The Fall Guy Ch. 02byThe Wanderer©
Chapter Two: Dawn Surprises
I woke the following morning with the granddaddy of all hangovers. It didn't take me long to realise that I had been woken by the sound of a woman singing somewhere in the cottage. No amount of hiding under the duvet would dull the sound.
Then quite suddenly she burst into my bedroom carrying a breakfast tray, which she placed on the table by the bed and then she went over and drew back the curtains.
I deduced all this from the sounds and the sudden brightness in the room that was clearly visible through the duvet that I was still trying to hide under.
"Good morning, Mr Carpenter. Now you get this down you," the woman said as she unceremoniously pulled the cover from over my head. "The best thing in the world for a head like you must have this morning."
"Who the hell are you?" I managed to ask at the same time as I tried to make sure the lower half of my body was still covered. Before I went to prison I'd not been one for wearing anything in bed and I'd returned to the habit on my first night of freedom.
"I'm Jenny, your housekeeper. Now get this down you!" she said, almost pouring the very questionable looking mixture in the glass she was holding down my throat.
"My god, what the hell was in that? It tasted awful!" I said, after almost choking on the vile mixture.
"A family secret, but you'll be feeling as right as rain in no time," she assured me.
"Or dead!" I retorted.
"It didn't kill my father and he often drank more than one bottle of Scotch a night, so it shouldn't do you any harm. Now sit up. You'd better get this down you as well. You've got to keep your strength up," she said in a very strange tone of voice.
Then she picked the tray up and placed it on my lap as I did so.
"Oh, my, got a little problem there, have we? Eat your breakfast, then give me a call and we'll see what we can do about that, before you have your bath." Jenny grinned at me.
Now look, I'd been without female company for seven years at least. And Jenny, now that I had time to have a good look at her, was all woman, in every sense of the word. Maybe a little old and on the buxom side for my liking, but beggars can't be choosers. And from the way she was talking I got the impression that she was raring to go.
Whilst I was eating, Jenny left the room. She returned after I'd called out to her; I've got to admit, I was gobsmacked to discover that she was stark naked when she entered the room.
"What do you think? Do I pass inspection?" she asked, as she did a little pirouette before me.
"Bloody hell, Jenny, that's one hell of a body you've got there!" I replied.
"Not bad for forty-five, is it? Pity my old man didn't appreciate what he had. I caught the bastard shagging the little tart of a barmaid from down the pub. So now he gets none of it and you can have all you want. Well, within reason; I won't sleepover. I keep that bugger of a husband of mine on a tight leash nowadays."
"Jenny, I'm beginning to suspect that you're a very wicked housekeeper."
"Well, I don't know how many little tarts he's been shagging over the years. So it's payback time and when Mr Macintosh said you'd been away from women for a while, I jumped at this job," she replied, still with that naughty grin on her face.
"Oh, so Ronny put you up to this, did he?" I asked.
"Oh, my god, no! Mr Macintosh was a perfect gentleman. I just thought a man who's been away from women for as long as you have would like a bit of female company on the side."
"Jenny, Ronny Macintosh is a bleeding solicitor. The last thing I'd describe any member of that profession as is a gentleman."
"Alright, if you say so, but he doesn't know about any of the extras I'm prepared to throw in on this job and I'd prefer it if you didn't make it common knowledge as well."
"You have my word as a gentleman and an ex-con. But aren't you in the least bit worried that you are offering to climb into bed with a man who's been convicted of murdering his last lover."
"Pigs might fly first, John. You were never Mary Simmons' lover and I very much doubt you murdered her. I'd stake my life on that. Hey! Maybe I am staking my life on it."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Well, now let's see why I believe that. Mary Simmons just happens to have been a member of the tennis club, where I happened to have a job as a cleaner at the time. Now, almost every guy in the club had eyes for Mary as I remember. No disrespect to you, John, but there were some pretty fit guys there; you're not bad looking, but you never were Robert Redford."
"No offence taken, Jenny. But how do you know what I looked like back then."
