“Ah, Graham. We need to talk. It’s important!”
“Good evening to you too Tittie” Tittie was his diminuitive for his young, increasingly simply trophy, wife. “If it’s about your brother Freddie; [she nodded] already heard. I need a whisky before I sit down and listen to the story as you’ve heard it”
“Graham! This is important!”
“That’s why I need the whisky”
He poured himself a generous measure of Tomintoul, looked for some water. She tutted and went and got him some, knowing he would not settle until he had his whisky and water. Then she launched into what he, Freddie, had told her. Freddie was Shadow Defence Secretary; having served in Iraq, Sierra Leone and Luxembourg he knew both the front end stuff of fighting and the backend diplomacy crap. He was widely seen as a very, very high flier in the Labour Party. Champagne Socialist perhaps, but still good at what he did and with broadly socialist principles (backed by family money). So being caught on camera by The Daily Mail in a room with three (albeit high-class) escorts and apparently sniffing ‘a substance’ was not good news. Tittie had heard it from Freddie, he had reduced the number to one escort and suggested he had taken a harmless legal high. She had vaguely asked if legal highs were still legal – she was young, pretty and blonde, but she wasn’t stupid or ignorant. She gave him some details Graham Swift QC hadn’t heard yet; the address in Knightsbridge, and the name of one of the escorts. He gave her a few details he had heard.
“But it can’t have been three, I mean there was only Freddie, how could he? I mean?”
“Well, I’m pretty sure he could ... but you’re right, it begs a question doesn’t it? Was he actually alone?
If this is all proved, and The Mail seems to be confident enough to say it will publish even if he threatens to sue ... well after that payout to Jeremy Corbyn for suggesting he was a paedophile I think they are being more careful for a while ... well, look, if it’s proved his career is over. Can’t see him – the honourable, anti-drugs, straight-up guy – managing to ride over the charge of hypocrisy, let alone the legal side. Oh ... and ... well there has been a suggestion that one of the girls was very young.”
“Very, very young”
“Farck!” Tittie was well bred and didn’t do rude words in brutal Anglo-Saxon, she used the Queen’s English which was sometimes amusing when people tried to understand what she meant by ‘hame’. “But he wouldn’t have known that. I mean what is the agency doing sending such young girls out”
“Maybe that is just a salacious addition. I got this from Sir Reg” - Reginald Farquar-Harrison QC MBE – “not a fan of Labour who got it from Lord Wilmen, who heard it from an unnamed source. And that raises a question too – how come Lord Wilmen had it? He’s bluer that The Blessed Margaret was. Why would he be the first to hear?
All very strange”
“Graham! This isn’t one of your murder mysteries. This is my brother! He needs your help”
“My help? I’d say he needs God’s help. I can’t see how he can escape this”
“Look, just because he’s your brother doesn’t make it possible to work miracles. If he’s guilty, and frankly I suspect he is in it up to his neck, then he’s guilty. End of!”
“Why do you think he’s guilty?”
“Well, let’s see? You remember the stash of porn he had in his flat?” – “Everybody has porn these days” – “Some of his were homemade videos, and then there is his MC” – “What?” – “He once told me that he got that more because he was a high as a kite and didn’t know he was storming their position, not because he was unbearably brave; look, you did ask”
“Graham, are you jealous? Oh, never mind if you are. Look, he needs the advice of the best QC there is – that’s you.”
“I’m the youngest, not the best. But thanks for the vote anyway. I’d advise him to come clean.”
“You aren’t helping. Look, if you help him, we’ll do that thing you wanted. There, I’ve said it!”
“You mean sailing in Greece? Tempting, but, well...”
“No, that bedroom thing! Get serious!”
“Oh, you mean if I get naughty elder brother off, you’ll give me a blow job?” Antonia – Tittie since she was four and read the Swallows and Amazons – shuddered.
“Please, there is no need to be so crude!”
“That wasn’t a yes or a no. Are you saying you’ll give me a bl-; okay you’ll suck me off? No? You’ll go down on me? Is that better?
You are being a difficult witness my love”
“You aren’t in court! But yes, I’ll do that thing. I’ll give you oral relief; but you have to get him off”
“Hmm, nice phrase ... but no. You’re saying if I get him off and let his career soar I get one blow- ... one oral relief. Doesn’t sound a very good deal does it?”
“You aren’t negotiating with one of you questionable customers now; this is family!”
“And yet you’re the one who opened the bidding.
No, look if I get him free I’ll expect a liberal bedroom regime where I am the king.”
“You mean I do whatever you want? Dream on. You asked for some seriously weird stuff when we married”
“No, I asked for a normal sex relationship.”
