The Sorority House Raid
Had Marsha Payne stopped to listen to the latest Beyoncé hit, took off the earphones earlier and heard the altercation that morning and she would not end up locked in a closet bound, gagged and with a chloroform soaked cloth tied to her face over her nose over a month later. Also her friends would not pass for a similar situation, as well as many other women that night.
But she also would have not met Jimmy Haran, and would not marry him nearly two years later. And her best friend Joan Bragget most probably would not eventually become the famous reporter she ended up being, or at least would have a hazardous path to become it.
All in all, if she knew that she could have avoided the events of that night by not listening to her favorite singer while jogging, she would have said publicly that she regretted having choose to run through the campus with her MP3 player that morning, but she would be lying.
She saw the two men arguing with each other and decided to come closer because she wanted to know what the trespassers were doing in the back of her current home, the 3G (Gamma Gamma Gamma) Sorority. They were two old men, the younger one couldn't be less than 60 years old and the other was at least ten years older, were wearing old suits that had seen better days and were obviously yelling at each other, and going through all their repertory of foul names.
They only realized that she was there when she was standing less than five feet from them.
‘Er..., good morning young lady, I believe you want to say that we are trespassing, aren't you?’
‘Well, yes. This is private property and... what are you doing?’
They told her that they've had been out of town for decades. And when they decided to see how their hometown was now, they couldn't believe in how much things have changed, and started the argument about who had the bright idea of spending so much money in that trip.
‘The Barley's, where we used to hang out and drink some beers, closed. The Gazette, that we read all our life, closed. The Bean Bowl where we spent many nights, closed. But the last straw was see that the old Miller House was no longer the old haunted house of our childhood.’
‘I see. Well, when they created the University over twenty years ago there was the idea of demolish the whole place. But the sponsor that made the Crows possible just loved the place and... well you see, it's pretty much livable now.’
‘Yes. The John Crow University, named after a local WWII hero and good friend (and some say lover) of the woman behind it all, Angela Benyngton. She's the one behind everything in the University, up from the Board to the campus police. All who study or are alumni from here are called Crows by everybody, including ourselves.’
Marsha failed to realize that the mention of a campus police had made the men's faces turn pale, and they managed to hide the sudden shake of their hands from her. They were 'escorted' by the African-American beauty to their car, parked about five hundred yards from there, and told her tales about the place, and realized that she knew modified versions of them, including the Legend of the Stolen Kane Jewels. According to Marsha no one had found yet the jewels that they had stole and hidden in the place. Matthew and Fred had spent nearly thirty years behind bars for other crimes and wanted the gems. They deserved the gems.
But the place was now a sorority house. And there was a campus police do be dealt with, besides the town's regular police force.
They needed help.
Yelena was more interested in showing to her lover's uncle her gastronomic abilities than in being chloroed. But agreed to be the guinea pig of Veronica's point of view.
She had spoke more about this uncle Matt than about her parents or brothers, but since both had been outcasted by their family, she for being a proud lesbian and him for being sent to prison, she could understand their bond easily. He had appeared in town two days before, nearly a week after being released from jail with his buddy Fred Lane and immediately declining Veronica's offer to stay in their house for a time. Veronica had told her that they would be their guests soon.
And so it happened as she said it would...
‘I still don't understand WHY you told her everything! We swore to never tell anyone about the jewels. And for twenty nine years I was true to my word!’
‘Fred... I am dying. Three years ago the docs said that I had less than a semester of life. And I am still here. But not for long. And Vee is my only heiress... So what else you expected me to do?’
Uncle Matt's partner, Frenzy Fred as she was mentally calling him by now, didn't accepted that someone else might knew about his greatest secret, the location of the jewels. And made sure that everyone knew it.
But Veronica had rationalized with him, he could not do the job alone. Fred was adamant in his point that he could do that. So Veronica had challenged him and had ordered her to be a co-ed.
They were in their parlor as she explained the rules.
‘Yelena, you are co-ed number 3. Let's assume that Fred already subdued two co-eds that were watching TV. They are now unconscious and bound and gagged on the couch. Unaware of that, you decides to join them and opens this door without realizing that Fred is behind it. And you WILL allow him to seize you AND to place the chloroform soaked cloth over your nose AND you will take a 'surprise breath'. Understood?’
‘What chloroform soaked cloth?’ - asked both men.
And Veronica went upstairs to grab a bottle of chloroform that she used in her games with Yelena, Billie and the other girls. Fred wanted more details as she described it as her work tools, but Veronica ignored him. And to Fred astonishment, it was chloroform for real!
What kind of work that macho-girl has to have this in her house?
‘Fred, at your place please. Ready? Go!’
Fred lurked behind the door for a moment and saw the petite blonde beauty act like she didn't knew of his presence. He jumped on her and managed to pass his left arm under her large round breasts and pulled her body to his own with some effort.
Then he placed the soaked cloth over her mouth and nose. He felt the girl take a small breath in the drug drenched hankie and then it happened.
She fought back. She twisted and pushed and pulled and grabbed. And Fred had a very bad time trying to hold her in his grasp. He kept a firm lock on her upper body, and ignored the scratches in his rams that she was doing. But when she stomped her left foot on his he almost let her go.
He redoubled his efforts as she finally started to show the predicted effects of her drugged breathing. Her movements lost their strength and speed, she became more and more docile, he kept his hold as still as it was, and she fainted in his arms.
Fred was a wreck. Thirty, no, twenty years ago he could have handled that wildcat very easily. But now he was fighting for breath. His medicine! Veronica grabbed the unconscious girl and deposited her on the couch while Matt handed him the pills.
‘Finish the job, will you?’
Fred looked at her as if he hadn't understood the meaning of her words.
‘She's out cold. But she may woke up while you are digging the jewels. So you need to restrain her. To tie her up and gag her. And to do that in a really and proper manner. So she won't stand in your way anymore and you will have a chance to get the jewels.’
‘I can't! I-I... I can't...’
‘So you do need my help, don't you?’
And Fred surrendered. An hour later they were dinning a delicious Russian casserole, from Yelena's old family’ secret recipes, while Veronica discussed with Fred all the details of the raid.
Again Fred was puzzled and impressed by Veronica's still secret job.
She was a professional! She considered every possible angle of the case, to the point of giving money to him and Matt so they could spend it frivolously...
‘So everyone will believe in us, specially in Yelena, when we tell them that my uncle Matt and his pal Fred are enjoying life after spending decades in prison, until we find some jobs for you guys. Yelena listen up, you will be mad at me for giving so much money to them only because 'her uncle Matt is her only relative that still talks to her', and you will make sure that everyone, EVERYONE, from the beauty shop to the gym, knows that. The last thing I want is anyone wondering what you two are doing in town. Especially those who are after you.’
That surprised all the others at the table. Then Veronica explained herself.
‘Uncle Matt, 31 years ago you and Fred stole the jewels that Harris Milton and his cousins (and you two) had already stolen from that cheapskate and scrooge and everything else and more (I'm talking about one of the lowest and lamest Americans ever, Julius Kane, love), after they tried to kill you guys. They died in the process, you both went to jail and the world forgot about you both after all those years. But not the whole world. I cover any bets that someone or someones are after you guys. Those jewels are now worth what, ten millions? Twenty millions dollars? Even if it was just one million dollars I would still cover any bet that you are or have been followed.’
‘We were. But we managed to fool them...’
‘Are you sure?’
Fred wasn't. So they agreed to follow Veronica's plan. They would go to bars, the beach and (why not) Las Vegas or Atlantic City. They would pretend that they were not interested in the jewels. After all, at least she didn't knew (yet) the EXACT location of the case in which the jewels had rested all those years...
The next morning Fred and Matt were on a plane, en route to Florida, while Veronica was researching about everything concerning the campus of John Crow University. At noon, Yelena handed her a cellphone while she was ‘entertaining’ one of her neighbors.
It was one of her informants. She was right. Fred and Matt were being followed.
Veronica handed the phone back to Yelena and smiled, she loved challenges! And defeat intruders in her challenges were as much as fun...
The girls of the Wild Crocodile didn't did programs, but accepted offers for private dances. Sometimes the clients didn't cared about the difference between the two situations. But Cherry (née Caroline Munroe) had liked those two old guys.
They gave generous tips, didn't used lewd language and respected the 'don't touch' deal. They were nice old guys, but they could have chosen another place to stay while in town.
The motel was a little isolated and there almost no lights around. She parked and went to their room, which was the last on the second floor. As she was leaving the stairs and about to turn left and go to there, she was grabbed from behind by a very large man.
‘Don't make a sound or you'll regret it bitch.’
There was a woman with him, and she had a gun. She was easily lifted of the ground and carried by the man as he walked backwards. His hand smelled bad and was all over her mouth, the other hand was grabbing her left arm and twisting it behind her back. The woman was far more slender and good looking, and kept the gun inches from Cherry's face all the while. They entered a room and the terrified girl saw that there were two other mean looking men waiting for them. One was enthralled watching a porn movie on the DVD and barely acknowledged her presence while the other, apparently in charge, looked at her and then at the other girl.
‘Think you can do it?’
‘Of course! Tie her up while I'm getting prepared.’
Cherry was quickly tied up hand and feet by the man in charge and then bound to a chair. The man then grabbed a bottle and soaked a cloth with what was inside, placed himself behind her, grabbed her hair and yanked it, forcing her head behind. At the same time he shoved the cloth over her nose and tape gagged mouth. It smelled different from anything that Cherry had smelled before, but not in an unpleasantly way. Actually it was quite... relaxing. Her head was spinning already, and she was forget about her situation, the pain in her head and even the terror she was feeling. She didn't cared about it anymore.
Bea walked off from the restroom as Mike was relaxing the grip on the stripper's hair. All three men suddenly found themselves gawking at the young and ruthless beauty.
‘Mike and Phil, I'm your cousin you jerks so don't think about it. Bob, go back to your porn babes you ******. Give me five minutes and knock at the door.’
When she turned left and started to walk to Fred and Matt's room she put on a frivolous face. No one that could see her now would believe that that scarcely dressed bimbo brunette was wanted in three states for first degree murder, GTA and other felonies. No one ever did believe that she could be dangerous, and that was her best asset.
She knocked the door and was admitted inside.
Meanwhile Joan Bragget was making an article about the Old Miller Haunted House and all its stories, she was in the part about the Stolen Kane Jewels when she heard a knock on the door.
Marsha and Crazy Jane entered the room and unceremoniously grabbed their friend and yanked her from the chair she was sitting on.
‘We told - OVER AN HOUR AGO - to get ready 'cause liking it or not you are going to party tonight’. Time's over girlfriend, change your clothes and let's get moving!’
But Joan tried to rationalize and told her friends that she had to send the story to the Cracking Crow before 10 p.m., and she was already finishing it. Marsha pushed her aside and saved the file and started the turn off the computer, while Crazy Jane was already selecting the clothes for their bookworm friend to wear at the Football Field's Welcome Party. Joan complied, she knew her two friends way too well and knew that if she didn't dressed herself, they would do it for her AND drag her to the field AND (Oh the horror!) make her dance in public. As they walked to the field the group of co-eds found Marsha's behavior odd, as if she wanted to remember something.
Bea was dancing so sensuously that she wondered if one (or both) of the two old timers wasn't going to have a stroke or something like that. The dyke that was with them was an unexpected and unwelcomed surprise. The woman was obviously imagining what she would do with her had she the chance, and making sure that Bea was aware of it. She hadn't expected to dance for real, she would put some drops of the sedative on their drinks while they weren't watching and let the boys in, but the woman had ordered to start dancing right away. So Bea put on a show.
And what a show! She had the looks, the curves, the flexibility and those dance lessons she had took years ago. Then the music ended. Smiling and knowing full well that she had all three customers satisfied beyond any doubt, Bea bend over to grab her clothes and spellbind them a little more. And felt the cold metal against her back.
‘Beatriz Amancio. 21 years old and with such a rap sheet... What a shame isn't Matt?’
‘Terrible, terrible shame... and waste.’
They knew about her? She tried to fool them while preparing to run to the door, she wouldn't mind to run naked into Mike, Phil or even Bob's arms, but she had to get outta here!
‘Don't think about it. Your cousins and their friend have already been dealt with properly. Oh, they're alive. Unconscious and severely beaten up, but alive.’
‘Look, I don't know who do you think I am...’
‘I know EXACTLY who you are and what kind of person you are. Cherry would end up dead as those two... in a fire like that job in Memphis, or in a gas leak like in Reno?’
Bea turned around abruptly and threw her clothes at the woman, but she wasn't there anymore, but two feet at the left and launching a kick to her head. The impact was devastating for Bea, who fell back dizzy and without remembering where was up and where was down.
The plan wouldn't work, probably she was right about the men and who knows if she hadn't already called the cops. She had to move, but the floor was spinning so wildly.
She was grabbed from behind by two strong hands and lifted up. Then someone else held a cloth over her mouth and nose. She tried to shake her head and resist. But her frontal attacker placed another hand under her chin and managed to get a firm hold, and pressed the drug soaked cloth harder over her face. The woman who was holding her hammered her left fist on Bea's stomach and all air that was still in her lungs was expelled. She inhaled deeply with her nose and mouth.
It didn't took too long for she pass out.
Fred then taped the cloth over her nose and did a good job with her wrists and ankles. Veronica threw the slumbered bound killer in the bed and called the cops.
The next day the story was in all papers and all the TV channels, minus the participation of Veronica of course. The four crooks were described by Fred as 'idiots' who hadn't believed in their version that Harris had hidden the jewels before trying to kill them all those years ago, and were after a prize that he and Matt couldn't give to them. The photo of Cherry kissing the forehead of a delighted Matthew Farris nearly became iconic. According to the two old men, an ex-con (but the police believed that was still on the loose wanted one) that had heard about their story visited them and, after a long talk, believed in them. That's when Bea and the others appeared and him, and some of his friends, had to prevent a tragedy (They, and none of the two told the press or the cops who 'they' were, knew about Bea's reputation).
When she saw the story on the ten o'clock news, Marsha recognized the two men as the ones that she had seen two weeks before. And told her friends about it.
It became the gossip of the week on the campus, but since Marsha was well known for always increasing her tales, no one take it very seriously, except Joan.
Matthew Allen Farris passed away three days after the incident. He was 64.
At the funeral, attended only by Fred and Veronica, Fred told her where they had buried the case and decided to spend the rest of his life on an elderly care institution in Miami. It's true that he disappeared two weeks later and sent to the only friend he made in the short time while there a postcard from Rio de Janeiro about a month later.
But at the night of the events he was watching television in his room.
Joan Bragget went on checking if Marsha's claim that the two ex-con had been at the campus was true, and ended up having Veronica's address and phone number.
ONE WEEK BEFORE THE RAID
It was a silly game and a silly situation, but only Veronica seemed to think so. True, the view was great at the moment and would be better in a few minutes, but it was still silly.
‘Ready girls? And you two? One... two... THREE!’
And she put the chloroform soaked cloth over Yelena's face. At her side Pamela was doing the same with Billie. And in front of them Amber was clocking everything.
Both Yelena and Billie were taking lungfulls and made no attempt to break hers or Pamela's hold. Both girls had been tied to a kneeling hogtie position and cleave gagged, Amber had prepared the cloths and the 'III Slumber Marathon' was doing well so far.
But Veronica, the only woman present that wasn't a chloro-fetish affectionate, found it all a bit silly. Yelena's head slumped to her side and she lowered her lover to her side on the floor. Pamela had already did the same with Billie.
‘Ladies, at your places please.’
Both Veronica and Pamela stood and walked to their chairs. Amber was already sitting in the one between theirs and watching the captive girls inert forms with glee. It was a surprise for Veronica when she spoke to her without breaking eye contact with the girls:
‘That pseudo reporter is still vexing you for an interviewing?’
‘Yes. She left over twenty messages asking for an interview at my secretary, another twenty or so at Yelena’s office and about fifteen e-mails. She says that she has proofs that Fred and Matt were in the campus, that she is going to put it all in the next edition of the campus journal 'The something-starting-with-C Crow', which is due to next week. And I can't postpone the plans even if the whole little town is talking about their visit straight from the prison's gates.
‘But haven't you dealt with...’
‘Those four bloodthirsty amateurs? No. They weren't the expected and confirmed opposition to my plans. Just a nuisance that I didn’t had to think much to deal with...’
‘Well then... and now?’
‘Now were going to see who's gonna win and have her desire fulfilled tonight and who's gonna lose and be yours for tomorrow night's special party at Mistress Delores club. And as for them... I have plans to deal with them. It's this Bragget girl that is annoying me.’
‘Are you accepting suggestions on this matter?’
And while Yelena and Billie enjoyed their induced nap, Pamela gave Veronica details about her great idea to deal with the snoopy co-ed.
Joan was waiting for the woman to appear for over an hour now. She was late, had she backed out? She was in her hotel room wondering if she had done the right thing. The Cracking Crow was not going to reimburse her expenses, Marsha could be wrong and, honestly, the Cracking Crow was just a very modest university journal.
But she had followed her instincts. The same ones that had already earned her the nickname of Snoopy Bragget. But where was that woman? There was a knock at the door. Finally!
Without asking who was or checking through the peephole, Joan opened the door.
And received the full impact of whatever it was sprayed in her face.
She couldn't see! Before she could scream something was shoved in her mouth and two strong hands held her arms at her side. She could sense that they were three, but couldn't say anything about their appearance or even if they were men or women.
The door was closed as she felt more and more of the soft tissue being pushed inside her oral cavity. Then her lips were induced to join and tape was pressed over them.
The coolness of the girl's behavior surprised all three attackers, specially Veronica.
She wasn't fighting back, nor trashing or shaking wildly and vainly her body. It was almost a disappointment for her. Then Billie spoke.
‘This is your only warning. Stay out of our business!’
Quickly Joan had her wrists taped as well as her ankles and thighs, then she was lifted carefully and laid on the bed and covered with the linen.
‘Remember, stay out!’
And a cloth was pressed against her face. Just out of curiosity she had once asked to Crazy Jane to chloroform her, so it wasn't a new experience to the co-ed. Nor a bad one, so she relaxed and inhaled the fumes. Her attackers were now baffled with her behavior.
‘That was weird. She didn't fought back at all.’
‘I'll ask her about it later. Now call the cops!’
Ten minutes later there was a police car parking in front of the small hotel. Two cops got out and went straight to the reception desk, finding odd that the place seemed desert. They saluted an obviously impatient Veronica, who was fuming about something.
‘Hello miss Veronica. What's wrong?’
‘Michael..., Donovan... I don't know. I am late for a meeting with a co-ed who claims to be a reporter, something about my late uncle, and when I arrived I saw Jenny getting inside the office in a hurry, but she managed to mouth me 'I'll be back soon' before she entered. That was nearly five minutes ago! I was about to go inside...’
Michael and Donovan looked at each other and drew their weapons. Surprised, Veronica let them pass to behind the desk and to the office's door. It was ajar.
Inside, they found Jennifer Williams and her mother Karen bound back to back laying on their side on the floor. They had smelly cloths bound to their faces and were unconscious, but seemed fine. There was no sign of disturbance in the place. Veronica helped Michael untie the women as Donovan carefully checked the back of the office. Then he returned.
‘Nothing. And they?’
‘Well, this cloth was drenched in chloroform, I don't know how much they were forced to breathe, but they will be out for a while. Donovan, the safe is open?’
It was almost natural for Veronica to gave them orders and for them to obey. She was the local police force teacher of martial arts and had helped them (with her military skills) in more than one occasion. True some officers resented to receive orders or training from a lesbian, but all the others felt more than just respect for the giant woman.
‘No. Do you think that they were interrupted or something?’
‘I don't know. They weren't after anything that was in this office, there's nothing out of place. It seems to me that they only wanted to have them out of the way.’
Then she fell silent. And pale.
‘Oh my God!’
And she run. She was out of the room before any of them could do anything. Michael looked at Donovan and nodded. Donovan left him with the unconscious women and run after Veronica.
Veronica slowed down and waited for him, she was already on the second floor when he managed to reach her and asked her what was happening.
‘It's the girl, the reporter, they came after her.’
They were at the girl's room's door. Donovan pushed Veronica aside as he slowly opened the door. There was a bound, gagged and unconscious girl lying on the bed.
She seemed OK. Donovan checked the restroom and the closets before letting Veronica in. She immediately went to the girl and checked her pulse, then removed her faithful Swiss pen-knife from her purse and started to cut the tape that held the girl.
Twenty minutes later half of the city's police force (ten men and two women) was at the place. They were checking the room and the office for clues, but so far there was nothing useful in their hands. Joan was still a little groggy but managed to answer some questions from the Sheriff.
Paula Manning went to the lobby were she could see the perfect definition of a caged lion(ess), her long friend Veronica. If she didn't knew her, she would be sure that she was in the verge of breaking apart. But was hiding it, or at least trying to, and not very well.
‘What's wrong Big Grashopper?’
Usually this ridiculous nickname would bring a smile to her friend's face. But now it brought tears. They went to the floor's restroom and Paula waited while Veronica composed herself.
‘They-they took her. The same bastards that were here today took her.’
‘Took... Who are you talking about? Who was 'taken'?’
Veronica put her left hand in her jacket's inner pocket and picked her cellphone. She handed it to Paula. It was one of those who take, send and receives pictures. Paula activated the screen.
The bound and slumbered form of Yelena Andronova appeared in it. She was in her underwear, lying in what seemed a stone floor and tape bound and gagged.
SIX DAYS BEFORE THE RAID
The phone call was being recorded and they knew it, they just don't cared. The voice was feminine and even sensuous, as if she was trying to sell something.
‘As you might have realized, we have your lover.’
Joan looked at the big blackhaired woman. She was obviously forcing herself to remain calm, and having a moderate success. There were other people in the room beside them and the cops. Two directors of the ******** - the company to whom both Veronica and Yelena worked -, the company’s attorney; the mayor and her son (the 'ace reporter' of the local newspaper); a priest; and many friends and/or neighbors of the couple.
‘Look, I don't know what you guys want...’
‘Don't be stupid!!! You know very well what do we want! We want the Kane Jewels!’
Veronica went silent. She looked at all the people in the room. She then seemed to be pondering her options, and then she capitulated.
‘Alright, I don't know where it is...’
‘Don't lie to us or she will pay!’
‘DON'T DO ANYTHING TO HER!!!! I said that I don't know where it is... but my late uncle did really robbed them... – There was a moment of silence.
Then the kidnapper's digitally altered voice returned, more calm this time.
‘I never mentioned the Kane Case in my letters or when I visited him in jail. I didn't thought that it mattered. But he did thought that it did. Then one day we ended up having a discussion because he wanted me to know when I would ask him it and...’
‘Cut the soap opera memo and get to the point!’
‘The only thing he ever told me about them was 'I buried the case with them ten feet north from Ben and Amy', just that. I don't know what does it means because... well because...’
‘Because you went looking for it?’
‘Well..., yes. I was having financial problems at the time so I went to his hometown one day and spent the next three days searching. I looked in street names, old phone lists, old newspapers, old yearbooks, statues... you name it. I did found about two or three couples in the town's history that were made by a 'Ben' and a 'Amy' something, but I gave up. I didn't wanted the money that bad to profane old cemeteries. And that is all that I know about it...’
‘Are you sure that that’s all?’
‘YES IT IS!!! Look, she has nothing to do with this story, OK? PLEASE, let her go...’
‘We'll keep in touch.’
The call has been made by a satphone, untraceable and efficient. The sheriff made a lot of questions, until Veronica couldn't handle the pressure and stormed out to her room upstairs. Two of her friends went up to look after her and the others gathered.
No one noticed Joan sneaking into the kitchen and grabbing her cellphone.
Or so it seemed.
‘Did you ever considered being an actress? Girl you are simply fabulous!!!! I meannmppphh!!!’
Amber's hand and stare silenced Pamela. In front of them Veronica was crouching and opening a drawer in the vanity of the room. There was a notebook linked to the house's security system.
