Jay and the Family Gathering
Abigail McCormack walked into the front room of the manor house and looked round. It was Friday, and as the matriarch of the family she felt it was her position to take the lead in most things.
The forty-year-old woman was smartly dressed a black sleeveless dress that came down over her knees, a large necklace hanging down over her throat and black suede heels with small white dots.
As she looked round, she nodded – the housekeeper had made sure everything had been done before she left for her weekend off. All she needed now was for the children to come down, and they could set off.
“Charles, Abby – would you come down please? We need to set off in a few minutes.”
“Coming Mother,” a young boy said, and a few minutes later a blonde-haired boy walked down the stairs, wearing a three-piece dark grey suit, a lilac coloured shirt with a blue tie knotted round his neck, and brown shoes. He was followed by a younger girl with short blonde hair, who was wearing a fifties style short sleeved polka dot dress. The dress had a fake bow at the neck, and a thin black belt, and she was also wearing a burnt orange wool cardigan over her shoulders, and white moccasins.
Abigail smiled at them – Charles Junior was 13, his sister Abby 11. “Excellent,” she said quietly as she picked up her purse, the two of them smiling as she walked to the front door of the house, turned and said “let us be on our way”
“Ah – well, I’m afraid I cannot let you do that, Abigail. In fact, you are going to be entertaining visitors later, so I need you to walk back into the house.”
“Mum, what’s going on,” Abby said as Abigail walked slowly back, raising her hands as two men and two women walked in. They were all wearing blue boiler suits, with black boots and black gloves – and black balaclavas that covered their heads, meaning only their eyes and mouths could be seen. She let out a scream as she saw the gun in the hands of one of the men and grabbed her brother.
Charles stared at them and said “get out of our house, all of you, or…”
“Laddie,” one of the women said in a soft Scottish accent, “Ah ken ye fink ye need tae be the man o the hoose, ahnd that’s guid, but I think ye need tae listen tae yer ma as well.”
Abigail turned and looked at her children, then at the masked quartet as she said “please, don’t hurt my babies, I’ll do whatever you ask, but leave them alone…”
“Yes, you will do whatever we say,” the man said, Abigail somehow feeling less afraid as he spoke in his North of England accent, “because we are going to be here for some time. And, as I say, you are going to have visitors, so you need to remain calm as well.”
“Who are you?”
“My name is Jay Edwards – this is Mrs McPhee, and my friends Ophelia and Robert. Ah – Robert, kindly open the door,” Jay continued as there was a knock. The masked man nodded before he opened the door, and eight more men came in, similarly clad and carrying holdalls.
“Jay Edwards… Oh my god, so you are targeting my husband?”
“For the moment – but it also means we need to ensure you are all kept secure and quiet, so if the three of you would kindly make your way into the main room, then we can talk there. The rest of you – spread out around the house, keep watch, inform us if anyone approaches.”
“We… We need to do what they say,” Abigail said as she ushered her children in front of her, Jay smiling as the quartet followed them in with one of the bags.
“You say we are going to have visitors – who?”
“And spoil the surprise? No, you will find out,” Jay said as Robert closed the door, “but now we need to make sure you cannot spoil the surprise when they arrive.”
“I don’t want you to touch me,” Abby said as she started to cry.
“Don’t worry, I won’t let him,” Charles said as she held his sister.
“Charles, Abby,” Jay said with a smile, “I never said I was going to touch you – but we do need to secure you. Mrs McPhee, Ophelia?”
“Children,” the second women said with an American accent, “I will be honest with you. We are going to tie you and your mother up, and gag you.”
“I don’t want to be tied up,” Abby sobbed, “please…”
“Lassie,” Mrs McPhee said as she knelt in front of the girl, “look aht me.” As Abby did so, she put her gloved hand on her cheek, and said “I ken this is a wee bit frightening, but ah promise ye, we’re no gonna hurt ye or yer bruffer. You believe me, aye?”
Abby looked into the masked woman’s eyes, and nodded as she rubbed her eyes. “Will it… Will it hurt?”
“Hold this,” Ophelia said as she handed Abby a length of white rope. “Does it feel soft?” As Abby nodded, she said “so you think if I used this on you, it would hurt you?”
“I told you, don’t touch my sister.”
“My name is Charles…”
“Charlie,” Mrs McPhee continued, “yer sister is no scared any mair – whit are ye sacred of?” He looked into her eyes, before he said “I am the man of the house - I need to protect my mother and sister…”
“Aye, I ken,” she said quietly, “but richt noo, ye also need tae set an example. Wil ye trust me, and turn roond wi yer hands behind yer back?”
Charles looked at her, and then slowly nodded as he turned round and put his hands behind him. Ophelia handed the masked woman a second length of rope, Abby watching as she secured his wrists firmly together.
“How… How does she do that?”
“It’s a gift,” Jay said quietly, as Ophelia looked at Abby. “Your bother is fine, Abby,” she said with a smile, “will you let me do the same thing to you?”
“Okay,” Abby said quietly as she handed the rope over, and allowed her to take her hands behind her own back. She felt the soft rope on her bare wrists as they were secured together, and looked at her brother.
“It doesn’t hurt, does it?”
“No,” Charles said quietly as Mrs McPhee took a longer length of rope from the bag, and wrapped it round his upper body, forming a band round his stomach and another round his upper arms that held them firmly against his chest. As he looked on, Ophelia did the same thing to her sister, their mother watching as Jay took her hands behind her back and lashed them together with rope as well.
“Sit yerselfs doon,” Mrs McPhee said as the two children went and sat on a couch, Abigail saying “I cannot believe how brave you both are.”
“Mother, they are holding us hostage,” Charles said as Mrs McPhee began to bind his ankles together, “but I’m not scared any more. I am curious, but not scared.”
Abby nodded as Ophelia secured her ankles, and then tied her slim legs together below her knees while Charles also had his legs tied together. Abigail barely noticed the fact two bands of rope were now framing her own chest, before she felt the ropes tightening.
“So,” she said as she sat down, the man she had heard called Robert kneeling and securing her ankles together, “when you say we have visitors coming, what do you mean?”
Jay smiled as Ophelia rolled a pink chiffon scarf into a band, and then cleave gagged Abby, while Mrs McPhee used a long black tie to gag Charles, “let me explain…”
“The McCormack foundation? Brian, even that is a bit big for me to attempt.”
Mark and Yvonne Williamson were sitting at two sides of the dinner table, the remains of the meal in front of them as he looked at their guests. The fair haired man was big, strong, while his wife was wearing a black dress with a pink trim.
“I know,” their guest said in an Australian accent, “and believe me, we’re going to need a bigger than usual crew.”
“Why the bigger crew or why them?”
“Both,” Yvonne said as she held her wine glass.
“Well,” the other woman said, “let me deal with the why them. Brian’s superiors have been examining some of the ways that unfriendly powers have been funnelling funds to their agents. They were concerned that large investment funds were being used – and I am afraid to say, the McCormack Foundation has come up several times. So they have sanctioned an investigation – Jay style.”
Mark nodded as he said “so we take over one of their family homes – but which one? Matt, Mark, Luke or John?”
“Not one,” Brian said quietly, “to do this, we need all four of them at the same time.”
