May Day Run
Doyle had come up with the plan for the Monday after May Day, which
by chance happened to fall on a Sunday. Bodie wasn’t entirely clear
on the specifics, except that it involved a lot of motorcycles and
would wind up at the Cinque Port Arms in Old Hastings.
Or maybe it started there.
Whichever way, it didn’t concern Bodie. Doyle was the one with the
itinerary. Usually it was up to Bodie to arrange these sorts of
outings – to round up the girls and book the restaurant and then
bully Doyle into attending. So, even considering how offhand Doyle’s
invitation had been, it was still a refreshing change. Bodie was
content to follow, and ridiculously happy he’d been invited at all.
Then on the 30th of April, Cowley put them on standby, which pretty
much scuppered any cross country bike rides. Bodie didn’t care particularly.
There were pubs closer to home, and other places to take the bikes.
But Doyle was unaccountably put out, to such an extent that Bodie
began to wonder if he’d had some other motivation for joining the
ride. Did the Cinque Port Arms have notably attractive and accommodating
Queries, both discreet and pointed, turned up nothing but a certain
amount of ill-tempered snappishness on Doyle’s part. Even Bodie’s
attempt to round up replacement barmaids did nothing to mend Doyle’s
May Day morning dawned bright, clear, and earsplittingly loud. Bodie
pulled his bedspread over his head and determinedly ignored his
doorbell. Then his R/T went off.
“Wake up, Bodie! Move your lazy arse. Cowley wants us.”
Bodie grunted something incoherent into the R/T before thumbing
it off. Doyle sounded entirely too energetic considering the hour.
The doorbell rang again, before his feet had touched the floor.
“All right!” bellowed Bodie as he grabbed his robe.
He yanked the door open and glowered at Doyle.
A bright smile greeted him, an entirely different visage from the
storm-tossed one that had faced him over the bar table the previous
night. Bodie mused that being partnered with Raymond Doyle left
no choice but to become accustomed to abrupt changes in the weather.
“Stuart’s turned up a line on our kids,” said Doyle, shouldering
past Bodie into the hall. “One of the little rats had an attack
of conscience. Gave Stuart names, addresses, targets, everything.
We go in, round them up, and we’ll be on our bikes by tomorrow morning!”
He stopped in front of Bodie’s fridge. “What have you got to eat?”
Bodie didn’t bother answering. Doyle was going to help himself to
whatever he liked, no matter what he said. Bodie’s early morning
irritation dispersed as he hurried through an abbreviated version
of his routine. The promise of some action – real, useful work instead
of sitting around on their arses waiting on Cowley’s pleasure –
was definitely something to look forward to. As was the prospect
of its being followed by a day off with Doyle.
Bodie’s willingness – even eagerness – to drop everything and head
off on a cross country bike ride with Doyle was something that didn’t
bear close inspection. He didn’t care for biking all that much.
Doyle was a difficult, moody sod, and if he were anyone else, Bodie
would avoid him on his days off. There were birds that would have
him, and mates who were more congenial.
No, this definitely wasn’t something he wanted to consider in depth.
Bodie pulled his turtleneck over his head and shrugged into his
shoulder holster. He was doing up the buckles as he wandered out
into the kitchen, pausing briefly to admire a rear view of Doyle,
headfirst in the fridge.
“Find anything?” he asked.
His grin widened as Doyle started, his head banging on the shelf
above. He straightened, his hand buried in his curls, rubbing. “Bloody
hell! Do you have to sneak around like that?”
“Wasn’t sneaking,” protested Bodie. He gave Doyle his best wounded
look, but it had no effect. He tried again, “Can’t help it if I’m
just naturally stealthy.”
“You move like an elephant most of the time.” Doyle’s gaze tracked
down the length of Bodie’s body, ending at his sock-clad feet. “Go
and put some shoes on.”
The weight of Doyle’s gaze felt like a tangible thing. “Next, you’ll
be wanting to tie a bell on me.” Bodie meant it as light banter,
but for some reason he ended up sounding half-strangled instead.
“Might help,” said Doyle, his expression indecipherable. “Seems
like every time I turn around you’re standing there staring at me.”
Bodie raised an eyebrow, puzzled. “What are you talking about?”
