Princely Love

by Flaulus

Chapter 6

The following weekend was unseasonably warm, so both Jim and Conrad made do with just shorts as they pottered around the Poulson farm until their friends arrived.

"What gives with Billy and Sven?" Conrad asked, "They're getting pretty close."

"I'm not sure." Jim replied. "I think Billy has discovered Sven is a good footballer so that's one thing they've got in common, and they both hid they're gay: Billy by being a bully and Sven by being so shy. Billy's hinting at a sleepover sometime, but Sven wouldn't dare."

"It may not be a good idea." Conrad said, "I'll ask Mr. Dawlish if he'll have them, but they shouldn't come here until they're out."

"Why?" Jim asked.

"I don't know but something feels wrong. I had the same feeling in the nightclub, but I don't know what it is. If they came here, then announced they were gay, what could it look like?"

"What could RNN make of it?" Jim asked, "I get it. Will Mr. Dawlish mind?"

"Not when His Royal Highness, Prince Conrad explains what concerns him."

"You boys, make yourselves decent." a female voice shrieked, "Don't you know royalty is staying here?"

As the boys turned, Jim whispered, "Aunt Clara."

At the same time, as Aunt Clara recognized Jim, so she became confused. She was not talking to a couple of yobboes from that terrible school Jim went to but her nephew. If Jim was one boy, and the other boy looked like the prince …

"Jim? Can't you at least find a shirt for you and your er, friend?"

"Hello, Aunt Clara." Jim said kissing her on the cheek, "This is my boyfriend, Conrad."

Boyfriend? Conrad? Did he really mean Prince Conrad? It could not be the prince, he was holding out his hand to her. Surely she should curtsey. Confused, she shook Conrad's hand and smiled.

"I'm pleased to meet you." Conrad said, "I'll go and find Mr. Poulson while Jim looks after you."

As they made their way to the house, she said, "Conrad seems like a nice boy. Er, he has the same name as the prince."

"He is the prince, Aunt."

"Yes, but he's parading around half-naked. Surely he doesn't clean bikes, does he?"

"Why not?" Jim asked, "He's my age and does the same things I do. He is the prince sometimes then I have to bow and call him, sir, but he calls it his job. The kettle's on, so I can make you a nice cup of tea."

Aunt Clara sat in silence, confused and all her preconceptions overturned. It did not help when Conrad came into the kitchen and finished making the tea.

" Mr. Poulson seemed worried about putting you up. The spar e room isn't ready." Conrad said, "I'm sure we can sort it out though, but I didn't see any luggage."

"I'm staying at Oak Hill Hotel." Aunt Clara said, "I didn't want to put you out. Surely you sleep in that room, don't you?"

"Officially, I'm staying with Mr. Dawlish, but I spend most of my time here. Dad stay s there too when he visits."

D ad? Conrad was casually talking about the King. Her new friend, Sheila, had been right: she needed to find out what was going on. The two women had hit it off as soon as Sheila had joined the bingo club. She listened attentively to Aunt Clara's somewhat muddled opinions and nodded in agreement. She was suitably shocked when told about her drop-out brother-in-law and gay nephew, agreeing something should be done. Aunt Clara was glad she had finally found someone who understood and agreed when Sheila had suggested she visit, but accepting Jim and Conrad as normal lads was straining her understanding of the world. However, Gerald arrived with more teenagers in tow.

Normally she would just see the worst: bad manners, noise and disrespect of their elders, but she recognized Seb as the pleasant young man who spoke on the news, and Billy who wore that cheeky T-shirt. They might only be very minor celebrities, but they were celebrities and Aunt Clara was sitting amongst them.

"So, what are you up to today?" Gerald asked.

"Just hanging by the river, Dad." Jim replied, "If it's warm enough, we'll swim, but we've got a ball."

"Be careful. There may be photographers around."

"It's OK. We've got our token straights with us, so we'll be normal." Conrad said.

Gerald laughed, "Craig and Axel are a good influence then."

"I know, you want them to corrupt me and turn me straight." Jim said, "It's not going to happen."

"I can wish, but I'm proud of who you are, not what you are. Go. Give Aunt Clara some peace."

" They're not bad lads." Gerald said when he was alone with Aunt Clara, "It's amazing how they look out for each other, but what about you? It's not like you to come visiting."

