Market Forces
Part 2
by Freddie Clegg

© Freddie Clegg 2007. No posting or reproduction without permission.

Chapter 7: Red Sales In The Sunset

Clegg called me the following day. “Good job on the Hollis pick up,” he said. “Knew I could rely on you.”

“Well, I’m not sure I’m suited to field operations. It wasn’t quite as straight forward as it should have been.”

“No,” said Freddie. “So I heard. Still never mind. Harry seemed to think you did all right, all things considered. It ended up clean, That’s the main thing. Anyway – Sales Centre – you said you wanted to see it. Suggest you get up there today. That’s if your headache is better.”

I could almost hear the smirk. “Fine. Thanks. I’ll get on my way,” I said.

The Sales Centre looked impressive from the moment I first saw it. It was a large modern building clad in stainless steel, overlooking a lake and parkland. It looked like a very upmarket car dealership and the Ferraris parked in front certainly added to that impression.

I’d been invited to watch an auction. By the time I arrived the buyers were already in place, chatting away one to another. The first lot was already on the block – my erstwhile girl friend, Rebecca.

The auctioneer was standing on a small podium to one side of a stage. “Gentlemen, welcome. Our first lot this morning is #06/078, caucassian, 24 year old female, fully trained as a flight attendant, fluent in French and German as well as her native English. Recently acquired and prepared to level one. You’ll see in your catalogue that…. “

Rebecca was sitting passively on a stool in the middle of a raised stage, her hands clasped loosely together in her lap, make up perfect. She was staring blankly ahead across the group of buyers that were lounging on couches in frront of the platform. She seemed almost unaware of her surroundings. She was wearing her Atlantic Airlines cabin crew uniform. The dark blue jacket and skirt were clean and pressed, her white blouse starched and fresh, her forage cap perched on immaculately back-combed and lacquered hair.

“78,” the auctioneer called, “if you could let these gentlemen see you move please.”

Rebecca looked across of the auctioneer and got slowly to her feet. Without a word she walked slowly from left to right across the stage, turned to face the buyers and then walked back to stand beside the stool. As she did so I realised that the heels she was wearing were higher than anything she’d have normally worn on-board and her skirt had been altered to make it narrower, giving her walk an agreeable wiggle.

“Your jacket, please,” the auctioneer said. Rebecca slipped the jacket from her shoulders and placed it neatly on the stool. “And turn, please.” Rebecca turned around, giving the audience a good view of her body.

“Open the blouse.” She stood still and unfastened the buttons of her blouse without protest. As she let it fall open I could see that she was wearing a white under-wired bra that was presenting her tits to the best advantage. She normally wore something with a softer line. I had to admit I preferred the new look. She let her hands fall to her side.

“And the skirt, please.” She unfastened the waist band and stepped out of her skirt, placing it on top of her jacket. She was wearing stockings, a plain white garter belt and white panties. These guys evidently know how to get a girl to do what they want, I thought. I’d been trying without success to get Rebecca to wear stockings ever since I met her, but then I hadn’t tried shutting her up naked in a cage as a way of convincing her that I had the right ideas about how she should look. I wondered if they’d had her on the fellatio trainer too.

“And turn again.” Rebecca did as she was told. I looked at the group of buyers, they were nodding approvingly.

“There we are, gentlemen. I think you’ve all had the opportunity to examine this lot. I have a number of initial offers so I would like to start the bidding at $60,000.”

There was a flurry of response in the room. Bids ran quickly up to $90,000 but then slowed. The auctioneer walked over to where Rebecca was standing. “Come along, gentlemen, please,” he said “I’m sure we can do better than that.” He clicked his fingers and pointed to the floor. Rebecca dropped obediently to her knees. “Very responsive you see, gentlemen, and with some unique skills from her airline training.”

One of the bidders to my left was muttering into a mobile phone. He waived his catalogue to indicate a further bid. More bids followed and the price skittered up to $130,000 before stalling again. “Are we all done, gentlemen?” the auctioneer asked. “It’s in the room at $130,000 against you, sir,” he nodded to the man on the mobile phone. “For the last time, at $130,000. No more?” The man with the mobile phone shook his head. “$130,000 then.” Rebecca peered into the audience, looking scared. She looked back towards the auctioneer as the gavel came down. “Sold! Thank you.”

As soon as the gavel came down a man appeared on the platform with a pair of handcuffs. He waited for the few moments that Rebecca took to get dressed before cuffing her wrists behind her. The auctioneer said, “Client 1033.” The man wrote the number on a label and fastened it to the collar around Rebecca’s neck. He grasped her arm and led her from the stage. The auctioneer turned back to the audience. “Our next lot is #06/082,” he said as another girl was led onto the stage.

The buyer who had been successful in his bid for Rebecca got up from his seat. He was a thin man, a little shorter than me, blinking short sightedly at his surroundings. I approached him as he went to leave the room. “I wonder if I could have a word,” I said.

He looked at me myopically, peering through thick lensed glasses. “Yes, yes, of course. You’re Clegg’s new man, aren’t you?”

“Err, yes, Larry, Larry Ross” I replied, surprised that news of my appointment had been shared with Clegg’s clients.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “Clegg and I go back a long way. He told me he was bringing in someone to help with the business. I’ll be interested to see what you make of it. I’ve been buying here for years and I’ve had some good pieces from him. This one’s going to be handy for my new business jet.”

“Were you pleased with the price?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said, “not bad at all. I thought it was going to be even better at one point but that phone bidder kicked it up a bit. That’s what I like about Clegg’s sales, there’s often quite a small number of buyers. Means that prices stay sensible if you get my drift.”

I nodded, hoping to get him to talk further but he made his excuses to go.

“I’m sorry, I really need to go and arrange shipment details for that young lady. There’s another lot I’m interested in a little later on and I’d hate to miss it.”

“Of course,” I said. “I don’t mean to hold you up. Enjoy your purchase.”

“Thank you,” he said. “I really think I will.”

I watched as some more lots went under the hammer. Each time the girl was brought out, told to exhibit herself by removing some or all of her clothes and then subjected to the humiliation of hearing the bids called out.

The auction came to and end. The buyers began to disperse.

I heard a voice behind me. “Larry, can I have a word.” It was the auctioneer. “Hi,” he said, “we haven’t been introduced yet. I’m Brian – I run the Sales Centre, Freddie asked me to look after you.”

“Well thanks Brian. The auction seemed to go OK.”

“Yeah, not too bad. We could have done with a few more buyers. The prices weren’t all I’d hoped for. Still, the stewardess fetched a good price. Better than expected.”

I thought back to what her buyer had said. I wondered who had the better idea. I said, “This is a pretty impressive place.”

“Glad you think so,” said Brian. “Come and see some of the stock.” He gestured to the door that the girls had been brought through. We walked down a corridor similar to the one at the reception centre, its glass panels looking into a series of cells. Given that a sale had just finished I was surprised by how many girls were still there.

Brian suggested that we stop by one of the cells and listened in. There were three of them in there; all naked and chained but not gagged. They each wore a collar from which a chain ran to a ring set in the wall. On a low table in one corner of their cell stood four beakers and four metal plates that held the remains of a meal. Brian flicked a switch on the wall and a speaker crackled into life above our heads. The girl sitting on the floor with her back to us was speaking, the others looking at her. “...after all if that’s what needed.”

“No, Sally,” a dumpy brunette standing opposite her folded her arms. “Can’t you see that‘s just giving in to them?”

“We’re not supposed to use names,” a redhead standing beside Sally said. “Please don’t use names, they might be listening.”

“And you,” the brunette was scornful, “you’re every bit as much help to them as you can be, Anna, and what are you getting for it? Is your chain any longer than mine? Is your collar not as tight as mine? Are you raped less often?”

Anna hung her head. “No, no. It’s just that we should do as we are told. It will be easier for us.”

“Easier for them, you mean. You can give up your name if you like. I’ll hang on to mine as long as I can.”

“Why weren’t we sold today? There was a sale today, I’m sure.”

“Who the fuck knows? What does it matter, Sally? What does it matter? We’re still here. Maybe we can get out of here.”

“Perhaps it’s because you’re so difficult.” Anna spoke out. “They’ll keep us here until you’re ready to do what they want. And don’t talk about trying to get away, they’ll punish us if you try to get away. They’ll punish us if we talk about trying to get away.”

The brunette span around as the cell door opened and two guards entered. Without a word one wrenched her arms behind her back and cuffed her wrists together. The other jammed a plug gag into her mouth and strapped it tightly in place. “You know the rules, 201,” he said. “No names.” She tried to kick out at him, earning a slap in the face for her trouble. The man holding her arms pushed her down in a corner of the cell. He walked across to Anna. “Thanks for the tip off, darling,” he said as the two of them left the cell locking the girls in once more.

Anna looked confused. Sally said, “How could you? How could you?”

“I didn’t. Really I didn’t,” Anna replied as Sally moved away from her.

The brunette grunted angrily into her gag.

“Did she?” I asked Brian.

“No, I shouldn’t think so,” he replied. “It’s just the sort of thing the guards will do to break them up and break their spirit. They’ll have heard them talking on the monitors.”

“Shouldn’t they be a bit more docile than that after orientation? I mean the others that I’ve seen are really disorientated.”

“Well, yes, they would be usually but if we’re holding them until a specific buyer is available then we do some of the orientation here. I’m not sure what’s gone on there but they’re probably due for another week or so here. Maybe I’ll talk to the Prep Centre.”

We moved on to another room. “I thought I’d give you a buyer’s experience,” Brian said. “I’ve had a few girls put into the display area where the buyers get to check out the lots before an auction and then we’ll have one of the girls brought in for a pre-sale interview.. As far as she’s concerned you’re a potential new owner. It’ll give you a chance to see how we set things up for customers. Are you happy with that?”

“Yeah, that sounds fine. I’m sure I can project myself into the mind of one of your customers. Where’s the display area?”

Brian pointed to another featureless door. “Through there,” he said. “Come on, I’ll show you.” He opened the door to a brightly lit room.

Along the left hand side of the room as we entered were five diagonal crosses of wood, and on the facing wall were another five, identical to the first except that four of these were each occupied by a naked and shackled girl. With their hands cuffed above their heads, one to each upper arm of the cross and their legs spread with their ankles cuffed to each of the lower arms, they were completely exposed and accessible to the prospective buyers.

Brian showed me each of the girls in turn. “An interesting selection,” he said. “The results of a visit by one of our teams to a shopping mall. We ‘borrowed’ one of the dress shops there that caters for young ladies like these. Dresses for those looking for something a little daring to go clubbing in perhaps, or to impress a prospective boyfriend. We made a few adjustments to the arrangements of the changing rooms and we were able to collect these delightful specimens. I think you’ll find them to your taste.”

“Let’s see,” I said walking up to the first and youngest looking girl. She looked terrified as I gripped her chin and turned her head from side to side, examining her face. “Hmm, a bit of acne I see.”

“Ah,” said Brian, “often a problem with diet for girls of this age. You’ll find that will clear up with a normal slave’s feeding regime.”

I took hold of a hank of her auburn hair. “This feels a bit oily to me and the hair seems quite brittle.”

“Yes, said Brian, again changing the feeding regime will help that and of course she colours her hair. I’m sure you’ll either be using better stylists than she could afford or returning her to her natural colour or keeping her shaved. I don’t think that should be a problem.”

“Maybe not,” I said. I moved my hand back to her face. “Eyes look clear enough though.”

Brian looked at the number on the tag attached to the girl’s collar and consulted the list on the clip board he as holding. “Let’s see. Yes, perfect vision without glasses or contact lenses, this one.”

I let go of her chin and let my hands run down to her breasts. They were pleasantly full, with perky nipples that stiffened to the touch and wide dark areolas. “And these are real?” I asked, bringing a whimper from the girl.

“Quiet you!” Brian admonished. “Yes, not enhanced as far as we can tell. It’s quite unusual to find much surgery done on girls under twenty five.”

The next captive was less cooperative. She hung her head sullenly as I approached her. “Look up,” barked Brian grabbing her by the hair and jerking her head up.

“Now this one is of eastern extraction. Indian or Pakistani?”

“Bangladeshi,” said Brian consulting his clipboard. “Parents originally from Rangpur but she’s British, born and brought up in Birmingham. Just graduated from medical college.”

“Bright girl then?”

