Looking For a New England - Part 4
Her sister? The others had told me about her - and what happened when they went away for the week! “Relax, Heidi,” Sue said as she looked at me, “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, but we have serious matters to discuss.”
“What happened to Cassie and Cindy?” I said as I looked at the image on the screen.
“That,” Lucinda said quietly, “is a very good question, but I cannot answer it just now. Anne, Sue - do what you have to do to prepare me. I’ll go in.”
“Anne,” I said as I looked at her and Aunt Veronica, “What’s going on?”
Anne leaned against the table and looked at me. “Heidi, you know that Cindy’s mother has had some - problems in the past with rather undesirable elements?”
I nodded at that - just after I introduced Cindy to the games, and we first met Dorothy, the four of us had spent a rather uncomfortable afternoon bound and gagged together in their front room.
“Well, ever since then we have kept surveillance cameras - with Dorothy’s permission - at her house. Earlier today, we saw this. Sue - it’s all right, she won’t tell.”
Sue brought up a player and started a clip of film, which showed the inside of Dorothy’s house. I watched as the door opened and Dorothy walked in, taking off her coat to show her long skirt and white long sleeved blouse, followed by Cindy. Then came Cassie, in a pair of Capri pants and a t-shirt, Jenny in a long sleeved jersey dress, and Miranda in a twin set and brown skirt.
They walked to the living room, only to step back when two men in dark suits and with stockings over their heads stepped out of the shadows and held guns at them. I watched as they were pushed into the front room, and then the film ended.
“That was earlier tonight,” Anne said as I looked at her. “Whoever did it had disabled all the cameras except the hall one - they wanted us to know they had hostages, but we cannot be certain why.”
“What you’re seeing here,” Sue said as she looked back at the picture of Cassie and Cindy, “is a hidden camera - with night lens - that we had in Cindy’s room. So we know the two of them are there. We can only presume the others are there too, and an hour ago we got a message.”
I looked at Lucinda. “They want you, don’t they?”
“It would appear so, Heidi?”
I had one obvious question to ask. “Why?”
“That,” Lucinda said as she stuck what looked like a little stick on a plaster to her chest, “is a question that needs more time than we have now to answer. All I can say here is, in the past, I have carried out certain duties in the name of my country. Very few people know of this - but whoever these men work for very likely does.
“I will go in, as I did when the Pearl held you hostage at the home of Cassie and Jenny, and provide ample distraction to allow Anne and her team to mount a rescue.”
I looked again at the screen. “Anne, was Cassie upset at all?”
“From what we can tell, no - I won’t show you it now, but she seemed to berating the man tying them up for not stuffing her mouth before she was gagged.” That actually made me laugh, as Sue looked at me and said “What’s so funny?”
“It means,” Lucinda said with a smile, “that our little Cassandra is recovered from what happened before - or else her instinct to treat these situations as a game has kicked in. Her parents would be so proud of her - if I ever tell them of this. Anne, I think I am ready.”
Anne stood up and picked up her coat. “Sue, are you good to monitor from here?”
“Can do - what about Veronica and Heidi?”
Anne looked at us. “They can watch - but you’re on the clock here Sue. No games - understand?”
“I know, I know,” Sue said as she returned to looking at the screen, “Perhaps another time.” She watched the screen as Lucinda left with Anne, and Veronica went to the stove.
“If we’re pulling an all nighter,” she said as she looked at me, “I need a coffee. Do you want some milk, Heidi?”
I nodded as I sat next to Sue and watched the scene, while Cassie and Cindy seemed to be quietly sleeping. “They seem so peaceful sitting there,” Sue said as she watched them, “It’s almost as if this happened to the younger one a lot.”
“You have no idea,” I said as I sat watching the screen, wondering what was going to happen next.
Friday, 6 am
I opened my eyes to see Anne sitting next to me, smiling as Aunt Veronica stood behind her.
“Anne,” I said as I stretched my arms up and yawned, “What…”
“It’s all right, Heidi,” Anne said quietly, “They’re all safe. Jenny and Cassie are upstairs sleeping, and Miranda and Lucinda are talking to some of my colleagues. They won’t be bothered again.”