“Just what I said.” Doyle turned back to the fridge. “Don’t you
have anything worth eating in here?”
Bodie’s good mood abruptly soured. Doyle was doing it again. Accusing
him of things he wasn’t doing. Sure he’d had a bit of a look this
morning, but it wasn’t like he stared all the time.
And anyway, where was he supposed to look, when Doyle was bent over
Bodie grabbed his jacket off of the back of the couch. “Never mind
breakfast. We can grab a sausage roll on the way.”
“Oh, marvellous,” said Doyle, wryly. “My arteries will be so grateful.”
But he closed the fridge and followed Bodie out.
In theory, the operation sounded simple. A co-ordinated pick-up,
timed so that none of the targets could alert the others. Nice,
neat, everything in one tidy package, and over in less than an hour
except for the reports.
Bodie and Doyle’s target was a nineteen year old Philosophy student,
living in a flat he shared with a number of others. Francis Hill
was notable only for his long hair, half-grown goatee, and an over-inflated
sense of himself as a dangerous anarchist radical. He had a minor
record for possession of marijuana, nothing major.
“Impresses the girls, I’m sure,” said Bodie. He checked his watch
one more time, and then drummed his fingers on the edge of the window.
“What?” asked Doyle. “That little beard he’s trying to grow?”
Bodie smirked. “Well, I’ve heard girls sometimes get off on a little…
friction.” He eyed Doyle expectantly, but all he got was a disgusted
look. “What I meant was, the whole mad bomber business.”
It was getting harder and harder to get a good honest laugh out
of Doyle these days. But then if Doyle had suddenly decided to start
getting touchy about something as trivial as being looked at,
who knew what was going through his mind?
“Bodie, watch the building,” said Doyle, impatiently. “Cowley won’t
be pleased if our Francis wanders off while you’re gazing into my
Oh yeah, that’d be it then. “Sod off,” said Bodie, pleasantly. He
dragged his attention away from his partner and focused it back
on the front door. Chances were very good that their man – correction,
boy – was inside. No lectures on a Sunday and it was unlikely he’d
be headed off to church.
“It’s a joke, isn’t it?” said Bodie. “Bombing a bank on a day when
no one’s going to be there.”
“They don’t want to hurt anyone?” suggested Doyle. “Seems fairly
decent of them.”
“I can think of better things to do on a Bank Holiday Monday!”
“We have better things to do,” Doyle reminded Bodie.
There was that, wasn’t there? Bodie looked at his wristwatch again,
willing the time to pass faster so he could get on the road with
the man who alternately infuriated and fascinated him. He held up
a finger as the second hand moved onto to the hour. At precisely
seven fifteen in the morning they smoothly exited the car. Doyle
took the back, while Bodie went up the front steps.
Francis’s flat was on the first floor. As Bodie knocked, he found
himself thinking that this was a job the police could handle just
as easily. If it weren’t for the students’ targets – banks – and
their method – bombs – this wouldn’t be CI5’s concern at all.
Half-arsed, pathetic excuses for terrorists…
The door opened and a sleepy-eyed girl in a man’s shirt peered around
the crack. “Can I help you?”
Bodie pushed the door open, his ID in hand. “CI5. It’s all right,
love. I just want to talk to Francis Hill.”
“Hey!” she protested.
Bodie quickly scanned the small flat. It was cluttered with books
and there were wire clippings on the table. Along with a bong. The
girl was hanging off his jacket, trying to stop him.
“Who do you think you are?” she demanded. “You can’t just barge
The back door opened with a bang revealing Doyle on the other side.
Bodie indicated with a jerk of his head that he was going to take
the rooms on the right, and Doyle immediately headed to the left.
“Where is he?” The damned flat was like a warren, all narrow hallways
and tiny rooms.
“He’s not here!” said the girl.
A quick movement at the end of the hall caught Bodie’s eye and he
turned in time to see a head duck back behind the corner.
“Francis!” he shouted. Bodie skidded around the corner just as Francis
vanished out the window, dragging a rucksack behind him. The kid
was surprisingly fast, and the window was a tight fit. Bodie skinned
his ribs sliding out after him, and he didn’t want to think about
the squishy patch he landed on in the alley. He scrambled to his
feet and charged after the skinny little rabbit.
