Cicely and Beatrice were two young women in their late twenties who worked in the inner city. Both were computer programmers in the Treasury Finance building which directly adjoined a national government currency depository. Though they had worked here for several years neither had ever been in this very secure inner sanctum right next to their workplace.
Cicely was a tall slim, narrow waisted girl with an athletic figure. She had an oval face with a sharp chin, framed by straight brown hair in a neat page boy haircut.
Beatrice, was just slightly shorter in height but more firmly built and also had a trim waist. Her face was square with a determined look and her shoulder length hair, dark and wavy. Both girls were known to be of pleasant disposition and very good at their jobs. As was required in their situation, both dressed in a smart casual manner.
This particular evening, being a Friday, they had an after work drink at a nearby hotel and were now on the street in the gathering dusk not far from their place of work. Cicely proposed they go back there so that she could pick up something she'd left behind.
“But there’ll be no one at the security desk at the entrance. We won’t be able to get in,” said Beatrice.
Cicely explained, “Margot Minns is working back tonight for a few hours. She’s lent me her key. Which I’ve got to go back to give to her anyway. I’ll pick up what I need at the same time.”
Margot Minns was the girls’ immediate supervisor. A woman in her early-mid forties, she was slightly below average height, tending to plumpness with a jowly face that had not been particularly favoured by nature. Straight black hair, starting to grey and usually pulled back in a tight bun completed the picture. She always wore simple grey business suits. She was reputedly lacking in humour but both girls liked her and worked well under her. And that was all Margot asked.
Nobody knew that Margot was, privately, a very lonely person. Her usually stern, uncompromising nature had always made it difficult for her to make friends. Years back, in her late twenties there had been a brief, ill starred marriage which had ended in a most unhappy divorce and this had hurt her greatly.
And tonight Cicely and Beatrice were going to briefly see her in the empty office before going on to their own comfortable inner city flats and happy social lives.
They reached the building and let themselves in with some care. The key was intricate and the lock complicated. They entered and once inside Beatrice suggested, “We’d better put on our ID cards. We might run into someone from Security.” This seemed a good idea and they clipped their photo cards to the lapels of their jackets.
They reached their own large office. As they expected, the lights were on and Margot’s desk showed signs of recent occupation. Her desk light and personal computer were switched on, files and papers on the desktop. Surprisingly, there was no sign of Margot herself.
And something else was very unusual. On the far side of the room was a very solid security door with an electronic lock. On the other side of this wall was the currency depository. No one had ever seen this door open. Margot was said to be one of the few who knew the codes for it.
And tonight it was open. Only slightly, but open. The girls looked in astonishment.
“But where is she?” asked Cicely, “surely not in there. That’s the depository. No one’s allowed in there.”
Beatrice had a suggestion. “Perhaps she’s in the Staff Room. Let’s have a look.”
The Staff Room was off to the right. A large rectangular room, well supplied with comfortable chairs and a lounge. At one end were tea making facilities with crockery and cutlery. The other had wash basins, toilets, even a shower recess. They went in.
Margot Minns was indeed in the Staff Room. And that wasn’t all by any means. Four strange people were there with her.
This quartet - three women and one man - were all wearing identical dark green boiler suits and caps pulled down low over their foreheads. The man and one of the others wore dark glasses. They could have been contract cleaners though their suits had no insignia. The man they saw had a short, very black beard.
The four were clustered around Margot who stood upright in their midst. The girl’s eyes widened as they looked at her. She had been bound and gagged.
Her captors had used many lengths of soft white rope. Her wrists had been crossed behind her back and looped and knotted tightly. Four other pieces had been firmly tied around her upper body, both above and below her ample bust, causing her breasts to stand out prominently. Lastly, a large and probably uncomfortable gag had been forced into her mouth. This was secured in place by a cloth sash tied around her head and knotted under her bun. This last was very tight and caused her jowly cheeks to bulge. Margot could do little more than mew faintly. Her eyes stared out over all of this, mostly blearily - she looked as if she had been drugged and was just coming out of it - but also sometimes glaring with resentment.
Margot, in her usual well fitting business suit, looked like a neatly and carefully wrapped grey parcel.
One of the boiler suits was a commanding woman in her early forties, solid, athletic with a square face and a determined look about her. She was obviously in charge. She turned to face the girls.