"It's my friend Sheila. She persuaded me I needed a break, and she had gift vouchers or something for the Oak Hill, but I didn't realize where it was until we arrived this morning. Sheila was worn out after all the driving, but she was so worried I'd be bored she suggested I visit."

"You and Sheila will have to come to dinner before you leave. You could do the tour of the Dawlish Winery first and make a day of it."

"That's very kind of you. Thank you. Sheila did say she would like to meet you. We're here for the week so when do you suggest?"

"How about Wednesday? It's a school night, so it'll be quieter, but you'll have a chance to meet them properly over dinner, and then they'll disappear to do their homework."

"Excellent. I'm looking forward to it."

G erald was surprised to find himself having a pleasant conversation with Aunt Clara. Normally she was rude, abrasive and unwilling to consider any point of view different to her own. He did not realize her initial meeting with Conrad had jolted so much. He was not princely nor a screaming queen but a normal teen. True, the boy's sexuality was there, but it was all so … the only word she could think of was normal. Besides, she was going to have dinner with a prince. She would be able to talk about it for years. Gerald was concerned about who Sheila was. The whole visit seemed a little odd, so he spoke to the senior bodyguard.

A s always Mr. Dawlish provided hampers of food and drink and while they took a break, Conrad and Billy wandered down to the river to feed the ducks.

"Have you come out to your Dad, yet?" Conrad asked.

"I haven't come out to me yet. OK! I'm probably gay, though I still think of girls, but there's something about Sven. I'm being stupid, aren't I?"

"No. Just questioning. Does Sven know how you feel?"

"Yeah, and it's funny how he gets it. He wants to spend the night with me, just to see what happens."

" What would your Dad say?"

"He's already said something. If I've got chances to make something of myself, at least I'm not going to ruin them by getting some girl pregnant. Everybody's been so great, I don't know why I was so scared to admit it. Come on, let's get back."

When Aunt Clara mentioned the invitation, Sheila could not wait to check her handbag, relieved to find the camera, and the microphone worked fine. She had hoped befriending Aunt Clara might lead to something, but a chance to snoop around their home could not be better. However, Gerald was also preparing for the visit.

"I've mentioned smart casual." He said to Jim and Conrad, "Tidy your room and make sure there's only one pillow on your bed as if only one person sleeps in it."

"I don't want to lie, Dad." Jim said.

"You don't have to. Our guests have no right going into your room, but I bet one of them gets lost trying to find the toilet or something. Don't make anything easy for them."

"Security has checked out Sheila." Gerald said on Wednesday morning, "She works as a researcher for RNN. It sounds like a normal job except she gets four times the usual salary, and she seems to free-lance."

"How do you mean?" Jim asked.

"It's a bit vague, but her work seems to be more than providing background information for the news. She may work for the station's sponsors, and Security can't rule out things like industrial espionage."

"So Aunt Clara's a spy, as well." Jim gasped.

"Not necessarily. Sheila could just be using her, and I don't think your aunt could maintain her cover for long."

"So what do we?" Jim asked.

"Treat it as an adult party and try to be a little boring. Stick to small talk about the weather, how you're doing at school, the farm. Let Conrad just be a friend and avoid anything about sexuality or politics. Remember what I said about your room. Don't leave any clues about your sleeping arrangements. She's coming to invade our privacy, so build your defences. Tell people what you want to tell them, not what they can dig out."

Both boys nodded, and Conrad said, "Dad says state dinners are a bit like a dog fight. Both sides are circling, looking for an advantage."

"Except we need to stay polite and not provide the other dog a chance to do anything." Gerald said.

"And we're still talking about state dinners." Conrad said.

Although Gerald was a good cook, they would normally eat watching TV, so neither Gerald nor Jim were used to anything like a dinner party.

Conrad took over. He took the ladies' coats as they made their greetings and introductions saying, "I'll put them in Jim's room. Jim, how about offering the adults sherry?"

Jim duly poured the drinks including glasses of cola for Conrad and himself.

"I thought you teenagers only drank out of cans." Aunt Clara said, feeling more like her old self.

"My fault." Conrad laughed, "It's habit from the palace, and I'm just dragging Jim down to my ways."

Sheila managed a smile, while Aunt Clara glared, saying, "I don't think good manners is dragging him down."

"I keep telling you, Clara." Sheila said, "Relax. Conrad was joking. I am curious though, why do you prefer living here?"

Mr. Dawlish has been friends with Dad since they were at school, so I came to stay with him after that rave business. For various reasons, I've stayed on."

