Nosey Nerds!
Nosy Nerds!

by Van © 2015

Chapter 1



Bibliophile Books was well named.  It really was a place for lovers of books: aisle after aisle of books, groupings of overstuffed chairs for reading, adequate but not overpowering lighting, and lots of wood paneling.  It wasn't a huge establishment, but it was big enough.  And while it didn't try to stock every book in print (or recently in print), the odds were you'd find something you'd like if you wandered in off the street.  And if you couldn't find something on your own, the staff was more than willing to help, and they knew their stuff.  Everything was organized in the usual way: Literature, Biographies, reference categories, plus Science Fiction/Fantasy, Romance, Mystery—there was even a Comics section—not "Graphic Novels," no, the sign read "COMICS."

The Comics section was the proud and unquestioned domain of Agatha Schmeling.  She was petite, only 5' 2" in stature, but Agatha was a dynamo, and there wasn't a comic published (not a lot, anyway) she hadn't either read or knew about, and the same went for graphic novels and manga.  And the section was hers, to do with as she pleased.  That wasn't quite true, of course.  Finley was the owner and Edwina was her assistant manager, but they let Agatha order the new titles and decide what to cull, more or less.

At the moment, Agatha was standing at the border of the Comics and SciFi/Fantasy sections, gazing down the aisle at her two bosses, Finley and Edwina.  Both were standing in front of the Romance section and seemed to be discussing the layout of the shelves.  They were dressed for business in skirts and blouses, and Agatha knew that hanging on the coat rack in the staff room both had jackets that matched their ensembles.  Finley insisted they all dress for business, but she found jeans and a nice blouse, like Agatha was wearing at the moment, to be perfectly acceptable.

Finley was in her thirties with red hair, green eyes, and the expected freckles, especially during the summer months.  She was attractive, in Agatha's objective opinion, but not classically beautiful.  She was what Agatha liked to call "quirky-cute," a label she applied to herself, by the way.  Agatha knew she wasn't beautiful, but she wasn't ugly.  Anyway, neither of them had been cheerleader material in high school.  That said, Finley was, also in Agatha's opinion, one of the nicest and smartest people she'd ever met.  Finley knew books, she knew business, and she'd given Agatha a chance, for which she'd be forever grateful.

Edwina, on the other hand, was unquestionably beautiful.  She was a couple of years older than Agatha's twenty-four and three inches taller, with long, straight blond hair, a fair complexion, gorgeous blue eyes, and symmetrical features.  Yes, she was beautiful.  The problem was, she didn't seem to know it.  She dressed well and always looked good, but Edwina habitually wore her hair back in a conventional ponytail, and she somehow seemed plain... and beautiful.  It was a contradiction.  She was also a supremely nice person, like Finley, as well as being a good sub-boss.

"It's Thursday," a quiet, soprano voice announced in a teasing tone.

Agatha turned to find her fellow brunette and BFF Alice "Chibi" Chiba smiling at her from behind her glasses.  Actually, it was through Agatha's glasses and from behind Chibi's glasses.  Everybody at Bibliophile Books wore glasses, Finley and Edwina included.  Alice's nickname, "Chibi," was Japanese for shortie, pipsqueak, or munchkin, and it fit her perfectly.  She was a clerk, like Agatha, but also ran the store's website.

"Don't sneak up behind people," Agatha scolded, "and of course it's Thursday."

Chibi had an inch of height on Agatha and they were the same age.  In fact, their birthdays were less than a week apart.  Agatha was what she liked to call a "mixed breed European," while Chibi was nearly pure Japanese.  That is, her ancestors were Japanese (with a dash of Korean) on both sides of the family for many generations, but the last three of those generations had been born in the United States.  She spoke Japanese, after a fashion, and read Kanji well enough to help Agatha with her manga appreciation efforts, but on the summer vacation she took during her junior year in college to visit distant relatives on Hokkaido, Chibi discovered that she was hopelessly American.  Japan was very much a foreign country.  She also learned that she was a dyed in the wool "otaku" (Japanese for nerd).  Her younger cousins had made that abundantly clear.  But then, everybody who worked at Bibliophile Books was a hopeless nerd, so it didn't matter.

