Ladies Westward

by Uto

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© Copyright 2018 - Uto - Used by permission

Storycodes: Solo-F; F+/f+; M/f; force; bond; cloth; gag; kidnap; van; transport; captive; room; interrogate; drug; rom; sex; climax; cons; X

The scene was a comfortable middle class home in a well to do city suburb. The time, late afternoon on a cold Autumn day. Grace Lesage was sitting in her lounge room idly looking through a weekly magazine. She was in her mid fifties with a still trim, firm figure with an attractive oval face framed with short straight brown hair. She had a pleasant manner and smiled frequently. She had been widowed for eighteen years but had never remarried. Instead, she had concentrated on raising and educating her single daughter Tania. This young lady had had a troubled schooling and Grace had some difficulty putting her through university, but in the end had done it successfully.

Tania managed to get a good graduation pass and had immediately gone into the world of computerised finance and now had a very good position with a national corporation. She was regarded as a highly successful young woman. Her mother had trained and originally worked as a teacher. She had liked it but had given it up on losing her husband. Well provided for in her widowhood, she had concentrated solely on getting Tania a good start in life. And clearly her daughter had done that.

Now, Grace was able to relax and was also bored out of her highly intellectual mind. There were times when she wished she was back teaching again. At least out in the world meeting people. She was a fit, active and capable woman who had nothing on which to exercise her abilities. Furthermore, she had not enjoyed male companionship in years.

She still lived with Tania who came and went in her progress up the ladder of corporate computer finance. Grace's own social life was virtually non existent. She very much wanted male company and cursed the fact that there was not a single unattached male she wanted to associate with in the entire respectable middle class neighbourhood she now lived in. She balked at the idea of making social contacts via the personal columns in the press or internet. The pub/club scene was out of the question.

Quite literally Grace needed a man. She was a healthy active woman with demanding appetites, physical and mental. And wanted them satisfied.

And then the front door bell rang.

Mischievously, hopefully (but not realistically) she told herself that perhaps this was the male she long desired and hurried down the hall to the front entrance. Pausing at the doorway, she looked quickly through the small square window to the side of the door which gave a view of the porch outside.

Disillusionment. Two women stood there.

They were wearing overcoats, buttoned to the throat. And also hats with sloping brims which had the effect of hiding their faces. They both wore black leather gloves and dark glasses. Vaguely, at the back of Grace’s mind a question occurred. Why dark glasses? Nightfall wasn’t far away and the entire day had been dark, cloudy and overcast.

The woman directly in front of the door was well built, perhaps in her early forties, carried a large black handbag and had a friendly face. Her companion, standing slightly behind her, was turned to one side and seemed more interested in looking at the surrounding houses and the street behind than the place they had come to. This one was about thirty, somewhat below average height, thin with a narrow face and a sharp chin. She had a bulging shopping holdall over one shoulder.

Probably selling or collecting for something thought Grace. Well, they’ll do no good here. She flung open the door and said “Yes, can I help you?”

The initiative was very swiftly taken out of her hands.

“You can indeed Grace,” the older woman said, “For a start we can come inside.” And with that she stepped forward, pushed the surprised householder backwards with both hands, forcing her back into the hall. The other woman, after one last look around behind, turned and quickly moved in behind them. Once inside, she quickly closed and locked the heavy front door. All three were the wide hallway.

Astonished by this, Grace briefly lost the power of speech, but soon regained it. “What!” She cried in a voice of outrage. “Just what do you think you’re doing? And how do you know my name? And what..mfff…” A black gloved hand was clamped firmly over her mouth. The second woman moved behind her and pinioned her arms. She was helpless.

“Now Grace,” the first woman said with just a trace of a smile, “We have some business to transact here. Unfortunately it’s going to involve tying you up. But that needn’t be unpleasant if you’re sensible. We’ve got chloroform which we’ll use if absolutely necessary but we hope we won’t have to. Remember there’re two of us and we’re used to subduing people. It’d be better for us all if you remained calm and let us do what we have to do.” She paused. “Nod, if you understand.”

Grace thought quickly. She knew she had no chance against both of these two who were younger, stronger and were probably being quite truthful in saying they were adept in overpowering people like herself. She assumed this was a robbery, with herself as a victim. She was going to be bound and probably gagged. She could do nothing against these two presumed, professional thieves. Reluctantly, and difficult though it was with a leather gloved hand pressed hard against her lips, she nodded.

What really troubled Grace was the knowledge that Tania was due home in less than an hour. She hoped that these two would have done what they wanted to and be gone by then. Her daughter would find her tied up and helpless. She could release her and the two of them would call the police. The last thing she wanted was for the pair to still be here when Tania arrived. If her daughter came home before they were gone she would certainly end up bound and gagged alongside her. She was ready to co-operate if it speeded their departure.

