Jay is Respectful

 

 

 

 

 

“Okay,” Mark Williamson said as he sat with his wife Yvonne at the kitchen table, “this is going to be a slightly different one for us.”

 

“In what way,” Yvonne said as she sipped her wine.

 

“Because we need to be very respectful,” Mark said as he handed Yvonne a photo, showing a woman in her early forties standing with two girls and their father.  The woman and girls were modestly dressed, the older girl like her mother with a scarf wrapped around her head and neck.

 

“Muslim?”

 

“Indeed – the father, Nadeem, is an accountant with a large city firm, and they live in Croydon.  His wife is Shamilla, and then there is fifteen year old Aliya and ten year old Layla.”

 

“So we must show all due respect?”

 

“Indeed – we need to move in before lunch, but allow the family to observe prayer times where necessary.  Babysitter?”

 

“Jennifer can watch the kids for the night…”

 

 

“Layla, have you finished your homework?”

 

“Yes Mama,” Shamilla heard her daughter reply as she stood at the foot of the stairs.

 

“Very well then, you may watch television once you have tidied your room,” she replied as she walked to the kitchen.  She was wearing a long sleeved black top under a grey sleeveless dress, which almost came to the ground with a fringe near the bottom, and black shoes.  A long grey scarf covered her head and neck, the ends hanging down behind her.

 

Pouring a glass of water, she sat at the kitchen table and hummed to herself as she read the paper – then looked up with a start as the rear door opened, and three men and one woman walked in.  They were dressed identically – blue boiler suits, black gloves over their hands, and black balaclavas covering their heads so that only their eyes and lips could be seen.  Shamilla stared at them, and then at the woman – who had a black scarf tied as a hijab over her covered head and neck.

 

“Good morning,” one of the men said with a soft Geordie accent, “my name is Jay Edwards.  Perhaps you have heard of me?”

 

“Oh no,” Shamilla whispered quietly, “no, please not us…”

 

“Remain calm,” Jay said as he sat next to her and took her hand.  “I assure you, no harm is going to become any of your family.  We need your husband to do something for us later, but we will take every step to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.  Now, who is home currently?”

 

“Oh no – Layla…”

 

“Mrs McPhee, would you kindly go and make sure Layla understand what is going to happen, then secure her and bring her down?  You check the alarms and so on.  As for you, Shamilla, put your hands together in front of you…”

 

 

 

Mrs McPhee quietly opened the door of the bedroom and looked in to see the ten year old putting some things into a wardrobe.  Layla had long brown hair, with a white butterfly pin in it, and was dressed in a similar way to her mother – the long sleeved black top under a sleeveless grey dress, her one with a wrap effect top, and black trainers.

 

“Hello Layla,” she said in her soft Scottish accent, the young girl turning round and looking at the masked woman as she closed the door.

 

“Who… who are you?  Where is my mother?”

 

“Well, she’s wi my freends, but ah wanted tae talk to ye first.”

 

Layla put her head to her side, and said “you sound funny.  Is that a hijab over your head?”

 

“Aye – mah name is Mrs McPhee, and my friend Jay needs to hae a wee word wi yer daddy.  So we’re gonna be spending the day here, and ah’m afraid it means ye and yer mammy will not be able to move or talk fer a while.”

 

Layla looked at the masked woman, and said “you’re bad people?  Robbers?”

 

“Aye – but ah dinnae scare ye, dae I?”

 

Layla shook her head as Mrs McPhee put the bag she had carried in on the bed, and then took out a length of white cord.  “Now, this is what ah’m gonna use tae make sure ye cannae move unless you need tae.  When ah’m done, if ye need the toilet, ye make a noise and nod yer head.”

 

“Why can’t I just ask?”

 

Guid question – ah’ll show ye why later.  Richt noo, can ye put yer hands together in prayer?”

 

Layla nodded as she did that, watching as Mrs McPhee tied her wrists together with the white cord, wrapping it around both arms before she pulled the ends between her wrists and tied the ends off.  “There – does that hurt?”

 

Layla twisted her wrists round and shook her head as Mrs McPhee said “guid – sit on the bed.”  The young girl did so, and watched as the masked woman knelt down and tied her ankles together with another length of cord, then tied a third length around her legs above her knees, trapping her skirt around them as she did so.

