Chapter One

 

The weather forecaster had said that with the low pressure hanging over practically the whole of the country at the moment, the combination of still air, change in temperature etc. etc., there was a high possibility of fog.Motorists and others travelling to work the next morning could experience some problems.

"There had better not be," said Chris, as she prepared for bed.

"Better not be what?" asked Rob, sleepily.

"Fog," Chris replied."The man said there might be fog in the morning and I say that there had better not be.I take my exams tomorrow and I can't afford to get held up because the buses can't run on time."††††††

Chris was a third year student at the local teaching hospital and Rob worked in the administration section of the same hospital so that, under normal circumstances, it was only a short bus ride away from their apartment.

On the odd occasion, if there were any problems with traffic jams, strikes or fog, then they found it easier to allow for the extra time and simply walk to work.

There hadn't been a real 'pea souper' of a fog for years.Smokeless zones, catalytic converters and a multitude of other things had helped to prevent that but the next morning proved such things were still possible. When Chris looked out of the window at first light, a blanket of grey blotted out the view and it was not possible to see the proverbial hand in front of your face.

"The traffic looks as if it is snarled up already," she said, turning to Rob."The walk will do us good, although I don't fancy breathing in that pollution."

"You can always wear that surgical mask you always seem to be wearing at the hospital.It might help to improve your looks."

She threw the newspaper at him, then left the room to get ready. Half an hour later they were walking down the street, dodging through the fog bound traffic and cutting through side streets wherever they could to try and avoid breathing in as little of the fumes as possible.

"I do hope that I get through these exams today," sighed Chris."I think that whatever happens, I'm going to do something tonight, either in celebration or consolation."

"Oh, you'll be all right," reassured Rob."You've passed every other exam with flying colours and Iím quite certain this will be no exception. It's your last exam and a foregone conclusion."

"I hope youíre right," said Chris, tucking her arm in his as they crossed the fog enshrouded park, then changed the subject."Well, what shall we do tonight?"

"How about ..." Rob paused and looked at his girlfriend.

"How about a bit of bondage?Some sort of bondage game.Something similar to the game we played last time."

Chris pulled his arm closer."Yes. Iíd like that. Itíll give me something to look forward to when those rotten old professors are asking me all those stupid questions."

"Have you any special ideas for the game?" Rob asked.

"I'll leave it up to you.It will give you something to think about while youíre doing that boring old desk job of yours."

"Itís not a boring old desk job and anyway ..." he never did finish the sentence.

They had crossed the road from the park and were now walking along a road of large Victorian style, terraced houses; which at one time, would have housed a family complete with servants.These days they were almost all converted into flats.This was bed-sit land and most were occupied by students from the nearby colleges, which included the teaching hospital where Chris and Rob worked.

What had interrupted Rob and stopped him in his tracks was a middle aged lady leaning against the iron railings of one of the larger terraced houses. She was crying, her head tucked into her arm, noisily sobbing.

Rob had stopped within a few feet of her and turned to say: "I know itís none of my business but can I help in any way?"

Chris pulled at his sleeve, feeling sorry for the woman but not wanting to get involved and then, thinking better of it, put her arm round the woman's shoulders and tried to comfort her.They were in plenty of time so a few minutes trying to comfort someone in distress seemed the least she could do.

"It's my husband," the woman mumbled into her sleeve.

"Your husband?" repeated Chris."Is he ill?"

"Upstairs," the woman pointed up the steps to the front door, then buried her head in her arm again.

Chris noticed that the woman had exceptionally nice hands and couldn't help thinking that perhaps she wasn't as old as her hair and clothes indicated. Dismissing the thought as totally irrelevant, she squeezed the woman's shoulders and urged her to go into her home, by saying. "Come on then.I'm a doctor, or will be by this time tomorrow." She looked at Rob and pulled a bit of a face and he looked skyward as if to say `some hope!'Then, urged on by the couple, the woman struggled up the steps, opened the door and walked inside.

