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Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

by Catherine Linda Michel

 

Part 5

TUESDAY MORNING:

I awoke the next morning after a very sleepless night. My body had been tired enough to sleep but my mind just wouldn’t go into shut down mode. It kept going over and over different scenarios that would offer some explanation for all the weirdness that was going on. I mean you’ve got 5 guys who have nothing in common, really, wearing bodysuits that make them look like incredibly hot women. You have programming tapes that fill up their heads with all the knowledge required to act, move, and react like the women they appear to be. You even have the liquid that changes their voices so they sound like women. What in the hell could the reason behind this actually be?

I could hear Cary’s snores coming from behind his bedroom door so I must have fallen asleep at some point during the night or I would have remembered hearing him come in. Yeah, I had a lot of questions for him, too but I had to be careful. I didn’t want to give the fact that I had tumbled to whatever scheme was going on, to Cary. I had to play this very close to the vest, as card players say because I had a feeling that, WHATEVER was behind this elaborate scheme, it wouldn’t be real healthy for me or the other "girls" if it became known that we knew something was going on. I wondered, briefly, about letting the other "girls" know what I had figured out, thinking that they might not be able to keep a secret, that they might panic when confronted by the thought of some nefarious plot perpetrated by God only knew who.

With those thoughts running through my tired mind, I got up and did my morning ablutions. You know, shower, powder, makeup, all the things every guy umm.. Girl does every morning. Take a drink of the voice changer and put the bottle in my purse, just in case. Then I dressed in another of the provided uniforms, this one an Ivory top and a very short light brown skirt with the appropriate lacy under things. Then I brushed out my long red hair until it shone and did a little styling with a curling iron. When I was satisfied with how I looked, I went into the kitchen to fix something to eat.

I debated with myself as to whether I ought to wake Cary up and I decided to let him sleep. I wasn’t sure I could maintain a dumb act with him and I didn’t know how I should or could if I felt I should, bring up my suspicions and discuss my concerns with him. I had to know more about what might be going on and what Cary’s role in all of it, if any, was. So I fixed myself a quiet breakfast of fruit and juice. I sat there, eating and thinking, for about 20 minutes before I decided that I could probably think clearer away from the apartment so I finished up, took care of the dishes, put on my 3 inch work heels, grabbed my keys and my purse and went down to get into my car.

As I drove in to work that morning I tried to keep my mind on my driving. Although we had gotten our new I.D. papers yesterday, including a California drivers license with our new names on them, I wasn’t anxious to test them out if some over zealous public servant, namely a cop, decided that I wasn’t driving up to California standards. So I took it easy, staying with traffic but not making waves, if you know what I mean. I arrived at work about a half hour early and parked in the lot. I saw that Jeri’s and Carla’s cars were already there and, after I locked my car, I walked across the street for a quick cup of coffee before beginning work.

When I walked into the little diner across the street I saw Jeri and Carla sitting in a booth and I walked over and sat down with them. I ordered a cup of coffee when the waitress came over and after she left the three of us talked for a bit about what we would be doing that day and how it would be to actually deliver stuff looking and acting like lovely women. We talked a bit about what it would be like to get hit on by guys and how we might handle that, and just generally sounded like three working girls talking about their new jobs. I wondered about bringing up my suspicions but I decided to wait until all 5 of us could be together.

After about 15 minutes or so we finished our coffees and headed back across the street to go to work. We went in the main doors and went to the dispatchers office to get our keys and route sheets. We met Terri and Dana there and, for a few minutes, it sounded just like every other group of excited women I had ever heard. Little squeals of excitement and oohs and ahs over who got which route and what part of the city and everyone complimenting everyone else on how well their uniforms fit them and how pretty we all looked. We had all seen the Ads on billboards about AG DELIVERIES on the way to work. I thought, "wow, whoever is behind this, they sure do work fast!" I hadn’t seen any billboards on the way home yesterday. Then, the most curious thing happened. The very second I got my route assignment something went click in my head and instead of thinking about the "conspiracy", I found myself walking over to a mirror and, when I got there, I checked my makeup and jewelry! My thoughts were, all of a sudden, focused on how I looked and the streets I would have to drive and the offices I would be delivering to! I didn’t think anything about it at the time. It was only later, after I found out what this whole thing was all about, that I remembered what I am telling you now.

