Frankie and Ed at work when Shirley enters. "There's a man here to see you, Ed. He says he knows you."

Ed looks up. "Why didn't you just show him in?"

"I wanted to increase the tension."

"Consider me tense," says Ed. "Are you tense Frankie?"

"Like a coiled spring."

Ed turns back to Shirley. "We're tense. Show the man in."

Shirley disappears and a moment later a man walks in. He is tall, slightly greying, immaculately dressed and very handsome. "Are you paying attention, Mr. Stevens?" he says in a stern voice.

Ed stars at the man for a moment while his brain matches a name to the face. "Professor Ramsey?"

The man smiles. "The very same. And please, call me Andrew."

Ed rushes over to greet Andrew, grinning from ear to ear. He shakes his hand. "It's great to see you!"

"How are things, Edward?"

"Things are great," replies Ed. "I'm a lawyer now."

"So I hear." Andrew's eyes fall on Frankie, who is waiting patiently. "And who is this delightful creature?"

Ed introduces her. "Oh I'm sorry, this is my associate, Frankie Hector."

Frankie holds out her hand. "Pleased to meet you."

"You lucky dog, Edward," says Andrew, before taking her hand and kissing it.

Frankie gives Ed an amused/surprised look. "So, were you two in high school together?"

Andrew smiles. "I was his teacher, but bless you for pretending you thought otherwise."

"Professor Ramsey was the best teacher I ever had," says Ed with enthusiasm. "The best teacher ANYONE ever had. He inspired me to become a lawyer."

"I did?" says Andrew. "I thought I was teaching history."

"The subject didn't matter. You gave off this do what you want to do, be what you want to be inspiration. And your lessons were the best." He turns to Frankie. "One time at the start of a lesson he announced we were going on a field trip. We said 'where to' and he said 'a field'. So he takes us outside into the field and we play rounders for the whole lesson."

"Rounders?" enquired Frankie.

"It's the game that many believe was the precursor to baseball," explains Andrew. "That way when the principal came out to ask what we were doing I could claim I was giving the students a practical demonstration of the history of baseball as part of a study into American social history."

Frankie smiles. "None of my teachers were ever that much fun."

"Oh Professor Ramsey did that kind of stuff all the time," says Ed. "And his classes were like little plays. He'd take whatever the subject was and create characters, describing their lives and the part they played in the great events of the day. Sometimes he'd use student's names for the characters"

"Did he ever use yours?" asked Frankie.

"Um...once, yeah."

Frankie grins. "So what part did Edward J Stevens play in the great events of history?"

"It's not important."

"Tell me."

Ed reluctantly owns up. "I sold President Lincoln a theater ticket and advised him to get a seat in a box instead of in the stalls."

Frankie laughs. "You were one cool teacher," she tells Andrew.

"Well, I tried to make things interesting," he says before turning to Ed. "Look, Edward, can we talk?"

"Of course, sit down."

Ed gestures to the chair and Andrew sits. Ed takes his own chair as Frankie returns to hers. "Of course, I knew you were around. Carol told me she'd heard you were teaching in Jaspertown."

Andrew gave a wry smile. "Bad news travels fast I see."

Ed shakes his head. "She was a thrilled as I was. And I'm actually mad at you because it shouldn't have taken you so long to come and visit us."

"I know, you're right. But I'm afraid this isn't a social call, Edward..."


"Ed." He takes a breath. "The fact is I have a legal problem."

Ed is still a little giddy. "Legal problem? Well I'm your guy because I'm a lawyer now."

"Yes, I'd heard that."

"Of course you had. That's why you're here."

On hearing that it is a business matter, Frankie has quietly taken up position beside Andrew, poised with notebook. Ed acknowledges her with a look before continuing. "So what exactly is the problem?"

"I've been let go from my current teaching assignment."

"Fired? Why?"

"Inappropriate behaviour with a student."

Ed blinks in surprise. "Um....how inappropriate exactly?"

"They say I had sex with her."

"That's pretty inappropriate," says Ed.

"It would be if it were true."

"And what does the girl say?"

"She also says I had sex with her."

"That's not good."

Andrew nods. "As you can imagine, this could ruin my entire career. Which is why I'm in need of legal assistance."

Ed nods vigorously. "And you've come to the right place because I'm a lawyer now."


"Uh-huh," confirms Ed. "Now, obviously the first thing we need to establish, that is what I have to ask you, not that I doubt you at all you understand, but asking things that I have to ask is something I have to do....even if I'm sure of the answers in advance....and-"

Frankie interjects. "Ed, would you like me to ask?"


Frankie turns to Professor Ramsey. "Did you have sex with this girl?"

"Certainly not."

"Did you touch her inappropriately?"


"Did you touch her at ALL?"

"We may have brushed shoulders in the hallway."

Frankie nods and takes a note.

"Why are you writing that down?" asks Andrew.

"It's what I do."

Ed has recovered his composure enough to join in. "Now, Professor...."

"Sorry Ed," interrupts Andrew, "but do you think we could save the interrogation for another time? Charming as it is," he adds with a smile at Frankie.

"Sure, no problem. Leave your number with Frankie and we'll call you to arrange a time to go over everything."

Frankie offers her pad and pen and Andrew writes his number on it before rising to leave. At this point, the door opens and Carol enters.

"Ed I-" she begins before seeing Andrew. "Oh, sorry I didn't realise you had a...." she trails off as recognition takes holed. "Andy?"

He smiles. "Hello, Carol. Still breaking the boys' hearts?"

"Repeatedly," mutters Frankie, earning her a disapproving look from Ed, which she returns with one of wide-eyed innocence.

Fortunately, Carol and Andrew didn't hear her. "So how are you?" asks Carol.

"I take it the latest news hasn't reached Stukeyville High yet," replies Andrew grimly. "The grapevine must be slipping."

Carol looks puzzled. "Why, what's wrong?"

"I suppose it is bound to hit the public domain sooner or later, so I'll just let Ed fill you in on the gory details," says Andrew. "I'm afraid I must run. But we must all get together soon to catch up. Goodbye Ed, Frankie."

They nod their goodbyes as he leaves. Once he's gone, Carol turns to at Ed. "What's going on?"

Ed takes a deep breath. "Professor Ramsey has been accused of sleeping with a student."

Carol is concerned. "Oh, my god."

"Don't worry, we'll sort it out," says Ed. "I'm a lawyer now."

"No kidding." Carol shakes her head to clear her thoughts. "Ed, I just came by to tell you that I can't make lunch."

"I wasn't expecting you to make it, just pay for it."


"I try," says Ed with a grin. "So, I'll see you tonight then?

"Hmmm....I'll get back to you on that."

She turns to leave and in doing so meets Frankie's eye. "Frankie," she says coolly.

"Carol," replies Frankie in a similar tone.

Carol exits. Frankie watches her go – a thoughtful look on her face.

"You know, Frankie," says Ed, breaking Frankie's train of thought, "it's been over a month."

"I know."

"Well don't you think it's about time you and Carol were able to be in the same room without the temperature dropping by about ten degrees."

Frankie shakes her head. "We have a system that works."

"Which is?"

"When one of us enters a location to find the other is already there then the newcomer exits as soon as practically possible having completed their business. That way we minimise visual contact and the need to pretend we can stand the sight of one another."

"Uh-huh," says Ed.

"There are sub-clauses to the general rule of course," explains Frankie. "Like if one person enters the other's territory then the person whose territory it is has priority even if they weren't the first there. This office, for example, is my territory. The school is Carol's, as is your house."

"Isn't some of that my territory?"

"Not in this instance. And if one person is with company then that person does not have to leave, irrespective of territory or time of arrival, because the company is not bound by the rules."

"What if you're both with company?"

"That rarely happens because I have no friends." She glances at the door, something clearly on her mind, then looks back at Ed. "Listen, I have to run out. Can you spare me for five minutes?"

"As long as it's just five minutes."

"More like fifteen."

"Then as long as it's just fifteen."

"Or twenty."

"Take as long as you need."

Frankie smiles her thanks and grabs her jacket before walking quickly out of the office.


Carol is walking casually along when she hears a voice call her name.


She turns to see Frankie hurrying after her. "I was here first," she says.

"Forget about that," says Frankie. "I need to talk to you."

"To me?"


Carol looks puzzled. "YOU want to talk to ME?"

"Yes!" She pauses for a moment. "About Professor Ramsey."

"Did Ed send you?" asks Carol cautiously.

"How likely would that be?"

Carol considers this. "Fair point. Okay, can we do this over caffeine?"

"It's probably required."


A short time later, Carol and Frankie are in the coffee shop having just obtained their drinks.

"Okay," says Carol, "what's so important that you're prepared to sit a table with me?"

Frankie pauses before starting. "What do you think about Professor Ramsey being accused of sleeping with a student?"

"I think it's terrible."

"Do you think he's innocent?"

"Absolutely. If he says he's innocent, he's innocent."

Frankie nods and takes a sip of her coffee. "Carol, what happened between you and Professor Ramsey?"

Carol hesitates before responding. "What makes you think anything happened? What could have happened anyway? Why would you think that anything could possibly have happened?"

Carol ceases her less than convincing protests. Frankie takes another sip of her coffee before saying, "When Professor Ramsey came into the office he called Ed 'Mr. Stevens' and Ed called him 'Professor Ramsey'. Perfect former teacher/student interaction. But when you walked in he called you 'Carol'. Not Ms. Vessey, not even Carol Vessey, just 'Carol'. He told Ed to call him Andrew but you used his first name without prompting and even called him 'Andy', which takes the informality that one step further. Furthermore, when Ed mentioned that 'Carol' had told him about him working in Jaspertown, Professor Ramsey knew exactly who he meant without any further elaboration which suggests you have a significance to him somewhat beyond that of a mere student."

Carol stares at her. "And I thought Ed only hired you because he wanted to sleep with you."

Frankie accepts the compliment with a nod. "Then, of course, there were the looks."

"I gave a look?"

Frankie nods. "You both did. His was a look like he was drinking you in. I half expected him to take out a straw and suck you up. Yours was the standard 'Take me' look employed by impressionable eighteen year old girls when faced with an older, more experienced man for whom they have developed an infatuation."

"I'm not an impressionable eighteen year old girl."

"Just for a moment there, you were."

Carol realises she is caught. She takes a sip of her coffee before confessing, "Okay you're right, Andy and I had a....thing."

"What kind of thing?"

"A fling thing."

"A fling thing?"

Carol nods. "For three months. It was a three-month fling thing."

"Was it consensual?"

"Completely. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever done in my life."

"And now?"

Carol shrugs. "Well, I haven't had a very exciting life."

Frankie gets to the point. "Carol, you must see how this looks for Professor Ramsey. If it gets out that he seduced you-"

"He didn't seduce me," insists Carol. "Well, maybe he did but not in the sleazy, creepy way you're implying. I knew what I was doing and I knew what I wanted."


"Exactly. I knew I could attract boys and it was a thrill to find out I could hook a man like Andy too." Her voice gets more insistent. "In fact if there was any seducing going on then I seduced him. I made the first move."

"It doesn't matter who made the first move," says Frankie. "He was the teacher, you were the student. And the fact that he slept with one student doesn't do much for his credibility when he claims that he didn't sleep with another one."

"What happened eighteen years ago doesn't mean he's guilty this time."

"No it doesn't. But what's a jury going to think when they hear about it?"

Carol is silent for a moment. "Why would the jury find out?"

Frankie shrugs. "These things have a way of coming out. Does anyone else know?"

"Just a couple of girls from the high school crowd."

"Molly and Nancy?"

"No, they weren't really my crowd back than."

"Really?" Frankie is intrigued. "There's a story there somewhere. Okay so, where are these girls now?"

"I don't know. I haven't seen them since high school."

"Can you trust them?"

"They were vacuous air-heads with a nice line in bitchiness."

"So why did you hang out with them?"

"Because I was also a vacuous air-head with a nice line in bitchiness."

Frankie gives a half-grin. "You know, you're getting cooler by the minute."

"It's not the proudest time of my life. But these two girls were the only ones who knew so I don't see how anyone will find out."

"Carol, I know how these people work. They will go through Professor Ramsey's career in minute detail to try and turn up the dirt." She pauses. "I can't promise that they won't find out about you."

Carol rubs her face with her hand. "I don't want Ed to know about this."

"Carol, I can't let Ed go into court without this information."

"Why does Ed have to go to court?"

"Because he's Professor Ramsey's lawyer."

"No, I mean, can't you get Ed to drop the case?"


"Frankie, you don't know how much Ed admires Andy. If he finds out about....us.....it will hurt him badly. Could you persuade him to pass the case off to another lawyer?"

Frankie looks at her for a moment and sees the sincerity in her eyes. "I'll try."


Frankie drains her cup and rises to leave.

"Frankie, wait a minute."

Frankie pauses. "Is there more? Did you have his love child too?"

"It's not about Andy. It's about you and me and how we relate to each other."

"I thought we were both comfortable with the icy politeness."

"We are. Ed isn't."

"We could move up to cool formality."

