Lindsay Lloyd, Lacey's older sister, was just back from a two-week stint in Europe when she finally met the man who had been studying her for months. She was accustomed to attention from men--they just couldn't help themselves, it seemed--but not this kind of attention.
Lindsay was five-seven, but in her work heels (four-inch stiletto pumps of glossy black leather; $425 on Fifth Avenue) she was in the six-foot range. Heads turned as she pulled her airline-issued luggage behind her down the terminal, walking at a steady, unhurried pace, placing one spike heel expertly down in front of the other. She was used to stares, used to guys elbowing each other even when she wore the most conservative of outfits. Her sister was a busty little blonde hottie, but Lindsay was a dream out of a magazine: Beautiful. Her hair, a shade darker blonde than her sister's, was long and straight, and her eyes were a kind of sky blue that made people stare. She was used to hearing compliments, but actually not all that accustomed to being hit on, since it usually took too many drinks to stand up straight to gather up the courage to talk to a woman like Lindsay Lloyd. She was 25.
She spoke eleven languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese; had studied judo and karate; had a near-photographic memory. Her degree was in Philosophy. Her IQ, tested in the third and eleventh grade, was 150.
She wore the flight attendant uniform, navy blue with pinstripes, and black stockings; underneath her form-fitting skirt was a garter belt, a bonus for first-class passengers who occasionally got a long view of her stocking the bottom shelf of a drink tray. Her breasts were legendary among the flight crews; none of them had seen them, though there were rumors. She was friendly and flirty, but she wasn't an easy conquest at all.
Except she was being watched. And a trap was being laid. She sensed nothing amiss as she stepped into the chilly autumn air and caught the shuttle that happened to pull up at that moment. Being the only passenger didn't faze her; she sat in one of the side-facing seats near the front and took out her iPad. For some reason it wasn't getting a signal. She held the button down and set it aside to restart, crossed her gorgeous legs, and leaned down to remove a high heel and massage her own nylon-sheathed foot.
She didn't notice the unusual turn the shuttle made, but she did notice the deserted area it was traveling through a minute later. "Excuse me," she said to the hunched driver. It was impossible to tell whether it was a man or a woman. "Um, excuse me, is this the shuttle to long-term?"
"In a sense, yes it is, Ms. Lloyd," a masculine voice said. A surprisingly smooth voice, inflected with some continental accent.
But all she heard was her name. "You know me? Do I know you?"
"No, not yet. But I've made the acquaintance of someone you know."
Lindsay was standing, holding onto the rail, trying to lean forward and get a look at the driver. He swerved suddenly, throwing her off-balance in her stilettos and then cutting the shuttle into a metal-walled shed at the back of the unused parking lot they were well into.
"Hey!" she shouted. She landed in the bench seat opposite where she'd been. Now the shuttle had stopped moving. The driver stood up—tall, not old and hunched as she'd thought—dropping the cloak he'd used to make himself unremarkable. Fully revealed he was anything but unremarkable, a tall, robust man with dark hair carefully cut and graying just slightly at the temples.
Lindsay was on her feet. She toed off her heels and fell back into a fighting stance. "Who the hell are you, and how do you know who I am, and where are we?"
The man held up a hand. "Please. There's no need for violence. This will be a very…peaceful transaction. First, allow me to offer you a portable data device which works." He pulled a slim iPad from behind the driver's seat, touched a button somewhere, and lit it up. He held it in front of him at chest level.
"First, do you recognize this young lady?" It was an image of Lacey, dressed in black skirt and tall boots, walking across some major street in the city. Fifth Avenue, maybe. The image cut to a closer shot, obviously taken from a distance with a very powerful zoom lens. It showed her face, a photo from the bust up. She was pushing hair out of her face and re-affixing a scrunchie to her ponytail. There was no mistaking her.
"What the hell?" Lindsay's stance lost some of its precision; her hands fell.
"Ah. Yes. So you'll recognize this as well."
The image clicked, and now it was a shot from above, showing the same girl—Lindsay's sister—bound into a strict hogtie with white rope, her mouth covered with a broad strap of duct tape. Her eyes were uncovered, though, and they showed all kinds of terrible things: confusion, discomfort, fear.
"Lacey!" she said. "What the fuck? Where's Lacey at, you son of a bitch?" She dropped back into her best judo stance, ready to deliver a chop to this guy's throat at her first opportunity.
"Please." He held up a hand the way a judge might wave people standing at his entrance back into their seats. "Sit down, put your lovely shoes back on."
"Fuck you. Where is my sister?"
He held up a slender SmartPhone. "Your sister is on the other end of this line, with my associate. If I call and give the word, he will kill her with a single injection. Painless, as she has done nothing to wrong me, but as you see, irreversible. She is helplessly bound and unable to resist. And—before you think of some sort of attack—if I do not call in for any reason, the same consequences will befall your pretty young sister."
It all hit her. She was cornered. She backed up, no longer looking for a way to kill the guy. It was something she had to think her way out of.
"Please, Ms. Lloyd—Lindsay—put your shoes back on."
"You may want them later. Have a seat." He held up the phone, waggled it. "I'm afraid I must insist."
