‘Tis The Season – Part 2







Friday 25th December

Noon GMT

Chelsea, London

The home of Shirley and John


John Hammond walked over to the intercom as he heard the ring, and said “yes?”


“John, two visitors from the Veldt request access to your festive home.”


“Come on up,” he said with a smile as he pressed a button, and returned to the front room.  It was decorated in silver and gold decorations, with a Christmas tree twinkling in the corner.


“Who was that,” he heard Shirley say from the kitchen.


“Piet and Charlotte.  Maisha, can you let them in please?”


“Of course, Uncle John,” Maisha said as she came through, drying her hands.  The young African was wearing a red velvet dress with a knee length skirt, dark stockings and black velvet heels. 


John smiled as she went to the front door of the house, and opened it, saying “Welcome – please, come through.”


“Hello John,” Piet said as he came in, wearing a brown leather jacket over a blue shirt, dark trousers and shoes.  “Merry Christmas!”


“And the same to both of you,” he said as he shook Piet’s hand and kissed Charlotte.  The petite redhead was wearing a black jersey dress and tan leather boots.


“So where is the hostess?”


“Checking the turkey,” Shirley said as she came through and kissed them both.  A white apron covered her blue coat dress.  “How has your morning been?”


“Quiet – we woke late, gave each other our presents, and went for a walk before coming here.  What about you?”


“We have been up since about seven,” Maisha said.  “We had breakfast, exchanged our presents, and went for a walk along the river before returning for you and our other guests.”


“Sounds like a perfect morning – so have some more presents from us,” Piet said as Charlotte took two parcels from a bag and handed them over.  Maisha opened hers to find a book of pictures from Mazengwe, while John opened a bottle of twenty year old brandy.


“I’ll see who that is,” Shirley said as she went to answer the ringing, coming back a few minutes later with Lily and Natalya.  “Thanks for inviting us,” Lily said as she took her coat off and hung it up.


“Indeed – it is not a nice experience to be alone for Christmas, as I was last year,” Natalya said as she accepted a drink.


“No, it isn’t,” John said as he kissed Shirley, “so may I propose a toast?  Friends at Christmas.”


“Friends at Christmas,” they all said as they raised their glasses, and toasted each other.


“Now then,” Shirley said as they sat down, “What do you think the others will be doing today?”


“Well,” Lily said as she looked at her watch, “I wonder if the record has been broken at the Richmond mansion yet...”



8 am EST

The Richmond Mansion


Jo came into the kitchen, rubbing her head as she saw Heather at the coffee machine.


“Hey – how long have you been up?”


“About ten minutes – you?”


“Just woke up – is it just me, or is it quiet here?”


“You noticed – I looked in their rooms, they’re both still asleep.”


“Amazing – you should let them come to your parties more often,” Jo said with a smile as Sands came in.


“Merry Christmas,” she said as she sat at the breakfast bar, “are we the first up?”


“For once yes – have you looked in your sack yet?”


“No – I thought it would be nice if we opened all our presents together this year, especially as George seems to have stayed asleep.”


“He’s up,” Sandy said as she came into the room and Heather handed her a coffee.  “Why don’t you open your sacks before you go to chapel, and we’ll open the main ones afterwards?”


“Sounds good to me,” Sands said as the telephone rang in Sandy’s office.


“I’ll be back in a minute,” Sandy said as Heather and Jo looked at each other.




Nessa,” Heather said as she looked at her watch and went “three...  two...  one...”


“What the...”


The three of them walked to the office, to see Sandy looking at a bureau wrapped in a giant pink ribbon.


“Merry Christmas Sandy,” Heather said as she gave her a kiss on the cheek.  “Come back in and have some coffee.”


“How...  How did you...”


“Come on,” Jo said as she and Sands took Sandy by the arm, “figure it out later...”



8.30 am EST

The Huntingdown Apartment


Fank ew Aunty Natale,” Judith said as she held up the doll in Bavarian national costume.


“You are most welcome little one,” Natalya said as she saw the smile on her great-niece’s face.  Judith placed the doll with the rest of her Christmas presents and got to her feet, walking over to give her a hug.


“She really is a very lucky girl,” Klaus said as he handed Juliette a mug of coffee. 


“We are one lucky family,” Juliette said as she looked at Carina and Ingrid, who were helping Judith to open another present.  “Did you speak to Sigi?”


“I did, and she says thank you for the present.  What’s this one?”


“I don’t know – it says it’s from Shirley,” Juliette said as she opened it and looked at the old book.


“Memoirs of an interesting life – who is B Rhymaes?”


Juliette smiled as Judith shouted out “Grappy!!  A Pony!!”


“My Little Pony – perfect,” Juliette said as she kissed Klaus’ cheek.


“Hey Mom – have you opened our present from us yet?”


“Which one is it?”


“The big one with the pink ribbon on it.”


“What on earth is this,” Juliette said as she opened the box, and drew out the dark Ermine coat.


“How could you afford this?”


“No comment – I called a favour in,” Carina said with a smile.




9 am

Mary Thomas’ Townhouse


“Well there you are,” Denice said as Erica came in, “want a glass of Christmas punch?”


“What’s in it,” Erica asked.


“Mulled red wine with orange juice and a few other things,” Mary said as she poured a ladle into a glass, “the perfect way to start this special day.”


She handed the drink to the young girl, who sniffed it and then took a drink.


“Wow – is one of those other things brandy?”


“No – Lindisfarne Mead,” Mary said with a smile, “Merry Christmas little one.  So, are you both still good to come with me this morning?”


“Could be fun – how long will the service last?”


“Not long – so what have you got?”


“Let’s go and find out,” Denice said as they went into the front room, and started to hand out the parcels under the tree.


“Hey – this is from Tracy,” Erica said as she showed her mother the CD collection of show tunes, “how did she know to send it here?”


“Well, she did send that good luck card, remember?”


“I do,” Erica said with a smile, “I hope she’s all right.”


“Now what do we have here,” Mary said as she opened the box, and took out the album.  “Well now – where did you find these?”


“When we were up in Stowe – I hope you like them, Mary.”


“Oh I love it,” Mary said as she flipped through the pages, and then laughed.  “See?”


Denice and Erica looked at a picture of two girls with the Rolling Stones.


“Is that you?”


“Ai – me and Fiona MacKenzie.  Now, come on, drink up – we need to get ready...”


9.15 am

West Central Park


“Hey sleepy head,” Katherine said as Katy walked in, pulling her dressing gown round her, “how is the head?”


“I was on semi-soft drinks last night Gran,” Katy said as she went to the icebox and poured orange juice into a glass, “if anyone should have a headache, it’s you or Mom.”


“Ah but you are forgetting Ma Carter’s Patent Hangover Cure,” Katherine said as she put a dash of Worcester sauce into a glass of tomato juice, and swirled it round before drinking it.


“That’s better – now some bacon, eggs and coffee.”


“Sounds good,” Kate said as Janice came into the kitchen.


“Merry Christmas, everyone,” she said as she kissed Katy, “did someone say Bacon and Eggs?”


“I did – Adam up yet?”


“He’ll be in in a few minutes – opened any presents yet?”


“I’m only just up Mom.”


“Well, have this one first,” Jan said as she took a thin box and handed it to Katy.  As she opened it, she took out a locket like her mother’s, and as she opened it she said “thanks Mom – I’ll make sure I wear it close to my heart.”


“What does it have in it?”


“It’s all right Katy – show Granny.”


Katy opened the locket to show Katherine the picture of Jan on one side, and Pepsi on the other.


“Hey – do I smell Bacon?”


“Are you sure you’re allowed to eat that, Adam Ball?  Maybe I should tell your mother?”


“I won’t tell if you don’t,” Adam said as he poured some coffee, “happy holidays, everyone...”




9.30 am

The de Ros Mansion


“Thank you Edith,” Diana said as her housekeeper cleared the plates away, “that was a wonderful breakfast.”


“You are most welcome madam,” Edith said as she took the cup from in front of Abby.  “And thank you as well for the present.  I will find the cook books most useful in the coming weeks.”


“Well, you dropped enough hints,” Abby said with a smile as she heard the telephone ring.  Edith went to answer it, before coming back and saying “Master Anthony, Miss Abigail.”


“Excuse me a moment,” she said as she left the table Guy shaking his head as Valeria smiled.


“So how shall we spend the morning until Willy and Natasha bring Alain?”


“Perhaps a walk in the park?”


“An excellent idea my dear...”


“I think we will join you,” Diana said as she wiped her mouth, “once I can persuade Abby some fresh air will help her to ignore the ache of Tony not being here.”


“True,” Valeria said, “but consider the fact that in four short weeks, she will have attended not just the ball here, but the Opernbal as well.”


“There is indeed that,” Diana said as she stood up.


“On which note,” Valeria said, “I should inform you I have bought a tiara for Abigail to wear in Vienna – my present to her for Christmas.”


Valeria, that is an extremely generous gift...”


“She deserves it,” her mother in law replied.


“And I concur,” Guy said with a smile.



10.10 am

The Brewster Brownstone


As the National Anthem ended, Barbara turned off the television and said “right – present time.”


“So what has House bought you as a Christmas present,” John said as he looked at his granddaughter.


“This,” Jeannie said as she held up her wrist, the gold watch glistening on her hand.  “I got him a gold cross to wear round his neck, the big sweetie.”


“Did I see a present from your aunt as well?”


“Yeah – she sent me some Amazon tokens,” Jeannie said as she sipped her coffee.  “So, what present did you like the most mum?”


“I don’t know – you were both so generous this year.  But I love the gift from LerraBella for supporting you this year.  That was extremely generous.”


“Saves you borrowing mine,” Jeannie grinned as she ducked to avoid the cushion Barbara threw at her.


"Where did you ever find that signed picture of Marion Morehouse Mum?"

"Jack found it in an estate sale in Greenwich Village and knew what it was. I paid him for it after he had phoned and told me what he'd found."

"Who was Marion Morehouse?" John asked, "if I'm not being completely ignorant?"

"She was a model in the twenties and thirties Granddad, most people consider her the first top girl. Edward Steichen made her famous in his photographs for both Vogue and Vanity Fair. She was probably the first professional model, as opposed to amateur socialites, who was identified by name in captions for her pictures."

"Alright I learn something everyday." John smiled.

"Jack knew who she was of course and he told me Jeannie would love the photograph..."

"Oh love is hardly appropriate Mum...  Appreciate, cherish, and adore, are maybe better words." Jeannie grinned.  “It can join the framed photos on my wall.”

"What was it that Rose sent you Dad?"

