"With the arms raised like that... you could get *tickled*." {Shudder}
The B-Files
T H E     B O N D A G E     I S     O U T    T H E R E
by Van ©2009
___ ___

Chapter 4

The see the actresses I would cast in B-Files THE MOVIE, follow the link below and use your browser's "Back" feature to return.




Megan pulled her notebook from her jacket pocket and checked her notes from the last interview.  There was nothing much for her to review, but it was better than watching the scenery pass on the Capital Beltway.  The "Hello Pussy Boutique" in Oak View had been a waste of time.  The shop was a kinky leather apparel store with only a small section devoted to bondage products, and the staff and owner had been less than enthusiastic about a couple of law enforcement types rifling their sales records "for no good reason".  Not to worry.  As Scully had said, they could always come back if they ever had probable cause for a warrant.

Megan glanced at her partner.  Gracie was concentrating on the traffic, but her face was set in an annoyed frown.  Megan carefully suppressed a smile.  "My last partner could be a bit of a hothead," she stated.  "You know the type... the proverbial bull in a china shop?"

Several seconds of cold silence ensued.

"Okay," Gracie muttered, finally.  "I could have been a little more tactful back there, but that blonde with the stupid nose piercing practically called us 'pigs'.  And she wasn't old enough to have protested the first Gulf War, unless she did it as a kindergarten school project."

Despite her best efforts, Megan's lips curled upwards.  "She was a snotty little airhead."

"Anyway... I can turn on the charm when I want to."

Megan's smile broadened.  "Oh, so you just don't want to?"

Gracie favored her partner with a fierce glance before turning back to the traffic—then they both laughed.

"Okay, okay, I'll be good," Gracie promised.

"She was an airhead," Megan repeated.

"Snotty," Gracie agreed.  "This is it, I think," she said, then turned the wheel and they pulled into a large parking lot.

The address for "BDL Incorporated" had led them to an industrial park, a collection of disparate businesses in modern office and warehouse buildings.  BDL, itself, was in a small brick, concrete, and glass structure separated from the nearest buildings by a stand of pines.  Gracie pulled into an open slot near the front door.

"You can take the lead this time, if you want," Gracie announced as they approached the front door.

"Why not?" Megan asked, and held the heavy glass portal open for her partner.

They entered and found themselves in a reception area, before a tall counter.  Beyond, they could see a hall lined with doorways.  No one was in sight.

Gracie picked up a brochure and started reading.  "BDL, Incorporated.  Wholesale distributors of the finest in adult recreational restraint."

"Oh, 'the finest'," Megan purred.  "Looks like we came to the right place."

Gracie pocketed the brochure, then reached out and tapped the bell on the counter.


Bobbi Casher, BDL Inc."Just a moment!" a voice called from the back.  Seconds later, a woman entered the reception area.  Her dark-blond hair was pulled back in a loose bun.  She had brown eyes and full, plump lips, and was dressed in a black, somewhat masculine pants suit; but there was no mistaking her gender. "I'm afraid I'm all alone, at the moment," she apologized.  "We've yet to hire a receptionist and my associates are out."  She offered her hand to Gracie.  "Bobbi Casher.  How may I help you?"

Gracie shook her hand.  "Special Agent Hart."

Bobbi's eyes widened.  "Special Agent?"

Gracie flipped open her ID/badge carrier.  "FBI."

"I see," Bobbi purred, then smiled at Megan's ID and badge.  "But you're with the NYPD?"

Megan nodded.  "Temporarily working with the FBI.  You're the owner?"

"East Coast Manager, actually," Bobbi explained.  "We're headquartered in LA, and we're just opening this office.  What may I do for New York's Finest and the Bureau?"

"We'd like to discuss your recent customers," Megan answered.  "This is related to an ongoing investigation, of course."

Bobbi chuckled.  "Sorry," she said, composing herself.  "As I said, we've only just opened, and I've only had one customer.  Normally, I'd consult our corporate legal department before agreeing to discuss anything, but..."  Her expression clouded.  "Perhaps you'd better come with me."

She led Gracie and Megan around the counter and down the hall.  They passed a series of rooms, all of which were either bare of anything but the most basic office furniture or were cluttered with cardboard boxes.  They approached a steel door with a cypher-lock, and Bobbi entered a code and opened the door.

