THE THRICE-CAPTURED CONSTABLE
AUGUST 3RD.EARLY MORNING AT THE BANK (1)
WPC Harriet Drummond was enduring a period of enforced inactivity. Again! In complete darkness, her eyes and mouth covered, her arms strapped firmly behind her back, she sat fixed to the stool as if she was glued to it. They had used an entire roll of tape to restrain her, after using her own Hiatt handcuffs to fasten her hands behind her back. She had no choice but to sit there and await discovery, and to think about the mess she was in. I can't believe that I've allowed myself to get in this situation again, she thought. She thought back to the time, only a few months ago, to the first time she was ever captured by criminals. Until then she had by pure luck, managed never to be involved in any dramatic incidents. Her superiors saw her as a reliable plodder. She was beginning to find it rather dull. She had wished that her police career hadn't been so uneventful. And, then it all seemed to change, and she had, on three occasions, found herself in the role of a damsel in distress, a captured constable.
MAY 15TH, TROUBLE AT THE POLICE STATION
It began on the day she was appointed as relief Duty Sergeant. There was a music festival in a town five miles away, and most of her colleagues had been drafted there. The powers that be had concluded that there would be plenty of misdemeanours at the event. As usual they were wrong and it had been more peaceful than many top football matches. But it was not going to be so for Harriet, back at the police station.
She saw the appointment as recognition of her hard work and diligence, and hoped nothing would go wrong. She expected a calm evening with perhaps the occasional arrest. She knew better than her superiors that the progressive rock fans weren't going to be causing many affrays. By 1.30 she was alone at the front desk. Those constables who were on the premises were somewhere upstairs, and only three of the cells were occupied.
Two of the occupants were troublesome drunks who were now asleep, and the third was a young East European man. He had been stopped for a driving offence, but his car had also contained a large number of replica guns. Harriet had commented that she thought they were legal. This was true, but apparently they were all of a type that could readily be adapted to fire real bullets. The high-ups had decided that he should be detained until more could be found out. During the early evening, he had spoken on the phone to his solicitor, another of his compatriots. Since then he had sat quietly in the cell. The solicitor would be coming in the morning. So she was rather surprised to look up from her desk to see two smartly suited gentleman smiling at her.
They stood for a moment summing up the desk sergeant. They saw a pretty, generously built brunette in her thirties, not very tall for a policewoman. She looked every bit the efficient police sergeant, in her crisp white shirt, dark blue tie, matching skirt and black lace-up shoes, but her friendly expression and approachable manner made them both think she would be a pushover.
“Can I help you?” she said as she looked at the pair.
"Mr Calinescu" said the smaller of the two men. "I represent Mr Luca, who is here in custody. May I speak with him?"
"When? You mean now? That can't be right. You will have to come back in the morning, when everyone is here."
"I was told that we are able to see him tonight. I spoke to one of your superiors to arrange this. I am from our embassy". He pulled a small dark blue booklet from his pocket, opened it briefly, then closed it again and replaced it. She caught a brief glimpse of a photograph that looked like him. She didn't want to ask to see it more closely, she would feel stupid.
Harriet considered the situation for a moment. If one of her superiors had authorised a meeting, then she would get it in the neck for preventing it. It seemed whenever she made a decision, someone up there thought it was wrong. She knew they wanted to resolve the issue. Here was a chance to make brownie points. "Very well. Will you accompany me please"? She slipped the bolt on the counter and lifted it to admit them. As they followed her along the corridor, she was unaware that Mr Calinescu had taken a small handgun from his pocket.
“Here he is, in here” she said as she unlocked the cell door. “You've got visitors, Mr Luca.”
Luca had been asleep. He rubbed his eyes, looked at Harriet and the two men, and smiled as he spotted the gun. “Time to go then” he said as he rose from the bunk.
"In your dreams" said Harriet. She turned to the two men and began "These two gentlemen....." Her voice faded as she observed the pistol, not actually pointing at her, but its message clear enough. "Well. What do you want? There is really no point in this, my colleagues will be at the front desk by now. You will just make more trouble for yourselves."
The man who called himself Calinescu laughed."If we meet your colleagues, they will have no reason to stop us. If they do, we will bring them here to keep you company". She knew all this was true; she was in deep trouble here with no help at hand. Her only option was to do whatever they told her, and hope they soon cleared off. "I advise you to do only what I say, then you won't get hurt.
“Give me your belt, with all the stuff on it, first" Calinescu continued. "You won't be needing that". Harriet felt a twinge of apprehension about this, she had a feeling it was the handcuffs that had caught his attention. Even so, she quickly unfastened it and handed it sullenly to him. He pulled the Hiatt handcuffs from it and examined them. "These look like the business. I haven't seen these before."
Luca chipped in "I have. Today. I had the privilege of wearing them for a time. They aren't made with comfort in mind. You know what; they would look good on her. She wasn't very sympathetic to me, so payback time now, eh!”
"Just what I was thinking".
Harriet felt a deep sense of despair. She, like all police personnel, had played around with the new type of handcuffs when they were introduced, and she thought they were quite harsh and unforgiving, "no-nonsense" compared to those with a linking chain. She didn't relish the prospect of wearing them for the next few hours. But underlying all that was the feeling that her first shift as a relief duty sergeant had gone so badly wrong.
“Don't struggle too much, these might make your wrists a bit sore” said Calinescu with a smile as the other two grabbed her by the arms and forced her up against the cell wall. Harriet stood helplessly as she felt her arms pulled behind her back and folded horizontally, and then the cuffs were closed and tightened on her wrists. She knew that this type of handcuff was designed to hold the wearer's arms immovably in that position when applied that way. Then the hands holding her against the wall turned her round roughly. "Better silence you, and there isn't much available, except this" He took the end of Harriet's tie between his fingers and flipped it up and down, with a grin. She wondered what he was going to do, then he said "Another fine mess you've got us into" and chuckled. She had already concluded, from his perfect English, that if he was really East European, he had been here a long time. As he didn't look over 40, the Oliver Hardy impression confirmed her opinion. But she didn't feel like laughing. The observation might help identify him in the long term, but it wouldn't help her now. He jerked the tie and drew her toward him.
"Please, there's no need to hurt me. I won't make a noise. If you just shut me in here I'll ........"
"You promise not to call for help! Shhh" he put a finger on her lips. "Nobody's going to hurt you. Just going to gag you, that's all". He carefully unfastened the tie and drew it away from her, without unfastening her collar. He folded the tie in two, tied a knot in the middle, and then held it up to her mouth.
