Disclaimer: I wrote this story for the private enjoyment of Due South fans and make no claim to the series' characters. Fraser, Kowalski, Thatcher, and Metcalfe belong to Alliance. This story does not infringe on any copyrights held by CBS, CTV, TNT, or any other copyright holders. I make no money from this effort.
This story takes place after, way after, the last episode. Stan Kowalski and Fraser have returned from the Beaufort Sea. Stan wants to return to the States and Fraser wants to go back to work as an RCMP officer. Thatcher is unhappy.
A Vacation for the Inspector
Northwest territories, Great Slave Lake, June 16, 2000
"Wow Fraser, Do ya think you can beef up that fire? It's freezin in here!" Detective Stanley Kowalski, formerly known as Ray Vecchio, on leave from the Chicago PD, rubbed his hands together and shivered. "Come on Stan. It's 17C outside - that's 63F to you in the States - almost summer temperatures," Fraser grinned. "That's cause you're a Mountie, Fraser. And everybody knows that Mounties are immune to cold weather." Constable Benton Fraser of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police glanced at his friend and former partner. They had recently returned from a dog sled trip to Franklin Bay on the Beaufort Sea at the terminus of the Northwest Passage, and were enjoying the renewed sensation of walls and warmth. There was a fine fire in the pot-bellied wood stove, and Stan hunkered down in front of it. "Ah, that's more like it!" Stan sighed.
Fraser smiled at his ex-partner then glanced around the one-room cabin. The walls were log, and the floor was made of rough-cut wooden slabs. There were heavily laden bookcases and a dresser on the north wall. On the west wall was a small window under which was a single bed. On the east wall, next to the sink, was small counter with an apartment-size refrigerator underneath. Next to that was a small stove with two burners and a small oven underneath; a gas line led outside. Above the counter was a storage cabinet containing a few cups, plates, and bowls. The single door occupied part of the east wall and the wood stove was centered on the the south wall. A wooden plank made up the table, and the two chairs were homemade. Out of character was a relatively luxurious chair about four feet from the wood stove. In the center of the room, there was a trapdoor outlined in the floor. The overall effect of the cabin was of coziness and warmth. Stan rose and slid into the soft chair, earning a reproachful look from Diefenbacher, a large, white, deaf, lip-reading, half-wolf, who thought it was his chair. "What's the matter Stan? Is the floor too hard for you?" There WAS a rug, but it lay under the table and not in front of the wood stove. "My skin was startin to get blisters Fraser ! ... and don't look at me like that Dief! Hey Fras, why dontja sit down and relax?" "In a minute, Stan." Fraser removed his plaid wool shirt, revealing a tee shirt and jeans. He then pulled off his boots and put them near the fire. Stan looked up at him. "Two months sure was a long time to be freezin cold."
"Why Stan, we could have easily stayed three months, or even longer." Fraser's blue eyes twinkled. "The weather was improving, the days were getting longer, and the Innuit people would have gladly supplied us with all the pemmican and fresh seal meat we could eat!" Fraser loved to tease his former partner. "Fraser, I can't stop thinkin about Chicago. You know that it's probably hot there? Dontja you think it's time we got back on the job?" Stan's voice revealed his yearning for home. "Stan, you know I'm not going back to Chicago. I've been assigned here in the Territories. This is home, and I'm glad to be back." Just then, there was a knock on the door. Although deaf, Dief smelled the visitor and rose to his feet, tail wagging happily. Fraser opened the door. "Hi Eric!"
A tall, longhaired Innuit man walked in, carrying a leather bag. Eric was a handsome example of a First American. His long, black hair nearly reached his waist. He wore jeans, high leather boots, and a light jacket, and carried a rifle over his shoulder. "Hi Fraser. Long time no see. I heard you were back."
"It's good to see you too, Eric. Let me introduce you to Detective Stan Kowalski. He was my partner in Chicago. You met his predecessor, Ray Vecchio." "Any friend of Fraser is a friend of mine." Stan smiled and shook hands with Eric. "Eric and I are old friends," said Fraser.
"Dinner time, Fraser!" Eric said happily, throwing down the leather bag on the table. Fraser opened it, revealing a pair of plucked and gutted grouse. "Thanks Eric. How generous of you! I was concerned about what we were going to eat for dinner." Diefenbacher took the opportunity to poke his nose in the bag. "Down, Dief! You'll get your share later." Fraser held the wolf's head between his hands and carefully mouthed the words. With a whine of protest, Dief retreated. "You're staying for a while, aren't you Eric?" Fraser lit the pilot light of the oven. While the oven heated, he rubbed the birds with butter, then rooted around in the cupboards for some thyme. He placed the birds in a roasting pan and sprinkled some thyme on them. He put the pan in the hot oven. "If you'll have me Fraser. I want to hear about your trip north." "Stan, give Eric a little room please?" Fraser asked. Stan nodded and moved his legs off the arms of the chair so Eric could sit there. Fraser sat on a stump previously serving as an end table. "Well Eric, as you probably heard, Stan and I and a group of the RCMP brought the arch-criminal Muldoon to justice. You know, the man responsible for my mother's death? After the arrest, Stan and I felt we needed an adventure, so we left for the Northwest Passage by dog sled. I think for Stan, the trip gave him an idea of the true beauty of the northwest, and a good story to take back to his friends in Chicago. It was a first-class escape for the two of us. That's about it. We met with villagers who supplied us with food and an occasional igloo, and the sled dogs with food. With spring coming and the long days, we decided to come back and fix up dad's cabin. What are you doing these days, Eric?" "Well, Fraser, nothing much. The weather is kind of weird -- you know - -warmer than usual. That's how I found these grouse. I think there must be a big storm brewing. Maybe it'll
hit some time this week. I don't know." "A weather prognosticator and hunter! You're a talented man," said Stan. Eric laughed. Fraser made
some coffee then set the table. As soon as the coffee was ready, he poured it into cups and gave one to each man. After a bit, meaty, mouth-watering scents soon permeated the small cabin. "I think they're ready. He opened the oven door. They look delicious!" Fraser removed the pan from the oven. "Let's eat!" He said. he set the pan on the table and began carving the birds and putting the meat on cracked plates. Because there were only two chairs, Fraser sat on the stump. Dief followed him to beg for
a handout. After dinner, they had more coffee and talked. "I think the last time I saw you was in Chicago when the museum there
acquired some antique masks originally belonging to your people." Fraser smiled at the memory. "You and your family set up a sweat lodge in my apartment. You weren't there Stan. You missed out on that sweat lodge experience. It was fascinating." "What is this sweat lodge thing, a kind of sauna?"