She opened it and could see four things: The crowd gathered at the living room downstairs, Joan making a phone call in the kitchen, the garage of the house (an image that switched every fifteen seconds to the view of the back of the house, then switched back after another fifteen seconds) and the sleeping form of Yelena.
She was lying on her back on the mattress place on the floor of the secret room under the garage. She was restrained by padded cuffs that linked her right wrist to her right thigh and the left wrist to the left thigh. There was also another padded pair that linked her ankles. She was wearing a chloro mask and, to Pamela, seemed to be having a good time.
‘This babblermouth is right. You almost convinced me.’
‘I am big and I am strong and, let's face it, I don't have a bright face. If people think that I am easy to handle and easy to fool... poor people.’
‘Don't you think that you are overdoing a little.’
‘I have a deadline that can’t be by any chance delayed one minute. In seven days the other guys are going to act, regardless of whom they have to hurt or even kill. And I already have the press, the cops, some gal from the insurance company that paid Kane a lot of money thirty years ago and a snoopy would-be-detective do deal with besides them!’
‘Whose other guys?’
‘Yes Big Grasshoper, 'whose other guys'?’
Again Amber had to handgag her slave or she would have attracted too much attention, when they turned their heads to Veronica she was already handling to Amber a roll of duct tape.
‘Make her happy and silent please.’
As Pamela was being methodically taped up by her mistress, the Sheriff walked past the duo and stood in front of her best friend. And looked her straight in the eye.
‘Evelyn Kane. She wants the family jewels back, no matter the cost. She reunited a small group of very nasty and dangerous people. Of all the five parties that I found out that are after the jewels and are not of your side of the law, they're the only ones that I couldn't discourage or have arrested. But I know their deadline, so I am going to act one day before.’
‘I don't like it. I still think that MY plan, and not this... circus act you've created...’
‘Actually the idea was Pamela's.’
The look the sheriff sent to the helpless girl went unnoticed. She had her eyes fixed on the cloth on Amber's right hand, which was now being soaked by the chloroform on the bottle in her left hand. She was putting too much (not that Pamela really minded about it) so it meant that, when she woke up, she would be punished. As long as she had a pleasant dream before... it would almost be worth it. Amber didn't stripped the girl because she didn't wanted to gave one last straw to the Sheriff’s ethical dilemma. She would have time for it later. So simply sat on the bed and made the restrained girl's head rest on her lap. Then she applied the cloth.
Pamela pretended to fight a little, but actually had forgotten about where she was and with whom, and was enjoying the experience. She inhaled deeply and was soon out.
The sheriff felt a hand on her left shoulder. Dammit, it had happened again!
‘You know, to someone who says that doesn't like to be put under someone else’s power...’
‘Will you get back to the point? The whole town's is talking about it. Tomorrow it will be the whole country and many other countries as well!’
‘And between all, so will Evelyn and her goons. And they will be talking about what I want that they talk. And they already believe that the case is buried in the cemetery... Look at me girl.’
How could she have so much power over her? She was the sheriff, and her friend was the shaddy handywoman of the town's biggest taxpayer and employer.
And the woman that knew her better than her husband.
‘In one WEEK it will be all over, no one will bother anyone in this town about this matter anymore. TODAY you can talk with the mayor about all those funds she wanted to cut from the police this year, and force her to back up on that specific subject. And I promise you, no one will really be hurt in this whole dirty story, no one that REALLY doesn't deserves it, or I WILL be really MAD about it. Really really mad. And you know how mean I can be when this happens...’
And the sheriff capitulated to her 'mistress' (none of them really liked the term) and friend's plan. She tried to avoid the sight of the sleeping girl in the bed and the other one in the notebook' screen as she was leaving the room, but failed.
‘Her husband still doesn't accept her sub side?’
‘No, but at least he understand that I just bind and gag her. No sex involved in the business.’
‘So... what are your plans... 'Donna Farrisetti'?’
‘You know, I can have you and Pamela taped up in a standing position and locked in the closet and with chloro-masks strapped to your faces while I deal with everybody downstairs...’
‘OK, I got the point...’
FIVE DAYS BEFORE THE RAID
As she did every morning since she was twelve and won a fight against a cancer, Sheila Westwood started her day jogging. She was now used to run ten to fifteen miles before breakfast with only a cup of milk in her stomach before her exercise. The 19 years old athletic blonde beauty was clad today in black running shoes, blue shorts and pink T-shirt and again thanked that there was no one around, since her breasts had grown a little bigger than she would like she had stopped running in more crowded places, and besides she was in ********, OH, and nothing happened here anyway (except the kidnapping of that bimbo Russian immigrant if what her mother heard in the market was true) so she had no real reasons to be worried.
That's what she was thinking when she did that curve in the trail, and saw two men clad all in black, with masks and gloves, carrying and depositing a bound woman in front of a tree about fifty feet at her left up the hill. She saw them, but not their partner.
As she was dialing 911 in her cellphone she was tackled from behind.
It was a man, no doubts about it. He was big and huge and strong. He had easily captured both her wrists and was holding them behind her back with one of his hands, the other was clamped over her mouth. She trie to fight, but his body was pinning her on the ground and he warned her.
‘Don't look at me. Don't look at me. Understood? If you look at me you will see my face. And I will have to take you with us. And you are not going to see your mommy and your daddy for a long time. You will be kept somewhere, a place too dark, cold and distant for your likes. But I will not be caring about it. None of us will. And you will be with us. So don't look at me. And don't yell or say anything, understood?’
She nodded the best she could. The voice was calm, but perhaps too calm. It chilled her to her core. Whoever this man was she knew he meant all he had said.
‘Close your eyes.’
He turned her around. Sheila kept her eyes shut and was startled when she felt him place something over them, something soft, then tape was pressed over it, effectively blindfolding her. He was atop her, and was starting to crush her.
‘Please... please don't dommmpppphhhh!!!’
A cloth was pressed against her mouth and nose. It smelled funny, funny like chloroform? She recognized the smell from the Biology class. He was putting her under, was he kidnapping her? Sheila tried to fight back, but now it was useless. Besides, his knees that were pressing her arms at her sides, she felt a new pair of hands keeping her still by her shoulders. And that attempt of trashing had made her breath more and more of the drug. She was loosing consciousness...
The 911 call was sent, but obviously no one answered when Ralph Westwood (Sheila's cousin) received the call. He did heard the sound of a fight, and recognized the number as his cousin's cellphone. He called all units to the Grosfield Park ASAP.
Sheila and Yelena were found lying side by side in front of the Old Oak twenty minutes later by two officers. They were both tied hands in front and at their ankles, gagged and blindfolded with white tape and sporting what was later described as chloro-masks over their gags. At their side there was a sealed brown envelope. Inside there was a message clipped of magazines letters:
'Thanks for the info, it was VERY useful. Have a nice life!'
‘OK, and what do WE do now?’
Paula was obviously upset. The farce was going too far, they had involved her daughter's best friend for crying out loud! They were at the hospital's private room where Yelena was lying asleep in a bed, besides the Sheriff and Veronica, Amber and the elder man who was supposedly Veronica's boss (and not the other way around actually) were there too.
‘I agree with the Sheriff, this is going...’
‘Will..., I didn't hurt her. Yes, she might have some nightmares about it, because yes it was a traumatic experience... so pay the bills please.’
‘Look Miss Veronica...’
‘Will..., the farce, as Paula is calling it, it will only work if it doesn't look suspicious. Everyone in the county knows that Sheila jogs in the park every morning, but that's not the kind of thing that a foreigner would know. Everyone now knows that my uncle DID rob those jewels, and that while I don't know where they are SOMEONE does. Everyone will understand if me and Yelena goes to... I don't, New York City (?), well that we go somewhere for a while. And Evelyn and her gang will start to have a real bad time this afternoon.’
All the others looked at her obviously not understanding what she meant.
‘Who do you think WILL be considered responsible for Yelena's kidnapping?’
‘But they must have proofs...’
‘That they are planning to raid TWO CEMETARIES in one night? That they will start two arson bonfires in PUBLIC places to distract the local authorities? That they are even considering the possibility of invading and tearing apart the house of a 89 years old widow called Amy Dracov, because her late husband was named by his immigrant fathers after Mr. Franklin?’
‘They are really... going to do it?’
‘They don't know that WE know, or they would have been more careful with their meetings and plannings. But, alas for them..., they don’t...’
They all stood in silence for while until the Sheriff spoke:
‘Did they had plans... for this town?’
‘Only if their raid failed, as it will even if the FBI (who's going to receive a tip from two of their registered informants) doesn't catch them all today. And Yelena was the target, so I would be forced to tell them anyway. And they don't have pruderies to use torture...’
‘Alright. Miss Veronica, as long as NO OTHER CITIZEN or PASSERBY or TOURIST or WHATEVER of and in this county gets hurt by this mess that you are directing, I believe that the sheriff will not oppose significantly to your plans...’
‘Pay all the bills (and add a bonus) to the ones that gets caught in the middle, and make some pressure to the mayor so she do not touch the Police Department's budget, and I will get along.’
Randy was out again, this time he had been sent to the Czech Republic, so she decided to visit Veronica that night. The back door entrance was open as she told it would, so the reporters would not see her entering the place, and she entered as quietly as possible.
But Veronica was a master in stealth attack and before she could realize she was bound in the nude in her friend's kitchen. How could she had done that? One moment she was trying to sneak inside the house and in the next she was waking up, bound like a parcel or salami and naked!
‘SHHH! Do you want the reporters to hear you?’
Head shaking vigorously.
‘That's what I thought. I'll take the gag and we'll talk, IN WHISPERS. OK?’
And they talked, about the whole situation and the previous ones. The blonde she had found bound in Yelena's closet two years back (an industrial spy), the three secretaries of five months later (one of them was involved in a sort-of-illegal seizure's attempt of the company but the other two weren’t but she had to find out who was who), the mistress (and her sister) of a member of the company's board that was blackmailing him following orders of another member the following year, and the secret kidnapping of the family (mother and daughter) of a member of a gang of bank robbers that were in town to do their job in the local bank.
All women had been found by Paula bound, gagged and drugged (by injection, chloro-masks or chloroform soaked cloths strapped to their faces or other ways). And otherwise unharmed. Those who were innocent ended up being somehow helped by Veronica's organization as a form of compensation, those who were guilty end up behind bars or having to flee to avoid it.
She didn't liked it one bit, but had accepted as part of her friend's life, and the town's 'unofficial security system' as she called it. All her predecessors since the ‘50s had had to deal with it, and so she did, was doing and will do.
‘Look, Jennifer and Karen owed me one BIG time, yeah that was me who did that to Jen’s ex-husband,, and they know that whatever was the reason of this 'farce' as you call it, it was worth it. Sheila... Sheila will do fine, I hope, and anyway I AM owing her one, and even if she doesn't know it I intend to pay that debt. Our town is safe, I heard that the police's budget received a raise this afternoon, after the news about Evelyn's gang...’
‘...which was not caught! Not all of them that is. There's still three at large, and Evelyn.’
‘Blame the FBI, girl, not me. And we know where they are anyway, but the Boss (which I still won't tell who he or she is) told us not to tip the feds, again, and just observe them and know their plans. But as I was saying before being rudely interrupted...’
‘...something that won't happen again by the way, the town is safe and you will make it safer. Legally and honestly. As for Yelena, I kept her under all the time, it was not hard for her to convince the feds that she didn't saw a thing. I WILL let her at the cares of a good friend in NYC, and she WILL have a great time, while I end the 'LEGEND OF THE STOLEN KANE JEWELS', by creating another.’
‘OK, OK, I heard your orders... the house's special, isn't it? Then the house's special it is!’
What infuriated Sheriff Paula Mannings wasn't the sardonic smile in her friends face as she finished soaking the cloth in the chloroform, but the fact that she was right.
The news she had received about the gang that Evelyn Kane had reunited were terrible. All had big rapsheets, and for big offenses and felonies. Five of them were rapists, three were convicted murderers on the loose and one had raped a minor. And for the good or worst, she had avoided these guys to appear in their town. She had to agree that, even involving Sheila against her will, she had done it, AGAIN. But she hated being put under anyway!
Paula wasn't a petite like Yelena, a looker like Pamela or an athlete like Sheila. She was a mature (40 something) woman in good physical condition, and with a natural flexibility that Veronica loved to explore. For the next three hours she would do it, and Paula would relax and enjoy, and love it every second. Both knew it. But what a fighter she was being right now!
She had no leverage or way to go since Veronica's grip was firm and steady. And the cloth reeked with chloroform so much she had been drenched in. Reeked? No, she had to concede it, it didn't smelled that bad, it was just too intense. Way too intense...
Veronica held the older women's limp body carefully in her arms. Being practical (cynical), pragmatic and too attached to rules might be problematic sometimes... But Paula was a good woman and she deserved all the real respect (and more) Veronica has in her.
True it was fun to put HER under. Specially because she didn't liked it one bit. But she deserved respect. So all the tying would happen only with her awoken.
Having resolved her next immediate course of action, Veronica carried her friend carefully cradling her in her arms to the guestroom.
THREE DAYS BEFORE THE RAID
Evelyn Kane was (pun intended) in a bind at the moment.
She was bound to a chair (at the legs, torso and arms) and gagged with adhesive tape the very same way that the owner of the house, her friend (and occasional slave) Judith Noomar, and her three maids were. Her captors were the three men that, just before yesterday, were supposedly her employees. But now she had obvious doubts. The FBI had raided her house and the ones she had rented for them. Had not these three decided to go to a strip club and they would have ended up behind bars as their colleagues. She had run to them looking for help or refuge, and found herself their prisoner. And the worst part was that they had been fooling her from day one...
‘So what do we do now? – Asked Marlowe, the smaller of the three robust men she had hired to recover her grandmother's jewels.’
‘Dunno. We should raid this house and hit the road. After having some fun with them...’
‘Jay, touch one of them and I tear your arm apart, got it? But you're right about the raid. Marlowe, help him. Money, credit cards, things that are easy to pawn, food, the stuff. GO!’
Albert had been once a drill sergeant, before an accident made him addicted to morphine, and still had the whole posture and intimidating presence required to the task. Both Marlowe and Jay went doing what he had said and all five women knew that they were (for the moment) safe.
Albert was at the same time the most dangerous and the less dangerous of the trio. His rap sheet was only smaller than Jay's, but he had made more despised felonies than him (who once had been known as the king of pickpocketing by his friends) to satisfy his addiction. On the other hand, since he had successfully passed through detox, he was another man. More controlled, calm and ponderate. He still could kill someone as helpless as the women were now. But he would have to have a VERY good reason for that.
This Judith Noomar had some money, but she had been too convincing that her parents didn't let her touch in much of it. Twenty three years old and she still received a weekly allowance from them! They could stay in the house for another four hours before the night arrived. Then they could leave, and along their former employer, they could bring the girl along.
And ask for a ransom.
‘Houston, we have a problem...’
‘I already told you a hundred times to stop saying that! What's up?’
‘The leader is trying to convince the other two to take Judy with them, so they'll cash in on with the ransom and split.’
‘Hold on a second. I'm going to contact the boss.’
Billie and Yelena were sunbathing in the nude by the pool. They had been chloroed by the boss herself (although she had help from two of her bodyguards to lay the girls in their chairs properly). It didn't mattered how many times the boss had done it, it was obvious that for her the pleasure was the same as had been at the first time. Then she had been place in the chair between the sleeping girls and motioned for Veronica to come closer. They talked about the whole affair for over an hour, then Billie started to awaken. The boss excused herself and raised her right hand, an already heavily soaked in chloroform silk handkerchief was place on it by one of the bodyguards, and with a little help of Veronica, the boss put Billie under. Ten minutes later it was time for Yelena. But since the cloth hadn't been replaced (a mistake for which Thelma would pay later), less than twenty minutes later she started to come to again. And as Yelena was mockingly fighting back, Veronica put the phone on the speaker.
‘...and he seemed to have convinced them by now according to the survey team. They are placing the maids in the giant bed of Judy's room...’
‘WHAT WAS THAT??!!!
‘As you didn't knew. Ignore her and continue (Veronica, finish it please...). Go on.’
‘One them, the taller one, found the chloroform bottle between Judy's playthings and they are soaking some handkerchiefs with it. All three women are fine, albeit obviously scared. One of them is asking to be allowed to put them all under.’
‘Daniel Marlowe. The less dangerous of the trio. He's into sleepy fetish, our research found out that he bought about two dozens of forced sleep videos. The sniper is ready and if he makes any unauthorized movement toward the women...’
‘The three maids... how are they?’
‘Two mid twenties Latinas and a mid thirties black woman. They're still wearing their underwear since the gang invaded the house at 4:00 AM. Yes, Marlowe was allowed by Albert Talbot to do as he please. He's starting with the black lady, she’s clad in a white lacy bra and panties...’
At this moment Veronica, who was cradling Yelena in her arms, decided to intervene.
‘Where are the other two men?’
‘Answer her question, please.’
‘James Hiller is loading one of the maid's car with all they are going to take, Albert... is preparing a cloth to chloroform both Judy and Evelyn in the adjacent room of the one Marlowe is finishing chloroing the black lady.’
Veronica looked at her boss with the disapproval look of a mother (and the boss was old enough to be her grandmother...) and then looked at the other women who had gathered to hear the narration of the kidnapping. Foe crying out loud! It was not one of the movies that Angela was used to have done at her requests, it was for real!
‘Boss, if I am going to leave the house at sunset, then I'll spend some time with the girl I love till then. She'll be here until I return so you can do ALMOST everything you want to and with her while I am out, but she's mine alone until the sunset.’
‘Very well, very well. You have your orders, follow them the best way you can and bring me the jewels... and Evelyn.’
As she reached the entrance to the house, Veronica saw all women gathering around the phone as the survey team's speaker told them the chloroings that were happening simultaneously.
She would never understand her boss, and the boss’ crew...
Midnight found Albert, Marlowe and Jay pulling the stringently bound and unconscious forms of Evelyn and Judy from the trunk of the car they had stolen a couple of hours before. This car was bigger than the first, and both women were not that big anyway. Jay couldn't care about they health but Albert and Marlowe didn't saw any reason to treat both women worse than they had to. They were at a very isolated and old motel. Albert decided that he would stay in the same cabin that the girls, while Marlowe and Jay shared the other.
Albert took a quick shower and returned to the room to find both girls awake. Amidst Judy playtoys, he had found two gags with padlock and those were the ones that the girls were 'wearing' now. He made a deal with them. If they behaved, they would be allowed to take a bath and use the toilet unobserved, if they didn't he would end up killing someone and they would be treated more harshly from them on. They behaved, but weren't allowed to have something for dinner and Albert used all he could remember about knots to render them helpless.
He was admiring his job when the phone ringed. The phone that they had stolen with the car.
‘Who is it?’
‘Mister Talbot, you can call me The Competition...’
Veronica talked with him for over twenty minutes. As he finished, he decided that he would do as the mysterious woman had said, but for now he was going to sleep, and to be sure that the girls would behave... Since she has her back to Albert, Evelyn couldn't see his approach, so she was startled when he trusted the cloth over her face. And inhaled a good amount of that cursed chloroform (what was the fun in being put under? Specially under the circumstances...). She did tried to fight anyway, but it was already pointless.
Judy's reaction to her friend's induced sleep puzzled Albert for a moment. She was obviously anticipating with glee and expectation her own KO!
Both girls were bound together in the nude by their torsos and legs, since their arms had been tied behind their back and attached to their waist and legs, and she had felt all the struggle her friend had put before getting knocked out.
And had enjoyed it every second of it. Ok, except that kneed on his left knee.
‘Do you know you have been kidnapped?’
‘Do you really and fully understand it?’
Nod and another nod.
‘Aren't you scared of what can happen to you?’
‘But then... do you trust me?’
Slow nod with very expressive eyes locked on his.
‘Silly girl... or maybe way too smart one.’
And the little... vixen (and a beautiful one he had to admit) did enjoy to be put under by him. She made a very good mock fight, arched her back the best way she could, shook her head... but his firm grip was an adamant one. Her eyes weren't the ones of a scared woman, but of a happy. He found himself admiring her beauty, her curves and... and decided to take a cold shower before he did something really really REALLY stupid. But he kept admiring her perfect Brazilian butt, from his bed, until he finally fell asleep himself.
TWO DAYS BEFORE THE RAID
‘Here they are! Exactly as you say they would be!’
Marlowe was holding three brown envelopes in his hand as if they had TNT on them. He passed one to Albert, another to Jay and kept the last with him. All envelopes had US$ 5.000 in notes of 50. After checking, counting and admiring the money, Jay spoke.
‘Okay, tell me again this story 'cause I'm not buying it.’
Before answering, Albert got up, made a large step to his left and sat on the bed, blocking the view of the two bounds girls behind him. His eyes said everything that he needed to say and Jay said a 'whatever' that was barely heard by the other men.
‘Like I told you guys. They were watching us from the beginning. They saw us invading the redhair's house and having all five women captive. They had a sniper or two ready to kill the one who tried the four-letter-word-that-starts-with-'R' on them. They told me the order in which you put the maids to sleep, the order I put those two to sleep and the order of things that you took from the house Jay, which reminds me...’
‘Oh yes, here it is.’
A diamond necklace, worth at least 20K, appeared in Marlowe's hand. It was not one of the jewels that Jay said he had found... And it was the favorite one of Judy, who started to get a little agitated. Evelyn, who was blinded and deafened by the 'punishment hood' Albert had put on her, protested against the sudden jerks from her friend. So did Albert.
‘You stop with that! And you Jay, strike two...’
There were no strike three with Albert. Not that the one who received could heard anyway (or anything else for that matter), for he always said it after the death. To say that the ambient became heavy and oppressive very suddenly was an understatement.
Ignoring it, Marlowe urged Albert to continue.
‘They could have us killed or arrested if they wanted. But they decided that they have found a way that we can be useful to them. They say that they'll gave us more twenty thousands each if we do two things. Keep ourselves in the media by sending a ransom demand to some newspaper and made the cops think that we are going to ********,**.’
‘But why would we go to that town now, all the cops from here to there must know our faces.’
‘That's what they need. A diversion. And we are the diversion.’
‘The cops believe that we are still after the Kane Jewels, who MAY be buried in one of the two cemeteries of the town. If the cops keep looking for us specially in that part of the town...’
‘So you want me to risk my neck, to attract the police and the FBI attention... for 25K?’
‘I don't want it. But they are watching us NOW. I bet with you that they are at least hearing what we are saying right NOW. They can kill us, they can call the cops and tell them where we are and they can pay us 25K, plus whatever we get from the chick's family and warning us from any police presence in the neighborhood, and I prefer to stay alive, out of prison and with some money on my pocket. Don’t you Marlowe? And you Jay?’
Jay didn't liked it one bit, the whole story smelled too bad for him. Marlowe only cared about the money. And Albert found odd that he was caring about the redhaired, and his former boss, more than he thought he had to. Marlowe was the first to speak.
‘I'm in. 25K warranted. A guardian angel from the cops. And whatever we get from the babe's parents. I'm definitely in. And you Jay?’
‘I don't like, and if I find a way out I will be out, and if I find who they are I will get them. But until them I'm with you guys.’
Twenty minutes later Marlowe (who had a cracky and weird voice) informed Judy's parents of the amount they demanded and the conditions for the drop-out.
Judy and Evelyn had been tied back to back with their wrists crossed and bound under the other girl's breasts. Both were nude from the waist up and wearing only a pair of flimsy panties each. As Jay left to send the video to a local newspaper, Albert (who had alerted his partners that only him would touch the girls from then on) prepared a cloth.
Evelyn was first, she really hated being on the receiving end, hated realize that even if her plans had not been thwarted she would end up on a similar situation, hated realize that she had been a fool all those months and hated her current situation. She would make them all PAY!!!
