The Kidnappers That Weren’t

 

 

 

 

I had never ever seen two arrogant bitches like them. They were always late, always behind schedule and always blamed me and the other girls for their mess. They could do it since they were my boss and her private secretary, and childhood friend, and my boss was the only daughter of the company’s CEO. If it wasn’t for the predicted huge bonus at the end of the year I wouldn’t keep working in that lingerie company.

 

I thought no one could hate them more than myself.

 

Boy… was I wrong!

 

They were Vivianne Delacroix, daughter of Marie-Therese Delacroix, creator and CEO of the Delacroix, Inc.. Like her mother had been once, Vivianne was a very beautiful woman of the most classical beauty possible. A bit tall, lean, breasts not too big nor too small, always impeccably dressed even in the very rare occasions she wore something casual, a natural charm and presence and very expressive eyes. Her secretary (and some said lover too) was Tracy Wells, a New Yorker whose body was pure and explosive seductiveness, a natural blonde with piercing emerald/blue eyes, a natural 38DD pair on her chest and those legs that even Cyd Charisse would envy. Hey, I like men! And that’s why I have to agree that those two are drop-dead gorgeous girls! Ok, I agree, very bad choice of words…

 

Anyway, it was Friday. We had almost lost a very big contract with a Japanese chain of malls thanks to their tardiness earlier that week, the third time that a situation like that happened that month, and now we would all have to redo a whole month’s work because they had lost the CD-ROMs we had worked so hard to produce for them! And they dared to NOT give us any acceptable excuse for how it had happened!

 

Actually, if I wasn’t so mad at them I would have realized that they were a bit… weird that day. They had almost apologized for their fault, but then Joanna called Vivianne some real nasty and unpublishable got slapped in the face and fired!

 

And while I worked feverishly to redo all work and Joanna’s, hoping that I could be able to go to a rock band show that night, they spent the whole evening locked in Vivianne’s office at the phone. There was an important meeting of the board of the Delacroix, Inc. Monday morning, and for the first time they seemed very interested in it. Another weirdness from them that I failed to properly analyze. By eight o’clock I realized that I wouldn’t be at the stadium when the band started to play, by ten I was almost finishing and was determined to write my resignation letter when I felt the gaze of someone on me.

 

I looked over my shoulder and managed to see a shadow retreating on the hallway. OK, the most normal reaction would have been call a night watchman, which in the case would make me know that something was happening in the building at the time, and perhaps the terrors of the following hours may have been averted. But what if there wasn’t anything and the ‘shadow’ was just a product of my imagination? I went to check.

 

Nobody. But there was a light in Vivianne’s office. Good. I decided to go there and tell them both, loud and clear, that I was out! I would say everything that I ever wanted to say to those two stuck up bitches! I… was grabbed as soon as I passed through an empty office by Joanna. She took hold of my left arm and pushed violently and before I realized we were both inside that office, I was on the floor on my back and she was holding her right hand over my mouth like she was made of iron. And she was more scared than myself!

 

‘What are you doing here?’ was the first thing she let me say, in whispers, after a couple of minutes. She made me promise to not raise my voice or do anything stupid, then she told me that she had been approached by Rosalie, one of our co-workers, as she was leaving the building that morning after she was fired by Tracy Wells.

 

Rosalie told her to wait for her at a restaurant on the other side of the city so they could lunch together, gave her some money and asked her to not drink one sip. I remembered that Rosalie had appeared at my door around 11 a.m. and, blushing deeply, had said that she had an emergency at her home. She arrived half an hour late from her lunch break but said that she had dealt with the emergency so well that she was feeling great, we all told her to get back to work ASAP and she did an enormous amount of job whistling and smiling.

 

We all thought that she had finally cracked up. She was a way too calm, petite and shy girl in her late twenties that had started to work with us five months before that night (about a month after Vivianne became my boss), and she never dated or got out with anybody (not even with us for a round of drinks at a nearby pub), we didn’t knew much about her life, we didn’t even knew exactly where she lived and she had an eerie ‘aura’ around her.

 

After a while we simply stopped to ask her to come with us to the happy hours.

