The Decent Hired Guns
It was better that she had a very good excuse warned Zeke. He was obviously boiling over thanks to her and Maureen! She and her sister had messed up so badly with that last job that he didn’t have words to define their... their... stupidity?
No, he said that ‘stupidity’ was ‘too soft’... He looked at the woman at his right. She was far more calmer than he or the idiot (herself), and how could not she?
She was the one that had to be convinced by Nora, it seemed that for him both sisters should already be dead! They had obviously ruined his reputation! How many contacts he had lost thanks to them! And now the fate of her and her sister remained in what excuse, and there won’t be any –‘just the truth’-, she would give to him and her. Maureen was tied up and gagged probably somewhere in the back of this same unused building by the river, and under the guard of three of his men and who knows how many of hers.
His team had reported that both sisters had not shot or fought back when they arrived at their home a few hours before, they just asked to be allowed to finish their coffee and Holt, his team leader, said that they seemed to mean just that so he had allowed it. Afterwards both sisters were stripped completely, taped up and gagged and brought here.
He had a reputation to rebuild and if Nora didn’t managed to convince the tall woman that wanted to hire her and her sister, the photos of the never to be seen again corpses of the sisters would be his answer to anyone that asked him what he did to those who failed in his business. Holt had brought the nude and taped body of Nora to the room about twenty minutes ago. At first she had tape around her ankles, below and above the knees, thighs, wrists, elbows (making them as close as possible) and below and above her breasts. Then he merely taped her thighs to the seat of the stool and her ankles to one of its legs and left the room. For the past twenty minutes the woman at his right was devouring the deadly bound beauty in front of her in silence, completely oblivious of his presence.
‘Mister Ezequiel... could you please remove the gag and packing of Miss Nora? And give her some water please, I sure it would be better for us that she completely able to tell us the circumstances of the recent... problems that she and her sister had to fulfill their last ‘job’.’
Zeke did as the woman ‘asked’ and three minutes later Nora was telling them everything..
It seemed a simple and usual job at first.
They had to kill a junior executive of a multibillion company and the two PI gals she had hired recently. After a week of surveillance they had planned how they would do it (a fake robbery + murder for the first and one of them would pose as a client in order to lure the PI to a trap) when the client gave them a new order.
The young executive had stolen something very valuable from their client (someone in the company’s board) and before they killed all three they would have to retrieve it, at any cost and ASAP. But the client was very elusive in telling them what exactly the girl had stolen.
Not that it mattered to them, probably some very embarrassing file or set of pictures, but how exactly they were supposed to recover what was only identified as ‘File 543YY26’?
What could prevent the soon-to-be-deceased women to give something quite different than the real file if they didn’t knew what it was? But their client was adamantly elusive with that, ‘It’s your problem to bring us the real file’, that it all stroke a bit odd with Nora.
All they knew was that it was a series of files and/or reports. So they switched their plan to kidnap, perhaps torture and eventually murder of all three women in order to retrieve what their client wanted. Since Pamela Darrows (the PI senior) seemed to be the most difficult to deal with, she was a former Marine, the sisters decided to grab the others first.
They split and were supposed to meet back at their temporary hideout with their captives to be used as baits against Pamela. Alas, the plans were not carried by the book...
Kate Banner was someone used to have the others doing what she wanted and when she wanted. True, she had walked alone a long road on her own since the trailer in which she was raised by her single mother, but for the past three years she was more used to give orders than to receive. Which would explain her odd (perhaps even eerie) sensation when an unknown secretary was sitting at the reception desk in Suzanne’s office.
Suzanne knew very well that no one but her was supposed to be there when they had their weekly meetings, and her cute (yet straight dammit!) secretary always was long gone when she arrived. Today there was an unknown woman saying that she was filling-in for Alex since she had gotten the flu, and that a very important client of Suzanne had appeared suddenly with an emergency earlier and all her schedule had been wrecked due to that. She had orders to don’t let anyone enter the hallway that led to the room where she was locked with the treatment of three cavities until she was done! Kate was a little mad at that, but she understood that Suzanne was, after all, a dentist.
But it had to happen right in the day she was wearing the lacy pink (‘see-through’) lingerie Suzie had bought for her in the last Christmas?
So she sat in one of the sofas and waited, after ten minutes she started to look at the new secretary. The eerie feeling, the same she always felt when something bad was coming, had not disappeared. And she was the source of it.
