Written / The Hapless Romantic


The Hapless Romantic, continued....


I’ve had a day from hell. Not only has it been my ill fortune to have had to deal with Brett Danforth for the entire week, it was also my duty to help bust her this afternoon. I guess I’ve been in the process of busting her for a while, slowly. But today was the wrap up. Nothing pisses me off more than a slimeball like Brett. So oily you can feel the grease blocking your pores when she walks by.

All of this and I still have to go out with Little tonight. I’ve been dreading it for days now. I can’t figure out what moved me to ask her. The smile? No, her smile’s nice, but kind of irritating. I keep thinking she’s some kind of frisky puppy when she smiles. I like serious women with brains. What am I doing going on a date with Rambo Cop? Could it be her body? I can’t find much fault with what I’ve seen so far. Except that generally I prefer smaller women. Women who don’t make me feel like a dwarf when I stand next to them. Her eyes? I’ve always liked brown eyes, but hers are light brown. And her nose is a shade too large. And she dresses like a jock. And I’m spending a lot of time thinking about her when I need to finish this report so that I can go figure out what the hell I’m going to wear tonight.

It takes me longer than it should to get home. I’m going to be late if I can’t get ready quickly.

“This is driving me nuts Jen!” I shout as I fall onto the bed that’s covered with clothes. I can’t figure out what I’m wearing and I don’t have a clue why. I sit up and look at her picture on the dresser. “What am I doing? Why am I doing this Sweetie?” I ask her, but she doesn’t answer. She hasn’t since she had the nerve to die on me three years ago. You’re younger partner is not supposed to die when she’s twenty-eight. I’m still pissed about it. My therapist says that my anger may be hampering the grieving process. I don’t care, it’s what I’ve got left and I’m hanging onto it for all I’m worth.

“Christ, it’s just dinner at LoHye’s. That crappy pan-asian place with the snotty waiters. You loved it. I didn’t. So why do you think I said it was okay if we went there? What am I doing? I’m leading her on. I have no intention of seeing her again. If she wants to ticket me that’s fine, but this is it. At least she’s not into macho crap. Or she doesn’t seem to be. How could she not be? Did I tell you she wears mirrored glasses?” I start laughing so hard that I cry. I pull something from the bed to wipe my tears and see it’s a fairly new silk blouse that goes perfectly with the slacks I’ve got on.


I can’t see that Sandy’s the flower type. Women always complain that I’m not romantic enough. I think I’m plenty romantic, I just don’t get why they think I ought to show up with flowers. No one ever brings me flowers. Is it because of the gun, do you think? Maybe the night stick says I’m the one who should bring the flowers. The handcuffs? Do they say, “Hey! I’m bringing the flowers in this relationship.” I sigh, I know the answer. It’s the boots. It always comes back to the damn boots. If the uniform came with sneakers, or maybe I was a bike cop, I might not have the flower problem.

Hell, I’m not bringing her flowers. We’re meeting at the restaurant anyway. And I’m guessing that Sandy is the kind of woman who’s not into the trappings of dating. She seems kind of geeky for an agent. Like she’s a bookworm on the sly or something. I’d like to see what my beloved looks like in glasses.


I was prepared for Dockers, torn Levi’s even. But I wasn’t prepared for that body in a dress. I can’t sit here calling her Little all night. It’s just too weird. I’m sitting across from a vision in black, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a regrettably eager cop I’ve met a couple of times.

As we talk, it’s woefully clear that it’s Little in that dress. All of that enthusiasm and energy, she must burn up calories like an incinerator.


I knew I shouldn’t have worn this dress. I’m sending the wrong signal here. I can tell she likes it, or what she can see is in it. It’s the first time Sandy has shown what I’d describe as an unbridled enthusiasm in my company and I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that. On the one hand I’d like to go kiss my brother Larry for getting married last fall and daring me to buy and wear this to be his best man in. On the other hand, I’d like to kick his ass for suggesting that I wear it tonight if I was so damned set on making an impression on this woman that I never manage to shut up about for ten freaking seconds. I’ve got her attention alright.