“And Cindy and Dorothy?”
“Cindy will miss school today with a cold,” Aunt Veronica said quietly, “Your mother has gone round to be with them today. Heidi, some day they may tell you what happened, but for now just accept that they are safe.” She watched as I stood up.
“You’d better go and get ready for school - Cindy will come round this afternoon, to help keep an eye on Margo and Britney.” I nodded as I went upstairs - wondering what Jannifer was going to say about the absence of Cindy today.
Friday, 4.30 pm
“It’s just a pity that Nats could not come tonight,” I said to Mum and Aunt Veronica as we sat round the kitchen table, while Maria was preparing something at the stove.
“Well, she has her own family as well,” Mum said as the door opened. I turned to see Cassie and Jenny walk in, both wearing long sleeved tops under brand new I♥NE t-shirts. Cassie had on a layered knee length skirt with white socks, while Jenny was wearing jeans and socks.
I stood up and hugged them both. “Are you all right,” I said as I looked at them.
“Had better nights,” Cassie said as she accepted a glass of juice from Maria, “but I made a new friend.” She looked round as the door opened and Cindy came in, accompanied by Alicia and Suzie. Cindy was wearing her favorite bib jean dungarees, while Alicia had on a sleeveless blouse and Capri pants. Suzie had on a short sleeved yellow sundress.
“Hey there partner,” Cindy said as she came over and hugged Cassie, “How are you feeling?”
“Tired - but I’m fine,” Cassie said as I watched them. “So, are the others here yet?”
The doorbell rang and Aunt Veronica stood up. “That will be them now,” she said as she went to the door, “You lot go into the main room, and I’ll bring them there.” We went after her and sat ourselves down in the front room, waiting until Jannifer and her sisters walked in. She was dressed in a blue sweatshirt and blue pants.
Britney and Margo, on the other hand, were wearing identical outfits - white denim blouses, flared short skirts, white socks and sneakers, with a scarf tied round their necks under the collars of their blouse. The only difference was that Margo had blue stripes on her scarf and in the flares of her skirt, while Britney had red ones.
“Hi guys,” Jannifer said as she looked at us. “How’s the cold, Cindy?”
“The col… Oh, better, thanks,” Cindy said as she sat down. “So what do you want to do?”
“We want to be tied up,” Britney and Margo said as one, “We want to be tied up, and Jenny won’t do it!”
“I told you two, Dad will not allow it at home!” Jannifer threw her hands up, as I saw Cassie and Suzie look at each other. “Do you really want to be tied up,” Cassie said with a smile on her face, “because if you do, we’ll help you.”
“YES!” they both shouted as they jumped up and down. “I hope you two know what you’re letting yourselves in for,” I said as Cassie and Suzie went upstairs, and then returned with a pile of ropes.
They started by offering Margo and Britney a pair of socks. “These will protect your wrists - put them on.” We watched as they did this, and wondered how long it would take them to figure out the other reason they had been given them.
“This feels lovely and snug,” Britney said as Suzie took her hands and moved them behind her back, taking a length of cord and tying her crossed wrists together over the socks. Margo looked over as Cassie did the same to her, and said “That looks tighter than on Wednesday.”
“Small steps, kiddo,” Jannifer said as we watched the two youngsters tie more rope around the waists of the twins, forcing their wrists against their backs as they tied the rope between their arms and waists to cinch it.
“Try moving your arms now,” I said as they looked at each other. Margo twisted round, before saying “I really am not going anywhere - what’s next?”
“This,” Cassie said as she passed some rope around Margo’s stomach, winding it around and between her arms and body so that they were held securely in place. Once she had finished, she helped Margo to sit down on the floor next to Britney, who was trying to move her own arms out of the rope harness as well.
“Comfy, girls,” Alicia said as she opened a can of Coke and drank from it. “I promise you, it gets better from here.” Margo and Britney nodded as Cassie and Suzie pulled their sneakers off, crossed their ankles and tied them together with rope, then followed up with rope around their legs below their ankles.
“I really can’t move,” Britney said as she moved her legs around. “So what are you going to do now - tie the scarves in our mouths?”
“Nah,” Suzie said “that doesn’t really work as a gag. Do you want to try a real gag?”