This gal was beautiful, she wasn’t into interracial relationships but she had to admit that this one... Black (no time or place for PC-ness), 20/22 at most, long plaid hair, piercing black eyes and perhaps a bit too much of make-up (specially the red lipstick in her full lips). Her sober clothes were perhaps a number or two smaller than they should be, and her bust was straining against the blouse and jacket!
She wasn’t supposed to stare but... wait a moment. The badge right above the left breast! It reads ‘Parris’, and Alexandra Parris was Suzanne’s secretary!
Was this girl... wearing Alex’s clothes?
‘So you figured it out, didn’t you?’
‘Who-who are you? Where’s Suz... doctor Suzanne and Alex?’
She had to admit that the girl had a beautiful smile, but it was like the one the Cheshire Cat gave to Alice. She stood up from behind the desk and had a gun in her right hand! And a roll of tape in the other hand. She threw the roll to Kate who grabbed it in mid-air not knowing exactly what the women wanted. One minute later she smoothed the tape over her own lips, one of her best scarves balled up and resting atop her tongue.
‘Very good. Now Kate, you don’t mind that I call you that do you Katherine (?), I want you to turn your back to me, put your hands behind your back palm-to-palm and don’t move. Both your lover and her secretary are fine as you are about to see and confirm, but that can change if you try anything funny now. And change for the three of you.’
Kate already knew what was happening. They had found out about the files she had copied and given to Pam. That was the only logical explanation! But that might also meant that this woman... could she be a killer? Could she have already killed Suzie (and Alex)?
Tape was wrapped around her wrists and the smaller girl grabbed her by her left arm and led her to the back of the small building. All the other dentists that worked there had long gone and they were alone in the place. She, this girl, Suzie and Alex.
It was a bit ironic to tie up a dentist in her dentist’s chair, one of the few fantasies that Suzie had never allowed her to fulfill, and if this dentist was a mid-thirties blonde/auburn woman of lean and lovely figure... First she had been taped up with hands in front, then she had been tied up to the chair. There was tape and rope at the ankles, rope above and below the knees, tape at the wrists and hands and rope tying the wrists to the waist, rope tying the upper arms to the torso and lashing the whole upper body to the chair, finally tape over the lips also around the face and chair pinning the head in place.
Their teary eyes locked upon each other the moment they saw the other, then a mewl made Kate look to the floor. Alex’s nude and weirdly bound body was lying no more than two feet at the left of the dentist’s chair, her ankles had been tied to the thighs and then to the bound wrists and, like Suzie’s, she had been overly gagged with tape. She also was crying.
‘Now, please, kneel on the floor... that’s it, don’t fret! DON’T FRET!!! And... lie... still.’
Now she was lying on cold tiled floor, how could Alex be enduring it in the nude as she was? The kidnapper, Kate knew that they were going to be kidnapped and that Suzie and Alex would suffer because of her, started to wrap tape around her legs and she took a good look at Alex trying to find a way to comfort the younger girl.
Ten years younger than her boss, of almost the same height and more buxom than her lover (but not as busty as the kidnapper), she seemed to not mind the cold tiles against her bare skin, she just looked at the black girl with the most expressive pair of begging eyes Kate had ever seen. But the girl was more interested in mummify her.
After a few minutes Maureen stood up and admired her handiwork. This gal wasn’t going anywhere! Not until she decided so! And Nora had told her to wait until 11 p.m. to take them to the abandoned industrial facility. She looked at her watch, a little more than 3 and a half hours of wait ahead. She quickly checked the place just to ensure that she was alone with her captives and, when she returned to enjoy their company, started to think about what would be the fate of these other two gals.
Nora wasn’t sure of what they were going to do with the dentist and the secretary, yet. Kate, Pamela and her cousin Jennifer were already dead, but these two... they didn’t liked to kill when it was unnecessary, so they would try first to sell the two to someone.
There was that slavery organization whom they had worked for last year, and that VIP guy who secretly owned an harem of six or eight girls... nope, he hadn’t bought any of them. He liked to ‘hunt’ them himself. And there was that mistress, really DEEP into BDSM stuff... they had killed three ex-partners of her that were trying to blackmail her three years before... and she had a thing for cute busty gals with expressive eyes...
Well, either they found someone to keep them or...
