For those readers who, like me enjoy Simon Brett's detective novels set in Sussex, featuring two middle-aged female sleuths, here is an episode which has not happened yet. I have read and enjoyed the mysteries featuring Sally and Jayne, but it's really about time that a criminal captured these two busybodies and tied them up. I have given my characters different names, out of consideration for copyright.
This story is intended as a tribute to Mr. Brett's writing.
The novels have titles which follow a pattern, for example, The Hanging in the Hotel, and The Stabbing in the Stable. Hence my title,
The Captives in the Cottages.
To say that Sally Sheldon was miffed was a serious understatement. She didn't know which aspect of the matter annoyed her most. It was annoying that, as Jayne and her had met the solicitor together, he had apparently chosen to pass the copies of the wills over to her friend. She didn't buy the excuse that they had not been able to contact her by phone. But more mystifying, and more hurtful, was the knowledge that Jayne, having had a phone call from the solicitor not half an hour later, had rushed down to the office on her own to collect them. And, her so-called friend had not yet been in touch about it. Yes, Sally was definitely 11 out of 10 on the miffed scale. All the trouble she had gone to as well. She was not the sort of person who would wear just anything to visit a solicitor's office; it required a degree of formality.
Sally's middle class upbringing had left her with the idea that almost everything required a degree of formality. A visit to a professional person like a solicitor definitely meant that she had to follow a certain dress code. Otherwise, how could one expect to be taken seriously? So, dressed in her charcoal grey trouser suit, over a crisp white shirt, buttoned at collar and cuffs, black leather ankle-boots with two-inch heels and armed with a brief case that hadn't been used since she left her civil service post, she had arrived at the said office to collect the documents.
She had arrived at the office, announced her presence assertively to the receptionist, only to feel all the more deflated when that lady told her the bad news. A friend of Mrs Sheldon had collected the documents, about an hour ago. There had been phone calls, she was surprised Sally didn't know.
"What friend?" Sally had demanded to know, but the receptionist hadn't dealt with her in person, but she had seen her.
"A fair-haired lady in her fifties. Sort of er, Bohemian in her choice of clothes" How discreet these people could be.
"Hippie" muttered Sally. She didn't feel inclined to mince words."A well built lady? Doesn't use one word when ten will do?"
"You know her then. She is a friend of yours?" the woman looked relieved.
"Oh yes". Sally replied, trying not to sound as angry as she was. Bohemian indeed. She turned towards the door.
"Can I help you with anything else?"
"No, no thank you. I'll catch up with her" said Sally through gritted teeth, hoping she didn't sound too petulant.
Jayne had beaten her too it, but why? They always worked as a team, or so she had believed. What made it worse was that Jayne had made no effort. Jayne had arrived looking "Bohemian " and been given the documents. Sally had made an effort to look businesslike and had come away empty-handed.
Sally walked briskly back to her cottage, trying not to exhibit the body language of a person whose best efforts have been dismissed. She carried the briefcase as if a satisfactory result was inside it. The man who was observing her from a hundred yards behind certainly formed this impression, and quickened his pace to keep up with her.
He carried a briefcase of his own, a well-worn brown leather on that he had owned for years. It went well with the greenish brown tweed jacket and brown cords, giving him the look of a science teacher from a sixties grammar school. The tanned and slightly weather-beaten look to his face, the result of his years in Southern Africa, suggested there might be more to him.
His case would be adequate for carrying the items that he intended to acquire today, but it also carried the tools which would enable him to overcome any obstacles to his plan. The tools were a Luger pistol, which wasn't loaded (It didn't need to be, the people he was dealing with scared easily) and four rolls of silver duct tape. There had been five of these, until early this morning. His forged credit card had failed at the first test. 50-year old Sheila Reynolds, the merry widow who owned the b-and-b ,had demanded cash or she was going to call the police. She had been trussed up and gagged with one of the rolls of tape, spanked and put to bed in one of her vacant rooms. He wondered if anyone had found her yet. But there were four left, quite possibly, one would be enough. The lady looked smart and businesslike, sure, but there was no doubt in his mind. The woman wasn't born who could get the better of him.
Well, that was definitely her, he thought. She fitted the description of Mrs Sheldon, she had just left the solicitor's office with a brief case. He followed at a safe distance and watched as she went inside her cottage. Give it a moment, he thought.
