Memories of a Murder – Chapter 22 & Epilogue

Read the last chapter here or start at the beginning here

 

Cromwell Manor, Wiltshire

Boxing Day, 2010

 

Pat’s hands were trembling as she pointed the gun at Harry – at his head – but her eyes told him everything he needed to know. She was going to protect her daughter no matter what.

“Pat,” He tried reasoning with her, “put the gun down?”

“Mum, where did you get that gun?”

“Ella,” Pat glanced sideways at Ella before turning her eyes back to Harry, “just stay quiet, don’t answer any more of his questions.”

“Mum, answer me, what are you doing with a gun?”

“I’m not letting you go to prison for him.”

“You did the same as me, didn’t you, Pat?” Harry realised suddenly.

“What?”

“When you saw his body, saw the gun, you assumed he’d been shot. The same as I did.”

“So?”

“So, why’d you take the gun?”

“Look, I’ve told you, we’re not answering any more of your questions. Stop asking.”

“You’re not going to hurt me, Pat. Why did you take the gun?”

“Mum, please,” Ella moved toward her mother, “just put the gun down.”

“You knew it was her, didn’t you? You knew that Ella had killed Ernest, but you thought she’d shot him. You were trying to hide the evidence.”

“No. No, she didn’t kill him. She didn’t kill anyone.”

“Yes, I did. I killed him.”

Pat turned her head to look at her daughter, but kept the gun pointed at Harry. “Ella! What are you doing?

“What are you doing, mum? You’re not going to shoot him, I won’t let you do that.”

“It’s my job to protect you. I’ve done a lousy job of it so far, I need to make up for it.”

“I don’t need protecting from him.”

“You just told him that you killed someone!” Pat screamed hysterically. “He’s hardly going to throw you a sodding parade!”

“Well, maybe I should be punished. I killed someone, mum, I took a knife and stabbed a man in the back. I can’t run from that my whole life, I might as well take responsibility for it.”

“Who says I’m going to tell anyone?” Harry said, trying to calm the situation down a little. Pat was still pointing the gun at him, but her hands and her fingers were trembling more than ever.

“You won’t say anything?” Ella asked, both she and Pat turned back to face him.

“You won’t believe anything I say while I’ve got a gun pointed in my face. Why don’t you put the gun down, Pat?”

“No.”

“Mum, you’re not going to – ”

“Harry!”

All three of them looked up at the sound of Frederick’s voice and the sound of his footsteps clattering on the iron stairway.

Pat swivelled and pointed the gun at Frederick as he appeared at the bottom of the steps. Harry dived forward while she was distracted and pushed her arm from underneath, pointing the gun up at the ceiling.

“Mum!” Ella shouted.

“Harry! What’s going on?” Frederick looked completely bemused as Harry grappled with Pat for the gun. He pulled it from her hand with a relative ease, but staggered back when suddenly he faced no more resistance. Pat sank to the floor and Ella rushed over and hugged her.

“I was just trying to protect you.”

“I know, mum, I know.” Ella pulled her mum up, into a chair at the table, and sat down next to her.

“Harry, what’s going on? What are you doing?” Frederick’s eyes were wide with shock.

“I’m not sure.” Harry hesitated for a moment. “There are still a few things I’m unclear on, myself.”

“What are you talking about? Did Ella just call Pat ‘mum’?”

“Yes, but that’s not the biggest secret in the room right now.” Harry turned to look at Frederick who was staring back in confusion. “That uncle of yours, the one Ernest never told any of you about? Pat was married to him.”

Frederick’s confused face creased even more, now mixed with a huge dose of disbelief. “What? You’re telling me Pat’s my aunt? That Ella… that she’s my cousin?”

“That’s the bit we were getting to when Pat pulled out her gun.”

“Harry, please.” Ella gave him a pleading look.

“Pat and Ernest were having an affair,” Harry said ignoring her, “it went back years, before even Ella was born. There’s a high chance – a very high chance?” Pat looked at him quietly for a moment and then nodded. “There’s a high chance that Ella is Ernest’s daughter. That’s hardly a reason to kill him, though, Ella.”

“What?” Frederick asked, and Pat sobbed loudly. “What are you talking about?”

“You were angry with him, I guess,” Harry continued, ignoring Frederick this time round, “What? Did you go to him and ask him to cut you in on the will?”

Ella mumbled something he couldn’t quite hear. “What?”

“He raped me.”

