BAD SANTA PAYS A VISIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray checked his watch for the sixth time since climbing up the ladder. It was 4.47 now, only thirteen minutes to go. He had been up here for over an hour now, hiding in the storage area in the roof space at the garden centre. He had guessed right in that the place had done a roaring trade today, or at least he had been able to hear lots of people. It should mean that the tills were full of cash, after all it was December 21st, the last Sunday before Christmas.

 

He had researched the place thoroughly, and he knew that, at the end of Sunday afternoon, the money from the various tills was taken to the cafeteria. The supervisor of the cafe would then record whatever was needed and put in a safe, in the office which was behind the kitchen area in the cafe. An archaic setup which was not at all secure. They had been doing things this way for years, but they would probably be changing it next week, after his robbery, he thought. Somebody was going to take advantage of the lax security and it might as well be me, he told himself. The ideal scenario, a building where everyone had gone home, containing lots of cash that wasn't locked away yet. There was one person in charge of the cash, whose job was to record it and lock it in the safe once the shop had closed and the tills were emptied. Come ten past five, she would be on her own. If she was a challenge, she was the sort of challenge that Ray enjoyed.

 

He knew who she was because in the course of his research, he had sat in the cafe with a cup of coffee, reading a paper twice in the last week. It didn't matter that he might have been seen because when he went down the ladder in a few minutes he would be wearing one of the Santa Claus masks. He had got a good look at her once when she had served him, and he knew her name was Christine Collins. It was on the badge, pinned to the front of her shirt,  which also stated that she was the cafeteria supervisor.

 

A pleasantly plump brunette in her early forties, he had noted with approval, a lady who took some trouble over her hair and make-up. She appeared to be in charge of a team of six women, who variously prepared food and served the customers , and Ray had observed that they were all intimidated by her. Without getting too close, he had heard her snapping at two of them. He also noticed that she was quite offhand with most female customers, in contrast to the eyelash fluttering and the ready smiles that were bestowed on the more presentable male customers. Her place in the hierarchy was emphasized by a slight difference in the uniform that she wore. The waitresses wore all black outfits, a skirt or trousers of their choice, and a shirt with sleeves rolled up above the elbow, held in place with buttoned tabs. Stopped them getting food on their cuffs, Ray supposed. The outfit was completed by a black apron with a bib. Ray was a bit disappointed by the fact that, apart from their supervisor, they all looked rather untidy.. Not Christine Collins though. She wore a variation of the uniform . She always wore a knee-length skirt with flesh coloured tights and black leather sandals (indoors at least). Her black shirt was always buttoned at the neck and enhanced by a black bow-tie with while polka-dots. She wore a white apron instead of a black one, and she changed it whenever it showed signs of soiling.

 

 Ray anticipated a haul of at least two thousand pounds from his afternoons work, but dealing with Mrs Collins was definitely going to be a bonus. He had equipped himself for the task by selecting some items from the shops stock. A dust protection mask, the sort that covered the lower part of the face. It would hold a balled up handkerchief in her mouth. For himself, he had taken a plastic “Santa “ mask from a rack by the door. Got to get in the seasonal spirit, he thought.  A packet containing a roll of nylon cord in a natural shade of green , 25 metres of it, would be more than enough. He had already cut two yard-long pieces off the roll, and pushed them back into the pack, for the first bit of tying. You never knew how it would go. He was, after all, feeling creative today, and there would be time to do a thorough job. It wasn't always so, Ray knew that with a secure hogtie, he could immobilize a robbery victim with not much more than one metre, when speed mattered. He cast his mind back to that evening at the White Horse Hotel. That had been a close one. He had rarely come so close to being caught.

 

It began with the wedding reception of a cousin. Ray had been a guest, and when he was leaving at about 10.30, something caught his attention. A young man in a black waistcoat, trousers and bow tie, with a white shirt, stopped at the unattended reception desk and called out "Janice! Come on." A woman appeared from a small office behind, smiling at the man

 

"Keep your hair on, I'm busy" she said "Want your wallet from the safe?"