Five minutes later he rang the doorbell. There was a sound of a dog barking, but it seemed to come from round the side of the house. He heard an impatient female voice inside. "Shut up, Gulliver" she ordered "you can come in in a minute". Good, he thought. The dog was outside, where he wouldn't meet it.
Sally had only had time to fill the electric kettle and switch it on when the doorbell rang. Damn and blast, she thought. It was almost as if someone had deliberately waited for her to get inside. Maybe if it was Jayne, she would get the opportunity to speak her mind. She was in the right frame of mind now, to tell her friend how she felt about being sidelined like this. Instead of taking her jacket off, she strode into the hall and opened her door. She felt like being formal and officious. She was disappointed and a little deflated to find that, instead of an apologetic Jayne, an unfamiliar figure stood there. She gave him an unwelcoming glare. An old fashioned middle-aged man, he reminded her of a college lecturer that she had once known. In fact, he looked like the archetypal lecturer. Identifying him as an educated man, she dropped her hostile manner. While she was wondering what to say, he broke the ice .
"I have come from Armstrong and Webb, the solicitor in town. They advised me that some documents have been released to you in error. They relate to the estate of a Mr. Farrell. I wonder if you would let me have them back, so that we can pass them over to one of the family members"
He spoke with a trace of an accent which Sally couldn't place. South African, Australian, not quite one of those. But he wasn't making any sense. Sally didn't know everybody who worked at the solicitor’s office personally, but she thought she knew them by sight. And surely, there were no family members, that's what the recent unpleasantness had been about. Was he up to no good? It crossed her mind that, if he was involved, he might have knowledge that she and Jayne could put to good use. A small voice in her head urged caution though, his manner seemed too confident. To just turn up and ask, expecting it to be given. She hadn't even got the papers. Did he think she was Jayne.
"What did you say your name was?" she asked, "only the documents weren't given to me. My neighbour has them, apparently. Did they specifically send you to me? Who gave you my address?"She was getting annoyed again. It was bad enough that Jayne had been given the papers in error, without some inefficient buffoon sending this man to the wrong person. It was really too much. "Who was it that suggested you see me?" she said in a deliberately officious tone. "I'm going to phone them to sort this out. It's them who gave the wills to the wrong person" . She stepped backward and made to pick up the telephone, but to her amazement and anger he stepped in with her, with an unexpected turn of speed, and put his hand firmly on the receiver.
"No need for that, lady. Just give me what I want, we needn't waste their time". His tone had changed, his BBC English gone. Sally turned to him angrily.
"Who on earth do you think you are? I told you I haven't got them. You can't come forcing your way in here..."
He interrupted her, raising a hand and positioning himself between her and the front door. "Oh dear" he said "you really don't have them, do you?" He closed the door, pushed it to so that it slammed loudly, and then turned back to her.
"Look here" said Sally, trying to maintain an air of sternness, but really she was feeling suddenly apprehensive. Something was amiss. In her pretend persona of managerial busybody, she usually succeeded in intimidating ordinary people, when she chose. Not this man, though. He raised his hand again.
"Which neighbour? " he said. "Who has them?"
"That one" she gestured to the left. "Why?"
"I'm going to pay a visit . What's her name, Judith something, did someone say?"
"Jayne” said Sally. "I'll come with you" Time to take back the driving seat, she thought.
"No, you won't " he said, flipping his case open and reaching inside. Sally stared in disbelief as he drew out the pistol. She wondered if it was a replica, but knew she didn't dare to put it to the test. "I think we'll stay here in the hall, not near any windows. Now, if you face that wall, I need to take some precautionary measures".
"What measures? It can't be worth shooting somebody for it, whatever you want. She hoped he would agree, that it was a bluff.
"It won't come to that if you do as I say. I'm going to tie you up, that's all. Now, put your hands behind your back and I can get started". Sally felt butterflies in her stomach at the news that she was about to be tied up. She had often wondered how it felt to be bound and helpless. Some years ago her cousin Gillian, a sub-postmistress, had been caught up in a robbery, and left alone, bound and gagged, for several hours in the back of her shop. To Sally's surprise, she had talked about the episode as if it was quite an exciting thing, once the initial shock had passed. It had certainly made Sally wonder how it felt, being captured by some man. Well, now I'm about to find out, she said to herself. She clasped her hands behind her, and commented "Isn't this a bit theatrical. What do you think I'm going to do?"
