A wide grin spread across his face as he looked down at her, “That’s what I like to see.”
She turned her head and looked back at him over her shoulder, a tress of her chestnut hair falling over one eye and replied, “Fuck off,” before getting up from her hands and knees and adjusting her tailored skirt back down her thighs to her knees.
He raised his palms in a fake, “What?” and winked at her, “Hey, if you insist on teasing me with that fine ass of yours that’s on you.”
“Is it even worth my breath to say the magic words, ‘sexual harassment in the workplace’?” she sighed, but there was a hint of a smile on her lips.
It was always like this between them. She looked at him covertly as she arranged the files she had retrieved from the floor; he was a good-looking guy, still in good shape with a full head of hair and a light beard. Not for the first time she wondered what he looked like without his shirt, a warm feeling in the pit of her belly as she pictured him.
“Oi, who’s sexually harassing who now then?” he winked at her, catching her staring. She cursed under her breath as she felt the pink flush creep up her cheeks.
“You wish!” and walked past him, brushing a little closer than was strictly necessary, to leave the squad room.
Leaning against the sink in the Ladies, she looked at her reflection. “Christ Amanda, what the fuck are you doing? He’s your goddamned boss!” she thought.
From day one, DI James Mitchell had adopted a casual, playful manner with her, alternately provoking her and letting her away with a level of insubordination he would never tolerate from any of the guys in the team. She wondered if she should have made a complaint at the start, but as the newbie she hadn’t wanted to make any waves. And besides, the way he looked at her made her insides flip. She knew he rated her work and was never shy about letting her and others know what good cop she was, just as he wasn’t shy about commenting on her physical attributes. She just wasn’t sure if he would ever follow through on his words…
A loud bang on the door, “Oi! Mandy! Get a move on, we got a call,” his deep baritone from the other side of the door.
“Don’t call me Mandy!” she sighed as she walked past him. He laughed.
Two hours passed. They sat in his car, watching the empty house, waiting for their man to make an appearance. They had talked about colleagues, fiddled with the radio, (she took the piss out of his singing), and played a ridiculous game of ‘I spy’.
“Is this tip off legit? Feels like we’ve been here forever,” she sighed.
“You know the drill. This is the job,” he replied, stifling a yawn, “Anyway, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something.”
“What’s that then?” she said, turning to look at him. He remained in profile, looking out the windscreen.
“You’re an ace DS you know, you’re gonna go a long way.”
“Thanks…” she felt unsure of where this was going.
“I just wanted to make sure you knew. Seeing as I’ll be moving on soon,” she saw his Adam’s apple move as he swallowed; it was his ‘tell’ for when he finds something difficult to say.
His words provoked more of a response in her than she could have expected; a sudden urge to cry hit her like a thunderclap, “Move on?” her voice trembled slightly. He still didn’t look at her.
“Yeah… I applied for a transfer across the city and heard today that I got it. Same shit, different desk, you know?”
Feeling a bit stunned and lost she couldn’t stop herself, “But, why? Why move? Is it me? What did I do? I thought you liked working with me!” she willed herself to shut up but couldn’t seem to help herself. She was dangerously close to tears.
“Well it is, in a way, about you,” he finally turned to face her. His jaw was clenched tight, a tiny muscle in his cheek flexed. His eyes were serious.
He took a breath, “First off, there was no call. No one’s going to show up here, as far as I know anyway, seeing as this is just a random street I parked on.”
She blinked. “What the…”
“I just needed to find the moment to say this…” she could see he was struggling now.
“Say what!? Christ Jim you’re freaking me the fuck out n…” before she could finish his hands were in her hair and his mouth covered hers, robbing her of breath. After a second of utter shock, she returned his kiss; their tongues hungry for each other, bodies pressed against each other over the gear stick.
Breathlessly he released her, his eyes burning into hers, “Mandy, Jesus, Mandy, I’ve wanted to do that since I first saw you. I was so fucking scared you’d say no,” he whispered, sounding more vulnerable than she had ever heard him before, “I applied for the transfer on the chance that you’d want to start something with me. You know the rules about working on the same team…”
“You did that? For me?” her head was spinning, from his revelation as well as from the kiss.
He grinned, “I figured if I did this and you told me to fuck off I’d be better off across the city anyway.”
“Jim?” she asked.
“You know the way to my place don’t you?”
Grinning even wider, he turned and revved the engine, wheels spinning as he took of at high speed.
“And for the love of God, stop calling me Mandy!”
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