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Sunday was quiet and an anticlimax for the boys except when they watched television. The TV company had sold the documentary and it seemed to be on some channel all day. Every discussion and political programme seemed to be discussing them and the issues raised. Phone in programmes were dominated by people talking about their own experiences with the Inspectorate.
During the day discussions switched to Brian and his hearing. Everyone agreed that he had acted bravely and had seen a difficult task through. When the conversation turned to how much it should affect his sentencing they tended to break down into arguments for and against grading. No one wanted to commit themselves.
Danny's parents visited while Paul and Adam spent the day with Adam's parents. Adam had more or less announced that he was gay on national television so they spent the day fielding questions from bemused relatives and family friends.
Rob had got a phone call from the foster parents he had originally stayed with, congratulating him on how well he was doing. Much to his surprise he also got a phone call from his mother. It was the first time he had spoken to her since his step-father had chucked him out. It was a happy but tearful reconciliation for them both. Then his step-father spoke to him asking him to come home.
Rob could tell from the tone of his voice that he was only only making the offer on his his mother's insistence. He had got used to sleeping in the bunkhouse. He did not like Ryan much because of his sullenness. Since Rob was ungraded David automatically treated him like a master and was always willing to serve him or just talk. Like Brian and Ethan he wanted to feel as though he wanted to contribute something and was proud to have been asked to help Ethan should anything happen to Craig.
He heard the relief in his step-father's voice when he made it clear that he wanted to stay with Craig but they did agree that they should visit each other.
Brian and Ethan discussed their relationship with Craig.
“Why do you want to be Ethan's servant?” Craig asked
When I'm graded that's all I'll ever be.” Brian replied, “This way I get to choose my master. I've seen how you treat Paul, David and Ryan. They feel part of things and not just slaves.”
“You know the rules with Adam and Paul. Adam is in charge which means he gets punished if Paul fouls up. He has to punish Paul. That's because if they want sex then Adam must call the shots. Do you understand?”
Ethan and Paul nodded.
“I might feel differently later.” Brian said, “but all my decisions seem to have got me into trouble. I'd like Ethan to make them for me for a while.”
“Your decision making at the mall was pretty good. You timed everything just right.”
Craig turned to Ethan.
“Depending on what happens at his hearing Brian may do more work for the P.I.”
“That's OK.” Ethan replied, “It's like Paul being your steward and Adam's servant. Adam has to let the steward thing come first.”
Craig gave his approval to the arrangement and the boys trotted happily off.
They were now well into the school summer break except for Craig who still needed to complete his catch up program and so Craig found himself busy in the office. Rob still worked for Mr Crosis and Danny continued his voluntary work during the day. Only Adam and Ethan were free to enjoy summer. Brian joined in with their fun but he found himself doing a lot of fetching and carrying.
On Monday afternoon Craig was still in the office with Tom when Graham, their lawyer, rang to tell them that the Hollis' had applied for custody of Brian and that a hearing had been set for Wednesday.
“The CSC's learning.” Graham chuckled, “They haven't bothered to come storming up to you and demanding you sign their papers.”
Brian nearly had hysterics when he heard the news. He was just beginning to feel settled and as if he belonged somewhere. He did not want to be uprooted again.
Craig recognised Reg Lyons from the previous hearing. He liked Reg and was willing to chat to him.
“I've had enough of the CSC.“ Reg said, “I'm going back into private practice. This guy Redmond is collecting a load of papers which he says has only just come into his possession. I don't know what they are and all he wants me to do is cover his back with any legal support he needs.”
Reg continued, “He can make a fool of himself if he likes but he could drag me down as well.”
“It's time to go in.” Graham said, “I won't go after you more than I have to.”
Reg nodded his thanks as they entered the courtroom.
They were before Judge Winters again and he greeted the two lawyers before smiling at Craig.
“It's good to see you again, young man.” he said.
Brian's ideas of courtroom procedures came from TV dramas where everything seemed so confrontational. It seemed strange that it was so informal.
“Are you ready with your case, Mr. Lyons.” the judge asked.
“Mr Redmond has most of the papers connected with the CSC's case, Your Honour, “Reg answered, “Mr and Mrs Hollis have applied for custody of their son Brian. He is a ward of Craig Ryder and Brian has indicated that he would prefer to stay with Mr. Ryder.”
At that moment Mr. Redmond arrived and sat down with Reg.
“Just in time, Mr. Redmond,” Judge Winters said coldly. “What are these papers that could not have been disclosed before.”
