A man is feminized by his wife and his business partner and framed for embezzlement. Can he survive the humiliations his wife intends to subject him to and start a new life?
Thanks go out to Marina Kelly and Kelly Ann Rogers for their very valuable editorial assistance in improving the quality of this story.
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Rob sat at the table staring into nothing, trying to feel something more than a cold, hollow feeling deep inside. He took a sip of his neglected coffee and made a face at the taste of stone cold coffee. He dumped the cup in the kitchen sink and poured himself another cup before going back to his seat.
His brain felt numb and he struggled with everything that had now become clear to him. How could he have possibly allowed Geri to make into this…this girlish image of himself? He spent an hour just looking at himself in the mirror and he had to look long and hard to see anything of himself. All that was visible in the mirror was a cute, twenty-something blonde woman with generous breasts and nice figure. He had found that he even sounded like the co-ed that he looked like.
It appeared that he had ended up looking much like his mother. Happily, she had been an attractive woman, but he was still coming to terms with the fact that he now looked like a woman. He knew that there must be a breakdown coming at some point, but he was insulated for the moment by his anger and disappointment.
He looked up as Geri came out of her bedroom and half-stumbled to the dining room. Rob forced his expression to remain completely neutral as he studied his wife's face.
"That smells good, Diana. Could I have a cup too?" Geri asked as she took a seat across from Rob. She obviously expected him to obediently trot out to the kitchen for her.
Rob barely smiled as he went out to the kitchen to pour a cup for Geri. The anger he felt made his smile look almost like a snarl; he'd spent several long minutes studying his new face in the bathroom mirror, making different expressions. He had to work hard to even force a smile to his face.
He intentionally dallied a bit in the kitchen making Geri wait, seeing no reason to hurry. He set the cup down in front of Geri, serving from the right as he had been taught. He managed to set it down without slamming it down like a hammer. Then he resumed his seat.
He decided to begin communications and said, "I bought groceries before I came home. They're all put away." Geri would have noticed something in his tone of voice, if she had been paying attention.
Geri was still tired and distracted so she nodded, "That's very good, Diana."
Every time he heard Geri call him that, Rob became a little more annoyed. He continued and said, "Tanya lent me a swimsuit to wear at the spa and I brought it home to wash it out."
"Okay." Rob could see that Geri was very much on autopilot and was not really paying attention. He could probably have told her that someone had stolen the garage from behind the house and she would have just nodded. He knew that his next statement would wake her up though.
"I decided to get all of our delicate things washed at the same time," Rob said and then he paused, waiting for some kind of reaction. When he got none, he continued and said, "I even washed Evan's cum out of your corset."
Geri nodded her acknowledgement and said, "Thank you." It was another moment or two before she blinked and said, "What?"
Rob smiled at her surprised expression; it was not a friendly smile. He felt tingle go down his spine and the world seemed to tilt around him.
"That is whose it was, wasn't it?"
There. He had put it out for her to deny or confirm. Regardless of what she said next, she had betrayed him greatly and he was sure that nothing she said could save their marriage. Rob had never had the opportunity to go fishing as a child, so he could not appreciate the parallel between a fish gasping for water and Geri's mouth opening and closing as she struggled to find something coherent to say.
Geri found herself at a loss. This was the last thing in the world that Geri had expected to be confronted with. Yes, Rob suddenly appeared to be resisting the programming, but he had, really had, embraced the persona of Diana that Geri was trying to overlay Rob's mind with. The submissiveness had been there too. All she expected to have to do was to continue to drug him and play tapes to him. Now, she was being confronted by an angry man who appeared to be in full control of himself. Even worse, he was aware that she had had sex and that it had not been with him.
Trying to think fast, Geri decided to delay as she stuttered, "Who…What do you mean?" She knew that she had to buy some time until she could figure out what was going on.
Rob gave her a dirty look and said, "I washed the white corset thingie that was on the floor of your bedroom. I know that it's not mine, I couldn't begin to fill it out, even if I had both of my forms." He gestured to his chest where it was obvious that his bra had been deflated.
"Therefore, it's yours."
He looked at her with his cute eyebrows raised and said, "Unless you're going to tell me that a couple of neighborhood teenagers broke into the house while you were gone and left it there after they had sex on your bed." The look on his face told her that he was in full control and that she would not be able to get past him with some bullshit story.
"I…I don't know what to say…" Geri said. She tried to go on the offensive to deflect Rob's accusations. "How dare you accuse me of something like that! In all the time we have been married I have always been faithful to my marriage vows!" She crossed her mental fingers. After all, she was married to Evan, so it was partially true.
Rob scoffed at her statement and began to lay out his evidence.
"The reason I know that Evan was here is that I found his money clip and corporate credit card in your purse, along with a very expensive piece of jewelry!" Rob's voice had started to get louder and harsher as he had itemized each piece of evidence of infidelity.
Brazenly, Geri tried to act outraged that Rob had been checking up on her. "Rob, how dare you go pawing through my purse?"
