Joaquin’s Dilemma

JOAQUIN’S DILEMMA:

By Rita Chante

Author’s note: this copyrighted short story examines what might happen when the masked fantasy you have dreamed of and wish for is taken over and modified by others for their own gain and/or fantasies.

“I’m just about ready to leave for work, Jack,” announced Joaquin’s long time girl friend. “It seems strange to be going off to work and leaving you all by your lonesome in our warm soft bed.”

“I told you to ask for some time off. This is not news, Areceli. You have known for a while that I had this bonus furlough that my job says I have to use or lose. I wanted to do something together like take a short trip. Areceli,” said Joaquin in a sleepy voice.

“Aren’t you worried that the people who are competing with you for that promotion will use your absence to ace you out of the running?” asked Areceli.

“If the job is mine, it is already mine, Areceli. If it isn’t mine, I will move to my fall back position. But for now, I hope you have remembered that tomorrow is my birthday and that you know that only you can give me what I truly want and really need.”

“I know what you think you want and need, Jack. Sometimes it seems to be all you have on your perverted mind. You know that this is the busy time of year for me at my work. Taking an extended time off is out of the question, but I haven’t forgotten your birthday,” said Areceli. “For some time now I have been working on some complicated plans that will make it a really memorable one for you, but it is hard to stay motivated and on task when you act so enervating and lethargic.”

“It’s not like I have this whole two weeks completely to myself, Honey. I still have the two night classes that I will be teaching at the university. It will be a nice change to be able to concentrate on preparing for them,” declared Joaquin.

“Does that mean that you will be going to the library again today?” inquired Areceli with a dry low note of tired and frustrated resignation in her lovely voice.

“It does if I want to get that proposal for my new start-up idea written,” declared Joaquin. “I wish Monica had a couple of days off to do that research with me. She is a whiz at getting the typing done, and two sets of eyes find the ins and outs of those regulations so much faster.”

“Monica wants a different set of ins and outs with you, Jack,” commented Areceli with a mood swing that birthed an acid tone in her voice. “I am not the jealous type, but if you know what is good for you and your fantasy desires with me, you will stay away from Monica and the rest of those over sexed, gold diggers in the steno pool at your job.”

“That would be pretty difficult to do, Areceli. I work with them on a daily basis. I never threaten you with all the guys at your job, Areceli even thought you are always talking about them and telling me how I should do this or that the way the Ted, Bill, and Mike do this or that,” stated Joaquin.

“That is because I’m trustworthy, Jack, and you have a wandering eye.”

“That is not true. I have only eyes for you, querida mia,” countered Joaquin in his sleepy voice. Maybe now was not the time to mention that he believed that one of his graduate students had displayed more than an academic interest in him. Had been careful not to encourage the gorgeous Andalucia Almaras. Under the right conditions he would sure love to do some masking research with her. She had hinted that she needed some help with her term project.

“You mean for me and that closet full of costumes and masks,” corrected Araceli. “If I were making a list of your loves, I would put you on it first, then your car and then those masks and cross-dressing clothes of yours. If I was lucky, I might come in a distant fourth or fifth.”

“Don’t start up with that again, Areceli. They are my creative fantasy world that keeps the spontaneous spirit you say you like, alive in me,” informed Joaquin. It was a good thing that Areceli didn’t know about Andalucia’s probes or Areceli would really be off on her high horse and talking about being fifth or sixth. She hadn’t mentioned in this context, so far, that he had a thing for his secretary even though nothing like that could be further from the truth.

“I don’t have time to go over that again with you now, Jack. Sometimes I feel all you have for me is what is leftover after you make love to your Mercedes, your masks and your work.”

“It sounds like you have been talking with Monica,” declared Joaquin. “You are just saying all that to duck doing the fantasy you promised me. I love you more than those things, Areceli.”

“Oh stop with the bullshit, Jack. You were never any good at lying,” stated Areceli. “I know you have a thing for her too.”

“You have to know by now that just isn’t true, Areceli. Didn’t I buy you that mink coat?” asked Joaquin. “I didn’t trim my car’s interior in mink.”

“You only bought me the mink after you spent four thousand dollars on body work and paint for your car. Besides you want me to be your fantasy girl friend for your birthday. In addition, How do I know that you didn’t buy Monica a coat too? If I know you, it is probably better than the one you bought for me.” Joaquin should never have told Areceli that Monica had helped him pick out Areceli’s mink coat.

“You have your BMW Roadster, Areceli,” said Joaquin as he tried to redirect the conversation.

“It’s not the same to me as your ‘classic Mercedes’ is to you and you know it, Jack,” snarled Areceli.

“Does that mean you are going back on this promise like you have so many times in the past?” probed Jack.

“Don’t worry about your fantasy, Jack. Everything is all set. I said I would come up with a fantasy during your furlough since you bought me that beautiful mink coat,” promised Areceli.

“Thanks, Areceli. I love masking with you,” said Joaquin with affection and in all candor. At the same time he was saying this he was running the long list of broken promises that Areceli had given to him in the area of masked fantasies.

“Don’t forget that I won’t be doing these female masked fantasies for you after this one, Jack. I think you are sick and need some help. You are never really going to amount to your full potential until you get this masking bologna out of your system for good.”

“You can’t really mean that, Areceli.”

“Oh yes I do, Jack. This will be the very last time,” reiterated Areceli. “You have no idea how doing your masked girl friends turns me off.”

“But this way you are all my girl friends, Areceli.”

“That maybe fun for you, Jack, and a male way of rationalizing your need, but masking for you is a total and colossal pain for me!” exclaimed Areceli.

“I could always get you something your really want if you do what I want, Sweetie,” suggested Joaquin.

“That is insulting, Joaquin. When you do that, you make me feel like a whore. You should not have to pay for and act of love. I won’t do you one of your sick masking fantasies even if you were to buy me a full-length silver fox coat with a three carat diamond ring in the pocket!” proclaimed Areceli.

“What if there was a four carat diamond bracelet in the other pocket of the silver fox coat?” asked Jack.

“Gosh you are thick when it comes to this topic. This is serious, Jack. You never listen to me.”

“I’m listening, Areceli.”

“Then hear me well, Jack. You just insulted me again. I mean what I say. This masked cross-dressing sickness is a dilemma you got yourself into. I know that you say that it isn’t all that rare in men. But I have had it with you on this topic. You are the one that is going to have to solve it. Now go back to sleep and dream of me as your fantasy woman. Just remember to include me out of those sick affairs.”

“How about a good-bye kiss before you leave me all lonesome, Areceli?” asked Joaquin in his little boy voice.

“No way, Jack. I would grant your wish, but I have to leave right now and you know how your kisses get my motor going,” proclaimed Areceli in her big mama voice.

“Couldn’t you give me just a little one? Pretty please?” begged Joaquin in his sweetest little boy voice.

“That is very cute, but I told you no, Jack. My mind is made up. Our years together have taught me that there is no such thing as a little kiss with you. Maybe we can have a session later tonight if you are a good boy today,” reiterated Areceli. There was something strange in the way Areceli made her last remark, but Joaquin decided not to follow-up on it.