 

At this point Ray slowed his pace and watched furtively. She was a hotel employee, a bespectacled blonde woman in her 40's, in a uniform of long sleeved white blouse, black bow tie and smart black trousers . A well-developed lady, he noticed with approval. A badge was pinned over her right breast. She must be management, Ray realized, the staff didn't all have badges.

 

On the wall behind her was a board with rows of hooks, all numbered and some of them holding keys. She turned and took the key from the top left corner, went into the office behind and quickly returned with a wallet. That didn't take long, must be in something easily accessible, he observed. The uniformed man thanked her and headed for the door.

"See you Thursday " he said.

 

"I'm here every evening next week" she said. The man said something which Ray didn't catch, then left. Ray followed in his footsteps, not wanting to attract attention. He had just been given the idea for his next job. He knew her name, he knew which key opened the safe, and he knew where the safe was. It seemed that only one person was on reception at that time of night. All the factors for success were in place. He didn't know how much would be in the safe, and he would need to work fast. It had to be planned even more meticulously than usual.

 

So one evening the following week, at about 10.30, Ray appeared in the reception area, dressed in a version of the clothes worn by the man he had watched. In a small carrier bag, he had the tried and trusted toy pistol, a pair of thin surgical gloves, a yard-long length of bandage, knotted at the middle, and about five feet of hemp cord. He reckoned this would be enough for a job where time was of the essence.

 

There seemed to be nobody at all around, but he could hear movement in the office behind. "Janice. You there?" he called, not too loudly. If somebody else came out, he would make excuses and leave.

 

She was there though, and she didn't look happy at being interrupted She looked him up and down. Ray liked what he saw. She was in the same uniform as last week, crisp white blouse, black bow tie, black trousers that fitted her bottom closely. Plump breasts inside white blouses always caught his attention and this evening was no exception. "Are you new? I haven't seen you before, have I?" She looked disapprovingly over the top of her glasses.

 

Ray pulled the gun from his bag. Stepping behind the counter, he pointed it at her face, grabbing her arm with his other hand. "Down on the floor, behind the counter. Don't touch anything. Face down. Quick!"This was the crucial moment, if she fought back he was ready to run, abandon the whole project. To his relief, she dropped to her knees and scrambled into a face down position. Ray got down, squatting beside her.

 

"Don't hurt me, I'll do whatever you say. I've been on a course,  we all have" she blurted the words hastily as if they were a spell that would protect her.

 

Pulling the bandage and cord from the bag, Ray had to ask, aware as he was of the need for speed. "What course? " Had he been missing something?

 

"What to do if there's a robbery. Stay calm, don't do anything that might make them angry. So nobody gets hurt"

 

"Oh, I see” he replied "Sounds good. So I won't have any trouble from you then"

 

She had seen the cord and bandage, and her expression told him she knew what came next. "Er, no. Just do what you have to and take what you came for. The key is number two and the safe is in there". She gestured toward the office.

 

"Thanks. First I have to deal with you though " He was relieved that she was being so compliant, but aware that it could be a bluff. "Gag first. Open up please"

 

"All right, but don't be too rough, like I said, there's no need to hurt me"

 

Ray responded by pushing the knotted bandage into her mouth and fastening it at the back of her neck. Next came her wrists. As he quickly crossed them in the small of her back and bound them, he continued talking "Been in a holdup before, have you?"

 

Janice nodded her head. " Did you get tied up? " he continued. She nodded again, rather impatiently. "I suppose you're getting used to it" he said, pulling her feet back toward her bottom before looping the cord round them, taking it back to her hands and knotting it again. "How’s that?" he asked, looking her in the eye. She looked at him, wide-eyed. Amazed to be asked, he supposed. She pulled her hands and feet ineffectively. But suddenly they were no longer alone.

 

A woman's voice."You there, Janice?" Ray had put the gun down in the course of binding and gagging Janice, but he glanced at her, putting a finger to his lips. She nodded as if in agreement, and didn't make a sound. If the woman comes behind the counter I'm really in trouble, he thought. Instead, they listened as she muttered something inaudible and left the reception area. Ray realized at this point how little time he might have. Another employee could arrive at any moment. He knew where the key and the safe were, he should grab the money and go. Giving Janice a smack on her bottom, he got to his feet. "Nice meeting you . Maybe I'll see you again"

 

 An hour later, he was at home, relieved at not being caught. The haul had been £850 in cash, not very much considering the risk involved. He wondered if Janice was still hogtied under the counter, or had she been found and freed?