Mark and Yvonne looked at each other, before Yvonne said “and how are we going to get their families into the same place at the same time?”
“We have that in hand,” the Australian said with a smile, “but there are special considerations, which is why Sarah and I will join you as Robert and Ophelia.”
“Okay,” Mark said quietly, “so where do we start?”
“McCormack Manor – the home of Matt McCormack and his family. Abigail is in her early forties, and they have two children – Charles Junior and Abigail Junior, known as Abby. Matt McCormack is known as a strict taskmaster, and his wife takes the same attitude to their children.”
“Okay – so we start there, bring a large crew to occupy the house, and then we take the family hostage – that’s one out of four.”
“True – so we are going to arrange for the other three to come to the house, one at a time, with enough time to make sure they are secured before the next arrives. We can arrange to bring food and other things to feed the assembled group with.”
“And the husbands,” Yvonne asked.
“Are at an all day off site meeting when I think we can call – but they will all be coming to Matt’s house afterwards. We work to the usual method from there – just we take four with a small team, rather than one and one.”
“We can also make sure we have sufficient supplies and clothes to sleep in for each family – tailored to their needs,” Sarah said quietly.
“Okay – so we start with Matt McCormack’s family,” Mark said quietly, “who’s next?”
“Your namesake – Mark McCormack, his wife Hannah, and their eleven year old sons, Tom and Jon.”
Yvonne looked at Brian before she said “but Hannah is…”
“We know – so we take great care…”
As the gates to the driveway swung open, Hannah McCormack drove through and looked in the rear view mirror.
“Now play nice with your cousins,” she said as she looked at the eleven years old twin boys sitting in the rear seats. Tom and Jon were identical twins – the only real way to tell them apart was that Tom had unkempt short dark hair, while Jon’s was neatly parted. They were both wearing black t-shirts, combat pants and trainers.
“But they’re BORING,” Tom said, Jon nodding in agreement. Hannah shook her head as she came to a stop near the front door, and then got out of the car, stretching and holding her back. Her loose fitting light blue dress had short sleeves and was open at the neck, a thin black belt fastened around her midriff and the skirt covering the very noticeable bump.
Under the dress, Hannah was wearing a pair of black leggings, knee length black leather boots covering her feet and lower legs. She felt the wind in her long red hair, and smiled as she locked the door.
“Come on – let’s say hello,” she said as she and the two boys walked up to the front door, and she knocked. As the door opened, she walked in with them – and then stopped as the door was closed behind them.
“Hello Hannah – and this must be Tom and Jon. I suggest all three of you remain calm, and do as we say – there is no desire on our part to cause you any undue and unnecessary strain.”
“What’s going on,” she said as she stared at the masked man, Tom and Jon looking at each other.
“Why don’t you come into the front room, and meet some friends of mine,” the man said, stepping to one side as the two other masked men guided the new arrivals in.
Hannah looked at Abigail in her seat, squirming in the ropes as her red lips sat round the knotted black silk. The scarf was tied tightly round her head, trapping her hair against the back of her neck. She then looked at Charles and Abby as they sat on the couch, the scarf between Abby’s lips and the tie between Charles’ both getting darker at the corners of their mouths.
“Allow me to make some introductions,” the man said, “my name is Jay Edwards – my friends Robert, Ophelia and Mrs McPhee. We have other friends round the manor house, and – well, we are in charge.”
“Jay Edwards… So this is about our husbands?”
“Indeed – and as such, we need to ensure nobody can spoil the surprise for any later arrivals. Now, given your current condition, I need to ensure you of one thing Hannah.”
“and that is?”
“While we have to ensure you are secured and quiet,” Ophelia said quietly, “We will ensure you do not have any undue discomfort at any time, and we will be making sure you are all right.”
“Mummy,” Jon said quietly, “are we going to be tied up like them?”
“I – I very much fear so,” Hannah said as she turned and saw Jon and Tom look at each other.
“Ah’m so glad yeh said that,” Mrs McPhee said as she reached into a bag, and took out a length of rope. “So, which of ye wahnts tae be furst?”
Tom and Jon looked at each other, raised their left hand in a fist and dropped it three times, and then changed the shape of their hands.
“Scissors cut paper,” Jon said triumphantly before he put his hands behind his back, Charles and Abby looking at each other as Mrs McPhee ensured his wrists were secured snugly together. As she fetched more rope, and did the same thing to Tom, Robert moved a large wooden chair to be next to Abigail. The chair had a high wooden back, and armrests.
“Hannah,” Jay said with a smile as he indicated the chair, Robert placing a cushion on the seat, “please make yourself comfortable there.” Hannah nodded as she walked over, turned and carefully sat down, looking at Jon as the masked woman wound rope round his body to secure his arms to his body.
“You two having fun,” Tom said as he looked to the couch. Charles twisted round before he said “Htsntthfhnbht…”
“Htchldbh,” Abby said as she looked over, her eyes fluttering as she looked at her cousin. Tom smiled as he felt the ropes forcing his arms into his own sides, while Jon twisted round.
“Sit next tae young Charlie there,” Mrs McPhee said to Jon as Ophelia moved Hannah’s arms so that her hands were palm down on the wooden armrests, then used white tape to secure her wrists and arms to the support on both sides. She looked over as Mrs McPhee started to bind the legs of her sons, wondering how they could be enjoying this.
And then wondering why she was so calm.
“What’s going on – you are holding my sister in law, me and our children hostage, but I’m not scared? How do you do that?”
“It’s a gift,” Jay said quietly, “but your welfare is our primary concern – well, for all of you, but especially given your condition. How long?”
Hannah glanced down, and said “six weeks…”
“Then my friend Ophelia will be checking you regularly,” Jay said as Ophelia took some rope from the bag, knelt in front of her and tightly bound her ankles together, before she secured them to the crosspiece between the front legs. Standing up, she looked at Hannah and said “if you promise not to try and get up, the only other thing we intend to do at this time is keep you quiet.”
“I promise,” Hannah said quietly as she saw Mrs McPhee press strips of white tape down over the mouths of Tom and Jon, and then pass the roll over to Jay. As he peeled a length free from the roll, he smiled as he said “Put your lips together, Hannah?”
“Okay,” Yvonne said as they sat round the low table, coffee cups on there, “so we have Abigail and her family, and a very pregnant Hannah and her family. What else do we need to take account of?”
“Well, if the timing works correctly, the next family to arrive will be Luke McCormack’s family – his wife Patty, and their daughters, Susan and Claire. Susan is fifteen, Claire sixteen.”
“Okay – so two teenage girls. Not the first time we’ve dealt with that. So where’s the problem?”
“The problem,” Mark said quietly, “is Patty.” He handed a photo to his wife, who said “oh – right…”
“Why on earth would Aunt Amanda want us to call round – we’re not exactly the favourite branch of the family,” Susan McCormack said as she looked out of the window. The fifteen year old had a black jacket on over her grey top, her jeans tucked into a pair of light brown cowboy boots, a long wool scarf wrapped loosely round the blonde haired girl’s neck.
“We’ll just have to find out,” her mother Patty said as she looked round.
