Author : Samuel Stapleton

“Megan! Sweetheart! You’re on time!?”

“Not here to chat.” She hissed as she paraded in.

“I know, I know. I’ve got your new look ready, stand still please.” She complied as best she could, but every now and then quivers of excitement would dance down her limbs. As the computer AI finished its calculations I set to work alongside it. We began recoloring her hair and skin first, then played around with the nanoes that were ever so slightly reshaping her face, neckline, and bone structure. “You said they want you to hide in South Africa this time?”

“Did I? Well if I did I said too much.” She answered. When I was done she moved over to the mirror to view her transformation.

“I have a few other clients staying in that area, would you like their contact info?” I offered.

“I have a request.” She countered.

“Of course, name it!” I said.

“This time send him to Japan would you?” She said with a grin. I stared at her.

“But won’t that make it impossible for him to find you?” I asked warily.

“Would you believe me if I said no?” She replied as she raised an eyebrow in my direction.

“Probably. This seems like foreplay for you two more than anything that would jeopardize your chances.” I quipped.

She replied, “Mmm. No one understands us like you Aaron. Just remember. Japan.”

I nodded and echoed, “Japan.” She turned and leaned in close to the mirror, focusing on something specific.

“Ugh. I do love green eyes. I wish I could have them all the time.” She mentioned wistfully. “Wonderful work as always. What’s the damage?” She held out her palm for digital exchange. I shrugged her away.

“You can have this one on the house. I’m sure I’ll see you in a few weeks.”

She blew me a kiss for the gift and practically flew out the door. The company fraud expert, Mr. Mayline, waited a moment before appearing from his hiding place.

“You should’ve charged her.” He said. I shook my head.

“They’ll win again, and both be back, and you’ll have to pay me for the work I do on them, again. I’ll tell you what though, I can’t believe you thought I was helping them cheat.” I said harshly.

“It made sense at the time. We do apologize for that mistake.” He replied as he sat down.

“So did your investigation uncover anything? Are they using tech to beat the memory wipe, or do they have accomplices?” I asked. Mr. Mayline looked over at me and tilted his head slightly. “We hired all kinds of outside consultants. Tech experts. Even ex-military. As far as anyone can tell, they’re not cheating. They’re just finding each other. New skin, new eyes, new voice, new everything. It doesn’t matter what we do to them physically. He finds her. She somehow knows it’s him.”

“What did they say when you questioned them?” I’d been waiting to hear back for weeks now. But he laughed at this question. “We got frustrated by the end of the interview. Mockingly, I asked him what is was like to fall in love with the same woman nine times in one life…”

“And? How’d he react?” I asked.

“He looked back and forth between my partner and I, then looked his wife right in the eyes and said, Gentlemen, don’t be ridiculous, I’ve only ever fallen in love with her once.”

“Well, if that doesn’t make the ratings go through the roof I don’t know what will.” I concluded with a grin.