So she fought, thrashed, squirmed and moved her body in all the directions. Uselessly. And the more she fought the more she breathed on the cloth. Her fight started to subside, and ended.
Judy on the other hand looked at Albert again with playfull eyes.
‘Marlowe, we don't need the Kane chick anymore.’
‘I will tie Ju..., the babe we are going to take with us and you tie the 'Boss'. Call Jay on the phone, we'll live the memory card with the 'Boss'. OK.’
‘Allright Al, but just an advice, I have no problem with you calling the red by her name, her first name. But Jay is another completely different matter...’
Joan returned to the 3G sorority as the new campus celebrity.
She had appeared in TV (seven times) and had gave two interviews! Everybody wanted to talk with, specially Michaela, the editor of the Cracking Crow.
Only that morning things seemed to subside. The country's attention had turned to Evelyn Kane, silk stocking turned scofflaw. Her plans to raid the town's two cemeteries had been received with thunderous results. The mayor had assured and reassured to everyone and everybody that the whole police force of the town (21 men and four women) would take turns until the last member of Evelyn's Gang was arrested. Even four members of the campus police had been called to help, and there were many voluntaries to help them.
The graves of the two couples of Ben and Amy (one in each cemetery) became tourist attraction, as well as the graves ten feet north from each one.
There were no survivors from the fire that killed the Kazynski over a century ago, so no one could be consulted about a digging on their grave, but there was a fight between the Hancock, half the family wanted to see if it was there and the other half wanted to respect the dead.
No one noticed the two newcomers that arrived at the noon bus. One was the famous insurance investigator Helen Hayes. The other was another newspaper reporter, called James Earl Haran.
‘And you are sure that it's them?’
‘I'm telling you Don, it's them, I recognized two of them. They are at the cabin 8, it's the most isolated one. They arrived a couple of days ago...’
One thing is to deal with drunks, bikers and violent spouses. But these guys were killers. Sheriff Donald 'Don' Grady and his deputies closed on the cabin.
It was vacant, except for a brown envelope in which was written 'TO THE COPS'.
A FEW MINUTES BEFORE
So this was the famous Evelyn Kane? Small breasts, lean figure, blonde (of course) and with such a glare in her eyes. It almost looked as she wasn't bound to a ball, gagged and naked in the presence of people her father had spent his life calling 'sub-humans' and 'monkeys'.
All three were Black, the two men and the woman. All were grinning.
‘She has spirit, I gave her that.’
‘Enough with that. We have a deadline! Get her ready!’
One of the men grabbed her from behind and she was again forced to inhale the fumes. And again she fought, pointlessly. They took the plug gag off her mouth and attached the mask. She was lifted and placed inside the luggage, they connected the mask to the small cylinder of oxygen strapped in it above her head and reassumed their characters. As the police was isolating the cabin 8, no one take notice when the three brothers of cabin 6 managed somehow to put all the cases and other belongings in their small car, pay the bill and leave.
TWO DAYS BEFORE THE RAID
There’s a campground near **********. Usually at this time of the year it should be empty, but that was not the case. True it wasn’t overcrowded, but it was easily with half of it’s capacity being used. There were people sleeping in their cars or vans, but mostly had beds in their trailers. All vehicles had been parked together side by side, with some exceptions.
One of them was old white and blue model, probably from early 90’s, with only the driver in it, a calm and very polite woman in her mid fifties. And a good listener.
She had been in town for less than ten hours and already knew much about everybody at the camp, although she said very little about herself. She was a widow (true), had always loved her husband in spite of all the stupid mistakes he made while alive (true), which caused his death (true), and was a registered nurse (true). She also said that she had no interest in the Kane Jewels Affair (lie), was traveling alone (lie) and would stay in town just for time enough to ‘refresh her batteries’ (lie). But the true part of being a nurse was being very useful for her and for the woman she was secretly holding captive in her trailer.
This said woman was an attractive black haired lady in her late thirties. She had been captured two days before, while resting when she was traveling to this very town. She had went to sleep at a roadside motel at ten PM and was awakened by two pair of hands already binding and gagging her around 3 AM. She had not recognized the younger woman, but the older one was a familiar face. She knew her very well. Then the younger one turned her over so her bound body was on its belly, she felt a sting in her butt and woke up in her current situation.
She had been straightjacketed with a model unlikely to be used therapeutically, and not only because it was made of strong black leather, but due to it’s excessive number of straps, all with padlocks, and the what they had called leather hobble dress.
Her legs had been tied and encased in a way too tight leather skirt that ended up pinning them together, giving her a mermaid look from the waist down. Her head was totally encased in a leather hood with a built in ballgag, bearable but very uncomfortable. In the rare moments in which she was fully awake, when she was fed by the widow, she knew that it was pointless to try to free herself from all these kinky dreams of restraint. And knew better than try not to drink the spiced orange juice that sent her back to dreamland.
But there were moments in which she could feel herself unrestrained, still unable to move, but being well cared for. In the only occasion in which she had been allowed to talk she had asked the woman about it. The answer was that she wasn’t the captive of a mean sadistic bitch, so when she was sure that her prey was drugged and under, she removed all the restraints and kept her in the nude on the bed, and even gave her some massage to help her deal with the cramps before placing her in a softer immobility. Moments like now.
‘Helen? Can you hear me Helen? Can your hear me?’
‘Helen, where are you hurting now?’
‘Mmmyyy llleeegggsssshhh…… pppllleeeaaaasssshhhheeee, hhhheeeeelllllpppp mmmmeeee… aaaarrrreeee yyyooouuuu aaaaaaa…. cccoooopppp?’
‘Hardly. I am the one who’s taking care of you and is going to tie you up in a few moments.’
Better send her back to her dreams before massaging her legs and tying her up. But there was a limit to the use of the drug. Sammy wouldn’t mind if she used some of the chloroform they had reserved for the co-eds on the woman she was impersonating. SHE had worked over twenty years at a hospital, not her daughter. She knew the risks of a overdose.
The nearly sedated woman was on her back on the bed, so out of her that she wasn’t sure if she had to try to shake the cobwebs in her mind and why she had or had not to do it. She was an easy prey for the older woman. She had no strength to try to grab the hand that was holding a cloth soaked in something over her mouth and nose, does she had to do that? She didn’t knew. She had to breathe in, that was she was doing anyway. After she was sure that the captive was out, the ex-nurse massaged her legs and tied them up, then she turned the woman over her belly and tied her hand behind her back and attached to the waist, she finished with a strip of tape over the lips and a chloro-mask strapped to her face. Right on time.
‘Excuse me? Is there anybody in here?’
Sammy! But there was the chance that she wasn’t alone, a quick tie and her captive was now hogtied. She thanked her muscles while she lifted the unconscious woman and stored her in the secret compartment under the bed, closed it (making sure that there were no obstacles to the breathing holes) and took a peek of herself in the mirror and opened the trailer’s door.
‘Hi my name is Helen Wanderer, I am a reporter from the…’
It helped for they cover that they didn’t really looked like mother and daughter. Sammy was a red-haired girl with big green eyes and freckles. She was a Latinalike woman (although she had Native American ancestry in fact), shorter than her daughter but far more massive and stronger.
‘May I come in? Madam?’
‘Uh, oh, yes, yes please. It’s just… I have never been interviewed before…’
‘(So were half these people, you can’t believe how bothersome some of them are!)’
One thing that their trailer has that no other of the same model has too, beside the secret compartment, was all the soundproof stuff that had cost them so much to put in it. They could speak freely as soon as the door was closed.
‘So, how’s our guest?’
‘Before you say anything, allow me to remember you that we have enough chloroform to put the whole town under and…’
‘And she has some of it within her nose’s reach right now? Fine. We have bigger problems.’
‘The house won’t be as empty as we thought. Not nearly.’
‘I’ve talked with some people, students and residents, and managed to made contact with two of the co-eds that live there, one of them is a weirdo that deserves her alias as Crazy Jane. Just like we planned. But they told me that at least seven of them will be there Friday, more than the double we were expecting. So, what do we do now… mom?’
‘What do you think we’ll do? I’ll drug our ‘guest’ a little more, go to town and I’ll buy more tape and more scarves and we’ll have more girls to leave bound, gagged and drugged inside the house while we dig out the jewels in the backyard. What else?’
Mother and daughter spent the next ten minutes discussing the changes in their plan, which weren't that much or that big. In the sunset of the day after the next they will have more girls to deal with, but they will have the jewels anyway, and that's what it mattered.
Meanwhile Evelyn Kane awoke lying nude on a medical bed, but with the sheet covering her from the bosom down, strapped by medical restraints and with some tubes plugged to her right arm. This and the fact that she was gagged didn't bothered her (much) as the woman that was in a wheelchair next to the bed at her left, flanked by two burly bodyguards, a doctor and a nurse.
She really hated her father for all the shame he had brought to her family, and the pain he had inflicted in her mother, but this woman was the most execrable being on earth for her.
And she was her prisoner.
‘Good evening Evelyn.’
‘If I hadn't promised to look after you and help you deal with all the hate and misery that... Please I am speaking to you... Oh well... Thelma if you please...’
Thelma, a strong brunette bodybuilder that has an inexpressive look in her merely lay her left hand over the taped lips of Evelyn, and Evelyn found herself unable to move her head. To ensure her attention, Thelma held her chin with the other hand.
‘As I was saying, I promised to Ann that I would help WHEN (and not IF) you deliberately put yourself in a big mess. To hire criminals to retrieve the stolen jewels of your family, not realizing that they are planning to leave behind their job a real bloodbath and with YOU as one of the casualties... That can be easily defined as a 'Big Mess'. Don't you agree?’
The pressure over her mouth increased, and her unpublishable answer was not heard even by her.
‘So what's going to happen to you? Simple. You are now a ransomed girl as well as that cute little thing called Judith Noomar. The only problem is that your kidnappers decided to cash in on her first, and then on you. So your next days are going to be quite restrictive... the parts in which you are awake that is. These two women are your guardian angels. They'll take care of all your needs, while I find a way to prove that you did NOT knew what your 'henchmen' were going to do... As if.’ - They looked into each other's eyes for a minute before the older woman spoke again - ‘Thelma, pull the tape off, but if she uses harsh language, I will allow you to use your better judgment to punish her for the next... five hours.’
For the first time Evelyn saw something in the burly woman's eyes, and didn't like it one bit. So she decided to do her best to ignore her main captor. After three minutes trying to get some conversation the Boss got tired and made a gesture with her right hand to the doctor.
The late twenties gal took a syringe and a small flask out of her pockets while she walked to Evelyn's right side. The live feed received the add of the drug in the flask and Evelyn was soon out. The Boss let her with her two guardian angels and returned to her office. Her chief secretary was waiting for her with the big news:
‘Boss! IT WORKED!’
‘What worked, Mary Lee?’
‘Judy Noomar is safe, the police rescued her. She's in a hospital right now. And Albert...’
‘Give me the details...’
Albert wasn't feeling bad for having betrayed Marlowe and Jay. Jay was no longer pretending not to look at Judy with obvious intents, and put his pawns over her body whenever he had a chance, knowing full well how it scared her and infuriated him. Marlowe had managed to send some money to his family, and was considering the offer of Jay to help him spend some time with Judy (with Judy!!!) so he could have some more money. Good thing he had hidden that mini-recorder in their cabin while he was watching her while she was on the bathroom.
While he was restraining her afterwards, he received another call from The Competition, giving him instructions on where they could find another three envelopes with 5K for each one, and how he could deal with his two not-so-trustworthy buddies. He carried Judy over his shoulder back to the room, placed her on her bed and soaked a cloth with chloroform.
Again she seemed to enjoy while he put her under. Then he gave them the news about the envelopes, and as expected Jay had agreed to go find them.
Three minutes after he had left, Albert sent his left elbow to Marlowe's throat, followed by a punch in the guts and a knee on the chin, and Marlowe was out. He checked his watch, he had five minutes. He made sure that the receptionist saw him carrying a bound and unconscious naked woman in his arms and locking her in his car trunk. Then he drove for about three minutes without caring for the speed limit of the road. The van was there as they said it would. He stopped the car, took one last look to the sleeping beauty and opened the sliding door.
ONE DAY BEFORE THE RAID
Jay died in a gunfire with the cops and Marlowe received the visit of an attorney before the cops could get anything from him. He later sustained the version that Albert was behind all the crimes, that Evelyn did not knew the lengths her hired guns were pretending to go to get her jewels, that she had been a captive of them along with Judy and that he didn't knew where she and Albert where. Judy's family attorney was with a mini army of assistants and security staff that kept the police, the FBI and the reporters away from her. She did receive the visit of her friends and calls from her parents (who would not be able to be with her due to some very important business meetings). It was not that difficult for Veronica, one of Judy's best friends, to have a private meeting with her, but first she checked if the room was wired. No gizmos.
‘Before you say anything, I want you to know that I know.’
‘Don't look at me that way big girl. I know.’
Veronica felt uneasy. She decided to play along for now.
‘And how much you know. And of what?’
‘Oh come on! Last year I helped you when you found yourself in trouble having to deal with five sociopaths and three bound babes. You let the babes with me saying 'Keep them bound and unaware of anything around them, threat them well and I want them back as they are now, so no tattoos or piercings or whatever'. Me and my gals dealt with those three beautiful sleeping secretaries (or whatever) for three days and a half, and we kept them hooded (and thus blind and deaf) all the time (except when we fed them of course), and I took some pictures of them (as if you already didn’t knew that), while you KILLED who wanted them dead. So don't gave me that look. I know. This, all this situation, is one of your ‘secret operations’ or whatever, right?’
‘Alright. They were my competition, my rivals...’
‘You're after the Kane Jewels?!!! It's sooommmppphhhh!!!’
Veronica kept the hand in place for more than it was necessary, just to make a point. Judy understood and didn't said a thing when the hand was removed.
‘My boss is, and thus so am I. Look, first i want to apologize for letting you pass through all that happened. I want you to know that all the time you were safer than you are usually...’
‘I know. They told me about the sniper and all the rest. That's why I am not crying or whatever. I knew you or one of your 'friends' was looking after me, so I relaxed. And I like to be tied up and gassed or drugged anyway.’
‘You're crazier than I remember, you know that?’
‘Whatever... And now? What can you tell me about it?’
‘Albert is going to became famous in the whole country.’
‘Because he's going to raid a sorority house... and not an empty one.’
Albert was at that exact moment finishing to cinch the knots on the last girl who were supposed to be his jailers. He stood up and thought about what had happened so far.
After he entered the van he was zapped by a stun gun and awoke in this room, fully dressed and not restrained in any way. Aside a bed and a toilet the room was bare, dusty and windowless. A young woman in her early twenties was depositing a tray with a can of beer, two sandwiches and an apple. Before he could do anything she had closed the only door in the room, but he heard her saying that she would return in ten minutes. He ate the sandwiches and drank the beer, and waited. Ten minutes later he heard the door opening and could not believe his luck. The girl was back, alone, and wasn't carrying any weapon. He jumped on her and easily overpowered her, mostly because she didn't fought back. In fact when he lifted her of the ground and walked backward, back to the bed, she relaxed in his arms! She made no movement as he shoved his hankie inside her mouth, and stood still as he tore the bedsheets into long strips of cloth, which he used to tie up the girl. Then he removed the gag and made some questions.
‘Who are you and where am I?’
‘I would like if you called me Bea, it's not my real name but that's how I am supposed to be known today, and like my sisters I was ordered to serve you in any way you saw fit, and don't go against any order or desire that you have. As of where you are... I don't know. They told me that this is a rented house in the outskirts of a town but besides that... I don't know.’
‘Who and where are your sisters?’
‘We are triplets. They are to be called Ann and Mia, and they where in the kitchen upstairs (this is the basement of the house). But by now they must have realized that something is up here.’
He gagged her and went to check.
There was another girl coming down the corridor, scarcely dressed as her sister. Actually she was dressed exactly as her sister. Two tiny little pieces swimsuit with a chess motif that covered only the essential and seemed, in both girls, about a number or two smaller than they should. And both were really beautiful girls, long fiery blond hair, long legs and medium size breast. She was walking as she had not a care or suspicion, simply curiosity for what her sister was doing with the stranger. Five minutes later both sisters lay hogtied side by side on the bed.
He found the last sister eating a fruit in the kitchen, gracious and careless as her sisters, and very obliging. She had shown him where he could find rope and tape to restrain her.
What she didn't said was that there was tons of both on that closet.
After tying the last girl he checked all the doors in the house.
All that led to outside were locked, the others were ajar or fully opened. He decided to gather all sisters in one place, so he went to the basement and carried both girls to the kitchen, he added more rope to all of them and decided to talk with the only one who was tape gagged.
‘Who are you and what do you want with me?’
‘I don't know what the mistress wants with you. We were told to obey you and fulfill each and every one of your wishes, and that's what we'll do until she gave us any new order or you gave an impossible to follow order.’
‘Pedophilia and orders to go against our mistress in any way.’
‘And this 'mistress' is coming back?’
The girl glanced to the wall clock before answering.
‘She'll arrive in twenty minutes, and she's never late.’
‘Where's the chloroform, or whatever I can use to put you under?’
Before answering she told him that it was foolish to try to ambush the mistress, but told him where they kept it afterward. There was chloroform, ether and a lot of sedative drugs in that other closet. None of the girls had made a movement to try to free herself or a sister while he was in the bedroom. They were lined up against the oven and the sink unit, and none had tried to reach the cutlery drawers. Not that he was against cooperative captives, but that was weird.
He heavily soaked a cloth with chloroform and started with the one on the left. When she started to take deep breaths, instead of fighting or shaking her head, she reminded him of Judy for a moment. Where was she right now? He dismissed that sudden question and focused on the task, that had already been accomplished. The girl was out. Her sisters went the same way. None of them feared him or fought back, and all those eyes looking at him with trust and a little hint of fun reminded him of hers, albeit the fact that theirs were blue and hers were gray-green. They seemed to anticipate and crave for their time. One of them even trusted her face onto the cloth. And they made sure that they took deep breaths. The effects were soon obvious...
He checked the clock. Less than five minutes... He got up, and found himself staring to a .45.
‘Good day Mr. Talbot. I see that you preferred not to enjoy the commodities of this safe house.’
It was her! The woman on the phone! The Competition.
‘Too bad for you, they are quite... tasteful, and unlike me they're bisexual all three. A shame you let your paranoid behavior arises...’
‘No one told me nothing about that I was going to be zapped!’
‘True. But does it matter now? You're safe, you have three girls that will follow almost any order you gave them and you will receive a lot of money. Does it matter that I zapped you yesterday?’
It didn't, and it did. So she told him about her plans for him. He was going to enter the Top Ten list of the FBI! But for that money and benefits... but first there was the zapping affair.
Ten minutes later they were outside, fighting. Albert was about two inches taller than Veronica, forty to fifty pounds stronger (for it was all in muscles) and perhaps a year or two younger than Veronica. And received quite a beating.
He awoke in a bed, in a bedroom in the house, with one of the girls tending to his wounds. She was doing a good job, he was sure that the woman in charge has now a black eye but how on Earth could she have an uppercut like that?
‘You are here to obey all my (ouch!) orders?’
‘Then stop doing (OOOOUUUCHHH!!) that and come here...’
ONE DAY BEFORE THE RAID
Yelena didn't took lightly the information that Veronica was in a house with the triplets. She had to be restrained heavily and trashed furiously for a while, then started to cry and the Boss ordered to be brought to her office. She was reminded of everything Veronica had done for her and how much she loved her, which makes thing only worst. Thelma undid all her bonds and Yelena run to the Boss to sit on her lap, and the Boss hugged her.
After a while she had managed to compose herself and they talked about the situation, until Yelena finally managed to made the question she had wanted to made the whole month.
‘Boss, if you wanted... if you wanted you could have had the jewels less than a day after Vee told you about them, and their location. Why are you...?’
‘...Staging this drama? Simple. I am a woman who respects more than anything in this world the word I gave. I gave my word I am committed. I promised Ann, Evelyn's mother, that I would look after her. And I promised Clarice, Fred Lane's wife, that I would look after him when he found himself free. And I promised myself that I would have those cursed jewels with me. Most of this mess is because Evelyn is like her father... an arrogant sucker.’
‘And a racist bitch, and dimwit, and blockhead, and...’
The two bodyguards easily lifted Yelena from the Boss' lap and proceeded to bind and gag her. Yelena didn't opposed resistance.
‘She is a guest, albeit a forced one, of my house. ONLY I AM ALLOWED... hhrrm... to call her names. Understood silly girl? Anyway, she... feared that Fred and Matt found the jewels and fled, so she had them followed and somehow (who knows?) discovered that the jewels were where they are. She didn't told her henchmen, who (like half America) believed that it is buried in one of the two cemeteries or somewhere around the house of that widow. And the FBI found out about her plans, before we intervened. So I am paying Vee to her have a lot of trouble to 'clear' her name. And get the jewels in the process. Now for your punishment for your behavior and for calling my guest such names... Meredith, she's yours tonight, no sex of course or Vee will kill you very slowly... but otherwise, have fun.’
He had never seen his mother that mad.
The whole town, who less than a week before in its majority agreed that the police's budget could be cut in 15%, had forced her to give the same budget a raise of 20%. Even using all her political skills she would be forced to at least give them 10%.
It was not that she and the sheriff were foes or adversaries in any kind. They were (when the word 'budget' wasn't around) very good friends.
But now here he was in this little town, more than six hundred miles from home and trying to find a story in this situation that was worth something. He needed a good story. He needed to have something to show in that job interview the next week. This was his last chance.
A good story, and a job in a great newspaper, or he would be like his dad, writing about sick cows and dead ducks at 51. And this story was sinking...
Everybody wanted to be around if (when) Al Talbot's gang made their move in town. But Al Talbot was on the loose, his most profitable hostage had been rescued, the second one was a girl that no one cared much about, his gang was either dead or arrested. And he had been seen going in the wrong direction. Not coming to this town, but getting more and more away from it.
Jim Haran needed a story, and literally stumbled on it. A wallet. A wallet with the same girl in all the documents inside, but with so many different names...
A girl he had just seen twenty minutes ago entering a restaurant.
While Sammy was about to have problems, her mother was having fun.
On the pretext that she needed a good training, for the action the next day's night, she had cut off all the drugs an sedatives and had waited. Helen had slowly returned to a state of perfect awareness and conscience... of her inescapable current situation, over and over.
She had been nearly mummified with soft rope, and was completely nude under all that rope, and all her yoga classes had been put to test with her arms melted together behind her back, as well as her thighs to her calves and a stringent hogtie to finish it. The hood stayed in place. She fought for a little, then she was grabbed from behind, and a cloth was pressed against her nose (the only exposed part of her head). Chloroform. She awoke to find herself bound to a chair, wearing only her tiniest bikini cut panties. She struggled a bit and was again put under by a chloroform soaked cloth. When she awoke again she was on the floor, bound in a light and sloppy hogtie this time, dressed with another pair of panties and an oversized blue T-shirt. And with her eyes free for the first time in two days. So she could take a good look at her captor this time.
It was her, Claire Milton, the widow of Harris Milton.
‘I bet that you are now wishing that you had not tried to find if I did or didn't knew about the jewels, don't you?’ – Claire crouched so her head was no more than five inches from Helen's. She had no fear. Still the little-miss-know-it-all... – ‘I will not kill you, and I will not hurt you. But I have to tell you... I never thought it will be so much fun playing with dolls at my age! It's so wonderful to know that I can dress or undress you, tie you up in anyway I wish and then do it again and again and again... And AGAIN!!!’
‘Oh, are you trying to call... for... help? Here let me do it too. HELP ME!!!! I AM BEING HELD AGAINST MY WILL BY THIS MADWOMAN!!!!!’
What a formidable pair of lungs she had... Helen's ears were still ringing for a bit, it had hurt!
‘Soundproofed walls. I had no real reason to keep you gagged. But you look soooooo cute that way, and I bet that you are not liking not being able to say something about this...’
