I slowly became quite interested in Inspector Sullivan, there were glimpses of sweetness under in uptight personality that I wanted to explore and this is the result. I don't own it, the Chesterton estate owns it, I am merely playing with it.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.
"LOVE LOOKS NOT WITH THE EYES, BUT WITH THE MIND, AND THEREFORE IS WING’D CUPID PAINTED BLIND."
Inspector Sullivan was writing a report on latest investigation. After two years he had finally become good natured about Father Brown's interference in police matters. He knew that the Father was bright and perceptive but it was that he seemed to bend the law to his bidding to solve a case that had always irked him. He had to admit that his opinion had soften of late, since a few months back he had been set up to be falsely accused of murder and Father Brown and his motley crew had saved him. He had given a big speech that nothing had changed but it had, and he found himself feeling affectionate toward them all though he tried hard to keep that under wraps as well. He had enough to contend with from his case load.
So as he wrote out his report and added Father Brown's views on the murder and the part he had taken to solve the case he did not have a grimace on his face rather a look of annoyed affection. 'I can't help being annoyed after all the man smashes into every investigation as helpful as he is, he is also damn annoying.'
There was a knock on his door and Sargent Goodfellow stuck his head in saying, "I have your mail, Sir."
"Thank you Sargent," he said as he accepted his mail, On top of the stack was a big fancy invitation much to his surprise it was indeed addressed to him. He looked at it exclaiming, "What on Earth?" He opened it and found it was an engraved invitation from Lady Felicia to a dinner party for her friend actress Anna Roberts.
"Anna Roberts, is she a theatrical star, Sargent?"
"I wouldn't know, Sir. I have not ever gone to the theater."
"No Sir, I prefer to spend my money on football."
"Oh yes, I enjoy a good football game myself." He smiled at the Sargent and went back to work. The big man knew he was being dismissed and left the office closing the door behind him.
Although the Inspector was an athletic man and enjoyed sports as much as the next man, he was also a well read, cultured man who enjoyed going to the theater. He enjoyed the classics especially Shakespeare and Shaw and when he was assigned to London he went often. It was one of the reasons that he kept his private life private, he knew that other policeman did not approve of intellectual colleagues. So he never discuss theater or books at work.
He knew he had seen that name before and was determined to go through his programs and see if he could find her in one of the plays that he saw during his vacation last year. He picked up the phone and dialed the number on the invitation.
The butler answered and put him right through to his mistress, "Hello?"
"Hello Lady Felicia , this is Inspector Sullivan."
"Ahhh, Good Afternoon Inspector, what can I do for you?"
"Good Afternoon...um....was my invitation to your party a mistake? I'm not a part of your social set and..."
"Oh no, Inspector it is not a mistake at all. Anna is a girl I went to school with when I went to the states with my husband, I was a bit bored and took some acting lessons. Anna was dear and helped me a lot, she is pretty, smart and talented but her conversation is a bit too intellectual for my friends. I would love for you to sit on one side of her and Father Brown on the other, you three will be able to chat about things that will make her happy and she will not pretend to have headache and hide in her bloody room like she did when she visited in London."
"Well since you have Father Brown you don't need..."
"Please Inspector, you will like her. She is very nice and friendly, very real and down to earth. She loves stories, you can tell her about your cases and you will be able to chat Shakespeare with her, she loves. She will be enchanted with you and she needs some cheering up."
As much as he despised to be the extra man, he was also intrigued by the actress. He signed and replied, "Alright Lady Felicia I will come to your party."
Oh, would you mind wearing that impressive uniform you wore to the base, she will fall to your feet when she is sees you in that?"
"Oh! No, I...."
"I am joking, silly. She won't swoon but she will be impressed by how brave you are. Please come, you will like her and I don't want her to hide during her own party, please?"
He signed and resigned himself to going, it wasn't only because he liked Lady Felicia and wanted to help her but he was very intrigued by the actress, if she was in that Noel Coward play he had seen when he was in London last year. He would have to check his programs.
"Alright, Lady Felicia I will be there."
"Thank you Inspector, see you tomorrow."