"A London AtoZ map book," John chuckled, "so I could refresh my knowledge as she put it."

"Oh that was actually quite clever," Barbara smiled.

"That and some handkerchiefs she had hand sewn and monogrammed for me."

"Oh they sound wonderful Granddad."

"How would you know,” John said as he looked at his granddaughter, “all you ever use is Kleenex?"

"It doesn't mean I don't know that handkerchiefs can be lovely," Jeannie stuck her tongue out and grinned.


“Right – enough.  Get your coats on, and let’s get some air before we start cooking the Christmas dinner.”



10.30 am

The Village


“This is AMAZING!!!!  Thank you so much Mom!!!”


Ama danced round the room as she held up the letter with the details of the planned Spring Break trip to Madrid, Annie shaking her head and laughing at her.


“I’m glad you like it,” Dominique said with a smile.  “You’ll need to decide who comes with you of course?”


“I know – and i will decide soon, but I can’t believe it,” Ama said as she hugged her mother.  “It is the best of the fantastic presents you all gave me.”


“I’m glad you like the dress as well,” Dominique said.  “I was going to ask if you’d like to invite the girls to a lunch after the service on the 10th.”


“Oh yes – where will we have it?”


“I’ll sort that out with you later,” she said as there was a knock on the door.  As Dominique headed for her room to put on her wig, Annie walked down, returning with Helen and Penny.


“Hey Ama – Merry Christmas,” Penny said, “what did you get?”


“Oh it is amazing – I am going to Madrid!”


“You are?  Tell me about it,” Penny said as they sat down on the couch.


“She loves the present doesn’t she?”


“Oh yes,” Annie said as she looked at Helen.  Caroline saw something strange in the way she was looking at Penny.


“Listen – let me get you some coffee,” she said, “can you give me a hand Helen?”


“Sure,” she said as she followed Caroline into the kitchen, and then sat down, starting to quietly cry.


“Hey – what’s up?”


“It’s nothing,” Helen said, “it’s silly...”


“No?  So why are you crying on Christmas morning Helen?”


Helen smiled and said “because of my present from my girlfriend.”


“Did Penny give you something bad?”


“No - something utterly wonderful, where she got it from I’ll never know.”




“It’s a home recording of my mother dancing Swan Lake, in I think Stockholm with the Kirov, someone must have taken it surreptitiously from a box.”


“Oh you are right,” Caroline said as she looked at her friend, “that is pretty amazing.”


“The more so in that it’s the only recording I have of one of her performances in its entirety. I’m crying both because I miss her, and for Penny being just so wonderful and thoughtful.”


“I had better not tell either Catherine or the girls, that Silent Death actually broke down and cried, should I?”


“No – please don’t,” Helen said as Caroline poured coffee into five mugs.


“This is an amazing gift Dom,” Penny said as they came back in, “what if Real make the final stages of the Champion’s League?”


“Well, one of the games might be the week we are there.  So, if we’re there, we will go to the game.”


“Pepsi and Jess are going to be SO jealous,” Ama said with a grin.


"Even if Jess is an Atletico Madrid supporter?" Caroline teased.

"Yes because she'll know I'm visiting a better club then the one she played for." Ama beamed.



"So what did Mary Thomas give this year to the girls?" April Broadhurst asked as Pepsi opened the envelope Mary had dropped in the day before.

"WOW!  Would you believe, a fifteen hundred dollar gift certificate from APCO?" Nicola said as she waved it in the air.

"Knowing Mary, and seeing the evidence I would." April smiled back happily, "and it seems Moms get the same," she looked inside her own envelope.

"We will have to go shopping together."

"Have you phoned your other Mom and Gran yet?"

"No I was worried that you and dad might be..."

"Offended?" Grant looked up.

"Well yes."

"No,” Grant said, “she is your biological family, and she has never, ever tried to break our family apart, so yeah you better go call them and thank them for your gifts."

"Thanks Dad," Pepsi hugged her father, Thanks Mom, you guys really are the best."


“I’m glad you finally told me,” Grant said as he looked at April.


“I’m just sorry it took a while to get round to it,” April said as she poured a glass of juice and handed it to Grant.  “So what did the syndicate guys get each other?”


“These,” Grant said as he held up the monogrammed silk tie.  “I guess it’s the uniform for next year.”


“Men and their toys,” April said as she looked at the book of Capability Brown gardens Sandy had given her.



12.30 pm

The Richmond Mansion


“That was a beautiful service Alex,” Nessa said as they came in.


“I try my best,” Alex said with a smile as George removed his great coat.  “So did your mother like your present, young man?”


“I think so – she’s not stopped grinning since we got up this morning,” George said as Sandy came in with Heather and Sands.


“So I can see – are you having a good day, Sandy?”


“Oh like you would not believe,” Sandy said as she kissed Heather.  “Thank you lover, that was an amazing present.  Where did you find it?”


“You’d never believe me if I told you,” Heather said, “but it was a double discovery.  We also found a pile of vintage lace, which may just find its way into a wedding dress come April.”


“A double win then,” Vanessa said.  “I’ll make some coffee and put the oven on.”




12.30 pm

The de Ros Mansion


"Oh, that was so generous of him," Abigail waved a small piece of paper as she came back into the room.

"So generous of whom?" Diana looked up from her coffee, "yet another present?"

"No, Roy Razinski just dropped this off at the door.”  Abby sat down and said “it's a check for one hundred thousand dollars for our Catholic Debutantes charity drive."

"Now that is extremely generous," Guy smiled.

"It is Grandpapa." Abby looked thrilled.

"Christmas is about giving not to just our own loved ones," Diana spoke again.

"So how is your appeal doing Abigail dear?" Valeria asked.

"Last I had heard, we had raised about $80,000...  This will raise it up considerably."

"Well after the New Year, you can expect a donation from me."

"Which I'll add to Valeria dear." Guy patted her hand.


“Thanks, Grandpa, Grandma,” Abby said as her phone rang.  Looking at it, she said “excuse me a moment,” before she went out.


“Hey – Merry Christmas.”


“And to you,” Fi Treharran said.  “Look – I’m sorry I went so overboard.  Angel talked to me, and reminded me I get a little tunnel visioned.  Can you forgive me?”


“Of course I can – I’ll see you in a few weeks, all right?”


“All right – see you then lover.”




10 am Pacific Time

Santa Barbera


“All right – if someone had told me this time last year that i would spend this Christmas near the beach, wearing shorts, and looking the way I do now, I would have punched them.”


“Which is why you and Kylie are so amazing,” Susan said to Marina as they looked at April, who was sitting in her travel seat, waving a new rattle around.


“Talking of which – thank you for the jumper, darling,” Marina said as the young blonde walked in, looking at her phone.  Leigh and Suzanne were helping Alice in the kitchen, as the other children played outside.  Craig, Bill and Clint were talking to the side of the room.


“Darlings,” Kylie said quietly as she looked over, “I am sorry to say we have crap heading our way.”


“Oh?” Susan asked as she opened another of April’s presents.  “What’s happened?”


“Somehow,” Kylie said as she sat down, “my mother has scraped enough money to come see me in NYC over New Years, and she wants to chat with my ‘guardians’.”


“But didn’t she sign an agreement NOT to see you?” Clint asked.


“She did, but as with most things, my mother’s words mean very little darling.”


“So did you tell her not to come?”


“I just phoned and left a message,” Kylie said as she looked at her phone, “but of course she’s out at some Christmas party and is probably too high, and drunk, to answer.”


“You should ring Shirley tomorrow and ask her opinion.”


“Or Susan we could ask the Vipers to persuade her coming to New York is a bad idea.” Marina looked up from the Chinese videos that Helen had given her as a Christmas present.


“Or we could send you home to use some of the new fighting skills you learn watching those Hong Kong flicks?” Susan replied.


“No - before we decide on anything I’ll phone Madame, Catherine, and Dominique, and ask for their opinions.”


“Did I hear you have a problem Bro?” Clint’s brother asked.


“Strictly domestic. Kylie’s Mom signed an agreement not to see her when she was adopted into the organization, looks like she is trying to renege on her deal with Madame.”


“Problematical, but you are right not my business, strictly a family problem for you guys.” Troy nodded, “So did April wake you guys up?”


“No,” Clint said with a smile, “my darling wife was awake at three thirty and so excited she wanted to open all the presents there and then.”


“Just how old is Susan?”


“I know.” Clint laughed.


“So what did April get?”


“Lots of new clothes, a couple of wonderful dolls, clothes to put on her dolls, that rattle you found that’s immediately become her favourite.”


“Well that you can thank my wife for Bro.”


“I will – come on, let’s crack a couple of beers open...”



2 pm

Mary Thomas’ Townhouse


“I know Dai – you give me love to all of them over there as well, you hear?


“Ai, I might be over end of next month, and if I am, I’ll come down and see all of you.  Until then, roi caniatâd i dduw chi i gyd heddwch a ffyniant.”


“Tan hynny brawd.”


As she put the phone down, she looked at Denice, who was standing in the kitchen doorway.


"Was that your brother back home you were talking to Mary?"

"Ai Denice."

"How has their Christmas been?"

"Noisy by the sound of his newest Grandson banging on his toy drum..."

"Oh whoever gave that gift should be forced to listen to it for 24 hours." Denice laughed.

"Did I ever tell you mu Da was killed on Christmas day?"

"No you never did," Denice shook her head.

"He was doing safety checks down the pit when there was a cave-in."

"Oh God, and we've all been so happy..."

"Don't worry, Da loved Christmas, he loved people enjoying it, it's just as Dai was saying though that they went up to his grave to put flowers on it this morning..." Mary started to shed tears, "I just so wish I'd been with them."

"There, there," Denice said as she hugged the older woman close.  "I have no doubt that he understood that you are here in America, and I'll bet he's so proud of you boasting in his heavenly pub to his friends."

"Oh Ai Da loved the pub," Mary smiled again.  “On which note, how are we doing?”


“Turkey out, potatoes in – ready to eat?”



3 pm

4th Avenue

The Ashley Apartment


“All right everyone,” Pippa said as she sat down, “crackers at the ready?”


“Ready,” Grace said as she and the others crossed their arms and held one end of a cracker each.  “On three...”


“THREE,” Poppy shouted as they all pulled, the contents falling in front of them before they all picked up their hats and put them on.


“It was good of you to invite us, Pippa,” Sarah said, “especially as we have guests as well.”


“Christmas is a time for friends,” Pippa said, “so of course we’re happy to have you all here.  Besides, Poppy and I have spent too many Christmases eating alone.”


“Hey – what are we lass, chopped liver?”


“Sorry – I didn’t mean to insult you Aunt Maggie.”


