An Excerpt from The Wrangler

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The Wrangler walked back into the bedroom. A naked woman lay tied on the bed in a half spreadeagle. Her hands were secured behind her back with ropes in Japanese shibari style bondage. Each wrist was tied securely to its opposite forearm just below the elbow. Ropes encircles her upper arms, tied together behind her back so she was unable to move her arms back and forth.

Her legs were encased in leather cuffs at the ankles, and tied to the corners of the bed so that they were spread wide.

The woman on the bed wore a sturdy leather collar around her neck and a hood that covered her head. A rope secured her collar to the headboard at the top of the bed.

Beneath the hood the woman's mouth was filled with a small ball gag. The ball itself was a wiffle golf ball, big enough to block screams and keep her tongue from working effectively, but with holes that would permit her to breathe through it.

A slight ring of flesh where her lips were compressed between the leather hood and the ballgag and the pink between her nostrils were the only portions of the woman's face that were visible.

Her name was Christine Willock, and she was the daughter of Arthur Willock, the heir to the Genegineering fortune. She was absolutely helpless, and terrified, and had been for the last several hours, most of which had been spent hogtied, gagged and blindfolded in the trunk of a car.

The men had spoken to her only once. They must have spotted her slipping out of the Stateline Liquors store where she sneaked out to get booze (her father was against booze, necessitating secret trips to the liquor store every so often).

A couple of miles from the store, on a deserted back road that ran off the highway leading to the nearest town with a liquor store, her car died. Probably her car had been rigged to do just that, because moments after it died two cars came down the road and pulled over, boxing her in.

When she saw that the men approaching her car were dressed in baggy black suits, wore masks and carried assault weapons, Christine knew she was in trouble.

Her first thought was to lock the doors and activate the alarm on her car. It was not your average car alarm, but a radio broadcast akin to a Lojack that went out to every law enforcement agency in the area, letting them know the occupant of the vehicle in question was in big trouble.

Before she could do so, her whole body shook violently as the windows in back of her car shattered and the rounds that had shattered them punched holes through the far side of the car.

Christine screamed in terror, her impulse to push the emergency alarm gone.

The windows of the car were bulletproof, its doors, trunk and roof armor-plated. The bullets shouldn't have broken the glass.

(What Christine didn't know was that the kidnappers had expected to encounter armor and bulletproof acrylic glass, and they had a 50 mm machine gun loaded with armor-piercing rounds that could have stopped anything short of a an armored personnel carrier.)

"Git cher hands up now, bitch!" barked a hard male voice as a machine gun poked its snout into the car.

Christine raised her hands over her head. They were shaking. She was crying.

A hand reached into her car and opened the door from the inside. A moment later a hooded man leaned over, grabbed her by the arm, and jerked her roughly out of the car. Christine fell to the ground and a man crawled atop her. As she opened her mouth to scream, he shoved a ball into her mouth. She instinctively resisted, but he was very fast and very strong, and in a moment it was all the way in her mouth. There were straps dangling from the ball, and in a moment her attacker pulled the straps tightly together, and like that she was gagged. She could make sounds, though, because the ball that gagged her was plastic and had holes in it. That lasted only for a second, however, as her attacker pulled out a roll of duct tape and wrapped it twice around her head, very quickly. It pulled painfully on her hair as he wrapped the tape around her head, and Christine cried out in protest, but as the tape covered her gagged mouth, only the tiniest of sounds got out.

Next a bag was pulled over here head, blinding her. She felt the bag constrict around her neck as her captor wrapped another strip of duct tape around it, sealing it in place on her head, though not so tightly as to constrict her breathing.

Her captor rolled her over in the dirt and she felt straps securing her wrists and ankles behind her back. She struggled mindlessly to escape, but a quick, brutal blow to the side of her head left her seeing stars and quieted her down.

When the strapping was through she was hogtied, her hands and feet connected to iron bars which connected together behind her back. She wasn't sure what was connected to what, all she really knew was that her hands and feet were somehow connected back there and she couldn't move them at all.

She felt herself being picked up, picked up by someone for whom it was an easy task. He carried her a short distance and shoved her into a confined space -- the trunk of a car. She heard a muffled "thunk" and the air was suddenly still. The lid had been closed on her.

The sound was somehow awful and final, like the darkness that now enclosed her. It felt like the darkness of the tomb.

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