"Newspapers and the telly, silly. Your face was plastered all over them. Anyway I happen to know that Mary Simmons had a penchant for the young men. The younger the better, if you understand me, and normally two or three at a time. Oh, she was very discrete about it, but you can't hide that sort of thing from the staff. I'm sorry, John, but at the time I thought you were just too old for her liking."
"You're definitely kidding me?"
"On my children's life, John. We ... well, a couple of the other girls who worked at the club and myself ... told the police when they came around asking questions. But I don't think they believed us. Who was going to believe that an upright citizen like Mary Simmons was gang-banging teenagers? And of curse, the boys weren't going to say anything to the police. They were trying to hang her murder on just about anyone they could think of at the time. The youngsters just kept their heads down.
"Anyway, it's time we got your little problem sorted out. How many times can you get it up by the way?" Jenny asked, ripping the duvet completely off the bed. "Oh, my god, that's a nice big one, much bigger than my old man's. I hope I can handle it all right," she said just before my cock disappeared into her mouth.
It didn't take Jenny very long to achieve the desired result. She gave me possibly the best blow-job I'd ever had in my life. But then it had been so long since I had experienced a blow-job, I expect anything would have felt good that day.
After she'd finished and swallowed the lot - a first for me as blow-jobs hadn't been Angela's favourite pastime - Angela would only stay down there long enough to get me ready for what she termed "the main attraction." Then Jenny dragged me into the bathroom where I discovered that I was the proud owner of a Jacuzzi that Jenny had obviously filled whilst I'd been sleeping.
"I've always wanted to play in one of these things," Jenny said as we climbed in.
And play we bloody did for the rest of the morning. I'm going to admit that it was the first time I'd ever shagged underwater. Not that I can say I'd go out of my way to repeat the experience if there was a decent bed near by, but it was different.
It turned out that Jenny wasn't far off: insatiable. After we'd had lunch we shagged most of the afternoon away, before Jenny decided it was time for her to go home to her loving husband. Jesus, that was one dumb fucker she was married to! As I said, I thought that Jenny was a little on the old side for me to have a proper relationship with, but she was one bloody good sex machine.
During the day she had told me we could fuck anytime I wanted. She claimed she didn't expect anything in return, except total discretion and I promised her that.
That evening I went out to the village pub for a pint and a steak; Jenny had told me they served up reasonable ones there and she hadn't been lying. Whilst I was there I looked over the barmaid that Jenny had caught her husband rogering. I was even more convinced that he was a bloody fool; she looked and sounded like the village bike. I wouldn't have gone near her pussy with a ten-foot pole.
The next morning I awoke from an interesting dream to discover it wasn't a dream; Jenny was doing her Hoovering act again. After breakfast we went through a similar routine to the previous day, but performed in the shower instead of the Jacuzzi. I think Jenny wasn't too enthralled with shagging in the Jacuzzi experience either. But we did get in it for a while and messed about some.
After we'd had lunch, Jenny was standing at the sink washing up when I realised she was shaking her arse at me.
"Not now woman, I've got some things to do today."
"Are you sure?" she asked, one hand flicking the back of her short skirt up to show me that she wasn't wearing any knickers.
"Damn you, woman," I said as, getting out of my seat, I grabbed her by the waist, swung her around and then bent her over the kitchen table, where I took her from behind. "You know, you're bloody insatiable."
"Yeah, well, this is fun whilst it lasts, but you're soon going to find a beautiful woman of your own age to play with, and that's going to cut me off."
"Oh, yeah? Like who?"
"Well, the woman who's sitting up the road in her car, for one. I'd say she's waiting for you to make an appearance."
"What woman's this?"
"Oh, I don't know. Brunette, drives a little white car."
"Shit, Helen Cafrey. How did she know where to find me?"
"Dunno, but she was snooping around the village last week, before you got out."
"Oh, she was, was she? Well, let's finish this and then I'll have a little word with Miss Cafrey."
"Mrs Cafrey, you mean."
"No, that can't be right. Her father's name was Cafrey."
"Divorced, I should imagine and she's returned to using her maiden name then. She's definitely been married and has at least two kids."
"How do you work that one out?"
"Wedding ring or rather the shadow of one on her finger, and the two child seats in the back of her car. She was in the village-shop the other day when I was in there."
