Jay’s Full House

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eleven year old girl looked at the woman kneeling in front of her, as she ran the length of white rope through her hands, and said “will this hurt?”

 

“Nay lassie,” she said in a soft Scottish accent, “and it’ll be a grand adventure fer all o ye.  But ye’re the furst, so ye get tae show the others that it’s no ae bad thing.”

 

“It’s all right Chloe,” the older woman said as she stood by one of the men, “we’ll all get through this together.  You were going to have an adventure day with the other girls anyway – this makes it even more so.”  She was in her late twenties, and wore a grey sweater, blue denim knee length skirt, dark tights and long black felt boots.  She also had a long purple woollen scarf tied loosely round her neck. 

 

She lived with her daughter as the manager of this retreat house – hosting groups for weekends away, and this weekend she had a booking for the wives of three of the directors of a prestigious financial advisor business coming with their daughters.  The plan had been for her and Chloe to welcome them, and then provide some food before they took the girls on a walk – then come together and let them play some games while she cooked dinner.

 

That plan had suddenly taken a very different turn with the arrival of the unexpected guests.  Chloe had been sitting at the table in the kitchen, eating her breakfast when the rear door had opened, and they had come in.  They were dressed identically – blue boiler suits, dark gloves, boots, and balaclava covering their heads so that only their eyes and mouths were visible.  There were five of them – four men and one woman, who was now kneeling in front of Chloe.

 

“Mum, this will be an adventure, right?”

 

The older woman nodded as the man beside her said with a Geordie accent “now then, Mandy, do you understand what you have to do this morning?”

 

“Welcome the guests, take the children into the games room where Mrs McPhee will be waiting with Chloe, then bring the mothers in here.”

 

“Very good – and if the telephone rings?”

 

“Take a message and hang up quickly.”  Turning to face the man, she said “I’ve heard of Jay Edwards – I do believe you mean us no harm.”

 

“Put yer hands together in front of ye, lass,” Mrs McPhee said, Chloe nodding as she put her hands together in prayer, and watching as the woman doubled the rope over, and tied it round her wrists, pulling them together before she wrapped it round several times.  She then tucked the ends into one loop, separated them, and passed them between her wrists so that they were held firmly together.

 

The young girl was wearing a peach coloured sleeveless dress, dark pants with holes in the knees, and the legs of the pants tucked into a pair of black leather boots.  They had a quilted pattern, and false buckled straps around the ankles and the tops.

 

“That’s different,” she said as Mrs McPhee tried the rope off, and she twisted her arms round.

 

“Aye – noo, why don’t ye show me this games room?”

 

“Please,” Mandy said as Jay took her wrists behind her back, and tied them together with rope, “let me go with her so that I know she is all right?”

 

“Of course,” Jay said as Chloe stood up, shaking her head as her light brown hair moved with it, and then they made their way out of the kitchen and along a long corridor to the main entrance hallway.  Mandy then opened a door, the others following her and Chloe in as Jay looked round.

 

“Ah – this will be perfect,” he said as he walked and carefully looked out of the windows, “this cannot be seen from the main way up.”

 

“Where dae ye wanna sit,” Mrs McPhee said as she looked at Chloe.  The young girl walked over to a large bean bag in front of the wall mounted television and sat down, the masked Scottish woman nodding as she took some more ropes from one of the other masked men and walked over.  Kneeling down, she tied Chloe’s ankles together in the same way as she had tied her wrists, the little girl giggling as the gloved fingers managed to tickle the back of her legs.

 

“Will she be all right in here?”

 

“Oh yes – by bringing the girls in here, Mrs McPhee can stay with my friend here, and once they are all secured they can have fun together.  When is the first car due to arrive?”

 

Mandy glanced up at the wall mounted clock, and said “in about half an hour.”

 

“then we have plenty of time,” Jay said with a smile as Mrs McPhee tied Chloe’s legs together, the band of rope sitting on top of her boots and below her knees, and then bent her legs before she tied her wrists to that leg binding.   The bright January sun shone through the window as Mrs McPhee said “noo, this needs tae be a surprise fer all of them, so a little tape oer yer moff for a whuile, awl richt?”

 

Chloe looked at her mother, who nodded as Mrs McPhee stuck the white tape over the young girl’s lips.  Chloe looked at Morag, and said “Hlllbhhfhnn” as the television was turned on, Jay said “stay with Mrs McPhee, make preparations” as he left a bag on the floor, and then guided Mandy out.

 

“Let’s return to the kitchen – and wait,” he said quietly as his mind went back to last week.

 

 

 

“You have to be kidding me,” Mark Williamson said as he looked at the laptop screen, “Patterson Holdings?  I have dealings with them!”

 

“I know,” Brian Holderness-Carter said from the screen, “but we have credible information someone in the board of directors is money laundering – we just don’t know if it is the chief executive, the chief financial officer or the head lawyer.  Which is why we need to take this rather – radical approach.”

 

“You’re telling me,” Mark said quietly as he looked at the papers Brian had sent over.  “You do remember what happened last time I had to use a country retreat for a visit?”

 

“This is different,” Brian said with a smile, “the arrangements have already been made for the families of all three to spend the day there while the husbands are at various meetings.  You take them as Jay Edwards – two of them are just the mother and daughters coming, but the Chief Financial Officer is driving his family up – he’s the one you get to weave your magic with.”

 

“And the other two?”

 

“I have plans in place for them once you signal me that all three families have arrived.  Can you do this?”

 

“We can do it,” Yvonne said as she sat next to Mark, “I’ll plan accordingly.  So who is the first package?”

 

“Mandy Dale, and her eleven year old daughter Chloe.  Widower – her husband was killed in Iraq – and runs the retreat house.  Plan to get there early, so that rooms and other things can be set up.”

 

“How do you do it,” Mandy asked as she sat at the kitchen table, Jay sitting with her.

 

“How do I do what?”

 

“Manage to keep us both so calm – I should be terrified, but…”

 

“It’s a gift,” Jay said with a smile as he looked at his phone.  “But right now, your first guests are arriving.  Shall we?”

 

 

“Well, at least your father arranged for us to spend the day out at this place, while he gets more and more irate at the office,” Bronwyn Tasker said as she looked in the rear view mirror.  Being the wife of not only a lawyer, but the head lawyer of a top financial firm, she knew his work hours could get crazy – and she hoped her daughters would understand one day.

 

“Still, I hoped we could all go the cinema,” eleven year old Carina said as she fidgeted in the back seat, her ten year old sister Shona nodding in agreement.

