A Murder Misstery

bythrillerauthor©

When I rolled out of bed that fateful morning, I had no way of knowing that it would be my last day as Matt McCoy. After showering and dressing quickly (how I long for those days!) I bolted out the door for my train, looking forward to another manic day on the floor. Although I was one of the youngest traders at the Chicago exchange, I was becoming feared and respected for my cunning and balls...another detail which was soon to change.

I grabbed a bagel and a cup of coffee at the station and wolfed them down on the train, absent-mindedly flipping through the Tribune. My heart stopped when I came to this article:

PROMINENT BROKER ARRESTED

CHICAGO -- Norman Wolf, CEO of Piranha and Wolf, has been charged by federal authorities with bilking thousands of elderly investors throughout Chicagoland. Wolf, who was taken into custody last night at his Lakeshore Drive home, proclaimed his innocence, maintaining that a rogue employee masterminded the scheme for his personal self-enrichment. Authorities declined to identify Wolf's alleged accomplice, stating only that their investigation was ongoing and additional arrests were expected.

My hands were shaking as I dropped the paper to the floor. When I questioned him about some questionable activities I'd come across working late one night, Norman Wolf had assured me that everything was on the up-and-up. He even took me out to lunch one day and involved me in some of his dealings. Now, I was convinced that he was setting me up, and that he would try to finger me to save his skin.

Furtively, I glanced around the train, expecting to see policemen heading my way with guns drawn. But there were only the other passengers, either engrossed in their papers or asleep, as we pulled into Clybourn, the last stop before Chicago. If the cops were onto me, they'd be waiting at the end of the line. Without thinking, I vaulted over the passenger next to me and raced for the door, just making it out onto the platform before the train pulled away.

Shivering in the freezing February gloom, I tried desperately to think. Going back to my apartment was out of the question. Until I could figure out a way to clear myself, I'd have to lay low, keeping out of sight until the heat was off. Fortunately, I had no family or close friends in Chicago, only my girlfriend Tracy, a flight attendant who lived with two other girls in an apartment near O'Hare. I flipped open my cell phone and punched in her number.

"Hello?" a groggy voice answered.

"Tracy, it's me."

"God, don't you know what time it is? I flew all night and I just got to sleep."

"Sorry, baby. Are your roommates there?"

"No, you didn't wake anyone else up. Just me, and I'm gonna hang up."

"Tracy, I'm in trouble and I need your help."

It took some doing, but after a long walk to Armitage I caught the "L" downtown and rode the Blue Line out to the Rosemont station, a few long blocks from Tracy's apartment. I don't know which of us was more frazzled when she finally let me in. Standing there in her robe without any makeup, even after working all night, she was a sight for sore eyes.

"Thanks for taking me in," I said after a long hug. "Are you sure you want to harbor a fugitive?"

"Are you sure you're doing the right thing?" she replied as she poured us each a cup of steaming black coffee. "Why not just turn yourself in? The FBI will believe you if you tell them the truth."

"You don't know Norman Wolf. All the way here I've been replaying little scenes at the office which didn't make sense to me before, but they do now. He was setting me up all along, Tracy."

"Well, what are you going to do?"

"I need a disguise and a place to stay until I can figure things out."

"You could stay here, I guess..."

"What about your roomies?"

"Cathy just left for training in Denver, and Ashley is on vacation till the end of the week."

"That works. Now all we need is to come up with a disguise, something that will enable me to move around until I can clear my name."

"Hmm..." Tracy walked around the room, surveying me with a critical eye. "Stand up and take off your jacket," she said, disappearing into the bedroom." I did as I was told, and she returned with a tape measure. "Raise your arms," she said, and I stood there while she drew the tape around my chest, then around my waist, then once more a little lower. "How tall are you?"

"Five nine."

"How much do you weigh?"

"One fifty."

"And your shoe size?"

"Nine."

"Perfect," she giggled. "Come with me." I followed her into the large walk-in closet that she shared with the other girls. It was crammed full of clothes, shoes and accessories. All of a sudden it hit me, and I backed out of the closet in a panic. "Come back here!"

"No way!" I trembled.

"Listen, mister, you asked me to help you come up with a disguise, and I did. You'll fit into my clothes, Cathy's feet are as big as yours, and Ashley has a wig in here somewhere that she used to wear on layovers."

"I'm not gonna dress up as a chick!"

