Lost and Found
by Jack Kendle
I woke early next morning. JJ lay beside me, breathing almost imperceptible, eyes moving under the closed lids, emitting little soft moans in his sleep, obviously dreaming. I raised the duvet and allowed my eyes to roam over his body. His cock, which had seen so much action during the night was once again hard, obviously a pleasant dream - I smiled as I stared at his rigid member which gently pulsed in time to his heartbeat. His balls hung low in their sac. I gently caressed his tool as he slept, stroking the hard yet silky flesh, a sight I knew so well now, but would never tire of studying. I took each testicle between thumb and forefinger, feeling the spongy mass as I rolled them beneath the wrinkled sac. My other hand took my own turgid member and began stroking. JJ slept on as I brought myself to a swift, yet silent climax, shooting my cum over the sleeping man's body. I watched as my semen dribbled down over JJ's stomach and on to the sheet, which bore the signs of last night's sex. God, how I loved this man! His gentle, yet urgent lovemaking of the night before, how he had entered me, filling me with his own self, his essence. I recalled the hardness of him, stretching me, deeply probing, finding the deep part inside of me which responded to his loving thrusts, how I wanted to keep him inside of me for ever, never wanting the sensations he was creating to stop, begging for more, holding him tightly to me as he shuddered and released his love-juice into my very core. How he had then taken me into himself, pulling me into him, his muscles clenching and unclenching me as I too found release. How we had rested for a while, saying nothing, just kissing and caressing each other before using our mouths to please each other. We pleasured each other simultaneously, climaxing at the same time, giving and receiving our semen in great spurts of powerful joy. I loved the taste of him, his scent, his smooth body, his muscled arms and legs holding me in their firm embrace. I loved the way his eyes watered when he came, his smile as he released himself into me, his deep voice welling up from his chest as he called out my name. I loved the way his strong hands and fingers teased and caressed, stroked and massaged me, kneading my flesh. I loved his sexy soft earlobes, the copper hair framing his gentle face, how his tongue flicked over his lips, how his eyes smiled and I felt warm and safe. I loved him unconditionally, totally, without question. He is my world, my beginning, my end. I will be with him properly soon. I can turn the page on my past life, erase the pain I had felt with Hannah, start anew, be myself at last.
It was still early, just past six thirty. I gently eased myself out of bed and covering my sleeping lover again with the duvet, went for a shower. Putting on a bathrobe, I went downstairs to fix myself some coffee. I took my mug with me into the den and booted up the laptop JJ had given me. I opened the folder which JJ had created. JacknJJ brought another smile to my face. There was a document there I didn't recognise: New Dawn. I opened it. It was a poem. As I read, tears clouded my vision. I read it again, slowly, savouring the words on the screen:
I had forgotten what the sun looked like -
It's warmth and brightness a dim and distant memory.
Too long the Night had enveloped me
Darkness without end.
Fumbling, I lost my way.
Blind, confused and lost
In blackness deep and endless
No forwards, no backwards -
Direction a meaningless word.
Until a single beam of light
Radiant yet gentle,
Showed me my path.
It came from you, it led me to you.
I was lost and now I'm found.
Let us walk this path together,
In light and warmth and glowing love.
The sun is risen - you are that light.
I can never lose my way again.
Jack, I will love you for ever.
I sat in front of the computer for a long while as I gently wept. I heard JJ come downstairs and into the den. He came up behind me, embracing me. I leant back against his body. He bent down and kissed my upturned face.
"JJ, it's so, ... so beautiful," I said through the tears which refused to stop flowing.
JJ gently kissed the salty droplets away.
"I'm not much good at words," he began. I stopped him.
"Don't put yourself down," I said, "this is the most beautiful thing I have ever had. Thank you. I will love you for ever as well." We kissed again, tenderly at first, then with more passion. I had a vision of our life together, stretching before us, spent like this, deeply in love, kisses, lovemaking. My breath caught in my chest, so much so it almost hurt. I held on to my lover tightly, almost fiercely, suddenly afraid to ever let him go.