 

“I know – but this could be fun, and your friends will be here as well,” Bronwyn said as she stopped outside the main entrance of the large manor house.    She got out and looked round, pulling her grey cardigan around herself as she did so.  Under the cardigan, she was wearing a patterned smock top, the legs of her black leggings tucked into a pair of knee length dark grey leather boots.

 

The wind was blowing through her slightly unruly brown hair as she opened the back doors of her Daimler, and the girls got out.  Carina had a black V-necked sweater on over a white blouse, a purple and grey tartan skirt, dark tights and knee lengths black leather boots.  Shona was also wearing tartan – in her case, a red and black tartan slip dress over a roll neck black sweater, with white tights on her legs as well as her own black leather boots.

 

“Mrs Dale should be waiting with her daughter inside,” Bronwyn said as they made their way to the front door….

 

“So,” Mark said as he sat with Yvonne, “let’s start with Carl Tasker, the lawyer – he is married to Bronwyn, and they have two daughters, Carina and Shona.”

 

Yvonne nodded as she looked at the family photo.  “They look a nice, happy family,” she said with a smile, “and the girls look as if they are adventurous.  I’m sure I can keep them amused with the others.  What will you do with Bronwyn?”

 

“What we always do,” Mark said with a smile, “although it depends on when she arrives.  If she arrives before Fay, then she can be the example of what is going to happen when the other two get there.  If Fay gets there first, we take a slightly different approach.”

 

Yvonne looked at another photograph, and nodded as she said “yeah – I can see why you would say that…”

 

“Mrs Dale,” Bronwyn called out as she walked into the hallway, “I’m Bronwyn Tasker –you are expecting us?”

 

“I am indeed,” she heard a female voice call out, “you are the first to arrive – please – come into the room on your left.”

 

“Well, let the fun begin,” she said to Carina and Shona as they walked in – and then she held her daughters as they stared at Mandy Dale, and said “oh my god…”

 

“Good morning, Bronwyn,” the man standing behind the seat Mandy was in said, smiling through the mask, “my name is Jay Edwards, and your day of adventure starts here.”

 

“Mummy,” Carina said, “why is the woman tied up – and why does the man have a funny mask on.”

 

“He’s not the only one,” Shona whispered as she looked to the side, and saw two other masked men standing there.

 

“Jay…  Jay Edwards?  Oh god no,” Bronwyn whispered, “please, no…”

 

“Remain calm,” Jay said in his soft Geordie accent, “You have obviously heard of me, so you will be aware that you and your daughters will be perfectly safe, so long as you do what I or my friends say.”

 

“Mummy,” Shona said quietly, “is this a robber?”

 

“You’re Shona, right?”  Jay smiled as he said “yes, we are robbers, but you are here for a day of fun and adventure, and we’re going to do just that – but in a different way.  Why don’t you all come with me and meet my friend Mrs McPhee, and you can join Chloe Dale – but before we do that, I need to make sure that you and your mother won’t able to use your hands for a while.  My friends are going to tie the wrists of both of you,” he said as they stepped forward, a length of cord in their gloved hands, “in front of you, while I make sure your mother’s hands stay behind your back.  I promise you, it does not hurt, and everyone who is coming here today will be the same.”

 

“Let them do this to you girls,” Bronwyn said quietly, Carina and Shona nodding as they watched the masked men wrap the rope around their wrists and bring them together.  As they did this, Jay guided Bronwyn’s hands behind her back, crossing her wrists as she felt the rope forcing them together.  She wriggled her fingers as the two men cinched the binding on her daughters, and smiled as she said “it’s not so bad, is it girls?”

 

They both shook their heads as Jay said “come with me please,” taking them across the hallway and into the games room.  Chloe looked up from the bean bag and said “Hlllthr”, her lips moving under the tape.

 

Och, and who dae we have here?”

 

Bronwyn looked at the masked woman as Jay said “May I introduce Bronwyn Tasker, and her daughters, Carina and Shona?  This is my friend Mrs McPhee – she will be taking care of the girls today on behalf of their mothers.”

 

“Cum here lassies,” Mrs McPhee said, Bronwyn nodding as Carina and Shona looked at Chloe.  Dinnae be afraid – this is Chloe, and you are going to be having some fun here today.  But ah see Jay has yer hands tied already – will ye take a seat on the couch oer there?”

 

The two girls nodded as they walked over, Chloe giggling as their feet hung over the edge of the seat while Mrs McPhee picked up four lengths of cord and knelt in front of Shona.

 

“Will ye cross yer ankles please?”

 

Bronwyn watched as Mrs McPhee wrapped the doubled over the rope around her younger daughter’s ankles and started to bind them, as Jay took a longer length of rope, and started to wrap it round her, forcing her arms into her sides as he took it above and below her chest.  She barely noticed this, however, marvelling at Mrs McPhee bound the ankles and legs of both of her daughters while talking to them and keeping them calm.

 

It was only as she felt the band pushing her chest up that she realised her arms had been forced to her sides, Jay taking the rope around the back of her neck and under her other arm as Mrs McPhee used two more lengths of cord to tie the wrists of her daughters down to their legs.

 

Noo then,” she said as she stood up, “we wer just gonna start watching some Scooby Doo – but we do this so that ye cannae talk, so put yer lips togeffer fer me.”

 

“Your mother is going to wait to meet everyone else,” Jay said as he tied the ropes off, “but she will see you at lunchtime.”

 

“Have fun girls,” Bronwyn said as she watched the masked woman press lengths of white tape over Carina and Shona’s lips, the three girls humming along as Jay walked her out.

 

“So now what,” she said as they joined Mandy in the front room.

 

“Be seated,” Jay said as one of the masked men picked up more ropes, “and we’ll make you comfortable and quiet before the next arrivals…”

 

 

“Mrs McPhee?”

 

The three girls watched as the masked woman walked over and listened at the window.

 

“Aye – ah think mair are here.”

 

Jay glanced out of the window, and saw the grey van coming to the front of the house.  “I see the family of the CEO are here,” he said quietly as Mandy and Bronwyn looked at each other…

 

“So,” Mark said as he looked at another photo, “this is Fay Patterson, and her two daughters, thirteen year old Amy and twelve year old Rebecca.”

 

Yvonne looked at the photo of the family, and nodded as she said “I understand what you are talking about now.  What happened?”

 

“A car crash five years ago – not a lot they could do for her, but she has become a champion for disabled charities since that time.”

 

“So, kid gloves?”