“It’s all right, I get it,” Amelia said with a smile.  “I’ll do it instead.”


“Well, it’s still good of you to welcome us,” Tom said as he accepted some turkey, “especially as we are complete strangers.”


“Oh, just call it making up for mistakes,” Pippa said.


“So what did you get for Christmas Poppy?”


“Well, Mom got me the complete House box set.”


“I thought of St Elsewhere, and then realised she wouldn’t get it,” Pippa said with a smile.



Saturday 26th December

7.30 am GMT

Chelsea, London


Shirley was sitting in the front room, looking at the news as she drank her coffee, when the telephone rang.


“Hello,” she said as she picked up the handset, “Shirley Xavier speaking.”


“Madame, this is Kylie.  My apologies for calling you so early...”


“Kylie, do not worry about that – it musy be nearly midnight where you are anyway.  I trust you had a good Christmas?”


“I did – in the main, Shirley darling.  But i need to talk to you about something, and it can’t wait until later in the day.”


“I see – all right Kylie, what’s on your mind.”


There was a moment’s silence.




“It’s my mother – she’d informed me that she is coming to New York next week, to see me and to talk to Susan.”


“Your mother?  I was under the impression we had an agreement with her not to do this.”


“So did I – but she is coming, and I do not seem to be able to stop her.  I would appreciate advice on how to approach this.”


“You haven’t seen her since you joined us, have you?”


“No – we have talked, but that is all.”


“Do you know when she is due to arrive?”


“I think she is flying over on Monday, which gives me until Tuesday to decide what to do.”


Shirley sat in silence for a moment.  “Kylie, do nothing for now.  I presume Susan knows?”


“She does, Madame.”


“All right – I will call her tomorrow morning your time.  In the meantime, I will make some calls and see what I can find out.  Call Catherine and Dominique in the morning your time – sleep now.”


“Thank you Madame,” Kylie said, “and again, my apologies for disturbing you.”


“Kylie, this is a good reason to call me.  Sleep now.”


Ending the call, Shirley held the handset for a few minutes thinking things over.


“Who was on the telephone?”


She turned and smiled at John.  “It was Kylie – she called to thank us for her present.”


“That’s good – some coffee?”


“Please – John I need to head to the office for an hour or two today.  I’ll be back by lunchtime.”




11 am GMT

Xavier International, Aldwych


“She is going to hate me for this,” Shirley said as she finished reviewing the contents of the personnel file on Kylie Mitchell, and then dialled a number on her telephone.


“Lily Harmon speaking.”


“Lily, it’s Shirley.”


“Good morning Madame – I thought you were out of the office for the whole weekend.”


"I wish I was.  So how have your Christmas and Boxing Day gone Lily?"

"Rather better than usual Madame..."

"Well I am about to ruin them slightly."

"Uggh,” she heard Lily say, “this sounds like work?"

"It's related," Shirley sighed. "First thing this morning I got a call from California from Kylie."

"What's happened?" Lily suddenly became alert.

"Nothing out there, other than the fact that Kylie's Mum phoned and told her she was coming to see her in New York for New Years."

"But she can't...We pay her to stay away from Kylie."

"I know," Shirley paused. "Look can you get the Vipers to prepare me a report on what Sami Mitchell is up to currently, boyfriends, finances, etc, and have it on my desk by lunch tomorrow?"

"I guess.  I’ll spread the love."

"I'll pay triple pay for working on your holidays."

"Well Madame money isn't the issue, but I will need to call on Charlotte to do the tech, and she's not going to over like it while she and Piet are getting all lovey dovey."

"Yes, that's a problem...Hmmm...Do you remember Gretchen, that South African Intelligence Sergeant?"

"Just about...Why?"

"She joined us a few weeks ago as a liaison. she's a first rate tech, I'll call her and get her over to your place...You call on the Vipers please."




At her home, Lily nodded and said “I will get to work immediately Madame.”  Ending the call, she looked through her contacts and said “time to spread the love...


“Tracy?  Lily.  I know you and Bev were meant to have today off, but I need you and the Vipers to do something for me.”


“Sure thing,” she heard Tracy say, “what’s the problem?”


“Sami Mitchell.”


“Kylie’s deadbeat mum?  What happened?”


“I’ll tell you later – I need you to find out her current state of play.  I’m going to be checking what I can on line with some specialist help.”


“When do you need it?”


Looking at her watch, Lily said “I need whatever you can get by eight tonight.”


“You have a good Thai place near you?”


“Yeah – why?”


“Find the menu – Bev and I will be with you for eight.”


1 pm GMT



Rose opened the door and smiled as she saw the young woman standing there, wearing her black leather jacket, jeans and boots.


"Hello Trace,” she said as she stood in her dressing gown, “to what do I owe this visit?"

"I'm sorry to drop in unexpectedly Rose, but I need to pick your brain."

"Well you are welcome to ask questions while I dress," Rose laughed as Tracy came in, and she closed the door behind herself.

"Oh you are going out? I'm sorry."

"Don't worry, I'm only going over Maeve's to have a bite to eat. Here - come in the kitchen and I'll make us both a cuppa."

"Thanks," the West Indian girl smiled as they walked through, Rose putting the kettle on before she removed her dressing gown, revealing her blouse and skirt.

"So is this 'business' or personal that you want to talk to me about?"

"I guess a bit of both."

"Alright,” Rose said as she took some tea from the cupboard, “if you start at the beginning it might help."

"You do know Sami Mitchell don't you?'

"Kylies mum?"


"I do I'm sorry to say,” Rose said as she rinsed out the teapot, put the leaves in and added the hot water, “even at my lowest I was never as bad as that woman. She's a right piece of work."

"Well,” Tracy said, “she's threatenin' to go visit Kyles at New Years..."

"Wot in New York?" Rose snorted, "She'd never raise the readies, everyfing she 'as goes on booze and drugs."

"Well it looks like some'ow she and 'er new bloke have scraped the necessary together." Tracy shook her head before saying “as you can imagine, Kyles is a mite worried.”

"Miracles do 'appen." Rose shook her head as she set the cups on the table, and then poured the tea in.  Sitting down, she took a sip and said “that’s better.”

"So who do you fink we orta talk to if we want to enquire about wots goin' on wif Sami?"

"I take it my Susan knows?"

"Yeah,” Tracy said as she sipped her tea, “but it's Lily has asked us to investigate."

"Which means Shirley asked her." Rose sipped her tea.

"I'd guess so."

"Well I'd start by asking Frank Bell, 'e's known 'er since she was a toddler."

"The landlord at the Three Bells?"

"Yeah, and then go see Kerry Burke - she's Sami's cousin, but she 'ates 'er guts, she'll probably know a lot as well."

"Alright, well I'd better just drink this and be on my way."

"Just be careful please Trace."

"Aint I always?"



2 pm

The Three Bells, White Hart Lane


“Go on you lot – get outta here and watch the match!”


Tracy stood to one side, she and Bev allowing a group of Spurs fans out before they entered the bar.  Bev was dressed in the same way as Tracy, as they walked up to the bar.


“What can I get you ladies,” the Australian barman said.


“Two red Bulmers,” Tracy said, watching as the barman poured the drinks.


“Well, here’s a couple of girls I haven’t seen in a long time.  What happened – go legit?”


“In a way, Frank,” Bev said as Frank Bell came over.  He was a big man, with receding brown hair, and had the sleeves of his short rolled up to his elbows.  “I see you chivvied the fans on nice and early?”


“Yeah, well – at least they went today.   So what are you two up to?”


“Believe it or not, gainfully employed,” Tracy said as she sipped her drink.  “Which is why we’re here Frank – we need some information, and the word is you’re the person to come to.”


“Oh – who says so?”


“Rose, for one.”


“Yeah – she’s one person I’m glad doesn’t come in any more, for all the right reasons.  So what are you after?”


“Any chance we can go in the back to talk?”


Frank nodded as he went into the small bar at the back, Tracy and Bev going through the door and joining him.


“Okay – let me change the question.  Who do you need to know about?”


“Sami Mitchell,” Tracy said as she sipped her drink.


“Sami?  What about her?”


“Rose told us you’ve known her most of her life?”


“Yeah – her mum used to be a dinner lady at my secondary school, and she used to bring Sami into the hall at lunchtimes.  She looked completely different then – black hair in pigtails, dresses, cute as could be.  When you look at her now...  Whatever happened to her kid?”


“Kylie?  That’s why we came to see you – she went to stay with some friends of ours, and has turned herself completely round.”


“Good for her,” Frank said with a smile, “when she was running with you lot, she was a right terror – no offence.”


“None taken – we’ve all smartened our act up a bit this last year.”


“Yeah I can see that – Bulmers instead of vodka slammers.  Anyway, what about Sami?”


“Kylie heard her mum may have got a new boyfriend,” Beverly said, “she asked if we knew anything of him, and we didn’t.  So we asked Rose, and she said you may know something.”


“Yeah, I’ve seen her with a new guy,” Frank said as he poured himself a half.  “Big guy – bodybuilder I think, likes to think he dresses street.”


“Does he?”


“And you work for the met now Tracy,” Frank said with a smile.  “What he does have is money, so Sami latched onto him – but this one’s different from the others she usually bleeds dry.”


“In what way,” Tracy said.


“It’s not easy to say – it’s almost as if she’s under his spell.  I saw them walk down the street the over day, and said hello – but she blanked me and he looked at me in a way that clearly said don’t do that again.”


“Can you describe him?”


“I’ll get you a picture,” Frank said as he went into the back, and returned with a sheet of paper.  “He came in with her last night – I let Jason in there serve, and stayed in the background.”


“Thanks Frank,” Tracy said as she put the sheet in her jacket.  “Any idea where I might find Kerry Burke today?”


“Down at the ground, flipping burgers.”


“Cheers Frank – and stay safe, all right?”


10 am EST

The Village


Ama picked up the telephone handset and said “hello?


“Hello Kylie – how is the weather in Santa Barbera?


“It does sound amazing – what can I do for you?


“Mom,” she said as Dominique appeared from the kitchen, “Kylie needs to talk to you.”


“Thanks,” she said as she took the handset, “aren’t you and Pepsi meant to be somewhere?”


“Just getting my things now mom,” Ama said as she went to her room.


“Okay Kylie – what can I do for you?”


“Dom, Darling, I have a small problem.  I called Madame this morning, and she said to call you and Catherine to let you know as well.”


“If we’re been told, it means it is serious.  What happened?”


“My darling mother – she’s coming to New York.”


Dominique sat up and said “When?”


“For New Year – Dom...”


