Rizzoli & Isles
              & Chang
rizzoli & isles & chang


by Van ©2014

Chapter 1

Dramatis Personæ


Toronto Pearson International Airport
Ontario, Canada

Jane Rizzoli, Maura Isles, and Susie Chang were cooling their heels in a boring, modern-style interview room just off Immigration Processing in the airport's international terminal, and had been for several minutes... going on half an hour.  Their only company was a female Immigration Service officer.  She was in uniform, in her late twenties or early thirties, with brown hair and eyes and was by no means unpleasant looking.  She had been courteous and professional the entire time, but the three Americans had no doubt whatsoever that would change in an instant if they did anything but sit compliantly in their semi-comfortable chairs.

"Look," Jane said, finally, "don't you at least have to tell us why you pulled us out of line?"  It was a stupid question, of course.  As an experienced Boston P.D. Homicide detective, she'd used the interrogative technique of letting the subject stew many times herself, but enough time had passed that her protest might get the ball rolling.

Both Maura (Chief Medical Examiner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts), and Susie (Senior Criminalist at the Boston P.D. Crime Lab) turned and stared at Jane with wide eyes, visibly aghast.

Jane just managed to not roll her eyes in response.  Smooth, Maura, she though.  Way to go, Susie.  No way we look suspicious.  Their Canadian watchdog might have been stifling a smile, but it was difficult to be sure.  She had an excellent poker face.

Just then—Right on cue, Jane mused—the door opened and a thirty-something woman in a smart business suit with a file folder in one hand entered the room.  Her thin, straight blond hair was cut short, pixie-style, and her girlish face was quite attractive.  A badge was clipped to her jacket pocket, and Jane realized the newcomer was a fellow cop.  The blond nodded and the IS officer left, closing the door behind her.

The pixie smiled—and she had a nice smile—and extended her hand to Maura.  "Dr. Isles."  She shook with Jane.  "Detective Rizzoli."  And finally with Susie.  "Ms. Chang.  Welcome to Canada.  I'm Detective Constable Ainsley Elwood of the Ontario Provincial Police."

"Thanks," Jane huffed.  She wasn't smiling.  "Why are we here?"

Ainsley smiled.  "In Canada?  I believe you told Immigration you were on vacation."

"Why are we in this room," Jane muttered.

"Jane," Maura whispered, "be nice."  She then focused her best mega-watt smile on Detective Elwood.  "We're going to the Moon River Colony in the Muskokas District.  Have you heard of it?"

"Yes," Ainsley nodded, "a lovely place, completely within the borders of the Wahta Mohawk Territory."  She opened the folder and began perusing its contents.  "And, as I've been reminded by my superiors, it's an excellent source of jobs and revenue for the area."

"Territory.  That's like a reservation, right?" Jane inquired.

"Similar," Ainsley nodded, "and it's politically sensitive for the OPP to do anything within the Territory other than routine, community-based law enforcement."  She closed the folder.  "As for American police nosing around the Territory..."

"We're on vacation," Maura said brightly, which Susie confirmed with enthusiastic nods and an equally bright smile.

Jane and Ainsley shared a knowing glance.  Maura and her subordinate weren't exactly being subtle.  Jane struggled to control the smile quivering on her lips, and Ainsley was smiling back, particularly with her eyes.  She might have just met the Canadian cop, but she seemed competent and friendly, despite the current interrogation setting.

"And speaking of political sensitivity," Ainsley continued, "it would appear certain prominent Bostonians, including a judge and a City Councilman, have contacted certain prominent Torontonians and revealed the true nature of your 'vacation' in Canada."

Maura and Susie exchanged a horrified look, then refocused on Ainsley.  They were still smiling, but their smiles were now visibly forced.

"We don't know what you're talking about," Maura stated, and again, Susie supported her mentor and boss with enthusiastic nods.

"Smooth, Maura," Jane huffed, then smiled a genuine smile at Ainsley.  "Okay, you got us.  How much do you know about the case?"

"The 'Boston Bondage Bandit,' as the press calls her," Ainsley replied, "has struck at least seven times in the last three years, in and around the Boston area.  She ties up her victims in their homes—and all agree she is a she, although she's always masked—and cleans them out."

