couldn’t even have a cocktail in Fairfax.

“She seems like a wonderful girl.” Erin said. “While Nan and I were out today I picked up a stocking for her to decorate. I’ll drag your father out with me before the end of the week and we’ll get her a few things for under the tree. She's away from home but that doesn’t mean she should feel like an outsider.”

“You don’t have to do that.” Ashley shook her head.

“We want to. She’s a friend of yours and that makes her important to us as well. Tell me all about her.”

“Well there's not a lot to tell. She’s from Minnesota and she's one of four children so we had that big family thing in common. Her parents are divorced but they do spend Christmas together. Liv said they do it for the children but actually it’s pretty uncomfortable and weird. She was glad to have an excuse to get away.”

“And you play field hockey together?” Erin asked.

“We’re on the intramural team. She’s better than me. We met last year after she kicked my legs out from under me with a stick.”

“You're glowing.” Erin said.

“The oven’s on Mom…its hot in here.”

“Hmm.”

“I think dinner should be just about ready.” Dave walked into the kitchen and right into the moment. “Am I interrupting something?”

“Nope.” Ashley shook her head. She went to the fridge for another beverage. “I'm gonna go and check on Liv. I don’t want Ted and Spencer to freak her out with extensive talk on the Harry Potter house sorting thing.”

“They’ve moved on to the many massive issues with the Star Wars prequels.” Dave said. “Deacon’s joining in on that one.”

“Oh yeah, definitely time to save her. Hey, are we gonna watch the movie tonight?”

“We’ll do it on Christmas.” Erin said. “I don’t want to break tradition again.”

“OK.”

“Did she say anything to you?” Dave asked when Ashley was out of the room.

“Did you expect her to just sing it in a song David?” Erin countered. “No she didn’t tell me anything. I'm not going to push anymore…she will when she’s ready. We don’t push our kids that way.”

“Olivia seems like a nice girl. She's not at all nervous or uncomfortable around us. Hell, I even get uncomfortable when the boys start going on and on about the lack of significance Hufflepuff is given in the movies versus the books. She just fit right in. Apparently she's a Ravenclaw.”

He opened the oven and took out the three pizzas. They looked amazing and smelled even better than they looked. One was just plain cheese. Then the kids made a three cheese and sausage and an extra cheese and pepperoni.

Dave had already taken his Pepcid. There was no way he’d be able to stop himself from sampling at least a slice of each. Thirty slices of pizza for ten people means he might at least get the chance. All of the kids had voracious appetites.

“Maybe they are just friends and we have it all wrong.” Erin said.

“She's never brought anyone home before.” Dave grabbed the pizza cutter from the drawer.

“I know, but she told me Olivia was tired of her blended family’s Christmas to-do. Maybe we should just leave it alone.”

“That’s the third time you’ve said that today.”

“I mean it. OK, I'm not going to think about it anymore. I should be happy about the fact that my babies are home.” She grabbed the bottle of Shiraz from the counter and poured herself another half-glass. “It’s going to be a wonderful Christmas.”

“I think so too.” Dave smiled. “And we’re officially leaving it alone.”

“I love you.” Erin leaned and kissed his cheek.

“I love you more. We need to feed the masses before they eat us.”

“Please don’t give our children anymore ideas.” Erin laughed.

***


“I like your family.” Olivia said as she sat on the bed and pulled up her pink and red knee socks. The attic was chilly. The sealed window and desk heaters were helping but the socks would help even more.

“They were on their best behavior tonight.”

“I love your brother.”

“Which one?” Ashley asked smiling.

“I meant Ted. I mean I like Spencer too, and little Noah is adorable, but Ted had me in stitches all night.”

“He is the family diva, in every sense of the world. But I do adore him. We were born five months apart but our parents didn’t get married until we were eight. They had been dating since we were six. I think us kids might have pushed them into marriage. Not in a bad way it’s just that they probably felt it was a bad idea to live in sin with four kids involved.”

“You all seem to get along well.”