“So long as it’s quick,” her older sister Claire said. She lad long light brown hair, which fell over the shoulders of her navy jacket and the white top that was underneath it. She was also wearing black leggings, which were tucked into her own burgundy red boots, and a long red scarf with a gold pattern on it.
“Well, the sooner we are in and find out what is going on, the sooner we are out,” Patty said as she brought their SUV to a halt outside the manor house. Claire and Susan got out from the rear, Susan walking round and opening the driver’s door as Claire opened the rear doors and removed the wheelchair. She wheeled it round to allow her mother to push herself fin before Patty closed and locked the door.
“Okay – let’s do this,” she said quietly as she wheeled herself across the courtyard, the girls following as the front door opened. The trio walked in, as Patty said “so what’s this all about?”
“Your cooperation for today, my dear ladies – welcome.”
Patty stared at the masked man who was standing in front of her, as the door was closed. “Will you please hand to my friends your handbags and phones – there will be no need for you to make use of them from now on.”
“Girls,” Patty said quietly as she handed her handbag over, “I don’t think we are going to be out of here quickly.”
“No shit, Mum,” Claire said quietly as she felt someone take her hands and guide them behind her back, then gasped as she felt that person wrap rope round her arms and draw her elbows together. She glanced at Susan, who looked back as Claire saw the rope round her sister’s arms at her elbows.
“Who are you,” Patty said quietly.
“My name is Jay Edwards – perhaps you have heard of me?”
She slowly nodded as her daughters felt the ropes going round their wrists, holding them together as it was taken around and between their arms.
“Jay Edwards – so you already have Abigail and her children hostage?”
“As well as Hannah and her sons.”
“Hannah – if you hurt her or…”
“My dear Patty,” Jay said as he came forward and looked into her eyes, “be assured, we are taking very good care of them. In fact, with your daughters here, we can move to the next phase of the day, before the final guests arrive.”
“The next phase?” As Patty looked round, she saw two masked men behind her daughters, wrapping rope around their chest so that their breasts were framed by two bands, which had pulled their jackets back as the ropes went round.
“Mum, what does he mean,” Susan said quietly.
“Girls, this man and his – friends – are going to hold us hostage for the day and probably the night. But I don’t think he will hurt you – and if I’m right, you’re going to have to set an example to the other children.”
“So we’re babysitting?”
“In a slightly unusual way,” Jay said as he stood up, the man behind Susan removing her scarf and handing it over to his colleague. She watched as he whispered into Claire’ ear “open wide” and then pulled the scarf between the older girl’s lips, wrapping it twice round her head before he secured the ends.
“Be brave,” Patty said quietly as she watched the other man gag Susan with the red and gold scarf, again taking it round her head twice and between her lips, before he knotted the ends off.
“Now, shall we go in,” Jay said as he took the handles of the wheelchair and pushed Patty into the front room. She saw Hannah in the wooden chair, and Abigail in the armchair, before she saw the four children on the couch.
“Ach – guid,” one of the two masked women said as she looked at Susan and Claire, “ye fur, up ye get – we’re ahl gonna go tae the back room ahnd have sum fun thair.”
“Do what Mrs McPhee said,” the other woman said as she helped Charles and Abby to stand, Susan seeing the damp at the corners of their mouths on their gags, and then Tom and Jon with the tape over their lips. The four of them stood for a moment and then started to jump to the door, going past their older cousins as the first woman picked up a bag.
“Thank you Mrs McPhee, Ophelia.” Jay smiled as the new arrivals were taken out as well, Patty looking at her sisters in law.
“Hannah – are you all right?”
“Smsshhsumhtfhnk,” Hannah mumbled as she twisted her legs round, Abigail nodding as she said “hmsshshrrhheeee.”
“I don’t understand Abigail – you sent the e-mail asking us to come here today. Did you know this was going to happen?”
“Ah – I should explain,” Jay said as he gently guided Patty’s arms behind her back and put her arms palm to palm, then wound rope round her arms at her elbows before he drew them together, “it was not Abigail who invited you. When we planned this event today, we – arranged for someone to send invites to you, to Hannah, and to your other sister in law, asking the three of you to call at different times today. We need you all here for our purposes, and we also needed to allow more time to ensure everyone who arrives is secured and ready before the next family arrive.”
“So where have the children gone?”
“To watch a film,” Jay said quietly as he started to bind her wrists. Patty was wearing a fawn coloured hoodie, jeans and knee length tan leather boots, her jeans tucked into the boots.
“And what you are doing to me now?”
“We are doing what will happen to your daughters,” Jay said as he finished binding her wrists together, and then wrapped a longer rope round her body, pulling it tight under her chest as her arms were forced against her sides. “We wish you to be treated in the same way as everyone else – apart from the special considerations for Hannah.”
“So you’ll tie me like the others?”
“Of course,” Jay said as he pulled the bands of rope round her chest tighter. Patty nodded – she did not want to be treated any differently because she was in a wheelchair, even if it meant she was bound and gagged as well.
“Good – so where am I going to be?”
“On the couch,” Jay said as he secured the ropes behind her, and then another masked man lifted her gently out of the chair and carried her over to the couch. Laying her down, he took more rope and secured her ankles tightly together, and then her legs above and below her knees, each band cinched between her legs as Jay picked up a roll of white tape.
“So, once the final family arrive, I can explain to all of you what is going to happen,” he said with a smile as he tore a strip free. “For now, purse your lips…”
“She will not want to be made to feel like an invalid,” Brian said as Yvonne looked at the picture of Patty in her wheelchair, “so we will not. When she arrives, the children will be taken with her daughters into the rear room, and stay there until they all gather to eat.”
“Fair enough – so that leaves John’ wife and family.” Mark picked up a photo and said “I’ve met Fiona and John socially – she’s a very shy woman.”
“Which is also why I am coming,” Sarah said quietly, “to help put her at her ease…”
“Why on earth has Abigail asked me to come round,” Fiona McCormack said to herself as she drove up the driveway. The youngest of the four wives, she was casually dressed, wearing a white top with think black stripes, and light blue pants, the legs tucked into a pair of brown knee high boots. She was not the ‘favourite’ of the matriarch of the family either – which made the invitation event stranger.
“Look – the others are here as well,” her son Jack called out as they approached the house. The nine year old was sitting with his six year old sister Bessie, both wearing t-shirts, jeans and black trainers – a red one for Jack, and a purple one for Bessie. He had the same shade of dark hair as his mother, while Bessie’s hair was slightly lighter, and platted into tow bunches.
“Well, you will have someone to play with,” Fiona said as she brought the car to a halt, all three getting out and walking to the front door. It opened as they approached, the two children running in as Fiona took her mobile phone out.
“Hey lover – I’m just running an errand.
“Okay – see you later,” she said as she walked in – and saw Bessie and Jack standing there with a masked man behind each of them, one gloved hand on their shoulders and the other over their mouth.
“Please, Fiona, hold your handbag out to the side.”
She heard the Geordie voice behind her and slowly held her bag out, glancing to the side as a gloved hand took it, and then felt her arms being pulled behind her back as she said “what’s going on?”
“We have some business to conduct with your husband and his brothers,” the voice said as she felt some sort of rope being used to bind her wrists together, the children watching as a masked woman came out of another room.