They had married three years ago, he was thirty two, she was ten years his junior; she came to one of his university talks for the law society of the university of -- in her final year doing English; she went because she fancied the secretary of the society that year; she was invited to join the group in the bar as some eye candy and Graham had been taken by the fact she was good looking and not a law student intent on impressing him with some obscure legal fact. A year later they married and young Miss Starr became Mrs Swift. Unfortunately it rapidly became clear that Miss Starr the fragrant Infant school teacher was as conservative in bed as she was in her dress (lovely floral prints and wide smiles for the little ones). She liked sex, as long as it was ‘proper’ sex. She didn’t masturbate, she didn’t do doggy, cowgirl, reverse cowgirl or spooning; she did missionary and that was it. She expected to get orgasms from it – which put massive pressure on Graham to deliver – but she didn’t seem wholly upset if she didn’t orgasm much. She found ‘satisfaction’ in ‘making love’. Men needed it more, according to her, and she liked the occasional climax – say one a month. Graham suggested other positions but was rebuffed; he suggested cunnilingus and ‘the other way’ - she didn’t know what that was, he had to explain – he was very firmly rebuffed. He suggested anal; he had to sleep in the spare room. He had brought up oral sex a few times but with no lessening of her refusal. Now he found that because the favourite elder brother was in trouble the negotiations were opened.
So, tempting as the offer was, he was affronted that his desires and needs weren’t enough to get things started; but Freddie’s were. That made it easier to refuse her offer to wrap her lovely red lips round his stiffy and suck him dry. Actually if she had said that in those words to him, he would probably have accepted. The very thought of her using such erotic words would make him hot. But this was why his wife was increasingly just a trophy. She was even better looking than when he married her, she looked great on his arm; but the loving relationship was a bit barren.
“I asked for a normal sex relationship” he said
“Let’s not argue” was her reply. He’d made that crack about sex once before and she had gone ballistic; this time she said nothing. She must really want some help. There was one of those brief silences that seem to last long enough for continents to drift apart. “Okay you win.”
“And I get the oral for trying, even if I fail.”
“Oh no, you get nothing for failing.” He had the impression that ‘nothing’ included the sparse missionary position sex they had now. So, that was their positions – win and the world is full of multi-coloured and delightful sex; lose and the world turns grey for ever. He wasn’t happy with this since he really wasn’t sure what he could do.
“Okay, get Freddie to come over will you? First thing is to get the story from the horse’s mouth” She nodded and smiled, she loved Freddie but he was still her brother; she would enjoy seeing and hearing him squirm. She rang and he offered to come over that very evening. That suited Graham, he suspected that a scoop like this would get splashed at the weekend; that gave them three days to come up with a defence.
Two hours later Freddie came into the drawing room. Graham smiled and nodded, then he looked at Tittie “Darling, could you rustle up some coffee? We’ll need clear heads rather than alcohol muddied ones” She was back in ten minutes, hardly a word had been said yet. “Thanks, ... oh look, Tittie, now I’m afraid we’ll have to say goodbye to you dear. This is by way of a professional consultation after all” She stomped out, furious. “I assume you’ll find it easier to talk without your sister here?”
“Yes, thanks; and thanks for seeing me. God what a mess!”
“Okay, now Freddie; if I’m to help, and I don’t know that I can, I need to know everything. I mean everything! If you give me half the story and something else comes up later that I don’t know about then I’m out, no second chances. That’s what I tell all my clients, and yes, I’m treating you like a client. Don’t look so worried, you’re a non-paying client. Politicians can’t afford me” he laughed.
Freddie had been nodding like one of the dogs that used to be seen on the back shelves of cars. He was willing to agree to anything.
“Okay, so tell me. Three call girls and cocaine is it?”
“God no! No cocaine, honest. Just a powder called ‘ANR’ – stands for All Night Rave I understand – the, umm, can we call them escorts? They brought it”
“Okay, but there were three?” Graham was busy making notes “Now, regarding what we call them; they came from where? Oh, you have a card, excellent, thanks. The – what is it Freddie?”
“Is this place entirely safe? No one can overhear?”
Graham opened the door “Tittie! Come on, I’m surprised at you! Look, buy the Mail on Sunday if you want the story; but if you want me to help your brother then you need to leave us in peace” he turned back, closed the door “Sorry, you know what she’s like about gossip. Now, where were we? Oh yes ‘Maddie’s Escorts’ – I’ll have them checked out. But I have to ask. Did they just escort or were there other services on offer?”
“What do you mean?”
“Freddie, we can do this all night. I’m on your side. Okay, you want it plain and simple? Did you fuck them?”
“Graham! No need to be so crude!”
“Well stop being so bloody evasive.”
“Okay, okay, yes. They were there for sex as well. I had sex, but the Mail has no proof of that I’m sure.”
“Unless the girls have talked. Now, I have every respect for your fitness, and your optimism, but I don’t believe that at your age you could fuck three girls in a row. I know I couldn’t. So, who else was there?”