“I'm sorry, Your Honour.” Mr Redmond replied, “It was a clerical error and they were mislaid. There have been a number of resignations lately. Good people who have been driven out by the investigations and the shortages of experienced are beginning to cause real problems.”
“I'll accept that argument as I am aware of the results of some of these investigations. Brian Hollis will be granted an adjournment if he needs time to refute any argument.”
“Thank you, Your Honour. Mr. and Mrs Hollis have applied to have their son returned to their custody. The CSC supports this application.
“One of the few good results from the investigations into the Inspectorate is that we think that the original investigation into Hollis' assault on his supervisor may have been faulty. We think the investigator may have been over keen to produce a clear statement and accidentally put words into his mouth. We think Brian should be returned home so we can look into this further and prepare a proper defence for him. His parents have indicated that they will make him cooperate in another investigation which involves the behaviour of Craig Ryder and his fitness to act as guardian. If I can submit these statements against Mr Ryder?”
“Let's deal with these issues one at a time.” Judge Winters said. “You're saying that the supervisor may have been intimidated by one of your inspectors and his statement exaggerated the incident.
“I wouldn't say intimidated, Your Honour.” Mr. Redmond replied, “When Brian is returned to his parents we'll be able to investigate the matter.”
“Why can't you investigate the matter now?”
“The Ryder boy has a history of defying the CSC and non-cooperation. Any investigation would be hindered and disrupted by him which would be harmful to Brian Hollis.”
“I accept that argument. I am aware of the bad feeling between Mr. Ryder and the Inspectorate. After last Saturday's broadcast I think the whole country is.
Judge Winters continued, “However, we do not accept that an investigation should be conditional on Brian returning home.
“This case is a custody hearing and we cannot deal with the assault now. I am prepared to make time later in the week to review the statement. I will speak to the supervisor and I will agree that any errors in his written statements were as a result of bad procedures and will not result in his prosecution for misrepresentation.”
“Your Honour. I wish to object to that decision. The boy will not return home without some persuasion.”
“Mr. Redmond. I could interpret that statement as blackmail. Either the statement is wrong or it is not. I will investigate it but it will not affect my decision here. Before you argue further I suggest you take advice from your counsel.”
Mr. Redmond sat down and sorted through his papers.
“You wish to challenge Mr. Ryder's fitness as a guardian?” Judge Winters exclaimed impatiently.”
“Yes, Your Honour. There is evidence of inappropriate sexual activity at the Ryder residence. The boy Adam Smith would appear to be at risk from a grader with whom he is forced to share his quarters. This grader has a history of violence.
“Most seriously of all I have a statement from a Lindsay Tyler and a supporting statement from her father saying that she was raped by Craig Ryder.”
There was a stunned silence in the court room. Craig lost all the colour from his face as he considered the implications of the accusation. It was a clear grade one offence.
“That is very serious accusation. Have the police been informed?”
“No, Your Honour.” Mr Redmond said confidently, “I have convinced Mr. Tyler that it would be better if the CSC investigated the matter and decided what provision could be made for Lindsay and the baby. I'm sorry, I should have said. She's pregnant.
“In the circumstances, I submit that the Ryder household is not a suitable environment for Brian Hollis to remain in when he could be returned to his parents.”
“Mr. Baxter?” the judge asked.
Graham had quickly read through the statement. He looked puzzled as he checked he his diary.
“Your Honour.” he began, “Could you check the court computer. I need to verify the date of Craig Ryders case before this court.”
Judge Winters was beginning to get annoyed. Mr. Redmond had obviously ambushed this case and now it looked as if Graham Baxter was going off on his own tangent. The irritation showed in his voice as he supplied the information.
“Thank you, Your Honour. I'm afraid I must ask for that adjournment as Mr. Ryder needs to instruct another lawyer. I'm afraid that I can't represent him on this matter.”
For Mr. Redmond this was his moment of victory. He thought that Graham was abandoning a lost cause. So did others in the court.
“That decision puts your client in a bad light,” Judge Winters said, “Would you explain, please.”
“The statement says that the incident occurred on the night of Craig's appearance before you at a party at the residence of Mr. Crosis. I was at that party and I will probably be called as a witness for defence. I cannot be a lawyer and a witness in the same case.”
Reg Lyons, stood up, “Your Honour, I can no longer act for the CSC. I was at that party and I would also expect to be a defence witness.”
Judge Winters looked furious.
