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AUTHOR’S NOTE: The good news is that we’re fast approaching the conclusion of this story, so if you’ve followed from the beginning then I thank you. The bad news is that the sexy stuff is pretty much over. Rick’s in serious trouble and I need work out how the fuck I’m going to get him out of this pickle. Or maybe I won’t. We’ll see…
As always, if you’re enjoying this, please vote. The higher the rating, the more people who will discover it and enjoy it too.
Innocent until proven guilty.
It’s an admirable aim, but one that is fraught with contradictions and difficulties. What exactly is ‘innocence’? Or indeed ‘guilt’? And who gets to judge? Officially the jury of course, but beyond that? The judge? The press, with their own political and commercial interests? Or maybe the public, watching with wicked glee as the scandal unfolds?
And where, precisely, does ‘truth fit into it all? One person’s lie could be another’s misunderstanding, or delusion, or simply ‘alternate truth’.
For me, it was perhaps more a question of scale. Had I been living a life of debauchery? Absolutely. Immorality? Quite probably. Predatory? In all honesty, I couldn’t say. I’m sure that most of us believe we are in the right, but in truth, I suppose these things are for others to judge.
They marched me in front of a magistrate. I was formally charged and bailed. The duty solicitor I’d been allocated suggested I go straight home and stay put. He said he’d drop by in a few days to get started on the case.
They were everywhere. Photographers and reporters outside the court. Paparazzi hanging around the apartment (how the hell did they get my address!) I made the local radio news, then the national, then the papers. And after a couple of days I had a new moniker: The Massage Molester. It would have been funny if it didn’t represent the end of my life.
Reporters were buzzing the door wanting to ask questions and after a while I disconnected it, so I almost missed her.
“Peek-a-boo! I know you’re in there,” said the message that slid under the door. “It’s Vanessa and I have pizza.” My heart fluttered for a moment.
“Just for the record, I don’t believe a word of it,” she said as she strode in, carrying bags of groceries and a large pizza box. She dumped them in the kitchen and turned, looking around the apartment.
“Could do with a bit of Kondo,” she grinned.
“They trashed it. I couldn’t be bothered to tidy up.”
“Understandable. No phone?”
“They took it away,” I said simply. “I should probably get another one.”
She paused and looked at me for a moment. “Need a hug?”
“Fuck, yes,” I replied. We cuddled and I sobbed a bit, trying to explain.
“Shush,” she whispered. “No need. I know who you are, Rick Rollins. All the crap in the papers is bollocks.”
We opened wine and devoured the pizza. I think I must have talked a lot. I was probably mumbling incoherently but she listened patiently. I explained about all my ladies and she just nodded.
“I know,” she said. “I’m not stupid. And besides, I recommended you to at least three friends of mine.”
“Yes, of course.” I suddenly remembered my ‘client notes’ with horror.
“I’ve probably got a lot of married women into trouble.”
Vanessa paused. “Actually,” she purred. “I was one of the first people the Police called. I managed to get to Jenny, Fiona and Maya and warn them. Between us we’ve pieced most of it together. Everybody knows everybody in this town.” She laughed. “Probably haven’t warned all of them, mind. I suspect there are going to be a lot of suspicious husbands out there.”
Fuck. I hadn’t even thought about them. Dozens of men that probably want to skin me alive.
“And I’ve arranged a proper barrister to take your case. He’s good, one of the best.”
We met at his chambers. He was a tall guy, rather imposing I thought. I vaguely recognised him from somewhere.
“Anthony Winterbottom,” he boomed, shaking my hand. “But please call me Tony.”
“Oh,” I gulped. The memory crashed into my head. Jenny’s husband! “Er, I’m not sure if I can really afford…”
“All covered. You have a generous benefactor.”
“Oh, OK. What I meant was, I’m not sure if it’s appropri…”
“Because you’ve been fucking my wife?” said Tony. I just stood there with my jaw open and flushed.
Tony motioned me to sit and I dropped into a chair.