The two marched Grace down the hall and into the lounge room. They made her stand were she could not be seen through the windows. The younger woman was behind her all the time firmly holding her upper arms above the elbows. The older woman slipped the holdall off her companion’s shoulder and emptied the contents onto a small side table. It was full of neatly rolled torn strips of sheet and what Grace took to be prepared gags. She shuddered and wondered how tightly they would tie her up. She was wearing a neat long sleeved white blouse and a trim brown skirt which emphasised her still slim waist. How firmly would they tighten the strips around the thin sleeves?

As if to re-assure her the first woman said, “Well Grace, we do have to secure you but if you’ll just relax and remain calm, we'll make you as comfortable as possible. You needn’t be upset.” And with that they set to bind her arms using the prepared strips.

They crossed her wrists behind her back and looped them several times with a thick strip and secured the binding with a firm reef knot. Next they lashed her arms to her sides with several wide pieces of sheeting and then cinched them above the elbows. All the time they bound with care and made sure none of the lengths were twisted, which could have been painful. They even tried to be neat. Finally they bound her secured wrists to her waist. Grace’s upper body now looked like a carefully wrapped mummy and she could not move her arms an inch, but, thanks to the care that had been taken, she felt reasonably comfortable. And she was appreciative of this. The two women stepped back to survey their efforts. They looked pleased too.

“And now Grace,” said the older woman, “If you’ll just step over here and sit down,” she indicated the lounge, “We’ll get on with tying those shapely legs.” Grace ignored the compliment and walked over and sat down in the middle of the sofa. Taking some more of the strips the woman knelt in front of her and began to tie her ankles. She turned to her companion.

“I'll finish this,” she said “You go and look at the rest of the house.” The thin woman turned an left the room. Grace wondered at the use of the phrase ‘look at.’ Was it a euphemism for robbery?

Meanwhile the woman finished binding her ankles, had lifted her skirt and was now tying her legs above the knees. She did this with the same neatness and care she and her accomplice had shown with the earlier part of the bondage. Grace was becoming puzzled. Something about this robbery, if that’s what it was, didn’t seem right. She decided to talk to her captor.

“I don’t keep much money in the house,” she began, “And there’s not much in the way of valuables. Are you sure you’ve come to the right place?” There were a some wealthy households in the neighbourhood and this did seem a possibility.

The woman by now had completely tied her captive’s legs. She stood up, carefully put the unused strips back in the holdall and smiled. “Quite sure Grace,” she commented, “And you can take some comfort from the fact we’re not going to ransack the place. Or steal the housekeeping money from the kitchen. Nothing so crude as that.” She assured her, “There’s only a couple of items we want.”

She looked around her, “You’ve got a very nice place here, you know. Fully paid for too.” Grace started. How did she know that? “Pity there’s no man in your life. You feel the need for one, don’t you?” How does she know all of this, wondered her victim? “But I don’t suppose it’s easy in this part of the world.”

She continued. “You see, I know what the unattached males here are like. They’re either never married because no-one wanted them anyway or separated, perhaps divorced for reasons good and sufficient. That’s if they’re not fortune hunters.”

How’d she find this out? Grace had the feeling she had been thoroughly investigated, long before this home invasion had begun.

The captor turned, walked slowly around the room. She made no effort to join her companion, she seemed only interested in staying where she could keep an eye on Grace. She looked carefully at some of the ornaments and furnishings.

She stopped in front of a glass fronted cabinet and studied some of the contents. Finally she opened it, took out a porcelain vase, held it with some care and looked at it closely. Then she turned and said inquiringly to Grace, “This’s late Ming Dynasty, isn’t it?”

Surprised, Grace simply nodded. The woman replaced it as carefully as she had taken it out. “I thought so. It’s valuable. You should keep it locked away. Though I suppose if they wanted it, they’d get it anyway. And you'd probably end up bound and gagged again.” She smiled.

At that moment the thin woman re-entered the room. “House all clear, neat and tidy.” She reported. “And the daughter’s just arrived. Her car's turned into the driveway.”

“Well then,” retorted her partner, “We must receive her. But first we’ll have to silence Grace. We don’t want her interrupting things, do we?” She took a prepared gag out of the holdall and moved over to the bound lady of the house.

Grace protested at the prospect of being gagged. “You don’t have to do this. I’m not the hysterical type. I’ll mfff…” Whatever else she had to say was lost. The gag, which consisted of a damp wad tied in the middle of a long narrow strip was firmly and effectively bedded in her mouth and secured at the back of her neck. She could now only make muffled mewing sounds.

All three heard Tania’s car going down the driveway and then the sound of the garage door closing. The back door opened and the sound of footsteps was heard in the kitchen and dining room. The two women silently positioned themselves on either side of the connecting door.

