He viciously bit the head off a tyrannosaurus and pointed a sticky finger. ‘While you’re tottering around the streets on high heels, I’m the one left holding the fort.’
‘But guv ...’
He interrupted. ‘Don’t but me, Sergeant. I expect you to be a team player. That means ...’ he tailed off when Jackie’s phone rang.
She flipped open the display and mouthed ‘mother’ at him. She breathed a sigh of relief when he focused back on the dinosaurs, and waved a lazy arm.
Saved by the bell. Make it sound convincing. She put on a comforting voice. ‘Oh I’m so sorry, I can’t make it today.’ She glanced at DCI Angers. He seemed to be picking out the black ones. ‘We’re up to our necks here. ‘I’m working late tonight.’ DCI Angers chomped the head off another. ‘Perhaps we can get together soon. Sorry must rush. See you later.’
Jackie ended the call. She fancied another one-nighter with God’s gift, but that was all. Long term commitment was out of the question. The long working hours took their toll. Too many failed marriages; it wasn’t worth the emotional involvement.
DCI Angers seemed to be lost in his bag, forgetting her presence. She quietly got up to slide out the door when he glanced up. ‘Jackie,’ he said, in a gentle tone.
She hated that. Like he was going to rip her apart. Just like a jelly-dinosaur.
But he didn’t.
‘Maybe I’ve been pushing you too hard on my plan.’ He sighed as if remembering something. ‘Mothers are important. Take the night off. I’ll square it with DI Hemming, okay?’
For a moment she was too startled to speak. A bit ashamed and embarrassed. Just nodded her head. ‘Thank you, guv.’
He waved her away. ‘Before you leave, I want that update on my desk.’
Thank God he didn’t ask where her mother lived. A dilapidated caravan in Westward-Ho, with a smelly cocker spaniel, and an equally smelly fisherman named Rod.
Back in her apartment, she searched out her latex gear from the double wardrobe. Conservative on one side, including her uniforms, and - well - unconventional on the other. Black Metallica, here I come, she thought, as she tried on a little black number. She padded out to the untidy kitchenette, picked up her Pocketphone, and returned Paul’s call. ‘Hi Officer, I got the night off. Coming out to play?’
There was a silence, and then she heard a groan at the other end, followed by an expletive. ‘Jackie, you’ll never believe it ...’
She listened to him making a ton of excuses ranging from headaches to yellow fever before she hung up in disgust and switched the damn thing off.
Resolving never to trust a man again, she flung her latex gear back in the wardrobe and searched out her running kit. Every time her feet hit the ground she would imagine them grinding DC James’s head into the dust. When he was six-feet under, she would return to the apartment and reward herself with the unfinished bottle of Chardonnay.