 

Ah’m gonna take ye tae yer mammy soon – but before I do, ah need tae make sure yeh cannae speak easily.  Can ye put yer lips together fer me?”  As Layla did so, Mrs McPhee tore a strip of white tape from a roll, and then pressed it gently over the young girl’s mouth, watching as Layla said “Hnhhhchntthlk.”

 

Tha’s the idea – and ye’re no scared, are ye?”

 

The young girl shook her head as the masked woman lifted her gently up, and carried her in her arms out of the room.

 

 

 

Hllhhmhhmh,” Layla said as Shamilla watched the masked woman carry her daughter in, and then lay her on the couch, putting a cushion under her head as she lay there, before tying her wrists to the band of rope around her legs.

 

“Are you all right, my child,” she said quietly as she sat forward, her bound wrists resting on her lap.  Layla nodded as Mrs McPhee turned the television on, and Jay glanced at the clock.

 

“I see it is nearly noon – where do you usually go to pray?”

 

“My room – you will allow me to do this?”

 

“Of course – but remember, Layla is here with Mrs McPhee.  Once you have done that, perhaps you can prepare some lunch for both of you?”

 

“Would you like that,” Shamilla said as she looked over, Layla nodding as Jay helped her to stand, and they left the room, the mother wondering what would happen when the visitor she was expecting called…

 

 

 

“Thank you, Mama,” Layla said as Shamilla put a plate of breads and food in front of her, and then sat herself down, raising her arms as Jay tied rope around her waist to hold her in the chair and then knelt down to tie her ankles to the chair legs.  She looked at Layla, her bound legs swinging over the seat of the chair, and then held her wrists up so that the rope could be untied and she started eating.

 

“Thank you for allowing me to pray,” she said quietly as Jay looked at her, while Mrs McPhee poured some milk into two glasses and gave one to each of the captives.  “Why did you?”

 

“Despite appearances, Shamilla, we try to be respectful of the needs and desires of those we have to visit – although we do restrict what they can do for the majority of the time.  Layla seems to be enjoying herself – are you?”

 

“Enjoy is not the word I would use,” Shamilla said quietly, “but I am not afraid, if that is what you meant.”

 

“I will accept that,” Jay said with a smile, and then looked up as they heard the front door of the house open.  Mrs McPhee walked round and placed her gloved hand over Layla’s mouth as Jay quickly did the same to Shamilla, the mother and daughter looking at each other as a woman called out “and where are my two favourite girls?”

 

They looked to the door of the dining room as footsteps came closer, and the voice said again “where are you” before a woman in her late fifties came into the room.  She had a white scarf tied over her head and shoulders, the edge of a black one visible on her forehead, the bottom of the scarf lying over the neck of a long panelled dress with blue, black and white floral prints.  She was a large woman, the sides of her black jacket either side of her chest, and her feet were just about visible with the black patent leather shoes on them.

 

“What on earth…”

 

“Hi Gran,” Layla said with a grin as Mrs McPhee took her hand away, “we’re been held hostage.”

 

“Is…  Is this true Shamilla?”

 

“It is Mother,” Shamilla said quietly, “this man is Jay Edwards – he and his – friends want to talk to my husband, and we are been held hostage by them while he does something for them.  And,” she said as she twisted in the chair, “I am afraid you will have to join us.”

 

Shamilla is telling the truth, my dear lady,” Jay said as he looked at the older woman, “I must ask you to place your handbag slowly on the table, and then put your hands behind your back.”

 

“They have not hurt you?”

 

“They have not mother, but please do as they say.”

 

The grandmother nodded as she put her bag down, then saw one of the other masked men walk behind her and take her hands behind her back, as she felt rope around her wrists when they were forced together.

 

“It would be easier if we were to use your name, may I enquire,” Jay said in his soft accented voice as he looked at the older woman.

 

“Khadija,” she said as the rope around her wrists was tied off, and then she was sat in the chair, watching as the masked man took a longer length of rope and tied it round her body, forcing her arms into her sides as it formed bands above and below her chest.  “How long are you going to be here?”

 

“For some considerable time, I am afraid,” Jay said with a smile as he opened her bag, removing her mobile phone and switching it off, “but I assure you, so long as you co-operate then it will be a more pleasant experience than you may believe it will be.”

 

“I remain to be convinced,” Khadija said quietly as she felt her arms been forced into her sides, her jacket forced even more open as the ropes were tied off.  “Are we all going to be bound like this?”

 

“Ai,” Mrs McPhee said as she stood with Layla, “ahn then ye ken all play a game if ye want.”

 

“A – game?”

