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The Victim

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The Victim

Copyright 2015 Aaron Gales

Published by Aaron Gales at Shakespir

Shakespir Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Shakespir.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Chapter One

“I was raped.”

Dr David Locke looked up from his papers and took in the woman in front of him. Her words had caught him off guard and it was only when she spoke that he realised he hadn’t really paid her any attention when she had walked in.

Miss Anna Green was a beautiful woman. In her early thirties, she had flame red hair and the brightest green eyes he had ever seen.

He raised his eyebrows in surprise, acknowledging what she had said.

“Ok,” he said, somewhat lost for words. He stood up and she flinched slightly. He held up his hands in a lame attempt to show he was no threat to her.

He sat back down, reclining awkwardly in his chair.

“When did this happen.”

“Two weeks ago.”

“Did you report it?”

Anna shook her head. He sighed, frustrated. She picked up on his feelings and he saw tears well in her eyes.

The doctor chastised himself, got up again and moved slowly towards her. Tears were now falling silently down her face.

He reached out his hand and when she didn’t recoil he rested it gently on her shoulder. She sunk her head into his midriff and let out a low guttural sob. She cried like this for fifteen minutes. He didn’t say anything, just let her get it out of her system.

When he felt her take several deep breaths he pulled up a chair and sat in front of her.

“What would you like me to do?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied.

“You know it will be too late to get any DNA evidence from a rape kit?”

She nodded.

“Do you have anything from what happened? Any clothes? Anything at all?”

She shook her head.

“I burned everything, I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”

He understood. He hadn’t dealt with many rape victims in his life but he had done a lot of research into them. He knew how the trauma of what they had been through could make their actions impulsive.

He stood up and moved back behind his desk.

“I can get you in to speak to someone who should be able to help. He comes highly recommended.”

He wrote down the details of the person she could contact and handed the piece of paper to her. She lifted her hand, which he noticed was trembling, and took the piece of paper from him, slipping it into her pocket.

She got up, smiled gently at him and walked out the door.

He stayed sitting for a second, before getting up and going after her.

“Wait,” he said loudly, attracting the attention of a couple of people waiting. She stopped. He felt himself blushing as the eyes of one of his more annoying patients burned into him. She walked back to him.

“Everything will be ok you know,” he said.

“I know it doesn’t feel like it now but you will get past this. Talk to the right people, don’t lock yourself away from family and friends and things will get better. I’m not saying that you’ll get over it because what happened to you was a terrible thing, but one day you might be able to wake up in the morning and it won’t be the first thing you think about.”

He tried his best to look sympathetic. She seemed grateful for his kind words, and without speaking, turned and left.

David turned back to his waiting room, called in Mrs Jones who had watched this whole scene with gleeful interest and buried himself in work for the rest of the afternoon.

Chapter Two

 

The rest of the day was a busy one. So much so that he was surprised when his last patient left and he hadn’t thought about the raped woman at all. In the quiet of his office she returned to his thoughts.

Had he dealt with things in the right way? You could never be sure in those situations. Each one was unique. All in all he thought he had done well, but like any good doctor he thought there were lessons to be learned should he find himself in a similar situation again.

He went to the small sink in his office and splashed his face with cold water. After patting himself dry, he stared at his reflection in the mirror.

Even at forty years old, the man staring back at him was a handsome one. He had light grey eyes, dark hair that was becoming increasingly peppered with streaks of grey and a smooth face with few wrinkles.

He turned and started changing into his gym kit. As he bent over, something caught his eye out the back window. Stopping halfway through unbuttoning his shirt, he moved closer, peering out the half opened blinds.

The back of the surgery looked out onto a forest. Flicking the blinds aside he stared out. All was quiet.

He finished changing, turning the lights off as he left the building.

 

His run home was a strong one and sweat was pouring off his body as he opened the front door. Their home was large, but cosy, his wife’s design skills evident everywhere you turned. The warmth of the hallway fire hit him immediately and he sat down and removed his trainers.

He could hear his wife Ruth moving round in the kitchen and the delicious smells of a tomato and garlic sauce wafted up his nostrils. His stomach grumbled loudly.

He called out to her and she came out to him with a large glass of crisp white wine in her hand. He took a sip, taking in the sharp fruity flavour.

Ignoring the sweat she kissed him lightly. His tongue darted towards her mouth, wanting more but she shook her head at him smiling.

“No thanks Mr. Shower first, then dinner, then we’ll see.”

He laughed, bounding up the stairs, leaving items of clothing in a pile behind him as he walked to the bathroom. He turned the shower on cold first, struggling to catch his breath as the freezing water pounded his body. He slowly increased the temperature, removing any last trace of the run home.

He climbed out, dried himself and dressed casually in a t-shirt and jeans. He walked into the kitchen just as Ruth was draining the pasta. He snaffled a tomato from the salad, and a slice of garlic bread before pouring himself another glass of wine. She set the plate down in front of him kissing him gently on the forehead as she did so.

