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Rules to Live By
Detective Inspector Kate Ashurst watched her partner, Sergeant Emma Scribbins leave the station house, coat bundled tight, multi-colored scarf wrapped around her neck. It seemed that Ash was always watching Scribbs leave, off for a few pints with a mate, or on one of her ubiquitous dates.
It wasn't that Ash didn't get out herself. She did.
A drink with Scribbs. A curry with Scribbs. An occasional movie with Scribbs.
It just seemed that she spent more time alone than was truly necessary, but she didn't know quite what do to about it. The offers to have dinner with the right sort of man were few and far between these days, and heaven knows, she couldn't ask a man out herself.
There were rules about that sort of thing.
To Ash, there were rules about everything. Rules were important. They brought order to a chaotic world. They provided stability and security. They kept people in their proper categories.
Helpful rules like not asking a man out on a date. Necessary rules that said that public displays of affection were crass. Rules that relegated children to nurseries and the occasional pantomime.
Rules that strictly forbid one from falling in love with one's partner. One's female partner. One's chatty, impertinent, adorable partner who never willingly followed any rules, unless forced to do so.
Rules to live by.
Except that Ash was having a difficult time managing that last one. For the first time in her life, watching Scribbs' slender figure disappear down the sidewalk, Ash was seriously considering reconsidering one of her rules. She just wasn't certain what rule she could replace it with.
Maybe a rule against letting on that one had fallen in love with one's female partner.
If Ash had only known that she had already broken that one as well.
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