Dinner more than lived up to its promise. I ate some Cornish Lobster that was out of this world. Mary, on the other-hand played safe and ordered a ‘Rack of Lamb’. This was all washed down with some of the best wine I’d ever had. Mary just licked her lips as she savoured each glass.
As the meal wore on, my mind turned to the task ahead.
“The last week or so has really been a rollercoaster. Did you ever think we’d end up here?” I asked Mary after our dessert plates had been taken away.
Mary as ever brought the scene down to earth with a bang.
“Well, if we don’t catch this monster then we will have an awful lot of egg on our face.”
She looked at me before continuing,
“But to answer your question. No, I didn’t but there again, you have never been exactly conventional in your approach to anything in the time I’ve known you.”
Then she leaned over and took hold of my hand.
“For quite a while, I wondered if you were gay. It was nice that you never hit on me. Just about everyone in the squad has hit on me but you never did. Now I know why.”
Her eyes dropped to look at the table.
“I’m sorry for doubting you, when… when you told me that you were a transsexual, I could not believe it. Seeing you now… living as a woman… It is as if a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders.”
I squeezed her hand. She looked up at me again.
I mouthed the words ‘Thank you’ to her.
She repaid me with a huge smile.
The bed was so comfortable that I really did not want to move. Mary was snoring gently beside me and everything seemed to perfect with the world.
Eventually, the call of nature became too hard to ignore. As I headed for the bathroom, I glanced at the clock. Oh Shit!
As I relived myself, I called out,
“Mary, Caitlin, get a move on. We have to be downstairs in half an hour.”
There was no sound of any movement from the bedroom.
When I’d finished in the bathroom I rushed back into the bedroom and shook Mary.
“What’s the matter? Is the Hotel on fire?” mumbles Mary.
“We are being picked up in thirty minutes.”
She sat up with a jerk and right into my face. I took her movement right on the end of my nose.
“Ow! That’s my nose!”
“I’m sorry,” said Mary as she comforted me.
“I’m ok. We have to get moving.”
“Sod it. The driver will have to wait.”
“No. We need to get moving. As you were so keen to remind me last night, today is where we start work. We must not be late on our first day eh?”
Mary took my head in her hands and looked me in the eye.
Then she kissed me.
Before I could react, she was gone and into the bathroom. She’d done it again…
In the end and after a lot of faffing around, we were only a few minutes late leaving the hotel and getting into the mini-cab.
As we headed north into Camden Town, I took hold of Mary’s hand. I looked at her and smiled. She smiled back at me.
Then I sat back and relaxed. I was ready for the task ahead.
The cab took us to our new home where Mr Roberts, the letting agent was waiting for us.
“Mr Roberts?” asked Mary as we got out of the cab.
“Yes. That’s me. Come on inside out of this rain.”
We all went into the flat. As we walked inside, I stopped dead. It was unfurnished.
“Is there something wrong?”
“I… I just thought that the place was furnished.”
Mr Roberts looked concerned.
“I thought you knew? It is unfurnished. I’m sorry if you were misled on the matter.”
I looked at Mary who looked back at me somewhat puzzled.
“What shall we do?”
“Yeah. I think so.”
I started to dig in my handbag for the phone that Max had so thoughtfully given me the previous day.
I thumbed through the contacts list for ‘Maxine’ and pressed dial.
As it started to ring, I heard a vehicle pull up outside but I didn’t think much of it.
Then ‘Maxine’ answered.
“This is she,” I said into the phone.
“Just a little one. You didn’t tell us that the place was unfurnished.”
“Oh. I see. Perhaps they are already here. I did hear a car or something pull up just now.”
“Ok. I will. Thanks”
I hung up and looked at Mary.
“Apparently my furniture is being delivered this morning.”
“Your furniture!” remarked Mary.
Then she saw the look on my face.
“I thought we’d seen the last of that. You told me that we’d be getting something new to go with our new home?”
“So, did I but didn’t Maxine say that some things from my old home were going to be brought over here?”
Any further discussion was halted by a knock at the door.
Mr Roberts went and answered it.
He soon returned and said,
“Two men are here with your furniture. Can we get on with signing the lease?”
As the movers waited, we quickly signed the lease. I almost signed it with my old name but I just checked myself in time.
With the signed documents in his possession, Mr Roberts beat a hasty retreat much to my surprise. The reason for that was very evident as soon as we went outside.
The removers van was painted a bright pink and that the on the side was the words ‘Charles Grey and Partner, removers to the LGBT Community’.
I caught Mary having a little snigger as she saw the sign on the van.
We helped with the unloading of the van and spent the rest of the weekend trying to make the furniture from my old flat in Kensal Rise fit into the new and much smaller one. In the end, a good amount of ‘stuff’ got shoved into the much smaller second bedroom with a promise to sort it out later even though both of us really knew that it never would be.