JJ made comforting noises in my ear, as a parent would to a scared child. I gradually calmed down.
"C-mon, I'll get you some coffee," I said at last, coming back to reality. We went into the kitchen.
"JJ," I said, "what am I going to tell this Inspector? How much does he have to know?"
"Well," he replied, "you've already given up those two letters, so they'll probably give you some tough questions," he saw my startled look. "Don't worry, babe. You're the victim here. You've not done anything wrong, well nothing the police need know and nothing that guy could possibly know. He's just guessing, got an axe to grind. Might even be jealous of you." I looked surprised. "It's not unknown," JJ went on, "for all we know this guy is gay, deep in the closet, or else the victim of abuse himself. He might envy you your relationship with Leo and Daniel, put two and two together and made five. Maybe he gets off on scaring guys, maybe he wants to abuse little boys himself but never done anything about it. He's most likely the same guy who hounded those two boys from King Edward's to death, and has found a new victim, the sick bastard."
I thought about this as I made some toast and fresh coffee.
"Is there any way the police could find out about what I did with Leo?" I asked.
"Not unless you tell them yourself," came the simple reply. "You can trust Leo absolutely. You know that already, Jack. He loves you, you know. He made the advances to you, remember. He would never, ever do a thing like report you to the police, or even tell anyone except Daniel. And you can trust Daniel as well," he said, interrupting me. "The police can't even point the finger at you if they knew you and I were, well you know..."
"Lovers," I completed the sentence.
"Yeah, exactly. We're consenting adults, in private. Okay, so your married, but our relationship is not illegal. But still, under the circumstances, better not to mention that either."
What a tangled web we weave, when we first practise to deceive, I quoted.
"Not deceit, exactly," responded JJ. "You've just come to terms with your true feelings, your sexuality. You made a mistake in getting married, and now you're taking steps to end it."
"On Sunday," I replied, bleakly.
"Jack, you know it's for the best. It's a step you should have taken years ago. The upside is that we have each other. I'm here for you, babe. We'll get through this. When this is all over, and you're with me, this whole episode will be like a bad dream. The police might even find the bastard. He can't hurt you, Jack. He can't possibly have any proof of any wrongdoing on your part. He's just a man with a problem, who'll probably make a mistake anyway and get himself caught. Trust me, the police can't and won't find anything against you."
JJ made it sound so convincing that I nearly believed him. It would be unpleasant, but if I kept my head then things would work out. Meanwhile, I had my car to think about. Just then, the telephone rang. The voice at the other end introduced himself:
"Mr. Jack Kendle? This is D.I. Wilde. I see you made a complaint yesterday. We'd like to ask you a few questions. Are you free to come down to the station and make a statement for us?"
I said I was and we agreed on a time. The policeman's manner had been businesslike, but not hostile. He had been polite and I could not detect any undertone of suspicion in his voice. At any rate, not yet.
"That was the police," I said as I went back into the kitchen. "I'm meeting Inspector Wilde at ten."
"I'll drop you off," offered JJ. I accepted gratefully.
"Meanwhile, I think I'd better look after the laptop, just in case," continued JJ. "Your machine is quite clean, if they decide they need to look at it. I printed out those filthy e-mails, you must let the police have them."
We ate our breakfast, washed the utensils, and then went back upstairs to dress. I stripped the bed, removing all traces of JJ's and my night together. JJ pocketed the tube of lubricant and helped me remake the bed. "No need to make it too obvious," he said, with a slight grin. I tried to smile back, but couldn't. I was nervous about the upcoming interview. I hoped that JJ was right; that there was no hint of suspicion about me and that the police would treat the letters as purely malicious, which they indeed were. I began to have ridiculous thoughts about having to provide character witnesses, if it came to that. I would have to try and keep the Nielsens out of it. Perhaps Susan Tomason would. Well, it hadn't come to that yet, so I tried to dismiss the thought. One step at a time, I thought grimly, as I dressed, trying to pick just the right combination of clothes; respectable, but not too formal or too fussy, but not too casual either. I selected a blue shirt, navy blazer, charcoal-grey trousers, no tie.
