by vickie tern
“Why are you changing your shirt? We’re late as it is! They’re expecting us!” My wife, a little exasperated, her eyes snapping.
“Sara!” Me, also a little exasperated, feeling pressured from two directions. “I can’t go like this! I’m still wearing my bra! They might see! You’re always worried about the neighbors, what will the neighbors think? Well, this is a thin shirt! I’ll just be a min….”
“Stop! Larry, don’t you unbutton another button! Come on, we’re late! You want to wear bras and panties and slips and so on around the house all the time, women’s underwear, suit yourself! Sneak around looking like a cutie pie girly all you want! I don’t care any more. I’ve finally gotten used to it. Even to seeing you every night in your study all dressed up with no place to go because you don’t dare leave the house! I don’t care!”
“But you know that Eva is always prompt, and that she expects everyone else to be prompt. We’re right next door so we have no excuse not to be prompt! So here, push that shirt back in your pants and put this blazer on to cover those boobs and you’ll be presentable enough. It’s only the two of us and the two of them. Who’ll notice anything?”
So we crossed through the gap in the shrubs into their back yard. As you’d expect, the scene was set for a standard summer back yard barbecue. The grass was fresh cut today, perfectly flat and even, and it still smelled new-mown. Herb was proud of that lawn. I’d heard his mower going all morning, while I was behind drawn shades trying on two darling end-of-season-clearance dresses I’d just bought, and a long skirt I thought really elegant. I was trying to think through how I should accessorize them, whether now I needed some new jewelry to set them off.
But it was getting to be a hot day, and with the shades down the house was heating up, so was I. The last thing I wanted was perspiration stains on my new dresses. I’d barely begun to enjoy them in my mirror. So I put them away and I wiped off my lipstick. I know, you don’t need make-up to try on a dress, but wearing make-up I really do look “cutie-pie girly” as Sara likes to put it. Without make-up my man’s face looks strange above my lace-fringed collars and draped bodices. So I wiped off my lipstick and opened the shades and looked out.
By then Herb and his weedwacker were leveling off the last edges of grass along his annual flower bed. He was even more proud of his garden than of his lawn — it was heavy with color most of the summer, but the annual beds were especially dense now, toward the end of the season. We’d had flowers from that bed on our dinner table and in the living room practically the whole summer. Sara had permission to go over and pick whatever she wanted — “Many flowers like to be picked,” Herb had said. “Then they can branch out and set even more buds. It’s a rule of nature.” Sara had looked embarrassed when he said that. She didn’t like to accept gifts from anyone, but she couldn’t refuse that kind of gift.
So a few times each week for the past few months or so she’d gone over and selected flowers from his garden and made bouquets and floral arrangements, and we’d enjoyed them. She’d even started putting vases of fresh-cut flowers in my study, my “boudoir” she called it acidly, where sometimes I did office-work evenings but mostly I dressed up and made myself pretty. As a man, I thought flowers in the house were nice enough, but as a girl, it was thrilling to be surrounded by them. I loved them. I especially appreciated having beautiful flowers to pose with in the room when I was all dressed as if to go out, before finally I had to undress and put everything away again. They helped me feel more feminine, more lady-like. I didn’t mind at all one day a couple of months ago when I came home and found the room really filled with them, tiers and sprays and billows of color everywhere. “They’re Herb’s gift just for you this time,” was how Sara explained it. “He says the way flowers are, it doesn’t cost him anything, and you may as well enjoy them in here when you’re doing whatever you do in here.”
When we arrived on Herb and Eva’s turf, Eva was setting the picnic table for the four of us, using her best china and crystal, as was usual for her. We always use paper plates for cook outs. “If you’ve got it, use it,” Herb said, the first time I commented on their odd custom. “That’s what I say and that’s what I do!” And I had to admit, it was nice dining in elegant formality on the grass under the trees while the sun was setting slowly behind us, and birds were twittering in the early gloom up top. It was nice to enjoy nature and civilized sophistication both at once.
I saw that Herb was already in his barbecue action station, a far corner of his garden where the wind wouldn’t blow smoke on us. He was laying steaks on the grill.
