A Week of Living Dangerously
After Nina was a helpless bystander while an Unauthorised Withdrawal took place, and Wendy was unavoidably detained during a Smoking Break, Ray keeps reappearing in their lives. He also comes into contact with Patsy for the first time.
1. THE PRELUDE
Five weeks had gone by since Nina had received the message on the post-it note. She was starting to think she had devoted an unreasonable amount of time wondering what to do about it. But then you would, wouldn’t you if you received what seemed like an invitation to a date, when you had only met the man once, when he was the robber and you were the victim. After all, the last time Nina had seen him, she had been bound and gagged and he was blindfolding her. Making contact like this was a funny thing for a bank robber to do, no doubt about that. What a nerve! She couldn't at first think of a way to make sense of it. Eventually she thought of an explanation that appealed to her vanity.
It was quite possible that the man had really taken a fancy to her and wanted to meet her again...Stranger things happened she supposed. Perhaps he had noticed that the incident had aroused her. He had certainly been aroused himself, so perhaps he thought he had met a kindred spirit. Remembering how she had felt at the time, any whenever she thought about it since, she had to admit he wasn't entirely wrong. She couldn't believe it was his first robbery. She couldn't possibly be the first girl he had bound and gagged, probably not the first that had got a good spanking from him. He looked at least 50 after all. But he did seem like a nice guy, she thought. By the standards of bank robbers at least. It wasn't hard to imagine him in another life. He obviously had a sense of adventure. She liked to think of herself that way, based on her liking for outdoor activities, although she had really led quite an uneventful life, most of the time at least. Perhaps it was time for a change.
Nina had always liked older men, because she secretly liked being treated like a little girl. A naughty little girl in fact. On the occasions when she had had relationships with them, she had been self-conscious about this, and the relationships had not flourished. She had an uneasy feeling that this time, her bank robber was letting the skeleton out of the cupboard. She kept thinking of that Madonna song, Hanky Panky that she kept hearing on the radio, "Tie my hands behind my back and I'm in ecstasy". At least she wasn't so unusual.
Another possibility was that he hoped to enlist her help in future robberies. But he surely didn't plan to hold up her branch again. That would be really foolhardy. He didn't seem, from her little experience of him, to be a person to make rash moves and put himself at risk.
Eventually she decided to arrange a meeting somewhere safe, where he couldn’t do anything unexpected. The cafe of a big department store at lunchtime would be the ideal place. In full view of lots of others taking lunch. She knew just the place. Nothing could go wrong there. He wouldn't be able to whisk her away to some hideout where she would be kept prisoner. Stop thinking like that, she told herself. She decided to take the plunge and ring his number. She had an uneasy feeling that whatever precautions she took would have been anticipated by him. She just hoped her fears were unfounded. Her worries were not just for her safety but for her career. Instead of telling the police about the note, she had concealed it for weeks, and then arranged a meeting with a criminal. A bank robber, no less. She would definitely get fired. And then there were things like being an accessory, harbouring a felon, obstructing the police, all sorts of things. It could end up with her going to jail, so she hoped he wouldn't do anything that would cause publicity. But she reassured herself, someone like him who hadn't been caught so far would not blow it just on a whim.
Ray's attention had been drawn to a small ad in a newsagents shop window at the end of the main street. It was employment agency advertising for HGV drivers to work on weekly contracts. It invited potential applicants to contact Mrs P. Page at an address which he knew was in one of the outlying shopping centres. He had worked in the area recently. It looked like the sort of place that he usually targeted, a very small business that possibly did a lot of its business in cash. And he had heard things about the firm.
A friend of his from the past, who unlike Ray, had been behind bars a few times, had intended to go straight, knowing this would mean starting at the bottom of the employment ladder. He had found himself to be a victim this time, of sharp practice by the P.P. Agency. The way he told it, he had thought the employer that she found for him was paying the tax and National Insurance. The wage packets, given him by the agency, never mentioned the deductions. The lady had said not to worry about it. After a few months of this, Ray's friend found himself in trouble with the taxman. The fact that he had a long criminal record didn't help. Ray and his friend had made a few discreet enquiries, and satisfied themselves that the agency was fleecing its drivers, or at least those who had criminal records and were not au fait with the rules. Ray thought it was likely that she was diddling the employers and the taxman as well. He couldn't quite understand, but there seemed to be a large amount of cash with one lady looking after it, and that was what mattered.
The enquiries had revealed that wages were often paid in cash, on Friday afternoon, the old-fashioned way. Well, fancy that, now he really was interested. He didn't see himself as a righter of wrongs, but relieving a wrong-doer of some cash, that was his area of expertise.
He decided to spend a little time looking into the set-up. He did something that had served him well in the past, which was to watch the place at lunchtime to see who came and went. Friday would be a good day. In this case it carried a slight risk as it was only walking distance from a bank he had recently robbed, the one where Nina worked. Only a slight risk though, if she was going to turn him in, that phone would have rung by now. He was still wondering if she was ever going to reply to his note.
