Avon Calling

 

 

 

“This, my dear man, is a magnificent piece of restoration work.”

 

“Yeah – the builders have done a magnificent job on this.”

 

The two men were standing outside looking, at the mansion house as the summer sun shone down.  It stood on a large open piece of land, with the hills of the Avon gorge rising behind the house and the sound of the river flowing from somewhere nearby.  The house was discrete, secluded, quiet – perfect for the purpose the new owner had in mind for it.

 

James Donaldson looked out over the grounds as they spread out in front of him.  He had progressed in the staff ranks over the last few months, until he had reached the level where George had asked him to over see this special project.

 

“George is going to be very pleased with this.”

 

“I hope so – the firm he hired have done everything asked of them virtually without question?”

 

“Virtually?”

 

The site foreman turned and looked at James.  “Yeah – I’ll explain about that when we get back to the office.”

 

“Sounds intriguing.  So – the builders?”

 

“All paid off very handsomely and on their way.  Our own specialist teams are moving in now to complete the work.  Come on – I’ll explain everything at the office.”

 

The two men made their way over to the portacabin as the scaffolding and other building material was being cleared away by a team dressed in grey overalls.  Opening the cabin door, James followed the manager into the cramped office.

 

A set of plans were strewn over a low table in the centre of the room, but that was not what caught James’ attention.  What did was the young blonde haired lady sitting on the floor under another desk.

 

She was wearing an orange fluorescent jacket, and a pair of black knickers, but not a lot else.  She looked up at the two men with a pleading look in her eyes – the layers of duct tape over her mouth prevented anything like conversation coming out.

 

James bent down and examined the ropes that were tied around her.  Her legs were bent up, and her ankles tied to her thighs with coarse brown lengths.  More rope was holding her wrists together behind her back, and her arms above her elbows.  She kicked out at James as he stood up.

 

“What happened?”

 

“She got a little too curious about what the internal fittings were going to be used for.  We should have expected that from a building inspector, but we weren’t expecting one that looked like this.”

 

“Where are her clothes?”

 

“Packed up and in a bag ready to dispose of – but what are we going to do with her?”

 

The manager picked up a large bag from the floor, and rifling through it produced a driving licence.

 

“Sally Carstairs – here’s her home address.”

 

“Hang on a minute,” James said as he took a mobile phone from his pocket.  “This is James – run a family check on Sally Carstairs, address…..”

 

 

 

 

Penny strode into the office of her editor with a purposeful look on her face.

 

“What is it this time, Gerrard?”

 

“Chief, I think I have a story that needs following up on, but I need your permission to do some deep digging on it.”

 

“This isn’t about those disappearances again is it?  I told you – they were random and not connected at all.”

 

The editor leant back in his chair and looked at Penny Gerrard.  In her early twenties, she had the makings of a good reporter, but still had a lot to learn about discretion and gathering evidence for a publication.

 

“Look – there have been reports across the country of women disappearing for some time now.  Always sudden, never explained.  Most of them get written off as planned leavings, but I’ve talked to some of the partners, and an awful lot of them seem to be single, young and unattached.  I’m worried they are connected, and I want to dig further.”

 

He looked again at her eager face.

 

“All right – but on your own time, and on your own head be it if there’s nothing there.”

 

“Thanks Chief,” Penny said as she turned and walked out of the room.

 

 

 

“Thanks – I’ll take it from here.”

 

James hung up, and dialled another number on his phone.

 

“Dave?  It’s James – I have a special job for you if you have room to fit her in?

 

“Excellent – Come to the Avon project site and collect.   Oh, and Dave?  Expect a call from George in the near future.”

 

Closing his phone, James knelt down and brushed the hair out of the frightened girl’s eyes.

 

“I think you need a change of career – and I have a friend coming who will take care of that for you.  Relax, and enjoy the experience.”

 

Standing up, he turned to the site manager.

 

“A representative from eSlave will be here soon – I’ll get a team round to her house to clear things out.  In the meantime, I need to get back to the office and let George know what’s happening.  How long do you think?”

 

“Two weeks before we can start.”

 

James nodded, and left the manager looking down on Sally as she tried to move back under the desk.

 

 

 

The walled grounds gave an extra sense of seclusion to the house, and James once again admired the beauty of the building as he drove up to the front of the house.  Leaving the car, he ran up the front stairs and entered the ordinary looking door.

 

Once inside, he looked round at the hustling crews preparing for that night’s auction.  The headquarters of Objects of Beauty were well hidden, yet in plain sight – and all the more secure for it.

 

“Have you seen Colleen?” he asked a passing woman in a black jacket and skirt.

 

“She’s in the holding area – a late arrival for the sale came in, and she’s doing an assessment.”

 

Thanking her, James made his way to the staircase, through a doorway and down into the cellar of the building.  He could hear muted calls for help, and opened a door into a cellar.

 

There was a woman standing in the middle of the room, looking up at the ceiling.  A pair of handcuffs was fastened over her wrist, and her arms were held above her head by a length of chain.  Dressed as she was in a black strapless PVC dress and knee length boots, her breasts were almost falling out from the front of her dress as she struggled against the metal binding.  The moans were definitely coming from her, but the muffling was due to a ball that had been strapped securely into her mouth.

 

The rattling was added to by the set of cuffs that had been fastened around her ankles, with enough chain to allow her to move but not enough to allow free movement.  She turned her head to look at James as he came in, as did the other woman in the room.

 

Colleen was dressed in a white blouse and black pencil skirt, with three inch heeled shoes on her feet.  She was making notes on a clipboard as she looked over the captive.

