I run up to her, ecstatic, as soon as I see her enter.
“Lylia,” she says. “How’s everything been?”
She’s back. Back to the Heather I know and love. Beautiful, of course, but more. She looks like her old devil-may-care risk taking attitude is back. She’s back to normal. Her eyes glow with happiness. Wherever she’d been, whatever she’d done, it worked.
“Business is great,” I answer with a broad smile on my face. “Profits are still healthy and our customer base is slowly increasing, just like the projections.”
“Anyone special we’re looking for right now?”
“Yes.” Zac placed an order late last night. We’re evaluating it right now.”
“Good. I’ll look at it in a few minutes, but we have to prepare for today now.”
“Are you staying?”
“Oh yes. I’m staying. I feel lucky again.”
After checking Zac’s specs, I walk back into the seating area just a few minutes after opening, I see a busy and efficient restaurant. My staff are rushing here and there doing their jobs quickly and efficiently. Looking around the customers I see a lot of people just here to get their breakfasts at a relatively cheap price. It isn’t the cheapest of places but people seem to appreciate the waiter service in the morning as long as it’s fast. Once that hurdle was passed, each customer found their food to be of the highest quality. That helps our reputation a lot.
A feature I didn’t anticipate but now advertise is the time saving element at breakfast. A lot of my customers come here as soon as they can and consequently miss the worst of the morning rush hour traffic. The time saved enables them to eat a proper breakfast.
My staff are still competent. I cast my eyes around my customers. They’re of a type. We’re located deep inside this city’s business belt resulting in a customer base of relatively affluent but busy middle management and above. No one here complies to anything we’re looking for and I’m about to return to the offices when a customer enters. My reactions haven’t deserted me and I check her over automatically. Medium height and smartly dressed, she’s ready for the busy day ahead, just like all the others. I catch Lylia’s eye and nod.
RAYCHEL H. POPE
I’ve been meaning to try Heather’s out for a while now, but with one thing after another I’ve always put it off. And even now I only remembered at the last minute. Sleeping in and somehow getting here early because of the unusually light traffic has finally given me the impetus to try the place out.
“Hi, I’m Lylia Farrel,” says a pretty woman as I enter. She holds out her hand, which I take automatically.
“Raychel Pope,” I answer. “I’m sorry but I didn’t realise you had waiter service at breakfast. Do you have a table available? I’m afraid I don’t have an appointment.” I’m looking at the scene as I say that. The place is nearly full and I notice there are a lot of waiters buzzing about. Far more than other places I’ve been to.
“Welcome to Heather’s,” Lylia answers. “Unfortunately we have a party coming and all the remaining tables are booked. But I can offer you a booth instead of a table. Would you want that?”
“I’m fine with that,” I answer with a smile.
Lylia’s smile lights up her face.
“Good. Please follow me,” and she leads me to the back and inside what appears to be a large tube coming down the wall. I thought it was part of the air con or something, but it isn’t. It’s a cosy and surprisingly private nook with comfortable looking bench seats around the wall circling a round table.
“Do you know what you want?” asked Lylia.
“I have about thirty minutes,” I said after checking my watch. “Is your cooked breakfast fast? Bacon, eggs, mushrooms and toast, I mean.”
She smiles. “No problem. You’ll have plenty of time to eat it without rushing.” On saying that, she turns and leaves She returns just a couple of minutes later. “Your food will be here in a few minutes, but, as it’s breakfast, most people prefer to pay now so they can leave as soon as they finish. It’s not compulsory, but if you prefer to do that, I’ll take payment now.”
“Yes please, I answer instantly and fish my card from my bag. She has a portable scanner and the transaction is conducted there and then. It isn’t going to break the bank either. Yes, other places are cheaper, but come on, this place is far nicer and the difference in cost is well worth it. If the food is just reasonable, I’ll be back.
The food arrives as soon as she leaves. I’m impressed and tuck in. It isn’t just reasonable, it’s delicious. I’ll definitely be back here. I wonder how they make a profit.
“What’s her name?” I ask. We’re in the back and she’s just received her food.
“Rachel H. Pope,” Lylia answers, adding the ‘H’ from the name on her card.
“What does the H stand for?”
“Can’t tell at the moment. It’ll take about ten minutes.
That’s too long. I have to make a decision now. She’s eating her food and will leave soon. Yes, the restaurant is designed to make people repeat customers but that isn’t certain and she’s a good fit. A really good fit. But my plans absolutely depend on what that ‘H’ stands for. I nod to Hayleigh and Mikala as I go back to the restaurant proper.
She’s finished her food and is sipping her coffee as I enter the booth.
“Hello. I’m Heather and I own this place. Did you enjoy your food?”
“Yes, thank you. It was delicious. I’m certainly coming again.”
This is a normal reaction. After all, I make a special effort for the food to be fresh and expertly cooked and the service to be superb. But, I always enjoy people remarking on it. Consequently my smile is genuine.
