Reading between the lines of a scene from "Protection" – Season 2, Episode 1. What isn't said is often better than what is said.

Rated: T

All these characters are owned by Spartan Productions/Official Films/Blake Edwards not me. It's just for fun.

The two thugs, one short and round, the other tall and gruesome, pushed passed Peter Gunn as he sauntered casually into Mother's. He took note of them as he did when encountering people that way, and headed to the bar.

"Hello, Pete," Mother said.

"Mother."

"Did you recognize those two men?"

Pete looked back at the door, "No."

"They were tryin' to sell me protection," Mother said. She was irritated.

"Did they leave any names?" Pete asked.

"No." Mother shook her head.

"Well, maybe I can get you one." Pete looked over to the bandstand.

"Thanks, Pete." Mother followed his eyes. "Oh, uh, Edie's in the…" she motioned toward the back.

"Yeah." Pete headed out to the deck behind Mother's.

Edie leaned against the railing looking out on to the river, enjoying the warm summer air. Her thoughts were occupied with Peter Gunn. It was about the time he usually showed up at Mother's. She could never be sure what time he would get there – sometimes it was early in the evening, sometimes near closing. Sometimes he would be there all night, listening to the band, watching her, following her back to the dressing room or out to the deck for some time alone. Often, though, he was meeting a client there, or some distressed person in need of his help was already waiting for him when he came in. He would say a quick hello and then be off. Then there were the aggravating times when he didn't come in for a few days. She hated that; hated not seeing him. He would say it was business. He might tell her about it, but more often than not he would leave it as simply "business." Her mind always dwelt on the same topic – business involving a rich and beautiful woman. After all, Pete was handsome, tall, smart, and daring, a lot of women were after him and Edie couldn't help but be jealous. When she pressed him about it he would respond the same way: he loved her and there were no other women, then he'd kiss her, his kiss conveying the truth of his words. She smiled thinking about it and she heard the door from Mother's open and close behind her and Pete's footsteps on the wooden planks of the deck. She could feel him as he approached her and smell the hint of his Royal Lyme aftershave. He stood behind her, his hands against the railing on either side of her, and then his face next to hers. "You know what?" she asked.

"What?" he replied with a chuckle.

"No, you're not supposed to say what. You're supposed to know what." Edie looked at him from the corner of her eye.

"Oh."

"You're the fella who's supposed to know what, why, and what for, and everything."

"Oh."

"Well, aren't you?" Edie turned her head to look at him.

"Well, I guess, if you say so," he agreed and pressed his lips to her shoulder in a light kiss.

"It's not only me, lots of people say so. People I don't even know say so."

"Really?"

Edie walked away from him, gently moving his arm from her side, passed the pilings that rose from the water and held the deck, then she leaned back against the railing. "I hear it all the time, 'that Peter Gunn he knows what and why and how'."

Pete leaned against the railing next to her, trying to settle her movements and put his arms around her. "Well, that's very flattering."

"And, he's attractive and well-mannered, and all sorts of nice little things like that." She smiled demurely at him.

"Well, isn't that nice." Pete caught on to her game.

"It's true."

"You agree?"

Edie looked at him with mock surprise, "I'm your biggest fan."

"No reservations?" Pete asked to see if she'd take the bait.

Edie looked away shyly. "Well."

"Well?"

"Maybe one."

"Which one?"

"How," she said firmly and started to walk back to where she'd originally been standing.

"How?"

She put her hand on his shoulder as she walked passed him. "When I hear people say you know what and why and how I…" she leaned against the railing and stared off in the distance.

"You don't entirely agree," Pete said, he stood very close to her.

"So far as 'what' and 'why' are concerned I'm convinced."

"But 'how' throws you a little bit, huh?" He leaned his elbow up and ran his hand over his jaw.

Edie turned to him and said, "I'll be honest with you, Pete. To be considered an authority on 'how' is asking quite a lot, I mean even from probably your biggest fan." She smoothed her fingers over his other hand as it rested on the railing. " 'How' covers a lot of territory." She looked back toward the water.

"Yeah, I see your point," he said with a smirk.

"Do you know how?" Edie asked in a very serious voice.

Pete raised an eyebrow and then looked at her, a rakish grin on his face. She was sunk.

"I…I mean all together, everything?" His look had ruined her composure. 'God, those beautiful dark blue eyes' she thought. She raised a hand to her head and stammered and heard inane words come from her mouth. "I mean…I know that you know how to solve a crime." She felt his arms slide around her waist. "How to dig for clams." He pulled her to him, his lips closing in on hers. "How to throw a left hook." His mouth captured hers. "How to kiss." Then he kissed that certain spot on her neck. She leaned against him, her arms around his shoulders "How to make duck bumps."

"You know what a ridiculous conversation this is, don't you?" His lips played over her shoulders. She was soft and warm in his arms, her body against his. She smelled divine.

"And, how to participate in ridiculous conversations," she purred. She pressed herself tighter against him, moved her hips against his and waited for a particular response from him. She got it.

"Well, what's left?" His calm delivery belied the rock hardness between his legs.

"Breakfast?" She asked casually. She shifted her hips against him again.

He looked her in the eyes, "See you about three-thirty?" Reflexively, he gave a small thrust against her.

Edie caressed his face with one hand, her other draped around his shoulder. "I take it back."

"I know how?" he said, holding her hips tightly against him.

"Yeah," she breathed as he brought her arms around his neck.

"You know what?"

"What?"

"You're pretty good in the 'how' department yourself."

Edie pressed her lips to his as he pulled them both against the sturdiness of the piling. As they kissed, Edie slid one hand between them and let her fingers graze over the bulge in his trousers. Pete gave an almost imperceptible moan. Their tongues met briefly as the kiss ended.

"Bye, Silly," Pete said, hating to drag himself away from her, but he told Mother he'd look in to this protection scheme.

Edie smiled and leaned back against the railing as Pete walked to the door. 'Yep, breakfast is going to be pretty darn yummy,' she thought.

Pete stood for a second looking back at her, his eyes taking in her form. 'That's my kind of breakfast,' he thought.