The First Betrayal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mmmppphhh?’ – the bound blonde beauty turned to her right and waited for the answer of the equally stringently and exquisitely bound (and gagged) black beauty, who shook her head vehemently and (after a quick look at the one who had ‘provoked’ their reaction)...

 

‘MMMMMPPPPHHHHMMMMBBBBLLLMMM!!!!’

 

‘Hmmm, yes, that’s more like it!’ – said the other black woman in the room.

 

Helen Troy was fuming mad at the trio in front of her.

 

Alright, she had... sort of... deserved the girls’ giggles and all... Right? She had been too... intense(?), ok she got carried away, in her narrative and had overdid and had decided to show them the sound she had made when she felt that someone was trying to pry her eyes from their sockets... and ended up with a laughable ‘mmpppffftt’... But Ada was going to pay in kind for that gleaming twinkle in her lovely eyes!

 

And so would Ella! Oh YES!!!

 

Severina, of course, was not in her vengeance plans...

 

If Helen was a great hand-to-hand fighter, and she really was!, two or three ‘Helens’ would get a sound beating from Severina! And she knew it very well... So only the two captive beauties in front of her would pay for their amusement at her expenses...

 

WHAT???!!! Severina was hugging her from behind..., damn!

 

When would she be able to not be taken by surprise by that big girl’s stealthiness?

 

Sshhhh... no vengeance plans for you having them as its recipients ok? OK?’

 

The hug got a bit too tight and she was lightly shaken by the taller, stronger and younger woman behind. Sigh... she nodded and got a kiss on the left cheek.

 

 

 

‘Now... the whole ‘job’ went on as planned, you got in and out and no one realized it, you got what your client wanted you to get and you all went back to your second hideout one and a half hours away from your target, right?’

 

‘Yes...’

 

‘You decided to take a bath, Cath and Aileen watched some TV and Vicky checked if what you have taken was really what you were hired to take, you got out of the bath, opened that French wine’s bottle you had reserved for the occasion and all four drank it...’

 

‘And I awoke in darkness, bound and gagged as well and feeling a pair of fingers roaming around my face and trying to remove the blindfold from me, but Vicky had long nails and I felt it dearly when she picked the edge of the bandage...’

 

And to her surprise, once again!, she was easily spun around by Severina who placed both hand over her shoulders and, with a genuine smile in her face, asked:

 

‘And what happened next?’

 

Helen looked at her, and then at the captive girls... Sigh, Ada would pay... but not today nor tomorrow. Ella would pay too, eventually and when Severina was definitely not around...

 

She decided to tease the trio a little and grabbed a glass of water before resuming her tale.

 

 

 

 

 

What a hot day it was! A perfect day for that kind of photoshoot... The old ‘kidnapped bikini babes bound and gagged in the backyard’ stuff... Severina’s favorite.

 

Severina, like most of the women she knew, was hetero (she favored bearded & yeti-like guys!) but had an ‘itch’ for tying up gals that she had never exactly managed to ‘scratch’ properly. Until they had met a couple of years back when Helen suddenly found herself in need of a quick help and couldn’t wait for the usual backup arrive from the US, Canada or Europe. She was in the Triple Frontier and needed local (Brazilian or Argentinean or Paraguayan or even Bolivian!) help. One of her contacts told her about a gal, 6’4” and lean and athletic as a basket or volleyball player. A quick negotiation through a secure line and three hours later they met for the first time at the local airport.

 

Severina’s unique fighting style was a mix of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, capoeira, tae-kwon-do and who knows what else, and it was very helpful in the following hours. Four jobs together later she first heard of Severina’s ‘itch’, but only after Severina saved her life in Lima is that she (Severina) found enough courage to ask Helen if she could ‘scratch it’... with Ada.

 

Severina had no specific racial preferences, she enjoyed bondage movies, magazines and sites (and mainstream media scenes) with women of all kind of color and shape, but she did particularly enjoyed seeing black goddesses strictly restrained and helpless.

 

And as Ada was the ‘Black Venus’, in both Helen and Severina’s points of view...

 

So, under Helen’s presence and supervision, Severina tied up and gagged Ada and took about a hundred different pictures. And an old dream of the couple suddenly was fulfilled... Neither Helen nor Ada were great photographers, sure they could take pictures properly and effectively, but both women longed to meet someone (that they did not necessarily needed to hire) that could extract the maximum of Ada’s ‘captive beauty’ with professional lens...

 

And that person was Severina.

 

From that day they had met every other month at their house in Florianópolis, Severina was even allowed to ‘be in charge’ of Ada while Helen was out of the country on a more lengthy job if her own agenda allowed it, and had already taken thousands of pictures and dozens of mini-movies (making copies of every single one of them for the couple), of Ada in every imaginable damsel-in-distress scenario... for free!

 

For her turn Ella was a (very good) Swedish sharpshooter in her early thirties who worked semi-exclusively for an European syndicate, under the cover of a travelling consultant of one of its legitimate business. Not even her husband or their four kids (two sets of twin boys) knew about her real activities, much less the Interpol.

 

She could be hired by a selected list of groups and persons (approved by the syndicate), as long as the ‘job’ in question did not damaged her primary source of income’s interests or possessions. Almost ten months before Helen, who was on that list, had needed her services and after that Ella had been a guest at her home. Severina was there too and, after four lame excuses of accidental snoops from Ella’s part as Ada writhed mummified against a pole in the basement, Severina and Helen cornered her and asked what was going on (as if it wasn’t obvious for them and Ada...), and Ella admitted that she had always wanted to ‘give a try’ to bondage, but to her husband that was just plain weirdness from her part...