"Why not? Are you afraid of what people might think?"

"Damn right!"

"Well, let's see how you look first. When I'm finished with you, I don't think anybody will be able to tell that you're really a guy."

"Yeah, right," I said nervously. Maybe that was what I was so afraid of, afraid that my masculinity might be threatened. Had I only known, I'm sure I would never have taken that first fateful step, but I was desperate, Tracy was sincerely trying to help me, and what choice did I have?

"May I take that as a yes?"

I hung my head in resignation. "I guess we can try it," said with a sigh.

"Attagirl. Now, if this is gonna work we've gotta start from the skin out. Take off all your clothes."

"Okay, but what do you mean 'from the skin out'?" I asked as I unbuttoned my shirt.

"I mean this has gotta go," she said with a tug on my chest hair.

"Oh no, you don't!" I protested.

"Listen, silly, if you expect me to make you believable as a girl, you're gonna have to work with me."

"I'm sorry, Tracy, but I've changed my mind."

"Suit yourself," she said in a huff. "I'd just as soon go back to sleep anyway." She tossed my shirt at me, and I was buttoning it back up when the telephone rang. "Hello?" She shot me a hard glance. "Uh, no, I haven't seen him, why?" Her eyes widened. "Really! Wow, that's unbelievable, thanks for letting me know." She hung up and grabbed the TV remote.

"What was that all about?" I asked.

Tracy ignored me, flipping through the channels until she came to a local news station. We both stared speechless as my picture came up on the screen. "According to the FBI, Matt McCoy is suspected of masterminding a scheme to swindle thousands of elderly investors out of their life savings," a reporter was saying.

I felt sick to my stomach. "This can't be happening."

"Just be thankful that you found out about it before you walked out of here," she said. "You knew this was coming down. Matt, are you sure you're telling me the truth?"

"Tracy, you've got to believe me!" I started to cry, and she took me into her arms.

"I'm here for you, baby," she whispered.

"I'm sorry I was so stupid. Please help me. I'll do anything you say."

The bathroom in Tracy's apartment was strewn with nylons hanging out to dry. They might be falling out of fashion, but not in an apartment shared by three flight attendants. Tracy wore pantyhose every day as part of her uniform, and soon I'd be wearing them too, I thought morosely as I shaved my legs in her bathtub. My arms too, then my chest and underarms, and finally Tracy came in to finish off my back. "You look buff," she said after I toweled myself off.

"You mean you like me this way?" In spite of all I'd been through, I felt myself starting to stir.

"You're just like a movie star," she purred. "Besides, I've always wanted to make love to a wanted fugitive." I chased her into the bedroom and we tumbled into bed. The feeling of our smooth bodies touching was incredibly arousing, and we went at with abandon. Tracy had always been a gentle lover, but today she was like a tigress, with some newfound power. "Wow," she sighed when we finally came up for air.

"Let's do it again," I said, even though my body was totally tapped out. I dreaded what was about to happen to me.

She teased my exhausted manhood. "Now that I've softened you up, we're going to turn you into a girl," she pronounced. "Come on, get out of bed. We have some serious work to do." With a sigh, I got up and we put on terrycloth bathrobes which she'd stolen from some hotels. After I shaved my face again, Tracy was all business. First she went to work with an emery board, smoothing and shaping my longish nails. Next, she tweezed my eyebrows, and when I yelped she told me to stop being such a baby. She helped me moisturize my tender skin, and then it was time to get me dressed.

"What am I going to try on?" I asked nervously.

"Let's start with one of my old uniforms. I used to be a little chubby before I met you, so it should fit just fine."

I cringed at the thought. "Don't you have something more casual?"

"Listen, missy, I'm a working girl and my wardrobe is somewhat limited. Once we find out whether you're presentable, maybe we can do a little shopping, okay?" That shut me up, and I reluctantly followed her back into the closet.

"Your hips are slim enough for you to wear my panties," she said matter-of-factly. I cringed when she handed me a lacy white pair, and I watched her smirk as I tugged them on. "There, that wasn't so hard, was it? This may seem a little strange," she said as she handed me one of her bras. I watched sullenly as she draped it over my chest and showed me how to fasten the clasps from behind. After Tracy stuffed the cups with some knee-highs, she pushed me over to her vanity and went to work on my makeup. I watched with alarm as she methodically feminized my face, leaving me with smoky eyes and pouting pink lips.