“Well ladies,” she began. She had a pleasant sounding voice. “Unexpected new arrivals are we? As you can see Margot is a little tied up at the moment.” The faintest of smiles crossed her face at this. “We’ve been having a long but otherwise very rewarding talk with her and it’s perhaps left her a little fatigued. She should lie down for a while.”
She turned to the other three, who, having got Margot secured and effectively gagged, looked for further instructions. “Take her out to that Sick Bay on the other side of the room. It’s got a soft couch in it. Lay her down on that. And you…” she turned quietly to the male boiler suit, “You heard her talk about her private life. Work on her, there’s time enough. Offer her a little solace. God knows, she sounds as if she wants it, - and needs it.” The man nodded.
The three started to steer the bound Margot to the door. One of the women looked towards Cicely and Beatrice. “What about these two?”
The boss lady smiled. “Leave them to me. I’ll fix them up. If I need any help, I’ll call you.” The trio took Margot out.
She approached the two girls and saw their name tags. “Cicely and Beatrice I see. A couple of nice names. I’m usually called ‘Ma’am' if you want to say anything. And I might add that some of our people here are armed, but I don’t think it’ll come to that.” Again the smile.
“You’re going to tie us up?”
“Wrong. One of you is going to tie the other up. That way, it’ll be more comfortable. And I’ll bind the other.” She seized Cicely by the forearms and moved her in front of the lounge. “You, my dear, stand here. And you, Beatrice, you look the practical, capable one. Get some white rope out of that box there and tie her up.”
Beatrice looked worriedly at her friend but Cicely simply returned her gaze and said quietly, “It’s all right. It doesn’t matter. Go ahead and do it. If you don’t, she’ll only do it herself or get some of those others back here and we’ll both end up tied up tight like Margot.” She turned around and crossed her wrists behind her back.
“You’re a sensible girl.” The woman smiled again. She sounded as if she was enjoying this. Beatrice took some lengths of rope out of the box on the table.
She wound the rope several times around her friend’s crossed wrists and secured it with a good reef knot. Then she used two more lengths to bind her upper arms to her sides and then cinched this under the armpits.
“Very professional,” commented the boss lady who had been watching this intently. She tested the ropes for tightness. “Are you sure you haven’t done this before? Bondage games with your boyfriend perhaps? Anyway, that’ll do nicely. Cicely, you sit down on the edge of the lounge.” She turned to her friend, “Beatrice. It’s your turn.”
The woman bound Beatrice almost exactly the same way she had tied up Cicely. Wrists crossed behind, upper arms lashed under the bust and then cinched for additional tightness. This particular method had the effect of making each girl’s breasts stand out in sharp relief. She even commented, “Nice mammary development on both of you.”
When finally secured Beatrice was made to sit on the opposite end of the lounge. The woman then put a loop of rope around each girls' waist and lashed it to the wooden armrest at each end. “To anchor you both,” she explained, “We don’t want you wriggling around, getting together and perhaps untying each other, do we?” They glared. Lastly, she knelt in front of each, crossed their ankles and tied them.
Finally she stood facing them both, hands thrust deep into her boiler suit pockets. There was silence for a while then, as if in furtherance to the compliments she had already made, she spoke. “You know, you two have a lot going for you. Nice breasts, good figures, trim ankles. Young, reasonably good looking and, I gather, very good computer programmers by occupation. That’s quite a package.”
"You would be worth quite a lot in some circles.”
The girls were not entirely sure what she meant by this but felt it was nothing for their benefit. “But,” she smiled,“That’s not what we’re here for tonight. You two just walked in on something you shouldn’t have and my immediate task is to see you're secure until this mission,” she nodded toward the main office and the depository beyond that,”Is complete.”
They stared at her. Beatrice, ever the practical one, spoke. “We’ve been tied up. Are you going to gag us too?”
“All in good time.” The woman dragged up a padded stool, placed it in front of the lounge and sat on it, “First, I want to talk to you. About your friend Margot. Who is at the moment in the Sick Bay across the room, being attended to by one of our team.”
The girls were ready enough to talk. It meant less time sitting with gags in their mouths.
She went on. “Margot Minns is not a happy person. She’s had a difficult and unpleasant life.”
Cicely interrupted, “Well, there was that bad divorce years back.”
“That’s only part of it. I can assure you we’ve investigated Ms Minns thoroughly and know a lot about her. You know she’s been unfortunate as far as looks and physical appearance goes. That she’s got an abrupt, curt, off-putting manner and doesn’t make friends easily. If at all. In reality she’s a very lonely person who’s been quietly, desperately seeking male companionship for years.”