JJ left first, as he did yesterday, this time taking the laptop with him. I followed a couple of minutes later. Sure enough, Mrs. Biddy was hovering about in her front garden.
"Good morning," I said as I walked past. She stopped me, "Mr. Kendle?"
"Yes, Mrs. Biddy?"
"Still having problems with your computer?"
"Yes," I replied. "My friend is taking it away to look at it for me." There I went again, volunteering too much unnecessary information. I would have to be more careful than this at the police station.
"Your car broken down?" She certainly had her eye on the ball. Her elderly looks belied a very canny mind, I thought.
"Yes," I lied again. "I'm just off to see about it."
"Oh dear oh dear," clucked the grandmotherly old woman. "If it's not one thing then it's another. And they call it the wonders of modern technology!"
I agreed with her and began to move away.
"I'm getting a burglar-alarm fitted," said the old lady, lowering her voice as she looked warily about her. "Since you mentioned the lurker your children saw, I'm not taking any chances. One can't be too careful, you know."
"Very sensible precaution," I replied. "Have you seen anything suspicious then, Mrs. Biddy?"
"Oh, no, dear, I'm just locking the stable door before the horse bolts. Do you have an alarm, Mr. Kendle?" Her eyes suddenly alert.
"No, it's one of those things that keeps getting put off," I replied.
"Well, dear you must do something about it. One can't be too careful these days," she repeated.
"I will, Mrs. Biddy, I promise," I said as I turned again to go.
I walked down the short drive and out on to the street. My eye caught Jack Higgins in his customary position, leaning over his fence, cigarette in one hand, a mug of something in the other. His son, Billy, was next to him, smoking as well, I was half astonished to see. Obviously Higgins didn't care too much about his son's health or setting a good example.
"Mornin' Jackie" called the man, prodding his son in the ribs with his elbow and smirking. Billy laughed at what his father murmured to him. God! What a pain in the arse that man was! And now he was involving his son, who was already turning into a nasty piece of work. Just then, JJ drove up and I got in. I looked out and saw Higgins and his son look over in mock surprise, then say something to each other. As we drove off, in the corner of my eye, I saw Billy Higgins give an obscene gesture.
"That was unfortunate," observed JJ, looking in his rear-view mirror.
"You could say that," I replied, dryly. "Unpleasant people."
"Not so unpleasant as to...?" JJ left the question unfinished. I knew what he was going to say.
"No," I replied, "I admit, Higgins was certainly someone I suspected, but quite honestly, I don't think he's intelligent enough. He might be into all sorts of petty crime, but I don't think he's the letter-writer."
"Surely not," I said, but then on the other hand, could he be the one?
"Well, whatever," replied JJ, "but if I were you, I would mention your suspicions to the police. They might dig up something there anyway."
"Serve them right if they did," I said, feeling at that moment particularly vindictive towards Jack Higgins and his son.
We arrived at the police station.
"Good luck," he said as he discreetly stroked my leg. "Let me know how it went."
"I will," I said, butterflies in my stomach.
I waited on the pavement as JJ drove away. Then, summoning up my courage, went into the dilapidated building.
The entrance smelt of disinfectant which barely disguised older smells of stale cigarette smoke, booze and even more faintly, vomit. Must have been a lot of drunks in there the night before, I thought. I went to the glass partition and the desk-sergeant.
"I'm Jack Kendle," I introduced myself. "To see Inspector Wilde. He's expecting me."
"Just take a seat over there," said the uniformed man, barely looking at me. "I'll let him know you're here."
I went and sat down on a wobbly plastic chair. I looked at the various police notices warning us about locking our cars, houses. Another warning against drinking and driving and another which caught my eye: Do You Know Where Your Child Is? It showed the silhouette of a man in a car, door open, and the view of a little girl, obviously being enticed by the shadowy figure into the vehicle. The text beneath read: CHILDREN AT RISK: NEVER ACCEPT A LIFT FROM A STRANGER!