Harry wasn’t sure what he’d been expecting, but that wasn’t it. Suddenly he was lost for words. Fortunately, that was never a problem Frederick had ever suffered from.

“What do you mean he raped you?”

“I mean he held me down on the floor of the laundry room, pinned my arms to the floor!” She shouted angrily, lifting her sleeves to reveal some dark bruises. “He pinned me down and he forced…”

“Ella…” Harry whispered softly, staring at her, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know…”

“You killed him?” Frederick asked.

“He wasn’t even sorry. He didn’t know I was his daughter. I told him and he just laughed, kept saying how much he’d enjoyed it. That he couldn’t wait to do it again. He made me so angry.”

A silence filled the room as the two men digested what Ella had told them. Eventually, Harry stepped forward and put the gun on the table in front of Pat.

“You’ll have to kill us both now, Pat.”

“Harry – ” Frederick started to talk, but stopped when Harry motioned to him. He mentally made a note, it was the first time Frederick had ever done something on his instruction.

Pat said nothing, she simply stood up, moved away from the table and the gun and stood by the sink.

“I… I can’t do this.” Frederick stuttered. He turned quickly and ran up the stairs. Harry started to follow him up when Ella spoke.

“Are you going to tell anyone? I didn’t mean to kill him,” Harry stopped and looked at her, “that’s not why I went to see him.”

“You left him there, you left him to die.”

“I got out. I went back to my bedroom. I just needed to get out of there. I didn’t even know if he was dead, I just sat on my bed and…”

“But you took the knife?”

“Not straight away. I went back. I went to see if he was… Well, he was. And then I panicked. I just wanted to get things back to how they were.”

“Including the knife.”

“I didn’t know what to do, I just pulled the knife out and… and he was still dead.”

“So you put the knife back in Robert’s jacket?”

“I didn’t know they’d arrest him, I thought Jennifer would give him an alibi. I ran into them in the corridor just before, I thought she’d gone to find him after I’d seen them.”

“What about the blood on the handkerchief?”

“After I’d taken the knife, I realised I’d left fingerprints all over it. I wiped the knife handle and the handle to Ernest’s office. I thought I’d put it back in my pocket, I… I must have dropped it.”

“Then you went for another shower and you waited until you heard someone discover the body.” Harry finished the story for her.

Pat moved over to her daughter, but Ella pulled away and looked across the table at Harry, her red eyes prickling with tears. “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.” Harry shrugged. He looked across at her, but couldn’t bear to meet her gaze, and so just stared at nothing over her shoulder, trying to fully understand what she’d told him.

“Will you tell anyone?” Pat asked, standing up to face him, placing one hand on her daughter’s shoulder.

“I…” Harry moved his hand toward the table, past the gun and picked up the blood stained handkerchief from the centre of the table. “I don’t know.”

Ella simply stared at him as he slipped the scrap of cloth back into his trousers, but Pat almost exploded with panic. “You can’t, her life will be ruined, they’ll arrest her, they won’t care about any of it!”

Harry looked at Pat and then glanced down at the gun. She sighed and sat down at the table, next to her daughter.

“Ella, a man died. Another man – your brother – killed himself thinking he’d killed his own father.”

“I know.” She began to cry again. “I… I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to… I can’t change what’s happened.”

“No.” Harry said, moving towards the doorway of the kitchen. “No, you can’t.”

 

*                *                *

 

Harry stepped outside and closed the door to the big house behind him. Matthew was stood by the back of the taxi, with the same driver who had driven him and Frederick just a day and a half previously. In the distance, the sun was beginning to rise, giving everything the murky glow of crisp morning air.

“I carried your case out.” Matthew said motioning to the boot.

“You didn’t have to do that, Matthew, I – “

“You’re going to stay?

Harry smiled, “I didn’t mean that, I… I just meant I could have carried it myself.”

“Oh. Things didn’t work out with Frederick?”

“What?”

“He came down looking for you. I told him where you were. That was ok, wasn’t it?”

“Some things just aren’t meant to be, Matthew.”

“I didn’t think so. He ran up those stairs pretty fast. He looked really upset.”

Harry picked up his holdall, hoisted it onto his shoulder and approached the driver.

“Dave, isn’t it?” He asked shaking his hand.

“That’s right, Sir.”

“You have a nice Christmas?”

“I’ve had better,” he grunted, “the wife burnt the turkey, my little girl found her way into my stash of rum, and the cat ate one of those bauble things and threw up during the Queen’s speech.”

