The Business Trip, Chapter Six

by: Lady Lucia | Story In Progress | Last updated May 3, 2024

Chapter 5
The Business Trip, Chapter Five

Chapter Five

It took a good thirty minutes to get Elizabeth on board. 

June just had to gradually explain that this plan made the most sense. Between the suitcase mix-up and the fact that Elizabeth had ‘lost’ her purse on the plane, they didn’t have many options. There was no time to go shopping for new clothes, and June threw in the point that using the company card for such expenses would then need to be explained back at the office. The only way to keep this between the two of them was for Elizabeth to deal with the youthful clothes she was stuck with.

Once again using Elizabeth’s love of wine against her, June topped off the glass as she explained for a second time how family was a core value of the company they’d be presenting to. She didn’t plan on getting the petite girl drunk; however, a healthy level of inebriation wouldn’t hurt the cause. June had already come down from her single cocktail, and had been playing the social game for hours. She was in prime form to debate compared to her opponent who had done nothing but lounge in their suite all evening. 

Finally, she played into Elizabeth’s ego and desire for credit. How it was Elizabeth who came up with the unique business tactic of playing into a potential client’s company values. Their own company was far more profit driven, both at the expense of their employees and in terms of what they would say or imply to secure a client. This would basically turn a weakness into a strength, as if Elizabeth planned this from the beginning. Have June do the presentation, sucker the soon to be clients into a false connection, and then Elizabeth can run the account after all is said and done. “That will make them feel important,” June said, “Closed by someone at my level, but showing them that they’re a priority by letting them work with someone like you.”

Elizabeth was slowly coming around. Except for a few details she couldn’t ignore. “They’ll recognize me,” she pointed out. Even if things would be mostly remote, there would definitely be video conferences. Seeing that their point person was the ‘niece’ who was at the presentation wouldn’t go unnoticed. “Later, I mean.”

“Hmm, you might be right,” June conceded. Sitting back and crossing her legs, she took a moment to feign like she was thinking. She was still a lowly assistant. Anticipating her bratty boss’s needs was one thing, but this would be better if she didn’t have all the answers right away. And, ideally, would somewhat feel like they landed on the plan together despite how June was the one who brought it up and was still selling it for the most part. “Oh! We could dye your hair. Temporarily, I mean.”

“What? No,” Elizabeth said, “That’s too much.”

June just raised an eyebrow. “Is it? They haven’t met you before. And I just mean with something I can buy down the road. It’ll wash right out, Elizabeth. The client definitely won’t recognize you with different hair and professional clothes.”

“Yeah, but-”

“Elizabeth. I’m trying to come up with a solution here. But you’re the boss; it’s your call. Do you want to give the presentation yourself dressed in my niece’s clothes? Or do you want to tell your assistant to handle it for you?”

Elizabeth hesitated. Obviously the former option wasn’t actually an option. It would be one thing to stand in front of a room of professionals with a coffee stain on her blouse, as something like that would be relatable enough that she could play it off. But she couldn’t even begin to imagine trying to explain this series of unfortunate complications. No one would take her seriously, especially when aiming to get them to trust her. If she brought the wrong suitcase, what kinds of mistakes might she make with their account?

When given the either/or, especially after an exhausting day and a few drinks, Elizabeth was not at all in the proper headspace to consider that there might be an alternative that hadn’t been said out loud. “And I get all the credit,” she asserted. It helped that June framed it in the familiar way, where it was an assistant’s job to do as she was told. 

“And you get all the credit,” June echoed, “But we don’t have a lot of time. If this is the direction you want to go, we need to do your hair tonight. We’re all booked up tomorrow morning.”

“My hair?” Elizabeth had already forgotten that element. “But-”

“We don’t have to. If you don’t think they’ll remember you later, then there’s no need to dye it. Want to risk it, Elizabeth?”

“I- I don’t know.”

It took a lot of self control for June to avoid smirking. Her boss was usually so arrogant and blunt, at least when it came to underlings. Now Elizabeth was dressed down and faltering to the point where it would only take another nudge or two for June’s most recent idea to become a reality. This niece scheme was so much more enticing than simply making Elizabeth sit in the hotel room all weekend due to a lack of proper attire. 

Managing to keep it cool, June simply said, “I can’t choose for you. So, what’s it going to be? Be my niece with your natural hair color, or . . . ”

Elizabeth was too caught up in the decision about her hair to realize how she was being pushed to the side of the fence that June wanted her on. The conversation had subtly been shifted to make it sound like the niece thing had been all but decided, and now they just had to figure out the rest. And since there were already so many ways she could be embarrassed this weekend by leaving their suite in tween clothes, it was natural for her to be just as worried about something similar happening after they closed the deal. “We can dye it,” she mumbled, belatedly clarifying, “It’ll wash right out?”