 

And according to Joanna, little mousy Rosalie had convinced her to attack both Vivianne and Tracy! She was so mad at them that the thought of humiliating them was strong enough to comply. She bought the clothes she was wearing (black rubber boots, trousers, T-shirt, jacket, gloves and a ski mask that was tucked at the moment in one of her trousers back pocket), Rosalie went to her home and came back with a change of clothes in a shopping bag that were very similar to Joanna’s, who spent hours in the women’s restroom of the fourth floor. And one hour before they had both burst inside Vivianne’s office.

 

I almost yelled ‘You didn’t did this!’ to her but she was quicker than me and gagged me again. This time I decided that I wouldn’t let a woman who’s three inches smaller than me and didn’t went to the Army, ok I have muscles (so what?) to get the upper hand, and I forced her to remove her hands while, in a very angry whisper, asked her what had happened. She blushed, shed a tear and cried for a few moments.

 

Rosalie had produced a pair of guns. According to her she had dealt with the woman at the security room – who now was blindfolded, heavily gagged and bound to her swivel chair – with one and had stole the other from her. Seeing how serious it was the whole business for Rosalie didn’t stopped Joanna from having the pleasure to tie up, very tight, both women after they were forced to strip to their bra and panties. Before Tracy was gagged she made a weird question to the masked Joanna, ‘Where is she?’, and when Joanna turned her head to ask Rosalie what Tracy meant with that – Rosalie was supposed to keep both women under the treat of the gun to make them cooperative – she saw Rosalie pressing a few buttons on Vivianne’s computer keypad with a frightening glee in her eyes.

 

Both gagged and bound women made desperate and muffled cries when they realized what she had did, whatever it was, and Rosalie’s reaction was even more weird. She laughed. Not and hysterical laugh or one of those unending mad people’s laughs, it was a frightening sound because it was almost emotionless and robotic.

 

The original plan was simply to tie them up, made fun of them (mild humiliation bullying if there is such a thing) and leave them writhing in despair for a whole night. But then Rosalie came up with this crazy idea of kidnap them and take them to her house so they could have ‘a very fun weekend of humiliation and shame for and on them’, Rosalie’s words.

 

And the look in Rosalie’s eyes when she said it was the last proof that Joanna needed to confirm how crazy was Rosalie… And Rosalie had two loaded guns with her.

 

I tried to call the police with my phone but the batteries were gone, and Rosalie had said to Joanna that she had disabled all the phones in the building, after she tied up the watcher in the security room, to avoid any chance that the boys in blue be called. According to Joanna Rosalie had told her to check the whole floor to see if there was nobody else but them. She had reported my presence and had received a roll of duct tape and the orders to ‘deal with me’. When she asked to Rosalie what she meant with that, she received a slap in the face and was told to mummify me to my chair in very harsh terms.

 

So she knew about me, and was a psycho, and had two innocent (they were bitches but not to the point to deserve that) captives with her, and me and Joanna had to deal with her somehow. A crazy idea went through my mind...

 

Four minutes later Rosalie was shocked when I opened the door of Vivianne’s office and pushed Joanna inside. I had used the tape freely on her, I’m taller and stronger than her and I attacked her by surprise, and she was with her forearms taped together behind her back, her knees hobbled with tape and efficiently gagged. With a look of disdain and trying not to care to the guns she pointed at me, and purposely ignoring the desperate muffled pleas that came from a corner of the spacious office, I made Joanna rest against the wall behind me and turned to Rosalie. She wasn’t the woman I used to barely knew. I kept a straight face.

 

‘Never send a little girl to make the job of a woman...’

 

‘What do you mean?’

 

‘I could hear her coming from a mile away, it was so easy for me to overpower her and then force her to tell what was going on that I am surprised that you choose such a wimp to help you, instead of me!’ – I never thought I could be such a great actress! She was almost buying it, but needed a proof so I finally took a look at the captives.

 

Both Vivianne and Tracy were hogtied (I learned the term later) in the buff. Rosalie had cut their underwear and shredded it to pieces along with their clothes with a big hunting knife. The hogtie was so severe that both women’s bodies were a bit arched, and they had their knees and elbows lashed together as well. They now sported white balls inside their mouths that were kept in place with elaborate harnesses made of leather and steel.

