Murder Misstery Melangebythrillerauthor©
For those who came in late, Matt McCoy – now Maddy – is on the run for a crime he did not commit, and a murder which she did....as the saga continues, Maddy begins life as the lover of her doctor in Paris. By the author of The Jessica Project.
I stood outside the door while Jacques made a quick survey of the apartment. Apparently it hadn't been occupied in several weeks, and with the return of the summer heat, it must have been very stuffy, because I could hear him drawing back curtains and opening windows. When he returned, he was perspiring slightly, and he took a moment to mop his forehead with his silk handkerchief before he surprised me by lifting me off my feet and carrying me over the threshold.
I let him kiss me gently on the lips before he put me down. After the night we'd spent together in the bedroom of my suite at the Plaza Athenee, it was feeling quite natural to respond to him as a woman, and we lingered over another kiss before he showed me around my new surroundings. "In the morning, the sunlight is marvelous," he was saying, "and you can just see the spires of Notre Dame from this window." I stood next to him, looking out over the expanse of tiled rooftops towards the Seine, listening to the cacophony of traffic in the Latin Quarter. I could afford to live anywhere I wanted, but how could I top this? I followed him through the elegantly furnished parlor into the charming boudoir, where an imposing Louis XVI bed promised endless delights to come....
I thought back to the night we'd just spent together, my first as a woman. Jacques had been so gentle, patiently probing the new erotic hotspots on my trembling body, sensing when to linger and when to push...he'd lovingly undressed me before we slid under the duvet, and after he rolled me onto my tummy, I surrendered completely when he eased himself into my quivering ass. At first I thought I was going to burst, but his hot breath whispered encouragement as he nuzzled my ear. Once I knew that he was inside me, my resistance yielded to his steady advances, and I reveled to sublime jolts each time he poked my prostate. While one hand kneaded my nubile breasts, and the other stroked my whimpering cock, he eased himself in and out, in and out, until we both came in a rush of exquisite pleasure.
I'd lain there, weeping softly, after he popped out and went into the bathroom to take a quick shower. My feelings of shame and remorse were tempered by the knowledge that my fate would have been the same had I turned myself in. Only then, instead of enjoying the tender mercies of a gentle lover in Paris, I would have been taking it up the ass from hardened criminals at the Menard Correctional Facility.
After Jacques left me, I occupied the rest of the day becoming familiar with my new surroundings. It didn't take me long to unpack my Vuitton suitcase, and it seemed strangely permanent to put away my lingerie and stockings in dresser drawers. My wardrobe may have been meager, but everything I had was very chic: summer skirts and dresses from Saint Tropez, the latest fall fashions from Knightsbridge, and my one Paris original, which I carefully hung in the bedroom closet. Although the apartment was in a historic building and filled with antiques, it was equipped with modern conveniences, and I was pleased to discover a state-of-the-art microwave and espresso machine in the kitchen, as well as a personal computer in an alcove off the parlor.
I was wearing my favorite sundress from De Bijenkorf in Amsterdam, which would be perfect for a late summer afternoon, but I noticed a few clouds gathering in the distance, so I tied a cashmere sweater around my neck before I stepped into a cute pair of ballet flats for my first foray into the Latin Quarter. During my six months in Provence, I'd become used to daily trips to town for the fresh breads and produce that are the staple of French cuisine. I was inspecting the lettuce at a local market when my cell phone rang in my purse. "Hello?" I answered after I fished it out.
"Maddy, where are you? I tried calling you at the apartment." It was Jacques.
"But of course, how like a woman...I was calling to make arrangements for dinner."
"That's very sweet, Jacques, but I've already planned our menu for tonight."
"I'm not used to cooking for two, so I can't make any promises, but I don't think you'll go home hungry. Appetizers will be served promptly at seven."
"You never cease to surprise and delight me!"
"Just bring the wine, okay?"
"Rouge or blanc?"
"Better make it one of each." I rang off and put my phone back in my purse. Then I busied myself with the womanly task of planning a romantic dinner for my man.
