MAU: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing - Chapter 6

MAU: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

by Sleethr

~o~O~o~

Sequel to: MAU: More Than Meets the Eye

Jenna tells Mike her secret and Hector gets married.

~o~O~o~

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents
are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Copyright  © 2013 by R. Nelson aka Sleethr
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the author
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


 

~o~O~o~

 

Chapter Six

 

Jenna found her breath catch her throat as she hurriedly contemplated what to tell her co-star.   She couldn't tell him the truth, but she had to give him something that sounded plausible.   She had the secret agent story in play, it had some supporting evidence and he believed it.  She decided to add a few more layers to the established lie.

Mike chuckled, interrupting her train of thought. “You’re going to lie to me, aren’t you?”

“No…” Jenna sighed with resignation and rested her head on his chest. “Okay, not completely, but since you know I’m an ex-CIA agent; I guess I can tell you most of the truth, but you’re probably not going to believe it.”

“Oh, you don’t think I can handle the truth?” Mike adlibbed the famous movie line perfectly, causing Jenna to smile.

“Ha!” Jenna pulled away and poked him lightly in his chest. “You totally can’t handle the truth!” She said with a passable Jack Nicholson impression.

He responded with a chuckle and pulled her back to his side. After a slight pause, Mike resumed his line of questioning. “So, are you going to tell me or what?”

“Fine, but don’t say I didn’t warn ya. I’m not sure your oversized male ego can handle finding out that a girl can kick your ass,” She smirked as she considered how hypocritical she sounded to herself. Hector used to look up to this man. “But no telling anyone else and I do mean no one, got it?”

Jenna pulled away from his warm embrace and looked in the general direction that she assumed his face was in.  She thought about activating her Snake Eyes goggles so she could see him, but decided against it.

“Yep, Top Secret, CIA stuff. Go directly to jail, do not collect 200 bucks, got it!” Mike chuckled.

“Exactly!” Jenna nervously licked her lips before continuing. She decided to sprinkle in a little of the truth. “Okay, so it started when I was in the Army. I went in as a 12N or Horizontal Construction Engineer and no jokes about “horizontal” being a euphemism for sex!” She paused, expecting him to say something. “Anyway, I figured being an engineer and building things was not only a safe job, but a good career when I got out because people are always building roads, right?”

“Uh, huh…” Mike dubiously replied. “I just can’t believe that a woman as beautiful as you, was in the Army.”

Jenna agreed with him because women in the construction field was incredibly rare and beauty had nothing to do with it. Now it was time to lay on the bull shit and pray that he believed her. “Anyway, I was in Iraq and my vehicle got hit by an IED. I was hurt pretty bad and airlifted out. The docs expected me to lose my legs, maybe an arm and my intestines were pretty bad. That was if I didn’t die first, but a doc from a secret project showed up at my bed and offered me a chance.  I took it and now I’m here.” She purposefully left out a lot of details from her superhero origin story. She hoped that Mike wouldn’t think ask for specific and technical details.

“Whoa, now that is a pretty big gap. What happened? Did they inject you with on of those super soldier serum or some other top secret thing?”

Mike’s imagination was pretty good and it gave her an idea on how to fill in the gaps. “Well,” Jenna pretended to hesitate. “This is all Top Secret, but, it was kinda like Captain America’s super soldier serum.  It fixed me up in no time. Gave me super regeneration, strength and reflexes. but it hurt like hell because pain meds didn’t work.”

“That’s cool. So, the Army has a bunch of super soldiers now?”

Jenna laughed as she figured out a reason why the Army didn’t have a ton of super soldiers if her results worked.

“What’s so funny?”

“Oh, the serum worked for me, but it didn’t work on men. They canceled the program as soon as they found that little defect out because having an army of super women didn’t appeal to leadership.”

“Why didn’t it work for men?  Seems like it should’ve.”

Jenna was very glad Mike couldn’t see her face because his question was pretty good. She wracked her brain for a good answer. “Well, I’m not sure, but I think it was because women have two copies of the X chromosome, while men only have one. You know, XX and XY?”  She paused for a second, waiting for him to call bullshit and when he didn’t, she forged ahead. “So, that’s why I can kick your butt. Happy?”

Mike laughed. “You’re still leaving a lot out babe because that doesn’t explain why you’re so heavy.”

Damn, he had to bring that little detail up. Jenna sighed with frustration. “Oh, that…” She hesitantly laughed as she thought of her favorite superhero’s origin story. “That kinda hurt, a lot.”

