Bodie ducked into the Communications room. He only had a few minutes but couldn't afford to miss out on any opportunity to talk to Alison. The petite, raven-haired computer operator had only joined CI5 a few weeks before but had already shown positive signs of falling under his spell.
She didn't glance round; assuming him to be the other computer operator. "When are you going to make the tea, Liz?"
"Are you looking for something to warm you up?" Bodie's quiet response made her jump and swivel on her chair. "Bodie! What are you doing in here?"
"Came to talk to you." He moved closer and leant against the edge of her desk, knowing the effect his physical presence had on her. "You must get bored, working all day on that machine in this dull room."
Bodie could see she was trying hard to conceal how she was feeling, knowing that he had specifically sought her out, and she shrugged. "I enjoy working on computers."
"You look tense." Stepping behind her, Bodie slid his hands over Alison's shoulders, thumbs firmly but sensually massaging the muscles at the back of her neck. She tried to stop him. "Bodie - don't."
"I'm working." Alison valiantly put her fingers back on the keyboard and tried to focus on the paperwork beside her.
"You can take a few minutes break." Work had never stood in Bodie's way during the course of seduction and he continued his massage. "You work hard enough."
"Not according to Major Cowley. He thinks we should have finished entering this data a week ago." The mundane work discussion wasn't helping Alison to take her mind off what Bodie was doing to her senses, and before he totally destroyed her composure she brought her hands up to push his away.
Bodie caught her hands and held them firmly - just for a second, but letting her know who was in control - before he lifted the right hand and gently kissed the back of her fingers. "Anyway, gotta go."
Always leave 'em wanting. Not sure where the philosophy came from, but it worked. Passing Liz just outside, he paused as the door closed behind them, hearing a sudden burst of laughter. Bodie grinned. It was the sort of laughter that might worry other men but to Bodie it was a compliment.
Doyle hailed him from down the corridor. "Where have you been?" He glanced at the Communications room as he passed it. "Chatting Alison up again?"
Bodie smirked but said nothing. Doyle had got nowhere with Alison.
Giving him a sour look, Doyle explained why he was seeking his partner. "Anyway, Jax has just called in. There's nothing doing at the airport, so Cowley has just stood us down for the evening. D'you fancy a drink?"
As Bodie hesitated, the possibilities for a free evening springing to mind, Doyle grinned suddenly but resignedly. "S'pose not." He gave Bodie a friendly punch on the shoulder. "Go for it. I'll see you tomorrow."
Picking Bodie up the following morning, Doyle could see from his partner's face that Bodie hadn't had the sort of evening he had been anticipating, and that he knew he was going to catch all sorts of gloating from Doyle.
"Alison blew you out?" Doyle guessed.
"Had other plans - too short notice."
"Probably washing her hair."
Bodie wasn't going to take much of this. "Doyle, no girl ever blew me out because they were washing their hair. I told you; she had other plans. She was seeing a friend." Seeing from Doyle's grin that he was going to suffer the digs all day, Bodie sighed. "Where are we going, anyway?"
"Airport. We've had a positive sighting that Kraus is on the flight today."
Bodie grunted, bored. CI5 agents had already spent - wasted - two days at the airport; based on 'positive' sightings. Didn't anyone know what this terrorist looked like? Although it wasn't as if they would be missing out on any action elsewhere, things were quiet generally. Cowley had muttered more than once in the last week that he hoped it wasn't the quiet before the storm.
Doyle flashed him another grin. "So did Alison say she would go out with you?"
Honesty - and the fact that Doyle wouldn't let him forget it if Alison actually turned him down - conditioned Bodie's reply. "She didn't say she wouldn't."
"Well, we might be through early today as well. Never know your luck." Doyle seemed to have got over his pique at Alison's rejection, and Bodie cheered up. Maybe the day wouldn't be so bad, after all. "Anyway, if Alison turns you down, there's always that girl on the check-in desk you were chatting up last time we were down at the airport. What was her name again?"
"Glenda. But she's not a patch on Alison."
"She's got that great-looking blonde friend though." Doyle's grin got wider. "I got chatting to her, while you were busy with Glenda."
"I wondered why you were so keen to get back on airport duty."
"Job's got to have some perks, hasn't it?"
Jax and Murphy were only too pleased to hand over the watch to Doyle and Bodie; they'd been on duty since the previous afternoon, watching for Kraus and the other terrorists they had received the tip-off about.
