“What exactly is it that you want to achieve Murray?” Danae asked him.
“I want everything that he has! He has been living off my brains for the last five years and reaping all the benefits. Its payback time.”
Murray's response was angry and concise, in strict contrast to his usual demeanor. For five years he had been working as Ed Dwyer's personal assistant at an insurance firm, and the differences between the two men were the office joke. Murray was 50, overweight, bald and sweaty. He was painfully shy and lacked any sort of interpersonal skills. For these he compensated with computer skills and a running knowledge of the company and industry second to none.
Ed Dwyer, by comparison, was 31, good looking and charming. He had a gym fit body, dressed perfectly. He was gay and everyone in that conservative office thought that was so daring. Murray rolled his eyes when Ed babbled on about his latest conquests in the coffee room. It was so manipulative. But because Ed was so visible, so seductive and skilled with people, he constantly received the credit for all of Murray's hard work. And the salary.
What had driven Murray to consult Danae, a self proclaimed occultist he couldn't guess. She was bound to be a fraud, she was going to rip him off. But even the act of venting his frustration made it worth his while.
“You can have these things” intoned Danae sagely. “The cost is high—ten thousand dollars—but you can pay me afterwards when you can afford it. But only if you are satisfied. I guarantee you will be.”
“Okay, whatever,” sighed Murray, resigned. “I honestly don't know that I care any more.”
“By Friday night you will care, I promise you. Now here are your instructions. On Friday morning you will see me in your office. You must ignore me at all costs—pretend you have never met me. Let me do the rest. Then wait for your directions.”
That simple. Well, she hadn't asked for any money up front. It was Wednesday now. She was promising some sort of result by the weekend. Sure, why not?
Friday was a typical day. The office slowed down, everyone gathered around Ed to hear of his amazing blind date he had lined up for that night. That was typical. It made sense—anonymous admirers did pay for expensive restaurants for Ed.
“Maybe its Mr Right at last,” he chuckled flashing that winning smile.
Yeah, and what do I have to look forward to, wondered Murray. He had not been on a date in ten years. No woman would look twice at him. He was practically invisible.
True to her word, Danae appeard in the office at 3:00 in the afternoon. Conservatively dressed, Murray slyly watched her walk over to reception, then be led over the Ed's desk where she was introduced as a client. Ed flashed that smile; Murray knew the pitch he would give her by heart. Ed would charm the client, Murray would do all the work and cover up his mistakes.
Danae watched Ed intently through the conversation, taking notes in a small book. Ed, wrapped up in himself as ever, didn't notice.
After twenty minutes, Danae excused herself and sailed past Murray's desk. Subtly she dropped a note on his desk.
“Leave the office at 4:30 sharp, and under no circumstances look in a mirror until you are safely home.”
No problem there. Murray avoided mirrors like the plague.
Without even bothering to excuse himself—who would even notice he had left—Murray slipped away from the office. As he made for his car in the car park he noticed Ed's fancy sports model next to his boxy old sedan. It was so symbolic.
Driving home, Murray began to notice things were changing. He didn't feel ill, he felt … better. His breathing was becoming easier and—damned if his waistline wasn't starting to shrink. In fact, his whole body was slowly changing, morphing into something alien. He felt great, alive. His hands on the steering wheel were growing smoother, muscular. Instinctively he reached for his face. The skin was toned and smooth, the jawline felt firm—no jowls. Reaching higher, in place of his bald pate he felt thick, wavy hair.
No mirrors! Not until I get home. Murray's mind was reeling but he kept his cool. Whatever was happening was worth ten grand easy.
As he stopped at some traffic lights Murray noticed a young cop across the street. This guy is hot he thought. What the…? Since when did he start fancying guys? And yet he felt totally comfortable with it.
Finally he arrived home. Aware of how ridiculous he must look with his clothes hanging off his now nimble frame, he sprinted for his apartment door.
Safely inside he found a note from the hall table.
“Now that you're home, get to know your new body. Then look in your bedroom closet.”
Murray stripped his clothes off there in the hallway. The body he now occupied was firm and young. The pecs were defined and the torso tapered into a slender flat stomach with outlined abs. He was nicely tanned. This body had been looked after.
Murray found the whole thing really exciting. His now long cock began to get hard as he ran his hands over his magnificent body.
But now for the final revelation. Murray strode into the bathroom, switched on the lights and looked into the mirror. Staring back at him was the face of Ed Dwyer.
“Fuck! I'm…I'm ED!”