Nora didn’t used any subterfuge with Jennifer Darrows. The door was locked yet there was a light inside the office. From what they knew Jenny had been working late all the nights while Pamela was doing errands all over the county, and in some of the nearby ones too. It was an old building, the kind that two girls starting their business could afford, yet it would be tricky to force her to walk out of there with her.
Then Maureen e-mailed her the photos. Perfect!
So Nora opened the door with her faithful picklocks, and found herself looking to a very young girl (19/20 tops), all dressed in shades of blue (even the headband and sports shoes) and holding a .22 with both hands aiming it at her and demanding to Nora tell her what she wanted and why she was trying to break-in her office.
Warning the girl that she was only grabbing her mobile phone, Nora opened it, found the pictures, put the phone of the floor and slid it to her.
Never breaking the eye contact the short black haired gal crouched on the floor, grabbed the phone with the left hand and looked at the screen. And her eyes bulged.
It was their client! Bound and gagged! And two other women sharing the same treatment! She got distracted with the photos for time enough to the tall African-American lady jump on her. She still held the gun in her hands but the woman’s left hand was covering her mouth and the right one held a mean looking blade against her throat. And she was making treats against the lives of all three women unless Jenny cooperated.
Just to reinforce her position, the woman removed her left hand and with it grabbed her own left one, and moved the mobile phone (with the screen facing her) closer to her eyes. An unknown young (early to mid-twenties), a little bosomy was lying naked against a white tiled floor. Her elbows had been tied together almost completely behind her back and then two pieces of rope linked her wrists to the knots that ensured that her thighs and ankles would not separate. She has been very thoroughly tape gagged like the next naked woman tied (nearly mummified) to a dentist’s chair.
This one was older than the first, perhaps of the same size and quite the opposite in everything else. While the first was almost overweighed this one was so lean that she was almost thin, well perhaps not that much but... the first girl was definitely a blonde but she wasn’t sure exactly what was the color of this woman’s hair.
And there was their client, Katherine Banner. Her arms and legs were taken by silver tape, her wrists and ankles were connected by a short piece of rope and her mouth bulged under the tape applied over her lips. She was the only one dressed although it seemed that it won’t last long if she kept fighting her bonds the way she seemed to be doing.
Jenny was ordered to take of her navy blue jeans blazer and trousers, and Nora chuckled when she found out that even the bikini panties this redheaded girl was wearing were blue. The indigo T-shirt stayed although the way the amount of rope that Nora used on Jenny ended up enhancing the girl’s bust and straining the fabric. It was one of those patterns she saw in the bondage sites she used to enter, effective and beautiful. The fact that this (sadly soon to be dead) girl was beautiful just helped to compose the picture. Even her freckles were lovely thought Nora, who then realized that Maureen had said that it was better for her be quick, and the elaborate tie had already taken too long... so she started to gather all the sprawled documents over the tables back to the folders.
Fortunately for Jen, Kate, Pamela, Suzanne and Alex, and even for Nora and Maureen, Jen was working on the data that Kate had stolen/copied from the company she worked for. It was all displayed on the two desks behind the now exquisitely hogtied beauty, so all that Nora had to do was to put the photos and reports back to the files, recover all the data that was stored now in the PIs’ computers (and erase their memories), free Jenny and force her to walk out of the building as if they were friends and all would have (as she believed at the moment) ended up satisfactorily for the sisters, Zeke and their client.
But as she was gathering the documents she saw one report. Then another, and another and then a series of photos. She immediately forgot everything that was happening around her.
HE HAD BEEN WARNED!
She started making calls after calls and talking with all the contacts in both coasts she could remember of. Then she understood what was happening...
And she collapsed.
With her fingers touching the sole of her feet and a very absurd amount of rope keeping her body taut and a little bent backwards, Jenny was really focused in not feel pain, and thus she had been a bit absent of the events of the past half an hour, but suddenly she heard the slam of a fist on her desk, and saw something really weird...
The woman that had bound her was kneeling on the floor, holding onto herself trembling and crying... But it weren’t tears of pain, shame or distress...
They were pure tears of rage!
The news Nora gave her could not be worst. They were so bad that she wasn’t sure if she could believe in her little sister. She had to see them herself!
She ordered Nora to take the PI to the rendezvous point and set the trap for Pamela, then she decided that it was time to remove her captives.
