remembers the rules about adultery. She was beginning to think poor Dilly could do with some relationship therapy. Not getting a bite, she went on, ‘Is there anyone else you can think of – any other boyfriend from your Midlands days?’ The sooner she got hold of a franked envelope the better. In fact, getting the post office to intercept them and redirect them here might be the best idea. ‘I didn’t have many boyfriends. None that would send notes like that.’ ‘But you’re sure the first didn’t arrive until the day after you went national?’ ‘I’d have remembered something like that.’ ‘Did your mates at work take you out for a drink to celebrate?’ ‘Why should they?’ ‘Quite a milestone, I should have thought.’ ‘I suppose I’m not particularly close to any of them, not really.’ Why not? Lack of self-confidence on her part, or resentment on theirs that a newcomer should have had a good break? Enough resentment to build up a hoax involving letters like this? ‘Might one of them want to get close? Might he think it a good anonymous chat up line?’ ‘I wouldn’t have thought so.’ ‘Have you been followed?’ There was a distinct hesitation before Dilly said, ‘I don’t think so.’ ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Sometimes – but I’m sure it was only my imagination. No, I haven’t. Definitely.’ Fran didn’t think she was going to get any further with that line, not yet. ‘Have you had any anonymous phone calls?’ ‘The switchboard would filter them.’ ‘But you’ve had no one breathing heavily down the line and then cutting the call?’ ‘I don’t think so.’ Fran managed not to swear. ‘Let’s make sure. Ask the switchboard not to put calls through directly to you. The caller can leave their details and you’ll call back.’ ‘It’s not how it works.’ ‘All right – so long as you promise me that if you do get an anonymous call you’ll tell me and I’ll think of some security excuse so everyone’s calls are filtered. Your mobile provider can do the same if you ask them. Trust me, Dilly, if we can get to the bottom of this we will.’ ‘I do trust you. As soon as I saw you at the press conference I knew I could trust you.’ A tiny but insistent alarm bell rang. ‘You realise that I won’t be dealing personally with the case, don’t you? I’m just an administrator these days. I’m sorry.’ She broke off, ready to snarl at the idiot walking in with no more than a perfunctory knock. But the idiot was the Chief Constable.
‘I might have known he would have got in on the act,’ Fran laughed, as she backed neatly into Mark’s drive. ‘He can’t resist a luvvie, can he? He was all over the poor woman like a rash.’ He retrieved his coat and case. ‘We’ll suspend our ban on talking shop, just for tonight, won’t we? Just so that you can fill me in?’ ‘Just this once. Go and run us a bath. I’ll bring up some wine and I’ll tell you all about it.’
‘So he wants you to drop everything and investigate this sad woman’s only bit of excitement?’ Mark sat up in disbelief. She blew some foam at him. ‘Not everything. And not immediately. Not until we’ve got in place a proper acting DCS. He’s already told Cosmo that the interviews must be this week, which won’t please the Superintendents’ Association.’ ‘It’s certainly very short notice. And he’d want whoever it is in post when?’ ‘Middle of next week.’ ‘Bloody hell. What’s this bird got over him?’ ‘You saw her on Friday. An air of vulnerability. She’s brought out his protective instincts. And she is very pretty.’ ‘Much too bland for my tastes,’ he assured her, blowing foam back. ‘I like a woman with some spirit! Hey! No! I surrender…’
CHAPTER EIGHT Come back, come back, to our screens, so I may look on you again. I want to see your beautiful feet, your knees, your thighs.