Up Close and Personal
By Roda Werland
Doctor Liz Olivet, police psychiatrist, stared at the dark haired hazel eyed man in front of her in her office. Detective Mike Logan had been sent to her for counseling after his partner Sergeant Max Greevey had been murdered. With Mike's unconventional help, the perpetrator had been brought to justice but she could still see anger embedded in his hard body. He reminded her of a smoking volcano. A thought came into her mind that someone could get burned if they got too close to him. She brought her wandering thoughts back to what he was saying.
"I accept that Max is dead, but I'll never accept it, you know."
"It seems you've finally gone through all the seven steps of grief. This is our last session, Detective."
He got up. "Yeah and you won't mind if I say it's okay with me if I never see you again."
Liz shrugged her elegantly clad shoulders. "It's okay by me too, Detective."
Mike's eyes followed the movement of her shoulders, staring at the outline of lace under the silk blouse. For the first time he saw that Liz Olivet was an attractive woman in an ice queen sort of way. It would be good to see her melt under him. He gave her one of his lazy smiles. "Unless it's not in a professional capacity. How about dinner tonight?"
"I'm sorry, Detective," she said frigidly. "I don't mix my professional and personal life."
"I guess I'll just have to find someone else who doesn't feel like you."
After he left, Liz seethed all afternoon. She relived the way his eyes had stripped off her blouse and her blood boiled.
Liz leaned forward to look at the suspect through the two-way glass in the interrogation room at the Twenty-Seventh precinct. A lawyer was inside talking to the unshaven suspect. Detective Phil Cerreta turned to Liz. "What do you think? Is he our man?"
"Hard to tell from what you have told me. I need to talk to him Phil."
"That isn't going to happen," said Mike. "His lawyer's a hawk."
Before she could answer, the door opened and Profaci poked his head through. "Hey Mikey there's a Tiffany on the line for you. Sixth time today."
"Tell Tiffany I'm on a stakeout and you can't reach me."
"Man, you're something else." Profaci said before he shut the door.
Cerreta shook his head. "I take back what I said about you treating women like furniture. I treat my chairs better."
Liz listened to the exchange with disgust. What did these women see in the big oaf? At least she knew what he saw in them, she thought disapprovingly. Big-breasted bimbos. Out of the blue a vision of Mike's dark head greedily suckling her breast arose in her mind. The picture was so disturbing and real that Liz felt her ears were burning. She caught Mike's eyes on her and he threw her a mocking smile as if he knew what was on her mind.
"Can we get back to business?" she asked frostily.
Liz sighed as she finally picked up the ringing phone. It was Phil Cerreta. "Can you come over Liz?'
"Phil, it's almost eight. I'm beat. Can't it wait till tomorrow?"
"I'm afraid not. We've only got him overnight because the file is lost in the system if you know what I mean. Come on Liz we need you. We'll spring you dinner and to sweeten the deal I'll make sure Mike pays for it."
"In that case, how can I refuse?"
When she reached the precinct, the interview took almost an hour. She came out of the room tiredly rubbing her eyes. Mike was at the coffee machine cursing loudly as sludge poured out instead of the beverage. "What's the verdict?" Mike asked.
"I'll bet a week's pay he's not the man who has been assaulting the school girls."
"You say we let him go."
"I'm saying the real murderer is still out there." She looked around. "Where's Phil?"
"He had to go home. Elaine fell off a ladder and broke an ankle."
"Oh. In that case I had better be going."
"Why? Too chicken to have dinner with me alone in case it turns personal?"
"I have no idea what you mean."
"Seems to me that a person with a three-digit IQ would know what I mean."
"That rankled did it?"
"So come out with me as sweet revenge."
"You're on, Detective."
"Are you up to Chinese takeout or would you feel safer in a restaurant?"
Liz hesitated. There was no mistaking the challenge. She pushed her chin out. She was more than a match for Mike Logan. "Take out is fine."
Liz could not say afterwards what it was that caused him to slip past her guard. Maybe she was tired, maybe it was the wine but slowly she found herself relaxing under the influence of Mike's attentive company. By the time they finished their Tiramisu she couldn't remember why she had ever thought Mike Logan was an insensitive chauvinist pig. After dinner, when he sat too close to her on the couch to pour some more wine in her glass, she did not become rigid or push him off.
"I don't want to do this, Mike."
"Because it will complicate things. I don't want complications."
He kissed her eyelids. "No Liz this is not a complication, this is a pleasure I've been waiting for far longer than you can imagine." He caught the pins from her tidy hairdo and pulled down her hair.
"Don't say things you don't mean."
"I'm not. This is real."
"Please don't mess with me, Mike."
"Kiss me Liz."
She felt his legs tangling with her, then his heavy weight closed on her. The feeling of his weight on her freed something in her, destroying the last vestige of control. This is what she had been wanting from him all along, she accepted vaguely. Mindlessly her fingers raced over his chest, tangling in the hair while her body arched towards the hard lines of his. She leaned closer touching his nipple with the tip of her tongue while fumbling with his buckle.
