Danger! Naked Woman Ch. 02byoggbashan©
Copyright Oggbashan June 2004
The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
This is a work of fiction. The events described here are imaginary; the settings and characters are fictitious and are not intended to represent specific places or living persons.
Story so far:
Paul, driving a back road on Romney Marsh at night, found a crashed Porsche with Julia in the driver's seat naked, drunk and barely conscious. He rescued her, looked after her overnight, and bought her some clothes in a charity shop in the morning. She had been fleeing from a man she had intended to spend the weekend with. He had staged a strip poker game so that she was naked. All her clothes were locked in an old chest she couldn't open. When she saw him adding liquid from a small bottle to her champagne she had grabbed his car keys and had driven off in his car.
Paul intended to take Julia to his ex-wife Emma. When he rang Emma she told him that the police were looking for Julia because the man had been found dead. Paul and Julia decided they needed a solicitor before going to the police...
I rang Emma's solicitor. He wasn't too pleased at being disturbed on a Saturday morning. I suspected that his displeasure would be reflected in the size of his account. He arranged to meet us in a car park near Ashford Police Station in an hour. We left the car park and headed for Ashford. I turned the car radio to the local station. The travel news reported congestion because of a fatal accident near Hythe. I checked that we would be avoiding that area. The news item was repeated every quarter of an hour. The man had been found 'dead'. The woman was asked to contact the police. Everything else was waffle.
I had met the solicitor once or twice. He had been on Emma's side, so our contact hadn't always been cordial, but professional. He had seemed competent. He was standing beside his Bentley in the car park. The Bentley worried me. If he could afford a Bentley, his fees must be high. He greeted me as if we were old acquaintances. I suppose we were.
We sat on the car park wall while Julia and I explained everything that had happened last night and this morning. He asked a few questions. Then he rang the police station fifty yards away. He told them that the woman they were seeking was coming voluntarily to the Police Station.
We entered the normal public entrance. A sergeant opened a door for us and we were shown to an interview room. An inspector and a woman sergeant entered the room. I was asked to wait in another interview room. I left Julia and the solicitor. Her look as I left wrenched my heart. Until then I hadn't realised how much she had come to mean to me in a few short hours.
I waited in that bare room for about three-quarters of an hour before the two police officers entered. They taped the interview. I told them everything from the meeting on Friday evening until my arrival at the police station. I was slightly annoyed that the solicitor wasn't with me, but Julia needed him more than I did.
They asked a couple of questions about the Porsche, and a few others, presumably to check that I was telling them the truth. They referred to the dead man as 'Mr Smith' or 'the deceased'. I had the feeling they were trying to trap me into saying his first name. They didn't get anywhere because I didn't know it. Julia hadn't mentioned his name. The woman sergeant helped me to write a statement that I checked and signed. At the end the inspector said:
"Thank you, sir. I think we have enough information. We may be in touch again. You may be called to give evidence at the inquest but probably not."
"Why not?" I asked.
"It looks like suicide so far. There is still a possibility that we may be wrong but everything points that way. We have been concerned about that man for some time. Your young lady seems to have made a fortunate escape. We have your address. Please don't leave the country without telling us."
"Is she free to go?"
"Yes. She's waiting for you."
I collected Julia and we left. Once round the corner of the building she threw her arms around me and kissed me hard.
"What was that for?" I asked as we climbed into my car and started towards Canterbury.
"For being here for me. The interview was unpleasant. They seemed to think I had something to do with Joshua's death. The details were upsetting..."
"Joshua?" I interrupted. "Joshua Smith?"
"Yes. Didn't I mention his name?"
"No," I said grimly. "Just as well you didn't. I think I know him. I certainly know of a Joshua Smith. What did he look like?"
"He had light brown hair, short for a man - about my height but more muscular... The obvious visible identification was a small tattoo of a dragon breathing fire on the back of his right hand. He had a couple of other tattoos but normally they would be under his clothing."
"A swallow on his left shoulder, and an eagle on his lower back?"
"Yes, Paul. How did YOU know him?"