He fancied his chances with his wife tonight.

Even after fifteen years together he still found her as attractive as on the day they first met. While they didn’t have sex as much as they did in the early days they were still intimate three or four times a week which he knew was well above average for couples their age.

He ate his pasta slowly, savouring the rich flavours as she told him about her day. She was an English literature lecturer at the local college and she loved her job. As long as he had known her she had always had a passion for books and writing. He had encouraged her with her work but low confidence had always held her back. She didn’t know that he had recently sent off some of her latest work to a publisher friend of his who had been extremely complimentary about what she had written and had asked for a meeting. He was just waiting for the right time to tell her.

When she had finished talking to him about a particularly difficult student that she was having trouble with she asked him how his day had been.

“It was different,” was his considered response.

“Different how?” she asked curiously.

“I had a woman come in today who had been raped.”

Her face dropped in sympathy, the concern evident in her eyes.

“Was she ok?” she asked.

“I don’t know really. I mean she obviously wasn’t ok, but she seemed calm about the whole thing. She did break down. I don’t think she expected me to do anything. I think she just wanted to tell someone and for them to listen without judging her.”

“I’m sure you did great,” his wife said kindly.

“I don’t know how I did. I’ve never really had to deal with a situation like that one before. I just felt a bit helpless really and referred her to another doctor.”

“Has she reported what happened to her?”

“No she hasn’t and it happened over two weeks ago, so there will be no physical evidence left of what occurred. There was nothing I could really do for her.”

“Could you report it?”

“Not really. I’m bound by client confidentiality and I’m not convinced it would be the right thing for her anyway. I think she knew that it had all been left too late and just wanted to unburden herself on someone.”

He looked down at his plate of pasta, now slowly turning cold. He had lost his appetite completely now. His wife seemed to notice and quietly removed the plates.

Coming back to the table, she took his face gently between her warm soft hands and forced him to look up into her kind brown eyes.

“I’m proud of you. I know you did the best you could for that girl. Don’t torture yourself about it.”

She kissed him gently on the lips then, before pulling away and staring intently into his eyes. This time she didn’t reject his advances, kissing him more passionately now, her tongue exploring his mouth. He picked her up gently before ascending the stairs to their bedroom.

After they had made love he lay in bed, staring out of the open bedroom window. A cool breeze wafted across his body, his chest covered in goosebumps. His wife was asleep with her head on his chest. He knew that he was going to have a sleepless night. He kept playing the conversation he had had with the girl over and over in his head, wondering what he could have said.

He had always been like this. Too caring. It was one of his worst traits in his personal life but it was also what made him so good in his professional one.

He hoped that he would see the girl again. If she did come in he promised himself that he would do more to help her.

Chapter Four

 

A couple of weeks passed. The girl never came in again and his schedule was so busy that she retreated to the background of his thoughts. It was only during the brief quiet moments in his day that she would pop into his head and he would wonder how she was doing.

He reasoned that no news was probably good news.

For some reason ever since that day he always had the uneasy feeling that he was being watched. When he was sat at his desk filling out paperwork, he would feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end and he would turn around quickly. There was never anybody there but he always felt as if someone had just fled the scene.

This unnerved him so much on some days that he was reduced to closing the blinds behind him when he was sat alone in his office. He always felt a bit cowardly when he did so but that was a small price to pay.

He had started running more and more lately and his body had started to see the results. He was in better shape now than he had been ten years ago and his wife seemed to have noticed. Last night she had surprised him, joining him in the shower after his run home.

Things between them were better now than he could remember for a long time. They had managed to get over the heartache of not being able to have children of their own and had resolved to just enjoy their lives as much as they could. They had lots of nieces and nephews on both sides of their family which had gone some way to filling the void.

He was distracted from his thoughts by a knock on his office door. It was his secretary dropping off the day’s post. Fiona had been with him a year or so now and they had a good relationship. She was a very attractive woman, which he had to admit was one of the reasons he had hired her. Their relationship had been extremely flirty to begin with and had almost gone too far one evening after drinks but he had always been loyal to his wife and had resisted the temptations Fiona had offered. He had put things straight with her the following Monday and they had enjoyed a healthy professional relationship ever since. He had heard from other members of his staff that she had a boyfriend now which probably explained why the flirting had died down.

She left the room and his eyes flickered up, appreciating the wiggle of her hips as she walked out. He scanned through the letters she had brought through to him. Nothing of interest.

The hairs on the back of his neck stood up again then and he turned quickly, cricking his neck painfully as he did so. There was nobody there. It was a miserable day, rain lashing the window. He grabbed his jacket, running round to the back of the building. He sprinted across to the sanctuary of the trees and looked back at his office window. It was then that he noticed a disturbance on the ground. Someone had been here recently.