“Mum. Mum, where are you?" Tania’s voice was heard from the dining room.

Tania swept hurriedly into the lounge room, not seeing the two intruders against the wall on either side of the doorway. All she saw was her mother sitting on the couch, writhing against her bonds and trying vainly to speak through the gag in her mouth.

“Mum!” she gasped, “Who did this! Who tied you up like that.”

Tania herself, was a young woman around the thirty mark. Athletically, solidly trim like her mother, she had inherited her mother’s oval faced good looks. Her similarly short hair was neatly and carefully waved. As befitted a successfully rising young female executive she was wearing a tasteful, somewhat costly, blue business suit. Over this, because of the worsening weather outside, she wore an expensive, dark blue, belted trench coat, buttoned to the throat. In all, Tania looked like what she was - a young lady definitely going places.

After the first shock of seeing her mother bound and gagged,Tania looked looked sharply round the room. And saw her assailants. The older woman spoke, “Good evening Tania. As you can see, your mother’s a little tied up at the moment. As unfortunately, we’re going to have to do for you. But,” she continued, “She’s reasonably at ease. As you can be too. If you’re sensible. Then we’ll get on with what we have to do.”

Unlike her mother who still thought this was a common burglary, Tania seemed to have a better grasp of what was really happening. “Who are you?" she asked quietly, “Or, more importantly, who sent you?”

The woman smiled. “That will be revealed in the fullness of time. Meanwhile, it's necessary to tie you up. As your mother is.” A frown crossed Tania’s face. The woman went on, “I might point out we’re very skilled at overpowering people and we’re well equipped with anaesthetics, and -.” She opened the black handbag which she had been carrying when she entered the house and held up a small black pistol. “We have this. But we think you’re a sensible girl and none of these will be necessary.”

Tania looked at her long and hard and finally gave the faintest of nods.The woman replied, “Very well then. Let’s get on with it.” The pair stood Tania in almost the exact spot where her mother had been and began to tie her wrists and arms. The stiff, shiny waterproof fabric of her raincoat rustled softly as the cloth strips were pulled tight and knotted.

Their captive was inclined to talk. “You’re from Ardcorp, aren’t you?” she asked.

The older woman laughed, “You probably won’t believe this, but we don’t know. We're never told anything like that.”

“Oddly enough, I do believe you,” said Tania.

Swiftly, the pair completed the binding of the raincoated young woman, then marched her to the lounge and sat her next to her mother. As with Grace herself, the older woman knelt down and began to tie her ankles and legs. She said to the other, “It’s almost time for them to get here. Go to the front door and put the porch light on. That’s what they’ll be looking for. When they get here wave them straight into the driveway.” The other woman left the room.

“Might I ask,” said Tania, “Just what is going to happen to us.”

“Let’s say you’re both going on a journey to interesting places. But, if all goes according to plan you should both be back here again in a few days as good as new. However that depends on you being sensible and co-operative, Tania my dear.” By now Tania’s legs had been firmly tied. The woman smoothed the skirts of the raincoat over them

Tania became serious. “All right. I can understand your interest in me, but is it necessary to drag my mother into this? She has nothing at all to do with what you want. She’s of no use whatsoever to you.”

“Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong Tania. Your mother is going to be very useful to us indeed.” The older woman smiled. “But enough of this. You’ve already asked too many questions darling. Time to gag you too.” She pulled another gag similar to the one they had used on Grace out of the carry bag. “Open your pretty mouth.”

As Grace had, Tania protested. “You don’t have to gag me. I’m…mmff” Mother and daughter now sat side by side on the sofa, both tightly bound and each with a large and very effective gag in her mouth.

The second woman reappeared from the front. “They’re here,” she said “They’ve just turned in. I’ll go and meet them at the back door.”

All four could hear a vehicle going quietly down the driveway. Though they could not see it, it was a small plain unmarked grey van. It was driven by two women, both wearing identical grey boilersuits with matching peaked caps. They looked like contract cleaners, though their outfits were unmarked by any logo. The other woman met them at the kitchen doorway and led them into the house.

One was a strongly built, large woman with a square cheerful looking face and a round chin. The other was smaller, slighter and had her cap pulled down to conceal her face. She carried two folded plastic rain capes over one arm.

“Good evening ladies,” began the larger of the two newcomers cheerily, “I believe there are a couple of packages here awaiting shipment.” She looked at the bound mother and daughter. “And these, I suppose are them.” She playfully stroked Tania under the chin, “And neatly wrapped packages too, I must say. I’m sure they’ll travel well.” The young woman glared and jerked her head away.