Jacques arrived precisely at seven, damn him! I was still fussing with the place settings, and I hadn't had time to put the camembert in the microwave. "Let yourself in," I shouted on my way to the bedroom. I heard him opening the door and inspecting the kitchen while I hurriedly brushed my hair and touched up my makeup. Then I took a deep breath to compose myself before I waltzed serenely into the parlor. "I guess the custom of being fashionably late didn't originate in France," I pouted.
"To the contrary, punctuality is a dying art in Paris, except when a beautiful woman is involved," he said as he opened a bottle of Chardonnay. The microwave beeped, and I took a moment to put on a pinafore apron, tying it behind my back while Jacques looked on with amusement. "Surely you didn't find that here?" he asked.
"Are you kidding? When was the last time one of your kept women cooked you a meal?" I taunted him.
"This is a first," he acknowledged as he opened the other bottle of wine with a flourish. "Voila! My work is done here."
"Men!" I placed a platter of melted camembert with slices of baguette on the coffee table and sat down next to Jacques, self-consciously playing with the hem of my apron while I waited for him to pour the wine. The crystal in the apartment was baccarat, and after we clinked our glasses I drained half of mine in one unladylike swig.
"Tell me, Maddy, what possessed you to do this?" Jacques asked as he refilled my glass.
"There are some things we need to discuss, and not in a crowded restaurant." That morning, Jacques had placed a call to Dr. Villiers, a colleague who specialized in sexual reassignment surgery. I had an appointment with him the following morning, and I wanted to know what I was getting into. "What's going to happen tomorrow morning?"
"Dr. Villiers will conduct a more traditional physical examination than I've performed on you," Jacques chuckled. "He will assess the progress of your feminization, and establish a schedule for your surgery."
"What exactly would that involve?" I asked, dreading the answer.
"Maddy, I have observed the procedure many times. The technical aspects aren't for the squeamish. Are you sure you want to talk about this before we eat?"
I nodded as I drained my glass. Jacques refilled it once again while I nervously nibbled on a slice of bread and cheese.
"Very well," he sighed. "After your testicles are removed, the remnants of your scrotum will be used to create the labia for your vagina. The vagina itself will be lined with the skin from your penis after it is amputated, and the stump will be reconstructed into a clitoris. And of course, your urethra will be redirected to enable you to urinate like a woman." I felt the bile beginning to rise in my stomach. "The recovery process takes several weeks, and is frankly very painful because of the necessity to dilate your new vagina regularly to keep it from closing up...."
I bolted out of the parlor towards the boudoir. Before I could make it into the bathroom, I threw up into the folds of my pinafore.
Jacques' belated efforts to salvage our dinner were to no avail. After a restless night alone in my new bed, I felt almost human when I awoke before dawn. I was famished after going without dinner, so I wrapped my robe around my nightgown and fixed myself an omelet and a double espresso.
Listlessly, I sat down at the computer and booted it up. Before I went on the Internet to do some research on sex change surgery, I decided to check my emails, on the off-chance that there might be messages from my old life. To my surprise, there were two from Tracy. My heart sank as I read the first one:
Maddy, I'm still mad at you for lying to me about what you did to Norman Wolf, although I'm willing to believe that it was an accident. I'm sorry I lost it after you told me, I was hurt that you didn't trust me enough to tell me the truth, and I realize now how hard it must have been for you to tell me, and what you must be going through. I'm worried about you, although from your clothes and jewelry it looks like you aren't exactly starving. Please be careful, I still think you should turn yourself in, Tracy PS – I like you as a brunette
Silly, stupid bitch! I had to assume that the FBI and the police were still monitoring her emails. Not only had she pinned me to the wall as Norman Wolf's killer, her catty comments about my expensive clothes and jewelry might even have tipped them off about my stolen millions. Not only that, she'd alerted the authorities to the fact that I was still disguised as a woman, down to the color of my hair...the last thing I needed now was to make this permanent!
I looked down in dismay at my heaving breasts. Short of a double mastectomy, I was stuck this way, in fact I'd become reconciled to spending the rest of my life as a woman. Would it even be possible to change back? And did I really want to give up my relationship with Jacques?
