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  1. IT WAS FRAUD--Part 1 of 6
  2. IT WAS FRAUD--Part 2 of 6
  3. IT WA FRAUD--Part 3 of 6
  4. IT WAS FRAUD--Part 4 of 6
  5. IT WAS FRAUD--Part 5 of 6
  6. IT WAS FRAUD--Part 6 of 6

IT WAS FRAUD--Part 1 of 6

Categories Fiction, Cheating, Torture

Author: senorlongo

Published: 10 August 2018

  • Font:

IT WAS FRAUD—Part 1 of 6 by SENORLONGO

It seems that I have been working on this story forever. I had more than 120 pages written maybe six months ago when I had a hard drive crash on my laptop. Yes, that’s right—all 120 pages were lost. I liked the story so I went back to the beginning and rewrote the entire thing from memory. Because I usually read and edit my stories between eight to ten times before posting online, this story has literally taken forever.

If you’ve read anything of mine before you will know that I typically include plenty of sex in my stories, but only when it fits into the plot. This one is no exception. If you are looking for one frantic sex scene after another you will be disappointed. As always, anyone involved in any form of sex is over the age of eighteen. It’s a long story so I have divided it into six parts of approximately twenty-five pages each. I hope you enjoy it. It was fun writing it the first time, but a lot of work the second. This story starts slowly. Don't let that turn you off. It gains momentum quickly in part two.

I did live in the Pottstown/Boyertown, PA area for about five years more than thirty years ago. I went back almost annually to visit and shop at the Reading outlets, buying suits like those described in the story in addition to shirts, ties, and even a Coach belt at more than sixty percent below list that’s still hanging in my closet, but then—so are some of the suits. There were plenty of bargains to be had in the outlet malls then. Now that I’m retired I only wear suits to funerals, something that unfortunately happens with increasing frequency every year. Senorlongo

>>>>>>

My head jerked back and forth over and over as I tried in vain to throw off the anguished sleep—sleep filled with hideous nightmares--that seemed to hold me in its iron grip. My twisting head was accompanied by my thrashing body as I tried in vain to lift my leaden eyelids. Yes, my eyelids felt as though they were made of lead; that’s just how heavy they were.

Finally, after what seemed to be hours my eyes opened, but barely. Then I began to have second thoughts. My head was pounding and my mouth felt as though it was filled with cotton. I couldn’t understand. I had been very careful at the reception, drinking only a sip of champagne in a private toast to my gorgeous bride and two gin and tonics over the next four hours. Why then did I have the mother of all hangovers?

Prying my eyes open

I looked up to see my gorgeous sexy wife still wearing the tight white corset that supported her large milky white breasts fully exposed at the top and her naked pussy open and available at the bottom. “Dear God, Lori—I can’t believe I fell asleep on our wedding night. We didn’t get to consummate our marriage, showing the depth of our love for each other.”

“It’s good that you’re finally awake, Sean, but not to worry—I did more than enough consummating for both of us.”

I was still shaking sleep from my brain when I asked, “What…what are you talking about?”

“You need to know how things are going to be between us from now on and there’s no better time than right now.” She reached down to hold my chin with her left hand while she viciously slapped me with her right. “It was so considerate of you to let me make the honeymoon arrangements. Let me show you. Here’s my boarding pass—Philadelphia to Los Angeles to Honolulu.” It said ‘Lori Canning’ because she still had to change her name to mine. "And here’s the other one.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. It read “Michael Hathaway,” Lori’s loser ex-boyfriend.

By now I was up on my elbow and I could clearly see Lori’s red swollen pussy with the long tracks of what appeared to be semen running down her inner thighs. Looking up at her I asked, demanding an answer, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”

At my words she produced what looked like a garage door remote. She pushed the button and my first reaction was to curl up in a fetal position. I had felt a strong electrical shock to my balls. That was the first time I noticed the heavy-duty stainless steel cock cage on my genitals and the thick extension piece just above my testicles that I realized had been the source of the shock. As I rolled up I fell onto the floor, still in some pain. I had been shocked—no doubt--but mostly I had been surprised; more about that later.

I was still rolled up on the floor when I noticed Lori’s so-called ex had walked up to where I was lying. Damn, but I hated this asshole. “Ha ha! Look at the pathetic cuckold. You’ll never fuck Lori again while I’ll have her whenever I want, just like the four times last night. I hope you like the taste of cum because I know that Lori plans to have you clean her up and lick her to a few orgasms several times every day. I’ll make sure you have plenty of semen as part of your diet. Before long you’ll be getting straight from the source.” And then he laughed again.

By then I had risen shakily to my hands and knees and had inched closer to him. I was going to make this bastard pay big time. Lunging forward I drove my right arm up between his legs, slamming my forearm up into his groin, lifting him several inches, and crushing his testicles with the blow. He fell back, screaming in pain. Rushing forward I grabbed the front of his belt to secure him while I rapidly punched his balls at least twenty times before driving the heel of my hand into his nose. The blood that spurted out as I felt the cartilage crumble under my blow was all the reward I needed. It flew up and out, staining my almost new off-white carpet, but I didn’t care. I was about to strike him again when everything went black.

>>>>>>

I was on my stomach with my hands behind my back when I woke again. One attempt to move my hands told me that I had been handcuffed. My head was held in place by two meaty thighs and I knew as soon as she spoke that they belonged to my mother-in-law, Marge. “Hold still, Sean. You need some stitches from where Lori conked you with the champagne bottle. I already have three in you, but I think you’ll need another four to close the wound.” Marge and I had gotten along, but barely. However, I  

knew that she was a highly skilled nurse at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia just outside King of Prussia.

“Of course, all of this could have been avoided if only my idiot daughter had followed the plan.”

“Plan,” I asked. “What plan?”

“I see no reason not to tell you considering that you’ll spend the rest of your miserable life living it. Lori and Michael met in fifth grade and I knew then as they did that they were soul mates--destined to be together forever. That’s why I put Lori on the pill in sixth grade. I wish they had studied more, but they fucked their way all the way through middle and high school. There were 322 students in Lori’s graduating class. Care to guess Lori’s rank?”

“Not a clue.”

“Well…I’m not sure, but it was somewhere in the middle. Want to guess where Michael was?”

“Three hundred and twenty-third? I’m surprised he even got through eighth grade.”

“Actually, I think it was lower, but even worse, Michael has never been able to get and hold even the most menial of jobs.”

“That comes as no surprise.”

“That’s when I realized that I had to marry Lori off to someone with a really good career and lots of money. Then she ran across your friend Troy and the plan came together. I’m sure that Lori and Michael would have had a much better time in Hawaii if she had remembered to handcuff you before you woke up, but they’ll have a lifetime together while you support them financially then come home to cook and clean while Lori and Michael relax and make love. I know that they fucked almost every day while she lived here with you. She told me that you sucked his semen out of her at least three or four times a week and sometimes it was all Michael could do to get out the front door when you came home early from work. But no more, you’ll be Lori’s cuckold slave, working your ass off every day to make money for Lori and Michael to spend and enjoy.”

“Troy! That’s just great. Troy and I have been very close friends for the past twenty years. It’s so nice to know how loyal he was after all those years of friendship.”