"Goodbye Lady Felicia." He signed and lowered his head to his desk. 'What on gotten myself into?'
So Inspector Sullivan arrived at Lady Felicia's estate wearing his dress uniform minus the hat. He felt a bit ridiculous but he thought it might be an ice breaker he had never been so nervous. The butler guided Sullivan to the South Parlor where all the guest had gathered for cocktails.
Father approached with a sweet smile and said, "You look very smart, Inspector."
"Thank you Father, I am wearing this at Lady Felicia's request. Have you met the Guest of Honor?"
"Briefly, she is over there with the gentry, she is very charming." Father Brown pointed to a group of people gathered by the bar across the room. Sullivan looked to see if he could spot her among the throng by the bar. He had spent some time the night before looking through his programs and found that had he had indeed seen her on stage. She had performed a series of Noel Coward plays at the Old Vic. He had been quite enchanted wither her she was very funny and handled the dialogue beautifully. She just sparkled on stage and he had to admit he had been mesmerized. When he spotted her he felt something in the pit of his stomach that he could not identify and that made feel suddenly like he wanted to high tail it out of there.
She was standing by the French Windows the light making her sparkle and he really could not take his eyes off of her. She was standing with a group of the local gentry looking politely bored. She was not what would be termed movie star beautiful but she was beautiful, she was 5'4 with a lovely shapely figure that was flattered in the new style Dior cocktail dress that she was wearing. Her hair was cut short in the new elfin style very fashionable in New York, and she had a round sweet face that made her appear much younger then Sullivan knew her to be. Her eyes though were bright and highly intelligent, dancing with humor. He swallowed as her eyes met his, he was drawn to her like a beacon and he saw her blink as their eyes met and she politely excused herself and headed toward him.
Sullivan watched as she crossed the room, Father Brown said softly, "It looks like the lady in question is coming our way."
Sullivan nodded and smiled shyly. Father Brown who's greatest talent was understanding human nature saw something he never though that he would see. Inspector Sullivan tongue tied. And the young lady in question had not said one word to the man yet.
Anna grabbed Lady Felicia and whispered to her as they headed across the room toward Inspector Sullivan and Father Brown. Lady Felicia smiled happily welcoming them both, "Good Evening Gentleman, I am so happy you both could come." She shook their hands was a bit surprised at how the Inspector's hand trembled slightly. She looked up at him and smiled saying, "Thank you for inviting me, Lady Felicia." The Father joined him in gratitude for the generous invite.
Felicia placed a gentle hand on Anna's shoulder and said, "Gentleman, may I present my dear friend Anna Roberts, This is our Parish Priest Father Brown and our Senior Detective Inspector for our Constabulary, Inspector Sullivan."
Anna smiled at Sullivan making his nerves jump through hoops, she spoke to Father Brown first. "It's nice to meet you Father, Felicia has told me some wonderful stories about you. I can't wait to hear about all your adventures."
"Thank you Miss Roberts, I am very much looking forward to hearing your adventures as well. I have always enjoyed the theater."
Anna smiled and said, "Thank you Father I do have a few interesting stories," she then walked right up Inspector Sullivan, she was so close he could tell that she had freckles on her nose and she wore expensive French perfume. "It's a pleasure to meet you too, Inspector, Felicia has told me all about you too. I am very happy to meet such a talented man."
He looked down at his feet and licked his lips nervously, "Thank you," he replied quietly, "I must return the compliment, I enjoyed you at the Old Vic last season."
"A theater fan as well as a sleuth, wonderful. I think will enjoy hearing all your tales as well, Inspector. You wouldn't happen to have your phone number available, a card perhaps? One never knows when one will have to report a crime."
He felt himself melt into a puddle inside, wondering what the hell was wrong with him he nodded briskly and pulled out his card case from his pants pocket. He pulled one out and handed it to her, "I certainly hope you will not find any crime here during your stay."
"Chief Detective Inspector Oliver Thomas Sullivan, what a nice name." She looked up at him her eyes searing into his and she purred, "Yes a very lovely name."
