Transfemation by John Baldwin
Transfemation by John Baldwin
“What if we could just become someone else? The same me, but with a drastically different persona?” Shawna asked this, not really expecting an answer from Terrence. They were very candid with one another. Had been since grammar school. Proximity helped…they lived just houses away, their parents were friends. But they were unalike in so many ways. She was in graduate school at UCAL. He had all but technically graduated there. Having missed playing for a year due to injuries, he was redshirting as a star linebacker on the team for one final year. A good-looking genuinely nice guy, he was popular with guys and girls alike. What he wasn’t…was a good student, and not for lack of trying. Diagnosed dyslexia complicated his efforts. He was self-conscious concerning his studies or any inferred lack of intellect. Shawna knew his vulnerability well. She had encouraged him in high school to believe that if he could wangle a sports scholarship to a good university, he’d be able to handle the scholastic side well enough. And with her help, he had done so.
If Shawna Downing wasn’t the opposite of Terrence, making allowance for their different sexes, it was almost true. She was the super student who looked the part. Blond and petite, she was, in the way girls might describe a friend, as ‘attractive enough’. She was not a girly-girl in any respect. Not exactly a geek. With drab clothes, librarian hair non-style and unfashionable glasses, she probably would have been classified as an ‘other’ or a ‘loner’ – someone who hadn’t fit into any of the sorority or social cliques. Her mother was partly responsible. She was a no-nonsense research chemist, providing no model of femininity. Make-up, fashionable clothes, ordinary girl mannerisms, were of no consequence to her. For both herself and her daughter the singular objective was to achieve success in a chosen professional field. Shawna’s dad had died unexpectedly from heart disease in her early teen years. The fourteenth year to be exact. The subsequent absence of her father undoubtedly had a major influence on Shawna’s behavior, though difficult to measure.
A comparably jolting experience at the time of her dad’s death devastated Shawna. It was on the day following the funeral that his younger brother Brewster Downing marked the event. He had been an occasional visitor to their home over the years, sometimes making awkward efforts to be affectionate with her. Unlike her very reserved father, his brother was a show-off, (a ‘show-boat’ mother said.) Good looking, well dressed, and a smooth talker…that’s what Shawna saw. He was always alone, which seemed odd, given his gregarious personality. It was said that he’d gotten very rich on shady multi-level marketing and stock investments. He seemed friendly, if overly so, and overbearing.
Shawna was surprised when, on that gloomy next day following the funeral, when all others were gathered downstairs, he had unexpectedly entered her room above. Then closed the door. Offering soothing words and compliments he attempted to embrace her – first tenderly, then aggressively She resisted but was overpowered. He proceeded to paw, undress and rape her. It happened so fast, but the horrible moments were seared into Shawna’s memory.
“Don’t tell anyone about this, my Dear, they won’t believe you.”
He left her room whistling and not looking back. She did not, could not, tell anyone. She concentrated on trying to bury the crime afterwards with a misguided female guilt. Any inclination she might have had since then of looking pretty or attracting male attention was anathema to her. Shawna’s mother considered such a stunted personal life to be quite normal and consistent with their goals. She could not have been prouder of her straight A and academically awarded daughter. She saw Shawna on the path to advanced degrees and a commendable career.
Years passed. Shawna had proceeded through high school and most of college as a top student, but otherwise uneventfully. The few girlfriends she had were not the tell-your-secrets-to kind. Relations with guy friends were not of the flirty and kissing kind. She did not appear to be unhappy, but deep within there was a dark place where certain painful memories were stored and festered.
One positive consequence of Shawna’s limited social life was the developed relationship with her mother. They usually dined together and sometimes on weekends would go on outings of interest. One night they decided to see a classic older movie that fascinated her mom as a girl: Double Indemnity. Famous actress Barbara Stanwyck was the sultry, sexy woman who manipulated an admirer into killing her husband. It was a complicated plot, with the villainous wife killed at the end. Her role was later described as the ultimate depiction of a femme fatale. The portrayal of her seductive wiles overcoming all resistance made a deep and lasting impression on Shawna and it also became lodged in that dark place.
But enough troubled reminders of the past. A return to the now. One of the pleasant constants in Shawna’s life had been the times spent with her pal Terrence. They were today sharing sandwiches on this sunny day at the nearby park. They welcomed these times together as old friends do. This was not any kind of romantic relationship. They felt almost like siblings, though without the constant exposure that even further discourages brother/sister physical interest.
Responding to her opening bombshell remark, Terrence inquired quizzically, “You really want to become someone else?”
Shawna deferred. “I’ll explain later. First though, I’m dying to hear what the coach told you about prospects of being drafted by the pros.”
“He said I just need to finish off my final classes and graduate. I can manage this even without your extra assistance. Then my chances look good.” He was talking with several NFL coaches that had expressed an interest. “Shawna, my wonderful mentor and friend, I couldn’t have been in this position without you.” Impulsively, he gave her an affectionate hug. He was suddenly conscious of his 6’4”, 240-pound bulk beside her diminutive frame. “Guess you don’t need my counselling on that theoretical physics class you’re taking.”
She laughed. “Will let you know if I become stumped. There is something, though, I do need your help with. I couldn’t turn to anyone else because it’s so sensitive. Quite embarrassing to tell it straight.”
“Just try me, do. Is there some guy making unwelcome advances? Just tell me and I’ll pulverize him.”
