Melody stood with her back to the refrigerator. She was staring down the barrel of the intruder's handgun, a weapon equipped with a long, and no doubt effective, silencer. She wanted to demand how he got in her apartment.  But the gun seemed to have the right of speaking first. She noted the man’s weasley-looking moustache.

 

Another man, rather burly, compared to the wiry pipsqueak with the gun, approached through the other end of the kitchen. She saw him out of the corner of her eye. In the time it took her to decide there was nothing she could do, the burly shadow had taken her neck in both his hands, forming a collar of warm, strong fingers. He pulled her back, away from the gun, out of the kitchen and into the living room. A strong afternoon sunlight illuminated everything in Melody's twelfth floor apartment.

 

Moustache came around the other side. "We’ve been waiting almost an hour for you." He put his piece on the coffee table and pulled a long rope from the gym bag on the floor. Not Melody's gym bag, not Melody's rope. Burly guy turned Melody around so she faced him, his fingers still on her neck, with sufficient grip to keep her docile. She struggled, raised her knee as if to connect with Burly's groin. He dodged easily and tightened his grip. She tried to scream. What she heard was a gasp and a croak. She could breathe but not much else. Moustache had both her wrists in one of his hands and quickly circled them with cotton rope. In a few seconds, they were cinched. Rather on the tight side of comfortable, Melody thought.

 

He seemed to know what he was doing. She would have panicked but she'd had her wrists tied behind her back before. In fact, her boyfriend Martin had tied them a week ago, the last night she'd seen him. They’d shared a lovely tryst in his penthouse apartment in downtown Toronto. At his mercy for those few sweet hours. Martin was a busy man, the entrepreneurial sort. He headed a plastics and metal forming company worth a few million dollars in sales per year. The next evening, when she'd texted him, he hadn’t replied. That was out of character. After three days’ absence – and silence – she'd gone to his office, only to be told he was out of the country on business. He hadn't mentioned anything! He would never go away without telling her where and why!

 

His staff had refused to tell her anything about his absence.

 

Moustache worked a second rope around her arms, above the elbows. He circled them five times, then cinched them. Her elbows felt very close, the muscles below the shoulder were stretched, immobile, beginning to ache. "Good?" It wasn’t clear who he was speaking to.

 

Burly said, “Looks good to me.” He lessened his grip on her neck. Melody coughed. "What? Is it good for me too? Why would you care? You've come to rob me, kill me, or rape me, maybe?"

 

Moustache grinned. He reached for Melody's purse on the floor. Burly put her on the couch and began gathering her flailing legs, trying to avoid being kicked by one or both of her clunky heeled boots. She wore hot pants -- it was September and warm for the season -- and her boots were soft leather and skin tight; they rose to her knee. Burly produced a leather belt with a double-tongued buckle and wrapped it twice around her ankles; his technique was as good as Moustache's. Then he looped a longer belt around her legs above the knees.

 

"Help!" cried Melody. "Somebody! Help me!" Moustache dropped the purse, Melody's cell phone fell out, skidded across the floor, and disappeared under the couch. Moustache whipped a large handkerchief out of his sports jacket and tried to stuff it in Melody's mouth. Burly's fingers, from behind her head, found the corners of her lips, pulled back on her cheeks, and did their best to help his partner silence the frantic girl. Moustache got the white mass of cotton stuffed in and Burly held it in place. Almost immediately, he felt Melody's teeth coming perilously close to his fingers as she chewed and tried to expel the wad with her tongue.

 

“You got another?" Burly asked. Moustache pulled a second handkerchief from his other pocket, wadded it into a ball, and pulled Melody’s mouth open from one side. He shoved the first handkerchief to the right, and the second one into her left cheek, pushing the excess down into the centre of her mouth. Suddenly she wasn’t trying to bite them anymore. Moustache removed his necktie and looped it several times around her head, while Burly still – more or less – held the writhing girl from behind, on the couch. Now Burly had a firm grip on her hair. With a knowing look at each other, Moustache and Burly finally, wordlessly, agreed she was secure. They each took a deep breath and let her go. She was panting hard, her eyes glared daggers at both of them. But she could hardly move, tied at four points and gagged.