“We know. We’ve had to look her up.” The woman went on, “In the last twelve years she’s made three attempts to start an ongoing personal relationship and struck utter bastards each time.”
“We didn’t know that,” said Beatrice, "But it’s understandable. There’s plenty of that sort around.”
“Earlier this evening, long before you arrived, we came here, took her captive, tied her up and drugged her. We had to get information about the locking codes for that connecting door. It was a state of the art truth drug. Painlessly administered and no after effects.”
She continued, “One of the peculiarities of this drug is that the subjects often get very voluble about their private lives. And Margot did just that. Only what she had to say was just heartrending and pitiful.”
“To put it bluntly, that woman is simply utterly desperate for a man to fuck her.”
The boss lady went on, “And that is why one of our men is with her now. To console her, comfort her, seduce her and, hopefully, give her what she so very much needs. I can assure you he’s patient, gentle and highly skilled, if something of a misfit himself. Which gives him something in common with her.” She stood up. “Our organisation has their own reasons for what we’re doing with Margot. Which I obviously can’t go into.” She paused, "And that’s it ladies, time for me to leave you now for an hour or so.” She smiled again, “And time to gag you both.”
Both girls protested but the woman went to their box of equipment, took out two prepared wad gags and forced them into their mouths. She made sure they stayed there with two crossed strips of duct tape over each girl’s cheeks. Cicely and Beatrice could now only mew to each other. Their captor paused at the door, “You’ll be on your own for an hour or more. Don’t go away.” An attempt at humour.
And on their own they were. They could hear movement, comings and goings outside the door. It didn’t take much imagination to realise something was being removed from the currency building next door. An hour or more passed.
The door opened and the lady in her dark green boiler suit came back. She looked cheerful. “Well ladies you’ll be pleased to know we’re finished and in a few minutes we’ll have Margot back in here with you.”
At that moment two men entered. They were quite unlike the others. They wore matching dark grey skivvies and track pants. Both looked in their early forties and had greying dark hair. They looked like professional men. One approached the bound girls.
“So you are the two young ladies who inadvertently walked in on our project,” he said. Evidently he was of a playful turn of mind. He tickled Cicely under the chin and pinched Beatrice on the part of her cheek that was not covered by duct tape. “Unfortunately it’s been necessary to restrain you. It may be uncomfortable but I assure you it’s absolutely necessary.” He went on, “However, let me give you each a little present by way of part compensation.”
He reached inside his skivvy pocket and took out two small stacks of new banknotes, each secured by a wide paper band. He deftly opened each girl’s jacket top, unbuttoned the top buttons of her blouse and pushed the notes down inside, next to the skin, into the top of their bras. Lastly, he did up the buttons and pulled the jacket lapels back into place. The new currency felt clean and crisp against the girls’ bosoms.
“There,” he smiled on completion. “Just some small recompense for the inconvenience you've been subjected to. The girls looked at him, unsure what to think. “And now,” he said, turning to the boiler suited woman, “Our mission here’s accomplished. In a few minutes they’ll be bringing Ms Minns in. See that she’s settled the way we agreed and then we’ll be on our way.”
He turned on his way out and faced the girls. “Goodbye, Cicely and Beatrice. Nice to have met you.” A smile and a wave then both men were gone.
The boiler suited lady stepped forward and spoke to both of them in a soft, terse voice. “You ladies had better forget you ever saw those two and never speak to anyone about them. They’re powerful men. Quite able to make any woman in this country disappear without trace. And reappear in Saudi Arabia or some remote part of Latin America. Just remember that.”
At that moment there was movement at the door. Margot Minns was brought in again. But in a different manner than the way she had hustled out over an hour and a half before. The two women in boiler suits were with her and her wrists were bound, this time in front. She was not gagged and had a look of quiet satisfaction on her face, replacing the resentful expression when she had left the room earlier.
They seated her on the lounge, between her two bound work companions. The boss lady took a soft cloth and a wide necked bottle from their equipment box. “This is hospital grade anaesthetic,” she explained, “The best. It’ll put you out for an hour and no after effects. When you wake you can untie your two friends.’’ Margot remained silent and never stopped smiling. She just lifted her face.