Rob cut her off and said, "Rob didn't! Diana the maid did when she was returning the extra money she didn't use for groceries. It was Diana that went into your bedroom to gather up your clothes. After all, you told your husband Rob that he wasn't allowed in your bedroom anymore!"
Geri could see that something had gone very wrong with her plan. She was thinking furiously to come up with some way to save herself and the whole project.
"Rob," she said, changing her tone to sound like an emotional, wounded wife. "I thought that we were just playing Mistress and Maid. I guess that I got too deep into the game and I guess you did too. Okay…Evan was here with the marshals today. He wanted to talk to you about work and he was disappointed that you weren't here. All I can figure is that he was horny and did something disgusting in my bedroom while I was talking with the marshals."
Rob looked at his wife with an expression that said that he was nowhere dumb enough to buy her fairytale. "So…Evan was able to come down here with the marshals. I thought that we were supposed to be in hiding and no one was to know where we were."
"Honey, I don't know how Evan was able to contact the marshals,' Geri said.
Rob paused for a moment, seeing that he might be unjustly accusing Geri of cheating on him.
"Maybe I am being unfair. I guess I just assumed that Evan had come here to see you."
His expression brightened when he realized that there might be a very simple way to prove to his satisfaction whether he was in the wrong or not.
“I know a way to prove I'm wrong! I'll be right back.” He stormed off to Geri’s bedroom and came back holding her cell phone. "Show me your phone log. Which reminds me, why do you still have your cell phone? They took mine away."
"Rob, it's pointless to show you my call history. You either trust me or you don't." Geri made a show of dabbing at her eyes as if she was wiping at tears. She pointedly ignored his question as to why she still had a phone.
The fact that Geri refused to try to prove her innocence was enough to make Rob pause and realize that he was correct after all. He ignored her attempt at gaining sympathy and said, "Did Evan come down here to see me or to see you? Did he just happen to have that pin in his pocket for you?" He paused for a moment and asked, "Do you think you can explain the tape player I found myself hooked up to the other night?"
Geri was still trying to find a way out of this situation and snatched at his last question. "I can explain the tape player. Doctor Winters suggested that I use subliminal programming tapes to make you more comfortable with our situation here. He said that you might have a problem adjusting."
Angered, Rob stood up so abruptly that the chair he was sitting on flipped over and Geri jumped, partly in surprise and partly in fear.
"Geri…excuses are like ass holes, everyone has one and they are only good for putting out shit. I've been sitting here listening to all of your so-called explanations and this last piece of bull takes the cake. That tape was trying to turn me into a submissive slut. What were you going to do…claim that I was some kind of pervert and divorce me?"
He stalked over to his bedroom, knowing that he hardly presented the image of an angry husband as he had to take mincing steps in his four-inch high heels. The high heeled shoes he was forced to wear that made it impossible for him to take long steps or to even stomp his feet. As he brushed a strand of long blonde hair out of his face, he already knew that the angry expression on his face looked more like a young secretary upset over an office spat. He was doing his best to hold back the tears of anger and hurt at this betrayal.
At the door, he turned back to look at Geri and said, "You cheated on me, Geri. When we were married, I thought you were a housewife, what I got was a harlot. It's too late for me to leave tonight, so I'm going to go back to the city in the morning. I think it would be best if we separated for a while."
"Where…where will you go?" Geri asked. She couldn't let Rob walk away now. Without him, they might be unable to get out of the country before the Feds got involved. They had to be able to present him as at least a possible suspect so that they could get away. "The house is gone. What will you do?"
"I don't know. I'll call Sally in the morning and ask her to help me."
Geri flushed and almost screamed, "Of course, you would run to your slut of a secretary. You accuse me of being unfaithful and I'll bet that you've been screwing her whenever I haven't been around."
Rob just looked at her for a few moments, seeing that the paradise of a marriage he thought he was living in had just collapsed. Quietly, he turned away, closed the bedroom door, and locked it before he collapsed in a heap on his bed, crying. The tears came easily as he held his face in his hands and his body was wracked with shuddering sobs. The realization that the woman he loved didn't love him was crushing.
* * * * *
For her part, Geri was scared and coldly calculating at the same time. It looked like she had lost control of the situation and Rob was going to get away. She had already decided that she was not going to lose control of herself and her wimp of a husband was not going to wreck her plans, regardless of how much of a backbone he had finally decided to grow. When Rob left the room and locked himself in his bedroom, she was quickly dialing her cell phone to speak to Evan.
"Evan!" she started talking the moment he answered the phone. It would not have mattered to her if he had answered the phone himself or if it had gone to voicemail, she would have rattled off her story and plans anyway. However, she was lucky enough to have Evan on the phone. "He's broken free of the programming completely! I'm going to go to our alternate plan and I need you to get things ready! "
"What do you mean that he's broken free? What's happened now?" Evan's tone made it clear that he did not believe his wife and that he thought that she was somehow being emotional about the situation.
"Look, you idiot!" Geri's personality certainly had not suffered from her exposure to the subliminal programming tape from earlier in the day. If anything, it had pushed her in the opposite direction of submissiveness. "He found the bustier that I was wearing when you decided to spray me in the face and then he discovered your money clip and credit card in my purse. He also found the brooch you gave me."