“I’m so glad. As you’re a first time customer, would you please undertake a quick customer survey?” I add quickly, before she can say she had no time, “It’s a verbal survey and has been timed to take four minutes thirty seconds. I’m sure it won’t make you late. And to convince you to come again, here’s a voucher for your next meal on the house,”—I hand it to her. “That’s not dependant on you taking the survey, by the way. We want you to get into the habit of coming here.” I smile when I say that. The habit of reciprocity is strong in most people and she’ll be subtly pressured into accepting the survey.
“Oh thank you. I’ll definitely use it. And the survey will be fine as it’s only a few minutes.”
“Thank you.” I take a step out and beckoned for Hayleigh and Mikela, who are standing just out of sight.
RAYCHEL H. POPE
Heather steps out for a moment and two business women enter. They smile and slide onto the bench seats and make their way around to either side of me. Heather returns and sits nearly opposite me.
“Could I have your name please?” said one of them.
“Raychel Pope,” I answered after sipping my coffee.
“On a scale of one to ten, with one being the worst, how would you rate your meal?”
“I’d have to say ten. I can’t find any fault with the speed or the quality.” I see Heather smile at that and nod. I’m glad. She deserves praise for this place. Then my head is jerked back and something sprays into my open mouth. I tried to move to stop it but those two women have their arms and their legs wrapped around mine somehow. I can’t move them. I scream but no sound comes out. Struggling’s no good, those two women just hold me. They each have one of my arms in some sort of lock by one of their arms and one of their legs is locked around mine. They’re very strong. I continue to struggle but can’t move or speak. I try multiple times to shout or scream but nothing happens.
“Your voice box has been frozen. Don’t worry, it’s not permanent.” This from Heather, who is looking on. Now I see her look as predatory. I’m scared.
“Now let’s get a proper look at you.”
The two women holding me use each of their free arms to unbutton my blouse until it was wide open. Then through some sort of coordinated effort they remove my bra by removing my blouse without at any time giving me an opportunity of escaping. One of them hands it to Heather, who picks it up and smells it.
“Oh, very nice,” says Heather staring at my bare breast. I’m breathing hard still trying to escape. “You know, I think you’ll do nicely. Now, can I please have the rest?” she says. I think she’s talking to me, but it’s to the two goons. That’s how I think of them now. They’re too strong and coordinated to be anything else. I feel something cold on my leg and then I feel my pencil skirt being slit up one side. Their legs pull my legs much further apart. One of the goons moves that part of my skirt that falls between my legs.
“That’s much better,” says Heather, looking at a small tablet. She turns it round to me and I see an upskirt video of me showing my panties. “It’s good you wear matching underwear. You’ve no idea how many women just throw on any old thing when at work. I don’t approve of that at all.”
Then the coordinated movements start again, this time they remove my panties, which they eventually pass on to Heather. I try to escape again while they’re busy, but don’t get anywhere. My heart is racing, I can feel it strongly in my chest. My breathing is fast and I keep looking out the booth in the hope someone will see and help me. No one does.
“And you keep yourself trimmed. That’s good. I like things neat and tidy.”
I give them a couple of minutes after I see Hayleigh and Mikala enter before I enter as well. I’m interested. I want to see how Heather’s dealing with it.
What I see pleases me mightily. Heather is glowing and, just as I arrive, I see her shake her head at Mikala, indicating she isn’t going to use the hypno-helmet. I’m ecstatic. This is Heather at her very best, taking risks no one else would dare. There’s no need to do it this way as it’s much safer to use the helmet, but Heather wants the risk. It’s what she lives for. It’s what gives her her joi de vivre. She loves playing on the job for no reason other than her own gratification. This isn’t a job to her, it’s her essence, her life, and she loves life to the full.
Heather turns to me and I see eyes that are large and full and sparkling with joy. My heart skips a beat.
“We’ll take her in now,” she says to everybody.
I back out and stand in the position proven to obscure what’s going on from the clientele, not that they’ll be watching. We know that from experience. Heather comes out next and opens the door in the back wall. Hayleigh and Mikela next emerge holding onto Raychel securely by her arms. They hold her so securely she’s almost carried out and through the door. I see Raychel manage to kick Mikela on her shin. It’s brutal but Mikela is professional personified and doesn’t react at all.
I precede Heather through the door which she closes and locks after her. We both then go to the holding area where Hayleigh and Mikela are forcing a now naked Raychel head first into the tube. It’s large enough to accommodate her easily without her having the ability to raise her arms. Once in, they raise the tube upright and lock it down. Raychel was inside now, still trying to make any sort of noise.
“What about her middle name?” asks Heather and I hurry off to find the answer while Heather dumps the contents of her bag onto a nearby table and sorts through it.
They had already found it and I return saying, “It’s Heather,” to Heather.
“I know,” she responds, waving a letter she had discovered. It’s a bill Raychel was obviously going to action during the day. It gives her full name.
“What will you do now?” I ask. This one fitted the criteria nicely but was a Heather. I need Heather to decide this. Before she could my phone vibrates. After answering it I tell Heather, who is now staring at her captive, “There’s another one just entered that fits the bill. Could be we can have both.” Heather looks interested. I move back out to the restaurant to check on the exact details.