I remember walking out to my delivery van which was already loaded with all the things I would be delivering that day and, along with the other "girls" we all "mounted up and headed out" on our respective routes. I don’t remember the specifics of that first day at all. I vaguely remember making deliveries and flirting with men in the offices but it’s all vague and hazy in my mind, even now. The next thing I clearly remember, I was pulling my empty van into the parking lot at AG. My route book was filled out and showed every delivery I had made along with how much I had collected in fees and tips. It came to over 1500 dollars in fees and over 200 dollars in tips! I found myself walking back to the dispatcher’s office and when I got there, I turned over all the cash and checks I had gotten from the places I had delivered to. Then I turned over my tips and the dispatcher said, "Don’t worry about your tip money, Ginny, You’ll get it all back before you leave today. We just want to document it and count it so we have an idea of how much the customers appreciate the new service. Plus, this was an easy day since it’s the first on the routes for all you "new girls". As time goes on the workload will get heavier and the fees and tips should grow commensurately. Hell, girl, you could be bringing home over 3000 dollars a day by the end of the week and taking home 4-600 dollars in tips!

That sounded like one hell of a lot of money to me and I couldn’t imagine what we were delivering that would garner THAT much money! But, like I said earlier, I wasn’t thinking really clearly right then and it wasn’t until I was punching out at the time clock that my mind got totally clear again. Even then, I couldn’t recall details of my day and after I punched out, I went into the break room to get a cold drink and try to figure things out. I bought a cold soda from one of the machines there and sat down to quench my thirst and to think. Terri and Dana came in right about then and I could see that they had sorta puzzled looks on their faces as well. They each got something to drink and then sat down at the table with me.

We didn’t talk much but, rather just kinda sat there, each of us thinking our own private thoughts, I guess. After a few more minutes, Jeri and Carla came in and they too had those puzzled looks on their faces. We all sat there without talking for a few more minutes until Ms. Smith came in to the room. She was all smiles and really elated at seeing us all there and began to speak to us.

"Girls! What a wonderful first day you had! Do you realize that, together, you brought in almost 10 thousand dollars in fees and almost1200dollars in tips? And this was an EASY day. Just imagine how much you will be making by the end of this week alone, let alone the weeks to come!" She was almost hugging herself in excitement and we all just stared at her in amazement!

Then, and I DO remember this, although I apparently wasn’t supposed to, she said, "RUMBLESEAT!" In a very clear voice and, all of a sudden the details of the entire day came rushing into my mind. I could recall every delivery, every time I flirted with some guy and every moment of the day right up to, and including, what I had for lunch! I thought, "Now that’s really strange! How come I couldn’t remember all this just a little while ago?"

I pushed those thoughts back into the back of my mind for right then, though, because I didn’t want to arouse any suspicions. I could think about AFTER I got out of the building and was on my way home. I didn’t see any indications on any of the other "girls" faces and that led me to believe that, incredible as it might seem, some kind of hypnosis was at work here. Oh yeah! Real suspicious! After all that stuff on those tapes, I should have been aware of that a long time before now! Well, anyway, right after that, Ms. Smith handed each of us an envelope that she told us contained our tips for the day. I opened mine right then and counted it and it was correct, 255 dollars. The other "girls" counted theirs as well and they all verified that the amounts were correct.

We left and went to our cars, Jeri, Terri, Carla and Dana talking excitedly about how much they had made in just one day. I was very quiet and Dana asked me what was wrong. I said something about just being a little tired and I was sure I would be fine the next morning. We parted company in the parking lot and got into our cars for the trip home saying all the things women say when they part after a day at work and doing those little finger wiggle waves at each other. I sat down in my car and just sat there for a moment trying to think all this out. There was no longer any doubt in my mind that something was "rotten in the state of Denmark" as my Dad used to say, meaning that there was something VERY wrong with this whole set up. I had to find the answer and something was telling me I had to find it quick! I was beginning to think that if I got into this thing TOO deeply, I might never get out!