 

And both were truly desperate, but I had to do what I did.

 

I mocked them, Rosalie didn’t allowed me to get too close of them (so while I pretended to play with their breasts and humiliate them further I could warn them that I was on their side), but my interpretation of a vindictive bitch convinced her that I was telling the truth. I even told her that I had just wrote my resignation letter and printed it when Joanna tried to attack me. After a few minutes in which I said to the captives everything I had ever wanted to tell them, Rosalie bought it all. Hook, line and sinker!

 

I convinced Rosalie that I was interested in force Vivianne to transfer part of her money to my bank account, so Monday morning I would close it, cash it all and disappear never to be heard from again. And then I asked her if she needed help to take the ‘vixens’ out of the building. She thought for a moment, and ordered me to hogtie Joanna.

 

I did a quick job and then she told me to go to my desk at my office, she followed me about five steps behind. She didn’t gave me any chance to try anything, her cover was almost perfect and, while I kept a nonchalant straight face, I was getting scarier by the minute.

 

She saw the resignation letter and ordered me to back off at least five steps more, then she read it and seemingly had any last doubt about myself extinguished. But never gave any crack on her attention at me and had her gun aiming my chest.

 

We went up three floors through the stairs and entered the security room. Vivianne’s mother believes in female-empowerment, and in that specific building all our security night watchmen were women. All had to have military experience and be in good physical shape, and yet neither Lorraine nor Ellie managed to stand up against Rosalie’s assault.

 

Lorraine was the woman in charge of the cameras. She was wearing only her white bra and panties and was overly roped to her chair, as if her body itself wasn’t already nearly mummified with rope. She couldn’t move to much except for her head, who had tape wrapped around it regardless of any care with her hair and effectively blindfolding and gagging her in the process. I didn’t knew at the time, but she had earplugs deafening her as well. Rosalie ordered me to move her away from the cameras and I thought that she was using MY name, had her voice recognized by Lorraine (who was actually trying to realize who had entered the room and in which number) and couldn’t care less about it. She kept a safe distance from me while we watched the screens.

 

Ellie was tied up under her desk at the reception room. I actually couldn’t see her face, but it had to be her. She was the only African-American in the night shift. From that angle I could see her bent and crudely bound legs and her panties. Now where was Jamie Lee?

 

Hopping her way through a hallway in the sixth floor. She was stripped to her bra and panties like the others had been and had a mile of rope recklessly wrapped around her legs, torso and arms. She seemed to have been both cleave gagged and blindfolded, but she had managed to free her eyes (the strip of clothe that Rosalie had used was dangling over her small bosom) and was trying to reach an open door, she was in her tenth or twentieth futile attempt and was starting to get desperate, and obviously screamed at herself.

 

‘Go there and make sure that’s she’s stuck and won’t be able to reach the stairway or whatever. You have... five minutes. Do that and I will accept you as my new pal...’

 

I saw the roll of duct tape on the desk in front of the many screens and what had been once a cellphone, Lorraine’s, besides the hammer used to destroy it. I grabbed the roll and run as an idea was being formed in my mind. The fact that Rosalie hadn’t allowed me to come closer to her had prevented her to search me, so I still had a small cutter safely tucked in my panties, and I knew the blank points of the cameras.

 

Lorraine and I served at the same Army base, albeit on different times, and over the months we had became great friends. We discussed many things when we met and, one night four or five months ago, she had told me how stupid and idiot her supervisor was. She and the other women had reported many times about some flaws in the area covered our security cameras, places that were triple covered without any reasons and places without any coverage, and the did nothing! Plus I had checked the desk while watching Jamie Lee’s efforts and I knew that there were no mikes on the cameras or anywhere else.

 

So I barged in the hallway and made too much noise alerting Jamie Lee of my presence, she started to hop on the opposite way and, as I was running towards her at full speed, I tripped and stumbled on the floor. A ‘clumsy’ act that allowed me to hide the small cutter under a vase in one of the uncovered areas. I stood, grabbed the roll of tape that had rolled to a few steps ahead of me and gave a short chase to Jamie Lee.

