Note: I was raised Lutheran and I have fond memories of Lutheran
services. No ill will is intended; rather the opposite.
1st Friday, 7pm.
"I know this great restaurant, Benny. Nice and quiet, great
food, candles, the whole bit." Ray smiled and watched the traffic
"I'm glad we could do this. I'm--" Fraser turned
and looked at Ray, blushing a little. "I'm glad. Very glad."
Glad that Ray had been the first to ask, if nothing else. Fraser
had no experience at asking someone to dinner in the romantic sense.
Fraser touched Ray's hand where it rested on the gear shift and didn't
say a word about his turn signals.
1st Friday, 9pm.
"Ow. Ow." Ray winced.
Fraser dabbed at the bump on his head. "You're not bleeding,
it'll just bruise a little. And I'm sure I'm sorry."
"You're not sorry. The purse snatcher maybe is sorry he didn't
see you. I maybe am sorry I didn't see that trash can. But
that lady isn't sorry and you're not sorry one bit."
"Well, you have a point."
"Of course I have a point. Where's the damn black-and-white?
I'm tired of sitting on this guy." Ray rapped his knuckles on the
purse snatcher's forehead to make him lie more quietly.
"About two blocks away, judging from the sirens."
1st Friday, 11pm.
"Try it again next week?"
"Certainly, Ray." On impulse he leaned over and kissed Ray's
cheek. Ray smiled.
2nd Friday, 7pm.
"The maitre d' rolled over the reservation to today."
"That was very kind of him, Ray."
"Don't chase any purse snatchers. We're off duty."
"A policeman's job is never truly finished."
"Yes it is. It is too. At seven on a Friday night, my
job is done."
Fraser sighed but didn't answer.
2nd Friday, 9pm.
Fraser handed Ray some extra napkins.
"Forget about it. This suit is a goner." Ray rested his
head in his hands.
"I'm sure you can have it cleaned."
"Hello! Fraser! I think I would know what comes out of
good silk by now." Ray sighed. "At least we got the little
"That we did." Fraser sat down. "And I believe
that he is technically guilty of attempted aggravated robbery and assault
on an officer of the law, even if it was only a water pistol."
"Filled with vinegar! Why couldn't he have robbed the restaurant
"Ray, Ray, Ray. You should be glad that we were here to thwart
Ray sighed more deeply. "True. You're doing wonders for
my solve rate."
2nd Friday, 11pm.
"I'm not giving up, Fraser."
"Nor am I."
"I'm looking forward to it." Fraser brought Ray's hand to his
lips. Ray's skin tasted of red wine vinegar, but it wasn't unpleasant.
3rd Friday, 7pm.
"We're going to a different restaurant this time. The other
one was obviously in a bad neighborhood."
"Two incidents do not prove a trend, Ray."
"No, but they do make me nervous."
3rd Friday, 9pm.
"If they sing again, I'm going to will myself to death."
"Well, they're Lutherans, Ray, they sing. It's what they do."
He dropped his voice to a whisper. "I believe I have some slack
in my bonds, Ray. I should be able to work my way free."
"Great. You do that." Ray sat glaring at the terrorists.
"Who the hell ever heard of radical Lutheran terrorists?"
"Other religions have extremist branches. I see no reason why
the Lutherans would be any different." Fraser worked his wrists
against each other carefully.
"Have they made any demands yet?"
"Large print hymnals for their flock, I believe."
"And an indeterminate number of automatic weapons."
"A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon; he helps
us free from every need that hath us now o'ertaken," the terrorists sang.
A megaphone sounded over the sirens of the police cars outside.
"You are surrounded! Release your hostages!"
"If God is their weapon why do they need AK-47s?" Ray asked.
Fraser didn't answer. He was deep in concentration, trying to
remember the second verse of the hymn.
The terrorists finished the first verse: "The old evil foe now
means deadly woe; deep guile and great might are his dread arms in fight;
on Earth is not his equal."
Fraser joined in the second verse as Ray stared at him incredulously.
"With might of ours can naught be done, soon were our loss effected;
but for us fights the valiant one, whom God Himself elected. Ask
ye, who is this? Jesus Christ it is. Of Sabaoth Lord, and
there's none other God; he holds the field forever."
Ray was wide-eyed in what appeared to be horror. The pastor
and his camo-clad flock looked at Fraser with interest.
"Heart? Stop," Ray muttered.
"Come out with your hands up!" roared the megaphone.
3rd Friday, 11pm.
Ray turned off the engine and slumped in his seat. "I'm not
going to ask how you do it."
"It's just a question of finding out the heart of the situation, Ray."
Ray leaned over and kissed Fraser firmly on the lips. "Next
week we'll get it right."
"Of course, Ray."
4th Friday, 7pm.
Ray pulled into a dark, mostly deserted parking garage.
"Ray? I thought we were going on a date."
Ray nodded. "We are. I just think we're going about this
date thing the wrong way."
"Well, we've been going out, and out with you and me together tends
to mean guns, Lutherans, unromantic things like that. So I was
thinking we could stay in."
Fraser furrowed his brow. "But we're already out."
"You might say that. But from another point of view--we are
in my car."
Fraser blinked. "Ah."
"We could stay in my car."
"We could have sex in the back seat of my car."
Fraser looked over his shoulder at the back seat. "Why didn't
you say so earlier, Ray?"
4th Friday, 9pm.
"Right there. Right there. Keep going!"
4th Friday, 11pm.
Fraser kissed Ray leisurely and sighed. "Perhaps next time we
could stay in my apartment, Ray?"
"You need locks on your doors. I don't want to be interrupted."
Ray thumbed Fraser's nipple.
"That can be arranged."
"I'll buy the locks. You got a screwdriver?"
"I have two screwdrivers. Two."