A Comfort Break
As Paula stood up, and slipped her black leather biker jacket on, her co-worker Carol looked over and said “taking a comfort break?”
“Yeah – I’ll be back in ten minutes,” the middle aged woman said with a smile as she headed to the exit from the phone bank. The leather jacket was over a red scoop necked top, while the legs of her faded blue jeans were tucked into a pair of over the knee black leather boots with three inch stiletto heels and metal decorations.
She walked down the corridor and out of the building, smiling as she reached into her jacket pocket while turning the corner and heading for a shelter. Much as she hated the new rules for workspace etiquette, she understood that her smoking was not the best way to have the room scented.
Looking round, she stopped by the refuse bin and removed the packet of cigarettes from her pocket, took one out and put it to her mouth, before she used a box of matches to light the tip. She had started smoking when she was a teenager, but save for a brief spell when she was carrying Chloe she had not been able to kick the habit – and the first cigarette after that year had been like a hot sweet nectar to her.
Looking round, she wondered why it was so quiet – normally two or three others would have come out at the same time as well, but then she glanced at her watch. “Damn, I needed one early today,” Paula whispered to herself before she inhaled again, her body responding to the nicotine hit as she sighed. IT was going to be a long day, she knew that already, as she saw the service van drive up and park alongside her.
Turning her back to it, she took another drag and put her hand over the waste basket – so when she opened her hand in shock, the lit cigarette dropped straight in. The shock was due to the fact she had been grabbed from behind, a latex gloved hand pressed firmly over her mouth as she was physically manhandled into the van. She caught a quick glimpse of the grey sky before the doors were slammed shut, her eyes unable to adjust quickly enough to the gloom before a male voice said “if you make a sound, you die. Understand?”
Paula slowly nodded as she was pushed face down onto the floor, and she felt two more people grab her – one taking her hands behind her back and crossing her wrists, and the other crossing her ankles, before she felt some sort of rope been pulled tightly round them to hold them together. She tried to stop them, but the gun that was then pressed firmly against her forehead proved very persuasive, and she stopped as she felt the bands getting tighter around her limbs.
She flexed her fingers, but it was useless as she felt another band forcing her legs together below her knees. The feeling was very strange, especially as she heard a soft squeaking and chinking. It took her a few minutes to realise that the noise was coming from her, or to be more specific, her boots as they rubbed together.
There was a cold sweat breaking out on her – fear, pure fear, as the situation was totally outside of her experience. They had been robbed at home, but nobody had been home at that point – and this was something completely different.
Whoever had bound her then rolled her over and sat her up, her eyes finally adjusting to the gloom as she saw the white bands that now encircled her ankles and her legs, contrasting strongly with the black leather. It was still a strange feeling, but somehow the fear was making it more intense, as she wondered what was going to happen next.
The answer to that came immediately, as whoever was behind her passed more rope over her head and pulled it tight, forcing her arms onto her sides. But that was not the only thing that was happening – she could feel the sides of her jacket been pulled into the side, and her top been pulled tighter over her body, and those feelings only increased as the rope was passed round again and again, forming two bands above and below her chest.
And, as she felt them getting tighter and tighter, it was the feeling of those bands that was the most perplexing. She glanced down to see her chest forced up and out, the white band sitting on the red of the top and the pale pink of her flesh, and she wondered what would happen if she moved.
But there was the fear of what whoever was holding the gun might do, so she tried to stay as still as possible, feeling the final tug behind her back, and then the stroke of the gloved hands on her breasts as more rope was tied between her arms and body. It made the bands even tighter on her, the pressure even greater…
Very little had been said to her, save for the few commands, but as she saw the folded white cloth on the gloved hand in front of her head, she instinctively knew what was going to happen.
And that was something Paula did not want, as she said “no – no way” and clamped her mouth shut. She was frightened enough as it was, but to have that in her mouth, preventing her from breathing…
“Lady,” the voice said quietly, “you were told not to make a sound, and yet you just did. So you have a choice – open that mouth, and accept something that makes sure you don’t make any more loud noises, or don’t – and I force you to let me push this in. Your choice.”
Paula stared at the cloth, and then shook her head and kept her mouth shut – so when the gloved hand squeezed her left breast firmly, and she gasped in pain and shock, then let out a second muffled gasp as the cloth was forced into her mouth. She could even taste the latex as the fingers pushed the cloth firmly in, stuffing the space behind her teeth, forcing her tongue down as she tried to calm herself down.
She knew if she panicked, there was a very real chance she would start choking, and given her current position of being tightly bound and unable to do much about it, she had to let the fear subside, remain calm, and pray nothing else was going to happen…
“Close your lips.”
Paula put her lips together, hearing a the soft peeling sound before the wide strip of white tape was pressed firmly down over her lips, covering the lower half of her face as if it was a second skin. She just stared straight ahead, afraid of what else might happen given one of them had already groped her.
“We could have some fun, you know.”
That was a new voice, and it scared Paula, but the first voice said “patience, little one – she has a purpose to serve first. Take the photos.”
The blinding light took her by surprise, time and time again, and then there was darkness save for the spots that were flashing before her eyes, as she felt the van move off…
“I saw the news – a small fire outside Mum’s workplace, but I’m sure she’s fine.”
Chloe was relaxing at her desk – relaxing a great deal, with her legs crossed as they rested on the corner of her desk. Being manager of the design department had some perks – such as the corner office, and the room to relax.