“Yes. We don’t routinely IQ test them but it’s reckoned that a medical graduate typically has an IQ of 125.”

I ran my hands across her breasts and down across her belly to her crotch, she tried to avoid my touch, struggling against the cuffs that held her spread-eagled on the cross, “Well that may actually be a drawback for what I have in mind for whichever I purchase. Still she’s got quite a nice taut body. Looks like she kept herself fit. Maybe the athleticism compensates for the brain power.” The girl scowled at me as we walked on to the next. “You said that you ‘borrowed’ the shop. Can I take it that you acquired the staff as well?”

Brian smirked. “Yes indeed,” he said. “One of the team ‘entertained’ three of them in the stock room while three of our girls ran the shop on their behalf. The staff were a bit the worse for wear when we got them back – it was hard for our man to keep his hands off them ‘cos they’d been stripped of their uniforms for our girls. We drove them all off in the shop’s van at the end of the day. We took the stock as well, cleaned the place out. These little shops are closing down all the time. No one thinks too much about it.”

The next girl was more an advert for fast food outlets than health food shops. She had full breasts that certainly wouldn’t pass the pencil test, a thick waist and heavy thighs. In spite of this she returned my appraising looks with an earthy, sexual gaze. She writhed appreciatively as I pinched and squeezed at her nipples. “This one,” I said, “might be useful. What’s her background?”

“Bit of a young entrepreneur, that one. Started up her own business with a network of office cleaners.”

“Excellent, excellent,” I said. She looked hopeful. “I need someone to keep the place clean, and this one will look good corseted into a maid’s uniform. She won’t need much training in what’s required, will she?”

“Bastard!” the girl exclaimed pulling against the straps that stretched her out on the wooden cross. “I’m no skivvy!”

“You’re told not to talk to the buyers,” Brian barked slapping her face.

“That’s all right,” I said, warming to my part. “A little spirit goes a long way. I find it’s easier to break the competent to my will than to teach the incompetent. She’ll see sense, I’m sure.”

She growled but said nothing. The next girl was more distressed than angry. She tried to keep still as I ran my hands testingly over her body but it was evident that she was having to try hard to suppress a reaction.

“This one is more docile,” Brian advised. “The marks from her beatings have more or less healed. She needed rather more encouragement than is usual.” I could see that there were still raised lines on the inside of her thighs but she did not try to pull away as I touched the bruised area.

“Hmm,” I said seemingly uninterested. “I’m not so keen on these shorter girls. I suppose she good be used for breeding stock. What do you think?”

“She not been pregnant that we know of,” Brian said, “but she’s fertile enough. Her periods have been disrupted since she came here, but that’s not uncommon. She could be useful if you’re looking to breed.”

“Well, thank you,” I said. “I’ve seen enough for now.” Brian smiled and showed me out. “That was useful. Who decided to do the shop raid? Actually, who chooses the targets generally? I mean, how do you decide which girls to pick up?

“Ah, good question,” said Brian, “I hadn’t thought about it all that much, I just do the selling. I guess it’s the snatch squads. Sometimes Freddie comes up with an idea but mainly it’s the squads themselves, I think...”

That seemed a bit odd to me but I let it pass. We went into another room. ”We’ve set up a face to face sales interview here,” Brian explained. “The sort of thing all the girls have to do if there’s a client that seems particularly interested after seeing them in the display hall. The girl we’ve chosen is due to start sales interviews this week so she should be as ready as they usually are.”

“Bring her in,” I said, “let’s see how she acquits herself.”

A young woman, about twenty five years old was brought in by one of the guards, led by a leash from her collar. She was dressed in a simple black dress with long sleeves and a skirt that stretched to just above her knees. She was carrying a small back case in hands that were cuffed in front of her. Her hair was dark and wavy; long, it hung to below her shoulders. Her skin was pale, dark eyebrows, dark eyes, and full red lips stretched around the ball that gagged her. I looked at her body. Her dress wasn’t doing her any favours but it looked as if she might have a reasonable figure underneath it. She was wearing black tights or stockings and high heels. Her legs looked OK.

Brian put a file on the table in front of me. “This is 05/179,” he said. “I think you’ll find she has the profile you’re looking for.”

“Hmm,” I said getting to my feet. “I’m not so sure.” The girl looked concerned as I approached her. “It’s hard to tell if she’s got much of a body.” I took the case from her and put it on the desk. I lifted her skirt. She was wearing stockings. She had no pants on. I had a good view of her neatly trimmed bush. I dropped her skirt. The girl looked relieved. I sat down and looked across at Brian. “So what’s the sales pitch for this one?” I asked.

“She can do that herself,” said Brian getting up and loosening off the girl’s gag.

She shook her head as the ball came free of her mouth. “Thank you, Sir,” she said automatically.

“See,” said Brian, “she’s had her initial orientation training. You’ll find her appropriately respectful. Stand up straight girl, and answer the questions.”

I turned to the girl. “Well, you’d better tell me about yourself, if you’re looking for a new owner as I hear.”

“Yes, Sir,” the girl replied. “I’m number 05/179, I’m 24 years old, British born. I speak French and Italian as well and English. I have a degree in music and I was most recently a clarinettist in a classical wind quintet.”

“Sexual experience?” The girl blushed. “I mean before you came here, I imagine you’ve had plenty during your orientation; that doesn’t count.”

“I’ve had two lovers, Sir. One shortly after I went to university and the other a year ago. I don’t really consider myself sexually experienced but I am sure that I can be trained to be a good slave in that way.”

“Men or women?”

“I’m sorry, Sir?”

“Your lovers. Were they men or women?”

“Oh, I see, men Sir, both of them. I’ve never, well, been, with a woman. Not even here. But, Sir if that was what you required of course I would…”

I cut her off, “Yes, of course you would. I was interested in actual experiences however.”

She looked abashed and hung her head. “No, Sir,” she said.

“Never mind. That needn’t be a problem. You play clarinet?”

“Yes, Sir. That’s my instrument,” she pointed to the case on the desk. “I could play for you if you like. If my hands can be freed.” She held her hands out towards me.

“I would like that, girl,” I said. Brian got up and unlocked the girl’s cuffs. She moved to pick up the clarinet. “Take off your dress first.”

She looked shocked but composed herself quickly. She reached behind her back and unzipped the dress. She shrugged it from her shoulders and it felt to the floor about her ankles.

“And the bra,” I said. She unclipped the front fastening of her bra and pulled it off. She stepped out of her dress and put it and the bra on a chair beside the desk. “Not too bad,” I said, giving her an appraising look. “All right, get on with it.”

She reached for the pieces of the clarinet and put them together. She took a reed from the case and wetted it between her lips before fitting it in place. She put the mouthpiece between her lips and sucked at it.

“That’s a useful skill apart from her music,” Brian prompted. “Show us!” The girl gave a frightened look but then started to suck and lick at the clarinet as if it were a man’s cock. She reached down with the clarinet and pushed it into her cunt before returning it to her mouth and repeating her lascivious performance.

“Now, that I like,” I said. “And you thought I couldn’t appreciate skilled musicianship. All right, enough of that, let’s hear you play.”

She started with the wailing opening of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. It was almost enough to make me leap the desk and fuck her there and then. I restrained myself, sitting quietly, absorbing the music. She was lost in concentration, appeared to have forgotten that all she was wearing was a pair of shoes, stockings and a leather collar. She moved on to a classical piece. I’m no expert but it could have been Mozart. Then back to jazz, with a couple of Sidney Bechet tracks. I was enjoying it, which wasn’t really the point. I waved her to stop. “OK,” I said, “that’ll do.”

She stood quietly, licking her lips, breathing slowly. “Should I put my cuffs back on?” she asked. I nodded, she put her clarinet back in the case and locked the cuffs back around her wrists

“All right, tell me how you come to be here.”

She looked across questioningly at Brian. He nodded.

“Err, I was kidnapped, Sir.” She said, in a husky tone.

“I imagined so, girl. I hardly thought you had put yourself up for sale. Tell me how.”

“Oh, I see. But… Oh, I hate to remember it.” She put her hands to her face.

“Listen young lady,” I said sternly, “your life became your owner’s property from that point on. You’ll tell me willingly or you’ll suffer for it.”

“No, please. I don’t want to be hurt any more. I’ll tell you. Listen. I got an email. It was from the leader of our quintet. Or I thought it was. It asked me to go to a new rehearsal room that evening. We were preparing for a concert. This was somewhere I hadn’t been before. The street was dark. There were two other musicians standing outside the hall, a man and a woman in a cape. I didn’t recognise them. We stood around waiting for the hall to open. A car pulled into the road, drove up and stopped alongside us. And…” She faltered.

“Go on,” I urged, “continue.”

The girl swallowed. “The woman took off her cloak and threw it over my head. They pushed me into the car and drove off. It was all so quick, I didn’t have a chance too cry out or anything. They tied me up and pushed me down on the floor of the car and just drove away. They put something in my mouth and taped it shut. I couldn’t cry out. It happened in moments. One minute I was waiting to play, the next I was on my way here.”

“And then? Your training. Have you been trained?”

“Well, Sir, I know I am only starting to learn. I know that I have to do all I am told by my owner. I think you will find me obedient and willing to please.”

“Hmm, perhaps. Turn around again for me. Put your hands on your head, I want a clear view.”

She did as I asked, still evidently embarrassed by her virtual nakedness.

I turned to Brian. “I’m not sure that she’s really what I’m looking for,” I said.

She fell to her knees as I got up to leave, grabbing out at my ankles. “Oh, please,” she said, “please, you must buy me. I’ll be punished if they think I haven’t done a good enough job of selling myself, please you must understand. I cannot stay here.”

I looked down at the naked musician sprawled at my feet. “You’ll need a more convincing reason than that, girl. No one is going to take you on just because you want to leave here. They’ll buy you if they think that you’re the most useful for them. Now let go. You’ll be taken back to your cell.”

Brian and I left the room with the girl still on the floor sobbing. We looked back in through the one-way glass panel as a guard appeared to return her. He jammed the gag back into her mouth and hauled her to her feet before ordering her to pick up her clarinet case and clothes. He clipped her leash to her collar and hauled her back out of the room.

“How was that,” said Brian.

“Interesting,” I said.

“You should come in and do that for all the girls,” Brian said. “They could do with a practice run through before meeting real customers.”

“It would be worth doing,” I said, “but I’m going to be busy. Why don’t you get some of your own team to do it?”

“Yeah,” said Brian. “Yeah, maybe I will.” I was unconvinced.

It was then I bumped into Harry. “You doing anything tomorrow morning?” he said.

“No,” I said, “nothing special. Why?”

“Let’s just say I’m embarrassed about your last little try out on operations. I thought you could use some practice.”

“I dunno Harry. I don’t want to cause any more problems.”

“Don’t worry about it. We all had to start somewhere. I’m taking another snatch trainee out. It may even be useful just for you to watch.”

“OK,” I said warily. I guessed I needed to see more of that side of things.

“Great,” said Harry, tossing me a small back pack. “Get yourself familiar with the contents of this goody bag and meet us in the parking area at 8 o’clock. There’s some coveralls in the bag. Better have those on too.”

Chapter 8 : Practice Makes Perfect

I fetched up in the car park just before 8 o’clock. The white van that we’d used to pick up Jackie from the petrol station was parked with its engine running. Harry leant out of the driver’s window. “Come on,” he said, “get in. I’ll brief you on the way.”

I jogged around to the far side of the van and slid back the door.

“Hi,” said a girl’s voice as I went to climb in. Sitting next to Harry was a girl in her early twenties with short blonde hair. She and Harry were wearing the same coveralls that I’d put on.

“Hi,” I said in response, not sure if names were in order.

Harry cleared up the doubts. “This is Tricia, she’s a trainee for the snatch squads. Tricia, this is Larry.”

Tricia smiled as the van pulled away. “This your first live one too?” she asked as she buckled her seat belt. Pulling the diagonal strap tight down between her tits showed that the coveralls were certainly camouflaging something worthwhile underneath.

“No,” I said, “not quite, but I’m pretty much a beginner.”

“OK,” said Harry, as we drove down the motorway, “listen up. This is a training exercise so we don’t bring anyone back, all right.” Tricia and I both nodded simultaneously. “There’s a big house we’re going to. There should be two ladies there according to our friends in Research. We bust in, make like it’s a burglary and you two get some practice in grab and secure. OK?”