 

"So, who are we? How’d we get in your apartment without changing or smashing your door lock?” Moustache paused for effect. “Good questions! Our intentions? Not for us to say, darling.”

 

Melody tried to stay calm; she knew it was the only way to endure this.  Two utter strangers, with ominous intent, in my apartment, in the middle of the weekday!  Her panic began to rise. There were no limits to what they might do. Burly pulled her upright. His hand on the back of her neck kept her from toppling back into the couch.

 

Moustache rummaged in her purse and pulled out her driver’s licence with its photo i.d. "Melody Throckmortense. Just checking, I'd hate for us to abduct the wrong person." He reached forward and felt one of her breasts. He rubbed her nipple roughly through the fabric of her dark blue tube top, and what he surmised was a strapless athletic bra. She looked as if she had just come home from the gym. No nipple ring or piercing of any kind,he thought.

 

He remembered the phone and got down on his knees to look under the couch. “Hmm. Pretty clean under here. You’re good with housework. A neat freak.” He paused. “Here it is.” He stood up again and put her phone in his pocket.

 

Burly abruptly stood and went back into the kitchen. Melody fell back into the cushions. Moustache smirked at her. Burly returned with the hockey bag they had brought. He withdrew a leather armbinder and put it on the coffee-table next to Moustache's gun. He looked in the deep bag and withdrew several leather collars. Moustache pulled Melody upright again, Burly checked the size of each collar against his victim's neck. At last he found a good match and began to put it on her.

 

"Hold her steady for God's sake” muttered Burly. “We don't have all day."

 

Burly attached the collar by two straps that circled the thicker leather inner wrap. One strap followed the collar's outside circumference around her neck, just under her chin. The other strap ran in parallel, just above the collarbone. "This collar is three and a half inches wide, just the thing for a long-necked filly like you." As Burly continued to tighten the straps, she felt her breath being constricted. "It has another feature we'll use in a minute."

 

Gagged as she was, Melody could only imagine what Burly was talking about. But he was evidently satisfied. He turned her around a little, stood up, and listened to her breathe. She was panting heavily. Suddenly, under her nose appeared a black and white photo of her boyfriend Martin. "You know this man?" Moustache asked. It was an enlargement of his security pass at work.

 

Melody nodded.

 

"I understand you've been looking for him? Have you been to the cops about the fact that he's missing?" Melody looked quizzically. "Has anyone spoken to his company about his whereabouts?" Melody shrugged. "C'mon sweetheart" He slapped her across the face. Not too hard, but enough to sting. She began to cry. Just a little. Moustache squeezed both her tits again. "We know you were at his company yesterday. Find out anything?"

 

He slapped her face again, harder. The necktie slid slightly under the blow. It wasn't going to keep her gagged for long. Burly handed him a long piece of thick cotton fabric. They removed the necktie, holding the wadded handkerchiefs in place, and wrapped the long piece of cotton around her head repeatedly, until the lower part of her jaw was completely covered. With about eight inches of unused cotton remaining in each hand, Moustache redoubled his efforts to tighten the whole ensemble, then squeezed the wrapping into a tube and worked that mass between her teeth. Then, he joined the loose ends and tied several knots at the centre of her open mouth, creating a cleave gag to hold the handkerchiefs in place. She thought she would choke, but she worked her tongue and jaw and began to exert a counter pressure to keep the two cotton wads  – partly in her cheeks anyway – from going deeper. She had found a way to keep them out of her throat. She was, of course, utterly silent.

 

Burly pulled her up off the couch and forced her to stand. Moustache steadied her from the front. Burly worked the black leather armbinder upwards, over her rope-bound wrists and elbows. It would have been too dangerous – to their mission  – to undo the ropes before mounting the armbinder. He laced it up and Melody groaned as her arms were pulled further together. Burly was diligent about the lacing. He was diligent about everything, Melody realized. He drew up a strap from the inside top of the armbinder and attached it to the back of her collar. He found the lowest accessible hole in the strap, and pulled the binder up as much as possible. He checked her breathing with a mirror. She snorted furiously through her nose. She wanted to scream, I'm still alive you creep!