“I’ve no doubt you would be my gallant protector, but that is not a problem. We’ve always avoided talking about it, but I have avoided becoming close with any guys. I am prepared now to reverse this mindset dramatically. Big problem though. It makes me face the harsh reality that I am not very appealing to the opposite sex anyway…or probably to either sex for that matter. Just really look at me Terrence.”
So, Terrence did take a long hard look at this girl he so admired. Long affectionate familiarity had clouded a clear unbiased vision of her features. Isn’t it often so? He saw her now as she was. As she would appear to a stranger. A pleasant, slim, girl-next-door early twenties’ blonde with no girlish affectations whatsoever. Her appearance, though he felt guilty even thinking this, was plain and unremarkable. “You’re a cool desirable chick”, he expressed awkwardly, in an effort to make a proper compliment.
She feigned shock and said with Scarlett O’Hara exaggerated modesty: “I declare Sir, you’ve quite overwhelmed me with that compliment. Seriously, though, I know what everyone sees here (with a sweeping hand gesture from head to toe.) A very ordinary…and only if they get to know me…smart female. My personality doesn’t attract people either…especially guys.”
“Shawna, you’re being too hard on yourself.”
“No, just facing the facts. And now we’re back to where we started. I want to become someone else and need your help.”
“You want to somehow change the way you look? Is that it?”
“That would be just one part of my intended metamorphosis.”
“Caterpillar to butterfly?”
“You could put it that way.”
“Why though, at this particular time? Did you have a sudden change of heart regarding guys?”
“No, I’ve always felt attractions to boys, men, whatever. I just did not want their attentions or involvement in my life. Now, I have attained the necessary age and experience to proceed as so long planned. Namely, to be as attractive and appealing a woman as possible.”
“I don’t understand. This is part of some capital P- Plan?”
“It’s something very deep for me, Terrence. Someday I’ll disclose this to you. Let me make clear though, I don’t want to just become as pretty and feminine as possible. I want to emulate a particular kind of female. One who instantly attracts admiring attention from males and jealous looks from those of my sex. One who continues to be alluring and maintains an air of mystery even after extended acquaintance. One who might dump eager suitors on a whim. You might be familiar with this kind of female from a certain category of classic movies we’ve enjoyed together. Film noir, that is.”
“Yeah, those were a kick. From the 40s, 50s, maybe? Crime films featuring cynical evil characters in a sleazy setting. All kind of shadowy and disturbing. Humphrey Bogart in the Maltese Falcon. Orson Wells in The Third Man. Few people our age would know these flicks.”
“Bingo. That’s what I’m talking about. But within that genre there was a memorable sub-genre: A particular kind of woman – sexy, confident, sensual, dangerous. This seductress was known as the femme fatale! That, exactly that character, is who I want to become. The one who ultimately destroys her male target. I have held the idea of this character in my mind for a long time.”
“O.K. I can see that you’re deadly serious about this. But me? I could not be more ignorant of how to go about this. A lady friend would seem the obvious choice for such a Fairy Godmother. I suppose turning to your mother is out.”
“Mom would be aghast at the change. My few female friends are not that close and for that matter are kind of nerdy for the kind of input needed. Anyway, as a regular guy you should have some insight into the wiles and ways of girls to attract and keep your attention.”
“I never thought about it. I’ve been more of a boobs and butts kind of guy in choosing who to hook up with.”
“I recognize the triggers to your kinds’ lizard brains. I’m intent upon creating a more penetrating kind of attraction. I’ve studied femme fatales of the past. I believe that we can together identify some common looks, styles, mannerisms…Oh I don’t know what all…of these film noir actresses. I believe we could develop a composite ideal that I could meld into. I’ll collect video clips and photos of the more famous of these wicked women for our session next week. My transformation will then begin. I’ll be so grateful to you, my special lug.”
The following week they met at Shawna’s apartment. She had assembled an assortment of DVD films and photos. Terrence looked uncomfortable and pained.
“My dear Terrence. I probably frightened you off with my request last week. Yes, I do want to project a femme fatale persona. However, I fully recognize that these are just actresses playing their roles. Rita Hayworth, the beautiful star of the classic film noir Gilda said: ‘Every man I knew went to bed with Gilda and woke up with me!’ The fact is that lots of women in their ordinary lives adopt some of these manipulative behaviors. To the extent that my face, body, and personality can adapt and conform to the model, I want to do so. Of course, the change must also be suitable to my circumstances – just a grad student – not a swooning silent film star. My objective is ambitious, for sure, but I am highly motivated.”
“O.K. I almost understand. Where do we start?”
“Let’s look at some of the more memorable portrayals by actresses.”
They proceeded to view parts of these films, including Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity who had been the inspiration for Shawna’s plan. Then there was Lana Turner in The Postman always rings twice, Veronica Lake in The Blue Dahlia, others. All posing in their particular ways to manipulate and seduce overwhelmed male counterparts.
She asked: “Different faces, figures, hair styles, clothes, and movie plots. What do you think they have in common?”
“Well, they are all quite mysterious and definitely sexy.”
“And I am neither of those things as of now. That will be quite a leap.”
“I’d have to agree. You are someone who speaks her mind. Your conversations are mostly fueled by facts, candor and honesty. That would seem just the opposite of being mysterious…a woman with unexpressed secrets. Someone who is teasing, taunting and elusive.”