“Go on…” Mike encouraged her to continue.

“Before they figured out it wouldn’t work on men, they had one more enhancement. They figured that having stronger muscles wouldn’t help if it caused the soldiers to break their bones when using the strength…”

“Okay…”

“So, they figured out a way to replace all my bones with a super strong metal alloy and that’s what added the weight.”  Jenna prayed he didn’t have any more questions.

“I see...” Mike paused, mulling over her story.

No, he really couldn’t see and Jenna was grateful for that because she was pretty sure her poker face sucked.  She really didn’t enjoy lying to people.

“So, what you’re saying is that the Army made you into a female Wolverine, right?”

“Umm, yeah?” Jenna hesitantly answered, worried about the direction his statement could go. Did he believe her story or was he going to call her on it?

“Well, that’s pretty damn cool! Do you have claws? How did you meet Natalie? I kinda thought you and her where, you know. Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” The questions gushed out of his mouth with no control or filter.

It took a second for Jenna to process his questions and figure out how to answer. “Yes. At a club. No, we’re not and who has the time?”

“So, you’re not a lesbian?” Mike completely ignored her origin story and skipped directly to his libido.

“Damn it Mike!” Jenna angrily pulled away. “I tell you my secret and all you care about is sex!”  She activated her Snake Eyes costume and it’s built in thermographic vision mode. The cave walls suddenly flared into being with bright shades of blue and green due to the heat differences. Looking back at Mike, he was mostly yellow and red.  

“Jenna, where did you go?” Mike glanced blindly around the cave as he reached out to try and find her by touch.  He shifted directions, heading for the light.

“Don’t use that. I’m here. Hand me the water bottle. I’m going to go get us some water before I do something I’ll regret!” Jenna expectantly held out her hand for a few seconds before she realized Mike couldn’t see her.  She leaned over and pulled the bottle from his hand.

She made it ten to fifteen feet away before the light flared to life behind her. “Damnit!” She spun back, “I told you not to waste the batteries. I can see fine without it.”

“What? How?” Mike stammered and reflexively aimed the light toward the woman wearing an armored ninja costume, complete with sword.

“That’s another story and based on what you really seem to care about, not one I’ll be telling you anytime soon. Now, turn the damn light off. I’ll be back in a fifteen to twenty minutes. Don’t come looking for me if not.” Jenna softened her tone as she realized what might happen to Mike if he had an accident in the cave. “Remember, I can heal and you can’t.”

“Umm, okay…” Mike clicked the light off as Jenna turned away. “Sorry and be safe.”

Jenna was a little surprised the jerk didn’t try to stop her, but then again, he probably realized that it would’ve been pointless for him to try.  His apology did surprise her. “I will. Don’t worry about me.”

It took her only a few minutes to find the vertical shaft leading deeper into the cave. Glancing down, it appeared to be between twenty and thirty feet and far too straight to be 100% natural.  Using her super-gecko gloves, she easily climbed down the shaft.  At the bottom, was the rotted remains of a wooden ladder, telling her that someone had been here in the past.  She followed her nose deeper into the cave system and found a larger cave with a small pool fed by a natural spring. 

After drinking her fill, she filled the water bottle. She debated heading back for Mike, but decided to explore a little more before she did. The cave had been used by people in the past and maybe there was another way out. 

Jenna used her sense of smell more than her vision to guide her.  She found more evidence of human habitation, but it all looked very old. Probably from World War 2, but it was hard for her to say.  Another decayed ladder and a small pile of animal skeletons gave her the first clue that she might have found a second exit. Looking up, she spotted a square hole cut into the ceiling of the cave.

The dead animals must have fallen down and died from the fall. The entrance to the hole was a little over ten feet and if not for her powers, it would’ve been hopelessly out of reach for her.  As it was, she simply crouched down and jumped up, easily reaching the start of the shaft. 

Her gecko gloves easily latched onto the wall of the artificially cut shaft, allowing her to pull herself completely into the shaft where she could use her feet to help with the climb.  The shaft went vertical for about forty feet before turning ninety degrees, creating a small ledge. On the ledge were a few more small animal skeletons and looking up, she noticed a small shaft starlight poking through about ten feet away. 

Checking the time with visor’s built in display, she decided to forgo freedom to return to Mike and give him the water and an update. She had been gone for twenty minutes and she didn’t want him doing something stupid. Not that she expected anything different from him at this point. 

A soft growl of frustration escaped her throat as she replayed his lesbian question.  She climbed back down the shaft and dropped soundlessly to the cavern floor below.  It took her less than five minutes to retrace her steps back to the shaft that led up to the part of the cave she left her macho co-star. 