THE FIRST FRIDAY
The premises of P.P. were located in a suite of offices above a tobacconist’s shop, with which it shared a door to the street. A second door opened on to a passage which led to the staircase up to the office. Ray's observation was carried out from a bench by a bus stop, where he sat reading a paper, casting an occasional glance toward the doorway.
Before too long the woman who ran the agency came out, a brief case in her hand. She matched the description his friend had given. A fat bird with glasses, in her forties, he had said. Ray thought it really didn't do her justice. She wasn't that fat. Looking at her, the phrase "pleasantly plump" crossed his mind.
She strode off purposefully, going round a street corner. He got up and followed her, she was on foot, so she couldn't be going far, he reasoned. He stopped in his tracks when she went into the bank he had recently held up, the bank where Nina worked. It crossed his mind that he was perhaps spending too much time in this town. He lived about twenty miles away, but he knew the place well and the pickings had been good. But maybe it was time to move on; he didn't want the Police to start observing a pattern in his crimes. But that was something to think about some other time. He lurked, looking at bicycles in a shop window, until she reappeared a few minutes later. He could tell from her walk that the bag was heavier now. That would be the wages, in cash, for the weekly-paid staff. He hoped it was a lot. He would take a bag that was big enough to hold all of it, bigger than her brief case.
He decided that it would be a good strategy, during the robbery, to talk as if he was one of the ex-prisoners who had been deprived of his rightful earnings. The police would waste their time following that line of enquiry. Soon enough, other crimes would be committed, more serious ones that would push his exploits into the background.
EARLY THE NEXT WEEK.
He had made a couple of phone calls, one pretending to be a wrong number and one purporting to be a stationery salesman. It seemed it really was a one person business. He decided on visiting the agency the day before, on the pretext of looking for a temporary job, to make sure that it was safe. But unexpectedly, before this could be arranged, he received a phone call from Nina. It was a missed call, registered on the stolen mobile. He had left it at home, just in case her contact call was a set-up. She could have spotted him and tipped off the police, rang the number and, if it had rang in his possession, while he was being watched, that would be it.
But now all he had to do was call her back. He found the prospect unusually exciting. He had never tried to make contact with a robbery victim before. In theory it was a stupid thing to do.
But Nina presumably wasn't going to get him arrested; the moment had passed for that. The fact that she had replied and been willing to meet told him that she hadn't found her experience too unpleasant. Perhaps she was looking forward to being a damsel in distress again. He couldn't wait to find out.
The lunch date went well. Ray had arrived over half an hour early and sat with a coffee at a table for two. He read a newspaper until he spotted her. Easy enough to recognise the slightly plump, attractive but slightly serious-looking woman in her late twenties. She wore the same Bank uniform as at their last meeting, but with a charcoal-grey jacket matching her skirt, over the white striped shirt and paisley-patterned bow tie. She had no idea how she turned him on, he thought. He waved her over to the table, standing up and pulling the chair out for her to sit. He thought that overplaying the gentleman, in a light-hearted way, would work well with Nina. "I'll get them" he said. "I've come into some money recently"
They had both agreed they must be mad to meet like this. "Do you meet all your lady friends that way?" she said.
"No, I must say, the ones I meet in my work, they don't usually want to meet me again"
"I should think not. The things you did to me. What a nerve" A flicker of a smile crossed her face.
He couldn't help smiling "But you’re here anyway" he said."It can't have been too traumatic for you. My guess is it wasn't the first time you've been tied up in a robbery, is it?"
"How can you tell? Oh, I suppose you tied up so many girls in robberies, and I reacted differently to the others. And I agreed to meet up with you. Anyway, the other times, it wasn't nearly as thorough as when you did it"
"Other times, in the plural. So tell me what happened. First time, was that in the bank?
"Oh no, it was at home. I was sixteen. My parents were at work, I came home from the High School, and there was a burglar inside. A very big man. He took me to the shed at the bottom of the garden and said he was going to lock me in. There was a clothesline in there and he used some of it to tie my hands behind my back. There wasn't a lock, but he latched the door on the outside and I couldn't open it. I was just stuck in there. And I was starting to feel a bit excited. A bit like being a heroine in the Saint or the Avengers. Not only that though, it was making me feel sexy. I mean, I was young, but I recognised that. Anyway, after a bit the next door neighbour came into his garden, so I tried to attract his attention. I was kicking the door and shouting. He was an old man who had recently moved in with his wife, and he was a bit deaf. It was a while before he heard me and came over to open the door. He just stood and stared at me, leering. I was only wearing my white school blouse and tie and a navy blue mini-skirt, and I'd got all dusty and sweaty in the shed. He just couldn't stop drooling. Eventually he asked me why I had tied myself up. I don't know why he thought that, I would have had to lock myself in the shed. How could I have done that? Anyway, his wife came out. The old fool told her I'd tied myself up in the shed, but I got her to untie me and call the police. They never caught the man. Anyway, what's your past history? A life of robberies I imagine. You seemed pretty experienced at robbing banks. You did a really good job of tying me up!" she felt herself blushing again.