 

Ella’s ‘debut’ lasted five long and very enjoyable hours for all four women involved... the first of many. They soon developed a more personal than business relationship.

 

Five days before a job in Venezuela ended up really bad, at least two dozen corpses and a lot of attention from the media, the local and international police and other unwanted parts, and Ella’s bosses told her to not come home and lay low somewhere safe.

 

Helen and Ada (and the others) welcomed her and, after learning what had happened in Maracaibo, Ada phoned Severina and begged her to drop by...

 

The first days were dedicated to soothe Ella and put her at ease (without she participating in any of the photo-shoots that Ada was subjected to, but as part of the ‘attendance’), and in that morning Ella told them her (much more complete) version of what had happened, serious doublecrosses abound!, with Ella spending most of the action locked in her birthday suit (and tied and gagged with strips of dirty blankets) inside a stolen car (she only took part of the last killing) and thus the subject of the day’s conversations became ‘betrayal’.

 

Severina told a couple of stories that had happened with her, Jada (while giving a massage to Ella and afterwards to Helen) told another, even Clarice da Silva (one of the housemaids and as the others an ex-con) told them in a slightly broken and even less paused English her most intense experience with ‘the subject’ (and talk about ‘intense’!), and Helen was sort of coerced to tell them when it was the first time that she had to deal with treason... as Ella was allowed to take part in the ‘Beach Bunny(ies) Bondage Ball’ planned for that evening.

 

So the ‘would-be-captives’ put on string bikinis, Severina took a few ‘before the action’ shoots of the pair, then she tied their hands behind their back and used a thick white scarf to cleavegag them, a few more pictures were taken with Ada managing to make much better ‘frightened beach bunny’s eyes’ than Ella, and then Severina reduced them to their current hogtied situation, under the shade of course since Ella didn’t wanted a ‘funny’ tanning, and plastered many strips of black electrician tape over their gags and lips as Helen told them as much as her professionalism allowed her to about the case...

 

Could it have happened so long ago? Over fifteen years before!

 

 

 

 

Back then she was starting to establish her reputation and had not yet formed a ‘gang’ of her own, she was looking for it though, so she usually went after the best she could find available in a 200 mile radius every time she had a job. It was her first big job, half a million dollars in non-sequential bills of tens and twenties plus a sizable bonus if the job was made in less than a month... so she went for the best she could find:

 

Victoria (Vicky) Yeats was a former law student and a great pro-driver, a bit skinny and with a horrible lion’s tattoo that covered most of her back, she was the kind of people you don’t notice until she tapped your shoulder. From what she had heard of her from her contacts, Helen thought that she was reliable and trustworthy;

 

Catherine (Cath) Monet was a better safe-cracker than Helen could ever be, not very good with guns though, and was only 4’4” tall with a long black heir that she always kept in a ponytail. There was some hush-hush concerning her friendships (all bad reputed guys that you only worked with if strictly necessary, watching your back all the time) but nothing that was specifically about Cath herself, thus she gave the girl a try... and;

 

Aileen Jamison was a stuntwoman by day and ‘Jane-of-all-trades’ for hire by night, she was the one with whom Helen could have became great friend, if Helen’s radar hadn’t alerted her of the falsehood behind her forced smiles and puns and the likes. To the others she kept crediting it to the obvious nervousness that the medical issues (cancer) of Aileen’s younger sister, Sam, had brought to her, so she told them to not be too firm with Aileen. The military haircut brunette was about an inch taller than Helen, but apparently she was not in such a good shape as Helen. Just the result of a special training that allowed her to pass (with a wig and the likes) for most of the women she impersonated for her line of work, she actually ran the San Francisco Marathon every year since her 19th birthday.

 

They met in ******* and started the planning. From their first meeting to the action it took less than a half a month. They got inside that big bucks law firm, grabbed the documents wanted by their client and took pictures of them and left, just providing the suitable replacements for them took a week alone, then they returned and made the switch, leaving (again) the building without the supposedly ‘the best the money can hire’ private security dudes knowing that they had been there (twice). After she took a well deserved bath she grabbed that Merlot bottle, opened it and served to the girls, they toasted and...

 

‘I had been blindfolded with a thick black cloth, not a scarf or the likes (I’d later find out that it, like most of my other bonds and the gag, had been ripped from something like a huge towel), and the knot (like all others) was very tight. Vicky’s nails in my eyes were the consequence of she trying to remove the blindfold without having a clear view of me. All four of us had been bound in a way that our crossed hands were stuck at the small of our backs so she was doing it by intuition rather than observation. But, after waking me up with her painful and fumbled efforts she actually managed to remove it from over my eyes and I could see the trouble I was...’

 

‘‘I’? and what about the others?’

 

‘We were all bound and gagged, stripped to our panties... BUT, only I had been bound in a different manner than the others, there were no visible signs of forced entry, I remembered that the wine tasted weirdly instants before I succumbed to whatever was in it and, most important, there was no way that (our plight) could be the result of an ‘outside’ job... And before you ask me, let me remind you that people call me paranoid. I always take precautions to avoid such outcomes, and that time it hadn’t been any different.’

 

The look in their eyes, ‘Like I did not knew that’ in neon lights of 200.000watts!, oooohhh, they were SO going to pay for it!!! ALL three of them!!!!

 

‘But, as I was saying, I knew that I had been double-crossed the moment I realized that I was the only one that was anchored to something. And with my legs crossed...’

 

‘Excuse-me but... why does it ‘proved’ anything to you?’

