||FROM THE CASE FILES OF KITTY WYNTER|
| by Van ©2016
Miriam gazed down at Jessie Maitland's naked, bound, and gagged form. Harcourt's Whore—as she liked to characterize the unconscious mathematician—was still nestled in the body-shaped padded cavity of the specialized packing case Athena Zevros had used to make her delivery.
Athena was at her client's side and was also smiling, but it was with the satisfaction of a job well done. She wasn't overtly gloating, like Miriam. Actually, she felt a little sorry for the naked, helpless brunette in the case... but you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs, by which she meant she sometimes had to indulge clients like Miriam, even if it was distasteful, and even if the occasional innocent like Jessie was "inconvenienced" in the process. C'est la vie. Besides, it wasn't like Miriam Holden intended to torture Jessie to death or do anything really drastic. That was part of their contract.
Anyway, Athena thought, stifling a sigh, it's out of my hands. She's out of my hands. A pity. Jessie has nice tits.
They were in the basement of a small townhouse. It wasn't Harcourt Mansion, but Athena assumed it was a Harcourt property. The subterranean chamber was a large, dimly lit, open space, with the usual electrical panels, furnace, heating ducts, water heater, and plumbing connections. Opposite the stairs were a couple of closed doors that Athena assumed led to storerooms of some kind. Other than Jessie and her shipping container, there was another anomaly: a long, narrow, stainless steel table on wheels, the kind used to transport corpses in a morgue.
"How soon before she wakes up?" Miriam asked. Her gloating smile was still directed at her helpless prize.
Athena shrugged. "At least a half an hour. Probably closer to a full hour."
Miriam gestured towards the steel table. "Put her there."
Athena suppressed an eye roll and set to work. She released the many straps restraining Jessie inside the case, unscrewed the electrical cable from the shock-collar, then unstrapped and removed the collar itself, followed by the breathing mask. She then lifted Jessie from the padding, carried her to the table, and eased her naked, ball-gagged, and wrist-bound body onto the shining, cold, hard steel.
"Completely naked," Miriam ordered. "I want her completely naked."
"The customer is always right," Athena muttered under her breath. She released the locking tabs of the rubber-clad plasti-cuffs binding Jessie's wrists behind her back, then unbuckled and removed the whiffle-ball-gag from her mouth. Finally, in a flourish of duly diligent customer service, Athena centered Jessie's body on the narrow table and arranged her tousled brown hair in a fan. Jessie was now on her back on the gleaming steel with her ankles a foot apart and her arms at her sides.
"It's as if she's asleep," Miriam purred, gazing at Jessie's relaxed features. Her eyes never leaving Jessie's naked form, she dismissed Athena with a gesture. "That will be all. Your final payment is already in your account, along with a generous bonus."
Athena was also gazing at Jessie... including her full, firm breasts... lush, dark thicket of pubic curls... strong thighs... etc. She very much doubted the bonus Miriam had mentioned would be all that "generous." In Athena's experience, one-percent types like Miriam Holden were notoriously cheap, but money was money. "When do you want me to pick her up?" she inquired.
Miriam frowned. "Pick her up?"
"When you're done taking your, uh, revenge," Athena clarified. "When do you want me to pick her up?"
"Not your concern," Miriam stated. "Take your whore-case and go. Our business arrangement is terminated."
Athena hadn't yet told her client—now her former client—about the added complication of Bertie Finch "volunteering" to take part in Jessie's abduction, and Athena made the impromptu decision to keep that little nugget of information to herself. Miriam claimed she had everything in hand, including her alibi, so let the eventual appearance of Kitty Wynter and/or the NYPD be a surprise. It would serve the snooty bitch right to walk right into the inevitable shit-storm, and her dream-team of lawyers might as well earn their retainers.
Athena took one last look at Jessie's slumbering, naked body, then returned the plasti-cuffs and ball-gag to the case. She closed and secured its lid, lifted it onto its wheels, extended and grabbed the telescoping handle, and headed for the stairs. "I'll see myself out, and I'll let you know if I need a letter of reference." It was a joke, of course. The sooner she was quit of Miriam Holden, the better. And Athena had to make triply sure that her alibi arrangements were rock solid.
The Security Consultant and her now empty case made their departure... seconds passed... then one of doors in the back wall opened and a woman entered the front basement. She was a brunette, like Miriam, and was beautiful, like Miriam. Also, she somewhat resembled Miriam, but was a few years younger. The newcomer stepped to the table and, like Miriam, smiled down at its naked, unconscious occupant.
"Happy birthday, Angel," Miriam purred.
"It's not my birthday," the woman answered, her eyes on Jessie.