Still, she couldn’t mistake who’s in the dress. Not for long or so I gather because she’s settling down after oohing and aahing over the ‘transformation’. We talk about her day which lightens my mood no end. She tells me about busting Brett and I’m all praise and wonderment at the tale. I knew Sandy could see through Brett. I don’t fall for just anybody. I fall for the woman with x-ray vision, who I think is trying not to stare at my neckline.


She looks like she might hyperventilate. What’s the big deal? It’s a good night kiss. She’s got to have done this once or twice. Could she be nervous at our semi public setting? But it’s a secluded and quiet corner of the park.

Could I have Little all wrong? Is this walking advertisement for lesbianism a shy wallflower? I’m intrigued. I move forward and she doesn’t move a muscle. I place my hand on her abdomen and she jumps slightly. I smile. She’s doesn’t. She’s staring at my mouth though, from what I can remember about this kind of thing, that’s a good sign. I tilt my head back and she doesn’t move to meet me. She’s too big and I’m not climbing up there so I reach up a hand and draw her down.

I kiss her gently on the lips and can tell that it’s true, she’s nervous, or in shock, because she barely responds. “Are you okay?” I whisper as I brush my cheek against hers.

She nods and I can hear her breathing heavily. I kiss her lips again, gently. She responds more, but not much. She’s begun to move her hands though and has wrapped them around my back. I kiss her cheek and am thinking she may be calm enough for me to kiss her mouth again when I feel her hold tighten and she kisses me full on the lips, hard. It’s a glorious feeling, but I’m startled by the change in pace. I also feel as though I’ve lost the control that was giving me a sense of security. I’m not sure how much I care and the rest of my body certainly doesn’t because it’s responding enthusiastically to her taste, lips and hands.

I’m hyper aware of her hands exploring my body. I don’t know when we decided to go from zero to sixty, but I’m not arguing at the moment. The moment I start arguing is when I feel her right hand touch bare skin under my shirt. It feels like a shock. I move down and redirect her attentions to the outside of my apparel. But her other hand has found the same entry point. I stop responding automatically and grasp both of her wrists. “Stop.”

She freezes as well. I can hear her breathing as she gathers her thoughts. “I’m sorry.” She backs away. “I got carried away.”

“I noticed.” Is all I can manage to say. Given the circumstance and my involvement, I shouldn’t feel as angry as I do. I had, after all, been grasping at the hem of her dress. She’s looking at me confused that she didn’t read my mind correctly. I guess I should tell her that it’s okay, I don’t even know what I want right now. Well, I think I know, I’m just not clear on how to get it. She looks so vulnerable and I have to admit that’s turning me on no end. This is getting weird. But I can’t resist the urge to approach her and kiss her again. If she was confused before, she’s confounded now. So am I, but when she reaches out to touch me I take both of her wrists and hold them away from my body. Not in a harsh way, just to illustrate that that’s not what I want. She goes with it. Little is an easy going kind of person, maybe she’s what I need right now.

A few minutes later I’m certain that she is. While kissing her, she’s let me touch her skin in the way I denied her moments ago. She’s soft and hard and aroused and for the first time in a long time I’m feeling like a human being. Not a shell. I want to feel more human with Little in a horizontal position. But I’m too scared.

She’s trying to say something but I can’t make out what it is because I won’t give her the opportunity to finish. I keep interrupting her with my tongue to taste her mouth. I love the way it’s making her tremble and moan. I’m addicted to the electric current that’s zinging through my body. I know that Little’s the source.

“Sandy, you have to stop.” She finally rasps out as I’m kissing her neck and moving back to her chest, which is conveniently located for my height. I grab her and pull her close as I begin to attend to her. I feel her hands gently, but firmly pushing me away. “Unless you think you can hold me up, I need to sit down.”