As I moved yet another box into the ‘spare room’, I realised why Max changed the deal.
“I think I know why Max changed the deal.”
Mary looked at me with a puzzled look on her face.
“When a couple get together then isn’t it a bit unusual for them to have new everything? This seems more realistic. Well, that’s what I think anyway.”
Mary thought for a moment before replying,
“It does sort of make sense.”
Just after eight on the following Monday morning the two of us left the flat and walked hand in hand down the street to East Finchley Underground Station for our first real day undercover. Both of us tried hard not to look around to see if any of our watchers were following us. Max had told us that they would be there but we were to behave normally but it was hard.
As is the norm on a cold and slightly damp and wet Monday, the Tube was packed with slightly steaming bodies. One of the rules that had been drummed into us was that we should never run for a waiting tube. Right on our first day, we were presented with a train with its doors wide open as we reached the platform. I sighed as we stood aside and let other commuters run for the waiting train.
As we waited for the next ‘Charing Cross’ branch train I started to get a bit nervous. The bravado of previous day had long gone. Now I had to go and work in a business as a woman. It was essential that my new colleagues didn’t know my real sex or identity.
“A penny for them?” asked Mary.
“You were miles away.”
“I was thinking.”
“Well stop that and give me a kiss.”
I gave her a little giggle and kissed her trying not to notice the looks from our fellow travellers. At first, I thought that it was all part of the act but something about it and what Max had said to us when we were with him struck home. This was a very different person from the standoffish one that I’d been used to until just over a week ago.
The remainder of our journey to work went without incident. We walked along Oxford St with our arms wrapped around each other’s waist. When we got to the junction with Wells St and Berwick St, our paths to work we would have to go in different directions.
“Shall I see you for Lunch?” I asked.
“I’m not sure. Let’s see how things go today? First day in a new job and that… I’ll see you at home later.”
Then we kissed.
Until eventually we had to come up for air.
“Is every morning going to be like this?” I whispered.
Mary smiled back at me and replied,
“If you want it to?”
I didn’t answer but gave her a quick peck on the lips.
“See you later.”
By the time I’d walked the 100yds or so up Wells St to my new place of work, my stomach was churning. All sorts of questions were running through my mind when I reached my destination.
I stopped outside and looked at the imposing building.
I took a step forward and hesitated.
I looked at the door once more.
After a deep breath, I stepped forward and went inside.
There was a reception desk towards the rear of the quite palatial hall. I walked over and presented myself.
“Hello. My name is Tamara Edwards. I’m due to start work here this morning.”
The receptionist smiled at me and then proceeded to look at some papers.
“I’m sorry. I can’t seem to find you on my list. What position were you applying for?”
I smiled sweetly back at her.
“Not applying. Starting work. As a receptionist.”
The smile disappeared from her face.
She picked up the phone and punched in some numbers.
“Jayne. The new receptionist is here.”
“Yes. I’ll tell her.”
She put the phone down.
“You are early. You will have to wait. Please take a seat.”
I managed to stifle any reaction to her obvious taunt.
I did as had been instructed and sat down to wait.
After some 40 minutes, I stood up and went to the receptionist.
“Am I still early?”
She looked at me as if I’d just landed from another planet.
“Who did you say you are?”
“Tamara Edwards. My name is Tamara Edwards.”
“Oh yes here it is.”
I looked at her expectantly.
She wrote something on a slip of paper and handed it to me.
“Take this to the second office on the left on the 4th Floor.”
I took the lift up to the 4th floor. I found the office I’d been directed to. It was easy because it was labelled ‘Human Resources’.
I went it and saw two women working away.
“Hello. I’m Tamara Edwards. I was told to come here.”
“Hello Tamara. You are late. Not very good for your first day?” said the older of the two who from the sign on her desk was called Lynda.
I smiled back.
“I was here before nine. I’ve been sitting downstairs for the past 45 minutes.”
“We didn’t know. They should have called up to let us know.”
“She did. She called someone by the name of Jayne.”
They looked at each other.
Then they burst out laughing.
“There is no Jayne. I’m afraid you have been the subject of a practical joke. No harm done eh?” said the other one of them, called Samantha.
“Gloria is a bit of a practical joker. I should know, she’s my sister,” said Lynda.
With that out of the way, we got on with the formalities that everyone does when starting a new job. Luckily for me, Max and his team had done their job well. My backstory was all there waiting to be told when I was asked.
By lunchtime, I’d been shown the ropes of my duties. Gloria had apologised to me for leading me on. I soon found out that I was not the first person to suffer at the hands of her and her pranks.