"He was the man that Emma left me for. No wonder the police wanted me to say his name. I haven't seen him for two years. I understood that he had moved away. I had better tell Emma before the police go to her. They will. I think I need a solicitor as well as you. I may be a suspect if Joshua was murdered."
"The police think it was suicide."
"That's what they have told us. The post mortem hasn't been finished yet. Who knows what they might find? We don't know because I haven't seen him for two years and when you left him he was alive. What happened later? We don't know."
"OK. You should ring Emma. You promised to let her know what happened."
"I'll ring her from the next lay-by. Then I'll ring my solicitor."
There was a bay for a bus stop. I pulled over and rang Emma.
"The dead man was Joshua Smith."
I heard her gasp.
"Paul. Listen carefully. I thought it might be Joshua. Mary, you don't know her but we were friends at university, rang me from Canterbury yesterday afternoon. She wanted Joshua's new address because she wanted to prevent a friend falling for his bag of tricks. What she told me was worrying. He was bad enough with me but according to Mary he has progressed to more serious games. I gave her the address. Joshua sends me an e-mail every week or so, inviting me to visit him. I have been ignoring them but for some reason I kept a note of where he lives – mainly to avoid going anywhere near. It is near Newchurch. Mary thanked me and rang off in a hurry. She gave me the impression that she was going to confront Joshua before he started his games."
"Oh." What else could I say?
"I think you two should come here. I can tell you what Mary told me, and what I know about Joshua. If the police are interested in you two, you should be aware what might come out. Will you come?"
"Hang on, Emma. I'll ask Julia."
I muted the phone and explained. Julia agreed that it would be a good idea to talk to Emma. I told Emma we were on the way.
The A28 was its usual congested self. It took us three hours from Ashford to Emma's house. I rang her after two hours. She promised to give us lunch, checking that Julia didn't have any special dietary needs. She didn't. I wouldn't have known. I knew so little about Julia. Julia had borrowed my mobile phone and tried to ring Mary twice. Mary's mobile was switched off. Julia left two messages and my mobile number.
Julia and I used the delays on the A28 to learn about each other. The detail doesn't matter. We were attracted to each other and found each other fascinating. I was falling in love. I think Julia was as well. Julia was recovering from last night's alcohol and sometimes obviously suffering yet she remained bright and amusing.
At Emma's house we were both welcomed with a hug. That was a good start. After using the bathroom we sat down to a meal. It wasn't exotic, just good plain food. Afterwards we sat on the settee in the living room with cups of coffee. It could have been awkward but Emma treated us as if we were a couple, and her friends. I was grateful.
Emma started the explanations.
"I never told Paul what Joshua did to me. I told him some of it, but not the gory details. Paul was angry enough with what I did tell him. Now Joshua is dead and you two are involved, Paul at least deserves to know what Joshua was like. I'm glad he's dead. I shouldn't say that because the police may make me one of their suspects. However I have a complete alibi. Paul shouldn't object because we have been divorced for years, but I spent last night in a man's bed. His bed. Not here."
I raised my eyebrows but made no comment. Emma kissed me.
"We were good together for a while, Paul, but..."
"I know." I said. "We just weren't right. Is he?"
"I think so. He has proposed twice. I haven't accepted yet. I probably will. If I do..."
She looked at me carefully.
"...would you give me away?"
"Yes, of course," I said. "You are not mine to give away, but if you want me at your wedding, I'll be there to help in any way I can."
I was kissed again. Julia joined in this time.
"I think that's a wonderful idea, Emma," Julia said. "Is Paul that important to you?"
"His opinion is," Emma replied. "He's usually right about the things that matter. He told me that Joshua wasn't good for me. I just wasn't ready to listen. I wish I had but at that stage in our lives communication between us wasn't good. It is much better now. We feel responsible for each other's happiness. I am sure Paul will approve of my choice of man..."
"Yes. He is George."
"You spent the night in George's bed?" I was astonished.
"Yes. It has taken me three months of hard effort but last night was worth it."
"Three months?" Julia interrupted. "What is George? A statue? I can't imagine you taking three months to seduce anyone."