“Mr. Redmond. I don't know what you think you're playing at but I will not have you disrupting my court in this manner. Those papers should have been sent to the police ages ago. You initiated this hearing. Either you knew that the papers were not ready, in which case, you should have applied for a later date or you deliberately set out to use this court for your own ends.
“You have only succeeded in embarrassing two respected members of the legal profession. You will be held by the court bailiff while I consider whether you are in contempt of court.”
Judge Winters continued in a calmer tone, “Mr. Baxter. Mr. Lyons. This is a custody hearing. We do not have to question the contents of these statements and compromise your position. I would be grateful if you would continue for the sake of Brian Hollis.”
“Thank you, Your Honour.” Graham replied, “I can continue on that basis.
“Your Honour, I cannot continue to represent the CSC under any circumstances. If I had been made aware of these documents beforehand I would have advised against revealing them here for the first time. My situation has been too badly compromised for me to continue.”
“I understand.” Judge Winters replied, “Since Mr. Redmond has conducted this case without the benefit of legal advice, I see no reason why he should not continue to do so.”
The judge paused.
“Perhaps we can return to the case in hand. If Brian was a female then the statements might be more relevant but he has been a member of the Ryder household for some time and by Mr. Redmond's own admission, he will not leave freely of his own consent.
“I think that this would be a good time to speak with Mr. and Mrs Hollis. Where are they?”
“They are not here, Your Honour.” Mr. Redmond replied, “They thought it best to leave things to the CSC.”
“Leaving it to the CSC is one thing. Showing no interest is another. Have they had any contact with Brian or have they applied for any? There's no reference to it in your documents.”
“None that I know of.” Mr. Redmond replied.
All of his tactics had worked before in previous cases. Now none of them seemed to. He had successfully made the accusation against Craig as public as possible but he realised he was in deep trouble. Even now, he did not see what he done wrong. He had tried to look after the Inspectorates interests and tried to ensure that all these brats were kept firmly in line. So what if he had cut a few corners. If it had not been for these fucking lawyers Craig and his gang would be under control and all the fuss would die down.
Judge Winters began his summing up.
“Very well. I see no reason why Brian should be moved at this stage. Whatever faults Craig Ryder might have in other directions, boys seem to flourish under his control. The faults I am referring to are, in any case, allegations which may be rigorously denied. I will however waive the three month rule and allow the case to be brought back if the police investigation produces sufficient cause for concern. This case is now dealt with.”
Everyone expected the judge to rise but he remained seated and spoke again.
“Mr. Redmond, I am very concerned that you used potential evidence in an attempt to coerce an individual before this court. I will pass the details onto the team investigating your department and let them deal with it.
“You may leave now.”
As Mr. Redmond made his exit the judge spoke again.
“Craig, I would like to speak to you. If it is convenient would you and your friends join me in my chambers.”
As they followed the Judge Winters, Craig wondered what was going on.
After they had all made themselves comfortable the judge spoke again.
“It's obvious the Inspectorate are after you. If there's any truth in these statements you would do well to deal with CSC. If you're innocent then you should fight it. You've got a couple of powerful witnesses which will give you a pretty strong defence.”
Craig nodded, relieved that Judge Winters seemed to be on his side.
“I can't do much to help you but Mr. Baxter's enquiry about dates refreshed my memory of the previous hearing. It is this court and not the Inspectorate who should monitor your behaviour.
“It does give me an excuse to have this conversation. Do you object to me talking to you, Craig?”
“No sir, I mean, Your Honour.” Craig replied, “I need any help that I can get.”
“I would like you to consider temporary grading through this court for your own protection. The police and the Inspectorate would be answerable to me for your treatment. I expect the CSC to apply on the grounds that you may not willingly cooperate with the police investigation and the police could also apply if they thought it could help. In either of those cases the Inspectorate would be responsible for your treatment.
“I have another case. Stay here and discuss it with Mr. Baxter. You might want to consider possible nominees and get in touch with them.”
When the judge left them Craig turned to Graham desperate for reassurance.
“It's not a bad idea,” Graham said, “The nominee represents the court and you'll be answerable to him or her. It depends who would be acceptable.”
“How about Rob and Ethan like we said in the will.” Craig asked.
“I suggest someone who can't profit or lose out of all this. I'm not saying Ethan would misuse the the situation but I'm a lawyer and you need someone who can't take too much advantage.”
“Liam or Mrs Brassom. Liam would be better if he could move in.”
“I know the Brassom's. I can't say Mrs Brassom is such a good choice and I can't see her agreeing to get involved in anything as sordid as a rape case. We'll give it a try. If you've got their numbers I'll give them a call.”
