The Erotic Dreams of Max Shimura: Episode Five – Gym Rats (part one of two)

If Mavi Gioia worked out at my gym, I’d go every single day!

Rumor has it that after the gym closes, one customer in particular is allowed to remain behind and finish her workout.

Max heard this rumor from a front desk employee who can’t keep a secret to save his life. As a frequent member of East Heights Fitness Center, Max is privy to the latest gossip going on among its members and staff. But this latest piece of gossip is the juiciest because of who it involves.

Tanya.

Tanya is without question the most beautiful and angelic woman Max has ever laid eyes on. With an imposing 6 foot 4 inches frame, she is a competitive female bodybuilder who has won numerous competitions over the years. She is by far the most muscular woman he’s ever seen. In fact, she’s probably the most muscular human being he’s ever seen, and that includes all the men who work out at the gym.

She’s the total package: Beautiful, tall, enormously muscular, funny, intelligent, kind, hardworking, successful, famous, and undeniably sexy. She’s a mini celebrity in town and a much bigger celebrity within the pro bodybuilding community. Max has been going to this gym for three years now, but he knew about her legend before he signed his membership contract. Everyone knows who Tanya is and what she’s accomplished during her illustrious career.

He has even spoken to her a few times. She’s very personable and doesn’t mind chatting before or after her workouts, but never during. In fact, she gets very upset with you if you bother her during her lifting sessions. This is why she prefers to work out later in the evenings. There are fewer people around, better availability of equipment and not nearly as many distractions.

A typical weight room.

So when Gus, the chatty front desk guy, told Max that recently Tanya has requested that the gym stay open specifically for her, he figured it makes sense she would ask for this. Gus claims Tanya can stay as late as she wants just as long as she cleans up after herself and turns off all the lights and locks the door after she’s finished. The owner knows her well and Tanya holds enough clout to do whatever the hell she wants. Tanya considers the gym to be her work place, so she wants an optimal environment to get to work.

“She sure is something special, isn’t she?” Gus says to Max. It’s 10:30 p.m., which means the gym closes in an hour and a half. Max has just gotten to the gym and has yet to start his warmup cardio. He usually chats with Gus for a minute or two before heading upstairs to the treadmill area.

“Who, Tanya?”

“No, your Fairy Godmother. Yes, of course Tanya! She’s fucking beautiful,” Gus says.

Max and Gus share a laugh. Today is Thursday (which is Max’s Saturday, which explains why he’s here at the gym so late in the evening), so according to her usual schedule she should be walking in any time now. Most of the crowd has left by now, but a few stragglers continue to lift late into the night in hopes of catching a glimpse of her. Most of the guys admit that they feel much more motivated to lift when Tanya’s around. They all want to impress her. Nobody wants to feel weak around her. If a rising tide lifts all ships, Tanya’s very presence inspires everyone around her to work that much harder.

“Without a doubt, she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life. Speaking of which…” Before Max could finish his sentence, she walks in. Strutting in wearing grey sweat pants, a burgundy red tank top and Beats By Dre headphones around her thick neck, Tanya’s celebrity status is palpable. All eyes; both male and female, young and old, those who are in shape and those who are completely out of shape; are fixated on her. Everyone’s undivided attention is drawn to her whenever she enters the room. Tonight is no exception. Max forgets to breathe. Gus freezes in place and ignores an incoming phone call. It can wait.

At 6’4”, she would be eye-popping even if she weren’t so muscular or beautiful. Tanya has striking emerald green eyes, long jet black hair, and dark umber brown skin that looks as smooth as velvet. Max couldn’t quite figure out what ethnicity she is, but regardless, she’s a perfect genetic mix. Sharp jaw line, legs that stretch out forever and enough muscle to put a roaring lion to shame, Tanya’s brawny physique is matched by few. Her perfect combination of muscularity, size, height, beauty and femininity is the reason why she’s so incredibly successful in all facets of life.

Except her love life. In one of the few conversations they’ve had together, Tanya once told Max she’s given up on dating men because they’ve all been jerks to her. Max insisted that not all guys are like that, but she’s put that behind her and insists she’s only interested in being with women right now (yes, she’s bisexual). Max made a vow after that to one day show her that there are good guys out there who will treat her with the respect and reverence she deserves.

Denise Masino showing off what she does best: Giving guys like me heart attacks.

Tanya waves to the two star-struck guys as she walks toward the women’s locker room. Max is surprised he doesn’t faint.

After snapping back to reality, Max grabs a sweat towel from the front desk, wishes Gus a good day, and proceeds to begin his workout.

Seventy minutes later, Max is finishing his evening with light cardio on an elliptical machine. He watches below as Tanya squats 350 pounds for an astonishing 15 repetitions. A small crowd gathers around her as she grunts her way to the end of her set. Cheers erupt all over when she finishes. Her gorgeous face covered in sweat, Tanya smiles and takes a bow to her audience. The people scatter as she takes a drink of water from her bottle and rests a moment before her next set.

Midnight approaches. Gus makes an announcement over the PA system reminding people that the gym closes in ten minutes. Max, feeling in an odd mood, decides he wants to see what exactly Tanya does when she works out alone. Recklessly, with an unexpected streak of lust and curiosity storming through him, Max sees a broom closet located near the dressing rooms and sneakily approaches it. The door opens. Max is aware that Gus and his crew don’t always run a tight ship, so he is not surprised that the door is unlocked. He closes it quickly and waits inside in total darkness.

“What the fuck am I doing?” Max whispers to himself. Seriously! What the fuck is he doing? Staying behind after everyone has left just so he can spy on Tanya’s lonely workout? What kind of a creep is he? Minutes pass as Max ponders these questions. He estimates that twenty minutes have gone by. Then thirty minutes. Finally, he hears this brief conversation:

“That’s about it, Tanya. Enjoy the rest of your workout. You know what to do from here,” Gus says.

“Thank you, darling. Good night!” Tanya replies.

Theresa Ivancik is redefining what “happy hour” is all about.

Max hears footsteps and then total silence. The music has stopped playing over the PA. The clanks of weights hitting the floor have ceased. The humming of the treadmills can be heard no longer. He and Tanya are definitely the only ones left inside the gym. Boldly, Max opens the closet door and exits. The gym is significantly darker than usual. Only a portion of the lights are on, mostly near the weight room. He walks toward the light cautiously.