The twins looked at each other and nodded as Cassie found two old headscarves that I had used. Folding them into pads, she said “Open wide and let us put these in.” Margo opened hers, Britney watching as she had the cloth pushed into her mouth, then allowed Cassie to tie a length of toweling between her lips. “Sllrrt brtneee,” she mumbled as she nodded, after which Britney allowed herself to be gagged as well.
“Sttll,” she mumbled as she looked at us. “Oh no,” Jenny said as she leaned forward, “Not by a long chalk. IT’s white tape time.”
Cassie nodded as she tore the end loose from the roll of microfoam tape, and then wrapped it tightly round Margo’s head, the tap holding her red hair against her neck as it covered the toweling. Ripping it free and smoothing it down, she passed it to Suzie, watching as Britney was gagged in the same way.
“Still think it’s a good idea to be tied up, girls,” I asked as they were helped to lie on their stomachs, and placed in tight hogties. They simply looked at me, and then started to roll around on the floor, bumping into each other as they did so.
“I think they do,” I said as I picked up more ropes, “but I think they should not be alone…”
Jenny and Alicia looked at each other and nodded, as they both pounced on their younger relatives and made them kneel down. “Oh Goodie,” Cassie said as she felt the rope going round her wrists, “Can I be tied with Cindy please? We didn’t get much of a chance to talk last time.”
“What makes you think you’ll get a chance this time,” Jenny said as she cinched the rope around Cassie’s wrists, and tied them against her back with the waist band as usual. I looked over at Cindy, who nodded and said “Yeah, why not,” before she stood in front of me and crossed her wrists behind her back. “Do to me what Jenny does to Cassie - it’ll be fun.”
So for the next fifteen minutes Cassie, Suzie and Cindy were systematically bound in layer after layer of rope, while Jannifer knelt down, pulled off the shoes of her sisters and started to tickle the soles of their feet, making them scream and laugh under their mouth filling gags as she did so.
I bound Cindy’s arms to her side, pulling her t-shirt over her chest, as I watched the toher two sit Cassie and Suzie down and bind their legs tightly together at their ankles and legs. While Alicia helped Suzie to lie down and roll onto her stomach, however, Jenny moved Cassie round and nodded to me that I should help Cindy sit behind her younger sister.
“What happened last night,” I whispered as I helped Cindy to sit back to back with Cassie and started to tie her legs together. “Honestly, I wish I could tell you, but I can’t,” Jenny said as she started to wrap some rope around both of the captives, “All I can say is it was an interesting evening, and I learned a few things about our grandmothers.”
“GAG TIME!” Suzie called out, so we did the same to them as they had to the twins - scarves, strips of toweling, and tape around the head. When we had finished, Suzie started to wriggle over towards Margo and Britney, while Cindy and Cassie started to have a conversation of their own.
“Heidi,” Alicia said as she looked at me, “Let’s do one more mass tying before we go - tie me and Jenny together.”
“Sure,” I said with a smile, “How do you want to be secured?”
The two girls looked at each other, and then knelt on the floor, facing each other as they wrapped their arms around the other’s bodies and hugged. “Like this,” Jenny said, “So that we can see each other.”
I looked at Jannifer, she nodded and left her sisters to try and talk to Suzie, and we got to work. Jannifer bound Alicia’s wrists, while I bound Jenny’s and then we tied them both together around the waist and their arms. Once we had their ankles secured, we ran some rope from Alicia’s wrists to Jenny’s ankles, and the other way round, before starting to tickle their sides.
“Hey - NOT FAIR!” Jenny shouted out, but I took the opportunity to stuff and gag her mouth. Alicia watched, nodding as she said “I’m glad you’re both better,” before allowing Jannifer to do the same. As we taped their heads, they both started saying things like “Sccllnctwk” and “Dmmnhmwrk”, but you could tell from their eyes that they were laughing.
I turned to see Mum and Aunt Veronica, standing in the doorway, looking at each other, while Dorothy looked on from behind them. “Did you girls agree to this,” Aunt Veronica said as she looked at Margo and Britney, but smiled as they both nodded and grunted something.