He moved into the spot and realised that this was the perfect place for someone to spy on the back of the building without being seen. Through a gap in a couple of large oak trees you could see straight into his office.

But who was watching him?

He returned to the spot the following day. He didn’t think anybody had been back here since. He had spent a small fortune on surveillance equipment and spent nearly two hours getting it all rigged up, before returning to his office and turning on his laptop. He typed in a website address and amazingly he was given a video feed from the camera that he had just set up. It gave him a perfect view of the area where he thought he was being spied on. He left the feed open on his screen and got back to work.

The person didn’t return that day and as he ran home that night he wondered if he was just being paranoid and had wasted a lot of time and money on a fool’s errand.

He didn’t tell his wife about his concerns, though she could tell he was distracted. She tried to coax out of him what was wrong but when he insisted he was fine, she gave up and went to run herself a bath, taking a pile of essays that needed marking with her.

He retired to his study, opening his laptop. Although the camera was being lashed by rain and wind the picture was still clear and showed nobody there. He closed the laptop, took a book off the shelf and started reading.

Chapter Five

It was the next day, when he was listening to one of his more dull patients, that the person came back. As he was desperately trying to continue paying attention something on the screen caught his eye.

There was someone watching him after all. It was a woman. He tried to maintain his composure. He felt sure that she would stay there watching him if he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

He prescribed a couple of weeks rest for his patient, ushering her impatiently out of the door and moving back to his desk. She was still there. She was just watching him through the window. He got up from his desk and left the building, completing a wide circle that took him to a dirt road running through the middle of the woods.

He ran along it trying to stay as quiet as possible. He cut through the trees cursing every break of a branch beneath his feet.

Then suddenly she was less than fifty feet in front of him.

He crept forward another thirty feet before she turned and saw him. She grabbed her bag from the floor and broke into a run. There was no way she was going to get away from him though. All the hours spent pounding the streets paid off and he swiftly caught her. She wasn’t going to stop so he had no choice but to tackle her. She started screaming. He rolled her onto her back putting his hand across her mouth.

He gasped in surprise. It was the girl, the rape victim. She looked at him with fear in her eyes.

“Are you going to scream if I remove my hand?” he asked. She shook her head vigorously. He believed her and took his hand away slowly.

“Why the hell have you been following me?” he asked.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

He realised then that he still had her pinned to the floor. He stood up quickly and she sat up.

“There’s a quiet pub five minutes down the road. Go there, get yourself cleaned up and I’ll meet you there in half an hour.”

She nodded vigorously and hurried off.

“Fuck,” he muttered under his breath. What the hell was going on? Was she some crazy stalker? Should he report her to the police?

Then he remembered what she had been through. It was natural that she might be behaving irrationally. He would go and speak to her like he had promised and then make his mind up what the best course of action would be.

He walked there and spotted her immediately at a quiet table in the corner. He bought himself an orange juice and joined her. He sat across from her and was once again reminded how taken he had been with her beauty the first time he had seen her all those weeks ago.

“I’ll ask you the question again, why have you been following me?”

“I just wanted to see you,” she replied.

“Why didn’t you make an appointment, I would have happily seen you again.”

“I don’t need a doctor,” she said.

He looked at her confused.

“Then what do you need?”

“A lover,” she replied.

He almost spat his orange juice across the table.

“Excuse me?” was all he could manage.

“You heard me.”

He didn’t know what to say to that. Was this some kind of joke? If it was, it wasn’t a funny one and he felt himself getting slowly angry.

He started to get up and leave.

“I don’t ever want to see you again,” he said, cruelty evident in his voice. “If I catch you following me again I will call the police.”

But something about her eyes drew him back to her.

“What do you really want?” he asked her.

“I’m sorry for everything I’ve put you through,” she said.

“The time since I was raped has been the toughest period of my life. I didn’t think I would ever want a man to go near me again. But you were kind to me. Gentle.”

“I didn’t know what I was doing,” he protested. “I should have helped you more.”

“I didn’t need you to help me, I just needed to talk to somebody and you let me do that. You were kind and compassionate. But if you still want to help me you can.”

“How?”

“I want you to have sex with me.”

“Out of the question,” he protested. “I’m married.”

“Look I know I shouldn’t ask, but for some reason you’re the only person I trust. I know you will be a gentle lover. If I’m ever going to have a proper relationship again with a husband and children I need to get past my fear of being intimate with a man again. You’re the only person who knows. I need you to help me.”

He was torn by the desperation in her eyes and he did want to help her but this wasn’t the way. His marriage was more important to him than anything else in the world and the ethics of the whole situation were just wrong. He couldn’t help her.

He stood up firmly.

“I’m sorry I can’t help you.”

This time she chased him out of the building.

He stopped and looked at her. She frantically took a piece of paper and a pen out of her purse and wrote a number down.

“At least think about it,” she implored. “Take a couple of days. Then call me. If your decision is still no I will accept that and never bother you again.”

