Alexi Baxter waved to her husband, as he set off in his Porsche. The statuesque 30-year-old brunette wondered why Matthew felt he had to cheat. If she was so sexy and desirable, why would he have a regular, secret date?
Today Alexi decided, she would conduct a mission that would resolve her suspicions and her fears. She settled on a simple outfit of a floral summer dress and red stiletto heels.
It was Friday and Matthew would be starting his day at his Premier League soccer team’s training ground. Alexi wanted to be nearby, but out of sight when Matthew left early; as she was certain he would. Instead of using her BMW, she called a cab to get her clear of their select neighbourhood. Ten minutes later she slipped behind the wheel of her pre-ordered rental.
“Here we go,” Alexi breathed as she saw Matthew’s red car pull out onto the road. She slipped her car into gear and joined the flow of traffic. She had been careful to park far enough away that she could observe the car-park, but remain unnoticed.
In less than 20 minutes, Alexi was making a mental note of ‘Diamond Towers’, the tall glass and steel building where Matthew had driven into an underground car-park. The gold fittings around the entrance and lobby glistened in the sunlight. Whoever Matthew was visiting had money, or rich connections. Alexi was desperate to watch the entrance, so was relieved to see a parking space being vacated about 20 metres along the road. She parked quickly, adjusted her mirror to watch the entrance to the block, and then pulled out her phone.
Alexi used her mobile phone to trace the companies who rented offices in Diamond Towers. She recognised a name after a five minute search.
“Gotcha!” she said aloud.
Alexi strode purposefully from the bank of elevators on the 6th floor towards the reception desk. She nodded to the woman at reception and continued on her way towards a long corridor. Her progress was reflected in the glass doors that lined one side. There was plush seating along the opposite side.
Before she pushed open the glass outer office door, Alexi was already sizing up the young woman who fronted the office. ‘Sam Temple; therapist of the stars’ was written in gold lettering on the door. As Alexi paused to read the proud boast she became aware of the secretary’s perfume; an expensive brand.
“Hi,” Alexi said, extending her right hand. “I’m Mrs Baxter,” she smiled and continued in a syrupy tone. “You can call me Alexi. What’s your name?”
“Sarah,” the woman said, standing to accept the proffered hand. “I’m Mr Temple’s…”
“Girl Friday?” Alexi finished for her, and then openly appraised the other woman. She had to assume that it was the boss’s idea for his secretary to have such an appearance. Long, loose, dark ringlets hung down over Sarah’s white blouse.
Alexi assessed the girl. The blouse was too tight, and the skirt was short enough to display most of her shapely legs, but such an outfit wasn’t in keeping with the classy, opulent surroundings. Show the cleavage or the legs, Alexi thought as she looked – not both.
“How can I help you?” Sarah asked, swallowing hard.
Composing herself as she resumed her position at the desk, Alexi thought.
“Is my husband with Mr Temple?” Alexi asked with a smile.
“Yes,” Sarah said and glanced at the door. “It’s a private session.”
“Not any more,” Alexi said and glanced at Sarah’s right hand. “And don’t touch that intercom.”
Alexi stepped forward and tried to open the office door, but it didn’t budge.
Sarah pressed the intercom. “Mrs Baxter is on her way in.”
Alexi stepped back and smiled as she looked Sarah up and down. “Open it please Sarah.” She paused. “I won’t ask again.”
Alexi stepped into the plush office and looked around, but there was nobody there. The office had a panoramic window that allowed natural light to illuminate the spacious interior. Apart from a mahogany desk and leather chair, there were a pair of comfortable chairs either side of a small glass table. There was also a couch against one wall.
On the two side walls were an assortment of framed certificates, but no photographs. On the wall opposite to the desk was a large painting. For Alexi, the subject of the painting spoke volumes about Sam Temple. Her lips curled.
She walked across the room, her high heels sinking into the deep-pile carpet. At the desk, she pushed the executive chair away and leaned over to read the diary appointments.
“10:30am until 2:30pm – Matthew Baxter,” Alexi said aloud. She stood up and gazed at the painting of the solar system. As she looked around the spacious office with its plush fittings and dark panelled walls she almost missed seeing the other door. There was no handle, only a groove in the panelling.
Alexi crossed to the door, took a deep breath and slipped her fingertips into the groove. She tugged gently, and the panel moved back silently on smooth runners. Daylight filtered into the ante-room through a slatted blind.