“Sure, Harry,” I said.

“Yeah,” said Tricia.

“Right. Well since we will be leaving the ladies we meet behind we’ll do this in masks, which you should have in your bags. So get those ready and get your gloves on. We’re nearly there.”

The van left the motorway and went along a narrow road towards a nearby small town. We turned left into a leafy avenue of large houses, each set back from the road with fifty yards or so of driveway leading up to them. Some had big security gates. We stopped on one side of the road just as a pair of gates opened on the other side. There wasn’t anyone else about, no other traffic and it didn’t look like the sort of district where anyone would walk if they were going further than their neighbours. A Porsche Cayenne pulled out of the gates and drove off, a young, blonde woman in sunglasses at the wheel. She didn’t bother to close the gates. “There she goes,” said Harry. “She’s away to drop the kiddies off at playgroup. Now here’s the deal. We wait five minutes. Drive in and park around the back. You two are going to do all the work, I’m just along for the ride and to make sure no one drops any bricks." He grinned at me. “They’ve had tradesmen in and out all last week so no one will be bothered about us. There’ll be a girl inside cleaning house. Tricia, you’ll go in; grab and secure the hired help. We’ll follow. Yummy Mummy will be back after fifteen minutes, so Tricia, you’ll need to be slick with the help. Harry, you can do the same for Mummy when she turns up. Clear?”

“Clear enough, I guess,” I said not entirely confident after the debacle with Amanda.

“Fine,” said Tricia.

“OK. Now this is a nice quiet neighbourhood and we want to come back. So we make sure our guests don’t make too much fuss and don’t get hurt any more than is needed for you two to get your practice. Like I said, it’s to look like a burglary; so if you want to pocket stuff, feel free. If you want to scare them, then fair enough; specially if it help with your grab. Just don’t do anything that would get the police more interested in us than necessary. OK, check the contents of your bags and remember to check that you bring it all back apart from the consumables.”

Tricia called out, “Ski mask, pair latex gloves, dozen cable ties, one roll duct tape, multi-function tool, knife.“

“Yeah, same for me,” I said.

“OK,” said Harry, “gloves on now, masks on as soon as we are round the back. Here we go.” He pulled out across the road and up the drive. 'Pleasant Pastures' the sign said on the gate. Gravel crunched under the van’s tyres as we pulled in behind the house. I let Tricia climb over me to get out. She trotted over to the back door of the house. The back door was open. She slipped inside. A few moments later she reappeared at the back door and waved us in. We got out of the van and joined her. “Any problems?” asked Harry.

“See for yourself,” said Tricia, pointing into the kitchen.

We went through. The hired help wouldn’t be doing any more cleaning up for a while. Tricia had her well and truly helpless on the floor, cable ties around her wrists and ankles, another one linking her wrists and ankles in a tight hogtie, tape across her mouth. Struggling in her tee-shirt and jeans, I reckoned she wasn’t even as old as Jackie, the girl I’d helped Harry pick up at the petrol station. She squealed in fright as she saw there were three of us. “OK,” said Harry, “neat enough.”

We heard the sound of a car pulling up outside the front. “That will be the lady of the house,” said Harry. The help started squealing some more. Tricia pulled a kitchen knife from a wood block beside the cooker and held it against the girl’s throat. She quietened down a whole lot and paid the knife a lot of attention. Harry gestured towards the pantry and Tricia grabbed the girl under her arms and dragged her off there. We heard the front door open. Harry gave me a thumbs up and followed Tricia into the pantry. I was on my own.

I stepped behind the kitchen door. It was standing ajar. “Natalie,” I heard a woman’s voice call out. “Natalie. I’m back. Natalie. Where are you?” The sound of her voice was getting closer. I guessed she would come through into the kitchen searching. The door started to move, I swallowed and got ready to spring.

Before I could, the phone rang. The kitchen door was pulled shut from the other side and I heard the tap of heels on a wooden floor receding down the hall. I waited, uncertain if I should try to follow or stay put and wait. I decided to wait. There was no rush and no point in trying to snatch her in the middle of a phone call, either.

The phone call only took a few moments. “Natalie, Natalie,” called the voice again. There was a squeak followed by a muffled grunt from the pantry. I guessed that Tricia had given her a thump. The door to the kitchen opened this time. “Natalie?” I took my chance and grabbed Yummy Mummy as she got through the door. One arm around her waist to trap her arms, one over her mouth to silence any cries. Her silk shirt was cool and slippery. The grab seemed to work. I kicked the door shut behind us. “Keep quiet bitch, or you’ll really get hurt,” I hissed in her ear. She was struggling but it was nothing I couldn’t handle, she was quite small and lightly built and she’d obviously never learned any self defence techniques. Neither did she have a bottle of vodka in her hands. “Now do as you’re told and it’ll be a whole lot easier. Keep quiet and I’ll take my hand off your mouth, make a sound and I’ll slice your tongue off. OK?”

She gave a grunt that I took as agreement. I eased my hand away and she didn’t make a sound.

“Down on the floor hands behind your back,” I ordered, gripping her at the back of her neck. I pushed her to the floor, grabbed her wrists and put a cable tie tightly around them. I did the same for her ankles. Good legs, I thought as I pulled the strip of plastic into place. She gasped as I jerked the ties tight.

I took another knife from the block. She looked terrified. “No, please,” she said. I cut a strip from my roll of tape and strapped it across her mouth. She gave a resigned “mmph”. I sat her up, pleased with my work:- one cute lady, very neat in her Hermés silk shirt and short black skirt, snatched, bound and gagged and no fowl ups this time.

My satisfaction didn’t last long. “Louise!” another voice was calling from the hall. The woman I was holding looked even more scared. “It’s Jenny,” the voice called, “I came straight over. Much better than talking on the phone. Hope that coffee is ready. Louise?” The kitchen door swung open again. The owner of the voice appeared. “Oh, no,” she cried as she saw me crouched over the helpless Louise, knife in hand.

“Come and join us,” I barked, holding the knife against Louise’s throat. “Nice and slowly or your friend Louise here is really going to get hurt.” Louise whimpered into her gag. The neighbour gave a swallowed cry of fright.

She had obviously read all the right books. She put her hands up. “Please don’t hurt us. I’ll do as you say.”

“On the floor! Face down!” I ordered. “Hands behind you!” She was as good as gold. I had enough cable ties and tape to deal with her as well and she was soon no more of a threat than Louise. I rolled her over and took a look at the pair of them, Louise; early twenties I guessed, blonde, slim; Jenny; older, mid thirties maybe and already using botox if the fixed expression on her face was anything to go by, though I guess that could have been terror. Tricia emerged from the pantry, jogged passed me and out into the hall. Harry pulled the other girl out to join my two. The three of them were evidently all distressed to see the others.

Tricia returned. “The front door’s shut now,” she said. “We shouldn’t get anyone else coming to join us.”

“Good,” said Harry, “I hate uninvited guests”. He turned to the bound and gagged women and checked the cable ties and tape that held them helpless. “You three ladies stay here, we’ll see what we can find and then we’ll be off. OK?” A series of grunts greeted his question. It was hard to tell what they meant. I guessed it wasn’t, “Sure, why not and while you’re about it would you like some coffee?” Harry led the way out into the hall.

“Not bad,” he said when we had all assembled. He turned to Tricia, “You were pretty slick, and dealt with the help quickly and cleanly.” He turned back to me, “And you did a good job too, especially with the other woman turning up. You did the right thing when the phone rang and you could have panicked when her friend arrived but you didn’t. Have a look around and see what you can find, nothing too bulky. Make as much mess as you like but nothing that‘ll be seen from outside. Take about ten minutes and meet back here.”

We spread out. I found the study and turned out the desk, contents of the drawers all over the floor. There was a bit of cash but not much. I went back to the hall. Tricia came down the stairs shortly after. Harry appeared. “OK,” he said. “What now?”

“We put our friends somewhere that they can spend the rest of the morning without being disturbed,” said Trish.

“Sounds good to me,” said Harry. “Did you find anywhere upstairs?

“Yes, the main bedroom looks out over the back and there are some chairs in the corridor up there too.”

“And what about making sure they stay there?”

“We’ll need some rope or something,” I volunteered. “I know, there’s plenty of wire on the electrical appliances around the place. We can use that.”

“Fine,” said Harry, looking approving. “Better get on with it.”

We went back into the kitchen. The three girls were still sprawled out on the floor but they had obviously been trying to get loose, Jenny had her hands pulling at the cable tie on Louise’s wrists, Natalie was trying to rub her gag loose on the corner of a cupboard. “Naughty, naughty,” Harry said as they looked around guiltily. “Right, you’re coming upstairs.”

The girls gave out with whimperings of alarm, interpreting this as a prelude to rape. Harry took a knife and sliced through the cable ties that held their ankles. He pulled Natalie to her feet and prodded the knife against her ribs. “You other two get up.” I grabbed Jenny and pushed her towards the stairs. Tricia did the same with Louise. The women stumbled up the stairs, grunting with complaint all the time, with us half dragging, half pushing them. Tricia led the way to the main bedroom. She had really turned it over. Clothes were strewn everywhere, jewellery boxes were upturned their contents scattered. Harry brought a couple of straight back chairs in from the corridor. There was one in the bedroom already next to the dressing table. We lined them up in the middle of the room.

Jenny went on the first one, I still had some spare cable ties, I looped one around each of each of her arms above the elbow and used them to tie her to the chair back. There was plenty of tape left and I used that to strap each ankle to one of the front legs of the chair. I cut the power cord from a hair dryer and pulled that around her waist tying her to the chair as well. Another couple of lengths of tape went around her thighs just above her knees and fixed her legs to the top of the legs of the chair, spreading her thighs nicely and giving us a good view up her short skirt. Harry, still holding on to a terrified Louise, looked on with approval. Tricia took care of Natalie. The cable from the vacuum cleaner that the help had been using served to tie Natalie to her chair, with lengths around her chest and arms and across her lap.

Harry spun Louise around. “Did you guys find much money?” he asked. Tricia and I both shook our heads.

“No,” said Tricia, “not even any good jewellery.”

“Disappointing,” Harry said to a wriggling Louise, “Maybe you and I should try out the bed to make up for my trouble.” Her gagged squeals and struggles made it clear that she didn’t think much of the idea. Harry relented and pushed her across to Tricia, who tied her to the third chair with the same thoroughness she had used on Natalie.

“We’d better gag them properly, if we’re leaving them here,” said Tricia. “Get some scarves and socks or anything like that. I rummaged around in the pile of discarded clothing and found some likely looking candidates including some expensive looking silk ties." Tricia pulled back the tape from each girl’s mouth in turn, wadded socks or panties between their lips, tied a scarf or tie across it and then applied two new strips of tape in criss-cross fashion. Natalie made the most fuss, begging not to be gagged as soon as the tape came off. Tricia showed her no mercy and pushed a pair of sports socks into the girl’s mouth before adding the tape. The three of them sat shaking their heads, their cheeks puffed out by the wads of cloth that packed their mouths. Between them they weren’t going to make enough noise to be heard from any distance.

While Tricia was doing this I noticed a necklace that Louise was wearing. I pulled her blouse open to get a better look at it. “Here,” I said. “At least there’s some jewellery here.” I pulled it from her neck and took off the earrings she was wearing too. I checked her hands – some nice rings. She was struggling in her chair as I pulled those from her fingers and making quite a fuss into her gag as well. Jenny and Natalie got the same treatment. We blindfolded them and just to get them really worried Harry and I had a good grope at each if them while Tricia packed up the things we were taking. Jenny had some pretty pricey underwear on once I got her dress pushed up; I used my knife to cut her dress open to get a better look. I sliced through her bra between the cups. She squealed in fright as her tits were exposed. I gave her nipples a friendly pinch.

We left the girls struggling in the shambles that was Louise’s bedroom, a right bunch of desperate housewives. They were going to make a right sight for whoever discovered them

I watched from the bedroom door when they thought we had gone. The level of ‘mmmphing’ went up noticeably and the three of them were all trying to move back or forward, side to side, in attempts to loosen off their ties. They weren’t having any success but it did make their tits bounce around agreeably. Natalie was shaking her chair up and down, if she wasn’t careful she have the whole thing over and it wasn’t like there was anyone to hear the noise. Louise was working hard to free herself too. Her skirt had ridden up where Tricia had tied her on to the chair and I had a good view of her legs. Jenny’s efforts just meant she was starting to fall out of her dress completely. I was beginning to enjoy this side of the job.