Jane nodded.  "Until recently, the only things in common between the individual cases were that the victims were rich and the perpetrator used the same type of rope—"

"Six-millimeter, conditioned, twisted hemp," Maura interrupted.

"We suspect from different manufacturers," Susie added, "but it's quite difficult to trace a specific sample to its precise source."

"They all use the same raw materials and manufacturing methods," Maura stated.

"And we believe it's conditioned after purchase," Susie said.

"With the same widely available commercial detergent," Maura added.

"Tide Original," Susie said, "with an eighty-seven percent probability."

Jane gazed at Maura and Susie with a neutral expression for a few seconds, then sighed and turned back to Ainsley.  "Do you have a geek problem with your crime techs?"

"The Toronto Forensics Identification Laboratory is quite professional," Maura stated.

"They are," Susie agreed.

"In a word, yes," Ainsley said, sharing a commiserating smile with her Boston colleague.

"Anyway," Jane sighed, "the bandit also uses what consultants tell us are Japanese bondage techniques.  Apparently, some of them are into that sort of thing, supposedly as art."

"The practice is called Kinbaku," Maura interrupted (again), "which means 'tight binding.'  Also, Kinbaku-bi, which means 'the beauty of tight binding.'  The word 'Shibari' is also used.  It means—"

"Stop interrupting," Jane muttered.

"No," Maura said seriously, shaking her head, "it's a verb, meaning 'to tie' or 'to bind,' and despite the grammatical incongruity, Shibari is widely used as a synonym for Kinbaku in the West, outside Japan."

Jane and Ainsley shared another commiserating smile.  "Anyway," Jane continued, "there were no real leads until the latest robbery.  Susie discovered something new, a spot of massage oil on a length of the rope used to bind the victim."

"Jojoba oil," Susie explained.  "Mainly jojoba oil, but blended with cocoanut, almond, and rose oils, with trace amounts of ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla.  And it's proprietary."

"Senior Criminalist Chang knew this because she already had a sample of the exact same oil," Maura said.

"From the Monponsett Resort and Spa," Susie nodded, "of which I'm a member."

"We tried for a warrant to search the spa," Jane said, "but..."

"Politics?" Ainsley suggested.

Jane nodded, "probably the same Judge and Councilman who tipped you off that we were coming to Canada.  Anyway, the oil on the rope led us to look at other spas and resorts, and suddenly we had a link between all seven victims.  Not a strong link, as all the victims visited different spas at different times—"

"With no significant correlation to the timing of the respective burglaries," Maura interrupted.

Jane favored her smiling BFF with a dark stare before continuing.  "But it was a link.  Circumstantial, but a link.  And after digging further, it turns out each of the spas have something else in common: at some point they've all played host to a 'Shibari Meditation Instructor' by the name of Giselle Pierce."

"Who is based out of the Moon River Colony in Muskokas," Ainsley said.  "Your information request to the OPP landed on my desk.  Giselle Pierce has no police record, none whatsoever."

"None in the states, either," Jane sighed, "but the coincidence is too good.  Whenever she visits a Boston area spa, somebody gets tied up and robbed."

"I agree," Ainsley said, "too much of a coincidence.  I tried looking into it, but..."

"Politics," Jane muttered.

Ainsley nodded.  "No warrant.  Too many prominent citizens enjoy the Moon River Colony's amenities.  One question: why is a Homicide detective investigating robberies?"

"Susie found the clue," Jane explained, "Robbery and Special Cases wouldn't touch it—"

"Politics," Maura and Susie said in unison.

"So Maura, I mean Dr. Isles, asked me to help," Jane continued.  "Officially, there is no investigation and nobody is going anywhere, but... that doesn't mean we can't take a vacation in Canada."

Ainsley nodded.

"And Jane needs a vacation," Maura stated.  This elicited an eye roll from Jane and smiles from Susie and Ainsley.

"Well," Ainsley said, "there is absolutely no way the OPP is going to allow a Boston police officer, the Massachusetts Medical Examiner, and a Forensics Officer to nose around the Moon River Colony."

"Susie is a Senior Criminalist," Maura corrected Ainsley, "not a Forensics Officer."