 

"I guess there's nothing more you can tell us." Moustache laughed.  Oh, his jokes. 

 

Burly steadied her and attached a leather harness around her waist. With a little care – because he’d already bound her legs in two places – he threaded a strap through her crotch, pulled it tight and fastened it to the front of her waist belt.

 

"Tighter?" he asked Moustache. Moustache nodded. He brushed Burly’s fingers aside and redid the attachment and crotch strap until Melody cried out. Evidently there was an attachment on the strap on her backside because Melody felt Burly behind her. The bottom of the armbinder was being pulled down, not too severely, to a fixed point. Something metal clicked. Burly's hands left her. Melody tugged back, as if to loosen the tension on her neck and arms. There was no give in the leather sleeve any more. The bottom of the armbinder seemed to be attached between her legs. Tugging increased the pressure there, giving her a little charge. Hmm. I might just do that a few times she thought. If I get bored. Who knows how long I'll be tied in this rig?

 

Evidently, they weren't done. A third strap went around her legs below her knees and was pulled in. Burly produced some thin rope and cinched the leather bindings on her ankles and on those above and below her knees. She felt herself begin to fall. She did not fall. Moustache caught her. Then Burly handed Moustache a piece of garment leather – Melody couldn't see what it was. Burly steadied her from behind.

 

"Going on a little trip, darling. We’re gonna help you find your beloved Martin. Can’t say where, of course, and we'd hate for you to discover it on your own, so you'll be in this hood for a few hours. Pleasant dreams." Moustache pulled the hood down and all went dark. Burly, from behind her, began lacing the leather down the back of her head. The leather lay smoothly on her face, tightening with every jerk of the leather laces. Burly had strong fingers, Melody thought. The hood had no real collar to speak of. From the front, Moustache tightened a second lace at the bottom of hood to bring it snug to her neck and tightly under her chin. There were no eye openings or a mouth opening. There was however, a leather band worked into the design of the hood, that went around the lower part of the wearer's head. In Melody's case, as the leather band was tightened, the wad of cloth in her mouth and the knot in the cleave gag between her teeth were pushed further and further into her mouth, straining her jaw. Her face felt like it was locked open. She was one notch away from agony.

 

Once Moustache and Burly were satisfied Melody could not expel the gag and the hood was tight, they laid her on the floor, gathered her belongings and shoved them in their own bag of bondage gear. In the total blackness and silence of the hood, Melody began to drift, then sweat at the utter hopelessness of her situation. This is it, my life is over. All the babies I’ll never have. All the sex, I’m going to miss. Martin, where are you? This is the point you’re supposed to come charging in to rescue me!

 

Burly brought out a plywood box and the mover’s dolly they had hidden in her bedroom after they entered her apartment. Moustache checked the interior length of the box with a tape measure. He touched her on the head as she lay on the floor on her side, then ran his finger down the length of her leg. He made a flourish of measuring her length. He pulled on the armbinder to satisfy himself nothing had come loose.

 

He saw the baby monitor that had been installed inside the box, near the place where Melody's head would lie. Abduction and transportation: these assignments were always tricky, Moustache thought, Every job was different and often the equipment was too. The baby monitor seemed to be operative, but of course until they got her into the truck and the electronics hooked up, they wouldn't know for sure. Burly took out half the foam padding and they laid her in the box on her back. There were two strategically placed interior struts to support some of her weight. Cut-outs for her neck, shoulders and wrists. The foam underlay would do the rest of the job of supporting her. Once Melody was in, they strapped her down, in six places across her torso and legs, to prevent her from shifting as they went around curves or over bumps. Then, Burly packed the foam around her sides. Any noise she made would be picked up by the baby monitor; she’d be able to breathe through the nose piece of the hood. The box included a small breathing vent in the wall by her head. Her hood was soon secured by a strap the bottom of the box, that crossed her forehead. Another strap went around her neck. Snug, not tight. Her collar would protect her from any jostling against her windpipe, Burly thought. I’d hate to lose this one. God, she’s cute. I’m beginning to care. Hmm. Bad sign.