 

‘One of the stories we shared during that ‘pizza and TV night’ reunion we had as we waited for the ‘replacements’ to be made, two days before that night remember?, was one in which Vicky told us that once she had been betrayed by a then boyfriend, who actually had found a new girlfriend but needed her skills for a job, and had to worm her way tied up and gagged and naked through ‘2 hundred yards of mud’ until she reached her cars keys (which she used to get free). Aileen then told us about a time when her sister somehow convinced her to allow herself to be tied up, something about a bet if I recall, and how she failed so miserably to move from a room to another in less than twenty minutes. Lastly Cath told us about a job where she (in order to provide an alibi for herself) had to allow her partners to tie her up as tightly and convincingly as they had with the real customers of a jewelry shop they stole. So when it was my turn I was sort of ‘coerced’ to tell them about this job, one of the very first I ever did, in which me and a gal whose name I never got (the guy who had hired us called her ‘White’, I was ‘Green’) also in order to provide an alibi to ourselves had to allow our partners to tie us up as realistically as possible...’

 

‘And...?’

 

‘And unlike in the stories of my partners, I had managed to ‘hop to freedom’ in less than five minutes. I could have pretended to be as helpless as ‘White’, but then we both saw a buxom and near naked babe (she was only with a skirt and a bra) trying to worm her way to outside the building and we had to pretend the same stuff. When she saw that my efforts were more... productive than her own she sort of relaxed, so I managed to break a vase that stood next to the door I was supposed to try to open, then I got myself free, freed ‘White’ and we both had a little ‘problem’ freeing her. By the time the cops were called, we had managed to give our partners a better advantage than the one they would have if we had kept pretending to be truly helpless... and from them on we talked about other jobs, but they all knew that unlike them I was good in moving around while bound and gagged...’

 

‘I see... and you were the only one who was anchored to something...’

 

‘Exactly, and with my legs crossed.’

 

‘Crossed?’

 

‘Like if Dominic Wolfe had tied them, lots of white rope from below my crossed knees to above the ankles. The only rope used to bind us was used on me and to ensure that I wasn’t going anywhere! I swear, there were about a dozen or more knots making sure that I would not be able to move an inch away from the door of the room!...’

 

‘The door?... o que foi Ana Maria?’

 

The youngest of the housemaids was holding a phone in her right hand, it was a call for Severina from one of her contacts. While she answered it Helen took her time and tickled both bound women in their respective most sensitive spots, the base of the spine for Ella and under the breasts for Ada, and made a few ‘treats’ to them that brought more daring looks of ‘Oh yeah?’ or ‘Don’t you dare!’ than the frightened eyes expected if she really meant what she said. When Helen stood up Severina was standing right behind her, with a knowing glance that said it all, then her eyes became more professional.

 

‘Bad news... I have to be in São Paulo tonight, so I have but one more hour at best to enjoy your hospitality...’ – Then she turned to the captives – ‘I am truly sorry, but I won’t gonna be around to protect you two from these evil clutches...’ – and she held Helen’s hands in her bigger ones and made such a phony ‘sorry’ look in her face!

 

Both Ella and Ada made ‘desperate mewls’ as their eyes said otherwise...

 

‘Oh, stop it! Ana Maria...’ – and Helen gave the orders to have Severina’s belongings ready for the trip as Severina knelt and checked each woman’s bonds and, as expected, she gave her hostess a reprimand due to the damage the intensity of wriggling and jerking she had inflicted upon the girls had caused on her knots and bonds... she tightened some here and there, added a few more ropes and finished patting them on the top of their heads.

 

‘Well, my ankles had been tied to the sturdy knob of the sturdier door, I was lying on my belly on the floor and I couldn’t see much other than her nails, at first, and her back. She was moving her fingers wildly and twisting her body so she could see me. Even being well gagged as I was she managed to make understand that she wanted to take my gag off, so I risked my face to a few scratches (as painful as I thought that they would be) but she managed to remove the gag, I spat the ball of cloth that had been used as a packing and, in a very hoarse voice, told her to not move her hands and move her body backwards. I chewed on the cloth and set her hands free after a few minutes. Her arms took a little longer, but in about fifteen minutes we were all free. And I was determined to find who among those three was the traitor, so I told them to follow me...’

 

‘Let me guess, whatever were those documents they were gone...’

 

‘Yes, but I did not went to look for them at first, I went to the garage with them in tow. As I sort of hoped and expected, whoever was/were the traitor’s partner(s), he/she/them had tied us up and stole the documents and our guns, but did not searched if I had spare guns or the likes, along with a few rolls of duct tape...’

 

‘Excuse-me?’

 

‘There was this box in the garage I opened it and grabbed a roll of tape which I threw to Aileen’s hands, then I grabbed a gun and pointed at them. Of course, when I voiced my suspicions they all protested and were quite sincere with it. But then I made a deal, if there was a traitor among us then her share would be split between the other two but..., if I was just being paranoid and none of them had betrayed me then, from my own pocket, I would pay to each of them ten times what I had promised and if my suspicions caused a delay that made me lose the opportunity to regain the documents, then I would pay them the double of what I had just promised. Cath looked at me and said ‘You better have the money ready!’ and turned around, offering her crossed wrists to Aileen. Soon all three stood at my feet, taped at the ankles and wrists and with two strips of tape over their lips...’

 

‘Did you have to gag them too?’

 

‘I thought that I saw something as Cath turned around, and I did not wanted them to talk among themselves, who knows? There might not been just one traitor, right? So I left them alone in a corner of the empty garage, our SUV was gone too..., and went to the other corner. It turns out that, like all the hideouts I’ve ever chosen for me, I had built a fake wall inside it, in this case it was in the garage. So I opened the fake wall, my three half-naked captives’ eyes pulled out from their socket, and took a laptop from inside it. Back then wireless technology was not what is it today, so I had to fumble with some wires before I could turn it on. Then I checked a few things and saw my suspicions arose...’

