by Melanie Brown
Copyright  © 2016 Melanie Brown

Not exactly a routine assignment.



“It looks like an electric chair.”

Special Agent Swan shrugged and said, “It’s still a prototype, but we’ve field tested it at least a dozen times. Worked every time. The CIA wanted it for obvious reasons, but its range is too limited.”

I ran my hand along the seat back of the device. I said, “You really expect me to stick my head in this thing?”

“I’ve used it myself a couple of times Mikey,” said my long time partner Sam Mallory. “My brain hasn’t been scrambled.”

Swan and I both laughed. I said, “Are you sure about that, Sam?”

Sam said, “I’m not saying there’s no risk. There’s always that. But as long as we follow protocol, that risk is minimal. It’s not like you haven’t faced risk before. Twenty years on the force; six years Special Ops before that.”

Swan smirked and said, “You’re a goddammed hero, Agent Williams.”

I sat down on the seat of the device and bounced up and down a couple of times. I said, “It’s not very comfortable.”

Swan said, “You won’t be conscious that long. Once you’ve displaced the target, your body is essentially dead. The brain anyway.”

“That’s nice,” I said with a smirk. “I can be restored, correct?”

Sam said, “It’s not a suicide mission, Mikey. Like I said, it’s high risk, but when the mission is complete, you’ll be back in your head and all memories intact. Including the ones you got during the mission.”

“Speaking of which… ” I said standing back up. “You’ve shown me your toy. Now what’s the assignment?” I was anxious to get a new assignment to get my mind off of things. My life lately had been sucking pretty bad. In fact, my life had been pretty miserable ever since the divorce, even though she was the one who had the affair.

Swan smiled and said, “Let’s go to the briefing room. We have some slides to show you.”

I turned to Sam and said, “What’s an assignment without a slide show?” Sam just nodded.

After a short walk down the hall, we filed into a meeting room. A computer projector hung from the ceiling. Swan sat at the computer and gestured for Sam and me to sit.

“That’s one ugly dude.” said Sam when the first image appeared. It was a picture of a man in his fifties, face pock-marked and scarred. He had a prominent nose and his head was shaved.

Swan said, “That is our target. Bugsy Martin. Real name Marion Martin. Don’t let his boyish good looks fool you. He’s one bad motherfucker.”

I snorted and said, “I know that rat bastard well. I’ve been following him for two years and I’ve got nothing to nail him on. He’s got his fingers on dozens of murders, drug imports and distribution, prostitution; you name it.”

Swan said, “That’s why you were selected for this assignment Agent Williams. You know everything anyone outside his organization can know. You know his gestures. You know his way of speaking and … “

“Wait a second,” I said, interrupting. “Are you planning on putting my mind inside that asshole’s head with your toy?”

“Bingo!” grinned Swan. “You are uniquely qualified for this assignment.”

“I don’t think I like that idea,” I said. “And what happens to Bugsy’s mind?”

Sam said, “His mind is displaced. Basically shoved out of his head just before it’s replaced by yours. And it’s not a copy we transfer. Your own brain becomes an empty vessel essentially while you’re inside the target.”

“Now I really don’t like this!” I said with annoyance. “This is crazy. There’s too much that could go wrong. And doesn’t this basically kill Bugsy?”

Frowning, Swan said, “Do you care?”

Turning to face Swan, I said, “I don’t give a shit about Bugsy. But I do care about due process.”

Swan waved a dismissal of my comment. He said, “Look. You can’t break a few eggs without making an omelet, or something. There’s a major crime syndicate from Montreal that’s looking to increase their operation. They’re partnering up with Bugsy because he has the west coast tied up and has contacts with several Mexican cartels.

“That’s all we know. We need a man on the inside to get the details of this organization’s inner workings. They’re taking turf in Chicago already. We’re hoping to get enough intel that we’ll be able to bust both organizations wide open. The Canucks got the money and Bugsy’s got the connections. This is the best opportunity to stop both.”

The slide changed to show several men sitting at an outdoor café in Montreal. The next two slides showed close-ups of several of the men.

Looking at the slides, I said, “So you want me to impersonate Bugsy and pretend to make a deal with these Canadians just to try to learn about their inner workings? That’ll be a tough sell as Bugsy’s sure to have Weston and Castile with him. They all started their ‘business’ together.”

The slide changed to a picture of a warehouse in Long Beach.

Swan said, “Nobody knows this guy better than you, Williams. You have the best chance at success.”

Sam changed his seating position and pointed a pen at the screen. He said, “To reduce how long you need to be Bugsy, we’ll displace you just as Bugsy is standing outside the warehouse’s side door where the red circle is drawn.”

Frowning I said, “That fast? And that accurate?”

Smiling, Sam said, “The displacement is almost instantaneous. We’ll have a satellite positioned right over the warehouse. We’ll have spotters to help direct the shot. We’ll use digital thermal imaging for targeting.”

Swan leaned back in his seat, placing his hands behind his head. He said, “Once the deal is made, give the henchmen something to do and then head for the extraction point. We’ll grab you and bring you back here and put your mind back inside your own head.”