“You can tell him yourself; he’ll be here soon for his payoff.”

I was sitting up then and I noticed a red light. “Is that a camera over there?”

“Yes,” Lori replied haughtily. “We’re recording everything that happens to you so Michael and I can see your progress and laugh as Mom breaks you and we’ll also record everything that she has you do during the next two weeks, many of which will prove extremely embarrassing should they become public. They’ll help keep you in line should you be stupid enough to rebel or disobey our orders. Of course, we’ll shock your balls whenever you even think of disobeying. Mom says that will happen often in the beginning, but you’re smart. You’ll learn to obey us even if it has to be the hard way.”

I was still seated on the floor when I heard the doorbell. A minute later Lori returned with my former best friend, Troy Shadwell, in tow. “Hey man, where’s my money? Write me a check--250,000 bucks. I got some high living to do.”

“That’s just great. Mind telling me why you sold me out?”

“A job, man; you never even offered me a decent job.”

“That’s not true. I offered you a job several times, but you weren’t interested.”

“You wanted me to work for twelve dollars an hour. No fucking way; that’s coolie wages. I’m the boss’s best friend.”

“What do you know about metal work? About stamping, casting, or forging? Nothing, that’s what. Being my friend wouldn’t allow you to injure someone through your ignorance. That’s why you’d train and work at twelve for six months, at fifteen for the next six and twenty for the next six. After eighteen months you’d get twenty-five and be eligible for profit sharing, just like everyone else.”

“Yeah, maybe, but I’d still have to be a coolie for a year and a half. Now I’m going to be rich and all I had to do was lure you to a party. Let’s have it—two hundred and fifty grand!”

“If you think I have that kind of money sitting around in the bank you’re an even bigger idiot than I realized. You’ll have to wait until I return to work to get your blood money.” “Yeah,” I thought, “but by then I’d have gotten even with you and the rest of these losers, too.” That was a promise I made to myself—a promise I was determined to keep, whatever the cost.

>>>>>>

Troy’s remarks brought back the memory of that Saturday night more than a year ago. I was working on the computer in my home office when Troy walked in. “Don’t tell me you’re working on a Saturday night. C’mon, man—let’s go out. I know of a great party down in Collegeville. Let’s go score some hot babes. You need to get laid.”

“Thanks for the commentary on my love life, but I’m really not in the mood.”

“Ah, c’mon, I need a ride and you need some time away from that factory of yours.”

“What’s the matter, Troy? Mom need her car tonight?”

Troy was thirty, just like me, and he still lived with his mother. That alone was enough to make him the laughingstock of our crowd of friends. I wondered not for the first time how someone as lazy and irresponsible as Troy had become such a good friend.

“Geez, Sean—I don’t want to fight. I can do that with my old lady anytime. Let’s go out and have a good time.” I remember sighing as I saved my work and shut the computer down, making a decision that would prove to be more important and life-changing than I realized at the time.

The party was just a block off Route 422 in Collegeville—about half a mile from the Ursinus College campus. I never did meet the couple who owned the house, but I did have a few drinks and meet several good looking women. I was just about to look for Troy when I walked through the living room. There, trying futilely to deal with some drunk, was probably the hottest woman I had seen in months if not longer. She had a rack that just wouldn’t quit and an ass to match. I was almost up to her when she threw her purse to the floor and stamped her foot in frustration. “God damn it, Michael.”

“What seems to be the problem,” I asked innocently.

“It’s my useless boyfriend. All he does is get drunk and pass out. Linda told me I could put him in one of the guest rooms to sleep it off, but I can’t do anything with him.”

“Not a problem,” I told her as I grabbed one wrist and pulled him into a fireman’s carry. He was a lightweight, probably not more than 140 pounds. Silently, I carried the drunk up the stairs, following the hot babe into one of the rooms where I easily dropped him onto a bed. I walked downstairs and was almost out the door when I realized the babe was just a step behind me.

“Excuse me,” she said tentatively. “Thanks, but I don’t know your name.”

“Sean…Sean Sloan, and yours?”

“I’m Lori Canning and thanks. I never would have been able to do anything with that useless idiot. Can I ask you for one more favor? I need a ride home. I don’t even have money for a cab or even for Uber. Please?”

“Where do you live?”

“In Pottstown, on the east side in the big apartment complex on Forest Drive.”

“I know where that is. Sure, it’s almost on my way to Gilbertsville.” I held the door for her and led her out to my truck. It belonged to my company—Sean Sloan Fabrications. My logo was on the door. I held it open as I commented, “I suppose that I should look for my friend, Troy, but truthfully, I haven’t seen him for more than an hour.”

We talked as we drove. I learned that she was a teller at one of the local banks. The apartment complex was a bit rundown which I thought was just about right for her. I knew that tellers weren’t highly paid even though they had a lot of responsibility for thousands of dollars every day. I wasn’t expecting anything from her, but I did walk her to the door to make sure she could get in safely. She invited me in, but I turned her down telling her that I had to get up early. “Will you wait here for just a minute?”

I stood on the welcome mat while she hurried in, returning a minute later with a small sheet of paper—her name and number. “Call me, will you? You’re obviously several steps up from my soon-to-be loser ex.” She reached up then to kiss my cheek. After another thanks she closed the door and I returned to my truck. Thus began what I thought was an incredible relationship—one filled with love and mutual respect and lots of really hot sex. Now I realized that it had all been a hoax. The entire thing was created and designed to enslave me—nothing more.

>>>>>>

I was taken by surprise when Marge dropped a large dog’s choke collar over my head, pulling me up from my seated position. I had two choices—get up and follow or sit and choke to death. I followed her into the garage where she pushed me into her car’s trunk. Once the lid was closed I allowed myself to smile. These people were idiots—absolute fucking idiots. Their plot was doomed to failure for several key reasons.

First, my dad had been varsity wrestling coach at Boyertown Area High School for more than thirty years. He began training me when I was three and even he said I was the most determined wrestler he had ever known. I never quit—not in the classroom, not on the mat, and not at anything else, either. I had never quit then and I wouldn’t quit now. I was sure I’d be tortured—forced to endure a great deal of pain—but all that would do was really piss me off and make me even more determined to get my revenge.

Second, I owned a metal fabricating company. I could get out of this monstrosity on my cock and balls in an hour or less as soon as I went to work and I had people working for me who could do it even quicker. If they thought I would be too embarrassed they obviously didn’t know me very well. This thing was held together by two bolts that needed an irregular wrench. The wrench wouldn’t have to be perfect. I only needed it to work once and I’d be free.

And third, was my secret, something only my parents knew. It was an accident when I was eight. I got careless while riding my new bike. The front tire caught in a storm drain and the bike twisted around. I was thrown off, my lower back striking the concrete curb. It was seen by a neighbor who phoned the police and my mother. I spent three days in the hospital going through a full battery of tests. Bottom line—my lower body would function almost normally just a bit slower and I would still feel pain, but at less than half of what anyone else would experience. I had been extremely careful to avoid injury from my abdomen down. Now it seemed that my accident might save my life.