There was no easy way to corner Francis. There were too many exits,
and too many alleys, in this part of London, and even weighed down
by his rucksack, he was making good time. Bodie ducked his head
down and ran faster, mentally cursing the kid.
Bodie was vaguely aware that he wasn’t at his best. He’d been thoroughly
distracted by Doyle’s odd behaviour this morning. However, he was
looking where he was going. It was the lady with the flower cart
Bodie saw the cart roll in front of him a fraction of a second before
he hit it. His attempt to vault over the obstacle failed miserably.
He somersaulted and came down hard on his back, beneath an avalanche
of roses and carnations. He rolled and scrambled to his feet, only
to discover that in the five second delay his rabbit had found a
bolt hole, and was nowhere in sight.
Bodie took off in the direction he’d last seen Francis, the flower
seller screaming imprecations after him. He skidded to a stop at
the corner, but there was nothing to see in any direction. He turned
and found an old man on the corner grinning widely at him.
“What are you looking at?” demanded Bodie.
The old man simply shook his head and chuckled, before taking himself
and his cane off in the other direction.
Footsteps behind him alerted him to Doyle’s approach. But when Bodie
glanced back he discovered that Doyle was wearing a grin as large
as the old man’s had been. “What!”
Doyle chortled evilly. “You, mate. Trying out for Queen of the May,
Bodie stared blankly at him. What was he on about?
Doyle reached forward and Bodie ducked reflexively. When he straightened,
Doyle was holding up a sprig of baby’s breath and smirking. Puzzled,
Bodie ran his hand over his hair and came up with another bunch
of the stuff.
“Oh hell…” He shook his head, vigorously. The damned stuff stuck
“Hold still!” Doyle removed a mashed red rose from the back of Bodie’s
collar and handed it to him with a flourish.
Bodie almost said something sarcastic. “I never knew you felt that
way,” or even just “For me?” but at that moment the flower seller
marched up and demanded to know who was going to pay for all of
Probably for the best, he thought, as Doyle dealt with the woman.
He hadn’t been delivering his lines particularly well lately, and
if it went over like this morning, Doyle might get entirely the
Bodie followed Doyle up the stairs at headquarters, the way he always
did. He didn’t think about it too deeply. He just knew the position
he preferred to take.
This time, however, Doyle stopped abruptly and turned to face him.
“Is there something you want?”
Bodie blinked. “What?”
“You’re staring again.”
“No, I’m not,” said Bodie, automatically.
“Yeah, you were.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Bodie tried to push
past, but Doyle blocked him with an arm across the stairs.
Doyle leaned on the railing with an air of patently calculated ease,
his hip canted, and his other hand on his waist. “I wonder how you’d
like a taste of it yourself.”
“A taste of what?”
“How do they say it? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander?”
“It’s sauce for the goose. And I know exactly which of us is the
gander.” Bodie shoved Doyle firmly to the side and climbed up past
“What? The one who can’t seem to stop taking a gander at--.”
Bodie slammed the door behind himself, cutting off Doyle. He didn’t
want to hear this. Any of it. As he headed for the briefing room,
he told himself that Doyle was clearly right off his nut. Bodie
hadn’t changed. He was exactly the person he’d been last week. It
was Doyle who suddenly seemed to need to make an issue out of things
that weren’t an issue at all.
Bodie picked his usual seat in the briefing room. Doyle, however,
sat directly behind Bodie instead of beside him in his regular place.
Bodie glanced back, puzzled, but Doyle gave him only an enigmatic
smile. Cowley cleared his throat pointedly and Bodie snapped his
head back to give his full attention to the briefing.
A few minutes later the spot between Bodie’s shoulders began to
itch and the hairs on his neck stood on end. He turned again to
find Doyle smiling benignly at him.
“Bodie,” said Cowley, with entirely too much tolerance in his voice.
“Sir?” asked Bodie, alarmed.
There was a ripple of amusement around the room.
Cowley gave him a narrow eyed look. “Do you consider this case beneath
“Well,” said Bodie, rashly. “It does seem more a police matter…”
In for a penny, in for a pound. If he was going to get raked over
the coals in front of the entire A-Squad, then he might as well
try and defend himself.
