Jake just infuriated her. Leslie was a top-rated member of the RNC because she was smart, cool under pressure and not afraid of anything. She was a championship sharp shooter for God's sake. You only get good at that by having power over your body and your mind.

And that's just it. Why can't she figure out if this is a body problem, a mind problem, or both? After their first short affair, she decided she could write it off as a chemical attraction. She told him she "got everything she ever wanted from him" which really hurt his feelings and which was a lie. So she still couldn't get him out of her head. If she tried to paint him as a dangerous risk taker, he would prove that he would do anything for the love of family and justice. If she tried to paint him as a flippant womanizer, he would give her that look that seemed so wounded by the suggestion. If she tried to paint him as a private dick only interested in taking dirty photos of cheating spouses, he would set her up to bust a huge international smuggling ring. In the end it seems he has a uncanny knack for knowing what the "right thing" is even if it isn't the safe, lawful, or honest thing. He is willing to steal, lie, fight, cheat, go to jail and take advantage of others if it is for his family, clients, or people he loves.

That's it! He doesn't LOVE her. Not yet, anyway. That's why he thought it was okay to steal her access card. He had to save Tinny and Des at all costs even if she was sacrificed in the process. He probably thought, if he thought at all, that nothing would happen or he could fix it if it did. Even his own family thought he was crazy because of it. She had seen how mad Mal could get because of the risks he took. Yet some of those things were the things that turned her on the most.

Most men in her experience pretended to be more manly than they were. They talked a good game about being in fights or gambling or women, but none of them had stones like Jake. Especially men on the force. Most of them were more girlie than she was and the rest were dangerous violent idiots. They all wanted to take her to bed but that would be gross.

Okay, so it's physical. Her hormones get a rush from a guy who is clearly a walking pheromone. Except, Christian Doyle is also a walking pheromone (what is it with that family) but she is actually slighted repulsed by Christian. And if it was that simple, she could walk away. The trouble is she thinks about him all the time. She wants his advice, she wants his attention, she wants him to respect her.

And here is the creepy bit, he reminds her of her own father. Isn't that just like some stupid television soap or talk show. "I'm in love with my father" she said to herself, mockingly, "what a loser".

Leslie hadn't thought about her father in awhile. Every Remembrance Day she drank a toast to his photo and went to the rifle range to fire off her own "21 gun" salute. Geoff Bennett had been a corporal in the Canadian Armed Forces. He used to tell her that her mother "tamed" the bad boy out of him. His own father had been a stevedore who was pretty violent and perpetually broke. Geoff joined the forces to stay out of jail and found that the discipline was good for him, though he would never make officer because he had a hard time following rules. Her mother was a good girl who met her father at a church picnic when they invited some of the squaddies to "support our troops". He swept her off his feet with his good looks and dangerous attitude. He was nothing like the pentecostal boys her mother liked. After a whirlwind romance, she ran off against her parents' will and eloped. It was years before her own father would speak to her again. Three kids later and a life as an army wife, she was left a destitute widow when Geoff died in Rwanda. Turned out he really was nothing like the church boys; he drank too much, womanized, took dangerous risks and died behaving more like a Christian than they did. And she and Leslie adored him.

Rwanda. That word would never cease to make Leslie's heart seize up. Not just because of the evil that was done there in the name of tradition and religion, but because her father took his last breath there trying to save a woman and her baby from murderous rapists. When she was old enough to make a freedom of information request for the files, she found that the official story was pretty sanitized. They had told her mother that he had died instantly in the line of duty. The real story was that he had defied his officer who told him to stay in formation, broken ranks and saved a woman who was being gang raped at the point of a machete while she screamed for someone to save her baby. Geoff saved the baby and the mother and was chopped into little pieces in front of his own brothers-in-arms. For a long time Leslie was angry that he chose that woman and that baby over her mother and her. They needed him too. Then she would feel guilty for hating that her father was a hero.

