A Debt Paid and a War Declared
They were supposed to protect her. Laetitia (‘Lee’) had swore to her that she would be safe as the President in their hands. Caroline had told her about the most famous and known jobs that they had done for other celebrities. And Flora had told her, about a hundredth times, that in their hands not even an atomic bomb blast would be a treat to her.
Now her entourage was writhing on the floor, wearing only but their panties, socks and the tape that held them, while the ‘Israeli bodyguards’ that had overpowered them were finishing the touches on her disguise. It was very dark outside, past 3 A.M. actually, and since she was supposed to have left the place over two hours ago, no one was supposed to be in the alley in the back of the small hotel to witness her kidnapping. And it was still cold, not deep freezing cold but..., so the amount of clothes over her bound arms (that was really significant) would not be detected by any onlooker. And there was the make-up.
The funny thing was that she had to admit that it was almost a convincing fake pair of lips, from a medium distance it could (and probably would) pass for her real ones. Not even her attempts to dislodge the tape and thus smear it were very successful, but it added a realistic touch to the claims that the ‘bodyguards’ would say to anyone they met that she had ‘ate something that wasn’t that good’ (the same excuse Caroline had used all the times she had drunk a bit too much...). But wait a moment... besides her bodyguards, that were never the same after a week or two, there was her entourage. Lee (her best friend and party buddy), Carol (her accountant and money handler) and her sister Flora, she was never seen without any of the three, so how would they...? The answer came with a knock on the door.
Those guys might be imposters as bodyguards, but they were pros as kidnappers! Three women entered the back room; one could pass for Lee, another was almost Carol’s twin and the third was just an inch smaller than the real Flora.
‘Where are our clothes?’
They quickly removed their own... wait a moment! Two of them were wearing blue and beige chambermaids’ uniforms! And the third one had a waitress uniform!
‘How’s the others?’ – asked the leader of the ‘bodyguards’
‘Furious and deliciously impotent if you’re talking about the real bodyguards, just plain scared if you’re talking about the ones we had to neutralize...’
‘The hotel manager?’
‘Mr. Black and Mrs. Yellow are with him. We let him talk with his wife twenty minutes ago and he just wants that it’s all over. Hey...’ – the woman that would impersonate Lee took a good look at the neatly disguised tight package that she had been reduced to – ‘...nice work, but I’d have put a little less lipstick on the tape gag...’
And that was the cue to make all kidnappers, both the ‘bodyguards’ and her ‘entourage’, check her bonds, fake lips over the tape, fake arms (since the real ones were like bolted to her back by those ominous ropes!) and clothes. After a few minutes the tall leader of the ‘bodyguards’ agreed that the lips needed a better design and color, and that the arms needed to look more real. So while three of them worked on her, her mind drifted to how she and her friends (and God knows how many people else) had ended on such a situation.
She was Marion Matthews, Golden Globe (twice) and Tony (only once) winner and one of the most beautiful women of the World according to the magazines. And she was until a few days ago a very tired girl who enjoyed skiing, so after the strenuous effort of making a great Hamlet (she had dared, with all her measurements, to be the leading male role!) for a whole season she needed a break in some very snowy mountain.
Flora had a friend who had a friend who had a friend that had told her about this place. It wasn’t Aspen, but it sure had a lot of nice place to ski down! And since Mallard (her agent) had made everyone believe that she was ‘somewhere in South America’, there wasn’t any paparazzi in a range of fifty miles! But of course she had to have some protection...
So Caroline had hired a prestigious (and small) European based security agency that employed only women who had worked for the Mossad, thus they could pose as part of her entourage and keep her safe, while not making everybody in the small town realize that SHE was there. She had agreed to give to the local newspaper an exclusive interview on her last day and had given autographs enough to ‘buy’ the silence of few townsfolk that knew about her. It had been a great week of fun for all four friends!
Then the leader of her bodyguards told her that ‘something’ had happened and they would need to be replaced. Caroline had talked to the bodyguards and then had phoned to their main office in the US, and had told her that it seemed that their current bodyguards were being requested by some very powerful foreign dignitary that was about to arrive in NYC, but the replacement team was as good and efficient as the current one.
