Gladys was a teacher who lived alone in a small cottage in a distant mountain suburb. She was 40, had a slim, well cared for figure, an amiable face, short greying hair and always wore glasses. Though not a very outgoing woman she made periodic efforts to make social contacts but had never been very successful. She had been divorced after an unhappy marriage some years ago. She was known locally as somewhat reclusive but was not antisocial and hoped eventually to find a companion, though this did not seem likely at present.
Twelve months before something startling had happened to disturb her quiet, uneventful existence. Her remote home had been invaded by a woman recently escaped from a city prison. Gladys had been bound and gagged and held captive for five or six hours. The woman had finally departed wearing some of her older, more serviceable clothes and with a few personal items. This had been done without any violence or hostility. The woman, finding her co-operative, had tied her up considerately and been as thoughtful as possible under the circumstances. Gladys had been left drugged with chloroform but lying comfortably on her own bed.
At the time the assailant had understandably not said anything of her future plans but had spoken vaguely of calling in old favours owed by friends and perhaps leaving the country. The whole event had occurred over a year ago and Gladys only remembered it occasionally now. Sometimes she thought of the woman and wondered where she was and what she was doing.
Today had been a bleak winter day. Cloudy, overcast and with a hint of rain to come with nightfall. It was well past four, Gladys, raincoated against the weather, had just walked home from the local village library and as she approached her front door, was thinking only of the simple meal she would prepare before another quiet solitary evening.
She had just turned her key in the lock and then....
"Good afternoon Gladys," said a voice behind her.
Gladys turned and looked. A woman was coming up the front path. She looked slim, healthy, possibly somewhat younger than herself and had short, well groomed fair hair. Her face was smiling and pleasant and she wore a headscarf and dark glasses (why would anyone wear sunglasses on a dull day like this?) She was wearing a stylish, probably expensive trench coat which was belted tightly around her, had an overnight carry bag over one shoulder and carried a black handbag. And she looked familiar.
It was the carry bag that did it. It was Gladys' own bag. The one her visitor of a year ago had filled with toiletries and other items before putting her her to sleep with anesthetic and walking out of her life, she had thought, forever. It was the same woman, returned. Why had she come back?
The totally unexpected caller came up the steps and stood on the veranda in front of Gladys. "Nice to see you again Gladys. Remember me? I visited you a year ago," she smiled (Gladys dimly remembered her captor had had a nice smile. When she chose to use it). "This will be a much more pleasant visit. Shall we go inside? It's cold out here and we can have some tea." She took the astonished householder by the forearm and gently propelled her through the door.
Speechless, Gladys led the way down the hallway. She was thoughtful enough to take off her raincoat and hat and hang them on pegs near the kitchen door. In the kitchen she recovered her voice. "I never expected to see you again, I..." Words failed her.
The woman smiled. "I have to visit a friend, a business associate who lives not far from here. And, since I was in the area I thought I'd look you up. And return some of these items of yours." She put the carry bag on the kitchen table. "It's got your skirt and jacket in it. And a new white blouse exactly the same as the one I took." Gladys was flabbergasted. "Come on. Let's make some tea." The two women set to work. Boiling water, setting out cups and saucers, making the tea. Even some biscuits were produced. They could have been a couple of old friends who had not seen each other for years.
The tea made, the two sat down at the kitchen table to drink it. Still amazed by this turn of events, Gladys decided to go along with the situation. And she was still curious to know why this woman had come back at all. The visitor took off her headscarf and put it on top of her obviously costly black leather handbag on the kitchen table. She had not taken off the trench coat which rustled softly whenever she moved but did undo the two top buttons, revealing what looked like the top of a very expensive business suit underneath. She was a far cry from the bedraggled, mud stained escapee who had so unexpectedly come into Gladys' life a year ago.
The woman said nothing of what she had actually done after leaving her reluctant hostess of a year before, other than to say she had been able to get out of the country within three weeks. "This was done surprisingly easily. No trouble at all from the authorities. They didn't even look at me." She smiled, "You must have given a very poor description when you reported me to the police."
Gladys, for the first time, herself smiled. After some seconds she spoke. "I didn't report you at all."
It was her visitor's turn to look taken aback. "You didn't? But why?" she asked incredulously, "I took you captive, bound and gagged you, robbed you. Why didn't you report it?"
Still smiling, Gladys paused for a few moments before replying. "As we both agreed at the time, it could have been much worse. My home wasn't ransacked and you treated my property with respect. You only took a few well used items - I know you said you didn't want to attract attention - but they were things I'd probably have given away, anyway.
