A/N: For Lou, who asked.


Fifteen minutes; I'd decided that's how long I'd give her in there.

Checking my car clock I realised she was only five minutes into the fifteen and I shrank, a little frustrated, back into the driver's seat. This wasn't the type of situation I enjoyed being in, one where I was helpless and had to sit back and let nature take it's course. Though nature in this case was floating around masquerading as Phil Hunter.

The street his flat resided on was a surprisingly plush one. I wasn't sure what I'd expected but this wasn't it. But Phil always did like to think he did things with style, especially in the realm of the female; somehow I'd pictured him more often than not as floundering, it helped my morale when I couldn't get a woman to imagine him screwing up in equally hideous ways. I'd been wrong though, and perhaps this successful façade he managed to put up was what had attracted Sam to him in the first place.

Still, that was in the past now. She wasn't interested in Phil anymore, she'd managed to let her gaze slip below the rank of DS and noticed me staring in through her office window. For a few weeks she'd kept the blinds closed with only a brief peek occasionally but that was also in the past. These days I had a key to her house.

I wonder if he'd ever had one of those?

The paranoia wasn't helping matters. For starters, if she'd wanted to get off with Phil she'd hardly have asked me to drive her and wait in the car would she? Sam could be a little slow on the uptake sometimes (our second date sprang to mind) but she wasn't that bad. No, I could rest safe in the knowledge that, had she wanted to get off with Phil, I'd be sat in her front room with my hands clamped around a whisky bottle waiting for her to return.

I looked once again towards the apartment block she'd disappeared into eight minutes previously. How would he react to this little bit of news? It was Sam who'd wanted to tell him face to face and not let him find out from station gossips. Usually it was me who took the bull by the proverbials but I'd have been quite happy to let the Sun Hill gossip machine work its magic on this one. I'd only had to do this with one girlfriend in the past- wait on tenterhooks while she told a former boyfriend that she had switched sides, that is. Anna had left me three weeks later to go back to, yep, said boyfriend. Now if Sam were to do that I wouldn't just lose the woman I loved, I'd have to leave Sun Hill as well. There was no way I could cope with seeing her and Phil swanning around the station every day, and I definitely couldn't stand not being allowed to wipe that smug smirk off Hunter's face…

No, I was being stupid. Things with Sam were serious, I knew she wouldn't have let it get as far as it had if she hadn't thought so. This telling Phil lark was just a natural progression of the relationship. I supposed I should take it as a good sign that she wanted to tell people; she wouldn't do that if she wasn't sure of her feelings. If I knew one thing about Sam it was that. She cared enough about her public image to make sure her decisions were correct and true. While that could be an annoying trait at times I appreciated the knowledge now.

Eleven minutes and counting. I was trying not to look up at the building now, when I did I just got an incredible urge to either tear my fingernails off with my teeth or charge in there. Since I happened to like my fingers it'd probably be the latter.

At twelve minutes on the dot I heard the unmistakeable tapping of Sam's boots coming across the road. As soon as she got in I started the engine, more than eager to get away. It was only after we'd driven for a few moments that I actually plucked up the nerve to look at her. 'Well?'

She shrugged, a small smile playing on her lips. 'I think he's alright.'

'Why, what did he say?'

'Not much actually. He was too busy drinking whisky.'

I laughed slightly as I indicated left and pulled up at the traffic lights. Shifting my body towards her, I asked, 'Is he going to be okay about it? I mean, do I expect death threats and case sabotage or what?'

Moving a stray blonde hair behind her ear, Sam shook her head. 'He'll be fine.' She broke into a large smile. 'Actually, he was mortified. I think he'll ignore it until the day he dies.'

I leaned over to kiss her, only being jolted back into reality by the blaring of a car horn. The lights had changed. 'Alright, alright, I'm going!'