I held my face in my hand as I shook my head. “So many things that could go wrong. Weston or Castile could see through me. Me as Bugsy might be picked up by the cops for some reason. The Canadians might smell a rat and shoot me. So many variables. What if I get stuck being Bugsy forever? Not to mention killing Bugsy in cold blood.”

Swan frowned. He said, “Consider Bugsy collateral damage. And no one is likely to smell a rat because no one will suspect Bugsy isn’t Bugsy anymore. No one knows about the device.”

Sam said, “And this procedure is safe. Well, as safe as anything else. Like I said, I’ve used it. Kind of a rush to feel yourself jump into another body.”

I looked at Sam and said, “Who was your assignment?”

Swan gave Sam a glance and waved his hand. He said, “That’s need to know. Anyway, let’s discuss the mission particulars. We don’t have much time. It all goes down tomorrow afternoon.”

*          *          *

“Do I really have to be restrained this tightly?” I asked. I felt like I was in a cheap fifties science fiction movie with a strange metal dome fitted over my head. My head, neck, arms and legs were all strapped down tight.

Sam said, “Yeah. You can’t move a muscle during the displacement. The glucose will keep your body hydrated and medical monitors will let us know if anything goes wrong with your body. It should be okay.”

“Oh, that’s reassuring,” I said, feeling worried.

Someone I hadn’t seen before who was facing the control panel said, “Thirty seconds.”

Sam patted my shoulder and said, “Just follow the protocol and you’ll be back in your own head in just a few hours.”

The chair started to hum. Behind me something started to make a whining sound and it was increasing in pitch.

“Ten seconds,” said the man at the console. After ten seconds crawled by the man pushed a large red button.

My vision began to blur and then became obscured by an overly bright white light. There was a sudden crackling sound like an electric arc.

An unknown voice shouted, “Shit! Abort! Abort!...”

I had a horrible feeling of falling. A million pin pricks pushed into my brain. The blindingly bright light seemed to suddenly be sucked back up into my eyes. I stumbled and reached out.

Someone walking past me grabbed my arm and steadied me. He said, “Are you okay?”

I said, “Yeah. Thanks.” What the hell? That wasn’t Bugsy’s voice. As my vision cleared I looked around. What the hell? I wasn’t outside a warehouse. Paintings? Sculptures? I looked at my hand. What the hell? Nail polish? Long slender fingers? What the hell? Strands of blonde hair fell across my eyes. Tight fitting jeans? Pink sneakers? What the fuck?

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. I started to hyperventilate. No. No. No. This is all wrong! What the hell? What the fuck? Oh God where am I? What the fucking hell?

“Mommy? What’s wrong?”

I stood still for a moment. Afraid to move. Afraid to think. I looked at my hands again. The hands of a woman. I’m supposed to be seeing the hands of Bugsy Martin and be surrounded by thugs. I looked around and I saw just normal people and kids. A lot of people. A large open space like an art museum. Am I a woman? How is that possible?

I felt suddenly weak and my mind raced. Something happened at the moment I was supposed to displace Bugsy. I leaned back against the wall and tried to get my bearings. How am I here? And where is here?

The man who caught my arm looked back at me and said, “Are you okay, miss? Let me get you a chair.”

I waved him off and said, “It’s okay. Really.” I’m really not okay, but I don’t want to interact with anyone. I finally noticed in my other hand I was holding something. I looked and it was a purse. I’m carrying a purse. Shit, shit, shit. I’m in the wrong target! How? I saw the satellite image myself just moments before they pressed the button. The device’s targeting reticle was placed right over Bugsy.

A concerned looking woman walked up to me, touched my arm and said, “Dee? You don’t look well. Why don’t you get a drink of water and go to the lounge and sit down. You really should sit down. I’ll watch the kids. Don’t worry. Just go sit and catch your breath.”

I nodded. I needed to get away. Did a child just call me Mommy? My head was spinning. I stumbled in the indicated direction. The woman who spoke obviously meant the women’s restroom.

I entered the room and thankfully I was alone. This is quite a bit different from a typical men’s room. Along one wall was a couch. I dropped onto it and held my head in my hands. My mind raced. Just what the hell am I doing in this woman’s body? There was that call to abort the operation.

Shaking my head, I stood back up and looked at myself in the restroom mirror. A bolt of dread shot through me as I viewed the image of a young woman staring back at me. She was attractive. You could say pretty. Someone you would see in the grocery store. She was a mom out with her kids, so she wasn’t looking glamorous. She looked to be somewhere between twenty-two to twenty-five. Definitely young. A mom with a five year old and apparently a two year old child. And I just murdered her.

Feeling sick and disgusted I stepped away from the mirror. I was carrying a purse, so I opened it and checked inside. The most glaring item in the purse was a cell phone. I retrieved the phone and thought that I needed to report in. Swan needs to know the mission failed. The phone was locked, but it opened with the woman’s thumb print.