To Mr. Baxter's surprise, Mrs Brassom not only agreed, she would come straight to the court. Liam was out with friends but she promised to phone him and ask him to join her there.
Judge Winters next case lasted longer than Brian's which allowed time for Liam and Mrs Brassom to arrive. He had also left instructions that anyone asking for Graham should be shown to his chambers so Mrs Brassom was quite happy when she was met by an usher, escorted past large signs saying 'No admittance to the public' and the tea she was offered came in china cups rather than the plastic ones found in the cafeteria.
As Graham explained the morning events she was shocked that Craig might have done such a thing then began to understand the impact of the CSC's actions.
“If these statements had been handed to the police they could have handled it more delicately as befits a person of Craig's position.” she said, “He could have made his statement and the witnesses given theirs. Now he has to be treated as a common criminal, arrested and everything because everyone will be watching and the police have to be seen doing their job. Is that the situation?”
“That just about sums it up.” Graham replied, “I can't comment on what we saw until after I have given my statement but I do not believe there was any force used.”
“I know everyone laughs at my attitudes but I'm doing my best for my family.” she said, “I will not act as nominee because if it goes wrong for Craig then it would hurt them especially Liam. I'm not happy about Liam being involved in this sort of thing but if the judge agrees then I think he should do it.”
“Why can't you forget the right people crap for once.” Liam snapped, “You know you like Craig so help your friends for once.”
“She is helping.” Craig said quietly, “Your mother is protecting you while you are protecting me. If it does go wrong for me she can blame you being involved on misguided loyalty or something.”
“I was going to look for a holiday job. This'll be more fun but I'll have to move in, won't I?”
“Let's wait and see what Judge Winters says about it all before we get into details.”Graham said, “He may think Liam is too young.
“Craig's two years younger and he has to deal with everything.” Brian exclaimed.
“Craig took it all on because of circumstances almost by accident.” Graham replied, “Don't forget this all started because the CSC was concerned about his age.”
They lapsed into a thoughtful silence until the judge returned.
He knew Mrs Brassom from various functions they had attended and greeted her warmly. Graham explained their idea of making Liam nominee.
“Laws regarding appropriate ages date back to before grading. Minimum age for a driving licence, buying alcohol and that sort of thing. When it comes to more general situations, there are guidelines going back but the basic question comes down to individuals taking responsibility for themselves.
“In this case the guidelines would say that Liam is too young. Craig meets the self-supporting requirements which means he does not need a guardian. He is responsible for his own future and I can be guided by his decision.
“I only have one concern which can easily be dealt with. I suggested Craig take temporary grading as it is only way of providing him with a guardian on a short term basis.
A guardian has a right to be informed of anything that happens to his ward and can intervene if his interests are at risk. The law is a bit strange but technically Craig is his own guardian which means he knows what's happening to himself but he may not be in a position to intervene.
”Normally the CSC would intervene and in their usual tactful way Craig would be invited to sign his rights over to them. Surprisingly enough, this part of the system usually works well. Even the Inspectorate has to be careful when dealing with the police.”
“Which brings me back to my concern. Would Liam be forceful enough to insist on his rights, or rather the courts rights when dealing with the police?”
“I'm used to forceful authority” Liam smiled, “I have to stand up to mother all the time.”
“This is serious.” Judge Winters said sternly in spite of the laughter in his eyes. “You would have to call Mr. Baxter at the slightest problem even if half the local police and the Inspectorate were staring at you.”
“I'm not joking if I say that mum supports Craig,” Liam replied firmly, “If I fouled up like that my life wouldn't be worth living.”
“Well, you're standing up to me at the moment so that's a good sign. If it's what Craig wants I'll agree.”
“Excuse me but I don't think it's fair that Craig should be graded like this.” Brian suddenly interjected, “He's done nothing wrong so why should he be punished?”
“If the judge doesn't get me, someone else will.” Craig replied trying to cheer Brian up, ”Would you prefer Mr. Redmond to be the nominee for the CSC?”
“No way.” Brian yelled then in a calmer voice, “It's just until the investigation is over, isn't it?”
“I'm making the order out now.” Judge Winters replied, “You can read it for yourself before Liam takes it to grading. How does that sound?”
As their lawyer, Graham read it first, followed by Mrs Brassom before the boys solemnly took their turn. Judge Winters and Liam signed it at the relevant parts before Liam headed over to grading to pick up the chain.
Craig swallowed nervously when he saw it but picked it up and attached it around his neck himself.
The meeting was over and Judge Winters began checking his calls.