I stared, guiltily fascinated by the image and the message. Did I fall into that category? A pervert, offering enticements to young children, to get them into my car and then abuse them? I had never done anything like that, never even contemplated it, but in the eyes of society and the law, if they knew of my predilection for teen boys, then I certainly was a danger to innocent youth, a corrupter of morals, worse, a preying pederast, abusing boys. That's why I now had serious misgivings about handing over the anonymous letters. I had left myself open to all sorts of suspicion. What if I gave something away about Leo or Daniel? What, if somehow, I didn't know how, but if somehow my sexual involvement with Leo was discovered? I would be locked away quicker than you could say 'pervert' and my life effectively over. I found myself sweating slightly, my breathing irregular. I wanted to escape from that dingy police station, get as far away as possible, lose myself. But that was not an option. Not now. I took my head in my hands, feeling a crushing weight about to rob me of my phoney 'good name.' My mouth felt dry and my bowels churned. I looked around for the lavatory. I got up and went through the chipped door into a dark and evil-smelling urinal. I bolted the door of the single cubicle and voided myself, sweating and anxious. As I sat on the toilet, trousers about my ankles, I cursed myself and my feelings. Why wasn't I just an ordinary, normal man? Was I being punished? Why was I gay? I had no answers, only more questions, more recriminations. Of course, there weren't any paper towels, a fact I only discovered after I had washed my hands. I shook them to try and dry them and wiped the moisture ineffectively into my handkerchief. I emerged back into the waiting area. There was another man, in ordinary clothes, talking to the desk sergeant. Both men looked up as I emerged from the lavatory. I caught the sharp glance of the Inspector. I felt nauseous, sweating and pale. My hands still half wet. I had splashed water on to my trousers, making it look as if I had aimed poorly in the urinal. I pulled my coat around me to try and hide the splashes of water. The Inspector came out from behind the desk, a file in his hand.
"Mr Kendle? Detective Inspector Wilde. So good of you to come in. Please, follow me." His eyes belied the words of greeting and he didn't offer his hand and the thought flashed, unbidden, through my head; probably knows there are no towels in the lavatory. I followed him through into a corridor to a door on the left, "Interview Room 1" barely furnished, just like one sees on cop shows on the television, I thought. A table, three or four plastic chairs, a window high up the wall, a large mirror, most likely two-way, I thought, still thinking of television. The overhead strip-lights were harsh, although one was blinking irregularly, shooting rods of yellow-purple light intermittently along its length. The floor was made up of linoleum tiles, very worn and scuffed by the metal-frame table. The detective motioned me to sit. As I did so, he offered me a cup of tea. I didn't think I could manage to swallow anything, but accepted all the same, in an attempt to appear calm, normal - innocent, the injured party.
He called to someone outside and after ordering two teas, came and sat opposite me. For a few moments, he fiddled with the file in front of him, reading, or appearing to read, the few pages it contained. I recognised the forms the sergeant had filled in yesterday. There were a couple more sheets, which he studied. The room was silent except for the faint clicking of the flickering fluorescent light. My eyes flitted around the room. I tried to appear as calm and nonchalant as I could. I knew that his pretended absorption in the papers was designed to make me feel on edge, just like on the telly. Or perhaps I was imagining it, seen too many police-dramas on television. A knock on the door was followed by a uniformed policeman with a couple of mugs of tea which he placed without a word on the table between us. The constable was young, probably about twenty or so, slim, hair cut very short, a healthy complexion and brown eyes. He glanced briefly yet intensely in my direction as he straightened up and turned to leave. I imagined him as practising his powers of observation, seeing if he could fix my features in his memory; a very model young rookie. The door clicked quietly shut and the Inspector continued to study the papers before him.