The naked Alex was the first, she cut the ropes holding her legs and helped her to stand. Not caring about her captive’s shaking legs, she forced the girl to move through the deserted hallways until they reached the back of the building. She opened the door and took a peek, no one around and only her blue van (with the name of a nonexistent flower shop on its sides) in the alley, she dragged Alex to the side of the van and opened it. There was a box with dozens of pre-cut and wrapped into skeins lenghts of rope at one corner inside it, she pulled Alex inside and grabbed two skeins.
‘No one’s gonna hear you anyway but I can’t be callous can I?’
After redoing the bonds in the legs she grabbed a hood and with some difficulty, that ended as soon as she slapped the girl’s buns, she put on the leather garment covering all her face.
Minutes later Suzanne joined her and then it was Kates turn. But unlike the previous two she had only her hands tied behind her back and her elbows lashed together when she emerged in the alley. Maureen grabbed Kate’s cellphone and dialled Pamela’s number.
‘Pamela.. they got me… they gooommmmpppphhhh…!’
With one hand covering Kate’s lips and forcing the bound woman close to her, Maureen told Pamela what she was supposed to do and how. Then she threw the cellphone away, gagged Kate with a sponge and strips of tape and forced her to get inside the van.
Jennifer and Nora walked out of the building as if they were friends, the night watcher at the reception desk of the place found Jen’s friend mood awkward, but kept it to himself.
They got into Jen’s car in the parking lot and 30 minutes later, when Jen’s phone started to rang, has just been bound to a chair in the closed Mann’s facility in the outskirts of town.
She had been forced to strip to her bra and panties (a spicy red lacy set) and was quite the cooperative gal. Not only because of the pictures of her client and the two unknown women that Nora kept showing to her every now and then, but because somehow she knew that she and the other women would outlive the night.
If Pamela didn’t manage to save them it would be because of the substantial change in her manners. She was no longer so confident in her acts, there was hesitation and uncertainty and she still cried every now and then. Not that it prevented Jen from being mummified to the chair and with cheeks bulging with the balled socks that pressed her tongue down.
Then the phone rang, a bit muffled from under all her clothes, and the woman answered.
‘Hello Ms. Darrows (...) Your cousin is fine, yes she is! You want a proof? – The woman aimed the camera in her cellphone at her and shot a few pictures – See? I told you that she’s fine (...) That was unnecessary to say Ms. Darrows... (...) Yes the old candy factory down the I-XX, you have EXACTLY half an hour to arrive Ms. Darrows and, by the way, how’s the battery of your cellphone? (...) Good, now place it on the passenger seat and keep talking (...) I don’t know, let’s talk about the weather or the football season (...) If you’re badmouthing me in order to force me to end this call and then call 911 or a friend just forget it, I don’t intend to be harsh with any of the ladies in our power IF you follow our orders Ms. Darrows (...) Now, what do you think about the...’
And as the woman started to talk about the Colts season, Jennifer tried to find some slack in her bonds. There was none. The woman sat on a chair at her right and kept an eye on her while she checked the images in her laptop. The little that Jen could see made her realize that the facility had a new security system. All entrances and sides of the building seemed to be covered. And there was an SUV parked in front of the main gate.
A black woman got out of the vehicle fumbling with a set of keys and found the one that fit the lock, opened the gate and didn’t bothered to properly close it. The SUV parked in the back of the building and after a few minutes the woman got out, leading a line of three women overly bound linked with each other through a rope at their waist. They were through the back door (which she left open) and the dim lighted hallway.
Jen’s captor left the business of tying the newcomers somewhere else in the building to her partner, since she never stopped to talk to Pamela. After about twenty minutes the woman entered the empty office they were staying almost at the same time that Pamela’s car appeared at the screen. The woman forced Pamela to keep talking to her while she seemed to talk with her hands, but it wasn’t any of the signal languages Jennifer knew, with her partner... no, now that they were close the resemblance was evident. Sisters or cousins...
They saw Pamela leave the car after checking her gun and hiding it in a suitcase, the younger captor seemed to be an expert in focusing and directing the lens of a camera by remote control. The older woman just shook her head at Pamela’s pale attempt. Then she checked the bonds that her relative had placed on her, and both left the room.
Since there wasn’t any cameras beyond the hallway through where Pamela was led, Jen only learned about how her cousin was captured the following day.
They had told her to leave her gun in her car, as if she was going to obey that order...