“First thing Kylie – and I’m sure both Marina and Susan have already said this – don’t panic.  I’m willing to bet Shirley is already digging at her side, and I’ll have a word with some people here.  You need to call Catherine and let her know – she will tell Helen, and I’ll talk to her later.  When do you guys get back?”


“Later tomorrow.”


“Okay – I’ll come round and see you then.  For now, trust us, all right?”


“All right – and thanks,” Kylie said as she hung up, Dominique sitting back and thinking.


“I’ll see you later Mom.”


“Have fun,” she said as she watched Ama walk out, and then went on line.


10 am EST

The Huntingdown Apartment


“Oh god – is there any coffee ready,” Juliette said as she walked into the front room of the apartment.


"Mom you do know what today is don't you?" asked Carina.

"I think it's the day after Christmas, but the way my head feels I might not be sure."

"You were right, she did drink too much of her own champagne last night." Ingrid laughed.

"Yes it is the day after Christmas and what do I usually do today?"

"You go skating with Abigail...Oh!"

"Precisely Mother Darling, which means I need you to be in a fit state to look after your granddaughter, so her Aunt and I can maintain tradition by hitting the ice at Rockefeller Center."

"Well if she can't I can," Klaus chuckled from the kitchen door.

"How can you look so disgustingly hearty?" Juliette asked as she stood and kissed her lover.

"I'm not sure..."

"Especially after the number of times you made me..."

"Moms there are certain things your children DO NOT need know." Ingrid giggled.

"Oh and before I run out the door mom, Shirley has phoned twice, she has something she wants to ask you about."  Carina gulped her coffee.


“Okay – I’ll call her once I’ve woken up properly,” Juliette said as she sipped her own coffee.



10.30 am

The Waldorf-Astoria


Catherine Lu looked out of the window when she heard her cell phone ringing.  Looking at the screen, she smiled as she said “Kylie, this is a nice surprise.”


“I trust I find you well, Honoured Mistress?”


“I am, Kylie.”


"So Honoured Mistress, did you like your presents?"

"I adore that book you found on early Hong Kong, I'd never even heard of it before...Thank You."

"This humble servant is glad you are happy."

"Okay cutting out the formalities Kylie,” Cathy said as she sat down, “to what do I owe this call?"

"I have a problem Darling," Kylie drawled.

"A serious one?"

"I think so. My misbegotten excuse for a Mother is threatening to come see me in New York over New Years."

"But she signed..."

"I know,” Kylie said, “but it looks like she is going to try to see me anyway."

"Alright, it's not a panic situation, what have you done so far?"

"I left a message warning her off, and I have phoned and alerted both Madame and Dominique."

"Alright that sounds about right. I will phone Shirley myself and liaise with her."

"Honoured Mistress,” Kylie said “I'm afraid that your servant’s mother will cause problems." Catherine could hear the worried tone in the usually ultra-cool girl’s voice.


“We will take every step to ensure that risk is mitigated or removed.  I will inform Helen, and as I say I will consult with Shirley.  Be at peace, Kylie – it is times like this when we are here to support you.”


“I thank you, Honoured Mistress.”


“Now, enjoy the rest of your stay.  I will see you and Marina on Monday.”


“Thank you, Honoured Mistress,” Kylie said as the call ended, and there was a knock on the door.


“Come,” Cathy said as the door opened and Helen came in, closing the door and standing with her head bowed.


“Good morning Honoured Mistress – your humble servant stands ready for her instructions.”


“Sit Helen,” Cathy said, “we have a problem that we need to discuss.”


“Of course – may this humble one ask the nature of the problem?”


“Kylie’s mother.  Let us not stand on formality, Helen – this needs a rather different approach.”


As Helen sat down, she said “her mother?  I was under the impression she was been kept away for good reasons.”


“She is – and yet, she is almost certainly coming...”




3.30 pm GMT

White Hart Lane


“Kerry Burke?”


The brunette turned round and looked at the brunette standing in front of the burger van.  “Who wants to know?”


“My name’s Bev – I’m a friend of Kylie Mitchell.  Is there any chance we can have a quick chat?”


“You’re a friend of Kylie’s?”  Kerry looked at her and then said “Joe, I’m taking ten minutes?”


She stepped out of the van and motioned to Bev to follow her as they walked round the corner of the stadium, the groans coming from inside as they did so.


“All right,” Kerry said as she looked round, “who are you really?”


“I told you, I’m a friend of...”


“Listen,” Kerry suddenly said as she shoved Bev against the wall, her arm over her throat, “if that pisspoor excuse of a mother thinks I’m falling for the ‘friend of her daughter’ trick...”


“We’re not joking.”


Kerry heard the click and felt the end of the barrel as it was placed against the back of her head.  “Take your arm away from her throat, Kerry.  We really are friends of Kylie.”


“Prove it.”


“We work for her sponsor, we know where she is.  My name’s Tracy Cocker, she’s Bev Martello – we used to run with Kylie and Marina Sowkowski.”


“You’re White Vipers?”


“Were – we traded up, just as she did.  So, will you let Bev go, and just talk to us?”


“Sorry,” Kerry said as she stepped back, and Tracy put the gun away.  “Sami – she’s been bugging me lately, sending people round to see what I knew.  No harm done?”


“No – you do wrestling?”


“Cage fighting – sorry.  So, what’s up?”


“The word is you have no love for Sami, her mum, and if truth be told Kylie never did either.”


“Understatement, she used to kip on my floor at times to get away from her when she was over the edge.  So what’s happened?”


“Nothing – not yet.  Our employer’s worried that Sami may be about to go back on an agreement we had, that she would stay out of her life.”


“How’s she doing?”


“Kylie?”  Tracy and Bev looked at each other, before Tracy said “believe me, you would not recognise her – and that’s exactly how she wants it to stay.”


“Good – she’s a good kid, even if she did run with you lot.  So what can i tell you?”


“An honest answer, from someone who doesn’t like her.”  Taking the photograph from her jacket, Tracy said “we heard she had a new man.  Do you know him?”


“Oh yeah I know him,” Kerry said with a scowl.  “His name’s Bobby Vance.  Muscle for some of the local clubs – and allegedly a sideline in supply and delivery, if you catch my drift.”


“I get the drift,” Bev said.  “We talked to Frank Bell, he told us Sami seems to be under his thumb.”


“Wouldn’t surprise me if he was supplying her,” Kerry said, “i haven’t seen her for a while, but if he’s walking out with her...”


“Yeah, we get the picture,” Tracy said as she put the photo away.  “Thanks, Kerry.”


“Hey – you talk to Kylie soon?”


“Might talk to her this week.”


“Tell her Aunty Kerry was asking after her.”


“You got it,” Tracy said as they watched her walk round the corner.  Taking out her mobile phone, she said “Lily?”


“Hey Tracy,” Lily said as she stood in her kitchen, “how’s it going?”


“Got a name for you – Bobby Vance, might be involved in Security at Tottenham night clubs.”


“Gretchen’s here – we’ll look at him as well, but we’ve confirmed it.  She has a ticket booked for New York on Monday.”


“Okay – we’ll make our way over to you now.”  Ending the call Tracy said “you seen them?”


“The two yobbos trying not to be seen round the corner?”


Tracy nodded as she said “Whatcha got?”


“Billy’s finest,” Bev said as she slipped on a pair of knuckle dusters over her gloved hands.


“Okay then – let’s go teach them some manners,” Tracy said as they turned and walked down the alley...



11 am EST

Rockerfeller Centre


“I love this place at Christmas time.” Pepsi smiled as she tightened her skate boots. “The lights, the Christmas trees, the decorations.”


“It is pretty special, I have to agree.” Ama finished lacing up her own skates.  “And this year, we are able to accept your invitation, Heather – thank you.”


Smiling, Heather sat down and asked “did you phone Jess and tell her about your trip to Madrid in the spring?”


“I did, and she thinks I’ll really have a great time, and also learn a bit.”


“You’ll get a chance to practice your Spanish.”


“Si,” Ama grinned.


“Well hopefully you’ll get to see more of the city then I’ve ever got when I’ve been there.” Abigail pulled her hoodie on.


“I suppose that just like Jeans all you’ve seen are photographic studios and event locations?”


“That pretty much sums it up Peps.”  Abigail pulled on her boot laces as she said “It’s all we really ever do see when we are abroad working.”


“So we should pity her, flying out to London tonight?”


“In a way – but not that much,” Abby said with a grin.


“Well when I visit Madrid, I have an appointment to look at as much great art as I can cram in.” Heather pulled her old Yale sweatshirt on and stood up.


“We talked about Spanish art in class, and I went to the library to look at pictures in books. Goya’s paintings reminded me of Africa.” Ama shivered, “I’ve seen faces like that too much in real life, those screams, that suffering…”


“They are pretty potent and painful to look at I know Ama.” Heather nodded.


“Very much so…Hey look who finally arrived?”


“We know.” Ingrid looked hurried for once. “Moms had a hangover, and it took us longer than we thought to drive down here as well.”


“Juliette overdid her Christmas champagne?” Heather asked as Carina started changing.


“A wee bit, I think also Pops and she were doing the unthinkable well into the wee hours.”


“Oh…I think I get the picture,” Heather grinned. “They had a very merry Christmas then?”


“Yep.” Ingrid laughed.  “I suspect Pops will sleep on the plane tonight – I hope Moms gets a chance to relax as well.”


“Did you hear Mom arranged for me to go and visit Real Madrid at spring break?” Ama asked.


“We did, I’m thrilled for you Ama.” Carina stood up and hugged the younger woman.


“I am so looking forward to it.”


“Good for you darling.” Ingrid looked up from starting to lace up her skates.


“How did Judith enjoy herself?” Pepsi asked.


“Would you believe she had more fun playing with the big box her dolls house came in, then with any of her real presents?”


“That sounds fairly normal.” Heather pulled on her gloves.


“Well the ice is good, the organist is playing soppy Christmas songs, and the coffee counter is tempting me, so this should be great.” Jo grinned as she came into the locker room.


“Hey,” Carina hugged the athlete, then looked at her. “No William Smith top?”


“No I decided to stay loyal to the old school.”


“As if,” Heather grinned, “the truth is she’s wearing a St Angela’s hoodie because her WS one got muddy when she was out training and it’s in the wash.”


“Don’t you love the way Big Sisters can ruin a perfectly good story.” Jo laughed.


Cari and I have never decided who is the big sister.” Ingrid smiled as she pulled on a Princeton top.


“Well first, you are really twins, and second, should we be seen in public with her wearing that?” Heather asked Carina.


“Hey forget inter-school rivalries, let’s just go skate.” Jo grinned.