“Hi, Larry!” he called out, waving a long barbecue fork. “Be with you soon!” I nodded back at him and waved a bottle of Bourbon I was carrying. Sara went over to talk to him.
“Here, Larry,” Eva said. “Bring that inside and fix yourself a drink, and fix Sara one too. Then help me carry out some more things. And for goodness sake, take off that jacket and relax! It was 90 degrees at noon today!”
She’d set up a bar in the glass-enclosed sun room facing their rear lawn, where silver chafing dishes were being heated. Talk about dining in style? It was intolerably hot though, what with the afternoon sun still pouring in! I saw that their ice bucket was already half-melted. I burst into a sweat and was almost immediately soaked.
“Here, let me take that blazer off you this minute — no back talk,” Eva said from behind me. I felt her seize my jacket by the collar with both hands and start to pull it off.
I tried to resist — I was wearing only that thin white shirt over my bra, and the shirt was already wet and clinging. The bra just underneath was a cascade of flowery lace — there was no way it could stay hidden. No good! She had it off me!
“What’s this?” I heard Eva say. “Are those bra straps? Let me look!”
She came around in front of me and stared at my flowery mounds.
She broke out into a delighted smile. “Well, well, Larry! What a secret! You too! I know so many gay men! And gay women too! In fact tomorrow morning I’m off for four days with Patricia Frye, you know her? The dancer? I’ll be doing press and publicity for her, and we always share a hotel room on the road! Hardly any breasts, but what thighs! I could eat her up! I have, too, a few times! You didn’t know that about me? Herb doesn’t mind. As long as it’s not another man, he says.”
Eva wasn’t just babbling this incredible self-revelation. She was deliberately sharing it with me, so I’d feel a little better that she’d inadvertently exposed what was obviously for me a devastatingly shameful secret. She was watching me closely all the while she spoke, giving me a chance to recover from my paralyzing embarrassment. When she saw me finally take a deep breath she walked over to hang my coat on a peg, still watching me, waiting for me to say something.
“I’m not gay, Eva. I’m a transvestite, I guess. And… and… please don’t tell Herb! He’s a friend. I’d feel so ashamed! I can’t help it! But I just…like it!”
She came back and pushed a damp lock of hair off of my forehead. “I know, baby, I know! You don’t have to tell me anything! I work all the time with artists and performers of all kinds, and believe me, they come in all kinds. Don’t worry. Maybe you’ll want to take that bra off now, if you don’t want Herb to see it.”
I did just that, feeling better every moment, even though Eva was watching me carefully the whole time. In some ways I was enormously relieved that someone else besides Sara finally knew and wasn’t at all bothered. It made me feel more normal. By Eva’s lights, I was normal. Not even different!.
She reached for my bra and examined it. “Very pretty, Larry! But only ‘A’ cups? With your build, you easily need a ‘B,’ even a ‘C’ in some models. Don’t you have breast forms? Or are you only now starting hormones? I know a wonderful endocrinologist, if you’ve wanted to try having your own boobs but feel a little shy. Make yourself a drink, please, Larry. And Sara’s too, if you know what she likes, now that I see she’s coming back from chatting with Herb. ”
She folded the bra and tucked it snug into my jacket pocket for me, all without breaking conversational stride.
“Tell me, dear, how do you know you’re not gay? Ever tried it? Herb says he could be gay with the right kind of person, under the right circumstances, or so he claims when we get to talking about how I swing both ways. And Herb is all man, and loves women! Trust me, I know what I’m saying! It would be fun sometime, seeing him make it with a man! I wonder if the man would feel the same way about him women usually do. Oh, don’t be shocked, Herb loves me, but I know he spreads the wealth around, and that’s only fair, seeing as how I do too with women who interest me. Tell me, what does Sara think of all this?”
I started to put ice cubes into glasses with tongs, grateful to have an excuse not to look up. “Eva, I’ve never tried gay sex. Men just don’t attract me. Women do. I love everything feminine, that’s my problem. And I am true to Sara! Though she doesn’t think so. She thinks I’m unfaithful to her with some kind of woman inside me, and she resents it.” I filled my glass first with ice and then with Bourbon, and then I splashed Sara’s glass.