"So what's the latest?" Bodie asked the question without a lot of interest; he still didn't believe Kraus was going to appear.
Jax answered him. "Interpol have confirmed - again - that Kraus got on the flight from Munich, which should arrive in about 45 minutes. He's travelling as a businessman, with a passport in the name of Alex Griffon. The real Mr Griffon turned up dead last week."
"Not natural causes, I take it?" Doyle was busy surveying the passport area from the small office they had been allocated.
"Not unless you want to call it lead poisoning." Murphy grabbed the holdall. "You can get coffee from the machine just down the corridor. The airport staff have left us a bag of tokens, so at least you don't have to pay for it."
"Which is just as well," Jax added, grinning. "It tastes disgusting."
Bodie dropped into the chair as the door closed behind them. "What a week. No action, a stake-out stuck in a 6'x6' room with only you for company, and lousy coffee. Life has got to get better."
Doyle seemed absurdly cheerful. "The flight will be in soon; in the meantime, I'll get us some of that coffee. Then we can decide how you're going to storm Alison's defences." Grabbing a handful of the tokens, he vanished.
Bodie checked his watch. From where he sat he could just see the arrivals board; the Munich flight was on time. If Kraus was on board they just might, as Doyle had said, be finished early. If not, they'd be stuck there until mid-evening. Played havoc with the social life, this job.
One of the Customs Officers knocked on the door. "The Lufthansa flight from Munich has just landed. Alex Griffon was seated near the front of the plane; he'll be one of the first through to passport control."
While waiting they had drunk coffee, checked their guns, and - Doyle at least - had talked about Alison. Bodie was beginning to wonder whether Doyle had actually given up on her; he still seemed keen. Now, action at last. Drawing their jackets around to make sure their weapons were hidden, the partners took up positions agreed in advance; Doyle in front of the desks, Bodie behind.
Kraus was apparently travelling alone, and since he'd been under surveillance since Munich, as far as they knew was unarmed. But it wouldn't be the first time a gun had been smuggled aboard an airliner; they weren't about to take any chances.
Customs had been primed as to who they were looking out for; and were going to query the passport and try and get Kraus into a side room out of the public eye. However, with a dangerous man like Kraus it wouldn't be that easy, and Bodie exchanged another glance with Doyle as he saw the first passengers making their way towards him.
It was definitely Kraus, the change in hairstyle and addition of glasses couldn't alter the shape of his jawline, and Bodie nodded across at his partner. As Doyle also made visual on Kraus, he nodded at the armed Customs Officer to his left.
The Officer at the desk took the offered passport, and opened it, glancing at Kraus. "Did you have a good flight, Mr Griffon?"
"OK." The man was curt, glancing about him.
"What is the purpose of your visit?" The Officer was taking his time looking through the passport, attempting to hold Kraus' attention whilst the others took up position.
"Business. I'm a businessman. And I'm in a hurry."
"Won't keep you long, sir." From the corner of his eye the Officer received a signal, and looked up fully. "I'm afraid there's a problem with this passport, sir."
"What?" For a split second it looked as if Kraus were simply going to try and bluster his way through the situation, but the arm movement towards his coat disproved that.
Leaping forward over someone's luggage, Browning already drawn, Bodie shouted at him. "Leave it, Kraus!"
Half-way through drawing a Beretta, Kraus took in the Browning, Doyle's Walther, and the MP5 held by the Customs Officer that were all pointed at him, and made one of the smarter decisions of his life.
"Told you we'd be finished early. You'll have time to ask Alison out tonight." Doyle shut the car door and started the engine.
"Maybe." Bodie wasn't sure he wanted to be turned down again. It was giving Doyle too much ammunition. He leant forward and lifted the R/T. "I'll let them know we're on our way. 3.7 to Control."
"Will you let Alpha know we're finished at the airport? We're coming back in."
"Of course, Bodie."
Exchanging a startled glance with Doyle as he suddenly recognised the voice, Bodie flicked the switch again. "Alison?"
"That's right. Just filling in for a bit. So, if you're on your way back, does that mean you'll be free this evening?"
As Bodie hung onto his jaw in amazement, he glanced across at Doyle. His partner was pretending not to listen whilst grinning like a loon. "Er - I suppose so. Unless Cowley has something lined up he's not told us about yet."
"Well, I'm free tonight. We could go for that meal you were talking about. Do you want to take my phone number?"
"Yeah - uh, just a minute." Pen? he mouthed at Doyle, and still grinning, Doyle pointed at the glovebox. "OK - go ahead."
