Male Mother

by Jenny Leeds

© 1997

Chapter 1

Wendy did her best to be cool, to drive with at least a semblance of composure, but it wasn't easy. She found herself gripping the wheel in high delight; her stomach kept lifting in excitement. The corners of her lips twitched irrepressibly.

In a few hours she'd have her husband Bob just where she wanted him. Mouse-trapped. He'd be hers forever.

Squinting against the brightness of the day she aimed the car down the highway, consciously preventing her foot from flooring the pedal as it wanted to do. There was time enough, no sense in getting stopped for speeding.

A limitless blue sky embraced lush summer fields and undisciplined copses of shade trees on either side of the road. Through the open windows a breeze tempered the afternoon warmth, and all was well with her world  . . . and was going to get better.

She sneaked a glance to the side. Bob sat tense in the passenger seat, staring straight ahead, lipstick a startling red against the anxious pallor of his face. Shining brown hair lifted and fell in the wind of the car's passage, offering capricious glimpses of the gold-caged garnet earrings she gave him when he agreed to have his ears pierced. He was just darling.

He'd come a long way. Electrolysis had left his face smooth and so youthful he looked hardly eighteen instead of twenty-four. Falsies in his bra filled his dress becomingly--she'd bought them for him in a B-cup, her own size. An absence of hips and bottom betrayed a hint of his true gender, but it was cute. He had the kind of boyish figure some women would die for.

She should be content with that much, skirts and makeup and falsies, but she wasn't--he could still cut his hair, go back to wearing men's clothes, and resume his role in male society. Go back to being her husband. A man. Like her brutal father.

Never again, she thought with smug satisfaction. After today he'd be committed to life in dresses.

She should be ashamed of herself. What did Bob ever do but love her like a puppy dog? Taking advantage of him this way was perfectly disgraceful.

As if responding to her pang of conscience, Bob said, "Wendy? Maybe this isn't such a good idea."

She gave him a cautious look. His hazel eyes were wide with apprehension. She took one hand off the wheel and patted his knee.

"It's just cold feet. It'll be all right, you'll see."

"Doctor Goody said it would be permanent."

After a moment she said, "I know. But you had electrolysis, and that's permanent too. Remember how nervous you were? It worked out just fine."

"This is different."

"Sure it's different. It's better! Oh Bob, you're going to be so cute. I can hardly wait."

The fulfillment of her obsession was so close she was not about to listen to his protests.

"Besides--" she put her hand back on the stockinged knee and slid it up under his dress, up past the silkiness of nylons, onto the smoothness of bare skin, mischievously grasped the satin-covered masses at the junction of his thighs "--you won't be sorry. I'll see to that."

Bob jumped and pushed at her hand. "Quit! It tickles." She saw him trying not to titter.

She gave him a squeeze on the swelling in his panties and smiled. Bob was so responsive these days. Or maybe she was, and that started him up.

Ever since that first evening a year ago, when she induced him to wear one of her nighties to bed. On an impulse she hid his pajamas in the laundry and told him she hadn't done the wash yet, and urged a dainty gown on him, persuasively likening it to a nightshirt. Dressed in her frills, he was suddenly, unexpectedly, stupefyingly, non-threatening. She could relax, even take over, straddling him on top, and it made all the difference. A surprising slippery flow between her legs let her push herself down on that huge thing, and there had been no anxiety, only ecstasy. For the first time, the first time in their two-year marriage, the first time ever, she experienced orgasm.

And that was that. She had to have more.

Bob said, "It's kind of creepy, isn't it? Does wearing a dress make you feel that way too?"


"You just went ahead and put your hand under my skirt and  . . . touched me. It was like I wasn't even dressed."

"Oh." Bob was reacting to the--defenselessness--of having his legs all but bare, covered only uncertainly by a skirt. She remembered how her mother made her give up jeans on Sunday-school days. "I used to hate it, but I like it now. It's kind of daring."

At first she thought it was only the thrill of sexual fulfillment that made her egg him on to greater and greater lengths, first to wear her nighties, then little by little, step by step, panties instead of boxer shorts, stockings and garter belt secretly under his trousers, "rewarding" him at each step with the kind of erotic lovemaking she had never shown him before, until finally he was wearing her dresses and heels and let his hair grow.

She came to see it was more than just a thrilling new kind of sex. Making him wear her clothes put her deliciously in charge. She found a deep need to be in control of him  . . . because he was a man. Because of a fear that he might dominate her instead, unless she took the initiative and rendered him powerless first.

Since Wendy was in other respects a well-balanced woman she knew how irrational that was.

From the day they met he had adored her; and not once had he been anything less than gentle and patient and tender. He never bullied her, never showed the slightest inclination to do so. It was why she married him. That gentleness, and because physically he was a small slender man, five-five, her own height, far removed from the brusque hairy masculine types who caused her to panic inside when they moved their knowing eyes over her.

But it wasn't enough. Men beat women and children and then deserted them.

Her head knew her father had been killed in a car accident; her heart knew he had abandoned her and her sister.

Bob's tremulous voice interrupted her train of thought.

"Do I have to?"

"You promised."

"I know, but it's scary." He shifted in the seat. His fingers, tipped with scarlet to match his lips, shook as he smoothed the skirt she had pushed up. His wedding ring glinted. "Maybe we should think about this some more. It's happening too fast."

He was right, she thought, it was scary. So--irrevocable.

"You know you'll like it."

"You will, you mean."

Wendy decided the car in front of them was going too slow, and focused her attention on passing it on the bright open highway before saying, "I admit it. I'll love it. Oh Bob--I mean, Barbara-- you've made me so happy these last months. Don't spoil it now."

"Why can't I just keep on like this? It's crazy enough just wearing a dress outside the house. Suppose someone recognized me. Or  . . . "

His voice trailed off, and she knew what he was remembering.

"Like those men who--got you? Darling, you have to stop thinking about that. It's in the past. Forget it and go on from here. They did it to me too, you know."

"That's different. You're a woman."

"What's that supposed to mean, it's okay for women to be raped? Never mind. Anyway, it was good for you."

"Good for me!"

"Yes." She went on doggedly, "Now you know how women feel, and it made a change in you. You got gentler, more, I don't know, sweeter, more feminine, and you have to admit that's good if you're going to wear dresses."

There had been more than just a change in demeanor. After that traumatic incident he developed rudimentary swellings on his chest that reminded her of herself when she entered puberty, incipient little titties that you could jiggle, almost as if his body was reacting to its violation by feminizing itself. She loved it. The nipples were perceptibly larger, oversize for a man, and were poignantly responsive when she applied suction to them every day with her lips and tongue, in the hope of making them bigger yet.

Then she learned Dr. Goody had a way to make men grow breasts, real breasts. She hadn't given Bob a minute's peace until he consented to go for treatment.

"You like wearing dresses. It turns you on. Doesn't it."

Bob's voice was a shy whisper. "I guess so."

"Me too. You'll never know how terrifying it was after--those men-- when you wanted to stop wearing dresses and grow a beard. Everything was going straight down the drain. It was such a relief when you changed your mind and I had my darling Barbara back."

"It means a lot to you."

"More than anything." Wendy slowed to make the turn onto the country road leading to the clinic. "I'll be so proud of you! It's such a turn- on to think of you with breasts. It'll be just like two women living together. Except when we're in bed. It'll be paradise."

"But it's so  . . . irrevocable," he said, as though he had been reading her mind before. "I couldn't ever go back to looking like a man. Say," a sudden awareness was in his tone, "that's it, isn't it? You want to make sure I can't change back."

"Of course not," she lied. "Don't be silly. I'm thinking of you. You'll love it."

He brooded. At last he said, "I'll have to get a new job next tax season. That might not be so easy."

"Lots of tax accountants are women. With your experience, any tax firm would jump at the chance to hire you."

"How would they know? I couldn't give them references."

Wendy relaxed. He was going to go through with it, that was all that mattered. They'd worry about a new job, or even buying a house in another part of town if the neighbors got curious, when the time came.

The exultation that made her stomach lift returned. He was such a dear. She wished she could stay with him at the clinic, but the doctor said it would be "counterproductive." Never mind, next week she'd go to San Cabrón with her sister and brother-in-law during the three months of treatment. It would make the time pass quicker.

Reading her mind again, Bob sulked, "You'll be basking on a sunny beach with Judy and Leon while I'm being tortured."

"Tortured." She laughed. "You know they'll treat you like a king. A queen, I mean." She nudged him with her elbow. "Places like that always do. Cheer up, it'll all be over soon."

"That's what they say on Death Row. I guess I'm just worried about, well, you know, everybody there knowing."

"Only staff. Doctor Goody said the patients don't see each other."

"They'll think I'm gay."

"Gay! You're not gay."

"They'll think I am."

"We know better."

"It's embarrassing."

A pair of black wrought-iron gates loomed ahead.

"This must be it. It's the end of the road."

"I wish you hadn't said that."

Wendy turned through the gates. Gravel crunched under the tires as the car moved along a winding driveway flanked by lawns and tall stately oaks.

"God, it's a mansion," Bob said bitterly, looking at the sprawling three- storied brick building. "This is going to be expensive."

She stopped in front of a columned portico. A white-coated orderly opened the passenger door. Bob's skirt pulled up as he swung his legs to the ground. She saw him blush as he stood and let it fall into place. He wasn't used to being out in public in a dress. Wendy wondered if the orderly knew what they were here for. Others must come for the same treatment.

Birds made cheerful trills and katydids chirped as they walked to the big doors. For a second Wendy thought Bob was going to bolt. He stared around at the outside world with a look of panic, but when she took his hand he subsided, gave her a shaky smile, and followed her to the reception desk. The click of their heels echoed in the marble lobby.

"Mrs. Miller to see Doctor Goody," Wendy told the girl at the desk, meaning Bob, thinking suddenly they couldn't both be "Mrs. Miller." Maybe she should take back her maiden name, Ogden. Mrs. Ogden. It sounded funny, that was her mother, rest her soul.

"Doctor is expecting you. You can go right in."

Dr. Goody looked up owlishly through milk-bottle lenses when they entered the office. He had sandy hair and a pleasant face.

His eyes examined each of them thoughtfully.

"Which one of you is here for treatment?"

Wendy grinned happily. "She is."

He said to Bob, "Mrs. Miller. I couldn't tell. Both of you are so attractive." To Wendy as she seated herself, "And you would be the lady I spoke with on the phone. Another Mrs. Miller, eh? You must be sisters-in- law," he said with a twinkle behind the thick glasses. "I'm glad you came. I wanted to speak to both of you, to be certain you are fully aware of what's involved. Protogen, the substance we'll be treating Mrs. Miller with, hasn't yet been approved by the Federal Drug Administration, so you'll both have to sign a release registering him--her--as an experimental subject. Mrs. Miller--" He hesitated. "This is too awkward. I can't be calling you both Mrs. Miller. You won't know who I'm talking to. What are your first names?"

"I'm Wendy and she's Barbara."

"Wendy and Barbara, don't let the word 'experimental' alarm you. We've been working with protogen for years. It's quite safe. Do you know what the treatment will do?"

"Make her breasts grow."

"Yes, certainly, but there is more to it than that. Let me explain how the drug works." His voice took on a kind of pedantry. "In males, the testicles produce testosterone and other androgens, hormones which cause men to look and behave like men. In females, the ovaries make estrogens, necessary for female characteristics. But in men and women alike, the suprarenal glands, small structures adhering to the renal organs, the kidneys, secrete both types of hormones in their cortex--androgens and estrogens.

"Protogen was discovered by a team of researchers seeking a way to increase sex drive in dysfunctional males. What it does is stimulate the production of these adrenal hormones. The glands enlarge, becoming almost the size of the kidneys to which they are attached. The output of testosterone increases sharply, and to that extent an unparalleled success was achieved, all the more because in a way that is not yet fully understood, the use of all the body's male hormone--that manufactured by the testicles as well as the adrenals--is focused on the genital complex to produce large amounts of semen and spermatozoa, resulting in a marked increase in sex drive.

"However, it leaves little or no male hormone to affect the rest of the body's processes, such as the development and maintenance of male physical characteristics.

"In the meantime the adrenals' supply of estrogen--female hormone-- increases to levels normal for women. As you might expect, in the absence of testosterone to counteract it, the body reacts by becoming feminized."

He droned on while Wendy's mind wandered.

"  . . . new bone formation at symphysis pubis and iliac crest  . . . flattening of the thyroid cartridge  . . . general regression of thorax and corresponding drop in clavicle angle  . . . gynecomastia  . . . increase in subtrochanteric, gluteal and patellar fats  . . . island of abdominal fat leading to deeply-set navel  . . . pre-pubic cushion  . . . overall reduction of amount and coarseness of lanugo  . . . "

She didn't understand a word he was saying. Was Bob going to have tits or not?

Just then he said to Bob, "You would be a woman in all secondary respects," and her heart stuttered. "The effect is permanent and irreversible. Protogen is not a hormone, you understand. It merely redirects and rechannels the body's use of its own hormones, fooling it into believing it is female, as it were. Once it has done that, no further treatment is necessary. Do you understand?"

"I'm not sure what you mean by 'secondary'. "

"Your primary sexual organs are the penis and testicles, just as a woman's are the vagina, ovaries, and uterus. The other distinctions between male and female, despite their social importance, are secondary-- just window-dressing, so to speak. You would still be a male, but you would have the appearance of a female."

Appearance of a female. So he would have tits.

"Oh." Bob looked thoughtful.

Dr. Goody continued, "You must be quite sure you want to go through with this, because you won't be able to change your mind when we begin. Once started, the process can be slowed, but can't be stopped. Er, I assume you two enjoy normal conjugal relations? I apologize for being so personal, but it is essential that you consider every aspect of this matter."

Bob hesitated. Wendy thought he must be wondering about being on his back when they made love--was that normal? She saw him decide the doctor meant did they have sex together as man and woman. He said, "Yes."

"Do you both expect to continue after the, ah, changes appear in Barbara's body?"

Wendy said, "Yes! Why? Won't he be able to--?"

"Of course. In fact his, er, ardor, is certain to increase. As I said, that is what the treatment was originally designed to do. I meant, will you remain, ah, enthusiastic too? After all, he will look very much like another woman."

"You don't have to worry about that. I'll love it."

"Well, then. You're both of age--" He looked at Bob. "You are of age, are you not? You look younger than I remem--than I thought."

"I'm twenty-four."

"Yes. You're both of age, you know what you want, I see no reason we can't move forward. It's fortunate you are not tall and muscular. Such cases don't usually work out well."

He said to Wendy, "As I told you on the phone, the process goes much more smoothly if the patient doesn't have visitors. Not to worry, we won't keep him long." His eyes turned back to Bob. "Now as to financial arrangements  . . . "

When they heard how much it would cost, Wendy saw the color drain from Bob's face.

It would wipe out their bank account. They depended on the money Bob made during one tax season to carry them through to the next.

Dr. Goody said, "I usually get half the fee before the start of treatment and the remainder when the process is complete, in about three months."

Wendy caught Bob's eye and pleaded silently with him to say yes. She ventured, "We could take a mortgage out on the house."

He knew that the house, free and clear, was her pride and joy. For her to make the offer must tell him something.

Bob said at last, "All right," and her heart beat so hard it made her dress vibrate.

Dr. Goody smiled. "Good. We can get started with your examination. Go through that door, remove your clothing, and I'll be right with you." He said to Wendy, "It will take about two hours, if you want to look over the grounds. We have an especially nice garden."

She stood up and bent to kiss her husband on the cheek. He looked frightened. Never mind, she told herself, he'd get used to the idea, he'd be happy about it. She'd make him be happy.

Her Bob with breasts! She hugged herself with excitement as she went out into the brilliant sunlight and wandered through formal gardens lush with color. Wouldn't Judy and Leon be surprised. They knew Bob wore dresses, and often they all had dinner together, three "women" and a man. Judy would be jealous. Seeing Bob in female garments aroused her for the same reasons as Wendy--how much more excited she'd be when he had boobs. She'd be green.

It was because of their father. A bull of a man who treated his farm animals more kindly than he did his family, he used to take her and Judy into the woodshed to whip them with a broad razor strop for the slightest misdeed. It was child abuse, she knew now. The spankings went on too long when he made them bend over the woodpile, everything showing, while their mother wrung her hands in the kitchen listening to their screams. They were too young then to understand what it meant, but they soon learned their punishments were never over until a wet stain appeared at the end of something pipe-like in his overalls.

It left them with a strong anxiety about men. Judy handled it by acting bold and flirtatious; but Wendy noticed she too married a man who could be dominated, at least in private.

She wouldn't say anything to Judy and Leon until they all got back from San Cabrón; then she'd have them over to dinner. Maybe she'd get Bob to dress up as a French maid. Wouldn't that be delicious! She recalled the time Judy made Leon serve them all, as a butler or houseboy or something, and then spanked him with his pants down when he spoke out of turn. It was a game the two of them played: Leon liked Judy to be a-- what was that word she used, a dominatrix, that was it--he liked her to discipline him and tell him what to do.

This was a game too, better than theirs.

God she was excited. She wondered if Bob would be able to wear her bras without padding. Three months wasn't all that long, but she could hardly wait. There was moisture in the join of her legs, and the prospect of three months without sex was excruciating.

She went to the car to remove his suitcase, gave it to the orderly, and arranged for the clinic's limousine to take her back to Chardsville. That way if something went wrong, if Judy and Leon's schedule didn't permit her to pick Bob up when he was released, he could drive himself home.

The sun was sinking below the trees by the time Bob came out to the garden. He was still pale but didn't look as wretched as before.

She asked, "How did it go?"

"Okay. He gave me the first shot."

"Already? That's wonderful! Oh Barbara, it's a dream come true. You can be my sister and my lover at the same time."

Bob's shy smile lifted her heart. He was so attractive. As a man he wasn't anything special, just kind of bland, but as a woman he sparkled. His eyes caught the light and turned from hazel to a deep gold; his brown hair, cut in a short bob, shone softly. The slender wrists and hands that looked out of place on a man were just right in his current guise; and his stockings caused his legs to be sleek and round; his heels slimmed his ankles.

Bob put his arms around her. She felt something hard against her stomach. He was erect in his panties.

She rubbed her pelvis suggestively against the hardness.

"Mm. You're going to miss me. --What's that smell?"

"What smell?"

"It's coming from you. Kind of like perfume. Sexy."

"I don't know. I have a funny taste in my mouth, though. It must be from the shot."

She kissed him deeply, then pulled away feeling breathless. "I wish I didn't have to go. You'll be all right?" Her conscience was still trying to bother her.

"Sure. Doctor Goody talked to me. It made me feel better."

"I'm glad. Let's sit here on the bench and you can tell me all about it. Did he say the stuff, what did he call it, would work?"

He sat next to her, smoothing his skirt primly. "Yes. He said I'd most likely have good results. It was embarrassing, though."

"What was?"

"You know, taking off my clothes. I mean, I knew he knew I was a guy, but  . . . well, it was embarrassing anyway. And then when he examined me, he looked everywhere."

She patted his knee. There was a beep from the parking lot.

"Oh, there's the limo. I'm taking it back to Chardsville. Here, the keys to the car. I'll leave it here, so you won't be trapped."

"Thanks." His eyes widened. "Oh-oh. You better get back on time. Suppose something happened and a policeman stopped me? My license says I'm a male." A shy smile touched his lips. "I don't resemble my photo much, either."

They looked at each other and started laughing.

The limousine beeped again. Wendy said, "Quick, let's say good-bye here so the driver won't see two ladies kissing."

He was still hard and that odor from his skin excited her. "I'll miss you too."

Arm in arm they walked to the limousine. She gave him a quick self- conscious embrace in front of the driver, putting her cheek next to his in the way women do when they don't want to muss their makeup, and climbed in.

She said, "I'll see you in three months."

"Yes. Get a nice tan."

She looked back as the limousine passed through the gate, but he had already gone inside the building.

Chapter 2

Bob's room was efficient; that was the best you could say for it. It was white and tiled and its principal article of furniture was a hospital bed. The setting sun streamed through the window.

He sat on the edge of the bed collecting himself, trying to still the butterflies in his stomach, forcing his mind away from the terrifying future. He felt as though he had jumped out of an airplane and was hurtling dizzily toward the ground, wondering if the chute would open.

Along with his fear was relief. He was committed. The decision had been made; he took a cold comfort from that. The shot the doctor gave him had started the process, and though further injections would hasten its completion, the change in his appearance was now inevitable. His body had been given notice, so to speak.

It was nice of Dr. Goody not to mention his earlier visit in front of Wendy. Bob had called him this morning to say he hadn't said anything about it to her; he would prefer she didn't know.

He first heard about the doctor through a tax client. In connection with medical deductions the man mentioned, snickering, Dr. Goody's specialty.

Months afterward, Bob remembered the conversation while stuffing falsies in his brassiere, and was suddenly galvanized. Real breasts in his bra! Wouldn't Wendy be thrilled. On an impulse he sneaked down to the doctor's city office.

When he heard the process was permanent, he was disappointed. It would have been fun. But go through life with tits? Forget it.

He permitted the doctor to give him a test scratch--some people were supposed to react adversely to protogen, and Bob had just enough curiosity to want to know if it would have been possible for him after all, but had no intention of going through with it.

Far from rejecting the drug, his body responded so enthusiastically to the minuscule presence of protogen that in a few days a certain discomfort made him examine his chest, only to discover spongy areas overlaying the pectoral muscles. In a few more days they had grown alarmingly, becoming real, though rudimentary, breasts, like a flat-chested woman, before the growth subsided. Other changes occurred. His voice lost some of its resonance; over the phone people occasionally mistook him for a female; and a not- quite-determinable modification of his body appeared, as though a marginal layer of fat smoothed the lines. Where before he could be characterized as "lean," now one would think of him as "slender."

He could still get a haircut and don a shirt and trousers, but something very strange had happened to his body.

When Wendy noticed, she was enchanted. She formed the theory that the trauma those men had put them through was the cause. She couldn't seem to leave him alone. She kept nursing on the incipient breasts, sucking hard. It was uncomfortable at first, but as he got inured to the suction he began to derive sexual enjoyment from it; her moving tongue sent thrills to his genitals.

"There," she would say, "I made the nipples stand up. They're so cute."

He made the mistake of telling her what the tax client said. From that moment she was relentless. But it was permanent, he said helplessly, and finally offered to have implants put in.

"That's no good," she said, "They're artificial. You want to have real breasts. Besides, I heard there's a risk of cancer with implants. Or the silicone leaking."

"How about hormones? They're supposed to give you real ones."

"But then you can't do anything in bed. Except sleep," she smiled. "What good is that? Besides, you have to keep taking them, otherwise you go back to normal. Please, Bob, for me?"

Her slip of the tongue--"otherwise you go back to normal"--struck him at the time, but he didn't make the connection until today in the car. She wanted the change to be irreversible.

She got her way, as she usually did.

He caught himself. It was all right. He loved her dearly and wanted to please her. He had always loved her. At first he worshipped her from afar, right through high school--he never dared approach the beautiful golden-haired girl who was so aloof. It wasn't until he had gone on to college, just before his graduation, that at last he met her face to face.

He was on his way to a class, but stopped when he saw her huddled on a bench in the park, crying as though her heart would break. He sat next to her and handed her a handkerchief.

"Thanks." She pressed it to reddened eyes and gave him a tremulous tearful smile.

Her mother and father had just been killed in an automobile accident. He started by comforting her, and went on to court her, during the remainder of the semester.

If Bob had been a painter he would have put Wendy on canvas exactly the way she was--no embellishments, no "improvements," no enhancements of any kind. They were not needed. Wendy's hair was a luxury of red-gold curls, tumbling to the middle of her back. Her eyes shone green as emeralds, their shape reversed from the normal, wider at the outer corners than at the inner. She was slender with good breasts and a narrow waist and legs all the way up to her ass. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and he wanted to keep her forever. If he were Sir Walter Raleigh, he would count it a privilege, not to lay his cloak over the mud puddle, but to lay himself across it so she could step on him. Her seeming aloofness turned out to be no more than shyness with boys. The day after his graduation they were married.

She was a virgin. He saw fear in her eyes on their wedding night and although her beauty roused in him a burning, compelling lust, he forced himself to forego intercourse until she got used to being in bed with him. In a few days she asked him to do it to her. The fear still lurked in her eyes; she was tight and dry; and breaking her maidenhead was painful to her no matter how gentle he made himself be. Later she told him she asked only because she wondered if he found her unattractive, or didn't love her as much as she did him. She knew men had certain desires that had to be satisfied. She did love him, but it wasn't long before he realized intercourse was a chore for her, not the joy he had hoped to give. As time went on, their once-a-week routine seemed to yield satisfaction to her; but he sensed it was only because it was proof that she remained desirable to him.

He did everything he could think of to make things better, to invoke some kind of feeling in her down there, without success.

Until that magic day when he had run out of clean pajamas and had to borrow one of her nightgowns. For the first time he saw excitement in her face when they went to bed, and was astonished to hear her ask timidly if she could be on top. He was thrilled. Never before had she wanted to try anything but the missionary position.

And then--it was beyond belief. She was like a tiger. By the time he ejaculated she had climaxed a dozen times, it seemed.

The key was for him to wear her garments. He was more than eager if it produced such an ardent response, and got excited because it was so bizarre and gave her so much pleasure, and that was what he wanted, to please her. There was an added bonus. He loved her so much that in a way he wanted to be like her. Wearing her clothes turned him on; he identified with her.

The whole thing grew more and more intense and arousing for both of them. He remembered the abandon of their lovemaking after he went out with her in public in a dress the first time, it was in Chard's Lake Park at night, he'd been terrified, but when they were safe home again the terror metamorphosed into lust.

Somehow it got out of hand and led them to this.

Not satisfied with putting him in women's clothes, she was putting him in a woman's body.

How were they ever going to pay for it? Wendy was right, they would have to mortgage the house. He'd have to go to work at a full- time job. Until now he'd been able to work hard for only the three months of tax season to provide them with a living for the rest of the year. Wendy liked him to be able to spend time with her, help her with chores around the house. The arrangement was financially marginal at best--it was always touch-and-go with their bank account by January--so their budget couldn't handle a mortgage payment.

God, a full-time job. That meant wearing a dress in front of fellow employees, not just in the house or in brief daring forays into the outside world, as today, but up close! He knew his disguise was good; he didn't know if it was that good. Could he get away with it? Find work as a woman, keep up the pretense in front of others who would see him day after day? He'd have to. There wouldn't be any choice.

Richard Haskell, a lawyer in town, had been after Bob to come to work for him for years, evidently seeing an increase in business if he could offer his clients tax accounting services in addition to legal. In a last-ditch effort he had recently offered Bob a partnership. He'd have liked that. It would have meant a lot more money, and a chance for them to build that new house. But he guessed it was out now.

A voice broke into his thoughts. "Mrs. Miller?"

It took a moment for him to remember he was "Mrs. Miller." When he turned, a comfortable-looking fortyish woman in a starched white uniform smiled at him.

"I'm Nurse Baker. I'll be attending you during the day. Mrs. Simmons, you'll meet her this evening, will be your night nurse."

Her eyes moved over him frankly. "My, aren't you going to be the pretty little thing. It's nice when they're not all macho to begin with. It comes out so much better. Let's see," she looked at a clipboard, "Cauc male age twenty-four, five-five, et cetera et cetera, married-- married? hm!--no children, good health, no allergies to medication. Blood type O-positive. I see we already had our first shot. Good, all we need to know. Sit right there while I unpack our suitcase."

She busied herself with hanging his dresses in the closet and putting his underwear in a cabinet drawer.

"What nice clothes you have. Does your wife pick them out for you? She has such good taste. You won't get much use out of them here, though. Did Doctor tell you what to expect?"

"He said I'd be sick for a while."

"Yes. Don't worry, dear, I'll be here to see after you. What's the matter?"

Bob closed his eyes, feeling queasy. He put his hand out to stop himself from swaying.

"Nothing. I just felt funny for a moment."

"We got here just in time, didn't we? We'd better get right in bed." She took a hospital gown from the closet and draped it over her arm. "Get out of those things and I'll tuck you in."

"I'll change in the bathroom."

Nurse Baker smiled. "Not on your life. Doctor would have my head if I wasn't with you every minute for the first few weeks. Oh, look how pink our face is. We don't have to be embarrassed. I've been through this many times," she said practically. "Turn around, I'll help with your zipper."

Bob shook his head stubbornly. "I'm not going to undress out here. I'll change in the bathroom." He took the gown from her.

"Honestly, some patients." She glared at Bob before capitulating, "Don't close the door all the way. I have to be able to hear."

Something in her manner told him she was only biding her time, she would pay him back later. He took off his clothes, leaving the panties on out of modesty, put on the short gown, and washed his makeup off with cold cream and soap before pushing the door open and climbing into bed.

Nurse Baker held out her hand.

Bob looked at her. "What?"


His cheeks heated. He wriggled the panties off under the sheet and handed them to her.

She picked up the discarded clothing in the bathroom. He heard, "Huh. We won't be needing these in our bra any more, will we?"

She returned shaking a thermometer.

"Turn over," she said cheerfully.

"Uh, can't you do it another way?"

"This is the way we do it. Turn over."

Bob rolled onto his front. She pulled down the sheet and lifted the brief gown to expose his bare ass. Her warm hand spread his cheeks; a moment later the thermometer poked in, sliding icily half its length. She left her hand on him while she waited. "I'll be giving you your injection each morning after Doctor makes his rounds." She patted his ass and said sympathetically, "I'm afraid the next few days will be difficult, but we'll do our best for you."

That night he slept poorly. Restless in a strange bed, beginning to feel sick to his stomach, he tossed and turned until the night nurse woke him to give him a sedative. He had a moment to appreciate the irony of waking somebody up to give them a sleeping pill before he dropped off again, troubled by uneasy dreams. His chest hurt. He tried sleeping on his side, but it didn't help much.

In the morning he was genuinely ill. Dry, feverish, he endured Nurse Baker's ministrations, unresisting when she turned him over and inserted her thermometer, or when he felt the bite of a new injection in his backside. When she helped him to sit up and put a glass of orange juice to his lips, he sipped eagerly, hoping the clear acid of the juice would wash away the taste in his mouth; but he wasn't able to keep it down. The room spun. He moaned, and spewed into the pan the nurse held for him.

As from a distance he heard, "There, there, poor dear. It's taking hold very well, I can tell by the odor. It shows your glands are adjusting. Lie back, I'll give you something to make you sleep."

Bob felt a new needle, in his arm this time, and let himself drift down into welcome oblivion.

Nurse Baker had said it would be difficult. "Difficult" wasn't the word. The next weeks were pure misery. Days and nights ran into each other as, doped up and nauseated and aching in every bone and muscle, Bob endured the torment. His chest and hips hurt abominably, and he couldn't seem to get comfortable. When he lay on his stomach, burgeoning unfamiliar fleshy masses on his front warned him with pain; every time he tried to lie on his side, his pelvis protested. His skin exuded a mushrooms-and-vanilla aroma from every pore. A sweet taste of musk set up residence in his mouth.

He was troubled by frequent erotic dreams that left him sweating and only barely conscious of achieving release; the hospital gown seemed constantly wet and sticky near its lower edge, though it was changed often.

At last, through a drugged haze, he heard Nurse Baker ask the doctor, "No shot today? It's only been three weeks."

"You see how responsive he's been. His body has taken over on its own."

"I'm glad of that. He's had the whole staff in a state."

"I know. I feel it too. There's something, er, primal about that odor, isn't there?"

She gave a short laugh. "It makes you want to take off all your clothes. My husband doesn't know what to make of me."

Bob lapsed into a slumber that lasted through the remainder of the day and night, except for the times Nurse Simmons shook him to ask if he was asleep. The next morning he woke rested, still aching and desperately weak, but ravenously hungry.

He sat up unsteadily. A drag on his chest caused him to look down. The top of his gown was full. It didn't mean anything to him; he was sleepy and dazed and grateful for the relative absence of soreness in his body.

Nurse Baker came in with a breakfast tray.

"Good morning," she said cheerfully. "How are we today?"

"Better. Hungry." There was something wrong with his voice.

"We must be starving! The only nourishment we've had for three weeks has been through an IV tube."

"Three weeks," he repeated dully.


"It feels like a lifetime. Is it over?"

"All over but the cheering. We'll have to stay a while until everything settles down, but no more shots. We're lucky, it usually takes twice as long."

He was conscious of her watching him while he applied himself to the oatmeal and toast. He wished there were eggs and ham and fruit, but realized his stomach must have shrunk: the last swallows went down hard. He waited. Mercifully, the food stayed in him.

All over? Gradually it came to him. Then  . . . the weight on his chest, the tender swellings that kept getting in the way of his arms as he fed himself, were breasts! Already! It was over. A tumultuous series of mixed emotions swept through him. A terrible sense of violation. A diaphragm-lifting excitement. Apprehension--had it worked? Were they big enough to make the torment worthwhile?

Bob looked down at his chest. The hospital gown was pushed out. His heart pounded.

He glanced up at Nurse Baker shyly. He wanted to see himself, but was too abashed to do it in front of her.

She smiled. "All done? I bet I know what we're thinking. I'll just put this tray away, and we'll let you have a look at yourself in the mirror. Do you think you can stand up if you lean on me?"

Bob struggled out of bed and sat panting weakly on the edge. The blood drained from his head. He paused while the room brightened again and stopped its reeling. It was amazing, he thought, how frail you could become in only a few weeks.

Nurse Baker said, "There's a full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door. Careful." She put an arm around his waist and helped him to his feet. His skin felt as if it had been turned inside out and all the nerve endings exposed. His legs shook, knees weak, as she guided him to the bathroom.

"Here we are," she said, flicking on a bright overhead light and turning him to face the mirror. "Lean back against me and we'll just open our gown. We're going to be pleased."

She pulled a Velcro fastener at his shoulder. The whole front of the garment fell open.

Bob gasped, forgot his embarrassment, and stared.

His reflection was alien. What he was seeing wasn't him, it was a girl. Her hair was matted and stringy, but her figure was stunning. Incongruously, at the junction of her thighs she sported a penis, balls hanging under it in a rosy sack.

The image's slender hands lifted wonderingly to cup a pair of alluring breasts. It was not until he felt himself touching them that he identified with the reflection in the mirror.

His jaw dropped.

The tits he was holding were pert and proud, perfectly formed, very nearly as big as he remembered Wendy's. They had swollen areolas tipped by nipples as thick and pink and cylindrical as new pencil erasers. They were beautiful! A warm feeling of satisfaction came over him.

He squinted. He had lost weight; his ribs showed; but was his waist narrower than it had been? After a moment he felt sure of it. His satisfaction increased--he'd be able to wear form-fitting dresses without the damn' waist-cincher. That protogen was powerful stuff. Wendy would be tickled pink.

His knees gave way. Nurse Baker caught him.

"That's enough for now. There'll be plenty of time later," she said gently. "Let's get back to bed."

It was all he wanted. He was suddenly exhausted. By the time Nurse Baker tucked him in he was asleep.

When he woke again the mid-afternoon sun was making bright panes of light on the tile floor. He felt refreshed and excited.

He sat up, gave a wary glance at the open door, and pulled open the gown. He hadn't been dreaming. He had breasts, just like a woman! It was so kinky a thought that his cock warmed and jumped into erection. He started to caress them, but they were sore.

The squeak of rubber-soled shoes in the hall warned him that the nurse was coming. He closed the gown hastily.

"Well! We're awake at last," she gave him a cheerful smile. "How are we feeling?"

"Fine. Much better." He returned her smile sheepishly, conscious of his hard-on.

"We do look better. How about a nice sponge bath and a late lunch? Or early dinner. But first," she took out her thermometer and shook it, "let's get this over with. Turn over."

Bob rolled onto his stomach, making sure his erection was pressed up against it and hidden. Why couldn't she take his temperature like normal people?

The cold insertion caused his prick's stiffness to increase. His weight on the new breasts hurt; he had to lift the upper part of his body on his elbows.

Warm hand on his ass, Nurse Baker said, "Doctor was quite pleased with our progress. He said we could probably go home within a month from now."

"I thought it was supposed to take three months." It came out a squeak. He cleared his throat.

"It varies. Some people do better than others. If everything goes as well as it has so far, we'll be the fastest case yet." She removed the thermometer and looked at it. "Excellent. We're doing very well. Now we can sit up."

He pulled up the sheet to keep his erection hidden.

"What's the matter with my voice?"

"Voice? Oh, I see. Our vocal cords are tightening up. It's natural, just the reverse of our voice breaking during adolescence. But then we wouldn't want to sound like a baritone anymore, would we?"

She filled a pan of water in the bathroom sink and brought it to the bedside. "Now for a sponge bath. Tomorrow we'll do our hair."

She must have misinterpreted his expression because she said, "Don't worry, I know we must still have discomfort. I'll be careful." With practiced movements she dipped a washcloth, soaped it, and wrung it out. She kept up a running chatter.

"My, things have changed, haven't they? Welcome to the club! This is the part of my job I like best. Patients come in all full of beans and vinegar, and leave all sugar and spice."

Bob winced when she hefted his sore breasts to wash them.

"A little tender? It'll go away in a few weeks, when we're all done developing."

"I thought I was done."

"We're finished with the injections, but our body is still changing. In a month or so the process will be complete."

Bob thought it over, prick straining.

"They'll, ah, get bigger?"

"When the discomfort stops we'll know they aren't growing any more. I'm sure we'll have nothing to be ashamed of when we see other women. We're in for some surprises, though. It's hard out there. Men make the rules and you have to go along with them. I don't know what you do for a living, but you'll probably have to take a cut in pay for the same work. Oh, sure, men treat you with consideration, they hold doors for you, but that's only because they think you're too fragile and feeble-minded to do it yourself. Scratch any man, no matter how enlightened he says he is, and under that smug surface is someone who thinks that all that women are good for is the kitchen and bedroom. You'll see."

She was sharing a woman's point of view with him. Her words held bitterness, but paradoxically they gave Bob a perspective that filled him with anticipation. It would be like being a new person. He'd be able to leave his past behind, his failures, and start over.

Nurse Baker went on, "Never mind, there will be rewards too. Oh-oh. What have we here?"

She started washing his erection.

"It's time for us to become acquainted with Miss Vee, I see. Don't be embarrassed. This always happens. I like to think of it as the male part protesting its fate. My, he's a big fellow, isn't he?"

She dried him, giving his stiff penis a teasing squeeze, mercifully drew the sheet over him though it was held up like a tent, and gathered up the washing utensils.

"Try to get some rest, now. I'll be back later to introduce you to Miss Vee."

Surprisingly refreshed by the sponge bath, somewhat reassured by Nurse Baker's matter-of-fact acceptance of his hard-on, Bob lay wondering who Miss Vee was, and whether they actually expected him to be unfaithful to Wendy, and drifted in and out of sleep until Nurse Baker returned holding an instrument in her hand.

She said, "Hi! Ready to meet Miss Vee? Miss Vibrator. We're going to be seeing a lot of her."

She showed him the device she was holding. It was a clear plastic tube, the lower half of which was encased in folds of pink rubber. A hose led to a small pump.

Bob felt a scarlet blush flame over his entire body.

He remonstrated, but she overbore him. He was still too strengthless to withstand her. He remembered her expression when he refused to take off his clothes in front of her.

She sat on the edge of the bed, squeezed lubricating jelly on her fingertips and smeared it around the tube's opening. Lifting the gown, she exposed his swollen cock. He flinched uncontrollably when she grasped it with one hand and with the other slid the device down on it, engulfing him in slippery latex.

She touched a switch. Instantly suction clamped his organ wetly and the device writhed upright. An exquisite vibration began.

A broken sound emerged from his throat.

He started to pull the thing off, but she grabbed his wrists and held them away from his body.

In an agony of humiliation, desperately conscious of Nurse Baker watching, unable to move, he felt his genitals gather tension. The machine took over, sucking and trembling in an irresistible rhythm.

Within ten seconds ecstasy gripped him as he ejaculated wildly, pumping helplessly into the tube, his semen drawn by the vacuum.

The orgasm ended, but the vibration and clenching of the machine prevented his penis from softening. He looked desperately up at the nurse, imploring her with his eyes to remove it, but it was not long before a new warmth attested to the fact that his balls were getting ready to loose yet another series of squirts.

In half a minute his prick erupted again. The sensation was sharper, more intense, now that it wasn't just a matter of relieving the pressure. He gasped, "Ooh-h," and writhed in a spasm of rapture, as his testicles were drained.

When it was over she released his wrists. He panted, "No more."

"Again." Her eyes were obsessed.

He submitted to the continuing mechanical rape. In less than a minute he was sobbing and whining in frenzied ecstasy as surge after surge of semen pulsed through his organ. He convulsed, gripped his aching breasts, the stiffness of erect nipples sending their own zigzags of sensation down to his groin--and the turbulent throbbing went on, spurting until his balls were wracked with effort and his cock began to soften, bending in the liquid-washed tube, snatched upright again by the rhythm of the suction.

He moaned ecstatically, despairingly. His eyes dimmed. He lost consciousness.

The next thing he knew his prick was a flaccid weight on his belly and Nurse Baker was holding the device up to her eye, looking at the quantity of mottled white fluid in it.

She said, "Yes, indeed. We needed that." She covered him up. "There now. Don't we feel better? Miss Vee will be back tomorrow morning. Twice a day from now on."

He savored the pleasurable emptiness of his balls, sensing that they were already working to fill again, and thought he would welcome "Miss Vee" when Nurse Baker brought her back. God, she had made him come three times in two minutes. It must be some kind of world's record. He might look like a woman, but he was definitely still a man--though being taken over by Nurse Baker in that personal way didn't help much to make him feel like one.

He had a sense of fatigued well-being. The hard part was over. He would have a month more convalescence to let his body complete changing on its own, and then he could go home.

It would be another month and a half after that before Wendy returned. He didn't know how he could wait. He was dying to show her what he looked like. The grateful delight on her face blessed his inner eye as he drifted down again into a peaceful slumber.

Chapter 3

Andrew Joiner's shoulders got warm in the sun in an hour or so despite the chill autumn air. Sweat trickled under his arms. He wished he could take off his flannel shirt, but he knew nobody would pick up a bare-chested hitchhiker. He used the inside of his elbow to wipe perspiration from his forehead.

He sat down on the concrete wall of a culvert that bridged a sparkling brook and thought, In a minute I'll climb down and have a drink and soak my head. He was tired and his belly felt bloated and uncomfortable. He folded his arms against it and bent forward. It helped.

Andy figured he'd covered about ten miles from Dr. Goody's clinic. It would be another ten to the highway. He could do that in a little more than a couple of hours if he got moving.

He clambered down to the brook and washed his face and drank his fill. The water was cold as ice, refreshing. He ran a pocket comb through his wet hair, staring into the stream to see his reflection, but it was running too fast. He knew what he looked like, anyway. Like somebody had chiseled his face out of rock and did a clumsy job of it. Chickadees twittered in the silence of midday.

He hefted his small duffel and started walking again. Thirty-six hundred bucks, he thought. Might as well be thirty-six million.

He concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other, trudging doggedly along the side of the deserted road. There was little or no traffic here, small chance for a ride until he got to the main highway. The only cars he'd seen this morning had been heading toward the clinic. Didn't anyone ever leave?

Thirty-six hundred. His mouth had fallen open when the doctor handed him the itemized list. The basic operation alone was twelve hundred, and it wasn't any good without the cosmetic surgery to go along with it. A chagrined blush warmed Andy's cheeks when he remembered how he pleaded with him to let him work at the facility in return for the operations. He wasn't used to begging. It had almost worked, though. He saw sympathy in Dr. Goody's face, and the man hesitated before repeating that there were no openings.

How long would it take him to raise the money? The trade school had given him the elements of woodworking, he had graduated at the top of his class, but at eighteen he had years to go before he could claim to be a skilled cabinetmaker, and the chances of getting a carpenter's job on a construction site were zero unless he belonged to the union--and the chances of getting in the union during this recession were also zero, unless, like his classmate Ray Tynan, he had a father who was a big shot in it.

Never mind, he told himself. He was young and healthy and strong, and willing to do just about any kind of work. That's all you need to make a mark in the world, his father had told him before he died. He'd make out.

But he could see he might have to resign himself to his disorder for years and years before he could have anything done about it. It was discouraging.

His father had put up with it until he was past thirty; so could he. It was a family thing--his grandmother suffered from it, too, though it was different for her.

Andy's stomach rumbled with hunger. The pang was followed by another kind of gripe situated in his intestinal region, warning him he was in for another siege. Damn it. He hoped it would hold off until he got to a drugstore. If he got a ride soon.

In answer to his wish, the thin buzz of a motor behind him came to his ears. He turned and held out his thumb.

As the car passed, he saw that its occupant was a young woman, hair fluttering in the breeze of the car's passage. She gave him a swift appraising look from hazel eyes just before he dropped his thumb disconsolately. A woman alone in a car didn't pick up hitch-hikers.

An instant later, however, the car slowed to a stop. It waited by the side of the road.

He ran to the door, opened it, and slid in, tossing the duffel on the back seat.

"Thanks," he panted. "Thought I'd have to walk the rest of my life."

"Where are you headed?"

"See if I can find work in the city."

She put the car in gear. "I'm only going as far as Chardsville, but I can let you off on the highway when we get there."

Her eyes sparkled. There was an air of suppressed exuberance about her. Her happy look lifted his spirits. She reminded Andy of how he used to feel as a child when he woke up realizing it was his birthday.

He watched her out of the corner of his eye. Wow, nice bazooms. Nice legs, too. Her skirt was drawn up to free them for driving, showing a shapely expanse of thigh.

She must have sensed his interest, for she tugged her dress down to a decent height. He turned his eyes away tactfully. She had a wedding ring, hands off.

She was a good driver, handling the car confidently, keeping to the speed limit, braking slightly before curves but accelerating on them so he felt almost no sway. He relaxed against the seat back and enjoyed the drive.

When they came to the highway she got a strained look; her generous lips compressed. She slowed to well below the limit. He glanced back and saw that cars were beginning to pile up behind them, and at regular intervals they roared past impatiently. Each time it happened, she shrank and her cheeks got white under the rouge highlighting them. He wondered what was wrong.