Next came Ashley's wig, and the effect was shocking. One minute, I was a guy in a bra and panties, and the next, I was totally a girl. I could only gape and stare as Tracy gently styled my short blonde hair into a perky wedge.

Tracy seemed mesmerized by her creation. "This is scary," she whispered.

"Tell me about it." How could it be so easy to erase my gender? I followed her back into the closet in a trance.

"Okay, put this on first," she said, handing me a crisp white blouse. "Oh wait, I almost forgot." She left me standing there, surrounded by racks of skirts and dresses, contemplating my misfortune. When she returned she was holding a lacy white slip. "This will help to smooth you out," she said. "No, don't pull it over your head, you'll muss your hairdo. Step into it."

Reluctantly, I did as I was instructed, and a shiver ran down my spine as the cool, silky fabric slid up my hairless body. "That's better, now put on your blouse." My hands were shaking, and I fumbled helplessly with the buttons until I realized that they were backwards from what I was used to. Eventually I figured them out, and although the blouse was a little tight around my shoulders, the last button left me with just enough room to breathe.

"Time to put on your nylons," Tracy said with a snicker.

"Do I have to? You never wear them when we go out."

"I do when I go to work. Besides, they'll make your legs look more feminine. Anyway, they're part of your uniform, so get with the program!" She handed me a pair of navy blue pantyhose and showed me how to ease them on, one leg at a time. After that, my blue skirt was almost an anti-climax, and I felt trapped when she zipped it up.

There was a full-length mirror on the back of the closet door, and I watched my reflection in dismay as Tracy lifted up my skirt and tugged down my blouse and slip. Then it was time to step into a pair of Cathy's low-heeled blue pumps, which just fit. "We'll practice walking around in them in a minute," Tracy said as she tied a silk scarf loosely around my neck. A blue jacket was next, and again it was a little tight around the shoulders but it buttoned up all right.

"Almost done," Tracy said. I followed her over to the dresser, and stood there in her clothes while she tried some jewelry on me. "I can't remember who gave me these clip-ons," she said as she fussed with my earrings, and a simple gold necklace and an inexpensive woman's watch were next. Then she sat me down at her vanity and started to apply a coat of quick-dry polish to my nails. As I sat there, I looked down at my silken knees, peeking demurely under the hem of my slim skirt. Never in my life had I felt so helpless and confined.

When my nails were dry, we went back to the kitchen and Tracy made some more coffee. We sat there for a while, sipping our coffee in silence, while I gradually got used to the strange sensations of wearing women's clothing. "I can't believe how cute you look," Tracy marveled.

"Thanks, that's all I needed to hear."

"Take it as a compliment. If you looked like a guy in a dress, this disguise would never work. Now, if we can only do something with your voice, I really think you can pull it off."

"My voice?"

"Try talking a little softer, and raise your pitch a little." For the next half hour, we chatted like two girls as she worked on my voice. I was beginning to get the hang of it when the doorbell rang.

Tracy saw the panic in my eyes. "Relax, it's probably just the lady next door. She waters the plants when we're all away. Sit still, you look totally like a girl now, it will be a good test for you." Before I could protest, Tracy got up and opened the door.

"FBI," a deep voice said. "Are you Tracy Flowers? Do you mind if we come in?" Tracy tried to slam the door but it was too late, and two middle-aged special agents in suits and ties entered the apartment. Tracy was beside herself, and I was worried that she might give me away.

Sheer instinct for self- preservation took over. "Why don't you go change, Tracy? Can I get you guys some coffee?"

Tracy ran into the bedroom and slammed the door. "I'm sorry we barged in on her in her bathrobe," one of the agents stammered.

Keep it short and sweet, I reminded myself before I spoke. "That's okay, she's a big girl. How do you take your coffee?"

"Black for me."

"Nothing for me, thanks," the other agent said as he prowled around the apartment. "Do you live here?"

There was no time to think, so I just went with the flow. "Uh huh." I reached up into one of the cabinets for a mug, very aware that my skirt was riding up my legs, and after I filled it with coffee I offered it to the agent, trying to keep my gestures as feminine as possible.

"What's your name, sweetie?"

"Ashley." In her wig, I looked almost like her, not that they would know what she looked like anyway...keep your cool, girl, I told myself.

"Do you know Matt McCoy?"

"Tracy's boyfriend? I've met him, why?"