She wasn’t able to contact no one so it was up to her to rescue Jen and the others, she cautiously followed her last order and was walking through the hallway that led to the building’s kitchen. She could hear some muffled voices at a certain distance behind a double door. She checked to the (now filled with a shattered glass) window on one of the doors and saw her client, naked as in the day she was born, sitting on a stool bound and gagged. Flanking her were the two unknown women, also naked, who were kneeling on the floor with their heads bowed. All three women seemed to have been cleave gagged and blindfolded with scarves and bound with what looked torn strips of a (once colorful) tablecloth, there was a strip connecting the ankles and writs of the knelt captives and her client had been lashed to the seat. Besides that the room was completely bare, with only a couple of doorways in the corners of the back wall, so where were their captors? And Jen?
‘Good night Ms. Darrows, please don’t try to pick the gun inside the suitcase...’
The voice on the phone! As she had identified it, it belonged to a black woman. She couldn’t say more, the clothes she was wearing (black trousers and T-shirts) covered a good portion of her body, plus she was wearing a black ski-mask.
And with a mean looking gun aimed at her.
‘Please strip, completely, NOW.’
Cursing herself for not having been able to hide the gun earlier, Pamela did as she was told. The woman then threw a weird pair of handcuffs to her, there was no chain between the ‘bracelets’, and told her to put them on, with the hand behind her back. Only then she saw the second kidnaper/killer(?), another black chick, who proceed to bind her with the torn strips until her condition were similar to the other women’s ones, the handcuff was even removed. But they did not gagged her and she was ordered to get inside being guided by both captors until she stood at the right side of her client.
The younger of the unknown women now cried openly while the other two got a bit agitated as they were aware of Pamela’s capture.
‘Ms. Darrows, I believe you know who we are and what are supposed to do with you all...’
‘The lawsuit against the ************, Co., right? You are going to destroy the evidences and kill us so your clients can win the lawsuit against those poor people, right?!!!’
‘You are partially right. But unfortunately for our client, no one try to make a fool us...’
‘We are... well known in our field, though not a single murder can be traced back to us. A car accident, a robbery gone wrong, a heart attack, an OD, you name it and you will find out that that was officially ‘happened’ to those we were hired to stop. But there’s a rule, a very important rule that we NEVER ever broke. We don’t kill children, and we don’t work for those who kill or killed children. And our client was well informed of that...’
The expression in Kate’s face started to change, like she was starting to feel hope again. More controlled, and with a very good poker face, Pamela decided to press her captors.
‘So you did not knew...’
‘And now we know. And we made some phone calls. Seems that our client hired new bodyguards especially for tonight, people that usually are our rivals in our line of work… After we were supposed to kill you all we would meet him at a place somewhere in this city and our client would pay us, and personally destroy the evidences your client gathered for those families in the lawsuit. But if our client is supposed to do that, then why were the new ‘bodyguards’ hired for? As if the answer is not obvious…’
‘And what about us?’
‘Those bonds that are holding you all aren’t that strong, and when we move you all to different places of the building, we won’t purposely do a good job with the knots. To each one of you we will give a clue of the location of the meeting and of the keys of your car Ms. Darrows. Of course, if you haven’t provided bullet proof glass to your car, all that was needed was to use a rock or something else so you would be able to get access to your clothes, phones and etceteras that we will lock inside as we leave. So the first to get herself free will have to help all the others before... who knows? Perhaps you can call the police before the meeting..., but I doubt it. In any case, you will manage to survive the night...’
Alex’s tears were now of joy and even Pamela was relieved (although she did manage to hide it from the others), and Kate and Suzanne were the firsts to be removed from the room. The younger captor, who had taken Kate, was the first to return and she chose Alex to follow her. This left Maureen to deal with Pamela...
She heard a commotion, something like a fight and things being broken or smashed and then silence. Everything has been silent for at least half an hour. Then she heard them approaching. The sisters, and one of them (the older) looked like she had just... fought with Pamela. Jen didn’t even thought about what could mean for her if she was right, her only concern was her cousin’s health at the moment.
The older one now had bruises, her T-shirt was torn in two places and was that a black eye? The younger one looked at her, understood what Jen was thinking right away and chuckled. There was no malice or the like in that chuckle, she was genuinely amused.
‘Don’t worry, the lunatic you call cousin is alright, she’s a bit tied up at the moment (and upside down), but otherwise fine. We told her that she was going to be (eventually) able to free herself or be freed by one of the other girls, all she had to do was to cooperate with us and we leave you so we could deal with our ‘smarty’ client on our terms. And what did she do? She tries to beat my sister with the excuse ‘can I use the toilet?’! NUTS!!! Isn’t she?’