>>>>>>

I lived in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania, right off Route 73. From the direction Mistress Marge—that’s right, in what I thought was a total cliché, she told me that’s what she was to be called--had driven I was pretty sure she had gone west on 73 past Boyertown into the farm country beyond. We had stopped at the last traffic light about fifteen minutes ago by my reckoning so I assumed we were somewhere near Manatawny or Oley. We turned a few seconds later and I knew we were off a public road by the crunching gravel under the wheels. My thoughts were confirmed when Marge opened the trunk and I could see that we were in an old abandoned barn. There was a big hole at the rear where the roof had collapsed and on the floor there was plenty of evidence that the area had been taken over by animals.

Then I saw two things that I knew were meant for me. Hanging from a huge rough hewn beam at least twelve inches on a side was a sturdy steel chain. Looking up I could see that one of the links had been secured to the beam by three thick heavy-duty staples. There was no way I’d be able to pull them out no matter how strong I might be. The other thing was a big steel dog cage about three by three and four feet deep.

"Mistress” Marge gave the leash a strong tug and I tumbled out of the trunk. A minute later she had pulled my arms and wrists up to padlock them to the chain. My arms were up so high that there was serious strain on my shoulders. All the same, I thought I could handle the position fairly easily until she tied my ankles off to ring bolts that had been sunk into the hard dirt floor. Someone had done a lot of planning for this and, if I had to guess, it would have to be Marge. She was by far the smartest of the four. My position was much worse when my ankles were spread about five feet apart. My shoulders, strong as they were, ached from the stress placed on them.

“I’m going to break you, Sean—turn you into a cipher that will exist only to follow Lori’s orders to the letter. I plan to whip you four or five hours a day until the pain is unbearable and then I’m going to whip you again and again. I’ve done this before with my loser husband. His cock and balls were caged much like yours are now. I used to shock him regularly, sometimes just for the fun of it. I never let him cum and he obviously never fucked me. No—his job was to work and make money for me to spend then to come home and cook dinner before cleaning the house and sleeping in a cage like this at the foot of my bed. Then he’d do the same thing again and again—day after day, month after month, year after year. I had a life of ease, spending my time at a spa or getting fucked by some handsome stranger, just as long as he had a really big dick. That’s the life facing you now. I’m really going to enjoy this.”

Then the whipping began. She continued at a rapid pace, covering my lower back, butt, and thighs with welts that were bleeding long before she was done. I readily admit that I cried and begged for mercy even though I knew I’d receive none. She continued for more than an hour, stopping only I assumed because she was tired. I saw her hang the bloody whip on a nail as she walked to her car. A minute later she returned with a big sponge and a bottle of vinegar.

“I can’t let you get an infection, can I?” She paused to laugh insanely. “And to think I’ll be able to watch it over and over with Lori and Michael—the destruction of a local hero.” And then she laughed again. I swore then I’d get her and make her suffer even more than I would. I didn’t know how yet, but I would.

She made a production of soaking the sponge with vinegar then she wiped it over my sweating face. Instinctively, I closed my eyes and kept them closed to protect my vision. A few minutes later she cackled as she wiped the raw areas of my back, butt, and thighs. It stung, but not as badly as I thought it would even though thousands of raw nerve endings were exposed from the whipping. I had just opened my eyes to see Marge squeeze the sponge to allow my blood to drip onto the dirt in front of me.

“Isn’t this great! There’s plenty left for the rest of the week or even longer.” She walked back to the car and a minute later she had backed out, probably for lunch on my dime.

I knew that all rope had some degree of stretch so I pulled down with my shoulders so I could move my legs closer together, if possible. Ten minutes later I had gained an inch in each rope. It wasn’t much, but it was enough that I could shift the burden of my weight to my legs rather than my shoulders. The relief was immediate and I stayed like that until I heard Marge’s car return. Then I resumed my prior position. The stress on my shoulders was as severe as it was immediate.

Marge strolled in without a care, carrying two big dog bowls, a gallon of water, and a take-out box from The Pit Stop, one of Boyertown’s best and favorite steak houses. “Get used to eating and drinking like this, slave. It’s the only way you’ll get anything for the next two weeks. You’ll eat breakfast and dinner like this at home, but I suppose you’ll be permitted a sandwich and bottle of water when you go to work. Forget about going out to lunch. You won’t be able to leave your office without Lori’s permission. You’ll no doubt learn that the hard way, but that’s okay. I enjoy watching you suffer.”

She placed the bowls in front of me and filled one with water. Into the other she dropped what I thought were the leavings of her lunch—fat and gristle from a hunk of prime rib and a few pieces of baked potato skins. Walking behind me she unlocked the padlock that had held me in place. Falling with a thump to the floor, I attacked the fat, apparently knowing something that Marge didn’t—fat has more calories and nutrients than any other food type. It didn’t taste very good, but I didn’t care. I needed the strength to survive. I finished by lapping up every drop of the water.

Marge pulled me up by the leash and seconds later I was padlocked in the same position I had been in earlier. She left me there while she returned the bowls to her car. Turning my head I saw that everything was being recorded for future amusement. The whipping continued in earnest as soon as she returned.

She stopped several times, breathing heavily from the exhaustion. I wondered then what might happen if she had a heart attack. As much as I wanted her dead I was afraid that I’d join her long before a passer-by might find us.

She washed me down with vinegar again once she was done then she led me by the leash to the cage. She forced me to back in and locked the leash tightly to one of the bars in the cage’s top. “Good thinking, Marge; if I fall asleep I’ll strangle myself. I’m no good to you dead, am I?” This time it was my turn to laugh. “Even worse, even a blind coroner would be able to figure out how I died and once they learn that Michael went on my honeymoon with Lori they’ll know exactly where to look for my killer.”

Marge gave the matter a little thought before unlocking the padlock and pulling the choke collar over my head. The padlock was used to secure the cage and she turned to go. “I told Lori not to sign that damned pre-nup. Without that we could arrange a little accident in the woods…hunting, maybe. Lori looks really good in black. Then we could sell your business and live on easy street for the rest of our lives.” No, I wasn’t of any use to them dead. My will left everything I owned to my parents and to my sister, Gail. Under the pre-nup Lori was unable to get her hands on my business under any circumstances—death, divorce, or even if I mysteriously disappeared. Thanks, Dad—that was a great idea.

I watched Marge disappear through the barn’s door. Her final words were, “It will get just cold enough tonight to make you very uncomfortable and I’m sure the insects will eat you alive. I’ll break you easily. You’re even softer than I had thought. Sleep well, slave.” Then she cackled again, her laugh reminding me of Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz.”

There was no pad in the cage and the space was really tight so I was lying on the hard steel bars no matter how I tried to position myself. I finally found a minimally uncomfortable position on my right side. Even then I had to be careful not to press my back against the bars on the side. I did that several times in my shallow sleep, waking me immediately. The flies and mosquitoes feasted on my raw back and butt all night.

>>>>>>

That first day set the pattern for the next four days. Marge would show up mid morning and whip me for two to three hours than leave me hanging while she went to lunch. I was fed her scraps and I always ate everything she gave me and drank all of the water. After lunch she would whip me again for hours before my vinegar bath and locking me away for the night.

