tagLoving WivesThe Presumption of Guilt

The Presumption of Guilt

byRichardGerald©

I'd like to thank Randi for all the work she did setting the magical mystery tour up, and for inviting me to write knowing that the trolls come out in force at the mere mention of my name. As for the story that follows, don't expect any nice guys or a Hollywood ending. I was thinking Dashiell Hammett, not Nancy Drew.

*

Copyright© 2018 by Richard Gerald

The Falcons Rest is a bar and grill out old route 7. It is located where three counties intersect and is a little beyond the city limits. The Rest, as it is known, is what is sometimes referred to as a cop bar because a significant number of the patrons are from the members of law enforcement. As a place for a clandestine meeting, it would be last on most people's lists which placed it first on mine.

I parked in the well-filled lot and headed for the main entrance. As cop bars go, the Rest is better appointed than most with a large open bar room well stocked with tables for seating its guests. On the last Friday of the month, it had a large number of customers but was not overly crowded. It was the perfect situation for my meeting with sergeant Devin Cross. It had enough witness to make the meeting appear anything but clandestine.

As I entered, I drew hostile stares from the majority of the patrons. I would have expected nothing less as the lawyer suspected of killing his unfaithful wife and her police detective lover. There was no conviction or indictment, of course, hard to do either without evidence. No bodies had been found, and the lover's car had gone missing with the lovebirds. Nevertheless, I was guilty. The couple had vanished without a trace. I had the motive, and I was a sleazy lawyer. Who would need more proof outside of a courtroom?

Devin arrived looking none too happy with my choice of meeting place. He was a tall, well-built black man. He was what can only be described as an honorable man. He was here to pay a debt, and thereby purge his soul of the guilt he bore just by being obligated to a man of my character.

At this point dear reader, I will be candid and state that I'm what they refer to as bent or crooked, a lawyer who does not claim the least bit of moral character. I'm the unindicted co-conspirator of a half-dozen organized crime pleadings. Poor Devin had fallen on truly hard times the day he walked into my office with a thick packet of foreclosure papers.

The then office Devin Cross of the Metropolitan police had fallen victim to the predatory lenders of the great mortgage fraud, and in those early days of 2008, he with his wife and four kids were about to become just another sad homeless statistic. He made the rounds to all the honest and quasi-honest lawyers without receiving any significant help. He turned to me out of pure desperation.

In truth, I don't know why I helped him. There was nothing in it for me. He was an honest cop and a good man who was loyal to his friends, but no one I could use. He couldn't pay. Being an honest man, he told me this right off. The scammers on the internet had taken his last dollars. The foreclosure was the following day. He just sat there in my office a big physically powerful man, with tears forming at the corners of his eyes, telling me about his daughter, his little princess. She had cancer, and he didn't know how to tell her and her brothers that they were about to lose their home.

I filed the bankruptcy to stop the sale. Then I had some of my more disreputable clients visit the mortgage broker and obtain a confession that the documents used in the foreclosure were false. In other words, the mortgage crook face by two more violent felons told the truth for once. It then only took a larger bribe to the court than Deutsche bank was willing to pay to get actual justice for once.

Why did I do all that? I still can't tell you, but Devin Cross had a hard time living with the knowledge that his family's home had been saved by a crook like me.

"You picked an odd place to meet," he said.

"Even a guy like me has some conscience. I couldn't let you get jammed up helping me out."

"So, you picked this place?" he said as Lottie the barmaid came up.

She was dressed as usual in a tight top that didn't cover her midriff and pants that seemed to be painted on. She was a very pretty girl who was unafraid to show her assets.

"What can I get you, Bruce?" she said to me.

She and I had a long association of harmless flattery and overindulgent tips on my part. She had a young son and no man at home having made the mistake of choosing sex appeal over dependability. I could see the tension in Lottie's manner. Everyone said I was guilty. Accordingly, I must be, and therefore, anyone associated with me would suffer. Still, I noticed that Lottie had come to the table when she could have pushed my service off onto another.

