Jay and the Long Night










Jordan Hempford and Clark Benson had built HempSon from a start with one transit van to a national distribution logistics company with a strong reputation, and even though they were now Executive Directors, they had confidence that those who worked for them were doing so legally and properly.


As a result, Jordan and his wife Helen had retired to a large farmhouse in the Cotswolds, and on this particular afternoon Helen was in the kitchen, baking cakes and other items both for the family that were coming to visit and also for Clark, who was coming with his wife Janet and their two grandchildren.


“That smells good,” Jordan said as he looked round the kitchen door. He was wearing a checked shirt over a white t-shirt, brown pants and Doc Marten boots, while Helen was wearing a blue dress with a white scarf wrapped round her neck, a white apron protecting the front of her dress, and knee length taupe leather boots.


“Get out of here,” Helen said with a laugh, “you are not having anything before Lauren and Claire get here with the kids.”


“Then I’ wait with anticipation,” Jordan said with a laugh, Helen shaking her head as she took one tray of cakes from the Aga oven, and placed a second one in. Washing her hands, she smiled as she heard the vehicle pulling up. Looking out, she smiled as the SUV came to a stop, and two young women got out.


Lauren was the oldest daughter at 34, and she was wearing a light brown jumper and matching knee length leather boots which her black leggings were tucked into, a brown tartan shawl tied round her neck and hanging over her chest. Claire was 30, and she was wearing a blue denim shirt dress with a thin belt round her waist, the bump just showing under the belt. She was also wearing knee length boots, in her case darker brown ones, and she had a red and grey tartan shawl tied round her neck and hanging down her front, covering the bump at the tip. Both of them looked over and waved, the slight wind blowing Lauren’s long blonde hair and Claire’s light brown hair.


As Lauren opened the rear doors of the vehicle, Helen smiled at the two grandchildren who had jumped out. Chris was Lauren’s son, twelve years old with dark hair, and he was wearing a blue jumper over a grey T-shirt, grey jeans and trainers. Claire’s daughter, Astrid, was nine years old, and was wearing a grey jumper with a large white elephant on the front, and red leggings with white polka dots as well as red trainers. Her blonde hair was swept back from her face and held there by a white band.


“GRANNY!” They both ran into the kitchen and hugged their white-haired grandmother, as their mothers came in.


“All right, all right,” Helen said with a smile as she rubbed their heads, “why don’t you go and see your grandfather while I sort out some coffee and drinks for everyone.”


“Okay,” Astrid said as she and Chris ran off, Helen hugging her daughters and looking at Claire. “So, what did the doctor say?”


“All good and the men of the house know we’re going to be late back tonight, so they’re going to the pictures and then stopping in the town for the night,” Lauren said. “How’s Dad?”


“Wondering why he only goes into the office one day a week now but he potters around the place,” Helen said as she put a copper kettle on the Aga. “So let me make some coffee, I have hot fruit cake cooling, and then we can all have something together “




The grey transit van made its way slowly up the driveway, seeing the cars and the SUV parked outside the farmhouse, before it quietly made its way round to the back of the house.



“Thanks Granny,” Chris said as he took the plate from Helen, and started to eat the scone that was on it, the jam and cream on top.


“Take your time,” Lauren said quietly, as Jordan looked on.


“Once you two have finished I have a new jigsaw in the back room that you can make a start on,” he said with a smile, the children nodding as they drank their milk.


“Can we go now then,” Astrid asked with a smile.


“Go on then,” Claire said as the two children went off, Lauren smiling before she said, “so have you sorted out the cruise yet?”


“Two months’ time,” Helen said as she took a drink from her cup, “and you’re happy to keep an eye on the place while we are away?”


“Of course we are you know the kids love coming here,” Claire said as she held her mug in her hands, and then said “Did you hear that?”


“Hear what?”


