Authors: Wensley Clarkson
At first, Tillotson only worked a few days a week at the tavern. That meant there were only rare chances for more of those heart-to-heart chats between him and Gail. But they still managed to brush by each other dozens of times each day behind that crowded bar.
Gail would stop momentarily whenever their paths crossed. Only long enough for a heartbeat, but it was sufficient to encourage Tillotson in his quest for the inevitable. She did not really know why she was doing it. She just enjoyed being close to him. Sometimes their hands would touch as he leant behind her to get a glass out of the dishwasher. On other occasions, their fingertips would connect as they both tried to get change out of the till.
Graham Jones did not really notice those first danger signs. Maybe he just did not want to know. But the locals in the Belle Vue wanted to know everything. They loved to wind up ‘the two lovebirds’ as they liked to call them. Gail would blush heavily whenever a customer made any reference to hunky Tillotson. The part-time barman adored the attention. He wanted her to know his eventual intentions, and this was the best way of getting the message across loud and clear. Even the Joneses’ two children, Helen, five, and Karen, eight, were falling for the charms of Tillotson. He had a daughter, who lived with his ex-wife in Manchester so he knew how to handle kids. It wasn’t long before Graham Jones reluctantly asked his wife’s admirer if he could work full time for them.
Then the would-be romeo managed to convince Gail to allow him to partner her in the local pool team. At first, she resisted his suggestion because she
knew it would upset Graham, but when Tillotson pleaded she gave in. There was something about him that she was finding increasingly difficult to resist. She knew she was being sucked in, but she thought she could contain her emotions sufficiently to maintain a distance.
Tillotson was getting more and more obsessed with Gail. After they formed a winning pool partnership, he often used to find himself lusting after her as she leaned over a pool table to pot a difficult shot. He would imagine what he would like to do to her if the opportunity ever arose. It was hardly surprising when it did …
Gail Jones was just locking up the double-doors to the Belle Vue’s lounge bar after the last customer had left the premises, when she turned to see Rod Tillotson staring at her across the cluttered room. Her husband was away visiting his sick and elderly mother in the south of England. She knew that she was vulnerable. She sort of expected it to happen. Now she was facing the very man who wanted to steal her away from her husband – and there was absolutely no one around to prevent the inevitable from occurring.
For a few moments they stood there in silence. Gail felt a tremble run up her spine. No words were exchanged between them. Just feelings. Thoughts. Intentions. She walked towards him.
Within seconds they were locked in a passionate embrace. She felt him wrap his arms around her. They pressed so hard together. Afraid that if either of them let go, then something might happen to stop them carrying on.
She ran her hand through his thick mane of hair over and over. Pulling his face closer and closer. Their tongues exploring each other’s mouths. Their hands stroking, exploring one another properly for the first time.
Then she nuzzled her mouth into his neck and nipped his skin with her teeth. Each time it brought a gasp of pleasure from Rod. Then his hands moved down the front of her blouse and squeezed tightly on her firm breasts. He could just feel one of her nipples protruding through the lacy bra. It was peeping through the blackness like a little pink strawberry, ripe and ready to be eaten.
He dipped his head down and sucked at that nipple through the bra. She could feel a wonderful sensation as he sucked just a little harder each time. Her own mouth had by now connected with his ears. Pushing her tongue in and out. Then she sucked the air out ever so carefully for maximum pleasure and minimum pain.
They were on the bare vinyl floor now. Completely lost in their own passionate world. The grim surroundings did not matter. The cold
bare surface could have been anywhere in the universe.
He pushed her tight-fitting skirt up to expose her bare thighs to the crisp night air and carefully prised her legs apart before letting his hands explore her inner sanctum. She was moaning softly now. Her eyes were closed momentarily as she envisaged the love-making that was about to happen.