Predictable, Jenna was met with a bright light and the idiot trying to figure out a way to spider climb down the shaft. “Damn it Mike! I told you I’d be back.” She yelled up at the man, stopping him from attempting his climb down.

“Hey, I was worried!” Mike yelled back. “You’ve been gone for over thirty minutes and I couldn’t take it any longer.”

“Geez, ya big baby. It was only twenty-five!” Jenna snickered, her anger momentarily forgotten.

“Fine, whatever. Did you find anything?”

“Yep, but you need to move you fat ass out of the way so I can climb back up there.”

“And that’s why I love her…” Mike softly muttered to himself as he stepped away from the top of the shaft, his voice too low for anyone else to hear.

Jenna caught his words and paused, tempted to yell at him for being an idiot, but stopped herself. Sighing heavily she jumped and quickly reached the top. 

“That is a cool costume.” Mike reached over to help her finish the climb.

Jenna brushed off his help. “I’m good and yes, yes it is.” She handed him the filled water bottle. “Drink. I found a good source of water and an exit, but there is zero chance you can make the climb.”

“Hey, I’ve had some training. I can climb it.”

“No, you can’t. One, look at your hands.” Jenna pointed to Mike’s cut up fingers. “Two, it’s a forty foot vertical shaft and Three, the opening to the shaft is in the ceiling of the cave, ten plus feet off the floor with no way to get your fat butt up there.”

“If you can do it, I can do it.”

Jenna reached over and lightly punched Mike’s arm with frustration. Her frustration caused her to punch him a little harder than she planned.  “Don’t give me that macho bullshit! Did you not listen to anything I said?!?!”

Mike winced and pulled away, rubbing his arm. “Of course I did babe, but we need to get out. So, I’ll just have to suck it up and do it.”

Jenna growled. “Stop calling me babe and no ‘you’ don’t. We have a rescue team outside. We tell them about the shaft and they can drop some climbing gear down so we can safely get your movie star ass outta here, got it?”

“Oh, yeah…” Mike glanced away, embarrassed. “Umm, so now what?”

“Drink, and I’ll see if I can’t reach the folks outside the cave with our Morse code trick.” Jenna pointed to the water bottle in Mike’s hand as she strode past him, back toward the cave in.

The stunt crew found the back door and using their copious supplies of professional climbing gear, they were easily able to drop the set’s medic, a few addition stunt men and a small camera crew into the cave. After the medic treated Mike’s hands, they extracted him and Jenna from the cave. 

Jenna wasn’t too keen on the camera crew showing up and documenting their ordeal, but Kelly was beyond ecstatic and filled with ideas on how to use the harrowing --her words-- cave-in and rescue to generate even more publicity for the film.

The next day, she found herself boarding the yacht to get back to Hawaii for the flight back to the states instead of the much faster cargo plane. Jenna really wanted to get home and away from Mike’s influence, but it seemed like the universe, the producer and Kelly were conspiring against her.

Jenna would’ve liked to say the three extra days on the yacht sucked, but they didn’t.  They were very relaxing and she was caught more than once by Kelly and Kim glancing at a bare chested Mike with an expression that looked suspiciously like affection showing in her eyes. Instead of sitting across the table and as far away as possible from Mike during meals, for some reason, she found herself gravitating to his side.

Embarrassingly for her, her friends didn’t point out her behavior until the evening before the third and final day of the trip. After realizing what she was doing, she tried to fight the feeling by using Mr. Happy while fantasizing about Natalie, but once again her body betrayed her.  It wasn’t until she starting coming down from an unusually powerful orgasm that she realized she had been thinking of Mike ravishing her body instead of Natalie.

Stunned and horrified by the revelation, Jenna spent the final day on the yacht avoiding Mike like the plague. She didn’t want anything to do with him and reciting the mantra that ‘knowing is half the battle’, she felt a dose of renewed confidence in her ability to resist the man’s charms.

Her resolve and confidence was tested when the pair arrived at the airport and were mobbed by the flashing cameras and news crews anxious for a few words from the heroes of a pirate attack.  Jenna was completely surprised to learn that Interpol had just released the news after making a ton of arrests the day before.  It wasn’t the news and the mob that upset her, it was the fact that her first reaction was to cling to Mike and look to him for protection.