Replacing the R/T, Bodie glanced at his partner. "Told you she wouldn't pass me up."
Doyle's grin was still plastered across his face; he looked anything but jealous. "You were right, Bodie."
Although Alison had seemed keen to go out with him, she seemed strangely uneasy from the time Bodie arrived to pick her up until they arrived back at the apartment she shared with two other girls.
It had become clear to Bodie quite early on that Alison wasn't going to fall for the 'coffee back at my place' line, or invite him into her apartment. That was fine, he could bide his time; for all the jokes Doyle had made about storming Alison's defences, it wouldn't take Bodie long to talk his way into her bed.
Bodie had decided to be the perfect gentlemen. He had started well, being fortunate enough to have had time to buy red roses for her, and Alison had seemed genuinely excited by the romantic touch. His goodbye, therefore, was restricted to a light kiss to the back of her hand.
Alison blushed, and seemed to have trouble speaking, as Bodie followed it up with a gentle stroke to her cheek. "Goodnight, Alison. I hope we can do this again."
"Yes. So do I." With tremendous effort she pulled herself together. "I had a lovely evening. Thank you."
Stepping away and releasing her hand slowly, Bodie could see that Alison was conducting an internal battle on whether to ask him to stay or not. Bodie wasn't going to push his luck; and her common sense won out over baser impulses. "Goodnight."
As Bodie left the building, there was someone hanging about near the door; Bodie barely spared him a glance, but had the impression he'd been there earlier when he'd picked Alison up ...
Dropping into the car beside Bodie, Doyle could tell it was a different story to the previous morning. "Good night?" he asked, with something of a leer.
"I had a very pleasant evening, thank you." Bodie put the car into gear and checked the mirror, both for oncoming traffic and the car he'd thought was following him earlier. The road was clear. Shrugging mentally, he moved away. "I dropped Alison off before midnight."
Doyle glanced round the car, grinning. "Doesn't look much like a pumpkin."
"And you're no one's idea of a fairy godmother," Bodie retorted. "Although Alison seems to think I'm Prince Charming."
"So have you fixed up the next date?"
Bodie glanced at his partner. Doyle seemed a little too interested in how he was getting on with Alison. "Not yet. Maybe tonight, if things don't blow up on us today."
They caught up with Alison and Liz as they got to CI5 HQ, and Bodie immediately took advantage, and walked with Alison ahead of the other two. When they parted at the Communications Room, Doyle and Liz were grinning fit to bust. Following Doyle down to the Restroom, Bodie demanded to know what was going on. "You've been acting strangely since yesterday."
"Nothing." Doyle attempted to straighten out his grin. "Just watching you in hot pursuit. It's fascinating."
Unconvinced, Bodie grunted. "Watching a master at work, that's why. Anyway, we're going out again tonight."
"Good." Doyle sounded too enthusiastic, and Bodie heard it, but before he could question Doyle again Cowley called them.
This time, Alison asked him in for coffee. Although still treading carefully, Bodie was left in no doubt of her interest in him; things only coming to a stop when one of her flatmates arrived home. Pulling away, Alison fastened up her blouse and began to look at her watch.
Refusing to take the hint, Bodie ran his hand gently up and down her back. "I can stay."
"We've got an agreement; we don't have boyfriends staying overnight."
"I could be gone by morning."
The look was longing, but the answer definite. "No. Sorry."
"OK." Standing up, Bodie admitted defeat but he wasn't giving up. Kissing her goodbye at the door, he put on his 'little boy hurt' look. "But tomorrow night, you come back to my place."
Guilt at pushing him out and her own frustration made Alison's answer immediate and positive. "All right."
Pulling on the handbrake, Bodie glanced at his watch; despite initially granting them the morning off, Cowley had called them in for a briefing. "Bodie!" Doyle hailed him and Bodie turned to wait as he shut the car door.
"So how was last night with Alison?" Once again Doyle seemed keen to know the details, and Bodie was getting suspicious.
"The film was good." Bodie didn't get any further, as his arm was grasped from behind and he was whirled around. Instinct rather than immediate comprehension of what was happening made him duck, and the punch whistled past him into thin air.
His attacker was a stranger, although his face was so suffused with anger that it was unlikely anyone would have recognised him. A second wild punch caught Bodie a glancing blow before Doyle had a chance to wade in, catching several blows himself. Bodie sunk a single punch to the man's stomach, and between them, the partners thrust the man back against the wall before frisking him.
