Dawn Combs had just finished washing her dishes for the evening when her door buzzer rang.
Not tonight, you don't, she thought to herself, grabbing her water pistol off the counter. She held it at the ready and looked through the peephole. It was her neighbor and coworker, Catherine "Cat" Rockwell, from across the hall. Cat had her hands up, showing they were empty.
She unlocked the door and opened it. "What's up?" she asked.
"Hey, I was going to cook up some mac-and-cheese," replied Cat, "and I'm all out of milk. Any chance I could borrow some?"
"Sure, come on in," answered Dawn as she opened the door the rest of the way.
Cat spied the gun in Dawn's hand. "A little jumpy tonight?" she asked.
Dawn shrugged. "Oh, you know... It's that acquisition project at work. It's been draining me this week."
"I know what you mean," replied Cat. "It's been getting to all of us."
Dawn set her pistol down on the counter and opened the fridge. "Yeah, tonight I'm going to watch some Sex and the City and just veg-out for the night," she said as she fished out the milk carton.
"Ooh! I haven't seen that in ages!" exclaimed Cat. "Is that finally streaming somewhere?"
"Unfortunately, no," replied Dawn. "I decided to splurge and buy the entire series on Blu-ray. Hey, do you want just a cup or the whole carton?"
"Just a cup is fine," answered Cat. As Dawn opened the cupboard to look for a measuring cup, a little devil whispered in Cat's ear.
When Dawn shut the cupboard, she was greeted to the sight of Cat pointing her own gun at her. "Really...?" she muttered.
"I honestly only came over here for milk, but you just presented an opportunity for a whole lot more fun," answered Cat. "Let's go over to the couch."
Dawn raised her hands and walked out of the kitchen into the living area. Cat spied Dawn's bag of bondage tools sitting on the floor near the table and picked it up on the way.
Dawn had a metal-framed futon that often doubled as a guest bed. Cat set the bag on the coffee table and rifled through it until she found what she was looking for. "Lay down," ordered Cat as she pulled out Dawn's handcuffs, "and fold your hands around one of the arms."
The futon's arms were a solid pipe that also comprised both legs of each end of the futon. Even though she knew what was coming, Dawn did as she was told. Cat wasted no time cuffing her hands around the arm, making them just tight enough that Dawn couldn't slip out. Then she grabbed some rope and tied Dawn's ankles together. Once secure, she grabbed Dawn under the thighs and lay her down on her back, stretching her arms out. Cat then tied Dawn's ankles to the other arm of the futon. As the couch was over six feet wide and Dawn only 5'5" tall, she couldn't do more that roll slightly in either direction.
"We'll make a game of this," said Cat as she picked the disc set off the table and looked it over. "All you have to do is come over to my place and knock on the door, and I'll give this back to you with no other games. Otherwise, I'll watch two or three episodes, bring it back, and then let you go for the night."
"I'm handcuffed!" snapped Dawn. "I don't even have a chance here!"
Cat grinned. "I'm aware of that, which is why I'm going to leave you with the keys."
Dawn was confused until she saw Cat pull out a rag, wad the keys up inside it, and then take out the duct tape. "You bitch..." she muttered.
"Just open your mouth," replied Cat.
Cat stuffed the rag into Dawn's mouth and followed it up with nearly a half-dozen strips of tape, sealing the object of Dawn's freedom on her person, but where she couldn't get to it. Dawn stared daggers at her as she finished applying the tape.
"Hey, you said you wanted to veg for the evening, and now it's the only thing you can do," sneered Cat. "See you in a few hours!" Cat grabbed the discs and walked out the door.
Seconds later, the door opened, and Dawn got her hopes up. It was Cat again.
"In all this fun, I almost forgot the milk," said Cat as she took the measuring cup and poured out a cup. She put the carton back in the refrigerator and gave Dawn a wink, saying, "See you in a bit!"
Dawn just fumed.
That's weird, thought Tia, locking her mailbox. Cat had just come from Dawn's apartment carrying a package, then immediately went back in without knocking and returned to her place carrying a cup of milk. Looks like some shenanigans are going on between those two.
She carried her mail upstairs, dropped her bags and changed into a T-shirt and sweatpants. The mail was nothing but junk and ads, and she stopped to think for a moment. Oh, what the hell... This was going to be an uneventful night anyway.
