At The Panther’s Pleasure
“I told you, my dear, you have no chance of getting free from those ropes, so please, relax and allow yourself to enjoy the experience...”
Isabella Constanza looked at the man sitting opposite herm smiling under the black stocking that covered his head. She was still in the clothes she had left home in that morning – a black and white hounds-tooth design dress, with elbow length sleeves and a flared skirt that reached to above her knees, and sheer light hose. Her shoes were nowhere in sight – but what she could see were the bands of white rope around her ankles, and her legs above her knees, the band cinched with lengths between her limbs.
As she looked round and twisted, she could see her wrists had been secured in the same way, before she sat back, throwing her long dark hair back as she sat and looked at him.
“All right – so you’ve kidnapped me. What next? A Ransom demand?”
“Already in progress,” the man said as he sat back, the smile still there. “I assure you on my word as The Panther, no harm will come to you if you relax and accept you will stay here for a while.”
“Do I have a choice?”
“Honestly – no.”
“I bet you get your kicks like this – kidnapping innocent women...”
“It pays the bills – but do not assume I only target the innocent. Sometimes, a small evil must be undertaken to save a greater one.”
“I don’t believe you,” Isabella said as she looked over.
“No – let me tell you about a little work I did in Paris...”
She strode through the hotel lobby off the Champs-Elysee, drawing admiring glances from many of the men – and a few of the women. At five foot ten tall, and with a slim build, she stood out from the crowd on her looks alone, before you considered her attire.
She was wearing a grey fitted jacket, the three buttons in front fastened to allow a view of her ample cleavage, and a large silver brooch on her right lapel. The matching skirt was designed to fit slimly, with little slits on each side as it reached to her knees. Her legs were encased in dark hose, while a pair of soft grey leather pumps was on her feet.
She wore a pair of black leather gloves, and carried a small black purse, as she made her way to the lifts and got in, looking round without looking as the lift doors closed. Her brown hair fell in soft waves onto her jacket, but that was not a concern to her right then.
As the lift doors opened, she walked out and along the corridor, opening her purse as she approached a set of large double doors at the far end. Removing what looked like a credit card, she placed it in the lock, waiting a moment as the lights turned green and she walked in.
The room was opulently furnished, but she merely smiled as she walked towards a large set of mirrored doors. Opening them, she saw the safe inside, and took out a small device from her bag which she placed next to the keypad on the safe door.
A few moments later, the smile on her rouged lips grew bigger as the safe door swung open, and she looked inside, taking out a small stick drive and placing it in her handbag, before she closed the safe, took the device off the front, and closed the wardrobe.
She looked at the mirrored door, to see a man standing behind her, his black hair pressed down by the stocking pulled over his head, wearing a smart suit, shirt and tie, and with a pistol pointed directly at her.
“And who are you,” she said quietly as she turned round.
“The Panther – do I have the honour of addressing Madame Chat?”
She inclined her head before saying “so, are you after something in this suite as well?”
“I am – but with deep regret, it is something you already have. I would be obliged if you would place your purse on the bed, and then stand facing away from me.”
“I see,” she said as she put her bag down, and then faced away, smiling as she felt her wrists eased behind her back, and the soft feel of the silk rope as he began to bind her wrists together. “If I must fail, better to a master than a knave.”
“You flatter me,” he said as he tied the ropes off, and then turned her round. “You are aware, of course, this is strictly business.”
“Naturally,” she purred, “so what are your intentions?”
“Firstly,” he said as he opened the purse, removed the drive and placed it in his inside jacket pocket, “to collect this. After that, I thought we would take a drive, somewhere quiet in the country, where we may share a meal and perhaps a glass of wine?”
“And then, we shall see,” he said with a smile. “Now, open your mouth.”
As Madame Chat opened her mouth, she felt the clean white cloth as it was pushed in, and then the slight tug on her skin as the Panther carefully pressed clear tape over her mouth, ensuring there were no wrinkles or air pockets. He then took out a pair of dark glasses, and placed them over her eyes, the woman noticing the lenses had been coated in black paint.
“I drove her to the outskirts of Paris, we had a nice lunch and a long conversation, and then I booked into a small hotel, and left her there, bound and gagged.”