Carol shakes her head. "We should make an effort. For Ed's sake."

Frankie looks at her for a moment. "Icy politeness IS an effort."

Carol gives her a look; Frankie relents. "But maybe we can do better."


Ed is at the shoe counter when Mike enters. "Ed, I need your help," he says.

"Mike, guess who's back in town."

"Is it someone who doesn't ignore pleas for help?"

"It's Professor Ramsey."

"Oh, cool."

"I know. He seemed pretty impressed to hear I was a lawyer now."

"That's great, Ed. Now can we get back to my request for help?"

"Sure, go ahead."

"Okay, here's the thing." Mike pauses for effect. "Dr. Jerome has challenged me to a game of golf."

"Uh huh," says Ed. "And are you playing for your pride or for something that's actually worth losing?"

Mike ignores Ed's gibe. "We're playing for a ticket to Oh-Amp."


"The Ohio Association of Medical Practitioners," explains Mike. "I guess they didn't appreciate the importance of a catchy acronym back in 1887."

"I guess not. Are you playing to go to this thing or to get out of going?"

"To go. It's a pretty big deal. Black tie, champagne, caviar, the works. And this year they have the guy who played BJ in MASH as the after dinner speaker."

Ed tries to look impressed and fails. "If this is an annual thing, how come you never mentioned it before?"

"Only partners get tickets so this is the first year I've been invited. And it's ticket only so we get two tickets, one for each of us."

"Well if you have a ticket, what's the problem?"

"I'm getting to that. Dr. Jerome said he wasn't going to go this year so I decided to use his ticket and take Nancy. She loves all that formal stuff and she doesn't get to dress up all fancy very often."

Ed nods. "Good idea. She'd love it."

"Only when I ask Dr. Jerome for his ticket he suddenly says he's going."

Ed can't help but smile a little in grudging admiration at Dr. Jerome's cunning. "You really should have seen that coming, Mike."

"I know, I let my guard down," admits Mike shamefully. "Anyway we argued about it and in the end he said he'd give me his ticket if I could beat him at golf."

"Can you beat him at golf?"

"Sure I can," insists Mike, before adding, "I think."

"You THINK?"

"Well he has played the game for fifty years. And you know he wouldn't have challenged me if he wasn't confident of whupping my ass."

Ed nods his agreement. "Okay, if you win you get the ticket. But what if he beats you?"

"Then he and I go to the dinner."

Ed is surprised. "Is that all?"

"And I have to call him 'Sir' for the duration of the event."

Ed winces. "You accepted those terms?"

"I had no choice. I've already told Nancy about it and claimed my 'thank you' sex."

"How is 'thank you' sex different from ordinary sex?"

"You've never had 'thank you' sex?"

"I don't think so. I've SAID 'thank you' after sex many times but I don't think I ever had 'thank you' sex."

"'Thank you' sex is where you're exempted from having to sexually satisfy your partner and instead she devotes herself entirely to your pleasure."

"Sounds good."

"It is," agrees Mike. "In my case it also involves Nancy dressing up as She- Ra."

"Okay," says Ed with a smile, "where do I come in?"

Mike frowns at him. "You don't. Nancy and I aren't into all that."

"With the golf, Mike."

"Oh, right. Well I have to practice and I need someone to practice with."

"Then I'm your man."

"Thanks, Ed," says Mike and turns to leave. He encounters Frankie returning. "Hey, Frankie."

"Hey, Mikey."

Ed checks his watch as Frankie reaches him. "Half an hour," he says accusingly.

"You said to take as long as I needed."

"Yes, but I didn't mean it."

Frankie smiles briefly then puts a professional face on. "Can I talk to you in the office?"

Without waiting for a reply she heads for the office and Ed follows on behind.


In the office, both have taken their seats. "So what's up?" asks Ed.

"I've been thinking."

"Couldn't you have done that in the office?"

She ignores him. "I don't think we should take the Ramsey case."

"We've already taken it."

"Then we should give it back."

Ed is surprised. "Why?"

"I'm not saying."

"You can't tell me?"

"Oh I can tell you; I'm just not."

"Frankie, I'm not going to drop the case of a man I respect and admire without a very good reason."

Frankie thinks quickly. "Ok then, then let me take it."

"I thought you didn't want it."

"I'm fine with it. It's you who doesn't want it."

Ed is getting exasperated. "Why wouldn't I want it?"

"Because you're too close to it. I mean, what if it turns out he's guilty?"

"He's not. I can't imagine him doing something even remotely like that. He's one of the finest men I've ever known."

"But what if..."

"Frankie what is this? Are you trying to get back at me over Carol by having me throw Professor Ramsey to the wolves?"

"Of course not!"

"Then what? Are you annoyed because he was flirting with you?"

"I'm not annoyed by his flirting."

"Then I don't want to hear another word about our dropping the case, okay?"

Frankie gives in. "Okay."


"The man's a pervert!"

Carol looks up. "What?"

"He's a pervert."

"That's a rather simplistic assessment," says Carol.

"But it's true. An old man like that sleeping with a young girl is a pervert."

"Well perhaps, Michelle, but I think that there's rather more to the character of Professor Humbert than that. I think what Nabakov was saying is that sometimes human beings can be driven by their urges to do things that are against their own morality, even when they can see that it will ultimately lead to their own destruction."

"Yeah," says a voice from the back. It's Damien, one of Carol's less able students. "What's the guy to do if it's laid out right there for the taking? The Lolita chick made all the running. She's a total slut."

Michelle turns to Damien. "That's a typical male attitude. You're such a sexist."

"Hey, you hear that?" says Damien to the class in general. "Michelle thinks I'm the sexiest."

The class laugh.

"Ok, that's enough," says Carol. "Let's get back to-" The bell rings. "- home."

The class all rush out and Carol watches them go. When they are all gone she starts to pack up her stuff, gazing thoughtfully at the copy of "Lolita" before she puts it away – wishing she hadn't set that particular piece of reading material the week before.

"Miss Vessey?"

She looks up to see Frankie standing in the doorway. She frowns. "Why did you call me Miss Vessey?"

"This is a school, you're a teacher. Big regression factor."

"Come in," invites Carol. "Have a seat."

Frankie sits at one of the students' desks. "Whoa," she says. "This is really creepy. I feel like I should be trying to come up with an excuse for not doing something."

"Frankie, did you have something to tell me?"

Frankie looks as if she can't remember....then remembers. "Oh yeah, sorry." She looks apologetic and shrugs, "I tried, but no dice."

"He wouldn't drop it?"

"It was a little hard to come up with a persuasive argument without telling him what you don't want him to know."

Carol sighs. "And now he has to know."

Frankie nods. She notes Carol's grim look and helpfully adds, "I could tell him for you if you like."

Carol gives her a sideways glance. "Would you get any pleasure out of it?"

Frankie has the grace to look slightly embarrassed. "I can't deny it."

"I'll tell him," says Carol, firmly.


Mike enters his house and removes his jacket, which he hangs up. When he turns back he sees a bare leg sticking out from the kitchen doorway. The leg writhes sensually.

"Mom?" asks Mike.

The leg comes out of the kitchen, followed by Nancy. She is wearing an incredibly slinky little black number. Mike stares for a moment before saying: "Wow."

Nancy smiles. "Exactly the reaction I was going for."

"That was just the warm up reaction. I have more."

"Save it for the Oh-Amp dinner."

She walks sexily towards him. Mike watches her thoughtfully. "Looks kinda expensive," he asks casually.

"It wasn't expensive," says Nancy and Mike is relieved until she adds: "Well, not for a Versace."

Mike's eyebrows raise but he says nothing. Nancy continues. "Anyway, how often do I have an excuse to buy a dress like this? It's not like I have glitzy functions to go to every week."

Mike tries to play the event down. "It's not all THAT glitzy."

Nancy smiles. "It will be when I walk in the room in this dress."


Carol is sitting on the couch watching TV when Ed enters.

"Hey," she says.


She watches as he lugs a large golf bag into the room, takes out the clubs and starts examining them.

"Golf clubs?" she asks eventually.

"Yeah. Just bought them."

"But you don't play golf."

"Correction. I haven't, until now, played golf. Mike has been challenged to a golf match by Dr. Jerome and he wants me to help him warm up."

"Wouldn't he be better off practising with someone who knows how to play?"

"I know how to play. I've just never put that knowledge into practice." He swings a club. "But it's golf. How hard can it be?"

"Have you played at all?"

"I saw a movie about it once. It looked pretty easy."

"What was the movie?"

"Happy Gilmore."

"Never seen it."

"You didn't miss much. Anyway, I have never failed to perform at least adequately at any sport that I have cared to engage in so I fail to see why golf should be any different."

"Uh-huh," says Carol.

"What does that mean?"



"It doesn't mean anything. Check the dictionary, it's not in there."

"It sounded somewhat dismissive."

Carol gives him a look of wide-eyed innocence. "Really? I can't think why"


Mike is in the goat, alone, when Phil appears beside him.

"Ah, the esteemed Dr. Burton," says Phil.

"Hey, Phil."

"What brings your august personage to this hostelry on this fine evening?" asks Phil. "What draws you away from the loving bosom of your wonderful family?"


Phil laughs and slaps him on the back. "You're a man's man, Dr. Burton. That's what I like about you."

"What do you want, Phil?"

Phil is shocked. "I? Want? Dr. Burton, I assure you that my conviviality and general bonhomie are not in any way designed to elicit some kind of gratuity in either goods or services from your good self."


"No." He leans in close. "In fact, it is I who am in a position to offer a service to you."

"I don't want any."

"I'm not offering any."

"Then I don't want to be involved."

Phil smiles broadly. "That's the beauty of it, Dr. Burton. Because you already are!"

Mike sighs. "Ok, Phil. What are you talking about."

"I am talking about your date with destiny. Your Herculean challenge. Your battle royale against the forces of darkness."

"You mean my golf match with Dr. Jerome?"


"How do you know about that?"

"Ed confides in me as he would a trusted therapist."

"So what's the service you're so desperate to provide me in my golf match?"

Phil allows a suitable dramatic pause before answering. "Dr, Burton, Phil Stubbs is going to be your caddy."

Mike shakes his head. "No he's not."

"Oh, I think he is."

"I'm a big strong man. Phil. I don't need a caddy."

"A caddy will make you look more professional."

"I'm an amateur. I don't need to look professional."

Phil gives him a sly look. "Will Dr. Jerome have a caddy?"

"I don't think so."

"Do you think he'd be royally bummed if you had a caddy who said 'Yes, Sir, Dr. Burton' every time you asked for a club while he had to get his own?"

Mike considers this for a moment. "Do I have to pay you?"

"The only payment I desire is the opportunity to participate in a great sporting event," says Phil. "And all the lost golf balls I can find."

Mike is intrigued. "What are you going to do with lost golf balls?"

Phil gives him a puzzled look. "Find them."


Carol and Ed are curled up on the couch watching TV. It is a seen of domestic bliss but Ed can't see that Carol looks troubled. She decides that she has to break the news...



"I, um, have something to tell you."


Something you might not want to hear."

"Are you really a man?"

Carol sits up, breaking herself free of his embrace. "This is serious, Ed."

Ed sits up too. "What is it?"

"It's about And-, Professor Ramsey."

"What about him?"

"He....that is he and I....although it's all in the past now of course...."

"Carol, what are you saying?"

Carol takes a deep breath. "Back in high school, Andrew and I had...an affair."

"You what?" says Ed in a mixture of surprise and anger.

"Ed, calm down."

"You and Professor Ramsey?"

"It was a long time ago."

Ed stands and starts pacing. "I can't....I can't....I can't even form a sentence to adequately express how much I can't believe this."

"Put down the club, Ed."

Ed looks at his hands to find that he'd picked a golf club up without thinking. He puts it down. "Why didn't you tell me before now?"

"Because you didn't need to know. Have you given me names and dates of everyone you've ever slept with?"

"I would have if one of them was your favorite teacher!" He runs a hand through his hair. "How many times have we sat in the Goat and talked about high school? And not once, not once, did you say that you'd slept with Professor Ramsey."

"I really think you're making too much of this," says Carol. "What happened between him and me, it's all a long time in the past. It has nothing to do with you and me now."

Ed won't be mollified. "Well I'll tell you this, he can find himself another lawyer."

"Ed, you can't! He needs a good lawyer."

"Of course he needs a good lawyer. He's guilty as hell."

"You know that's not true."

"All I know is that all the while I was trying to pluck up the courage to ask you out, he was giving you lessons in things other than history."

"That doesn't make him guilty now."

"Why are you defending him after what he did?"

"Because it wasn't just him who did it. It was me too and I have no regrets about my relationship with him." She walks over to Ed, takes his face in her hands and looks him square in the eye. "Ed, I want you to promise me you won't drop Andy."

"Oh, it's 'Andy' is it?"

"Promise me!"

She stares intently at him until he eventually gives in. "I promise you that this firm will not drop Professor Ramsey."

She kisses him lightly on the lips. "Thank you."