“Really? How very gothic! In love with a succubus who lives inside you and possesses you. Like in a B horror movie. I really must have a talk with her some time! Do you dress up completely, lipstick and everything? Do you go out en femme?” She paused and looked at me the way women look at themselves in mirrors. “I’ll bet with the right hair style you’d look gorgeous! I know a wonderful hairdresser….”
“Is that drink for me?”
Sara! I handed her her drink without a word. How much of any of this had she heard? I still couldn’t meet anyone’s eyes, so I turned to watch the thick smoke pour out of Herb’s grill and drift skyward.
“Would you two mind carrying out these chafing dishes? Careful, they’re hot. I’ll go in and take some things off the stove — our cookouts are not at all as primitive as Herb likes to pretend. I should judge from all that smoke we’re just about ready.”
We gathered at the wooden-slatted picnic table, and ate delicious dishes one after another off of Herb’s and Eva’s delicate bone china. We washed down Herb’s burnt but bloody steaks with a very fine Margaux poured into crystal wine glasses. We made lively conversation about the commerce of art, tricking flowers into winter bloom, and Eva’s upcoming trip. No one said anything about Eva’s bed-companion for her trip, or my brassiere. Then, in the dark, Sara and I crossed back into our garden.
“I see you’re not wearing your bra now,” Sara said as soon as we were inside the house. “Did you feel so compelled to bare your nipples to Eva, that you had to take it off in front of her?”
“No, she took my jacket and saw it under my shirt, and suggested I remove it before the rest of the world saw it too. Namely Herb. She was trying to save me further humiliation.”
“Too bad! I’d hoped she’d see and you’d feel ashamed, so you’d give up this… thing of yours. I’d hoped Herb would see it too, so you’d know what a wimp sissy you are compared with him, and know that he knows it too. It would have served you right. And I heard what you said about not being gay, and what Eva said about not knowing till you’ve tried it. I’ve wondered about you that way too!” She suddenly realized she’d gone too far, and lapsed into silence.
I turned to Sara angrily. “You deliberately exposed me in order to humiliate me, when I’ve told you repeatedly that I am the way I am and didn’t choose it and can’t change it. I only at best suppress it and then live a half a life, and I don’t choose to do that! Now how can I ever trust you in anything?”
I’d gone too far with that last too, but I couldn’t withdraw it.
“You can’t!” Sara shot right back at me.
Then she realized she’d gone way too far. “I’m sorry, Larry,” she said much more gently. “I didn’t mean that.”
“Me neither,” I said, trying to match her conciliatory half-lie with mine. Then I went on. “You did hear Eva offer to talk to you about this. She seems to be familiar with people like me. It might help you to hear her out, whatever she means to say.”
“Eva and I have already scheduled a luncheon for Friday, when she’s back from her trip. We’ll talk about lots of things I suspect. I’m really relieved in a way to hear that she sleeps around a lot, and that Herb doesn’t mind.”
“Only with women,” I said. I was so grateful that our sudden summer storm had blown over that I was only half-hearing what she was saying. “I just learned tonight that she screws other women, or whatever women do, and apparently so does Herb, and neither of them minds as long as they’re also true to each other in their fashion. Why are you relieved to hear that? Because you thought her infidelities might be endangering their marriage?”
“Something like that,” Sara said. “Would you bring the trash out front before we go upstairs? Tomorrow’s collection day.”
I dressed up every day after work that week. Sara never said a word about it, glancing at me in my female finery, then chatting with me as if I were wearing blue jeans. All week I felt wonderfully liberated, after years and years of isolation, and unease, and shame, and guilt, and fear, now that someone else knew about my desires and didn’t think them peculiar. I thought of joining a local crossdresser support group, but I couldn’t risk maybe meeting someone who knew me. My fantasy roamed. I thought about taking hormones, at least to develop breasts more appropriate for my figure, but I knew I’d never do anything about it. I imagined that a good fairy had finally turned me into a real woman, the way Pinocchio became a real boy, and that then Sara loved me even more than before. That was my favorite reverie, and my mind played many variations on it.