You didn't touch my jewelry, not that there's much of it. The toiletries (she glanced at the carry bag) were replaced with a single visit to the supermarket. And furthermore, if I had made a formal report, it'd probably have made the front page of the local paper and possibly the state media also. Unwelcome publicity I could well do without. You even left me comfortably on my own bed." Her smile deepened at this.
The woman heard this in silence. Her obvious present comfortable situation was, it appeared, partly the result of past favours called in. Now, it seemed, she owed a favour herself. This gave her cause for reflection.
The conversation ground on and then the visitor finally asked pointedly "Your efforts to make social contacts through the personal columns? The ones I saw on your desk when I was here. Have you had any success with them?"
Gladys' smile faltered. "Oh, the usual social misfits and fortune hunters," she said with an attempt at brightness. Then, noting the look on her questioner's face, decided to tell the truth. "No. None at all really." This last in a small, quiet voice.
"So. No love experiences at all in the last twelve months since I first met you?"
"None, whatsoever." Again the truth in a small quiet voice.
"And not much before that either, I'd say." Simply a nod and lowered eyes to this. "Gladys," this in a more kindly tone, "From what I've seen, and I've since learned of you, you're a nice person. You deserve better than that." Gladys looked up at her visitor. Who said, "Yes, I've looked you up. It can be done, you know." This remark made with a knowing smile.
Silence. Then the inquiry continued, but now with a note of charity in it. "Well, I am in a position to help you." The woman continued, "There is this friend-business associate whom I've come here to see. And with whom I have an appointment this very evening. He lives not far from here in a somewhat more affluent neighbourhood than this. Richmond Ridge no less." She named a very up market residential area about three miles away. "He can afford to live there. He's made money, some of it by questionable means. And he owes me quite a few favours. Indeed, it's due to me that he's not in jail now."
She went on. "Yet, for all his wealth, he's unbelievably shy, fearful and something of a social failure. Just like you." Gladys bridled at this, but at the same time realized, sadly, it was more or less true. "And I am in a position to tell him to make love to you." She smiled, "I can assure you he is nice, well educated and a gentleman - apart from a few unfortunate past business practices he now very much regrets. And..." the smile broadened, "I can also assure you he will be a very accomplished, gentle and satisfactory lover. Do you want this?"
Gladys looked at this strange person who had so suddenly reappeared in her life. Her face shone at this last proposal, her heart leapt. Then the old hesitancy, and fears that had been so long with her began to come back.
"Yes," she started, "I, well I, I... I don't know," Pause. The old cowardice started to assert itself, as it always did. "Well. No, I couldn't. I'm sorry. I couldn't."
After a pause the woman said slowly. "Gladys, that sounds like the story of your life." Gladys said nothing. It was so painfully true.
"Well then." The visitor picked her headscarf up from her handbag on the table, fondled it absently, then abruptly stood up. Gladys, thinking she was going to leave, stood up too. "So there's nothing more to be said." The two women faced each other. The newcomer turned her head slightly to look out the kitchen window into the gathering dusk outside. Suddenly she exclaimed, "Who's that out there in your back yard?"
Gladys, always fearful of prowlers around her cottage, spun round and looked through the window glass. The woman, who had quickly twisted her scarf diagonally into a long lashing, stepped forward. Seizing her hostesses' forearms, and crossing her wrists behind her she deftly looped the binding around them several times. She was pulling this tight as the disturbed householder realized what was happening. "What! What're you doing?" she yelped in surprise.
"Tying your hands behind your back darling," was the response, "Rather like old times, isn't it? Last time I cut up an old pillow case." She tied a couple of secure knots over Gladys' wrists. "What shall I use this time?" Looking around the kitchen she picked up two tea towels.
"These should do." Swiftly she twisted them into usable lengths and used them to tie her captive's elbows close together . This had the effect of thrusting her small but well formed breasts into prominence. "Mmm, nice bust you've got there," was the comment.
Gladys was bewildered as her arms were tightly bound. "Why are you doing this? Are you going to take some more of my things?"
The woman laughed. "Do I look as if I need them now? No way darling. This time I'm taking you. You and I are going on a short journey." Gladys gasped. "And it's time you were gagged madam. This should do."
She found an unused dishcloth, folded it neatly, moistened it at the sink and held it against the bound woman's lips. "Open wide." She forced it in and settled it firmly. The gag filled Gladys' mouth but because of its careful shaping was not uncomfortable and only slightly padded out her cheeks. "Hardly noticeable," commented her captor, playfully holding her chin in one hand. "But perhaps a little lippie." She took a makeup compact out of her own handbag, extracted a lipstick and applied a neat cupids bow to her captive's mouth. "Perfect," she commented, "Now you're ready to travel."