 

Ray amused himself for a few minutes reminiscing about this incident, and imagining what might have happened if he had more time. If a lady of Janice's build got caught up in one of his robberies, he would usually administer a good spanking, once she was securely bound and gagged. He justified this by reasoning that the lady wouldn't mention that aspect of the robbery, and might not give a good description of him. After all, if caught, he might confess to everything, how embarrassing would that be for her. He had come to this conclusion some years ago, after breaking into a holiday cottage belonging to Councillor Pauline Garrett, the lady mayoress at that time. He knew there were some quite valuable pictures on the walls, and the lady was rumoured to have used council funds a little too freely for her own purposes. He was certain that she was attending a civic function that afternoon and didn't expect to be interrupted. Unknown to him, Mayoress Pauline had, on the spur of the moment, decided to donate one of her less valuable paintings to a charitable appeal, announcing it at today’s function. It would look good in the local paper, she reasoned. She decided to collect the item at the cottage on her way. So Ray, in the course of the robbery,  was astonished to hear the door being opened, and even more so to find himself confronted by a mayoress, a well-rounded one at that, in almost full regalia.

 

Her long black frock coat, and her hat, were on the passenger seat of her car, but she was still formal enough in her knee-length black velvet skirt and white high-necked frilled blouse, black tights and patent leather kitten heeled shoes. Fortunately he always carried a ski-mask and the toy gun, even when he didn't expect to meet anyone. He just had time to grab some clothes line and tea towels from the kitchen. He had almost been caught out, but not quite, the lady mayoress was soon immobilized. Face down on the sofa, her hands bound behind her back and pulled up to her shoulder blades, linked to the cords round her body above and below her bust, her nylon-clad legs bound at knees and ankles, she wasn't going anywhere. A tea towel pulled tight between her teeth was knotted at the back of her neck, and another one covered her eyes. After taking the paintings out to the van that he had concealed behind the cottage, he had returned as an afterthought, having decided that she would be out of action for longer if she was hogtied. She heard him come back in and must have assumed that he was a rescuer. She started making frantic, angry noises behind the tea towel. Better check, he thought, against his better judgement. He didn't want her choking to death. He untied the tea towel gag. "What is it?" he demanded. She still didn't realise that it was her attacker returned.

 

"Get me out of this. I've been burgled. The bastard grabbed me and tied me up. I'll have him boiled in oil, I really will"

 

Ray decided it was time to tell her. He was not the knight in shining armour. "That was me! And I'm back". She wasn't choking. It was about time the lady was put in her place. He began by pushing the linen towel between her teeth. She still wouldn't shut up.

 

"Mmmph. Nnnggkk!" she squawked. Time for some fun, Ray thought.

 

"Time you learnt some manners, young lady (of course she wasn't that young, probably about his own age). You're going to get a good spanking. No point arguing about it". This prompted more muffled squeals and moans from the lady mayoress, who also began to struggle violently against her ropes. "The more fuss you make, the worse it will be. Do you understand?" To emphasize his point, he used one hand in the small of her back to hold her still, and slapped her hard across the buttocks with the other. She thrashed and writhed about even more. Ray responded by pulling the hem of her skirt back to expose her bottom, and delivered another slap across the black satin knickers, which probably did nothing to cushion the blow. "Now you understand " he said. "Think of it as punishment for the expenses you've fiddled. Six of the best, something to remember next time you make a claim". She got the message. Ray was impressed at just how quiet and still she was while she endured six more smacks on her upturned bottom. He would have liked to entertain himself further at her expense, but he prided himself on knowing when to stop . Using a last piece of cord to tie her ankles to her bound hands, he took his leave "Nice to make your acquaintance, ma'am" As a final act of compassion, half an hour after leaving, he telephoned to order a taxi ,to collect Mrs Garrett from the cottage an hour later.