 

‘...’

 

‘What?’

 

‘Nothing... you were saying?’

 

‘Did you just mouthed...’

 

‘Nothing, I did not say (or mouth) anything... YOU were saying?’

 

‘Humph, anyway, I saw my suspicions arousing and decided to play it cool... So I grabbed an utility knife, also from inside the fake wall, and walked back to my captives, I set Cath free and told her to do the same with Vicky, but also to leave the tape on Aileen untouched since she was the traitor. Then as Cath demanded some proof I told them to help Aileen hop to the closest necessary to the laptop, wire limitations (remember?), as I prepared the show for them. So with a tight grip and bad faces they helped Aileen to stand and hop, and I turned the laptop to them and showed them...’

 

‘You had the house wired?’

 

‘With cameras and mikes, and because of that I had a great image of Aileen opening the fridge, grabbing the bottle of wine and, with a syringe with a long needle, injecting the drug into the bottle through the cork. Then we drank the wine and two masked guys entered the house and stripped and bound our drugged selves and robbed us. Still holding the laptop with one hand and arm I ripped the tape off of her lips and Aileen started speaking right away. It turns out that she had not betrayed me out of greed...’

 

‘No?’

 

‘No. Her sister wasn’t facing some breast cancer threat, Sammy had actually been kidnapped and in exchange for a healthy return Vicky had been forced to spy on us. But, albeit being far more convincing than the usual, I knew that she was hiding something...’

 

‘There was no kidnapping?’

 

‘Yes there was, she told me the password for her e-mail account and there they were: daily e-mails of a girl wearing a white tank top, that got dirtier as the days passed, and a black bikini bottom sitting and tied to a three-legged stool with a new newspaper on her lap and a new gag everyday, most of the time she was cleave gagged but in some she appeared tape gagged. Basically the e-mails were daily proofs of her well being, the most lengthy e-mails carried her instructions; she was to help me as planned, help them rob me and then report on what I was going to do after being robbed. I can’t tell you gals what the documents were about, but I can tell you that she was supposed to play along and point me (if necessary) to the wrong direction and such for one more week, by that time her sister’s captors’ boss would have made good use of the documents and her sister would have been set free...’

 

‘And she believed in it?’

 

Me and the other two interrogated her thoroughly for about an hour, and at least when she talked about her sister’s plight she was being truly sincere, and she was that naive and desperate to believe in the captors’ word. Oh yes, I was forgetting..., since it was getting a bit cold, I told Cath to go to our rooms and grab some ‘working clothes’ for us (including Aileen), she returned still undressed but carrying a small pile of clothes a few minutes later and told us that all the guns (including the one whose existence she had hid from me) had been stolen as well but I told her not to worry... and about five seconds later, as she and Vicky were asking me why, Aileen got mail...’

 

‘Oh come on!’

 

‘I swear... that was what happened. Instead of a newspaper in her lap, Sam was sitting besides a TV and thus there were a few vidcaps of a movie that was airing at that moment in a local TV channel... ironically (<giggle>) guess what was the movie?’

 

‘...?’

 

‘‘The Vampire Bat’ with Fay Wray...’

 

‘Is that the one were she ends up bound and gagged inside a lab of a mad scientist?’

 

‘Yep that one, true, the pics did not showed that part of the movie, and if the e-mail had not mentioned the movie’s name we would have not been able to identify it, at least at that time I surely wouldn’t have been able to... I would only see the movie about nine months later, but we’re getting away from the point... So in order to proof that the pictures had but minutes of existence they had taken them with a TV next to their captives. They said that she was to report ASAP back to them, replying to the e-mail, and say what was going on in the house. Looks like she was supposed to have already phoned them telling how things had gone after we untied ourselves... later I would find out that Aileen put three times the dose of narcotic she was originally supposed to, we slept for over three hours instead of less than just one... she was an amateur at that...’

 

‘So what you did?’

 

‘I answered the e-mail saying that I (Aileen that is) had put too much narcotic in the wine (Yes it was true but I had no way of knowing it at the time), and that ‘Helen’ was checking the house looking for any clues or hidden mikes or the likes. Since Aileen was, supposedly, the one that knew most about the web (she wasn’t a real hacker but was good enough to do some of their stuff anyway) she (I) said that Aileen was supposed to make a search in my clients’ opponents contacts and see what I could find while Vicky and Cath called their contacts to see who could have been hired to rob us. I told Cath to guard Aileen while me and Vicky went to search something upstairs in the house, as soon as we entered my room I told her to close the door and opened the closet, she looked a bit quizzical but obeyed...’

 

 

 

 

 

This time the phone was for Helen, something about the surveillance over their next job in the ‘Bible Belt’ in the US, Helen left the trio alone and went to the library in order to talk more openly and check a few data. It took her over forty minutes to return...

 

...and find her guests/friends and Ada gone.

 

A powerful whistle drew her attention to the pool and there they were, lying in the bottom of the empty (empty? Whose idea... Severina’s, it had to be Severina’s, of course...) swimming pool, and the captives were now topless, and posing as a triumphant and gloating captoress between the writhing duo was Jada in a white in yellow dots bikini...

 

‘You know that this is MY house, don’t you?’

 

‘You were taking so long..., and Jada was looking divine in this bikini... so I thought...’

 

‘I’ll send you the bill for the water YOU just wasted...’ – then she turned to Jada who was tying the kneeling duo together – ‘...You DO know that she’s going to have a quick ‘turnaround-is-fair-play’ shoot before she leaves, right?’

 

‘No, she’s not. Not (...humpf!) today at least! Stop trashing you two! Severina has to take the cab in twenty! As soon as I finish she can start the last part of today’s shooting!’