“It seems that Mr. Redmond could not restrain himself.” he said grimly, “It seems that he has handed over the statements to the police and has applied for their own temporary grading. It's the tracker in this chain that was activated first so it's the one that's valid.
“Craig will be arrested as soon he leaves these chambers. Liam! Inform the arresting officer that Mr. Baxter is a witness and demand that he makes a statement immediately. If Mr. Lyons is still available then do the same thing. They don't have to take those statements at your request but make it clear that I will be monitoring events. Craig will not be allowed a lawyer while he is in police custody but you're entitled to one to monitor his handling and can demand reasonable time to find one.
“That should be enough to show that you mean business.”
Liam nodded nervously. When they left chambers and were confronted by the police and Mr. Redmond, Liam handled himself extremely well. Mr. Redmond was furious that he had been out-manoeuvred again but the policeman took it in his stride. He was almost apologetic as he made Craig strip and then restrained him as Brian had been on their first meeting. It was standard procedure for a grade one offence. A second officer had covered Craig with a taser stun gun but once Craig was secured he disappeared on other duties.
He put Craig into a cell and disappeared. Unbeknown to Craig he was was looking for Reg Lyons in order to get his account of events.
If Craig had been over twenty five he would have been treated with far more respect. He would have probably been taken to the café and sat chatting to one officer while the other went to find Reg. At his age, even if he had stayed grade five Craig was treated as if he was already two or one. It was a serious crime and it would be investigated thoroughly. Craig's needs were not a concern.
The cell was dark and quiet and featureless except for a hole in the floor in a corner with the word 'Toilet' written on the wall above it. He noticed that the floor sloped gently towards the hole and had noticed the hoses on the corridor wall opposite the cells.
While Craig contemplated the plumbing arrangements of the cells. The police officer was sitting comfortably with Reg in the cafeteria drinking coffee and listening to Reg's account of the party. Reg was explaining how Craig and Lindsay spent most of the evening in each others arms and were loving and passionate when Lindsay went home with her father. He also explained how when they had disappeared into the garden together, Lindsay had been pulling Craig along. His guess was that they had been careless over contraception and Lindsay had panicked.
The officer got a similar story from Graham except that Mr. Baxter refused to speculate on Lindsay's motives for making the story up.
The investigating officer had said that now that Graham had given his statement he would have no objections to Graham continuing to look after Craig's interests. Craig was not entitled to speak with anyone or have representation until after he had made his own statement. Graham could watch the proceedings via cameras. A member of the inspectorate was entitled to observe together with a member of the independent complaints commission.
The interrogation would be an ordeal for Craig but there were rules the police had to follow. For example, in order for the tapes and any statement Craig made to be admissible in court, Craig would have to give information that the police did not already possess. This meant the police had to be careful about leading questions or planting a name in order to bully Craig into implicating him. The basic idea was that any information supplied would be sound and reliable but there would be little concern for Craig's well being until the police were sure that he had divulged everything he knew.
The CSC Inspectorate were deemed to be helping their clients and so checks and balances like this had been considered unnecessary.
Graham advised Liam and Brian to go home. They would not be allowed to see Craig before he was taken to the station. He told them that the the CSC had put the police in a difficult situation and that the Inspectorate were as arrogant towards them as every body else so, if anything, the police were on Craig's side but they would they would have to be careful and thorough.
All Craig knew was that he was taken to the police station and down into the interrogation area. It reminded Craig of the inspection room at the placement centre. It comprised a room half carpeted and office like while the other half was bare concrete and fitted with shackle points, a punishment horse and a display of whips, canes and straps. There was a door leading to the cell area which was a copy of the courthouse cells.
If anything the cell that Craig was put into was smaller than the one at the court. He could just about stand in it and lie stretched out only if he positioned himself diagonally across the floor. It was bare of all fittings and Craig could only sit on the floor. The floor sloped to a hole in the corner like the court cell. When the door was shut, the cell was in almost complete darkness except for a small night light embedded inn the ceiling.
A camera was also embedded in the wall. Every time Craig moved a blue indicator on it lit up. At first he moved around just to get a response and the feeling that someone was at least watching him but after a time the fear took over and he stayed still trying to stay inconspicuous.
The officer had told him not to worry if he wanted to shit. They could hose him down when they collected him.
If the idea was to demoralise and scare the prisoner then it succeeded as far Craig was concerned.
While time slowed and almost stopped for Craig as he waited for his questioning the police were busy. They interviewed Adam, Mr Crosis and Mrs Sanders, then having obtained their names, visited some of the other guests.