He peeks around the corner, and sure enough, he sees Tanya all alone. She has moved on from squats and is now engaging in leg presses. She’s lifting 1,080 pounds for 10 reps. Wow! Max gets down on his knees to hide himself better. For nearly 15 minutes, he watches Tanya blast her quads on the leg press machine while buckets of sweat pour from her body. Max would do anything to be able to taste her salty goodness.

After finishing her leg press set, Tanya goes to her gym bag, takes a long swig of water, and puts the bottle away. She takes the earbuds out of her ears and places her phone in her bag. Is she done with her workout? Is she going to head back to the locker room, which means Max is going to have to find a new hiding place? Is she planning to–

Before Max could finish his thought, Tanya reaches down and pulls down her shorts to the floor. She kicks them away to the side. Max’s jaw drops to the floor when he sees her tight, rounded butt in full form. Then she removes her workout shirt and tosses it in her bag. Wearing a black sports bra, her ripped back captivates Max’s attention.

I need Autumn Raby as my personal trainer.

What on Earth is she doing? Why is she stripping naked in the gym?

The bra comes off. She drops it to the floor. Max’s heart momentarily stops. A moment later, she is completely nude. Max has not moved an inch. Covered from head to toe with large ripped muscles, Tanya’s chiseled physique is both awe-inspiring and indescribable.

Max may not be able to move, but he can still attempt to process what he’s seeing right before his very eyes. Does she prefer to work out in the nude? Does it make her lifts easier to complete? Or is she overheated and needs to allow her skin to “breathe” now that no one is around? Or is she…

“Come on out, Max. I know you’re out there somewhere.”

Max’s heart has jumped upward near this throat. How the hell did she see him?

“It’s okay,” Tanya teases. “Come on out, I won’t bite!”

To be continued…

The Benevolent Voyeur and the Female Bodybuilder – Part Two

Rebekah Kresila looking like a well-trained athlete.
Rebekah Kresila looking like a well-trained athlete.

The following morning before breakfast, Rebecca found herself staring long and hard at the $500 lying on her coffee table. It’s as if the smug stare of Benjamin Franklin were directed toward her, with Old Ben warning her not to go through with this madness.

A voice on the television informs her that the captured aid worker was in fact executed by ISIS in the most brutal fashion imaginable. Thankfully, the network spares its viewers the gruesome details, but the general idea remains loud and clear. We live in an unforgiving world. Sometimes, we cannot let reason or logic dictate our actions. This isn’t the way Rebecca wants the world to work, but she accepts this is the way it is regardless of her feelings.

The hour-long jog on the treadmill goes by so slowly Rebecca could have sworn it took two hours. But indeed, only 60 minutes pass before she finds herself taking a short shower with Katy Perry music blasting in the background. Thank God for Katy. We may live in a world with sexually deviant stalkers and international terrorists, but at least a quick listening to “Firework” can be enough to lift your weary spirits.

Thursday is arm day, which is a day no serious weightlifter would ever skip. In fact, it seems like most people only work out their arms and nothing else. Rebecca knows better than that. As a professional female bodybuilder who one day hopes to achieve elite-level status, she must be diligent and strategic while at the gym. Today is no exception.

“Nice arms, little lady!” Rebecca doesn’t need to turn around to know whose voice this gratuitous compliment comes from. It’s Gregory, a somewhat dirty old man who frequents the gym during the early hours of the morning. Rebecca characterizes him as “somewhat” because for an older gentleman (he appears to be in his mid to late 60s), he’s actually pretty handsome. But not movie star handsome. Let’s not get too carried away.

“Thank you, Gregory. What are you working on today?” Rebecca takes a generous swig from her water bottle. The contents are room temperature, which annoy her to no end.

“Oh, shoulders and back. Whatever I feel like doing,” he says. “When is your next competition? Didn’t you last do some a couple of months ago?” Gregory’s silver hair looks as stiff as roadkill. Does his sweat ever mix with the oil he puts in it? Rebecca apparently has time to ponder these things. She takes a look at Gregory’s biceps and notices a significant amount of size growth. She won’t say anything about that to him, however. There’s no need to feed his already oversized ego.

“Yes, I did a competition last March. It was down in San Diego,” Rebecca replies. “The next one is in Houston in eight weeks. I’m hoping to place in the top five this time around.”

Gregory looks up and down at Rebecca’s body, which sends a shiver down her spine. He doesn’t do it in a creepy kind of way, but she is a little bit “on the edge” right now for obvious reasons.

“I have no doubt you’ll place in the top five. Maybe you’ll win it all!” He laughs. She laughs too, forcing every fiber of her body to play along until she can find an excuse to exit this conversation. Thankfully, a gorgeous 40-something blonde woman walks by wearing a skimpy white athletic bra and short shorts that leave little to the imagination. Expectedly, this steals Gregory’s attention. Using Miss Blondie’s presence as an excuse to leave, Rebecca quickly makes a beeline for the free weights room and enters unnoticed.

Conveniently for her, the gym is within walking distance of her condo, as it is for hundreds of others for that matter. The early mornings are usually not too crowded, but by 8:00 a.m. the masses of people start to show up in droves. Rebecca senses now is the time when these folks might start to arrive. She grabs a pair of 65 pound dumbbells and cranks out 12 repetitions of bicep curls. This impresses all the men who are working out near her. They don’t say anything, but she knows exactly what they’re all thinking:

Not bad for a tiny Asian girl!

Rebecca estimates the gym’s clientele consists of 70 percent men and 30 percent women. The guys range from out of shape couch surfers to young men who aspire to become professional bodybuilders like her. But she doesn’t go to the gym to pick up guys. She goes to get to work. And that’s what she always does.

Of the women, there are only three regulars who are as muscular as her. There’s Candace, a 20-something black girl who’s competed before and is actively working on landing her IFBB card. Then there’s Michaela, a 19-year-old track and field athlete with a lean muscular body and breasts even smaller than hers. Rebecca used to be enormously insecure about her flat chest. Today, she’s accepted this fact and has moved on with her life.

Finally, there’s Joyce. Oh, Joyce. Rebecca suspects she’s a lesbian, but a short haircut, tattoos, and a pierced nose doesn’t necessarily mean she’s into chicks. Rebecca is definitely not one to stereotype like that. Joyce can talk your ear off if you let her. She always has something to complain about, whether it’s her flailing personal training business or her mother who’s wondering when she’s finally going to get married. Joyce is probably in her early 40s, so it’s not like she doesn’t have time to find a significant other. But by now maybe it’s a foregone conclusion that she’s not into men.

Or maybe she is. Rebecca doesn’t care either way.

