It was early in the morning when Tucker Holmes got up, heading straight for the shower. He'd spent the night in bed with Tatiana, a tall European woman who'd worked as a modeling assistant until, because she'd insulted him, he'd frozen her in time with his magical Wand of Kronos and brought her home. Tatiana had no family connections in the United States and since her disappearance had only gotten her fired, not looked for, Tucker was essentially free to keep her as a statue for as long as he felt. It was cruel, he knew, but on the upside she wouldn't age a day and her bank accounts would gain interest that she didn't have to wait around for.
In the kitchen was Tucker's roommate Maggie Yen, the petite Asian girl dressed only in somewhat modest but certainly not prude-like pink underwear, having just woken up herself and enjoying a cup of coffee. "How's the Nazi woman?" asked Maggie, referring to Tatiana. Tucker had made it a rule that Maggie wouldn't be allowed to play with her, holding a grudge since she'd raided his emails a few times.
"She's good, what have you got planned today?" answered Tucker, pouring a cup of coffee and sitting down next to his friend, the pair promptly holding hands. Their relationship was platonic, Maggie preferring women to men, but that didn't stop them from doing things that other people might peg them as being lovers. Tucker had seen Maggie naked a few times but had never done anything in regards to it, mostly because he was in a fairly strong relationship with Haley Leone, one of their neighbors and a newly emerging model.
"You remember Bianca, who runs the costume shop?" began Maggie in between sips of coffee, getting a nod from Tucker. "She called to let us know she's bringing in some models today to show off some new anime costumes she got in. She invited us to come by."
"About time she stopped using those creepy faceless mannequins she has," muttered Tucker. Maggie and Tucker had met Bianca roughly one year ago, before Tucker had gotten his wand, at a convention and they'd become friends. She was a bit older than them by a few years but ran her own store, renting and selling costumes, which was apparently a decent business in Los Angeles. On a personal level however Tucker had frequently criticized Bianca for using white mannequins that had heads but no faces, believing more realistic ones were the way to go. "Neither of us are working today, might as well check it out," suggested Tucker, offering a knowing grin.
"I caught the invisible quotations in that sentence," Maggie nodded knowingly. It was clear that Tucker was planning to have some fun at the store with his wand. "I'm going to hit the shower," declared Maggie after finishing her coffee, putting the cup down on the table and heading into her own bathroom, their apartment being big enough to be three bedrooms with two bathrooms as well as a large kitchen, sitting room and an office.
Tucker was enjoying a cinnamon and raisin bagel when there was a knock at the door. While he was clad in old jeans and a college shirt, Tucker figured he was well enough together to answer the door and got up, making a mental note of the sound of running water from Maggie's bathroom. Glancing though the apartment peephole, Tucker saw Haley standing outside in a white tube top and a pink skirt with black leather boots that went a fairly long way up her legs. The Italian beauty was smiling and her hair was done in a looped ponytail. "Hi beautiful," greeted Tucker, opening the door and getting a quick kiss as his girlfriend casually walked in.
"Nice to see you looking so... clean," offered Haley, ignoring the pants her boyfriend wore. "So we've got a tennis game at ten, lunch at noon, some shopping and then an afternoon movie at three, that work?" Tucker could feel Haley mentally trying to tell him to change his pants while he realized he'd completely forgotten that he was going to spend the day with her. Tucker did want to spent time with Haley, but he hadn't hung out with Maggie for over a week and was itching to check out Bianca's store, something Haley wouldn't be up for. All this combined with the water in the second shower stopping made Tucker suddenly panic, but luckily his wand was still hidden in his pants.
"Yeah, that works I guess, just wait a second while I change..." shrugged Tucker, motioning for Haley to go into the living room while he quickly hurried towards his room. Maggie was opening the door to the bathroom and would no doubt be walking out naked, causing Tucker to act instinctively and draw his wand, tapping his wand five times on the wall to freeze time. Immediately the clocks everywhere stopped and Tucker leaned against the hallway wall, sighing in relief.