I’m reminded that we’re in a public park, albeit a quiet corner. I’ve never gotten this carried away with anyone before. She smiles and leans down to kiss me, and as I reach for her she breaks away and steps back. “I mean it, I’ll fall over if you keep that up. And I doubt you’d find the ground as comfortable as my bed.”

We pause and look at each other across the silence. It’s a small word with a large impact given my present state of arousal. And I think to myself, isn’t this what I wanted all along? In the back of my mind haven’t I wanted this since I asked her for coffee? She’s not my type, but is so willing and accommodating. She can’t expect anything to come of it. “You’re right.”

We’ve made it to her apartment and my mind’s still spinning. There’s a part of me that’s insisting that this is wrong and I’m using her for my own convenience. There’s a part of me that insists that she’s doing the same. The woman has dated half the city, or so I’ve been told from people who’ve made her acquaintance. I stop thinking when she leads me into her bedroom and sits on the edge of the bed. She’s reading my mind fine now. I lean down to kiss her. She tries to touch me again and I take her hands and hold them away. I look into her eyes and she smiles. I have no clue how this works, but it does and she allows me to touch her again and that’s pretty much how it goes throughout.

At no time in the evening do I allow her to remove my clothes, but I do let her hold me. She’s tremendously strong and it’s ironic that I’m controlling her every move. I couldn’t do this any other way. She seems to sense that and accept it. I can feel her straining to resist the impulse to grab me. Her body is a thing of beauty, toned and strong. Her full breasts are a divine revelation and I’ve taken great pleasure in getting acquainted with them. The length of her is an exquisite escape. Her skin is no longer tight along her muscles as it must have been at one time, but it’s wonderfully soft. And she’s keenly responsive to my touch.

She’s climaxed three times and I want to keep pushing her but she pulls my hands away. I could do this all night. I feel as though I’ve been starved.


I look out my office window at the rain. It’s been raining for days. Officer Jones sticks his head in my door, “Detective Little? Lieutenant Peters is out here, do you have a minute?”

“Sure John. In a sec.” I close the document I wasn’t paying any attention to on my computer. I find it difficult to concentrate on rainy afternoons. They remind me of Sandy. Don’t know why really. We never hung out in the rain. We never hung out period. If you count me lying in my bed with her driving me slowly crazy, yeah, then we hung out some for a while. But I couldn’t take it for very long. The devil couldn’t have thought up a worse hell for me. And all that time I thought she was an angel. I guess I still do. But I can’t see her, not if I want to maintain my sanity.

Sandy’s in love with a dead woman. I’ve been told that you can’t compete with the dead. They’re infallible. They don’t leave a mess, they’re always agreeable and they understand everything. Only problem, they don’t have bodies. That’s where I came in, or so I began to think. I was reasonably sure that Sandy wasn’t into S/M, I’ve met women who are and she was after something else. Something less appealing to my mind. So I called it off after a month of slow torture.

I’ve dated since then, but not much. My heart’s never in it and I begin to feel like I’m using women the way Sandy used me. I’ve heard that she’s been dating - ironic twist. Lawyers, professors and the like. Women of a more suitable station than a cop. I know I’ve got a chip on my shoulder about it and John says that’s what I get for playing outside of my league. He says that since I made Detective six months ago I can start dating further up the food chain without as many repercussions. I wanted to hit him because I know that Sandy may have some problems, but she’s not a classist snob. She’d have a problem with my taste in books before she had a problem with my job.

I drift through the day on autopilot. I can’t stop thinking about her today. It hits me this way sometimes. It’s been a year since we stopped doing whatever it was that we were doing.


Being on a stakeout is never much fun. Unless you have a good partner. Sanchez is pretty good. She brings pictures of her kids and likes to get her coffee from the same place I do. We’re trying to figure out what kind of business the small Italian joint across from the train station is really doing. It’s part of the Mayor’s fun idea for cleaning up the neighborhoods.