 

He watched the local and national press for over a week, but the robbery wasn't mentioned. He knew from past experience that crimes like this always made the papers, so there was an obvious conclusion. The lady hadn't called the police, presumably because she didn't want them to know about the spanking. And on future occasions, he had never seen any mention of his victims being spanked, although the crimes themselves had been reported.

 

His thoughts drifted back to today's operation, and Christine Collins. With luck there might be time to entertain himself with her. He had to remind himself that taking the money, and getting away with it, was the purpose of his visit.

 

Now it was time to act. The sound of voices saying goodnight, see you in the morning. The ceiling lights in the store went out, leaving only a faint glow from the direction of the cafe. Making sure that the toy gun, the cord and the mask were in his pocket, he climbed down the ladder, hoping the creaking sounds wouldn't attract his target's attention. His plan was to capture her in the office behind the cafe.

 

On his way from his hiding place, he passed a display of outdoor clothing, and on impulse, grabbed a tweed cap, stopping by a mirror to position it correctly on his head. One more thing to mislead the investigation.

 

He stepped silently through the doorway into the office, quietly but not quietly enough. Christine was sat at the table with her back to him, putting a rubber band round a wad of ten-pound notes. He was pleased to see similar bundles of notes stacked up on the table. Just as he raised the toy gun, preparing to say his piece, she sensed his presence, or heard him move, ant looked over her shoulder. Her mouth dropped open, her eyes were wide. She raised her hands as if to protect herself.

 

"Quiet, I don't want to hurt you. Don't scream or I'll shoot. Just calm down, eh, I'm only after the money ". She froze, hands still raised in front of her.

 

There were a few seconds of silence, then "What do you want me to do?" she said quietly "You don't need to hurt me. I'm not paid enough to get myself shot".

 

"That's what I like to hear. Now, first thing I need to know, are we alone in here? If someone appears unexpectedly this thing might go off". Ray had perfected the art of sounding menacing without shouting, and it worked on this occasion.

 

"No, definitely not, that's the truth " She was sounding desperate to be believed. "I'm all on my own here, honestly " She looked him in the eyes, imploringly. "I just wish I wasn't here either. I suppose you thought there was nobody here, then you could just take the money" She had turned the swivel chair round to face him and sat looking up at him, nervously stroking the corner of her bow tie with her fingertip. "The cash is here on the table, that's all of it. How much more did you expect? It’s just a garden centre".

 

"Just before Christmas, what's in the safe?" he pointed at the wall safe on the other side of the room. Just above it was a picture hook, and on the floor, leaning on the wall below it, a large, fairly unremarkable framed landscape. "No point lying about it" he laughed.

 

Christine Collins looked embarrassed, but lied anyway" There's nothing there, I will be putting this money in" then, looking him in the eye "I don't suppose I will be now, will I? You might as well just take it all and go. I won't call the police right away". She is just trying to get me out as soon as she can, thought Ray. She doesn't know what comes next.

 

"I'm wasting time discussing this. I want you over there" . He pointed at the small two-seater sofa on the other side of the room. "Sit over there" He waved the toy gun that way. "I need to deal with you first".

 

She looked worried suddenly, but was getting to her feet anyway."You said you weren't going to hurt me. What do you mean, deal with me?" By way of a reply, he pulled the packet of twine from his pocket. Without letting the gun drop, he pulled one of the lengths of twine out. Christine's eyes grew wider as she stared at it, taking in the meaning of it.

 

"You mean you're going to tie me up? And that's ours, did you take it off the display?" as if that was the more serious matter.

 

Ray chuckled. "Afraid so, better add shoplifting to my misdemeanours. Sounds like you think that's worse than tying you up".

 

She had crossed the room and now sat down on the edge of the sofa. She looked up with what she hoped was an appealing smile, and spoke casually "There's no need to tie me up, is there? If you pull out the phone, I won't be able to dial 999, if you take it with you. I don't want to be tied up, it's so kind of undignified. I've got a position of authority here. I'm not just a waitress. Being found tied up, well, it's going to be embarrassing". 