Maggie, who'd figured since Tucker had seen her naked before wouldn't care if she strutted around in the buff a little, was just about to enter the hall, her small but perfect body still very wet, her hair plastered against the back of her head with a white towel held at her side. Tucker ignored the bulge in his pants as he walked by his friend and ducked into his room, quickly changing into a nicer black T-shirt and tan stain-resistant pants. Glancing in the mirror Tucker also made sure to comb his hair back, fixed his contacts and put on his necklace, that of a Chinese fortune coin which he preferred to a rabbit's foot for luck. Pleased, Tucker returned to Maggie and tapped the wand on her head twice, causing her to unfreeze and suddenly recoil in surprise.
"Tuck, what the hell!" screamed Maggie Yen, hitting him with her towel.
"Haley's here, and I didn't want her to notice you so, well, unwrapped," explained Tucker nodding down towards the living room. Just in view was Haley, frozen in mid-step with her right arm holding her brown Prada bag at her side while her left swung forward slightly, her legs spread with an arch between them, a casual smile on her face.
"You guys had plans and you forgot again, didn't you?" accused Maggie as water dripped from her hair, Tucker having almost no trouble keeping his eyes level with hers.
"Yeah, but we haven't hung out in a while so I'm going to ditch her, though she won't notice," revealed Tucker. Once a couple of weeks ago Tucker had frozen Haley for nearly the entire day in an attempt to blow off having to go shopping with her and had just bought her a few gifts on his own while out with Maggie. When he'd gotten back he'd unfrozen her and acted like they'd gone shopping, Haley seemingly just going along. Tucker wasn't sure if it was just she was too laid back to worry or if she was just easy to deceive. Either way Tucker still loved his girlfriend, but he didn't always treat her with respect.
"You're a bastard, but at least I get you for the day," shrugged Maggie with a grin, shooing Tucker away as she headed for her room. Tucker casually returned to his girlfriend and waved his wand at her twice, freezing her completely so she stayed still as she was even after Tucker tapped his wand another five times, unfreezing the rest of time.
"Sorry to freeze and run, but I'll make it up to you, and I did skip out on work when you got that modeling job," Tucker told his stiff girlfriend, who remained smiling in his direction as he stood in front of her. "Thanks for understanding," he laughed at the young beauty, kissing Haley on the lips and promptly picking her up by the waist, carrying her over to one of the couches. With a bit of effort Haley was repositioned so she was sitting, leaning back into the couch with her hands raised as if in conversation, her lips parted slightly and her booted legs crossed. As Maggie got dressed in her room Tucker went back to his and grabbed Tatiana, quickly putting her into a red evening dress with hardly any back and tiny straps on her along with orange sandals. The European amazon was then dragged to the same couch as Haley and sat down, turned to look at the smaller Italian blond with her hands together in a clap, a giant false smile on her face. Tucker beamed as he looked at his posing work while Maggie walked into the room, her hair in a Japanese ponytail and her glasses on, a white shirt with teal sleeves along with jeans being her clothing of choice for the day. Tucker even noted his friend was wearing light pink lipstick, something she didn't usually do.
"Nice one, hopefully we won't leave them here all day," commented Maggie, promptly grabbing her own black purse and heading out the door. Tucker left second, locking the door behind him.
* * *
It wasn't even ten in the morning when Tucker and Maggie arrived at Bianca's shop, only to find it suspiciously closed. The streets were congested with people, being another hot day, but the store's inside was dark and the blinds were down, a neon closed sign pulsing below the banner declaring PACIFIC PEARL COSTUMES in bright blue letters. There was an alley between the shop and the next thus Tucker and Maggie slipped through, having parked their car, a new Mitsubishi Lancer, a block away. Around the side door Tucker knocked and was greeted a moment later by a flustered looking Bianca. The woman was naturally dark-haired; technically a brunette but it was hard to tell, though she'd dyed some of her frontal strands blue. Like Maggie and Tucker, Bianca normally needed glasses but she was wearing contacts with purple-colored pupils, making her look somewhat like an anime character given that her hair was also gelled to have spiky tips and plenty of body although it wasn't even shoulder length. Bianca's outfit of choice was a white Japanese schoolgirl outfit with a blue skirt and sailor strip, her nametag pinned on her left breast.
