The car's engine went quiet and its lights shut off, plunging the small town street into silence and darkness. Detective Jessica Falwell took a deep sigh and composed herself, this was a night for which she'd prepared a long time. Opening the glove compartment, she retrieved her pistol and checked the magazine, knowing full well it didn't magically empty on the drive over here. The car door opened and let in the cool night air, and she placed the pistol in her shoulder holster and grabbed the duffel bag from the passenger seat.
Jessica smelled the brisk air and listened to the autumn night sound of branches rattling in a slight breeze. The car would be fine parked on the roadside, this small town life didn't have parking garages or even any meters. But even if it was towed she wouldn't have any concern - she'd bought it for cash at a used car lot, didn't even get it registered with the state. If it wasn't here in the morning there'd be no way to trace it to her, and she could just buy a bus ticket back to the city.
"No cameras," she whispered to herself as she turned her head, scanning the telephone poles and street signs, "But just in case..." she trailed off as she pulled a black headband and a balaclava out of the duffel.
Her brown hair didn't quite reach her shoulders, so she didn't need to pull it into a ponytail, as she tied the headband on to keep her hair out of her face. The balaclava went on afterward just in case someone did see her this evening. She'd left her wallet, cell phone, and any identification back at her apartment in the city, and entered the town as a phantom this evening. Glad in all black, a sleek outfit of pants and turtleneck that wouldn't get caught in anything, and a pair of black boots, she'd taken all the precautions to ensure nothing she did tonight would ever be traced back to her.
It was a good three mile trek off the road and through some woods before she would reach the farm house. She'd purposely parked several roads away, in town, so that no one might see her pull up. It was just shortly after sunset when she began, and she had to move swiftly to avoid being seen by passing cars or a curious homeowner looking out their window. But in the secluded woods she had time to slow down, as she didn't want to arrive too early. The sweet spot would be just after midnight, to be sure her prey was in bed or preparing for it, and maximizing the time away from normal small town life waking up.
She could see the farmhouse lights through the trees and her heart began racing. Thinking back through all her planning, all the precautions she'd taken, she knew she had earned this night. It was months of driving to different stores and paying in cash for her supplies, finding openings in her schedule to research this town, this farmhouse, and its inhabitant to confirm all her suspicions, and then cover her tracks. And as she approached the two story house and its couple of acres of yard, the butterflies in her stomach calmed and she knew.
She knew she was ready. She knew she would finally have her closure.
Avoiding the yard lights, Detective Falwell made her way from the tree line to a shed, from the shed to the dark side of the house, and then inched her way toward a window. She knew the strategies of expert burglaries from her years as a cop, and knew exactly what to look for to infiltrate a home. The first window was a bit too high up, opening it and entering risked making too much noise as she would have to stretch and hop to reach. She had no intention of going to the front or back doors, as no doubt the person she was hunting inside would have some method of monitoring them closely. Her eyes settled on a basement window, a bit small and obscured by bushes, but she could fit through. The trick would be opening it.
She got down on the ground and leaned in close, pulling out a small flashlight. The window was frosted, and Jessica reached into her duffel and pulled out a roll of packing tape. She cringed a bit as she tore a strip, but the sound was lost in the bushes and the night air. Placing it firmly against the glass, it worked to somewhat clarify her vision inside. The examined as much as she could see very closely, and after a moment she could make out a small white box stuck to the inside of the window frame.
"The burglar bypassed the magnetic alarm and got in through the basement window," Detective Falwell had her eureka moment.
Her partner, Henry, seemed incredulous, "Even if he got it open, how'd he not set off the alarm?"
"Easy. He kept the magnetic circuit from being interrupted."
She had learned so much about how to break in to houses from a career spent solving crimes. From the duffel she pulled a small box, opening it, and held a strong magnet in one hand. With her other hand she pulled out a screwdriver and a small hammer. Taping the magnet against the window on the side where the magnetic alarm was, went to work on the old farmhouse window and its seat within the brick. It was only a few minutes before Jessica had worked the window open, and she was able to reach inside and turn the little magnetic alarm switch to "off".
"Bad bet, skimping on security."