"Open up. You know resistance is futile". He was teasing, but his eyes weren't smiling. He was a bully. She wondered how brave he would be without his henchmen, with somebody who wasn't handcuffed and helpless. She obeyed, casting her eyes downwards. He pushed the knotted part into her mouth, bruising her upper lip, and then she winced as the ends were yanked tight and knotted at the back of her neck. He picked up her belt. "Wrap her up in the blanket and put her down there on the bench"
The other two men lifted her off her feet, while he pulled the thick blanket from the bunch. He folded it over, and then spread it out on the cell floor. Harriet was unceremoniously dumped at one end the blanket, and then the two men rolled her up inside it, wrapping it round and round her tightly from shoulders to calves, tucking the loose ends inside it. She was lowered down on the wooden slats of the bunk, face down, then her belt was threaded through the slats and fastened tightly round her ankles. Her inclination was to struggle, but she kept as still as possible, she didn't want to be dropped on the hard floor. Then suddenly they stood back from her, exchanged some remarks that she could not understand, then they all left the cell. She heard the door slam and then she was alone.
She was ashamed of herself. She had pleaded with him not to hurt her, she should have been a bit more defiant. A bit more like a policewoman. But what good would that have done? Then she thought about the impression that the night's events would make on her superiors. An uneventful evening in the station and what happens. I let some criminals fool me, I get cuffed with my own cuffs, locked in a cell and, worst indignity of all, gagged with my tie. No good for my street cred and not good for my next appraisal.
She wondered if it was wise to try to escape, or to wait and be sure that they had gone. She hadn't been lying about her colleagues, in fact WPC Sally Stevens had been chatting to her at the desk only moments before the men arrived. Harriet hoped that she would return as soon as they had left the building, and start looking for her. Just don't appear too soon, Sally, and get captured by them, she thought. Please stay upstairs till they've gone. Then she would only have a few minutes in these horrible handcuffs.
After a few minutes she heard voices outside the cell door, and her hopes rose. Was she about to be rescued? The door burst open. She strained to turn and look back over her shoulder, and to her dismay saw that those Romanians were back, dragging WPC Sally with them. One of the men had her arm twisted up behind her back. Sally, a well-endowed girl in her mid-twenties with blonde hair pinned up in a bun at the back of her head, was protesting loudly." There's no need to break my bloody arm, I'm coming, aren't I?"
Mr Calinescu addressed her impatiently. "Take off your belt and hand it to me. Quick now." Sally's mouth dropped open as she spotted her colleague, lying face down on the bunk, straining to look round at her, gagged with her police tie.
"What's happening. Oh hell, Harri, are you OK? What have they......" she couldn't help blurting out. She stopped in mid-question as her arm was jerked up her back again. Harriet nodded, trying to reassure her, then rolled her eyes upwards in resignation. No chance of early rescue now, she thought.
Sally understood now what was going to happen to her. She too was going to be bound and gagged. There wasn't anything she could do. She handed over her belt, then obeyed sullenly when he ordered her to remove her tie and then her tights. At first she was alarmed by the request, but she realised they were going to be used to restrain her. She had noticed the man looking approvingly at her chest, and decided against unbuttoning her collar when removing her tie. No sense putting temptation in their way, showing them more than they needed to see. For the same reason, she turned her back while removing her tights. He told her not to put her shoes back on. That scared her, she didn't know why he asked that. She was relieved in a way when he ordered her to lie face down on the floor and put her hands behind her back. They just didn't want to wait while she did up her shoelaces, she supposed. And going face down meant she wasn't going to be raped at least, she hoped.
She lowered herself carefully onto the cold floor, noticing with distaste how dusty it was, then clasped her hands behind her back. "Ouch, no need to do it so tight. Arsehole! Why are you doing that?" She protested loudly as he applied her handcuffs closing them up as tight as possible on her plump wrists.
"Shut it, before we turn nasty" He yanked up her skirt and gave her a hard and hearty slap across her buttocks."It can get a lot worse". Sally got the message "Yes, all right" she muttered meekly. Unlike Harriet, she was cuffed with her wrists vertical and her palms facing outward, then she too was gagged with her own tie. Her belt was used to strap her ankles together, and as a final touch her tights were used to pull her wrists and ankles towards each other in a tight hogtie. There was no bunk to put Sally on, so she was left lying face down on the floor.
Once she was immobilised, they left again, closing the door more quietly this time. Harriet had watched as Sally was being restrained, and was glad it was not her lying face down with only a white blouse between her body and the cold stone floor. In the short time that she had been left alone before Sally was captured, there had been no time to try to escape. Now that they were both prisoners in the cell, and the criminals had left, she had to try. The night's events so far had made her feel totally inadequate. At least if they could raise the alarm and get those guys recaptured, she might come out of it looking heroic and competent. Sally was already tugging frantically at the tights, trying to loosen them, but Harriet could see that they were knotted in front of her ankles, out of reach of her fingers. She was never going to get loose that way. But if she herself could get unwrapped from the blanket, and free her feet from the belt, they might be able to do something. Sally had turned herself round and was looking up at Harriet. "Wmf gtt gd rsffs ffff" she said. Realising how ridiculous she sounded, she stopped to think. Harriet thought she understood, Sally was saying they had to get loose. Like I didn't know that, she thought. But Harriet's ankles were strapped so tightly to the slats that her efforts to turn over were useless. She would have to stay in a face down position until someone unfastened them. Sally kept up her attempts at conversation though. "Cn ynnn gu smmmffg lmmph", she said, looking up at her wide-eyed over the knotted tie.
What is she on about, thought Harriet. "I'm handcuffed too inside this blanket, hands behind my back. I can't do a bloody thing. It's not just you" she tried to say. Sally couldn't understand the succession of unintelligible sounds but she understood her colleague's angry expression
After half an hour, the pair were no nearer to escape. Sally had rolled around on the stone floor, in futile attempts to get to her knees or lever herself up against the bunk. Her white blouse and blue serge skirt were now dusty and crumpled and her hair was mostly unpinned. On the bunk, Harriet was still mummified in the thick blanket. She had thought she would easily wriggle out of it, but she was wrong. The belt that fastened her ankles to the slats was preventing her from rolling over. So she was lying on the blanket, and that in itself was keeping it tightly wrapped. It surprised her how little you could do without the use of your hands or feet. She felt as if she was dripping sweat inside the blanket and she was sure her make-up was running down her face, but she was still helplessly cocooned. It was obvious to both of the women that they could not get close enough to loosen each other's bonds. Sally was bound in a tight hogtie which didn't leave enough room for her to lever herself onto her knees. If only she could do that, she might have been able to unfasten Harriet's gag, or unbuckle the belt holding her feet. As they realised that their confinement was going to last until they were freed by a third party, their struggles subsided. Harriet decided instead to breathe deeply and calm herself down, and await rescue. So when, after half an hour, the door opened, she had almost fallen asleep. Sally had rolled over on her side and was trying to get her fingers to the knots in the pair of tights.