Lottie was a good friend. As it was turning out, I had more like her than I realized. I wouldn't want them to suffer for their loyalty. I needed to do something to get my life back and assure people they could relax around me. Devin Cross was in his way throwing me a life preserver, but I needed to make the most of it.

"Bring us two Boston Lagers, Lottie," I said.

"I got to admit you got guts counselor. Walking into this place filed with Paul Moreno's friend and work buddies," Devin said.

Paul Moreno was the bastard who had seduced my wife and thereby put me in the shit. He, his Ford GT, and my wife had disappeared the night of March 17, Saint Patrick's Day, and the night before back to back thunderstorms flooded the three counties around the Schoharie Creek. This body of water would be called a river in any of the western states, but here it was misnamed a creek. A beguiling title which led to much suffering. People persisted in bridging over and building around this treacherous but modestly named watercourse. They paid a high price in lives and property for misjudging the Schoharie.

By early on the eighteenth of March, all the emergency crews were out saving the people stranded by the flood. No one noticed that my wife and her prick lover were missing for a few days. Then, of course, suspicion immediately fell on me.

"Victory belongs to the bold as the saying goes," I told Devin, and we talked about nothing much while he worked up to doing what he came for.

I waited through two rounds of beers, and then I said, "Just tell me what you came to say, and I'll do the rest. Trust me, and no one will ever believe the tip came from you."

So, he leaned in and whispered, "They have a warrant and will be hitting your home and offices on Sunday at six a.m."

I pushed my chair back and then stood letting it fall before I shouted, "Listen when I want advice I won't seek it from some metro pig, and he'll be a better friend than you. For the last time, I don't know what happened to my wife."

I stormed out leaving a rather confused Devin behind me, but he was a smart guy and would figure out that everyone would believe the worst of him. They would think him an ambitious cop seeking to advance himself on our relationship. A confession from me would be a feather in any cop's cap. Trying to wheedle a confession from me wouldn't hurt him but being seen with me in a surreptitious meeting would have ruined him. This way things were so public no one would believe he had warned me.

As I exited the Falcon Rest, I let out a sigh. I had only myself to blame that things had come to this sorry state. I had let my heart overrule my head. Now I must work my ass off to claw my way out from behind the eight ball that we call justice in this country. Still, the words of my late wife's dairy haunted me. They were a swarm of killer bees stinging my heart until all the blood seeped away.

October first the diary of Elaine Grey (Mrs. Bruce Grey)

I saw him again today. He's very tall and handsome with that wavy black hair of his. Jenny says she knows him. In fact, she has slept with him. He's a police officer which must mean that he is following me because of something involving Bruce.

It is truly hard to believe that a rather drab man like Bruce can engender such suspicion in others, but I guess that comes with being the attorney for such high-profile criminals. I mean the people he deals with are so much more interesting than poor Bruce. Don't get me wrong; I love him dearly. He's a cuddly teddy bear. The kind of man that you feel safe with. Why people think him dangerous, I will never know.

Jenny says the police officer following me is a real stud, very well endowed. His name is Paul Moreno. Jenny dated him off and on over the last six months. Her husband Bob is like a clone of my Bruce except for the fact that he has a dull real estate practice and is not some black hat criminal defense attorney. You can't really blame Jenny for succumbing to the edgy stud of a police officer. I mean the temptation is so great. After seven years of marriage and two kids she is looking for a little excitement, or so she says. Me after fifteen years with a fourteen-year-old daughter I'm ready for the rocking chair on the back porch. Women like me just don't attract the attention of young studs. It makes me feel so old!

October fifteenth

Bruce is away again. I swear that man makes more out of town trips. If it was anyone else, I would suspect infidelity, but the man is as faithful as a spaniel and just about as exciting.

Joined a gym today. It was Jenny who goaded me into it. She's into a fitness craze and needed a partner. I'm not in that bad a shape, not like Bruce who is suffering from middle age spread, but Jenny needed a partner, and I can use the physical tone. I increased my morning run from one to two miles, but I need to work on my tummy and butt. I'm feeling the empty nest anxiety. Maybe getting into shape will help.