 

I quickly had her lithe body struggling in my arms, and I do mean struggling! I tackled her to the floor and rolled her to her belly, then I sat on her back (on top of her overly bound arms which were nearly melted to her torso) and grabbed her legs.

 

‘Keep on struggling as hard as you can. She’s watching us and has everybody else already bound and gagged. Come on, keep on struggling! Please be convincing cause I need that Rosalie believes that I am on her side. Yes, that way, fight! Jamie, I left a cutter under the third vase on your right, wait at least half an hour before worming your way to there. And please, please, don’t look at the camera! Never look at it!’

 

Just for safety, who knew if Rosalie could or not read lips?, I was with my back to the camera as I spoke and forced her legs to fold and wrapped thighs and calves together. Then I wrapped more tape around Jamie Lee’s torso and added a few strips to her cleave gag. Then I grabbed her head and was pleased to see that either she was pretending to be furious as I had begged her to, while I was wrapping her legs, or she was really mad at me.

 

‘Sorry babe, but I have a date with my filthy rich boss, and I can’t have you calling the cops to spoil my fun. I rope you understand...’

 

Rosalie asked me what I had told to Jamie Lee, and from her looks she really seemed to have not been able to read my lips. Just for safety she had grabbed another roll of duct tape and now I barely could see what was Lorraine’s body and what was the chair under all that tape. But my ruse had worked and, while still not allowing me to get too close of her, Rosalie seemed to trust in me. She even chuckled of my lame pun with the ‘hope/rope’.

 

We returned to Vivianne’s office and, not surprisingly, all three women’s eyes showed their despair as we entered through the door. I started to free Joanna at Rosalie’s call while she asked Joanna if she was with her or not. No, I didn’t blinked or made anything which could be obviously interpreted by Rosalie as a signal. But I grabbed the roll of tape and asked Joanna if she wanted more of it, with the tape almost reaching her lips and a very convincing expression in my face. As I was taping her up previously, I had combined with her three different ways of saying ‘play along’ in code. That was one of them.

 

With a trembling voice she said that she was ‘in’, and we received orders to free Vivianne and Tracy’s legs and help them go with us to the garage. Since she didn’t allowed us to use scissors to cut their bonds, and she had done a sadistic job with the ropes and specially the knots, it took us time to free their legs and, while we did it, Rosalie read out loud my letter.

 

‘See where you ended up being a great actress?’ – she mocked Vivianne who started to cry.

 

‘Okay, what’s going on here?’ – I left my work on Vivianne’s legs unfinished and stood up facing Rosalie – ‘I am not stupid to believe that all of this is a rage-filled revenge of you towards that bosomy **** behind me. You are too well prepared. You don’t give a dam if you are recognized by the ladies you will leave behind in this building, you managed to overpower three different women that were at least five inches taller than you and much stronger, you are definitely not the Rosalie I know and I demand to you to tell me what is happening here! I just left two women that either tomorrow morning or Monday morning will be able to tell the police, the DA office, the press and MY FAMILY about MY participation in tonight’s events, and don’t you even dare to make me an accomplice in their deaths if that’s what you’re thinking to do with them. So tell me now!’

 

Even backing down and being genuinely surprised with my outburst, Rosalie kept my chest covered with her guns. For a minute or two nobody said anything or moved in that office.

 

‘Very well. I can... I mean I may me able... to pay you each a million dollars if you help me take those two to my place. I need to ‘question’ them about something and prevent that they are present at Monday’s meeting. Help me and the money is yours, don’t help me and...’

 

She raised the gun on her left hand, so now it was aiming at my face, while pointing the other at Joanna’s. My knees wanted to shake, I was fighting back my tears and trying to not let my teeth become castanets. But I managed to plaster a cool look on my face.

 

‘If I’ll have to leave the country, as it seems that I will have no other option. I want at least a couple of millions. You made me cross the line and you better pay for it.’