Finally, he looked up. "We've been over your car," he said, "nasty mess, industrial paint, you'll probably need a re-spray job on it." That wasn't news to me. He looked back down at his papers, reading from them: "Tyres slashed with a large knife, serrated edges, probably by a right-handed individual, very strong, so most likely male. Only one set of prints on the note, so we are assuming they're yours, but we'll have to make sure of that. The other note has two sets of prints on it. We'll compare them with those we get from you. Did anyone else handle that letter, Mr. Kendle?" I thought back. "Yes," I replied, my friend, JJ,...er Jeremiah Johnston, who came with me yesterday."
"We'll want his prints at some point," said the detective, "If you could ask him to pop in at his convenience?" Pop in at his convenience. It sounded like an invitation to tea with the vicar's wife, I thought. The detective continued, "The desk-sergeant will take your fingerprints afterwards before you leave, if that's alright."
"Of course," I replied.
"Has this been going on a long time, Mr. Kendle?" I assumed this meant the letters.
"No," I replied. I've had three letters..."
"Three?" the detective interrupted.
"I burnt the first one," I said.
"Shame," came the reply. "Did you keep the envelopes, Mr. Kendle?"
"No, I just threw them away," I replied.
"Well, if you do get any more of these, then keep the envelopes as well. We might be able to get more information about the sender from them, even DNA, if it comes to that."
"I've also had 'phone calls and two e-mails," I said.
Inspector Wilde looked up sharply.
"I've printed out the e-mails," I said and produced the printouts. Wilde took them and studied them.
"This might have been a mistake, easier to trace e-mails and 'phone calls," he said, more to himself than to me. He looked up. "We might have to take your computer and see if our boys can't run a trace. You didn't delete them, by any chance, did you Mr. Kendle?"
"No, they're still there," I replied.
Wilde pushed a pad and a pen across the table towards me. "If you wouldn't mind, sir, would you write down as fully as possible the sequence of events, when and how the first letter was delivered, etcetera. It would be helpful to have a timescale."
"Sure," I replied. I couldn't believe that was it. "What, now?"
"Just a couple of questions first, sir." The atmosphere in the room suddenly seemed to drop a couple of degrees. I found Wilde's gaze fix on me, somewhat speculatively. I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach as fear drove my testes up into my body.
He paused. I fiddled with the pen and tried to hold the Inspector's gaze.
"Mr. Kendle, you realise I have to ask certain questions in the light of the nature of these letters?" This was it. I nodded, suddenly seeming to have lost the power of speech.
"These are very serious accusations and I'm sure you understand, we have to know what, if any reason there could be for your getting these letters." I croaked out a sound which could have been a yes. I cleared my throat and tried again:
"Yes, Inspector, I understand."
"Can you think of any reason why this person should be accusing you of ... these things?"
"None whatsoever," I replied, struggling to keep my voice level. I wondered if the policeman could smell the sweat pouring from me, trickling down my back.
Silence. Wilde looked again at his notes.
"You're married, with two children, I see. How long have you been married Mr. Kendle?"
"I don't quite see why..." I began, but was interrupted by Wilde.
"We just want a complete a picture as we can," he assured me. Again, his eyes seemed to belie his words. Hard, expressionless.
"Well, erm, let me see, about fourteen years," I replied.
"Happily married, Mr. Kendle?" A slight emphasis on the word happily.
"Well, yes of course," I protested.
"So you've shown your wife these filthy letters, I suppose?"
"Well, actually, my wife is away on business just now, something very important. I didn't want to distract her from her work," it sounded so obviously a lie, I wondered how on earth anyone would buy that. Apparently though, Wilde did and changed the subject.
"Where are your children at the moment?"
"They're with my mother-in-law, down in the country," I said. "It's half-term and I'm a bit busy these days, taking a group on a trip to Germany next week. They love being with Rosie, I mean, their grandmother." There I went again, verbal diarrhoea, saying more than I needed.
"I see. Probably a good idea, seeing how this letter-writer now seems to be more threatening."
"That's what I thought," I replied, breathing slightly easier now.
"You don't wear a wedding ring." The observation caught me off my guard. I automatically looked at my left hand.
"It got lost years ago," I said, "and I never got round to replacing it." This, in fact was the truth.
"I see." I noticed Wilde wore his wedding ring on his right hand, a broad band of gold, reflecting the flickering light in the room.