“It sounds like someone coming in, but who would Oh my “


The four adults looked over as the door opened and a group of men and one woman came in, one of them pointing a gun at them. They were all wearing blue boiler suit, leather gloves and boots, and black balaclava masks, two of the men carrying holdalls, and the one with the gun saying in a soft Geordie accent “please, no shouting or raised voices we need everyone to remain calm and just sit quietly, with your hands where we can see them.”


Jordan stood slowly up, and said “I don’t know who you are, but “


“My name is Jay Edwards.”


Jordan stared at him, and then at the woman before he whispered “Mrs. McPhee?”


“Aye,” the masked woman said in a Scottish accent, “ahnd where are the bairns?”


“In the back room,” Helen whispered, “why?”


“Mrs. McPhee, if you would do the honours please?”


“Wi me,” she said as one of the men carrying the bags nodded and followed her, Claire and Lauren looking at each other as they heard her say “Guid afternoon noo stay nice and calm “ before one of the men closed the door.


“Now,” Jay said quietly, “we have business to discuss with you and your partner, Jordan, and I am sure you know what that means.”


“I do I fear we are all going to be tied, gagged, and held hostage by these men and the lady,” Jordan said as he looked at his wife and daughters.


“What Chris and Astrid as well?”


“Necessary, I assure you,” Jay said with a smile, as Claire wondered why she was not more scared. “I can also assure you, Claire, we know your current condition, and we will take that very much into account, but the best thing you can all do is remain calm and trust us.”


“Lord Holdsworth is a friend he has described the times you have visited homes his family have been at, and how you held his grandchildren hostage for a weekend. You’re not “


“No our stay should be completed tonight, all things being equal,” Jay said as the man with the bag put it on the floor, opened it and took out a length of rope, before he walked behind Jordan and took his hands behind his back.


“What is he doing, Dad,” Lauren said as a second man took a length of rope and then he went behind her and guided her hands behind her, before she felt the rope rubbing on her wrists as they were bound tightly together.


“Making sure we stay in here what are you doing to the children?”


“Me, nothing,” Jay said as he handed the shotgun to his partner, and then took another length of rope before he walked behind Claire. “As I said, you are perfectly safe,” he said quietly, Claire nodding as she put her own hands behind her back and the rope went round them. “Mrs. McPhee is going to make sure they cannot spoil the surprise for your partner and his family we need them as well to remain calm.”



“There disnae hert, does it?”


Astrid shook her head as she sat in the chair and twisted her bound wrists together in front of herself. The two children had their ankles tied together, as well as their legs below their knees, while the masked woman went over to Chris and wrapped the rope round his wrists as well.


“So, we’re your hostages,” he said as he watched her.


“Aye but ah know wehl hae fun as wehl,” she said as she pulled the rope between his wrists and tied the ends off. “Ahn ye cahn dae yer jigsaw ahs wehl.”


“Thank you,” Astrid said as she slipped off the chair and looked at the pieces on the table.


“When yer cuhsins git here, they cahn help ahs wehl bit ah need tae do one mair thing “




“Fhnkkuh,” Lauren said as the rolled up white scarf was tied round her head, her lips closed over the band as she looked round. Her sister was sat next to her, her parents in the armchairs, but all of them had their wrists tied together behind their backs, their ankles secured together as well as their legs below their knees, and each of them gagged with an identical white scarf.


“Shwwhthphnsnh,” Helen said as she looked at Jay. The masked man looked round and said “You take the handbags, remove their phones - and make sure Mrs. McPhee has any the children have as well. You disable the internet and telephones, then keep a look out.” As the two men left, Jay sat down and smiled as he said “When your partner gets here, I will explain to both of you what is going to happen. Until then, just relax “




“I’ll bet Helen has been cooking all morning and half of the afternoon,”
Janet Benson said as she looked out of the window of the jeep. She had short grey-blonde hair, and was wearing a grey checked blouse with a grey scarf wrapped loosely round her neck, her jeans tucked into knee length grey leather boots.


