"Do you love him?"


"I said, do you love him?"


An exasperated sigh. "You know who. HIM!"

"Oh, HIM!" There was a pause while he considered.


"Well, what?"

"Do you?"

"Do I what?"

"Do you love him?"

"Course not. Well, I mean I do, but..."

"But what?"

"I love him, but I don't, if you see what I mean."

Another pause. "No, I don't. Explain it to me."

"Well, he's... special."

"Special?" The word was enunciated perfectly.

"Not as special as some people," he qualified quickly.

"Oh?" There was a hurt sound in the reply.

"All right, he's a pain in the bum then!" A thought struck him. "Do you love him?"



"Him? Nah, well... sort of. I put up with him same as I do with you."

"Oh, thanks VERY much!" He turned away.

Oh God, he's going to sulk. "I didn't mean it like that. I was only teasing, honest."

There was a moody silence.

"I put up with you because I love you." A gentle finger poked him in the ribs. "I said, I love you."

He wriggled a little. "That's all right then." He turned back to face his partner and smiled in the semi-dark.

"Would've thought you knew THAT! He could afford to be cheeky now that he'd regained his companion's attention. "Cowley's finest. You still haven't answered my question."

"What question?"

"Do you love him?"

"Who? Oh, HIM," he teased back. "Yeah, he's all right, I suppose... if you like the type."

"Do you?"

He smiled, shook his head.

"What is your type then?"

"Can't you guess?"

"Um... What do I get if I guess right?"

"What would you like?"

"You mean I can choose?"


"Well..." A thousand possibilities filled his mind, variations on an ancient theme." "What about you between two sheets... no dressing?"

"In case you hadn't noticed," he moved closer and slid his arms round the wiry body beside him, "that's precisely what you've got." He yawned suddenly.



"Go to sleep then," Smiled Doyle. "You can tell me in the morning."

"Tell you what?" Bodie snuggled up.

"If you love him."

Bodie opened his eye and glared drowsily at his lover. "YES, all right? Interrogation over! Now shut up and go to sleep!"

With a soft chuckle, Doyle did.

-- THE END --

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