It was Sergeant Eric Forsyth, and he was staring in disbelief at the sight that greeted him in the cell. Harriet could see his expression and didn't want to imagine what he was thinking. He was actually thinking that that East European, who might have given some useful answers, had gone. In his place, two useless and incompetent WPCs had managed to get themselves trussed up and gagged. He had a good mind to just shut the cell door and let them sweat a bit longer. Except that he couldn't take his eyes off them, and he was uncomfortably aware of his sudden erection. He realised he was gawping, open mouthed at the pair. Eyes wide and indignant over their necktie gags, tits straining against tight white blouses, Sally's skirt rucked up around her hips by her struggles, it wasn't the sort of thing you saw every day.
Harriet hadn't been happy with the way this incident was dealt with. Her immediate bosses seemed to think that the prisoner's escape was caused by her poor judgment, that she shouldn't have allowed the visitors in. She disagreed. It wasn't her choice to be left in charge of an undermanned station. If the man had been a real solicitor, she would have been wrong not to allow a meeting with his client. Sally hadn't helped. Her statement made it seem as if she had bravely tried to apprehend the intruders. She portrayed herself as the plucky heroine, and that was how the press account of the incident portrayed it. Harriet had been honest and hadn't embellished the story, but now she wished she had been less self-effacing. The newspaper just mentioned her by name, and the fact that she was tied up, no photograph or interview. Next time it would be different, she decided. Next time, she wouldn't carry the can for a situation not of her making. And as for being confronted by armed criminals, alone, she just hoped it wouldn't happen again.
But of course it did. One morning a few weeks later, when Harriet hadn't been assigned to anything demanding, she was summoned by her immediate superior.
JUNE 24TH, IN TROUBLE AGAIN IN AN EMPTY HOUSE
Sergeant Forsyth was not alone. "Here's your help coming now" he said to Detective Sergeant Jimmy Andrews as he looked through the glass panel and opened the door. A uniformed policewoman came in. "This is WPC Harriet Drummond, who'll be keeping an eye out and helping you on this case."
DC. Andrews looked her over. She was a short, pretty if rather chubby brunette in her thirties with short hair worn in a jaw-length bob and a cheerful expression. She was carrying her uniform jacket over her shoulder, but otherwise looked immaculate in her white long sleeved shirt, neatly knotted dark blue tie and skirt, with black lace-up shoes. "So what's my first assignment, guv? " she said looking up at them with a smile, as if she didn't expect to be given anything to do at the moment. He didn't care for her manner. Guv indeed. He knew that some saw her as a bit of a heroine after that other incident but in his opinion she was largely to blame for it. He had a surprise for her.
"Can you go over to the McKinnon house for me. All of the old man's papers are still there, they'll be in the desk and the draws. Take a black sack and bring back anything that looks relevant. And then lock up. We don't want that niece , if she really is a niece, and her chauffeur poking around. They are up to something. Those two Russians seem to have left the district, but I'm sure they are involved somehow as well "
"What sort of thing do you think is relevant?" Harriet asked. "I don't know anything about that case"
"Well, any printed or handwritten things. If it's on paper, it's relevant. You know what I mean, don't go bringing me the Radio Times. A chance for you to use your initiative, constable"
"Very well" she said. She was thinking that if she missed anything, it would be wrong, and if she brought too much stuff, that would be wrong too. “A chance for WPC Drummond to get the blame" she said with a thin smile. She thought ruefully back to the last time she had used her initiative. She had spent some time handcuffed and gagged in a cell because of an error of judgment. She secretly didn't feel like a heroine, she could have refused to let those guys in.
This place really looked like some Gothic mansion in a bad horror film, Harriet thought as she went in. She had parked the car at the back of the drive, and on a sudden whim, removed the handcuffs from her equipment belt and hid them under the driving seat. Inside the house she closed the back door behind her ,not bothering to lock it. She went through. The study must be the one with the desk and the filing cabinets, she thought. It was just as dusty and filthy as the kitchen and the hallway. Where should she start looking. There were stacks of typed documents on the desk. She picked up a sheaf of them, disturbing a small cloud of dust. She lowered it in distaste. It was going to be a dirty job. She pulled the tall leather padded chair out away from the desk, removed her jacket and draped it over the chair back. She put her bag on the seat. No sense getting her jacket filthy. She rolled her shirtsleeves up above her elbows. Now she was ready, but, she thought, it was a pity she didn't have rubber gloves.
After collecting the loose papers from the desk top, she put the plastic sack down and opened the first of the desk draws. More typed letters. She placed them carefully in the sack on top of the others, and continued until all four draws were empty. She looked around to see what other items of furniture might house important papers. There was a glass-fronted bookcase. But then she heard the kitchen door open and close quietly. She froze. One of her colleagues would call to her, surely, but there was silence. Then footsteps. She grabbed her jacket and her bag, and stepped toward the other door of the study, in case a fast exit was needed. The hall door opened, and in came a hard faced blonde woman in late middle age who she knew to be Gail McKinnon, accompanied by her ever-present chauffeur. She knew her superiors had doubts about this pair, but she was supposedly related to the old man. It must be all right for them to be here. At least she hoped it was.
"You had me worried for a minute" said Harriet."I thought you might be the guys we are trying to catch"
The chauffeur laughed. "Right first time. Except it's you that’s been caught"
“Shut up, Stan. You talk too much. I don't pay you to think, remember" He went quiet, and stared out of the window.
"Now he's spilled the beans, there's no need to pretend any more though. We were waiting your arrival. You saved us the trouble of breaking in" said Gail."We will relieve you of our family property as well now"
"Sorry, I can't permit that. This may be a crime scene". Harriet hoped they would be intimidated, but in her heart she knew they wouldn't be.
Gail smiled dismissively at her "Shut up, you silly woman. Get that plastic sack, Stan"
Harriet stepped between Stan and the desk. "That's enough now. You are both under arrest"
"Is that a fact" Gail whipped a small handgun from her raincoat pocket. "We've listened to you enough already. I'm in control here. Have you got a mobile phone?"
Harriet stood open-mouthed for a moment, not believing what was happening. "You are going to be in big trouble" she said.
“I won't ask you again. Now, your phone please. Please take it out, let me see you switch it off, and then place it on the table there, followed by your jacket. Quickly as you can.”
Harriet did as she was told, took the phone from her bag and switched it off, put it down with her bag and jacket then stood in front of Gail. “You really are being very unwise. If you just give me the gun now we can sort this out sensibly. Don't you see that is the best thing to do?” she said. She knew she was spouting nonsense but what else could she do
“Just keep quiet. Turn around to face that wall and put your hands behind your back, and then don’t move unless I tell you.”