She grabbed him through his trousers with her hand and squeezed and stroked him. They were locked in a sexual frenzy from which there was no retreat. She lifted her bottom off that sticky floor surface to allow him to remove her panties. Then she heard the sound of his zip fastener undoing …
After it was over, they lay silent in each other’s arms. The eerie silence of the night enveloped them after more than an hour of heated passion. Every now and again, the headlights of a passing car would drift across the ceiling of the bar before disappearing into the shadows.
He looked into her eyes and kissed her full on the lips. It was the ultimate evidence of his love for her. A long, lingering kiss after sex is something that only true lovers ever experience.
Gail looked up at the bar behind her and thought of all the hard work, time and energy that had gone into making the Belle Vue so successful and promised herself: I am not going to lose this.
Whatever happens, I am not going to give it up.
Over the next few months the inevitable occurred. Gail and Tillotson grew closer and closer. Snatching secret moments together when Graham Jones was out of the bar. Their love-making grew more and more intense. He had opened up a whole new world of sexual experimentation for Gail. It was something she had never experienced during more than ten years of marriage.
It couldn’t go on for ever though. People were starting to talk.
Just like a classic office romance, all the tell-tale signs were showing. The warm smiles across a crowded bar. The little kisses on the neck as they squeezed past each other. The never-ending closeness wherever they happened to be.
‘You dirty bugger. We know what you’re up to.’
The regulars were all pretty blunt characters. It did not take them long to work out what was happening between Gail and Tillotson. It wasn’t really moral indignation that sparked their comments. More a combination of jealousy – because many of them thought Gail was a very attractive woman – and a sense of protectiveness towards Graham Jones, whom they all considered to be a ‘good bloke’.
As is so often the case, it was the husband who was the last one to realise that his wife’s friendship
with the barman had blossomed into an out-and-out affair. But when he confronted her with his suspicions, she looked him straight in the face and said, ‘Don’t be daft, Graham. I wouldn’t do that to you.’
‘But everyone’s saying it and I’ve seen the way you look at him.
‘How can you even take any notice of bar gossip? Who d’you believe most – a bunch of customers or your own wife?’
Graham Jones hesitated for a moment. The choice was simple: gossip or denial.
‘Well, you, of course.’
No sooner had he said it than he knew he would grow to regret it. If only he had known that he had just sealed his own fate …
‘You must be bloody joking.’
Rod Tillotson thought he was hearing things when Gail Jones first suggested they should murder her husband. They were sitting in a little coffee shop a few miles from the Belle Vue, snatching some time together, when she said it.
‘We’ve got to do it.’
He could see from the coldness in her eyes that she meant business, but he had no intention of committing the ultimate crime.
‘Forget it. Why don’t we just run off together?’
Gail Jones dropped the subject for the moment. But she knew the time would come when her secret lover could be persuaded. In actual fact, it took a few more sex sessions and a whole lot more emotional blackmail to do it.
Then the handsome barman did more than just agree to help her commit murder, he came up with a fail-safe idea that he was convinced would help them get away with ‘the perfect crime’.
Graham Jones was poring over his vast stamp collection when he heard a shout from the bar downstairs, where he’d left Gail and Tillotson to run the tavern while he retired early.
‘Gail’s fainted. Can you help, Graham?’
The barman’s plea for assistance seemed perfectly reasonable, and Graham bounded down the stairs to help revive his pretty wife who lay slumped at the foot of the steps.
As he leant down to check her pulse, he did not even see the pick-axe handle swinging ominously in his direction. The first blow crushed his skull as if it were putty. As Graham Jones turned, he just caught a glance of Tillotson before he smashed the wooden weapon into his head a second time.
Blow after blow came crashing down on Jones’s skull. At one stage, the pick-axe handle got wedged in between the cavities of his brain and Tillotson had to pull it as if it were jammed in a piece of rock. After
each crushing blow, he stopped for a few seconds to recover his composure before continuing. It must have been mentally as well as physically agonising for Jones because each time he struggled up, in the vain hope that the attack was over. But it was not going to end until he was well and truly dead.
Upstairs the Joneses’ two innocent daughters slept on – completely unaware that their mother and her secret lover were cold-bloodedly taking the life of their beloved father.