 

“Oh, hi there,” she said as she recognised James, “Team 6 brought this one in a half hour ago – apparently she was leaving a night club at a very unusual hour, and literally walked into them.  I was wondering if we should add her to the roster tonight.”

 

James walked round the shackled woman, noticing that her dark roots were starting to show through her bleached blonde hair.

 

“Hmmm – Colleen, can I suggest we hold off on a decision for a couple of days.  I think we may have something very special that she could be used for.”

 

Colleen looked at her boyfriend.  “Are they ready?”

 

“Ready enough for me to call Japan, even at this hour.  I’ll see you in the office in a few minutes.”

 

James left the room as Colleen spoke into a radio “one for the holding area for now.”  Walking back up the stairs, he crossed the lobby and entered the manager’s office.  Sitting at the table, he glanced at his watch and picked up the phone.

 

“Genevieve – it’s James from the London office.  Is George there?

 

“Oh right – well, I’m sorry but you need to interrupt him in full flow.  Give him a message will you?

 

“Just tell him Avon Calling – I’ll hang on.”

 

He drummed his fingers on the table until a voice with a slight African accent said “Are you certain?”

 

“I am, George.  The internal fittings are going in even as we speak, and Doug reckons about two weeks before we can open.  We had a slight problem with the building inspector, but Dave is helping us out there.”

 

“Excellent – have the teams assemble the day after tomorrow, and thank the construction team for me.”

 

“No problem – have a nice flight back.  Oh – we had a late delivery today, and I’ve suggested she may be our first lot at the opening event.”

 

“Oh, I see – well, an addition to the first sale will not be unwelcome.  I will return as soon as I can.”

 

“No problem George – I’ll have a ticket waiting for you at the airport.  See you in three days.”

 

Replacing the receiver, James looked at Colleen as she walked in.

 

“Colleen, send the word to our special operatives – Avon Calling.  Tell them to be here in two days.”

 

 

Arizona

 

He could see the flashing lights in her rear view mirror, and pulled over to the side of the quiet suburban.  The police car pulled up behind her, and a female officer got out from behind the driver’s wheel, walking up to the car.

 

“Excuse me, Sit, but I think you jumped a red light back there.  May I see your licence and registration please?”

 

“Of course officer – anything for such a lovely example of our law enforcement organisation.  Just let me get them out of the glove compartment here.”

 

He reached into the compartment of the convertible, fumbling amongst some papers.  “Ah, here we are,” he finally said as he drew a small canister out from the drawer, and depressing the top sent a cloud of gas into the face of the officer.

 

“What…” was all she managed to say before she collapsed on the ground.  Looking to see if anyone else was around, the man quickly jumped out of the car, took the handcuffs from the officer’s belt and secured her wrists together behind her back.  Searching in the drawer again, he pulled out a roll of black electrical tape and wrapped it around her mouth and jaw, gagging her, before popping the boot of the trunk and depositing her inside.

 

Dialling a number on his cell phone, he said “Control, this is Dean – I’ve had to take an officer unexpectedly.  Can you zero in on me and send a recovery team for the police car and disposal?”

 

“Roger that, Dean – bring our guest in and then go and pack.  We’ve had a message to pass on to you.”

 

“A message – what message?”

 

“Just this – Avon Calling.”

 

Dean stroked his chin for a moment.  “Understood, Control – get me on the first available flight to the UK.  My services are needed there.”

 

 

 

South Africa

 

“It was so nice of you to offer me a lift – I hope this isn’t too uncomfortable for you?”

 

The young African woman wanted to scream for help, but the thick black ball gag in her mouth was stifling any sound and the blindfold meant she had no idea where she was going.  She had only stopped when the woman looked like she was having trouble with her car, but now she was gagged, blindfolded and going Lord alone knows where.

 

The car came to a stop, and Monique leant over to talk to her captive.

 

“Don’t move until I open the door, and then do exactly what I tell you to do.  Understand?”

 

“Hmmm” was all the captive could say as Monique climbed out of the driver’s side.  She was wearing a black sleeveless top and pants covered in silver flecks, and flat shoes, which crunched on the dust as she walked round and opened the passenger door.

 

Untying the rope which held her bound wrists to the gear lever, she said “Swing your legs round and I’ll help you out.”  The woman was wearing bright orange sports top, black leggings, white socks and trainers, but her wrists were tightly bound together in front of her.  Helping her out of the car, Monique took hold of the length of rope that had secured her to the car and led her forward to a waiting van.

 

“This should meet the client’s needs,” she said as she handed the captive over to the waiting man.

 

“Good work, Monique – this is for you.”  One of the men handed her an envelope.  Opening it, she found a passport and an air ticket.

 

“What’s going on,” she asked.

 

“Avon Calling.”

 

Monique nodded.  “My case?”

 

“In the back – we’ll drop you off at the airport.”

 

 

 

Glasgow

 

“Are you sure this is just a game?”

 

“It’s only a stripper, Jessie – enjoy it.”

 

The three lads watched as the woman, clad in a black bra top and shorts with fishnet stockings and knee length boots, took Jessie and made her lie down on the bed.  Jessie was dressed in a black short sleeved top, white fishnet stockings and heels, and laughed as the woman said “This is for your own good, birthday girl.”

 

Taking a pair of cuffs, she handcuffed Jessie’s wrists together behind her back, and the three lads walked off saying “See you later, Jessie.”

 

“Hey not fair,” she shouted at them as they closed the door behind them.  “What company are you from anyway,” she asked the black clad woman as she sat on her back.

