Judy looked at the girl who lay on the bed, at the angry red graze down one side of her face, and even angrier eyes.

'Miss Chalmers? I'm Judy Hill from Malworth CID,' she said.

'I didn't send for the police.'

Judy sat down. 'No,' she agreed. 'But you told your flatmate that someone had jumped you.'

'Did I?' the girl looked away.

'She phoned us and said that you had been attacked.'

The girl swallowed hard. 'She had no right,' she said.

'She has every right to report a crime, and I have every right to investigate it.'
The young woman's eyes looked back at her. 'What crime?' she said.

Judy took a breath. 'Look,' she said. 'You and I are the only people in this room. And we both know that you were the victim of a rape.'

'Do we?'

Judy tried to gauge what the girl's reasons were for denying that the rape had happened. There seemed to her layman's eyes to be no psychological block; one look at Bobbie Chalmers was enough to see the impotent anger that she felt. She wasn't denying the experience to herself, only to the police.

'Do you know him?' Judy asked, her voice quiet. 'Were you with him?'

Bobbie's eyes blazed at the suggestion. 'Of course I wasn't with him! He grabbed me from behind! He forced me face down on to the-' She broke off, her bruised face reddening, the fire leaving her eyes.

There was little point in apologising, but Judy did anyway.

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