The new team had arrived that morning, talked with the old one and exchanged some data about their new jobs. It had been a great day like the others, then the press started to arrive in the town. Someone had told them that she was there enjoying her honeymoon with **** **********! Her vacations were over! Quickly the bodyguards came with a contingency plan; there was a sales clerk that bore quite a resemblance to her.
They would dress her and a few of her friends as if they were them and would make the press believe that she was going to take the first plane to LA in another town. A quick hairdo, some clothes, one grand to each girl and the ruse was set.
They made the press saw them trying to get to the back of the hotel ‘unobserved’, then they rushed to a room were their doubles were waiting, their doubles left the hotel (and the town) with all the paparazzis in tow and they were supposed to wait one hour before really getting out of that room (which was large and bare but very clean).
Then the ‘Israeli bodyguards’ drew their guns and pointed them to them. Caroline was the first to react, she mumbled a weird phrase (‘Pink parrots and peppermint...’ if she was not mistaken) that the leader of the kidnappers answered properly, but whatever hope Carol had that it was some sort of a lame joke was dashed when the leader (a very tall woman, 6’5” at least, slender and with piercing black eyes) said that they were there to kidnap her.
All four women were forced to gag themselves with a folded handkerchief, then all but Marion were ordered to strip to their panties. That order brought tears to Lee and Flora’s eyes, but the leader assured them that they would be not harmed, but since the sheriff and his deputies were expecting to see four women wearing the clothes that now they wore...
Strips of tape reinforced her friend’s gags and rendered them unable to move but in a worm fashion, at least they had displayed a sheet on the floor but besides that..., while she had a huge amount of rope used to render her arms useless behind her back. They were now re-stuffing the sleeves of her parka and she had to agree that now they looked like her arms.
‘Are you guys... a bit cold?’
Her friend’s answer was fortunately muffled by their gags. Sure, the heating system was on, but they were in almost close contact with a cold floor and wearing only a pair of panties (which, in her sister’s case, were nothing but a flimsy lacy thong set)!
‘Alright, alright stop it now! Girls, wrap them inside some clothing... Miss Violet, go to their room, bring some winter coats/parkas or whatever, and we’ll wrap you inside them before we leave. ‘Caasi’ and 'Adena', find some chairs...’
As the orders were followed, Marion decided that (since she has nothing else that she could do) she would memorize her kidnapper’s features. It was most unlikely that they would be able to get their hands on all the surveillance images that had their faces on them, but it was a way to spend her time. ‘Miss Violet’, who was impersonating Lee, was a mid-twenties brunette with short hair, brown eyes and seemed to be below her better weight like Lee. The only difference between Carol and her double was that the fake one had a nose a little (and just a little) bigger than the original one, otherwise she could pass for the late twenties blonde anytime. Flora had the body of a lingerie model (definitely not of the anorexic kind) and so had ‘Flora’, the small difference of height between the buxom and curvy redhead beauties would be solved with a hidden heel.
But the ‘bodyguards’ were the ones that had Marion’s full attention for the moment.
‘Caasi’, who now returned with two metal chairs, was of obvious Arabic ancestry. 5’8”, not very muscular, but not very feminine either, almost androgyne. The leader, ‘Zabrina’, was like her high school friend Ruby, tall and strong and yet very feminine, an impression reinforced every time (like now) when she was grabbed by her and her bound arms felt her quite large breasts. ‘Adena’ and ‘Miss Violet’ entered the room carrying a cocooned struggling woman in their arms. Polly? The sheriff’s daughter? What had happened?
‘Tirsa’ and ‘Caasi’ helped her to quickly reduce the nice cheerleader (and self-proclaimed Marion’s number one fan) to an impotent standing tape mummy. Since each woman had grabbed a roll of tape, and due to a freaky coincidence each roll was of a different color, she was now very weird looking. Her long legs were now mostly white, her arms were black but her torso was mix of all three colors, her lower face was completely red. And besides the absurd amount tape, she was standing stark naked in front of them (the sheet in which she had been wrapped in had felt on the floor).
‘What’s going on?’