I get out of the car and go in. I’ve been going in to order once in a while and look the place over. As I clear the doorway, shouting begins. The place erupts in a hail of bullets and bodies are falling to the floor. A guy next to me pulls a gun and on instinct I knock it out of his hand. He’s small and as I turn I see he’s not a he but a she and my body’s in action before my brain registers a thing. I tackle her to the floor. The ear splitting sound of automatic weapon fire at close range makes my head ring. We’re covered in a spray of splinters and glass.

She pushes me away and pulls another gun from her shirt, takes aim and starts blasting. There’s one guy standing near us who is about to fire and she yells, “Freeze, FBI! Drop your weapon!” I don’t remember my angel having such a loud voice but I don’t care. The last bad guy standing drops his gun.

“Would you get off of me?” She shouts. I do.

She huffs, shouting orders and pushing people around. I wait out her adrenaline rush. Thrilled that she’s alive to spare me the odd shout and insult. I can tell that what’s troubling her most, besides the fact that I’m here at all, interrupting another of her operations, is the fact that I’ve saved her life.

Being the idiot that I am, I’m letting myself watch her and feel what I did the first time I set eyes on her. Mac walks over. “Hey Little, long time no fuck up our op. Where ya been?”

“Around.” I tell him. Mac’s a good guy and one of Sandy’s best friends.

“Hear you made Detective, congrats. The boss is almost off her adrenaline kick, you going to hang around?”

“Thanks. I think I’ll let her yell at me again, then I’ll be off.”

“You should yell back at her, you just saved her life.”

“She did not. She knocked my gun out of my hand before I could nail the bastard.”

Mac looked at Sandy and shook his head. “‘Fraid not boss. Lenny shot the oozie. You were aiming at Squiggy. You were almost holes and air.”

Sandy paled, but continued on. “Well, someone would have shot him. And that seems to be the problem here. So the one thing I do have to thank you for Little is keeping at least one of them alive.”

She turned and started shouting again.

I heard two weeks later that Sandy quit the bureau and took a job at the University teaching ethics. It turned out that her department was being used in a cover up scheme. She found a curious trail of information and followed it, thanks to the remaining bad guy left from the shootout in the Italian joint. She unraveled the cover up involving the bureau, the mob, it’s informants, payoffs and several of her superiors. She busted the thing wide open. That’s her professional style.

I remember her saying that the lines between good and bad were blurry enough without law enforcement making them worse.

I can see why she’d be sore. I never went in for any of the federal agencies because the departments I’d worked locally seemed screwed up enough. I couldn’t imagine what that would be like on a larger scale.

I’m sitting in front of the TV and I can’t work up the energy to turn it on. I think I need a pet or something. I could teach it to fetch the remote. The phone starts ringing and I decide that answering it is less painful than listening to the ring.



“Hi, I thought I’d call and say thanks for saving my life.”

“Oh. Sure, no problem.” I’m guessing her adrenaline rush has worn off. We’re quiet for a beat. I’m still getting over the fact that she called.

“I’d like to talk to you. Can you meet me sometime?”

Was I supposed to say no? I guess I was, but I didn’t, so I’m here sitting across from her at her place. It’s nice and light, lots of books everywhere. I’ve never been in her place before.

I keep looking at my hands and wondering what it is she wants to say. She’s been offering me drinks and food and showing me around. I even saw ‘her’ picture and I’ll admit that for a dead woman she’s not bad looking.

“I want to apologize...” Sandy starts, and trails off.

“You already did and it’s okay.” I finish up for her. Was that all? I wouldn’t have thought that would be so difficult. I’m ready to bolt now because I’m all uncomfortable.

“No, I meant about before. I want to explain. Will you stay? Just for a minute?”

I’m having a hard time disguising my agitation. I should have asked if we could meet in a park or coffee shop or something. It being just her is difficult and her house is making me uncomfortable. But I nod and try to stop tearing up the napkin she gave me with my drink.

