She first asked him in his office and he told her to bugger off, then she tried while they were side by side in the Quattro racing to the scene of a murder, this time he ignored her. She tried talking to Ray and Chris about it, but they said the Guv would rip them a new one if they spilt the beans and they were happy with their toilet arrangements as they were.
So she tried in Luigi's when they had emptied 2 bottles of house rubbish.
"Go on Gene tell me." Alex tried her most winning smile.
"God Drake you're like a broken record." Gene took a mouthful of wine and lit another cigar, hoping the smoke would drive her away, but Alex was made of sterner stuff.
"I promise I won't tell anyone else, please." Alex realised she was sounding like a wheedling child and decided to leave it there for today.
He stood up and shrugged his overcoat on. "Well if you won't give me any peace, I'm off." He stalked out of Luigi's before she could stop him.
Alex watched him go, what had started as a bit of fun he turned serious and she got the feeling that he was more upset than annoyed.
Hours later she was just locking up prior to going to bed when a loud knocking announced Gene's return.
She let him in; he was carrying a half empty bottle of scotch and swaying slightly.
They walked silently to the living room and Gene slumped onto the sofa.
"Was me dad's name." He slurred. "He was a right bastard to me mum an' me an' our Stewey."
Gene looked at her for the first time. "'M scared I get more from 'im than just 'is name." The fear and self-loathing was written all over his face and Alex felt her heart ache for him.
Alex held her arms out to him. "Come here Gene."
He drew back as if she was offering him a bomb, practically falling off the sofa to get away from her.
"You trying to get in me knickers Bols?"
"Gene I'm a trained Psychologist, and one of the first lessons we're taught is how to spot when someone needs a hug, and you, Guv, really need one now."
He moved cautiously into her arms and rested his head on her shoulder, sighing deeply.
Alex stroked his hair and began to talk soothingly to him.
"You're nothing like him, I know I never met the man but the more time I spend with you, the more I know you're a good person who goes out of his way to protect the weak, not prey on them."
Gene started to relax against her and Alex risked dropping a gentle kiss on his head, when Gene didn't bolt she carried on.
"I know you can be loose with your fists but I never seen you hit an innocent man, your instincts are always spot on and I'm proud to work with you."
She kissed his head again and Gene looked up at her with a mixture of gratitude and something she daren't put a name to.
"Can I stay tonight Bols, just be with you, nothing naughty?" He asked, sure she'd kick him out.
Alex smiled, stood and led him by the hand to the bedroom.
Gene was as good as his word and they slept in each other's arms nothing more, but that was the night an uneasy friendship turned to love, not that they were prepared to talk about it then.
It took Gene nearly being beheaded by a coked-up drug dealer wielding a machete for them to face up to their feelings for each other, and that was still 2 months away.
The following day Gene was just heading out of the door to go home and change when he turned back.
"Alex." She looked up from a report she was reading.
"It's Stephen." He gave a half smile, nodded and left.
Alex sat back in her chair and grinned as a wave of happiness rolled over her.