And she had drugged her again, and again, and again. And was now serving her the dinner. She was taped to the chair, each leg to its corresponding leg of the chair, wrists taped to her lap and a simple strip of tape to silence her. The meal was delicious, and it wasn't because she was famine.
It was really that good.
And then it dawned on her. It was that good because it has to. She had ruined her life while trying to find out if she knew about the jewels, and had her fired from that hospital. So she had to find another job, and the only one she could find was as a cook at a small restaurant.
‘What's wrong? You don't want more?’
‘Claire, what are you doing here? What you and Samantha are doing here?’
‘Well, oh what the hell, why not? Look, you don't have any wire on you and believe me, you are going to be found by the cops only when I allow them to know about you, so even with me having no real reason to tell you why, I will tell you because I know that you won't be able to tell to no one else until it's too late. So listen up: I discovered where the jewels are.’
‘What? How? How do you...’
‘Well... when I heard that Matt had died and Fred whereabouts were being kept secret by the police I went to the town where Matt's niece lives. I would make her talk by kidnapping the cute Russian girl she lives with and exchanging the girl’s freedom for the info... but somebody beat me to it! So I stayed there for a while, bought a local newspaper, and there it was! The location!’
‘You mean that thing about Ben & Amy?’
‘Yes... It's not in the cemetery. Simply because Ben & Amy never married or lived or are buried together, not in this town anyway...’
Even being the captive, Helen tried to press Claire for more about the story and the location.
Claire socked two pair of socks in her mouth sealed it with tape and prepared her own dinner. Afterwards she resumed the chloro game with Helen, up until after 2:00 AM.
THE DAY OF THE RAID: MORNING
Dawn found Veronica and Albert fighting again. But this time it was an evaluation of Albert's fighting skills. And he passed. Bea, Ann and Mia had their breakfast ready after they came out of the gym. Albert was starving and decided to eat right away, but Veronica decided to have a bath first. When she returned all the others had finished and stayed in their seats awaiting her orders.
‘Albert, I must say that you are quite a fighter. Indeed you are very skilled in hand-to-hand fight, which is going to be very useful if we find any troublesome resistance tonight...’
‘Ehrr, thank you.’
‘But I was not been able to see your stealth and capture skills, yet. Which is the main reason why all you three are here girls... so here’s what we’re going to do...’
Twenty minutes later she stood in the corner of the living room. Bea was watching TV siting on the couch, Mia and Ann were upstairs and Albert was outside of the house. Then he suddenly appeared from the back of the house. Bea was pretending that she was mad at her sisters because they had played too many pranks on her, and so was alert to any suspicious sounds or movements. But she did not heard him coming, until it was too late. She managed to see his reflection on the TV screen and turn her head to see who it was, but then he pounced on her.
At the same time that he clamped his right hand, and the chloroform soaked cloth, over her mouth he wrapped his left arm around her waist, grabbing her right arm and pinning the left one in the process. This time she fought back. And how! Albert found himself without too much leverage to handle the brawling blonde, so he lifted her off the ground by arching himself and pulling her of the couch at the same time. Bea dug her nails in his arms, scratched all over and trashed, until the drug finally started to work. She became more and more relaxed, until she finally collapsed in his arms. Albert then quickly bound her hands behind her back, placed a strip of cloth over mouth and tied her ankles together. Then he placed the girl back on the couch.
Right on time. Ann was following Veronica's plan and called for her sister, pretending to have heard part of the commotion. Albert hid under the stairs and attacked her as soon as she entered the room. Ann was not as good as her sister in trashing and fighting back, but still she gave him trouble enough to let him panting as she finally went limp in his arms. As he placed the unconscious and bound girl next to her sister on the couch, he was surprised by Mia.
He turned back. She was holding a toy gun and pointing at him, but was holding it with both hands. He turned to Veronica who was smiling.
‘Pretend that it's a real gun but she obviously doesn't know how to handle it, which makes her more dangerous of course.’ - Mia held the gun locked on him while she walked sideways to the phone at her right. He started to walk in her direction, made a sudden move...
...and received the impact of a little rubber ball in his left shoulder.
‘All the girls upstairs heard the shot! And are using their cellphones to call the cops! You are bleeding and received the impact of the bullet, so you need medical help. And who knows? The frightened co-ed might shot you again... You failed. Let's do it again.’
From 7:00 AM till noon, Albert showed his skills to Veronica and the triplets showed him how they could be very hard to deal with if they were ordered to. He managed to chloro them nearly ten times each, but got punched, kicked, kneeded, scratched, elbowed and many more... Veronica put him through various scenarios: Two girls returning from the night's activities at the same time, all three girls with some weapon in their hands, one or two girls coming to help the one he was attacking at the moment (with and without weapons of any kind), three girls at once... and he did not repeat the initial failure. He came close to at least twice, but managed to turn the tables.
After having the triplets lying bound and gagged side by side on their belly on the floor for the third time, Albert received orders to take a much needed bath. When he returned the triplets were awake and Veronica had freed their legs and was helping them to stand.
‘You're smelling better, but you still look like you have a bad morning...’
‘It wasn't that bad... so, did I passed?’
‘With flying colors. I am going to make the lunch, can I trust that you are not going to take any revenge on these helpless ladies for their conduct against you while I am in the kitchen?’
‘I can hurt and even kill a woman, but only if it's really necessary and/or she deserves it. They don't fit in any of these excuses.’
‘Very well, hope you like Mexican food...’
As soon as she was out, Albert started to circle the three bound girls. Around and around he came, until all three felt a little uneasy with his behavior. But he blinked an eye to Veronica, who had returned unseen by the girls, so she didn't interfered. He made three turns more, then he grabbed Mia from behind, and held a cloth over her nose.
‘Sshhh, it's OK, I'm not gonna hurt you. You were a bad girl Mia, elbowing me that way..., so it's nap time for you..’. – His playful tone calmed Mia, and her sisters. Mia relaxed and inhaled deeply on the cloth, after she was out she was carefully placed on the couch. Ann, who had stomped on both of his feet all the times he had grabbed her was next. And finally it was Bea’s turn – ‘Now, Bea, you were as bad and mean as your sisters... but I will spare you... if you're a good girl for me until Veronica call us for lunch.’
Bea nodded, and was immediately thrown over his shoulder. That's when she saw Veronica, who mouthed to her 'Have fun' before returning to the kitchen.
‘Good morning Miss Manynames.’
‘Good morning Mister Handsome... what time is it?’
She was out of the bed and putting her clothes back on before he could realize it. He sat on the bed and admired the mysterious redhaired he had saved the last night. Well, she wasn't in real big trouble, she had just lost her wallet. But with so many fake ID either she was a crook or has a very interesting job, and in either case the cops would like to have a little talk talk with her.
She was both grateful and uneasy with him when he returned it to her at the restaurant, until he said that he believed in what she told him; that in her job (insurance investigation) most of the times it was best that the people didn't knew about her real occupation. He had lied, there was something up with her, but he decided to play along. And besides, he had told her that he was a dentist. They talked about many things while they had dinner together, then a few drinks and...
‘SHIT! She's gonna KILL me! I am soooo...’
‘I beg your pardon?’
Only then she remembered of his presence. She was reasonably dressed (a little disheveled) and had checked the messages on her cellphone.
‘My boss! I told you about her, didn't I?’
‘Helen Hayes! Well, she sent me 15 messages! And I didn't answered none of them!’
‘As if you could...’
‘Stop it! This is serious! Look, can we lunch together... One PM at the same place of last night?’
‘Sure, sure, byyyeee!’
She had already darted through the door. What a girl! He was going to find out who and what she really was. But that name, Helen Hayes, was not unfamiliar to him.
Most of the reporters had been called back by their employers or sent to the town where Marlowe was being held. The Hancock family had decided to let Judge Shamrock decide about their feud. But there was still the threat against the town's cemeteries for the police to deal with. The town was quickly disappearing from any news on TV, radio or the web. It was the Saturday of the first week of the summer vacations and the campus of JCU was nearly empty, so the campus police was not having much work (if any) to deal with.
It had been a crazy week, but it was over.
Keisha Brannel again thought why she had to work on a Sunday night?
Because she had called her boss what she had called her boss, and he had heard her calling him THAT. Not that he wasn't THAT, but since he could not fire her, not without proofs of any misdemeanor such as being called THAT, he had been very creative while planning the scale of work of that month. And she was going to be working on a Saturday night.
Well, she went to work at six, and has enough time to spare till that. She went to the market, bought what she had to and need to and now was starting to make her own lunch.
Then she heard the noise in her bedroom. Darn cat! What she had did this time?
‘Princess Diane? Princess Diane?’
The 36 years old woman didn't considered any other possibility than that her kitten had done something. She opened the door, and walked straight to the arms of an unknown man who was wearing a ski mask. Before she could react another man appeared behind her and clamped his hand over her mouth. And there was a third stranger in her room!
‘We are not going to hurt you Keisha. If you behave you are going to be treated fairly, considering the circumstances, and will make two or three interviews to reporters that don't live in a fifty mile radius from here. Who knows? You might end up on TV... But if you misbehave, you will make two or three interviews to reporters that don't live in a fifty miles radius from and might end up on TV, but you won't be able to sit on any hard surface for a looooong time. My mother taught me that spanking is a good remedy for misbehaving captives, hostages and such... So are you going to behave, or not?’
All three were African American like her. All seemed to be in very good physical conditions, specially the two muscle-bound men who managed to immobilize her without sweating, and used to attack women in their own bedrooms, but besides the fact that the two men held her firm and mute, they had not taken any liberty with her. And the woman, while talking in such a way, seemed genuinely concerned with her.
‘Will you behave?’
‘Good. We are going to tie you up and gag you. You won't scream, you won't try to run, you won’t gonna make a fuss. You will close your eyes, cross your wrists behind your back and open your mouth, but you won't scream, understood?’
She nodded again. Five minutes later she was sitting on the edge of her bed, bound, gagged and blindfolded. Thirty minutes later the gag was removed and she was fed by the woman. The gag was reapplied and she heard them talking to someone at the phone.
Then she felt the woman sitting at her side.
‘We have a second job to do before sundown. So you are going to take a nap. Don't struggle 'cause we're not going to hurt you.’ – A cloth was placed against her mouth and nose. It smelled weird. Was it chloroform like in the movies and soap operas?
‘Breathe girl, breathe. DEEEPPP BREATHS...’
And she obeyed. They could have hurt her, they could..., but they didn't. They needed her out of the way for some reason, and had her at their mercy.
She wasn't going to put their patience to test.
‘That's it. Good girl.’
Could she stop calling her that? She was younger than her! Keisha reasoned that she could be at the very least the older sister of her captoress. But then whatever it was on the cloth started to make it's job. She felt relaxed, more relaxed and sleepy by the second.
Marylou watched her captive going under with some glee. Then added more rope to the nearly chubby woman's restraints. After she finished Keisha was anchored by the feet to the front left leg of the bed, and with another rope attached to the back right leg and to the rope harness in her arms and chest, she was held steady on the bed. The gag was effective, firm and not of the dangerous kind. She kissed the unconscious woman's taped lips and left.
They had another woman to snatch.
THE DAY OF THE RAID: AFTERNOON
The lunch was frugal and tasteful, and afterwards Veronica gave orders to Albert check his equipment, Mia and Bea to prepare the room for the incoming guests and Ann to follow her. She never cheated on Yelena, but since she allowed anyone who took care of her lover to have certain (and very specific) liberties with her (so Yelena could have some fun while they were separated), she always managed to have a girl or two (or more...) to entertain her.
She took nearly one hour to bind and suspend the girl in the nawa-shibari position she was now. Her sisters finished their task very quickly, appeared in the room and received new orders to prepare themselves for a photo shoot and returned when they were redressed properly, in kinky latex versions of police uniforms that emphasized all their curves.
The ‘interrogation’ was reaching its middle when...
‘Houston we have a... Niiiiice and kiiiiinnnky!’
‘Good evening to you too, Marylou, and I know it’s your trademark, but don’t you ever thought that we might not find it funny anymore?’
‘Trademarks are trademarks, this phrase is just one of mine. But talking seriously, we have problems. And I’m not considering the untold pregnancy of the target as one of them!’
And she told Veronica what they were. The fact that the sister of the woman they had to abduct was with her, and not in her home in Kansas, and thus had to be brought along was the lightest of them. The two others, the reasons of why she was there, were far more serious and compromised Marylou’s part in the plan. Mia and Bea received orders to free their sister while she, in a furious and barely contained mood, when to check on herself what Marylou had told her.
She found Keisha and an unknown middle aged brunette woman tied back to back, lying on their side and sleeping in a bare mattress in the middle of the room who had been Albert’s first stop. Both women were tape bound, gagged and blindfolded and were deafened by special earplugs.
At their side was another woman, taped to a chair and poorly gagged, who was crying softly.
Marylou never knocked out pregnant women, even (or perhaps specially) when the pregnancy was so recent that it was barely visible. And never undressed them either, so the woman didn’t shared her sister’s and Keisha state of total nakedness, and was wearing a blue dress that covered her till her knees. But Veronica doubted that the black eye had been Marylou or her brothers’ work. Even with the blindfold it was clearly visible.
She removed the gag and the earplugs and talked with the woman. At first she tried to deny what Marylou had told her, but then she burst into tears and, after being released from her bonds and consoled by a now masked Veronica, she admitted that it was true.
She had problems, and so had they.
Meanwhile the Boss was having her lunch served while a couple of FBI agents watched a video on the TV. Evelyn Kane was struggling wildly in her bonds, but the amount of tape and rope used on and over her body were more than enough to make sure that she was not going to arise from that sturdy wooden chair. The camera closing on her gagged faced, but had made a tour from her head to her toes and back, emphasizing her helplessness and nudity.
There was a woman’s voice appearing now:
‘She hates you. She despises you. And from what we know the feeling is mutual’ - A gloved hand appeared on the screen, holding a cloth that was pressed against Evelyn’s face. The girl fought back as hard (and little) as she could. But soon her head slumped to one side and it was obvious that she had been drugged - ‘For half a million dollars, she’ll live. We will invade a desert house and leave her behind, then we call you so you can call the cops or send someone to have her all to yourself. But if you don’t pay, we’ll sell her to anyone else who might be interested in some racist bitch’s fresh meat, no matter the price.’
At that point a maid entered the room carrying the dessert, ice cream and fruits, and one of the agents followed her. Damn! Why all the girls in this house that worked for her had to be babes wearing such revealing outfi... ouch! His partner had elbowed him.
‘If you don’t mind Agent... Thomas, there’s a young woman’s life in danger...’
The image had been paused. A press of a button and it restarted.
‘Send a hundred thousand American dollars to this account, in no more than one hour, or she’ll be in a dirty fifth or sixth grade brothel down the border, tonight. We’ll be in touch.’
There was the number of an offshore bank account displayed on the screen over the unconscious face of Evelyn for twenty seconds, then the image faded to black suddenly.
Agent Robert John Norton turned to the old lady that was now devouring an apple with obvious liking. She didn’t even bothered to look in his eyes when she spoke.
‘They’re right. The feeling is mutual. But she’s the daughter of my late best friend.’
‘So you send the money?’
‘Five minutes after I saw it, and about ten before calling you guys.’
Angela Benyngton and the federal agents started an argument, about the proper and rightful procedure on such an occasion like the current one, that last over twenty minutes and three more apples. In the end the agents informed her that it was a federal issue now, and Angela agreed to help them in any way they wanted. After they left to get in touch with their superiors and have things put in motion, Angela returned to her office. There she watched the surveillance cameras for over an hour, specially the ones covering the secret rooms.
Yelena and Billie were ‘enjoying’ Thelma and Meredith attentions during her bodyguards’ lunch break. Both were wearing black stiletto heels, black thong bikinis, black leather straps all over their torsos and arms pinning and holding them useless and black ballgags. And were connected by a long strap that ran from the back of the leather harness in Yelena’s upper body to the one in Billie’s. Thelma’s version of tug-of-war.
Five other of her guest, including the two that were there against their will (but for their own good or someone else’s), were placed in bondage in other rooms.
And there was Evelyn.
After the shoot of all the videos that had been prepared for the farce with the feds (and how she loved to play some on them!), she had ordered that Evelyn was put to sleep for a whole day. There was no need to have anyone else than her nurse with her in the room.
The same nurse that was fighting right now to reach the emergency button. And was failing.
Evelyn had her in a tight and firm grip and, let’s face it, the girl had been admitted in her staff due to her knowledge, efficiency and all the beauty of her petite frame.
And Evelyn was known for loving to discipline petite submissive women in the BDSM scenario of ******. But Angela didn’t called for back-up herself. She preferred to watch Evelyn’s next move. Which was to bind and gag the nurse and look for something to knock her out with, the bottle of chloroform in the second drawer. Three minutes later the nurse lying naked on the bed and halfway to slumberland, and nurse Evelyn was trying to find her way out of the place in that maze of corridors and doorways that was Angela’s estate.
Her security team found her first. Thirty minutes later she was back to her bed, straightjacketed and overly strapped to it, and fighting the two orderlies’ attempts to strap a gas mask on her. The petite and still nude was hearing a lecture of the of her estate’s chief security about the lessons in self defense that she supposedly had taken. Angela called the chief security by a private line and saluted her for her efficiency, and asked her to be gentle with the nurse (after all this had been more a test on Evelyn’s intentions and ways of acting against her staff than anything else).
Another nurse (far more stronger and intimidating than the first) appeared and was put in charge of Evelyn, while the first followed the chief to her own room, where she was going to face a mild punishment. After seeing Evelyn’s limp and now peaceful and mummified to the bed form one last time, Angela did a quick check-up on the other girls and women (Billie had won) and decided that it was time to talk with the feds once again.
Helen Hayes was scared. They were going way too far now. They had mummified her! For real!
From her neck to her ankles she was now almost totally encased in shiny silver tape, the only exception were her breasts, because they had agreed that, since that was a first time for them both, they didn’t knew what were the consequences of a long time compression of the chest by tape. Perhaps none, but since they were not sure... So they had lasted nearly two rolls of silver tape on her (how she was going to be released from it?), didn’t packed her mouth but passed the roll so many times that the tape was rigid and beyond any chance of her dislodging it.
And now were waiting for the night to come. They told her that she was be put to sleep before they left, and after the raid she’ll stay with them for a couple of days, perhaps more. But they were going to release her before crossing the border. That was for sure.
They had plans of the sorority house, five or six detailed escape routes and a quick bio of each of the eight girls that were on the house that night, and would find themselves very soon bound, gagged and sedated. Joan Bragget, Marsha Payne, ‘Crazy’ Jane Mallory, Michaela DiSanti, Ashley Lewis-Carldorf, Bridget Batheson, Li Ming and Violet Cole. Eight young beauties that would soon found themselves their prisoners... She had to admit that they were prepared, and that there was nothing that she could to prevent them.
Howard Nielsen was dumbfounded. The message in the e-mail was clear. ‘Don’t call the police! We’ll get in touch!’. The image was of his wife and her troublemaker sister bound back to back on a floor somewhere. And his sister-in-law was nude, why couldn’t whoever had taken them had take a picture with her in the front? The glimpse of her boobs was more desirable to him than all he ever saw in five years married with that unfaithful witch!
But why they, whoever ‘they’ were, had kidnapped his wife?
Everybody knew that the only thing really worth in this town was either buried in one of the two cemeteries or somewhere around the house of that lady at Jefferson Lane. Or not? Someone wanted his cooperation for something, and to ensure that they had snatched his wife...
Whatever it was, he decided to play along until he found out if it was worth trying to have it all for himself, or call the cops. Either he ended up the upcoming night a rich man, a hero or..., who knows?, a tragically widowed hero. In any way, he’ll end the night better than when he started it.
While it is still unclear the actual number of known and unknown persons that practiced a still undetermined number of crimes, during the many attempts to retrieve or collect the missing Kane Jewels in the campus of the John Crow University that night, it is a consensus between many law enforcement agencies and legal authorities that everything started ‘for real’ when a still unidentified African-American woman of athletic physique, age ranging between 30/35 years old and (according to the only trustable witness of her presence) a ‘kind and playful smile’ in her face, entered the office of Howard Nielsen, Chief of the Campus Police of the JCU, at the headquarters of said Campus Police at 18:30. By now he knew that his wife, his sister-in-law and his subordinate Keisha Brannel were captive of an unknown number of criminals for at least two hours. He had easily deduced that whatever crime that was planned to happen that night in the campus, it would happen in the area patrolled by Keisha, and his wife had been taken to ensure his cooperation. The kidnapping of Prudence Mayweather was (correctly) regarded as a collateral target of the criminals. He had the means to capture and restrain the woman, he had had the time to contact the police force to help him and he at the very least could contact his other subordinates before and after the woman entered his office.
It is clear that Howard Nielsen could have prevented all that happened in the following hours.
But he choose not to.
Marylou knew that the guy was denuding her with his eyes.
One word, only one wrong word and HE would be the one with one, no, with BOTH eyes blackened. By now there was no one in the building, except she, the creep and a telephonist (whom she had to take care of before leaving the building).
‘So YOU will be Keisha tonight.’
‘That’s right. I will be her for tonight, and your wife will be back home by tomorrow’s noon.’
‘Right, right. And what I am supposed to do?’
‘Nothing. Go home, watch a movie... sleep. I will have to take care of the operator, Melody isn’t?, before I leave this building. Don’t worry, just some duct tape in the right places, and she’ll have a story to tell her uncle, the owner of the local newspaper, but nothing useful to the cops.’
‘Right, right. Oh, before I go…’
He made a move so quick that she didn’t managed to react on time. Fast draw she thought, too fast for her. His gun was pointing to her heart.
‘Are you nuts? We have your wife! We have your pregnant wife with us!’
‘As if I care about it. As if the baby is mine… sorry, you guys kidnapped the wrong woman. If it was her busty sister, we might have a deal, as long as I could keep her for me… Hands up!’
She was going to kick the gun out of his hand, then punch him (HARD) in the face and in the guts, then… All strategy of fight went down the sink when he took another gun, a stun gun, from his desk’s drawer and used it on her. She tried to avoid the wires, but got hit and collapsed on the floor. Howard went to the door to check if Melody hard heard anything.
Nothing. Time to prepare the bitch…
Meanwhile mother and daughter had already arrived at the campus and were hiding and waiting for the night to fall. They had left Helen securely tied, gagged and drugged in the trailer and parked the car at the principal entrance of the campus, in the parking lot of a restaurant. They had a quick dinner and paid a large fee to the restaurant’s valet to let their car parked there while they were going to make a surprise to their daughter/sister. Then they walked to their other rented car, parked over a mile from there and drove to a lateral entrance, and Claire dropped her daughter (and the goods for the night) at the woods in the back of the sororities/fraternities area of the campus. Half an hour later she returned on foot. They still had a good hour or two of wait, so Claire made Sammy tell her again what she knew about the girls.
‘…and the more dangerous are beyond any doubts Li Ming, Violet Cole and Crazy Jane. Li Ming is…, well in short, she’s Chun Li.’
‘Mom! Chun Li of Street Fighter, that game/cartoon/movie, the daughter of a police officer of Hong Kong and expert in martial arts. That’s she! And I mean expert, as in ‘I beat ten burly and muscle-bound guys and send them to ICU without sweating’. She teaches self-defense classes for women in the campus, and for the local PD.’
‘She’s going to be an issue. And the others?’
‘Violet Cole is Li Ming’s best student. She beats five guys without sweating according to some sources. And Crazy Jane…, Crazy Jane deserves her nickname. She’s unpredictable! She’s nearly thirty and is about to take part of her fourth graduation ceremony in this University. She’s a genius, summa cum lauda and all in all her graduations, but a mad one. She… she scares me.’
Claire looked at her daughter with curiosity, she hadn’t said much about this woman when they had talked before. Perhaps she should have pressed her a bit more on this subject.