He snatched the bit of paper from her hand and left.

Chapter Six

 

When he arrived home his anger still hadn’t subsided but when he saw his wife his anger turned to passion. She greeted him at the door and he kissed her hungrily. She was taken by surprise but didn’t protest. He made love to her with an abandon that they hadn’t had for years and she collapsed on top of him as they both came loudly.

As she lay on top of him afterwards, her head resting on his chest and her fingers playing with the hair of his stomach she could sense that something was wrong.

“Did something happen today baby?”

He sighed, wondering how truthful he should be with her. They never kept any secrets from each other. He would tell her everything.

“You remember that girl I told you about a few weeks ago? The one that had been raped?”

“Yeah I remember.”

“I saw her again today.”

“Oh….did she make another appointment?”

“Not exactly.”

“What do you mean?”

“She’s been following me.”

“What?” she exclaimed, the disbelief clear on her face.

“Yep.”

“So what happened?”

“I’d had a feeling for a couple of weeks that I was being followed. I can’t explain how I knew, I just did. I installed some surveillance equipment at work. When I saw her there earlier today I confronted her.”

“What did she say?”

He took a deep breath before responding.

“You’re not going to like what she said.”

She raised her eyebrows.

“She asked me to have sex with her.”

She almost jumped out the bed then.

“What the fuck!” she exclaimed. “Did you do it?”

“No of course not!”

“I should bloody hope not.”

He couldn’t help it. He laughed at her. Then she snorted with laughter as well and hit him hard with her pillow.

“So apart from you being a stunning man, what reason did she give for wanting to sleep with you?”

“She said that she trusts me. She says that she wants to be able to have normal relationships again but that she is scared to be intimate. She thinks that I was kind to her and it has caused some weird fixation. I felt sorry for her.”

She looked at him with kindness in her eyes.

“Thank you for being telling me the truth.”

She pushed him back onto the bed, straddled him and they made love again for the second time that night.

Chapter Seven

The next morning he kissed Ruth goodbye and they went to work as normal. After a busy couple of hours he was surprised when she came in to his office just after noon.

“Join me for lunch?” she asked with a smile.

He met her in the same pub that he had met the raped girl the previous day.

She waved him over to a table by the window as he walked through the door.

She had got him an orange juice, and he took a long gulp before kissing her in greeting.

“This is a nice surprise. We should do this more often.”

She smiled at him and played with her straw.

“Something on your mind?” he asked her.

“I was thinking about our conversation last night.”

“What do you mean? I promise I never did anything with that girl if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“I’m not worried, I trust you.”

“Ok.” He breathed a sigh of relief.

“What do you want to talk about then?”

“I think you should think about her offer.”

He looked up at her, the shock evident on his face.

“Hear me out,” she said.

He shrugged his shoulders.

“I thought about this all night. I absolutely hate the idea that I’m suggesting it but this whole thing is bigger than you and me. You’re a doctor, you have a responsibility to help this girl.”

“By sleeping with her? Have you gone mad?”

“I don’t think so. Look I know it’s a strange thing to say coming from your wife. I can see why you might be freaked out.”

“No shit,” he replied.

“I just think you need to help this girl, she’s obviously vulnerable, and for whatever reason fate has brought you together.”

“I don’t believe in fate.”

“When you look back on your life, how will you feel if you do what I’m asking and this girl goes on to get married, have children and live a happy life? Will you feel proud?”

“No, because I will have betrayed the marriage vows I made to you twenty years ago.”

“Except you won’t have,” she countered. “What is the most important thing in a marriage?” she asked him.

He shrugged his shoulders. He barely recognised the woman sat in front of him. He couldn’t believe what she was asking of him.

“Look will you at least think about it? You need to help this girl.”

“I don’t need to help anyone.”

She looked at him with disappointment evident in her face.

“If you do decide to go through with this, I have one condition.”

“Which is?” he asked.

“I want to speak to her first. I need to check that what she is saying is genuine and there is no hidden motive. If I think there is something not right about her I will tell her to leave us alone forever.”

“Ok.”

“I assume you have a way of contacting her?”

“Yes I do,” he replied, handing her the phone number.

“I’ll make the arrangements,” she said.

 

Later that evening they pulled up outside a hotel.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked her.

“I’m sure,” she said. “What’s the worst that can happen? If I don’t trust her I’ll come out and we’ll never look back.”

She leaned over to him, kissing him, her hand lingering on his upper thigh until he felt the hardness grow in his trousers. She got out then. He waited in the car.

He watched nervously as she walked into the hotel and out of sight.

What would happen? He wished he could be a fly on the wall.

He tried to distract himself with his phone but couldn’t focus on anything.

He checked his watch. She had been gone 45 minutes already. Surely this was too long. He would give her an hour and then he was going in.

Just as he was about to get out of the car, he saw her. She rushed over to him, opened the door and climbed in.

Her face was flushed.

