"Nat, I can't do it...Can you please find some medical reason or allergy
or something? Please Nat, get me out of this...I'll do anything..."
Nat's eyebrow raised slightly at this...but Nick looked so desperate....
He was pleading with her now. Begging even. Nat was beginning to enjoy this.
"Will you promise to drink ALL the shake I make for you?"
"Will you promise NOT to go into the Raven for at least a month?"
"Yes I will...I mean, I won't go into the Raven..."
"Hmmm, what else?"
Nat was really enjoying this.
"Okay, will you promise to be nice to Sydney? Feed him? Pet him? You
WON'T hiss at him?"
Nick began to hesitate, Nat tapped her foot.
"Yes, I promise."
Natalie began to smile and walk towards the sliding door.
"You mean you'll do it? Get Reece to take me off the case?"
Natalie pulled the handle and made to exit.
"Sorry Nick, I tried, Reece wouldn't budge."
"But Nat, what was this all about?"
Natalie smiled wickedly and let the door slide...
"I just wanted to see you beg."
When Nick walked into the station that night, it seemed as if everyone
were staring at him as he made his way towards the captain's office.
Reece and Tracy were standing just outside the door waiting for him.
"Hello stripper, uh, I mean stranger."
Tracy began to giggle.
"It's not funny Trace. Stop it! Cap!...I can't do this...it's too
Natalie walked up behind Nick and pinched him on the rear.
"Get use to it Nick...hey, anybody got a dollar?"
"Got a five..."
"Very funny...what time do I have to be there?"
Reece looked at his watch.
"Your shift begins in three hours, so I suggest you brush up on your
dancing or, whatever that thing is their doing nowadays..."
Reece went into his office and shut the door.Tracy was still nudging
Natalie's shoulder and giggling.
"Tracy, will you stop it already?"
"Okay, okay, I'm just glad it's you and not me. Hey, what are you going
to be? I mean, are you going as Zorro or something?"
Natalie cleared her throat.
"Actually, it's more like, and how do I put this gently...You'll be known
as the Doctor of Love."
Natalie held a hand to her stomach and laughed.
Tracy let out a squeal of barely controlled laughter and quickly rushed away.
Nick sighed and rolled his eyes heavenward in hopes of a last minute miracle.
"Oh come on Nick, it's not that bad."
Nick rolled his eyes again.
"Have you ever had to expose yourself...in public no less?"
Natalie thought for a minute...
"Well, there was that time college...or was it that convention in
Detroit? Hmm, can't seem to recall..."
"Nat, you're not helping."
"I'll help you Nick...so, if you are going as the Love Doctor..."
"The Doctor of Love." Nick corrected.
"Yeah, yeah. Where's your costume?"
"I'm not going to show it to you...you've been mean to me."
"Oh, don't you give me that look Nick Knight...show me what you've got!"
Heads spun around at the police station.
"Oops, bad choice of words."
"Nat..." Nick warned.
"Oh come on Nick, where is it? The loft?"
Nick cleared his throat.
"Then where? The club?"
"Nick..." Nat warned.
Nick put his hand in his pocket and..."
"THAT'S your costume?"
Natalie's jaw dropped.
"My goodness Nick! That's the leather equivalent of a BAND-AID!"
"Please Nat...Don't make it any worse than it already is."
"You could catch pnemonia in that thing, er, that is if you could...Nick,
that is simply amazing...I didn't know they could make those things with
Nick turned and stalked out of the squad room. Natalie was giggling and
running behind him trying to catch up.
At the church
Vachon was sitting on the old altar adjusting his guitar strings as Tracy
came in giggling.
Tracy was still giggling.
"Oh...poor Nick..." Tracy giggled.
"What happened now?
Tracy was still laughing when she suddenly got a strange look on her face...
Tracy broke out into a new bout of giggling.
Vachon tightened the guitar string.
Tracy stopped laughing and got a new look on her face. She was staring
intently at Vachon.
"Oh, nothing. I was just wondering what you'd look like in red leather.
The guitar string broke.
They rounded the corner. Natalie was gasping for air and trying to catch
up to Nick. Nick stopped.
"I'm sorry Nick."
Nick crossed his arms and pouted.
"Really Nick, I apologize...I know that this is going to be a very..."
Natalie had to phrase this right.
"It's going to be a very...difficult assignment. You are going to be
exposing...uh, trying to get the bare...you're going there to flesh
out...uh, catch the bad guy!"
There, she'd said it.
Nick gave Natalie a scathing look.
You're enjoying this aren't you Nat?"