Then, on the fifth day she introduced something new—what she called “dildo training.” She forced a big rubber dildo into my mouth, shocking my balls repeatedly when I either refused or showed reluctance, which was every time. Either my body was growing accustomed to the shocks or the battery was running down, but I felt the shocks much less than I had that first morning when Lori had surprised me.

Truthfully, I barely felt the whipping after the third day. My body was numb from the thousands of welts the whip had caused. I could understand how a normal man who experienced a normal range of pain could be destroyed by this treatment, but I was even more stubborn then than I had been when this torture had begun. Then on the eighth day there was another change.

I had moved my bowels and emptied my bladder every night whether I wanted to or not. My lower body reeked from the coating of shit and my upper body stunk from sweat. Instead of whipping me Marge proceeded to wash me down from head to toe. She used a combination of vinegar and water then poured several gallons of water over my body to rinse me clean. She left once she was done, returning some time later.

First she made sure that the choke collar was tight around my neck then she untied the ropes around my ankles and opened the padlock that secured my wrists to the chain. I was able to stand for the first time in a week as she led me shakily to her car. There was a plastic shower curtain in the trunk and she had to push me in, lifting my legs to get my entire body inside. The last thing I saw before she closed the trunk was the burned out farm house. I thought that might be important some day and I was right.

I tried to pay attention to the route she drove. I was pretty sure we were heading back to my house from the direction of our travel and the lights we stopped for. I had lived in this area for almost all of my life and I could easily visualize every turn in my mind. I was sure we were in my garage when Marge stopped the car. I saw that I was right when the trunk lid rose.

Between my handcuffed wrists and my weak legs it was impossible for me to get out of the trunk without help. Using the leash she led me into my family room where she locked the leash tightly around one of the supports that held the main steel beam of the house in place.

I waited there patiently even though I had no choice. It was more comfortable than the barn and the temperature was exactly 70 degrees thanks to a dehumidifying heat pump I had installed when the house was built. I was there for some time, Marge walking back down the stairs after I heard the doorbell ring. She walked out to the garage, returning a minute later with the video camera and tripod which she set off to the side of the room. That told me that she had planned something important.

Next she led me by the leash to the center of the family room, pulling me down to kneel on the hard tiled floor. I watched silently as Troy walked down. Under other circumstances I would have laughed wildly at his outfit. He wore a hideous brown and green striped long-sleeved shirt over red, white, and blue plaid shorts with high black socks and tan sandals. Nobody ever claimed that Troy was a good dresser or exhibited any fashion sense.

“You need to practice, slave, on the real thing—sucking a real cock and swallowing. Troy’s quite a bit smaller than Michael, but he’ll do for now and I’m sure he wants some revenge for all the slights you’ve inflicted on him over the years.” I knelt silently while Troy lowered his shorts and briefs, a huge smirk on his face. I resolved at that second to wipe that smirk all over his sorry face at the first opportunity.

I’m quite a bit taller than Troy and even kneeling my mouth was much higher than Troy’s cock. I thought I might be able to use this to my advantage. I moved forward seemingly to suck, but falling instead on my right shoulder, a very easy fall for an experienced wrestler. Marge and Troy lifted me back into position and once again I moved forward only to drop, my shoulder breaking my fall. They tried it two more times with the same result. I was reminded of Einstein’s definition of idiocy—doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

“This isn’t working, Marge. We have to do something else.”

“Maybe if I move his hands around to the front of his body he’ll be able to support himself that way.”

“Okay, let’s try that.” Marge opened the cuff on my left wrist and I quickly moved my hands to the floor, but far enough away from each other that they couldn’t be coupled together again. Troy wanted his cock in my mouth so that’s what I gave him, but no sooner had the head cleared my teeth than I clamped down firmly, my teeth cutting through the sensitive tissue. “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! PLEASE, MAKE HIM STOP! PLEASE! PLEASE MAKE HIM STOP!”

I finally released him, spitting his blood all over his shirt as I pushed myself up quickly to stand in front of Troy. I knew that he had a glass jaw. He had been really fresh, putting his hands in places a gentleman doesn’t, with Sara Jane Fulmer at a party in tenth grade and she decked him with a single punch. Troy never had lived that down. I gave him a good quick punch, swinging from my shoulder and following through. He dropped like a rock.

Marge had been shocking me, but I felt nothing. I had so much adrenaline coursing through my body that I probably could have survived anything. She also tried to choke me, but I had turned my head, protecting my throat with the powerful muscles at the sides and back of my neck.

Once Troy was down I turned to face Marge, my tormenter—my Torquemada. It wasn’t much to pull the leash from her hand. For every step I took forward she took one fearful step back until her legs hit the table in front of the couch. “You wouldn’t hit a woman,” she asked, her voice shaking as much as her body. She never saw it coming. Once again I swung from my shoulder, the punch traveling only a foot before it contacted her temple and following through for another eighteen inches. She was out cold before her head struck the floor.

The handcuff was still dangling from my right wrist as I ran through the door to my workbench where I found a big roll of duct tape. I rolled Troy over and taped his right wrist to his left forearm and repeated with his left wrist. Then I taped his ankles and knees to immobilize him completely. Marge was starting to come around when I taped her the same way. I ran back to the workbench when I knew they were under control, this time for a mostly clean rag that I used to wrap around Troy’s badly bleeding organ. I didn’t want him to die; I wanted him to suffer, and suffer he would.

Up the stairs I ran, taking two steps at a time before stopping in the kitchen for a quick can of Bud. I had taken two pulls when I lifted the phone from its cradle on the wall and dialed my friend Fred from the phone’s memory.

Fred Ryan was a detective lieutenant in the Sheriff’s Office sub-station in Boyertown. Fred had been two years ahead of me all the way through school and his brother Roy was a classmate. They were probably my two closest friends, especially now that Troy was out. Fred answered the phone on the second ring. “Ryan.”

“Fred, it’s Sean.”

“Aren’t you in Hawaii now?”

“No, unfortunately; I’ll explain later. I need you to send EMT’s, a patrol car and a female deputy to my house. I’d appreciate it if you could come, also. Tell them to enter through the garage. I’ll meet them in the family room.”

“What’s up, Sean?”

“My entire relationship with Lori was a sham. It was all a fraud. You’ll see when you come. Right now I need to phone Roy and my secretary.”

“Okay, Sean I’ll see you in a few minutes, but I need to phone my contact in Montgomery County. There may be a jurisdictional issue.” I ended the call and phoned his brother, Roy, who was my personal and business attorney.

His secretary asked if I was calling from Hawaii before transferring me to Fred’s office. “Sean? What’s up? That was one great reception—best I’ve been to in years.”

“Yeah, too bad the whole thing was a sham. I need you to come to the house ASAP, Roy.” I rung off once he said he was on the way.

My final call was to my secretary, Sandra. She had only been with me three months since my original Gal Friday had moved to Chicago. I made the call while on the way to get a robe and she answered the phone while I was on my way down to the family room. “Sean Sloan Fabrications.”

“Sandra, it’s Sean. Get in touch with Angus and tell him I need him at the house in fifteen minutes.”

“Aren’t you in Hawaii?”

“No, I’m not. Just tell him that I need him now.”