"I wondered what happened to my money clip," Evan said, the tone of his voice still very much conversational. He still wasn't really taking her seriously, but he felt himself starting to waver under her constant verbal attack. "I take it that he was upset when he discovered it?"
Geri had walked into her bedroom and closed the door. It wouldn't do to have Rob overhear her conversation and know the rest of her plan. She already knew that it next to impossible to hear through the walls.
"Yes, you could say that," Geri answered sarcastically. "Some of the things that he said were close to the truth, but I don't think that he actually knows anything yet. Now, I'm going to wait until tomorrow morning to knock him out. I need you to contact the clinic to tell them that I'm bringing him in. We're going to have to use the brute force programming method that the doctor told us about."
By now, Evan had heard enough to know that Geri was not over-reacting and something about how she was talking moved him to action.
"Okay," he said. "I'll call that doctor and tell him that he had better be ready to program Rob the way we want him. We should have done it that way in first place."
His last comment was a sarcastic shot at Geri and he wished that he had kept his mouth shut because she snapped back at him.
"Listen, you jerk! I thought that this was the best way to change him into what we needed. Remember that the doctor told us that if we tried to program him all at once that we might turn him into a drooling vegetable! He isn't much good to us if he can't act the way we want him to, is he?"
Thoroughly beaten down by now, Evan just said, "Yes, ma'am. I'll make the calls and be at the house in the morning to help you with Rob. "
"You'd better if you know what's good for you!" Geri snapped. When this was over, she was going have to do something about Evan. He was just as useless as Rob was and she wondered why it had taken so long to see it. Now that she had things going her way, she backed off from her earlier intensity and said in a more friendly tone, "Don't worry, Evan. We'll get through this. Now, get moving on things! Love you…"
Evan automatically responded by answering, "Yes, dear."
Evan hung up the phone automatically, his eyes almost glazed over. After a moment, he almost physically shook himself, as if to wake himself up. He looked around, confused for a moment, and then got moving to take of the calls he needed to make. He made it a policy to keep his outgoing communications private and secure so that there was less likelihood of being overheard and caught. He decided that leaving for the rest of the day would be best and make his phone contacts from a more secure location, like his house.
He looked around the office to make sure that everything was secure. He had not brought in much in the way of personal items and what he had brought in did nothing to reflect his true self. He had known that anything he put in his office would need to be abandoned when the time came to disappear and he did not want to leave anything that would give investigators a clue into his personality. FBI profilers could use that kind of information to track down criminals and the amount of money they planned on stealing would put them at the top of the wanted list.
Nowhere on earth would be safe for a while, maybe for a long time. He and Geri would need to find a place to hide where no one would think to look for them. He knew that the house where Geri and Rob were would be good place to stay for a day or two, but they would need to be out of the country immediately after that. Once Rob was turned over to the clinic again, he would come back and double-check everything without having to worry about being discovered. He went to the door, putting on his suit coat as he went.
After setting the alarm code for the office, he closed and locked the door. On the way, he stopped at his executive assistant's desk, who was now Sally. He'd decided that it would be a good idea to have her where he could keep an eye on her, so he had moved her out of her private office and assigned her to the big secretary desk outside of his office.
"Sally, I have to leave for the rest of the day. I've closed and locked my office, so you can bring anything I need to see to me in the morning. I'll be in tomorrow, so just take messages and tell anyone who calls that I will get back to them tomorrow."
For some reason, he took a lot of pleasure in dictating to this woman. He knew that there was no love lost between them, but he also could not fire her without raising suspicion. So he relegated her to a glorified secretary's position, effectively demoting her from the security oversight duties she had enjoyed while reporting to Rob. He had taken those responsibilities over for himself so that his activities could not be tracked. He couldn't know that Sally was one those conscientious employees and had continued to monitor security; she just had not been able to confront Evan with the evidence of his explorations through their customer's accounts.
"Yes, Mr. Stevens," Sally responded, the tone of her voice properly respectful, but only just. It grated upon her that she was not allowed to call him by name anymore. When he took over the operational control of the company, he had immediately begun making changes. This particular change seemed designed to put distance between himself and everyone else. All it had really succeeded in doing was to define that gulf and to make him universally regarded with disdain. The problem was that disdain for Evan had filtered down to others in the office and hurt morale.
As Evan swaggered down the short passage between cubicles to reach the elevator, Sally started to make her plans for the night. Evan obviously planned on being occupied for at least the evening, if not the entire night, so it looked like tonight might be a good opportunity to bring Pete in to do some investigation into what Evan was doing to the company.
She waited until the elevator doors closed, taking Evan away, before she used the speed-dial on her desk phone to call her apartment where her brother was staying.
"Hi, Pete. I think tonight is our best bet. Evan appears to have something important to do, so you should have plenty of time to do your thing."
She paused as she listened to Pete's response. "Yes, I'm sorry. I know that computer forensics is an important field of work. I didn't mean to make it sound like you were still hacking computers. I mean, you are, this time, but not all of the time."