 

“Objects of Beauty,” she replied as she slapped a chloroform soaked rag over Jessie’s mouth.  She struggled and tried to scream, but the noise of the stereo outside drowned out all her efforts as she slipped into unconsciousness.  The stripper quickly secured her ankles with a second pair of cuffs, tied a white cloth into her mouth and opened the window, where two men were waiting.

 

“Our thanks, Alex,” they said as she climbed out, “but you need to get back to London quickly.  Head office had been on the phone.”

 

“What did they say?”

 

“Avon Calling.”

 

“Finally,” Alex said as she pulled coat over her skimpily clad body.  “I’ll see you boys another day – big work is afoot.”

 

 

 

Penny pulled up outside the large house, some distance away so as not to draw attention to herself, and watched the gated entrance.  She had asked around the local area about the people who owned the house, but all she had been able to discover was that it was a training centre, and the walls were to provide security and peace for the people attending the courses that took place there.

 

She didn’t believe this for a second.  Penny was certain there was more than training courses going on – she had watched for a couple of weeks as a number of vans and lorries had arrived and departed at regular intervals.

 

There were also the evening meetings – every month, the house played host to a number of visitors, and well off ones at that judging from the cars that drove down the roads that day.  Tonight was meant to be another of those meetings, and Penny wanted to try and find out who exactly was attending.

 

Checking the lens of her camera, she poured a cup of coffee from the flask and sat back.  As she took a sip, she failed to notice the camera on the other side of the walled garden that turned in her direction.

 

 

 

“My compliments, James – this is a truly exquisite display.”

 

George was standing with James examining the setting for one of the tableaux for the meetings that night.  It was a suburban kitchen, on the floor of which was set a step ladder that had an upholstered pad on the top.  The ladder was opened up fully, and all seemed ready.

 

“Bring in the lot,” James said, and a middle aged woman with short brown hair was brought in by two men dressed in white.  She was wearing a pair of metal glasses, and a red bandana was tied into her mouth as a gag.

 

The trio stopped in front of George, who examined the white silk blouse and purple skirt she was wearing.  Satisfied, he nodded to the two men, who lifted the women up and lay her on her stomach on top of the padded ladder top.  Swiftly binding her forearms to the front of the step ladder, they repeated the process with her ankles, the white heeled sandals either side of the first step.

 

“Excellent – I look forward to a most productive meeting tonight.  James, we need to meet with our special guests,”

 

Nodding, James accompanied George to the main office, where four people were sat waiting.

 

“Dave, good to see you again,” George said as he extended a hand to his old friend.  “James, why don’t you introduce the others?”

 

“First, may I introduce from Arizona Dean – he has been a faithful supplier for years to some of our more – informal clients, but has agreed to help us with this project.”

 

The blonde haired American stood up and offered his hand to George.  “I assure y’all the pleasure is all mine,” he said as he shook the extended hand.

 

“This is Monique,” James said indicating a dark haired woman sat on the recliner.  She stood, extending her gloved hand to George who kissed it as a greeting.  “A pleasure,” she said as she sat back down, her grey leather dress creaking slightly as she did so.

 

“Finally, you also know Alex from Glasgow – she may prove to be very useful with some of our requirements.”

 

“Good to see you, George,” she said as she hugged the big man.

 

“Thank you all for coming so promptly,” George said as he sat down, “I know it has been an imposition, but I think it will be worth it.  James?”

 

The young man switched on a wall monitor.  “Our new premises at Avon Gorge are ready fro opening, and we wish to ensure a gala opening evening.  With this in mind, we have some very specific lots that we wish to acquire, and we need all of you to assist us in this.”

 

Monique sat up.  “What do you have in mind?”

 

The door opened and Colleen came in with a pile of dossiers.  She proceeded to hand them out amongst the guests, and as they perused them the telephone rang.

 

“Yes?”  George nodded, and handed the phone to James.  He listened to the speaker, and then replaced the handset.

 

“Please, forgive me everyone, but we have a small security issue I need to deal with.  I will see you all at the event later tonight?”

 

Closing the door behind him, James walked down the corridor and indeed the security control room.  One of the men at the desk turned as he came in.

 

“She’s there again James – same as the last few days.”

 

James looked at the small car, and adjusting the focus on the camera he looked at the blonde haired young woman inside.

 

“Who is she?”

 

“Her name is Penny Gerrard – a local reporter.  Do you think she suspects what goes on here?”

 

“Possibly – I’ll arrange for her to have a little visit tonight.”

 

 

 

It had been a long, tiring day when Penny finally got home.  Throwing her car keys on the table, she ran a hot bath and relaxed in the hot, fragrant suds.  Eventually getting out, she put on a yellow and white striped halter top, a grey denim skirt and some knickers, and sat down on her couch with a glass of wine.

 

As she set the glass of wine down on a small table, she gasped as a large hand was clamped over her mouth and her head was pulled back.  Looking up, she saw she was in the grip of a large dark haired man wearing sunglasses.

 

“Just stay quiet and you won’t get hurt,” he said as he waved a large roll of silver tape in front of Penny’s widening eyes.  It only took a few minutes for him to tape her wrists behind her back and wrap tape over her mouth.

 

“Don’t panic – I just want your money,” he said as he taped he rankles together and left her struggling on the couch.  She watched as he left the room, only to return a few minutes later and blow her a kiss as he switched the light off.

 

 

 

 

“Lot 186 – girl on a bench.”

 

The crowd assembled around the scene of a barn, with a couple of bales of hey scattered around.  On the bench was a young woman with crimped light hair, who was trying to scream through a thick black cloth gag.  She was wearing a white vest top which had been pulled up to reveal her naked breasts, and tiny orange shorts, and long lengths of hemp had been used to secure her in a sitting position.