"Quite the little detective, aren't you?"
"Well, how do you think I caught my old man with that bloody tramp of a barmaid? It opened my eyes and taught me to be a lot more observant, I can tell you. Anyway stop talking and concentrate on what you're doing. I'm nearly there."
We finished our exercise and then I went to call Helen Cafrey on her mobile. But Jenny told me not to; she'd go and take her by surprise, whilst I tided myself up. "It would put her off her guard," Jenny suggested.
I came back down stairs as Jenny was showing Helen into the lounge. I followed them in and Jenny went off to make some tea.
"Still following me around, are you?" I asked as we sat down.
"John, I'm sorry but I knew where you were going to live when I saw you the other day. I was just being handy for when you got around to calling me. I told you, I need you to tell me exactly what happened, before you were arrested."
"All right, if you insist, but I should imagine most of it was in the papers."
"Reporters take a slanted view on things, John. You said that yourself the other day."
Jenny came back into the room with the tea; placing it on the coffee table, she made herself comfy in one of the other chairs. Helen gave her a quizzical look then looked across at me. I looked at Jenny, who gave me a big smile in return.
"Look on me as an independent observer and a chaperone. You never know; I might have some words of wisdom to throw in as well," Jenny said.
Actually the chaperone part made sense. After all I was a convicted murderer. Helen could say that anything had happened. Who was going to believe a convicted murderer?
"Okay, Helen, as you no doubt know, I ran an employment agency in the town at the time. Angela, my wife, was a stay-at-home mum looking after our two little ones. I knew Bill and Mary Simmons as clients. Mary's company would sometimes ask me to find both temporary and full time staff for them.
"Angela and I had been to dinner with the Simmons on a couple of occasions and we'd returned the invitations, but I wouldn't have called either of them good friends. On the contrary, they weren't really my type; a little on the stuck-up side for my liking."
"How did Angela get on with them?" Helen asked.
"About the same as I did, I think. She did say a few times that she didn't like the way Bill Simmons looked at her. In the end she told me she felt like he was undressing her with his eyes. Well, once Angela had told me that, I found reason to decline any further invitations from them.
"That was about it and then one morning I heard on the TV news that Mary had been found dead in a hotel bedroom somewhere. It surprised me because there was a hint of something-dodgy going on with Mary. Honestly I wouldn't have thought Mary was the type to... you know. Well, the hotel wasn't that far from her house.
"The Simmons weren't big customers of mine, so beside the normal curiosity that everybody had as to what had happened, I wasn't really interested. Angela and I discussed it a little, as everyone would do when someone they know had been murdered and that was it really.
"Then early in the morning a few days later, the police kicked my front door in and arrested me for murdering Mary. They had a search warrant for my house and office, where they claimed that they found all kinds of stuff that connected me with Mary Simmons. You know, receipts for hotel rooms, book matches from the same hotel and they even claimed that they found my fingerprints on a glass and a Champagne bottle in the room that Mary was killed in.
"The next thing I know some little shit who worked at the hotel swore blind that he delivered the bottle of Champagne to Mary's room and that he had seen me in there with her. Oh, and the chit for that bottle of Champagne - the police claimed that they found it in the suit jacket pocket I'd been wearing on the day she was murdered. And my car's registration number was on the car park attendant's list, only he couldn't describe the car; he'd just written the number down.
"Well, that's about it. When we got into court, even I thought I sounded bloody guilty."
"Didn't you have an alibi or anything?"
"Nope, I was in the office alone that night doing the wages for the month. Of course the girls on my staff said that I was still doing them as they left and that they were completed in the morning. But that didn't prove that I didn't slip out and murder Mary, then go back and finish the job."
"You've no idea how those receipts and things got into your pockets?" Helen asked.
"Yeah, the bloody police planted them, that's the only answer." I replied angrily. I always get angry when I thought about those receipts and the fingerprints on that bottle of Champagne.
"Somehow I can't believe that the police planted that evidence." Helen said.
"They must have. Who else would have the opportunity or the reason?"
"Well, I suppose in your position I would have thought the same thing. And I should imagine that once you accused the police of planting it, you wouldn't have been flavour of the month with them," Helen commented.