"I guess you could say it's like that, but it's much more intense." "Maybe you'll stop by Chicago, Eric, and set one up for me." Stan smiled. "Sure, if I ever get back that way again." Eric stretched, then stood.
Gotta go Fras. The wife's expecting me." "That was delicious, Eric. I can't thank you enough for bringing the birds." "Take care Fras!
Nice to meet you, Stan." Eric shook the detective's hand. "Have a good trip back to the States." At the door, Stan said, "Eric, it's been good! Stop by the precinct if you get a chance." Eric left. For a while, Fraser and Stan talked about old times in Chicago and some of their former cases. A couple hours later, they were drowsy. Fraser stood up, stretching and yawning. "We'd better turn in, Stan. We've got a busy day tomorrow."
"Just one little trip outside for a call of nature, and I'll turn in." Stan slipped outside for a few minutes. While he was out, Fraser spread a blanket on the floor next to the fireplace. He took a pillow from the couch and put at the head of the blanket. The door opened and Stan reentered
the cabin. "Good night Fraser," said Stan. He crawled clumsily into the bed. Fraser stretched out happily on the blanket, with Dief snuggled
next to his feet. Soon, the only sound to break the silence were snores, mostly from Dief and Stan.
Northwest territories, Great Slave Lake, June 17, 2000
The next morning, slanting sunlight stuck the eyelids of the man sleeping
near the fire. Fraser woke with a start, yawned, stretched, and stood
up. "Dief, wake up!"
Dief whined in protest.
"Come on Diefenbacher. Just because you're deaf doesn't mean you can sleep in. There's really nothing less appealing than a FAT wolf." Fraser added a log to the embers of the fire, sending sparks up the chimney. He prepared a pot of coffee, then woke the detective. "Stan, wake up!" He shook the sleeping man.
"Hey Fraser, ya got to be kidding!" Stan growled. "I feel like I need three more hours." Despite his whining, Stan got out of bed. He looked at the chair, stretched out on it, and shut his eyes. The coffee was finally ready and Fraser poured two cups.
"This will wake you up, Stan," he said. In fact, Stan did seem to revive after sipping the strong coffee. Fraser, a naturally early riser, was hungry. "Time for breakfast," he said. Dief, who seemed to understand him perfectly, whined in response and wagged his tail. "Yes, you can have some too. But no donuts, OK? Are you hungry Stan?" "I guess so Fraser. Whatja got?"
"Will oatmeal do?" "OK by me, Fraser." Fraser boiled some water for oatmeal, then served breakfast. He poured
a couple short glasses of orange juice. He gave Dief some oatmeal and some dry dog food, which the wolf gulped down avidly. While they ate, they talked about Stan's plans. "Fraser, I guess I'd better plan on going home today. You mentioned before that you could get your Mountie friends to get me a ride. Does the offer still count? "Sure it does, Stan. Do you still have your cell phone? Good. Why don't you phone the airport in Yellowknife to make reservations? While you do that, I'd better feed the other animals their breakfast." Fraser, wearing the same clothes that he slept in, finished the last of his oatmeal, stood, and walked outside. From the outside, the cabin was charmingly rustic, with logs weathered silver-gray. The chimney on the sloping shake roof showed smoke rising in the still, fresh air. The cabin was surrounded on three sides by tall pine trees. At this time in the year, the sun bathed with cabin with light twenty-four hours a day. Nearby was a small barn. The scene had picture postcard possibilities. Fraser opened the door to the barn. "Whoa, dogs! Down!" Fraser's sled dogs bounded around excitedly. "I've got your food right here, Jessie," he told the lead husky. He fed the dogs, all seven of them, dog chow in separate bowls. Then he walked over to a bin and filled a scoop with sweet, pelleted grain. "Hi there, Sam." He patted the nose of his black quarter horse gelding, then hung the bucket of grain near the horse's head. Sam snuffled the grain eagerly. Fraser walked back to the cabin and entered to find Stan using his cell phone. "My flight will leave at 2:30 PM today, Lieutenant," he was saying. "Thanks, Lieutenant, I will. Goodbye." "That was Lieutenant Welch from the precinct, Fraser. He said to say hello." "That was nice of him. I hope he's well. Give me your phone, and I'll call the RCMP HQ at the Great Slave Lake detachment. Maybe they can send down a jeep." Fraser called his HQ. "Good morning Sergeant, this is Constable Fraser. Do you think you could spare a jeep today? I have someone here who must fly to the States and needs a ride to the airport in Yellowknife. You do? Thank you kindly. He'll be ready when you arrive." He handed the phone back to Stan. "They'll send a constable here with a jeep. He'll take you to the Yellowknife airport." "Thanks Fraser. I guess I'd better pack up what little I have." It didn't take the detective long to gather his meager belongings. While they waited for the jeep, they drank more coffee and talked. "You'll have to say hello for me to all the folks in your precinct, Stan." Fraser spoke wistfully. "I do miss them, especially Ray Vecchio. They're all good police officers. I even miss Francesca.