 

“An ideal conversation piece – shall we start at ten thousand pounds?”

 

James put his finger to the earpiece, and quietly left the auction.  Returning to the office, he found his chief of security standing there, wiping his sunglasses with a cloth.

 

“Well?”

 

“She’s definitely interested in us – she has a number of shots of cars coming in and out of the gates.  Nothing you can identify, but she could be a problem.

 

“I don’t think we need to move yet, but it may be worth keeping an eye on her.”

 

James nodded.  “Arrange it – we start recruiting for the launch tomorrow, and I want nothing to get in the way of that.”

 

“Nothing at all….”

 

 

IT was a modest house, standing on its own but not as big as some of the others in the area.  Dave looked once more at the dossier in front of him, and then passed two photographs over to the girls who were sat behind him.

 

“These are our targets for today, ladies – the older woman is Delilah Houndsman, a local business woman who, shall we say, has had a little issue with the supplies we asked for, while the blonde is her daughter Katie.  George has requested that both of them be present at the opening, and we don’t want to disappoint him, do we?”

 

The girls looked at each other and laughed.  “What George wants, George gets,” the brunette said.  “What else is happening?”

 

“None of your business, girls, we’re doing this as a favour to our patron.  Hang on a minute…”

 

A silver Daimler passed their car, with a red haired woman in her early forties behind the wheel.  Dave watched as it set off into the distance.

 

“That was Delilah – our research indicates that we have maybe an hour before her daughter gets home.  Let’s get into the house and get ready.”

 

“What does her daughter do anyway?” the blonde asked as they walked up to the front door.

 

“She works at a legal office as a secretary – I don’t think she’ll be missed too much….”

 

 

 

“So, what’s this secret project you’re working on?”

 

“I can’t tell you, Katie, or it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?  Let’s just say that if I’m right, this town is never going to be the same.”

 

Katie laughed as she pushed her chair back and stood up, smoothing down her lilac skirt as she did so.

 

“Well, good luck with it anyway – I need to get home and get ready for tomorrow.  See you next week?”

 

“See you then,” Penny said as she watched her friend leave the bar.  She wanted to tell Katie, butt at the same time she could not risk placing her friend in any danger – she knew she was being watched by someone.  The break in at her flat had told her that much.

 

Katie hailed a taxi for the short journey home.  Alighting at her front door, she walked up the path and let herself into the house.  Placing her handbag by the telephone, she walked into the front room, barely noticing the fact the curtains were drawn before she was grabbed by the two women waiting inside.

 

“Don’t say a word, dearie,” the blonde said as she hand gagged Katie and waved a pistol in front of her, “this is a robbery.  Do as you’re told and you won’t be hurt – understand?”

 

“Ys” Katie mumbled.

 

“I’m going to take my hand away.  I want you to stand still, facing me, and put your hands behind your back.  Do you understand?”

 

Katie nodded, and the blonde removed her hand.  As Katie stood facing her, the brunette pulled her wrist behind her back and started to tie them together with white rope, passing it around and between her wrists.

 

“Just take what you want and leave me alone, you don’t have to do this,” Katie pleaded as the rope was pulled tighter and knotted off.  Despite her pleas, however, she had to stay standing as more rope was passed around her upper arms above her elbows and pulled tightly.  This forced her chest to expand to the front, making her breasts strain against the fabric of her matching jacket.

 

“You’re a pretty one, aren’t you?” the brunette crooned as she passed the rope between her arms, pulling them still closer together.

 

“Please, just take what you want and leave me alone,” Katie sobbed.

 

“Oh, we’re going to take what we want,” the blonde smiled, and Katie became aware for the first time of the sound of drawers opening on the floor above.  “You’re not alone here, are you?” she sobbed.

 

“Clever as well, I like it,” the woman behind her said as she passed something over Katie’s head.  Looking down, she was horrified to see a lasso of rope passed around her chest and arms below her breasts, which was pulled tight before another pass was made above her breasts.  Under and over, over and under, her arms were pulled still more tightly to her sides as the ropes constricted her upper body.

 

Eventually, the other girl tied off the last knot and walked in front of Katie, laughing as the two looked at her.  Both were casually dressed – the brunette in jeans and a t-shirt, while the blonde was wearing a dark v-necked jersey and a tartan skirt.

 

“What are you going to do with me?” Katie pleaded as they pushed her into an armchair.

 

“We need to finish securing you,” the blonde said as she took hold of her ankles, crossed them and passed a length of rope around them.  The brunette knelt on the other side of Katie and passed a second length around her legs above her knees.

 

“I like your outfit,” the blonde said as eh removed Katie’s high heeled shoes.  The leather was also lilac, to match her outfit.  Katie could only watch in growing panic as the two girls secured her legs tightly together.

 

“Look, just take what you want and I promise I won’t tell the police anything, just go now, please….”

 

“My dear Katie, I know you won’t tell the police anything,” the blonde said as sat on the arm of the chair, pushing Katie slightly forward.

 

“How…. How did you know my name,” Katie stammered as she looked round at the intruder, only to gag as a rolled up cloth was stuffed into her open mouth.  The sound of ripping made her turn her head, only to widen her eyes as the other girl slapped a long length of silver tape over her lips, keeping the cloth in her mouth,  More and more layers followed until her lower jaw was silver all over.