 

“Ai – wait and see,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile as Khadija looked at the hijab tied over her balaclava mask.  “Had eunf lassie?”

 

“Yes - can I go to the toilet please?”

 

O course ye can,” Mrs McPhee said as he untied Layla, “an then we’ll get ye ready.”

 

“We will join you in the main room shortly,” Jay said as Khadija wriggled in the ropes, feeling them rub on her as he took a walk behind Shamilla.  “I am going to untie your waist, and then I want you to lean forward, and put your hands behind your back.”

 

“I think I am going to be the same as you now, mother,” Shamilla said quietly as she put her arms behind her, feeling the rope as her wrists were bound together tightly.  Khadija looked on as he did this, and said “did he allow you to pray?”

 

“Yes Mother, and I think he will allow us to do so at sunset as well,” she said quietly as the rope was pulled tightly round her body, forcing her arms into her sides as it was wound around her above and below her own chest.  She looked at herself, and then at her mother, as she whispered “sorry…”

 

“My child,” Khadija said quietly, “I think under the circumstances, we have to admit some things are going to be different.”

 

“A very sensible approach,” Jay said with a smile as he tied the rope off behind Shamilla’s back, and then released her legs before she helped her to stand up.  “Shall we retire to the main room?”

 

Jay and the masked man escorted the two women in, as Jay invited them to sit either side of the long seat, and then knelt at Khadija’s feet as he wrapped some more rope round them and pulled them tightly together.  He took the rope around and between her ankles, and then tied it off, before he wrapped another length of rope around her legs above her knees, drawing the skirt of her dress over them as they were forced together.

 

“I do not think we will be going anywhere,” she said quietly as she twisted her legs round, the hem of her skirt rising and falling as she watched Jay bind her daughter’s ankles and legs in the same way, “and they also respected our beliefs.”

 

“This is how they bound Layla’s legs earlier,” Shamilla said quietly as she watched her own legs been secured, before Layla was brought back in by Mrs McPhee.  Her arms were now behind her backs, and there was a length of rope tied round her arms and stomach in a double figure of eight.

 

“Why are my arms different,” she said as she looked at her mother and grandmother.

 

“It’s jes fer noo,” Mrs McPhee said quietly, “later, ye’ll all be the same.  Noo, sit between yer ma and yer grandma.”

 

“Are you having fun,” Khadija said as Layla sat herself between them.

 

“Well, I’m not scared Grandma,” Layla said with a smile as Mrs McPhee knelt down and started to tie her ankles together in the same way as them, and then secured her legs together above her knees as well.  “It feels like you and Mama are hugging me all the time.”

 

“That’s good,” Shamilla said as she wriggled round, while Jay went to the bag and took from a plastic bag two white cloths.  “And they are to keep us quiet?”

 

“That’s right – if you and Shamilla will open your mouths as wide as possible?”

 

Layla watched as the masked man pushed a folded cloth into each of their mouths, and then tore wide strips of white tape from a roll and pressed them over their lips, the shape visible underneath.

 

Hthllbhlrht,” Shamilla said as she pressed her taped lips on Layla’s forehead, as Mrs McPhee folded a smaller cloth and said “yer turn noo lassie – open yer moof.”  As they watched, she pushed the folded cloth gently into Layla’s mouth, watching as she moved her jaw and then closed her lips before a strip of the white tape was pressed over her mouth and chin.  She could feel it pulling a little on her skin, but it felt strangely nice as she looked at her mother and grandmother.

 

Noo then, wuld ye lihk tae play Ludo?”

 

As Layla nodded, Mrs McPhee took the box she had seen and set up the game on the coffee table – and then stopped as the three captives heard the front door opening again.

 

Shamilla looked at her mother and daughter as they wriggled round, listening and unable to call out as Jay and Mrs McPhee stood by the door.  They head the door close, and then a soft thump as a young voice said “I’m home mother – I’m just going to get a drink.”

 

They heard the soft footsteps, Jay nodding to his associates as they stood behind the bound and gagged family while Mrs McPhee took some more ropes from the bag, and they slipped into the hallway while Layla giggled into the tape.

 

The two masked home invaders looked in the kitchen as the fifteen year old stood at the sink.  She had a thin grey scarf wrapped over her head and neck, the black scarf visible underneath, and was wearing a loose fitting long sleeved black top and pants, with grey trainers, her bare ankles visible.