“You ok?” he asked her. “What happened?”

“Same time, same place tomorrow. Except instead of me going in it will be you.”

When they got home they climbed into bed and lay together silently.

She looked deep into his eyes.

“Whatever happens tomorrow, just remember that I love you,” she said. She cradled him in his arms, and they fell asleep together.

Chapter Eight

 

The next morning she kissed him goodbye.

“I’ll be waiting for you when you get home. Don’t worry about anything. Remember that I want you to help this girl. I have encouraged you to do this.”

He couldn’t focus on anything at work. His patients must have felt neglected and they had every right to feel so.

For once in his life he wasn’t looking forward to the end of the day, and time seemed to travel especially quickly.

His secretary came in, put some folders on his desk and said she was finishing for the day.

He said goodbye and he heard her close the doors on the way out.

When he was alone in his office, he was overcome with a crippling anxiety. What the hell had he agreed to? He didn’t want to do this. He should just go home, be firm with his wife and tell her he wasn’t going to go through with it.

But maybe she was right. Maybe this was about more than him or her, but about a girl who had been brutally attacked and needed his help to move on with her life. Maybe he should stop being so damned conscientious and enjoy the opportunity of making love to another woman without the fear of recrimination.

He took a deep breath and felt his nerves easing. He felt like he was at a fork in the road. Whichever path he chose to take could shape how he felt about the rest of his life.

He was going to be strong. He was going to help this girl then he was going to go home to his wife and move on.

He arrived at the hotel, just as the sun was setting. His wife had told him that girl would be in room 302. He moved straight to the lift, smiling at the inquisitive girl behind the reception desk. She didn’t stop him. Another woman joined him in the lift as he made his way to the third floor of the hotel and along the corridor.

Finally he arrived outside the door. His hands were visibly shaking. He knocked lightly on the door. At first there was no response, then he heard the quiet rustling of movement from inside.

The door opened. She was as beautiful as he remembered.

“Thank you for coming,” she said, before stepping backwards to let him into the room.

He left just over an hour later. He wasn’t sure how to feel about what had happened. He had been gentle and tender and she had become emotional but he had gone ahead with it. He wouldn’t say he regretted it. He just had a very weird feeling in the pit of his stomach.

He couldn’t wait to get home.

His wife was waiting for him when he walked through the door with a glass of wine in her hand, which he accepted gratefully.

They moved into the sitting room and he collapsed in a chair. She joined him quietly and pulled his head into her, tenderly running her hands through his hair. They didn’t talk.

She took him by the hand then and quietly led him upstairs to bed.

He woke early the next morning. Rolling over he found his wife’s side of the bed empty, but still warm. Her wet towel lay discarded on the bedroom floor.

As he sat up the smell of cooked bacon wafted up his nostrils. He got out of bed, pulling on an old t shirt and some shorts and walked downstairs. She was just dishing up an enormous plate of food when he sat down at the kitchen table.

He looked down salivating. Bacon, sausage, egg, tomatoes, hash browns, black pudding, served with lovely fresh bread. They both ate a very healthily normally but as long as he could remember a full fried breakfast had always been his guilty pleasure.

After he had finished eating, he showered and dressed, his trousers feeling slightly tighter around the middle. He would skip lunch later.

He arrived at the office and had a busy morning of back to back patients. Just after noon, his receptionist knocked on the door and brought with her the morning post. Mostly insurance documents, but as he flicked through them there was an envelope which simply had his first name on.

Confused, he opened the envelope and a number of photographs fell out onto the floor. Picking them up, he recoiled in horror. They were images of him in that hotel room with the woman last night.

They had obviously been taken with a secret security camera. What the fuck was this? Was he being blackmailed? He was so angry. He called his wife straightaway but she didn’t pick up. Probably in class.

He paced around his office. What the hell was he going to do? He knew he couldn’t stay at work. He picked up his bag and cancelled his appointments for the afternoon. He decided to walk the six miles home to try and clear his head and come up with some sort of plan.

He walked up the driveway and was surprised to see lights on in the house. If his wife was at home why hadn’t she answered the phone?

He took his key out of his jacket pocket, put it in and turned the lock. The door didn’t open. Confused, he pulled it out, checked it was the right key and tried again.

The locks must have been changed. Surely his wife would have let him know if something bad had happened. He put the keys back in his pocket and rang the doorbell. No answer. He tried again and rapped his knuckles hard on the door.

If she was in the house why wasn’t she answering?

He then saw movement through the blurred glass and relief flooded through him.

However rather than answer the door, she pushed an envelope through the letterbox to him.

He called out her name but she didn’t reply.

With no other option he opened the envelope and his heart sank. Divorce papers. Something really fucked up was going on.

He felt bile rise up in his throat. As he screamed out his wife’s name he threw up all over the patio.