Dropping in to the basement, she reached up and grabbed the duffel and quietly let the window shut behind her. Jessica took a moment to listen - no sounds in the house that she could make out. Her quarry had not heard her enter. Stepping lightly, and pulling her gun out of its holster, she worked her way to the door of the basement. She could feel her heart pounding in her ears, every tiny sound made by placing her boot on the ground made her wince. She turned the door handle ever so slowly and carefully, and opened without a creak into a kitchen.
Jessica heard a murmur of noise and the telltale electric whine of a television coming from a room nearby. She held her gun in both hands and took slow, deliberate steps until she saw the glow of a screen. There was a chair facing the TV, which was playing some streaming ad, and a table next to it with a glass and a bowl of popcorn. Jessica knew this was it. She'd trekked miles, broken laws, and painstakingly covered her tracks for this exact moment. She took quick strides to the chair and swung her gun over the top to aim it at - nothing!
cha-CHICK Jessica's heart froze, she recognized the sound of a shotgun pump when she heard it.
"Hands straight up in the air. And don't even think of turning around," the woman's voice was calm, but firm. She knew it well.
"You don't want to add killing a cop to your resume, Antonia," the detective remained calm as she slowly raised her hands in the air. She was furious with herself for rushing into the room so headstrong without checking, but she'd been so sure she had finally found her target! She'd been so patient for so long, and she fumbled it by rushing to its end.
"A cop?" the shotgun pressed into Jessica's back, "I don't see a cop. I see a robber who broke into my house, Ms Falwell. Keep your hands where they are, open your fingers, and drop the gun."
A single tear of frustration peeked out of the detective's eye as she complied. She didn't even look down, but heard a dull thump as her weapon hit the chair. She wondered how quickly she could reach down and get it when a hand on her shoulder directed her away from it, turned her, and the barrel of the shotgun pushed her toward the wall. Jessica looked out the corner of her eye and saw the bathroom door ajar and the light on - you have got to be fucking kidding me!
"Boy am I lucky I got up to piss when I did," Toni smirked, "I almost flushed when I heard these footsteps in my living room. And a gal like me always has to keep a defensive firearm at her side. Never know what kind of lowlife there is out here, in the country. Hands against the wall."
Jessica complied, hatching a plan. She felt as Toni unclipped the duffel bag from her shoulder, and heard a zipper open.
"My, my..." the woman had Jessica where she wanted her, and she knew her best bet was to remain calm, "It looks like you came here looking for a good time. Let's see if I can show you one, left hand!"
Growling to herself, Jessica relented as Toni twisted her left wrist behind her back and she felt the stiff metal of her own handcuffs ratcheting on. Toni didn't ask for her other wrist, just grabbed it and twisted it back as well, cuffing her hands behind her. This was bad, but Jessica tightened her mouth in a frown and knew it'd be no better if she was dead. Toni spun Jessica around and took off the balaclava, revealing the detective's face and hair, scowling at the black haired woman in front of her.
Antonia Scalpa stood a couple inches shorter than the detective and was lean and tough, but not athletic. She was wearing a simple pair of sweatpants and a flannel button up shirt, clearly having planned to be in for a quiet night. In a one on one fight, Jessica's advantage in police training and size would end this in a moment. But Antonia, or Toni, got lucky at the moment Jessica forgot her patience, and now her hands were locked behind her as the smaller woman smirked. Toni kept the shotgun trained on her and tilted her head to one side, enjoying the card that fate had dealt.
"You know babe, you could've just learned to take the loss," Toni kept the gun trained on Jessica as she stepped back, then to the left, and picked the detective's pistol up off the floor. She seamlessly held the pistol on Jessica and placed the larger weapon on the nearby table, then walked back over to Jessica and the duffel bag that had been placed on a nearby table, "There's that saying about pride before the fall, right? What? I embarrassed you, and you wanted to come out here and take me down?"
"You're garbage who slipped away once-"
"So what? You were gonna tie me up?" Toni pulled a bundle of rope out of the duffel with one hand while keeping the pistol aimed with the other, "You've got rope, you've got tape, you've got cuffs...what were you going to do to me, sexy?"
Jessica's stomach turned as the woman came close to her and pressed the gun, and her pelvis, into her her. She was against the wall and still surveying the room for anything that could be used. She'd been hard at work with her hands behind her back, as Toni had been too concerned with gloating to properly search the detective. If she had, she would've found the pouch on the inside of her pants. The pouch that Jessica was now working to open, awkwardly, as it was off-center near her hip. The pouch which held a spare handcuff key.