 

Joanna was hoping that I was the best amateur actress in the whole world now, and it was obvious that at least Vivianne and Tracy had fell for my number. But Rosalie clearly thought in just shoot me right there and leave to exsanguinate alone in the office. Then she told me to be at Joanna’s side and put one of the guns back in a holster attached to her body under her left arm.  With her left hand free she grabbed her cellphone and called someone.

 

So she was following someone else’s orders! Joanna clearly felt very miserable now and the captives were getting deeper and deeper into despair. I swore that they would outlive the night untouched, I didn’t knew how I would do it, but no matter what I should do to achieve it, THAT PSYCHO WOULDN’T HURT THEM ONE BIT!

 

Whoever Rosalie was talking to he was displeased that she had now two ‘assistants’, and the heated argument between her and him (it was a ‘he’ and until the following morning that was all I managed to know about her boss) made me and Joanna felt like we were both expendable. It wasn’t what she said to him but how she said to him her plans to after we reached our destination. Which wasn’t her house in the suburbs.

 

And I was counting that it was, so when Jamie Lee managed to get free she would send the police to there! I had to think in something else now...

 

Rosalie’s boss agreed with my two millions ‘demand’, and we went back to freed the girl’s legs. They were now completely devastated and crying profusely.

 

I considered my options: Shove the girls to the hallway and tell them to run while trying to hold the door of the office closed? Suicidal, Rosalie would only have to shoot a couple of rounds and then go after them. Jump on Rosalie when she was looking at the girls? She was looking at the girls and at me and Joanna and kept all the precaution available. Shove Rosalie outside of the elevator at the moment the doors were closing (and praying that they closed fast enough so even if she shot at us she would miss)? She made me and Joanna enter for last and had guns aimed at our captives all the way while we went to the garage (specifically in the sublevel 1) of the building.

 

In the end it was Rosalie distrust in us that provided our chance.

 

My car was parked at one far corner of that level, Joanna’s was in a garage loot downtown and Rosalie’s SUV was right next to the elevator. When Rosalie told us to shove the girls in the back of the SUV, tie them in a way that they couldn’t move an inch and cover them with a blanket I asked her to first be allowed to pick up my car and park it next to her SUV.

When she asked me why I told her that the two girls meant two million dollars for me, and I would not give her a window of opportunity to escape with them while me and Joanna would get to my car. There were another cars in the garage and I pointed to her that mine was the farthest away. She gave a few pre-cut and folded strands of rope to Joanna and told her to start tying them up. I said to Joanna ‘Hey, what’s the fuss?’ which she failed at first to recognize as the code phrase that we had agreed upon earlier, it meant ‘I’m going to try something so be ready to help them’. And off me and Rosalie went to my car.

 

At one point neither I nor Rosalie could see Joanna anymore, so intent she was in ‘binding’ the girls into the shape of balls like Rosalie had ordered her to. Then we both heard a noise like a lot of empty cans falling on the ground. She had piled a few of them on the other side of the door to the stairway! We both turned our heads to the direction of the sound and saw Joanna, Vivianne and Tracy caught in the act. The girls still had their gags on (Rosalie had padlocked them) but otherwise were free and all three women started to run.

 

I run after them and Rosalie followed me, not sure if I was being honest or not with my angry shouts of revenge against the girls. I opened the door and went to the stairs and she was right behind me as I run upstairs. Now or never.

 

I grabbed the hand rails with both my hands as if I was going to get an extra impulse for the last three steps before the ground floor door, but I threw my feet backwards with all my might. Rosalie managed to take aim and shoot as I sent her flying backwards. And when she hit the landing she shot again. That shot hit me on my right arm as I turned around to take a look at her. She was stunned, but not for long.

 

If my arm wasn’t on fire and I wasn’t bleeding I would have literally jumped on her, landing carelessly on her body and truly hoping to crack as many bones as possible!

 

But I was bleeding, and my arm was on fire. So I forced myself to walk to the door that connected the staircase to the lobby. There they were. While Vivienne and Tracy were trying to free Ellie, who was standing up and allowing me to see that she has been another victim of Rosalie’s tendency to overdo the binding of her victims and had been tape gagged with many turns of tape around her head, Joanna was frantically talking to someone at the phone. They all saw me and for a moment I failed to realize that they were looking past me.

