Opening Move


Cowley sat behind his desk carefully reading the dossier on the young man he was about to interview. It seemed he was more than a handful for the paras, so they had sent him to the SAS. Now it seemed he was a bit much for that mob. He glanced over the service record. A wide range of experience.

"A mercenary eh?"

Cowley was impressed. Not many started that young and lived to get out. He was either very good or very lucky. Most likely he was very good. Cowley then carefully scanned the lad's test scores. Excellent physical skills. Smart with good initiative. Insolent and insubordinate as well, but not while under Tomlinson. Cowley smiled at that.

"Well the lad just needs a firm hand then," he chuckled.

His intercom buzzed. The woman's voice was tinny.

"Sir, Sergeant Bodie is here."

Cowley closed the dossier and flicked the intercom switch.

"Send him in, Betty."

Cowley steeled his features and waited. A tall, well built young man still in a black BDU jumpsuit and boots strolled in and stood nonchalantly in front of Cowley's desk.

"Bodie Sir. Reporting, as asked."

Cowley eyed Bodie up and down. The lad's hair was dark and his skin remarkably pale. He was quite good looking and seemed well aware of that fact. He slouched insolently and flirted unmercifully, as if he were inviting the discipline. Now Cowley knew why Tomlinson had taken such an interest.

"William Andrew Phillip Bodie, Sergeant. That is correct?"

Cowley's voice was hard. It made an instant impression on the SAS man. He straightened slightly."Sir."

"Do you know why you're here?"


"You aren't deaf Sergeant. And I expect my men to stand at attention when addressing me."

Cowley's voice held sharp command. He watched Bodie's deep blue eyes widen as he snapped to attention. All insolence fled his face and his expression settled into a schooled military scowl.

"Yes sir. Sorry sir."

"I doubt that Sergeant. I asked you if you knew why you were here."

"Some sort of new mob isn't it?"

"Sergeant, you will answer 'yes, sir' or 'no, sir' unless I instruct you differently. Do you know why you are here?"


Cowley's scathing gaze froze Bodie.

"For the last time, Sergeant. Do you know why you are here?"

"No, sir."

"I am indeed recruiting for a 'new mob' as you put it."

Cowley was amused to see a smug grin creep over the lad's lips. An improvement over the scowl.

"I did not give you leave to smile, Sergeant."

Bodie wiped the expression from his face and set his gaze squarely on a spot one foot over Cowley's head.

"Sergeant Bodie, I see here that you are a troublemaker. What have you to say about that?"

Cowley flipped through the dossier again. Bodie did not move a muscle.

"Go on laddie. You can answer." Cowley's voice was soft. His burr reassuringly thick.

Bodie looked as though he was debating the wisdom of answering.

"Sergeant..." Cowley's voice trailed off menacingly.

"It isn't so, Sir. Its just that some of the rest of the fellows are jealous of my superior skills and..."

Bodie had slipped out of attention and was trying to work his charm. He had put his hands on the desk and leaned in towards Cowley. He smiled and used his dark lashes to great effect. He realised his mistake as soon as Cowley's cold blue gaze grabbed him.

"I have Tomlinson's report on you."

Without losing eye contact, Cowley stood and walked around his desk. He stood very close to Bodie. He scowled until the young man swallowed nervously.

"He says you need discipline."

Cowley's hand came down hard on the desk. Bodie inhaled sharply. He snapped back into parade rest.

"A firm hand as it were."

A tell-tale flush rose from the sergeant's collar and made its way towards his ears. His lips bent into a charming pout.

"I don't have time for that, Sergeant. I expect complete obedience at all times."


Cowley moved behind him and smiled. This was a lad to tempt a saint. And he was no saint. He let his eyes wander appreciatively over the solid, muscular frame in front of him. Here was a finely honed weapon and wrongful use could damage it. However in the right hands... He sighed. If only he were ten years younger.

With one quick movement, Cowley took hold of one of Bodie's wrists and the back of his neck, pinning him face down on the desk. Bodie made no effort to fight. He went limp in Cowley's grasp.

"And don't think I'll be fooled, Laddie."

He kicked the lad's feet out and shoved him forward on the desk. He had balanced Bodie carefully, his legs were splayed wide and Cowley positioned carefully between them. Unless the lad had the stomach muscles of iron, he wasn't going anywhere. Cowley also suspected he didn't actually want to escape. He leaned down and spoke softly in his captive's ear.

"I know all about you Laddie. I know what you want and I know what you need."

The twitch of back muscles and a gasp told Cowley that he had guessed correctly. He stood back and left the lad gasping on the desk. His mind clicked through the other candidates. One face popped into his head. Doyle. Doyle could handle him. Give him what was needed. With a longing pat, Cowley let Bodie loose. He limped back to his chair and hastily rooted through the pile of dossiers that Bodie was not sprawled over.

"Get up Sergeant," he barked.

Bodie scrambled to attention.

"You are dismissed, Sergeant."

Bodie's shock was evident. To his credit, he remained motionless and at attention, even though Cowley could see he was full of questions. He impatiently waved the lad away.

"Dismissed Sergeant. You will be told where and when to report."

A jubilant smile lit the SAS man's face. He snapped a brisk salute and bounded out of Cowley's office.

"Now where is Doyle's dossier...." he mumbled to himself.

Ahh yes. He snapped it open and quickly scanned it. Yes Doyle and Bodie. He sat back and smiled. Doyle lacked the military skills but he certainly had what Bodie required. And in spades by the look of it. Oh and they'd probably hate each other on sight. At first anyway. He sat back and grinned. Yes he'd definitely have to partner those two. It would keep him on his toes and with luck, it would be incredibly successful.

"Betty!" he shouted, ignoring the intercom. "Get Doyle's superior on the phone."

Cowley got up and poured himself a scotch. His eyes glittered as he sipped it and planned the future of his two newest CI5 men.

-- THE END --

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