"You get a present, nonetheless," Miriam chuckled, then kissed the woman's cheek. "Don't I always take care of my kid sister?"
Angelique Porter, Miriam's only sibling, continued gazing at Jessie. "She's really mine?"
"She is," Miriam confirmed, "just don't break her."
Angelique's smile faded. "I can't play?"
"Of course you can play," Miriam chuckled, "just don't break her... not right away."
|The Damsel Vanishes|| Chapter 3
Kitty and Bertie had a problem. Actually, they had more than one, and they were all related.
First and foremost, they had to find and free Jessie Maitland. On that they were both in total agreement; however, as to exactly how they were going to go about that task... Things were complicated.
If they called in the NYPD, they'd spend hours if not days answering and re-answering inane questions instead of being able to hit the streets and start their own investigation. And unfortunately (or possibly fortunately) the local precinct, the one that would catch the case if they dialed 911, was not Nikki Braslow's. They wouldn't have a friend across the interrogation room table or on the other side of the one-way glass—not that Nikki could or would show them any favoritism. Nikki was a professional. The cops of the local precinct were professionals. Kitty and Bertie were professionals. Everybody was professional. And meanwhile, Jessie Maitland was still missing.
Also, there would be key questions they would be very much unwilling to answer. They couldn't finger Miriam Holden, the obvious suspect. That wasn't out of any sense of personal loyalty (and certainly not out of affection), but because the wacko bitch was a former client. It was one thing if the cops hauled them in and sweated them for information. It was something else entirely if they volunteered a client's name. If word got out that Wynter & Finch had ratted out a client, even a stuck-up bitch like Miriam Holden, they'd need to start looking for new lines of work.
As for asking the Shyster for help, the same nondisclosure problem applied. Also, it would be career suicide for ADA Braslow to go head-to-head with the wife of Harcourt Holden without rock solid evidence. It might be different if Jessie really was Harcourt's mistress, but she wasn't. Kirsten might be of help at some point, but not right away.
So... all Kitty and Bertie had to do was find and rescue Jessie—without the help of the NYPD—link Miriam to her kidnapping (if she was the guilty party), and do both in a manner that would allow the District Attorney's Office to pick up the pieces and successfully prosecute the guilty party or parties.
Actually, Kitty and Bertie weren't terribly concerned about that last part. Watching Miriam Holden do a perp-walk, followed by a humiliating trial, followed by shuffling off to prison in an orange jumpsuit and transport chains... that would be delicious. But Kitty wasn't above dispensing a little non-official justice of her own, if law enforcement was unwilling or unable. Normally, Bertie frowned on such things, but Jessie was her friend. And after that fun-in-the-tub incident, it was personal. Anyway, they'd throw Miriam and her unknown accomplice off that bridge when they came to it.
(1) Miriam Holden was their obvious suspect—not of the kidnapping itself. She'd hired the woman-in-gray for that. But Miriam was the probable prime mover.
(2) They had a semi-useless physical description of the woman-in-gray: White, slender but athletic build, brown eyes, and a "quirky" mouth. But...
(3) The woman had been wearing an embroidered cloth patch that read "ÆGIS SERVICES." A quick Google search turned up no such company, but it was still a lead. For one thing, somebody had to make that patch, and it certainly hadn't appeared to be hand sewn. It wasn't a lot to go on, but it was something.
Also... Jessie was still missing! Tick tock.
A thorough search of Jessie's apartment turned up nothing of interest. Bertie borrowed a few things from Jessie's closet, as the woman-in-gray had sliced her tights, leotard, and panties off her unconscious body during "the incident." They gathered and bagged the loose cord and used tape, then, along with Jessie's phone, iPad, and the hard drive from her desktop workstation, the partners returned to their combination office/loft.
Bertie had a lot of electronic leg-work ahead of her, and it was time for Kitty to hit the streets for legwork of the old fashioned variety.
|The Damsel Vanishes|| Chapter 3
Jessie slowly opened her eyes—then closed them, immediately. She was lying on her back on a hard, smooth, horizontal surface, and bright lights were glaring in her face. She blinked, waited for her eyes to adjust, and assessed her situation.
She was naked, completely naked. Also, she was hot, meaning her body was overheated. In fact, her nude body was shining with sweat. It's probably the lights, she decided. Also, her head was throbbing with a dull headache and her mind was... cloudy.
Something hard and round, perhaps a rubber ball, was inside her mouth—filling her mouth—and a strip of some sort of tape sealed her lips.
Also, thick, wide cuffs of tan leather padded with white canvas were buckled around her wrists and ankles, and a similar collar was around her neck. The cuffs and collar were solidly attached to taut leather straps that ran under her body and were somehow attached to the surface of a stainless steel table. More straps of the same tan leather crossed over her body and strapped her down, across her shins, thighs, waist and forearms, and above and below her breasts.