I stared at the phone a moment. I can’t use this phone. I don’t want them to know who I am just yet. Protocols. What happens when a mission fails this spectacularly and exposed to civilians? Witnesses disappear. I needed a different phone.

I took a few deep breaths and stepped away from the restroom. Moving uneasily in this new body, I quickly left the area with the people who thought they knew me

As I walked through what was obviously some kind of art museum, I kept looking for an open office or maybe a pay phone. Despite my situation, I laughed quietly. In this day and age, the only pay phone I was likely to find would probably be on display in a museum.

I rounded a corner and there was a receptionist desk complete with a receptionist and a security guard. The sign above the desk announced that I was in the San Diego Museum of Art. Okay, that means I’m in Balboa Park.

I walked up to the woman at the desk and said, “My cell phone is dead. Is there a phone I can use?” The woman’s voice I spoke in unnerved me. I almost couldn’t speak because of it. There was a complete disconnect between my words and my voice.

The receptionist smiled at me and said, “Yes ma’am. Right across the foyer is a small room with a courtesy phone.”

I smiled back at the woman and said, “Thank you.” I then proceeded to walk, a bit more steady now, to the small room. The room contained a single chair, a small desk and a phone on the desk.

I had the number to call and the code word to use memorized. I picked up the phone and first punched star sixty-seven to disable the caller id. For some reason, I felt pretty nervous about calling in. I punched in the numbers for our operations command center. After the automated system answered the phone, I tapped the keys corresponding to the security code.

As soon as the receiver was picked up, Swan said, “Agent Williams? What happened? Where are you? Williams?”

I started to speak, but then thought better of it. My voice would be female. Should I give that away? I was scared out of my mind. Depending on what happened in the control room would dictate which protocol they would follow. I continued to hesitate to say anything.

“Williams? Are you able to speak? Tell us where you are and we’ll come pick you up,” said Swan.

I gritted my teeth, sighed and hung up the phone. I’m a loose end. We’ve killed a civilian and we can’t have me running around as that person. I didn’t trust Swan. The only person at the bureau I could trust was Sam and I wasn’t even completely sure about him. Maybe my body is just sitting there quietly waiting for my mind to be inserted back in. Or maybe they killed me the moment something went wrong. I’ve seen assets become collateral damage when things go wrong. But what about an agent? I’ve heard rumors…

I stood in the small room for a few moments. I looked in the purse again, removed the cell phone and unlocked it. I hoped I wasn’t making a mistake in trusting Sam. We each always carried a second, cheap cell phone for personal communications between us that we wanted to keep secret. I’m sure our regular cell phones were already being monitored. At least I’m sure Sam’s was as mine was still inside my pocket where I sat in that chair.

I sent a text message with our secret pass phrase to Sam. Now I just had to wait until he was in a secure location to call me back on the number showing up in the text. I really hoped I didn’t just make a tragic mistake and that a team was on its way to the location of this woman’s cell phone.

While waiting, I looked through the purse again. I found a small wallet with a driver’s license. The woman’s name was Denise Franklin. There were a set of what appeared to be house keys. No car keys. I must have ridden with that other woman.

Her cell phone suddenly started playing a part of a current pop song and doing so loudly. I answered the phone and in a quiet voice said, “Sam?”

“Who is this?” asked Sam, irritated. “How did you get this number?”

“It’s me, Sam. Mike. I’m in the wrong person. What happened?” I whispered into the phone.

“Mike?” said a puzzled sounding Sam. “You’re a girl. We actually thought you might be dead.”

“Sam,” I said. “We killed an innocent woman. I’m in some woman’s body. From the looks of things, I’m not even close to that warehouse.”

“Look. I can get arrested if they know I’m talking to you,” said Sam. “Whatever you do, don’t contact Swan again. Ever. They will kill you. You’re a loose end. We know you went somewhere. We don’t know where. Obviously we just killed an innocent civilian by our mistake.”

“I figured something went wrong or I wouldn’t be in this woman’s body! Tell me something I don’t know,” I said. “What happened? Why can’t I just return to my own head?”

There was a long pause and then Sam finally said, “Because you don’t have a head anymore. It’s one of the risks. There was a surge in the system. They’re still trying to do a post-mortem on the machine. But the surge not only skewed where the device aimed, it blew your head apart. I mean nothing’s left. At all. And it’s completely gross.”

“I’m dead?” I said trying to control my voice.

Sam said, “As a door nail. You’re stuck.”

“Can’t you move me to another person?” I said, my voice shaking. “I can’t stay as this woman. She’s a mom. And she has a ring, so I’m guessing she’s married. I can’t just walk into her life.”

“Swan would never approve moving you,” said Sam. “That would require killing yet someone else. Look, either try to work it out or let Swan pick you up and arrange an accident.”

“I can’t just walk into someone’s life!” I said starting to raise my voice. I looked around to see if anyone outside the room heard me. “All I have is a name and a driver’s license number. You’re responsible for me, Sam. You claimed this fucking machine was safe. You owe me. I want to know who I am. I want to know as much about who this woman is”

“You want me to dig up info on this girl?” said Sam sounding upset. “I could get fired. I could go to jail!”