“Yes, I was pissed off when she told me,” he started. “And I’ll be honest, I’m not your biggest fan right now. But Pendik Escort since that massage course, she’s been a different woman. Relaxed, carefree, passionate, full of life…” He dropped to a whisper. “…and bloody good in the bedroom!”
I was lost for words.
“I’m putting that down to your influence.” I wondered if he knew about Ruth, but I wasn’t going to go there.
“Not that I’m going to thank you or anything,” he continued. “But Jenny begged me to help and I believe in justice, so if you’re willing to be candid, I’ll do everything I can.”
I was gobsmacked.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Tony a few hours later. “Essentially your word against hers. These cases can go either way but with your, well, career choice, we’ll need to work hard and smart to convince a jury.”
So I’m screwed then, I thought. Appropriate and fitting, given that very sordid career choice.
It was three months before the case came to court. Three months with little to do, no income and very little hope. Tony said they were liaising with the prosecution and looking at the evidence. He’d interviewed Miss Brown and yes, she was, indeed, a high class escort. He was looking at ways of getting that into the defence.
Vanessa popped in from time to time and kept me topped up with supplies, but I soon burned through my savings, finally accepting that I wasn’t going to be able to pay the rent much longer. Might be better off in jail, I thought to myself. At least I’ll have a roof over my head. I bit the bullet and called my landlady.
“You’re paid up,” she said. “At least until the end of the trial. You have some friends out there.” Probably Vanessa, I mused. Again. I thanked her for not kicking me out.
“It sounds like there are quite a few people on your side,” she said. “But I have to be honest Rick, whatever happens in court, I need to think about my reputation. Tenants won’t rent from me if they think I’m harbouring, er, well, you know…” She petered out and my heart sank a little.
“Sure,” I said sullenly. “Totally understand. The way things are looking I’ll probably have full board and lodgings after the trial anyway – at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.”
The courtroom was a cavernous space, filled with wood panelling, a multitude of desks, computers, clerks, ushers and countless reporters.
The gallery was also packed. As they brought me in, I glanced around and spotted a few faces. One or two of my ladies (although mostly the single ones). Probably a few angry husbands too, I thought. One lone figure that sent a sliver of hope through my body: Vanessa. Perched in the corner alone, composed and attentive. What an amazing woman, I thought.
The first couple of days of the trial belonged to the prosecution. To be honest, I’d pretty much given up any hope. They opened with a Police officer. She was presumably the one who had first handled Emmy’s complaint. I finally heard her side of the story, albeit told through a formal Police report. It was eerily truthful. And complete bullshit!
Miss Brown had been invited to Mr Rollins’ home, where she understood he offered services of a sexual nature. She initially thought she was paying for a massage and ‘happy ending’ which she believed would involve manual relief. It all sounded so clinical. I was flushing with embarrassment at every revelation.
Miss Brown had not consented to any form of intimate sexual contact (what the fuck?!) but Mr Rollins had climbed on top of her naked. She had clearly said “no” when he initially suggested sex. I was struggling to believe my ears. This was complete poppycock.
After the incident, Miss Brown had gone straight to the Police to report it and a full medical examination had been conducted. DNA extracted from the semen sample matched Mr Rollins’ DNA.
It all sounded so damning. My heart just sank and sank.
The court took a short recess and I huddled with Tony in the side room kept for the defendant.
“Try not to worry,” he said plainly. “We’ll have our time. A lot of this is going to feel awful but I’ll do what I can to mitigate the evidence.”
“She’s lying through her teeth.”
“Technically, she hasn’t said anything. It’s just a Police report. And unless she testifies we can’t compel her to speak. As I said before, it’s your word against hers.”
“Do I have to testify?” I asked, dreading the idea.
“Absolutely not!” he replied. “The prosecution can’t compel you and, for us, it’s a last resort only. Let’s see how it goes.”