With that suggestion, Areceli put on her old mink coat over her navy blue, pen-striped, power shoulder, business suit, picked up her briefcase, blew Joaquin a kiss off of her leather gloved hand and left their bedroom. She now called her old mink her working mink. He thought he heard her fumbling around in the kitchen, as was her normal routine before she left in the morning. Joaquin mused that Areceli was getting very confident of the control that her “sessions” gave her over him, as he heard the front door of their house close. She also seemed colder, more distant and less dependent on their relationship. Once she had graduated and got her own career started, being his girl friend whether masked or as herself, had become a lower priority. Between their demanding work schedules, there was less and less time being devoted to the development of their relationship and its accompanying fantasies. It was probably true that he was a lot more into masking than she was, but until their discussion this morning, he had always thought she like doing it some of the time. She had always enjoyed, or at least he thought she had, winning the costume contests they had entered every Halloween. In fact, with his assistance, Areceli was better at masking than he was.

A couple of minutes later Joaquin heard Areceli rev-up her BMW Roadster’s engine in the driveway. He had told her not to do that when the engine was cold, but she couldn’t resist. Besides, she had made it abundantly clear that the BMW Roadster was her car. If it broke or needed maintenance, she would do it in her own way and time. Thinking of her driving off to work clad in her mink coat and totally naked underneath was all Joaquin needed to put him right back into one of his fantasy dreams. His new dream started with a mink clad female returning back to the house after a short cruise in her BMW because she had left her purse in her closet when she had put on her old mink. In his dream, he could not make out whose face was on the female that opened the front door, but sensed that it was Areceli. The dream was so real, that Joaquin was almost sure that he had heard the front door open and close and that he saw a the mink clad beauty slip through his bedroom and into the closet. He further dreamed that Areceli or some other female was turning herself into some unimaginable creature in the closet while employing a combination of several of the costumes he stored in the back of Areceli’s closet.

A few moments/hours later, reality and the dream state became blurred once again as a masked, black PVC, cat suit clad, sex kitten pulled on his aroused male organ with her black PVC gloved hand. This dream like creature was an artist at penis manipulation. She altered her strokes with a caressing of the testicles and a tickle between the thighs and pubic area. This player made his whistle sing with joy by teasing just enough to elicit precum but frustrating enough to prevent a full ejaculation. If this was a dream, it was one of his best yet. If it was real, who or what was stirring his desire to these heavenly heights? Joaquin was almost sure that he awoke to the presence of this masked beauty and when he went to ask who “she” was, the “masked woman” refused to speak. Instead “she” put a gloved finger up to “her” full, dark red rubber lips to request silence while continuing to stroke and play with him with “her” other gloved hand. Joaquin wondered if he had died and gone to Heaven. The sex kitten then pointed and called Joaquin’s attention to a note “she” had taped to the suitcase that “she” had brought out of the closet. With this, “she” went back into the closet, put on Areceli’s new mink coat, picked up a second suit case, blew Joaquin a kiss off of “her” PVC gloved hand, and slipped out of the house as mysteriously as “she” had entered it.

Joaquin got out of his bed and went to his sewing kit to get a needle to prick himself so he could be sure he was awake. The pain in his finger announced that he was indeed in a conscious state. Someone must have invaded his house and then disappeared after Areceli had left for her work. He had almost tripped over his VCR camera and tripod on his way to locating his sewing kit. But, who was it? Why would they do such a thing? What was his VCR camera and tripod doing in the middle of his bedroom? Was it Areceli starting up the fantasy she had promised him even though her rhetoric said that she was dead set against it? What if the masked fantasy woman who came out of the closet wasn’t Areceli? What if it was Monica, Andalucia Almaras, one of the gold diggers in the steno pool, or one of his other graduate students? He ran down the hall to the window of the front room to see what vehicle was taking the exotic and erotic masked figure away. In his naked condition he peaked through the curtains, but he was too late to see anything except his neighbor leaving for work.

What if it was one of his neighbors? What would be their motivation? Maybe Areceli was having an affair with one of the neighbors and a vengeful girl friend or wife was trying to get even with her, back at her own husband, or both. But, none of that made any sense. Areceli wouldn’t cheat on him. She wasn’t that kind of woman. Joaquin went back into his bedroom and walked over to close the door to Areceli’s closet. As he turned the light on in the closet, he not only noticed that several costumes and the new mink coat was missing, but also a number of his masks and a large part of Areceli’s wardrobe were missing too. What did this mean? Maybe Areceli was partially behind whatever was happening and/or about to happen or at least some knowledge of it. Whatever was about to develop, he had to decide to go for it or forget it. That was always the dilemma posed by the unknown, but if you didn’t go for it, the dilemma would always be there. He had to go for it to solve the riddle, if nothing else.

The note on the suitcase told him not to open the case until he had done the other instructions on the case. It also told him that if he didn’t follow all of the instructions to the letter, that his fantasy would be canceled. The note went on to say that he was to check into the Airport Travel Lodge at 1:00 P.M. There was a prepaid reservation for him under the name of Jack Doff. He was to transport this case and the two left by the front door to the Travel Lodge. Once he checked into the motel, he was to put on the entire contents of the suitcase with the note on it and wait for his fantasy to arrive. If he had any questions about what he was supposed to do, the first note told him that there was a second note inside the suitcase that would assist him in taking the next steps of the fantasy adventure once he was settled in the motel room.

Joaquin put on a black jogging suit, loaded the suitcases into the trunk of his car and made himself a breakfast of ham and eggs. Half way through his breakfast the phone rang. “Hello?” said Joaquin as he put the phone to his ear.

“Hi Jack. I just wanted to see if you were still going to the library.”

“I was going to leave by twelve thirty, Areceli. Can you tell me why my going to the library is so important all of a sudden?”

“It is important because you said it was, Jack. It is almost twelve thirty now.”

“Thanks for reminding me,” said Jack.

“What have you been doing all morning?” inquired Areceli.

“Having those wild dreams you told me to have, Sweetie.”

“They better just be dreams, Jack.”

“Now that you mention it, Areceli, there was one really strange dream I want to talk to you about. It presented me with a real dilemma.”

“I haven’t got the time to listen to your strange dreams now, Jack. Maybe we can talk later tonight. Bye for now.” Areceli hung-up before he could tell her that he loved her. His long-term girl friend’s call was probably a check-up to see if he was going to their mystery date at the Airport Travel Lodge. Areceli had to know that he wasn’t going to the library.

Where had the morning gone? As usual, Areceli was right. He had no sense of time when he was involved with one of his fantasy dreams. It was almost 12:30 P.M. He would have to get a move on to make the motel by 1:00 P.M. Joaquin checked the windows and locks on the house. He made sure the stove was off and went outside to get into his automobile that he drove when he wasn’t going into work. Unlike Areceli’s brand new BMW Roadster, Joaquin’s favorite ride was a showroom fresh, thirty year old, classic, black Mercedes 600 Sel. He loved this car more than life itself. Areceli told him that he loved it so much, that he ought to sleep with it in the garage. She was more jealous of the affection he had for this vehicle than she was of all his female students and work associates put together.

