A Murder Misstery Aloft


"Mom, there's something I need to tell you. Yesterday, I was planning to go to Dad's funeral, but I lost my nerve after I noticed that the FBI had it under surveillance."

"The FBI! I thought they thought you were dead."

"So did I, but it was the same two agents who chased after me in Europe." I'd told her all about my adventures the night before, and she asked me to describe them. When I did, she nodded knowingly.

"I've seen them hanging around Winnetka." She got up and peeked out the living room window. "There's no sign of them now, but the men you described have been around the neighborhood asking questions about you, and every so often I'll see one of them when I'm at the store or driving by. The nerve of them staking out your father's funeral!"

"I don't want to get you in trouble, Mom. Somehow I've got to get out of the country."

"Where do you plan to go?"

"Montreal, then hopefully Paris." After our gabfest the night before, she knew all about Jacques, and it was clear that she disapproved of her daughter carrying on an affair with a married man.

She bit her tongue while I helped her with the dishes, until she said, "Your brothers have encouraged me to take a long vacation. They think a round-the-world cruise or a safari would help me take my mind off all the sad memories here in Winnetka."

"That's a good idea, but won't it be awfully expensive for you to keep up this house while you're away."

"Honey, your father was very successful. He sold his business when his health started to deteriorate. Your mother is a very wealthy woman."

Still, I was worried about the thought of her traveling alone. "Take it from me, international travel is very stressful since 911."

"Your father had some unused time on NetJets, its sort of a timeshare for private planes. I went with him on a few trips before he sold his business, it's very luxurious! There's enough time left for me to travel anywhere in the world, and as I recall, passports are a mere formality."

"Where are you planning to go?"

"The thought of a cruise without your father depresses me, and the last thing I want to do at my age is troop through a jungle full of wild animals. If I had a traveling companion, there is one place I've always wanted to visit. In fact, I might even buy a home there."

"Where is that, Mom?"


* * *

I crouched down on the floor of Mom's SUV as she backed out of the long, winding driveway, cringing as she shimmied over the snow-covered lawn a few times before she made it safely to the street. "The coast is clear," she said at length after checking the rear view mirror several times.

I hauled myself up into the passenger seat and fussed with my skirt and slip, tugging them down over my nylons. Mom gave me a sympathetic smile and said, "It's amazing how well you've adapted to being a woman."

"It's all self-taught, Mom. I mean, I had a lot of help from Tracy in the very beginning, but that was only for a few days. Since then, I've been on my own, and there's been a lot of trial and error."

"Would you mind terribly if I gave you some tips, you know, just the little things that we women learn when we're growing up as girls and take for granted?"

I sat back in my chair and sighed. "Sure, Mom. Since I'm stuck like this for the rest of my life, I may as well get used to it."

"Methinks she doth protest too much."


"Has it really been that hard on you, honey?"

"I don't know...to tell you the truth, the girl stuff has been the least of my problems. I mean, I've been on the lam for almost a year. Maybe in some ways, changing genders helped me take my mind off everything else I left behind. The only way for me to survive was to forget about who I was and get good at being a girl."

"That makes sense, and it helps to explain something that has puzzled me. Once you found yourself in Europe, couldn't you have just as easily disguised yourself as a man?"

"Don't think I haven't asked myself that question a thousand times, Mom. It wasn't till last night that I discovered the answer."

"You mean our dress up sessions when you were little...."

"From the moment that Tracy first helped me dress up in her clothes, we both knew that something scary was going on. I mean, I took to it so easily, Tracy couldn't believe how good I looked as a girl. Then, when I hooked up with Jacques in Paris, he told me that I was the most naturally feminine person he ever met. How's that for a shot to a guy's ego?"

"But you never came across as effeminate once I stopped...."

"Once you stopped dressing me up as a girl? I guess it was still there all along, buried down deep inside."

"What have I done?"

"You saved my life, Mom. It's not the life I wanted for myself, but it's mine now, and I'm going to make the most of it."

"Oh Maddy, I'll do anything I can to make this up to you."

"Just help me get good at this. I promise I won't mind if you call me out on things I'm doing wrong, just as long as you understand that I'm a woman now. So if I want to shack up with Jacques..."