She stacked the tea items neatly in the sink for later washing, picked up Gladys' house keys from beside her purse ("So we can get back in when I bring you home") and after a quick look round, took the captive householder firmly by the forearm and steered her out of the kitchen.
In the hallway she stopped, took the bound woman's still damp raincoat from its peg, draped it over her shoulders and did up the two top buttons. This gave the impression of a busy person who elected to wear her waterproof as a cape, rather than go to the trouble of buttoning and belting it. It had an attached hood which the woman pulled over her head, hiding most of her face. All this had the effect of concealing that Gladys was securely bound and tightly gagged. Lastly, her captor took the wet rain hat from its peg and put it on her own head - her own headscarf being already in use as a wrist binding. "And now," she said, "We can go." Taking her captive's arm she marched her to the doorway.
Shutting the front door the woman did up the top buttons of her trench coat. They looked like two venturesome ladies about to set out on a late wet afternoon. And who had dressed sensibly for the weather.
The woman's car was parked a short distance away, partly hidden by some trees growing on the nature strip. She opened the passenger side door, pushed Gladys in and tightly adjusted the seat belt across her raincoated chest. This had the effect of further securing the already bound captive. She then quickly got in herself and drove off. A light rain had started to fall.
"As you may have guessed," she explained as they travelled, "I'm taking you to Richmond Ridge. Just a short distance. To meet this old associate of mine. Who is expecting me."
"His name is Charles Legrand. And, yes, he is one of the Whitmont Legrands." (she had named an old and very respected family) "But he prefers to live up here. In part because of some business practices he's done in the past. But also because he's painfully shy and somewhat socially inept. Something like yourself." She laughed. Gladys grimaced, though she knew it was the truth.
They reached the area quickly and drove along a street of very up market houses, turned into one near the end and parked in the driveway. The occupant of the opulent house was indeed waiting for them, standing under the porch light at the top of the front steps. As the car stopped he walked down.
The woman got out as he approached. He was perhaps in his very early forties, trim, obviously fit, hair just starting to thin and with a smile of recognition on his lean face.
"Maureen," he said cheerfully, "It's you, isn't it. I'd been told you were dead. Somewhere in the United States. I'm glad that it was wrong."
The visitor smiled and embraced him. And kissed him. "It's a long story Charles,"she said with a smile, "And you're partly right. The lady you once knew is officially dead and it's on record. It took money, a lot of work by some people I know but now I have a new identity. You know the reason why. And a new name too. I'm Miriam now."
Charles still looked pleased. "Anyway, I'm glad that report's not true." He looked at the car in the darkening evening gloom and saw there was a passenger. "Who's this?" he asked.
"Ah, that is a lady who needs your help." Miriam, as we will now call her, walked around the car to the left side. Charles, somewhat puzzled, followed. The left hand front door was opened. Even in the dim light and despite the enveloping raincoat and the covering hood which hid most of the passenger's face he could see she was under some form of restraint.
"Maureen, er Miriam," he started, "What is this? What've you done to her?" For answer the seat belt was unbuckled, Gladys' feet were lifted off the car floor mat, her legs spun around out of the vehicle and she herself was lifted bodily out of her seat and stood upright and wrapped in her raincoat in front of the astonished Charles. The two gaped at each other.
"The reality, Charles," said Miriam smoothly, "Is that she's bound and gagged underneath this coat. In fact, she's been kidnapped. And we'd better get her inside your house before anyone sees her." There seemed little chance of this in the fading evening light but Charles needed no urging. He turned and hurried up the steps and opened the ornate front door of his residence. Clearly he knew better than to oppose Miriam. She in turn pushed the bound, raincoated Gladys after him.
Once inside the wide hallway of Charles' obviously expensive home, with the door shut safely behind the three of them, the householder found his voice. "Miriam. What is this? Why've you brought her here?"
Miriam didn't answer at first. She unbuttoned Gladys' raincoat and hung it on a nearby hatrack. Then, using two fingers she adroitly worked the gag out of her captive's mouth and put it on a hall table. Gladys, her arms still bound, stared at the dumbfounded Charles. Usually shy in the presence of people she did not know, she could say nothing here.
"First, introductions," began Miriam evenly, "Gladys, this is Charles. Charles, Gladys. She lives at Bareela, not so very far away. And the reason she has been brought here, dear Charles," she went on, "Is that this unfortunate lady is, like you, too painfully shy to have a normal sex life. Yet she is, and has been for a long time, in dire need of a man's attention. To put it bluntly, she desperately needs a fuck. And you Sir, have been elected." Charles was speechless. She went on smilingly, "There should be no problem. I know there's no lady in your life at the moment." Another smile, "And I do know you to be a good performer who will be gentle."