“I suppose that would explain why you and 4.5 were unable to detain
Francis Hill this morning. It was beneath your abilities.”
Bodie gritted his teeth. That had better not be a snigger he’d just
heard from Anson’s side of the room. “They’re just kids, sir. A
few sticks of dynamite and some radio parts. Set off their bangers
on the steps of a few banks on Monday.”
“At this stage, yes, it’s hardly more than a prank. But ambitious
lads like Francis Hill have a way of moving on to bigger projects.
And we’re not going to let that happen.”
The room settled and all eyes turned toward Cowley. “We don’t know
where Mr. Hill has gone, but we do know what he intends to do. It’s
safe to assume he has at least one bomb with him. 3.7, you’ve just
volunteered yourself for the retrieval squad. Put together a team
and start with the banks on the target list. I want those explosives
rounded up before they go off.”
Bodie nodded. All things considered, Cowley had let him off very
lightly. He must be feeling generous.
“4.5,” said Cowley, “You have some contacts in the student community.”
“A few,” said Doyle. “I can ask some questions. See if anyone knows
where Francis might run.”
As Bodie browsed through Stuart’s report after the briefing ended,
his neck began to itch again. He looked sharply up again to find
Doyle leaning against the door, staring at him with that same annoying
“Can I help you with something?” Bodie snapped. For God’s sake,
he had a job to do. And for that matter, so did Doyle. He almost
said something, but caught himself just in time. Doyle would only
point out the hypocrisy, if he did. As jobs went, this was as close
to a joke as it was possible to get.
Doyle blinked with a shade too much innocence. “Hm?”
“You’ve been staring at me.”
“No, I wasn’t,” said Doyle, deliberately.
“Yes, you were!” This was getting absurd. “Look,” Bodie tried, as
calmly as he could manage. “I just don’t like being stared at, okay?”
Doyle shrugged elaborately. “If that’s what you want. At least I’m
considerate enough to stop when asked.” He leaned back against the
wall, and stared at the ceiling.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” demanded Bodie.
Doyle continued to find the ceiling fascinating. The expression
on his face was something just short of a smirk.
No, thought Bodie, I’m not letting him get to me.
He decided to try ignoring Doyle instead. However, Doyle’s conspicuous
not-staring became very quickly just as nerve-wracking as his staring.
Before long the silence seemed to be crowding the air right out
of the room.
When Bodie couldn’t stand it any more, he collected the files and
took them outside to the fire escape to finish reading.
Doyle didn’t follow, and Bodie couldn’t decide if he was relieved
By early evening Bodie’s team had managed to
locate three bombs under the steps of assorted financial institutions.
They had all been set for three a.m., further confirming in Bodie’s
mind Francis Hill’s incompetence. Not only had he placed the bombs
where they would do next to no damage – might crack a door or chip
the concrete slightly – but they wouldn’t even have gone off when
anyone was awake to see them.
On the other hand, it was nice to have bombs that were simple to
collect and defuse. None of this red wire, green wire, ticking down
the last ten seconds. Just tag the location, alert the bomb squad,
and leave a few men behind to keep anyone from messing around with
them before they could be removed.
Bodie’s spirits recovered with the success of his team. He did feel
unbalanced working without Doyle, but on the other hand, at least
no one was staring at him. That was refreshing.
His R/T buzzed just as he was wrapping things up for the day.
“3.7, get over to Royal Brompton Emergency. Now.”
“4.5 was brought in by the local constabulary an hour ago. I’ll
meet you there.” The R/T clicked off.
It wasn’t nearly enough information, Bodie thought, as he did his
best to break speed records on the way to the hospital. Doyle could
have suffered anything from a broken leg to a bullet in the head.
Whatever it was, it had to be serious enough to have knocked him
off his feet, or Cowley wouldn’t have called.
When he arrived, he found Cowley in conference with a doctor. Bodie
walked up in time to hear the doctor say, “Definitely, have someone
in the room with him. I’ll warn you however, he may not be terribly
coherent for some while.”
“What’s that?” asked Bodie, staring after the doctor’s departing
“Ah, Doyle’s condition is good, but there are some complications,”
said Cowley. “He’s been drugged.”