“I can pretend to do that…I think. Why shouldn’t I be able to use my intelligence to alter my normal behavior – to engage in banter intended to stimulate, raise curiosity, and entice? Though I must say, turning on the sexy lamp, would be a greater stretch. It’s been turned off all this time.”
“Now, that’s something I know about. As friends forever, it’s hard for me to assess you as I probably would some stranger. But I’ll try to summon my instinctive guy observations. I wouldn’t know exactly what steps to take, but you have a face and figure that could be presented to get immediate male attention. Guaranteed. If that was done, the predictable admiring looks from guys would provide some instant self-confidence.”
“Wow, nice to hear, my friend. That’s most encouraging. Any other broad observations about our fatale models?”
“It does seem like they are all strong and assertive, but without diminishing their feminine charms. They seem to be in charge of the guys they are manipulating, though the poor bastards don’t realize this until it is too late. You are smarter for sure than almost anyone you might be with, but I’m guessing, you wouldn’t want this control to be apparent.”
“Those are essential insights into how to act”, acknowledged Shawna, “but I need to know how to turn myself out to physically inhabit that persona.”
“For sure, but those are subjects for someone other than this well-meaning jock. Since female help is ruled out, who does that leave able to counsel you on…you know…the girl ways that are an eternal mystery to my sex?”
“That does sound like a roadblock. But I’ve thought of one person perfect for the job…Peter Saxon. The two of us were both out with the in crowd as undergraduates, so found ourselves together at times. He’s presently working on his Masters’ Degree in Theater Arts. We’ve continued to be friends.”
“Peter? Isn’t that the gay guy?”
“Yeah. That’s him all right. Surely in this day and age that doesn’t put you off.”
“Well, no, me and my football chums are not homophobic, but let me say this carefully…he would not be our role model.”
“Still, with the three of us collaborating on my reinvention, these different perspectives would be important. Could you join in this joint effort? Please.”
“For you Shawna. Only for you.”
The following week found Shawna and Peter together in her apartment reviewing the films and pictures. Terrence arrived and he shook hands awkwardly with Peter, who was just slightly larger in stature than Shawna. His flashy style was a dramatic contrast with Terrence’s jeans and sweatshirt.
“In case you two haven’t come across each other on campus. Terrence meet Peter. Peter…Terrence.”
“Sure, everyone knows who you are, Terrence. You were key to UCAL winning the Regional Championship last year.”
“Well, that’s nice of you to say. Do you follow our games?”
“I do. Count me as a fan with strong opinions. Such as believing you still could be better used as the strong side linebacker. The position lends itself to your strength and ability to shed blockers. But what do I know?”
“Peter, could I borrow you to argue this very case to the Coach?”
“At your service, Terrence. I’m even more impressed that you’ve been helping Shawna with this ambitious dream of hers. Forgive me for being surprised that she chose you for counseling on how to become a dramatically different girl.”
“As I’m surprised that you’re a football fan. Another case of appearances being deceiving, I guess.”
“Well”, interjected Shawna, “you two are definitely not stereotypes, if that’s what you’re talking about. However, I’m asking you to help me to do just that: to be shaped into the stereotypical mold of a femme fatale.”
Peter inquired. “If I understand the situation, you, my dear Shawna are intent on launching some kind of secret plan. It is to begin with your one hundred eighty-degree conversion into a lethal charmer. Do I have that right?”
“That couldn’t be more on target.”
“O.K., then”, continued Peter, “it sounds like you and Terrence have pinned down the essential qualities and mannerisms required for the job. Now we just need to work on the physical changes and enhancements to match. Shawna am I correct to assume that you never made an effort before to maximize your girly appearance…much less toward being a temptress.”
“That is conspicuously true. Just look at me.”
“I see what you can be. This will be fun. The situation has an odd similarity to ‘Pygmalion’, the play by George Bernard Shaw, most of us know as the musical ‘My Fair Lady’. Remember, Eliza Doolittle was the unschooled Cockney girl, who Professor Henry Higgens taught to speak properly and act in a dignified way. Terrence, you and I will be the Professors in this drama.”
“O.K. Professors”, responded Shawna, “take this female clay, and shape me as needed to become the woman I desire to be.”
Peter took the reins. “We’ll start with the body from the top of your head to the polish on your toenails.”
“Polish on my toenails, does that really matter?”
“Oh Eliza, we have serious work to do. First, an opinion from Terrence. What color hair would you think best for the femme we’re creating?”
“I picture brunette as the more seductive color for this woman of mystery. Besides, she wants radical change, so saying goodbye to blonde locks would seem to fit the bill.”
“I absolutely agree. If it’s O.K. with you, I’ll set her up right away with the best hair colorist and stylist. Might as well toss in a facial at the same time. Do you want to come? At a later date there will be a clothes-try on session at some fashionable stores to replace these…uggh…sad Cinderella garments. Sorry Shawna.”
Terrence responded, “Yeah, Peter, sign me on for just the clothes modelling session. I think my straight male tastes might have some value there.”
“Fine. There are some exercises we can engage her in today, though, even before she’s all decked out. So, let’s get going. Eliza, I mean Shawna, imagine you’re walking into a room and two men unknown to you are present. Terrence and I will play these roles. Let’s see you make that walk from over there by the door”, he gestured, “come in and meet these guys for an introduction.”
Shawna does this. She walks in looking hesitant, walks up to each man for a handshake. Then sits.