I stopped at a little bar on the way home. I couldn’t think clearly while driving and I HAD to try and get some things straight in my mind. It ought to tell you what frame of mind I was because I completely forgot about how I looked right now! I walked into that place and it seemed like time just stopped for a couple of seconds. Every male head in that bar turned towards the door when I entered and I could actually feel the weight of every eye on me. If I had ben a "real" woman at that point in time, I probably could have smelled the testosterone beginning to permeate the air in there! I started to turn around and leave but I really needed a drink and I thought, "Well, ok. This bar is full of guys and they are all looking at me like a starving man looks at a cut of rare prime rib but I can handle this. After all, I AM a guy, no matter how I look and act. There’s no way I can get in any trouble if I just get a drink and sit by myself and think for a few minutes."

Ever hear that phrase that was popular at the time, YEAH RIGHT? Oh, brother was I ever wrong! Inside of 2 minutes of my entering that bar I had 5 guys practically hanging off my neck, all wanting to "buy me a drink" or saying things like, "you look lonesome, baby, hows about you and me getting to know each other better?" and even, (eeeeeew) "what’s your sign?" Well, I finished my first drink but before I could even put the glass down on the table I had sat down at, 4 or 5 more drinks were almost pushed into my face by 4 or 5 different guys. One guy even had a cigarette lighter out and lit as if he were giving me a light and I didn’t even have a cigarette!

Just then, I heard a voice over the din of conversation and it said, "Hey guys! Why don’t you leave the little lady alone! The way you are all crowding around her she probably can’t even breathe! It was a deep and pleasant voice but I could hear the all too apparent sound of command in it. It sounded like a voice that would belong to a politician. The guys crowding around me kind of straightened up and I could hear an intake of breath from more than one of them as they turned to look over their shoulders at this intruder on THEIR hunting grounds. When the guys parte a little ways I could see the individual who had spoken. He was sitting at the bar and I wondered why I hadn’t seen him when I first came in. He was tall, though I couldn’t tell just how tall since he was seated. He had dark brown hair and was very rugged looking but not ugly. You know the kind of guy I mean. Sort of like Stacey Keach in that Mike Hammer TV show a few years back.

For a minute it was very quiet in the bar and then one of the guys around me said, "Hey pal, why don’t you mind your own damned business. This "lady", and I could almost hear the quotes, "came in here looking for a little fun and we intend to oblige her, don’t we guys?" I could hear a murder of assent from the other men around me and I figured I’d better think quick or there is gonna be trouble here. Working out the odds I thought that one to one would be better than 4 or 5 to one and I stood up and waved gaily at the guy at the bar, calling out to him, "Well hello, darling. I was wondering when you would get here!" All these nice gentlemen were keeping me from getting lonely! Wasn’t that nice of them?" I got up quickly and headed for the bar, swinging my hips for all I was worth. I remember thinking, "Okay, if I can make it to the bar without one of these guys stopping me, then I can run out the door and be in my car before any of these guys can make it to the door."

Well, I made it to the bar okay but something made me stop and greet the fella at the bar like he was a long lost friend or, gulp, lover! I put it down to self preservation just then but later I realized that somehow I had to have known that this guy was someone who would be able to help me out of more than just THIS situation. I bent down and kissed him lightly on the cheek and whispered, "Please help me get out of here" He looked in my eyes and he must have seen the desperation in them because he reached out with both arms and hugged me saying in a loud enough voice to be heard all over the bar, "You got yourself in too deep again, didn’t you, honey?" He looked at those men again and said, "Fellas, this is my girl friend Nancy. We were supposed to meet here at this time but she just can’t resist flirting a little bit with every guy she sees. I love her madly but sometimes she gets in over her head. She didn’t mean anything fellas and just to show you that my heart is in the right place, I am gonna buy a round for the house!"