“They’re still working on that.” Cowley frowned. “The police found
Mr. Hill in the river not far from where Doyle was found. It looks
like Mr. Hill fell off Kensington Bridge and ended up stranded on
“So, Doyle tracked him down,” said Bodie. He felt a moment of pride
in his partner. If anyone could have found Francis... “But how did
the bastard drug him?”
“That’s what you’re going to find out,” said Cowley. “Get in that
room. Stay in there. Get the whole story out of him, if you can,
but most importantly, make sure he doesn’t say anything we don’t
want to see printed in the dailies.”
Bodie sighed, and shifted in his chair. It was close to three in
the morning and Doyle was still sleeping like a baby. Considering
Hill had somehow got the jump on Doyle, Bodie had expected him to
look worse. But other than some bruising around his elbow where
he’d been stuck with the syringe, and a scrape on his cheek, he
wasn’t injured at all.
This was worse than being stuck on an obbo. Nothing to do but sit
Bodie didn’t want to just sit and think. If he could just get Doyle
awake and talking then at least he’d have some sort of distraction.
Bodie leaned forward and, with a quick furtive glance at the door,
poked Doyle in the arm. Doyle’s eyes crinkled a bit and his lips
pursed briefly. Then he slipped back into sleep.
With a groan, Bodie settled back into his chair. The first time
he’d tried waking Doyle the nurse had caught him at it and given
him hell. He didn’t know why it mattered. It wasn’t as if he was
hurting him, and anyway it didn’t seem to be working.
Although... come to think of it, he’d got a bit more of a reaction
One more glance at the door, and Bodie jabbed Doyle again with his
Doyle’s head rolled to the side, his eyes still shut.
“Mm, no. S’okay,” mumbled Doyle.
Excited, Bodie tried patting Doyle on the cheek. “C’mon, wake up.
Some of us are bored out of our minds, here.”
Bodie left his hand on Doyle’s cheek for a moment. He could go back
to poking Doyle, but someone would be sure to wonder about the small
round bruises on his bicep.
Doyle rolled his head slightly to the side, pressing into the palm
of Bodie’s hand with a contented half smile.
Bodie snatched his hand back, startled.
Doyle’s cheek landed on the sheet, and this time his eyes opened.
“Hey, are you awake?” asked Bodie.
Doyle closed his eyes.
Bodie tried everything. He patted cheeks, and tugged hair, and even
went back to the old standby – poking Doyle in the arm.
While abusing Doyle was mildly diverting, he didn’t open his eyes
again. Eventually Bodie gave up, and went back to waiting. And waiting
Bodie was asleep in the chair, uncomfortably curled on his side,
his head pillowed on his elbow when Doyle finally woke.
“Ow,” said Doyle.
Bodie came instantly awake. “Ray?”
Doyle slowly blinked at him. Bodie watched as first confusion was
replaced with delight, then dismay. Bodie couldn’t imagine what
Doyle was finding so upsetting. He glanced over his shoulder to
confirm that he was the only person in the room.
“Did I miss Monday?” asked Doyle, finally.
He’s upset about the bike ride, concluded Bodie. He supposed it
was better than Doyle being upset at him. “Not yet. But I doubt
they’ll let you operate heavy machinery in your current condition.”
Doyle’s expression was tragic. “I really wanted to go.”
“I know,” said Bodie. “Bikes and beer and pretty barmaids...”
“Nah, just wanted you.”
Now it was Bodie’s turn to feel confused. The bike ride was supposed
to be about him, somehow? The way Doyle had been hassling him lately,
he’d half expected the invite to be rescinded.
“You’re my best mate,” said Doyle, sadly, the corners of his mouth
It was too much. Bodie couldn’t stand to see Doyle like this. He
almost wished he’d go back to sleep. Boredom was preferable to watching
his friend act like a big girl’s blouse. Bodie patted Doyle’s arm
consolingly. “We’ll stay in tomorrow,” he said. “Get a takeaway,
watch something on the telly.”
“Just you and me?”
Bodie paused. Carefully, he said, “I could ask around. See if any
of the birds we know are available...”
Disappointment wrote itself across Doyle’s face.
“Nah,” said Bodie, suddenly decisive. “Never mind. Just you and
Doyle fell asleep again, smiling.
Bodie stayed awake a long time after that. If it weren’t that the
evidence of his eyes and ears was incontrovertible, he’d have wondered
who he’d just been talking to.