“Yeah I want to skate.” Ama spoke, “let’s go have some fun.”



11.30 am

The Huntingdown Apartment


“Well,” Klaus said as he placed Judith in her chair, “I had better go and perform an unfortunate task.”




“Indeed – I shall not be long,” he said as he kissed Juliette and headed up the stairs.


“Time for Grammy to talk to Aunt Shirley,” Juliette said as she heard the door close, and then turned on her laptop.


“Hi Shirley, and happy Boxing Day,” Juliette said as Shirley appeared on the screen.


“Good morning Juliette – are you all right?  You look a little tired.”


“A little the worse for wear, but I will be all right for later.  Carina said you needed to ask me something?”


“Indeed – first, to wish you good luck for tonight, and to confirm the arrangements are in place.”


“Thanks – Annie and Sandy headed up earlier to secure a suitable vehicle for the main group.”


“There is another matter, however – we may require your assistance with a small problem.”


“Oh,” Juliette said, “what problem?”


“As you know, Kylie joined us under Susan’s guardianship, and in return some financial renumeration was paid to her mother on the condition she did not contact her.”


“You paid her to stay out of the way.”


“Precisely – Kylie heard from her mother the other day to say she was coming to New York next week to see her.”


“I see – Kylie, I take it, is not happy?”


“Very few of us are – I have my teams looking into the current situation, but if we need your assistance?”


“Of course you will have it,” Juliette said quietly.  “I’ll talk to you tomorrow when we get back.”


“Is Judith coming with you?”


“Yeah – Annie will stay at the farm with her.”


“Then may the Goddess go with you,” Shirley said.  “Good hunting.”


“Thank you,” Juliette said as she ended the call.


1 pm EST

The New Calabria


“Now for the second part of the tradition.” Carina smiled as they crowded into a booth. “Steaming mugs of great Italian coffee and toasted sandwiches to eat.”


“Hey ladies your usual?” Tommy the Fish asked as he walked over.


“Our usual?” Heather asked. “Do we have a usual?”


Lemme put it dis way,” he said with a smile.  Youse ladies come in this same time every year, and it kinda sticks in yer mind when so many famous models come in together.”


“Alright our usual then.” Jo smiled.


“So have you girls been skating again this year?” Annie asked as she started serving mugs of coffee.


“You do remember us then?” Abby grinned.


“Yeah, but you seem to have added a couple of new members to the group this year. Are they models as well?”


“I wish,” Pepsi looked up from sipping her drink, “no we are just family friends of the girls.”


“I see you have a new staff member as well,” Ingy said as Tammy waved in her chair, “did she enjoy her first Christmas?”


“Oh she got spoiled rotten,” Annie said, “give us a minute, I’ll sort out those sandwiches.”


From the bar, Tommy smiled as he watched the girls talking.  He knew he owed at least one, and maybe more, all that he had.  And for that, he would always be grateful.  He watched as Abby made a call, then went back to serving the customers.



1 pm

Complete Style


“Mary, thank you for doing this,” Nessa said as she kissed the Welsh Wizard, “I want to do this as a thank you to the group.”


“My pleasure, and welcome ladies,” she said as Mo, Katherine, Paulie, Miranda, Julia and Yvonne came in.  “I called a couple of favours in, so let’s get started.  Carlos!”


“Ladies,” Carlos said as he came in, “come with me, and we will make you beautiful...”


Nessa, what are we doing here,” Yvonne said.


“Rolling back the years...”



1.30 pm EST

The Waldorf Astoria


"Did you hear by the way that Penny found Helen a previously unknown recording of her mother dancing as a Christmas present?"

"I didn't" Shirley replied on the screen, "how did she do that?"

"I asked her that," Catherine laughed for a second. "Would you believe it was as simple as her asking on a site for ballet fans if anyone had such a thing, and a lady in Stockholm contacted her that she had shot an illicit copy for herself years ago, and was willing to sell a recording."

"Well in a world we think of as complicated, it's nice to hear that occasionally doing things the simple way works."

"Well Helen is simply over the moon about it. She had clips of her mother dancing, but this was the first time she has managed to get a complete show. It's a bit scratchy and you can tell it was recorded on a less than movie quality camera from the side of the stage..."

"But still the sentimental value alone to Helen means that Penelope scored a bullseye."

"Exactly Madame."

"Now returning to Kylie's problem?"


“I have asked Helen to be there for them when they return, but until we know for certain she is coming, all we can do is plan.  From your part?”


“I have Lily and others looking into her mother’s life at the moment.  I can, however, confirm she and her current boyfriend are due to arrive Monday.  I’ve taken the precaution of having two of my team fly on the same plane.”


“Then we must prepare for their arrival...”


2 pm EST

The New Calabria


"Okay I've brought them," Missy Auerbach passed over an envelope to Carina as she squeezed in beside the girls in the booth.

"Oh Good, we want to leave a gift with the owners."

"Can I get your friend a coffee?" Annie called out.

"She's no friend...She's our agent!" Jo shouted back, as all the girls laughed.

"For that I'll have an Irish Coffee please, and add it to the girls tab." Missy smiled as she yelled her order.

"CHEAPSKATE!" Abby grinned.

"Quick sign them." Carina whispered as Annie filled the order.

“There you go,” Annie said a few minutes later as she put the glass mug in front of Missy.


“Well we have something for the three of you to maybe hang on the walls if you want." Carina passed Annie the envelope.

"Look on it as a late Christmas present." Ingrid spoke.

"Well thank youse," Annie opened the packet, "Oh WOW!...Here Tommy come look...autographed photos for us."

"Oh Girls you didden need to." Tommy looked very happy.

"Well it was the least we could do Uncle Tommy." Abby whispered as she stood up and gave him a little kiss.






7.30 pm GMT

Lily Harmon’s House


“I’ve got to say, when Colonel Vosloo gave me this assignment, I did not expect to spend an afternoon eating cold turkey sandwiches and hacking into systems.  Having said which, they were exceptional.”


Gretchen Mitchell took a drink from her glass as Lily sat next to her, looking at the printouts.  “I’ll tell Madame you liked it,” she said as she sipped her coffee, and then heard the doorbell ring.


“Expecting someone?”


Lily nodded as there was another short ring, and then a long one, before she went out of the room.


“What happened to you two?”


“A little light exercise,” Tracy said as she and Bev came in, removing their coats and hanging them on the coat stand.  “You alone?”


“No – let me introduce you to the tech help.  Tracy, Bev, this is Gretchen Mitchell, our liason with the SAIS.  Grethcen, Tracy Cocker and Bev Martello are two of our staff at the country facility.”


“Pleasure,” Gretchen said as they shook hands.  “I won’t ask what role you play?


“Let’s just say for now Kylie is a good friend,” Tracy said.  “Got that menu Lily?”


“Have a look,” Lily said as she handed Tracy a pamphlet.  “So, what you got?”


“We decided to go to the source, and I dropped in on Rose while Bev looked out at Sami’s place.”


“She didn’t show there.”  Bev accepted the beer and said “Guess she was sleeping last night off somewhere – we left one of the vipers watching while I hooked up with Tracy.”


“Where did you go?”


“To see Rose – she pointed me the way of a couple of people who knew Sami, and from that we got this gentleman.”


“Nice, classy,” Lily said as she looked at the photo Tracy put down.  “So this would be Bobby Vance?”


Yup  - we called you, and then a couple of guys, we presume friends of his, wanted to ask us what we were doing.”


“And you told them?”


“I honestly do not remember many words been exchanged,” Bev said with a smile, “more of a communication through actions.”


“I understand that,” Gretchen said.


“We checked a couple of places Sami used to hang out – she hasn’t been seen for a couple of days, but they all knew about the new guy.”


“Well,” Gretchen said, “she’s certainly not getting extra money from anything in her account.  We looked at her records – DSS payments, which by the way she’s still claiming for Kylie.”


“Naughty, naughty,” Tracy said as she sipped her beer.  “But somehow she’s booked a ticket for New York.”


“She’s booked on the 3 pm flight on Monday – BA.  Ticket paid for by cash at a ticket agency on the High Road, so untraceable.”


“ESTA authorisation?”


“Already granted – the records show she’s staying at a Holiday Inn in Manhattan.  After you gave us that name, I checked for Bobby Vance on that flight as well – he’s booked on it.”


“So are you two – Madame called a short while ago, to say you’re to catch the same flight.  You’ll be in disguise, but we have the documentation in place.”


“How did you manage that?”


“Above our pay grade,” Tracy said to Bev.


“Above mine as well,” Gretchen said, “but I’m told they will be unimpeachable.”


“So who is this Vance guy?”


“Bobby Vance,” Gretchen said as she brought some images up on the screen.  “Comes from Brixton, juvenile record for shoplifting, worked his way up the ranks.”




“Nothing ever proved – the police have him on a watch, but nothing to move on.  He started to be seen with Sami Mitchell about six weeks ago – and at about the same time, her spending habits changed.”


“In what way?”


“Bank records show she stared spending a lot more in clothes stores.  Something interesting – the APCO store on Oxford Street reported a shoplifter being stopped eight weeks ago, and the description given matches Sami Mitchell.  She broke loose and get away, however.”


“The people we talked to,” Tracy said, “reckoned Sami was under his thumb.”


“So he may be the one who persuaded her somehow to do this?  Gretchen – any way of checking A&E records for the last few weeks for UCH over the last few weeks?”




“Playing a hunch...  Tracy, place the order will you?  May as well get a banquet for four.”



4 pm EST

The Richmond Mansion


“Anyone home?”  Jo and Heather came in, putting their bags down and looking round.


“Guess Orlanda already came to pick the kids up,” Heather said as the door to the drawing room opened and Nessa came out.  Jo and Heather both stopped and stared at her as she said “so, what do you think?”


She had her cut short in a pixie bop, and was wearing a tight blue jacket and skirt, the jacket designed to show cleavage without breaking the law, the skirt above her knee.  The matching suede pumps gave her legs a sleek look, while her nails were polished, her lips painted naturally.


“That...  That is definitely a different look for you Nessa,” Heather said.  “Who did the good work?”


“Oh I called in a few favours with Mary Thomas, isn’t that right Maureen?”


“That she did...”


Jo stared at Maureen Gardiner as she stood in the door of the drawing room, her black jersey dress hugging her body, her hair cut short and dyed a deep auburn red.  The dress came to above her knees, with black stilettos on her feet.   She was followed out by Paulie, wearing a blue wrap round dess with a scalloped skirt, short at the front but hanging low at the back.  Her hair was bleached, and fell loosely down her face.