"I don't give a monkey's what you think" he said abruptly. "You're just in my way, so don't push your luck. No more Mister Nice Guy! " The facade was gone. He pressed her wrists close together and wrapped them tightly with the tape. She was amazed at how many times he wrapped it round, but then she remembered that last time she had used a roll of the stuff, it had been 25 metres. After nine circuits of her wrists, he changed direction and bandaged her hands, encasing her fingers in the stuff. A possible avenue of escape, closed. He wasn't finished, he tore the tape then fed the end between her arms and her body, at her elbows, pulling it tight and drawing her arms back. More wrapping, then he tore the tape off again. He broke off taping, and taking hold of the lapels of her jacket, pulled it down below her bust, so that her arms were pinned to her sides even more tightly. She heard him tearing off more tape, but as she was about to ask how much more she had to put up with, he gripped her chin and pressed a strip of tale across her lips horizontally, pressing it down firmly. Something inside warned her against pulling away or resisting. The strip of tape was quickly joined by two more, applied diagonally, in a X shape. She could easily imagine how silly and undignified she must look, fortunately there was nobody around to see her.
To her dismay, the man continued his work diligently. He pulled her jacket down further , squeezed the end of the tape against her elbow and wound it round her body, just under her bust, pulling it tight before passing it round her again, again and again, tightly, fastening her arms to her sides. She fought off a sudden feeling of panic. Where was this going to end? He's only tying me up to keep me out of the way for a while, he's going as soon as he's finished, she reminded herself. But he had pulled her jacket down, what if he pulled her trousers down too. Being helpless was a new experience for Sally.
The man knelt down suddenly, tearing more tape from the roll. "Feet together, close as you can. Now!" he ordered her. She shuffled her feet as close as she could, she was surely going to fall over if he taped her feet at the ankles. She was mildly relieved when he began to wrap the tape round her legs at the knees, at least she didn't feel quite so unstable. "Can't leave you standing here, can I? I'm just having a look round, don't move from here"
Sally turned slightly and watched the man as he went into her living room. Move, she thought. As if! I daren't. If I don't fall over, he'll come back and do something horrible to me.
Having visited every room he returned and announced "I found just the place. You'll be so comfortable ". With that, he turned her round, ducked down and in a moment, to her horror, she was over his shoulder in a fireman's lift. She had never been treated like this in her life, but what could she do? She wriggled just a fraction as his shoulder dug into her, but her reward was a smack across the bottom. "Don't move, I don't want to drop you" he said as he carried her down the hallway.
Once in the bedroom, he lowered her onto the bed, lying on her side, then set to work again with the tape. Watching as he placed her ankles in a crossed position, she glumly realized that she wasn't going to be hopping off to raise the alarm. She had thought she might try that once he had gone. But his precautions didn't end there. He turned her over onto her front, then gave her bottom another slap. Nobody had ever done that to Sally before , and she didn't like the idea. But then he did it again. "No so bossy now, are you?" he laughed. Sally kept her face down, uncomfortably aware that she was blushing. Now what was he doing? He was winding more tape around her already bound wrists, then pulling it tight, and her feet were pulled up and back towards her bottom. Then they were being tied to her hands. She tried to struggle, but she could hardly move.
He laughed, saying "Don't bother, I know what I'm doing. Take it easy. Now I'll have a word with your neighbour". So saying, he left the room and closed the door behind him.
Sally weighed up her situation. She tried an experimental shout, but the several strips of tape suppressed the sound, all that came out was a faint whimper. It seemed the man did know what he was doing. She tried to pull against the cocoon of tape that held her, but there was just no way of flexing her muscles, no chance of any leverage. When he had been fastening her hands behind her back she had a feeling she wasn't going to get free on her own, and now, wrapped up like a birthday present, she was even less hopeful.