“Well, I guess we need to add you two to the bunch,” Mum said as she took my arm and Aunt Veronica took Jannifer’s. Both of us smiled as the others cheered, and we felt our own wrists been tied together, hands palm to palm, behind our backs.
We received the same treatment as the young…. Sorry, I don’t think of them as youngsters any more, but as friends. The same treatment as Margo, Britney and Suzie, as we were tightly bound at the arms, waist and chest, our ankles and legs lashed together, and then placed in a tight hogtie. As we were gagged, I winked at Alicia, who nodded back before she returned to what was becoming a wrestling match between her and Jenny.
“They look so cute lying there,” I heard Mum say as Dorothy bent over and checked our bonds. “It makes me want to…”
“… Join them?” I watched as they both turned to see Miranda and Lucinda standing in the doorway, rather incongruously for them dressed in jeans and t-shirts. I had to see, for older women they looked kinda good in them, and I wondered if the social mores they tried to adhere to meant they did not do this too often.
“Miranda, why don’t you go and tell Maria it is all right that dinner will be later. Amy, Dorothy, why don’t you sit down back to back and put your arms around each other’s waists.
I could not believe what was happening, as my mother and Cindy’s mother sat down and wrapped their arms behind them. Mum had a pair of black boots on over her jeans, while Dorothy had on a denim skirt and baggy brown leather boots, and both of them were wearing thick jumpers. This didn’t seem to bother Lucinda, who rolled up Mum’s sleeves as Miranda handed her a length of rope, and tied them together in front of Dorothy’s stomach, while Miranda returned the favor to Dorothy.
“How come we always end up like this,” Amy said to Dorothy as their upper bodies were secured together. I wondered what they meant by that, but my attention was distracted by Jannifer nudging me and looking at my hands, to see if she could help to untie me.
I rolled over onto my side, listening to the squeak of rubber and rope as Mum and Dorothy had their legs secured, and then their muffled gasps as they were gagged, presumably in the same way as us. I tool a moment to recap where we were - Margo, Britney and Suzie were trying to talk to each other at one side of the room, Jenny and Alicia were having a face to face chat, Jannifer and me trying to free each other, Cassie and Cindy happily mmphign in their seated position, Mum and Dorothy struggling as they hugged each toher, and Miranda and Lucinda…
Looking round, I was surprised to see them sat in two high backed chairs, talking as if nothing was going on while Aunt Veronica and Maria were tying their arms behind the chair backs. “I’ve enjoyed our stay,” Lucinda was saying as if nothing unusual was happening, “but I will be glad to get home. I have no idea what Angela may have been up to while we were away.”
“Oh come on, Lucinda,” Miranda said as Maria wrapped some rope around her waist, “She probably had a nice, quiet dull week. What could possibly have happened?”
“It’s not her I’m worried about - it’s Robert.”
“Bggbrffrr?” Suzie said as she looked over, but Lucinda was in no position to answer, owing to the large knot of silk in the rolled up scarf that Maria had just pushed into her mouth. As she took the ends around her grey hair, Aunt Veronica knelt in front of her and secured her ankles to the legs of the chair, while Miranda looked on, her own mouth gagged in the same way.
“Well now,” Aunt Veronica said as she looked at the group of us, “Maria and I are going to see to dinner. Have fun until then - and do try and get free.
“If you want to, that is…”
Well, what did Aunt Veronica think we were going to do? We all started trying to talk to each other, as she closed the door on us and left us to our own devices…
“Veronica, Maria, that was a fantastic meal.”
“Yes, thank you Miss Cabot,” both Margo and Britney said as they laid their napkins on the table, behaving impeccably. I wondered if the session in the ropes had been enough to quell their appetites for the moment, but had no real way of telling - beyond the fact that Jannifer seemed a bit more relaxed about everything.
“I’m glad you liked it,” Aunt Veronica said as she looked at the group around the table. “I’m not sure I’ll get another opportunity to say this, but I wanted to thank Miranda, Lucinda and the girls from coming over and spending the week for us - even if it was not quite the experience I had expected it to be.”
I looked at Alicia, who said “Yes - it’s been fantastic. I just wish we had spent more time with each other, Heidi, but I guess the school week does not allow for that.”