Today, none of these ladies are at the gym. None of the talkative guys who endlessly flirt with her are here either. So perhaps Rebecca will be able to lift in peace and quiet.

“I’m almost done. Just a few more sets,” Rebecca tells herself.

Before leaving the gym, Rebecca sometimes visits the smoothie bar and orders something to help her recover from her workout. Today is one of those days. After finishing her workout and taking a nice long shower, Rebecca dresses and approaches the bar. This morning, a cute guy named Dale is holding down the fort. She and Dale have some history together. A few years ago at a Christmas party they met each other through a mutual friend. They both got really drunk and started to make out. One thing led to another, and before the night was out they returned to Dale’s apartment and almost had sex. They were about to do the deed until Dale, who was more drunk than Rebecca, accidentally hits his head against a wooden cabinet and suffers a bad laceration on his forehead.

Rebecca dutifully ordered a cab and took him to the hospital. They ended up not having sex that evening. That’s probably a good thing in retrospect. Dale is a good guy, but his frat boy days haven’t totally left him yet. He’s nearly 30 but still thinks he’s a freshman in college. Rebecca tends to not gravitate toward men like that.

“What’s up Dale?” Rebecca smiles and takes out her phone to check her e-mail. No messages.

“Hey, girl, hey! Looking good. Oh, not much,” Dale says. “My dog puked all over my bed this morning. That was fun. What about you?”

Learning about Dale’s dog barfing up his breakfast was not the type of news she was in the mood to hear. But that’s Dale for you, ladies and gentlemen.

“Not much. Same old, same old. That’s what happens to people our age. We fall into ruts. I’ll have a strawberry banana smoothie with two scoops of protein powder and half a scoop of energy. I’m going to need it today.” Out of the corner of her eye she sees Gregory hitting on Miss Blondie. This brings a smirk to her face.

A fine pair of legs on Sandy Vu.
A fine pair of legs on Sandy Vu.

“Coming right up!” Dale quickly goes to work. If there’s one thing he does exceptionally well, it’s make delicious smoothies just as you ordered it. So bravo to him for that.

Twenty minutes later, Rebecca almost finishes the smoothie as she parks her car at the physical therapy clinic. She slurps down the rest and tosses the plastic cup into a garbage can. A small army of flies circle around the opening. It looks like it hasn’t been attended to in years. Disgusting.

The work day begins as usual. Only three clients today. None of them noteworthy to mention. In the back office there are several computers that therapists and freelance employees can use. Her usual computer at the back of the room appears to be taken, as someone’s backpack and fleece pullover is lying on top of the chair.

Who could this possibly be? Everyone knows this computer is always reserved for Rebecca Tanaka…

“I’m sorry. Is this your computer? I didn’t know these were assigned to anyone in particular,” an unfamiliar voice says from behind Rebecca’s back. She immediately turns around to see who it is. Standing before her is someone she’s never seen before at the clinic. It’s a devilishly handsome Asian guy with a charming smile and a fit athletic body. Rebecca’s eyes widen as she loses herself in this man’s beautiful aura. She finally composes herself and extends her hand toward him.

“Oh, I didn’t see you there. I’m Rebecca. Pleased to meet you.” They shake hands. His firm grip sends a jolt of electricity through her system. There is something about the way he touches her that Rebecca knows is different from anyone else she’s ever met.

“Hi. I’m Brad. I’m new here. Today is my first day on the job,” he says. Rebecca continues to get lost in his eyes. “I’m the new sports athletic trainer. I had no idea this was your computer.”

“Oh, no. These computers aren’t assigned. I just usually choose this one by default. But I can use the one next to yours.” Rebecca puts her backpack in front of the computer next to Brad’s. He smiles at her again, which sends another jolt of energy through her body. God, what is happening to her?

“Great. I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes on my first day at the job, you know what I mean?”

“I definitely know what you mean!” Wow, is that the best she can come up with? Rebecca turns on the computer and sits down. She admires Brad’s impressive biceps and forearms, which is significant considering she’s seen hundreds of big and buff dudes in her life. “Sports athletic trainer, you say? Julie did say she wants the clinic to go further into that direction.”

“Yeah, I guess most of your clients are elderly people and folks recovering from surgery, right? It’s about time we get some new blood in here. High school and college athletics are becoming a bigger and bigger deal, so it makes sense that she would want to adapt to the times,” he says. Right now, Rebecca is hanging onto every word he speaks. Her eyes move from his arms to his chest, legs, and angular face.

“Where were you before coming here?” Rebecca asks.

“I worked with minor league baseball players down in the Phoenix area,” Brad says. “I just moved up here a few months ago. I couldn’t stand the heat anymore and wanted to go somewhere cooler.”

Before Rebecca could say something, Julie pops her head into the room.

“Rebecca! I’m glad you and Brad are getting acquainted. But Sam is here for his 12:30 appointment.” Well, shit. Time to go to work. Rebecca stands up, gives up on checking her work e-mail, and grins at Brad.

“It’s nice talking to you, Brad. I have to get to work. I’ll see you around,” Rebecca says. She stands up, accidentally places her foot underneath a power cord, and trips as she attempts to take a step forward.

“Whoa there!” Brad saves Rebecca from falling by clutching her in his strong arms. The warm touch of his body against her body provides some dampness to form between her legs. It’s not too often that Rebecca becomes sexually aroused at work (actually, she’s never felt sexually aroused at work), so this is a new experience for her. Also, it’s humiliating to be tripping over herself the moment she encounters a good looking guy.

“Thanks. I can be a klutz at times,” she says. Rebecca regains her composure and exits the room without further antics one would usually find in a low-grade romantic comedy. Brad smirks to himself and makes a mental note to remember Rebecca’s name and face. He too is smitten with her.

Rebecca wasn’t able to see Brad for the rest of the day. Her three clients decide to take up entirely too much time (it’s not her problem, though. They’re willingly paying for her time) and their appointments were lined up one after another. By the time she clocked out for the day, Brad had already gone home. Oh well. There will be a next time, Rebecca supposes.

Typical agility drills done by sports athletic trainers.
Typical agility drills done by sports athletic trainers.

After picking up a tub of fresh quinoa and sundried tomato salad from a deli across the street, Rebecca returns home. She makes small talk with Craig and checks her mail. Thankfully, no perverted letters from nutty voyeurs. Rebecca enters her condo unit and decides to take a shower before eating dinner. She usually showers right before going to bed, but her three clients gave her a workout more than she gave them a workout. The daily grind needs to be washed off before her evening could commence.