Oh-by-the-way, Chibi was gorgeous, and unlike Edwina, she knew it.  She didn't do anything about it, meaning she didn't flaunt her beauty (although she had been known to flirt with the occasional customer to close a sale) but Chibi knew she was a looker.  Today, like Agatha, Chibi was wearing jeans and a blouse—also a lanyard with her employee/cash register key-card, something else all Bibliophile Books employees had in common.

"Well," Chibi said quietly, "are you gonna do it?"

"Shut up," Agatha pouted.  Her gaze was on Finley and Edwina, across the store.

"Chicken," Chibi accused her BFF.  She had this really irritating giggling laugh and she was using it now.

Thursday was not only the fifth day of the week, it was the day Finley left early, always, with a book wrapped in paper under her arm.  Quite obviously, she was going somewhere.  Well, of course she was going somewhere, but Agatha had gotten it into her head that it was a regular, personal delivery of some sort, and it was very mysterious.  She'd tried dropping hints, to get Finley to let her in on the secret, but without success.  And one Thursday, she flat out asked Edwina where Finley was going—and was told to keep her nose out of other people's business.  Edwina didn't exactly bite her face off, but Agatha took the hint.

But Agatha was still curious... and Chibi kept egging her on.

"It's your half day off," Chibi whispered.  "And this time it's on a Thursday!  It's the perfect chance."

"Shut up," Agatha reiterated.  Agatha's half day off was usually every other Wednesday, but she'd swapped with Chiba last week, so her BFF could make a dental appointment, so this week, Agatha was off Thursday afternoon... at the exact time Finley always left on her mysterious appointment to... wherever.

"God wants you to follow Finley," Chibi purred.  "Can't you hear her?  Follow the Finley!  Follow the Finley!"

Agatha had this unique half-smile/half-pout she did when she was trying not to laugh.  She was doing it now.  "Okay, okay, stop it," Agatha muttered.  "But if I get caught, it'll be your fault."

"So be careful and don't get caught," Chibi shrugged.  "Follow Finley and see where she goes.  Then we'll know."

Agatha also had a unique, twisted, very quirky grin.  "Then I'll know.  I don't know why I should tell you."

Chibi smiled.  "You'll tell me.  You're terrible at keeping secrets."

Across the store, the Finley/Edwina conference was breaking up.

"Quick, act casual," Agatha whispered.

"I know, let's pretend we're store clerks," Chibi suggested with mock gravity, then giggled and walked away.

Agatha rolled her eyes and followed her BFF's advice.  She watched Finley stroll towards the front of the store.  Today's the day, she thought.  Today I finally find out what Finley does with her Thursday afternoons.  In those terms it didn't sound like much of a mystery, but it would be fun skulking around like a Girl Detective.  And as long as she didn't get caught, what could possibly go wrong?

Nosy Nerds
Chapter 1

Agatha managed to time things perfectly.  She made her departure from Bibliophile Books almost precisely at noon, two minutes ahead of Finley, then ducked into the Starbucks across the street and waited for Finley to appear.  Her red-haired boss emerged from Bibliophile Book's front door, another of the mysterious, book-shaped packages wrapped in brown paper and tied with string tucked under her arm.  She'd added a light raincoat to her business suit ensemble.  Agatha was also wearing a raincoat.  In fact, she was wearing an actual trench coat, the perfect outerwear for a skulking Girl Detective.

Pedestrian traffic was about medium on the scale from deserted to crush.  The lunch crowd was out and about, but Finley's ginger hair made it easy for Agatha to keep her in sight without following too closely.  Her boss walked two blocks, turned right, and continued, entering one of the swankier residential neighborhoods bordering downtown.  In less than a block, shops and office buildings had given way to townhouses.  Foot traffic had dropped off to next to nothing, but the street was lined with trees on both sides and Agatha had little difficulty keeping Finley in sight without being obvious.

This is great, Agatha thought, just like a spy novel set in post-war Vienna, only with all the intrigue and none of the danger.  No counterspy was going to sneak up behind Agent Agatha and stick a knife in her back.  No black van was going to screech to a halt, disgorge several enemy agents, and kidnap her... meaning Agatha.  And it probably wouldn't happen to Finley, either.  Okay, there was zero chance anything remotely sinister was going to happen to anyone, but it was fun playing pretend.