 

She was making a brave attempt, you had to give her credit for that, Ray thought. But to no avail. "There's other phones in here" he said. "I'm not as gullible as you think. You're going to be tied up, whether you like it or not. Even though you're not just a waitress. No need to be scared though, I won't hurt you" He moved behind her, suddenly aware of her perfume. "We can do this the easy way. Put your hands behind you, please, Christine "

 

"Oh, let’s get it over with" She clasped her hands behind her back. "Will that do?"

 

"It will as a starting point" Ray passed the cord round her wrists three times before cinching it between them and knotting it, then winding the rest round to use it up, then knotting it again. It wasn't excessively tight, but what he was going to do next would take care of that. He toyed with the idea of using the strings of her apron (Already knotted in the small of her back) as an additional restraint, but decided not to. They could get in the way of the intricate ropework that Christine was about to experience. 

 

Christine flexed her arms, trying to test the cords. "I don't think I could get loose very quickly. Will you phone the police when you've gone, or at least loosen it a bit?" She turned to look over her shoulder at him, a hopeful smile on her face."Please! That's it. You could keep my hands tied so I don't stop you taking the money, but untie me when you go. If you disconnect all the phones, l'll have to drive somewhere to report the robbery. You'll be miles away by then"

 

Ray laughed."Full of ideas, aren't you" Perhaps it was time to gag her, now, rather than after he had finished tying her up. That was his normal procedure, but the women didn't usually talk so much. Some were stoical, some were sulky, but they were always quiet. He felt in his pocket, finding the folded handkerchief and the mask. With her back to him, she couldn't see what was coming." There's a reason I don't get caught" he explained "It's because when people tell me how I should be doing a robbery, I don't listen. I gag them, and then I do it my way" .

 

"Sounds like a cue for a song" she said, but then her tone changed as she realised what he was saying. "Hey, hang on a minute. You're not going to nnnhhhh! Nggghhhh!" Her protest came too late as Ray forced the tightly rolled handkerchief into her mouth ".

 

"Don't spit it out. If you do I'll get that weatherproof tape that’s out there, the messy greasy stuff. Wouldn't like that, would you?"Ray spoke emphatically, looking her in the eye. She rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Would you?" he repeated, louder. This time she looked him in the eye and shook her head. She reminded him of a sulky child. This was the person who had reduced her staff to tears, he reminded himself. Those girls would probably enjoy this. "Christine Collins, Cafeteria Supervisor. I think I'll call you Chrissy for the rest of my stay, it sounds more relaxed and informal . More in keeping with your current position. Which, in case you are wondering, is best described as 'damsel in distress' " She made a move to rise to her feet, but he placed a hand on her shoulder and forced her down. "Keep still" he ordered as he fitted the dust mask over the lower part of her face and adjusted the elastic strap behind her head. "Now I need to fix you up properly, don't I"

 

Christine watched with eyes wide-open as he pulled the twine from its packet. As he untangled it, he noticed some slight movement behind her dust mask. She was trying to push the fabric out of her mouth. He'd have to do something about that, but first she had to be trussed up to his satisfaction. Having found the middle of the cord, he draped the ends over her shoulders from behind, then fed the ends under her arms. He could see her watching as he fed the ends behind her back, looped them round the opposite arm, back again, and so on. In no time, she was secured in a harness of cords that passed round her upper arms, above and below her breasts, all held by a knot between her shoulder blades. To complete the binding, he took the ends of the cord down to her bound wrists, wound them round several times to use up the spare, before pulling them upwards, drawing her bound hands up to the cords round her body, then knotting them. This had the effect of tightening up all of the cord around her arms and breasts, as he knew it would. He also knew it would stretch her blouse tight across her bust, and wondered if the buttons would all withstand the pressure. As he hoped, they didn't, the two between her breasts had popped open. To Christine, the whole thing was a new experience. She looked down, dismayed, turned to look him in the eye, then seeing him grinning, blushed and looked away.