Natalie looked thoughtful for a moment.
"Well...she purred...Not as much as I will when I see the show tonight."
"Nat! You wouldn't, you can't!"
"I could and I will...Here..." She said digging in her pocket.
She flipped the garment towards him in sling-shot fashion.
"Can't forget this...if you did, there WOULD be quite a show."
With that last comment, Natalie tore from the room before Nick could
At the Raven
"Urs...I can't do this."
"Nick...do it like this."
"Nick...just put this here and that right there...and move this over this
"Nick, will you quit complaining. I bet you and Nat do this all the time."
"I don't think we've ever done this before..."
"Surely you do it every now and then?"
"Not like this..."
"Surely she's done THIS before..."
"I think we need to take a break..."
"So, what are you going as tonight?"
"The Doctor of Love."
"So, what does your costume look like?"
"Oh my...I didn't think they made those things in leather...much less
with all those spikes...ouch..."
At the Club...
Lou the portly club owner came into the room with an armload of leather.
"Here Knight, a change of plans."
'A miracle?' Nick thought. 'No show tonight?'
"This time you are going to be The Thief of Hearts..."
"You've got to be kidding?"
"Ha, don't you wish!"
Lou put a hand on Nick's shoulder.
"Come on Nick, if we catch the perp it'll be worth it don't ya think?"
Lou left the room shaking his head.
Nick groaned and sank into the cushy chair by the mirror.
The door swung open again and Zorro came in.Well, with what part of his
costume was left, Nick assumed he was the infamous sword fighter
considering that he had a Z printed...
"Made out good tonight."
Zorro gestured towards his Z-string which was overflowing with money.
"Hey, your on in a bit, don't you think you should be getting dressed?"
"Yeah, I guess you're right."
Nick still sat in the chair. He didn't budge.
The door burst open a third time.
Tracy stood, mouth agape, staring at the back (and everything else) of Zorro.
"Yoo hoo, Trace I'm over here."
"Yeah, yeah Nick, just a sec."
Natalie came through the door a few seconds later, followed by Grace who
giggled uncontrollably when she saw what Tracy was staring at.
"Nick! You're not undress...dressed yet!"
Grace made a tsk-tsk sound.
"Where's your costume?'
"Over there on the table."
Natalie went over to the dressing table and picked up the pile of leather.
"Hey, this isn't the costume you had earlier..."
Nat seemed disappointed.
Tracy was still staring at the back of Zorro.
"Tracy, did you have something to tell me?"
"Yeah, yeah Nick, just a sec..."
"So who are you this time Nick?"
Grace picked up a stray piece of the costume.
"What's this? Where does it g...Oh my..."
"They're calling me the Thief of Hearts this time."
Natalie smothered a grin.
"Oh Nick, don't worry, you're just nude...new to this. you'll get
the...you'll do fine."
"Natalie this isn't a permanent position you know."
"A girl can dream can't she? Come on ladies, we have a show to see..."
Natalie gave Nick a quick peck on the cheek and she and Grace went out
"Yeah, yeah Nick, just a sec..."
Just then, Zorro turned around and Tracy bolted out of the door.
Nick just shook his head and began to peel on the layers of leather.
Zorro bade Nick a 'good luck' and headed out the door. Nick turned to
look in the mirror. Covered in leather from head to toe, he squeaked over
to the chair again to sit.
"That might be painful."
"My goodness Nicholas...that suit is, well, form fitting to say the least."
"One could guess your religion..."
"LaCroix, did you want to speak to me about something?"
LaCroix chuckled and picked up an article of leather which he held with
one index finger.
"Nicholas, one musn't forget something this important...to forget
something like this would be...trouble."
A crooked smile crossed LaCroix's face.
Noting that he had forgotten the final part of his costume...Nick mumbled
"Now do you see why how this mortal charade can leave one feeling...hmmm..."
"Don't say it LaCroix. I've had to listen to Natalie's little Freudian
slips today and..."
"LaCroix...did you come to help me or to lecture me again?"
"Oh, I think you've learned your lesson this time..."
"Do you think that I would leave my only son to be thrown to those
howling wolves out there all by himself?"
Nick looked confused.
Schanke entered the room.
"What are you doing here? I thought you and Myra had went to Moosejaw for
"Nah, Myra went to Mother's house for the week. Cap told me about the
case you were working on...So I call Cohen at the 97th and I've never
heard the woman laugh before, I mean she'd smile every now and then but
you'd usually need a crowbar...and..."
"Schank? You were making a point?"
"Oh yeah, right...so Mr. Night Caller here..."