Actually, there was an element of danger: Finley might notice she was being followed, turn, and confront her follower... meaning Agatha.  If that happened, all Agatha could do was confess and throw herself on the mercy of the court.  It would be, uh, embarrassing.  Actually, it would be beyond embarrassing, naked-in-church embarrassing, worst nightmare embarrassing.  Agatha wouldn't let it happen.  She kept Finley in sight, but made sure she always had cover.

Anyway, as fun as Agatha's careful covert surveillance might be, it all seemed to be a terrible waste.  Finley appeared to be completely oblivious, showing no sign whatsoever of being concerned that she might have a tail.  She turned down a side street and Agatha hurried to close the gap and keep her target in sight.  She peeked around the corner, and watched Finley approach a standalone house at the end of what amounted to a cul-de-sac.  The structure was only slightly larger than the neighboring townhouses, but was an actual house, at least on the three sides that Agatha could see.  It was Victorian in style, similar to the townhouses, but with a tiny front garden and two small side yards.

Agatha took out her iPhone and took a couple of photos of Finley climbing the mansion's front steps, ringing the bell, and waiting.  Yes, 'mansion' is right, Agatha decided.  It sounds better than 'house.'  The front door opened and Finley was admitted by a blond woman.  A tree in the front yard was partially blocking Agatha's view, so she didn't get a really good look at the blonde.  She did note, however, that there was no discussion or explanation.  The door opened and Finley entered the mansion.  She was expected, Agatha surmised.  The plot thickens.

Agatha's mouth twisted in her trademark smirk.  Actually, it was one of her many trademark smirks.  She had several, for different occasions.  This particular smirk was reserved for moments of chagrin.  There's not really a 'plot,' she mused, but it's fun pretending there is one.  Seconds passed... and turned into a minute.  So, what to do?

Phone still in hand, Agatha approached the Mystery Mansion that had just swallowed her boss.  Cautiously, Agatha approached the front gate.  There was no sign of activity, no rustling curtains in any of the windows, no stirring in the side yards, no patrolling guards, no gangsters loading mysterious crates into trucks, nothing.  Agatha took a photo of the address plate mounted on the front gate: "1366 High Castle Street," then opened the gate and crept up the front walk to the porch.  Still no movement in the windows, or the side yard, none that she could see, anyway, and nothing behind the glass of the closed front door.  She climbed the porch steps and carefully looked through one of the door's sidelights.  It was one of those heat-lock arrangements with an entryway vestibule and two front doors, the interior door being mostly glass.  Still no motion within.

There was a mailbox mounted on the wall next to the door.  Agatha reached for the lid to see if anything was inside, and paused.  Her heart was pounding with excitement.  This is crazy! she thought.  Fun is fun, but what possible excuse do I have for being here?  Getting caught by Finley following her on the street was one thing, but sneaking around somebody's house?  Enough is enough, Agatha decided.  But... the least I can do is get a name.  It wasn't that difficult figuring out who lived at a given address, not in the Internet Age, but a peek at a full mailing address would jump-start her Google search for even more information.

Agatha opened the box and found that she was in luck.  The mail had been delivered, but not yet collected.  There was an advertising flyer addressed to "Resident," but also a couple of envelopes addressed to "Catherine Stirling."  Agatha took a quick photo of one of the envelopes, then returned the mail to the box and the phone to her trench coat pocket.

"Stirling," she muttered to herself, "Catherine Stirling.  Where have I heard that name?"  Well... enough was enough.  Time to call it a day, stop fooling around, and cease being a Girl Detective—at least until she could get home, e-mail Chibi with what she'd learned, and start Googling "Catherine Stirling."  She peeked through the glass, one last time.  Still no movement inside the Mystery Mansion.  She then turned to make her exit, and—"Eeek!"

Standing at the foot of the porch steps was the blonde who had admitted Finley to the house!  She was tall and gorgeous—a regular Viking Shieldmaiden—and... Agatha knew her.

"Hello, Agatha," the
blonde said, her lips curled in a rather sinister smile—or was the sinister part a product of Agatha's crushing embarrassment?

"Uh, hi," Agatha managed as the blonde climbed the porch steps.  The reply had emerged as something of a high-pitched squeal, Agatha's heart was hammering, again, and her cheeks were burning.  "S-sorry," she stammered as the blonde mounted the steps.  "I know I've seen you in the store, but..."

