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The two detectives walked out of the bar and headed for their car. The brunette took a slight detour to grab a blanket from the boot before opening the door for her disgruntled partner.
"Here, Scribbs. Sit on this blanket, maybe it'll protect the seats from the beer," Ash offered, spreading the blanket over the seat.
"Bloody hell. What was Sullivan thinking volunteering us to work undercover at a bar? I've had more ale on me than in me this past week. I thought there'd be a few perks from working this job, but apparently I was wrong," Scribbs complained as she carefully climbed into the vehicle and closed the door.
Fastening her seat belt, Ash looked in the side view mirror before pulling away from the kerb. "We've only got one more night of observation, and then another pair will take our place."
"Yeah, but tomorrow's New Year's Eve, and the bar will be packed. I just hope I can survive another night without killing someone," Scribbs grumbled, glancing out the window as the two continued on their way in silence.
The following night found the blonde detective tugging on her short skirt as she made her way to the bar to retrieve yet another round of drinks for the extremely rowdy table of businessmen who were obviously looking for a good time on New Year's Eve. It was just her luck that the only table large enough to seat the eight men happened to be in her section.
The dark haired bartender smiled when she saw her scowling partner approach and asked, "Hey, Bubbles. What'll it be this time?"
Muttering under her breath, Scribbs replied, "Eight bloody pairs of handcuffs so that I can make sure those horny blokes keep their hands to themselves. I swear if my bum gets pinched one more time, I'm going to hit the guilty bastard on the head with my tray."
"Now, now, Bubbles. One of those blokes could very well be the pervert we've been looking for," Ash countered, quickly mixing up the requested drinks from the list her partner had handed her.
Scribbs glanced over her shoulder at the raucous bunch and observed, "Yeah, well, none of them will be able to get up from their chair after this round, so I'm guessing there won't be any crime committed tonight. And, quit calling me Bubbles, Ass."
When her superior glared menacingly, Scribbs smiled sweetly and apologized, "Oops, I meant, Ash."
Shaking her head, the brunette began to place the drinks on the tray when she suddenly noted that there was only seven glasses. Whispering, she asked, "Hey, Scribbs. Did you forget to write down one of the drinks or is one of the blokes abstaining? I hadn't noticed before, but I think the last several rounds may have been short a drink, too."
"What? Give me that list," Scribbs replied, quickly scanning the drink list and frowning when she counted twice and still came up with only seven.
"I don't get it. I could've sworn everyone asked for another drink," the barmaid answered as she glanced back at the group and found each man with a glass in his hand.
Turning back towards Ash, she said, "Maybe I forgot to write one down. Let me go back with the drinks and see if anyone protests when I'm one short." She quickly gathered the tray and headed back to the drunken customers.
"Here ya' go, gents, another round. Will you be needing anything else?" Scribbs asked in an exaggerated accent as she watched the glasses being grabbed from the tray, and she immediately noticed the tall man in the corner reach out with a half-empty glass in his hand, and when he pulled back, he had the same glass. He'd also given Scribbs' incredibly short skirt more than a cursory glance when she bent over to retrieve the tray.
Putting an extra swing in her hips, the detective returned to the bar to report her findings to her partner.
Frowning, Ash asked, "Scribbs, did you injure yourself?"
"What? Oh...no, I was trying to catch the suspect's attention. Or at least, I think he's a viable suspect," Scribbs explained, looking back toward the table to find that she had indeed garnered the tall man's attention.
"Oh, I thought from the way you were walking that you'd pulled a muscle or something. So, tell me about this bloke," Ash replied, leaning over the bar to hear what her partner had to say.
Scribbs quickly outlined her suspicions, and Ash was in total agreement of her assessment. The only thing left to do was to try to catch the suspect in the act, only it seemed the detectives had two different ideas as to how to go about trapping the man.
"I'll just pretend to take a break and go out back to smoke a cigarette. If this is our guy, he should follow me outside. As soon as I'm sure it's him, I'll arrest him," Scribbs stated in a matter of fact tone.
"There's no way I'm letting you go out there alone. He could easily overpower you. I'll accompany you on your break," Ash countered.
"Ash, if you go with me, then the suspect won't follow. He's never approached two women at the same time. It's always been isolated incidents."
"I don't care. You're not going alone," the brunette hissed, clearly worried about her partner's safety.
Placing her hand on the other woman's arm, Scribbs quietly explained, "Ash, I can take care of myself. If you truly want to get this guy, you'll stay inside."