The space beyond contained only a single chair and a steel computer desk with a wide-screen monitor and a keyboard.  They entered and the door closed behind them with a solid thud.

"They won't finish pulling the rest of the fiber optic cable until next week," Bobbi explained, so this is the only workstation currently on the internet."  She tapped a key and a menu appeared with the title "BDL—Washington".

"The customer I mentioned was a tall woman dressed all in leather," Bobbi explained, "and she was interested in purchasing several items from our online catalog, as quickly as possible.  I offered to add her to our Preferred Customers list, and she presented a thumb drive with her contact information."

"Thumb drive?" Gracie muttered.

"One of those little flash drive things," Megan explained.  "They look like a disposable lighter."

"Exactly," Bobbi confirmed.  "It was black, and was engraved with the letter 'B'.  After she left, I realized her address-book file included, shall we say... something strange."  She tapped a few keys and an internet browser opened.  She selected an address from the "Favorites" menu, and the screen flashed.

Gracie and Megan gasped!
The B-Files
Chapter 4
Lady Andra!—Click for BIG IMAGE"I'm not sure what this means," Bobbi said, and took a step back as Gracie and Megan crowded close to the desk.

The screen displayed a page with the title "Bondarella's Web".  The words "OUR MOST RECENT TARGET" were prominent, and directly below were three photos of Lady Andra.  Below that were a series of menu links grouped in three categories: "CAPTURE", "ORDEALS", and "RESCUE".

"Jackpot!" Gracie exclaimed.

"This doesn't look like one of the 'lower tier' sites in the case files," Megan noted.

"No, it doesn't," Gracie agreed.  "I think this is the 'upper tier'.  So... 'Bondarella' isn't such a mastermind after all."

"Every criminal makes mistakes," Megan noted, "even the smart ones."

Gracie nodded.  "If the cyber-crime geeks at the Bureau can't get a trace off of this, they need to turn in their pocket protectors."

"Uh, maybe not," Megan said, pointing at the browser's address window.  "That's on 'C-drive', not the internet."

"Yes," Bobbi said.  "Her thumb drive downloaded nearly a gig of data while we were talking.  If I'd noticed it at the time, I would have said something.  What does it mean?"

Suddenly, a melodic chime sounded from the intercom panel mounted on the wall beside the door.

"That's the phone in my office," Bobbi explained, walking toward the door.  "I'll be so glad when they finish wiring this place.  I'll be as quick as I can," she apologized.  "Try the items on the top menu.  They're even more interesting."  Then she was through the door and it closed behind her.

Gracie pulled out her cell phone.  "I'm calling in," she said.

Megan nodded, then pointed at the menu Bobbi had mentioned.  "'Pending Targets'!  This may tell us who she's after."  She sat in the chair and reached for the mouse.

"No signal,"  Gracie muttered, frowning at her phone.  "Not surprising, I guess.  This place has thick walls."  She turned to the door—then immediately turned back when she heard Megan gasp, and her eyes popped wide.  "My god!"

Gracie?? Megan??—CLICK for BIG IMAGEThe screen had changed to a "PENDING TARGETS" page, and now displayed two sets of three photos each.  The identities of the proposed targets were—Gracie Hart and Megan Wheeler!

Gracie pointed at the first of her photos.  "That's from that stupid beauty pageant ordeal I had to endure."

"I recognize it."  She moused to the arrow icon in the corner of the image frame and tapped.  A small window popped and video of the "ordeal" in question began to play.

"Kill it!" Gracie growled.  "You recognize it?" she demanded.

"It was 'must see' in the squad room for a while," Megan smiled, "once you broke the case and the FBI involvement went public, you were famous."

"Yeah?" Gracie huffed.  "Well, I recognize your little claim to fame, too."  She pointed at the first of Megan's photos.  It was also a video link.

Megan's smile faded.  "Yeah, I got drafted as NYPD's spokes-model during the 'Weeping Willow' case—the fake kidnapping of that little moron and her friend that was live-streamed on the internet.  How does that make me 'famous'?"

It was Gracie's turn to smile.  "Are you kidding?  You were one of 'YouTube's Greatest Hits'."

"Very funny," Megan muttered.  "The others look like surveillance photographs."

"Someone's been following us around.  Creepy."