After half an hour of tension he was thrown forward and back when she braked sharply and accelerated again. There was nothing in sight. He darted a glance at her. She was pale and anxious and kept looking in the rear-view mirror.

"What's the matter?"

Still staring in the mirror she said, "Oh, he's turning. A policeman. I shouldn't have put on the brakes, but I was startled when he went past."

Andy twisted to look back. Several cars behind, a black-and- white was completing a U-turn.

"Don't worry, he won't bother you. You didn't break any laws. At the most he'll want to see your license and registration."

"I don't have a license!"

"You don't have--?" He thought fast. "Okay, turn in up here. Here. The Flakey's Diner. Quick now. Park on the other side of that eighteen-wheeler. Away from the road."

The tires screeched as she swerved into the parking lot. Before the car had stopped rocking he was out and racing around to the driver's side.

He opened the door.

"Shove over. If he comes looking for us, I was driving, right?" Her body was delicate as he bumped her over to the passenger side with his hip.

They were just in time. The cruiser, lights flashing, stopped quietly behind them.

Andy climbed out of the car and waited.

A trooper, a big man of middle years with a gentle, cautious face, moved toward him and held his hand out. His eyes were amused as they glanced between Andy and the frightened-looking woman in the passenger seat.

Andy pulled out his worn wallet and gave him his license.

The trooper looked it over carefully, comparing the picture on it with Andy's face.


"Uh  . . . "

The woman scrambled in the glove compartment. A moment later she leaned over and poked the registration slip at him through the window. He passed it to the trooper.

"Robert Miller?"

"My huhk. Husband," the woman said.

The trooper handed the documents back to Andy. "You were driving a little erratically back there."

"A bee flew in. I lost my head for a moment."

"Yeah?" Smile wrinkles deepened at the corners of his eyes. "Gotta watch them bees. Okay, sir. You have a nice day."

When he got to his cruiser the trooper turned.

"She wants to learn to drive, take her out to some deserted road. Too much traffic on the highway."

Andy grinned, "Thanks."

He got in the car and started laughing as the trooper backed out of the lot.

The woman looked surprised, then giggled. "A bee! You said a bee flew in! Quick as a wink." Her laughter grew. There was relief in it.

"We didn't fool him for a second," Andy gasped.

They laughed together until she said, "As long as we're here let's get a hamburger."

He sobered. "Uh  . . . well, you go ahead, I'm not too hungry."

The hazel eyes softened. "It's okay," she said. "It's on me. I owe it to you. You were so clever and resourceful. I don't know what I'd have done without you. Come on, keep me company."

At the table she grinned, "I guess we should introduce ourselves, since we escaped the clutches of the law together. I'm Barbara Miller."

He smiled back. "Andy Joiner. How come you don't have a license? You drive fine."

Her eyes dropped and color mounted in her cheeks. "I used to have one, but I carelessly let it expire."

He didn't know whether to believe her, maybe it was suspended, but let it pass.

The waitress brought their hamburgers. His mouth watered. He tried to eat casually, but when the last French fry was gone he realized she was still on the first half of her hamburger, and that he had wolfed his meal.

She said, "Oof. I can't finish this. Would you?" She pushed her dish toward him. "I don't like to leave food on my plate."

"You sure?"

"My eyes were bigger than my stomach."

Through a mouthful of burger he asked, "You live in Chardsville, huh?"


"I'll drive you there if you want."

"Would you? You're so nice. It won't be taking you out of your way, will it?"

"Naw, any town's good. Maybe I can get a job there."

"What kind of work do you do?"

"I'm a carpenter."

"I bet you won't have any trouble. You were at Dr. Goody's clinic, weren't you? It's the only place on that road. If I'm not being too personal can I ask why?"

"I went to see him about an operation," he said, and stopped. It was too private to talk about.

"What kind of operation?"

"Just  . . . uh  . . . kind of cosmetic surgery."

"Oh." Her gaze was direct and speculative, but she didn't persist. "Tell me about yourself. How old are you?"


"I thought you were older, maybe my age. I'm twenty-four. Why are you hitchhiking? Aren't your folks worried?"

"They died a couple of months ago in a fire, and after the funeral I decided to see if I could find work down in the city. More people, more contractors, more chance of a job."

"Poor boy. It must be terrible to lose both your parents at once."

"Yeah, well  . . . " He looked at his plate. He didn't want to talk about it. He might start crying or something.

She said, "Look, we have a small house in Chardsville. There are all kinds of repairs we've been putting off. We can't afford to hire you, but if you don't have a place to stay you could sleep in the guest room and earn a little pocket money by doing odd jobs for us while you're looking for work."

He stared.

"You don't know me. Aren't you afraid I might be some kind of, uh, maniac?"

She laughed. "Are you?"

"No, but I mean, well  . . . "

"I know what you mean. Let's just say I'm a good reader of character. Besides, how do you know I'm not a maniac?"

He grinned, "I'm a good character-reader too," and then laughed out loud at the thought that he might be afraid of this delicate creature.

"Come on," she smiled. "It's still an hour's drive."

"Okay. Can we stop at a drugstore on the way? It won't take long."

"I have to pick up some groceries anyhow. There's a pharmacy in the shopping center."

Her house was one of a row on a tree-lined side street. He maneuvered the car into a garage squeezed between the side of her house and the neighbor's, and followed her through the back door into the kitchen. When she turned on the lights he noticed the cabinets had been repainted so many times the paint was practically thicker than the wood, and the linoleum on the floor was worn.

He put the groceries down on an old white-enamel table that looked like it had been picked up at a rummage sale. The house had a musty unlived-in smell. Nobody seemed to be home.

"Where's your husband?" he asked.

She hesitated. "We're separated. I live with my  . . . sister-in-law."

He heard the same artificial note in her voice as when she told him her license was expired, but it was none of his business, so he didn't press her.

A pang of discomfort in his belly made him wince.

"Uh, you mind if I use the facilities?"

Peering into the refrigerator, she said, "At the top of the stairs."

He took his duffel and the package from the drugstore and sat on the toilet to relieve himself. Damn it all, he knew it, his jockey shorts had tracks on them. Well, it happens, he thought resignedly. It would stop when he had the operation. He wiped himself, used one of the pads in the package, and secreted the box in his duffel before going back downstairs.

The house was neat and clean and comfortable, but shabby. It was easy to see she wasn't exaggerating when she said "all kinds of repairs." Everywhere he turned he saw something that needed done. He knew people got used to places they lived in and lost sight of just how run down things became; but it was long past time to do something to halt the downward slide. This kitchen for example  . . .

"How about if I fix up your kitchen?"


"The kitchen. It needs painted and a bunch of other things." He pointed to the leaking faucet and the stained wall which shouted the presence of a problem with the pipes. "You could use some new tile on the floor, too."

"I know! But--well, it sounds expensive."

"Yeah. I could look around and see if I can come up with a bargain on materials."

"You can't do all that just for room and board," she protested. "I didn't mean for you to do slave labor."

"Hey, you were nice to me, let me be nice to you. Besides, I ain't got anything else yet."

The more he gazed at the room, the more there seemed to do. A kind of happiness came over him. This was the kind of work he liked. Look, if he tore out the stove and built it into a counter right where the kitchen table was, an island, like, she'd have more cabinets for those orphan pots and pans, and it would save her steps. He could shift the sink over to where the stove had been to give plenty of counter space on either side, and she'd be looking out the window when she was washing the dishes instead of at the wall. It wouldn't take too much to totally transform the room--a little Formica, strip and repaint, shape up the cabinet doors so they all matched. He guessed his enthusiasm was contagious, because in the end she said, "We-ell  . . . I do have some money coming in. This law firm has a couple of clients who asked for me to do some stuff for them. Maybe we could afford a little work."

"Trust me. I'll do it as cheap as I can. Have to rent tools, though. You got any credit in town?"

"You just tell me where to call and I'll fix it up."

The next morning he looked up a tool rental place in the Yellow Pages, drove her car there, and salivated at the tools on display. He told her about it when he returned, unloading all his treasures.

"The guy was real nice. At first he thought I was a do-it- yourselfer, but when I asked for sharpening stones--so's I could return his stuff in good shape, you know--he said if I did a good job for you I maybe could work off the price of the tools. So they might not cost you anything."

"That's good news."

"I told him I got in town yesterday, and he was surprised I already found work." Andy grinned. "Said I must be a Goin' Jessie, whatever that is. I didn't tell him it was only for room and board."

He did what he could to schedule the work to cause the least inconvenience--he built the island and counter tops before tearing out the things they were meant to replace--but inevitably there came a couple of days when the kitchen was inoperative. He turned off the gas and water and disconnected the stove and sink, and, with a propane torch and solder, set about changing the run of the pipes to the new locations.

Mrs. Miller was dismayed when she saw the baseboards pried off, the floor laid bare of linoleum, cabinets stripped of paint, wall torn open; and hesitantly asked if the work would be finished by the time her sister-in-law returned in a month. It surprised him. He was almost done, couldn't she see that? The hard part was the preparation. He looked around and tried to see it through her eyes. It did look kind of terrible. But everything should go like clockwork now.

He told her it would be finished in a couple of days. She looked doubtful, but bore up like a trooper, cheerfully ordering take-out for them and cooking their bacon and eggs on a hot plate on the dining room table in the morning.

She was working hard too. It turned out she was some kind of tax accountant, which amazed him at first. He didn't know she was such a big deal. She set about preparing complicated tax returns for a couple of rich people, a bank president, she said, and the owner of a big company in town. He admired her diligence when he passed through the dining room, which she was using as an office. She had large volumes of fine print piled all over the table, and was cute as a button behind big round reading glasses perched on her nose. Once or twice he tried to make out what she was doing, but it was all Greek to him. That was okay; she couldn't saw a straight line. Everyone to his own trade.

When he began to lay the tiles she got a worried expression.

"A new floor? Er, isn't this all going to be pretty expensive?"

"I tried to keep the cost down, but I figure it'll add to the value of your house. I'm not sure exactly--the materials, paint--I didn't want to skimp on paint, have you do the job all over again in a year. I found a place that sells seconds in plywood--and then renting the tools, they're pretty expensive. But they don't count, the rental guy said I could work them off. I guess," he said hesitantly, "I guess maybe like two-fifty."


He blushed. "Two hundred and fifty dollars. I know it's a lot. Prices are high these days. I could've used crummy materials, but there wouldn't be no point."

"It sounds like too little! I thought, well, five thousand or so."

"Five thousand!" He laughed out loud. "Naw, I didn't have to buy anything except paint and a little bit of wood for the island and the cabinet where the stove was. And the Formica for the counter tops. I got a deal on that. Some guy had a bunch in his garage. He practically gave it to me to get rid of it."

"What about the flooring?"

"Oh that. I fixed it up with the floor man to do some work for him in return for the tile and underlayment."

"Two-fifty for the whole thing? Andy, you must be some kind of genius!"

It made him shuffle his feet.

A little later she asked, "Could you build a house?"

"Sure. You mean rough-framing and all? Well  . . . I don't know too much about pouring foundations and putting in electric, but I can do plumbing and sheet rock and everything else."

She looked thoughtful. "You know, we own a residential lot on the other side of town. I've been thinking about putting a house on it if we can sell this one."

"One guy could build a house, all right, but that ain't the way to do it. It takes too long. You should have a crew."

"It's something to think about."

Having work to do boosted Andy's spirits, and his latest depressing "spell," as he had come to think of the symptoms of his disorder, was over. He felt vigorous and self-confident, and each night as he went to bed had a sense of accomplishment.

They got along well, keeping out of each other's way during the daytime and chatting amiably over a meal in the evenings. She was easy to talk to. Andy found himself telling her about the prospects of work he had picked up at lumberyards and the rental shop. It looked like he would be able to make a living in Chardsville, he said, and even put something by for a nest-egg. "I was thinking, maybe I wouldn't have to get a job. Maybe I could have my own business as a contractor."

"That would be grand! You work harder, but it's for yourself, and you don't have to worry about getting fired. I'll do your books. Then I'll be working for you instead of the other way around."

He laughed, then said seriously, "I dunno, I'm kind of young."

"You get older."

"You really think I could do it?"

"It's for you to decide, but I don't have any doubts. You're a 'Goin' Jessie', remember?"

He wasn't the only one with prospects. She was out of work, but confided that if she did a good job on the taxes she might get a job with that lawyer. There was more to it than that, he suspected. Her expression became guarded when she talked about it, as if she was trying to set herself up for disappointment. He figured she'd tell him what was bothering her when she got around to it.

She never spoke about her husband, except to respond once to his question, "Oh, that's all over."

It was funny, she was so classy and educated and all, but she treated him like he was special. He wasn't used to it. She talked to him like a friend, and not a day went by that she didn't do something nice for him, like he was a real human being, not just a workman remodeling her kitchen. She did his laundry and mended his jeans, so each day he started out neat and clean; and after he let it slip he had no pajamas, went out and bought him a pair. Another day she remembered him telling her how he missed his mom's apple pie, and baked him one; and watched him eat it, and seemed to appreciate his enjoyment.

He lost his heart to her, of course.

Like when he had that crush on Mrs. Mortola, his fourth-grade teacher. Only now he wasn't in fourth grade. It was sometimes hard for him to get to sleep, thinking about their being alone in the house together, her sleeping in a room right across the hall. At such times he had to play with himself until he came. It was the only way he could get relaxed enough to drop off.

When the kitchen was finished, she was like a little girl beside herself. Seeing her delight, he broke down and grinned hugely. He knew he had done a good job--everything was new and spanking clean and color-coordinated and efficiently laid out. The rental man came over, and though he didn't say anything beyond a dry "Hmf," Andy could see he was surprised. On the spot the man asked him to come down to the shop in a couple of days to build a storeroom in back for him. Andy would get to keep the tools he had rented, and the man would recommend him to his customers.

That was the day Mrs. Miller got a phone call from that lawyer, asking her to come down and talk about a job. The rich people had liked her work. He heard her on the phone making an appointment for the next day.

So they both had things to celebrate. She served wine at dinner in the new kitchen, and might have had a glass too many, because she asked suddenly, "Andy? Are you still thinking about getting that medical treatment?"

He ducked his head. "Yeah."

She toyed with her fork, not looking at him. "I know it's none of my business, but  . . . I know about Dr. Goody's specialty. Are you sure? It might be a big mistake. It's irreversible, you know."

Well, of course it was irreversible. What would be the point?

She went on, "Please don't think I'm being a busybody, but believe me it wouldn't work all that well for you. I mean, you're such a big, handsome boy  . . . Did he advise you to go through it?"

Big. Handsome. A pleased flush warmed his cheeks, but he knew better. Not handsome, ugly. He didn't care. He was a guy, a guy didn't have to be good-looking.

"Not exactly. He said he'd do it, but he wasn't all that happy about it. He said I might be sorry later. I dunno why."

"There. See? He knows." Crimson, she continued, "I shouldn't tell you this, but--we're friends, aren't we? So if I can do anything to keep you from making a tragic mistake  . . . Can I trust you never to say anything to anybody?"

"Sure." What was she talking about?

"I had the same treatment."

He stared.

Her white grin flashed nervously. "It was all right for me, I'm kind of small, and you know, not all that muscular, but you're so masculine-looking it really wouldn't look right."

His mind raced. Why would she have the operation?

He was completely at sea.

"Y-you," he stammered, "h-had the operation? I don't--"

"It wasn't exactly an operation. It was protogen, it just made me look like a woman. Why, were you thinking of going all the way? The full operation? Oh don't," she said. "Think very carefully. I'm going to talk to you like a sister--" She gave a self- deprecating laugh. "Or like a brother. If it's because you, ah, like men  . . . Is that it?"

For a terrible moment Andy wondered how she knew about the occasional fantasies he had about men while jerking off, or about the furtive experiences in the basement of Ray's apartment house. No, she couldn't know. She had it all wrong. He tried to make sense of what she was saying.

"It made you look like a woman? Y-you're not a woman?"

"Well," she said shyly, "That's not how we like to think about it. But yes, except for the way I look, I'm like you."

"Th-they're not real?"

"They are so!" A spark of indignation was in her eyes. "That's what happens with proto  . . . Oh-oh. We haven't been talking about the same thing, have we?"

"I don't think so."

"Then what were you talking about? What operation?"

"Just an internal problem."

She turned bright red. "Oh-h. And you-- I-- I'm such a fool. I told you-- You won't say anything, will you?"

"I'd never."

"Oh God." She hesitated, peeping at his face, and stuck out her hand. He engulfed it in his, sealing the bargain.

She was so feminine, yet she had just told him she was a man. Unaccountably his cock stiffened in his jeans.

"Are you sure--? I mean, could I still be misunderstanding you? You're really a guy?"

Red and white chased themselves across her face, and she looked down again.

"Yes," she whispered.

"It's hard to believe. You're beautiful. How come? I don't mean how come you're beautiful, I mean how come you, uh, changed?"

"It's a long story. My wife--Wendy's not really my sister-in-law, she's my wife--she wanted me to wear clothes like this. Her dresses. She said it would make things better  . . . in bed, you know. Anyway, the more I did it the more she liked it, and I did too. Then one day some men found out, and, well, you know, they did it to me. Wendy figured  . . . well, it made me so I didn't feel as confident about being a man anymore, and she figured I might as well go all the way. Or maybe not all the way, she didn't want it cut off or anything, but at least I could take the protogen."

"Some men did it to you? I don't get it."

"You know. Did it to me." Her eyelashes fluttered. Timidly she added, "Back there."

"Oh." Andy tried to picture it. His cock got harder than ever.

A long-forgotten memory trickled up through his consciousness. A time in freshman year in high school, in the hated shower room after football practice. Seeing the other boys' naked horseplay, he had a sudden irrational terror of being raped. What was worse, the thought kindled warmth in his genitals, so he had to stand facing the wall under the spray and grimly recite the times table to himself to let his erection simmer down.

He made himself continue to sit and chat with her as if nothing was wrong when she served coffee, but he had a sick feeling in his stomach. He tried not to stare at her to see if there was anything, anything at all, that might give away her true gender. As soon as he decently could, he went up to take a shower before going to bed. He was shook.

Standing in the spray he thought, Her wife made her do it. Boy, she must be some bitch.

Under the shower his prick was so stiff it hurt. Its head was tumid, shiny with strain, a bright turgid red.

She was a guy, not a girl. He couldn't believe it. But she was telling the truth, he knew that. He'd come to know that much about her over the past week.

It made him kind of mad. How could she fool him like that? He. How could he fool him like that?

She had a cock under those dresses. The image in his mind was so stultifyingly erotic he couldn't bear it.

Some guys had raped her. Served her right. He wondered if she blew the whistle on them, then realized she couldn't--what would she tell the cops, she was a guy wearing a dress?

His soapy hand moved on the rigid organ standing like a two by four at the fork of his legs. What did they do to her? He tried to picture it. He could see her trying to run away, but caught and held by one faceless man while another shoved his cock up her ass. What would it be like to dork another man? He pretended he was the one doing it. She was being held so tight she couldn't move. He could take his time. He'd spread her ass cheeks and poke it up her while she screamed for mercy, shove it back and forth, knowing she was a guy, maybe holding onto her prick and balls while he rammed in and out. So vivid were the images that his cock erupted in his lathery hands long before he had a chance to savor the fantasy.

When his ejaculation was over he felt ashamed of treating her that way, even if it was only in his mind. She had been too nice to him. She didn't deserve it  . . . or maybe she did for tricking him, but he was sorry for it anyway.

He went to bed confused and unhappy.

The next morning he kissed her.

Chapter 4

Bob reached out with a sleepy hand to shut off the harrowing buzz of the alarm clock. He buried his face in the pillow, hair silken on his cheeks, gradually waking, gradually coming to terms with himself, as he had to do each morning.

In time, perhaps, he would get used to it, to the soft swelling of breasts under him, the unfamiliar breadth of hips and bottom, the bareness of shaven legs and underarms. It would take quite a bit of getting used to. All his life he had been a male; now he wasn't; not by a big margin, his unduly frequent erections notwithstanding.

No longer was it just a game to turn Wendy on, a sexual make- believe. He was condemned to pretend to be a woman for the rest of his life.

The first night home he waited until that boy had gone to bed, and tried on his old clothes. His trousers were tight around the hips and loose at the waist; his shirt buttons strained appallingly. He looked like a girl in men's clothes. That was the moment he fully comprehended what he'd done. As if it had been lying in wait, buried in his subconscious waiting for the moment when he could bear the sudden knowledge, the enormity of the change in his body crashed in on him. From the moment he left Dr. Goody's clinic he had known he couldn't wear men's clothes anymore, but it was an intellectual knowledge only, not visceral. Now it was all very real.

Half the time he was aghast at the consequences of his reckless surrender to Wendy's whim; half the time he was exhilarated. The trouble was, even he could see he was brilliantly successful in his masquerade. Fooling everybody was a special thrill. But he could have done that--had done that--without undergoing this drastic physical change.

Now he had to live with it. It was hard, especially in public. He felt naked in a dress, legs uncovered, privacy vulnerable to any vagrant breeze that might lift his skirt.

He was shy for other people to look at him. When he forced himself to go out he found himself hunching his shoulders to minimize his breasts.

Alone, however, he was proud of them, liking the way they jiggled when he moved, and the unaccustomed erotic pleasure he got from fondling them. It had taken several weeks at the clinic for their ache to subside, but it was worth it.

They had developed to fill a C-cup amply. When it came time for him to try on street clothes again, Nurse Baker took one look at the bra he wore when he arrived, Wendy's B-cup, and shopped for another for him in the proper size.

If he knew Wendy, she'd love them.

He shifted comfortably in bed, feeling their presence. The sensation fueled his morning hard-on. He needed sex. He thought wistfully of "Miss Vee," who had given him so much ecstasy so often despite the shame of Nurse Baker's presence. At first the nurse seemed impersonal, but as time went by he sensed more interest in the procedure than was proper. She began checking him for an erection, not just morning and night, but every time she came in, and let her hand linger just a little too long. She fondled his balls while Miss Vee worked. In the final week she said they needed laboratory samples of his semen, and milked him manually into a flask. Her fingers trembled, betraying an unseemly excitement. He pretended to believe her lab-sample story, but a furtive expression on her face alerted him; he began to watch her through half-closed eyes when she went in the bathroom ostensibly to label the sample. One morning she failed to pull the door far enough closed. He caught her tilting the "sample" to her lips, throat moving as she swallowed, a look of desperation on her face. It was as though she were a drug addict and his semen was her "fix". He didn't let on that he knew what she was doing. It would have been too embarrassing for them both. But now--where was she when he needed her?

He groaned. He was off the wall waiting for Wendy to return, and there was still a month to go.

That special musky fragrance his body emanated during the stay at the clinic had become attenuated, but remained with him nevertheless, now heightened by the closeness of the warm bedclothes around him. He breathed it in. He didn't smell like his old self at all.

Time to get up.

He drew his knees under him and raised his ass, crouching under the blankets, stretching his back luxuriously. His, um, tits- -it tickled him to call them that--hung straight down. There was a refreshing coolness in the creases under them as the dampness of sweat evaporated.

Why had he set the alarm for such an early hour?

Richard Haskell. He had an appointment with him this morning.

Oh, God.

He would have to go down to the man's office and beg for a job- -in a dress! What would Haskell think?

His stomach fluttered wildly; his erection disappeared, shriveling into a flaccid pendant.

He couldn't do it. He would call and cancel.

But he needed the job, they were running out of money, and he had to have a new place to work, he couldn't return to the tax- preparation firm that had employed him as a man--and the job with Haskell would be a good one. With the Chard and Myers tax returns Bob had done, Haskell would practically be forced to offer him a good salary, or maybe even the partnership he had mentioned. Well, he deserved it. He was a good tax accountant; his changed appearance didn't alter that. It was worth a shot, even if it meant laying bare his secret. He struggled out of bed. He had to face the music. Oh God. What would the man say?

Remembering Andy was in the house, he threw on a robe before shuffling barefoot to the bathroom. Damn, he let the cat out of the bag last night. How could he have done that? The boy must think he was awful.

Bob forced his mind away from his embarrassment. He was pretty sure Andy wouldn't say anything. He was a nice kid. He'd be leaving as soon as he found work, anyhow. Bob would be sorry to see him go. He worked hard, so full of energy he was about to explode, at it from morning until well after dark, grateful for the slightest human consideration. His face, which had seemed so plain to Bob at first, had a handsome roughness. When Andy smiled the sun came out, and the youthful joy simmering under the surface never failed to touch Bob's heart.

The boy had been good for him, his presence making him behave as womanly all the time as he possibly could. It was good practice.

He drizzled bath salts in the tub while it was filling, meaning to take a long relaxing bath, but found himself too nervous to lie still. He shaved his legs and under his arms--not much of a chore, the protogen treatment had all but stopped growth of body hair, even in his pubic region--and got out of the tub, toes curling luxuriously in the shaggy bath mat. He dried himself pink, dusted with body powder, and padded back to the bedroom to get dressed.

He would wear the new strapless bra. Supremely lacy and feminine, it looked hardly large enough to contain his tits. The underwiring lifted them and squeezed them together--the saleslady called it a push-up-push-in bra--so his cleavage was pronounced.

He took special pains with his garter belt, lining up the garters so they were straight along his thighs, buttoning them to beige stockings which made his legs look sleek--then changed his mind altogether and put on panty-hose instead. Wendy liked him in stockings, she said they looked naughty, and he agreed, he preferred them, but of all the things he didn't want to be today, it was "naughty". He tucked his cock carefully down into the crotch of his panties so no bulge would show under a tight skirt. He had already selected his dress for the interview. It was Wendy's blue cashmere, the top of which the seamstress at the cleaners had let out. Wendy would be irked if she knew, she liked the dress, but he would have it taken in again before she got back. The color flattered his complexion. In the mirror the dress looked sophisticated and, he hoped, reasonably businesslike.

He filched Wendy's pearl earrings for discreet accents, and decided against a necklace. Pumps of the same shade of blue as the dress completed the ensemble. The mirror told him the two-inch heels made his ankles trim.

Sitting at the dressing table he brushed his hair until it shone, and applied cosmetics with meticulous concentration, stopping at each stage to evaluate the procedure critically, resisting the temptation to use too much makeup, as if somehow makeup would be a mask to prevent anyone recognizing him.

He had managed to submerge his nervousness by focusing on getting dressed. Now the butterflies started up again.

It was still early, but he could hear Andy stirring in the kitchen. He didn't have enough to worry about, now he had to go down and face the boy. Well, it would be good practice. It seemed this was the day for having his secret known. He would have to face Andy, who knew, and then go and tell Haskell and face him too.

He took a breath, conscious of the way his tits lifted in a bra that held him so firmly it was beginning to be uncomfortable, and went downstairs to make breakfast.

Andy was putting the coffee on. He looked up cheerfully.

"Morning." He gave a low whistle. "Wow, you look nice!"

Bob smiled shyly, not quite able to look at him. "Thanks." He tied an apron around his waist, conscious of Andy's eyes following him. "I have an appointment downtown."

"Yeah, for that job, right? Don't worry, you'll knock 'em dead."

"I hope."

He put on bacon and eggs to cook.

Andy set their places saying, "Sure. You look great. It's about those taxes you did, ain't it?"

"Yes, kind of. You see, last spring I prepared a tax return for a man who turned out to be a bank president's son-in-law. He showed him some of the ways I saved him money, and the next thing I knew the bank president asked his lawyer, who had been doing his taxes, to get me to do them this year. Also the bank's chairman of the board, Mrs. Chard. She's rich. I knew she owned most of Chardsville but until I did her personal taxes just now I didn't have any idea how rich. I bet she's the richest person in the state."

He wiped his hands on the apron, served the bacon and scrambled eggs, and sat down opposite Andy.

"So did she like the job you did?"

"Mr. Haskell said so."

"You got it made," Andy said confidently.

"Yes. Well, I hope so, anyway."

"You look worried. Don't be. You gotta look like you don't need him. My dad said that was the only way to ask for a job."

"I suppose so."

Andy really was a very sweet boy. For a moment Bob contemplated telling him what was troubling him, but he didn't want to get into the business about his being a man again. Andy was pretending he didn't know, and maybe that was best, they could just forget the whole thing, make believe he hadn't said anything last night.

Andy said, "You got a nice day for it."

The weather was fair. An autumn sun streamed through the kitchen windows, brightening the new paint and floor tiles.

The boy shoved his empty plate away and finished his coffee.

"Want me to drive you?"

Bob stood up to clear the counter. "Thanks, it's such a nice day I think I'll walk." He needed exercise to settle his jumping stomach.

He got his coat and purse and prepared to venture out into a world that was suddenly fraught with peril.

His voice trembled when he said, "I'll see you later."

Andy's expression was sympathetic. He walked to the door with him and patted him on the shoulder.

"Good luck. I'll keep my fingers crossed."

He bent quickly and kissed him.

It flustered him--after all, it was inappropriate, the boy knew he was a man--but it was such a spontaneous, genuine act that it lifted his spirits. He walked down the street, self-conscious about the click of his heels on the sidewalk, but feeling better.

Haskell's new offices were impressive. Too impressive, Bob suspected. He didn't know how much the rent was, or, if Haskell owned the two-story building, what the mortgage payment was, but he was willing to bet it was an arm and a leg, more than half the lawyer's gross revenues at least. Add to that the cost of running expenses, secretaries, insurance and taxes and other items of overhead, Haskell must be lucky to barely clear enough to support his Mercedes and Lake District home.

Bob could understand why the man wanted to expand his law practice to include financial planning for his rich clients. It would probably more than double revenues. People's need for a lawyer was only sporadic, but managing their investments was a year-round proposition. Rich people talked to rich people; Bob had no doubt that if Haskell could offer successful tax-planning and management, the division would become the tail that wags the dog.

He hesitated in front of the intimidating front door and adjusted the new brassiere, the elastic of which seemed to be trying to crawl up his back, and smoothed his skirt. He couldn't put it off any longer. He opened the door.

The immaculate wine-red carpeting in the reception area was so deep his spike heels plunged in and threatened to overset him. Tall narrow windows transmitted a pearly light into the room, illuminating delicate period furniture.

The receptionist was a blonde girl a couple of years younger than he, obviously chosen for her attractive smile.

He made himself answer the smile. "I'm Barbara Miller. Mr. Haskell is expecting me."

He took off his coat and straightened his shoulders, self- conscious about the prominence of his breasts, but determined to brazen it out. He hung the coat on an old-fashioned oak coat-tree by the door.

The girl glanced down at the appointment book on her desk.

"Oh dear," she tittered. "I'm afraid Mr. Haskell thinks you're somebody named Bob." She spoke into the intercom. "Mrs. Miller is here, Mr. Haskell." To Bob, "You can go right in."

Doing his best to control his breathing, he forced one leg after the other to carry him to the office.

Haskell was scrutinizing some papers on an enormous polished mahogany desk. Without looking up he said, "Hi Bob, be with you in just a sec."

He finished reading the page with an expression of satisfaction.

"There," he said, "That's done. One more fat fee."

He stood up.

His expression changed to surprise. He looked him up and down. "I'm sorry, I was expecting somebody else. Janey did say Miller, did she not?" He snapped his fingers. "I get it. The resemblance is unmistakable. I didn't know Bob had a sister. Have a seat." He indicated a conversation area comprised of a comfortable- looking couch and chairs around a Hepplewhite coffee table. "What can I do for you? Where's Bob?"

Bob closed the door and turned.

"I'm Bob."

Haskell's uncomprehending smile stretched his pencil-mustache. Clean-shaven except for the mustache, he looked dapper and distinguished with a sprinkling of silver at his temples. The man was of average height, only a couple of inches taller than Bob was in heels.

Bob couldn't prevent the blush he felt coloring his cheeks. "I'm Bob. Really."

"The Bob Miller I'm talking about is a man. Older than you. He's a tax practitioner."

"That's me. I am Bob Miller, Dick," Bob insisted. "I chose a new, ah, life-style. But I'm still a tax accountant."

The man stared at him dumbfounded. Slowly Bob saw recognition, then belief, trickle into his eyes.

"You-- You-- How--?"

"It's a long story."

Still staring, Haskell said, "Come on, sit down and tell me about it, er, Bob." He waved at a chair.

"It's Barbara now." Bob sat as gracefully as he could, and tugged his skirt down.

Haskell looked at his knees.

"Barbara! Of course. Barbara. Forgive me, I'm having a tough time assimilating this." He dropped into a chair opposite. "Let me catch my breath."

His eyes traveled over Bob's figure. He shook his head. "I don't believe it. I never knew you were gay."

"I'm not!"

"Then what are you doing, er, in drag?"

"Wendy wanted me to do it, and then it turned out I liked it."

"Wendy? That's right, your wife. You two still married?"

"Sure we are."

"I just thought, with you looking like that  . . . Why would she want you to adopt this life-style?"

Bob looked down uncomfortably. "She just does. Anyway, I can't go back to the other firm dressed like this. Everybody would know, the preparers and all my clients. So that's why I'm here. We've been acquainted for a long time, I trust you. I know you wouldn't tell on me. I thought if that offer was still open  . . . "

"Gee, Bob--er, Barbara. Things have kind of changed, haven't they? Who else knows about this?" His eyes were calculating.

"Wendy. Nobody else."

"What about Mrs. Chard and Mr. Myers? They know you're a man."

"I relayed all my questions through you, remember? I never spoke with them. They don't know if I'm a man or a woman."

"Yes." Haskell was thoughtful. "I guess it could be passed off as some kind of mix-up. Bob. Barbara. Bobbie. It would be easy to make a mistake, I suppose. But they may not like the idea of a woman doing their finances. Some people are funny that way."

"Lots of tax accountants are women. Besides, you said they were pleased with my work."

Haskell gave an uncertain laugh. "You really are Bob, aren't you? I can't get over it. Yeah, they did like it. They raved about it. You saved them thousands in taxes, and they followed your advice about shifting funds, so now they're making more than ever, most of it tax- free. Er, what was that business about rent?"

"Rent? Oh. You arrange to buy the company's offices, using company money, of course, borrowing it or something. Then you charge the company rent in lieu of salary or dividends. There's no self-employment tax on rental income, so you cut your personal taxes sharply. Plus the company benefits by an expense that reduces income without having to pay its share of Social Security tax."

"Really? Could I do that?"

"Maybe. We could sit down and talk about it. I'd have to know all the factors."

Haskell shook his head. "That's what makes you such a good financial planner--you don't commit yourself until you know all the details."

"So? About working here?"

Haskell stared at the wall in silence. Bob could see the wheels turning, like a used-car salesman figuring out how much he could charge the buyer.

He said slowly, "We-ell, we could give it a try. I know I said something about a partnership, but maybe we'd better hold off on that until we see what's going to happen. I'd be sticking my neck out, you know. If anybody found out  . . . I'd have to say I didn't know anything about it."

Again he inspected Bob. "You know, you really do look pretty good. If we're careful nobody would ever guess, would they? It's kind of a kick. Okay." Bob saw he had made up his mind. "How about this. You work for me on retainer plus a commission equal to two-fifths of any financial planning business that comes in, including Chard and Myers. And two-fifths of anything the firm bills for fiduciary tax return preparation. That's fair, isn't it? We'll get one and a half percent for managing portfolios of under a million, and one percent over a million."

Bob's heart lurched. Haskell had just said yes. He was taking advantage of him, he knew, last year he got two-thirds for tax returns, but the deal sounded good anyway. He did a swift calculation. His income would skyrocket immediately. With judicious application of some ideas he had already formed, it could increase tenfold in just a few short months. They could start building that house.

His heartbeat was so violent he feared the vibration of his dress would betray him.

"It's a deal."

He shook hands with him.

The lawyer asked, "Can you start tomorrow? Sam Lovell, president of Chard Industries, is coming in. Seems Mrs. Chard mentioned you. I'll have an agreement messengered to your home this afternoon. We'll have to get you a secretary too. You got anyone in mind?"

The president of Chard. That meant not only his individual account but the company's profit-sharing accounts as well. From Haskell's watchful expression he was almost sure Lovell had been told to ask for him personally. He should have held out for a better deal.

He answered the question. "Not right offhand. I'll call you if I think of somebody."

"Let's go meet your new associates."

Haskell guided him with one hand lightly on the small of his back, making Bob aware of a perceptible change in the man's reaction to him, not quite patronizing, but somehow as if Bob were a child.

The lawyer introduced him around. Jane Bloom, the receptionist, gave Bob a smile that was a bit too radiant; he sensed she was nettled, another "woman" was to be her boss.

The elderly gentleman in charge of research, Bert Jaffe, expressed surprise at Bob's youth and apparent gender, but complimented him on the precedents he had used to support certain of Mrs. Chard's deductions, and said something courtly about Bob's skill being equal to his comeliness. Bob caught an amused glitter in Haskell's eye and looked away hastily.

Two research assistants maintained a careful respect when Bob was introduced, but when he and Haskell left the library he heard an aggrieved whisper. "That broad is younger than we are. She's supposed to tell us what to do?"

Haskell made as though to reenter the library; Bob stopped him, saying gently, "These things sometimes take a little time. I'll handle it later." But the incident frightened him; he had to have the young men's cooperation to do a good job, and wondered how he'd be able to gain it. Mrs. Brower, in charge of the files, proved a doughty old battle-ax who looked at Bob with approval. "About time we got a woman associate," she said.

Bob's office was every bit as large and luxuriously appointed as Haskell's. The walls were paneled; the desk a gleaming expanse of dark wood in front of an imposing high-backed leather chair that made Bob think of a throne. He tried to imagine the desk covered with books and papers and a calculator, and couldn't. It was a beautiful office, but it was for show. If he wanted to get any work done he'd have to do it in Research.

Haskell explained, "In this game appearances are as important as anything else. You have to impress the clients with your success. Don't forget, we want to give the impression that we don't need them, they need us. It would be better if you were a man and didn't look so damn' young, but I guess there's nothing we can do about that now. They'll just have to live with it. He held out his hand. "Glad to have you with us  . . . Barbara. See you tomorrow."

As soon as Bob got out in the deserted lobby he leaned against the wall. His vision dimmed and his knees shook. His heart was a galloping runaway in his chest.

I did it, he thought. I did it!

He rested panting until elation impelled him out to the street.

He walked on air, paying no attention to where he was going, just needing to work off the tension and anxiety of the morning by some kind of exercise, not feeling the chill wind that swirled up under his coat and around his stockinged legs, kept warm by the exultation ablaze in him.

It was the lunch hour. Office workers thronged the streets.

He grinned irrepressibly at the freckled redheaded girl coming toward him. "Hi, Nancy," he blurted absently, saw her startled look as they passed, and an instant later knew he had made a big mistake.

Nancy Dahl was the receptionist at the tax firm he worked for, a diminutive homely girl whose cheery smile was so bright it almost made her look beautiful. He had always liked her for her exuberance and energy and the tact with which she avoided office politics. They had worked closely seven days a week for three months of each year. Of all people to pull a boner with!

His footsteps faltered in dismay.

He made himself continue down the street, hoping she thought he was a customer from last tax season or something--and flinched wildly as he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Bob? Bob Miller?"

He didn't respond, but the girl skipped ahead and stood in front of him, blocking his way. Her pale green eyes were wide.

"It is you, isn't it? Why, Bob!"

He darted a look to either side to see if anyone was watching.

"Shh. Not so loud."

The girl whispered gleefully, "Why are you like that? Let me see."

She stepped back and looked him up and down. "You're gorgeous!" Apparently correctly interpreting his expression she added, "Don't worry, I think it's wonderful."

Bob opened his mouth but couldn't make himself say anything. She knew him. He couldn't deny it. He had a sinking feeling. His disguise wasn't as impenetrable as he hoped. He'd never be able to carry it off.

"I can't believe my eyes! I'm completely overwhelmed. Tell me all about it."

He murmured desperately, "Not here. I'll see you another time."

"Forget it. I'm not letting you go for one second. I want to hear everything." She hooked her arm through his. "Come on, I was just going to lunch. We'll go to Mitzi's and get a table all by ourselves."

The place was half a block away, one of those cutesy restaurants that specialized in things like little watercress sandwiches and crustless squares of brown bread with cream cheese covered with a dab of caviar. It wouldn't be crowded. Glumly he let her lead him. At the table she sparkled when he slipped his coat off.

"Wow. You don't do things halfway, do you? Just look at you, you're stunning! They look so real."

Stung, Bob said, "They are real."

"Oh, yeah, right. Pause for laugh. Laugh over." She gazed at him intently through narrowed eyes. "You're not kidding, are you. They're real? How did that happen?"

"I, um, I went to a doctor for a  . . . treatment."

"Oh God, Bob, that's terrible! It's one thing to dress up--but to give up your  . . . "

"I didn't! It just changed the way I look."

"He didn't--cut you?"

"No," he blushed. "No subtractions, just additions."

"That's marvelous. That's why your voice is like that, too. I--"

She broke off while the waitress took their orders.

Bob opened his purse, found a hanky, touched it to his temples and upper lip. He was sweating with nervousness.

When the waitress left he asked, "H-how did you know?"

She gazed at him steadily, as if making up her mind to be candid. Her freckles disappeared as pinkness overtook her face.

She said finally, "My husband does too. I mean he wears dresses around the house. I wouldn't have recognized you, except I was used to it. When you said hi, I didn't know you at first, but then, well, it was kind of like a double image, like seeing Jimmy--that's my husband--on the street."

"Your h-husband wears dresses?"

"Yeah. He really looks good, better than me. He did it every day when he--well, that's another story. Anyway, I'm used to it. Don't worry, love. Nobody else could ever tell."

Another man like him. Not gay, married to a woman. He'd like to meet him someday.

"Don't you mind?"

"What, about Jimmy? No, I think it's nice." Her pale green eyes twinkled. "You look nice too. So what's the deal? I would never of believed I'd see you like this. Jimmy would be thrilled."

"Oh  . . . it's too long to go into now. My wife, well, she kind of encouraged me. It makes her feel, I don't know, better about things."

"I know what you mean. It gives me a kick to go to bed with Jimmy when he's that way."

Her frankness made the heat in Bob's cheeks deepen. He took advantage of the waitress' arrival to change the subject.

"How are things back at the ranch?"

"The tax orifice?" she grinned. "Usual. Slow out of season, but you know that. Myrna is still a royal pain to everybody in sight."

Myrna Floss was the office manager, a squatty woman with a masculine demeanor who ran the place on principles of favoritism, cronyism, and consummate disregard for the feelings of employees.

Nancy took a bite of her cottage cheese. "We lost four out of six tax preparers this year. Myrna's really counting on you. Wait'll she sees you. She'll have puppies."

Bob grinned in spite of his self-consciousness. "Are you kidding? I'm not coming back. Nobody's supposed to know. You're not going to say anything, are you? Please."

"Never! I told you about my husband, didn't I? Well, then. If you won't say anything I won't. Myrna's going to be pissed off, though." She seemed to derive considerable pleasure from the thought. "So what are you going to do next season?"

In cartoons they show a light bulb going on over somebody's head when he has an idea. To Bob it was just that way, a sudden flash of inspiration. Nancy knew about him. If he had her loyalty she could be a big help.

"I'm heading up a new department at Haskell and Associates." It was the first time he said it out loud. It sounded important. "Tax planning and financial management. I just got the job today. Listen, I'm going to need a secretary. You take dictation and type, don't you? And you know all the tax language. Why don't you come to work for me?"

He prayed Haskell would go along with the salary he was prepared to offer. If he didn't, Bob was willing to pay the difference out of his own pocket. He'd be able to afford it.

When he told Nancy how much she would be making, her plain face turned bright.

"And I'd be an executive secretary? Wow, cool. It's about time I left that crappy tax office. Wait'll I tell Myrna. Say, what will I tell her? Who'll I be working for? Not Bob Miller."

"Barbara Miller. Bob's sister, I guess. You'll have to cover for me if a client comes in and thinks he recognizes me."

"Don't worry, I will. Barbara! I love it. I'm so proud of you! You made up your mind to, what, go all the way and become a woman--sort of--and just like that you got a job as the big boss. It couldn't have happened to a better  . . . girl. When do I start?"

Bob smiled happily. "Tomorrow?"

"I'll tell Myrna soon as I get back. I should give her two weeks notice, but I can't resist telling her I'm going to lunch."

Bob laughed. She was referring to a tax preparer a year ago who said she was going to lunch and never came back.

Nancy said, "Oh-oh."


"You, uh, you're not gonna use the ladies' washroom, are you?"

He stared at her until he saw the twinkle in her eyes, and burst out laughing.

He was still smiling when he walked into Dresser's department store to celebrate with a new outfit. His own. He wouldn't have to borrow Wendy's things anymore.

He charged a couple of tailored knit suits and blouses to complement them; and then, carried away, half a dozen mix 'n match frocks, skirts and tops. He took pleasure in selecting dresses with deep décolletages--formerly, with falsies in his bra, his absence of cleavage would give him away; he had to wear prim and proper high-necked garments. Shoes to go with the dresses were next. Mildly unnerved by the cost of the spree, he threw caution to the winds and treated himself to an assortment of lingerie.

To atone for his self-indulgence, he picked up another pair of pajamas and a toilet kit for Andy, and went on to purchase jeans and jockey shorts--Andy wore them instead of boxer shorts, which made Bob smile when he did the laundry; he always thought of them as "little-boy shorts"--and shirts. The poor boy needed new clothes if he was going to talk to people about remodeling their homes. Shopping in the familiar men's department gave him a pang.

Out on the street, laden with packages, he wished he had taken the car this morning. There must be some way of getting a driver's license. He wondered if he could get away with simply renewing his license under his new name, say the original had been issued in error. No, if it didn't work, the whole thing would blow wide open. He'd be disgraced, lose his new job; he and Wendy would have to leave town.

The only cab at the stand was Mr. Cosy's old Checker cab. He didn't dare ride with him, the town's biggest gossip. Thinking black thoughts, Bob made his way home on foot.

Andy was still banging away in what he said was going to be the new den, a private room where Bob could work, instead of spreading his papers out on the dining-room table.

Shyly he remembered the impulsive surprising kiss this morning. As much as anything else, its residue had sustained him in his role today. It had been like a husband kissing his wife good-bye. He guessed it brought him luck.