 

‘Close this call! Close this call now or I will shoot her!’

 

‘No! You! Hand over this gun or WE will shoot you!’

 

And suddenly there were four or five heavily armored guys pointing their assault weapons to Rosalie, whose upper body was covered with red dots. I turned around and faced her.

 

And started to walk on her direction.

 

‘What are you doing? Come back here right now!’ – I heard the leader of the SWAT team yell at me. I couldn’t care less. She still have an overture big enough to shoot at the girls (a couple of guys with big shields was moving in their direction but was still a bit too far), and I would not let her do it! I stopped when I felt that I had covered the necessary distance.

 

‘It’s over Rosalie, or whatever that is your name. Give it up. You are not going to hurt them and if you shoot me those guys will force your family or friends to have a closed casket in your funeral service. SO GIVE IT UP!’ – She hesitated for enough time to allow a couple of burly SWAT members to tackle her from behind. And then there were at least other three guys there helping them, while I went straight to Lalaland...

 

 

 

 

 

I woke up in the Saturday early evening. I was in an hospital bed I heard a commotion, Vivianne was yelling ‘She’s awake! She’s awake!’. I wanted to grab something to gag her with and I opened my eyes to look for it.

 

And saw the one and only Marie-Therese Delacroix, French actress/model, entrepreneur and my ultimate boss. And Vivianne, Tracy, Joanna and an African-American knockout beauty (all wearing patient gowns). Joanna introduced the unknown girl as Keisha, Tracy’s wife. After the initial (mild) shock (two very very gorgeous girls like them... well less competition with the guys so...), and an honest ‘nice to meet you’, I asked to know what was going on. All looked to Vivianne who ‘coughed’ and started to tell me.

 

Months before she had graduated from a very prestigious college in Europe, summa cum lauda et all, and her mother had asked her one favor. She had detected evidence that a very hostile takeover was in march towards her company, and she needed Vivianne’s help to find out who was behind it. Thus the brilliant student, and her best friend and equally good student, became those two lazybones that I had the displeasure to work with.

 

Marie-Therese, still a very beautiful mature in her... umm... late thirties?..., stopped her daughter and told me and Joanna that all those that had been subjected to the ruse would receive five times the usual bonus as a form of compensation, if not more! 

 

While she and Tracy pretended to be spoiled brats, and very well, they had access to all the company’s files. Little by little they gathered evidences that proved that three members of the Delacroix board of directors had sold themselves to the enemy. When they realized that there was a mole inside their sector, after discovering a couple of cameras in Vivianne’s office and that some of their proofs were being destroyed, they decided to create CD-ROMs containing all that they had gathered during their investigation. Tracy left the CD-ROMs with Keisha who, two days before, had been kidnapped.

 

An e-mail, with a mini-movie of Keisha nude and grotesquely tied to a post while a knife’s flat side traveled all over her voluptuous body, was sent to Tracy demanding the CD-ROMs. The nervousness that Tracy felt was so big that  when she left a package behind a tree in a back road’s hard shoulder, it contained not only the CD-ROMs demanded by the but the ones we had spent a month producing! But what Keisha, even being rudely treated by Rosalie, didn’t told to her captor was that SHE had made copies of the CD-ROMs and had asked to some of the couple’s friends to guard them.

 

Rosalie didn’t knew that, and when she found out that someone had made copies of the CD-ROMs she wrongly deduced that it had been Tracy – her racial prejudice prevented her to think that Keisha could have done it, which saved Keisha from some very nasty torture –. So she decided to kidnap both Tracy and Vivianne, bring them to her real house and force them to tell where the copies were hidden, then she would kill all three of them. She sent another e-mail to Tracy, warning her (falsely) that she had put another mike and cameras inside the office and, under no circumstances, they were supposed to leave the office.

 

She actually didn’t needed Joanna’s help, but did needed a scapegoat. Someone she could frame for the kidnap and thus throw the police in the wrong direction. According to Keisha, Joanna’s fate would be just less grim and quicker than the other three.