“And once again I warn you all, ladies,” she continued, “Be very careful how much you report about what you’ve seen here tonight. Particularly those two gentlemen who were in here. It could mean an unlooked for trip to the Middle East or Latin America.”
Cicely and Beatrice looked at her over their gags. Margot’s quiet smile never changed. Inhaling the chloroform from the soaked pad, she soon lapsed into unconsciousness. Her wrists were unbound and her hands neatly crossed on her lap.
The three boiler suited women then gathered up all they had brought. The woman in charge addressed the pair. “Well ladies, we’ll bid you farewell and best of luck.” She smiled once more and they withdrew.
The three Treasury Finance employees were left on the lounge. Cicely and Beatrice mewed to each other, writhed occasionally but could do nothing. Margot slumbered peacefully for fifty minutes and then awoke. On fully regaining consciousness she got up to untie her two companions but had difficulty with the knots. And then the police arrived.
And the questioning began. The police soon realised that the two girls had come to the robbery at a late stage and when they said they had not actually seen it (after all, they had been in the Staff Room from the beginning) and had been bound and gagged most of the time, they believed them. This was all true anyway.
Margot’s story was more complicated. She said she had become hysterical when she had been captured and tied up and a gag put in her mouth and had remained so throughout. She even managed a credible display of hysterics as she was being questioned. Therefore, she reasoned, she could not help them very much.
There were several such interviews and questions in the days that followed but gradually things settled down and went back to normal. Cicely and Beatrice returned to their jobs The only change was that Margot Minns was transferred to a supervisory job in another section. A step up, so Treasury Finance gossip had it. The girls were sorry to see her go. They had noticed that she had been a changed woman since the night of the Great Currency Robbery as the press had begun to call the event.
About three or four weeks later an elderly lady in the Department was retiring and a celebratory farewell gathering was held late on a Friday afternoon in one of the conference rooms. Neither Cicely or Beatrice knew her but they had to attend. They ended up standing in a corner of the room with half consumed drinks in their hands. Both were waiting for when they could decently leave the proceedings.
Then they saw Margot. Gone was the dowdy, simple grey business suit. She was wearing a stylish top and the shortest belted skirt they had ever seen her in. They noticed that for a figure like hers she had a surprisingly good pair of legs. On seeing them she hurried over.
A smiled greeting. “Well ladies, long time no see. And, I suppose, like me, you're here under duress and would like to leave as soon as possible? Right?” They nodded. And began to suspect she had more than one drink under her belt.
She glanced toward the lady guest of honour. “In a few minutes she’ll give her departure address. It’ll go on for about ten minutes and people will gather to wish her well and we can slip out by that side door over there.” She went on, “I’m not going to stay here. I’ve got an appointment to meet a friend tonight and I don’t want to be late.” The girls wondered at this. Her friendless existence had been well known.
Twenty five minutes later all three were out in the street walking along the footpath in the gathering dusk. Margot, well fuelled with alcohol, chattered most of the time. Mostly vague references to the pleasant evening ahead of her.
A man came out of a side street ahead of them, walked in front for a time then stopped, turned and looked at the three. “Margot?,” he said. He had a short black beard and looked familiar.
Margot, taken completely by surprise, simply said “Larry!” All four now stopped and stared at each other. The two who had spoken were obviously both caught unawares.
Stumbling with embarrassment, Margot mumbled, “Er, this’s Larry. The… ah… friend I was going to meet.” She did not introduce the two girls by name. Instead she turned to her newly met companion and said quickly, “I was on my way to wait for you. But since we’ve… ah… already found each other we might as well go to the… er… place. Mightn’t we?” They both faced Cicely and Beatrice, nodded goodbye, then turned and walked back the way they had come. And turned into the side street Larry had come out of.
The girls stared after them. Beatrice spoke, “You recognised him, didn’t you?”
“I certainly did,” said Cicely, “Even without his green boiler suit and cap. That black beard’s very distinctive. One of the four from the Staff Room on the night of the Great Currency Robbery as the newspapers are calling it.”
Beatrice laughed, “The last we saw of him then was when he and his friends were hustling Margot off to the Sick Bay bed for further, er, attention.”
Cicely added, "And now it looks as if friend Margot is off to another tryst with the same guy. Oh well, she certainly got something out of that night’s events, even if the Department lost out. Well, best of luck to her. I trust she’ll enjoy it.” They both had to laugh.
The general conclusion was that it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.