They Kurtköy Escort introduced several witnesses that I recognised, including some of my ladies. I was devastated and heartbroken. Mandy Clay’s gardener confirmed I had been a regular visitor at the Clay household. Then Mandy herself was called. The prosecution asked her if she had ever had sex with me. I could see that she was struggling, but she had no choice but to confirm. Yes. How often? Weekly. Did I specifically ask for consent on each occasion? Not always, no. Several ridiculous questions that implied the exact opposite of what actually took place. Then it was Tony’s turn to cross examine.
“Mrs Clay, at any point in your relationship with Mr Rollins did you ever consider that you were paying for sex?”
Mandy smiled at me briefly. I sensed that perhaps she was on my side after all.
“Never,” she said smartly and clearly. “I only ever paid for a massage. And a very good one!” There were sniggers from the court.
The judge reprimanded her. “Please just answer with facts, Mrs Clay.”
“And do you believe that you consented to sex on each occasion that it took place?” Tony continued.
“Absolutely! Sorry, I mean yes,” she said, but she was grinning widely.
I was wondering where hubby was in all this. Tony continued.
“Is it true that you were recently diagnosed with a long term medical condition?”
“Yes, I’m currently in counselling for hypersexuality.”
“I understand your husband is supporting you through this treatment?”
“Objection!” shouted the opposing counsel. “Irrelevant to the case.”
The judge looked at Tony. “I’m not seeing the point, counsel.”
“Apologies, Madam,” said Tony. “May I just clarify one point Mrs Clay. When you say “hypersexuality” can you just explain that for the lay men and women in the court?”
Mandy blushed but held her head high and spoke defiantly. “I’m a nymphomaniac.”
We adjourned for lunch. Vanessa brought me a sandwich and Tony sorted through his notes as we ate quietly.
“I’d say that Mrs Clay was a win for us,” he smiled encouragingly.
I looked across at Vanessa and blushed. “Poor woman,” I mumbled. I felt ashamed.
“Don’t worry,” she said reassuringly. “I caught her outside the court. She’s fine and says “hi” and “good luck”. She also wanted to thank you – for, erm, services rendered.” She grinned. “Sounds to me like she only needed medical help once her previous ‘treatment’ became unavailable.”
The prosecution continued with several more of my ladies. Tony tried having the evidence thrown out as irrelevant, but the judge gave them the benefit of the doubt. Something along the lines of attesting to my character and the impact of my behaviour. If they’re going to march out all my ladies and ask them how often we had sex, they might as well just lock me up now, I thought to myself miserably. Perhaps I’m the one that needs treatment?
Maya came to the stand. She confirmed our regular tryst. All the same stupid questions about consent. Then Tony stood to cross-examine.
“Mrs West, I only have one question for you. How have the revelations of this case affected your marriage?”
“Objection!” screamed opposing counsel. The judge peered at him over her specs. “Wasn’t your argument for illustrating the impact of the defendant’s behaviour, counsel?” She barked.
“Er, yes Madam,” he replied, sitting quickly.
“You may answer,” she said to Maya.
“I left my husband three months ago. We’re going through a divorce.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Mrs West,” said Tony.
“Don’t be. It was about bloody time!” She barked to titters from the gallery.
They called Fiona. As she waddled out to the witness box, there were growing murmurs from the gallery. I couldn’t hear much but caught one comment. “Bloody hell, that’s commitment to the job,” someone muttered, just a little too loudly.
I guess the prosecution was learning that mindless questions about sex weren’t going to build a particularly strong case.
“How often did you meet the defendant?” Said the barrister.
“Oh, once or twice per month,” chirped Fiona, wobbling like a large jelly where she sat.
“I’m afraid I need to speak bluntly, Mrs Tailor. Did any of your sessions involve restraint? Tying of the hands, for example?”
“Oh gosh, yes!” chirped Fiona. “All of them. I was usually blindfolded, bound and sometimes gagged.”
The noise level rose considerably. The press are going to have a bloody field day with this, I thought. Ümraniye Escort The judge called for quiet.
“So would you say that you were completely helpless when the defendant was giving you the, er, massage service?” said Weller.