 

Burly filled the box with more layers of foam, leaving her hooded face clear for breathing. He also left space for the baby monitor and for air to enter through the vent. Moustache attached the box lid screws in the four corners with a power screwdriver. Burly ran three metal straps around the box and locked each with a heavy lock. He pocketed the keys. Together they put her box upright on the dolly. As they were about to leave, Moustache said, "I found a bag of the kid's gear in the other room. She's a bit of a bondage freak you know."

 

Burly raised an eyebrow as he steadied the box on its end. "Really! She didn't seem that kind of girl to me."

 

"Oh yeah. Look at this. Got her own chastity belt, some steel cuffs, some gags, some nipple clamps." Moustache kept poking through Melody’s bag. "Dildos, a nice sized butt plug. Lube, rope, quick links, carabiners, lots of stuff.” He paused. “Huh! What is she doing with a man's chastity cage? In fact, she's got two of them." Moustache saw Burly’s look of impatience so he closed the bag and hung it on one of the arms of the dolly.

 

"Let's get going, eh?" Burly asked. "Take that stuff if you want. Makes no sense to leave it behind. Especially a fitted chastity belt. Oh, and don’t leave your piece on the coffee table. Evidence, you know."

 

Moustache hung the bag over one of the dolly handles. He went back into Melody's bedroom. It had been painted a light lavender, with frilly, girly kinds of accents in many places. Her bed was a sturdy white metal-frame affair. There were tell-tale signs, like the small steel links on the footboard, that indicated it was used for bondage from time to time. Moustache lifted one of the pillows and found a pair of Peerless police handcuffs. He opened a closet and found a few leather and rubber outfits. There were four or possibly five pairs of high-heeled boots in the bottom of the closet. On one side of the closet was a red latex bodysuit and next to it, a matching black one.

 

From the other room, Burly voice insisted. "Time to go!" Moustache only had time to take a rubber corset from a hanger and the handcuffs from the bed. He stuffed them in a bag he found over a door handle and rejoined his partner in the living room. “I know you’re distracted, but I’ve got the girl, the box, and the heavy lifting,” said Burly. “The least you could do is to not forget your gun on the coffee-table.”

 

Moustache swept up the gun and holstered it under his jacket. They edged out into the hallway. Fortunately, it was empty. The locked up and moved quickly from Melody's door. It was late afternoon. They hadn't been able to get one of the furniture-moving elevators on standby. They hadn't been able to contact the building superintendent at all. Luckily, most of the other building tenants were in rising elevators at this time. Even though they stopped twice on floors below Melody’s, no one wanted an elevator going down, seeing it occupied by Moustache, Burly and a seven-foot high heavy plywood box on a dolly. Finally they were on the first floor. Burly glanced out the glass windows of the lobby. Their van with “Flowers To Go” painted garishly on both sides, was still there, across the street. No parking ticket, that he could see.

 

They lifted Melody's box inside, through the back doors. Moustache got in the driver’s seat and fired up the engine. He found the wires for the baby monitor  and handed them back to Burly. Burly was busy attaching the box to the floor of the van. He plugged in the wires for the monitor. They heard the sound of her breathing. Burly knocked on the top. "Hey kiddo. You awake in there?"

 

Melody groaned in reply. "Probably needs to pee. We should have asked before we tied her up." Moustache laughed at his own joke. Burly was all business and kindness. "Yes that would have been the considerate thing to do, wouldn't it." He fastened his seat-belt and they headed off.

 

After struggling with traffic in the city, they finally got to the highway and headed out of town. By the end of the first hour, their captive was beginning to make noise over the baby monitor, like she was in distress. They pulled off the highway onto a much quieter rural road. This was farming country. Wheat, barley, flax, vegetables, some cattle farms, and the occasional equestrian training centre. Moustache sighed with relief to be away from the heavy traffic, the stop-and-go to slow pace. They took a gravel drive around the back of an abandoned restaurant, a closed, boarded-up truck stop and parked. It was a suitable spot they’d used before. Nothing but fields of corn before them.

 

Burly pulled open the sliding side door of the van and looked at the box. To judge by Melody’s muffled whining and crying, she had to come out immediately. Burly pulled the power screwdriver from its pouch on the wall of the van and began removing the screws from the four corners of her travel box.

 

 

 

End of Part One


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