She shook her head and wiped away a tear. "I suppose I'm lucky I missed the teenage years." We rode in silence as she wove in and out of the traffic approaching Midway Airport, until she got to the exit for the General Aviation terminal. It was like another world: valet attendants greeted us and whisked away our suitcases while a uniformed attendant ushered us into a reception area that resembled the lobby of a private club. Mom gave our names and the tail number of our airplane to a pretty young woman behind the counter, who took our passports and handed them to yet another uniformed attendant, and the next thing I knew we were walking across the blustery tarmac towards a glistening private jet. Mom managed the stairs with ease, and I bounded up after her despite my heels.

If I thought the terminal was impressive, the well-appointed cabin of our plane was downright luxurious. The handsome co-pilot greeted us with a cheerful, "Good evening ladies," and before I knew it I was sitting back in a plush leather chair with a flute of champagne in my hand. Mom sat facing me and showed me how to swivel and recline my chair. I gratefully kicked off my heels and flexed my aching toes, and once again Mom gave me that knowing smile of female sympathy as she watched me trying to get comfortable in my skirt.

"It's going to be a long flight. I'm going to change into a jogging suit as soon as we take off, did you bring something to sleep in?" she asked.

D'oh! "I don't think so, Mom...I mean, other than some flimsy nightgowns I got in St. Martin, and a long flannel one I bought in Montreal..."

"Well, you'll just have to sleep as you are. At least put a blanket over your legs so you'll be decent." I stuck out my tongue at her, thinking with chagrin about how after taking Europe by storm as a single female, I was reverting to being her little girl!

All of a sudden we were rolling. Just like that, the pilots gunned the engines and we were rocketing down the runway. I didn't even have my seatbelt on! Mom watched with amusement as I searched desperately for it in the folds of my skirt, found both ends and snapped them shut moments before we lifted off. "I was just like you on my first flight with your father," Mom reminisced.

"Did he really hate me that much?"

"Of course not, dear. Of course we didn't believe it when you were accused of embezzlement, but then when you were linked to the murder of your business partner, we were both devastated. It wasn't until they reported that you fled the country in women's clothing that he gave up on you, but he never really hated you. He was hurt, embarrassed, and very disappointed."

"Can I ask a question that's been bothering me a lot?"

"Of course."

"Could what I did have contributed to his death?"

"Of course not, honey! Oh, you poor thing...no, he was diagnosed with cancer shortly before all that happened, and he chose to keep it from you and your brothers as long as possible. He was a very proud man, and he didn't want anyone feeling sorry for him. I suppose that's why he was so humiliated when you turned yourself into a woman...but in answer to your question, he never hated you, and shortly before he died he told me that the first thing he was going to do when he got to heaven was track you down and straighten you out!"

I wiped away a tear. "Thanks, Mom, that means a lot to me."

"Your father lived his life to the fullest," she said, looking around the sumptuous plane. "As he used to say, this is the only way to fly!"

As if on cue, the cute co-pilot sauntered back from the open cockpit door, and after pinning up a map showing our flight plan from Chicago to Paris, he asked us if we we'd like cocktails or wine before dinner. Mom selected a vintage chardonnay from the short wine list and retired to the lavatory in the back of the plane to change her clothes, leaving me to chat with the obviously interested hunk. "Are you sure it's okay for you to play bartender instead of helping to fly the plane?" I asked.

"Relax," he smiled. "The old man has everything under control, besides we've been on auto-pilot since the wheels went up. My name is Rick, by the way. You're welcome to come up and sit in my seat if you want to fly the plane for a while."

"Me, fly the plane?"

"Girls can do anything these days. While I'm playing flight attendant, you can play pilot."

"Why not?" I heard myself say, and in my stocking feet I followed him into the cramped cockpit, where the middle-aged captain greeted me with hearty hello. I hiked up my skirt and hopped into the empty right-hand seat, then Rick strapped me in and put a set of headphones on my ears.

"Just don't touch anything, sweetheart," the captain said into his microphone. So much for flying the plane! I sat back awkwardly and watched as Rick pointed out the different instruments and reported on our flight speed, altitude and position. When he reached down to adjust one of the controls, his hand brushed against my knee, and it lingered there until Mom poked her head into the cockpit.

"Good Lord, what are you doing up here!"

"She's going a great job," Rick said. Then he disappeared into the cabin, with Mom two steps behind him. I looked down and realized that my skirt was clear up to my thighs, revealing a froth of lacy slip. When would I ever get used to these clothes? I tugged down my skirt and looked over at the captain, expecting to see him leering at me. Instead, was shocked to find him sound asleep in his seat! Sure enough, I could hear him snoring in my headphones.

I sensed someone coming up behind me. "Let me take these off your pretty little head," Rick said.

"He's asleep!" I whispered.