“You all look amazing,” Jo said with a smile.


“Yeah, it does feel nice,” Paulie said, “come and say hello to the others.”


Katherine looked to the doorway as they came in, and smiled as her newly blonde hair fell in gentle waves down her head.  She was wearing a leopard print top over a black vest, blue velvet pants and knee length brown leather boots.


The biggest surprise, however, was Miranda, Julia and Yvonne, all three wearing skin tight leather trousers.  Miranda’s haie was cut to frame her face and dyed a bright blonde, while she wore a leopard skin top and knee length suede boots.  Julia had on a short sleeved sheer blouse with a tiger pattern, a wide brown belt and black ankle boots, while Yvonne wore a black cardigan and top, with gold heels, both women with auburn hair.


“Mary did a fantastric job with you all,” Heather said with a smile.  “Did Jan pick up the kids?”


“She did – so while you and Jo are doing this all night movie marathon, the girls and I are hitting the town, and then back to Paulie’s to talk the night away.”


“See you in the morning,” Heather said as they walked out, Jo shaking her head.


“We’d better get a move on as well,” she said as the door closed.


“Agreed,” Heather said, “let’s do this...”




6.30 pm

The Farm


“I presume Ingrid and Klaus got safely away,” Diana said as she passed the casserole over to Juliette.


“They did – Carina and I came straight here from the airport,” Juliette said as she put some of the meat and vegetables onto her plate, while Carina gave Judith her food.  “Routes?”


“I drove them today after Sandy managed to find your transport,” Annie said.  “No problems – Dom said she’d inform Anna what was happening, and why this was a core team event.”


“Well, it’s a bit difficult for her to get away, given she is having dinner with the van Roons,” Jo said.  “Dom’s going to see her parents tonight as well, to sort out the security issues, which counts her out too.”


“I’ve swapped the plates out,” Heather said as she sipped her drink.  “So, Diana, all set for Thursday?”


“The caterers have been briefed by Edith, and all is in readiness.  I believe it will be a fascinating evening – especially with the rematch.”


“Oh yes – Mandy vs Tracey, round 2.  I hear Kelly has been giving them both lessons,” Abby said with a grin.


“We saw Jeannie and Barbara at the airport as well, on their way to London.  What’s Jan up to?”


“A night out with Adam and his sister, as I understand it.  They’re trying to decide what to do about his niece.”


The dinner conversation carried on for a while, until Juliette looked at her watch.


“All right people,” she said quietly, “time to get ready.  Clear the plates away, and get changed.”


“I’ll take care of that,” Annie said, “you go and get changed.”


“See you later, Monster Momma,” Cari said as she kissed Annie, and then went up the stairs with the others.




“She’s going to get ready for her work, Judith,” Annie said, “we’ll wave them off, all right?”





“Can you help me with this, Mama,” Abby said as she held The Thing up.  Diana nodded as she strapped the padding into place, filling out Abby’s chest before she pulled on the back roll neck sweater, the material forming to the new shape of her body before she pulled on the tight black leggings.


“I’m glad we’ve gone for functional and warm tonight,” she said as she then fastened the knee length soft leather skirt around her waist, “it’s going to be a cold night?”


“Perhaps,” Diana said as she sat at the dressing table, and started to put her lipstick on, “but I suspect that by tomorrow morning, we all be feeling very warm inside.”


Abby giggled as she picked up the red lipstick and applied it, before looking at Diana.  “Mama, before I forget, I have come to a decision about my college application.”




“Both John and Jack think the portfolio i have put together is of a high enough quality for me to apply to Cooper Union as my first choice.”


Diana nodded and turned to look at her daughter.  “Excellent, now let us go to work.”


“You about ready,” Jo said as she put on the tailored leather jacket, and tied her scarf round her neck, tucking the front in over her jumper.


“I am,” Carina said, zipping up her four inch heel boots and then putting on her leather gloves.  They checked their wigs as Jo looked into Carina’s green eyes.


“She’s here, isn’t she?”


“Oh yes – and looking forward to tonight,” Carina said as they walked down to the front room, joining the other five. 


“Final checks ladies – all personal items left behind, no papers, no clues.”


Annie watched with Judith in her arms as the seven women slowly formed into one unit.


“Glasses on,” Juliette said, putting hers on as Jo, Heather and Diana collected the large holdalls.  She looked at them and nodded as she said “let’s go to work.”


“See you later, Judith,” Carina said as she kissed her daughter’s head, Annie and her watching from the door as they climbed into the SUV and headed off into the dark...



9 pm

Belknap Street, Newburgh, NY


The grey timbered house stood on the corner, another house opposite and no others within a reasonable distance, the Christmas lights turned off now but still in place as the SUV made it’s way onto the driveway, the headlights off.


“Nice place,” Jo said as she looked at the two storey building.


“Okay – Jo, Sandy, Heather, you get the rear, the rest of us go in the front door,” Juliette said as she removed her dark glasses.  “Masks on.”


The seven women pulled the stockings down over their heads, flattening their black hair as their brooches reflected the moonlight.  Diana produced a sawnoff shoutgun, handing one to Jo as well.


“Shall we?”





“Thank you,” Simon Bolivar said as he accepted a mug of coffee from his wife.  He was wearing a woollen v-necked sweater over an open necked shirt, dark trousers and a pair of comfortable slippers, while Elaine was wearing a blue bohemian top over a pair of black leggings, and long brown slipper socks.


“It’s quiet tonight,” Elaine said as she sat down, “what are the children up to?”


“Bernie is talking to someone in her room, Simon is watching something on his computer, and Lynsey is preparing a snack in the kitchen,” her husband said as he sipped his drink, “a nice quiet family night, which is...”


His speech was interrupted as he heard the front door open, and they both stood up, looking at each other as four women walked in.  They were identically dressed, in black fitted leather jackets and knee length skirts, jumpers and knee length boots.  They also had black gloves on, black and red scarves tied round their necks, and on the lapels of their jackets were jewelled brooches in the shape of cats.  The most striking thing about them, however, was the stockings that were pulled down over their heads, flattening their black hair down – and the sawnoff shotgun one of them held in her hands as she looked at them.


“Good evening, fuckers,” one of the women said, “My name is Miss Panther, and we are the Pussycat Gang.”


“Oh shit,” Simon said as the mug of coffee fell from his hand, shattering on the floor of the room.


“Miss Leopard, kindly ensure that Mrs Bolivar is secured.  Miss Lynx, Miss Tigress, invite the children to join us.”


“Mom, what’s...  Shit!”


“Lynsey – RUN!”


The girl looked at Elaine, and then turned to run to the kitchen door, throwing it open as a voice said “Well hello sugah – now be a good little girl, and walk slowly back in, y’all hear?”


She slowly walked back as three more women walked in, dressed identically to the other four, holding her own gun as the other two came in, closing the door behind her.  She was wearing a pale blue sweatshirt and jeans.


“Miss Bobcat?”


Ah’m sure the little lady is going to keep real quiet, aren’t you sugah?”


Lynsey could only whimper as one of the masked women walked behind her, yanking her arms behind her back as she felt the rope pull tightly over her wrists...





Simon Bolivar Jr was focused entirely upon the screen, his hands between his legs as he watched the two women in the screen, struggling in the ropes as they made noises that suggested they were getting aroused by it.  He was wearing a pair of grey joggers and a t-shirt, the dampness under his hand hidden.


He didn’t hear the door to his bedroom open, so intent was he on playing with himself, until his chair was swung round and he was staring at the two masked women, impeccably dressed, staring at him through the stocking masks as one of them produced a handgun, and put it in his mouth.


“I see young Simon has been amusing himself, Miss Lynx,” she said as she looked at the screen.


“So it would appear, Miss Tigress,” the second woman said as she placed her hand on his crotch.  “Well guess what, shithead – tonight you’re going to experience the real thing, and I am going to enjoy educating you.”


Simon wanted to scream as she squeezed, but something told him the other one would shoot if he did.


“Now, you’re going to be a clever and good little fucker, and do exactly what we say, understand?”


Simon could only nod as she let go, and walked behind him, pulling his wrists behind his back as she produced a length of cord from her jacket, and started to bind her wrists together.




“I’m so glad you loved the present – and I can’t wait until I see you again at Browns,” Bernadette said as she sat on the bed, wearing a pink vest and a pair of checked shorts.


“Well, I’m glad you liked yours as well – look, I have to go.  Can we talk tomorrow?”


“Of course we can,” she said as she put her hand to her lips, and then touched the screen.  Her blonde hair was pulled back from her head, a length of string tying it back.


“Sleep well, all right?”


“You too,” she said as she waved, and then put the screen down, sighing as she lay back on her bed.


“Yeah,” she said as she heard the knock on the door.


“Bernie, can you open your door please?”


“What’s wring little bro, run out of tissues,” she said as she walked over and opened the door, only to walk back as Miss Lynx walked in, holding her gun towards her as Miss Tigress pushed Simon in.


“What the fuck...”


“Oh don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll get round to that later cocksucker,” Miss Tigress said as Miss Lynx walked behind the young woman, and pulled her arms behind her back.  “The two of you little bastards are going to behave and do whatever we tell you.”




“Why?”  Miss Lynx walked round and looked at Bernadette, her head to one side before her gloved fist slammed into her stomach, sending her to the floor.


“Because we’re Pussycats,” she whispered as she pulled her back up by the hair, “and tonight, you’re the prey.  Move, fuckers.”



“Dad, what’s going on,” Simon Jr said as she and Bernadette were pushed down the stairs, and forced into the front room.  They saw their mother and Lynsey kneeling on the floor, their hands secured behind their backs as they were forced to kneel beside them, while their father sat on a chair.


“Good – Miss Cheetah, ensure the telephone and internet are disconnected.  Miss Puma, ensure the windows and doors are secured.”


Miss Panther looked at the family, and said “let me explain what’s going to happen.  We are in charge, and you are going to do exactly – and I mean exactly – what we tell you to say.  And shall I tell you why you’re going to do this?”


“Because you’re armed?”


“Well that is certainly an incentive,” Miss Panther purred as she used her gun to lift his chin up, “but the main reason is because if any of your pisspot family are going to survive tonight, that is the only way.”


“You bastards...”


“Language,” Miss Puma said as she pulled Elaine’s head back by her hair, and ran the barrel of a gun down her cheek, “or perhaps we should keep you quiet now?”


“Oh no,” Miss Lynx said, “I would rather she could talk – I am sure we can find many, many interesting things to talk about.”


“We have the whole night before us, to explore many interesting topics,” Miss Panther said, “and then in the morning, we’re coming to work with you, Mister Bolivar, and we’re going to make a withdrawal from your place of work.”