He went upstairs to change into one of the new dresses, thankfully freeing himself of the push-up-push-in bra. He scratched his back luxuriously where the strap had been.

The dress was yellow checks on a rust background, cheerful fall colors that flattered his complexion. It clung snugly around the waist and hips before flaring out in a knee-length full skirt. The top buttoned down the front, but the highest button was only level with the middle of his chest, forming a V that exposed rather more cleavage than necessary. He looked good in it.

He preened a moment in front of the mirror, thinking how pleased Wendy would be when she saw him, and went downstairs to make dinner.

Chapter 5

Andy's day was not one of his best, from the very moment he jolted awake with a raging hard-on.

What had he been dreaming? He searched his mind. No dream. It was the memory of Mrs. Miller's revelation. She wasn't a girl, she was a guy.

His prick was so distended it seemed about to rupture. In fact, his whole genital area felt swollen and humid.

Nothing seemed to go right.

Look at the way he kissed her good-bye. He didn't know what came over him. One minute she was standing at the door looking scared, the next he put his arm around her shoulder and kissed her. Actually kissed her. On the corner of her lips. Him. Kissed him. It wouldn't be so bad if she hadn'a told him she was really a guy, but she had, and so he'd kissed another man, and he had known it, and so had she. What that made him, he didn't want to think about.

Anyhow, she didn't make a fuss or anything, just looked surprised. He was glad she left right away so she couldn't see his face get red.

What the hell, it was only a good-luck kiss, she knew that. He hoped she'd get that job, it would make her happy.

What did she want to look like a girl for, anyway? He didn't get it. She had a wife, so she wasn't queer. But here she'd gone to the doctor to get tits.

The wife--what was her name, Wendy, that was it--wanted her to. He couldn't understand that either. What kind of a woman would want her husband to look like a girl? It sounded like a way of putting him down.

He wondered what Mrs. Miller looked like without clothes. Man, wouldn't that be a sight. A dame with big knockers and a tallywhacker. Maybe he could leave his door ajar when she took her bath at night, and catch a glimpse of her going back to her room. No, she wore a bathrobe. Maybe she didn't lock the bathroom door, he could just walk in and act surprised and apologize for not knowing she was there. The thought fueled his aching erection.

He worked all morning in the spare room he was turning into an office for her. In the middle of setting up a tricky compound-angle cut he realized she didn't have to tell him about herself, but she had. That must have taken guts. Also trust. It was because she thought he was going to do the same thing--as if he ever would!--and wanted to talk him out of it, so it showed friendship too.

For a minute he toyed with the idea of confiding his problem to her, the spells and all. It would be nice to be able to talk about it with a friend. No, the habit of secrecy instilled in him by his father and mother was too strong. From the time he was old enough to walk they had emphasized that he was never, never to risk any kind of exposure. He'd be a laughing-stock, or worse. Until he reached puberty they were prepared to sacrifice everything, move away like his grandmother's parents, but things had worked out all right and they didn't have to leave town.

He made a botch of things all day, one mistake after the other, his mind abstracted with thoughts of Mrs. Miller. His balls had begun to ache. "Blue balls," Ray Tynan called them, when you were making out with a girl but couldn't get in her pants. Not that Andy had ever gotten that close to having sex with a girl.

When he painstakingly measured a board, going back two or three times to be sure--and then cut on the wrong side of the line, making the board an eighth-inch too short, he quit in exasperation. It was only four o'clock, but if he kept on he'd just be wasting his time. Or worse. Probably cut off a finger or something.

As the saw whined to a stop he heard noises in the kitchen. She was home. He put his tools away and went to see.

She was at the sink washing vegetables, her back to him. He heard her humming a little tune.

She was cheerful--she must have got the job. Her dress was different from the one this morning, kind of an autumn-y color. It hugged her curves, narrow at the waist and following the contours of her hips like a second skin, until midway down her rear end it flared out into the skirt proper.

Her feet did a little dance in time to her humming. Her alluring ass switched, making the skirt sway. No way was that a man's bottom, there was no leanness there, it broadened generously instead. He remembered her boobs. He knew they were real--in the house she wore low-necked dresses with no brassiere, God, they practically fell out, it was all he could do to keep his eyes off her. That must have been some treatment she had.

He heard what he was thinking. "She." "Her." He should be thinking of her as "him." But how could he when she looked that way?

He stepped quietly up behind her.

Even at that point he wasn't sure what he was going to do. Give her another kiss maybe. The image of her getting plowed by men obsessed him. He remembered how excited it had made him in the shower last night.

He put his arms around her slender waist.

She nearly jumped out of her skin. An instant later she relaxed.

"Eek," she said, a puzzled smile in her voice. "It's a mugger."

Jeez, she smelled good. Underlying a hint of floral perfume was her own body odor, a fragrance that sent a message directly to his aching balls. He could be blindfolded and he would know her anywhere. He nuzzled her hair aside and kissed her at the corner of her neck and shoulder.

The delicate form in his arms tensed.

"Andy! Stop fooling, I have to get dinner."

Spontaneously he lifted his hands from her waist to hold her tits. They were soft and firm and yielded excitingly to his squeeze.

If she was really a woman he would never have dared. But she wasn't. He could do anything he wanted--she couldn't tell on him. It was her own fault; she shouldn't have fooled him.

She gasped.

"Don't! What do you think you're doing?"

Part of him was appalled by his actions, but the part that was running things unbuttoned her top so he could fondle her bare boobs.

He heard her start to pant. A tremor swept through her.

She choked, "Andy, don't. I told you  . . . I'm not a girl."

"I don't care." His voice came out hoarse. "You're so beautiful I can't help myself."

Gently he wedged her nipples between the index and middle fingers of each hand and tugged rhythmically. According to the guys that was the way to make girls hot. He didn't know what it was doing to her, but it was definitely working on him. He was hot all over. His balls steamed; his crotch was wet. He had never been so horny in his whole life.

She wriggled fiercely, making him release his grip on her nipples for fear of hurting her, and turned to face him, still enfolded in his embrace, palms up against his chest.

She quavered, "Be a good boy. Let me go. I have to get dinner."

His heart ached to see her trying to conceal fright, but his prick had control. He put his mouth on hers.

She squirmed, "Mmf!" and pushed against him, but he held her with ease.

A despairing sound emerged from her throat.

The tenseness in her body waned.

For a long moment she stayed quiet in his embrace, letting him kiss her.

Her provocative body aroma increased markedly; she must be sweating. He thought of a bitch in heat, giving off signals to every dog for blocks around.

An obtrusive bulge under her skirt made itself known when he pressed against her.

He was galvanized. She was a guy. Until now he had merely accepted the truth of her words in his head. It was shocking to have it confirmed physically.

When Andy finally broke the kiss she stared at him as though she had never seen him before.

He said, "Well, what'd you expect, if you're gonna look like that? Anyway, you liked it."

"No I didn't!"

"Then why are you hard?"

"I'm not!"

"Oh yeah? Let's see. Come on, show me."

"No! I don't have to. Anyway, I'm not hard."

"I am, though. Wanna see?"

"No!" She hesitated. She looked at his jeans. After a moment she said, "Really?"

"Sure." He reached for his belt. "I'll prove it."

"No," she said, but her gaze stayed fixed to his midsection while he unbuckled his belt and zipped down his fly. Her eyes got big when he pried his cock out through the fly of the jockey shorts.

It stuck straight out, leaking from the orifice in the tip, which kept gaping open and closed. The flaring head was a deep rose color, shiny with tumidity. A corona of pink skin gathered in a collar behind the head. The shaft was fair, traced with distended blue veins.

He couldn't believe he was exposing himself to her like this. He felt dirty, like he did when he and Ray Tynan messed around in the basement.

Andy sat on one of the kitchen chairs, penis stark upright, and took her hands to draw her toward him.

"Sit on my lap and we'll talk."

She said, "Oh no. I'm not coming anywhere near that thing," but she took a wary step closer.

"Come on, what harm will it do?"

Staring at his erection she said, "Well  . . . only to talk."

She let him pull her down. Just before sitting she flipped out her skirt so his prick nestled between her warm thighs when she settled on him. She was soft in his arms and trembling violently.

He said, "So. You didn't like it when I kissed you."

She hung her head, dubiously watching his hand edge into the open vee of her dress. She shivered when he touched her nipple. It erected.

She said raggedly, "Of course not. We're both men. How could I like being kissed by another man?"

"You're more of a woman than a man," he said, bouncing her tit.

"Anyway. I didn't like it."

"Maybe I did it wrong. We should try it again, just to be sure."

"I still won't like it. You'd probably try to put your tongue in my mouth. Ugh."

"Naw. Here, put your arms around me and relax."

His cock twitched between her legs when her arms went hesitantly about his neck.

He embraced her again, thinking crazily that she was the most exciting creature he'd ever met, but it was all wrong, she was a guy. He couldn't help himself, her closeness, the feel of her in his arms, was driving him nuts. His tongue went out; her tender lips parted; the tip of her own tongue touched his. It was his first French kiss, obscene but delectable, the most intimate thing he ever experienced.

Her thighs squirmed, massaging his wedged penis.

When he ended the kiss she panted, "There, you see? Nothing."

"I guess I still did it wrong. We should try again to see if I can get it right this time."

"All right, but this is the last time."

Her face shone.

She was stiff at first, but all at once relaxed and applied herself to the kiss with enthusiasm, holding him tight, mouth opening under his, tongue meeting tongue, wild, curling and slurping with abandon. A wriggle of her ass caused her thighs to open briefly, freeing his prick, and the movement made her body shift until his cock was touching the crotch of her panties. It was almost like on purpose.

He lost himself in her sweetness until they ran out of air.

She rested her head against his chest, breathing hard.

They were alone and private in the house. Outside a distant mother's voice called for her child, emphasizing the stillness in the room which made all the small noises they made seem louder; her panting breath; a quiet creak of the chair as Andy shifted her weight on his lap; the rustle of clothing.

He held her close. His right hand left the delights of her soft breasts, insinuated itself under her skirt, slid up her stockinged leg until it was on smooth bare flesh.

She let out a small gasp.

He let his hand slip higher to grasp her panties.

She held very still.

Earlier, when he felt the lump against him, he thought he was reconciled to the idea that she was a man, but the grotesque reality of the confined erection stretching the nylon under his hand was appalling--and unbearably, perversely, exciting.

"I thought you weren't hard."

She pushed his hand away. "I'm not."

"Let me hold it for a while, okay? I never touched one before."

"We were only supposed to talk."

"I know. But you wouldn't mind if I just held it while we talk, would you? Come on, just for a little while."

"Well  . . . since you showed me yours  . . . I guess it would only be fair. Don't think I'm going to lose control or anything."

"I know."

When her lips parted to admit his tongue, he fondled the silk of her panties again, caressing the stiff pipe they contained. He tugged at the elastic waistband. She squirmed and made protesting sounds, but her movement accidentally facilitated the removal of the panties. He slid them down to her knees, which moved absently, causing the delicate garment to fall to the floor.

Now she was naked under the dress. His erection was in contact; the head prodded into her soft heavy balls.

Her prick was surprisingly hot to the touch. It felt huge, bigger than his. He clasped it, pulling back and forth so the skin moved, first covering the head, then stripping back. Andy didn't know much about girls, whether she had liked him caressing her tits, for example, but he did know what made a cock feel good, and did it.

She said suddenly, "Oh, don't. Don't! You'll make me--"

The organ he was gripping jumped and began throbbing. Wet warm liquid squirted.

She grunted, "Uh. Uh. Uh," and held him fiercely while her hips writhed.

He continued to pull at it until it softened, head shrinking back into the concealment of the foreskin. It was wet; her balls were wet; his hand was wet; everything was wet. God, his own prick was slippery with her stuff. She must have shot a gallon of come.

She drew a deep shuddering breath.

"That was-- You made me-- You weren't supposed to do that."

"Didn't you like it?"

"Well  . . . " Her voice shook. "I couldn't help it. It's been such a long time."

"Me too. Longer than you, I never did it."

"Sure you did. Everybody does."

"I don't mean by myself. I mean with somebody else."

"You never did it with somebody else? You're a virgin?"

The word made him blush. He shrugged.

After a minute she said, "I suppose you want me to do it to you."



He could swear there was disappointment in her voice.

He said, "You know what I wish?"


"What you told me." He tried to keep from sounding bashful.

"What I told you?"

"About those men that got you."


"I'd like to do that with you."

"Do--? Oh. You want to put it in me."


There was a long silence.

"Oh, Andy, no," she sighed. "It would be a mistake."

"Why a mistake?"

"Well, for one thing, it hurt!"

"I'd be gentle. I'd stop if it hurt."

"Even so, when they did it, it wasn't my fault. I mean, they just forced me. It was like, say, being beat up. A person can't help that. But if I let you, it would be, well, different. Besides, I'm married. What would Wendy say?"

"You don't have to tell her. I won't."


"I did it for you, didn't I? Now it's my turn."

"I'm afraid."

"I won't hurt you. It'll be nice, you'll like it."

"I'm too scared."

"Don't be. Come on, you can't leave me like this. It ain't fair. You were a guy, you know what it's like."

She hid her face in his chest.

His heart leaped when he heard her muffled voice, "I suppose I'll have to. If only to show you what a mistake all this is."

He stood up, holding her so she wouldn't fall. Her eyes were cast modestly down. He turned her to face the kitchen island.

"Bend over the counter."

Wordlessly she did as she was told.

It gave him a sense of power, which was new to him. Up to now it seemed everybody could tell him what to do--his parents, his teachers, even her, he was working for her--but now he was in control. He was dominating another man.

She flinched when he lifted her skirt to gaze at her alluring rear, and again when he fondled it.

She said abruptly, "I can't believe I'm letting you do this. It's humiliating."

"No, it's not, it's sexy. You got a beautiful ass. I like the way your legs are all shaved, too. They look nice in stockings."

"You just want to have your way with me."

"It don't hurt that you're pretty, though."

He stroked inside her thighs up to her wet balls.

She gasped.

"Do you really think I'm pretty?"

"You're more beautiful than any real girl I ever saw."

"You're just saying that so I'll spread my cheeks for you."

"No, I mean it. Really."

She reached behind and pulled her buttocks apart. The crack glistened with semen that had leaked down her crotch. Her asshole was a dusky-pink rosebud. It looked tiny.

"Ugh. I'm all slippery. You probably think it's going to make it easier for you to push that big thing up me. That's why you did it, isn't it. Well? What are you waiting for? I'm helpless in front of you. Go ahead, satisfy your disgusting needs. --Oh!" she yelped, when he poked the head of his cock against her wet asshole.

He shoved with enough force to move her entire body forward, but nothing happened. It wasn't going to fit.

A terrible sense of frustration came over Andy. He grabbed her hips to hold her steady and thrust again. He had to get in her. Had to. All day his cock had been telling him what it needed, and that was this, and he was going to succeed if it meant tearing her apart.

He pushed.

She cried out, "Ow! It's too big. Don't!"

There was a small sound, a soft *pop*, and his prick lunged forward an inch into tenderness.

She shrieked.

The head was past the entrance. Her ass spasmed reflexively around the neck of his cock, squeezing it tightly.

"Ow! Wait! Oh God, you're in--unh!"

He drove his prick farther up her ass, aided by the slick film of sperm, oblivious to her cries until he was all the way in.

Air was expelled from her lungs in an explosive grunt. She sobbed, "Please. Wait. Don't move. It's so big and hard and hot. Let me get used to it."

Now that he was in, possessing her, his patience returned. Without attempting to draw back, he let himself relax on top of her. Gently he lifted her silken brown hair and kissed her neck; then reached under her to pull her dress open and squeeze her tits.

Her asshole was moving around him, gripping and massaging his shaft. He savored the warm tunnel, feeling the constriction lessen. Her pelvis writhed sensuously in a circle, tugging deliciously.

She gasped, "Your big thing is in me. You're fucking me. Oh my God, I never knew it could be like this."

Her shoulders moved.

He asked, "What's the matter?"


"Are you crying?"


"Am I still hurting you?"

"No. Yes. A little. That's not why. You won't like me  . . . after."

"Sure I will. Why wouldn't I? I was even in love with you before you told me."

She sniffled, "You were?"

"Sure. So why would I not like you?"

He pulled back, hearing her quiet moan; and shoved forward again, making her exhale sharply. Her ass lifted like a cat in heat to meet his stroke.

"Oh, I'm giving myself to you. I'm so ashamed."

She stiffened and began grunting. He heard a quiet splash on the floor. It took him a second to realize he had made her come again; he was surprised and gratified. He still didn't know if he could satisfy a woman, but he could satisfy a man, all right.

He plunged in and out rhythmically as the noises she was making subsided. Her asshole was more relaxed now. His prick slushed with each stroke.

She panted weakly, "You're going to leave your seed in me. You'll make me--unh!--completely yours."

Her words sent him over the edge. With no warning his balls seized, he rammed up her, the muscles in his crotch clenched--and semen erupted like a series of gunshots through the barrel of his supremely rigid organ.

She squealed, "You're squirting in me! I can feel it!"

Her hips were jerking in rhythm to the spastic pumping of his cock jets of sperm shot into her pulse after pulse prick clutched by her anus he CAME and CAME and CAME spurting fiercely into her receptive body; until finally the jets diminished to drools that flowed with little pressure and his balls were drained at last. He shuddered. There were goose bumps in the small of his back.

Awareness of his surroundings came back to him; he heard her whimpering and babbling.

"  . . . you used me, you came in me, so hard and big and--UNH! Unh. Unh."

Her ass gripped his prick repeatedly.

He slumped on her, breathing raggedly. His cock softened reluctantly, massaged by the peristaltic movement of her rectum, which milked the last drops of sperm from him as it gradually squeezed him out. When a final contraction forced his penis to emerge, dangling heavy between her thighs, he lifted himself from her trembling body and sat heavily in the chair. He never came so hard, he was sure.

Oh Jeez, he had pronged another man. His face burned.

She remained bent over the counter top, quivering, ass exposed and leaking. Between her open legs he could see her hanging cock and balls. She groaned, straightened up, skirt falling into place, and looked at him defiantly. Flush succeeded pallor on her face. There were tear stains on her cheeks.

"I hope you're satisfied."

He summoned the energy to give her a smile. "Yeah."

"You just went ahead and did what you wanted."

He smiled again.

Her gaze dropped to his midsection. "You didn't even take down your underpants."

He shrugged.

"Oh! You are a beast. I'm going up to change. Look what you did to my new dress."

The front of her skirt had a long streak of wetness on it. But that wasn't from him, he thought, it was from her.

She turned on her heel and went to the stairs. He noticed she was walking stiffly, legs held apart.

Left alone to cope with his reactions to what happened, he sighed, tucked his flaccid penis into his shorts, and zipped his fly.

Andy didn't know what to think about himself. All his life he had been taught to avoid the slightest suggestion of effeminacy. Yet he had just had sex with another man. Did that make him a homo? Anybody else, he would think so. But he wasn't one of those nancy guys with limp wrists. He remembered jerking off with Ray. You couldn't call Ray a fag. The guy had knocked up two girls before graduation. So maybe this was like that--just fooling around, like guys did sometimes.

It was funny, instead of making him feel faggoty, the experience left him with a sense of strength and power.

He'd been the one on top. It wasn't like the other guy had fucked him or anything. A squirmy nervous feeling ran along his crotch and made his balls shrink up.

He knew he should feel ashamed, but had to admit he really enjoyed going off inside her. He wondered if getting his ashes hauled by a real woman would be more satisfying. He doubted it. Knowing she had a prick and balls and you weren't supposed to mess with her, and then going ahead and dumping your load in her had a special excitement. Like a lot of things, Andy decided, it was the sweeter for being forbidden.

A noise in the pipes told him the bath upstairs was filling. He wondered if he'd made her feel dirty, and then remembered how wet she was with her own jism. She was something else. She came once when he jerked her off, and twice more while he was screwing her. He never heard of somebody coming three times in a row. She must have been excited by his performance. It made him feel good.

When she came back down her color was high, and she had trouble meeting his eyes. She went right to the sink and started rinsing the abandoned salad vegetables.

She was scrubbed clean, her hair was shining, and she was wearing another dress he hadn't seen before, a burnt-orange frock with a square neckline that barely covered her nipples.

Hard-on returning, Andy said, "Anything I can do to help?"

"No. Yes. You can pour me a glass of wine. It's in the fridge. I'll have dinner on the table in a jiffy. It's already late."

He found the bottle and filled a long-stemmed glass.

"How'd things go today?"

She gave him a measured look. He could see her decide he wasn't referring to what just happened.

"Wonderful. I got the job."

"I knew you would. You think you're going to like it there?"

"Yes! They put me in charge of a new department. Just the kind of work I like. I even have a secretary."

"That's great. I told you."

"You did. You know, I didn't say anything before, but I really appreciate how supportive you've been through all this."

"I didn't do nothing."

"Yes you did, just by being on my side. I didn't ask, how did your work go?"

"Okay. You mind if I have some of this wine with you? There's a couple more days work on the den yet, but I have to go do a job for the tile man. I'll finish it up after."

"The tile man? Oh, in return for the flooring. Listen, I'm going to have money coming in soon. I can afford to buy the tiles. I don't want you to have to work for them. It wouldn't be fair."

"No. See, if I do a good job for the tile man, he'll recommend me to his other customers. It's a good deal for me."

She laughed. "You're always thinking, aren't you? I bet you're way ahead of me all the time. I'll have to watch my step."

Grinning, Andy set the table.

They ate companionably, never once mentioning what was most on their minds, until she served coffee.

She looked at him thoughtfully.

"You said before that you loved me until I told you--you know."

He took a sip from his cup. "Yeah."

"Does that mean you didn't love me after I told you?"

"Well, yeah. You're a guy. How could I be in love with you?"

She considered.

"Men can love each other."

"Yeah. Fags."

"No, I mean, love isn't something that always has to be only between men and women. If you like and respect somebody--a lot-- that's love, isn't it? Or a father can love his son. Or brothers can love each other."

"Yeah, well  . . . that's different."

"It is? Okay. Just so I know where I stand."

She smiled brightly, collected the dishes, stacked them in the sink.

Andy said uncomfortably, "Well, it is different. You know what I mean. Parents can love their kids, and brothers or sisters can love each other, but guys don't love other guys unless they're queer. You know that. What we did this afternoon was, well, kind of like, well, we both needed it, your wife isn't around, and I got no girl friend, so we just  . . . But we're not fags, right? Things happen. You're married to a woman--she is a woman, isn't she?"

"Of course." Her voice was cold.

"See? We can like each other, God knows I like you, I think you're terrific."

"All right."

"No, I mean, if I loved you, I'd have to be a fag."

"Okay! You told me. You don't love me."

She started washing the dishes.

"See? It would be unnatural. I mean  . . . love. That's something special, like if you was a real girl. Maybe I could love you. Maybe I would."

"All right! I know what you mean." She scrubbed vigorously at a pot. "I understand. We don't mean anything to each other. It was just one of those things."

"Okay. Good. I just--"

"Andy, I said I understand. Now let me do these damn' dishes in peace."

He brooded.

"I just-- You mad about something?"

"Of course not. What would I be mad about? I always let people stick it in me. Why not? I'm just a fag. No love involved."

"Aw, listen--"

"Let's change the subject. Better yet, let's not talk."

The pot clattered noisily into the dish rack.

Andy was beginning to feel in the wrong, but he didn't know what about. He had only tried to be honest. He remembered his mother pulling that same kind of stuff on his father, and his father had always reacted calmly, apologizing when she wanted him to apologize, soothing her when it seemed right, changing the subject when that was in order. Yeah, but his mother was his father's wife. This was just another guy, even if she looked like a girl.

He waited while she finished the dishes, afraid to leave. She wiped her hands on the dishtowel.

He said, "Look, whatever I said, I apologize."

She stared deliberately at the bulge in his pants and said coldly, "I'm going to bed early. I have to get up tomorrow."

He put his hand over his lap. He knew his face was crimson.

At the door she turned.

"Don't be too long. I'll wait up for you."

Chapter 6

Bob heard the shower turn on across the hall, and hastily undressed to get ready for bed. His stomach lifted dizzyingly.

His world had shattered the minute Andy's lips came down on his, and a whole new one opened for him.

He stood paralyzed when the boy started feeling him up, first with shock, then by the astonishing exquisite feeling of somebody touching his breasts, but he could have contrived to get away--if only he hadn't turned to face him.

It was the kiss that did him in. It was so tender and romantic and loving that he found himself yielding.

He didn't decide, it just happened. He discovered his face lifting and his body melting against the man, an erotic fire kindling in his loins. His heart pounded. There wasn't enough air.

A man was kissing him! It was the other side of the coin. He was used to putting his arms around his wife and kissing her. This was exactly opposite. Little or no actual physical difference, but the man was holding him, putting his lips on his, and that made a world of difference.

It wasn't right, it was perverse, no, depraved, to let Andy kiss him like that and to be so affected by it--but he couldn't help it.

What came over him? He was waiting impatiently for his wife to come home so he could make love to her. Pretending to be a girl was for her pleasure, not to court attention from men.

He did his best to imitate women, to walk and talk and move like them, an actor submerging himself in his role, trying to be the character he was pretending to be. But he never quite succeeded because he continued to see himself as an impostor. He couldn't make himself feel like a girl.

When Andy released him, a glare of insight illuminated his mind. Women had relationships with men! They had boyfriends. Boyfriends who kissed them. They even--his stomach leaped--had sex with them. As much as anything else it was the key to being female.

So long as he never had an intimate relationship with a man, he couldn't hope to fit into his new role. He'd been overlooking that crucial knowledge.

The answer to his predicament, if he wanted it, was standing in front of him.

Andy knew about him, knew he had a penis, and had kissed him anyway--and had more in mind than just a kiss. That was made amply clear by the bulge in the boy's pants.

He stared at him, the warm pressure of Andy's lips lingering on his own. His nostrils retained the clean sweaty youthful odor of the boy's body, overlaid with the fresh scent of sawdust. His nipples still tingled from the touch of Andy's hard hands.

Heart in his mouth, he watched Andy take out that beautiful prick. Everything seemed to happen in an instant of time--the hot rigid feel of it between his trembling thighs, the impassioned kisses, the hand thrilling up his leg, cool callused fingers manipulating his cock, the violent untimely ejaculation--and finally the consummation: the painful stretching insertion of the boy's sex organ and the hot jets of living sperm inside him--and his own ecstatic response.

It was more than he could handle.

Body plundered, soul ravished by excitement and terror, he'd staggered upstairs in tears. He stripped off his stained dress and sat on the toilet sobbing. His swollen anus quaked, opening and closing involuntarily. Andy's semen dripped into the bowl with quiet plops.

He wiped himself and ran a bath and lay in it, breasts bobbling as they sought to float; and tried to collect himself.

How could he have done it? Oh God, he had actually let another man put his thing in him. Suppose Wendy found out? He couldn't stand it. His face burned with shame. His ass still felt the intrusion, as if Andy's erection was still inside him. He squirmed in the tub.

He had talked himself into it with that rationalization about "fitting into his role," feeling like a woman. How could he?

The kiss had aroused him. He'd been so long without sex that his balls short-circuited his mind and he gave in, knowing he was doing wrong, terrified but helpless to control himself.

No sooner had he assumed the position than he found himself penetrated, not by something innocuous like Nurse Baker's cold thermometer, but by a man's thick organ  . . . and was robbed of all initiative. For the duration of the act he existed as little more than a quivering sex object for Andy's use. He wasn't cooperating with Andy, he was surrendering to him.

Through the pain and shock he became aware that the boy's hardness was rubbing against a certain spot in front of his rectum that seemed intimately connected with his genitals. It stimulated him wildly and caused him to writhe in passion. Without any volition on his part, he ejaculated again, through a penis gone limp with strain.

Another insight. Women didn't make their own orgasms; they were made to have them by men.

Bob was deeply frightened by his surrender to the boy; even more so by the realization he was so excited by it that he already wanted it to happen again. There was something special about Andy, something that appealed to the sexual side of his nature, that made him want to be with him. Resting in the bath, heart pounding, he knew it could become addictive.

He should stop now. End it.

Just one more time, he told himself. Tonight in bed. Then they'd talk, and he would explain why they couldn't go on.

Andy had liked his shaven legs. It occurred to him that if he shaved between his legs there would be no hair to retain odor. It would make him daintier. He got on his knees, breasts hanging in the water, and shaved carefully, one hand guiding the other, checking for any trace of stubble. The smooth bareness of his skin gave him confidence in his cleanliness.

When he got out of the tub his anus was still puffed and sore. He rummaged among Wendy's private things until he found the vaginal jelly she used in the time before she got turned on, and soothed the abused orifice with it. It was slippery when he moved; a feminine no-no that made him feel sexy.

He put on his new burnt-orange frock, checking to make sure it was as seductive as it had looked on the mannequin in the store, and, afflicted by a sudden shyness, went down to make dinner.

His pique with Andy when the subject of love came up vanished as soon as he left the kitchen to come upstairs. He knew he had been foolish, and was glad he had the sense to stop and let the boy know he could come to bed with him.

Nevertheless, he was having trouble with Andy's refusal to admit to an emotional commitment. If Bob were willing to give himself to him, the least the boy could do was reassure him that it meant more than just a casual roll in the hay.

Nude, he looked at himself in the floor-length mirror, trying to see himself through Andy's eyes. He blinked. The reflected image was too bizarre for words--a young woman with a penis and testicles dangling from the juncture of her thighs. He had always been complacent about being well-hung, and formerly the strange juxtaposition of male and female never failed to arouse him, but now it was only embarrassing. Grotesque, in fact. He didn't know if he could bring himself to let the boy see him like this.

Well, he didn't have to.

With the thought, his palpitating heart subsided.

All right. Good. Instead of the lace nightie he'd planned to wear, Bob took a high-collared flannel gown from the bureau, and went to bed without makeup. If Andy showed up, he'd send him back to his own room.

The decision calmed him. It was the right choice. There was no sense in getting any more involved than he had already.

He sat up, put a pillow behind his back, and tucked the bedclothes around him.

The sound of the shower stopped. A few minutes later there was a knock at the door.

Butterflies again.

"No, g-go away. I changed my mind."

The door opened.


Andy was wearing the blue pajamas he had bought for him this afternoon. The thin cotton was stretched in a ridge along the inside of his thigh. There was a dark stain of moisture at the end.

At the sight he caught his breath. He looked down, face warm.

"Andy, I know I said  . . . I'd wait up for you  . . . but it would be better for both of us if you slept in your own room tonight."

He peeped up through his lashes.

The boy's open face showed disappointment. God, he was handsome. So straight and tall and strong-looking. He was freshly- shaved, ruddy from the shower. His dark hair was curly.

"You might be better off. Not me."

There was a new self-confidence in his manner.

Bob labored on, "I've been thinking about what happened, it was a mistake."

"I didn't think so, I thought it was great."

"You did? Well, but  . . . oh, Andy, I never did anything like that before. I'm scared."

The boy came forward and sat on the edge of the bed. Bob had to remember to breathe.

Andy asked in a gentle voice, "Why?"

"I--liked it."

"Yeah? So did I."

"No, I mean I liked it too much. It wasn't natural."

"Yeah, I know. That was part of what made it so nice."


"Yeah. Listen, it's kind of chilly out here. Why don't I get under the covers with you while we talk about it?"

There was nothing wrong with the room temperature. Bob could hardly get the words out for the thumping of his heart.

"A-all right, just for a little while, but no fooling around."

Andy agreed, "No fooling around."

"Promise. Then you have to go back to your own room."

"I promise."

He got in next to him, sitting so close they were touching. His warmth glowed through their nightclothes to Bob's skin.

"I'm sorry if I was too rough before. I didn't mean to hurt you. I got carried away."

"You didn't. Not too much, anyway."

"I'm glad, 'cause I wouldn't hurt you for anything. I really like you, you know."

"You do? You don't mind that I'm not really a girl?"

Andy stretched comfortably. "I like it."

"You do? Why?"

Bob shivered when the boy's arm dropped casually around his shoulders.

"I dunno. It's interesting. Sexy. It makes you a surprise, you know? It really turns me on."

Bob gulped, "You don't think I'm  . . . strange?"

"Naw. Well, only in a nice way. Remember, we got to know each other pretty good before you told me. I figure you're the same person. Listen," his arm squeezed Bob's shoulders affectionately, "with all these covers you must be kind of warm in that heavy nightgown. If you want, we could get more comfortable."


The boy had the grace to look sheepish.

"I'm only thinking about your comfort."

"You just want to see me naked."

"Boy, are you suspicious. Anyhow, I already did."

"Not all the way."

"Come on, let's."

Bob's erection got so swollen it hurt.

After a moment he said shyly, "All right." He sat up and pulled the nightgown over his head. "Now you."

Andy's throat moved convulsively as he stared. His face got pale.

Bob covered his breasts with elbows and arms.

The boy yanked his pajama top open without bothering to unbutton it, and tossed it on the floor. His chest hair was thick.

"You're beautiful," he said hoarsely.

He put his arms around Bob. His prick poked through the fly of his bottoms and pressed hot against Bob's quivering naked belly. "You feel good. Skin is nice, isn't it? I mean the way it feels."

"You're doing it again."

"I know."

"You promised you wouldn't."

"I know."

Andy put his mouth on his, hairy chest brushing his bare breasts, cock leaking into Bob's pubic hair.

Bob dissolved. All the boy had to do was kiss him.

"Oh, what am I going to do with you?"

"I dunno, relax and enjoy it?"

"You beast. That feels good." Andy was caressing his breasts.

"I like your tits. They're beautiful, a real turn-on."

"You could kiss them if you wanted. Oh! Oh God, wait. Stop," he gasped. "I'm about to--"

The suction left his nipple.

"Just from kissing your tits? You're something else."

"Give me a chance to catch my breath. Let's just lie here for a moment with our arms around each other."

After a while Andy said, "I thought you were mad downstairs."

Bob stroked the other's chest, twining his fingers in the mat of hair covering it.

"I was. People who are in love can get mad at each other, but it doesn't have to affect their relationship. You have to know what's important."

Andy kept silence.

Bob knuckled him in the ribs. "You do love me, don't you?"

"I don't want to provoke another argument."

"Go ahead, say it."


"Yes you do. You do love me. I know."

"How do you know?"

"Because you won't get a piece of ass unless you do."

Andy burst into surprised laughter and hugged him close.

The humor was still in his voice as he said, "I guess I better go along with it, then."

"See? You love me."

"Okay, okay!"

"Say it."

Andy choked, "I--love you."

"I knew it. Kiss me, you fool."

Bob flowed against him. Their stiff cocks bumped each other. He wished Andy would take off his pajama bottoms.

He luxuriated in the embrace, crushed in the muscular arms of the boy who--now he could admit it--who had taken his heart. A part of his mind recoiled in perplexity. It was women who mistook sex for love, not men. He couldn't help it; the side of him that had been unleashed by their intimacy demanded it.

In a little while Andy tried to turn him over.

"Wait," Bob whispered. All he wanted in the world was for the boy to kiss him while they had intercourse.

"Let's do it now."

"I want to, too. But wouldn't you like to do it this way?"

He lay back, opened his legs, and raised his knees.

Andy's bewildered look turned to pure lust. He covered him, resting his weight on his elbows. His penis poked Bob's nude crotch.

Heart beating so hard it made his breasts jiggle, Bob reached down to clasp the simmering erection with both hands, to guide it to the jelly-slick hole.

Andy flinched.

"What's the matter?"

"Nobody ever touched me there. It makes me nervous."

"Be gentle with me," Bob panted. "You're so big and hard."

He centered the prick directly on his orifice. Its pressure was ineffably thrilling; the nerve endings in the opening were acutely responsive to the warm urgent prod. It was every bit as exciting as complete penetration. Maybe better. This was when he still had a choice, so to speak. He was conscious of deliberately letting another man take possession of him, put his prick in him. The delicious sense of surrender heightened the thrill. In the kitchen it had almost been rape; he hadn't had time to fully savor the awareness of accepting a man inside him.

He concentrated on relaxing his asshole while the pressure increased. "I put something down there to make it easier."

"I liked it when it was your own come. Maybe we could do that again some day."


Bob's ass quavered. The head of the boy's cock entered a little bit at a time, gaining when the muscle relaxed, maintaining its position when it clenched.

He was dizzy with excitement. The prick pushed deeper up him; he was now wedged open, truly penetrated. He sobbed, clutched the man to him and rotated his pelvis sensually.

Andy's organ slid up inside.

Breath pushed from his lungs in a squawk. He lifted his knees still higher and tilted his hips to make the intrusion deeper. Andy's balls were heavy against his tailbone.

He never felt so submissive in his life, belly up, legs open, stuffed full of that throbbing rigidness. He thought if he were raised a girl he probably wouldn't feel it so strongly. They grew up expecting to be on the bottom and seek dominance in other ways. As it was, he had no defenses. But the shame was mixed with joy.

"Oh Andy, it's so good. Yes, take me!"

"You like it, huh?"

"It's wonderful. You're wonderful."

"You are too. You're tight. I can feel your ass holding me. It's like you had a cunt."

"I'd hold you forever if I could. I'm yours. You can make me put out for you any time you want."


Andy began stroking back and forth.

Bob's penis had gone flaccid with the stress, but remained sensitive to the pressure of the boy's muscle-ridged stomach. It squirmed between their bodies with a life of its own, giving rise to exquisite sensations.

As Andy moved in him, Bob became aware of that peculiar titillation he had experienced in the kitchen. The invading cock was massaging that certain spot. It was excruciating; it made his hips move voluptuously in rhythm to Andy's strokes.

Bob whispered, "Please. Kiss my titties again."

In an instant there was wet suction on his nipples. His back arched in ecstasy. Thrills rocketed to his groin.

A violent SQUEEZE in his genitals forced the emission of a prolonged gush of semen between their bodies. Rapture seized him. He shuddered. He held on to Andy for dear life. After an endless time he became aware that the high-pitched animal-like noises he heard were emerging from his own throat, and made himself stop.

He lay under the boy enduring the seething measured thrusts. His violated asshole was stretched painfully, deliciously. The entrance burned with friction, but the stimulation of that magic spot deep inside persisted.

Andy rammed so far up him it made him cry out. The prick, already enormous, swelled impossibly. It jumped. Bob could almost hear a squit as the first gout of his ravisher's living sperm, hot and liquid, was injected into him. The prick jumped again. And again, and Bob's pelvis writhed around it deliriously, receiving the intimate fluid. His heart filled with love and terror. Andy had made him his; life would never be the same.

His own limp sausage issued its thrilling stream once more. The combination of sensations was too stimulating to bear; the lights in the room dimmed, and went out.

When he came to, he was moaning. Andy was slumped on him. He welcomed the weight. The boy panted hoarsely in his ear.

The cock still inside him was only half hard; his asshole worked on it, squeezing out whatever sperm remained. He wanted to keep the prick in him, but his anus, spasming uncontrollably, gradually ejected it.

With a satisfied groan Andy rolled off him, breathing deeply. He turned out the light and put his arms around him.

Bob nestled secure in the boy's embrace. His swollen asshole drooled semen wet and warm between his cheeks, and his belly was sticky with his own sperm, but he felt no compulsion to get up to go to the bathroom.

Andy said with difficulty, "I think I really do love you."

Bob started crying silently in the dark.

The next morning he awakened early, blissfully aware of the warmth of the boy's body next to his, remembering the night before, hoping that Andy would take him again this morning. He began to worry that he might have changed his mind, that maybe it hadn't been as fulfilling for Andy as for him. Without waking him, he padded naked to the bathroom to relieve his bladder and bowels.

Wiping himself didn't seem enough. He should bathe. Or maybe- -

He found Wendy's douche bag, filled it with solution, and hung it on the wall. Inserting the curved black nozzle stimulated him despite the tenderness there: it reminded him of the other thing that had penetrated the orifice. The rush of douche water brought back the memory of Andy's ejaculation.

He repeated the process twice more, flushing each time, until the solution came out clear. He was thoroughly clean inside. It gave him confidence, but as he slipped back in bed with Andy he continued to worry that the boy might have undergone a change of feelings overnight. Bob was in a unique position to know how a man's balls took control, and how once they were emptied, his emotions could undergo a backlash.

He was relieved and elated when Andy opened his eyes, kissed him, and exuberantly pounced on him.

The ensuing weeks passed in a celebration of joy and humid sex. They couldn't get enough of each other. After work each day Bob rushed into his lover's arms, and each night slept in bliss beside him. On weekends he gave up wearing panties.

They were quietly terrified, of course, each in their own way. Bob, because he had let himself topple over the precipice, abandoning what masculinity remained to him, letting, no, desiring to have a man enter him; Andy, because everything in his upbringing led him to loathe and fear the remotest hint of anything less than consummate masculinity in himself--and yet here he was, unable to keep from having sex with another man.

The words "fag," "queer," "pansy," all the names that suggested a deficiency in manhood, kept echoing in Andy's head, shaming him, but were powerless to hold him in check. Again and again he was driven to sex with Bob.

Similarly, Bob was appalled--my God, what would Wendy say if she found out?--but utterly unable to help himself. At first, each time he recovered from multiple ejaculations and became aware of just how totally, blindly, he had given himself to the boy, he would promise himself never again, but it took only a kindling look from Andy to cause his penis to jolt into erection, and for him to melt into a quivering jelly.

He complained about Andy's habit of wearing his pajama bottoms when they were in bed together.

"It's like taking a bath with your socks on. Don't you want to be all naked like me?"

"No, it makes me uncomfortable. You don't really mind, do you?"

The boy obviously had his hang-ups.

"Not if you keep making love to me the way you do."

His rationalization about intimacy with a man making him feel more like a woman proved to be grounded in reality. With Andy he was submissive and doting, as he imagined women other than Wendy were with their men. He began carrying himself with grace and femininity. He stopped being so shy about his bosom, and found himself standing straight, breasts lifting proudly as if he had a right to them.

Paradoxically, with half his mind on Andy, his work took an upswing in both quantity and quality. He didn't have the time or patience to get bogged down in it, to labor exhaustively over each detail. He worked fast and effortlessly, keeping old Mr. Bauer and the two kids in research hopping, and built complex structures within the tax law to provide his clients with benefits. Occasionally he'd use an IRS ruling in ways it was never meant to be used, and knew that somewhere down the line they'd pick up on it, but there was nothing they could do but change the wording, too late. In the meantime he saved his clients money.

He did his best to strike a balance between ordering his subordinates around and being as feminine as he was supposed to be. Apparently he was successful. He overheard one of the research assistants say, "I thought she was gonna be a bitch, but she's not. She's pretty nice. You notice instead of telling us to do something she always asks sweet as pie? She consults. She says, 'What if we take this approach? Could we find a Treasury Reg that would let us?' You end up feeling like you're doing her a favor? And you never think it's enough, you want to do more. I dig out more information for her than I ever did for old Picky Dicky."

"Yeah," the other responded, "but one reason is, she's so sharp you'd be ashamed to do a half-assed job."

He showed Sam Lovell how to use tax-deferred money from Chard Industries' pension fund to benefit both company and employees. The next day he was summoned to Mrs. Chard's estate for tea, during which she thanked him for his advice, and told him he was the best thing to happen to Haskell since he founded his legal practice. "It was long past time," she said, unconsciously echoing Mrs. Brower, "that he put a woman in charge down there." Also present was a Mrs. Argentina, whose raven beauty contrasted sharply with Mrs. Chard's flaxen elegance. By the end of tea, Mrs. Argentina had become another client of Haskell and Associates.

Haskell was effusive when he heard, but stopped short of offering him a bonus.

Bob usually ate a hasty lunch at his desk, enduring Nancy's disapproval--she kept scolding, "You'll get ulcers if you keep this up"- -wanting to get on with the job so he could go home to Andy. One Friday, however, she insisted so firmly that he shrugged, put down the file he was studying, and accompanied her to Mitzi's for their little sandwiches.

Nancy said, "There. Isn't this better than that stuffy office?"

"I thought you liked the office."

"I do. It's fun. A lot better than the tax orifice. God, I'm glad to be away from that place. But you have to take a break once in a while, you know."

"I suppose."

"I hear you got Marie Argentina's account."

"How'd you know?"

"She told me. It came up when I mentioned to her and Estelle Chard where I was working."

"You know them?"

"Sure. Jimmy and me are friends with Leslie Woicyk and her husband--she's Estelle's daughter--so we see Estelle pretty often, and Marie is often with her."

"My gosh. Can I touch you? Hobnobbing with the fantastically rich and famous."

Nancy's grin lit up the room. Her close-set pale eyes looked him up and down.

She said, "This job must be good for you."

"Why's that?"

"You look so happy. You're absolutely radiant. So, I don't know, demure or something. Fulfilled. Like you have a secret. If you were somebody else I'd say you were going to have a baby."

Bob laughed. "Not much chance of that."

"Haskell notices too. You should see the way he ogles you when you're not looking. Little does he know." She tittered. "Anyway, to me, work is work, and if I do good I get a kick out of it--but nothing like the charge you're getting! It's spooky."

Bob knew that Nancy had guessed there was more going on than just the job. She was tactfully inviting him to confide in her. Prying.

He regarded her thoughtfully. Underlying the joy he took from his perverse relationship with Andy was a sense of foreboding. Wendy would be coming home soon. What were they going to do then? He couldn't imagine giving up Andy, but if it came to a choice between him and her he'd have to choose Wendy. It was one thing to give himself wantonly, unself-consciously, to his lover when they were alone; quite another to stand in the broad light of day and admit to Wendy that he wanted to be used by a man. He couldn't bear to think that knowledge of his depravity might cause her to lose respect for him.

Nancy was married to a man who wore dresses. Maybe she'd understand. He needed a friend to talk to, and for a moment he was tempted to tell her about Andy.

Bob caught himself. What was he thinking of?

He changed the subject. "How's your husband?"

"Jimmy's fine." She hesitated, smile fading. "I guess I shouldn't have said anything about him the other day. It wasn't too cool, was it? I was just so surprised to see you that it just popped out."

"Are you afraid I might tell somebody? I'm one of those people who live in glass houses, you know. You can be pretty sure I'm not about to throw any stones," he grinned.