Jessie realized, belatedly, that she hadn't been gathering this information solely by feel, but had been gazing up at her reflection in the horizontal, full-length mirror mounted to the ceiling directly overhead and framed by an array of dazzling spotlights.
My mind is cloudy, Jessie realized. Then, as she continued squirming under the straps and tugging on the cuffs, the mental clouds lifted and the memory of being grabbed and drugged in her apartment returned. Now, she was fighting both her bonds and a sense of soul-crushing panic!
Jessie continued struggling, but the restraints were tight and their buckles were not only beyond the reach of her groping, fluttering fingers, but appeared to be locked. She could see tiny keyholes in the shining steel flanges that covered every buckle.
Jessie continued struggling, but it was useless. She was helpless—naked and helpless—a bound and gagged prisoner!
Suddenly, Jessie heard the tap of heels on a hard surface. Two female figures entered the pool of light shining down on Jessie and the table—and Jessie's eyes popped even wider! "Mrrrf?" One of the women was Miriam Holden! Jessie recognized her from the society pages and the two or three times she'd seen her at a distance while attending Holden Institute social functions.
Miriam was dressed in an obscenely expensive and exquisitely tasteful business suit. Her companion appeared to be a few years younger, and was dressed in green surgical scrubs.
"She's beautiful," the companion sighed.
"She's a whore," Miriam muttered, her expression grim.
Whore? Jessie's eyes darted from face to face.
The companion chuckled. "Okay, but she's a beautiful whore. And she's mine."
"She is," Miriam agreed, then reached out, took Jessie's right nipple in a firm grip between her thumb and forefinger, and squeezed.
Jessie clenched her eyes tightly closed, went rigid in her bonds, and screamed through her gag.
Miriam released her pinching grip, and for the first time, smiled. "Oh, I'm sorry. Did that hurt? Are you... suffering... Dr. Maitland?"
Her eyes locked with Miriam's, Jessie's heart was pounding and her torso pressed against the tight straps crossing above and below her breasts as she panted for breath. She's crazy!
"I thought that was the general idea," the companion purred, "for her to suffer." She reached out and gave Jessie's still throbbing right nipple a gentle massage.
"Oh, it is," Miriam chuckled, then her smile faded, once again. She leaned close and stared into Jessie's frightened eyes. "You're going to suffer a great deal, and for a very long time, whore," she said in a quiet voice. She nodded towards her companion. "But don't worry, my sister is a trained nurse. She'll take very good care of you. You'll last a very long time. Months. Possibly even years." She reached down and placed a hand on Jessie's lower tummy, just below the strap pinning her waist to the table, then her fingers slid through Jessie's dark pubic curls, between her thighs, and began slowly, rhythmically fondling her labia.
Jessie squirmed and her thighs tensed, but she couldn't evade Miriam's gentle caress. "Nrrrrr."
"I bet Harcourt enjoyed fucking this thing," Miriam purred, continuing the gliding massage. "Just as he enjoyed your slut lips and slut tongue as you sucked on his hard dick. Tell me, whore, did he cum all over your slut face?"
"Miri, she's gagged," the companion, who apparently was Miriam's sister, said with a giggle. "She can't answer you."
"The slut doesn't have to answer, Angelique," Miriam hissed. "Harcourt likes cumming on my face, so why not the slut face of his gold-digging whore?"
Crazy! They're both crazy! Jessie continued writhing and fighting both her bonds and the unwelcome sensations engendered by Miriam's smooth hand and carefully manicured fingers. I've spoken to Harcourt Holden maybe... three times in my entire life. I'm not his 'whore.' She frantically shook her head and mewled her denial. "Nrrrr!"
"You promised me I could play with her," Angelique pouted.
Miriam stopped the caress and withdrew her hand from between Jessie's thighs. "I did," she confirmed with a sinister smile. "You can start tomorrow. Tonight, we'll let the whore rest... and think about her fate." She turned and stepped back into the shadows.
Jessie could hear Miriam's heels tap into the distance... then they stopped.
"Are you coming?" Miriam inquired from the darkness.
"In a minute," Angelique answered, smiling down at Jessie's helpless form.
"Whatever," Miriam responded, and the tapping continued... diminished... and was gone.
Angelique smiled, reached down, and began combing the fingers of her right hand through Jessie's hair. "I do have a nursing degree," she said, "but I, shall we say, misplaced my license. Apparently, according to the review board, I have a 'questionable bedside manner.' Also, an appalling lack of empathy." She continued combing Jessie's hair. "Actually, I have a very well developed sense of empathy. I have no difficulty whatsoever appreciating the feelings of a suffering patient. My problem is concealing the pleasure I derive from that suffering."