Inspector Sullivan was very quiet during dinner, it wasn't that both Father Brown and Anna Roberts were not trying to engage him in the conversation but everytime he could have entered the conversation he put something into his mouth. Sometimes he ate something he didn't even like to give himself an excuse to not take part. He knew that it was not at all normal for himself to shy away from conversation, he was actually quite good at it but Anna Roberts intimidated him.
Father Brown who had been at several dinner parties with the Inspector and he was surprised by his unusual behavior. So he began telling Anna of a case that they had worked together sure that the Inspector would jump in with correction since he knew there were some argument about how they both saw the case at the time. Surprisingly the Inspector merely listened politely.
Sullivan left the table to use the facilities, Anna took the opportunity to turn to Father Brown, "Father?"
"Yes, my Dear?"
"Have I insulted the Inspector somehow?"
"Not at all."
"Then why won't he speak to me?"
Father Brown looked kindly at the upset young woman, "I think he is feeling a bit shy with you."
"With me? He didn't strike me as the shy type when I met him."
Anna played with her napkin, she was a bit heartsick, "Should I withdraw then?"
"No, my Dear, I think you should simply charm him. Speak directly to him, ask him what thought of the Old Vic and your play."
Anna smiled brightly at him and he could see why Inspector Sullivan was struck by her, she was a very lovely woman.
"Thank you Father I will do just that."
Sullivan returned to the table and nodded politely to his two companions at the table and down to his hostess.
Anna turned to him and asked, "Do you like our play at the Old Vic, Inspector?"
Sullivan smiled and nodded, "Yes, very much. You were quite good."
"Not too American?"
"To be honest I had no idea that you were an American. You played the part perfectly and you very funny. I always enjoy Noel Coward, did you enjoy playing it?"
"Oh yes, he has such wit and style, I love all of his plays. I saw it on Broadway and I just had to try to be in it when it started it's tour. So I got myself an audition and played those wonderful parts for a whole season."
"I am so glad you did, you were just perfect in the one I saw, Blythe Spirit. Wonderful."
"Why, thank you Inspector you could turn a girls head."
Sullivan looked down shyly and took a sip of wine. Anna saw a danger sign and plunged ahead. "Are you a regular theater goer?:
"Yes, when I am London or a major city, I am quite fond of it. Are you here for a play?"
"Yes, we start rehearsals in what you call a fortnight, I can early to spend time with Felicia."
"You two went to school together?" He was a bit confused about that, the age difference didn't really fit in his mind.
"Yes, well she came to California to be with her husband but she got bored and entered the same acting academy. We had a lot of scene work together and we became friends. She is really very good, you know?"
Father Brown had been eating and listening he was enjoying it. They seemed to be getting on very well but he was surprised the last statement that Anna had just made, "Really?"
"Well recently she auditioned for a part...and well...she wasn't...."
"Well maybe she would have been miscast in it? If your not in the right part it can be a disaster."
"Perhaps that was it," he replied diplomatically smiling at her. Sullivan smiled, he remembered that, she was horrible. Father Brown was being kind.
Anna's face lit up, Sullivan had smiled and it was the first real smile all evening, it lit up his face and made his eyes shine. "You are very young to be a Senior Detective Inspector, did you start on the force young?"
"Yes, I went to University for a couple of years but it didn't suit me so applied for Constabulary i...."
"Inspector, I know your terribly busy and all but would be free to give a short tour of the area? " She moved close to him as she asked the question she wanted it to be an intimate question. "Felicia is busy and I really don't want to drive myself, I am afraid of driving on the wrong side of the road."
"Here it is the right side of the road, Miss Roberts." Anna chuckled and her eyes sparkled and he knew what his answer would be before it left his mouth. "It would be my honor, Miss Roberts."
The next morning Lady Felicia and Sid joined Mrs. McCarthy and Father Brown at breakfast around the kitchen table in the Parish office.
"I hear the American actress conned our Inspector Sullivan into giving her a tour of our village," said Sid with an amused smirk.
Father Brown shook his head and replied softly while buttering his toast, "No, she didn't con him but she is charming, I can see why she could turn a young man's head."