Downstairs, the twelfth and last blow was being inflicted as Graham Jones lay in a puddle of his own blood, his head cracked open in little pieces like an eggshell. In silence, Tillotson disappeared upstairs to change his clothes so that there was no evidence to link him to the killing. Meanwhile, Gail emptied the bar till as part of their carefully planned charade to convince the police they had been the innocent victims of a robbery that had gone tragically wrong.
Tillotson then returned downstairs with orders for Gail that truly tested her love for the well-built barman.
‘Make sure you hit me really hard. This has got to look good.’
Gail shut her eyes tightly and started to smash that same pick-axe handle down on her lusty lover’s head. She could not do it. She had just witnessed the brutal killing of her own husband, but this was far
more distressing for her. She desperately did not want to hurt the man she loved.
‘Just do it, Gail.’
She had no choice and she knew it. She used all her strength to swipe the wooden weapon down hard on his head. It knocked him off balance and he fell down a short flight of stairs to the hallway below.
‘Now the glasses.’
Gail got a tray of glasses from the bar and dropped the whole lot over her lover as he lay there amongst the smears of blood on the vinyl. Mission accomplished.
The perfect robbery scene had now been set: the battered, dead, heroic husband; and the barman who tried to fight off his assailants, but ended up getting a beating himself.
Gail rubbed her hands together with satisfaction as she looked down at her moaning, groaning lover and the fragments of her husband’s skull lying on the floor nearby.
The death of Graham Jones made headline news throughout the country. His brutal, senseless killing was followed by a vast police manhunt for his murderers. But detectives were far from happy. There was something about the crime that did not seem right, but they couldn’t put their fingers on it.
When officers insisted on searching the entire
Belle Vue tavern, Gail looked on curiously but showed no emotion or fear. Tillotson had said the police would never be able to prove it, just so long as they stuck to their story and there was no evidence lying around.
She watched as they took fragments of the glasses she had dropped over her lover’s head away for finger-printing, slightly puzzled as to why they were even bothering to take prints off glasses used by the customers.
As the officers headed up the stairs towards the bedrooms, she suddenly remembered something – the pick-axe handle was still under the mattress of the bed she had once shared with her loving husband Graham. She did not know what to do. She knew they would be sure to find it. She paced up and down by the main bar. Waiting for the call.
The inevitable happened within minutes when she saw a detective gingerly carrying the weapon down the stairs. Her heart nearly jumped through her mouth, but she kept remembering what Tillotson had said: ‘Play it cool. Don’t admit anything.’
The officer who approached her looked bemused.
‘Why do you keep this under your bed, Mrs Jones?’
She had to think fast.
‘Protection. We’ve always been careful in case of robbers.’
The detective then did something that Gail could not believe. He did not follow through with any more questions. There was an uncomfortable silence as she waited to be accused of her husband’s murder, but it never came. Instead, he said: ‘At least you’ll be relieved to hear that this isn’t the murder weapon. We believe your husband was killed with a metal bar.’
Gail could not believe what she was hearing. But she certainly was not about to complain!
Within a few more minutes the police search of the pub was complete and the officers retreated from the premises, leaving Gail Jones to clean up the bar and prepare for opening time. It was business as usual at the Belle Vue that day.
That afternoon, Gail Jones took that wooden pick-axe handle and began a bizarre bid to excommunicate it from her life. She knew that it was only a matter of time before the police realised that it had, in fact, been the murder weapon – and then they’d be back searching for it.
So, first she chopped it up into tiny pieces. The plan had been to just chuck it in the rubbish, but that police search party earlier had scared her considerably. They might come back and find it. No, she thought to herself, it’s got to literally disappear.
For some weird reason (no one knows exactly why), Gail Jones then tried to cook the remains of
that pickaxe handle in her electric cooker at the Belle Vue. When she realised that it might start a fire, she abandoned that scheme and sat down, exhausted, to try and work out another way to get rid of the
handle, which now lay in charred bits in an oven pan in front of her.