“Just this one thing, Sam. And I won’t ever bother you again,” I said.

There was a long pause. Sam said, “How long will it take you to get to Balboa Park?”

I looked out the door of the small room and said, “I’m in Balboa Park.” I didn’t want to say exactly where in case Sam actually couldn’t be completely trusted.

Sam said, “Give me at least two hours and I’ll meet you at our alternate meeting spot in the park.”

“If I see anyone with you Sam, I won’t show up,” I said.

“Mike. I’ll be alone,” said Sam. “If I can’t come alone, I’ll go to some random location. If I’m not at the agreed location, you’ll know I’ve been compromised.”

“See you shortly,” I said feeling nervous as I disconnected the phone.

I left the room and started wandering around the museum. I felt I could trust Sam or at least I hoped so. I wasn’t too worried that a team would nab me here in the museum. That would involve even more people. No. I would have an accident and that would take more than a couple of hours to arrange.

I sat down a moment in the chair in the small room. I looked at my hands with the long, womanly fingers tipped with pink nail polish. I thought about the child that called me mommy. I know it’s not my fault. I can’t be held responsible. But for all intents and purposes, I murdered this woman named Denise. She’s gone. Everything she was. All her memories. Her personality; the way she spoke; the way she laughed. It was all gone. Forever.

I touched her smooth face. I couldn’t bring myself to call it my face. The skin was soft and smooth. I was annoyed by the rocking back and forth of her earrings whenever I moved her head. I touched the face again. This is me for the rest of my life, however long that turns out to be.

I looked back in the purse and pulled her phone. I checked the time there. Hardly any time at all had passed. It was going to be a long two hours. And I’ll have to come up with some excuse to leave those kids in that other woman’s care again so I can meet Sam. I’ve had many assignments where I’ve had to impersonate another person from a janitor to someone in public office. This was going to be the most difficult impersonation of all.

I took a deep breath and left the small room. I needed to find the woman who supposedly knows Denise. I’ll have to figure something out when it gets close to my meeting with Sam.

The woman smiled as she saw me approaching. As I got closer she said, “How are you feeling, Dee?”

I smiled weakly and said, “I’m doing better. Just a little dizzy.”

Looking concerned, the woman said, “Do you need to go home? This exhibit will still be here next weekend.”

I tried to smile and waved dismissively. I said, “I’m fine. Really. I don’t want to disappoint the kids.”

The woman looked over at four children peering intently at several intricate wire sculptures. She smiled and said, “True. Surprisingly they seem to be enjoying this.”

The boy that I took to be around five looked at me with a wide grin and said, “Mom! Mom! Look at this! It’s awesome!”

I bent down to look more closely at the sculpture and said, “Wow! It sure is!” I smiled at the boy who grinned back at me.

As the children walked a few feet away, the woman looked at me seriously and said, “How are things going between you and Zach? That was a bad fight you two had last night. The way you were crying when you called me. I thought for sure that was the last straw.”

Oh great, I thought. I’m a woman, a mother, and a wife with domestic issues. I had no idea what to say, so I just winged it and said with a sigh, “I’m going to give him a second chance.”

The woman smiled without humor and said, “That’s what? The fourth second chance?”

Wishing the mission had been a success, I said, “I have to think of the kids.” That sounded plausible. I hope.

Shaking her head the woman said, “You have to think of yourself too! You need to take the kids and just get out of there. Don’t wait for him to hit you, like I did with Jimmy.”

I took a deep breath and said, “I’ll be fine. Really. Nobody’s hitting anybody.”

The woman shrugged with disbelief and said, “I hope you’re right. But if he hits you, call me immediately. You and the kids are more than welcome to stay with me for a while.”

Oh my God, I thought. What kind of a situation did I get myself into? I said, “It won’t come to that.” I wish I had more information about who I was.

“Mommy! Look at this!” A five year old grabbed my hand and started tugging.

I grinned at the woman whose name was unknown to me and said, “I think I need to look at something.”

The woman laughed. She said, “I think Josh really likes those wire sculptures.”

Josh! I finally learn the name of at least one kid.

The woman picks up her kid and kissed his cheek and said, “But then, Josh gets excited by just about everything, don’t you Josh?”

I sighed. This is maddening. I know nothing about these people who seem to know an awful lot about me. I hope Sam comes through on that file. I won’t even make it through the day.

We spent the next hour or so wandering through the art museum, ooh-ing and ah-ing about everything. The whole time I was on full alert for any information that might come my way. And no matter how hard I tried, I just could not get over being in someone else’s body. And that someone I killed. Accidently, but killed non-the-less.

I checked the time on the cell phone for the fortieth time. It was getting close to the time of my appointment with Sam and I was going to need several minutes to make my way to the our meeting place at the bench next to the Atrium.

I said, “Can you watch the kids for a few minutes? I just remembered I needed to check something out. I’ll be right back.”