"Creepy," Megan agreed.  "I'm gonna try and get on the internet so I can send the files to the task force."  She moused to the "ESC" icon in the lower right corner of the screen and gave it a click.

"And I'm gonna go outside and make that call," Gracie said, and headed for the door, once again.  She then turned, once again, when she heard another gasp from Megan.  "What is it?"

Megan was staring at the screen.  It was clear, except for a single line of text:


Gracie blinked.  Her vision was getting blurry, there was a vaguely metallic taste on the back of her tongue, and she felt... funny.  "Megan," she mumbled.  She hadn't meant to mumble, but her lips weren't working properly.  She put a hand on Megan's shoulder—and her partner slumped forward onto the desk.  "Oh shit!" Gracie swore... or thought.  She might not have spoken at all.  She wasn't sure.  She wasn't sure of anything.  Her knees buckled and she dropped to the floor.  She tried to rise, leaning forward to support herself with her hands, but her arms were weak, as well.  Her hands slid out from under her and she went down in a limp sprawl.

Both "Targets of Bondarella" were unconscious.
The B-Files
Chapter 4
"Bobbi Casher" smiled at the monitor on her desk.  The pin-cameras concealed in the "trap room" had captured the gassing of both targets in full detail and from multiple angles.  Editing the sequence would not be a problem.

She pulled a tiny device from her jacket pocket and tossed it on the desk.  It was the remote control that had triggered the buzzer on the intercom panel, allowing her to make her exit and spring the trap.  Next, she unbuttoned and shrugged off her jacket and blouse, then stepped out of her heels, unzipped her pants, and let them drop to the floor.  Now wearing only a thong of black leather and the Beretta PX4 strapped to her right ankle, she reached up, pulled several pins from her hair, and removed a blond wig.  She pulled more pins, shook her head, and her long, dark, natural locks cascaded down her back.

On the monitor, Gracie and Megan were still out cold.  Their captor knew they would remain that way for at least an hour, or until she administered the antidote to the anesthetic gas.  She removed the brown contact lenses from her eyes and placed them in a plastic case, then used a wet-wipe to remove her makeup, revealing a birthmark above her right eye. 

Bobbi Casher was no more, and in her place was—Bondarella.

She placed her right foot on the seat of her desk chair, released the straps of the holster, and placed holster and weapon on the desk.  She picked up a Blackberry as she flopped into the chair, then leaned back and crossed her bare feet atop the desk.  Dividing her attention between the monitor and the Blackberry, her thumbs flashed as she keyed in a text message.  She hit the "Send" button, tossed the Blackberry back on the surface, then stood and stretched.

"Just a little while longer while I get dressed, my darlings," she purred, smiling at the screen.  "Then, you'll have my undivided attention."

Bondarella opened a closet door and pulled a black leather catsuit from a hanger.  She donned the garment, zipped the gussets closed at her wrists and ankles, and then pulled up the long zipper in the front that ran from navel to throat.  Next came black knee-boots and a matching pair of gloves.  Finally, she gathered her hair into a tight ponytail and snapped a black elastic around its base.

She then carried a black leather gym bag from the closet to the desk, zipped it open, and peered inside, smiling at the several tight coils of hemp rope it contained.  A side pocket held the additional items she would require for the immediate task at hand.  Her smile broadened as she zipped the bag closed, pulled the Beretta from its holster, and slid it into the top of her right boot.  The Blackberry went into a pocket on her left thigh.

She opened a lower desk drawer and pulled out a gas-mask of black rubber.  The ventilation system should have dissipated the gas in the trap room by now, but it was better to be safe than to be found unconscious on the floor when her minions returned.  They'd never let her hear the end of it.  The mask's oval faceplate was one-way, the glass painted in metallic gold and silver with the stylized visage of a classically beautiful woman.  From the inside, the faceplate was perfectly transparent, of course.

The mask dangling by its straps from her left hand and the gym bag in her right, Bondarella smiled at the slumbering beauties on the screen.  "Both targets at once," she whispered, "and it was so very easy.  The gods are most kind."

Bondarella spun on her heel and strode from the office.
The B-Files
Chapter 4
Gracie opened her eyes... and found herself staring at the legs of a table and chair, a tangle of cables, and a computer tower.  Still in the same room, she surmised.  She was mildly disoriented... but it was passing.

What was not passing was the fact that she was bound and gagged!