"What's up; I thought you were going to be open by now?" asked Tucker, worried about his friend. Bianca looked a bit stressed to say the least in spite of her stunning appearance.
"I would be, but my dolt of an assistant is late and my models canceled on me!" screamed Bianca, clearly agitated. "I can't handle customers without someone watching the register and I promoted the live models for today but they're not here! What the hell can I do?!"
"Hey, take it easy," offered Maggie, sliding past Bianca and ducking into the store, the owner following her in and Tucker behind them. Once out of the alley, Maggie gave their friend a quick hug to calm her down. "Isn't there another modeling agency you can call?"
"Not that I know of, and certainly not on this short notice!" stressed Bianca, walking back and forth. "If I don't open by noon I'm screwed! I've got a group coming in at twelve-thirty looking to make reservations for a big party! What the hell—" Bianca suddenly stopped in mid-motion, her hands raised above her head as she looked up, her jaw clenched and her eyes almost squinting. Tucker had produced his wand and promptly frozen Bianca to silence her. Motionless, she looked even more like an anime.
"Well this isn't what I was expecting," groaned Tucker, rubbing his temple. "What do you want to do?"
"Come on Tuck, we can't leave Bianca in this pickle, we need to help her," insisted his friend as she circled the frozen shop owner, admiring her figure and even taking a peek under her pleated skirt.
"Yeah, but how... oh," began Tucker, then realizing what the pair could do. "Okay, this is going to be a pain, but at least it isn't rush hour. Do you want to stay here or help me get us some models?"
"As much as I'd love to go with, I should probably hang back and help Bianca get the store ready," decided Maggie, sighing. "Do your usual magic; I'll see if I can find anyone else around here, but don't expect anything."
"No problem, we only need to keep the girls around until five anyhow," Tucker assured Maggie, promptly bending down and tapping his wand against the floor five times. Maggie froze for a moment but Tucker tapped the wand on her head twice and she unfroze, giving her friend a wink and quickly setting out to examine the store. The backroom was loaded with boxes, organized on shelves, plus there was a desk, a bathroom, and a jumbled collection of white, featureless mannequins in the corner that were all naked. Tucker knew in the front of the store there were several pedestals for mannequins, about room for eight in all. Bianca and her assistant Krystal, assuming the latter ever showed up, would not be ideal for models since they needed to work at the store. Tucker was thus left with the challenge of tracking down eight women to use as mannequins for a few hours, and they couldn't be a well-known professional model like Haley as that might cause a stir. Fortunately Tucker had a list of women he could turn to for just such an occasion.
Exiting Bianca's shop after giving the stiff woman a reassuring pat on the behind, Tucker returned to his Lancer and unfroze it, then guiding it into traffic. There were enough gaps for him to drive as it was only ten in the morning but if it were closer to lunchtime then he might have been in trouble. His first stop was his apartment, as there were a couple of women there he needed to collect. First was Tatiana, who was an obvious choice since only a few people knew her. Tucker carried the tall European woman over his shoulder and left her in the unfrozen elevator in the same pose he'd originally put her in before going to visit another girl.
Lisa was a sandy-blond photography student who'd recently moved into the building but whose talent was questionable, though fortunately her appearance was not. The young woman possessed hair that was perfectly straight reaching all the way down to the small of her back as well as glittering blue eyes and creamy skin, though she did have a hint of freckles on her cheeks. The hot blond was standing by an open window in her apartment, having left her front door unlocked, with her instant camera raised almost to her face as she looked out over the streets below. A red spaghetti-strap top and snug blue jeans were what Lisa wore today, her feet barefoot with her lips and nails matching her shirt. Hooking his hands under her armpits, it was easy for Tucker to drag Lisa away, deciding to take her camera too but making sure he had the keys to lock her apartment as well. He may have been temporarily kidnapping Lisa but that was no reason to leave her place open for a robbery. The girl was currently unemployed and it was a Saturday so no one would notice if she was gone for a few hours. Tucker dragged her from her apartment, two doors down from Tucker's current place, and placed Lisa in the elevator with Tatiana. Not long afterwards Tucker had placed the pair in his car, neither was small enough to fit in his trunk thus Tatiana was given the front seat and Lisa the right rear.