Just sitting in the car stirred his fantasy juices. Everything about the design promoted the notion of absolute power and understated luxurious eloquence. This particular 600 Sel had been stretched and was designed to be chauffeur driven with a pass through window between the front seat and the rest of the car. All the appointments were crafted and framed in Peruvian mahogany and black leather. He had installed a state of the art computer and sound system in the back. He kept the bar fully stocked. If he wanted to, he could have used the vehicle as a mobile office and thought that he would do that if his start up went large.

To keep up with the spirit and style of the stretched 600 Sel, when he drove it, Joaquin always wore a long, black leather coat over whatever else he was wearing. To complete the look, he also wore a black leather chauffeur’s cap, a false black mustache and silver rim aviator’s sunglasses. He really enjoyed the commotion the car and his outfit created whenever he drove it. He especially liked being the chauffeur when Areceli, dressed to the ten’s, rode in the back and made people think he was driving royalty around in his Mercedes.

As these thoughts panned through his mind, Joaquin put on the black leather coat over his jogging suit, cemented the mustache to his upper lip, put on his cap and aviator’s sunglasses, and got into the Mercedes’ driver’s seat. As was his custom he sat for a few moments and enjoyed the luxury of the great, stately vehicle and then started the massive engine and drove off towards the Travel Lodge Airport Motel. As usual people kept trying to see who was in the back seat as he drove along the freeway at ten miles below the speed limit. Upon arriving at the motel he drove right up to the front door and got out like he was going inside to register for Mr. Doff. After noticing the car, the clerk didn’t bat an eye when Joaquin told him that he was picking up a reservation for the illustrious Mr. Jack Doff Esquire. The clerk even upgraded the room to a spa suite at no extra charge.

When filling out the registration card, the mustached Joaquin decided that it would be a good laugh if he used Areceli’s work phone number and BMW license plate number. That would make tracing Mr. Doff to him more a difficult and a possible fantasy problem for Areceli. She deserved some headache for keeping Joaquin so much in the dark about his birthday fantasy. Joaquin went back out to the car and drove it around to the suite’s entrance, parked the car, unloaded the suitcases, and went into the room.

Once in the suite he took off his leather coat and cap and opened the mysterious suitcase to see what adventure it contained. Upon opening the case he found what appeared to be a large brown paper wrapped parcel that seemed to fill the entire suitcase. A legal-size envelope was tape to the parcel and said, “open me first”. Joaquin obediently untaped the letter and opened it with his knife while making sure not to destroy any of the contents. He felt like a kid trying to unwrap a present on Christmas morning while preserving the pretty paper for a school project.

“Dearest Joaquin:

Follow the instructions attached to this note and the fantasies you have always desired will come true. If you

please me, an adventure of untold ecstasy and masking will unfold before you. The degree of pleasure depends

upon your level of personal investment. The more you put in up front, the greater your return. Read the

instructions very carefully as the adventure is set up in ever increasing levels of sequential pleasure and

personal risk.

Your Fantasy Dream Date,

Cali”

Who was Cali? He scanned all the faces of his friends and acquaintances in his memory trying to locate a Cali, but none came up. Next he thought through a list of old flames, but there was no Cali there either. Then he tried to scan his past classrooms for a Cali. No success. He toured the gallery of his neighbors. Again, nothing. Whoever this Cali was, she was a virtual unknown to Joaquin. What if she was some nut case or a dagger wielding slasher? That was the dilemma of any true fantasy. The greater the thrill, the higher the risk. Maybe that is what the note meant by a high level of personal investment. Areceli had said that this was her last effort. Maybe a total commitment to risk was what he needed to make that promise worth living with.

The second and third pages of the note contained the instructions and emphasized doing the costume transformation in the dimmest light possible and away from a mirror so that he wouldn’t be tempted to look at himself until the whole illusion had been created. He drew the curtains and left the entryway light on while leaving all the other lamps off. The curtains blocked the natural light so effectively that some parts of the suite were in total darkness. As Joaquin’s eyes became accustomed to the twilight of the suite, he opened the parcel. In this light, the contents appeared to be a replica of the masked creature that had erotically stoked him and given him the suitcase in the first place. He took all of his clothes off his nearly hairless body and pulled on the stockings and black satin foundation garments. Their cool smooth textures and feminine curves delighted him almost as much as the sex kitten’s manipulation of his genitalia.

He took time to allow the Victorian corset to reshape his body. Joaquin had read at one of the sites focusing on corsets, that if he tightened the cords slowly and retightened them at least two or three times more, the pliability of his ribs and the distribution of his internal fluids would allow for a more extreme yet more comfortable fit of the corset. By following this tip and cinching himself in until he almost couldn’t breath, even without the cat suit he had a figure. In addition, the suit appeared to have bust buttocks and shoulder pads to exaggerate the already waspish figure the foundation garments had established.

Next Joaquin pulled on the full latex head and locked the zipper as instructed. Joaquin felt the mask start to form and adhere to his skin as it warmed to his body temperature. The confinement was incredibly sensual. It was like crawling back into the womb. The eye holes in the center of each great blue iris had been so placed, that his vision was remarkably unhampered by the mask as long as he looked straight ahead. To see items to his side, he had to turn his head or the iris would partially block his view. The pink tinted glasses had been treated with an anti-frosting agent and actually seemed to enhance his vision. Since the ear holes fit directly into his ear canals, the large earring bearing ears of the mask amplified sounds instead of muffling them. As he swung his head from side to side to learn how to see effectively, he enjoyed the feel of the large gold bangles brushing to and frow along the mask’s neck.

Joaquin then pulled on the elbow length black PVC gloves. To his surprise, as they warmed and softened he retained most of his sense of touch in his hands and fingers. He then stepped into the suit, pulled it up over his legs and body, inserted his gloved hands, and zipped up the crotch to neck’s zipper, zipped the legs down to the ankles and zipped the wrists closed as well. Next, he pulled on the keg heel, black patent leather, lace-up, thigh-high boots. Even with his gloved hands, the dim light and the small eye-holes in the mask, and the tight unyielding corset, he found this task much easier than he had imagined. He then put on the black page-boy wig and made sure that it was securely fastened to the mask by its Velcro fasteners. He put on the long, dark brown, fur coat that was in the case under the brown paper parcel and stepped in front of the suite’s full length mirror and turned on the lights.

It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the light, but when they did, the vision of loveliness that was stared back at him from the mirror with gorgeous lashed framed blue eyes and big dark red lips was none other than a tall, voluptuous version of Areceli. He made a couple of moves to make sure the vision was indeed a reflection and not Areceli dressed to kill. Once Joaquin was sure that the vision was a reflection, he marveled at how he had been transformed into his girl friend. Joaquin couldn’t believe how feminine the transformation made him appear. The effect of the large lashes and the pink tinted glasses gave life to the unblinking eyes of the mask. If he didn’t know that he was inside the costume and mask, he wouldn’t believe it himself. He found himself mimicking Areceli’s movements and standing in some of her favorite poses. But, if he was to be Areceli, who was coming to be her fantasy date? He projected a couple of scenarios, neither of which made any sense while he continued to model for himself in front of the full-length mirror.