The blonde was standing right in front of Agatha, and she was tall, going on six feet!  She towered over Agatha, who abruptly realized she'd backed against the door frame.

"Karli Hagen," the blonde introduced herself.

"K-Karli," Agatha sputtered.  "Now I remember.  You like Dynamite stuff, especially the John Carter and Dejah Thoris titles."

Karli nodded.  "May I ask why you're going through our mail?"

"I, uh..."  What could Agatha say?

"You followed Finley, didn't you?" Karli purred.

"No, no, no," Agatha responded, shaking her head.  Karli took a step closer.  "Uh, yes," Agatha admitted in a near whisper.

"Well then," Karli said, opening the door but remaining more or less in Agatha's upturned face, "I guess you'd better come in."

"T-that's okay," Agatha sputtered.  "I-I-I d-don't have to—Mrrrf!"  Karli had a hand tightly clamped over Agatha's mouth!

"I insist," Karli said, maintaining the hand-gag as she pushed her diminutive guest/prisoner across the threshold.  She took a look back at the street, the squirming, mewling Agatha firmly under her control the entire time, then let the door close behind them.

All was quiet on the street.  Not a soul was in sight.

Nosy Nerds
Chapter 1

Karli's right hand continued firmly covering Agatha's mouth and her left arm trapped the diminutive intruder's arms behind her back.  Two things were going through Agatha's mind as she was dragged, kicking and screaming (kicking and mewling, actually) down the mansion's first floor hallway: (1) OMG! OMG! OMG! and (2) Nice place.  The nice part referred to the interior of the mansion, the scene of Agatha's abduction.  The decor was nice.  The theme was Victorian, like the architecture, but it was in no way stuffy, not a place where old lace doilies went to die.  It was... nice.

Their destination was a door at the end of the hall.  Karli managed to get it open without her prisoner squirming free, Agatha could see what was waiting within, and—

Agatha froze in Karli's grip, her eyes probably about as wide as was possible without popping a few blood vessels.  Her thoughts were:  Oh!  My!  God!

The room beyond was a typical Victorian parlor, only with lighter, warmer colors and less clutter than historical examples.  There was a nice view of a back garden through a bank of windows and a set of French doors, and sitting in a matching pair of throne-like chairs, on either side of a small table with an elegant tea service, were Finley and a very attractive older woman with short brown hair, very pretty blue eyes, and a gorgeous face.  Like Finley, the brunette was dressed in a skirt and blouse.  Agatha surmised Finley's raincoat and jacket were hanging someplace.  She realized she'd probably passed them in the entryway.  She'd been too busy being kidnapped to notice.

Oh-by-the-way... Finley was sitting in the chair with her arms on the armrests, she was staring back at Agatha from behind her glasses with wide green eyes, and—she was tied up!  She was tied to the chair!  Tight, neat bands of rope bound her wrists to the armrests, her upper arms to the chair-back, her ankles to separate chair-legs, crossed her lap, and passed above and below her breasts, all binding her in place!  Also, a strip of white tape covered her mouth and most of her lower face!

"Look who I found lurking on the front porch," Karli announced, maintaining her tight hold on her captive.

"Oh my," Finley's fifty-something, gorgeous hostess and presumed captor chuckled, a dimpled smile curling her lips.

Agatha and Finley's vocal contributions to the conversation were identical:  "Mrrrpfh!"

Agatha recognized the woman in the chair—meaning the other woman in the other chair—the one not her boss and not bound and gagged.  'Catherine Stirling!'  Now Agatha remembered.  Catherine was a regular at Bibliophile Books.  She had little interest in the Comics section, but she was a regular, and Finley usually waited on her herself.

Still smiling, Catherine turned to Finley.  "You took it upon yourself to expand our little book club without asking me?" she purred.

Finley tore her eyes from Agatha, focused on her hostess, and shook her head.  Her gaze than returned to her helpless—equally helpless—employee, and her eyes narrowed.

Agatha looked around for a convenient rock to crawl under.  No such luck.  Also, Karli wasn't going to let her crawl under anything.

"So," Catherine continued, "your little Comics curator invited herself to my home all on her own?"

Agatha noted the paper-wrapped package Finley had been carrying was on the same table as the tea service.  As yet it was unopened.