While he watched from a vantage point over the road, wondering if the neighbour was at home, the lady answered the question for him, by coming out of her side door, taking a carrier bag of rubbish to the waste bin. This had to be Jayne, she fitted the description exactly. A plump blonde in her fifties, long hair pinned up in a loose bun on top of her head. She dressed in a style completely unlike her friend and neighbour. She was wearing a cream coloured peasant style, off-the-shoulder blouse, with a calf-length skirt in some yellow cotton fabric with big pale blue flowers on it. And white sandals with cork heels. You would think it was the height of summer to look at her, he thought. It was time to pay her a visit. He glanced inside the bag, just to reassure himself. The tools for the job were still inside.
One ring of the bell was enough. The lady opened the door and greeted him with a smile, quite a contrast to the querulous woman next door. He tried not to notice her well-endowed physique and the low-cut blouse, instead looking her in the eye. Before she had a chance to speak, he announced himself.
"Terribly sorry to bother you, madam". He was quite proud of his Terry-Thomas inspired persona, it worked well in small doses, especially with the older generation. "I've come from Armstrong and Webb. There's been a ghastly mistake. Apparently some documents were sent to you in error ". He hoped it sounded as if she wasn't being blamed, it was easier to con people if you soft soap them."Would you mind awfully letting me have them back. Our girl should have given them to Mrs Sheldon, next door. I will drop them off to her if you can let me have them".
The woman gave him a puzzled look. The brown eyes narrowed in a frown. It's not working, he thought. Third time today.
"That isn't quite the way it happened" she protested. " Probably best if I give them to her. We can both go. Wait while I get the papers". She turned to go into the living room. Ok, he thought, you find the papers for me first. Taking advantage of her absence he reached into his brief case for the gun and the roll of tape. She quickly returned holding a brown manila folder. "I'll ring the doorbell "she said, moving to step past him. "I need to speak to her about this anyway".
Suddenly flourishing the gun, he barred her way. A finger on his lip, he barked out" just do everything I tell you and you'll be all right. No need for anyone to get hurt. Your friend has already been dealt with".
The plump brown-eyed blonde stopped in her tracks, her jaw dropped open. "You haven't, er, what have you done to her? " she began.
"No, I haven't shot her, God no. Been to see her already. She's, shall we say, a bit tied up at the moment ".
She didn't speak for a moment, looking thoughtful. "Oh". Then, looking him in the eye "Is that what you've got in mind for me?" She glanced at the gun, then held out the folder to him. "You can have the damn folder, no need to be melodramatic about it. It's not like I can stop you. Go on, take it".
"Thanks. I do like a co-operative lady, but I can't just leave you to raise the alarm, can I? You must have guessed by now that I shouldn't be taking them, by rights. It's not what you two think, by the way. I work for somebody who will benefit from the status quo being maintained. That happens if this stuff disappears, then reappears too late. No, don't do that!" His tone changed as Jayne took a backward step. "Stay right there". He pushed open the door to the living room, peering hastily inside before raising the gun again. "Let's go in here. You first, Judy". He wasn't going to carry this lady over his shoulder. Though shorter than the Sally woman, he guessed she was heavier.
"It's Jayne" she said irritably, wondering if she could talk her way out of the situation. In a minute she would be tied up, probably gagged as well, and it would be too late. Sally was already tied up in the bungalow next door, if he was telling the truth. Was he though?" So where's Sally? " she enquired.
"Oh, she's comfortable. In her bedroom, bound and gagged of course. Now, go over to that couch and kneel on it, facing over the back". She looked puzzled, it wasn't what she had expected. "Go on, I haven't got long".
Jayne knelt on the seat, resting her elbows on the back of the sofa, which was what she preferred to call it. She heard a tearing sound as he pulled the end of the tape from the roll, then he pushed her ankles together and began to wrap them in the stuff, pulling it tight as he did so. Now she wouldn't be able to jump to her feet, she realized. She listened as more tape was pulled. The sound reminded her of an incident thirty years before. She had been working in a building society branch office, quite a boring job for a young woman, or so she thought until that day. A gang had arrived early in the morning, with the cleaner, and as each staff member arrived, they had been ordered to lay face down on the floor, before being securely taped up. It was Jayne's bad luck to arrive two minutes after the cleaner, forty minutes before anybody else. by the time they were freed, she had been bound and gagged for almost two hours. She wondered how long it would be this time.
