Chapter 1

The computer was really pissing me off. I was trying to run a profile on this new suspect that had emerged and it just utterly refused to download the information: the pages were freezing, the files refused to download and the internet connection wasn't working. Frantically clicking the mouse wasn't helping either. I screamed in frustration and slammed my head down on the desk.

Magnus looked over at me as if I had just landed from Mars.

"Computer problems?" He grinned as I looked up.

"Arghh... I have no patience with these things." I swivelled round on my chair to look at him.

I noticed his eyes sparkle slightly as he prepared a humorous remark. I could tell he was deciding on the tone with which he would say it.

He was six foot, at least, tall and gangly with beautiful blue eyes, a mop of blond curls and a smile that could melt any woman's heart. I might have asked him out or something... or at least requested his number, but he seemed too engrossed in work to go to dinner with colleagues. And plus, my friend 'liked' him anyway, so he was off-limits.

"You have no patience at all anyway, E." Magnus' voice brought me back from my brief pondering. He smiled at his own joke and flicked mindlessly through a file, his long fingers sweeping deftly over the paper.

"That was absolutely pathetic. Seriously.. I expected better of you." Grinning a shit-eating grin, I was hoping for a light-heard argument to ensue. Instead, his forehead crumpled into a frown and he looked past me towards Wallander's office. I turned to look and saw that Kurt was beckoning Magnus over. He sighed, stood up and smiled at me, before beginning to meander his way through the many desks in the office.

Lisa turned to look at me, puzzled. I shrugged and turned back to my computer... which was still frozen.

Magnus returned from running his errand for Kurt and, waiting for him on his desk, stood a lone cup of coffee which slowly emitted puffs of steam as it cooled. A small puddle had formed on the desk where Anne had been too enthusiastic and spilled some. He gave me a knowing look and wiped away the pool of coffee.

Magnus had been the object of Anne's desire for the past three years and every day, without fail, she would bring him a cup of coffee and place it proudly on his desk, like a small puppy bringing its owner a stick.

Being the polite, sensible man he was, Magnus accepted the constant refills of coffee with an irresistible smile, thanking her graciously and, sometimes, kissing her on the cheek or giving her a somewhat half-hearted hug.

The whole Anne/Magnus thing was a running joke among the group. Even Kurt had once remarked that the whole thing seemed a tad ridiculous. To be specific, he said that she was being ridiculous. There wasn't a rule against dating in the office, so Magnus was free to accept her advances: he never did. In my opinion, she should have gotten the message by now.

Anne was watching from her own desk, shielding herself with the plant that always sat on her desk (apparently, she'd named it 'Sebastian'). Magnus, sensing that she was watching, gulped down the coffee quickly and swallowed as fast as possible. I could tell from the expression on his face that it had gone cold.

"Your computer working yet?" I looked up and realised that Magnus had directed the question at me. The empty coffee cup had, already, 'mysteriously' disappeared. Anne had probably swooped in and taken it away.

"Hmm... sort of," I replied. "Just about managed to get his personal info..." Pausing briefly, I opened up the files. "Uhh... just waiting on family profiles. Did you want to see them?" Magnus wheeled himself over to my desk on his swivel chair and leaned over my shoulder.

"Ooh yeah.. let's see what dirt we've got on him." I laughed and squinted, reading through the many paragraphs and picking out info.

"Warren Shimmin, aged 30. Lives with his parents..."

"What? Oh god.." Magnus chuckled. He was breathing. Right. In. My. Ear. I managed to keep myself calm, not wanting to start hyperventilating or something.

"Oh no.. that's his brother." Magnus looked disappointedly at me. I grinned. "One car... fully taxed and insured, everything's in order. No criminal record either."

"Hmm..." Magnus said thoughtfully. "Surprising, don't you think? Aah.. we'll find something on him, I'm sure." He leaned further over my shoulder, putting his hand on the arm-rest of my chair to keep himself balanced.

Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed Anne scowling at me, so I shifted in my seat, further away from him. He noticed and looked slightly hurt, a frown forming on his face, wondering what he had done wrong.

"Uhh.. credit history.. not so good. But then whose is?" I laughed nervously. "Ermm.. well, he's got no family to speak of, apa- ..."

Anne cut in, deliberately pushing in between Magnus and me, separating us both.

"Whatcha up to?" I rolled my eyes. Her voice went into a sickening baby talk whenever she spoke to him. Anyone would think they were married or something. I supposed in her head, she imagined she was.

On one hand, I guess I would have liked to date Magnus, but on the other hand, I felt slightly bad about poor Anne who had adored him for so long. But then again, if he liked her, wouldn't he have asked her to dinner or something? He knew she liked him, a lot, so he couldn't make that excuse.

I sighed and clicked the close button on the files. Magnus smiled at me and went back over to his desk, Anne following closely behind.

"I'll e-mail them..." I mouthed at him. He nodded and turned to Anne, ready to engage in a random and petty conversation. I smiled sadly and turned back to my computer.