When ‘The Games’ Were Crashed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONE WEEK AGO

 

It’s… brilliant! And perfect!’ – said their second-in-command.

 

All the others were flabbergasted. They had all been thinking in a way, any way, of still being able to do the job after the complete upheaval of eleven hours before…

 

And the one among their ranks more known for her clumsiness had delivered, after checking some data that they had sort of ‘accidentally borrowed’ from their clients, the answer to them all! Then their boss spoke in her ‘I disagree’ usual tone (in such cases)...  

 

No it’s not.’

 

They all looked at their boss, and in one case wife, with the same ‘Come on! Really?’ look in their faces. The ‘techie’ among them even placed the pictures of their ‘targets’ and their ‘substitutes’ side by side in the large screen in front of them.

 

Say it again; tell us that it’s not going to work.’ – said the ‘techie’.

 

I am not saying that, if we could do it, it would not work. But the clients never…!’

 

They don’t need to know.’

 

Among her peers she was ranked only above the only black woman in the room, even her twin sister ranked above (way above) her, and only because she was not an active member of their team (more like their expected back-up help or the likes). If the buxom beauty tried again to be an active member, all her ‘classes’, knowledge and (now) experience would place her (at least) in the middle of the ladder!

 

And now their boss, who was right in calling it their biggest job ever (and was the one hit the hardest when their months of careful planning went down the drain the day before), was fuming mad as she stood in front of her.

 

CARE-TO-EXPLAIN????’

 

Simple, we can have it all prepared, down to the last detail, and when you… when we meet the clients, we can tell them the harsh raw truth about this job…’

 

Which is?’ – asked their boss a bit calmer.

 

First, that they screwed up. We checked and double-checked and triple-checked it all (didn’t we?), and it wasn’t us that leaked anything to our targets. But somebody did or they would not have changed everything with less than ten days to go, right? Maybe they had… them… – and she pointed at the first row of young women in the screen behind them – ‘…as some sort of ‘emergency squad’, maybe they actually wanted to use them all along and had our previous targets hired as decoys… But the fact is that there is NO OTHER way to do what they want, no, that they NEED quite desperately for us to do, if we don’t put (and use) those dames on the screen in it.’

 

Their boss had a retort ready to be delivered, but instead she started to think in another since, she realized, it was a very strong argument for the use of those three.

 

And her other retort, and the one she thought about one moment later (and then the next one, and the one after that, and then the other one…) couldn’t stand against that fact.

 

They needed those three.

 

All the others in the room knew better not to grin at her ‘lost in the woods’ expression.

 

She told everybody to leave the room, sat on her favorite chair and started reviewing, again, all the data she had about the job and their plans. All the while, the girls on the screen (whose images were in a loop) kept ‘looking’ back at her as they competed against each other in their silly ‘sport’. Two hours later, when her wife showed up with her favorite lunch on a tray; she was still trying to find a counter-argumentation…

 

Anything!

 

In the end, a short talk (AKA lecture) from her wife was all that she needed to concede.

 

 

TODAY

 

Ready girls? GO!!!’

 

As usual, Kathleen screamed the last word at the top of her lungs on the mikes, and the speaker was right next to her ears, on the wall above her head.

 

But she paid no attention; she was more interested in working her ‘magic’ on that triple knot that held her tethered to the left front post of the four post bed she was lying on. To have access to it she had to arch herself backwards almost completely since, as usual, Ilona had tied that knot right above the knots holding her ankles side by side.

 

There… she was free (to carefully hop around that is)!!!

 

Since she was blindfolded, as usual, she couldn’t see Terry ready to grab her if, like in the first time they had been subjected to that… hmmm… race?..., she tripped or fell.

 

The former pro-wrestler was, as usual, so silent that she couldn’t feel/know whether she was in front of her or at her left or her right, but she was there…

 

Yes, the games those three… bratty millionaires/billionaires came up with were kinky, targeted to fulfill any (silly) fantasy they could have of a ‘bondage Olympic games’ of sorts, and (obviously!) yes, those three were enjoying the ‘show’ of three ‘damsels-in-distress’ dressed in Hammer-like garments (no way the women in the XIX Century were allowed to wear anything with a cleavage that big, especially those – like she – who were well endowed), trussed up quite maniacally and well gagged and blindfolded with scarves and strips of cloth trying to escape from a vampire…

 

But any girl who agreed to be part of ‘The Games’ was sure of one thing, their safety was put above anything else. There were dozens of rules for each ‘Game’ and, in those were the competitor was unable to see, there were always a woman strong enough to held her easily if she tripped or was about to, inadvertently, put herself in danger.

 

Which was one of the reasons, aside the money, they agreed to take part of ‘The Games’ in the first place. Yes, those would (and were at the moment) lusting after her and the other two (and all the others in all the other ‘Games’), and she wasn’t the only ‘straight’ gal to take part of a ‘Game’. They would record every ‘Game’ from all possible angles and would enjoy them forever! But they never would place them in any real danger!

 

Specially in a ‘Game’ like ‘Lady Karnilla’s Captives’ Escape Attempt’…

 

It such a silly (and kinky) situation that, when she had been convinced by Dr. Han (her therapist) to talk about it, she couldn’t stop blushing for hours after the…

 

Confession?

 

Well, Gwen Han was helping her to cope with a lot of baggage two failed marriages and a turbulent upbringing had given her; and she was very good. So when she (and nobody else!) asked her about the ‘mysterious weekends’ she had have at the Talbot estate…

 

She had talked about ‘The Games’ and how she; a 32 years old woman who had always described herself to Dr. Han as a ‘shy, ‘straight’ and ‘not very imaginative’ woman, had ended up as one of the top contestants in those bondage-laded ‘Games’…

 

Because of money, what else?

 

More specifically, with Mr. Alvin’s insurance swindle.

 

Not only was he a womanizer (whose ‘advances’ towards her had made her start looking for another job on her third day on that job), but he was deep in the red thanks to some ‘brilliant’ investments of his. So he hired his brother-in-law and two of the thin creep’s buddies and staged a robbery at his old coins & stamps shop’s office. The plan worked flawlessly (at first), she and the other three employees arrived for a new day on the job one by one, found their boss at the mercy of three armed and masked men and were rendered helpless at gunpoint, then the ‘robbers’ forced them inside a closed room and then, with the help of their ‘main victim’, they ransacked the place…

 

but she had managed to stand up and hop, her co-workers attempts’ earned them a lot of bruises, even severely restrained with all that tape around her legs and arms (&torso), until she reached the door of that back room and opened it thanks tothe broken lock (that Mr. Alvin never bothered to fix)and she started to hop towards the front door…

 

and then she heard her boss, whom just minutes before was so meek and stuttering at the men and was now barking them orders (that weren’t obeyed?)! Loudly!

 

As it turned out, Mr. Alvin had promised to pay the trio with a few of the most valuable coins but, as the police found out later, Mr. Alvin took home those same coins the night before and had them replaced with reasonably good imitations…

 

After all, he reasoned, it was unlikely that any of ‘those three dummies’ could tell a real coin from a fake one, thus he would be able to get the insurance for all the coins and keep all of them! But, one of his brother-in-law’s friends was an amateur ‘expert’ in coins, and had have some classes on how to distinguish forgeries…

 

And now the guy was checking all the coins’ stock, Mr. Alvin was on the floor holding his left palm over his left eye while his brother-in-law was trying (not very hard) to prevent his taller and stronger buddy to give him another black eye.

 

She controlled the panic that was arising in her mind and took a peek at the camera in that hallway. Disabled. So she carefully hopped her way to Mr. Alvin’s office as fast as she could, and switched it back on right on time to record some negotiation between the four *********. Alas, the alarm had been disconnected, and she wasted a lot of time contorted in a ridiculous way (and trying hard not to fall on her face) trying to turn it ‘on’, until she realized that the task was impossible. Lastly she hopped back to the room and closed the door as her co-workers looked at each other dumbfounded, she carefully slid against a wall back to the floor and waited. After about twenty minutes, Mr. Alvin was escorted to that room by two of the thieves, both eyes were black now, and then he was tied up rather crudely and the trio of robbers left.

 

As soon as she was sure that they were gone, she managed to stand up and hopped her way to the front of the shop. She remembered them ‘thanking’ them for their cellphones, and the landline had been cut off. The curtains were down and no one seemed to be waiting for them to open (very late), so she looked around and grabbed a stapler, hopped to the closest she could get of the window and threw it at the glass.

 

It barely made a sound.

 

So she went to… Olsen’s desk and grabbed his heavy and big spring-loaded stapler with both hands, returned to the window and sort of used it as a battering ram. She managed to dent the window and it activated the alarm, so she relaxed and hopped to the back of the building. Ten minutes later she was being freed and told the cops right away what she had seen, heard and had managed to record on video.

 

That had happened nearly four years ago, and there were still people that recognized her on the streets as the ‘taped-up secretary’ that had fooled her crooked boss… If she ever found out who had leaked the footage of herself hopping around the shop to the TV…

 

And that’s why she had ended up in ‘The Games’…

 

The whole idea behind her current situation was that she (and Muse and Layla) were supposed to be the ‘Annual Offerings’ of some villagers to Carmilla (Ebby, who always dressed spectacularly for her part in that competition, she was born for the role!), kind of a queen among the vampires, and thus (after she had put on that conservative yet very revealing green & black dress) she had been trussed up as tightly as the other two had been, Sloane and Corinne had taken care of that…, and taken for a ride around the large property inside that replica of a XVII Century carriage (Ebby and Maura, whom had got their own models from the right century, loved to remind their hostess of that little mistake…). Of course, the drivers and the two women that rode with them also wore XIX Century attires, but with the twist of being usually worn by men back then 

 

Aside the fact that it always added some interesting footage to the video archives of all three kinky friends, during the ride the place where each one of the offerings would be ‘stashed’ until the start of their escape was determined through a lottery of sorts.

 

There were something between 40/50 rooms in Kathleen’s estate, and most of the rooms had eight or more stashing places (she could have been tied to either one of the posts or under the bed, for example), and all three rascals demanded that their offering had the same chance at freedom than the other two.

 

HOW they reached an agreement after the numbers had been draw by a blindfolded Liu was something that no one knew, but usually the girls were told to try to get free at different occasions (never further than three minutes between the first and the third ones) or the one with the ‘easiest’ route of escape got also the longest one.

 

In a way, those three were very serious about their sportsmanship!

 

Another thing was the fact that, while the row of three bound and gagged girls (lashed to each other by their waist through a long piece of rope) was led to their ‘fate’ by two maids (Sloane & Corinne), both properly attired for the Hammer-like vampire fantasy, they were told to memorize their escapes routes, since to take a wrong turn during their escapes meant automatic disqualification. But this time it hadn’t been necessary…

 

All three were taken to the same place, the Hollywood-like rooms on the third floor!

 

Muse was trapped inside the main bedroom; Layla was taken to the 1st guestroom while she ended up in the third. In one of the rare occasions she had met Muse (or Maryann Leigh) in the city, and ended up learning a lot about ‘The Games’ (since the mid-thirties whitish-blonde haired Kentuckian had been participating of them since the very first one), it only happened when their hostess (and the other two) wanted a more… direct race between them. Instead of having to edit the footage of three different groups of cameras, they would only have to fix their attention in one single group…

 

So, the three… hmmm… wenches had been drugged, forced to dress revealing outfits, bound and gagged and were then taken to the ‘Castle of Carmilla’, where they were locked in separated rooms (now deprived of their sight) and, just because Carmilla was a bit sadistic, they all regained their senses more or less at the same time and tried to escape their ‘fate’ even with all the odds against them… At least it was more elaborated than the other three fantasies/races she would have to do that same day.

 

Oh s**t! The door was locked! And it had three locks with keys on each one of them!

 

While turning the first one was easy, the other two were way more… tricky?

 

On impulse, she turned the knob of the door while forcing her right shoulder against it… It opened! Layla had taken a good look at the locks and keys, one moment before Sloane blindfolded her, on purpose! The… the cheaters!??

 

And then it dawned on her that she was now so used to ‘The Games’ that she could even, instinctively, recognize her usual riggers’ nervous ticks and/or special glances!

 

And to think that she had almost bailed out when she had first heard about them…

 

 

 

After her boss’ arrest, and the subsequent closing of the shop, she had had a tough time finding a new job, as if she was the only one…, but eventually she made it to the offices of ‘The Annex’ of Kathleen Talbot’s ‘HQ’ in about five months.

 

At the time she thought that she had just been really lucky.

 

While the ‘HQ’, a 27 floors dominant building in the middle of the town got the fame, it was in the ‘Annex’ that the day to day businesses of Talbot’s many enterprises were dealt with; the decisions were taken in the ‘HQ’, their implementations were made possible by the ‘Annex’, which was actually a whole block of small (and ugly) brick and stone buildings in the outskirts of the town.

 

She had been working there for less than a month in the ‘Sales Management’ building when she got the message from ‘HQ’, asking her total discretion about a ‘very unusual but important’ meeting, and went there the next day at 08 PM.

 

She arrived, as instructed, exactly ten minutes earlier, got her ID checked by four or five security guards and was taken to the private elevator to Talbot’s private office, being admitted inside, after a short wait, at 08:05 PM.

 

By 08:15 PM she was in front of the other elevator of that floor nervously hitting its only button, as if it would make it go up (from the ground floor) faster than the usual way. Forbes’ list Kathleen Talbot was by her side, eerily calm for someone who almost got slapped in the face one minute before, and then she slapped her fingers… and the power from the elevator (apparently) was shut down.

 

She turned to her now former employer with an angry remark ready, but the fierce look in the much older woman’s eyes shut her up right away.

 

Let me make this quite clear; you want to go and leave my conglomerate, you are free to do so. I will not make it harder, or easier, for you to find a new job anywhere in town or in the state. There will be no reprisals at all. BUT… I will ride down now with you.’

