They sat at a table at yet another police ball that Strickland had forced them in to. It was the Christmas ball and yet none of them particularly wanted to be there, none of them felt too christmassy but yet they'd still made the effort.

Strickland was clearly in a good mood after finding out he was getting his kids for Christmas this year, the first time since his divorce. He hadn't shut up about it since. After desperately trying to get Sandra to dance with him he'd finally given up and gone to find some other blonde to flirt with for the night.

"Remind me why we came?" Gerry said as he say between Sandra and Steve.

"Because it's the Christmas party." Sandra replied.

"Yeah now what's the real reason."

"He made us and he said we could pick our own cases for a month."

"That's okay then. At least we get something out of this." Gerry replied.

"Drink?" Steve asked as he noticed the empty glasses on the table. They all nodded."Same again for everyone." again they nodded.

After yet another round of drinks the team were lightning up. Gerry couldn't take his eyes of Sandra, something she hadn't yet noticed, her blonde hair lay just past her shoulders, and her knee length red dress hugged her figure. He couldn't help himself when he asked her something.

"Sandra, will you dance with me?" he put his hand out to take hers as she shot him a glare. "What harm could it do?" he asked her, she had to think for a minute.

"No." she told him sternly. He looked a bit wounded but he knew we wouldn't give up. He went to get the next round in.

"Sandra what are you doing for Christmas?" Steve asked her as it was his first Christmas since he'd joined UCOS.

"Spending it by myself and a bottle of wine. I may even go see my mum if I'm feeling like being moaned at."

"Oh, I'm going back up to Scotland to spend Christmas with my girlfriend." Steve told her cheerily.

"Have fun in the snow mate." Gerry laughed as he spoke. "Anyway how about that dance now Sandra?"

"Gerry I already said no." Sandra told him icily. They carried on with conversation for a while.

"So any cases you boys particularly want to pick for the new year?" Sandra asked as she was keen to turn the conversation off personal topics and back to work.

"May 1996, Daisy Dors. She was murdered in broad daylight in Hyde Park. She was only 15." Brian started.

"Sounds like a good one Brian." Sandra replied and the other two nodded. "Anything else?" Sandra asked as she looked at Gerry in particular.

"Well guv' when I was back in drugs squad..."

"You worked in drugs squad?" Sandra asked.

"Yeah, it was a 6 month attachment. Anyway, there was a girl, she was only 14 but she came to us and gave us information on a well known dealer at the time, George Barnes."

"He was a nasty one, the whole met wanted him for different offences but there was never enough evidence to prosecute." Brian recalled.

"Yeah well anyway the information this girl gave us would have been enough. She went missing 2 days later and hasn't been seen since."

"Name?" Sandra asked him."

"Erm... Lola Hope."

"Ahh, I remember this case." Brian told them all. "There were several reported sightings but nothing was ever confirmed."

"Okay well they sound like some good cases to start the year off." Sandra told them.

An hour had passed and Gerry thought he'd try his luck again. "Fancy a dance now Sandra? Come on, it'll be fun. What harm can one dance do?" she looked at him and thought he should just give up. "I thought you might say yes this time, third time lucky and all that."

"Is that what you said before you got married last time?" Sandra replied but she did get up and walk to the dance floor. "Gerry, you wanted to dance so hurry up grandad and come and dance."

By the time he got there the music had changed from fast to a slow romantic song. Sandra went to go back to the table.

"Where are you going?" Gerry asked as he caught her arm. "You agreed to a dance. You may never say yes again. Come on." he pulled her into his arms and together they gently swayed in time to the music.

There was a tension building between them, something neither of them had any idea how to deal with. In a moment of madness she leaned forward and brushed his lips with hers before she felt him kiss back.

"I'm sorry." Sandra said as she pulled back and walked back to the table. "I'm going outside a minute, it's getting a bit hot in here and I need some air." she told Steve and Brian who knew nothing about what had just happened.

Gerry had watched while she had stormed off outside so he wandered back to the table and made the excuse he was going out for a smoke.


"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that. It was a mistake." she was leaned up against the wall in reception.

"Do you really think so? Because I don't. I've been waiting for years for a moment like that. I like you a lot Sandra." she looked up at him in shock, this wasn't what she'd expected from tonight. She found herself pushing him up against the wall as they kissed passionately.

"Aye aye, what's this then?" Steve asked as he stepped in to reception after being tasked with the job of finding out what was taking them so long. "Doesn't look like you'll be spending Christmas alone after all!" He said as Sandra and Gerry looked at each other and smiled.