Self-conscious about preying eyes, Rebecca closes the blinds on all her windows. You never know these days, she thinks to herself. Rebecca strips naked and takes a moment to look at herself in a long full-body mirror. Despite her natural beauty and impressive muscle mass, Rebecca is still insecure about her looks. She looks at her flat chest as a major flaw. She hates her short stumpy legs. She loves the muscle definition on her legs, but she wishes they could be longer. Her short stature combined with her wide muscular frame makes her look like a Hobbit bodybuilder.

Rebecca also hates her eyes. As a full-blooded Japanese woman, her eyes are as narrow and slanted as a cartoon character. Kids used to make fun of her growing up. Deep down inside, she still feels like adult women judge her because of her strong Asian facial features. She knows that’s ridiculous because most people in the Pacific Northwest are more open-minded than that, but those scarring childhood memories don’t ever go away. They’re a part of her psyche for eternity.

Another remarkable feature of her body is her astonishingly large clitoris. Rebecca takes a modest amount of anabolic steroids to help her gain muscle mass, but nothing too extreme. Nevertheless, the additional growth hormones circulating through her system made a certain part of her body grow larger than normal. Even when she isn’t aroused, the thick head of her clit sticks out between her legs like a really tiny penis.

When she is aroused (and when she’s lucky enough for a guy to be willing to give her oral sex), her clitoris can grow to an eye-popping size. Long and thick, she once measured it with an old plastic ruler. Rebecca did a double take when she saw how long it is. Two and a half inches when she’s fully aroused. Only an inch and a quarter when she’s not aroused.

Is that normal? She has doubts about that.

Every time Rebecca goes to the beach and wears a bikini, she uses a piece of scotch tape to hide her clit from public view. It’s embarrassing, but it’s what she has to do to feel like a normal woman. “Real” women don’t have large bulges in their panties. All she wants to do is to not feel like a freak.

Upon finishing her inspection of her body, Rebecca likes what she sees overall and goes on to take her shower. Fifteen minutes later she walks out to the living room still naked and drying her hair with a towel. She turns on the television to see what’s on. Some murder mystery show. The victim died by a sledgehammer being pounded repeatedly into the side of his skull. What an unpleasant way to go. Why do people watch violent shit like this?

She turns off the TV and plops down on her bed. For some unexplained reason, Brad’s handsome face and impressive biceps flash into her mind. Her heart flutters. The dampness returns between her legs. Rebecca thinks now is the appropriate time to masturbate, an activity she hasn’t done as much lately as she’d like.

Lee Jin Won in top competitive shape.
Lee Jin Won in top competitive shape.

Rebecca turns off all the lights and takes out her trusty dildo from the bedside nightstand. She dabs a small amount of lubrication on the tip and spreads it all over the shaft. A typical 7 inch long white dildo, she’s had this since college and uses it as her default masturbation toy. She also has a vibrator, but she doesn’t like the annoying humming sound. It gets her out of the mood and ruins her mindset. Rebecca needs everything to be perfect in order for her to optimally get off.

Taking in a deep breath, Rebecca closes her eyes and spreads her legs out wide. She leans back against her pillow and exhales. She playfully taps the dildo against her enlarged clitoris and moans at the sensations this gives her. Rebecca suspects that when her clit began to grow it also started to become more sensitive. She could be wrong about this observation, though. But the added pleasure it’s given her is something she can’t argue about.

Inch by inch, she inserts the dildo inside her moist vagina. She strokes it in and out at a leisurely pace, not wanting to rush anything. It’s been four days since she last had an orgasm, so she wants this to be a good one. Rebecca makes sure the dildo touches every square centimeter of her wet and sensitive passageway, including her g-spot. More moans escape from her throat.

If only “Jones” were able to see this! He’d go crazy and would probably give her $2,000 instead.

The thought of Jones watching her temporarily takes her mind off of pleasing herself, so she immediately refocuses on Brad. Rebecca imagines the dildo being Brad’s erection invading her, exploring her, pleasing her. With her free hand, she pinches her dark brown nipples. Both are sticking straight up into the air. This inspires her to increase her tempo. Faster and faster she stimulates herself. Her legs tense up. She lifts her back up off the bedsheets. Her head almost bangs against the bedframe.

She’s close, and she knows it.

Suddenly, the explicit visual image of Brad kissing her just as he comes inside her unexpectedly flashes into her head. This is enough to set her off.

“Oooooooohhhhh! YES!!!”

Rebecca comes and squirts a small amount of creamy white fluid onto the bed. The walls of her vagina contract wildly, as if this is the first orgasm she’s ever experienced in her life. This is not true, of course, but this is a testament to how strong of a spell Brad has cast over her imagination. Out of breath, Rebecca opens her eyes and enjoys the smaller vaginal contractions that follow the more intense ones. Finally, her orgasm ends and she is left lying on the bed drenched in her own sweat.

Fuck. She might have to take another shower!

She sits up and notices the wet spot between her legs on the bedsheets. Fuck! She’s been able to ejaculate for years now, but she can usually control it by not excessively rubbing her g-spot. She must have gotten carried away this time. Rebecca goes to the bathroom, cleans up the mess with a paper towel, and pees in the toilet. Looking at herself in the still-fogged up mirror, she smiles and says to her reflection:

“Damn. That was a good one!”

Friday is the next day. It is uneventful and boring, just like every other Friday at the office. It is a rest day, so she spent the morning talking to her photographer about finalizing the details of their shoot tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, which is fantastic news.

As it turns out, Brad will work primarily in the field and away from the office. At a weekly team meeting – who holds staff meetings on Fridays? – Julie informs the group that Brad will travel to high schools and college campuses to work with athletes to help them improve their speed, strength, quickness, burst, coordination, and overall athleticism. Rebecca is disappointed to hear this news, but she is still glad he’s part of the staff.

Later that evening Rebecca goes out for cocktails with her two best friends, Lauren and Desiree. These three have known each other since middle school and they remarkably still keep in touch. Wisely, Rebecca makes no mention of “Jones” but did glowingly rave about her new cute coworker.

“Girl! Are you going to pursue anything with him?” Desiree asks.

“Before she can answer that, she needs to know if he’s single. Is he available?” Lauren chimes in.

Rebecca downs her whiskey on the rocks and coughs. Lauren and Desiree always elect to drink “girly” drinks with too much sugar and fruit. Rebecca considers herself to be more hardcore and goes for the hard stuff. Her two friends cannot figure out why she’d intentionally drink that shit.