“Sean, you know how Angus hates to leave the production floor.”

“Tell him I said he has two choices—be here in fifteen minutes or find a new job. I have to run now. The police are in my driveway.” I opened the garage door and they rushed in. I knew both deputies, just as I knew most of the people in the community. I led them to Troy and Marge. They noticed the video camera immediately. Together, we found the DVD’s clearly marked and numbered in the back seat of Marge’s car. Fred came in a minute later, followed by the ambulance and EMT’s only seconds later.

Detective Sergeant Michael Bailey of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office arrived a few minutes later. The problem here was that much of the criminal activity had occurred in Berks County while I lived in Montgomery. The boundary line was only a mile or so away.

“What’s this all about, Sean?” Rather than tell him I turned around and dropped the robe. I knew that Fred had seen almost everything during his twelve years in the sheriff’s service and I assumed correctly that Sgt. Bailey’s experience was similar, but nothing had prepared them for the sight of my body. They gasped several times in disbelief and the female deputy almost fainted.

“It’s all on the DVD’s, Fred. To summarize, Lori’s and my relationship was a lie—a fraud designed by Marge to make a slave out of me so Lori and her boyfriend could live a life of luxury at my expense. Troy was involved, too. He led me into their web for money—a promise of $250,000. It’s all on the first DVD. Marge took me to a farm out near Oley on Route 73. I was in a broken down barn with a hole in the roof. The farmhouse was burned down.” Fred used his radio to contact several deputies; they found the farm in less than ten minutes and they found the whip, the cage, and my bodily wastes.

Marge and Troy were removed to Pottstown Memorial Hospital—Troy to surgery, Marge to be examined before being driven out to the county jail in Leesport. The EMT’s wanted me to go, but there was no way I was sharing an ambulance with either of them. I promised that I would see my personal physician by tomorrow morning. Fred and his deputies along with Sgt. Bailey sat and drank my soda while they watched the horrifying action on the DVD’s right from the drugging of my champagne, attaching the cock cage to my genitals, even testing the shocking capability during my drug-induced sleep. No wonder I’d had nightmares.

DVD Number 1 covered everything on that fateful first day. Fred told me there was enough evidence on it to send all four to prison for more than twenty years—Marge for even more. Fred stopped the viewing after two hours, taking the collection of DVD’s with him. Sgt. Bailey told him to handle everything pending discussion with his district attorney. I knew then that it would be a Berks County prosecution. Both DA’s were democrats and the Berks DA was up for reelection. Sgt. Bailey shook my hand and wished me luck as he left. Roy had joined us a few minutes after Fred and after watching the beginning of the recording agreed that an annulment was in order. “You won’t have any problem with evidence like this. Whose idea was this, anyway?” He could barely believe it was Lori’s, even after viewing the time we spent in my bedroom.

Angus arrived last with a scowl on his face until he saw my back and the device on my genitals. “Just tell me you can get it off.”

“Not a problem,” he replied, his Scottish brogue at its strongest. He took a tracing of the bolt’s head to get an idea of the wrench’s shape and size. He returned to the factory to select what he thought would be the right sized cylinder of iron—not steel which was too hard—and a Dremel Rotary Tool with a fine diamond-tipped cutter. I watched with interest as he cut away the metal until the iron tip would fit inside the bolt’s head. Five minutes later I was truly a free man. Fred took the infernal device with him as evidence. Angus returned to work and I was alone at last.

I spent more than an hour in a warm bath then tried to sit or lie on the bed in a loose tee shirt and my softest running shorts. Only when I lay on my stomach was I able to get any relief from the pain. I phoned old Doc Crawford who had been my doctor since childhood and, once he had an idea of my injuries, I had an appointment that very afternoon. He prescribed what he called a “miracle” ointment and I bought it at the pharmacy I always used even though I had no idea how I’d be able to apply it. Doc had told me that I needed someone who could actually see the thousands of welts.

The time was just after 4:30 when I got home from the pharmacy so I phoned Sandra to tell her I was taking the week off because of my injuries. “I’m sure you’ll be able to read all about it in the Reading Eagle or maybe even on the TV news. Right now I’m wondering how I’ll be able to apply this ointment Doc prescribed to my back.”

“Let me see what I can do.”

“Sandra, you are NOT going to do it.”

“Not me, you dummy; let me see what I can do to help you. I’ll be in touch.” We spoke for a few minutes and then she rang off. I spent most of the afternoon trying to get comfortable without much success. Around six I realized that I was starving. I hadn’t much to eat in more than a week. My body had adjusted to eating less and I was sure that I had lost a lot of weight, but just at that moment I felt like I could eat a cow. I dug through the freezer, finding two prime filets that I had planned to eat with Lori once we had returned from Hawaii. I placed them on the granite counter to defrost. If I had waited this long for something good to eat I was sure I could wait another hour.

I was putting together a salad from things I had picked up on my way back from the pharmacy when the doorbell rang. I stood there in silence with my mouth open as I took in my visitor. There clad in blue scrubs with bright pink sneakers was a tall slender woman with a perfectly oval face and dark brown hair—hair so dark that it was almost black. Her eyes were a sparkling brown. This was the way the girl next door might look if she was smoking hot—Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hot. Her lanyard said Pottstown Memorial Hospital and her photo ID said her name was “Scarlett, RN.”

She smiled then told me, “I heard you need some help with some ointment.”

Ever suave, I clumsily asked her, “How…?”

“I learned about it from Sandra. She phoned me at the hospital and here I am. Where’s the bedroom?” I pointed to the right and followed her down the hall. She walked into the bedroom, stopping when she saw the blood stain. “What happened here?”

“I broke an asshole’s nose.”

“Oh? Sandra told me you haven’t been here for a week. Is that related to your injury?”

“Yeah, you might say that. You’re going to freak out when I take this shirt off. I have it on my butt and thighs, too.”

“Then we’ll need a couple of big bath towels to protect the quilt. Is this silk? It feels like it.”

“Yeah, it is. Silk is supposed to keep you at the same temperature all year round. It works great. I never sweat because I’m too hot and I’m never cold, even in the middle of winter.” Once I had returned from the bathroom

I carefully placed them onto one side of the bed. I turned toward Scarlett and, “Ummm, I….”

“Sean, between nursing school and working in a hospital for three years, I’ve seen it all…probably thousands of butts—penises, too--but I’ll turn around if it will make you more comfortable.” She turned away and I stripped down. I was lying on the towels when she turned back to face me.

“Good God! What on earth happened to you?”

“I was whipped every day for about a week.”

“But, why?”

“I’m sure it will be in the Reading Eagle and maybe on TV, too.” Apparently Scarlett was satisfied. She was quiet as she pulled on a pair of exam gloves—a reasonable precaution considering all of the open sores on my body.

“You obviously have a good doctor. I recognize this ointment. I’ve used it on burn patients probably dozens of times.” She warmed the ointment with her hands then began to gently apply it to what was left of my skin. Her touch was light and gentle and the ointment was soothing to my skin. All told she spent about twenty minutes before tapping my shoulder to tell me she was done.