The next morning, Frankie arrives at work to find Ed sitting despondently at his desk. "Hi, Ed," she say's brightly and heads for her desk. She notes his lack of response. "Some variation on the theme of 'Good morning, Frankie' is usually appropriate at this point."

"Good morning, Frankie," says Ed finally.

"That's better," she says. "Why the long face? As the man said to the horse."

Ed doesn't smile. "I've made a decision," he says.

"That's why you get the big bucks."

"I want you to take the Ramsey case."

Frankie is surprised. "You do?"

"I think you're ready for it."

"I am? I mean, I AM. But why?"

"Carol told me."

Frankie keeps a carefully neutral face. "Told you what?"

"And she told me that she already told you so you don't have to pretend you don't know what I'm talking about."

Frankie relaxes. "So how do you feel about it?"

"I feel like want to drop the philandering creep like a hot brick and let him drown in his own slimy ooze. But Carol won't le...begged me not to, so I'm doing the next best thing and giving him to you."

"Thanks a lot."

"I didn't mean it like that," says Ed. "Carol wants him to have good representation and I don't feel that it can be me, so...you're up. I'll give you all the advice and back-up you need but I'm not going to stand up and speak for him in court."

Frankie is silent for a moment. "Can I have my first piece of advice?"

"Ask away."

"Should I be thanking you now or not?"

12. CAFE

Carol enters the café at lunchtime to find Nancy and Molly waiting.

"Hi guys," she says, taking the spare seat.

"Hi, Carol," say Nancy and Molly in unison. "Have you heard the news?" adds Molly.

"Local or national?"

"Very local. Nancy has a Versace dress."

Carol looks at Nancy. "So you've finally turned to theft."

"It's paid for," says Nancy. "Admittedly it's paid for by Visa and not me but that's just a minor detail and not one for me to worry about for another twenty six days."

"A sound financial policy," says Carol approvingly. "I like that. So, what did you guys order?"

"Same as you," says Molly. "We ordered for you since you're late. Again."

"Sorry. I just have things on my mind."

"Like what?" asks Nancy.

"Nothing really. It's just....Listen, do you guys remember Professor Ramsey from high school?"

"Do I ever," says Molly. "I've been thinking of making up an excuse to go over to Jaspertown High just to see if he's still as sexy as he used to be."

"He was such a fox," agrees Nancy.

"What about him?" asks Molly. "Or are you just starting a conversation on the theme of hot guys we would have if we could have?"

"Well that's the thing," says Carol. Then she stops. Then opens her mouth, then closes it again. Then opens it again, then closes it again. Eventually she just says, "I had sex with him."

"What?" exclaims Molly.

"When?" asks Nancy.

"Mostly after school was out."

"You slept with him in SCHOOL?" asks Molly.

"Well not in the building, but yes, while I was at school."

"Oh thank God," says Nancy.

The other two look at her questioningly. She explains: "I though you meant you slept with him last week or something. After all Ed went through to get you I think I'd have had to kill you."

"Only if you got to me before I did," says Carol.

Molly is still stunned. "I can't believe you did it with Professor Ramsey."

"I can't believe you did it with Professor Ramsey and never told us about it," says Nancy.

"It was a long time ago. History."

"Yeah but.... Professor Ramsey! He was a dreamboat. I had such a crush on him."

"All the girls did."

"And you actually had him! What was it like?"


"Come on, share. I have to know if it was as good as in my fantasies."

Carol is reluctant but she wilts under Nancy's persistent questioning stare. "It was.... wonderful."

"I knew it!"

"I'm seriously conflicted," says Molly. "As a former hormonal eighteen year old I can completely understand why you wanted to do it. But as principal of a high school I can't condone it. If one of my staff slept with a student, I'd fire them."

"You're just done saying how you wanted to sleep with him," says Carol.

"That's not the same thing at all," insists Molly. "What if...what if Dennis had slept with a student?"

"Why Dennis?"

"He was the first guy I could think of who I think might have done it."

Carol gives her a hard stare. Molly changes tack. "Ok, forget about Dennis. The fact is that Professor Ramsey abused a position of trust."

"I made all the running."

"That doesn't matter. He was twelve years older than you and he shouldn't have let it happen."

Carol is surprised at Molly's strength of reaction. She looks to Nancy for support. "I have to agree with Molly," says Nancy. "I can joke now about how I had the hots for him, but I'm not sure I'd really have wanted it to happen."

"Well I don't care what you two think. My time with Andy is a very special part of my past and I don't regret any of it."


Andy enters Stukeybowl and encounters Ed heading for the exit carrying his golf bag.

"Edward. I thought we had an appointment."

Ed doesn't even look at him. "Frankie's in the office. She's dealing with this now."

"Erm, why have you-?"

"In the office."

Ed exits. Andy watches him with a puzzled expression.

"Professor Ramsey."

He turns to see Frankie in the office doorway. He smiles broadly. "Call me Andy."


Moments later, Frankie and Andy are in the office. Frankie has "borrowed" Ed's desk.

"Ok," says Frankie. "What this meeting is for is basically so I can get a full picture of the circumstances leading up to the accusation. And the details of the allegation itself."

"I'm all yours," says Andy. "But perhaps you could first tell me why you're dealing with my case and Ed is refusing to make eye contact with me."

Frankie looks at him for a moment. "Suppose I asked you to guess at a reason."


"Right. You're not his favorite person just now."

"How did he....?"

"Carol told him. Just as I hope you would have told him before he went into court without such a relevant fact."

Andy has the grace to look embarrassed. "I was hoping to avoid it, I confess. But only once I found out that he and Carol are now together. I wasn't expecting that."

"That makes two of us," says Frankie. The remark puzzles Andy but she moves on before he can query it. "What's the name of the student who has made the allegation?"

"Kelly Charles."

"And what exactly is she alleging?"

"That I slept with her."

"Yes, but I need the details. Where, when, how many times."

"Once, in the back seat of my car, two weeks ago. She made the complaint three days after she says it happened and I was immediately suspended. A week later and emergency meeting of the school board chose to dismiss me."

"Did you give evidence at this meeting?"

"Not what you'd call evidence. They asked me for my side, I denied it, they said they didn't believe me."

"Did you have legal representation?"

"No," says Andy. "Foolish of me, I know," he adds in response to Frankie's reproachful look.

"Ok, so how would you describe your relationship with Kelly Charles?"

"A normal teacher-student one."

"Ed tells me that you used to flirt a little with your female students. Do you still do that?"

"Yes. But it's just a game."

"Do you ever think about taking it beyond a game?"

"Well of course."


"Frankie, every male teacher thinks about it. Except for those who are too old to care any more. Asking a heterosexual man not to think about sex with eighteen-year-old girls is asking him to defy nature. He can't do it any more than he can stop his heart beating. The trick is not to act on it and I didn't. I flirt because I enjoy getting a reaction, not because I plan on doing anything about it."

"Did you flirt with Kelly Charles?"

"Not beyond a smile and a compliment about her hair."

"That's sexual harassment in this century."

"Then it's a pity we couldn't have stayed in the last one."

"Actually," says Frankie, "you'd probably have to skip back to the nineteenth to be completely safe. Are you quite certain that there was nothing you did that could have been misconstrued."

"Misconstrued as sex? Yes, quite certain."

"You see," says Frankie, "the question in the minds of the jury is going to be; why would an eighteen-year-old girl lie about something like that?"

"I really have no idea."

"Did she have a grudge against you?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"Had you given her bad grades?"

"No, she was a very capable student."

Frankie sighs. "You're not giving me much to work on here."

"I'm giving you all there is. What can I tell you?" He smiles and in a poor Bill Clinton voice says, "I did not have sexual relations with that girl."

Frankie stares at him. "Please don't say that in court."

"Just trying to lighten the mood."

Frankie presses on. "What about people around her...friends, parents....could they have wanted to damage you in some way?"

"I can't imagine why. I get on well with all my students. I haven't met the girl's father at all and I only met her mother once."

"When was that?"

"At a PTA meeting shortly after I started. She seemed to think she knew me but I didn't remember her. We barely exchanged ten words."

"Ok," says Frankie, "let's get back to the girl. How long has she been in your class?"


Meanwhile, out on the golf course, Ed and Mike are playing golf. Well, actually they are standing at the edge of a large bunker looking in at the golf ball in the middle of it.

Mikes says, "Ten bucks says you can't get out of that bunker in less than five strokes."

Ed glowers at him, plucks his sand wedge out of the bag and gets into the bunker. He carefully lines up his stroke and swings. The ball moves just a couple of feet. He tries again and the ball reaches the edge of the bunker...before falling back in. He tries again and somehow manages to make it go backwards.

"Tell me something, Ed," says Mike. "Why did you agree to help me practise golf if you don't know how to play?"

"I assumed I'd be good at it."

Ed takes another shot. It's better, but he's still in the bunker.

"Did you have any basis for that assumption?" asks Mike.

"Just a misplaced confidence in my sporting prowess."

Ed tries again and the ball clears the bunker. He climbs out and hands Mike ten bucks.

"You might as well take your next shot," says Mike.

Ed selects another club, lines up and swings. The ball is well struck but poorly directed. The pair watch it sail off deep into the rough.

"Ten bucks says you can't find that in under ten minutes," says Mike.


Back at the office, Andy and Frankie are finishing up.

"I think that's all for now," says Frankie. "I'll be in touch if I need anything more or have any news."

"Excellent," says Andy. "Now can I ask you a question?"


"Are you free for dinner tonight?"

Frankie is surprised. "You want to take me to dinner?"

"Actually I want to have sex with you but you strike me as a woman for whom dinner would be the absolute minimum pre-requisite before you would entertain the prospect."

Frankie is stunned. "I don't believe this."


"You've just effectively admitted habitual lechery and now you're hitting on me."

"Is it working?"

"A little, yes," admits Frankie. "But I'm not allowed to date clients. It's against the rules."

"I don't care about rules."

Frankie gives him a look. "Please don't say that in court."


Ed and Mike are still playing golf. Ed watches Mike sink a long putt.

"Five for me," he says. Then to Ed, "Sink this and it will be just fourteen for you."

Ed takes his shot but is well short of the hole. He shakes his head and looks at Mike. "How come YOU can hit a ball straight?"

"I'm a doctor. I did an entire semester on golf at college. Got pretty good at it too. Almost made the team."

"You're college had a golf team?"

"No and if you weren't so distracted today you wouldn't have believed me for a second."

"What makes you think I'm distracted?"

"All the signs are there. You're moody, irritable, you're sweating about twenty-five per cent more than normal and your heart-rate is up."

"Nancy told you didn't she?"


"So, what do you think?"

"Well it certainly came as a surprise," says Mike. "I always thought he was sleeping with Wendy Lipton."

"He probably had her on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Carol on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays."

Mike is surprised at the strength of Ed's feelings. "I think you're over- reacting a just a little there, Ed."

"Over-reacting? How would you feel if Nancy told you she'd slept with your favorite teacher?"

"My favorite teacher was the lovely Miss Hurley," Mike reminds him. "To be honest, if Nancy told me she'd slept with her, I think I'd be kinda turned on."

Ed takes a shot and gets closer to the hole. "It's not only the fact that she slept with another guy. It's that suddenly Professor Ramsey seems like another Nick or Dennis."

"Especially Nick."

"Yeah, but at least he waited until she'd left high school to move in on her." He waves his club around aimlessly. "Just when I think she's done with that type of guy she does something like this."

"Well to be fair, Ed, she didn't just do it. She did it when she was eighteen."

"But she's not eighteen now and she still won't condemn the guy. 'No regrets' she said. Those were her exact words. Like she's glad it happened."

Mike shrugs. "Well if that's really how she feels."

"And now he's been up to his old tricks again."

Mike considers this. "As his lawyer, should you really be saying that?"

"I gave the case to Frankie."

"Lucky for him."

Ed takes another shot. He overshoots the hole. "I mean, I know the thing with him and Carol was a long time ago....but hearing about it now makes it feel like it happened yesterday."

"I guess I can understand that."

"And it makes me think, what if another Professor Ramsey or Dennis Martino or Nick Stanton comes along in six months time?"

"Let them come. Carol loves you."

"Yeah, so did Liz." He lines up to putt but breaks off. "You know, I'm starting to wonder if she really has changed. Maybe she's with me because I'm a safe harbor. Good old reliable Ed, he's a safe place until the next cool guy comes along and gracefully allows her permission to fall at their feet."

"I really don't-"

"And another thing. Notice how they're all teachers? What is it with her and teachers?"

"Well, she tends to meet a lot of teachers in her line of work."

Ed stares at him for a moment. "I'm being stupid aren't I?"

"Hey, it's why I love you. You're a constant reminder to Nancy that she could have done worse. Now take your shot."

Ed lines up the putt, and sinks it. He looks at Mike with a smile of triumph. Mike says, "Ten bucks says you don't know that wasn't your ball you just holed."


Carol is walking out of the school when she sees Andy waiting. She stops a second as if contemplating ducking back inside but he looks up and sees her. She presses on towards him.