I was inclined to agree with Julia but I knew George. Emma was and is an attractive and sensuous woman but George is a great guy but seemed to be a cold fish. He has been our friend since schooldays but always seemed uninterested in women. Perhaps that is why he always had two or three chasing him. He didn't mind escorting them but they never got anywhere beyond a goodnight kiss.
"Congratulations – if you get him." I said. "But we ought to discuss the unpleasant Joshua before the police catch up with us again."
"I know," said Emma. "He was unpleasant. He was into bondage but in a weird way. I didn't mind playing games but he was too serious and there was always a hard edge. He used to get me completely naked, and then I had to wear some special clothes and a brunette wig before he was ready. The clothes and wig were bad enough but he was trying to turn me into someone else before he made love. At first he would persuade me to wear the clothes and wig, and he would apply make up to my face. He never let me see myself in a mirror when I was dressed up.
I got tired of being turned into someone else and I objected. He forced me to dress up, even beating me until I did. Then he would tie me up and leave me bound all night, fucking me several times. I was trying not to let him overpower me but he started using a date rape drug on me. Any contact with him would end with me coming to, dressed as he wanted, and tied to his bed.
At the end he had virtually kidnapped me. He reported me sick to my employers and I was tied to his bed for three days. I managed to struggle off the bed when he went to the shops and I used his phone to call Paul. Paul was there in minutes and took me home. I was still dressed as Joshua wanted. Paul didn't ask questions. For that I was grateful.
As soon as I was home I washed off the make up, removed the clothes and wig, and put them in an old suitcase. I knew they were very important to Joshua and he wouldn't rest until he had them back. I was right. He was hammering on my door ten minutes after I had changed. Paul saw him and sent him away – with the suitcase full of clothes.
Paul stayed the night, on the settee, and nothing happened. In the morning Joshua was back. Paul sent him away again. Paul didn't say anything much but he had frightened Joshua. Joshua stayed away for a while but kept trying to contact me. I used Paul as a threat to deter Joshua even after Paul had left Hastings. Eventually Joshua moved away but he kept sending me emails, begging me to see him again. I ignored them but noted where he lived, just to avoid it. I was still afraid of him."
I was fuming. If Emma had told me what Joshua had done, I'd have... ...killed him. That brought me up short, like a cold shower. Perhaps someone else had felt the same way about Joshua. I remembered how Emma had been dressed when I collected her. She was wearing a pink gingham fifties dress with a fitted bodice, tight waist and full skirt over multiple net petticoats, stockings attached to the suspenders of a body length corset, enormous white cotton panties with a pocket on one leg, and pink high-heeled shoes. The brunette wig of shoulder length hair was pulled back into a high ponytail tied with a matching pink gingham scarf and her face was plastered thick with make up including blue eyeshadow. When I reached Joshua's house her ankles and knees were tied together and her hands were tied behind her back with three similar scarves. She had spat out another scarf from her mouth that was around her neck held by the last scarf worn normally around her head.
Emma had been shaking like a leaf as I untied her, desperate to get away before Joshua returned. I had only freed her legs before bundled her into my car with her hands still tied and the scarves still around her head. A few hundred yards away I stopped to remove her remaining bonds. The scarf holding her hands had been threaded through a strong loop sewn to the back of the waist. Even after I had freed her she had been panicking in case Joshua saw us. Once back at her house I had to undress her and dress her again in her own clothes. I did it in her darkened bedroom to give her some semblance of modesty. Her hands were shaking too much for her to help. I had thought that she and Joshua had been playing sexual games that had gone slightly too far. At the time Emma had made light of what she had been through and went along with the idea that she and Joshua had been playing. I should have known that Emma wasn't telling the whole truth but at the time she and I were still defining our new roles as ex-partners. I hadn't queried her story. I just made sure that she knew that she was safe from Joshua, and from me. I held her, hugged her, but didn't make a single advance. I hadn't known that she had been bound for three days. If I had undressed her in the light I would have seen her bruises. If I had...
"Last night when Mary rang me she said she was worried about a friend, I assume she meant Julia, who was going away for the weekend with Joshua. Mary thought that Julia might need rescuing and she intended to go to Joshua's house, and if necessary, confront him. I didn't want to give Mary the address because she was so worked up but eventually she persuaded me. I understood that Mary was taking some friends with her because she didn't want to face Joshua alone. I had the impression that the friends would be women. Does she know some athletic types?"
