As the clock ticked down to her departure time, Prentiss discovered her reluctance to leave her friends, new and old. She accepted it as one of the inevitable things in her life, unalterable because of that heavy mantle she wore named Duty.
At the break in the conversation, Blake gave her a wink and a nod, allowing Prentiss to continue catching up with Garcia and Reid, drifting over to the other side of their group at the bar. She sidled up to Hotch, whose glance was on the people she had just been conversing with as he remarked, “The two of you seem to hit it off quite nicely.”
Hiding her surprise, she looked at him closely as she replied, “When the people you work with every day have mentioned her here and there, it feels like I’ve already known her for years.”
Keeping his gaze upon the other agents, Hotch said, “Perhaps you’re hoping to get to know her more? You do have quite a bit of leave saved up.” While he sounded serious, there was a telltale gleam in his eye.
“That obvious, huh?” she asked, glancing back over at the other brunette, whose pealing laughter just then could be heard over the din.
In reply, he tilted his head almost imperceptibly.
“How soon can the paperwork go through?”
By the time Prentiss’ jet was ready, Blake had called James to let him know where she was headed off, and with whom, and both were waiting to board the jet.
Blake felt excited, and when a hand that had some callouses from gun use slipped into hers, she gripped it and gave a squeeze.
When they were finally permitted to board, they shared a mirthful glance, eager to partake in the adventures to come.