 

“Nope,” Mark said with a grin, “like I said, a different approach…”

 

“So this is where we’re going to spending the day,” Amy Patterson said as she got out of the van.  She was wearing a black short sleeved top, blue jeans and burgundy patterned cowboy boots, a woven hairband holding back her black hair.

 

“Looks like Carina and Shona are here already,” Rebecca said as she got out.  Unlike her sister, she had long blonde hair, and was wearing a grey striped top, jeans and mid-calf tan suede biker boots.

 

“It does,” an older voice said as the girls watched their mother move onto the ramp at the back of the van, and then lower herself down.  Fay Patterson was wearing a blue denim blouse, her blonde hair tinted brown where it fell over her shoulders, and a purple scarf wrapped round her neck.  Her legs were in a pair of jeans, the lower half tucked into brick red leather boots.

 

She wheeled herself off the ramp and pressed a button, watching as the ramp slowly lifted and folded back into the rear of the van, before Amy walked over and closed the doors to, locking them and handing her mother they key.

 

“Well, let’s see if they have started, she said as she wheeled herself towards the ramp, Rebecca going ahead and opening the door to allow her mother in before the two girls followed, closing the door behind themselves.

 

“Bronwyn?  Where are you?”

 

“Mrs Patterson?  Why don’t you all come into the main room on the right and join us,” she heard another woman call out, turning herself and wheeling herself into the room, before she said “what the…”

 

Bronwyn looked at her from her seat, the white tape covering her mouth as she said “hmmshrreeefff.”  She could see Mandy in another chair, her hands behind her back as she said “I’m sorry, all of you – but we’ve been taken hostage.”

 

“And now,” a soft Geordie voice said as the girls turned round, looking at the three masked men, “so have you.”

 

“Who…  Who are you,” Amy said quietly as the masked man walked in front of her mother.

 

“My name is Jay Edwards – I am sure you have heard of me, Mrs Patterson.”  Fay slowly nodded as she said “where are the girls Bronwyn?”

 

“They’re with my daughter,” Mandy said quietly, “I’m Mandy Dean, the housekeeper.  I suspect, Mrs Patterson, that your daughters will join them soon as well – and that you are going to end up like me and Mrs Tasker.”

 

“Well, not quite the same,” Jay said with a smile as he nodded to the two men, who took two lengths of cord from their pockets and stood behind Amy and Rebecca.  Fay watched as both girls had their hands taken behind their backs, and then secured with the rope as Jay said to her “do as we say, and everyone has a day they will remember for some time to come.”

 

“Mum?”

 

“Girls,” Fay said as she turned herself and looked at her daughters, “I have heard of this man.  He is a notorious bank robber, and if he has taken us captive, then I think he wants Amanda’s husband to do something for him.  Just… Just do as they say, because we are all going to be the same way.”

 

“I am afraid you are,” Jay said as he took a length of rope from one of the other masked man.  “but I do not want you to be uncomfortable, Fay – may I call you Fay?  Please, cross your wrists and hold them up.”

 

As she did so, Jay quickly and tightly bound her wrists together, the girls watching as their own arms were tied to their sides, the rope around their elbows and stomachs.  He then knelt down and put Fay’s ankles together, the two older women watching as he tied them tightly together, the rope going around and between her legs before he tied it off.  

 

“So what’s going to happen,” Fay said as she looked down, while Jay took more rope and secured her legs together below her knees.  He then tied her wrists down to her legs, as he said “this is the way young Chloe, Carina and Shona have been secured – and I think it will work for you now.  I need to make sure you cannot raise he alarm now – anything you wish to say to your charming daughters before I take them to the other room?”

 

“Mum – we’ll be brave,” Amy said as she twisted round.

 

“I know you both will,” Fay said quietly as Jay tore a strip of white tape from a roll, and then pressed it firmly over their mother’s mouth.  Wheeling her to be beside Bronwyn, he put the brakes on the wheelchair, and then said “come with me” as he took Amy and Rebecca by the arms and walked them out of the room.

 

 

 

Hlllhthruhthhh.”

 

“Oh my god,” Rebecca said as she looked at Carina and Shona, the two girls giggling as they twisted round on the couch.

“ah – ye must be Amy and Rebecca,” a masked woman said as she smiled at them, “I’m Mrs McPhee – why dinnae ye bod sit on the flair, and stretch yer legs out.”

 

The two girls sat in front of the couch, either side of their friend’s legs, as Mrs McPhee secured their ankles together, and then their legs below their knees, before she pressed white tape firmly over their mouths as well.

 

Whrwhsschhnnschhbbedh.”

 

“This is Chloe,” Mrs McPhee said as the two girls looked at the bound and gagged young girl in the bean bag.  “Now, let’s watch the film – ah’m sure the last aw ye will be here soon…”

 

Yvonne looked at the last of the photos, and said “so this must be the CFO’s family?”

 

“It is indeed,” Mark said as he looked at the quartet, “the man is George Bassett, and the blonde woman is his wife Angela.  Then we have eleven year old Joanne, and ten year old Angel.”

 

“Adopted?”

 

Mark nodded as he looked at Yvonne.  “From what I can find on medical records, Angela was unable to have children, so they adopted the two girls at the same time.”

 

“And they are the only other family due to attend?  How can you be so sure George is going to drive them to the venue?”

 

“He always does – Angela does not drive…”

 

“I presume I will be driving back to pick you all up tonight?”

 

“I’m afraid so George – I know it’s an imposition, but we won’t be too late,” Angela said as she sat in the front passenger seat.  She was wearing a black cardigan and red leather skirt, the hem of the skirt barely covering the tops of her stockings, and knee length dark grey leather boots.

 

“Why are you wearing that today anyway,” George said with a grin, “I thought you would be going outdoors at this place?”

 

“The girls are – I’m staying inside,” Angela said as she looked in the back of the car.  Joanne was listening to music on her phone, her long dark hair covering the earbuds.  The slogan on the front of her grey top read “Love Peace, Love Life” with in white with hearts for the O, her white under top sticking out from the hem.  She was also wearing black leggings, tucked into a pair of knee length white boots.

 

Angel was also wearing a similar pair of boots, the legs of her white ribbed leggings tucked into them.  She was wearing a grey top with the face of a tiger on the front, and a short pink skirt, her curled dark hair held up on her head as she looked out of the window.

 

“This looks like the place,” George said as they pulled up alongside the van and Daimler.  “And I think we’re the last to get here.”

 

“Looks like it,” Angela said as they walked into the front hallway – the girls could hear music on one side, while George and Angela looked round.