“Wrong”, scolded Peter, “in every possible way. Allow me to show you how this should be done. Shawna, you should begin by posing at the door, so the men see you, like this”, he showed the way. “You look confident, with a slight smile that hints of your secret thoughts.” Again, he demonstrated. “Then walk toward them exuding your girlish sexiness, which incorporates this magical slight hip movement. Look intensely into the men’s eyes as they introduce themselves. Settle into a chair in a charming female way,” he positioned himself on a chair, “like this. Will you give it a try like an actress’s audition?”
Shawna proceeded to mimic this. Both guys nod their approval.
“Any suggestions, Terrence?”
“I’m thinking of how sultry these actresses sound when talking to guys. Shawna could you try using a voice calculated to appeal? It would be a little husky and seductive, but not too overboard.”
Shawna was willing to try. “How about this, as I first address you two strangers in the room…ahem…” She lowered the register of her voice “Well, hello gentlemen, what a nice surprise to have you both waiting for me. Hope you won’t be disappointed.”
The session continued in this way, with Shawna enthusiastically embracing each new suggestion for becoming this new person. As they concluded, Peter summed up the situation.
“Shawna, you’ve shown us already what a natural actress you are. When we next meet, you’re going to look like this different person. The full girl treatment for hair, face, nails. Clothes to match. Soon we’ll be saying goodbye to the Shawna we knew.”
Weeks passed with regular coaching.
At the official transformation, the three friends met to celebrate the successful reincarnation with a bottle of champagne. As a sensuous looking brunette, Shawna looked amazing – bearing little resemblance to her former self.
However, she reassured them, “Guys, I am delighted with this new me that you created. I love my new looks and play-acting persona. I feel a new confidence and power. When with you or with others who are important to me, be assured that I’ll still be the old Shawna. The femme fatale Shawna is just a role that I’ve learned how to fill. I can turn this on at will and use it, from partial intensity to full strength, when it serves me. You have given me this new substitute life. My plan can now proceed. Both sides of this Shawna love and cherish you. A toast to you guys.”
They clinked champagne glasses. Shawna, Terrence and Peter embraced in the most genuine of group hugs.
Later, Shawna took a stab in the dark.
Personal Section of the Dark Web, Item 342: “Seeking a lucrative position as companion and facilitator for a supporter/artist/philanthropist devoted to the well-being of young girls. Elegant, sophisticated, uniquely experienced young woman shares that interest. Utmost discretion essential. M. Chantis.
More weeks passed. The three friends still got together now and then, though busily engaged in their separate lives. Peter had an acting gig in a stage show of one of the better theaters in town. Terrence temporarily served as an Assistant Football Coach at UCAL and optimistically expecting NFL offers. Meanwhile, much had happened with Shawna!
Her mother had been shocked…shocked…upon confronting her reconfigured feminine brunette daughter. It was only after Shawna assured that this would not deter her ultimate academic career, that her mom relaxed.
“Shawna, my God, I couldn’t have imagined how beautiful you could be.”
There could be no greater compliment. Of course, her mother was seeing just the change in appearance. The femme fatale persona to match her looks would continue to be presented by Shawna very selectively – only when in the company of men who comprised her objective.
Her mom gushed, “Your grandparents, and my brother’s family will be astonished to see you now too. Oh, and your uncle Brewster as well, I suppose, though he hasn’t stayed in touch since your father died.”
“Ah yes, uncle Brewster. Do you happen to know what he’s up to?”
“You’ll recall that he’s rich and doesn’t have to work. I’ve heard that he has a lavish getaway residence in the Caribbean. There have been dark rumors in the tabloids of his scandalous activities. However, I believe he’s now very active with some charity involved in finding, sheltering and counselling young girls who have run away from home. I believe it’s called HomeAway Retreat. I’d never have guessed that he’d have the kind heart and compassion this activity would surely require.”
“Yes, who’d have guessed.”
Personal Section of the Dark Web, Item 342, replies. “To M. Chantis. Forgive much delayed response. Wealthy multi-national businessman and connoisseur with just such charitable and refined tastes could have interest in your services. Propose we make further contact via private emails.”
Shawna hadn’t been prepared for the kinds of reactions people showed to her new looks. She took a secret pleasure in observing how students who had known her before, would do neck-twisting doubletakes as they passed. She was living the ugly duckling fairy tale. Good looking guys gave her the attention that any other girl would be flattered to receive. But there was no enticement. She would engage with only the carefully selected male partners that fit into her plan.
The three friends arranged another encounter. This time at a coffee shop. The studly Terrence, artsy Peter, and now stunning Shawna were an interesting sight, but did not seem such an odd match as before. One might guess they were somehow involved in the entertainment business, but that wasn’t so. They were in fact discussing relationship set-ups that had been arranged with each other’s friends.
Terrence had become interested in the plays in which Peter had roles. He had first done so as a courtesy but developed a real interest in watching live theatre. After another of Peter’s performances they were to meet for a glass of wine. Accompanying Peter was the young actress who had been in the show.
“Thought you wouldn’t mind, Terrence, I’d told Lacey about you and she was intrigued.” said Peter.
Lacey took the initiative, “You’re a locally celebrated football player with a newfound taste for the theater? That sounds like a movie plot.”
“It is Peter’s fault. He lured me in.” acknowledged Terrence.
“Well, he informed me that you’re straight, so it wasn’t his sex appeal that influenced you.”