"Witch!" he groaned raggedly as his lips moved to find the pulse beating at the base of her neck before moving lower to echo her previous action. A moan escaped her as his tongue laved her nipple into a sharp pebble before he tugged it deep into his moist hot mouth. Feverishly her hands slid across the smooth muscles of his shoulders as she felt him thrust inside her. When the final moment of release came, it was deeper, richer, better than anything she had ever expected from Mike.
"Yes!" he cried with an odd note of triumph in his voice.
Twice they awoke during the night to come together with passion. In the morning when she awoke, she lay on her side watching his deep slow breaths. She noticed stubble on his cheeks and realized that this was the first time she had seen Mike in need of a shave. That more than anything made her feel mushy inside.
"You're awake before I am," she heard him say and turned to see his lazy smile. "This is a first."
Talk about rude awakenings! All of a sudden the tenderness that she had been feeling for him evaporated as she recalled his long list of conquests and all the reasons why she has disliked him.
Liz got out of bed, picking up each item of clothing that was scattered over the floor. He rose up on one elbow. "What's the matter?"
"I have to go to work."
She ignored him.
He sat up. "You just realized you actually enjoyed mixing your professional and personal life. And you just can't take that, can you?"
Reality dawned on Liz. "That was all it was to you wasn't it? No woman says no to the great Mike Logan, is that it. But you're wrong. I may have slipped last night but never again."
"What's the matter Doc? You going to pretend it never happened. That you never sullied your dainty hands by running them over my body?"
Liz turned to him and said fiercely, "You bastard."
She picked up her coat. At the door she turned and looked at him still sprawled on the bed. "You want to know what is really laughable, Detective? Over dinner I actually thought that we could be friends."
Liz looked at the appointment diary in front of her with great disbelief. She stomped out of her office and glared at her receptionist. "Who scheduled this appointment?"
"Is something wrong Doctor Olivet?"
"Why is Mike Logan slotted in at 6.30?"
"He asked for the last appointment Doctor. I've got his old file here. Is something wrong?"
"Cancel it. I don't want to see him."
The receptionist's speculative look brought Liz down to reality. The last thing she needed was the gossip mill grinding. "Never mind, Gloria. I'll handle it."
She went back into the office wondering the best way to handle the situation. One week had gone by since the awful night that she was unwilling to admit but she couldn't get out of her mind. She had not expected the rejection to hurt so much. She decided that the best way to behave was to treat the appointment on a professional level and avoid even a glimmer of her personal feelings to get through.
When he came he was serious and to her surprise, nervous.
"Do you have a professional problem you wish to discuss with me, Detective?"
"I was a jerk."
"I don't do miracle cures."
"Liz, we have to talk about what happened."
"You pride yourself on being professional, then you have to listen to me. I'm your scheduled patient for the hour."
"Trust me Detective, your manipulation is doing nothing to advance your case."
"One of the things I've always admired about you Liz is your sense of fairness. Won't you put aside what happened that night and hear me out?"
"OK I'm listening."
"I thought about what you said that morning. You were right. I enjoyed your company at dinner more than I had with any other woman before. I thought we discovered a degree of friendship between us which is not something I stumble upon very often."
"What do you want from me Mike?"
"Don't worry I don't expect much. No mind-blowing sex, just your humor, your compassion and independence."
"What do I get from this?"
"I don't know, this friendship thing is new to me. I know I respect you and I'll always be there if you need someone."
"What about trust and honesty?"
"Why do you think I'm here?"
"And you promise there won't be any more moves?"
"Scout's honor. We'll only go at the speed you want to go."
"So long as you don't forget to keep to your side there won't be any more collisions."
"Collision...is that how you think of what happened?"
"Well it was kind of ...explosive."
"If you feel that way Liz, why stop a good thing?"
"No Mike. I meant what I said. If you want to be friends you have to promise we're not going to make love again."
"OK, OK. Just tell me why not. You said yourself we were explosive together."
"I don't want any complications?"
"There won't be any with me, believe me. I won't let that happen."
"It's my job to understand human behavior Mike but even I can't predict how feelings can get out of control. It's better to be safe than sorry."
"I won't hurt you Liz. I promise."
"I believe you mean that Mike but I think you could without wanting to and I won't take the chance."
"OK. I'll just wait till you seduce me."
"Wait till Hell freezes over then."
"Have dinner with me tonight."
"Sorry I have a date, but do you want to catch a movie on Saturday?"
"If the timesheet allows, and only if it's a flick you don't have to read."
"Fine. You choose the movie and I'll choose the restaurant."
"Deal. Good night Liz, and don't worry. You'll see that having a personal relationship with me won't change anything."
"Good night Mike."
After he had gone Liz closed her eyes and let the tears roll down, knowing everything had already changed.