"He's clean," Doyle said. "What's with you?" He didn't get a response, the man simply glaring hatred at Bodie, and Doyle glanced at his partner. "You know him?"
Bodie shook his head, although something - the man's jacket was familiar ... "I've seen you near Alison's place."
"You stay away from Alison." The sentence was forced out through clenched teeth. "She's my girlfriend."
"Your girlfriend?" Bodie was startled; all right, he hadn't asked, but he expected a girl to say if she was in a relationship. "Since when?"
"We've been together six months." The man wrenched his arm free from Doyle, and started to stalk away, throwing back one last comment. "Leave her alone."
Doyle shook his head slightly, equally startled. "I take it you didn't know?"
"Not a clue." Bodie checked his watch and started to hurry towards HQ. "I've just got time to see Alison before the briefing starts. I'll see you there."
Alison had been upset when Bodie burst in to tell her what had happened, confessing that she had been going out with Michael but that she'd finished with him that week. "So why didn't you tell me?"
"There was no point. I didn't want to see him again. It wasn't just you, Bodie, it wasn't going anywhere."
"But he doesn't want to believe that?" Bodie absently rubbed at a bruise.
"No. I tried to finish with him a couple of months ago and he talked me out of it. But it's over. He's just got to accept it." Alison slid her hands over his shoulders, concerned. "Did he hurt you?"
"No more than I usually get hurt in the course of a normal week." Bodie took advantage of her closeness to tilt her head back, and kissed her, softening his voice. "Anyway, forget him. Are we still on for tonight?"
Alison nodded, faintly embarrassed, gesturing towards a small overnight bag. "I packed my toothbrush."
A tactful knock on the door preceded Doyle's appearance round it. "Cowley's steaming."
"Coming." Bodie gave Alison a hug, and whispered to her, leaving her blushing. "The toothbrush is all you'll need ..."
"Time off, Bodie?" Cowley hadn't been best pleased at being kept waiting to start the briefing until Bodie had appeared. "What was that earlier?"
Bodie kept his grin under control. "No more than a pleasant interlude, sir. It'd only be a couple of hours in the morning."
Cowley cast a glance at Doyle, leaning against his filing cabinet. "Are you two going on a bender?"
"Nothing to do with me, sir." Doyle knew exactly why Bodie wanted time off, but wouldn't drop Bodie in it.
"Good. In that case, you'll be in tomorrow, won't you, Doyle? Two hours, Bodie, that's all."
Bodie caught Doyle's look as they left Cowley's office. "It's not my fault, Doyle. You've got to think of your own excuses if you want time off."
"I don't need time off. I don't have the delectable Alison staying overnight."
Bodie managed to keep the glee out of his voice but not his comment. "No, you don't, do you?"
The evening had gone well. Taking Alison back to his apartment first so that he could change, Bodie had suggested they walk to the nearby restaurant, a small Italian trattoria where he was well-known. He set out to impress her, and knew he hadn't failed. The walk back to his place was leisurely, punctuated by frequent pauses as Bodie took advantage of quiet shop doorways.
When they reached the apartment, Bodie didn't bother with lights in the lounge, leading Alison straight to the bedroom, but was slightly disconcerted when she stopped him from unzipping her dress, and pushed him towards the door. "Fetch us a drink. Give me five minutes."
Shrugging his jacket off, Bodie loosened his tie and wondered whether that was a literal five minutes, or a feminine five minutes; he was so turned on it had better be the former.
Deciding to err on the side of caution, Bodie contained himself for nearly nine minutes before lust got the better of him, and picking up two glasses and a bottle of wine, he opened the bedroom door.
It had been a literal five minutes. Alison was waiting for him, reclining gracefully on his bed, wearing - but only just - a lacy scrap of material that could have been described as a negligee. She took the wine glass he offered but only took a sip before putting the glass down and kneeling up to kiss him, fingers busy with removing his tie and undoing his shirt buttons.
Bodie pushed Alison gently back onto the bed, managing to maintain the pressure of his kiss whilst stripping his shirt off ...
A soft kiss stirred him awake the following morning, and Bodie attempted to catch hold of Alison - and was brought to sudden and complete consciousness by the fact that his arms were above his head and held securely by handcuffs threaded through the headboard. His first reaction of trying to jerk them free had produced no discernable effect other than to scrape some skin from his wrists.
Alison was grinning, a wicked, sexy grin. "I was looking for some rope when I found them."