The room was as large as the office and fitted with the same deep-pile carpet, but the anteroom had a bed. On top of the bed, uncovered, lay a naked man. Alexi glanced at his face, at first avoiding looking at the rest of him. She assumed it was the therapist. He was on his back, breathing gently as if in a deep sleep.
Alexi looked around and saw two sets of men’s clothes. Neatly folded on a chair were trousers, socks and boxer shorts. Hanging over the back of the chair was a smart jacket that matched the trousers. There was also a shirt and tie. Underneath were shoes.
On another chair nearby was a red and white training outfit. Everything was neatly folded: a hooded-top, joggers, a vest, shorts and socks. Below the chair were red training shoes; like Matthew’s. On top of the clothing were placed a wedding ring and a watch. It was Matthew’s usual jewellery.
A few feet away there was another doorway. Alexi steeled herself for what she might find and advanced to the next room. Before stepping into what was an adjoining bathroom, she took a breath and prepared to speak to her husband.
“So,” she said as her heels clicked on the tiled floor, “what have you …” and her question faded. The small, but luxuriously appointed bathroom was unoccupied. Her blue eyes widened as she scanned the room again and then stepped back into the anteroom.
When Alexi looked at the man on the bed once again, she looked more closely at his face. Sam Temple was dark-haired, but his features were remarkably similar to Matthew’s. Alexi tried to imagine Matthew with dark hair and at that point the likeness seemed uncanny. She found herself looking at the neck, shoulders, arms and torso of the sleeping man.
When her eyes paused at the top of his thighs, her eyes widened a little. She didn’t know how good Mr Temple was as a therapist, but he had a lot in common with Matthew with regard to physique. Alexi continued to look along the legs and then her gaze travelled back along the length of Mr Temple to his face.
Apart from the hair colour and the absence of a small scar on the left thigh, Alexi realised she could be looking at her husband’s body. Every toned muscle was like Matthew’s, and she knew his body well. At that point, Temple’s eyes flickered open, and he turned onto his right side, facing toward Alexi.
Alexi stepped back towards the door that led to the office, but when she realised that Temple was not focusing on her, she remained still. She watched and listened as the therapist let out a sigh.
As Alexi continued to watch, Sam Temple began to glow as his skin emitted an aura of light all over. Alexi stared, but had to blink several times. Another man was materialising, as if being released from a human cocoon. He was naked, like Temple, and they were facing each other. For a moment, Sam Temple’s arms came forward as if holding the other naked man in an embrace.
When the second man’s body developed fully, his arms were tightly wrapped around Temple’s body. The two men had their legs slightly intertwined, and their faces were almost touching. The second man’s body became solid and assumed natural colour, like Temple’s, but the second man’s appearance was different. He was fair-haired. The aura faded and Alexi realised she was looking at Matthew.
“Sarah,” Alexi said as she exited the office. “May I ask you a couple of questions?”
“Yes of course you may,” the woman said, smiling.
“How long have you worked for Mr Temple?” Sarah’s sparkling blue eyes seemed to mist for several seconds, but it was long enough for Alexi to notice. “Come on, it wasn’t such a difficult question.”
“Since he started his practice here,” Sarah said. “About six months.”
“That’s interesting. You look about twenty-something, so where did you work before?” The response was that same momentary pause, but Alexi waited.
“I worked in other similar places,” Sarah said. There was a definite, eerie misting of Sarah’s eyes when she was considering responses to questions.
Alexi posed a series of questions for the secretary and in each case observed the fraction of time used in concentration, prior to supplying a vague answer. It was notable that Sarah couldn’t remember instantly how many jobs she’d had, how long she’d lived locally in Oxford, if her boss was married, or had always practiced the same business.
More than anything, Alexi noted Sarah’s lack of concern at being asked so many personal questions by a relative stranger. She continued to look deep into Sarah’s eyes when she asked her next question.
“Sarah, how long will Mr Baxter and Mr Temple’s session last?”
The secretary glanced at the diary. “The session is for four hours.”
“Thank you, Sarah,” Alexi said. She smiled as she reached forward and placed a hand on Sarah’s. “I’d like you to do something for me.” Sarah’s eyes flickered as Alexi continued. “Please don’t tell Mr Temple or my husband that I’ve been here. Will you do that for me?”
“It will be a secret between us?” Sarah asked. Her distinct pronunciation made it sound like English was her second language.
“Yes,” Alexi said. She found herself slotting small fragments of information together and a theory was evolving. “It will be a secret between us,” she mimicked. She watched Sarah’s eyes mist again. Sarah’s misting eyes were a symptom of a particular condition that Alexi had only witnessed twice before.