We figured that Louise wouldn’t be missed until that afternoon when she failed to turn up to pick up the kiddies, Natalie was probably expected to be there all morning and it wouldn’t be until hubby came back for Jenny. Either way, that gave us plenty of time to get clear. We were back in the van, masks off, and on our way in minutes.

“Not a bad job at all,” said Harry as we got back to the motorway. “Tricia, that was a fine first run and Larry, you seem to have worked out how to do this stuff now.”

“Gee, thanks,” said Tricia. “Oh, I get it,” she said looking at me with a smile, “you’re the marketing guy aren’t you? That’s pretty cool – I don’t expect to see the suits down in operations.”

“Thanks,” I said. “Even the suits need to get their hands dirty occasionally.”

Tricia giggled and smiled again. This could be interesting I thought. Then she laughed, “Hey, I’ve just realised – ‘When Harry met Larry’!”

“We’ve heard it,” I grimaced as the van turned out of the estate and back onto the ring road but I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. Harry didn’t say anything else. I took that as a complement.

I took a call from Freddie later that afternoon. “How was the Sales Centre?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Good, good. Anyway, you said you wanted to chat to some of my customers,” he said.

“If that’s possible, I replied, “I can understand why they might be reticent.”

“No, no problem. Anyway it’s all fixed. Steve Glennis. Has a place in the Leeward Islands. Bought from us plenty of times in the past. Got quite an eye for a filly, they say, He’ll be the chap for you. Get yourself out to Barbados. He’ll pick you up from there.

Chapter 9 : Island Girl

“It’s very good of you to see me, Mr Glennis,” I smiled, extending my hand to the tall, distinguished looking grey haired man who was welcoming me into his island home. As we walked down the pier, towards a path that led away from the palm trimmed beach, two heavily set men passed us. They headed towards the seaplane that I had just left; no doubt to collect the “cargo” that I had shared my flight with.

“It’s my pleasure, believe me. And it’s Steve, please. I’ve had the benefit of Clegg’s services down the years and I’m happy to do him a favour. I hope you didn’t mind coming out with my latest shipment.”

“No, not at all,” I replied. “She was pretty quiet. No trouble to anyone.”

The two men came back along the jetty. One had the helpless, blindfolded and gagged girl that had been strapped into the Beaver’s back seat, tossed across his shoulder. “Excuse us, Sir,” he said.

My host waved them through, “Of course. Carry on,” he said before turning to me again. “You’re new to this line of work he tells me.”

“Err, yes, it’s a sort of career change for me,” I replied

“That’s OK. It’s not the sort of job you’d necessarily go to straight from college. Plenty of people in this business start at your sort of age. Now how can I help?”

“Well, I’m trying to understand a bit more about Clegg’s customers. What their needs are; why they do business with us. That sort of thing.”

“Fine. Well I guess we’ll take a bit of time, let you see how I put Mr Clegg’s products to use and so on.”

“Fine by me. Where do we start?”

“Oh, right here I think. Do you fancy a drink?”

I certainly did. It was pretty hot and, although the deck was shaded, the white sands in front of the villa seemed to be throwing heat at the building. I was happy to accept his offer. He pressed a button on the wall beside the couch. Moments later a slight, Chinese girl appeared, her slim figure modestly covered by a one-piece bathing costume. “Hi,” she said. “Can I get you guys something?”

“Yes, please Sukie,” my host replied. He turned to me “Beer OK?” he asked.

“Sure,” I replied.

“Better make that two, please,” he said to Sukie who smiled again and disappeared. As she did so he turned to me sensing my confusion. “You’re wondering if she’s one of my slaves or something else,” he said. “Well, just because I want them to stay doesn’t mean they all have to be kept in chains, you know. It’s not such a bad place after all and anywhere else is a real long swim from here, unless she was to try to stow away on the seaplane or the supply boat.” Sukie reappeared carrying two bottles of chilled beer on a tray. “Tell Larry how you came to be here,” he said to her.

Sukie smiled shyly and sat at our feet. “It’s not such an interesting story,” she said. “I’m from L.A. originally. I was working there in a jewellery store. A guy came into the store one day and asked me to serve him. He wanted to buy a bracelet. It was rather nice - gold set with rubies. He had me model it for him. Said I should always wear bracelets because I had such slim wrists. Said he wanted it for someone special.”

“And then what happened?”

“He paid for it and left.” She giggled and played with her hair. “Oh, you want all the gory details. You men are all the same. Well, Steve obviously has some friends who are very good at helping him get the things he wants. And one of the things he wanted was me. Maybe two days later, a uniformed chauffeur arrives at the door of my apartment. I mean can you imagine! He gives me a small box. Inside it is the bracelet and a note on headed paper from a down town restaurant, ‘Have dinner with me?’ it said.

I just thought it was so romantic. I followed the chauffeur down to the road and out front was this enormous limo – you know the sort of thing; stretches two blocks, blacked out windows, bright chrome. As we drove off I thought, is this wise? I’ve no idea who this man is, really. I was thinking if this driver takes one wrong turn then, I’ll be on my mobile faster than he can think. But it’s fine. He drove me to the restaurant. I felt like royalty. When I arrived they took my coat, showed me to a table.

“Then they said there was a phone call. I went to a booth and picked up the phone. There was a quiet hiss and I woke up with a headache, bouncing around inside a wooden crate with cuffs on my wrists and ankles and a ball strapped into my mouth. I guess that bit wasn’t so romantic.”

Steve smiled. “My friends have ways they find hard to change,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders.

“Anyway the crate was in a truck. It’s transferred to a ‘plane. It ended up here. Steve makes it plain that he wants me to stay. So I do. Of course I know if I tried to leave he’d kill me. But it’s nice here.” She gave a half smile that lacked any sincerity. “Now if you’ll excuse me.”

“Sure, Sukie,” said Steve. “Run along.” I watched her neat backside as she walked back into the house. Steve looked at me. “Do you want to try her?” he asked.

“But isn’t she, well, I thought…”

“She’s only one of the girls here. She does what I want her to and that includes looking after you if I like it. Just because I don’t keep her with chains on doesn’t mean I don’t own her. Do you want to try her? I meant it. Freddie said to look after you. Said you’d just split up with your girl or something.”

It seemed impolite to refuse the offer and it had been a while. “Something like that,” I said, “ Yeah, that would be great.”

It was after dinner when she came to my room. It was hot. I was laying on my bed, the ceiling fan spinning slowly above. She’d let down her long, straight, jet black hair. It almost reached the hem of a skirt that came barely below her hips. Her hands were behind her back; I guessed they were strapped or chained there. She wore a ball gag like a necklace, the ball at her throat. She smiled, still without warmth and then looked down at the floor. “Steve said I should be nice to you,” she said.

“Did you need to be bound?” I asked.

I was lying on the bed, naked. She climbed up alongside me. “Steve thought you might like it. You can use the gag on me too, if you want.”

She seemed to combine a direct sensuality with a strange vulnerability. “Would that be a good idea?” I said.

“Only if you’re planning to hurt me,” she said, “and then only if you don’t want to hear the results. Otherwise you might like it better not to.” She wriggled closer to me and then knelt astride my belly. She smiled again as she gripped the zip of my trousers with her hands behind her back. With practiced ease and still smiling directly at me, she reached back and pulled my steadily growing cock from my pants. I felt the edge of her finger nails on its underside as she stroked and teased it. “Did you like hearing about my abduction?” she asked. “My talking of it seemed to excite you.”

“I, ahh, guess so,” I replied, responding to a firmer caress. “Uh – huh, it’s new to me and I, mmm – that’s good, I need to learn.”

“I had to learn too,” she said, continuing to squeeze and stroke at my cock behind her back. “but that was different. They took great care of me. They took me from the crate and made sure I wasn’t hurt. They took off the gag and gave me water. They even took the cuffs off my wrists and my ankles. That’s when they raped me the first time. Told me to strip and then raped me. Three of them, one after the other. Said I’d need to get used to it. They were right of course. Then they came back for my mouth. Then they came back for my arse.”

I could see she was distressed by the memory. “You don’t have to tell me any more,” I said.

“Yes, I do,” she said, flatly, lowering her eyes. “Steve said that I should.”

“And what if use this,” I sat up and reached for the gag. For the first time her smile seemed genuinely warm.

“Then I would have to let you.” She parted her lips as I pushed the ball in and strapped it in place. With the gag filling her mouth she whimpered and nodded her head in gratitude, freed of the need to tell me of her trials. I reached up to touch her breast, she relaxed as she realised I didn’t intend to pinch her. She eased herself backwards until her cunt slipped over my cock. She seemed to lose herself as she slid up and down on my member. First, the hunted, frightened look faded from her face and then she closed her eyes as the rhythmic sensations took hold of her.

Afterwards she lay beside me on the bed, her wrists still chained behind her, the gag still in place. I had made a move to remove it but her wide eyed, pleading look had stopped me. In response she had nuzzled against me and moaned softly as I toyed with her nipples.

Somewhere far off in the house I heard a clock start to chime midnight. Sukie sat up suddenly in reaction to the sound. She knelt on the bed beside me and gave a bow of her head. She got to her feet and left without looking back. Somehow I felt more lonely then than before she had come to my room.

The following morning I joined my host for breakfast. Sukie was there, smiling as she served us.

“Did you two have fun?” said Steve as Sukie poured orange juice into two glasses. I scooped pieces of mango into a bowl.

“Yeah,” I said. “Sukie was very sweet. Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it,” said Steve. “That’s what you’re for isn’t it, Sukie dear?”

Sukie bowed her head. “Yes, Sir,” she said.

“Good girl,” said Steve. “Run along.”

I took a drink of my juice as I watched her leave. “That’s quite a story of hers. Did Freddie pick her up for you?”

“No, that wasn’t one of his. I guess I don’t think of Freddie for that sort of specific pick up. I mean his auctions are good if I can get over there – like I did for the girl that came out with you. He’s always a good man to call if you’re looking for something in stock. I had a couple of house slaves from one of his auctions last year, but when I need something specific picked up there’s some folk I use over in the States. Here let me show you who I used for Sukie.”

He pulled out a laptop from beside the table and fired it up. He opened a web browser and I found myself looking at a web-site, “Chicks In Chains”. He typed in a membership ID and password.

“Bondage porn?” I said.

“It looks like it, doesn’t it,” he said. “The only thing is that all these bound and gagged young ladies in this part of the membership area aren’t actually willing participants in the site. They’re all this guy’s stock. You can check out what’s there at any time and put in a bid if there’s anything you fancy. Plus there’s a part of the site… Oh, where is it… Oh, yes, here. Part of the site where you can check out what the girls are good at, there’s a lot of feed-back on what they can and can’t do. It’s all pretty easy. See.”

I watched the tour of the site with interest. “Have you got any more pick-ups planned?” I asked.

“Yes, sure. A couple. I’m planning to replace Sukie as a house slave soon. Oh, don’t mention that – I don’t think she knows yet. I’ll use these people again I think, they know what they are doing and the prices were OK. Not cheap but OK. They’ll trade in Sukie against the new one and I’ll get a fair price.”

“So, what about your new acquisition? The one that came over in the Beaver with me.”

“Ah yes,” Steve said, smiling. “She’s for the stables.”


“Yes. Didn’t Freddie tell you about my little hobby?”

“He said you had an eye for a fine filly but that was about all.”

“Well, I guess he was right in that. Come and see.”

Chapter 10: Horse Feathers

The stables were just that, a low range of buildings set around three sides of a cobbled yard round behind the house. There were six stalls along either side and at the end of yard a carriage shed, tack room and feed store provided all that was needed for the horses I assumed to be kept there.

My assumptions were confounded by what I saw as we entered the yard. Hearing our feet on the cobbles, faces appeared looking over the half doors of four of the stalls. Each was a young blonde woman. All wore a halter around their heads, ropes stretching around their foreheads, around their neck and beneath their chin. .

“Some of my fillies,” said Steve gesturing to the girls. “They take some training but I like to think I produce the best pony girls in the western hemisphere. I thought we’d look in on the new girl and then take a carriage out for a trot.”