The quality of his image in the mirror raised his dilemma again. He wanted to go forth and stay with this dream fantasy, but the question still remained, who was behind all of this and had gone to such lengths to set up this wonderfully intricate activity? Was it Areceli keeping her word by preparing a fantasy she had promised him? If the person behind this wasn’t Areceli who could it be? Would Monica, Andalucia, one of his other graduate students or one of the gold diggers in the steno pool go to this much trouble? They all knew that tomorrow was his birthday, but even if they had wanted to, he didn’t think that any of the gold diggers at work had the resources to do this, unless several of them had chipped in on it. In addition, unless they had Areceli’s help how would they know about his fantasies. The same thing could probably be said of his graduate students as well. The only exception to this fact was Andalucia, who appeared by her clothing to be living on a well-financed budget. But, what connection could she have with Areceli? If it was someone other than Areceli that was pulling the strings, what was their motivation? Could it be someone who knew Areceli and planned to use Joaquin as “Areceli” to somehow compromise her at her work? Whatever the answer, wearing the transforming costume was so much fun, that Joaquin decided to play along, at least for a while, with whatever was going down. He was supposed to be in the university library anyway for the next four hours and if he didn’t go, no one would be the wiser.

The ringing of the suite’s phone interrupted his thoughts. Before he answered he decided to answer as Areceli and tried a couple of words and phrases in her voice before picking up the phone. “Hello,” said Joaquin in his version of Areceli’s voice.

“Is that you, Areceli?” asked a feminine voice on the other end of the line? “Are you dressed and ready for our photo session?”

“I’m dressed, I think, but I didn’t know about the photo session,” said Joaquin in his facsimile of Areceli’s voice.

“That’s fine,” responded the feminine voice. “I’ll be over in a couple of shakes with my gear.”

Joaquin ran the sound of the feminine phone voice through his audio memory. He didn’t recognize the voice at all. What gear was she bringing over? Maybe the voice on the phone wasn’t even a “she”. After all, the voice he was using didn’t sound like a “he”. What if this was an elaborate joke being played upon him by some of his male co-workers with Areceli’s or Monica’s assistance? Then there was the matter of what was in the other suitcases he had transported from the house. All he could do for now was to continue enjoying himself as reflected in the suite’s full length mirror He was a tall, over sexed Areceli that was waiting the arrival of the next phase of this fantasy adventure. He was just getting back into a sexy pose when there was a knock on the suite’s entry door.

“Who is there?” asked Joaquin in his version of Areceli’s voice.

“Your fantasy room service,” replied the feminine voice on the other side of the door. It sounded like the same voice he had heard on the phone. “We can’t get started unless you open the door, lover.”

Joaquin peered through the peephole in the door. All he could see was what appeared to be a gloved hand covering the other side of the peephole. With a mixture of excitement, anticipation and fear, Joaquin/Areceli unlocked the door’s privacy lock, removed the chain and opened the door. “She” was a vision. “She” appeared to be taller than he was in his costume. “Her” face was so natural that he wasn’t sure if it was a mask or not. “Her” full curly hair was fox red and caressed “her” face like a long lost lover. Over “her” costume “she” was wearing a black, hooded, PVC trench coat. As he lowered his glance he could see that “her” towering height came from the fact that “her” black PVC boots were built upon eight-inch heels and four-inch platforms. But, even without “her” boots, “she” had to be five-foot eight-inches in “her” stocking feet. This person couldn’t be Areceli, because she had to wear four-inch heels just to be five-foot six-inches. Monica wore five-inch heels just to be five-foot five-inches.

“Are we going to stand here all day gawking at each other, or are you going to invite me into your suite, Jackie?” asked the tall, seductive, eloquent beauty in the hall. “It is Jackie isn’t it? I hope I don’t have the wrong room.”

“I’m Jackie if you say so. I thought you were looking for an Areceli.”

“Areceli? Who’s Areceli? Maybe I am in the wrong room,” said the tall PVC-clad sex goddess.

“I don’t think you have the wrong room. It’s just that I have always fantasized of a moment like this and a dream date like you that has given me pause,” stated Joaquin/Areceli/Jackie. “I must say that your costume just takes my breath away.”

“I’m glad you are enjoying this, Jackie. Maybe if I introduce myself you will let me in. My name is Caja Caliente. My friends call me Cali for short. My sponsor has sent me to do a fantasy photo shoot with you. Between what I have brought and the cases you brought, we should have all we need to have a great time. Can I come in now, Jackie?” asked the vision of loveliness.

“Sure, Cali. Would you care for something from the bar?” asked Joaquin in his new role of “Jackie”. So this was the Cali in the note. He had no recollection of a woman in his history that stood this tall. Besides her name had to be an inside joke. In Spanish, Caja Caliente meant hot box. What parent would call their child by this name?

“That would be marvelous, Jackie Honey. Do you have a cold beer?” asked Caja Caliente.

That request told Joaquin that the tall costumed vision calling itself Caja Caliente definitely couldn’t be Areceli. In the years they had lived and socialized together he had learned that beer made her sick. She couldn’t even stand the smell of it. “Sure I think there is Bud and Miller’s in the bar,” replied Joaquin/”Jackie” as he closed and relocked the entry door to the suite.

“Give me a Bud. Leave it in the bottle,” commanded Cali. “Jackie” walked over to the suite’s bar and opened two cold buds. He handed one of the bottles to Cali. Before chugging the entire contents of the bottle, she clink it against Joaquin’s/Jackie’s bottle and toasted,” to a wonderful fantasy and photo shoot.”

“Ditto,” cheered “Jackie” as “she” chugged “her” beer. No way Areceli could chug a beer like that. “You mentioned that a sponsor has sent you to do this fantasy with me. Can you tell me why you are doing this and who your sponsor is, Cali?”

“The why is because you have a birthday coming soon, but I can’t reveal who the sponsor is. The fact is, I really don’t know who the sponsor is. When is your birthday exactly, Honey?”

“It is tomorrow, Cali.”

“Then we are right on target. If you can get me another beer, we can start setting up the equipment,” announced the masked fantasy vision calling herself “Cali” as she took off her trench coat and revealed the full extent of her glamorous, voluptuous, and curvaceous figure. “The way you are staring, Jackie, you would think you had never seen a girl before.”

“I have to admit that I have never been this close to seeing what looks like the perfect woman to me before,” proclaimed Joaquin as “Jackie” as he/she handed a second bottle of beer to Cali.

“Well let’s unpack the equipment, Jackie, so you can record and photograph your adventure with your fantasy woman,” replied Caja Caliente. As she drank her second beer, Cali opened the suitcases and got out the equipment. “Let’s leave the cases here in the sitting room and set up the photo shoot in the bedroom. We will be doing both stills and video recording of a variety of masks and costumes. Later we will record some fantasy activities in some of the costumes. If you get hungry, we can order room service or go out in whatever costumes you desire.”

“Sounds like a plan, Cali,” stated “Jackie” as “she” moved a camcorder and tripod into the bedroom. The two masked beings took turns shooting stills of each other in various costumes. They did a French maid bit that used the cat suit as a base. Then they shifted to the nun look, the super heroine look and the tramp look. They took pictures of the cat suit combination with several different wigs, coats and masks. They posed leaning against walls, in doorways, on the suite balcony, and on the huge bed in the large bedroom. All the while, they conversed about various masking techniques and planned their next set of photos and costumes. By using the tripod, they took “twin” shots of several of the costumes and masks. They even had the twins pose with each other in extremely intimate positions. While masked, “Jackie” could do things that Joaquin wouldn’t even dream of doing. It was like some one else was doing all of the fantasies and Joaquin was observing them from inside a hidden camera. For this reason, he knew that the photos and videos would be a fabulous fantasy in and of themselves when he computer enhanced and manipulated them for maximum effect.