“I’ve tried to think of a way to explain hundreds of times, but I couldn’t. It’s too difficult, and embarrassing. But I owe you an explanation at least.”

“You don’t owe me anything. What we had didn’t work out. End of story. It’s a sad ending and not the one I would have preferred, but that’s life.”

“But it did work out, that’s just it. It worked out for me. Which is what makes me feel even more guilty. I don’t know if I would have ever been able to be with someone else again if it weren’t for you. I don’t think I’d ever have been able to let someone into my life again. Much less have a life again in the fuller sense. You made that possible for me. And I gave you nothing but pain in return. Even if I was just another notch on your dating post, you were nothing but kind to me and I was hurtful and selfish. That’s what I’m apologizing for Little.”

Notch in my dating post? Who does this woman think I am, the Fonze? Am I supposed to sit here and glow with satisfaction at the fact that I restored her to life so that she can enjoy it with someone else? Perhaps I should, but I won’t. I can’t sit anymore so I stand up. “You weren’t a notch. I fell in love with you the moment I set eyes on you in the laundromat. The first time you spoke to me I thought I might die happy. The first time you glared at me I felt alive. The first time you shouted at me I was sure I was in heaven. Does that even sound sane? Does that sound like I was sizing you up for a notch? When you kissed me I swooned. When you touched me I thought I’d explode. I haven’t been myself since the first time I crashed one of your ops and I never will be again. Do you have any idea how difficult it is doing my job while feeling the way I do about you half the time? I was a pretty hard assed cop until you came along. I’m supposed to be a hard assed detective. But I have a tough time managing it.”

For some ungodly reason she’s smiling at me. “When were you ever a hard ass at anything? Little, you’re a big pushover.”

“For you obviously, but there are a lot of people who feel differently when they hear my name. How do you think I’ve succeeded in my job?” I know I’m not as much of a hard ass personally as I can be professionally, but my ego’s taken enough of a beating from this woman.

She shrugs. “Because you’re gentle and kind and I thought slightly nuts.”

“No, that crazy thing was you all of the way.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“Yeah, well, so am I. I’ve never felt this... that, I mean, for anyone. I have to go now.”

“You do?” She seems sad about it, but I can’t take anymore.

“Yeah. Good luck with your girlfriend. And I’ll see you around.”

“What girlfriend?”

I pause before starting for the door. “The one you’re able to share your life with, yadda yadda. That one.”

“I was speaking metaphorically, I’m not seeing anyone right now. I’m just thankful that I can. That I’m at a place where I don’t feel like I’m betraying Jen. Or myself. That’s what I meant. I don’t feel like dating to tell you the truth, I feel like I worked through something and I’m here on the other side of it and here you are and I wanted to thank you.”

And like an idiot I let her hug me. But she’s looking happy and I can’t resist her. I can’t touch her either because I know it freaks her out so I stand there until she backs away. She must see something in my expression because she tilts her head and looks into my eyes. She smiles, steps forward and hugs me again, but this time she takes my arms and wraps them around herself. We stand like that for a while. I think I’m in heaven again which is a good sign I should be leaving because if she asks me to stay there’s no way I could refuse. She’s right, I’m a pushover. A stupid one.

“Little?” She asks as we break apart. “If I had a free night in my schedule, one that I could dedicate to making up to you, would you be interested?”

“I can’t Sandy, not unless...”

“Oh, you can, I’d insist.”

“You would?”

She nods. And I know that insanity will be my closest companion for life if I don’t get what I need from her. So I stay. And it’s a good thing I do because Sandy has the softest skin of any woman I’ve ever touched. She’s older than I am by several years, but it doesn’t matter. At first we’re awkward with each other. She’s more shy this time around. And I note that though she’s careful and deliberate, her memory for my body is excellent. I’ve spent a good deal of time getting to know every bare inch of her in return. She’s exhausted and spent and insists that she can’t move another muscle. I tell her to catch her breath, she’s going to need it.

The End.

Well... not quite THE end, there's a short vignette as well... click here

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