That's nice. I’m glad that you appreciate the trouble I took. I'm always trying to please. I rang the pub up the road and told them about you being in the bank, tied up, and asked them to call the police. Did they come?"
"Yes, it was over an hour though. There was no way I could get free. Anyway, tell me how you got into being a robber"
"I will" he said. "But not today. It's quite a long story and your lunch break must be almost over. Next time, that's a promise"
"Some time next week" she said. "Can I phone you to arrange it?"
"Yes. I'll give you a landline number as well" He wrote it on the back of the restaurant receipt.
"Oh, you don't live here then" she said, looking at the number. "That's an Ouseford dialling code, isn’t it?"
"Yes, I'm a commuter. I'm really upwardly mobile. Now, just one little thing before you rush off. As we are friends now, what can you tell me about the P.P. Agency?"
She put her cup down."What makes you think I know anything?" she said hesitantly.
He chuckled."My spies are everywhere. So tell me, what do they do? Oh, I'll get to the point. Does she draw cash on Friday mornings?"
Nina stared at him."I get it. You’re going to rob the place, aren't you?"
"Just doing some commercial research. I have a job to do".
"Well, it's usually about £4500. Of course I didn't tell you that." She looked thoughtful. "What are you going to do while you are in there? You know, to stop her raising the alarm."
"Well, you know what I'll do, don’t you. I'll tie her up and gag her. It's what I always do."
Nina frowned. "Well just be careful. Don't get carried away."
He thought that she looked a bit miffed "Not jealous, are you"
She blushed and looked away, across the cafe. He touched her hand lightly. "You are jealous, aren’t you? Don't worry; I won't enjoy it like I did with you. Especially after this conversation. Perhaps if you feel neglected I'll have to make it up to you"
This is going far too fast, Nina thought, though she was enjoying the attention she was getting. "Just concentrate on not getting arrested. And if you do, remember I haven't ever met you apart from the bank robbery. Now I've got to get back. I'll ring you next week."
As he watched her leave Ray thought to himself, yes my dear, your turn is definitely coming round again.
So in the afternoon of the Thursday, he climbed the stairs to the employment agency. He was going to enquire about a driving job. He knew of course that they handled these. The wooden floorboards creaked as he walked in. It was an old building that had seen better days. Mrs P.Page didn't waste money on expensive premises. There were two women in the office. One was a vacuous blonde girl in her late teens, who looked up as he entered.
Any driving jobs, he enquired. She gestured him toward her colleague. Patsy will see you in a minute, she said.
Patsy was obviously Mrs P.Page, the manageress. She was rummaging in a filing cabinet with one hand, while holding a phone in the other. She was a plump, jolly looking brunette in her late forties. She wore a black polo necked jumper and a grey and black pin striped skirt, with black knee length leather boots. Her phone call ended. “This bloke wants a driving job” the blonde told her, gesturing toward him.
“Oh, I don’t handle them from here” she said. “But I’ll phone our other branch. I’ll see what they’ve got. “
She added “I’m not going to have anything today, but if you can call in tomorrow about 12.30. Can you do that? Don't come later, I’ve got to go to the bank, then after three I'll be dealing with the drivers and their wages. And it's Kelly's day off” She looked at him very directly, brown eyes seeming to be magnified by the glasses.
What was she on about, he wondered. He knew there was no other branch. “I’ll be there” he said, sounding as grateful as he could. “Thanks”.
“See you tomorrow then” she smiled and returned to her rummaging. He couldn’t help noticing how nicely her bottom filled out the skirt as she walked away. This could be one of those times, he told himself.
He turned and left. He didn’t want her to scrutinise him too closely.
That’s what I wanted to know, thought Ray, very self-satisfied. This research was so easy. It sounded like once she got back from the bank, she would be alone with the cash till three o’clock. There would be no Kelly to get in the way either.
So he finalised the planning and bought the equipment the next morning. That was a black water pistol that looked pretty much like a real, gun, two reversible Open/Closed signs, A5 size, and a 10 yard roll of linen bandage. The last was for binding and gagging Patsy and anyone else who was there in the office. All would go in a blue sports bag he bought that same day in a charity shop.
About 1.30 he arrived at the office. Patsy was on her own it seemed, and she was standing by the filing cabinet, talking on the phone. She gestured to him to sit down. Today she was wearing a dark grey check pinafore dress, a shiny black belt at the waist, over a crisp white shirt, buttoned at the neck and cuffs. At her collar was a silver metal brooch in the shape of a dragonfly, which looked reminiscent of a bow tie. Her hair was pinned up, but she had little ringlets in front of her ears. On her feet were the same leather boots with two-inch heels that she had worn the previous day.
He couldn’t help thinking how attractive she looked. Not a bit like the predatory swindler that his research had indicated. You could never tell much from first impressions, he supposed. A successful con artist would radiate integrity, and she certainly seemed to do that, with her earnest manner.
When her conversation ended, she turned to face him.
