Thanks again for all the brilliant reviews. Majority vote told me to continue, so here it is. Hope you like it.

The cool night air met Alex's face as she and Gene ascended out onto the street, linked at the arm. They walked in silence over to the Quattro, where Gene relinquished his hold on her elbow and pushed her up against the passenger door.

'Been wantin' to do this since I firs' met yeh Bolly.' Gene growled before his lips crashed to hers. She was once again lost in his kiss and gave herself up to the sheer enjoyment of his tongue entwined with hers. Several minutes later when they eventually resurfaced Alex could barely remember her name, let alone remember all the reasons why this wasn't a good idea. She could think of nothing except the man stood in front of her.

'Right then Bolls, I'm taking you to dinner.'

'Well that was unexpected,' Alex had assumed that they would go back to his and he'd shag her senseless then kick her out the door again. She was momentarily stumped and in her surprise did not respond to Gene's announcement. He continued, to fill the gap, staring at the floor.

'I mean, yeh don't have to. It was jus' an idea, thought it might be nice. But if yer not interested then stuff it.'

It was only the second time that she had heard her DCI fumble with words, and the first had been when he asked her on that first date. The same gruff tone of his voice made it sound as if he was trying to keep his pride in tact. Gene was clearly disconcerted by Alex's sustained silence and raised his eyes to hers again.

What she saw there took Alex by surprise. She saw uncertainty and fear, something she thought the "Gene Genie" never felt, or never showed it anyway. 'Fear of what? Rejection?' She then realised that the gruff tone was not solely to preserve his dignity, but also to hide the uncertainty and fear of being rejected and hurt, aware of how vulnerable he was feeling she decided to put him out of his misery.

'Gene, I'd love to go to dinner with you.' As she said the words disbelief flashed briefly across his face. This was quickly replaced by a look of relief and a genuine face-splitting grin. That smile took her breath away, it removed all bitterness from his features and he looked ten years younger. It didn't last long, and his mouth resumed its usual pout, she couldn't decide which expression made him look sexier.

'Yeh've been dead quiet this evenin' Drake. Not normal. Usually hav' to bribe yeh to shut yer gob. What's goin' on in that head of yours? Yeh've been on a different planet all evenin'. Scratch that, you've actin' odd for days Bolls.'

'Oh. So he had noticed' Alex wondered whether he had also observed that it was only around him that she wasn't quite herself. 'Hmm. How do I answer that one?' Alex knew she wouldn't get away with lying to Gene, and so opted for frustratingly vague.

'Some of the thoughts that go through my head would scare you half to death Mr Hunt.'

'Well. If yer not goin' to tell me, then can you at least not drift in ter outer space when I'm tryin' to talk to yer. It's like havin' a conversation wi' a bleedin' brick wall!'

'I can try Gene, but I can't guarantee I'll be able to stop my mind wandering if you keep pouting like that!' she answered in her head. Alex could tell it was frustrating to Gene to not know what she was thinking, but could hear the humour evident in his voice when he was lecturing her.

'Deal. So, food?'

'Firs' sensible thing yeh've said all evenin' Bolly.' He flashed Alex a cheeky grin and opened the passenger door for her as she climbed into the Quattro.

Gene had taken Alex to a nice Italian restaurant about a ten minute drive from Luigi's. Of course, with Gene's driving they were there in four minutes flat. Once Alex had relaxed a little she began to really enjoy the evening. Gene was funny and intelligent, and nowhere near as arrogant and rude as he was around the CID lads. He was still the gruff Manc lion, but dropped the mask just a little when he wasn't so worried about losing his reputation as the fearless king of the jungle.

'You know we could have stayed at Luigi's if you'd wanted pasta Gene.' Alex stated while she was sipping her coffee, staring at her DCI from across the candlelit table.

He sniffed, looking away. 'S'nicer here. Good food.'

'You're right the dinner was delicious. But Luigi's is just as good.' Prompted Alex. She knew he had brought her here to get away from prying eyes, what she really wanted to know was why. Gene Hunt continued to be a complete mystery to Alex and though he had let the mask slip away a bit, he had not lowered his guard one inch and Alex wanted to at least grasp a little of what makes the Gene Genie tick.

He shifted uncomfortably and Alex expected a brush-off comment. 'If yer must know, I don't like people gossiping 'bout my personal life while I'm there.'

'At least he admitted that much.' Much as Alex wanted to push him further she sensed he was way out of his comfort zone and thought it was probably best to change the subject before he clammed up. She began to open her mouth to speak, but quickly closed it again when Gene rubbed his forehead and leaned in a little closer.

'I have a reputation to uphold at work Bolls, they expect me ter be the Guv at all times. I can't afford ter jeopardize tha'. But I like yer Alex and I don't want ter have ter be like that wi' you. That's the reason we're not still sat under the watchful eyes of Ray, Chris and Shaz, OK? I can be meself a bit more wi'out them gogglin' at us.'

'Wow.' Alex was totally shell-shocked. 'Maybe I've read this all wrong. Maybe this means more to him than I thought it did. He said he likes me, what am I supposed to take that to mean?'