"I know. I just wanted you to know I don't usually blab like that.. Just in case you were worried. Your secret is safe with me."

"Thanks. I'm glad you told me about him, anyway. It made me feel better about things."

"You mean, like, you're not the only one?"


"Don't worry about that. I'm sure it's more common than we know. I keep telling Jimmy. He's embarrassed about it. I tell him there are a lot of men who wear dresses, but he hardly ever does it any more anyway. He's studying accounting, see, he'll have his degree in June, and he thinks he has to be super-straight. He's gotten so straight it makes me puke. It's a real downer."

"A downer?"

"Yeah. See, for one thing dressing up really turns him on, and that's terrific, rewarding for me, if you know what I mean. For another it turns me on too. I love to see him all beautiful and sexy in a miniskirt. I try to tell him, but I think he got the idea I might be looking down on him or something. Now he only does it once in a while when we entertain--a certain friend--who likes him to be in a dress."

"Could you have said something to make him feel that way?"

"No! I love it when he dresses. In fact I like it so much I sometimes wonder if I'm a lesbian."

Bob started to laugh.

"Don't. It's not funny." The corner of her lips twitched, but she continued seriously, "I really do think I might have some leanings in that direction. I told you we were friends with Estelle and Marie? They're that way. And so beautiful. I keep wondering what it would be like if  . . . " She was lost in reverie for a moment, abruptly shook her head, saying, "Anyway, I wish Jimmy would dress up more often. I mean for me, not for--our friend."

"Mrs. Chard and Mrs. Argentina are lesbians?"

"Oh God, I did it again. You're too easy to talk to, you know that? Forget I said anything."

"It's forgotten. But--really? They're lesbians? I didn't know that."

"Shh! Yes! At least--well, lately I noticed Estelle looking at Mel-- that's her daughter's husband--in a certain way. And him at her. I wonder if anything's going on. Maybe she's bisexual. Lots of people are, at least that's what Masters and Johnson say. Jimmy is."

Bisexual. Bob thought it over. That would explain his own mixed feelings. He never knew that about himself. It was funny though. He couldn't detect any "bisexuality" in himself about other men, only Andy. There was something special about the boy that attracted him strongly, that appealed to some deep instinct.

It was partly the way he smelled. Underlying that clean masculine aroma was a breath of tantalizingly-familiar odor that never failed to stir his balls.

Aloud he said, "Really? Jimmy?"

Nancy reddened. "That friend I told you about? He's gay. When he comes over, he and Jimmy  . . . you know."

"You don't sound too upset."

"I'm not." She looked down at her plate, freckles swamped by a wave of color. "I like it. They--let me share. Does that shock you?"

"Yes! You join in with them? Shame on you!"

Her eyes darted to his face, measuring him to see if he was serious. Reassured, she laughed weakly.

"I know it's awful. When Jimmy and I first got married, I would never of believed we would do anything like that. But I don't know, after you've been married a while, well, maybe you begin to think about variety, adventures, like that."

Bob considered a moment, then asked, "Don't you mind about Jimmy and this other person? I mean, doesn't it make you jealous? Or  . . . make you think less of him?"

"Now you're doing it. Why would I think less of him? I like it. It's kind of something we can share. Besides it makes him a better lover. He knows how I feel when he does it to me."

He remembered Wendy saying, "Now you know how it feels."

Nancy said, "Did you and Wendy ever? With somebody else?"

It was Bob's turn to blush. He didn't know if he should say anything. Still, Nancy had been open and trusting with him. If he didn't return her confidences she would be hurt.

"Well  . . . a couple of times, I guess, with Wendy's sister."

"Her sister! All in the family, eh?" she twinkled. "You're not as ladylike as you look. Where's her sister now?"

"With Wendy in San Cabrón."

"Too bad," she said slyly.

Bob smiled.

Nancy said, "I guess you're anxious for them to get back."

When they did, he'd have to give up Andy. Oh God. Maybe he could find a way to keep him and Wendy both. Maybe she would go along with it. Nancy did, with her Jimmy. Maybe, if he introduced her to Nancy, if Nancy would tell her the situation she had just described, and he could gauge Wendy's reaction  . . .

No. Bob couldn't admit to her what he'd done, no matter what.

That night, lying warm and loved next to Andy, treasuring a secret slippery trickle from his throbbing asshole, he murmured, "Wendy'll be back in a couple of weeks."


"What'll we do?"

"Have to stop, I guess."

"Suppose we tell her. She might go along with it."

He felt Andy's strong young body tense.

"Tell her! Are you nuts?"

"I just thought--"

"Never mind. Just don't say anything."

They never mentioned it again, but her impending return lent an element of anxiety to their lovemaking, which would have flared into desperation if they had known they had less time together than they thought.

Chapter 7

WENDY and Judy got off the train and carried their suitcases out to the street. They chose Mr. Cosy's taxi. He had been around since before they were born. Seeing him in his elderly Checker cab gave them a real sense of being home.

He tottered out to put their bags in the trunk. "Hello, Miss Ogden," he said with old-world dignity. "Been away, have you?"

"It's Mrs. Miller now, Mr. Cosy."

"My, so it is. It seems like only yesterday I brought your mother home from the hospital with you two in her arms." He turned to Judy. "And you'd be Mrs. Walters now. I heard about you marrying that college fellow."

"Yes, Mr. Cosy."

"Well, you get right in. My, you're brown. Been on vacation?"

"We just got back from San Cabron."

"You don't say. Where are your husbands?"

Wendy rolled her eyes at her sister. "Separate vacations," she said mischievously.

"Hmf," Mr. Cosy said. "In my day . . ."

The girls smiled at each other as he put the cab in gear and drove up Mill Street. Judy said, "I suppose I should be annoyed that Leon gets to spend an extra two weeks in San Cabrón while I have to put the house in order, but I'm not. Enough's enough. Fantasy Island was nice, but reality is nice too. Bob'll be surprised to see us, won't he?"

"We're not supposed to get home until next week,"

"You going to tell him about Warren?"

She gasped. "Not in a million years. And don't you dare say a single word."

"I won't."

Wendy looked at her suspiciously. "I'm not fooling, Sis. No funny little hints, no long silences, no winks. I'm serious."

Judy laughed at her. "I won't. You know me."

She did. Judy liked to tease, and often gave the impression of being a blabbermouth, but when it came to secrets she had always been unusually discreet. Wendy could not remember her ever having spilled the beans any of the times they got into mischief.

Bob would never forgive her. It was bad enough that she had been enjoying herself in San Cabrón while he was undergoing who-knew-what torments alone, but worse, she had been unfaithful. She had spent the last two of the three vacation months in bed with Warren. How could she ever look Bob in the face? It was terrible.

Judy had egged her on. She was casual about infidelity, and apparently expected her sister to be, too.

San Cabrón was another world, full of sand and sea and sun, and there was nobody they knew there, none of Chardsville's prying eyes, and then Warren Wilcox, muscular and tall and bronzed, showed up and laid siege to her virtue. It was too much to resist. She gave in, with Judy's mischievous collusion, on the fourth night, on the beach under a brilliant moon, soft breezes caressing their bodies, the sound of surf matching the throbbing of her heart. From then on days and nights followed each other in seminal bliss. Warren was as different from Bob as the sun from the moon. She loved Bob dearly, but Warren had shown her what it was like to be well and royally tumbled by a lusty male.

She had Bob to thank for it, though he wouldn't be pleased to know it. He had given her her first orgasm. Sex got so steamy and satisfying it had relieved her fears, so much so that without knowing it she no longer had to rely on the man wearing filmy feminine garments to achieve a climax.

Warren was the beneficiary of her new-found self-confidence. She discovered she didn't have to be on top any more; she found joy in opening herself to her partner's penetration, letting him drive her to completion instead of calculating her own orgasms by clever up-and-down movements. The intensity and frequency of her fulfillment increased surprisingly.

Like her, Warren was married. She sensed it wasn't a happy union. He never said anything against his wife, but between the lines Wendy developed a picture of Darlene as a sexless shrew, dissatisfied with his blue-collar masonry trade, and constantly after him to get a job with a company like Chard Industries so he could wear a suit and tie to the office. "Can you imagine me behind a desk all day?" he grinned humorously.

They had an 18-month-old baby girl. She suspected she was the glue holding their marriage together. He had so many pictures of her and bragged about her so often it made Wendy wistful.

He was her kind of people, a plain man without fancy words or manners. He had graduated high school, but no more thought of going to college than she had.

She couldn't understand Darlene. Wendy would never try to change him. She didn't think about how she made Bob change.

Coincidentally it turned out Warren was from Clara's Corners, a small town not half an hour from Chardsville. He started talking about their seeing each other after they returned. She had to make it crystal clear that she was married, they could never see each other, he must promise. It had been wonderful but it was over.

She wondered how Bob was. She had treated him disgracefully, thinking only of herself. Now that she knew from Warren that she could react normally, she regretted making Bob go to the doctor. It would be exciting to see him with breasts, of course, but it hadn't been necessary after all, and they'd have to live together in the eyes of the world as two women instead of husband and wife, and now she wasn't sure that's what she wanted. She'd like to have children someday--and how would she explain her pregnancy, in the absence of a husband?

Judy was in for a big surprise. Wendy hadn't told her or Leon where Bob would be while they were in San Cabrón, just alluded to tax work he had to do.

Her sister was whole-heartedly supportive of Bob's wearing dresses. Wendy knew she was half in love with her husband anyway; she found Bob as attractive and safe as she did. Well, they were twins, not identical, thank heavens, but even fraternal twins were supposed to have the same likes and dislikes. Wait'll she saw him now! If the treatment had worked as well as she hoped. She tried to picture Bob naked with breasts, cute little real ones, not the trifling swellings he had when she left, but couldn't.

Mr. Cosy turned up Maple Street and stopped in front of the row house.

"Here we are, Mrs. Miller. Home safe and sound." To Judy, "Can I take you over to the campus, Mrs. Walters?"

Judy said, "No thanks, Mr. Cosy. Mrs. Miller can run me over later."

"Nice to have you both back." He took the money Wendy offered him. "I'll get your luggage."

Wendy took a deep breath of the crisp autumn air and looked at the overcast sky, glad to be back in Chardsville.

Judy squeezed her hand. "I know. It is good to be home, isn't it? Enough is too much."

The kitchen was dim when they went in. Wendy put down her suitcase and turned on the lights.

She gaped. "Are we in the right house?"

"Everything's different! Look, the stove's in an island in the middle. It's marvelous!"

"And tiles on the floor instead of that ratty old linoleum. The cabinets are brand new, all peaches and cream!"

Running her hand over the Formica surface of the island Judy said, "So beautiful, and there's plenty of room to eat. I always hated that old chipped table of yours."

"Bob's such a dear. What a nice surprise. But how did he pay for it? We've had some heavy expenses lately."

"Not the least your vacation," Judy said drily.

The whine of an electric saw came from upstairs. "The workman's still here," Wendy whispered.

"Let's go up and see. Maybe I can talk Leon into getting us some remodeling."

It was a stranger, a tall young man in a blue work shirt and jeans cutting a piece of wood. The room, a spare bedroom she and Bob had intended for a den or a sewing room or a nursery if that time ever came, was a shambles. Boards were piled around and leaning against the walls; the wallpaper was stripped, leaving orangy-yellow spots of dried glue and revealing cracks and imperfections in the plaster.

"Hello," she said. He didn't hear her over the aggravating howl of the saw biting through wood. She shouted, "Hello!"

The young man looked around, and turned off the saw. They waited for its whine to stop.

His eyes moved uncertainly between them.

Wendy said, "Who are you?"

"Andy Joiner. Who are you?"

"I live here."

"Oh. You must be Miz Miller's sister-in-law. She's still at work, she wasn't expecting you until next week." He stared at her with a peculiar intensity, as if he were trying to memorize her appearance.

Mrs. Miller. Sister-in-law. Wendy didn't look to see if Judy had a grin. "We took an early flight. What are you doing here?"

"I ain't a burglar, if that's what you think. Miz Miller gave me some remodeling to do."

"You did the kitchen! It's just beautiful, but I don't know how we can afford it."

"Well, see, she's just paying for the materials. She said I could have room and board here in return for the work. She lets me sleep in the guest room."

Wendy looked at her sister. Judy was keeping a straight face. Her eyes were roving boldly over the young man. Well, he was good- looking, in a rough-cut way. Kind of like Warren, only less mature. Just Judy's meat, no older than they were, young enough to control.

She said, "Whatever Mrs. Miller says," and had to stifle a laugh at calling Bob that in front of Judy. "We'll leave you to your work." She took her sister's arm and forced her out.

Downstairs they regarded each other solemnly.

Judy said, "I told you we shouldn't come back early."

They burst into laughter.

Wendy hiccuped, "It's the man who came to dinner."

"You should be so lucky. He's a doll. I'm all butterflies just from looking at him. Scrumptious. Leon never brings presents like that home for me."

"You're awful! I wonder where Bob found him."

"Mrs. Miller!" Judy squealed. "Bob must be wearing your dresses again! I can hardly wait to see him."

"Oh dear. I better tell you. I wanted it to be a surprise, but if that young man is going to be here I don't want you letting the cat out of the bag when you see Bob."

Evidently alerted by her tone, Judy sat in one of the kitchen chairs.

Wendy said, "Bob didn't come with us to San Cabrón because I got him to go to a clinic to be treated to have breasts. So don't look too surprised when you see him."

"Breasts! What, like implants? Augmentation?"

"No, it's a new drug, they'll be natural. If the treatment worked. I haven't seen him, remember."

"But don't hormones make them so they can't do anything in bed?"

"It's supposed to be different. Some new kind of thing."

"Oh my God." Judy sounded breathless. "Oh, my God! Really? Oh, I can hardly wait. I bet he's adorable."

"Okay, now you know. Don't blow it in front of what's-his-name."

"I won't, I promise. Wait a minute. Breasts? How can he wear men's clothes now?"

"He can't. That's the idea."

"Oh God, it's wonderful. How did you ever talk him into it?"

"It wasn't easy, but you know Bob, he does what I tell him."

Judy giggled. "Do you think . . . I could get a look at him?"

"You mean like in the shower that time? Shame on you." Wendy couldn't help smiling. "We'll see." Even to herself she sounded like their mother.

"Shh. I think he's home."

Heels clicked on the concrete steps outside. The door opened. A young woman stopped on the doorstep when she saw them. Her bright look of anticipation turned into surprise.

Wendy couldn't believe her eyes. This wasn't her Bob. It was an attractive girl dressed in a tailored business ensemble she had never seen, a deceptively-simple navy-blue skirt, cream silk blouse with a bright ribbon tie that provided a splash of red, and a bolero jacket cut so it didn't close and gave the outfit a feminine look to offset its businesslike appearance. Her neatly-brushed brown hair swept in a soft wave across her forehead and tumbled to her shoulders. When she tossed her head to look at them, dangling gold-hoop earrings glimmered with the red of her ribbon.

The girl's eyes were wider, more lambent than Bob's; her generous lips a bold slash of color.

She had a bosom that was oversized for her slender figure.

Wendy caught her breath. "Bob?" she asked tentatively. Then, "Oh Bob!" She ran into his arms.

His lips were soft and full against hers, his body lighter and more yielding in her embrace than she remembered. There was something unutterably provocative about his smell. Her panties got moist. She had heard of pheromones and wondered if he were giving them off.

A hard lump prodded her mound of Venus. She teased him with a sensuous movement of her hips, and was suddenly contrite when she remembered Warren. Unbidden, in vivid detail, the image of Warren's erection as she had last seen it came to her. She had fondled it and taken its hot length in her mouth. She shivered the memory away.

She murmured, "It's so nice to be home. I missed you."

Judy said, "No fair, I get to say hello too." She took Bob's hands. "Oh Bob, you're fabulous! Just look at you. So beautiful! Wendy told me all about it. That's not all you, is it? You have a couple of handkerchiefs or something in there."

Bob's face turned red. "No, it's me, all right."

Wendy stared. "You're kidding."

He shook his head.

Judy threw her arms around him and kissed him on the lips, body pressed against his, then jumped and took a hasty step back.

"Oh-oh." She started laughing. "I see I better give you two a little privacy. Can I borrow your car to get home?"

Wendy knew Judy was teasing, but the very thought that she might be left alone with this, this stranger, this woman with an erection under her dress, made her suddenly uncomfortable.

"Don't be silly, you're staying with us tonight. You don't want to go home to that empty house."

Bob said, "Sure, stay. There's plenty for dinner. If Andy put the roast in when he was supposed to." He put his purse on the counter and bent gracefully to open the oven door and look in. Sizzling noises were accompanied by a mouth-watering aroma. "It'll be ready in half an hour. Where is he, by the way?"

Wendy said, "Upstairs. Wait a minute, he said you let him sleep in the guest room. Where are we going to put Judy?"

Bob's lashes fluttered; his eyes shifted. "It won't kill him to sleep on the couch for a night. She can use the guest room. The sheets are fresh."

"No, let him sleep in his own bed. I'll take the couch." A glimmer formed in Judy's eye. "Or maybe we could share."

Bob gave her a look. "He can sleep on the couch."

Judy giggled and turned to Wendy. With her fingertips she drew a square. "Where did you get her? So prim and proper. Barbara, you are socute! I'm only teasing."

He said weakly, "Well, he's just a kid. He wouldn't understand that kind of stuff."

Wendy said, "A kid? He looked our age."

"He's eighteen. He lost his parents and was broke and needed work. I felt sorry for him, so I said he could do odd jobs for room and board until he got on his feet. I hope you don't mind. He's a nice boy, no trouble at all. He won't be here much longer anyway, he's already got a couple of remodeling jobs lined up."

"I don't mind. It's your be-kind-to-our-feathered-friends complex. I always liked that about you." She said to Judy, "He, sorry, she, can't pass a crying child on the street without trying to make it all better."

"Like Mom."

Wendy remembered with a sting how kind and gentle their mother was with children, and then remembered Bob comforting her in the park after the car crash. His, well, motherliness, had been the first thing to attract her.

Bob said, "I'll be right back, I have to change." He smiled shyly at them. "I'm glad you're home."

When they heard him on the stairs they grinned at each other.

Judy said, "Did you see his bottom?"

"I know!" Wendy shrieked. "Can you believe it?"

"And his voice! It's alto! I'm so jealous I could spit. He's adorable. You're so lucky."

"I can hardly wait to get a look at him without clothes."

"Oh don't! You'll make me disgrace myself."

"Bob's working, that boy said. I wonder where?"

"Not Bob! Barbara!"

Wendy laughed. "That's right, he really is a Barbara now, isn't he? She is. It's going to take getting used to."

"Oh, Wendy." Judy had a crooked smile. "Want to trade husbands?"

She hugged her. "I knew you'd like it."

"Like it? I love it! I'm absolutely green."

Her heart went out to her sister. For a second she was tempted to offer to share Bob with her. The thought wasn't as shocking as it might have been. After all, there had been that scandalous episode last year when Wendy had been so dazzled by her new-found sexuality that she had given in to the impulse to, well, boast was the word, to show her then-unmarried sister what she was missing. Afterward she had been horrified, and had reverted to the exclusivity appropriate to a wife.

Now, perhaps not so strangely, she felt less possessive about him. The past two months with Warren had changed her. She had entered on that relationship with the idea it would just be a fling, of no meaning or importance in the real world, the world of Chardsville; but insensibly, day by day, he became important to her in ways she was only beginning to fathom. She had to put him out of her mind. It wasn't fair to Bob.

When he returned he was wearing another dress she had never seen, a thin cotton print in fall colors, cut so the skirt proper began about midway down the hips, the waist clinging to, and revealing, an astonishingly curvaceous figure. Whatever happened to his boyish shape? She remembered the doctor saying, "More than just breasts," but she hadn't been paying attention, too caught up in her private fantasy to hear anything else.

Bob had exchanged his pumps for sandals; he was now a couple of inches shorter than she was in heels.

He said, "Hi! Dinner will be ready in a jiffy." His smile was tentative. He must be feeling as strange as she was. They'd have to get to know each other all over again. After three years of marriage! He continued, "I'll just put on some vegetables to go with the roast and make a salad."

Wendy said, "I'll help."

"No, you guys must be tired after your trip. Just relax, there's some rose wine in the fridge. It's okay, I enjoy it."

"You enjoy cooking?"


That was new. Wendy caught Judy's eye. Her sister's look of envy had deepened.

"I suppose you like cleaning up too."

Bob said shyly, "I don't mind. It makes me feel kind of . . . good."

How damn' domestic. Wendy was beginning to see that not all the changes in her husband were physical.

"I hear you have a job."

Bob nodded, pushing a lock of hair away from his eye as he lit the burner and covered the vegetables. "A lawyer named Haskell was looking for someone to head up a financial planning division."

"Haskell! But--"

Wendy broke off. Haskell knew Bob was a man, but that wasn't any of Judy's business. She glanced at her. She was looking at them curiously.

Bob said, "I even have my own secretary. And--" a pleased flush colored his cheekbones "--the money's pretty good. Instead of taking out a mortgage," he said cautiously, "we might be able to build that new house soon."

"That's marvelous!"

"What new house?" Judy was bright-eyed with interest.

She explained, "You remember that lot Bob bought on the south side of town for unpaid taxes? It was supposed to be an investment, but we got to thinking about building a house on it some day."

"Maybe that boy could build it."

Bob smiled suddenly. "That's funny, I was thinking about that just the other day. He's a good workman. And he knows how to save money. This whole kitchen only cost two hundred and fifty-six dollars for materials."

"Two fifty-six! That's all?" Judy turned to Wendy, "I told you I wanted him to do our kitchen!"

Bob started to make the salad. "Would somebody call him? Dinner'll be ready in a sec."

Judy said, "I'll go!" and tripped upstairs.

Wendy stared at him. "You got a job with Haskell? What did he say when he saw you?"

"He was surprised."

"I bet he was surprised! How did you ever get up the nerve?"

"We needed the money. Anyway, it worked out okay, he didn't say anything much about it. He's a pretty nice guy, you know? Besides, I'm making money for him, a lot more than he thought. I did some tax planning for a couple of rich clients and it paid off. I guess the word is getting around."

"That's wonderful. I'm proud of you. Is Haskell the only one who knows? I mean, the others in the office don't, do they?"

"No!" His eyes shifted furtively. She knew him well enough to be sure he was concealing something. She'd get it out of him later.

Right now she had to examine her own feelings, which puzzled her. Why wasn't she as pleased about his job as she pretended?

It came to her. The whole idea behind his treatment at the clinic was to put her in control, wasn't it?

Well, maybe not all. The warmth between her legs told her she was looking forward to going to bed with another woman, one who had a penis. Even after Warren.

Anyway, Bob's enormous success at getting an important job despite being a "woman" was just a little too much. Far from being under her thumb, he was more independent of her than ever. She watched him set the table. He certainly wasn't acting uppity. Look at him, happily doing household chores.

Judy came back with the boy.

He was scowling.

She wondered if her sister had ruffled his feathers. She knew Judy had been turned on by Bob's appearance, and might have transferred her excitement to the only other male. Wendy sighed. Sometimes Judy was incorrigible.

During dinner Wendy couldn't see why Bob said the young carpenter was such a nice kid. He was sullen and unfriendly, and so monosyllabic she suspected he was retarded. She began to hope he wouldn't be around long. Finally she saw Bob give him a dirty look. The boy winced, got a crestfallen expression, and turned his attention to Judy, who was doing her best to draw him out. He thawed when she complimented him on the kitchen renovation, and when she asked him about his prospects for other jobs, his smile flashed and he looked perfectly handsome despite the cragginess of his face. He spoke so enthusiastically about his dream of starting a contracting business that her misgivings about having him in the house subsided.

By the time Bob served after-dinner coffee in the living room, Judy and the young man were getting along famously. She sat next to him and contrived to let him look down her dress every time she reached for the sugar, or the cream, or a teaspoon.

Wendy saw Bob's expression and hoped he wouldn't make a fuss.

It had been a long day. She suppressed a yawn, caught his eye, and made him say good night.

Their room was the same, she noted with satisfaction. She wasn't sure she liked him going ahead and authorizing all these changes without her. She told herself to stop being silly. The remodeling was beautiful, and so inexpensive.

She was conscious of feeling tense alone with him. It was guilt. How could she go to bed with him, with Warren on her conscience? She toyed with the idea of confessing. Wrong. It might make her feel better, but only at the expense of Bob's feelings and would devastate the mutual trust and respect they enjoyed. Let it be one of those peccadillos best left unmentioned, that all good marriages had. Still, it bothered her.

That wasn't the only thing bothering her. Bob was so changed. Not just his bodily configuration. It was as if a light had turned on inside him, giving him a kind of incandescence, a humid sense of having come to terms with himself that was at once a pleasure to behold and a puzzlement. Where had it come from? Had getting the job with Haskell given him that much inner security?

He sat on the edge of the bed taking off his stockings with more grace than she would have thought possible. It was faintly irritating. That wasn't how men were supposed to be. His hair--it was a lot longer now--fell in a curve across his cheek as he reached under his dress to undo his garters.

Judy's shriek of laughter came from downstairs. She was having a good time vamping what's-his-face, Andy.

Bob said, "Your sister seems attracted to that boy."

"She's just flirting. You know Judy."

"Flirting? More like robbing the cradle."

She laughed. "He doesn't seem to mind, though, does he? Maybe he goes for older women."

"Well, I just hope she's not planning to add him to her list of conquests."

"What are you, his mother? Don't worry, she doesn't mean anything by it."

Wendy turned down the bed and took a pair of pajamas from the bureau, feeling awkward about getting undressed in front of this stranger, mentally scolding herself for it. More giggles came from downstairs.

She chuckled out loud, then explained, "Did you see the look on that boy's face when we went upstairs? He must think we're lesbians, two ladies sharing a bedroom."

Bob gave her a weak smile. He stood up, reached behind to pull down his zipper, then turned his back modestly before taking off his dress. From behind he was lissome and shapely in panties and bra. Sudden moisture drenched her panties. She stripped off her dress and donned the pajamas.

He bent his arms behind him to unfasten the bra. When it came apart, Wendy went over and scratched the red stripe.

"Oh-h." His soft groan was heartfelt. "Ooch. Yeah, right there."

In a little while she said, "Turn around so I can see you." She wondered if he had been telling the truth about not having any padding in his bra.

He faced her. His hands made small motions at his side, as if they wanted to cover his bosom, but he held them down. He straightened so the breasts thrust forward. Damn, she had to admit they were beautiful. Buoyant and impudent and every bit as large as they had appeared. The areolas, rosy mounds, were tipped with nipples that gave Wendy the instant urge to nurse on them.

She burst out, "Did you have to get them so big?" and then apologized by saying, "They're marvelous! And your waist --it's so narrow. Or are your hips wider? Both, I think. Just like a girl. It makes me feel like what I said before, a lesbian."

"Is it all right?"

"It's . . . weird. Kinky. You used to only be Bob in my nightie, now you're really Barbara. A girl with a big thing. You do still have that, I hope. You didn't turn it in for a vagina, by any chance?"

She could see for herself that the nylon of his panties was pushed out at the join of his legs.

"Listen, the whole thing was your idea, remember? You knew what was going to happen. What'd you expect?"

"I sure didn't expect to come home and discover you have bigger tits than me!"

"Is that it? Well for heaven's sake, it's not my fault. I mean, I didn't go up to the doctor and say 'Hey, make me bigger than her.' It just happened. I thought you would be happy about it. Besides, they're not that big. Only a C-cup."

"Only a C-cup." Relenting, "I know, I'm sorry. I guess maybe I'm a little jealous. I was always envious of Judy because she was a fraction better developed. Now it seems that even men can have bigger ones than me. It's frustrating."

"I love your breasts, I always have. Anyway, you know what they say-- the closer the bone, the sweeter the meat."

Wendy burst into a surprised laugh. "Okay then. Let's go to bed, I want to see how much lesbian I have in me. Come on, Babs, no, I mean, come on, Boobs, put on your nightie."

"Boobs!" Bob's laughter tinkled, outrageously musical. He took a filmy garment from a bureau drawer and put it on. When he reached under it to slip down his panties his erection held it out in front.

She said, "Lie on your back. If you're going to look so sweet and feminine, I better teach you your duties. Remember how we play like I'm the man and you're the woman?"

She stripped down her bottoms and clambered over him, seeing again that gentle luminescence glowing from within, vaguely annoyed by it. Instead of pulling up his gown and inserting his stiff organ, she straddled his head with her knees and squatted on his face.

"Okay, Boobs, give me a blow job."

His eyes got wide.

"Go on, that's what women do, isn't it? Give head? Come on, sweetie, suck me off." What was wrong with her? She never used that kind of language. But the words kindled excitement in her. God, she wished she had a prick. She'd love to stick it in another woman.

Submissively his tongue went out and roved through her vulva in the most sensuous way possible, causing her to tremble luxuriously. She closed her eyes to savor the slippery massage down there; popped them open again when the memory of Warren going down on her flashed into her mind.

He loved her pussy, loved to fondle it, loved to look at it, loved to taste it. He had what she could only think of as pussy-envy, and licked her down there on every possible occasion.

Before Warren, like many women Wendy had the notion it was "dirty" down there, somehow shameful and nasty. It was Warren who taught her she was beautiful between her legs, that pussies were deliciously exciting, objects of love, not repugnance.

She kept her gaze on Bob to exorcise the disturbing image, and gave herself up to sensation.

Yielding to Warren had been a special thrill; but this was a joy too, compelling her husband to submit to her base desires. Well, it seemed she liked it both ways after all, to dominate and to be dominated.

As she watched him, a surreal feeling of degeneracy heightened the stimulation his mouth was giving her. She had used the word "lesbian" lightly, but it was suddenly impossible to believe the pretty face working on her didn't belong to another member of her sex. It was framed in silken locks, eyes wide and innocent, complexion smooth and glowing.

Suppose it really was a girl under her, nose buried in her pubic hair? At the thought the complex of organs between Wendy's legs gathered tension. Her vagina leaked, and her clitoris got so erect it was almost painful.

The girl's soft generous lips pursed around the swollen organ and the turgid tissues surrounding it, and sucked it in. She pushed her head back and forth rhythmically, exactly as though she were performing fellatio. She had a blind look, sick with lust but introspective, like she was fantasizing something.

Wendy screamed thinly as she spasmed. She grabbed a handful of Bob's hair with either hand and held the sucking face to her pussy, rotating her wetness against it. Her labia flared repeatedly.

In the middle of her orgasm her bladder let go. Helpless to control it, she pissed on him, shocked by her incontinence but deriving a kind of mean pleasure from it, a pleasure that grew when she saw him press his mouth over her hole to keep more urine from escaping. His throat moved. She shuddered in a final throe, gasping with passion, able now to restrain her urination, but deliberately discharging two last spurts anyway, imagining she was coming like a man.

His face was wet; his eyes dazed. The sheet under his head was stained. God, he had drunk her pee.

She should apologize.

Instead she panted, "Lick me. Clean me with your tongue."

He shivered and complied, licking from anus--the touch of his wet tongue there made her leap--to clitoris, until she lifted herself off him, heart singing.

She said, "That was wonderful. Did you like it too?"

He nodded shyly.

"Did you pretend you were a girl and I was a man?"

A pleasing blush colored his wet cheeks. "Y-yes."

"Coming in your mouth?"

He looked away. "Yes," he whispered.

"Me too. I loved it. But now I want to fuck you."

The red in his face deepened. He wasn't any more used to hearing her talk like that than she was.

She lifted his gown to expose his erection. He was bigger than Warren. By a good margin, she decided, surprised. She hadn't remembered.

"You shaved between your legs! When did you start doing that?"

"I . . . I just thought it would be nice."

"Let's see." She pushed his legs apart. "It's cute! I like it. Sexy."

She got over him and clasped the penis with both hands, feeling its heat and vibration, and guided it to the flowing opening of her vagina. Savoring a delicious anticipation of its entry, she let herself descend just enough to lodge the tip securely, just beginning to stretch her open.

Her labia squirmed around it.

She settled slowly down, feeling the organ force her vagina. As the insertion continued, the shaft pulled the mantle of tissue away from her sensitive clitoris, baring it for stimulation. In the last few inches before she rested her bottom on his pubes, a dull exciting ache grew inside her. His cock had reached the end of her canal and was stretching it lengthwise as well as sideways.

The prick inside her was humming, so hot and hard she knew he wouldn't last long. He had missed her.

Carefully, keeping him thrust all the way up her, she lay forward on him and put her legs between his. His captivating body fragrance was tinged with the smell of her urine.

His knees came up; his slender arms went about her neck. He sighed, so naturally assuming the woman's position it was astonishing.

His breasts were soft against hers. She lifted her torso, supporting her weight on her elbows, and tugged down the shoulder straps of his gown so she could free his tits. She bent her head to suck the nipples gently, first one, then the other, wondering if he would be as stimulated by it as she was when Warren mouthed her breasts.

They got stiff to her tongue.

Bob trembled under her.

His fingers became claws on her back as he held her fiercely to him. His body strained. A cry escaped his throat.

The thick organ jumped inside her. A gush of fluid added to the wetness of her excited cunt.

Hastily she moved her hips before he could soften, massaging her clitoris against him, rotating her vulva, pretending she was Warren fucking her, and brought herself to a ferocious climax and had he come in her or had she come in him she couldn't tell which of them had a prick they were fused in mutual passion her whole body was a living quivering mass of sentiency wracked by repeated seizures her cock kneaded by writhing labia as she shoved it deep and stiff into the girl under her . . . and she CAME once more, and collapsed gasping for breath on the warmth and softness of her lover.

She lay on him for long moments before realizing there had been no decline in the size or rigidity of his member. He still held her.

Maybe he hadn't ejaculated. Then why were they so wet down there?

She was still excited. Bob was so very much like another woman that the act had all the elements of perversion required to bring eroticism to its acutest level.

Tentative, hoping he hadn't come after all, Wendy moved her pelvis sensuously, drawing his erection halfway out, then pushing back until it was once again so deep it caused the breath to issue from her lungs in a passionate exhalation. Her crack pressed against his balls.

Bob's knees lifted still higher to yield her access. Where had that utter feminine surrendering come from? He trembled under her. His lips parted. He gave a soft moan of pleasure.

She kissed him, slipping her tongue in his mouth. Now they were joined at both ends. His mouth had a taste of pee. It excited her.

Wendy held his breasts and began fucking him rhythmically, legs closed between his, squeezing his unyielding prick in her cunt, drawing it in and out, pressing her quivering clitoris against him, orgasming repeatedly, a series of breathless quiet climaxes. His penis distended impossibly. It leaped in her vagina. It pulsed in her, issuing surges of hot liquid. He grunted and held her close until the throbbing of his organ ceased.

She continued her sensuous motion as the cock began to soften, then, amazed, felt it thicken and get as stiff as before. It boggled her mind, but with bliss she took advantage of it, continuing her rhythm, conscious of him matching it, quaking around him, letting her mind fall back into the earlier fantasy, where she was Warren and Bob was her, and it wasn't his prick in her, it was hers in him--and she squealed as an excruciating orgasm seized her, so violent that the lights dimmed and her mind went strange and all she knew was the shocking phantasmagoria of sensation and emotions that rocketed back and forth throughout her body.

When she opened her eyes she was drooling into the corner of Bob's slender neck, sobbing hoarsely.

His cock was pulsing again.

So full had her vagina become that each spurt forced liquid out around the stiff penis to drip from her swollen labia onto the heavy balls pressed against her.

Wendy lay on him exhausted. She had never come so hard before. Her cunt was beginning to feel sore, but her heart was full of gratitude for this new half-girl-half-boy who had given her so much pleasure, her darling husband, no, sister, with whom she shared her bed and her life.

God, he had come two or three times in a row. He must have needed it. One thing was sure, she thought with chagrin, he had been faithful to her.

His hips moved.

Instead of declining, his cock remained rampant. It pushed up her, pulled back, pushed forward again, stimulating her clitoris unbearably.

She yelped and jumped off him. "No more! It's too sensitive down there."

A gush of sperm flowed from Wendy's cunt as she drew her knees under her. "It was wonderful, but . . . I just can't anymore right now, darling."

Bob sat up, breasts jouncing, prick rigid and shiny with juices. Semen glistened in his pubic hair, and his naked testicles and crotch were slippery with the stuff. His pretty face had a look of frustration, but he said, "Okay."

"Will you be able to go to sleep? I hate to leave you like that."

"I'll be okay."

It wasn't fair to him, but all at once she was exhausted. Too much had happened, there was too much to get used to, too much to come to terms with. She needed time to sort out her feelings.

She curled up under the covers, leaving Bob to turn out the light and go to sleep on the wet spot. As her eyes closed, she heard Judy's muffled giggle from the bedroom across the hall.

Chapter 8

ANDY was totally unprepared for the terrible rage of jealousy that stopped his breath when he saw Barbara and Wendy go upstairs. He had known Barbara's wife would come home someday, and he knew she would go to bed with her, and that their own intimacy would end, but it had all happened too suddenly.

Through a red haze he pictured Barbara and Wendy naked in bed, holding each other, caressing, kissing--and then the final intimacy, which he couldn't even visualize. He supposed Barbara would put it in the other woman just like a man, but he couldn't imagine it. He ground his teeth in frustrated anger.

He jumped when Mrs. Walters patted his knee, and became aware she had asked him a question.


"I said the kitchen is beautiful. Do you think you could do ours?"

"Oh. Yeah, sure."

"When? Before my husband gets home?"


"Could you do it before my husband gets back from San Cabrón?"

"When's that?"

"I told you! In two weeks. Andy, aren't you listening to me?"

"I'm sorry. I was thinking about something else."

"Wendy and Barbara sharing a room?"

He stared at her. "Yeah, kind of. How'd you know?"

"I saw your face when they went up. You looked like you were having kittens. Don't worry, they're not strange. Lots of women share a room. Especially, you know, Barbara must be lonely after her divorce."

Andy let his eyes rest on her. She looked sincere. Didn't she know about Barbara? She must, she was Wendy's sister, and Barbara told him she didn't start wearing dresses until last year. Besides, she must have known he was a guy when they got married.

Yeah, but she didn't know he knew. Mrs. Walters was protecting them. Despite his annoyance he liked that. She was pretty nice. Nice- looking, too. Hair a buckwheat-honey cap of curls, eyes green and flecked with light brown, and a good figure, not as full on top as Barbara, but sexy-looking anyway, especially when she leaned toward him like that, letting her dress fall away, and he could see everything but the nipples.

She couldn't know what she was doing, being so careless about her dress and sitting so close beside him on the couch that it made him uncomfortable. If she were single and younger, he might think she was trying to get him interested in her.

She said, "You didn't answer."

"Two weeks. Well, I guess so. I could get started Monday. But remember I haven't seen the place. I don't know how big of a job it is, or exactly what it is you want me to do."

"We could drive over and look at it tomorrow. Then you could tell me."


She crossed her legs, skirt pulling up from the knee. Her new position made her lean against him just enough so their bodies were touching. He wanted to shift away, it was kind of embarrassing, her nearness was giving him a hard-on, but if he moved away too suddenly she might be insulted, like he thought she was repulsive or something.

She said, "Do you have a girl friend, Andy?"

"Not any more." He couldn't keep a note of bitterness out of his voice.

"It's hard to be alone, isn't it? Especially at night." Her eyelashes fluttered. "With Leon still in San Cabrón . . . "

"What's he doing there?"

"Cheating on me."

"What!" She had made him laugh.

She grinned. "Really. I have no doubt. Well . . . we have an arrangement, you see."

"An arrangement? He can cheat on you? And get away with it?"

"And me on him. You know what they say, a woman whose husband is a thousand miles away isn't married."

Andy laughed again, but he wondered if she really meant it.

She cleared her throat. "What happened between you and your girl friend? Didn't she, ah, give you what you wanted?"

Her boldness made his cheeks flame. "We just grew apart," he lied.

"But you were doing it with her."

He shifted restlessly. Her talking about things like this was making him excited. "I guess so."

"And now she's gone. Don't you get horny?"

He couldn't help it, he started giggling like a ten-year-old while she smiled.

When he managed to contain himself he said, "Sometimes."

"Look at me. Do you think I'm pretty?"

"You're beautiful," he said, surprised.

"Don't you like me?"

"Sure I do."

"Then why aren't you making a pass at me? God knows I've done everything I can to let you know I wanted you to."

"B-but Mrs. Walters--you're married!"

Her eyes twinkled. "Call me Judy, dammit, and I already told you Leon and I have an arrangement."

"I thought you were kidding."

"Well, I wasn't. Now are you going to put your arms around me and kiss me or not?"

Barbara's sister-in-law!

Oh, man if he could make out with her . . . wouldn't Barbara be pissed off! She'd have a fit. He hesitated just long enough to savor the anticipation of the look on her face when she found out, then embraced Mrs. Walters--Judy--and planted a wet kiss on her mouth.

She yielded in his arms, lips parting to invite his tongue.

In an access of enthusiasm he handled her with the same confidence he did Barbara, hand moving down her back, taking the zipper with it, then slipping into her dress, pulling it away from her torso to expose those enticing breasts. He fondled them gently while she squirmed in his embrace and made small pleasure noises.

When he put his hand under her skirt to slide up the inside of her thigh, she clamped her legs together on it and broke the kiss.

She panted, "God, when you finally get going you really get going, don't you? I feel like I was just violated by the Sixth Fleet."

Her top was down to her waist. She took a shaky breath, looking defenseless, breasts exposed to view, then smiled.

"Whew. You're so impulsive." She put her hand over his, caught between her thighs. "But exciting. Kiss me again. Here, let me unbutton your shirt so we can feel each other's skin. Oops. Fur, I mean. Look at you, so manly. I want to feel your chest fur against me. Oh God, it's wonderful."

Her breasts were soft, nipples proud against his chest.

He kissed her. She writhed luxuriously in his arms. Her legs moved apart, freeing his hand to slide gently upward until he was touching silken panties. They were wet--had she pissed her pants?--and there was nothing there. After Barbara it felt strange. He felt her crotch, sensing lips through the silk, and had a tingle between his own legs.

She whispered, "Let's go upstairs."

His heart pounded. She was going to let him fuck her.

Now that it was here, it frightened him. He never did it before. What would it be like? With Barbara he knew what he was doing, but he never had a woman woman before. He didn't know if he could satisfy her. She was married, she must have had a lot of experience. Suppose she was disappointed. The tumidity of his erection, compressed tightly in his jeans, lessened.

She stood up holding her top with one hand, and extended the other to take his. He let her lead him to the head of the stairs. Her back was bare. As they walked toward the bedroom she put an arm around his waist, and almost immediately let her hand slip down to clutch his buttock.

He jumped and let the first part of a giggle escape his throat.

"Shh!" she said, making only a token effort to keep her voice down, "Don't wake them up."

It was almost like she wanted them to know what they were doing. That was okay with him. Let 'em know. If Barbara could fuck somebody else, so could he, and he wanted her to know it. Sweet dreams, baby, he thought, You're not the only one.

His blue pajamas were rumpled on the foot of the bed. Barbara must have sneaked them out from under the pillow in her room. Heart racing, not looking at the blonde woman holding her top up with a look of, well, it almost seemed like apprehension, he took them with him to the bathroom to change.

When he returned, hard-on greatly diminished by anxiety, she had a nightgown on and was standing, eyes down, facing away from the bed.

He choked, "Hi."

"Hi." Her lashes fluttered. "W-we're all formal, aren't we? Dressed for buh." Her throat moved. "Bed."

She didn't look like an "older woman", she looked as shy as a young girl.

"I guess."

"Andy, I-- I just wanted to say I don't . . . Well, you know."


"I don't usually go to bed with strangers! It's just that, with Leon away . . . doing what he's doing . . . and you seem so nice . . . and so handsome . . . You must think I'm terrible!"

Her face was white.

Andy's uneasiness vanished.

He felt tension in her body as he took her gently in his arms and held her close. His hard-on returned. It strained against her soft belly; she didn't pull away.

"I don't think you're terrible at all. I think you're beautiful." He wanted to tell her he loved her, but he knew the tenderness he felt wasn't really love, and besides, he wasn't used to mushy talk.

"We don't have to if you don't want to. It's okay," he said, but he hoped she wouldn't back out.

The tenseness left her. Her arms came sweetly around his neck; her lips parted to let his tongue enter. She swayed against him, squeezing his erection between their bodies.

He husked, "Let's lie down."

"Oh yes, I want to."

She pulled away with a little shiver, turned down the bedclothes, and lay on the snowy sheet with her arms held out in invitation. Heart pounding, he stretched out beside her. The softness and warmth of her body reminded him of Barbara; he caressed her with the same affection.

His hand moved from breasts to join of legs, faltered when it didn't meet the familiar organ. He reached for the hem of her gown and drew it up, uncertainly at first, but with more confidence when she made no protest. He glanced down. It was strange to see nothing there, just an inverted triangle of dark blonde pubic hair. It looked incomplete, somehow.

She whispered, "Come over me, I can't wait," and opened her legs.

He mounted her. The head of his cock pushed against her crotch. There was wetness but no access.

She squirmed happily.

Andy was seized by embarrassment. He didn't know where it was. He poked doubtfully at her a couple of times, and was nervous but relieved when she reached down, grasped his prick, and guided it demurely to the right place. He felt an indentation, the beginning of her vagina.

Conditioned by the tightness of Barbara's anus, Andy shoved in forcefully. His cock pistoned forward unimpeded.

She yelped.

"I'm sorry! Did I hurt you?"

"N-no. It was just a surprise. Mm, you feel so good."

A tunnel of wet warmth surrounded his organ, clenching its entire length.

She sighed and held him to her as he began moving back and forth in her. Her knees came up, allowing him deeper penetration. The fly of his pajamas got damp with her secretions. She was slippery and loose/tight and natural around him--and there was no sin of perversion to heighten the thrill of lovemaking.

He pumped back and forth, relishing the gentle grip of her vagina, and nursed on her stiffened nipples.

Her body tensed until she was rigid in his arms. Her knees lifted, higher; her thighs held him like a vise. Her heels dug into the small of his back.

A groan escaped her lips and thinned to a mewl like a cat calling for service.