"Time we were moving,” said the older woman. She and her companion knelt, quickly untied the captives feet and ankles and lifted them to their feet. The other two took the rain capes the smaller one had carried and deftly slipped them over the pair, pulling their heads through the neck holes and then pulling the rain hoods right over them. This completely concealed the fact that both were bound and gagged.

A quick look round, and then the quartet pushed their captives out of the room. The smaller woman carefully put out the lights.

Outside in the darkened driveway the large back door of the van was opened and mother and daughter were lifted inside. A light was put on showing a padded bench seat along each side. Grace and Tania were forced to sit down facing each other and straps were used to secure them to upright wall supports. “I’ll travel in the back and keep an eye on them,” said the older woman. Her smaller companion opted to do the same, saying it would be too crowded with three in the front. The other two nodded, closed the door and went around the vehicle and got into the passenger and drivers seats.

The van was quietly reversed back down the driveway. Out on the street the lights were switched on and the vehicle driven off into the gathering dusk. The whole abduction had taken little more than an hour.

The van travelled for about half an hour and was then parked in what appeared to be a quiet, dark side street off a main road. The two in the front got out and opened the rear door. “Transhipment point for one of you, ladies,” said the larger of the pair. Meanwhile the other two had already unstrapped Tania and hoisted her to her feet. She was lifted out and moved to a car already parked under a shadowy tree a few yards away.

Tania was forced into the back of this vehicle and one of the van’s two original drivers got in with her. This second car was then immediately driven away. The older woman turned and said to her companion, “You travel in the front. There’ll only be two of you now. I’ll stay and keep Grace company,” she said, “She’s probably wondering what’s going on.”

Grace was indeed wondering what was going on, and not at all pleased at being separated from her daughter. Meanwhile, the other two closed the van's back door and got in the front. They turned it round and back onto the main road.

During this time the other woman turned the van’s interior light on, checked Grace’s strap bindings and then thoughtfully removed her gag. Which she hung conveniently around her neck. “I think you’re sensible enough not to shout or scream,” she smiled, “And, we can perhaps talk.”

And there was a lot Grace wanted to talk about. “Where’ve you taken my daughter?” She snapped.

“Not far,” was the easy response, “I can at least tell you that. It’s only information they want out of her. Nothing physical’s going to happen to her.” She went on, “It’s possible they might use truth drugs but she won’t be hurt. She’s not going to be shipped out of the country, though there are some people who would pay a great deal to have her in their power. There’s a very good market for talented young ladies like her in the Middle East. We've even sent them as far as Latin America."

Grace ignored this, “This’s to do with the work she does? Isn’t it?”

“Well I think I can tell you that certain people are interested in the connections between Com-International. Her firm, as you know. And a certain, recently come to power, African dictator. This man has an appalling war crimes record. When you deal with people like that you must expect others to use unorthodox methods too.”

The woman went on, “If your daughter’s sensibly co-operative she should be back with you in a couple of days and you’ll both be back in your own home.”

“My daughter’s not easily intimidated. A threat to kidnap her and send her out of the country wouldn’t frighten her.”

The woman laughed, “It’s not her they’d be threatening to send overseas. It’d be you, Grace darling. But being the dutiful daughter we know her to be, she’ll do anything to prevent that. And in any case they’ve got some very sophisticated truth drugs to jog her memory.”

Grace was appalled at the thought of herself being abducted and transported to parts unknown. “Me!” She ejaculated, “Are you serious? I haven’t got any skills that’d be any use in those countries. I know nothing about computers, finance or international big business. I’m not even tertiary educated. I was a teacher, a primary school teacher, and not even for many years at that. What use would I be there? And besides,” she added, somewhat reluctantly. “I’m no longer young. What use would I be to those men?”

“Don’t sell yourself short Gracie,” the woman chuckled,”You’d be surprised at the number of potentates over there who want a mature English speaking governess to make sure their children learn to speak correct English fluently, and learn western ways and manners thoroughly. Very important to them later in life. You’d be discreetly attached to a well supervised household, probably in a remote area, to look after several of the little darlings. Of course, you’d be the personal property of the master the house, subject to whatever he wanted to do to for his own amusement and those more mature men prefer English speaking women of their own age group. There’d be a wife as well, more than one perhaps, but she’d have to accept you as part of the household. She’d be used to him having mistresses. The women don’t have much say in that part of the world.

“You’d be part of a large household,” she went on, "And indeed, if you did your job well enough, you might end up in a favoured position. There’d be a few expatriate western males, possibly some fellow countrymen in the area. Trained men who practice their skills for some of the locals and who don’t want to come home for whatever reason. If you became essential you might be allowed to form a discreet relationship with one of them to cater for your needs.” She smiled, “Yes Grace, you’d be very much surprised at how useful you’d be in that part of the world.