“Why not?” I said, somewhat bemused by his suggestion. He led the way to the last stall and opened the door. Sprawled on a bed of straw, naked and asleep, was the girl that had been on the flight with me. She too was wearing a head harness, with reins locked to it and in turn to a ring at the back of her stall. Steve took a riding crop hanging from hook on the side of the stall and tapped her lightly on the thigh with it. She woke up suddenly, turning her head towards us. She gave a startled cry, rendered into a grunt by the steel bit gag that stretched across her mouth. She tried to back away from us but was stopped as she reached the end of her tethering rein.

“Up! Up!” ordered Steve. “On your feet.”

She tried to obey but found it difficult. Her arms were fixed behind her in some way and her feet were locked into curious boots that gave each the shape of a horse’s hoof. As she eventually got to her feet it was obvious that the boots were also pushing her up on tip toe as well.

Steve gripped her reins and pulled her towards him. “What do you think?” he said. “Nice conformation, I thought.” He ran his had down the small of her back over her backside and down to her thighs and calves. “Good hindquarters, firm fetlocks.”

I nodded to agree. He turned her to face us, the girl moving unsteadily on her hooves. “Right sort of chest too.” He patted her breasts. “Quite small is best for pulling work. No good if you’ve got big breasts swinging around. “Good mane, too.” He took a curry comb from the shelf on the side of the stall and pulled it through her long loose hair. “Needs a bit of attention after the flight but it’ll soon come up nice and glossy. Still we’ll let her rest for now and give her a session on the lunge rein later. That will start getting her used to walking and trotting on her new hoofs. Back down girl. Back to sleep.” He watched as the girl carefully curled her legs beneath her and lay back down on the straw. “Come on, Larry,” he said, “I promised you a carriage ride.”

He locked the stable door behind us as we left the stall. The four others were still looking out of their stalls. Steve went to each in turn offering them a piece of apple in his open palm, checking their head bridles and patting them tenderly. They were all of similar height and all with the same long blonde hair fastened back behind their heads. He finished up at the farthest stall. “We’ll take this one,” he said. “You can help me tack her up. You’ll find some harness on a hook labelled ‘Dawn’ in the tack room. He opened up the stall door as I went in search of the harness. “Come on Dawn,” I heard him say. “Come on girl.”

I found the harness without trouble and carried it back into the yard where Steve was already leading Dawn up and down. She was wearing the same hoof boots as the other girl but had evidently become practiced in walking in them.

“Right let’s get your harness on you girl and you can do a bit of work,” Steve said to her. He took off her stable halter and replaced it with the finer, black bridle from the harness I was carrying. “Give me her snaffle, would you?”

He held out his hand and I passed over the hinged steel bar that he fitted across her mouth and clipped to the bridle. She ran her tongue side to side beneath the metal, gave a short whinny and shook her head. I watched as he fitted the reminder of her harness, leather straps across her chest beneath her small tits were cut to support them and had clips that linked to cuffs on her arms above the elbows to hold them in place. A broad collar held her head erect. As he turned her around I saw that her arms were held in a leather sleeve that fastened her fore arms together and covered her hands. The harness also fitted around a butt plug from which draped a long tail of hair that could well have been cut from her own head.

“Now, since we’re going to show you off,” said Steve, affectionately. “I think we’ll add all the furniture. Hold her for a moment, would you,” he said passing me her reins as he walked off towards the tack room. Dawn looked at me without attempting to speak. She tossed her head experimentally as I held her, so I tightened her rein. She responded to the pressure and stood calmly. Steve returned. “Are you used to horses?”

“I’ve not really had much to do with them,” I replied. “My girlfriend used to ride, so I know a bit, but not much.”

“Well, this one is quite a good beast. Not too spirited but not shy of hard work either. Let’s put these on her.” Steve fitted a pair of polished black blinkers to her bridle and then added a splendid plume of feathers to the top. He also took two silver bells and clipped them, one to each nipple. She gave a whinny through her snaffle as the clips went on but was then quiet. “Now let’s get her between the shafts.”

Shafting girls was something I had often enjoyed, though not quite in this way. She was soon harnessed up to a small two seat carriage. Steve picked a driving whip from the rack, invited me to take a seat, got in beside me and urged Dawn out of the yard. “Go on girl, go on,” he said tapping her lightly with the whip to get her started. She stepped away carefully, picking her way across the ground with care. The cart moved off at a slow but steady pace, with Dawn’s bells tinkling at every step. Steve drove her forward along a trail that led past the house and down towards the beach. We reached the quay and stopped. “You see,” said Steve, “a quite practical mode of transport. Let’s go back. I think its time for lunch.” He tugged at Dawn’s reins, and flicked at her rump with the whip. “Go on girl, round you go.”

Dawn pulled us back up the incline to the stables. The cart turned into the yard just as Sukie appeared wearing the tightest of jodhpurs, riding boots and a tee shirt. Steve pulled Dawn to a halt with a short “whoa” and a pull on the reins. Sukie took the reins from Steve as he and I got down from the carriage.

“Good ride?” she asked.

“Yes, fascinating,” I replied.

Steve handed his driving whip to Sukie. “Give her some water and then rub her down. She’ll need it after that trot. Look in on the new pony and make sure she’s all right, then come and join us for some lunch.”

“Sure thing, Sir,” Sukie smiled and led Dawn away towards the carriage shed, the carriage clattering across the cobbles behind her, her tit bells jingling.

Half an hour later we were sat on Steve’s veranda with two rum punches and a plate of blackened flying fish with some rice and peas. We talked about the business. How he selected his ponies. I asked him if he’d ever bought any from Freddie. He said, “No”.

It seemed that whenever he’d checked Freddie’s stock or the auction catalogues there wasn’t anything right for what he needed.

“Which is what?” I said.

“Tall; blonde for preference; thin, quite fit, but small tits, definitely small tits. I guess that last one is against the run of most people’s requirements.”

“Well, I guess so too, but it can’t be difficult to find them. Has anyone from our side ever asked you what you were looking for?”

“No, I don’t think so, no,” Steve said. “But that’s really not the business you’re in is it? I mean you just grab them and then see who you can sell them to?”

“Well it looks like it’s been that way so far,” I said.

Sukie joined us. She sat on the floor beside Steve, smiling up at him. She’d find it hard when he told her she was to be sold again, I thought.

Steve asked her to entertain me again for the afternoon while he worked on the new pony. She came to my room an hour later. This time she wasn’t bound or gagged.

Chapter 11: Flying Home

I was sorry to say good bye to the island, Steve had been a good host and I’d learned a lot. Sukie had been agreeable company – I was partly sorry that I wouldn’t be able to scrape together the asking price. Still there was work to do and so I was very pleased to have the offer of flight back in a private jet owned by one of Steve’s associates.

I’d imagined a Lear Jet or a Citation but when I turned up at the airport and found my way to the departure lounge I found we were boarding something the size of a Boeing 737. There was about a dozen of us in the lounge including, I noticed, the short sighted man from the Sales Centre that had bought Rebecca. He was talking to a tall, blonde woman. She wore a dark blue uniform suit and carried a peaked cap. Our pilot, I thought. She gave him a curt nod and headed off towards the plane.

Boeing Business Jet, it said on the side of the ‘plane and while it might have looked like a pretty ordinary small-sized airliner on the outside, the inside was very different.

We were greeted at the doorway by a smartly dressed flight attendant and shown inside to something that looked more like a gentleman’s club than the usual seat warehouse. There were small clusters of seats, perhaps 20 in all, couches and tables, a large bar and plenty of space to walk around. I took an empty seat and sat back while the rest of my fellow passengers went through their rituals of stowing their bags and getting comfortable.

There were three flight attendants. I wasn’t entirely surprised to see that two of them were Rebecca and Amanda. Neither of them appeared to recognise me.

The girl who had welcomed us on board introduced herself as Elaine, our senior flight attendant, and began the usual safety demonstration. Rebecca was in the front part of the cabin pointing out the exits and doing her bit with the oxygen mask and the lifejacket. Just like on most business flights the passengers carried on reading newspapers or magazines or talking amongst themselves, paying scant attention to what was being said. As the safety demonstration came to a close, though I was suddenly conscious that the passengers were paying attention to what was being said, putting their papers down and stopping their own conversations.

Elaine was still talking from the front of the aircraft as we started to push back from the terminal. “Gentlemen, I hope you will join me in welcoming two new crew members today,” she said. “They are both having their first flight with us today, so I would like to introduce them. In the front cabin we have Rebecca and in the back cabin Amanda. Although they are new to us they are both experienced cabin crew and will be able to deliver our usual range of in-flight services. Rebecca and Amanda are joined by Brenda who some of you that have flown before with us will all ready know.”

That was nice, I thought, I’d never had Becky wait on me hand and foot in the air, or at home come to that.

“And of course gentlemen that includes the usual range of massages and sexual services. Please just ask your attendant for anything you require. Amanda, Becky, if you could show our guests what is available.” Rebecca appeared to hesitate for a moment. Elaine stared at her. “Please Rebecca, I think you know what to do.”

She turned back to face us, unbuttoned her dark blue jacket and removed it. The white shirt she wore beneath it was sheer and it was clear that beneath it she wore a quarter cup bra that forced her tits up, pushing her nipples against the tight sheer fabric of the blouse. She took off the blouse and put that with her jacket. Without pausing she unzipped her skirt and stepped out of it revealing garter belt, stockings and a thong. She put the skirt with her other clothes and walked slowly up and down the aisle between the seats. I heard some approving grunts from my fellow passengers. She walked through into the rear cabin. Amanda, having stripped in the same way, came through to our cabin giving us all a good look at her talents. She returned to the back and Rebecca rejoined us.

Elaine spoke again. “There we are, gentlemen. Just press the call button by your seats for anything you require. Thank you, girls.” Rebecca and Amanda put their clothes on again. The aircraft had reached the runway. “Flight attendants, seats for take off please,” she said. The girls strapped themselves in the jump seats just inside the cabin door and the ‘plane started down the runway with the usual combination of disconcerting thumps, bangs and roaring noises. Moments later we were airborne, wheels and flaps up, heading back towards Europe.

Most of my fellow passengers were busy on their lap tops by the time the plane levelled out. Rebecca and Amanda, jackets off, wandered through the cabin offering drinks. Nobody seemed keen to follow up on Elaine’s offer. I felt it was churlish not to; besides it was an opportunity to fulfil a long-held fantasy.

Rebecca placed the drink I’d asked for on the table beside me. I looked up at her. “You don’t remember me do you?” I asked as she stared blankly at me.

“No, Sir. Should I? This is my first flight. Have you flown with us before?”

“No, that’s all right. I thought I remembered you from before you worked here.”

“Oh, no, Sir. I’ve only worked for this airline.”

I wasn’t sure that I followed the logic but I could see that whatever had happened to her during her training had blotted out any memory of her previous life.

“That’s all right,” I said, “it must be my mistake.” I took a sip from my drink. “I heard that you are available to us during the flight. Is that right?”

Yes of course Sir. I can entertain you here in your seat or there is a bed in a cubicle towards the back of the ‘plane.”

“No. Go to the washroom but leave the door unlocked. You can entertain me in there.” There was a long time fantasy that I now had the chance to turn into reality.

“But Sir, surely the cubicle would be more comfortable.”

“Perhaps but I’d like to take you in the washroom, thank you.”

“Of course Sir, if that’s what you desire. I’ll just return this tray to the galley.”

I watched her arse as she walked back to the galley. She emerged a moment later and went to the washroom. I followed her in. It was fairly spacious compared with a regular flight but even so there wasn’t too much room. “Right,” I said pushing her back against the door and sliding the lock closed, “you’re going to get fucked.”

“Sir, there’s no need to force me. I’m expected to look after the passengers as I said.”

“No need perhaps, but maybe I like it that way. Give me your belt.”

“Very good sir,” she said, doing as she was ordered.

I wrapped the thin strap around her wrists and knotted it. I hoisted her hands over her head and tied them to the coat hook on the back of the washroom door. She gave a short, “Oh!”

I grabbed a handful of paper towels from the dispenser and jammed them into her mouth. “Shut up, bitch,” I said as I pulled her blouse from her skirt and unbuttoned it. She squealed as I pinched and squeezed at her tits. I put my hand over her lips and she choked and coughed as it pushed the wad of towels deeper into her mouth.