Finley was still staring daggers, Catherine was still smiling, and Agatha was still trying to shrivel up and disappear.

Karli released her hand-gag.  "Agatha?  Do you have anything to say for yourself?"

"Agatha!" Catherine said.  "That's it.  I couldn't remember.  Agatha... how adorable."

Agatha swallowed, nervously.  "Uh... I was... curious?"

"Curious and adorable," Catherine chuckled.  "Finley didn't invite you?"

"No," Agatha admitted.  Her cheeks felt like they were about to burst into flame.  "I-I j-just wanted to see where she went on Thursdays."

"Nosy little thing," Karli chuckled.

"Indeed," Catherine agreed.  "A veritable Nancy Drew."

Agatha focused on Finley.  A book club... with bondage?  "I'm sorry, Fin," she sighed.  "I really didn't mean to intrude.  I was just... curious."

"So you said," Catherine purred, then also focused on Finley.  "Well, what should we do with our little snoop?"

Finley heaved a sigh, then glared at her hostess.

"I know, I know," Catherine chuckled, "why ask you, seeing as how your lips are sealed."

"Please don't fire me, Fin," Agatha begged in a whisper.

Finley rolled her eyes in response.

"She's not going to fire you," Catherine laughed, then smiled at Finley.  "Are you?"

Finley's response was to counter Catherine's dimpled smile with another angry, tape-gagged stare.

"I'll take that as a no," Catherine purred, then shifted her smile to Agatha.  "In any case, the question is, what should we do with our little snoop right now?"

"I could give her a spanking and send her on her way," Karli suggested.

Agatha lifted her chin and stared at Karli... then at Catherine.  'Spanking?'

"No," Catherine answered, "let's deal with our little snoop in Nancy Drew fashion.  Lock her in one of the guest bedrooms."

Karli nodded and started backing out of the parlor, taking Agatha with her, of course.

"Wait, wait, wait!" Agatha wailed, and Karli paused.

"Yes?" Catherine purred.

"That's it?" Agatha demanded.  "Lock me in a bedroom?  That never works."

Catherine smiled at Finley, who rolled her eyes, again.  "You have a suggestion?" she asked Agatha.

"All I'm saying is, just locking up Nancy Drew never works," Agatha reiterated.  Squirming in Karli's grip, she blinked behind her glasses, several times.  "She always escapes."

Catherine smiled at Karli and Karli smiled back.  "The nosy pipsqueak has a point," the blonde chuckled.  "I know what to do."

"W-what?" Agatha demanded.  "What are you gonna—Mrrrrfh!"  Karli's hand was clamped over her mouth, again, and her blond captor was dragging her from the parlor.  The last thing she saw as the door closed was Catherine smiling at Finley.

"This is all your fault, Finley," Catherine chuckled.  Finley rolled her eyes, again—then the door closed.

Nosy Nerds
Chapter 1

Stupid, stupid, stupid! Agatha fumed silently.  I could have gotten out of here with just a spanking—which probably wouldn't have happened, anyway—but nooooo!  I just had to open my big mouth!

Karli dragged her upstairs to the second floor, down a hallway, and into a small bedroom.  She'd kicked, squirmed, and mewled through Karli's hand-gag the whole way, of course.  It was expected.  Anyway, she had the impression the bedroom was a spare, and a largely unused spare at that.  The bed was full-size with four solid-looking posts, and there was a bedside table with reading lamp, a chest of drawers, a closed door she presumed led to a closet, curtains on the windows, etc., but none of the furniture matched and there were no knick-knacks.  There weren't even doilies.  The place looked... unused.

Once inside the bedroom, Karli released her hand-gag.  "Allow me to take your wrap," she chuckled, then began groping with Agatha's trench coat.

"Keep your hands off me!"  Agatha continued squirming, wiggling, and fighting.  "I can do it myself."

Karli released her grip on Agatha's coat, but remained close.

Agatha removed her trench coat, Karli took it from her and tossed it to the side, then grabbed Agatha's arms and forced her towards the bed.  Agatha resumed struggling and complaining.  "Let me go!  Oof!"  Karli had pushed her face down onto the bed and pulled her hands behind her back.  "W-what are you going?" Agatha demanded.  "Stop!"

Actually, it was abundantly clear exactly what Karli was doing: she was tying Agatha's crossed wrists together, behind her back!