Harry smiled a sympathetic smile. “You know where you’re going?”

“Yeah, I was posted at the base myself, a few years ago now, mind.”

“Great. Can you give me two minutes?” He asked, motioning to Matthew.

“That wasn’t the one you came with, was it?”

Harry gave him what he hoped was his best withering look and he sheepishly climbed back into the car as Harry tossed his bag onto the back seat. He closed the door, and turned to face Matthew.

“Any time you need to speak to someone, you give me a call.” He said, holding out a piece of card with his number written on it. “No selling that to any of your friends, though.”

“They couldn’t afford it.” Matthew winked at Harry and suddenly he felt very sleazy.

“Matthew, listen to me. With everything that’s gone on, I don’t want you to…” become one of them… “forget how incredibly brave you were, coming out the way you did. You should be proud of yourself, and who you are.”

Matthew smiled sweetly at him. “Thank you. What about you?”

“Excuse me?”

“When are you going to come out?” Harry turned his gaze away from him. “Forget about your career, you really helped me, I couldn’t have got through all this without you. There are hundreds, thousands of other people you could help, just by telling your story.”

“Perhaps. But not right now.”

“Why not?”

“If I come out, people will ask questions. They’ll want to know who I was with, who I am with.”

“So?”

“So, I don’t like questions I don’t know the answers to.” Matthew bowed his head slightly and Harry pulled him into a hug. As he did he saw Ella and Pat step out of the house and stand at the top of the steps. He whispered in Matthew’s ear. “Remember, anytime.”

“Thank you.” He whispered back.

“I’m going to get out of here, before I get a full Cromwell send-off.”

Matthew turned, saw Ella and laughed a little. “Goodbye. Have a happy new year!”

“You too!” Harry cried as he slipped into the back of the taxi.

“How was your Christmas, Mr Hicks?” Dave asked as he pulled the door shut.

“Yours was better.”

“Ouch.”  He slipped a piece of chewing gum into his mouth as he started the engine and began to turn the car around. Harry pulled out Ella’s crumpled up handkerchief and stared down at dark red smear across it.

“Where’s the nearest police station?” He asked as the car began to roll off down the drive.

“There’s one on the way, you want me to stop off?”

Harry turned and looked out the back window at the leaving contingent stood next to each other like a strange collection of Russian dolls. Matthew was waving frantically, and even from a distance Harry could see Pat’s red eyes, the vein twitching nervously in her neck. But Ella seemed almost serene, not happy, but… peaceful.

High above them, orange light filtered out through one of the windows and Harry could see Frederick’s face looking down at him.

“I’ll let you know.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epilogue

 

Saint Sebastian’s Church, Oxfordshire

June, 2011

 

Harry took the order of service from Reece and sidled carefully into the pew at the very back on the side he had gestured to.

“Couldn’t face sitting any closer?”

“I want to be able to make a quick exit.” Harry smiled at the man sitting next to him. “Just in case.”

“I know how you feel.”

“What’s your excuse for sitting back here, then?”

“I don’t know,” the other man said, “I guess it doesn’t feel right that I’m here. I mean, I’ve had sex with the groom. Plus, I’ve heard if a gay man ventures too far inside a church he turns to dust.”

“If that were true there wouldn’t be any priests left.”

The stranger laughed raucously earning himself a severe look from an elderly woman sitting a few rows in front of them. Harry watched him closely for a moment, there was something in his voice that he recognised, and there had only ever been one of Frederick’s exes that he’d had any kind of contact with.

“Graham?”

“That’s the badger.”

“Graham,” Harry smiled, holding out my hand for him to shake, “we’ve spoken on the phone a few times, I’m – “

“I know who you are, Harry.”

“Right. Of course.”

An uncomfortable silence fell between them. Of all the things Harry hated about being famous, not being able to introduce himself to people and never being allowed to make a first impression were perhaps the worst. Most people had moved onto their third or even fourth impression by the time he usually met them for the first time.

“What happened between you two?” He asked, splitting the silence. “The last I heard you were blissfully happy, and now he’s turned straight and is getting married.”

“Would you believe it was all a bet? We wanted to see who could go the furthest pretending to be straight. You know Frederick he’d do anything to win.” Graham smirked at him.

“Of course,” he said, “you don’t have to tell me what went wrong.”

Harry shrugged a little, not sure on how much Graham knew. “It was just one of those things that never would have worked.  Besides, the way he would always talk about her, I guess I should have seen it coming. You knew them both, you must have seen it.”