Some exploratory apartment checking was needed on Tucker's part for the next few recruits, as he wasn't sure who was working and who wasn't. Heather the lifeguard was found at her place, as was Lauren the dance instructor; both women Tucker had used in the past for his cosplay calendar photo-shoots. Madison Yen was in her office, browsing the net, but Tucker figured kidnapping Maggie's older sister from her firm Foster & McBride was no big deal, thus the sexy lawyer joined his collection. Tucker dropped off the first five with Maggie who immediately went to work dressing them, having managed to resist doing anything to Bianca in spite of her being stationary.
For the final two women, Tucker wanted yet another blond in spite of already having Tatiana, Lisa and Lauren; plus he needed a redhead since Madison had dark hair and Heather was a brunette. Consulting the address book he kept in the glove compartment of the car, Tucker came up with two perfect choices and promptly paid them a timestopped visit. The first was Michelle, one of Haley's would-be modeling rivals, a decently tall blonde fresh out of high school that Tucker found at her parents' house, which was also technically hers. The redhead ended up being Rebecca Mosley, Tucker's old boss that he'd gotten fired, whom he'd found looking at the classified ads in her apartment. Realizing he was one short but with a list of addresses that would take too long to check, Tucker came up with a solution and headed back to Bianca's store.
Maggie had been busy while Tucker was gone. Tatiana, being extra tall, was dressed up as a perfect standing replica of the statue of liberty, save of course for the hair and face, a fake torch held in her right hand with a solid flame on top. Lauren was costumed as a pirate, wearing large looped earrings and a black skull and crossbones bandanna on her head, a puffy white shirt on her chest that exposed her cleavage, with dark red puffy pants above black boots and a leather belt holding a plastic rapier and a flintlock pistol. Michelle was dressed in a schoolgirl costume identical to Bianca's with her hair carefully straightened and held perfectly behind her ears. Lisa displayed a form-fitting white nurse’s outfit, also with ample cleavage, hat and stethoscope, the medical device being in her ears with her left hand holding it where she would normally feel a patient's heartbeat. Rebecca was dressed as a traditional French maid, complete with black frilly dress, white frilly apron, black shiny heels and fishnet stockings, her hair in a bun and held by the band that came with the outfit. Rebecca was currently posed holding a feather duster in her right at her side, the feathers pointing up towards the ceiling. Madison was provocative in a different way, her hair tied in a ponytail while she stood in a bright red racing jumpsuit that lacked any logos, only bearing a half-open zipper on the front and the word 'RACER' written on the back in yellow letters. For appearances Madison held a pair of mirrored sunglasses over her eyes with her left hand while her right hand was on her hip. Finally there was Heather, who wore a black and white striped referee shirt with shorts that acted more like a Speedo as well as white socks reaching to her knees, black shoes that looked like cleats and a silver whistle around her neck, her hair done in twin ponytails.
"Looks good, but I just realized... how do we explain this to Bianca?" asked Maggie, looking at the seven mannequin-still women standing in a row near the frozen owner of the store who hadn't been moved at all. Maggie had clearly shown restraint while Tucker had been gone.
"Easy, we put them out back in the private parking area, tell Bianca we'll call some friends in and get them ready out back while she takes care of the rest of the store," declared Tucker, having thought ahead.
"And this leftover princess costume I grabbed assuming that you'd get a girl that wasn't massive?" asked Maggie, indicating the box next to her that contained a frilly pink dress with two layers of petticoats as well as a tiara and other fake jewelry.
"Krystal's late, she's going to pay a penalty," grinned Tucker, waggling his eyebrows. "She's a blond, which is perfect for princess, and she's the right size. Plus we can explain that we'll be helping to sell today thus she'll be paid to drink a 'relaxant' and not even realize that the day has gone by."
