Hide and Seek
The alarm had stopped sounding for a few minutes, and as Poppy sat behind her desk she was beginning to wonder if this was a scheduled drill or something more. She and her colleagues had come in on this Saturday morning to sort out some files, and when the alarm went off they all thought it was one of the regular scheduled drills the building owners ran when nobody was meant to be there.
She could feel the sweat building on her face and under her arms, and was grateful she had chosen to wear this particular dress that day. A black halter neck dress, it came to just below her crotch and the front allowed room for air to circulate around her chest. He regret was choosing to wear heeled black patent leather shoes as well – it made it very difficult to get up and down quickly. As she poked her head out from under the desk, however, and the silence from the corridor outside overwhelmed her, she began to feel it may be safe for her to come out at that point.
“Hello,” she said quietly as she slowly allowed her head to come out, her brown hair falling over her face as she did so, “Is there anybody there?”
Silence was the only reply she heard, so Poppy slowly crawled out from under the desk, pushing herself up onto her feet and looking round. Sighing with relief, she turned to look over the desk behind her – only to be greeted by someone dressed in black clothing with a stocking over his head and a gun in his hand,
The man smiled and said “Surprise – you’re caught” as a pair of gloved hands grabbed Poppy’s bare wrists and pulled them behind her back. She could feel the rope as it was quickly passed around them and pulled tightly, holding her crossed wrists together as it was passed around and between them to secure them in place.
“What the hell is going on here,” she shouted as a loop of white rope was passed over her head and pulled around her chest below her breasts, forcing her arms against her side and chafing against her bare skin. The ropes came round again, above her breasts this time, and pulling her arms still more tightly into her sides. Again and again they went round, before the rope was knotted against the small of her back, the gathered roll of hemp rubbing against her skin. She then felt the rope tightening still further, and looking over her shoulder she saw that a smaller length had been passed between her arms and her back, tightening the loops around her chest and holding them firmly in place.
Poppy also got her first good look at the other intruder, and was surprised to see it was a woman, her long hair gathered under the nylon and held back from her face. As yet more rope was passed around her waist and arms, the man in front of her grabbed her by the chin and said “Is it safe?”
“Is what safe?” Poppy replied as she felt the ropes against her waist tightening still further as they too were gathered by a rope between her arms and back.
“Just tell me where it is hidden,” the man said as Poppy was forced to the floor. The masked woman walked round, knelt by her side and pulled her ankles together, shaking out a length of rope as she did so.
“Look, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I’m only a secretary here – I don’t know where Lindy and the others keep everything.”
“Not a very good secretary then, are you,” the masked woman said as she pulled Poppy’s legs tightly together below her knees with a fresh length of rope, passing it around and between them while taking care to keep the coils layered so as not to pull the skin between them.
“No, she’s not,” the man said as he stood up and looked around her office. “Who else is in the building today?”
“Lindy – my boss – and the head of personnel – OW!!”
Poppy shrieked as yet more rope was passed around her thighs and the tops of her legs, so that they looked like a sausage that had been tied into place to stop the meat inside spilling out as they were cooked. She was pushed against the wall as the woman went into her pocket and took out a wad of white cloth.
“Well, I guess we should go and find them next,” the woman said as she held the cloth in front of Poppy’s mouth. “Now, open wide –w e can’t have you giving them the chance to get away, can we?”
“I don’t understand, what’s this all about? It’s just a Saturday mornnmmmpph.” Poppy’s pleas were cut short as the cloth was pushed into her mouth, and a thin blue scarf used to hold it in place. The silk cut into the corners of Poppy’s mouth as it was pulled back and knotted under her hair at the base of her neck.
She watched as the two masked intruders quickly searched through the filing cabinets in her office, and then made their way to the door. “Don’t go anywhere,” the woman called back as Poppy watched them leaving, locking the door on the other side as they closed it, and wondering what had happened to the security guards that were meant to stop something like this happening.
At that exact moment, both of the female security guards were wondering what had hit them. When the two people had walked in to ask directions, they had thought nothing of it. Truth to tell, they had just sounded yet another security alarm check at the insistence of the building owner, and were wondering more about how the three women upstairs were going to swear at them than anything.
So, when the guns had been pulled and they had been ordered to lie face down on the floor, that message had taken them completely by surprise. As they lay on their sides, the only sound in the building the squeaking from their leather boots as the rope rubbed against them and their grunts as the cloth that filled their mouths muffled their efforts to talk to each other, their one thought now was how they were going to explain this to their boss. They tried to free themselves, but they had been firmly lashed together back to back, and cooperation was not coming that easily.