Far from being panicked, Murray was thrilled. Even his voice had changed.
“Maybe its Mr Right!” he laughed, his new voice echoing around the room.
Following his instructions he walked into his bedroom. There was another note from Danae pinned to a suit of clothes hanging in the closet.
“Put these on and go to the Bamboo Room at 9:00. You'll know what to do when you get there.”
Murray recognised the heavy blue pinstripe, white shirt, red tie and black leather shoes—Ed had been wearing exactly the same outfit that day. He hadn't thought of it at the time, but he looked damned hot.
Murray dressed and spent several minutes admiring himself. Over and over he repeated to himself “I am Ed Dwyer, I am Ed Dwyer.” Time to take stock, he thought.
Sitting at the end of the bed Murray reached for the porn mags he had so often occupied himself with. Now the women did nothing for him—but the guys in some of those photos did. Okay, clearly I have inherited his sexuality as well as his body and voice, thought Murray. I'm gay.
But he had inherited more. The jaunty walk, the confident manner—these now came naturally to him.
Arriving at the Bamboo Room at the appointed hour, Murray headed straight for the bar. Standing with his back to him, in the identical suit, chatting up some guy was Ed.
Showtime, thought Murray.
Confidently he strode up to his lookalike, slightly turned on by the gazes he was getting from people around him. Laying a hand on his firm, broad shoulder to attract his attention, Murray prepared for the shock of realisation to hit Ed. He could not have been less prepared for he reaction.
“Hey bro!” cried Ed, undaunted. “This is my brother Ed, I've been talking about.”
“Hi, nice to meet you,” smiled the stranger. “Your brother has been saying the nicest things about you. Hey, you guys are really alike, even for twins!”
“Uh, hi,” smiled Murray/Ed. “Its great to meet you too.” Actually it was. This guy waspretty cute. Murray wasn't used to guys coming on to him, but he could tell this one was interested.
“Listen Jake, I wonder if you'd excuse us for a while. Ed and I have a bit to talk about. I'll give you a call tomorrow, okay?”
“Sure,” smiled Jake. “Really nice meeting you Ed. Hope we meet again.”
When Jake was safely out of earshot Murray got down to business.
“Okay so if I'm Ed, who the hell are you?”
“Your twin brother, fairly obvious. Geez Murray, don't act all dense on me. That's my body you're in. You're not going to wreck my reputation.”
“I don't understand. How do you know all about this?”
“Because it was my idea. I've been dealing with Danae for months. By the way, that ten thousand dollar account? Consider it paid.”
“But why? Why do you want me to be you?”
“C'mon Murray, you want it too. I'm no Insurance man. You know that. But you, Murray, your prospects are limitless. For years I've had the benefit of your brains and knowledge. The least I can do is repay you with the only things I can offer—good looks, charm, dress sense.”
“And what are you going to do Ed?”
“Well, for a start I'm Jason. That's my middle name, so I'll just adopt it. I'm your twin brother and with your backing I'm opening a designer menswear store. Its what I'm good at—you're living proof of that.”
“And why am I gay?
“Because you're me—you're Ed! Get with the program Murray. Look, I'll level with you. This is my dream too, but I can't do it without you. I need the financial backing and what I amm—you are—earning at the company will more than keep us both going until the business takes off. So what do you say? Are you in, Murray?”
Murray leaned back. It made sense, nobody could doubt that. Looking across the room he caught Jake's eye. Jake winked at him, and Murray felt an excitement he hadn't known for years.
“So, what do you say Murray?”
“That's Ed to you, Jason!” The two 'brothers' beamed at each other.
That night the new Ed went home to the apartment he now shared with his brother Jason. The wardrobes were filled with clothes that would show off his hot body, the bathroom full of products—moisturisers, shampoos—that he had never bothered with as Murray. It would be educational, if nothing else 'Ed Dwyer' pondered as he fingered Jake's phone number.
Six months later, 'Ed' was summoned into his boss's office. His productivity, he was told, had quadrupled in recent months. He was now being offered a partnership. As he shookhands with his employer, the older man welcomed him to the team, adopting a familiarity he had never seen in him before. 'Ed' couldn't wait to get to the phone to ring his boyfriend Jake with the good news.
“Good work Dwyer. You've really matured and come along in the past half year. By the way I read a profile of some fashion guru named Jason Dwyer. Obviously you two are twins. I'll bet you two had great fun when you kids switching places.”
“Only once, sir. We only did that once. And it has been fun!”