“I’ve got to let you down I’m afraid” she said. “I have had a problem this morning. Broke my glasses and not had time to go home to get my other pair. I can hardly see anything without them. So I didn’t get round to chasing up my contact about the driving jobs. And I tipped that photocopier powder all over the place out there. Got to clear it up soon. Useless, aren’t I”
“Don’t worry about it” he replied nonchalantly.
"One thing though" she added. "Have you ever been in prison, or have you a criminal record. Because if you have, it’s not a problem. I consider it a social duty to help people to reform. I mean I can probably help you get employment where other agencies can't or won't. So don't be shy about mentioning it if you have. Something for you to consider, because I want you to come back Tuesday at two. Can you do that?"
That was a surprise. He had thought she was trying to get rid of him permanently. "Yes, that will be great. Thanks, really." He hoped he sounded duly enthusiastic. It seemed suddenly as if the things he had heard were true.
"I must get on now though, I've got a mess to clean up and lots of people are coming later on, so I’ll see you next week."
That was useful, he thought, to know that she couldn’t see much without her specs. Yes, I better go, he thought. He was gradually developing an erection from being round her, and the thought of tying her up later on was not helping him to calm it down. "OK. I will be back Tuesday" he said, as he left the office. At the bottom of the stairs, he opened the inner door and shut it again, noisily, but did not go out. This door had a reversible Open/Closed sign, so he didn't need the two that were in his bag. He turned the sign to "Closed", and waited. He waited at the bottom of the stairs for ten minutes. That was a long enough interval, so that she wouldn't think it was him returning. He opened the bag, took out the ski mask and pulled it over his head. He slipped the imitation gun into his pocket, then opened and closed the outer door, loudly enough to be heard and remembered by a witness. And then he ascended the stairs again.
Inside the office, there was no sign of Patsy. She must be in the back office. He unzipped the sports bag, took out a roll of bandage and the scissors, then cut off two pieces, both about a yard long, placing them and the remaining roll on the desk.
The door soon opened and out she came. She had obviously been cleaning up the mess out the back at the end of the morning. She had a large plastic waste bin in one hand and a black bin bag in the other. Her shirtsleeves were rolled up past her elbows and her hands were blackened from the photocopy powder. She stopped in her tracks when she saw him, an intruder in her office. She couldn’t see that well, but she knew she was looking at an intruder with a ski mask, and a handgun that was pointing at her.
"Just keep your mouth shut, do what I say, or you'll get hurt." he snapped."Put that stuff down. Hands on your head."
She hastily lowered the bag and the bin to the floor. Eyes wide with fear, she put her hands on her head. "Face the back wall, not the window" he ordered.
"What do you want? I haven't got anything here. There's only some petty cash for tea and stuff" Patsy blurted out anything that came into her head.
"I said keep your mouth shut, and I said turn round!” He raised his voice. Not too much, he didn't want to be heard down in the tobacconist's shop. "I know you've got cash so no more time wasting please."
She caved in and turned herself to face the wall. As she did so she spotted the bandage on the desk. With a sudden feeling of dismay she realised she was going to be tied up; just as he spoke again "Put your hands behind your back please" She hesitated. Was there any point in pleading? There was not. He grabbed her hands and forced them together behind her back, wrists crossed. She winced as the bandage was passed round them twice, knotted, passed round some more and knotted again. He stepped back and glanced around. Her handbag was on the floor by the corner of the desk. It was open at the top and he could see a handkerchief inside. He pulled it out and found that there were two of them. Just the job, they would help to keep her quiet.
Half an hour later, Ray sat in Patsy's big leather swivel chair, his feet resting on her desk. He flicked cigarette ash onto the carpeted floor. He spoke to Patsy in a mocking imitation of a comforting tone. "Don't feel too sorry for yourself. Nobody's going to know what you did. All the other guys you robbed. Some of your current lot will be in this afternoon. I could have left a note here, telling them what you do. Then you'd really be in trouble. Lucky for you I'm a selfish guy, I only care about me."
Patsy was definitely glad about that. She couldn't tell him how much she agreed though, because of the rolled-up handkerchiefs that were held in her mouth by the bandage knotted at the back of her head. She stared sullenly at the soles of his shoes, a few inches from her face.
Tied faces down on her desk, her options were very limited. The things that had already happened to her were bad enough. She didn't want trouble with the law as well. She just wished he would go away.
After binding her hands behind her back, and gagging her with her own handkerchiefs, he had taken a long piece of the bandage. She had stood passively while he draped it over her shoulders, and then pulled one end under her left arm, the other under her right, pulled them tight so that her arms were strapped to her body. He passed the ends round her body, above and below her breasts, several times, before knotting it. Finally the bandage was connected to her bound hands pulling them upwards toward the middle of her back. He looked around the desk, and then made her stand at the back of it, facing the front. Squatting next to her, he had bound her booted ankles together, and then tied them to one of the inner pair of legs. At first she feared she might sway and topple over, but he pushed her forward, lowering her so that she was laying face down on her desk. Next a long length of bandage had been passed through the knotted bandages behind her back, and then both ends pulled to the front of the desk, on either side of her head, and tied them to one of the desk draw handles. Now she was fastened down in a horizontal position, she couldn't understand why at first. He had looked round the little office, opened cupboards, finding the briefcase with the money. The cash she had just collected from the bank. Without examining the contents, he tipped them into his own bag. She had expected him to make a hurried exit with the money.
