Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me, they belong to ITV1. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time. The idea of the story as well as the story itself – including all possible pre- or sequels published afterwards – are mine.
Summary: By a fluke, Jess gets a chance to spend a whole evening with a certain army captain.
Warnings: once again not beta-readAN: I honestly don’t know where this came from. I just had this idea and it refused to leave my head until I wrote it down. So here it is. Hope you like it.
“You can’t be serious,” Becker said. When he’d been called to Lester this morning, he had expected pretty much anything – but not this.
“Do I look like I’m in a joking mood?” Lester asked sternly.
“Sir,” Matt jumped in. “With all due respect, I’m not going to participate in… this.”
“In this case, I’d start looking for another job if I were you,” Lester replied unimpressed. “I don’t think the minister will approve your refusal.”
“So…” Becker started, not sure how he wanted to finish the sentence.
“So, none of us has another choice,” Lester said.
“How did the minister come up with such an idea?” Matt mumbled.
“Oh, I’m sure it wasn’t his idea but the idea of the only person on this planet who can tell him what to do,” Lester objected with a sigh. “His wife. Now go, get ready. You’re dismissed.”
Matt and Becker exchanged a look, before they headed for the door.
“Looks like we don’t have another choice,” Matt said with a shrug.
“I’m not going to survive this evening,” Becker grumbled, as they headed for the elevators to get dressed for the ball.
Becker still grumbled when he was standing back stage at the ball in his tux. He was going to be next. This was ridiculous. A room full of old, desperate women who were bidding to have him all to themselves this evening. This was ridiculous.
“Hey,” he heard a soft voice say behind him.
When he turned, his first thought was that the evening wasn’t quite as horrible as he’d thought. Jess was wearing a beautiful blue cocktail gown, her hair arranged neatly in a bun, and she smiled brightly at him.
“Hey,” he said. “You look good.”
She blushed slightly. “Thanks,” she mumbled. “You look really nice as well.”
“Yeah, that’s not going to be helpful tonight,” he grumbled.
“Maybe it’s not going to be that bad,” Jess tried to cheer him up. “I mean, most of the women seem really nice, and it’s just one evening.”
“Women buying men at an auction are desperate, unsatisfied old maids,” he snarled. “At least they’re behaving like that.”
He heard his name being called and swore silently. “Somebody save me,” he mumbled, as he put on the best smile he could manage and stepped onto the stage.
“Ladies, this is Captain Becker,” the moderator announced. “He’s very secretive about his first name. So probably a man with many secrets. The lowest bid is fifty pounds. Do I hear fifty, fifty, sixty, seventy…”
Great. This was really great. Being praised like a rare animal for fifty pounds…
“Three hundred,” he heard a woman squeak to his right.
Looking at her, he was sure this evening couldn’t get any worse. She was chubby, dressed like a porn queen and could very well be his grandmother. Well, at least the minister would be happy about the revenues.
“Three hundred twenty,” another woman said to his left. She didn’t look much more pleasant than the first one, but at least she was better dressed.
“Three hundred fifty,” the first woman quickly responded.
“One, two…” the moderator started.
Great, just great.
“One thousand pounds,” he heard an all too familiar voice from the back of the room.
He looked up and there she was, standing in the corridor in her lovely blue cocktail dress.
“One, two, sold for one thousand pounds to the nice lady in the blue dress,” the moderator said happily.
Becker let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding, and left the stage, immediately walking over to Jess. Touching her elbow, he leaned in a little to whisper, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” she said, smiling at him.
“Um… Don’t get me wrong,” he mumbled, “but… can you really afford that?”
“Oh, don’t worry about that, my parents are pretty rich,” she put him off.
“Really?” he said, raising his eyebrow at her.
“Well, I don’t take advantage of that very often,” she replied with a shrug. “Only when it’s absolutely necessary. But I like making my own money.”
“You’re full of secrets,” he told her with a smirk.
Jess opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted when the minister’s wife walked up to them.
“Congratulations, Captain, you got the highest bid of the evening,” she told him happily.