Her heart pounding anew, Jessie stared into her smiling captor's pale blue with horror. She is crazy.
"Anyway," Angelique continued, "I know everything required with respect to the long-term nutritional and physical needs of a 'bedridden' patient, and have a generous stock of all the latest drugs well-suited for patient management, as well as the required restraints and 'security measures' to keep you under control and that exquisite body of yours... available."
Jessie continued tugging on her bonds, as well as panting and staring at Angelique in horror.
"And as for suffering..." Angelique's smile turned disturbingly evil. "For you, the good news is that I have an aversion to the sight of blood, but there are many, many ways to cause pain without cutting any of that smooth, firm skin... or leaving any lasting marks. I also have an aversion to bruises and welts. Every artist likes starting with a fresh, clean canvas, right?"
Jessie continued fighting her bonds, as well as a growing sense of despair.
"There's also the matter of forced orgasms," Angelique purred. "I do so enjoy watching a beautiful, helpless woman writhe in ecstasy. The facial expressions and physiological responses are surprisingly similar... to pain, I mean."
Now, Jessie's eyes were welling.
"For years I've keep a journal to record my ideas," Angelique continued. She cupped Jessie's left breast and gave it a slow, gentle squeeze. "And by ideas, I mean agonizing bondage positions... toys, devices, and 'accessories' designed to inflict pain and pleasure... all the many ways one can torment a helpless, naked woman. I'm up to page 156 of volume three. Unfortunately, I've never had a chance to act on any of my fantasies, but I have a fully stocked toy chest, just in case. Miri has always given me a generous allowance. Anyway, all I need is a living, breathing playmate... and here you are."
A tear slid from the corner of Jessie's right eye as Angelique's hand continued to squeeze... then release... then squeeze, once again. Soon, both of her eyes were dripping with tears.
"Oh, you poor thing," Angelique cooed, then leaned close and kissed Jessie's right eye. "Delicious," she purred, then gave the right side of Jessie's face a slow, languid lick. She then stood erect and smiled down at her still weeping and slowly squirming "playmate." She then turned and strolled into the shadows, following the path of her departed sister. "We'll begin in the morning," her voice echoed back from the darkness.
Angelique's footfalls were silent. Jessie surmised she was wearing sneakers or some other style of soft-soled shoes.
Oh god! Jessie thought, then moaned through her gag. "Mrrrfh." Why? Why me? I didn't do anything!
The spotlights still shining from overhead began to dim... slowly... and Jessie was plunged into total darkness.
|The Damsel Vanishes|| Chapter 3
Despite her bound and gagged ordeal in Jessie's bathtub, Bertie pulled an all-nighter. Kitty fixed her a sandwich, and at some point as she tapped the keys of her laptop and workstation... it disappeared. She assumed she'd eaten it... and had drunk the mugs of hot tea that mysteriously appeared and reappeared near the keyboard now and then. Bertie was in the zone. She was also making progress.
There was nothing of interest on any of Jessie's electronic devices, not on this side of the cloud, anyway. Actually, she found residual traces of sophisticated surveillance software at the usual registry locations, but unfortunately, none of the code fragments proved useful. She could tell the alphanumeric gibberish wasn't hers, meaning the fragments weren't left over from the programs Bertie Finch had used when Jessie Maitland was their target; however, it was proof that someone had used the same grade of invisible and untraceable software to hack and monitor Jessie's phone and computers after Wynter & Finch were off the case.
This confirmed that the mysterious woman-in-gray was a professional—not that confirmation was really required—but unfortunately, it was a dead end. The hack could have been done by anyone with the right tools and skill set. There were no distinctive cyber-fingerprints.
As for the "ÆGIS SERVICES" patch, Bertie started compiling a list of all the companies in the city that might handle small, custom orders for embroidered patches. The list was surprisingly and depressingly long, but it was a place to start. Bertie grabbed a catnap until the start of regular business hours, then started dialing. Her spiel went something like this:
"Hi! I'm with ÆGIS SERVICES and we need to replenish our stock of shoulder patches and baseball caps. Unfortunately, someone spilled something on your file, so I don't have the date and invoice number of our original order. Can you help me? That's right, 'ÆGIS SERVICES.' Yes, I'll hold. Thank you so very much."Bertie was very good at finagling information out of people over the phone. Kitty said it was the accent. Everyone likes a cute British accent, even New Yorkers.
And for once, the fates smiled. Bertie struck pay-dirt on her ninth call.
|The End of...|
|The Damsel Vanishes|| Chapter 3