I swung her around and dragged her skirt up over her hips. I pulled her pants down around her knees. Her arse was framed by her garter belt and stockings. I took her from behind, grunting as I pushed my cock inside her lifting her up on her toes as I pushed up under her. She whimpered into the paper gag as I came. It was great.

I pulled the gag from her mouth and let her wrists off the coat hook, she fell to her knees on the floor, sobbing. “Clean me up,” I ordered.

She looked up at me and composed herself. “Of course, Sir. I won’t be a moment.” She reached for my cock and took it in her mouth. Licking and sucking the cum from it. It didn’t take long before I was erect again but I knew from long experience that there wasn’t much point in her carrying on. She’d had as much of my juice as there was likely to be for a while.

“That’s enough,” I said pushing her back on her heels as I zipped my fly. I turned my back on her, left her on the floor of the washroom and returned to my seat. I wasn’t very proud of myself, I guess, but I had enjoyed it.

Rebecca followed me a little later, having dressed herself and reapplied her make up. She made her way between the seats again asking if the passengers wanted drinks. A fat, florid, red haired man a little way away from me started a conversation with her. She returned wearing her uniform jacket, hat and gloves. Soon she was on her knees gobbling greedily at his cock, while the man toyed with her hair.

As she finished and got to her feet I pressed the call button. She looked up and walked slowly over to me. Her make up was messed again and there were splatters of the man’s cum on her blouse where it had dribbled from her chin. She seemed unconcerned. “Can I help you, Sir?” she asked.

“Another vodka when you have a minute, please,” I said.

“Of course, Sir, I’ll just be a minute if that’s all right.”

“That’s fine,” I said.

The short sighted man came through from the back of the ‘plane and sat down beside me. He held out his hand. “Narod Jesper,” he said by way of introduction. “I think these two are pretty good value, don’t you?” he said nodding towards Rebecca.

“It must have been handy for you to be able to get two fully trained cabin crew for this, Mr Jesper.”

“Cheaper than training them myself,” he chortled. “But that’s the great thing about auctions, you can pick up some real bargains. It’s a lot easier than recruiting them myself like I did with the other one - what’s her name? - Brenda. Anyway, how’s your work for Clegg coming along?”

“Interesting.” I said. “I’m learning a lot and the benefits are good. Oh, thanks for the flight, by the way. And the in-flight services.”

“That’s OK, happy to do you the favour. I’d rented out some hold space to Freddie on this trip anyway. He had a couple of packages he needed back in the UK and its easier for him to use me than regular cargo flights if I’m coming across.”

“Are all the passengers buyers?” I asked.

“I couldn’t possibly say,” Jesper replied, with a chuckle. “That would be most indiscrete. But if you were to see any of these people at one of Mr Clegg’s little events I wouldn’t be at all surprised. Why do you ask?”

“Well,” I said, looking around, “I’d say the profile of people here is a bit different to the one’s I’ve seen at Freddie’s. There’s what, a third of them women? And a third under thirty?

“Yes, something like that. I’m afraid that the more mature buyer like myself will soon be in the minority.”

“I thought so,” I said. “Interesting.”

“I’m sure that I might be able to persuade one or other of them to chat if it would help your research. They’re often pleased to have a chance to sound off. Unless you’re planning to sleep off your bout of exercise?”

“No, not just yet. I’ll get some sleep later on but if you can introduce me I’d like to get another perspective.”

“OK, I’ll see what I can do.”

He headed off into the rear cabin. A few minutes later a rather dumpy woman put her head around the partition, obviously looking for someone. It turned out to be me. “You’d be Larry,” she said, sitting down heavily in the seat next to me. She held out a rather limp hand. “Daphne Challis,” she said in a quiet New England accent. “Our host said you’d like a chat.” She nodded towards the rear cabin.

“Did he say what about?” I looked at her. She was overweight and didn’t carry it well. She wore a rather muddy brown tweed jacket and skirt. Her greasy hair hung lankly to her shoulders. She was sucking on the stub of an unlit cigar. I guessed it was some consolation on a 6 hour non-smoking flight. She reached up and pressed the call button.

“Uh, yes,” she said. Rebecca appeared in response to the call. “Gin and tonic for me,” she said. “Anything for you?” I shook my head. “And some nuts or crisps, snacks.” She turned back towards me as Rebecca left us. “I guess I don’t look like your idea of a lady slave owner.”

I shrugged my shoulders. Actually, she didn’t look my idea of a lady anything.

“Well, whatever. It wasn’t what I thought I was going to do either. I just needed some help around the house and a friend suggested they could get me some that would very attentive help. Turned out it involved owning rather than hiring. I was happy with that; too much legislation over employees these days. I guess I’m a fairly typical buyer that way, I have three or four at any one time. Trade them in when I get bored or they prove unsuitable.”

Rebecca returned with Daphne’s drink and snacks on a tray. She picked up the glass and grabbed greedily at the nuts and biscuits with her other hand. Rebecca went to leave. “No, wait,” said Daphne, putting her drink back on the tray and grabbing another handful of nuts. Rebecca stood patiently by.

“Are these males or females,” I asked. I hadn’t seen Clegg dealing in male slaves but I guessed that it was possible, if there was a market.

“I’d intended men originally,” she said. “and that would have been really easy. Just advertise yourself as some dominatrix and they line up. And pay you for it too!” She looked disgusted and crammed some more nuts in. “I tried a couple. Hopeless. They just need too much attention. I haven’t got the time. And besides, I decided I quite liked a little female company. This one,” she took a sip from her drink and pointed to Rebecca, “is a real treasure, isn’t she?” I watched as Daphne’s free hand pushed up under Rebecca’s skirt and started fondling her arse. Rebecca’s nipples stiffened visibly under her blouse. “I like them like this,” she said. “Good tits, nice arse. I keep my house slaves corseted and bare breasted, they need to look good.” Her hand came out from Rebecca’s skirt to grab some more nuts.

Maybe they need to look good, I thought, but I didn’t think I‘d like to see her naked with the rate she was going through the snacks. “So, have you bought any from Clegg?”

“No,” she said. “It’s all a bit of a boy’s club isn’t it? Well, old man’s club really, no disrespect. Just a bit behind the times the way they do things. I spend my time making money or enjoying it, I haven’t got time to waste going off to his auctions. There’s easier and better ways to get hold of what I need. Mind you I like Brits as slaves, they seem to have the whole behaving respectfully thing down to a fine art. Clegg’s got a good reputation for British merchandise. If I really wanted a British item specifically then maybe it’d be worth the trouble.”

“So no one from there has ever talked to you about the things they can do?”

“No, I can’t say they have. I mean I know Clegg’s got some good snatch teams and some good intelligence gathering too by all accounts but they’ve never approached me that I remember.”

“Well, thanks,” I said. “That’s a help.”

“That’s OK. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to get a bit of sleep before we reach the other end.” With that she got to her feet, brushing the crumbs she had dropped into her lap down onto the floor. She looked at the debris and then at Rebecca. “You’d better clean that up, girl.”

“Of course, Ma’am,” Rebecca responded respectfully, “I’ll do it straight away.”

“Good,” Daphne responded, “and when you’ve done come back to my seat. I’ve thought of something that will help me get off to sleep.” Rebecca disappeared. Daphne turned for the after cabin. “Call me sometime if you start doing anything interesting. Clegg’s got my number.” She picked up her gin, drained the last drop, pulled the slice of lemon from the glass and sucked it clean. “You never know, we might be able to do some business.”

As she went back to her seat the third stewardess appeared beside my seat. I looked up at her, “Brenda Alexander”, her badge said.

“Hi,” she said in a warm Texan drawl. “I just wanted to make sure you were enjoying the flight, Sir. And to see if there was anything more that I or the other girls could do for you.”

I decided to take advantage of the fact that I hardly felt like sleeping. “Yes,” I said there is. “Come and talk to me for a moment.”

Brenda looked surprised by the suggestion.

“Have a seat,” I said.

“I’m not really supposed to sit down with the passengers, Sir,” she replied. “I could kneel here if that would be alright.” I nodded and she did so.

“I know how Rebecca and Amanda came to be here,” I said. “How about you? Were you bought at auction like them? Tell me.”

The short sighted man was passing my seat. Brenda looked up at him, concerned. “That’s all right, Brenda, tell him anything he wants to know. And if there’s anything else he wants, see to that too. You know the rules.”

“Yes, of course, Sir,” she said. He nodded and went on forward. She folded her hands in her lap and began. “Well, it seems a silly story, really. I don’t know there is much to tell. I was working for another airline, mainly short haul flights around the southwestern USA, and I saw an advert for a start-up business charter airline with the opportunity to do some long haul trips too. It seemed like the opportunity to get in at the start of something so I applied.”

“Go on,” I said.

“Well, I very nearly didn’t get to the interview. It was in a hotel on the airfield I was flying into and I’d arranged to go straight over to the hotel when I landed. Anyway there was a flight delay, air traffic control problems, we were an hour late in landing. I tried ringing the number they had given me as soon as I got down but couldn’t get through. I thought I’d missed my chance. I practically ran through the terminal building and across the car park lot. I was still in my uniform, I’d intended to change but I just didn’t have the time.”

“OK,” I said. “Look while you tell me this, open your blouse. I got a good look at Rebecca and Amanda at the start of the flight but you must have been in the rear cabin.

“I was looking after Mr Jesper,” she said, apparently embarrassed but starting to unfasten her blouse nevertheless. I had a good idea of what ‘looking after Mr Jesper’ would mean. She looked up at me as she finished opening her blouse. I nodded approvingly at the sight of her tits. “Should I unfasten my bra as well, Sir?” she asked.

“Yes please, Brenda, that would be excellent. Then put your hands behind your back, please.” I watched as she did so and then urged her to continue with her tale.

“Well I got to the suite they were using for interviews. There was a receptionist that tried to fob me off, that they’d finished, and they had already offered the job to someone. But I wasn’t going to be put off. I pushed by and into the suite of rooms they were using for interviews. The first two rooms were empty and then I burst into the third room. There were two men in there. I’d obviously startled them, they turned round suddenly. I saw there was a girl slumped in the chair beside them. It was Elaine although I didn’t know her then of course. I don’t know how I could have been so stupid looking back. Is she alright, I said, I’ve had first aid training. Can I help? I was just so keen to help I didn’t think what might have happened. Anyway the first man said that she’d suddenly fainted or something and could I do anything. I bent over the girl and went to check her breathing. I heard the two men say something. I’m not sure what but now I realise they were agreeing to take me as well. Then I felt a sharp pain in my backside and everything went black.”

“I see,” I was pleased by her frankness. I reached out for one of her nipples and squeezed it. She gave a short gasp but didn’t pull away. “Go on.”

“Well when I woke up I couldn’t move. They’d tied the two of us up. We were laying back to back, my hands were tied in front of Elaine’s waist, hers in front of mine, They’d roped our ankles together as well. My mouth was stuffed full of something and all I could do was grunt and whimper, whatever they’d used it was tied into my mouth with a rope that went around Elaine’s mouth as well, whenever I tried to move my head, the back of her head banged against mine.. I caught sight of the two of us in a mirror on the far side of the room. They’d strapped tape across my mouth too. The two of us were wriggling and struggling but it didn’t do too much good. Then the two men and the receptionist came back in. They were arguing about me. The receptionist was furious, she was saying that they were only supposed to collect one and that the whole expensive exercise was in danger of being a complete shambles. The man bent down beside me and pulled my skirt up. Look at the legs, he said. Too good to let those go. The other man bent down beside me and tugged at my shirt. Nice tits too, he said. come on she’s worth bringing along too. The receptionist seemed to relent and said that it would probably be all right but that she’d have to clear it. The men said if she didn’t want me they’d find a way of making use of me. I can’t remember when I’ve been so scared. Anyway…”

She was about to continue when Elaine, the senior stewardess appeared. “I’m sorry to interrupt, Sir,” she said. “But Mr Jesper said when you have finished with Brenda he’d like to see her in the cubicle.”

Brenda looked uncomfortable. “I really should go,” she said.

“That’s all right,” I said. “I can hardly deny the owner his pleasures.”

“Thank you, Sir,” said Elaine. “Can I get you one of the other girls?”