Jen couldn’t help but nod at the woman’s remark. She hadn’t heard anything that made her believe that they were killing the girls and her curiosity was killing her, what those two were going to do with them? Now that she had heard the woman, and knew that they at least intended to let them go, she tried to regain her composure.
‘Just nod for ‘Yes’ and shake your head for ‘No’, ok? We have to go now, and we want a time to deal with the ********* that hired us. And then we’re going to disappear up in smoke, to vanish completely. And we don’t want to waste our time by stopping at some payphone and call the cops to free you and the others. Because thanks to your cousin we did a good job with all the others and they won’t gonna be able to free themselves. You on the other hand... We can make you able to free yourself and the others in one hour, but only if you follow some rules. Or we can make you able to free the others tomorrow morning, since we’re going to knock you out cold and then cut your bonds. What shall will be? Will you follow the rules... or take a forced nap? Smart choice...’
995..., 996..., 997..., 998..., 999... ONE THOUSAND!
She tested her bonds again. Since she had started to count it was the 3rd time she checked. No slack. And now she was supposed to worm her way to the pairs of scissors they had left on the other side of the room. She had followed her part of the deal; she had not fought or tried anything stupid when they released her from the chair, she had allowed them to bind her ankles and wrists (both crossed) and was gagged and blindfolded with blue scarves.
Now she knew that the scissors were at about fifty feet on her right (they had moved her to a room in the basement after they had let her use the toilet), and there was someone making a metallic noise somewhere near her. Like she (whoever she was) was beating something metallic against a pipe, to sign her position. It had been really disturbing for her to count to one thousand with it hitting your brain every ten to fifteen seconds.
She couldn’t stand on her feet due to the crossed ankles and had to make very slow and calculated moves, and trying that she was covering all her body with a tick layer of dust and (perhaps) mud in the process, for what seemed a whole hour.
The she felt it, a blade, and the handler... It took her a few more minutes and some juggling from her part, but she eventually managed to free her hands, then she freed her eyes and her mouth, and cursed. There was a clean bath towel with a clean set of panties on top of it lying atop a stool on a side wall, and a note was attached to the towel, they were suggesting that she cleaned herself before she went to freed the others.
She looked at her mud/dirt/dust covered torso and ruined underwear and, reluctantly, did as they ‘suggested’. Then she went to check on the sound. The hallway and rooms in the basement area of the complex were as dimly lit as upstairs, so at first she didn’t recognized what she was seeing. It looked like a giant sausage tied to a vertical pipe but with two hands holding a bar and hitting another pipe which run horizontally a few feet above the sausage. Then she understood, it was one of the captives. She had been bound inside a large sack (or something that could pose as one) with only her hands showing outside.
Whoever she was, she wasn’t holding the bar because she wanted to. It was taped to her hands, and the woman inside the sack shrieked when she felt Jen’s hand removing the tape and the bar from her hands. But it came out too muffled.
With some noncooperation of the blades of the scissors, Jen was able to cut the ropes that held the sack closed and tied to the pipe. It was one of the mysterious women that had been captured with her client, the older one. They had tied her ankles and knees together, then they had passed a rope around her waist and tied her wrists together and to that rope. They finished her up by tape gagging and blindfolding her.
Jen warned her that it was going to hurt and ripped the tape off, the woman’s anxiousness was more focussed in Jen’s client than in her own situation. Jen calmed her down and together they freed her and went to look for the others.
They found the woman’s secretary, Alexandra, bound to and atop a table in the kitchen. The same ropes that held her ankles, thighs and arms (bound to the torso in at the wrists & thighs and forearms & chest) immobile and together ran from one side through under the table top until it reappeared on the other side. She had stopped crying a long time ago and according to what she said, the younger one had been really gentle and kind to her as she restrained her to the table, so she was no longer on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
As soon as they entered the room in which their client was being held the older woman of the trio run to her side and started to free her, Jen looked at Alex who nodded and went to help her boss. Kate was taped (from neck to toe at regular intervals) to a thin yet very sturdy column in what once had been a deposit. It took them a while to ungag her.
‘Pamela! Where’s Pamela? We need to find her!’