"What for?" Harriet asked anxiously. She had visions of herself being shot. "Please don't make this worse than it is"
As if Gail had read her mind, she said "I don't want to have to shoot you. Don't give us any trouble and you won't be hurt. But you'll have to be bound and gagged of course. Your own fault for poking your nose in. Oh, you seem to have left these behind." She held up the Hiatt handcuffs that Harriet had hidden in her car. A look of dismay crept over Harriet's face. On the one hand she was reassured to hear that she wasn't going to be killed or beaten up, but she felt apprehensive at the idea of being handcuffed again. Being tied up, she thought, that was the kind of thing that happened in detective stories. She used to think it didn't happen to policewomen like her. But it does, of course. Not so long ago it had. I'm the heroine in this detective story and I'm going to be bound and gagged. As she spoke Gail handed to Stan the roll of duct tape that she had just taken from her sports bag.
"Stan will deal with you. He's very good at this sort of thing. But first I'll put these on for you. I will try to make them more effective". She took the top from a tube of superglue and squeezed some into the apertures in the handcuffs, more into the keyhole. She took a matchbox from her handbag and forced two matchsticks into the keyhole, before snapping them off and squirting more superglue into the hole. Harriet watched with a sinking heart, as she realised that now the handcuffs could never be opened with a key. She wondered what would have to be done, and how long it would take. Just how long was she going to have her hands fastened behind her back?
Resistance is futile, she thought to herself. She turned round toward the wall, slowly and sullenly, and clasped her hands behind her back. Mrs McKinnon closed the handcuffs over her wrists, squeezing them tight. "You won't be biting your nails for quite some time " she sneered. "Now Stan will deal with you" Stan quickly wrapped tape around her cuffed wrists, then around her waist to hold her bound wrists against her back. More tape was then wrapped around her arms and chest, above and below her bust. Harriet gritted her teeth as Stan smoothed the tape down thoroughly, letting his hands cruise slowly over her body, then for a moment, cupped his hands over her generous breasts. He squeezed them slowly, once gently. The next time quite hard, as if he was gaining more courage.
"You won't get away with this." said Harriet angrily , knowing as she spoke how futile this was and how ridiculous she sounded.
“I’m afraid we will so, dear, and you are going to spending a little while longer here as well by the looks of things. She dropped Harriet's phone on the floor. Deal with that, Stan”
Stan released his grasp on her breasts, raised a large booted foot and stamped hard on the phone. The outer casing came off in several pieces
“Kneel down,” Gail said as she took Harriet by the arm, and helped her to kneel in front of the heavy coffee table. Taking the tape, she bound her ankles and feet together. Next, to Harriet's surprise, her captor forced her face down against the coffee table. Using all the remaining tape, she ran it under the table and round Harriet's upper body repeatedly. She was soon strapped firmly to it . She tried to raise herself but it was impossible, the table was too heavy. There's no way I can get free from this, she realised.
Gail stood back “We’ll be off now. You know, at first I thought you were going to cause us a few problems, but you were quite helpful, letting us inland finding the stuff we wanted. But now you really aren't any more use to us. I don't expect we'll be seeing you again"
"Don't count on it, you stuck-up bitch" Harriet replied defiantly. "I'll be giving evidence at your trial"
Mrs McKinnon laughed, a nasty sneering laugh, Harriet thought. "H'm, I don't think so. If you’re a typical specimen of what we're up against, I won't be losing any sleep over it. But you really do talk too much" With those words, she roughly pushed a balled up handkerchief into Harriet's mouth, before slapping two strips of duct tape in a X shape over her stuffed cheeks and lips. "I need to check the other floors before we go." she added." I don't want to miss anything. Stan, you stay here with this lady, make sure she doesn’t get up to anything."
Harriet glared up at her disdainfully. "Do you know what?" said Gail, smiling at her."She's got an attitude problem. Why don't you spank her while I look around. Not too hard, just a bit of fun for you"
Stan spoke "It's more fun for me when I do spank them hard. Can I pull her knickers down?"
Harriet was panicking inside. It was a nightmare. She was completely helpless and unable to influence events. Stan was a simpleton, but he was perhaps dangerous and she was his prisoner. She realised they were enjoying tormenting her, and her best hope was the fact that they wanted to get away in a hurry.
Gail spoke again, a stern note in her voice. "No, you can't. And I said don't spank her hard. You know what happens when you displease me." Stan looked defensive. Harriet was relieved, but not for long."You can lift her skirt up though. Don't say I'm not good to you" So saying, she went into the hall. Harriet heard her going up the stairs. The footsteps sounded as if she knew exactly where to go.
But then Stan was kneeling next to her. He looked her in the eye, grinning. "Been a really naughty little policewoman, haven't you. Mrs Mac is cross with you. You've got to be punished" He lifted her skirt and pulled it back to expose her bottom. She felt his hands caressing her buttocks. Then a sharp stinging smack from the palm of his big hand. She had an awful moment of realisation, he had done this sort of thing before with unwilling victims who were probably bound and gagged like her.
Harriet couldn’t believe this was really happening to her. It stung of course, more so with each slap, but she was beginning to feel a certain suppressed excitement . I just mustn't be enjoying any of this, she told herself. She received a total of fifteen smacks on her bottom before Mrs McKinnon came back into the room. Her dark blue Sloggi panties did nothing to absorb the pain. He waited several seconds between each slap, so she could anticipate each stroke, but when his boss came back, he stopped very suddenly. It was as if he didn't want her to see him enjoying himself. He drew her skirt down over her bottom and stood up. It occurred to Harriet that the woman had probably been looking for something that she didn't want Stan to see. Leaving him down here, and allowing him to torment Harriet, had given her a window of opportunity. She looked very self-satisfied when she came back into the room. Harriet was just relieved that the spanking had stopped. But she would give anything to know what the woman had found upstairs.
"Anything up there?" asked Stan. Mrs McKinnon looked surprised to be asked that question.
"I was just paying my last respects to Uncle Alastair. I was not looking for anything." Harriet had heard the sound of doors opening, cupboards or cabinets, but he seemed to accept her explanation. She wondered why, if the woman was really related to the old man, she had found it necessary to break the law. In fact, she couldn't possibly be. After what she and her chauffeur had done here, she would have to disappear fast, surely. "Collect all this stuff up and we can go" she addressed Stan, then looking down at Harriet. "Miss Marple here can wait, her colleagues are going to come looking for her eventually . You know, your predicament is my way of sticking two fingers up to Andrews, but we didn't need his help in the end" She squatted by Harriet, looking her in the face. "You know, you'd look better if you smiled more. I'll help you". She produced a lipstick and holding Harriet's chin firmly with one hand, drew a grinning red mouth on the tape which sealed her lips. "That's much more becoming" she laughed. "We have business to attend to now. I hope we won't be meeting again". She pulled back Harriet's skirt and gave her another slap in the bottom and rose to her feet, without pulling the skirt back down. Harriet, facing away from the door, couldn't see them go, but listened intently as they closed the doors and drove away.