'Yer know you promised not ter zone out on me anymore this evenin' and yer away wi' the bleedin' fairies again.'

Gene's interruption brought Alex back to reality. She wasn't at all fooled by the nonchalance in his voice, especially when it was coupled with the insecurity that was troubling his piercing blue eyes. She realised that her silence must have seemed like rejection, indifference or even humour at his confession.

'Sorry, Gene. No excuse.' Alex saw the fear of rejection in his eyes when she apologised to him. It dawned on her that he was being serious when he said that he liked her, that thought made a smile pull at her mouth and she continued in a small voice, 'I like you too, Gene.'

His face lit up in another breath-taking smile and Alex blushed. They gazed at each other for a long while, only to break their eye contact when the waiter came to clear their coffee cups and bring Gene the bill. Alex was tempted to offer to pay half, but knew that Gene would flat-out refuse so there was little point in trying.

Alex had been introduced to, yet another, totally different side to DCI Hunt. This evening she had been able to have an adult conversation with him, without it turning to crude topics or an argument, which was quite an achievement. He had been his usual gruff self, but Alex thought she had seen a slightly softer side to him, even gentlemanly-like at times, opening doors for her and pulling out her chair for her. They were only small gestures and comments that mixed in with the Gene Genie persona, but it felt to Alex as if she was finally starting to get to know the man behind it and it was making her fall for him just a little bit more each time.

'Christ! Is that what's happening to me? I can't be falling for him, just a figure of speech, can't have actually meant it. Can I?' Alex cursed herself for allowing her mind to wander but she couldn't help it. 'I don't need anything else to tie me here, I have to get home. Anyway the idea is ridiculous. I can't fall in love with Gene Hunt! He's a bloody figment of my imagination! Isn't he?'

Alex wanted time to reflect on this fresh mountain of questions in her mind, but realised that Gene had paid the waiter and was waiting patiently for her to snap out of her reverie. She smiled at him to let him know she was back with the land of the living.

'You ready ter go, Bolls?' As she nodded, he stood up and he helped her into her jacket.

'I'm beginning to like this chivalrous side to you, Gene. It's nice to be treated like a lady once in a while.'

'Don' get used to it Bolly.' Gene joked as he opened the car door for her, 'What do yer mean once in a while? I've always treated you like a bird, 'cept when we're workin', or arguin' o' course'.'

'Wasn't talking about you so much, Gene.' Alex muttered.

A mixture of curiosity and anger crossed Gene's face, 'Who then? You deserve ter be treated wi' respect. I swear to god, if it's one of the CID lot I'll…'

'No, they're fine,' Alex interrupted, 'treat me surprisingly well actually, seeing as I'm a woman and all. No, just past experience tells me that most men aren't as nice as they appear to be.' The concern was evident in Gene's expression and she was regretting making the comment. She didn't want to get into the details of her disastrous love-life on the first date, well second if you count the night she thought she was leaving, so she decided to lighten the conversation.

'You, however, Mr Hunt are the complete opposite. You go around acting like you don't give a damn, whereas actually you're just a softie underneath it all.'

Gene laughed, 'Cheeky tart! I'm not soft! And I swear ter god Bolly, you tell anyone else I am, then I'll be forced ter stamp on yer pretty little head!'

'God forbid if people didn't think you were a bastard, DCI Hunt! What on earth would you do?' giggled Alex. 'You know, Gene, you should laugh more often. It suits you.'

'Wouldn't go too well wi' me miserable personality, would it Bolls?'

They continued the light banter on the short drive back to Luigi's. Gene walked Alex up to the door of her flat and waited as she located her keys. Alex was unsure what to do now. 'Should I invite him in?' Before he had asked her to dinner she wouldn't have even considered it, she had thought it was inevitable. She wasn't having second thoughts, far from it, but from what she had seen from tonight she was risking being rejected because of Gene's surprisingly gentleman-like personality. Alex put the key in the door and turned round to face him.

'Thank you for dinner Gene, it was lovely. I've had a really good time this evening.'

'My pleasure Bolls.' He bent down a little to kiss her cheek, but Alex turned her head slightly so he got the corner of her mouth. All the desire came rushing back to her and she couldn't think straight. His face was still just centimetres from her own, his eyes boring into hers. She closed her eyes and pressed her lips back to his. Gene responded enthusiastically, deepening the kiss as he pressed her back up against the door. He wrapped one arm around her waist and cupped her face with his free hand, as Alex's arms moved up around his neck so she could entwine her fingers in his hair.

When Alex could no longer ignore the key sticking into her back, they broke apart breathing heavily. Gene moved his hands to Alex's hips as she disentangled her fingers from his blonde mane.

'Do you want to come in?' her heart skipped a beat as she waited for his reply.

'God yes' He growled before his mouth crashed back to hers, fumbling behind her to turn the key.

Well that's the end of this fic. Will probably do a sequel, if I can get some ideas together! Hope you've enjoyed it. Please R&R.