“Och – ahn ye must be Bessie and Jack. Ah’m Mrs McPhee – yer cousins are all waiting fer ye tae come and join them, but before eye dae, ah need tat make sure yer arms and wrists are all snug and secured. If mah friends take their hahns awa, will ye both stay nice and quiet?”
“They will,” Fiona said quietly as the gloved hands were removed, Jack looking at his mother as he said “why are you tying my mum up?”
“Well,” the man behind her said, “because your aunts and your cousins are all tied up as well – and we’re going to do the same to you. But don’t be afraid – Mrs McPhee is going to look after you.”
“Aye – so put yer hands behind yer backs, boff o ye – it willnae hurt.”
“Do as she says, “ Fiona said quietly as the two men took a length of rope each and crossed the wrists of her children behind their backs, before starting to secure them together. As the same time, Jay wrapped a longer length of rope round her and pulled it tight round her midriff, then up around her upper arms.
She looked at Jack and Bessie, before she said “I don’t know what is going on, but you both need to be brave for me, all right?”
“All right Mum,” Bessie said as she felt the rope going round her stomach, rubbing on her bare arms as it was pulled tight and then wound round her again at her upper arms. All three felt the bands tightening as their arms were heled against their sides, and then tied off behind them.
“So – wud ye like tae see the uffers?”
“I’ll come with you,” Fiona whispered as she tried to process what was happening, the group walking to the room the woman had come out of as they heard the music playing. When they walked in, Abby turned and said “Hlluthtrrr.”
“Oh my,” Jack said as he looked round. Claire and Susan were sitting against the wall, their legs secured at their ankles, as well as above and below their knees, the scarves between their lips noticeably darker at the corners of their mouths. Abby, Jon and Tom were bouncing round while Charles sat on a bean bag, blushing as he looked at the older girls.
“This looks like fun,” Bessie said with a laugh, “can we join in?”
“Aye – jus sit doon fer a minute, ahnd mah friend Ophelia will take care of ye,” Mrs McPhee said as the second masked woman in the room picked up some lengths of rope the younger children sitting on a low couch and watching as she started to bind their ankles and legs.
“What are they going to do in here,” Fiona turned and asked the man who had bound her, “and who are you?”
“They are going to have fun before we prepare some supper for them – and my name is Jay Edwards.”
“Jay…” Fiona blushed as she said “I don’t know if I should be terrified or honoured.”
“I leave that in your hands,” he said as Ophelia pressed strips of the white tape over the mouths of her son and daughter, before they both stood up and jumped over to join the others. “In the meantime, I should take you to join the other women.”
Fiona nodded as she walked down the corridor, twisting as she said “this is a most peculiar feeling.”
“I trust it is not too tight?”
“No – it’s almost- comfortable.”
Jay nodded as they walked into the front room, and said “Hannah – you as well?”
“Lhkslht,” her sister-in-law said as she looked at the other three, and then sat in an armchair, watching as another masked man knelt down and started to bind her ankles.
“Having fun – so what’s going on,” Fiona asked as she felt the rope round her kegs, below her knees.”
“Well, we need your husbands to do some business for all of us later,” Jay said with a smile, “and you and the children are the insurance policy. We have brought enough food for all, and other items – but it does mean you will be spending most of the rest of the day tied up, or gagged, or both. But do as we say, and there will be no problems. On which note?”
Fiona watched as he tore a strip of white tape from a roll, then felt him ores sit firmly down over her lips and face.
“Now,” Jay said with a smile, “some of my friends are going to go and start preparing the food…”
“So,” Brian said with a smile, “all four families held together – the kids in one room, the mothers in another. I’m sure we can find a way to keep them all entertained until the men return.”
Mark nodded as he put his coffee mug down. “True – and I can arrange for more friends to come, including a couple of cooks. Once we have them separated, I guess phase 3 is going to be when the men come back.”
“Indeed – and how we handle that is key to the rest of the night…”
The Daimler swept majestically up the driveway to the front of the manor house, the driver getting out and opening the doors as the four McCormack brothers got out and looked round.
“I didn’t know Hannah was coming here today,” Mark said as he saw their car.
“Patty’s here too,” Luke said as he saw the SUV, “and Fiona John.”
“I thought Abigail was taking them out,” Matthew McCormack said, “maybe she changed her mind. Anyway, let’s go in and see what is going on.”
He walked up to the front door, his three brothers following as he opened it and walked in. As john closed the door, he could hear music – and smell food was being cooked – but not a lot else.
Matthew could only look on as Charles and Abby jumped out of the front room and over to him, their gags still in place as they rubbed against him. He looked to the door to see a masked woman come out, smiling as she said in a Scottish accent “Aye; it’s yer dad. Noo cum back in – Jay will want a word.”
“Good evening, gentlemen,” a masked man said in a soft Geordie accent as Mark saw two masked and armed men on the stairs, and John turned to see two more behind them.
“My name is Jay Edwards – please, come and join your wives. We have much to talk about…”
“Hannah?” Matt walked over to where his wife was sitting, kneeling by her and saying “are you all right?”
“Hmfhn – thhfnnhrthmh,” she mumbled as he saw her lips moving under the tape “bhtthrthkhn.”
“Indeed – Robert, would you be so good as to secure Mark’s wrists, you three may do the same to the others.”
“What do you want,” Matthew McCormack said as one of the masked men pulled his hands behind his back, and secured his wrists together, Luke and John feeling the same thing.
“Well,” Jay said with a smile, “once we have all four of you nice and comfortable and quiet, you can sit with your wives while we ensure supper is ready for everyone, and then the children can join you to eat. I am sure they will have a lot to tell you about today.”
“And then,” Jay said quietly, “all four of you will go with some of my colleagues to your head office, and conduct some business for me. In return for your cooperation, your families will remain here, secure, safe and unable to raise the alarm.”
Matthew looked at Abigail, who nodded as she said “Ehfbhnfhn.” Patty also nodded as she looked at Luke, but when John looked at Fiona he saw her blush as she twisted round.
“You look – happy?”
“Whlthlklhthr,” Fiona said as she was helped to sit on the couch, Patty helped to sit up, and then Luke and John sat between them, watching as their ankles and legs were secured before their arms were tied to their bodies. Mark and Matthew had their arms secured before they were helped to sit on the floor in front of their wives, and then all four were tape gagged.
“You may as well watch the news for a while,” Jay said as he turned the television on, “I’ll go and see how supper is coming along.”
As he left the room, John looked at Fiona and said “Uhlhhkdhffhrnhtn.”
“Hfhldhffhrnt – htsnhsbhtschrhe.”
He nodded as he tape kissed her head, then looked at the others.
They all nodded in return as the scent of food started to waft into the room…
“Well, it might work,” Yvonne said, “but when the menfolk go, how do we secure them – by families, or how?”
“Actually,” Mark said, “it may be better to do it by groups – the boys, the girls, the mothers in separate rooms. We can make it a sleepover for the boys, make sure the girls are secured and then let them watch something, and we have the luxury of ensuring all the mothers are as secure as they can be.”
“So we’ll need some sleeping bags as well?”
“At least four, I reckon,” Mark said as he sat back.