"Yeah...and so, here I am to help."
Just then Vachon and Screed entered the room.
"Fine kettle o'meese ya got yerself into this time eh Nicky..."
"Trace said something about you and something..."
LaCroix rolled his eyes.
"Let's get this show on or off as they say...shall we?"
"Well here goes nothing...or everything..."
Natalie and Grace were firmly planted in their seats in the first row by
the stage. Tracy was practicing her swordfighting skills with a breadstick.
"Tracy, will you put that thing down before you poke your eye out?"
Grace grabbed the sesame coated cracker and motioned for the waiter to
bring a cup of coffee for the giggling guest.
"Aw Grape...don't me bad at me...I was jus' having bum sun..."
Grace rolled her eyes at Grace.
"If she throws up on my new shoes... Commissioner's daughter or not, I'll..."
"How many of those things did she drink anyway?"
"One...and it was a Hawiian Punch."
"Isn't Nick dancing next?"
"Yeah. Unless he flew the coop. Big chiken. He was trying to get me to
give the captain an excuse for him."
"Well, I have to admit...I didn't try very hard."
The lights in the club went down. The hundred or so women in the club
immediately directed their attention toward the stage.
The waiter came to the table with a cup of coffee for Tracy. Grace looked
at the hand. Then the arm...past the white cuff...up the bare, muscled
"Cap...uh...what are you...I mean..."
"You're almost naked!"
"Commissioner wanted me to check on the situation...this was the only way
to get into the club...if I hear one thing about this on Monday..."
Grace was smiling now...and holding Tracy's head out of the bowl of
picante sauce on the table.
Sirens began to wail...steam rolled across the stage...
"Ladies...the Lizard Lounge is proud to present...
The curtain slowly opened...
There were five men on the stage...
Dressed like the Village People.
The women howled.
Grace dropped Tracy's head into the picante.
Tracy threw up on Grace's shoes.
All was well in Toronto that night...
Grace was looking at her shoes...
Tracy was looking at the stage at the back of the Indian...
Natalie recongnize the back of the Policeman.
Reece thought he recognized the back of the Construction Worker.
Dollars were flying.
Reece looked down at his waist.
"Hey, what do you know...a 20..."
Grace was still staring at her shoes.
YMCA was blaring from the speakers at the sides of the stage.
The biker turned and faced the crowd.
"LaCroix!" Natalie gasped.
A young woman from the audience screamed...
"Take it off Uncle!"
Her companion hissed at her...
"Sit down Casey!"
The cowboy turned around.
"Oh my goodness...Screed?"
"Hey, that little one is built!"
Grace had finally directed her attention towards the stage.
Amanda Cohen came and sat by the three others.
"Hmmm...I know that one."
"Captain, what are you doing here?"
"Hey, a girl's got a right to see some flesh every now and then doesn't she?"
And as loud as Amanda Cohen could possibly shout...
"Hey! Take it off!"
The construction worker turned around and with a big, cheesy grin on his
face, tossed his tool belt to the floor in front of Cohen's feet.
The Indian turned around, wiggled his behind and took off his vest.
Tracy's eyes bulged.
The Policeman turned around. He pulled his right glove off...with his
teeth. He tossed it towards Natalie.
"That's not Nick...Is that Nick? Nah, that's not Nick..."
He slowly took off the second glove...with his teeth...one finger at a time.
A woman in the audience hurled herself onto the stage and attacked the
Her four companions dove into the crowd after her.
"Dotti! Get off that man!"
Myra Schanke barreled through the crowd, walked up onstage and grabbed
Donald by the chest hairs...
"Donald Robert Schanke..."
"But Myra honey I can explain...ow...ow...ow..."
"We are going home...NOW!"
Vachon stepped onto the table...
Tracy's jaw dropped as Javier wiggled his loincloth.
In the melee that insued...
Grace caught a hold on Reece's bowtie and...
Janette DuCharme quietly flew into the club and pushed her way towards
Natalie saw her standing there attempting to stare down an overzealous
"What are you doing here?"
"Hmmm, there are men stripping non? I would guess that I am here to
"Grace, I'm a married man..."
"Tracy is that picante sauce in your hair?"
"Hmmm...I like picante sauce..."
Screed flung a mouse into the audience.
Janette had flown up to LaCroix...
"What are you doing LaCroix? This is madness...These women are like wild
"Yes. I know..."
"Hey, bimbo...get your hands off Uncle..."
Nick was trying to retrieve his pants from the woman known only as Dotti...
Yes, all was good in Toronto that night...