Lindy Watson had been working in her executive office when the alarm sounded. As the alarm had turned off, she had wasted no time in getting back behind her desk and working through the paperwork that had stacked up there. As the head of the agency, she was responsible for making sure the reports for her bosses were accurate and filed on time, and nothing was going to stop that for her.
Not even the door to her office opening and closing. “Yes, Poppy, what is it?” was all she said without looking up. When she didn’t get an answer, she then said “All right, Suzie, who’s cocked up this time,” but still she had no answer. Looking up, she saw why there had been no reply, and slowly placed her pen down on the table.
“Is it safe?” the masked man said as his female accomplice moved round and grabbed Lindy by the arm, forcing her to stand up and taking her over to a red couch that was to one side of the large office,
“I’m sorry? Just what the hell are you talking about, and who the hell are you?” she protested as she was forced to sit down with her back to the woman, while the man who had spoken stood between her and the coffee table next to the couch.
“I wouldn’t upset him if I was you,” the woman said as she shook out a length of white rope and doubled it over, before pulling Lindy’s arms behind her back and holding her wrists together in her gloved hands. Lindy felt the rope passing around her bare wrists and clenched her fists into balls to try and stop them being pulled tightly together – to no avail.
“Look, I’m sorry if you think we should not be here, but we’re on a timetable here, so just answer the question,” the man said as Lindy felt her arms been drawn tightly together. “Is it safe?”
“Where are Poppy and Suzie,” Lindy said as she looked up. She was wearing a red sleeveless dress with a round collar, and black shoes, so the rope was chafing against the bare skin of her wrists as it was passed between them, tightening the coils as it did so.
“They’re both safe and secure, so don’t worry about them – we just want it, so tell us where it is.”
“Where what is – oh,” Lindy said as she felt her elbows being drawn together with rope, forcing her chest out and making her gasp for a moment as they touched behind her back. She glared back up at the masked man, surprised to see him smile.
“I’m sorry, but every time my partner does that I do like the effect it has on women,” he said, and looking down Lindy could see what he meant. Her cheeks flushed red as the woman knelt by her side and pulled her ankles together, passing a length of rope around them and pulling them together side by side. “listen” she said as the rope went between her legs, “I really have no idea what it is you are talking about. If you tell me what it is you want, I can tell you if I have it without all this fuss.”
“The thing is,” the woman said as she passed another longer length of rope around Lindy’s legs above her knees, “we like this fuss. So sit still and let me finish and maybe we’ll talk to you after that.”
Lindy looked up at the smiling man as she felt her legs been drawn together, the rope passing over her light grey stockings as she was further restrained, and stayed silent until the woman knotted the ends of the cord together under her legs and stood up. “All right,” she said as the two assailants stood there, “what is it you are looking for?”
“We want the file,” the man said as he looked at Lindy sitting there.
“The file? What file?”
“The Thornton file – is it safe?”
Lindy sat for a few moments, thinking about what the man had said, before looking up. “The Thornton file – my personnel officer had that yesterday, but she never gave it back to me. Why do you want it?”
“Not your concern, dear lady, but thank you for the honesty. Now, open up.”
“Open upppgghhfd,” Lindy spluttered as a thick white cloth was pulled into her mouth, the material filling the space between her teeth and depressing her tongue against the floor of her mouth as the band cut into the corners. She closed her lips around the material, her lipstick staining the white cotton as the ends were tied tightly together at the base of her neck under her short reddish brown hair.
“You just stay there,” the man said as his companion pushed on Lindy’s shoulders, her head dropping as they walked to the office door. She looked round as they left, closing the door behind them and walking the short distance to where they had left the third woman earlier.
“We’re not going to find it, are we?” the woman said as they approached the office door.
“Possibly not – but that’s part of the game,” the man said as he opened the door and they walked into the office, looking at Suzie as they closed the door behind them.
Suzie looked up from where she was lying on her cream leather sofa and grunted in surprise. The buttons on her grey jacket had started to come undone at the front, but the ropes that came over her shoulders and under the band that lay beneath her breasts was keeping the front firmly in place. Her grey flared skirt was falling slightly above her bent knees, while the rope around her ankles was holding firm as they lay pulled back towards the rear of the couch. Her blonde hair fell around her face, save where the hair clip was keeping it off her left side.
