Private Conversations Chapter 2

The interior of the car was eerily quiet. Neither of the two human occupants were speaking, but for two completely different reasons. Luke was doing his best not to laugh, while Penelope?

Holy Microsoft, I was SOOO wrong about today not being so bad Garcia gripes to herself. She went to blow her bangs out of her eyes before she remembered….oh yeah, they weren't going anywhere. She went to push her bangs away, when she saw her hands and sighed. How long is it going to take to get all of this mud off of me? Are any of my clothes salvageable? I'm totally going to kill someone if my precious Jimmy Choos don't survive this!

A high pitched whine behind her pulled her from her thoughts and she growled "Don't you even start with me Roxie! I am Not up for any more of your shenanigans, Missy! If it weren't for you, I would still be enjoying my Zen moment, but NOOOO, Miss Roxie had to bring the party to me!" Feeling a gentle touch on her shoulder, Penelope looks over and sees a paw there and right behind it, the biggest, saddest puppy dog eyes she had ever seen. Fighting a smile, she responded "No Roxie, it's not going to work this time! I mean it young lady, you blew it! I buy you gifts, I take you places and this," she gestures to her mud encrusted appearance, "this is how you repay me?!" Penelope snorts to herself and turns to look out the passenger window.

Hearing a low chuckle, she turns to glare at the driver.

"And you! You….you… I don't even know an insult strong enough for you! You were the one who was supposed to be turning my frown upside down and yet you didn't do anything to stop this! You've been in some pretty tenuous situations, but you didn't see that coming? Your a profiler for goodness sakes and you couldn't tell what Roxie was up to?"

Luke opened his mouth to respond, but was cut off. "Whatever, don't even bother trying to deny that you knew what was going to happen and didn't do a darn thing to stop it! This evening was supposed to be about putting a smile on MY face, not create entertainment for everyone at the dog park BUT me! Did you charge admission?" Pen crossed her arms over her chest and glared out the window, muttering "You definitely had a big enough crowd." The anger had been exhausted after that tirade and now Penelope just felt exhausted. She was quiet for a second, when Luke heard her sniffle.
Luke smiled at her and tried to grab her hand, and after a brief scuffle he was successful. "Hey Baby, don't cry. You know it was a total accident. Roxie loves you and would never do anything to hurt you." At the mention of her name, Roxie came up and sniffed Penelope's ear and gave her cheek a kiss. "See? You know she loves you! She hasn't been to the park in a while and she just wanted to bring the party to you to help cheer you up."

Penelope rolled her eyes and softly mumbled "Whatever" making Luke laugh out loud.

"All right Chica, what do we have to do to make it up to you?" Luke grinned at her and dropped his voice to a husky, sexy drawl "Obviously, we both owe you big time."

Penelope chuckled and said "Seriously? If your lucky, you MIGHT be out of debt in this lifetime."

"We'll just have to put every effort into making it up to you. You've already got a head start with a mud bath, maybe we can continue the spa theme? Or," he looks over at her and wiggles his eyebrows "maybe we can wet you down again and you and I could do some mud wresting?"

Penelope snorts and smiles at him. "You are incorrigible, Mister! First of all, you'd have to be pretty dirty to be a match for me. Secondly, you should know a lady would never wrestle, let alone in the mud. However, as a girl who grew up with four brothers, I bet I could kick that sexy patootie of yours, even in the mud!"

"So my "patootie" is sexy, huh? I'm pretty sure I can out dirty you, little lady. I've seen some things in my travels that would shock you. Although, I don't know….. if you're as good as you say you are, maybe I shouldn't wrestle you. I wouldn't want to put you in a position where you could take advantage of me." He smirked at her.

"Oh, believe me, Newbie" Pen purrs to Luke, putting a hand on his thigh and lightly scratching up with her nails "You'll be begging for it. I won't need to 'take advantage'. Trust me." Smirking and drawing away as he inhales sharply and his thigh tenses. "Sorry, I didn't hear that. Did you say something?"

Luke's voice drops down low "It seems we're at a draw. Both of us think we can have the other willingly at our mercy. Care to place a bet? 'Cause I have a feeling you are going to be begging before the night is over."

"Okay, Mister Smug McCockiness, what are you thinking the stakes should be? I'm thinking we need some ground rules too. Keep in mind, you have SO many obstacles to overcome from today, starting with that prank in the conference room, I don't see you breaking any records tonight." Pen smirked.

"As a Ranger, our motto is 'Rangers lead the way', so I'm confident I'll come out on top" Luke growled at her.

"Being on top doesn't necessarily make you the winner" Pen smirked.

Luke glanced over at her to respond, and stopped breathing. From the wilted silk flower in her hair to her pink tipped toes, the woman was covered in mud. Her glasses were still streaked with some mud, but her smile seemed so much brighter and her eyes were twinkling. She was totally captivating. Then it hit him, hard. He had somehow fallen in love with this beautiful, quirky, intelligent and curvaceous woman next to him.

Penelope started to blush at the way he was staring. Fortunately, they had been sitting at a red light. "Do I even want to know what is going on in your head, Mister 'I've seen things'? Or should I be jumping out of this vehicle and running for safety?"

Luke chuckled "No, Chica, you're safe with me. For now at least, I make no promises for tonight."

The ice cold water hitting her face and upper body shocked Penelope temporarily stopping her heart and lungs from working. Once her brain and lungs started working she wondered How do any of those crazy polar bear swimmers survive being in freezing water? My body is barely functioning and its only been seconds! Looking up she saw Luke with a huge grin on his face and Roxie staring at her with that endearing head tilt.