Felicia looked delighted and laughed, "I knew it, I just knew he was Anna's type. I invited him because I thought they would suit each other perfectly. He is quite smart if you can get him to talk to you, and I sat next to him at a couple of dinner parties and realized how entertaining he could be if he allowed it. And poor Anna needs cheering up, she has had a terrible year. First her Father passing away and then losing that part in the movie because they said she wasn't thin enough..."
She was interrupted as both men spoke in anger and shock at the same time;
"What?" Said Father Brown stunned, he thought she was such a lovely young woman.
"Are they mad?" Said Sid angry because he though she had a great body.
"I agree, but the Hollywood Producer doesn't and she was very hurt by it. So she jumped at the chance to be in this play. Between the disappointment about the film and her father's passing she needed to get away. And knowing Anna I thought the Inspector might be the perfect prescription to cheer her up. " Said Lady Felicia with a wicked grin.
"Oh I think it is mutual," said Father Brown with a smile as he bit into his biscuit.
After a drive through the village the Inspector pulled his car over by a glade close to Lady Felicia's estate. Anna had a nice picnic lunch packed and asked him to choose a pretty spot. Sullivan got out of the car, got the basket out of the boot, then he walked to the passenger side of the car and handed her out. She smiled up at him, took his arm cuddling in very close to him as they walked to an area he thought she would approve of for their picnic. He cleared his throat and smiled back at her.
Once they reached the spot he put down the basket took the blanket that was over his arm and they set up a cozy scene. After they were settled onto the blanket, Anna smiled at him saying, "This is a perfect spot."
Sullivan smiled and opened the basket taking out the plates and napkins, "Thank you." He answered quietly, she made him feel like a schoolboy.
"Now that we are all alone, may I ask you a question?"
Nervously he nodded, he was a bit worried what question she would ask him.
"Should I call you Oliver or Thomas?"
Sullivan let the air go that he didn't even know he was holding his breath. He chuckled and replied, "Tom, only my Mum calls me Oliver Thomas, and only when I have done something wrong."
Anna chuckled and nodded. "So Tom, why didn't take part in the conversation at dinner last night? You let Father Brown tell the story of your last case and I know from Felicia that you don't agree with him."
Anna saw that he had relaxed a bit, and was glad that she didn't make him even more shy, interesting that a man like him, so accomplished should be so shy with her. Sullivan smiled and shrugged, " He told the story very well and he was accurate to a degree, I just disagree with his methods not his talent for understanding human nature."
"Well you have been quite elegant as gave me my tour."
"Well I know the area now, are you hungry?" He said trying to change the subject.
"Yes, I am starved." She dived into the basket and started to pile the food for both of them while Sullivan leaned back and admired her. She was dressed very American, Jeans and boots. A beautiful lace peasent top and a pretty head band through her hair that looked like spun gold through straight soft raven black hair. She was so beautiful to him that he could not stop staring. "I'm sorry that Lady Felicia stuck you with me, I'm sure you..."
"I am not stuck with you, Tom..."
"Tom, you were delightful once I got you to talk." She handed him a plate and then looked for the drinks and glasses.
"I...well I am not usually tongue tied..."
"I...well you...." He rolled his eyes and chuckled. "Sorry Anna, I think I am a bit overwhelmed, your a famous actress and I'm a mere copper..."
"Really Tom, there is no reason to feel that way. I am a theatrical actress in the states I am only known in New York, I am just like and copper anywhere else, believe me."
Sullivan laughed and shook his head, "Not exactly the same but I understand what you mean. Anna, you simply sparkle on stage."
Anna looked up and she could feel that she was blushing making her even more beautiful to Sullivan's besotted eyes, "Thank you. Your very kind..."
He shook his head and played with the napkin in his lap, "No, I'm not. You just glittered up on that stage and I can't wait to see you in your current play."
"I will make sure you have a front row seat..."
"No, you don't have to..."
"Believe me I want to," she handed him his drink. She had such an urge to kiss him, she had never been so forward as she was with this man. She moved closer to him and he automatically moved closer to her.
Suddenly there was the screech of tires hitting gravel, and footsteps, "Inspector, there has been a murder."