I put it down to ‘newbie’ pranks. I remembered the ones I played when we had a rookie constable join the team.
The people I was working with turned out to be not a bad bunch in all. By the end of the day, I’ve started to get the hang of my duties. Luckily my training allowed me to remember a lot of what was said that otherwise, I’d be sure to have forgotten but the time I came to use it.
It was well past 6pm when I slipped off my ‘work’ heels and put on my trainers for the journey home. There was no way I could wear heels all day and stand for 30 minutes on the tube. Perhaps in time I might but at the moment, comfort ruled thank you very much.
When I got to the corner with Oxford St I wondered about going to look for Mary but decided against it. I know that at least one of Max’s team would be watching me even though at this stage in the operation it would be highly unlikely that I’d been noticed by the killer. Still it was reassuring to know that someone was watching out for me.
I’d just about finished preparing our meal for the evening when Mary arrived home. I sighed, as I would have like to have had a little sit down and relax before cooking for is both. I put on a brave face when she appeared.
“Hello darling. How was your day?”
To my surprise, she burst out laughing.
“You…. You sound like a wife greeting her husband home from the office. It just feels funny.”
I had to admit that is was a bit strange.
I couldn’t think of a witty answer so I just kissed her. The one thing about going deep undercover is that you have to live the life 24/7. Kissing her was rather nice so I didn’t mind in the slightest.
Over dinner we told each other about our day at work and the people we were working with. Just like a married couple.
At one point, I sat back with a grin on my face.
“What’s that smirk for?” asked Mary.
“It is just so nice to be sitting here with you.”
She smiled back.
“Me too. I like sitting here with me!”
It took me a second to comprehend what she’d said.
Then I reached over onto the couch and grabbed hold of a cushion. Thereupon I proceeded to hit her over the head with it until both of us collapsed onto the floor in laughter.
Our faces came together. Without thinking, I kissed her. Mary responded with a lot of tongue.
When we’d finished, I whispered,
“I love you.”
Mary didn’t say anything but a tear formed in her left eye. Then one in the right.
“What’s wrong? I’m sorry if I offended you” I said trying to get myself out of this hole that I appeared to be up to my neck in.
“No. You have not done anything wrong. I feel the same way about you. It is just that I never even gave a thought to being romantically involved with you… before… before all this came about. The thought of you being taken by that beast is sending shivers down my spine. I wish we could just stop this now, and go off somewhere together.”
I held her in my arms.
“Let’s just use this time together as best we can. We are not really playing at being a couple, are we?”
Mary didn’t object.
“What we are feeling towards each other right now was one of the issues that came up in the seminar wasn’t it. A sort of modified Stockholm Syndrome if I remember correctly. If we come out of this and can still stand the sight of each other we can talk about the future then and only then.”
I looked her right in the eye.
She nodded her head. Whereupon, I kissed her again and with a passion that I didn’t know I had in me.
The days passed and turned into weeks. Well three actually. We had a weekly meeting with Max in the back room of a Café in Soho. Away from us, the trail had gone dead. Even the press had dropped the case from the front and even inside pages. We all knew that the time was fast approaching when if he was keeping to his schedule he’d strike within the coming 10-12 days.
Mary and I were now very close. Max noticed this at one of our meetings and remarked on it. He didn’t put it in his report to our bosses in the police. For this we thanked him a lot. We knew that if they were aware of our ‘real’ attraction for each other they’d pull us out in an instant.
I kept my appointments with my plastic surgeon. I’d pushed them up to once a week rather than fortnightly. My breasts were now just about a ‘B’ cup. Mary liked them but felt as I did that a little more would be perfect. It pleased me no end that she could spend hours playing with them in bed. Being in bed with someone else who had breasts was a new experience for her but she never tired of playing with them which didn’t bother me in the slightest.
Mary was really getting into working in the Sex Shop. After some initial reservations, she’d gone with the flow and started to bring a few ‘samples’ home for us to try out together. Apart from the obvious sex toys, she’d started wearing some very scanty nighties and to my total surprise, fishnet stockings to work.
One night, she paraded a suspender belt with eight clips. The eight clips were holding up a pair of barely black seamed stockings. There was no question, Mary looked ‘Hot’.
“Well, do you like it?”
“What do you think?”
The beaming smile on my face told her the answer.
“Could I buy one for you?”
I looked at her earnestly.
“But I don’t wear stockings. I’ve never worn them.”
“Now you can.”
Then she went to our undies drawer and pulled out some packages and tossed them to me.
The packages contained two belts and a dozen pairs of stockings.
“But….” I stuttered when I saw that they were seamed stockings.
“No if’s or buts.”
Then she came and kneeled down beside me and whispered in my ear.
“Part of your job is to look good. We have tweaked your clothes a bit. Your makeup is a lot better than when we started. Now for the final touch. Well, nearly.”