I'd bet even money that she's married." "I wouldn't be surprised, Fras. She's what you call a real female predator. No man has a chance." "Stop
in at the consulate and say hello for me to Constable Turnbull. At least, I THINK he's still there, if he hasn't stepped in front of a car by accident or something." "Will do, Fraser. Look, there's the jeep! It sure didn't take long to get here." The jeep pulled up. A young RCMP officer jumped nimbly out of the jeep, then knocked on the semi-open door and came in. "Justin. it's good to see you." Fraser smiled at the younger man and shook his hand. "Stan, this is Constable Justin. Justin, this is Detective Stanley Kowalski of the Chicago PD." "We've heard of the detective. The two of you are famous, sir, first, for bringing down that evil deviant Muldoon in the very worst weather, then for traveling by dog sled to the Beaufort Sea and returning in one piece." "It's nice being famous, huh Benny?" Stan grinned. He picked up his bag and the three men walked outside to the jeep. Stan threw his bag into the back seat. "Stan, it's been a memorable experience," said Fraser, shaking Stan's hand. "I'm going to miss you. I hope you make it to Chicago OK. You WILL find a way of letting me know?" "Sure thing, Fraser. It's been real. Take good care of yourself. I'll be in touch." He embraced his friend. With a jaunty grin, the detective hopped in the jeep. Fraser walked over to
the driver's side. "Take good care of my friend, Justin, and tell the Commander I'll stop by later on today to get my new assignment." "Sure
thing, Constable. Ready detective?"
"Let's go," replied Stan. They drove away. Dief whined a little and Fraser told him, "He'll be fine, Dief. We're
going to miss him, huh?" Fraser felt a cold spot of loneliness grow larger. He missed Stan, he missed his father, and even missed Chicago. Enough of this brooding, he thought. The weather is gorgeous and I'm home. The only thing that would make it better would be to have someone to share it with him. Inspector Meg Thatcher, he thought, then sighed. I bet she's forgotten all about me. He shrugged his shoulders and went back inside.
Ottawa, RCMP headquarters, June 17, 2000
The early afternoon sunlight slanted into the open window of the office belonging to Inspector Margaret Thatcher of the RCMP. A fresh breeze touched her shoulder-length dark-brown hair. Meg was a beautiful woman, with porcelain skin, and sapphire blue eyes. She stood about five feet four inches. Her office was in one wing of the second floor of the main RCMP Headquarters. Meg brushed back her hair irritably. This office work is getting me down, she thought, hating to admit it, even to herself. It's so BORING! She briefly compared her stay here in HQ with her tenure in Chicago as Chief Liaison Officer at the Canadian Consulate. Now THAT was fun! she thought. A gorgeous Mountie named Constable Benton Fraser was her second-in-command. A smile came to her lips as she thought of Fraser. Despite his extremely good looks, he was almost painfully shy around her. He seemed to be endlessly in trouble of some sort or another. The two of them had encountered some really vicious criminals. Ah, that horrible Randall Bolt! She cringed at the thought of the man. Her most vivid memories were of the time when a train carrying the 32 horses and riders of the famed RCMP Musical Ride on route from Manitoba to Chicago as part of their North American tour was hijacked by Bolt. She, Fraser, Sergeant Buck Frobisher, and a TV crew had accompanied the riders. It turned out that the TV crew were actually Bolt and his gang. It was on that train, she remembered, that she first discovered she had strong 'feelings' for the devastatingly handsome Fraser. In fact, while standing on top of the rushing train, these feelings led to a passionate kiss that nearly blew both of them away! Remembering that kiss still made her knees weak. I wonder what Fraser is up to these days? The last time she saw Fraser was in the Northwest Territories south of Tuktoyuktuk, just before he captured the evil criminal Muldoon, the man who had brutally murdered his mother. She knew that after that incident, Fraser and Detective Kowalski had taken off on a wild adventure by dog sled to the Beaufort Sea. She knew that they'd returned safely, but nothing else. The door to her office opened quietly. Lost in her musings, she did not see Commander
Thorn enter her office. "Inspector Thatcher?" he asked. She spun around guiltily, quickly squelching her thoughts and coming
to attention. "Yes, Sir."
"At ease, Meg," he said kindly. "What can I do for you Commander?" she asked. She noticed his smile
and relaxed slightly. "I came down here to tell you that you've been working too hard, and that I'm giving you a vacation." "But I never take vacations, Sir," said Meg.
"Nonsense Meg. You look terrible. Your work hasn't been up to par lately. You NEED a vacation. Take all the time you need. You deserve some fun in your life. We can survive here without you for a while," he said. Fun... Fun. Hmmmm, thought Meg. "Thank you Commander. I'll consider it." Maybe I DO need a vacation. "You're free to go anytime, perhaps even this weekend," he said. On his way out of her office, he said, "I want you to relax, Meg! Take all the time you need." Five o'clock PM found Meg still puttering away in her office. A light bulb flickered intermittently. Hmm, she sighed to herself and opened a nearby window. Ah, such a warm, sunny afternoon. I should be somewhere else, dining and dancing. But her thoughts strayed insistently back to the taste of Fraser's lips and his strong arms. She shivered. All of a sudden, a wonderful thought bloomed full-grown in her brain. I'll go visit Fraser. Why didn't I think of that before? I'll surprise him! She walked over to her computer, logged on a ticket-reservation web site, and bought a ticket on Air Canada for Yellowknife, capital of the Northwest Territories, and the closest airport to Fraser's most recent assignment. I'd better warn the detachment I'm coming and make sure Fraser is there. She called the RCMP detachment at south Great Slave Lake. "Hello, may I speak to the Commander, please? Yes, I'll hold... Hello Commander. You don't know me. My name is Inspector Margaret Thatcher at HQ in Ottawa. I've made reservations to fly out to your outpost. I'm on vacation and would like to visit the wilderness. Can you have someone pick me up at the airport in Yellowknife? You will? Thank you. I also have another question. Do you happen to have a Constable Benton Fraser on assignment there? You do?" Wonderful! "Why? Oh, he was my second-in-command when I worked at the Canadian Consulate in Chicago. I haven't seen him in a while. Thank you for everything, Sir, and I'll see you in a couple days. I'll call with my final arrival time. You too, Sir. Goodbye." She turned off her computer, then the lights, and left the building. She unlocked her blue Honda Accord and drove to her apartment, about four miles away. She ate a brief dinner, then began packing her suitcase. She chose her regular khaki uniform, jeans, boots, a wool sweater, flannel jacket, as well as her personal things. There wasn't much to take. Everything fit in a standard carry-on. She liked to travel light. With everything ready, she crawled into her bed, feeling excited for the first time in many months.