“I think he’s single, and I’m definitely going to make a move if the opportunity presents itself,” Rebecca assures them. “It’s been forever since I’ve last dated.”

Three and a half years to be exact. Both Lauren and Desiree know this.

Finally, Saturday morning arrives. Rebecca gets up at 6:00 a.m. – an hour earlier than she usually does – and eats a larger than normal breakfast. She cooks herself a veggie omelet made with egg whites, low fat cheese, peas, broccoli, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, asparagus, and avocado. This is served with a bowl of Greek yogurt with granola and peach slices. She drinks way too much coffee before brushing her teeth (in order to make her pearly whites as white as possible) and heading to the gym.

Leg day. Oh, fun.

Saturday mornings at the gym is the best time to go because hardly anyone is there. But Rebecca is there. Gregory and Michaela are also there. Gregory might be flirting with Michaela by the TRX machine. Gross.

Several squats, lunges, deadlifts, leg presses, snatch and power cleans, and miles running on the treadmill later, Rebecca showers in the locker room but struggles to walk around. She always wants to get an arduous workout in before a major photoshoot. It makes her feel more sexy and alive when she’s so exhausted her body is running on pure adrenaline. She skips the smoothie bar (and having to deal with Dale, who seems to work here every single day) and instead drinks a bottled protein shake. It’s not the same, but it’ll do for today.

The drive to Alki Beach Park from Bellevue only takes 35 minutes, which is pretty damn good, even for a sleepy weekend. Rebecca receives a text from Garrett, her photographer, saying he’s running a few minutes late. This doesn’t surprise her one bit. He’s always late. Rebecca’s Asian heritage doesn’t allow her to be late for anything. There’s one perk of having slanted eyes.

Garrett has been Rebecca’s primary photographer for a solid decade. They work perfectly together. He’s an artsy type who also knows how to shoot commercial shots. He’s also very gay, so she has no worries of him coming on to her. That’s been an issue with past photographers. But no longer.

It’s a gorgeous morning in Seattle. Not a cloud in the sky, but there’s a cool breeze to keep her from getting too overheated. The beach is thinly crowded, populated with a few joggers and little kids making sandcastles. Wearing gray sweatpants and a tank top, Rebecca notices she’s already receiving unwarranted stares from random strangers. A group of bros smoking weed by the public bathroom stalls makes comments about her “wicked shoulders and savage biceps.” Rebecca doesn’t even give them a courtesy smile. Those fuckers don’t deserve it.

Alki Beach on a beautiful summer evening.
Alki Beach on a beautiful summer evening.

Rebecca arrives at the agreed upon meeting area and waits. She sits on a park bench and checks her phone for messages. Nothing. She looks around to take in the sights and smells of springtime transitioning into summer. This is her favorite time of the year. It’s not too hot, but the chilly dewy elements of spring are long gone. Out of the corner of her eye she sees a middle-aged white man wearing a suit and tie sitting down on a bench about 400 feet away from her.

“That’s an unusual thing to wear to the beach,” Rebecca says aloud.

He’s looking out into Puget Sound with a pair of professional-grade binoculars. The man has dark hair with streaks of silver on the sides. His black suit is complemented perfectly with a bright red tie. Rebecca even notices the impeccable shine on his Italian loafers. They look damn expensive. They probably are damn expensive.

For whatever odd reason, Rebecca notices him out of the 40 or 50 other people within view. She doesn’t know why, but all her life she’s had a well-developed sixth sense about certain situations. Every so often, she’ll fixate on something or someone for reasons she can’t explain. Intuition is a strange thing, indeed. The man isn’t doing anything inappropriate or suspicious; the only noteworthy thing about him is his out-of-place suave attire.

“Rebecca! Hi!” Rebecca jumps out of her seat when a familiar but sharp voice calls out her name. She turns around and sees Garrett, dressed like a 1970s Greenwich Village hipster, jogging toward her with an expensive Nikon camera around his neck and a backpack full of photography equipment slung over his shoulder.

“Hello Garrett!” They hug. Garrett playfully rubs her muscular back and whistles.

“Holy fucking shit, Becky. You’re getting bigger and bigger every single fucking time I see you, I swear to God,” Garrett exclaims. “Holy fuck, you’re gorgeous.”

“Thanks,” Rebecca says, blushing a bit. “I do what I can to add quality content to your portfolio.”

Garrett laughs heartily and checks the settings on his camera. Rebecca self-consciously removes her tank top, sweatpants, and sandals and stuffs them inside her tote bag. As always, a hidden strip of tape conceals the bulge between her legs. The brand new bikini she ordered earlier in the week hadn’t arrived yet (the distributor says it’s stuck in Cleveland of all places), so she had to pull out an old frilly Navy blue bikini from her closet instead. Oh well. Life goes on.

“Motherfucker, stop looking like that, girl!” Garrett says. “Well, are you ready?”

Rebecca looks around and already sees a small gathering of onlookers watching them. Some are pointing at Rebecca and presumably commenting on her muscles. She overhears a little girl ask her mother if “that girl is a boy or a girl.” Gee whiz, kid. You just answered your own fucking question!

No matter how long she’s been a competitive bodybuilder, Rebecca has never gotten used to unsolicited stares from strangers and rude remarks from the peanut gallery. But that’s the life she’s chosen to lead. If they can’t handle the sight of a beautiful muscular Asian woman flaunting her stuff at a public beach, they can take their opinion and shove it up their ass.

“I’m ready,” Rebecca says. “Let’s do this.”

The Benevolent Voyeur and the Female Bodybuilder – Part One

When you think of Rebecca Tanaka, think of a younger Tomoko Kanda.
When you think of Rebecca Tanaka, think of a younger Tomoko Kanda.

Most people despise the daily grind. Rebecca Tanaka thrives in it.

Rebecca’s schedule is nonstop. Her evenings are always free – most of the time – but from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., she is one relentless busy bee, churning along at her own frenzied pace.