“Nah too safe a bet,” Clark Benson said with a smile. His beard and what little hair was left on his head was snow white, and he was wearing a grey T-shirt, jeans and grey trainers with white ankle socks.


Janet looked back to see her two grandchildren asleep on the seats. Paul and Petra were ten-year-old twins, with blonde hair. Paul’s black shirt was over a grey roll neck sweater, while he was also wearing jeans with black shoes. Petra had longer hair, a large black bow sitting on the top, and she was wearing a long-sleeved black top with purple leggings that had a floral print, as well as black gym shoes.


“Well, they need to wake up,” Clark said with a smile, “we’re here I see Jordan’s family are here already.”


“Good,” Janet said as Clark pulled up beside the SUV. “Wakey wakey,” she said as she looked back, “we’re here.”


“Are we,” Paul said as he rubbed his eyes, and then got out of the car, Petra getting out the other side before Janet took both their hands. They walked up to the door, Clark nodding as he knocked on the front door and watched it open.


“Hey - hope you’ve got a drink ready, Jordan,” he said as he walked in and then stopped still.


“What’s wrong Clark,” Janet walking in with the children and then hearing their gasps as the door closed behind them. There were two masked men there, one holding a gun as the other said “Hello Clark I need all of you to be nice and quiet now, because we need to make sure you do what we say for the remainder of today.”


“Who are you,” Petra said quietly.


“My name is Jay Edwards,” the masked man said as Janet instinctively gripped the hands of her grandchildren tightly. “I desire a discussion and to conduct some business with you and your partner, Clark he and his family are in the front room, and I will take them to you in a moment. But first, I need you to hand your phones and your handbag, Janet,” to one of my friends here and I need to secure your wrists behind your back.


“All of you but I promise you, it will not hurt, and then your grandchildren can come and meet my friend, Mrs. McPhee. So please, hand over what I ask for, and then face the wall.”


“Granny “


“It’s all right, Paul,” Janet said as she looked at them, “I know of this man, and it’ll all right to be a little bit scared, but I believe him when he says he will not harm us. See what he does to me and Grandad first, and then he can do it to both of you, all right?”


Jay turned and looked in a door to the rear of the corridor, before he and another of the men took lengths of white cord and tied Clark and Janet’s wrists together behind their backs.


“As for you two,” he said, “turn round my friend Mrs. McPhee says you need to be able to use your hands, so I am going to tie your wrists together in front of you.”


“See, that’s not so bad is it,” Clark said as Paul and Petra turned round, watching as Jay held the rope in his gloved hands and then secured their wrists tightly together.


“Look at me, Granny,” Petra said as she held her hands up, before they heard a woman say “Ahn this must be wee Paul ahn Petra.”


“My good friend Mrs. McPhee,” Jay said as Clark and Janet looked at the masked woman. “Go with her Clark, Janet, if you will come with me?”


“Be brave,” Janet said as Mrs. McPhee guided the two children to the rear room, and Jay walked hem into the main room as they heard Jordan say “Nhtwhtthhphlnnhd.”


“No indeed,” Clark said as he looked at Jordan, Helen, Laura and Clare.


“Are you all right,” Janet said as she looked at Clare, seeing the dark material at the corners of her mouth. She nodded as Jordan was heled to stand up and shuffled over to Jay, while Janet was sat down, watching as her ankles and legs were lashed together by another masked man with more rope.


“I want to see the children,” Clark said, Jordan nodding in agreement as they watched Janet being gagged.


“Of course - shall we?”


“Chhmhmnn,” Jordan mumbled, the two men walking with Jay to the back bedroom.


“Hllghrrhndhd, chmhndlhk.”


Jordan nodded as Clark looked at Chris, Astrid, Paul and Petra, all of them gagged with rolled up white scarves and their ankles and legs secured as they stood round the table, finding pieces of the puzzle and making the borders as Mrs. McPhee helped to sort the pieces.


“Well, I can see you are busy,” Jay said, the children nodded before he said “Mrs. McPhee, in a little while, take them to be with the ladies and they can watch some television while you take Helen and Janet to prepare a meal. Gentlemen, come with me please.”