Ottawa, RCMP headquarters, June 18, 2000
The next morning she woke early, ready for the trip by taxi to the airport. Her flight would take about nine hours, through Edmonton. Although she was anxious to leave, now that she had decided to go, she dreaded the long flight. At least, there were a couple stops where she could get out of the plane and stand and stretch. Maybe even a nap was possible on board. She quickly dressed, taking extra care with her makeup, then rolled her bag out of her apartment down to the waiting taxi. At the gate, she checked in, then boarded her plane. As the Boeing 737 lifted from the Ottawa airport, she again felt the flow of excitement through her veins, a delightful feeling of utter escape.
Great Slave Lake, June 18, 2000
The next morning, Fraser woke early. He momentarily missed Stan's incessant whining, but the day was so sunny and warm that his spirits lifted. He washed up, then dressed in his khaki uniform. He fed the dogs and his horse, which he then bridled and saddled. He released the huskies, who bounded about joyfully. Dief emerged from the cabin and greeted the others. Fraser tied Sam to a rail and went back to the cabin to lock it up.
Fraser led Sam out of the barn, set the saddlebags securely in place, then gracefully vaulted into the saddle. He called the dogs together, and the entire group set out for the RCMP outpost at south Great Slave Lake. It was a delightful ride. Dief and the other dogs trotted easily beside the horse. They were old friends. An occasional distant moose raised his magnificent antlers in curiosity. Halfway to the outpost, near a rippling stream, Fraser dismounted to rest and let Sam drink and graze a little. The sun felt overwhelmingly pleasant on his face. How could he have ever lived in any city, much less Chicago? He belonged here! This was home! He dozed. After what seemed to be only a few minutes, Sam nudged him as if to remind him there was work to be done. Fraser sighed and remounted. Around noon, he rode up to the outpost, where Constable Justin met him as he rode up. "Have a nice trip Sir?" he asked. "You sure had some fine weather for it." He took charge of the sled dogs. "Come here Jessie, come on huskies!" "It sure is great to be back in the saddle again, Justin. The weather seems to be unusually warm. Anything
in the forecast?" "Nothing yet." Fraser briskly dismounted and handed the reins to the recruit, who patted
Sam and led him to the stables for some grain and pasture. Fraser entered
the red-brick, two-story building and climbed the stairs to the second
floor. He reported to the commander's secretary. "Hello Sarah, I'm here
for my assignment," he told her.
"Fraser! Good to see you again!" the secretary blushed to see the handsome mountie, and smiled. "The Commander's in and expecting you. Go right on in." Fraser smiled at her. "Thank you kindly, Sarah." He entered the Commander's office. "Reporting for duty, sir." He saluted his commander, then shook his hand. "What's my assignment to be, Commander?" he asked. "I'm glad to see you made it safely out of the cold north, Constable. As far as assignments, I think we are going to need your special expertise. We've had the usual run of poachers and fishermen without licenses. Small stuff. But... we just received notice this morning of a bank robbery this side of Yellowknife. The report implies there was only one perpetrator. Besides killing one bank guard, the deviant got away with ~$500,000 in small bills. The detectives there say he was heading this way. You're famous for your tracking ability Fraser, even better than your father was, so I'm assigning you to the case. I've also assigned Constable Justin
to accompany you." "I'll do my best, sir," Fraser replied. "Oh... and one other thing. Apparently you're getting a visitor from Ottawa, an Inspector Thatcher?" "Inspector Thatcher! Here?!" Fraser
felt a rush of blood to his face, despite his best efforts at restraining it. His brain all of a sudden ceased it's endless logical ruminations and went blank. "The Inspector is on vacation. She's expressed a desire to visit you. Maybe she'd like to help you investigate this robbery," said the Commander. "Well... well... ." Fraser found himself stammering and blushing like a schoolboy, then he straightened suddenly, mentally pulling himself together. "Yes sir. I'd be glad of company on this investigation, if she wishes it. She is amply qualified. I'm sure you've heard of the incident on the train with the Musical Ride and the hijackers. She showed she's much more than a desk-bound bureaucrat." "She's flying into Yellowknife as we speak. One of our trainees is picking her up at the airport and bringing her here. She should be arriving any time now. Tell me more about this train incident, Constable. Chicago is a long way from here. We're out in the boondocks, so we only hear snippets of what's going on in the rest of the command." "Suffice it to say, sir, that it was a particularly intense experience for both the Inspector and myself. You'll recall that the Musical Ride was scheduled to perform in Chicago? Inspector Thatcher, Sergeant Buck Frobisher, and I were accompanying the riders to Chicago. Unknown to us, the so-called TV crew taping the ride were, in fact, hijackers, bent on a nuclear meltdown of a good bit of Chicago, including ourselves. Inspector Thatcher conducted herself in the highest traditions of the RCMP. With her help, we saved the Ride, and Chicago." Fraser's voice betrayed his enthusiasm at the memory. "Glad to hear of it, Constable. You field types get all the excitement. Just as well you do. At my age, a little less excitement and a little more paperwork are quite acceptable, eh?" he walked to the window. "Ah! I see the staff car approaching. Your Inspector Thatcher is here!" Fraser felt his pulse rate increase and a flutter of anxious excitement in his gut. He felt breathless, almost ill. It had been quite a while since he had seen his former commanding officer. In fact, the last time he saw her was outside a tent on a snowfield before Muldoon and party showed up, guns blazing. He thought then he would never get to see her again. Despite their undeniably potent chemistry, Meg Thatcher had never expressed a desire to experience the wilderness. She seemed to be a city girl, through and through, completely different from the wilderness-bred Fraser. There was a knock on the door.
"Inspector Margaret Thatcher here to see you Sir." Sarah held the door open for Meg to come in. "Come in, Inspector." the Commander welcomed the beautiful, dark-haired woman officer. "How do you do, Commander.