 

“Is it all right if we join the other girls,” Angel said, Angela smiling and nodding as they ran to the door, opened it and went in – and then they heard Angel scream “MUM!”

 

“What’s wrong,” Angela said as she walked over, and George was about to start when he felt a disc pressing on his back, and a soft Geordie accent say “please, Mr Bassett, stand still for a moment – we’ll join them shortly…”

 

As Angela went in, she saw the five bound and gagged girls, and the masked woman standing with them, her hand on Joanne’s shoulder.  Looking to the side, she saw Angel been held by a masked man, dressed in the same way as the woman.

 

“What’s going on,” Angela whispered quietly as she looked round.

 

“Welcome,” the woman said in a broad Scottish accent, “noo, this will be Angel and Joanne, aye?  I’m Mrs McPhee, and I’m looking after all o’ ye young ones today.  We’re all fine, and nobody is getting hurt, isn’t that right lassies?”

 

Hellhhhuthh,” Rebecca mumbled as they saw the tape moving over her lips, “chmmhndjhnsss.”

 

“Angela?”

 

She turned round to see her husband with another masked man behind him, his hands behind his back.  “George,” she said quietly, “what have we walked into?”

 

“This man,” he said as he moved his head back, “is Jay Edwards.”

 

“The pleasure is mine,” Jay said in his soft accented voice, “and I am glad you got here in time for lunch.  Mrs McPhee, with your permission, we will take these two through to the dining room, and make sure they are secured there.  Perhaps you could bring Chloe through in a few minutes?”

 

“Aye, ah’ll dae that,” Mrs McPhee said as Jay looked at Joanne and Angel.  “Why don’t you two come with your parents,” he said, the two girls nodding as they slowly walked out of the room holding Angela’s hands.

 

“Oh my god – they got you as well?”

 

“Fay…  Bronwyn…  What has happened here today?”

 

“According to Mandy – the housekeeper – they arrived early this morning and took them hostage,” Bronwyn said, “and then we arrived, Fay after us.  Have you seen the girls?”

 

“I have,” Angela said as Jay pulled out a chair, and she sat with the other two women.  “Have they been like that all this time as well?”

 

“Fairly much so,” Fay said as she twisted round.  “Don’t be scared girls, I think the other girls have had a bit of fun despite the fact we are hostages.”

 

“Okay,” Angel said as she and her sister sat in a seat, putting their hands on their heads in the same way as their mother as two other masked men tied rope round their waists to keep them secured in the chair.  They then watched as the same men tied their ankles together, and their legs below their knees, while Jay bound Angela’s ankles to the front legs of her chair.

 

“So what are they going to do next,” Angela said as George sat in the chair, and was secured in the same way as the rest of his family.

 

“Believe it or not, have lunch,” Fay said as she smiled.  She and Bronwyn were also tied to chairs, Fay’s wheelchair to one side, as they heard giggling and saw Chloe jump into the dining room.  The skirt of her dress lifted up and down with each jump as she came to a spare chair, one of the men lifting her in and tying her to the chair with rope as she held her bound wrists up.

 

“Are you all right,” Fay said as she looked at the young girl.  As she nodded, Bronwyn said “oh thank god” as Carina and Shona jumped in and sat on two more chairs.  They looked over and said “hllhmhmm” as they were secured in place, before Mrs McPhee came in with Amy and Rebecca.  Once they were secured into place, the girls had the ropes removed from their hands, as Jay said “all right, you can remove the tape from your mouths now.”

 

“Mum, are you all right,” Amy said as she looked across the table.

 

“I’m fine,” Fay said with a smile as Mrs McPhee went through some double doors, carrying some plates as she came back with Mandy.  “Oh lord,” she said quietly as she saw the new arrivals, “I am so sorry this has happened to all of you…”

 

“It’s all right, Mrs Dale,” George said, “this is not your fault, and we’re all in the same boat.  Let’s all have lunch, and then we can discover what’s going to happen this afternoon…”

 

 

 

“Thank you, Mum,” Chloe said as she pushed the plate away, the other girls nodding as the masked men gathered the plates up.

 

“So, this afternoon,” Jay said with a smile, “Mrs McPhee and one of my friends will be playing a few games with the girls, and make sure they are entertained – just as soon as we have them all bound and gagged again.”

 

“All the same way this time,” Rebecca said as she looked round.

 

“Aye,” the masked woman said, “we’ll dae some jumping around an ofer things.”

 

“While you do that,” Jay said with a smile as he looked at Joanne and Angel, “your father is going to go to his meeting, with one of my friends – and he is not going to tell anyone about what is happening here, because if he does, then…”

 

“No, I won’t” George said as he looked at Angela.

 

“Your mothers will be watching a film, nice and quietly as well – and then, before dinner, you can all play a family game of trivial pursuit together.”

 

“But if we are gagged…”

 

“On the computer in the games room,” Jay said with a smile, “all will be clear later.”

 

“And after dinner?” Bronwyn asked.

 

“George will be doing some further work for us, while all of you have a sleepover – and don’t worry, we brought pyjamas and nightdresses for all of you, matching ones at that.  Now, has everyone had enough?”

 

As the group looked round the table and nodded, Mrs McPhee and one of the masked men untied Joanne and Angel from their seats.  “Cum wi me, lassies,” she said as they walked out, while Jay and the other men walked round and secured the wrists of the others behind their backs, and against the chair back.

 

“What are they going to do to them,” Angela asked as she looked at Rebecca.

 

“I imagine let them go to the toilet, then tie their hands behind their backs, their arms to their sides, and their ankles and legs together,” she said.  “It’s not as bad as it looks Aunt Angela – in fact, I was excited at what happened.  What about you girls?”

 

“Eventually,” Carina said as she looked at her mother, “it was scary at first, but she speaks to us nicely, and we soon were not afraid.  It sounds as if we’re going to play some fun games this afternoon as well.”

 

“I want to see the girls,” Angela said, Jay nodding as he said “of course – when my friend comes back for the next girls, you can go to see them – but if that is the case, we need to bind your upper body now.”  He walked round and released her wrists and waist from the chair, helping her to stand up and holding her as she steadied herself.  One of the masked men left the room, returning with a longer length of rope which Jay used to bind her arms to her sides.

 

“We’ll all end up like that,” Bronwyn said as Angela looked at them, “so relax – you get used to it.”

 

She nodded as the masked man came back in, saying to Jay “Mrs McPhee is ready to see Rebecca and Amy now.”

 

“Go with the man,” Jay said as he untied them from the chair, “and he will take you to the toilet, then to the play room.  Amanda, come with me please.”