He felt the lips of her cunt flare open and shut at the base of his prick. There was a squeeze.

She spasmed, gasping, holding him tightly, legs locked around him, arms clutching him with surprising strength, nails digging into his back.

He couldn't help it, despite all he could do to prevent it, to wait, to savor this moment, this first time with a woman, his swollen dong plunged to the hilt in her, his balls shrank tight, muscles in his crotch squeezed together and contracted violently and a discharge of sperm shot from his prick into her, throbbing wildly spurting uncontrollably draining him pulse after pulse in ecstasy, the room growing darker, and at last brightening again as the paroxysms in his genitals subsided and he became aware of his rough panting in her ear.

She was writhing under him, pussy gripping his softening organ. Small spasms continued to seize her in the aftermath of his ejaculation; she held him close while her legs relaxed and slid from his back. Now flaccid, his cock fell out of her on a wash of semen when her pelvis gave a final twitch.

He rolled over next to her, spent.

She turned her head to him. Her eyes shimmered.

Warm breath palpable on his face, she murmured, "Oh, Andy!"

"Me too."

Minutes later he added, "That was great!"

"Are you surprised?" He heard a smile in her voice. "You sound like you thought I would be a disappointment."

"No! I just . . . didn't know. Was it all right? Did I do it right?"

"You were wonderful. You made me climax over and over. --Wait a minute." She sat up. "Andy--this wasn't your first time, was it?"

He thought about Barbara. "Well . . . "

"It was! Oh Andy, I'm so grateful. You've given me something beyond price. You're such a darling. I feel like crying, I'm so happy."

"You gave me more than I gave you."

"But--your first time! That's so special."

She was embarrassing him. To keep her from saying more he turned his head and kissed her.

He put his hand on her exposed pussy and thought about how different she was from Barbara, at least in that one way.

He asked, "How did it feel?"

"Just wonderful. I told you, you made me climax."

"No, I mean how did it feel? In there. Doesn't it--isn't it-- weird?"


"To have something in you there."

"Oh. No. Well, yes, in a way. It's special. But it's like you belonged there. I don't know much about carpentry, but I know what a mortise and tenon is. It's like that. You're the tenon, I'm the mortise."

He hugged her. "Does it hurt?"

"What a thing to ask."

"I just wondered." A moment later he continued, "It's strange. I mean it's not like a mouth or a . . . bottom . . . where things go in or out all the time. It's a private place that you could go a whole lifetime without ever having anything in it."

"I hope not!" She laughed softly and ruffled his hair. "You're nice. You have all kinds of lovely and sensitive things going on in that head of yours, don't you? Most men don't give a second thought to how a girl feels down there."

"Did it hurt the first time?"

Her face got an odd expression. It was a minute before she answered, "My first time did, because I was so young and scared. But it usually doesn't hurt much, just a dull pain when the maidenhead is torn. After a day or so when it's all healed, it doesn't hurt at all, just feels marvelous."

"It's strange," he sighed. "I wonder what it's like."

She put her arms around him and hugged him close. "You're strange! You really never have been with a girl, have you?"


"Do you want to see it? I'll show you if you want."

His heart took a bounce. He waited until he could trust his voice not to shake with eagerness.


As he sat up she squirmed back on the bed until her shoulders were against the headboard. She tucked the pillows behind her. Her eyes were fastened on his midsection; he became aware that his prick, moist with their juices, was still dangling from the fly of his bottoms.

He started to put it away, but she said, "Oh don't. I like to look too. You have a nice one."

She patted it affectionately. Not so long ago he would've jumped a mile if someone touched him there, but the past weeks had given him confidence. He smiled at her.

She pulled the hem of her nightie up above her belly-button like a little girl proudly displaying herself. Her knees came up; she let her legs fall open.

It was still spooky not to see a penis and testicles at the join of her thighs. Two plump lips formed a cleft in her crotch. It looked like nothing so much as a vertical mouth.

She answered his questioning glance with a cute little nod.

With quivering fingers he gingerly pulled the lips apart. To his surprise another pair of lips was revealed, flower petals, thin, wet, rosy in color, so tender it made his heart ache. A little protrusion at the front was mantled with the same delicate tissue. Before his eyes it swelled to the size of the first joint of his little finger, pushed through the skin surrounding it like a penis through its foreskin, red and shiny with moisture.

He knew what it was! Her clitoris. The guys all said it was just like a tiny cock, but he hadn't known whether to believe them. It did look like one, head and all, only there wasn't any hole in it to piss through. Andy wondered if getting big like that was the same as getting a hard-on.

Her whisper confirmed it. "You're making me all excited again. I love for you to examine me like that."

He made his fingers spread her still more. Now he could see a pink opening. It looked too small to have contained his erection, but it must have: a thick fluid was leaking from it. His come.

Her aroma filled his nostrils as he leaned closer. It was musky and had a suggestion of urine, tantalizing and erotic. His cock stiffened.

Judy's hands touched the back of his head.

"Be an angel. I'm so aroused."

It took a long moment for him to realize she meant him to kiss her there.

Andy wasn't sure if he should get mad. Was she insulting him? He knew about going down on women, but always in the context of dirty stories about how the guy lets the girl trick him into getting tied up, and then she sits on his face.

Did men do it with women, not as a dirty joke but as part of normal sex? Maybe. She didn't act like she was asking for anything unreasonable.

He didn't know if he could. She was all wet and sloppy there, not only with his jism but her own slippery juices. Tentatively he let his head go forward.

It was a kind of mouth, wasn't it? Lips and all. He had kissed the other mouth, putting his tongue in it. This one had taken his prick, so she had kind of done the same thing she wanted him to do, sucked his cock with her mouth, even if it wasn't the one above. Unbidden, the image of Barbara's big prick rose before his mind's eye. He thrust it away hastily, but not before he had a surprising pang of regret for not having done it before it was too late.

He decided he could kiss this mouth the way he had the one above. He bent his head and pressed his lips against hers. Her fragrance was suffocating, so sensual it made him dizzy.

He put his tongue out and let it slip between the lips. The tissues it touched were delicate, scented with sex, drenched with her genital effusions. It drove him crazy. He began lapping vigorously as Judy flinched and jerked and uttered moans of rapture. His prick steamed; his own crotch had sympathetic titillating twinges.

Through a red haze he heard her groan, "Oh! Oh, come in me again. Can you? Oh God, you can! It's so big. Oh, yes, take me!"

Judy gave a shriek as she convulsed. It was only the first of many orgasms before they were able to sleep in each other's arms.

When he awoke, Andy used his morning hard-on to wedge it gently inside the warm-smelling girl next to him. A sleepy smile appeared on her lips. Eyes still closed, she moved to accommodate him. Her arms went agreeably about his neck.

As he pushed back and forth, savoring the wet softness surrounding his prick, she sighed from time to time in a series of tranquil orgasms that caused her vagina to squeeze him.

He was proud of himself. Until last night he'd been wondering if he could please a woman; now he knew he could. He held her close, using her tenderly, and in his own good time let his sperm squirt into her womb. He rested a moment on top of her before getting up to go to the bathroom and shower. When he returned she was fast asleep again.

He dressed quietly and went down to rustle up some breakfast for himself, confident that Wendy and Judy--and Barbara, if Wendy kept her up last night--he had a sinking feeling at the thought--would sleep late.

But Barbara was there before him, seated at the counter with a cup of coffee and a croissant. She was wearing one of her "uniforms", a tailored blouse and skirt, and was carefully made up.

His heart twisted. She was gorgeous.

Now that he had been fulfilled, he was prepared to forgive her betrayal. They were even.

She looked at him coldly.

"I suppose you can't wait for breakfast."

"That's okay, I'll get it."

"Never mind, you'll only make a mess." Her voice had a tremor, as from suppressed emotion.

He sat down at the opposite end of the counter from the stove as she tied an apron around her narrow waist, threw a slice of ham into a skillet, and broke eggs into another.

After a silence, watching the eggs cook, she said, "You must be starving after such an active night."


"Don't try to deny it, I heard you and that girl come upstairs."

"I wasn't--"

"It didn't take you long to forget me, did it? I wonder if you ever cared for me. I feel like such a fool."


"Was it fun? Was she as good as I was?"

"Wait a minute, you and Wen--"

"You just couldn't wait to get in her pants, could you? One look from those big green eyes and you trip all over yourself getting in bed with that tramp."

"I don't have to listen to this." He stood up. "Forget about break--"

She slammed the plate of ham and eggs down in front of him.

"Go ahead, stuff your silly face. Maybe when you grow up you'll learn you don't have to be an animal all the time. You deliberately took that girl to bed just to hurt me--"

Tears spurted from her eyes.

His heart broke. He moved to put his arm around her shoulders.

She pushed him away. "Don't touch me!" Her lower lip trembled violently as she said, "I don't want to catch whatever disease you picked up from that slut."

He stared helplessly as she turned her back and leaned her arms on the sink counter. Her shoulders shook; she sobbed loudly.

Holy mackerel, she was really crying. But she was a guy, he didn't get it, she shouldn't be crying. Maybe what they did to her body kind of changed her inside. God knew she acted feminine enough in other ways.

He waited until her tears diminished.

"I'm sorry," he said softly. "But hey, I'm not the only one. You and Wendy--"

"She's my wife, what do you expect?"


"Eat your breakfast, I have to go."

"Where are you going?"

"To the office."

"It's Saturday!"

Her voice held all the warmth and hope of the North Pole. "I have work to do. You do too, if you can tear yourself away from your floozy long enough."

He watched her go, then sat down to the ham and eggs. He had to force them down. His throat had a lump in it.

An hour later he was still sitting there, coffee grown cold in the cup, while he tried to think of what to do. It was an impossible situation. He'd have to leave. He didn't have any money, but if he did Judy's kitchen he'd be able to rent a room somewhere until one of those job prospects came through. He wondered if he should be charging her, after last night. Well, it was her husband's money. He could afford to be generous when he got on his feet. Right now he needed a place to stay.

Footsteps sounded on the stairs. He didn't know whether to hope it was Judy or not. He wanted to see the job site, but he didn't know if he could face her after the scene with Barbara.

The phone rang in the other room. The footsteps hesitated, changed direction. Wendy's voice said, "Hello."

The least he could do was finish the den. There were only a couple of days work left. He started to get up, but stopped when he heard the voice in the other room drop to a murmur.

"You weren't supposed to call me . . . Oh, Warren--"

There was a long silence, then in a normal tone, "She what? That's awful. The baby too. Oh dear."

Another silence, a gentle "I know, me too," and finally, "Please try to understand."

A sense of tact warned Andy to let himself quietly out the kitchen door so Wendy wouldn't know he had overheard her, but on second thought he stayed where he was. He had no reason to go out of his way to be nice to this woman who had taken Barbara from him.

She hadn't said anything incriminating, but something in her tone made him certain he was listening to a conversation between lovers. Was she cheating on Barbara? His heart gave a pulse. Maybe things weren't what they seemed. Maybe there was something Barbara didn't know, that he could take advantage of. He heard her put down the phone.

A moment later she appeared in the doorway.

"Oh! I didn't know anybody was here. Good morning!"

She studied him with an intent quizzical expression, possibly considering whether he had heard anything, or if he had, whether it mattered. As far as she was concerned he was just a workman, the next thing to invisible.

She relaxed when he only responded, "Hi."

A smile touched her eyes. "Sleep well last night?"

"Yeah, okay."

"Any coffee left?"

Andy indicated the half-full coffee-maker with a nod.

"Did Bo--B-Barbara, get off to work all right? It's a shame she has to work on Saturday."

"Yeah, well, so do I. I better go up and do some work on the den before taking a look at Mrs. Walters' kitchen."

Chapter 9

Warren called, "Darlene?"

No answer. The lights were on, but the house had an empty feel.

She was probably at the neighbors. Just as well. He needed a little time to relax after a long day traveling from San Cabrón.

He shucked off his coat, put down his suitcase, and peeked into the bedroom to see if Patty was in her crib. No, she was with her mother. He went into the kitchen for a beer.

A note was taped to the refrigerator door.

Dear Warren,
You asked why I wanted you to go to San Cabróne alone without me and I didn't tell you. Well I'll tell you now.

Ha Ha !! The jokes on you. I've been with Norman Finster all this time and I'm going away with him. He is a true gentleman and not a dirty hands ruffneck like you, he is a proffessional stockbrocker in an office, He is all I ever dreamed not a common laberer. I told you if you wouldn't get a job in an office I'd leave you, well I have. Don't try to find me I never want to see you or you're freak kid again. Go be poor all your life Im going to be rich. Ha, ha, ha !!

Yours truly, Darlene.

P.S. The freak is next door with Mrs. Higins.

Stunned, he read it again, and then a third time. He felt like he had been hit in the gut by a sledgehammer.

The house was still as death. From next door he heard the sound of a television game show, raucous canned laughter and the unctuous tones of the host. Mrs. Higgins always had the volume up.

It can't be, he thought. There's a catch.

He read the note yet another time, wincing inside at its mindless cruelty.

Gradually the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders. He straightened, stood perceptibly taller.

An unbelieving grin tugged at the corners of his mouth.

He yelled, "Yee--ha!" And then again, "Yee--HAA!"

His feet danced a jig in place.


He went back to the bedroom and threw open the closet door. Empty, but for his work clothes and hangers on the floor. Her bureau drawers were also bare.

He couldn't believe it.


Dismay and excitement and joy combined in an expanding bubble in his chest, and erupted in another shout of exultation.

Patty! The damn' fool had left her with Mrs. Higgins. He had to get over there right away.

The doorbell sounded.

He opened the door. Mrs. Higgins had the sleeping baby in her arms.

"I thought I heard you, hollerin' to wake the dead. Miz Wilcox left the child with me, now you're back, you take it."

Warren cradled the fragile bundle. She was so beautiful. Her eyes were closed, lids almost translucent. Her rosebud mouth pursed in a dream kiss. He had missed her more than he knew.

Mrs. Higgins held out her hand. "She said you'd pay me."

"Oh. Yeah." What kind of a world was it when a neighbor couldn't watch a baby for free? Holding Patty carefully in one arm he reached in his pocket. "How much?"

"She said twenty dollars."

It left him with five dollars in his pocket. He'd have to go to the bank in the morning.

"Thanks, Mrs. Higgins. You have a nice night now."

"There's something wrong with that child."

"I know, it's all right, I'll take care of it. Thanks again."

He opened the door to urge her out.

She said, "Something wrong!"

"I know, I know. It'll be all right. Watch the step."

As he closed the door he heard her burst out, "She's the devil's spawn! I'll thank you not to ask me to have her in the house--"

Whatever else she said was lost in the click of the latch. He carried the baby to her crib and gazed at her with love.

"Something wrong, huh? You're the best most perfect thing in the world. That lady doesn't know what she's talking about, does she? You sleep tight and have sweet dreams and maybe we'll get you a new mommy some day, poor child."

It was time for bed, but he was too excited to sleep, so he finished a six-pack before turning in. It made him sluggish the next morning as he bathed and diapered and fed the baby. Caring for her in this way was nothing new for him; it was a routine. Darlene didn't like "messy" chores.

The thing about waking up wasn't his hangover. It was waking up alone. For two months the first thing he was aware of was Wendy's soft warmth next to him; the first thing he saw upon opening his eyes was Wendy's beautiful face; the first thing he smelled was the fragrance of her skin.

She started out being therapy for two years of Darlene's nagging and put-downs; but it wasn't long before she had become a light that put Darlene's shortcomings into sharp relief. Wendy was kind, sweet- tempered, and giving, and so responsive in bed he walked around with a perpetual hard-on just remembering the night before--all the things Darlene wasn't. Wendy was beautiful in a natural way, not spoiling her prettiness with too much makeup and plucking and hairdressers' precious ideas of style, the way Darlene did. No wonder he had fallen head over heels in love.

Patty was glad to see him this morning. She cooed and giggled happily when he tickled her, and kept giving him coy glances as she displayed her walking and crawling techniques, looking back over her shoulder to make sure he was watching. She didn't seem to care that her mother was among the missing.

That wasn't too strange. Darlene wasn't what you could call an affectionate mother. She left Patty alone half the time, and attended to her meals with barely-controlled impatience. When he was home he was more of a "mother" than she was.

He picked up the telephone. He had promised not to call Wendy, but she had to know about Darlene, didn't she? It was important, in case she should ever change her mind about getting together. If a man answered, he'd say he had the wrong number.

Hearing her voice made him weak and lovesick. Maybe she was right about not seeing each other. It would be too painful not to have her all day every day.

He had to get to the bank. He thought about waiting until Patty was asleep--she was about ready for a nap--and sneaking out, but she might wake up. The thought of her crying out for him and not being around to comfort her chilled him. He'd have to take her.

He could see all this wasn't going to be easy. With a baby-sitter out of the question--he hoped that damn' Higgins woman would keep her mouth shut about Patty--for the first time he thanked God it was wintertime. Work was slow. Frozen ground and the chance of below-zero days didn't do much for the masonry business. He had time to be with the baby. What he would do in the spring he didn't know; he'd cross that bridge when he came to it.

He dressed her warmly and belted her with care into the car seat in his pickup. She fell asleep on the way.

The bank teller smiled sympathetically at the sight of the bundle in his arms, but when she saw his modest check, her expression became cautious.

"I'll be back in a moment."

Warren watched her punch numbers into the computer terminal in back. She stared at the screen. Without looking at him, she walked over to old Mr. Frye, the bank manager. He heard the man give a small sound of dismay, and the teller returned.

"Mr. Frye would like to see you, Mr. Wilcox."

He knew before he walked into the man's office that Darlene had cleaned out their checking account. A slow rage built in him.

Mr. Frye said, "Mr. Wilcox, I'm not sure I understand. Your wife closed your accounts last week. She said you wanted to change banks."

"Accounts! Both accounts? The savings account too?" God, that was his life savings. He was wiped out. Why had he ever put Darlene's signature on it?

"I'm afraid so."

Warren sat down in the nearest chair, holding the baby with a care at odds to the churn of emotions within him.

"What the hell am I going to do?"

"Is there some, ah, domestic difficulty?"

"She left me and the baby while I was out of town."

"I'm sorry."

"Wait a minute, let me think. I have to have money, the mortgage is due next week, well, you know that--"

"Er, you are two months in arrears. We sent you notices."

"Two months! She didn't even pay the damn' mortgage?"

"Please. You don't want the whole town to hear."

"So now I have to make three payments all at once. How the hell can I do that? She cleaned me out. And it's winter. There's no jobs."

"Mr. Wilcox, you're a valued customer of this bank. We'll work with you, now that we appreciate the situation. Do you think you could begin to make accelerated payments in the spring?"

Warren gave him a grateful look. "Yeah . . . maybe. I don't like it. I mean I don't like the idea of not being up to date with my payments. Besides, there are other expenses. Food for the baby. Let me think."

A long moment later he said slowly, "Look, Mr. Frye. The house is in my name only." Bitterness found its way into his voice. "That's probably the only reason she didn't sell it out from under me. Anyway, I got nine years in this mortgage, I must have some equity in it, right?"

Mr. Frye nodded.

Warren continued, "And the house is worth more now than when I bought it--I made a bunch of improvements and the market is higher anyway. Suppose I refinanced the mortgage for enough extra money to carry me through? Would that do it?"

The man said, "A home-improvement loan."

"What? I'm not going to be able to make any more improvements for quite a while."

"You don't have to. That's just the type of loan I'm suggesting. Interest rates these days are much higher than when you took out your original mortgage. You would save money by taking out an additional loan instead of refinancing."

"Yeah? I could do that? Thanks, Mr. Frye. You won't regret it."

"I'm sure of that, Mr. Wilcox. Now. How much do you think you'll need?"

Warren named an amount that would carry him through the spring comfortably, and, to be safe, added an amount that would take care of the loan payments for a year.

Mr. Frye said, "If you'll sign this loan application, you can go directly to the teller and cash a check for whatever you need. I'll have the application filled out for you by tomorrow."

"I can get cash right now? That's great. You're okay, you know that, Mr. Frye? If I can ever do anything for you, stone work, concrete, whatever, you let me know. Thanks again."

He stood up.

"Er, Mr. Wilcox." The man's expression said he might be suffering from gas. "It's none of my business, of course, but if you haven't yet done so, it might be wise for you to consult with an attorney." He rummaged in his drawer and came up with a business card. "Mr. Berkovitz is said to be excellent. Costly, perhaps, but he'll save you money--and trouble," his glance fell on the sleeping baby, "in the long run. His office is upstairs on the third floor. If you make arrangements with him, give me a call and we can add his fee to the loan."

Warren blinked several times. "Yeah. I'll do that. Thanks, Mr. Frye."

The man looked embarrassed.

Patty woke up while he was talking with Mr. Berkovitz and squirmed off his lap. She crawled hastily over the carpet giving them her best "check me out" look over her shoulder.

"That's all right, let her go," the lawyer said. "There's nothing she can damage. We're used to small children around here. --Your wife left her behind?"


"And the note you said she wrote, you'll have to bring it in so we can make copies, specifically stated she was abandoning the child."

"She said she never wanted to see her again."


"What's good about that?"

"It means there will be no trouble getting the court to award you custody, and will enable us to receive child support from her."

"I thought only fathers paid child support."

"Most fathers, in this state at least, don't have sole custody. You are certainly entitled to her help in defraying the cost of raising the child."

Warren grinned ruefully. "Good luck. I can't see her coming up with the money."

"Nevertheless. The court order will be there, and if she should ever win a lottery, or open a bank account, or obtain gainful employment, you would be able to seize her assets or garnishee her wages."

Patty stood up awkwardly and tugged at Warren's hand.

"Oh-oh. That means she's ready for a diaper change. Are we done for now?"

"Sure. I'll be in touch with you in a few days, Mr. Wilcox. Leave everything to me, and don't worry, we'll put this through quickly and favorably."

Chapter 10

WENDY inspected her sister with amusement. Judy looked wan, a little tired, but a complacent smile hovered about her lips. She had taken Andy home with her almost two weeks ago "to remodel the kitchen, no point in his staying over here, he can get an earlier start if he sleeps in our guest room." Apparently they had met with success in more ways than one.

Bob was in a tizzy about it. What a fuss over nothing, Wendy thought. The boy was almost nineteen, after all. It was time he lost his virginity--Judy had told all, the morning after that first night home-- and she couldn't think of any better way for him to gain experience than with her sister. She was pretty, kind, proficient, and would never intentionally do him any harm.

It was nice to be alone with Bob at last, but there were some discomfiting aspects. When he was an ordinary tax preparer he had plenty of time to help around the house--except during a three-month tax season--and as soon as he began wearing her dresses she made him do the housework with her as if they were sisters or roommates. Now he left for work each morning at eight and didn't get back until six. She was a housewife again.

Housewife for a woman! She couldn't get over how feminine he was. It was weird. When she saw him in lingerie applying cosmetics with startling grace; when he tilted his head, lifted his silken hair, and fastened earrings to his lobes it all seemed perfectly normal--just another woman sharing the morning routine--but then something would happen to blow her mind. The other day, for example, he came into the bathroom while she was brushing her teeth and she watched him stand in front of the toilet and hike up his skirt to pee. She had a sense of dizzied confusion, and finally burst out, "Can't you sit down? You're driving me crazy!"

And then when they were in bed together, she nursing on his breasts as she lay on top of him, the tireless rigidity of his enormous erection that she could use endlessly to stimulate her overheated vagina, belied his femininity in a way that baffled her senses.

Judy said, "Do I have spinach in my teeth?"


"You're staring at me."

"Oh. Sorry." She turned her eyes to the coffeemaker, which had given up pissing and grunting into the carafe and was now beaming over its full pot. "I was just thinking."

"What about?"

"Oh . . ." Wendy got up to pour, deliberately not looking at her. "I was just wondering what it's like."

"What is?"

"You know, to be the kind of evil seductress who would take a young boy's virginity."

A second later Judy's laugh rang out.

Wendy said, "No, seriously. What's it like to know you're spoiling the child for girls his own age? Introducing him to all manner of vile practices and carnal knowledge. I can't believe you sleep at night."

"I can't, he keeps me awake. Spoiling him! He's spoiling me! I'll never be able to go to bed with Leon again."

Wendy burst into laughter.

Judy said, "But you know what? I'd trade him for Bob any day. Wanna trade? Wanna? Especially," she said slyly, "after you told me about him wearing you out. I was thinking about that the other day." She giggled, "You're like the girl who unknowingly entertained the god Thor. The next morning he decided to reward her by telling her who he was. 'I'm Thor,' he said. She said, 'You're thore! I'm tho thore I can't pith!' "

They shrieked.

"Never mind," Judy gasped and grew serious, "I might not have him to trade with for very long. I need your help, Sis. Andy just bought a used van for his tools, and now he's going to live in it."

"A van! I thought he didn't have any money."

"He finished the kitchen. You should see it, it's gorgeous. Anyway, I had to pay him, didn't I? The thing is, Leon's due back, and I was thinking if Andy had a place to live, we could, um, see each other once in a while. But not in a van. Can you imagine? Climbing in back of an old truck in broad daylight?"

It made Wendy smile. After a moment she said, "He's going to live in it? What will he do for water? Or a bathroom? It sounds perfectly awful."

"It is. That's why I mentioned it. You and Bob were nice enough to let him stay in the guest room. I wondered if you would do it again. I know it's a lot to ask, but I just can't stand to think of him living in a car like a homeless person, especially with Christmas around the corner. I couldn't bear to go around thinking of him in a van."

"I'll speak to Bob. You know him, he'll probably say yes."

"He's a dear," Judy said absently, and sipped her coffee. "You know, I've been trying to think who Andy reminds me of, and it came to me just now. Your island friend Warren. A young Warren."

Wendy remembered thinking the same thing. It interested her. She wondered briefly what it would be like to be with Andy, a kind of substitute for Warren right in her own house, and so inexperienced!

It was a silly and unworthy thought.

Sleeping around like that was all right for Judy, that's the way she was; on her it even looked good; but Wendy meant to be faithful to her marriage vows. Warren had been her sole indiscretion--the memory of how easily she surrendered to those young rapists in front of Bob flashed into her mind, but was immediately stifled--and it would never happen again. It wasn't fair to Bob. He had indulged her every desire, and for her to be aroused by the mere sound of Warren's voice on the phone was too disgraceful.

Judy asked, "Did you ever hear from him?"

"Who, Warren? No," she lied, "we agreed we couldn't meet. We're both married, you know."

Judy gave her a skeptical look. "I'm surprised. You two were so good together. You know something? I was jealous. There I was, stuck with Leon all that time while he kept trying to sneak out at night to run around paying little boys to take it in the mouth."


"Well, it's true, isn't it? You knew, even if you didn't say anything. And he didn't fool either of us for a minute with that story about checking out the island for condos to invest in. I saw the way you looked when he told us."

"We--ell . . . "

Judy's mouth quirked unhappily. "I know I said once it was okay for him to go out to lunch as long as he came home for dinner. But if all he wants to do any more is have boys do it to him, what's there for me? I mean, what good is it for me to be his wife? It's like the only reason he married me is for someone to act as his 'cover' so he can do what he wants without people suspecting."

Wendy didn't know what to say. She knew about Leon's penchant for little boys. It had come out during her sister's honeymoon. Judy told her all about it when they got back. At the time Judy hadn't seemed particularly upset, and Wendy had admired her equanimity, thinking she was more mature and worldly about such things than she was. Apparently there was a limit. She patted her sister's hand.

Judy brightened. "Anyway, ha ha. He's not the only one who likes young boys, is he?"

"You better not let Bob catch you. He thinks he's Andy's mother," Wendy laughed.

"He's so sweet. She is. Oh Wendy, you're so lucky."

Wendy patted her hand again, half wishing things could be different, that Judy could be with Bob, maybe. (Wich would leave her free to be with Warren.)

"I'll talk to Bob tonight. Why don't you and Andy come over to dinner?"

After Judy left, Wendy pottered about the kitchen tidying up, trying not to feel put-upon by having to do all the housework. Judy's mention of Christmas reminded her it was time to unearth those decorations from the attic. She'd put it off long enough. Maybe later. If Andy came by she could get him to hang them. Oh dear, every year the same-o same-o thing.

When the phone rang she forced animation into her tone. "Hello."

A cheerful voice asked, "Mrs. Miller?"


"It's Nancy. I have those numbers you wanted for the Spivak account."

"Wait." Wendy was flustered. "This isn't--you have the wrong Mrs. Miller. She's out right now. Can I take a message?"

She had to do something about taking her maiden name back, become "Miss Ogden" again. This "sister-in-law" business was too confusing. Besides, with Bob the way he was, her use of his name had become irrelevant.

There was a brief silence at the other end. "Is this Wendy Miller?"


"Hi! I'm Nancy Dahl. I don't know if you remember me. I worked in the tax office before I got to be Mrs. Miller's secretary."

Wendy placed her. The red-headed receptionist. A small thin girl with a plain face who positively radiated health and irrepressible bubbling good nature. Bob's secretary? But that meant--

"Nancy? Of course I remember you. Did you say you were Mrs. Miller's secretary?"

"Yes! She asked me to come to work for her the day she got the job at Haskell's. She's a great boss. I'm so glad to be out of that tax orifice."

"But--" Wendy didn't get it. If this girl had worked with Bob . . . But maybe she just didn't recognize him. There were times when Wendy didn't.

Did she know or didn't she? Cautiously, "H-how long . . . I mean, well, how long have you known her?"

"How long--? Oh, I see. Duh-h. What a dummy I am. I knew her when she worked at that other place, but I didn't know her," she gave the word significance, "until I came here." A titter came over the line. "I hope that was discreet enough for the telephone."

"Oh dear. Barbara never said a word! You must think we're terrible."

"No, I think it's neat. My husband, too," she added.

"Your husband knows too?" Did everybody in the world know? Wendy felt her cheeks flaming.

"No. That is, yes, I did mention it to him, but he would never say anything. I meant, my Jimmy does, er, like Mrs. Miller."

"He--? Oh my, you're right. We really shouldn't be discussing it on the phone, should we? But I'd love to talk with you. Could we meet?"

"If you're free for lunch, we could go to Mitzi's on Maple Avenue. They have those groovy little sandwiches made out of parsley and caviar that you couldn't get fat if you tried, though you wouldn't know it to look at all the fatties who come there to eat--you didn't get fat, did you?--and they sit around cackling so loud that nobody could possibly overhear us!"

Wendy was still grinning when she walked into the Christmas-decorated restaurant and saw Nancy at a table in back waving energetically.

She had an attack of timidity as she threaded her way through the crowded room. This young woman knew she was married to a man in dresses. What must she think? But she had practically declared that she was too. It would be interesting to learn what she thought about it. Perhaps they had other things in common, too. It would be nice to know a kindred spirit other than Judy.

She sat opposite the red-headed girl. They smiled at each other like fools, ready to be friends, but each wary about the degree of confidences they might be prepared to exchange.

"I'm glad you called," Wendy ventured.

"So am I! I've been wanting to talk to you for ages, especially since . . . I don't know if I should say this."

"Go on, I won't bite."

"Well, Mrs. Miller said . . . I don't know if it's true . . ." She hesitated and then blurted all at once, "She said it-was-kind-of-like-it-was-your-idea."

Wendy blushed. "I guess it was."

"Well, see, that's just it. H-how--? I mean, how did you ever get her to do it? I want my Jimmy to do it too, but I don't know how to make him."

"I thought you said he did--" She broke off when the waitress came up.

Nancy nodded vigorously, saying, "He does," before ordering a cottage cheese salad with strawberries. When the waitress had gone she repeated, "He does. But not so much anymore, hardly at all, in fact. But I'd like him to do it every day when he comes home from school. When he's all gussied up he's beautiful. It's such a--" suddenly pink, the girl looked down, "--turn-on--to see him like that and know that underneath . . . "

"I know!" Wendy's burst of recognition showed in her voice. "Isn't it awful? I get all bothered when I see Bob--Barbara--in a dress."

Nancy's grin was full of delight. It made the room sunny. "She's beautiful too, isn't she. In a different way from Jimmy, well, we call him Amy when he's like that, but she looks so nice. I mean nice like respectable. Amy's more the slutty kind, tight skirts up to here and long blonde hair. It gives me an instant bath down there."

Wendy laughed hilariously. She was joined after a surprised moment by Nancy, who gasped finally, "So how do you do it?"

"I don't know, I just, well, I guess I nagged the poor soul to death. Also," she added sheepishly, "I had a headache on nights when he was in pajamas, but gave him a specially good time when he wore a nightie and if he was good during the day."

Nancy giggled, "I'll try it! I don't know, though, he's gotten so square. He's due to graduate from Chardsville College in the spring, and he wants to get a job as an accountant. He thinks accountants have to be so perfect."

"There are lots of lady accountants," Wendy pointed out.

"Yes. Oh! You mean he could go to work as a woman? Like Mrs. Miller! What a groovy idea! Oh gosh . . . to see him like that every day." She squirmed in her seat. "If he only would. He used to. I mean he used to get dressed every day."

"You have to remember there are problems. Bo--Barbara can't get a driver's license, for example. And there's the risk she might be found out somehow."

Nancy mulled it over. "Jimmy once said that was part of the fun. The risk. Does-- I mean, is that a kick for Mrs. Miller?"

"I never asked. Did you know she went to the doctor?"

"She told me! They're real. I wonder if Jimmy--"

"It's permanent, you know."

"She said. It's kind of scary, isn't it? You can't change your mind. I don't know if Jimmy would go for it. I'd love it if he would. Imagine, real tits! Well . . . you don't have to imagine, do you? What's it like?"

"Fabulous! I can't tell you how, er, stimulating it is."

"I can imagine. I wish . . ." She hesitated, and changed the subject. "Why can't Mrs. Miller get a license?"

"You need a birth certificate."

"Oh." She thought about it. "I know somebody who got a birth certificate for a--friend. Even got the school records and all changed. Mrs. Miller knows her too. Estelle Chard. She might . . ."

Wendy stared. "What would Barbara tell her? She's one of her clients, isn't she?"

"Maybe she wouldn't have to tell her anything, just that she needs one. I know Estelle likes her."

"She'd probably think she was a foreign spy or something. That's all we'd need."

"Well, maybe the truth. Estelle knows all about Jimmy and it doesn't bother her."

"It's a nice idea, Nancy, but can you imagine? Barbara telling Mrs. Chard she's a man? She'd never."

"I guess you're right. Let me sleep on it. There must be something we can do. Listen," she said, face brightening, "Jimmy and I are having a little party for New Year's. Why don't you both come? Jimmy will be all dressed up, so you and Mrs. Miller can see him."

"I'd love it! Bob, er Barbara, I just can't seem to train my tongue, could talk to him about what it's like."

"Too much! We'll go off in a corner and have a hen party, the four of us."

Wendy laughed.

She kept her promise to Judy, speaking with Bob about Andy that evening while he changed out of his business ensemble into a frock she didn't recognize.

"What a pretty dress! You used to borrow my clothes, can I borrow yours some day?" She waited for Bob's answering smile before continuing, "Judy came over this morning. She says Andy bought an old beat-up truck and is going to live in it like a bum. Well, I guess the poor boy doesn't have any other place to stay. I hate to think of him all alone out there in the cold, though."

It took him a minute to react. "You sound like you want him to stay with us."

"I know you're furious. Never mind, it's too much to ask."

"I'm not mad. Why do you think I am?"

"I thought . . . because of . . . Judy and him."

"Listen, it's up to you. If you want him to stay, it's okay with me. Besides, it'll be protection for us. Especially for you while I'm out of town Friday."

"Where are you going?" Wendy asked, noting the "protection for us." Bob never used to worry about such things.

"The city. Mr. Haskell wants us to pitch a couple of rich clients. I probably won't get back until Saturday afternoon."

At first Andy balked. He insisted he didn't need charity. Wendy sensed there was something more, she didn't know what, but Bob took him aside after dinner and spoke with him privately. When they returned, Andy announced he would move his things in the next morning, and insisted on paying rent as soon as he had completed the next job. Bob was flushed and looked pleased. Maybe he really hadn't been angry with Andy after all.

Chapter 11

BOB tipped the bellhop and took ten minutes to freshen his makeup before going down to meet Haskell in the hotel lobby. The man was waiting for him, looking impatient.

Haskell said, "All checked in? Good. It's almost three, let's hustle."

He took Bob's arm above the elbow and urged him through the revolving door to the wintry street. "We don't want to be late. These guys could be almost as important to us as Mrs. Chard. If we can do them, we could end up doing the whole Sissy Club."

"How many members are there?"

"I dunno. Couple of hundred, I guess."

Bob watched as the doorman whistled a cab up to them. A couple of hundred. The man had ambition, at least. How did he think Bob was going to handle two hundred accounts?

A cold gust of wind rocked him, lifting his skirts to mid-thigh despite the heavy woolen coat. He held them down in a panic. He just couldn't get used to wearing dresses in public!

The doorman, resplendent in gold epaulets and buttons, handed them into the cab. Haskell ignored the courtesy, but Bob tendered the man a timid grateful smile while Haskell gave the driver directions in a self- important voice.

Bob asked, "Why do they call it the 'Sissy Club?' "

"They're all alumni of Chardsville College. C.C.? Get it? Sissy."

"At least they have a sense of humor."

"It's not the greatest college in the world from an academic standpoint, but it's not supposed to be. It gives the rich kids what they need--a smattering of everything, and a chance to make contacts among their own kind. Pretty snobby bunch, but we'll crack 'em open. So how do you like your suite?"

"There's even a telephone in the bathroom! I can imagine calling Wendy--'Hi, guess what I'm doing?' " Bob started giggling.

"Get used to it. If we can get these guys' accounts, the Bartholomew Plaza won't be good enough for you."

"You weren't serious when you said two hundred accounts."

"Sure I was. If these guys are happy with the work you do, they're sure to tell all their friends, and their friends will tell theirs. You got no idea how hard it is for well-to-do people to find good, trustworthy financial advice."

"I can't do two hundred accounts. Not and do them justice."

"Bob--" Haskell shot a glance at the back of the cabby's head, and covered by saying, "--ra. Barbara. You're still thinking small. We'll add people. Researchers. Tax practitioners. Consultants. You can look over the client's position, point the researchers in the right direction, and tell a practitioner to put it all together. You'll spend more time presenting the program than working on it."

Bob opened his mouth to protest, but closed it again. Haskell didn't seem to have any idea of the concentration it took to work on a client's account, and the insights that occurred when you were saturated with a close knowledge of the client's finances and goals, sometimes waking you up in the middle of the night to scratch sleepily on a bedside note pad. Spreading the work thin would only mean many missed opportunities, and multiply the chances of going wrong. Every client was different; you couldn't treat them as if they were on an assembly line. But this wasn't the time to speak.

Haskell said, "You better let me do the talking. You look too young to be real. I'll introduce you as my associate, but they'll probably think you're more or less a secretary, which is okay, because you're no good at selling. You tell people the truth, when what they want to hear is exciting promises."

"What happens if you can't keep those promises?"

"Hey, they get a rush out of it, and when they come down they're too smart not to know it's the best they can expect. Here we are."

He must have seen a hint of what Bob was thinking because he said, "Don't worry about it. Just let me handle things."

Haskell thrust some money at the driver as the cab stopped in front of an imposing brownstone edifice.

He was still "handling things" an hour later, posturing like a used- car salesman in front of a long mahogany table in one of the club's conference rooms. Wide-eyed, Bob watched expressions of skepticism harden on the faces of Bannerman and Renfrew, the prospective clients. A third man, unintroduced, sat lazily in an overstuffed leather armchair in a corner of the room, listening with quiet amusement.

When Haskell started talking about avoiding the alternative minimum tax, Bob couldn't help himself.

"What Mr. Haskell means to say," he broke in, "is that you want the alternative minimum tax."

Three pairs of cold eyes turned on him.

Bob's eyelashes fluttered involuntarily. He caught the surprised glance of the man in the corner.

Bannerman said, "Want the AMT. What makes you say that, young lady?" His tone made it clear Bob didn't know what he was talking about.

Bob perched big round reading glasses on his nose. "According to the figures you gave us here," He flipped the pages of the report in front of him, "which aren't comprehensive, of course--I see a number of big gaps, which I suppose indicate questionable tax shelters and interlocking directorates--" Here he saw a startled look pass between the two gentlemen "--What you want is to have the AMT apply in such a way as to limit your total tax liability. After all, the AMT is only a flat rate of twenty-one percent on all income, a lot less than your regular rate. Also, my guess is that you've lost more money in ways to avoid tax than you would have by paying. It wouldn't take long to find out, if you would be open with us."

Bannerman looked at Renfrew with hooded eyes, "Estelle did say they were sharp." To Bob, "Go on."

"Instead of going on, I think we should take a step back. This isn't about taxes alone. You're both healthy handsome vigorous men, but if I can say so without offense, getting along in years. You ought to be thinking about your estates, putting things in order and making them as sound in reality as they look on paper. It's easy to see you're both used to, er, cutting corners. Even taking into account those Swiss numbered accounts, it's time to slow down and do right."

"How did you know about those?"

"I didn't. But you'd be stupid not to hedge some of your bets that way, and anybody that can put together this kind of monkey business--" Bob riffled the report again, "--certainly isn't stupid. Now if you want to stop fooling around, Mr. Haskell and I will get to work on a program of unloading your abusive tax shelters and straightening out your financial life. You'll sleep better at night, and make more money. We'll fine-tune the program as time goes on."

The men stared at him without expression. Bob wondered if he had gone too far. It was clear that Haskell thought so. He was fidgeting at the head of the table, disconsolately fingering the charts he had brought. Bob could see him trying to figure out a way to retrieve the situation.

Renfrew guffawed abruptly and slapped his knee. "She got you there, Charley!" He turned to the man in the corner, "What do you think, Harry?"

The man pushed himself out of his chair and stood, lean and stoop- shouldered, and grinned. "You could take her advice to the bank. If you two pirates pass this up, you're crazier than your wives say you are."

Laugh lines formed at the corners of Bannerman's little pig eyes.

"This is Harry Johnson. He calls himself our accountant. We thought we'd have him sit in on the meeting. A little ace in the hole."

Harry Johnson. Of Johnson & Company, one of the most prestigious CPA firms in the state. In the nation, it was said. He could open successful branches anywhere, but let it be known he preferred to keep a small high-income clientele instead of expanding unmanageably. Bob was honored by his endorsement.

The man stepped over to Bob's side and held out his hand. "I like the way you think, Miss. I never considered the AMT in that light. Of course, you'd have to minimize ordinary taxable income."

Bob put his hand in his. "As close to zero as possible," he agreed. "We'll see what we can do. There are trusts and tax-free gifts."

He huddled with Johnson outlining a plan to form holding corporations--"in states with no corporate income tax"--to be owned by limited partnerships of the men's heirs and assigns. The general partners would continue to control everything, but when they died, the partnerships would automatically dissolve, leaving the heirs in possesion of their share of the corporations--no inheritance tax. The simplicity and legality of the scheme kindled a grin of admiration on Johnson's face.

By the time the papers were signed and they had dinner with the new clients in their club, it was close to nine in the evening. He was exhausted.

Haskell hardly spoke to him during the meal or on the way back to the hotel. Bob knew they would have blown the accounts if he hadn't butted in, but there was no way to tell that to Haskell.

Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut. The worst that could have happened was that they wouldn't have got the accounts, and it wouldn't have been Bob's fault. There were other clients.

After a strained silent ride in the elevator they separated to enter their adjoining suites.

Bob said tentatively, "Good night, Dick. I'm glad everything worked out."

The man muttered, "Yeah," and closed the door behind him.

Bob shrugged. He'd get over it. Now there was tomorrow's meeting with Schenk, Rossberg to prepare for. Haskell had the idea that a brokerage might welcome the idea of having a financial consultant to refer its clients to. Bob couldn't see it. The least the firm would demand would be that Haskell Associates recommend Schenk, Rossberg's shelf securities and in-house funds to its clients, and there was no way Bob could commit himself to do that uncritically.

He was too tired to look at the material. Maybe if he had a shower first to relax.

The hot shower was pure luxury after a long day. Bob closed his eyes in bliss and let the water course over him. Nozzles sprayed from the sides of the stall as well as from above. He bent forward and turned to let one of the wall sprays go between the cheeks of his ass, and discovered that the nozzle opposite was drenching his penis. He got hard. There was something about the anonymous privacy of a hotel that was arousing. He wished Andy or Wendy were here with him.

Especially Andy. He had forgiven him long since--what could you expect, if Andy couldn't have him, he had to have somebody, and Judy was okay, a little trampy maybe, but nice. He had enjoyed the time Wendy had let him screw her sister, he was kind of in love with Judy anyway, she was so much like Wendy in some ways. And so different in others. Unlike Wendy, Judy let him be on top of her, really fucking her. Sometimes with Wendy it was like she was masturbating, using him like a candle, or whatever women stuck in themselves. He wondered if he would ever be able to get her to let him do it to her on top once in a while. If he had to be underneath, he would prefer it to be with Andy. It was funny, when he was with Wendy his instinct was to be the active partner, but when he was with Andy . . . well, he practically swooned in his arms. The thought made him shiver, and he pushed it away. His prick was already hard enough. Protogen was not an unmixed blessing.

He had a feeling of satisfaction at having handled Bannerman and Renfrew so successfully. They had portfolios together worth twenty-four million. One percent of that was $240,000 a year. If Bob's share was two-fifths, that would be, let's see, oh my God, $96,000! He must have misplaced a decimal. No, $96,000 was right. Ninety-six thousand dollars! Coupled with his share of the fees paid by Chard, Myers, Lovell, and the Chard pension account, he was now earning well into six figures. His stomach lifted in excitement, followed immediately by a thrill of fear when he remembered Haskell's expression. The man had looked angry enough to fire him.

He'd made a bad mistake today. He cursed himself for his impulsiveness. He wasn't in business for himself, he was an employee. He had to get along with the boss. He promised himself to do better as he got out of the shower. At breakfast tomorrow he'd apologize, and brief Haskell thoroughly before the Schenk meeting.

He dried himself pink and put his wet hair in curlers. Barefoot, in a terry-cloth robe, he went into the front room to sit down with the Schenk, Rossberg file.