“Please – I’ll do whatever you say, but don’t hurt them,” he said as he tried to free his wrists.


“Oh I know you will,” Miss Leopard purred, “and you will do whatever we say.  Miss Cheetah, Miss Puma, ensure the family are properly secured, and then – then we can begin...”


Simon could only watch as one by one, his family had their arms secured to their upper bodies, the ropes going above and below their chests and pressing on the three women as his son watched.


“The little prick was enjoying himself watching some half-arsed bondage videos,” Miss Tigress said as her gloved hands caressed his chest, “I wonder how he will enjoy the real thing?”


Ah’m sure he’ll love every second of it dahlin,” Miss Bobcat said, “maybe his dream will all come true?”


“Depends,” Miss Lynx said as she leaned over and looked at him, “if he can survive my tender caress first.”


“Now now, Miss Lynx...”


“Oh fuck...”


“Ah – my reputation precedes me,” she said as she looked at Simon.  “Good – means things can go much more smoothly now.  Saves the need for introductions.”


She walked behind the four members of his family as she said “So, cuntsucker, first question – do you love your family?”


“Of course I do.”


“And you would do anything for them?”


“Anything!  Just don’t hurt them?”


“Hurt them sugah?  We’re going to have fun,” Miss Bobcat said as she looked at Lynsey.  “Miss Tigress, what say we take this little beauty and make sure she’s real relaxed?”


“In a moment, Miss Bobcat,” Miss Puma said as she looked at Elaine, “I think their momma wants to say something to them.”


“Please – they’re just...”  Elaine gasped as she felt the leather gloved hands press firmly onto her chest, and then looked to both sides as she heard similar gasps from Bernadette and Lynsey.


“I think these ladies need to have fun first,” Miss Lynx said from behind Lynsey, the father and son watching as all three of the women had their chests groped, before Miss Cheetah produced a pair of scissors from the kitchen, and cut their tops away, the garments pulled to the side as both men watched.


“What...  What are you doing,” Elaine said as she felt the firm grip on her bra.


“We’re conducting an experiment,” Miss Cheetah said as she groped Bernadette.  “We’re going to see how long it is before one of your mother fucking male relatives realize this is turning them on beyond endurance.”


“Simon...  Oh god, make them stop...”


“You don’t understand you stupid fucking cocksucker,” Miss Lynx said as she pulled Elaine’s head back and pinched her nipples, “God’s hung over from his kid’s birthday.  We’re here – and you will enjoy it...”




“Oh shut the fuck up, you mewling quim,” Miss Lynx said as she pushed a cloth into Elaine’s mouth, and then pulled her bra down, cutting the straps before she removed it as the two men watched her massage and grope her chest.




“Oh now sugah, you only have to ask,” Miss Bobcat said as she cut Lynsey’s bra away, and started to grope her chest as well, while Miss Puma did the same for Bernadette.  As they closed their eyes and moaned, Miss Cheetah looked at the two men.


“I think they’re getting turned on by all this,” she said as Miss Tigress and Miss Leopard looked at them.


“Sure looks like it,” Miss Lynx said as Elaine stared at them.  “Let’s allow then some fun before we make the boy comfortable.  Stand up, both of you.”


The two Simons were made to stand and walk in front of Bernadette and Lynsey, both of them groaning as they felt a dampness between their legs.  Opening their eyes, they watched as Miss Leopard pulled their pants down, and they saw the size of the firm, erect cocks.


“Let’s get the evening off to a fun start – suck their dicks off, cock suckers.”


“Oh god,” Bernadette said as she looked at her father, “please don’t...”


“I didn’t say you had the choice,” Miss Puma said as she stood, and placed the barrel of the sawnoff shotgun to her head, “take him.”


“You as well,” Miss Tigress said as she put her gun to Lynsey’s head, the two young women looking at each other before they started to kiss both of the cocks.


“Oh Christ,” Simon Jr said as she felt his little sister’s lips on her cock, before she took him into her mouth and started to move up and down his shaft.


“I see the little fucker knows what she’s doing,” Miss Tigress said as she continued to grope her chest, and then slipped her hand between the young girl’s legs, feeling her dampness.  “And she’s fucking hot as well.  What about big sister?”


“Requires persuasion,” Miss Puma said as she pulled back the safety, Bernadette shaking as she copied her sister, trying not to gag as her father’s cock expanded in her mouth.


“There now sugah,” Miss Bobcat said, “isn’t this fun?”


Hmmgddd” Lynsey said as he brother’s member throbbed in her mouth, pressing her tongue down as she began to feel very strange indeed.  She looked over at Bernadette, who was feeling her own father’s cock in her mouth, aware both of the way it was expanding as she was forced to move her mouth up and down it – and also of the dampness and fire that was beginning to burn within her own loins.




“Oh I think they’re past that stage,” Miss Lynx whispered into Elaine’s ear as she pinched her firm nipples, making her scream into the cloth that filled her mouth while hot tears flowed down her cheeks.


“Oh you think that hurts?”


“Dear God...  NO!”


Both men could only watch as Miss Lynx took a pair of bull clips from a pocket and fastened them over Elaine’s nipples, the woman’s eyes flying wide open as she screamed in pain, before she felt the tape as it was pressed firmly over them.


Simon Jr could only stare, and then gasp as he suddenly came into his sister’s mouth, Lynsey forced to swallow as she was not allowed to pull back, the hot fluid hitting the back of her throat as it continued to flow out.


Bernadette suddenly felt the hot flow on the back of her head as well, as her father shot his load off, unable to stop himself as she stared in shame at the rest of his family.


“There now,” Miss Tigress said as she stuffed a cloth into Lynsey’s mouth, and wrapped the duct tape round her head, “all ready for an entertaining night.”


“So is big sister,” Miss Puma said as she gagged Bernadette in the same way.”


“Excellent – Miss Bobcat, Miss Tigress, why don’t you take young Mister Bolivar here up to his room and reward him for his hard work.  Miss Leopard, search the house, find the safe – and as for you ladies...”


“We,” Miss Lynx said with a smile, “are going to have some fun.”  With this, she pushed her gloved hand into Elaine’s leggings, making her scream again as she felt her damp clit.



“Oh yes,” she purred, “we most definitely are...”


“Sit down, you fuck machine you,” Miss Panther said as she pushed Simon into a chair, and started to bind his legs, “this is going to be a long night...”






“Okay then,” Miss Tigress said as she pushed Simon into his room, “it’s our turn now, little man.  You got off on seeing your family bound like that didn’t you?”


“Don’t lie dahlin,” Miss Bobcat said as she put a bag on the floor, “we know you did, and so does your sweet little sistah.”


“But you need to know how it can feel for yourself,” Miss Tigress purred as she pushed him onto the bed, “lie on your back.”


“What... What are you going to do to me,” he said as he watched Miss Bobcat grab one of his ankles and pull it to one side, tying it to the leg of his bed before she repeated the process on the other side.


“Now, while my good friend Miss Tigress keeps you quiet,” Miss Bobcat said as Miss Tigress pushed a dirty sock into his mouth, and then started to wind duct tape round his head, “let’s see exactly what you have been looking at, shall we sugah?”


“I see he’s recovering nicely,” Miss Tigress said as she caressed his cock with her gloved hand, feeling it firm up again.


“Well now, I see you like it when they can’t move, and they have rope between their legs,” Miss Bobcat said as she stood up.  “Shall we help him to feel what it’s like, Miss Tigress?”


“Why not, Miss Bobcat,” the taller woman said as they each took a length of rope, and tied a double knot in one end of it.  Simon looked at both of them, wondering what they were going to do – and then closed his eyes, screaming in agony as they brought the ropes down between his legs...







“OH be quiet,” Miss Lynx said as she slapped his father with the back of his hand, “if you want to scream, I can certainly do that – but I have a better idea.”


“Before you do that, Miss Lynx,” Miss Leopard said as she came in, “we need this fine man to give us the combination to his safe.”


Nffrrr,” Simon Bolivar said as he shook his head.


“Oh dear – Miss Puma, Miss Cheetah, would you kindly take the younger girls upstairs and make sure they are kept out of the way?”


Whtrrruggnntdd,” Lynsey cried as she was forced to her feet.


“Oh I think it will be instructional and entertaining,” Miss Panther said as the two masked women made their captives walk upstairs, picking up a bag as they did so.  “Miss Lynx?”


Simon looked into the eyes under the stocking mask, and the grin as she went to another of the bags, looking in it until she took out several more lengths of cord.


“Now then,” she said as she pushed Elaine onto her back, and yanked off her leggings and socks, bending her legs before she lashed her ankles to her thighs, “we’re going to play a little game, fuckhead.  I am going to ask the questions, and fi you give the correct answer, your bitch here gets some pleasure.  So, do you love your wife?”


Ysss,” Simon said as he nodded and tried to push himself towards her,


“Good,” Miss Lynx said as she stroked her gloved hand up Elaine’s crotch, the women groaning as she did so.


“And will you do anything for her?”




“Good,” she said as she took the shotgun from Miss Leopard, and pushed it against Elaine’s passage, “in that case, will you tell Miss Leopard the combination for the safe?”




“Oops – wrogn answer,” Miss Lynx said as she pushed the shotgun into Elaine, the older woman screaming as the metal tore into her.  “The combination?”






“Ah, but you took too long,” Miss Lynx giggled as she moved the gun shaft in and out, Elaine screaming in a mixture of pain and pleasure, “so i get to have some fun as well.”




“Oh he said please,” Miss Lynx said, “that was nice of him, to want you to feel this.”




Elaine arched her back as she hit an orgasm, blood and fluid flowing out from her as Miss Lynx withdrew the gun and smelt the end.


“Like nectar from the gods,” she said quietly as Simon watched.  “Now, my friend Miss Panther will remove the tape, and you will give the combination, got it?”





Lynsey and Bernadette were looking at each other, trying to block out the nosies from elsewhere as Miss Cheetah secured them face to face, their naked bodies pressed up against each other.  The ropes were so tight they were cutting into their waists, while their legs were secured above their knees, and their ankles tightly lashed.


“There,” Miss Cheetah said as she straightened up, “but I cannot help feeling we are forgetting some things.  What do you say, Miss Puma?”


“Well,” the other masked women said as she went to the bag, “perhaps this is what you are thinking of?”


“Could be,” Miss Cheetah said as she looked at the double headed dildo, both women shaking their heads as Miss Puma knelt next to them, and forced it into their damp passages.  The two women screamed as she pressed the button on the side –and then screamed even more as Miss Puma and Miss Cheetah rammed the dildos into the rear passages, both women shaking as the two masked intruders reached under their skirts and brought themselves to a climax.