And as they tried to remove the tons of tape that kept her still, Kate explained to them that their captors had taped Pamela’s car keys on her hands, and that their clothes were locked inside it, so they had to find Pamela in order to be able to put on some clothes before they called the police. And the cellphones were with their clothes and purses...
While Suzanne and Alex kept trying to freed Kate from the column, Jen went to look for her cousin. Nothing in the ground floor, or in the basement, or in the first and second floors or even in the storage facility. Where was she?
She met the other free girls at the bas of the stairs and Alex and Kate shown that they were incommoded with their lack of coverage against the chill of the night (most of the windows of the building were either broken or without glasses), so they decided to split in pair which would make them able to re-check the whole place more rapidly.
Jen went with Kate to look upstairs while Kate and Suzanne got the ground floor and basement. At the first floor they split and Alex went to check directly the second floor. On the farthest and most isolated room of the floor Alex found an entrance to the attic and called Jen, they went to investigate and found Pamela hanging upside down from a beam on the roof of the attic with her head and part of the upper side of her torso touching the floor, it was such a small room in height that Alex and Jen had no other choice but kneel and crawl through the room to reach her. It was even more dimmed than the others, but at least there was no cold wind against their bare flesh.
Besides the elaborate and bulky mass of ropes that held her attached to the beam, her only other bonds were a single strand of rope around her waist that held her crossed wrists at the small of her back. But there was an unexpected problem.
For a moment Jen wondered where those two ****** who had put them all in that situation had managed to find a pair of boxing gloves to tape them to Pamela’s wrists, but then she remembered that she saw some boxes at the storage deposit in the back of the building, and ‘Mann’ used to be a synonym for sports equipment until a few years back. And every now and then people still invaded the facility to look for ‘free stuff’, even if the ‘stuff’ was in a very bad shape like those gloves, they might not be able to be used in a fight, but were more than enough to trap Pamela’s hands.
They had used so much tape around her mouth that both Alex and Jen, with Pamela’s approval, decided to focus on her hands. The knot holding her hands against her back was easy to deal with, but they had to unwrap separately all the tape holding the gloves in place, and it was a lot of tape! They removed the gloves and found that something like a plastic bag had been taped to her left hand with the keys inside it.
After a few minutes Alex left the attic with the keys in her hands while Jen helped Pamela to free herself, and after about fifteen minutes (when Pamela felt her legs strong enough to stand on her own) the two left the attic.
By that time Kate, Alex and Suzanne had redressed and had already called the cops. They helped Jen to help Pamela to get on the ground floor (after they had put their clothes back on) almost at the same time that the first patrol car appeared at the facility.
Only then the women remembered about the clues that the killers had left with them, and it turned out to be the local address of the CEO of the company to whom Kate worked for...
‘...And that’s all. We had to kill him. He knew our names and contacts, and had hired those four guys to kill us! And had hired us after he deliberately... Well you know what he did!’
Indeed they did. How couldn’t they, given the coverage the story had received?
How twenty years ago the CEO of a chemical company had decided that ‘dispose’ of the highly toxic (carcinogenic) waste of one of his facilities by simply burying it on a remote place, how houses had been built on that same place and the deadly and tragic consequences that followed. The CEO’s decision on how to try to avoid (bribes all around) and handle (‘apocrypha’ campaigns of intimidation and smears) the following lawsuits were specially targeted by the TV channels.
Then comes Kate, a relatively young and very talented executive of the same company, that discovers all the CEO’s actions and, after some struggling with her conscience, decides to help the plaintiffs and has her decision outed by the company’s illegal methods of protection of their data. And the CEO hires two killers to kill her and the PIs she had hired to help her give stronger evidences to the plaintiffs.
Then Jen’s late work, with what she and Pamela had managed to discover using Kate’s data as a base, made somehow (here were many different explanations rolling over the TV and web) the killers not fulfill their contract and go question their client in person after they had restrained their captives in a remotely located abandoned facility, and after that things were unclear. The only that seemed sure was that the killers had escaped, after killing the CEO, two of his bodyguards and three felons (with big rap sheets) with no real explanation for their presence at the CEO’s residence other than that they had been hired (as it seemed) to kill the killers after they did their job.
The women had been able to provide facial composites which were in the papers and all over town, fingerprints and DNA that (possibly) belonged to them were being analyzed and the circus that had been created with the whole affair was going to last for a long while until it faded to obscurity, if it faded anyway. They had disappeared.
