DISCLAIMER: New Tricks and its characters are the property of the BBC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Sequel to 'Your Last Warning'.
Sandra scowled menacingly at the slimy git making a move on her 'lady-friend', as Jack had taken to calling Jane, and imagined the one-hundred and one ways she could wipe that smug look off his slack-skinned face. If it wasn't for the fact that he had three ex-wives to support, she'd have strangled Gerry the second he put an overly familiar hand on Jane's knee and called her 'luv'.
"So," asked Gerry, a loose smile evident in his voice. "How did you two meet?"
The urge to strangle him increased but Sandra's hand was stilled by Jane's apparent willingness to answer his impertinent snooping; she'd have a word with Jane later and warn her against consorting with the enemy, even when they came in the guise of friends.
"Strangely enough," said Jane, "it was in the supermarket." She smiled charmingly at the three men crowded around the small table, before turning to look at Sandra. "A particularly cantankerous old granny had, in Sandra's words, 'nicked her chicken', and she was two seconds away from arresting her and taking the bird in as evidence when I interceded."
"It was the last one on the shelf," Sandra interjected. "The silly old bat took it straight out of my trolley."
"Of course, Sandra being Sandra, she accused me of aiding and abetting a criminal, and threatened to have me carted off to the police station along with super-gran." Jane laughed lightly, the memory far more pleasant at a distance. "So, I had no choice but to invite her out to dinner."
Sandra smiled tightly, relieved that Jane had decided to tell the condensed, and far less embarrassing version of the story, but still immensely peeved at Gerry for asking in the first place.
"That could be construed," said Brian, "as bribing a police officer." His brows drew together as he trawled through the data cluttering his brain in search of the most relevant precedent. "The fact that Sandra was off-duty, and presumably misguided in her attempt to arrest you and the elderly lady, would mitigate the offence in most instances, but there is -"
"That's enough, Brian," echoed Jack and Gerry, who had both witnessed Sandra's glare turning deadly, and wanted to save themselves the inconvenience of burying Brian's body and explaining his disappearance to a long suffering Esther.
"Anyone for another?" Gerry asked, waving his half empty pint glass in the air.
For the barest of moments Sandra felt a twinge of gratitude for the ageing Lothario but she quickly pushed it from her mind. "Not for us." She might have given in to Jane and the boys' pestering for an introduction, but she had no intention of it turning into an all night drinking session. "We have dinner plans."
Jane looked disappointed, but she'd gleaned enough about Sandra not to question her desire for escape. "It was lovely meeting you all."
"You, too." Gerry leant in for a kiss but recoiled in pain as something sharp dug into his instep. He scowled in Sandra's direction but was too smart to mention her attack in front of Jane.
Jack offered his hand. "Nice to meet you."
Brian smiled his farewell, having witnessed the pointed end of Sandra's boots impacting Gerry's shin, and fearing any sound from him could provoke an equally painful retort.
Having said their goodbyes, Sandra escorted Jane from the table, only to return thirty seconds later to glower at her colleagues. She opened her mouth, as if to issue a stinging rebuke, but quickly shut it again before turning tail and returning to her date.
"Well, gentlemen, I think we've just witnessed a miracle," surmised Jack. "Sandra Pullman lost for words."
Gerry smiled. "If I'd known that was all it took, I'd have set her up with one of my ex-wives years ago."
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