The woman said, “We can come with you. I think I’m about museum’d out anyway.”

That’s the last thing I needed. I said, “Oh no. I just need to run over to another building and I’ll be right back.”

The woman smiled and said, “Okay. We’ll be right here.”

I returned her smile and said, “Thanks.” I turned and almost ran through the museum to the exit.

I cautiously approached the bench where Sam was waiting. He kept glancing at his watch. I looked around the area and I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Of course, if an agent was doing his job correctly, I wouldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. But Sam said he wouldn’t be at this location if he couldn’t come alone. I took a chance that my long time partner was being straight with me.

Sam didn’t pay much attention to me as I started to walk past him. I turned and then quickly sat down on the bench with him. He just looked at me as I settle down on the bench. I smiled at him.

“Yippee ki-yi, motherfucker,” I said in a low tone. It was our passphrase for this week.

Sam’s eyes went wide as a shocked expression crossed his face. He said, “M…Mikey? Is that you?”

I said, “Yes. Unfortunately.”

“Holy shit!” exclaimed Sam. “It’s unreal to see this woman sitting here and knowing it’s you.”

I said, “I don’t have time for small talk, Sam. Brief me quickly and I need to disappear.”

Sam nodded and as he handed me a manila envelope he said, “He’s the dossier on you. You are Denise Franklin, mother of a two year old named Zoe and a four year old named Sam. Nice name. And you’re pregnant…”

Interrupting, I said, “I’m what?”

Shrugging, Sam said, “You’re pregnant. Congrats. You are twenty-six years old. You were born Denise Thompson in Karnes City, Texas. You got married at twenty to a Zachary Franklin who is employed at a hardware store. You met your husband at Baylor in Waco, Texas. You both dropped out after two years and moved to California. Both of you have been struggling for the last few years. Your husband has had trouble holding down a job. You’ve been an office worker at a small company and are the main source of income to your family. Money seems to be the source of your recent fights as your husband resents that you make more than he does and you’re about to go on maternity leave in a few months. Neighbors complain about all your yelling at each other. Neither of you are having an affair. You don’t belong to any clubs or organizations. You’re basically a boring housewife. That’s about it.”

“That’s it?” I said. “Surely there’s more on this woman than that!”

Sam shrugged again and said, “Look, I had less than two hours to get this. We don’t have a ton of information on private citizens who don’t do anything. You don’t even have a traffic ticket.”

“Bullshit!” I exclaimed. “I know we and the NSA have reams of data on everyone.”

Frowning, Sam said, “I don’t have access to the NSA databases. And like I said I had less than two hours to get this much. Any more digging and it would have set off red flags.”

Sighing, I said, “Well, that’s more than I knew ten minutes ago.” I pulled some photos out of the folder.

I held one out of a man’s face. I said, “Is this the husband?”

Sam laughed and said, “You might was well start saying ‘my husband’ and refer to yourself as Denise. You’re her now. We can’t change that. And yes, that’s *your* husband. Nice looking chap, but he’s a bit of a loser. Not sure why you married him.”

Rolling my eyes, I said, “That wasn’t my choice. I’m sure Denise saw something positive in him. We’ll never know.”

I studied the pictures of my new family. I dropped them to my lap and fought back tears. My emotions are stronger now.

“I can’t do this Sam! I’m a woman. A fucking woman! I can’t deal with that.” Pointing at my crotch, I said, “I’ve got a pussy! That’s pretty life-changing Sam! And I’m married to a man who apparently enjoys fucking this pussy. I sure as hell can’t deal with that!”

Sam pulled his cell phone from his pocket and held it up. He said, “You want me to call Swan?”

I looked at Sam’s phone for a moment. What Sam was basically asking; do I want to be put out of my misery? Would death be preferable to trying to merge my life into this woman’s? And going through child birth? Holy shit. I’m not mentally prepared for that. And sleeping with a man, even if we don’t have sex. Can I do that? One assignment a few years ago, I had to act like I was gay, even going as far as kissing a guy. But nothing intimate. Would it even be possible for me to look a man – my husband – in the eyes, tell him I love him and let him kiss me? I shuddered at the thought.

And add in dealing with being pregnant. Pregnant! No man can even come close to comprehending what it’s like to be pregnant. How can I do that? And…and…give birth?

I stared blankly into the distance. It would be so easy to just call Swan and have it done with. I’ve faced the possibility of death before. And in some pretty nasty places.

And then it hit me like a bucket of ice water. If I die, this baby inside me dies. Can I kill it just so I don’t have to be uncomfortable trying to live a new life as a woman? Can I take that kind of responsibility? I’ve had to kill before, but this is of course quite different. I killed his mother. Does it not fall on me to continue her life, much like the curse falls onto the person that kills the werewolf?

I looked back to Sam and said, “No. Don’t call Swan. I’ll manage somehow.”

Sam just shrugged and said, “Your decision. You know how to get hold of Swan should you ever want out.”