He turned to the bartender and told him to set ‘em up and tossed a 50 dollar bill on the bar. In that loud voice again, he said, "use that until it’s gone!" Then he stood up, put his arm around my waist and pulled me in close to him and (YIKES!) KISSED me! I mean KISSED! Not your "glad to see ya sweetie where we goin’ to supper at" kind of kiss but a full on the lips, mouth parted man to woman KISS! I started to struggle but then I realized that if I did, it might ruin the illusion that we were boy and girl friends so I just closed my eyes and went with it. I guess it must have been the programming on those tapes that kicked in but, after a second or so, I began to RESPOND to that kiss! My mouth opened all by itself and I felt his tongue gently begin to search around in my mouth. I began to get a little short of breath and I pushed gently at his chest. He broke the contact between our lips and looked deeply into my eyes and I could see a question there. I whispered, "Please just help me get out of here before I get gang raped by those neanderthals over there. I have my car right outside and I can get away before they can figure out what happened. I’ll give you back your 50 bucks but I gotta get out of here!"

He winked at me and seemed to understand because he stood up and said, "Okay, Nancy. I forgive you, again, but one of these days I am gonna leave you in whatever mess you get yourself into!" He Grabbed my hand and led me out of that bar. The second we were outside, I breathed a sigh of relief and reached in my purse for my car keys. My fingers also located the envelope with my tips in it and I fished it out, opened it up and pulled out 50 dollars. I looked up at him. Now that he was standing up I could see that he WAS tall! About 6’3" and he looked to weigh in at about a solid 230 lbs, and I do mean solid! He took the 50 dollars but kept hold of my hand and said’ "OK doll, what was that all about?" and he jerked his head in the direction of the bar. You know, you are gonna get yourself in a lot of trouble jerking guys around like you did in there. Maybe the next time there won’t be somebody like me to "rescue" you!"

I desperately wanted away from there and I was half afraid he would kiss me again and half afraid he wouldn’t! Somewhere in the back of my mind, though I could hear JIM yelling at me and I realized that it had to be the programming that was making me act like this! Ginny had been in charge for the past several minutes and Jim wanted back at the reins of this runaway stagecoach! I made an effort to push the Ginny part of me into the background and I was partly successful. All of a sudden I felt revolted that this MAN had kissed me and I had enjoyed it!

My face must have betrayed my revulsion because he suddenly got angry and said, " Hey! I’m not that bad, am I? I mean, you seemed to enjoy my kiss back in there and I thought, well, you know, that we might have made some kind of ‘connection’ of something!" He looked really disappointed and I thought quickly and said, "No it isn’t that you’re bad looking or anything like that! I just realized what could have happened to me in there and it made me a little queasy is all. Really, thank you for rescuing me from that pack of hyenas in there. If you hadn’t come along I don’t know how I would have EVER gotten out of there! I laid it on pretty thick, playing the part of the helpless female. He smiled at me then and I could see that it had worked, at least partly. He looked around and then he said, "Listen, my name is Joe Parsons. My friends call me Joey. My enemies call me sir if they call me at all." He smiled at that and laughed a short little laugh. "Just kidding honey, trying to break through the tension here. My name really IS Joe Parsons though. I’m a private investigator and a pretty good one if I do say so myself. I just finished a case today and I had stopped here for a drink on my way back to my office to write up my report and a bill for my client. What do you say we get out of here before that bunch of velociraptors comes out here looking for you?" I didn’t really want to go anywhere with this guy but then I thought, If he’s really a private investigator and he is as good as he thinks he is, maybe he can help me with this thing I have gotten myself into with AG DELIVERIES, so I said, "Okay, Joe, my name is Ginny. How about you lead the way to your office and I’ll follow you in my car. That way I don’t have to come back here to get it and risk running into any of that bunch inside, again. Sound okay to you?"

He showed me that smile again and said "Okay, Ginny, That sounds good to me." Joe walked to his car, a rather nondescript looking 3 year old Chevy and I went to my car. He waited until I was ready before he pulled out of his parking spot and I followed him for several blocks, thinking all the while, "This is a stroke of real luck. If I can convince this guy that my story is real and get him to help me, I just might get out of this with a whole skin. Two of ‘em in fact, if I can hang on to this bodysuit after it’s all over. The only thing is can I get him to help me even if he DOES believe me?"

