By Karen Singer
Chapter 65 Part 2 of 2
For six weeks Candy had done his best to follow Jessica’s advice and try to think “happy thoughts” about himself together with a man. And for six weeks he had done nothing but become more and more irate over the issue. “Stop it!” he finally spat irritably at Jessica as they “enjoyed” yet another Friday night dinner together. “I can’t stand it anymore! I’m not interested in having sex with a man… any man! I want to feel a nice, soft, warm, sensitive body next to mine, not some hairy, muscled, uncaring lout!”
“Is that the way you thought of yourself with a woman?” Jessica asked, knowing that much of the frustration she was hearing from him came from the hormones in his system. “Were you that hairy uncaring lout that you just described?”
Candy thought about that. “No… at least… I didn’t think that before. Maybe I was.”
“And yet there were still women who wanted to be with you.” She got no answer from him. “Candy, answer me, weren’t there women who wanted to be with you?”
“You know the answer to that,” Candy replied despondently.
“No! I want you to say it. Yes or no, weren’t there women who wanted to be with you?”
“Yes!” Candy hissed angrily. “You know that! You know that not only did I want to marry Jennifer, but you yourself was interested in me… as a man and not as a woman!”
“Which makes my point,” Jessica replied. “It’s more than possible for a woman to want to feel a strong, masculine body next to hers. In fact, it’s the way the world has worked for thousands and thousands of years.”
“But it’s not what I want,” Candy said.
“And do you want to become a woman too?”
Candy just looked at her. “Of course not.”
“Yet here you are, every single week looking and acting more and more like a genetic woman. Did you ever think you would get to this point… and get here this fast?”
Candy shook his head. “Not really.”
“And it took time and effort didn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Candy admitted despondently.
“So this may take time and effort too.”
Candy was silent for a few minutes. “You don’t understand,” he said.
“I don’t understand what?”
“All this thinking about having sex with someone… anyone… it’s too much! I was just fine before, but you don’t know what it’s starting to do to me?”
“And what’s that?”
Again Candy was silent for a moment before he replied. “I miss….” But he couldn’t finish.
“You miss what?” Jessica prompted. “Sex?”
“Yes.” Candy muttered, then looked up quickly. “But it’s not really that. I’m not all that interested in sex anymore. It’s something more important. I miss…” Then he shook his head again. “I’m alone,” he finally said. “There’s no compassion in my life. No one to hold onto… or…” he tried to let out a small chuckle. “No one to hold onto me.”
“Wouldn’t a man fill that bill nicely?”
Candy shook his head. “No. What I yearn for is a nice, soft, feminine body against mine. Not for sex. I don’t feel that need anymore. I just want…” But the words were too difficult to put a definition to.
“Companionship?” Jessica offered. “Someone to care about you? Someone you can care about too?” She paused before suggesting. “Love?”
Candy nodded as tears formed in his eyes. “Something like that. After trying to watch all the videos you made me watch of people together, over and over again… and trying to think about myself with a man for so long… all it did was to hammer home how alone I am. And because of that, now I want that companionship even more. I didn’t want it so much before, but I want it worse now. I think about it more and more every day… but it’s not a man that I want that way. It’s a woman. And you know what happened that one time you wanted to be together with me. Janice has cursed me so that I can’t ever have that kind of relationship. And since I can’t ever have one, I’m… doomed to a life without… love. Or even someone to care about me.”
“So now you’re feeling sorry for yourself?”
“More than you do. I told you before, I could never manage as well as you are.”
“Huh!” Candy grunted. “What choice do I have?”
“So true,” Jessica replied. “You have no choice. All I’m trying to show you, is that since you have no choice in this, maybe you have to broaden your options a bit to finally find that love.”
Candy rolled his eyes. “Right now, I’m not interested in broadening my options that far. Right now, I think I’d rather just stay… alone.”
Jessica watched him for a few moments. There was no doubt that he was feeling a bit too sorry for himself just then. She knew a lot of it was the hormones amplifying his feelings, but those feelings were very important feelings. And eventually he was going to have to come to grips with them. “Okay,” she finally said. “I’ll lay off the suggestions to think about being with a man… for now! But we will be coming back to that. You’re not done dealing with it yet.”
“As far as I’m concerned, I am.”
Jessica let that remark pass. “For next week, I want you to try to imagine how utterly feminine and girly you can be instead. Overly feminine… overly girly!”
Candy’s eyes went wide with shock! Ugh!
Six million dollars. It was the final agreed upon amount that the FBI paid to Janice. But only on the condition that all knowledge of what had happened would be kept completely out of the press. Janice had no trouble with that, but her lawyer had used that threat continually in the negotiations. No bank would ever hire Janice to work again, but with six million dollars, Janice would never have to worry about working again, even after the lawyer got her cut. In truth, Janice was more than pleased. All that money she had gotten from Halifax, plus now all the money from the FBI settlement, plus all the money she had shipped out of the country already… that needed her attention rather desperately… it all added up to a life of luxury that she and Carol would both be able to enjoy from now on.