Why did I let my fourteen-year-old talk me into that boarding school? I swear Rachael is just like my mother all female ambition. No concern for others at all. My mother still mocks my choice of professions, but I believe that helping others is the highest calling that any individual can aspire to. Being a social worker is often frustrating, but on those rare days when you know that you have helped another human being transform their life, there is no greater reward.

On the other hand, Rachael may be trying to escape the stigma of Bruce's profession. People say such cruel things. A teenage girl can be very sensitive. Perhaps it is better all-around if Rachael is away, but a mother can't help missing her child.

I saw him again today. God, but he is handsome. He was at my gym. What a stud he is. He was wearing this tight outfit. You could see the sculptured shape of his abdominal muscles, but I tried not to stare at the bulge in his shorts. That can't really be all him. Why he keeps following me, I will never know, but Paul Moreno is sure easy on the eyes.

October Seventeenth

Saw Paul Moreno at the gym again today. He caught me looking at him, but all he did was hold eye contact until I was forced to look away. Jenny says he must be interested in me, but I can't see why unless it has something to do with Bruce.

When I got home, I did something I haven't done in a while, I masturbated. I got a glass of wine and my silver bullet; then I leaned back against the headboard of the bed. I tried to let my fantasy run where it would, but it kept coming back to Paul, his hard-muscled body and his huge endowment. I tried not to think of him; it seems so disloyal to Bruce. It was just a harmless fantasy. I came so quick. There's no harm in make-believe, right?

November second.

Voted today not that it makes any difference. I saw Paul again as I exited the polling place. He didn't try to hide. He hadn't been following me for a while, but the last few days he was back. He actually said hi to me. So, I stopped and spoke to him.

"Are you back following me?" I asked.

"Well, that's my job and my excuse."

"Excuse?"

"Well, what would you say if I just followed you around?"

"Why would you do that?"

"Have you looked in a mirror lately?"

"Oh stop. I'm the mother of a teenager."

"Ever heard the term MILF."

"No, what's that?"

"The term for a hot mother like you who turns on all the young guys."

"Stop, I'm an old lady."

"A lady yes, unfortunately, but not old just sexy mature."

Just then I saw someone I knew and broke off the conversation. I can't believe he flirted with me that way. Admittedly, I've lost five pounds and tightened up my ass since joining the gym, but still a young hot guy like that being interested. It certainly pays to hang in there. At first, I was intimidated by all those young girls with their hard bodies but getting a personal trainer and staying with it clearly is paying off.

Bruce has sure noticed. Two dozen roses just arrived. When I called to ask why, he just said because he felt like sending them to his beautiful wife. What can you say about a man like that? I love him dearly. I may flirt with a handsome younger man, but I will not betray my loving husband.


****

"Jake," I said as soon as he picked up.

"Jesus! you know what time it is, counselor?"

"I've been calling you since about nine."

"I was on a job," Jake Trumble replied.

"Well, I have a new job for you."

"Couldn't it wait."

"No, it's a rush—rush."

"Well, what is it?"

"I need a full on black cover at my residence and office by sunrise Sunday."

"This Sunday?"

"Yes, this Sunday."

"It takes seventy-two hours at least you're giving me at best twenty-four."

"Sorry, I just got word I needed it."

"Well, it's going to cost you."

"How much?"

"Thirty-five," Jake said.

"After all the business, I sent your way?"

"That's my special price. For anyone else, it would be fifty."

Jake didn't say that it was highly unlikely I would survive to send him any more business. Moreover, at this point business associate or not, I was in no position to bargain. He could have charged me anything, and I would have to pay.

"Ok, but get it done," I said.

****

November Ninth.

I've seen Paul three times in the last week. Now he always smiles and waves. Jenny had a full-blown affair with the man. She says that he's the best she ever had in bed. He's twenty-nine, eight years my junior. Jenny says he makes her feel like she's being taken for the first time.

"There's nothing like the feeling that big cock of his gives you."

I asked her whether he was worth risking her marriage for, and she told me to ask that question again after I had my first nine-inch cock.