He took three deep breaths and tried to maintain his composure. He needed to work out what was going on. He walked down the path and headed back to his office. He needed his laptop and the video of the girl. He was being conned here and he needed as much evidence as possible to present to a lawyer.

While his brain had started to work methodically, his heart was breaking.

Why was his wife doing this to him? She was going to throw away 20 years of their marriage for something she had encouraged him to do. It just didn’t make any sense.

With his mind whirring he was back at work before he had even had time to think. He knew immediately that something was wrong. He knew that his receptionist always locked up when she left and yet the door was ajar. As he got closer he could hear the alarm going off inside.

He walked through the door, punched the four digit code into the alarm system and the room went quiet. The door to his office was open. His laptop was gone. He ran out to the trees where he had installed the cameras and they were gone too.

Dejected, he walked to the nearest hotel, checked himself into a room for the next two weeks and called a lawyer.

Chapter nine

 

 

“You can’t be serious.”

David had just relayed the story to his increasingly disbelieving lawyer.

He nodded his head.

“That is the truth, word for word.”

“Then you’re in a world of trouble. Let me get this straight. A woman comes to you claiming she has been raped. She is a patient. Yet three weeks later you sleep with her. Your wife has encouraged you to do this. Someone records the whole thing. You get sent pictures in the post, then later that day your wife serves you divorce papers. Jesus Christ you live a complicated life.”

David’s chin sunk to his chest.

“The way I see this it’s strictly damage limitation. She wants the house and half of everything you own. I say give it to her.”

“No way. I’m being screwed here. I’m not giving her a damn thing.”

“You’re a doctor, you need to start thinking logically here. She has you over a barrel. Even if you can prove that she consented to what you did in that hotel room there is still the small matter that the woman in the hotel was a patient. Which means your career is over. Now if you’re telling me the truth, which for some reason I think you are, then we need to track down this woman and find out what her agenda is. I suspect she’s either a con artist or a prostitute that your wife hired. If we can find her we might have a bargaining chip but I suspect she will have gone to ground.”

There was silence in the room.

“Look, I need to ask you a couple of questions, and don’t hate me for saying them but I need to make sure otherwise I wouldn’t be doing my job properly. Is there anything you can think of that you’ve done to bring this sort of thing on? Have you ever been violent, controlling, or possessive? Anything that might have prompted her behaviour.”

“Nothing.” Dave replied. “Until 72 hours ago I would have said we had one of the best marriages of anybody I know. We had our ups and downs but we always came through them. I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with this woman.”

David spent the next two weeks attempting to track down the woman who had claimed to be raped and trying in vain to contact his wife. He left her hundreds of voicemails and texts but no reply. Eventually a policeman knocked on his hotel room door and said he would have to stop contacting her as she was threatening a restraining order.

Defeated, he gave up.

Chapter Ten

 

Six months later he sat outside a secluded hotel in his car, an open bottle of whisky half empty in his lap.

His wife had taken him to the cleaners in the divorce. He had to sell their home which left him just enough money to buy a cramped two bedroom apartment.

The rest of the money he had left had been spent on private investigators. Finally, after all this time, he believed he had a lead on the girl who might be able to save his life, and had purchased all the necessary equipment to enable him to do so.

If he could find her and get her to tell the truth, he would at least be able to contest the divorce settlement, though it might put his career in jeopardy.

Just as he was about to give up for the night a car pulled up a couple of spaces down. He slumped low in his chair.

It was her. He watched as she got awkwardly out of the car.

She was heavily pregnant. Could that one night stand have produced the child him and his wife had so yearned for?

She got some bags off the front seat and walked slowly into the hotel.

His senses were now on full alert, the alcohol having no effect as adrenaline coursed through his veins. He closed the door quietly and moved into the hotel reception as she turned down the corridor.

He followed, maintaining a reasonable distance so she wouldn’t hear him coming.

He thought she had seen him when she turned to open her bedroom door, but he managed to push through a fire exit just as her eyes passed over him.

His breathing was heavy. He knew which room she was staying in. He gave it five minutes, then opened the door, checking that the corridor was deserted. He made his way down and knocked lightly on the hotel room door.

He heard muffled voices coming from inside. She had company. This could make things more difficult than he had anticipated.

Not that he had any plan in particular. He just wanted to talk to her.

Footsteps made their way to the door. There was no peephole which significantly helped his chances.

The door pulled back and his heart nearly exploded out of his chest. It was his wife that answered.

What the fuck.

She looked at him in horror and tried to close the door. He was too quick for her and forced his way inside. She started to scream, but he put his hand into the back of his trousers and pulled out a gun.

“Fucking be quiet. Make another sound and I’ll blow your fucking brains out.”

That shut them both up.

“Nobody is going to leave this room until someone tells me why my life has been ripped apart and what the hell you two are doing here together.”

They both sat down, his ex-wife now perched protectively in front of the pregnant girl.

“I have two bullets in this gun. You two have taken everything from me. Now tell me exactly what has happened or I will have no hesitation in putting a bullet between both of your eyes.”