"Maura," Jane said, perfectly deadpan, "please shut up."

Maura looked slightly wounded, but did, indeed, shut up.

"However," Ainsley continued, "it turns out I'm also in dire need of a vacation."

Jane saw the implicit offer.  "By all means, the more the merrier."  She focused on Susie.  "You set this up, so you think you can call and make it a reservation for four?"

"No need," Ainsley said.  "Already done.  By the way," she said to Jane, then opened the file folder, once again, and shuffled the papers.  "I see you have an approved temporary registration permit for your sidearm.  I've arranged to have the fee waived as a professional courtesy."

"Thanks," Jane said.

"However," Ainsley added, "when your luggage clears, you'll find your handgun case has been sealed with OPP evidence tape.  If you find occasion to break that seal before leaving Canada, I'll require a full and complete explanation of the circumstances, understood?"

Jane frowned.

"We're walking on eggshells here," Ainsley explained, "political eggshells, and we don't have a warrant.  If there is cause for an arrest, I'll make it.  And if I need you to back me up, I'll tell you."

"Well," Jane shrugged, "when you put it that way, okay."

"So," Maura said, smiling her bright, dimpled smile, "we're all going to Moon River!"

Susie was also smiling.  "Yea, this'll be fun!"

Jane was smiling, but with decidedly less enthusiasm.  "You do know that the Moon River Colony is clothing free, right?" she asked Ainsley.

"I do," Ainsley said, the merest hint of a blush coloring her cheeks.  "I've packed light."

Chapter 1

Moon River Colony
Wahta Mohawk Territory
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

The structure might be called part Quonset hut, part Japanese tea-house, and part Mohawk communal lodge.  It was a somewhat squat, rectangular half-cylinder, with its thick, bow-shaped, laminated roof beams spaced several feet apart and solidly anchored to exterior concrete footings at ground level.  The interior ceiling was quite high in the middle, about fifteen feet, and on either side it curved down to seven-foot vertical walls covered with wood paneling and interrupted by sliding glass doors.

The Japanese elements came from the tatami-style carpet and the plain white soji screen panels that could slide to cover the glass doors.  The Mohawk elements came from the subtle, stylized carvings decorating the roof beams and eight vertical support columns evenly spaced around the large open space.  Skylights and the glass doors provided abundant light during the day.  After dark, LED spotlights provided task lighting over the main floor and indirect fixtures cast a warm glow across the timbers of the curved roof.  It was a nice place.

It was also a cozy place, even in winter.  The walls and ceiling were well-insulated, there was radiant heating under the floor, and the sliding glass doors were tight-fitting and double-paned, with the frames foam-insulated.

The soji screens were open, and through the doors to one side, beyond a stretch of well-manicured lawn and framed by alders and willows, there was a pleasant view of the Moon River.  To the other side was an equally pleasant vista of climax deciduous forest.

Inside were hints of the building's use.

Against the end walls stood cabinets decorated with Mohawk carvings.  When open, they revealed neat rows of wooden pegs holding coils of hemp rope and cord of various lengths and diameters, shelves with woven baskets of steel rings, large and small, single and double pulleys, and shackle-bolts.  Heavy eye-bolts marched in neat rows across the undersides of the building's beams.

Any doubts of the room's use were dispelled by the current activity of the building's two occupants.  Both were female and blond, with shapely, feminine, athletic figures, and both were undeniably beautiful.

One was tall, over six feet in height.  Her eyes were blue, her complexion fair, and her hair cut short in a low-maintenance pixie.  The other was shorter, but by no means short, with brown eyes, tan skin, and long, wavy hair.  Both were naked, of course.  At the Moon River Colony, guests and staff never wore clothing.  Neither woman had tan-lines, or, in the case of the tall, pale blond, sunburn-lines.

The short blond was bound with hemp rope, and in a somewhat unusual manner.  Technically, it was a hogtie, but instead of the traditional hands-behind-the-back, the captive's arms were raised, then folded back behind her head, her wrists bound together, then linked to her bound ankles.  This pulled her entire body into a stringent, arched bow, leaving her balanced on her taut stomach with her breasts and thighs lifted off the carpet.  Additional ropes lashed her upper arms, bound her pointing feet, and linked both her upper arms and feet to her wrist-ankle bonds.  More ropes periodically encircled her entire body from shoulders to ankles, then traveled up to a series of linked pulleys near the ceiling.