“Mm hmm,” June hummed, “But seriously, Elizabeth. You need to start addressing me properly. That’s the only way for this to be believable. Aunt. June. Try it, okay? Otherwise, we might as well forget this whole thing and have you lead the presentation in Maggie’s clothes.”

“No, wait!” Elizabeth exclaimed. She couldn’t do that. That would almost certainly get her in trouble back at the office, especially if they lost the sale because of it. If she could spin the negative situation as a positive, however, maybe this could all work out. It wouldn’t be the first time she took one of her assistant’s ideas for herself. “Aunt June. See?”

June nodded. “Okay. So it’s settled, then. You’ll be my niece tomorrow. I’ll handle the presentation, and you can observe. Don’t worry, I know all the information, and I can brush up on the finer points tomorrow morning. And what will you call me all day?”

“Aunt June,” she muttered. The question felt so patronizing, especially coming from a subordinate. 

Apparently June caught the annoyed tone, and was quick to address it. “You should call me that from now on. There’s not a lot of time to form the habit, and we’ll both look bad if you mess up halfway through. Right?”

“Right,” Elizabeth blushed. She could only imagine how awkward and humiliating it would be for someone to figure out that she wasn’t actually June’s niece after pretending to be for an extended period of time. Although pretending in general was plenty embarrassing in its own way. Rather than doing everything in her power to offset her youthful features, she was going to have to lean into them and look even younger than the older teenager people assumed her to be when she wasn’t dressed up. It was so counter to her usual need to be seen as a professional young woman, yet it felt as if that’s the plan they had landed on. 

“Right, Aunt June?” June suggested.

“Umm, sure,” she said, “Right, Aunt June.” The girl was just one year older than her, and her assistant. This new dynamic was going to be difficult to get used to, even if it was all for show. Unfortunately, Elizabeth couldn’t argue with June’s logic. If they waited until it was time for the meeting, there was a good chance that Elizabeth would slip up and act more like the boss that she actually was. 

“There you go.” June nodded again, and stood up. “Keep working on that. I’m going to go down and ask the concierge if there’s a walkable place for me to get what I need to dye your hair. Why don’t you find a cute outfit for tomorrow? Whatever best ages you down. Actually, come up with a few options. I’ll help you pick the best one when I get back. Oh, have you tried on Maggie’s shoes yet?”

“No?” Elizabeth tilted her head in confusion. Why would she have done that? She still had her heels, and they were simple enough that they could be worn with casual ensembles. Since her daily image was so important, of course she had footwear that could work for both formal and informal settings. 

June gestured towards the bedroom. “Go see if they fit. That suitcase is full of summer clothes; no teenager would wear heels with any of those things.” Maybe that was a bit of a stretch. “Also, it will be better if you’re on the shorter side, I think.” She knew that Elizabeth was self conscious about her height, so she avoided focusing on that more than she needed to. And sticking with the word ‘teenager’ felt best; that would give the clever assistant some wiggle room to decide on her boss’s age after the physical transformation was complete.

Now that they had landed on the aunt/niece idea, there were really only so many battles Elizabeth could pick. Everything June was suggesting was relevant to the false image Elizabeth would be committing to tomorrow, and they had to have most of this figured out tonight due to the time constraints. 

Ignorant to the fact that a number of the items in the suitcase had been specifically packed for Elizabeth, like how the shoes were her exact size, she grimaced at the only pair sitting underneath the stack of clothes to the right. White sneakers with light pink soles, along with a few other splashes of pink on the shoes themselves. It was the definition of girly, and not even her teenage self would be caught dead in footwear like that. Knowing that June wouldn’t let her off the hook if she didn’t at least try, Elizabeth reluctantly stepped into one of the shoes. Of course, her petite self ended up fitting Maggie’s shoes perfectly. It briefly occurred to her that she could head back out without the sneakers on and tell June they were too small, except her tipsy self couldn’t shake the concern that she would just be made to prove it and have to go through the whole process again.

June had already seen her barefoot, both back at the girl’s apartment and in their suite. It wasn’t like this would do much to affect her current height; Elizabeth was more embarrassed by the color and style. 

Of course, June felt the exact opposite. “Oh, they’re perfect!” she exclaimed, “Okay, good. New shoes would have been a bit out of our budget. Alright, I’m heading out. Anything else you need, Elizabeth?”

Just some peace and quiet to reconcile the fact that she was going to be spending half a day walking around as if she were 5-10 years younger than she actually was. As Elizabeth had already learned, the majority of the clothes in the suitcase were the opposite of the colors she tended to wear in both her personal and professional life. How was she supposed to come up with a few options when she was already wearing the only tolerable combination? Deciding to stick with the jean shorts she had on for all the potential outfits, Elizabeth simply picked out three t-shirts that were the most plain in design, all of which would go with her current bottoms. There. Good enough.