Jordan and Clark looked at each other as Jay and one of the masked and armed men followed them, and they walked into Jordan’s office, Jay turning and saying “stand guard” as he closed the door. Indicating a leather couch, he said “sit down gentlemen, and we will talk.”


As they sat down, Jay untied and removed the gag from Jordan, putting the grey and white cloth to one side as he worked his mouth, and said “all right, so we go and give you access to our company accounts later, right?”


“That is part of it, certainly,” Jay said as he sat across from them, “but not all. Gentlemen, I have a story that, for once, I do think the people we are robbing need to be aware of “




Mark and Yvonne looked at each other as they sat on the large couch in their front room, and then looked at the screen of the laptop before Mark said “are you serious Brian?”


“Believe me, I wish I was not,” the brawny Australian said as he looked out from the screen at them.


“But I really do not believe either Jordan Hempford or Clark Benson would have anything to do with his,” Yvonne said. “I know their wives and we’ve met socially they both support local charities.”


“Well, normally this is where I’d remind you that some of the best known crime bosses in the UK support very useful charities,” Brian said with a smile, “but on this occasion you are absolutely right my superiors have no issue with either of them, their wives or their families. But they do have strong evidence that someone in the senior management of Hempson now is using the firm to ship items to countries where they are not been used for the well, let’s just say people are dying.


“And then there is the return trade. Another contact has informed me the lorries do not return empty.”


Yvonne looked at Brian, and whispered “no “


“This other contact is a member of a group who are going to deal with that at the source,” Brian said quietly, “but we need confirmation of who is managing this through Hempson. We have suspicions, but we need the proof- and that is where we need your help.”


“Given Jordan and Clark,” Mark said, “a direct approach may help.”


“No the people involved in this may decide to eliminate them, and that would include their families,” Brian said quietly, “we do this with ‘jay and Mrs. McPhee but for once, I want you to tell them without going into details what you are going to do and why.”


“You do? Why?”


“I think they will react in the appropriate manner “


“You are serious, aren’t you?” Clark said as he looked at Jordan. “Someone in our company OUR COMPANY is doing this?”


“I counsel you not to shout and remain calm,” Jay said, Clark looking at him and then slowly nodding.


Jordan looked at Jay and said “Seriously? Some spook uses you to do this?”


“I am taking a great risk in telling you this,” Jay said quietly, “and I need to ask you to keep this a secret between yourselves, but it may make the events of this evening a little more understandable if you know the full motive behind what we are doing.”


Jordan looked at Clark, and nodded before he said “What else can we do?”


“If this is successful, there are going to be some gaps at the senior management of your firm,” Jay said quietly, “it may benefit from the two of you stepping in and completing the cleanup. After that well, best you do not know what may happen.”


“Something tells me that is definitely the truth,” Clark said quietly. “Okay we keep quiet, we accept our wives, our families, are going to spend a different night, and in return a great evil is removed. I can live with that.”


“So can I,” Jordan said as Jay stood up.


“Thank you now, with regret, I must silence you before you go and sit with the children. I am sure Mrs. McPhee can arrange some food with your wives for everyone.”


Both men nodded as Jay replaced the wet scarf in Jordan’s mouth, and then gagged Clark in the same way, before they walked back into the front room.




Jordan smiled as he saw the four grandchildren sitting on the floor, their gags much darker at the corners of their mouths and with their wrists now tied to the ropes holding their legs together. Mrs. McPhee smiled as she helped Helen and Janet to stand up, while Jordan and Clark took their seats, two of the men kneeling and securing their ankles and their legs below their knees.


“Cum wi me,” Mrs. McPhee said as one of the men went with her, Helen and Janet to the kitchen. She looked round and felt the top of the Agam stove as the two older women had their wrists released, Helen rubbing hers as the masked woman says “tahk their gags oot ahs wehl we chan hae a wee tahlk while we cook.”