“I didn’t say anybody else was ... no, look ... I can’t. Walls have ears.” He was looking really concerned.
“I’m getting that there is more here than shadow minister bonks bimbos. Actually if you had done three you’d probably increase your support from The Sun readers. Look, the window if mirrored, you can’t see in. It is also treated to reflect sound and electromagnetic rays back. I had the place swept a week ago, and Boris Pasternak – not his real name – had his own people sweep it yesterday before our meeting. It’s clean, honestly.”
“What did the Russian want then? Still negotiating the sale of British Aerospace are you?”
“Freddie, all my discussions are very, very private. I don’t even dream about them so people can’t read my brain waves. If I told you what the Russian wanted then how could you trust me to keep your conversations private? I won’t break confidence, ever.
I once had a woman offer me an extremely tempting sex session involving herself, her daughter and her cousin in exchange for information on her husband’s divorce claim. I was very sorry to turn her down,” especially, he thought, considering what your sister offers now “but I did.”
“Quite right, quite right. But suppose Boris what’sHisName was planting not sweeping?”
“Freddie, stop putting it off and spill the beans. This note book is locked in a safe when I’m not using it. And before you ask, there are several safes and if you pick the wrong one an alarm goes off even if you crack it properly. I must ask you to never, ever, mention that to anyone. You are the most difficult client I’ve ever had! Most want to get their secrets off their chest, they hate being the sole repository of some dark skeleton”
Freddie took a deep breath “I was not, as you say, the only person there – apart from the girls I mean. Reginald Hunter was there too.”
“You mean the Home Secretary, not the comedian I assume? [Freddie nodded] Yes.” He paused “Okay, look, why the fucking hell was the Home Secretary at a sex and drugs party with the Shadow Defence Secretary? Come on Freddie, don’t make me beg!”
“The three of us, oh I mean the two ... Damn!”
“This is so sensitive, if the Mail got it, it would be disastrous.”
“Freddie, if the Mail splashed that your new chairman, chair woman? Chair? Anyway if they splashed that Mrs Angela Winton was a raving lezzer I think you would lose precisely 0 votes. Labour readers don’t read the Mail – what?”
“How did you know?”
“What? Oh, you mean? Oh God, and she was the third person at the flat? I see. Yes that could be a bit difficult for you I suppose. Not resigning difficult for her, well except that these were ... let’s be honest; they were prostitutes”
“Bloody expensive ones then”
“Well, maybe. I have nothing to judge that by, but yes, Labour Chair uses prostitutes and drugs would maybe be a problem.
I heard that one might be fifteen? No? You’re sure? None of you have desires, well, more than the normal I mean, for young school girls? Okay, one other question: why?”
“Well, she’s a lesbian and even they have needs and –”
“NO Freddie! Why were you all there?”
“Oh, well it’s the situation in Karelia. We were looking to establish a cross-party approach if possible. And that went very well actually. Reggy and Angie both fancied some light relief; I was the facilitator. I’ve used Maddie’s before you see, I knew they were circumspect and flexible. Extremely flexible as it happens.”
“Much as I hate to pry; I do need to know what they did.”
“All the usual – I can only speak for myself. It wasn’t an orgy, we had separate rooms. Janey gave good head and; shall I draw it? Just stick men.”
He drew a series of pictures of interesting and increasingly confusing sexual positions.
“Yes” said Graham “yes, I see what you mean about flexibility”
“I can only surmise that Madrigal gave Angie plenty of reasons to be grateful. I did, ummm, I did hear very excited noises from her room on several occasions”
“I need a sample. Oh sorry, no, not of the sex, I mean of the drug, can you get some?”
“I have some here”
“Bloody hell! Supposing the police come! Give that to me! Are you sure this is what you all took?”
“Yes, it enabled you to go all night; as the name says”
“I’ll get it analysed by Michael – you don’t need to know more. I did him a favour” Michael Divan was the biggest supplier of drugs in Ireland, he had five drugs labs around the South East of a standard that Imperial College would be proud. Caught on a speeding ticket, the police prepared to put him away on spurious charge after spurious charge whilst they dismantled his operation; Graham had slashed his way through the procedural flaws and Michael Divan was free. It wasn’t Graham’s proudest moment, but then he’d also got an injunction on ‘Deputy Chief Constables Love Child’ so he kept in with both sides. His expensive cases and undercover diplomacy meant he was able to indulge in pro-bono work for the rich and deserving (like Freddie). He did occasionally take on a genuine deserving case for the publicity (Ukrainian Dissident to be deported to Russian, that kind of thing).
“So, Freddie, I need to ask. One way out for you would be to let the Mail know the other two who were there. I think I’d have heard rumours if they knew.”
“No, I may be a degenerate shit, but I have some principles. Loyalty is one”