 

Amanda nodded as Jay walked her slowly out of the dining room, her boots squeaking as they rubbed together, and they entered the games room.

 

Hmmhhmmm,” Angel said as she and Joanne looked at their mother.  They both had their hands behind their backs, their arms pinned to their sides by bands of rope around their chests, and then their ankles bound together, as well as their legs below their knees.  A wide strip of white tape covered their mouths, and Angela could see there was something in their mouths under that tape.

 

“Are you both all right,” she asked quietly, the girls nodding as Mrs McPhee said “They’ll be fine wi me – we’re gonna hae some fun once the uffers get in here, a dance off in fact.”

 

The two girls nodded as they started to jump round the room, while Rebecca and Amy came in.

 

“Wow – are we having a dance later?”

 

“Aye lassie – ye and yer sister cum oer here and we’ll get ye ready,” Mrs McPhee said as Jay took Angela by the arm, and made her go into the front room, sitting her on one end of the long couch.  She watched as he collected two lengths of rope form a bag, knelt down and crossed her ankles, then doubled over one of the lengths of rope and started to bind her ankles tightly together.

 

As he bound her legs together, as with her daughters below her knees, Fay was wheeled in by another of the masked men.  Her wrists were now secured behind her back, and Angela could see the bands of rope stretching her blouse over her chest as they held her arms in place.

 

The man put the wheelchair by one of the armchairs, and lifted Fay into the seat, before putting the chair to the rear of the room.  Her legs had now been secured at the ankles and below her knees.

 

“Did you see the girls,” she asked Angela as she tried to move her arms.

 

“I did – whoever that woman is, she has some sort of magic touch.  They were actually enjoying the fact all they could really do was jump around and that they couldn’t say much.”

 

“She’s not the only one – where you like me when you came in, terrified at first, but when Jay Edwards spoke…”

 

“You calmed down and knew you were going to be all right?”  Angela nodded as Bronwyn was walked in, her upper body also secured as she sat next to Angela on the couch.  “Well, looks like we’re in for a quiet afternoon,” she said as the masked man sat and began to bind her legs, “if I fall asleep, just let me, all right?”

 

“Is that likely?”

 

“Right now,” Fay said with a smile, “nothing would surprise me about today.”

 

“All right ladies,” Jay said as Mandy was brought in, sitting in the other couch as her legs were secured, “as I understand things, the girls will be having a singalong with a Disney film this afternoon.”

 

“While gagged?”

 

“It can be quite – entertaining,” Jay said with a smile, “as all of you will discover as well.  Please, open your mouths.”

 

“Talk to you all later,” Bronwyn said as the compressed sponge ball was placed in her mouth, Angela watching as she closed her lips over it, and then the white tape was smoothed into place.  The shape of her friend’s lips was quiet clear, but all she could say was “hssnsseshelle” as Fay was gagged in the same way.

 

“Jay?”

 

“Ah excellent,” Jay said as he saw his associate with George.  “You have seen the girls, Mister Bassett?”

 

“I have – and I have your word if I do as you say, they remain unharmed?”

 

“You have my word – go, keep in touch in the usual manner, and contact me when everything has been achieved.”

 

George walked over and kissed Angela, before he saw her being gagged, and then left the building.

 

“Now then,” Jay said as he turned the television on, and started the Blu-Ray, “I’ve selected the singalong version for you.”

 

The four women looked at each other as the music started, and Hugh Jackman sang “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for…”

 

 

 

 

“Awl richt lassies – ready?”

 

Mrs McPhee looked at the row of bound and gagged girls as they all wriggled round and nodded, and she started the film, the girls joining in with the first song.

 

Uhuhuh, whkhpthdee
fullnthewhehhlwhsdh
Unununm hngreefhrsmfnththehchnthht
Thmwhrrthtbht

Thrffmfthnstrtschllnmhdhn
ssslhkemsshhfrhmhbf
Uhuhuh phllnmhhttthshmmllsshndth
Shtrhhhtthtelf

Ghdmhrrnnbhlthmhr
Efreedhslhkhnhpndhr
Freeenhtssefhnthsss
Freeshnslhkasmmffhnee

Ghdmhrnnbhlthmhr
Ndshmdwhnehthktthfhlr
Thwhrlddghnnewhkphndsss
Bhlthmhrhndmhh

 

“Well, they seem to be having fun,” Jay whispered to Mrs McPhee as the girls started to dance to the Corny Collins show.

 

“Aye – their muffers?”

 

“Watching The Greatest Showman  - I think they are enjopying the down time despite their situation,” Jay said with a smile.  “Fay is even trying to sing along to the songs, in the same way as the girls have been.”

 

Guid,” Mrs McPhee as they turned their backs, and whispered “so what have we learned so far?”

 

“I let Brian know,” Mark whispered back, “he has set his plans in motion, and my man is watching Angela’s husband.  I don’t think it’s him though – he was genuinely concerned for everyone that was here, even Mandy and Chloe.”

 

“I agree,” Yvonne whispered back as she heard Joanne start coughing.  She walked back over, stopping the film as she said “sit doon lassie – we need tae take the tape away.”

 

Plssddh,” Angel said as she gently peeled the tape from Joanne’s mouth, and then eased the damp cloth out as she kept coughing.  “thank you,” she said as she stopped, “I’m sorry, I know I should not have doen that, but…”

 

Achh yer’ all richt noon,” Mrs McPhee said, “and tha’s the main fing.  Noo, you sit quietly fer a wee while, all richt?”

 

hhllhlhlsht,” Chloe said as the girls sat down, Joanne nodding as the gag was put back into place, and the film continued.  Jay shook his head and left the room, taking out his mobile phone as it vibrated.

 

“This is Jay Edwards.

 

“Good – once the meeting is over, proceed with the plan, and let me know when it is completed.”

 

 

“Did ye all enjoy the feelm,” Mrs McPhee said as she looked at the seven girls, all of them nodding and offering muffled cheers through the tape and stuff gags.

 

Guid – well, it’s time fer yer mams tae join ye for a game,” she said as she opened the door, Chloe giggling as she saw one of the masked men carry Mandy in and sitting her next to her daughter.  One by one the mothers were brought in and sat with their daughters, trying to talk to each other before Jay set up the computer.

 

“So, we’ll start the Monopoly game off,” he said with a smile as he handed controllers to the masked men, “they will roll for you, and you decide as a team what you are going to do.  Once a team is out, then you will be taken to the dining room – once all of you are in there, supper will be served.”