 

“Very nice,” the blonde said as she smoothed the tape even moreover Katie’s mouth.  “I wonder just how nice her rack is,” the brunette said, and she started to try and undo the top button on Katie’s jacket.  She started to scream in mute frustration when a man’s voice called out “Girls, remember your manners.”

 

“Yes, Dave,” they both said as they stood up.  Katie looked into the face of an older man as he checked the ropes.  A sudden pinch on her breast made her squeak, but no sound came from her mouth except a muffled “MM”.

 

“Very good work, girls,” Dave said as a car could be heard pulling into the driveway.  “Keep her company – and quiet – while I have a word with her mother.”

 

 

 

Delilah closed the car door as the outer garage entrance swung down, and made her way into the kitchen, carrying her shoes with her.  The dress rehearsal had gone well, and she let herself into the house with a great deal of satisfaction at the way the show had gone.

 

“Are you there, Katie?” she called out as she shut the door, but all she could hear was a quiet, muffled sobbing sound.

 

“Katie?” she said as she turned the light on, only to feel a gloved hand over her mouth as an arm came around her, holding her tight.

 

“Nice costume,” Dave said as Delilah struggled in her arms.  She was wearing a leopard skin dress with brown leather straps over the shoulders and a rough cut hem, meant to represent the sort of dress a woman would wear in the caveman era.  She also had a matching headband holding her red hair back.  Dave looked at the hem which barely covered her bottom, and smiled.

 

“I want you to lie face down on the floor.  So long as you do as you are told, my friends will not harm your daughter.  Do you understand?”

 

“Hmmm” Delilah mumbled, and Dave allowed her to get onto her knees and then her stomach, his hand over her mouth the whole time.

 

“I’m going to take my hand away – stay very quiet,” he said as he removed his gloved hand.  “What do you want,” Delilah whispered a she pulled her bare wrist behind her back.

 

“You’ll see” Dave said as he took a length of rope from his pocket and passed it round her crossed wrists, Delilah looking over her shoulder as he did so.

 

 

 

“NGGGGHH!” Delilah grunted some fifteen minutes later as Dave pushed the knot in the centre of the rolled up bandana into her mouth and tightly secured the ends together at the base of her neck.  She was lying on her side, her crossed and tied ankles pulled back and secured to her wrists with more rope.  As she looked up, she saw the two girls frog marching Katie into the kitchen.

 

“Put her on the chair, girls, and gather up the things I found upstairs.  I’ll make sure they go nowhere,” Dave said as they sat Katie on a wooden chair.  Both women looked at Dave as he took a mobile phone out.

 

“Ladies, you look like you need a change of scenery, and I’m here to help you with that,” Dave said as he dialled a number.  Katie looked at her mother, fear and tear filled eyes over her tape gag, as they both listened.

 

“George?  It’s Dave.  Avon Calling - the first packages are ready for collection after dark.  We’ll wait for the ring.”

 

Delilah started to thrash around on the floor as she recognised George, and realised what was going to happen.  “Calm yourself, Delilah,” Dave said as he ended the call, “or you’ll make your daughter panic.  Just relax and accept what’s coming….”

 

 

 

“Are you sure you won’t need any help?”

 

Dean smiled as he pulled up outside the detached house, the cold air blowing in the window as he wound it down.  He looked over at Alex as she checked the contents of her briefcase, then snapped the locks shut on the lid.

 

“No, I think I will be all right.  From what I saw, you may be the one who needs the help.”

 

“Nah – it will be a pushover.  I’ll wait for your call to pick up?”

 

“As always, darling,” she replied in her soft west of Scotland accent as she stepped out of the fan, adjusted her jacket and skirt and walked up to the front door.  Dean shrugged as he allowed the window to close, then drove off again.

 

 

 

“Can I help you?”

 

The door had been opened by a young girl wearing a light brown bath robe around her body.  She looked at the tall woman standing there, carrying a briefcase and adjusting her glasses.

 

“Miss Jones?  I’m Alex Fielding from the agency – we had an appointment for a meeting this evening?”

 

“Oh yeah – I’d forgotten.  I hope you don’t mind if a friend sits in?  We had a rehearsal planned for the next video, and she agreed to work through some moves with me.”

 

“Of course not,” Alex replied with a smile as the young pop star let her into the house, closing the door behind her.

 

“You have no security?”

 

“Nah – I prefer to keep a low profile anyway.  Do you mind waiting in here while I put some clothes on?”

 

“Of course not Miss Jones,” Alex replied as she was shown into a room.  Sitting herself down, she watched as Zasu Jones closed the door behind her, then opened her briefcase and took a number of items out.

 

 

 

Dean stopped the van in the basement garage, turned off the engine and picked up his toolbox from the rear.  Dressed in dark grey overalls, he walked quickly to the lift and pressed the intercom for the penthouse flat.

 

“Yes?” a female voice replied.

 

“Water services – I believe you have a problem with a pipe?”

 

“Oh yeah – can you put your ID up against the small grey box please?”

 

Dean took a small plastic card put of his wallet and pressed it against the card reader.  The red light changed from red to green, as the voice said “Great – press the button marked 12 and come on up.”

 

“My pleasure, M’am,” Dean said quietly as her pressed the button and stood quietly listening to the muzak.

 

 

 

“Nice costume.”

 

Zasu smiled as she came back into the room and Alex stood up.  She was wearing a cheerleader’s outfit consisting of a black sports top and a black skirt with white and red inset flared panels.  The outfit was completed by a pair of white socks and sneakers.

 

She looked at the person who the agency had sent.  Alex was dressed conservatively, in a grey jacket and skirt and a black silk blouse.  Her legs were covered with knee length black leather boots, and her red-blonde hair done up in a rough knot on the top of her head.  As she stood there, Zasu could not help the feeling that Alex was assessing how she looked through her horn rimmed glasses.