“Thank you,” Helen said as she worked her mouth, and then poured some water into two glasses, handing one to Janet. They both took a long drink, before Janet said “that’s better - how do you do it?”


“Dae whit?”


“Keep the children so calm when they are hostages and us for that matter. Claire is not panicked at all and I am grateful for that, believe me. But what is going to happen after we eat when you take our husbands away.”


“Dinnae worry ye’ll ahl be fihn. Noo then wha shall we make?”






“Thank you, Mrs. McPhee,” Astrid said as she and Petra sat side by side at the table, Janet smiling as she placed the food in front of them and they started eating. All of the family had been untied and the gags removed, the masked men watching as Jordan said “Well, not the day we expected to have, was it? How did you get on with the jigsaw?”


“We got the border and sky completed,” Chris said, “but we need to complete it later.”


“Well, it will be tomorrow,” Jay said with a smile, “but I am sure you will be able to do that. Right now, eat up I’m sure you are all hungry.”


“So, what happens after we eat, Mrs. McPhee,” Petra said as she looked over at the masked woman.


“I think a family game is going to be in order but once you have all got ready for bed,” Jay said. “Jordan and Clark are going to head to the offices with one of my friends but afeer that, we will make sure you all stay in bed.”




“Wait ahn see, wee yin,” Mrs. McPhee said as she looked at Paul, “Wait ahn see “


“Come on you don’t want the food to get cold,” Helen said as the others kept eating





“Are you both going to be all right,” Jordan said as he looked at Helen. His wife had now changed into a round necked nightdress with a pink check and little blue flowers in each box, the skirt coming over her knees.


“I was going to ask you the same thing will you and Clark be all right?”


Jordan nodded as Janet came in from the en suite bathroom. She was also wearing a long-sleeved nightdress, her one cream with red flowers. She was wearing light blue slippers, while Helen was wearing blue ones.


“Look I know somehow they are keeping us calm - especially the kids but do whatever they say,” Jordan said as he looked at them. “When this is over, we can talk about what happened, all right?”


The door opened as Jay walked in, holding several coils of rope in his gloved hands. “The others are playing Monopoly,” he said as one of his group brought Clark in as well,” but we are going to secure your arms in the same way as the children will be, so that they can see there is nothing to worry about.”


“Okay,” Helen said, “but what about Lauren and Claire?”


“Given Claire’s condition, we are doing something different for them,” he said with a smile. “I think your husbands should hug you, and then I will secure your wrists together behind your back.”


“Well, here we go,” Janet said, Helen nodding as they were hugged by their husbands, before Jay took Helen’s arms behind her back and secured her wrists tightly together. She looked over as he did the same to Janet, before he doubled over a longer length of rope and passed it round Helen’s body, pulling it tight under her chest as her arms were forced together by her sides.


“Okay this is tight,” she said quietly as Jordan watched the masked robber take the rope round his wife’s body again and again, forcing her arms against her sides as the bands framed her chest, the nightdress stretched over it. He then did something behind her, before he passed the rope under one arm, and around the back of her neck, and under the other arm.


“Very different,” she said quietly as he tied the ropes off, and then started to do the same to Janet as Clark looked at her.


“You’re going to kill me, but “




He looked at Jordan, and said “remember when we first met them?”


“The football game? Yeah they were wearing tight jerseys, hot pants and tight knee length boots, and oh. Yeah. Right.”


Janet looked at Helen as the ropes were pulled tighter round her chest, before she said “pair of dirty old men, aren’t they?”


“But we love them, right?”


“Right,” Janet said as Jay tied the ropes off, “so please, come home tomorrow.”


“Don’t worry -your safety is the thing we have uppermost in our mind,” Clark said as he came over and held Janet, kissing her as Jordan kissed Helen.


“Right let us join the others.”




“Hey Gran I’m winning,” Astrid said as she looked over. She was wearing a light pink onesie with darker pink hearts, while Petra was wearing a purple onesie with stars and planets on the material. She then looked at Helen, before she said “are Are they going to do that to all of us?”