"No!" Agatha whined, "Karli!"

"Hush," Karli chuckled, grabbed Agatha's ankles and lifted her diminutive captive's lower body onto the mattress, then began tying her ankles together.

Her mouth curled in a pitiful pout, Agatha watched as Karli finished tying the final knot.  Her blond nemesis had used some sort of braided, white nylon cord, and Agatha assumed her wrist bonds were similar.  They felt similar, anyway.  "You'll never get away with this," she huffed.

"Catherine and your boss will never get away with having a book club?" Karli purred, "or are you channeling Nancy Drew and you mean we'll never get away with nefariousness in general?"

Agatha didn't answer, but watched as Karli reached into her hip pocket, produced a folded bandana, and shook it out.  Karli then refolded the blue and white, cotton square, first point to point, then into a narrow bandage.  "Uh..."  Agatha swallowed nervously as Karli tied an overhand knot in the bandana.  "No!  Mrrrpfh!"  The knot was in Agatha's mouth and Karli was cinching and knotting the ends of the bandana at the nape of her neck!  "Nrrrrpf!"  At some point Agatha's glasses had been knocked askew, and she blinked as Karli settled them back in place.  Ever the thoughtful kidnapper, Agatha fumed.

"Now," Karli said, "why don't you relax while Catherine and Finley decide your fate?  It shouldn't take more than, oh, I don't know... a few hours?"

"Mrrrf."  Agatha tugged on her wrists as Karli made her exit.  She heard a key turn in the bedroom door lock... and that was it.

Wow!  I'm bound hand and foot, and gagged!  Agatha wasn't scared.  She knew she probably should have been at least a little scared, but she wasn't.  Go figure.  Was Finley mad at her?  Maybe.  Okay, yes, but not mad enough to fire her.  Was Catherine Stirling—and wow was she gorgeous for a fifty-something old lady—going to harm her?  No.  Karli wasn't going to do anything nasty to her, either.  Agatha was sure.

The prisoner-of-the-bed squirmed and struggled, her fluttering fingers groping for something to untie, but Karli knew her knots.  Agatha had her sneakers and socks, jeans and panties, bra and blouse, and that was it.  She had no Swiss Army Knife™ in her jeans pocket, no nothing in any of her jeans pockets, other than her keys and wallet, and none of that would be any help.  She couldn't see herself sawing through her bonds with her house key.  Agatha did have her glasses, but there was nothing she could do with them other than stare at her surroundings in sharp focus.  Her iPhone was in her trench coat pocket, and Karli had taken the coat with her.  That meant Agatha couldn't call her sidekick—the George Fayne to her Nancy Drew—Chibi.  Anyway, Chibi probably thinks I'm her sidekick, Agatha sighed.

So... bound and gagged... and captured by the 'bad guys.'  Cool!  The gag wasn't too bad, not yet.  And her bonds weren't punishingly tight, not yet.  And she wasn't scared, not really.  And 'best' of all, she'd discovered Finley's secret... sort of.

So... escape or take a nap? Agatha pondered.  WWNDD?  [What Would Nancy Drew Do?]  Would a plucky Girl Detective feel sorry for herself and wallow in her helplessness?  Hell no!  Agatha continued her detailed, tactile exploration of her bonds.  Nancy always escapes, and I will too! Agatha resolved.

Nosy Nerds
Chapter 1

Catherine poured herself a cup of tea, added a dash of honey and a squeeze of lemon, gave it a stir, then smiled at her guest/prisoner as she took a delicate sip.  "So," she said, finally, the informal tea ritual complete, "what should we do with your little snoop?"

Finley stared at her hostess/captor, ignoring the question and the helplessness of her bondage, doing her best Queen Victoria "We are not amused" imitation.  Her tape-gag rendered Catherine's question rhetorical, regardless.

Catherine placed her cup and saucer on the side table, stood, walked the short distance to Finley and her chair, and proceeded to sit in Finley's lap.  The armrests required Catherine to ease her legs through the openings to either side and caused her skirt to ride up about as much as was possible, revealing her panties and the fact that she was wearing old-fashioned stockings and a garter belt, but she managed the leg-splaying and rump-settling exercise with surprising grace, placing her hands on Finley's shoulders for support.  With Finley's ankles lashed to separate chair legs and her legs also splayed, Catherine's weight was more or less evenly distributed between Finley's thighs and the edge of the seat.  Hostess and guest (captor and captive) were now face-to-face and boob-to-boob.

