Thanks for the lovely comments and reviews for this Christmassy fluffy story. I hope you enjoy the final chapter. Note – there is some adult content in this chapter
Chapter 3 - Santa Baby
"I told you to be careful ma'am, especially with the Guv not being there." Ray grumbled unsympathetically as they headed toward Guys Hospital.
"Its nothing really."
"Well, I'm not taking any chances or the Guv'll 'ave my guts for garters. Right here we are."
Ray reached over and opened the car door, indicting that Alex should vacate the vehicle as soon as possible. With a deep sigh she complied and then watched as Ray and Chris sped off into the distance. She clutched her injured hand, wrapped in a makeshift bandage, and wandered towards the Casualty department. Ray was right of course. Gene took any injury to his team seriously and to a woman in his team especially. Yes, it was an outdated and unnecessarily chivalrous attitude, but secretly Alex quite liked his protectiveness – as far as it went.
It had been a foolish error on her part at any rate; she had been so keen to show that she was 'one of the boys' and that she could wrap up the drugs bust without Gene, that she had taken unnecessary risks. She consoled herself with the thought that it could have been much worse that a knife slash to the hand. Still, the main thing was they had made two arrests and retrieved a substantial quantity of cocaine which otherwise would have made it to the streets. Not a bad days work really.
Thankfully the casualty department seemed to be relatively calm; it was crowded but not overly so and once Alex had identified herself she was quickly seen and assessed and stitched up with the minimum of fuss. Luckily the wound was on the palm of her hand and she had persuaded the young doctor to use minimal of dressings. If she was careful and luck was on her side, Gene would never find out.
"So, Inspector Drake," the doctor said, "as I said before, if you try to keep the dressing dry, use a plastic bag or gloves when you have a shower and then come back in ten days and we'll take the stitches out."
"Ten days? Don't the stitches just dissolve?"
"Dissolve? I wish they did," he laughed, "make our job a lot easier."
"Its like living in the dark ages," Alex mumbled as she left and made her way to the exit.
She stood for a moment and considered her options. It was already late afternoon and she debated whether to go straight back to the flat and start getting ready for the party or to go back to the station just to make sure that Ray and Chris hadn't got into any difficulties with the drugs bust. Well, no reason she couldn't do both really – she could pop into the station first before heading back to the flat and the tempting proposition of a long soak in the bath.
Decision made, she decided to head for the nearest Tube but was stopped in her tracks by the sight of the Quattro, parked somewhat illegally outside the hospital. Surely that hadn't been there when she arrived – after all it was hardly inconspicuous. She wandered over and discreetly peered through the windows; it was unquestionably Gene's car – but why was it here? And more to the point where was Gene? A faint tremor of fear rippled through her – was something wrong? What if had had been injured?
She quickly rushed back into the hospital and flashing her warrant card, barged to the front of the queue at main reception, ignoring the chorus of mutterings from the people behind. It did not take long to find out that DCI Hunt had been directed to the Evelina Ward but beyond that lone fact, the receptionist could not be more forthcoming.
Alex quickly rushed to the lift lobby, banging the button impatiently when the lift didn't appear instantly at her command. Even on the short journey upwards, her mind was searching, her heart beating rapidly at the thought that something awful could be wrong with Gene. This was why he was going to be late; he had some terrible illness! She kicked herself when she remembered that she had accused him of seeing another woman; not that it was any of her business, she reminded herself sharply.
She exited the lift, looking left to right in confusion as she searched for the elusive ward.
"You lookin' for sumting?" The friendly lilting voice enquired.
"Yes, yes please," Alex smiled in response to the friendly enquiry. The voice belonged to a youngish hospital porter with a sing-song Jamaican accent. She flashed her warrant card. "I'm Detective Inspector Drake and I'm looking for Evelina Ward?"
"Then you come to the right place, mon brave! Me and my friend Janey here," he gestured to the young girl in the wheelchair, "we just going back there; we don't wanna miss the big event."
"Big event?" Alex enquired as they passed into the ward.
"Oh yes. A special visitor who only comes this time of year – isn't that so Janey?"
"Yeahhhhhhh," Janey positively squealed with excitement.