“No,” I said, “that’s fine.” I watched as Elaine helped Brenda to her feet. She made no attempt to button her blouse. Elaine reached up to the overhead locker and pulled out a seat belt demonstration strap. She pulled it around Brenda’s neck and used it to lead the girl as if on a leash towards the back of the plane.

Whatever else I had learned on this trip it was clear that Jesper had got a bargain from the auction – Rebecca and Amanda had to have been cheaper for him than commissioning a pick up like the one he’d used for Brenda and Elaine. I was beginning to feel that Freddie was being taken advantage of and I couldn’t imagine that he would be pleased by the idea.

Chapter 12 : SWOT versus SWAT

I got back to the London offices the following day. A comfortable flight had made it easier but I was still suffering from jet lag. Still I doubted that I was feeling as rough as the packages that had been in the hold.

Freddie gave me a call and suggested a meeting. He wanted an update on progress. I was happy that I had some ideas after my various trips. We agreed to meet in the board room the following afternoon.

Clegg arrived on time, looking in as good humour as he usually was. “Afternoon Larry. Good trip? Well I guess we’ll hear about that. Not a bad bunch out there. Hope they looked after you.”

“It was fine,” I said. “everyone was very helpful. I got some good ideas, I think.”

“OK,” said Clegg. “That’s what you’re here for. How do you want to do this?”

“I’d like to talk through my thoughts using a few tools that I find helpful, basically summarising what I’ve learned over the last few weeks.”

“You seemed to have learned how to enjoy yourself, young man, if what I hear of your trip is right. That’s all to the good. Don’t look so worried, I’m quite happy for you to take advantage of any opportunity – its part of the package as far as I’m concerned.”

I gave an embarrassed cough. “Well, thanks. Yes, there was some fun but I thought I’d try to focus on the things I’ve learned about the business. Then we can agree what we want to do about it.”

“Fine by me. You lead off.”

“One of the things I have done is a SWOT analysis,” I said turning to the flip chart that stood beside the board table.

“Special Weapons And Tactics?” asked Clegg looking puzzled.

“Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats,” I explained as I drew the board into four segments, S, W, O & T.

“Ah,” Clegg responded. “I see.”

“I’ll write up the things I think I’ve got from the meetings and visits of the past few weeks. If you want to pitch in with any thoughts as we go along, feel free to do so.”

“Ha! Going to have to work for my living am I? OK”

“I’ll start with the strengths. The research team is a definite plus.” I wrote ‘RESEARCH TEAM’ up on the board. “All the clients that I spoke to reckon that you’ve got one of the best research teams in the business. Plus your snatch teams think the research is pretty good too. They don’t get many surprises when they are on a job.”

“So how does that help us?”

“Well, I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, let’s look at the other factors. Hacking – that’s something your team is pretty good at too.” I added that to the list. “Plenty of others have been making use of the Internet but your team seem to have got further on than most. In fact the whole IT side seems pretty strong to me.”

“I’d have thought the fact that we can deliver all over the world was a strength, don’t you?” Clegg joined in.

“Well, certainly it’s something the organisation does and it’s perfectly good at. Virtually all of your competitors do it as well though, so I don’t think it can be considered a particular strength. I didn’t hear anyone saying you could do anything that others can’t. I think you can only really count the things that are different or better than competitors – otherwise you just end up being a ‘me too’ operation.”

“Hmm, yes. See what you mean. Never been my goal to be like the rest of the herd.”

“But one other feature that was mentioned was your knowledge of the UK as a source of product. All of your clients said that was a big feature and important to them as well. It seems there are some markets where UK product is a plus and you’re definitely seen as the expert.”

“OK, that’s encouraging anyway. Any others?” I shook my head. Freddie looked concerned but pressed on. “How about weaknesses?”

“Well, something your clients talk about is a lack of choice – they feel once you get stuck into a commission there’s not much chance to influence what’s going on.”

“Well, that’s inevitable, isn’t it?. You can’t go changing operations in mid-stream.”

“Maybe not, but your competitors give their clients the feeling that they have more flexibility.”

“Uh, huhh, OK,” said Clegg warily. “Mm, well we ought to be taking account of the competition.”

“Oh, yes. I think we can assume that if we’re doing things right they will respond in some way. For now though I’m mainly interested in doing things our customers want that the competition aren’t doing or that the competition is doing better than us. That’s why I thought about the auctions.”

“Hang on,” said Clegg. “We’ve got one of the best Auction Centres that I know. You can’t say that’s a weakness.”

“Well, I agree the Centre itself is impressive. The problem is that there aren’t enough buyers and because there aren’t enough buyers you’re not getting as good a price as you could. If you could get a bigger audience you could find prices going up. Or if you could make things so that you really exploit the specialised talents of the stock. Take the chap who runs the business jet I flew back on. He got two fully trained cabin crew at one of our auctions for about what he’d have expected to pay for any two pieces in their mid-twenties. He got a real bargain. I think you end up under-valuing the stock.”

“I see what you mean. Certainly prices have seem depressed but I’d put that down to a more general market trend.”

“There’s no evidence to support that. In fact from my discussions some of your customers are paying higher prices from your competitors, not lower.”

“Ha! Not my idea of the best way to do business.”

“I think it stems from a number of problems. Customers just don’t think you’re interested in what they want, just in what you have to sell, so they come to see what you have to offer as an opportunity for a bargain, nothing more.” I wrote ‘Don’t handle MY problems’ up under weaknesses.”

“All right.”

“And the other thing is the stock that you carry.” I added ‘STOCK’ that to the list.

“Can’t sell what you haven’t got,” said Freddie, furrowing his brow.

“A common view but not always true. Sometimes you can sell what you know you can get. I think what I mean is that there doesn’t seem to be any control over what stock you bring in or when. It seems like the snatch teams just pour stock in at one end and the Sales Centre has to find ways to shift it.”

“Hmm, I’m not sure that’s completely fair but there may be something in what you say. Certainly we had to clear a lot last year.”

“OK. Well, the strengths and weaknesses all tend to be about what your business does. The opportunities and threats are all about external factors. I’m not sure I’ve really got to grips with this yet but here’s a couple of thoughts. There’s a growing number of women buyers in the market – that’s got to be an opportunity and I’m not sure that anyone’s really catering specifically for them. Then there’s the younger buyers too. Again there are signs that the average age of buyers is coming down – a few people have said that. Again, I don’t see anyone shaping up to that.”

“Interesting, interesting. Well, if we’re looking for threats, there’s always the forces of law and order.”

“Well, yes, but again that’s pretty much the same for everyone isn’t it? I guess if you have more problems because you’re based here in the UK we could consider it a weakness but otherwise it’s just what this market is all about, isn’t it?

OK, yes, I see what you mean. It’s probably the same for all of us. It’s no worse here than in the States or most of the other EU countries. Maybe a bit better at the moment with most of them off worrying about counter-terrorism rather than us.”

I ran through a few more thoughts but I could see Clegg’s attention was wandering. Time to cut to the chase, I thought.

“So here’s what I think we should do,” I said. Clegg sat up. “Have you heard of the ‘4P’s’?”

He shook his head.

“It’s a way we talk about the mix of factors you need in a marketing approach: product, price, place and promotion.”

“OK, I get it,” said Clegg.

“Well here are my thoughts.” I turned over a clean sheet on the flip pad and wrote:

Product – UK females that meet specific customer requirements.

Price – premium priced for a premium service

Place – Eastern Europe, Middle East, Far East

Promotion – account managed approach supported by video / web + explore opportunities in new markets (women / younger buyers)

Clegg looked at it. “Go on,” he said, carefully.

“My view is that the future of Clegg Enterprises lies with higher value niche opportunities rather than the mass markets. I recognise some of these, especially the US, seem attractive and appear to be the areas of largest growth today but all my research indicates that these buyers will move to becoming more discriminating over time. The skills of the business in research and specialist acquisition of stock will match the emerging demands of the market for particular items. I’d recommend that Clegg Enterprises defocuses on the current auction approach and instead looks towards an approach in which buyers are encouraged to specify their requirements directly and indeed get fully engaged in the selection and acquisition process. Over time we would aim to migrate more of the current clientele to buying in the way that the most profitable customers do.”

“OK, I can see the sense of that. I guess the big questions are how do we do it and how do we fund it?”

“Let’s talk about how we should do it first. I’ve got some ideas that should prove simple to put into practice for starters. Firstly I’d like to start an account management approach with some of the current clients. Assigning a particular contact to them to be responsible for knowing their requirements and working with them on how we can meet them. I mean, for example, when I was out on the island, it was clear that Steve Glennis has a number of projects in mind that we could help him with, he hadn’t thought about talking to us. If someone had been talking to him, understanding his projects, we’d have been able to make suggestions and with the research skills we’d have been able to find just what he wanted.”

“So instead of waiting for him to turn up at an auction,” Clegg began.

“Which he may or may not do,” I said. “And in fact he hadn’t for over a year until last month.”

“… instead of that, we work with him on specific acquisition projects.”

“We follow that up with an approach that lets clients review and comment on our plans - we could use some sort of secure web technology; share the surveillance stuff with clients; get them to comment on the girls before we pick them up. The idea should be that we move to more acquisitions for specific projects and fewer speculative collections. If we make things specific enough for people they’ll pay a lot more, we’ll be able to command a premium price because we’ll be getting the customer just exactly what they want.”

“Well, it’s funny you should say that I mean that’s how I started out. I mean apart from my own little hobby activities, the first professional job I did was for a guy who was infatuated with a girl. He tried to date her and she laughed him off. I told him I could get him what he wanted and I did. He came up with a big wad of cash, very grateful he was. That was the seed funding for Clegg Enterprises.” He went on, “But your ideas are going to need cash too. So how do you propose funding it?”

“You’re going to think this a bit radical,” I said.

“I like radical if it solves the problem,” Clegg responded.

“OK,” I took a deep breath. “Close the Sales Centre.”

Clegg spluttered, “But that cost us a fortune to set up! I thought you marketing guys were all about better selling.”

“Nah – marketing’s about getting people to buy. I bet it did cost you a fortune to set up. And it’s costing you a fortune to run. It’s expensive and you don’t actually need it. It isn’t much used apart from the auction suite. It’s much better to go to the customers. If you need them to come to you, use the London club.

“But what about the warehousing facilities and re-sales and the auctions?”

“There’s probably enough space at the Prep Centre. If we’re doing more collection against specific requirements then we should need less warehousing anyway – no point in keeping stock if we don’t need to. I think you can use the Internet more for auctions of any commodity stuff, we’ll still get ‘opportunities’ presenting themselves and I don’t propose we should turn them down. But when you do use an auction you need to get to a wider customer base – it’s all got a bit cosy at present and you don’t get the prices you should because there just aren’t enough bidders involved.”

Clegg looked thoughtful and then seemed to come to a conclusion. “All right let’s go with this,” he said. “You try your account management approach with one or two clients and see if that works. Go make a video about what we are up to – I like that idea - but don’t spend too much money on it. And you can get Technical to do a feasibility study on the Internet service. How does that sound?”

“Fine, that’ll let us make a start. And the Sales Centre?”

“I’ll think about it. We’ll talk about it again after you’ve done this first bit. I’ll set you up with a couple of clients to go talk about their requirements.”

“OK,” I said. “Fine by me. Just make sure that Research are teed up to play their part.”

“Don’t worry, Larry, you’ll get all the help you need. Oh and you’d better go have a chat with Harry, I can imagine that field operations are going to be working harder.”

Harry proved difficult to track down but eventually I got him to answer his mobile. “Can we chat?”

“Sure,” said Harry, "but I’m a bit up to my ears in it right now. I’ve got an operation in hand but if you want to come up here I’d be OK with that.”

“OK,” I said. “Where’s ‘here’ then?” He gave me an address in a small town about 20 miles away from the Prep Centre. I took the train from Euston. It wasn’t much later arriving than I’d expected and a short walk from the station found me outside a door sandwiched between a greengrocers and a pet shop. There was only one bell. I pushed it.

Harry’s voice crackled through a small brass grill, “Yup?”

“It’s Larry,” I said.

“Come on up,” he replied, the lock buzzed and I pushed the door open. A narrow staircase led upwards. At the top of the stairs was a glass panelled door that opened into a scruffy reception area. Behind the empty reception desk was a door into an inner office. Harry put his head around the door and waved me in. “Larry,” he said, “excellent. There’s someone I want you to meet.”