 

She was humming to herself as she poured some water into a glass, and then turned round – staring at the man and woman standing there, black balaclavas over their heads, and a hijab covering the woman’s head as well.

 

“What…  Who…”

 

“Hello Aliya,” Jay said in his soft voice, “I am Jay Edwards, and this is my friend Mrs McPhee.  I imagine we have taken you a little bit by surprise?”

 

“Sort of – oh my god, are you – robbing the house?”

 

“Not exactly,” Jay said quietly as Mrs McPhee walked over and took the glass in her gloved hand, “we actually want your father to help us with a transaction, but to ensure he does so, we’re making sure you and the rest of your family are kept safe and secure.”

 

“You mean we’re your hostages?”

 

“Aye lassie,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile, “yer sister, ma and grandma are all in the front room, and we wan ye tae join them – but ye also need to be like them, so I need ye tae put yer hands behind yer back.”

 

“You’ve tied them up – even Layla?”

 

“We have,” Jay said as Aliya felt Mrs McPhee pull her hands behind her back, and then the rope as they were secured together.  She wriggled her fingers as Mrs McPhee then put more rope over her head, and pulled it tight under her chest. 

 

“But…  Please, the way you are tying me,” Aliya said as she saw the way her chest was been forced out by the bands of rope holding her arms to her sides, “it is not becoming…”

 

“Be assured,” Jay said quietly as he smiled and looked at her, “we will take every step to preserve the modesty of all of you, but we also need to make sure you are all secured correctly.  Tell me, do you observe the offices?”

 

“Not yet – why?”

 

“Then you will keep your sister company while your mother and grandmother pray later,” Jay said as the rope were pulled tighter, “and then when your father returns, you may all eat together.  Once he has left with one of my associates, then we will make sure you all have a quiet night in bed.”

 

“I wonder how that will work,” Aliya said as the ropes were tied off, and she felt the bands rubbing on her.  “But for now?”

 

“For now,” Jay said quietly as he held a folded cloth in his hand, “open your mouth.”

 

 

 

Hgghdduhrhhrrr.”

 

Aliya nodded as she came into the room, the white tape covering her mouth as she looked at her sister, mother and grandmother, all of them bound and gagged like her.  Jay helped her to sit next to Layla, the younger girl giggling as she watched the masked man secure her older sister’s ankles and legs like hers.

 

“Now,” he said as he stood up, “the game of Ludo can begin.  My friends will roll the dice, you just indicate which counters to move.  I and Mrs McPhee will start to make arrangements for your supper later…”

 

 

 

Turning the engine off, Nadeem smiled as he got out of the car and closed the door, retrieving his briefcase from the rear seat before he locked the car.  It had bene a good day, and as he walked in he could see the son starting to set in the west.  It would be time for prayer soon.

 

Walking into the house, he said “Shamilla, I am…” and then stopped as he saw Shamilla and Khadija standing in front of him, ropes around their upper bodies, tape over their mouths as two masked men stood behind them.

 

“Ah good,” one of them said in a Geordie accent as he came round and closed the door.  “I understand it is time for prayer now, Nadeem, so we must hurry.  Kindly put your hands behind your back.”

 

“Who are you,” Nadeem said quietly.

 

“My name is Jay Edwards – your family are secured, but unharmed, but your duty awaits, so please, hands behind your back.”  As Nadeem did so, Shamilla mumbled “whreehllfhnn” as he felt his wrists been secured together with rope, before Jay said “we will use the room upstairs.  My friend Mrs McPhee will make sure the girls are kept company.”

 

Phhppshhhmmm,” Layla said as she looked at Aliya, the older girl nodding as she rubbed her cheek on her sister’s head.  Layla had won the game of Ludo, and now they were watching some cartoons on television as they heard the rest of the family walking upstairs for prayer time.

 

Whllwhhttshn,” Aliya said as she looked at Mrs McPhee.

 

“Aye – the food is cooking, and I’ll take ye both through now.  Can ye both stand up?”

 

The sisters looked at each other and nodded as they shuffled forward, Aliya pushing herself up onto her feet and watching as Layla slipped off the couch and stood next to her.

 

“Now, jump oota the room and intae the dining room,” Mrs McPhee said, the two girls nodding as they started to jump across the floor.  As they went along the corridor, the three adults were on their knees in an upstairs room, bowing forward as Nadeem whispered, Shamilla and Khadija in silent prayer.