All this time the van was travelling swiftly. Smoothly, quietly, on a country highway, purposefully heading somewhere. Grace, securely bound, still wrapped in her cape and strapped to the van wall support was not uncomfortable. Her captor, seeing she was not hysterical or abusive, was inclined to be friendly. She kept the light on and the two women talked. Grace found it informative.

They travelled for over an hour then the van slowed and finally came to a halt. The woman quickly unstrapped her from the wall, slipped the cape off and lifted her upright. “For the next few minutes, it’s better you don’t see,” she said and pulled a long black cloth from the shopping holdall, which had been placed on the seat and firmly, carefully blindfolded her. Meanwhile the other two had come round and opened the back door.

They lifted her out. Grace felt she was standing on a solid surface, perhaps a driveway. Rustling breezes told her there were many trees around. Was she in a country area? One of the three women pushed her forward, she sensed passing through a doorway, then along what must have been a paved corridor. Two of her captors had gone ahead. She heard their voices some distance away.

“What do you mean?” Her travelling companion from the van was saying heatedly. “You’re the only one here. Where is everyone?”

A soft male voice answered. “Just that. There’s only me. They’re all at the Mountains Festival. It’s a big thing in this part of the world. Some of the girls will be back in an hour or so and everyone will be here by tomorrow morning, but, for the moment, I'm the only one in the place.”

“They knew we’d be bringing an item in for processing at this time?”

“Indeed they did,” replied the man’s voice, “They told me about it. And I’ve made full preparation for it. The lady can be accommodated.”

“I’m going to say something to Madame when I see her."

The bound and blindfolded Grace reached the two speakers and halted. She was then ushered further along the corridor, heard a lock click and again felt she was entering a doorway. She was stopped and felt nimble fingers untying her bonds. Last of all, her blindfold was removed and she could see again.

She was in a large room, about three and a half metres wide and seven long. Smooth concrete floor and painted plaster walls. There was a horizontal barred window high up on what must be an outer wall. At one end there was a partitioned off area in which she could see a cabinet, washbasin and mirror. To one side there was a curtained shower recess and on the other a wooden door, presumably a toilet. At the other end was a small table with two chairs. In the middle were two tubular steel frame beds, made up with mattresses, blankets and pillows. Everything was neat, clean and tidy.

“Well Grace,” said the older of her two abductors who was standing beside her, helping her companion stow her bindings and blindfold into the holdall they had used throughout, “This’ll be your home for the next few days. How long, depends on how co-operative daughter Tania is. But we understand she’s likely to be.”

Grace looked around. Her gaze lighted on the man whom had met them when they arrived, standing just inside the door.

He was a tall thin man, about the same age as herself. Even the same build as she was. He had a narrow face, a high forehead and a full head of hair, just starting to grey. He looked friendly and, as if to show this, smiled and said, “You’ll find everything you need, towels, washers, even toiletries, the bed soft and the blankets warm. And there’ll be absolutely nothing to disturb your sleep.”

The first woman spoke again. “We’ll bring you something to eat when required and we’ll keep an eye on you. And for now, we’ll leave you to it. Make yourself comfortable. Light switch beside the door.” She turned and walked out, ushering the other two with her. The door closed, the lock clicked and Grace was left alone in her new surroundings.

She went to one of the metal framed beds and sat on it. She remained there for a long while, just sitting, looking around at the room. She noticed a small bookcase in a far corner. She got up and walked over to look at the titles.

To her utter astonishment many were works of a philosophical nature. She pulled one out, took it back to the bed, sat down and began to look through it.

She was still doing this when a knock sounded on the door.

She looked up. The lock turned, the door opened and the man who had left half an hour before came in. He was holding a tray containing two steaming mugs of what looked like hot chocolate and a small plate of biscuits.

“It seemed to me,” he began smilingly, “You were left alone somewhat abruptly, without any explanation. Also that you might be a little hungry by now, and, that you might want to talk.”

Well this last was certainly true. There were a lot of questions Grace wanted to ask. And she would appreciate something to eat. She stood up. The man came over, put the tray in the middle of the side of the bed and sat down beside it. After some hesitation she sat on the other side.

“Well then,” she began, “It’s been a while since I’ve had anything to eat.” She wasn’t going to thank these people. After all, they had kidnapped her, abducted her from her own home. She picked up a mug and cautiously began to sip. It was was hot and sweet. “You mentioned talking?” She said.

“Talk away if you wish,” the man smiled. He seemed friendly. That they were about the same age probably helped.

She took a deep breath. “Where is this place?”

“You’ll understand that I can’t tell you that exactly. Let’s say it’s in a remote area.”

She looked around the room. “What is this building?”

“Long ago it was a grand country estate but suffered various misfortunes and for a while fell on hard times. But there’s been a lot spent on it recently. Now, many people work - and live here - quite agreeably and comfortably. This room was once part of the servant quarters. Later a storeroom, hence the barred window. Now it’s an overnight stopping place for captive ladies on their way to far places."