After four hours they took a bathroom and beer break. Then Cali layered black rubber latex garments over her PVC cat suit and transformed into a full hooded, gas masked rubber girl look. She then helped “Jackie” become a rubber girl. The constricting and ultra confining qualities of the latex garments upgraded the sexual arousal Joaquin had experienced when he had transformed himself into an over sexed Areceli. Posing as a rubber girl as a base for various looks was even more fun than the cat suit activities. Since the cat suits were used as a base for all the other costumes and “Jackie” did “her” changes in the bathroom while Cali was changing in the front room, they never revealed their true identities to each other during the entire photo shoot. While neither “girl” spoke of this reality, they both seemed comfortable that it was happening in that manner. For Joaquin as “Jackie”, he believed that it was adding mystery and anticipation to the fantasy photo shoot.

Through the use of 400 ASA film, and wide aperture lenses they were able to take all of their shots with natural lighting. This would prevent harsh shadows and bleed outs caused by the contrasts between the pale masks and the dark clothing. Since many of the shots used the white walls of the suite, Joaquin figured that he could use a variety of computer composite backgrounds to created a series of moods for the pictures if he posted them to the web.

All of a sudden it was nearing eight o’clock in the evening. “Where did the time go?” asked “Jackie”. Joaquin didn’t even think that maybe he should be calling Areceli. His mind was totally focused on fulfilling his life time fantasy. He was about to go out in public with another fully masked being and it wasn’t even Halloween.

“I guess the old saw about time flying when you are having fun is really true,” replied Cali. “But when you stop and think that we have close to six hundred shots with limited duplication, not to mention about an hour of video and all the time spent changing costumes and arranging furniture and lighting, we have accomplished a lot.”

“I guess we really did a lot. I’ll develop and scan all the pictures,” suggested “Jackie”.

“That is fine with me. I’ll be happy with whatever you email me,” responded Cali. “Are you hungry?”

“Now that I think about it, yes I am,” replied “Jackie”.

“Do you want to order in or go out to eat in one of our costumes?” asked Caja Caliente in a teasing voice.

“Let’s eat out as twins in our PVC trench coat costumes with the black page boy wigs. There is a good restaurant called Wings within walking distance. Since it is dark out and the light in that restaurant is subdued, we will appear exotic but not a spectacle,” suggested Joaquin from behind “Jackie’s” lovely face.

“Sounds like fun, Jackie,” responded Cali. They cleaned up the rooms and put away some of the gear, costumes and masks. They left the tripod mounted Camcorder out to document their after dinner fantasies. The PVC twins strolled the three blocks to the restaurant without any comment from the other users of the area. Joaquin marveled at how well he moved in his four-inch keg heels. He was in awe at how well Cali maneuvered her eight-inch monster boots. As Joaquin had suggested, the darkened lighting of the restaurant allowed them to pass as unmasked individuals.

They ordered a wonderful Mandarin Chinese dinner. This also told Joaquin that Areceli wasn’t behind the mask across the dinner table from him. Areceli avoided Chinese food of all sorts like it was a plague. His dinner companion seemed to relish ordering and consuming this cuisine. Cali was a master user of chopsticks as well. This was something that Areceli wouldn’t even try.

“So, when you aren’t working as a masked model/photographer, what do you do, for kicks, Cali.”

“I please my Mistress and play with my girl friends, Jackie.”

“I meant, what do you do as a job, Cali?”

“Oh, a variety of things, but lately my mistress has been taking up a lot of my time and sending me on jobs like I am doing with you now.”

“Is this just a job to you?” probed Jackie/Joaquin.

“Most of the time it is, but with you it is different somehow. There is something unusual about you, girl, and I plan to find out what it is before I leave you tonight,” declared Cali.

Joaquin wanted to tell Cali that behind his lovely female mask and under his feminizing foundation garments and cat suit that he was all man, but immediately thought better of that idea. Living totally in a woman’s world was a new experience and a dividend that had not occurred to Joaquin in his female masking fantasies. This became even more evident when they walked to the Wild Deuce Club after their meal. Being stalked by men instead of stalking women was another new and real experience for Joaquin. In fact, it was a very pleasant one. He got to do the rejecting instead of being rejected. He also learned how lame some of his approaches must have sounded to women. If he ever broke up with Areceli, he would have to remember to modify some of his “singles” techniques.

Oh my God, exclaimed Joaquin to himself behind his “Jackie” mask. He had forgot all about his dinner with Areceli and it was almost 11:30 P.M. What was going to be his excuse? Where could he have been all this time and this late that she would believe and couldn’t check out? The out of gas and flat tire story wouldn’t work. The slowest road service could have walked him back to their house by now. Most of their friends wouldn’t cover for him and if they did they would use the opportunity to involve him in something else. Of course there was always the outside chance that he was with Areceli and she was going against her normal patterns of behavior to keep him off her trail. Or maybe she was behind this whole move and was out on him with some activity of her own. He decided to make a phone call the next time some lame dude asked Cali to dance. When that opportunity came, Joaquin as “Jackie” slipped into the women’s lounge of the Wild Deuce Club and called his house. The machine answered and in his own voice, he said quietly, “Things aren’t happening as I planned, Babe. Sorry I missed you. I’ll be home in a little while.” He was both relieved and frustrated that he hadn’t talked with Areceli. If she was out then she didn’t know he wasn’t home. But then again, if she really was out, where was she and who was she with? What if she was home and was so angry that she didn’t answer the phone? He was having the time of his life with Cali and if he brought up Areceli he would blow that. If he had already blown his relationship with Areceli because of what he was doing, then maybe he didn’t have much of a relationship with her anyway. On the other hand, while Cali was a blast to be with and something new, what he had with Areceli had been safe and secure. He decided to continue as he was and see where it all wound up.

“You seem lost in thought, Jackie. Do you want to stay here and dance or do you want to go back to our room at the Airport Travel Lodge?”

“I will do whatever you want to do, Cali,” responded Joaquin as “Jackie” in a submissive voice.

“Don’t say that unless you really mean it lover, because I can take you on journeys that you haven’t even dreamed of yet,” announced Caja Caliente.

“I really mean it, Cali. I just realized that I passed the point of no return about six hours ago.”

“Then fasten your seat belt, Sweetie. This masking bit totally rips away all my inhibitions. I don’t think that I have ever felt this free of the fetters and mores of conventional society. We are going to turn each other on as only two fabulous woman can.”

“I think the booze and my mask are doing the same for me,” observed Joaquin as “Jackie”.

“I want to dance with and tease a few more of these losers before we go back to our room for a night cap and some fun and games,” declared Caja Caliente as she motioned for “Jackie” to return with her to the dance floor. “Maybe if we got a couple of them drunk enough we could make them act as female slaves for us. If nothing else, we could get them to pay our bar tab.”