Her reaction lasted less than a second before she caught herself, but with all the cameras; the damage was done.  Jenna found herself being referred to as Mike’s stunning co-star and girlfriend by the gossip magazines and even worse, the press.  She wanted to punch the man, but couldn’t with all the cameras and witnesses.  She also was forced to sit next to Mike for the flight.  Thankfully, the seats were first class and she had plenty of room to sit next to him without sitting in his lap like she would’ve been forced to do in the coach section.

An hour into the flight, Jenna was surprised by an adorable ten year old girl’s request for an autograph.  Glancing behind the girl, she spotted more than a few anxious and hopeful young faces peering her way. She used the opportunity to get away from Mike and meet her fans.  It was a new and uplifting experience for her to realize she had so many girls who knew her and looked up to her as a role model. She didn’t understand how they could know her so quickly. The movie was not even close to being released.

It wasn’t until she met and spoke with girl’s mother that she found out how popular the story about how she introduced two fans to each other was on the social media sites.  The news about the pirate attack and her official role only added fuel to the media frenzy.  She was known as the woman who wasn’t afraid to risk her life for her friends and was dating one of the most eligible bachelors in Hollywood.

Jenna managed to spend two hours away from Mike by speaking with her fans in coach class. It wasn’t until the plane hit a little turbulence that she was forced to return to her assigned seat.  Even though she knew it wasn’t his fault, she blamed Mike and used that as an excuse to keep herself from falling for his attempts to engage her in conversation. For the rest of the flight, she pretended to read a book and kept her responses as short as possible to avoid looking at him.

She also used a small amount of perfume in an effort prevent his intoxicating masculine scent from invading her nose.  She was only partially successful. Her enhanced sense of smell was too good and it betrayed her by filtering out her own scent to track the one her body wanted.  She never felt happier to see Sadie and Natalie waiting for her in baggage claim, just so she could get away from Mike and back home with Natalie. She prayed Jenna’s influence would go away once she returned to being Hector.

~o~O~o~

The first few weeks back had been a little frustrating for Hector. The first week back, Jenna was forced to put in a solid week of 12 to 14 hour days doing retakes and voice overs for CGI effects, which kept Hector from enjoying his time with Natalie.

Once he was finally able to be himself for a few days, Hector was immensely relieved to learn that he wasn’t at all attracted to men and it made him feel a little ashamed because he hated feeling like a homophobic jerk.  He discovered that it took about six hours before his sexual preferences would start to shift to match his body’s gender.  He used that knowledge to minimize his time spent as Jenna and thus, reduce his confusion about Mr. Powers.

As a result, as soon as Jenna returned home from the studio after a day of retakes, she jumped into the shower and shifted back to Hector. Once, she felt a little reluctant to shift back, but she reminded herself that Hector loved Natalie.  In the morning, before returning to the studio, Hector waited until the last minute before he shifted back to Jenna. The strategy seemed to do the trick. Jenna was able to easily ignore Mike and return to having more of a professionally friendly relationship with the man. 

It had been almost a month since he returned from the island and well over six months since Hector had been in the bar he frequented with his construction worker friends. After he exchanged greetings and some banter with his former work crew, he debated if setting up a meeting with Sadie at his favorite watering hole was a good idea.  He and Greg occasionally met each other a couple of times and it was never a problem, but at the time, Greg was a guy. Sure, he was an accountant and viewed as a REMF by his fellow construction workers, but since he was Hector’s friend, they only mildly teased him about his cushy office job. 

Now that Greg was literally a robo-babe, Hector expected Sadie to be bear the brunt of an entirely new level of abuse from his rough and tumble former co-workers.  She was coming directly from the office and he expected her to be dressed in high-end white collar fashion. Making her stand out even more in the firmly blue collar establishment. She was due to arrive any minute now and he had no idea what would happen when she walked in.  It did not go well for the last white collar woman who dared to intrude.  The poor woman must have thought she was going to be raped due to all the cat calls and whistles from the burly and sun-burnt construction workers.

His old Army buddy Ratchet was belly up to the bar nursing a beer.  Hector caught his eye and gave him the signal that he needed to talk to him.  His plan was to ask Ratchet to be his best man, but the plan went to hell with Sadie’s arrival.   She surprised him by being dressed in a casual outfit, but her super-model height and good looks accented by her eye catching, flaming red hair, skintight jeans, high heel ankle boots matched to a modest top drew the eyes of every red blooded male in the room, including his. 