"You were lucky to wriggle out of that terrible business." Aunt Clara snapped.

"It was wasn't luck. I left before anything happened. It was only the pictures taken while I was there that got me involved."

"And the media was terribly disappointed when they couldn't make a scandal, weren't they. I suppose that's why Prince Bartholomew is having such a hard time." Sheila said, "I'm sorry, perhaps you don't want to talk about it, but it's so exciting to meet you."

"I don't mind Barty being more interesting than me." Conrad smiled, "What you read about Dad's reaction is pretty accurate. He's upset of course, but he's not going to interfere with the case. Could we change the subject? What about you Mrs White? What do you do?"

"I'm something of a librarian, but it's more to do with reference work than anything."

"I suppose the right subject can be interesting." Conrad said.

Gerald was beginning see two dogs circling, probing, looking for weaknesses, and was worried.

"Definitely. Somehow, I would have thought you would have preferred the academic life Brookdales offered. How come you prefer a day school?" Sheila asked.

"To be honest, Brookdales was more about social networking, and about who you know. I'm happier where I am. It's got a good academic record and teachers aren't looking for insider tips to boost their shares. OK, Security sometimes drives me to school instead of Adam, but we pick up some of my friends on the way, and mostly I'm just a student."

"What about you, Jim? I didn't mean to exclude you, but I'm just so curious. I suppose, it's because I read the gossip columns so much. How do you like having a prince as such a close friend?".

"I just like having someone close by I can hang out with." Jim replied.

Luckily Gerald was ready to serve dinner, so they settled at the table and since everyone enjoyed the meal, conversation was muted.

"I'm surprised that gang of yobboes hasn't descended on us again." Aunt Clara said, trying to regain the centre of attention, once the meal was over.

"It's a school night." Jim explained, "There's homework, and most of them are on curfew on school nights."

"Don't be so harsh on them, Clara." Sheila said, "That young man who speaks for you, Conrad, Sebastian is it? He seems a friendly sort but is it my imagination? Is he a bit, er, flamboyant?"

"He wants to be an actor, so I guess he hams it up a bit." Conrad said, "He gets on with the reporters though."

Sheila was getting frustrated as the conversation moved on, and was beginning to suspect the boys knew about her. She could not ask about sex directly, but she had presented enough chances for them to let something slip and each time, the answer had been innocuous. She had a great opportunity, but she was getting nothing. Aunt Clara managed something in her own blundering way.

"At least you could do something about all that dreadful gay nonsense. Look at you. Anyone could see you're normal, why keep on with it."

Sheila waited hopefully.

"That's enough, Clara." Gerald snapped, "Both Conrad and Jim are gay, but that doesn't mean the details are suitable conversation for a dinner party, or for you to make an issue of. We have a guest so let's not start a slanging match."

"I am curious though." Sheila said, "You don't suppose I missed the juicy bits in the papers, do you?"

"No, I suppose not." Gerald chuckled, "OK. Jim and Conrad are more than friends, and Conrad publicly admits it. I still don't think we should discuss the details though."

"Yes, I understand. Just out of curiosity, a sexual relationship would be illegal at their age, so would you allow it under your roof?"

"I guess that's a question a lot of parents have to ask." Gerald said, "I'd rather Jim have a steady boyfriend he can bring home, instead of him grabbing opportunities with whoever wants a quick meetup."

Sheila gave up, and allowed Clara and Gerald talk about their family, until Clara said, "I hope you're going to let James spend time with his mother at Christmas. We'd like to see him as well, you know."

"It's all up in the air for now." Gerald replied, "Jim might be spending some of the holiday with Conrad's family."

"Why? Aren't we good enough for him any more?"

"We both get tired of all the bickering. His mother visited him, the last time he stayed at the palace."

"I think it's time we left." Sheila said, "I've had a wonderful evening, but I'm afraid I may have bored Conrad with all my questions."

"Not at all. To be honest, the people I have trouble with are the ones who want to ask but are too scared. They spend the evening silent wondering what to say."

"You're certainly a gracious host." Sheila laughed. To her surprise, she meant it. The boys had to have been coached which meant they knew about her,. It had still been a pleasant evening, except for Clara's rudeness, but at least she did not have to put up with it for much longer. There was one last thing she could try.

"Would it be terribly rude if I came to your pool night?" She asked, "It's a public place, so I'd love a couple of holiday snaps to show my friends."

