A series of short, sweet and often quite humorous tales of the ongoing attempts of Senior Detective PJ Hasham and Senior Constable Maggie Doyle to keep their will-they-or-won't-they relationship secret.
Senior Detective Hasham woke earlier than he usually would on a weekday, the day outside had barely arrived, his plan from the night before was to do this, to escape unnoticed. The young female whom he had laid with overnight stirred slightly but did not wake, her pale slender back suddenly revealed as she turned onto her side and slept on. Senior Detective Hasham (or PJ as his friends preferred) smiled and pulled on his jeans and grabbed his shirt and left the room. But for the young lady he had left alone in bed, the house was empty, and he could wander about it aimlessly without the risk of being discovered in a place he shouldn’t be.
He entered the kitchen whistling softly to himself and opening a window to allow the warmth of the rising sun to fill the room. Mornings in Mount Thomas never ceased to amaze him, and it seemed the mornings after events such as the one he encountered last night made them all that much better. He smiled happily to himself with these thoughts, and put on an apron and began fiddling about to make some breakfast, all the while staying as quiet as possible.
But alas, along with the boiling kettle, the sizzling and smell of cooking bacon, eggs and burning toast, the noise was enough to waft throughout the place and wake the young woman, who entered the kitchen in her robe with her nose and eyebrows in the air.
‘What’s this?’ she asked curiously, spotting PJ standing over the stove in her pink apron.
‘Breakfast!’ PJ elated with his arms outstretched.
‘I don’t believe it,’ the woman said with a smirk and a shake of the head, ‘what’s got into you?’
‘It was going to be breakfast in bed,’ PJ explained, ‘but I guess, this will do too.’
And he shuffled over, pulled out one of the chairs beneath the kitchen table and offered it to her to sit.
‘Quite the gentleman,’ the woman said, placing a hand on her bosom and sitting upon the chair.
‘Now I have bacon,’ PJ said indicating the frying pan on the stove, ‘eggs, and toast-’
At this point the toaster spat out some very blackened and burnt bread, leaving PJ to frown.
‘Well... I can make more toast-’
‘It’s fine, PJ,’ the woman said, ‘really.’
PJ paused to stand and smile. He was quite lucky to have her, perhaps too lucky. He clicked back into action and served her bacon and eggs and a steaming hot coffee which he burnt his finger pouring for her.
‘Oh you clumsy sod come here,’ the woman said, taking his hand and putting in under the tap and turning the cold water on full. ‘You can’t do anything right, can you?’
PJ merely shrugged and grinned at her. ‘You make me nervous, Maggs.’
The woman called Maggie smiled warmly at him, scarcely believing his attempt at charm at a time like this. She took his finger from under the cold water, glanced at it, then took it in her mouth and sucked. It took PJ by surprised and made him jump a little, Maggie merely laughed.
She kissed his finger before putting it back under the cold water and returning to her breakfast.
‘We shouldn’t be late for work,’ she said seriously, ‘I think we ought to take separate showers, so we don’t get... distracted.’
‘Where’s the fun in that, Maggs?’
Maggie smiled but didn’t answer. She ate her bacon and eggs fast, took a gulp of orange juice from the box in the fridge then demanded PJ not interrupt her shower as she went to take one. PJ cleaned up until it was his time to shower, and they went their separate ways so as to arrive at the station at different intervals, to keep away any suspicion for any involvements.
When PJ arrived for work, he was pleased to see that Maggie was well and truly settled in her chair – also it seemed was Dash, Adam and Nick.
‘Oh here he is,’ said Senior Constable Nick Shultz with his usual tone of audacity, ‘our fearless and vigilant Mr. I’m Running Late Detective, ready to keep us belatedly safe by putting away those rotten stinky criminals... eventually. Isn’t that right, young Constables?’
‘Ha ha, very funny Nick,’ PJ said, laughing falsely and noticing Maggie smiling in the corner, ‘I’ll have you know mate, my being late is not my fault.’
‘Oh yes, of course not,’ Nick said happily, swinging round merrily in his chair, ‘where were you anyway? Weren’t on the couch when I left.’
‘Oh,’ Dash suddenly perked up, ‘our tall dark handsome detective was sleeping somewhere else from where he should last night? OK, what’s her name PJ?’
‘A girl?’ Nick asked suddenly, ‘yes that’s it isn’t it? You were keeping company of a nice young lass this morning weren’t you?’
PJ laughed. ‘What can I say mate?’ he said with a shrug.
‘Ah yes, the ever predictable PJ,’ Nick said grinning, ‘unable to resist the company of a time consuming female... breakfast in bed was it-?’
Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon had exited his office on the back of the sudden raise of noise in his workplace, and as Nick returned his chair to face forwards Tom turned in turn to PJ.
‘PJ I know you’re CI and all,’ he said, ‘but this is still my station, and I like to keep some sort of order. I’d prefer it if you could show to your colleagues some sort of professionalism and show up around the same time as they do.’
‘Yes Boss,’ PJ said, ‘sorry Boss.’
‘And what’s happening with those burgs in Tulip Street?’ Tom asked.
‘Ah yes, just waiting on ballistics to return those micro fibres before I can proceed,’ PJ explained, and he turned to Adam, ‘they haven’t called have they?’
‘Not yet, no,’ Adam said.
‘Well maybe instead of sitting around and waiting for a phone call, you could ask them where they are up too.’ Tom suggested, Adam immediately picked up the phone and began to dial.