"Hello, Carol."


"I thought we should talk."

"I'm not sure now is the time."

"Look, I just want to say how sorry I am that you've got mixed up in all this. If I'd known you were Ed's girlfriend I would never have asked him to represent me."

"That's ok," says Carol. "Ed's the best and you should have the best."

"I have Frankie."

Carol is surprised. "Oh. Well I'm sure she'll try her very hardest."

Andy raises an eyebrow at the less than fulsome endorsement of Frankie's skills but lets it pass. "I hope all this won't cause any problems between you and Ed."

"No, absolutely not. We're completely fine."

"He does seem rather put out."

"It'll pass."

"Yes, well, I just wanted to make sure."


"We'll get together and talk properly later."




Andy walks away. Carol stands watching him.


Frankie is at her desk and looks up as Ed returns carrying his golf bag, which he unceremoniously dumps in the corner.

"How was the game?" she asks as he sits down.



"Really," insists Ed.

"Only you seem to have less golf clubs than you set out with."


"And two of the ones you do have left are bent."

"Golf is a tough game," explains Ed. "So how are things going with the Professor Randy case?"


"Freudian slip. So how's it going?"

"Not so good. At the moment it's just his word against hers and with his reputation as a flirt I don't see a jury believing him." She sighs. "And that's assuming the other side don't get their hands on the juicy details about him and...." She stops herself and gives Ed and apologetic look. "Sorry."

Ed waves her apology away but doesn't look happy at the reference. "He's still saying he didn't do it?"


"You believe him?"

Frankie thinks for a moment. "I'd say yes. I'm not sure why....just a feeling."

Ed nods as if understanding. "Did he hit on you?"

Frankie just looks at him.

"He did, didn't he?"

"How did you know?"

"Just a hunch. I told you he was a flirt."

"This was uber-flirting. He went from inviting me to dinner to suggesting we do it right there on your desk in the space of thirty seconds."

Ed looks at his desk with concern. "Did you....?"



"I was tempted though."

"You're kidding me."

"Not to do it on your desk," she hurriedly points out. "But in general, sure, I was tempted. Why not? He's tall, dark, if slightly greying, and handsome. And he's a charmer. He has that fake British accent only without the overtones of homosexuality that sometimes goes along with it." She pauses a moment just to let Ed take all that in before adding: "Plus in a warped kind of way I would feel like I was getting one over on Carol."

"Do you want to get one over on Carol?"

"Oh, yeah."

Before Ed can comment on this, Mike enters. "Hey, Ed, we're ready for you."

"Ready for me for what?"

"Bowling. I know it's kind of obvious but it's free and we're cheap. Teams are you and Carol, me and Nancy and Molly and Biff."

"His name is Shawn."

Mike frowns. "What did I say?"

"You called him Biff."

"Did I? Can't think why." He shrugs it off. "Anyway, come on, we're waiting for you."

"Okay, I'm coming." Ed stands and walks to the door. As he gets there he glances at Frankie who has buried herself in some papers. He looks at Mike and indicates her with his eyebrows. Mike gets the hint.

"Want to play, Frankie?"

Frankie shakes her head. "Seven's an odd number."

"I'll sit out and you can partner Nancy. I shouldn't be risking potential thumb-related injury before my big golf match anyway."

Frankie smiles. "I appreciate the offer, but no thanks."

She gets back to work. Mike gives Ed an "I tried" shrug and they leave. Neither sees Frankie look up and watch them go with sadness in her eyes.


A little later, Frankie emerges from the office. She sees Ed, Carol, Mike, Nancy and Molly bowling. They are laughing and generally having fun. Frankie watches them wistfully. She looks down the alleys and everywhere sees groups of friends having fun. She returns her gaze to Ed and Co. Ed glances over at her and she quickly looks away. She slyly looks back at him from the corner of her eye and he is still looking at her. She looks around quickly, sees Shirley at the food counter, makes a decision, and walks over to her.

"Hi Shirley" she says as she arrives.

"Good evening, Frankie."

"How's it going?"

Shirley looks around her counter. "About normal for a Thursday, thank you."

"That's great," says Frankie with fake enthusiasm. "You know, I was just thinking about you."

"A lot of people do that. I'm an enigma."

"You certainly are that. But anyway, I was just thinking how I never see you hanging out in the Goat or anything."


"What do you do with yourself when you're not here?"

"I have a cat. My life is full."

Frankie nods understandingly. "But life isn't all about cats, right?"

Shirley looks at her blankly. Frankie soldiers on. "There's lots of other great things about life. Like friends, and alcohol, and meeting up with friends to drink alcohol."

Shirley blinks at her.

"So with all that good stuff in mind, I was thinking you and me could go out for a drink later."

Shirley considers this for a moment. "You and I?"


Shirley considers this for another moment. "Why?"

"Because it will be fun."

"I'm not sure I understand."

Frankie closes her eyes, starts to count to ten, stops at five and opens them again. "Okay, here's how it is. I'm sick of staying home every night because the only people I know in town are best friends with the woman who stole my boyfriend. I need a friend and I looked around and saw you. You seem to be one of the few people with a social life even worse than mine and I thought you'd probably be so grateful that I invited you out that you'd jump at the chance and I would get myself a friend who, while geeky, would be pitifully grateful for my attention and I would be spared the indignity of having to go out drinking alone."

Frankie takes a deep breath. Shirley blinks. "I finish at nine." "I'll see you in the Goat at nine thirty."

Frankie turns and heads back to the office. Ed intercepts her.

"Changed your mind about joining us for a game?"


"You shouldn't refuse just because Carol's there."

"I'm not," says Frankie. "I can't play because I'm going out tonight. With....a friend."

"A friend?"

"Yes. It's not just you that has them you know."

"I know. I just didn't realise that you had....are you meeting Professor Ramsey?"


"Then who's the friend?"

Frankie looks slightly embarrassed. "Shirley."

Ed grins.

"Why are you grinning?" demands Frankie.

"No reason."

"Shirley is a nice person."

"Indeed she is."

"She's every bit as good as any of your friends."

"I have no doubt."

"I mean, have you ever taken the time to really get to know her?"

"She's worked for me for over three years."

"So you haven't taken the time to get to know her?"

"Not as such."

"Well she and I are going to have a great time tonight."

"Something you both deserve."

Frankie nods and goes back in the office. Ed chuckles as he goes back to his lane and stands by Mike. He's just in time to see Carol send a ball into the gutter.

"When are you going to teach her how to bowl, Ed?"

"I've tried."

"Maybe you're just not a very good teacher."

"No, I'm just a lawyer. No teacher am I. Would that I were a teacher, Mike. Teachers, as I'm rapidly learning, are respected, cool and have women fall at their feet. Lawyers, on the other hand, are scorned, decidedly uncool and must go to ridiculous lengths to have women even look at them."


It is Carol who has spoken. She doesn't look happy. Mike decides to get out from between them. "I think I'm up," he says and goes to pick up his ball.

Carol moves over to Ed. "What was all that about?"

"All what?"

"You know what. Ed, you musn't fixate on what I did fifteen years ago."

"I'm not fixating on what you did fifteen years ago," says Ed. "I'm fixating on the fact that you refuse to condemn the man."

"Why should I?"

"What he did was wrong."

"You didn't think it was wrong when you thought he was sleeping with Wendy Lipton."

"How did you know I thought he was sleeping with Wendy Lipton?"

"EVERYONE thought he was sleeping with Wendy Lipton. And I just bet that made him all the more cool in the eyes of you guys."

Ed is guiltily silent.

"Yeah, I thought so," said Carol. "Face it, Ed. You're not worried about the ethics of student/teacher relationships. What's pissing you off is the fact that he had ME. And not only me but the version of me that lived in your head for all those years. The version of me that you came back here to find. You never had her, but he did and you can't handle that."

Having delivered this speech, Carol walks away. Ed watches her go, then looks at Mike, Nancy and Molly who are staring at him.

"You know, Ed," says Nancy, "our nights out seemed much more fun when you two were pretending not to be just friends."

21. BAR

Frankie and Shirley enter the bar.

"What would you like to drink?" asks Frankie.

Shirley takes out a notebook and consults it. "A lite beer."

Frankie orders the drinks, then asks: "Do you want to sit at the bar or a table?"

Shirley consults her book. "The bar."

"What's with the notebook?"

"It has been some time since I participated in a girls' night out so I made some notes on the proper etiquette to conform to, based on my observations of current popular culture as depicted on cable television shows."

"You don't need to conform to anything, Shirley. Just be yourself."

"I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that."

"Then be whoever you feel comfortable being."

Shirley nods. The drinks arrive and Frankie hands one to Shirley. She holds up her glass. "Cheers."

Shirley looks blank so Frankie has to chink her glass against Shirley's. Shirley clearly has something on her mind. She puts down her glass. "Frankie, before this evening progresses any further, I need to know something."

"What's that?"

"Are you expecting a sexual liaison to result from tonight's social interaction?"

Frankie almost spits out her drink. "Excuse me?"

"We are unattached women in a bar," says Shirley. "I assume the objective is to obtain men for meaningless sexual gratification."

Frankie is relieved her first thought proved false and seeks to reassure Shirley. "The objective is to get out of the apartment and enjoy a couple of drinks."

"No men?"

"Not unless you want one."

Shirley nods to herself. "I see." She crosses something off in her notebook. "Then I needn't have had my cat stay over a neighbor's house."

Frankie regards her. "Has it been a while since you last dated?"

"Two years four months and seventeen days. The affair in question was brief, yet torrid."

"Why did you break up?"

"He was a very poor conversationalist."


"I was forced to leave him a broken man," continues Shirley. "Since then I have been disinclined to engage in a further relationship despite the ceaseless urgings of all around me."

"I know what you mean," says Frankie. "Why does everyone think that the path to happiness lies with having a man? I've barely been without one since high school and it doesn't seem to have got me anywhere. Maybe it's time to give the single life a try."

"The single life has much to recommend it," says Shirley. "I myself have been single for eighty seven point four per cent of my adult life."

Frankie nods. "The thing is I'm used to being part of a couple. I think I'd get lonely."

"Have you considered a cat?"

"I'm not sure a cat would be quite the same as a man."

"Cats are like men in many ways," says Shirley. "They stay out all night, they are only affectionate when they want something, they often smell, and however well toilet trained they are they will still sometimes miss the litter tray." She takes a sip of her drink. "Oh, and some of them are black."

"Yeah, but what about sex?"

"Oh yes, they have lots of sex."

Frankie smiles. "I'll think about it. At least they always eventually come back to you. Can't say that about men."

Shirley stands. "I'm going to the bathroom now."


"Don't you want to accompany me?"

"No, I'm fine."

Shirley is puzzled. "I understood it was traditional for women to urinate in pairs."

"It's not compulsory."

Shirley nods in acceptance. "Very good." She opens her notebook and crosses something out before heading off in the direction of the bathroom.

Frankie watches her go with a smile, then turns her attention to the other patrons of the bar – looking over them in a casual but keen manner. She notices a young man looking back at her. He smiles and raises his bottle of 7-Up. She smiles back politely then looks away.

Five seconds later she hears a voice over her shoulder.

"Hello, Ms Hector."

She turns to find the young man is standing next to her. "My names Warren Cheswick," he tells her. "You've probably seen me around."

"Not that I recall."

"Well, I'm sure you've heard of me."

Frankie thinks for a second. "Are you the guy Ed defended on a charge of indecent exposure?"

"No, I'm actually one of Ed's close personal friends. Mind if I join you?"

"Well I..."

But Warren has already taken Shirley's vacant stool. "So, I understand from the grapevine that you are at present unattached. Is that correct?"

"At present, yes."

"I am also, as it happens, between relationships."

"Yeah? Maybe we should start a club."

"We should," agrees Warren. "A club of two."

Frankie finally realises what is going on. "Are you hitting on me?"

"'Hitting' is such a juvenile word. Men of the world such as I, and women of the world such as I perceive you to be, don't 'hit' on one other. We engage, we discourse, we beguile and ultimately....we seduce."

He seductively sucks 7-Up through the straw. Frankie fights to keep a straight face. "Well....?"


"Warren. I'm very flattered but I don't think it would work out."

"Are you frightened by my intellect? Because I can dumb myself down a surprisingly long way."

"I think I can definitely say that I'm not frightened by your intellect. I just think that I'm a little too....full of life experience...for you."

"It's the age thing isn't it? Why do women always bring up the age thing."

"Maybe because they're women. Have you considered girls? Although younger than women they do possess many of the same attributes."

"Girls don't understand me," says Warren. "It takes a female of intelligence, experience and maturity to fully appreciate all the many levels of Warren Cheswick. And you, Frankie Hector, have the chance to be that woman."

"I'm sorry, Warren."

"I can assure you I have the necessary level of sophistication to appeal to an older woman."

He sips from his straw again. Frankie gives him a smile. "It's very sweet of you, and I really am flattered....but it's not going to happen."