However, he wasn't finished with her yet. He had stood behind her, launching into an angry tirade. He had accused her of ripping him off, landing him in trouble with the taxman so that he had a big bill to pay. For her part, she couldn't remember him at all. His voice and his manner didn't seem at all familiar. He was wearing that mask, and she didn't have her glasses, but even so, she thought she should remember meeting him if he was a former client. She didn't dare to say she could not remember him. It would sound as if she thought him unimportant. In a way she was glad that he had gagged her, she wasn't expected to say anything. She had always been fearful that one of her irate ex-prisoner clients, a victim of her swindles, might go off the rails and seek revenge. For that reason she had only defrauded the ones who looked like furtive little weasels. The hard cases were just told there were no vacancies.
What happened next was even worse. He stopped ranting and dropped his voice to a whisper. Ray was mindful of the time; the temps would be arriving soon enough. He had just enough time for a little bit of fun. It would be great fun for him, but it wouldn't be fun for Patsy. He said "All in all, you’ve behaved very badly. You should be punished, and that's where I come in" He suddenly pulled her skirt up over her bottom. "Tights" he said. "Stockings and suspenders would have been nice. I suppose you can't have everything. I'm still going to enjoy giving you a good spanking"
Patsy bit on the bandage as he caressed her bottom.
"There's nothing at all you can do about it, is there. And you do deserve it, don't you?" He pinched her bottom. She squeaked in protest, it was all she could do through her gag. Ray decided to tease her a bit more. "The trouble is, I'm running out of time. I don't want to spoil a good spanking by rushing it, so I'll let you off."
Patsy inwardly sighed with relief. She was well aware that a spanking could be fun, but when it was an armed criminal with a grudge, come to exact revenge, it was going to be anything but. She felt Ray pull her skirt back down over her bottom. He moved away from her. She heard him moving about ,but couldn't see what he was doing. Just go, please go away and stop frightening me, she thought to herself. She heard the office door open, then close again.
"He spoke up in a cheery voice. "I'm an idiot. I read my watch wrong. It's not as late as I thought. There's plenty of time for you to be given a spanking after all. Isn't that great? I would have felt really cheated. A delicious derriere like yours, and not enough time to spank it"
He was stroking her bottom again. She was in despair, holding back tears of anger. It was a nightmare. Surely he was not really going to. Surely she, a self-employed businesswoman, was not going to be subjected to something so undignified
But that was exactly what did happen. He pulled her skirt up again, and using both hands, pulled her tights and panties down over her thighs. Patsy bit hard on the knotted bandage in frustrated rage. Her panties, though black, were chosen for comfort rather than allure, and now this stranger had his hands all over them. And that wasn't all his hands were doing. She felt a hard, stinging smack expertly placed on her bottom. She didn't flinch. She knew there would be more. Five seconds passed, before the hand descended again, just as hard. He stopped at six smacks.
"Six of the best" he chuckled."Would you like some more? I tell you what. I'll carry on spanking you, but when you say "please stop", I will. How does that sound?"
The hand came down again. Patsy squealed and grunted though the gag, struggling futilely as much as her bonds would allow. He laughed and smacked her again. "Sorry, I can't make out what you are saying. Did you say do it some more?" And again, she counted four more times. Each smack hurt her bottom a bit more than the last. By the time he stopped her bottom was smarting stopped. She wondered if it would be painful to sit down, like those characters in the Beano when she was a kid. His verbal teasing continued. "If I were you, I would lay off the spanking for a while. Your bum is really red. I know you enjoy it, but you’ve been overdoing it" If I could get my hands round your throat, Patsy thought.
He spoke again. "I must be off now, before your next client arrives. But I'll be kind to you. I won't leave you like this, so the next person in will see you’ve been spanked" Ray was really thinking of himself. In a few of his past robberies, after binding the lady on duty at the target premises, he had been tempted to spank her, especially if she had a well-padded bottom. Whenever he read about his robberies in the newspaper he had noticed that the spanking was not mentioned. This could mean that the press left it out of the report out of respect for the robbery victim, but it wasn’t like the papers to leave out a salacious detail. More likely, the lady had kept quiet about it to avoid embarrassment. So he wasn't about to leave Patsy in a situation where it was obvious that she had been spanked. It might make the police keener to catch him.