The door closed behind her and the conversation halted in an ever expanding ripple like a stone thrown into a calm pond. Her eyes locked onto him, bringing a friendly smile to her face as she confidently began to make her way to his table. In her wake, she left a smattering of love struck men as she politely, with just enough force to sting, smacked their wandering hands away.  Hector briefly wondered if she wanted to be in Jenna’s next movie.  She would make an excellent villainess or femme fatale. Hell, put some glasses on her and pull her hair up and she might even manage to pull off the sexy tech geek look.

Hector, along with every man in the bar, tensed when Ratchet politely stopped her advance with a light touch on her shoulder to get her attention. His buddy was a pretty big guy, but a teddy bear at heart. He prayed that Sadie didn’t take his friend’s advances the wrong way. 

“Pardon me ma’am, can I get you a drink?” Ratchet’s deep, bass voice easily carried across the still silent bar area as every man ached to know what was going to happen.  It was uncanny how much of an effect Sadie’s presence had on the men.  Hector made a mental note to himself to never come here as Jenna.

Sadie smiled politely and gestured toward Hector. “Thanks for the offer, but no thanks. I’m just here to meet my friend Hector.”

Ratchet spun around on his barstool and angrily scowled at Hector.  “Damnit Hector! It’s been six months since we saw your ugly face and you’re already back to your old tricks!”

Hector chuckled, leaned back in his chair and blew on his fingers as if they were burning.  His reputation as a lady killer was still intact and thanks to Sadie, even stronger. He decided the best course was to play along. “Hey, what can I say? When you’re hot, you’re hot.”

The bar erupted with laughter and the conversion returned to its normal level as the men accepted Sadie as off limits.  Ratchet chuckled and stood, revealing his full six, close to seven foot height. The man was like a brick wall and not for the first time, Hector wondered why his friend never tried out for the NFL. He would make an excellent defensive lineman.

“Make a hole for the lady!” Ratchet bellowed, using his best Army drill sergeant voice while he forced his way toward Hector’s table, pulling a bemused Sadie along in his wake.

“I’ve seen Michelle and she’s not her. Yer not thinking about cheating on her, are ya!?” The imposing giant glowered at Hector.

“Nope, she’s not Natalie, but sorry, she’s already married, two babies. She’s here to go over some of the wedding plans,” Hector chuckled, “but I think I should’ve picked a better location.” He turned to Sadie. “Sadie, meet Ratchet. Ratchet, Sadie.”

Sadie’s startled gasp reminded Hector that Ratchet was the name of an Autobot. He knew Ratchet was also a Transformers fan and he prayed he didn’t make the connection with Sadie and Arcee. Not that he expected him to. Sadie looked human and that bit of trivia was pretty esoteric and he didn’t think his buddy was that big of a Transformer’s nerd.

“Nice to meet you, umm, Ratchet.” Sadie stumbled a little over his friend’s name as she politely shook his hand. “You’re a Transformers fan?”

“Ha!” Ratchet’s face broke into a big grin. “My real name’s Tom, but my friends call me Ratchet. Not many people get the name, but yeah, I fix the big machines that this,” he gestured to Hector, “knucklehead likes to break and the nickname kinda stuck.”

Hector sighed and shook his head. “Can I help it if the previous operator ran over something and weakened the track?”

“Right buddy, sure.” Ratchet chuckled. “If that helps you sleep at night while yours truly is stuck fixing the track, in the pouring rain and with mud up to top of his boots.”

Hector leaned back in his chair and took a sip from his beer. “Ya big baby! And who was there helping you?”

“Ahh, I know. Just giving ya shit bro.” Ratchet pulled away a chair and politely motioned for Sadie to sit before he took a second chair, reversed it and sitting down on it backwards.  “So, you said you needed to talk to me about something. Is now a good time?”

Hector glanced guiltily over to Sadie for a brief moment. “Yeah, I guess so. We’ve know each other for, well, a while and we served together. So, how would you like to be my best man?”

He could tell Sadie was momentarily saddened by his question, but she seemed to recover quickly. Ratchet responded exactly how expected him to with a hearty “Hell yes!” and an order for a few rounds of tequila shots and not the cheap stuff either.

Much to his chagrin, Ratchet decided to recount some of their Iraq war stories. Not really war since they never did combat patrols like the infantry, but they did come under fire a few times and had their share of craptastic situations. 

After their third round, Ratchet chuckled and glanced over to Hector. “Hey, you remember that time the company was convoying to a site and the whole way there the lead vehicle was blasting 'America, Fuck Yeah!' at full volume?”

Hector grinned apologetically at Sadie as she looked on with confusion, not getting the joke. It was kind of something where you had to be there to really understand, but he found himself laughing as he recalled the aftermath. “Yeah, the LT was not happy about it when he found out, but I thought it was pretty damn funny when the MPs guarding the gate at the next FOB actually fell down laughing as we passed through!”

