Segments - 15 - Revelations

01 - Meeting Her

02 - The Services

03 - Exeter Hotel

04 - Christmas

05 - New Year

06 - The Old Man

07 - Why He Started

08 - Cambridge

09 - Norwich

10 - The Party

11 - Millau

12 - Heading East

13 - Nice in Nice

14 - Making Progress

15 - Revelations

16 - Doubts

17 - The Connection

18 - Levelling

19 - Space

20 - Finale

This time he wakes up in a hospital. Shit! His first thoughts are about his rucksack and all his belongings. He scans the room. Damn it's not here. Anyway, why is he here? He normally just gets up from these turns. He flusters around in the bed to find he's dizzy and confused, he can't focus. A nurse comes up to him.

"Hello Mr Willows, calm down please." She's surly and built like a small tank.
"Why, what, what's happened?"
"You've been here a day or so Mr Willows."
"Where's...whoa " his head is still spinning "Where's my stuff?"
"You mean that scruffy bag of yours, well that is in the nurse's bay."
"So, why am I here?"

It seems when he collapsed and went into his zone that he was on a quiet road. He must have been there for some time and apparently became hypothermic, just as he suspected. A driver found him, called an ambulance and they've had him in a warm room until this morning.

There follows a long wait. He feels stupid, guilty about all the fuss and cross with himself for not looking after himself properly. Maybe it was hunger, maybe it was the cold. Maybe his funny turns are getting more severe.

A doctor asks him many many questions. Clem doesn't want to explain, he just wants to feel a little less spaced out and leave. He's being evasive with the Doctor, although he knows he shouldn't be. Another long wait, at least his head is starting to clear, and he's getting bored. A policeman arrives. He wants to know if Clem is a vagrant or a tramp, how he supports himself, why he's not at home with a job and a career and a wife and all the usual shit that people are supposed to do. He's evasive with the copper too.

The nurses will not release him unless a family member can come and collect him. He sure as hell ain't going back to his mothers like this, that is definite. He asks for his rucksack. The matron is reluctant till Clem explains about the phone, to, well, you know, call a relative? She stands over him like a naughty child as he gets the phone out. Who to call?

The matron is called away and he considers just walking out quietly. Mind you, he's in silly hospital pyjamas and getting dressed without Attila the matron seeing would be mission impossible. He giggles to himself, that's better, that's more like the Clem he wants to be. Instead he switches on the tablet and settles back into the bed. Sod it, there's food, drink and it's warm, apart from the groans of the wimpy youth in the next bay who's got am infected splinter in his backside. This ain't so bad.

It is very late in the evening when there is a fuss at the nurse's station. Clem looks up, there's an old codger starting to get irate at a young nurse. The bent over old timer turns around, it's the old man! With the tablet on he'd half hoped for Tabs, er, Joanna but the old man is here!

He is released into the old man's care. "Stupid boy. Hypothermia."
"I know."
"You should know better, you've been doing this long enough."
"I was, erm, distracted."
"Understandable. Joanna Ruth Kemmet. Lucky boy! She's a looker isn't she."
"Yeah." He feels half proud of her and also embarrassed.
"I've found her agent, her publisher and her ex husband."
"ooooooh, the enigmatic husband!"
"Doing time at her majesty's pleasure in Strangeways, Manchester."
"Blimey, what for?" Clem is scared he's a nut job and when he finds out about Clem he's going to have a contract taken out on him.
"He embezzled fortunes from a company he used to run. A big case. He only got arrested for it around a year ago, the court case was completed in October. He's due to be transferred soon." Phew, Clem relaxes.

It seems the old man tracked Clem down through the tablet's tracking app and when he realised it was placing him in the hospital he drove straight over. Clem is thankful. The old man has also spoken to her agent about her latest work, pretending to be a journalist from a local newspaper. All he was told is that her latest book will be fresh, exciting and possibly in a new direction for her. That sounds like marketing nonsense to both of them. The old man drives on into the night towards his home in Derbyshire, Clem has to turn the heating down, the old man seems determined for Clem not to get cold again.

The old man's house looks just a little different. It is in fact untidy, not by normal standards but from Clem's first visit there are a couple of notepads at odd angles on the desk. The phone is out of position on the cabinet next to the desk. There is a coat across the back of the chair and, shock horror, there are 2 empty and unwashed cups beside the sink. It looks like the old man left in a hurry to collect him.

It's late and the old man ensures the heating will remain on and that Clem has his sleeping bag all ready to go. As he settles down Clem is thankful for friends like the old man. He's right though, he needs to be more careful about looking after himself. He needs to be more organised, ensure he has good food, somewhere to sleep and suitable provisions. It is so much comfier in the warmth of the house and the comfort of the settee.

Is it time to stop travelling? He can't travel forever, either he'll die on the road or end up like the old man and by then he'll be too unfit to survive cold winter nights, tents and doorways. Who's he trying to kid, he's already proved he might not be up to the job at this age after the last few day's shenanigans. The warmth soon sends him off to sleep.

"Porn Queen, Angela Stocksmith, was a lure, she was bait." The old man's comments come out of the blue as Clem opens his eyes in the harsh electric light that's just come on. "She was meant to catch your eye, to be noticed."
"Eh, what?"
"Wake up boy. I've been thinking. Tea?"
"Yeah, urgh, yes, please"

With tea in his hand and a slice of buttered toast Clem remains in his sleeping bag, warm and snug while the old man sits on the edge of the settee. He looks younger, more upright and alert. There's life back in his eyes, Clem recognises the sparkle of excitement. It reminds him of Mandy. That reminds him of Joanna, Tabitha, her. This thought lifts him then drops him then lifts him again. Bloody emotions, stop it!