Warren looks disappointed but he puts on a brave face. "That's okay. Surprising as it may be, I am no stranger to rejection and I have learned to deal with it." He takes a deep breath. "But I think it's only fair to warn you that experience has taught me not to take no for an answer."

"I think this time you should."

"I know women. They say no, then a few weeks, or months, or in a few cases years later, they say yes."

"Not this women."

"You say that now. But Warren Cheswick is nothing if not persistent."

"Well Frankie Hector is nothing if not a lawyer. And as such she can get a restraining order as easily as someone who works at Staples can lay their hands on a pen."

Warren nods thoughtfully as he considers this. "I understand. Have a nice evening."

He walks away just as Shirley is returning. "Did I see you talking to Warren Cheswick?" she asks Frankie.

"Not only talking." She smiles. "It's been a few years since an teenager hit on me. It actually gave me quite a nice nostalgic feeling."

Shirley stares at her for a moment. "Poor Warren. I don't think he'll ever get over me."


Ed arrives at Stukeybowl the next morning. Shirley is already there.

"Good morning, Shirley," says Ed.

"Good morning, Ed."

He waits for her to volunteer some information about the previous night but she doesn't. "So, did you have a good time last night?"

"To which part of the night are you referring?"

"The part with Frankie."

"Then yes. Frankie proved a most amiable companion and the evening was very enjoyable despite the absence of a meaningless sexual liaison."

"Ok," is all Ed can find to say to that. He heads into his office.....


....and finds Frankie getting ready to leave.

"Hey, Ed," she says.


"I'm heading over to Jaspertown. I want to talk to Kelly Charles' mother."

"You think you can get something out of her?"

Frankie shrugs. "Have to start somewhere."

She picks up her case and heads for the door.

"How was last night?" asks Ed before she leaves.

"It was fun," says Frankie. "Being out with Shirley is a bit like watching a Japanese movie without subtitles. Completely inexplicable, but strangely interesting and compelling."

She leaves, exchanging greetings with Phil who is on his way in. He gets right to the point.

"Ed, I need to talk to you."

"Go ahead, Phil."

"Man to man."

"We can't really do it any other way without major surgery."

"What I mean is that this is a delicate matter which requires the kind of understanding such as can only exist between two men of wisdom and experience."

Ed grins. "Then we're in trouble."

"Ed, please," says Phil. "This is serious."

"I'm sorry. Carry on."

"Ok. The thing is....I have a new girlfriend."

"Well congratulations, Phil."

Phil holds up a hand to silence him. "Hold off on the plaudits, Bosco. Deserved as they are, I haven't finished."


"The fact is that my new girlfriend is a lady who is not unknown to you in the capacity of paramour. In the pre-Carol era of course."

Ed takes a moment to decipher this. "Are you saying that you're dating one of my old girlfriends?"

"That is what I'm saying. Now, I don't want you to feel that your masculinity is in any way threatened by this occurrence. In many ways it's understandable that the same woman should be drawn to each of us in turn, sharing as we do many of the primary Alpha-male qualities."

"Who is it, Phil?" asks Ed. A thought strikes him. "Is it Frankie?"

"It is not Frankie. Out of respect for the recent nature of the termination of your relationship I have thus far refrained from extending to her an invitation to fill the vacancy at my side." He pauses. "Do you think she'd be interested in applying for the post?"

Ed thinks about Frankie's new friendship with Shirley. "Quite possibly. But if it's not her, who is it?"



"Heidi," confirms Phil.

"Heidi from two years ago?"

"The same. Now, are you completely and one hundred per cent cool with that? Because if you're not then she is out of here."

Ed is surprised. "You'd dump your girlfriend just because I didn't approve?"

"No, I just wouldn't bring her in here. I am not one to flaunt my women under the noses of their jilted lovers."

"Yeah, just for the record Phil, I dropped Heidi not the other way around."

Phil nods and taps the side of his nose knowingly. "Understood, Bosco. Understood."

He departs, leaving Ed looking thoughtful.


Frankie walks up to the house and rings the doorbell. After a moment it is opened by an attractive woman in her early to mid thirties.

"Becky Charles?"


"My name is Frankie Hector. I'm representing Professor Ramsey in his case for wrongful dismissal."

Frankie holds out her hand but Becky doesn't take it. "What do you want?" she asks.

"I'd just like to talk to you about the accusations your daughter has made against the Professor."

"I have nothing to say to you," says Becky. "Frankly, I don't know how you can defend a man who did what he did."

"He says he didn't do it."

"So you're calling my daughter a liar?"

"No. Well, yes, but only because it's my job. Look, isn't there a chance your daughter was mistaken?"

"Have you ever mistakenly thought you had sex with someone?"

"Well there was one time I got drunk at a frat party and the next morning couldn't remember if...." She trails off. "No, I've never mistakenly thought I had sex."

"You're defending a guilty man, Miss Hector. He's done it before, now he's done it again. Only this time he's going to pay." She stands. "Now I think you should leave."

She closes the door. Frankie stares at it for a moment before turning to leave. But at the gate she stops....and a thoughtful look crosses her face.


Dr. Jerome enters Mike's office and feigns surprise at finding Mike there. "Dr. Burton! I didn't expect to see you here today."

"I work here. Where else would I be?"

"I thought you'd be out practising."

"I don't need to practice my golf."

"Who said anything about practising golf? The only thing you need to practice is calling me 'Sir' in a suitably subservient tone of voice."

"I'm not going to lose, Dr. Jerome. I'm younger than you and fitter than you."

"So is a mountain gorilla. That's doesn't mean it can play golf." He smirks. "Although I'd put money on one to beat you."

"Did you want something?" asks Mike.

Dr. Jerome ignores him. "Tell you what I'll do. I wouldn't want to see your wife miss out on a night out just because she married a baboon-brained idiot."

Mike gives him a hard look but he continues regardless. "So even if I win I'm prepared to forego the pleasure of having you be my serf for the night and let Mrs Burton go instead."

Mike is surprised. "You're serious?"

"Absolutely," affirms Dr. Jerome. "I'd much rather be seen out with an attractive young woman than a man who was rejected for the job of Adams Family butler on the grounds that he's too damn ugly."

Mike does a double-take. "Wait...are you saying that you want to take my wife to the convention?"

"I'm saying I'm prepared to. Heaven knows she can't have had many good nights out since hitching herself to your ox cart."

"My wife isn't going anywhere with you."

"Suit yourself, Pussy Woods. Can you do a British accent? It will make me sound more knightly."


Ed enters the office to find that Frankie has returned. She is at her desk looking intently at a book.

"Frankie," asks Ed, "would you consider dating Phil?"

Frankie looks up. "Can't he ask me himself?"


He heads for his desk, but glances over and notices what Frankie is reading. He stops. "I notice you're looking through my high school year book."

"That's correct."

"May I ask why?"

"Well partly it's just innocent curiosity to see what was so special about Carol Vessey that the mere thought of her was enough to bring you back to Stukeyville and buy a bowling alley."

"That's not really very innocent."

"No, but I also had another reason and that reason is this..."

She shows Ed a picture in the year book. Ed recognises her. "Becky Brooks. She was one of the girls Carol used to hang out with. She was quite the bad girl. Rumor around the school was that her baby sister was actually her daughter."

"She's beautiful," says Frankie.

"Yeah, but she had one of those personalities that made her seem ugly. I could never understand why Carol was friends with her."

"Do you know what happened to her?"

Ed shakes his head. "Never gave her a thought."

"Actually that was just a rhetorical question so that I could reveal that I know what happened to her." She pauses so that Ed can ask. He doesn't so she prompts. "Ask me."

"Whatever happened to Becky Brooks?"

"Becky Brooks moved to Jaspertown and married Jonathon Charles."

It takes Ed a second to make the connection. "You mean Becky is the mother of Kelly Charles?"

"The very same. And judging by Kelly's age, those high-school rumors were true."

"That's quite a coincidence."

"Too much of one. One of the two people who knew about Carol and Professor Ramsey is the mother of the girl who is accusing him of the same thing."

"How did you figure out who she was?"

"She told me herself, or as good as. She said that Professor Ramsey had done it before. I didn't figure the opposition would be so quick off the mark that they'd have found out about Carol already so the fact that she knew could only mean one thing."

"That she'd known all along."

"Right." She looks at Becky's picture for a moment. "The thing is, where does that get me?"

"To a better place than you were at this morning. You've got a thread. Go pull it."


"I'm not sure I feel right about this. Mrs Watson is an old woman."

Frankie rings the doorbell. "She's a potential witness. Professor Ramsey said he left Stukeyville High because the principal found out about you and he having a....thing. We need to know how she found out."

"But it was all such a long time ago. She's hardly likely to remember anything from back then."

The door opens and Mrs Watson appears. "Hello, Miss Vessey," she says with a smile.

Carol is amazed. "You remember me?"

But Mrs Watson has already turned to Frankie. "And hello to you too, Miss Hector. Won't you come in?"

Mrs Watson goes back inside. Carol turns to Frankie. "Isn't that amazing, she remembered us after all this time." She frowns. "Wait a minute, how can she remember you?"

Frankie smiles. "I called ahead and told her we were coming."


Ed is working when Carol enters. He looks up. "You're back early."

"It didn't take as long as we thought. Frankie's just parking up; she'll will be in in a minute."

"Does that mean you'll have to leave?"

"No. The system is in abeyance for the duration of the case."

Ed nods his approval. "So how did it go?"

"Ok. Frankie thinks Mrs Watson might be able to help Andy's case."

"That's good."

There is an awkward silence until Ed says.... "Oh, hey, you'll never guess who Phil is dating."

"Then you'd better tell me."


"Little Swiss girl?"

"No, my Heidi."

"Your Heidi? I didn't know you had one."

"You must remember Heidi."

Carol shakes her head slowly. "I don't think so."

"I dated her for almost two months."

Carol looks blank.

"She had purple hair."

Carol still looks blank.

"Her claim to fame was running out onto the field naked during an Indians game."

More blankness from Carol. Ed goes for the clincher. "We broke up when I found out she was seeing another woman."

"Oh, THAT Heidi," says Carol as the penny drops. "She's dating Phil now?"

"Can you believe it?"

Carol considers for a moment. "Actually it seems less bizarre than her dating you. She was never really your type, Ed."

"We connected on a lot of levels."

"How many?"

"Well, just one level really. But we got really good at it."

"Not a good idea to boast about your sexual compatibility with ex- girlfriends to your current girlfriend, Ed."


"So are you really bothered by Phil dating her?"

"Maybe a little. I mean Phil's a nice....that is, he's not a bad person. But he's a very....different....type of guy to me, so the idea that the same woman could like both him and me in the same way is a bit weird."

Carol stares at him. "I had no idea you were such a....a....love snob."

"Love snob?"

"I don't know what to call it so I made it up. But you are one. You don't think Phil is good enough for one of your ex-girlfriends."

"It's not that," insists Ed. "It's not," he adds for emphasis. "It's just that suddenly everyone is dating my girlfriends."

"Only Phil is dating one of your girlfriends," corrects Carol. "I wasn't your girlfriend when I dated Andy."

"Well it feels like you were," says Ed. He decides he needs to boost his argument. "And he hit on Frankie too."

Carol is surprised. "Andy hit on Frankie?"

"Of course he hit on her. She's an attractive single woman and he's an aging lothario. It's an autonomic response with him." Ed looks at her expression. It is clear she doesn't like the idea of Andy and Frankie. "Are you jealous?"


"You are, you're jealous." Ed is agitated. "Carol, if what went on with you two is just history like you say, you shouldn't care who he's hitting on now."

Carol hits back. "Well you shouldn't care who he hit on fifteen years ago."

"He did a lot more than just hit on you," says Ed. "And at least Frankie had the good sense to say 'No'."

As soon as he says this, Ed wishes he hadn't. "Oh well Frankie would because Frankie is so much smarter than dumb old Carol isn't she?" says Carol.

"Carol, you know that's not-" begins Ed but gets no further.

"Frankie's clever enough to be a lawyer like Edward J Stevens while all Carol's good for is to try and educate the next generation."

"You know I don't-"

"That's fine. I can deal with the fact that you're more intellectually in tune with Frankie than with me. I can deal with the way you can jabber legal talk to each other at a hundred miles and hour and somehow manage to understand it. I've even been dealing pretty well I think with the fact that my boyfriend works with his ex-girlfriend and as a result spends more of his waking hours with her than with me." She pauses for breath. "So why the hell can't you accept the fact that fifteen years ago I slept with a man you happened to like?"

She doesn't wait for a reply. She storms out of the door, almost colliding with Frankie who is on her way in. Frankie looks questioningly at Ed.

"Sorry about that," he says.

"Not a problem. It's quite refreshing to have her come in here and be mad at you for a change."

"Glad you're enjoying it."

"I take my pleasure where I can," replies Frankie, taking her seat.

Ed looks at her thoughtfully for a second before asking, "Frankie, do you think I'm over-reacting about this whole Carol and Professor Ramsey thing?"

"Maybe just a smidge."

Ed throws up his hands. "Why does nobody see this the way I do?"