Julia nodded. "Yes. Mary is involved with a Ladies' Gym. Some of her friends are into martial arts."
"I thought so. Julia. Mary rang off about eight o'clock. I don't know how long it would take her to get to Newchurch but surely not until midnight? I gave her basic directions but..."
I said: "Depends whether Mary or any of her friends know their way around Romney Marsh. If they didn't, it could take hours to find Joshua's cottage, even with a map. Julia, what time was it when you left?"
"The police kept asking me that. I'm not sure. I think it was before midnight but I was too drunk and scared to care. What was the time when you found me, Paul?"
"Just before 2 a.m. The Porsche's engine was cold. So were you. You must have been there some time."
"I don't think the car had much time to warm up before I crashed it. Perhaps it did. I was at least five miles away from the cottage according to your GPS notes. I remember coming to in the dark at least once before you arrived but I had drunk so much..."
"You might have had hypothermia if you had been there much longer. Alcohol doesn't help."
"I know. I didn't think I'd drunk that much. I think Joshua had been putting vodka in my drinks at the pub. I was woozy even when we reached the cottage. By the end of the meal I was swaying when I stood up. When I went to the bathroom I nearly threw my meal down the toilet. That doesn't matter now. From what the police told me, Mary and her friends must have visited Joshua."
"Why do you say that?" Emma asked.
"It is how he was found. I didn't know about his fetishes. I was just frightened and ran away. The police told me about a pink gingham dress laid out on his bed. I didn't know anything about it. I think they believed me because I was telling the truth. But..."
Julia shuddered. I put my arms around her. Emma moved to the other side of her and hugged her too.
Julia continued: "He had been dressed in my clothes. He was wearing a pair of my panties. The long slip was used normally but his hands were tied behind his back with one of my bras. My other bra tied his ankles. His mouth was stuffed with panties. My long dress had been forced down his body outside his bound arms and my belt was fastened tight twice around his chest. The weird thing was his head. It was inside a hood that was tightly laced at the back and had a very good plastic impression of a woman's face at the front. The wig had been fitted over the hood. For the first few seconds the police had thought Joshua was a woman. The hood had nostril holes but it held the panties tightly in his mouth. My blouse was knotted around his knees under the dress's skirt. He was hanging by my pantyhose from a hook in the kitchen ceiling. A chair had been on the table but had been kicked away. The police say that he could have done it to himself but that I doubt. If I accept what Emma and Mary have said, he did it to women, not to himself. He was too much of an egoist to commit suicide."
"I agree," said Emma. "He thought too much of himself. Did Mary and her friends do it to him?"
"I can't see Mary or her friends committing murder," said Julia. "It isn't something you do as a group event. I can see them tying him up in my clothes, gagging him, and fitting his own hood. But hanging him? No. That they wouldn't do. I wish I could get Mary on the phone."
"Why don't you try again?" I suggested.
"Where's your mobile?"
"Here. Last number redial..."
"Still turned off."
"Julia, why don't you try her landline?" said Emma. "I've got her number."
Emma went to the hall for privacy. She tried and was straight through to Mary. She shut the door to the sitting room. Emma and I looked at each other.
Emma was back soon.
"They did it. Tied him up in my clothes but in the sitting room. They had hidden their cars and had just begun watching him through the kitchen window when I took off like a bat out of hell to use Mary's phrase. They grabbed him before he got back to his front door. They wanted to follow me as well but their cars were too far away and they would have no chance of catching a Porsche. Mary said something I didn't understand about the clothes drier in the kitchen. Apparently that made her really mad. Why? I don't know. She was not very coherent at that point. She found the gingham dress, scarves and laid out in the bedroom ready for me and that was the final straw for her. When they were together he had forced her to wear it, including the hood, a couple of times when she was helplessly drunk or under the influence of a date rape drug. The last time he tried Mary had pretended to drink. She got away from him by kicking him in the balls before he could tie her hands. She had tried to forget him but couldn't let me be his victim even though I didn't listen to her advice.