Sullivan and Anna arrived at the Post Office, he turned toward her and asked, "would you like Sid to drive you back to Lady Felicia's?"
"No, I would like to watch you work."
"That would not be appropriate..."
"Who says I want to be appropriate, I want to watch you do your thing."
"Please Tom?" She looked at him with those big beautiful blue eyes and he knew how he would answer her before it came pouring out of his mouth, "Fine, but do not get into anyone's way."
Anna smiled triumphantly and asked, "now, would I do that?"
He smiled back and shook his head and replied, "yes." Then he strode up to the crime scene.
Anna chuckled and enjoyed watching from a few paces back. She was not surprised to see Father Brown and Lady Felicia trying to explain to Sullivan what they knew about the crime at the exact same time. The detective, had a less then amused expression on his face as he asked, "One at a time, what do you two know about this?" Then he crouched down and started to examine the dead woman.
Lady Felicia went first, "we were waiting in line and the poor woman just started to have a fit. Before anyone one could make a move to help her, she collapsed."
Father Brown quietly suggested, "I think that cup of tea should be analysed..."
Sullivan did not look up as he growled, "It will be Father, you know it will be."
Anna quietly moved to the area behind the counter, she examined it carefully with out touching anything. There was a work table and it appeared that the woman had been stamping a whole stack of letters. Anna then quietly walked back to where Sullivan was now standing writing in his notes and whispered, "Tom, it might not have been the tea..."
He whipped around, she could see the annoyance on his face, "Anna, I asked you not to..."
"I didn't get in anyone's way, I just know that they work during slow times on advertising. I saw a stack of envelopes and a stack of stamps. I thought, maybe she was poisoned through the stamps."
Sullivan looked exasperated but he couldn't yell at her because he was also besotted by her. He took deep cleansing breath and asked softly, "I will check it out, would you please go home, Anna? I need to be able to concentrate on my work."
Anna smiled seductively and purred back in a sexy whisper, "I don't know what you mean, Inspector."
"Yes you do." He whispered back, he was seriously fighting a grin off his face but failing miserably.
Anna winked at him and walked toward the car where Sid was leaning against the bonnet.
Sullivan sighed, he was even bewitched just watching her walk over to the car, and sitting in the back the seat. He watched Sid close the door and take her home. He closed his eyes and thought to himself, 'I am such trouble with this one. What am I going to do?'
Inspector Sullivan was staring out the window, however he was suppose to be writing the initial report on the murder at the Post Office. He just couldn't get a certain beauty off his mind. Father Brown had been telling him his theories and he listened politely but he really didn't hear a word, he just kept thinking of what almost happened at the picnic and now he had to take a deep breath and get to work. He sighed picked up his pen and began to work on his report.
There was a knock on his door, he glanced up from the report that he had finally started on and growled, "What?"
A dark head with big blue eyes peeked through the crack in doorway. Sullivan dropped his fountain pen, then banged his head looking for it. Anna came in placing the picnic basket on his desk, as she bent down looking for his pen. He picked up his pen and gave Anna an incredulous look, she smiled at him wickedly and asked, "Are you hungry?"
Sullivan's stomach roared at just the mention of food, making her chuckle, "I thought so, you haven't had a bite to eat all day." She opened the basket and took out a chicken leg and a bottle of soda pop.
He accepted the food and looked at her gratefully, "Thank you."
She smiled and sat on the edge of his desk as he sat in his chair, "Your welcome," she answered as she watched him greedily eat the chicken. "So, was it the stamps?" She handed him a chicken breast.
He accepted it, and replied, "Anna, you know that is Police Business."
She tilted his head and said with chuckle, "Tom, Just shake or nod your head, don't be silly." She handed him a biscuit, taking one for her self. Sullivan accepted the biscuit, and reluctantly nodded his head and drank his soda pop. "I knew it!" She said triumphantly as she bit into her biscuit, she hummed with joy at the taste, Sullivan felt himself reacting in unexpected ways and drank some more pop. "I love the biscuits here," Anna said, " there is nothing like them in the States."