If Tracy's first email threw me, her second was like a kick in the head:
It's me again, back in Chicago, just wanted to let you know that I went to Burberry's before I left for the airport, I asked them to show me that outfit you had on, they are still talking about the rich American girl who bought out the store! Missing you, Tracy
Damn her! My hands were shaking as I scrolled up to my inbox to see what time her message was sent. Yesterday, at 6:41 pm Chicago time...the middle of the night in London. Assuming the FBI was already on it, they'd have alerted Scotland Yard by now to question the staff at Burberry's about the mysterious brunette who went on a shopping spree. From there, it wouldn't take long for them to uncover my French credit card in the name of Madison Monroe, which would lead them directly to me here, in Paris, since I'd used that card, and my bogus passport, to take the train from London to Paris three days earlier.
How much time did I have? It was almost nine o'clock in Paris, only eight o'clock in London, so the shops wouldn't be open for another few hours, and with any luck the authorities would start at the flagship Burberry's in Haymarket before they fanned out to the other branches. First things first: using the telephone in the apartment, I placed a call to Jacques' office. His receptionist put me through immediately.
"Jacques, I'm sorry for the way I behaved last night," I said.
"Maddy, the fault is all mine. I should never have gone into such appalling detail before dinner."
"Let's just say your bedside manner leaves something to be desired."
"Touche. How are you feeling this morning."
"Much better. Jacques, I'm sorry for the short notice, but could you please cancel my appointment with Dr. Villiers?"
"Completely understandable under the circumstances."
"Darling, I have to leave Paris for a few days, and I didn't want you to think I was running out on you. I'm going to leave some clothes in the apartment if that's okay."
"But of course, it is your home now, Cheri. Where are you going?"
"I'm really not sure...sorry to be so mysterious, I'll tell you all about it when I get back. I love you!"
I used some precious time searching the Internet for travel information before I hopped into the shower. No luxurious bubble bath this morning! I shaved my legs standing up, and didn't bother to wash my hair. Just like a regular girl, I told myself. Soon I was dressed in a simple skirt and top, with my hair pulled back into a ponytail, and a smidge of eye liner and lippy. I quickly packed my suitcase, leaving out the incriminating clothes from London. All the while, I was searching my memory, trying to remember each time I'd used my new credit card and Madison Monroe's passport. By the time I left the apartment, I'd worked out the beginnings of a plan.
First I hailed a taxi to the Gare de Lyon, where I used Madison Monroe's credit card to buy a ticket in first class on the next TGV express to Marseilles. I also used my credit card at the station bookstore, where I purchase several travel guides to Tangier, Casablanca and Morocco. Also before we left, I spent some time at a travel agency next to the station, asking a lot of questions before booking passage on a ferry that same evening from Marseilles to Tangier. The last thing I did was to exchange all of my remaining travelers checks for cash.
The crack train took three hours to race from Paris to Marseilles. The scenery through the south of France was magnificent, but I was preoccupied with other things. After we arrived in the sweltering port city, I checked my suitcase with the concierge at a hotel near the station. Then I treated myself to an expensive lunch at the hotel restaurant, once again using my credit card, before I made my way to the wharf where the ferries departed for Tangier.
Boarding would begin in about an hour, I was told. After I stopped at a souvenir shop to buy a beret and sunglasses, I found an Internet café near the terminal, where I sent Tracy this message:
Tracy, I was so happy to hear from you! Sorry it took so long to respond, I am on my way to Casablanca. How many times did we watch that movie together? Been thinking a lot about what you told me, now I need some time to decide where I go from here. All my love, Maddy
Au revoir, Terry, I said to myself on the way back to the wharf. She was nothing but trouble for me now...Terry may have showed me now to be a girl, but Jacques had shown me how to be a woman!
As soon as the ferry started boarding, I presented my passport and ticket to the purser and took a place at the rail. Before long the gangway was crowded with an onslaught of passengers, a surging mix of Europe and the Muslim world. Amidst the bustle and babble, nobody noticed a pretty girl sauntering against the tide of humanity and slipping away from the wharf. Nor did they see her adding the shredded remains of a credit card to the polluted waters of the harbor.
I returned to the hotel, collected my suitcase and tugged it back to the station. Wearing my new beret and sunglasses, I paid cash for a seat in second class on a train departing from Marseilles that evening. Eventually, we would wind up in Paris. It would be a long and miserable night for a millionairess!