Now the waiting began. Still fuming from the indignity of being spanked soundly, she was all too aware that her colleagues would find her strapped down, bound and gagged, in such an embarrassing position. Then there was the business of the jammed handcuffs. How were they going to get her out of them, she wondered. And would Sergeant Forsyth be one of those who discovered her? She had noticed, during her last experience of being rescued, that he was trying to hide an erection. She wondered what it was that turned him on, was it herself, or Sally, or just the fact of women being tied up?
Nearly an hour later, when her rescuers arrived, Harriet had been unable to make any impression on the tapes that held her captive. The police officers, led by Eric Forsyth, coming through the door from the kitchen were greeted by a rear view of WPC Drummond, her underwear-clad bottom exposed, her arms taped behind her back, her hands cuffed, strapped face down as if left as an unwilling present for him. He stopped in his tracks, lost for words. It was a fantasy come true. He wouldn't ever forget this scene. If only, he thought to himself. If only she was blindfolded and couldn't see him, and if he was alone, then he would lock the door, pull her panties and tights down, unzip his fly and do what he often fantasized about doing to WPC Drummond. But he soon composed himself and during the next half hour he personally took over the process of releasing his constable. The first thing he did was to pull Harriet's skirt down to cover her bottom. As he crouched next to her, he became aware of her indignant, impatient expression, contrasting with the lipstick grin drawn on her tape gag. While the other police searched the house, he carefully removed the tape from Harriet's mouth, making sure not to pull too hard. "Are you all right?" he asked. "Apart from the obvious of course".
Harriet ran her tongue over her lips and took a couple of deep breaths. "What I would really appreciate is a glass of water, but I can't have it while I'm horizontal, can I. I'll settle for being untied for the time being. But I'm handcuffed under the tape and she did something to those handcuffs, I don't know if you'll have trouble getting them off. And don't stare at me like that, please".
Let's start by getting you unfastened from this table" he said, looking around. He briefly left the room and reappeared with a sharp kitchen knife. He could see that inside the numerous bands of tape holding her down to the table, there was a lot more tape wrapped round her pinning her arms to her sides. "Best if I get you unstrapped from the table, then at least you can sit down while we get you properly untied. I'm going to cut through this tape along the side. This knife's really sharp, so try not to move while I'm doing it"
"Try not to move! Chance would be a fine thing. Do I look like I'm going to move?"
Sgt Forsyth saw that she wasn't smiling. He was going to jest that he could easily stick the tape back over her mouth, but seeing her expression, decided to keep the witticism to himself. Once he had cut through the tape that held her to the coffee table, and freed her feet, he helped her to her feet, then sat her in the chair. "There's lots left" he commented, amazed. From her shoulders to her hips she was still wrapped in tape, her arms strapped firmly to her sides."They must have been really worried about you, what you might do to them".
"It was just malice. That bitch said that what they were doing to me was sticking two fingers up to the police. I'm just the unlucky one who got to be the scapegoat".
"Poor you. Still, we know who they are, it's a few more charges against them. Did they spank your bum?"
"No, of course not!" she exclaimed hastily. Did her buttocks look red, she wondered. Why did he ask that? What had he seen? "Why did you say that? That's a weird question!"
He wished he had kept quiet about it now. He'd better explain. "Just wondered. It wouldn't be the first time, when some of these villains get the better of a WPC they get a bit frisky. Or any woman in uniform. A few years back there was a traffic warden walked in on a robbery. After the guys tied her up, one of them put her over his knee and gave her a real good spanking. She never reported it at the time, too embarrassed. One of them asked for it to be taken in to consideration, when they were caught".
Harriet listened intently, then realised she was perhaps looking too interested. She knew she was blushing. Time to change the subject. "You know this tape round my arms is all one strip, wrapped round and round. You should be able to peel it off easily. Please can you hurry up. I feel like I've been trussed up for ages, in fact it's been a few hours, hasn't it? I just want to be freed, not stand talking about it". She suddenly felt tearful, and the Sergeant, recognising this, gave her a hasty hug, mindful of his erection, then set about removing the tape. After a few minutes she was free of everything except the handcuffs. A moment of probing made it clear to Eric Forsyth that there was no point in trying the handcuffs with a key.
"Just what did they do to these cuffs?" he asked.
"She pushed matches in and squeezed glue in them. She said I wouldn't be biting my nails for a while" She gave him an imploring look. "Please tell me you can do something. How much longer have I got to stay like this?"
"Of course we can. I'm just not certain we can do it here".
After ascertaining that there was nothing they could do to free her from the ruined handcuffs, he decided that she should be taken to the police station to see what specialised help was available. So Harriet found herself being helped up the steps into the station by him, having been driven back there by Sgt Forsyth. He was being very solicitous, and yet couldn't look her in the eye. And she couldn't miss that bulge in his trousers. Her hands were still cuffed behind her back, but he had draped her jacket over her shoulders to make sure that no passers-by saw them. This was sufficient except for a few seconds at the start of the journey. As they left the McKinnon house, Harriet had stepped too close to the hedge, and a sleeve of the jacket caught in the foliage, pulling it of her shoulders and on to the pavement.
The only person to see this was a man of 70 walking a white terrier on the other side of the road. He had been watching the Police leaving the house with some interest. The pleasantly plump WPC had caught his eye and his jaw dropped open in amazement as he realised that she was being led out with her hands cuffed behind her back. He assumed she had been arrested, wondered what she had done in there.
It had been another two hours before various attempts at loosening the cuffs ,including someone's bright ( and also wrong) idea of using spirits to dissolve the glue, had failed and a hacksaw had been used. That wasn't nice. She hadn't realised how hot a piece of metal got when it was being sawn. But she was so glad when they finally came off. It had seemed like her hands were going to be fixed behind her back for ever. During the hours between her arrival at the station and her final release from the cuffs, she had needed to relieve herself, drank three cups of tea and a glass of coke and needed to relieve herself again. All these things had been achieved in spite of the fact that her hands were fastened behind her back, but not without the help of others. Her colleague Sally Stevens had accompanied her to the ladies, which was necessary but nevertheless quite embarrassing. She was sure that her bottom, still smarting from her recent spanking, must look pretty red, and that Sally, while pulling up her tights and panties for her, must have noticed that. Sally didn't ask though, so she didn't offer an explanation. She was pretty certain that questions would be asked by her friend some time, but perhaps she would have thought of an explanation by then. And for much of the time Sgt Forsyth was on hand, holding cups while she drank from them, and later holding a glass of coke while she drank from it with a straw. She was very aware that he hardly left whatever room she was in, and if she had eyes in the back of her head, she would have seen him photographing her with his phone. She was half expecting him to ask her out, but it didn't happen that evening.
EARLY MORNING AT THE BANK (2)
And now here she was again, captured by yet another set of criminals and shut in a cupboard. It had seemed like a normal day on her shift, which was to say boring and uneventful. Just before seven in the morning she had driven her police Astra into the car park behind a parade of shops, her intention being to take a quick drink of bottled water. Her attention was drawn to a woman who stood on the edge of the car park, at the end of a passage that led through to the street. The woman was waving frantically in her direction. She turned the engine off and opened the door, putting her cap on as she went.
