___Randall entered the office and slumped into his chair.
___"Jeff!" a female voice greeted him in what sounded like a rather concerned tone. "What's wrong? You look terrible!"
___"Thanks, Jeannie, very nice of you to say so," he muttered in reply, rubbing at his eyes.
___Marty glared at his partner with annoyance. "Stop playing up to her! She's my wife!"
___"Aww, Jeff," she sat on the desk in front of him. "You look so tired!"
___"Funny you should say that, Jeannie. I've been up all night, working on a case."
___"I didn't know we had a case to work on, at the moment," she replied thoughtfully. "In fact, business couldn't be more dead."
___"Well, I got a phone-call last night, telling me that a Mister McReady had died in suspicious circumstances and that I should look into it."
___"Sounds intriguing," Jeannie smiled.
___Marty knew what was coming. "Tell her 'no', Jeff. She's not joining you on any more cases - it's too dangerous!"
___"Do you want any help?" she asked, on cue.
___Jeff tried to think quickly. He'd been offending Jeannie rather a lot, lately, and didn't want to upset her. On the other hand, her late fiance was glaring at him in a highly threatening manner, and he didn't want to upset him either.
___"I don't think that'd be a very good idea," he said slowly.
___"Why not?" she asked in a tone that was somewhere between surprise and annoyance.
___Jeff gave Marty a pleading glance. "Well... Because... Well... You're just a girl, Jeannie. What if things got nasty?"
___She glared at him. "'Just a girl'?"
___"I didn't mean it like that! It's just that... I wouldn't want anything to happen to you! I promised..."
___"You promised Marty that you'd look after me," she finished for him.
___"And who's going to look after you?" she asked him. "Marty isn't around to look after you, any more. What if things 'turn nasty' when you're all alone?"
___"I don't know, Jeannie."
___"What d'you mean, you don't know?" Hopkirk practically screamed at him. "You KNOW you're never alone - I'm always right there beside you!"