“Aye, ah’ll dae hat,” Mrs. McPhee said as Lauren and Clare looked at each other. Lauren was wearing a pink nightdress with elbow length sleeves, and Clare a blue one with a dotted pattern but both of them had their wrists tied together in front of themselves.


“So, we had our wrists tied “


“It will be more comfortable for both of you,” Jay said with a smile, “given you both have to protect something.”


Lauren looked at Jay, before she said “how did you “


“The appointment card in your handbag,” Jay said as Jordan and Helen looked at their daughter.


“I I only found out this morning,” she said as Chris said, “You’re having another baby Mum?”


“Yeah I’m six weeks on. Heck of a way to announce it, right?”


“We’ll celebrate tomorrow,” Helen said as they sat down and watched Paul throw the two dice. He was wearing a grey striped short sleeved top and blue shorts, while Chris was wearing a green top and white patterned shorts.


“For tonight, however, sit down,” Jay said as he indicated the armchair, “we have to take Jordan and Clark for a drive now.”


“Be brave and behave yourselves,” Jordan said quietly as Clark nodded. “We can all talk about it in the morning.”


“Good luck,” Janet, said, Clark nodding as they left the room with Jay. He handed a USB stick to his masked partner, as he said, “thank you do as he says, you will be left safely secured.”


“Don’t worry, we know why we’re doing this,” Jordan said as the three men left, Jay nodding as he walked in to hear Chris say “Mayfair rent please “



Eventually, Chris sighed as he looked at his sister, and said “I’m out as well.”


“Ahl richt,” Mrs. McPhee said, “both ohf ye stahdn oop, and put yer hahns behind yer backs.”


Lauren watched as the masked woman took some rope from a bag and walked behind her children, securing their wrists together before she used longer ropes to secure their arms tightly to their sides. “Do you have to do that to them as well,” she said as the ropes were taken under Astrid’s arm and then round the back of her neck.


“I’ll be all right Mum,” she said as Mrs. McPhee tied the ropes off, and then said “noo, time tae be quiet. Keep cahlm ahn open yer moofs.”


Chris looked at Astrid, and then nodded as he opened his mouth, and she eased the knot in the middle of the rolled up black scarf between her teeth, pulling the band round his head and tying the ends together at the base of his neck on top of the rope. She then peeled the end of the roll of white tape free and wrapped it round his head, covering the cleave gag before she tore the end free and pressed it down. Astrid swallowed and then she was gagged in the same way, before they sat down to watch the game progress.


“Well, we’re not going to raise the alarm later,” Helen said quietly as she moved round, Janet nodding as the game came to an end with Petra winning. She and Paul then stood up, all of them watching as their arms and upper bodies were bound in the same way as the other two, and then they were gagged.


“Ah need tae mahk shure yer mas are jus as tightly tied,” she then said as she collected two long ropes from the bag, and walked behind Lauren, carefully taking the rope round her int wo bands that framed her chest and held them tightly in place, before she did the same to her as everyone else. She then bound Claire’s arms in the same way, the lower band sitting under her chest and on top of the bump, as she looked round.


“Time for you all to go to bed,” she said as they all stood up, the men picking up the bags and following Jay as he went first, the family next and Mrs. McPhee with them behind them. As they reached the top of the stairs, Jay opened a door and said “excellent Chris, Paul, you will be in here.”


The two boys walked in, the girls standing to the side with their mothers and grandmothers as they lay on their sides on the bed, looking at each other as Jay and Mrs. McPhee secured their ankles tightly together, and then their legs below their knees, before they bent their legs and bound their ankles loosely to the ropes round their chests.


“Watch them,” Jay said quietly, one of the men nodding as he turned the light off and they left the room, walking down the corridor and opening another door.


