WARNING: This story contains explicit sexual matter. If you are under 18, or live in a jurisdiction in which such matter is illegal, please stop reading now.
This story may be archived only with the aurhor's permission and is not to be distributed without this note and the name of the author, changed in any way, or sold. Do not re-post without consulting the author. Copyright 1998 by Jane Urquhart.
NOTE: This is not a "Janey" story.
She was an exemplary mother and she worked arduously on community causes. She was always affable, if not particularly gregarious. Her friends held her in high regard, even though they privately thought that she spoke as if she were an English teacher and that she was excessively proper. They would have considered her a bluestocking intellectual had it not been for her unusual devotion to physical exercise and women's sports. She was, they unanimously agreed, "as square as they come."
Those friends could never have imagined that she would find herself in an awkward, possibly dangerous, certainly compromising position.
For they were totally unaware that she led an absorbing secret life. She spent every moment she could steal from her everyday tasks writing salacious stories, many of them about a woman who shared her body and, she supposed, some heretofore hidden part of her personality. These she posted to an Internet newsgroup dedicated to such works. She also carried on with her readers and with other writers a flourishing electronic mail correspondence devoted to gossip, flirtations, discussions of writing and anything else that struck her fancy.
In her conversations on the Net she merged her true personality with that of her favorite fictional character and she created a world in which that personality lived. That world was quite similar to her real environment--she routinely commented on her (real) children, her domestic activities, her suburban house and the city in which she worked, and she used those things in her stories.
She found this secret life intensely agreeable.
Early in the summer of 1998 she mentioned to a male friend with whom she had carried on a long e-mail flirtation her deep fear that her real identity would be found out. She was confident that dire consequences would follow such a discovery. He jokingly replied that, even with his background in intelligence, it would probably cost him at least $175,000 to break down her security. That much, he said, was more than he was prepared to spend. She replied with the following message:
"What? It's not worth $175,000 to find my address, fly your airplane to Hanscom Field, rent a 1998 Porsche convertible, drive hellbent down 128 (America's Technology Highway), turn off at the Great Plain Avenue exit, zoom wildly through the shaded streets, park in front of my house, ring my doorbell, then, when I answer, rip off my clothes with one swipe of your powerful hand, throw me down on my back on the front porch, untrammel your mighty eight-inch tool, and have your way with me while I'm moaning in ecstasy, at the same time attempting weakly to fend you off?
It was inevitable, given his nature, that he take that message as a challenge. He would not force her, but he would push her to the edge. She would honor her words, joke or not. But he would never force her, even if she believed she was honor bound to let him have what he very dearly wanted.
So, using skills he had acquired while working for various obscure federal agencies, he set out to obtain the required sum. He knew a French politician, currently under government investigation, who would be delighted to see a few embarrassing sums of money disappear from view. He obligingly siphoned off a million and a half francs from his friend's holdings, arranging the transfer so that it would be blamed on a computer error at a small, insolvent Japanese bank. He moved the money to an anonymous account in Grand Cayman, then began contacting various eminent officials he had compromised in the past, using them to find the information he wanted. He specifically asked only for certain details, and told his informants to give him only the data he asked for. He did not want his illusions spoiled.
Ten days after he had received that provocative reply from his female challenger he anonymously sent to her a package containing copies of her driver's license, her certificates of birth, baptism and marriage, the most recent bill itemizing her purchases from an Internet bookstore, and a ninth-grade report card showing an "A" in science and a "C" in something called "Communications Skills." He included a Massachusetts driver's license carrying a female pseudonym and her picture, and a Visa card that matched. Looking at this material before he sent it, he concluded, smiling, that one of the teachers had erred seriously.
Shortly thereafter he sent an e-mail letter to her ordinary, "real life" Internet server address, not her supposedly anonymous address, informing her that he would visit her on one of three dates he specified. She could choose any one of the three. He stated that he would cover all required expenses, and gave her sundry other instructions.
Having, it seemed to her, no other course open, she chose a date--Saturday, July 11, the day before her birthday--and booked a two-bedroom suite in a famous resort hotel located on the southern Maine coast. She used the credit card he had sent. Then she informed him of her arrangements.
She had chosen the date for a reason. Having no idea how she would react to this man she knew only from his letters, she had put a limit on the duration of their tryst. She had to attend her own birthday party at her in-laws' cottage in the Maine woods, thirty-five minutes from the hotel, on the afternoon of Sunday, the twelfth. He would have to accept that. So would she.
In downtown Boston, at a fashionable boutique, she was able to buy a very expensive red dress that fit her perfectly. She thought it suitable for dining at the resort's somewhat pretentious restaurant, and her persecutor had requested such a dress. At Victoria's Secret in Copley Place, smiling as she made her choices, she bought new underwear, including a garter belt, a garment she had never worn before, and at Neiman Marcus she found a nightgown so sheer that she could easily crumple it into a ball in the palm of her hand. She also bought a white sun dress, three pairs of silk stockings and a pair of gold sandals. She saw her gynecologist. She went to a manicurist, who scolded her for failing to take better care of her hands. On the day before she was to leave for Maine she visited a hairdresser she had patronized before, thinking that any radical change in her normal style might possibly in some way mar the occasion. She also planned to wear her usual lavender cologne.
For she had decided that even though it appeared that she had no real choice, actually she could easily abort the whole plan simply by dressing in the sweatshirt and jeans she commonly wore in her leisure time and being totally passive. He was, she was convinced, an honorable man, one who would not take advantage of her helplessness if she made clear her distaste for him. She preferred not to do that.
In fact, she was filled with delight. She chose to believe that her very lack of choice released her from any possible twinge of conscience. Her husband and children would be at the grandparents' cottage, where she had to be the following day. No one would ever know where she had been that night; no one would be hurt. Moreover, having corresponded for some time with her soon-to-be lover, she was confident that he would make her adventure worth remembering for the rest of her life. Fantasies were all very well, but reality would be vastly better.
She was standing on the wide veranda of the resort's main building, a pseudo- colonial monstrosity large enough to hold the entire population of most colonial villages, when he rolled up the curving drive in a dark blue Bentley saloon. It seemed to be an old model, similar to one she had seen in a film on television a long time before. He stepped out of the car, turning to face the front door of the hotel, then looked straight at her and smiled. A bellhop dressed in ridiculous colonial livery rushed out to take his garment bag, and a driver removed the car. He walked up the steps, seeming to use his silver-chased walking stick only as a prop, not as the necessity it was. It was four-thirty in the afternoon, and the cool sea breeze was dying. The sun was still high in the sky, for it was not far from the longest day of the year, but the shadows so far north were always long.
"You came," he said.
"Yes," she said. She smiled. "I reserved a table for dinner at seven, and ordered roast beef for both of us."
He took her hand, lifted it, and gently rubbed his thumb across the backs of her fingers. He looked up at her.
"I have touched you. At last."
"Yes," she said. "And I have touched you."
"And you wore the white sun dress."
"No," she said, "not 'the' sun dress, 'a' sun dress. The dress you described wouldn't do at this kind of place."
"I suppose not," he said with a smile. He lifted her hand to his mouth, kissed it gently, then lowered it, still holding it lightly.
She handed him a key with a heavy wooden fob. "Go up and wash. Dinner is a long time off. I'll wait here, in that chair, right over there, for half an hour, then come up. We can have a glass of wine in the room."
"I shan't be long," he said. He let go of her hand and entered the hotel.
.... There is more of this story ...