"We could sell her to the Gypsies," Catherine suggested, "or to the white slavers in Chinatown."  She then slowly peeled the tape from Finley's lips.  The adhesive released its grip reluctantly, stretching the redhead's face and lips before surrendering.

Finley licked her lips and stared daggers at Catherine.  "Don't be racist," she scolded.

"I'm being classic, not racist," Catherine chuckled.  "Gypsies, Travelers, and the 'Yellow Peril' are classic villains of the Mystery melodrama genre, also useful as red herrings."

"Cliché villains, anyway," Finley huffed.  "We're not going to do anything to the little snoop," she stated.  "I'll make her life miserable at work for a few days, of course, but that's it.  She might blab to Chibi, but she doesn't really know anything, does she?"  Finley squirmed in her seat and tugged on her wrist bonds.  "You're putting on weight," she accused.

"I am not," Catherine retorted, her smile never wavering.  She leaned forward and planted a kiss on Finley's pouting lips.

"Anyway," Finley continued when Catherine leaned back, "we should simply send Agatha on her way, or is that what Karli's doing right now?"

"I don't know," Catherine admitted.

Finley nodded towards the paper-wrapped book on the side table.  "Aren't you going to open your present?"

Catherine's smile broadened, and turned slightly sinister.  She then reached for the top button of Finley's blouse and slowly, one-by-one, proceeded to unbutton the entire row.  The ropes binding Finley to the chair complicated matters, but only slightly.

Finley watched the process with disapproval (and a charming half-smirk).  She continued watching (and smirking) as Catherine tugged the now open blouse to either side and half-off her shoulders, exposing her rather plain white bra and what Finley considered to be entirely too much of her pale, peachy-pink skin.  She blushed, but didn't complain.  She had no grounds.  This was hardly the first meeting of the "book club," and it was Finley's turn to be on the bottom.

Just then, Karli breezed back into the parlor.  "She's cute as a bug!" the smiling blonde gushed.  "Can I keep her?"  She was referring to Agatha, of course.

"No, you may not keep her," Catherine chuckled.  "You know my position on house pets.  One cat is enough."

There was a cat in residence, a magnificent tortoiseshell feline of middle age who allowed Catherine and Karli to be her devoted servants.  At the moment, "Maisie" was making herself scarce.  She did that a lot.

"What did you do to her?" Finley demanded, glaring at Karli.

Karli shrugged.  "Nothing."  Catherine smiled and Finley continued to stare.  "Okay, she's bound and gagged in the spare bedroom.  Nothing elaborate."

Finley's stare was scathing (and she was not suppressing a smile).

"We'll let her cool her heels and contemplate her sins, then invite her to dinner and send her on her way," Cathrine decreed.

"Oh, nooo," Karli pouted in mock dismay.  "I was gonna go to PetSmart and pick her out a nice collar."

"We have enough to feed four, don't we?" Cathrine asked.

"With leftovers," Karli confirmed.  She stepped forward and planted a kiss on Catherine's lips, did the same for Finley, then headed for the door.  "I better start cooking," she said as she made her exit.

Catherine and Finley watched the blonde leave, then faced one another.

"She is adorable," Catherine said, "and I have plenty of room.  I could put bars on the spare bedroom window, reinforce both the door and the door lock, install a few chains...  She'd be right at home."

"You are not keeping Agatha," Finley stated.  "I'd have to hire a new comics guru."

"There is that," Catherine agreed, then reached for Finley's bra.  "A front clasp," she purred.  "How very considerate of you."

Finley opened her mouth to issue a biting and frightfully clever comeback—"Mrrrk!"—but the mouth in question had just been invaded by Catherine's tongue!  At the same time, Catherine's fingers were fumbling with the clasp of Finley's bra.  Bound to the chair, there was nothing Finley could do to stop either the kiss or what Catherine's hands were now doing to her breasts and nipples. 

It was... horrible?  Yes, any self-respecting damsel-in-distress would agree.  Finley decided to go with horrible.

Nosy Nerds
Chapter 1

The End

Chapter 2