"Angela Stocksmith is a striking woman, correct boy?"
"Yes"
"You noticed her most amongst all the other young girls and other women, you noticed her?"
"Yes, what man wouldn't"
"That's the point, that is why Joanna hired her."
"So she, eh, what?"
"Joanna is a fine looking woman but she doesn't stand out, men don't gawk at her like they gawk at Angela. If you want to grab the attention you need an Angela."
"Ok, I'm with you so far."
"Angela is available for hire. Normally as eye candy at grand openings or if we read between the lines as an escort. Joanna hired her to get your attention."
"Eh? Why me? Every bloke was ogling her that night."
"That as yet is a mystery. Joanna was targeting you though."
"I don't know. She, well, they both blanked me in the first pub after Porn...I mean Angela had introduced herself."
"Yes, a risky tactic but I think Joanna didn't want to make you feel targeted, not right away."
"Er...."
"They, well Joanna watched you leave the first pub and would have followed you to the next, waiting outside to make it less obvious."
"Right." Clem can sort of picture this in his head, it still doesn't answer the real question, why him.
"She then talks to you properly. She makes some mistakes in not being too curious about your travelling or your sleeping arrangements. It's not a perfect deception." The old man goes on to further prove his theory with the clothes of the correct size.

"You didn't have sex, on that first night you simply did rude things on a night dress."
Clem cannot believe the old man's recall, or just how much information he'd told him. "No, that's right."
"Joanna is not then prepared to sell out her body for whatever it is she's after." Clem feels a little sick. Maybe the whole thing about his cum on the nightie was a fake. If that's the case maybe the whole cum on her panties, on her stomach, on her dress, maybe that was all a fake too. He knows women lie about such things. His male ego, his manhood, is taking a dive. He reaches into the bag, pulls out the tablet and makes sure it is switched off.

"How did she find me the next time, at the services, to give me this new tablet with the tracking software?"
"I can't be certain but it is likely she hired a private detective to follow you. That is expensive, hence the tablet trick, much much cheaper." Damn, that makes sense too.
"So the rest of her 'magic' we understand. Except that she seems to know my desires. She knows I like cute dresses, she knows I like bondage. This thing with the cane, the spanking, it's something I've thought about but never told anyone."
"That is still unanswered. Who would know?" Clem is still feeling shock at the destruction of his sexual prowess, he's beyond worrying about he old man's sensibilities now.
"Mandy, but she's gone. Maybe, just maybe one or two ex girlfriends would know about the dressing up but definitely not the bondage. It took ages before I told Mandy and she was never really into it."

The old man ponders for a while. Clem in the meantime is feeling deflated. He was sure, certain, positive that she was as much into their play as he was. Now he's doubting. Now the old man has sown a seed and it is growing rapidly in his mind. If she's been playing him well she sure as hell has been playing him good and proper, like a virtuoso. The old man doesn't understand. He's completely obsessed with the mystery. It's another puzzle for him to solve, Clem reckons he loves a puzzle. He wants to cry.

"I'm a hacker Clem. Most people see hackers as fat young men in darkened rooms trying to gain access to the CIA or MI6. A lot of hacking involves learning technical tricks and lots of knowledge. An important part of that knowledge is social hacking. What is the best way to ascertain someone's password?"
"I, er, well...keyboard logger, watch them type it?"
"Ask. Just ask them. It's how you ask. It's the context of the question. And trust. Like it or not Clem you have an ego. Your ego believes you are an OK looking guy. As such when a good looking woman such as Joanna Ruth Kemmet is hitting on you, you can not see any reason why she would not."
"Steady on!" he's offended "I had my doubts."
"Yes, but not sufficient to stop you."
"Would you have stopped?"
"No, no I wouldn't. Not in my youth anyway. I never had such chances, I was too busy being what my few friends called a 'nerd'"

Clem sees some more truths. The old man probably didn't have much of a typical life. Never married, always lived with his parents, maybe just a handful of girlfriends and completely engaged with technology both at work and home. Now, in his dotage, the old man fills his time with trying to keep pace with technology, and succeeding, and now it seems living his life vicariously through Clem and his blog.

"Do not give up hope Clem. You say that your relationship has become more intimate, more involved, she is warmer to you. I think she started out with some other plan, but now she is falling for you. I think she used her magic to capture you, but it is backfiring, you are starting to capture her. You must be doing something right." Clem's ego can see a light at the end of the tunnel, some hope, something to cling to. "What are your feelings for her?"
"Up until your explanation, I liked her. Now I'm not so sure, I feel used."
"I see it like this. You should stay with her, either you will find out what is going on and hate her for it, or you will find out what is going on and love her for it."
"...love..."
"No Clem, I don't understand it. But you understand what I mean."
"Yes." He does.

Clem spends another 2 nights at the old man's place. He is grilled for more and more details, at first it's a welcome distraction from his own self pity but by the third day he's had more than enough. The weather has moved from icy frosts back to the good old windy, wet and turgid conditions that British winters excel in. It's time to move on before the old man drives him insane. He needs to walk, to move, to be doing something, going somewhere. The old man is sorry to see him go.

At least as he walks he can think more clearly. He feels physically better, the old man has fed him up and Clem is resolved to look after himself better. Emotionally though he's a bit of a mess. His mind moves from wanting her and for her to truly want him right through to planning her murder and the disposal of the body. The bitch! Oh but my how good did she look in that cute pink dress? Who cares? PVC shorts, hmmm, he could tolerate being played for that. She's a psycho cow who uses people for her own entertainment. I'm going to tie her up then really torture her. Imagine her, tied up, in the pink dress or the long flowing skirt, butt plug, looking at him and talking like a sweet wittle guwl. Aaarrrgh!

The old man is right. The Porn Queen was a lure. The clothes that fit were for him. She must have had him followed. Everything was for him. No-one else. Him. Why him?