She couldn't believe she'd ended up at the British Police Awards with her boys yet again. For once though the boys had been forced to go with her, although they'd walked of in favour of an old friend. She walked forward looking round as she did so in search of a bar before she felt herself walk into someone.
"I'm so sorry." Sandra said to the woman she'd bumped into.
"It's fine." The woman replied.
"Here let me get you a drink." Sandra said as she'd finally located the bar.
"Yeah okay, my teams left me anyway."
"As have mine. What do you drink?"
"Red wine thanks." The woman replied.
"Can I have a glass of red and a dry white wine please?" Sandra asked the bartender.
"Sure that's £3.30." He replied as Sandra handed over the money. "Here's your drinks and £1.70 change. Enjoy."
"I'm Sandra by the way, I've just realised I didn't introduce myself. Sandra Pullman."
"Hello Sandra, I'm Jean, Jean Innocent."
"So are you from around here Jean?" Sandra asked.
"No, I'm based up in Oxford, I take it you're based here?"
"Yeah I run UCOS."
"Ah UCOS, so your DSI Pullman. I didn't make the association. I've heard lots about your team."
"I'm sorry ma'am but have you seen James?" Robbie Lewis asked as he came over.
"No I haven't Lewis, I thought he was with you. Try the gents." Jean replied.
"I'm sorry, that was Robbie Lewis, he works for me."
"And I take it James does too?" Sandra asked.
"Yeah he does. Those two do nothing but cause me trouble."
"I know the feeling, you see those three over there?" Sandra asked as she pointed, "They're my team and I swear down they were put on this planet to wind me up."
"Really because the one with the greying hair seems to be watching you protectively." Jean pointed out, Sandra had forgotten she was in a room of the best detectives Britain had to offer.
"That's Gerry, he's my partner. I know he's in my team and I shouldn't be with him but no one else knows and I'd preferred it stayed that way." Sandra sighed.
"Don't worry I won't be telling anyone." Jean replied as she sipped a bit more of her drink before feeling her phone vibrate against her clutch bag.
"Someone special?" Sandra asked as a smile spread across Jean's face.
"Yeah, his name is James." Jean said having forgot that Robbie had been over.
"The James that Robbie was looking for?" Jean's face colour answered her question. "You don't have to worry, I won't tell anybody."
"I've just got divorced and it's too soon to announce that I'm dating and I'm also his boss."
"Well it seems we have annoying teams and a secret relationship with a colleague in common." Sandra laughed.
"Yeah and we've both been left on our own by our teams. What would you say to finding our way out of here and to the pub I spotted earlier over the road."
"I'd say that's another thought we have in common." Sandra laughed as they both stood up and walked out of the exit.