DC James shrugged. ‘Suit yourself, it’s only Motorheavy playing.’ He had an innocent look on his face. The one she liked. Her fantasy imagined seducing the young virgin copper against a background of heavy metal music blasting from her Wharfedales. ‘Yeah, sure they are. The Butcher’s Arms, you say ... the seedy place we busted for drugs?’
‘They changed landlords. Had a complete re-fit, and extension built, plus a marquee outside. A couple of guest rooms for overnight travellers. Totally new image.’
Jackie snorted. ‘Well they had to, didn’t they? Can’t say Pubmaster were too happy with their promotion. A “pint and a spiff” for a fiver. They even had a smoking cabin out the back.’
DC James gave her a “where have you been?” look. ‘That’s history now. They’re promoting local talent; mainly rock bands and some heavy stuff. The landlord was an ex-drummer with Bloody Mary. Still has contacts.’
She hesitated. ‘Well I dunno.’
‘Jackie, you coming or not?’ He smiled his innocent look again.
‘Oh, fuck it. But I’m sticking to soft drinks, okay?’
DC Paul James was not a virgin. Well certainly not by the time she finished with him. Jackie forced herself to look in the bathroom mirror. Her eyes were bloodshot. Blame the red dragon cocktails. She massaged the back of her neck to relieve the headache. Blame the green slammers.
She padded back to the bedroom with a glass of water in her hand. She looked at the bundle on the bed. ‘Rise and shine, officer.’
The bundle unravelled itself, revealing an equally bloodshot and naked DC James. ‘What’s the time?’
‘Time you made yourself scarce. I got a postmortem first thing.’
He glanced at the alarm clock. Six-thirty. ‘I got a few days leave. I’ll stay here,’ he said, closing his bleary eyes.
She tipped the water over a flushed pink part of his tender anatomy. ‘DC James. You might be God’s gift to women, but in this house I call the shots, okay?’
That shook him awake. He yelped. ‘Okay Miss Whiplash, anything you say.’ He grinned. ‘Just like last night eh?’
‘Last night was last night, okay. Just don’t read anything into it.’
He looked puzzled. ‘I really enjoyed it, Jackie. I mean that.’
‘Well that’s all right then,’ she said, then smiled. ‘How do you like your eggs?’
He grinned his silly grin at her old joke. ‘What you offering? Fertilised?’
She sighed. ‘DC James…Paul. There’s a café on the main road, by the bus stop. After breakfast, you can catch a thirty-seven there. That’ll take you safely back to mummy.’
He held his hand up. ‘Okay ... I can take a hint. Give me ten to shower up and get dressed ... okay?’
‘Well don’t just lie there enjoying the view. I’m not auditioning for page 3. Chop-chop.’