Disclaimer - I don't own the rights, I just like to play with the characters.

What made Sergeant Dennis Merton arrive late for duty and be in a rather cheerful mood, during the sheepdog trials at Ashfordly Hall, in the Season 12, episode 3 - "A Dog's Life" ?

This is just an extra scene between Dennis and Jenny at the beginning of their relationship and as they never showed their first kiss, I thought I would do it for them :)

I have several other little scenes for a number of season 12 episodes, which I'll be posting soon.

Dennis glanced over at Jenny and smiled; he wondered why she had become unusually quite and now he knew. She was asleep, her head resting, somewhat uncomfortably he imagined, against the window of his car. He turned his attention back to the dark road; he didn't really enjoy driving long distances late at night, especially along the moors with no light except from the car's headlights and the smattering of stars overhead but the long drive to and from Leeds had been worth it. He had spent a wonderful evening of dinner and a jazz concert with the young woman beside him and he couldn't be happier.

He had been surprised by the strong signals she was sending out, when she came over to his place only a week ago, with his first prescription of diabetic tablets, which he had not been able to pick up himself. It was obvious that she was interested in him and he found himself responding, rather willingly he might add, to her unmistakable invitation to take her to a jazz concert. It wasn't often a young woman openly showed such interest in him; after all, he was forty-two years old, not some young lad who could show her a good time.

However, she seemed unconcerned by their age gap, if anything it seemed to be an advantage rather than a hindrance. Perhaps there was something about what they say, he mused to himself, that women were indeed attracted to older men.

The lights of the village came into view and as he turned off into the street leading to her home, he called out, "Jenny."

"Hmmm." She murmured in her sleep.

He smiled and shook his head, "Jenny, wake up. We're almost there."

"What...what?" she muttered as she opened her eyes and sat up straight, ignoring the slight twinge in her neck that her awkward position had caused her, "I've been asleep."

"Aye, you have." He replied with amusement in his voice.

"I can't believe it. I fell asleep on our date." She said in disbelief and embarrassment, "I've never done that before." She added as he pulled up in the dimly lit laneway next to the apartment building where she lived.

"So, it must have been my boring company that made you fall asleep, eh." He teased her as he turned off the ignition and shifted in his seat to face her.

She reached out and touched his arm, "Oh no Dennis, I had a wonderful, a truly wonderful time and the concert was great." She sort to reassure him.

"Well that's good to know," he replied as he shifted closer to her, "Perhaps we could do this again, sometime." He added as he dropped his gaze to her lips, wanting to know what they tasted like. In fact, he wanted to taste them all night but the right moment hadn't presented itself, until now.

She felt a thrill surge through her as she saw where his gaze was lingering; well it's about time, she mused to herself, after all they had seen each other several times now and he still hadn't made a move to kiss her. She had decided that if he didn't make the first move that night, then she would, "I would like that." She replied as she unconsciously licked her lips.

"So would I." He said before he leant over and gently brushed his lips against hers in their first kiss, just a soft feather-light caress. He pulled back slightly to gauge her reaction and when he saw a small smile tugging on her lips, he leant in again. He wanted to savour the moment, to taste those sweet lips, which had been tempting him all evening and now he took his time in discovering just how sweet they were.

Jenny felt hot shivers surge through her slender body as she all but melted into his lingering but oh so passionate kiss. It was in no way her first kiss but it had never been like this, with just his warm lips teasing her in a way she never thought possible.

She almost moaned in disappointment when he pulled back; she didn't want him to stop, "Do you want to come upstairs?" She whispered, somewhat breathlessly, as she placed her hands on his chest, felt his pounding heart through his clothing.

He reached out and gently caressed her face with his fingers, "It's tempting Jen, very tempting." He replied huskily, wanting nothing more than to finish what he had started.

She gave him a crooked smile, even as she leant into his caress, "But." She prompted as she slid one hand from his chest up to his head and ran her fingers through his short greying hair.

He bit back a moan, she was making it difficult for him to concentrate, "But...It's very late and with the sheep dog trials going into the final day, I have a feeling it's not going to be straightforward."

"Nothing ever is," She replied as she slowly fingered the back of his neck, pleased by the slight shudder her actions caused him, "Are you sure I can't change your mind."

This time he couldn't stop the small moan, almost like a sigh of surrender, from escaping his throat. Did she have any idea what she was doing to him, he thought to himself before he pulled her against him and claimed her lips in a deep and fiery kiss. His lips demanded her own surrender and she gave it willingly as she became caught up in their embrace, allowing him to take what he wanted, what they both wanted.

The need for air eventually forced them apart and he leant his head against her forehead, in an effort to bring his emotions under some kind of control, "If it wasn't for the damn trials," he whispered breathlessly, "Will you be there?"

She nodded even as she fought to bring her own feelings under control, "Yes, at the first aid tent with Tricia," she replied equally breathless, "You?"

He sighed as shifted away from her, away from temptation, "I can't promise but I'll try," he replied, "Perhaps I can buy you lunch or even a drink."

She smiled warmly, "That would be nice."

"Aye, it would be."

They gazed at each other for a moment before she leant over and gently kissed the corner of his mouth, not trusting herself to do anything more, "Good night, Dennis."

"Night, Jenny." He said with a smile as she left his car. He watched as she made her way to her front door, where she turned and waved before she disappeared inside.

He felt a wave of emotion he hadn't felt in a long time; not just attraction but something more than that. Something he didn't want to admit for fear of jinxing himself. He didn't have much luck with women, especially after that fiasco where DI Shiner had suspended him from duty for allegedly stealing Mrs Keen's purse on their first date. That incident proved highly embarrassing, to have his personal life paraded before his men, not to mention his own home inspected for the stolen purse but it had also made him wary about asking any woman out on a date again.

But it was different with Jenny; she wasn't someone he had just met. She had helped him with his health scare, had supported him even when he didn't want to acknowledge there was a problem, so he already knew the kind of person she was; she wasn't someone who would falsely accuse him of some crime. But at the same time, he would take it slowly with her, he didn't want to risk any repeats of his previous failings with women.

He found himself smiling to himself, staring at the closed door she had just gone through. He shook his head in amusement; how long had he been grinning like a schoolboy at the closed door, he mused to himself. His shifted in his seat, turned on the ignition and as he drove away, he began whistling off-key to himself.

The End

I hope you like this little scene. :)