"And that is enough talk. Let's get on with it." She seized Gladys by one of her bound arms, steered her down the hall and into a doorway. Which turned out to be the master bedroom. The house owner followed and looked about to speak but was silenced by, "Remember Charles, you owe me quite a few favours."
The bedroom was well furnished with a large double bed covered with an expensive coverlet. Charles, despite his limited success with the ladies due to his crippling shyness, was well equipped to cater for them. "Ah, this will do very nicely," was Miriam's comment and she switched on one of the bed head lights. "I'll prepare Gladys here. Charles, you can get undressed." She made the bound Gladys sit on the bed and whipped off her very sensible shoes. Next, she hauled her upright and began to remove her skirt. Charles, by now had found his voice.
"Miriam," he began, "I don't think..."
She turned and faced him. "Charles, there's a certain underworld character doing time at the moment but due for release shortly. If he knew your part in putting him away, he'd be very displeased with you. So stop thinking and get your clothes off." She returned to Gladys.
Charles began to unbutton his shirt. Miriam finished unfastening the skirt, let it fall and then pulled down the panties underneath and made her captive step out of them. She placed all on a nearby dressing table.
By now Gladys had recovered her voice. "Please, please," she whispered, "You'll be gentle. Won't you?"
"Of course darling," Miriam assured her. She took a pillow and placed it across the middle of the bed. "Now lie down, on your back with that under your bottom." She eased the now shuddering woman down on to the bed and made sure the cushion was firmly under her buttocks. "For your increased pleasure," she smiled. She arranged another pillow comfortably under her head, pushed the twitching legs apart and then began deftly to caress the shaking woman's orifice. Gladys began to moisten at once. "Are you ready Charles?" she called without even turning her head.
Charles by now was removing the last of his underwear. Miriam turned to look and said approvingly, "I think you'll do very nicely." She took him in her arms and led him to the bed. "Kneel," she ordered, "Kneel on the bed, between her legs." Charles did so. He was now resigned to doing whatever he was told. She eased him forward and down slowly, fondling and stroking his member as she did so. It had already begun to stiffen and throb. When touch contact was made she expertly guided it in. The formerly reluctant male himself lurched convulsively forward, driving it fully home. Gladys, who had already started to whimper, squealed and then began to moan softly. Charles started to pummel her slowly and then increasingly more swiftly. Gladys started to twitch and writhe.
Smiling, Miriam watched until the the act was well advanced, then switched down the bed head light and silently withdrew.
Over an hour later Miriam was sitting in the lounge room reading one of Charles' books. She had removed her trench coat. Charles and Gladys, both fully dressed, came in together and silently walked over to her. They stood side by side. Gladys was unbound and holding the head scarf and tea towels she had been tied up with. Without a word she handed Miriam her scarf. Charles spoke, "Perhaps we should talk?"
"Indeed we should," smiled Miriam, "And eat too. It's getting late. Why don't we go to the Highland Grill, it's only a couple of miles down the highway. It's a somewhat up market eating place but on a week night like this we should be able to get a quiet table. And," she also commented, "It'll save you the trouble of feeding us here."
Charles nodded. Perhaps he was relieved at not having to prepare a meal for his two visitors. Twenty five minutes later they were seated at a secluded table in the Highland Grill. It proved a good choice. They had good food washed down with a good bottle of red wine. After a few drinks Gladys became quite talkative about her life of recent years. It sounded like a bleak lonely existence.
Back at his home Charles agreed to put his two lady guests up for the night. Miriam could sleep in the guest room. He did not mention the arrangements for Gladys.
Next morning, after breakfast Charles and Miriam talked privately for an hour, this being the original reason for her coming here. Finally, about ten she said to the others it was time she went. "I've got to get this car back to the hire car agency. Then take a train down to the city. And from there, get out to the airport. I've got a flight to catch late this afternoon." She got into her trench coat, buttoned and belted it, put on her headscarf and dark glasses and picked up her black handbag. She looked exactly as she had eighteen hours before when she had first appeared at Gladys' home. She turned and looked at the comfortably seated Gladys. "Do you want me to run you home?"
"No need," said Charles, "I'll take her back."
"As you wish. Well then, I'll say goodbye to you both." She gave Charles a caress on the cheek and then took Gladys' household keys out of her raincoat pocket and gave them to her. "You'll need these darling," she smiled and then bent down, embraced and kissed her. "Best of luck." This last in a whisper.
The two stood at the top of the front steps as she got into her car.
Both waved as she drove off. She glanced back briefly and waved in reply.
She saw they were holding hands.
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