As the days have gone on, my new frizzy brown hair has flared up in this heat, made worse by stress and sweat.
Jane started taking the initiative explaining what we agreed were likely the facts about our situations. As much as I should have done so, I kind of backed myself into a corner by playing like this was my first go-around, a panicked movie I feel guilty about.
I have to admit, in his tall, strong, blond, blue-eyed male body, the information came across very reassuringly, although it didn't do a great deal of comfort to the Germans, who were hoping to return to their home country soon. Instead, they will be heading to Quebec as a trio of sisters. I suppose telling them that I enjoyed my time in Canada would be little comfort.
Many of the rest of us, actually, were bound for Chicago. This company, some kind of investment firm, had arranged to send a good portion of its staff to the East Coast for a month... despite the fact that the Inn books out in two week blocks only. Of course, I knew this situation was being set up somehow, but I didn't get a view of how much attention these people were paying to the details.
"I guess you're happy," I said with a hint of contempt to Don Lazar, who was sitting wearing a shit-eating grin through the whole proceedings.
"Why, because I get to pass my c**t of a wife off to some other shmuck, ditch the company I helped build from the ground up and was ready to watch crash and burn, and start all over on someone else's dime?"
"Did you know this was going to happen?"
"I wish," he laughed, "I'm just a lucky fuck who made out good on the deal. Two months ago, some chick walks into my office. Great tits, walking with ap urpose, 'You wanna make some real money?' she says, Sure, who wouldn't. I was nickel and diming it in Westchester. I asked how much, and she said enough to buy a new life. That got my attention. All she said was to come to Maine, meet with some people and maybe look at making a few transactions. Even paid for my stay here. The meeting was shit, not nearly the kinda money I thought we were gonna be talking about, and I thought this must be a con, but hey, a paid vacation with all the hot young things around... that's why I didn't leave sooner. Someone pushed me into this, not that I mind."
And why should he? Don Lazar may not have lost too many years off his age, but his body is a major improvement, getting a full head of salt-and-pepper hair, a face like Paul Newman, and a loss of that beer gut. The guy looks like a million bucks, which eats away at me inside more than a bit.
He patted me condescendingly on the shoulder, then headed off. My guess is that he's getting an early start on the new job, which is probably smart.
The details of Bianca's life were left sketchy in her one-page note giving a token summary of what this woman thought the curse had done, no number at which she could be reached, and a note at he bottom indicating "Instructions to follow."
I looked at her phone. There was no password on it, but it seemed to have just been activated. If I was supposed to contact someone, I didn't know who. If they were to contact me, they haven't yet.
James found me later sifting through my things, cataloging all the clothes, personal items, assets.
"How are you doing?" he asked. His dark brown skin caught the light, making him look mysterious.
"Not ecstatic," I sighed, "I don't know what I was hoping for, but now that it's all happening... it's a lot to process. More than I remember."
"Wishing you ran off with Sophie's body?" he said.
"Only a little," I said, "This is the way it has to be. I know that. It's just an adjustment."
"Well, I'm here for ya. If you need it."
He gave me a one-armed hug, and I felt very small in his arms. For half a second, I wondered if he meant something by that, or if he was just being a friend. It's very clearly not the time to be thinking about things like that, but knowing James I wouldn't put it past him to at least make some kind of waves in that direction. I'm sure that getting his manhood back has provided him with a certain rush of... you know.
I looked at the stuff spread out before me. Bianca had a very fine, upscale fashion taste, which is nice if not totally in line with my personality, befitting her position, age, and I'm guessing income. Some jewelry.
Including an engagement ring, if I'm not mistaken.
Guess I'm not off the hook thinking about "that stuff" after all.