 

“So,” Zasu said as she sat down, “Do you think it will work in the next video.”

 

“I think it is a perfect outfit for your next part, yes,” Alex replied as she sat down and picked up her briefcase.  “How long do we have before your friend gets here?”

 

“Bindy?  About half an hour I’d say.  So, what does the agency want me to do this time?”

 

“Well, put simply,” Alex said with a smile as she drew a small handgun from her case and pointed it at the young singer, “We want you to shut the fuck up and do exactly what we tell you to do.  Do you understand?”

 

“Oh shit,” Zasu said as she raised her hands, “Is this a robbery?”

 

“In a way,” Alex replied as she stood up and retrieved a length of white rope from behind a cushion.  “Now, stand up, turn round and put your hands behind your back.”

 

 

 

“Thanks for coming so promptly – I don’t understand why the water isn’t coming out of the tap as it should.”

 

Dean smiled at Casey Evans as she welcomed him into her flat.  He recognised her from her appearances on the local news station, and nodded respectfully as she showed him the way to the kitchen.

 

Of course, George had arranged for a small change in the water pressure to the block flats, but Casey wasn’t to know that.  Dean was admiring her beauty – shoulder length chestnut brown hair, clear skin, and a pale pink sheer dress that dropped down her chest in a cowl-like way.

 

“We have had some reports of problems with water pressure in the area – let me have a look at your mains and I’ll see if I can identify the problem.”

 

Casey showed Dean into the kitchen, and walked off into the living room as he put his tool bag in the floor.  A few minutes later, she heard him shout “Yeah – I can see what the problem is.  Could you come back into the kitchen for a minute?”

 

“Sure,” she said as she walked back in, her heels clicking on the wooden floor.  The last thing she saw as she walked in was the door open under the sink, before she was grabbed from behind and a sweet smelling cloth placed over her mouth and nose.   She reached up to try and pull the hand off, but as soon as she breathed in her head started to swim and her eyes slowly closed….

 

 

 

 

Bindy was surprised to see the well dressed woman answering the door.

 

“You must be Bindy,” Alex said as she stood to one side.  “Zasu and I are just taking care of some business, and she’s reading a contract.  He asked if I would let you in.”

 

“Thanks,” Bindy said as she came into the house.

 

“Can I take your coat?” Alex offered, and Bindy unfastened her coat before removing it and handing it to Alex.  The brown haired woman was wearing a red cheerleader’s dress, with white tasselled fringes around the shoulder straps and waist, and white sneakers.

 

“So, where’s Zasu?” the girl asked with a smile as Alex hung her coat on the rack.

 

“In here,” she said as she opened the door.  “Thanks,” Bindy said over her shoulder as she walked in, only to be stopped in her tracks by the sight of Zasu sitting on her couch, trying to warn her friend.

 

“Inside,” Alex said behind her as Bindy felt the cold metal of Alex’s gun in her back, “and don’t say a word.  Take a cushion from the couch, lie face down on it and put your hands behind your head.”

 

“M sry, bnd,” Zasu said as Bindy did as she had been commanded.  Nothing more understandable was possible, mainly because of the large red ball that had been pushed into Zasu’s mouth and secured with white straps around her face.  She was sat, with her hands bound together behind her back and her ankles lashed with rope around and between her legs.

 

Bindy looked over her shoulder as Alex knelt beside her, doubled over a length of white rope that she had retrieved from her briefcase and passed the cords around her ankles, feeding the loose ends through the loops and pulling tightly.

 

“You will have a part to play in Zasu’s new role,” Alex laughed as she wrapped the rope around Bindy’s ankles, leaving her to wonder exactly what she meant by that.

 

 

 

 

Casey groaned as she started to come round, opening her eyes and trying to focus.  She felt tired, and her arms ached as if they had never been laid down.  As she slowly came to, she realised that she was standing against the staircase to the upper level of her flat, but more to the point her wrists had been manacled together and raised above her head.  The manacles had then been secured to the stair rail, while her ankles were also secured with leather straps.

 

“Wh….. What’s happening,” she said as she looked down, the front of her dress exposing the bare breasts.

 

“Ah, good – you’re awake,” she heard an American voice say, and she looked up to see Dean standing in front of her.

 

“You… you’re the workman I let in.  Why did you do this to me?”

 

“I’ve been asked to invite you to a very special event, Miss Evans – and this is an invitation you cannot refuse.  We’ll be leaving soon, once I send a few e-mails on your behalf, but the real question is, can I trust you to keep quiet?”

 

“Leaving – oh Christ, I’m being kidnapped.  HELP, HELPPHHHH!”

 

Her screams were muffled by the sponge ball that Dean pushed into her mouth.  Glaring at him, Casey saw him take a roll of elastic bandage out of his overall pocket.

 

“I had hoped to avoid this, but I guess that’s not possible.  Just breath through your nose and you’ll be just fine,” Dean said as he placed the end of the roll over the young woman’s mouth….

 

 

 

“Please, what do you want with us?”

 

Alex placed her hand over Bindy’s mouth as she lay on her back on the floor.  Having secured her legs together, she had turned the young girl over while her friend Zasu watched and secured her wrists together underneath her legs, leaving Bindy bound in a ball shape.  The skirt of her dress had ridden up, exposing her white knickers, but all the time she had been watching Zasu.