"I am not going to be able to keep you out of this case, am I?" Asked Sullivan, as he nibbled his biscuit.
"Nope," she replied her face alive with excitement, that just sent sparks through Sullivan.
He swallowed the rest of his biscuit, sipped his pop and then handed her a chicken wing shaking his head, "this chicken is delicious, where did you get it?"
"I asked and instructed Felicia's Chef on how to make fried chicken. It is not very good for you, but it is delicious."
He chuckled and nodded his head, she admired how much younger he looked when smiled. His eyes twinkled and it gave him a boyish quality that made her sigh.
"Yes, this is wonderful, so it is a half American and a half English meal?" Asked Sullivan as he ate his chicken breast, pulling a piece of skin off and enjoying the different texture.
Anna leaned back and crossed her legs, Sullivan watched the movement as if he was hypnotized, he just could not take his eyes away. Anna smiled at him and asked, "So Inspector, any progress?"
"You are not police."
"But I am an interested party."
"Anna, don't I have enough to contend with Father Brown out there snooping?"
"Tom, he didn't feed you?"
"So this is bribe?" he asked holding up his soda pop.
"No, it's dinner. And really your lunch too since ours was interrupted by the murder."
Sullivan threw the chicken leg into his trash bin and leaned back, "What am I going to do with you?"
Anna smiled wickedly, swinging her legs back and forth, "Anything you like!"
Sullivan felt the heat on his face and knew he was blushing, "Well it is not appropriate."
"Well, who wants to be appropriate? I am an actress, I am never conventional, maybe traditional but never, ever conventional." She took an angry bite out of her chip, chewing it with relish and Sullivan knew he had never been so fascinated by someone eating as he was at this moment.
He sighed and ate a biscuit. "What do you want, Anna?"
"And they are?"
"First, the coroners report."
"And, I'd like you to take me home, please?" She said, as she watched him roll his eyes but knowing he would take her home.
"I'll have the Sergeant take you home..."
"I am not interested in him..."
"Well I am..."
"You can take a 20 minute break, couldn't you, Tom? A bit of air, after your delicious dinner?"
Again, he knew he would give in, "What on Earth is wrong with me?" He thought to himself as he nibbled his chips.
He rolled his eyes and said, "Fine I will take you home."
"After you eat?"
He nodded. She then had such a wicked look on her face, he almost choked on his chip.
Sullivan drove Anna from the station to Lady Felicia's home. "Well Goodnight, Anna..." She pulled him by the lapels and kissed him passionately. He felt his eyes closed and he fell into the kiss with equal passion and need, his arms coming around her waist bringing her closer. Then she pulled back, smiled sweetly. She stepped out of his embrace and carefully cleaned his face of her lipstick. She caressed his cheek and then went inside.
He blinked and stood there motionless and then he walked to his car and slowly sat down inside. He closed his eyes and tried to calm himself. He had a panicked internal dialogue, "What the hell just happened...I didn't pull away...I couldn't... I wanted more... I felt her deepen the kiss... then... What?" He sat back in the seat and looked in the rear view mirror. He took a deep breath and said, "I am in such deep trouble here."
He started the car and drove back slowly to the station.
Over breakfast the next morning Felicia looked at a preoccupied Anna and asked, "How was Dinner, Darling?"
"The food or the Inspector?"
Felicia with a triumphant smile on her face cried out, "I knew it, I knew it! Who kissed who?"
Anna sighed and put her face into her hands on the table and said, "I kissed him." She lifted her head and looked at her old friend, frankly explaining, "He would never have made the first move, Felicia, he is too much of a Gentleman."
"That's true, he is a perfect Gentleman....so? How was it?"
"Yummy, I want more. Many, many more."
"And the Inspector?"
Anna shrugged, "I don't know. I think he does too, he kissed me back after all...he didn't push me away... in fact he pulled me closer...so I think...well I think he wants me as much as I want him. But I don't know...he is soooo..."
"No! Not at all, he is warm, and sweet and delicious..."
"Hmmm, I think a hard working devoted policeman deserves a home cooked meal, don't you?"