‘Just for the record, how do you managed to look so different than the faces on the TV?’
‘There’s always the possibility that someone see us, some camera record us or the likes. So we use those gloves with homeless people’s fingerprint along with regular leather gloves in our works, and we never go fulfill a contract without spending two hours masking our facial features, like we did this time. Wigs, lens, some cream to clear a little the color of our skin and a small flattening of our noses and... it worked, as you can see.’
The woman stood and walked out of the room with Zeke, they had a private chat for a few minutes and they returned with Maureen and one of their thugs in tow. She was as bound as Nora and ungagged as well. While the woman helped Maureen to sit on a chair that the thug had brought to the room, Zeke cut most of Nora’s bonds.
Maureen looked at her little sister who had just mouthed to her ‘Are you alright?’, she nodded and made the same question and, after Nora nodded as well, she mouthed ‘I’ll handle this’ to which Nora nodded as well.
‘Girls... you know that you are ruined for a while. Honestly I doubt that someone might hire you even given the fact that your last employer did try to kill you, and believe me that proofs of that will be on the papers ‘til the end of the week, so at least for a while you both are ‘on ice’. But I have a business proposition for you...’
‘We’re all ears...’
‘Have you ever heard of the Duchess?’
NEARLY HALF AN YEAR LATER
In the end it seemed a good idea to Maureen hide the money there. While she was with her first three captives in that one story building she had, at irregular intervals, made some rounds in the building to check if there was no one but the three bound dames with her.
She had found the dentist’s purse with her address and keys inside it. Hours later, after they had killed the scumbag that had hired them and the others, they decided that they needed a place to hide the money he was supposed to pay them with. So they broke inside her house and hid it inside some boxes in the basement of the house.
Afterwards they had been captured by Zeke’s men, who had been paid by Deborah to play the ‘mad at them’ role he had played (and who could knew that Zeke was such a good actor?), and they had accepted Debs’s proposal.
To be part of the Duchess’s Punishment Squad (her private killers).
The funny part was that, so far, they had not murdered no one. OK, they had killed three people, but all were classic ‘self-defense’ examples. Seven against two shooting full clips at them (and having been the ones that started it all), a guy who had nothing to lose and went running at them at full speed while shooting frenzy and that ******* that had put a gun against the Duchess’s favorite ‘plaything’ and tried to use her as shield...
They used their skills more to intimidate who knew who they were or help the Duchess’s plans, Nora had already lost the count of how many tires of vehicles in motion they had shot at or how many ‘warning shots’ they had made in these few months.
They had already made some friendships and near-unfriendlinesses with some people of the Duchess’s organization. Like Debs herself, who was crazy, loyal and fun to be with (even with those ‘sub’ girls that she kept around her all the time); Marshall was quiet, a bit freaky with his uncanny and unbelievable ability of his, but he was a Lakers’ fan like them; JJ Jordan and his great jokes, fun loving attitude and agility; and there was ‘Cinnamon’ who kept trying to make one of them her new ‘girlfriend’...
But finally they had a mission on that town, simple stuff (provide back-up for an exchange that almost went bad when the –deeply stupid- other part tried to rob and kill the Duchess’s representative...) that they had closed with a couple of shots at one feet from the head of the would-be-thieves, and they had been allowed to get their money back.
It was too simple, given the fact that the dentist had not improved her security and didn’t even had changed the secret code of her security system!
Of course, they had to deal with the policewoman that was there to protect the important witnesses of the most famous case of the year. They had left her struggling impotently on the floor of the hallway leading to the kitchen (she was in the middle of a midnight snack when they entered), hogtied in the buff a bit loosely with twine and a pair of socks inside her mouth being held by a bandana. Since they had bee quick and silent the lovely pair of Suzanne and Kate had not awakened yet as they entered they room...
Now Nora was cinching a knot that would keep Suzanne’s feet lashed to one of the front feet of the bed while Maureen, always the faster one, was just checking the tape gag over Kate’s lips. Although now they were wearing masks and gloves, both women recognized them as their former captors (and would-be-killers) and freaked out a little.
They would later read on the papers that the reason of their attack had not been discovered (and never would be). As a consequence of their visit, the protection around them was improved greatly and both ended up gaining new identities.
Nor Maureen nor Nora ever met Alex, Pamela and Jen again, which didn’t meant that any of the three women didn’t managed to meet other members of the Duchess’s organization.