After a few more shared experiences, Ratchet left the pair to get some grub.  Sadie surprised Hector by giving his buddy a hug before he left the table. “He’s pretty nice. I’m glad he was available for you.” She said after she returned to her seat and Ratchet was out of earshot.

Hector sighed, once again regretting his lack of tact in asking Ratchet in front of Sadie. “Yeah, me too and sorry.”
 

“Hey, de nada. Shit happens.” Sadie smirked mischievously. “I’m just glad I’m going to be able to witness the taming of El Gran Lobo.”

“Ha!” Hector laughed at Sadie using his old lady killer nickname before his thoughts fondly returned to Natalie. “Yeah, Natalie’s the One, ya know?”

Sadie smiled and nodded with agreement. “Yep, I know how you feel.” She sat forward. “So, how’s things going with you being,” She furtively glance around the bar, “Umm, away?”

“It’s been, no is, very weird.” Hector sighed, his frustration with being Jenna resurfaced. He was regretting his decision more and more as his time as Jenna grew exponentially. “She’s taking over my life. I was only supposed to be her for one night, just to see what it was like, ya know?”

“Oh yeah, I totally know…” Sadie nodded, solemnly agreeing with him as only someone who had also jumped the gender fence could.

“Yeah, but then I met Natalie and everything changed. Then, it was the chance to be in a movie and now, all hell is breaking loose because when I’m Jenna, it’s like I really am Jenna. She’s starting to like Mike and that totally creeps me out.” Hector shuddered with revulsion as his thoughts crossed over and into the forbidden homosexual zone. “I feel like I have a split personality or something.”

“Hmmm, I’m not sure if I can help you because I’m not exactly a normal woman,” Sadie sighed, looking disappointed, “but I’m guessing that when you’re Jenna, your body’s female chemistry impact how you think and feel.” She paused, searching his face for understanding.

Hector considered what she said and he found himself nodding with agreement. He wasn’t a doctor, nor did he know a ton about how the male body versus the female body actually worked, but it kind of made sense.

Sadie continued with her explanation. “Estrogen and Testosterone are pretty powerful and as Jenna, the balance of hormones are a bit different from what you’re used to.  Combine that with the amount of time you spent being subconsciously socialized as a woman, and well, I think you get the idea.  You, as Hector are a heterosexual male, which means that Jenna is probably a heterosexual female, or maybe bi.”

Hector didn’t feel comfortable with her theory. It made sense and seemed to match his own observations, but he didn’t like the idea that he, as Jenna might be attracted to men. “Maybe you’re on to something there, but it’s not easy for me to adjust to the idea. I kind of hope the movie is a flop and everyone will forget about Jenna.”

Sadie smirked and shook her head. “I dunno if you can count on that bud. The movie is looking to be one of the most anticipated new releases for this year and the trailers look awesome.”

The news wasn’t what Hector wanted to hear, even though he knew it was true.  “Merde, I know. Hell, even I’m looking forward to watching the damn thing.” Hector sighed, finished off his beer and ordered another, plus a burger while Sadie simply ordered a water. The two sat in companionable silence until his drink arrived.

The next problem he needed to tackle was how to deal with Mr. Powers’ request to join Jenna at the wedding.  Hector didn’t see how it was possible and he debated long and hard before even thinking about asking Sadie, but something, probably Jenna, wanted Mr. Powers to be at the wedding.

“So,” Hector anxiously leaned forward, “I have a question for you.”

“Yeah?” Sadie cocked her head inquisitively to the side.

He wanted to back out and just have Jenna tell Mike it wasn’t possible, but he couldn’t figure out a good enough reason. “Mr. Powers heard about the wedding from Jill, Jenna’s makeup artist who is doing the makeup for the wedding, and he wants to come to the wedding, with Jenna and I know you’re not too jazzed about being a bridesmaid, right?”

“Yeah…” Sadie hesitantly agreed. 

He said it, now it was time to go for it. He prayed she told him no. “I know this is a crazy idea and I don’t even know if it’s possible, but can you be Jenna at my wedding?”

Sadie gasped, momentarily shocked by his request, but after a second of thought, leaned back in her seat as she mulled over the idea. “I’m not sure...”

Hector felt conflicting emotions as his friend kind of zoned out. He wanted her to say no, but his Jenna side wanted her to say yes.