‘Don’t ask me, ask her... – and ‘Violet’ pointed at her – ‘...I entered her room to pick up what you told and guess who was in the bed? And she saw me, in Lee’s clothes, which she recognized and started to get a bit agitated. The only thing that prevented her from screaming was that she was naked. Then ‘Adena’ entered the room pointing a gun at me. I quickly realized that she was playing possum and went along, the girl wrapped herself in the bed’s sheet and walked cautiously to stay by ‘Adena’’s side...’
‘And I quickly shoved my hankie inside her mouth, we jumped on her and here she is... I’m sorry, I forgot that Pazia told me that she and Marion...’
Alright, now her kidnapers knew which way she swung, some of their expressions were very funny, but what would happen now? Would they dare to hurt Polly?
‘And when you remembered you realized that it was very likely that she was in the room...’
The leader thought for a moment.
‘No one saw you?’
‘Nope, the guy at the surveillance room drank the coffee I gave him and thus will only wake up tomorrow... today at noon, the police is still receiving the footage we have from the previous days and no one was alerted or awakened with the short struggle this wildcat gave us. What we do now, ‘Zabrina’?’
‘That’s simple, Hollywood may know about her sexuality, but as long as it’s not public she’s a big time moneymaker. And we need that she stays like that if we want a big reward from her agent Millar, Mallard... whatever. Thus, you two will go back to Marion’s room, fetch her clothes and bring in here, we’ll cut her out from that cocoon, she redresses herself and we stash her (nicely and inescapably hogtied and gagged) somewhere. She’ll tell daddy and the press that she invaded the hotel looking for... say... another autograph or something like that, was found by us and reduced to that state. Won’t you girlie?’
Polly nodded vigorously. Her father was a nice man, but it was obvious to anyone that he was homophobic, they had talked about this and other things, it wasn’t just for the sex that she wanted her in her bed. Was she, the big starlet, falling in love with that mountain beauty? She could already sense Lee and Carol’s disapproval glances towards her.
But Polly was such a cute brunette!
The clothes finally arrived and, while ‘Zabrina’ and ‘Tirsa’ pried Polly away from the tape cocoon, her entourage was helped to stand by ‘Adena’ and their impersonators. While each girl was held by her own ‘fake self’, ‘Adena’ (the chubbiest of all women present and yet far from being considered really fat) adjusted a blouse and a jacket (or a parka) on their bound bodies, then black electrician tape was wrapped freely to held the garment in place.
‘Do you promise to behave?’
She returned her gaze to Polly at the time to see the now fully naked (save for the tape gag) girl nod and be allowed to... crush her bones in a tight hug. They cried together and (to her friend’s horror) shared a gagged kiss, then she was pushed backwards by ‘Zabrina’ while ‘Tirsa’ and ‘Adena’ forced Polly to put on her clothes before they could retie her.
She looked at her sister. Flora, Lee and Caroline seemed at first to really disapprove her new ‘weekend love’, but then all three realized that, this time, she seemed to be more serious than the usual. Both Lee and Flora changed their expression to a curious/inquisitive one, but Caroline was obviously trying to remind her (again) that she wasn’t supposed to get out of the closet... yet. While this was happening their doubles were finishing.
Each girl had been tied in a sitting hogtie, their arms had been passed behind the low back of the chairs (part of the arms was tied or taped to it while each wrist was tied to the opposite elbow) while their legs had been pushed backwards. The chairs were far from being sturdy, but if they dared to move much they would end up hurting themselves.
‘Okay everybody, here’s the story you’ll tell everyone. Polly came through the back and heard a weird sound, before she could realize what it was we grabbed and bound her and locked her elsewhere. You know that because... because ‘Adena’ was the one that bound her and told me about it in front of you. Do you copy?’
Flora, Lee and Caroline nodded. Polly was now fully dressed and bound, ‘Adena’ and ‘Tirsa’ carried her away and locked her in a closet down the hallway. Then they returned and got ready for the most quick and dangerous part of the plan.
They had told the sheriff that a ‘change of ‘plans’ had required that they moved out of the hotel at 04:30. The sheriff and five of his deputies had thus spent almost the whole night awaken, and in some cases exposed to the cold weather. All of them were now dreaming with their eyes open, and in their dreams they were in their beds. A group of overly covered women, rushing to a couple of suddenly awaiting vans and hitting the road in less than five minutes was all that they were expecting to see.
And that’s what they saw.