She edged toward him, and he backed courteously away. She glanced down for just an instant, located her heels, and plucked them off the aisle floor. Then she sat, nervously, and brought her stockinged feet up and snugged them back into the high-heeled pumps.
"Happy?" she said.
"Yes, so far. We must have a serious conversation, you and I, but it will be me who does the talking and you who does the listening. Very important. But it is necessary that you not know where we take you, so…."
He took something else out of the slot behind that driver's seat. It was a sealed zip-lock back, one of the really big ones. Inside was a simple dust mask, the kind painters wore, or the guys who gutted old buildings and had to worry about asbestos or black mold.
"This mask has been treated with a sedative," he said. "Essentially it is an enhanced form of ether. Chloroform is effective, but can be dangerous."
"You're not fucking chloroforming me."
"Right you are, Lindsay." He tossed the bag to her; it landed in her lap without her touching it.
"Again, I must insist," he said, holding up the phone another time. "Simply open the bag and hold the mask over your mouth and nose, as you normally would. There is no need to fasten the elastic. Simply hold it in place on your face, and take deep inhaling breaths. Very simple. You will be anesthetized by the chemical, and when you awake, we will have our important talk."
"You want me to put myself to sleep?"
"Yes. And you only have…four minutes before I have to call in. Recall young Lacey, trussed like a Christmas goose. Her fate is in your hands."
She lifted the bag, making a disgusted face. "This isn't safe," she said, trying one last time. "Just blindfold me. I won't be able—"
"Three minutes, Lindsay. The sedative takes a moment to take effect. I would act quickly if I were you."
"Shit," she said quietly. She opened the bag, and immediately smelled the hospital smell of the drug. She recoiled, looked at the man. "I'll be safe?"
"Yes. Now." He gestured up, up with his free hand. "Over your face, like so."
"You're not going to get away with this."
"We already have your sister. Now we have you. Good night, Ms. Lloyd. It is naptime now."
He laughed gently. She braced herself, took the slightly damp mask out, and put it gingerly over her mouth and nose. She exhaled…and then drew a breath in.
Things went hazy at once. She wasn't aware of her breathing, but the second inhale put her under, her eyes rolling up, her last impression of the waking world the sound of the evil driver's erudite voice.
"Pleasant dreams, Lindsay Lloyd. Pleasant dreams."
The stewardess fell limp in her seat, her arm falling away from her face and dropping the mask to the floor. The man picked it up gingerly and resealed it in the bag. He punched a number series into the phone, sent it as a text. Then he delved into the space under the driver's seat, dragging out a plastic shelving container. Inside was folded a white rubber restraint jacket, the same design as a canvas model but made for a smaller physique, and made to cling tightly. Lindsay Lloyd was well drugged, but he spoke to her anyway. She was so lovely.
"You're peacefully asleep now, Lindsay, but I cannot have you waking up too soon. You'll forgive me." He produced a hypodermic needle, pulled her limp arm toward him, and injected her in the vein at the inside elbow. She groaned slightly and shifted just a little, her feet moving slightly across the floor, but then she seemed to settle a little more as the stronger drug took effect. Now she would sleep like a baby for quite some time. And was helpless as one, as well.
"Now, I have the honor of making you truly helpless," he said with obvious relish, and pulled out the jacket. He smoothed it against his chest. It was tiny, really; made to squeeze.
And when he had wrangled her limp form into it, its stretchiness squeezed her tits wonderfully, though it came up to the throat. He took his time with the strap at the bottom, the one that went between the legs and had to be tightened at the back; it pulled her skirt up and revealed that expensive satin garter belt. He tightened it well, and stepped back to take a look at her. Her arms were all the way in the sleeves, which were designed to prevent her from even lifting a finger where they wrapped around her upper body. She looked like she was hugging herself in the cold, though her legs were splayed in the aisle.
He took care of that with the roll of duct tape in the box. First the ankles, then the thighs just above the knee. Then he stripped off a piece about ten inches long, bent to look her in the face. Her eyes showed a sliver of white where the lids didn't quite meet—a symptom of involuntary slumber.
"Lindsay, I'm pleased to make your acquaintance, but as I said, our conversation will consist of me talking, and you listening. This should help you remember which one of us is intended to *listen*."
He stretched the tape across her ruby red lips, sealing them shut, and pressed the tape across her cheeks almost to her ears. He used his thumbs to press it firmly in place over her mouth, which was visible very faintly as a horizontal ridge in the surface of the silver tape. Now she was well and truly packaged.
He took out a padded blanket, draped it across the aisle further up, near the driver's seat, and lifted her lithe, fabulously gorgeous body in his arms, then settled her on the blanket. She wouldn't fall down here, and if she happened to awaken, she could do no harm, restrained as she was.
He punched a button on the phone and put it to his ear, waited a moment. "I have the package, wrapped and sealed, ready for delivery." After listening to a brief response he folded it away.
"Now," he said to the unconscious woman, settling behind the wheel. "Let's get down to business."
The airport shuttle backed out of the crude shelter and headed back the way it had come.
To Be Continued...
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