Looking back up to his eyes, Sadie slowly nodded. “I think I can, but I’d need to get a good scan of Jenna and to help pull it off, I’d also need to spend some time with her to copy her mannerisms, but,”  she crossed her arms and leaned back into her chair, “There’s just one problem, Natalie. Okay, two, Michelle and the babies.”

Hector understood why Sadie’s wife and the kids might be a problem, but we wasn’t sure why Natalie would be an issue. “Michelle I get, but why Natalie?”

“Simple, she will want to have Jenna, her BFF, as a bridesmaid.”

“Oh yeah...She would.” Hector sighed with resignation as he realized how much more he was asking his friend to do for him, no for Jenna.

“On the plus side, I think Michelle would find the idea hilarious and Grandma has already offered to watch the twins. So, I’d be willing to try. Besides, it could be fun to be a movie star for a day, right?” Sadie smirked as timed her response with Hector taking a swig of his beer, causing him to cough.

“Yeah, only a day…” Hector chuckled and smiled at Sadie. “Thanks, but there is one more wedding ‘opportunity’. Wheelie.”

~o~O~o~

Hector never felt more happy, nervous and terrified at the same time in his life. Natalie, his bride and love of his life was being escorted down the aisle by her father.  She looked so beautiful and radiant in her wedding gown. His heart was near bursting with joy, but a traitorous thought escaped from the depths of his mind when he wondered how Jenna would look wearing a wedding gown.  He hastily beat it back and chained it down with triple pad locks.

He stole a quick glance at Sadie out of the corner of his eyes. She, as Jenna, looked fabulous in the bridesmaid’s dress. Without even trying, Jenna somehow turned the frumpy dress into something stunning, easily outshining all the other bridesmaids. He felt a touch of guilt over that. It was his fault that Jenna was so damn beautiful, but for some reason, he thought Sadie looked a little sad as her eyes tracked Natalie.  He decided to ask her about it later.

His parents looked happy. Natalie’s Mom looked happy. Hell, even the womanizing bastard, Mike Powers looked happy, but he had one of Hector’s, barely legal, female cousins sitting next to him.  Hector forced himself not to growl and focus on his bride instead.  Except for Mike being here, everything was going well.  Hell, even Wheelie was doing a bang up job as the ring bearer. His presence raised a few eyebrows, but overall, the guests seemed to find it more cute and funny than tacky.

Ratchet cut an imposing figure in his tux. The tuxedo rental company had to custom order and fit his suit. The man was huge, but other than Greg, there was no one else he would rather have as his best man.  Even better, it looked like Ratchet’s dry spell with women might be at an end because Julie, the Maid of Honor, looked like she might have a thing for him. The two of them had been mighty friendly during the rehearsals.

The ceremony itself was relatively short. It took the priest less than thirty minutes to get the happy couple to seal the deal with a kiss.  Natalie never looked happier and he never felt happier in his life. It was kind of strange how happy he felt to be committed to one woman when during his wild and woolly single years, the slightest hint that a girlfriend was thinking about the big M word would cause him to run for the hills.

“You look happy!” Natalie whispered into his ear after they broke their first kiss.

“I am. Never been happier and it took all my willpower not to run down the aisle and ravish you when you started walking down the aisle.” Hector replied, causing her to laugh as the flashbulbs fired from all the guests taking their picture.

“Save your energy for the honeymoon big boy!” Natalie giggled, smothering him with another steamy kiss before the preacher politely coughed to get the ceremony back on track.

The reception was another challenge and that was primarily due to Mr. Powers being there. It proved to be a little more difficult than he expected to act like he was meeting Jenna’s co-star for the first time.  He had to constantly remind himself that Hector didn’t know Mike. Hector didn’t know how much of a womanizing jerk the man could be. Hector only knew Mr. Powers from the movies and as such, thought Mr. Powers was awesome.

It wasn’t until after the dinner and all the toasts that Hector was officially introduced to his action star hero.  He spotted Mr. Powers and Jenna making their way to his position. He laughed at himself for thinking of where he was standing as a place needing to be defended, but Mr. Powers raised his hackles.  “Focus Hector, you don’t know him. He’s a big time action star and the man you’ve admired for years now…” He silently reminded himself as the pair reached knife fighting range.

He noticed a mischievous twinkle in Jenna’s eyes as he reach out to shake his hero’s hand.  “Oh man, Mr. Powers, thank you so much for coming to our wedding!” Jenna giggled at him, but instead of showing how annoyed he was with the situation, he pressed on.

 “I’m a huge fan and when Jenna told me you wanted to come, what could I say?”