“I can’t believe someone would think it was a fun thing to be kidnapped?”
“Oh you would be surprised.”
Isabella looked at the Panther as he said “I was in Tokyo a couple of months ago...”
“Anika!!! Anika, over here!!”
The young Japanese model sighed before she turned towards the camera, beaming and waving as she made her way into her apartment block.
“Oh lord,” she said as she reached the safety of her home, “I need a break from that mob! Can’t you get them off my back for a few days?”
“We keep trying,” her manager said absent maidenly as he looked at his tablet, “and they keep coming back.”
“Well, make them go away,” she said as she slumped on a recliner. Tugging absent mindedly at the striped protectors she was wearing on her forearms, she said “that’s what I pay you for – to manage my life.”
“Oh stop complaining – have a shower or something.”
Anika sighed as she stood up, the heels of her straight black leather boots clicking on the wooden floor as she went into her bedroom. Looking in the mirror, she saw the dark hose, and the striped minidress, before she took the large hat from her head and threw it on the bed.
“What I wouldn’t give for a long sleep,” she said – and then her eyes snapped wide open as she felt a damp cloth pressed over her mouth and nose, another arm wrapping itself round her waist as she struggled to get free. As she tried to scream, the sweet smelling fumes invaded her nose and mouth, and she felt herself drifting off into a deep sleep...
As she slowly woke up, Anika wondered what had happened. Her limbs felt stiff, and she was having trouble moving them, and her mouth felt as woolly as her head. Something was also pulling at the skin around her mouth, and as she tried to move her lips she felt something holding them together.
“Take your time, do not rush,” she faintly heard a male voice say, “you need time to adjust to your position.”
“Meepshnn,” Anika heard herself say, and as she eyes slowly focused she realised she was in a room, lying on a large bed. She tried to move, and then felt the heels of her boots with her fingers. She also felt something else – a band of rope between her ankles, and running up to the back of her chest.
Slowly, she assessed her situation, realised she was hogtied, with ropes around her wrists, ankles, legs and arms. She also realised why her mouth felt so woolly – some sort of cloth was in it, and tape over her lips.
“If you promise not to scream, I will remove the tape and cloth, and give you some water.”
Anika slowly nodded as she looked at the man, watching as he walked over and smiled under the stocking mask. He peeled the white tape gently away, and eased the scarf from her mouth before moving her to lie across the bed, holding a bottle of water with a straw in it as she slowly sipped.
“So it’s really you – the Panther?”
“At your service,” he said with a small bow. “I received your communication, and am only too happy to help. I’m sure your assistant will wake up eventually.”
“Oh he’s fired – so the plan?”
“In return for your more than generous payment, you remain my hostage for the next week, with guaranteed rest and relaxation. Let me know when you wish to stretch out, and you will also have the opportunity to eat and change then.”
Anika nodded as she relaxed, safe in the knowledge no one would disturb her for a week...
“You’re kidding, right?”
“No I’m not – she paid very well for that privilege,” the Panther said with a smile. “She is not the only one either, but – well, I am sworn to secrecy on them.”
Isabella looked at him, a hint of curiosity as she said “do you ever take more than one person at a time?”
“Why yes – let me tell you of one time...”
“Now that was an amazing performance,” Constance said as she stood outside the Royal Albert Hall.
“Indeed – one of the best performances I have ever been to,” her mother Lucretia said as she wrapped her dark brown fur around herself. The wife of a prominent business magnate, she had platinum blonde hair that fell in soft waves round her tan face, her dark satin pants and black ankle boots visible under the coat.
Constance was wearing a white ermine fur round her neck, wrapped around the collar of her white mini dress and covering the embroidered top panels. Her hair was cut short, while her feet nestled in a pair of white satin heels.
“There’s our car,” Lucretia said as a Rolls Royce drew up, but a frown crossed her face as a stranger got out.
“A family emergency, M’am – I had to come at the last minute.” He opened the door and waited as the two women got in, closing the door and then getting in before driving off.
“I feel so relaxed,” Constance said as she rested her head on her mother’s shoulder, “can we have some privacy and music?”