‘She… knew that I wasn’t a reporter, knew that I was keeping a woman prisoner with the help of someone and knew that I am the daughter of the man who stole the jewels, she just acted as if it wasn’t important, or at least her business. But she told me ‘when you come after the jewels, come in peace. Or I will be angry’.’
‘And you’re afraid of her because of that? What’s wrong with you?’
‘Didn’t you listened to me? SHE IS NOT NORMAL! Shheeeemmmmpppphhhh!!!!’
‘I waited thirty years to have those jewels with me, to be holding them, to cash upon them! I will not your ridiculous fear for a witch…’
‘Please, ppplllleeeeaaaseeee. I am not a witch.’
Where had she came from? Claire barely managed to not shriek, and had to put an extra pressure in her daughter’s mouth. There she stood. A tall and lightly skinned woman, with long jet black hair and dressed all in white. There was something in her that scared Claire, and at the same time didn’t, like an uneasy eerie feeling flowing from the newcomer. She was taller than both women and very intimidating, but seemed quite passive. Gulping, Claire managed to find her voice back.
‘Look, I don’t know what you’re thinking you just heard but…’
‘DO NOT OFFEND ME! I know who you are Claire Atkins, once Claire Milton. And this woman whom you are now having a trouble to keep quiet is your daughter, Samantha. I know why you are here! And I won’t interfere, as long as you promise, and keep the promise true, that all girls that you have to bind and gag and sedate will not be otherwise threatened or ill treated by you, including Helen, that is sleeping in your soundproof trailer as we speak.’
Now it was time for Claire to have fear of this weird woman.
But did she just said that she would not interfere?
‘You know… where the jewels are?’
‘Those tainted with blood and cursed things? They’ve been reeking their damnation since before I moved to the 3G. But only I can sense that disgusting smell. You are fools, you both are fools to mess with them. But it’s your fate not mine. So, do we have a deal?’
Just to be sure if she was talking with a madwoman, Claire asked her where she believed the jewels were buried. With the correct answer Claire was now sure. Only a madwoman would stay so many years so close to ten to twenty million dollars and not make a single movement to have them in her power. But she decided to play along. She promised what the madwoman wanted her to promise, she had no desire in hurting the girls anyway, and the madwoman sat on the ground, then laid herself on her belly on the muddy place and waited. Claire had her bound and gagged in no time. She soaked a BIG dose of chloroform into a cloth a placed it over her nose. Jane didn’t fought back. After she was out the cloth was tied over the nose. Feeling more confident now, but not wanting that the other knew it, both women resumed their wait.
At the same time Marylou awoke in Howard’s office. She had been stripped naked and crudely tied to his chair while she had been out. The rope was so tight that she wasn’t feeling her hands! A rag, not a clean one, had been jammed into her mouth and kept in place by another dirty one.
‘Ohhh. Look who’s back…’
He was standing across the table with his back turned to her. And was holding a gun in his hand. And when he turned to her, it was obvious that he had been drinking. Not enough to become overly stupid and unpredictable, but far more dangerous than he already was.
‘Look, bitch, I will ask this once. Where are the *****ng jewels? Cause there’s nothing else, nothing else!, that deserves such a big operation in this cesspool of a town! So where is it!?’
He had to take her gag off her mouth first. But while he was doing it, she managed to see something very useful on the wall at her right. A little red dot.
‘Sooo, bitch, where is it?’
‘Look, we have your wife…’
He pistol butted her hard before she could finish.
‘I DON’T CARE ABOUT HER! YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT WITH HER FOR ALL I CARE! Now, where-is-it?’ – The dot was approaching him, but he had not seen it yet.
Time to play…
‘OK. Just… don’t kill me. It’s in the basement of the Epsilon Thau Betta fraternity, the geek dudes. When you arrive at the bottom of the stairs, take ten feet to the north and start digging.’
‘One moment! Why would I believe in you? You can say anything and I might waste my time.’
‘Ben Wazlinski was the leader there twenty years ago, he had a girlfriend called Amy. They lost their virginity at the bottom of the stairs.’
‘Wait a moment! The John Crow University didn’t existed thirty years ago when the jewels were stolen, how come they could have buried the jewels in a fraternity that didn’t even existed?’
‘Because back thirty years in time the house belonged to a family that was visiting some relatives in Iowa when the jewels were stolen. Matt and Fred were running from their so-called partners and needed to hide the jewels, so they broke in the house, went to the basement and buried the jewels there. Check the files!’
He gagged her and turned on his PC. Five minutes later he had the confirmation that there was a Bynyamin Wazlinski at the ETB fraternity in the early days of JCU. And he had had sex (and was caught) with a certain Amy Duddlemore one night in May of that year, at the bottom of the stairs in the basement… she was telling the truth...
‘Oh, by the way. Melody is a little tied up right now so don’t expect any help from her soon…’
And he aimed the stun gun again at her. And fired. He found funny the way she twitched while she collapsed. Then he left his office for the last time, went to his car and left the place.
Two very angry and pissed people appeared from the shadows and silently wished they were in the place of a third who was far away from them now. Then they entered the building.
Everybody knew that Howard Nielsen had problems. With the world, with the government, with himself. He had lost all his money twice in his life, and according to some people he was going to be broke a third time with all this mortgage crisis. And according to some other people he was used to beat on his wife. She knew that when she started to work for the JCU under his orders five months ago. If it wasn’t for his cousin he’ll been fired from his job over a dozen times, but Matt Adams was a very good sheriff and with a lot of influence (that had diminished a lot with the constant help he gave to his deadweight cousin).
But (when he was in a good mood) Howard was a good chief, he cared about his subordinates and was specially very respectful with the women. And he was (or really seemed to be) in a good mood when she arrived to work at 6:00 PM. Keisha was late, which was unusual, and everybody was leaving to patrol their areas of the campus.
She went to her office, sat on her chair and coordinated both the communications between the patrolmen and the phone calls to the HQ. Or the complete lack of both. It was sooooo boring. Then she thought she heard a commotion in Howard’s office, but since her office was in the opposite side of the one story building, she could be wrong. Then Howard entered her office, gun in hand. He wasn’t playing, it wasn’t a prank, it was for real. He had her roped up like a calf in no time, and gagged with her own silk handkerchiefs. He said ‘goodbye’ and left her.
He wasn’t just drunk, he was mad! But…, why had he do that with her?
Then she heard the footsteps. She thought it was someone returning earlier to the HQ, an unexpected visitor, help in any case. It wasn’t. He was tall, brawny, black and hooded. Covered from head to toe in black, and armed. She shrieked and tried to get away from him the best (and little) she could. He was on top of her before she could realize it. He blindfolded her very easily, then he lifted her and cradled her in his arms, like she was a lightweighted pillow, and not the woman whom (she knew very well) was in serious need of a diet. Then he finally spoke to her.
‘We want you alive and well so you can help the Law to put the maggot who did this to you behind bars for a very long time, so you are not going to be hurt. Understood? You are not going to be hurt. Sedated perhaps, but not hurt.’
She believed in him. His tone and the care with he was holding her made her more calm. She even her rested her head on his chest while he carried her. There was a woman somewhere in the building. And she was really, REALLY, mad with someone.
Weird, where was the police campus officer that was supposed to be patrolling this area?
They had seen a car passing every twenty minutes, but for the last hour the roads and others passages in that part of the campus were deserted. Actually the whole place seemed deserted. Except for the 3G sorority, no other building seemed to have someone inside. Which was comprehensible, since the 3G was the sorority were the Loners (those without family or funds to reach theirs while in college) joined. And if over half the girls had not managed to find a place to go in these vacations, they’ll be dealing with eighteen co-eds! They had dealt with the most stranger of the eight that were left behind, and now heard and saw their next prey arriving.
Bridget Batheson was taking a shortcut through the woods to arrive earlier in the sorority house. She could not miss the movie they’ll be airing tonight!
Thanks to the daylight savings it was still clear at 7:13 PM, which had been her decisive reason to take the shortcut, but she needed to be on the couch at 7:30!
She quickened her pace… and was the subject of an unexpected and successful pounce by two masked and black clad women as she passed by a large tree. They wrestled her to the ground and worked in perfect symmetry. While one was binding her hands behind her back the other was shoving a large and balled hankie into her mouth, then tied a rope around her face to hold it in place. The women then bound her arms and legs, and overdid a little.
She wasn’t into escapology or had Harry Houdini as an ancestor, they could have used half the rope and she would still not be able to free herself. But these two were not taking any chance with her. The gag was reinforced with tape until all the lower half of her face was blue. On her peripheral vision Bridget could see one of the women dousing something on a cloth while the other smoothed all that tape over her mouth.
Then they switched places. The cloth was placed over her nose. The woman held it firm and her partner held her head firm between her knees. She had no leverage, no way to fight, and that bitch was crushing her head with her knees! So she breathed. It was chloroform. She had smelled a little of it last month… after she… finished… cinching the… knots on…
‘Two down… six to go!’
‘Yeah, yeah. But this thing that the cops, even being only campus cops, hadn’t showed here for a while… Hey, that little thing of yours, does it receives FM Radio?’
‘My MP3? Yeah…’
‘Find the local station, and the campus station, and find out if something happened. Something like a fire or a robbery. I don’t want any surprises!’
Claire wasn’t the only one. Howard was alert and ready, with three loaded guns within his reach even while he dug a larger and larger hole in the basement of the ETB fraternity.
He had been digging for nearly an hour by now. And wasn’t finding anything. He had been fooled, he was more and more convinced of that by the minute.
He would return to the HQ and tear the truth out of that n*****. Then he would take the jewels, wherever they were, and would disappear. Even selling them for one per cent of their value he was done, he would start a new life… in California or in Washington (the state)?
As long as it was in a place that nobody knew him… That was it!
He finally decided that he had been fooled by the woman, so he climbed of the small hole, grabbed his guns and went up the basement stairs stomping his feet all the way up, opened the door to the kitchen, and received a punch in the guts. And a kick in his face, and another pair of punches, an elbow in his throat… He had already lost three teeth by now and wasn’t managing to land any of his punch on the… woman?!! He was been beaten up by a woman??!!
On a house many miles away, three identical twins cheered up her friend (and mistress) as she kept beating up the bastard. The camera she had installed in the kitchen while he was downstairs digging was working perfectly, except for an occasional lack of sound, but the image was perfect. Of the three women bound to chairs at their right, only one could see the man receiving his just deserts. And was crying. One of the triplets perceived that and went to check on her.
‘Are you OK? Are you hurt?’
There was something of surreal to heard such words of genuine concern coming from a near naked blonde woman who’s holding you captive. The lame excuse of a bikini she was wearing and that silly black domino mask only reinforced this perception.
‘Here, let me help you’ – and she undid the knots of her gag.
One of her sisters was already holding a glass of water near her mouth. She drank a little then looked at all three girls, who had forgotten about the beating and seemed really worried with her.
‘I say whatever you want. I tell to the cops, to a judge, to ANYONE, whatever you want. But please tell me that you are recording it… Please.’
The Cheshire Cat smile in their faces was enough answer for her. They freed her of her bonds and allowed her to really cheer as she wished, and did she cheered!
When it finally finished she was allowed to take a bath and returned to her chair with such a peaceful expression in her face that put the girls a little uneasy.
‘Are you REALLY alright, Mrs…’
‘MISS, from tonight on I am MISS Hope J. Randall once again. And…, what do I have to say to receive a copy?’
The girls rebound her (far more stringently) to the chair first, then checked on the bonds and hood on the other women and only after that one of them answered.
‘Well, we would like that you understand that we were not supposed to free you, to let you have a bath and all that. Which is why… well, I will have to gag you now.’
‘No problem, and about a copy?’
‘That’s for our mistress to decide, but don’t worry. She was already going to trade a copy for a slightly false statement to the cops, if you were up to it.’
‘I am. But wait…! I don’t know your names, or her name for that matter. It would be a little silly to remember her as ‘Mistress’, and you as the Thong Bikini Triplets One, Two and Three.’
‘Call me Bea, call her Ann and the laughing idiot can be called Mia. And our mistress…, well she’ll tell you how she prefers to be called.’
Three strips of tape and she was silenced. Two of the girls went to prepare the dinner for all and ‘Mia, the Laughing Idiot’ stayed with the captives. She let her choose what they would see on TV while whatever the ‘Mistress’ and the others were doing what they came to do in the campus. Was it all somehow connected with the Kane Jewels?
She’ll have to wait and see…
Another party saw the incident in the kitchen, and also cheered up their friend (and in their case boss) as she showed to Howard how it was to be on the other end of a pummeling.
Minus Melody, who was still blindfolded but deduced that they were talking about Howard and that somebody was beating him. Then the swivel chair she was placed and tied on was moved, someone undid her blindfold and she found herself looking and a ski masked and all clad in black clothes black woman. One that has a body that she was dying to have, and failing in the process. She was sitting on the edge of Howard’s desk, and has a notebook at her left whose screen was turned to her. Marylou looked at the woman in front of her.
Young, a little fat (but really just a little) with big blue eyes that had cried a little and short blonde hair. And who seemed to be appraising her as she was being by her.
‘You know… all those articles about diets, exercises and such, they are useless on you.’
Now she had her attention!
‘You don’t need them. Believe me. I am not mocking you or anything. I am a lesbian woman, a big one and very much proud of it, and I value the feminine beauty. And you are lovely. Perhaps a little… bigger than the magazines prefer as their models, but then those guys are always after anorexic and nearly dying of starve dumb babes… Trust me. You’re really… yummy!’
Now she really had scared her!
‘Hey hey, you don’t need to be scared. I am not going to eat you or… you know. Just a personal evaluation and a friendly advice to you stop wasting your money with things you really don’t need. OK? Hey look at me, I am not going to hurt you...’
A little pressure with her fingers on her chin and Melody was looking up, straight into her eyes. Time for the big sister smile. She relaxed a little. Now, for the really bad news.
Twenty minutes later it was over. They had cleaned the place and hopefully there wasn’t a single evidence of their presence (specially Marylou’s) in the whole building.
Melody was lying on the floor, bound hand and foot with knots that she wasn’t going to have problems to undo. The gag was what they called ‘A Hollywood Gag’, beautiful to watch but largely ineffective, so she would have no problem to call for help if someone appeared before she undid her bonds by herself. But first she’ll have to wake up.
After she saw what she saw she nearly went berserk. The bastard! THE ********, ******** and ********!! Oh when she put her hands on him… CAUSE SHE WAS GOING TO TEAR HIM APART!!!! But then the black woman had doused a cloth with chloroform, ‘just a little to give us a start’ as she had told her, and still with that… graceful smile in her lips (the only part of her face that Melody could see), she sat on positioned herself behind her, lifted her head with two fingers under her chin until it was almost perpendicular, and placed the cloth over her tape gagged mouth and nose. Melody fought back. She didn’t wanted to catch Howard later, she wanted to do it now! But the black woman had other plans for her, and imposed her will with the drug. And she had such a firm grip that Melody’s twists and shakes didn’t meant much, except for the need for oxygen that they elevated. And gradually, Melody started to feel lightheaded. Her eyelids closed and she went totally limp in the chair.
Almost at the same time three newly made friends made an amazing discovery searching on the Archives of the Cracking Crow. After lunching with the mysterious Miss Manynames, Jimmy Haran had introduced himself to the journal’s editor, Michaela DiSanti, and made some questions that she had heard the day before coming from Joan Bragget’s mouth.
So they went to the Archives and found her digging something from the issues of the Gazette, and decided to help her. While they searched, they exchanged impressions about the case, then talked about themselves and their families… not that they were that easy to befriend other people, but they found themselves between equals, people who understood them because they were the same. And they had decided to have an early dinner almost at the same time, so when they returned there was only them and the janitor of the small building.
And a little above an hour, there it was. Ben and Amy.
The Scandal of the Year, of 1944.
Benjamin Trubold, on the night before the day he would be sent back to fight in the Pacific, finally convinced his longtime girlfriend Amy Lee Bascomb to have pre-marital sex with him, in the only place he knew no one would go look for them (or so they thought), the Old Miller Haunted House. They even had dared to carve their names under the window of the room where they spend the night! Both Michaela and Joan recognized the place. It was Joan and Marsha’s bedroom! And, if they were right, that meant that they knew where the jewels were buried!
WHAT A STORY! And an exclusive one to boot!
Well, after a little bickering between Michaela and Jimmy, both reasoned that those who read his paper didn’t read hers, and vice-versa, so it was an exclusive story, sort-off. They climbed on Michaela’s car and sped up to the 3G sorority house.
The ***** had really did a number on him. He had lost four… no five teeth, had been stripped to his briefs and socks and was now standing in the dark, handcuffed to a pipe in the basement. And she even dared to say ‘thank you for being so cooperative’ to him! She was going to see, all were going to but she would have a front row first class seat. He ached all over. That wasn’t a woman! Must have been a transvestite or a male lesbian, not that he was going to tell it to anyone. He’ll say that he fought bravely against three or four burly guys, yep, more like it.
Not for a moment he considered telling whoever found him the truth of course, but he really believed that he could find a way to get out clean. ‘They had my wife’ would be his excuse if that fat bitch said something to his cousin or her uncle. His wife… Hope. Could he finally be freed from her constant whinings?
Then he heard the commotion upstairs. They were calling his name!
He was going to be rescued!
They were driving to the 3G house when they saw the police and campus police cars at the ETB house. It really seemed to them that all the cars of the local police force and of the campus police were there at the moment. And they were both storming the place.
For a moment they forgot about the jewels, they could stay buried a while more, and decided to check it out. Jimmy and Joan had their recorders in their hands as they left the car with it still in motion. Michaela parked it, grabbed her camera and went after them. Jimmy criticized the lack of professionalism of his friends when they cheered up the police taking Howard in custody.
True, Michaela did manage to take a lot of pictures of the police escorting him to a awaiting car, while his subordinates either looked at him with disgust or had to be held to not beat him up.
The priceless look of ‘what’s going on?’ plastered in his battered face was going to be the front page of the special edition of the Cracking Crow Michaela decided to produce at that moment.
Even if they did not found the jewels, the arrest of the chief of the campus police in such circumstances was worth a special edition. The jewels… they had to made a quick decision.
It was obvious that whatever was the reason behind Howard’s arrest, it hasn’t stopped with it. The cops were still alert and the campus cops were offering their help and assistance and both parties had told them to ‘mind your own business’. Michaela was having a harsh altercation with her ex-boyfriend (and the rookie amidst the cops) Kenneth Lammar when the sheriff told them to come closer. He didn’t told them much, but it was enough to have them craving for more.
Kidnapping, betrayal, a very well organized crime organization acting in the county, hostages still in their clutches (and one of them was pregnant!), an unknown crime being put in motion at this very moment somewhere in the city…
Jimmy saw his new job ordering him to follow THIS story, Joan saw her career ordering to follow THIS story too and Michaela decided that she was going to the 3G sorority house and find out the true about the jewels first, then she would prepare the best special edition that the Cracking Crow had ever had! One old crime (possibly) solved, one new (and perhaps bigger) crime thwarted (or not) by the cooperation of the local police force, the campus police and some police officers of the nearby counties that were already offering their help.
So Joan and Jimmy followed the car who was taking Howard to the police headquarters while Michaela decided to walk back home, through the woods.
The unbelievable number of police cars that had passed nearby in the past ten minutes had shaken them a little. At first they thought that they had been somehow discovered. Helen had been found, they had been followed, someone had seen their attacks…
Both mother and daughter considered these possibilities and others. But then the night vision long distance goggles they had bought made it’s price worth. The target of all the cops was the ETB fraternity house. They invaded the place, went straight to the basement (they didn’t went upstairs, so…) and went out of the building with a heavily beaten up guy (the chief of the campus police according to Sammy) wrapped in a blanket and handcuffed.
Two or three stayed behind, to hold the place secure or whatever, and the others returned to their cars and fled away in all directions with their lights on and the sirens up.
And then Sammy saw something that made her smile. Could they be THAT lucky?
Michaela wasn’t scared of walking at night through these old trees. If anything, Crazy Jane had taught her to feel safe within them. True, that has been two rape attempts in the past ten years in these same woods, but she was carrying her pepper spray, had went to all the classes that Li Ming had gave to the girls of the sorority and was doing a good speed.
She’ll be there in five minutes or less. She ran between two trees, a rope was pulled suddenly and she tripped on it. And fell face first on the ground.
She hated the stereotype of a intellectual chick with glasses, but that was what she was. She had to use those glasses or the world became blurry all at once, as it did when the glasses fell on the ground about two feet at her right. She extended her hand to reach it… and the hand was grabbed. They were in two, and were both women, but besides that she couldn’t define anything about them, except that they were good in restraining struggling girls. Her hands and arms had already been rendered useless and trapped behind her back (she didn’t knew till that moment that her elbows could touch), her mouth had been packed with something that felt like a sponge, and tape had been passed through all the lower part of her face. Her legs were being tied right now by one of the women and the other was grabbing something in a… bag (?) at her right.
What was happening here? This wasn’t a prank or a haze, and didn’t seemed to be a new chapter of the long feud between the 3G sorority and the high and mighty sluts of the Savant Ladies’ Sorority. She was sure that they were by now or in the Keys in Florida or in another hotspot for college sluts (although she admitted that she would like to go the Keys one day…). And besides, if it was one of those bitches, they would not be that silent. They would been gloating all over her, mocking her and trying to diminish her in anyway, even if they had to do that in whispers…
These two were no longer silent, but they were talking to themselves. The glasses were put back and she could clearly see… the bound bodies of Crazy Jane and Bridget lying side by side against a large tree at her right. She looked at the women. They were clad in black, but was it spandex? It was weird, surreal and… ridiculous in a way.
One of them held a large knife in her hand, inches from her face.
‘Don’t worry, it’s only to cut this tape from your face. We… overdid a little.’
What an understatement!
‘There are three cops that might hear you if you scream. And of course your friends at the sorority. This would be bad to our plans. We don’t want to hurt you. But we didn’t went this far to be stopped because we decided to ask you some questions. SO DON’T SCREAM.’
She nodded. It took a while because that tape really had glued against her skin and her hair.
‘Now, what happened in that building, what all these cops are doing here and around here?’
The image was clear. And so was the sound.
‘L-look, cam we mak a feal, a deal?’
It had been hard for him to speak properly without his missing teeth. In the image he was in his back on the ground while his pants were being pulled by the masked burly woman.
‘Y-you c-cam kit my whhyfi. And the ofhers twoo.’
‘We already have them.’
The voice was cold and impersonal.
‘Buf! Buf yu cam…’
‘There’s nothing that I want from you. Unless… we want the operator too.’
‘Nelofy? That fat bifche? Shis your! Shis your! Buf lef mi goooo…’
And she said nothing else. He kept pleading and proposing her for her to keep all the missing women as long as he could get out clean of the whole business, whatever it was. She ignored him and forced him to go downstairs. The image then fade to black.
The video ended with a message: ‘Melody is tied up at his office at the headquarters, all the three other women in our power will be freed in the morning. Have a nice wormcatch’.
Howard looked at his cousin. Everybody always said that Matt looked a lot like Brian Dennehy, and now he wished that they were wrong. He looked at him like he barely could control himself to not hurt him, punch him, kick him and maybe even kill him.
He grabbed an envelope and showed it to Howard.
‘My resignation letter. I wrote it last time I had to save your ass. The mayor would not help you if I didn’t did this. And now I am going to deliver it to him…’
‘Shut up! SHUT UP! I have all the cops in town, and all your former subordinates, and a lot of good men of all the counties around helping me to find Hope, her sister Prue and that girl Keisha right now. The whole town is being turned upside while I am trying to find out what could be that important, and don’t tell me about the Kane Jewels (!), that these guys had to ensure your cooperation and attract my attention, by grabbing them all. The bank manager is crying in my ears and in the mayor’s, the jewelry store owner nearly killed one of my deputies ten minutes ago and all the phones are ringing with concerned people, vulturing reporters and idiots pranking us. And I am here with you.’