 

TUESDAY EVENING:

I followed Joe into an underground parking garage with an attendant at the entrance. Joe stopped and talked to the attendant for a minute and then pointed back at me in my car. The guy smiled and waved at me and I followed Joe into the garage. When we parked side by side in a couple of spaces and I got out of the car, Joe got out of his car and came over to me. He took my hand and led me towards a corner of the garage where, I saw, there was an elevator. He was making small talk all the way over to the elevator. Nothing of any moment or meaning, just the kind of things a guy says to a girl he’s just met and he wants to put her at her ease.

We got in the elevator and rode it up into the 12 story building to the top floor where there was one of those pull up doors like in Highlander, the TV show. He pulled the door up and I could see a large wide open apartment. He reached over to the wall just inside the door and flipped a light switch and a soft white glow lit up the place. I looked around and saw that it was well but sparsely furnished. A large fireplace dominated one wall of the place where there was a sunken living room area. There were no walls, per se, only dividers here and there to break up the wide expanse of floor space.

I looked at Joe and saw that he had been watching me, gauging my response to his home. It was an impressive place and I also saw a full sized pool table in one area. There was a wide spiral staircase leading up to what I assumed to be the bedroom which hung out over the living room area. A nice STEREO/TV/VCR/DVD complex was located on one side of the living room and there was a huge, open kitchen space with one of those big restaurant type refrigerators and a bunch of pots and pans hung over a food preparation area. All in all, a very nice, masculine home. Over by the elevator there was something covered up by a tarp. I asked Joe about it and he got a big smile on his face.

He walked over to it and said, "This is my pride and joy. I have worked on this thing for two years getting it rebuilt and modified just the way I wanted it." He pulled the tarp away with a flourish and there, under the tarp, was an absolutely gorgeous, mint condition looking Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle! It sat there gleaming with reflected light, looking like some predatory beast ready to pounce on some unwary prey. It took my breath away just looking at it and Joe, noticing that, said, "Well, now! This IS a treat! A woman who appreciates a work of art when she sees one. Most gals, when I show this to them, just look at it and say something like, "Oh, that’s nice" and immediately dismiss it as something they don’t wanna know about. I’m pleased that you know what it is and that you seem to like it." Now, I was not a motorcycle fanatic or anything like that but I recognized a legendary Bike when I saw one and told Joe that.

"My God, Joe, who wouldn’t like something like that? It is absolutely beautiful and it shows the loving care you must have put into it. Why there’s not a spot of rust or dirt anywhere on it and even a girl like me can see that you have done some major modifications on it." His face seemed to light up as I said that and I could tell that Joe had a real soft spot for this great, vintage motorcycle. He gently maneuvered the tarp back into place over that lovely bike and took my hand and led me into the kitchen area where he opened a cupboard and brought out two wine glasses. Then he located a bottle of wine and poured us both a glass.

I looked at Joe over the rim of the glass and said, "Umm...Joe? I thought we were going back to your office? Why are we at your apartment?" "Well, Ginny," he replied, " My home IS my office! See, I think that an office is such an impersonal place to talk to anyone and I like to have my clients come here so they can be comfortable and relaxed. I have found that clients are much more at ease and I get more useful information from them and I think it’s one of the big reasons I have been successful. More wine, Ginny?" When he asked me that, I glanced at my glass and saw that it was empty! I didn’t even remember drinking it! I immediately went on my guard. Knowing the effect that the bodysuit and the programming had had on me, I knew that it wouldn’t take much for Ginny to take back over completely and then I would be in some serious trouble. Even though I knew that the bodysuit would allow me to actually have sex with a man, there was absolutely no way i wanted to ever do that. Considering all the programming that was on those tapes though, I would be willing to bet that it wouldn’t take much for me so slip and, also knowing the effect that Joe’s kiss had on me, well it was just as well for what might be left of my poor abused male ego to be on alert. Joe poured me another glass of wine and then he showed me to the living room. There were two very large and comfy looking couches there along with a couple of well worn and comfortable looking easy chairs. I sat in one of the chairs and I noticed a brief look of disappointment on Joe’s face. I knew he would have liked me to choose one of the couches so he could sit beside me. I couldn’t allow that though.. I couldn’t lie to Joe, either although it was gonna be tough telling him my story since he had kissed me. I knew that he was looking for more than just a kiss but he wasn’t going to get it.