"You're a clever one," smiled Maggie, wrapping her arms around her sister's stiff waist and carrying her towards the door Tucker had left open that led into the alley. From the alley one could get to Bianca's private parking lot, which had room for several cars, but Krystal walked to work thus only Tucker needed to park there. Time was frozen, too, so leaving the door open had no repercussions. Working quickly, the only two people that were free to move while time remained frozen around them placed the seven living mannequins in the private parking lot and moved their car there as well before returning inside and standing around Bianca. Tucker then tapped his wand five times, unfreezing time before tapping his wand on Bianca's head to unfreeze her as well.
"Whoah, hold it!" insisted Tucker, popping in front of Bianca before she could continue to fume. "Maggie and I have the day off and we happen to know some models that could do the job, though they'll need to be paid the almost the same price as the professionals of course. We just need to grab a box of costumes and we can probably have them ready before noon."
"Are you serious?!" exclaimed Bianca, immediately throwing her arms around both of her friends in a group hug. "That's just... just... perfect! Ahh! I need to open the store just in case I get some business! I'll leave this to you two!" instantly Bianca zipped into the front area of the store and began to work, leaving Tucker and Maggie alone in the back.
"Too neurotic to notice the costume box we left on the floor," grinned Maggie, turning and bending down. "This really is a cute costume. Krystal will-"
"Not be the one wearing it," confessed Tucker, surprising his friend from behind as he waved his magic wand twice, instantly freezing her in place. Maggie stood with the cardboard box in her hands, a bright smile on her face. Tucker immediately removed the costume from the box and put the empty container on the floor, draping the dress in Maggie's rigid arms while sliding the necklace, white lacy gloves and tiara onto his frozen friend and roommate. Following this, Tucker carefully lifted Maggie’s stiffened figure up by the waist and carried her outside to be with the others and so he could finish changing her outfit without Bianca walking in on them.
* * *
It was five in the afternoon and Tucker was exhausted from having worked at the cash register for Bianca and Krystal all day. The business had done remarkably well, Bianca's advertising of the live mannequin models seeming to have paid off. In addition to the flat fee for the women's time, Tucker had received a commission for helping with the register. It was closing time now and Bianca was turning off the neon sign after Krystal had already left.
"What a day!" exclaimed Bianca after returning to the register where Tucker was standing. "Your friends are amazing, and I never knew Maggie was so good!" Tucker smiled knowingly and looked around the store. In the window was Tatiana, who retained her replicated pose of the Statue of Liberty; Heather was next to Tatiana with her hands on her hips while leaning to her left; in the other window there was Lisa, who still held the stethoscope in one hand while her other hand was now raised as if holding a person's shoulder; and finally Lauren stood with the right hand on the hilt of her sword while her pistol was raised up beside her head in her left hand, a mischievous smile on her face. Inside the store, scattered about on different displays were the other four women: Madison in her jumpsuit with her right hand on her hip while her left hand held her sunglasses in place, Michelle stood with a book bag slung over her left shoulder and her right hand on her hip, Rebecca stood at attention with her feather duster in her right hand pointed at the ceiling and finally there was Maggie. Tucker's friend wore a flowing pink dress and a large amount of make gold and silver jewelry including a golden tiara with a red gem in the center as she stood next to two mannequins dressed as knights, her hands on top of one another in front of her, tight against her body with a conservative smile on her face. Tucker thought Maggie looked right at home.
"Well, you might as well get them to get up and go home since you've already gotten your money," suggested Bianca, producing a box from behind the counter and placing it next to Tucker. "Just get them to change, I need to go do the books in my office so don't worry about locking up." Bianca flashed Tucker a smile and, after a moment of hesitation, hugged him briefly before turning to go. "Thanks Tuck, you really saved my ass today," laughed the shop owner as she wandered into her office. Tucker was tempted to freeze his friend but really wanted to get back home to Haley.