 

And thus they entered the elevator, and Kathleen offered an outrageous sum for her willing participation in what she called ‘The Games’, she gave her the contract that all participants had to sign (so she could read it at home and see that it wasn’t solicitation in any shape or way, just some kinky stuff), then Kathleen doubled the proposal and she returned the contract and got ready to leave the elevator and her job for good…

 

And then Kathleen tripled her offer.

 

Thirty minutes later they were still talking about it while they had a dinner in Kathleen’s private table (and room) at one of the town’s most exclusive trattorias. She arrived home with a list of former ‘athletes’ and the contract, and the week off to check both.

 

The weirdest part was, when she actually met some of the women (or phoned them), all of them were kind of expecting that Kathleen would ‘hire’ her as the newest member of her ‘team’. The most talkative woman (a designer) of the six she spoke with gave her the whole story; Kathleen’s regular athlete in that kind of competition had retired five months earlier, her first replacement had ‘found God’ at one of the most fringe right churches of the state (and thus had disavowed any kind of relationship with a notorious lesbian like Kathleen), her second replacement was pregnant and the third one had returned to her native country… so it was fairly obvious that Kathleen would go after an ‘emergency replacement’ like ‘The Hopping (Taped Up) Secretary) since, like Ebby and Maura, she had kind of became addicted to ‘The Games’!

 

One week after their first meeting she returned to Kathleen’s private office at the ‘HQ’, signed a confidentiality agreement and demonstrated to her (and Maura and Ebby, who were watching it through their comlinks) that; One – She would not freak out if I was tied up and gagged once (and many times) more, and, Two – She was actually good at running long distances while only being able to hop, they even made her go down one flight of stairs against the clock! After a weird hour and a half, she was untied and signed her first contract as an athlete of Kathleen’s team.

 

The next weekend she was a guest at Talbot’s estate and, aside from the weird ‘training sessions’ (that fortunately, or so she thought at the time, had no witnesses), she had a good time and met, and befriended, three other athletes and two lifeguards (who would be around, either during the trainings or the competitions, to ensure all women’ safety).

 

And only when she was leaving the estate is that she was told about the ‘private channel’ on all TVs of the estate that had a link to the security system, and through which her training sessions had been broadcasted (live!) to all the other women, well most of them, who wanted to take a peek at the newbie!

 

The trainings went on for a month. She kept her regular job on the weekdays, but was ‘ordered’ to have a healthier diet and to keep a daily routine of exercises at home (she got a brand new treadmill), had a couple more of weekends ‘hopping around’ (as many times as her boss wished her to) all around the estate (and then she the rest of the time she lounged by the pool), plus special routines of exercises at her new (and totally paid for since she could never afford the membership) health & fitness center, some ‘visits’ from Kathleen’s entourage (from four or five tailoresses to take her measurements for any fantasy/costume that would have to be made for her to a couple of twin dames who taught her how to efficient and effectively tie-up somebody, and how to escape/undo most of the tie-ups she could be subjected to, when rope was used against her that is), plus a few meetings with the athletes, in which she learned a lot about ‘The Games’ (and why they happened every four months), and then the day came…

 

She had been the main reason why Kathleen’s team lost the chance to add another win to their four-winning-streak… Well, Ebby had two new girls on her team that were very good, and whom would take a long time to be beaten in their own ‘sports’, and Maura had three great new girls, but if she had at least finished 2nd in any of her races…

 

Still, she and the other girls who were defeated got a ‘chin up’ speech from Kathleen, and in her particular case she got a visit three days later, in which she agreed to take part in the next games (she had promised to herself that she would not) and in taking a more focused training until then. She even had, for a couple of weeks, a ‘devious roommate’ of sorts… Who was still by her side at the treadmill when she had to train her hopped sprints on it (although now she was a triweekly visit).

 

Her second participation was epic (Kathleen’s team finished second, but it was most due to Maura’s tug-of-war team than with her finishing in – close – second place in all her races), she got her first (two) win(s) in her third participation and had been ‘She-who-has-to-be-defeated!’ since her fifth, which earned her some interesting propositions to switch teams (Ebby’s latest one was really tempting…)!

 

 

 

 

Oh s**t…

 

She could hear not one but two careful (and yet as fast as possible) sets of hops!

 

It’s true that this was her first race and, again, if she finished just second in any of the four she was going to participate in Talbot’s Team, her team, would win that edition of ‘The Games’. But she had gotten so used to finish first…

 

Mmmmm mmmm mmmmm… mmmmmphhh?’

 

The signal she and Terry had agreed to use for that race, and she felt the big hand resting, for a moment, on her left shoulder and giving her a slight push left…

 

The only time the 45 years old (and quite Amazonian) Terry was allowed to touch her without any ‘Stay’ punishment being applied – If she tripped and/or fell and Terry had to hold her, even for a fraction of a second (especially if they accidentally bumped on each other, no matter whose fault was), she would have to stay put for a minimum of ten seconds (up to full two minutes) – and only because that way the racer knew that her designated lifeguard was around (and ready for anything).

 

So she started to hop furiously. She checked her mental map; thirty hops up front then turn left, next twenty-four hops and then…

 

MMMMMMPPPPHHHH???? MMMMMMPPPPHHHHMMMM!!!!’

 

Something was happening to both Muse and Layla?

 

And then she was grabbed by Terry.

 

MMMMMPPPPHHHHHMMMM?’

 

And now the massive and big hand was covering her parted lips.

 

Hush, Jeannie. The ‘Sudden Death Clause’ has been invoked.’

 

Huh? But she had never… well, there had been that situation about a year ago in which she and the other athletes were enjoying the pool after lunch (and before the afternoon’s ‘Games’, when suddenly all the lifeguards, plus the bodyguards of the trio of really wealthy women, were there rushing them and all the maids back to their rooms.

 

They were ordered to hand over their phones, a quick search was conducted in all the rooms and then they were locked inside them for about two hours. Some girls even had to be ‘disciplined’ afterwards for trying to sneak out.

 

Speaking with the other two flanking her, Ebby gave a laconic answer to all the women when it was over. All happened because of an ‘unexpected turn of events in some of our day to day business that insisted on following us to here’. And that was it.

 

She, and many others, had spent her first minutes in real captivity checking her contract and, as they had all been told, there it was: Clause 45-C (or the ‘Sudden Death Clause’), in which they had agreed that under specific circumstances, whose details would never be told to them, they would be subjected forced confinement for a period no longer than... Six hours???!!!! Whatever was what they would be doing at the time, it would be as if they had been subjected to a ‘Sudden Death’, hence the nickname.

 

Come again?’ – Palmer spoke with incredulity.

 

Are they serious?’ – Usually stone cold Jenna was flabbergasted with something?

 

Hold on…, girls, come with me…’ – And Terry wasn’t far behind them, apparently.

 

And she felt… Muse being placed at her left and Layla at her right (both were taller than she was, but Layla was a couple of inches taller than Muse).

 

Can you handle them?’

 

MMMMMMPPPPPHHHHMMMMM?????’ – Mumbled all three women indignantly.

 

Heard that? They will behave, they know about the rules and that this is one of them, go get the others….’ – and she heard both Palmer and Jenna, respectively Muse’s and Layla’s lifeguards, rushing to the stairs – ‘…Hmmm? Girls?’ – And Terry forced the girls flanking her to get a little closer… Oh-oh… – ‘There’s a little catch this time. The SDC doesn’t says if we have to untie or whatever any athlete that is in the middle of a competition when it, the clause, is invoked. And we were told not to…’

 

MMMHHHHHMMMM? MMMMMMMMMHHHHPPPPHHHH????!!!!’

 

But… Well… In a way… Don’t worry… You won’t be the only ones that will be locked inside one of the main rooms unable to speak or see and with a severe restriction in her movements, ALL the others will be sharing your situation… me included.’

 

SAY WHAT????!!!!

 

And then, one after the other, all three women were spun around by Terry.

 

Please girls, come this way… Hop forward, please…’

 

They tried to hop as fast as Terry told them to, but in the end Jeanne and Muse were grabbed by the bodybuilder and each was thrown over one of her shoulders, Terry gave a quick run to the main bedroom, deposited her indignant (and very complaining) ‘cargo’ standing against a wall next to the big bed, right by a giant wall mirror, and went back to grab Layla. Moments later all three ‘athletes’ stood side by side.

 

I am sorry girls… and good luck’

 

And then she left them alone.

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, in the wing were the stairs were located, all the curtains of the manor were being closed, the lights dimmed and all doors shut down. And then they came, some by their own free volition, others already restrained (and apparently fighting back since they didn’t like or enjoyed their current situation) and some being carried by lifeguards. They were being gathered at the top of the stairs, which was now almost pitch black, and the fact that they were being restrained, even without fighting against it, by the few women wearing night vision goggles only added more dread to the situation.

 

And then they all heard a whistle.

 

Kathleen’s forever-to-be-yet-registered ‘Attention, PLEASE!!!!’ whistle call…

 

Girls, your attention please. The ‘Unthinkable’ happened…’

 

The Unthinkable’ was how the millionaires and billionaire that were their bosses called the possibility of ‘The Games’ being known by their business rivals, political enemies or (in Maura’s case) family. Trouble, lots of trouble, would arise if it happened.

 

That was one of the reasons they got paychecks that big for their participation in ‘The Games’ in the first place, and so comfy ‘quarters’ were offered to all athletes, lifeguards and ‘backup service’ members; to avoid at all costs any disgruntle from anyone that could lead to a dreaded (by those three) leak…

 

And it had happened?

 

In any case, even those who didn’t remember that their current situation was covered by the Clause 48 in their contracts remembered that there was such a clause in them.

 

Not that it helped to ease their fear and discomfort in any way…

 

‘…First of all, I’d like to tell you that I am serious. If I…’ – Started Kathleen.

 

‘…Or myself…’ – continued Euboea.

 

‘…Or yours truly, or all three of us put together… - added Maura.

 

‘…wanted to see you all as our captives, in a ‘Assault on The Games’ scenario or the likes, we would have said it in advance, discussed it with those who wanted to discuss their participation… we would have done it all by the book, wouldn’t we?’

 

Yes, they would.

 

Sure, every now and then there was some sort of ‘prank’ or ‘jest’ at ‘The Games’ since Ebby had a weird sense of humor… But if they wanted to have an ‘Assault on The Games’ video/photoshoot, then (like when they decided to have ‘A Big Robbery at The Games’ video, with those professional models posing as four rival burglars that crash, and are ultimately crushed by, ‘The Games’) there would be cameras, photographers and make-up artists around (the actual movie they made was, quite, good)…

 

There weren’t any.

 

Unfortunately, this is actually happening. We are sorry, we are truly sorry, and let us make it absolutely clear that we have more than one answer to deal with ‘leaks’ and ‘leakers’, about what… twenty? Twenty-three different scenarios, each one designed to a specific case or situation. Not only we had to agree with our heads of our own security that, as harsh and invasive as your current situation is, in the… hmmm… current status of how much that we know about the leak, it’s the only way that we can deal with it.’

 

By now there were about 25 athletes, 14 lifeguards (those who hadn’t been hired due to their muscles) and 11 maids/waitresses (plus the cook and her two helpers) bound and gagged (or being reduced to it right now) cramped in the (now relatively short) space between the top of the stairs and the entrance of the hallway that lead to the guestrooms and the main bedroom (and there were still more women arriving!).

 

We understand that some of you will feel uncomfortable with ‘The Games’ after today, that some will feel hurt and even betrayed by us. We understand it and we are ready to talk about it with, or to just rescind the contract of, anyone who wants to… but not today. We are sorry girls, we truly are, but we have no other option right now…’

 

That’s when the remaining lifeguards and the security agents helping them (11 big and/or strong women) started to grab the captive women and carry them, either as sack of potatoes or more carefully, to the guestrooms, one at the time.

 

A door would be opened, a flurry of tall and strong women (either getting inside while carefully carrying their captive cargo or getting out) would follow, the big TV in the large room would be turned on and then the door would be locked. When time came to ‘fill’ the master bedroom, the only three remaining athletes (the competitors on the ‘Running With a Straitjacket’ event, already prepped for their races) were escorted to there and saw the lights being turned on with the TV, and then one after another those Amazons tied and gagged each other, until only Roberta stood free of any bonds, a situation that she remedied rather quickly by smothering three or four strips of tape over her lips, and then she put a pair of shiny bracelets on her wrists…

 

Meanwhile, they came from the stairway…

 

Five masked women, all donned in skintight black from head to toe while wearing a ridiculous big mask taken from one of the Vaults (where all costumes, fantasies and such were kept), that were soon locked inside the rooms filled with more than a dozen captive women in each. They would take care of any cramp or other problem of the wards, try to find something on TV that most of them agreed to watch while they waited for their situation to be resolved, and when the orders started to come (about three hours later) they cut free two or three women in each room and told them to wait for the order of their bosses to free the others, which only came about five minutes later.

 

But their freedom didn’t come at the same time for all women, the first who were freed were the lifeguards and securities (but not the three straightjacketed athletes, who were put in hogties) on the main bedroom. After a quick stop at the restroom, they were ready to escort all (now freed) women from the first guestroom back to their quarters and, after a twenty minutes’ pause (to get their marbles back in some cases, but mostly to pack their stuff), then most of them to the awaiting vans and SUVs.

 

Before they left the estate, a short video was played to them in a 50” that was placed in the entrance hall. The (mostly) unauthorized footage (taken from very good cameras that were hidden in at least four different places of the estate) showed athletes being prepped, the ‘Mummies’ Worm Race’ competition, the tables next to the swimming pool and (in the only shots taken directly from the security cameras) ‘Rita’ and ‘Ellie’ (a tall maid recently hired and a leggy backup crewmember of Ebby’s team, not their real names, obviously) being caught by Kathleen’ security team.