Howard tried to rationalize with him. But the almost former sheriff slammed his fist on the table.
‘SHUT UP! My name is MISTER MATTHEW ADAMS to you from now on. Don’t bother to call for help or anything else, I won’t answer or return your calls. You are no longer my blood relative. It’s over. Do you hear me? It’s over! Completely over! You are no longer welcome in my house. And have a nice life in prison!’
The sheriff left the room and Melody’s brother-in-law entered the room. He told Howard that he there to get some answers, and nothing else, or he would have to find a new job after serving his time in jail, but Howard would receive another beating, even handcuffed and all.
‘Oh well, so that’s it? The campus police chief is such a ************?’
‘It seems so. Look I don’t know what you’re after… Oh my god! You know! Youummppphhh!’
The sponge was pushed back into her mouth and sealed with much less tape this time. She tried to fight her captoresses, but was easily held by them.
‘Look at them! Look at them!’
She was forced to look at the still inert forms of Jane and Bridget.
‘We didn’t hurt them, we don’t want to hurt you, we DON’T want to hurt you, so stop it NOW!’
She stopped. She looked at both women with such big and scary eyes, and yet still curious ones, that the two of them stood up and decided to have a private chat about ten feet away from her.
They returned after a while.
‘Nod your head for yes and shake you head for no. Do you know that the jewels are there?’
‘Did you found out it today?’
‘Does anyone else knows this, the location of the jewels I mean?’
Various slow nods with a confident expression in her eyes.
‘Shit. She’s serious. Look, we are going to knock you out, then we will deal with the women in that house. The way we will do that WILL be based on your next answers, and if we believe or not that you are telling us the truth. So don’t lie to us, Michaela, cause your friends’ health is pending on your honesty. Understood?’
Quick nods with tension and fear in her eyes.
‘How many people know about the location of the jewels?’
‘Are they coming here?’
The interrogation went for a while. Then the cloth received another dose of chloroform and was placed over her face. She tried to fight, but the woman’s voice switched to a maternal tone and she kept saying that they believed in her, that they would not hurt her or her friends and that everything was going to be all right. Somehow she believed in those words.
So she breathe on the cloth even after her head felt dizzy and her eyelids closed and she didn’t found the strength to lift them up again. Claire kept the cloth a little more and (with the help of Sammy) carried the unconscious girl and placed her next to her friends.
‘Tape her fingers as you did with the others. We have to deal with four inside and there’s that reporter that we don’t know when she’s coming back. We’ll have to go now.’
‘But the cops…’
As they added more rope to their prisoners, tying them to the large tree and ensuring that they would not be able to free themselves or each other, they were unaware that they were being watched. Veronica, Albert, Marylou and her brothers Martin and Malcolm were about five hundreds yards at their left. And surprised with the unexpected competition.
In the end, Veronica’s idea prevailed.
‘Martin and Malcolm, keep an eye on the cops… on the cop that is surveying the ETB house. If she gave you guys any reason, any idea that she’s about to interfere in our plans, lock her in the trunk of the police car. Marylou and Albert, come with me. We’ll let them snatch the girls and even dig the jewels, then we make our introductions to them. In any way, YOU Albert is the one that is going to receive the credits for tonight, and nobody else. You guys understood?’
They did. And they split right away.
‘Michaela is not answering her phone. Unless… She must have let it on the vibrating mood and then buried it under a pile of her clothes, she does it all the time… So what did he said?’
‘He’s not talking. No one is talking to me or to any other reporter except the two weirdos that claim that they are the targets of the gang, whom obviously are after their valuable collections (of soda cans and… stamps). I am going to the hospital, to see if I find anything about that operator whom Howie attacked…’
‘They are calling him worst names inside. And you?’
Joan stood thinking for a minute. What she’ll do now? In any other night the explanation she had just gave to Jimmy would sound reasonable to her. But not tonight.
There were predators somewhere outside. In this backwater college town. Not the usual drunk drivers or anything like that. Predators.
Bold enough to kidnap pregnant women. Bold enough to… No, it was a hunch or her fears?
‘Earth to Joan Bragget. Earth to Joan Bragget. Are you still with us Joan?’
‘Stop it! Look, can you promise me one thing?’
‘Sure, anything for a beautiful gal.’
‘I’m serious! It’s just… this uneasy feeling that I am having with this whole situation. Like… I don’t know. I’ve been living in this town for the past three years, and the worst we had here was a traffic disaster two years ago. I never grew up in a violent neighborhood or town. I just want to see if my friends are OK before I keep up with the coverage of this mess. So I’ll drive you to the hospital and then… I’m going to check on the girls at the 3G sorority before I properly return to the frontline. There, I said it!’
‘And what’s the problem of feeling uneasy because there’s a bunch of criminals on the loose in your backyard, reckless and bold and daredevil criminals, and you want to see if your friends are OK? Did you check the other girls phones?’ – Joan blushed and meekly shook her head no – ‘Here, I’ll drive, you gave the right directions and while I’m on the wheel, you’ll call them.’
Meanwhile Veronica, Albert and Marylou had reached the still unconscious trio of captives of Claire and Sammy. They checked the girls vital signs and unbound them from the tree. It was a good mile from there to the house. And they could be seen. Veronica called Malcolm and ordered him to neutralize the cop at the ETB house and waited. Too bad she hadn’t managed to install cameras in the 3G house, she knew how her boss was going to be cranky for missing such a show. That’s when she saw that one of the girls was awake.
Crazy Jane Mallory. She wasn’t scared, nor trying to move or secretly cut her bonds.
She was just looking at her with calm and even analytical eyes.
They entered by the back, and had to deal with a girl before they could realize it.
Ashley liked to see the stars from the back of the house. She had bought a telescope to better seem them, and decided to see them right now. She was climbing down the stairs and carrying that little monster, but before she went out she decided to have a glass of orange juice in the kitchen. So she rested the telescope against a wall and went to the kitchen, at the same time as Sammy was entering through the door.
Fortunately for Sammy both doors were very close one from each other, no more than five feet.
‘SSSSsshhhh! Shut up! Shut up!’
Claire had already grabbed her hands and both women were crushing the small girl against the wall. The one keeping her silent spoke in whispers to her.
‘Don’t fight back! We did not hurt the others, we’re not going to hurt, we’re not going to hurt anyone. So shut up! And don’t fight!’
Fight? How could she could fight them? How could they think of that?
They were bigger than her, they had already rendered her hands useless and she was scared like she never had been! She would not fight back, that’s for sure!
This one was going to be the easiest of them all both women thought. They still had to be careful, but knew that she was not going to be a problem at all.
‘We are here to bind and gag all the girls of this place. Simple like that. We don’t want to hurt any of you, nor kill, nor kidnap, nor whatever! We just wanna bind and gag you all. Understood? We have to do something here and we need to be sure that none of you will create any obstacle to us. We’re not after any of you. So you are going to be a good girl while we truss you up, OK?’
As best as she could, Ashley nodded to them.
The one who was handgagging replaced her hand with a sponge and lots of tape, but avoided to have any of her tresses caught in the middle. Then they went to work on her. Her wrists ended up tied together at and to her hip, her legs encased in a web of rope and she was carefully laid on her back on the floor. They looked even more frightening as they towered her. Then one of them soaked a cloth with something that she was pouring from a bottle. Wait a minute! Like in the movies and soap operas! Chloroform! But… they said that they were only going to tie her up…
‘Oh, this? You have someone that can beat the shit out of Chun Li, Cammy and any girl of Rumble Roses far too easily. And we need to bind and gag her too. So we can’t have you making enough noise to attract her attention, right? Now be a good girl and take deep… breaths…’
WHAT?? Oh yes, no one knew the truth about that girl…
And she would not tell them anyway. She was trapped on the kitchen floor, and this woman wanted her to be like all those girls of General Hospital, Santa Barbara and all the others soap that her mother must still be watching those days. Fine. So she breathed the large breaths that the women wanted her to take. All… five… of… them…
‘Thanks for the ride girl.’
‘Weird, Marsha is still at the mall and Violet swears that Michaela hadn’t arrived yet. I... I...’
‘… ‘am going back to the sorority house’? Don’t worry. And if I don’t heard of you in one hour I’ll call the cops. And go there too, so don’t worry. Promise?’
He was such a charmer guy. Probably it was nothing.
Who knows, something must have happened at the ETB house and she was there, covering the story. She’d pass there on the way to the 3G house.
Violet was unsure of what she had to do? Should she ruin TWO HOURS of work or should she check the house alone? She had put so much of herself in these two hours…
She decided to check the house alone.
Marsha had said goodbye to her girlfriends at the mall ten seconds after Joan’s call, it was such a dead nigh anyway, and was on her way back to the 3G house. Or was trying to. Her old relic wasn’t in one of it’s best days (or nights) and was making much more noise than the usual. Until it collapsed near the ETB house. She knew that the geeks were on a convention somewhere, but could see the lights of a police car in the distance.
She came closer. There was nobody in sight. But there was a light in the ETB house, and she could see movement inside. Carefully she went to the window and took a peek. And saw a black clad masked man trussing up a policewoman in the floor of the living room. She wasn’t fighting back, or moving at all. She had a rag or cloth tied to her face, above what looked like a tape gag.
And her name was… Tracy! She had met Tracy once when two bitches of the SL’S had did a number on her, and got expelled for breaking the no-hazing policy of the campus.
The man was finishing, but before he could leave she would call 911.
She grabbed her purse, opened it, grabbed her cellphone… and was yanked off the ground by another burly black clad masked man!
‘Don’t move babe.’
Babe??! She hated being called a ‘Babe’! She hated the word and any other which expressed the same idea. But she didn’t voiced her opinion because this guy was holding her like she was a feather, a very precious one. He would not let her go and she was no match for his strength.
‘What we have here?’
‘Some company to our lady police babe. You tied her up so I will this one up.’
‘No fair, man, no fair at all…’
‘That’s what brothers are for mannnooowwwwccchhhh!’
She had just stomped both her feet on his right one with all her might! It had hurt like hell, but he didn’t lessened his grip on her. But now he was mad...
‘Now listen up, bitch, I was going to be Mister Nice Guy with you, but if you want and like roughness, then roughness is what you’ll have!’
No one in Michaela’s room, nope in Marsha and Joan’s room, nope in any of the rooms upstairs.
There were the two rooms downstairs and the common places (meeting room, kitchen, study room, etc) left. Ashley might being looking at the stars outside (and had left the lights on again), but she would go outside and ask her anyway if she had seen Michaela.
Perhaps they were watching the stars together… Then she saw the woman… and Ashley. Ashley seemed okay, but was unconscious and being tied up to one of the wooden chairs in the kitchen.
She didn’t seemed to be hurt, but that woman was going to be, all over her body, in less than a minute! That’s when she felt more like anything else the movement at her left.
A sudden weird sound, and it was all over.
Fortunately she hadn’t fell as bad as she could. They were not killers nor would accept any serious damage (even if necessary) on her captives.
Sammy managed to grab her as her body, who had slammed against the wall quite violently, as it started to fall. She was out cold, but otherwise the charge of the taser didn’t seemed to have made anything else to her. Her mother was at her side and with her taser in her hand as she carefully started to bind the unconscious girl. All the people she had talked with about Li Ming told her how that petite Chinese girl was dangerous, and mankiller and everything else. She was easily the most feared student of the campus.
But she didn’t appeared at the stairs, or through the back door… was she asleep? Since they were in a hurry, Sammy merely used plasticuffs with the girl and taped her mouth. She grabbed her recharged taser and followed her mother upstairs. There was only a room with the lights on.
‘Stop it. You are overdoing man, so stop it. NOW.’
‘Oh excuse-me, I forgot that your feet are made of crystal… did she broke them? Oooooh poor baby feet! Poor poor pooooooor baby feet!’
Nothing pissed him more than his twin brother using gayish manners to talk to him.
It had hurt dammit!
‘Step aside… STEP ASIDE...’
And he did, and his brother loosened or undid most of his job.
To Marsha it was a relief to feel her elbows separating, her fingers not touching her toes anymore and her whole body resting on the floor again. He had tied her in what she knew was called an extreme hogtie. And it was hurting. He undid most of the bondage before tying her arms and upper body in a more acceptable way. Then he helped her to roll over and sat on the floor. He grabbed her and carried her trussed body to a closet in the kitchen. All sort of chemical cleaning products were moved to make room for her and for Tracy.
‘Time to take a nap.’
The other, crueler, man was holding a cloth in his hand.
Before she could make a sound she had her head hold in a firm grip by one of the men while the other trusted the cloth against her face and kept it there. She did not realize that all the cries for help (or whatever barely audible that the gag was allowing to pass) were making her take more and more breaths on the cloth. More and more… it was some sort of drug she rationalized as she felt the effects, but then it was too late.
You know when you fear something, really DO fear something, and when you force yourself to face it, you realize that there’s nothing to fear? The reactions in such occasions are many, but the most common perhaps is the one that Claire and Sammy were feeling at the moment.
They stood there, mouth open and glancing an incredulous stare at the woman in the bed. Li Ming, bound and gagged in a way that could be considered artistic.
Sammy was the first to react, and started to laugh. Her mother approached the captive girl. She was wide awake and seemed to have been struggling her bonds for a while. Without any success, except that her nude body was now drenched with her own sweat.
There were books in Japanese and English on the floor, about something called shibari, and a box with a lot of bondage paraphernalia. Only then she looked at Li Ming more closely.
There was a web pattern in her bonds that must have took a lot of time to be created and cinched properly. And that ballgag was kept in place by a weird web of leather straps all over and around her face. And she was not scared of them.
‘Thanks for the help.’
Li Ming renewed her fight when she saw the woman drenching a cloth with chloroform, what else could it be (?), and sat on the bed next to her. Dammit! Violet had done an exceptional job this time. And, before she was sure that there was someone in the house besides her friends, she had been enjoying it. But now...
‘I’d like to make a deal with you. Be a nice girl, take deep breaths and, after you’re out, I will untie you, then I will retie you in a more conventional way (but you still will not be able to free yourself), and I will grab any bondage stuff in this room and put somewhere in the attic, so when the cops find you... well, your little secret won’t become the laugh of the town. Deal? Hey, I’m serious. Do we have a deal?’
Both Li Ming and Sammy were looking at her in a dumbfound way.
Li Ming nodded. Still Claire didn’t took any chance. There was a generous dose of chloroform in the cloth and she kept it over Li Ming’s nose even after she felt the girl relaxing and going under. She had done her part and even made a funny sound while inspiring with liking. And her eyes were locked in hers all the while, except when the drug started to take effect. After she was sure that Li Ming wasn’t playing, Claire started to undo her bonds.
‘Hey mom, it’s a waste of time...’
‘Perhaps. But I am going to do it.’
‘Let’s just say that I don’t mourn that guy your father ran over with a trunk in Alabama.’
‘The deputy? Oh... I got it...’
Actually she didn’t. There were quite a few things about her father that she didn’t knew about because her mother didn’t talked about it, and why he had purposely killed that deputy was one of them. She stood there for a while as the Chinese girl was tied up in an effective hogtie, then helped her mother carry the books, videos, magazines and other stuff to the attic.
‘Are you related in any way to Charles Henry Mallory of the ****** County in *********?’
‘I am his daughter.’
That made a lot of sense to Veronica.
Charles had been a very special friend that had helped her a lot in the past, and not only this girl has a remarkable resemblance with him, but was acting like he did when she and her father first met. Veronica almost felt compelled to take off the gag, and perhaps she had been. With a Mallory of the ******** County she could or rather would NEVER be sure of anything.
‘So, how are you going to deal with your ‘competition’?’
‘That’s a problem that we’ll have to deal with very soon, but... you know who I am?’
‘My father didn’t talked much about the ‘special jobs’ that helped him to pay the bills, but he talked a lot about a certain Veronica Farris, good and strong and very honest girl, he described her very well. Very well indeed. Specially her eyes.’
‘And what are you going to do about it?’
‘Nothing, as long as you don’t do anything stupid with the girls, like one of this black lady’s brother was doing with one of my friends, and...’
‘Four diplomas are enough for me. And I need a job to pay the bills since my father’s money is finally coming to an end. So..., when I’ll drive Li Ming and Violet to your house...’
Actually Veronica had to admit that what she said, after she resumed, made some sense. A lot of it. And if she was like her late father, or even just ten per cent of what her father was, then she would be a great addition to Angela’s secret organization.
They talked a little more about the job, her salary and benefits and other issues, then she told Veronica and Marylou what was happening at the ETB house. Veronica prepared a new soaked cloth while Marylou lectured her brother by the phone. Crazy Jane was silenced afterwards and they waited for the two other girls to wake up before they made their next move.
The cop hasn’t been too much trouble, the black girl has been a little of trouble, but this girl was a wildcat! It had been easy to lure her into the house. She had parked her car next to the police one, stepped out and started to call the police officer who was supposed to be guarding the place.
‘Is that you Tracy? Come inside, I caught a trespasser... Stop it!’
The girl started to say that she wasn’t ‘Tracy’ and that her name was ‘Joan’ when Malcolm decided to do some noise, like he was having some trouble and was fighting the trespasser, to attract her. It had worked and she walked through the back door. And found herself between Malcolm and Martin. From them on they had had a lot of trouble.
She kicked Malcolm in the groin and dodged an attack from Martin, but when she tried to run through the door Malcolm managed to grab her left leg. She kicked him, only to have both legs trapped and then she fell over him. By this time Martin was grabbing her arms in a vicious lock, but she managed to free one leg and kick him in the face. By now both brothers were swearing and cursing, and very much pissed with the girl. They rolled all three together on the floor when Martin tried to stand up and his foot slipped on something on the floor, sending him forward over the struggling duo. Then Joan had her first miscalculated move and ended up with both arms trapped under Malcolm right armpit. Martin did the same with her legs and she found herself suspended between the two burly guys.
Malcolm then grabbed a handful of her tresses and yanked it.
‘STOP IT RIGHT NOW!’
‘Go to hell...’
‘Do you realize that my brother can break your legs right now? That we can easily hurt you but we are holding back? That we could have really hurt you by now? DO YOU?!!’
She did. She was outnumbered and overpowered. Unless she bit him in his arm or any other part of his body that was at her range, she was stuck about five feet above the floor.
‘Do you surrender?’
‘OK, my brother is going to release your legs. Do anything stupid like kicking or stomping and the cops and the press will have quite a show in their hands when they find you, and it will take a lot of time to free you. Be smart, and you’ll be tied up just like the cop and the other snoop.’
‘Michaela? Michaela is with you? If you hurt her I swear I’ll...’
‘You’ll do nothing! And stop moving, NOW!’
The man who was holding her legs let them go and started to tie her hands together, then he tied them to her left leg while the other shoved a sponge in her mouth. She was effectively tape gagged at the same time that her legs were being properly taken care off. Then the man threw her over his left shoulder, and grabbed a handful.
‘Oh shut up!! And by the way, the snoop we caught is Marsha, not Michaela. Your boss is fine and well, just as tied up as your are right now, but not here.’
They were the ones that had kidnapped Howie’s wife (and her sister and the Melody woman)! They had lured the cops and the police campus officers out of the campus by making them believe that whatever crime they were going to commit, it would be in the city.
And they were after the jewels or was it something else? Then a symphony was heard. It was the ringtone of the cellphone of one of them. The one that was carrying her to a closet door. He deposited her and held her standing against the wall with one hand as he grabbed the cellphone with the other. He lifted his mask to talk better to it and Joan saw that he had a moustache.
‘Yes? ..... Hey wait a moment!!!! ..... No, we did not hurt her! Nor her nor the cop! We didn’t even hurt this last one. ..... Joan Bargett .... That’s what I said, Joan BRAGGET, clear your ears will you? ..... We didn’t hurt her, and she was the worst to deal with! Like that beach bunny three months ago. ..... Yeah, just like her. ...... SHE’S FINE!!!!! WHAT DO YOU THINK WE’VE DONE TO HER?? ....... Oh, that? We’ll you know how Mister Crystalfeet becomes if someone stomp his feet, but I didn’t let him go to the end. She’s tied up in a more supportable way ...... DO YOU WANT A PICTURE TO PROVE IT?!!!! ....... BUT ...... But ..... OK. OK. I heard you. Will do. ...... I SAID THAT WE WILL DO IT!!! Bye. ...... Yes. ....... Yes, yes ..... Bye.’
He carefully helped her to sit on the floor while the other stood at their side soaking a cloth with something from a brown bottle. The closet door was opened and, twisting her head the most she could, she saw Marsha and a police woman, bound side by side against the wall in the closet. They seemed fine and well, as if they were just unconscious.
‘So, who was it from?’
‘Things are going a little faster than we thought they would. We are to make sure that these three didn’t escape, but YOU will not overdo anything or else, and then we have to go to the 3G sorority. Albert is digging the jewels as we speak... Oh, and your friends are fine little tornado, just as tied up and chloroed as you are about to be.’
So Albert Talbot was behind it. It seemed weird to her that they told her it so easily, unless Albert really didn’t minded about letting people know what he had done. Or they could be using him as a decoy. She was so absorbed by her thoughts that she didn’t saw the men switching places, until the cloth was forced against her nose and sealed mouth.
She didn’t wanted it. They couldn’t do that to her! So she twisted her head the best she could, trying to avoid the cloth and its fumes. She had, like all the other girls of the sorority, tied up and gagged Li Ming once. And as her friend had requested, she had used chloroform on her afterwards. It had been a weird experience, but she surely wasn’t liking to be on the other side. And the worst part was that the man wasn’t minding at all that she was not helping him and being cooperative. He wasn’t smiling nor anything, he even seemed a little bored.
‘Girl, could you please stop with that? It’s not like you had any chance anyway...’
Yep, he was bored.... with... her....
Those two girls had a lot of bondage stuff in their room, it took three walks to the attic to hide it all in a trunk, but they finally had finished. The oriental girl was still out as they carried her downstairs between them. The lights were on, and they had not turned them.
Then they saw it. Two men and a woman, finishing to bind Michaela, Bridget and Jane to the wooden chairs in the meeting room. Ashley and Violet were lying on the floor, hogtied and by now fully awake. All girls were being blindfolded now.
‘What took you so long? It was just to grab the China chick and bring her downstairs!’
One of the men was acting like he was in charge, he finished the tying of Bridget and hen passed over the wriggling forms of Ashley and Violet. The other man and the woman undid their hogties, lifted them quite easily and deposited them in the chairs. The man passed them a card while raising his right index finger in front of his lips. The card said ‘PLAY ALONG OR YOU WILL JOIN THEM FOR THE COPS TO FIND YOU BOTH’.
Sammy and Claire looked at the card, at each other and then to the man.
What was going on?
Ashley was the last girl to be blindfolded, and the last thing she saw was the man in charge leading the two women that had carried Li Ming downstairs out of the meeting room, while he kept scolding them for their lateness. Then the woman who had dried her eyes with a silk hankie placed the blindfold and tied it tightly.
He led them to outside still acting like he was their boss. Then Sammy grabbed the gun she kept in a holster attached to her belt in her back. It was a semi automatic pistol.
‘Who are you and what do you want?’
‘Actually, who are YOU? You’re outnumbered, don’t think that your gun will be of some value to you cause it won’t. WE already took care of the nearest cop and the two last girls of the house and all three are sharing a closet in a fraternity house nearby as I speak, WE made the other cops turn the city upside down right now, WE have better equipment like bulletproof vests and hoods as the ones I am wearing. And I believe that yours are… form fitting, very fashionable for the occasion but not made with such quality girl.’
The other man appeared behind his leader with a gun in each hand and aiming at her and her mother. And there was another person behind them.
‘The gun please. And take your mask both of you.’
Sammy gave it to him and they revealed their faces. The man did not bothered to turn his head to ask the other one if he knew who they were. And the man answered, and the voice was feminine.
‘Claire Atkins, once Milton, widow of Harris Milton. The other is her daughter Samantha.’