 

Busy as she was Jada failed to see the mouthed exchange between Severina and her boss: ‘Twenty minutes?’, ‘More like thirty’, ‘And Jada?’, ‘You take the pictures and send to my house in Miami’, ‘Miami?’, ‘Don’t ask... and use white tape on the three of them...’.

 

‘You heard the gal, Helen, I have a cab to take in twenty...’

 

Janete will take you to the airport in time... now, where was I?’

 

‘You and Vicky left Cath guarding Aileen, went to your bedroom. Cath closed the door and you opened the closet and then....?’

 

‘Although the laptop in the garage had access to the cameras and mikes I had placed around the house, their original control center was inside that closet... Yeah, that idea of mine is that old... anyway, I turned on the sound and video and we saw Cath threatening Aileen’ sister’s life if she (Aileen) did not  followed her instructions...’

 

‘So she was really one of the kidnappers...?’

 

‘As if the timing of the kidnappers’ e-mail to Aileen, and the body language I got from her, were not enough to get my suspicions... did I mentioned that she was not a good liar as she most likely believed that she was? I mean, she could fool 2 in 3, she was a good liar...’

 

‘But not good enough...’

 

‘Nope... so me and Vicky discussed what to do, and we agreed to play along. Cath’s lack of dexterity with and knowledge about guns were genuine, so I would give her a gun loaded with real bullets but with a little problem with its hammer... Me and Vicky would have two functioning  weapons with us... what? What’s so funny Severina?’

 

‘You kept guns in a hidden compartment in your room?...

 

‘Yes?’

 

‘And a computer (or the likes) in a hidden compartment in the closet of your room?...

 

‘Or anywhere inside the bedroom that I could use for such a purpose... and a hidden panel in the garage or basement... I had heard stories about betrayals and such when I was just a gal for hire who knew how to fight and use a gun, lots of stories at Moe’s and Big Eddie’s and Mamma Louise’s and other spots people like me hang out, and I had decided to play safe every time I had to meet partners with bad reputation, even among me and my peers, even if it cost me up to 30% of my share in the profits! True, until that night that had meant that I had spent thousands of bucks and hours of solo efforts without no real achievement...’

 

‘Until that night...’

 

‘Until that night. So..., Vicky agreed that we should give ONE weapon to Cath that she, at best, would be able to use as a baton or club. We set up a plan of action that I honestly can’t remember much about it since it wasn’t used, then we returned to the garage. I gave Cath the tampered gun and to Aileen I gave one loaded with blanks. Then we waited for the answer to my e-mail and when it came it was clear and simple. The kidnappers had decided that me and Vicky (and Cath, but only to keep her, already blown, cover on) were to be lured to a warehouse in the hills around the city, there we would be kept ‘alive and well’ for a week... so they sent the instructions on how Aileen would help them lure us to their trap.’

 

‘Wait a minute!’

 

Severina stopped the ‘smiling wickedly kidnapper’s face between her two gagged captives one’ series of pictures and stood up, she started to pace around the girls and stopped, in one moment she was holding the professional camera with both hands, then she was holding with one, then she handed it to Jada and sat in front of the trio of ‘models’...

 

‘Hidden cameras... hidden microphones... hidden guns... there’s something missing...’

 

Jada remembered the answer first, but a stern look from both Helen and Severina made her gulp back the words before she spoke them. She looked at Ada and Ella, Ada knew the answer too but Ella was puzzled and, as Severina struggled to remember the last piece of Helen’s ‘safety combo’, she checked their bonds and even scratched Ada’s nose.

 

‘That’s it!’

 

Severina stood up and was about to give out loud the answer, but Helen made the ‘silence’ signal to her and pointed at Ella who was obviously craving for it. She smiled and mouthed her finding to Helen who nodded and resumed the story...

 

‘I admit that it was quite the discovery from Aileen’s part, a phone call from one of my client’s aides made about a week before to a supposedly abandoned industrial complex near town that belonged to one of the companies of one of my client’s business rivals, and if I did know better I could have fell for it... but I didn’t. So we three; Aileen was sitting in front of us gagged, blindfolded and earplugged (besides bound); discussed the situation. It was obvious that Samantha was being held at that facility, as it was obvious that if we went there as the kidnappers wanted we would be murdered and buried before dawn... It was a away too big stuff and they, the kidnappers, couldn’t leave witnesses behind... so we set how we would do the job. Aileen would provide the plant of the facility as I went to the streets to provide us transport, preferably a SUV but at that time and place any motorized vehicle would be fine, and Vicky was to watch Cath all the time and make sure that she didn’t realized that her gun was inutile...’

 

‘But instead...’

 

‘One of the rules to get a safe house is to known the neighbors of said house. Not only because you don’t want to realize that you have a retired FBI agent as your next-door neighbor, or a convicted ‘peeping tom’ or a Gladys Kravitz-wannabe... the snoopy neighbor from ‘Bewitched’?..., but also because you will know whose house you can turn to if the need arise. In this case I had five neighbors, one of them was a single mom working two jobs to put food on her two sons’ plates and another was a divorced businesswoman that just had received the visit of her sister, her brother-in-law and their three sons (one of them was 18 and a musclebound fella)... which made my choice far more easier...’

 

‘The kids...?’

 

‘Turns out that they were sleeping at one of their friends’ house, she was all alone in her bed when I surprised her. By the time she woke up completely she was already gagged and blindfolded and I put my best ‘dreadful’ voice and said ‘do not fight and you might get a couple of hundreds for your inconvenience’... she stopped fighting and was hogtied in a matter of moments. I told her not to scream, removed her gag and made my offer. I was in need of her car for two to four hours, for each hour I used her car I would pay her one hundred dollars but... when the police was called after she freed herself or was found by someone she was to forget the part of that her attacker had used her car, or I would find her wherever she hid and she would pay in kind. And you know what she said?’