"I wasn't going to arrest you, that's for sure," Jessica wanted to buy herself enough time to get the key, so she played along.
The woman in front of her gave a surprised laugh, she seemed legitimately shocked.
"Wow..." Toni shook her head and smiled a wide, toothy smile at Detective Falwell, "That is cold. You came out here and broke the law just because you're upset I beat you?"
"You didn't beat me," She almost had it.
"I beat the rap, and you're mad. Grow up, darling."
The anger overtook Jessica, and she pushed into Toni as she snarled.
"I. Lost. Everything, because of you! You bribed and fucked your way out, you ruined my reputation, you drugged and fucked my husband!" it was all coming out, she saw an eyebrow raise on Toni's face, and she took the opportunity and placed a knee right in the other woman's sternum! Toni was caught off-guard and too surprised to do anything as Jessica raised her foot and kicked the gun away, then shoulder charged the smaller woman, "I'm here to make sure you get what you deserve!"
Jessica was without her hands, but she had size and surprise advantage. The two women fell to the floor and the detective used her training in jiu-jitsu to land on top, her hips controlling the woman who didn't expect an attack from a foe without hands. The gun clattered to the side and it took Toni a moment to collect herself. Jessica was working to pin down Toni's arms with her legs as she reached for the pouch and free her hands. Toni shook her head and her surprise turned into a snarl. She had taken a few punches to the sternum, and her wind was back quickly. The detective's hands were still behind her back, and she had room to strike.
Toni popped her hips up and lurched the detective forward, and she swung her fist as hard as she could. It wasn't the strongest punch she'd ever thrown, but she was able to connect on Jessica's jaw and with a yell her dazed assailant fell to the side. Wasting no time, Toni ignored the gun and grabbed the roll of duct tape. Jessica was a bit slow to react as the punch had rattled her jaw, and by the time she had the wherewithal to fight back Toni already had three winds of tape around her ankles. Jessica let out a yell as she thrashed, and Toni sat on the small of her back and finished a couple more turns of tape.
"You got me...nice try..." Toni was still catching her breath as she kept her weight on the larger woman and spun around, placing her knee in the small of her back and grabbing her by the hair, "That's never happening again."
"GET OFF ME YOU FUCKING BAAAGRHGM!!!" Jessica's anger got cut off as Toni mercilessly crammed a handkerchief in her open mouth. Toni's hand held the cotton wad in as Jessica felt her headband loosening and being pulled between her lips, her own forehead sweat on her tongue as her scream of anger welled up inside her, "YRRRRMGH FRRRTHRRRRPH IIITHRRRRGGRRRRRTH!"
Her own cuffs, her own headband, her own gun. This wasn't how this was supposed to go. Jessica bit down on her gag and kicked to get Toni off of her, but she only tasted salt felt tape winding around her knees, and couldn't stop it.
"So...let's piece this together, bitch," as she finished winding the tape, Toni locked her legs around the detective's waist and sat her up, then began winding the tape around her arms and torso, "That idiot I flirted with and roofied, then fucked, was your boy toy huh?"
"EEEHHRRRRPHRRRRRFFFFFRRRRRRRPHRRRRR!" Jessica tried to thrash her way free, but the more tape wound around her, the less of an option that became.
"He was a nice ride, for sure, haha," Toni sneered and wrapped her arm around the detective's throat, "But I really should thank him for the evidence locker key in his top drawer. I came in bawling and crying, a classic damsel in distress, and he took me in to his office. He never saw what I put in his drink..."
Toni snaked her way around the fighting detective, whose tears of anger were welling in her eyes and soaking into the black cloth that was doubled up and pulled tight between her teeth. The smaller woman grabbed her captive by the jaw, causing the detective to renew a thrash before Toni looked her in the eye.
"Aww, what's the matter, does that make you sad?" Toni stuck out her lower lip, mocking the detective who bit down on her gag and pulled at the cuffs, "No? Does it make you a widdle bit angwy? And now you came out here to teach me a wesson?"