“Thanks, what do I owe you?” I turned slightly to reach my wallet. What I saw on Scarlett’s face surprised me. She looked at me with a steely glare as she rose and stripped the gloves from her hands. She turned and walked out without a sound until I heard the front door slam. “Oh, well,” I thought. I remained there for a few minutes, realizing that the ointment must be working. My back hadn’t felt this good since my ordeal had begun. I dressed in my robe, went out to the pool deck, and cooked one of the filets, going straight to bed once I had eaten and sleeping better than I had in more than a week.

>>>>>>

I had always been an early riser and my deep sleep evaporated in a flash as the pain in my back reappeared. I was up, showered, and dressed, again in the robe for comfort, by 6:00. Still, I was somewhat surprised when the doorbell rang at 6:15. I was further surprised to see Scarlett in fresh scrubs and green sneakers this time, her hair tied into a French braid. “Let’s get one thing straight, Sean. I’m doing this as a favor, not for money.”

“I’m sorry if I offended you. I saw that you were a nurse and I assumed it was a job you had taken. I do appreciate all the help. God knows I need it.” She said nothing in response, pointing instead to the bedroom. I grabbed two clean bath sheets from the linen closet and dropped my robe, less embarrassed or concerned about my nudity.

Scarlett was done twenty minutes later. I walked her back to the door as she told me, “I’ll be back at 7:30. My shift runs from seven to seven, sometimes at night, but mostly day shift.” I said good-bye wondering how Scarlett might look without those baggy scrubs. From the little I could see I thought she might be spectacular.

I spent most of the day on the phone, first with Roy about my annulment and later with Fred who told me that two officers from the DA’s office had been sequestered to watch the videos and make a list of the crimes committed. “Marge Canning is in a shitload of trouble, Sean. They counted 4,376 whippings. The DA will charge her with Aggravated Assault—one count for each time that whip struck your back. I expect the arraignment in another two days.” I thought that couldn’t possibly happen to a more deserving person. Personally, I had prayed that Marge would die in prison. Maybe now that prayer might come true.

I did go out in the early afternoon to buy some fresh vegetables from a local farm stand. They planted much earlier than I could in my garden so they had tomatoes and green peppers much earlier than I would, too. My tomatoes were still green and my green peppers were tiny. I bought several of each and a couple of large potatoes I’d bake for dinner. I had taken out a full rack of ribs and they had been on the grill for four hours when I heard Scarlett at the door.

I was ready for her this time—towels on the bed and dressed in only my robe. She was smiling when I answered the door. “Hi,” I said. “How was work?”

“Hi, back; it was busy I’m sorry to say.”

I was lying on the towels when I asked her what she did. “I’m working now in the cath lab. Know what that is?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“A patient who comes in suffering from a heart attack is taken ASAP to the cath lab—the catheterization laboratory. A surgeon will push a long ultra-thin catheter either up the brachial artery from the right wrist or the femoral in the groin to put stents into the coronary arteries. We use a dye and a special x-ray machine to guide the catheter to where the stent is needed. Then the surgeon blows up a tiny balloon to spread the stent and open the artery. Once open it stays in place.

“I assist both doctors with placing and prepping the patient, getting equipment when it is needed, injecting the dye and with the anesthesia. It’s stressful because the surgery is very exacting work.”

“It sounds incredible, but I’ll bet you save people’s lives every day.”

“We do. Some days it seems to be non-stop. What do you do?”

“I own a metal fabricating company. It’s right next door—Sean Sloan Fabrications. We make a lot of small parts for dozens of companies. Our first product was a muffler for Toro mowers. Now we also make an aluminum mower deck for them. That’s the main body of the mower. Originally it was made of steel, but we were able to show them how aluminum would be stronger, lighter, and cheaper and, of course, aluminum doesn’t rust. That alone makes it safer. We make millions of each every year.”

“What about other metals?”

“Sure—copper and brass, primarily, although we also work with titanium. We usually mix our own brass so we can have total control over what goes into the alloy. I also have seven patents on alloys, mostly of steel. In fact, I have a meeting with NASA in six weeks. I’m pretty sure they want me to make something for them.”

“Don’t you worry about places like China? Don’t they have really cheap labor there?”

“I can’t say that I worry all that much. Some companies want to advertise that their products are made in the USA. Toro is one and so is John Deere. Even companies like Honda and Toyota want many of their parts made here to avoid tariffs. I have a request for proposal from Toyota on my desk now that I think is perfect for one of my patented alloys. Plus, stealing a product in this industry isn’t all that easy. There are more than 3,500 kinds of steel and dozens of kinds of stainless. Chemical analysis of steel is a difficult and time consuming process. It’s mostly cheaper and easier to just pay for a license to manufacture. I have so much work now that I need to expand.”

“That sounds like interesting work. I always thought that steel was steel.”

I had to laugh. “It can be interesting, but mostly it’s noisy. That’s why all of my production employees wear ear protection—noise canceling headphones built into hard hats that we can also use to communicate with them if necessary. It can be dangerous work if someone is careless. Metal stamping machines are hydraulic presses that generate more than 100,000 pounds per square inch. That’s why OSHA requires a shield over the workings before the press is engaged. That’s also why we have an eighteen month training program and why we follow OSHA regulations religiously. We haven’t had a work related injury in more than a year and even that was minor—a sprained ankle when an employee slipped.”

“Wow! I think I’d like to see that. I mean…you know.”

“Yes, I do. You’re welcome to visit anytime you like. Just give me or Sandra a little notice so we can get you a uniform, a hard hat, and some shoes. Maybe you’d like to watch one of our drills where we have police and fire departments involved.”

“That sounds great. I’d love that. But why do I need shoes?”

“Everyone on the production floor must wear steel toed shoes in case a piece of metal falls onto their feet.”

“Oh…okay. You know, Sean—this is an awfully big house for just one person.”

“Well, I was expecting to be married and I’d like to have a big family.”

“You’re married?”

“Well…I am today.”

“What does that mean—you’re married today?”

“It means that my marriage was based on fraudulent acts on the part of my wife, her mother, her ex-boyfriend, and one of my best friends. My attorney who I’ve known for more than twenty years will be in court first thing tomorrow morning seeking an annulment. Maybe I should tell you about it.”

“That might be best.” So I spent the next ten minutes giving the abridged version and concentrating on what had occurred after the wedding. She was silent until I was done. Then she said, “I assume that big red stain on your carpet is from Michael’s nose.”

“Yeah, that’s right. It would have been worse if Lori hadn’t hit me with the champagne bottle. I was just about to belt him again.” I turned my head so she could clearly see the spot where Marge had cut my hair and stitched my wound.

“Well, I think he deserved that. And your friend, Troy, was even worse.

What he did was terrible.”

“I agree and he’ll be reminded of it every day of his life. My friend, Fred—he’s a detective for the Sheriff. Anyway, Fred told me that the doctors were able to save Troy’s penis, but that he’ll never have another erection.”

“That serves him right! Friends shouldn’t screw other friends.”

“I agree again. Say, why don’t I give you a tour of the house and then, if you like, you could join me for dinner. I have too much for just one person, even me who has barely eaten for the past week. I hate eating alone. In the past Troy would stop in three or four times a week, but that’s not going to happen ever again. Between working on my back and our chat, it’s almost 8:40.”