“Sounds fine with me, Cali,” stated Joaquin in “Jackie’s voice while wondering how many times the bar tab scam had been run on him. Eventually, Cali seduced a couple of suckers to pay their tab and call them a cab. Once the cab arrived she acted like she and “Jackie” needed to be escorted to their room, since they were “just two little girls lost in a big scarey city.” The guys never caught on that Cali had her web loaded with stickum and they were about to become her victims. On the way to the room Cali had the guys stop at a liquor store and buy a fifth of 151 rum, a couple quarts of beer, chips, party snacks, cold cuts and three six packs of stout malt liquor. The guys were sure that they were going to a party with two wild chicks. They just didn’t know that the party was on them.

They released the cab and went up to the room. Once the door was closed and locked, Cali poured each of the men a tall stout malt liquor and laced it with three jiggers of the 151 rum. She poured a beer for herself and “Jackie”. To look at the four drinks, only an expert eye would have seen a difference.

“I’ll bet you two guys your clothes against our clothes that you can’t drink as much and fast as Jackie and I?” challenged Cali.

“That’s a bet, Babe,” responded one of the men in a manner that showed that he was already four sheets to the wind. Both men chugged their drinks before they realized the power in them while Cali and “Jackie” did the same.

Thinking the “women” were drinking the same as the men, the other male pulled his wallet out of his pocket and said, “I have five hundred dollars that says you girls can’t do that again.” While Cali pranced and teased, she had “Jackie” pour a second set of drinks following the same pattern as before. As a spur of the moment thought, “Jackie” decided that Cali should get the same treatment as the men.

“Jackie” served the four drinks and shouted, “Bottoms up.” Like the all but totally stoned males, Cali chugged her drink before she realized what “Jackie” had done.

“One more time,” belched out the first male, “And I’m adding another five hundred more to the pot.”

“Jackie” had already started pouring the drinks. Joaquin was beginning to feel a buzz from the beer on top of all of the other alcoholic concoctions of the evening’s sport. He could not imagine what was holding the two guys and Cali up. He made the next round of drinks the same as before. Once again they all chugged their drinks.

“I thinkel I had bedder sitalled down,” slurred the first male.

“I isall gotel join him,” blurted out the second male. I neverrrred seen t,t,t,twoooo woooomeeen ho-ho-holded t,t,t,heirrr lic-lic-lic-oore t,t,the wa-wa-way-ee the t,t,t,woooo of ya-ya-ya-all c,c,c,annn.”

“Bedder start t,t,t,aking off your clooothes b,b,oyees,” belched out Cali. The men stripped off their clothes and lay down on the couch.

“Let’s go to the bathroom boys so you don’t mess yourselves,” suggested Joaquin as “Jackie”. The woozie Cali helped “Jackie” get the men into the bathroom.

“Let’s handcuff them together in the sh-sh-shower-er and sh-sh-shave their pubic hairs and p,p,p,paint them g,g,ggreeeeen. Then we can ghoooo back into the be-be-bedrooooom and have some f,f,ffun,” proposed the nearly inebriated Caja Caliente.

“I’m for that, Cali,” declared “Jackie”. To Joaquin’s surprise, Cali was able to complete the tasks she had suggested while “Jackie” videotaped the entire goings on. Towards the end, Cali was almost as funny as the two toasted guys. They were duct taped together and painted green while handcuffed to the shower fixtures. By the end of the activity the only thing holding them up was the shower fixture.

“Jackie” helped Cali out into the bedroom were she lay down for a “nap”. Joaquin as “Jackie” took this opportunity to take all of the costumes and gear down to the stretched Mercedes 600 Sel. Then “she” took all of the men’s clothes and wallets down to the car. Next “she” took Cali’s mask off of her. The woman’s face was familiar and then Joaquin placed her. Her name was Martha Dillion. She was his main competition for promotion at the corporation and one of the reasons he was creating his start-up in case she aced him out at the company. Monica had been her secretary before she became his. This whole day must have been a set-up. He decided to call Monica as if he was Martha Dillion asking for advice on what to do next. To make sure the call couldn’t be traced to the room, Joaquin called Monica from the coin phone in the motel garage, while still dressed as “Jackie”.

“Hi, this is…,” started Joaquin while trying to imitate “Martha’s” voice.

“No names, lover,” insisted Monica’s voice. I have been anxiously waiting for your call. I was expecting it over three hours ago. Is the deed done?”

“Sorry to be late, but things got a little complicated.”

“But is the deed done?” repeated Monica.

“Have I ever failed before?” asked Joaquin in Martha’s voice while trying to figure out Monica’s meaning.

“His girl friend is already here with me. Now that we have heard from you, we will change into our disguises immediately and be over to the room as soon as we can,” declared Monica.

“No hurry, lover. Everything is on green ice down here,” assured “Jackie” with “Martha Dillon’s” voice.

“We are a bit behind schedule,” said Monica.

“The delay was worth it. I got some great photos and video.”

“I can’t wait for you to show the video of you doing that jerk at the next division meeting. The stuff you got at his house this morning was great. I showed it to his girl friend. It has made her redouble her efforts at bringing him into line,” declared Monica with joy in her voice. “The promotion we have wanted for so long will be ours for sure. Have you got all of the stills too?”

“I have everything, lover,” said Joaquin truthfully in “Martha’s” voice. Well, at least he knew who had invaded his house after Areceli had left him this morning. He wish he knew what “bringing him into line” meant.

“Good. I just love it when you call me, lover.”

“I’m so glad it pleases you, dearest,” said Joaquin in “Martha’s” most affectionate and sexy voice.

“I can see that your photo session has heated-up you juices. Are you dripping wet for me?” asked Monica.

“You know that I am, Sweetie. It has been so hard all these months to be cool with you in the office while that pig worked with you,” sarcastically lied Joaquin mask as “Jackie” and pretending to be “Martha”.

“Stay in your disguise and hold the fort, Sugar,” commanded Monica. “I have been grooming you for a long time.”

“All of your coaching has paid off in spades, Baby,” alleged “Martha Dillon.

“You are really ready for me. I can tell by the new tone in your voice. I can’t wait to get over there and join in the fun. If we do it right, it’s going to look like he organized an orgy that went wrong. His girl friend is already getting dressed as him. I want to make a tape that will look like the jerk is raping his girl friend while she is playing the part of a drunken whore.”

“Sounds like you are holding up your end,” commented Joaquin as “Jackie” using “Martha’s” voice while thinking the Monica must have master minded this whole event. She must have been an expert at masking her feelings. He would have never guessed that she would be in on a thing like this from her behavior at work.

“His girl friend wants to know if you vandalized his car as we planned?” inquired Monica.

“All is done as we agreed.” answered Joaquin as “Jackie” using “Martha Dillon’s” voice.

“Including the fluorescent paint?” questioned Monica.

“Of course, dearest. You know how he loves that paint job he spent all that money on. He is going to croak when he sees it.” Joaquin recalled how both Monica and Areceli had scolded him for spending four thousand dollars on body-work and paint for the Mercedes, but the final effect of the restoration would have been worth twice the price as far as Joaquin was concerned.

“Great. That will get him for spurning me as well. He loves that car more than his life, the pig,” proclaimed Monica. Spurned Monica? This was the first time that he even realized that she had an interest in him other than their professional working relationship.

