“The Court will be silent!” roared Judge Adams; only to be completely ignored as the chatter grew in volume.
“Ianto...is this true?” asked Jack quietly as he gently rested his hand against Ianto’s shoulder, only to be shrugged off.
“He was...I didn’t...” Ianto glanced down at his lap before hesitantly meeting Jack’s concerned gaze. “He wanted me to. He kept trying to...to...force me into it, but...I just...I thought if I got him money, he wouldn’t ask me again but...” Ianto exhaled shakily. “I didn’t sleep with anyone, Jack! I swear to you I didn’t.”
Jack nodded as he pulled the other man close. “Okay. I believe you,” he murmured against his hair as he trailed his hand soothingly up and down Ianto’s trembling back.
“The Court will be silent or every single one of you will be removed!” commanded the Judge, finally managing to achieve silence. He then turned to Strutt with an unreadable expression. “Mr Strutt, whilst I appreciate that you believe the subject matter to be important to your case, you will treat it with utmost caution and respect.”
Strutt inclined his head respectfully. “Of course, Your Honour. I mean no disrespect,” he murmured, keeping his eyes lowered as he sifted listlessly through his notes.
“Wow, he almost sounds genuine,” muttered Owen.
Tosh frowned. “I think he is,” she murmured. “He won’t even make eye contact.”
“What happened then, Mr Davidson?”
Russell sighed regretfully. “I went to see if Ianto was alright...”
“...Make sure I was reusable, you mean...” murmured Ianto wearily against Jack’s shoulder.
“... So I went down the alleyway to meet him. He gave me the money and made to leave but I caught him by the arm and asked straight out if he’d had sex with that man.” Russell paused for a moment before continuing. “He looked me straight in the eye and said no.” Confused whispers rippled through the gallery and even Ianto looked up.
Strutt blinked. “I don’t understand.”
“Neither did I at first. I just thought that he was saying that so I didn’t think ill of him, but then he explained that there was a difference between being a prostitute and ‘being a prostitute’. One involved having sex with the clients, the other involved allowing the clients to believe he would. He said that if he were the latter, we’d be able to get a lot more money and...I s’pposed that was how The Con was born.”
Russell nodded. “I really didn’t want to go along with it but we couldn’t get money elsewhere and I was afraid Ianto would go ahead with it on his own and get seriously hurt, so for that reason and that reason only, I helped...”
“...The money was a good incentive though, wasn’t it?...”
“...Basically, what would happen was that I would stand around the back of the alleyway so that I could see the proceedings and interfere if things got out of hand. Ianto would stand at the front of the alleyway and attract potential clients. When he had done that, he would lure them down the alleyway and allow them to kiss, grope, and run their hands over him as they would a normal prostitute. When he felt they were suitably distracted, he would run his hands subtly over their jeans or under their jacket until he had located their wallets. Upon finding it, he would knee them in the groin, snatch their wallet, and then we would both flee.” Russell glanced around the room. “They couldn’t exactly say anything about it as they’d been procuring young boys for sex.”
Jack glanced down at Ianto. “Ianto...is this true?” he asked quietly.
Ianto ran a hand through his hair. “I...err...technically speaking, yes, but it wasn’t like Russell said. That thing with the man it...I didn’t plan it. Russell...” Ianto closed his eyes. “Russell forced me down that alleyway. He told me to let the man do what he wanted with me or ‘there’d be consequences’. I didn’t have any choice. I was so scared and his hands were all over me and...” Ianto dashed a tear from his cheek. “...I don’t know what happened. One minute, he was pressing against me, crushing me, and the next... he was doubled up on the floor. I must have...I don’t know...kneed him or something. I was going to run, but then I remembered that Russell expected me to produce some money and...I didn’t know what to do so I just...I took the wallet and ran.”
“That bastard,” growled Jack, instinctively tugging Ianto towards him.