Sunday 27th December

4.30 am

Belknap Road


Elaine looked up with red, puffy eyes as her husband was untied, Miss Lynx looking at her alongside Miss Panther.  The stump of the candle protruded from between her legs, the wick still glowing as she tried to keep still.


“You wished to see us, Miss Panther,” Miss Tigress said as she and Miss Bobcat walked down the stairs.


“I trust young Simon was suitably educated?”


“Let us say, he will not take a woman for granted in quite the same way ever again,” Miss Bobcat said as she removed the candle stump, and rubbed some cream into her crotch, Elaine moaning at the touch.


i need you to fetch suitable clothing for her to wear,” Miss Panther said to Miss Tigress, “and can you let the other know we require the remaining members of the family to dress and come down.”


“Of course Miss Panther – and young Simon?”


“Is there an issue?”


“He may require some of that cream, Miss Bobcat?”


“It will be mah pleasure to sooth him, dahlin,” Miss Bobcat said as the two women headed back up the stairs.




“Oh i think we will find out soon enough,” Miss Panther said as Miss Lynx grinned – a death’s head grin.



5.30 am


As Lynsey and Bernadette slowly walked down the stairs, their arms pulled behind their back and secured by the bands of rope around their wrists and body, they looked at her mother as she was helped into a pair of jogging bottoms.  The tenderness between their legs made them ache with every step, as they watched the woman called Miss Lynx pull the ropes tightly round Elaine’s body.


All three looked at each other, the ordeal of the night clear in their eyes as they were made to sit down, a pair of trainers slipped onto each of them as they heard a groaning from the top of the stairs.


All three looked up as Simon Junior was walked down by Miss Bobcat, wearing a pair of loose pants, trainers and a sweatshirt.  He also had his upper body tightly bound, and the tape was still wrapped round his mouth.


Hmgdddsmnn,” Elaine said as she saw the swelling between his legs, and the way he winced with each step.


“All right, you family of fuckfaces, listen up,” Miss Panther said, “when your father comes down, you will all be blindfolded and taken with us.  Make any move, any attempt to escape, and you will suffer.  Understand?”


All four looked at each other and nodded as Simon Bolivar walked down, wearing his work uniform, Miss Leopard following with the gun in her hand.


“Good – as I was saying, your family is coming with us,” Miss Panther said, “Miss Leopard and Miss Tigress will come with you in your car.  If you do anything – ANYTHING – to raise the alarm, your family dies, and you die.


“Miss Lynx, check the way out.”


“With pleasure, Miss Panther,” the woman said as she walked to the door, the shotgun in her hand. 


“Blindfold them.”


Simon looked at the women as they retrieved scarves from the bags, and then at the one who was opening the door, before he stood up and sprinted for the door, ignoring the agonising pain with every step as he saw only a way to raise the alarm.


“Simon – for Christ’s sake NO!”


It was Miss Bobcat who ran over and hit him over the back of his knees, Simon falling to the floor as Miss Lynx closed the door.


“You stupid little fucking cockshit,” she growled as Miss Bobcat put the sole of her boot over his throat, “we told you if any of you tried to raise the alarm, we’d kill you, didn’t we?”




“We keep our promises,” Miss Lynx said as she grabbed a cat from the stand, threw it over Simon’s crotch, pressed the end of the gun over it and fired off a single shot.




Elaine could only stare as Miss Bobcat put her pistol to Simon’s head, and fired a second shot, his lifeless eyes looking at his father.


“We never joke,” Miss Panther said as Miss Bobcat and Miss Lynx looked at each other.  “Blindfold them all.”


Hmgddhmggddhmgddd,” Lynsey muttered as she was blindfolded, her mother staring ahead and Bernadette crying as they too were blindfolded, and marched out.


“Let’s go,” Miss Leopard said as the rest of the ladies moved out, taking him by the arm as Miss Tigress closed the door.


The street was in darkness as Simon was made to sit behind the wheel fo his car, Miss Leopard sitting beside him and Miss Tigress in the rear seat as she said “drive, Mr Bolivar – and pray nobody else in your  family does something stupid.”


He nodded as he started the car and turned right onto Belknap Road, driving to the end of the residential road and then turning left onto Thompson Street.  As he did so, he saw the lights of the panel van come on behind him.




Bernadette looked at her mother as they sat in the rear of the van, Elaine starign straight ahead, unblinking, unmoving...


The vehicles stopped at the junction with Dupont Avenue, and then crossed, continuing along Thompson Street as the road veered to the left.  At the junction, he turned right onto the main road.


They passed the High School, and the Lutheranian Church, before going through a tree lined stretch, and then turning into the guard room of the depository.


A uniformed guard came out, looking at Simon as he wound down the window.  “Hey,” he said – and then he saw Miss Leopard in the passenger seat, and felt the end of a gun against his back as Miss Tigress said “very slowly, into the guardhouse and open the gate, understand?”


The man nodded as he walked into the small building, the gates opening as Bolivar drove in, followed by the panel van.  There was a single shot, before Miss Tigress walked quickly out and across the parking lot, joining Miss Panther, Miss Bobcat and Miss Leopard as they got out of the vehicles.


“All right, Mister Bolivar,” Miss Panther said, “open the door as usual, and take us directly to the control centre.  No tricks, no funny business – you already lost one bastard today.”


He nodded as he punched a code number into the lock, and opened the door, the four women marching in behind them.  As the door closed, he used an access card to open the inner door, the party walking down the corridor with him.


“Hey Simon, what – shit!”


“Get back in there arsehole,” Miss Leopard said as she pushed the man back in, the other two occupants of the security room turing and standing as Miss Panther said “Listen up, and listen well, fuckfaces – we are the Pussycat Gang, and as Mister Bolivar will tell you, we’re not lying.”


“They...  They’ve already killed my son,” Simon said quietly, “don’t provoke them...”


Miss Leopard saw the movement out of the corner of her eye, cocking the gun and turning in one movement as she blasted the spine of the man trying to reach the alarm button.


“As I was saying,” Miss Panther said, “don’t do a stupid fucking bastard.  Miss Bobcat, disable the security.  Miss Tigress, secure these two, and then go with Miss Leopard and find the remaining guards.  I want them in here within ten minutes – or else unable to do anything.”


“Understood,” Miss Tigress said as she used zip ties to secure the wrists and ankles of the guards, and then taped their mouths, before they moved off.


“Miss Bobcat?”


“Alarms disabled and security cameras switched off, and tapes wiped sugah,” Miss Bobcat said as she looked at the screen.


“Right – Mister Bolivar, you will open the storage area.  Miss Bobcat, have the rest of the family brought in.”


“Miss Cheetah, dahlin?  Bring in the guests.”


“Copy that,” Miss Cheetah said as she opened the side of the panel van, and the three captives were marched in, taken straight up to the security room.




Miss Leopard indicated a door to Miss Tigress, the woman nodding as she pumped the shotgun, and kicked the door in.


“Hello you lucky motherfuckers,” Miss Leopard said as she walked in, looking at the eight men in the room, “this is the day when you all drop to your knees, and pray that my friend and I are in a good mood.”


“Shit,” one of the men said as he went for a gun – and then fell to the floor, the hold in his stomach bleeding out.


“Perhaps we did not make ourselves perfectly clear,” Miss Tigress said as she held up the gun, smoke coming out of the barrel, “get on your fucking knees and hands on your fucking heads, fucking NOW!”





“Sit down,” Miss Puma said as she pushed Lynsey down, using the rope to secure her ankles and her legs below her knees as she started crying.  Bernadette was rubbing her head on her mother’s shoulder, but Elaine was still staring straight ahead, unblinking.


“Right – you good to go, dahlins?”


“Have fun,” Miss Cheetah said as she and Miss Puma left the control room, Miss Bobcat smiling as she placed her gun over her lap, and watched the prisoners.





Miss Panther watched as Miss Leopard and Miss Tigress led the line of bound and gagged guards towards the storage area door.


“What happened?”


“One stupid idiot – time?”


“Time – open the doors, Mister Bolivar.”


Shaking, Simon punched in the access code and opened the main doors, the masked women looking at the wrapped stacks of notes in wheeled cages. 


“Secure all of them – including you Mister Bolivar,” Miss Panther said.  “Miss Cheetah, Miss Puma – start moving the cash out.”


Simon could only watch as she was forced to the floor and secured, his mouth taped over as the first trolley was wheeled out.


"I still can't get over the thrill I get when we finally gain entry and see all the money." Miss Panther whispered in her daughter’s ear as they stood menacing the staff.

"For me, it’s the kick of hurting people, of torturing their souls." Carina whispered back. "I think though I need to do some research though on new methods, I'm repeating myself."

“So long as you do it in private,” Juliette whispered back as they started to walk round.  One of the guards tried to raise his head and look at the women.


"Did we give you permission to look at us Motherfucker?" Miss Puma smiled as she put the cold steel of her shotgun to the back of the man’s head, only to hear a soft tinkling sound.

"Oh my God another Pisser," Miss Lynx laughed at the pungent odor.


"Now should I off you for doing that or not?" Carina laughed evilly, "oh problems, problems."


“I would do,” Miss Leopard said as she looked over, “But perhaps a little mercy is due.”


“Perhaps,” Miss Lynx said as she stroked his back with the gun, “besides, we’re on the clock.”



7.45 am



“We’re ahead of schedule – good,” Miss Panther said as Miss Tigress and Miss Cheetah wheeled out the last of the cages, “your cooperation is appreciated, arseholes.”




“They’re safe upstairs – well, those which are still alive,” Miss Leopard said as she kicked Simon in the guts, “so just keep still and don’t be fucking stupid.”


The other guards could only watch as Miss Lynx walked round, looking at them.


“Is there a problem, gentlemen?  Perhaps you wish to discuss it with me – or would you like to talk to his son.  A conversation can be arranged...”




“Oh I think you’re safe,” Miss Panther said as the cage was rolled back in. 


“All done, Miss Panther.”


“Excellent – Miss Bobcat, roll out.”


“Copy that, Miss Panther sugah,” Miss Bobcat said as she stood up and walked out, the heels of her boots clicking on the floor as Bolivar’s wife and daughters watched.


“Have a nice day everyone – and nobody move, or I may call on you,” Miss Lynx said as they walked out, four of them getting into the back of the van as Miss Puma, Miss Panther and Miss Bobcat got into the front.


“Glasses on ladies,” she said as the three of them pulled the stockings off, and put their dark glasses on, Miss Puma smiling as they drove down the main street.







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