"Mr. Kendle, do you teach at home or at the school?"
"At school," I replied.
"Exclusively? No private pupils?"
"Well, I occasionally do take students at home, if it's more convenient," I replied, the knot in my stomach returning with a vengeance. I felt as if I needed the lavatory again.
"Excuse me, convenient for whom?"
"Well, if it's an extra lesson or coaching or something," I replied recalling Leo and Daniel together in the den and afterwards on my sofa.
"Do you visit students at their homes for extra coaching?" A subtle nuance to the word coaching. I didn't like the insinuation and where the questions were leading. But I could answer truthfully in the negative.
Wilde wrote something in his notes.
"So you can think of no reason at all why you should be the victim of these accusations?"
"I've said so, I can't," I replied trying desperately to keep the panic from my voice. More writing.
"This group you're taking to Germany isn't it?" I nodded. Wilde continued: "How many in the group and what is the make-up, ages and so on?"
"It's the music school's senior string orchestra," I said. "Made up of twenty four advanced students from sixteen or so to nineteen."
"Sounds like a handful," observed Wilde. "Do you have discipline problems, Mr. Kendle?"
"No, they're a good bunch of kids," I replied truthfully enough.
"Difficult age, though," replied the policeman. "All those hormones. What's the ratio between the sexes, roughly?"
"I can tell you exactly," I replied. "All girls, except for two boys."
"I see." I didn't know what Wilde could possibly see, but I refrained from saying anything.
"You've taken groups on tour before have you?"
"Yes two or three times over the past ten years," I replied.
"And all gone well? No problems?"
"Fine," I said, wondering where this line of questioning was going.
"Must be hard for the boys in the group," said Wilde, "being so heavily outnumbered. You have never had any problems with, how shall I put it, relationships within the groups?"
"You mean teen crushes?" I asked. Wilde nodded, still fixing me with an expressionless stare.
"No, not really," I said. "everything is very properly organised," I added, bristling slightly. "The boys and girls are separated and anyway, most of them have known each other for years. They're all friends, really."
"I'm sure it is all very proper," replied Wilde, obviously trying to soothe my ruffled feathers. "So you've had no complaints from parents?"
"Never," I replied, again absolutely truthfully. "Detective, I rather resent..." I began, but was again interrupted by the Inspector.
"Nothing to resent, I assure you. Just getting a picture, Mr. Kendle, that's all."
What kind of a picture I wasn't sure, but I felt uncomfortable in the stark room and the flickering fluorescent light was irritating me, making me even more jumpy. I felt a headache coming on.
"Just a few more details," said Wilde as if he had noticed my discomfort. Maybe he had and was going for the kill. I mentally braced myself.
"So, you can't think of any one who bears you a grudge or any reason for these accusations?"
"I've already said I can't," I snapped back. I thought it obvious Wilde was trying to either wear me down or trip me up. He shrugged his shoulders.
"We're only trying to help, Mr. Kendle,"
"I know, I'm sorry," I mumbled. "This whole business has got me on edge."
"Understandably so," again the eyes did not reflect the sentiment. Wilde seemed to reach a decision. He straightened out the papers in front of him, replacing them in the folder. He stood up. "Well, that seems to be all. If you would be so kind as to write down your version of the events and hand them in to the desk sergeant on your way out. You'll need to come back and sign it once it's typed up. I assume you're making a formal complaint?"
"Of course I am," I replied. "I want this creep found, Inspector."
"Certainly, sir. We'll check with you whether we need to examine your computer, if that's alright."
"Fine," I said. "I expect I'll be at home for the rest of the day, but I have a rehearsal this evening."
"Thank you for your time, Mr. Kendle, we'll be in touch." Again, no handshake. Wilde left the room. I automatically breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn't sure how I had come across, but I hoped I had been convincing as the injured party, which I was. I remembered the mirror. I imagined Wilde in there now, watching me now that I was not on my guard. Paranoid or not, I would have to assume he was watching me and that it was a two-way mirror. I looked down at the table. Neither of us had touched the tea the young constable had brought in for us. I saw the blank sheets of paper and pen. Sighing, I sat down and began to collect my thoughts, writing down the events as I remembered them.
