The smell of chlorine was overwhelming. It stung BUDDY OWEN‘s eyes before he pulled on the sports goggles from Luen designer Marloe. It was only eight am and already he felt great. His father CHARLES ‘CHICK’ OWEN, better known as The Captain, was back in the Great States on business leaving his son with free reign in the Shady City. It was like a heavy weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
Ten lengths of the FILTON UNIVERSITY swimming pool and adrenaline was coursing through his veins. ‘Better than snorting powder,’ he thought – maybe. Filton had state of the art facilities, boasting one of the best sports science courses in the country. It was Buddy’s chosen field when he attended classes.
One of the brothers from KAPPA SO fraternity entered. He was a tall man in his mid twenties with a mane of brown hair combed into a trendy style expected of the country club sect. His name was Cooper and like Buddy he wasn’t a native of Coldford but also from the Great States. He was something of Buddy’s right hand man as far as the Kappa So brothers were concerned. As chapter leader Buddy was the man in charge. Copper kept him right.
“Bud!” he called. “Bud!”
Buddy kept swimming, tearing through the water with speed and agility. With his swim cap pulled down over his ears and the water rushing around him he didn’t hear. Cooper took one of the floating boards and threw it catching Buddy on the back of his head.
Buddy brought himself above the water. He pulled off the goggles and glared at the brother.
“What the fuck dude?”
“We need you. Hurry,” Cooper explained.
“Can’t it wait? You ruined my time. I was making great time,” Buddy complained.
“It’s a fucking reporter. You best come quick.”
‘Jesus H Christ balls,’ the chapter leader thought to himself as he swam to the edge and pulled himself out of the water.
“What do they want with me?” he asked pulling off his swim cap. Cooper had no answer.
He dried quickly and brushed his blonde hair back. He smiled into the changing room mirror. There was a ghoulish look to his eyes, a certain redness. He hadn’t snorted any lines that morning but he really could have used one then. Luckily the swim had flushed his face a little making him seem less zombie like. Pulling on a shirt and designer sweater vest he went off to meet his new reporter friend.
Cooper led him to the main lounge of the sports center. It was a regular hang out for Kappa So brothers, with most of them being part of a team of some kind. The intrigued reporter had been instructed to wait there.
“What do they want?” Buddy asked again as they crossed the corridor from the changing rooms.
“Wouldn’t say,” Cooper informed him.
Buddy rolled his eyes. “Probably some dumb ass student from City College looking for a story on your guy here,” he decided.
“I don’t think so,” muttered Cooper but before Buddy could respond they entered the lounge to find not a student but a fresh journalism graduate.
The lounge was a finely decorated study with leather sofas, a marble fire place in the corner and portraits of leaders past looking down upon them. Large windows allowed the morning sunshine to flood in. The journalist had rust coloured hair, a long face but pretty lips. What Buddy noticed most about her was the way her well kept body curved.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
The woman pointed to the chair opposite as though he had come to her office and she wasn’t in his domain.
“Are you Bernard Owen?” she asked.
Buddy replied with a nod of his head. “Yeah.”
The adrenaline from the swim began to settle as Buddy took a seat.
“We do so much in the community. The old people, the poor people, the homeless people …” Buddy began the speech that all chapter leaders rehearsed in the event of being confronted by press.
Madeline took a recorder from a leather bag that had been left at her feet. She placed it on the table.
“Do you mind?” she asked but she had already pushed the record button.
“The boys of Kappa So are good at keeping up appearances,” she continued. “I’m here about things that go on behind closed doors. There have been hundreds of claims of sexual assaults against your brothers over the years. Many of them occurred during your tenure as chapter leader.”
Buddy kept his expression neutral. He brushed his hair back, still sticky with chlorine, and leaned forward.
“Our sisters at Kappa Sy try to warn the girls not to let themselves get carried away, get too drunk, dress too provocatively or lead the boys to the bed rooms if they don’t want the attention. It happens. New students with a first taste of independence and they get all wild and regret it.”
Madeline looked up. “Or perhaps you are blaming the victims to protect your brothers?”
The accusation came so unexpected that Buddy was briefly rendered speechless. Madeline held his gaze. When he finally tried to respond she hushed him with a gesture of her hand.
“I’m not here about any of the girls as it happens. I’m here about one of your pledges. Daniel Weir. He was raped by several of your other pledges, urged on by you. A broken bottle was inserted causing some pretty serious injuries.”