Charles looked at Susan and Claire as they sat on opposite sides of the room, watching them both as they squirmed round. He could see how dark the scarves were getting at the corners of their mouths – he could feel it just from the tie between his lips – but there was something else, something he wasn’t sure he could talk about…
“Ah ken, laddie – ye feel different looking at them, don’t ye?”
He looked at Mrs McPhee and nodded as she looked back down. “Ah understand – it’s natural, ahn ye cahn talk tae them boot it tomorrow. Tonicht, keep it tae yerself, ahl richt?”
Charles slowly nodded as Jay looked in.
“Would you bring the children in, and make sure they are secured in their seats,” he said, Ophelia nodding as she helped Claire and Susan to stand up.
“Now, line up behind your older cousins,” she said as the other girls and boys managed to stand and jump over, “and we will go into the dining room. Ready?”
They all nodded as they started to jump out of the room, down the corridor and into the main dining room. There was a large square table there, with four chairs one ach side, as Charles and Abby were helped to sit in the chairs at one side. Jon and Tom sat next to each other on he next side, then Jack and Bessie, and finally Claire and Susan.
“If we tie some rope round your waist, and free your arms, do you all promise to sit quietly and wait for your parents to come in before you remove the gags?”
They looked at Claire and Susan, who nodded as Ophelia said “Excellent.” She went round the table, freeing their arms and carefully coiling most of the ropes, but using one each to secure their waists to the chair back.
“They say tied fer noo, Bessie lass,” Mrs McPhee said as the young girl rubbed her wrists, and nodded. They then looked to the door as Matthew and Abigail jumped in, sitting either side of their children as their arms were released and their waist tied to the chairs.
Ophelia left for a moment, returning with Hannah and helping her to shuffle over to a chair while Mark sat on the other side of the twins. She then removed one chair as Jay wheeled Patty in, Luke jumping behind her and then going over to another chair. Finally, john and Fiona jumped in, Jack giggling as he watched his mother seeming to enjoy the experience.
Once her waist was secured, Jay said “thank you – you may now remove your gags and hand them to Robert, and have a drink.”
Charles pulled the tie out of his mouth and pulled the knot round, untying it and handing the wet item to Robert as he placed it in a bag. Abby and Abigail did the same thing, as Charles took a drink and said “hello Father – we’ve had a very different day.”
“So I see – are you both all right?”
“I am,” Abby said, “I actually got to like it, especially when the others joined in.”
“Mum, are you all right,” Tom said after he peeled the tape from his mouth and handed it to Robert.
“I’m all right – they took good care of me. What about you two?”
“Well, we played a game, watched a film – Claire and Susan were very good babysitters with Mrs McPhee and Ophelia.”
“Well, we’re just glad you are all safe,” Patty said quietly as she looked at Fiona. She was looking at the tape in her hands, not saying a word to anyone.
“hmm – oh, sorry,” Fiona said as she handed the tape to Robert. “Yes, I’m just glad we are all safe and unhurt.” She picked up her glass of water and took a sip, trying not to blush in front of the others.
John reached over and squeezed her hand, saying “we will talk about this,” as a group of masked men brought in plates with pizzas, doughballs, cheese straws and other items.
“Eat up,” Ophelia said quietly, “I think you have all earned this today.”
“So what are you going to do once we have eaten,” Claire said as she took a slice of the spinach and mushroom pizza.
“A fair question, Claire,” Jay said as he looked round the table. “As we said earlier, some of us will be taking your fathers to conduct some business for us. The rest of you will be given a chance to wash and change for bed.”
“And after that?”
“And after that, the boys will be taken to one room, the girls to another, and we will make sure you stay there quietly. Your mothers will also be taken to a bedroom to rest – quietly, and after we make sure they stay there.”
The families looked at each other, and then slowly started to eat and talk about what had happened that day.
“Well, I think we should at least thank our – guests, for providing this food,” Matthew said, Mrs McPhee and Ophelia smiling as the McCormacks clapped.
“Thank ye,” Mrs McPhee said as she looked at Bessie. The young girl put her head down, as she said “I need to go to the toilet, Mummy.”
“Well, perhaps we should start with the girls,” Jay said as he looked round the table. Robert nodded as he moved behind Matthew and guided his hands behind his back, securing them with a plastic zip tie as one of the other men did the same to Charles.
They moved round the tables, securing the wrists of the parents and the boys, while Mrs McPhee moved Bessie’s chair back and untied her waist and legs. “Gie yer mum and dad a big hug,” she said quietly, “and Ah’ll make sure they see ye later.”
“Be brave,” Fiona said as Bessie hugged her and John, and then took Mrs McPhee’s gloved hand as they walked out of the dining room. Ophelia untied Abby, while another of the masked men released Claire and Susan, before she said “you three come with me as well – we need to make sure you are all prepared at the same time.”
“I’ll see you later,” Abigail said as they left the room, the remaining family members looking at each other. Ophelia took the three girls upstairs to find Mrs McPhee waiting outside.
“Ye will ahl find sum clothes tae put on inside,” she said with a smile as the door opened and Bessie came out, wearing a pair of white pyjamas with thin red strips, red cuffs on the top and pants with red booties attached.
“In ye go,” Mrs McPhee said as Abby went into the bathroom, Susan watching as she said “where are we going to be?”
“In one of the bedrooms,” Ophelia said. “It has a television on the wall, so we’ll leave you to watch a film together.”
“Quietly and unable to move?”
“Quietly and unable to move,” Ophelia said quietly as Abby came out of the bathroom. She was wearing a white sleeveless nightdress, with a square neckline, the skirt coming to just below her knees. Mrs McPhee took her hand and Bessie’s with the other as Ophelia said “go and change” to Susan and Claire.
“I’ve never been in this room,” Abby said as they went into a large bedroom, “Mother and Father keep it for guests.”
“Wehl, tonicht, ye are the guests,” Mrs McPhee said as Bessie looked at the canvas bag on the bed. “Dae ye thinhk ahl four o ye can fit on there?”
Abby nodded as she said “guid – so we start wi ye.” She walked to the bag and opened it, taking out a clear bag and removing from it four small red sponge balls. She also took out a roll of silver tape, as she came over and said “Ah wahnt ye boff tae make fists wi yer hands, hulding these.”
Abby nodded as she and Bessie took two sponges each and gripped them, watching as Mrs McPhee tore the end free of the roll of silver tape, and then covered their wrists so that it looked as if they were both wearing silver boxing gloves.
“Why did you do this,” Bessie whispered as she looked at her hands.
“Wehl, ah’ll show ye,” Mrs McPhee said as she then produced tow pairs of white sports socks, and pulled one up over each of their hands, before using white tape to secure the tops of the socks to their arms. The two girls looked at each other as they heard Claire say “well, that answers one question.”
The two older girls came in with Ophelia, Claire wearing a pink vest top with dark blue and white striped pants, and Susan in a grey t-shirt top and pants. “We really will not be able to get free, will we?”
“No,” Ophelia said quietly as she went to the bag, and took four more sponge balls out. “Hold both of these and make fists with your hands, and I will make sure your hands are like theirs.”
