Stephanie, Jackie and Caroline. The three women have been friends for years, and they’ve built themselves a nice bed and breakfast /ranch operation. But with less than a fortnight to Christmas, a ruthless banker has swindled them out of their beloved home. What will they do?
Well, kidnapping him and holding him hostage until he decides to do the right thing sounds like a good plan. Unfortunately, it all goes hilariously wrong when they discover they’ve kidnapped the wrong man. Bondage, obedience classes and more are needed to make sure there’s a Merry Christmas this year!
“Help me get these hobbles on him.” Caroline motioned Stephanie to hold the man’s legs while she twisted a length of rope around them, leaving just enough slack for him to hobble slowly. “I don’t aim to carry the no-good critter into the cabin.”
Jackie pulled the van up to the front of the cabin and killed the engine. “And we’re home!”
A very loud expletive emanated from under the blanket as Caroline pulled the hobbles a tad tighter than necessary.
Jackie turned in her seat and slapped the side of his legs by way of acknowledgement, secretly glad of an excuse to hit him. After what this guy had done, none of them felt any sympathy. Hell, if they could have gotten away with it, they would have tied him to the roof of the van for the trip to the cabin.
“On your feet, Mr. Smartass.” Caroline pushed the carpet-wrapped banker toward the side door as Stephanie slid it open.
Jackie helped her to tip the guy upright, and between the three of them they pushed and pulled the reluctant package into the cabin, ushering him into the extra bedroom just off the Great Room.
“Should we untie him now?” Jackie felt an unwelcome qualm of guilt as the man coughed hoarsely through his gunnysack hood. What if he had asthma? Or allergies? She wasn’t the kind of woman to actually want to hurt a person. At least not too badly.
“Hang on a second. Need to set the scene for him first.” Caroline’s Texas drawl thickened noticeably, a sign she was anticipating some fun. Pivoting on one foot, she disappeared into the back of the cabin, returning with a rifle slung carelessly over one shoulder.
“You can undo him now.” Pulling a fully loaded magazine out of her pocket she slapped it into the .22. “With any luck he’ll give me a chance to use this.”
Stephanie rolled her eyes, but didn’t say anything as she glanced over at Jackie. They both knew Caroline wouldn’t hurt a flea if it was biting her on the ass. She did look intimidating though, and that’s what they were counting on. The plan was to scare this son of a bitch into giving them back their ranch.
Jackie loosened the rope and pulled the blanket off Mr. Smithers’ head. Good thing he had one of those short military haircuts, nothing long enough to catch in the rough fabric as it pulled away from his head.
The way he glared at her once his head was free had her tempted to put the blanket right back on again. The man looked dangerous!
Actually, he looked a lot younger than Jackie had expected. She’d pictured him as a middle-aged, white-haired slightly balding banker type, but he was anything but. He looked like he could model for one of those military places, or maybe do a recruitment poster for the Navy SEALs. Bankers weren’t supposed to have all those hard angles and bulging muscles.
As if to prove her point, the man brought his hands up, snapping the rope off them with a quick movement of his hands, before he paused and took a good look around. “What the hell? A bunch of women? What is going on?”
Jackie scrambled backward out of arm’s reach. Maybe they should have thought this through a little better. She didn’t know about Steph or Caroline but the thought of their quarry fighting back hadn’t even entered her mind.
“Go ahead, Mr. Smartass. Make my day.” Caroline brought the gun up to her shoulder, sighting down the long barrel as she drawled out the famous phrase.
“Seriously?” The man shook his head, obviously not impressed. “That’s a .22, not a real gun.”
Caroline moved the barrel slightly to the side and pulled the trigger, sending a shot into the chinking between the logs.
“Hey, be careful!” Their captive looked a little less amused. “Those things can ricochet, you know!”
“I am very much aware of what this little baby can do. Now strip before I decide to see if there’s real blood running through those veins of yours, or just ice water.”