 

Hndfhttresppprr,” Bronwyn asked as she looked at Jay.

 

“We have preparations in hand,” Jay said with a smile, “so, youngest first.  Shona, you will be the first one to go.”

 

As the game started, Jay indicated to Mrs McPhee to come out with him.

 

“They should be all right for a while,” he said quietly, “let’s go and start the preparations for their meal.”

 

“What about afterwards?”

 

“Four bedrooms upstairs have been prepared – I know we normally keep the kids separate from the parents, but this time I think we keep the families together.”

 

“Especially if Brian is right, and one of them may not see their dad for a while after this?”

 

“Exactly,” Jay said as they heard the muffled groans.  “So we keep them occupied until we are ready to start preparing them…”

 

 

 

 

“That was wonderful – thank you, Mr Edwards, Mrs McPhee,” Angela said as the plates were cleared away.  The game had been over for a while, and they were all now tied to chairs again in the dining room, drinking from glasses as the masked men and woman watched.

 

“You are most welcome,” Jay said, “so we’re going to untie you all for a while, on the understanding you all do as we say.  Then we’re going to draw lots – and one by one, the families will go and we will get them ready for the night.  Chloe – one of my friends is going to help your mother to clear up, so the two of you will go last, all right?”

 

“If that’s all right with Mummy,” Chloe said, Mandy nodding as she said “you can tell me who has gone when after I have cleared up.”

 

Jay nodded as the party were untied from the chairs, and their legs were untied, before they walked as a group into the front room, apart from Fay, who wheeled herself in while Amy and Rebecca walked with her.

 

As they sat in the front room, Jay picked up a small bag, and drew a slip of paper out.  He looked at it as Mrs McPhee turned the television on, and then said “Bronwyn, Carina and Shona – will you go with my friend and Mrs McPhee please.”

 

“Come on girls – we’ll see all of you when we see you,” Bronwyn said, Amy and Angela nodding as they were taken out of the main room, and up the stairs.

 

Noo then,” Mrs McPhee said at the top of the stairs, outside a door, “Ae want ye boff tae go in wi yer mam, get washed and put on the robes that are in there.  When ye are done, yer ma will also get changed while I make sure ye both are ready fer bed.”

 

“Come on, girls,” Bronwyn said as they went into the large bathroom, their mother watching as the two girls sat on a bench and removed their boots, then stripped, folding their clothes neatly before they both had a shower.  When they came out, they were both wearing white bath robes, Mrs McPhee smiling as she said “cum wi me gahls – stay here while their ma gets herself cleaned up.”

 

Bronwyn nodded as she went back in, sitting on the bench herself and putting her head into her hands for a few minutes, before she slowly unzipped and removed her own boots…

 

 

“Now girls,” Mrs McPhee said as they went into a large room, a king sized bed against one wall, “Ah want ye tae put on the pajamas on the bed.”

 

The two girls nodded as they looked at the pajamas, then slipped the bottoms on before they removed their robes and pulled the tops on.  The pajamas were a dusky pink, with bright pink elasticated cuffs, and a large print of a historical balloon on the clothing.

 

“Well, they’re comfy,” Carina said quietly, Shona nodding as Mrs McPhee picked up some sponges. 

 

Noo, we need tae make sure ye and yer ma stay nice and quiet in this room, so we start by making sure yer hands are secured.  Can ye make fists wi these sponges in yer hands?”

 

The two girls nodded as they held their hands out, their fingers sinking into the spongers while Mrs McPhee covered their hands in silver tape.  She then took two lengths of rope, and crossed their wrists together behind their back before taking the rope around their waists to keep their wrists there.

 

“When ye lie on the bed,” she said as she doubled over a longer length of rope, “ye may be mair comfy on yer tummies or yer side.  Yer ma will be between both of ye, so be careful.”

 

The two girls nodded as she passed the rope over Chloe’s head, and then pulled it tight, winding it around her arms and upper body in two bands before she tied it off, and then used two shorter lengths to cinch the bands.  Doing the same to Shona, she looked over as she tied the last knot to see Bronwyn walk in, a robe on her body as well.

 

“Oh – we’re staying in this room, aren’t we,” she said quietly. 

 

“Aye – sit on the end o the bed girls, while I take care of yer ma.  Please, put on the pajamas, and then hold yer hands oot.”

 

Bronwyn nodded as she put her pajamas on – they were the same colour and pattern, but in her case the cuffs were not elasticated, and she had a button collar.  She watched as her fists were covered in the silver tape, while Mrs McPhee took more rope, and knelt down as she started to tie Chloe’s ankles together, the girl giggling as she tickled the soles of her feet once the rope was tied between her legs.  She then watched Mrs McPhee secure her legs together below her knees, while Bronwyn saw the rope around her own arms and body, framing her chest as it was pulled tighter with each pass.

 

“How are we going to be quiet,” Shona asked as her legs were secured together.

 

Guid question,” Mrs McPhee said as she tied the rope off, and then stood up.  “Well, it will keep ye quiet, and we start wi this.”  She went and picked up two folded pieces of cloth, and said to the two girls “open wide.”

 

“Talk to you later mom,” Chloe said as the cloth was pushed in, Shona nodding as another piece went into her mouth, before a knotted strip of towel was pulled between their lips and teeth and tied round their heads.

 

Whhllshhsstrt,” Shona said as Bronwyn sat between them, watching as the man started to bind her legs, while Mrs McPhee took the roll of white tape, and wrapped it round the head of the two girls, covering the toweling cleave gag as it covered their lips and they giggled.

 

“Is that really necessary,” Bronwyn whispered as the silver duct tape then went round their heads, adding another layer to their gag as the rope was pulled between her legs.

 

“I think it is, aye,” Mrs McPhee said as a folded pink scarf was then tied round their heads as well, so it looked as if only the scarf had been used as a gag.  She then helped the girl to move back and lie on their sides, facing each other before she said “mummy’s turn noo…”

 

“All right,” Bronwyn said as the cloth went into her won mouth, then the toweling, the two layers of tape, and finally the folded pink scarf, before she lay between her two daughters.  They looked down as the masked man and Mrs McPhee tied their ankles to the foot of the bed, and then the girls rolled onto their sides as they nuzzled into their mother.

 

“Watch them – ah’ll be back soon,” Mrs McPhee said as she walked out of the room, and down the stairs, Jay looking over as she came in.

 

“Where are they,” Angela said as she looked over.

 

“Secured and quiet in bed,” Jay said quietly, “so who’s next?”