“We definitely look at each other as brothers and sisters. There's none of that step this and half that. But we've all had our shaky moments. Imagine four teenagers growing up in one house. It’s not too hard for you to imagine I’d figure.”

“Your house is much bigger than mine was.” Olivia smiled. She reached for Ashley’s hand and pulled her onto the bed. “I still like them.”

“I think they like you too.” Ashley took Liv’s face in her hands.

“You don’t sound happy about that.”

“I'm just a little…I've never done anything like this before.”

“I don’t think that means what I think it means.” Liv said.

“I never bring people home. I've always had friends; I've had a nice amount of sexual partners as well. No one has ever met my parents.”

“They didn’t know any of your friends?”

“Less than a handful.” Ashley replied. “And that was mostly in passing. Nora had a few close friends, poor Spencer had none, and Ted virtually turned the place into Grand Central Station. Then when Noah came along there were play dates, birthday parties, and all that stuff. It wasn’t that my parents didn’t love me but it was easy to get lost in the shuffle. I have to admit that I kind of preferred to stay in the shadows.”

“So your parents have no idea about us?”

“No but…it’s not because I'm ashamed or anything like that.” she kissed Liv’s nose. “It’s just hard to discuss. I wish I didn’t have to. I'm intensely personal; surely it’s the one thing I got from my mother.”

“Your mother actually seemed quite personable to me. Clearly she was raised right since I also met your grandmother. It could just be her stellar Upper West Side upbringing.”

“Yeah.” Ashley smiled but it was sad. She got into the bed, slipping under the extra blankets that Dave laid out for them. It felt good when Liv held her in her arms and kissed her. “My family is quite an interesting story. Are you tired?”

“It’s been a long and exciting day but I'm actually in the midst of my second wind.” Liv replied.

“David Rossi isn’t my biological father. I don't know who that is; I don’t even think my mother knows. She's schizophrenic and after her husband left her there was at least 6 months where she went off her medication. I'm a product of that. ”

“You can tell me Ash. I'm always here to listen to whatever you want to get off your chest.”

***


“I don’t even know why we did this.” Ashley sighed as she stirred sugar into her tea. “I think we all know how this will end up.”

“Your enthusiasm for everything, as usual,” Nora quipped. “Is second to none.”

“Well you surely can't tell me I'm wrong.”

“I want to be optimistic.” Ted said, perusing the menu as if he hadn't been there a million times. “They both deserve this so much.”

“It surely can't be argued about them deserving it.” Spencer replied. “But Erin might have to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart to get him on the plane.”

“I'm the new girl here.” Olivia said. “Why would you guys spend so much on such a lovely gift if your parents aren’t going to like it?”

“Oh they're going to love it.” Ted said. “It’s just that Dave has never been overly fond of taking days off. It’s like his head will explode if he doesn't have something to do; someone to save.”

“And Mom will be so happy and wait patiently for the weather to break. And then she’ll wait some more. And then the vague threats will come. Finally, she’ll damn him to hell and take Aunt Ursula on the trip.”

“At least she’ll still enjoy herself.” Nora said nodding.

“And it’s not the only gift they’re getting this year.” Spencer added.

“Maybe we can unleash a serial something or other to Halifax.” Ted said. “That might get Dave there faster than a vacation.”

“You're right about that.” Ashley smiled. “C'mon you guys let order; I'm starving.”

She knew her mother would love the Christmas gift that all the kids chipped in and bought. It was eight days and eight nights away at the famed Milford House in Nova Scotia. They would stay in a cabin on the lake and enjoy nature at its most beautiful. Dave could fish and Erin could swim. They would be able to take the dog and even Noah if they wanted, making it a real family trip.

But trying to get David Rossi to go on vacation was like trying to get a fish to learn the cha cha…it wasn’t happening. They all knew it was a point of contention between the husband and wife. So they thought if they got them something this good maybe they could find a middle ground. Ashley was hoping for the money she spent that that middle ground was somewhere in Nova Scotia.

“Are you guys ready to order?” a pretty waitress approached wearing a smile. This group looked tired but hungry.