Peninah was fuming mad at her own incompetence. It was in all newspapers, in all TV channels and in the Web. Marion Matthews (neé Maryann Merrill) has been kidnapped, under her guard! Seven years establishing a solid reputation gone like that!
She was talking, almost losing her temperance and yelling actually, to the chief of the Division of Information who swore to her over and over again that there hadn't been any leak from the firm. None of her girls was dumb to talk about their incoming jobs to anyone and she defenitely wasn't going to tell it to anyone, even her father!
Then how come the kidnappers had managed to gather all the necessary info to grab that curvy actress? She remembered the whole case for the umptenth time.
They had overpowered the hotel manager family the night before the replacements arrived. After spending a night bound and gagged the manager was forced to carry a hidden mike and camera and had to go to work. His mid fifties wife had called in sick at work and their two daughters 'sent' text messages to their friends saying that their mother was really sick and they had got the same 'flu'. All three women spent a whole day and a couple of nights as the captives of three heavy armed kidnappers dressed fully in black. One of the younger daughter's friend had stopped by to say 'hello' and, fortunately for the kidnappers, she lived alone so no one noticed that when she too became an 'unexpected guest' at that house.
The kidnappers had treated all women very politely, gave them bathroom and bath time breaks and very edible food (one of them had typed the recipe of the dinner at the request of the manager's wife!). Then they made the women dress as if they were going to be taken elsewhere, cuffed their gloved hands behind their back, gagged them with strips of cloth and had locked the quartet in a room upstairs the house.
The replacements arrived at the hotel at the exact time a weird 'accident' with the chairlift trapped Marion and the others (and her then bodyguards) when they were almost reaching the top of the mountain they would ski down. They were welcomed by the hotel manager and taken to a room, were all five were zapped or darted, stripped, placed in heavy BDSM paraphernalia that kept them unable to free themselves for the rest of their captivity (geriatric diapers were provided to all of them), and replaced by the imposters. The data that the former bodyguards received about the new ones identified the imposters as the real ones and no one had been able to identify how they had done that! Code words and documents were exchanged, the imposters knew exactly what to do and say to pose as her girls, and the hens were left with the foxes to guard them!
At the hotel a group of kidnappers dressed themselves as chambermaids, and when any member of the night shift found out about it, he or she was quickly locked in a room with the others that had found out about it earlier... the police found seven people bound, gagged and blindfolded on that room the following morning...
Since the DVD with the ransom note was found by the actress' agent (over his bed after he took a shower) four days had passed. Her contact with the FBI had provided her a copy but, like he had warned her, there was nothing useful in it. Marion Matthews, clad only in her blue lacy lingerie read a note that demanded US$ 5 million dollars for her safe return, after that she was gagged on screen with a sponge being forced inside her mouth and a strip of tape being applied while the written message (in white letters) 'WE'LL BE IN TOUCH' was displayed over the footage. Her team of forensic experts hadn't found anything that could help her to find where they were keeping the girl!
But, Peninah allowed herself to relax. Carly had sent her a text message in which she described what she would give her tonight. She needed a break, the world was falling over her head and she needed to recharge her inner batteries. A 'French maid', some wine and Nat King Cole was everything that she needed before returning to her hell the next day.
Funny, why would Carly send her another text message with a photo attached. She was fumbling with the keys with one hand as she tried to open the message on her cellphone. Then she managed to open the door, and saw the photo, and froze in place.
Carly, sweet little 19 years old Carly, that she had found on that strip club in Texas (and had brought home) only six months before after they fell in love at the first sight. She was wearing her cap, the ridiculously short apron that barely covered her ample bust and the latex bikini thong bottom. And was gagged with what looked like a scarf and bound with white rope. And she was in their bedroom. She reached for her gun while considering the possibility of calling back-up, then she relaxed. They could have ambushed her, whoever they were, but they had opted to send her the photo. Who were them and how many were them? She would have answers to those questions first and then she would deal with them.
'Good night Ms. Stavi. Don't worry about your lover, she's fine and in good hands. Believe me or not, not only I came in peace, but you'll be glad that I was here after I leave...'
The woman was very young. Mid to late twenties, and was Palestinian, of that she was sure. That skin color, hair and eye color, facial bone structure and nose. Palestinian. Something in her eyes was oddly familiar to Peninah. Perhaps... a payback for her old job back home? She would play this woman's game for now...