A loud knock sounded. He was halfway to the door before he realized the noise was coming, not from the hall door, but from the one that separated his and Haskell's suites.

"Just a minute."

He turned the latch and opened the door, feeling uneasy about being in only a single garment.

Haskell pushed by in bathrobe and pajamas to stand in front of the couch.

"Sit down over here."

Wordlessly, a tremor of anxiety in his stomach, Bob obeyed.

Haskell said tightly, "You made a fool of me today. In front of those men."

Bob opened his mouth to protest but Haskell said, "How dare you? Who do you think you are? You work for me. Understand? When I walked in that door I was ready to shitcan you on the spot, but at the last second I decided to give you a chance to explain."

"Dick, I--" It was in his mind to say he wasn't the one who made a fool of him, but he couldn't afford to lose this job. "I--I'm sorry. I was wrong, I know. I lost my head."

Bob's soft answer seemed to mollify the man. He stood rocking on his heels, then said, "Why didn't you tell me about that AMT business? I could've used it."

"It never came up. You didn't ask."

"You should have thought."


"You knew I was going to give the presentation. I should have had all the facts."

"I didn't know! Until we were in the cab. I mean, I thought you hired me to run the financial planning end of the business, and you were going to do the legal stuff. This was financial. I thought I was going to make the presentation. If I was wrong, I'm sorry."

"Okay, it was financial planning. But pitching the company's services is my job, not yours. Clients should know they're dealing with the senior partner, not some little--some employee. Get it?"

"Yes, Dick."

Haskell was silent for a moment. "All right. You say you're sorry. Prove it."


"Prove to me you know I'm boss."

"Anything. I'll never open my mouth to a prospective client again."

"Take it off."


"Take off your robe."

"You're kidding."

"I'm serious. You want to keep working for me and earn all those big bucks that are coming your way, you do what the boss says."

"Wait a minute, Dick. You know . . . I'm not really . . . "

"You're not really a broad. Yeah. That makes it all the better. I imagine you'll be just as humiliated as you made me. Take it off."

An outraged "No!" burst from Bob's lips.

"No? Better think again. I'd have to explain to our clients why I had to let you go. You know what I mean."

Bob thought about it. Six figures a year.

Nauseous, he stood up and turned his back. His fingers trembled as they untied the terry-cloth belt that held the robe together. He hesitated, then shrugged the garment off. It fell to the floor.

Haskell said behind him, "Turn around."


"Go on, do what I say."

His skin crawled. He remembered stripping for Andy, tantalizing him with almost-glimpses of his body parts, turning away to complete the undressing, ass bumping and grinding in imitation of stage strippers, happy in the knowledge that his lover thought his nude body was beautiful, and that the combination of penis and breasts excited him.

This was nothing but fear and humiliation.

"Turn around," Haskell repeated.

He faced the man.

Haskell's eyes bugged out. "Holy shit, they're real! Well, I'll be goddam'. I can't tell if you're a dame with a cock on her, or a guy with knockers. Man, they look luscious. There's a pair of mouthfuls for you."

A long moment went by as Bob cowered under Haskell's stare. The sound of a diesel bus starting in the street below came faintly through the window. Footsteps, muffled by deep carpeting, passed the door.

He squeaked at last, "Okay, you've seen me. I did what you wanted, you're the boss, all right? Now let me get dressed."

"What's your hurry? We're all alone and private. Walk for me."


"Walk across the room and back."

Abysmally conscious of the man's eyes, feeling horribly naked and exposed, Bob crossed the room and reluctantly returned.

"Do it again, but this time do it right. Like you usually walk, ass moving. Put one hand on your hip and swing it."

"Dick, please. Don't shame me like this."

"You don't like it, huh? Now you know how I felt this afternoon."

"I promise I'll never do anything like that again. Forgive me."


Bob choked back a sob and crossed the room again, striving for naturalness. He was chagrined by the way his tits and prick swayed in unison.

"Again. Shake it but don't break it, baby."

Once more Bob paraded in front of the man. He exaggerated the swing of his hips, hoping it would satisfy him, that his ordeal would end soon.

"Yeah, that's the way. C'mere."

Bob flinched when he saw that Haskell's robe was parted and that an erection was pushing against the cotton of his pajama bottoms.

Without ceremony the man reached out and grabbed his breasts and handled them roughly.

"Don't! Don't touch me. You're hurting!"

"Come on, you like it."

Bob squealed, "No! Stop!"

He panted and tried to pull away, but Haskell's rough grip held firm. His nipples bulged with the pressure.

"Please," he whispered hopelessly.

He staggered when Haskell let him go. His breasts tingled. He cupped them gingerly.

The man said, "Get on your knees."


"Get. Down. On your knees. I'm gonna show you how to keep your job."

"What do you mean?"

"You know."

"N-no, please, Dick. I already told you, I'm not that way. I n-never did that." He remembered privately wondering what it would be like to suck Andy's prick, wanting to, but too shy to suggest it.

"So what? There's always a first time for everything. It's called being cherry."

"I can't."

"Sure you can. Come on, what're you pretending to be a woman for if you're not looking for some cock once in a while?"

"I'm not! W-Wendy wanted me to do it." The suffocating memory of being in Andy's arms filled his mind.

"You already went this far. Do this one thing more and we can forget everything that happened today."

Bob felt as though he were going to faint. He swayed on his feet.

Haskell put hands on his bare shoulders and gave a push down.

Ninety-six thousand dollars.

Shaking, he sank to his knees on the plush carpeting.

Tears spurted from his eyes and ran down his face. When Nurse Baker warned him that he could expect different treatment on the job, he had pictured having to make coffee for the boss. Now he knew what women meant by sexual harassment in the workplace.

He looked up imploringly, but Haskell said, "Untie me."

Mortified beyond words, Bob unfastened the other man's pajamas. Haskell's penis sprang loose. It stuck out straight as a pole from a thick bush of pubic hair, throbbing with the man's pulse. The head was unusually bulbous, bizarrely larger than the shaft; the orifice in the tip dilated like miniature lips opening to show pinkness within. A glisten of clear liquid emerged and depended stickily, hanging momentarily before dripping to the floor. Another leak took its place.

The unmistakable nutty aroma of male genitals wafted to Bob's nostrils. He shivered.

"Please don't make me."

For answer, Haskell pushed his hips toward him until the head of his cock pressed warm and meaty against Bob's lips. The sticky fluid trickled from lips to chin, and hung to seep onto his breasts. When Bob recoiled, Haskell held his ears.

He told himself nobody would know.

With resignation he parted his lips and let his mouth be filled with surprisingly hot stiff meat. He gagged when the bulbous tip pushed against the back of his throat, and on the next stroke used his tongue to cushion the impact, to prevent the organ from going too deep.

He closed his eyes to endure the assault.

I'll pretend it's Andy, he thought, then it won't be so bad. The image of the boy's beautiful prick appeared before him.

His mouth slowly filled with the slippery fluid. It didn't have much taste but his stomach churned. He made believe it was Andy's intimate juice. It made him feel better.

His mind went strange. He was on his knees before his handsome Andy, at last performing the ultimate submissive service for him. His prick swelled upright.

He lavished his tongue around the organ and sucked on it. Back and forth he moved his head, jaws wide open so his teeth wouldn't scrape too hard, compressing his lips on the upstroke to squeeze out whatever fluid he could, relaxing them on the downstroke so they would feel soft and full on the hot member. The slurping noises he made echoed in the silent room.

Somehow his beloved Wendy was there, too, watching him make love to Andy, willing to share.

The prick was swelling, forcing his lips farther open. It began to thrum. It shoved forward urgently.

"Take it, go on take it, you cunt!"

Bob was shocked out of his daydream by the voice, not Andy's voice, Haskell's detestable voice, but his body had gone too far during his reverie, and as the man's cock gushed its load of semen, Bob's own prick spurted ecstatically.

A warm splash against the back of his throat almost made him swallow while his ejaculation erupted in his genitals, pulse after pulse of semen shooting through his rigid penis mouth filling with the other's sperm squirting on the carpet between the man's ankles tasting a rich salty slippery shameful tang, until at last the surging of his genitals slackened; and he became aware that the organ in his mouth was softening. Semen dribbled warm from the corners of his lips.

He sat back on his heels, letting the penis slip out, and waited head down and mouth full while Haskell pulled up his pajama pants and tied his robe.

Haskell's voice was uneven. "I knew you'd like it. All the dames say no at first, but they really mean yes. I--I'll see you in the morning. Dining room at nine, we'll go over the proposal for Schenk."

When he heard the door between their suites close, Bob started crying again. He staggered to his feet dazed and locked his side of the door. He spat in the sink and rinsed his mouth and brushed his teeth, put on a nightgown, and went to bed, knees against his breasts in a fetal position.

He had sucked a man's cock.

A stifled moan escaped his swollen lips; he cringed under the sheets shuddering, eyes squeezed shut.

Cocksucker. The word thumped in his head.

The man came in his mouth.

At the thought his stomach began to roil. He barely had time to cover his lips and lurch to the bathroom before vomiting into the bowl. When his retching subsided he brushed his teeth again, hot tears leaking down his cheeks, and returned to the bedroom to sit trembling on the edge of the mattress.


The man had seen him. Seen his naked body. Had raped him with his eyes, and touched him, had fondled his breasts . . . and then made him take his erect leaking member in his mouth.

Bob shuddered, reliving the presence of that warm meat in his mouth, the slimy taste of semen as it squirted in. He hadn't fought; he just gave in and let himself be used as a toilet for the man's seed. On his knees before him, naked and abased.

The worst thing, the thing that made him squirm agonizingly inside, was that the man had made him ejaculate. Now he thought Bob had enjoyed it.

Frustrated rage and despair churned through him. Haskell had violated his privacy, had seen him; had discharged that intimate juice into his mouth, and now no doubt was sleeping peacefully knowing about him, proud of himself for having reduced Bob to a meek, servile convenience. A cocksucker!

He ground his teeth. No matter how much time would pass, if they lived to be a hundred, Haskell would always know that Bob had sucked his cock. Every time he looked at Bob, that knowledge would be in his eyes.

At least he still had his job.

He wondered if other women who kept their jobs by putting out for the boss had the same profound sense of shame.

"Other women." God, listen to himself.

He was trapped. Trapped in this job, trapped in this body, trapped in a subservient role. Lying under Andy, lying under Wendy, on his knees before Haskell.

Go to sleep, he told himself. Things always look worse in the middle of the night.

He got under the covers, tried to clear his mind, and made himself fall into a restless, unhappy slumber.

In the morning he spotted Haskell at a damask-covered table in the glass-ceilinged hotel dining room and forced his legs to carry him over. A waiter seated him. He put his purse on the table and ordered sullenly. He couldn't bring himself to look at Haskell. The man didn't appear to notice. He was expansive and jovial, and made no reference to the night before.

Haskell asked, "So what do you think we ought to tell these guys?"

"Whatever you want."

"What's the matter with you?"

Bob hesitated, torn between the desire to tell him and his reluctance to stir things up again.

"Nothing. I just don't think we can do these people much good."

"Why not?"

"Because if they make a deal to send their customers to us, they'll want us to recommend every dog they own. We can't do that, not and stay out of the hands of the SEC"

"I see what you mean. You're right, I guess. I thought they'd be a valuable source of clients. I suppose we'll have to pass."

Bob looked up, surprised. Haskell was taking his advice on the first go-round--not only that, but agreeing to forego what he had seen as an instant source of revenues. Maybe he was ashamed of what he'd made him do, and was apologizing for it.

Tentatively, "We could tell them we'll play it straight, and it'll do them good in the long run. If the customers see the brokerage is recommending independent consultants, they'll think Schenk, Rossberg are straight themselves."

"Play it straight. You serious? Well, yeah . . ." The mind was racing. "That could work. Yeah. We'll do that. You got a head on your shoulders, you know. And you sound honest. Why don't you do the talking?"

Bob realized it was an apology.

"There's nothing technical to talk about. It would be better coming from you."


It wasn't easy. Most of the brokerage partners appeared to be short- sighted men who wanted to take a dollar the minute it appeared, but finally the senior partner got a thoughtful look on his face and told them they would think it over. If they decided to go along with it, they would send them selected customers one at a time at first, and see how things went.

Despite the contingency of the agreement, Haskell was exuberant.

"They're gonna come around. I can smell it. Trust me. Before a month is out we'll be hearing from them. They'll try us out at first, ask us to recommend some cats-and-dogs issue, and when we say no they'll figure we are straight, and they'll send us somebody. You just make sure he goes back and raves about us."

For the first time since the night before, Bob laughed. He could never forgive Haskell for what he'd done, but maybe they could get along. He would have to toe the line carefully so it didn't happen again. At least he still had the job.

In three hours they were back in Chardsville. Haskell tooled the Mercedes along Maple Avenue. The street was almost deserted in the Saturday-afternoon sun.

"We'll stop off at the office to see what messages there are and file away the Renfrew and Bannerman contracts. You figure out what they're worth yet? Those two clients alone are gonna add a hundred kay a year to your income."

Bob promised himself that he and Wendy would continue their present life-style and put the extra money away in secure investments. In a couple of years they'd be able to live off the interest. They'd be independent.

The office was quiet; the plush carpet sucked up the noises they made as they entered. Bob looked on his desk for messages, found none, glanced over the outline for Chard Industries Nancy had typed in his absence, and then noticed an envelope tucked discreetly under the corner of his blotter. It turned out to be his first monthly pay check-- yesterday had been payday.

Haskell looked in the door. Bob was conscious of his scrutiny of the pleased flush that burned his cheeks. With this check alone, Bob thought, he and Wendy could live for six months, and it didn't include the additional income from Bannerman. It was definitely time to think about building that new house. Real estate was the soundest investment of all.

Later he was to realize that Haskell had given him ample opportunity to savor the prospect of being rich before saying, "When you get a moment, Barbara, I'll be in the reception room. We should talk about last night."

Bob blushed, tucked the check in his purse, and followed the man out. Haskell was going to apologize. Bob was prepared to forgive him almost anything. They could get along. Hotels made people funny, and he was in a position to know that men often went off the wall when their gonads were involved. The memory of last night's humiliation would be with him for a long time, but he could overlook it all the way to the bank!

Haskell said, "I didn't tell you how nice you look today. Good- looking outfit. I could see those brokers thought so too."

Bob looked down at himself. He was wearing the first suit he bought at Dresser's, navy skirt and bolero jacket with a silk blouse and a bright ribbon tie. It did look good.

"You make a great-looking broad. I was worried at first that, you know, you might give yourself away or something, but nobody could ever tell. I think things are gonna work out just fine. You did good with Bannerman and Renfrew, standing right up to them like that. From a guy that kind of talk might have been too rough, but from a girl it was okay, somehow. I wouldn'a handled it that way, but it worked out all right, and that's all that counts."


"The same as last night. I guess I came on a little strong, but you liked it anyway, and that's what counts." Not looking at Bob he added, "I never had a guy on his knees in front of me before. It was a real turn-on. So if you were worrying that I might not want to do stuff with you again, it's okay."

Bob managed to say, "No."

He must have spoken too softly, because Haskell went on, "You know," and now he sounded wholly serious, "it must be a psychological thing with me. It seems like I gotta be in control. I'm either the boss or not, right? Last night I was all bent out of shape because you acted like I wasn't in charge. Now that I had a chance to think it over, and I saw how anxious you were to do what I said, I realized you were only thinking of the good of my company. Right?"

The best Bob could do was nod his head.

"So okay, that's over. Forgiven and forgotten. We're alone in the office. Why don't you open this?" He pulled apart Bob's sleeveless jacket and pushed it off his shoulders.

"No," Bob said weakly. "B-be a good boy, Dick."

The man prevented him from backing away by holding him with his palm on the small of his back. With the other hand he grasped Bob's tit through the blouse.

"Man, you're stacked. You're built like a brick shithouse, you know that?"

Bob squirmed, thinking about punching Haskell in the nose, and then thinking about the check in his purse and many more like it.

"Come on, you know you want it as much as I do. Get down on your hands and knees."

Bob started crying, not silently but helplessly aloud, tears burning down his cheeks. He had no one to protect him. He couldn't even quit if he wanted to. Haskell knew his secret. If he quit, the man might, surely would, blab it to the world with God only knew what embellishments. Then what would become of him and Wendy?

He couldn't see through the shimmer in his eyes, but the quickening of Haskell's breath told him that his tears only heightened the man's excitement. The man put his hands on his shoulders, applying a downward pressure.

Helpless, he thought if he did it once; he could do it again.

Pantyhose stretching, he knelt on the deep carpeting. Blood suffused his face as he waited. He felt like a whore.

"No, get way down, on your hands and knees."

Haskell stepped around behind him. He heard the man's belt loosen, and the stridulence of a zipper. In a second Haskell flipped his skirt up over his ass and pulled his hose and panties down.

Bob began to shake. He closed his eyes squeezing out tears and gritted his teeth. The man was going to take him like a dog humping a bitch. If it had been Andy he would have been stimulated beyond all imagining; with this man it was pure degradation.

He sobbed when a hard rubbery poke centered on his anus; moaned as the pressure grew.

He was too dry; it wouldn't go in.

Haskell seemed to realize the problem. The pressure on Bob's asshole ceased abruptly; the man squatted spraddle-legged in front of Bob's lowered head, turgid penis rampant before his eyes.

"Go ahead," the man's voice was hoarse, "get me good and wet. Then I'll give you what you crave."

In plain sight of anyone who might walk into the reception room, Bob was acutely aware of the exposure of his bare ass, and had an internal shudder when he thought about Haskell's erection penetrating it. The man would mount him while he made obeisance on hands and knees, bracing against the in-and-out thrust.

Andy had him bend over the kitchen counter that first time, and on a couple of occasions joyfully took him by surprise in bed, putting it in him as he lay face down. That was exciting; this would be obscene, somehow even worse than letting the man ejaculate in his mouth.

If he made Haskell come this way, he wouldn't have to endure being violated back there. He was already a cocksucker; once more wouldn't matter.

Bob kept his leaking eyes lowered so the man wouldn't see the hatred in them, opened his mouth reluctantly, and took in the inflamed organ.

The penis simmered, exuding the copious, almost-tasteless drip that he remembered too vividly from the night before.

He moved his head back and forth, mouth full of the bulbous tip. With slender fingers he clasped the part of the shaft that his mouth was unable to encompass, and followed the motion of his lips. His other hand caressed the man's balls.

He knew what he was doing--this time no false image of sucking Andy's prick obscured the reality of his actions. He was deliberately trying to make Haskell spill his seed in his mouth. A treasonous warmth in Bob's groin made his stomach sink: some debased part of himself, mindful of their position on the carpet in front of Jane Bloom's desk, was becoming aroused.

His ears picked up the sound of a small groan of pleasure. The hot prick began a fevered vibration. He redoubled his suction--but the man abruptly pulled out, came around behind, grabbed his hips to steady him, and unceremoniously lunged into him.

Bob shrieked.

Haskell drove up him urgently. The man's hands went to the floor on either side of Bob, elbows a vise on his waist, as a dog holds a bitch in position.

"Huh! Uh. Uh," Bob gasped.

The prick drew back, the whole length of it, so when it thrust forward it was like being entered all over again. That ungovernable spot in front of Bob's intestine that Andy had taught such response betrayed him: a surge of sensitivity turned into an orgasmic ecstasy. A long thrilling flow emerged from his limp penis simultaneous with the jerking and pumping of Haskell's stiff rod and the repeated hot surges of the man's semen.

The damn' protogen, Bob thought with bitter despair. His body had betrayed him again. The next thing he knew, he'd have an orgasm at the sight of the underwear section in a Sears catalog.

He remained on hands and knees after Haskell pulled out, hearing the man zip his trousers and fasten his belt.

The man's voice said, "You were tight. I guess you were telling the truth about never doing it. Now you know what you were missing." Bob flinched at a playful slap on the ass. "See you Monday."

A moment later the front door opened and closed.

Bob burst into another fit of weeping.

Sobbing uncontrollably, he teetered stiffly into the lavatory to sit on the toilet and wipe himself. He saw where his own ejaculation had wet the hem of his skirt. Crying hysterically, he soaked a piece of tissue in the sink by the toilet and scrubbed the spot compulsively, and then sat still, hugging himself, tears leaking from his eyes.

A long time later, when he thought he could contain himself, he washed his face and freshened his lipstick. Feeling desperately vulnerable in a dress, he gathered up his purse and went out to the street. The last thing he wanted was to call attention to himself in public, but he couldn't help the intermittent freshets of tears that poured from his eyes as he clicked down the Saturday-afternoon streets. Occasional passersby looked at him sympathetically.

Chapter 12

WENDY waited her turn for the vanity, watching Bob put the finishing touches on his makeup for the New Year's party at Nancy's.

She worried about him. For the last month he had been remote and moody. Nothing you could put your finger on, but his smile was rare these days, and he seemed to be looking inward more. When she hugged him suddenly she caught occasional glimpses of, well, it almost looked like fright in his eyes until he realized who she was.

Look at him now. He used to sparkle when he made up, all vibrant and timid like a little girl practicing with her mommy's cosmetics. Now he was subdued, undertaking a chore with skill but no joy. She supposed it was inevitable--making up was no more than a chore--but she was sorry to see the change.

Not for the first time, she wondered if he was coming to regret his transformation. She had been so sure she could make him happy. She felt guilty, not only because it was all her fault, but because she was now beginning to long for what she had made him give up.

Maybe part of his depression was due to the unremitting presence of that young man in the house. Even when he was out you had a feeling of constraint. They couldn't be naked together except in their bedroom, and even then had to be careful about making noises that might signal what they were up to.

Or maybe Bob was just working too hard. Too-long hours, too many out- of-town trips. This evening out might do him good.

He was dressed in the black cocktail frock that was her Christmas present to him.

He looked the way she wanted him to look: adorable and sexy. Nancy bragged about how seductive her husband was in skirts; Wendy had to show her Bob could outdo him.

The new frock was sleeveless, open from collar to navel in an outrageously daring vee. He couldn't wear a bra with it--the undergarment would show plainly in the cleft. He didn't need one anyway. For all their size, his breasts were as new and pert as a teenager's; gravity hadn't yet had its way with them.

The dress revealed far more creamy skin and cleavage than was respectable; every time he moved, it seemed that his nipples would show, but they never did . . . not quite.

The smooth silk of the bodice gave way to taffeta below the waist. Barely knee-length, the skirt was held out by starched white petticoats that were cut fractionally longer than the hem so their froth of lace caught the eye. The stiff black taffeta rustled aloud with each stir of his body.

He rummaged in the jewelry box and came up with his garnet earrings, rough stones in cages of gold wire. They would go well with the dress and scarlet lipstick, all black and white and sparkling red.

He put them through his lobes, arms lifting in such a way that his breasts rose and his nipples must be exposed any moment, but they weren't.

He stood up and faced her.

"How do I look?" He shook his head, shining brown hair flaring out to reveal the dangling earrings.

"You're perfect. I'm jealous, you're prettier than me.".

"That'll be the day." His eyes, lashes made long by artifice, moved over her figure. "Every time I see you, you're more beautiful."

She preened, taking her place at the dressing table. She did look good, she knew, dressed in white silk that did wonders for her skin, which had faded from a dark tan to a golden color. Her curls were piled on top of her head in an intricate hairdo. Eyes green as emeralds glimmered with incipient mischief; the effect was a mixture of respectable matron and gamin.

"I wonder what Nancy's husband will look like. By the way, she said his name was Amy when he was dressed up."

"Amy, hm? Nice. You're sure he'll be wearing a dress?"

"Nancy said so."

"It makes me nervous having somebody else know about me."

"They're just like us, Barbara. I think it's nice."

She finished outlining her lips, colored them inside the lines, and highlighted the center of the lower lip with a lighter shade before blotting them with a folded tissue. She rose to her feet and took a last look in the mirror.

"All set. We'd better hurry or they'll eat all the goodies before we get there."

Andy was in the living room watching TV, feet on the coffee table. He looked up and whistled.

"You guys are bee-yootiful!"

He did a double take. "Holy mackerel, Miz Miller, you're not going out like that, are you? You're half-undressed!"

Wendy said, "Don't make her self-conscious. It's just a small party with friends."

"What kind of friends, sex maniacs?" He looked angry as they put on their coats and left.

In the car, Wendy laughed, "He certainly is protective, isn't he? He acted just like my father the first time I went out in a miniskirt. At first I thought he was talking to me. 'Mrs. Miller', you know. Barbara, I've been thinking. What if I took back my maiden name? It would be less confusing."

He shrugged. "If you want. You know, it's hard to get used to you driving all the time. I wish there was some way for me to get a license."

His lack of reaction confused her. Didn't he care?

"You don't mind?"

"About your maiden name? No, it's okay. You're right, it's confusing. I was thinking you'd do that anyway when we get in the new house."

That was Bob's Christmas present to her, a "gift certificate," an architect's rendition of a house to be delivered in the spring or early summer. It looked too big to be more than a fantasy, but he assured her that construction would start as soon as the weather moderated. Andy was in charge of the project; he was already lining up contractors and workmen.

Any woman would be overjoyed. She pretended to be, but the fact was, she was a farmer's daughter, and a house like this promised to be too fancy for her to be comfortable in. Besides, it all seemed so damn' permanent. A commitment to the future.

She responded to his earlier comment. "Nancy said Mrs. Chard once got a false birth certificate for someone. She's going to be there. Why don't you ask her?"

"Are you kidding."

Wendy pulled up in front of a two-story brick apartment building. "This is the place."

"It's funny, I've known Nancy for years, and I never knew where she lived. But in only a month you've become buddies."

"I guess we're kindred spirits. We both have husbands who--" she twinkled at him, "--turn us on."

"I'll be interested to meet him. Her."

She led him down the hall. Their heels clicked on the tile. Bob's frock swung from side to side and made frou-frou noises.

Furtively she slipped her wedding ring off her finger and put it in her purse. It felt strange.

Nancy's smile was bright as she opened the door, obliterating the plainness of her freckled face.

"It's the boss and the boss's--sister-in-law!" she said with a happy grin. A smell of alcohol on her breath testified to at least one cocktail. "Hi! Come on in. You're the early birds. Everybody else's fashionably late, I'm afraid."

She wore a green silk cheongsam, high collared, long skirt slit up to the thigh. The green clashed with her hair, Wendy thought, but the dress was surprisingly provocative. She really had very nice legs.

"Let me take your things." She put their coats in the closet. "Your dress is groovy!" To Wendy, "I told you it would be."

"Nancy was with me when I bought it. I thought it might be a little too risqué, but she talked me into it."

Bob said anxiously, "It's not too much, is it?"

"No!" Nancy stared at his bosom with frank admiration. "You look bad."

She turned to call, "Amy, come and meet our guests!"

A slender blonde in a periwinkle sheath with a short, tight skirt, emerged from the kitchen carrying a tray of hors d'œuvres.

Nancy said, "Amy, this is Wendy, and this is Barbara."

Flushing prettily, the woman balanced the tray in one hand and held out the other. Her grip was delicate and her voice was a woman's contralto if you didn't know. "Hi. I'm so happy to meet you at last."

Bob and Amy took stock of each other.

After a moment they exclaimed simultaneously.

"You're gorg--!"

"You're stun--!"

Nancy laughed. "Listen to them! Men are really more generous than women, aren't they?"

Wendy looked away from their momentary blushes. It was apparent Nancy had the same problem she did, slipping into the masculine pronoun through habit.

Oblivious, Nancy continued, "Two girls would probably say something catty. It reminds me of the story about how if you were at a dinner party and you asked the host where he got the steak he'd say, 'Joe's Market, only two ninety-five a pound. Pretty good, huh?' Ask the hostess, and she says, 'Why? What's wrong with it?' "

They moved laughing into the living room, a modest room comfortably furnished like their own with overstuffed furniture. The coffee table displayed more platters of hors-d'œuvres; on a sideboard were glasses and ice and assorted liquors. A small artificial Christmas tree on the sideboard was the only indication of the season. Wendy guessed the Dahls were like them, preferring to keep Christmas under control. It was probably different if you had children.

Amy took Bob to the sideboard and poured martinis. She sat with him on the couch. Wendy couldn't help comparing them. Bob was really more feminine than Amy. When Amy walked, a hint of stiffness in her body diminished the sway given to her hips by her high heels; and when she sat down, smoothing her skirt under her correctly but self-consciously, she sat a little too hard.

Wendy watched them a while, conscious of Nancy doing the same. She turned to the other woman. They smiled at each other.

Nancy whispered, "She said they were real, but I didn't believe it until just now. Like a martini? That's what we're having." She made it a triple, saying, "It's not fair, I'm way ahead of you, you have to catch up."

The drink burned down to Wendy's stomach, bringing with it a sudden release of tension she hadn't known she had. In a little while she finished it off, shuddered, and held her glass out for a refill.

She didn't know how Bob felt, but it was good to be with friends with the same secret, to be able to be open with them. A kind of haven in a dangerous world. She gave Amy a friendly look. She really was attractive. Wendy could see what Nancy meant by "slutty"--Amy's short skirt was midway up her thighs. On the other hand Bob, with his bosom practically bare, wasn't far behind. Look at them staring at each other. Amy's glance kept resting on his front.

Wendy murmured, "Aren't they darling?"

"Seeing them like that . . . Why don't you and Barbara go home now? I have something to discuss with Amy."

Wendy giggled. She surprised herself by saying, "I'm soaking."

The red-head gave a shout of mirth. "Me too! Isn't it terrible?"

Bob glanced over at them, smiling at their laughter. Bob smiling! Meeting Amy was doing him good.

Nancy said, "I knew they'd like each other. Look at them chattering along like they knew each other for years. --Oh dear. I forgot." Speaking across the room she said, "Mrs. Miller?"

Bob looked up. "Barbara. We're not in the office."

"Barbara," she agreed. "I forgot I have the itinerary for your trip on Monday. I'll get it."

She found the page and handed it to Bob. "You and Mr. Haskell are staying at the Bart. Fanciest suites in the house." She returned to Wendy and said, "I made friends with the hotel manager over the phone. Nothing's too good for us, as long as the pope doesn't come to town. Barbara might as well travel in comfort if she has to travel."

Bob's smile had gone. He folded the sheet and put it in his purse, and sat for a moment staring into space. Recovering himself with a barely-perceptible shake of his head, he went to the sideboard.

"Mind if I help myself? Anybody else?"

Amy said, "Me!"

In a few minutes, again deep in conversation with Amy, Bob appeared to regain his good cheer. Wendy caught enough of their discourse to understand they were talking about Amy's prospects after graduation. She had a promise of a job at Chard Industries, but wasn't sure that's what she wanted.

As Amy gesticulated enthusiastically, her short skirt rode above her stocking tops.

Nancy said, "Just look at him. He knows what he's doing. He's such an exhibitionist when he's with people he trusts."

"I'm glad you invited us. It's doing Barbara a world of good. She's been so down lately."

"At home, too? I thought it might just be in the office. That Haskell is no charmer, I thought he might be giving her a hard time. She was in conference with him yesterday, I guess he had her on the carpet because she came out of his office all pale and shook up. She went into the ladies' room and didn't come out for half an hour."

Bob was looking at Amy's legs. Wendy saw with amusement that his eyes had a certain glint. It told her he was hard in his panties. Tsk, tsk. Penises had no conscience, she guessed. If it looked like a woman and smelled like a woman, that was all they needed.

She had to admit it was kind of confusing. Her own panties were moist from the sight of Nancy's husband, all dewy and vulnerable in his periwinkle sheath, contradicting her knowledge that there was a penis concealed under it. Briefly she wondered if Nancy got on top like her, when he was in a nightgown. What would it be like to see someone else make love?

The doorbell rang.

"More freeloaders," Nancy said, and threw the door open.

A tall, elegant woman in her mid- to late thirties stood on the threshold. She had short flaxen curls and wore a basic black shirtwaist that seemed to Wendy the very height of fashion.

Nancy said, "Hi! Glad you could make it, Estelle. Come in! Aren't Mel and Leslie with you?"

"They'll be by later. Melvin had some police work to do."

Police work! Wendy shot a glance at Bob. He was suddenly alert. She knew he was not so comfortable in his role that a policeman in their immediate presence wouldn't be alarming. Amy apparently sensed it too. She leaned close and whispered something in his ear. It was reassuring; he relaxed and smiled.

Nancy said, "Estelle Chard, this is Wendy Miller--"

"Ogden. Wendy Ogden. I took back my maiden name after the divorce." Ignoring Nancy's look of surprise, she said, "It's a pleasure to know you, Mrs. Chard. Barbara's told me so much about you."

"Please. Call me Estelle. I'm happy to meet you."

Nancy said, "And you know Barbara Miller and my girl-friend Amy."

Bob stood up. "Hello, Mrs. Chard."

"Call me Estelle, and I'll call you Barbara. It's nice to see you again. My, what an attractive dress." Her pastel-blue eyes danced. "You almost have it on, don't you?"

Bob's cheeks got rosy.

Mrs. Chard said, "It's really quite becoming. How are you, Amy? You look lovely this evening. So feminine."

Amy blushed, "You too, Estelle."

Nancy said, "Now that we've got the hello-how-nice routine out of the way, how about a drink, Estelle?"

"A lovely thought. White wine?"

"In the fridge. Help me, Wendy."

Once in the kitchen Nancy whispered, "She's a tease. She knows about Jimmy. That's probably what he was telling Barbara. Don't worry about Mel. He's a sweetheart. He knows about Jimmy too. It's not against the law, so he doesn't care. In fact, I kind of think it turns him on."

Wendy tittered. "I think it turns Barbara on too. Did you see the way she was looking at Amy's legs? Disgraceful."

They had to conceal delighted grins as they returned to the living room.

Mrs. Chard took the glass absently. She put on a bewildered expression and looked helplessly around the room.

"But where is it?"

Nancy blushed. "Oh, Estelle."

"My dear, I'm dying to see it. Jack says it's among his best works."

"It's embarrassing."

"All his work is like that. Come now, you saw the paintings he did of me and Marie. It's not fair of you to hide it from us. It's just us girls here," she added.

Amy turned pink again and shot a look at Bob, but piped up, "Sure, come on, Nancy, be a sport."

"Oh, all right. It's in the bedroom." She led the way and opened the door. They crowded in.

A nude portrait hung at the head of a double bed.

The instant she saw the painting Wendy knew she was in the presence of a masterpiece. It showed Nancy reclining on her side on the very bed it decorated. Glorious light spilled from the windows onto the naked form, doubled and redoubled into a bath of radiant splendor by reflection from rumpled snowy sheets.

Her head was propped on her fist. She looked inward, caught in solitary thought. One knee was cocked upward, innocently opening her intimacy to view.

The brush strokes were small and inconspicuous, informing the painting with a crisp realism that only accentuated its deep emotional content.

Point for point, feature by feature, the painting was ruthlessly faithful to reality, an exact likeness of the diminutive woman at Wendy's side, but in some arcane way that defied articulation she had been transfigured into the epitome of beauty.

Frizzy red hair, pale green pink-rimmed eyes set too close about a nose that was too long for her face, freckles massed over its bridge and spilling recklessly over her cheeks, features which in real life made the girl plain, in the painting were blended into a harmony of utter loveliness.

Her lips curved into an almost-smile, not her usual brilliant saucy grin that could light up rooms, but instead faintly-sad contours of timid hope that evoked a deep stirring in the viewer.

Her figure was dazzling. The eye was led from exquisite breasts tipped by succulent nipples, down a sweet sensual curve of belly, to a garden of auburn hair that adorned the juncture of perfect thighs, down further to the plump white folds between her legs.

Wendy was thunderstruck. At once ashamed by a sense of intruding and staggered by a wave of prurience, she felt that she had caught the unsuspecting woman in a moment of total privacy, that she was able to spy unseen, at leisure to caress her with her eyes, to pry into her innermost secrets. A flood of heat swept over her. Her cheeks burned. She gazed at the painting until she could no longer bear the agitation of her feelings.

What was it about this painting? There was nothing overtly erotic about it, yet it perturbed her deeply. Wendy shook her head. She must be getting tipsy.

She glanced at Nancy. The red-headed girl was looking at the painting with complacency, a crooked smile on her lips similar to the one depicted in the painting; only now it wasn't crooked, it was a hint of tantalizing mysteries within.

Why, the girl was utterly beautiful. This artist had seen it, and had shown it to the world. She would never be able to look at Nancy in the same way again.

Mrs. Chard was staring at the painting, flushed and trembling, her hands clenched at her sides. Wendy saw the moment when her eyes moved to Nancy herself, filled with a lust so profound you could envision her stripping the girl on the spot, embracing and caressing her passionately with shaking hands and body. She felt like looking away; the raw emotion was embarrassing; she had learned too much about the woman. She saw her take a deep breath and consciously compose herself until she had once again regained that consummate poise.

Bob's face was transfigured. He said to Nancy wonderingly, "I never knew."

That tell-tale glint in his eye had sharpened. Oh-oh, Wendy thought, and then, Well, why not? She liked Nancy, Nancy liked men in dresses, and if Bob ever wanted to stray and Nancy wanted to take him on, God knew she owed it to him not to make a fuss. She'd find an opportunity to tell Nancy it would be all right. In the back of her mind lurked the notion that if Bob did have an affair, perhaps she and Warren . . .

Amy said, "Everybody always seems so surprised. I don't get it. Every time I remember Nancy, that's the way I remember her."

He was in love with his wife.

Wendy asked, "Who's the artist?"

Mrs. Chard said, "Jack Landon. He lives right here in Chardsville. He and his wife are close friends of Leslie and Melvin."

Bob said, "I did his taxes! He's supposed to be one of the finest artists in the world. I just never saw his work." A thought struck him. "He can't be cheap. How did you afford it?"

"I didn't!" Nancy had her grin. "He called one day and said he noticed me at Leslie Woicik's wedding reception and would I pose for him. Then he said if I would sit for two paintings, he'd give me one of them."

She got pink and continued, "He taught me a lot about myself. I know I'm homely as a mud fence, but he showed me I wasn't as bad as I thought."

"Oh, my dear," Mrs. Chard slipped her arm about Nancy's waist and led her back to the living room. "You're lovely, both inside and out. You must never think otherwise."

Wendy poured herself and Bob another triple martini and got giddy. From that point on she was to remember the evening only in bits and snatches.

There was the moment she took Nancy aside and asked her about posing for the portrait.

"Weren't you embarrassed?"

"Embarrassed! I could've thrown up. When I saw the first painting and saw the way he saw me, it was like I'd been raped without even knowing it! Can you imagine? He's really very good-looking, you know, and then I had to pose for this one and I was positively leaking. Literally. Every time he let me take a break I had to sneak a wipe with a Kleenex. The whole time I was wishing he'd come over and stick it in me! Don't tell Jimmy."

Wendy laughed intemperately. The martinis were catching up with both of them.

By the time Mrs. Chard's daughter and son-in-law arrived, the party was in full swing. Mel turned out to be a tall, sandy-haired young man who carried himself with thrift and balance; Leslie, a vivacious blonde with sparkling gray eyes. Wendy gave them both hugs instead of handshakes, and then stood befuddled until she realized the reason she held Leslie just a little too long was a feeling of deja vu induced by a body fragrance that reminded her of Bob.

She liked Mel's eyes. They had too much knowledge of humanity's foibles for a face so young, but they were kind, and his slow glance over her made his appreciation plain.

He was daunted at first by being the only man in a room full of women, but apparently decided to meet the challenge head-on. He embraced both Amy and Nancy warmly and gathered Mrs. Chard in his arms to kiss her on the lips. The alacrity with which the older woman yielded, clinging sweetly to him, told Wendy something shocking, especially after the revelation in the bedroom. She had heard of people swinging from both sides of the plate; this must be what it was like. But her own son- in-law! Her daughter didn't notice, thank God. She was hugging Nancy amiably.

Mel let Mrs. Chard go and turned to Bob.

A smile tugged at the corner of Wendy's lips. The man was undressing him with his eyes--though with that dress, he didn't have far to go. For a second she was afraid he was going to put his arms around Bob too, but in the end he confined himself to a handshake.

The next arrivals were a distinguished middle-aged man and his still- youthful wife. He wore a mustache and a pleasant smile and a dark suit; she was clothed in an air of serenity and an off-the-shoulder gown that revealed more cleavage than her obvious respectability should have permitted. Wendy saw Mrs. Chard ogle her humorously, then embrace her tenderly at length. The man turned out to be Howard Myers, the bank president for whom Bob had done a tax return. After introducing himself to Wendy and shaking hands with Bob, he swept Amy into a vigorous hug and kissed her deeply. She swayed against him; her arms went about his neck. When at last they broke the kiss there was applause.

Wendy shot a look at Nancy. The redhead was watching her, and she realized her mouth was hanging open. Nancy grinned in delight. She winked.

Mel was apparently quite taken with Bob. Leslie and her mother had identical expressions of wifely indulgence as they watched him deep in conversation with him. A few drinks later, the temptation of Bob's open front was too much for him. He crowded Bob into a corner, nuzzled his ear, and let his hand slip inside the dress to touch his breast.

Wendy and Nancy choked with mirth at Bob's hysterical giggles. By turns he fended the man off and shrieked with laughter.

It was a revelation. She knew Bob was beautiful, but somehow it never occurred to her that men would be attracted to him. Of course they would. He'd have the same problems all beautiful women had. It made her see him in a new light.

At one point her bladder, never dependable at best, let go during a bout of merriment. Mrs. Chard appeared suddenly at her side, put her arm about her waist, and led her into the bathroom. She pulled down her panties as though she were a little girl, sat her on the toilet, and watched her finish her pee with glistening eyes. It didn't frighten her. She had seen Mrs. Chard's look when she saw Nancy's portrait, and understood, conclusively and certainly, that Mrs. Chard was lesbian, or at least a switch hitter, but the knowledge wasn't alarming. The woman was gentle and kind, and when she took some toilet tissue and touched her thighs, Wendy opened her legs trustingly to let her wipe her.

The woman rinsed the urine-soaked panties in the sink, wrung them in a towel, and draped them across the shower rod.

"You'll have to wait a while unless you want to go home without underwear, but they're so lacy they should be dry in half an hour or so. In the meantime, I prescribe coffee."

It didn't do much good. Wendy got the idea a little brandy added to the coffee was just what it needed.

At midnight she was surprised by a forceful kiss from Mel, another from Howard Myers, and yet another from Mrs. Chard, who gave her pantyless heinie a squeeze. As they sang Auld Lang Syne, Wendy was enchanted to see Bob squirm in Mel's grasp and Nancy and Amy both enfolded in Howard's arms.

Except for Howard, she and Bob were the last to go. Mel and Leslie pled an early-morning engagement; Helen Myers and Mrs. Chard left together shortly afterward, which caused Wendy's eyebrows to lift. Mrs. Chard, a small glimmer of amusement in her eyes, kissed her affectionately on the cheek and said, "Come see me." Howard was going to stay the night. It took a long while for Nancy's explanation to percolate through to her, something about Amy's special friend, but it was okay, Nancy would be there to see that nothing happened that wasn't supposed to.

By Monday morning she was well enough to get up early and fix breakfast for Bob before he left with Haskell for the city.

She had spent Sunday in a sick stupor trying to recall the events of the night before. The first thing she remembered was being back home in bed with Bob. Overstimulated by the evening, he wanted to make love to her. On top, as if he were a real man. That seemed to be all he wanted these days. He knew she didn't like that. Now that he was bedizened in a woman's body she couldn't stand for him to be the one on top.

He got his way, though. Too drunk to protect herself, she lay on her back while he had her.

It must have gone on a long time. In the morning her vagina was tender and she was all sticky between her legs. Cringing inside, she remembered feeling his breasts on hers and in alcoholic confusion thinking Mrs. Chard was with her, or Nancy, or both, and acquiesced dutifully to them. Then the force of his strokes and her submissive position got to her, and it was Warren on her and she lifted her knees and kept trying for climax, mind excited but body unable to respond. It left her with a melancholy, unfulfilled sensation.

Oh God, Mrs. Chard wiping her!

The memory brought with it a blushing humiliation and . . . well . . . she identified a surreptitious feeling of excitement. What would it be like to touch another woman there? She thrust the thought violently away.

Bob came down wearing a severe tailored suit, its gray relieved only by a pink blouse and a fashionable brooch pinned to the lapel. She was still upset with him for taking advantage of her, but he was going on one of those out-of-town overnight trips and she owed it to him to see that he had breakfast and a good-bye kiss to keep him warm.

"I should be home tomorrow night," he said as she put her cheek to his so as not to muss his makeup. "If we have to stay over another day I'll call."

When Andy came down she made breakfast for him too, and watched him while he ate.

"See anything of Judy lately?"

"I think she's got problems. She's been drinking a lot."

Wendy knew that. Ever since Leon returned. She supposed they weren't getting along. She wished there was something she could do, but until Judy said something it was better to mind her own business.

That afternoon Warren showed up at the door.

It was strange to see him in blue jeans and fleece-lined leather jacket with a woolly scarf wrapped around his neck, face not dark with the sun but bright with the cold, but she knew him instantly.

Her heart fluttered wildly in her breast. Her knees got weak. He was so handsome, so rugged-looking.

Often when you get to know a person in one environment, he proves a disappointment in another, but Warren looked every bit as wonderful as she remembered.

Her lips trembled as she exclaimed, "Warren, you promised!"

"Mrs. Miller?" he interrupted. "I'm Warren Wilcox. I understand from Mrs. Walters that you're building a new house. I'm here to bid on the foundation."

What was Judy up to now? Honestly, sometimes her sister just couldn't help stirring things up to see what would happen. This time it wasn't funny.

She recovered sufficiently to put reproach in her voice. "Warren."

"I know. I couldn't help myself. I feel just awful about this."

His expression showed a conspicuous absence of repentance.

Heart still jittering, Wendy said, "I'm sorry about Darlene."

"Why? I'm not. Good riddance."


"Yeah, I'm supposed to go around looking pious and feel sorry for myself and Patty. But I can be honest with you. If I can't be honest with you, who can I? I ain't a bit sorry. It was a mistake. I sure wasn't what she wanted and she turned out not to be what I wanted. The only good thing that came out of it was Patty."