Sam stood up and looked down at me. He said, “Any consolation, you are a pretty girl. Not movie star pretty, but pretty. Look, I need to go. Never contact me again. This is good-bye my old friend.”

I stood up and shook Sam’s hand. Tears started to well up in my eyes. Damned emotions. I said, “Thanks Sam for your help in this. I know you took a risk. Good-bye.”

As Sam started to turn away, he said over his shoulder, “Good luck, Mike.” He walked hurriedly away. With him went the last parts of my old life.

*          *          *

I sat on the woman’s bed with the pictures and the dossier spread out in front of me. The kids were taking a nap giving me some very needed alone time. I looked over the pictures of a life I never knew. A woman whose life and future I’d stolen. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t supposed to happen. I had no control. But I couldn’t suppress this horrendous feeling of guilt.

I picked up a picture of the woman and her husband from happier times it seems. I slapped my palm against my forehead. Sam was right. I need to stop thinking in terms of her and hers. This is my life now. That’s me in the photos. That’s my husband I’m kissing in one picture. Those are my kids in the other room napping. This is me. This is who I am now. But oh my God! I know nothing about being a woman!

I’ve been married before. I’ve had kids. But as the man. I watched my wife go through the pains of labor. I watched her smile and sing as she gave our babies their bath and dress them. I hugged her when she cried in frustration when things went wrong. I loved my kids. I helped with diapers and baths and feedings. But my wife had a connection to the kids that I would never have.

I crawled off the bed. I was down to just panties. My... yes, my breasts hanging free. I still couldn’t bear to look at my vagina. I still just couldn’t accept that part yet.

I stood in front of the big mirror on the dresser. Sam was right. I saw an attractive young woman looking back at me. Not gorgeous. Definitely not ugly. Just pretty much average. A woman you might look twice at while at the mall or the beach.

While looking in the mirror I touched one of my breasts. I just couldn’t believe it was attached to me. But I definitely felt the touch as I watched my hand move in the mirror. There was nothing sexual or titillating about touching my breast. I was just confirming the breasts were really mine. I’m a woman.

I stepped up closer to the mirror. I reached out and touched my face on the reflection. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. Still touching the mirror’s image, I said aloud, “I’m sorry. Oh God! I’m so sorry! I’m so fucking sorry! Can you ever forgive me?” I cried out in anguish. I stood there for a moment, my mouth wide open, but no sound coming out with the cry caught in my throat, the tears streaming down my face. I threw myself down on my bed and cried with huge, heaving sobs.

*          *          *

The moment I’d been dreading all day arrived.

“I’m home!” said an unfamiliar voice after the front door opened and closed. “God I hate working on Saturdays.”

I was in the kitchen when I heard the door open. I walked out to the living room as a man I recognized from the pictures as … well, as my husband. That’s going to take a while to get used to.
Spreading his arms out and looking worried, Zach said, “You’re not still mad at me, are you babe? I’ve been looking forward to coming home and seeing you all day.”

I walked up to him, wondering if I should still be mad at something. Having no idea, I said, “No. I’m not still angry.”

Zach smiled and said, “I’m glad to hear that. I’m really sorry for the yelling this morning. It’s all my fault. I had no reason to get upset this morning.” He stepped closer to me, wrapped his arms around my waist and before I could think, he kissed me. A man kissed me. His stubble was rough against my face. My expression probably showed my distaste for being kissed by a man.

Zach looked at me with a puzzled expression. He said, “Are you sure you’re not still mad at me?”

I looked down at my feet for a moment and then back to his face. I said, “No. I’m sorry. I’m just tired. I had a busy day.”

Grinning, Zach said, “Well, let’s try that again.” Still holding my waist, he pulled me closer to him and laid a long, deep kiss on me. I wanted to push him away. But, I thought, he’s my husband. I supposedly love him. Husbands kiss their wives. I relaxed and let him kiss me.

He patted me on the ass and said, “What’s for dinner?”

I said, “I hope you don’t mind. The kids exhausted me today at the museum. So I brought home Chinese take-out.” I had no idea what anyone liked in take-out food. I figured it’s hard to go wrong with chicken fried rice.

As he plopped into a recliner Zach said, “That works for me.”

I just looked at him for a moment as he settled into the chair and turned on the TV. I said, “Well, I guess I’ll bring it to you.”

Not looking back, Zach said, “Thanks, babe.”

I went back to the kitchen to get a folding table and my husband’s meal. I shouted, “Kids! Dinner’s on the table!” I got a second folding table and my dinner as well. I might as well eat with Zach and try to learn as much as I can about him.

As I unfolded the table and set Zach’s dinner on it, he was selecting a TV channel to watch. He glanced over his shoulder and said, “Hey guys! Come eat in here. Your favorite show is on.” I looked over at my hubby and thought, you’ve got to be kidding. On the screen popped up the titles for “Swamp People & Gator Men.” Another History channel classic.

Zach turned to me with a grin and said, “This is going to be good!”

I smiled back and said, “Yee-haw.”