'And why would I be glad for that?'
And the woman answered, and Peninah had to agree that she was right. She was glad that she had been there and told her what she told. Even if that meant to strip herself completely in front of another woman that was, obviously, as straight as they come, handcuff her own ankles and wrists (behind her back) and allow the woman to link the chains with another handcuff, be gagged with a black ballgag jammed into her mouth and forced to worm her way to her own bedroom, where Carly was being held alone (the woman hadn't brought any helper with her) with the keys to all her cuff taped to her body.
The fact that the straight, but obviously kinky, woman had blindfolded both lovers made the search harder and far more erotic than it should be.
Penina freed herself, ungagged Carly (but didn't touched her bonds), gave her a kiss and a glass of water and started to phone her most trusted employees right away. A meeting was held in her apartment less than one hour later, in which she exposed what the Palestine girl had told her with the proofs she had left behind, while Carly writhed in her new bonds on their bed. Peninah knew exactly how much she could take and had swore that all her distress would be properly rewarded (even if it took a few days), so she ended up sleeping while a counterstrategy was developed by the former elite military members.
If that was the treatment that kidnapees endured under the clutches of those gals, she should be kidnapped at least once a year! Lame puns aside, she was really feeling fine. After the DVD ransom had been shot, the enigmatic leader of the gang of kidnappers (an elderly Chinese/Japanese woman) had told everything. Why she had been kidnapped, who was behind it and what they expected them to do with her, her sister, Lee and Caroline. If she wasn't so well bound and gagged she would have broke all the furniture in that room!
But the old lady grabbed her chin between her right thumb and clenched index finger, looked deep into her eyes and said 'Please behave', and she had immediately complied.
What power those eyes had over her! Then the kidnappers had surprised her, they knew that she had said yes to Tim Burton's next movie and, somehow, had managed to bring her the copy of the script that she was supposed to be reading after she had her vacancies.
So her days had been spent with frugal and tasty meals, one hour of exercises in a fully appareled gym (ample) room, lectures of the script and a few books. True, every now and then (like when she was moved to the gym room) she was thoroughly bound, gagged and blindfolded with rope and scarves, but after a while she didn't minded at all.
She knew that she shouldn't be trusting that easily in the old woman's word, but they had shown her all he proofs that she needed to believe in their version of the facts, they were treating her well (even considering the ropes and all), and they would save her, her sister's and her friend's lives! And they never let her tied for long enough for her to have cramps...
Mallard wasn’t playing, he was really in league with the kidnappers! Caroline couldn’t understand how could he had managed to fool her that much!
‘The kidnappers got in touch with me’ he had said, ‘We need to pay the ransom or they will sell Maryann to the highest bidder to some really nasty pervs!’ he said that the kidnappers had said. He showed her new pictures with Marion (funny how she always thought about her friend with her artistic name attached to the memory...) tied in the buff to a post. So she had agreed to fool the police, FBI and the press.
They went to a theater, then they walked through an open back door , got inside a mall, went to the bathrooms and had found paper bags with their change of clothing, a wig for each one and a sports bag where she put the valise with the papers. They had changed, picked a cab and entered a deserted parking lot, then Mallard had jumped on her, quickly zip-tying her hands behind her back and shoving his necktie into her mouth, had forced her to get inside the trunk and had drove for nearly one hour.
Now they were in the middle of nowhere, and since this ‘nowhere’ was an intersection in the desert and it was past midnight the temp was a bit too cold for her liking, and he was checking his watch every five seconds. Then he saw a light of a car, it blinked four times then it stopped and blinked four times again, two black vans appeared in the dirt road.
Six burly men and women dressed from head to toe in black got out of the vehicles. The leader of them and Mallard exchanged a few words and he nodded to the two women of his group. They got inside of one of the vans through the sliding side door and got out carrying a furious bundle between them. Was the girl... Marion?
Somehow Caroline wasn’t sure. Yes, the measurements seemed right and since the poor hooded girl was clad in her bra and panties she had to agree that she looked like Marion. But at the same time... no it couldn’t be her. It wasn’t her, then who was she?