The secretary nodded and smiled as Alexi patted her hand and then left.
Alexi made herself comfortable on a sumptuous leather sofa ten metres along the wide corridor. She lifted a magazine from a nearby table and observed Sarah through the glass office door.
Sarah seemed to do very little. At regular intervals, she would pick up the telephone or tap on the keyboard of her computer. After two minutes of activity, she went back to her pose. She sat upright facing forward, complete with enigmatic smile.
The door to Temple’s office opened and Matthew Baxter stepped out. He and Sarah exchanged a nod and then the footballer left and headed for the elevators. As Alexi observed Matthew, she was positive that his expression seemed brighter, and his movements were more fluid than earlier in the day. There was a spring in his step.
Whilst waiting, Alexi had been thinking back over what she’d seen in Temple’s diary. All the appointments were for people in influential positions, or people heading for the top of their profession. Among the names, Alexi had noted top sports personalities, corporate executives, and senior civil service personnel.
Alexi recalled seeing a certificate which declared that Temple was qualified in hypnosis. He had attracted clients who between them shared a wide variety of ability, but perhaps all were open to post-hypnotic suggestion. In order to maintain regular appointments Temple only had to suggest wellbeing after his consultation.
There were three women among the clients. One was a bank executive, another a psychiatrist, and the third was a high-flying student whom Alexi knew worked part-time as glamour model. A plan formed in Alexi’s mind.
It was 2:45pm when a tall blonde stepped into the elevator on the ground floor. Alexi smiled at her as she joined her in the plush, carpeted cubicle. A soft melody was playing from corner speakers.
“It’s Juliette isn’t it?” Alexi said, “Juliette Pearce?”
“Yes,” Juliette said.
Alexi was no slouch in the looks department, but Miss Pearce was more than simply attractive; she was gorgeous.
“May I ask,” Alexi said. “Are you visiting Sam Temple?”
“Yes, that’s where I’m going now. Why do you ask?”
“I was wondering, because my husband is a client too,” Alexi said and smiled as she extended a hand. “My name is Alexi. I’m Matthew Baxter’s wife.”
“The footballer,” Juliette gushed and eagerly placed her slender hand in Alexi’s.
“How long is your appointment with Mr Temple?” Alexi asked.
“About four hours,” Juliette said.
Alexi continued to hold and squeeze Juliette’s hand as she looked into the blonde’s brown eyes. “I read somewhere that you have the ultimate combination of brains and beauty.” She noted the wide eyes and parted lips before Juliette laughed.
Alexi looked away for a moment, before whispering. “Would you do something for me Juliette, and I’ll do anything in return?”
“Could I meet your husband? I watch every game he plays in.”
Alexi was stunned by the rapid response. “Of course you can.”
“Okay,” Juliette said, her face reddening. “What would you like me to do?”
Alexi explained enough to capture Juliette’s interest.
“This is the wrong floor for Sam’s office,” Juliette said when the elevator doors opened.
“I know,” Alexi said, “but the ladies’ room on this floor is locked. She held up a key, winked and nodded along the corridor.
Five minutes later, the two women were standing in the ladies’ washroom facing each other. Juliette couldn’t tear her eyes away from Alexi’s gaze.
Alexi stepped forward. “Take my hands Juliette.” The two women extended their hands to each other and Alexi concentrated.
“Good morning you beautiful creature,” Sam said as his next client entered. “Go straight through and I’ll be with you in a few minutes.”
The woman smiled and glided across the office to the ante-room. She paused in the doorway, looked back at Sam over her shoulder, slid the door open, went inside and then closed the door behind her.
“Why aren’t you undressed?” Sam asked the blonde five minutes later.
“Today, I’d like you to talk for a while.” Her eyes looked away from the therapist.
“I could talk to you afterwards,” Sam said, as he undid his shirt buttons. “Look at me. What do you want me to talk about?”
“You get naked, and then I’ll tell you,” she said, still not meeting his gaze.
“Right,” Sam said and quickly finished undressing. He sat on the bed.
“First of all,” the blonde said. “I’d like you to remind me why we have to be naked.”
Sam squinted. “Oh that’s easy,” he said. “It creates a more intimate bond if there is total trust and no physical barriers.”
“I understand that you want to get inside my mind?”
“Yes,” he said. “You’ve never questioned my methods before. Is there something wrong?” He reached out to turn her face towards him and he focused his eyes and thoughts on her again; puzzled.