Why...it's Constable Fraser!" She turned to Fraser with blush covering her cheeks. Controlling her urge to stammer, she turned reluctantly back to the Commander. "I'm here on leave, sir. I have been ordered to relax." Fraser turned to her and asked, "How does a ride into the wilderness in pursuit of a killer sound to you? We have fresh horses and a trail to follow. Dief is ready to point the way." Meg pretended shock for a moment. "You want me to track a killer on my vacation? She considered the thought for a minute or two. "On the other hand, maybe that's the sort of thing I need." Her eyes sparkled. Fraser nodded his handsome head. "I'd be glad to have your company on this one, Inspector. How about breakfast at 7? We'll hit the trail at 8." "That's fine Fraser. See you then. " She could kick herself for treating him as if he were still her underling, but she didn't want him to see how excited she was about the assignment. She had never wanted him to know just how much he meant to her; after all, she out-ranked him. Fraser nodded, then turned to leave. Just then, Sarah knocked and entered. "There's a call for you Constable Fraser. It's a Detective Kowalski from Chicago. You can take
it in my office." "Thank you kindly, Sarah." Fraser walked out to the phone. As he opened the door, he heard: "Inspector, how about dinner? I know a perfect place where you can unwind before turning in." "I would
love to," Meg responded. "That airline food just didn't appeal to me. I'm starving!" Fraser felt an unusual twinge of jealousy. That old man doesn't deserve her! Of course, she had to have dinner with the Commander. It was proper that she go with him and that he be excluded. He picked up the waiting phone. "Hello Stan. Yes, it is good to hear from you. How was your flight? That's good. What am I doing? Well, I've been assigned to bring a bank robber to justice. Yes, I bet you'd love to help. Remember to tell everyone at the precinct hi for me. Goodbye Stan." Fraser hung up the phone. He sighed, then made his way to the cafeteria and ate a light supper by himself. After dinner, he left the building and looked for Dief. The half-wolf seemed to have read his mind, and joined him. Together they walked to the barracks. Inside, Fraser picked out a bunk and stretched out on it, with Dief at the foot. With a mostly unsuccessful effort to keep thoughts of Meg out of his mind, he studied a historical text he recently acquired. Ordinarily, he had a voracious thirst for knowledge. Finally, however, he gave up and allowed his mind free rein. He soon fell asleep. --------------
Meg went to dinner with the Commander, but her mind was not on the excellent salmon. It showed in the glaring silence and her far-away looks. The Commander was a sensitive man, but misunderstood the reason for her distraction. "You've had a long day, Meg. Why don't we keep this short so you can get your full eight hours?" The commander spoke gently. Sighing in gratitude, Meg said, "Thank you sir. I AM completely wiped out." The Commander asked for the check, then paid the bill. He and Meg left the restaurant for the outpost. "Let me show you to your room, Meg, then I'll be out of
your hair." Meg sleepily nodded. They came to the door of her guest quarters. "Thank you kindly, Sir, for that lovely dinner. Good night
sir!" She entered her room and shut the door. As she removed her uniform, her thoughts insistently strayed back to Fraser. God, that man was as handsome as ever. She idly stroked her breasts, pretending it was him. Feeling aroused, she crawled into bed. However, exhaustion won out over fantasy. In a few minutes, she was fast asleep. The sun pierced the curtains and Meg creaked up her eyelids. She yawned and stretched luxuriously, like a cat, and glanced around the momentarily strange room. Finally reality filtered in and she woke fully. She rose and padded off to the shower. -------------
Meanwhile, Fraser, who had awakened about an hour earlier, was already out in the stables, seeing to the horses. Sam was glad to see him, nuzzling him for a treat. "You're looking good this morning, Sam." He gave the horse a piece of molasses. Sam smacked his lips in pleasure. Fraser glanced around the rest of the stable and saw a beautiful black mare, obviously chosen for the Inspector. Her stall bore the name of 'Black Jade.' Fraser patted her gently and gave her a piece of molasses too. Fraser had a natural way with horses. His stomach reminded him just how hungry HE was. "Come on, Dief, let's have some breakfast. But no donuts or Milk Duds for you, my friend." Diefenbacher looked up at Fraser and whined in disappointment. The wolf really COULD read lips. Wolf and mountie walked back to the main building and entered. Sarah fluttered her eyelashes and greeted him coyly. "Good morning Fraser! Did you sleep well?" Dief nuzzled her hand. He liked the ladies. "Good morning to you Sarah, and yes, I slept very well. Thank you kindly," he replied briskly with a smile. "Have you seen Inspector Thatcher yet?" A tiny flash of disappointment flashed in the girl's eyes. "I believe she'll be down soon, Fraser."
He sat down to wait, which wasn't more than five minutes. He was uncomfortably conscious of Sarah's rather predatory stare as he waited. He never could fully understand why women behaved this way around him. He stood abruptly as Meg entered the room. "Good morning, Inspector! May I say that you look particularly fetching this morning? You must have slept well." Meg blushed a bright red and stammered, and finally blurted after several tries, "Thank you Fraser, and yes, I slept like a log." "Inspector, we'd better eat well this morning. We may have a long ride ahead of us," he said. "Ready for breakfast?" "I'm hungry too, Constable," she said. She realized that she was actually starved. "Let's go to the cafeteria." At the cafeteria, Fraser pulled out a chair for her, politely, of course. As she sank into the chair, the scent of her freshly washed hair invaded his nose, and a thrill of pure pleasure raced through him. His nose wanted to stay there. This is going to be a tough trip, he thought. Constable Justin came in and sat next to Meg, who smiled at him. "Good morning Constable Justin."
"Good morning Inspector, Constable" Fraser found he didn't have his usual appetite, and his sense of smell
was heightened. I wonder if you know what you do to me, Meg. Breakfast included fried eggs and ham, with toast on the side, and orange juice. A sugar doughnut and coffee were irresistible. Feeling satiated, the Mounties rose from the table. "The horses are saddled and bridled," said Fraser. He noticed that Meg's eyes seemed to be extra bright. She
looked excited. But she only said, "Let me go thank the Commander and tell him goodbye. I'll be down to the stables shortly." "Don't worry
about staples for the trip. I've made arrangements with the cook, who will make us lunch for our little trip." "Efficient as always! Make sure you get the details of the murder and bank robbery." Why do I always
sound like a unbending, mean bitch. Fraser stiffened at her patronizing tone. Of course, he already had this information. "Of course, Inspector.