Buddy frowned. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”
Madeline reached into the leather bag again and drew out some notes. She flicked through them. “Really? Because I have copies of the medical report, signed and confirmed by Dr Lee at General. It seems one of your brothers did a piss poor job of patching him up. A bottle? Really?”
Buddy smiled this time.
“I still have no idea what your talking about,” he maintained. “Who the fuck would do something like that?”
Madeline noticed his composure was beginning to fall. “You for one,” she pointed out. “Daniel quoted you as saying, ‘he’s going to be shitting blood for days.’ Are you suggesting that was fabricated?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” Buddy groaned. “That turd Weir just has something against me. I can’t help if he’s into some kinky shit.”
Madeline raised her eyebrows. “So you were there?”
“No!” Buddy insisted. “I don’t …”
Madeline took her chances whilst she had control of the interview. “Tell me Mr Owen are you a homophobe or are you just a sadistic monster?”
He became frustrated. He snatched up the recorder and switched it off.
“Listen up bitch and listen good. I own your news paper and I’ll have you out of a job by the end of the day if you carry on with this bull,” he snarled.
Madeline snatched her recorder back but kept it switched off.
“Actually the Daily is owned by your father, not you. I’m sure he is shrewd enough to know that if he has me fired it won’t be long before one of the many rivals in the city scoop up the story instead.”
“Get the fuck outta ma lounge,” demanded Buddy.
Madeline stood. A satisfied grin was on her lips. She stood strong. “This lounge isn’t yours either by the way. It belongs to the university.” Buddy glared at her. “I’ll chat to some of your brothers and get back to you.”
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” Buddy exclaimed when he was left alone.
There was only two weeks before the Cappy returned. Something had to be done. There had to be a resolution. Never before had Buddy Owen been in more need of a line.
“What did you do Wendy!?” Rodney Weir balled down the phone at his wife from the HOTEL CHAIN’S main office.
“Danny was really hurt,” she sobbed. “I thought if I got the papers involved something would be done.”
“I was dealing with it,” he spat. “You dizzy cunt! You have probably ruined his life with your interfering.”
Rodney couldn’t listen to any more of her crying so he hung up.
The situation was beyond damage control. That afternoon a video had been uploaded to the internet, shared millions of times within minutes, comments from as far as the Great States. It seemed the newest star in amateur gay pornography was causing quite a stir. The video of Daniel’s rape had been cut and edited in such a way it would seem consensual, especially since the other boys were giving smiles for the camera.
At two o’clock that afternoon whilst Rodney was hosting a meeting of the board the video flashed onto his screen, cast from somewhere nearby. It was also presented on screens throughout the chain. Thousands of Weir Hotel patrons were treated to a screening of Daniel’s debut.
Before the close of business several of the Daily’s rivals in the city had ran a story on Daniel being the family shame.
SHAME ON THE CHAIN – said the Coldford Courier.
HOTELIER’S SON IN SEX TAPE SCANDAL – said City Express.
Not a single one had declared it rape. Daily stayed quiet on the subject. A simple call to editor, Eric Waddle, had taken care of that.
Just to be safe Madeline’s previous articles had been called out on as many online forums as possible for containing feminist agendas. Her credibility hung by a thread. She didn’t lose her job though. It wouldn’t be sensible to leave her with nothing. Desperate people can be dangerous. However, her assignments weren’t going to be as forthcoming in future. Buddy planned on having her report on cat shows and pissy old lady bake offs for the rest of her career.
It was all thanks to the help of Gerard ‘Jerry’ Owen, Thanks to Buddy’s favourite uncle he was able to put things right. Jerry was the youngest of the brothers so he knew what it was like to have the Captain’s shadow cast over you.
It was Buddy’s first time having to throw the Owen propaganda machine into motion. It was spoken of often but he was too young to have seen it in action before. He agreed he may have went a little over kill but he didn’t care. The reputations of those who would speak up were ruined, the hit that the hotel had taken financially would make negotiations with Rodney so much easier and to cap it all off Kappa So had waded the storm and came out the other end seeming somewhat clean. When the Captain returned from the Great States and saw how effective Buddy had been he would be proud.
By eight pm Buddy had his line to celebrate and another for good luck.
We did warn you the pledging for Kappa So was brutal. Have you checked out the rest of the story?
Daniel should never have gone to the Chapter House. His ordeal is spilling over. The Weir Hotel chain reaches far and wide. Now everyone will know what happened.
The boys of Kappa So have a bone to pick with the Knock Knock Boss Lady in volume 2. In the meantime Volume 1 is free to read on Vivika Widow Online or download for Kindle by clicking HERE.