"We didn't do anything more than kiss for the first week. By the second week he started putting his hands in places that I didn't want them. When I said no, he accepted that. By the third week he was really getting insistent. When I pushed away, he pushed back."
Emily patted Joanie's hand sympathetically.
"Oh Joanie, he did the same thing with me. I wish you had told me!"
"I wanted to, but I still wanted to go to the prom. I thought I could control him. I can't believe I was so naive! Last week was the fourth week since we began dating, and he pressured me to have sex with him every day."
Joanie got more and more agitated, until she couldn't sit still anymore. she jumped off the bench and paced the small space inside the arbour.
"Two days ago we were in the equipment shed at the school. Jeff has the key because he helps the coach with equipment after class. We used to go there to kiss and talk. I agreed to meet him there, because I needed someplace private to tell him that I wanted to break up with him."
"Joanie, what were you thinking? That shed is way at the end of the football field. You were completely isolated!"
"I know, but Jeff isn't much bigger than me. Pushing him away had always worked before. He had never actually forced me, but when I told him I wanted to break up, he went ballistic!"
Emily rubbed her neck in an effort to comfort. This had usually worked when one or the other one of them was upset, growing up .
"He grabbed me from behind when I went to the door. I was taken by surprise, and I didn't have a chance to fight back. He held my arms and kneed me at the back of my knees. My legs buckled, and he..he.. pu.. pushed me on the floor."
Joanie sat down on the bench and tried desperately to choke back the tears of despair. When she could control her voice again, she continued.
"I rolled away, but he pinned me on my back. He knelt on my arms and sat on my stomach. He tried to rip my blouse off, but I spit in his face. He jerked back and one knee fell of my arm. I pushed him away and kneed him good in the groin. As I ran to the door he yelled that it was just my word against his."
"Why didn't you say anything Joanie? We could have that despicable jerk arrested!"
"It's just my word against his Em. There were no witnesses. I wasn't actually raped. He'll say I led him on, that I wanted it. It doesn't matter now anyway. I took care of it yesterday at school."
"What do you mean?"
"I went to his locker, and I told him if he ever came near me again, I would cripple him for good. Also, I told them there was always a gun in the house and I knew how to use it!"
Emily giggled and hugged her sister, being careful to avoid the injured arm.
"You don't know how to use a gun and besides, Kyle keeps his service revolver locked up. "
Joanie laughed for the first time in days.
"Jeff doesn't know that."
"I am so proud of you! You're a whole lot stronger than anyone could even guess because you're not openly aggressive. I'm so glad you told me. Now we can do something about it."
"Do I have a choice?"
Emily took Joanie's good arm and marched her across the street, and up onto the Larson's back deck.
David and Kyle were having coffee and waffles that Estelle had whipped up for them. Kyle had just gotten off shift, changed, and came over to discuss some open cases. David was on a day off.
Emily pulled off the Cardigan than she had draped loosely over Joanie's shoulders. She gave her sister a little nudge forward. making sure the guys could clearly see the bruise.
"OK Joanie, spill!"
Joanie sat at the patio table and told the two young cops everything. When she was finished, they got up without a word and left.
"I hope they don't beat him up, I don't want them to get kicked off the force." Joanie commented.
"I hope they don't kill him. I don't want them to go to prison."
Emily grinned, apparently not too upset if Jeff did turn up dead.