He's done my feet, now it'll be my hands, she told herself, trying to find a comfortable position leaning against the back. She was right, next the man forced her hands together in the small of her back, crossing her wrists before setting to work encasing them in six loops of tape. Jayne couldn't help feeling a tingle of excitement, knowing that she was going to be helpless for an indefinite period. She expected that her mouth would be taped as the next part of her restraint, but instead she felt him passing the tape between her upper arms and her body, pulling her elbows back, wrapping it round her bare arms twice before he pulled her more upright. With one hand holding her shoulder, he bound the tape round and round her, just below her bust. Then more loops above her bust, he was smoothing it down on her bare skin. This was going to hurt when it came off, she realized angrily. Why was he treating her this cruelly, she was bound tightly enough already. She caught his eye. "Pleased with yourself? " she said sarcastically.
"Oh, very pleased. I haven't quite finished yet, though, Judy". She held back from correcting him this time, getting her name wrong was obviously part of the fun. Not finished yet? She didn't dare to ask what else was in store for her. Sally was gagged, he had said as much, so there wasn't much doubt that she was going to be silenced as well. She heard more tape being pulled from the roll, then his hands were in front of her face, about to press the tape in place over her lips. At that moment Jayne had one of those sudden impulses that seem such a good idea at the time. She leaned forward and bit the man's finger, as hard as she could. Immediately she knew she should not have done that. Oh, sure he knew she wasn't so docile, but she was still a bound and helpless prisoner.
"Aaaah, you bitch" he screamed ." I should bang your head on the wall". He seized her by her hair and yanked her head back. Jayne almost shouted "I'm sorry, I didn't mean that" but then he said, very calmly. "Now you're worried, aren't you. I think we know who's got the upper hand, don't we, Judy?" She said nothing, thinking that was what he expected. "Don't we?" he sounded more threatening the second time.
"Yes" she said meekly. She guessed that she was lucky he hadn't lost his temper. She just hoped that he would finish gagging her, then disappear forever.
"No more nonsense? "He asked, straightening out the tape between his fingers.
"No" she muttered. Without replying, he pressed the tape across her lips, then passed the tape round her head and smoothed it down again, then repeated the process three more times. The lower part of her face, from her nose down, was covered in tape. She wasn't going to give him a laugh by trying to speak. But now she was worried. He tore the tape, smoothed the end against her cheek and placed the roll on the back of the sofa, next to her. She could see there was quite a lot left, in spite of the lavish way he had used it on her.
"Soon be finished with you. I'll be right back ". He left the room. She had no idea where he had gone, until a few moments later she heard the toilet being flushed. She glanced over her shoulder as he returned to the room, to see him holding a paper tissue, folded along its length. Seeing her curious expression, he explained "It'll make the next bit less uncomfortable for you when the tape comes off". Jayne didn't understand at first, but then as her pressed the tissue on to the sticky side of the tape, making a pad about eight inches long, she realized. She was going to be blindfolded. As if being trussed up with yards of tape wasn't enough to ensure she didn't stop him getting away. As he held it in front of her face, she looked him in the eye. It occurred to her to shake her head and look appealing, but she decided not to give him the satisfaction. In the background, she heard Sally's dog, barking in the garden. Sooner or later he would annoy the neighbours so much that someone would come round to complain, and she and Sally would be found and freed. Her discomfiture wasn't going to last too long. She thought about how useful it was to possess her level of Stoicism, as the blindfold was put in place and the tape was passed round her head three times. What was it going to do to her hair, she wondered.