Frankie shrugs. "Maybe because we're not in love with Carol."

"I just don't understand why she can't see what happened between them was wrong. Would you have slept with your favourite teacher?"

"My favorite teacher was Mr. Dobowitz," says Frankie. "He was 62 and reminded me of my granddad."

"So he wasn't cool?"

"He was cool for a 62 year old who reminded me of my granddad."

"But he wasn't one of those cool guys? The ones who can walk into a room and walk out ten minutes later with the woman of their choice on their arm even when the woman in question has previously given every indication of being intelligent and sensible and not in the least inclined to fall at the feet of some guy who she knows is wrong for her in just about every way?"

"Not one of those, no," confirms Frankie. She looks at him thoughtfully. "Are you having issues?"

"I hate cool guys," says Ed. "Yet even while hating them I secretly wish I was one of them."

"You're cool," asserts Frankie, before adding, "in your way."

"See? It's the same with Carol. She-?"

Frankie holds up her hands to cut him off. "No way, Ed. I am not going to give you advice about your relationship with Carol."

"I'm not asking for advice, just your opinion."

"Then in my opinion you should stop worrying about cool guys."

Ed nods. "So your advice is to just ignore it?"

"I'm not giving advice."

"But if you were then the advice would be to ignore it."

"It's either that or play them at their own game," says Frankie, jokingly. She fails to see the thoughtful look on Ed's face.


That evening, Ed enters the Goat and scans the bar looking for Carol. He sees her....and a man. The man appears in his late thirties, is handsome, and has that scruffy/cool look that usually only the French can pull off. He and Carol are clearly familiar and as Ed watches the man says something to make her laugh. Carol sees Ed looking, waves and leans over to the man to say something. The man glances briefly at Ed before kissing Carol's cheek and moving away. Ed walks over with as much casualness as he can muster.

"Hi," says Carol.

"Hi," replies Ed. "Who was that?"

"Just a guy I know. His name is Jude."

"Jude? Nobody's called Jude."

"He is. And he was called it before Jude Law and before the Beatles song so he's not just a pale copy."

"Bully for him." Ed acts casual. "So, do you know him from school?"

Carol shakes her head. "Just from around."

"How come I've never seen him?"

"You don't know everybody that I know, Ed."

"Obviously not. What does he do?"

"He gives guitar lessons...."

"Sounds boring."

"....to rock stars. Record companies hire him to teach new acts how to play when they have to go on tour for the first time and the company suddenly realizes they don't know which end of a guitar is up."

"That sounds less boring," concedes Ed.

"So he's not in town much."


Ed tries to catch the bartender's eye and fails. Carol senses Ed is less than thrilled about her drinking with Jude. "Ed, there's no need to be jealous of Jude."

"I'm not jealous of Judy," says Ed. "I just asked a few entirely appropriate questions about a person of your acquaintance.

"I'm glad to hear it," says Carol, ignoring the fact that Ed called Jude Judy.

"Want a beer?"

Carol shows him her glass. "Got one, thanks."


"Jude bought it for me."

Ed's face clouds over. He turns and looks across the room. "Hey, Jude!" he calls. Jude turns to look at him. Ed points at Carol. "That's my woman."

Jude smiles. "Then you're a lucky man," he calls back.

"Yeah, just don't you forget it."

Ed looks at Carol triumphantly. Carol is mortified, not least because everyone is looking at them. "What the hell was that about?" she demands.

"Just marking my territory," says Ed.

Carol isn't impressed. "Ed, you have to get over this thing with Andy."

"I am over it."

"No, you're not. That little performance with Jude shows that you're not."

"What? I'm not allowed to get jealous when a 'cool' guy is hanging around my girlfriend?"

"Not when you embarrass me in public and not if it's just a display of insecurity about my ex-boyfriend from half a lifetime ago."

"I'm not insecure."

"Looks that way to me."

"Well, you know what, you're wrong. Because I'm not insecure, I'm way beyond insecure. The fact is, Carol, I'm downright scared."

Carol is surprised. "Scared?"

"Yes, scared," confirms Ed. "Scared that you only wanted me because you thought Frankie was taking away the safety net. Good old Ed, he'll always be there. Then suddenly you thought maybe I wouldn't....so you made sure."

"You don't have much faith in me if you think that."

"I have faith in you. I just don't have faith in my ability to be the kind of man you can love."

"You are the kind of man I love. You're the man I love. How can you even doubt it?"

"Because of history. Nick, Dennis, the jerks you dated in high school, the jerks you dated between Nick and Dennis....and now Professor Ramsey. Every guy you've ever dated has been of a type....except me."

Carol is moved but also annoyed. Her annoyance wins out. "Why aren't my words good enough for you, Ed? Can you only be convinced by suits of armor?"

She walks for the door. Ed goes after her. "Carol, wait."

He catches her at the door, but the door opens and Phil enters...accompanied by a familiar female. It is Heidi. "Ed!" she squeals with delight and embraces him tightly.

"Hey, Heidi," says Ed as he tries to gently release himself from her grip.

Phil is looking on with an indulgent smile. "Careful with the hands there, Bosco. Don't forget who's girl she is now." He winks at Carol. "Unless you want to discuss some kind of arrangement."

"I'm just leaving," says Carol. "You three have fun."

Ed finally frees himself from Heidi. "No, Carol, wait."

""I should really get home," says Carol. "I have to be in court tomorrow."

She leaves. Ed lets her go.


The next morning, Mike and Phil arrive at the clubhouse to find Dr. Jerome waiting.

"I must say that I admire you, Dr. Burton," he says. "It takes either extreme guts or extreme stupidity to come here knowing you face certain crushing defeat. Either way, I'm impressed."

"Why don't we just stop the verbal sparring and get on with the game," says Mike.

"Sparring? Son, a boxer doesn't spar with the punch bag. But since you're so keen for the humiliation to begin, let it begin."

He turns and signals to a tall, blonde man standing not far away. The man comes over. "This is Sven," he tells Mike, "my caddy. "He once caddied for Greg Norman."

"How do you do," says Sven in perfect, but heavily accented English.

Mike nods to Sven and indicates Phil. "This is my caddy, Phil."

"I once caddied for William Shatner," says Phil.

Dr. Jerome and Sven are unimpressed. Dr. Jerome looks at Mike. "Can't carry your own bag, huh? What are you, a woman?"

"You have a caddy too," protests Mike.

"I'm an old man you squirrel-faced, effeminate," says Dr. Jerome. "I can have a caddy without being a woman because I've spent my whole life being a man. Now, come on, let's go and get this turkey shoot started."

He and Sven lead the way, Mike and Phil follow.

"Did you really caddy for William Shatner?" asks Mike.

"Technically I was stealing his golf bag," replies Phil.


In court, Frankie is sat by Andy. The opposing attorney is Charles Wade who is seated alongside Andy's accuser, Kelly Charles, and Kelly's mother, Becky. Also in court are Carol and Ed, although Ed isn't up front with Frankie.

The judge enters and starts proceedings. Andy is called to the stand and Mr. Wade rises to question him.

"Professor Ramsey," begins Wade. "you deny that you had sexual intercourse with Kelly Charles?"

"I do."

"Can you explain to the court why you think she might say you did?"

"No, I can't explain that."

"How would you describe your relationship with Kelly Charles?"

"A normal one as between a student and teacher."

"I see," says Wade. "And just to clarify, do you consider sexual liaisons to be part of the normal relationship between a teacher and his students?"

"No, I do not," says Andy, firmly.

"But is it not the case that you have in fact had a sexual relationship with a student before?"

"A long time ago, yes."

"Just 'yes' will suffice," says Wade. "When was this?"


Wade smirks. "Well, maybe I'm showing my age but that doesn't seem like such a long time ago to me."

Frankie interjects. "Objection, your honor. Mr. Wade's personal perception of time has no relevance."

The judge nods. "Sustained. Keep your opinions to yourself, Mr. Wade."

Wade acknowledges the judge with a nod before turning back to Andy. "Do you regard this relationship as a mistake?"

Andy is flustered by the question. His eyes meet Carols. "Erm, well...."

"Was it a mistake, Professor, yes or no?"

Andy finds his voice. "It is always a mistake for a teacher to sleep with a student."

"I see. And how long did this relationship last?"

"About three months."

"Three months? You let this 'mistake' go on for three months?"


"And what brought it to an end?"

"Rumors reached the school principal and I had to leave the school."

"So how long might the relationship have lasted had it not come to the attention of the principal?"

"Objection," says Frankie. "The plaintiff is being asked to speculate on a hypothetical future."

"The question is relevant to ascertaining Professor Ramsey's attitude to student/teacher relationships," says Wade.

"Objection overruled," says the judge. "Plaintiff will answer the question."

Wade turns back to Andy. "Well, Professor?"

"I don't know," admits Andy.

"Do you mean that you would not voluntarily have terminated the relationship?"

"No," says Andy. "I don't think I would have."

Wade pauses a moment to allow this statement to sink in. "I'd like to get to the heart of what exactly you feel is a normal student/teacher relationship. Could you describe it for me?"

"Well," says Andy, "one that is cordial, yet professional. Students should feel able to come to a teacher with problems about schoolwork, or indeed anything else."

"Sounds ideal," says Wade. "And do you feel that you have such a relationship with your students?"

"I hope so, yes. You'd have to ask my students."

"Oh, I have, Professor. And you'll doubtless be gratified to hear that you are very well liked."

"I am," says Andy, but with caution. And he's right to be cautious.

"Although, the impression that I got was that you placed rather more emphasis on the cordiality, than the professionalism. Would that be fair?"

"I like to have a friendly relationship with my students," says Andy. "A good classroom atmosphere helps learning."

"Indeed. And how does this friendliness manifest itself?"

"I'm not sure what you mean."

"Well, might you, for example, talk about sports with your male students."

"Perhaps, yes."

"And might you, to take another example, compliment your female students on their physical appearance?"

Andy is flustered. "On occasion."

"According to my discussions with your students it is not so much 'on occasion' as an every day occurrence. Is it not in fact the case that your conversations with female students are laden with such compliments and often accompanied with thinly veiled innuendo?"

"I wouldn't describe it like that."

"But you don't deny the substance of that statement?"


Wade smiles. "No further questions."

He takes his seat and Frankie replaces him.

"How many years have you been a teacher, Professor Ramsey?" she asks.

"Twenty years now," he replies.

"And during that time, have you ever had students come on to you?"

"Objection," says Wade. "Professor Ramsey's former students are not here to defend themselves."

"I'm only asking for Professor Ramsey's perceptions, your honor," says Frankie.

"Over-ruled. Continue."

"A number, yes," says Andy. "I was considered quite handsome in my youth."

"So it would be fair to say that you had many opportunities to have sexual contact with students?"


"And how many of those opportunities have you ever taken up?"

"Only one."

"Carol Vessey?"


"Why her?" ask Frankie.

"She was special," says Andy. "We....connected."

"Did you love her?"

"Yes," says Andy with conviction. "I did."


Phil is examining the course using a surveyor's theodolite. While Dr. Jerome and Sven look at him in astonishment and Mike looks at him in embarrassment.

"What are you doing?" asks Sven, incredulously.

"I would have though that was obvious," says Phil. "I'm taking the lie."

"With that?"

Phil rolls his eyes. "Some of us are professionals." He turns to Mike. "I think a nine iron."

Mike isn't convinced. "Are you sure? Looks kind of a long hole for a nine."

"Trust me, Dr. Burton. I've worked out a mathematical model based on your height, arm length and strength." He turns to Dr. Jerome and Sven and adds proudly, "Which, by the way, was assessed as 'He-Man' by the arm wresting machine at the Funland arcade." He turns back to Mike. "Forget everything you know about golf clubs and trust in the model. Put your game, in my hands."

Mike seems very unsure but says, "Ok then, give me a nine."

Sven is amazed. "A nine? Are you mad? For a hole this long you need a three!"

"Now, now, Sven," says Dr. Jerome. "Let the monkeys play it their way. Just because someone put clothes on them doesn't mean we should expect them to behave like people."

Phil hands Mike the club with an overly dramatic flourish. Mike sets his ball on the tee and strikes it. It's a good strike and flies very straight, but it falls a long way short of where he would hope to be.

"Oh, that's too bad, Dr. Burton," says Dr. Jerome gleefully. "I do so hate to see a golfer get off to a bad start. It's so often the sign that they're going to have a true stinker of a game."

Dr. Jerome comes up for his shot. He takes an exaggerated look at the fairway. "A three iron, would you say, Sven?"

"Absolutely, Dr. Jerome," replies Sven, smoothly handing him the club.

Dr. Jerome lines up and takes his shot. It goes much farther than Mike's effort. Dr. Jerome is smug as he hands the club back to Sven. "I think this might be a good day."

He and Sven walk off.

"Don't worry, Dr. Burton," says Phil. "I can factor this early set back into the model."

Mike casts him a dirty look before walking off after Dr. Jerome. Phil calls after him. "Dr. Burton? Could you carry my theodolite?"


Frankie is now questioning Kelly Charles.