*          *          *

Despite the entertainment, dinner went over pretty well. And after dinner and a few minutes of play time, the kids were definitely ready for bed. The five year old, Sam, wanted a story read and few bedtime songs sang. I had this. With my own kids…okay, these are my own kids now too… but with my own kids I was the official story reader and bedtime song singer.

The room lit by a small, solitary night light, I stood at the door watching the kids sleep. I had to admit that I missed this part of parenting. While I was looking and lost in thought, Zach came up from behind me and nuzzled my neck.

“Hey, beautiful,” he whispered in my ear. And then he kissed my neck. “You’re a great mom.” He slid a hand down and rubbed my belly. I’m not showing at all. He continued, “Can you believe we’re going to have another one?”

I said, “I really can’t believe I’m having a baby.” No joke.

Zach kissed me once more and said, “I’m going to go jump in bed and see what’s on TV. Coming?”

Not really wanting to get into bed with a man, husband or not, I said, “I’ll be along in a few minutes. There’re some things I want to get done first.”

“Okay,” said Zach with a grin. “I’ll keep the light on for you.” He turned and went humming down the hall to our bedroom.

I went to the semi-darkened living room and sat alone on the couch. I held my head in my hands and wanted to cry. I really don’t think I can handle this. I’m having to guess so much on how to react and what to say, that I just know I’ll blow it.

Zach isn’t exactly someone I’d choose myself to married to or even be friends with. I’m not saying he’s a bad person. He certainly doesn’t seem to be the monster the woman at the museum painted him as. But this has just been one evening. Eventually, Zach is going to expect me to cook dinners, since his wife seems to have done that most of the time. And of course, he’s going to want to have sex. I touched my belly and thought that’s pretty obvious. I guess that’s one of the things that’s been troubling me the most after discovering I’m now a married woman. Can I bring myself to have sex with a man?

I stared at nothing in the darkened room. I took a deep breath and made a resolution to myself. I’m a woman now and that’s immutable. Well, it probably is. I thought being a man was immutable. I’m a woman and I have a husband and kids. I can either be absolutely miserable, or I can embrace being these things and try to make the best of what I have. I owed the real Denise that much.

So if my husband wants sex, I’ll have sex with him. I just hope he doesn’t want it.

I got up and took a deep breath. I started walking to the bedroom. I hoped Zach was asleep. Sadly for me, he was sitting up in bed watching some late talk show on TV. He was sitting on top of the sheets dressed only in his birthday suit. His manhood was just laying there for all the world to see.

As I approached the bed, he turned and saw me looking at his crotch. He grinned up at me. He wriggled a bit, re-arranging his seating on the bed. He said, “You know what I want, babe.”

I just stood by the bed and stared at him a moment, frozen in horror. What does he want? He doesn’t seem to be trying to entice me into bed with him. I looked down again at his manhood. Oh my God. I think he wants a blowjob. Denise may have been happy to do that every night, though I doubt it. I’ve gone my whole life without any desire to put a penis in my mouth. But there it was and here I was with my new found resolution starting to dissolve.

I closed my eyes and mentally chanted, “You’re a woman. You’re a woman...” I looked at his penis again. I thought, it’s not gay if you’re the woman. I took another deep breath and slid to my knees beside the bed.

I played with his manhood for a minute or two, trying to build up the nerve to do anything else. This was my moment of truth. Do I dive into my new life as Denise?

In answer to my own question, I licked his cock. My tongue didn’t fall off and I didn’t suddenly die. Zach smiled and made some positive noises. I continued to lick as his erection grew larger.

While his penis didn’t taste wonderful as porn would have you believe, it wasn’t terrible either. I surprised myself by how much I was getting into it. This was a completely new experience for me. And while you don’t have to be a woman to engage in this kind of sex, my female body was reacting to it.

As I slid his cock into my mouth and started sucking on it, I was immediately rewarded by Zach moaning with pleasure. It jarred me a bit to remember how I felt when my wife or a girlfriend did this to me. Knowing what I liked to feel guided me in pleasuring Zach. I could tell instantly how much he was enjoying it.

I know I should have expected it, but it surprised me when his salty semen streamed into my mouth, then my face and hair. He laughed when I cried “Ack!” and jerked my head away. Without thinking, I swallowed.

Zach grinned at me as I stood up next to the bed. He said, “That was great. But all I wanted was the TV remote.” He laughed.

I just stood there, stunned a moment. I had just given a man a blow job when he didn’t even want it. Well, I’m sure he always wants one, he just wasn’t expecting it. For a moment I was angry. But I realized he’d never suggested oral sex. I just did it. I looked at Zach and I laughed.

I walked over to the dresser where the TV sat and picked up the remote and walked back to Zach. I held the remote out to him and said, “Here. Is this what you wanted?”

Zach grinned at me and reached for the remote. Instead he grabbed my arm and pulled, knocking me off balance and I fell on the bed on top of him. He tossed the remote to the other side of the bed and said, “Fuck that. Come here!” He held me on top of him.