Gracie's wrists were crossed behind her back—against her spine and high behind her back—and a web of tight ropes yoked her shoulders and pinned her arms to her sides.  It felt like the "Semi-Reverse-Prayer" bondage Claudia had demonstrated on the Rookie, earlier in the day, while Gracie and Dana were on the phone with the DoJ trying to finagle warrants.  In addition, multiple bands of rope encircled her knees and ankles.  They were cinched tight, and strands from the ankle ropes were looped around the insteps of her black heels, lashing the shoes to her feet.  Something that felt like a mass of foam was stuffed in her mouth, and a broad, padded strap was pressed against her lips and lower face.  It was buckled behind her head at the nape of her neck, and she could felt another, much smaller strap under her chin.

Her clothes were intact, although the top buttons of her white cotton blouse had come undone, as had her Navy jacket, and the matching skirt was hiked up to her mid-thighs.

Gracie kicked and struggled, but to no avail.  From what she could see of her bonds, they were hemp rope, and she suspected the gag was leather, on the outside, anyway.  The inside was tasteless, but it felt like rubber foam.  She kicked and mewled her anger through the gag's panel and stuffing, and continued to squirm and fight the ropes... but it was pointless.  Whoever had tied her up—Bondarella?—had accomplished the task with consummate skill.

She shook her head, more in an effort to get her hair out of her eyes than to dislodge the gag, but this met with only limited success.  A few tangled strands remained draped across her face.

Gracie rolled completely over—and her eyes popped wide.

Across the floor, a still unconscious Megan was lying on her stomach, and a female figure dressed in a black leather catsuit and wearing what appeared to be a gas-mask was seated in the lotus position, behind Megan's slumbering form.  The mask's faceplate was painted like a carnival mask, in gold and silver.

Bondarella, herself? Gracie wondered.  Or is it one of her minions?

"Brava, Agent Hart!" the leather-clad figure cheered.  Her voice had a tinny quality, from being piped through a small speaker built into the mask.  "Many of my targets panic when they awaken to find themselves bound and gagged, but not you.  You are very brave."

Gracie squirmed and glared at her masked captor.

"Still hoping to free yourself?" the catsuited figure inquired.  She reached to the side and produced a coil of hemp rope.  "Why don't you watch while I bind Detective Wheeler?  Perhaps you'll find a weakness in my technique.  And in case you're still undecided, I am Bondarella."  She went up on her knees, then reached into a pocket, pulled out a small hand-tazer, and held it for Gracie's inspection.  "And by the way, Agent Hart, I could have put you in a nice, tight hog-tie, but I didn't.  If you try kicking me, I'll zap you back to oblivion and you won't get to watch me do anything.  Behave yourself."

What is she, a mind reader? Gracie wondered, continuing her stony glare.  So much for my famous 'suprise mule-kick'.  She continued to wiggle, squirm, and test her bonds, more on principle than with any real hope of escape.

Meanwhile, Bondarella used three coils of rope to bind Megan in a fashion Gracie surmised was identical to her own condition.  Bondarella worked with practiced efficiency, her gloved fingers flying as she looped, hitched, and cinched the rope around Megan's body, lifting and turning her limp form as required.  She tied the final knot, hitching the insteps of Megan's heels to keep her shoes on her feet, just she had with Gracie.  The bitch knows how to tie someone up, Gracie conceded, but we already knew that.

Bondarella reached into a leather gym bag and pulled out a black leather gag.  She turned it in her hands, for Gracie's benefit.  "This model has a one-inch plug of hard rubber surrounded by two inches of soft foam, then sheathed in a medium-density shell.  It conforms to the inside of the mouth, filling it completely... as I'm sure you agree."  She gave the gag a shake, and its double-tongued roller-buckle rattled.  "You're wearing its twin."

Gracie continued to glare, but didn't give her captor the satisfaction of growling through her gag and thereby demonstrating the device's depressing efficiency.

"As you can see... and feel," Bondarella continued, "the mask portion is padded.  The narrow strap under the chin prevents the wearer from fully opening her jaws to try and expel the plug—not that that would work, of course.  The main strap and the size of the plug, itself, are quite sufficient to defeat such efforts.  In any case, I like the chin strap because its pressure provides the damsel with one more little constant reminder of her complete helplessness.  Don't you agree?"