 

The young singer had been made to sit on the floor before her legs were secured together above and below her knees.  In a final indignity, Alex had pulled the front of her top down to expose her breasts.  She tried to scream through and over the large ball gag, but it was proving to be a most effective muffler.

 

“I thought I told you to be quiet, little girl,” Alex said as she took a large white cloth from her case.  Removing her hand, she pushed the cloth into Bindy’s mouth, filling the gap and muffling her cries, before taking a roll of clear tape and covering her lips and lower jaw.

 

“Now, just sit quietly while I make a call,” she said as she stood up.  Bindy rolled onto her side and looked over at her friend, who had started to cry.

 

“Dean?  I’m ready at this end.  Call George and come and get us.”

 

 

 

In the penthouse, Casey watched as the young man dialled a number on his mobile phone.

 

“James?  Tell George that the next set of guests for Avon Calling is on their way…”

 

 

 

Penny Gerrard put the phone down, and looked straight in front of her.  Katie never left without telling her friends were she had gone, and now both she and her mother had left suddenly?

 

“I hope I’m wrong,” she said as she picked up her bag and headed for the door, oblivious to the shouts of her editor behind her.

 

 

 

 

When Jenny Hammond walked into the front room of her flat, the last thing she expected to see was a dark haired woman sitting on the couch, dressed in a black leather bustier and short skirt with knee length laced boots, and holding in her hand a red and black whip.

 

It may have been the last thing she expected to see, but it was not the most unpleasant thing.  “Did the agency send you?” she asked as she took her coat off, revealing a red dress with spaghetti straps over her shoulders.  The heels of her matching shoes clicked on the wooden floor as she walked over.

 

“They did indeed,” the woman replied with an accent that Jenny could not quite place. 

“Alison was – indisposed, and they asked me to come in her place.  May I presume you require the usual services?”

 

“That would be most acceptable,” Jenny purred as she went to the door.  “May I have some time to prepare myself?”

 

“Naturally – I will be waiting here for you.”

 

Jenny smiled as she turned at the door.  “What’s your name?”

 

“Monique.”

 

 

Penny locked the door of her Beetle and made her way slowly round the walls of the house.  She had monitored it for so long now she felt she knew every inch of the enclosure – from the outside at any rate – and she was determined to get in.  Stopping near a quiet corner, she looked up at a selection of ledges that the weather had eroded into the wall, and considered her options.  Finally, steeling herself, she started to climb the wall, her shoes hanging around her neck with a piece of string holding them together so that she could get a grip.

 

Taking herself over the top, and allowing herself to drop down, she found that she was standing next to a large lawn that rolled up to the main house.  Putting her shoes back on, she started to make her way round the inside of the wall, not seeing the camera that turned and followed her path.

 

 

 

“So, where do you want me?”

 

Jenny had returned to the room, and watched as Monique stood up, the whip falling lightly into her hand as she did so.  Jenny walked up to her and toyed with the rig that was attached to the collar around Monique’s neck.

 

“The agency tells me that you like it – rough.  Is that right, my dear,” the dark haired beauty said with a smile.  Jenny smiled in reply, and Monique took hold of her hand. 

“In which case, I have a very special surprise for you.  I brought a friend, and she is dying to meet you as well – no extra charge.”

 

“Oh, goodie,” Jenny sighed as the door opened and a tall, well built woman came in.  She had shoulder length blonde hair, just a little shorter and brighter than Jenny’s, and was dressed in a nurse’s outfit complete with cap and low heeled shoes.

 

“This is Jenny,” Monique said as she walked over to the new arrival, “and she has been a very bad girl.  What do you think we should do with her?”

 

“I think she should be punished,” the nurse said with a smile.  “Would you agree, Monique?”

 

“Oh most certainly, and I think we need to make sure she cannot prevent the punishment.”

 

Jenny looked between the two women, her breathing getting more rapid as she anticipated what the next few hours might bring.  “What are you going to do with me?” she said as the nurse walked behind her.

 

“Put your hands behind your back,” Monique said as she walked over and held Jenny’s chin in her hand, “and you’ll see.”  Jenny smiled as she slowly moved her hands behind her, crossing her wrists in the small of her back, and a sigh of ecstasy escaped her lips as she felt the soft rope pass around them.

 

 

 

Penny had made her way to a set of outhouses at the back of the large manor house, and was peering round the corner to see if anyone was in sight.  Satisfied she was alone; she slowly turned the corner and made her way along the courtyard, keeping to the walls as much as possible.  Hearing some voices, she ducked into an open doorway and crouched down, watching as four men in blue overalls came past on their way somewhere. 

 

In a darkened room, James was watching as she slowly came out and started to come round.  He saw her blue sleeveless pinafore dress, the red heeled sandals, and the determined look in her eye.

 

“Might have known it would come to this,” he said as he picked up the phone. 

“George?  I’m in the security room – you were right.  Young Miss Gerrard would not take the hints.  What would you have me do?

 

“You’re sure?  All right – we’ll keep watching.”  As he replaced the handset, James continued to watch the screen.  “This should be interesting,” he said to the security guard sat there, “George is going to invite her in for a chat.”

 

 

 

“You know what you’re doing,” Jenny purred as she looked at the coils of rope holding her arms tightly to her side.  These had been pulled together behind her back and around her shoulders, while her bound wrists had been pulled up and secured at the back as well.

 

“We pride ourselves on our efficiency,” Monique said as she passed the whip over Jenny’s bottom, causing her to yelp in delight.  “But then, you pride yourself on your skills as well, don’t you?  A famous reporter, always looking into dangerous situations – this must be a wonderful form of release for you.”