The furious girl got pistol-butted and calmed down immediately, she was dragged to the point where Caroline was kneeling on the dirty ground and forced to kneel at her side. Then one of the women removed the soggy tie from her mouth and, without Mallard realizing it, whispered in her ear ‘you’re among friends, ask him why he did this’.
A bit puzzled, Caroline first gave a huge outflow to all her rage and anger with Mallard, who in turn slapped her hard and told her that if she (‘Marion’) wasn’t lesbian, nothing of that was so necessary to happen. He snapped his finger and then asked the leader (who had approached him) if everything was ready. The leader confirmed that they had cleaned Marion’s many accounts, making it look like Caroline’s work, and had then left a lot of forged evidences that would make the FBI believes that Caroline had orchestrated Marion’s kidnapping in order to cover up her misappropriations.
But he, Mallard, had somehow (he was going to think a little more on that part of the plan) discovered everything and had miraculously escaped from Caroline’s henchmen clutches with a few bruises, then he had called the cops who would find Caroline’s corpse besides Marion’s, and since he would claim that Caroline had shot Marion, the police would close the case as if Caroline’s ‘thugs’ had killed her since she was the only one who could identify them. He even dared to ask if it wasn’t really such a brilliant plan!
It was obvious to Caroline how delusional was Mallard, she knew that he had tried a bit too hard (to the point of almost forcing her to fire him) to date Marion, until Marion told him that she was a closet lesbian. Then he had seemingly accepted it and had became the best agent Marion could have, but obviously he was just bidding his time.
He had gotten in touch with some nasty people and they, in exchange of the ‘ransom’ money would not only kill her and ‘Marion’, but Lee and Flora as well! That’s when the leader of the ‘kidnappers’ made something that wasn’t in Mallard’s script...
He removed his hood and told him ‘Man, you were better than we hoped you’d be!’, then he punched Mallard hard a couple of times. All the ‘kidnapper/killers’ removed their masks and one of them was that Israeli lady... Pennah, Penniah, something like that!
The girl who was posing as Marion had her bonds and gag removed and was given clothes to put on. They had recorded Mallard’s confession (and thus cleared Peninah’s agency of any wrongdoing) and gave it to the FBI, who arrived about five minutes later. It was a long night for Caroline, who gave her statement before an ambulance took her to an hospital.
By the time Marion was released by her ‘kidnappers’, the case against Mallard was a solid rocky stone one. Although a mystery remained for the years afterward. It was true that the ‘kidnappers’ had had access to some of the offshore accounts that Mallard had created to stash Marion’s money, and had returned everything to its proper place minus five million dollars for ‘expenses’, so they hadn’t worked for free.
But why did they had decided to help Peninah?
The ride had lasted a few hours, no less than three and no more than five, and they were inside a car inside a truck semitrailer. She was, of course, bound and gagged (with rope and scarves as usual) and had enjoyed two discs of the fifth season of Law & Order in the portable DVD during the trip. Then the semitrailer stopped. A ramp was provided while the gates were opened and the mid-90’s SVU slid to the road.
The glasses of the windows were tainted, so no one would be able to see that sandwiched between two strong and muscular women was the famous Marion Matthews. Who couldn’t believe when they entered a small town and drove straight to the middle of it.
‘Are you fine? You think that you can handle a couple of hours like that?’
She nodded. The two women besides her kissed her forehead, the driver was a bit more daring and gave her lips’ impression on the tape gag that she now sported, they placed a new disc on the portable DVD (Marion couldn’t do anything but watch the DVD, since her hands were trapped behind her) and waved goodbye and left the stolen vehicle.
Besides a couple of old men playing chess and a bunch of teenagers playing football on a park, no one was there to witness their departure. And those who were didn’t gave the three women a second look. They were dressed like, and had the tools of, another bunch of out-of-towners reporters who seemed to be there to cover the trial of that rat that was the Sheriff’s brother-in-law, although no-one ever heard of a newspaper called ‘Today!’.
It took a while for someone to realize that the SUV was parked in an improper place. Five more minutes for the police be called. Another fifteen minutes to a cop arrive to check the vehicle. One hour later the whole country knew about the SUV...
Not again thought Peninah.