Her Stoicism evaporated with his next remark. "Only naughty little girls bite. We can't have that sort of thing. Your friend next door didn't bite me" He was next to her, doing something with the cushions on the sofa. "You know what happens to naughty girls, don't you?" he rambled . Jayne had a good idea of what was going to happen. It was confirmed when she felt his hands on her shoulders, turning her sideways and lowering her so that she was face down, resting on cushions with her boobs against the side arm of the sofa. He patted her upturned bottom. "They get their bottoms spanked" he announced. Yes, I kind of thought they might, Jayne said to herself, hoping that something would happen to distract him. He gave her bottom a slap, harder this time. I can't move, I can't speak, I can't see anything, Jayne thought. I don't have any choice. I'm going to be spanked by this man, plus whatever else he wants to do. She wondered what Sally had had to put up with. She hadn't bitten him, so presumably she hadn't been spanked. She might even have struggled free and be phoning the police even now. He suddenly pulled her skirt up and back. "That's very nice" he said. Jayne knew what was. Though she was overweight, she knew how to present herself to the best advantage. Her plump posterior in the pink satin panties was getting some unwanted attention today though. Another unexpected smack, then her panties were pulled down over her thighs. Jayne was well aware that a spanking could be an ingredient in an enjoyable sexual encounter. This time though, it was with a complete stranger who she didn't like much, and it wasn’t a date. She just hoped it would soon be over. She braced herself for the smacks, but instead his fingers went between her legs, probing and stroking, right on target. "Just getting you in the right frame of mind, Judy. Second time today I've done this"
The fingers withdrew, as Jayne knew they would. Now that she had been put in the right frame of mind. Six hard smacks followed, the gap between each one being long enough to make her wonder if it was the last one. Was he going to touch her again? "That was fun, wasn't it?" he said. "Shall we do it again?" His fingers were back, teasing, this time she pressed herself against them. For a moment he responded, then he pulled away, and gave her more smacks on her buttocks. She counted four, when the unexpected happened. The doorbell rang. The man pulled away from her. Jayne couldn't see, but she could sense his shock. He muttered something and left the room, closing the door behind him. Jayne's heart raced. Was she about to be rescued? She hoped so, but she was uncomfortably aware that she was in just about the most embarrassing position it was possible to be found in. Trussed up, gagged, blindfolded, her bare bottom, red and smarting, exposed in the middle of an interrupted spanking. Who was going to come in and see her like this? But the door didn't open. There were voices on the other side, but she couldn't hear enough of the conversation to know who it was. She didn't hear Sally's voice. That was a bad sign.
The man fingered the gun inside his pocket. He didn't want to show it if it wasn't necessary. It could be some cold caller who would go away if they were told to. He opened the door, adopting the body language of a resident disturbed by an unexpected visitor. It was a woman, one he hadn't seen before. She stared at him, not saying a word. "Can I help you?" he asked. He looked her up and down. A short, plump woman, some might say dumpy. A friendly face, quite pretty before she put the weight on, he thought. Round glasses that made her blue eyes look big. She was short sighted. Dark blonde, greying hair in a short bob. She was wearing a royal blue business suit with a knee-length skirt, over a grey and white striped shirt, buttoned at collar and cuffs. The heels on her black shoes gave her height, but didn't look too comfortable for walking. She spoke at last.
"Pauline Grey, from Armstrong and Webb. To collect the documents". Worth trying to get rid of her, he decided. She wouldn't be hard to deal with, far from it. Better if she just left, though. She looked harmless enough.
"Sorry, this means nothing to me. There must be a mistake. Would you like to recheck with your office". She glared at him. What had he said that was wrong?
"There is no mistake" she exclaimed. "Jayne was given those documents in error, and it's very important that she returns them. Can I speak to her, please?"
I'm losing my touch, he thought. She's a friend of Jayne's, so it has to be plan B." Come inside, please " he said, looking about. There was nobody visible out there. She looked doubtful. He grabbed her arm and pulled her in, flourishing the pistol in his left hand. "There is a mistake, you just made it" he said. This one could be dealt with in the hallway, there was room. He looked at the wall clock. If it was right, there wasn't so much time available. "Sit down there" he ordered her.
"Where?" She was frightened, not surprisingly.
"On the floor, anywhere, just do it. I won't hurt you if you co-operate" That helped. She looked less scared, as she scrambled hastily into a sitting position. She drew her knees up. "What do you want? What are you going to do? Where's Jayne?"
"Enough questions. I just want to take what I came for and go. And you want to stop me, unfortunately for you" She looked puzzled. She was about to ask a question. He raised a finger. "I'm taking the papers that you've come for. You'll try to stop me, so I'm going to tape you" . She stared at him, wide eyed. She clasped her knees to her.
"Tape me? What, you mean tie me up, with sticky tape?" He felt in his pocket and pulled out the last roll of tape. "Oh my god" she said. "You mean it, don't you. I mean, I thought, er, I don't know. Seriously, you're going to tie me up? Like in some thriller?" He pulled the end of the tape free from the roll and went down on one knee behind her.
"You don't seem too worried. Just remember that I have a gun here. Give me your hands".