 

Fay and Angela looked at each other as Jay took a slip of paper, and looked at it.  “Gentlemen,” he said as he looked at the masked associates, “stay with Angela and her family, as well as Chloe and Mandy when she comes in.   Mrs McPhee, will you escort Amy and Rebecca please, and I will carry Fay up the stairs.”

 

“Cum wi me girls,” Mrs McPhee said as she took their hands in her gloved ones, Fay looking at the others and saying “I guess I’ll see you all – sometime” as Jay lifted her in her arms and then carried her out of the room, leading the way up the stairs as the rest of her family came behind.

 

“Now,” Jay said as they went into the bathroom, “I think we’re going to allow your mother to get ready for bed first.  Mrs McPhee, will you assist her please?”

 

“Aye,” the masked woman said as Jay sat Fay on the bench, before saying “come along girls” and taking them out.

 

“If you can help me take my boots off?”

 

Mrs McPhee nodded as she pulled the red boots off her legs, then watched as Fay removed her scarf, blouse and jeans, and took the damp flannel in her hands.

 

“How do you do it,” she asked as she washed herself down.

 

“How dae I do whit?”

 

“Keep us all so calm – we’ve been tied up most of the time since we got here, gagged, and you’re using us to support a robbery – but we’re not scared.  How do you do that?”

 

“It’s ae gift,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile as she handed Fay a green top, and pair of pale blue bottoms with a green check.  She slipped them on, and then waited as Mrs McPhee left the room, Jay returning and picking her up in her arms.

 

As they came out, Mrs McPhee walked past with her daughters.  “See you in a bit, Mum,” Amy said as Fay saw the ropes in the masked woman’s hands.

 

“We saw the others – we know what’s going to happen, so don’t be worried,” Rebecca added as they went into the bathroom, Jay taking Fay into a bedroom with two double beds.  Sitting her on one, he walked to a bag and removed several lengths of rope.

 

“So I’m staying on the bed?”

 

“That’s right,” J ay said as he doubled one length over, “please, put your hands behind your back.”  As she did so, Jay knelt behind her on the bed, and she felt the rope rubbing on her wrists as they were secured tightly together.

 

“Where will the girls be,” she asked quietly as she saw the rope going round her body, pulling her arms against her sides as it formed bands that framed her chest.

 

“They will be on the bed opposite,” Jay said as he pulled the rope tighter, then fed the lengths under one arm, up and around the back of her neck, and under the other arm, “and they will be the same as you.  It is important you are the same.”

 

“So they don’t feel they are treated any differently?”

 

“Not quite,” Jay said as he tied the rope off, then walked round and knelt in front of Fay with two more lengths of rope, “more that you feel you are not been treated differently, because of your disability.”

 

“Oh – I guess I haven’t have I,” Fay said, smiling as Jay crossed her ankles and tied them together with one length of rope, and then secured her legs below her knees with the second length.

 

“Hey Mum – look at us, we’ve got our arms tied just like you.”

 

“So you have,” Fay said as Amy and Rebecca came into the bedroom with Mrs McPhee.  Amy was wearing a pink top and patterned short, while Rebecca had on a pale blue top and red checked bottoms.  Both of them had their hands secured behind their backs, and ropes around their chests like Fay to make sure their arms were secured as well.

 

Hae a seat girls,” Mrs McPhee said as the two girls sat on the second bed, while Jay picked up a clean white scarf, and a knotted length of toweling.

 

“Let me say something first,” Fay asked as she looked over, Jay nodding as she continued “you have both been wonderful today girls – we’ll talk about how we’ve felt tomorrow, all right?”

 

“Weill Daddy be proud of us as well Mum,” Rebecca asked as Mrs McPhee started to bind her crossed ankles together.

 

“Oh I think he will be very proud of all of us,” Fay said with a smile, and then she opened her mouth, allowing Jay to push the cloth in and then the knot of toweling before the band was tied tightly round her head. 

 

“Wow – we really won’t be able to talk,” Amy said, Rebecca nodding as she watched Mrs McPhee bind her legs together below her knees, the white rope contrasting with the red pants.

 

Yer turn noo,” the masked woman said as she started to bind Amy’s legs, while Jay wound the white tape tightly round their mother’s head.  He then took a roll of black cloth from the bag, and wrapped that round her head as well.

 

“What is that,” Amy asked as Mrs McPhee pulled the rope between her legs.

 

“It’s Veterinary Wrap – they use it to bandage horses, but for today, it is the top layer of your gag,” Jay said as Fay mumbled “Whhllwhwhnthlknhhh.”

 

“We’ll sound funny though,” Rebecca said, she and Amy laughing as Jay helped Fay to lie on her side, and then pulled her bound ankles back, tying them to her chest ropes as she nodded.

 

Richt girls – time tae be quiet.  Open wide noo.”

 

As Amy watched, both her daughters had cloths placed into their mouths, then the knotted strip, and the white tape round their heads, before the black cloth was wrapped tightly round them as well.  Mrs McPhee then helped them to lie on their stomachs, before she hogtied both of them, and they rolled over to look at their mother.

 

“How are the Tasker family?”

 

“All asleep,” the masked man said as he looked in the room.

 

“Good – stay with them,” Jay said as he and Mrs McPhee left the room.

 

“Two down,” he whispered, “two to go…”

 

“Any word from Brian yet?”

 

“Not that I – hold on,” he said as he took the mobile phone out.

 

“This is Jay Edwards.

 

“Brian – success?”

 

Jay looked at Mrs McPhee, and nodded as he said “understood – we’ll call when we have finished here?”

 

“And?”

 

“None of the above,” Jay said as he put the phone away, “it was Bronwyn’s husband’s PA who was doing the dirty – Brian and others have dealt with him.”

 

 

 

“Is it our turn now,” Angela asked as the couple walked in, her arms round her daughters as Mandy sat with Chloe.

 

“Aye,” Mrs McPhee said as she held her hands out, Joanne and Angel taking one each.  “Cum wi me girls – yer mam will follow wi Jay.”

 

“Have you heard from my husband,” Angela asked as she looked at Jay.

 

“He is cooperating fully, so have no fear on that score,” Jay said with a smile.  “I want you to know all of you – mothers and girls – have been very brave today.”

 

“Well – you kept your word,” Mandy said as Chloe cuddled into her.  “Will we be together tonight?”

 

Jay nodded as he said “Come with me Angela – time for you to come upstairs as well.”

 

“May I…  May I see the others?”