Bodie relaxed, slowly. There was no threat to his safety; Alison just wanted to play games ... well, that was OK, he'd played those sort of games before. Admittedly, the handcuffs were usually on the other wrists, but this could be interesting ...
Alison leant over and kissed him again, a little harder this time, whilst running her fingers lightly across his chest, and Bodie smiled, glad he'd managed to persuade Cowley into giving him time off. "So when are you going take these off?"
"When I'm ready." Perching on the edge of the bed Alison trailed her fingertips lightly down his cheek and across his chest again, smiling as Bodie gave a small shudder, closing his eyes. "You like that?"
"Mmm." The old line about lying back and thinking of England occurred to Bodie. There wasn't much he could do; he should just enjoy it. The fingers trailed on, further down, across his stomach, and Bodie opened his eyes again, catching Alison grinning at him. "You do like that."
"Witch." Bodie spoke the word without rancour, absorbing the feelings the experience was giving him. "Can't do much for you with my hands tied."
"You had your fun last night. It's my turn now."
"What have you got in mind?" Alison didn't answer him, bending forward to kiss him again, a tantalising kiss that made Bodie moan softly and with sudden urgency. "Alison - "
"Yes?" She gazed at him, eyes wide, expression innocent, although with a hint of laughter. "Did you want something?"
"You know what I want." Suddenly this wasn't so much fun. Bodie began cajoling. "C'mon. Take the handcuffs off."
Alison giggled, and began to drop light kisses randomly over his chest, tickling him. "I'm not ready to take them off yet."
"Well, I'm ready."
Alison giggled again, wilfully misunderstanding him. "I can see that." The kisses began to drift lower, making Bodie moan again. "Alison - "
The doorbell rang loudly into the apartment and for a moment they stared at each other, before Alison started to laugh. "Ignore it."
"Get the key to these things, quickly." Bodie was remembering that he had left his R/T in the car, and taken the phone off the hook the previous evening.
"If we don't answer it, they'll just go away."
"Alison, if that's Ray Doyle, he's got a doorkey." Jesus, he couldn't let Doyle catch him like this, he would never hear the end of it.
"He won't use it, though?" Still laughing, Alison went to the drawer where she had found the handcuffs, her giggles trailing off as she searched. "There's no key in here."
That wasn't what Bodie wanted to hear, and the doorbell rang again. "You'll have to answer the door. But for Christ's sake don't let anyone in here."
Grabbing his shirt to put on, Alison twitched the sheet over him and dived out of the bedroom. Bodie called her back. "Alison!" She reappeared, buttoning the shirt. "What?"
Bodie glanced down at the sheet, grinning wryly. "This isn't making a lot of difference. Close the door, eh?"
He couldn't hear much through the closed door, but could hear enough to identify the caller as his partner. Bodie breathed a sigh of relief as he heard Doyle leave, and Alison bounded back through the door, grinning.
"He had a message from Major Cowley. Your time off has been cut short. I told Doyle you had gone down to the shops 'cos we'd run out of milk, but that I'd get you to come in as soon as you got back."
Bodie wasn't laughing. "Find the key, Alison. I have to get into HQ."
Alison pulled the sheet off him, still smiling, and began to undo the shirt. "We've got a bit of time yet."
Bodie suddenly grinned at her, as she dropped onto the bed and straddled him. All the panic hadn't affected him, his ardour was as 'ard as ever ...
Reaching HQ just under an hour later, Bodie made his way straight to Cowley's office, just in time to catch Doyle leaving it. "You took your time. What did you have to do; catch the cow and milk it yourself?" Without waiting for an answer, Doyle spun him round. "We're back on airport duty. Come on."
Bodie didn't attempt to justify his tardy arrival, but as they reached the car he caught Doyle's sideways, knowing glance. "OK," he admitted. "So I hadn't gone out for milk."
"I guessed as much." Doyle's grin got wider. "Just a bit tied up, were you?"
Bodie started to agree, then caught the literal meaning to Doyle's words and the grin behind them, and paused before he got in the car, looking across the roof at his partner. "You know, don't you."
Doyle was having trouble containing his amusement. "Alison confided in Liz - "
"And Liz told you. Have I been set up?"
"Not really. Anyway, you enjoyed it, didn't you?" Doyle opened the door and dropped into the car.
Bodie followed suit, shoving the key in the ignition and the gearstick into first, before he glanced over at Doyle. "Yeah ..."
And what was more, Alison was free again tonight ...
I know, I know - but this is fiction ...!