 

Ray couldn't help noticing the newly exposed cleavage and the lacy edge of the black bra, but didn't dwell on it, not just yet. Getting her feet tied was the next priority, with the last few feet of twine that was left. As he lowered himself into a kneeling position next to Christine, he noticed that she was watching with interest as he stretched it out and passed it round her ankles. She leaned forward to get a better view as he looped it round four times before cinching it between her legs and knotting it. There wasn't enough left to tie her legs above the knees, he had been a bit too lavish with it when binding her arms, but it wouldn't matter. She hadn't a snowball's chance in hell of getting loose. He hadn't left enough to put her in a hogtie, which to Ray, meant that he hadn't quite finished the job. His preference was to tie his lady victims so securely that they would never get free unaided, but once he was well clear, he would phone someone to ensure that they were rescued. It was an oversight, and it wasn't the only one. He wasn't sure if all the tills had been emptied, or if she was in the process of collecting them up. And now she was gagged, in no position to have a conversation.

 

He looked her in the eye. "Is this all the money, here? None still in the tills?" She just stared back at him. Defiantly, he thought, as if she was saying "you find out, I'm not helping you". "Ok, Chrissie. I'll go and see, and when I come back, you'll get spanked" That wiped the smile from her face. Ray grinned under his mask as she looked, wide-eyed, after him. He turned back. "That right, spanked. Maybe on your bare bottom, I haven't decided yet" Her expression was priceless, he thought. She could sit there and worry about it, while he checked the tills.

 

Ray didn't spend long in the check-out area. All six tills had been emptied. He wasn't surprised, but he didn't want to miss anything. His livelihood depended on it. So having checked the area, he headed back to the office, stopping on the way to pick up another packet of twine, then calling into the clothing area. A selection of women’s scarves were displayed on hooks in a perforated partition. Chrissie had pushed the gag out of her mouth, but she didn't know that he knew. She was going to be so surprised when he returned with scarves to gag her all over again. He quickened his pace, four scarves in his hand. He wasn't sure yet what the last two were for, but he would think of something.

 

As he came in sight of the cafeteria and could see into the office area behind it, he became aware that he couldn't see Christine. He could see the sofa, and she should have been perched on the end of it, bound and gagged. But she wasn't.

 

He stopped for a moment, experiencing an uncharacteristic feeling of panic. Pull yourself together, he told himself. She could be hiding behind the door with a shovel in her hands, waiting to bash him over the head, but only if she had managed to get herself untied. She can't have freed herself, he thought. Tied like she was, she can't have. She must have wriggled down from the sofa and then moved across the room. He crept softly toward the doorway. Chrissie was more resourceful than he gave her credit for, he mused. She definitely deserves to be punished, he thought, smiling as he looked at his watch. Lots of time before the bus was due. But he hadn't finished the task of stealing the cash yet, that came first, right after finding his prisoner.

 

Just  as he reached the doorway, he heard a clattering noise. Peering into the room, he observed Christine, still bound as securely as ever, on her knees by the desk, at the corner where the phone sat. The mask was pulled down below her chin, she must have used a corner of the desk to dislodge it. The screwed up handkerchief was on the floor. She had pushed the telephone handset from its base, that was the noise he had heard. She looked up at him, with a terrified expression at first.

 

"A very resourceful lady" he said, trying not to sound too threatening. He was still in control of the situation after all. She was still tied up securely and the nearest other person was probably in a house, hundreds of yards away. She could scream for all she was worth, nobody would come to the rescue. She was still going to be gagged, though.

 

She didn't look so worried once she realised he wasn't angry. "Can't blame me for trying. I thought you'd gone" she said, trying to sound friendly. "You would do the same, wouldn't you?"

 

"As I was saying, you are too resourceful for your own good. I'm going to have to do a better job of keep you quiet" He selected a scarf in three different shades of blue, and began to tie a knot in the centre. "Not your colours, I'm afraid, but it'll do the job". 

 

"What are you doing? Not going to strangle me, are you?" She looked back over her shoulder and tried to duck out of his way.

 

"No, I'm not. Don't worry, I never harm the ladies I rob. I merely inconvenience them, delay them slightly. I like to think they enjoy meeting me. I'm just going to gag you more thoroughly this time". Christine looked puzzled for a moment, then said something she immediately regretted

 

 "Enjoy being tied up and robbed? Oh, and you we're joking, weren't you, about spanking me. You were kidding, right? Please say.....nnnnnppphhhh" Her plea was suddenly silenced as the knot of the scarf was pushed into her mouth. Ray lifted her dark hair out of the way before tying the ends at the back of her neck, then placed a hand on each of her shoulders.

