“This is for the ladies who lunch…”
The Sondheim tune was playing in the background in the private dining room as Jocelyn Smith and Olive Pearl came in. Jocelyn had long blonde hair, held back by a white headband, and was wearing a peach coat dress held by a belt round her waist, a white top just visible underneath, dark tights and brown suede boots with buttons up the side, a pair of glasses in her head.
By contrast, Olive had long dark hair, which fell over the shoulders of her black coat. The coat had a red trim and a sliver fern pattern, and covered a black blouse under a grey top, and a black and white knee length skirt. She was also wearing dark hose, as well as knee length black leather boots.
“Well, I like this,” she said as she looked at Jocelyn, “I didn’t know you were a member of this club.”
“I do have some secrets – and it’s a good place to meet the other two,” Jocelyn said with a smile as she looked round. “Has it really been thirty years since we were all at school together?”
“Feels like forty,” Olive laughed as the door opened and two more women came in. “Connie, Ashley – my lord, you both look good.”
“So do you Olive,” the woman with lighter blonde hair said. She was wearing a red jacket and skirt with a black blouse under the jacket, dark hose and black heels. “How’s married life?”
“I don’t miss it one bit – and you two Ashley?”
“We’re good,” the second woman said. She had longer, slightly darker brown hair, which hung down her back over the tight black knee length dress, while her slim legs were also in dark hose, her feet in black slippers. “Jocelyn, I saw your daughter on the news last night.”
“She’s certainly enjoying her job,” Jocelyn said with a smile as the door opened, and food was brought in. “So, why don’t we sit, eat, and talk about the old days…”
The white vans pulled up to the rear of the building, the engine stopping as four women got out, wearing the same clothing as the staff of the club, and walked into the staff entrance.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Olive said as she put her wine glass down and laughed.
“No I’m not – they looked at us, and just could not cope with the fact we were still together after all this time,” Connie said as she played with the pearls round her neck. Jocelyn smiled and said “n anniversary present?”
“So was this,” Ashley said as she looked at the sterling silver chain round her neck, a single pearl against her chest. “Ten years formally.”
“Well, we’re both glad you were able to join us,” Olive said as the door to the room opened, “you may…” Her words were silenced as four women walked in, dressed like the staff – but with stockings pulled down over their heads, two of the women pushing a laundry basket while the other two aimed guns at the four women.
“What the hell,” Ashley said as she stood up, but one of the women who were armed, her skit one noticeably darker, pointed the gun at her as she said “nobody move – just sit still, hands on your head, and do as we tell you. Ladies?”
The four women looked at each other, before they slowly put their hands on their heads, the other two women reaching into the laundry basket and producing lengths of rope before they walked behind Olive and Jocelyn. The two women felt their arms been taken behind their backs, and then the ropes round their wrists, forcing them together. The women obviously knew what they were doing – the rope was kept taut, as it went around and between their arms, forcing them together with the knot out of reach of their fingers. The masked women then went back to the trolley, taking more ropes out as Connie and Ashley looked at each other, feeling the cords rubbing no their won wrists as they were held together.
“Look, if this is a robbery, take what you want,” Ashley said quietly, feeling the cords rubbing on her bare wrists as she twisted round. It was tight, but surprisingly comfortable, and as she looked at Connie she realised she was thinking the same thing.
“Did we say this was a robbery,” their leader said as the women went back to the trolley, taking out much longer lengths of rope before they walked back over to the married couple, Connie and Ashley looking at each other as the ropes were wrapped round them and pulled tight, forcing their arms to their sides as Connie’s jacket was forced to the sides. The ropes formed two bands, framing their chests as Olive and Jocelyn looked at them.
“If this is not a robbery, then what is it,” Connie asked as the ropes were pulled tighter still and knotted behind their backs, before shorter lengths were used to secure the bands still more, sitting between their arms and their body.
As they wriggled round, two more longer lengths of rope were produced, the two masked women walking behind Olive and Jocelyn before their arms were pinned to their sides, Olive’s jacket pulled to the side as she felt the rope pressing down on her own chest.