The tall blond began pulling on a rope.  Ropes rattled and slithered, pulleys squealed, and the bound blond lifted into the air.  The tall blond continued pulling, and the shorter blond continued rising.  Her bonds evenly supported her weight, and despite her hogtied pose, she appeared to be comfortable.  Either that or she was maintaining a very stoic mask.

Finally, when the hemp-bound captive was dangling about five and a half feet above the carpet, the tall blonde wound the rope around one of the support columns and tied a doubled slip-knot.  She then sauntered over to stand before her prisoner.

"Are you sure about this?" the tall blond asked.

"Yes, Mistress," the shorter blond responded.

"This is a difficult meditation pose, Kate," the taller blond said.  "I won't think less of you if you decided you are not ready for this test."

"I'm ready, Zelle," Kate answered.

The tall blond smiled, then heaved a rather theatrical sigh.  "I've told you, don't call me Zelle, or Giselle, for that matter.  Don't call me anything but Mistress, not in this room."

"Yes, Mistress," Kate answered.  She was also smiling.

Giselle strolled to a cabinet and returned with a two-inch ball of dark gray, medium-density rubber foam and a panel-gag of brown leather, with brass hardware.  "You're a very good assistant, probably the best I've ever had."

Kate's smile widened.  "I'm the only assistant you've ever had."

"But," Kate continued, ignoring the interruption, "you have an unfortunate habit of trying my patience."  Giselle gently pushed the ball of foam into Kate's compliant mouth, then placed the gag's front panel over her lips, pulled the main strap back to the nape of her neck, freed her long, tousled hair, then tightened and secured the buckle.  Next, she crossed a thinner, secondary strap under Kate's chin, stretched the two ends back, also to the nape of her neck, and secured its buckle as well.  The captive's raised and bound arms complicated the process, but Giselle was a world-class expert in such matters and overcame the challenge with ease.

The chamois-thin panel of the gag pressed against Kate's lips.  Expelling the ball filling her mouth was patently impossible, as impossible as freeing herself from Giselle's ropes.  She watched as her tall, fair-skinned, Norse goddess of a Mistress strolled back to the cabinet, selected one more short coil of conditioned hemp, closed the cabinet doors, and returned.  Kate felt her Mistress carefully gather all of her hair into a loose ponytail, loop and tighten the doubled rope around the blond mass, fold it back on itself, then loop and tighten the rope over the result.  Her head was already severely restricted by her upper arms and their lashings, but when Giselle threaded the remainder of the rope through her other bonds, pulled out the slack, and tied what she knew would be an elegant and elaborate knot, she found she could no longer lower her head.  Wiggling her fingers and toes and batting her eyes were all that Mistress had left her.

Giselle stepped to the front, gently cupped Kate's hanging breasts, gave them a light squeeze, then kissed her forehead.  "Aside from your mischievous attitude, you really are an excellent assistant, Kate," Giselle purred.  "All preparations for tomorrow's class are complete, you're placed the required reading material in our prospective students' assigned cottages, and you've earned your three hours of meditation."  She kissed Kates gagged lips, then smiled.  "In fact, you're such a good assistant..."  She gave Kate's breasts another squeeze and the hanging prisoner shivered in her bonds.  "I've decided to afford you four hours."

Kate controlled her reaction, just barely.  Three hours was a significant challenge, but four hours?  She wasn't sure she could do it... not that her opinion really mattered.  Kate thought she might be ready to enter the meditative state required to endure three hours locked in such a challenging pose; but if it was to be four hours, she better damn well be ready!

Kate watched Giselle stroll to a small door set between two cabinets and in the end wall directly in front of her rather limited field of vision.  Mistress made her exit without looking back, and Kate heard the click of the cypher-lock engaging when the door closed.

Kate was alone... alone and helpless.