“No, it was exposing me to this special form of make believe that captured my limited imagination. And may I say that the unpleasant character you played seemed completely real…you were pretending, weren’t you?”
“Guess you’d have to find out for yourself.”
“I’d like to do that and see what other roles you play.”
Peter interjected, “Hey, you two slow down. I just wanted you to meet…not instantly mate”.
Private email to M. Chantis: “So glad we have this secure channel for contacts. We’ve been careful to use euphemisms so far. Now I need to know for sure if you share my predilections. Please be candid and graphic so I can make this assessment. S. Teem”
The next described setup between friends was perhaps more surprising. Peter had become an even more constant fan of the football team, including even practice sessions. He really did like the sport but had a special interest in Terrence – as a player and temporarily now as a coach. When the other players noticed Peter’s regular attendance, Terrence explained their friendship and his friend’s exceptional knowledge of the sport. Several members of the team were introduced to him. One most interested was Damon Harding…first string tight end…and first admitted gay person to be on the team. Damon and Peter soon thereafter began to see each other, though with discretion, because some homophobia still existed on the campus. No need to stir it up.
Peter summed it up by saying, “And those relationships for both of us are still going strong. Lucky us. However, with your new looks Shawna, I doubt that you need any help finding a companion. You’re likely driving suitors away with a stick.”
“I’m embarrassed to say that you’re correct. But I need to find a guy who fits a particular profile: someone arrogant and supremely confident, who easily attracts women but dismisses them when he becomes bored. You know the type. This is a step toward fulfilling my plan.”
The guys look baffled.
Shawna continued, “No questions please, but if you encounter someone like this, keep me in mind. I must caution that this person shouldn’t be anyone you care about.”
Terrence looked alarmed, “Christ, what do you have in mind for this fellow?”
Shawna shrugged, “I don’t intend to kill him.”
“Well, that’s a comfort. In fact, I am meeting someone again tomorrow who fits that description perfectly. Rick McCorman. He’s a sports agent interested in representing me if I get signed up. I don’t like him, but he’s known to be hugely successful. Profession wise…and lady-wise.”
“Terrence, please do mention me to him. He needn’t know that I was on the hunt.”
Peter noted, “Oh, to know what you’re up to.”
“I’m playing the lengthy game, dear friends. You’ll understand sometime later, I promise.”
Rick obtained her phone number and they soon met for lunch at a classy restaurant.
“Shawna,” began Rick, “you hardly look like someone who was offered a Rhodes scholarship. So accomplished at such a young age. You are simply stunning, and I consider myself a connoisseur of female beauty.”
Shawn presented herself in full femme fatale mode – detached but alluring; secretive and sexy.
“I would guess that compliments to your lady friends flow easily from your lips.”
“Well, you pegged me for that. But the remark was true. I would look forward to finding out all about you.”
“You’ll find it a challenge to open me up,” she replied seductively.
And in following weeks he endeavored to do just that. They did become intimate, but she remained as enigmatic as before. He put aside his playboy pursuits to concentrate solely on Shawna. She teasingly waived off his affirmations of love. He found it maddening. After two months of frustration, he craved a resolution.
“Shawna, my feelings for you are interfering with my sleep, with my career, with my self-worth. I want to be with you now…forever. Never imagined saying that to anyone. Will you accept being my true love?”
“Rick, it is unimaginable for you to be denied anything. It seems that I’ve been empowered to deliver a painful comeuppance. The answer is no, I don’t love you. No, I will not be yours. Our time together has been most entertaining and now must end. So, goodbye.”
‘My first attempt at being a femme fatale – mission successful,’ thought Shawna. ‘After all, Rick probably deserved it for the way he’d treated women. Setting up the fictitiously named ‘Mr. S. Teem’ would far more demanding. Can I dream up depravities of my own to entice his interest?’ she wondered. ‘If that should work, could I really tolerate being a companion to this monster, however briefly? Is my thirst for vengeance, for justice, that strong? Yes! I can and must do this.’
Private email to S. Teem: “See attached for a description of some activities from my past, which conventional society would consider to be depraved. These were engaged in by a former partner who I supported. You should judge my experience by this measure rather than by my age. These experiences with young girls were not the sweet guilty attentions of a Humbert Humbert to his Lolita, but acts giving maximum pleasure to the mentors. Of course, the girls would learn to experience these sensations as pleasurable. They would never really be harmed. M. Chantis.”
At the next meeting of the three friends, Terrence confronted Shawna. “My God, what did you do to poor Rick? He called to beg me to intercede with you…give him one more chance…etc. That’s not the proud, arrogant, son of a bitch that he was before.”
“It was his misfortune to serve as the first test of my plan. If he seems broken, I believe he will ultimately be a better person for it. He’s history.” She paused, then added, “Now though, I must find the perfect candidate to be smitten in my second test.”
“Are you looking for another vain ladies’ man to be taken down a peg?” Terrence had to ask.
“No. This time, I, that is femme fatale me, must find a decent guy without a giant ego – someone law-abiding, responsible. And dedicated in their career. Possessing solid qualities and a decent life, but who still feels somewhat unfulfilled.”
Peter inquired, “What would you be attempting to prove in this next test of yours?”
“It will be revealed to you both in time.” she answered with a sly smile.