This wasn’t the Doyle he knew. The man he called his partner was
prickly and sarky and razor sharp. This new version was sweetly
open and vulnerable and... frankly unnerving. Bodie had a sudden
horrifying vision of a future in which the drug’s effects were permanent,
and he was left shepherding around a charmingly addled Doyle.
Well, he wouldn’t. He just wouldn’t. He loved the man, but...
Oh, damn it all, he thought.
To Bodie’s immense relief, when Doyle woke in the morning he was
back to his old ratty self. It had been a long night for Bodie and
he was looking forward to getting Doyle out of the hospital, dropping
him at his flat and then crawling home to his own bed.
What did he know about love, anyway? It wasn’t for the likes of
“I swear, the next time Cowley gives us two days off, I’m dropping
my R/T in the Thames and disappearing for the whole forty eight
hours and to hell with the defence of the nation! God, my head hurts.”
Doyle pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes and groaned dramatically.
“So what happened yesterday?” asked Bodie. Doyle seemed to have
no memory of their conversation of a few hours ago, so Bodie assumed
he was off the hook for takeaway and telly. Good thing, too, because
Bodie still wasn’t entirely sure what was going on.
All he knew was that Doyle was likely right about the whole staring
thing. He had been doing it, and he needed to stop.
Perplexed, Bodie shifted his gaze to a spot on the wall just past
Doyle’s head. The problem was, he didn’t know how. Where would he
look, if he wasn’t looking at Doyle?
This was exactly why it was never a good idea to spend too much
time thinking. Bodie silently damned Cowley for sticking him here
with nothing better to do.
“Umph... not sure. Let’s see. Sneaky little sod… caught me from
behind.” Doyle touched the back of his head, and winced.
It took Bodie a moment to catch up. Right. Doyle was trying to answer
his question about what had happened.
Bodie took Doyle’s head in both hands and parted his hair with his
thumbs. “I don’t see anything. Couldn’t have been much, or they’d
have been waking you every few minutes last night.” He gently stroked
the curls back into place.
Doyle yanked his head away, and then hissed in obvious pain at the
movement. His cheeks were flushed as he stared at Bodie. “What are
“I was...” Bodie stopped. A moment ago he’d known what he was doing.
Now he wasn’t so sure. He definitely needed more time away from
Doyle. He started running through his phone book in his mind. Emma
always liked a good time, if she was free.
“Leave off,” Doyle looked away. “Don’t need you poking ham-handed...”
He trailed off, grumbling. “Anyway, I don’t remember, do I?”
Bodie waited. Doyle hadn’t sounded completely sure of himself with
that last statement.
“Except...” Doyle’s eyebrows drew together in concentration. “Francis
was saying something about making pigs fly. And I thought he ought
to try it first... I kicked him...”
“Right off the bridge into the Thames,” finished Bodie.
“Aren’t I clever.”
“Then you took a nap while he clung to the foot of the bridge and
“Oh, couldn’t swim, could he?”
Bodie shook his head.
“Well, then. Shame about our day off, though. Looks like we’ll just
have to salvage what we can.”
Bodie glanced at Doyle sharply, but there was nothing to read in
his expression. And before he could get him to explain what he meant,
a nurse bustled into the room, saying, “Well, Mr. Doyle! Looking
much perkier this morning…”
Cowley stopped by the hospital later that morning to hear Doyle’s
report and to inform them both that he was very disappointed with
their performance. Bodie, for losing Francis in the first place,
and Doyle for allowing the lad to get the drop on him.
“You’re both overdue for a refresher course,” said Cowley. “A seven
stone weakling nearly got the better of the two of you!”
Bodie suspected Doyle’s wince had nothing to do with his headache.
“Whatever is going on between the two of you, it’s clearly affecting
your performance.” Bodie tried to protest, but Cowley rolled right
over him. “You’re going to resolve it, whatever it takes. Or I will
be reassigning you both.”
After he left, Bodie turned to Doyle. How the hell did Cowley know?
He’d only just figured out that there even was a problem.
As if reading Bodie’s mind, Doyle shook his head. “Not now, mate.
But he’s right. We’ve got to sort this out.”