I'm not a 'damsel', bitch! Gracie fumed... but she couldn't argue with the "complete helplessness" part.

Bondarella pulled a tiny vial from a sleeve pocket, snapped it open, and shook a white pill onto her open palm.  "The antidote to my 'sleepy-time' gas," she explained.  She thumbed the vial closed and returned it to the pocket.  "I'll place this under your friend's tongue as I apply her gag.  She'll be with us in about five minutes."

Gracie watched as Bondarella cradled Megan's head in her lap, pried open her jaws, placed the pill, then slid the gag's plug between her teeth.  She tightened the straps and clicked a tiny padlock through the buckle at the nape of Megan's neck.

As this was accomplished, Gracie was struck by how young and helpless her auburn-haired partner appeared.   Her features had always been what Gracie had to call 'girlish', of course, and this was accentuated by the Detective's freckled complexion and auburn pixie-cut.  In point of fact, Megan was only about five years younger that Gracie, herself—okay, seven or eight—but she looked like an innocent teenager as Bondarella completed her work.  Gracie's stomach knotted in a mixture of guilt and despair.  Sorry, Megan, she thought.  She knew there was no logical reason she should be taking the full responsibility for their capture on herself... but she was the senior partner.

"There," Bondarella said, as she stood and picked up the gym bag.  "I'll let you enjoy Detective Wheeler's awakening while I prepare for our departure."  She spun on one booted heel and left the computer room.  The door closed behind her with an authoritative thud.

Gracie's gaze returned to her now equally bound and gagged partner.  We really screwed the pooch, this time, she thought.  That Bobbi-Bondarella bitch played us like a cheap fiddle.  Gracie wasn't really afraid.  She knew their captor never did her "targets" any lasting physical harm, but if Megan and herself were "targets" of her BDSM-online operation... the next few days were going to be very unpleasant, for both of them.

Okay, she admitted.  I am afraid.
The B-Files
Chapter 4
Bondarella had just finished wiping down her desk and chair with a special cleaning solution when Betty and Belladonna arrived.  Both were still wearing their catsuits, boots, and gloves, but had removed the Zorro masks and nametags they had worn at the Leatherotica store.

"I've already got everything packed up," she told her companions.  "The only thing left is to see to our guests and sanitize the trap room."

"And you felt it wise to risk taking down two trained law enforcement officers all by yourself?" Belladonna demanded.  Her hands were on her hips and she was glaring at her smiling boss.

"There was no risk," Bondarella chuckled.  "If they hadn't simply walked into our trap, I would have strung things out until you arrived.  Did you feel it was necessary to waste an hour playing with collateral targets?  Once you confirmed that neither of our primaries were coming, you should have buttoned the place up, left them to languish, and come straight here."

Belladonna continued to glare... then her gaze dropped.  "Touché," she muttered.

"And what do you have to say for yourself," Bondarella demanded, smiling at Betty.

Betty shrugged.  "Mine wasn't even ticklish," she responded.

"Oh, well then, never mind," Bondarella laughed.  "Wait 'til I get you two home."

"Promises, promises," Belladonna purred.  "Let's get a move on.  We need to be in our planned position when the cavalry arrives."

Bondarella nodded in agreement.  "Something like that."  She opened the side pocket of a black leather duffel and distributed black carnival masks to her minions.  She donned a mask, herself, and the trio headed for the computer room.
The B-Files
Chapter 4
When Megan finally did regain consciousness, Gracie had to admit she'd taken their situation rather well, as far as she could tell.  They weren't exactly in a condition to discuss the subject.  What they could do, once Megan had fully regained her senses, was to roll and squirm their bodies together and see if they couldn't do something about the situation in question.  The gags were a lost cause, of course.  Unbuckling the chin straps might have been possible, after considerable effort, but the main straps were padlocked.

After several long minutes of struggle, they realized the ropes were also a lost cause, as well.  The knots simply refused to surrender to their clumsy, fluttering fingers.  All their bonds, including the ankle and knee ropes, were secured with Bondarella's trademark "Tudor Rose" knots.  The elegant, symmetrical snarls might as well have been saturated with epoxy glue.

Suddenly, the door opened and three catsuited women entered the room.  Their faces were hidden behind black carnival masks.

