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PREY 9--COLLABORATION

Well after the last episode I suppose we cannot really complain much that there were not many scenes of Tom and Sloan together this time around. We seem to centre more on the orange juice drinking kids at the school in Bartsdale and Ed's relationship with Dr Copeland before he is drugged and whisked away, just as he has discovered a way of disabling the nanites in the fruit juice.

Still quite a few Tom scenes, so here goes.

Attwood tells Tom, Sloan and Ed that his government source has told him about a possible DNA tampering with children at Bartsdale school and Sloan and Ed go off to investigate in the guise of school health inspectors. We have a few communicating glances between Tom and Sloan during the briefing, and when Tom tells Sloan that he won't be going with her as he wants to check out who Attwood's reliable source is, he strokes her arm gently as if to comfort her that he will be OK and be back as soon as he can. He goes to the office of limo lady who seems to be expecting him. She is really slippery and I definitely get the feeling that Tom does not trust her at all, well I know I don't, but he wants to find out where the information is coming from, especially after she tells him it is coming from one of his own species. He tells her he wants to make sure they are not being set up.

The limo lady arranges a meeting for Tom with the informer and it turns out to be a teenager called Shane. I liked the scene in the car when Tom and Shane first meet and all you can see in the shadows are Tom's eyes as he talks to Shane. Adam really has such expressive eyes, so much so that you don't really need to see the rest of his face to see what he thinks and feels. Not that I am suggesting that! I still want to see as much of him as possible!! Tom and Shane walk and talk for a while, followed closely by limo lady in her car. She does not seem to want to let them out of her sight for a moment! Tom is very protective of the boy and goes back to limo lady's office to negotiate the possibility of letting Shane go if he can get them more information on Bartsdale. He meets up with Shane again and asks him to find out the name of the person who developed and produced the nanite being introduced into the childrens' orange juice at Bartsdale.

It is obvious by now that Tom has a key to Sloan's apartment, because when she gets back from the orange juice plant after stealing some samples for Ed and Copeland to work on, she finds him relaxed and making himself a coffee. She is really pleased to see him and he gives her such a gorgeous smile as well to welcome her home, one that warms right through to his eyes. He tells her about Shane and she is worried that it is all a trap to catch him, but he says he trusts Shane, the same as she trusts him, and she can't argue with that. Ray arrives to tell them that the principal at the school is a major shareholder in the orange grove where the orange juice originates from, so Tom decides to go to see her and check if she is one of the new species.

There was something really quite touching about hearing Tom talk to Principal Cook about moving his family and children into the area, and his worry about there education. Even though they were a theoretical family it did make me wonder if Tom was thinking along the lines that he would like a family himself one day, with Sloan. Returning home in the car, Tom tells Sloan that Cook is definitely human and they decide that if she does know what is going on she must be a collaborator with the new species, much the same as Tom is with the humans he points out. Walking back from the car, Sloan feels cold and Tom puts his arm around her, then lends her his coat to warm her. Oh to find a man like that! When they get to Sloan's apartment door Tom stays outside, not accepting her invitation to come in. Maybe because he knows now where a night in her apartment may lead to! Sloan is obviously disappointed, but can't stop herself kissing him goodnight before he leaves. Shane is outside and tells Tom that Copeland is the brains behind the nanite. The realisation on Tom's face of the danger Ed is now in makes him immediately go back up to Sloan's apartment. She is excited to see him thinking he has come back for her, but she has her second disappointment in one evening when he tells her about Copeland, and brings Shane in with him. Poor Sloan!

Leaving Shane in the apartment they dash off to the lab, but both Copeland and Ed have disappeared and all the data been erased off the computers. Ray and Sloan check back with Principal Cook in case she knows where Copeland may be, whilst Tom manages to slip Shane away, out of the grasp of limo lady. He gives him money and directions to get as far away as possible, to be free to find a life of his own. When Shane asks why Tom does not do the same, Tom tells him he has a reason to stay. Bright kid that Shane is he asks if it is Sloan, and Tom gives a very firm yes. Shane tells him he is lucky to have someone and I think Tom feels much the same. I don't think Tom could even consider the possibility of leaving Sloan at all now, even if he had ever wanted to.

Limo lady is not at all happy that Shane has gone missing, and Tom denies all knowledge of his whereabouts, but I do wonder if this was one of her excuses to get back at him in the last episode.

Back at Sloan's, Tom does come in this time. Sloan is very worried about Ed, and Tom tries to comfort her saying that Ed must still be alive as Copeland would have killed him in the lab if he wanted him dead. Tom sits next to her on the sofa and then says those two simple words 'Come here' in such a sexy way that there is NO way she could refuse him. She cuddles up next to him and he hugs her close to try and comfort her. Oh to be there .............

So, the orange grove is destroyed, the juice plant closed, and Shane safely hidden from limo lady's grasp, but Ed is now missing and is who knows where. More to come soon.

~~Sally Maddock~~

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