Then she had to wait. Feeling somewhat sleepy after an early morning and a long day of traveling and a myriad of frustrations, Elizabeth roamed back into the common room and poured herself the last of the wine. Though the drink was no doubt contributing to her tired state, she knew that not having more was a surefire way for her eyes to start drooping. Pacing the room for a few minutes, already sick of the limited space she had been stuck in for hours at this point, Elizabeth soon knocked back the rest of the glass and flopped down onto the sofa. This would normally be when she started scrolling social media, seeing if there were any work emails to reply to in order to seem like a dedicated team member who was working after hours, or just killing time with any number of meaningless apps.

She ended up just flipping through channels on the TV until June returned. The last thing Elizabeth needed was to be caught passed out on the sofa when it had been established that they had more to do tonight. 

June had decided on red hair dye. According to her, it made sense; Maggie was a redhead, so it would be the most natural if Elizabeth was the same when acting as June’s niece. Normally, the upcoming process would be best if Elizabeth was undressed, or wearing something she didn’t care about getting some color on. However, June knew that she was already pushing some limits with all of this. Besides, the white tank top would be cheap to replace, and staining it would also remove it as a future option. The more colorful tops in the other room would be much more appropriate for a brat like Elizabeth.

As for doing the job herself, June was easily able to convince Elizabeth that she needed help, even when her boss tried to whine about how June was following her into the bathroom. Between asking the soon to be redhead if she had ever dyed her hair before, and pointing out that this is probably something a dedicated assistant would help out with, there wasn’t much wind left in Elizabeth’s sails as they stood together in the somewhat cramped bathroom. After a successful evening of networking, June didn’t mind playing the assistant card; she knew her talents were better served as an admin and a soon to be manager, but she was more than happy to lean into her current role in order to make that happen.

“And how would a polite young lady ask her aunt for this?” June asked. Now that Elizabeth was seated on the edge of the tub, it felt a lot more natural to talk down to her. “Remember, we need to practice for tomorrow.”

Elizabeth frowned in annoyance. She had been this close to snapping something in response to the first half, until June got ahead of it. Sounding more petulant than she realized with an exaggerated huff, she muttered, “Please dye my hair, Aunt June?”

“Of course,” June said, internally smiling while keeping a poker face on the outside, “Now, you are going to sit still and do as you’re told, yes?”

“Umm,” Elizabeth hesitated.

“That’s when you say ‘Yes, Aunt June.’ Remember, Elizabeth. You can’t act like my boss tomorrow. You’re my niece, yes?” With the same leading word as before, all while towering over the seated girl, Jue expectantly raised an eyebrow.

Lightly blushing, Elizabeth conceded, “Yes, Aunt June.”

“Good. Starting right now, you are no longer my boss. You are my well behaved niece named Elizabeth. Actually, no. I think you should go by ‘Lizzie’ tomorrow. What if our future client recognizes your name when she next sees you?”

“What? No! I’m-”

Lizzie!,” June snapped, “You agreed to this idea, didn’t you? We literally just talked about how we need practice, which means it’s best if you don’t act like you’re anyone’s boss. As long as you’re my niece, I’m the one in charge. Now, are you going to be a big girl and behave properly, or are you going to be a whiny little brat?”

Elizabeth had never felt so small. It was surprising, seeing this side of her assistant. And the last time Elizabeth had been told off in such a way was when she was younger; college professors tended to speak to their students more like adults on average, and Elizabeth had never been reamed out at work due to how she was so clever about deflecting blame and making sure she was only ever praised for the work she may or may not have done all the work for. 

Neither option was good. Obviously being a ‘big girl’ was better than the insulting alternative, though she wasn’t actually June’s niece. Except apparently the young woman standing in front of her had decided that they needed more practice than Elizabeth merely calling her by the appropriate name. And she was really too vulnerable and caught off guard to protest. 

“I’ll behave,” she mumbled, glancing away with a bit of a blush.

June just sighed. “Was that so difficult? Okay, let’s try this again. You are going to sit still and do as you’re told, yes?”

“Yes, Aunt June,” Elizabeth said. 

And that was that. June had Elizabeth turn around, and unpacked the small box of supplies she would need to make her boss nearly unrecognizable. Between the hair, the clothes, and this new dynamic, it was starting to feel like this might actually work. June would be the one to close the big client. ‘Lizzie’ would be twiddling her thumbs and finally experiencing what it was like to be talked down to all day.

Check out my website:

And my SubscribeStar:



End Chapter 5

The Business Trip, Chapter Six

by: Lady Lucia | Story In Progress | Last updated May 3, 2024


To comment, Join the Archive or Login to your Account

The AR Story Archive

Stories of Age/Time Transformation

Contact Us