She listened again for a longer time. "I'm sorry," she said again, trying to backtrack and get Pete with the program. The banter between the two of them was completely good natured as they both respected the other's talents. In this case, Sally needed her brother's computer forensic skills and she knew that there were few others around that could do what Pete could do.
Even though he was on at least one government watch list because of hijinks he had engaged in while he was still in college, he assisted the NSA with various cases when they were overloaded. Pete was supremely qualified to help her break into Evan's workstation and the company computer to make sure that the company was not at risk. She would have to report this incident to Rob and the SEC when she was done; the SEC always seemed to know about these incidents anyway.
"Look, Evan has taken the rest of the day off and that gives us a few hours to prepare. I'll stop by and pickup Chinese for dinner and I'll be home in an hour. Then we can go everything again and we can get ready. Okay…see you in a little while."
Sally closed down her work area and locked up properly. She was out the door in less than three minutes.
* * * * *
True to her word, Sally walked into the house right on time. She stepped into the kitchen from the attached garage and pushed the door closed with her foot. Her hands were full with bags from the Chinese restaurant that she and Pete liked and they were not going to have time to make dinner if they were going to get ready for the late-night adventure that she had planned.
Calling for her brother, she began setting out the various containers and cartons of food. She helped herself to the spicy entrée that she had ordered for herself, ladling a generous serving over the white rice. She knew that she would be able to have seconds if she wanted them because Pete preferred the more bland selections from the menu.
Pete came into the kitchen as she took a seat at the counter while he filled his plate with the food that he liked. "Where are the eggrolls? Don't tell me you didn't get eggrolls!"
"They're right there…next to my garlic shrimp! Man…you are so blind," Sally teased.
Pete grinned back at her, enjoying the sibling banter. It was good that they got along so well, he'd heard of so many brothers and sisters who couldn't stand each other. Even Stacy fit in with them, but she was home with Mom and Dad, under virtual house arrest. She was lucky that they let her leave the house to go to school these days. Sally had told him that everything that Stacy had been through in the past few months had probably been enough to ensure that the kid didn't get out of hand like before. Stacy would have to work hard to prove to their parents that she deserved their trust. Besides, Mom had been traumatized by the whole runaway episode and she was dealing with separation anxiety as a result.
They made themselves comfortable at the kitchen counter and ate in silence for a few minutes. After the initial enjoyment of the tangs and spices in the food had worn off, the brother and sister got down to business.
"Evan should be gone until tomorrow some time," Sally said, "so I think that tonight is the best time for us to see what he has been doing to the company. I promised Rob that I would watch out for his interests and keep an eye on things while Evan was in charge. I want to get there a few minutes before the security guards change their shifts."
"Why is that?" Pete asked.
"Well…I plan on sending you in first and then I'll go in after the shift change. That way, they will think that there is only one person in the building."
"How is that going to work?"
"My plan is to fool the guards into thinking that I'm the only one in the building. To do that, we're going to have to look like each other," she told her brother, watching his face.
Pete nodded to her, acknowledging what she was saying, but not listening. When his brain caught up with his ears, his head snapped around to look at her.
"What do you mean…look alike?" He had a suspicion as to what she was talking about and he was not happy with the thought.
"Just what I said," Sally responded. "My idea is to have one of us go in just before the guards change shifts and then have the other go in afterward. The only way that it will work though is to have us look alike. Pete, we're twins, this will work to our advantage. We'll dress identically and they won't notice the difference."
"You're telling me that you intend to put me in a dress, makeup, and high heels?" Pete was making it obvious that this was the first time that he had heard Sally's plan in detail. And his tone of voice said he was not at all happy.
"Pete, We're same the size, build, and, coloring. Unless you have grown we even have the same shoe size." Sally said. "We can't do this while there are people in the office. Someone could report it and everything would go wrong from there. My idea is to have you go in first with the guard that is getting ready to end his shift and I would follow you in when the new guard starts his shift.
"Any cameras would see the same person going in twice and just assume I had gone out a different exit and reentered. There is no way they could check all the camera’s before we are done. We'll use my building access card and the computer will think that I'm the only one there. Of course, when this is all over, I'm going to talk to building security about the fact that they don't detect the card being used twice to let someone in."
"How do you know that?" Pete asked.
Sally just gave his a lop-sided smile as she said, "You're a whiz with computer access, but you obviously haven't thought a lot about physical security. I tested the process of going in, dropping my card outside of the building, and then going out and back in again. It was apparent to me that nothing makes sure that we must badge out to leave and that is one of the things I need to have fixed."
Pete just grunted in appreciation in his younger sister's breaking and entering skills. "I'm not at all comfortable doing this, but I know that you need me sis," Pete said, reluctantly agreeing to his sister's plan.
Sally smiled and gave him a hug in thanks. "I need your help with this, Pete. If there were any other way, I'd do it alone. You need me to show you where to go and I need you to break into Evan's computer. You're a real sport."