 

While ‘Rita’ (a strawberry blonde with a gracious smile) had her escape attempt cut short (ironically) thanks to the long laces of the short apron of her uniform (basically a bikini with the apron, the cap and some laces), ‘Ellie’ (a redhead wearing Ebby’s team blue gym shorts and tight black tank top ‘uniform’ very well) gave more trouble to the four (after a while five and then six) women that chased her in the Vaults. The scene when 6’3” Hélène tackled her, forcing her to fall over a rack of ‘Victorian’ dresses was met with cheers and high-fives by the departing women every time it was played…

 

Next Kathleen, whom stood by the TV all the time, reassured the women that those who wanted to leave ‘The Games’ would receive a good parachute from all three ‘sponsors’ of it, and those who wouldn’t would get a sizeable compensation for their troubles, some of the women gave her hugs and others mouthed ‘I’ll call you’ (or the likes).

 

The scenario was repeated with the women in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th guestrooms.

 

The few women (some maids and athletes) that stayed that night at the manor did so because, when they returned to their rooms, they found an envelope with 5K and a written plea. Basically Kathleen (or in some cases Ebby or Maura) asked them to stay in order to cause more confusion to whoever was behind the ‘Unthinkable’.

 

Most of the women agreed to help them, and had their dinner served to them in their rooms that night by the improvised waitresses (mostly security agents that were brought from the city). Save from ‘Wanda McKay’ (one of the cook’s helpers, actually Lorena Custer, a junior PI of a Buenos Aires based firm hired by Maura’s stepbrother), who realized too late that her diet soda was drugged, all of them left in the morning.

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THREE HOURS AFTER THE LAST VAN LEFT THE ESTATE

 

There… Feeling better?’

 

Reluctantly, and very ashamed of herself, Sonja nodded.

 

She had just returned home, after enjoying a very late dinner with the other girls (all trying to help each other to cope with their recent ordeal) at some nice and cozy place downtown, and was in the middle of getting ready for a bath (and was busy trying to get that tight blue jeans pants off) when her mysterious assailant pounced on her.

 

In fact, she was still marveled as to how the black clad woman had managed to… sneak upon her so quietly. From where exactly had she came from?

 

Under the bed? Behind the door? Where exactly?

 

All she knew was that one moment she was lying on her back over her bed, legs up as she held her pants and tried to slide her legs out of it, and then something hard, a small ball, was shoved inside her mouth. Before she could react, her attacker had sat on her legs, forcing them down and against her face, as she grabbed her wrists and tied them behind her knees. Her attacker then tied her knees, above and below, together and then she stood up, spun around and grabbed her ankles, tying them together and to the vent opener way above her head, leaving her in an awkward position, with her head and shoulders resting against the bed and all the rest of her body dangling upside down.

 

Next the… also short red-hair (the only portion of her head that was visible since she had black goggles over her eyes) woman started to rip some pieces of tape. First over her pursed lips, next all over her arms and legs, and only after she had a tight package is that she undid the knot holding her upside down (and helped her to lie on her left side on her own bed). And then she delivered the most infuriating ‘Tah-dah!!!’ Sonja had ever heard in her life… and five seconds later her eyes were totally watered…

 

And her attacker’s reaction to see her crying profusely had been absolutely unexpected.

 

She hugged Sonja while whispering soothing words to the taller (and unbeknownst to her, younger) redhead girl and, after a while, she broke the hug with a handkerchief in her left hand and dried her tears with care and even tenderness.

 

And now, after removing the goggles (showing her very beautiful and concerned dark emerald eyes), the ‘modern ninja’ was now kneeling on the bed by her left.

 

I know it has been a rough day for you, at least a rough and scary past few hours. I am sorry but I need you to answer, just with a nod or a shake of your head, a few questions. If you refuse to answer them, or if you give me any reason to think that you are lying to me, then I’ll spank you a little, maybe a little ticking (are you ticklish?) too, and next I’ll tie you up a lot tighter and I will lock you inside your closet. Then I will go visit one of your friends. I need answers and I need them now or tonight at least, and if you don’t give them to me I’ll go find them elsewhere. But… If you answer my questions and you do not try to lie to me, then I will leave your phone by the door and you will chose who will rescue you. Family, friends, Kathleen Talbot or the police, your call…’

 

And she let it sink in Sonja’s mind, staying quiet for about a full minute.

 

Will you answer my questions?’ – To which Sonja nodded eagerly.

 

The interrogatory was brief, she basically showed a series of pictures of other women that were supposed to be at the estate that day, most of them were ‘athletes’, and asked her if she had seen them AFTER her whole ordeal had started. If Sonja shook her head she would move to the next picture, if she nodded a series of questions, trying to determinate exactly when and where she had seen that woman would follow.

 

After about ten minutes of questions, the black clad fulfilled her promised, after allowing Sonja’s wrists to ‘rest’ against the small of her back with lots of rope!

 

Tah...dah?’

 

Sonja’s answer would have made her mother wash her mouth with a bar of soap!

 

But, again, the ‘ninja’ surprised her with her reaction.

 

She lied on the floor next to her well-taped and roped-up body, she on her right side while Sonja was forced to lie on her left and toyed with the tip of Sonja’s nose before giving it a slight kiss, followed by an infuriating grin!

 

That’s the spirit! Be sure to never let it wane, will you please do that?’

 

And another light kiss on the tip of the nose followed that, and in the next moment Sonja was alone. And her cellphone was just a few yards away from her…

 

 

 

 

FOUR HOURS LATER

 

So?’ – asked Euboea to her head of her security.

 

Tammy just turned off her phone, she was a bit mad with Ambrose and Jacqueline, but when she learned about Sonja and Valerie, Jackie let it slip, she immediately started to put on other clothes, she was sleeping with and oversized Miami Heat jersey and her panties, and accepted the ride that I told Jackie to offer her…’ – answered Ulrica.

 

To…?’

 

Here. It took Tammy a little to realize where she was being taken to, but Jackie made little of her protests and attempts to cry for help, Ambrose didn’t have to stop the car to assist her in the restraining of Tammy…’

 

Have her sent to my room, just that, I’ll have a talk with her as soon as possible… And with Jacqueline as well… it’s the third incident of slippery from her part, isn’t?’

 

Ulrica nodded, and started to give the proper instructions via comlink.

 

So that give us…?’ – asked Maura to her head of her security.

 

So far, we have seven confirmed attacks, four women who haven’t answered to our calls and will get a visit of one of our agents in twenty minutes or less, and twenty-one women who either turned off their phone, are going to sleep somewhere else other than their homes or… well, twenty-one false alarms, Ma’am’ – answered Makiyama.

 

Could you please stop with that? I am the one coordinating everything, and I wouldn’t have any problem to ask to either Ulrica or Patricia if I wasn’t…’ – said Kathleen.

 

There was a quick exchange of stern looks, but the others conceded more annoyed than insulted. All the other questions were aimed at Kathleen’s head of security, Liv.

 

So far, what do we know about the Q&A they are submitting our girls?’ – Ebby.

 

They are trying to narrow the actual number (and identity) of the women who are now sleeping inside those walls, more specifically, to how many women that could pass for any of them three…’ – and she pointed at the trio of captives ‘sharing’ a padded cell somewhere in the city while wearing a variety of medical restraints besides the same model of a monstrous black straightjacket they all bore – ‘…since they most likely have realized that we found out about them, and had them apprehended…’

 

And the original trio of women that would have been replaced?’ – Maura.

 

'We grabbed them this morning, just in case their 'replacement' was but a decoy...'

 

'And we are they now?' – Ebby.

 

The image on the screen split into four windows.

 

In one the trio of straitjacketed women slept drug induced dreams, in the window next to it a (mid-thirties) black woman in her undies was seen in the back seat of a car, bound in between two other black women (whom wore businesslike suits and even shades). Not much could be seen of the captive since her face, thanks to a lot of rope (and a ring in the ballgag that silenced her), was now buried between her knees. There was rope all over her arms and crisscrossing her back and (apparently) her legs as well).

 

Right under the images of the padded cell, a very young Oriental woman was having a very peaceful (and also drug induced) sleep over a large bed. At a corner of the screen her vital signs (heartbeats, body temperature, etc.) were displayed. The light cleavegag and the fact that her hands were obviously padlocked/clamped to the sides of her legs under the bed sheet were the only indications that she was a captive.

 

Lastly, the screen at the bottom right showed another young Oriental woman in the middle of an interrogatory. She was wearing only a flimsy pair of white panties and the white ropes that held her to her seat, a one-foot and rotating stool, by her wrists, knees and ankles. There were subtitles at the bottom of the screen since the questions, made by two masked men and one woman, were being made in a foreign language (neither Chinese or Japanese, that’s for sure). She kept herself silent, no matter how harsh was the tone aimed at her, and in the end it was rather silly see the men and the woman make her turn round and round as they tried to disorientate her.

 

She was remarkably lookalike of the other Oriental girl.

 

She’s not going to say a thing…’ – said Maura.

 

Why should she? She owes them more than we could bribe her to do our will…’ – said Ebby, who then approached the screen and pressed a button. She said a few words in that weird language, and the captive’s face showed a lot of smugness (while the trio surrounding her gritted their teeth, stiffed their shoulders and clenched their fists) before her interrogators spared nor tape nor rope over her body, effectively mummifying her. Next one of the men grabbed the girl and carried her out of the room…

 

What language was that?’ – asked the only woman in the room who wasn’t under the power, pay or authority of any of them three, ‘Ellie’ (or Cassidy of Helen Troy’s gang).

 

Do you really want to know? (…) Very well, it’s Javanese…’ – said Maura.

 

They’re twins, right?’ - She pressed a little further.

 

Nope, sisters with three years separating their births… and if you keep making those questions, deal or no deal, we will have to have you removed and…’

 

Locked somewhere with more than enough restraining stuff over my limbs. I know that. But do I need to remember you ladies that it was this… penchant for secrecy…’

 

While Ulrica, Makiyama and Liv were giving her death stares, and the other members of the conjoined effort of the security details lead by those three were not far behind, the three women who had the most to lose if the current operation went awful was slightly… amused with Cassidy’s attitude.

 

It’s Jada, your twin sister who is helping Ada, right? To deal with our athletes, right?’

 

Cassidy tried to deny it, but her awkwardness just grew by the second as the death stares changed to knowing grins. Damn! Why should her… amateurishness (?)… become so evident when she did not needed it the most? That was what had hampered her career (and her promotions among Helen’s now very big organization)!!!!

 

Hello?’

 

How did this… Euboea (what name was that?) managed to move to behind her?

 

Look here, little girl. We know we screwed up and we know we owe you and your team the chance to beat our adversaries. No way for us to deny that with a straight face and keep our self-respect intact. BUT… Only six persons in this estate knows where Ada, Jada and our athletes are right now, and there won’t gonna be a 7th. It’s for our own girls’ protection, and for your boss’ wife’s protection and for your sister’s protection. The moment we establish a link with where they are… we will be under a massive cyber-attack! The Duchess wants all six of them back to her side, and our little girls are standing in her way, so there’s not even a snowball in Hell chance of us deviating from our plans if that means any possible harm against them. If you keep trying to make us tell you what you want to know, we will follow our arrangement and you will still be able to see and hear everything that we are doing, and will be able to report it to Helen Troy with all the possible details you can perceive! But… your ability to interfere in our actions either being reasonable or annoying… will be deprived very effectively!’

 

T-tha-that’s not what…’

 

Instead of answering her, Euboea looked past her left shoulder to Kathleen.

 

Did you record our talks with Helen Troy?’

 

Kathleen nodded, and Euboea then looked over her right shoulder.

 

Am I wrong to remember that there was no talk about us being forbidden to…’

 

‘…Silence this lovely Irish pest if we needed to? Nope…’ – finished Maura.

 

And Euboea placed her big right index finger I the middle of Cassidy’s cupid’s bow.

 

Shut up, and go back to your seat. Now.’

 

That calm woman was way more intimidating that Helen (when she was furious)!

 

Blushing very deeply, Cassidy sat back on her chair while Kathleen and Maura mouthed thank-yous to Ebby, who seemed deep in thought, and then she smiled in a very wicked way, and nodded to Ulrica and Makiyama, who wasted no time...

 

Their approach was swift and silent, and their pounce very precise. Three minutes later, Ulrica finished smothering the tape over the long black scarf wrapped four times between Cassidy’s lips while Makiyama cinched the last knots on her wrists, her waist and the back of the chair. They had done a good job, facilitated by the lack of struggle against their efforts by Cassidy, and now the ‘intruder’ in their nest could only do what she was supposed to in the first place: to see and listen to what they were doing…

 

WITHOUT PESTERING THEM!!!!

 

And, again, Euboea ‘Ebby’ Bortroff had managed to go from her front to her back without her realizing it. And those hands, those hands, were now over her shoulders…

 

If you think that we are not afraid that something may be wrong with them, you are really naïve. But it is of utmost importance that we keep ourselves in the dark, since we are still trying to figure out how to beat that Italian… snob(!) in her own game!!!’

 

And then Ebby bent over and whispered in Cassidy’s right ear.

 

However, if you stop being the irritating brat you have been this past hour and let my gals deal with our common problems in our way, just stay put with your eyes and ears wide open as your boss told you to be… When it’s all over and done, and even if we somehow manage to lose this one, I can have you locked in a room with whatever and whoever you need to blow off some steam… Those two grinning kitten included…’

 

Cassidy turned her head to the older woman with her eyes bulging noticeably.

I read your file… Nice job pretending to be your sister, Jada… Just not good enough.’

 

Next Ebby patted the bound girl’s head and returned to her seat as the other women in the room said, thought or mouthed ‘Say what?’ to themselves or each other…

 

 

 

NEARLY TWELVE HOURS BEFORE

 

Before anything, I want to tell you girls that I am not a man. If you ever visit New Zealand, go to one of its less famous places and turn on the radio, you may hear this voice again. It belongs to some guy who works with radio advertising. I am American and a woman, and that is all that you will know about me.’

 

The voice was coming from behind them? From behind the wall?