All the details were presented to me when I received my assignment," he said formally. The three of them walked together toward the Commander's office. "I'll see you at the stables." Fraser and Justin Meg accompanied Meg to the Commander's office, then walked to the stables. They spoke briefly to each of the mounts, led them outside, then looped their reins to a nearby rail. They went back to the stable for the saddlebags. Fraser checked his 38-caliber Smith & Wessen, and made sure he was well-equipped
with ammunition. "Everything ready, Justin?" "Yes sir," Justin replied. "Do you think we'll really need our guns today?" "It doesn't hurt to be thoroughly prepared, son," Fraser said.
Fraser, of course, was an crack shot. Despite this, it seemed strange to him to contemplate actually shooting the gun. After all, in Chicago, he had never even loaded it. Getting a permit there didn't seem to be worth the trouble. However, now he was in Canada, where it was required for him to carry a loaded handgun because, after all, he was a policeman. He looked up and saw Meg approaching, carrying her own saddlebags, in uniform, and obviously well armed. Her dark, shoulder-length hair swung in the breeze. She was so beautiful that his heart ached. Fraser and Justin wore Stetsons and standard RCMP uniforms, not the scarlet dress uniforms, which, although world-famous, were mainly for public display (like at the consulate) and formal occasions. The inspector wore her
inspector's hat. "Ready to go, Inspector?" Fraser asked, with a happy smile on his face. "I'm ready, Fraser. Hello Justin. I trust that you've
been fully briefed for this mission. Shall we go? Every second we waste, the perpetrator gets farther away from us." Meg sounded brisk and business-like. "Let me introduce you to Black Jade," said Fraser. He introduced Meg to her horse. She patted her gently, making instant friends with her. "She's lovely, Constable. Let's mount up." The three RCMP officers turned and rode side by side toward the forest trail, which began about five kilometers from the outpost. When they reached the trail, they were forced to ride single-file, with Fraser in the lead. They stopped briefly to let Dief sniff out the area. He caught the scent, his head came up, and he trotted down the trail. "The Yellowknife detectives trailed the perpetrator as far as this forest, where they lost the trail. Dief has already picked up the scent and will lead us." Fraser watched the ground carefully as they slowly rode. Apparently the bank robber used a dirt bike to make his escape. There were faint tire tracks in the dry soil of the trail and a faint scent of gasoline in the air. Unlike many men, Fraser had an acute, highly discriminating sense of smell. His powers of observation were legendary. "See this broken branch?" He pointed to a snapped twig on a spruce tree. "He was going pretty fast to run off the trail like this." He pointed to a fresh rut alongside the trail. The riders continued along the trail, the only sound the soft plop of their horses' feet in the dry dirt. "Does your horse please you, Inspector? Fraser looked back.
"She's a fine mover, Fraser, a joy to ride." He had caught her by surprise. She had had her eyes glued to Fraser's back, thinking, there's nothing sexier than a handsome man on horseback. It was an extraordinarily fine day. The sun shone warmly down on them from a cloudless sky. There was a strong, wonderful scent of pine in the air, wafted about by a light breeze. Meg didn't know when she was happier. Abruptly her horse shied, but it was only at a squirrel, chattering at them from the branch. She laughed out loud, startling her two companions. They had ridden about seven kilometers when Meg said, "How about a break, Fraser? I'm not used to all this riding and I feel stiff. Justin, how about you?" "I could use a break too, Inspector. Anyway, I need to check my horse's right front shoe. She's developed a bit of a limp." "Ok. There's a clearing ahead that should be just perfect," said Fraser, who knew these woods better than anyone. They rode up to an almost circular clearing just off the trail. There was a tiny stream gurgling at one end. They dismounted and tied the horses to a small tree near the stream, so they could munch some of the grass and drink. Fraser went to his saddlebags and removed a canteen and a paper bag. "I believe we each have one of these in our saddlebags. Meg and Justin found their own bags. They all sat down on soft pine needles near a large Douglas fir and opened the bags. Each bag contained sandwiches, fruit, and a thermos of hot coffee. "The outdoors has really made me hungry, Fraser," Meg said. Her cheeks were blush-red from the sunshine. Fraser thought she looked fabulous. "May I say, again, Inspector, that you look particularly beautiful today," he said. Her blush deepened. He watched her intently. "Why thank you Fraser." Her words were muffled, as she blushed in pleasure. Fraser was highly aware of the woman sitting next to him on the ground. He noticed her incredible ivory skin and perfect nose. Her scent filled his nostrils, a scent of shampoo and fragrant soaps. Her hair was so silky; he yearned to run his fingers through it. Her uniform couldn't disguise her full breasts. His heart was racing. He strongly suspected that she felt as he did. This was so hard. He felt he was losing control. Although he wanted her so badly, he kept reminding himself that she was his superior officer, and that they had an important job to do. They quickly finished their lunches. Oblivious to the tension between his fellow mounties, Justin stood and said, "I'll go and check that shoe now." He walked over to his horse, raised her right front hoof, and began probing it. Seeing that Justin was fully engrossed in his horse's feet, Fraser made a sudden decision and reached for Meg. He pulled her to him. Instead of resisting, she gasped with pleasure and melted into his arms. For several moments, they were lost in each other's eyes. "I'm glad you're here Meg. I've missed you."