Tia grabbed her water pistol, stuffed it into the back of her pants and quietly crept downstairs. She stopped briefly at the base of the stairs to make sure Cat wasn't coming back a third time, and then tiptoed to Dawn's door. She pressed her ear against it, and she thought she heard some muffled complaints, and then turned the knob, which was unlocked.
She peeked her head in, still hearing Dawn's distressed cries from the living room. She slipped inside and gently closed the door behind her. Sure enough, there was Dawn handcuffed and tied to her futon, seemingly relieved at Tia's presence.
"Looks like Cat did a number on you, didn't she?" Tia said aloud as she walked into the living room. Her attention was drawn to an empty bag and receipt on the coffee table. She picked up the receipt and looked at it.
"Ooh! The Sex and the City complete series," she exlaimed, "on Blu-ray even! I've been wanting to see that, too!"
Dawn begged through the gag and pointed towards her mouth.
Tia looked at her for a moment and realized Cat had pulled her usual torture. "Taped the keys in your mouth, did she? That's Cat for you."
Dawn continued her muffled pleas for help.
"Nah, I think I've got a better idea," replied Tia turning back toward the door.
Dawn continued to complain, but Tia ignored her, and Dawn again found herself alone.
Both of you are really going to get it, she thought.
Tia sneaked back upstairs. In order for this to work, she had to make it sound real. She took a deep breath and charged down the stairs. She ran to Cat's door and started pounding wildly. "Cat! Cat! One of the assholes in the next building just hit your car!"
The door flew open, and Cat looked aghast. "Seriously?! I just got that fixed last month, and..." She stopped, seeing Tia's pistol pointed at her midsection. "...oh. Well, aren't you playing dirty tonight?"
"Not any dirtier than what you did to Dawn," replied Tia. "Inside with you."
Cat sighed. "True enough," she replied, raising her hands and backing into her apartment.
Realizing there was no way she was going to slip out of the cuffs, Dawn was wriggling her legs back and forth trying to dislodge the knot tying her feet together loose with her ankles.
It was a slow process, but eventually, the knot loosened enough that she was able to slip a foot loose which she used to free the other. With her feet unbound, she was finally able to reach her hands to her mouth and pull the tape free to get the keys.
Once free, she took a few minutes to get the circulation moving again in her wrists, plotting evil revenge against both Cat and Tia.
"I'll give you the same treatment you gave Dawn," said Tia as she set a steak knife directly in front of Cat's face.
The knife wasn't going to do Cat much good considering she was lying stomach-down on her dining table tightly hogtied with ropes running around her chest and waist underneath the table, pinning her down to it. Cat had an idea for a smart comeback, but Tia wouldn't be able to hear it through the thick rag Tia had used to gag her.
Tia picked up the box of discs and said, "I imagine you were going to watch a few episodes and then release Dawn, so I'll do the same to you. Karma's quite the bitch, isn't she?"
"Oh, you bet she is."
Tia spun around to a furious Dawn, brandishing her pistol.
"Oh, hey, Dawn..." sputtered Tia, "glad to see you got free."
"No thanks to you," snapped Dawn. "Now, put my discs down, and have a seat."
Tia set the box down on the table next to the knife and sat on one of Cat's table chairs.
"No, the other way," ordered Dawn, "and reach in between the back slats and fold your hands."
Tia sighed and did as she was told. Dawn tied Tia's wrists together, and then drew the ends down to the horizontal leg support beam at the back of the chair, tightening it until Tia's hands were touching the seat bottom. Then she tied each of Dawn's ankles to their corresponding chair leg. Finally, she wrapped rope over Dawn's torso at elbow level and tied that off to the back of the chair. She finished with a matching gag for Tia.
Finished with Tia, Dawn looked at Cat. "You know," she said, "I think I'll leave you like that. I like the idea of tormenting you with a means of escape you can't reach, just to give you a taste of your own medicine."
Dawn looked at the discs. "Actually, I think I know the finishing touch to this entire evening..."
Tia and Cat looked at each other in dismay.
Despite not being in her own living room and the occasional bit of background noise from her two captives, Dawn was really enjoying Sex and the City. Tia and Cat, not so much, as they had been blindfolded so they could hear the TV but not see it.
"What do you think," Dawn asked, "do I have time for one more episode?"
The muzzled protests confirmed that was exactly what Dawn wanted to do.