“Door to door service,” said Bodie, lightly. He stopped his car
in front of Doyle’s flat and waited. He was hoping that any analysis
of their mucked up relationship could wait for the next day. All
he really wanted was his own bed, and a chance to try to get his
defences back in order before Doyle could attack.
Doyle gave him a narrow-eyed look. “My entire day has gone tits-up.”
“Erm,” said Bodie.
“No bikes. No open road. No pub. The only bit left is you.”
“Not much of a consolation prize,” suggested Bodie.
“You’re an idiot.”
Bodie agreed. He wasn’t sure why exactly, but he knew it was true.
Doyle sighed. He pursed his lips and seemed to struggle with himself
for a moment before turning to face Bodie directly. “Listen up.
I’m only saying this because you’re too thick to get it any other
way. The bikes were an excuse. I knew if I suggested boating or
picnicking or riding you’d unearth birds from somewhere and stick
me with one of them. You don’t know any birds with bikes, thank
For all that the car was at a standstill, Bodie felt as if he was
lined up for a collision. This conversation could only have one
destination, and they were heading toward it at speed.
“So, given this is all your fault, the least you can do--.”
“Wait a minute!” protested Bodie, outraged. “How is this my fault?”
Doyle glared at him for a moment, and then made disgusted noise.
“Because you started it,” he said, as he climbed out on his side
and slammed the car door. Bodie sat in the car for a moment staring
at the place Doyle had been a moment earlier.
He’d started it? The unfairness of the accusation was staggering.
Bodie had been trying very hard not to start anything. It was Doyle
Bodie got out of his car and followed Doyle into the building. His
efforts to catch up, to make Doyle stop and explain, were briefly
derailed by the sight of Doyle’s rear heading up the stairs. Doyle
stopped so abruptly Bodie nearly ran nose first into the object
of his fascination.
Doyle twisted around and looked down at him. “You’re doing it again!”
Bodie had no time to compose a coherent defence. Doyle had already
turned again and was taking the stairs two at a time. “Wait!”
Doyle didn’t listen.
Bodie caught Doyle at the door, but then didn’t know what to say.
Standing with his mouth gaping like a trout was not one of his more
attractive looks, so he snapped his jaw shut. Doyle stared at him
a moment, then simply shook his head and turned to finish resetting
Bodie eased past him, carefully not touching, into the hallway of
“I asked you yesterday if you wanted something,” Doyle said. His
eyes were fixed on the keypad as he punched in the combination.
He seemed to be having some trouble. Twice he swore under his breath
and started over.
“I don’t,” started Bodie.
“What I can’t work out is who you’re lying to,” said Doyle. “Yourself
or me. Either way, I don’t like seeing either of us messed around.
I thought if I could get you out on the road, away from work...
Ah, bugger it!” He punched the last number in, and swivelled on
Doyle was standing too close, but Bodie couldn’t move. Never mind
the idea he’d had earlier about this leading to a collision at the
end of the road. He wasn’t driving. He was in freefall, without
His eyes aren’t just green, thought Bodie. They’ve got
brown in them...
Doyle kissed him.
Only it was not so much a kiss, as an attack. Bodie’s back hit the
wall, and his head slammed into the plaster. He opened his mouth
to protest, and in that moment Doyle’s tongue pushed between his
lips. Bodie’s knees went weak.
Oh, help, he thought.
But he didn’t want rescue. Not really. Not at all. His hands came
up, and instead of pushing Doyle away, he pulled him in closer,
feeling the collision of their bodies like a shock through his spine.
They hit the ground together and Bodie smacked his elbow on the
floor. He yelped, and Doyle pulled back.
“I don’t think this is what Cowley had in mind,” said Bodie, weakly.
“He won’t care as long as we perform for Macklin,” said Doyle.
Bodie sniggered, a touch of hysteria in the sound.
Doyle smacked the flat of his hand against his chest. “Berk!” But
then he paused, thoughtfully. “What do you want?” asked Doyle, one
This time, there was no question in Bodie’s mind. “More.”
“Was hoping you’d say that,” said Doyle, just before he rolled over
Bodie and pinned him to the floor.
Doyle, it turned out, had very specific plans for May Day weekend.
They just weren’t the ones that Bodie had thought they were.
They were better.