The photo on her cellphone showed a stark naked Carly tied on top of their coffee table. She opened the door cautiously and looked inside. She approached the dinning room on her tiptoes, and found out to her amazement that Carly was bound in a very similar way to the bondage that Andrea Neal sported in her favorite segment of ‘The Audition & The Competition’ (the best of all AN’ scenes for her). All those strips of cloth displayed on the younger woman body were very inviting to her, but first she checked Carly’s pulse, made a quick but efficient check-up on her flat and returned to the living room.
They were alone.
She checked if Carly was really alright, and found a pre-paid cellphone taped to her body between her breasts. She has been drugged, but otherwise she seemed fine.
‘Hi, how are you? I promise that this is the last time, at least for a while, in which I leave your girlfriend/wife like that.’
‘Why... why did you helped me?’
‘I am part of a group specialized in the removal of persons or objects or data, we can do it on our own or be hired to grab a specific target. Mallard somehow learned about us and asked us if we could do more than simply have Marion with us. We have a policy for such situation, play along until we manage to profit with the case at hand and make the ******* who thought that we were merely hired guns pay for it in kind. And besides, becoming the group that kidnapped a starlet like Marion Matthews, and saved her life in the process, will make us well known – and thus we’ll have better and more profitable jobs that we will be hired to accomplish – and make our policy well known as well...’
‘Please, answer me... I am not being fooled by those words...’
‘Do you remember when you saved a young girl’s life during the First Intifada, back in 1989 to be more accurate? She was trying to protect her brother...’
Of course! Those eyes! The young little girl wasn’t more older than six, and yet that ***** that she had to call sergeant had ordered her to shoot her (with rubber bullets) just like he had just shot (at close range) her sixteen years old brother. Peninah went to martial court not only for refusing to obey the order but to make the sergeant’s second shot (aimed at the little girl) hit another soldier when she punched him in the arm.
‘It was you...’
‘Yes. Funny how things change and still are the same...’
‘What do you mean with that?’
‘Today your job is to protect people and their valuables, my job is to steal the valuables and grab the people. We’re still on opposite sides... And since we both profited from this whole business by making our names well known to potential clients...’
‘Our paths will cross... again... but as I told, as much fun this redhead was and probably is to bind and gag, you don’t have to worry about someone else but you having the honors to do that, at least for the next semester. Be seeing you...’
‘Wait! How did you...? What did you meant with...?’
‘I found the discs with your homemade mini-movies and photos... Vultura...’
She had found her... er... free reinterpretation of ‘Perils of Nyoka’ disc? Peninah blushed as her new rival laughed heartily before she closed the call. She run into her bedroom and there it was, the hidden safe inside Carly’s shoe closet was open and some of her best pictures were displayed besides it. A handwritten note was inside it, but she only read it after she was sure that no disc or photo was missing and (apparently) no copies had been made. The message was simple: ‘You are my enemy and one of those I have to outsmart in order to make a living the way I decided to live my life. But that doesn’t means that I can, have or will disrespect you, and besides... It was really fun to tie her up twice! Looking forward for a third time (and a fourth and a fifth and a sixth and...)’.
This was the weirdest declaration of war she had ever read, but was also the one that had boiled her blood the most! Fine, if it was war that she wanted....
Then she heard Carly’s soft moans, indicating that she was awakening, and she rushed to be at her side. Not that the thought of freeing her crossed her mind while she did it...
three years later, somewhere in New York
‘Did it worked?’
‘Of course, Milady, your plan was perfect. Now everybody believes that I am the head of our group, and he or she that doesn’t is highly discredited by his/her peers and superiors, specially if he or she belongs to any law enforcement agency or media news organization... just like I promised you that it would happen, Miss Himiko.’
The elderly Japanese smiled. To the world her organization had now a face, and it wasn’t hers! Alena was an orpheline that had a reputation (as a jewel thief) before she had taken her under her wings five years before. Now, after years of a series of heist supposedly led by the younger woman, the whole world believed that her over fifty years old all female group of thieves/kidnappers was a recently formed group led by someone who was even younger than her youngest granddaughter! Perfect!
‘So... how did you tied that leggy former stripper this time?’
‘Well... since Peninah has an obvious esteem for old damsel in distress scenarios of the movie serials’ cliffhangers... so I grabbed the girl when she was enjoying a nap and...’