She unclasped her hands from her knees and clasped them together behind her back. "Is that right?" she asked. "Nothing like this ever happened to me before. You aren't going to hurt me, are you? I'm not going to try and stop you".
"Good girl, that's what I like to hear". He began by wrapping the tape round her wrists several times, then worked his way up her forearms to her elbows. As she felt the tape pulling her arms back, she looked down and noticed her blouse being pulled tight across her breasts. She looked up as if she was about to comment, but said nothing, to his amusement. He changed the direction of the taping, taking it round her upper body above her bust, then below, pinning her arms to her sides tightly. He tore the tape, and now she spoke.
"Is that it? Have you finished? I don't think I can get out of this" She tried to move her arms in vain.
"Oh no" he laughed."Much more to do yet. I could just stop now, leave you like this, so you could walk back to your office. Would you like that?" She turned and looked up at him.
"What, you let me go, with my hands tied, like this? Why?" He leaned over and carefully lifted her glasses off. "Hey, what are you doing?" she said angrily, straightening her legs as if she could get up. "I can't see that well without them".
"I was just thinking it might be funny to watch you walking back to the office, taped up like that. But not if you can't see where you are going." He was enjoying teasing her, but he didn't want to waste too much time. "Anyway "he continued."It's not going to happen, because I'm going to tie your feet now".
He knelt by her and placed her feet together, then began to wrap her lower legs, working his way from her ankles almost up to her knees. "I'm going to look like a mummy if you carry on like this" she said irritably. "I wonder how long it will be before anyone finds me. Where's Jayne? Have you done something to her? Is she all right?"
"Shut up about her" he snapped. "She's in another room. She's a bit tied up just now, you might say. I was just finishing dealing with her when you came"
Pauline's face fell."Oh. So who's going to rescue us then?" She looked worried. "We could be here for ages. I'm never going to be able to get myself out of all this tape".
He had finished with taping her feet and tore the tape off before pulling a shorter strip off, sticking it loosely to his sleeve and pulling off two similar pieces. Mouth-sized strips, but Pauline hadn't grasped the significance of them yet. When he pressed the first one in place, horizontally across her lips, he explained "I don't care how long you have to wait. Don't you get it, I've got what I came for. Now keep still". He placed a firm hand at the back of her head as he placed the last two strips in an X shape over her mouth. As he smoothed them he continued "Somebody must know you're here. Your boss?" He patted her on the head. "You'll do. I don't think you'll cause me any problems now". As she glared up at him angrily, he couldn't resist saying "If I had a bit more time, I'd give you a good spanking" Her eyes opened wide, a look of incredulity on her face. She wriggled ineffectively in her cocoon of tape. "Just need to get something from Jayne first" he said.
He disappeared from her view, leaving her struggling in a panic against the tape. In the living room Jayne was dismayed to hear him coming back. She had stayed in the same kneeling position just in case he came back, but as she tried to listen to his conversation with Pauline, she had begun to think he might just go. She didn't know that he had left the folder behind in the room. Oh hell, she thought, what's he come back for. When the visitor arrived, she hoped it might be a rescuer, but then she remembered that the man had a gun. Either the visitor would go away or he or she would be captured like her. The door burst open again, Jayne listening eagerly to hear who the first speaker was.
Her heart sank as she heard the now familiar tones." A friend of yours dropped into see you!" he laughed. "I would show her in, but she's a bit tied up as they say". She heard his footsteps approaching and was not surprised to feel his hand resting on her bottom. She hoped he wasn't going to start playing with her all over again. Her luck had changed, however. "Nice meeting you, but I've really got to go now. Places to go, people to see". Jayne felt a final slap on her bottom, then to her surprise, he pulled the hem of her skirt down, covering her reddening cheeks. Something to be thankful for, she thought as she heard him closing the door behind him. Her pink satin knickers were still pulled down to her lower thighs, but at least with her skirt pulled back to its rightful position she was no longer on display to whoever came through the door. Jayne wondered who that would be. It might be Sally, but she had been tied up too, so it was more likely to be a third party. Maybe even a stranger. Whoever it was it would be embarrassing and undignified. She decided to at least get off the sofa arm, out of that bent over, ready for spanking position.