 

Noo, jump tae a chair,” Mrs McPhee said as she and the other associate watched, and then he lifted Layla onto a chair, the young girl watching as Mrs McPhee untied her arms and wrists, then rubbing them as she felt rope been tied round her waist, holding her to the chair as Mrs McPhee said “dinnae touch the tape until ah say so, ahl richt?”

 

She nodded as she watched Aliya been tied to the chair opposite her in the same way, the masked man watching as Mrs McPhee went into the kitchen as Aliya wriggled round and said “whlhlwhrhllrhtthneewh.”

 

They watched as plates of finger food were brought out, and placed on the table, and then they smiled under the tape as their family came back in.

 

“Are you both all right,” their father said as he sat down, the girls nodding as Shamilla and Khadija were sat down, the legs of all three tied once more to the front legs of the chair.

 

As their arms were untied, Mrs McPhee said “ye can take the gags off noo,” watching as the girls peeled the tape away from their mouths and collecting that as well as the soaking wet cloths.

 

“Thank you,” Layla said with a smile as she looked at her father.  “Mama and I have been tied up all day, Papa.”

 

“Is that right?  And are you all right?”

 

“I am, and Mama and Gran are as well.”

 

“We have been treated well and respectfully,” Khadija said as she rubbed her wrists.  “They say they want you to do something for them, and we are to stay here to make sure you do it.”

 

“My mother speaks the truth,” Shamilla said quietly, “we are unharmed, but please, do as they ask.”

 

“I have your word they will remain unharmed?”

 

“You have my word,” Jay said as he gave a slight bow, “so long as you do as we ask.  After you have eaten, all of you may watch television for a while, and then you will go with one of my associates here.  We will make sure the rest of your family are comfortable here, but they will be unable to move or speak much.”

 

“Will it be as we were before,” Aliya asked as she took a bite of bread.

 

“Tighter – but dinnae be afraid,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile, “it’ll be fun…”

 

Nadeem nodded as they all started to eat…

 

 

“Thank you,” Aliya said as she sat on the couch with her mother and sister, watching as Jay secured her father’s ankles together.  They had all eaten, and then the two girls jumped through while their parents and grandmother had ben walked in.  Each of them had had their wrists secured together behind their backs before they left the table, and as Mrs McPhee stood by the door Jay said “Now, you can spend some time talking before we get things ready for later.”

 

“Thank you for looking after my family,” Nadeem said as he wriggled round.  “I shudder to think what other groups would have done.”

 

“Why did you allow us prayer time,” Khadija said.

 

“Because we respect your faith,” Jay said quietly, “I suppose I should be grateful it was not Ramadan.  It may have been awkward for the girls if you were not able to eat with them.”

 

Shamilla smiled and shook her head as she looked at her daughters.  “So when do we get ready for bed?”

 

“In a while – we have time,” Jay said with a smile…

 

Eventually, Jay looked at his watch and said “it’s time, Nadeem.  Untie him, allow him to say good night to his family.  Mrs McPhee – would you please go and run a bath for young Layla?”

 

“Aye,” the masked woman said as she walked up the stairs, Nadeem rubbing his wrists before he walked round the room, hugging and kissing each of the bound women on the forehead as she said “do as they say – and we all see each other tomorrow.”

 

“Stay safe,” Shamilla said quietly as she watched him put a jacket on, and then walk out of the room with Jay and one of the other masked men.

 

“He will drive you to your office, do as he says.  No harm comes to anyone here if you do that.”

 

Nadeem nodded as they walked out of the house, Jay nodding before he walked back into the room.

 

“Now – time to start to prepare for the night.  Untie Shamilla and Layla – her grandmother and sister stay here with you while I take both of them upstairs.”

 

“What are you going to do with them,” Khadija asked as she watched the ropes been removed from her daughter and granddaughter.

 

“To give Layla a bath, and for them both to change before they come back down,” Jay said as Layla put her hand in her mother’s, “come along now.”

 

“You’re very nice to us,” Layla said as they walked up the stairs.

 

“Well, we try to be,” Jay said with a smile as they approached the bathroom, Mrs McPhee coming out.

 

Noo then – ye cum wi me, Layla, and yer mammy will get something for you to put on.”  Layla nodded as she walked into the bathroom, while Jay said “now, I want you to find a nightdress for you and Layla.”

 

“We have matching ones – and when she has had her bath?”

 

“You may wash and change yourself, while we start to get Layla ready,” Jay said, Shamilla nodding as they headed for a bedroom.