On Friday evening I was in my study gorgeously done up in a black dress with black stockings and a pencil-thin skirt and an oversized brocade jacket and high, high heels, really tastefully made up. My hair for once had brushed out from their curlers into a luxuriant coiffure instead of gathering as usual into a crown of bumps and waves. I felt quite beautiful. So instead of preparing figures for the company’s third quarter report, I was perched on the couch at my ease, a glamorous woman paging through ads in Vogue magazine, admiring the women in them and wishing I was one of them.
Sara came in and looked at me. “Really lovely, Larry. I mean Laura, that’s your femme name? Laura, you’re looking quite nice. Were you planning to go out tonight?”
“No, this is just an old house dress,” I stammered, trying to cover my pleasure that Sara had actually complimented me, even though she had also teased me and might not have meant the compliment. “Did you have your lunch with Eva today?”
“Yes, I did,” she said, sitting down next to me and looking me straight in the eyes. Her eyes were beautiful, almond shaped and deep blue, and her eyeliner and mascara and shadow deepened them until I felt I’d get lost if I kept looking. I loved her! She saw it in my eyes, and she smiled back at me that she loved me too. My heart rose up. I noticed that she was made up as carefully as I was, and was as nicely dressed. Did this mean she expected us to go out this evening as two girls together? I certainly wasn’t ready for that! Probably she was still dressed from her luncheon with Eva. I waited to hear what else she was willing to tell me about it.
“She’s off again on another trip now,” she went on. “Just for the weekend this time.”
“She leaves Herb alone a lot,” I said, to keep the conversation going, especially about the injustices men suffer at the hands of their women.
“Herb’s never alone,” Sara replied. Then, “It was a real good talk Eva and I had, all about what’s good for everybody. She knows a lot about a lot. Even about you, and people like you.”
“Yes, She told me everything you’ve told me about transvestites, and transsexuals, and the differences, and a lot more. And she told me I was silly for not wanting to enjoy the many more things we share than ordinary men and women do. She got me thinking about sharing all of my feminine pleasures with you. I’m sorry, dear, for all the time I’ve spent resenting that you’re the way you are, when we could have been enjoying ourselves together if I’d approached the problem a little differently.:
“Yes. Eva and I had a real hen-fest. It was mutual confession time. She told me about all the effeminate men she’d slept with before she decided just to settle in with Herb, a real man’s man, and to satisfy her other needs with real women. She said she just might break her rule and sleep with you when you’re dressed as a woman, because you seem to be more than effeminate. You understand how women feel about many things that seem trivial to men. Clothes, flowers, feelings, you know. You share their feeling. She says you’re genuinely feminine. She’s always thought so, even though you’re also a man, which can be advantageous in bed when you also like men the way she does.”
I sat silently. I had manicured my nails just an hour earlier, and was admiring their long, smooth red ovals, and was just listening. What was her point? Was she inviting me to take up with Eva en femme?
“She told me that from the beginning of their marriage Herb has always had the same freedom she’s had to take up with other women, and that there’ve never been any problems. Until recently. She said though that all through this summer Herb has been involved with some one woman in particular. It was starting to worry her for the first time, because she did deeply love him, and would never want to leave him, and she hoped he still felt the same way.”
“‘That’s the same way I deeply love Larry,'” I told her. “‘And the same way I would never want to leave Larry no matter what. The same way I hope he feels.'”
I couldn’t say anything now. I took her hand and held it in both of my own hands. I was choked up.
“And then I reassured her. I told not to worry, that I was the woman Herb had been sleeping with since last Spring. Exclusively, I was sure, because we were meeting so very often and each session was so … exhausting for both of us. That her marriage was perfectly safe, so far as I was concerned. That I hoped mine was as safe.”
“Eva said she knew, or had suspected as much, but that she’d had to hear it from me. Then she cried, just a little. It was so sweet! We then talked about you, how to keep you safe for me, even from her, and still keep everyone happy.”