“David, please calm down, she’s pregnant.”

“I can see that perfectly well. I won’t let that influence my decision.”

“It’s your baby.”

“How the fuck is it my baby? Biologically it might be, but I’m nothing more than a sperm donor. Now start talking.”

This time it wasn’t his wife that spoke but the girl.

“We met each other a year ago. I started at the college and Ruth was my tutor. I hadn’t completed my degree when I had first gone to college and I had always wanted to finish it. I struggled at first, but Ruth helped me and we started to become close.”

He pulled up a chair and slumped in it. Was it really going to be as grimly predictable as this?

His wife continued.

“After three months we started to fall in love. There was no denying it. David, you’ve always made me happy but this was something more. You had never made me feel this way. We were at a difficult point in our lives. Kids seemed like it was never going to happen for us and retirement seemed such a long way away. We were drifting and Anna helped me out of the slump.”

“Then what happened,” he asked.

She looked at him angrily.

“Don’t give me that fucking look,” she snapped at him. “I know all about your office flirtations over the years. I stayed with you because the relationship suited us both, but when something better came along I decided to grasp it with both hands.”

“I’ve never cheated on you,” David retorted angrily.

“Bullshit,” she said.

Could she know more? He had always been so careful with his dalliances. They had always been women he hadn’t known. In his earlier career he had had to attend a lot of conferences. He had always managed to convince himself that these one night stands weren’t affairs and so he had never confessed what he had done and had managed to convince himself that nothing had ever happened.

Had she known all along?

It would seem so.

“I wanted revenge,” she said.

“And I wanted your money. I had no proof that you had ever done anything wrong so I needed a plan. It was Anna who came up with the idea to seduce you. I knew that a rape victim would appeal to your empathetic nature.”

He looked at them both disgusted.

“I asked all the right questions when I knew Anna had been to see you. I knew you would open up eventually. It was my job to try and coerce you into her seeing again. Anna volunteered for the unfortunate job of having sex with you.”

Her words were cutting through him. No matter what they had been through or the secrets she knew about him surely he didn’t deserve this?

“I thought you would take more persuading than you eventually did. I would have been hurt how quickly you eventually agreed to sleep with her if it hadn’t all been part of the bigger plan. When you came to that hotel room we had everything we needed to get we wanted.”

She looked at him icily.

“The rest is history. And now here we are. What are you going to do?”

David looked at Anna.

“Is it really my child?”

“Well she hasn’t been fucking any other men in the last six months,” Ruth snapped at him angrily.

David stood up calmly.

“Get up both of you.”

Neither of them moved.

He raised the gun slowly.

“Get up now,” he said calmly. “Or you die.”

Something in his face must have scared them, as they slowly got up.

“Now, you are going to walk calmly out of this hotel. If either of you make a sound I will kill you both and take my punishment. Do you understand?”

They nodded their heads.

“When you get to my car, I’m going to blindfold you and handcuff the pair of you.”

“And if we do anything you’ll shoot us,” said Anna.

“Correct,” David replied.

They left the hotel room. They did as they were told. The receptionist even smiled at them as they left the building.

When they got to his car, he removed the handcuffs from the front seat and instructed them to put them on each other. They did so. He walked round to the back of the car and opened the boot and gestured towards his wife.

“You can’t expect us to get in there,” she replied. “She’s pregnant.”

David considered his options before agreeing to her request.

“Fine, get in the back.”

They both clambered in and buckled their seatbelts. He climbed in the front seat and started driving.

“Where are you taking us?” his wife asked.

“No talking,” David said.

They were quiet, though he could hear them whispering to each other a couple of times. A warning glance in the rear-view mirror was enough to shut them up.

Two hours into the drive and they approached a large forest, just as the sun was beginning to set.

“David please tell me where you’re taking us,” Ruth asked.

He pulled off the main road and started driving down a rough path. He could see their heads bobbing up and down as the terrain shook the car.

“Well as you so aptly put in that hotel room, I’ve always had secrets,” David said. “I’m taking you to my old family lodge that passed into my hands when my Great Uncle died last year. I kept it quiet until I’d decided what to do with it. It could have been our retirement home, or we could have sold it and travelled the world together.”

“Luckily for me your lawyers never uncovered it otherwise I’m sure you would have taken half of that as well.”

Ruth started at him in disbelief. Anna was starting to cry silently now. They were both quiet then. Eventually they came to a small clearing where the lodge came into view. It really was beautiful, which was just as well as he was going to be spending a lot of time here in the future.

When they pulled to a stop, he picked up the gun from the passenger seat. He moved around to the rear door and helped Anna out of the car, Ruth managing to get herself out.

“David what are we doing here?”

“Your journey ends here Ruth,” he replied. Her eyes opened wide in fear. He pulled the gun from his waistband and shot her ruthlessly in the forehead.

