Okay, this is a bit cliched, and has probably been done before, but here's my entry for this weeks' challenge.
Jim tapped his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel of the truck as he waited for Sandburg to emerge from the Library. He'd phoned earlier and they'd agreed to meet there instead of Blair's 'office'. Huh, more like storage closet, Jim thought as he visualised the cluttered space in the bowels of Hargrove Hall. The sound of more than one set of feet attracted his attention and he unbuckled his seatbelt in anticipation of having to rescue his partner as he came into sight surrounded by five students.
Jim concentrated his hearing on the group and realised they were trying to persuade Sandburg into volunteering for something.
"But Mr Sandburg, it's for charity!"
"Look, Marcie, I'd love to, but I have to think about Rainier's reputation." Sandburg must be desperate to avoid this if he was using that excuse, Jim thought. He'd never worried about the University before.
"That's just what Rosie thought, but we've cleared it with the Dean, and he said that as it was for a good cause, he had no objections to any of his staff being asked." Marcie's voice was triumphant. Sandburg's pulse rocketed and Jim wondered if he was going to have a panic attack.
"But..but.." It wasn't often that Sandburg was speechless, and Jim couldn't wait to get back to the station to report this.
"You'd be perfect, Mr Sandburg! You're just the right build, and everything!" the small blonde girl was now in front of Sandburg, running backward to keep him from getting away.
"I really don't think.." Blair spotted Jim's truck and swerved around Marcie.
"Mr Bishop has agreed to do it." Marcie called and Blair jerked to a halt, turning in surprise.
"Oh, has he?" Jim watched Blair frown. Mark Bishop and Sandburg had a sort of rivalry going, even though they were in different departments, and so far Bishop was one up on Blair after beating him out of a place on one of the student committees. He could almost see the wheels turning in Sandburg's impressive brain.
"Yes, he said that you'd probably be too busy, what with your work with the police." Jim was impressed by the way Marcie was manipulating him, and saw a great future for her in politics. Shame her major was History.
"Let me think about it." Blair started moving again, and Jim grinned as Marcie punched the air in victory and went into a group hug with her girlfriends. He wondered what it was they were planning and concentrated his hearing on them.
"Yes! I knew we could persuade him if we mentioned Mr Bishop. Mr Sandburg is going to be the major reason for it selling, because I've got advance orders for at least two hundred if he's in it." Jim was intrigued. What on earth were they planning?
"I could double that if we can get him to have that yummy Detective he works with involved." Jim identified Rosie as the speaker and preened a bit at the thought of nubile young co-eds thinking he was attractive. Not bad for a nearly forty year old.
"Triple it if we got one of them together. Brendon said he'd pay double for that alone." One of the other girls giggled and Jim flushed in embarrassment just as Sandburg opened the truck door.
"Yo, Jim!" Blair slid onto the bench seat, startling Jim.
"Christ, Chief, give a guy some warning!" Jim shook his head to clear the ringing of the door slamming.
"Sorry," Blair was flushed and his heartrate was up after being cornered by Marcie and her gang.
"So, Chief, what was that all about?" Jim started the engine as Blair buckled himself in. He took notice of Sandburg's heart beating even faster.
"Oh, nothing much." Blair gave a nervous laugh and looked out the window.
"Nothing much, eh?" Jim murmured, "So why are you hyperventilating?"
"Oh. Well. I asked for that, didn't I?"
"You know me, Chief."
"Yeah. Well, the history department want to do a charity calendar." Blair rummaged in his backpack to avoid looking at Jim.
"So? What do they want, a few shots of you in the museum?" Jim smirked.
"No. Marcie wants to work the Olympics in somehow, seeing as they're being held in Greece this time."
"And..?" Jim didn't see a problem.
"Is it me, or are you being particularly obtuse today?" Blair huffed.
"I don't see a problem, Chief." Jim shrugged.
"Traditionally, Jim," Blair said patiently, as if to a not particularly bright student, "the participants in the Games were naked."
"I thought you might say that."
"Is this Marcie?"
"This is Jim Ellison."
"About the calendar.."
"You'll do it?"
"Pleeaase?" Damn, she was good, Jim thought.
"The two of you alone would triple sales, and the wrestling would be a perfect pose.." Marcie's force of personality was almost as bad as Sandburg's, and for some unknown reason Jim found himself agreeing. After all, it was for charity..
"That's excellent, Jim, we'll let you and Blair know when the shoot is." Jim thought that was a particularly bad choice of words. He jumped when a warm hand was placed at the base of his spine and quickly hung up.
"She persuaded you, didn't she?"
"Um.." Very articulate, Ellison.
"Didn't she?" Blair nuzzled closer.
"That's what you get when you try to get an advanced copy."
Send feedback to Moonglow
Go back to Home Page