Get Set To Be Scared

Detective Inspector Flynn’s fingers tapped on the table like an under-pressure secretary typing an urgent letter for her demanding boss. She checked her watch. Her thoughts turned to what the protocol might be for such a situation. What was keeping him? He was five minutes late. This was precisely why she didn’t date. But he seems different, she thought. No man had ever been afforded the luxury of four dates. Or the numerous phone calls that had taken place between dates. She watched the bubbles of her over-priced Italian sparkling water race to the top of her glass. ‘Do you allow ten minutes or should… ‘Incredibly sorry, the parking was…’
She stopped him in his tracks. ‘Well, you’re here now. No need to bore me with the details.’
This was precisely what Marcus liked about her. No one else in his life spoke to him like she did. He found it refreshing. Leaning forward, he placed his hands on her shoulders planting a kiss on either cheek while she remained seated.
‘So, Marcus, I’ve had ample time to scan the menu. Walnut and pear salad followed by the venison ok? And a nice bottle of Claret to compliment the meat.’
‘I really do wish you would be more assertive Gillian,’ he jested. Her mask temporarily slipped as she smiled appreciatively.
‘So, how has work been Inspector?’
‘Please. I’ve told you before. My name is Gillian NOT inspector.’
He smiled. ‘How has work been Gillian?’
‘Oh, the usual. Demanding. Frustrating. Satisfying. Bit of a sticky situation on Wednesday. I was in court, waiting to be called to give evidence when a family member of the accused lunged at me. I shudder to think what damage those awful talons of hers could have done. She had to be restrained by a member of security.’
‘How awful. That must have been terrifying. Doesn’t that type of thing make you think twice about your chosen profession?’
‘Absolutely not.’
He studied her, then let out a grudging sigh. ‘You know, I’ve been doing some thinking… I look at you and wonder why on earth you haven’t married or ever been in a long-term relationship. You obviously put up barriers. I don’t know why. What I do know is that there will have been an abundance of men that have tried and failed to win your affection. Why are you scared of letting people in?’
She was playing around with her serviette, folding it this way and that, like a clown turning a balloon into an animal shape. ‘I’m not scared of anything. Let’s not spoil the evening with all this serious talk. I get enough of this at work.’
He thumped his fist on the table. ‘I’m sorry Gillian. I can’t help this. I must tell you how I feel. I appreciate that you are an incredibly strong woman who loves her career but it doesn’t have to be like that in your personal life. You don’t have to be this courageous fearless woman all the time. I suppose what I’m saying is.’ He raised both his hands, palms facing her, head tilted, eyebrows doing stretching exercises. ‘Get set to be scared Gillian, but I think I’m falling in love with you. I hope you…’
He was interrupted by her chair being thrust backwards as she rose to her feet grabbing her jacket and handbag as if the fire alarm had gone off almost knocking over the waiter who had appeared to take their order. ‘It’s over. Goodbye Marcus,’ was the last words he heard her speak.

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