“What do you mean?”
Mary grinned back at me.
“Get used to the stockings first.”
No matter what I tried she wouldn’t reveal her plans. The bright side was that once I’d put the belt and stockings on we had the best sex I’d ever had.
Despite the wonderful sex, I didn’t wear stockings to work. I decided that I’d keep them for Mary. She on the other-hand was really coming out of her shell. When we were first teamed up, she’d hardly say boo to a goose. It took me several months to get her to open up even a little bit. Now, she was actually going a little too far for my liking but I wasn’t going to spoil her bit of fun as we both knew it wouldn’t last much longer.
I carried on going to work at the Architects and just being as normal as I could. Sylvia would often play one of her tricks on someone. She had this habit of setting it off and then disappearing off the face of the planet. That left me to take the flack, from those who’d been tricked.
The side effect of this was that it got me noticed by a lot more people in the company. Many (especially the women) commented on my choice of hair colour.
I was becoming rather attached to not only the length but the vibrant colour and was thinking about getting the roots done one afternoon when my phone went ‘beep’. Someone had sent me a text.
Mary often did that to let me know that she’d be late leaving work so I opened it up and read the message.
All it contained was a ‘smiley’. A hangman smiley.
There was no number available for me to answer it. I sat there for several minutes staring at the phone.
Sylvia interrupted me as she returned from her break.
“What’s the problem? Seen a ghost?” she asked jovially.
I didn’t answer but I showed her the phone.
“Is this one of yours? If it is then it is in very bad taste.”
Sylvia shook her head as she returned the phone to me.
“Not guilty. You should know my little jokes by now. That is not my style.”
That was true enough. As I sat there, I got more and more worried. In the end, I sent a coded text to Maxine.
“Maxine, are you being a bitch with your text messaging again?”
I hoped that he’d understand my meaning and get one of his associates to look into it.
Half an hour later, I got my answer.
“Not me darling. Fancy a drink or three after work? The normal place. Mines a Rum and Coke.”
Max was worried about it and wanted to meet. Or rather the lovely women who played Maxine in these meetings. Two women meeting for a drink after work was going to arouse far less suspicion with whoever sent the text than if I’d met am man in a wheelchair after I’d called him Maxine.
I couldn’t wait to leave work that evening and head to the ‘Northumberland Arms’ on Goodge St. I was so eager to leave that didn’t change out of my work heels as I normally did.
Maxine wasn’t there but that was not unusual. I ordered a white wine for myself and a rum and coke for her. I found a table towards the rear of the bar and sat down to wait for her.
She arrived some twenty minutes later. I stood up and we ‘kissed’ each other on the cheeks. I was getting used to this sort of greeting now.
“Sorry I’m late. My stupid boss made me get some pictures printed before I could leave. He knew I was eager to get away,” stated Maxine quite loudly.
That meant that Max had some pictures and I’d need to take a look at them.
“How did the wedding go?” I said changing the subject.
“Did you end up in that awful pink bridesmaids, dress?”
“Fuchsia Darling, Fuchsia,” replied Maxine hamming it up.
Her face dropped.
“I looked awful. Sack of potatoes is a close description.”
“Aren’t you going to show me then?”
She hesitated for a second. Then she opened her handbag and retrieved her iPad.
A few seconds later we were looking at her in an awful pink dress at a wedding.
“God that is hideous. What was the talent like?”
“Not bad,” she replied with a little smile on her face.
She flipped to another set of images.
“He’s particularly dishy,” said Maxine pointing to one of the pictures.
I looked at it and saw a man in his late forties. He just looked like any man you’d pass in the street without a second glance.
“So, he’s the one then? When are you going on a date?”
“I’m seeing him tomorrow. That’s why I wanted to tell someone. He’s so cool.”
This ad-libbing was proving a lot of fun.
Maxine put the iPad away and we spent the next twenty minutes talking about nothing in particular but everything but the man in the picture.
As we said our goodbyes outside the pub, reminded Maxine,
“Don’t forget to give me all the gory details of your date, now will you?”
“I won’t darling. Bye!”
I watched her head off into the darkness I tried to put the picture she’d showed me out of my mind. I knew I’d never seen him before so I felt a little relived but I was still concerned that things were coming to a head and I realised that I was well and truly out of my depth.
I picked up a copy of the Evening Standard from outside the tube station and intended to spend the whole of the journey to East Finchley with my head buried in it. There was fat chance of that as I’d just managed to squeeze onto the train that was waiting in the station.
As the door to the flat closed I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I was home at last.
I hung up my coat and kicked off my shoes and went in search of something to eat.
I walked into the kitchen and got the surprise of my life.
Then it went dark.
[to be continued]
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