 

"Spanking. Do you know, I had quite forgotten about that. You have been quite a naughty girl,  haven't you, trying to phone for help" He thought about how to get her back on the sofa. He estimated that she weighed more than ten stones,  and his back might not be up to lifting her bodily from the floor. Perhaps she should stay on the floor. It was her who had chosen to move around, after all. But first, the cash. It was all there on the desk.

 

Fives, tens, twenties, and two fifty pound notes. Ray didn't like them. He liked the amount but not the notes. There were so many forgeries about. Whenever he spent one, the shop assistant examined it with a fine toothcomb and sometimes called a supervisor to check it. The sort of thing that meant they might just remember him. He didn't want that. On this occasion it looked as if he could afford to leave them behind, because he could see from the number of twenties that there must be nearly two thousand pounds on the table. Enough to ensure a fairly merry Christmas. He began to scoop up the notes into the plastic carrier bag (from a major supermarket, he decided against using one of the garden centre's own bags), leaving the fifty-pound notes to one side. Then, crossing to the wall safe, he took the bundle of twenties that was inside. Christine, still kneeling by the desk, watched with interest. Ray was beginning to form an idea. "See those fifties, Chrissy. They are going to be a surprise present. See if you can guess who for". She looked up at him with an expression that, he thought, was probably the look that intimidated her staff. He wondered what those girls would think if they could see her now, on her knees, bound and gagged, hoping that she wasn't really going to be spanked. If looks could kill, he thought. He still had three unused scarves, and here was a use for one of them. Holding it so that she could see, he folded it diagonally into a wide band and stretched it between his fingers.

 

"Time for lights out, Chrissy" he gloated. "Don't worry though, I'll tell you what's happening" Her expression changed to one of disbelief, then to panic. She tried to duck down out of his way, but of course she couldn't move very far. He spoke in a firm tone. "You're being quite difficult, for someone who doesn't want to have her bottom spanked"

To his great amusement, as soon as she heard him say this, she froze. She looked up at him, another contemptuous glare, then turned her head to stare forward into the distance. "Resistance is futile" Said Ray, as he carefully positioned the folded scarf evenly over her eyes. He pressed her hair down at the back of her head before knotting it just above the other scarf, then stood back to look at her.

 

Quite the business-like catering supervisor in her black shirt and skirt, contrasting with the spotted bow tie and the spotless white apron, and being a pleasantly plump lady whose breasts were thrusting forward as a consequence of the way her arms were bound behind her back was an added bonus in his opinion. He feasted his eyes for a moment. Being blindfolded, she couldn't see the bulge in his trousers. Probably for the best, he thought. She'd be worried about what I might do if she could see it.

 

He looked around, he wasn't going to try to lift her onto the sofa. He had moved some furniture earlier in the week, and it had made him realise that he wasn't getting any younger. But Christine had to be immobilised, she had proved that she had a determined streak. The solution came to him suddenly. The sofa was small and it was on castors. He positioned himself at the back of it and pushed it across the floor to where she knelt. The seat cushions were not fixed in place, and he swiftly lifted them off and dropped them over the back. Then, taking her by the shoulders, he lowered her carefully onto the sofa, face down, but still kneeling. He guessed that her centre of gravity was too low for her to lift herself up again. Just how he wanted her in fact.

 

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"

 

Christine groaned and bit down on the knotted scarf angrily 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."

 

Christine inwardly sighed with relief. She knew that a spanking could be fun, but when it was an armed criminal administering it, it was going to be anything but. She felt Ray pull her skirt back down over her bottom then 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.

 

He spoke up again a cheery voice. "I'm a fool. I read my watch wrong. It's earlier than I thought. There's plenty of time for me to give you a spanking after all. Aren’t you pleased? I would have felt really cheated. A plump tasty bottom like yours, and not enough time to spank it"

 

He was fondling her bottom again, and Christine tried in vain to wriggle away from his hand. She was desperately hoping that he was only teasing. Maybe he was just playing a cruel game, and he really wasn’t going to do anything. After all, she had heard often enough about workplace robberies where women got tied up, but she had never heard of any of them being spanked. Surely it wasn’t going to happen to her.