Eileen Norman didn't know whether she had real cause for worry or not. The three men had been there and now they weren't. She had certainly thought they were watching her. She was the cleaner at the local branch of the Oxford and Banbury Building Society, and every working day she let herself in at this unearthly hour. You couldn't be too careful. She had been a cleaner at a bank previously and had been caught up in an early morning robbery there. She had coped, carried on with the same job but it had been horrible at the time. A gang had grabbed her as she unlocked the bank, they had tied her up and waited for the bank staff to arrive. It had taken days for the rope marks on her arms and legs to heal, and every acquaintance that she met would ask her what had happened. When she timidly edged her way down the passage to see if there was any sign of the men, it was a relief to see the police car. She waved frantically without thinking. Then she momentarily regretted it, it would probably be some smartarsed young coppers who would think she was wasting their time. She was reassured to see the lone policewoman getting out and walking over. The WPC was a blue-eyed, black-haired woman of about her own age, slightly taller, looking very businesslike in her crisp white blouse with sleeves rolled up neatly above her elbows, perfectly knotted dark blue tie and knee-length serge skirt, dark tights and polished black lace-up shoes. She adjusted her cap as she strolled over. She had a helpful, cheerful expression. Someone helpful, who wouldn't poke fun at her fears
"I'm so glad to see you". Eileen blurted out "You'll think I'm being stupid. I do the cleaning in here, the bank. I'm sure three men were watching me, following me, but now I can't see them. I'm just worried about robberies. I got caught up in one a few years ago and the thought of it just scares me so much. I don't know what to do".
Harriet looked her over. A short, plump woman, dyed red hair worn in a pony-tail, wearing a green T-shirt over blue calf-length jeans, with white sandals. She seemed a bit well-spoken for a cleaner."We'll both go in and check things over, to make sure. Put your mind at rest!" Harriet tried to sound reassuring. She looked all around. She couldn't see anybody suspicious either. But the woman was obviously worried, and if she opened up every morning at this time, maybe there was a good reason. "Let's go in. I'll follow you".
Once inside, they looked in every room including the closet where the cleaning equipment was kept. They weren't aware that three intruders were standing on the toilet seats inside the cubicles, fortunately for them three in number, so their feet could not be seen under the doors. "Seems to be clear" Harriet said as they stood in the entrance to the counter area. "I'll take a walk round the building, to double check, then I'll come back to see you, to let you know I'm going. Don't lock the door, so I can get back in". With these words, she strode down the passage to the back door and out into the car park.
Alone again, Eileen turned to go to the closet and started back in horror as three masked figures stepped out in front of her. Her mouth dropped open. Where had they come from. One of them jumped forward and clamped a gloved hand across her mouth. "No, don't scream, don’t make any noise. We're not gonna hurt you, but you're in the way and we got to keep you quiet for a while. 'Fraid we got to tie you up. You can stay out here so the bank people can see you when they come in. They'll know to do as we say if they don't want the same treatment.
So get on the floor face down, quick". Eileen lowered herself to the floor as fast as she could, grateful that the floor was carpeted. She knew what was coming, she'd been here before. She heard the sound of tape being pulled from a roll. One of her captors dropped to the floor on his knees at her side. He pulled her arms behind her back and folded them with her forearms parallel, each hand being close to the opposite elbow. "Take hold of your elbows" he ordered."It'll be more comfortable, you'll be tied for some time yet". She felt the tape being wrapped round her forearms, almost from one elbow to the other, then round her hands and elbows. He moved on to the next task, taping her ankles and lower legs. Eileen could just imagine what it was going to feel like when someone eventually pulled all this tape away from the skin of her arms and legs. Then she suddenly realised the implication of his last remark.
"Are you telling me that the bank women aren't going to get tied up, and it's just me that's being made an example of?" she asked, anger creeping into her voice.
"That's right. It's what we do. First one we catch gets tied up and put on show, it scares the others so much they just sit quiet. It usually works, saves us the bother of tying them up too. Depends how many there are. Personally if it's lovely ladies like you I'd tie them all up, but time is of the essence."
"Well it's bloody unfair, isn't it" she burst out.
"Quiet now. Why am I arguing with you? Time to shut you up. Look this way".
Without thinking Eileen turned her face toward the voice, to have two strips of tape pressed over her mouth in a X shape."Good girl" he said. "One last thing for visual effect!". The man pulled more tape from his roll and, pulling her feet up toward her bottom, used it to join them to her bound arms in a sticky hogtie. "There" he said, giving her bottom a hearty slap. "They can do what we say or get trussed up like you. It's not fair, I agree. Like life. The bank folks just get threatened. But it's the poor cleaner who get's tied up. You should have worked harder at school. Then you'd be one of them!"
Suddenly all went quiet. "What's out the back? I heard something" one of them whispered. They all quickly left the room, shutting the door quietly behind them and leaving Eileen alone. She pulled tentatively against the tape. She knew she wasn't going to get loose, but if she did, the men would be back in a moment anyway. That policewoman hadn't been much help. She supposed the men had just hidden while she was checking. She'd said she would come back in, but you just couldn't rely on people. She'd just said some reassuring things, then went off to the next job.
She was of course seriously misjudging Harriet. The policewoman had checked the area behind the offices and satisfied herself that no gang was laying in wait. She didn't rush the job as she didn't want to get it wrong. She would look really stupid if there was a robbery five minutes after she drove away. It was a relief not finding them in a way, she should have asked for back-up before trying to find them. I've probably just avoided another embarrassing incident by sheer good luck, she thought, I should have known better than to do this on my own. She would just find the cleaner and give her the good news. She re-entered the back door of the building, to find that her luck was not of the good variety after all. She did not close the door, she would be going out again any minute. Split seconds later, to her horror, she heard it close anyway. It all happened at once. There were footsteps behind her, two masked figures appeared, either side of her. She was seized from behind and the side, and forced against the wall, her face against the cold plaster.
"Keep it shut" a voice growled.
"It's the filth. Got here quick, didn't she?" said another.
"Not joking. Why is she here? She alone?" He pulled her hat off, grabbed a handful of her hair and jerked on it. "What are you doing here? Are you on your own? The truth now, we've got you anyway, better not lie to us".
"I'm alone" gasped Harriet. "The cleaner was worried, she'd seen you. She thought you were following her. She asked me to look round. Please let go of my hair, please".
"So it's just you, not a carload of coppers about to burst in?" As he spoke she felt the hands one of them removing the handcuffs from her belt.
"I wish!" she said emphatically. "If a carload of coppers came, you lot would run, and whatever's going to happen to me wouldn't".