With a laugh, Toni stood up and let Jessica fall over. Detective Falwell was trying to reach to the pouch in her waistband which had the handcuff key, but the tape around her arms made that a bit more challenging. She struggled to face her captor, to mask her efforts to free herself. She glared holes in the woman, who strut over and gingerly placed the handgun on a table. She then picked up the shotgun, and coyly smile looked back at the helpless captive, and went to put the weapon away in the hall closet.
"And how'd that turn out for you?" Toni smirked at the cop, who broke eye contact in disgust, "Now you're all cuffed and taped up and at my mercy. I can do anything I want with you."
"Errrrphhmmmnu, rrrrph eerriiiphhrrrrdrrrr," the cloth in her mouth stopped up her retort.
"Oh yeah? Is that so?" like a cat playing with her food, Toni stalked back over and looked down at her prey, "As I said, you should've just taken the loss, baby. You could be licking your wounds back home. Instead, you're gonna be licking something else."
That insult sent Jessica into a fury, momentarily forgetting about the handcuff key. Rage took over and she tried to get her hands on the smug criminal in front of her, but the cuffs held firm and the tape didn't give way, and she exerted some energy in a futile effort, which only made her kick her legs and scream into her gag.
"Oh shhhhh shhhhhh shhhhhhhhh, we're going to have so much time to play. Now, let me see what other fun things you brought me," Toni picked up the duffel and started rooting through it a bit more thoroughly, her captive bound and helpless.
Or so she thinks, Jessica narrowed her eyes and renewed her focus on the hidden pouch. It was a little bit tougher with the half dozen winds of tape around her arms, but soon enough she was able to reach and get a finger inside the pouch. All she had to do was pick the key out without dropping it...
"A girl gets flattered looking at all this attention," cooed the criminal as she retrieved a stun gun, coils of rope, another roll of duct tape, zip ties, and a few other paraphernalia from the duffel and laid them out nicely on the floor between the two. The detective hadn't betrayed any movement behind her back as her captor surveyed the instruments of capture and torture before her, "And to think. All undone in a moment, because you leapt before looking. All this could have been yours to play with on me, but instead...detective...I'm thinking we're going to have fun together."
Toni grabbed a coil of rope and playfully approached her bound captive on hands and knees, as the detective strained to keep her from seeing her progress. Jessica snagged the handcuff key and closed it in her palm just as Toni climbed on to her, pushing the angry officer to the floor under the weight of her captor's breasts, sex, and breath. Jessica squirmed to try to get some room, but Toni grabbed her and they were face to face, a broad smile across Toni's face. What Toni didn't see, however, was the handcuff key slide into its hole, and start to turn. And she had not noticed that Detective Falwell had turned enough that a free hand could reach the stun gun...
"I've had a handful of women...none of them quite as attractive as you, you know," she ran her hand through Jessica's hair and made her stomach turn, a disgusted grunt came from her gag, "And I think we have a lot of time to really explore some new games together, don't we? Your outfit, your gun, the fact that there's no backup...I'm betting nobody knows you're here, do they? Mmm...hmmmmm...we're going to have a long, long time to get to know each other."
Toni's face was right on top of Jessica's as the officer's freed hand found the stun gun behind her. She wasted no time, but wrenched her body to turn to the side, pressing the stun gun into her captor's side! A sizzle of electricity and the smell of ozone match a breathless cry from the woman who was a second prior gloating over her prize. Jessica didn't let up, but pressed in to her with another shock, as Toni convulsed once and lay with eyes wide open trying to regain her composure! Just as quickly as she sprung on the detective, she lost her advantage and Jessica was now working her way free of the tape around her upper arms.
The detective didn't even bother with her gag or the tape on her legs. With her hands out of the cuffs, Detective Jessica Falwell stretched, grabbed, and tore to remove the tape bindings as she kept a very close eye on the woman who was trying to regain her breath. She gave Toni another jolt with the stun gun that caused her legs to kick and spasm, and she figured that bought her the time she needed. With a grunt through the gag that was still in her mouth, Jessica rolled her former captor over and brought her hands behind her back. With a length of rope in hand, she took a bight of it and looped it several times around Toni's wrists, then gave it a tight cinch before exhaling. Detective Falwell finally reached up and pulled her headband down out of her mouth, spitting out the handkerchief, and then used the open handcuff ratchet to tear at the duct tape on her legs.