Out in the hall, a thoroughly trussed Pauline sat, dreading his return. She really hoped the talk of spanking was just a nasty joke. She hadn't been spanked since she was a child, but she had an uncomfortable feeling that she might like it more than she should. Now the door opened and he was there, a folder in his hand, the one that she had been sent to collect. A simple task, but she had failed at it. She had lectured the new girl about giving the file to the wrong person and had hoped to make a triumphant return with it. Now instead she would be found bound and gagged, probably with her bottom spanked. Please don't, she thought, don't do anything else to me, just go. To her relief he grinned at her and said "no time for fun and games I'm afraid. Let’s make sure you don’t get out of here too soon though" His hands on her shoulders, he lowered her onto her side and turned her over on her front, face down. Pauline heard more tape being pulled from a roll. She remembered a crime film she had recently watched. No, not over my eyes, please, she wanted to shout. But it didn't happen. She felt him passing the tape round her ankles, then he stopped for a moment. She squealed behind the tape as he smacked her hard across her bottom, then squeezed it. "A taste of what might-have-been " he said. Next her feet were pulled up behind her and fastened to her bound hands. Pauline couldn't see what he had done but she guessed she wouldn't be able to do anything to get free. Without another word, he suddenly left, slamming the door behind him. After waiting to see if he came back, she flexed her hands in a first attempt at escape. She soon realized there was no leverage, no room to move at all. She thought about trying to get to the next room, to find her fellow-captive. As a first move, she rolled onto her side. She definitely heard some movement in that room. Something moving, and a muffled cry. She knew Jayne was in there, the man had said as much. She remembered that the door opened inwards, into the living room. Would she be able to push it open, she wondered.
In the cottage next door, Sally was still hogtied on her bed, but she had squirmed round so that she was lying across the bed sideways. She had remained still for ages in case the man came back. If he returned and found her moving about, he would no doubt tie her even more thoroughly, blindfold her or something. But by now she was sure he wouldn't come back. As she looked over the side of the bed, she wondered if she could get from the bed to the floor without hurting herself. It wasn't far, but it was a long way to fall. What were the chances of her being found and untied, she asked herself. The person most likely to drop in on her was Jayne, usually. But she was most probably tied up just the same, assuming the mystery man had done what he said he would do. She couldn't just wait. It occurred to her that if she lowered herself backwards, on to her knees, her fall would be more gradual. She might even finish up in a kneeling position. Then she could get to the door. At least it was progress, she told herself. Her heart sank momentarily as she envisaged herself, in the near future, kneeling at the front room window, hoping that a passerby would notice her gagged face peering out.
In the cottage next door, Jayne wormed her way backwards away from the arm of the sofa, terrified of falling over the edge. Eventually she was kneeling, facing over the back, confident enough to turn herself round and slip into a sitting position. She stopped and sat still, breathing deeply through her nose. She was surprised at how difficult it was to move across a sofa when your hands and feet were tied. And when you were overweight and middle-aged, she reminded herself. Now that she was sitting down, her bottom felt decidedly tender, after the spanking she had endured. She contemplated lowering herself to the floor, but it occurred to her that it would be a harder surface than the one she was currently sitting on. She imagined herself on her knees, working her way towards the door, but how long would that take? She couldn't even see her way to the door. No, she was just going to have to wait, trussed and sightless, until she was rescued. Then, unexpectedly, there was a bang on the living room door. Not a knock, a loud bang, somebody kicking it. Why was that, she wondered, why didn't they just come in. She tried to call out, but, just as she feared, all that came out was a muffled "mmmpph. Nggrrrk!". Loud, but incomprehensible. But then she heard a similar noise from outside the door "mmmmph". A female voice, gagged as thoroughly as she was. The person kicking the door. Who could it be? It was, she guessed, the person who had arrived and interrupted her spanking. Not Sally, either. She was already tied up in her home. If I can get to her, we might be able to free each other, thought Jayne. Rescue might be closer than she thought. She wriggled round to lower herself to the floor, kneeling. As she lowered herself she felt her skirt falling back into place. That was a relief, she hoped that now her pulled-down panties were not visible. Maybe she wouldn't have to explain that indignity to her rescuer. “Mmmmmmph” came the muffled voice again. Jayne turned herself in the direction of the door and began to waddle on her knees toward her companion in adversity.