“Ye twa cahn gae in here,” Mrs. McPhee said as Astrid and Petra walked in, lying on their backs on the double bed as she took ropes from a bag and secured their ankles together, and then their legs below their knees, before she tied lengths of rope from their ankles to the foot of the bed as they wriggled round. One of the men then nodded as she turned the light off, standing by the side as she closed the door.


“You promise they will be all right?”


“Och aye they will be fihn,” Mrs. McPhee said as they walked to another bedroom. “Ye twa young ladies will be in here lie doon.”


“We have to trust them,” Janet said quietly, Lauren nodding as they lay down and watched Jay as he bound Clare’s ankles tightly together, and then secured them to the foot of the bed before he secured her legs together below her knees, and then tied her wrists to that band. Walking round the bed, he did the same to Lauren as Mrs. McPhee said “Keep ah chlose eye ohn them if they show any signs of distress, cahl me.”


He nodded as Jay said “I need you both to open your mouths the sponges will expand, but they will also soak the saliva up, so stay still after we tape your mouths.”


“Okay,” Lauren whispered before the compressed sponge was pushed into her mouth, her cheeks puffing out as Mrs. McPhee peeled a length of tape from the white roll and pressed it firmly down over her mouth. Clare was then gagged in the same way, both of them nodding as they wriggled on the bed.


“Will you both be all right?”


“Yhssmhm,” Lauren said as Jay and Mrs. McPhee took Helen and Janet by the arm and walked them to the master bedroom. The two women sat either side of the bed, Helen watching Jay as he knelt down and bound her ankles tightly together while Mrs. McPhee did the same to Janet.


“Forgive me for a moment,” Jay then said as he folded back the hem of her nightdress, and then secured her legs together below her knees. As he folded the hem back, she nodded and then saw him compress the sponge in his hands.


“Thank you for keeping your word.”


“Our pleasure,” Jay said with a smile, “now, open wide.” Helen nodded as she felt the sponge expand in her mouth, pressing her tongue down and her cheeks out as Jay peeled a length of tape from the roll and pressed it firmly down over her cheeks. He then helped her toile one side as Mrs. McPhee helped Janet, both women seeing the shape of their lips of the other under the tape as thy were hogtied.


“Whhlwhtdhdwhdhnh,” Janet said as Jay took out his phone.


“This is Jay Edwards


“Of course,” he said as he turned the phone and showed Helen and Janet looking at him, before he put the phone to Helen’s ear.


“I know you can’t talk,” she heard Jordan say, “but we have done what they asked. Be at peace, and we’ll see you when we see you. I love you - I love you all.”


Helen nodded as he moved and put the phone to Janet’s ear before she nodded as well.


“Secure them both and depart with our thanks payment will be made in the usual way.”


He ended the call and left the room, saying “check them and the mothers every fifteen minutes” before he and Mrs. McPhee left the room, turning the light off as they did so.




“Hfhhffnhhde,” Helen said to Janet as she felt her eyes slowly closing








Clare slowly opened her eyes and turned her head to look at Lauren as she wriggled on the bed.


“Ghdhmhrhnhthuhth. Whtthhmhsht?”


“Hbbhhtthshfhn. Harrhfhnhls?”




Both women looked over as Astrid and Petra jumper in, the ropes still tied tightly over them as they came and sat either side of the bed.




“Nhh whhwkhphndchldchm,” Astrid said as she looked at Lauren. “Shmmhbhghshshthr?”


“Hffhnthhkllhh,” Lauren said as they heard more sounds, and then saw the boys jumping in as well.


“Hffthtghhnn,” Paul said as he jumped over to sit next to Petra. Claire nodded as they heard sirens outside, and then the front door opening as a voice called out “Police!”




They loke dot the door as two policemen ran past, and then two more came in followed by Jordan.




“Thank god you are all right,” he said as he walked over. “They left me and Clark tied up in the offices some cleaners found us this morning. Can you get them free?”


The officers nodded as Janet and Helen came in, hugging their husbands before they removed the tape and sponges from their mouths .







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