 

But it was. He pulled her skirt up again, and using both hands, pulled her tights and knickers down over her thighs. Christine bit hard on the knotted bandage in frustrated rage. Her panties, though black, were chosen for comfort rather than allure, and might have given a degree of protection if they had stayed in place. Wasn’t she going to be spared any  indignity?. She felt a hard, stinging smack expertly placed on her bottom. “Been a bad girl, Chrissy, upsetting your staff” he said, knowing that the comment would make her wonder how he knew. 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. Christine 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 six more times. Each smack hurt her bottom a bit more than the last. By the time he stopped her bottom was smarting painfully. She wondered if it would be painful to sit down.. But what was worse was the thought that suddenly occurred to her.. She had already resigned herself to being found ,still tied up, by somebody, she just hoped it wouldn't be too long. Her husband would be home at about six-thirty, and when he found she wasn't there, he would phone. When he didn't get a reply, he would drive down here to find her, the sooner the better, she thought. But what if this man left her with her knickers pulled down and her skirt pulled up  Ray could see that her buttocks were every bit as red as they felt, but his verbal teasing continued. "You know, Chrissy, your treatment of your staff is really not nice. I’ve been sent to discipline you. If there isn’t an improvement, I’ll be back next Christmas to punish you again”. He had a sudden flash of inspiration. “Just think of me as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Next year I’ll visit you to discuss your progress. And if you've been just as naughty, you know what to expect”.

 

He chuckled, imagining how she would feel in about a year’s time, anticipating his next visit. But now it was really time to leave” But just to show I have a considerate streak, I’m going to leave you a gift. Then I must be off, got a sleigh to catch. If you are smart, you won't tell anybody. And if you do, you'll have some explaining to do. And this is why”.

 

Christine couldn’t see him stand up and retrieve the two fifty-pound notes from the table, and when she felt him pull her panties up ,then insert one banknote inside, on her left buttock, and the other one on the right, she wondered what on earth he had done. As he pulled her tights back, up, he explained. “That's the fifty pound notes. Don't like them. A little present for you. Don't really deserve it, do you?” Never mind. And before I leave, in case you thought a spanking on your bare bottom was a bit harsh, here's another on through your skirt, so you can compare the experiences”

As he lowered the hem of her skirt, she was grateful to have her modesty restored in one way, but angry at the indignity she knew was coming. Six hard slaps, three seconds between each one, on her already sore bottom. The skirt and underclothes might have protected her if she hadn't already been spanked, but it didn't feel any better at the moment. I she ever got her hands on him, she thought.

 

“That's made my hand quite sore” he said as he finished. Now I just need to  finish tying you properly, can't have you getting loose. And don't worry, in an hour or two I'll arrange for someone to come round and set you free”

 

Christine' s heart sank. She had been counting on her husband coming to find her, but it could be the police who came. It would be in the local papers. And wasn't she tied up properly already!  Her arms and legs were tied, she was blindfolded and gagged, was anything else necessary. What else could he do? She soon found out the answer, as more twine was fed round her bound ankles. Then she felt it being passed through the web of cords in the middle of her back, pulled tighter, than passed back town to her ankles and knotted. Now she wouldn't be able to straighten her legs, not that it would do much good, and she guessed she was leaning too far forward, too low on the sofa, to lift herself into a kneeling position. “It's been nice meeting you” Ray said his voice receding as he walked slowly out of the office .”You've had a busy day, try to take it easy for an hour or so, and be a good girl next year, Santa will find out if you’re not.

 

Christine listened as he left the building. Who was he? Had one of the girls put him up to it, he seemed to know a lot. She would have to keep quiet about the fifty-pound notes in her panties, if she said anything the police would know that the robber had done things with her underwear. Should she keep it, or just put it back and make out that he had missed it. It was a gift from Santa after all. It was going to be a long hour or two, she realised.   .

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