 

“There noo – is that better,” Mrs McPhee said as she dried Layla off.

 

“I feel clean – but are you really going to tie me up tightly now?”

 

“Aye – but it disnae hurt,” Mrs McPhee said as Layla put on a dressing gown, and they stepped out.  She looked at her mother and Jay, as he said “Layla’s gown and a bag is in her bedroom.  I will wait her for her mother.”

 

Layla nodded as Shamilla went into the bathroom, carrying a folded pink nightdress, and then Mrs McPhee took her into her bedroom.  Layla took her dressing gown off and then put on the long pink nightgown that was on her bed.  It had a square neckline, with long sleeves that were gathered at the cuff, and came down to her ankles.  Mrs McPhee smiled as she put Layla’s hair up, and then said “First things first – can you hold something for me?”

 

As she nodded Mrs McPhee took two small sponge balls from a bag on the bed and gave them to Layla to hold, before she took out a roll of silver duct tape and covered her fists as the young girl watched.

 

“Wow – I can’t use my hands now,” she said as Mrs McPhee then pulled a pair of white socks over her hands, and nodded as she said “now, hands behind yer back.”

 

As Layla did this, Mrs McPhee took soft white rope and tied her wrists tightly together, before she took the rope round her waist and tied the ends together in front.   “It looks like my white bow,” Layla said as she looked down at the white silk bow on the front of her nightdress, and then the rope bow at her waist.

 

“Aye – noo, we tie yer arms so they feel as if yer been hugged,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile as she produced a longer length of rope, Layla’s eyes open wide before it was wrapped round her arms and body, Mrs McPhee making two bands at her stomach and upper arms.  She tied the rope off behind Layla’s back, and then used two shorter lengths to tighten them between her arms and body.

 

“Now – does tha’ hurt lassie?”

 

Layla twisted round as she said “no it doesn’t.  So what happens next?”

 

“Well, It’s no time fer ye tae be quiet yet – we’ll dae that doonstairs.  Let’s see how yer mammy is doing?”

 

Layla nodded as Mrs McPhee opened the door, and Layla walked out, Mrs McPhee following as they walked to her parent’s bedroom, and walked in to see Jay completing the binding of her mother’s upper body.  Shamilla was wearing the same style of nightdress as Layla, with a white headscarf over her head, and she smiled as she said “did she cover your hands as well, Layla?”

 

“She did, Mama,” Layla said, and then she looked at Mrs McPhee.  “Can I have my hair covered by a scarf as well, so I can be like the rest of my family?”

 

As Shamilla nodded, Mrs McPhee left the room for a minute, returning with a pink headscarf which she tied over Layla’s head.  “Now, before we go down,” Jay said quietly, “you both need to be nice and quiet.”

 

“No – please, wait until we all come back up…”

 

“It’s all right Mama, I want to be quiet now,” Layla said.  Shamilla looked at her, and said “if you must silence my daughter, do so, but allow me to speak for now.”

 

Jay nodded as Mrs McPhee folded a white cloth, and then said “open wide, little one.”  As Shamilla watched, she pushed the folded cloth into her daughter’s mouth, and then tied a knotted strip of towelling between her lips, Layla biting down on it as she tied it round her head.

 

She then picked up a roll of white tape, and wound it tightly round the young girl’s head, covering her lips as she looked at her mother with her eyes sparkling.  That was then followed by a band of silver tape, before a folded pick scarf was tied over that as well.

 

“Now, let’s go downstairs,” Jay said as he smiled, “and we see who is next.  Will you go first Layla?”

 

Ysfhnklsss,” Layla mumbled through the layered gag as they left the bedroom…

 

“Oh my god,” Khadija said as her daughter and granddaughter walked into the main room, “Layla, are you all right?”

 

Yshhghrndhmm,” the little girl said as she nodded, and went to sit next to her mother as Aliya looked at her, the pink band covering her mouth.  “Is that what they are going to do to us,” she whispered.

 

“It is, yes,” Shamilla said quietly as she watched Mrs McPhee take a length of the white rope, and tied Layla’s ankles tightly together, before she tied another length of rope around the younger girl’s legs, above her knees and gathering the skirt of her nightdress round them as she did so.

 

“There noo – is tha ahl richt, little one?”

 

Layla nodded as she put her head against her mother’s arms, somehow feeling safe and secure despite the fact she could neither speak nor move.  It was as if she was wrapped in a rug, and was happy like that.