"Kelly, you have alleged that Professor Ramsey had sexual intercourse with you."

"That's right."

"And this was consensual?"

"I guess."

"You guess?"

"As consensual as it can be when someone in a position of authority uses that position to seduce a younger and less experienced person."

Frankie glances at Wade, guessing where that particular line came from. "Nicely recited," she says. "And you allege that this incident took place in the back seat of the Professor's car?"


"Did he take you to his home?"


"Did he take you to a movie theatre? A restaurant? Anywhere?"


"So there's nothing you can describe to us about Professor Ramsey's home, or movements or person that might verify your story?"

"It's true."

"That's not what I asked. I asked if there was anything you could tell us that only a person with intimate knowledge of Professor Ramsey might know?"

"I can describe his car."

"Anyone who passed through the school parking lot can describe his car."

Wade stands. "Objection!"

"I withdraw the comment," says Frankie. She pauses thoughtfully before asking the next question. "Miss Charles, why would you have sex with Professor Ramsey?"

"Excuse me?"

"Well from what you say he didn't exactly sweep you off your feet. No dates, no romance. And yet you say you consented to sex with him in the back of his car. Why?"

"He seduced me!"


"He just....said I was pretty, and special."

"Uh-huh," says Frankie. "And that's all it took?"


"No further questions, your honor."


On the golf course, Mike and Sven are searching deep in the rough while Dr. Jerome stands by watching.

"I'm sure it came down somewhere around here," says Phil.

"I do not see it, Dr Burton," says Sven.

"It's been ten minutes, Dr.Burton," says Dr. Jerome, happily. "Looks like you'll have to drop a shot." He pauses before adding with mock sympathy, "And just as you were starting to catch up too."

"Here it is!" yells Phil.

They turn to see him standing some way nearer the green.

"Are you sure that's mine?" asks Mike. "I thought it went deeper into the rough than that."

"It's definitely yours Dr. Burton. I have eyes like a hawk and followed it's trajectory as a falcon observes a field mouse."

Mike grins at Dr. Jerome. "Looks like I don't have to drop a shot after all. How many am I behind now, Phil?"

"Four," says Phil.

"Five," says Sven.

Phil gives Sven a nasty look. "Are you in this country legally?" he demands.


Carol is now on the stand. Wade is questioning her.

"Could you describe your relationship with Professor Ramsey, Ms Vessey?"

"He was my teacher."

"He was rather more than that, wasn't he, Ms Vessey?"

Carol is silent.

"Very well, let me be more direct. Did you have a sexual relationship with Professor Ramsey?"

Carol nods. "Yes."

"Was this relationship going on while you were a student at Stukeyville High and Professor Ramsey a teacher?"


"And how old were you at the time, Ms. Vessey?"


"Eighteen. Seems to be the age he prefers."

Frankie is up like a shot. "Objection!"

"Sustained," says the judge. "Less of the snide comments, Mr. Wade."

"Sorry, your honour. No further questions."

Wade takes his seat, to be replaced by Frankie. "Ms Vessey," she begins, "how did you relationship with Professor Ramsey start?"

"Um, well, I suppose you could say I threw myself at him."

Frankie smiles. "So it would be fair to say that you made the running?"

"To start with, yes."

"And before that, did he make any attempt to seduce you?"

"No. He flirted, like with the other girls, but that was all."

"I see. And, to your knowledge, did any other girls throw themselves at Professor Ramsey?"

Carol nods. "Some."

"But there was one of particular relevance to this case wasn't there?"

"Yes." Carol looks over at Becky. "It was Becky Brooks."

"Now Becky Charles and mother of Kelly Charles?"

"Yes. We used to hang out in those days and she said that she was going to....have him."

Frankie glances at Wade. He is scowling. She turns back to Carol. "And what did Professor Ramsey do in response to these advances?"

"He told her he wasn't interested."

"He rejected her?"


"And how did she take that?"

"Not well."

Frankie nods. "Uh-huh. Getting back to your own relationship with Professor Ramsey....would you describe yourself as a victim?"

"Absolutely not."

"What were your feelings towards Professor Ramsey at the time?"

Carol looks over at Professor Ramsey, and behind him, Ed. "I loved him."

"Some people might say that an eighteen year old doesn't know what it is to be in love."

"Then those people have forgotten what it is to be eighteen."

Frankie allows a pause for that statement to sink in. "So, given your feelings for Professor Ramsey, how did you feel when he broke off the relationship and left town?"

Again, the glance at Ed. "I was heartbroken."

"Heartbroken," repeats Frankie for effect. "And tell me, Ms Vessey, what are your feelings towards Professor Ramsey now?"

Carol pauses. All eyes are on her but she feels two sets keenly. Finally she responds. "Affection. For an old friend with whom I shared something very special and who will always have a place in my heart."

Frankie gives her a smile. "Thank you, Carol."

Carol leaves the stand. As she passes Andy he smiles at her and moths a "thank you". She gives him a supportive smile in return, one that isn't lost on Ed. He stands.

"Ready to go?" he asks Carol.

"Aren't you staying?"

"I only came to make sure you were ok. If Frankie needs me she can call me."

He ushers her out of the courtroom.


Back on the golf course, it is a tense moment. It is the 18th hole, both men are within putting distance of the hole. Mike only needs to sink this putt to win. He lines up, putts....and it drops neatly into the hole.

"Wooooohoooo!" says Phil, leaping into the air.

Mike turns and smiles at Dr. Jerome. "Well how about that, Dr. Jerome, you turtle-faced....turtle?"

"Not much good at the insults are you, Dr. Burton?"

"That doesn't matter because I'm good at golf. And I'm taking my wife to the Oh-Amp convention while you sit at home with your slippers and your cocoa watching American Idol like the pathetic loser you are."

"So you beat an old man at golf," says Dr. Jereome dismissivly. "Make you proud does it? Will you boast about it to your friends? Will it make your daughter think her daddy is a great hero? Will it impress Mrs Burton so much she lets you do it twice?"

Mike adopts a sing-song voice. "I beat Dr. Jerome, I beat Dr. Jerome."

"Oh, shut up."

Phil plucks the ball from the hole and holds it out to Mike. "Here's the winning ball, Dr. Burton. Maybe you'd like to have it mounted and keep it on your desk as a permanent reminder to all who enter your office."

"I might just do that, Phil," says Mike. "I can have it inscribed, 'Presented to Dr. Michael Burton on the occasion of whupping Dr. Walter Jerome's ass at golf'."

He reaches out to take it but Sven snatches it first and examines it closely.

"Hey, gimme my ball," says Mike.

"This is not your ball."


"You were using a number two." He holds it out for Mike to see. "This is a number four."

Mike looks at Phil. "They have numbers?" asks Phil.

Sven turns to Dr. Jerome and points at Phil. "This man must have switched the balls when Dr. Burton lost his on the twelfth."

Dr. Jerome smiles in a way that would put the Cheshire Cat to shame. "So, Dr. Burton, you cheated."

"That's a lie!" declares Phil. "Dr. Burton didn't cheat, I did."

"You're my caddy, Phil," says Mike with surprising calm. "If you cheated, I cheated."

"Well that hardly seems fair."

Mike turns to Dr. Jerome. "Look, Dr. Jerome, I only gained one stroke from this...."

"You only won by one stroke!"

"So why don't we play one more hole? Winner takes all."

"Oh no, Dr. Burton," says Dr. Jerome. "The rules are quite clear. You cheat, you forfeit the game." He smirks. "I win."

Phil looks at Mike for confirmation. Mike nods wearily.

"And now," says Dr. Jerome, "I trust you are ready to honor our wager."

"Ok," says Mike, sullenly.

"Ok, what?"

"Ok, Sir."

"That's better." He turns to Sven. "Keep hold of that ball Sven. I think I'll have it mounted and keep it on my desk as a reminder to all who enter my office that Dr. Michael Burton is a cheating weasel."

Mike has no reply. Throwing his club at Phil, who ducks just in time, he walks grimly away.

"Dr. Burton," says Dr. Jerome.

Mike doesn't stop.

"Dr. Burton!"

Mike stops and looks back.

"Take the tickets," says Dr. Jerome.


"You may have my ticket to the Oh-Amp dinner."

Mike is puzzled and suspicious. "Why?"

"The pleasure of beating you was enough to satisfy me," explains Dr. Jerome. "And besides, I hate those conventions. Come, Sven."

Dr. Jerome and Sven head back to the clubhouse. Phil approaches Mike. "Alright, Dr. B!" He holds up his hand for a hi-five, but Mike ignores it so he puts it down again. "So," he says, "when is this little shindig?"

"Why do you want to know?"

"So I can rent a tux. The function is black tie, one assumes."

"Wait, you think you're going to the convention?"

"It's my due, as half of the victorious 'Team Burton'."

"Ok, first of all, we didn't win. Second, we didn't win because you cheated. And third, why would I go anywhere with you when I have a beautiful wife in a sexy dress that I could go with instead?"

Mike walks away. Phil calls after him. "You never take me anywhere anymore!"


It is the second day of the hearing. Frankie has called Mrs Watson as a witness.

"Mrs Walker, you were principal of Stukeyville High School from 1974 to 1988, is that correct?"

"Yes it is," responds Mrs Walker.

"So you were principal during the period that Professor Ramsey worked there."

"Yes I was. I hired him."

"And do you remember why Professor Ramsey left his position in 1987?"

"Yes. I, um, suggested it might be for the best."

Frankie nods. "And why was that?"

"Well, because I found out about him and Carol Vessey."

"And how did you find out?"

"I received an anonymous note."

"Uh-huh," says Frankie. "Tell me, Mrs Walker, did you recognise the hand- writing in this note?"

Wade stands. "Relevance, your honor?"

"Obvious, your honor," says Frankie.

The judge nods. "Agreed. Continue, Ms Hector."

"Did you recognise the hand-writing in the note?" repeats Frankie.

"Oh, yes," says Mrs Walker. "I'd seen it many times."

"Whose hand-writing was it?"

"It was Becky Brooks."

Frankie turns and indicated Becky. "Now Becky Charles and mother of Kelly Charles?"


"No further questions," says Frankie, returning to her seat.

Wade gets up and approaches the stand. "Mrs Walker, what did you do when you found out that Professor Ramsey was having an affair with a student?"

"I made him leave."

"You fired him?"

"No. I told him that as long as he was at the school I'd have no choice but to investigate. But if he wasn't there any more...well..."

"You could let the matter rest?"


"So, in spite of this very serious allegation you just covered it up and allowed Professor Ramsey to move to another school where they would be unaware of his past? Wasn't that a little irresponsible?"

Wade stands. "Objection, your honor. Mrs Walker isn't on trial here."

"I'll allow it," says the judge, "but tread lightly with the accusations, Mr Wade."

Wade nods to the judge before turning back to Mrs Walker. "So you felt that if Professor Ramsey was no longer working at the school, there would be no need to pursue the allegations in the note?"

Mrs Walker shrugs. "It was how things were done in those days."

"Well it's lucky that things aren't done like that any more," says Wade sarcastically.

Frankie gives the judge a look and he intervenes. "Save it for the closing statement, Mr. Wade."

"My apologies, your honor. Mrs Walker, you claim that you recognised the hand-writing as being that of Becky Charles, or Becky Brooks as she was then."

"That's right."

"That's quite impressive," says Wade. "You not only remembered the name of one of the many hundreds of students who passed through Stukeyville High during your time there but you also remember her as being the person who wrote that note."


Wade pauses for a long moment. "How old are you Mrs. Watson?"

Frankie stands. "Objection, your honor."

The judge gives her a look. "You object to the witness being asked her age?"

"No, but I can see where he's going with this and I thought I'd get my objection in early."

"And where exactly is he going?" asks the judge.

"He's going to imply that Mrs Watson's age makes her an unreliable witness."

"Well let's wait until he gets there shall we? Continue Mr. Wade."

Wade smirks and continues. "How old are you, Mrs Watson?"

"I'm seventy four, no, seventy five."

Wade smiles. "Actually, Mrs Watson. You're seventy seven."

"Am I really?"

"Indeed you are. Now, Mr's Watson," he flashes an angry glance at Frankie, "do you often have difficulty remembering things?"

Frankie stands. "Ob-"


Frankie sits again, scowling as Wade continues his questioning. "Let me repeat the question for you, Mrs Watson. Do you often have difficulty remembering things?"

"Oh, not important things."

"Not important things, I see. So if I were to ask you who was President before the current one you would say...?"

Mrs Watson thinks long and hard before asking, "President of what?" A ripple of laughter goes through the court, which pleases Frankie but not Wade.

"The United States," Mrs Watson he says through clenched teeth, adding, "of America" for good measure.

"Well now, who was that," muses Mrs Watson. "Was it Ronald Reagan?"

"No, Mrs Watson I'm afraid not," says Wade. "But don't worry about it. It's not important." He turns to the judge. "No further questions, your honor."

The judge looks to Frankie. "Do you wish to re-examine the witness?"

"Please, your honor."