“I didn’t tell Russell,” murmured Ianto against Jack’s neck. “He didn’t care – I’d got the money, but then...about a week later, he brought me another man and told me to do the same for him as the other guy. I kneed that one too but when I turned around, Russell was standing in the entrance to the alleyway with such an unreadable expression on his face that I just tossed the wallet at him and I ran.” Ianto was silent for a long while as he fiddled idly with one of Jack’s buttons before continuing. “He caught up with me, of course, but...he wasn’t angry. He just said that that’s what we would do from now on: lure the guy down the alleyway, knee him and then leg it. The only reason he stood in the alleyway was to make sure I didn’t run away with his money.”
Mr Strutt’s jaw was set as he read through his notes. “Was the young Mr Jones always ‘the bait’, as it were?” he asked curtly.
Russell nodded. “Yes. He was a lot better looking and a lot younger than me. Men were always attracted to him, looking him over when we’d be on the street, and we needed the money.”
“...You needed the money more like,” muttered Ianto. “I didn’t get a penny.”
“I see. Tell me, Mr Davidson, how long did you and the young Mr Jones carry out this con?”
“I dunno. About...four or five months?”
“How many men do you think had the opportunity to…” Strutt paused and looked down at his notes. “Ah yes, here it is. How many different men did Mr Jones – and I quote, “…allow to kiss, grope, and run their hands over him as they would a normal prostitute” end quote.”
“How many? Like a number? Huh…” Russell screwed up his face as he tried to come up with a plausible number. “Let’s see, maybe...twenty five, thirtyish?” Shocked gasps ran through the gallery.
“And you took a wallet from each man?”
“Ianto took the wallets.”
“Yes, of course he did,” murmured Strutt quietly as he glanced over at Ianto who was was staring at his feet, unable to meet anyone’s gaze. “So, Mr Jones stole twenty five wallets from twenty five men who were expecting to have a sexual encounter with him?”
Strutt nodded. “And Mr Jones was perfectly happy to allow twenty five to thiry men of all different shapes, sizes and ages to leer all over him?”
Russell nodded emphatically. “Absolutely. In fact, I’d almost say that he enjoyed it.”
“No I bloody well didn’t! I hated it and you knew it!” said Ianto indignantly.
“In what way?”
“Well, I think he liked the danger, the adrenaline rush. I mean,” Russell looked over at the Jury. “This was a risky operation after all. If one man decided that he wanted to take what was on offer by force...well, I wouldn’t want to be in Ianto’s shoes.” He thought a moment. “But...I think above all that, I think that he liked the attention more than anything else. I mean, obviously he knew that it wasn’t real and that he was just playing a part, but I think deep down, he wanted it to mean something...”
“...I hated every single second of it and you know it,” murmured Ianto again. “I hated having their dirty hands running all over me, under my tshirt, and in my jeans. I hated having their hot breath against my neck, and their erections against my thigh But most of all, I hated myself for allowing it, for needing to be treated that way in order to survive,” he said as his breathing hitched and he hid his face in Jack’s shoulder.
Jack stroked his hair soothingly and kissed his temple. “Shh...’s okay,” he murmured. “It’s over now.”
“I see,” muttered Strutt gravely as he took a moment to think before continuing. “Why did you stop?” he asked as he gave Russell his full attention.
“Ianto buggered off,” said Russell bitterly.
“He ran away? Why?” Strutt asked curiously.
Russell sighed. “Because apparently the last con had gone wrong and it was all my fault.”
Russell sighed again. “Well basically, everything had been as normal; I was based towards the back of the alleyway, Ianto to the front. He found a potential client and lured him down the the alleyway. The client started to run his hands over him and Ianto allowed it. However...”Russell’s gaze flickered around the room. “It was...different this time. Ianto wasn’t...he wasn’t searching for the wallet – he was just letting the guy do what he wanted with him, and as he wasn’t signalling for me to step in...