“As you wish, M’am,” he said as he raised the divider, and some gentle mood music came over the speakers.
“That sounds good,” Lucretia said as she smiled, “so relaxing...” She let out a yawn and laid her head on Constance’s, the two women slowly drifting off to sleep as the car headed towards the M4...
As she opened her eyes, Lucretia wondered why she felt as if she was sitting on a rock. Glancing down, however, she saw she was sitting on a block, with a blanket over it – and she wasn’t able to move.
“Cnstnsss,” she heard herself say, “whrru?”
She suddenly opened her eyes and looked down, to see the white bands of rope around her legs above and below her knees, and her ankles. As she tried to move her hands, she realised that not only were they secured behind her, but someone else was pressed up against her.
Constance looked over her shoulder to see the back of her mother’s head, but the bands of rope around both women held them firm, Lucretia finally noticing them over her dark grey silk jumper.
“Ah – excellent, you are awake.”
She looked up to see the stocking masked man standing in front of her, a straw in a glass of milk. He reached to the side of Lucretia’s head, easing the knotted scarf from her mouth and holding the straw to her lips.
“What’s going on,” she finally said as she finished drinking.
“Oh, an old fashioned kidnapping for ransom,” the man said as he replaced the knotted scarf, and then gave Constance a drink, “so remain calm, and all will be well.”
“It was as well – her husband paid up, and they both were returned safely.”
Isabella had been listening, and hadn’t realised how interested she had become in his tales, until she realised she was imagining herself in the place of the daughter in the last tale.
“so what was the most unusual snatch you ever did?”
The Panther sat back in thought for a moment, before he said “apart from kidnapping the Soprano lead from a performance of Aida in Central Park?”
“Well, apart from that, yes.”
“Easy – Burghley Horse Trials, 2008...”
“Will all riders please report to the mounting area for the main Cross Country competition? All riders to report for the main competition...”
As the competitors walked towards the ring, Lady Rachel Faulkner made her way round the horses, taking one last look at them. As one of the lead veterinarians at the event, she had overall responsibility for ensuring the horses were fit to compete – and she was happy today.
She was dressed for the occasion – a scarlet red jacket over a riding blouse, open at the neck and with a crest on the left breast, white jodhpurs with a thin black leather belt round her waist, a pair of black knee length leather boots, and a jaunty black gent’s chapeau.
She turned and looked at one of the race stewards, who was walking towards her.
“Sorry, Your Ladyship,” he said quietly, “we’ve had a call that there’s a lame animal in the main courtyard. Would you be able to go and have a look?”
“Of course,” Rachel said as she walked quickly away from the course, heading for the courtyard in front of the house. There was a horse box parked there, so she walked up to the rear gate and knocked, saying “I understand you have a lame animal you wish me to look at?”
“That’s right,” a male voice said from inside as the gate opened, “can you come in please?”
Rachel walked into the horsebox, looking to a small quivering body that lay under a blanket as she came in.
“What’s wrong then,” she said as she squatted down and removed the blanket – staring at the child’s play ball as it vibrated on the floor.
“My apologies, your ladyship,” the man said as she felt the cold disc of a pistol against her back, “please, stand slowly, and put your hands behind your back.”
“What’s going on,” Rachel said as she slowly stood, feeling her wrists as they were forced together and rope used to secure them behind her back.
“I require you to accompany me Lady Faulkner,” the man said, “in order to raise certain finances from your husband and family. Allow me to make you comfortable, and we can be on our way without incident.”
She watched as he put some rope around her body, and pulled her arms into the sides of her body, the rope going above and below her chest as her jacket was pulled back, her chest forced out.
“Do you have to do this,” she said as she was turned round, and then gasped as she saw the man, dressed in a riding jacket, shirt, britches and boots, but with a stocking pulled down over his head and tucked under a cravat.
“Please,” he said as he removed the toy, “be seated.”
He helped Rachel to sit quietly on the rug, and then bent her legs, the vet watching as the rope creaked on the leather of her boots while he secured her ankles, taking the rope around and between her legs.
Tying the ropes off, he then secured her legs below her knees, before taking a final length ad passing it under her ankles, forcing Rachel slightly forward as he secured it to her chest ropes.