"I see. You don't happen to know if a DCI Hunt is on the ward?"
"Am thinking if you follow the direction of the noise, you'll be sure to find him," he smiled.
Just then the sound of a loud cheer resonated down the corridor.
"Thank you, thank you so much Mr…?"
He laughed, "No one calls me mister around here. You can call me Nelson," he grinned.
"Thanks Nelson," Alex said, as she hurried towards the source of the noise. Hold on minute – Nelson? She stopped in her tracks and turned quickly only to find an empty corridor where he had been. Curious and curiouser. She smiled knowingly, but she had no time to ponder on the possible appearance of another of Sam Tyler's constructs – she had to find Gene.
Alex quickly found the source of the noise that she now recognised as the cheers and laughter of a whole host of children. She still had no idea where Gene was or what on earth he would be doing here but there was only one way to find out. She entered into a large reception hall and stood discreetly at the back while the hordes of children gathered at the front, bobbing up and down in excitement as they waited their turn to speak to Santa Claus.
For a moment, Alex forgot her own problems as she watched children of all ages clamber around Santa's grotto in a state of high excitement. Most of the children here seemed to be fairly mobile but there were a scattering on crutches or in wheelchairs and accompanied by nurses – but they were all focused on the jolly figure swathed in red and wearing a huge white beard. Alex tentatively moved forward until she was leaning against the wall at the side of the makeshift stage.
"Right then," Santa said, "'oos next?"
Alex hastily covered her mouth to suppress the laughter that had bubbled to the surface. There was simply no mistaking the distinctive tones - Gene was Santa Claus! She watched in amazement as dozens of impatient children lined up to meet him, and she was further astonished as Gene carefully balanced small children on his lap and coaxed out the obligatory Christmas wish list before handing over a small present. With more patience that she had ever seen him display previously, he listened intently as they made their requests, smiled indulgently as they attempted to pull his beard and hugged one persistent little girl as she tugged on his robe and demanded another kiss from Santa.
"Right you lot," he said gruffly as handed the last child over to a nurse, "before we start singing 'Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, I 'ave to check that everyone has had a present from Santa – has everyone got a pressie?"
A huge cheer of assent from the assembled children was his answer.
"Nope, I still think I've missed someone. What about the nice lady in the white leather jacket – shall we give her a present too?"
"Oh no…I don't think I…"
"Alright you lot, lets make as much noise as we can and maybe then the lovely lady will come and see Santa. One. Two. Three!"
One the count of three Alex was overwhelmed by the deafening screams of joy and the stamping feet of dozens of excitable children. There was no way she was getting out of this room without an obligatory visit to Santa it seemed. She inched her way towards Gene, encouraged by the children and by the twinkle she could now see in his eyes.
Gene took her hand as he slapped his thigh and pulled her forward until she was sat on his lap, "Now little girl – what do you want for Christmas?"
Under cover of the children's laughter she turned to him, "I'm going to kill you, Hunt."
"Now, now then Bolly, play the game," he whispered.
While Alex flushed with embarrassment she looked out into the sea of children's faces, all intent upon Santa and his new friend. Gene's arm held her securely and once again she had that overwhelming feeling of safety that she only experienced in his arms. On the other hand, if there was a game to be played then it was her move.
"Well, 'ave you decided what you want?"
She nodded shyly, playing up to her lively audience. "But I'm not sure if Santa will agree and I'm too shy to say it out loud."
"Alright then, why don't you whisper it?"
She leaned forward and cupped her hand around his ear, "All I want for Christmas is you, Gene."
She heard a sharp intake of breath and a muttered curse before he recovered. "Well, if you are a really good girl I'm sure you'll get exactly what you want!"
Gene frowned as he stubbed out a final cigarette and swallowed the dregs of whiskey in his glass. He would be late for the party – deliberately so of course, but he hoped Alex would forgive him. He didn't want to try and talk to her amongst crowds of people and end up shouting above the noise of party goers and loud music. Tonight, just for one night, he wanted her all to himself – was that too much to ask?
He strode out of his office, stopping only at the duty sergeants desk to issue final instructions.
"Guv." Viv said.
"I still don't understand why you've filled the cells – tonight of all nights."