7:00 a.m. – Wake up, eat breakfast consisting of egg whites, oatmeal, and fruit smoothie

7:30 a.m. – Walk on the treadmill for an hour, interspersing with light jogging every 10 minutes

8:30 a.m. – Take short shower, dress, and drive to the gym

9:00 a.m. – Workout at the gym, regimen changes depending on the day (Monday: Chest and shoulders, Tuesday: Abs and back, Wednesday: Rest day, Thursday: Arms, Friday: Rest day, Saturday: Legs, Sunday: Rest day)

11:15 a.m. – Shower, dress, eat second meal of the day (brown rice, chicken, and steamed carrots)

12:00 p.m. – Drive to physical therapy clinic, work with clients

1:30 p.m. – Eat third meal of the day (sweet potato, steak, and raw broccoli)

6:00 p.m. – Leave work, drive to grocery store, drive home

6:30 p.m. – Arrive at home, eat fourth meal of the day (Salmon, kale, asparagus, couscous, and tomatoes)

7:00 p.m. – Answer e-mails, schedule personal training clients, set up photoshoots, etc.

9:00 p.m. – Eat fifth meal of the day (protein shake and raw fruit)

11:00 p.m. – Go to sleep, prepare to do it all again the next day

Rebecca, one of the world’s rising stars in the international bodybuilding industry, doesn’t have much time for relationships or pets. No dogs, no boyfriends. But this doesn’t bother her at all. She loves her life and wouldn’t change a single thing about it.

Except for one thing, however. Being a competitive bodybuilder and part-time physical therapist doesn’t pay a whole lot of money. Lucky for her, she inherited a nice studio condominium from her deceased aunt and uncle (they died tragically in a car accident while travelling through South America four years ago) located right in the heart of downtown Bellevue. However, living expenses are still living expenses. Money isn’t tight, but she can’t afford to not be frugal.

All of that changed one fateful Tuesday evening.

Rebecca drove home and parked her car in the underground parking garage like usual. With her massive gym bag slung over her broad shoulders, she takes the short flight of stairs up to the lobby. There, she sees Craig, the reliable and friendly front desk staff person.

“Good evening, Rebecca!” Craig greets her with a wide toothy grin.

“Hi Craig. Has your wife decided on whether she wants to take the promotion or not?” Rebecca takes her keys out of her pocket and walks toward the row of mail boxes.

“She has. She’s not interested. Macy loves where she is right now,” he says. “I guess that means I’m here to stay.”

Rebecca turns around and shoots Craig a happy smile of her own. “Oh well. Darn. I was just getting used to putting up with your antics!” Craig’s wife works at the city’s water treatment facility and was asked to move to Washington D.C. to supervise the federal government on crafting better national water policy. Apparently, Macy didn’t like that offer and would rather stay here and get paid less. Rebecca has never met Macy but she’s starting to like her more and more.

Craig laughs. The phone rings. He stops laughing, puts on his “professional” demeanor, and answers it. Rebecca chuckles to herself and approaches her mail box. She unlocks it and finds the usual assortment of junk: Grocery store coupons, a community newsletter, a postcard asking her to donate to needy children in Tanzania, her monthly cell phone bill, and a lone letter. She doesn’t usually get individually written letters anymore. For that matter, in today’s digital age, who does?

“Jones,” she reads aloud. The return address is somewhere in Kirkland. Only the sender’s last name is revealed. The 4”x3” letter is modest in size but remarkable in its simplicity. She stuffs the mail in a pouch on the side of her gym bag and heads toward the elevator. She nods at Craig, who is still talking to a potential tenant on the phone. He graciously nods back.

Five minutes later Rebecca opens the door to her 15th story condo unit and walks inside. She lays her heavy gym bag down on the floor and gently shuts the door behind her. Not thinking too much about the letter, she turns on the TV and tunes in to whatever baseball game happens to be going on. It appears the home team is losing by a score of 5-2. It’s the seventh inning. Whatever. Sports never interested Rebecca too much – except for bodybuilding, of course. That’s a sport she pays attention to with keen interest.

The clock in the kitchen says it is 6:39 p.m. Rebecca opens the refrigerator and pulls out a blue Tupperware container. Fish, veggies, and corn are inside. She pops it in the microwave and sets it for three and a half minutes. The humming of her dinner heating up provides the background music she needs to relax and unwind. Rebecca plops herself on her bed and turns on her laptop computer. Just as the home screen starts to boot up, the microwave makes the joyful “ping” sound.

Rebecca grabs a fork, napkin, bottle of FIJI Water, and the steaming hot Tupperware container. She returns to her bed and starts to eat. By now, the home team has scored another run and the score is now 5-3. The crowd goes wild. She couldn’t care less.

There are only four e-mail messages in her inbox. Two of them are junk. One is a balance statement from her bank and the other is a picture of a random man’s penis taken with his shitty cell phone camera. As a nationally known female bodybuilder, Rebecca is accustomed to receiving creepy or obscene e-mail messages from fans across the globe. She promptly deletes the dick pic and blocks the idiot from ever communicating with her again.

“Congratulations on being so well-endowed, buddy,” Rebecca says. “But you’re still a perverted jerk.”

A solo home run by the other team. 6-3 road team. The crowd goes silent. Rebecca swiftly changes the channel to the evening news. The first story she sees is a report that ISIS has kidnapped another European aid worker and has threatened to cut off his head. She decides to turn off the TV altogether. Nothing but bad news.

“It’s a hellish world we live in,” Rebecca whispers to herself. “God help us all.”

She looks at her gym bag and suddenly remembers the letter. After putting the dirty Tupperware in the sink, she takes a last sip from her FIJI Water and dumps the empty bottle in a recycling bin. Rebecca takes the envelope out of the pouch and opens it with a letter opener. She sits down on her comfortable leather sofa and reads it.

Rebecca gets plenty of fan mail, but they all go to her business mail box at the Post Office. So she has no idea who this could be from. Who does she know in Kirkland? The handwritten note says the following:

Dear Miss Tanaka,

I am a dear fan of yours. We’ve never met, but I’ve been following your career from the start. I see a lot of promise in you. You are destined for stardom, there’s no doubt in my mind about that.

I don’t know how much money you make being a professional bodybuilder, but I’d imagine it’s not nearly enough for you to live off. Or maybe you do make enough. Either way, who couldn’t use a little extra cash in their pocket?

That being said, I have a simple proposition for you, one you can refuse to do if you choose to with no consequences.

I happen to live within viewing distance of your condominium unit. With my trusty pair of binoculars, I have a clear view of your balcony. I have never made any effort to physically contact you, so do not feel alarmed. Thus, I’d like to offer you this: Every Tuesday evening at 9:00, I want you to stand outside on your balcony and strip naked for me. I want to see your beautiful body in all its splendor and glory. You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life.

Every time you do this, I will mail you $1,000 in cash the following day. I will also send you written instructions on what to do next. I will never ask you to do anything dangerous or unreasonable. But it will always involve me wanting to see your beautiful body.