"Bad girls," Bondarella scolded, "trying to untie my pretty ropes.  Betty, Belladonna, allow me to introduce Special Agent Gracie Hart and Detective Megan Wheeler.  Please escort them to our transportation and make them comfortable; but first, see to those busy little fingers, would you?"

Gracie recognized Bobbi Casher's voice, undistorted by the microphone that had been built into the now replaced gas-mask.  She'd already suspected that Bobbi and Bondarella were one and the same, and now this was confirmed.

One of the catsuited women (not Bondarella) rolled Gracie onto her stomach, knelt with her knees on either side of her waist, and sat on her buttocks.  Gracie squirmed and mewled in complaint.

"Settle down," the woman purred, leaned forward, and captured Gracie's thumbs with her left hand.

There was a dry rattle and Gracie felt something tighten around the base of her thumbs.  She could still flutter her fingers, but the pads of her thumbs were now pressed together.  She turned her head and watched the other woman (who was also not Bondarella) kneeling on Megan's butt and tightening a cable-tie around her thumbs.

"I'm Belladonna," the woman kneeling on Gracie's buttocks said.  "I've been careful not to tighten that tie too much, but I suggest you stop struggling.  You can't escape, and you might bruise the skin."

Suddenly, gagged squealing erupted from across the floor.  Gracie focused on Megan, and found her partner squirming, bucking, kicking. and struggling for all she was worth.  Why?  The woman on her butt was tickling her ribs!

"Betty," Bondarella warned.  "There's a time and a place for such things."

"Oh my!" Betty exclaimed.  "If she isn't an 'eleven' on my scale of one to ten, I'm Gwendoline."  She stopped tickling and Megan collapsed, panting through her nostrils.  "Please, let's start with this one," she begged, her mask facing Bondarella.  "Please?"

"That's up to our patrons," Bondarella answered.  "But you'll probably get your wish."

Belladonna stood, lifted Gracie to her bound feet, then hefted her onto her shoulder in a fireman's carry.  "Since they were captured together, perhaps we should keep them for a full week, this time, and alternate their sessions, letting them rest in between," she suggested as she headed for the door.

"What a great idea!" Betty exclaimed, lifting and carrying Megan in the same manner.

"We'll see," Bondarella chuckled, and began using a cloth and a small spray bottle to wipe down the computer desk and keyboard.
The B-Files
Chapter 4
Belladonna and Betty carried their bound and gagged burdens to the end of the hallway, out onto a loading dock, and into a white panel truck.  The vehicle wasn't large, a boxy shell on a full-size pick-up frame.  The back was isolated from the cab and tall enough the prisoners and their handlers to stand.  The ceiling was a panel of translucent plastic.  The loading dock was screened on both sides by the brick walls of the building, and there were no witnesses to this stage of Gracie and Megan's abduction.

The catsuited kidnappers planted Gracie and Megan's feet in the center of a ring of rumpled canvas.  Betty put her arms around the captives in a tight embrace, pressing them together, breast-to-breast.  Meanwhile, Belladonna lifted the canvas, revealing it to be a heavy bag.  Something like a large mailbag, it was reinforced along the top, bottom, and side seams with wide bands of tan leather that also served to anchor heavy steel rings.

"I hope you two are on good terms," Betty whispered to the captives, as she released her embrace and helped Belladonna pull the bag up to their shoulders, "because togetherness is the order of the day."

Gracie and Megan locked eyes, or tried, anyway.  Their faces were too close for either of them to properly focus.  Meanwhile, their captors were tightening and buckling broad leather straps, cinching the bag and squeezing their bound bodies tightly together.  Next, long straps of nylon webbing were pulled from reels mounted around the periphery of the truck and clipped to the bag's steel rings.  Belladonna thumbed a switch, motors whined, drums began to turn, and the webbing tightened until the captives were lifted into the air.  The straps snapped tight and the drums locked.  Their feet were now about six inches off the floor of the truck and the tops of their heads a foot from the glowing ceiling.  The diagonal and horizontal web held them upright and in place at the shoulders, waist, knees, and ankles.

The back door of the truck opened, revealing Bondarella and a trolley laden with leather duffels.  Her minions unloaded and secured the luggage in side-racks while Bondarella inspected the captives.  She ducked through the taut web of straps and peered into the captive's glaring, gagged faces.  "Excellent," she purred.  "Bella," she said, "please be so good as to relocate to the far side of the front parking lot.  You know the place I've chosen."