Private email to M. Chantis: “I’m enthused at the prospect that you could be the missing piece in my perfect puzzle life. As you might yet see, I have prosperous friends, some celebrities, who share our refined tastes. All I really need is a trusted arranger, an intermediary, a constant fellow traveler. In anticipation of a meeting, I enclose a non-disclosure agreement for obvious reasons. Please return, then we can identify ourselves. S. Teem.”
Shawna and Martin Hanford relaxed after love making at a hotel.
“Shawna, what a lucky guy I am. We’ve been seeing each other regularly for quite a while now since literally bumping into each other at that bar. You seem to know everything about me, my job, my interests, my difficult separation. I still know practically nothing about you. I do understand that you’re doing various research and writing gigs to make ends meet. I’d be glad to lend support, you know.”
“That’s sweet, but no thanks. As to knowing me better, my career lies ahead of me whereas you’re the subject of media reports as the hot shot lawyer merger expert. I’ve been able to read of your accomplishments and your life. Don’t know how you find the time to be with me.”
“Losing sleep is a small price to pay for your company. Besides, when being in bed with you like this, sleep is not foremost on my mind. Our conversations are almost as stimulating as…”
She playfully slapped his hand, “So, I’ve become irresistible to you, hmmm? But do tell me more about your business challenges – about the mergers your law firm is handling, for example. It sounds so complicated. Trying to balance all the interests for your clients – the shareholders, the execs, the public. The official and unstated motivations and power struggles.”
“That is incisive. It is complicated. Take the current proposed merger of our client Gentix Ltd. with another major firm Cureton Inc. It’s a numbers and legal strategy game, but whichever way it goes, there’s big money to be made in the market by anyone who makes the right guess of the outcome.”
Teasingly, she said, “It would have been even better to not have to guess. To be tipped off about the result before it hits the press.”
“That’s called ‘insider trading’ as you perhaps know. For those of us in the negotiations – lawyers, accountants, bankers…using that knowledge would be both unethical and illegal.”
“I’ve read about that. Even Martha Stewart was convicted of this and served time, right? As a test of trust between us, though, would you share the merger decision before it makes the news?”
Jokingly, he said, “You wouldn’t plan to then make an urgent call to your stockbroker by any chance?”
“An instant bump in my income would be most welcome, but that’s not my motivation. I would just like to know for sure that you’d confide in me about everything.”
Two weeks later, at a late dinner at a restaurant, Martin seemed exhilarated.
“A long day with too many people. Good news though. I can report, just an hour from it being finalized, that the merger is going through. And let it be noted that to prove my devotion, I’m informing you of the fact in spite of all the prohibitions. How’s that as proof of my love?”
Shawna took a deep breath and responded with tenderness, “And I would love you back if it were possible Martin. You will be a wonderful partner with some deserving woman…maybe it will yet be your wife. I used you to find out if an honest, ethical person could be influenced to improperly reveal a secret to someone who holds a grip on their heart. The answer proved to be yes. However, be assured that I wouldn’t dream of using that information. You might miss me for a while, but otherwise this will be a painless lesson: You can’t trust anyone completely. Goodbye sweet Martin.”
Private email to S. Teem: “Signed NDA attached and a recent photo. Let me introduce myself: Eliza Worthy. Daughter of broken family. Attended best schools. Sophisticated tastes. To be blunt: uninhibited in all varieties of sexual relations, but with preference for youngish girls. Any identity search you make will be a dead end. It will conclude that I disappeared more than a year ago. FYI, I’ve not been escaping from authorities, but rather let’s just say, from people angered by my improprieties. You will absolutely not be disappointed.”
Private email to Eliza Worthy: “Only encouraged thus far. My name is Brewster Downing. It is possible you have heard of me. I welcome media attention, but only when it is favorable. If we proceed, you would be identified as the Administrative Assistant for my business interests.”
Private email to Brewster Downing: “So that’s who you are. And being modest. You are constantly being celebrated in the tabloids for both your bon vivant lifestyle and generous philanthropy. I’d be thrilled to meet you with the potential opportunity of having an enticing future by your side. Eliza.”
Shawna’s two tests with the male victims had been completed successfully. Now she knew for sure. She can be cold-blooded and cruel if necessary. Calculated intimacy can break through a man’s personal barriers of smug self-containment. Even the most sincerely held ethical and legal boundaries of a man can be penetrated by someone they coveted. It was now time for Shawna to advance her plan.
Private e-mail to Eliza Worthy: “Delighted to see from your messages that we’re on the same page. Inviting you to join me in Miami next week. Travel and expenses covered of course. Feel sure there we can agree upon compensation and continuing arrangement terms. If so, we can then proceed on my plane to the estate in the Virgin Islands. Advise on your availability. B. Downing.”
Arriving at the Miami restaurant, Shawna approached Brewster’s table with femme fatale persona firmly locked in place. Eliza now completely replaced Shawna. With her now practiced breathy voice, she said, “Well, hello famous Mr. Downing. I’ve travelled far to see you…perhaps my entire life.”
Stunned by her looks and playful greeting, he said, “Eliza, you look…well more than I expected. The photo was a disservice.”
“I’ve read of your many business interests and speculation as to how you gained the first hundred million or so. I wouldn’t pry but would assume it was through something scandalous and risky…it’s much more interesting.”
Laughing, Brewster replied, “I’ve bent some rules, true enough, but nothing that would catch up with me. Now I am mostly seen as a respectable businessman…with some not so respectable secret habits of which you are aware.”