Gene pouted. "What's it like outside?"
"Cold…dark," Viv replied with a puzzled expression.
"And in the cells?"
"Exactly – now where would you rather be?" Gene winked. "Make sure they get something to eat than then turf 'em out tomorrow. Sally Army can take over then."
"Guv, you're a real saint you know that?"
Gene snorted, "Yeah – a right bloody angel. Now," he leaned in towards Viv, "you tell anyone what happened 'ere and you'll be back walking the beat so quick you won't have time to get your boots on. Comprende?"
Viv tapped the side of his nose, "Understood. Merry Christmas Guv."
"You too Skip – 'ave a good one."
Gene walked quickly around to Luigi's, pausing only to retrieve a now familiar, red fur trimmed cloak from the Quattro. He paused slightly at the threshold of the restaurant, bracing himself for the tirade of abuse that would surely come his way. Abruptly the door opened and he bumped into the little Italian restaurateur.
"Mister 'unt – you are very late," Luigi scolded.
"Yes Luigi. Is she here?"
Luigi did not need to ask who 'she' was. "You 'ave just missed her – she has gone upstairs."
"Bugger," Gene exclaimed.
"Indeed Mister 'unt. But there is still time. One moment - you will need something special."
Gene watched as the little man bustled off and then returned bearing gifts. Gene took the bottle gratefully and began to climb the stairs.
"Thanks Luigi – I owe yer one."
He tapped gently at the door, hoping against hope that she hadn't gone straight to bed. No answer. He rapped loudly. "Open up. Police."
"Alright, alright. I'm coming!"
The door swung open. "You bastard!"
"Now then Bolly, that's no way to talk to Santa. Can I come in?" he said hopefully.
Alex took a deep breath and considered her options. Quite frankly, if it had been anyone else and at any other time of the year she would have quite cheerfully kicked him back down the stairs. But…it was Gene and it was Christmas Eve and she was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounded them both.
"On the understanding that this is only because of your actions earlier today."
"Ho, ho, ho," Gene said, as he followed her into the flat.
Alex arched an eyebrow, "So are you sorry?"
"Sorry I missed a load of drunken pillocks, lurching around to loud music and eating overcooked turkey and mince pies? – Not particularly. But I'm sorry if I've upset you – and I did get dressed up," he said indicating his natty red cloak.
She laughed softly, "Santa Gene."
She flopped onto the sofa, giving Gene a good eyeful of silk covered leg as her dress rose up around her thighs. Gene swallowed as his eyes travelled the length of her body. The red jersey dress she wore clung in all the right places – and a few of the wrong places as well.
"And you must be the Christmas cracker," he said under his breath. He sat next to her on the sofa and leaned towards her. "So, 'ave you been a good girl then Bolly?"
"Shame – I prefer bad girls meself."
She shook her head and smiled indulgently gesturing towards the bottle, "Are you going to drink that?"
"Bit much just for me – do yer wanna help me out?
"I'll get some glasses."
By the time Alex returned with the champagne glasses, Gene had removed the Santa cloak and was busying himself opening the bottle of champagne.
"Shame – I found that cloak strangely attractive," she murmured.
"You are a bad girl Bols!" he said with a wide grin.
He quickly poured the sparkling liquid into the glasses. "Merry Christmas Bolls - here's to getting what you want."
"I'll drink to that."
They sat companionably on the sofa, sipping champagne and listening to the gentle lulling sounds of a carol service on the radio, as they both wondered exactly what to say next.
They both laughed as they tripped over each other's words.
"You first," Gene said.
"Oh…errm," she said nervously. Oh God this was ridiculous. Why couldn't she just say what she was feeling? Tell him what she wanted. Tell that she didn't want to be alone, that she needed his help? It shouldn't be that difficult should it? "So today – at the hospital?"
"Ah that. Doing a favour for my mate Nick."
"Saint Nick by any chance?" she said mockingly.
"Saint Nick…Santa Claus. Oh never mind, just my warped brain," she said. Hold on. Nick…not Nichol or Nichola? So there was no other woman. Alex smiled broadly as the final piece of the puzzle clicked into place.
"Canon Nicholas Tindale from the cathedral," Gene explained. "I owed him a favour."