“How are you feeling,” the woman asked, but all Suzie could do was grunt through the thin cloth band that held her grey scarf inside her mouth. The man walked quickly over and pulled Suzie into a seated position, saying “We have a quick question to ask you, and if you help us we will make you a little more comfortable. How does that sound?”
“Wl u unty m” Suzie mumbled through her gag.
“No, but we will take some of the pressure off your arms. Is that fair enough?”
Suzie nodded, and the masked man unwrapped the rope around her shoulders and front, allowing her a little more movement in her arms, although not much. The woman reached up and pulled the cloth out of her mouth, removing the saliva soaked scarf and allowing Suzie to breath.
“What do you want?” she croaked as they looked at her.
“The Thornton file – do you still have it?”
“No – Lindy’s sister took it home yesterday to work on. Why?”
“Because, my dear girl, that is what we are looking for. Where does this sister live?”
“Her address is on my desk,” Suzie said as she nodded towards her desk at the far end of the room.
“Thank you – take her over there,” the man said as his companion helped Suzie to stand up and hop over to a wall unit at the far side of the room, in front of which was a white sheepskin rug. Helping her to sit down, Suzie somehow managed to cross her ankles as the woman untied the white scarf,
“Got it,” the man said, “Now make sure she cannot raise the alarm.”
“Whammph,” was all Suzie could say as the scarf was tied back into her mouth, the ends knotted under her long hair as it fell down her back before she was pushed against the doors of the wall unit.
“I said we would make you more comfortable, not set you free,” the man said as his companion joined him. “Have fun.” Suzie glared at them as they left the office, closing and locking the door behind them.”
“You’d better call it in,” the woman said as they made their way down the rear staircase. Her friend nodded as they reached the foot of the staircase, removed their stocking masks and walked out of the rear exit. He dialled a number on his mobile phone.
“Unit 1 here – we were unsuccessful, but Unit 2 may have more luck. Have they called in yet?”
A typical suburban house was what it looked like, set behind a small lawn as the road snaked up the hill. Nothing unusual about it whatsoever, really, mainly because there was nothing unusual about it. For the more conservative members of the local community, there was something different and slightly unwholesome about the couple who lived there, but as they kept themselves to themselves they tried not to think too much about what their imaginations told them must be happening in there.
For their part, Gemma and Teri Watson kept themselves very much to themselves. Teri stayed at home while Gemma worked at her sister’s firm, dealing with problematical and difficult legal cases. Very much the homemaker, Teri loved playing the part of the suburban housewife, while Gemma was the breadwinner.
This particular Saturday morning, however, Teri was not sure this was the way she wanted to spend the day – threatened by two masked man as part of a home invasion. She had been baking cakes while Gemma went to the supermarket, but had barely got her white pinafore tied over her pink and cream diamond patterned dress before the door bell had rung. When she had answered it, her first thought was that the armed intruders who had pushed her back inside were after her jewellery, but up to that point they had not even removed the string of pearls that hung around her neck.
All they had done was forced her back into the kitchen, made her sit on one of their dining table chairs and tied her wrists together behind her back. While her ankles were tied together as her white sandals rested on the floor. Fear had kept her rooted to the seat more than any further restraints, but they had silenced her by stuffing a napkin into her mouth and covering the lower half of her face with layers of silver duct tape and taken some rope from her ankles to the strut at the back of the chair. Her copper red hair was falling round her face as she struggled to free herself, one of the intruders staying with her as the other went off to search for what she presumed were her valuables.
As she heard the front door open, Teri looked up in shock and surprise. She heard Gemma call out “Teri – I’ve got the tickets. Let me go and get changed and we can get going,” and tried to call out a warning, but the gag was too good at muffling her attempts. The masked intruder walked over to her and whispered “Quiet now” in her ear as he brushed the barrel of his gun against her hair.
Gemma removed her long black coat and hung it on the coat stand, checking her black hair in the mirror as she stood there. She was wearing yellow silk dress with a floral embossed pattern, the sleeves reaching half way down her forearms and the skirt just covering the tops of her black stockings. She looked round, wondering why Teri had not answered, but figuring she was outside she shrugged her shoulders and walked into the kitchen.
“Teri, are you..” she said, but on seeing her partner bound and gagged on the chair she stopped short, allowing the man standing behind the door to place his gloved hand over her mouth and whisper “Not a word – just nod in answer to me. Is it safe?”
“St sf” Gemma mumbled under the strong smelling leather as she heard rather than saw a second person coming into the kitchen. She watched a second man walk in front of her, dressed in black and a stocking pulled over his head, and listened as he said “You will both be fine if you do exactly what we say. If my colleague takes away his hand, will you stay quiet?”