"We could do a couple of selfies now if you like." Conrad suggested, "I'd like a group shot to show Dad."

Again, it wasn't the answer she wanted. Pictures at a pool match were not going to reveal much, but others might be less cautious in what they said. She had tried to play the part of a curious but polite guest, and had failed miserably.

After their guests left, the boys duly headed to their bedroom to do their homework, while Gerald collected the microphones he had planted before phoning the senior bodyguard.

"She's good." The bodyguard said, "She knew forcing the conversation would make you suspicious. She was curious but as she suggested, anyone who read the court news, or the gossip columns would be. Being so honest should have put you off guard, but it didn't work. Her biggest mistake was asking for a picture. OK, it was an excuse to snoop a bit more, but she didn't bargain on the prince being so willing. We've got her picture but now, we've got a good up-to-date one, you didn't give anything useful away, so well done."

Sheila's employers were less happy. They found it difficult to believe it was an ordinary dinner party and, luckily for her, agreed with her assessment, someone had warned them.

The following day the friends gathered during a break at school. Jim told them about the night before, and they were intrigued by a spy story. Only Billy seemed unhappy, reluctant to say why.

"Come on, Billy." Seb said, "You're one of us now. What's wrong?"

"It's Mum's birthday." Billy said, "Dad's a socializt and a republican but Mum's a real royalist. She insists we have a picture of the king hanging in the hall, but doesn't complain if Dad hums the 'Red Flag' every time he comes in. It's a sort of joke between them."

He paused, still unhappy, but continued, "We can't do much. We're each going to invite a couple of friends for snacks and a drink. When Mum wasn't around, Dad asked if there was any chance Conrad could send a card or something. It seemed wrong to ask after that Sheila business."

"Don't I even rate an invite?" Conrad asked.

"Yeah, of course, but we've only got a pokey little flat, and it'll only be cheap stuff from a supermarket."


"OK! I gave you a hard time, why do you want to come?" Billy asked.

"Being normal." Conrad said, "I'm not telling the press I'm coming, but if other guests take pictures and put them on-line, you can bet they'll circulate. It'll help get me over the rave business. It's also normal to help a friend out. You can mention that bit to your Mum but not the first bit."

Billy nodded slowly, "You're getting something out of it, but you're still going to look down on how we live."

"Am I?" Conrad asked, "Do you really think that or is it you who's ashamed?"

Briefly, Billy looked furious and almost lunged at Conrad, but then he crumpled, almost in tears.

"I was sure they'd hate me for being gay." He sobbed, "I thought you'd think you're so much better than me. I just worry about what people think."

Sven put his arm round Billy's shoulder before saying: "Conrad's brother is going to gaol. Jim's parents are divorced. Seb's father wants to send him for conversion therapy. Jamie's father beat him up, and he's going to gaol as well. I reckon they could all be jealous of what you've got."

There was a thoughtful silence as Billy recovered.

"Sven's got a weird way of looking at things. I guess it's why I like him." Billy said.

"You only like me?" Sven exclaimed, "Can't you do 'love' yet?"

That evening was pool night, the only school night Conrad and Jim were allowed out after nine pm but Sheila did not arrive. Although everyone from the king down was expecting trouble, it stayed quiet. Sheila's visit had at least warned her employers Conrad's group were not going to provide easy targets, so the next event was Billy's mother's birthday.

Jim and Sven arrived first making sure everyone else had arrived before Jim sent Conrad a text. Moments later, the doorbell rang and Billy answered it. As Conrad walked into the room, other guests glanced at him, paused uncertainly, waiting for some clue as to the newcomer's real identity. Billy's mother had turned, ready to greet another guest but stopped, her greeting frozen in her open mouth.

"Mum, I'd like you to meet another friend of mine." Billy said saving the best bit until last, "His Royal Highness, Prince Conrad."

"I wish Billy hadn't said all that." Conrad smiled holding out his hand, "It makes people want to bow or curtsey. I'm just pleased to meet Billy's mother."

Too startled to even think about curtseying, she automatically shook his hand. Conrad looked around for Billy's father, again holding out his hand.

"I hope I don't have the same effect on a republican." he said.

Mr. Taverner grinned, "No, lad, but Billy warned me. It's good of you to come."

There was a flash and Conrad glanced around glancing at an adult guest trying to slip a phone into his pocket.