 

Well, there was this rumor that Kathleen’s estate had been built by a smuggler (or the likes) in the early days of the XIX Century. Others said that the guy was just a perv who wanted easy access to the maids’ rooms. In any case, it was a fact that, when the list of manors built or ‘remodeled’ by that firm from Chicago specialized in ‘secret passages’ showed up on the web, Kathleen’s ‘second home’ was in it…

 

And now they knew why! A secret passageeeeehhhh…

 

Somebody grabbed her by her bound left arm and forced her, while placing a hand on the top of her head to force it slightly down, through the opening on the wall. She heard Layla and Muse’s muffled protests when they were ‘helped’ and now the trio of (still) blindfolded captives stood again side by side... behind the mirror!

 

That’s it! They had passed through the wall where the mirror was supposed to be!

 

Listen up, I am going to tie Jeanne and Muse’s wrists to a hook on the wall at your left. This place is… quite amazing! This ‘secret passage’ even have a lift, an elevator for you Americans, to bring us back to the ground floor without the use of the now overcrowded stairway! There’s a spiral staircase as well, but the blindfolds will stay on and there’s only place for two in the lift… So Muse and Jeanne, stay put…’

 

As if they had a chance to do anything but!

 

They heard the woman (?), helping/forcing Layla to move to their right, and then they heard an almost completely silent engine being put in motion.

 

Hmmmuu mmkkmeee?’

 

Yemmmmppphhh? Mmmuu?’

 

Mmmiiieeehhh…’

 

They had nothing better to do but to wait for a few minutes. The hook, to which the ropes the still unseen woman had tied around their knotted wrists had been tied to, was located, more or less, at her left shoulder’s level. And then they heard the engine again.

 

Come, Muse, this way… oh, to f*** it! Don’t worry Muse, as you can feel, I have muscles enough to hold you without any chance of me letting you fall on the floor. Jeanne? I’ll be back in a few minutes... (…)? Stop it Muse!’

 

And then the woman said, probably in her own voice (at least it was a female voice)…

 

It’s me you fool!’

 

And Muse’s muffled protests stopped immediately. Jeanne spent the next minutes trying to remember if she had ever heard that voice before, but couldn’t be sure.

 

That’s when something odd happened, suddenly she felt something being removed and then put back right above her left breast… the brooch? Part of her ‘Hammer damsel’ fantasy was a pair of small brooches (necklaces were forbidden by Kathleen), one for the hair and the other for her chest, just because Maura and Kathleen couldn’t think of a Victorian runner that didn’t used one or two of those things (Ebby favored chokers).

 

Who was with her and what was going on? ‘Slanderous pigs’ was whispered in her right ear. It was Liv’s password for ‘play along’, okay, whoever she was she belonged to Kathleen’s security team. But who was… as if she knew (or had already heard the voices of) all the members of the security team of the estate!

 

She hadn’t yet (and probably never would) talked to a… a quarter of them!

 

Don’t worry, we will be near. Just play along as if you didn’t know about us…’

 

And as silently as she had approached her, the woman was gone.

 

And she heard the engine back to action.

 

Whoever was Muse’s acquaintance she was a tall and very strong woman, and Jeanne just hated to be carried like a sack of potatoes, but she didn’t show it. She was eerily calm, to the point that, as soon as she was placed inside the elevator the mysterious woman placed a big hand on her left shoulder and whispered in her ear.

 

Are you alright?’

 

It was Hélène, the usually meek (unless she had to ‘get serious’) Ohioan giantess that almost got to be her roomie a few years back. She nodded.

 

And scared?’

 

She nodded again.

 

Yeah, so am I… The dames are serious about whatever is going on; I am supposed to deliver you to the ‘waiting room’ next to the library and then allow myself to be as tied up and gagged as you are, in my undies! They brought some mean fellas from the…’

 

But the ride was over and there two persons waiting for them at the bottom of the shaft, and they were mad at Hélène. Jeanne was grabbed, lifted and taken airborne out of the elevator while the other person said in an enraged metallic voice to Hélène.

 

You talk too much. You were supposed to…’

 

Boss?’ – She answered as if she was talking through her comlink – ‘Did those two candy-hearted friends of mine also failed to follow orders when it came to deal either with Muse, Layla or both? (…) Oooooooh you… big… BULLIES!!!!’

 

Shut up you…’ – The woman holding her, bridal style, was none other than Colleen, Hélène’s prank-mistress’ counterpart in Maura’s team – ‘Listen, girlfriend, we don’t know why but the bosses are dead serious about whatever is going on. They want no witnesses, no telltales nor tattlers around, not even accidental peeping-tomasinas. So they brought some gals (and a few guys) from their super-duper 'trouble management' specialists to handle whatever is going on, even if all of them are dressed in a rather ridiculous fashion (to make whatever Deep Throat-wannabe snitch to the press even less plausible), while everybody else in the estate will spend a few hours unable to, willingly or unwillingly, interfere in, or participate in, or learn the tiniest bit of info about what’s going on. And that applies to us. I will deliver you to that waiting room while Hélène will strip and be bound and gagged by Marsha… Why the special treatment for you, Muse and Layla? We don’t know. But the bosses would like to have a word with you about whatever is happening now…’

 

Come on big girl, strip!’ – So the unknown voice belonged to Marsha…

 

It made sense.

 

Colleen, Hélène and the usually mute Marsha were the tallest and strongest members of all three security details that were present at ‘The Games’, three big and totally different (one from the others) women that liked to hang around each other in their rare spare times. And, while Hélène come close to be her ‘assigned roomie’ (but that knot-crazed, and all-around wonderful gal, Nia was chosen instead), Colleen was the ‘terror’ of pretty much everybody else at the estate (minus the bosses of course) with her ‘habit’ of, with a little help of her good friend Layla, making goodhearted (but still… ‘mean’) pranks to unexpected (and usually defenseless) victims. (280lbs and 6’7”) Marsha was (95lbs and 5’5”) Muse’s roomie and 24/7 protector (and just that, both were straight)… 

 

She emerged from the secret passageways in an ample room, the saloon maybe?, in Colleen’s arms and, after a short trip, she arrived and… was now sitting on a pouf (?), there were no poufs in that room…, she heard Colleen saying ‘Good luck’ while her head was being held in a firm, but gentle as possible, grip so she could not turn back or sideways, expert hands were undoing the knots at the base of her skull.

 

Keep your eyes closed and open your mouth.’

 

The soggy mass that once had been a hankie was pried from her mouth, she was given some lemon juice to drink and then one, two… five strips of tape were smothered over her lips. And then she felt two fingers against her neck.

 

Wow, you must be desperate. I know the situation is frightening and very unusual, even for this place’s standards, but I need you to relax, OK?’

 

After a while she somehow managed to comply. The blindfold was removed.

 

Alright, open your eyes.’

 

The first thing that she realized was that she was, indeed, inside the waiting room, but, to her surprise, there wasn’t one (domino-masked) woman in front of her, but four.

 

One was smaller and the others were more or less of her height, and all were at least a decade younger and wearing skintight black… leotards? Spandex ones actually.

 

She felt the ropes around her arms being removed, and one of the girls was now kneeling by her side and taking care of all those knots over her legs.

 

All will be explained, but we need you to change your clothes…’

 

She tried to stand and move away from those weird ‘masked gymnasts’, but was easily grabbed by three of them and a fourth held a phone next to her left ear.

 

Jeanne, please my dear, they are not going to hurt or assault you, but I need you to do as they say. We shall discuss the terms of the compensation for your trouble in a few minutes but, for now, please follow their commands…’

 

Kathleen had never said ‘please’ to her before, never. She even doubted that the old woman knew the word. And yet there she was, being begged to put on…

 

A plaid skirt that went below her knees, a grey T-shirt and (small) black boots?

 

All clothes fit her perfectly. Next she was told to sit back on the pouf (that was from the lounge area), and had her ankles and wrists taped by two of the ‘masked gymnasts’, who then left the room. She had a glimpse of some black guy, very tall and well built, who was wearing black from head to toe. And then one of the remaining ‘gymnasts’ was behind her and forcing her head to look forward.

 

We meant you no harm… In fact, we are in need of your help…’ – said the one still holding that gizmo that looked like a microphone (and made her talk so weirdly).

 

After about five minutes, there was a knock at the door and Kathleen entered the room.

 

And she was not alone.

 

 

 

 

FIVE HOURS LATER

 

OK, you are doing fine. Close the door and walk ahead about twenty steps, then turn left. It’s almost over. You’re doing fine…’

 

She was starting to wish that she could meet the owner of that melodic voice, then she would tie her to some bed, tautly, and would find out how much ticklish that gal is!

 

She did not need those constant words of reassertion… She was so f***ing scared to the core of her bones, thinking so many nasty stuff about herself right now (that she was the stupidest person alive and the dumbest and the easiest to be bamboozled…) and hoping/ praying that ‘it’, her almost nonsensical actual situation, was already ‘over’…

 

THAT SHE DID NOT NEED NO F******* REASSERTION & ENCOUREGEMENT WORDS COMING FROM THE F****** PLUG IN HER RIGHT EAR!!!!!!!

 

Just in case you have forgotten… We still have a few hours before we shoot everything that we are supposed to, all those 80+ scenarios, and that means that YOU still have a few hours bound and gagged and TOTALLY at our mercy…’ – said the other woman.

 

She couldn’t care less! And even tightly restrained, and blindfolded, as she was she made her feelings clear to the duo of ‘captoresses’!

 

Timeout?’ – asked the first, and very annoying, woman’s voice.

 

She nodded eagerly.

 

The three pairs of hands were all over her in a moment, undoing knots, massaging her limbs and, yet again, removing the plaid skirt, the boots and the T-shirt. The one that hadn’t spoken yet, and easily the strongest of the three, then grabbed her (again as if she was a sack!) and carried her back to her mattress. If she at least wasn’t gagged…

 

She… probably… wouldn’t say a word anyway.

 

Okay, we have water, diet sodas and orange juice. Which one you want?’ – asked the first woman as the tape over her lips was carefully peeled off. With a croaked voice she managed to say ‘water’. After a very refreshing glass she was feeling better.

 

Thank you. Can I have some orange juice please? And yogurt?’

 

Sure.’

 

Layla? Muse? Are you alright?’

 

From their own mattresses, at her left, came the muffled answers, which she understood almost perfectly… (What kind of life she had so she ended up learning gaggish?)

 

Do you actually need to keep them tied, blindfolded and gagged while you film me?’

 

Yes. We. Do. (…) For the last time… It’s not that we don’t trust in you or them, we actually don’t need to trust any of you (but I do), but it’s that… for YOUR own safety it’s better for you to not know exactly what you gals are doing…’

 

Aside from the fact that we are pretending to be someone else, someone who was captured somewhere and ‘is’ trying to escape from wherever we are…’

 

‘Yes! And it’s better, for your safety, that you don’t know the slightest about the places where ‘you’ gals are trying to run… more like crawl and hop…away from.’

 

But why do you have to redress me anyway?’

 

Can you do it without touching the blindfold?’ – asked the second woman while the first, probably, helped her to have some tutti-frutti yogurt.

 

Yes! But why should I do it?’

 

Because we are covering all sorts of scenarios here. Let’s say that the woman you are pretending to be knows the display of the furniture and such so much, so well, that she could walk around the place with her eyes closed. Let’s say that she does know the place that well, but the (unjustified) fear for her life makes her forgets that desk over here or that lamp over there. And let’s say that she thinks she knows the layout of the place, but there has been some ‘redecoration’ that she hadn’t heard about… or any of the variations possible and plausible of these and more scenarios… we will cover them all! But, of course, in each and every single one of them, it will be as if she is doing it (trying to escape while still a restrained captive) for the first time…’

 

Okay… Fine… I’ll do it. One last thing…’

 

Why do they have to stay over their own mattresses while we take your shots?’

 

Back to her enforced muteness, and with her head held still by the strong (and big) hands of the third woman while the first wrapped tape around her head, she nodded.

 

Because, strictly technically speaking, none of ‘you’, the girls you are pretending to be, is being held in the same place. The mattresses are displayed as being the sides of a triangle, and each one of them depicts a different room… And we are alone… here, so we only have time to shoot all possible scenarios of the plight of one of you at the time. And, to be fair, mattresses are much better than chairs or stools, aren’t they?’

 

All three gagged women nodded.

 

So while we, and one of you, are doing our intended job here…’ – finished the first woman, as Jeanne was urged by the other two to put on another ‘set’ of her ‘uniform’.

 

Okay, but where was here in the first place?

 

She remembered the begging look in Kathleen’s eyes, so unlike when she had first proposed for her to be an ‘athlete’ on her team, or when Maura came up with that ridiculous ‘Hopping in the Maze’ race of last winter (since Maura’s estate was located in the Southern Hemisphere, it was a very hot summer day down there)…

 

No, this time she was begging with her eyes for real!!!

 

And she remembered how little (and yet how much) that other (masked) woman had told her about the whole big mess, how she was from an organization that dealt with counterespionage in ‘creative’ ways, how a group of industrial spies was trying to steal (during the only window of opportunity they would have) a huge amount of data from some server, and why it was so important for Kathleen (and Ebby and Maura) that she (and Muse and Layla) used their weird race skills in a ruse against those criminals.

 

Sure, she and the others would have loved to be able to make at least ONE question to that woman or to Kathleen (or Maura or Ebby), and all four knew that very well, which explained why she was kept (as Muse and Layla were) thoroughly gagged and well restrained until she was carried back to her room.

Kathleen spent more time reassuring to her that her safety was top priority, along with Layla’s and Muse’s, that all possible ‘and even impossible’ means to ensure it would be used, than actually begging her to do it. And the sum that was promised to her…

 

Since she was the last to accept the ‘impersonation’ job proposal, Kathleen told her to have a bath while a light dinner was being prepared for her, and then a masked giantess (the third woman?) came in, blindfolded her and carried back to her room. She managed to eat most of the early dinner. Kathleen appeared and gave her one last chance to say no but she just smiled and drank the spiced water a masked black giantess gave her.

 

And she awoke sometime later, right on time to wriggle a little over a large mattress while Layla finished her shots. Next it was her turn… would Muse be the last one or had she shot her ‘scenes’ already? She wasn’t sure how much time had she spent under the influence of whatever was put in that water…

 

She hopped back and forth around the ‘office’ about a couple of dozen times more, she did not bother to count them after she reach the fifth time, ‘acting’ like she was told to through the earplug. She bumped on desks, against the walls and even fell on her butt as many times as she was told to, and then it was finally over…

 

And, as she heard Muse being prepped for her shots, two pair of divine hands gave her the best massage she had ever received!