Anna released a blood curdling scream and dropped to her knees, cradling Ruth’s lifeless body in her arms.

Part of him couldn’t believe what he had done. He had just snuffed out the life of the woman that he had spent the last twenty years almost completely devoted to. And he felt nothing.

He turned the gun towards Anna then and she looked up at him, terror etched across her face.

“The only thing keeping you alive is that baby in your belly.”

He dragged her to her feet and pulled her in the house. There was a basement room that would do very nicely for her. He pushed her in the room, locked the door behind him and went to dig his wife’s grave.

Chapter Eleven

 

It was early in the morning three months later when her waters broke. It had been a strange time. For the first month he had kept her locked away in the basement. He gave her three square meals a day and took her outside for an hour in the morning and in the evening to make sure that she got enough sunshine and fresh air to keep her well.

It had always been his intention to kill her as soon as the baby came. But as the days and weeks had passed he had started to warm towards her and she had reciprocated. He had allowed her more time out of the basement, they had taken longer walks together and he had let her eat dinner with him in the evening in front of the television.

A couple of times while they had been together he had found himself wanting to replay that night they had had together which had started all of this.

He hadn’t had sex in months and the temptation was undoubtedly there. He had no doubt that she would have bowed to his demands, but he would remind himself that he wasn’t that person.

Before all of this had happened he had been a good, respectable man. He had sunk to incredible lows, killing his wife but that bitch had deserved it.

This woman had carried his child. Maybe once the baby was here they could try and build some sort of life together.

The labour was a difficult one but he knew he wouldn’t be able to take her to a hospital. There was the potential for too many awkward questions. The pressure was on him. After 15 hours they were both exhausted. She was completely naked and her body glistened in sweat. He too had removed most of his clothes as the sheer physical exertion had taken its toll. The gun that he had carried with him for the last six months also lay discarded.

Eventually after a titanic effort from both of them a tiny screaming baby was delivered. They were both in tears. He handed her the baby and watched them together. After some time passed she motioned to him and she passed him the baby.

It was a little girl.

He couldn’t believe what he was holding. A daughter. It made everything he had been through worth it.

“Stand up you snivelling piece of shit.”

Like the first time he met her he didn’t comprehend the words she said. He looked around at her confused.

That was when he saw her. Standing over him, blood running between her legs. With his gun in her hands, pointing directly at him.

“Fucking stand up.”

“Stay calm,” he said. “I’ve got our baby in my hands.”

“Put her down.”

He placed the baby gently on the floor. Poppy. He would call her Poppy.

“Please think about this,” he said to her calmly. “If you make that decision to take a life it’s not something you can ever take back. Trust me on that one.”

“You’ve treated me like a dog,” she spat back at him. “I know what we did to you was wrong but you shouldn’t have killed her. I’m going to make you pay.”

He took a deep breath.

“Go ahead,” he said.

She looked at him strangely, clearly surprised by how calm he was looking down the barrel of a gun.

She hesitated slightly then, as if she had expected him to put up more of a fight and hadn’t actually considered the prospect of pulling the trigger.

Then she steeled herself, screamed loudly and pulled the trigger.

Nothing happened. She looked down at the gun in horror and confusion pulling the trigger repeatedly, desperately hoping for an explosion.

“It’s not loaded,” he said calmly.

“I haven’t had it loaded for months. I left that gun on show to test you. To see if I could trust you. You’ve given me the answer.”

She looked at him terrified now. She looked desperately at the baby lying on the floor, then turned for the door and ran.

He took after her. He knew she wouldn’t get far, after what she had just been through.

He gave chase and caught up with her as she tried to make for the road. He rugby tackled her to the floor. She screamed and tried to struggle but he soon had her restrained.

She spat in his face then. That was her mistake. Until that point he hadn’t decided what he was going to do with her.

She knew she had made a mistake. He took his hands off her arms then and moved them round her throat and tightened his grip. He felt the air go out of her. Her face started to go red and she kicked him and tore at his back. He felt her draw blood and a stinging pain but the adrenaline meant that nothing she did stopped him.

She became most violent in the last few seconds before she died, but no matter what she tried it made no difference. Eventually the last breath of oxygen left her body, she twitched violently, then went still, her eyes glassy.

He rolled off her, breathing hard. He had just taken his second life. What had become of him?

He was rescued from his thoughts by the sound of his daughter crying.

She was all that mattered now. He picked himself off the floor, dusted himself down and went back into the house ready to start his new life.

 

The End

About the Author

Aaron Gales is an author from Newcastle, England. He currently lives near Manchester where he works as a Communications Officer for British Cycling. ‘The Victim’ is his third short story. He published ‘The Watchers’ in early 2015 and ‘The Sinner’ in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Victim

  • ISBN: 9781311963543
  • Author: Aaron Gales
  • Published: 2015-10-07 00:50:08
  • Words: 9199
The Victim The Victim