 

‘(...)?’

 

‘With a shaking voice she said ‘Lady, for five hundred bucks you can do whatever you want with that car, give me a story and I will repeat it to whoever asks me a thousand times but, please!!!, I do need five hundred dollars today!’... Actually she needed $ 512 but she had the twelve dollars with her, and nothing else in the house! So we built a story, I was to trash the place as if I had looked for money and jewels but I would leave the money inside a coffee pot under the kitchen sink. I regagged her and added more and more rope to her body, making sure that she was an human salami and that she was tethered to the bed. When I finished I decided that I had gave too much time for the girls back at the safe house so I grabbed the backpack I was carrying with me and...’

 

Ella suddenly found herself under the gaze of all four women around her, she simply shook her head with a blasé look on her face and shook her shoulders. She did not knew...

 

‘Today I would use a tablet or even a smartphone, back then it was a gizmo a bit too heavy for its size. But as I turned it on (in another room of the house) I had access to all phone calls made from and to the safe house  for up to a week before...’

 

Wiretapping! Of course, hidden mikes and cameras and wiretapping for the phones! Ella’s face said it all, ‘how could I miss that one?’, but then she looked up at Helen and had a question in her eyes, there was something missing...

 

‘In the case you are wondering if I had wired their cellphones the answer is no, simply because back then cellphones, while not being a novelty, were not exactly familiar to most (...)... I have just said that I am old, right?’ – And all four women in front of her down in the empty pool nodded synchronically! – ‘...Sigh... ANY-way... at the time be in an urban area without coverage was not unusual, so even if they had a cellphone they would have to use the landline to make the calls they needed, so I heard Cath’s call to the kidnappers, whom were none other than her ill-famed friends (whose reputations was well deserved) including a piece that made my blood boil right away...’

 

‘Something about Sam...?’

 

‘And myself and Vicky and Aileen... at some point of the call Cath bashed her buddies for not having start yet to dig the four graves planned for us...’

 

The look in their faces... probably very akin to the one she had sported that night in the dark as she listened to that despicable being’s rants and verbal abuse towards her partners...

 

‘And Samantha?’

 

‘Was to be kept alive to the very last minute... a trump card against me and my ‘stupid soft heart’ if their strategy was blown up somehow. Then I listened to Vicky’s call...’

 

Não mesmo, nem me venha com essa...!’

 

‘She was part of the scheme too, although she obviously did not knew about Cath’s real intentions towards her but was fine with the intentions towards me and Aileen...’

 

‘And Samantha...’

 

‘And Samantha.’

 

Severina said a few very low expletives in Portuguese and then nodded to Helen.

 

‘In the phone call Vicky, and afterward Cath, talked to the kidnappers and developed a strategy as to how my strike on them would be thwarted, they got very detailed so it ended up giving me their positions in the facility around dawn, which was the time that me and Vicky (after having subdued Cath) would invade the place. So I returned to the room were my latest captive was trying to access her position and chances of getting free by herself, I bent over and whispered in her ear, ‘I am sorry, but I have to make sure you will not be able to move for the next few hours’, this time I used a more gentle tone... (...)’

 

‘Stop being a tease and get to the point! What you did then?’

 

‘I returned to the house, got inside through the back door and found the trio inside the garage. Aileen had been unbound just enough time to be allowed to put on a tight black jeans trouser and a black T-shirt, then she was back to the ropes and tape which blindfolded her as good as she was gagged, thus she did not see me punching Cath and Vicky as I told them to come closer since I had something to tell them. Two quick strikes on each, close range and with all the rage I was feeling and they were out. I told Aileen that I knew about Cath and that everything was going to be alright, then I undressed the koed pair completely and sort of mummified them... what?’

 

‘You took ALL their clothes to replace it with rope and tape?’

 

‘I still had a couple of hours before dawn and I had to humiliate them a little, and it wasn’t a complete mummification, but could pass for one... by the time they were waking up it was done and they saw themselves tethered to pipes and squirming on the floor of the garage. In front of them I had placed Aileen in a kneeling hogtie and she looked as puzzled as they were, until I picked the gizmo from the backpack, put it on the floor next to Aileen and turned it on. Vicky’s reaction when she learned that a grave was being dug at that very moment specially for her were not exactly calm, so I selected her to tell me everything...’

 

‘She? Why not Aileen?’

 

‘Because they had to kidnap Samantha in order to have her working with them against me.’

 

‘While with Vicky...?’

 

‘She was owing money to the wrong people, a very bad case of gambling addiction... so all they had to do was to promise her more money than I was going to pay, much more...’

 

‘And she...?’

 

‘Hook, line and sinker. It turns out that the same aide of my client who had hired me was in the pocket of one of his business rivals, not the one that owned the abandoned facility. This rival (whose identity Vicky did not knew) had made all the arrangements in order to have the documents for himself at any price, and if by any chance the police or myself or who knows went after the mastermind behind the whole scheme...’

 

‘The trail would lead to the other rival of your client, the one that actually owned the place where you were supposed to be killed... Mas que bando de *********!’

 

‘None of us is innocent in this life, but some are really low... Aileen was honest and it showed to Cath and Vicky quite clearly when we first met, they had been already contacted by the crooked aide and wanted to see if she could or not join them. So they decided to have her sister nabbed and use her as cannon fodder. Aileen was sort of relieved to know that her sister was alive and well (or as best as she could given the circumstances), but aside for pleas for me to allow her to help me she wasn’t much useful. I did not touched Cath’s gag, it wasn’t necessary. Aileen had managed to get the plant of the facility (or had received it by mail, don’t know which), so I remembered their plan of how they would get me and decided to give Aileen a rest from the ropes and gag, I asked her if there was the risk of an overdose of the drug she had put on the wine, she said no (she had read the directions that came with the bottle of the drug) and drank another glass of wine. As she slept rather peacefully on her own bed I was already en route to the hills...’