 

Okay, we will take you to the restroom. We will remove all your bonds and you will be left alone for ten minutes. Ten minutes all to yourself. And then you will take off all of your clothes. All of them. And you’ll pout on what will be left by the door. Deal?’

 

She nodded. A quick ride over the right shoulder of the third woman and she was there, a large change room with many benches and mirrors, and a WC. The ‘clothes’ were actually a clean set of (bikini cut, yet very big) blue underwear…

 

As she was told to, Jeanne knelt on the floor with her back to the door of the change room, closed her eyes and told the women outside that she was ready. Three minutes later she was back over the shoulder of the third woman (who had done a quick and efficient job with her bonds)

 

About an hour and half (or so) later, Muse was finished with her ‘shots’, and they heard the third woman’s voice for the first and last time. She was, apparently, a foreigner, with a thick (and unknown) accent, and was asking them if they wanted some pizza…

 

It took the woman about thirty minutes to return, the trio of ‘impersonators’ was fed with some slices while their captors/filming crew talked a lot in a weird language (that the first two women knew enough of that their accent was almost imperceptible), then one by one they were carried back to the change room for some hygiene – brand new toothbrushes and a toothpaste were provided for all three – and then they were put in light hogties, but still well gagged, side by side and told to get some sleep…

 

Which they did after they were sure that the chokers they now wore were of the kind they had heard about, they were actually a whole set of sensors that would monitor their vital signs, and if anything went wrong they gags and hogties would be out in no time…

 

Only when they awoke they would be told that all their efforts had been for naught.

 

 

 

 

TWENTY-SIX MINUTES AFTER JADA WAS EXPOSED

 

Damn… you’re good…’ – Kathleen said as soon as she was allowed to speak.

 

Thank you.’

 

I suppose you are going make me join them and then…’

 

Nope, for all intended purposes, I am not here. I never was here actually.’

 

And the wristlock was now undone, and as Kathleen took a step forward and then turned around, she saw that her mysterious attacker was now a dozen steps away from her. The masked black woman was carrying no gun with her.

 

I could scream.’

 

No, you couldn’t, and besides… you made sure that the walls are soundproof, right?’

 

Yes, but I could say a few words, nothing weird or too obvious, and the…’

‘…the many microphones that are around us would get them, the computer would analyze your talk and find the hidden code and security would be warned of a situation happening here right now. But that is not going to happen…’

 

Why not?’

 

Instead of answering, the masked black woman (Felicia?) removed a small backpack from her back and opened it. There were only three envelopes inside it.

 

Each one had only a big red letter written on the receiver side. ‘K’, ‘E’ and ‘M’.

 

She grabbed the ‘K’ envelope and gave it to Kathleen, walking two dozen steps backwards after that. Kathleen carefully opened the envelope… It had a trice folded sheet of white paper in it, with three numbered items written on the sheet.

 

Number one were her five ‘Doomsday accounts’; if, for any reason, she found herself alone, on the run from the ‘Friendship’, the law and who knows who else, she had set five bank accounts (three in the US, one in Japan and the biggest one in Belize) with five distinct fake identities for each one of them. It cost a small fortune to keep the proper paper trail for all those IDs still flowing, so if she had to use the accounts it wouldn’t attract the wrong kind of attention from nobody, but she kept them coming since, apparently, only she knew about the paper trail and the accounts...

 

Number Two was the current name and address of the woman she had ‘killed’ in order to have her abusive (and unfaithful) husband sent behind bars for life, 41 and a half years ago. Back then what he did to her was perceived as ‘his husband’s rights’... They had been out of touch for over a decade now, and she had a family in her new identity…

 

Number three was, simply put, Kathleen Talbot’s darkest secret.

 

She turned pale and, for a moment, her legs failed her. Felicia was by her side the next, and helped her to sit on the edge of her own bed.

 

Do you want some water?’

 

No… just tell me what you want and…’ – Felicia’s gloved right index finger was over her lips the next moment, and there was something in her eyes that made Kathleen put aside her pride and concede that a glass of water would be ‘fine’…

 

My job here is to deliver those three letters to you, Euboea Bortroff and Maura Ramos. In person. So I would like you to call them here, and please make sure that they bring Ulrica and Clarice with them. Oh, and before Liv comes here as well… there’s one thing that I would like her to do for me…’ – Felicia said after she gave her the water.

 

‘‘Like’?’

 

Alright… That I need her to do for me…’

 

Fighting a mix of very antagonistic feelings, Kathleen stood up and faced…

 

First thing first, you are Felicia Morris, right?’

 

Yes, nice to meet you, Ms. Talbot.’

 

Kathleen just took a peek over her shoulder, at the trio of half-naked beauties that were sleeping on her bed thanks to whatever Felicia had injected them with.

 

How did you manage to subdue them in the first place? How did you manage to get inside this room actually? If that’s not asking too much…’

 

Not really. I got a plan of the secret passages of this place. Where my boss got it I haven’t the slightest idea, but to get in here was easy, especially after I got this gizmo that made the sensors of the tunnels leading to the manor…’

 

‘…so you got one of those? Liv keeps telling me to have an upgrade on the tech of the tunnels. She keeps claiming that there is some ‘new stuff’ that could fool the sensors into registering the vital signs of a human being as of a rat, cat or the likes…’

 

Felicia’s answer was just a knowing smile. Once it was all over, Liv would get another blank check to buy everything she wanted for her (and all her girls’) security!!!

 

So you got in here…’

 

Three days ago, a little before the girls you… requested for this weekend arrived. Since they had to be inside this room for the sensors around us, much more precise than the ones in the tunnels and passages, register them as ‘authorized’ to be here… Well, to be honest I don’t know how it was done, a hacking probably, but those sensors and the computers linked to them registered fourteen new ‘signatures’ (instead of thirteen) as being allowed to be in you room, or anywhere else in the estate!’

 

Do you realize what you are doing?’

 

I am a professional, Ms. Talbot, and if my boss tells me to be honest with you…’

 

Okay, that explained how she was surprised by Felicia, just after she saw the trio of beauties (that was supposed to help her ‘relax’ a little) sleeping over her bed as they lay side by side, with Dominiqua hogtied and ballgagged in between the equally stupored Danika and Ruth. She had told the trio that she wanted a video of ‘fight’ between them, with the losers being bound and gagged by the winners, as an appetizer

 

As I said, I have been around for the past three days. Like myself, I knew that they had realized by now that you like to ‘change the script’ right in the middle of the action… so to speak. So I saw their ridiculous ‘fight’, and of course the duo of blonde Canadian friends jumped on the black Senegalese gal, who put on a better (but still playful) ‘fight’ than the one they were expecting, and when they cinched the last knots, raised their heads and saw me, a black and… (alright…) busty ninja gal, they assumed that I was telling the truth when I told them that you had decided to add some ‘spice’…’

 

And Felicia showed her a small can of aerosol at the left of the feet of Ruth.

 

It’s Quick Nap II, they will wake up in fifty minutes, give or take five minutes. By then the meeting will be over already, or so the boss hopes…’

 

Hold on a second, ‘meeting’?’

 

Whatever that it is written in that piece of paper, or in the ones inside of the envelopes that I have yet to deliver, it’s not for blackmailing purposes. You can be sure of it…’

 

Kathleen thought about the situation for five or six minutes, and then she called Ebby.

 

 

 

 

TWENTY MINUTES LATER

 

Could you please repeat what you just said?’ – asked a still enraged Maura.

 

It’s quid pro quo, now you know that my boss knows whatever are your biggest secrets (or at least, the most troublesome ones of the lot). The very first thing that she will do is to reveal one of her own. Just to make you and her on the same level, before you get down to whatever business the meeting is about… M.A.D., you know…’

 

What?’ – asked Kathleen.

 

Mutually Assured Destruction, it’s a military doctrine that, to put it bluntly, says that the fact that you know that I can destroy you prevents you from trying to destroy me…’

 

Thank you, Mrs. Ramos. The point is, she gave up powerful stuff that she has… had against all three of you, and will give an edge against her, just so she can talk in person with you three…’ – and Felicia looked up at the two women holding her and then at the one in front of them – ‘…and only you three. The rest of us will be wearing them.’

 

Them’ were four hoods and four mean-looking armbinders and legbinders. According to Ulrica and Clarice the hoods had built-in white noise generators around the ears’ area, aside the very effective (and padded) blindfold (that could be removed) and a big and mean built-in ballgag, and according to Liv the armbinders and legbinders were of a recent automated model, meant for self-bondage lovers (like her).

 

They were all inside a bag that Felicia had hid inside Liv’s closet, under Liv’s bondage paraphernalia, and when she entered the room she was obviously miffed at Kathleen.

 

But she immediately saw the look in Ebby and Maura’s faces, and recognized Felicity right away. So, following Kathleen’s instructions, she emptied the bag and displayed its content right at the left of Felicity, held by Ulrica and Makiyama (each one ‘taking care’ of one of her arms, by stretching and twisting it) kneeling on the floor in the middle of Kathleen’s (extra-large) private chamber. She didn’t bother, yet, to try to find out how the invasion had happened, Kathleen would fill her in as soon as possible anyway.

 

And how will… Tammy?’ – Ebby started to say.

 

Who? Ah, the girl that… is being brought… here…?’ – said/asked Maura.

 

Precisely. Don’t worry about her wellbeing or whoever’s who claimed that was going to bring her to this estate. If I know Debs, and I know her, right now Tammy is sleeping peacefully over her own bed, free of any restraint. The same can’t be said about the people who is supposed to be bringing her, but at most they are sleeping while well restrained somewhere at the condo where she lives…’

 

And we are supposed to let them in? Straight to my own room?’

 

Yes. I don’t know who the girl is, she has some resemblance with the real Tammy but will probably be so overly gagged and blindfolded that her whole face (save for the nostrils) will be covered with either tape or Elastoplast or something. The fact is that anyone that knows the differences between a man a woman’s walk will realize that whoever is carrying her are women wearing male disguises, the Duchess probably dyed her hair and will be wearing a moustache or a goatee… one of the minor reasons why YOU…’ – and she looked at Liv – ‘…will be deleting any footage as soon as you are out of your armbinder. Aside the Duchess and Tammy, there will be only one person…’

 

Who?’ – asked Ebby.

 

I-don’t-know!!! Get it inside your heads ladies. I don’t know why, but whatever is the game you gals are playing against the Duchess, she MUST win. You probably got an upper hand that she can’t beat, but she has to. So she is coming here and will explain to you three, and only you three, why you will be helping her to defeat you. To ensure that only three people will know whatever is this ‘big secret’ of hers, that she will reveal to you only to give you some respite or whatever, even I will have to wear one of those things over there! And I-hate-to-be-tied-up-and-gagged!!!!’ – And she meant it – (…) But she’s my boss, the pay is very good and those are my orders…’

 

Ebby looked at the sheet of paper in her right hand, and then at Maura and Kathleen.

 

They all nodded at the same time.

 

Ulrica… Makiyama… let her go… But Mrs. Morris, you will be our guinea pig with those things. By the way, how are we supposed to send the picture of you four to…’

 

There’s a phone which is programmed to send any picture it takes to a fake Instagram account. I hid it inside…’ – said Felicia as she stretched her limbs.

 

She showed the other three women how to use the self-bondage stuff. First she stripped to her panties, next she turned on of them on, the armbinder and legbinder loosened up considerably (for one to two minutes) and she could put them on easily (a few last adjusts here and there were necessary since she had no practice with them), next they slowly tightened themselves while a humming buzz was heard. After they reached the physical limit of their bearer, the humming buzz stopped.

 

And the deadliest woman in the room was now unable to defend herself…

 

I am so buying a whole industrial lot of those things!’ – exclaimed Maura.

 

Four minutes later Felicia, Ulrica, Makiyama and Liv were lined up, kneeling on the floor and looking past their shoulders, while Kathleen took four or five pictures of them from various angles. Exactly one minute later the men at the gates warned them of the arrival of ‘James’ and ‘Laurent’ (and ‘Tammy’)…

 

Just to be on the safe side, Ebby sprayed quick shots of that potent stuff with a silly name over the trio of girls sleeping over Kathleen’s bed. If she wasn’t wrong, it would ensure their sleep for another half an hour (at least), Kathleen pouted a little, but agreed to have them delivered back to their rooms as soon as ‘IT’ was over (‘IT’ would probably kill her mood anyway…). The line of four half-naked captive killing machines was eerily calm, like four volcanos lined side by side.

 

Meanwhile, all three women followed the arrival of their… enemy?

 

As soon as the computers of her security system started to warn her that the three newcomers were three women, and not two men and one woman, Kathleen overrode the security procedures, which allowed them to walk the lonely corridors (the few security personnel still around had been diverted to other areas of the estate) unopposed, even with messages like ‘WOMAN’ flashing over ‘James’ and ‘Laurent’ and ‘IMPOSTER’ over ‘Tammy’ on the screens that the trio of friends was watching.

 

To their credit, while they were sure that the mysterious other person also was a woman in disguise (all three knew the effects that the differences on the hips caused on the walk of men and women), they weren’t sure which was which. Was the Duchess ‘Laurent’ (that moustache and goatee were really good, and the dental prosthesis were even better), or ‘James’ (just a small moustache and what could pass as an unshaven face, but that was such an androgyny look!)? The young girl clad in panties and an oversized T-shirt (now ruined by all the rope wrapped over it) in their middle barely fought, just an outburst here and there, and could pass for the real Tammy. The nose was (apparently) of the same shape, the hairdo was messed up but looked like Tammy’s, the bra size was the same (but were they real as were Tammy’s?) and, like Felicia had told them it would be the case, the rest of her face was under tight layers and layers of Elastoplast…

 

They were admitted inside the room.