Tom returned his gaze to PJ.
‘Did you organise a door knock along the street?’ Tom asked.
‘Already done, no one saw very much,’ PJ said.
‘Well perhaps it might pay to ask them again?’ Tom was telling him now, not asking, ‘Doyle, McKinley...’
‘Come on Boss,’ PJ said as Maggie and Dash made a grab for the hats, ‘don’t you think it’s a waste of-?’
‘No PJ I do not,’ Tom said seriously, ‘go ahead you two.’
‘Wait...’ PJ stepped forward, ‘Nick could you go? I need to see Doyle in my office.’
‘What for?’ Tom asked with a sigh.
‘I just... need to go over some records,’ PJ lied hastily, Maggie gave him a false look over the Boss’ shoulder, ‘it’s a two man job.’
Tom sighed, clearly annoyed. ‘Alright then, Nick you go with McKinley.’
‘Right you are,’ Nick said and he and Dash left.
And as he turned back to his office, the Boss put his hands up in frustration and disappeared back behind his desk.
‘Don’t think he was too happy about that,’ Maggie said quietly to PJ once they were safely in his office and she sat on his desk.
‘He’ll be right,’ PJ said, smiling up at her, his eyes twinkling.
‘So uh, what are these records you need my help to go over?’ Maggie asked, scanning the over piled, overly encumbered desk, no coherent sign of organisation to be seen.
‘Well... there aren’t actually any records per se,’ PJ said with a shrug.
‘Oh what then?’ Maggie asked with curiosity, shuffling along a bit on his desk, her skirt riding up ever so slightly.
‘Well... I just thought... you know... maybe...’ PJ was grasping for words, he was staring up in to her wonderful brown eyes.
‘Spit it out, PJ,’ Maggie said, her eyebrows raised.
‘Well you know,’ PJ smirked, ‘we have a little bit of time.’
‘Oh yes that’s all the time you need isn’t it?’ Maggie laughed.
‘OK, very funny,’ PJ said.
And before either of them knew it, they had leant in and kissed. It was soft, to begin with, but it grew fiercer, harder even. Time seemed to stop, how much time did pass in reality was unknown – all they knew was that next moment, someone was knocking on the door and about to come in.
Luckily there was time enough for them to part, for Maggie to jump from the desk and for them both to pick up a piece of paper and look busy as Adam entered, entirely oblivious to what he could have walked in on had he not been polite and bothered to knock.
‘PJ?’ Adam queried, making PJ and Maggie to look up.
‘Ballistics said they’ll have the results of those micro fibres by the end of the day,’ Adam said casually, looking as disheartened as PJ felt, ‘I don’t think they were too happy about being asked. Should I let the Boss know?’
‘Uhh yeah, thanks Adam,’ PJ nodded and Adam left, closing the door after himself.
‘That was close,’ Maggie hissed, dropping the piece of paper she had been holding immediately and moving around to the other side of the desk. ‘I should get back to my own paper work.’
PJ looked a little disappointed but agreed.
Ballistics reported back that the micro fibres were indeed a direct match with a jumper of an individual that had been found on the scene, and PJ had requested a warrant to search the suspect’s premises in the morning before questioning them. With nothing left to do today, everyone had made haste for the local pub the Imperial for end of day drinks.
After Nick bought the first round, Tom held out his glass and said, ‘here’s to good policing.’
Everyone clinked glasses and had a good time. PJ and Maggie smiled at each other across the table, only when everyone else was looking the other way of course. Dash was not staying at her mother’s that night, which meant she would be at home, and PJs house was being sprayed with pesticide to ridden a raising rodent problem in his street.
This meant he had had to stay on the sofa with Nick at the watch house.
‘Two beers please, Chris,’ PJ requested to the pub owner when it was his shout.
As Chris busied herself with the drinks, Maggie appeared at PJs shoulder and shuffled him a long a bit, away from the group.
‘Hi,’ she said casually.
‘Hey,’ PJ nodded with a smile.
‘I’m sorry I couldn’t keep Dash away,’ she frowned.
‘No it’s OK,’ PJ kept nodding.
‘How many more days until your house-’
‘Weeks Maggs, probably weeks,’ PJ stared down at her.
Maggie shrugged and nodded too, taking her beer as Chris handed the rest to PJ and he paid up.
‘Well... maybe you could get a room here,’ Maggie suggested as Chris went off to serve others.
‘And have Chris find us?’ PJ inquired, ‘not worth the risk.’
‘What about another hotel?’ Maggie suggested. ‘St David’s-?’
‘People know us there, too.’
Maggie opened her mouth to suggest something else, but just as she was about too Nick appeared at PJs other shoulder, and reached for the beers.
‘Come on, what’s the hold up?’ Nick asked staring down at PJ as Maggie moved back to the table, ‘bloody dying of thirst over here.’
‘Sorry mate,’ PJ handed him his beer.
‘No worries,’ Nick said, and he put out a hand just as PJ went to move, ‘now listen. You aren’t going to bring home any floosies tonight are you? I’d like to know in advance if I need walk around in more than just my underwear in the morning.’
‘No mate, you go right ahead,’ PJ said laughing, ‘do you really think I would bring a girl to sleep on the couch?’
‘Fair enough,’ Nick turned back to the table without another word and left the topic alone.
PJ and Maggie stared at each other across the table for the next thirty minutes but could not succumb to any plans, and therefore left at separate times and in different directions.