“I'm going to have the New England Clam Chowder.” Spencer said.

“You need to eat something solid Spencer.” Nora said. “Mom and Nan are worried about you. I am too for that matter.”

As the oldest of five, Nora took her job seriously. She’d pretty much been looking after, cleaning up for, being confided in, and helping to fix since she was 10 years old. 16 years later the behavior was old hat.

“I'm fine, and soup is solid.”

“Do you want the bowl or the cup?” the waitress asked.

“I’ll take the bowl…and some bread please.”

After she got the rest of the orders, the waitress walked away. She promised she’d be back in a few minutes with a coffee refill.

“Olivia, was the attic warm enough for you last night?” Ted asked. His sister cut her eyes at him but he ignored her.

“It was fine, thanks. We ended up only needing one of the desk heaters and we kept it on low. The blankets were good.”

“And we huddled together for warmth.” Ashley said. “It was all very Little House on the Prairie. I love Nan but I want my room back.”

“You're cute when you pout but stop it.” Liv said. “The attic is just fine.”

“It could be worse…we could be on a pull out in the den.”

“There's no privacy there.” Spencer said. “But if you want you guys can take my room and I’ll sleep in the attic. I have a lot less than you do and I've got work to do in the library so I won't be around that much.”

“Oh my God, who’s the best big brother ever?” Ashley’s smile was wide.

“Spencer you shouldn’t work so much over the holiday.” Nora said. “A little break would be good for you.”

“My thesis doesn’t know anything about holidays.” He said. “I won't overwork but there are some things that need to get done.”

“I've been looking forward to this break since Thanksgiving.” Ted said. “I don’t want to see a schoolbook or a computer lab or a backpack. I plan to do nothing all month long. I'm home, Tim’s home, and its party time.”

“Well we’re going back to New York before the New Year.” Ashley said. “We were invited to some great parties before school starts up again. I just want to make sure that I give Liv the tour of DC. She’s never actually been here.”

“Are you going to go back to Minnesota when you graduate?” Nora asked.

“No way.” Liv shook her head. “I thought about settling in New York but doesn’t everyone think about that. Ashley has been bragging to me how awesome DC is. I think she just wants a roommate when she returns to go into the FBI Academy.”

“Mom hasn’t talked you out of that yet?” Ted asked as their coffee refills came.

“No, and she won't either. I don’t know if I’ll go into the BAU like Dad and Uncle Jason. They may not even want me; some might call it nepotism. But I'm going into the Academy and the Bureau. It’s always been my dream.”

***


“I don’t even care that I probably spent too much money. I'm really glad that most of these gifts are wrapped now. As for the rest of them…gift bags might be the best investment.”

“You have to make sure to wrap the Lego Death Star.” Erin poked her head out of the bathroom. “Noah is going to love it and I want him to tear the paper off.”

“Done.” Dave held up the gift.

“Are you serious?”

“What?”

“It’s rectangular David. You wrapped it horribly.”

“You cut me to the quick woman. I'm starting to think you get a kick out of it.”

“I’ll rewrap it in the morning. We’ve got one more shopping trip and then…”

“We couldn’t possibly have anymore presents to get. Even if we do, I refuse. Our kids have enough and we even went out and bought a few things for Olivia. No.”

“Yes.”

“No.” Dave shook his head.

“Yes.” Erin said from the bathroom. “Spencer needs new sneakers and I don’t think we remembered to get anything for Diana. He's going to visit her on Christmas Eve.”

“Damn, OK; one more shopping trip. Is Ashley going with him this year?”

“She hasn’t said a thing to me about it but he did tell me that he would ask her. Has she talked to you?”

“She never talks to me about Diana.”

“And you don’t find that strange?”

“I adopted her as a baby and took Spencer in a couple of years later. They never bonded. I think Ashley sees her more as just some relative she never sees. I'm not saying its right; I'm just saying it’s the truth. Also, I think she might be afraid of her.”

“Because she’s schizophrenic?” Erin asked.

“I don't know. She's not a little kid anymore…maybe I should talk to her about it.”