Grace was determined to press on. “That woman in the van told me you kidnap young women, drug them and ship them bound and gagged to places like the Middle East. You’re white slavers.”

The man’s smile faded. “A gross oversimplification and not true anyway. I’m surprised she told you that.” In fact, she hadn’t. Grace, in the hope of finding out more about her own situation, had used her imagination. In truth the woman had simply said that part of their operations was to send girls overseas.

The man went on. “Let’s say we’re suppliers of specialist skills and labour. The fact that they’re inevitably young women is understandable. That’s what our purchasers want. As a rule most of the girls, in the long run, go to better situations than they were in here.”

“And you ship them from this house?”

“Not from here. This is merely a staging place. A way station. They pass through here. The actual point of transhipment is further to the west. It has its own private airstrip.”

Grace looked at the man. “You’re telling me a lot. And yet you say I’ll eventually end up back in my own home. If that happens, aren’t you concerned that I might report everything that I’ve seen and heard here?”

“My dear Grace,” the man’s smile was back, “If either you or your daughter so much as breathe a word about what you’ve seen, you’ll both quickly disappear and you’ll both end up in some remote part of the Middle East, or more likely Latin America. And there’ll be no coming back.”

“But,” he went on, "Tania fully understands this, and it’s important you do too. Right now, I believe she’s being very co-operative where she is. Some very interesting facts are coming to light. It seems her employers, Com-International, have had some questionable dealings with various warlords and other unsavoury characters. Information no one wants to see the light of day.”

“And so,” still smiling, the man leaned back, “Dear Gracie, all you have to do is relax and enjoy your stay here. You’ll be quite comfortable. And simply wait until we send you back home." He picked up the other mug and drank a mouthful.

Grace, sipped from her own mug and nibbled at a biscuit. She was quiet and pensive. She decided it would be smarter not to ask any more about this organisation that she had fallen in with. She drank some more chocolate.

Meanwhile the man, now completely relaxed, had picked up the philosophical book she had brought to the bed and looked at it. He glanced toward the bookcase. “Some very deep books there,” he explained “Some of the ladies who pass through here are very cultured and we try to cater for all tastes.”

He went on, looking at the book, “Nietzche indeed, I wonder what he’d have made of this operation here.” He laughed, “Possibly he’d have understood it very well.” Grace considered what he meant. She understood a little about philosophy.

“Your social life appears pretty limited Grace,” he went on, changing the subject. “Granted, you’re in a comfortable upper middle class area, but after twelve years living there you’d know it to be full of retirees, widows, widowers, people divorced and more than a few fortune hunters on the make I’d say. But very few you could really talk to. Intellectually, I mean.”

Grace was amazed at the personal information these people had about her. But, oddly she didn’t mind discussing it. She assumed that after this particular episode was over, she’d never see any of them again. And the ones she’d spoken to so far had some deep insights into human nature.

She admitted this was true. And then added cautiously that he sounded as if he knew the area himself.

He laughed. “I’m thinking of retiring myself and actually considered your area. I’ve made my pile, one way and another and I’ve been very comfortable here.” He reminisced fondly “I enjoyed a delightful relationship but that’s past now. Sadly, my partner died recently and I want to move away.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” instinctively, involuntarily, this slipped out, even though Grace had earlier resolved she had no reason to be nice to these kidnappers.

Her companion nodded. “Thank you. We had many good years together, but we’re all vulnerable.” He continued. “Now it’s time to move on.” He smiled “And your area is one of the places I’ve considered settling in. That’s how I know about it.”

Grace nursed her cup of chocolate. She decided this personal conversation was safer than talking about what these people really did here.

“So you’re without a partner now. What’re you doing for companionship then? Taking advantage of some of the ladies who pass through here?” She regretted this at once, particularly after just deciding not to discuss what happened in this place.

But the man simply smiled. “You have some lurid ideas of what we do here. Management doesn't always approve of that, you might be surprised to know.” He went on, “I keep my eyes open. But you’re right, I am looking for a companion.”

Grace silent for a while. She wondered if she had gone too far implying he was in a position to have his way with captive women here. At the same time she reflected his situation seemed so similar to her own. She had been on the lookout for a suitable companion for years.

He looked at her. “Perhaps I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering if I’m going to take advantage of yourself. Tie you down to one of these beds and penetrate you forcibly?” He smiled again, indeed he gave the impression of being one who smiled a lot. “I’ll bet you haven’t had a love experience for long time.”

“Over a year,” she snapped, “And that’s a year too long. Not that it’s any of your business.” Here she looked at him carefully, “But perhaps it is.” Purposefully, she decided to take a firm line in this unfolding drama.