“I wouldn’t have put any money on it ending like this.”

“It hasn’t yet.”

“What?” Graham sat up straighter and turned his whole body to face Harry. “You’re not saying – you wouldn’t! Would you?”

“No.” Harry shook his head, but couldn’t help but smile. Frederick had always said that Graham had a finely tuned sense of gossip. “No, of course not.”

“I was going to say,” Graham relaxed back in his chair, “those reporters out there would have had a field day.”

“Yeah.” He frowned, remembering the gaggle of photographers who had been stood at the gates of the churchyard. “You know, I didn’t think Freddie would be famous enough to get this much attention.”

“Are you kidding me? After all that stuff that happened with his uncle and his grandfather, that lot were all over the tabloids. Nothing could shift them until that model had that dodgy boob job.”

“I was in America, I didn’t see…”

“Anyway, I don’t think they’re here for him. I think someone told them you were here.”

“Tricia.” Harry rolled his eyes, cursing himself for not realising before as she tottered into the church, clutching a small handbag under one arm.

“Sorry about that sweetie,” she said sitting down next to him and turning her mobile phone off, “but it was Keith, I simply had to take it. Apparently some bigwig at the studio has mentioned the word ‘sequel’!”

“Did you tell the press I was going to be here?”

“Of course I did, darling, I wouldn’t be much of an agent if I hadn’t gotten you into the papers at least once this month, would I?”

“Tricia, this is part of my private life, – “

“Rubbish. You don’t have a private life. Apart from that… kayaking thing.” She said casting a wary glance at Graham. “But forget about that, do you know how much money you can get for a sequel?”

“What about what we talked about in the car? You said it had potential.”

“Oh, honey,” Tricia gave him a pitying smile – the kind you might give a small child who had glued some dried macaroni to their ear and patted his knee, “it does. But it’s quite clear who the story’s based on, you could get sued for libel or slander or whichever one it is that you could get sued for, I’m not in legal.”

“Wow, I’m already intrigued.” Graham smiled. “What story?”

“The epic love story between a struggling screenwriter,” Harry said nodding to Frederick stood up in front of the altar, “and a dashing, Oscar-nominated actor.”

Graham raised an eyebrow. “Something tells me, it doesn’t end well…”

“It doesn’t.” Tricia leaned past me to talk to Graham, “he’s going to implicate a lot of people – including himself – oh! And now me! – in a cover up of a murder.”

“So, we change a few names,” Harry pushed her back as Graham somehow managed to raise his eyebrow even higher, “set it somewhere else. It’s a good story. I want to play it.”

“People would figure it out, Harry. If you play gay in a film that’s clearly based – in part – on actual events, people will realise that you… kayak.”

“I’m not even going to ask how you came up with that code.” Graham sniggered next to him.

“An ex-boyfriend,” Harry smirked flirtatiously, “he had a penis shaped like a paddle.”

“That’s it!” Tricia said dramatically as Graham and Harry both started to laugh. “Get up, get up now.”

“What?” Harry asked, confused, as she pulled him to his feet.

“I’m not having you two sitting there like a couple of… well, like a couple. Come on, we’re swapping places.”

Both Graham and Harry laughed, but he dutifully moved to let her past, and as he did he came face to face with Elizabeth and Victoria.

“Harry, hi!” Elizabeth pulled him into a tight bear-like hug, as Graham got up and hugged Victoria. “It’s so good to see you, how are you?”

“I’m good, thanks, Mrs Cromwell.”

“You left us so suddenly at Christmas, Harry, we didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye.”

“Ah, well, when Tricia calls,” Harry gestured toward to Tricia who had stood up to let Graham back to his seat, “I jump.”

“I see.” Elizabeth waved a small polite wave to Tricia and then turned to whisper to Harry. “Now, what exactly happened between you and Freddie? He never talks about you, won’t tell me a word of what went on.”

“Well, sometimes things don’t just work out.” Harry smiled weakly. “But, if we’d stayed together, we wouldn’t all be here celebrating the wedding, would we?”

“Oh, bless you, my dear, trying to look on the bright side. However, not of all us agree that it’s a good thing.”

“Mum.” Victoria chastised her mother.

“I’m just saying dear, we all know the real reason this wedding’s happening, and it’s not about love.”

“Mum, we talked about this before.”

“Don’t worry. I’m not going to say anything. Though I wouldn’t necessarily discourage anyone else from saying anything.” She looked at Harry, and then slipped her pleading gaze to Graham.