“That is what he was telling me,” confirmed Joaquin as he realized that he had to hide the Mercedes before Monica and Areceli arrived.

“Did you pour sugar in his gas tank?” asked Monica as if she was about to drool on the phone with joy.

“Of course. What else is such a low calorie use of sugar?” lied Joaquin in “Martha Dillon’s” whispering voice.

“Fabulous. We will be bring our own camcorder and tape, so make sure the van is loaded in case we have to make a quick exit,” declared Monica.

“No problem, lover. Everything is under control,” said Joaquin as he continued to mimic “Martha’s” style of speech. “Bye for now.”

“Same here,” said Monica.

Above everything else, Joaquin had learned from that phone call, to never ever discuss confidential issues or fantasy plans with someone over the phone. That phone call also told him that both Areceli and Monica had been in on the set-up. That’s where Areceli had been when he called his house. How had Areceli become connected with Monica and Martha? Had they recruited her and used her frustration to screw him? Maybe she thought she was part of a masking fantasy that was going to give Joaquin the birthday present he wanted from her. Of course that meant that Joaquin needed to give Areceli the benefit of the doubt. However, knowing that Areceli was in on at least most of Monica and Martha’s planning explained why they had all his moves figured to the tee. Here he had been worried that some one might be using him and his masking fantasies to compromise Areceli at her work place when in fact she was being used to compromise Joaquin at his work place. Maybe she was having an affair as well. Once they were both back in his house, a long talk evaluating their relationship was in order. Maybe he had taken what they had too much for granted. That is one of the dilemmas of an extended relationship without total commitment. But before he crossed those bridges he had some cleaning up to do here at the Airport Travel Lodge.

He got the large tube of Perma Bond glue from the box of gear in the car and ran back to the room to seal Martha Dillon into his “Areceli” disguise. He imagined that Martha and company probably meant to use this glue on him to further compromise his relationship with his neighbors, work and Areceli. This particular glue made its bond by literally melting the two adjoining surfaces into each other. It came with special gloves that prevented the user from permanently adhering the glued object to their own skin. The tube had several warnings printed on it about this reality. It also warned that it dried solid in less than a minute, so Joaquin had to work fast.

As he went back to the suite, he thought that if nothing else, this masked photographic fantasy adventure had taught him that once you start down a given direction, you can’t have so much fun that you forget what your basic purpose was. Martha Dillon had made a huge mistake by forgetting that lesson. She had allowed a possible disaster for Joaquin to become a victory, while turning an apparent victory for Monica, Areceli, and herself into a total disaster. Joaquin as “Jackie” had better stay on “her”/his toes when Monica and the real Areceli arrived so that the pendulum didn’t reverse directions again.

Before Joaquin as “Jackie” put his head of “Areceli” back on Martha, he took duct tape and sealed her mouth shut, covered her eyes and plugged her ears. Once the “Areceli” mask was in place, the drugged and sleeping Martha as “Areceli” would be deaf, dumb and blind when she awoke, but would look like she was normal. Joaquin felt a tinge of guilt as he began to seal the mask to her face, but then remembered that they had probably planned to do this to him. “Jackie” then used the Perma Bond to weld all the zippers on the cat suit and mask shut, as well as glue all the laces together on each boot. “She” then proceeded to glue the “Jackie wig” to the now sealed head. Once Joaquin as “Jackie” pretending to be “Martha” had sealed the real Martha Dillon as “Cali” into “Jackie’s”, “Areceli” costume, he moved his beloved Mercedes three blocks out of harms way and returned to the room.

About five minutes after Joaquin had returned to the suite, the real Areceli and Monica arrived. Areceli was dressed as “Joaquin” and Monica was in a “street walker” disguise. In another context, Monica deportment would have really turned Joaquin on, but then most masking females or the thought of a female wearing a mask did that for Joaquin. Areceli was masked within an inch of her life. Why hadn’t she done something like this with Joaquin in a different context? What really galled Joaquin inside his double disguise of “Jackie” and “Cali” was that Monica was wearing the real Areceli’s brand new mink coat? Joaquin hadn’t intended that garment for costume use, but it did look great on Monica’s exaggerated body. For the benefit of the camera, the real Areceli as “Joaquin” painted the feminized boys in the shower and additional coat of florescent lime green, and raped who she thought was the real Joaquin disguised as “Areceli”, but was now actually the real Martha.

In celebration of the three women’s alleged success, Joaquin as “Jackie” pretending to be “Martha” as “Cali” spiked Areceli’s and Monica’s drinks with the drugs Martha as “Cali” had intended to use on Joaquin as “Jackie”. Once Monica as the “whore” and Areceli as “Joaquin” passed out, Joaquin as “Jackie” took off their masks, gloves and all their clothing. As an act of vengeance he decided to cut all the hair off of both Areceli and Monica. He saved as much of their long hair as he could. Maybe he could have a human hair wig made from their hair. Wearing that wig would be a wonderful remembrance of this adventure. This would also force both of them to wear wigs and even if that was all right with Monica, Areceli almost hated wearing wigs as much as masks.

After cutting off all their hair, spraying them all over with the fluorescent lime green paint, he tape their mouths, ears and eyes in the same manner he had sealed up the real Martha. Next, Joaquin as “Cali” dragged the two painted and naked women into the bathroom and glued cheap rubber witch faces and cheap black wigs onto both of them with the Perma Bond glue. The two naked, deaf, dumb, and blind, green witches seemed happy taped together in a sixty-nine position in the bathtub. To create a full house with the two green guys in the shower, “Jackie” taped the totally glued and sealed Martha as “Areceli” to the toilet seat, closed the bathroom door and jammed the lock with a fork. “She” then gathered up all of the film and equipment Monica and Areceli had brought and packed it with their costumes and masks along with the gorgeous mink coat into the remaining suitcases.

Joaquin as “Jackie”, in “her Cali” mask and suit, made one more sweep of the suite to make sure nothing was left behind that could connect “her” to the scene of the “Green Orgy”. Seeing that all was done in the suite, “she” loaded Areceli’s car with the spent tube of Perma Bond, the trashed costumes, and the empty cans of paint after spaying the interior and painting the words “I am a fucking bitch” on the hood and doors of the BMW in the remaining fluorescent lime green paint. “She” did the same thing to Monica’s Mini van with a can of pink paint that “she” found in the gear Monica had inside of it. Knowing that security cameras were probably recording “Cali’s” every move, “she” worked quickly. “Jackie” as “Cali” then picked up “her” suitcases and walked out of the garage and down three blocks to the Mercedes 600, put on the chauffeur’s cap, coat, aviator’s glasses and mustache, started the car’s great engine and drove to Joaquin’s home.

When Joaquin arrived at his house he found the real Areceli’s closet was totally cleaned out except for the masks and fantasy outfits he had purchased for her to wear. Monica and Areceli had been busy while he was at the Airport Travel Lodge. That actually was a plus in that he could use most of the stuff himself if he couldn’t find a mate that would use it with him. Areceli’s jewelry and personal items were also gone. Is this what she meant by making plans to have his birthday be a really memorable one? Until this point, he had been willing to grant that Areceli had been a pawn in the hands of a couple of bitches. Now he was faced with the dilemma of admitting to himself that maybe he didn’t really know Areceli at all. Maybe his masking had disturbed her to the point that she was willing to screw him in every way she could think of. Fortunately, they had never created a joint checking or savings account. They had never even set up a joint credit card. Areceli had always made sure that she had established credit in her own name.