“All will be clear soon,” the masked woman said, Jocelyn noticing the smile as the ropes were pulled tighter on her, and then fed under one arm, taken up and pulled tighter still as it was taken round the back of her neck, and then under the other arm.
She wriggled round, looking at Olive as Connie and Ashley did so as well, before the fourth masked woman came behind them and told them to open their mouths. As they did so, a compressed sponge ball was pushed into each of their mouths, and then their lips covered with a wide strip of white tape.
“Shllthsshsdhffhrnt” Connie said, Ashley nodding as both of them were made to stand up and sit against the wall, their binders returning with more ropes as they crossed the ankles of both women, and secured them tightly together, before they secured their legs together below their knees.
“What is this is it is not a Robbhheerrehhmmm,” Olive said, her voice cut off as she felt the sponge ball pushed into her mouth, expanding and filling the space as it pressed her tongue down at the same time.
She heard the soft peeling sound, and then the tape on her chin as it was smoothed down over her face and lips, sticking firmly in place as she watched Jocelyn having her mouth filled and covered in the same way. Their chairs were then pulled back, the ropes rubbing on her as she twisted round while the two women knelt down and bound their ankles together.
It was a stranger feeling to Jocelyn, as she saw the rope compressing the soft brown fabric of her boots, appearing to lighten under the tension as the cords went round and between her legs. She heard the squeak as Olive tried to move her legs, leather against leather as her ankles were also secured together, then her legs below her knees.
The two women looked at each other as the masked leader smiled, and said quietly “close your eyes, both of you.” They both did so, and then felt something been pressed down over their eyes.
Connie and Ashley could only watch as the two women, gagged and blindfolded with the white tape, were lifted out of their chairs and placed in the large laundry basket, before they were made to lie face down on the floor, their ankles pulled back and secured to their chest ropes before the four masked women left, taking the laundry basket and their friends with them. They rolled onto their sides and looked at each other, before Connie pushed herself over and gently pressed her taped lips on her wife’s…
“Do you have those records for the Singapore deal?”
“On my desk,” Jane Smith said as she looked at her assistant. The dark haired woman was wearing a black cardigan over a top, and a short black and white hound’s-tooth skirt. The black hose covered legs were tucked into a pair of knee length black leather boots. She smiled as the assistant walked off, and retrieved the package, before she said “I’ll get that to the courier – good night Miss Smith.”
“Good night,” Jane said as her business partner came in. She had been friends with Shona Pearl for years, and set up their import/export business two years ago together, earning a reputation for discretion and value.
“The consignment from China has arrived,” Shona said as she folded her arms. Her black wrap dress was covered in white circles, the long sleeves and front of her black body stocking and front visible. Like Jane, she was also wearing dark hose and knee length black leather boots.
“The sensitive documents? When are they going to be collected?”
“Tomorrow morning, so for tonight they go into the safe,” Shona said as she held up the large brown envelope she was wearing, and walked to a walk in safe, placing it inside before she closed the door and locked it.
“So, plans for this evening,” she said as Jane sat down, and she stood to the side of the desk.
“Not really – we got a late client calling in,” she said as she looked at the diary, “and that is probably them now.” She looked up as two women walked into the office. One had long blonde hair, and was wearing a Dior cream trouser suit with a black blouse underneath, the other woman was smaller, with red brown hair and wearing a black jersey dress and heels.
“Forgive me, but this is the office of Smith and Pearl transfers?”
“It is – I’m Jane Smith, and this is Shona Pearl.” She had noted the American accent of the blonde, and said “how may we be of service for you today.”
“Well,” the blonde said as she took a folder from the other woman, “we were interested in using your services to facilitate the transfer of certain items from the US to the UK, in terms of a bonded service. But before we can do that, we wanted to ask a few questions, ascertain a few things – if that is all right with both of you?”
“Of course,” Shona said as she indicated some seats, “ask away.”
“We understand you act as bonded agents already,” her assistant said in a cultured English accent, “we were wondering if it would be possible to get testimonials from them as to your services.”