"Where is she now?"

"I dunno. Don't care."

"No, Patty!"

"Out in the truck."

"It's freezing out there! You bring her in this instant."

He returned with a clump of pink blankets. Something unidentifiable inside made it move. She peeled back several layers until she was confronted by a pair of laughing blue eyes.

"She's beautiful! How could she have left her?"

His silence made her look up. He said finally, "Patty has a . . . little handicap, and Darlene, well, she wants everything to be perfect."

"What kind of a handicap?"

"Nothing. She's fine. She's not stupid, if that's what you're thinking. Now what about that job?"

"The man to talk to is in the garage workshop. Come on."

She took the child from him and led the way. She cuddled her against her breast, glad to have something to do. Standing so close to Warren was making her crazy.

Andy looked up as they entered.

Warren said, "Mr. Miller? I'm Warren Wilcox." He stuck out his hand. "I come to bid on your foundation."

Andy eyed him with good nature. "I'm not Mr. Miller, I'm the contractor. Andy Joiner." He shook Warren's hand. "Anyway, Mrs. Miller is the boss. You'll like her, she's terrific."

Warren looked at her.

Andy said, "Naw, not that Mrs. Miller, the other one. This one's terrific too," he smiled at her, "but she isn't Mrs. Miller anymore. She took back her maiden name. Ogden, right? Miss Ogden."

Wendy felt a rush of heat to her face. Warren's eyes said he had something to discuss with her.

She'd have to think of what to say. Damn that boy. If she didn't have a husband in sight, how could she make Warren understand she couldn't get together with him? She concealed her guilty naked finger in the baby's blankets.

Earlier, she and Judy had seen a resemblance between Andy and Warren. The resemblance was stronger now, but for the life of her she couldn't tell why. They really didn't look much alike.

"Are you two related?"

Warren said, "Don't think so. My folks are from Clara's Corners."

Andy said, "I never heard my mom or dad say anything about that part of the world. You do look familiar, though. I dunno why."

"Yeah, I know what you mean." He gave him a look of appraisal. "You're the contractor, huh? How big of a house you got in mind?"

"Three to four thousand, plus basement."

Warren gave a low whistle. "You done a lot of these jobs before, I s'pose." You had to look carefully to see a glint of humor in his eye.

Andy grinned outright. "First time's the charm."

"You got a crew lined up?"

"Workin' on it."

"Maybe I can help you there. A lot of these guys talk a good fight but aren't much use on the job. You want, I could give you some names."

Wendy couldn't stand it any more. Recurring flights of butterflies disturbed her tummy. She went back to the house and let the baby crawl around on the kitchen floor. Her hands trembled while she made a cup of coffee. Patty looked interested and uttered cooing sounds until Wendy realized she wanted something too. She gave her a cookie and wistfully held the golden-curled infant on her lap to help her sip milk from a glass.

The baby finished the part of the cookie that hadn't crumbled all over her front, took a final noisy sip from the glass, and pushed it away. She squirmed around in Wendy's lap, gave her a radiant smile, put her arms sweetly about her neck, and kissed her wetly and cookily. Wendy's heart melted totally.

She brushed the crumbs off the child with a napkin, dabbed at her rosebud lips, and looked at her. "You're adorable." She hugged her tenderly.

Laughter outside warned her that the men were coming. They seemed to be hitting it off together. Warren had probably got the job. She didn't know what to think, whether to be happy that she would see him again, or alarmed about it.

He gathered up the little girl, thanked her for watching her, and said good-bye correctly in front of Andy, calling her "Miss Ogden." She had no doubt he would find an opportunity to talk to her privately about Bob's absence sooner or later. The later the better.

The whole incident kept her frustrated through the rest of the day. She had melted at the sight of Warren. Her body and soul had demanded release, but hadn't found it. She was constantly on edge. Thwarted.

Even Andy noticed. After dinner he asked her about it.

"Oh, nothing," she answered. "I guess the house seems so empty with Barbara gone. It gets me a little down. I wish she didn't have to work so hard."

"You got me. To talk to, I mean."

"Yes. I never asked. Did you hire that man?"

"I'd'a been crazy not to. He can't get started until the ground thaws, but he said he'd come by from time to time with names of guys who do good work, and materials suppliers and like that. He even thinks he can swing a construction loan for Miz Miller if she wants it."

"He sounds, ah, useful. You liked him, didn't you?"

"Yeah. It was funny, I never saw him before, but I felt like I knew him all my life. He asked about you."

"What did he say?"

"Oh, you know, who you were, were you still married, like that. I got the idea he might be interested in you." Andy's smile illuminated the kitchen. "I wouldn't blame him. You got beautiful hair, and eyes, and-- everything," he blushed.

He even spoke like Warren.

In that moment Wendy went mad. She knew exactly what she was going to do, and was utterly powerless to stop herself.

She washed the dishes and stacked them, then took a leisurely hot bath while Andy watched television down in the living room. When she heard him come up she dried off, returned to the bedroom, and donned the laciest, most transparent nightgown she owned.

Wendy opened the bedroom door and called across the hall, "Andy, would you come here for a moment?"

Chapter 13

BOB winced when he heard the tap on the door that connected his suite with Haskell's. But he'd been anticipating it all day.

He padded in bare feet to answer, ashamed of the flutter in his belly. Gooseflesh prickled against his flimsy nightgown. He opened the door, noted with a tingle that the man was erect in his pajamas, and turned wordlessly to lead him into the bedroom, loathing himself for that anticipatory tingle.

He lay prone, reached back and pulled up his gown to expose his bottom, and waited, determined to get through this with as much dignity as possible--which was zero. There was no dignity at all in letting Haskell stick it up his ass in this humiliating way.

He could depend on the man coming after him on two occasions--not the only ones, but the ones that were sure-fire. One, if they were out of town. Two, if Bob had done an outstanding job.

The first was because hotels made Haskell horny; the second, because Haskell seemed to need to dominate Bob to keep a failing sense of self- confidence shored up.

Today was a double whammy.

They were staying at the Bartholomew Plaza, and Bob had conducted a brilliant negotiation with a couple of millionaires, a Texas oil man who kept calling him "li'l lady", and a local man named Bellows who was bewildered by the intricate structure of money and property a rich uncle had left him. By speaking plainly in a way that was constitutionally impossible to Haskell, and then by being demure and "feminine" at lunch, Bob managed to get them eating out of his hand. They agreed to enormous fees to place themselves unreservedly in the hands of Haskell Associates.

All through lunch he had to work hard at exercising his charm on them--for the look on Haskell's face was telling him what to expect tonight.

His skin crawled when Haskell lay on top of him, stiff prick bumping the inside of his thighs as he positioned himself. Bob made himself lie still, determined to deny his own unnatural prurience and endure it for the sake of the money and luxuries he could offer Wendy.

Haskell said, "Yeah, you're hot to trot, aren't you? You must've been hoping I'd come, you're all slick down there."

Bob had visited the hotel pharmacy to provide himself with a tube of vaginal jelly like Wendy used in the days before she learned orgasm. There was an ironic element of appropriateness in it--the jelly was for women who, for reasons of age or disinclination, didn't look forward to having sex.

He exhaled shakily when the rigid penis pushed up him, stroking that spot Andy had taught to be so sensitive. The titillation grew with each of Haskell's thrusts, and with a kind of remote despair Bob felt his ass lift to meet the man's rhythmic intrusion. He told himself it was all the fault of Dr. Goody's protogen, but it was more than that: repetition had muted the shock of being violated, and the act of submitting to his employer in a hotel room, acquiescing to the squirt of the man's seed deep in that private orifice, aroused him.

He buried his face in the pillow, masking a sob as his stiff penis let go with a poignant spasm of semen and his nipples crinkled against the bed sheet, and spurted again two minutes later as Haskell's meat began jumping inside him.

When the man's cock softened he pulled out wetly, spanked him on his bare behind, and said, "Whew. You're okay, you know that, babe? Best piece of ass I ever had . . . and I do mean ass."

Bob listened to him put on his pajamas, miserably conscious of the sperm left inside him and his own compulsive response.

Haskell said, "See you in the morning. We can have breakfast downstairs before going over to Schenk, Rossberg to see if they want to send us more clients. Then we'll have the afternoon to ourselves before driving back, right?"

The afternoon to ourselves. Bob knew what that meant. His heart sank. Tears leaked from his eyes to be soaked up by the pillow. He waited until he heard the door between their suites close before getting up to go to the bathroom.

He woke early the next morning, already knowing what he was going to do. He dressed and packed swiftly and wrote a note on hotel stationery to Haskell, explaining he had received an emergency call from Wendy and had to take the train back home. He stuffed it in an envelope and handed it to the desk clerk on the way out.

There. Let Haskell take care of Schenk by himself. They were his kind of people anyway. Then Haskell could take care of himself this afternoon.

He let himself in the kitchen door, put his purse on the counter. The automatic coffee maker was on, still full. He poured a cup. The house was quiet.

He called, "Anybody home?"

There were scurrying noises upstairs. Wendy must have overslept. He felt a faint smile touch his lips, which faded as he sat to drink the steaming coffee and returned to his problem with Haskell, like the tip of a tongue unable to resist probing a sore tooth. Last night had been the worst yet, not because the act itself was the worst--the shock of the first times made them worse--but because he had found himself wanting it. That was true horror. He wondered if drug addicts felt the same way, the simultaneous revulsion and need. He had to get out of it somehow.

He was glad to be home. Already the ache in his belly was easing, leaving him feeling more like himself, more confident of somehow being able to solve his basically unsolvable problem. He had an unexpected day off. That was something.

He looked up as Andy bounced into the kitchen tucking his work shirt in.

The boy stopped when he saw him. "Oh hi, Barbara. You're home early, huh?"

"An appointment canceled out. Wait, sit down and have a cup of coffee with me."

"Can't. I got to, uh, go see about some lumber."


"I mean, it's a sale and I'm afraid it'll get sold out if I don't hurry."

"Okay. Is Wendy home?"

"Uh, I dunno. Yeah, I guess. I think she's still asleep. I got to go, I'll see you later."

The door closed behind him.

A few minutes later Wendy, dressed in blue jeans and winter jacket, came through the doorway saying, "Why Barbara, what are you doing home? You said you weren't coming back until this evening or tomorrow."

"An appointment canceled out. Listen--Andy just went to the lumberyard. We have the house to ourselves." He wanted to be with somebody he loved after last night.

She got a flustered look and said, "Oh dear. You should have told me you were coming back early. I promised Judy I'd help her pick out a new living-room set. I'll be gone all day."

"Stay a while, why don't you?"

"I want to, but I can't. I'll see you tonight."


She was gone.

He shrugged ruefully and rinsed his cup in the sink. Well, he could get some chores done. The laundry. Doing a wash was always good, it calmed him and gave him time to think.

He went upstairs and changed into a house dress and flats. The bed had been carelessly made; he tugged at the bedspread to straighten it, but a wrinkle in the center persisted. Making a small exasperated noise he stripped the coverlet down.

Oh for heaven's sake no wonder, it was Andy's blue pajama top. He tossed it onto a chair and made the bed with French corners, which Wendy never seemed able to manage.

He put his tailored dress on a hanger, conscious of having to reach to hang it in the closet. He'd gotten so used to high heels that flats made him feel like a midget.

He tidied up the room, dropping Wendy's discarded underwear on the chair with the pajama top, and retrieved his own used lingerie from his suitcase. He took the pile of garments into the bathroom and deposited them in the laundry hamper.

Andy's pajamas!

With nerveless fingers he picked the pajama top out of the hamper and looked at it, remembering the scampering sounds when he called out, and the guilty haste with which Andy and Wendy left the house.

Numbly he went into Andy's room. He found the bottoms under his pillow. Sure enough, there were stiff patches around the fly. He put them in the hamper too. Before going down to the washing machine he checked the boy's closet for more things to wash. His duffel was on the floor. In it was underwear, so stale it must have been there since he brought Andy home. Since before he had fallen in love with him. Before he had given himself to him. A tear burned in the inner corner of his eye; he wiped it away violently.

Between the dirty shorts was a piece of paper. Bob saw Dr. Goody's letterhead.

He hesitated. What the hell, Andy had forfeited the right to privacy. He focused on the page, puzzling out Dr. Goody's all but indecipherable handwriting.

It wasn't about Andy, it was something left over from his mother.

"Joiner:" he read, "Removal of uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, $1,200, Excision vagina & labia, closure of seam, $2,400."

Poor woman, she must have had cancer. The accident may have been a mercy, taking her quickly instead of leaving her to die a lingering death. Andy had known. A ripple of compassion washed over his heart. He hardened himself. The boy didn't deserve his sympathy.

He dropped the invoice back in the duffel, put the underwear in the hamper and carried it down to the cellar.

Sorting the laundry into colors and whites, he put the colored garments in the washer and stared through the window at them flopping and sudsing, not seeing them, bound up in a circle of grief, betrayal, and frustrated anger.

Wendy and Andy had slept together. They were having an affair. How long had it been going on?

They had both cheated on him. It was one thing for Andy to take up with Judy, he couldn't blame him, he needed sex like any normal man and if Bob couldn't give it to him, then Judy was harmless enough. But it was another thing altogether for him to do it with Wendy. And for her to let him.

The washer went into its spin cycle. He began sorting the batch of whites. Andy's old shorts had backtracks on them, he saw, rusty-brown stains right in the crotch.

If they had come to him, told him they wanted to have sex together, he would have said yes. The idea gave him a dismaying flurry of excitement. The two people he loved most in the world loving each other. He liked the idea, he thought sheepishly.

Then why was he so hurt?

They had done it behind his back, that's why. The rats.

He emptied the machine, put the colored clothes in the dryer and started washing the whites.

A nagging thought was trying to catch his attention. He sat gazing at the tumbling clothes. Something about a date. Oh, on Dr. Goody's paper. October? No, that was long after Andy's mother was killed. Maybe October of the year before.

They had been sneaking around behind his back. When had it started? Probably last October, he thought acidly.

Damn, what was it about that date?

Bob stood up, conscious of his bare legs beginning to chill in the coolness of the cellar, and went upstairs to Andy's room. He squatted, dress pulling down from his knees, and fished the paper out of the duffel. A box of Kotex pantyliners was in the bag, he noted absently, and looked at the invoice.

He was right, last October 21. But that was the day he was released from the clinic, the day he picked up Andy. The boy had said something about an operation, "an internal problem," he said. What was he doing with a statement for what sounded like a hysterectomy?

He gave a puzzled glance at the pantyliners. The box was open, only half full.

He frowned. The stains in Andy's shorts flashed in his mind's eye.

He gasped, threw on a coat, and hastened to the hospital.

By the time he got back, Andy's van was parked in the driveway and carpentering sounds were coming from the garage. Bob fairly buzzed with excitement as he looked in and said, "Hi! Come on in the house a minute. I have something to show you."

He dropped his coat and purse on one of the kitchen chairs and ran down to the basement to remove Andy's pajamas from the dryer. Breathless, he met the boy in the living room.

Andy said, "What'd you want me to see?"

"These. What are these?" He held up the pajamas.

"What's wrong with them?"

"What are they?"

Andy smiled. "You know what they are. The peejays you gave me, remember?"

Bob gave them a puzzled look. "They are?"

"Sure they are."

"I'm not sure I understand. Help me out, here. Is there some special reason you keep them in Wendy's bed?"

Andy's smile disappeared. He turned white.

Bob said, "Well?" Despite himself he was moved by Andy's look of anguish.

The boy's mouth opened and closed a couple of times before he said in a low voice, "I guess I'm busted."

"Yes, of course," Bob said sweetly. "Tell me. How long has it been going on?"

"H-how--? No, it was just last night. W-we never--it was all my fault. She was lonesome with you gone and I took advantage of her."

Bob tried to picture Wendy letting herself be taken advantage of.

"I see. Do you love her?"

He watched Andy try to make up his mind how to answer.


"No? I thought you might be in love with all the girls you take to bed. After all, you told me you loved me."

Andy's face got scarlet. He looked at the floor. "I do."

"Of course. That's why you go to bed with my wife. And her sister. And who knows how many others."

Andy said sullenly. "It's true just the same. You're the only one I love."

Bob waited a pulsebeat, then said, "You owe me. Big."

"I know."

"Then take me upstairs and let me make love to you."


"Let's go upstairs. Wendy won't be back for hours."

"Aren't you mad at me?"

"I won't be if you do what I say."

"Really?" Andy's eyes gleamed and a bulge formed in his jeans. "Let's go."

In the bedroom Bob kicked off his shoes and stood provocatively close; he was rewarded by a hearty embrace. He put his face up to be kissed and pressed against him, letting him feel his hard-on. Andy started to pant.

Bob murmured, "Let's both get all naked, all right?"

He backed away, unbuttoned the front of his dress, shrugged his shoulders out of it, and let it slip to the floor. He pushed his bikini panties down and stepped out of them, cock hard and nipples erecting with excitement.

Andy pulled off his jeans, staring at Bob's nudity. His jockey shorts bulged outrageously. He advanced toward him.

"No," Bob said, backing away. "I mean all naked. Take off your underwear."

"Aw, you know that makes me uncomfortable."

"Come on, be a sport." Bob reached for the underpants.

"Stop kidding around." Andy's voice was nervous. "I know I deserve it, but . . . let's just be together. Okay?"

He put his arm around Bob's waist. Bob shivered and let himself be led to the tautly-made double bed, and as they sat, leaned against Andy for a moment..

"Please. Trust me." He put his hand on the bulge.

"I can't, it makes me too jumpy."

Bob hesitated. "Andy, I know."

"Good. Then--" Andy tugged his cock out the fly of his shorts and hugged him "--lay back and open your legs."

"That's not what I meant. I mean, I know. What you have there."

He felt him stiffen.

"I don't get it."

"You don't? I mean--you lie back and open your legs."

Andy slowly went ashen.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Yes you do. Take off your underwear and show me."

"No! Cut it out." His prick wilted.

"You might as well. I know, I tell you. I think it's wonderful."

"You're nuts." He let go of him and picked up his jeans.

"Andy, don't. You owe me."

"Not for that."

"You said you loved me. People who are in love don't have secrets from each other."

"What secrets?" Andy said defiantly.

Putting it in words made Bob shy. "You have . . . both kinds of thing down there."

Andy paled again. "Wh-what makes you think so?"

"I saw Dr. Goody's bill when I was collecting clothes for the laundry. And the Kotex. So I went to the hospital library to check it out, to see if it was really possible, and it is. So I knew I was right. Also, you had stains in your shorts like Wendy sometimes has. Oh Andy, it's so exciting. Show me."


"I told you about me. I let you see me naked."

"No," Andy said flatly. "I can't."

"Come on."


Suddenly conscious of his nudity and a maddening shimmer before his eyes, Bob picked up his dress and put it on.

He said furiously, "You bastard. You never loved me. I told you everything, I showed you everything. I gave you everything! Like a . . . a . . . starry-eyed schoolkid." His voice broke in a sob. "A fool. I didn't hold anything back, I let you make me yours. I never kept any secrets from you." He started crying in earnest, breasts jiggling as he buttoned the dress over them. "But you--you hide the most wonderful thing in the world from me, you screw with Wendy but you won't screw with me," he said incoherently, "you beast, you lousy bastard! I hate you."

He spun around and stamped to the door.


Andy's voice stopped him.

"You were right when you said I owe you. When you first told me about yourself it made me feel good that you would trust me like that. I almost told you then, but . . . it's tough, you know. Ever since I was a little kid my mom and dad warned me not to say anything. People would think we were freaks."

Bob faced him. "We? Your parents were that way too?"

"Just my dad. His mom. It runs in the family."

"Not your mom?"

"No, it's what they call a dominant characteristic. Both parents don't have to be that way."

"But your mom knew about your dad."

"Sure she did."

"So he had to have trusted her. He loved her."

"Well, sure."

Bob let a long moment go by. "So how come you didn't trust me?"

"Oh." Andy looked down. "I should've, shouldn't I?"

Bob said finally, "I don't think you're a freak. I think it's wonderful. If anybody's a freak it's me, because it's not natural. You were born that way so it's natural and beautiful."

Andy's face crumpled. "That's really what you think?"

"Of course. It runs in the family, so it's natural. For you. And how could it be anything but beautiful? It's sexy, too. It turns me on just to think of it."

"I thought you'd be turned off."

"No! Believe me, I think it's terrific. I am curious though. Can you blame me? I want to see. It'll be a secret we share, it'll make us closer."

"Do you have to? It's scary."

"I know."

"You wouldn't laugh?"

"Andrew Joiner! Of course not."

"I guess I gotta trust you the way you did me. So here goes."

He stripped down his underpants timidly. His penis was limp.

After a moment he whispered, "You said you wouldn't laugh."

"I'm not."

"You are too."

"Don't be so defensive. I'm just smiling because all this modesty and I can't see anything anyhow. You could walk around all day like that and nobody could see anything."

Bob sat next to him on the bed and put his hand on the hooded flaccid penis, seeing the boy's muscles tense up. "You know something?" he said soothingly, "this is the first time I've ever seen your balls. They're beautiful."

Andy uttered a hiccup of nervous laughter.

Bob said, "I'm serious! You only pulled your thing out through the fly of your pajamas."

They grinned at each other. Andy's tension was diminishing.

"Why were you at Dr. Goody's?"

"To get rid of all that extra stuff. Then I wouldn't have to worry about somebody finding out. But it was too expensive."

"I'm glad. The way you are is wonderful, you should be proud of it, not ashamed. What did he say about it?"

"There was no medical reason for doing it, and I might be sorry later. He didn't want to do it."

"See? How did you happen to go to him?"

"He's our family doctor, like. His father delivered my grandmother, my father, and me, and when he died the son took over."

"Did your father have the operation? Or your grandmother?" Bob had a sudden image of his penis and testicles being sliced off, and shifted uncomfortably.

"He did, I don't know about her. It's not exactly the kind of thing you talk about with a kid. I used to wonder, though. Medical science wasn't all that advanced when she was young, so maybe not. My father was in his thirties before he could afford it, by then hysterectomies were safe, and plastic surgery was getting big."

"I think it's a shame. Did he regret it?"

"I don't think so. Dr. Goody, this Dr. Goody, said it was another generation, they were more uptight about things."

"More uptight than you?" Bob grinned and hugged him.

Andy smiled sheepishly. Bob could see the talk was doing him good. He was much more relaxed. Having his secret discovered must have been a shock, but he was coming to terms with it.

If Bob had really thought about it, if he hadn't been so upset about Andy and Wendy cheating on him, or so excited by learning about him, he might not have said anything at all, or at least picked another time and place and another, more tactful, approach.

Tough. The boy deserved it. He fucked Bob's wife and withheld the most wonderful secret in the world from him.

He said, "You weren't afraid of him seeing you."

"Yes I was. Nervous. But he already knew, he gave me physicals when I was a kid, and I had to find out about the operation myself, now that my mom and dad were gone."

"Now I know, so you don't have to be afraid of me seeing."

"It's hard."

"Why is it so hard? I love the whole idea of it."

Andy said slowly, "I don't know, I guess it's because my mom and dad were so panicky about it. Deep inside I got this idea people will laugh and point their fingers at me."

"Maybe some people would, but you know me better than that. Sharing your secret only makes us closer. I mean, don't you feel closer to me when you look at me in a dress and know what's under it and nobody else does?"

"I guess so."

Softly, "So can I see? Up close?" He put his arms around him and kissed him. "Please? Pretty please."

Andy croaked, "Okay."

Bob leaned over and planted a quick daring kiss on the limp prick. He remembered sucking Haskell and pretending it was Andy. He slipped to his knees in the quiet sun-bright room, erection lifting his dress.

He pushed against the boy's ridged stomach. "Lie back and relax. Make believe I'm the doctor examining you. Oh, loosen up. Open your legs and lift your knees."

Andy hesitated, but let himself back on the mattress, and exposed his crotch to him.

Bob's heart sprinted. Full distinct lips showed. Andy flinched when he lifted his balls out of the way, but held still for his inspection. The scrotum appeared to dissolve into the labia: you couldn't tell where one began and the other ended. With gentle fingers he pried the hairy lips apart to reveal an inner pair of labia, pink and tender and damp with moisture.

Andy flinched again. "Don't, it tickles."

"I have to be able to see, don't I?"

Ridges under the pink tissue showed that the root of Andy's penis along the crotch was divided. As Bob pulled the labia wider, the inner lips parted. A pink aperture showed. He nearly fainted with excitement. Andy did have a cunt!

From the balls back he looked exactly like Wendy, except there was no clitoris. There was even a mounded orifice in front of the aperture. He wondered if the boy could pee through it.

He leaned closer to the small vagina. The medical books said it was often incomplete, only vestigial. He tried to see, but couldn't tell. The boy was redolent of a delicate musk tinged that spoke directly to his genitals.

He heard, "Hurry up, you're making me feel all funny and ticklish."

Bob let go of the labia and before Andy could react, kissed them. For a brief instant his tongue peeped out and slid between them.

He could stand it no longer. He straightened up and threw himself deliriously on top of Andy and embraced him passionately. He pulled his dress up and maneuvered so his prick was between Andy's legs.

"Please," he begged. "Let me."

Andy stiffened. He was solid and heavy and hard-muscled, all man. It was nothing like being on top of Wendy.

"No!" he gasped. "I never did it."

"Neither did I until the first time. Please. You owe it to me. You did it to me, let me do it to you."

"I only said you could see."

"Come on."

"I'm too embarrassed. I'm a guy, for God's sake."

"You have to make things right between us. You'll like it, you'll see. Trust me."

"It's too scary."

"I'll be gentle." Bob slid upwards a few inches and poked his cock against Andy's soft crotch.

"D-don't. That feels funny."

"Just let yourself go. Remember what you once said? You know how it is, you can't leave me this way?" He let his erection slide down to the opening.

Andy looked apprehensive, but he didn't try to move away, and Bob pushed in. He met resistance. With disappointment he thought the vagina was incomplete after all. A breath later, Wait a minute, he's a virgin! The pounding of his heart threatened to make him pass out.

He pushed inward.

Andy said, "Ow! Quit, it hurts. It's too big."

"It's only your hymen. It'll be over in a second."

"My hy--?" Andy gritted. "What--?"

"Your cherry!"

Bob thrust forward and felt the barrier give way. His cock lunged in to the base, meeting a new resistance as it forced the end of the boy's vagina. Andy was tight around him, tighter than Wendy.

Andy yelped and held him so he couldn't move.

"W-wait! It's too big, you're stretching me."

"It's okay, darling. It's all done, it won't hurt any more."

Bob lifted himself on his elbows and looked fondly down at Andy's contorted face. He kissed him, slipping his tongue into his mouth as though he were the man, feeling a rare triumph at being the one on top, the one with his prick inside the other, at being the dominant partner at last. The omnipresent shame of the weeks of submitting to Haskell lifted, leaving his heart singing.

He moved gently, thrusting in short easy strokes, hardly sliding in the tight vagina, instead pulling it with him. Andy's member regained its stiffness and was hard against his belly. The boy began to pant.

Bob wanted to make it last, to savor the experience, but an irresistible surge grew in his balls. He tried to take his mind away from it. No use.

He gave up and shoved in, clutching Andy to him, and let go, injecting tremendous spurts of semen in ecstasy, not hearing the boy whimper, conscious only of his own pillaging dong shoved deep inside, ejecting his seed in ecstatic bursts, the length of his cock gripped tightly by tender flesh, each bulge and line of its contours constricted by sperm-wet tissue as the pressure of his ejaculation squeezed the liquid between his prick and the walls of the virginal cunt. The violence of his orgasm made the sunlit room go dark.

He came to sobbing and panting, cheek nestled in the hairs of the boy's chest, prick now limp but still held firmly by the clutch of the tight vagina. His balls were drained; there would be no second or third ejaculation this time. He lay on the heavy body until he sensed its trembling and rigidity and then lifted himself on his elbows and pulled slowly out. The cunt was reluctant to release him; its lips followed the emergence of his flaccid penis.

He rolled off Andy and lay on his back breathing deeply. Never had he come so hard; never before had he been so excited. His lover Andy had a cunt! A cunt for him to fuck. No wonder he'd been so attracted to him right from the beginning. He must have sensed the presence of that marvelous sheath all unknowingly.

Part of him was appalled. His proper role with Andy was to be the boy's woman, to put out for him, to let him do whatever he wanted with him. Yet he had just got on top of him and filled him with his semen. It boggled his mind.

Andy stirred next to him. Bob reached over with a languorous hand and placed it on the boy's corrugated stomach.

His eyes flew open when Andy pushed it away and sat up.

The young man's face was clouded. There was a shimmer in his eyes. They were wide, vulnerable as a child, at odds to his craggy masculine features. He stood up carefully, prick dangling.

Bob said, "Where are you going?"

Andy didn't look at him. Voice unsteady, he said, "I have to go to the bathroom." He winced when he bent over to pick up his clothes.

Bob saw there was blood on the inside of his thighs. A trickle of pink-tinged fluid dripped to the floor from between his legs. He darted a glance to where the boy had lain. More blood stained the bedspread.

Andy turned and went out stiffly, holding his legs apart. Bob was reminded of those first times when the boy had used him so thoroughly. He had a stab of remorse.

Oh God, he had taken over, he had practically forced Andy to do his bidding. Like those men who assaulted him. He was no better than they were.

Too late, he wondered if he had irretrievably damaged their relationship. For all the maturity of his demeanor, Andy was still very young and hadn't come to terms with his physical duality.

A sick feeling in his stomach, Bob put together all the hints of the past months and today's astounding discovery, and realized that Andy, who was from birth part woman, had been denying it to himself all these years, had striven for perfect masculinity, had shied from any suggestion that he might be less than a man--and then Bob had gone ahead and practically raped him. Not by force, but by moral blackmail and tears. What could Andy be thinking now, his desperate image of himself shattered?

Bob remembered how submissive he felt when Andy first made love to him, bending over the kitchen counter obediently spreading his cheeks; or, afterwards, lying back with upraised knees, open and vulnerable, accepting the boy's penetration. Wearing the body of a woman, feeling that his submission had a terrible rightness about it, it was nevertheless traumatic.

Now he'd done it to Andy, the one person absolutely defenseless against it, a boy whose imperative was to be totally manly, who must already have some doubts about himself because of his relationship with Bob, and who now had been forced willy-nilly into the woman's role, forced to confront the essentially female part of him, forced to accept a stiff penis inside that supremely feminine place.

He would make it up to him somehow.

He'd do anything the boy wanted, show him he was still the one in charge. Bob would be be the adoring mistress, lift his skirts for him at the first sign of a sexual impulse, until his self-confidence was restored.

But then--his stomach shivered in excitement. His Andy, his darling Andy, had a cunt! When the boy felt better about himself, he'd find a way to get in it again.

Bob sat up, breathless exultation churning in his breast. His penis had stains of blood on it. He scrubbed it with his panties before getting to his feet and letting his dress fall. Stripping off the coverlet and sheets, he made the bed with fresh linen.

Andy wasn't in the bathroom. He took time to shower before going down to look for him.

Refreshed, he checked the living room and kitchen. The sound of Andy's big radial saw was coming from the garage. He shrugged into his coat to talk to him. He wasn't sure what he was going to say, but it would be loving and submissive.

A cold wind blew up his skirt on the way to the garage, chilling his bare legs.

At first Andy appeared to be cutting the same line over and over halfway through a plank of wood, but then he saw it was a series of lines close together. When he reached the edge of the board, Andy flipped it over and made more cuts at right angles to the first. Where the lines crossed a hole appeared. Bob saw he was making a fancy grating out of wood, and was relieved. The boy hadn't gone over the edge after all.

He called his name. Andy didn't hear. Stepping close, he shouted, "Andy! Stop for a minute. Let's talk!"

He made no response. Bob tugged at his sleeve. Without looking at him Andy jerked his arm away and shook his head.

Oh damn. Shivering and downcast, Bob went back to the kitchen.

The way to a man's heart was through his stomach. He found the beef brisket he'd been saving for corned-beef-and-cabbage night, cut paper- thin slices, and with cheese and sauerkraut constructed an elaborate hot Reuben sandwich, Andy's favorite. He covered it with a napkin, put it on a tray with a mug of hot chocolate, and carried it out to him.

He stood offering the tray for a minute until it was plain that Andy was not going to stop working, or even look at him. He put it down on the workbench and went back to folding the laundry.

It was not until the sun had gone down that he went out to the garage a final time. The sandwich was untouched. Andy was mitering corners on trim for what looked like a truckload of gratings, and still wouldn't acknowledge his presence. Marching over to the safety switch Andy had rigged, Bob cut off all power to the tools.

Andy looked up angrily.

Quailing inside, Bob said, "Andy, please. We have to talk. I'm sorry for what I did, all right? Please don't treat me this way." He shook his head to dislodge the maddening tears that obscured his vision. "I take that back. I'm not sorry I did it. It was natural and beautiful like you are. Don't you see?" he pleaded, "If you're--built that way, you might as well take advantage of it. Give rein to both sides of your nature. Please, Andy, I'll do anything to make it up to you. I love you so--" He stopped when he saw the wretchedness in Andy's eyes.

His heart broke. "Oh Andy . . ."

The boy turned his back and irritably shrugged him off when he tried to make him face him again. Bob stood disconsolate, cold biting his bare legs, an equal cold in the pit of his stomach.

"Please . . ." he whispered once more before giving up and returning to the house.

In ensuing days Andy was aloof, responding naturally enough when spoken to, but his smile was gone. Bob couldn't seem to corner him alone to speak with him personally, to reassure him, perhaps to hold him, head cradled against his breast.

He resolved to wait it out. Time eased all things. If he made sure to be attentive, supportive, as loving as he dared in Wendy's presence, Andy's feeling for him would return.

He hoped.

Chapter 14

ANDY stood up nervously. The house was too quiet. The girls were off on a Friday night visit to Barbara's secretary; he was alone with his jumpy thoughts.

Although almost a week had passed, he still felt the intrusion of Barbara's member. The experience left him feeling vulnerable and subdued. He had been "opened," she had pushed inside him and squirted him full of her seed.

Thinking about it gave him a squirmy tingle between his legs; he started pacing the length of the lamp-lit living room as if he could outrun the memory. The slide of his nether lips against each other as he strode wouldn't let him forget. He must be sweating down there; his underwear was soaked.

He wondered if women felt the same strangeness. Maybe not. They grew up expecting to be fucked. The first time might be special, but they probably didn't get the same weird feeling he had.

She had been light and delicate on him; he got painfully shy at being on his back under her; and she had put her warm prick inside that private secret place, and shoved it up him, making him grunt as it forced the air from his lungs. It was very big, and harder in there than he would have thought. After, when he stood up, her stuff leaked all down his leg. Wiping himself on the toilet only accentuated the strangeness. The wetness there was like when he was a kid, before he learned to control which way to piss.

She came in him! The thought fueled the queer sensation between his legs.

Headlights swept across the window as a car turned in to the driveway. He could tell by the sound of the engine it wasn't the girls, and went to the kitchen door to turn on the outside light. After waiting a few minutes he went out in the snow to see who it was.

Judy sat motionless in the driver's seat, head bowed in shadow behind steamy windows.

When he came closer he saw her shoulders moving. She looked like she was crying. She had no coat on.

He opened the car door. "Hey, are you okay? What's the matter?"

She shook her head and muttered brokenly, "I left him."

"Come on inside out of the cold, have a hot cup of coffee. It'll make you feel better."

"How about a stiff drink instead." She climbed out.

In the kitchen he watched her put ice cubes into a water glass and fill it to the top with straight gin. Her face was tear-streaked and there was a swelling under her left eye.

She used both hands to steady her glass and took a long swallow. She grimaced, swallowed again. The glass was suddenly only half full.

"Hey, take it easy, you'll go flat on your bottom."

She sat at the island still holding the glass with both hands, and put it down with exaggerated care.

"Where's Wendy?"

"Her and Barbara went visiting. Want me to call her?"

"No. I'm glad she's not here. I don't want her to see me like this."

Andy said, "What happened to your face?"

She touched the swelling gingerly. "He slapped me."

"Leon." A slow rage built up in him. "Wait here." He headed for the door.

"Don't leave me! Where are you going?"

"To have a little talk with your husband. I'll be back."

"No, don't! It's all right."

"It's not all right with me. That son of a bitch hurt you." Andy thought he had never been so angry.

"Please don't leave me, I'm so frightened."

"You'll be all right here. He's going to be too busy to look for you."

"Don't go, please. Stay with me."

"I don't get it. What are you worried about?"

"I'm worried about you. You're going to go racing over there in the middle of the night like a maniac and beat up Leon and his pansy friend, and the only thing that will happen is he'll call the police and have you put you in jail.

"Besides, it really is all right. It was only a slap. It frightened me because violence always does . . . because of my father. He used to beat Wendy and me. This time it was a good thing, it made up my mind to leave Leon for good. Let his pansies keep house for him. I'll never go back again."

"What pansies?"

"He came home a couple of weeks ago with a young 'friend.' I've been sleeping in the guest room and putting up with the little twit's smirk ever since. He keeps looking at me as if to say, 'Ha ha, I took your place, so there.' And Leon kept trying to humiliate me with him, wanting to do things in front of me. A few days ago they played with each other right at the breakfast table! I walked out that time, but this evening was the last straw.

"He wanted me to take pictures of them. I didn't want to, so he slapped me. I was terrified, I did what he said, but as soon as their backs were turned I ran out and drove over here. See? I still have the pictures."

She fumbled half a dozen Polaroids out of her purse. They embarrassed Andy, who pictured somebody taking the same kind of photos of him and Barbara.

Judy finished her glass of gin, shuddered, poured another, half- melted ice cubes floating, and took a generous swallow. Andy started to protest but held his tongue. The last thing she wanted was for him to nag her about her drinking. He guessed she was entitled after a bad evening, anyway.

"It's funny. If I liked Leon and his friend I would be turned on out of my mind by what they wanted. I shouldn't tell you this, you'll think I'm awful, but I would have joined in."

She tittered. Her words were beginning to blur.

"You don't like Leon? What'd you marry him for?"

"He's not the man I married. Something happened one day and it changed him. We were . . . assaulted. By the college football team.

"He thought it was his fault. In a way it was. If he hadn't flunked two of the team members so they couldn't graduate, none of it would have happened. The whole damn' first string would never have come into our home to demand passing grades for their buddies. Barbara and Wendy were visiting.

"He gave in right away when things started to happen, but it was too late. They got carried away. They didn't hurt us, they just got, well, too high-spirited.

"They raped me and Wendy and Barbara right in front of him."

She took another drink.

Andy made the connection to Barbara's revelation that she had once been violated. The whole first string, Judy said. That was eleven guys. His scalp prickled; the hair on the back of his neck tried to stand up. For some reason his penis got painfully erect in his pants.

She went on, articulation declining, "Leon they made take off his clothes and do awful things with them, one after the other, right in front of us. He got a big erection.

"He didn't look me in the eyes for weeks. I had seen it, you see. It didn't occur to him that I had been abused too. He began to order me around--push me around, really--and then he got it into his head to get young men, kids, to do the same things they made him do. I guess in his mind he was getting back at them.

"At first I went along with it. I thought it was what he needed to get over his shell-shock. But it's been over a year. Enough is too much. I was planning to leave him, then I found out I was pregnant and thought I had to stay. But tonight was it. No more. I'll never go back to him."

"Whoa! You're pregnant?"

She gazed at him owlishly.

"Eight weeks, the doctor said. It'll be August fifteenth." A fuddled grin showed. "I can hardly wait." She hugged herself. "So anyway, I need a place to stay the night. Could we share your room, do you think? No nightgown," she said with tipsy archness. "Guess I'll have to sleep in this." She smoothed her yellow house dress over her body and cupped her breasts seductively.

Andy's hard-on twitched in his jeans, but a sense of caution made him say, "Well . . . you can sure have my room, but I don't know, Barbara's kind of straitlaced. I ought to sleep on the couch."

Judy swayed in her chair. "Oop," she said, "The room's moving. What was I saying? Barbara. Barbara straight raced . . . straight . . .? Ha! She's a darling, not a bit straight-whatever. I know something you don't know. 'S a secret."

He knew what she meant. "Then you better not tell."

"I won't. I love being with you, you're so nice. You're a real friend, you care about me. But I won't tell secrets."

He liked that. "That's good. Let's go upstairs now."

"Okay. One more drink first."

"You had enough," he said gently. "Come on, let's go up."

"Just one more. I was so scared. Need one more."

"A small one, okay?"

She filled half the glass. There were no ice cubes left.

"Gosh, getting tired. So-o tired," she slurred. Her eyes fell closed. She put the drink down on the edge of the counter, where it threatened to tip off until Andy rescued it. Her head bent to rest her cheek on the countertop. She began to snore.

He watched her sadly, thinking about her husband slapping her around and her decision to leave him, and her pregnancy. After a while he picked her up in his arms, a dead weight heavier and harder to manage than if she were awake. Her head nestled into the corner of his neck and shoulders, golden cap of curls soft against his skin. He carried her upstairs and put her gently down on the bed.

She was completely out of it.

In the movies the good guy is always too much of a gentleman to take advantage of the helpless girl. Andy guessed he wasn't much of a movie good guy.

He pulled off her pumps and put them together neatly under the bed; then rolled her on her side to unzip her dress and work it down over her body. She wasn't wearing a bra; he took a moment to nuzzle her breasts before tugging off her pantyhose and panties to expose her dark-blonde pussy.

He knew Judy would willingly let him make love to her, but he pretended she was a stranger and he was raping her like the football team did.

He checked his watch. Plenty of time. Barbara and Wendy would be at least two hours yet, maybe more.

He stripped to his shorts and started to pry out his rigid member, hesitated.

She was passed out, she couldn't see him.

He held his breath and pushed off his underwear. The memory of Barbara touching him there, looking at him, filled his mind with excitement. If Judy woke up, she'd see him too. The risk electrified him.

He got naked on the bed and put his arms around her. He kissed her alcohol-smelling slack mouth. He worked down to her tits. The nipples hardened in his lips as his tongue stroked and teased them. She might be unconscious, but her body was aware of his presence.

His cock was so stiff it vibrated. He got to his knees and lifted her legs, rosy heels dragging on the sheet. When he let them fall apart, her cunt opened to his view. He blushed: he was seeing what Barbara did the day she looked at him.

Bare-assed, he lay on top of the sleeping girl and entered her. He flinched when she uttered a moan, but her eyes were closed; she was still unconscious. Reassured, he began pushing in and out of the wet tunnel, acutely aware of his uncovered crotch and of a kind of mental overlay to his sensations, like a double exposure, of Barbara doing to him what he was doing to the girl. A delicious wetness made his own lips slither against each other as he moved in her.

She sighed, head rolling back and forth. Out of some deep well of unconsciousness she murmured, "Oh Bob, I love you so much."

He was galvanized. Bob! That was Barbara. Had Barbara fucked her too? His heart beat more rapidly. It was like with Wendy. He had been out of his mind with passion at the thought of fucking Barbara's wife, fucking the woman she had fucked. Oh jeez, he realized, Barbara had fucked all three of them, Wendy, Judy, and himself. Well, so had he--Wendy, Judy, and above all, Barbara.

Without warning he ejaculated deep inside the girl.

He stifled a groan and let himself relax on top of her. His prick softened, swimming in the semen he had discharged. Now that he had come he was more aware of the sensitivity of his bare crotch, the hopeful unsettled craving that had come upon him so many times since Barbara had done it to him.

His flaccid penis slipped out. He shifted so Judy's thigh was between his legs and rubbed his crotch on her. It felt good. He was slippery on her skin. With surprise he realized all that wetness was the same as hers; he had the same juices she did. How could he not have known that before?

Something was going on down there.

His cock erected once again.

A pleasurable sensation grew in the region below his waist. It wasn't in the groin, exactly, it was deeper inside. Definitely connected with his stiff penis, though--squeezed down on her body it fueled the agitation with each movement. There was a kind of reciprocity between his prick and the wet complex of tissues between his legs; they combined to augment the growing sensation.

It peaked.

A sound emerged from his throat. The organs below his belly spasmed deliriously.

When the paroxysm subsided, Andy's muscles lost their tenseness. Still twitching between his legs, he slumped on the girl. A delicious lassitude swept through him.

Dazed, he thought, What was that? I never felt anything like that before.

I came!

But he hadn't squirted.

Oh my God, I had an orgasm!

Is that what they feel? It was different from a man's ejaculation, not as sharp and poignant and directed. It was more diffuse, involving more of his body, more diffuse but more powerful.

He had a warm glow. Barbara said he ought to give rein to both sides of his nature and he'd passed it off. What would she know? He was a man; he had no reason to seek anything more; doing anything womanly made him nervous, anyhow. But this! It was a revelation. Maybe she had something. He'd have to think about it.

He buried his face in Judy's neck, took one last smell of the heady fragrance of her body, not as exciting as Barbara's, but friendly and temperate, and got up. He covered her with the bedclothes, kissed her, collected his pajamas, and went downstairs filled with a gratified languor. Each step he took reinforced the tingle of his nether organs.

He made up the couch and fell asleep like a light turning out.

When he woke, the winter sun was already streaming through the living room windows. He felt rested and relaxed and warm. His penis was swollen, as it usually was in the morning. He touched it, then let his hand go lower, to nudge between the lips down there; he slipped the tip of his finger in carefully. He never did that before. It was strange and scary, but it felt good. Dreamily he remembered Barbara pushing warm and thick in there; his stomach thrilled.

He made his finger move in a circle at the entrance. There was no pain, only a squiggly feeling of pleasure. Judy said it only hurt the first time. The thought he had next was freighted with a mixture of anticipation and rejection: if it ever happened again, it probably wouldn't hurt.

He stopped when he heard Barbara's voice in the kitchen. Wendy said something back. He took his hand out of his pajamas, stretched, and padded out to join them.

Barbara looked up with a bright smile. "Good morning, Sunshine! We saw you on the couch last night and looked in your room. Then we saw the gin bottle in the kitchen. Judy came over and got wasted, huh?"

She was still in nightgown and bathrobe, and hadn't yet put on makeup but Andy thought she was beautiful.

He smiled back. She looked pleased and it came to him that he had been avoiding her lately.