 

“Oh yes,” Jenny said softly in return.  “You know this, though – the agency has met my needs for some considerable time now.”

 

“I’m sure they have,” Monique said as she stood behind Jenny, “but there is one small thing I need to tell you, my dear.”

 

“What’s that?” Jenny said as she closed her eyes in anticipation of hat was about to happen.

 

“I’m not from the Agency,” Monique whispered into her ear, and as Jenny opened her eyes wide she pulled a large red ball gag into her mouth, buckling the straps together under her hair at the base of her neck.  “Take her down to the van,” Monique said to the nurse, and as Jenny was dragged out of the room she turned her attention to a large set of wooden doors at one side. Opening them, she looked down on the sleeping form of the real girl, securely bound and gagged with tape.

 

“I’m sure you’ll still get paid,” she said as she closed the doors to and made her way to the rear of the building.  A large people carrier was parked there, and Monique could see her partner had finished securing Jenny’s legs and ankles with rope, before checking the gag was still firmly in place.

 

“You are going to have a wonderful career change,” Monique said as the nurse opened a small case and drew out a hypodermic syringe.  Tapping the end, she swabbed Jenny’s arm before inserting the needle and allowing the anaesthetic to enter her blood stream.  The last thing she saw before her eyes closed was Monique dialling a number on her mobile phone.

 

“Hello?”

 

“James – it’s Monique.  We have the final parcel – thanks for sending Coleen to help me.”

 

“My pleasure – she said she wanted to get into the field anyway.  Can you take the item directly to the new address – we’re shipping out once we’ve taken care of something here.”

 

“Problem?”

 

“No – George is dealing with it now...”

 

 

 

Penny stared at the rear doors, as the vans backed up to where they stood open.  She wondered what was going on – why were all the men there, and what were they moving?

 

“Good Morning.”

 

She barely had time to react before a large hand was clamped over her mouth and nose, cutting off her breathing.  As she struggled, she looked over her shoulder and saw a large coloured man in a leather jacket, who was smiling as she slipped into unconsciousness.

 

“We told you to stay away, Miss Gerrard,” she heard him say as she closed her eyes.  “Now you’ll get a special viewing of our line of merchandise...”

 

 

 

“Good Morning, Penny.”

 

Penny slowly opened her eyes and found herself flying on a low bed in a clean, white room.   As she sat herself up, she saw that she was not alone – there was another woman sat there with her, in a white blouse and grey pencil skirt, smiling as she sat herself up.

 

“Where... where am I?” she said as she looked round.

 

“All in good time – my name is Coleen,” the stranger said as she stood up and went to the door.  “Please, come with me.”

 

“Am I a prisoner?” Penny asked as she walked over to where Coleen had opened the entrance to the room.

 

“Oh yes,” was the reply as Penny saw the two burly men who were waiting outside, “but George would like a word.  While we go to him, you can see what has been happening for our grand opening.”

 

“Grand opening?”

 

“Yes – this is the new UK headquarters of Objects of Beauty.  You saw us packing to move out – and we’re glad you could join us today.

 

“Please – this way.”

 

As Penny followed Coleen, the two guards walking behind them, they came out of a corridor into a wide open area, around the edge of which teams of people seemed to be working on displays.  She held her hands to her mouth as they passed one which showed a mother and daughter, sat back to back with their arms around the back of each other, securely bound and gagged.  The daughter screamed as she saw Penny standing there.

 

“Katie?” Penny said quietly.  “Oh god – they kidnapped you and your mother?”

 

“Kidnap is such a horrible word” Coleen said as she took Penny by the arm and walked away.  “We prefer to say offering a life change.  Anyway, let’s get moving – George is a busy man.”

 

“What is this place,” Penny asked as she passed several more displays, all showing women in various stages of dress and binding.

 

“We are Objects of Beauty, a very special service for very special people,” Coleen said with a smile as they approached an office door.  “George will explain it all.”  As she opened the door, Penny saw the man who had grabbed her sitting behind a desk, dressed in a very expensive suit with a white silk shirt and dark tie under the jacket.

 

“Ah, Miss Gerrard,” George said as he stood up and came round to take Penny by the arm, “I hope you enjoyed your nap.  Please, suit – we have much to discuss.”

 

“Such as?” Penny asked as she saw the two extra guards in the room.

 

“What we know and what we shall do about that knowledge.  Thank you, Coleen,” the man said as Coleen closed the door on the meeting.  “Now then, Penny, we need to discuss your future...”

 

 

 

 

At the newspaper office, Penny’s editor was reading a letter that had been delivered by hand, and regretting that she felt she had had to resign.  He knew there was something in what she had been doing, but at the same time there was nothing he could do about it.  The visit the two armed men had made the previous evening, and the description of what would happen to his wife and daughter if he inquired too deeply, had put paid to that.

 

 

 

“A truly special evening, George.  My compliments to James and his team for their work.”

 

“My pleasure, Madame – you honour us by agreeing to attend.”

 

George was showing a tall, elegantly dressed woman in a shimmering evening frock through the crowded room, as the guests sipped wine and looked over the exhibits on show.  He was dressed in formal attire, as was everyone else for the opening gala. 

 

They stopped in front of one display, showing an office setting with a young girl sat facing a computer.  She was staring intently in front of her, mainly because of the harness that was holding her head in place, but also out of fear.

 

“A special extra item for tonight – a reporter who saw a little too much and refused our generous offer to forget what she had seen,” George said as he guided his guest away, and the announcement for the start of the auction was made.  Penny felt a tear fall down her cheek, as she contemplated the future she and the other new arrivals would have after the night had passed.

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