 

‘And Vicky and Cath?’

 

‘I added enough tape to really mummify them, leaving only their hair and nostrils out and left them in the garage. The trip was uneventful and before I realized I was there... The numbers of kidnappers was four, three guys and a matron whose job was to tend to Sam’s need as minimally as possible. I was just a little below one hour earlier than they were expecting me, so two of them were still digging the graves. I came from the opposite direction they had planned for me to come, straight at them and left them writhing inside one each and went after the third guy who was supposed to be guarding the front of the facility. I left him tied to a tree and went after the matron, she ended up being the toughest to deal with since she spotted me tying her son to a tree...’

 

‘She saw you?’

 

‘The guy was her son, the other two were just business partners, and she had decided that it had been a cold night in the hills and that he was in need of a hot chocolate...’

 

‘Bad luck then?’

 

‘Plain bad luck, it happens... well, she saw me while I did not saw her so she decided to set me a trap. Sammy was being held in what had been once an office of the facility, the glasses and drapers were long gone so I could have a good look of Samantha, a good looking brunette in her early twenties, tied to a chair behind a desk that obviously had been used as a dinning table, dirty dishes and glasses and empty cans of beer were all over it, inside that office as soon as I entered the place. The machines were mostly gone save for something I never learned to what it had been built for so aside the giant pile of rust and a few pillars it was mostly an open space between the front gate and the office were she was. Her head was bent forward because she had been punched by the matron and was out cold, and besides her, behind the desk, was the matron with an AR-15 in her hands...’

 

‘A what?’

 

‘An AR-15.’

 

‘But that’s a semi-automatic rifle!’

 

‘So?’

 

‘(...)’

 

Did she had just mouthed to herself ‘Americans...’?

 

‘Well I knew that she had to be somewhere, so I was cautious all along still she almost got me. She thought that I would run straight to Sammy as soon as I saw her but I did not, so she started to get nervous and nervous until she couldn’t take it anymore... I was supposed to get inside the office through the front door so when she heard it opening she jumped from behind the desk and fired a round against the door... but I wasn’t there. While en route to the office I saw this piece of wood on the floor, it probably had been a broomstick once and I used it to open the door of the office, I had by then reasoned that the only place where the matron could be was the office and that she had somehow spotted me, so when she started to shoot I was not where she thought I was and before she could realize it, and start making treats against Samantha, I shot her in her shoulder. By then Sammy had awakened and was looking at me with crying and extremely relieved eyes, I could tell that physically she seemed fine but who knew what they had done to her?’

 

‘They had...?’

 

‘Nope, she was submitted to all sorts of verbal abuse though. But she was physically fine, I first tended to the matron’s wound after I knocked her out cold...’

 

‘(...)???!!!!?’

 

‘First she tried to grab one of my guns as I knelt on the floor to take a look at her shoulder, then she started to call some names that I haven’t heard till that moment, and it wasn’t an enlightening experience to know about them... so I punched her, hard, and then I took care of her shoulder, there was a first aid kit on the floor of the office which was useful. Then I tied her good arm to her ankles, not very tight but for all purposes she was now restrained. I set Samantha free and held her in my arms as her weeks of terror seemed to end for her. She wanted to get out of there but that wasn’t going to be the case. There was a room in the back where she had been kept most of the time, it had no windows nor lights so I decided to stash her kidnappers there but first things first...’

 

‘You got in touch with your client?’

 

‘Of course.’

 

It was well known, to all in good terms with Helen, that she never took a job if she couldn’t meet her client in person. Lackeys, aides, lawyers... could always be demanding something in the name of someone very powerful who did not knew his/her name was being used in such a way by someone supposedly trustworthy, and besides it was always important to have a fail safe telephone number that could meet Helen in direct contact with her client if it was absolutely necessary to. And when her contact with client was in cohorts with one of his/her rivals she had to report directly to him/her...

 

‘But what about Samantha?’

 

‘She was, obviously neither reasonable nor thrilled about the idea of spending a little more time in the facility, and tried to dash to the front gate of the place as soon as I allowed her to. I tackled her and I let her struggle a bit, then I made things crystal clear to her. I had no intentions to keep her as my captive, but I had to, at the very least, inform my client of the whole events of the past night. So first I would tie her up, then I would go and round all her kidnappers and put that in that dark and windowless room, then I would call my client and then I would reunite her with her sister. She started to cry once more after I promised that nothing was going to happen to her or her sister, and was kind of numb as I tied her over the desk of the office, she was now sitting on top of it with her crossed legs tied to one of the front feet of the desk while her hands were tied to one of the back ones, only as I was cinching the knots on that would keep her wrists also locked over the small of her back is that I realized that she was only wearing the tank top and the bikini bottom, so I removed my jacket and covered her with it. Forty minutes later she was still dazed, in shock actually, as I returned to the office after locking the four kidnappers and would-be-murderers in that room. She didn’t reacted as I freed her from her tethers and took her out of the office and left her on a chair about fifty yards from it, she was in plain view and I could have some privacy as I talked to my client using the landline after I was sure that it wasn’t wired...’

 

‘Some people are very careless, aren’t they?’