 

The first thing that the Duchess did was to rip the goatee and then the moustache, next she extended her hand to Ebby, who then realized that she was still holding the aerosol in her right hand. The spray was aimed at the captive’s neck? Well, the stuff was absorbed by the skin… She went down in less than five seconds! And it wasn’t Tammy, but she was as beautiful as the girl she had impersonated… What were they doing?

 

What are you doing?’ – asked Maura.

 

Well, her name is Josephine ‘Josie’ Lellieux, from somewhere near Ottawa. She’s 21, straight and has an unfulfilled fantasy of being a snoopy reporter that wanted to expose a nefarious leader of a white-slave ring, who poses as the town’s greatest benefactor, but alas for her she got caught and for the next two weeks…’

 

Two weeks?’ – asked a slightly, very slightly, less enraged Kathleen.

 

Well, her boss had to bribed to not fire her, and a friend will take care of her two dogs, but now she can spend the next two weeks as the heroine of her own bondage story… A small payment for her willing help in this charade of mine…’ – said the Duchess as she, with Ebby’s help, put the slumbered (and now naked) girl by Ruth’s left side.

 

Meanwhile ‘James’ had removed all her disguise.

 

They all knew her, though only Ebby remembered exactly from when and where.

 

Which explained why she was already stupefied by her presence before the unknown (but already recognized) woman pulled out her badge from a breast pocket.

 

‘Renny Boulanger, Europol...’

 

And, as usual, Maura broke the mood with a weird question.

 

‘‘Renny’, isn’t that a boy’s name?’

 

‘Unisex, though it’s more common with boys. It’s Celtic; ‘Compact Strength’ is how…’

 

‘Can we get down to the reason why you are pulling your badge, and not your gun and handcuffs, in the presence of such a notorious criminal?’ – demanded Kathleen.

 

 

 

 

TWO HOURS LATER

 

Helen Troy was really fuming mad, but when she saw Ilka and Billie still fighting their captors (and giving the five men and women a hard time) as they were being tied up was too stupid to let it go, so she did the only thing she could do now…

 

She stomped her feet.

 

Loud enough to attract their attention, the attention of everybody in the warehouse. She was only looking at them when she shook her head, and they obeyed.

 

Their captors were professional enough to not ‘extract’ any form of ‘revenge against the duo, except for a lot more rope on their limbs than in any other member of her team, including Helen herself. And this was NOT because of the woman that stood by her left.

 

‘Thank you…’ – said Deborah.

 

The look she gave her had anger shade, disdain, contempt and much more; the one she got back had just some slight amusement and a lot of respect.

 

‘Yeah, I know… Win some, lose some… Do you promise that you won’t scream?’

 

As if it would matter anything if she did it!

 

Who had been responsible for gagging her? What a mess that knot was! Glue, tape and the fabric of the ruined scarf, all mixed in one (plus some of Helen’s hair). Always near her boss, Tonya had a glass with an energizer ready and next to Helen’s lips.

 

‘(Thank you) How did you…?’

 

‘Sorry, professional secret…’

 

She looked at Felicity, Belle and the others. The whole binding process was over, and all 14 agents (and friends) were lined up, two or three yards apart from each other, in their undies, or even topless in two cases, heavily bound and gagged against one of the walls of the warehouse. Mostly had been put in kneeling hogties, but Billie was almost mummified and Jessie and Selma had been forced to ‘hug’ each other.

 

Still not a single tear, mostly defiance and revenge in their eyes… The newbies showed a little uncertainty… they were not good enough in hiding it as the others.

 

‘And now?’

 

‘And now you can get mad at ONE of your clients, though her valuable help was totally without her knowledge or will. Don’t worry about your reputation…’

 

‘That’s the least of my problems right now. What will you do with us?’

 

‘Nothing. We got what we wanted from here…’ – Deborah said as she walked to the opposite wall, the only one with windows, and looked through one.

 

She heard whistles and a few jokes, that were eaten back as Deborah gave the ‘comedians’ a stern look, but she hopped her way to the windows…

 

The two sets of three women that had been their charges were finally awakening as the paramedics (doctors?) that were taking care of them, right there in the middle of what once had been the parking lot of the place, were being praised by whoever was that couple that had arrived with Deborah five minutes earlier (they had dashed straight to were the paramedics and their patients where).

 

The (now fully recovered) sisters flipped the bird at her as soon as they saw her. But by now the limos were being maneuvered into the parking lot and all six, plus that couple, left one minute later, with a car filled with those ‘doctors’(?).

 

‘Okay… now I am starting to be concerned about my reputation…’

 

‘Don’t be, as I said, you did it alright… Kathleen Talbot on the other hand…’

 

Was she serious? Did she believe that she would fall for that?

 

On the other hand, what if she was telling the truth? She decided to whisper, and just to be on the safe side she also changed the language to Japanese.

 

‘<I seem to recall this lady whom I met in Nago…>’

 

‘<Oh, yes, you could have been really mean to her and left her alone in that room…>’

 

‘<Yes, but if I recall correctly…>’

 

‘<You also could have been mean with the four girls, especially the blind one, that were with that lady when you stroke. You weren’t. And that… prank you played on her… wasn’t that big or relevant so she still would want revenge after fifteen…>’

 

‘<Sixteen. It was sixteen years ago.>’

 

Deborah looked at her and seemed to be counting the years with the fingers of her left hand for a moment. Sixteen years already? Damn, they both were getting old!

 

She took a look at all the other undressed captives and her own crew.

 

Before she could protest or anything, Helen was in in Deborah’s arms and being carried back to the wall her gang was being held. She was made to stand and Deborah checked her bonds, the same mess with glue and tape and rope, her fist had been ‘knobbed’ with tape… It was going to take a couple of hours for her to free herself without any help.

 

‘Everything’s ready?’

 

Rhonda, the other ‘aide’ that Deborah took with her everywhere/anywhere, confirmed a few details on the phone while Tonya handed her wide strips of moss green tape (which she then smothered over Helen’s lips), and after she closed the call…

 

‘Yes, the doctors say that ‘Team A’ will be awoke and ready in half an hour, and in any case ‘Team B’ is already checking and rechecking the data they are supposed to handle. You won’t believe how many blades and razors we found taped to their bodies!’

 

‘Did you remove them all?’

 

A big glass jar, filled with about three to four dozens of thin blades and razors, was shown to her. Deborah then checked her captives one last time.

 

‘Was there any man or woman who did not mind his or her hands?’

 

The women first looked at Helen, who nodded, and they all shook their heads.

 

‘Well Helen, I’m sorry we met again in such a circumstance… No hard feelings?’

 

Helen gave her a death stare, she answered with a little help to make her lie on the floor and, to Helen’s dread, she used some of her ‘special’ knots to put her in a hogtie. And then she left, along with her crew, leaving the defeated gang to try to free themselves.

 

No real chance for that to happen, all their hands were now forced (with lots of tape wrapped around them) into the shapes of either door knobs or leaves, and even if they freed their hands all the knots, all of them!, had been glued or were covered with tape.

 

They would have to wait… less than five minutes.

 

First Severina’s head suddenly appeared at the window, and one minute later she, Cassidy and Ada were already in the process of freeing them all.

 

Of course, the first thing that Ada did was to dash to where her wife was and ungag her, and Helen gave them the order in which she and the others would have to be freed…

 

‘How come you gals showed up so early?’ – Billie asked Cassidy as soon as she could.

 

‘Don’t thank me, thank her…’ – Cassidy said, pointing at Ada with her head.

 

‘I just did what you always tell me to do; ‘Do not rely blindly on other people’ security measures, make your own’’ – She said to Helen, and to them all, pausing the cutting of the ropes around Helen for a moment – ‘I made Severina install a few cameras and alarms around the studio, and suddenly they were warning us and showing the images of like twenty guys and gals closing in the studio… warehouse… whatever, so we sort of ‘loaded’ the girls to a big four-wheeled cart, they were all sleeping, and I stayed behind with them while Severina and Cassidy cleaned our emergency escape route…’

 

‘They knew about it?’ – asked Helen as she grabbed the box cutter from Ada’s hands and motioned her to pick another from her belt and go free Selma and Jessie.

 

‘Yes, but they were only in four…’

 

And all women took a look at Severina who, without raising her head or diverting her attention of the ‘trapeze tie’ she was carefully cutting off Ilka’s arms, just said that they had barely made her sweat and that it had taken more time for her and Cassidy to restrain them than she had taken fighting them.

 

‘So we drove to downtown and, again, I stayed with our trio of sleeping beauties while they provided us a new ride as fast as they could, and here we are... What happened?’

 

‘That’s a good question. Karla and Veronica were the first to be captured, they were returning with some very late dinner for them, Felicity and myself…, and when I tried to get in touch with them, Deborah Immoden materialized herself in the office room (she is such a showoff sometimes!) and told me that we were surrounded, our escape routes had been cut, all the tires of our cars had been slashed as well and that she had four well-trained guys and gals for every girl I had…’

 

Half then women already freed were helping Ada and the others, the others went to assess their situation. All their guns and ‘working material’ had been taken by their attackers, and even the spare tires had been mercilessly slashed, but the ‘secret stash’ (that was kept inside a phony dumpster behind the warehouse) had not been touched.

 

Much later, Helen would say that this was Debs’s way of saying that they were even.

 

‘For what’ was the thing that she didn’t say, and none of the women dared to ask.

 

When they returned with the good news, and the guns and clothes (that were meant for disguises), all women were now freed and lined in a half moon in front of Helen.

 

‘Okay, I will ask this only once. Did anyone disobeyed, or was unable to follow, any of my orders?’ – Their silence was all that she needed to confirm her suspicions – ‘Alright girls, chin up! We got beaten but WE are not the ones to blame for that. Billie, Felicity and Julie, I want you to check everything, from the place where we had them stashed, this warehouse and the studio where our ‘actresses’ filmed their bits. I don’t think you will find any clues that we were being monitored, but do go over with a fine toothed-comb, please. Karla, Ilka and Tricia come with me. The others will go to our safe house in ******. Severina…’ - The only foreigner in the place just nodded. Ada opened her mouth to protest, but then Helen gave her quite the kiss, and the others didn’t know if they cheered them or pretended to not be seeing anything out of the ordinary.

 

‘Helen…’

 

‘Hush, my dear. I’m sure that I am not the only one who wants to show you how much I am grateful… But you are going with them, and if you even think about coming back to this town without me expressly saying that you can do that…’

 

And all the women looked at the black Amazon who was grinning evilly now…

 

Since the SUV in which Ada, Cassidy and Severina rode to the warehouse already had three seats taken, and Helen and the others used the rest, Cassidy and Martha went out to find new rides for those who would leave town (Billie and the others would do that only after checking the warehouse and the ‘bunker’ or whatever in which they had kept their former captives). It took Cassidy fifteen minutes to return first…

 

And by the time she returned, Ada had already been caught trying to disobey Helen…

 

 

 

 

MONDAY MORNING

 

By the time Jeanne awoke, Layla and Muse had already given their statements about the very exciting and very dull moments they had experimented the day (and night) before.

 

She was surprised to find herself in one of the guestrooms, and was pampered a little before Kathleen and one of her many secretaries (that actually didn’t look like one, as if the early-to-mid forties lady was just pretending to be a secretary, which she was) paid her a visit. They told her that all her efforts and sweat had been for nothing, and that the ‘other party’ had somehow managed to get knowledge about many things and thus, the whole deal had already happened and Kathleen had lost ‘a few millions’ in the process.

 

And next they interrogated her, demanding a detailed account of her experience.

 

And when she told them about the mysterious woman that had replaced the brooch…

 

Kathleen denied any knowledge of that. She had to repeat her recollections about the meeting about a dozen times! The ‘secretary’ (actually some top security chick) even made her (and Kathleen) go through the secret passages to where that hidden elevator was located. The woman put her right where she had stood less 24 hours earlier, made her close her eyes and remember (again) what had happened there.

 

At first, Kathleen was still trying to deny the mere possibility of somebody being inside the secret passageways without her knowledge since, she told them, the sensors in and around the passages and tunnels were as good as the ones inside her own room. And then Jeanne found a brooch, the same kind she had worn over her chest the day before, discarded in the gap between the elevator and its surrounding walls…

 

It took the rest of the morning, that all three athletes spent lounging by the pool under a discretely reinforced guard (which included Ilka and Tricia, posing as part of Kathleen’s niecessquad), but the techs that Kathleen called found two glitches, hiding the cut of about thirty seconds of recorded images, in the cameras that guarded one of the ‘back-entrances’ tunnels, and they also found the deleted records of a 73rd (for that weekend) unknown person’s vital signs who allowed him or her to go to most of the ‘top security’ places in the estate, including Kathleen Talbot’s own bedroom…

 

 

 

 

MONDAY, AT NOON

 

‘So what?’ – said Counselor Four.

 

So what?’ – retorted an increasingly enraged Counselor Five.

 

‘I don’t live in an old house, so why should I bother…’

 

‘Listen up you idiot!’ – It was very rare to see Euboea that mad, especially in public – ‘We don’t want to hear about your ‘brand new place’, you couldn’t stop bragging about it as it was being built and you were terribly BO-RING at the time… does anyone wants a taste of him back in those days?’ – She asked to the other Counselors, some said ‘no’ or ‘nay’ while the others remained silent (but aimed their displeasure at him) – ‘Now… what’s at stake here is that we finally got the confirmation that, YES!, the ‘Echesberg Files’, the files about all their work in the secret passages, entrances and tunnels that we use that much, including some of those that weren’t built or repaired by that firm… Including some that were either made or repaired as close as twenty years ago... Those files were indeed stolen by the Duchess four years ago. That’s four years that she had to learn about the backdoors (and the security around them) of who-knows-how-many members of the Friendship! And that includes other members of the Council!’

 

But the obtuse Counsellor Four wasn’t buying it, so Euboea asked all Counselors who could have his or her security affected by that information. Six counselors (including two that, while also living in relatively ‘new’ manors/estates had relatives who didn’t) raised their right hand. For the next thirty minutes they discussed the implications in their private and collective safeties, until Euboea changed the subject slightly.