No! It could not be!
Five minutes later Albert was digging on the ground in the backyard of the sorority. Claire and Samantha were kneeling on the ground no more than six feet at hi right. Both had been tape bound and gagged by her. Veronica Farris. The nephew of the man who had killed Harris.
‘He didn’t wanted to kill him. He tried to get in touch with you gals, but the letters returned or were never answered. He wanted you to know that he did not wanted to kill Harris.’
They ignored her.
‘He never ever knew why Harris and Jeb and Phil tried to kill him and Fred.’
‘Hey! Why don’t you stop with this sob moment and give me a help here?’
‘SHUT UP AND KEEP DIGGING!!!!’
After a few minutes she tried again.
‘Look. It’s over for you both. If I want, by morning I’ll a bunch of people ready to swear under oath that, right now at this moment, I am with them. And they are over a thousand miles from here. And for all intended purposes, I am with them right now! And you are here. Both of you, under my power. So please listen to me both of you...’
Sammy looked at her mother who gave her a menacing glance, and both kept ignoring Veronica.
‘OK, I tried to be nice…’
Before they could turn their heads to see what she meant with that, Veronica pounced on Sammy. The girl hadn’t a chance to do anything to help herself, and was now kept on a powerful grip by the taller woman, who was holding a cloth over her nose. Sammy did try to shake her head and her body, but the second was immobilized by a bodyhold that was nothing less than perfect, and the first was held in a way that wasn’t too far behind. She was hyperventilating by now, and starting to feel the effects of the chloroform. Her struggles lessened more and more until there were none, and Veronica held an unconscious girl in her arms.
Only then she acknowledged the headbuts and shoulderbuts that Claire was giving her.
‘Stop it! And you get back to work.’
She laid Sammy on the ground talking special care with her head.
‘Claire…, no Mrs. Claire. I have both your lives in my hands. Do you understand me? I can kill you, I can sell you to brothels overseas, I can sell you to people who enjoy inflicting pain on other people. I am not joking and neither am I trying to scare with situations taken from lame movies. There are brothels overseas whom buy women that are kidnapped and delivered to them and there are people who pays large sums to have women they can torture. And I know those who provide them both. Your life, and hers, are in my hands. So don’t ignore me anymore.’
She took the gag and they talked for a long time, while Albert kept digging on the ground. Until he found the case, and the jewels.
‘Sheriff Adams? SHERIFF ADAMS!!!’
‘Not now kid, I will not answer any ques…’
‘It’s not an interview sheriff, it’s…’ -Jimmy glanced at the other reporters and didn’t liked their expression- ‘Can we talk in private?’
‘Ha! Nice try kid, nice try, but…’
‘Here! My two recorders, my camera, my other camera and my notebook, and my pens! It’s not an interview sheriff Adams. And it is important. Very important… I think. I will not ask you nothing, but you will ask me more if I’m right about it. I think.’
The sheriff looked at the young man in front of him. He had the body of an athlete, has he been in College Football (?), and an honest expression in his eyes.
‘OK, you have two minutes.’
Twenty minutes later both were in his patrol car. The boy had got all his stuff back and was telling him again (because he had asked him to do it) the whole story.
‘…And I’ve been calling them for the past half hour, ‘til the battery of my cellphone ran out. None of them, including the other sorority girls, have called me back. Specially Joan, who was supposed to have returned to the hospital almost an hour ago.’
‘And why you took so long to get in touch with a police officer?’
‘And who says that I didn’t tried? ‘Stay behind this line punk or I will arrest you!’ or ‘We’re not talking and we’re not listening your whinings! So shut up and let us do our job!’, you have some very sympathetic and educated deputies in this town, don’t you knew that?’
Matthew Addams ignored him and called for back-up on the radio again. And again received the information he didn’t wanted to heard. And then some.
‘Sorry boss, but Gerald and Jones are reporting that someone broke into the office of the **** about four hours ago at the beginning of the night shift. Tied up everyone, locked them in a room in the basement after... we'll they used chloroform in everybody, and then they took care of the phone operations in town, and send ME all those phony calls for help. All the cars are scattered across the county, plus the ones searching the missing women. Sorry boss.’
‘You have no reason to be sorry Kay, they’re too organized and prepared. Anyone hurt there?’
‘Nothing serious. The two women and one guy that did all the job were very polite with the women, specially Adele who’s still pregnant, and harsh just enough with the men. They didn’t gagged Adele, who ended up attracting Gerald’s attention. Actually she told me that one of the women scolded the other because she was pampering her (Adele) and not doing her part of the job, which was tie up and gag the other women. And she received the lightest dose of chloroform, by the other woman.’
‘Alright, I want everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, who’s available to be at the 3G sorority house and at the ETB fraternity house ASAP. And Kay, please keep trying to get in touch with Tracy. Including her cellphone!’
‘It’s our independent LEC.’
Sammy was still out. Claire took one last look at her daughter and then the lid was closed. The two men that had arrived less than three minutes ago were now leaving, with her baby girl locked in their car’s trunk. Her worst nightmare had come true, Veronica had her daughter.
‘Hey, Mrs. Claire? Listen up, in ten minutes we’ll have a whole bunch of no longer unconscious girls tied to chairs to deal with. And they will be the witnesses to our performance.’
‘But you already have the jewels…’
‘The jewels, Mrs. Claire, doesn’t matter. THEY NEVER DID MATTERED. Not to me at least, nor to anyone of us but him, Al Talbot, and you. What’s in question here is far more valuable than those jewels… And if you do your part well, and hadn’t lied to me some minutes ago, you will have a new and more profitable job than any other you ever had, your daughter will go to a college and none of you will be a wanted criminal on the run. So listen up…’
‘Helen? Your two minutes are gone, get out of here…’
Helen opened the door and turned around, the man promptly grabbed her wrist and put the handcuffs, he checked the tape gag, untouched, and then ‘escorted’ her to the back of the trailer. While she was using the toilet they had tied up the still unconscious Sammy Milton to one of the chairs, and the other man was positioned at the side of the other with rope, lots of it, in his hands.
‘Take your sit please, you know the drill… don’t you? And you know us…’
She knew them alright, that’s why she had not panicked when they had entered the trailer no more than fifteen minutes ago. She had managed to dislodge the blindfold, and was still trying to free herself from her cocoon, when she heard the door opening. And they entered, one of the carrying a bound and gagged Sammy over his shoulder and the other a bag. They both wore ski masks and had scared her, until one of them said ‘Hello Miss Mellons’. It’s OK that she had used such an horrible alias the first time they found herself in their clutches (Andrea Mellaunn), but did he had to remember her every time they met? She sort of relaxed, cause she knew she had just changed the captors of whom she’ll be captive the next days.
They had saved her life three times, but all three times (plus the two ones in which they had grabbed her because she was ‘getting too close’ of them for their likes) she had spent at least three days as their captive. They had been kind and had treated her very well (except for the ropes, gags and chloroform), but she had a lot to explain to her bosses. And one of them kept calling her by that horrible nick name every time they met…
They had a little trouble freeing her of the tape prison she was trapped into, and afterwards told her to use the toilet. And now were finishing the tying of her body to the chair.
‘Open your mouth please.’
After she was regagged and blindfolded she felt the hood being placed over her head again, and when the plugs were attached she was deafened. After a while she felt a cloth being pressed against her nose and mouth. She instinctively fought back, but then she remembered whom they were and relaxed, and breathed. Her last thought was ‘here I go again…’
Ashley was the last to have the blindfold removed. She blinked and saw that all the girls were awake and well, and still wore whatever they were using when they had been captured.
Li Ming was nude and pissed. Violet was even more pissed and in a very sexy see-through lacy lingerie. Michaela seemed delighted and wore her usual jeans and black T-shirt. Bridget wore the same and was obviously scared and Crazy Jane, as usual, was on her own, with her eyes closed and humming something under her gag. The last three had dirt and mud scattered around their clothes. All six were tied to the chairs around the table of the meeting room. And since it was a long table with lots of chairs around it, they had a vacant chair between each other so they couldn’t expect easy help from the others (as if one them could be able to somehow move one of those heavy wooden chairs while being tied to it! Well MAYBE Crazy Jane could it).
And there was a man sitting at the head of the table. She knew him. Al Tabboot the kidnapper.
‘Hello girls, to the ones that did not see my face in the news, I am Albert Talbot. I am an ex-junkie, a murderer and kidnapper. And my associates are not much different than me.’
Associates? Oh yes, there was a woman behind her, another woman behind Crazy Jane and a man on his cellphone in the next room. Unlike Albert, all three wore mask, but like him they wore black from head to toe. One of the woman did seemed to be one of those who had attacked her, the other was an Amazon and both men were burly and big.
And all three associates seemed to be impatient.
‘Don’t worry. We already have what we came to obtain in this little town. And we’re not going to rob any of you. Well except for you two. Li and Violet. We’re taking your stuff with us.’
Both girls struggled violently in their bonds. Each of the masked women choose one of them and started to apply more tape and rope to their restrained bodies.
‘We’re not going to post it on the web… relax, we’re not really interested in it, it’s just that we need to take it with us... That’s what we’re interested in!’
And he grabbed a case in floor and put it over the table. It was small, old and very dirty. He opened it and all girls gasped, or did the best for it under their gags.
The Kane Jewels! The two necklaces, the bracelets, earrings and tiara! And he picked the most valuable item, the Kane ring. Those were real gems! Millions worth!
‘Enough! We’re wasting our time here. Let’s knock them out and leave!’
‘No, we’re not gonna do it and you know why? Any of you gals know why?’
Nor the man, who had spoke (shouted) in a grave harsh tone, nor the two women knew, one of the women even shook her head. Albert looked at them and then to his captives. And then spoke.
‘Because the man who was going to pay us for these babies… Well, let’s just say that he prefers to pay his men an extra bonus to they get rid of us than really pay us.’
‘What??!! You’re sure? – Albert nodded – ****************, what are we going to do now?’
‘What else? Find a new buyer. Guess who?’
Since the ETB fraternity house was closer to them than the 3G sorority, they decided to go there first. The lights on the first floor were on. The patrol car that Tracy had taken that day was there, parked in the back, but no sign of Tracy. And there was another car, an old early 90’s model that Jimmy recognized as Joan’s. With him and the reporter kid were Charles and Henry in another car. All four got out of the two cars at the same time, and Adams was ordering to the kid to return to the car when they heard it.
A thump, like something falling hard.
Now he knew that the kid was an athlete, he ran faster than any of the others and was at the porch and opening it. He saw something and looked at the sheriff.
And he run inside. Charles and Henry were close behind and Adams damned his age once more. When he entered he found himself in a kitchen. Charles was undoing the bonds that held Tracy. Henry was alert and checking if there was someone in the adjacent room and Jimmy…
What had happened to that kid?
‘Hey! They could use a little help don’t you think?’
Only then he started to move again. And apologized to both Joan and Marsha who found the moment a little funny and were looking at each other in a way that Adams could swear that they were smiling under their gags. Both looked fine and relaxed. The way that Jimmy was apologizing was starting to get on his nerves.
‘Hey kid enough ‘I’m so sorries’ OK? You girls are alright?’ – They nodded – ‘And you Tracy?’
‘I’m fine boss. They jumped on me so fast that I hadn’t a chance, I swear boss, these guys are…’
‘…professionals and used to do such things…’
Suddenly Joan started to act frantic and shake her body as if she wanted Jimmy to free her first, and not Marsha. As Henry returned saying that no one was in the floor and asked him if he should check upstairs, Sheriff Adams crouched and removed the tape gag.
Then she threw the bomb at them.
‘The house! You have to go to the 3G sorority house NOW! They’re there!’
‘We already send some people there…’
‘No, you don’t understand. All this…, everything that happened tonight is because the Kane jewels are within the limits of the sorority property! And my friends are there too!’
‘Angela Benyngton. It was a surprise that she pay us 100K as a signal for the Kane girl. I mean, it was a decoy all the time, if I am kidnapping Evelyn Kane then I must not be preparing to raid this sorority house and the town in order to get these, right? But I studied the story of these jewels. And Angela Benyngton wants them really bad… So why not sell them to her? With that good for nothing Kane bitch as an added bonus?’
‘Are you nuts? The FBI is all over her now…’
‘…as they had been all her loooooooooong life.’
‘And how do you expect to sell her anything if these babes are going to tell the world about it?’
‘That’s the idea. I am the decoy man. No one knows your faces or our ‘mysterious leader’s’ one, who convinced me that our business associates were not planning of sharing anything with us, or even let us live after we doublecrossed the bitch. The deal will be made, but not by me. And besides…, I believe that miss media over there is crazy to tell the world what happened here tonight, including the following ransom demands, don’t you babe?’ – And Michaela nodded to him… - ‘See? OK, the details will be properly elaborated later, but if Angela wants to see these glasses in one piece each, if she doesn’t want that we cut them or melt them or whatever, and if she wants to have the Kane bitch owing her life to her… the price is… SIX million dollars. So she better start breaking all her coin boxes.’
‘I don’t like it.’
‘SHUT UP YOU ************. The jewels are with us, but we can’t sell them to those we were going to sell. So what you will do with them. EAT THEM? These chicks are going to tell the world that we want six millions for them, and help us to put pressure on Angela Benyngton. We don’t even need to be in the same place with her to he pay us! We’re on the 21st Century, some clever tricks and hotlines is all we need.’
The other man capitulated. All six girls watched them picking a handkerchief or a cloth from a pocket in their clothes and douse it on something, probably chloroform, that they poured from two brown bottles. Michaela, Bridget, Ashley and Violet were the first to go down. Except for Violet, all girls accepted their chloroing and breathed as they were told to, long deep breaths through the nose. Violet fought, thrashed and shook her head. One of the men helped the woman who was trying to put her under by holding her head still, with some efforts, until the drug made its predictable effect. Then Albert was at Li Ming’s right.
‘As for your stuff…’
‘Believe it or not, Angela Benyngton is the reason why we’re taking it with us…’
‘Everybody knows that she is a lesbian. But few people, besides the FBI, knows that she is a dominant lesbian that even at her age and in a wheelchair, still likes to see girls being bound and/or gagged and/or chloroed and/or put under by other means. I didn’t knew it, my boss did. The feds are going to tear this place apart according to him. All your life, and the other girl’s life, is going to be tore open by them. With their well known delicacy. Do you want your parents to know what you like to do with your roommate?’
Head shaking violently and big scared eyes pleading to him.
‘Or what you love that she does to you?’
Head shaking even more violently and eyes even bigger.
‘You see the strange look on your friend? One of my partners here recognized her, and she is quite sure that she knows her too. Some wild night of fun a years back I think. Anyway, my boss believes that if the feds find your stuff, they will deduce that you and Angela are connected, that these whole night was a set-up… Yeah I know, my boss is nuts. BIG TIME.’
‘Anyway, HE is the boss. And he says, grab the stuff and lock it somewhere, or burn it.’
‘MMMMMMMPPPPPHHHHMMM!!!!’ –while the head was shaking quickly-
‘So I will lock it somewhere, and in two/ three months your friend will receive a phone call from my associate over there, something like ‘box number 57 at the railroad station’. And you’ll have your stuff back. Promise. Now be a good girl and don’t act like her, and take deep breaths.’
Was he thinking that she was stupid or what? There was something in that story, some reason why he was taking all the photos and videos, and the stuff they had bought. Whatever it was, she’d find out anyway, because she was not going to live with the terror of having her family, her parents, discovering what she liked to do with other women.
She would find out, and retrieve her stuff, that’s for sure!
He placed the cloth over her nose. She didn’t fought back, but tried to take small breaths and actually managed to kept her eyes wide open, and saw Crazy Jane winking at her! And with the surprise she took a large breath.
‘That’s it babe…’
THE RAID: AFTERWARDS: DAY ONE
Joan said goodbye to Marsha as the gurney her friend was strapped to was lifted and placed in the ambulance. She adamantly refused being taken to the hospital too and signed a document taking full responsibility for it. But when she tried to take her car to go to the 3G the cops said that it was evidence, and she could not move it. After a long discussion with the sheriff he agreed to let she and Jimmy go there in a patrol car that had just stopped by.
That’s how Joan and Jimmy were the only reporters present in the first minutes after the police arrived at the 3G sorority. All girls had been released from their bonds (and blankets had been provided to those underdressed), but they were all still out. Until the last one had been safely delivered to the hospital, Joan was not a reporter but their friend. But when the last ambulance left the place, she became THE reporter par excellence. She helped the cops determinate what was wrong or out of place inside the house, took pictures of the hole dogged in the backyard, took pictures of the other crime scenes, argued with two cops about what she could or not do in a crime scene… and fainted in arms of Jimmy who had done pretty much the same things.
Only after she was taken out of the place the other reporters arrived at the scene.
There were barricades in all the town’s exit and county roads. And patrols.
And still they escaped.
If not the mess with his cousin, sheriff Matt Adams would have been forced to resign because of that. But right now he was busy trying to explain to the feds what had happened in his town last night. They had appeared as he was about to have breakfast, and he could see his wife waiting for him in his office. They didn’t like it one bit. It didn’t mattered how many proofs he showed them that it had been a well planned and organized action, he could see that they thought that he and his guys and gals were amateur hillbillies. Specially the man in charge.
Claire awoke with a start, and at first didn’t understood why she was bound and gagged. Then she remembered. The raid. The other guys. Veronica. SAMMY!!!
‘Calm down, calm down.’
It was the black lady, the one that had bound her while Veronica was soaking the cloth that she used to knock her out. If she could only see. They had used one of the hoods with her, the one that left the mouth and nose free. She felt the other earplug being removed from her left ear. And someone was loosening the ballgag.
‘ Here Claire, have some water.’
She drank eagerly. Then she realized that the water had a flavor. She had been drugged.
‘YOU BITCH!!! WHERE’S MY DAUGHTER???? WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME???’
‘Calm down, you’ve just been drugged, but it’s not a quick-effect drug, so you’ll be able to listen to my answers. Sammy is fine. We took her out of the trailer along with Helen. Both are secure, a.k.a. stringently bound, and safe. They are being taken to the same pla… Claire? Claire??!!’
But Claire was already out. Veronica replaced the gag and the earplugs.
‘I told you three drops, how many you put in there?’
‘Hope you like loneliness… because the triplets, Billie, and any other sub girl that is now and in a near future under my orders will not be assigned to your quarters.’
‘OH, YOU BITCH!!!!’
‘I don’t care if it’s a federal case, your case or whatever! YOU WON’T TREAT THEM LIKE CRIMINALS!! Now get outta here!!!’
‘You’ll be hearing from us… sheriff.’
Matt Adams kept himself blocking the view of the three federal agents while two of his deputies escorted them out of the room. Then he turned to the girls. The hospital had managed to assign a room just for them and Tracy. All were fine, even Joan, and wanted to get out of the room ASAP, but the doctors had requested at least a day under medical observation, just to be sure. And the sheriff had promised him that they will have that day at the hospital. There were ten beds in this room, so he simply went to the only vacant one and sat at its edge, then he turned and checked all the girls expressions. Boy these girls wanted to be out, specially the lovebirds (Jimmy was standing at the side of Marsha’s bed). He talked to him first.
‘Don’t you have a story to send to your newspaper or anything like that.’
‘I already did it. My father is negotiating it with major newspapers and magazines…’
‘See what I am losing? What the Cracking Crow is losing? I need to get out…’
‘Miss DiSanti, your friend and subordinate over there already sent all the material she collected to a certain… Patrick Crawford. And from what I heard, he is doing the same thing that Jimmy’s father is doing. The Cracking Crow is going to amass a huge sum of money with the photos. And all of you can make some money selling your stories and impressions about last night… but right now it doesn’t matter. What do matters to me is not how they did it. But who are they are and where are they NOW. So… are you sure that Albert Talbot was there? And that he said that he wants that Angela Benyngton buys the jewels from him?’
All six girls that were there nodded or said ‘yes’.
‘Great, just great.’
‘What’s wrong sheriff?’
‘OK, I answer that one and then each one at the time, starting with you miss DiSanti, will tell me what happened to her last night. Without any interference or I will have you moved to separate rooms, even if I have to lock one or two or more of you in closets! Deal? OK, as for what’s wrong, the… federal agent that just left this room minutes ago and Angela Benyngton have a personal feud that makes the ‘Hattfields versus McCoys’ look like just a simple argument between neighbors. Now, miss DiSanti, if you may start…’
Where were they? After a ride that took hours, the vehicle in which they were being held stopped and she was unceremoniously taken out of the vehicle (probably a van she surmised) and thrown over someone’s shoulder. She guessed that the same had happened to Sammy Milton.
The walk last a good ten minutes and the man, she guessed it was one, didn’t seemed to have felt her weight after all this time going up and downstairs and through long corridors.
Then the earplugs were removed.
‘OK Miss Melons, I am going to remove all your bonds. There’s a toilet in this room and some food in a plate at the table. Keep your eyes closed after I take off the hood and you’ll be allowed to enjoy both. The food isn’t drugged, nor is the water. I will return in an hour or two, then I will tie you up and THEN you’ll be put asleep with some good old chloroform. Understood?’
Ten minutes later she was having a light breakfast. She took a look around. The room was bare. But there was a newspaper of today. She didn’t knew where it came from, she never heard about a town called ******* in **, but she read it anyway.
She was cursing the quarterback of her team when he returned.
‘OK Miss Melons…’
‘Stop calling me that!!! Please. I know. Eyes closed, hands crossed behind the back and etc., I know the drill and I know that you are not going to hurt me afterwards, and I am cooperating! So please stop calling me that!’
‘Alright Miss Hayes. Now open wide.’
Blind, deafened and mute, Helen felt herself being thrown again over his shoulder. This time the walk was a short one. She was placed on top of a bed, a very soft one. Then she felt the smell.
She took deep breaths as he probably was asking her to, and hated to admit it to herself but she was starting to get used to it by now. She knew she was safe anyway.
Claire looked at the sleeping form of the woman she once had hated so much.
‘Consider it your test. You hate this woman as much as you probably hate me. For the next three days she is under your care, she is your responsibility. She is not to be allowed to be awaken except when you will feed her, gave her a bath and clean her after she uses the toilet. Do that without hurting her, without abusing of her in any way, without letting her awakened for more time than the strictly needed, and the job is yours.’
‘WHAT JOB IS THAT???’
‘Be our turnkey, what else?’
And Veronica and the two other menacing women and the three burly men had left her alone in the room. And what a room! Bigger than her trailer, with plasma TV, CABLE TV, a small refrigerator, a notebook for she write down her requests and pass them under the door, but no window (she was in a basement) nor any real way to contact the outside world. And a woman that deserved to be hurt by her under her care.
And lots of rope, tape and other stuff to use on her body. She turned on the TV and watched her favorite soap. For the next three days, she purposely used small doses of chloroform on Helen every time she put her under, except when it was HER time of sleep. Thus she could play with her living doll, and how she loved it (!), as much as she could. Helen, of course, realized very soon who was holding her, but didn’t managed to find the why and how.
THE RAID: AFTERWARDS: DAY FOUR
‘Hello Miss Helen. I hope you have no real problems due the amount of sedatives you received the last three days. I will give some time to fully recover and then you’ll listen while I talk.’
The voice was distant, but Helen could understand most of what she had said.
It seemed that the woman who was speaking was used to be heard, and had a natural authority in her firm tone. Helen realized that she was nude and strapped to a bed. Medical restraints. But the hood and the gag were not. Her ears were exposed, so she could heard, and her nose was alright. But she could not see or talk.
‘Nod if you’re understanding me. Are you listening?’
She nodded once.
‘Good. Helen, me and my friends have developed over the past six years a very curious habit; rescue you. I want you to think and remember all the times all those defrauders, arsonists and even murderers discovered that you knew about them and decided to get rid of you. If my count is right, you found yourself in danger no less than 43 times! 43 occasions in which your life, and sometimes the lives or other people too, was in grave danger of a sudden and unnatural ending. Think about all of these occasions, please.’