"Ah. You really do have unexpected depths Gene."
"You 'ave no idea," he mumbled. "Alex?"
"Yes?" She turned and looked deliberately into his eyes, searching for something that she couldn't explain.
The moment dragged on into an eternity as Gene found himself captured in her gaze, drowning in tawny coloured eyes in a way that brooked no resistance. With difficulty he tore his eyes away and placed their glasses on the table before returning to look at her beautiful and trusting face.
"Dance with me Gene," she said softly interrupting.
She looked at him from beneath hooded lids, "You missed the dancing earlier – dance with me now." She stood and held out her hand.
He stood and faced her, taking one hand in his as she moved within his embrace, "You do realise they're playing Christmas carols?" he whispered as they swayed gently in time to the music.
"Doesn't matter…does it?"
He moved one arm possessively around her waist until she was pressed tightly against him, "Nope." Gene closed his eyes and breathed in the heady fragrance surrounding him, let his lips rest against her hair as she swayed in his arms and let his mind dare to hope that what he felt was real – and that she felt it too.
The sounds of a gospel choir singing a haunting melody soared all around them, enveloping them in a uniquely magical feeling.
"Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices; Oh night divine,
Oh night when Christ was born,
Oh night divine,
Oh night, oh night divine…."
As the final note died away, they stopped and simply held each other, unwilling to acknowledge the end of the song.
"Gene," she whispered, "don't leave."
He gently framed her face with his hands, "You still don't understand Alex."
She shook her head in confusion. "Understand what?"
"I go where I'm needed. Always 'ave done." He leaned forward and placed a feather light kiss on her forehead. "Except that this time, where I'm needed is exactly where I want to be. With you."
Her eyes widened with sudden understanding as his lips descended, gentle at first, tracing her lips with his tongue, before nibbling at her lower lip until she surrendered, the passion flaring between them until they burst apart gasping for air.
He looked at her questioningly, "You alright…with this I mean?" Please don't say no.
She grinned, "More than alright actually." She took his hand and began leading him towards the bedroom. "So, I must have been a very good girl then Santa?" she teased.
"Think we're just about to find out."
Gene clothes were lost with a minimum of fuss as Alex pushed back his jacket and quickly divested him of shirt, trousers and boots until he was gloriously and magnificently naked. She pushed him back until he fell across the bed, hitching her dress as she sat astride him.
"Bloody 'ell Bols! You're a fast worker I'll give you that!"
She ran her hands experimentally over his broad chest. "I've waited a long time for this Gene and I don't want to wait any more."
"Course you don't – stands to reason," he smirked. But as she went to unfasten her dress he grabbed her hands, the humour vanishing from his expression to be replaced by something else entirely. "Don't." he whispered softly, "Let me do that."
He pulled on the tie of material holding the dress together. "Some things are worth savouring." The dress parted under his hands to reveal smooth creamy flesh and red satin underwear decorated with delicate bows. "I knew you'd be beautiful – I just didn't realise how beautiful." He only hoped he'd be able to her justice. It had been such a long time since he'd allowed himself to feel…well anything at all really.
"Gene," Alex sighed as she leaned forward to kiss him, allowing his hands to push the dress from her shoulders and fall into a pool on the floor. One by one, he slid the bra straps over her shoulders, his fingers caressing her skin, skimming over her shoulders and down her back until he reached the fastening of her bra. She felt the material give as he flicked the catch and threw the skimpy lingerie to the floor.
His eyes narrowed as she sat up and revealed herself. He shook his head in wonder, even as his fingers reached up and began to trace the outline of her ample breasts, his thumbs brushing over each nipple until they tautened with desire. With a sudden swift movement he manoeuvred her until she lay beneath him, soft and supple and amazingly – willing to love him. Or at least willing to try.
He lavished attention on her body, his tongue teasing each nipple until she begged for mercy, his clever fingers weaving magic as they outlined her curves, dancing over her stomach and hips, tugging at the bows fastening her silky pants until they too had been discarded. He dotted angel kisses on the delicate skin of her inner thighs until she moaned and sighed her approval. Her fingers tangled in his hair as his tongue caressed the slick wet core of her desire, fuelling her desperate cravings until he could feel her throbbing against his tongue and hear her begging for release.