 

“I think you should be next,” Jay said as she looked at Khadija, while the masked man knelt down and untied her legs, then helped her to stand up.  As she walked up the stairs with Jay, she said “when Layla falls asleep, what happens?”

 

“We secure her in her bed, as we will all with all of you – why?”

 

“I think she will fall asleep before we are all secured – leave her with her mother if that is the case?”

 

“As you wish,” Jay said with a smile as he untied her wrists, and then opened the bathroom door.  “Your daughter has kindly selected some night attire for you – please, wash and change.”

 

The older woman nodded as she went in, Jay closing the door to as she removed her own headscarves and looked at herself in the mirror, her grey hair cut short as she nodded.

 

“If I must be a captive, at least they are treating us with all due modesty,” she said quietly as she started the shower running, and then began to strip…

 

Jay nodded as Khadija came out, adjusting the light blue headscarf that now covered her hair.  Her nightdress was a pale pink, with a subtle red pattern on it, the sleeves coming to just under her elbows, the skirt to below her knees.

 

“So – you are going to secure my arms now, are you not?”

 

“With regret, I must,” Jay said quietly, “but we start with you holding these sponges and making two fists.

 

“Why must I – ah, now I see,” she said quietly as she watched Jay transform her fists into two silver balls with the duct tape, and then gently ease a pair of white socks over them, before taping the top of the socks to her arms with micropore tape.  He then picked up a length of white rope, gently took her hands behind her back and crossed her wrists, and then used the cords to secure them tightly together, the bands of rope sitting over the socks and tape.

 

“I see – so I cannot use my hands to try and free myself, but it also protects my wrists?  Ingenious, Mr Edwards – I have to admit, you are a true professional.”

 

“Compliments are always warmly welcomed,” Jay said quietly as he tied the rope off, and then took the longer length, Khadija looking straight ahead as he wound it around her body, forcing her arms into her sides as it sat below and above her chest.  It was a strange feeling, but somehow she was remaining calm, as Jay then took the rope under one arm, up and around the back of her neck, and then under the other arm before he tied it off behind her.

 

“There – ah, Mrs McPhee, excellent timing as always.”

 

“I brought young Aliya here tae get ready – get yer nightgown from yer room, lass, and then ye can get washed up and changed.”

 

“Are you all right, Grandmother,” the teenager said, Khadija nodding as Jay slowly walked her down the stairs…

 

 

 

“At least it is not uncomfortable,” Khadija said as she sat in the armchair, Shamilla nodding as Layla lay against her, and then slipped down, her head resting on her mother’s lap as her eyes slowly closed.

 

“The poor wee lassie is exhausted,” Mrs McPhee said as she came into the room with Aliya.  The teenager was wearing a floor length purple nightgown with a peach floral print, the white socks pulled up over her arms before she had also had them secured to her sides, her wrists behind her back and a blue scarf covering her hair.

 

“Perhaps we should take her up,” Jay said quietly as he picked her up, looking at the other masked man and saying “they may talk, and if they wish the television may go on, but that is all.”

 

“Where will you take her,” Shamilla said as she watched the masked man carrying her daughter.

 

“Your room – your mother has requested she stays where you will be, but she will be safe.”  With that, he and Mrs McPhee left the room as Aliya said “we are going to have our legs secured, and our mouths covered, are we not?”

 

“We are,” Khadija said quietly, “but Layla managed to cope, and so we will as well.  Is it – am I the only one who is not really afraid?”

 

“No – I am not afraid either,” Shamilla said quietly.  “I should be, and yet I am not.  Is it something they are doing?”

 

“I do not know – but I am glad of it.  I think we will truly be unable to move when they have finished…”

 

 

 

 

“All right – contact me when you have finished,” Jay said quietly as he ended the call, and then put the phone away.  “It is time to make you all secure for the night – we will take care of Aliya first.  Please, stand, and walk up the stairs with me.”

 

The three women nodded as they stood up and walked out of the room, and then up the stairs, Mrs McPhee in front and Jay coming behind, carrying the bag of ropes.  At the top of the stairs, they walked to the older girl’s room, and then went in as Mrs McPhee said “sit on the edge of yer bed, lassie – Ah’ll secure yer legs while Jay makes sure ye cannae speak.”

 

“What did they do to Layla,” Khadija whispered as Aliya sat down, Mrs McPhee taking some of the rope and kneeling down as she tied her ankles tightly together.