"It's OK." Conrad said, "I'd like a picture with Billy's family, but later."

Conrad knew how to circulate and put people at ease. Music played but there was not enough room to dance. It was a quiet, muted affair but everyone seemed to like the change in routine, but then Conrad's phone signalled a message.

"I'm sorry about this, but would everyone turn off their phones, please." Conrad called out, "Mr and Mrs Taverner, could you join me here?"

Puzzled, everyone complied waiting until Conrad's phone rang again.

"Hi, Dad." Conrad said as he put it on speaker.

"Good evening, Conrad. Mrs Taverner, I hope you're having a good birthday. It's nice to speak to the parents of Conrad's friends, and I did have misgivings about his choice of school, but I was wrong. I admire Conrad's strength and courage; you can be equally proud of your son, and I think that's the best birthday present any parent can have. I'll have to leave it at that but once again, Happy Birthday, Mrs Taverner."

The phone went dead, leaving guests startled and Mrs Taverner in tears. Conrad became worried as she gripped her husband's hand.

"She's always a bit emotional." Mr. Taverner said, "Billy, see to our guests. Maybe you boys could have a glass of wine."

"Thanks." Conrad said, "I've said you can take pictures of me. A picture of me drinking could cause problems."

"I'm sorry, I didn't think." Mr. Taverner replied, "Having to think about the press is new to me. You boys have given Angela a wonderful birthday, so when you're ready, slip away and have your own fun."

They did not leave straight away. For a time, Conrad was happy to be photographed with guests, including group shots of him with Billy and his family and the three boys. He had a couple downloaded to his phone and sent them to his father. King Constantine had the social media monitored and guests found their pages watched by thousands, and their pictures shared. In a fight to save a country from a takeover, it was a trivial event. However memories of Conrad's presence at a rave where a killing took place was pushed further back in people's minds, and a friendly, prince-of-the-people image came to the fore.

Seb took the only criticism as he arrived at school the following Monday.

"How come you didn't tell us about that party." A reporter asked.

"I felt sorry for you." Seb replied, "You'd have given up your Saturday night to wait outside the flats and nothing happened. If you want a quote then: Prince Conrad prefers spending time with his friends and their families, to going to raves."

"Should you still be mentioning that rave?"

"No, but it doesn't go away. Comparing Conrad with his brother doesn't go away either."

"Fair point, but a little get together in a block of flats hardly compares to palace life, does it?"

"Which makes you a bigger snob than Conrad."

"You're getting good, Seb." The reporter chuckled, "How about a couple of pictures of you? I might get a feel good story about how you stand up for your friend."

Normally Jamie's father would feel dirty if Seb's father, Mr. Walker, so much as spoke to him. However, for now, he made a good ally. He had even scrubbed up well enough to be presentable as they sat at the table in front of RNN cameras. It was agreed, Jamie's father, Mr. Hammerstein would speak first.

"First, I must point out I have nothing against the gay community in general, but it does seem to contain a fair number of perverts eager to convert impressionable youngsters to their way of life." Mr. Hammerstein began, "What particularly concerns me, is such behaviour seems so widespread in our schools. My son was turned by Prince Conrad at Brookdales while Mr. Walker's son was turned by Jim Poulson in a state school. Both our boys were normal healthy teenagers, and with a little help, I'm sure they could become so again. However, the courts seem to be under pressure to ignore our concerns and allow the perverts to corrupt others."

"Who is pressuring the courts?" The presenter asked.

"I can't say, but it must be coming from the highest levels."

"I've spoken to Sebastian Walker. He can be quite outspoken when he's pushed. I'm surprised he's been corrupted as you suggest." The presenter said.

"Are you saying rudeness to an adult is acceptable? I say his disrespect of adults is part of his degenerate behaviour, and it's something a good parent would correct." Mr. Hammerstein replied, glad that Mr. Walker nodded in agreement.

The questioning continued, but the producer decided it was already the right length to have the maximum impact. It was broadcast on RNN and by the evening other newscasters felt obliged to run the story.

Seb was watching the news with his mother when Mrs Brampton phoned from the palace.

"We know you're not on the official staff, but you do well enough as spokesman to be included in this meeting." She said, "First, neither the palace nor the Prince can make any statement, except to say, the question of custody is a family matter."

"Does that stop me commenting on my Dad?" Seb asked.

"No. You're not staff but officially, we're asking you to keep quiet."

"I'm learning. What about unofficially?"

