Rating: White Cortina.
Word Count: 407.
Notes: I don’t actually like this; it’s too… unstructured, but I thought I’d try something different. Five guesses as to who it is!
Everyone thinks he’s a macho, macho man with his swagger and enough arrogance to light a fire for the whole of winter. He’s boisterous and noisy and he likes to get what he wants. It’s “Gene’s way or the highway,” as he once told me, and he is bravado and male testosterone all rolled into one.
He likes to think he’s a nut that’s difficult to crack. He’s one of those men that has to appear unsinkable, impenetrable – an iron fortress in the middle of a battlefield; he has no weaknesses (that he will admit to, anyway) but I know him. He doesn’t like the fact that I know him – it unsettles him, I can tell, but neither of us can change that fact.
Whenever we meet, we are less than civil—I suppose you could call us cordial and polite, but the intolerability is mutual. He thinks he is top dog, Alpha, but there is a side to him that I’ve seen—a softer, calmer side. Gene Hunt is not all mouth and fists; he has seen things and done things that I cannot comprehend, but he does have feelings.
He doesn’t like the fact that he has feelings, of course – what man does? He used to sit in the pub for hours, at the bar or in the little alcove, his body curled around a pint of bitter. The firelight used to accentuate the horrors of his face; the gruesome Frankenstein flaws and the broody, shadowed eyes that intrigue me even now.
I never did associate softness with him until I got to know him. I was attacked—fists pummelling into me, a rasping voice in my ear, “Do you want this, love?”—and he was there like a knight, fists meeting skin and the cracking of bone. I remember trembling and he, in all his gruff mannerisms, helped me into the pub (he was always there, always) and got me a whisky.
It is not possible to love a man who switches off his emotions when he wants to, just because it pleases him. I never saw Gene show any amount of feeling apart from when he was hitting people (scum, he always said, not people) and the odd time when our eyes met over our glasses and he smiled at me.
But I did love him, although I was quick to learn that journalists and police officers never quite go hand-in-hand.