“Enter Eliza, I hope.”
“Yes, I think so. Shall we order lunch and have a civilized conversation?”
The meal proceeded and they become acquainted. His attraction to her was obvious. “Eliza, I must ask you an obvious question. You are a stunning and impressive woman, who does not reject male companionship. That’s what you’ve said. Why would you seek an association with me, intending to exclusively target…forgive me for being blunt…jailbait?”
“Fair question. Answer is that I don’t really know why that’s a particular turn on. I enjoy fucking men, if it must be said, but very selectively. You are a most attractive man to be sure, but allow me to be clear about something, intending no offense. Unless I should at some later time otherwise advise, I will not be available to you for a personal romp. However, would it be taunting to say that if, or when, this should come about, you’d find it memorable, maybe earthshaking?”
“I understand and accept the limitation…with the hope of gaining that precious access sometime. I’m a most determined guy.”
“We’ll just see who gives in and who gives up. But I am curious about your sexual preferences as well. Pictures show you in the company of beautiful women. There for the taking, for sure. So why the passion for underage girls?”
“Maybe my explanation will resonate for both of us. The essential female body and mannerisms are the very definition of beauty. At their budding stage, without the maturing characteristics, a female is at her purest. Not just physically, but emotionally untainted and delightfully innocent. At the same time there is an underlying seductiveness that I sense, though unintended by the girl.”
“Beautifully expressed. That’s how I feel about it too.”
“So, getting past our fun flirtation, let’s talk about the business arrangement we might have and how I can best serve your interests.”
The duo proceeded to discuss how Eliza would be a personal assistant for certain interests of Mr. Brewster Downing. She would be the contact for Brewster’s affluent international friends who share the same tastes and want to be included in all celebrations. She would be the gentle hand in shepherding identified girls to Brewster’s getaway in the Virgin Islands, or elsewhere as might be. The principal continous source of young girls would be the HomeAway Retreat facility.
“So glad to have you on board, Eliza.” Downing concluded. “My plane is awaiting us. Come visit my place in the Caribbean. You would be welcome to stay there as my constant guest or come and go as you choose.”
“It sounds wonderful. I might stay a week to start and then commute back and forth from Miami and see how it goes.”
“Fine. Shall we shake hands or hug to celebrate our arrangement.”
“Let’s instead start with a serious kiss. It seems only fitting for the sexual accord that we’ve entered into.”
After a deep extended tongue probing kiss, Downing proclaimed, “My God, you could energize a renewed interest in grown-up girls. Have I entered into a pact with the Devil?”
“That would be ‘She-Devil’, thank you.” assured Eliza.
In the week that followed, Eliza encountered several underage girls arriving at the estate. She spent some time making them feel comfortable. Brewster acted very paternal with them, giving gifts, joining them at meals. Eliza did not know if they were being mistreated. Some of the visits were for innocent PR activities for the HomeAway Retreat. In any case, she was not yet in a position to interfere. Consistent with her duties, she proposed that it would be useful, as well as stimulating, to film all activities at the estate with hidden cameras. This was quickly put into effect. The knowledge that despicable acts would be recorded was repulsive to Eliza, but it would serve a worthwhile purpose.
In the following months, Eliza visited the HomeAway Retreat and met the caretakers who seemed caring and unaware of its elemental nefarious purposes. Or perhaps they just didn’t want to know.
A special party was scheduled soon at the estate to which Eliza extended invitations to like-minded acquaintances of Brewster. She was directed to bring ten girls from HomeAway Retreat for the function. It was to be a grand orgy, plain and simple…well, not really simple…No expense was to be spared, nor any fetish unsatisfied. This was to be the biggest celebration at the estate ever. It would be ‘world infamous’, if the world could ever know of it.
Several days before the party, Brewster praised Eliza lavishly. “I know you’ll arrange everything perfectly as always. You’ve become invaluable to me Eliza. I’m only slightly disappointed that you have chosen not to enter into the frivolities.”
“I would be glad to join just you in the games, but am not into orgies with other adults. However, you might be excited to hear, I plan to have private fun with some of the girls.”
“Indeed yes. I might choose to watch that on video later. On that delicious subject, I’d really like to hear the entire history of sexual conquests you’ve had before we met. That would be a big turn on partner.”
“I’m up for that, but only if you’ll reciprocate, telling me about every sexual encounter you can remember. Do you trust me enough to do that?”
“Of course. I trust you like no other. My evening is free. So why don’t we get comfy and exchange our wicked tales.”
And that’s what they proceeded to do over several bottles of wine. Eliza took the initiative by stretching her imagination to dream up the most pornographic experiences.
“O.K. Your turn now, Boss. Let ‘er rip!” encouraged Eliza.
Brewster Downing did just that, recounting from the time he was a young man to present day. Eliza interrupted him only to seek additional details – names, age, where and how did the encounter occur. Were they even arguably consensual? She didn’t blink when he described a certain incident within his own family. How he was struck by the innocent look of his shy fourteen-year old niece. Brewster was visiting his brother’s house the day after his funeral. On an impulse, he went up to the girl’s room and consumed her violently with no preliminaries. A rape on her own bed. It was a luscious treat.
“What was her name?”
“Well, same as mine, Downing. Caroline, Marilyn? Can’t recall her first name.”