I struggled a bit as I was at in awkward position and felt myself sliding, which would dump me to the floor. I was surprised at how much stronger he was than me. If we weren’t being playful, I would be totally at his mercy.

I gave up trying to pull away and instead bent my head to his and kissed him hard, sliding my tongue into his mouth. He moaned and started to suck on my tongue until he tasted his own seed still in my mouth.

He jerked his head back and let go of me to wipe his mouth. He shouted, “What the fuck?! I can’t believe you just did that!” He turned to spit and we both rolled off the bed onto the floor, pulling the sheets with us.

Grinning, he grabbed both my wrists and forced me to my back and held my hands against the floor. He said, “You’re gonna get it now!” He was lying naked on top of me, holding my wrists tightly, but not enough to actually hurt.

Breathing hard and with a laugh, I said, “Get what?”

Zach said, “Glad you asked!”

Zach pressed his still hard cock against my panties and started sliding back and forth on my crotch. He started sucking on one nipple that had been exposed while falling off the bed. The emotions and physical experience was starting to overwhelm me. His cock was pressing against my clit and feeling him suck on my nipple was driving pleasure to a level I had never experienced before.

He released his grip on my wrists, but I continued to lie on my back. He pulled my panties down. I knew what was coming next and I was almost giddy in anticipation. Though I was pregnant, I was a psychological virgin getting my cherry popped. I loved it. God help me, I loved every second.

I yelled with pleasure as his cock slid up inside me. There wasn’t the pain I was expecting as this wasn’t the first time my body had had sex. I raised my hips up to meet his strokes. Until now, I never would have believed that sex from the woman’s side is far better. It also could be because I was pregnant. One of my ex-wife’s friends had told her to be sure to have sex when you’re pregnant.

When Zach made his final thrust to push his cock deep into me as he came a second time, I moaned loudly with intense pleasure. His cock still pulsing, he bent down and kissed me. I put my arms around his neck and returned his kiss passionately.

Oh my God! Until today, I’ve spent my whole life as a man, but these past fifteen minutes or so has made me wish I had been born differently. Sex has never been this intense, this pleasurable before. Maybe my experience would have been less so if I wasn’t pregnant. Who knows? All I know is that lying here on the floor with my husband’s penis still inside me has completely sold me on being a woman.

Still lying on top of me, Zach grinned and said, “Wow. You’re frisky tonight! I thought you said you were tired.”

I kissed him and said, “I guess I got my second wind.”

Zach rolled over onto his back and he rubbed his face. He said, “Oh God. I’m spent. You completely drained me, honey. I don’t know if I can get up off the floor.”

“Good!” I said as I stood up. “I get the whole bed to myself tonight.” I giggled.

“Yeah right,” said Zach as he lifted himself up on one elbow.

I picked the sheets off the floor and made a half-hearted attempt to put them back on the bed in some semblance of order. I felt myself smiling as I straightened out the sheet. All I could think about was having sex. I’m sure it was just an afterglow from this being my first time.

After using the toilet, I crawled into bed and snuggled against my man. I still felt very sorry for Denise, but now I wanted this life. I could do this. I know this is mostly the euphoria from just having sex and I know there’s more to being a woman than this. And being a parent. Hell, I’ve been a parent before. This role will be difficult, but not impossible. I’ve decided that being a woman is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

I smiled as I pressed close into Zach’s back and placed my arm around him. As I drifted off to sleep, for the first time in a very long time I was at peace. And happy. I was so very happy.

*          *          *

“Target is clear.”

Expressionless, Swan said, “Shoot on my mark. Three…two…one…shoot.”

The room was filled with a sudden, loud humming sound that lasted for only a few seconds.

The technician removed his finger from the large red button. As he flipped the plastic cover back over the button, he said, “Null mind successfully transferred to target.”

Looking sick, Sam shook his head and said, “She was pregnant. She was a mother with two children.”

Looking at his watch, Swan said, “You can’t break a few eggs without making an omelet.”

“We could have recruited her,” said Sam. “I mean, she was a twenty year veteran of the service!”

Tossing a jacket over his arm, Swan said, “Williams was a loose end. I know he was your friend, but we have to follow protocol.” Swan paused a moment and then said, “Oh. And clean out your desk. Monday morning your job is at the Omaha office. You’re being stripped of all your security clearances. You shouldn’t even still be in this room, Sam. You should have reported Williams’ situation to me the moment you found out. And then helping him? Be grateful you’re not headed for Leavenworth.”

Sam said, “But it’s three in the morning...”

Scowling, Swan said, “Now, Mallory! Don’t make me call security.”

Sam started to leave the room. He turned and looked at the chair with all the wires and tubes running to it with the metal dome cap sitting above the chair back.

“That fucking thing should be destroyed,” said Sam. He looked at Swan and frowned.

Not looking up from his phone as he flipped through some document on it, Swan said, “Just write that on a note card and put it in my suggestion box. Good-bye, Sam.”

Feeling sick in the pit of his stomach, Sam turned and walked back to his desk.

*          *          *

The End

If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
134 users have voted.

And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 9001 words long.