"Better put her where she can't cause us any problems. It's going to be an hour or so". She was still being pushed against the wall, but the unseen hand released her hair. The speaker was addressing his colleagues now, not her." That cupboard with the cleaning stuff, there's a stool in there. She can go in there". The man behind her twisted her arm behind her and hustled her along the corridor behind the others. The closet door was opened and the light switched on. It was about three feet deep and six feet wide. On one side there were shelves with bottles and boxes of cleaning products, and on the other side a broom, a mop, a vacuum cleaner. And a tall wooden stool with four legs and rungs just above the floor. Harriet glanced round it all in dismay. With butterflies in her stomach she realised that this place was going to be her prison. And what had they done with the cleaning lady? Best not to ask. If the woman had evaded them somehow, she might be calling the police right now. Rescue might be at hand after all. This hope was dispelled by the next chance remark.
"Why not put her with the other one? We'll be able to keep an eye on them easier" said Mask#1.
"No need", said Mask#2. "That redhead's trussed up pretty good, but if we put them together, you never know, they could start untying each other. No, this one's best kept in here". He turned to Harriet. "Sit on the stool. Back to us, quick now!"
Harriet knew she was going to be tied up again, but she knew she would be found and probably by her police colleagues. She didn't want to look too much like a scarecrow. She tucked her blouse into the waistband of her skirt, straightened her tie and patted her dishevelled hair into place. She lifted herself onto the stool, made herself as comfortable as possible and put her feet on one of the rungs of the stool. Once seated she clasped her hands behind her back. Might as well make it as easy as possible. She sat stoically quiet while one of the men began the work of restraining her. The other two left the room after watching while he used the handcuffs to fasten her arms in a horizontal folded position. This was the way the fake solicitor and his gang had cuffed her in the cell, she remembered. It was one of the two recommended positions for this type of handcuff, and it was the least comfortable. You couldn't move your hands so much, as Harriet knew from recent personal experience. But of course it wasn't going to end there. Next it was the roll of tape that used, her arms were fastened firmly to her sides by bands above and below her bosom. She expected at this point to have her breasts fondled, like on that previous occasion. However it didn't happen, he moved on to wrap her ankles, then to fasten her feet to the rung of the stool. He pulled her skirt back from her knees and passed more tape round them. Was he never going to stop, she wondered?
"Soon be done" he laughed. He passed the tape under the seat of the stool and over her thighs several times before stepping back. She watched as he pulled more tape off. "Any final words?" he quipped, as he pressed the end of the tape over her lips, not giving her a chance to answer. He went on to wind the tape around the back of her head and over her mouth twice more. Harriet looked up at him, eyes wide open in alarm as she realised it wasn't going to stop there. She shut her eyes quickly just before he wound the tape round and pressed it over them, then twice more round her head, before she felt and heard him cutting it. "Don't go away" he said. Then she heard a switch, and through the swathes of tape she knew the light had gone out. Then the door closed and she was alone. She was fairly certain that she hadn't a cat's chance in hell of getting free. She was angry at the man because of the gratuitously excessive way he had taped her up. Hands cuffed behind my back, feet tied, mouth taped, would have been enough to keep me out of their way while they did their job, she thought. But that wasn't enough for him. He was just plain spiteful, probably hated the police. The cuffs on her wrists were starting to dig in because of the way her arms were taped so tightly to her sides, but apart from that she wasn't in pain. But that tape was going to be stuck in her hair, and heaven knows what it was going to do to her eyebrows when it was pulled off. She had been scared when they grabbed her, who wouldn't be. But now she was just angry. But she knew there was no chance of getting free of the handcuffs. It was at least good to know they hadn't doctored the handcuffs, unlike last time she was captured, so she wouldn't be wearing them for hours and hours this time. Not if somebody turned up to free her. Meanwhile all she could do was sit and wait. She didn't dare struggle too much as she knew the stool was quite tall. If she made it tip over she could be hurt badly. Even if she wasn't, what good would it do. As time passed, she could hear indistinct voices outside, and occasionally footsteps passing in the corridor. But nobody opened the cupboard door.
Back at the front of the bank, an hour later, Eileen had been joined by the rest of the bank staff. Three crisp-bloused, bow-tied, short-skirted cashiers, and their manager sat backs against the wall, hands on their heads, not daring to move. On the floor, lying hogtied next to Eileen, was cashier Priti Viravikrama. She had disobeyed the bank robber's instructions and was now being punished for that.
As each staff member had arrived, she was grabbed by the robbers and shown the helpless hogtied Eileen. They got the message, they could shut up and do what they were told, or be bound and gagged like her. Each woman was told to hand over her mobile phone. This was where Priti had come unstuck. She was an attractive lady in her thirties, from an Indian background, whose English partner was fond of describing her as cuddly. The version of the corporate uniform that she chose to wear was a sleeveless tunic with wide trousers, in dark green, with the same white shirt and spotted bow tie that her colleagues wore. She had brought her partner's non-functional phone to work, intending to take to the phone shop at lunch time, and it was this that she handed to the masked robber. Her own slimline phone was in the pocket of her tunic. This was a great idea, she thought. When nobody was watching, maybe she could put her hand in the pocket and dial 999. After handing it over she sat next to her colleague Phyllis, placed her hands on her head and waited.
To her horror, after ten minutes, the phone in her pocket rang. Everybody looked round at her. One of the men grabbed her by the hand and pulled her to her feet. "Bitch! Gimme it!" In a panic, Priti fumbled for the phone and handed it over. As she did so, she saw that it was a text from the mobile company, promotional, selling something no doubt. Of all the times to ring. It was turned off, thrown across the room.
"I didn't know!" she wailed. "I forgot it was there". The man spun her round, pulling her hands behind her back. One of the others passed him a roll of tape. He wrapped it around her crossed wrists and then her hands, before cutting it. He went on to wrap it round he upper arms and body, above and below her bust. She composed herself. She wasn't going to plead or cry. He pulled off a strip of tape, which Priti realised was for her mouth. She looked him in the eye defiantly. "I don't care. I can handle it" she said in the seconds before the tape was pressed across her mouth.
"Sure you can, lady. Down on the floor!" He pushed her to her knees, then lowered her to the floor, giving her bottom a slap as he did so. He bound her ankles before pulling her feet up toward her hands, connecting them securely with the last few feet of tape. "Any more of you think you're clever?" he gave a challenging look to his frightened audience. Priti glared contemptuously at him. Eileen, who had felt tearful and humiliated, was rather cheered that she wasn't the only bound woman in the room.
Manageress Louise Pritchard, a plump but handsome grey-haired woman in her fifties, felt very self conscious seeing the two women lying bound and gagged while all she had to endure was to sit uncomfortably. It felt like she should be doing more. She felt cowardly. Even if it got nowhere, she ought to try. The time came when the three were all occupied gathering money. She got quietly and slowly to her feet. Before she even began to edge toward the door, a harsh voice yelled "Hey!".