"This time at his home, where he will feel comfortable and he does not have to worry about the public judging him. Tell me Felicia, my love, do you know where his police cottage is?"
"That is not appropriate..."
"When have I ever been appropriate?"
"Well...I guess I can ask Father Brown."
"Oh, and while your pumping Father Brown with your delectable charm and find out what he knows about the case."
Sullivan's face reflected pure shock,'this woman was relentless,' he thought. "How on Earth did you find out which cottage is mine?"
"A little bird, may I come in? I thought you could use a good breakfast," she said holding up the well traveled basket, "another home cooked meal will do you good."
"Do I have a choice?"
"No, not really." She smiled at him, holding the basket closer to his face so he could smell the delicious meal. He gestured that she could enter. She smiled and went in, wiggling her nether region a bit as she walked to the table. She put down the basket and looked around the small clean policeman's cottage. Sullivan watched her sharp intelligent eyes takes in everything, he was both amused and embarrassed, it was such a tiny place.
"Yes, it is a neat and charming place very reflective of it's current owner."
Sullivan looked around his cottage, trying to see what she saw. He could see nothing charming about it. "I see it as neat, but charming?"
"That's what I see. Would like some of this delicious food?"
"Yes, I would love some. My table is tiny however..."
"It's adequate enough. " She opened the basket pulled out the thermos of coffee, two scones, some clotted cream and fresh strawberries. "Is this to your taste?"
Sullivan nodded, "It looks wonderful but..."
"Your a detective, how can you figure things out if you can't think, you need to eat a proper meal to think properly," she shook her head and smiled at him charmingly, "my Mom taught me that."
"Yes, she is a teacher."
"So she should know."
Anna smiled sweetly and nodded, she poured coffee for both of them, and handed him a cup which he accepted with a smile as he sat across from her. Then she passed the two scones, cream and the plate of strawberries to him. She took a plate and took three strawberries for herself.
"Do you not need a proper meal as well?"
"I am not a hardworking policeman, I am on holiday at the moment."
"When do you leave us, for the bright lights of London?"
"A fortnight, I believe you would call it..."
"Your stuck with me...."
No! Anna...I...I just worry about...."
"My interference with your investigation...?
"Not at all...I worry about your safety....I..."
"From the murderer? I'm a yank, why would they want to come after me?"
"Anna, that will not stop someone who thinks you know something."
"Well you care, that must mean you like me a teeny little bit..."
"I like you a lot...well ...I ....more then...I think your..."
"How much?" She got up, walked over and carefully, delicately traced his jawline right up to his cheek, the slowly traced his mouth.
Sullivan started to choke on the scone, Anna hit his back a few times, " He pulled back holding up his hands chuckling. "Enough, I'm fine." He shook his head, his eyes dancing in the soft morning light full of affection, "I am not much for romance, am I?"
"Oh, I don't know, that kiss was wonderful."
"You kissed me."
"Well you didn't stop me, in fact, if I recall correctly, you joined in on the fun."
"I couldn't resist, your so beautiful and I..." suddenly her arms were around his neck pulling him toward her lips again, her fingers going up into his hair creating a tingle through out his body, that he could not resist. He kissed her back with equal passion allowing her to deepen the kiss and joining in with an enthusiasm he had not felt in years. He pulled her closer, he could not feel enough of her, she ended up on his lap. When they pulled back he whispered into her ear, "You shouldn't have done that," then he tenderly nibbled it enjoying the wonderful sound she made in response.
"I love to do what I shouldn't especially when it feel so damn right," she purred back.
He pulled back and looked her with a boyish grin, "You do know that makes no sense at all?"
"I don't care, kiss me again, please," she growled. He happily complied.
History was made that morning, Inspector Sullivan arrived to work 45 minutes late. Instead of the determined angry expression he usually wore, his expression was pleasant, boyish even, you might even say the man was happy. The Sergeant was a bit confused by the change but he handed him the case file for the current murder with all interviews and the postmortem.
"Thank you, do we have any coffee available?"
"No Sir, but I made a fresh pot of tea, will that do?"
"Yes, thank you, that's fine." His mind now on the notes from the case. He took out his notebook and began to write extensive notes regarding the added information.