Over the next couple of hours, Sally proceeded to mold her brother into her doppelganger. The first thing she had him do was almost the last as she surprised him by having him use a hair remover instead of body wash. However, she did not bother to tell him that, only to be careful not to use it as a shampoo. Stepping out of the shower, Pete was not happy about it and threatened to stop the whole project, but she explained that he would be more comfortable without his body hair being trapped under his clothes.
When he objected to having to wear her clothes, she responded, "To tell the truth, I didn't think that you would have that much of an issue dressing up as me. I mean, after all, you are gay."
This resulted in a bit of a disagreement that actually surprised Pete. He regarded his sister with a look that was part shocked surprise and part annoyance. "Sally, I'm your twin brother and you've known that I've been gay since before we could drive." He paused for a moment to collect his thoughts and asked, "In all of that time, have you ever seen me put on a dress or even act effeminate?"
Sally looked at her brother for a minute or two, thinking and said, "No, I haven't."
"Then, for crying out loud, why would you think that I would be comfortable dressing up like a woman?' Pete said, raising his voice. "No offense, but the fact that you are assuming that gay men like to dress up like women is as much a prejudiced view as those people who believe that gays are an affront to the Lord. Did you know that most gays don't cross-dress any more than most heterosexuals do? I don’t even like effeminate gays; I like my guys buff and manly."
Sally blushed at the realization that Pete had made aware that she was as much a bigot in her own way as so many others were. "I'm sorry, Pete," she said. "I never intended to hurt your feelings. I guess that there are still a lot of things that I don't understand about you." She looked like she was about to cry with embarrassment.
Pete sat down on other side of the bed and turned part way toward her and said, "I know that Sally. I tried to keep my life away from the house because I knew that it made Mom and Dad uncomfortable. You grew up liking guys and so did I, but this is the way I am and I didn't choose it for myself. If I had let you be closer to me and see who I am, you would have had a chance to know more about my attitudes and preferences.
"I'm sorry that lost my temper, you had no way of knowing that I don't cross-dress. In this situation, I consider it to be a necessity. I'm not going to be very happy about all of this though." He smiled at her to reassure that there were no hard feelings.
Sally nodded with a trembling smile. "Thank you. I really owe you, Pete."
The next hour was a whirlwind for Pete. Sally assured him that she was doing the minimum to make them look like identical twins to fool the building's security. Still, Pete ended up wearing pantyhose, breast forms, a bra, blouse, and a skirt. In the end, Pete agreed that he would need the gaffe that Sally had offered him and he had refused. He could see that he would not be able to present a womanly appearance without it. He was glad that Sally had been preparing for this and that she had thought to purchase the items that she had.
Finally, Sally was satisfied with Pete's appearance. She touched up his makeup a little and turned him toward the mirror with one smooth motion. In the mirror he saw two images of Sally, one standing and the other seated. He knew that it was himself, but he awed by the resemblance between them.
"See?" Sally said. "I knew that you would look good."
"Okay…I don't look too bad," Pete agreed grudgingly. "I'm still not very comfortable doing this…" Still, as he said that, Pete had to consciously force himself to look away from the mirror. There was something about seeing himself wearing these clothes that made him feel good and he didn't know if he was embarrassed or ashamed that he liked it.
* * * * *
At 11 PM Sally drove her brother to her office. They rode solemnly without saying a word. Sally turned off her head lights and the engine and slowly coasted to a stop in the parking lot. Sally climbed out and waited for her brother, who sat in the car fidgeting with his skirt, scared to death of being in public dressed as a woman. Sally opened the door and dragged the cowardly lioness out of the car. The wind was harrowing. Pete struggled in the unaccustomed high heels, and then he had the added challenge of his curled hair and skirt wildly whipping about. The wind was so strong there were white caps in the reflecting pond decorating the entrance.
Finally the siblings sought shelter in the lee of the alcove of the front door. Sally studied the lobby and the guard half asleep at his desk in the corner. Their plan called for Pete to enter just before the shift change using Sally’s company badge, proceed to the ladies room and pass the card back to Sally through an open window. Sally would wait for the new sentry to take his post and stride through the lobby and rendezvous with her twin in the bathroom and lead him to the company office. Using her security code she would escort Pete to Evan’s office where he would hack into Evans personal computer.
Even though he was a grown man who shouldn't be afraid of much, Pete needed a push from his sister to get started. He was glad that Sally had gone with a mid-heel shoe instead of something stilt-like because it took him a few steps to be stable again as he started out.
His heart was racing as he minced his way to the guard’s desk, swaying his hips like Sally had instructed. The sound of his wobbly heels echoed off the marble floor like a brass drum in Pete's head. Reaching the desk the guard raised his head and yawned a sleepy, "Yes miss, how can I help you?"
Pete fumbled in his purse to retrieve the security card and in his best falsetto said, "I have work to finish up for my boss." The guard casually swiped the card after ensuring the picture matched. Pete headed to the designated bathroom where he now needed to pee. More out of a need to relief his stress than because that was where Sally had instructed him to go to drop her security card out to her for her use.
Sally was an excellent executive assistant, but as a spy she was a total disaster. First off the ladies room was not deserted. But more importantly Sally had not developed any plans for their escape…a detail that would have significant consequences for them later on.