“I require you to be silent, Your Ladyship,” the man said as Rachel raised her head, “kindly open your mouth.”
She saw the folded small Hermes scarf in his hand, royal blue with a gold pattern on it, and nodded as she opened her mouth, expecting him to use it as a cleave gag. Instead, he pushed it into her open mouth, forcing it into the corners of her jaws as she closed her lips over it, and then picked up a roll of blue veterinary wrap.
She grunted as he wound it tightly round her head, silencing her as he secured it, covering her chestnut brown hair as he did so. Standing up, he removed her hat and placed it carefully to the side, before placing the blanket over her.
She could just about see him as he walked out, closing and securing the horsebox gate, and then felt the jolt as it moved off, taking her somewhere...
“Oh, she went home in the end – and actually enjoyed the experience.
“As I suspect you are starting to now.”
“For a kidnapper, you really are thoughtful,” Isabella said as she looked at him. “Can I ask a personal question?”
“I’m straight, but I never mix business with pleasure.”
She smiled as she said “no, not that. I’m just curious. This is tight, but – what’s the tightest you have ever tied someone?”
“That would be someone who was physically capable of taking it...”
“Thank you all – take a break,” the choreographer said as Natalya stretched out. The prima ballerina was wearing a black leotard, the material cloth in front and leatherette at the back, and flesh coloured tights with matching ballet slippers.
Taking a towel and a bottle of water, she made her way to the changing rooms, and then to the stalls, leaving the water outside as she took care of business.
Coming out, she was surprised to see a tall thin man standing there, wearing a roll neck sweater, trousers, shoes, gloves and a stocking over his head.
“Hello Natalya,” he said as he pointed a small gun at her, “please, have another drink of water, and then I need you to do something for me.”
“And that is,” Natalya said, her eyes fixed on the gun.
“Drink first – you will feel better in the long run for it.”
Natalya slowly nodded as she drank her water, and the man produced from somewhere a sponge.
“And that is for...”
“Your mouth,” he said as he passed it to the ballerina, “push it all the way in.”
“Only if you struggle or make a scene, so be sensible and do it without panicking.”
Natalya looked at the man, and at the gun, before she opened her mouth and began to push the sponge in. It took some time, as she eased it into place, but eventually she was able to close her lips over it, her cheeks pushed out.
“Now take this,” he said as he produced a wide roll of white tape, “and wrap it round your head, covering your mouth.”
As Natalya did that, covering her lips and sealing the sponge in, she saw a large holdall on the floor beside the man. The tape trapped her brown hair against the back of her neck but one look at the man told her that was not his concern.
“Now,” the man said, “sit down, on the floor, bend your legs and tape your ankles together.”
“Whhhdllthsss,” she mumbled as she sat on the floor, and taped her ankles together, her chin resting on her knees.
“All in good time – your legs next, below and above your knees.”
As she wound the tape round her legs, Natalya kept looking at the bag. What was it there for?
“Good,” the man said as he knelt behind the dancer, and then took her arms behind her back, taping her elbows tightly together and then her wrists. He then wound the tape round her body several times, trapping her arms to her body – and then took the tape under her thighs, forcing her upper legs against her stomach, and then around her shins as her lower legs were taped to her thighs.
When he had finished, Natalya was effectively a ball, unable to move or speak as he brought the holdall over, and eased her into it, Natalya surprised to find she fitted snugly inside.
“Why yes, yes I am,” he said as he tipped it over, Natalya lying on her side as he closed the bag over her. She was plunged into darkness, as she felt herself lifted up and carried.
Sometime later, after a ride in a vehicle, Natalya blinked as she was lifted gently out of the bag and the tape cut away, the masked man using ropes to tie her spread eagled to the bed.
“There,” the masked man said, “I will return shortly...”
“I could not take that,” Isabella said, “in a confined space like that.”
“Fortunately,” the Panther said as he stood up, “you do not have to. For now, however, put your lips together.”
She nodded as she felt the brown cloth plaster pressed firmly over her lips, before she was carried to the bed, laid on her side as he walked out, locking the door to the room behind himself...