 

‘Can you tell us how much…?’

 

‘I’ve lost a little above 16 million already, by the end of the week my losses will be somewhere around 23. Plus, there’s the profit I didn’t have because of her interference.’

 

‘How much?’

 

‘At least eight times my losses just today… You?’

 

What a great actress she was! Euboea perfectly pretended to be taken aback by her question, and blushing quite adorably, she confessed that she had invested ‘some’ in Kathleen’s project. And then Kathleen looked at all the other Counsellors one by one and there was some coughing, blushing and harrumphing all around…

 

‘Is there any chance that any the civilian authorities get interested in the…?’

 

‘The brainchild project of one of Hong Kong’s less respected entrepreneurs, backed by an infamous American billionaire among other… ‘less stellar’ pillars of our country’s economy, with direct interests and repercussions in a half a dozen other countries, and only one of them is not a member of the European Union… Of course they will be interested in my debacle!’ – She answered to Counselor Six.

 

‘Keep us posted of any further progression of your troubles’ – said Euboea a bit coldly.

 

And then they changed the subject entirely.

 

Their next scheduled videoconference was due to happen in three weeks, but every single one of them seemed to have some matter to discuss with the others…

 

 

 

 

MONDAY NIGHT

 

‘She’s waiting for you upstairs…’ – cooed Bille.

 

‘Yeah… but she’s not alone…’

 

Severina’s revelation fell like a bomb in the living room.

 

Those who were carrying a gun immediately grabbed it, those who weren’t clenched their fists or grabbed something heavy or pointy, and then the door in which Ada was lying bound and gagged over the large bed opened from the inside, and after a short walk in the corridor that led to it, Deborah and an unknown black woman left the room.

 

The stairway in front of them was already filled with many (armed or not) dangerous women, Helen and Severina leading the pack…

 

‘You are such a spoiler!’ – The unknown black woman playfully said to Severina.

 

‘Could you please move?’ – asked Helen to the duo of invaders.

 

After being given passage, Helen dashed to the bedroom and found Ada kneeling on the bed, wearing her favorite lacy white lingerie and exquisitely tied up in a mix of a hogtie and frogtie. She rushed to her side and, before anything, did a quick check-up on her.

 

She hadn’t been crying nor looked scared or ashamed, in fact she was quite amused at something behind Helen, who turned around to find Deborah and the unknown black woman standing by the window in front of the bed, and all her girls heaped together by the door of the room just a couple of yards at their left. Two of them were looking at the intruders with ridiculous vengeful faces, the others...

 

She smiled and motioned for those who were armed to lower their guns.

 

‘Ada… did they hurt you?’

 

She shook her head vehemently.

 

‘Did they scare you?’

 

She looked uncertain on what (or how) to answer to that one, so she just turned her head to her left side, showing the big knots holding that tight cleavegag to her wife.

 

‘(Thank you…) Of course they scared me! I am alone in a locked room, the same room where I spent the whole day at her mercy (you gonna love the pictures!!!), bound and gagged and helpless… and suddenly, there THEY are! Coming from the window! But… well, BOTH of them talked to me, in whispers obviously, and made it clear that they did not meant any harm to me or anyone in the house! Well… Felicia…’

 

‘FELICIA???’ – Helen said standing up – ‘Are you… Felicia Morris?’

 

The unknown woman nodded, and the few among her girls who also knew who she was were instantly bombarded by the others with whispered questions about her.

 

‘So you want…?’ – Helen asked Felicia.

 

‘Given your reputation, it’s quite impossible that there isn’t a tatami in the basement of this house for your trainings and bouts. Me and Severina… we have a story and I am here to trade some blows with her, for reasons that don’t matter to anyone but us, and to provide some entertainment to your girls while you and the Boss have a talk.’

 

‘Here?’ – Helen asked, to which Deborah answered.

 

‘As much as you love to have pictures and videos of your wife in sexy and kinky poses, I would be very surprised if I or Felicia had found a camera or a mike or anything like that when we combed the room… and we didn’t found a thing.’

 

Helen thought for a minute, and then she grabbed the large plastic case with all their equipment from under the bed and selected a pair of earplugs and a roll of tape.

 

‘Girls, the fact that I can’t see Severina among you means that she is downstairs, in the basement, already waiting for Felicia to show up. Ilka? Make sure that you record their fight for me, please? As for the others, whoever doesn’t want to watch the fight still has a large TV in the living room for herself, or whatever. But this floor is forbidden to all of you until I say so, is that clear? Now… GET OUT! OUT!!!!!!’

 

While Felicia also left the room, Ada was carefully (and effectively) gagged, deafened and blindfolded by Helen, who finished with a light kiss over the taped lips.

 

Then, and only then, she stood up and faced Deborah.

 

‘Does she understand Japanese? Just in case…’

 

Just in case of what? I did a great job, and she knows better to not push me with even the slightest struggle…’ – and then she puffed and switched to Japanese – ‘<Fine…! She knowns the Portuguese spoke in Brazil, plus Spanish and German, and she can be understood by Polish, Dutch and Italian speakers (if they pardon her accent).>’

 

‘<Are you smelling a rat?>’

 

‘<Yes, something is not right in the whole story…>’

 

‘<No, it’s not. You have no reason to go after the ‘Truth’. No reason at all…>’

 

‘<But…>’

 

And Deborah turned to Helen with the most disarmed look she could muster as she placed both hands over her former... Rival? Friend? Frenemy?

 

‘<It’s way bigger than you may think. Both sides of the fence, both in this country and aboard, have some level of interest in this thing. Interpol, FBI, the Friendship, the Russians, the Chinese, a list of who’s who in both sides of the fence in Eastern Europe, some guys in South America… Leonard Wu had some big ideas and this was the first step. Some American millionaires and billionaires tried to ‘fix’ it for their own gain, and got their plans thwarted by the Duchess at the very last moment, when they would not be able to use any counterstrategy or backup plan. The game, their game, is still going on… and if you don’t want to watch your shadows for the rest of your life…>’

 

‘The fence’ was their lingo for ‘the law’, it brought both women back 20 or more years.

 

‘<Are you threatening me?>’

 

‘<Nope. This visit is a courtesy of mine. I don’t have the same… influence with my boss that I once had, but I believe I can dissuade her to not go after you or any of girls, or her, if you foolishly put yourself in the line of fire…>’

 

It took Helen a good minute for her to lower her shoulders.

 

‘<Fine… There’s nothing stinking in this story.>’

 

Deborah grabbed her chin and lifted it, she had a ‘Oh really?’ look in her face…

 

‘<I mean it!!! Now could you please excuse me? I have a caring, loyal and snoopy wife in need of some lecture, maybe some degree of punishment and lots of love!>’

 

‘<She’s really a lucky gal… Not as much as you are…>’

 

‘<How… How much time you spent with her? And what exactly did you asked her?>’

 

But when she turned back to her former (?) rival, Deborah had already left the room.

 

She hated when she did that!

 

Ada was going to have to provide her some answers!!! Just… not now…

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY MORNING

 

Quelle est cette chose…?’

 

The images in the screen showed the Canadian girl, Josie, being hunted down in a large field by… four or five busty girls (at least one was black) wearing the stripper’s version of the uniform worn a century ago by the Sûreté? The caps, the cape, the batons, they were all there, the pants and jackets had been changed into PVC shorts and tank tops…

 

Their quarry sported one crock on her left foot, a zebra patterned (big) bikini bottom and a tight top (also zebra patterned). Plus a large zebra patterned strip of tape over her lips and lots of black and white rope around her torso and arms!

 

Given the fact that her brother was the fifth generation member of the (now named) Police nationale in her family, she wasn’t sure if she felt delighted or insulted!

 

‘Do you like it?’

 

‘I won’t pretend that this is… very interesting for my tastes, they’re all very beautiful girls, two are… But why the uniform had to be…?’ – asked Renny.

 

‘One of the artists that worked for Nutrix was named Gene Bilbrew, or Eneg, and one of his works depicted this evil dominatrix that was into real deal slavery. She was French, her name was Madame La Bondage and she had an ‘army’ of apache (the ruffians of Paris, not the Dene) girls whose job was to capture and bring back any girl who dared to escape. Part of her daily routine of enforced exercises is to try to reach a mark in the small backyard of my home. If she makes it she gets two hours in charge of all her huntresses. But, she really doesn’t want to rule over them (probably she really wouldn’t even know what to do with them!), they are more playful than mean when they capture her… And all my huntresses (or gendarmettes) are great sprint runners anyway…’

 

‘But why the Sûreté?’

 

‘I don’t know, a whim maybe? Because of Vidocq? Oh come on… They look lovely!’

 

Definitely! But she was here for other purposes…

 

‘All right… Before we start, are you sure that we can talk freely in this room?’

 

And Kathleen, whom had kept her chair facing the enormous screen (300”?) behind her desk, turned the chair around, facing her for the first with a smug expression in her face. She absentmindedly pressed a button on the desk, and the four-window splinted screen now had nine windows. The ones at the corner showed Josie’s capture and punishment (tickling). The other five showed, each, a woman obviously straight jacketed and black ballgagged against her will in what looked like… a padded cell?

 

Kathleen stood up and stood by the screen, motioning for Renny to sit on the only other chair in the room, and pointed at the screen in the middle of the first row.

 

‘This is ‘Rita’, or Hannah something, she was hired by a business rival of mine to take compromising pictures of ‘The Games’, preferably with me in them… The others are of your interest. We are still trying to figure it out but, among the many replacements that I had to hire thanks to the whole chutzpah that these last ‘Games’ ended up with, the other four proved out to be not ‘Karen’…’ – The first woman, from left to right, in the middle row, she had black hair and long and athletic legs – ‘…‘Megan’…’ – the one in the middle, the only blond of the lot, who seemed to be taking a breath after a furious attempt to free herself – ‘…’Rochelle’… - The third of that row, and the woman with the longest hair on the screen (really Rapunzel-like), which was black – ‘…and finally ‘Wynona’…’ – the only black girl among them, who was right in the middle of a rage attack – ‘…They were all hired in the past three days and, save for ‘Megan’ who should have learned to hide her true feelings about seeing to women kissing each other, the others were only caught because I am paying a lot of money to my hackers and…’

 

But Renny had raised her left hand and was looking down as she shook her head with her eyes closed, Kathleen sat back in her chair and pushed another button and the screen went back to its previous four windows split, and Josie was being not-so-forcefully  ‘dressed’ as a… shackled bikini maid(?) by the gendarmettes?

 

‘That? Well, it’s a hot day and Josie already made her mandatory ten ‘bids for freedom’, plus a couple more just for fun, and my gendarmettes would like to enjoy the pool without having to bother with things like having to grab glasses of water or juices…’

 

‘Alright…’ – Renny struggled for a moment to find the right words – ‘It is not that I don’t believe in everything that you have just said. But… I know that, this Sunday, you showed two videos for the athletes, lifeguards and such as they were leaving the estate. One showed the capture of this ‘Rita’, and I know that said capture happened hours before the time you claimed that it did, and the other was a footage that a member of Helen Troy’s group, who only agreed to pretend to be captured by your security detail so you could put all those women more at ease as they left this place, because…’

 

‘…She’s into bondage. Yeah, I know. She’s still here, in the estate, you know. Jada? She wasn’t able to make a simple task and Helen decided to ‘punish’ her by asking me to have a ‘maid for free’ for the next month… I’m not sure if that’s a punishment…’ – And both women sat looking at each other for moment in silence – ‘So what could prevent me from asking a few of my girls, or hiring the cast of a model agency in Rio de Janeiro or Vienna, or whatever in between those two options, to make you believe that you can speak freely since I am taking all possible actions to ensure…’

 

‘More or less… aaaaah merde! (…) Yes! That’s exactly that!’

 

‘Because I intend to tell you stuff that cannot, under any circumstance, leave this room. And I expect you to do the same… (…)? We may have to shoot some footage from our rehearsal of what we will tell the world that I am doing with you here, we may have to pretend to have some arguments as you keep demanding… something that I can’t tell or give to you, just in case, but for that I have to be sure that can speak freely to you. So what do you want? Be present next time any of those four is interrogated? You will have access to whatever we find about any of them…’

 

They discussed the matter for the next thirty or so minutes, next they elaborated a script about their ‘public’ interactions outside that windowless office, in order to justify Renny’s presence at the estate for the next three days as Kathleen’s guest.

 

Next they spent two hours rehearsing all the big lies they would tell everybody else. It was too much data, they would many more rehearsals to get it right…

And then it was time for lunch, and Renny seemed uneasy…

 

‘Yes?’

 

‘Can I see… Rochelle once more?’

 

There was definitely a gleam of recognition in Renny’s eyes as she saw ‘Rochelle’ trying to fight the two nurses that were trying to feed her that tasteless porridge that the NCFs (and the rare ‘real deal’ prisoners) were fed with.

 

‘Could you please tell them to stop it?’ – She asked with a grin.

 

Pretending to be slightly annoyed, Kathleen stood up and pushed a button on the side of the screen, and then she told… Mary and Suzanne to stop. Renny was by her side, giggling as a teenager about to make a prank, and mutely asked if she could… sing?

 

Rochelle, ma belle! Those are words that go together well, my Rochelle!’

 

‘Rochelle’ instantly froze in fear, and tried to see from where that dreaded melodic voice was coming from. Somewhere way upstairs, Renny was back to her seat, and she let out a heartily laugh as Kathleen looked at her puzzled (after telling the nurses to resume their obligations, which was facilitated by ‘Rochelle’’s total lack of response).

 

‘Oh, you are going to love this… Can I make an international phone call?’

 

Moments later Renny was speaking in French with a certain ‘Berthold’, a top-ranked officer in the Europol, demanding to know why her ‘good friend’ (it was so obvious that she did not meant it…) Stephania was in the USA, posing as some maid called Rochelle and why she was going to have to convince ‘that loony American’ (Kathleen pretended to be ‘offended’ at that point, but Renny’s delight was contagious) to not press any charges and let her go. She told him (in a more serious tone) that she doubted that his superior (to whom she reported exclusively) knew about that unauthorized operation of his, and gave him one day to tell the truth to ‘Frank’, or else!