"Alright bitch...round two."
During the process of tying Antonia to the chair, Detective Falwell had periodically shocked her when she saw her captive started to stir in earnest. She wanted no more mistakes, and it wasn't long before she had dragged Toni into a back room. She had initially thought to bring her quarry down into the basement, but there was a chance of screams escaping if she didn't fix the window she had entered through, and she was preoccupied with restraining the woman that had once gotten the best of her. Jessica sat Toni in a wooden chair with slats, and placed Toni's bound wrists over the back. She zip tied the rope that bound Toni's hands together to the slats of the chair, and then tied each ankle to a chair leg.
A groggy black haired Toni was starting to shake the cobwebs when Jessica retrieved a very large harness ball gag from her duffle and popped it in a mouth that was just starting o work. Instinctively, the criminal tried to shake her head loose and spit the two inch rubber ball out, but the detective simply forced it in as she buckled the main strap, then the chin strap, and finally the criss-crossing overhead straps.
"I picked this up at an adult store," Jessica mewed with some self-satisfaction, "I know your sick mind is going to go erotic, but it's so you can feel the humiliation. You're like a dog that needs to be put down, and this is your chew toy."
Jessica pulled down on the gagged woman's lip and some drool escaped and fell from her open mouth.
"You were so arrogant, and now look at you. You've had this coming."
Antonia's muscles were starting to respond again as her head began to steady itself. The rubber ball stretched her jaw and a line of drool fell from her lower lip onto her body. She began to twist at the wrist ropes and weakly kick at her ankles, but this time the detective was on top of her. Cinched ropes were tied at her knees, keeping her legs from gaining any leverage. Jessica had taken a long rope and wound it around Toni's arms, which themselves were wrapped around the chair, and after seven or eight rounds she tied cinches underneath the armpits. Toni's confident glare widened as she realized her chances of escape were halving every second.
"My mistake might have been rushing in, and I almost paid dearly for that. Your mistake was gloating before a thorough search," the detective was still breathing a little heavily from the exertion of escaping, overpowering the other woman, and getting her into a chair. Jessica checked each set of ropes that bound her, evaluating their sturdiness closely, "And that pat down I gave you on the way down here? That's the last action you're ever going to see."
"Mrrrphrrrrrhmmmr!" the chair squeaked as Toni suddenly jolted, straining as much as she could against the ropes. She was a prisoner in her own home, a perfect hideout where no one was supposed to ever find her.
Detective Falwell took a moment and stretched her neck, taking a couple deep breaths. She had thought about this for a long time. It was almost cruelly snatched away from her because of a bathroom break, but her determination paid dividends. Her thorough planning had even accounted for her fuck up, she sewed that hidden pocket for her handcuff key just in case, and it saved her life. It had taken almost a year of her life, and every resource available, but everything finally paid off as she looked over at the grunting and struggling criminal who sat before her. The woman who had raped her man, sent the couple to disastrous therapy, discredited her career, and laughed at her the entire time.
"I suppose you're wondering how I found you," Jessica had calmed down, and was now holding a zip tie in her hands, playing with it as she looked at the ball gagged woman out of the corner of her eye, "You disappeared off the map, didn't you? Dyed your hair to jet black. Looks like you got yourself a tan, holed up in this farmhouse in the middle of nowhere."
Antonia shifted in the chair and huffed out of her mouth, some spit falling onto her lap.
"After my relationship ended, after months of therapy, I had a lot of time on my hands," Jessica took quick footsteps behind the chair, and reached the zip tie over Toni's head and around her neck, "I was on paid leave. My depressed ex-boyfriend wouldn't answer my phone. All I had was time...time to scour every source at my disposal to find you. I pieced together every scrap of information I had on your life. I dug deep, and I found this house that was left to a cousin of yours...a cousin that died a few years ago. Isn't that funny."
The zip tie suddenly tightened around Toni's throat, ratcheting as Jessica pulled it click by click until Toni could no longer breathe! Her screams didn't even make it to the ball gag, welling up in her throat and stopped entirely by the plastic tie, as she shook and pulled in every direction at once!