"Up there," she pointed and Chris led the way. They climbed several flights of stairs, up to the top floor, to enter a room that the woman indicated.

Chris opened the door and stepped inside and found herself in a reasonably large room which probably appeared larger than it really was, due to the fact that it was devoid of any furniture, apart from two single beds and a chair. The curtains were drawn but there was sufficient daylight available, to see that there was no-one in either bed, or indeed, anyone that she could see in the room at all.

She turned to question the woman just as the door slammed shut and to see Rob standing directly behind, with his back to her, facing not the woman, as she had expected but a bizarre figure standing with a gun pointed directly at Rob's head.That the figure held a gun was bad enough but what was totally bizarre was the fact that the figure was dressed as if it were going to an operating theatre.She was quite tall and slim and by the way she stood, probably had a good figure.All that could be seen of her was her eyes, which were bright blue and, peeping from under the head covering, just a hint that her hair was blonde.The remainder of her body was hidden under the green operating gown, green head cover, white rubber boots, rubber surgeonís gloves and a white surgical mask, which was pulled up as high as it would go without obstructing her vision through those bright blue eyes.

Of the distraught lady, there was no sign.

 


Chapter Two

 

"Oh my God!" exclaimed Chris."Tell me this isn't happening.Tell me itís just a dream and if you pinch me, Iíll wake up."

"It's no dream, I'm sorry to say," replied Rob, without taking his eyes from the gun that the over-dressed female was holding."I don't know much about those things but I would say that the gun is very real indeed.What the hell is all this about?" he shouted but the female neither made a sound nor refrained from pointing the gun straight at him.The threat seemed to be very real and very frightening.

Rob and Chris stood, frozen to the spot, not knowing what to say, or what to do.The female made no effort to make the first move and all that the amazed couple could see were the blue eyes darting from one to the other, either waiting for them to make a move, or hoping that the threat of the gun would be sufficient to persuade them to stay where they were.

"I know it's foggy outside but don't you think that your outfit is going a little over the top?" asked Chris, trying to take some of the tension out of the situation and more for something to say than in the hope of getting an answer.The female remained tense and silent.

Chris put her hand out, trying to appeal to the girl but the figure stiffened, brought her gun round to point at Chris and shouted, "Stop!" at the top of her voice, the first sound that they had heard from the figure. It made them both jump.

Chris did as she was told and, not knowing what else to do, sat down on the edge of the nearest bed just as another figure entered the room, dressed identically to the one with the gun.This seemed to bring Rob out of his hypnotic state and he rounded on the second girl.

"What the hell is going on here?" he demanded."If this is some kind of practical joke, then O.K. itís very funny, we've all had a good scare and now if you don't mind, we must be on our way, or weíll be late."

"You will do exactly as we say," said the second female.

"Oh!It speaks," said Rob, as he turned to Chris.He was obviously starting to get very annoyed and Chris tried to calm things down, fearing that the threat of the gun was still very real.

"All right.Just tell us what you want and we can then be on our way.What is the problem?If you want money, I have a few notes here but we are certainly not worth holding to ransom.Unfortunately, we don't know anyone rich.All our families and friends are about as broke as we are."

"You will do exactly as we say," the second girl repeated, ignoring anything that Rob had said.

"Yes, all right.If we do exactly as you say, will you then let us go?" asked Chris in a quiet and what she hoped, was a calming voice.

"Yes," came the curt reply.

Chris and Rob both gave an exasperated sigh of relief. Not because they wanted to do what they were told but at least it broke the stalemate and, as they still found it difficult to grasp, that they could be led straight off the street and held in this way, any action was better than none.

"When can we go?" Chris asked.She stood up, as if to make a move for the door, then froze as the gun swung round to point at her.

"Not yet," said the girl by the door."It will be up to you.If you do exactly as you are told and obey without question, then we will consider your freedom."