The CSC Inspectorate had issued another press release explaining how their diligence had finally cracked Craig's image and shown him for the vicious little thug he really was. Copies of the statements appeared on the computers of some reporters though no one ever found out who sent them. In the short term it helped Craig as the police felt obliged to give the case priority and far more manpower and resources were available to the investigating officer than he would normally expect.
In twenty four hours the investigating officer had all the information he needed and Craig was brought through for questioning. He was wet and cold from the hosing he had needed and one by one his hands were released from from chain attached to his neck and ankles and fixed to manacles hanging from the ceiling. He was not stretched tight as his hands were only just above his head.
In the observation room Mr Redmond was rubbing his hands with glee. Like Craig he was unaware of the thoroughness of the police investigation. He was convinced that the police had seen sense and accepted the CSC's estimation of the situation.
As intended Craig felt exposed and vulnerable. He was tired and scared. He could not take his eyes off the punishment horse and canes and was in no mood to argue. He would have agreed to being Jack the Ripper just to get some peace.
In fact the police officer began very gently, talking him through the events of party. Craig admitted to going out into the garden and that they 'did some stuff' but emphatically denied forcing Lindsay in any way.
“You did more than just some stuff, didn't you?” the officer asked quietly, “Tell me about it.”
Craig was beyond humiliation even when his cock betrayed him and began to swell. He was after all a young man talking about sex but he let the officer take him through this, the most private of his experiences so far.
“So you are still denying rape?” the officer asked, “It's not too late. The CSC could still negotiate some arrangement with Lindsay and make it easier on you. All you've got to do is describe the events you've left out so far.”
“I did not rape her, sir.” Craig sobbed desperately, “Please believe me there is nothing more.”
“I have a video here.” the officer said, “Once I've shown it to you it will be too late. This is your last chance to confess.”
“I don't know what to say.” Craig cried. He could not imagine what the tape would show and he would have gladly confessed if he had known what he was expected to say, just to end his ordeal.”
The officer turned a screen so Craig could see it and everyone else.
The scene showed Craig and Lindsay in Mr. Crosis garden. The picture was taken through some bushes as leaves and branches broke up the edges of the scene. Craig's jeans were down around his ankles and he was supporting Lindsay who had her legs wrapped around his hips and her arms around his neck. Her skirt was drawn up high on her legs and the jerky movements of the cameraman showed her panties on the ground.
On screen Craig staggered and fell backwards swinging his arms to keep his balance. As Craig fell Lindsay fell on top of him before rolling off laughing happily.
“That's the way I described it.” Craig exclaimed, “What does that prove?”
“OK! You can take him back for now.”
The guard who had been standing next to Craig and released his hands from the chains fixed to the ceiling and re-secured them to the chain hanging from his neck, before leading him back to the cell area.
It took Craig several seconds to realise that Liam, Danny and Ollie, the police officer he had spoken to the previous weekend were standing in the corridor.
“It's over, Craig,” Liam said quietly, “You're in the clear. We're here to look after you.”
As the words sank in Craig fainted. As the nervous energy he had been existing on faded away he was simply overcome with exhaustion. He came to while Ollie was carrying him up some stairs and again as he was laid in a bed and something was pressed against his arm.
When he finally woke up, he found himself spooned up somebody who had his arm and leg wrapped protectively around him holding them together. He felt safe and protected as the memories came flooding back. He realised that his protector was Danny but he was in a strange room and a strange bed.
“You awake?” Danny whispered.
“I think so. What's going on? Where are we?”
“We're in the the soft interview suite at the police station. It's got a small apartment for important witnesses and you're an important witness. I'm going to get the others. They can explain.”
As Danny pulled away Craig gripped his arm.
“No! Call them if you like but keep holding me.”
“I can't stay in bed with you while they're talking to you.”
“Why not? Your cock wants to. I can feel it.”
Craig shifted slightly then pulled Danny's hand down until it was on his cock.
“You know what Paul and Tom have said about them using sex to control you. Well, they're not controlling it now. We are. It's important. Please, Danny.”
Danny could feel Craig trembling and called out for Liam. He lay there, red faced with embarrassment as Liam and Ollie grinned at the scene. They pulled up a couple of chairs and sat down. A doctor had come in with them but satisfied himself with checking the pulse in Craig's neck and taking his temperature.
“He seems OK.” He said with a grin as he left, “There's no point in checking his blood pressure. It looks as though it might be high anyway.”