Ten minutes later, Ray was waiting at a bus stop not very far away, while an angry but helpless Patsy lay hogtied on her desk. She had for a moment there thought he was going to untie her. He had squatted by her legs and untied her ankles from the desk leg . Then he had pulled her panties and tights up, but not properly to where they should be. Up to the top of her thighs, on to her buttocks but not over them. Quite uncomfortable and irritating. He had done this intentionally. He had caressed her red bottom again. "Think yourself lucky. I can think of more things to do, but I'm not a rapist. I'm just paying you back." After giving her a final smack, he had pulled her skirt down to cover her bottom , then lifted her legs onto the desk. He had bound her ankles again, pulled them upwards and fastened the other end of the bandage to those around her hands. Then taking her hard earned cash, he had left. He had taken the keys from her handbag. "Have a nice day" he said cheerily as he locked the door on his way out. Patsy could hardly move, much less struggle. People in crime dramas on the box always got loose, she thought. She soon realised that reality was rather different.
About the same time that a bound and gagged Patsy was having her bottom treated in a most disrespectful way, traffic warden Wendy was finishing her shift. She had. One of her colleagues was ill and she had been seconded to cover the absence, for part of the day. Now, in mid afternoon, she had to make her way back to the Police Station, in the larger of the two towns and do some work in her usual area. She had covered most areas of the two towns in her years in the job, and the time spent on buses between them was a nice change from pounding her beat ( she used police terms quite often in conversation with friends about her job). The trouble was, the buses at this time of day had lots of school kids. She couldn't always get a seat. And they were cheeky sometimes. The days were gone when schoolchildren gave up their seats for ladies.
Ray bought his ticket and sat halfway along the bus. It was quite a long bus ride to the rail station, which was in the next town. At the next stop, the bus all but filled up with schoolchildren. They all looked about eight or nine. Predictably, they stated in groups and avoided sitting next to Ray. That suited him perfectly. The bus moved on half a mile and cruised to a halt at the next stop. He had been thinking about the day’s events, not looking at the passing scenery, but suddenly a figure at the bus stop caught his attention. It was a female traffic warden. That traffic warden, he remembered. The well endowed redheaded lady. How could he forget. She was dressed the same today as she had been then. The white blouse that was just managing to contain her breasts, the sleeves neatly rolled up above her elbows, the nicely filled blue serge skirt, the neat tie, and the polished black sensible shoes. All topped with the peaked cap with the yellow band. Oh yes, he remembered her all right. But was she going to remember him? She had been in one of his target banks. She had been tied up of course, but Ray, reminiscing about that day, thought she represented a missed opportunity.
Just now though, she could present a problem. She might recognise him. He looked round the bus. It looked as if the seat next to him was the only vacant one. The bus pulled to a halt at the stop. He watched to see if any of the passengers got off. None of them did, but the traffic warden got on. She didn't pay, but showed the driver a pass. She was heading for the seat next to him. He quickly averted his eyes and looked out of the window. She sat in the seat. He hadn't realised that his bag, on his lap, was partly hanging over her part of the seat. She gave it a light push with her elbow.
"You don't need both seats, do you?" she said querulously. It wasn't really a question. Without turning away from the window, Ray gently slipped the replica gun out of his left hand jacket pocket. With his right hand he pulled the bag out of her way.
"I don't suppose I do".
Something about the voice, and the slightly amused way he spoke, made Wendy turn and look directly at him. At first she couldn't place him, then it struck her. The bank robber from a few weeks ago. The one who had made the bank cashier tie her up. Panic gripped her. She opened her mouth but no words came out. Before she could speak she saw his left hand appear, holding the small handgun. "Shhhh" he whispered. " A bus full of little kids. There could be a real tragedy if this was to go off. So just keep quiet and do as I tell you. That is, sit still till I say different. Got that?"
She nodded. He was looking her in the eye rather insolently, she thought, like a cat with a mouse. Or a spider with a fly, she thought. She tried to push that thought away. "What are ...." she began
"I said shhh" he was till whispering." I don't hurt women,as you know, but I can't have you raising the alarm and getting me arrested. So I have to ensure your silence for a short time. Just a little inconvenience for you. Now, think about the gun and the school kids". Wendy sat clutching her bag and looking at the gun. Would he fire it? He was quite calm, but she knew he was an armed robber, a successful one it seemed. She just knew she wasn't going to risk anything. Perhaps she could just talk him out of doing her any harm.
The bus soon left the built-up area. Three miles of countryside separated the two towns. The bus would stop at a riverside beauty spot, where there was a row of cottages, a car park and a public convenience. Ray reached out and rang the bell. The driver pulled into the lay-by. Ray prodded Wendy with his elbow.
"We're getting off." he whispered. "You go first. Don't do anything stupid, act like its all normal. Don't forget the gun".
"How could I forget? Don’t worry, I don't want to get shot". Wendy rose from her seat and made her way to the exit door, Ray close behind her. Some of the children got off too. She couldn't provoke him now, she would never forgive herself if a child got hurt.
Wendy looked around as the bus pulled away. The children ran to the little shop down the road and there was nobody close to them, no assistance at hand. Just this thin-faced man with his pistol. Why was this sort of thing happening so much, she wondered. She hadn't had much experience of crime until recently. But that had all changed, and she had been captured by robbers twice in a few weeks. Not merely captured, but bound and gagged, and on the most recent occasion, spanked by her captors. Was it going to happen again today, she wondered.