Her mother got remarried to man she had known as a teenager. He was from the church and her 'forgave' her for having run off and eloped. He made her 'respectable' to her parents church and community which seemed to help her deal with her grief. Leslie's two little sisters took to the new life like ducks to water. Leslie never felt comfortable with him or that community. Her own father had brought her up to be a tomboy - good at sports and shooting and believing that she could be anything. She wanted to join the army too, but changed her mind after being a cadet. The cadets she met were nothing like her dad. Sure they were risk takers but they were also stupid and aggressive. So that's when she decided to choose the RNC after university. Her stepfather was against it and so was her mother. They never came to her graduation or her swearing in; not even when she made Sergeant. Only Jake seemed to have a sense of how important that was to her. She would never forget how he bought her champagne to congratulate her. She would also never forget the look on his face when she blew him off that night either: hurt and confused.

Jake is just like Geoff. He shoots from the heart, not the head. That's why she worries whether he really does love her. If he doesn't like you, he doesn't have you in his life. But the people he loves he is loyal to. The people he doesn't love, he screws around. It's a simple equation: love = loyalty = love. Well, he has screwed her pretty royally more than once. But then he has tried so hard to make it up to her that she can't quite decide how he feels. Every time he says he loves her, her spidey senses start tingling. If he had to choose between her and his family, he would choose his family. If he had to choose between and client and her, he would choose his client. That's not love. Not yet.

Leslie's phone started vibrating. It was Jake. At 11:30 at night. Infuriating! She raised her shot of rum to the phone, shot it back and went to bed. As she closed the drapes she glanced out towards the street. "What the ...?"

He knew she was home, because she turned the light off after he called. He knew she was alone because he had tailed her home and then sat in the car watching to see if anyone came over. He knew she hated it when he followed her around, but he couldn't help himself. It was like a physical stabbing to the heart every time he saw her with another man. If he even allowed his imagination to visualize her kissing them or worse he felt sick and fantasized about beating the crap out of them. Sometimes beating the shit out of someone was a good thing? Right? He knew she hated that he was impulsive like that. Actually she pretty much hated everything about him. Except he was pretty sure she loved him. Which was kind of confusing. Jake knew he was a smart detective and a pretty smart guy, but he spent a lot of time confused about other people's behaviour, especially women's and especially Leslie's. She told him to his face that she hated him, but she still wiggled that gorgeous little ass 'just so' as she stomped off. He knew she didn't wiggle that way when she was alone, or with Hood (that dick) or any other men. Except that dorky French guy. Man, that pissed him off. He nearly came over the table to strangle that guy.

And there it was. It killed him to see her with someone else. He wanted nothing more in the world just to be around her - not to fuck her or touch her, though that was pretty nice - but just to be in her presence. To listen to her ideas, to hear her laughing, to have her tease him. When she was nice to him he would nearly fall to pieces and when she talked to him like a colleague, he never felt prouder. She was a brilliant cop. Smart, brave, insightful, she only broke the right rules. She looked fantastic in her uniform. Actually she pretty much looked fantastic all the time. He had never known a cop to be that gorgeous in his life or his father's life as a cop.

And still she hated him. Admittedly he deserved it. He was a jerk. He had no education, no money, and he worked snooping around in other people's marriages. He married the wrong woman and made a total hash of that relationship. He had no judgement around women, would sleep with any pretty girl and woke up drunk more often than sober. He gambled, swore, fought, lied, cheated and had spent a lot of time in jail. Jail was no big deal, mind you, as long as you could throw a punch you were okay. Most of the guys in there were just regular joes who couldn't catch an even break. Not that he wanted to go back. He just wasn't afraid of it.

So what the hell does that mean? And when did he get to be so introspective. That was for girls and sissies. Real men just know what they want and go for it. He should just get out of the car, walk over to her door and bang it down. It worked before. But she didn't hate him then. That was before he got her in trouble with Hood and then got her fired, and then went to jail for bank robbery (that was a misunderstanding) and then proved her boyfriend was a fraud. But he was a fraud and he hurt her career as bad as Jake did and Jake did it for her. Mostly. "C'mon Leslie, answer the phone."