 

‘Very funny... Anyway I got in touch with my client, who didn’t liked one bit to be awoken at those hours but couldn’t care less about it after I explained the situation. He did not liked to know that his aide was crooked but developed a strategy, said aide was a girl and my client and her were having an item (no strings attached obviously but still...). We ended up reaching a deal after... (...) Ops! (Almost slipped...) Some things were supposed to happen in the next few days: I was supposed to run around the whole state looking for whoever had robbed me, he was supposed to be really mad at me and my ‘incompetence’ over the next week, I was going to deliver the documents to the persons he was going to send to collect the whole bunch of kidnappers/killers whom in turn would find a way to have them delivered to his hands that very day and other details that I can’t tell you guys...’

 

‘Not even all those years?’

 

‘Nope. Anyway, I was supposed to gather everybody in the facility so I had to return to the safe house and pick my other three captives. I went to Sammy and told her that I was going to take her to her sister. She started to show some emotions as I carried her bridal style to a 70’s Ford parked next to the front gates of the building, I covered her bound body in the cargo area of the Ford with a tarp after I explained that I could not risk to have her attracting unwanted attentions while en route to the safe house, she meekly nodded and I was out of the place in moments. The day had already dawned when I returned to the house, but there was still no one to see me parking the Ford inside the garage after I removed two exhausted mummies from its path. They went straight to the cargo area, then I took Sam inside and she was soon hugging her still sleeping sister, I told her what was going to happen and why and she agreed to drink the drugged wine, Cath and Vicky had no say in the matter and I returned to the facility with four sleeping beauties in the cargo area of the trunk and under a tarp and some stuff (that did not weighed too much)...’

 

‘But your neighbor’s car, and herself?’

 

‘I checked on her and she had fell asleep, then I remembered to trash her place and put the money inside the coffee pot and returned to the Ford...’

 

‘And...?’

 

‘What I can tell you guys, and that’s too much anyway, is that about one hour and a half after I returned to the facility four ambulances and two black SUVs arrived and took all my captives from me. I handed the documents (can you believe that they had not bothered to hide it? I was over the desk next to a plate with a half-eaten sandwich!) to the person that matched the physical description my client had gave me and I received all my instructions for the following week. Who I was supposed to meet... when and how. I don’t know how they managed to keep my client’s rival thinking that he had the upper hand but I played the fool chasing tails and ghosts for a week, and got royally paid for it afterwards... I know though that they used drugs to get any passwords and phone numbers needed to do that.’

 

‘And your neighbor?’

 

‘She was found around noon when she failed to go to one of her jobs and her boss, a kind lady in her sixties got worried as she couldn’t get in touch with her. So she asked for one of her co-workers to pay her a visit and she was telling the story of a ‘masked woman’ that had turned her place upside down, but fortunately had not found her secret deposit under the sink, to the police as I officially returned to the safe house one last time in a cab after I supposedly spend the night with my married beau...’

 

‘And you paid her the five hundred?’

 

‘Actually I emptied the traitors/kidnappers/killers’ wallets and put all the money on that pot under the sink. It was a bit over fourteen hundred if I am not mistaken...’

 

‘My hostess, the though-as-nails, cold-hearted and ruthless...’

 

‘Oh shut up!, I got an envelope with expense money more than enough for my needs over the next week, so I was not in need of those... crumbs(!) anyway...’

 

‘And what happened afterward?’

 

‘Don’t ask me why, but I heard that Vicky was pivotal in making the rival of my client think that he was doing well and had the real documents with him, I don’t know the details but I know it for sure, they couldn’t have fooled my client’s rival without her voluntary (yes, I said ‘voluntary’ and I mean it) help, so she got the best treatment for her gambling addiction that my client’s new aide could find and ended up working as a driver for some VIP/politician (and my client’s business associate) in Nebraska, making not a single job after she gout of wherever she was treated. Aileen and Sam got the best part of the deal, Sam got all the care she needed to put all her dreadful experience behind, plus a paid scholarship (not in an Ivy League institution but good enough), and I was told to keep Aileen’s reputation intact so when she returned to the business after needing four years to spend all the money she was paid by my client...’

 

‘She needed how much time to spend exactly how much money?’

 

‘She wasn’t a shopaholic, and if she hadn’t made a few bad investments she might never had need to work ever, but she did made those bad investments...’

 

‘The dot.com bubble?’

 

‘Yep, by the time we worked together again she was still a bit mad with herself for being so greedy, but she also was a better professional, knew a few things about fighting that she didn't knew before and was now a real deal hacker. Of her sister she did not spoke much, but I know that she lives in New Jersey and has a small business there...’

 

Cath and the others?’

 

‘By the time my client was done with them their reputations, which were never that good anyway, was done and gone for good. They ended up working for some Mafia dude in the LA area, Russian or Armenian or the likes, since NO ONE that deserved some credit would ever work with them again... It’s time isn’t it?’ – Clarice nodded as she threw some clothes to Severina who caught them in mid-air before turning to Helen...

 

‘Bye bye babes, hope we meet again soon and sooner than you may think...’

 

Severina knelt in front of the bound together captives and gave them a tight hug and kiss on the cheek over the tape gag that covered the whole of their lower faces, she then put on a Bermuda short and a blue T-shirt over the bikini she was wearing, got out of the pool and  hugged Helen and thanked her the good times she had just had and dashed to the door since she was a bit late by now... not forgetting to say bye to the other maids as she did so.

 

‘Should I start to free them before they get a weird tan?’ – asked Jada.

 

‘Actually... Jada, me and Severina had an idea as to how end this photoshoot...’

 

‘Oh no...’

 

But the roll of white tape was already in Helen’s hands, who was getting down in the pool by the stone staircase that gave access to it... and the predatory smile in her face was all that Jada, and Ella and Ada, needed to know about her intentions for the next few hours...

 

 

 

 

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