Belladonna nodded, then exited via the back door.  Several seconds later, they heard the driver's door open and slam, then the truck's engine turned over and they lurched into motion.  Megan and Gracie swung and swayed in their canvas cradle as the truck repeatedly accelerated, decelerated, and made left and right turns.  Bondarella and Betty grabbed onto the straps and side-racks to steady themselves.  After only about a minute, they eased to a halt.

"Betty," Bondarella said.

Her minion took this as instructions to pull a laptop computer from one of the duffels.  She turned it on and placed it on a shelf where Gracie and Megan had an unobstructed view of the screen.  She then plugged in a cable and passed its end to Bondarella.  She, in turn, stepped forward and tapped on a small hatch on the front wall.  The hatch opened and a gloved hand accepted the cable.

Seconds later, the laptop's screen flashed and an image appeared.  Gracie and Megan recognized the front entrance of BDL Inc.  Their GSA sedan was still in its parking place.

"This is real-time video, of course," Bondarella purred.  "We're about fifty yards distant and partially screened by trees; but, as you can see, our dashboard camera has a perfect view."

Gracie sighed through her gag.  Their canvas prison gave them a little wiggle room, but not much.  She very much wanted to make some display of defiance, however pointless, but her options were severely limited.  A gagged tirade accompanied by pathetic squirming and struggling would only serve to entertain their captors, and would probably not be appreciated by her partner.  The captives were cheek-to-cheek (and gag-to-gag) as they stared at the screen, and Megan's body was pressed close against her own, and the thick, tight canvas was acting like a blanket, making things increasingly warm (and awkwardly embarrassing).

"We probably have a little while to wait," Bondarella said.

"Actually, not!" Betty gasped.  "Isn't that them?"

"Yes," Bondarella chuckled.  "Perfect timing.  This day is going so well."

On the screen, another GSA sedan was pulling into the slot next to Gracie and Megan's.  The doors opened, and Dana Scully and Claudia Bosco emerged.

"A pity there's no sound," Bondarella remarked, "but a parabolic mike mounted on the top of a laundry delivery vehicle might attract unwanted attention."

By their body language, it was clear that Scully and Claudia were on the alert.  Scully gestured at the other sedan and exchanged a few words with her Italian partner.  They approached BDL's front door and Claudia pulled it open.  Right hand inside her jacket (and on her weapon), Scully led the way inside.

"Well, time for us to go," Bondarella said.  She tapped on the front wall and the engine purred to life.  Meanwhile, Betty turned off the laptop and stowed it away.  "I wanted you to see your companions and would-be rescuers," Bondarella told the prisoners, "for you to see that they were so very close, but unaware of your fates.  Of course, they won't be unaware for long.  I left your weapons, ID and badge holders, cell phones, and the other loose items from your pockets in one of the offices.  They'll be found, eventually.  I left your jewelry as well—your rings, earrings, and necklaces."

"They might still have nipple, navel, or vaginal piercings," Betty noted, "and toe rings."

"We'll know that soon enough," Bondarella purred.

The truck began to move, and once again, the masked and catsuited kidnappers braced themselves by grabbing hold of straps and shelves.

"We're in for a bit of a drive," Bondarella explained, "so I suggest you both try to get a little rest.  You're going to need it, believe me."

Gracie glared at her captor's mask.  She'd be doing anything but rest, of course, and she knew Megan wouldn't be relaxing, either.  They'd both be listening for odd sounds, timing their turns, and trying to gauge their speed.  Eventually, after they were released... after their ordeals... they'd compare notes and might be able to determine at least the general area to which they were being taken.  It was a long shot, but it was all they had to do... other than worry about what lay ahead.

That damn beauty pageant! Gracie fumed.  Why do I have to be 'famous'?  She focused on one of her partner's freckled ears, remembering how young and cute Megan had looked during that "Weeping Willow" NYPD web-cast.  That was why her superiors had made her do it, of course.  Any of the other detectives in the squad would have looked laughingly out of place to the target audience.  Dammit!  Why do we have to be 'famous'?  And why didn't I see what was happening?  Why couldn't I protect my partner?

The truck continued its journey, one more commercial vehicle among the countless others crowding the roads and making local deliveries.


The B-Files
Chapter 4


Chapter 3

Chapter 5