“Anyhow,” she continued in a serious voice, “Am I to suppose if I’m not co-operative you’ll tie me up and take me by force? Am I right?”

His face became serious and he disregarded her last remark. “Like yourself, I haven’t made love in many months. It'd be my first indulgence since my partner went. For a long while I just couldn’t face it without her.”

Grace became serious too. It had been a long time indeed since she had enjoyed the delights of love. From what these people said she and Tania would both be home eventually and they’d never see any of them again. This looked like an opportunity worth seizing. “Well then. Let’s both try and make it worthy of her memory.”

He looked at her questioningly, “Alright then. Let’s do that.”

They stood up. Both undressed quickly. Grace’s blouse and skirt, his shirt and trousers, all placed neatly on the second bed. Footwear removed and pushed under the bed. Finally their underwear was slipped off and arranged carefully on the outer garments. Hesitatingly, they faced each other.

Grace’s heartbeat quickened. Her first fuck in fourteen months and with the man, his first since his partner had departed the scene. Yet generously, her only thought was a prayer, God, let me make him feel it was worthwhile, a worthy first indulgence since her departure. They climbed between the sheets of the second bed.

Grace moistened quickly and her partner found her easy to penetrate. He hesitated at first and she used every one of her long unused skills to help him. Slowly, gradually he began to thrust at her and she did everything she could to encourage him. At last he began to drive at her in an ever increasing tempo. She went from an active to a passive response and began a series of moans of ecstasy that were anything but faked.

Finally the both climaxed simultaneously with sounds of mutual delight which must have been heard at a great distance.

All energies spent, they lay silently and passively in each other’s arms. “See,” she whispered, “It wasn’t so difficult after all, was it?” She reflected a while. “And I hope you felt it a worthy tribute to your friend.”

"No, no, not difficult at all,” he whispered. “And she’d have approved. I’m sure she would.”

Some time after he got up, dressed quickly and prepared to leave. Before he went he handed her a small towel from the washstand. She remained in bed. He assured he’d see her tomorrow when he brought her meals. He left, switching off the light and locking the door behind him. Grace was content.

In the morning light flooded the room through the high window. Grace showered and shortly after her companion of the evening brought her breakfast. He stayed part of the morning and the two later indulged in an equally satisfactory manner as the night before. He came again in mid afternoon and the two conversed about the near future. It seemed her companion really had made some investigation about settling near Grace’s part of the city. And she made it clear that now she would prefer their association continued, at least for a while. They looked at the contents of the book case and discovered they had some intellectual leanings in common.

The man brought her dinner in the early evening. Once again on a tray, it was adequate, and filling. Grace noticed the crockery, cutlery and other items were always spotlessly clean. This time her companion ate with her. He was able to tell her she would be taken home soon. Tania, it seemed had been splendidly co-operative.

After the meal they had a final coupling which, though of slower pace than the earlier ones, was enormously satisfactory. Grace, by now, wished only that they had met long before.

On completion, she dressed and was just strapping on her shoes when the two ladies who had first abducted her entered the room. Both were dressed for travelling, overcoated, wearing hats and their black leather gloves. Exactly as she had first seen them, nearly thirty long hours ago.

Quietly, tersely, they informed her she was to travel that night and that it was necessary to bind and gag her again. They had brought their shopping holdall with them. Their manner was businesslike, they were quick and determined. Grace sensed they were well aware how she had spent the last twenty four hours. Her companion stood by but did take part in her final bondage. He made sure she was bound comfortably.

They had tied her wrists and arms and were preparing to gag her. Both Grace and the man said this was not necessary. The two women said it was. At this moment the door opened.

A woman came in. She was perhaps approaching sixty with the trim athletic figure of someone who has always carefully looked after herself. Her face was square, determined with a firm chin. She had piercing blue eyes. Her hair was short, lightly brown rinsed and very neat. She wore what looked like a belted grey uniform but smartly tailored to fit her. Grace could see it was of very good quality fabric. Because of this and the look of purpose on her face she exuded authority.

“Well ladies,” she began, “Getting ready for the road I see,” she turned to Grace and playfully stroked her under the chin, “And you’d be Grace Lesage who’s been our guest these last twenty four hours.”

The already bound Grace flinched. She did not like being fondled like this. She jerked her head back. The woman asked, “Do you know who I am?”

Grace did not know how to answer this, but thought she’d best be careful what she said. She did want to go home and sensed this lady was in a position to stop it if she wanted to. “Well, no,” she replied guardedly, “You’re a matron, someone in charge, aren’t you?”

The woman laughed, the other three said nothing, but smiled deferentially. “I’m certainly in charge here,” she said with authority, “And I’m generally addressed as ‘Ma’am,’ though sometimes,’ she glanced at the others, “I’m referred to as ‘Madame' behind my back.”