Opening the lavatory door, Pete found two women relaxing on overstuffed chairs, smoking. The two glared at Pete, but not recognizing him as anyone from their company or from the building staff, they relaxed. Holding up her cigarette one of the woman said, "It is too windy to stand outside. Hope this doesn't bother you."
Pete was a quick thinker and replied, "No; but would you mind if I opened the window?"
They shook their heads and one of them said, "It will let some of this smoke out. The last thing we need is to set the smoke detectors off." She got up and started helping with the casement window cranks.
Pete opened his own window and dropped Sally’s security card out the window. Unfortunately, he had hurried the process and actually tossed the card out, where it was caught by the wind. He didn't know until later that Sally had had a devil of a time finding the card on the ground in the dark, even though she had seen it come tumbling out of the window.
Having to kill time, Pete went into one of the stalls and sat down, he briefly thought about removing the gaff, but decided he had adjusted to it and it wasn’t worth the trouble so he prayed the interlopers would leave before his twin showed up. He was rewarded with the sound of his companions finishing their cigarettes. He listened as they debated whether to leave for home or finish the tasks that they were still working on.
Pete sat on the throne for a good twenty minutes waiting for Sally. Finally, there was the sound of the restroom door opening and someone entering.
"Pete? Are you in here?" Sally called quietly.
She was scared to death that something else might have gone wrong after the time it had taken to find her security card. If Pete had gone missing, she didn't know what she would do. She just about wet herself when Pete opened the door to the end stall and stepped out. Pete grinned at the expression on Sally's face as he came into view and saw her looking down the row of stalls.
"I thought that I'd lost you somewhere," she said.
"Are you kidding?" Pete said. "Do you think I'm going to go to a party or something, dressed like this? What would my boyfriend say?" He was starting to become a little more relaxed in his character as he walked towards her.
"Come on," Sally said, taking his arm. "The new guard will start making his rounds in a few minutes and I want to get you upstairs before he gets that far." They started down the hallway to the stairs.
Pete balked as she opened the door and said, "Wait a minute! That's five floors! Why can't we take the elevator?"
Sally looked ashamed of herself as she said, "I forgot that there are security cameras in the elevators. If we use the elevator, they'll know that there are two of us here. We have to take the stairs."
Pete could only give his sister a narrow stare as they started up the first flight. Sally had the grace to look embarrassed at her omission. Poor Pete did his best to keep his shoes from clopping on each step as they climbed. By the time they reached the fifth floor, the calves of his legs were burning from the exertion.
He limped through the door towards the offices and said, "My legs are killing me. I never realized before that wearing heels were so uncomfortable for a lady."
"Yes," Sally said. "It's one of the things that we endure to make ourselves look more attractive to the men in our lives. Uhh…Pete? If your legs and feet hurt so much climbing the stairs, why didn't you take them off and climb in your bare feet?"
Now Pete looked embarrassed that he had not realized that would have been the easiest and, definitely, the least painful course of action. Sally just smiled sympathetically and led Pete down the hall to Evan's office where he installed himself at Evan's workstation.
Once Pete was set up, he took out a notepad and looked up at Sally.
"I need to know things about your boss. Things like how old he is, where he was born, is he married or not, what is his personality like, was he ever in the military and what branch, that kind of thing, what kind of music does he like?"
"Why is that?" she asked.
Pete sat back, seeing that his sister was like most computer users. "Well, ninety-nine percent of the people in the world will base their passwords on things in their personal lives. The more a hacker knows about his target, the more information there is to guess at a password. Even the people who create good passwords will fall into the trap of using the same password for almost everything. A lot of people are even foolish enough to write their passwords down where people can find them."
Sally blinked for a moment and said, "Well, he's a driven, arrogant, sexist boss. He is a shrewd and tough boss and a real SOB to the people who work for him. I think that he is somewhere in his mid-thirties, but I don't know where he was born, and he is not married. As far as I know, he crawled out from under a rock and into this job."
Pete grinned widely at her and said, "Don't be shy sis. Tell me how you really feel."
Sally smiled sadly. "Evan has really made it unhappy around here. The only time he would act nice to anyone is when Rob and Geri were around him. Now that he is in charge, it's only a matter of time before people start to quit."
Pete nodded and stood up. He was seemed to be experienced in this type of activity because Sally noted that he was wearing latex gloves, obviously to avoid leaving fingerprints. He roved around the office, looking at the books Evan had on shelves, various knick-knacks, even going so far as to look in the pencil cup on the desk. While he was looking, Sally had an idea and hurried out of the room.
She was back before Pete was done exploring the office. She was waving a folder and she said, "Maybe his personnel folder can tell you something, Pete."
He took the folder from her and began scanning through the pages. When he was done, he turned to his computer and typed for about five minutes. Then he plugged his computer into the back of Evan's desktop model and really went to work. About forty-five minutes into the job, Pete muttered, "This is curiouser and curiouser; I thought you said this guy has no IT background? I'm just now through his security and firewalls. Either he is very good at computer security or had hired a pro to do this."