“Put yer hands behind yer back,” Mrs McPhee said to Abby as she took a length of white rope from the bag. The two young girls watched as Ophelia made sure their cousin’s hands were covered with the tape and socks, while Mrs McPhee crossed and secured Abby’s wrists together behind her back, then gently took Bessie’s hands behind her back and bound them with another length of rope.
“I’m amazed this does not hurt,” Abby said as she felt the rope being passed round her body, then pulled tight round her stomach as she felt her arms against her back. Mrs McPhee wound the rope round her upper arms and stomach, as she giggled and said “will Mummy be like this?”
“Aye – ye’ll be just like yer mas,” Mrs McPhee said as she tied the ropes off behind Abby’s back.
“Even Aunt Hannah?”
“No,” Ophelia said from behind Susan as she started to bind the older girl’s wrists behind her back, “your Aunt Hannah will be bound differently, but I assure you, she will not be able to move or talk either.”
“Oh – okay,” Bessie said quietly as she felt the ropes hugging her body, making sure her arms stayed against her sides as it went round her upper arms and stomach as well.
“We’ll all get through this together,” Claire said as she felt the rope over her sock-covered wrists, “and there is one advantage.”
“The boys are not in this room.”
Abby giggled as she said “I saw the way Charles was looking at both of you.”
“Yeah, I saw it as well,” Susan said as the ropes were pulled round her body, and she glanced down as her top was stretched under the bands, “we do need to discuss that with him, but not today, not here.”
“Agreed,” Claire said as she twisted round, watching Ophelia binding her sister.
“Time tae be quiet,” Mrs McPhee said as she took from the bag another clear bag, and took from it two folded clothes. “Ah want ye both tae open yer moofs as wide as ye can.”
“Guess we’ll talk later.” Abby said, Bessie nodding before she allowed Mrs McPhee to gently push the folded cloth into her mouth, and then the masked woman did the same to Abby. She then took from the bag two strips of towelling, a knot tied in the middle of each strip, and used them as cleave gags to keep the cloths inside.
“Shddhfhfnt,” Bessie mumbled, and then her eyes opened wide as Mrs McPhee peeled the end of the roll of white tape free, then pressed it against her cheek before she wound it round her head, covering her mouth and trapping her hair.
Claire grunted as the ropes were pulled tighter round her body, while Mrs McPhee wound the white tape round Abby’s head. She then took the silver tape and wound that round the heads of both girls as well, the white edges of the band underneath showing.
“Are you both all right,” Susan said as she twisted round, the younger girls nodding as Mrs McPhee walked them to the large bed, and helped them both to sit at the top end, their backs against the headboard. She then fetched more lengths of rope and brought them to the bed, doubling the first one over and using it to bind Abby’s ankles together.
“Open wide, both of you.”
“Well, here we go,” Susan said, Claire nodding before they both allowed Ophelia to push the folded cloths into their mouths. As their gags were added layer by layer, Mrs McPhee secured the legs of the other two girls at their ankles and below their knees, and then ran ropes from their ankles to the foot of the bed to make sure they stayed there.
Claire and Susan were then walked over to the bed, Claire sitting next to Abby and Susan next to Bessie, watching as Mrs McPhee and Ophelia secured their legs at the ankles and knees, and then securing their ankles to the foot of the bed as well.
“Noo then, let’s put ohn ah film,” Mrs McPhee said as she switched the television on, and then found a Blu-ray which she slipped into the set. All four nodded as the music of West Side Story started.
“Watch them,” Ophelia said as two masked men came in, both of them nodding as the two masked women left the room. They saw Jay taking the four boys to the bathroom, as he said “they are secure?”
“Good – go and keep the mothers company, we’ll take care of the boys.”
As Ophelia and Mrs McPhee went down the stairs, Tom and Jon looked at Charles.
“So where do you think we will be,” Tom said as he looked down the corridor.
“I think my room,” Charles said quietly as Jack came out. He was wearing a blue and white striped onesie with attached booties, and smiled as he said “who’s next?”
“I’ll go,” Charles said as he walked into the bedroom, Robert smiling as he held out two sponge balls.
“We need to make sure none of you can raise the alarm,” he said as Jack took the sponges and made two fists, the twins watching as the masked man then covered his little fists with silver tape. He then pulled a pair of white sports socks up over his arms, and taped the tops to the sleeves of his onesie with the white tape.
“look at me,” he said as he waved his hands in the air, Tom and Jon nodding as Jon said “well, we’re not going to be able to untie each other, are we?”
“No, I can see we will not be able to.”
The twins looked at Charles as he emerged from the bathroom, now wearing a pair of blue and white striped pyjamas. Jay nodded as he looked at the twins, and said “Well, on you both go – sooner you are ready, sooner you will all be together.”
“Hold these for me,” Robert said as he handed Charles two sponge balls, Jack watching as his older cousin’s hands disappeared under the silver and white levels.
“Maybe we should have a boxing match,” Charles said with a laugh as he held up his fists.
“Now I don’t recommend that,” Jay said with a smile, “or all four of you may hurt each other.”
“And we don’t want that, do we?”
Charles and Jack both shook their heads as Tim and Jon came out. Tim was wearing a white top with blue sleeves and red stripes at the elbows, and blue pants with red stripes and cuffs. Jon’s pyjamas were grey, with blue and white stripes at the neck and blue cuffs, and like Charles they were both barefoot.
“Okay boys,” Jay said as he and Robert held two sponges in their hands, “we cover your hands, and then all four of you can go into Charles’ room. We have something laid out there for all of you.”
The twins nodded as the two masked men made sure their hands were covered, before all four boys walked into the bedroom. Charles could see the four sleeping bags lying open on the floor, while Tom, Jon and Jack stared at the ropes laid out neatly on the bed.
“They… They are for us?”
“Well, we did promise you would be bound as tightly as everybody else,” Jay said as two of the masked men followed him in. “So, first things first – stand in a line, and put your hands behind your back.”
“Here we go,” Charles said as he looked at the other boys, all three nodding before they stood with their hands behind their back. The four masked men took a length of rope each, and then crossed their sock covered wrists behind their backs before they started to make sure they were tightly bound. Charles tried not to move as the ropes tightened round his arms, as Jay said “Mrs McPhee had a word with me. The sleeping bags will allow a little extra privacy, should you need it.”
Charles felt himself blush and then nodded as Jay passed the long rope round his body, forcing his arms against his back as it was pulled tight round his stomach. He tried not to move as the rope was passed round his upper arms and puled tight, and then he turned to look at the others as the three men made two bands that held their arms tightly against their body.
Each boy then felt the ropes get tighter, hugging their bodies as the men tied ropes round the two bands, between their bodies and arms. They looked at each other and wriggled round, feeling the ropes rub on themselves before Charles blushed and turned round.
“Hey – what’s up Charlie,” Tom said as he walked over, Charles blushing as he said “well, I was imagining the girls like this…”
“What – your sister?”
“No – Claire and Susan. I was wondering how they would look and…”
“I don’t get it.”
“I do,” Jay said with a smile, “but it’s time to make sure you all stay quiet before you get into the sleeping bags. It may seem strange to begin with, but trust me, you do get used to it. We start with these.” He held up a folded white cloth, and said “open your mouths as wide as you can – you get one each.”