Fiona nodded and I watched the jurors who all looked pretty shocked by all this. Weller looked triumphant, and then blew it.
“Would you say the defendant could have taken full advantage of you, even without your consent?” He said.
“Oh, I doubt it. David would have had something to say about that!”
“I’m sorry? Do you mean your husband?”
“Of course! Who else? David was always in the room. He’s sort of my cuck. Rick’s my bull.”
The room erupted with gasps, a few sniggers and some laughter. Fiona grinned at me and winked.
“No further questions,” said Weller, despairing at his error.
Tony stood as the room hushed again.
“Mrs Tailor, just one question. The prosecution seem keen to paint Mr Rollins as a manipulative womaniser. Do you agree with that assessment?”
Fiona paused and the room quietened. She looked over at me.
“Possibly one of the most caring and attentive men I’ve ever met,” she purred. She looked up at the gallery and heads turned to where David was sitting. He was grinning too and nodding enthusiastically.
“Rick probably saved our marriage,” she finished quietly.
Tony arrived a little late for the next day’s proceedings and met me in the side room as usual.
“Just met with opposing counsel. They’re suggesting Amelia take the stand.”
“That’s good isn’t it?” I cried. “You can expose all those fucking lies!”
“Yes, possibly, but I’m afraid there’s a catch. They’ll only call her for the prosecution if you agree to stand in defence.”
I hesitated. It was my worst fear. Exposed to the whole world.
“I’m not going to lie Rick, it’ll be tough. Weller may seem like a klutz at times but he’ll pull you apart. Every little detail.”
Tony gave me a moment to think.
“Everything so far, apart from that Police report, is circumstantial or irrelevant. As far as facts are concerned your semen was inside her body and it’s your word against hers over consent.”
I braced myself. It can’t get much worse, I thought.
Emmy looked considerably different from our original meeting. She’d cut her hair shorter and dressed demurely in flats, a plain suit and woollen top. With simple lacquered nails and minimal makeup, you’d be forgiven for thinking she worked at the local library.
The counsel for the prosecution carefully established their case. He took her through the events of the day, starting with the original call, the arrival and then the massage session.
Had I left the room while she changed? No
Was she covered in any way during the massage? No
Had I explicitly requested consent to touch her groin or breasts? No
And when I asked about sexual intercourse and protection exactly what words did she use? Just the word “no.”
Tony started the cross examination carefully and precisely.
“May I remind you Miss Brown, that you are under oath. Perjury is a criminal offence.” She nodded.
“Is it true that most of your income comes from…”
“Objection!” interrupted Weller. “Miss Brown’s job is irrelevant.”
“I’m sorry, Mr Winterbottom, but I must agree. Can we stick with the events of 20th July please,” instructed the judge.
Tony’s shoulders sagged a little. A vital opportunity lost. He paused, checked his notes and steadied himself.
“In his statement, Mr Rollins claims that he asked you if you would like intimate contact. Did you reply “Oh yes, most definitely.”?
“I thought he meant more massage on my legs,” she said clearly.
“Did you attempt to stop him from touching your breasts or genitals?”
“I wanted to but I was scared. He’s a strong guy and I didn’t want to get hurt.”
I could tell it was rehearsed. This wasn’t the girl I romped with on the massage couch. I knew I was doomed but I felt a little sorry for her.
“During the sexual act, did you say anything further or attempt to stop him?”
She glanced at me and I saw the same glint of sadness I’d seen that evening in my apartment. I realised it wasn’t sadness, but remorse.
“Once he was on top of me I couldn’t stop him,” she said softly to deafening silence.
“And in Mr Rollins statement, he claims to have said “That was incredible” to which you replied “Yes it was!”
“I’m sorry,” she muttered and tears formed in her eyes. “I just wanted to get out of there.”
Well that’s that then, I thought. I felt ashamed of myself and sorry for her. I knew it wasn’t true, and she knew it wasn’t true, but maybe this is what I deserve, I thought, sinking into despair and finally accepting my fate.
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