 

When she overpowered Lorraine she had made her believe that she was Joanna, when she tied up Ellie she first sent her an e-mail with pictures of Lorraine tied up, gagged and under the treat of a gun ordering her to threw away her cellphone and disconnect her work phone. Ellie had actually threw her old cellphone but managed to hide the brand new one she had bought that morning. Then she put on a scared face and made Ellie believe that Joanna was forcing her to tie her up through a earphone by threatening Vivianne and Tracy’s lives (who had supposedly already been captured). Finally she used a blackjack on Jamie Lee, who didn’t had a chance to see or hear her attacker. She would made sure that Joanna left enough evidence at the kidnapping scene so the police would go straight to her house at first, while she would be already dead and she, ‘Rosalie’, was extracting the ‘truth’...

 

‘Rosalie’ was actually Grace Malloy, the only daughter of a con-man who had tried to get rich in a scam that could have ruined Marie-Therese when she was starting her business. Her father died in prison and the nutjob grew planning her revenge against Marie-Therese.

 

She got in touch with the CEO of the conglomerate that was behind the attempted hostile takeover, became another of his moles in the Delacroix, Inc. and was determined to prevent Marie-Therese to manage to keep her company with her at any costs. The fact that she would kill Marie-Therese’s only daughter, and later sent some gruesome photos and movies to Marie-Therese, was a huge unexpected and much welcomed bonus for her.

 

But I had underestimated Jamie Lee’s resolve. She merely counted up to one hundred and started to move towards the vase, got herself free and run to the security room, she freed Lorraine and together they looked for a cellphone. Fortunately someone on the fifth floor had forgotten his/hers on his/her desk and they had guarded it on a drawer. They called the police who sent their SWAT team which quickly confirmed the whole hostage situation.

 

According to Vivianne, Grace had revealed herself after putting the ‘harness gags’ on them, while Joanna was supposed to be tying me up, and just for her (sadistic) fun told them what she had (not) did to Keisha. After Grace was arrested, and the padlocks of the gags were removed, both Vivianne and Tracy told the cops what was her real name. A quick check up found out an isolated hunting cabin in Grace’s name. Another SWAT team stormed the place one hour later and found Keisha completely taped to an horizontal beam right above water in a nearby boat house, besides a few bruises she was fine.

 

Me? The bullet wound was a through and through, not piercing any important nerve, muscle or artery. But it hurt like hell! We stood talking amenities when there was a knock at the door, in came the man who was behind the hostile takeover, Vivianne’s father.

 

He apologized deeply to all of us for his ‘gross miscalculation’ and ‘error’ for having ever trust in Grace/Rosalie, saying that he was giving everything that he had related to the case to the FBI (an act that earned him a few years behind bars) and that as soon as he left the building he would give the swarm of reporters that were being held by the police outside the hospital a complete confession (which he really did), then he turned around and left.

Vivianne looked at us, then at her mother and run to have a talk with him.

 

Marie-Therese told Joanna that her lawyers were making the best deal with the authorities that they could if they wanted a sizeable bonus for their services, then she whispered something in her ear that made Joanna blush and nod very timidly. Surprisingly, Joanna was hired as one of the secretaries of Marie-Therese private staff, we still met albeit a bit irregularly, after all she travels the whole world with her boss. At first I thought that Marie-Therese had hired her with fifth and sixth intentions, but I was proven wrong. Why she was hired is still a private mystery to us four, and a private joke for Marie-Therese.

 

After the whole affair everybody in the building couldn’t believe in the change that had happened with Vivianne and Tracy. Where were gone the two indifferent, indolent and unconcerned girls that we all knew? And why I was suddenly promoted to Vivianne’s private secretary while Tracy received a promotion to manager of another area of the local branch of the Delacroix, Inc.? And where did those two hid all the skills and proficiency that they showing with eager? And Tracy was really a lesbian (a heart-breaking news to all the single males of the building, and some married ones as well)?

 

Me, Vivianne, Tracy and Keisha became great friends. We chat, have lunches and dinners and spent a few holidays together. Oh, and we did get in trouble, to the point that we were all being kept bound and gagged separately or together by our ‘enemies, a few times after that. But those are other stories, for another time...

 

 

 

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