She approaches the stand and asks in a casual tone, "Mrs Watson. Who was valedictorian in the Stukeyville High class of '84."

"Natalie Rosen."

Frankie nods. "Captain of the cheerleading squad in '79?"

"Susan Welles."

"And, with regard to the year in question, who was both class president and president of the science club in 1987."

"That was Molly Hudson. She seemed to think she ran the place."

Frankie pauses and smiles before the next question. "Who missed the last minute shot to lose the state basketball championship for Stuckeyville High in 1987?"

"Edward Stevens."

Wade stands. "Objection. This is a meaningless display. The witness could have been primed to answer those questions."

"Mrs Watson is prepared to take questions from the court," declares Frankie. "Half the people in this room, including witness for the prosecution and mother of the accuser, spent their high-school years under Mrs Watson's tutelage. I'm sure they could provide a suitable test of her long-term memory as far as her work at Stukeyville High is concerned."

"This is not a game show, Ms Hector," warns the judge.

"No, your honor, it's very serious," replies Frankie. "As serious as the accusation of perjury and gross misconduct that has just been levelled at Mrs Watson and myself respectively by the opposing attorney."

"Nevertheless," says the judge, "I think you have made your point." He looks at Wade. "Unless you wish to take up the challenge, Mr. Wade?"

Wade shakes his head. The judge turns to Mrs Watson. "You may stand down."


Ed is doing some maintenance. Mike is watching him while drinking a soda and relating the story of the golf match.

"So I don't really know if I won or not," concludes Mike.

"Did he give you the ticket?"


"Then you won."

"I don't think Dr. Jerome will see it like that."

"Then we won't tell him."

"Works for me," says Mike. "So what did you do yesterday?"

"I went to court to watch Frankie get Carol to tell everyone how much she loved Professor Ramsey."

Mike rolls his eyes. "Aren't you over that, yet?"

"It's just....Mike, I can't get it out of my head that one day she's going to go off with some smooth-talking Professor Ramsey type."

Mike considers this a moment before saying. "You really are a jackass, Ed."

"Thanks, Mike. I needed to hear that right now."

"Well someone has to say it. Look at you, Ed. Since you came back to Stukeyville you've been a magnet for beautiful, intelligent women. If I didn't have Nancy, I'd probably hate your guts."

"What's your point, Mike?"

"My point is that you're something of a smooth-talker yourself."

"No, I'm just a fast talker. Anyway, I'm not talking about all those women, I'm talking about Carol."

"What about her? She chose you, Ed. Just like Nancy chose me."

"You and Nancy are different."


"Because you're Mike and Nancy. You've always been together."

"And do you think that in all that time Nancy never had the chance to replace me with a smooth-talking cool guy?"


"Of course she had the chance. But she never took it." He drains his bottle and pats Ed on the shoulder. "Think about it."

He leaves Ed in thoughtful mood.


In court, the summing up is about to begin. Wade approaches the jury in confident manner. He gestures at Andy. "Professor Ramsey was dismissed for having a sexual relationship with a student. That really should be all you need to hear. His only defence is based, not on evidence, but on his lawyer's attempts to convince you that an eighteen year old girl is lying. And the only grounds for this is that the girl's mother was aware of Professor Ramsey's previous sexual relationship with a student."

He smiles. "Well if that's the defence I needn't have shown up today because they did my job for me. The fact is that Professor Ramsey is noted for his lecherous behavior around his female students and has previously been required to leave a teaching position for the very same reason as he has been dismissed from Jaspertown High School. Had he been dismissed from his previous position instead of being allowed to quietly move on with reputation intact we would have been spared the trouble of dealing with this case today. He wasn't, we are....and you must make sure that no other jury has to do so in the future."

He returns to his seat. Andy gives Frankie a worried look and she gives his shoulder a supportive squeeze before rising to do her summing up. She walks to the front and smiles broadly at the jury before starting her spiel.

"Professor Ramsey is, by his own admission, a flirt. It's automatic, instinctive. He even flirted with me while he was telling me about it. In past times he'd have been called a charmer, a rake. But these aren't past times. These days society is more aware of what is and is not appropriate behaviour. Now, some of you may feel that flirting between a teacher and his students is inappropriate behaviour and frankly I'd agree with you. But flirting is not what professor Ramsey is accused of and flirting is not why he was fired. So flirting does not make him guilty."

She waves a dismissive hand at Mr. Wade. "The opposing attorney has made much of Professor Ramsey's relationship with Carol Vessey. He must be guilty, he says, because he's done it before." She shakes her head. "No. Evidence of past behaviour is not and never can be proof of guilt. The day that it is, is the day that justice in this country dies."

She paces in front of them. "Was the relationship between Professor Ramsey and Carol Vessey inappropriate? Certainly. Was it illegal? No. Professor Ramsey was a younger man then, his judgement less good. And he was in love. That doesn't make it right, but love is a powerful emotion....and it can cause the best of us to make wrong choices."

She stops pacing and faces them, looking each square in the eyes as she talks. "That is in the past. The matter was dealt with at the time in the manner of the time. But that relationship does have a link with why we're here today. It's just not the link that Mr. Wade wants you to make."

She points at Becky. "Becky Brooks was Carol Vessey's friend, one of the few people to know about the relationship. But she was jealous. She wanted Professor Ramsey for herself, had, in fact, attempted to seduce him herself....only to be rejected. That rejection hurt. It hurt her so much that she decided to take revenge by sending an anonymous letter revealing the illicit relationship. A letter that resulted in Professor Ramsey having to leave his position."

"So we come full circle. Professor Ramsey starts teaching at Jaspertown High. At a PTA meeting, Becky Brooks, now Becky Charles, was reintroduced to the object of her former affection. But he failed to recognise her. She was rejected again."

"Then, when she heard from her daughter that Professor Ramsey still had a tendency to flirt with his students she saw the change to repeat her revenge. She encouraged her daughter to say that Professor Ramsey had had sex with her."

"That was a lie."

"You're not here to punish a man for his past mistakes. When people make mistakes the best they can do is to learn from them. And Professor Ramsey has done that. He has ensured that he never got so close to a student again."

"Now he is learning again. He is learning that simply avoiding physical contact with a student is not enough. Better to not be quite so popular, than to run the risk of anyone being offended by, or misinterpreting, his flirting. To that end, he has voluntarily signed up for an intensive six- month course on recognising and correcting inappropriate gender-biased behaviour in the workplace."

With a final meaningful look at the jurors, Frankie returns to her place and sits down. Andrew leans over to her. "When did I sign up for a course on recognising and correcting inappropriate gender-biased behaviour in the workplace?"

"When I thought of it just now."


Carol is in class when she hears a motorcycle revving up outside. The noise continues until it starts distracting the students. They start to peer out of the window.

"You'd better not think whatever's out there better not be more interesting than me," she informs the class.

"I'm afraid it is, Miss Vessey," says a boy.

It seems that it is and she goes over to look. What she sees is Ed, sitting on a Harley. What she sees is Ed, sitting on a Harley, wearing blue jeans, white T-shirt and leather jacket with his hair slicked back. Let's face it, what she sees is ED dressed as The Fonz. He sees her and gives her a thumbs up.

Carol closes her eyes and swears silently. She turns to her grinning class.

"Isn't that your boyfriend?" asks a girl.

"Read chapter twelve," she says, knowing full well they won't, before heading out of the room.


Once outside she walks slowly up to Ed, who is now leaning casually against his bike.

"Heeeey, Miss V," he says.

Carol doesn't smile. "Ed, if you want to talk, we'll talk. But don't try and gloss over the issue with another romantic gesture."

"This isn't a romantic gesture," says Ed. "It's a symbol."

"Of what?"

"Of my realizing that I shouldn't worry about you going off with some other guy because he's cooler than me."

"I'm glad you realize that, Ed, but...." She looks him up and down. "....I'm not getting the symbolism."

"It was short notice," explains Ed, "I had to come up with something fast. But here's what it is. The Fonz never had to worry about cool guys because nobody was cooler than him, right?"

"I guess."

"So I don't have to worry about cool guys because nobody is cooler than me." Carol raises her eyebrows and Ed smiles as he continues. "In your eyes."

Carol smiles. "You think so, huh?"

"Not really. But you do and that's all that matters."

"Ok," admits Carol with another smile, "That's good symbolism."

"Thank you."

"But it only symbolises part of the problem."

"What's the other part?"

"You not accepting that my history is part of me."

"I do accept it."

"No you don't. You don't just want me to accept you, you want me to reject all the men I've known before. And I can't do that because, good or bad, they fulfilled a need for me at the time." She pauses. "Maybe my affair with Andy wasn't the best move in the world but it was a part of who I was and I can't just dump who I was any more than you can dump who you were. I may have changed but part of her is still part of me and always will be."

"I understand that. But I can't just not care about it."

"You care about it too much." A thought strikes her. "Suppose he'd turned up when you were still dating Frankie and she'd told you that she slept with him in high school. Would you care?"

"Frankie didn't go to our school."


Ed considers for a moment. "Yeah, I think I'd care."

"No you wouldn't," says Carol. "Because you and Frankie, like most adults, got together in the knowledge that you each have a past. And you accept that past even though you don't know what it is. But with me it's different. You think you know what my past is."

"What difference does that make?"

"The difference is that you can't handle the fact that my past isn't what you thought it was. You still haven't let go of that girl in high school."

"I told you I loved you, not some high school fantasy version of you."

"But that doesn't mean you've completely let go of her. She's still there in your head as some kind of idealised image of who I was or who you wanted me to be. And Andrew came along and spoiled that image."

"You've accepted that you're in love with me not the fantasy version of me. Now you have to accept that the fantasy me never existed. "

Ed considers this. "Do I have to do that now or can I have time to work on it?"

Carol smiles. "Take all the time you need."

"Of course, you could help me with it."


"By giving me a list of all the guys you slept with. Just so I can see exactly how far off the fantasy was."

"Not on your life, Ed."

There is a pause while they stare at one another. "Are we ok now?" asks Ed.

"As far as I'm concerned, we always were," replies Carol. Her eyes fall on the Harley. "One question, though."

"What's that?"

"Is the bike yours?"

"Do you like it?"

"Oh, yeah."

"Then it will be mine tomorrow."

He snaps his fingers and she smiles and scuttles over to him, leaning against him lovingly. With one arm around Carol he gives a casual thumbs up with his free hand. "Heeeeeeyyyy!"


The door to the courtroom opens and Frankie and Andrew emerge. Andrew is beaming.

"Miss Hector, you are a marvel!"

"Thank you."

"Your summing up was masterful."

"Again, thank you."

"You even managed to almost convince ME that I was innocent."

Frankie stops dead and stares at him. He smiles. "Only joking."

Frankie gives him a look and starts walking again. "Are you going to carry on working at Jaspertown High or will you take the offer?"

"What offer?"

"The one they'll make you to leave quietly. Trust me, it will come."

"I have no intention of going quietly."

They reach the courthouse door and pause just outside.

"It's your choice of course," says Frankie. "But working there might not be much fun. They'll make your life hell."

"I can handle the students."

"I wasn't talking about the students."

He gives her a look. She explains. "We just made the school board look like idiots. They'll be looking for any chance to get rid of you. And mud sticks. You wait and see how many parents don't want you teaching their daughters."

Andrew considers this. "What kind of offer do you think they'll make?"

Frankie shrugs. "Financial compensation and a good reference. It's all negotiable." She smiles. "You have my number if you need any help with that."

He returns her smile. "Well that's something to worry about tomorrow." He rubs his hands together. "Now, what say I take you out to dinner before heading back to my place for some celebratory sex?"


It is late that evening. Ed enters his darkened office and switches on the light. It reveals Frankie, sitting with her feet up on her desk with a plastic cup of champagne in her hand. We know it is champagne because the bottle is on her desk.

"Hi," she says.

"Hi," replies Ed. He looks at the bottle. "Champagne?"

"We won," she says, before adding, "Well, when I say 'we' it was really just me." She raises her glass. "To my first victory."

Ed is contrite. "I'm sorry, Frankie. I should have been there to congratulate you."

Frankie just shrugs. "You had someone more important to think about."

"We'll do something to celebrate," insists Ed.

Frankie waves her cup. "Already am celebrating."

"Drinking alone isn't celebrating. We'll do it right. I'll take you out to dinner tomorrow night. A proper meal with five courses, waiters who look down on you for your choice of wine, the whole works."

Frankie smiles. "That will be nice. Thanks."

"Don't thank me, it's an apology dinner."

"Okay then, screw you, Stevens."

"That's better."

Ed wanders over to her desk and pours himself a cup of champagne. Frankie gives him an appraising look before saying, "Professor Ramsey said he was going to look Carol up."

"I don't care. Let him come. Let them all come."

"Would you like me to make a formal announcement of that in the newspaper?"

Ed shakes his head. "No. They can all come, just one at a time."

"I take it from that that you've overcome your issues with the men in Carol's past?"

Ed nods. "They're history."

He holds out his cup to Frankie. She knocks hers against his and they drink, each to their own victory.