“Did anyone find out? Naw! She was too frightened to tell anyone. Besides, it wasn’t that big a deal.” Eliza cheered him.
The conversation continued with even more admissions of conquests, proudly bragged about. Eliza forced herself to listen with feigned pleasure, while suppressing the sickened emotions of Shawna from within. Her plan was finally, at long last, almost complete. The ‘Grand Orgy’ was scheduled to occur in one week. The males making reservations to attend included some major Hollywood stars and political bigwigs. Eliza could not let this happen, even if it meant that some of these creeps would get off the hook. She just could not allow another young victim to be violated. The trap must be sprung.
Two days later, having returned to Miami, Shawna phoned Brewster with a special invitation. “I know you have business to conduct here in Miami. Would you like to meet me for lunch tomorrow at the Soledad Hotel? You know, that has the restaurant where we first met.”
“Well, sure, that would be lovely. Noon shall we say at the restaurant?”
“No, I’m thinking instead of a room service lunch. I have some big surprises for you. Come to the honeymoon suite.”
Wednesday noon, Brewster in great anticipation knocked on the door. The suite revealed Eliza as she answered the door in sensual lingerie causing him to catch his breath.
“Oh, damn. Too good to be true. May I assume that this is the invitation that I’ve been hoping for?”
“Let’s say that I’m going to work you over completely. In ways that you couldn’t have imagined. For that matter, I can see that my outfit has aroused your interest already. You do so love games. This one requires that you begin by stripping down.”
Brewster quickly rid himself of his clothes and they sat on the bed together. From the open champagne bottle on the side table, Eliza poured two glasses and they clinked it together in anticipation of what is to follow.
“Now, just relax and let me prepare you for the game.” Eliza urged him in a soothing voice.
He settled back while for few minutes Eliza stroked and fondled him.
He muttered, “This will so be worth the wait to possess you.”
“Yes, lust and power have been the driving forces your entire life. Although, I must say that you don’t look very impressive or powerful now.”
Brewster twisted his head frantically, “Hell! What’s happening to me? I can’t seem to move my body. I can’t feel anything.”
“It’s the drug I put in your drink. It will incapacitate you for three to four hours. But it won’t kill you. That will probably occur later in your sordid life.”
“What are you doing? I thought this was a game.”
“And so it is. It’s not the beginning of our game though, but almost the end of mine. You could call this my vengeance game. Perhaps I was one of the many victims of your crimes which you so ravenously described. Just know that I have planned for years to take you down. Even if it wasn’t personal, I’d have done it for all those other innocents.”
“Christ, oh no Eliza, wait. If I abused you once, I’m truly sorry. But I can make amends for it. Pay you hugely to forget and leave it in the past. Just name your price.”
“Listen up, you bastard. Every poor girl brought to the estate, each assault you have confessed, every twisted male friend that joined you in these abuses, all of this information is documented and evidenced by videotape and recordings. See, I recorded your confessions on this clever little device. The whole sick, pathetic monster world you’d created will crumble. Everything has been turned over to the authorities. At this very moment, the estate is being raided for any remaining scraps of additional evidence.”
“Eliza, you planned all this? Hell, you were part of everything. You’ll go down with me, you will be in prison.”
“Yes, I did interact. But no, I won’t be joining you. I am not the person you believe me to be and will be disappearing now for good. Yes, there is a real Eliza Worthy, poor girl is still missing. I borrowed her identity. She wouldn’t be necessary for your prosecution anyway. By the way, your bank accounts are being frozen, so buying your freedom in some other country would seem impracticable too. I also managed to divert a few million for the benefit of any of the abused girls that can be found.”
“You damned bitch! You can’t do this. I’ve got important friends in government who won’t let this happen.”
“I don’t think so. Most of them will be praying they are not recognized in your movies. You deserve everything that happens to you Brewster.”
“What are you anyway? Some avenging angel punishing evil-doers?”
“Just consider me a femme fatale. You won’t come across another one of these where you’re going. What you will find is that even the hardest of criminals don’t like child molesters.”
In time, Shawna was back for a beer with Terrence and Peter. “I missed you guys so much.”
Terrence inquired, “Yeah, you vanished for months. Where were you?”
“I had to take care of a family matter. Took time off from my Masters’ program. All fixed now. I promised you both an explanation. Please be patient for that. A little more time needs to pass.”
“You still look smashing”, said Peter, “though I’m surprised you turned back into a blonde again.”
“I detoured, but now I’m back being that pretty nice Shawna person you both seem to like. But I’m sure your news is way more interesting. Peter?”
“I’ve been cast in a Broadway musical. Hallelujah!” announced Peter.
“Well, damn. Congrats. And you Terrence?”
“The Los Angeles Rams are giving me a shot. Even if it doesn’t work out, I know my career is going to continue on as a coach.” beamed Terrence.
Shawna prodded them, “How about your romances, my friends?”
They both answered in unison, “Going strong!”
“Now ‘fess up your plans.” said Terrence. “Will you be hanging on to the femme fatale persona permanently? Seducing poor male admirers just for sport?”
“No, I think not. The idea of finding a guy who likes me as I am, rather than as some mysterious made-up person sounds really nice now.” admitted Shawna. Then added, “Although…although…keeping some of the arsenal of female wiles on reserve might not be a bad idea.”
Terrence and Peter nodded their approval. The three friends toasted their new path.
“Love you guys.” cheered Shawna.
Copyright John Baldwin 2021