“There will be other times,” Lucinda said as she smiled at us, “I’m sure this is not the last you have seen of each other. Perhaps we will meet again, sooner than you think.”
“But not this side of Christmas,” Mum said as she looked at us. “Heidi, Veronica and I are planning to have a night with the other mums in a couple of weeks time. Would you like to have a sleepover that night?”
“Thanks mum,” I said with a smile, but I also felt a little bit sad. I knew this was our last night of the trip, and I was going to miss all four of them.
“Why don’t you stay tonight again Heidi,” Mum said as she looked at me, “I’m sure the four of them would like that.” I nodded and said to Alicia “What would you do if I stayed tonight?”
“I’m not sure we’re going to get much sleep,” she whispered as the adults started talking again, “but Cassie and Jenny have suggested we try something they have done.”
“Sleep tied and gagged - they had to a couple of times, and I’ve always wondered what it was like.”
“What will your grandmothers say?”
“We’re not going to tell them,” Alicia said with a wink, “I’ll show you later.”
It was after eleven when the three of us sneaked into the room where Suzie and Cassie were sleeping. They were both lying on their beds, dressed in their pajamas, and wide eyed with excitement as they held their hands together in front of them palm to palm.
“This is going to be so much fun,” Cassie said as Alicia tied her wrists tightly together, then lowered them and passed the rope around her waist, fixing them in place.
“Remember - just the tape tonight,” Jenny whispered as she tied Suzie, “so that you don’t have a problem during the night.”
“But the really special one, right?” Cassie said, her eyes sparkling as Alicia took the rope down and secured her legs together, then her ankles. Jenny did the same for Suzie, as I showed Cassie the roll of brown plaster Alicia had given me.
“Oh yes,” Cassie squealed as I tore a strip off, and smoothed it over her lips, then took a second strip and stuck it over Suzie’s mouth. They both nodded and giggled as they had their duvets pulled over them, and we turned off the light, leaving them alone as we returned to Alicia and Jenny’s room.
“My turn,” Jenny said as she lay on the bed and put her hands up, “and make it nice and tight, will you?” Alicia nodded as she took a second length of rope and tied Jenny, before I pressed the sticky plaster over her mouth.
“How are you going to do yourself,” Alicia asked me as I wound the rope around her legs, her wrists nestled on the waist of her short pajamas.
“I have a plan,” I said quietly before I gagged her, and then turned their light off. Returning to my room, I checked the two lengths of rope I had tied to the top of my bed, and then sat down, drawing my knees up as I tied my own ankles and legs together with soft rope.
Picking up the roll of tape, I tore off a strip and smoothed it over my own mouth, remembering how well it stuck to my skin as I lie down and put my wrists through the loops, gently pulling so that the rope tightened around them. Resting my head on the pillow, I allowed my eyes to close, wondering what the reaction would be when they found us in the morning….
Saturday, 1 pm
“All right, all right - I admit it, it was a surprise, but I can see you’re all right now.”
Aunt Veronica smiled as we pulled into the parking lot at the airport, where just a short week before we had collected Alicia and the others. And now here we were again, as it was time for them to go home.
I went to fetch a luggage trolley as Miranda and Lucinda started to unload the cases, each of the girls carrying a new rucksack with their presents for friends and family inside. We walked slowly in, and waited as they checked in for the flight to JFK and handed their luggage in.
“I guess this is it for now, then,” Alicia said as she looked at me, and then hugged me, tears running down her cheeks. I returned the hug, to her and each of the others In turn.
“Say good bye to Cindy for me,” Cassie said as she hugged me, “and tell her I hope to see her soon as well.” I nodded and rubbed her hair as Miranda put her arms round both her and Jenny.
“We’d better get through,” she said as she looked at us. “Thanks - thanks for everything.”
I stood there and watched, Mum’s arms around me as the six of them walked to the security check, turned and waved before they disappeared through. “When do you think we’ll see them again,” I said as I turned and buried my face into Mum.
hope,” Aunt Veronica said as she hugged both of us. “Come on - let’s go and get some lunch or
something. It won’t be the last time, I
promise you that.”