He can't really be that large, can he? I'm afraid just thinking about him has been getting me all hot. Last night, I attacked Bruce when he came home. I guess there are some benefits to having our daughter out of the house. Bruce performed beautifully. He fucked me and ate me and gave me three orgasms, but I'm ashamed to admit that the entire time I was thinking about Paul. Am I so depraved that I need to be thinking of another man when my husband is making beautiful love to me?

Today as I sat in Starbucks, sipping my mocha latte, Paul came and sat down at my table. For a long time, he just sat there staring at me as I scrupulously ignore him, but finally, he broke the silence.

"I've been reassigned," he said.

"What?"

"I'm not officially following you anymore."

"What does that mean?"

"Well, among other things it means my bosses have decided that whatever crimes your husband is committing that you are no part of anything illegal, " he said. Then he reached across the table to cover my hand with his and said, "But it also means that I can now tell you how attracted I am to you. I wish that we could get to know each other better."

"You know I'm married what does getting to know me better mean?"

He reached his other hand over and took mine between his," It means that you are a beautiful woman married to a man who can't possibly fulfill you. You deserve to experience love as it was meant to be between a man and a woman."

"What about Jenny. I hear that you and she are a thing."

"What Jenny and I had was purely sexual. She is unfulfilled sexually in her marriage, but I'm looking for something more. Besides you can't really believe that any man would choose Jenny over you," he said with a smile.

"As I said, I'm married. I have never cheated on my husband."

"Can he say the same?"

"You've seen my husband. What do you think?"

"I think we both know that you deserve more."

With that, I got up leaving most of my latte unfinished. I needed to get out of there. That man had an effect on me that made me uneasy.

December First

I hadn't seen Paul since he confronted me in the coffee shop, and I began to fear and at the same time take solace in the possibility that I might not see him again. I had regrets about this. His attentions were amazing for my ego, and I had to admit that I desired him on a purely physical level. Moreover, I had never been with any man, but my husband. I admit to a curiosity as to what another man, particularly one so well-endowed and skilled a lover, would be like.

I was walking to my car in the DSS lot after work. I was more than a little late having been held up by paperwork. The lot was well lit but empty. As I walked to my car, I had a distinct feeling that someone was watching me. I bent down to open the door, and suddenly he was there right next to me. I jumped back frightened.

"Paul, you near scared me to death. Are you stalking me now?"

"Sorry," he said as his hand found my waist beneath my overcoat that had pulled open, "I just had to see you. I think of you all the time."

I suppose I should have been frightened, but the truth was that he had been near constantly on my mind. I wanted to see him again."

"Please," I begged "leave me be. I can't do this to my husband!"

All he did in response was lean down and kiss me. He was so big and tall, so masculine and powerful. He overwhelmed my senses, and like some romance cliché, I felt the electricity in his kiss. Some force passed between us.

"I need you," he said, "More than any women I have ever known. If it was just on my side, I would let you be, but I feel your body calling to me."

I couldn't help myself I kissed him back, but then I pushed him away jumping into my car saying, "I can't. I wish I could, but I can't."


****

They didn't bother to knock. Four assault garbed officers picked the door lock and stormed into my home at sunrise Sunday morning. I expect they assume they would find me asleep. I was up and, in the kitchen, making what the travel brochures term a full English breakfast. Admittedly, I had substituted lox for the kippers, but I had found a specialty shop that had kidney pie.

I was just scrambling up a big pan of eggs when the first stormtrooper reached the kitchen.

"I hope you like your eggs scrambled," I said as he grabbed me and forced me out of the house. They held me in a police van while they tore my house apart. They did the obvious bit of tearing up the carpet and digging up the flower beds. I was glad that I had mostly gone for hardwood floors. They prided up a few boards but mostly left the upper floors untouched. The basement they trashed.

My biggest gripe was their breaking into the trunk of my car. This seemed pure spite since I had left the keys conveniently in the ignition, but destruction seemed to be the order of the day. For all of it, they weren't all bad. When the destruction of my house ceased, a couple of the officers I had become friends with over the years took me out for lunch at Denny's

"Where did you put the bodies, Bruce," they asked as I ate what the menu called "the big breakfast" which was a decided disappointment after the meal I had planned.

"As far as I can see, there are no bodies."

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