“I don’t see any problems with that,” Shona said with a smile, “any particular territories?”
“The Far East and the US preferably,” the blonde said as her assistant took a notepad and pen from her bag.
“We can provide some names,” Jane said with a smile.
“Excellent – and you guarantee absolute security?”
“Of course – our agents are all fully vetted and trained by the best security agents, and we trust them absolutely. May I ask what sort of items you are thinking of using our services for?”
“Of course – we have a photo here for you to look at, an example of the sort of things we transport.” She indicated to her assistant, who took a second manila folder from her bag and handed it to Shona. She opened it up, looked at the photo inside, then at them before she handed the photo to Jane.
“What the… Oh my god,” she said as she looked at the photograph of their mothers, bound, gagged and sitting on two beds, before they saw the assistant was now pointing a pistol at both of them.
“It is true, your reputation is formidable for so new a firm,” the blonde said as she stood up, “but so is that of my employer – and she knows you have something she requires. As you can see, we have your mothers as our guests – to ensure you cooperate fully. Be assured, this is only going be a temporary blip in your record.”
“What – what is it you want,” Shona asked quietly.
“I am so glad you asked,” the blonde said with a smile, “you took delivery today of a package from China. Simply put, we want that package. Would one of you be so good to go and fetch it, while the other waits here – and once we have it and are safely away, your mothers will be returned to you.”
“Is this some sort of joke?”
“My dear Ms Pearl,” the brunette said with a smile, “does it look as if we are joking? I assure you, we have your mothers, and we want that document, and I truly believe that you both know that we are serious about this. Please, spare yourself and us any further embarrassment, and fetch the package.”
Shona and Jane looked at each other, before Shona said “I’ll get it.”
“One moment.” They looked at the blonde as her assistant stood up, taking from the bag a roll of white tape as she put Jane’s arms down on the arm rests of the chair, and taped them in place at her wrists and elbows. She then knelt down and taped her ankles together, and then her legs below her knees, the tape band covering the tops of her boots.
She twisted round, the leather boots rubbing together as the blonde stood up. “I will come with you, ensure there is no – is the word ranniegoozie?”
“It is indeed,” the brunette said, “and while you are away, I will make sure Ms Smith here remains quiet.”
“Do it – we need to,” Jane said quietly, Shona nodding as she went with the blonde as the second woman folded a black silk square into a pad.
“Now – open wide, please…”
“Thank you,” the blonde said as she took the package, and then walked Shone back into the room. Jane looked at her, the white tape over her mouth making sure the scarf that was pressing down on her tongue stayed there as she twisted round in the chair.
“Shit – are you all right,” Shona said, Jane nodding as the brunette walked behind Shona and pulled her hands behind her back, the soft peeling sound followed by the tension on her wrists as they were taped tightly together. She then wound the tape tightly round her body and arms, holding them in place as she squirmed round.
“Time for you to open your mouth,” the blonde said as she held a folded red square in her hand, Shona nodding as she felt the cloth in her open mouth, then closing her lips as the white tape was smoothed down over it.
She grunted as she was made to sit on the floor, watching as the white tape was wound tightly round her ankles, and hoping it would not damage the leather too much – especially when she wrapped it round her legs and covered the tops of her boots in the same way as Jane.
“Thank you for your cooperation, ladies,” the brunette said as the two women walked out, Shona and Jane starting to struggle and get free.
The two women walked out of the office building and to the car, getting in as the brunette put the unopened package into her bag.
“I will contact the Honoured Father and Mistress Lou, inform them we have successfully retrieved the package,” she said as she looked at the blonde.
“Beverley, darling, Hong Kong has been the making of you.”
“It has indeed, Louise – what is it about trips to the east that make us better people?”
“I do not know,” Louise said as she started the car, “but I am grateful for it. I will inform Penny, make sure our guests are released in due course.”
“And as for the firm?”
“Well, I think we saw enough to make sure they met our more mainstream requirements, despite today. I’ll have Jayne talk to them later…”