And what Helen did usually was not try to do just that. They had pointed guns at her, tied her to be burned alive, left her to starve to death... and she had been rescued all the time, well almost.
‘Only in five of these situations you managed to save your life on your own. Plus two in which the man or woman who was going to share the same fate saved you both, one time were a passerby rescued you and three occasions in which the cops arrived because they were suspicious of the would-be-killers. There’s still 32 times in which we saved your bacon, along the ones belonging to some other people of course. Am I wrong in my numbers?’
She shook her head.
‘We might not have been the classic rescuers, since most of these times we kept you as a captive. Yes Helen, the three African-Americans, the couple of lesbians, the two brothers and the lovebirds. All are us, and all work for the same organization that I do. Do you understand me?’
‘We never purposely hurt you, nor took any liberties with your body or anything while you were with us. Allow me to tell you that: you are a real tour de force test to the boys and girls’ code of conduct (specially those beautiful breasts of yours)! But as I was saying, we never did anything to you and never asked you anything in return. Well, there’s a first time for everything, so...’
And Helen listened what they wanted, and what they would give her in return, and what they would do if she failed to honor her word with them. Such a small prize to know that there would be real live (and shady) Angels watching over her from now on. She nodded enthusiastically.
‘Great!!! This is the first and last time I talk to you, you are going to be put to sleep now and when you wake up Claire here will tell you what you will tell the cops when they find you in a few days. Did you understood?’
She nodded again.
She felt the earplugs being put in place and a hand holding her face kindly. The cloth wasn’t shoved or trusted, merely placed over her nose. But it was dripping chloroform.
She inhaled with eager. It could be worst, she thought, it... could be... much... more...
After she was out, Claire and Veronica walked out of the room while a nurse sat on a chair next to Helen and turned on the TV. Claire still felt intimidated by the burly and very few feminine woman at her side, but was managing to hide it well. They talked about amenities while she tried to hide her nerves too, after all, she had not see her daughter all those days. They walked through a corridor, turned left, another corridor and stopped at a door.
Veronica turned the key, opened the heavy door... and both were stunned by what they saw.
Sammy was sitting on a couch, wearing only a white string bikini and free from any bond watching TV. Billie and Yelena, who were supposed to tend to her needs, lay at her sides (she had one arm around each girl’s waist), wearing the same small bikini but also a lot of white tape that restrained them both and kept them gagged and blindfolded.
‘Oh, hi mom. Miss Farris...’
‘What happened here?!!! What have you done to them?!!!’
‘We played poker. I won. They loose. So they had to pay the piper and we reversed our positions. Let me tell you one thing..., these two have such an word of honor, but it’s so big, so big, that I don’t know if I call them fools or I envy them. Hey.... MOM! Stop with that!’
While Claire praised and lauded her daughter quite effusively, Veronica checked her friends and lovers and removed the tape blindfold. They were fine, just a little upset for having being bound by their captive and fearing whatever Veronica would do with them for they failure.
‘Finish them please. I have a lot of work to do now and these two need some sleep.’
Both mother and daughter grabbed a cloth from a drawer in the nightstand of the room, and soaked them with the chloroform from a brown bottle atop it. Yelena and Billie made a move like they were going to try to resist, but the stern look of Veronica made them stood still. The couch was very large, and Claire and Sammy made them move to the center so they could sit on it sandwiching them in the process. The captives took one last look of help to Veronica, which was sternly rebuffed, and then turned they heads to the other women. The cloths were placed over their noses and kept there until they passed out, then Veronica handed them the roll of white tape and they taped the cloths snugly over the nose (so they could breath some air too).
Veronica lifted and carried one girl at the time to the bed of the room, covered them with the blanket and signaled to the Miltons (who had put the cloths atop the nightstand) to follow her.
‘Those two brats... I told them to take care of you, not to play poker with you! Specially Yelena!’
‘Yeah, I agree, she’s a very bad player.’
‘With no poker face whatsoever!’
‘Yeah... I agree!’
‘And when this poker game took place?’
‘And you kept them as your prisoners for all this time?’
‘I wasn’t ‘their prisoner’ since the dinner of the first day. Besides being lesbians or bisexuals or whatever, they and I have a lot of things in common. And they warranted me that ‘everything would be fine’, ‘all things would end up smoothly’ and etc. I believed in them, they believed in me... we get along well..., but we did not have sex mom!!! Nor they had between them while I was sleeping or something and I ended up watching it for some reason, I swear!’
Her mom was not so sure, and pressed her a little more.
Meanwhile, Albert had finished the last video of the ransom of Evelyn and the jewels. He had had to record over thirty ones, covering all sort of possible and plausible situations that could happen in the whole complex scam that he was taking part of, and was tired.
But he finally would have his answers. Angela was at his side while they watched the technicians editing the videos. If anything went bad with one of them he would have to do it again, so he wasn’t allowed to return to his quarters yet.
‘I believe you want to know what all of this is about, don’t you? Mr. Talbot, who am I?’
‘Angela Benyngton. One of the most richest persons in the USA and probably the richest woman, a proud lesbian who came out of the closet in the early 70’s, hated and loved by Republicans and Democrats and Independents alike...’
‘All true. But what does it means? What does it means to be Angela BENYNGTON?’
‘Like the great-granddaughter of Lazarus Benyngton?’
‘And the granddaughter of Charles Benyngton and the nephew of Emory Benyngton. Yes, what does it means, to be the last of a lineage of men who could have done many things, but ended up murdering, plundering, torturing, arsoning, defrauding, raping and everything else that they ‘needed’ to do to get more money in their pockets? My father broke the family tradition after my uncle shot himself (as if he wasn’t already damned to hell) in ’29. He spent the rest of his life trying to clean his family’s name, I spent all my life trying to do the same. But I am a woman and a Benyngton. And when my father died, there were oh so many people trying to break me, betray me, rob me and using these two excuses: A BENYNGTON AND A WOMAN TO BOOST! My family became so rich by breaking every law possible, and they had reunited a group of cutthroats, killers and worms that would cause envy to any mob family! So I thought to myself, why not use these men (the few among them that have some moral code left) to help me keep on with my father’s work. My own private secret service. It worked, all the people who tried to bring me down went to jail or to the poverty line, and... well, my little private guys became bigger and bigger... and bigger!’
‘And were the FBI fits in all of this?’
‘They found out about my little big secret somewhere around the mid 50’s. They didn’t liked it, even when we helped them when they needed. And it was more than twenty times! But they still are trying to bring me down because of this operation, that I don’t run alone anymore anyway. They’ve been trying to do it for fifty years! And never got this close to finally do it like now...’
‘I... don’t get it.’
‘It cost money to run an operation this big. Think about a shadowy organization dedicated to prevent and / or punish industrial espionage, foreign espionage, hostile (VERY hostile) takeovers and such that can threaten its sponsors. From a mistress that decides to sell her story to a tabloid while her (former) lover is in the middle of a delicate negotiation that can save the jobs of thousands, passing by the chief security of a research family that has his family kidnapped in exchange of the access to the researches of the facility, to a RAT that is stealing your top-secret project and selling it to... say the North Koreans. Veronica prevented every one of them to happen, or punished the bastards that did it. And I paid her to do it, and funded all her expenses. But it cost me a lot. Not a real problem considering by assets, but all this bills are not the kind that the IRS would understand if they laid their eyes upon it...’
‘So this whole story...’
‘Happened because I need a justifiable six million dollars charge or fee or bill to be paid without having to explain them to whom and other things. If I hadn’t this acceptable unpredicted loss of currency, they would like to know where I spent six million dollars, they would investigate, the FBI would get in the middle, they would investigate a little further...’
‘And you’ll end up in jail.’
‘And you think that I care about it? I’m too old to care about it! NO! They would shut down this operation and arrest each and every man and woman that I employed, after all their source of income is not the one they declared in their tax forms, is it? Plus you don’t have any idea of how many rats and worms would walk out of jail because THAT STUPID IDIOT SWORE TO BRING ME DOWN!!!! Harrummphh... cof...’
A nurse gave her some pills and water, after a while she could talk again.
‘When Veronica told me that she knew where her uncle had buried the Kane Jewels, I knew that I had a chance to save everything. If I wanted the jewels I could have called the dean of the JCU, financed something like giving to each sorority and fraternity of that campus cable TV, and while it was being installed... Oh the surprise! Supposing that I made my move in the open. No, there were many possibilities to have the jewels where they are now, safely locked in my room’s safe, without all this drama! But then the IRS would have no problems to made its move...’
‘...and where do I fit in all of this?’
‘You? As I was told that YOU described yourself like that, you’re the decoy man. You have a big rap sheet, but you’re not mean or ‘evil’. No, you’re the perfect excuse. Evelyn has already agreed to be part of this farce, as long as she keeps the jewels to herself, and I promised to help her pay the lawyers that will keep her out of jail. But you..., you’re done for life kid. You will be one of the most wanted men in the FBI history, you will be a legend of the underworld, you will have books and films being made about your incredible ‘career’, and of course, you’ll have to earn what I’ll do for you in the meantime. And I intend to collect it.’
‘I will give you refuge, food and female company in this facility for three months at least, and afterwards for the rest of your natural life. I have connections and a list of girls that do anything I order them to, so if you want to have a girl a day, believe me you will. The same for food. But you’ll have to keep this athletic shape all the while, so the man responsible for the gym facility that I have here will have to see you in there at least once a day...’
‘No problem... but a gym facility? How big is this place?’
‘I love my father, he was a very kind and gentle man, but I agreed that sometimes he overdid things. This whole complex was built when he heard about the Soviet nuclear bomb..., even before the ICB missiles were created. I finished it after he died. But don’t you worry about it’s safety, I keep it under a strict maintenance policy.’
‘Alright, and after the three months while I am your captive-with-kinglike-regalia?’
‘Who knows? You’re just the fifth American man that I managed successfully to turn into a criminal legend so my organization have reasonable excuses to some of the ‘crimes’ they have to make during an operation. You’ll live somewhere safe and with benefits, and every two or three times a year, you’ll be on the news...’
‘As long as is not pedo...’
‘NO ONE THAT’S INTO THAT WORKS FOR ME AND LIVES!!!’
The nurse had to give her another pill, and she dismissed him. The complex was so big that he hadn’t had time to get used to it, and soon found himself lost.
In any other place the sight of a man carrying a struggling bound blonde over his shoulder would be something to stop and look closely, but he merely nodded to the black guy... until he realized that was one of HIS blondes that he was carrying.
‘Oh, you must be Albert. Go to your room. Everything will be explained there.’
He was talking with such normality in his voice that it disarmed Albert, who received directions from the guy. After two turns to the right he found his room, entered it, and had a surprise.
Judy was cinching the last knot of the bonds on another blonde. From the look of the place, and the way both women were disheveled, they must have had a BIG fight. The three chairs were on the floor, the blankets were on their own pile next to them, even some of the furniture was out of place or on its side, but fortunately they had not broke the TV nor the DVD player.
‘Hi, may I know what’s happening here?’
‘Simple, I am kidnapping you. Could you please pass me the bottle of chloroform?’
Amused, Albert did as she had asked. The top of her bikini had been plucked from her and was on the floor not ten feet away from her. She patted the blonde on her exposed behind and went to retrieve it. But instead of putting it in place, she soaked it with the chloroform, and approached her victim who was trying to wriggle away from her or attract Al’s help. Albert merely kept looking the scene. Judy knelt trapping the girl between her legs.
‘Oh, come on! I told you that HE is MINE! Why did you have to dare me, Hildie?’
‘Oh, yes. Her name is Hildegarde, or Bea as you know her. Mia is Marie and Ann is Petra.’
‘And what’s this story that I am yours? And being kidnapped?’
She raised and walked until they were face to face.
‘My parents know that I am with Angela, and they know what usually happens to me when I here. They accept it, and they don’t interfere, so I can stay here for years if I want to. I stayed in your power for days, and even with you obviously interested, you did not made a move. And even protected me from that other guy..., the creep. So I would like to reward your protection and... support back then, but I am a bit of an exclusivist. And they did not understood it! They said that they’re yours until YOU said so..., so I had to call for help and now...’
‘I am not into arrogant brats that think that everything will happen the way they want because everything belongs to them or own them respect and obedience...’
‘It’s not like that! I will be YOURS until YOU said so! And I don’t intend to have you saying goodbye ever... Please, give me a chance...’
Albert looked at girl in front of him and at the other bound a few feet away on the floor.
Judy didn’t needed any new encouragement, she nearly jumped on Hiledgarde/Bea and trusted her bikini top over the girls face, placing it over her nose. ‘Bea’ fought back and trashed, but Judy’s grip and leglock were too strong and firm. Who could believe that that petite submissive redhaired girl knew so much about a dirty fight? And would put her and her sisters out cold with well placed and executed kung fu chops? And could hold her in such an inescapable position?
Then she saw it. And relaxed. To Judy the fact that her captive had thrown the towel didn’t changed her efforts in nothing. She would put the girl under, then drag her out of the room and lock herself inside with this big hunk for the next month, at the very least. Malcolm was due to return in any moment and would keep her to himself.
Finally the drug was starting to work. Her eyelids closed and her body relaxed. Just to be sure she kept her bikini top a while more where it was. Then she tossed it away, disentangled herself from the blonde, stood up... and was hoisted off the ground while a cloth was jammed to her face. A chloroform soaked one. She didn’t understood what was happening, could it be that it wasn’t him, and if it was him why would he do that to her?
So she fought wildly and vainly in his arms. She scratched him and tried to elbow him and stomp her feet somewhere in his legs, but he wasn’t really affected by her acts. Only when her eyes were no longer seeing anything, when she was already succumbing to the fumes, is that he spoke, and she went under knowing that it had been Albert all along.
‘I don’t like to be kidnapped, but I don’t mind to kidnap you for a while, again, and have another captive to deal with. I am certainly not exclusivist!’
ONE MONTH AFTER THE RAID
‘Good morning Miss Benyngton. Very beautiful day, isn’t it?’
‘Why, good morning Mr. Talbot. Indeed, it’s a very beautiful day.’
‘Everything went smoothly I believe?’
‘Better than smoothly. We used the videos 5, 9, 13 and 22. Everything went like I expected and now you are a very wanted man, my young man...’
‘Good news. I heard about the TV Movie that is going to be produced about the whole story…’
‘Don’t count on that. It’s still a very recent event, even for Hollywood or the TV. But who knows, in two or three years of infamous deeds? And I know about the 59 fan-clubs (Where this country is heading to?). And those two?’
‘Oh, them? I’m used to flip a coin and free the winner so she can have some fun, at the expenses of the loser, while I’m at the gym. Hildie was the winner today, which means that by now Judy is sleeping like a (bound) angel. Any news about her parents? Are you sure they’re not…?’
‘Richard and Megan are good friends and very good people, but it took them years to accept what their only daughter is, she’s the last in a line of six children, and to be honest both just agreed to let her do what she wants. As long as she’s happy and at home at Thanksgiving and Christmas… they don’t want to hear anything about her life. And… oh that head of mine... I was forgetting… I already have a new job for you in sight…’
Cherry was unsure. Was she going to be in trouble if she accepted the money? But it was five thousand dollars! She had already called her mother, and if she didn’t heard about her in six hours, then all the cops would be after him. He had shown her an airplane ticket for a flight to Rio de Janeiro scheduled to eight hours from now. And he was alone, she had been sure of it.
‘OK, I’ll do it, what are the rules?’
‘Pretend that this is your room. You’ll walk out of the toilet in your bra and panties, I’ll pounce on you and will use this handkerchief, that I’ll soak in chloroform, to knock you out. You’ll fight a little, but I WILL OVERPOWER you. Then I’ll bind and gag you…’
‘At my age? Don’t worry about it. And no, I didn’t paid no one to have sex with you while I watch, and I won’t use any ‘toys’ as they call them. It’s a fantasy of mine, a reinterpretation of the good old days if you prefer, to do it one last time before I leave the country.’
‘Fred… were you involved in any way in what happened at JCU?’
‘At my age? I was sleeping and according to some even snoring while all that happened. I just happen to have received some money…’
‘…‘from an old and nearly forgotten investment of over thirty years that became very profitable with all the interests’, I heard that, and I don’t believe in one word of that and if just one of those girls had been hurt that night, you’ll be talking with the cops now old man. But no one was hurt that night, except that creep called Nielsen, so I’ll pretend that I believe in you. Just don’t think that because I am a stripper and a dyed blonde I have no brain OK?’
‘Let’s start it, alright.’
She went to the toilet and he positioned himself behind the door, she walked out as if she didn’t knew what was going to happen. Her gasp of surprise was genuine and so was the lungful she took. She did fight, but it wasn’t like that Russian babe of two/three months before. It was more he liked, he dominating the girl and not being on the verge of an attack. True, she did fight. But it was more a playful fight than a real one.
Until he fell on the bed. It knocked his air out of him, but she was out cold. She would not look at him with the condescending eyes of that other blonde. Time to bind and gag her, then put her under again… and again… and perhaps, again. He was paying this bimbo blonde five grands to reaffirm his skills, and his superiority. And he had six… five hours and a half to do it.
TWO MONTHS AFTER THE RAID
Where was she? They had followed her to this deserted parking lot of this even deserter rest stop at such an eerie hour. She had entered the rest room, and ten minutes later hadn’t gotten out yet.
They entered it together and saw a window open. And saw her entering the woods behind the rest stop. Without thinking, both girls exited the rest room and ran after her. And did what they should not, they split. Violet was the first. She received a well placed chop in the back of her head and would have fallen in the ground, but then Crazy Jane grabbed her, and carried her out of the woods. She took her to the car she and Li Ming had rented, then she taped her hands and ankles, and placed a strip of tape over her lips, then she placed her friend on the left back seat and placed the seatbelt. Then Crazy Jane waited for Li Ming to reappear.
It took her twenty minutes to do so.
‘What have you done with her?’
‘What you were planning to do with me?’
‘Bring you down!’
‘Why? Because you girls think that I am in cohorts with Al Talbot.’
‘Well, you’re wrong. But not by much. I am not his associate… yet.’
‘And this is where you intend to meet him?’
‘Yes, and he’s right behind you by the way…’
The oldest trick in the book. She would not fall in it. But Crazy Jane was really looking to someone who (if it was really there) should be right behind her now. And planning to pounce on her. She looked at Crazy Jane again, she was a good thirty feet from her.
And then she looked behind her back. No one was there. But when she looked at Crazy Jane again, she only saw the fist coming straight at her chin. Crazy Jane carried her to car and placed her next to her lover. She waited for them both to awake.
She would need to learn to gag girls properly, because their insults were very easy to understand. After a while they calmed down and she could speak to them.
‘Girls I don’t want to do anything to you that you won’t allow me to. What I want is very simple:
1- You two recover all your stuff that Al Talbot took from you two months ago.
2- You two have the weekend that you’ve been craving for years. The first of many.
3- You two have good, honest and very descents jobs after graduation.
4- You two have fun.
5- You two have more fond memories, registered in tape, disc and photo, etc.’
Both girls looked at her with eyes so big that she had to smile.
‘I’m serious. Look, if I told you gals everything, I’ll have to keep you as my prisoners for... Let’s just say that my father worked for the man that Al works for…, and he wants me in his team.’
‘I will not be a criminal! I swear! I will disappear. I’ll have a life, perhaps raise a family and find new friends in a small town somewhere in this BIG country of ours, and none of them will know what I do for a living and it won’t matter, because I will not be a criminal. Not a real one.’
‘Hey, you gals will still be able to receive me at your house in… well, wherever you’ll end up living accepting or not the job offer you will receive tomorrow… no, today. I swear!’
But they were not buying it. It took her nearly one hour to convince them to at least give it a shot. She explained how it would happen and they felt uneasy, but after twenty minutes more of talking, both girls nodded their acquiescence. She held a canteen in front of them, dropped two pills in it and gave a good shake. Then she removed the tape over Li Ming’s lips and she drank it without saying anything, but Violet wanted to ask her one last question.
‘Jane, what kind of job you will have?’
‘Dealer of Troubles and Catastrophes Alikes…’
They were out before they could even try to force her to explain what that meant.
NINE MONTHS AFTER THE RAID
‘15 seconds, Li Ming knocked out cold Veronica in only 15 seconds?’
‘See it all in the fourth fight. And I am telling you, there’s twenty fights in this DVD and she won all of them! Veronica never found such a good opponent!’
‘So… everything is alright between them?’
‘Yes. They live in the same neighborhood, works in the same company (but not in the same facility) and spend many moments together. Either with Li training Veronica to be an even better fighter than she already was once or with Veronica and Yelena fulfilling every fantasy Li Ming and Violet have and having fun in the process. From what I heard both girls DO have some interesting fantasies… but that’s not why I called you. How’s my girl?
‘I checked her and the other two ten minutes ago. All are fine and sleeping like babies.’
‘OK, I will stop by I collect mine in two days. Say… 7:30 AM?’
‘Deal, see you Thursday Marylou, bye!!’
As she hung up Claire found herself looking at her daughter’s picture.
She was with that other girl of Veronica’s harem, Billie something, and both looked incredibly happy and funny in their costumes at a costume party they had attended. Veronica paid her (Sammy) a good extra money to be the informal ‘bodyguard’ of her ‘cousin’ Billie.
And according to Sammy she was the one that has been protected by Billie more than once, and that’s because hazing and pranking were forbidden at that college!
She went to check on the girls. There were three access to them, one trough the greenhouse (the excuse she had to the cops and DEA for having such a great electric bill), one through the garage and the one she was using now, through the basement. It was a clean but a little eerie place, about 70X50 feet and with five hospital beds in it. She had everything to attend to any need of the girls she was told to keep in there.
Since it was the job that was paying all her, and Sammy’s, bills she did her best.
So far fourteen girls had passed through her cares. None remembered one thing of it. No sound, no image, no face for the cops or their accomplices be told about. Nothing. She had loved to see on TV the fugitive that she had kept sedated for five days trying to understand how could her perfect plan work that bad. Right now she had three girls to attend.
A noisy reporter from a small newspaper of a city 180 miles away that had seen too much, the mistress of a submissive member of the board of a company that was blackmailing her client (and would wake up to find herself committed to a year as a sub or face ten years in prison at least) so an hostile takeover could take place… and Helen.
When would this gal stop being in need of their rescue? Or having to be removed of their way?
It was the second time that it happened. And the second time that she had so much fun. Helen was the only one that she was allowed to play with. While the reporter and the mistress were strapped to the bed with monitors checking all their vital signs and received endovenous feeding (and drugs), Helen was simply tied up on a mattress on the floor. And waking up. She realized that now she was topless and wearing (surprise!) a very modest and big pair of panties. And hogtied, hooded and ballgagged. Since dinner it had been the fourth time she woke up, she would let her awake for a while as she watched something on TV.
After two hours Claire realized that Helen must have now being thinking that she had a chance to escape, that somehow her turnkey, whom she knew was Claire, must have put less chloroform than she should or perhaps that something was wrong. Anyway she was really twisting, moving, wriggling and such, trying to get free. Quite an unexpected pleasure (and welcomed since the shows she had watched on TV upstairs had not be that good).
But now she was tired and needed to rest. So she checked the other girls one last time for the night and opened the cabinet. Cotton in one hand and the brown bottle in the other, she circled her prey, who felt that she was there and put herself in alert. Claire went straight to her nose, using her own body to keep Helen still while she was forced to breathe the chloroform.
Helen must have realized that it was her, because she relaxed and started to take large breaths, inhaling deeply in every one of them. She relaxed, relaxed a little more and then she was completely under the influence of the drug. Claire removed the ballgag putting only three strips of red tape in its place, then she prepared and placed a chloro-mask over the woman’s face and strapped it in place. Claire stood up and looked down at her favorite captive. Favorite captive?
What was she being turned into? As if she wasn’t having enough fun to not care about it!