 

“You will see,” Layla said quietly as Jay folded a clean white cloth, and said “open your mouth for me, Aliya.  It may feel strange for a while, but you will get used to it.”

 

“Well – all right,” Aliya said as she let Jay push the cloth into her mouth, her mother and grandmother watching as he then took a strip of towelling with a knot in the middle, and pushed the knot between her lips before he tied the towelling round her head.  As he did this, Mrs McPhee took a second length of rope and tied the teenager’s legs tightly together above her knees, gathering the skirt of her nightdress underneath as she did so.

 

“Is this necessary,” Khadija asked as Jay then wrapped the white micropore tape tightly round her granddaughter’s head, and then added the layer of silver duct tape on top of that.

 

“It is – we need to ensure you know you cannot raise the alarm, because that way, you accept the situation and relax.  Isn’t that right, Aliya?”

 

The girl nodded as Mrs McPhee folded a white scarf into a band, and tied it over the layers of her gag, before she helped her to lie on her side, pulling her ankles back and securing them to her chest ropes before she rolled over and nodded to her mother.

 

Ah’ll stay a while,” Mrs McPhee said as Jay nodded.  “As we are here, we may as well ensure both of you are quiet as well.  Please, open your mouths.”

 

Thsshssdhffrnhnt,” Shamilla mumbled as she tasted the clean cloth on her tongue, and then the towelling on her lips as Jay pulled the knot between her teeth and tied it round her head.  She watched as he did the same thing to her mother, and then heard the strange sound as the micropore tape was peeled from the roll.  As he pressed it on her cheek, it pulled slightly, but then he wound it tightly round her head, covering her mouth and lips as the other masked man did the same thing to Khadija.

 

The duct tape was next, further silencing her as the band sat on top of the white wrap gag.  It was pressing in on her cheeks, but it was holding fast, and as the folded white scarf was tied over it she knew she was going to be quiet, quite quiet.

 

“Shall we,” Jay said, the two women nodding as they walked to the spare bedroom, Khadija sitting on the bed as Jay knelt down before securing her ankles together, as well as her legs, then helping her to lie on her side before he pulled her ankles back and tied them to her chest ropes.  She nodded to show she was all right, as Jay said “stay here” to the masked man, and then took Shamilla to her bedroom.

 

As they walked in, she smiled and said “Fhnkuhhh” as she saw Kayla lying on her side, a rope running from her ankles to the foot of the bed, her head resting on the pillows as her chest rose and fell.  She sat down, watching as Jay secured her own ankles and legs, and then lay on her side, feeling her legs as her ankles were pulled back, and gently pressing her covered lips on Layla’s head as her ankles were secured to her chest ropes.

 

As the light was turned off, she heard Layla mumbling, her eyes slowly closing…

 

 

“Excellent, leave him there and get out.  We’ll be in touch soon with your share.”

 

Jay smiled as he put the phone away, looking at Mrs McPhee and the masked men as he said “are they all asleep?”

 

“Aye,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile.

 

“Good – gather everything up,” Jay said with a smile, “time to leave.”

 

 

 

 

Mhhmmm?  Ghhdmhrnnmhmmmaee.”

 

Shamilla slowly opened her eyes as she saw Layla looking at her, wriggling round as the sunlight came through the curtains that were covering the bedroom windows.

 

Ghddmhhrrhnnmhhlechnuhrrthfrs?”

 

Nhhhfthhhghn?”

 

Shamilla listened carefully and then nodded, before she heard the sound of the front door been opened and footsteps on the stairs running up.  She turned her head and tried to look over as two policemen ran in, and said “we’ve got two in here – mother and younger daughter.”

 

“Found the other two,” a voice shouted back.

 

“It’s all right,” one of the officers said as he came over, and started to untie the scarf over Shamilla’s mouth, “let’s get you – oh my god, is your daughter gagged in this way?”

 

Ysshhmmm, jslhkmmhh,” Layla said as she nodded, the other policeman coming to her as the tape was gently wound off Shamilla’s head.  As the tape was removed, Nadeem came in, looking at them as he said “are you all right?”

 

Whrrr fine,” Shamilla said as the cloth was eased from her mouth.  “What did they do to you?”

 

“Tied and gagged me at the office – but that’s not important.  You’re safe now…”

 

 

 

 

“And that is his share sent,” Mark Williamson said as he stood up.  “Can I just say, your hijab last night – nice touch.”

 

“I thought it was,” Lynn said with a smile.  “Now, what shall we do next?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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