Two years earlier, during Kate's first extended endurance test in a challenging position, Giselle had bound her in a suspended post-tie with her wrists and ankles behind the post. A web of ropes supported her naked body and allowed significantly more wiggle-room that her current predicament, but it was not a comfortable pose.  Kate rolled her eyes at the memory.  I was such a wuss.  Today, it would be a piece of cake.  Back then, not so much.  Less than half an hour into the test, Kate panicked, mewling through her gag and struggling furiously against her bonds.

Mistress had appeared as if by magic, untied her, and held her in a gentle embrace until she stopped crying and her heart rate and breathing returned to normal.  And then, Mistress insisted that Kate repeat the test, and this time she stayed with her the entire two hours, talking her through the meditative exercises she'd already been taught but had momentarily forgotten.

Arrogant novice that she was, Kate had assumed being in good, limber condition would be enough, especially since Mistress was an expert rigger and never let the ropes press against any nerves or blood vessel with excessive force, never over-stressed any of her joints, and always evenly distributed the pressure of the ropes, especially during a suspension.  Kate had been wrong.  The test was carefully crafted to cause distress, distress that only meditation could defeat.  Only by entering the required trance would Kate be able to relax into the cradle of her Mistress' ropes.  Only meditation would let her drift effortlessly in what, for the uninitiated, would be a cruel web of torturous restraint.

I was such a fool, Kate thought, but not now.

Kate closed her eyes and cleared her mind.  Best to find the required calm as soon as possible.  If she continued wasting time basking in the memories of challenges past, the ropes would assert their authority, making finding the required calm to begin meditating all that much more difficult.  Kate knew she'd survive the four hours, regardless.  She knew that Mistress' ropes were precisely placed and expertly tightened so as not to do her harm.  But if she didn't enter the required trance state, when Mistress returned and released her, she'd be stiff, sore, and exhausted.  If she did succeed, when the ropes were peeled away she'd be covered with rope-marks, but be no more spent than from an hour of vigorous exercise.

Unseen by Kate, thanks to the severely restricted field of vision imposed by her stringent bonds and immovable pose, Giselle emerged from the forest and settled to the grass in a semi-lotus.  She was on the side of the building away from the river, and had with her a book, a thermos, and a stopwatch on a lanyard around her neck.  Giselle poured herself a cup of tea, took a sip, and settled in to wait for the conclusion of Kate's test.  She had a perfect view of her assistant's dangling silhouette through the glass door.  She'd purposely left the soji screens open on both sides, so she could both keep watch over Kate and enjoy the vista of the river beyond.

Chapter 1

Trans Canada Highway
Ontario Highway 400
Near Port Severn

Ainsley was driving the rented SUV and Jane was riding shotgun.  Maura and Susie were in the backseat, and much to Jane's annoyance, they were singing.
"Moon River, wider than a mile,
I'm crossing you in style some day."
Jane rolled her eyes and focused on Ainsley.  "Please... shoot me."

Ainsley smiled, but her eyes were on the road.  "My weapon is in my luggage, like yours.  Besides, the rental company would complain about blood-splatter.  And just imagine the paperwork."

"I'd be beyond caring about paperwork," Jane countered.
"Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you're going I'm going your way."
"Actually," Ainsley chuckled, "they're getting pretty good."

"Seventh time's the charm," Jane muttered.  "Maybe we can find earplugs at a truck stop."  Jane had already tried telling the backseat chorus to shut up, with no success.  She'd also tried threats of bodily harm.
"Two drifters off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see."
Ainsley smiled.  "I put some napkins in the armrest," she said, "from lunch."  They'd paused for take-out burgers at a Wendy's in Barrie.

"Oh, thank you!" Jane sighed.  She opened the armrest, pulled out a paper napkin, ripped it in half, and started stuffing the soft paper in her ears.

In the backseat, smiling broadly, Maura and Susie exchanged winks as they continued singing.
"We're after the same rainbow's end—
  waiting 'round the bend,
  my huckleberry friend,
  Moon River and me."

Chapter 1

Moon River Colony
Guest Cottage #17

Maura gazed at her cottage-mate with an expression of profound disapproval.  "Jane," she intoned, "the rules, as listed in the welcome folder, are quite explicit.  No clothing of any kind is to be worn anywhere within the confines of the Moon River Colony at any time, not even in the cottages."