“Just be gentle David.”

“I will be; I promise. Are you hiding in the bathroom?”

“I'm getting ready for bed.” she replied.

“The bed is ready for you, Mrs. Rossi.”

“I'm ready for it too. It’s been a long day. How come we know its coming all year but no matter what there's this mad dash at Christmastime?”

“Humans are adrenaline junkies.”

“I'm going to sleep in tomorrow.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it.” Dave said.

“You're going to see it because you'll be with me. We’re closing out the world for just one morning. The kids can fend for themselves. Even Noah knows how to put Eggos in the toaster oven.” Erin turned out the bathroom light and walked into the bathroom. She couldn’t help but smile when her husband did. “You know I fell in love with your smile first.”

“Damn, you look amazing. This must be an early Christmas present.”

“I think you're going to need to clean off the bed. We’ll need that space in a few minutes.”

The smile still on his face, Dave began to move presents and wrapping paper over to the loveseat in the other corner of the room. He turned on the satellite radio; Cassandra Wilson’s voice filled the room. Erin sighed when he pulled her into his arms and they swayed.

“The kids are going to know we’re up to something.” Erin whispered. “Cassandra Wilson is the signal.”

“Well Spencer is upstairs in the attic now so he won't hear it. Nora is spending the night with Deacon, Noah is sound asleep and will probably only hear Mudgie snoring, and Ted is out for the night. Ashley might be doing what we’re about to do.”

“David…”

“You look so amazing.” He kissed her. “You always look amazing.”

“Do you love me?” she asked.

“I've loved you for the longest time. Even when I thought strangling you was a worthwhile endeavor, I still loved you.”

“I kinda like you too.” Erin smiled.

“You make me a better man, Erin Strauss.”

“You're already the best.”

“I was a prime catch.” Dave walked her over to the bed. “I was beating the women off with a stick.”

“Not all of them.”

“Well there are certain things that a man becomes accustomed to…”

“Eww.” Erin turned up her nose.

“You're my favorite wife.” He kissed her nose and her lips as they slid under the covers.

The door was half open but Dave didn’t care. He didn’t care because he didn’t want to get out of bed and no one would disturb them. There was a chance of the dog coming in but he usually slept in Noah’s room. While Mudgie could be fuzzy on rules, he stuck pretty good to the one about not jumping into bed when they were being intimate.

“I think Carolyn might be your favorite wife. The first one usually is. If things would've turned out a little differently, I may have been wife number two.”

“You would've had Denise beat by a country mile.”

Erin lifted the tee shirt over his head. She kissed his heartbeat, loving the way it always made Dave shudder. They'd known each other a long time and she always wondered if other women made him do the same. Of course there weren't too many women who would think to kiss a man’s heartbeat. But Erin didn’t discriminate…she loved every part of her husband. It was the parts that he didn’t think about so much that she loved the most.

“Four is a good number though.” She said. “I don’t know if I've told you but it’s always been my favorite.”

Dave’s laughter was muffled as he bent to kiss her shoulder. He brushed away the strap of the purple nightgown. Purple was a good color on her, though Erin looked good in almost anything. He loved when she wore special things for him.

Dave had a thing for women’s lingerie. Most men did. He also had a thing for panties and garters and lacy things, all of which his wife had in abundance. It was such a turn on knowing that having these things made Erin feel sexy outside of getting her husband off. Women who felt good about themselves were hot.

“We might wake the neighborhood tonight.” he said, moving the nightgown down to her waist.

“As long as we don’t wake the kids it’s alright with me.”

***

 
 
Where am I?: the dining room
Feelings: okayokay
Background Noise: Pretty Bad Girls on ID
 
 
 
( 1 had thoughts — Thoughts? )
hx_chickhx_chick on December 31st, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
OMG, this is AWESOME so far! I love the family dynamics at play and the way everyone is betting whether Ashley will come out of hte closet or not. I also really like the way that everyone made Olivia feel so welcome. Can't wait to read the rest!
( 1 had thoughts — Thoughts? )