“I'm sorry we put you through this interrogation Craig,” Ollie said, “but we had to be sure. Everyone at the party said how close you two were at the end of the night. Rape victims can't stay in the same room as their attacker let alone kiss them goodnight. That's another picture we have by the way. There was no way we could charge you with rape on the evidence but we could not have cleared you. A question would remained on file.
“Luckily your friends used their cameras planning to tease you when you returned to school. The pictures prove your innocence so you're completely clear.”
Ollie paused. Craig had moved his arm so that it rested on Danny and one of his fingers could just reach round to explore his crack. Danny jerked slightly as Craig suddenly pushed against his ring. Ollie noticed Danny start but continued with his tale.
“Had Lindsay and her dad made their complaint to the police then I don't think you would have been arrested or if you had been arrested you may have been questioned here in the first instance. Normally you would only have been taken downstairs if holes started appearing in your statement.”
Craig nodded. What energy he had recovered was diverted to his finger exploring Danny's anus and his own swelling pole. There was not much left for speaking.
“Our problem is that the CSC Inspectorate have made such a big thing of your arrest and how you should be charged as soon as possible for the sake of the Tylers. They're admitting to some mistakes and that maybe one or two Inspectors abused their position but it was only them who saw you for what you were really like. If the judge at listened to Mrs Jones at your care hearing Lindsay would not have been attacked.”
Craig sat up and the duvet fell away. It was difficult to take his obvious fury seriously because it was obvious what Danny was jerking his hand from and Craig had used the hand wrapped around Danny's buttock to help pull himself up.
Like Liam, Ollie was trying not to laugh at the scene in front of him but he was satisfied that Craig would accept the unwitting part he was playing in the ongoing police operation.
“We could leave you two to finish what you've started.” he said lightly.
“No! Fucking tell me how we're going to nail these bastards.” Craig snapped, “Why the fucking hell haven't you told them the truth.”
Danny knew that Craig only swore when he was angry. The language Craig had just used scared him. Instinctively he put his arm round Craig's waist but Craig stood up almost pushing Danny away as he stood glowering at Ollie. Luckily, Craig's hard on had vanished with his anger otherwise his cock head would having been pointing at Ollie's mouth just inches away.
“Sit down, Craig.” Ollie said quietly, “We know what we're doing even if we're improvising as we go along.”
“Improvising what?” Craig asked, the anger still evident.
“Sit down and I'll explain.”
Craig settled back on the bed and began stroking Danny's thigh. It was partly instinctive and partly an act of defiance. Danny tentatively tried to wrap his arm around Craig again and left it there when there was no opposition. He nestled into Craig as tightly as possible.
At that hearing of yours, Judge Winters was on the point of retiring and offering his services to the Wilberforce Foundation. Your case had a unique combination. A judge who was ready to take on the Inspectorate and a defendant, you, with the courage to demand some sort of action.
“Between you, you got the investigation going and almost without trying it found so much dirt that even top government leaders accepted that something had to be done The investigation is far more extensive than you could have imagined. It's been kept secret to stop a load people diving for cover.
“Two inspectors are being arrested for grading kids to order. Want to adopt a nice blond girl to decorate your bed. No problem. We know of one whose school work is falling off. We can blame it on her home life.
“Do you get the idea?”
Craig nodded. Danny and Liam were listening, fascinated by what they were hearing.
“You're worried about kids being wrongly graded but as you can see, there's a lot more to it.”
Craig nodded again as Ollie continued.
“We know that some of the local Inspectorate are involved. Your Mrs Jones maybe. We think she may have had a customer for Jake. Funnily enough, we think Mr. Redmond is just a pompous idiot who's being used by someone. It doesn't stop him facing grade one for his activities but he's just a foot soldier.”
“Our real target is the director of the CSC Inspectorate at Warren Street. He's the guy who got Mr. Redmond to try to ambush Brian's hearing yesterday and organised the press releases. He's got links to some very shady adoption agencies and his life style is far more expensive than his salary would allow.
Craig was calm now. He was laying back into Danny and his stroking was no longer defiant proof that he was in control but a comforting soothing action.
Ollie was aware of the subtle changes in Craig's body language as he continued.
“We knew these people were after you but had no evidence and didn't know what their plan was. They wanted vengeance for the damage you have done but like I've said, bringing you down would severely damage the opposition you've generated against them.
We'd warned Judge Winters as best we could which is why he kept you in the court until you were graded. The Inspectorate had already got their application in even though Mr. Redmond was claiming it was a last minute rush because of an administrative error.
