Disclaimer: These folks aren't mine (bummed). They belong to Alliance and various copyright holders of DueSouth. They've only been borrowed for a spell. JC's alter-ego has been borrowed breifly as well!
;-) (Thanks Cecilia!) By the by, this is day two after the return from parts unknown... And by all means comments welcomed and greatly appreciated at: Jackeec@aol.com or email@example.com
by Jackee C.
In his mind's eye he could see the warm colors of fall, burnished leaves blowing up and around her in nature's expression, glorious reds and golds tangling in her hair. He could feel her warmth, and if he closed his eyes, he could smell her...
"Benny, you all right?"
Constable Benton Fraser's eyes shot open with a start at the sound of his friend's voice. He was sitting in the Riv, in front of the Consulate, in the middle of downtown Chicago.
"Yes, Ray, I'm fine."
"You sure?" Ray asked, unconvinced. "You've been acting pretty strange the past couple days. Matter of fact, every since you got back from Nantucket. You sure you don't have jet lag or something?"
"Nunavut," Ben corrected him. "And no, I don't beleive I have jetlag.
"Whatever you say, Benny," Ray said, having obviously made up his mind. "Listen, Ma asked me to invite you to dinner tonight. Want me to pick you up around six?"
"Uh...," Ben cleared his throat, "No, thanks, Ray. I...uh, think I have to do something...um, tonight."
Ray shot the Mountie a curious expression. If he didn't know any better, he'd think Benny was lying. He let it drop. "No sweat, I'll just tell her you couldn't make it."
"Thanks, Ray," Ben said softly, ashamed.
"Sure." Ray answered. "See ya 'round."
* * * *
Ben had to fight the urge to bound up the steps and rush into her office. Keeping the truth from Ray was weighing on him, aside from the fact that he just wanted to see her. She'd been in meetings all morning and had left early for a business lunch. Unfortunately, when he reached her office the door was closed and the lights were off.
"You looking for Thatcher?" Ovitz startled him by asking.
"Yes," Ben nodded. "Is she gone for the day?"
"'Fraid so," Ovitz grinned. "You bring her a doggie bag?"
Ben's eyes strayed to the brown paper bag he was carrying. "Ah, no," he laughed uncomfortably. "This is my doggie bag...that is, this is for Diefenbaker."
"Aaah," Ovitz murmured, consideringly. "Is there something *I* can help you with?' The man had suddenly taken on an all knowing expression.
"No, thank you." Fraser replied, backing away. "I'll come back another time."
* * * *
Ben walked slowly into his office wondering if he'd somehow arroused Ovitz's suspicions. He was certain the man had watched him all the way to his office. His concern over the situation was immediately forgotten when his eyes lit on a small wrapped package in the center of his desk. The initials B.F. were printed across the top.
He settled behind the desk and carefully untied the small gold string. Next he undid the shiny red paper, and carefully removed a small white box. His heart turned over when he lifted the lid revealing two keys and a note nestled within.
///My place. Seven o'clock. Come right in.
P.S. Bring the wolf.///
part A - He said...
As Ben approached the apartment door, he could tell she'd already started dinner. Aside from the decided clang of pots and pans, delicious smells emanated into the sixth floor hallway. Ofcourse, for the past two evenings, they hadn't quite managed to have dinner before it was cold. Wonderful inventions, microwaves...
He slipped his new key into the slot and let himself in. Meg hadn't heard him, so he simply stood against the wall and watched her. Here, away from the office, minus the heels and hose, she seemed softer, more...his. He smiled.
At that moment, Meg looked up and saw him and nearly jumped out of her skin. "What are you doing?! You nearly scared me to death!" All the while, she was tidying her hair, stepping back into the pumps.
"I was watching you," Ben admitted.
"Watching me?" Meg asked, her hands stilled on her hair.
"Yes," Ben nodded. "I was thinking of how beautiful you look just now, how radiant." He paused and drank in the sight of her.
"...How much I'd like to share in that radiance," Ben continued, coming fully into the kitchen.
Meg's mouth moved, but no words came out.
Ben smiled and turned off the stove. Yes, wonderful thing, microwaves...
Part B - She said...
Margaret Thatcher dashed into her apartment at 6:37 P.M. One deluxe wolf/dog cushion with the name Diefenbaker stenciled across the front was pulled from an over-sized shopping bag and placed a few feet from J.C.'s. Next, candles. She pulled two from her shopping bag and set them on the dining
table. Then to heat the sauce, start the water and preheat the oven. This was going to be their first *real* at home, sit down, romantic dinner.
Before she could start, J.C. trailed aristocratically into the kitchen, tail held high, meowing as loudly as his kitty lungs would allow.
"I know you're hungry J.C.," Meg conceded, "but I've got to at least get this started first." A quick glance at the clock told her she'd lost five precious minutes already.
Unfortunately, J.C. had other plans. In a quick agile motion, the feline jumped to the counter and grabbed at the box of matches that lay there for the oven. The box skittered across the counter and into the opposite wall, igniting, before falling unto Meg's foot.
Meg did a quick two step to get the fire off her foot. "J.C!!" she yelled, furiously kicking off her shoes and sliding out of her hose, before slamming them into the garbage bin. There was no way she could wear them with that big, gaping burn hole. It was with a mind set on revenge that she hurried off after the animal, all the while promising murderous retribution.
Cornered in the second bedroom, J.C. could do nothing when Meg closed the door.
Meg, feeling a twinge of guilt at locking the animal away without dinner, prepared a double helping of fancy feast cat food and slid it in the door.
J.C., pleased that things had gone as planned, settled in to enjoy his booty for outsmarting the human, yet again.
Meg, feeling vaguely manipulated, and not entirely sure why, went back to her pots; a little louder this time. Cats! What in the world had possessed her to keep the animal anyway, she wondered. What with Doctor's visits, kitty food, vitamins and other kitty essentials, Meg would save by getting rid of him. But the truth was, she couldn't. She loved the stupid cat.
She was in such a mood, trying to convince the sauce to stir properly when she had an urge to turn. Her entire body jolted at the sight of Constable Benton Fraser, dressed casually in plaid and denim, standing there.
"What are you doing?!" she snapped, irritated. "You nearly scared me half to death!" Why did he have to show up after she'd been crawling around looking under the couch for her errant cat? She was sure her hair must be a mess.
"I was watching you," he said.
Meg froze, and then went hot all over. She was sure all of her body's vital functions must have shut down for a moment at those softly spoken words.
"Watching me?" she asked when she could find her voice again, all earlier irritation forgotten.
"Yes," he spoke in that calm voice of his that had a way of communicating so much in the smallest of phrases. "I was thinking of how beautiful you look just now, how radiant."
Meg was melting under his gaze. But his eyes said that there was more he wished to say.
"Yes?" she whispered, wanting to hear it.
"...How much I want to share in that radiance," he continued, moving closer.
Meg's mouth moved, but she'd lost the power of speech. And when he smiled that slow, anything but innocent smile, she couldn't convince her Ben Fraser-drugged mind to formulate any thought, save one: Wonderful thing, microwaves...
Secret Partners: Home
Secret Partners: Unchained Medley
Secret Partners: The truth about Steve (due out 12/96)