Some twenty minutes later, I was finished. I gathered up the pad and went out into the corridor and to the waiting area. I handed over the sheets to the desk sergeant.
"What about my car?" I asked, "is it alright to get the insurance people to take it away and look at it?"
The sergeant consulted some papers.
"Certainly sir, if you'll just sign these."
"What are they?"
"Just a formality, saying that you have received the vehicle back into your possession in the same condition as you surrendered it, sir."
"Well, I haven't seen it, so the question is somewhat academic isn't it?" I said somewhat tetchily as I scrawled my signature where he indicated.
"I can assure you sir, it is," said the policeman, "if you want to check..."
"No, no, it's alright," I responded, my headache increasing in intensity. "If I can't
trust the police, then who can one trust?"
"Exactly, sir," said the uniformed man somewhat pompously. "Your car is in the pound behind the station. We'll keep the keys and hand them over to the insurance people when they come to collect it."
"Thank you," I replied.
"Now, if you don't mind, sir, your fingerprints. Just for the record, you understand."
I nodded wearily, I wanted to get away from this place as quickly as possible. The sergeant produced an ink-pad and some cards which he laboriously filled out, name, age date of birth, sex, etcetera. He seemed to be taking a very long time about it. Finally he looked up and proceeded to take prints from my thumbs and all the fingers of both hands.
"Just press firmly on the cards in the spaces indicated," he said, speaking to me slowly as if I were a moron. Afterwards, he gave me a moistened towel, like a baby-wipe to clean the black ink from my hands.
"Thank you sir," he said, inspecting the cards. I now had my fingerprints on record. Probably be put on to some sort of database. I could be traced now. It made me feel like a criminal. "Can I go now?" I asked.
"Certainly sir, thanks for your co-operation." I couldn't leave the building fast enough. I needed fresh air. Outside, I looked at my watch. Nearly noon. My headache was threatening to turn into a full-blown migraine, so I decided I wouldn't go in to work this afternoon. I called the school secretary and asked her to contact my students who were due later on.
"I'll be having the extra rehearsal as planned, however," I said. That done, I hailed a cab and went home. On the way I went over this morning's interview in my mind. I tried to assess how I had come across - had Wilde suspected there might be some truth behind the letters? What did he think? I had been completely unable to gauge the man. No doubt he would be thinking, as anyone might, that there was no smoke without fire. What would be his next move? Would the police make any effort at all to find my tormentor, or was all this a waste of time, as well as putting me under suspicion? So far, I had managed to keep Leo's and Daniel's names out of it, but the questions about the make up of the orchestra unsettled me, as well as the ones about my marriage. As I sat in the cab, I began to feel anxious. Wilde had after all, been fairly unambiguous in his questioning; he had probed to see if I really was what the letters purported me to be, which I had expected. What I didn't know was how I came across. Had I been convincing, or had the detective seen right through me? Maybe he was even now getting the names of the two boys and planning to interview them. That would be the last thing in the world I needed or wanted; dragging the two young teens into something like this. I didn't know how they would react, whether they would be able or willing to protect me. After all, until I met JJ, I was a boy-lover, lusting after teens. Even though I had only sidestepped once, that would be enough to get me jailed, my name put on some sexual offenders list and my so-called 'respectable' life ruined.
I sat in the cab and inwardly panicked. Going to the police had not been a good idea. As far as I could see, they had little or no chance of finding the anonymous letter-writer and car-wrecker and by doing so, I had put myself under their microscope. I wished I could turn back the clock, but it was too late. I would be having police at my house, taking away my computer - what if JJ hadn't 'cleaned out' the hard drive enough? What if they found something compromising there? Leo's picture for instance - that would be enough to set the police's alarm bells ringing full blast.
I got home half expecting to find a squad car waiting for me. I paid the cabbie and went inside.
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