“Right then, ladies,” Reece purposefully looked at Harry as he came over to the three of them, “can we all take our seats? The bride’s ready.”

Elizabeth and Victoria bustled off to the front of the church, as Harry sat back down next to Tricia. An expectant hush came over the room, Reece nodded to the organist and the bridal march began to play.

Frederick turned to face the back of the church as they all stood up and he locked eyes with his former lover. Harry smiled reassuringly at him, and then turned to face the bride as she made her entrance into the church.

“Well, she’s nothing like I imagined,” Harry heard Tricia whisper behind him, “rather plain looking if you ask me. What do you think?”

“I think she’s done well,” Graham commented, “I mean, she was never gorgeous to begin with, she’s actually done quite a good job of scrubbing up.”

“It’s amazing what a bit of money can get you.” Harry whispered over his shoulder.

As the bride made her way to the front of the church, Harry caught sight of Frederick again and felt a pang of longing inside him. It should be me up there, he told himself, it should be me standing beside him.

He closed his eyes and tried to picture the scene, of standing side by side with Frederick in matching tuxedoes, not in a church, but on a beach somewhere, when someone nudged his arm.

“Come on, love, she’s made it to the end without falling, we can sit down now.”

Harry opened his eyes and sighed. He was still in the church, the only person by his side was Tricia, and at the front of the church Frederick was grinning like the Cheshire Cat as he took Ella’s hands in his.

 

*                *                *

 

Harry closed one eye and looked at the room through the sparkling bubbles of his champagne glass. Three rows of tables in front of him, Tricia was dancing merrily with Graham who she hadn’t let out of her sight all evening, Matthew was sat at a table on the edge of the dance floor with an attractive young man and Victoria was dancing with her son and another woman Harry had never met before.

“Who’s that?” He asked as Frederick slipped into a chair beside him. “Dancing with Vicky and Josh?”

“That’s Rebecca. You remember me telling you about her?”

“Ah,” Harry smiled, “the woman who turned you gay. Perhaps I should go and thank her.”

“Perhaps.”

“Of course, we’d have a lot to talk about. She turned you gay, I turned you straight. It’s like a human version of Swingball.”

“Harry, you know it wasn’t like that.”

“Perhaps.” Harry smiled slyly at him.

“What happened to us, Harry?”

“You getting engaged to a woman was probably the final nail in the coffin.”

“I waited,” he said, “I waited for you to call. I guess you’d just forgotten about me.”

“I didn’t forget about you. I was over there, waiting for you to call me.”

“I didn’t think it was my place to call.” Frederick took hold of his hand. “You left me, remember.”

“Ah, but you moved on first. When I heard that you’d proposed to Ella, that you were getting married, I kind of stopped waiting for that phone call.”

“You gave up?”

“I never gave up.” Harry whispered. “I still hadn’t given up at eight o’clock this morning. I was all set to come here and stop the wedding.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“I told Tricia the story on the way up here, about your grandfather. About Robert. It kind of opened up some old wounds.” They both looked over at Tricia, more to avoid looking at each other, than for any other reason. “Besides, can you imagine her face when those headlines hit? ‘Hollywood Homo Halts Hitch’ or something like that.”

“You never were a writer.” Frederick smirked.

“There’s one thing I’ve been wanting to ask you.”

“Yeah?”

“How did you propose to her? Did you get down on one knee?”

“I never did propose. Not really.” Frederick shrugged. “She and Pat – mainly Pat, actually – came to me and told me everything. It was Pat who suggested the wedding, that way I got my inheritance, and Ella was finally able to become part of the family.”

“And then when you divorce, she gets half of everything.”

“I quite liked that bit,” Frederick smirked, “Grandpa wanted to keep everything in the family, it still will be.”

“What about the baby bit? She’s your aunt, Freddie, don’t tell me you’re actually going to – “

“Oh, God, no, not even if she wasn’t related. I mean, sex with a woman? No, we’ll find a way around that bit.” He shrugged nonchalantly. “We’ve got a bit of time before we really have to worry about that. Gregory seems to be on our side, I’m sure he’ll find some kind of legal loophole for us. We were thinking, perhaps Reece.”

“Reece? Freddie, he’s – ”

“Nobody really believes that Uncle Gary was Reece and Matthew’s father. Aunt Nicola kind of put it about a bit. Still, it keeps it in the family. Sort of.”