“Because I couldn’t! He was pressed against me and I couldn’t move!”
“...I thought....I thought maybe he wanted to go all the way I s’ppose...”
“...No, you left me and you know it!”
“...I mean, I guess there’s only so long you can pretend to be up for sale before getting curious and wanting to find out exactly what it is you’re meant to be selling, so I just left them to it – I wasn’t going to stand there and watch them at it...”
“I don’t have to listen to this,” muttered Ianto as he stood to leave, only to be restrained by Jack. “Let me go, Jack!”
“No,” said Jack calmly. “The worst thing you can do right now is walk out. Walk out and what are the Jury going to think?”
“I don’t care any more,” said Ianto wearily.
“Yes you do or you wouldn’t have wanted to walk out in the first place, would you?” stated Jack reasonably as he met Ianto’s eye. “I know it’s hard, but you have to stay.”
“But he’s twisting everything! I didn’t want to...I didn’t...”
“I know,” said Jack soothingly as he pulled him close. “I know.”
“I see, and what did you do when you reached the conclusion that Mr Jones wanted to have sexual intercourse with the client?”
“I left of course! I wasn’t going to stand around and watch! I’m not a perv.”
Strutt smiled tightly. “Of course. And this led to Ianto leaving you?”
“Yes. He came to me afterwards and he was furious/ Apparently I had abandoned him or something, but as he had never asked for help, I couldn’t really see how I had abandoned him.” Russell glanced over at the Jury who were nodding in agreement.
“Anyway, to be honest, I think he was more bitter about the fact that he’d put out and not been paid for his services than anything else. I could see that he just wouldn’t listen to reason so I walked off to let him cool down, and when I returned, he’d buggered off, taking my money with him. I never saw him again.”
“I see. So not only had Mr Jones had sexual intercourse – “
“Your Honour, we have no definitive proof that that was the case and as the witness did not see the event happen, both I and no doubt Mr Jones would appreciate it if it remained alleged for now,” said Clark.
Judge Adams nodded. “Objection sustained. Please refer to it as alleged until proven otherwise, Mr Strutt.”
Strutt nodded and continued. “That not only had Mr Jones allegedly had sexual intercourse with a client, he also stole from you, a man who had trusted him and helped him when he had nothing,” said Strutt as he looked around the room for effect.
Strutt glanced down at his notes. “Did this come as a surprise to you?”
“Well, inititally, yes, but then I thought about it and, actually, no. Let’s face it, a bloke who can deceive men into having sex with him and then rob them is hardly the most trustworthy around is he? Not only that, but I always got the feeling that he was using me for protection – after all, the streets are a lot safer to a young boy if he’s got someone else with him, and that as soon as I’d served my purpose, he would move on. But, I guess I always thought that as I’d helped him and been kind to him, that he’d be the same towards me.”
Mr Strutt nodded acknowledgement. “One could almost say that it’s a similar situation as is occurring with his father now. Mr Lloyd looked after Mr Jones when he had nothing and no one and yet, here we are.” He paused a moment before continuing. “Would you say that Mr Jones was particularly talented at emotional manipulation? At allowing his potential clients to genuinely believe he would sell himself to them and then taking what he wanted from them?”
Russell nodded. “He could be what the situation needed him to be. Be that prostitute, innocent bystander, worried brother, whatever.”
“I see. Given what you know about Mr Jones, how likely do you believe it to be that he has used his position as supposed ‘lover’ of Mr Harkness – his apparent boss, friend and confidante, to deceive him, and by extension, his colleagues Dr Harper and Miss Sato, into believing his father was abusive?”
“Well put it this way: he never mentioned his father to me, he didn’t seem to have any qualms about whoring himself to that bloke, and he stole from me. I’d say that bloke would do anything to survive.”
Strutt inclined his head. “Thank you, Mr Davidson. No further questions, Your Honour
http://welsh-scotsman.livejournal.com/31124.html chapter 42