We made small talk for more than an hour while I sipped that second glass of wine. I figured to drive home soon and I didn’t want to be even mildly under the influence of alcohol when I did. He told me quite a bit about himself and his business. It turned out that he WAS quite successful as a Private Investigator having handles and solved some of the toughest cases L.A. had seen including a kidnaping involving a very rich family’s daughter. He had not only gotten her back alive and well, but had also killed two of the kidnappers with his bare hands! The family had been very grateful and had not only paid his fee, but had also bought the Vincent for him and paid for all the parts and other things he had done to it. In addition, Joe’s apartment building had been owned by the family and they had signed it over to Joe so he not only lived there now, rent free, but had the additional income from the other apartments. I looked at my watch and, as if just noticing the time I exclaimed, "Oh my God, look at the time! I am gonna be late and my roommate will have a fit! Joe, I am so sorry but I have to leave. This has been interesting and I would like to know more about you, maybe we could have dinner sometime soon?" He seemed a bit taken aback by my forwardness but then he smiled at me and said, "You bet, Ginny, I’d like that a lot.

Are you busy tomorrow night?" Well, I thought about it for a minute and then I said, "No,Joe. I’m not busy at all. Why don’t we meet at a restaurant of your choice and we can have a nice dinner and talk?" Well, Joe thought that would be just great and we settled on the restaurant and then he walked me down to my car. He handed me a plastic card with his name and apartment number on it and said, "This card will allow you to leave the parking garage. Just show it to the guard at the exit and he will let you pass. Hang on to it so if you want to, you can come back here anytime even if I am not here." He also gave me one of his business cards with his home and cellular phone numbers on it, saying, "If you ever need to be rescued again, just call one of those two numbers and I’ll be there before you can hang up the phone." He smiled at me again and I felt kind of flustered at having a man pay so much attention to me but once again the programming came to the fore and almost forced me to smile back and blush a little bit.

"So you are going to be my knight in shining armor?"

I asked, jokingly. He replied,

"Sir Joe, at your service, milady. Dragons slain at no charge other than a kiss from your sweet lips." and he gave me that damned grin again. He was a damned attractive man and I could feel my resolve weakening as the programming tried to make me react as a real woman might have. I knew, though that if I was ever going to get his help with the mess I was in, I would have to be truthful with him and kissing him again would just make any explanation just that much more difficult. Hell it was gonna be hard enough just telling him that I was really a man wearing an advanced type of bodysuit!

He helped me into my car looking a bit disappointed that he didn’t get another kiss but he smiled at me anyway and watched as I started the car and backed out of the parking space. I waved at him and then headed out of the garage. When I reached the exit, the guard came out and stopped me but I showed him that plastic card that Joe had given to me and the guard smiled and waved me on out. All the way home I was trying to think of ways to present this impossibly weird tale to Joe in such a manner that he would not only believe me but would also want to help me out of it. The only way i could think of that would leave no doubt in Joe’s mind about the veracity of my story was that I would have to partially remove part of the bodysuit. That would not only remove any doubts he might have about my plight but also convince him that I was not a real woman. It would be risky, yes but I didn’t see any other options left open to me. The haziness of my mind all this day had convinced me that whoever was behind this craziness was definately not on the up and up and I was definitely in some danger! When I finally got home, Cary’s car was gone again and I had to wonder where he had been last night and now tonight. Sure Cary was a single guy, not unattractive and supposedly well off to boot, so he could be out raising hell with one beach bunny or another but, I wondered nonetheless. Especially with what I now thought I knew about AG DELIVERIES and Cary’s possible involvement with that business. It was almost 9:30 PM and my voice was back to normal so I decided to cook rather than order out. An hour later, I was done eating and getting ready for bed.

My mind was still going about a hundred miles an hour bit I knew I had to get some real sleep that night so I poked around in the medicine cabinets and found some over the counter sleeping tablets. Following the instructions I took two of them and closed and locked my bedroom door. Then I laid down in my bed and after a bit of tossing and turning, finally fell into a deep sleep.///////////////////////////////

Still more to come!!!

 

 


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