"Don't worry," Rick smiled. "If anything goes wrong, there are enough alarms in here to wake the dead. Better for him to rest up for the landing."

"But we just took off," I said.

"I'll take it for awhile, now that I'm done playing flight attendant. Dinner is served. I'll be back for dessert," he added, and before I could figure out what he meant, he leaned over and kissed me smack on the lips. Instinctively, I kissed him back, a long, lingering kiss that lit a fire in my panties. I treated him to a sensational leg show when I climbed out of his seat, and as I made my way out of the cockpit I remembered what one of my old girlfriends used to do to drive me wild, so I flipped up my skirt to show him my behind. That ought to keep him awake for a while, I said to myself.

Mom was waiting for me with an amused expression on her face. "If I didn't know better, I could swear that you have an interest in that young man," she said between sips of chardonnay.

"He's cute," I replied as I surveyed the sumptuous meal which Rick had placed on the table by my seat: lobster salad, chicken marsala, and key lime pie. "Wow, he can cook, too!"

"I suppose I should approve. After all, he's not married, so far as we know...."

"Just because Jacques has a mistress doesn't make him a bad person. No self-respecting man in France can exist without one," I pronounced, reverting to Madeline's Parisian accent.

"Thank God I had your flyboy open another bottle of wine," Mom sighed as she drained her glass and pulled the second bottle of chardonnay out of the ice bucket. Other than the occasional toast at a family gathering, I had never seen her drink, and was a bit of a shock to watch her getting tipsy. Then again, after her husband's death and her son's sex change, it was a miracle that she wasn't an alcoholic. I held out my glass, and soon we were both feeling no pain as we curled up in the luxurious seats after our delicious dinner. Mom took a little plastic case from her purse and tossed back a prescription sleeping pill. "I know I'm not supposed to mix these with alcohol, but your father used to do it all the time on business, and otherwise I'll never get to sleep. Would you care for one?"

For some reason, I declined, and before long Mom was sound asleep, with an eyeshade over her face and headphones pumping Montovani into her ears. I was sipping the last of the wine when Rick sauntered down the aisle from the cockpit. He knelt down beside me and took my face in his hands. "God, you're so beautiful," he said, then he kissed me again, a long, soulful kiss that started my toes tingling. I felt his hand sliding up my skirt, caressing my silky legs, and it took me a moment to realize that I was getting wet, a whole new sensation for me! Without a word, Rick took my hand and I followed him breathlessly towards the lavatory at the back of the plane. He opened the door, gently pushed me inside and closed and locked the door behind us. God, it was so cramped in there, there was barely room for us to move!

Rick started kissing the back of my neck, and I heard him unfastening his belt and unzipping his trousers, which fell to the floor. Then he pressed me against the mirror above the tiny sink and pulled up the back of my skirt and slip. I felt my panties and hose being tugged down to my knees, then he started exploring me with his finger, which got me so excited I thought I was going to come right there. Then he grabbed my hips hard with both hands and pushed himself inside me. I gave a little gasp as he pumped away with abandon, snarling with lust while he reached under my top and played with my tits. I tried not to moan too loud but it was so hard, as he pumped me again and again, harder and harder.

My eyes were glued to the mirror, and it was almost like an out-of-body experience, watching this total stranger, who last year might have been one of Matt's drinking buddies, and the girl who was now me clutching the front of her skirt and slip with both hands, her pink lips parted in ecstasy, her blonde hair damp with desire. When Rick told me he was about to come, it was almost an anticlimax when I felt him explode inside me. This was not a romantic seduction, it was an old-fashioned fucking, and even though I didn't come with him, it felt so damn good to have a man inside me!

We stood there for a few minutes, panting from the exertion, before he pulled up his trousers, zipped himself up, and returned to the cockpit after mumbling a few forgettable words of endearment. I squatted down on the miniature toilet, my head resting in my hands while I waited for his jism to drip out of me. I felt so wicked! Eventually I pulled myself together as best I could in the little lavatory, struggling as I stuffed my tits back into my bra, untwisted my hose and panties and straightened my slip and skirt.

With apprehension, I finally opened the door, wondering whether my mother might have discovered her daughter's dereliction. But she was still sound asleep, and I breathed a sign of relief as I wrapped a blanket around my legs and curled up in my seat. So much for becoming Momma's little girl! Well and truly fucked, I was soaring to new heights – as a fully frocked member of the mile high club. It took me a long time to fall into a restless sleep.

By the author of The Jessica Project

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