Just to prove that I’m not joking, tonight at 9:00 please stand outside fully clothed for a solid 90 seconds. I will send you $500 in the mail tomorrow just for that simple gesture. If you do not do as I ask, I will interpret this as your refusal and I will never contact you ever again. I can promise you that.

I look forward to seeing where your career goes, Rebecca. Peace be with you Angelic Sweetheart.

Sincerely,

Jones

Uh, what? Rebecca looks up at the ceiling in disbelief, remaining frozen for what seems like forever.

What the fuck is this all about? Should she call the police? She knows the return address of this creep, so it wouldn’t be too difficult for the authorities to investigate and put this asshole in jail. However…

$1,000 is a lot of money. Fuck, that’s $52,000 in extra tax-free cash per year. Perhaps she should consider it.

Damn it! That’s crazy talk. This guy is nuts and should be arrested for harassment! Rebecca tosses the letter in the trash can and closes the blinds on all her windows. The last time she ever had a stalker was back in college. A random dude kept writing her love notes despite the fact she was in a committed relationship at the time (they broke up when he later revealed he was gay, but that’s a whole other story for another time). She reported this to campus police and found out it ended up being not a student, but a tenured English professor. She (yes, it was a she) was fired and had to spend 150 hours doing community service and pay a small fine. Rebecca never saw her again.

Writing and sending handwritten letters is a lost art.
Writing and sending handwritten letters is a lost art.

The clock now says it is 7:45 p.m. Rebecca decides to call the police first thing in the morning and report this idiot. She logs on to Netflix and begins watching “House of Cards” to get her mind off of this shit. She may have seen this episode before. Or maybe she hasn’t. Whatever.

Time passes. Soon, it is 8:56 p.m. She looks at the time on her computer and smiles. Should she poke her head outside her balcony just to see if this asshole will actually pay her? Rebecca peeks at her phone bill and gasps when she sees how substantial it is. She’d used a lot of data this month, between using her phone for personal and business matters. Damn. How the fuck is she going to pay for all this shit?

8:58 p.m.

Fuck!

Rebecca puts on a pair of old slippers and cautiously opens the glass door leading to the balcony. She’s wearing pajama pants and a tank top but no makeup or a bra. Her jet black hair is a mess. She doesn’t think she looks terribly appealing at the moment, but this pervert apparently thinks she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen in his life. Rebecca doesn’t know what is compelling her to follow through with this, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Standing at a diminutive 5’2”, Rebecca is just as short as most Japanese women but is much huskier than usual. Her thick thighs, broad shoulders, big biceps, 8-pack abdomen, and rounded butt make her stand out against most women, Asian or not. Her 30th birthday is right around the corner, a fact she’s trying to not think about. She’s never been married but has never struggled to find a boyfriend. Most of her past boyfriends have been white, but she’s dated her fair share of Asian guys. But after committing her life to bodybuilding, she’s discovered fewer and fewer men want to be with her romantically. Maybe they’re intimidated by a woman with bigger muscles than them!

Rebecca looks up at the clock. 9:00 p.m. on the dot. Alright, time to do this.

She enters the outside and takes a deep breath. The sun is beginning to set. Earlier in the day it reached 85 degrees, which is practically the seventh level of Hades for someone who was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She silently counts to 90 in her head. She looks around to see who this creepy stalker could possibly be. All around her are apartment buildings, office buildings, and fancy homes overlooking Lake Washington. There are hundreds of thousands of people who could see her at this moment. Is this guy for real? Or is this a prankster who gets off on writing disturbing letters to competitive female bodybuilders?

Rebecca may be willing to temporarily embarrass herself, but this is far from being the first time she’s ever felt helpless. Though she’s never been married, when Rebecca was 15 she became pregnant thanks to her then-boyfriend (who happened to be Asian like her) using a faulty condom. Her parents were outraged. The rest of her family shunned her. She eventually gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Rebecca reluctantly put the baby up for adoption. Within weeks of giving birth to the child, a couple in Indiana flew out to meet little Cecelia. They immediately fell in love with her. They hired some lawyers to draw up the adoption papers and within days the couple flew back home with a new daughter.

Rebecca has never seen her daughter since. Her family has never spoken about it. They’ve kept absolutely no contact with the couple from Indiana. She tries to not think about that dark chapter of her life, but every so often she’s reminded of it. This moment is one of those times.

A simple outdoor balcony overlooking a major metropolitan city (in this case, Chicago).
A simple outdoor balcony overlooking a major metropolitan city (in this case, Chicago).

90 seconds have officially passed. She returns back indoors and shuts the glass door. She locks it.

“That was the longest 90 seconds of my fucking life,” Rebecca says to nobody in particular.

Looking outside at the setting sun, she wonders if anyone was actually watching her. Who is this “Jones” guy? Was he a balding middle-aged loser who was jerking off at the sight of a female bodybuilder wearing pajama pants? God, that’s disgusting. The thought of this put a churning feeling in her stomach. Rebecca feels foolish that she even went outside on her balcony as the letter instructed in the first place. Wanting to forget the whole ordeal, Rebecca goes to the kitchen, takes out a wine glass, and pours herself some Chardonnay. She returns to bed and turns the television back on.

The home team tied it up in the bottom of the ninth and ended up winning it in the 12th thanks to a walk-off home run by the second baseman. Rebecca thinks he’s cute. Good for him. Good for his teammates. Hopefully, he’ll sleep tonight with a big fat smile on his face.

***

The next day Rebecca didn’t give a single thought to what had happened the previous evening. The thought of calling the police about the disconcerting letter never crosses her mind.

Wednesday is her rest day, so she can spend the morning working on her personal business before going to work at the clinic at noon. She spent the whole morning scouring the Internet for a new bikini. Her photographer tells her it’s about time they take new photos for her website. Now that the weather is improving, they agree to go down to the beach this Saturday and snap a few photos before the hordes of families, little kids, and drunk tourists show up.

Work is boring as usual. She sees four clients altogether. James, an 87-year-old former steel worker who’s suffering from chronic lower back pain. He thinks it’s caused by his days hauling gigantic hollowed rods across the mill he worked at back in Pennsylvania. Rebecca thinks it’s caused by the fact he’s in his late 80’s. Whatever. He doesn’t want to argue with “the pretty girl with big muscles.”