There was a knock on the door, his head snapped up with an expectant look but saw it was Father Brown and he went back to his notes, "Good Morning, Father Brown."
"Good Morning, Inspector, did you have an appointment with someone? I can come back?" Asked the Father as he sat down in a guest chair.
"No, I wasn't expecting anyone I just thought....um, never mind. How can I help you?" His head was down and he was still scribbling.
"I thought of something that I would like to add to my interview."
"Yes, I saw the young lady argue with a young man as I waited with Lady Felicia."
Sullivan's head snapped up, "Oh? Who was she arguing with?"
"Yes, a young farm boy from Brookdale Farms. I remember him because of his rather colorful form of dress."
Sullivan looked through his notes, "Dale...Archibald Dale?"
"Yes, it was, shall we say, an intense chat."
"Thank you Father, we will speak to him this afternoon."
"Wonderful. Did you have a pleasant morning, Inspector?"
"I just saw you come into the station, your mood appeared to be quite lighthearted."
"No different then usual, I just over slept a bit."
Father Brown smiled with a twinkle in his eye, "That does not happen often, but the last time you were mad enough to punch something, this time you were as lighthearted a boy when you drove up."
Sullivan breathed in a couple of deep breaths to calm himself, and then replied quietly. "Father, I would very much appreciate it if you not add me to your behavioral studies. I don't like to be analyzed."
"It is indeed a poor habit, but I can't help it, it seems."
"I see? Anything else?"
"Yes, will you being seeing Miss Roberts?"
Sullivan breathed in his tea and spluttered. "Sorry Father, just a coughing spasm." Sullivan wiped his face.
Father Brown smiled sweetly and nodded his head, he could see the sparks flying between the young couple the night before and obviously they had continued. It was good for the young man and he would try to help him to see that. "Well Inspector?"
"Are you going to see her...?"
"I have already, in fact, she was kind enough to bring me some breakfast," replied the Inspector and he thought, 'and so much more then that.' he could taste her lips on his and feel her warm body as his eyes glazed over and dilated.
"That was thoughtful of her, Inspector. She is a very kind and bright young woman."
Sullivan blinked a couple times and focused on the case file, "Yes, yes she is. Very."
"Will she be coming into town, this morning?"
"I believe she is."
"Excellent, I will chat with her then. Good morning, Inspector," The younger man waved as he studied the report.
'Yes, this man needs the love of good woman,' he thought as he took his leave of the station.
About an hour later Anna appeared looking a bit like Calamity Jane.
"Anna, what on Earth are you wearing?" He was both amused and annoyed. It seemed to be his constant emotional state since he met her.
"I thought you would like to take a nice ride out to Brookdale Farms..."
"No, please stop this, Anna..."
"Interfering in police business."
"All I suggested was a nice ride? When was the last time you took a nice jaunt on a horse?"
"So it's about time, then...."
"No, it is too dangerous...."
"Nonsense, I am excellent on a horse."
"You know damn well I don't mean the damn horse!"
"Anna, do you think I am a fool?"
"Of course not."
"Then please stop acting like this is not an excuse for you to snoop."
"Even if that was true, I still want to be with you."
Sullivan swallowed his bottom lip, he had been so off balance ever since he met her. He had done things he had never done before and now he was actually considering going with her.
"No, lets just have a nice dinner here in town."
Anna studied him and she felt sad. She shook her head, "No, your heart belongs to this job and of course this case. There is no room..."
"That isn't true..."
"My heart no longer belongs to my job."
Anna's face reflected the joy, Sullivan could feel it right inside his own heart and felt his stomach flop a bit. "Oh? Where does it belong."
"You know damn well, where it belongs!"
"Don't snap at me then!"
"I can't help it...please Anna...please, I want you safe...."
"But my Darling, I will be safe. I will be with you..."
"Damn and Blast!!!!!!!" He slammed his hand down on his desk.
Anna leaned against the chair beside her, she tilted her head and asked, "Then you will go?"
"Yes, damn it, it's the only way I know of to keep you out of trouble."
To be continued....