I called Jacques just before we left. It sounded like he was in the middle of something...dinner with another woman perhaps? He told me to wait a moment before he asked, "Where are you?"
"Still in France. Jacques, I have a huge favor to ask. Could you loan me a car for a few days?"
"Madame Bochy is in Monte Carlo, you are welcome to use her Mercedes."
"Great! Can I pick it up tomorrow morning?"
"Of course. I'll bring it by your apartment, just ask the doorman for the keys. I must go, au revoir." He hung up before I could say goodbye.
I brooded over his abrupt signoff as the train pulled out of the station. How like a woman I'd become! I tried to put him out of my mind, working through the details of my plan once again. Now that I had a car to cross the border, everything had fallen into place perfectly. My passport would be worthless to me now, flagged as a forgery at airports and border crossings, but it was perfectly safe for me to travel within France, and a woman in a Mercedes with Paris plates was unlikely to have to produce her passport while driving between countries in the EU.
The train was packed with vacationers returning home to Paris from the south of France. Fortunately, I'd been able to reserve a couchette, which meant that I'd be sharing a cramped compartment with five other passengers, both male and female, each of us spending the night on a foam slab with a blanket and pillow and zero privacy.
Needless to say, I was somewhat self-conscious when I came face-to-face with my fellow travelers. They were obviously more accustomed to life in second class than I was: to my dismay, I noticed that my bunk was on top, which meant I'd have to climb over two of them to turn in. The lower bunk on my side of the compartment was occupied by a young man who was already asleep, but the middle bunk was taken by an elderly Frenchman who couldn't keep his eyes off me. I tried as best I could to be ladylike as I put my foot on his bed and climbed up to the top bunk in my skirt. What a hassle!
I closed my eyes and tried desperately to get some sleep, but it was impossible. Tossing and turning, I went over my escape plan once again. By now, the authorities would have identified Madison Monroe as the woman who spent thousands of pounds at Burberry's, and a routine check with her credit card company would send them chasing after her in North Africa. However, it was her past movements that most concerned me: once again, I painstakingly went over the trail I'd left since I arrived in Europe. Madison Monroe had surfaced in Amsterdam in February, coinciding with the date and place where Ashley's trail went cold. From there she traveled to Paris, and after a brief stay she flew on to Nice, where she rented a villa in Provence and rented a car for six months before flying to London. Then back to Paris again, on her way to Tangier....there was nothing to connect me with the apartment in Paris, and I blessed Jacques for convincing me to stay there. Yes, I'd thought of everything, and by this time tomorrow I would be in the clear. There was one little detail that I was unaware of, but it would become apparent soon enough...
Eventually I must have fallen asleep, because I was awakened by the sounds of my coachmates getting up and dressed. I'd taken off my skirt and top and folded them carefully under my pillow. There was nothing for it but to climb back down in my bra and panties to get myself dressed. The lecherous old man on the bunk below me enjoyed the spectacle of my jiggling breasts as I hopped down, pulled on my top and hurriedly stepped into my skirt. At least I didn't have to worry about a bulge in my panties giving me away – the hormones had taken care of that. I found my shoes somehow and got into the long line for a lavatory. Being a woman was an incredible hassle, but not being a rich woman was a total bitch!
Eventually I pulled myself together and staggered into the crowded dining car, where I waited in another line for a table to share. There was no romantic rendezvous with a distinguished doctor this time, only two elderly women who glowered at me as I nibbled on my croissant and sipped my coffee. I sullenly ignored them as we rolled through the suburbs of Paris, only returning to my compartment to collect my suitcase when it was time to get off the train.
Fighting my way through the crowded station with my suitcase in tow, I'd never felt so grungy in my life. To add to my misery, it was raining in Paris, and it took me forever to hail a cab to my apartment. How I missed my Burberry's trench coat! I took the precaution of having the taxi drop me off a few blocks away, so I was soaked to the skin by the time I dragged myself to my door. The doorman greeted me with pity. "Mademoiselle, I have some keys for you," he said.
My heart soared at the news. He was kind enough to bring the car around for me, and soon I was crawling through the rush hour traffic in the warmth and luxury of a Mercedes. Things were looking up! Eventually I was able to cut against the traffic and start making good time on the motorway north, towards the Low Countries.