“I wouldn’t want to be a bother.”

“You won’t be, but you would have to eat my ribs. They’re not my best dish. I have a huge potato baking in the oven and I picked up some things for a salad. We could even eat outside, if you like.”

“Okay, but I’d better phone my aunt to tell her I’ll be late.” I dressed quickly in a tee and shorts while she phoned. I began the tour once she was done.

“This is the master bedroom.”

Scarlett laughed. “I think I already knew that.” Then I led her into the master bath. “Hmm…nice big shower.” I didn’t know quite to make of that—whether it was an invitation or just a compliment so I said nothing as I led her out into the hallway.

After showing her the three bedrooms and the one I had set up as an office I led her into the kitchen. “The house was built on a little knoll. The architect is a friend and he suggested putting the house here. It’s built into the hill—you already know that you have to walk up to get to the front door. That’s why we’re so high up now and why the deck is so high. As you can see there are glass doors leading to it from the dining and living rooms.”

“Wow! The house is really amazing. I didn’t realize. Is that a pool down there?”

“Yeah, c’mon, let’s go downstairs. That’s my favorite part.” I showed her to the staircase and we ambled down to the family room. It was large with a TV area that had a huge sectional, several small coffee tables, and an 85-inch 4K TV. There was a full-sized pool table and a foosball game on the far side and a kitchenette just beneath the stairs. I wasn’t surprised that Scarlett noticed the blood on the floor.

“Is that from your friend’s penis?”

“Yeah, it is, but he’s no longer any friend of mine. It’s be gone by Friday. That’s the day the cleaners come in. I’ve already told them about the stain. Lori canceled the contract thinking that her slave husband would be doing all the work, but that didn’t quite happen the way she wanted. He’s another friend from high school.”

I opened the French door and led her out into the back yard. “Wow, what a big yard and this pool is huge. Is that round area a hot tub? How much land do you have here, anyway?”

“To answer both of your questions—yes, it is a hot tub and feel free to come over any time to use it or the pool. I have sixty acres. When I first started the company I bought ten acres with an option for another fifty. Until recently, I lived at home with my folks who had taken a second mortgage to help me get started. Once I began making money I paid off all of my loans, both of their mortgages first then I paid off the land and finally the mortgage on the building. It wasn’t all that much because it’s a pre-fab building. I bought the fifty acres four years ago and built this house about eight months ago because I thought I was going to get married.” I led her back into the house and up to the kitchen.

Scarlett helped by getting us some drinks—Pepsi—and then she set the table while I cleaned and broke up a head of lettuce, cut two big red tomatoes into chunks and sliced a green pepper that was almost half red. Add a few sliced radishes and a sliced carrot and I was almost done. The final step was to mix some homemade Italian dressing. Once that was done I walked out to the grill to brush some barbeque sauce over the ribs. After cutting the long rack in two I carried them up to the dining room. Scarlett had already cut the baked potato in two, giving the larger “half” to me.

We had begun to eat when I realized something. “You know, I don’t recall seeing you around town before you came to the door. Are you from around here?”

“Surely you don’t know everyone. There must be some people you don’t know, but you’re right. I grew up in New Jersey with my aunt and uncle. I’ve lived with them for the past twelve years…since I was thirteen. I was staying over with them when my parents were killed in an auto accident.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“Truthfully, they weren’t much as parents. That’s why I stayed with my aunt and uncle so often. It wasn’t until I was sixteen that my aunt told me about their accident. The coroner’s report showed that they were both drunk and that they had cocaine and marijuana in their blood. Apparently, my father was doing close to 90 in a 55 zone when the car hit a bridge abutment. Drunk and stoned; I’m sorry to say that was pretty much the norm at home, too.”

“Damn…I AM sorry. You’re lucky that your aunt and uncle stepped up and were willing to take you in. You know, I grew up in a stable two-parent family and I’ve always assumed that everyone’s family was pretty much the same. They’re obviously not.”

Scarlett was laughing when she asked about my family. “You probably have guessed that I’m a local. I was born in Pottstown and raised in Boyertown. My dad is retired now, but he was a math teacher at Boyertown Area High School. That’s how he met my mom. She was a math teacher, too, until my older sister, Gail, was born. Dad was also the varsity wrestling coach. He started training me when I was three. My first competition was when I was six and I wrestled varsity in eighth grade. I was All-League and All-County that year and All-State and All-American the other four years. Then I went to Penn State on a full wrestling scholarship, graduating in three years and earning my Masters the fourth. I majored in Mechanical Engineering and minored in Metallurgy. That knowledge has been invaluable to me.

“Want some dessert,” I asked when we had finished.

“Not now, but maybe a little later. Can we sit on the deck after we clean up?”

“We sure can. One of the things I like about grilling is the clean-up is a breeze.” I handled most of the dishes while Scarlett sealed the left-over salad and the five extra ribs in plastic wrap. Ten minutes later I sat on a love seat at the rear of the high wooden deck and I was surprised when Scarlett joined me.

Looking up at the rising full moon I commented, “I love sitting out here at night, especially a night like this when I feel that I can see forever.”

“Oh,” Scarlett said in mock disappointment. “I thought it was because I was here with you.”

I smiled and, as I did, I realized that Scarlett made me happy. She was funny; I had laughed several times at dinner, just as she had made me laugh now. “Well, I guess that might be part of it.” Then after hesitating I added, “A very big part.” I was surprised when she reached up to kiss my cheek.

I’m no fool so I added very quickly, “An extremely big part.”

Now it was Scarlett’s turn to laugh. “Don’t push your luck. I’m not that easy.” In spite of that she snuggled up really close to me when I dared to put my arm around her. We stayed like that for almost an hour until I realized the time.

“If we want dessert I think we’d better have it now. I have fresh strawberries from my garden and some pound cake so I could make strawberry shortcake. Sorry, but all I have is whipped cream in a can.”

That was when I learned how much Scarlett loved strawberries. We ate at the table using paper plates then I walked her outside to her car in the driveway.

“I really do apologize for insulting you and I would like to thank you in some way more appropriate. Would you allow me to take you out for dinner some night? I’d like it to be something special like Sunnybrook or Stokesay Castle.”

“I know about Sunnybrook. It’s right up the street from the hospital, but what’s that castle place?”

“It’s a castle from Scotland that some wealthy industrialist had shipped stone by stone to Reading as a present for his wife. Unfortunately, she hated it and refused to live in it. The food there is really great and the service is excellent.”

“Okay, I’m off Thursday and Friday this week so either day would be fine.”

“I’ll make the reservation for Thursday. Why don’t we try for seven?”

“That sounds good. Maybe I’ll allow you to take me dancing. You do dance, don’t you?”

“I can stand on the floor and fake it with the best of them.” Scarlett laughed as she opened the door to her Honda Civic. Then she surprised me by kissing me on my lips. It was only a short one, but she must have liked it because she came back a second later for some more—a lot more. Her lips pressed into mine and her tongue explored, wrestling with mine with real passion. I had thought I was dead when I had learned the truth of my relationship with Lori. Now I was alive again. Scarlett broke the kiss, telling me that she really had to go. I let her, knowing that I’d see her at 6:15 tomorrow morning.