A quick inventory of the rest of the house showed that Areceli had left everything else like he had seen it for the past couple of years. Neither of them had been the world’s greatest housekeepers, but Joaquin was the neater of the two of them. Maybe he could use cleaning of the house as therapeutic breaks in between sessions of proposal research and writing. Thanks to last night’s farce, Areceli didn’t have her new full-length, hooded mink coat, but somehow he would have to hide it so Areceli couldn’t nail him with it. A voice deep down inside him said that this was probably not a dilemma anyway. He probably had a greater chance of running into Martha at work, if she went back to her job, than he had of seeing Areceli again. As he continued this line of thought, he realized that Areceli had intended to make what became a masked farce her final statement of masked revenge upon him. Maybe he had better change the locks and the alarm codes on the house, just in case she planned another raid.

To further protect himself from Martha, Monica and/or Areceli’s vengeance and possible retaliation, Joaquin took his classic Mercedes with all of it’s gear, including the “Jackie” costume and the new mink coat, and parked it in a twenty-four hour storage garage on the other side of town. He had never used this garage before, so Areceli would have no knowledge of where he had parked his car. He made a mental note to make sure that the vandalism and theft part of his auto insure was at the maximum allowable. As the dawn broke, he took a cab back to his house for a well-deserved rest. It would be at least the following afternoon before the maids would discover the three women and two men in the suite at the Airport Travel Lodge. Joaquin awoke in the early afternoon after a deep dreamless nap. He went into work and noted both Monica’s and Martha’s absence. Of course they could also be taking a furlough like he was. The small crews that were using the workstations didn’t seem to be real busy. He talked freely with a couple of the lookers in the steno pool, but didn’t ask any of them to accompany him to his birthday dinner at Wings. The event would probably be a wild one, if any of the guests came, since Areceli was supposed to have set up this event as well. If she didn’t, maybe he would go off in search of a new target. It was his birthday and he owed himself a good time.

Knowing that masking was going to remain part of his creative life, if he did start-up another relationship, he would make sure that masking was part of it from the get-go. Maybe that is where he had gone wrong with Areceli. He had let her discover his stuff in the closet after they had moved in together. The dilemma was now how to approach a potential mate with the masking behavior disclosed in the proposition. At least thinking of how he was going to solve this dilemma would keep him from dwelling on his loss of Areceli. He had been with her a long time and when she had masked with him she had done it well for at least a little while. She had always done it with great resistance, but he rationalized that one-day she would embrace the practice. It appeared that when she finally did, she used masking to try and bring him down. On the other hand, maybe he never really ‘had’ her in the first place. Maybe he should get his start-up going and forget his job, even if he got the promotion. He was pretty sure that the company wouldn’t promote Martha in her current condition.

As to working on his approach to scout out a potential masking partner, Joaquin ruled out walking up to the target of your affections and say, “Hi my name in Joaquin. I am a Scorpio. Here is a mask I want you to wear if you go out to dinner with me.” Well at least that was a fresh approach to breaking the ice. Maybe he should be enmask when he approached a potential relationship. Then he could say, “Hi, my name is Jackie. If you can’t tell, I’m wearing a female mask and I am really a handsome guy when I take it off and change my clothes. When we go to bed you can fuck me either as a guy or a gal.” He would have to figure out something. Halloween only came once a year. He would have to work on a good set of lines since it was less than two weeks away. Joaquin had heard from Andalucia that there were several wild masquerade parties at the University. Some of them were tied into the University’s Homecoming festivities. Others were strictly tied to Dia de Los Muertos and/or Halloween. Maybe he could con one of his female graduate students into going with him to one or more of those parties. No, that could create some work place dilemmas. Maybe he should begin by inviting Andalucia Almaras. After all, she had already asked him out for coffee and she had mentioned that she wanted to explore the hidden meanings of Dia de Los Muertos as part of her term project. She claimed that the contrast between Halloween and the Dia de los Muertos could be used to explain cultural differences between business practices in the U.S. versus Latin American cultures.

On his journey back to his house to prepare for his birthday gathering at Wings Restaurant, Joaquin wondered what explanations the five occupants in the Airport Travel Lodge would try to sell the authorities once the escaped their current predicament. One thing was for sure; they would be wearing their disguises until a couple of new layers of skin grew in and allowed them to fade or to peal them off. Their stories would probably sound as lame as the two mask/dating scenarios he had just thought of but, that was their dilemma. He laughed to himself as he figured that at least they would be at his birthday party. He would have to watch the news to see if they made the headlines. His anonymous calls to the local TV stations should guarantee some kind of response.

Joaquin would have to be on his guard once they got loose. Martha would have it in for him even more than before. Now there was a lot more than just a promotion at stake. He had all those photos and videos. He knew from his conversation with Monica that Martha had never intended for him to get them and had plans to use them on him in the workplace. He would have to get these materials into a safe place. He could mail them to a photo lab and have them set them into a digital format as well as a print one. Then he would have the lab send the completed package to his cousin’s house like he had done with catalogue orders for Areceli’s birthday and Christmas presents. As long as he had the photos and negatives, they would probably his best insurance against retaliation by Monica, Martha and Areceli. He would have to find another hiding place for the videos of the event. For now he would use his every day work car to drive to the university’s library to work on the proposal for his start-up.

As his analytical mind continued to race from topic to topic, he wished that his birthday party was a masking one, but you couldn’t have everything. He even thought of several reasons for calling Andalucia to see if she would accept a last minute invitation to the party. Fortunately, when he finally did called her, she did not answer her phone. Almost immediately he realized that was probably for the best, so he didn’t leave a message. How would he have explained Andalucia’s presence at the party and Areceli’s absence in one fell swoop? Of course if there wasn’t a party to begin with, and Andalucia had excepted his invitation, how would he have explained the non-existence of the party?

The “Jackie” and “Cali” costumes would make good foundations for a cross-dressed Maid’s costume on Halloween. He wished he could figure out a way to use the mink coat that Areceli had wasted. Maybe Andalucia Almaras could be his fur-clad mistress de las calaveras (Skeletons). She appeared to be approximately the same size as Areceli. Dressed in this manner, she would look fabulous riding in the back of his stretched Mercedes 600 Sel. If she did this, should he be a cross-dressed maid or a cross-dressed chauffeur? Maybe he should ask Andalucia what she thought first before he set his fantasy into cement? It is entirely possible that not doing this with Areceli had created his dilemma with her. If he did link up with Andalucia, he would have to go to great lengths to make sure that he didn’t make the same mistakes with her that he did with Areceli.

Maybe he was investing too much on an invitation to coffee. Andalucia might just have been kissing up to him to get a better grade with less effort. On the other hand, he reasoned, who knows, maybe he would get lucky? He was due a turn of good-luck, but then that was also his dilemma. Maybe he had already used up his good-luck in escaping the masked clutches of Areceli, Monica and Martha.