“Jay…. Jay Edwards… Oh my god,” Morag whispered, and then she shouted “MUM!!!”
“Relax,” Jay said in his calm, quiet voice, “my associates will bring your mother into this room in a minute, so please sit down. So long as you do as I and my friends say, everyone remains happy, and nobody gets hurt.”
As she looked to the door, she saw her mother walk in, her arms behind her back as two similarly dressed and masked men came with her. She took a seat, then looked at Jay before she whispered “what’s going on?”
“Good afternoon Lady Montford – my name is Jay Edwards, and these are my associates.” Agnes looked at him, and then whispered “I have heard of you – where are the girls?”
“At this moment in time, they are in the television room downstairs, watching a film with their nanny. Be assured, they are unhurt, but they – and their own little ones – are unable to come and talk to you at the moment. I need a few minutes with both of you to explain what is going to happen, and to make sure you are both secure, before Mrs McPhee and I bring them up.”
“What have you done to them,” Morag said as she looked at Jay.
“Kept them secure and happy – on which note, my dear, I must ask you to put your hands behind your back, so that we can ensure your wrists are bound as my friends have done to your mother.”
Morag looked at Agnes, who nodded as she twisted round, before she moved her hands behind her back. One of the two masked men walked behind her, and then crossed her wrists before using soft cord to secure them together, the rope going around and between her limbs as she asked “so what is your intention?”
“For now, to keep your family together,” Jay said quietly. “Once Lord Montfort returns, and you have all eaten dinner, one of my friends will take him to conduct some business at his place of work. All the rest of you will remain here with Mrs McPhee, my friends and I, to ensure he does what I want him to do.”
“So we are hostages?”
“Think of it, Lady Montford, as an insurance policy,” Jay said with a smile as the second man took a long length of rope, and started to bind her arms to her sides, her cardigan forced open as the ropes tightened above and below her chest.
“And we are the surety?”
“Precisely – but I assure you, we have no intention of causing you harm, so long as everyone does what we ask them to do.”
“But you are tying us up,” Morag said as her arms were also bound to her sides.
“Indeed – a necessary precaution, but we want you to assure the girls there is nothing to fear – and one way is to show you are just like them. At this time, the only difference is that their hands are bound in front, not behind, so that they may care for their babies as well.”
“Their… Oh my lord,” Agnes said quietly as the ropes were tied off, “you tied up their dolls as well?”
“and kept them quiet – but it helped the girls to relax and accept what was happening, so that served a purpose,” Jay said quietly, “so, shall we go into the front room?”
“Do we have a choice,” Agnes said as she stood up, the ropes holding firm as she and Morag walked into the front room. Jay indicated two large leather armchairs, the two women taking a seat and watching as the two men crossed and bound their ankles tightly together. They then secured their legs below their knees, the leather of their boots squeaking as their legs rubbed together.
“Now,” Jay said quietly, “I am afraid I need to make sure you both remain quiet, but after this I will bring the girls up to join you, as well as Danni. Remain calm, do not struggle.”
“And you will not hurt us?”
“And we will not hurt you – please purse your lips, Lady Montford.”
Morag watched as Jay tore a strip of white tape from a roll, and then pressed it firmly over her mother’s mouth and chin, covering her lips as he did so. Tearing a second strip off, he pressed it firmly over her own mouth, the tape tugging slightly on her skin as he smoothed it into place.
“Ensure we have their mobile phones disconnected,” Jay said as he placed the roll of tape into a bag, and then left the room for a few minutes.
“Reullrrhtmm,” Morag said as she twisted round, trying to get comfortable. She saw her mother nod, but Agnes remained quiet as she twisted slightly round. She looked at her mother, wondering what was going through her mind, but she was soon distracted by a call of “Hhhlmmm… Hlllwgrnneee…”
“Lady Montford, Morag,” Jay said as he carried June in, her doll resting on her lap as she stayed in her arms “my friend and partner, Mrs McPhee.”
“A reel pleasure tae meet bof o’ ye,” Mrs McPhee said as she placed May on the long couch next to June, both of them smiling under their tape gags.