Grace was beginning to understand. On the night of her arrival her older captor had said she would complain to ‘Madame’ because there was only one person here to meet them.

“Well Grace,” the lady in charge went on.”I hope you had a pleasant stay with us. We try to make our visitors as comfortable as we can. I believe you were looked after quite well.” She glanced briefly at the man.

“One thing you must understand Grace,” she said turning back to the captive, “You will say absolutely nothing about what you have seen here. Neither you nor Tania. Tania already knows this. If either of you do, both of you will disappear as suddenly and completely as if you had never existed. Do I make myself clear?” The penetrating blue eyes never left the bound woman’s face. Grace nodded.

“Well then,” this lady, so obviously in command, stepped back and looked at Grace’s torn sheet bindings.”Very neatly bound,” she turned to her two captors, “Use a proper ball gag on her. She’ll be more comfortable.” She eyed the rain cape she had worn on they journey to this place, “She’ll probably need that. There’s no telling who’ll be around at the other end.”

"Well Grace.” She turned to the captive once more, “Bon voyage. I hope you’ll have a pleasant trip home. Tania will be there ahead of you. She’ll be drugged but she’ll revive and untie you. Remember, not a word from either of you about where you’ve been.”

She concluded, “I thought this would be the only time I’d ever see you Grace. Now, I’m not so sure. Perhaps, we’ll meet again.” With this enigmatic remark she kissed Grace on the cheek and walked out of the room.

“That was Ma’am. She’s the boss lady,” murmured the older woman. And true to the boss lady’s instructions they produced a red rubber ball gag, fitted it carefully into Grace’s mouth and secured it firmly at the back of her neck. And it was more comfortable, as predicted. Lastly, they fitted the rain cape she had worn on way out, pulled the hood over her head and took her out to the van outside.

The journey home was like the trip away, only in reverse. They arrived in the early morning. Tania was, as forecast, already there in the lounge room, lying in the most comfortable armchair, well anaesthetised. They placed Grace on the lounge opposite her and bound her ankles and thighs. Before they went they retrieved their ball gag and cape, jokingly saying they’d need them for the next abduction. The gag was replaced by a simple damp folded wad of cloth. Her daughter was already showing signs of reviving as they were leaving.

Tania regained consciousness and untied her mother. The two embraced thankfully and then had a long talk together. Both felt this very necessary before they did anything.

Later, Tania was to admit privately to her firm that information had been obtained from her by questioning and drugs. But she had been astute and smart enough to get something from them, both from the questions asked and observing data on the computer they had forced her to use. She was more talented than they had thought. Consequently, when she had finally reported back she was able to give valuable insights about one of their most dangerously competitive corporate trade rivals. They were at least grateful to get this intelligence. She still held her position with the company.

It was well over a month later. Winter had come and it was late afternoon of a cold bleak day of frequent rain showers.

Grace was approaching the shopping mall in her suburb. Because of the weather she was using her umbrella and wearing a long shiny blue plastic raincoat, buttoned to the throat and tightly belted. To keep her feet dry she had worn ankle length rubber rain boots. The rain began to get heavier and she hurried into an arcade in the mall. She did not know she was being observed.

Taking cover in the shelter of the arcade, Grace was shaking droplets off her umbrella. And then a voice spoke behind her.

“Hello Grace.”

She spun around startled. Standing against a shopfront was her companion of nearly five weeks ago. He was wearing a dark, belted leather jacket and black jeans. And he was smiling, much the way she remembered him.

“Well, hello,” she began, startled, “I was wondering if I’d ever see you again. You’ve let some time go by. It’s been weeks now. You’ve taken your time.”

At this, he seemed hesitant. He’d clearly been unsure of what her reaction might be. “I know. It took longer to tidy up my affairs than I thought. And then Madame came up with something she wanted me to do before I went. She, by the way,” he added, “Asked about you. She remembers you.”

She was staring intently at him. Then looked quickly from left to right. Her wet raincoat rustled softly. This seemed to worry him. Perhaps he thought she was about to call out in a loud voice that this man was one of a group that had kidnapped her, carried her away bound and gagged and then held her captive for a day and a half. “Look Grace,” he began, “If you don’t want anything to do with me, I’ll…”

Her gaze returned to his face. Slowly it softened, she even smiled herself, “I must have been something special if I’m remembered out of all the tied and gagged captives your organisation no doubt handles.” Her raincoat swished as she walked towards him. “I was looking around at a coffee place at the end of this arcade. It’ll be deserted in this weather. I suggest we adjourn there, have two quiet coffees and discuss this matter further.”

He stepped to her side. “An admirable suggestion. Let’s do just that. There’s a lot we might talk about.” She even took his arm as they walked down the arcade.


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