>>>>>>

I slept like a baby, waking again very early when the pain in my back returned. I was waiting at the door when Scarlett arrived, a mug of steaming hot coffee in my hand. “Sorry, but I didn’t know how you liked it.”

“Just the way it is, thank you. Wow, this is really good coffee.”

“I have one of those single cup machines. It’s Colombian. I really enjoy it, too.”

“How are you feeling this morning? I saw some progress last night, but I think you still have a way to go.”

“You’re probably right,” I said as I led her into the bedroom. The bed was made and the towels were in place. A few minutes later I began to feel the relief I’d felt every time Scarlett had treated me. Her hands felt heavenly. Unfortunately, she finished and had to leave.

“Don’t get up, Sean. You look so relaxed lying there. I can find my way out.” Then she made my morning worthwhile by giving me a long deep kiss. After a quick peck she was up and out the door.

That night she looked into what had been Lori’s closet. “She has a lot of clothes. What are you going to do with them?”

“Damned good question; I don’t know. I suppose I’ll have to do something. I don’t want to be accused of stealing them. She must have $15,000 just in shoes and another $25,000 in jewelry. I should know. I paid for them. Why does any woman need so many shoes?”

“Well, I’m a sneakers kind of a girl, but I do have eight pairs—all in different colors. Women always want their shoes to match their outfit. You could wear heels to a back yard barbeque, but you’d look like a fool and you’d probably break an ankle walking on the lawn. If you have a black dress you’d want to wear black shoes, probably heels. The same is true with sandals—black slacks or Capri’s mean black sandals. Tan slacks—tan sandals.”

“I have two pairs of shoes—black and cordovan loafers, one pair of sandals—tan--and two pairs of sneakers, one for regular wear and one for working in the yard. Even then I sometimes think I have too many. I swear—I will never understand women and their clothes.”

“So…what are you going to do with them?”

“I guess I’ll have to ask her when she comes back. That should be soon. I canceled her credit cards and her ATM card, and her phone. Plus--Fred told me there was a warrant out for her arrest, Michael, too. I’ll know pretty soon. Fred will keep me in the loop. Thanks again…for everything.”

I was really relaxed when Scarlett leaned over to kiss my cheek. “I plan to bring my dinner clothes with me Thursday morning. I’ll come a bit later, like 8:30 or so and I’d like to use the pool. Is that okay?”

“Yeah, that’s fine. I told you to come any time and I meant it. I’ll put up a few umbrellas and make sure we have a supply of cold water or soda, if you prefer. I’d like to sit outside, but Doc Crawford has told me to stay out of the sun for a while.”

“I think that’s good advice.” She kissed my cheek again then turned my head to kiss my lips. She pushed her lips into mine as her tongue invaded my mouth. We held the kiss for several minutes before she broke it, telling me that one of us had worked today so she needed a good night’s sleep. We laughed as she turned and walked away. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my life had taken a major turn for the better.

I had been relaxing and watching TV around ten that morning when I received a phone call. Caller ID told me it was Fred. “Hi, buddy—how’s crime fighting today?”

“Don’t you ever come up with some new lines,” he asked with a chuckle. “But, to answer your question—it got a lot better this morning. Your bitch mother-in-law was arraigned at 8:30.”

“Oh? Who was the judge?”

“Kelly.” Tough shit for Marge, I thought. Kelly had a well-earned reputation as a hanging judge. He always gave the maximum sentence possible.

“Who was the ADA?”

“No ADA for this one, it was the Big Kahuna. I damn near shit my pants when I walked into the courtroom and saw Austin Schmidt, the DA himself, handling the case. You know he’s up for reelection and he wants a big winner.”

“I guess he got one in the bitch.”

“Yeah, and I also heard he’s going to handle the other three, too. You should have heard Kelly when Schmidt read the list of charges and he got to the number of aggravated assaults. He couldn’t believe it so Schmidt told him it was all on DVD. When Schmidt told him that Marge had taken the video herself he actually laughed in court. Turning to the public defender he said, ‘Mr. Attorney, you have an idiot for a client.’ He can get away with that because he won’t actually try the case. That honor is going to Caldwell. His reputation is even worse than Kelly’s. I understand that Troy will be arraigned in the hospital tomorrow.”

“What kind of bail did she get?”

“That’s the best part. Because of all the assault charges he made it high—two million. She’ll never raise anywhere close to that…even the ten percent she’d need for a bondsman. I spoke with Schmidt after while Roy was getting ready to present your annulment suit and he told me that he was pushing for half a million for Troy.

“It gets even better—well, better for you. When Roy presented his case Kelly asked if it was related to the prior arraignment and, of course, Roy said it was. You’re in the clear, my friend. Kelly wants to view the video before making a decision so he scheduled it for Friday morning at ten. I’ll drive you out there if you want." I thanked him for the info, ending the call with a laugh. I recalled thinking that they were idiots when I first saw the camera and today’s proceeding only proved it. Tomorrow would be another great day.

Once Scarlett had gone that evening I had plenty of time to think about her and about our relationship, if we actually had one…were going to have one. The more I thought the more I realized that time would tell. I’d have to wait and see where things went with us. I was just about to go to sleep when the phone rang again.

Let’s face it—nobody calls collect any more. Everyone has a cell phone so when I received a request for a collect call from the island of Hawaii I couldn’t wait to accept.

“Hello? Hello, Mom? Mom? I have a problem. My phone doesn’t work and neither do my credit cards or my ATM card. I don’t understand. Mom?”

“I’m afraid Mom can’t come to the phone just now.”

“Sean? What are you doing answering the phone. I know that Mom wouldn’t leave the house without locking you in the cage.”

“Didn’t the idea that something might go wrong with your big plan ever occur to you? What did I tell you about my wrestling career? Do you remember?”

“Something about never giving up. Oh!”

“Yeah…oh! Your mother beat me almost senseless, but all she accomplished was to totally piss me off. Then she brought me here to suck Troy’s cock. Problem was Troy is short and I’m tall. He couldn’t reach my mouth so your idiot mother had to open one of my handcuffs. Then I bit almost halfway through Troy’s cock and knocked him out with a single punch. Then I knocked your bitch mother out, taped their wrists and legs and called the police. I understand that dear old Marge has a really nice cell in the county clink with a couple of hookers and addicts and Troy will be joining her as soon as he gets out of the hospital. That’s where you’ll be headed, too. There’s a warrant out for your arrest. Where can you go? You have no money and you’re on an island in the middle of the ocean. Of course, you could run into the mountains. Then the cops there could sic the dogs on you. I think I’d enjoy seeing that on the TV news.

“You know, you probably could have fooled me the same way you fooled me during our engagement and fucked Michael several times every day, maybe for years if you were careful. You would have had plenty of money, but you got greedy and that’s going to be your downfall. Goodbye, Lori; enjoy your last few days of freedom…if it’s that long”

I should have been overjoyed, but I wasn’t. There was a time not too long ago when I loved Lori. Who knew if I’d ever find that kind of love again? I climbed into bed, but I wasn’t able to sleep—not for quite a while.

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