A few minutes after stopping time Tucker had retrieved everyone's clothing from his car and changed five of his six borrowed mannequins back into their normal clothing, pausing at Rebecca. The redhead was still dressed as a maid and Tucker really liked seeing his old boss in the provacative outfit. Rebecca continued to stare straight ahead with glazed eyes and neutral lips, the latter colored almost black with dark-red lipstick, and Tucker couldn't help but kiss her and feel her breasts. "I think I just figured out how to pay back Mags," Tucker then realized, leaning away from Rebecca.
In a flash Tucker had loaded his car with Madison, Lisa, Heather, Lauren and Michelle, quickly taking them back to where they belonged after making sure to stop time. Tucker left Madison in her shower in the buff, taking the time to go at her from behind before he left. Heather was laid down on her couch with her eyes closed, a magazine on her chest and an open bottle of wine cooler on the coffee table. Tucker repeated the process with Lauren and Lisa, though Lisa also had several new pictures of the streets around her neighborhood in her camera. Finally for Michelle, Tucker had decided to punish her for trash-talking Haley back at an audition and left her a block from her place with no pants on, meaning she'd have to walk home in a thong and a T-shirt. Tucker had nailed the tall blond from the front before leaving her, happy to be able to have sex in public.
Returning back to Bianca's shop, Tucker checked who was left: Tatiana, who was clad only in her underwear since Tucker hadn't gotten around to putting the red dress back on her yet; Rebecca, who was still dressed as a maid; and Maggie, who wore the cute princess costume. Producing his wand, Tucker tapped it twice on Maggie's head.
"...make a great, wait..." continued Maggie, having suddenly noticed the changes around her. "You bastard, you tricked me!" exclaimed Maggie, threatening to punch her best friend but Tucker held up his wand and the young woman decided to lower her fists.
"Before you get all up in arms, look behind you," suggested Tucker, handing his friend her glasses since she hadn't needed them while being a display piece earlier. Doing as Tucker had suggested, Maggie turned to see Rebecca in her maid outfit.
"Wow, she looks really hot in that costume," acknowledged Maggie. "What's your point? We still need to take her back."
"No, we don't," grinned Tucker. Maggie spun around and looked at her friend like he was insane, but he held up his free hand. "Think about it, Maggie; Becky’s unemployed but owns an apartment rather than renting one. That means not only will we have a different place to crash besides our place but we'll have another Tatiana doll to play with, and this one I'm letting you hang on to personally. I figure its only fair since you helped us make so much money by being the little hottie that you are."
Maggie slowly smiled and looked over at Rebecca, who did look a lot like Jamie. "I guess if we disconnect her phone and pick up her mail once a month or so we'll be fine," conceded Maggie. "Fine, but we're keeping these two costumes."
"I was just going to suggest that," laughed Tucker, and Maggie gave her friend a big hug as well as a quick peck on the cheek to say thank you. Maggie didn't even bother to change and helped Tucker put both Tatiana and Rebecca into their car before climbing in herself. Maggie had suggested unfreezing time but Tucker wanted to get home fast so he could deal with Haley.
Several minutes later, or a wink of an eye as someone like Bianca would see it, time resumed and across town five women were in for a surprise, Tucker having made sure to sync them with normal time when he'd returned them to their rightful places. Tucker meanwhile had locked Tatiana in his supply closet in his office while Maggie was in her room with Rebecca, her door also locked. Alone with Haley at last, Tucker plopped down beside his stiff girlfriend and raised the wand. He felt the urge to tell her about it, tell her that he could stop time, but Tucker wasn't sure that Haley would respond well to the concept. Sighing once more, Tucker carefully posed Haley so she was laying on his lap as he nuzzled into the corner of the couch. Quickly tapping the wand twice on his girlfriend, Tucker then proceeded to hide it in the couch cushions.
"Mmm... I nodded off?" asked Haley, seeming to stir and sit up while cuddling tightly against Tucker. "What did I miss?"
"Nothing important," Tucker assured Haley, leaning for a kiss.
The End - for the moment... before encountering the Clockwork Wand