He was in the observation room while you were being questioned. He was so pleased that you were finally getting what you deserved, he couldn't keep quiet. He was talking about the plan coming together, getting rid of you and how everyone was going to start listening to the Inspectorate again.”
“There was a commotion with another prisoner during the bit about the video. I think he may have missed it. We couldn't stop him observing but we managed to arrange a distraction. He's quite sure that you're being kept in the cells to soften you up until you're questioned again.
“So the questioning was a set up.” Craig said thoughtfully, “You've used me for a sting like we did with Brian.”
“Not quite.” Ollie replied, “There was a slight chance that you may have done something that we don't know about. That's why we had to interrogate you and you came through it completely clean. It didn't hurt to let Mr. Redmond think that we beginning to cave in and would do things their way. They think their plan is working.
“So everyone thinks I'm chained up in one of those cells and that I'm going to be charged with rape.”
“And we'd like everyone to carry on thinking that until tomorrow.”
“Because Brian's hearing has forced the issue and we're preparing an operation against the Warren Street Inspectorate. It's due to start tomorrow morning.
“It's Thursday isn't it?” Craig said, “What's the time?”
About five in the afternoon.” Ollie replied, “We questioned you at four o'clock this morning. It's when most people are the least alert. As it turned out, so was Mr. Redmond.”
Craig turned to Danny.
“Have you been with me all the time?”
“Except for a couple of toilet breaks, I have.”
Craig bent down and kissed him.
“Thanks.” he said.
“So you want me out of sight until tomorrow. Does that mean you want me to stay here?”
Ollie nodded, “We'll make you as comfortable as possible and Danny can stay with you.“
“And if I refuse?”
“Strictly speaking it's not up to you. You're a grader so it's Liam's decision and we could restrain you if we wanted to because technically you're still under arrest. Please don't put this operation at risk.”
“So when can I get this damned chain off?”
“Judge Winters wants to talk to you about that.” Ollie said carefully. “We need to assess what risks you face. A lot of the Inspectorate are facing grade one. They've got little to lose and they may blame you. We think you should consider yourself as needing grade two type supervision if you go out during the next few months.”
“We don't know but if that chain comes off and the Inspectorate can think of another excuse? What then?”
Craig was silent almost sulky.
“It's not fair. Why should I have to go through all this?” he muttered. “What do I get out of it?”
“Me!” whispered Danny, “I know you want a girl friend but I love you. So does David but he's too scared to tell you. Paul and the others love you too even if they don't want to go to bed with you. Come to think of it, Paul, Adam and Ethan might want to as well.
“We're in a police station,” Ollie laughed, “Careful what you say about his brother. Especially in front of a policeman.”
Craig smiled, “It's nice to think they may want to. Sorry if I sounded a bit selfish then. Are you still bringing your family over on Sunday, Ollie?”
“If we're still welcome after all this.” Ollie replied.
Craig frowned, “And if my guardian approves. I don't like this grading business.”
“When you get home you might not be in charge but everyone will know you're keeping an eye on things.” Liam said, “Paul and Tom know how you want things done so we'll leave them to it. They'll be glad to get your guiding hand back though.”
“So you just get to lead me around in chains.” Craig laughed, “I bet Danny's hoping you'll delegate that job as well.”
Craig's hand was still wandering around Danny's thighs. Danny's cock was pressed into the small of his back making it difficult to reach but he could reach round Danny's legs into his crack. Danny had not protested but found the scene embarrassing in front of a policeman. Craig's remark caused him to blush furiously and he nudged Craig in the ribs as a warning.
“What's the problem? I'm the grader you're not. Master.”
Ollie was beginning to find the conversation embarrassing especially as he could see Craig's cock swelling and and becoming rigid though Danny was beginning to see some interesting aspects to the situation. Craig had always insisted the non grader was in charge and should punish graders if necessary. This even applied to Adam and Paul where Adam was three years younger but Paul was the grader. Brian had to agree to the same condition before becoming Ethan's servant even though Ethan was thirteen and Brian sixteen.
“In that case you should be standing respectfully in front of your betters not slouching around on my bed.”
“I think I'll leave you to it.” Ollie said quickly.
Liam left as well satisfied that all was well with Craig. Danny had the boy he loved all to himself with no one to interrupt them. At that moment his biggest problem was, should he fuck Craig or should Craig fuck him. It was not much of a problem. As much as he had enjoyed holding and comforting Craig after his ordeal it was time to feel Craig's power and reassuring presence. As Craig slid into him Danny knew all would be well.