"Go in the toilets" Ray ordered. It was a modern stone building, with two gents, two ladies, and one disabled toilet. It had been built to serve the coach loads of tourists who came to the riverside. She hesitated. "Look, I’m not going to hurt you if you do what I say. I'm just going to keep you out of circulation till I'm out of the area"
"Locked in the loo?" said Wendy in disbelief.
"Yes. Now go in the building" Ray had a 20p coin ready, and dropped it into the slot to open the disabled toilet. He knew there would be room in there for two. Room enough for him to do what he had to do. He checked to see that the remaining lengths of bandage were at the top of his bag, not buried under Patsy's cash. He noticed with some concern that there only seemed to be two quite short pieces left. "In you go" He pushed the door open and ushered her inside. He stepped in smartly behind her. It had occurred to him that, if she were quick-thinking, she might go in and slam the door before he could get in.
Wendy hadn't thought of that at first. The thought crossed her mind just as he closed the door, when it was too late. She was realising that he wasn't just going to shut her in. Of course not, he must be going to tie her up. The disabled toilet was quite spacious, with room for a wheelchair to manoeuvre. There was a gap of two feet between the top of the dividing walls and the ceiling, a fact which Ray remembered from previous visits. "Stand in that corner" he barked. "Hands on your head". Wendy obeyed, and fast, dropping her satchel in the corner. His loud and hostile tone was scaring her. Standing in the corner, hands on head, reminded her of being a badly behaved schoolgirl. Did that mean another spanking, she wondered.
"What are you going to do?" she said. "Please, there's no need to hurt me"
"Shut up for a minute." Ray was thinking about the unexpected shortage of bandages. He'd have to improvise. "I won't hurt you. I won't do anything to you that haven’t been done before. I know you'll tell the law you saw me and I want to be miles away when that happens. So I’ve got to keep you quiet for a while."
Wendy was experiencing that unwelcome little feeling of excitement she had felt a few weeks earlier, when being tied up in the shop robbery. It was not long after the business in the bank with this man who had just captured her again. Why does this keep happening to me, she thought. She couldn't suppress that feeling of anticipation.
"You’re going to tie me up again aren't you?" she said quietly . He didn't yell at her, but replied in his normal voice.
"Smart lady, right first time. Perhaps you would oblige me by putting your hands behind your back". Wendy obeyed, crossing her wrists . He quickly wrapped the length of bandage round them as many times as the length permitted, passing it through her belt to ensure that her bound hands were held in the small of her back.
Ray didn't have much restraining material at hand. He'd been too lavish with Patsy. Now the curvaceous Wendy was his prisoner, and he wasn't going to be able to bind and gag her as thoroughly as she deserved. It occurred to him that it would be fun to tie her with her tights and gag her with her panties, but they were in a public toilet. He needed to be quick. If he had her summed up right, she was going to submit to being tied , but might fight back if her started undressing her. But he had noticed that this time she was wearing an ordinary tie, not a bow. (Both types were an optional part of the uniform. Wendy preferred the clip-on bow, but had got tartare sauce on it the previous day. The hidden cost of eating fish and chips on her way home from work)
He decided to use the other, shorter piece of bandage as a blindfold. "Going to blindfold you. No need to be scared" he announced. Wendy said nothing. She stood calmly as the fabric was tied across her eyes and knotted at the back of her head. Ray placed his hands on her shoulders and turned her round. "See, I'm not hurting you. Now I want your tie"
Wendy stood as calmly as she could while he carefully unfastened the knot of her tie and pulled it free, without unbuttoning her collar. Last time, in the shop robbery, one of the men had fondled her breasts after tying her. She wondered if it was going to happen this time. "Open up" he said suddenly. She guessed what he meant. No point in resisting, she thought. A lump of knotted material was pushed into her mouth, then she felt him knotting it at the back of her head. Then he turned her again and pushed her into the corner, against the wall. Before she could do anything, he lifted her skirt and pulled her panties and tights down to the floor, with one hand, while pressing her against the wall with the other. She felt a split second of panic, before he reassured her
"That’s all" he said. "It'll give you something to do while I run away. The way I've tied you, you'll get your hands free fairly soon. You can pull your knickers up and scream the place down. I'll be gone by then. Bye for now. Let's say au revoir. I'll be seeing you again" He lifted her skirt again and gave her bottom a hearty slap,. This didn't help Wendy to fight that excitement at all. For a second she thought he might be going to spank her. She heard scuffling noises, scraping noises, Ray breathing heavily, then the sound of him opening and closing a door, and then she was alone . She realised that he had used the handrails by the seat as a ladder, and climbed over into the next compartment. Outside her compartment, the indicator would read "engaged".
It dawned on Wendy that she was a prisoner in more ways than one. I'm locked in and I'm trussed up, she thought. I can't get out and nobody could get in to free me.