"Soon," he whispered.
Time was suspended as they lost themselves in each other, hands gently exploring, each intent in giving pleasure to the other, soft murmurs giving way to sighs and moans of blissful delight. Finally, when he could wait no longer, he parted her thighs and eased his aching shaft into her silky depths. She gasped as he slowly moved forward, inch by inch until he was fully sheathed within her.
"Oh God," Gene gasped, as Alex wrapped her legs around him, pulling him closer still.
They paused and she gently smoothed away the lock of hair from his forehead. "Is this real?" she whispered. "I can't lose you too Gene – I won't."
He kissed her cheek and then her mouth, a kiss so intense that she was left dazed and breathless. "I'm here – you won't ever lose me again." He eased back before slowly thrusting forward, teasing and tormenting both of them.
"I'll never leave," he whispered, as much to himself as to her.
She arched wildly to meet each possessive thrust and Gene felt flickering tongues of desire, like flames wildly lapping at his body. The blaze devoured him, cleansing his weary soul until only the light remained – the light that was Alex. He heard her rapid breathing, felt her writhing beneath him as he entwined his fingers with hers. He moved his hips against hers and finally felt her convulse against him as she exploded with a soul shattering intensity.
"Yes….yeeeeeessss," she cried.
His thrusts became more erratic as he searched for the ultimate pleasure; lifting her body against his, he moved deeply within her, thrusting again and again until finally he felt a rush of blood, electricity tingling throughout his body as he lost control and groaned with pleasure, spilling himself into her in a explosive, pulsing climax; Time fractured into a million pieces as he collapsed into her arms.
Later, as Alex slept in his arms, Gene allowed himself a moment of quiet contemplation. He had always thought that love was a dangerous emotion and had never allowed himself to fall under its spell – until now. Perhaps this is what Nicholas had been trying to tell him all along. He chuckled at the very notion.
"Safe journey Nick," he muttered as he finally gave into sleep and dreams of the future -and the past.
In Southwark Cathedral, the Midnight Mass had ended and the congregation long since gone their weary way, each wishing for a peaceful and merry Christmas, their hearts full of hope. Well, at least that's what Canon Nicholas Tindale believed as he stood before the high altar, his head bowed and hands clasped in prayer.
He hoped that one particular request to those on high would be come true. Who knows, perhaps on this special night it already had. Certainly there was no one more deserving than this particular troubled soul; one who gave without asking, clearing up the mess and confusion that others left behind and always going where he was needed. Even sinning but repentant souls needed love.
With a final bow of respect, Nicholas walked through the deserted cathedral and made his way to the vestry.
"Ah, there you are Reverend," said the verger, "thought everyone had gone."
"Just saying a last prayer, Jerry."
"Well, that mutt's still hanging around," Jerry nodded towards the door, where a huge Irish wolfhound lay wagging his tail.
"Now Jerry, we're all God's creatures."
"Hmm. Well another of God creatures has left something for you."
"Here." Jerry placed a large box on the table, which had been wrapped in a bow, a note tucked inside the ribbon.
"Did you see who left it?"
"Big man, wearing a black coat," Jerry replied. "Looked like some sort of avenging angel," he muttered, remembering the image as the man had walked away, dark coat flapping behind him like a cape.
Intrigued, Nicholas opened the box only to find a prime sole packed in ice. He unfolded the attached note and laughed as he read the contents. 'Saved one for you Father.'
Nicholas laughed heartily at the joke but there was also no doubt in his mind that his prayer had somehow been answered. Gene and Alex had somehow found each other in the right place and the right time and in doing so they had probably saved each other. Oh, maybe it was against the rules for one such as Gene, but then rules were meant to be broken – weren't they?
"Well, I'll be off now Jerry. Lots to do."
"'Night, Reverend Nick."
It was cold outside and Nicholas was grateful for his brightly coloured fur trimmed cloak. "Come on then Rudy," he called to the wolfhound, "no time to waste – we don't want to disappoint anyone."
And with a last hearty chuckle he strode off into the night.
And to all my readers, a very Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.