“Keeping it in the family.” Harry smiled. “That ought to be the Cromwell family motto. Still, after what he did – “

“This doesn’t have to be the end for you and me, you know.”

“Excuse me?”

“Come on, this is perfect for us. We can be together, and we can keep it a secret. You won’t ever have to worry that I might screw things up for your career, because if it ever comes out, I lose my inheritance.”

“I wouldn’t exactly call that perfect, Freddie.”

“It’s a no, then?”

“I think it’s for the best.” Harry said standing up and gesturing to Tricia. “Listen, mate, it’s time for us to be making a move.”

“Right. Mate.” Frederick followed him to his feet and held out his hand. Harry ignored it and pulled him in for a hug.

He held Frederick tightly against his body, and for a moment he could feel his heart beating against his chest. He turned his head and kissed the groom gently on his cheek, and, as he did, something inside him snapped, some urge took over and he moved Frederick’s head so their lips could meet.

As they kissed, Harry ran his hands through his hair and he could feel Frederick’s stretching down his back. Suddenly, he felt a figure come between them, and move them apart.

“Harry!” Ella smiled a cold, plastic smile. “Tricia tells me the two of you are leaving. It’s such a shame we didn’t get to see each other properly.”

“Yeah.” Harry said looking straight past her at Frederick, who was simply staring back, red-eyed. Ella had been avoiding him all night and Harry didn’t intend to start niceties with her now.

“Can we… err… can we get out of here before I vomit?” Tricia thrust her small handbag into Harry’s arms, as she clasped one hand to her mouth. Her other hand held her matching red shoes by the straps.

“Yeah, sure,” Harry said, smiling at her and putting his arm around her to keep her upright, “I guess now’s the time that I wish you luck.”

“Well, err, thanks for coming.” Frederick nodded to him as they made their way over to the door.

“Yes.” Ella stopped and took his free hand in hers. “Thank you.”

Harry nodded back, silently, and led Tricia outside.

“I’m proud of you,” Tricia slurred as they stumbled across the gravel courtyard of the hotel, “I was worried you were going to do something stupid, but you were really brave.”

“Thanks, darling,” He smiled at her as they neared the gaggle of remaining photographers and the flashbulbs started going off again, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

“Harry!”

He turned to see a figure racing towards him down the front steps of the hotel. “Tricia, honey, why don’t you get back to the car? I’ll catch you up in a minute.”

He passed her back her handbag as she nodded and staggered off. Harry turned to face the young man approaching him.

“Harry,” Matthew sighed, slightly out of breath as he caught up with him, “are you going? We didn’t get a chance to talk.”

“You’ve been busy.” Harry smirked at him.

“That’s my… that’s my boyfriend.” He grinned broadly. “That’s Dean.”

Harry searched around in his memory for the name. “Dean the Prick?”

“Yeah.” Matthew laughed. “I still call him that, actually.”

“I bet you do. He’s cute.”

“What about you?”

“Well, I’m cute too.”

“No,” Matthew said, gaining a serious look on his face, “you got a new boyfriend yet?”

“No. It’s been a while since I met anyone, been busy with work, you know.”

“I’ve been waiting, you know.”

“I told you before,” Harry sighed, “things would never have worked out between us.”

Matthew laughed a little. “Not for that. You said the time wasn’t right before. Well, when is it going to be right? Or are you always going to come up with an excuse?”

“Tricia would go mad.”

“Forget about her. Maybe if you came out, maybe if you were allowed to be yourself, you might find someone.”

Harry looked from the young man in front of him, to Tricia being helped into the car by the driver and finally over to the photographers who all seemed to have woken up a little.

“Oh, what the hell.” Harry grinned at Matthew. “Tell Dean I’m sorry.”

“Sorry?”

He pulled Matthew in tightly and started to kiss him passionately. They fell against a tree, lips crashing against each other. Man on man. Crotch on crotch.

Harry felt a hand on his shoulder pulling him away and he turned around to find a now very sober and very angry Tricia glowering at him.

“Get off of him!” The side of her face was illuminated by half a dozen flashing cameras and made her look ever scarier than usual. The reporters over to the side were desperately shouting Harry’s name. He moved away from Tricia, toward the gaggle of photographers and reporters, approaching an attractive young man.

“Do you have a card? I want to give you… an exclusive.”

Tricia dragged him away once again. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Harry laughed and began to walk away, towards the car, calling back over his shoulder as he went. “Just… kayaking.”

 

 

The End

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