"They can't tell me what to wear in my own frickin' cottage," Jane huffed.  The cottage came with a luxurious bathroom equipped with fluffy towels, all dyed a pleasing shade of saffron-orange.  One such towel was wrapped around Jane's torso, but she was otherwise naked, with her hair pulled back in a tight ponytail enforced by a black, fabric-covered elastic.  "If I want to wear a towel sarong, I'll wear a towel sarong."

Maura was completely nude, as the Colony rules required.  She was comfortably reclined in an easy chair with her legs demurely crossed, her arms resting on the chair's armrests, and beaming her usual dimpled, dazzling smile.  Watching Jane's antics was one of her favorite pastimes.  "The sarong is a long, usually printed cloth wrapped around the waist and worn as a kilt or skirt by both sexes in Malaysia, Indonesia, and some Pacific islands."

"Whatever," Jane huffed.  "Toga, okay?"

Still smiling, Maura shook her head.  "A proper toga requires much more fabric, as does a sari.  We've been to spas before, Jane.  What's the problem?"

Jane rolled her eyes and heaved an exasperated sigh.  "Getting naked for a mud bath or a massage or to take a sauna or steam makes sense.  Walking around naked for no good reason?"  She tugged the towel tighter and made sure the side tuck was as secure as possible.  "That's just... unnatural."

Maura giggled, and decided not to point out that nudity was, in fact, the natural state of the human body.  "You have a beautiful body, Jane," she purred.  "Don't be ashamed."

"I'm not ashamed," Jane muttered, glaring at her infuriatingly chipper best friend.  "You're baiting me," she accused.

"Yes, I am," Maura chuckled.

Blushing furiously, Jane jerked off the towel and tossed it away.  "There, happy?"

"Very happy," Maura chuckled.  She gazed at her friend's tan, slender, perfect body, not with prurient interest, but with clinical objectivity.  Jane Rizzoli did, indeed, have a beautiful body.  Granted, Maura's breasts were larger and her figure more Junoesque, but Jane was all athletic grace.  In a nutshell, Maura was all feminine curves and Jane was the goddess Diana in human form.

Just then, there was a knock at the cottage door.  Maura went to answer and Jane lunged for her towel.  "Don't you dare!" Maura chuckled as she opened the door.

Susie and Ainsley entered the cottage.  Both were completely naked, not counting Susie's glasses.

Susie was her usual smiling, bubbly self.  She had an exquisite figure, more or less a blend of Maura's femininity and Jane's athleticism.  She also had a deep, allover tan, without the bikini tan-lines evident on Jane and Maura.  As she was the groups' veteran "naturalist," and thus their in with the nudist community, this was hardly surprising.

Ainsley was beautiful, clothed or nude.  She was stamped from the shapely, Maura Isles mold, approximately, but her complexion was more fair.  She was doing her best to "wear" her nudity in a nonchalant manner, but wasn't being entirely successful.  The blush Jane had noticed back at the Toronto airport was now something more than a hint.  Like Maura and Jane, Ainsley had tan-lines.

"Are you ready for dinner?" Susie asked.

"Certainly," Maura answered.  "I've been reading the menu in the welcome folder.  Vegan cuisine!"

Jane rolled her eyes.  "Just great.  A week of being naked and hungry."

"There's also a non-vegan menu," Ainsley reassured Jane, "probably a consequence of being in the Territory."

"Traditional First Nations cuisine is quite healthy," Maura said with her usual nerdly enthusiasm, "but is not vegan."

Jane focused on Ainsley.  "You mean the Mohawk chefs won't let the New Age wacko chefs serve nothing but weeds and bark?"

Ainsley grinned.  "Venison burgers."

Jane rolled her eyes to the heavens.  "Thank you!" she sighed, and started for the door.  "Beer?" she asked Ainsley.

Ainsley nodded.  "Local craft brews, Molson, Labatt, Moosehead, the usual," she answered as they crossed the threshold.

"She's going to be fine," Maura whispered to Susie as they followed the detectives.  She was referring to Jane, of course, which Susie understood perfectly.

Chapter 1


Chapter 2