"But...," Ash began to protest, not at all happy with the proposed plan.
"I'll be fine. Hey, what if you watch from the door after the suspect has left the building? Then you could come to my rescue if things get out of hand, but promise me you'll stay inside unless there's a problem," Scribbs offered in compromise.
Staring into the blonde's eyes, Ash replied, "Okay, I promise, but if he so much as puts a finger on you, I'm coming out."
"Really, Ash? You'd come out for me?" Scribbs teased, grinning from ear to ear.
"Actually, I would, but right now, let's concentrate on nabbing this guy," Ash responded, returning the blonde's infectious grin.
The two detectives quickly finalized their plan, and Scribbs nodded to her partner before heading toward the back exit. Ash pretended to wipe down the bar as she watched the tall man watching her partner, or rather, her partner's bum. A few moments later, he excused himself from his table of friends and strode toward the back door with Ash silently following behind.
Scribbs sat on a crate next to the building, smoking a cigarette and waiting for the suspect to arrive. She'd barely taken her first drag when the back door opened revealing the tall man.
Pretending not to notice his approach, Scribbs took another drag, and he was upon her before she could exhale the smoke from her lungs.
"Give me your knickers," the man demanded as the detective turned to face her assailant.
"I beg your pardon?" Scribbs asked calmly, noticing her partner had ignored her promise to stay indoors and was slowly moving in their direction.
"Your knickers. Give them to me," the man ordered, stepping closer to the blonde.
"Okay, okay. Just a minute," Scribbs replied, standing and reaching for the knickers in question as the man closely watched her every move.
Quickly removing the undergarments, Scribbs threw them high over the man's head, and when he reached up to grab them, she ran forward, knocking him to the pavement. In a single motion, she'd pulled the handcuffs from the hidden pocket of her skirt and placed them on the man's wrists.
A stunned Ash stood next to her partner and looked down at the cuffed man as Scribbs grabbed the radio from her purse and quickly called for backup. Soon, the alleyway was swarming with police, and the suspect was being taken away.
When the two women were the only ones left in the alleyway, Ash turned to Scribbs and asked, "What did you think you were doing? You could have been hurt."
"C'mon, Ash. The bloke wasn't a rapist; he was a knickers thief. How tough could he be?" Scribbs argued and immediately pulled her short skirt down as the wind had picked up reminding her that her bum was not adequately covered.
Noticing her partner's discomfort, Ash removed an item from her pocket and handed it to the blonde. "Here, put these on."
Scribbs snatched the silky knickers from the brunette's hand and quickly stepped into them. "Where did you get a pair of my knickers, Ash?"
"Well, um... you left them in my bed the other night," Ash muttered under her breath.
Grinning, Scribbs questioned, "Okay, then what were they doing in your pocket?"
"What?" Ash stalled, and then continued, "I knew you'd pull a stunt like this, so I came prepared."
"Oh, really. So, you thought I'd end up without my knickers in the alleyway behind the bar? This was our last night of surveillance, and we'd no idea the pervert would show," Scribbs reasoned before continuing with her next question. "How'd you know the guy would take the bait, much less steal my knickers?"
"I didn't. I just knew you'd lose your knickers in the alleyway tonight," Ash answered in a teasing tone as she suddenly broke out in a smug grin.
Confused by her partner's change in demeanor, Scribbs replied, "But, neither one of us really expected to catch this bloke tonight. How'd you figure..."
Ash responded by grabbing her partner and pushing her into the shadows before Scribbs could finish voicing her question. Leaning down, she latched onto the blonde's lips, kissing her passionately, and Scribbs offered a moan of pleasure, seemingly no longer interested in why the brunette was carrying a pair of her knickers.
Slowly releasing the swollen lips, Ash whispered, "What are my rules about your knickers, Scribbs?"
"Um, that only you can remove them?" A dazed Scribbs replied in the form of a question.
"Precisely, but now, I can't rip your knickers off because I no longer have a spare pair."
Finally realizing her partner's intent, Scribbs smiled and remarked, "Why Ash, you dirty girl, so that's why you brought along the extra pair. Talk about a lovely way to ring in the New Year. Hmm, what do you say we go back to my place, and then you can rip to your heart's desire?"
Grinning, Ash replied, "Good idea, Bubbles, but since you no longer have your handcuffs, you get to wear mine tonight."
Taking her partner's hand, Scribbs pulled the brunette around the side of the building and said, "Oh Ash, I like your idea of an undercover operation much better than Sullivan's."
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