She also sees Tyler, a high school football player who suffered a major knee injury last season while returning a punt. Tyler’s a nice kid. He isn’t good enough to play at the college level, but Rebecca nevertheless feels he deserves a shot at being able to step onto the field again. He’s rehabbing his injury and hopes to be able to be ready in time for summer practices.

Rebecca is confident he’ll be able to do so. Tyler and his mother concur.

Sarah Hayes wearing a dress that shows off all her impressive assets.
Sarah Hayes wearing a dress that shows off all her impressive assets.

The other two clients are a married couple named Frankie and Loren. They’re both in their 60s but still manage to work at the local public school district. Rebecca cannot imagine why they still want to put up with spoiled bratty kids when they’re so close to retirement, but they seem to enjoy the work. They must be good at what they do, apparently.

“I do it for the kids. I can’t speak for Frankie, but I feel like it’s my duty to my community to put these youngsters on the right path,” Loren tells Rebecca and Julie, the clinic’s senior physical therapist. Frankie nods in agreement.

“Damn right! But don’t tell the kids I occasionally swear. I always get them in trouble for cursing, so I don’t want to seem like a hypocrite,” he fires back.

“Don’t worry you two,” Rebecca assures them. “Your secrets are safe with me. My lips are perfectly sealed. What’s discussed in this building doesn’t leave this building, I can assure you of that.”

Now it’s Julie’s turn to nod her head in agreement. It’s so wonderful when everyone agrees with one another. That’s what makes life pleasant.

“See you next time!” Rebecca exclaims as Frankie and Loren stroll out the door. She waves at them. They wave back. All is good and right with the world.

The drive home is messy but not a surprise. There’s a stretch of 8th avenue that’s being repaved. It’s a project the City Council promised to implement years ago, but it’s just now getting underway. Even in the most financially affluent cities it takes forever for simple government tasks to get done. Oh well. That’s the way things are, Rebecca supposes. Maybe that explains why Macy wants to stay put.

Like usual, she parks her car in the underground garage and hikes up the stairs to the main floor. It is at this moment that she remembers the strange letter she got yesterday from that mysterious creep. Today, Craig happens to not be working the front desk. That usually means he’s talking with the maintenance man to fix something. Instead, Hannah, a spunky 22-year-old blonde girl fresh out of college, is working in the lobby. Rebecca thinks Hannah is scared of her. It’s not a stretch of the imagination, however. It’s not too often you encounter a pretty Asian girl with big muscles!

“Hi Hannah. Where’s Craig?”

Hannah jumps in surprise at the sound of Rebecca’s voice. She is busy playing Temple Run on her phone and didn’t expect anyone to want to make casual conversation with her. Hannah puts the phone away and regains her composure.

“Oh, he’s milling around somewhere. A tenant on the 8th floor complained about a weird smell. He’s looking into it.” That’s what Rebecca thought Craig would be doing. Fixing a problem. Hannah is usually an on-call staff person who comes into work if Craig knows he has a lot of building maintenance work to do. Rebecca thinks Hannah works part-time as a cocktail waitress at a dive bar in Renton. She could be wrong about that, though.

“Hm. Thankfully for him, I don’t have any weird or offensive smells coming out of my unit,” Rebecca says. “I’m sure he’ll be glad to hear that.”

Hannah can only smile. That’s pretty much all Rebecca expects from her. This must confirm her suspicions that she’s frightened to death of her.

This is what the inside of Rebecca's condo would probably look like.
This is what the inside of Rebecca’s condo would probably look like.

Rebecca takes out her mail box key and puts it in the slot. She twists it and opens the small door. She reaches inside and only finds a single item.

A modest 4”x3” letter.

Oh fuck.

She looks at the return address. Sure enough, it says “Jones” followed by a Kirkland address.

Well, shit.

Stuffing the letter in her jacket pocket, Rebecca smiles at Hannah and scurries off to the elevators. She presses the button for the 15th floor. Three minutes pass until it shows up, which feel like ten. The door opens, Rebecca walks inside, and within moments she’s at her front door.

Rebecca isn’t usually a paranoid type of person, but how could you not be at this moment? Perhaps her decision to not notify the police was dead wrong. Before opening the door to her condo unit, she looks around the empty hallway. No one is in sight. That’s how it usually is at this hour. She unlocks the door and steps inside.

She immediately drops her purse on top of a nearby chair, tosses her jacket carelessly on the ground, and sits down on the leather sofa. Taking in a deep breath, Rebecca cautiously opens the letter without the letter opener. She doesn’t mind if she gets an innocuous paper cut. Fortunately, she’s just fine.

It’s another handwritten note. Of course. It reads:

Dear Miss Tanaka,

I’m glad you decided to follow through with my wishes last night. I did not know if you would ignore me or not. Fortunately for me, you made a choice I am most pleased with. Bravo to you.

In return, I’ve enclosed $500 in cash as I promised in my previous correspondence. I hope you put this newfound money to good use. I trust you will be judicious with it.

Your participation in last night’s trial run tells me you’re willing to play along with my proposition. I am pleased to learn of that. Now is the appropriate time to up the stakes. As I outlined before, I am willing to pay you $1,000 for further exhibitions. That offer is still on the table. I am only interested in watching you perform for me on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 p.m., so you have a full week before I am able to see you again. I cannot wait for our next encounter.

Next Tuesday, June 7, I want you to walk outside your balcony at 9:00 like last time. I want you to wear whatever clothing you happen to be wearing at the moment. I care not what it is. Once you are fully outside, I want you to meticulously strip naked until every single article of clothing is removed from your immaculate body. Then, I want you to twirl around slowly in a circle three times. No more, no less. I want to be able to see your entire body. It is my desire to be able to do so.

I want this full performance to last two minutes. Bring your phone with you if you need to keep track of time. Anything lasting less than two minutes will result in you not receiving any monetary compensation.

I trust you will agree with these terms. I look forward to seeing you next time.

Peace be with you Angelic Sweetheart.

Sincerely,

Jones

Rebecca freezes in stunned silence. Before she could reread the message, she digs into the envelope and finds five crisp $100 bills tucked inside. She holds the bills up to the light. As far as she can tell, they’re perfectly legit. A professional bank teller could tell the difference between a legitimate and a counterfeit $100 bill, but Rebecca’s amateurish opinion will have to suffice for now.

“Holy fucking shit.”

A chill runs down Rebecca’s spine. She isn’t sure if she wants to cry or call the police without a moment’s hesitation. Instead, she chooses to sit there on the sofa and stare off into the nothingness in front of her.