"Let's wait for your roommate." That was the opening I needed, and before they could stop me I walked over to the bedroom and closed the door firmly behind me. Tracy was sitting on the bed, still in her bathrobe, shaking with sobs.

"Listen carefully," I whispered. "They think I'm Ashley." Her eyes widened. "You've got to play along. Quick, put on some clothes and when you come back, just tell them that you haven't seen or heard from Matt since yesterday. Got it?" She nodded dumbly. "Come on, Tracy, get with it!"

When she finally got up to get dressed, I returned to face the agents. "She'll be here in a minute," I said breezily. "Some more coffee for you?"

"You must be a very good flight attendant." I ignored the sexist remark and sat down on the sofa. It occurred to me that the men were staring at my legs. I crossed them slowly and tugged at the hem of my skirt, waiting for them to make the next move. Just then Tracy opened the bedroom door, dressed in jeans and a hoodie. I gave her an encouraging wink, and she sat down beside me on the sofa.

"I'm sorry for the intrusion, Miss Flowers, and thank you for your time. When is the last time you saw Matt McCoy?"

"Last Saturday."

"Where was that?"

"He took me to a movie, and then we came back here for a while."

"Have to spoken with him since?"

"No."

"Is that unusual?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, doesn't he call you on the phone sometimes?"

"It depends. He knows I travel a lot. I just got back from a trip this morning," she answered, trying to keep to the truth whenever she could. I felt so strange, sitting there in women's clothing, watching the men ogle my legs while Tracy described me like I wasn't in the room. I tugged my skirt down over my knees again and prayed that she wouldn't give me away.

"Were there any messages from him on your machine?"

"No."

"Do you know where he is right now?"

"Look, I'll be very honest with you," Tracy said as I held my breath. "One of my girlfriends called me a few hours ago and told me that Matt was wanted by the police. I saw his picture on TV."

"Was that news to you?"

"Yes! What kind of girl do you think I am?"

"Did you try to get in touch with him after you heard about it?"

"No! Is it true?"

"Is what true?"

"What they're saying about him. Is he really a criminal?"

"We're really not at liberty to discuss our investigation." They handed Tracy their cards. "Please call us immediately if you hear from him. Thank you again for your cooperation."

Tracy got up to let them out. "And thank you, sweetie," the agent who had the coffee said to me before they left.

Tracy waited until they were well down the hall before bolting the door and collapsing next to me on the sofa in near hysterics. I couldn't tell whether she was laughing or crying, but the tears were real, and she hugged me close. When I tried to comfort her, she shushed me with a kiss, and the next thing I knew she was stroking my legs through my nylons. It was the sexiest thing I'd ever felt, and I started to lose control as she reached up my skirt and tugged down my pantyhose and panties...then she had her jeans off and she was straddling me, riding up and down, panting and yelping until we came together in an incredible rush.

Afterwards, I lay back in a daze, trying to come to grips with what was happening to me. I'd just had the best sex of my life, in woman's clothing, with my girlfriend on top. My lipstick was smeared all over her beautiful face, and our hairless legs were tangled up in my panties and stockings. When she finally rolled off me, I got unsteadily to me feet and began to pull myself together. "You've ruined my stockings," she pouted, pointing to a long run that ran from my toes to my waist. "Take 'em off, and I'll get you a fresh pair after we fix your makeup. You're a total mess!" A subtle shift in our relationship was occurring, although I was so distracted by my female trappings, I didn't notice it at the time.

After showing me how to put on a fresh coat of lipstick, Tracy handed me another pair of pantyhose, nude this time. It was humiliating to struggle with them under her watchful eye. When I finally got them on, she disappeared into the bathroom to shower and change.

I stepped back into my heels and stared at myself for a long time in the full length mirror. Looking back at me was a pretty flight attendant with perky blonde hair and terrific legs. I turned this way and that, practicing ways to stand and move my hands to make myself look more feminine. The more I studied myself, the more convinced I became that Tracy was right: my disguise was perfect, and with a little practice there was no way anyone would detect that I was really a guy.

That brought me back to reality, and I was thinking of ways to get close to Norman Wolf when Tracy returned to the closet. She had zero makeup on, her hair was pulled back into a bun, and her bra and panties were soon covered by a thick sweater and baggy khakis. "Are you trying to look like a guy?" I asked as she pulled on a pair of trouser socks.

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