"Is there any way you can warm up that water Newb, or are you just trying to dig a deeper hole for yourself?" Penelope growled at Luke. "Besides, there's mud everywhere, not just my face!"

Luke laughed, "I'm not going to be able to clean everywhere out here, Garcia and be able to maintain your modesty." He laughed even harder and dodged out of her grasp as she lunged at him.

"Give me that hose, you..."
"Come and get it chica." Luke taunted before she could insult him again. He made a break for it, with Roxie not far behind. Penelope growled and smirked "Remember you asked for this." as she took off after him.
She was surprisingly quick and agile and Luke had a hard time staying in front of her. Maybe her being barefoot was helping her. He was just about to take cover behind a tree when Penelope yelped and started limping.

"Ouch! Oh cheese and crackers! Luke, my ankle!" She started limping towards the patio chair. "What a great way to top off today! This has got to be the most comical bad day ever." She was mumbling to herself.
Luke ran up to her and put his arm around her to help her to the chair. "What happened? Let's get you seated and I'll get some ice for your ankle. Do you need me to carry you? I'm so sorry Baby, I promise to take great care of you." He had forgotten the hose in his hand, but soon remembered as the freezing cold water went up his nose and into his mouth. Spluttering he sees a giggling Garcia with the hose in her hand. "Why you little pipsqueak!" He roared as he lunged for her. It was adorable how big her eyes got as she started to back away from him.

"You wouldn't hurt a damsel in distress, would you kind sir?" she asked as she fluttered her eyelids.

He smirked at her "kind sir? I'm not to sure about that, but I'm not one to turn my back on a lady in need." He glanced at Roxie and did a little hand motion. He slowly started walking to Pen and said "You really are quite an actress, I bought that whole injury thing. I'll have to see you in action sometime."

Penelope blushed and relaxed, still walking slowly backwards, until something was blocking her progression and she fell over. "Roxie, you traitor! We women are supposed to stick together!" She laughed as the dog came up to her and started licking her face. Looking up, she saw Luke standing over her with a big grin.

"Looks like I ended up on top after all."

Penelope looked at Roxie and said "I think we can take him, what do you say Roxie? On three? One..."

"Okay ladies, I know when I'm outnumbered. Let's just take it easy." Luke put his hands out in front of himself and started to slowly back up.

"Two…." Pen smirked

"I'll give massages…."

"Three" and she gave Luke the full blast of the hose while Roxie grabbed his pant leg in order to pull him down.

Luke was not one to give up so easily. He was able to drag Roxie a few steps until he made it to Penelope. Grabbing her by the waist and bringing her up against his chest. "Now what can I do for this damsel in distress?" he whispered in her ear. His warm breath against her cold skin sent shivers down her spine as goosebumps popped up on her skin. Breathlessly she looked up at him. The heat in his eyes caused her mind to go blank. Transfixed, she mutely continued to stare into his eyes, like a prey hypnotized by the eyes of a snake. Running his warm, rough fingers down her arm, he gently pulled the hose away from her still fingers "I don't think we'll be needing this any more, will we little girl?" He whispered as he nuzzled her neck below her ear. Mutely, she shook her head.

"Good" he rumbled, "Let's get you out of those clothes and all warmed up." He turned her around and went for the zipper of her dress. His eyes met hers in the window in front of them. "Wouldn't want to ruin my hardwood floors with all this water." Feeling his warm knuckles brushing against her cold, damp spine, again, all Penelope could do was shake her head. He didn't even give her time to become conscious of her lack of clothing. As soon as her dress dropped he pulled her back against his chest and nuzzled her neck and shoulder. Before she knew it, his hands were off of her and he was saying "This gift is too precious for my neighbor's eyes" as he wrapped her in a soft, fuzzy towel. He bundled her up and picked her up. "Now we can focus on warming you up" he said in his low, gravelly voice.
"Mmm, maybe we can get you all warmed up too" Penelope smirked as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She started nibbling on his earlobe "Before you assume where this will end,

Newb, remember that I forget nothing and tonight is all about you worshiping this goddess. I expect plenty of gifts on my alter."

Luke faltered as her tongue, teeth and warm breathe worked on his sensitive nape, but was able to catch himself.

"Don't worry, Chica. By tomorrow morning, I have a feeling your going to be the one in debt."

Looking into his simmering eyes and seeing his wicked smirk, Penelope felt her cheeks heat up. She had a feeling he just might be right. And Oh Boy she couldn't wait to see how he was going to fulfill his promise! Of course, she couldn't let him know he might just be right. After all, she had a bet to win.

"We'll see Cowboy, we'll just have to wait and see. Now you better get to work. This goddess is not a patient woman."

Luke dropped her legs, grabbed her by the nape of the neck and murmured "Don't think you're the one running this show Garcia." He turned her around and smacked her butt. "Now get that sweet ass in my bed ASAP, I'll be there in a minute."

Penelope turned to him with eyes wide and mouth agape. "Did you just"

"Yes" Luke interrupted. "Now don't make me wait or there will be consequences."

"I don't know who you think you are, Newb, but no one"

Again Luke interrupted. "You can continue having a tantrum, or we could be having a lot of fun. Which would you prefer, Baby? Because I am a patient man, and we both know where this is going to end up." Luke leaned in and whispered in her ear. By the time he was done, Pen was breathing faster and nibbling on her lips.

"Well," she answered breathlessly, "I guess I could let your appalling behavior slip this once." Letting her nails drag down his chest. "Just don't keep me waiting," With that she walked down the hall, seductively swaying her hips. "because I can always start the party myself." she smirked as she disappeared into his bedroom.

Luke licked his slips and grinned. This was a make or break night for him. One that would ultimately affect the rest of his life and he would do whatever it took to win this battle.