Pete finally proclaimed, "He still screwed up though. It looks like his passwords all revolve around Ohio State. His main password was Buckeye." He paused as he scanned through a couple of files. "He's cunning but not as shrewd as he thinks. I'm not an accountant but it looks like there is enough evidence to put Evan behind bars for a very, very long time." He connected the portable drive that he had brought along to Evan's system and said, "This is going to take a few minutes to copy all of his personal files to my drive."
Sally nodded and decided to go down the hall to the restroom.
Therefore, she was not present when Evan walked into his office. He had been alerted when the security codes on the office were set off. It took him a while to arrive but he wasn’t expecting anything, there had been too many previous false alarms.
So he was shocked at seeing Sally sitting in his chair staring at his computer screen. "Sally! What are you doing at my desk? Security called me when you showed up acting strangely."
The woman's head jerked up as Evan shouted, so engrossed in the examination of evidence on the screen that Evan's entrance had gone unnoticed.
Before Pete could say anything to him, Evan had crossed the room and bent over to get a good look at what was on the screen and he saw that he had grossly underestimated his opponent. Bent over his hands on his knees for support, Evan was shocked at what he was seeing. He had spent a fortune getting some computer geek to protect his private files, now here was some simpleton of a secretary casually browsing through them.
He immediately realized she was in his private accounts. Impulsively he backhanded Sally across the cheek knocking her backwards over the chair, where she/he landed with a thud. The real Sally had overheard voices and realized Evan was back. She peeked into the room and saw her brother sprawled on the floor and Evan standing over him and intently scanning the computer screen.
Sally turn to go find some kind of a weapon. There were not a lot of options; the only thing in her office was a collapsible pink umbrella. Sally rejected that as being useless so she expanded her search as quietly as possible. She ended up near the service elevator before she found a fire ax secured on the wall. Prying it off as quietly as possible, she tiptoed back towards Evans office, envisioning herself as wonder woman to the rescue. Halfway there, she heard a commotion coming from Evan's open doorway. Expecting the worst, Sally burst into the room holding the ax over her head like a Viking warrior.
Much to her surprise she found an unconscious Evan on the floor and her brother standing triumphantly over him. Looking at his sisters' surprised expression, Pete said in his deep voice, "What? Do you think all 'queers' are limp wristed pansies? I work out and I have a hell of a right cross."
Stepping over Evan, Pete set to work copying all the files on Evan's hard drive, not having time to decide which ones were legitimate. Sally was a helpless spectator at this point. She paced the floors keeping an eye out in case building security was to come through. In her concerned state, it seemed that Pete took forever to get everything copied, but it was probably only fifteen minutes.
Evan had not started to move yet when Pete started packing up his bag of tricks. Once Pete was out of the office, Sally came in and looked everything over to make sure that there was no evidence of their presence. They had to leave Evan where he was, hoping that they could be gone before he woke up. Sally would just have to deny everything tomorrow.
They headed down to the stairs again and made their way to an exit to the outside. This time, Pete thought to remove his shoes and was able to make the trip down the stairs quickly and comfortably. One swipe of the security card and they rushed through the security holding section. He put his heels back on and left the building so that they could get to the car quickly.
The drive back to the apartment seemed take no time at all, probably due to the adrenalin high that they were feeling. The victorious smiles on their faces and not begun to fade as yet as they flopped onto the couch.
Pete rested for a few minutes before he stood. "I want to look through the files I copied from your boss' system. I might as well take a look."
Sally looked at him and said, "You should try out for the Golden Gloves. You must have hit him pretty good."
"Nah," Pete answered, grinning at the thought of Evan folding in front of him. "I think that he must have a glass jaw. Of course, he's going to hurt in the morning."
Back in his office, Evan had regained consciousness. He sat up in the darkened room, rubbing his jaw. He could see that that there was no one around and it was completely quiet. He rubbed his jaw remembering that Sally had slugged him. Then he shook his head to clear it. There was no way that little bitch could have hit him hard enough to knock him out, he must have tripped and hit his head. He made his way back out of the office and could see no sign that anyone had been there other than himself.
Assuming that he must have imagined things, Evan headed back out of the building and went home to put some ice on his jaw. He needed to be up in a few hours to help Geri with Rob.
* * * * *
Rob woke up early the next morning. He had already determined that he wanted to get out of the house and away from his treacherous wife as soon as he could. It had been late enough and he had been wrung out so badly last night that he knew that he couldn't have pulled up stakes and returned to the city at that point.
He decided that he wouldn't worry about a shower at this point, just brush his teeth and put on his makeup. It galled him that he needed to wear makeup now, but he was becoming resigned to his appearance and his voice. When he looked in the mirror, he could see that, in less than a month, the once rugged confident business executive had morphed into a cute secretary who was more fitted for the typing pool than the boardroom. 'God knows what I will look like in six months' thought Rob. If he didn't wear makeup and women's clothing, he would stand out more than if he tried to somehow cling to his vanished masculinity.