The young woman was wearing a black dress with elbow length sleeves, decorated with silver rings, and a pair of knee length black suede boots over her dark hosed legs. Life was good, and she was enjoying it.
“Okay then, I’ll talk to you later,” she said as she put the phone down, looking out through the glass partition as her staff left for their lunch break. Sitting up, she turned and started to work on her computer, not hearing the door to her office opening and closing behind her.
Eventually, however, she said without turning round “what is it?”
“This is me telling you to slowly turn round, and raise your hands in the air.”
Chloe stiffened slightly as she heard the strange voice, and then turned her chair round to see the man standing there. He was tall, well dressed, and was carrying a slim document case – and a very real pistol in his hand which he was pointing at her.
“What… Is this some sort of prank,” she finally said as she shook her head.
“No, not a prank – very very real, my dear lady. Do as I say, or your mother is the one who will pay the price.”
“My mother? What do you…”
She then looked at the man as he opened his document case, took out a tablet and handed it to her, then looked at the photos that were being shown – the older woman, her black leather jacket pulled to the sides by the tight ropes framing her upper body, around her legs, the white tape over her mouth…
“Shit,” she said quietly as she put the tablet down, “what… What do you want me to do?”
“First, stand up – slowly – and close the blinds over the windows,” the man said, Chloe nodding as she ensured nobody could see into her office. When she had diminished, she turned with her hands raised and said “now what?”
“Open your safe,” the man said quietly as he smiled, “and take all the documents out. Place them into this bag.” From the document wallet, he took a black bag and unfolded it, watching as Chloe took it from him and then opened the wall safe. He kept watch as she put document after document into it, all the time with the gun aimed directly at her.
When she had finished, he smiled as he said “excellent – and now, you are coming with me.” Opening the document wallet again, he took out a flat clear wallet, opening it and taking out a black silk scarf which he handed to her.
“And just what do you expect me to do with this?”
“~I expect you,” the man said quietly, “to fold it up and put it in your mouth, and I expect you to do it without arguing. Go ahead.”
Paula swallowed hard, and then folded the scarf into a small pad, before she opened her mouth and put it in. She could taste the silk and the slight perfume on her tongue as she closed her lips over it, the man smiling as he put the gun down and removed from the case a clear strip. Peeling some paper away from the back, he said “don’t move” before he pressed the tape down over Paula’s mouth, covering her lips as he made sure there were no creases, no air bubbles – nothing to show she was in no position to say anything.
“Now,” he said quietly as he picked up the document case, and put the gun into his inside jacket pocket, “walk with me, do nothing to show what is happening.”
“To be with your mother – shall we?”
Paula knew she had no choice, as she walked to with the man, the two of them making their way to the elevator, down to the entrance lobby, and then out of the building without anybody noticing. He walked her to a black SUV, opening the back as he said “get in, sit with your back to me, and don’t move unless I tell you.”
As she sat down, Paula looked at the darkened windows, trying to control how she was feeling as she heard the man close the door, and then pull her hands behind her back. The ropes rubbed on her bare wrists as he quickly bound them together, but she could tell in his case speed was because he was practised, as she soon realised there was no way she was going to be able to force her wrists apart.
But it got worse when he passed a much longer length of rope around her body, and pulled it tight, wrapping it several times round her upper and lower arms so that they were fixed into place – and as a result she could only wriggle round, especially when he fed the ropes under one arm, pulled them up in front of her and then around the back of her neck, and under the other arm.
It was the most peculiar feeling, as the man made her lie on her side, and she looked down her body to see him cross and bind her ankles tightly together with the white rope. She could actually see the black suede lighten slightly where the bands of rope were pressing down on them, holding her legs tightly together there, and once he had secured that band with a second band around her legs below her knees.
“Now don’t move,” he said quietly as he patted her bottom, and then got back out, Paula too scared to move as he got behind the wheel and drove off…
When she heard the SUV stop, Paula grunted slightly – grateful he had stopped slowly, so that she had not rolled off the seat and into the foot well in front of her. She had no idea where she was, having had no way of seeing out of the windows, but as he opened the door and pulled her out, she shouted “Shmmbddhlppmhhh!”
“Oh be quiet,” he said quietly as he put her over his shoulder and smacked her bottom, Paula taken completely by surprise as she saw a kitchen she was being carried through.
A very familiar kitchen, a familiar hallway, a familiar set of stairs, and then a muffled, but familiar voice saying “hmmghddlhrreee!”
Chloe was dumped, rather unceremoniously, on the bed to find herself looking into her mother’s eyes. Paula was struggling, her legs bent at the knees, and Chloe wondered what had happened – but she found out as her own legs were pulled back, and she felt the increased tension on the ropes around her upper body as her ankles were tied to the ropes that held her arms to her sides.
“Did you get the documents?”
“We did – so what are we going to do to them?”
Paula and Chloe both started shaking their heads as they thought about what they could do to them, before the first voice said “leave them – we’ve done what we needed to do, and they’re going nowhere.”
They both turned their heads and watched the two men as they headed out, still unsure of what the hell had happened, of why they had been targeted in this way, and too scared to move because of what may happen if they came back…
Both Chloe and her mother were released when Paula’s husband found them later that night. No motive was ever discerned for the double kidnapping, or why the men had taken the old design sheets from Chloe’s office.
But Paula did quit smoking then…