Sat in the chair beside a large desk was a cheerful looking, red haired girl. She got to her feet as soon as I got into the room. ”Hello,” she said, enthusiastically, “I’m Sarah.”

“Hi,” I said giving Harry a quizzical look, unclear if she was part of Clegg Enterprises or not.

“Sarah’s my new PA,” Harry said. “Or at least she will be if she decides to accept the offer.”

“Don’t be silly,” she said, “of course I’ll accept. It all sounds very exciting, import, export, all that. Much better than the dull old car dealers.”

“Sarah is currently working in the motor trade,” said Harry.

“Well I can see that might be less exciting,” I said guardedly. “Was your last job very dull?”

“Awful,” she said. “And the boss couldn’t keep his hands to himself. Furtive groping, if you know what I mean.” She gave a conspiratorial wink.

“I can’t see you having that problem with Harry,” I said. “There’s nothing furtive about him.”

“Do you want a coffee?” Harry offered, interrupting the banter. I nodded. He pulled a note from his wallet and tossed it to Sarah. “Can you pop across the road and pick us up a couple of cappuccinos, Sarah? And grab one for yourself if you’re stopping.”

“Sure thing, boss,” Sarah said with a grin. “Coffees coming up.” With that she bounced passed me and down the stairs.

“Does she know what we do?” I asked as the door slammed behind her.

“No, not at all.”

“Won’t that make things, err, rather difficult?”

“Not with what I’ve got planned. I wasn’t thinking of employing her as such, just sort of acquiring her.”

“Ah, silly of me,” I said. “And is this soon?”

“Well, yes, right about now actually. If you hang on a minute I’ll have got it all sorted out.”

Sarah reappeared with the coffees. “Here they are, I hope they are all right,” she said. She shrugged off her jacket and I could see why Harry was keen on having her around. I guessed she was in her early twenties, twenty two or three maybe. Her shoulder length, red, wavy hair was striking in itself and the dark green top she wore clung agreeably to her figure. She didn’t have big tits but they were neat, well formed and pert and the fact that she had a trim figure made them look bigger than they really were. Her dark skirt was probably a bit tight and a bit short really but I wasn’t complaining. Her pale complexion and freckled face made me think that the hair inside her knickers would match that on her head. “Here you are boys,” she said, setting the coffees down between us.

“Thanks Sarah, that’s great. Now can you organise something for me, please?”

“That’s why I’m here,” she reached for a note pad, “fire away.”

“All right, can you call this number: 07788 656556? The gentleman concerned is expecting to have confirmation that a shipment will be ready today. If you can just call him and tell him that it will be ready as agreed. Oh, and I need to meet him. Can you suggest that he and I get together this evening at the Red Bull on the Warwick Road say, oh half past seven? Then I need you to pick up a few things for me, nothing to do with work I’m afraid, personal stuff, I hope you don’t mind?”

“Of course not. That’s all part of the job.”

“Well it’s just that I’ve got some stuff I need to package up and put into storage. Can you pop into the DIY Centre and get 50 feet of quarter inch rope, a couple of rolls of duct tape, and some Hessian sacks? If you can get that it’ll make things a lot easier.”

Sarah jotted the details down on her pad. “No problem at all, boss,” she said brightly. “Shall I bring this stuff in tomorrow?”

“Yes, ah, no. Look tell you what, why don’t you bring it out to the Red Bull, and I can introduce you to this chap. You’ll need to meet him sometime. I might even buy you a drink.”

“Goodness, can I trust my new boss, I ask myself?” Sarah giggled.

“Very wise, very wise,” said Harry with mock seriousness.

Sarah giggled again. “Still this is great,” she said. “My last boss really kept me chained to my desk.”

“And I’ll do the same if you aren’t working well,” said Harry with a grin. “In fact maybe we’ll use heavier chains if you’re not doing so well, lighter ones for better performance.”

“Oh, you are funny,” Sarah said, grinning, as she picked up her coffee. “I’d better get back to work.” She went back out to the reception office.

I briefed Harry on the outcome of my discussions with Clegg. I left out my thoughts on the Sales Centre. Harry seemed to like the approach and said he’d be happy to support any of the acquisitions that might fall out of it. His only comment was that Brian wasn’t going to be pleased if it meant less going through the Sales Centre. We’d been talking for about half an hour when Sarah knocked on the office door.

“I’ve spoken to the gentleman,” she said, “and that’s all fine he’ll see you at 7:30. And he says, thanks for arranging the shipment, he’ll be able to pick it up as agreed. Now, do you mind if I get off? If I’m going to get those other things you wanted.”

“No, that’s fine. Are you sure you’ve got everything on that list?”

“Yes, here it is,” she took out the paper, “rope, tape, sacking. Nothing else?”

“No, I don’t think so, no that will be fine.” Harry smiled as Sarah turned to pick up her jacket and go. She stopped at the door to Harry’s office.

“Hey,” she said, “I’ve just thought – when Harry met Larry!”

“We’ve heard it,” I said. “Have a nice evening and don’t let this guy tie you up in knots. He’s a hard task master.”

Harry gave me a warning look but Sarah simply smiled. “Oh, I think I’ll be all right,” she said. “Bye for now.”

I waited until the office door closed before allowing myself a chuckle. “Fifty feet of rope and two reels of duct tape?” I laughed. “She’s really going to get it, isn’t she?”

“I very much think so,” said Harry, “but you don’t grudge me a little amusement, I’m sure. Anyway, come out to the Red Bull, you can drive one of the cars back.”

We took some time discussing a few of the ideas that I would need Harry to pick up on for the plans I had agreed with Clegg. By the time we were through it was already gone seven and dark so we headed off to Harry’s car and drove out of town. The Warwick Road wasn’t the best part of the area and as we got to the pub I could see that it wasn’t open. I didn’t think it would be, the “For Sale” sign outside the front gave me a clue. As we pulled into the unlit, pot holed, car park I could see that Sarah was already there chatting animatedly to a man standing beside a white van. There was another girl with her. “Oh great,” said Harry, with heavy irony, “she’s brought a friend.” We pulled up between her car and the van. She waved as she saw us getting out.

“Yoo hoo,” she called and then added redundantly. “Over here!” We wandered across. “This is Julia,” said Sarah introducing her companion. I watched Harry giving her the once over, evidently approving the girls rather full figure and long blonde hair. He had a slightly puzzled look, I guessed he was trying to work how she could wear a skirt that was as short and tight as the one she had on and still manage to move.

“Hello, Julia,” he said, smiling.

“Jules,” she said, “call me Jules.”

“OK,” said Harry, “Jules it is.”

“We’ve already met your friend here. Your business associates seem such nice people. We were just discussing where we might go on to – I don’t think we’ll get a drink here. I know some good clubs.”

“Yes,” cut in Jules, “we were going on to a club anyway after this to celebrate Sarah’s new job, why don’t you all come?”

“Yes,” said Sarah. “We could all go have some fun. You boys look like you could use a night out – I’m a great dancer, you should see me.”

“Well,” said Harry, “I’m sure you’re right about not getting a drink here. I don’t reckon Larry here could keep up with you on the dance floor but I’m sure we’d all like to see you strut your stuff. Mind you it won’t do if you’re late in tomorrow.”

“Oh goodness, you can’t imagine I’d be late in on my first day,” said Sarah.

“You needn’t worry about Sarah,” said Jules, “she’s so eager to please she’d come hopping in with a broken leg if she thought not being there would upset anyone.”

“Oh, don’t exaggerate!” exclaimed Sarah. “But I will be there and on time.”

“I’m sure you will,” said Harry. “Oh, by the way, were you able to get those things?”

“He hasn’t got you shopping for him already, has he?” said Jules.

“Shh,” said Sarah. “I don’t mind. I like to help out.” She turned back to Harry. “Yes, no problem. The girl at the check out gave me ever such a funny look, though, I can’t imagine what she thought I wanted them for. They’re in the back of my car.” She passed her keys to Harry.

“I’ll get them,” he said and walked across to the car.

“What on earth did he have you get?” said Jules.

Harry got back from the car. “Just a few things from the DIY shop,” he said. ”Some rope, duct tape and sacking.”

“Ooh,” said Jules, “sounds kinky to me! Who were you planning a bondage session with?”

“Well,” said Harry joining in with Julia’s giggles. “It was to have been Sarah but now I’ve got a choice.”

“Not me,” said Jules, “I make it a rule not to get tied up on a first date. Doesn’t give you a chance to get to know one another. Mind you if you’re persuasive enough there’s quite a lot I will do.”

“Oh, Julia!” Sarah complained. “Don’t talk like that, I’ve got to work with these guys, you know. What will Harry think?”

Sarah turned towards Harry’s friend, saying that Julia wasn’t really like this, usually. The two girls were still talking animatedly about the clubs they thought we all might visit as Harry nodded to his colleague.

It was almost like watching a ballet. Harry tossed a sack over the girls’ heads to his friend. Both girls watched,puzzled, as he caught it. Sarah had her back to Harry as he pulled his sack down over her head. Jules went to run to her aid as Harry’s friend did the self same thing to her. It was instructive to see two experts at work. As the sack came down each man grabbed his captive around the arms and then took a took a length of rope, knotting it across the girl’s mouth over the sack, pulling the Hessian into her mouth and gagging her.

The two girls, struggling and kicking now and yelping into their rope gags, were wrestled to the floor. Harry tossed one of the rolls of tape to the other man. He used it to strap Jules’s wrists while Harry was winding rope around Sarah’s waist and chest. Soon both girls were trussed up with sacking over their torsos and tape wrapped around them at the ankles and the knees. In a matter of seconds, Sarah and Jules were both laying on the floor of the white van, squirming and mmphing in protest. I had a good view of both girls’ legs - skirts that short aren’t really the best thing to get kidnapped in.

We slammed the door on the back of the van. Harry took his car, I took Sarah’s. We followed the van back to the Prep Centre. I watched as the doors of the van were opened. Both girls still had the sacks still tied over their heads, Sarah was sitting up, almost as if she was waiting to be helped out. Jules had been putting up more of a fight, and with only her short skirt her wriggling on the floor of the van had left her with laddered and torn tights. She’d even managed to break the heel of one of her shoes - as she was pulled form the van she was hobbling on one high heel.

I took Sarah’s car around the back. The motor pool supervisor looked at it sniffily, declared it not worth changing the chassis and engine numbers on and put it on to the transporter that would take it over to the crusher later

When I saw Sarah again she was in one of the holding cells. Harry was already there. Sarah was sitting on a solid wooden chair in the middle of the cell. They’d taken the sacking off or her head and replaced the rope gag with a ball strapped tightly into her mouth. It didn’t stop her making a noise but it certainly made it difficult to understand what she was saying.

“GNNASKAART!” she grunted at me– which I took to be a commentary on my parentage. She was obviously pretty angry and they hadn’t really started on her yet. They’d put her in handcuffs behind her back which must have been better than the ropes around her wrists. She had shackles on her ankles and a short length of chain between them but as long as she wasn’t trying to walk around that wasn’t really a problem.

“ECCHT EE O, ECCHT EE O!!!” she groaned, shaking herself on the chair in some attempt to loosen the cuffs. The strap of her gag had gone over the top of her red hair, one lock of hair hung down loose across her face; shaking her head did nothing to stop it brushing across her nose. She gave a frustrated snort, as drips of drool fell from the corner of her mouth.

“What do you think, Larry?” Harry asked. They’d left her skirt, shoes and tights on but Harry had taken her green top off to get a better view. “I think what sold her to me was her legs but these tits are quite nice too, not big but nice. That and the fact that she’s obviously looked after herself; quite a fit looking girl really.”

“I think she’ll make a very decorative addition to your office. Unless you are planning to take her friend instead?”

Sarah glowered at me. “GAARHGH!!” she grunted.

“Sounds like something out of ‘My Fair Lady’,” I laughed.

“Fair indeed,” said Harry pulling a knife from his pocket. Sarah tried to shrink away staring in fright at the knife as he advanced towards her. He sliced though her bra straps and then through the strip of cloth between the cups, pulling the bra from her and letting her breasts fall free. Sarah wriggled and tried to pull away but then glowered at Harry as she saw the amusement her bobbling breasts caused.

My only disappointment was that I didn’t have time to see what happened next to Harry’s new recruits.

End of part 2