“You told me that you like beautiful, intelligent women,” she said.
“Yes,” he said. “And for me, you are the ultimate woman.”
“Am I the only female client you explore in such depth?”
“Yes, of course,” he said. “You and I have a special connection.”
“Do you get so close to any of your other clients?” She crossed her legs, and the hem of her mini-dress rode up, exposing her thigh.
“I get close to all of them, but not in the way I do with you.” His eyes wandered downward for a moment. “Is there anything else before you get undressed?”
“Yes,” she said. “Tell me about your background, and your work, but make it amusing.”
“Why?” he said and forced a laugh. “What will be in it for me?”
“If you open up to me, I’m going to take you further than ever before, and you won’t have to hypnotise me.”
“Okay,” he said and gave her a devilish grin. “I’m not human. I’m an alien criminal mastermind, and I came to Earth a few months ago.” He saw her smile and her eyes light up.
He continued, “At first when I arrived here, I had difficulty dealing with the pleasures of my new body, but I got accustomed to it.”
The blonde nodded and licked her lips.
Sam said: “Before I materialised, I looked at many aspects of human nature and behaviour. I took on the best human physique I could see and then created this office environment to hide my plan for domination.”
“Do you mean domination of this town?”
“No,” he said. “It will take a while, but I’ll grow way beyond this, and I want you to be my partner.”
“I’m getting turned on,” she said and bit her lower lip briefly. “How do you do this domination thing?”
For the next five minutes, Sam explained how he needed to have his client completely naked, including the removal of jewellery. He would then embrace them on the bed whether it was a man or a woman. When he held them tight, flesh to flesh, he was able to take over their mind. He explained that certain clients required weekly sessions.
In the case of those with a high intelligence, he would soak up their knowledge. In the case of those with physical attributes of beauty or strength, he would exchange nutrients to maintain his appearance and strength. As he continued, he found himself opening up to somebody else as never before.
“Now,” he said, smiling once again. “Was that entertaining enough for you?”
“Yes,” she said, standing to kick off her shoes. She tugged upwards and shed the only other piece of clothing she was wearing; a light summer mini-dress. “Why do you get completely undressed except for that ring?”
“I could never take that off,” he said as he admired her body. “It’s the only thing that stops my enemies from sending me back to Zoltan.” He held his hand up to look at the ring and laughed.
“Yes, my home planet.”
“Oh yes of course because you’re an alien,” she laughed. “May I look at your ring?”
“Yes,” he said, “and then we must both get on here so that we can begin.” He patted the bed with his right hand as he lifted his left hand.
The woman held his left hand with both of hers, tenderly at first, and then in a lightning fast movement removed the special ring and clasped it in her hand. She looked into Sam’s eyes for a few seconds before she leapt onto him and held his body in a tight embrace on the bed, wrapping her arms and strong legs around him.
“What’s come over you Juliette?” He said, looking up at her.
“This is Juliette’s body, but my name is Alexi,” the woman said as her voice changed, and she looked at Sam’s squinting, disbelieving eyes. “I am Alexi Venusia, an officer of the Intergalactic Council of Extraditions.”
“ICE?” Sam said. His eyes widened as Alexi tightened her embrace; flesh to flesh.
“Yes,” she said as Temple started to dematerialise under her. “You’ve been ICE’d.”
The choice to remain on Earth as a human was Alexi’s reward.
Outside Temple’s office, the only sign that Sarah ever existed was a faint scent.
Juliette Pearce woke up from a faint in the ladies’ room, wondering why she was in the office block. She smoothed her outfit, tidied her hair and headed for her modelling assignment. She needed the money to allow her to continue her scientific studies.
At around 3pm, across an area of 20 miles, all those who had been Temple’s clients experienced a pulsating headache for a few seconds. In each case they felt better than they had for many months; physically and mentally refreshed.
In a smart house amidst landscaped gardens in a desirable location, Matthew Baxter arrived home.
“Alexi my love, you look radiant, and much happier than earlier today.”
“Hi handsome,” she said. “I feel like a different person.” She had fulfilled her assignment and was looking forward to her new existence as a woman – as an Earthling.
* Author’s Note. This story was specifically written to fit the theme of ‘Relationships’.
It was the chosen theme for all stories included in the anthology, ‘You’re Not Alone – An Indie Author Anthology’ by Ian D. Moore and friends. The idea of the anthology was the brainchild of Ian, in the belief that our Facebook group could produce a collection which would go on to raise funds for the Macmillan Nurses.