I was still holding Sara’s hand. I didn’t dare look up into her deep blue eyes now, even though I knew they were staring into my face. I didn’t dare let myself look anywhere or feel anything, not just yet. I touched one of her fingernails gently. Then I said as quietly as I could,
“You’ve been sleeping with Herb?”
“No more often than you’ve been sleeping with yourself, Larry, and for nowhere near as long. Only since last Spring. For years I’ve seen you sometimes pulling up your skirts and then making nice to yourself in the mirror. So last Spring when Herb came on to me very strong, I mean that man is nearly irresistible when he starts in, I thought to myself, well, if you can take a lover, I can take a lover too!”
“It isn’t the same thing!”
“Isn’t it? It seemed to me to be the same thing, at the time.”
“It’s deception! It’s cheating on me!”
“Oh, come on Larry! I’m sorry, honey, I mean Laura. Think about it. Don’t tell me you didn’t know! Or at least suspect! All those fresh flowers in the house all summer? You thought I picked them? Who do you think brought them each time he came over here? And filled my arms with them to take back whenever I went over there?”
It hadn’t occurred to me. I should have known. But it had never occurred to me!
“You directly benefited from his gratitude the day I offered him my virginity. What I had left of it, you know what I mean, my rear opening, my anus, where you wanted to poke into me when we were first married. Then when I wouldn’t let you, you quit trying. You remember? I’m sure you do. Well, I decided one delirious day that I wanted Herb to take that part of me as a gift, and bury himself in me there! And he did. It was so beautiful an experience for both of us that he told me he wanted to fill your study with flowers in gratitude. Since he’d taken something of yours. So you’d feel something of the happiness he felt, I told him to go ahead. You deserved at least that, it seemed to me, since now you’d never have what I’d just given him. I’d felt like a bride in Herb’s arms. He took all afternoon making bouquets and floral arrangements and setting them up in here for you.”
I had to say something! “He was in this room? He saw my things here?”
“Oh, Larry! I mean Laura! My sweet Laura! He already knew! He didn’t need to peek into your closets! You do leave things lying all around. Anyhow, he’d already seen you all dressed up earlier. When I first told him about you, we were lying in each other’s arms, waiting for him to get stiff again. While he was doing wonderful things to my breasts with his tongue and to my pussy with his fingertips, he told me he’d once seen you prancing around in here in full drag, last Spring when you forgot to draw the shades. He thought at first you were really a woman, until he saw you tuck your hand under your mini and start pulling on yourself. That’s how he first figured I might be feeling a little neglected. The way he likes to put it is that I might be feeling like a flower that wants to be plucked. If that’s the word!”
She smiled to herself.
I didn’t know what to say. “You told him about me?” I asked lamely? “When you were fucking him?”
She didn’t bother to answer me at first. Instead she detached my hands, stood up, and glanced at the clock on my desk. “Certainly not while we were fucking, no! In between, when he asked me about you.”
She looked again at the clock, then squared away to face me directly. “What do you expect? A man gives a woman perhaps the most tremendous fuck of her life, and his cum is still pouring out of her. He’s already beginning to harden up for another go at it, and he asks me about that yellow beaded dress he saw on you that night. How come he’s never seen me wear it to the Club or the Gallery or anywhere else where we’re always running into each other. He told me he thought it would look stunning on me, even better than it did on you! So I had to tell him that it was your dress, not mine, that we don’t swap clothes, ever. And I told him all the rest of it. Laura, when a man is about to push his penis back into you, and you’re all loose, soaked and slick from just before, and you’re still breathing hard — you just don’t feel like holding back any secrets? You feel like pulling him back into you, loving him, kissing him and opening every part of yourself to him. Wouldn’t you feel that way, if you were me? You’re supposed to be partly a woman! Don’t you feel that way sometimes?”
Finally I could speak. “Wouldn’t I? Don’t I? You know I’ve never been with a man! What are you talking about?”