"Please don't deviate from the official palace position if you mention it."

"Understood. I'll talk to my friends and let you know.

There was a bigger crowd of reporters as Seb arrived at school the following morning.

"Hi, Seb. Are you briefed yet?" Their spokesman, Adrian Chapman, asked.

"On what?" Seb asked.

"You 're not going to start playing games with us, are you?"

"OK! You're asking about that RNN news report. What I meant was. The palace has made a statement and Prince Conrad goes along with it. That report involved me and Jamie, and we can speak about our reactions to what our fathers said. Are you interested?"

"I guess we were going to ask. Is it the usual procedure for a press conference?"

"Yep. Gym after school."

"Can I have a private word?"

Once they had stepped away from the crowd, Adrian said, "You should get yourself an agent. You could do guest spots especially on teenage shows, and you could do promotional work. I've been approached by a couple of chat shows to ask whether you'd appear."

"Wow, but I couldn't carry on as spokesman, could I?"

"I don't know. I could set up these interviews and get a commission for it, but you need an agent who can work with the palace."

"OK! Thanks. Let's see how today goes first."

The press was surprised to see a group of youngsters on the stage when the conference assembled. Once everyone was settled, Seb stood up.

"OK, I'm going to read a statement, and then we'll take questions. Be gentle with us because we can be more nervous of being disrespectful to adults than RNN thinks."

As Seb hoped, it raised a few chuckles, as he began, "Except for Jamie Hammerstein, we've all been Jim's friends for some time. I began to think I was gay and since Jim was so openly gay, it seemed natural to be his friend. I think others felt the same way, Billy was a bully because he was scared to admit it, and it wasn't the kind of straight acting anyone likes. As you can see, Craig is here with his girlfriend, and he's known Jim longer than anyone. It doesn't mean we've never tried to turn anyone, but Axel is also with us. Here's a photo of him before we jumped on him and here's one after."

The first photo on the display was of Axel with long unkempt hair, grubby T-shirt and ripped jeans. The second picture was of him in a dress suit dancing with his girlfriend who was dressed in an elegant gown full-length gown.

Seb continued, "Knowing Jim and Prince Conrad has changed us, but we like the changes. We'll take questions."

"Most of the RNN interview was directed against Jamie. Could he give his version of events?"

Jamie stood up, "I was in hospital with a suspected ruptured spleen and a fractured arm. That's why I've got an injunction stopping my father from approaching me."

He sat down again, and there was silence for a few moments. New questioners Seb did not know, introduced themselves.

"Terry Johnson, RNN, surely the truth is; you became hysterical when your father confronted you about your perversion, and you fell."

Jamie blushed, turning to Seb who said, "It's between you and your Dad, and he's raised the question."

Jamie nodded and blushing an even deeper red said, "I wasn't perverted when I was supposed to get close to the Prince and get introductions. It was only when I refused to use my friendship he beat me up."

"So you say. I say lying about your father is just part of your corruption."

"Is that a question?" Seb asked. As always Mrs Jacobs was watching in case of trouble but Seb seemed able to deal with it.

"OK! Do you expect us to believe an upright member of the community would behave in such a way? I'm sure he'll be exonerated of all charges without the sort of corruption you're implying." Terry Johnson replied.

"Mrs Jacobs, do schools and hospitals have a duty to report abuse?"

"They do." Mrs Jacobs replied, "The reports are highly confidential though."

"I get that. I'm just wondering what sort of legal action could get it subpoenaed. Is making snide remarks a legal matter? Mr. Johnson, do you want to continue, or shall we move on?"

"You're threatening press freedom. We're entitled to know the truth."

"Good." Seb replied, "My idea of the truth is based on facts and evidence. What's yours based on?"

Mr. Johnson stayed quiet so Adrian Chapman, the unofficial spokesmen for the regular reporters said, "It was a bit of threat, Seb. For the record, is Jamie Hammerstein accusing his father of physical abuse?"

"I guess the injunction is on record, so can we stick to facts and evidence?"

"In other words you don't want a 'Yes he did', 'No, he didn't', type of argument. I can accept that. How about a quote?"

"OK! The facts and the evidence are on our side."

"That'll do. I think we've got enough."

Mrs Jacobs was still watching. She guessed the bulk of the reporters present did not want to hassle teenagers, the RNN team seemed a little apart from the rest, but it must still be an ordeal for Seb, yet he coped well.

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