So did he have commitment issues? Was that really true like everyone said? Well, mostly everyone - Nikki, Allison, Walter, Mal, Rose, even Tinny. Okay, suppose he does. What the hell does that mean? Maybe the women are the ones with the issues. Maybe they want something he doesn't have. Really, if he could have Leslie, he would never step out on her, never hurt her (again).

Why does he hurt her? He knew that stealing the access card would get her in trouble so why did he do it? For Tinny, for God's sake. He would have done the same for Leslie. He would do anything for Leslie. When she got shot that time, he dropped everything to go to the hospital for her and then that sleveen Clarke showed up and he had to leave. Jake knew that she really wanted him there but she was being loyal to that dink. Like he deserved it.

It probably hurts her every time he gets arrested because its not like she can date a "con". Maybe he should work on that. But it never turns out to be his fault and she knows that. Okay, that's one he can work on. Stop getting arrested.

She doesn't like it when he takes dangerous risks either. She got so mad after Des got shot. Jake was never going to forgive himself for that. He loved Des even though he would never admit it. Des helped him to see that he was an alright guy. It is pretty weird to have someone admire you like that. Creepy, really. Yet, if someone wants to be you maybe it means you are an okay person.

He rarely feels like an okay person. He is good at some things - punching people, being a detective, cards. But, mostly he feels like a jerk and is never surprised when people don't like him. What's to like? Maybe he should work on that, too. Get a hobby that decent guys do. But golf sucks. Hockey's good. Fighting, swearing and no one goes to jail. Maybe he should get back into hockey.

Leslie makes him feel like an okay person. Except when she is really mad at him. Even then, the fact that she gets mad means she takes him seriously. Leslie makes him feel smart and even kind of respectable. Nicki never made him feel smart, only like he wasn't good enough for her. He knew that Nicki loved him in her own way, but he could never really be a good husband to a doctor. Probably not a cop either. He doesn't meet the cop seal of approval anymore than the doctor one.

Maybe it was time to go home and give up. He could love Leslie without ruining her life.

His phone vibrated - text from Leslie: "Are you stalking me?" Then he heard a tap on the car window and when he looked up he was looking into the barrel of her Police Special. "Doyle, get out of the car with your hands up." When he stood up, he could smell the alcohol on her breath. Drunk and with a gun. This can't be good. He had only ever seen her drunk once before and she didn't handle it well.

"Sergeant Bennett, hand over your weapon", he said with as much gentle authority as he could muster.

"Not to you. You're not a cop."

"But I'm not drunk and you are."

"I'm not drunk." She waved the gun drunkenly. "Turn around and put your hands on your head".

"You first".

"What", she said shaking her head.

"You turn around first". Leslie turned around obediently and Jake handcuffed her while taking away the gun.

"It isn't loaded", he said.

"Of course not. You don't think I would ever shoot you."

"Actually, I do think you would shoot me and I would probably deserve it. But not tonight. Let's get you back inside before you get into any trouble out here."

Leslie realized she was handcuffed and she was simultaneously thrilled and incensed. "You take these cuffs off me this minute Jake Doyle or I will have you arrested for resisting an officer."

"Leslie, you know I can't ever resist you. The charges would never stick." He undid the cuffs, but didn't let go of her.

"Jake Doyle, why are you such an arse?"

"Let's see. You are drunk, waving your service weapon around and wearing pajamas outside at midnight. I am sober, no gun, fully clothed. Someone's an arse but it isn't me."

"I ought to beat the crap out of you right here."

"That sounds fun to me, but why don't we go inside and you can beat me up in there. With no pants on."

"No sex! That's why I need the gun. I want to talk to you with no sex! But I can't trust you... me... you... oh shit, I am drunk."

"Let me make you a coffee and then we can talk. I want to talk, too. I love you Leslie Bennett but all I ever seem do is hurt you and I want to stop."