The boys looked at each other, and then one by one they felt and tasted the cloth on their tongues as it was pushed into their mouths, felt the towelling knot between their lips and the pressure on their cheeks as it was tied round their heads, the feel of the white tape again no their skins as the tape was wound tightly round their heads, and then the silver tape on top of that.
Jack looked at the other three, the silver and white bands round their heads, as he said “Whlhlnwhhtt?”
“Yes, you lie down,” Robert said as the boys were helped to lie on a sleeping bag, before they feel the rope round their ankles as they were secured together, the rope going between their legs as well. Their legs were then further secured with ropes above and below their knees, both bands cinched before pillows were placed under their heads, and the sleeping bags were closed over them.
Jay and Robert then used the silver tape round their legs and body to keep the bag in place, before they looked at the other two men. “Watch them, when they fall asleep you can leave, but check every fifteen minutes.”
“Thkfhnnkwhlfhlshlhp,” Tom said as he rolled onto his side to look at his twin brother – only to see that his eyes were already closed, his chest rising and falling. He then heard soft snoring from Charles and Jack, before he looked to the door, his eyes closing as he saw his aunt and uncle standing there.
“See- ah told ye they were fine.”
Abigail and Matthew nodded as the door was closed, and then they went to see the girls. Bessie was already asleep, her head against Susan’s arm as the other three looked at the door.
“Whrfhnmhm,” Abby mumbled as Mrs McPhee walked over and gently laid Bessie on her side, before tightening the rope that led to the foot of the bed so that she was still secured.
“Good - and well done,” Matthew said, Abby nodding as they left the room and walked down the stairs.
“Are they all right,” Hannah said as she looked over.
“They’re fine – the boys are asleep, and so is Bessie,” Abigail said as she sat down. “but they told the truth – they are tightly tied, gagged, and they cannot raise the alarm.”
“As we will be, I suspect,” Patty said as Fiona nodded.
“As you will be – on which note, it is time for the men to leave.”
“Stay safe,” Mark said as he hugged Hannah, his wife nodding as they hugged each other, and he put his hand on her bump.
“I’ll be all right, Luke – you need to do what they want, for all of us.”
As her husband nodded, Matthew kissed Abigail, and said “be strong.”
“I don’t know if I can…”
“I know you can,” Matthew said as he put his hand on her cheek, before his hands were taken behind his back and secured with a zip tie. The other three men were soon secured as Jay and Robert took them out. Four of the other men were waiting outside, as Robert handed one of them a USB stick.
“You know what you have to do – contact every thirty minutes, and make sure they are all secured when you are finished.” He nodded as Matthew said “they will not be hurt?”
“They will not be hurt – so do as we ask,” Jay said as thy were taken out, and a SUV door opened for them to get in.
“…so good,” Jay said as he closed the door, and they walked back into the front room. “Ladies – the time has come for each of you to change and be secured as well. Who wishes to be first?”
They all looked at each other, before Patty said “I will go first.”
Jay nodded as Robert walked over and lifted her from the couch she was sitting on, Mrs McPhee nodding as she said “Ah’ll go” and the trio walked out of the room. As Robert started to climb the stairs, she looked at Ms McPhee and said “I don’t want to be treated nay differently,- you haven’t so far, don’t start now.”
“Ah whasnae going tae,” Mrs McPhee said as she opened the bathroom door, and Robert sat her down, before she said “jes let us know when yere ready.” Patty nodded as the door was closed, and she slowly pulled down the zips on her boots and pushed herself into a standing position.
“I’m ready.” Mrs McPhee opened the door to see her sitting there, wearing a pair of taupe coloured pyjamas with a brown fern pattern printed on them. Patty looked at the sponges in her gloved hands, and said “so, my hands are going to be useless.”
“Covered – mahk fists wi these in thair,” the masked woman said as she handed the sponges over, Patty doing what she had asked as the silver tape was wrapped round her wrists, and then the white socks pulled up her arms before the tops were taped to her sleeves.
“Well, you may as well finish this in here,” Patty said quietly as she turned and put her arms behind her back. Mrs McPhee nodded, and said “aye, ah thought ye micht say that” as Robert handed her a length of rope, and he started to secure her wrists together.
“I should thank you for the fact nobody is scared – not even me,” Patty said with a smile as Mrs McPhee then wound the rope round her body and pulled it tight under her chest. Glancing down, she saw the way her jacket was stretched by the two bands above and below her chest, but it did not feel unnatural – it felt nice, if truth be told.
She didn’t even mind as the rope went under one arm, up and round the back of her head, and then under her arm on the other side.
“How does it feel, lassie?”
“Snug,” Patty said quietly as Mrs McPhee secured the ropes, before kneeling down and placing her ankles together side by side. Patty looked down as she bound the rope round them, and said “I wonder how that really feels?”
“Ahsk yer sisters tomorrow,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile as she took the rope between her legs, and then secured them further with rope above and below her knees, each band tightly cinched. As Mrs McPhee stood up, she said “dae ye wahnt tae be quiet noo?”
Patty slowly nodded, opening her mouth as the cloth was gently pushed in by the gloved fingers, and then the knotted towelling tied round her head. The white tape felt soft on her skin as it was wrapped round, and then the silver tape on top o fit.
Robert then lifted her gently up and carried her to a spare bedroom, Patty whispering “Fhnkuh” as she laid on her side, and then Robert pulled her ankles back, placing her in a hogtie as he secured them to her chest ropes. She then saw them leave as the light was turned off, the door was closed, and she wondered how long it would take to get to sleep…
“Ye came next?”
“I did,” Fiona said as she came up with Ophelia, the masked woman nodding to Mrs McPhee as she headed down the stairs. She went into the bathroom, emerging a few minutes later in a peach coloured t-shirt and grey pants, white socks on her feet.
“Can I… Can I ask you to do something for me,” she said quietly as she looked at Ophelia.
“And that is?”
“Today, being helpless, tied up, gagged…” Fiona blushed as she said “it made me feel so different, so wonderful. Have you… Have you ever bound the mothers with more than the usual ropes…”
Ophelia looked at her as she said “can I take that to mean you want to do something when I have secured you?” As Fiona nodded, she said “has anyone ever done that to you before?”
“No – but I want to know what it feels like…”
Ophelia nodded as she said “Very well – come with me.” They walked to another bedroom, Fiona looking in at the boys and the girls before they went in, and Ophelia said “first, we secure your hands and upper body. Please, make fists with your hands, holding these sponges, and put your hands out…”
“We both want to go and change together,” Abigail said as Hannah nodded. “Then you can secure me first, and Hannah last.”
Jay nodded as he said “very well then – Mrs McPhee, would you take them both up, and we will join you later?”
“Aye – cum wi me ladies.” As the three left the room, Jay took out a mobile phone.
“This is Jay Edwards.
“Good – contact me again with a progress report in thirty.”
“They are behaving themselves,” Robert said quietly.
“Yeah – so far…”
“That does feel good,” Fiona sighed as Ophelia passed the rope round the back of her neck, and she smiled as she felt her fists under the tape and sock. Her arms were folded behind her back, her sock covered wrists tied to the opposite elbow, and now the bands of rope were holding her upper arms in place as they rubbed on her chest.