"Consider our freedom?Well, that really is big of you.How long is this consideration of yours likely to take?You don't suppose that you could hurry it up a bit, could you?" asked Rob sarcastically.He looked at his watch."I'm already late for work and if you don't mind, I would rather you didn't keep pointing that gun at us.It just might go off and make an awful mess on the carpet."

"Enough talking," the girl with the blue eyes called out."You," blue eyes pointed the gun at Rob."You will follow me."

Rob looked at Chris and shrugged his shoulders and Chris returned the gaze, raised her eyebrows as if to say 'What does it matter' then said."You go and find out what itís all about.I'll be all right."

"You sure?" he asked, searching her face, not knowing quite what to do.

"I'm sure.Just don't be long.I have an exam to sit, remember?"

"Right," he said and turned to the two girls."Since you have asked me so nicely, I would be delighted to come with you.You lead, I'll follow."

The girl by the door opened it and walked out. Rob followed and at a safe distance, the blue eyed girl with the gun took up the rear.As she reached the door, she looked at Chris, hesitated, then pulled the door behind her.Chris heard a key turn in the lock.Annoyed that she had been locked in and separated from her boyfriend, she dashed over to the door and thumped on it with her fist.

"Hey!" she yelled."You can't do this.You can't lock me in here!"

But they had and, for the moment, she could do nothing about it.

Turning to sit back on the bed, she thought that she ought not to give up that easily and started to explore the room but there was little to explore.Apart from the two single beds and the chair, the only other furnishing was a rather worn carpet and some poor fitting curtains drawn across the window.The window!She rushed across and drew the curtains aside, hoping at least to be able to see someone or even some means of escape but to her dismay, there were thick metal bars at the window.They looked new and formidable.The view was limited by the fog but she could make out a deserted back yard with high walls on either side.Not much hope of escape there!

She turned back and sank down on to the bed again, deciding that the only thing she could do was wait until Rob came back again.

Lost in her thoughts, she didn't hear the key turn on the lock and the first thing that she knew that anything was happening was when the door opened a few inches and the head of one of the girl's appeared.

"Your friend will be with you shortly.Meanwhile I've brought you a cup of tea.Do you take sugar?" and although it was difficult to be certain, with only the eyes visible, Chris thought that the girl smiled.Certainly, her voice sounded as if she was smiling and her hazel eyes looked quite concerned.The girl produced a steaming mug of tea and placed it on the carpet, just inside the door.

Chris toyed with the idea of making a dash for it but knew full well that had she done so, the door would have been slammed in her face and any friendliness that the girl had shown to Chris would be ruined.She had read somewhere that the first thing to do with kidnappers was to try and establish a relationship.They are then less likely to harm you.Well, the girl's voice sounded friendly enough.Maybe there was hope yet.

The masked face of the girl was still peering round the door, waiting for an answer and Chris remembering what the girl had said about sugar in the tea, said."Oh no, no sugar, thanks.Trying to keep the weight down, you know," and smiled.`What a stupid thing to say to a kidnapper' she thought to herself but then, this was a stupid situation!

With the door closed and locked again, Chris went over to collect her mug of tea, returned to the bed and sat, staring vacantly into space.Waiting for Rob to come back again.She clasped her hands around the warm mug, as if drawing comfort from it, then took a sip and tried to think about her exams and what would happen if she failed to take them.

She took another sip of the tea, feeling it warm her, making her feel a lot more relaxed.Rob was always a steady, reliable sort of person.She was quite certain that he would soon sort things out and they would be on their way.She lay back on the bed, feeling drowsy.

'Come on, Rob,' she thought, for heavenís sake hurry up!

Her head lay back on the pillow and she closed her eyes.It was an extremely comfortable bed.She had slept well last night but all of a sudden, she was feeling tired again, very relaxed.She fell asleep, the remaining contents of the mug spilling on to the floor.