She really needed to touch herself, but of course she couldn't, and knowing that just heightened the feeling of frustration. The more she knew she couldn't, the more she needed to.
Ray had predicted her behaviour correctly of course, she realised. If she heard anyone outside, she wasn't going to shout for help, at whatever volume her gag permitted. If she did, she would be discovered bound with her panties round her ankles, gagged with her own tie. How would that look in the papers. She realised with sinking heart that that oafish copper, Steve, would hear about it. No her best bet was to get free, he had said she would be able to. Then she would decide who to tell, and what to tell them. It might be best she thought, to say nothing at all. But what did he mean about seeing her again?
Ray decided not to wait for the next bus to the station. He knew his way around here, so he set off on a footpath across the fields, the day's proceeds in his bag. A thoroughly satisfactory day, not only was he about five grand better off, but two pleasantly plump ladies had been bound and gagged, and one of them had her bottom spanked soundly as well.
He chuckled as he thought about Wendy. He was sorry not to have had time to spank her, but he thought about her trying to free herself it the toilet. He had told her that he had tied her in such a way that she could get free soon. He had been lying. It would take her ages to get loose. She was going to be so mad.
In fact, Wendy surprised herself with her own resourcefulness. After half an hour of futile struggles, interspersed with intervals of quiet when she could hear people using the other toilets, she sat down on the lavatory seat to think. Her hands were tied behind her back just as securely as ever, her gag and blindfold still in place. Her frantic struggles had only made her wrists sore. She still had her tights and panties round her ankles. She remembered that there was a coat hook on the doormat about face height. She got to her feet and slowly edged her way over to it. Eventually she managed to get the hook under the blindfold, and by ducking down, lift it off over her head. She could see again at last. The next priority was to somehow get her feet untangled from the tights. At least she could see what to do now. She hobbled back and sat on the seat again. Now she was able to push her shoes off, then by holding the tights and panties down with one foot, to pull the other foot out. Soon she had freed her feet. She noticed that the door handle was low down, where a person in a wheelchair could reach it. Commonsense, she thought. A person whose hands were tied behind her back could also open it, she realised. But she wasn't sure she wanted to go outside. Better to free herself if she could. Rescue by another person might mean publicity. Her friends had already joked about her being caught in two robberies, and tied up. She imagined the newspaper write-up. "Traffic Warden found trussed up in toilet" "Meter Maid bound and gagged again" "Gagged with her own tie”. If only she could just get loose and go home, without all that.
Using her foot, she lifted her bag onto the toilet seat, then crouching down, fumbled behind her and opened it. Was there anything she could use to get loose. There was only her cigarette lighter. She thought about setting fire to some toilet paper to burn through the bandage at her wrists, but then she thought of all the ways that she could be injured. What if the place caught fire. So much for avoiding publicity. She discarded that idea.
She tried again to pull her wrists free. The bandage seemed to get tighter when she struggled, and it was making her wrists sore. She decided to have a go at the gag, using the coat hook. By pulling against the hook, she was eventually able to loosen it sufficiently to push the knotted tie out of her mouth. It dropped and hung round her neck. She stepped over to look in the mirror.
What a mess, she thought. Her make-up and lipstick was smudged. Her hair, which had been pinned up, had mostly been pulled loose when she worked the blindfold off. The once-neat tie, damp with saliva, hung round her neck. During her struggles her white blouse had come loose from the waistband of her skirt, and two buttons at bust level had popped open, though the higher and lower ones remained in place.
There was one thing she could do though. Using her foot, she lifted the underwear from the floor onto the seat, then, squatting down, used her tied hands to stuff it into the bag. At least that wasn't on show now. She did the same with her shoes.
She realised eventually that she was not going to free her hands unaided. She would wait until she heard a woman go into the Ladies. They were to the right on the disabled one. She had to think of a story that would remove the need for a rescuer to call the police. Eventually it came to her.
Twenty minutes later, Wendy was having her hands untied by a middle-aged lady, long grey hair in a pony-tail, wearing a pale green jumper and blue jeans. She had told her tale. "Some friends they are" said the woman." You would think, when someone is leaving a job, they would bury the hatchet, not settle old scores"
"You would think that. I know I did." said Wendy. "I didn't know she harboured a grudge after all this time. I mean, them tying me up and leaving me here. Anything could have happened to me"
"Maybe they will come back to get you, set you loose" said the woman, buying Wendy's story completely.
"Well if they do, it'll serve them right to find me gone" said Wendy emphatically.
"You should see your wrists" said the rescuer as she unfastened the last knot. "I should put something on them. Look, do you mind if I go in there, my dogs are in the car and they'll set the alarm off, jumping about!
"No problem. And thanks. I'll go outside and wait" said Wendy.
No sooner was she outside than a bus appeared. She could resume her interrupted journey. As she sat down on the bus, and it pulled away, she noticed that the lady had not yet emerged. There would be no need for her to tell anybody about her embarrassing adventure. She promised herself that next time she saw Ray, she would stay well clear.