 

“Of course,” Jay said as he took her up the stairs, and opened the first bedroom door.  She could see Bronwyn on the bed, her daughters lying with her as they all slept soundly.

 

Looking in the second room, she saw Amy and Rebecca sleeping, Fay looking over as she said “Shhhuhthmrrhh” through the black band round her head.

 

“Look at us Mummy?”

 

Angela smiled as she saw Joanne and Angel coming out of the bathroom – both girls were wearing the same style of pajamas, a red top with a picture of a cup cake and “Sweet Dreams” printed on the front, with pink neckline and cuffs, and pink bottoms with red ankle cuffs, and pictures of cupcakes on them.

 

“In here, lassies,” Mrs McPhee said as she held a third door open, Jay taking Angela to the bathroom as he said “shower and change, and then you can join the girls.”

 

She nodded as she went in, hearing Angel say “oh my – and you will do this to all of us?”

 

A few minutes later, she emerged wearing a similar style of pajamas, but without the cuffs on the bottoms, as Jay said “I need you to hold these for me, and hold your hands out.”  He gave her two half sponges, Angela watching as she made two fists, and he covered them with silver tape before pulling a pair of bed socks up her arms, and taping them in place with white medical tape.

 

“Now,” he said quietly as he picked a length of rope up, “cross your wrists behind your back please.”

 

“Are the girls tied like this,” she asked as she felt the rope pulling her wrists together, offering up a silent prayer of thanks that her wrists were covered by the socks.

 

“They are – it’s important all of you stay in the beds tonight, for your own safety,” Jsy said quietly as he pulled the rope between her arms, and tied it off, before taking a longer length and passing it around her arms and upper body.

 

“Yeah – I figured as much from seeing the other families.  Just promise me my husband is safe.”

 

“So long as he continues to do what we ask him to do,” Jay said quietly as the bands forced her arms into her sides, and he tied them off.  “Shall we?”

 

“Hey Mum,” Joanne said as she walked into the room, “Look at us!”

 

She and Angel were sitting on one of two double beds, Angle looking down as Mrs McPhee finished binding her legs together below her knees.  She, like Joanne, also had her ankles crossed and tied together, with the rope around their upper bodies.

 

“Please, be seated,” Jay said as he indicated the other bed, Angela nodding as she watched Mrs McPhee push a compressed sponge ball into the mouths of each of the girls, and then wrap the white tape round their heads to keep that in place.  She barley noticed as her own ankles and legs were secured, surprised when she looked down at how natural it felt after the day.

 

Mrs McPhee helped the girls to lie on their stomachs, pulling their ankles back and tying them to their chest ropes, as Jay said “your turn to be quiet now, Angela – open your mouth please.”

 

Chlddchwhrsss,” she mumbled as she felt the white sponge expanding in her mouth, and then the band of tape as it pressed in on her cheeks, before she was helped to lie on her sides and then hogtied as well.

 

Slhhpthttmhmmm,” Joanne said as the two girls rolled onto their sides, Angel raising her head and nodding as Mrs McPhee said “ah’ll stay a wee while, if ye can cope wi Chloe and Mandy?”

 

“Not a problem,” Jay said as he left the room, closing the door and looking at the housekeeper and her daughter as they were walked up the stairs.

 

“Let’s go to your rooms,” he said as he and the masked man walked them to a second set of stairs, and they walked up to a small flat.  Looking in the bedroom, Jay said “find something for you and Chloe to wear, and then one at a time you go and change.”

 

Mandy nodded as she said “thank you” and went to the bedroom, coming back with two pink nightdresses.  She handed one to Chloe, and said “you go first,” the young girl nodding as she went to the bathroom, and Mandy sat down.

 

“Nobody is going to believe this happened today,” she said as she looked at Jay.

 

“Oh, you would be surprised – but I am sorry we had such a drastic effect on your day.”

 

“Oh I don’t know,” Mandy said with a smile.  “I’ve heard of firms that do mock kidnappings for people – maybe they’d be interested in doing a family kidnapping here for someone?”

 

“Even though you and young Chloe may be have to be involved?”

 

“Might not be the worst thing to happen,” Mandy said with a smile as Chloe came back in.  The nightdress had a lace collar, cuffs and hem, with a little bow at the front, and she smiled as she said “so I spend the night tied up as well, Mister Edwards?”

 

“You do indeed,” Jay said with a smile.  “Let’s start to get you ready while your mother goes and gets changed….”

 

 

 

Hrruhlrththchleee?”

 

Chloe smiled, the tape moving over her lips as it covered the lower half of her face, holding the folded cloth inside.  She was lying on her side, her arms pinned to her sides with ropes and her wrists tied together behind her back, her ankles and legs secured with ropes as well, and a length of rope running from her ankles to the metal foot of the bed.  She rested her head on Mandy’s chest as she pressed her own taped lips onto her daughter’s head, and shuffled round, looking at Jay as he secured her ankles to the foot of the bed as well.

 

“Watch them until they fall asleep, then come down,” he said, the masked man nodding as Jay left the room, and walked down the stairs.

 

Taking out his mobile phone a sit vibrated, he said “this is Jay.

 

“Excellent – secure and silence him, and then leave.  As always, you have my thanks, and your share will be with you in the next few days.”

 

As he walked along the first floor corridor, Mrs McPhee came out.  “The bairns and their ma are asleep,” she said as the other masked men emerged, “all done?”

 

“All done – clear up and let’s get going…”

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmwwhthtmshhttt?”

 

Mandy opened her eyes slowly, and lay still, allowing them to adjust to the gloom before she looked at Chloe.  She was still asleep, but she could hear people moving around on the lower floors – and then she heard a male voice say “my god – Angela, are you all right?”

 

“CHMMHOPPPHRRRR” she shouted out as Chloe opened her eyes, and said “Mhmmmeee?”

 

Effhhnkshmnshrrthfrrhs,” she said as she looked at Chloe, and heard footsteps coming closer, the bedroom door opening as she saw the silhouette of a police officer in the light.

 

“Two more up here,” she called back over her shoulder before she came over, peeling the tape away from their mouths and easing the cloths out.  “It’s all right, we’re here to free you,” she said as Mandy mouthed “thank you…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“So, a fair pay day for you as well,” Brian said as Mark and Yvonne looked at the computer screen.

 

“We can’t complain,” Mark said with a smile.  “Interesting thing – the housekeeper said she had heard of firms doing kidnappings for fun and profit.  I think she may have a new source of income there.”

 

Brian smiled and shook his head.  “Possibly – but good work, both of you.  Listen – Christmas.  Fancy spending it over here?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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