“Yss,” Gemma said as she looked over at Teri sitting there, her black mascara running down her cheeks with the tears that had started to flow. “Jst dnt hrt hr.”
The man nodded, and as Gemma felt the gloved hand been taken away and her wrists being pulled behind her back she looked up at the intruder.
“If it’s jewellery, money – whatever you want, you can have it, just leave us alone,” she said as she felt rope passed around her crossed wrists and pulling them together. To her surprise, the man laughed as the rope was passed between her wrists and pulled tight.
“I already have that,” he said as his companion passed a long length of rope between Gemma’s wrists, and then around her waist, pinning her bund hands against the small of her back in the process. “No – we want to ask you if it is safe.”
“Safe? Is what safe?” As she said this, Gemma could feel her elbows been pulled behind her back with rope, forcing the sleeves on her dress to rise slightly but not pulled together so that they touched. As the masked man tied the rope off to secure them together, she looked back at the man in front of her.
“The file – the Thornton file. Is it safe?”
Gemma’s eyes widened as she realised what they were after. “The Thornton file – the merger documents? Why on earth do you want that file?”
“Not your concern, lady,” the man said as a lasso of rope was passed over Gemma’s head and used to pull her arms to her side below her breasts. “Just tell me – is it safe?”
“Yes – yes, it’s safe. If I tell you where it is, will you go and leave us alone?”
“If you don’t tell us where it is, I guarantee we will not go, unless we take you with us. So, where is it?”
While they had been talking, the other man had wrapped the rope around Gemma’s arms and chest, pulling them into her side as the rope went above and below her breasts, before he passed the rope over her left shoulder, around the top loop of rope behind her back, back over her right shoulder and through the bottom loop before he knotted it tightly odd where she could not reach. She twisted round to see if she could move her arms at all, before she felt a gloved hand on her chin and her head was turned to stare into the nylon covered face.
“All right – it’s in the office.”
“Lead the way,” he said as the three of them left Teri crying as she struggled in her chair. Gemma was forced down the corridor until she stopped outside a door, which one of the intruders opened to reveal a small office, with a desk and chair and a white sheepskin rug on the floor.
“Sit her down,” the man said, and Gemma was forced to sit on the sheepskin rug. She watched as the other masked man pulled her ankles together by wrapping a length of rope around them, passing it round and between while his companion searched through the files and boxes that were sitting on the desk. Wincing as the rope cut through the thin stockings into her legs, she only turned her head when she heard a cry of triumph, and looked up to see the man holding a small manila file in his hand.
“thank you, dear lady,” he said as he reached own and patronisingly patted Gemma on her thick black hair while his companion bound her legs together above her knees. “A few more moments and we will leave you to your own amusements. We just need to do one more thing first.”
“And what would that be,” she said in a sarcastic tone as the man stood up.
“Keep you quiet as well,” he said as he rolled a white scarf into a wide band and pulled it between Gemma’s lips, filling her mouth as he secured the ends together at the base of her neck. Laughing, he left the room with the file, followed by the other intruder who left the door ajar as they departed.
Gemma sat still for a few minutes, looking over her shoulder as she waited to hear if they had indeed been left alone. As she did so, she wondered why they wanted a file for a merger deal – and a fairly standard one at that. She could think of no reason why two armed and masked men would go to such lengths just to get hold of a contract.
Eventually, she began to push herself across the polished floor, pulling her knees up and pushing back in order to do so. She was worried about Teri, concerned that she had been left alone – and, if she was been honest, she was aroused by seeing her so helpless and afraid. As she slowly inched her way along the corridor to where she could hear sobbing, Gemma wondered if Teri may like to play some games after some time had passed...
Sometime later, in an office at the far side of town, three men and a woman were sat waiting for someone to arrive. As the door opened, they stood and waited as the tall, elegant woman took a seat at the table they were sat around. Nodding, she took the file that one of the men handed her and examined the contents carefully, removing one page and holding it up to the light.
“Excellent,” she said as she laid the page back on the table. “It was regrettable that we had to go to such lengths, but if that firm knew the Thornton file had a microdot hidden on one page with details of our organisation, they would have gone to the authorities immediately. It was foolish of Thornton to try this, but he had already been – reprimanded. Now we have the information safely in our hands, and no-one need be the wiser. You have all done well.”
“Thank you, Duchess,” the four said as they bowed, appreciating the compliment their mistress had paid them.