"You and this cousin...you were picked up on petty larceny a long time ago..." Jessica completely ignored the strangled pleas, the bulging wide eyes, and the futile struggling of her captive as she slowly walked back in front of her fading vision, "Then they turn up dead. The property goes to auction...and is bought, with cash, by someone matching your current description. And they're never seen again..."
Toni's lungs were on fire. She could feel the pulsing in her neck, her vision began to blacken at the edges. The most she could do was nod a pathetic plea in the detective's direction as her struggles faded. Instead of twisting and pulling at the ropes, she was now weakly twitching against them, the zip tie cruelly cutting into her neck. She didn't even feel the wire cutters as Jessica placed them to her neck, getting underneath the zip tie.
"And then suddenly...a couple of months ago, this mysterious person appears on surveillance cameras in town," Falwell took her time, milking her statement, as she snipped the zip tie, barely nicking the side of her captive's neck.
The pain in Antonia's throat was unbearable as she began coughing furiously. The ball gag was suddenly unbuckled and fell to the floor, the detective allowing Toni to cough for several minutes unable to reach her hand up to comfort her neck. It took nearly five minutes for Toni's vision to return to normal, to get her breath back, and to even contemplate asking a question. She was certain she was going to die, and to have that taken away from her was its own sort of cruelty, Jessica making it clear they would repeat that game as many times as she wanted. Toni's frantic breathing hadn't caught up to her yet, and her wide eyes were looking side to side to see if there were anything in the room to help her.
"Of course I couldn't use the department's resources. I just got back from suspension, I was not only taken off the case but I was told if I went anywhere near it I would be busted down to meter maid," the detective untied the headband from around her neck, still damp from having been in her mouth, and neatly folded it before tying it to blindfold Toni's desperate eyes, "It took some...creativity. VPN's, learning how to use Chinese facial recognition software. It was tedious."
Unable to see, her captor's own sweaty and spit soaked gag now over her eyes, Toni couldn't help but burst into tears.
"P...please..." her voice was raspy, "I...I'm s-s...sorry..." in between sobs and coughs, the woman who had been so confident just moments ago sat hopeless, bawling in her own chair in her own room in her own house. She had been tied up plenty of times, but they were always with lovers. When she was cuffed by police, there were always rules. This was the first time she was completely at the mercy of someone who wanted to do her actual harm.
Ignoring her begging, Jessica walked over and retrieved a few more tools from her duffle. She still worked her jaw from how tight the gag was earlier, and she was still smoothing her hair out of her face. But she'd taken on a methodical calm, a serene feeling of completion. It hadn't taken long to break her prey, who had been so cocky just a short while earlier, by depriving her of air and of sight. The spectacle of the terrified woman tied to the chair, searching blindly left and right for anything to help her, gave the detective a sense of satisfaction that no arrest or guilty plea ever did. Antonia Scalpa was going to pay not only for her crimes, but for the crimes and jeers and behavior of every deplorable piece of garbage that thought they could get away with it.
"You are sorry," Jessica had no inflection in her voice as she crammed the handkerchief that had been in her mouth into Toni's, dirty from falling on the floor.
"Nnnnnnnooommmmmmmppppppp!!!" the smaller woman tried to cry out, but Jessica placed the two inch ball back in. She hadn't even bothered to wipe it off, grabbing it off the floor and jamming it in to pack the cloth in farther, and buckling the leather straps as tight as she could, "Mmmmph! MMMmck, errrrrrMMMMPH!"
The crinkle of the plastic bag made the gagged woman seize up in her crying and struggling, but it was no use. Jessica pulled the plastic over Toni's head, and no amount of useless shaking back and forth would do anything. Toni pulled at the ropes that held her to the chair, but she only filled the air with muffled cries and the unforgiving squeaks of straining against the wood.
"This one won't be as tight as the last," Jessica stated without any empathy or emotion as she placed some tape around Toni's pulsing neck, "We're just going to see how long it takes you to pass out."
Antonia fought for her life, twisting and pulling in one direction then the other. She tried to bite the plastic bag from around the two inch rubber ball. She thrashed and tried to rub her head against anything she could find, all while crying out. But outside the farmhouse, one might mistake the sound for that of a TV turned up loud. And at the end of the half mile driveway, nothing but the cool autumn air.