When he unlocked and opened the bedroom door, he was surprised to hear Geri working in the kitchen. He hurried through the kitchen to the bathroom without looking at her or responding to her morning greeting. Once he had finished in the bathroom, he passed back through the kitchen and was unable to get past Geri without acknowledging her.
"Rob, will you at least talk to me?" she pleaded. Geri appeared to be making an effort to be nice and Rob was just incapable of being rude and could not bring himself to reject her advances outright.
"What can we possibly talk about, Geri?" Not being rude didn't mean that had to be cordial though. "You've been unfaithful to me and you tried to actually steal my mind. For all I know, you had something to do with what I look like now." He shook his head and continued his speech. "I need to get back to the city before I have a complete meltdown about what has happened to me."
The accuracy of his accusation shook her to the core, but she kept her expression relaxed and hopeful. "Rob, I fixed breakfast. Won't you at least sit down with me before you leave?"
Rob hadn't eaten last night and was actually very hungry, so he couldn't see the harm in eating before he left. So he nodded tiredly and went into the dining room when Geri turned away. He took a seat at the table while she came in with a pan of scrambled eggs. Glasses of orange juice stood before each plate and Geri had placed a carafe of coffee on the table. She scooped a helping of eggs on to each plate and took the pan back into the kitchen before she returned and took a seat across from him.
Rob did not trust Gerri so while she was preoccupied in the kitchen he had switched his glass of orange juice with hers. He drank the juice down and stood to leave the table.
Geri picked up her juice and drained the glass before pouring herself a cup of coffee. Rob did not notice even though she poured herself a cup she never drank from it. She poured Rob a cup also before putting the carafe back down. He watched her act like the perfect hostess, his defenses on high alert. He fully expected her to make some sort of emotional attack at some point and he wanted to be ready for it.
She looked across at Rob and said, "I'm really sorry, Rob. I know that you think that I let you down, but I want you to know that there were good reasons for everything that has happened. I just can't tell you what they are."
Rob just looked at her and answered, "I need time to think, Geri. I'm going to go back to the city. I just want to work things through in my head."
"Isn't there anything I can say to get you to stay here with me?" Geri pleaded, as she refilled his coffee cup.
"No, I'm sorry," Rob said. The coffee in the cup was just a drinkable temperature and he drank it quickly. Geri could only watch as he went into his bedroom and returned with the single suitcase that he had arrived with. As he came back to the table, Rob stumbled in his heels. As he stopped to regain his balance, Geri left the table and went out into the kitchen. Rob heard the back door open and another set of footsteps followed Geri back toward the dining room.
Rob found himself unable to continue moving without the room seeming to turn around him. He dropped the suitcase and flopped into a chair as Geri returned to the room, followed by Evan. He looked at them with a dazed expression that they returned with smiles that were not altogether nice.
"Sorry, pal. You've gotten a little out of control for your wifey here, so we decided that we needed to handle you a different way."
"But…but why?" was all Rob could get out.
"Why?" Evan said, surprised. "For the money. We're going to help ourselves to the millions in your company and in your trust fund. You're going to take the rap for the whole thing."
Rob was rapidly losing his ability to stay coherent as Evan and Geri seemed to become the only things he could see in a halo of light. "Really? You're going to steal the trust too?" He passed out smiling, before he slid out of the chair and onto the floor.
* * * * *
Sally settled a platter of pancakes and bacon at one end of the table, so that Pete's impromptu office space could remain undisturbed. Over breakfast, the two discussed the information that had been collected from Evan's workstation.
"From what I understand of the banking and wire transfer systems," Pete said, "it would appear that Evan intends to transfer millions of dollars out of the different client accounts. I also saw references to an account that contained a balance of over 250 million dollars all by itself. One of the documents indicates that Evan intends to transfer over three quarters of a billion dollars out of the country to a Caribbean bank where no one would be able to pull it back from."
Sally's eyes widened at the mention of the one large account. "I think that big account belongs to Rob's trust fund. But Evan can't touch that money because Rob had me change the vesture date from the end of this month to be another six months out. I need to call the SEC right away to report all of this!"
Pete raised a hand in dissent. "If Evan gets wind of this, he could trigger all of the transfers before the SEC could take any action and drain the accounts. Could I suggest that we replace Evan's transfer orders with different ones? Orders that have errors in them so that the system would reject them? That way, Evan would not have time to track down what is wrong before the SEC shows up for an audit?"
"I like that idea," Sally said, brightening. "The company's assets will be protected and the SEC won't shut the company down, they will put us under their control until we can get everything worked out. Our clients will be protected and no one at the company will be in danger of losing their jobs!"
"I've already created the appropriate data files and control scripts that you will need," Pete said. "I put in a back door that will give you access to Evan's computer from wherever you might be on the network. You just have to be inside the firewall. You'll be able to plug the flash drive into your own workstation and the scripts will be able to modify the network files."
Sally nodded and said, "I'll call Jim Freeland and tell him what you found. The police and the FBI will be looking for Evan. By the time everyone shows up at the office, I'll have used your back door to change Evan's files and I'll call the SEC right away." Once breakfast was over, Sally got ready for work as quickly as she could and headed out.
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