I couldn’t think straight or see straight. Visions of Herb and my wife slick with each other’s perspiration in our bed upstairs, or in his bed! His cock in my wife’s anus, sliding in and out, her gift to him, a beautiful experience she called it! His jism is pouring out of her, out of her dear pussy, out of her rear end. Maybe even Sara sucking on his cock, though she’d never been willing to suck on mine, not even to kiss it. Herb feeling way superior to me, maybe pitying me, also feeling a little contemptuous that I’m not man enough for my own wife.
She picked up her purse, then set it down again. “We won’t need purses tonight, it’s just next door. Come on, honey, we’re already late! Laura, come on! No, you’re dressed fine, just the way you are! Yes, we’re going! Yes, you heard me, it’s time for Laura to meet Herb. No, stop it! Listen!”
“Even before Eva mentioned it, Herb had already asked me if he could make love to you and me together, then just to you alone. After we’ve done our own wonderful things with each other of course. You’ll see, Herb can get me to do almost anything. But somehow I’ve never been able to put his penis in my mouth, no more than I could ever do it with yours. Herb is sure that a woman’s mouth can bring him up hard, again and again, quicker than anything else. So he wondered if you’d be more willing than I am, to try it. To be my ‘designated cock sucker’ — he said you’d know what that means. You could help him satisfy me, and then help him satisfy us. Then, the way you looked in that beaded dress, he wants to be the first man into your rear end too, same as mine. He thinks you’re incredibly attractive as a girl. He says I’ve been mistaken not to encourage you to be more of a girl more often, and to use you more often as a girl.”
“And maybe he’s right. You really are rather pretty, Laura. You know? I’ve never wanted to tell you that before, because I’ve always resented it. I’ve wanted to think I’d married a man. I did, of course. But you could also be a real doll, once you’ve been to a proper hairdresser. And you will be a real doll, honey, because I’ve already made an appointment for you for tomorrow morning with Eva’s hairdresser. Herb wants you to have a style more like Eva’s than like mine, and I agree, and so does Eva. It would be just right for your face, very flattering. You’ll love it! And I know that after tonight you won’t mind looking feminine all the time. That’s an effect Herb has on women after he makes love to them. You’ll even find that when you make love as a woman you’re more passionate than you are as a man — women do tend to be more emotional, you know. Maybe you’ll even want to go all the way and live full time as a woman. I wouldn’t mind it any more, if that’s what you want. I’d even help you!”
“But sweetheart, don’t worry, for tonight you look just fine! Your hair is lovely, really. Tonight we’re just two attractive girls and one eager guy, three people who intend to enjoy each other all night long. No, don’t look confused or angry. That’s what we are! Herb said that when you’ve thought about it a minute, when you think about what’s been happening and what could happen, what we already know about each other, what we could any of us do at any time with what we know, especially if other people don’t see things the way we see them, what each of us stands to lose, he thinks you’ll be glad to join us tonight. In fact he’s sure of it.”
“Please, Laura? Honey? I’m counting on it too! You don’t know yet, but Herb is really very nice! You really can’t help loving him, all the things he knows how to do to a girl! Then when Eva gets back, she’ll join in if you’re a part of it! You’re what all three of us want! This is what you’ve always wanted too, way down under. Isn’t it Laura? Isn’t it? You know it is! You know Herb is right! Just think about it. I really don’t think you have any choice! I’m sure you don’t!”
“Then think about this. After tonight, Laura my darling, I’ll be happy to share my whole wardrobe with you! And I’ll be happy to help you shop for lots more things. And to fix you up with hormones the way Eva offered, if you really want your very own real breasts, the kind any man can adore. And to introduce you to some of the other guys I’ve slept with during the past few years, ever since I first saw you wearing your cutie pie girly things. After tonight you’ll know for sure that we’ve got the most secure and loving and sharing marriage in the world. So there’s really no reason at all for you not to come with me now! You can’t not!”
Sara reached out and took my hand again, my pretty manicured hand with the shapely red fingernails, and she tugged gently on it until finally I stood up. I reached down and straightened my skirt. It really was a little tight, that black skirt. It occurred to me that I might need to lose weight before I could wear it again. Eva could advise me — her figure was perfect, what I’d seen of it so far.