“Rygrrlssslrht,” Agnes said as she looked at them.
“Wwwsshddbrrbbee” May said as Jay and Mrs McPhee left the room for a few minutes, and then came back, Mrs McPhee sitting April next to her two sisters while Jay placed Danni in a third armchair.
“Now then,” Jay said as he turned the television on in the main room, “I think you can all watch something up here. In a little while, I will allow Danni to start to prepare supper for all of you, but for the moment, relax, and enjoy singing along.”
“Snngglng,” Danni said as she raised an eyebrow, before Mamma Mia started to play…
“I hope you have a good evening, your lordship,” the driver said as he opened the rear door of the car, allowing Lord Montfort to get out. The grey haired man collected his briefcase, and said “I hope so as well – I have a quiet evening planned with the grandchildren. I’ll see you in the morning Benson.”
“Very good your lordship,” the driver said as he closed the door, and then got behind the wheel of the Jaguar, Lord Montfort watching as it went down the driveway. Smiling, he saw the light on behind the curtains in the front room, and let himself in through the front door.
“I’m home,” he called out as he put his briefcase on the floor, and closed the door, “who wants to come and give me a hug?”
There was no reply, but he could hear what sounded like muffled laughter coming from the front room. “The girls must be planning to surprise me,” he thought to himself as he walked into the front room, saying out loud “so where are…”
Lord Montfort stared at April, May and June as they looked over from the couch, their wrists tied together in front of their bodies as they held their dolls, ropes around their arms, ankles and legs, and tape covering their mouths. As he looked to one side, he saw Danni in a chair, also bound and gagged with her arms behind her back, and then on the other side his wife and daughter also silenced.
“Good evening Lord Montfort.”
As he turned round, he saw Jay standing behind him, he and the two other masked men smiling as he said “My name is Jay Edwards, and we are taking very, very good care of your family at the moment. If you wish us to continue to take good care of them, you will do as we say, understand?”
“I understand,” he said quietly as he looked back in, and saw a similarly clad and masked woman with two other men. “Mrs McPhee, would you release Lady Montfort’s legs please, and escort her into the kitchen while I have a word with both of them.
“O course ae can,” the masked woman said as Jay took Lord Montfort’s arm, and walked him into the kitchen.
“Please, take a seat,” he said as his host sat down, one of the other two men taking his wrists behind his back and securing them as Mrs McPhee brought his wife through. She helped her to sit down, then peeled the tape away from her mouth before she said “Alan, we are all safe and they have not harmed us – but this is Jay Edwards, and I think he’s going to make you do something for him later.”
“My reputation precedes me,” Jay said as he sat on the opposite side of the table, “but your wife is correct. You will eat dinner together – on which note… Mrs McPhee, instruct our friends to release Danni and Morag, and to bring them in here, then keep the girls entertained for the moment.”
As the masked woman nodded and walked off, Lord Montfort said “I have heard of you, so I know what you will do, and I know you keep your word. Please, do not hurt them if I do what you want me to do.”
“Be assured, I have no intention of doing so,” Jay said with a smile, “but they will remain here with us while one of my associates goes with you. He will check in regularly, and ensure your cooperation.”
“I am so sorry, your Lordship,” Danni said as she came in, “they surprised me at lunchtime, and held me and the girls hostage until Her Ladyship and their mother came home.”
“It is not your fault Danni,” Agnes said, “I know it must have been a scare for you as well, but all three of us will face this together now. After all, this is not the first time I have faced this situation.”
“It’s not?” Morag looked at her mother, as she said “no – may my husband and I go back to the girls, I wish to tell them a story.”
“Mrs McPhee, will you remain with our friend here, while Morag and Danni prepare the evening meal?”
As the masked woman nodded, Agnes stood up, her and her husband coming back into the room.
“Please, remove the tape from them – I wish to tell them a story, and give them the chance to ask questions.”
“Do it,” Jay said quietly, one of the men peeling the tape away as April said “Hello Granny, Grandad – are you tied up as well?”
“Well, our arms are,” Agnes said, “and I wanted to tell you that you are all very brave girls. But I want to tell you about something that happened when I was your age…”