“Are you sure you want me to do this,” Ophelia said as she doubled over another long length of rope.
“I’m sure,” Fiona whispered as she watched the masked woman pass the rope under the bands between her breasts, and then pull them together as she fed the rope trough the centre loop and pulled down. She then bit her lower lips as Ophelia walked behind her and reached between her legs, pulling the rope up and back as she stood still.
“how does that feel?”
“Amazing – thank you,” Fiona whispered as she saw her binder fold the cloth, and then opened her mouth. She knew the quieter she was made, the better it would be, as the cloth was pushed in, the knotted towelling as the cleave gag, the white and silver tape.
“come and sit down.”
Fiona walked over to the bed, feeling the ropes before she sat down and watched Ophelia secure her ankles and legs. The masked woman then helped her to lie on her side, and she felt her gently pull her ankles back – and the increased tension as her ankles were tied to the special rope.
“I will come and check you every so often,” Ophelia said, Fiona nodding as the light was turned off and the door closed. She then tried to move her legs and moaned softly at the feelings that generated…
As she passed Jay at the bathroom, Ophelia heard the talking inside, before she went downstairs and the door opened. Abigail came out first, wearing a white nightdress, and then Hannah came out in a pair of green and white leopard print pyjamas.
“You promise me Hannah is not going to be left in a dangerous position,” Abigail said as she gripped the two sponges in her hands.
“You have my word,” Jay said as he started to wind the silver tape round the mother’s hands. “As one example, we are not going to cover her hands, and we will bind her wrists in front of her.”
“Aren’t you afraid I might get free,” Hannah said as she watched Jay covering Hannah’s hands.
“No – because we will arrange it so that you cannot get free without help,” Jay said with a smile as he pulled the socks over Abigail’s hands, and then used the white tape to secure the tops to the sleeves of her nightdress. Hannah looked at him as he said “let us go to the main bedroom.”
The three of them walked in to see Robert waiting there, Hannah watching as he walked behind Abigail and took her wrists behind her, and then started to bind them tightly with rope. He then passed the long rope round her body, before he pulled it tight, forcing her arms against her sides.
“I am going to do the same thing to you now, in terms of your upper arms,” Jay said a he passed the rope round Hannah, positioning it on top of her bump and under her chest, before he pulled it tight to keep her upper arms against her sides. As Robert made sure Abigail was secured, Jay did the same to Hannah, keeping the rope round her upper arms so that they did not rub on her bump.
“Well, I guess IP can live with this,” she said quietly as Robert cinched the bands between her arms and body, and then helped her to sit on the bed, Abigail watching as she secured her ankles together and then her legs above and below her knees, gathering the skirt of her nightdress round her legs as he did so.
“Time for you to be quiet,” Jay said as he folded a cloth, “any final words?”
“Only to thank you for making sure we were kept safe,” Abigail said, “although why I should thank a gang of armed kidnappers and thieves…”
“One of life’s eternal mysteries,” Jay said with a smile, “open wide please.”
Hannah watched as Jay pushed the cloth in, and then cleave gagged her with the towelling before wrapping the two layers of tape round her head. As she lay on her side, Hannah whispered “are you all right?”
“Hmfhn,” Abigail nodded as her ankles were pulled back and secured to her chest ropes, before Jay guided Hannah out of the room. She walked to the end of the corridor before she walked in, Jay smiling as he said “I want you to lie on your back on the bed.”
“Okay,” she said quietly as she lay down, Jay crossing her wrists on her bump and then securing them tightly together with rope. He then took more rope and crossed her ankles before he secured them together as well, and then her legs above and below her knees.
“No hogtie for me?”
“No – we will take another approach,” Jay said quietly as he tied another rope between her wrists, then round the bands on her legs and ankles, and then secured it to the foot of the bed. “We did something similar to this for the girls – who are all fine – so they stayed in the bed.” He put an extra pillow under her head, and said “I trust this is comfortable.”
“More comfortable than I expected – but I guess I have to be quiet now?”
“Indeed – but because of your condition, we need to make it easier for you to breath.” He folded the cloth, and said “open wide – the white tape we use is very effective, and I think sufficient for you.”
“Thank you,” Hannah said as she opened her mouth and felt the cloth in her mouth, then closed her lips before Jay smoothed the tape down, sealing her lips and covering her jaw. She watched Jay as he walked to the door, and turned before saying “good night – and good luck.”
“Fhnkuh,” Hannah said quietly as the light went off, and her eyes closed…
“They’re all secured?”
“Aye – the gahls and boys are ahl asleep,” Mrs McPhee said. “The muffers?”
“Two asleep, one dropping off – and Fiona?”
“Enjoying herself – she is on a voyage of discovery,” Ophelia said as she looked round.
“Okay then – clear up, and we wait for the word. I will do one more thing before we leave…”
It was the sound of birdsong that made Hannah open her eyes, and turn her head to the window. The sunlight was starting to stream through the closed curtains, but there was no over sound. She tried to move, but the ropes were still tied – but as she raised her head, she saw something next to her on the bed.
She waited for a moment, listening for any sound, before she rolled over and managed to pick the scissors up with her fingers. She waited a moment, and then turned the open blade, starting to saw on the rope running from her wrists to her legs. It took a while, but eventually the rope parted, and she was able to sit up.
Turning the scissors in her hands, she inhaled through her nose, and then started to saw at the rope between her wrists. Again, it seemed to take an age, but eventually the ropes parted and she was able to shake the rope off her wrists. Sitting herself up, she reached up and peeled away the tape from her mouth, slowly taking out the soaking wet cloth and taking a moment to breathe deeply.
“They left a way for me to get free – why?”
Hugging herself, she used the scissors to cut the ropes holding her arms to her sides, and then shuffled forward, bending her legs as she cut herself free. Stretching her legs out, she slowly swung her legs round and stood up, holding her back as she did so.
“So they left a way for me to get free – what about the others? I saw what they did to Abigail, but the others?” Hannah walked to the door, opening it and listening for any sounds, but there were none. Stepping out, she walked down and looked in the next room, nodding as she saw Patty on her side.
“They all got trussed,” she said to herself as she opened the next door, and saw the four girls lying on the bed, snoring gently. The next room had the boys in their sleeping bags, lying on their sides on the floor, the silver bands still round each of them.
“Well, they seem to be all right,” she said quietly as she looked in the next room, to see Fiona on her side, asleep. She saw the damp area on the bed, and the extra rope, and shook her head before she went to Abigail’s bedroom.
“Hey,” she said as she walked to where Abigail was looking at her, and used the scissors to release her from the hogtie. As her sister-in-law stretched her legs out, she slowly removed the layers of the gag, dropping the tape and wet cloth on the floor as Abigail croaked “how did you…”
“They didn’t tie me as tightly – and they left a pair of scissors where I could use them.” Hannah whispered as she helped Abigail to sit up, and started to untie her upper body. “The others are still asleep – and I think they all left.”
“There’s nobody in the house?”
“I don’t think so – or they would have – oh.”
“What’s wrong,” Abigail asked as she rubbed her wrists. Hannah looked at her, and then looked down, before she said “I need to sit down once you are free. Call the police – and an ambulance…”