"I missed you too, Fraser, but I think we'd better stop," Meg panted lightly. "Justin will catch us, and we still have a job to do." She stroked his cheek. "Of course, Inspector. Meg, I mean." Visibly fighting an overwhelming urge to reach for her again, Fraser stood, biting his lips. He and Meg picked up the lunch debris and put it in the saddlebags on Sam. Being conscious of potential pollution, they made sure there wasn't any sign they had stopped there. Justin led his horse up. "The shoe wasn't the problem, just a stone in her hoof. I pulled it out easily,"
he said. "Well done, Justin," Fraser said. They pulled up the reins, and remounted. Fraser's sharp eye suddenly
picked up a almost-hidden strip of cloth snagged on a thorn. "Look here. Our robber certainly came this way, Inspector," he said. "You have a good eye, Fraser," Meg replied a little breathlessly. He glanced at her, understanding that something had changed between them. They rode quietly for another hour. Suddenly, Dief stopped and whined softly. Ahead was a narrow finger of the lake. At the far end stood a structure of some kind, a little hard to distinguish at this distance. Fraser reached into his jacket and pulled out his spyglass. "I believe there's smoke coming from that building," he said. "I think it's a hunter's cabin. Maybe our thief is holed up there. Let's ride up a little closer, then go on foot." They rode quietly for twenty minutes, then dismounted and tied up the horses. Their tan uniforms blended invisibly with the forest. Ahead of them stood a classic hunter's log cabin nearly hidden in the pine trees. Smoke climbed lazily out of the stone chimney. There was one window on the side they were approaching. Walking as silently as possible, with guns in hand, the Mounties approached the cabin and flattened themselves against the wall under the window. Voices inside were just barely audible. "I think we've gotten away with it," said one of the voices, a woman's voice. At the sound of her voice, Fraser stiffened and paled. "Why did you have to kill that guard? I don't think the RCMP is going to let us just walk away from this one." The other voice was male, and sounded angry. "The guard would have sounded the alarm that much sooner," said the woman sharply. "It was the only way we could get away cleanly. Besides, what's another dead body mean to me?" As she spoke, Fraser's eyes widened in shock. Meg glanced at him, then frowned. "What is it, Fraser?" she whispered.
Fraser put his finger to his lips and mouthed, "I think it's Victoria Metcalfe." Now it was Meg's turn to look shocked. This trip was turning
out to be very interesting indeed. She winced as a twig cracked rather noisily under her boot. Fraser and Justin tensed and glanced towards Meg. "What was that?!" the man inside asked urgently. "I heard something outside." The Mounties heard a pistol cocked. They crouched down and held their collective breath. Fraser looked at Meg and pointed toward the back of the cabin. He pantomimed Justin to move toward the front door. The mounties then crouched and slowly and silently edged away from the window. Fraser and Meg reached the back of the cabin and saw a door partly ajar. With their backs to the wall, they inched forward and peeked inside. At the front door, they saw Justin peek in, then pull back. "I didn't hear anything, Frank." They heard Victoria say derisively. You're awfully nervous." Then she seemed to have second thoughts. "But I think we'd better finish up here and leave. Go over there and pick up the money." "Ok sweetheart," he grinned at her. "I'm at your command, your royal highness," and did as he was asked. He moved out of sight. The mounties heard the rustle of paper. With guns ready, they carefully looked through the half-open door. They saw Victoria, dressed in jeans and a black sweater, and the man, Frank, similarly attired. Suddenly, they saw Victoria raise her gun and shoot her partner twice. "I command you to be dead. I don't like to share," she muttered. At that moment, Fraser and Meg rushed in. Justin simultaneously rushed in at the front. "Put your hands up!" Fraser said, pointing his gun at the woman. She spun around in shock. "Ben!" Victoria's voice slid from shock to a warmth. "Ben, is that you?" Meg, also holding her gun on the woman, sighed. Crap! Double crap on that slut! she thought. God, I hope he doesn't still love her. This could be dangerous. She glanced at Ben to gauge his reaction to this obvious come-on. As she did, she momentarily took her eyes off the woman, who suddenly leaped in her direction, reaching for her gun. Like a flash, Fraser fired a bullet into her leading hand. Victoria gave a little cry, dropping back, and holding her hand. Meg reasserted her control. Victoria glanced her way. "Who is this woman, Fraser?" she managed to croon and sneer at the same time. Again Meg glanced at Fraser and was more than pleased to see a stern, cold, implacable look on his face. "Victoria Metcalfe, you are under arrest for robbery and the murder of the bank guard and this man," Fraser said. "Please Ben, let me go. You know what we mean to each other." Victoria whimpered. "Sorry Victoria. You've gone way too far this time. Get your hands in the air. " He pulled handcuffs from his uniform and linked them around Victoria's wrists. "Meg, do you have your cell phone with you? Good. Please inform the RCMP detachment that we've captured their bank robber." Victoria widened her eyes as she heard Fraser say, "Meg." "Why Fraser, is this the woman you're dumping me for?" Then she got nasty. "That old woman?" "She's a finer woman than you are or ever were, Victoria," Fraser said. Meg felt a wash of relief. She now knew that the pathological love affair between Fraser and Victoria was completely over. Justin stood there looking confused. He hadn't heard the story of Fraser and Victoria. Several years back, Fraser saved Victoria's life during a winter storm. She was on the run from a bank robbery and got caught in a snowstorm. Fraser found her, and, in the process of saving her life, fell in love with her. However, when they got back to civilization, Fraser turned her in. She spent several years in the penitentiary. She never forgave Fraser for betraying her. While he was in Chicago, he saw her again and his love for her was rekindled, but she had revenge on her mind and an evil plan. She murdered her former partner from the robbery in cold blood and tried to implicate Fraser. She shot Dief, and almost got Fraser's friend, Detective Vecchio, accused of the murder she had committed. Worst of all, she nearly lured Fraser away from his honor and career. She was a very dangerous woman. "Justin, please check out the man's body for identification." Justin did as he was asked. Meg called the outpost. "May I speak to the Commander? He's out? Please tell him that we've apprehended the killer. We're at a hunter's cabin just south of the lake. I see that there is a one-lane road to this cabin. Would you please send a jeep? Thank you very much." Fraser and Meg sat down to wait. Victoria kept her face to the wall. Soon, sobs shook her. "You know, Victoria, this is all your own fault," Fraser said. "You've always had a dark place in your heart and I guess that dark place has taken you over." Meg looked at Fraser with respect. Sometimes he seemed so wise. She pulled off her jacket. It was quite warm in the room. In about forty-five minutes, a jeep pulled up with one officer aboard. Justin led Victoria out to the jeep. Fraser carried Frank's body out. "Justin, I'd like you to accompany the driver and keep an close eye on Ms. Metcalfe. We'll take care of things here, and bring your horse by later." he said. Justin nodded and climbed in the jeep. He waved at the two mounties. The Jeep then pulled away. Meg looked at Fraser.