“So… will you be leaving now?” Candy asked hopefully as soon as Janice announced that the settlement had finally be reached.
“Soon, but not yet,” Janice replied. “Carol and I will be taking a trip very soon and I’m afraid we’ll be away for a little while. Most likely about a month. But after that, I’m afraid we’re still going to need your house for a little while longer… but when we return, we will merely be staying and working from here, I will no longer be your housekeeper. Instead, we will simply be… guests.
Candy only nodded. It was disappointing, but he had no choice but to accept it. What Janice wanted was all that mattered. Still, it looked like it wouldn’t be too much longer until they were gone for good!
Janice noted Candy’s mood. “I have no doubt,” she said, “that you want Carol and I gone from your life as soon as possible – permanently. We took over your life and your home without asking. I’ve forced you to do something you don’t want to do at all in becoming a woman. And you know very well that there is no escaping that goal.”
Candy nodded sadly. It was the only reply he could make.
“But rest assured, I believe that you can have a better life as a woman than as a man. Whether you think so or not is of no consequence to me. You know how much I advocate women… and how I dislike men! So as far as I’m concerned, I’ve done you nothing but a huge favor in that.”
Candy wanted to argue with her over the point, but he knew it would be useless.
“In any event,” Janice continued. “I think Carol and I should be able to get all the rest of my money with one or two more little hiking trips. Then of course we need to make more quilts and ship them out. Only then will we be finished here.”
She was interrupted by the sound of her phone ringing. But when she answered it, she was surprised by another wrong number – asking about ordering Chinese food! How had Susan known so quickly? She didn’t even have the money yet!
As Candy headed outside to paint the new porch, Janice quickly found one of her burner phones and called Susan back.
“Congratulations!” Susan said immediately when she got on the line with Janice.
“How did you know?” Janice asked. “We just come to an agreement. I don’t even have the money yet.”
“Information is our primary business,” Susan replied. “Besides, we’ve been watching for this very specifically.”
“Yes, and I thank you and your father again for helping to make it happen.”
“You’re quite welcome,” Susan replied. But then her voice turned more serious. “Janice,” she said, “we’ve been waiting until all this was settled before we contacted you again. We have a client we’d like you to talk with that’s very interested in your services.”
There were many things running through Janice’s mind just then. Near the top of her list was her need to get to the islands and deal with all the money she had shipped out. But she couldn’t forget the fact that the Wu’s had been a big help to her. And… like it or not… she was stuck working for them – no matter how much money she now had. Not helping them could be detrimental to her health… if not her life. And more than possibly, Carol’s life too! “The timing isn’t exactly the best,” Janice replied. “I really need to get to go out of the country. Islands of Hope is waiting for me to make it more of a reality.”
“I’m sorry Janice,” Susan replied. “This could be a very big opportunity for both you and us. And unfortunately, this client wants some kind of a demonstration before she asks for bigger things.”
“Yes, this client is a woman.”
“Does she know I prefer not to do this to other women?”
“Yes,” Susan replied. “That’s certainly not an issue in this case.”
“I see,” Janice replied thoughtfully.
“What kind of a demonstration did she have in mind? We’re still talking about a big deal here, no matter what. And I think I should be paid for my services… even for a demonstration.”
“Of course!” Susan replied. “We all make money every time you work for us. What we’d like though, is for you to sit down with her and we can all discuss how to proceed.”
“Just talk this time?” Janice said, asking for a confirmation.
“Possibly. But I suspect she may already have a demonstration subject in mind.”
“So it will really be more than just a simple demonstration,” Janice replied.
Susan hesitated. “Possibly,” she admitted.
Janice sighed. “Okay,” she agreed. “But after this, Carol and I absolutely have to get to the islands. I’ve got so much work to do there it isn’t funny! And right now I don’t dare go anywhere until all that money from the FBI is safely in my bank accounts. Now that this thing with them has been settled, it will look better if I take the trip after I get the money… as if I’m celebrating or something.”
“That shouldn’t be a problem,” Susan replied. “We’ll need a few days anyway for the client to get into this country as well.”
The fact that the client was coming from another country caused Janice’s eyebrows to go up in surprise.
It took three more days before Janice could finally confirm that the money from the FBI was in the bank. She was now “officially” rich without having to hide any of it. Well, not that money anyway. But rich was only a relative term. Compared to all the other money she now had it was practically a drop in the bucket. She “officially” notified Candy that as soon as she and Carol left on this trip, she would no longer be his housekeeper, but she would continue to fill the position until they departed. She also reminded him that they would be back eventually and would expect him to treat them as his guests.
Her meeting with the Wu’s was finally set up for a week later, which turned out to be good timing for Janice since she and Carol need to pack… and finish making more quilts and get them shipped out.
“I’m not sure how long we’ll be gone,” Janice told Candy. “I suspect it will be four to six weeks, but I can’t be sure.”
Candy was just glad they were going. As far as he was concerned, they couldn’t leave soon enough, and he would really prefer it if they never came back again! Although unfortunately, they would be. But after that, he was hoping to never see or hear of them again!