 

And then Renny closed the call, and gave Kathleen quite the hug!

 

‘Oh… thank you! This idiot has been a pain in my ass for the past… five years!’

 

‘You’re welcome. But could he have acted on his own?’

 

‘I doubt it, one of Frank’s enemies in the top gears of the Europol must be behind this, but her presence here only means that we will have to get our lines right…’

 

It was too good of an opening for Kathleen to not use it!

 

‘Only… and really only… if you explain to me the relationship between the Europol…’

 

‘Save your breath. I do not know a thing aside the fact that, as long as the Paznicii în Umbre are involved, she has no problem with giving us a hand… I can give you a few details if you actually want the trouble, but I must warn that they are tidbits…’

 

‘…‘And they’re all you know about it’. That will have to do. And her?’

 

‘I am ‘The’ Renny Boulanger. Cachez vos filles and vos soeurs! Renny est arrivez!... It’s not that I have some crazy/stupid childish wish for revenge against any idiot I stumble upon inside the Europol that makes me… go after his daughters or sisters, but I… helped three of them (young female relatives of my superiors/colleagues) to get out of the closet, and there are eight more that, while they may never have sexual pleasure with a woman, again, and will live their lives as hetero as possible, I know that they will all cherish what we’ve shared… Hence, I am Renny, ‘La Louve’(!)… But, Stephania? She’s ‘The Bitch’… And it’s not because I am French and she’s Belgian…’

 

‘Belgian?’

 

‘Her mother is Greek, all her brothers have Flemish names… But as I was saying…’

 

And they discussed her relationship with Stephania/’Rochelle’, which had started well until she showed her true colors, while enjoying a delicious lunch, served by maids (one of them Jada) wearing a slightly kinky version of the uniform (the high heels were too big and the skirts too small, revealing their underwear), which was interrupted by the first of the fifteen phones calls Kathleen would receive from Europe and Washington.

 

‘Rochelle’ was given her clothes and her luggage back and was formally dismissed from her job that day at 9PM, a black SUV with four men with ‘G-Men’ ‘tattooed’ in their fronts was waiting for her and took her out of the estate.

 

 

 

 

AFTERWARDS

 

Renny stayed at the estate for three more days.

 

(Extra-)Officially speaking she was there to help Kathleen to determinate who were the other three women that had tried to infiltrate the estate, but in fact she and Kathleen (and Ebby on the third day) ‘honed’ their stories and the cooperation between them concerning the ‘fiasco’ that Kathleen’s pan-continental enterprise had proved to be to a near-perfection point, much to Renny’s superiors’ delight.

 

On the third day Renny took part in Josie’s ‘freedom bids’ as a fellow escapee (‘Just to relax a little’ in her own words), and managed to reach the mark twenty bodies ahead of her nearest pursuer in the first run! Nine gendarmettes (who were then told to ‘proceed as planned’ with Josie) and two of the maids started Renny’s… peculiar reputation at the estate throughout the evening and night (one or two at the time)…

 

After some investigations, ‘Karen’ was the daughter of a man Kathleen had ruined, she stayed a couple of weeks in order to purge from her mind any thought of revenge she might try to attempt, and then she signed a non-disclosure deal (concerning her forced stay) and got a substantial check for her silence (which she used to start her own business). Whoever ‘Megan’ was, her partners had kidnapped the ‘real’ Megan, so after some negotiation they let her go and she was rescued by Liv and Renny (and sent to a private clinic), ‘Megan’ was shoved inside a cab one hour later.

 

Lastly there was Wynona; nothing could be found about her, and she was gone on the night of the first day. Half the night watch was found drugged and restrained (in various ways) and gagged the next morning, also found in a similar state were all the five girls sleeping in a room in the ‘servants’ aisle’ (it was later determined that, for some yet unknown reason, the invaders had left through their window), the whole footage of that day had been erased from all databases, and only a black girl (who had been hired the year before) called D’Arleen also was missing. After a suspicious phone call, Kathleen seemed to not bother (much) about it… after she gave Liv another blank check.

 

The security around the estates of Kathleen, Euboea and Maura needed almost a full semester to be upgraded to a ‘satisfactory’ level for all three women, they also needed the time to find replacements for those who had left, who then resumed ‘The Games’ as if nothing had changed. Jeanne was among the athletes of Kathleen’s team.

 

 

THE EMBASSY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOSOTO – WASHINGTON, DC

TUESDAY MORNING

 

‘…and, once more, allow me to congratulate the both of you, Major Kulua, Major Dauula… You have done a great service for the future of the Kingdom!’

 

And the screen went blank, the techs did their part to ensure that the transmission would stay classified after it was over and were then dismissed, leaving the two veterans of their country’s secret service (and lifelong friends) alone in the room.

 

‘Sleazy bastard…’ – Kulua said as she reached for the freezer beside her desk. She grabbed two cans of iced tea and saw Dauula bring two straw from a breast pocket of her uniform – ‘What are we? Two teenagers delighting themselves in Nepoma Beach?’

 

‘Suit yourself… But you’re right, our ‘great leader’ is sleazy, but an idiot, not a bastard’ – she said as she used the two straws herself – ‘So… Did you told him…’

 

‘Of course not! He’s the one responsible for this whole trouble! Endanger 40% of our ore reserves because of the ‘superb profits’ his great intellect would grant the Kingdom, he was played like a donkey with a carrot and a stick! I hope he loses the vote of no-confidence!!! What a… mamapu!!! The less he knows about what we actually found in Kathleen Talbot’s hard drives, the better!  Did you knew about this…’

 

Uncanny Friendship? A little here, a little there, some stuff Rupere told us… I took the liberty to get in touch with Ms. Talbot. Don’t worry… she thinks that I was from the CIA. She will redouble the security around her estate and other homes and her HQ, if not triplicate it, but as I was saying… she thinks that last night was an illegal operation of the Agency in her backyard. It might take a while until she realizes that it wasn’t…’

 

‘And what about your agent, the one that was supposed to leave the estate as well?’

 

‘Corporal Jejeni, or D’Arleen, was already under investigation… her cover had been blown, but the primary distraction hadn’t been cracked yet, and that’s one of the reasons I could fool Kath Talbot the way I did. So I decided to order Jejeni and Nikoma…’

 

Wynona?’

 

‘Weird name, isn’t? Americans… Anyway, the data our agents provided was too explosive to let Kath Talbot and her ‘friends’ unsupervised, so I told Jejeni and Kikoma to rush to Zazeema’s room and truss her up and her roommates and, since all other captives were also blindfolded, I told them to pretend to wait for an opening to leave through the window while I gave Zazeema all her orders through a secure smartphone. Next she was blindfolded as well and all other agents left the estate.’

 

‘Is she safe?’

 

‘92,3% of the women who were born here when she came to the world are black. Of the less than 5% who were whitey white like her, only 5 are redheads (like Zazi). She’s been living the past twelve years under a fake identity, based on a unfortunate child who lived but a few hours, and before the first moment she answered to her other name, we already had provided her with tons of paper trail covering her childhood and teen years. If she feels threatened or in danger, she can leave whenever she wants, otherwise…’

 

‘Wait a moment… ‘Zazi’?’

 

‘I know her since she was three days old. Her father was in a mission in Amsterdam when he met her mother… It doesn’t matter!!! The point is that she must have signed her resignation letter already, I told her to claim that she’s ‘too scared’ to stay working for Talbot right now, but in a week or two she will change her mind, since she’s one of the best masseuses there... In six months, unless she has problems, we’ll meet in…’

 

 

 

 

A SMALL TOWN IN THE SOUTHERN COAST OF FRANCE NEAR SPAIN

THREE MONTHS LATER

 

The worst part was that she was a great cook, and she was doing her favorite dishes!

 

The sweet delicious scents coming from behind her, from the kitchen of this small room where she was supposed to spend the next three days in a stake-out, were really trying to prevent her from getting mad at ‘La louve’, her she-wolf, and failing…

 

She reassessed her bonds; both legs tied together at the (crossed) ankles, above and below the knees and her thighs (and, apparently, part of the rope around them was also wrapped around the seat), the ankles were also tied to the left front foot of a chair that, apparently, was bolted in place (no matter how much she tried to make it rock even a little, it didn’t move!). Her torso was tied to the back of the chair at the waist and above and below her breasts (which, for no good reason except to confirm that her captoress was indeed Renny, had also been subjected to a substantial, yet unnecessary, amount of rope! Soft yet unyielding rope, almost like a caress… but still…). For her arms just some rope around her elbows (and connected to the ones above and below her breasts) and crisscrossing her wrists. Tight large strips of tape over her closed eyes and pursed lips completed her ‘DiD Fashion’… As efficiently as she would be enjoying it…

 

IF SHE WASN’T SO MAD AT RENNY!!!!

 

Her little headache, and the fact that she couldn’t remember how she had been captured and KOed, were proofs that Renny had used one of those drugs she had access to.

 

She could hear Renny humming one chanson as she prepared the table for them, and surprised her captive when she sat on her lap. Either she was naked or, like herself, she was wearing but a flimsy thong bikini bottom! No… there was something covering her, at least her front, as she hugged her captive (herself), teasingly rubbing her breasts against her face… The apron? Was she playing ‘Fifi, the avenging maid’?

 

She ripped the strips of tape from her lips one by one, and when she finally had the chance to either interrogate her or get mad at her captoress, Renny kissed her!

 

One of those ‘perfect’ kisses she had been longing for… the past three years.

And when she broke the kiss, the tip of one of her index fingers was over her lips…

 

‘<You know what? You can’t be mad at me, ma Cherie, and you know why?>’

 

She was speaking in Flemmish, with that awful French accent of hers, but still…

She shook her head.

 

‘<Because neither nor myself are ‘here’… By the way, ‘here’ is not located in France (where you are supposed to be right now) nor in Spain nor in Slovakia…>’

 

‘<Slovakia????>’

 

‘<Supposedly, that’s where I am right now. A top secret job like yours…>’

 

‘<Then how…?>’

 

‘<Oh, there is a woman who, at a reasonable distance, could pass for me right there right now. She has my documents, my codes and etcetera and, if the other agents that are with her are good enough to know that she isn’t me…>’

 

‘<Or to know your fame and, supposing that one of them is a lesbian…>’

 

The strips of tape were back over her lips in a playful, but fast, way.

 

‘<Very funny… But, you’re right. If that happens as well, then they will capture her and get in touch with their superiors, who will then tell them that, I’m in a top-top-top secret mission, and that top secret mission is actually my cover-up… The same will happen with you BTW. We are BOTH in the middle of ultramegahipersuper-secret mission…>’

 

And she leaned closer whispered in her ear…

 

‘<The Weeklong Ultimate Revenge of Fifi against Zouzou!!!’

 

Huh?

 

And now Renny was playing with her (long) hair.

 

‘<Once upon a time there was this very promising agent called Stephania who agreed to become the ultimate backstabber, the greatest loudmouth, the less trustworthy agent of all time, so Frank could identify all those under his orders who were more interested in their bank accounts or careers, other than doing their jobs! And, after three years in which she earned the alias ‘The Bitch’, what did happen to our heroine?>’

 

Get to the point! We both know what happened!

 

‘<She was asked to not only maintain her nauseating persona, but also to take part in a bound-to-lose mission in order to grant the Casanova (who convinced her to ruin her career and any chance of a promotion that she could have by becoming ‘The Bitch’) a chance to have a very productive ‘first contact’ as the decoy in a mission against a bunch of American millionaires/billionaires who may or may not put in danger the (frail) financial health of five members of the EU! And our heroine agreed to that!’

 

This time she ripped the strips all at once, it hurt a little but she couldn’t care less, and the kiss that followed it was even more intense than the previous one…

 

And both their stomachs told them to get over with it because they wanted food…

 

‘<Oooopsss!!! Anyway, because of all of your sacrifices, it wasn’t hard for me to make Frank agree with my demands. A house conveniently away from anyone for a full week, fake missions that can and will explain what we are ‘doing’ while we are here…>’

 

‘<Shut up and let me loose…!>’

 

‘<I see that Zouzou doesn’t understand her situation yet…>’

 

‘<RENNY!!! I am hungry and so are you! Zouzou DOES understand her situation and would like you, Fifi, to know that if you ever let you her manage to get free…>’

 

‘<Tomorrow? The odd days for me and the even one’s for you?>’

 

‘<Deal… But as I was saying, if you let her free… I-WILL-MAKE-YOU-PAY!!! So, after this delicious casserole that has been tempting me for the past twenty minutes, Fifi must make me want to make you pay! In kind!!!>’

 

She kissed her once again, carefully removed the tape over her eyes and then stood up, moving to behind the chair to undo the knots on her arms and wrists.

 

‘<Don’t worry my dear Zouzou, this house has an attic and a basement, and a kitchen and a room, and I intend to make you love… I mean hate all those place before 9PM!>’

 

But then she saw a weird expression in Stephania’s eyes, a tear?

 

‘<What? What happened Stephi?>’

 

‘<And then what, after this week? For how long will I have to wait then…?>’

 

Her face now way more serious, Renny dried her friend’s tears before answering.

 

‘<For all we know, it’s working. We managed to put an agent inside Kathleen Talbot’s entourage and my semi-regular ‘drop-bys’ just help to reinforce her cover. Whatever is the outcome of this mission against those greedy Americans, it will be over in less than two years, one way or another. I can persuade Frank to give us another week…>’

 

And once more their stomachs broke the mood with their complains…

 

‘<All right, we’ll have to talk about it in-between your revenges against me and my own ones against you. In the meantime, there’s only Zouzou and her devious maid Fifi… Now cut me loose before it reminds me again that I am hungry!>’

 

‘<For your information; Zouzou has just earned an upside suspension for herself…>’

 

‘<Whatever!!!>’

 

 

 

 

The End (for now)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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