There was one thing about working with Bud White that Siobhan noticed. He was like a male version of her with the exception of one thing. She had modern ideas, his were more old fashioned. It may sound simple but it really was complex. It was kind of like finding two peas on a pod that fit perfectly together ninety nine percent of the time but the one percent of the time that they clashed was more significant. She liked Bud a lot none the less and she surely trusted him watching her back.
She couldnít count how many times during their shift on this day that she looked over expecting to see John but it was actually Bud sitting there in the driverís seat. To be honest, she couldnít wait for this shift to be over so she could go check on her partner. He hadnít been himself since he was on admin leave and the day of the hearing was coming up fast. She knew he was feeling the tension of it and she knew he was neglecting himself so right after this shift she was going to call Andy to order a couple of his finest cheeseburgers. A little cheering up may be in order as well.
When Bud dropped her off at the boarding house, she made a beeline to the kitchen to pick up the burgers and a couple of Cokes. Adding a pint of bourbon seemed like a good idea too. Not too much to get sloppy drunk but enough to loosen up.
She climbed the steps two at a time with her package in hand. Siobhan reached his door and knocked lightly. She could hear the TV on in his room and it surprised her that he answered so quickly.
"You eat yet?" she asked with a smile. It was hard for her not to notice the sheer size of his arms in the gray sleeveless tee shirt he wore. His hair was freshly washed and he smelled of fresh green apple. Maybe she could wipe that bit out of her mind right quick.
John shook his head. He simply turned and walked back into the room leaving it up to her if sheíd follow or not.
"Hey, I brought dinner. You gonna invite me in or what?"
"Címon John, donít get all pissy. I just figured youíd like some company. Youíve not been out since the Wade wedding."
He sat down to glare at the TV. Siobhan stepped forward to pick up the remote so she could turn it down. She set it and the bag of food out of his reach.
"You want a drink for starters? Bourbon and Coke?" she asked as she sat on the edge of his bed.
John reached to a table next to his chair and held out a coffee cup heíd been using. "Yep."
Rolling her eyes, Siobhan grabbed one of the cokes and the pint from the bag. She stood and wound her way around the bed to pour half the coke into his cup then she added a dollop of bourbon. Finding a cup for herself on the stand beside the bed she no sooner poured one for herself when he was holding his cup up for a refill.
"Shit , donít you think you should pace yourself? Maybe have something to eat? Canít beat Andyís cheeseburgers. They smell like heaven."
Giving her a withering look, he waved the cup for his refill.
"Alright, but youíre taking some food too."
She unwrapped the burger and held it out to him. Low and behold he took it then he took a bite.
She watched his face change slowly as he chewed and she could tell he really enjoyed it.
"See, itís good, right? Thereís no point in punishing yourself, John. You have to eat. Youíll be back to work soon and I sure as hell donít want you falling down on the job."
He huffed at her then actually smiled. "Do you think I would do that?"
"I hope not. Especially since its my ass out there with you and Iím kind of fond of it you know?"
"Fond of what?"
"Fond of my ass, John."
"Ah well, a mighty fine one it is too."
She went silent momentarily. "Thatís borderline sexual harassment, John."
"Right it is. You came to my room with food and booze. Who made the first move?"
He really caught her off guard with that one. Why did she come here like this? Was it really to support her partner or was it some other reason?
Of course his mind was playing up on him too. What did he say that for? Christ she was just doing what any partner would do under the circumstances. His eyes met hers in the dim light the single lamp in the room gave off. There was something different there. Something he didnít expect but it was wrought with embarrassment.
"Oh no, Siobhan, Bonnie you didnít think that IÖÖ"
Siobhan stood up slowly. "I guess I better go. See ya roundÖ.chief."
He didnít make a sound in his pursuit and he caught her just as she got into the hall.
"Siobhan, wait!" he said, spinning her around in his arms.
She gasped and before she drew another breath he was kissing her right there in the hallway. She barely noted the sound of a door opening then closing as one of the other residents apparently avoided the scene. Before she could protest, John had her back in his room and the door was closed behind them.