"Or the Judge. When I realised how well they'd stitched me up, I changed my plea to guilty," I added.
"But there was someone else who could have planted the evidence, someone who would have known you were in the office on your own that night as well."
"You're not going to like this, but have you ever thought about your wife, Angela," Helen offered.
"Don't talk nonsense. Why would she want to plant all that evidence? Why would she want to frame me for murder?"
"John, do you know where your wife and children are now?"
"No, from what I've heard she's gone into hiding. I was pretty upset when she divorced me and said a few things I regretted when I'd had the time to reflect on them. She probably thinks I'd do her some harm. Well, in the end she did come to believe that I had an affair with Mary Simmons and murdered her."
"Let's just go back a little bit, John. Tell me why were you doing the wages late that evening. Was that your normal habit?"
"No, I normally did them during the day. But Angela had managed to swing an interview for us at the best school in town. We wanted the children to be on their list and they interview the parents before they will accept the children."
"And if I told you that interview had been booked months in advance!"
"Never! Angela happened to run into the headmistress in the hair-dressers or something."
"John, that interview was booked over two months previous, of that I can assure you. She's retired now, but I've spoken to the head-mistress," Helen said at the same time as she picked up the briefcase she'd brought in with her and removed a file from it.
She sorted-out a piece of paper from the file and handed it to me. It was a statement about the school interview signed by the headmistress and confirming what Helen had just said.
Then Helen threw a photograph on the table.
"Who's that?" she asked.
"Bill Simmons," I replied.
"And who are these?" Helen asked throwing several more pictures on the table, obviously stills from shop security cameras and of not very good quality.
"I'd say they are Bill Simmons as well."
"Yeah, I'd agree," Helen said, "these are from shops near to the flat where Angela and the children were living. I'd say, in that one, the child who's holding Bill Simmons's hand is your eldest daughter and the woman just visible standing outside the shop-door is Angela."
"No! It can't be."
"I'm sorry, John, but it is. I'm damned sure that Bill Simmons was a regular visitor to that flat. There aren't any security cameras in the building, but the doorman recognised Bill Simmons' picture straight away when I showed it to him and the doorman said that he often stayed overnight." Helen sat back and waited for me to take it all in.
"But Helen didn't like Bill Simmons. She told me so on more than one occasion."
"John!" Jenny joined the conversation, "I would think that Angela told you that so that you wouldn't invite the Simmons to dinner anymore. That way she and Bill Simmons couldn't slip-up and say the wrong thing when the four of you were together."
"The most likely explanation," Helen offered.
"Oh, shit! Are you trying to tell me that my wife framed me for murder?"
"No, I'd say that Bill Simmons was the brains behind it. It was him who gained the most financially; he probably murdered his wife as well. Angela just placed all the evidence and made sure you couldn't account for your whereabouts at the same time. You were just the fall guy, John."
I looked at Helen. "How long have you known this?" I demanded angrily.
"Now don't go shooting the messenger, John!" Jenny said, trying to calm me down.
"About a month." Helen replied, "I've had my father's papers since just after he died, but it was only when I started looking for Angela and discovered that she'd disappeared with the children, that I began to realise what could have really happened. Bill Simmons had vanished into thin air sometime back and with Angela going missing I just got to wondering. Anyway I showed Simmons' picture around the flats where Angela had lived and I wasn't really surprised that just about everybody had seen him around."
I got up and paced the room. Angela, the woman I'd loved, had betrayed me and actually helped to frame me for Mary's murder. I had serious problems believing she'd do such a thing to me.
Then I suddenly remembered our wedding anniversary and that bloody Champagne Angela had brought for us to celebrate it with. I never have been one for Champagne - too fizzy for my liking. But about four months before Mary's murder Angela had a bottle of Champagne that she'd asked me to open on our wedding anniversary. Damn it, the bitch had to have been planning the fit-up for months. I'd never seen the connection between that anniversary Champagne and the bottle the police found in Mary's hotel room before.
"Damn it, you're right, it all makes sense now." I told the girls, going on to tell them about the Champagne.