“Mike, just call me Mike. This is your day, not mine.” Mr. Powers glanced over to Jenna and grinned. “I’m just glad Jenna invited me because it’s not every day that I get to witness two people, who clearly love each other, being joined together and if there’s anything I’ve learned over the last ten years in the movie business, finding your soulmate isn’t easy.” 

Hector found his honest and heartfelt statement enduring and he almost forgot how he really thought of the man, but then, Mike gave Jenna a hug that seemed to imply she was the one for him.

Mr. Powers chuckled as he fondly gazed at Jenna. “Your cousin is a very lucky man, don’t you agree Jenna?”

Hector wanted to pull his claws out and rip the man to shreds, but Sadie quickly defused the situation. “Yes, Natalie’s a very lucky woman because my cousin Hector is an honorable and hardworking man,” she quirked an eyebrow at Mike, “unlike some men I know.”

“Ouch…” Hector whistled with relief and amusement. Sadie certainly knew how to handle the man.  He realized he was probably showing a little too much relief for the situation, causing him to cough into his hand to cover up his reaction.  “Mr., umm, Mike, sorry about my cousin. She can be a little headstrong at times. Something mi tía complained about all the time.”

Hector felt Natalie bury her face against his arm as she struggled not to laugh and Michelle snorted with amusement.

Ever the brash show-off, Mr. Powers played to his audience, but as Hector knew, the man was also a glutton for punishment when he affectionately gave Jenna a hug. “Oh, I know! She’s a spitfire for sure, but that’s why we all love her and why her fans are going to love her even more once they see her in action.” He wisely released a glowering Jenna and played it off by snapping his fingers as if struck by a sudden idea. “You know what? I’ll have to see about getting you some advance screening passes so you can be one of the first to see your cousin on the big screen.”

Hector didn’t know what to say. He was surprised by Mr. Powers’ offer. Fortunately, Jenna “reminded” him about a construction project he was expected to be busy working in the northern part of the state during the same time.   Hector, not wanting to rely on Sadie again, wisely played along. 

“Oh yeah, sorry forgot about that project. It’s kind of a big one…” Hector apologetically grinned at Mike.

“No problem man. Since Jenna’s sometimes a little hard to reach, I’ll make sure her PA, Sadie, gets a few passes. You know, just in case.” Mike smiled and shook Hector’s hand before turning his attention to Natalie and Michelle.  “It’s also been a pleasure meeting both of you,” one at a time, he gallantly kissed the back of their hands, “Jenna spoke about the two of you all the time when we were filming, but her descriptions didn’t do either of you ladies justice.”  He slyly glanced back at Jenna and smirked at the fire dancing in her eyes.

Hector wanted to end the man right then and there for his flirtations. It was obvious that Mike was purposefully trying to get a rise out of Jenna, but he had to force his reaction away. He wasn’t Jenna and thankfully, Sadie was an expert at dealing with men. He actually felt a smidge of jealousy at how easily she seemed to be adapting to being a woman.

Sadie laughed and coyly waved to the three of them. “Hector, Natalie, Michelle, I’m soooo glad,” her voice dripped with sarcasm, “I was able to introduce you all to my ‘lovable’ co-star, but he ‘really’ needs to be going now. It’s getting late,” she turned to Mike, “and Mr. Powers has a big party up in L.A. that he simply can’t miss, right dear?”

Mike chuckled. “Oh that, yeah, but it’s not starting for another few hours.”

Hector smiled when Jenna bodily pulled Mike away and fiercely whispered something in his ear. He couldn’t hear it all, but he did catch Jenna calling Mike a “cabrón!” and that made him happy. Yep, Sadie was far better at being a woman than he was and it looked like he didn’t have to worry about her accidentally letting Mike know she wasn’t the real Jenna.

With Mr. Powers out of the way, Hector looked forward to spending an entire week as himself with his lovely wife relaxing on the beaches of Hawaii. The fact that there would be no paparazzi harassing him, no bra’s to wear, makeup to put on, hair to style and lines for the bathroom made his smile even larger.

“What are you so happy about?” Natalie grinned, giving him a hug and an invitation to a kiss.

Hector took the invitation, relishing every second. “Mmmm, just happy to be me, thankful to have you in my life and anxious to get out of here so I can properly kiss you.”

“Just a kiss?” Natalie coyly smirked.

Hector chuckled before lightly kissing her neck, tracing a path up to her ear before whispering softly. “Does all over count as ‘just a kiss’?”

~o~O~o~



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