How far do you go to protect a loved one from danger

even when it's in the job description?

PC Dave Raymond swore as he tightened the grip on his snifter rifle and courteously moved the muzzle of the rifle out the window.

Below him DC Judy Blanch waited nervously for the drugs dealer to arrive. The operation was simple Judy would phone Derrick Volston and arrange to gain possession of a small sample of cocaine. The police would swarm in and arrest him once the exchange had taken place on the bridge over the river near the docks, which contained warehouses one of which Dave and his SO19 team were in waiting for the signal from the operations commander, D.I Hudson of the London drugs unit.

Dave tensed as Sergeant Phil Turner slid into position beside him breathing heavily. Outside it was night time and the air was cool yet sweat poured noticeably from Dave's face. Phil however was the picture of calm.

"Don't worry," he said reassuringly to Dave "Jude will be fine, she's trained for this kind of undercover work"

How can I not worry? Dave thought that's my girlfriend out there!

Suddenly DI Hudson's brisk Scottish voice came over the radio link, "all units target on plot"

Dave tensed as threw his rifles scope he saw Derrick Volston, self-made computer businessman with a side line in drug dealing walk across from the other side of the river across the bridge.

Dave breathed a sigh of relief at least they didn't see team two hiding in the housing estate on the other side.

Dave held his breath as a couple of big muscle bound guys walked up to stand beside Volston . One of them whispered in his ear.

Dave couldn't see the expression on Volston's face but the three kept walking to meet Judy at the bridges centre so far so good.

They exchanged words , Dave tensed ready for action. He saw a flash of silver , a knife! Without thinking he fired off a shot that hit the henchman holding the knife in the side. The noise echoed all around. "What the hell" Phil cried .

Over all their radios came Hudson's clear voice shouting "all units go go go "

"Now you've done it," Phil growled as both teams charged from each direction onto the bridge.

Dave's mind was only on one thing though Jude!

As they came onto the bridge they saw one Henchman down on the ground blood pouring from his right hip. Volston was nowhere to be seen .

Of more immediate concern however was the other Henchman who had Judy in death grip with a gun pointed at her neck.

DI Hudson as the senior officer stepped forward cautiously "We won't hurt you " he said "let the officer go and we can talk"

The thug looked at them with hatred "Never pigs!" he cried then without mercy he shot Judy in the neck then reversed the gun and shot himself.

"Dammit!" Hudson cried and both teams ran forward to the bodies on the pavement. Hudson checked Judy for a pulse "she's dead" he said softly.

Four weeks later

Dave Raymond sat in an interview room as Scotland Yard as he was officially charged with disobeying orders and cashiered out of the service.

He thought back to the events of a month ago . After Judy's death he'd shut down he'd been questioned by MIT who were investigating the deaths from this bungled operation and found guilty of negligence and refusal to follow orders . The other two thugs had died that night. Volston after seeing the first shot had apparently jumped over the bridge and swarms to safety and was now on the run. The other two fanatically loyal to their employer had stayed to provide a distraction.

The most damming thing of all however, was that no one but Dave had seen a Knife that night and none had been recovered, He'd been so worried about Judy that he'd thought he'd seen a knife. If he hadn't fired that one shot things might have turned out differently. Judy might still be alive. All this had happened because he'd let his desire to protect Judy affect his judgement and make him see danger were there wasn't any.

He walked to his car, this had all happened because he'd wanted to protect Judy from the dangers of her job. He'd gone too far to save her and now they'd all paid the price.