"Well, Fraser, that's finally over with." she said, her eyes sparkling. "I'm so proud of the way you handled that dreadful woman." She looked directly into his crystal blue eyes. Feeling a jet of pure pleasure at the sight, Fraser reached for her and pulled her roughly to him. Without further ado, he kissed her deeply. Meg moaned in pleasure and returned the kiss, wrapping her hands around his neck. She briefly pulled away and looked at him. "Oh you gorgeous man! You don't know how long I've waited for this." "No longer than I have, Meg." Fraser said huskily. He ran his large hands through her silky hair, then again pulled her to him tightly. She opened her mouth for the kiss, then breathed in his male scent. "I have to have you Meg. We've been denying ourselves far too long. But I don't think this is a good place, do you? Who knows who might show up. How would you like to ride back to that clearing where we ate lunch?" With difficulty, Meg disengaged herself. "That's a good idea, Fraser!" They went to their horses where again he grasped her for another kiss. "I just get enough of you, Meg. Let's hurry!" They remounted. Just having the horse between her legs was enough to inflame her further. She felt dizzy with desire. As they rode, Meg marveled at the sight of the incredible man on horseback. Halfway to the clearing, the skies to the southwest suddenly darkened. A brisk breeze ruffled their hair. There was a brief spate of lightning and thunder, then rain came down, hard. Although the squall didn't last long, it was heavy. There had been no time for them to go back to the cabin, so they just laughed and kept riding. Fraser watched in admiration as the rain fell upon Meg. Her full breasts with large, erect nipples showed through the wet fabric, which molded itself around them. Fraser flushed with desire, nearly fell off his horse. He was mesmerized by her breasts bobbing as she rode. He ached to wrap his large hands around them. Meg was fully aware of her effect on Fraser. The sight of him staring at her inflamed her further. The rain was over almost as soon as it had begun.
Soon they arrived at the clearing and dismounted. They removed the bits from the mouths of their horses, tied them to a tree, and allowed them to graze the sweet grass. Fraser pulled the saddle from his horse, removed the saddle blanket, and spread it on the ground. He wasted no time. He pulled her to him and kissed her deeply, tongue exploring hers. He reached through her shirt in and caressed her breasts. She gasped in delight and leaned her head back. He pulled off her shirt with one hand and held her with the other. He kneaded her breasts, flicking the nipples with his tongue. "Oh my god, Fraser!" She unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it off, then nuzzled his throat. She licked his tiny nipples and bit them lightly, then reached down and stroked the front of his pants. He had an enormous erection. Her knees felt weak and she swayed. "God, Fraser, what are you doing to me?" Meg said breathlessly. "What a big man you are!" She pulled at his belt and removed it, then deftly unzipped his pants. "Help me Fraser," she said urgently. Fraser lost no time in doing what she asked. She reached in his drawers and stroked him. Fraser groaned, getting even harder. He sagged against her. "God, Meg! I've never felt like this before." She glanced up at her lover, seeing his face flushed with passion. Fraser caressed her cheek. "I love you, Meg. Ever since the train, even before. You've been in my mind ever since
I saw you." They exchanged another soulful kiss. "Please make love to me now, Fraser. I need you desperately!" Meg gasped.
In response, Fraser picked her up and placed her on her back on the blanket. He pulled the rest of her clothes away and kneeled above her in an attitude of worship. "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen," he said, eliciting a moan of pleasure from Meg. He pinched her hard nipples. Meg arched her back, growling. He reached down, found her most sensitive area, and ground his thumb down hard. Meg almost sobbed. "Jesus, Fraser," she muttered. "What an amazing man you are." She reached down, feeling the pulsing blood beneath her fingers. Fraser began to pant. He had never felt this much passion before. Rivers of sensation flowed through his body. He leaned down to taste her. His tongue was firm, moving in circles around her sensitive spot. Meg gave a keening scream, arching
her back. "Please Fraser! I can't wait any longer! I want you NOW!" she growled low in her throat. Without further ado, he urgently rolled
her over and brought her hips up. He stroked her rounded ass as he entered her, deeply. She spread her legs wide, rested her head on her arms and raised her ass up higher. She moaned and began pumping her hips in a semi-circular rhythm, matching his thrusts. Her voice and response made inflamed him further. "Fraser! I'm almost there!" Meg gasped in the final throes of passion, sweat shiny on her face. "Oh my god, Meg!" growled Fraser. Frenzy overcame him and he plunged wildly. Both shouted as they came together. Meg wiped tears of passion from her eyes. They lay together, breathing hard. Ben leaned over and kissed her, then put his arm around her. He had a look in his eyes that Meg had never seen before: the look of complete adoration and satiation. She realized she
must look the same. "I adore you Ben. How could I have been so foolish to miss out on you all this time?" "No more foolish than I," he replied.
"I love you Meg. In fact, I've loved you from the beginning. But you were my commanding officer, and seemed so cold most of the time. I wasn't sure. I felt us approaching an emotional nexus on the train, but then Frobisher interrupted us and forced us back into our roles. I would have given my life for you then, but I was prevented by circumstances beyond my control." "I'm glad those circumstances kept you alive for me, Ben," Meg whispered. "I love you." Fraser looked down at her, lying gloriously naked beside him. Her dark hair shone silky in the sun. Why had he held back so long and deprived himself of this? Fraser couldn't think of another time when he felt so gloriously happy. As he watched Meg, he saw the same reaction in her. They exchanged another deep kiss. "What are we going to do now, Meg?" Fraser asked as leaned on one elbow. "Maybe you'd like a tour of my cabin? It's not far from here." "Of course, I'd love that tour. After all, I'm on vacation." Meg sounded eager. "I told Constable Justin when he left to tell the outpost that I'd see them tomorrow," Fraser said, "so we have the rest of the day and night
alone together." "Then let's not waste a single minute!" Meg said this fervently, devoutly wishing for even more time. She reluctantly extracted
herself from his side and pulled her clothes on. Ben watched her with narrowed eyes. "Did I tell you how great you look naked?" He reached over and stroked her breast. "You also look great in that uniform. The only thing you look better in is your red serge." He stood and pulled on his clothes. They embraced once more, then mounted their horses and set off for his cabin. But that's another story.... Return to http://www.hexwood.com/dsa/