And the most pleasant company, he thought to himself, but just smiled firmly at the woman.
“Well, here’s your reservation card for the Hakkasan,” she said, handing him an envelope. “I wanted to give it to you personally, and congratulate you.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” Becker said with a bow.
“Well, enjoy the evening,” she told them with a wink.
Becker turned to Jess, and took a deep breath. “Shall we?”
“You… You really don’t have to do this,” she whispered. “I mean, you don’t need to feel obliged to take me out to dinner just because… I just wanted to help you out. You’re free to go… wherever you’d like to be now.”
“I’d like to take you to a Chinese restaurant now,” he replied. “Besides, you bought me. So tonight, I’m all yours.”
She blushed slightly, her heart beat speeding up at the prospect of having dinner with a certain army captain. Relax, Jess, this is not a date!
“I thought women buying man at an auction are all desperate and unsatisfied old maids,” she mumbled when he led her to his truck.
“Yeah, well, seems like I’ve been wrong about that,” he told her with a smile as he opened the door for her.
He drove her to the restaurant, pulling out the chair for her in his best gentleman manner. He had to admit that this evening had turned out really great.
He was not only really sweet, he was also fun to spend an evening with – and Jess knew she was in trouble. There was no way she would ever get over being hopelessly in love with Becker if he kept being so perfect.
After dinner, they drove to the
Becker didn’t want the evening to end. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had so much fun. So he was glad that it didn’t take much effort to convince Jess to take a walk along the
“You know, I really can’t believe you paid one thousand pounds to save me,” Becker said with a chuckle as they sat down on a bench.
Jess laughed slightly. “Yeah, my parents are going to love this.” Great, Jess, keep putting your foot in. “I mean, not that I’m going to tell them what I spent the money for,” she quickly added. “Just the fact that I’ll take it, you know.”
Becker frowned at her. “They’re happy if you take their money?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. “I always thought parents are happy if their children stand on their own legs.”
“Yeah, well, not my parents,” she replied, sighing.
“Care to share?” he carefully pressed her, when she refused to go on talking.
Jess took a deep breath. “They think my work is just… a waste of time,” she told him in a low voice. “As everything else I did had been for them. Working for school, skipping grades, studying… For them it was always just a waste of my time.”
Becker slowly put his arm around her shoulders. “You know, I’m really sorry for your parents,” he quietly said.
Jess turned a little to frown at him. “Why?”
Smiling, he reached out to gently stroke her cheek with his index finger. “Because they can’t see what a wonderful, lovely, and smart daughter they raised.”
“They didn’t raise me,” Jess whispered. “I had a nanny. And they definitely don’t think I’m lovely. They think I’m… unmarriageable, as my father always calls it.”
Gently pulling her into his arms, Becker kissed the top of her head, and said, “You shouldn’t listen to them, they obviously don’t know one bit about you.”
“Thank you,” she mumbled, closing her eyes and snuggling a little further into his embrace.
They sat on the bench, doing what Jess tried hard to convince herself wasn’t cuddling, and watching the boats flow past them on the river until the temperature had dropped too much. They decided to call it a night, even though none of them wanted this evening to be over.
Becker drove Jess home, even led her up the stairs to the door of her apartment.
“Thank you,” she said, when she had unlocked the door, and turned back to him. “I really enjoyed this evening.”
“Yeah, me too,” Becker said, smiling at her. “You know, we should… repeat that sometime… If you like.”
“Yes,” she agreed, a bit too euphoric for her own liking. Blushing, she added, “I’d love to.”
“Good,” he replied with a smirk, and then leaned in to let his lips brush her cheek. “See you tomorrow, Jess.”
“Yeah,” she replied, trying hard to hide the fact that her cheeks were burning and her heart was trying to jump out of her chest. “Get home safe!”She watched him get into his car, and then closed the door, sinking back against it. He had enjoyed the evening; and he wanted to repeat it. She couldn’t stop the squeal from escaping her mouth. It was official, she was in heaven.