In very few minutes, Louise Pritchard lay face down, hogtied and gagged in the same manner as Priti, using another of the many rolls of tape they had brought. Having her feet pulled back and bound to her hands was really making her knees ache, but now she felt less like a wimp and more like a heroine. She could look the others in the eye now.
In due course the robbers had bagged up all the notes that they could find and all this time the other three women had sat still and silent, hands on their heads, just counting the seconds till their ordeal was over. "That's the lot. Time to go" said Mask#1, to nobody in particular.
"Just got to take care of these three first. Then we'll have an hour clear before opening time".
Colleen, Liza and Phyllis all suddenly sat upright, mouths wide open in dismay. What did that mean?
"You lot, kneel facing the wall. Move now!" As the three women scrambled to obey, Colleen caught sight of the reel of tape, yet another one, in the hands of the advancing robber. Yes, she was going to be tied up after all. In spite of what they had said, and she and the others had done exactly what they were told.
"That's not bloody fair" she blurted out."You said sit there quiet and we did, and now we're going to be tied up anyway!" She stopped herself, realising she was sounding desperate and tearful. That was how she felt, but her two colleagues were stoically facing the wall, with stony expressions. The nearest man took her by the shoulder and pushed her roughly against the wall.
"I'm starting by taping up Miss Piggy here, and if you two make a move she gets hurt" Colleen's eyes narrowed in anger. She didn't think she was much overweight but she was very conscious of it. In different circumstances he would have got a piece of her mind.
As it was she just knelt, fuming inwardly while he slapped a strip of tape across her mouth, and then taped her hands tightly behind her back. Finally her feet were taped and fastened to her bound wrists. "Happy now? No more complaints?" The two women who could still speak remained silent.
The last two women were quickly processed, placed in the same uncomfortable kneeling hogtied position. Just before she was gagged, Liza muttered accusingly "You did say you wouldn't do this".
As he pressed the tape firmly across her lips, he laughed. "Shouldn't believe what criminals tell you".
Eileen, who had been hogtied face down on the floor for much longer, was gratified to see that eventually all the building society women had been tied up. She didn't like the way she had been used as a bound and gagged example to them all, and she had felt really humiliated while they all sat looking at her. Now they all knew what it was like!.
Before the robbers left, Harriet heard the door of the cupboard being opened. She had heard occasional indistinct noises from outside. Nothing she could definitely identify, and thank god there were no shots fired. No doubt that cleaning lady had been captured ant bound by the gang, and the staff as well. She had no idea of the time, but she thought it must be mid morning. Her first thought was that it was a rescuer. Her heart sank as a voice she had heard before spoke. "Just making sure you are still fixed up nicely, before we go. Don't want you causing problems yet". She felt his hands touching the handcuffs, then running down her thighs and legs to her taped ankles. He was obviously satisfied that she was still secured. Suddenly he stood very close behind her, and he grasped her breasts, one in each hand, quite gently, squeezed them gently, ran his fingers over her nipples. Oh, don't do that, she thought. Part of her was terrified, but the other part was getting excited, and she didn't want that. He released one breast and slipped that hand down, between her thighs, his fingers forcing her legs apart, probing for her clitoris through her tights and knickers. Her legs were tied too tightly for any effective contact, she felt his probing fingers pull away and he stood back. Then a voice called, a male voice. "Where are you". One of the other robbers. "Got to go. Maybe I'll catch up with you again when there's more time" he said. He was gone, closing the door on her once again. She let out a long sigh of relief. What a lucky escape, she thought. What would he have done to her?
She soon returned to thoughts of discovery and release. Surely it was opening time, some customer would come in and raise the alarm. After what seemed like hours, sure enough there was commotion beyond the door, male and female voices. It was obvious that the police were there, but the voices were not that close. She squealed and grunted as loud as she could behind the layers of tape, but nobody came. The sounds subsided. Harriet felt like crying. Nobody was going to find her because nobody knew she was there. They weren't even looking for her. The cleaner probably thought she had driven away. And she was really needed to pee, she didn't know how much longer she could hold it. It was horrible, she thought. The indignity of being found all trussed up like this was going to be bad enough, it would be so much worse if she was found sitting in a wet patch and smelling of urine. Pull yourself together, she told herself. In reality she thought she could last another hour, and she should be getting used to being found tied up, it had happened twice already in recent months. But why was nobody looking for her, surely by now the whole force knew she was missing. Hell, a week ago she hadn't made contact for 45 minutes and Forsyth had been on her back. Now she wanted to be found, nobody cared. She dwelt on the unfairness of this, having little else to think about. And when they found her, she'd get the blame, probably, like the other times.
But outside, wheels were turning slowly. "You said the WPC you spoke to drove away. Did you actually see her go?" Sgt Forsyth asked
"Well, not exactly. But she said she'd come back and she didn't, so she must have gone, right" Eileen was getting impatient. She was a victim here, this guy seemed more worried about that policewoman. A young PC gesticulating from the doorway attracted Sgt Forsyth's attention, causing him to leave his chair and cross the room. Eileen couldn't quite make out what was said, something about a car in the car park.
"Check every room, the ladies room, all the cupboards, she's in here somewhere" he barked instructions at the team. "Probably trussed up and gagged like the rest were". Something in him stirred as is mind conjured up a picture of what he might be about to find. He thought of the last time. His thoughts were interrupted, a voice shouted.
"Here she is" They crowded into the closet. "All this tape, where do we start?"
"Are you all right, Harri?" Harriet recognised WPC Stevens voice. A stupid question, but she meant well. She grunted an affirmative.
"Get the tape off her mouth first, then she can tell us what she wants". That was Sgt Forsyth's voice. She wondered if he had an erection. Of course he has, she thought. And what on earth did they think she wanted. To not be here on display to her work colleagues, trussed, gagged, blindfolded, perspiring and bursting for a pee, that would be her first request. Fingers were fumbling at the tape over her mouth, then she felt cold metal, as a scissor blade slipped between the tape and her skin, just in front of her right ear, then again on the left side. She winced at the sudden pain as the tape was yanked away.
"Ow! Can't you be a bit more careful. Please don't pull the rest of the tape like that".
Then Sgt Eric Forsyth's voice. "It's me, Eric Forsyth. We'll get you loose and quick. Are you all right, do you need anything right away?"
Harriet's fear and frustration was fading, being replaced by impatience. The fright she had felt at being captured and bound was two hours away now. "What could I possibly need? Do I look like I'm all right? My day's just been full of fun!" She was almost shouting.
Another unseen voice, which of PC Wayne Kerr, said laughing “That’s our Harriet ,back to normal. Better put the tape back on her till she calms down". Now that was a man Harriet did rather fancy. And he was here, seeing her like this. She stopped talking, and felt herself blushing. She hoped that wasn't noticeable under the mass of tape. What would he think of her now?
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