"Yeah, I guess. She was pretty upset. She told me Leon slapped her and she was leaving him."

"Slapped her!" Wendy exclaimed. "I knew he was no good. That ratface. So she left him." She looked more pleased than surprised.

"What happened?" Barbara asked.

"I dunno exactly." He didn't know how much of what Judy told him he should repeat. "He hit her so she would do something he wanted."

"What did he want her to do?"

"We-ell . . . Listen, you better ask her."

Barbara's eyes softened. She said to Wendy, "He's nice, isn't he? When in doubt, don't say anything." She touched his shoulder.

Wendy said, "Well, I'm going straight upstairs. Oh dear, she's probably hung over. Never mind, I'll wake her up. She's going to need a lawyer. Do you suppose Warren's lawyer works on Saturdays?"

When she had gone, Barbara said, "Want some coffee? Breakfast will be in a little while. We got up late too." She poured a cup and served him. "Do you think she means it about leaving Leon?"

"Maybe. She sounded pretty serious last night, but sometimes people change their minds after sleeping on it."

"I hope she does leave him. That man never was good to her."

They drank their coffee in companionable silence. She broke it by saying softly, "I didn't say anything to Wendy . . . about you and her. You said it was just the one time, so I suppose it's best if we just forget it."

He found the courage to ask, "You're not mad about it any more?"

"I never was, really. Only because you didn't tell me yourself."

He was impressed. If it'd been him, if his best friend had fucked his wife, he'd knock the guy's block off and never speak to his wife again. He supposed you got more understanding when you got older. Hey, she was only five or six years older than him. That wasn't much. At times she acted younger.

She said, "Did she say anything about me when you were together?"

"What about you?"

"Just . . . did she talk about me?"

"No, I don't think we talked hardly at all. Until the next morning when you got home." He couldn't prevent a grin. "Then she said, 'Get out quick! She's here!' "

Barbara laughed. "I just wondered. You see, we haven't been . . . sleeping together for a while. Other than really sleeping. I wondered if me looking like this turned her off."

Behind her good humor lay a hint of pain. He said, "No, she never said anything. Why would she be turned off? You're beautiful and, um, sexy."

He had the thought that what was sexy to him might not be sexy to a woman.

Her face brightened, "You really think I'm beautiful and sexy?"

"You know I do."

"It's nice to hear it, though."

Wendy led Judy in, supporting her with an arm around her shoulders. Judy looked wan. She wore a bathrobe; he guessed she was still naked under it.

Wendy said, "Sit down here, dear. I'll get you a nice cup of black coffee." She said indignantly, "That man made her watch him having sex with his boyfriend! And take pictures of them! And she's pregnant."

"Pregnant!" Barbara looked at Judy with interest.

"Eight weeks. Making her take those pictures was the worst mistake of his life. We're going to give them to the lawyer. That'll teach him to beat my sister up. We better get dressed right away and have breakfast. I called Mr. Berkovitz and he said to come at noon. He's way out in Clara's Corners."

She watched while Judy finished her coffee and gave her a shaky smile. Barbara stood up, chair scraping the tiles, and leaned over to give Judy a hug.

"Come on," she said sympathetically, "let's get you dressed. You can wear my new wraparound. It's apple green, perfect for your eyes."

Wendy said pointedly, "Bring the dress and I'll help her while you put on your clothes."

Barbara smiled and gave an ambiguous little shrug as if to say, "I tried." They were all being so cryptic because he wasn't supposed to know Barbara was a boy. He wished things could be out in the open; there was too much going on that he didn't know about and that he couldn't ask about.

Barbara and Wendy hadn't been sleeping together. That was interesting. He wondered what it meant.

He got his clothes from his room and went to the bathroom to put them on, leaving the bedroom free for Wendy and Judy.

Surprise, when he got back to the kitchen Barbara was wearing a mini. It was a straight sheath, coming down only to just above mid-thigh. Peach in color, it looked more suited to summer than winter. It was snug about breast and hips. She looked like a mix of tramp and little girl. He didn't know what to think, but his prick did. It tried to rip through his blue jeans.

At Wendy's look, Barbara said, "Well, what do you expect? If I have to lend people my clothes, the only things left are mere scraps."

During breakfast Judy regained her usual spirits. Her hands stopped trembling. She ate with good appetite and had a second cup of coffee, this time with milk and sugar.

Andy thought she looked relieved, and it was confirmed a moment later when she said, "I feel lighter than air. I've been carrying this around so long. The best thing Leon ever did for me was to hit me last night. It made up my mind. I was worried about the baby, and I know it'll be hard, but not harder than living with him."

"Finished? Come on, let's go, we'll just make it. Barbara, are you coming?"

"I'll stick around and straighten up here and leave the sisters to take care of the real mess."

Andy saw them to the car and watched them in the chill air until they turned the corner out of sight. When he went back to the kitchen, Barbara was finishing up the breakfast dishes. That dress barely covered her bottom.

He said to her back, "They're gone."

"Good. I hope she sticks it to him. Alimony and all that." She put a dish in the rack.

"We're all alone in the house together."

She stopped.

A second later she wiped her hands on the dish towel and turned around.

"Why, Andrew Joiner."

Her expression was demure, but a hint of a shy smile hovered at the corners of her mouth.

"Just thought I'd mention it."

She gave him a slow look. "Do you want to kiss me?"

He answered by putting his arms around her. Holding her very gently, he kissed her upturned mouth. Her arms went around his neck. He stroked down her back, causing her to shiver and press closer to him, breasts squeezed against his chest. Hardness grew at the join of her legs. The aroma of her body intoxicated him.

Continuing to embrace her, tongue making free of her sweet mouth, he let his hands move down to caress her ass. She wriggled. The short skirt wasn't much protection; as he fondled her it drew up until it was above her buttocks.

He broke the kiss. "Hey, you don't have anything on."

"I don't? I wonder what happened. Mmm," she said dreamily. "That feels good."

He kneaded her bare cheeks, then slipped his finger between them and poked inside her asshole, eliciting a soft shriek from her. The hole was slippery, he noticed. It told him something.

"Oh Andy, take me upstairs. I want you in me."

Without panties to restrain it, her cock held the short skirt up. The rosy tip peeked out from under, tantalizing.

They went to Barbara's bedroom, sunlit, cheerful, full of memories of the nights before Wendy came home and the memorable night he spent with Wendy here. He had fucked her twice before they went to sleep, and again in the morning, and now he was going to fuck her husband.

Taking off his jockey shorts excited and frightened him as it had the night before, only now the girl was awake and knew about him. It was the height of intimacy. It was nice, he decided. Sharing his secret with her relieved him of its burden.

She lay on the bed and held her arms out. Her prick was fully extended, balls shrunk up against its base. Her nipples were erect. Arousal and desire for him were evident; it made him respond.

When he approached her she pulled her knees up to her breasts, exposing that delicious pink asshole. She shaved down there; her crotch was nude. There were no lips, no vagina. Seen like this, the middle part of her, she was definitely a male. It pleased him. He liked being able to stick his cock up a man's ass, dominate him. Maybe it was more than usual because of being violated last week.

She took his prick in slender hands and guided it to her hole. She moaned, "It's so big and warm. You're going in me. Oh-h!" She gave a long exhalation. "There. It's in." Her thighs gripped his sides; her arms held him as he drove up her. She grunted.

"You're all the way in me. Oh, I'm giving myself to you. I'm yours. You're so big and hard. Oh yes, fuck me, Andy darling."

Her asshole writhed around his shaft. Her hips squirmed deliciously. He began thrusting, hearing her gasp helplessly each time he completed a stroke.

He pushed her soft tousled hair aside, took her face in both hands, and put his tongue in her mouth. She sucked on it deliriously.

She was better than Judy or Wendy, more responsive. Her pleasure fueled his. Her dick was limp between them, but he knew by now that didn't mean anything, it was only from bearing the strain of his cock in that little opening. She got so excited she came anyway. Part of it, she once said, was that what they were doing was perverse. Well, that was like him too. The forbiddenness of it got to him.

He wanted to wait, to stretch it out as long as possible, enjoy her body and the tight grip of her asshole, and the way she held him and carried on, but a week without her was too long. He ejaculated.

She must be able to feel it, because as soon as his prick started pumping in her, her cock let go, squirting wet and slippery between them.

He lay so long on her that he worried about crushing her. He lifted himself on his elbows and began to pull out. Her hands slipped down to his ass and held him to her.

"Don't leave me. I want to feel you inside me just a little longer. It makes us so close I sometimes feel like we're one person. Oh Andy, I needed that. It's been so long."

Her eyes shone. Her brown hair curled wanton on the pillow. Nipples still erect, her white breasts invited a kiss. He dipped his head and tongued them wetly.

"Oh," she said, and arched her back. Her anus massaged his softening cock. He felt warm and happy with her, conscious of her hands absently kneading his cheeks, so close to the heart of the organs between his legs. The terror of discovery was gone, there was only an exciting intimacy.

She sighed, "Kiss me. Then we'll be together at both ends."

His mouth left her tit and found her lips. They were soft and generous under his. As they embraced, her ass worked on his cock, involuntarily expelling it. She made a sound of disappointment and broke the kiss.

"Darn, I wanted you in me forever." Her arms moved to hold him sweetly. "Andy? Do I make you happy?"

"What kind of a question is that?"

"It's so nice to be with you, but I wondered if you felt the same way. Sometimes I get scared. I mean I'm not really a woman. I try to be, but I never will. I get scared that you'll be disgusted with me, letting you, no, wanting you, to come inside me that way. Only a few months ago I'd have been horrified at the idea."

"Yeah? So would I. I'd'a never thought of f--" He tried again, "f--"

"Fucking. It's all right, you can say it." The corners of her generous lips quirked.

"Yeah, fucking. F-fucking a guy. But with you it feels like we can do anything together and it's all right. Besides, even when you're naked, I think of you as a girl, not a guy." He rolled off her on his back. "Just that you got something special," he said into the air.

She snuggled against him, one thigh crossing his, an arm comfortably across his chest.

"I'm glad," she said. "When you first went with Judy I was jealous and scared that you would only want a woman woman. I feel the same way as you. It's exciting to be with you, doing all these things we're not supposed to be doing. More exciting than Wendy." A moment later she said, "I didn't mean to say that. To remind you at a moment like this. Are you mad at me about sleeping with her?"

"I used to be, but not any more. Last week . . . with Wendy . . . it made things all right."

"How come?"

"Well, it was like we both did it to her, so we shared her, so we were really together even though we were with her. Does that make any sense?"

"Yes. I know just what you mean."

She nestled closer to him. He turned toward her so her knee was between his legs instead of across them, and allowed his crotch to touch it.

"Did you mean it when you said--" He tried to keep his voice level, "--when you said I should do both kinds of things?"

"Both kinds of things?"

"You know. Me doing it to you and you doing it to me."

A moment passed. She said, "The truth?"


"Then yes. Absolutely. I would. Well, I do, you know, in a little different way. It's just a joy to let go and have you do it to me. It's also a joy to do it the other way, I admit. I only wish Wendy would let me. I have some male instincts left, you know."

She sounded aggrieved.

"You don't do it with Wendy?"

"Hardly ever, and even then it's more like she does it to me. I always have to be on my back. She puts it in her but she always wants to be the man. It's fun once in a while," she admitted, "but not all the time. It's not like it is with you--well, she can't do what you do, can she?"

He thought it over. After a while he ventured, "You like to be on top sometimes."

"I can't help it."

"I would let you."

A long moment went by.

He heard excitement in her gasp, "You would?"

"Uh huh."

She raised herself up on one elbow, tits jouncing, and glowed at him. "Really?"

He nodded shyly. His naked labia were in firm contact with the top of her knee. He tried to hold still, but the sensation was so delicious his pelvis made little involuntary motions.

"I thought--last time--"

"Yeah, I know. But I got to thinking about it. Maybe you were right. If you want, we could try it again."

"If I want!"

Her prick was swelling rapidly, head pushing through the foreskin. In the time it took her to climb over him it got rigid. The tip was shiny with strain. It emitted a leak. Jeez, didn't she ever get enough?

"Now?" she said. "Is it all right, now?"

He drew her down on him, knees lifting and legs parting, trying not to feel that terrible vulnerability at being in this open position, like a puppy rolling over and exposing its belly in submission.

The touch of her organ down there gave him a skittish feeling.

She kissed him wetly. "I'll be gentle," she whispered, poking at him more firmly. The rubbery tip of her member slid between his lips until it found the beginning of his canal. It felt very big; he wondered if he could take it without pain after all.

She shoved tentatively, widening the opening, and paused. "Does that hurt?"

The air was short of oxygen. "N-no."

She pushed in a little deeper. It was stretching him, but there was no pain, only a delicious hungry acceptance, as if his body knew something he didn't.

When he didn't protest, she kept pushing. Together with the luscious distention of his--he let himself think the word--his cunt by the heavy meat, Andy was conscious of his own prick stiffening. There was some kind of link between his . . . pussy . . . and his cock, after all. He put his arms around her

Deeper drove the intruding organ, hot and alive in him, dilating his tight vagina. A dull ache began as it forced the end of the canal; he raised his knees still higher to accommodate the thrust, looking inward to savor the slow thrilling movement. At last, just as he was about to gasp, "Too much," her balls swung soft and heavy against his perineum and the prick rested.

Breasts a warm cushion against his chest, she murmured, "Are you all right? Am I hurting you?"

He stammered, "N-no. No, you feel good."

"It doesn't bother your feelings or anything, does it? You don't think I'm trying to take over?"

"No, keep on doing it."

He thought he had never been so alive to bodily sensation. His heart beat rapidly; his breath came short. The slender delicate person on top of him had never seemed so precious. He caressed her back with long tender strokes.

Her bottom lifted under his hand, drawing her thick meat back. Its passage was eased by his natural juices. A thrill ran down his spine.

She drew out to the tip, flaring head pulling deliberately through the entrance. His cunt felt trepidation as the opening narrowed, then had an electrifying thrill as the penis changed direction and thrust back in. It was like being entered all over again. He clutched her to him and his pelvis heaved to meet her long push; he gave himself up to the gentle rhythm of her movement. A prickle heralded an increase in sensitivity, which built as the complex of organs between his legs gathered tension.

With no more warning than that he convulsed in ecstasy.

He had a chance to think, I came already! before another spasm seized him. A timeless eternity later his muscles relaxed. Head swimming, he submitted to the huge shaft's repeated strokes. His vagina quivered.

She panted in his ear.

Her moving cock was nothing but rapture. His cunt was being used hard, the way it was meant to. The strangeness and excitement of having her shoved right up him was so good he wondered how he could ever have been upset by it.

He wished he told her about himself right from the beginning. He trusted her, they could do anything private together, it was all right. He wouldn't want anyone else to know--jeez, being fucked and liking it!- -but she would never tell. At first he didn't want to show even her how much he enjoyed it, it was embarrassing, but she never held back on him, so he let himself go, and his pleasure redoubled.

Her strokes got shorter and more urgent. He responded with a writhing of his hips which increased that tautness within, and just as he felt the sudden liquid burst of her semen, another blissful paroxysm gripped him. He heard himself cry out.

She stopped his voice by putting her mouth on his. Her tongue invaded. Her tongue in his mouth! That's what she did the last time. Then, it had felt like a put-down; now, it vaulted him into a new height of orgasm.

He welcomed the insignificant weight of her body relaxing on him. She was warm and comforting, and he liked the exhaustion with which she lay on him. It told him she was as fulfilled as he.

Her prick was getting smaller. He could make his cunt contract on it and squeeze it. When he did, she got a dreamy smile and made it twitch inside him.

He lay relaxed and happy, detecting the beginnings of a trickle from his hole. She had filled him with her come; it was like he had a part of her to keep. Did she feel the same way when he came in her?

She shifted, and her dick slipped out. She rolled over next to him as close as she could get. They lay in harmony, recuperating.

She lifted herself on one elbow and examined his face intently. "Was it all right?"

"Y-yes," he sighed. He reached out his arms to put them around her, acutely conscious of her semen leaking from his privacy.

"You're sure? I know from experience it can make you feel--dominated? I love that feeling, but you--well, last week . . ."

"I know, I was all bent out of shape, wasn't I?"

"You were terrible."

"It was all new, unexpected like. Besides, you tore me all up."

He heard a breath of laughter. "What did you expect? You were a virgin." Her hand grasped his limp organ. "Did you come?"

"Yeah. A lot. But not there. It was kind of like inside. You know something? I think maybe once the piss-and-vinegar side of me is satisfied I can get off the other way."

"I don't know why, but that makes sense."

"Yeah." He hesitated. "You know, you were right. If I got all that down there, I might as well enjoy it."

"I'm glad." He felt a squeeze on his prick. It was too soon for him to get interested, but he liked her touching him. She said, "I loved doing it with you."

"Me too."

"Andy? How did it feel?"

He knew what she meant. He remembered asking Judy the same thing. After a moment, looking inside himself, he said, "Great. Really great. But I don't know the words to tell you, it's so different from anything I ever did."

"I think I'm really jealous." She sat up. "Gosh, where has the morning gone? Are you starved? I'll make us some lunch." She kissed him and got out of bed. Her cock dangled.

He watched her walk naked to the dresser, feeling that special sense of intimacy at both of them being totally unclothed. He had no secrets from her.

She took a pair of panties from the dresser and started to step into them.

"Hey, wait, don't do that."

She paused, panties halfway up her legs. "What?"

"Don't put on your underwear. It's a turn-on for you to be naked under your dress. I like to look at you and think about it. Like back in October, remember? Wear the same dress as before, okay?"

"It's so short."


She laughed. "Okay, but only until Wendy and Judy get home. I didn't know how short it would be till after I got it on, and I was terrified they would see."

"So how come you left them off?"

She pulled her panties down and gave him a slow smile. "I was going to let you see."

Twirling the garment on her finger, she said mischievously, "I will if you will. Leave off your shorts."

He laughed and promised.

When they finished lunch Barbara cleared the table, dropping a fork in the process. She gave him a long look and turned her back to pick it up, bending slowly from the waist. The short skirt lifted to display that enticing round ass. Even before she straightened he had a hard-on.

"Come and sit on my lap for a moment," he choked. He was acutely aware of being naked in his jeans.

She cuddled with him, letting him run his hand up her thigh to grasp a prick that was already swollen and heavy.

She moved her bottom in a circle. "Oh dear, what can it be? Do you have a flashlight in your pocket?"

"It's a tool."

"Can I see how it works?"

She slid off his lap and knelt in front of him and unfastened his pants. Her slender cool hands pried his cock out gently. She gazed at it before looking up at him.

She said shyly, "I always wanted to kiss you down here, but I was afraid of what you might think. Can I?"

"You already did, remember, last week? You kissed me both places."

"No, I mean really kiss it. Suck it." Her face was red. "Do you think I'm awful?"

His heart took a leap and started pounding a mile a minute. "Really? Nobody ever--I never--"

"Neither did I. But I'd like to. After all, I have to take care of my man, don't I? My master."

Her soft lips kissed the tip. When she drew back, the drip of pre- come stretched between them, wetting her chin when it broke. Her tongue peeped out and ran from side to side.

Right then and there in the bright kitchen she took him in her mouth and sucked wetly. Her tongue wrapped around him; her hands clasped the base of his cock and followed her mouth.

It blew his mind. It was one thing for him to lick Judy's pussy--she had taught him to do that as if it were perfectly normal foreplay, and he was so inexperienced he didn't know any better--but altogether another thing for Barbara to get on her knees and take his prick into her mouth. It was the dirtiest thing he ever experienced.

He watched appalled as her moving head lovingly stuffed and unstuffed her mouth with his organ. Her jaws were open wide, cheeks drawn in; her red lips compressed and slippery. The noises she made were wet and lavish. The soft warmth of her tongue slithered deliciously around him.

She looked up through her lashes. Holding his eyes as though inviting him to watch her, she pulled slowly back until his cock came out, bubbles of saliva on it, and licked extravagantly around the neck and head like it was a lollypop. When a dribble emerged from the hole in the tip she pursed her lips and suckled it.

She fondled his balls, one hand to each, tugging gently at the sack in alternate caresses and scratching lightly behind with manicured fingernails.

Her hands left his balls and reached behind her. Bracing herself with face in his lap, cheek cool against his prick, she unzipped her dress. She bared one shoulder, then the other, and let the top fall. Leaning forward, she put his cock between her breasts and compressed them on it and moved her torso to masturbate him. The soft warm pressure was too much for him.

She looked up quickly at his gasp and hastily released him, ducking her head to return to his organ.

The instant she took his prick back in her mouth he felt that urgency that foretold ejaculation.

"W-wait," he gasped, "I'm going to--"

He tried to pull out but she held him and quickened the movement of her head. He couldn't hold back. His penis erupted ecstatically, spurting fiercely in. He'd tried to warn her but she hadn't paid attention; now her mouth was full of his jism.

It didn't seem to bother her. She continued to massage his prick with her mouth and tongue. The suction she applied drew out each jet with unbearable piquancy.

When the pumping stopped and his cock had softened so the foreskin covered the head, she let it slide out, and held it between thumb and forefinger. She gazed at him through eyes that were blind with passion. Her throat moved once, twice; her lips glistened with semen. A drop of white hung at one corner. She licked her lips from side to side and swallowed again.

With neat little flutters of her tongue she washed him clean, and sat back on her heels to look up at him.

"Did you like that?"

The feebleness of his voice surprised him. "Yes."

"So did I. I wanted to do that for a long time, to show you I would do anything for you. I practiced in my mind how I was going to do it. You tasted good," she added softly.

"I didn't know if I was supposed to come in your mouth."

"I'm glad you did. You can come in me anywhere."

"But--that stuff . . . you swallowed it."

He had embarrassed her; her cheeks got pink.

She said, "I know, it was naughty. But I loved it, it was your precious seed. I didn't want to spit it out."

She got to her feet and pulled a kitchen chair next to his. Her prick held up her skirt, head sticking out from under.

She sat close to him and put one arm around his waist and grasped his now-limp dick with the other.

"Is this mine?" She shook it.

"Yes," he whispered.

"That's right. Now whose--" she burrowed her hand between his legs and stuck her finger in his dripping vagina, "--is this?"

He jumped a mile and almost orgasmed on the spot. His prick rocketed upright.

She said, "Huh? Whose is it?" Her finger rotated in him.

"Yours!" he gasped. "Quit it, you'll make me . . ."

A cool hand encircled his dong; the other diddled its finger.

"Make you what? Make you come? I'll make you come, all right."

Hands working together she urged him up out of his seat.

"Remember when you made me bend over this counter? Now it's your turn. Let's see if your theory about one side being satisfied so the other can enjoy itself is true."

When he hesitated she took her hands away from his genitals and put her arms about his waist. Her voice softened. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be pushy. I just thought it would be fun."

"S-so do I. I w-was just so excited I couldn't move for a minute. Let's do it."

He pushed his pants down to his knees and bent over the counter, aroused beyond measure.

He felt her press her lips on one ass cheek, then the other. Now she was spreading his labia.

"It looks like a pink flower. Oh, I love doing this with you."

He couldn't tell if the droplet that tickled its way down his crack was from her left-over come or his own excited juices.

The head of her organ pushed into the entrance and forced its luscious way up him. Her balls swung against his. She drew tantalizingly back and shoved forward again. She reached under and gripped his cock, pulled it in tandem with her strokes.

He lost count of how many times he orgasmed before she came.

She drew her limp organ out of him finally and collapsed into a chair. He stayed where he was, depleted, unable to move. Even the knowledge that she could see the drools emerging from between the lips in his crotch had no power to get him up.

"Are you okay?" Her voice was full of concern.

"Yes," he whispered. He lifted his upper body off the counter and shamefacedly hauled his jeans up and buckled them. "Whew. It got to me. You're something else."

"You are too. You turn me on."

"You felt so big in there. Well, you are big. It's funny, you're a girl, but you got a bigger one than me."

"Oh, don't say that."

"Why not?"

"I'm not supposed to have one at all."

"I'm glad you do, though."

"Kiss me."


"On the lips, silly. Oh Andy, hold me. Sometimes I get frightened. This is all so big and so strange and I--I love you so much."

He embraced her tenderly. She pushed warm and soft against him, arms twined about his neck. Her mouth had a taste, reminding him of what had been in there.

Before this morning it would have repelled him; he found himself licking in her mouth to taste more of it, mildly amazed at himself, identifying with her, wondering bashfully if she tasted the same.

She broke the kiss with a sigh. "I needed that. Sit down and I'll bring a cup of coffee. Keep me company while I finish the dishes."

He thought about her earlier question, wanting to share with her, but the whole experience of having her inside him down there was still too new for him to get hold of. Maybe after a while he'd be able to tell her how it felt. Maybe it wasn't too different from what she felt, he thought in surprise, and tried to picture how it would be for her to stick it up his ass.

"Hey," he said mischievously. "One good thing. Now that I know how it feels I can do a better job with Judy and Wendy."

She swivelled around and slapped him gently with wet hands. "Ratface," she said before turning back to the dishes.

He amused himself by watching her alluring ass in that tight short skirt, picturing the front of her all naked underneath. As she put the last dish in the rack he got up and stood behind her and put his arms around her waist. He let a hand drop to fondle her meat.

"Help help, I'm being molested. Call the police."

She rotated her ass against him. She said practically, "Bring me your coffee cup, I'll give it a quick rinse, then we can pet together on the living-room couch."

When he turned back to her with the cup she was looking at him with a peculiar expression.

He said, "What?"

She put her hand to her mouth, trying to conceal a smile.

Ready to join her amusement, he repeated, "What?"

"Your pants are all wet back there. You're leaking. You better let me take care of you. Come." She took his hand and led him up to the bathroom.

"Take off your jeans and put them in the hamper."

From the cabinet under the sink she retrieved a pink rubber bag with a long hose attached. It had a curved plastic nozzle with holes in its side. She filled the bag with solution.

"Sit on the toilet while I hang this up. That's right. Now open your legs for me."

"What are you going to do?"

"Clean you out down there. Give you a douche."

Andy jumped when Barbara reached in the bowl and inserted the curved nozzle up his vagina.

"It's cold." His prick began to stir.

"Serves you right, you ratface." She clicked the clamp on the hose. "If you think that's cold . . ."

A rush of icy solution fountained inside him and sprayed down into the bowl. It was a shock at first but was refreshing, and the intimacy of her kneeling between his legs, holding that thing in him, made his cock respond: it got very stiff. Hers was hard too; it showed under the skirt, which had drawn up because of her position.

She clasped his prick in her free hand. Her fingers were cool. She looked up with a twinkle in her eye.

"Dear me, he likes it."

"I c-can't help it."

She pulled sensuously at his erection, and bent forward to kiss it, all the while mischievously diddling the nozzle in him.

When the bag drained, she removed the hose and patted him dry with toilet paper. All that splashing made him aware of pressure in his bladder.

"Wait, I have to piss."

"Go ahead."

He was rock hard. "I can't with you doing that."

"Do you ever pee from down here?" Her fingertips stroked tantalizing along his crack.


"Can you?"

"When I was a kid, sometimes by accident . . ."

"Then go ahead and pee that way. Please? I want to see."

The idea excited him. He said, "You're such a pain. You always want to see everything. I don't know if I can remember how."

He concentrated. It meant holding back on this muscle and letting go with this one. He tried. The muscle quavered and a dribble emerged before it clamped shut. Yes, that was the way. Now he remembered how it felt. He also remembered it was a terrific no-no, but with defiance he relaxed and let go, hearing the sizzle against the bowl, his labia dripping wet, feeling a joyful sense of sharing with the woman bending close to stare. He drained his bladder, made a couple of final spurts.

She said, "It makes a spray instead of a stream. Your lips are in the way, like if I don't strip back my foreskin, only more so." She wiped him.

He had no privacy from her, and that was all right. He was enjoying their intimacy and the freedom of being truly able to unveil everything to her.

She said, "That was such a turn-on. Oh thank you for letting me see. It was neat. I wish I could do that. In fact, I wish I was built like you. Wouldn't that be nice?"

"I'm kind of glad you're not. I like to do it to you back there."

"Is that what this is for? Mmm. Let's go in the bedroom."

"Yeah, let's. But I don't think I'm ready yet--that way. Are you? You could come in me again."

Her smile was brilliant; it had relief in it. "Oh yes, let's. I really need it after all this time. Don't be impatient with me. I'm sure I'll be back to normal soon. It's all that left-over male instinct."

"I hope not, because I like it. It's really great to come more than once, and to have you inside me. It's like you said, it's as if we're one person."

"Quick, let's go into the bedroom."

She lay on her back on the bed.

When he hesitated, she said, "Let's try it with you on top. Come over me and sit on it."

He discovered penetration was much deeper this way. The last two inches were almost more than he could take, but his pleasure at being in control of their lovemaking, moving up and down on her, allowed him to relax and open himself to the point where he could lower his body to the point of resting on her. She held him around the waist and bent up to engulf his rigid prick with her tits.

Afterwards she said, "Douching didn't do much good, did it? You're leaking again. Here, wrap this towel around, don't bother with pants."

Through the remainder of the day they were like children with a new toy. They couldn't get enough of each other. It was like the days before Wendy returned from the islands.

In his insatiable way, Bob proved Andy's theory repeatedly. After Andy's first two ejaculations it looked like Andy's "male" interest in sex would continue dormant at least for a while.

Now that it had given him such pleasure Andy developed an obsession with Barbara's organ. He kept picturing it under her skirt, and kept hauling her down on his lap so he could lift her dress and fondle it.

As the day drew to a close and dusk crept through the living room windows, he prevented her from getting off his lap to turn on the lamps, ducked his head to kiss her cock.

"Is this how you do it?" he mumbled bashfully.

Heart racing, he took the head in his mouth and slathered it with his tongue. Awkwardly he pushed down on it, feeling totally depraved. Now he was doing that dirty thing.

He had to open very wide and couldn't get more than half of the organ in without gagging. He used his hand to follow the up-and-down motion of his head.

He heard, "Oh God that's so exciting, you're going to make me come. Yes please, let me come in your mouth. I'll love you forever."

Much too soon, long before he expected it--she must be really turned on--his mouth filled with a rich, tangy, alkaline, slippery fluid. Lost in baseness, he thought, She swallowed mine; I'll swallow hers. He had to. The amount jetting in was too much to hold. And after coming six times today that he knew about, too. She was really something.

At once exhilarated by his newly-discovered perverse sexual appetite and horribly embarrassed and excited, he raped her. He turned her face down on the couch, hauled her hips in the air so she was on elbows and knees, and rammed forcibly up her ass. She shrieked. He reached under her and roughly grabbed her tits to hold her to him. Her anus clenched and relaxed and lifted and writhed sensually while he had his way with her.

When he jammed deep in her and ejaculated she cried out, "Oh yes, you can do anything you want with me, I'm yours. Squirt in me. I need to feel your hot come."

As they sat together afterward, limbs entwined, he said, "You didn't come, did you? I'm sorry, I guess I was too rough."

"I loved it. No, you just wore me out before. I don't think I'll ever come again. But I loved putting out for you anyway. It made me feel that I was yours whenever you wanted."

Headlights lit up the windows of the darkened room.

"Oh God," Barbara said, "They're back. Quick, I have to change dresses and you have to put on some pants," and then giggled when he said, "Why don't we send them on vacation to San Cabrón?"

Chapter 15

WENDY tied her bathrobe closed and went to answer the door, wondering who it could be so early in the morning. A swirl of chill air met her as she opened the door.

Warren said, "Miss Ogden?"

She looked at him sharply to see if he was teasing. Miss Ogden instead of Wendy. His expression was sober, almost diffident.

She glanced away. Things were less awkward between them now that he had a legitimate reason for showing up, but she still hadn't been able to explain why they couldn't be together. The dilemma lay between them: if she were "Miss Ogden," divorced from a mysterious former husband, then why wasn't she free to do what she wanted to do with all her heart- -go to bed with him? She couldn't tell him about Bob. Warren was so straight and uncomplicated, he'd never understand.

He shuffled his feet uncertainly. She stepped back to let him in.

He said, "I moved the 'dozer and backhoe up to the site last night. We'll start excavating in a couple of hours."

"I know. Andy already went over. Barbara said she was going to stop by, too. She wants to turn the first shovel the way politicians do. She's so excited."

"Still pretty chilly out."

"Ye-es. Why, won't she be able to dig?"

"It ain't that. I was just thinking--you gotta have the motor running in the pickup to make the heater work. If it's parked, well, there's always a chance of exhaust fumes getting in. Carbon monoxide, you know."

"I suppose."

"See, I wouldn't want to take a chance leaving Patty in the truck."

"Well of course not! What an idea. Why would you leave her in the truck?"

"If I don't I won't be able to keep an eye on her."

"You're not going to take her to the site! Warren! With all that noise and dust and on a cold day like this? How cruel!"

"We don't have a baby-sitter, Wendy."

"You don't--? Yes you do!" It was all she could do to keep herself from adding, "you dope." "You just--is she out in the truck now?" She stamped her foot. "Warren, you just go out and bring her in this instant. She can stay with me as long as you want. The poor thing."

Wendy was genuinely outraged. Didn't he know babies had to be nurtured and protected and loved, not dumped like a sack of rags in a truck? She watched him duck his head and hasten out to the pickup.

When he returned, she snatched the bundle from him and turned back the blanket to assure herself that the child was alive and well. Innocent blue eyes smiled at her.

"Warren, I'm furious. You should have said something long ago. We're friends, aren't we? If you can't afford a baby-sitter you should have had enough sense to ask me."

"I did. Just now."

"Too late. Who knows what abuse you've put this darling through already?" She unwrapped the child, tugged her little dress straight over her diaper, and cuddled her. "It's all right, sweetheart, Aunt Wendy's here."

Warren said hesitantly, "See, there's something . . . Remember I said she had a handicap?"

"She doesn't, she's perfect. She's bright as a new penny, aren't you, darling? What handicap?"

"You wouldn't say anything, would you?"

A strained note in his voice got through to her. She studied him.

"What is it, Warren? What's wrong?"

"I better show you. She's wet, anyway. I'll change her."

He shifted the carry-all in his grip and took the baby.

"Not on the countertop! It's so hard she'll bump her head. Come into the living room and put her on the couch."

She spread a towel on the cushion and supervised his gentle placement of Patty on it. The baby looked up at them and piped, "Wooty."

"Wooty. That means wet. She's telling us she needs changed." He hesitated. "It ain't that we can't afford a baby-sitter. We just can't find one we trust. You do like her, don't you?"

"Like her! I love her." She wished she could say, "I love you, too."

"If people found out about her they'd make a big fuss."

"Now you're scaring me."

"I don't mean to. It's just--well, she's different. I don't mean abnormal or anything, it's a family thing. It's normal for her. Here." He lifted her dress and pulled the tab on the paper diaper.

Wendy stared.

"She's a boy! Oh Warren, you could scar him for life treating him like a girl."

"No she ain't." He took Patty's legs in one work-hardened hand while she giggled, and pushed them up to expose her bottom.

Two plump folds of skin with a crack between them were revealed, for all the world like labia.

"See?" The baby squirmed as he pried the lips apart to show glistening pinkness . . . and an opening.

Wendy sat down on the couch next to Patty, out of breath.


"Yeah. She has both. But she's a girl. I mean when she grows up she'll be a girl. Everything about her shouts it. I'm so sure of it I was gonna have--them--removed. But there's always a chance, so you wait until after puberty to be sure."

Wendy watched dumbstruck as he took a wipe from the carry-all and dried not only between the baby's legs but above the tiny penis and testicles as well.

"She, uh, wets both ways still. Later she'll have more control and do one or the other."

"H-how do you know so much about it?"

"It's a family thing, I said. We all went through it." He didn't look at her. His face was red.

"You all--but--"

"When I was fourteen I had an operation, everything taken out, and then the doctor sewed up me up. It was supposed to be this big secret. My old man had a doctor he knew who wouldn't say anything, the same one who operated on my mother. I grew up keeping the secret. I didn't even tell Darlene. When Patty was born I made out I didn't know why she was that way. That was stupid. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just different."

She blinked.

He said, "Did I do wrong telling you? I didn't know what else to do. You're the only person in the world I trust. I know it's kind of tough to accept . . . for us it's normal, but the rest of the world wouldn't think so. I couldn't blame you if you didn't want to have nothing to do with her. I was hoping . . . "

He looked so forlorn Wendy put her arms around him, trying to ignore the sudden pounding of her heart at his closeness in the empty, quiet house.

"Of course you didn't do wrong. It just took me by surprise. It doesn't change a thing. She's my precious darling."

She hugged the naked baby and put her on her lap. "Let's see what we have here."

Holding her so she wouldn't wiggle, she examined her closely, confirming the presence of a wee pink vagina, then touching the astonishing little penis and testicles.

"You're adorable!"

She bent swiftly and planted a kiss on the organ, and peeped up to see Warren's shocked expression. Smiling, she pressed her lips firmly against the infant's tummy and blew, making a horrible noise which elicited a shriek of giggles.

"Do you have any talcum powder in there?"

"Yeah, here." He fished out a sprinkle-bottle of baby powder. "I threw out the regular stuff and filled this with cornstarch. It's softer and doesn't have that perfumy stink."

Wendy smiled, powdered, and finished diapering the baby. "Warren, I'm so glad you told me about Patty. I'll care for her as if she were my own child."

"Yeah?" Face bright, he held her shoulders. "You're too much, you know that? I wish, I wish she could be ours together some day."

"Warren, don't," she said sadly. "I do too. But we can't. There's something I have to tell you, too."

"About how come you're divorced? I wondered if it was because you told him about us in the islands."

"I'm not divorced. That's what I have to explain. You see . . . when I was first married . . . I was afraid of men. So I chose a man who was, well, not very . . . manly. I mean, he was small and gentle. I wanted to be the dominant partner, can you understand that?"

He shook his head. "You're not like that."

"Not any more." She rested her hand on his arm. "Not after I met you. But I was then. So I did something terrible."

She was silent so long he said, "What?"

"I got him to wear my clothes."

"I don't get it."

"My dresses. My nightgowns when we . . . Well, it made me feel more comfortable. The more he did it, the better things were between us. I must have been crazy. I kept pushing him, until . . ." She blurted, "I got him to go to a doctor to have breasts so he couldn't go back to men's clothes."

"Breasts? What, like, what do y'call 'em, implants?"

"No, real ones. It's permanent."

"Holy mackerel."

She couldn't look at him. "That's when I met you. He was in the clinic having that done to please me while you and I were . . ."

Warren put his arm around her shoulders. "Take it easy. Listen, it takes two to tango. You can't put it all on yourself. He could've said no, couldn't he?"

"You don't understand. He did it for me. He loves me. And I--God help me--I love you. But I can't leave him now, what would he do without me?"

"So where is he now?"

"At the site. It's . . . Barbara." Her feeling of disloyalty to Bob was blunted by her need to be honest with Warren at last.

"Barbara? Barbara Miller? You're putting me on."

"No, really. She's--he's--my husband."

"Come on, I can't believe that. She's beautiful."

"She is. But she's also a man."

"But . . ."

"Warren, don't laugh!"

"I'm not," he said laughing. "But--Barbara! You said what would she do without you. It looks to me like she's doing okay. I mean, she's working in a fancy office making enough money to build a four-thousand- square-foot mansion."

Patty cooed and wriggled to get down, just in time to let Wendy bury her face in the child's neck to hide her smile. She put her on the carpet to crawl.

"It's not the same thing. It was my fault, and I owe it to him."

"That doesn't make any sense to me."

"Oh, Warren."

"I mean it."

She turned away, watching the child scramble across the carpet.

"You don't sound disgusted about him."

"I'm not!" He showed his surprise. "Why would I?"

"Well . . . he's a man wearing dresses. He has breasts."

"Oh. No, see, it's only what I would'a had to do if things turned out different. I mean, in puberty. If I'd'a grown tits instead of muscles," he grinned. "It's kind of like Patty. She'll be a woman, but with a . . . thing under her dress. They got the same problem. Anyway, until she has an operation."

"She doesn't have a clitoris, does she?" she said shyly. "I guess the other takes its place."

"I dunno. Yeah, it could be. I never thought about it."

She said slowly, "Then if you have her operated on, you'd be taking away her clitoris. Oh Warren, that would be so sad. Are you sure you want to do that?"

"But she can't go around with male parts under her dress! How would she get married?"

Wendy didn't have an answer. She said, "You go ahead, and don't worry about Patty. She'll be fine. We'll have fun."

"She takes a nap around noon."

"You, ah, won't say anything about Barbara to anyone?"

"You won't say anything about Patty?"

"I would never! Oh." She saw the quiet twinkle in his eye. He was telling her she had nothing to worry about, any more than he did.

When he had gone she turned to the baby, who was gallantly trying to climb up the curtains.

"Come on, Patty-cake, let's go have some cookies and milk. You can show me how a big girl drinks out of a glass."

She played with the child until she began giving a series of yawns interspersed with sweet smiles. Wendy took her up to the bedroom and put her in the center of the bed.

She told herself she probably needed a diaper change. It wasn't curiosity that made her want to peek at her genitals, she was sure. She pulled the fastenings loose and peeled down the paper diaper, just as the little penis let go with a stream of clear urine.

Hastily she covered the baby and held the diaper in place. "You almost got me, you little rascal. Did you do that on purpose?" She flashed back to the time she had peed on Bob and burst into laughter as the little girl languidly waved arms and legs and made happy noises.

Cautiously she lifted the diaper again. The penis, soft and moist, was no longer emitting urine; but a dribble still leaked from between her legs. When it stopped, she wiped her carefully, confirming the lack of clitoris, and dusted her with the cornstarch-cum-talcum powder. Impulsively she bent over and kissed the little worm. She had a twinge of envy, and remembered wishing she had one. How marvelous that would be. Why couldn't we all be born with both things? Warren was going to have it removed; she'd try to talk him out of it.

She put Patty in blankets in the center of the double bed and stuffed pillows on either side of her, and hoped she would stay put. They'd have to get a crib this afternoon.

She kissed her, petted her curls, and sang softly about rocking in the treetops. The baby closed her eyes and went to sleep. Wendy edged cautiously off the bed and tiptoed to the door.

Patty started crying.

"What's the matter, baby? Don't cry. Aunt Wendy--" She broke off with a surreptitious tickle of excitement, and amended, "Mommy Wendy will sing you another song."

The baby's sobs subsided and her eyes closed again, but Wendy had no more than lifted herself from the bed than the child whimpered with such lost sadness that Wendy's heart broke.

The poor thing. She was afraid to be alone in a strange house. She'd get used to it, but in the meanwhile . . .

Wendy kicked off her heels and sat up on the bed and rocked the little girl on her lap. "There, there, Mommy Wendy will stay right here. Go to sleep, darling, Mommy Wendy won't go away."

She stroked the child's head and sang another lullaby. By the time she got to " . . . angels keep thee," Patty was deep in slumber. She put the child down and lay next to her, holding her in the crook of her arm. It was nice to lie here with this little bundle of life warm against her.

She'd have to get up pretty soon, though, there were too many things to do. She had to get dinner started, which meant she had to go to the market. She'd take Patty with her and ride her around in the shopping cart's baby seat like all the mothers.

Mommy Wendy, she drowsed. She wished she could be this adorable baby's mommy. She wondered what it would be like to have a baby of her own.

At the thought, the vaguely-formulated apprehension of the last two months enveloped her and set her wide awake again. She had missed her period. At first she was sure it was only late. Due, probably, to the stress of leaving Warren and returning home to find Bob so changed, and then feeling put down because Barbara, not Bob, but a woman, had an important job while she, Wendy, was back to being only a housewife. Then when it never did show up, she attributed it to the birth-control pills she was taking. Who knew what effect they'd have on a late period?

But it was time again, and it still wasn't here. She had always been regular as clockwork, so it was alarming.

She cast back in her mind, dredging up the memory of the New Year's party and her hangover, and the fact that she had forgotten her pill the day after, and the day after that. Then there had been that blissful night in Andy's strong clean young arms, partly as a compulsive substitute for Warren, and partly as a childish revenge for Bob having taken advantage of her two nights before.

Oh God. Could she really be pregnant? By Andy? She began to perspire. If she was, and if it happened then, and she couldn't remember any other time she hadn't been protected, then she was three months along. How would she explain without a Bob around, only a Barbara.

She stifled her panic. It would be just too bizarre a coincidence. It just couldn't be. She'd show up any day now, and laugh at herself for her fears.

That afternoon, Patty perched merrily in the supermarket shopping cart smiling graciously at the women who stopped to admire her, Wendy slipped two pregnancy tests and a defiantly-hopeful box of Tampax in with the groceries. If one test didn't work, the other would. In her mind "didn't work" translated to "was positive."

It didn't work. The color of the swab held in her urine stream changed markedly.

These things weren't always accurate. Besides, the instructions called for the morning's first urination. She'd do it again tomorrow.

She was distracted all evening, noting absently that Bob and Andy seemed on better terms, friendly and good natured, glad of it but irrationally annoyed by Andy's innocent good humor. The next morning the test confirmed the first day's results. Unwilling to give up, Wendy sought out Dr. Butler, her gynecologist, who gave her the bad news with a smile and congratulations.

Judy was never that great at solving problems, but somehow talking them out with her often resulted in a solution. The next morning she sat with her at the breakfast table after Bob and Andy left.

Judy poured coffee and took some illicit sweet rolls out of the microwave. "It's so nice of you and Bob to take me in, and for Andy to give up his bed."

"Don't be silly, we all love having you with us."

Wendy tried a bite of one of the rolls. It was warm and sticky on her lips. She took a sip of coffee to abate the sweetness.

"I have a problem, Sis."

Judy grinned humorlessly. "You have a problem! I'm five months along and beginning to show and Leon will know it's not his and won't that be a can of worms for the lawyers. Take a back seat."

"It's not Leon's baby? You didn't tell me. You've been keeping secrets out of school."

"I was mortified."

"The father--"

"--is Andy. How could I have been so stupid? He's just a boy, I somehow didn't think he could make a baby yet, I guess. I didn't even think about birth control."

Wendy was flabbergasted. "Well . . . do you have to tell Leon it's not his? I mean you should, but sometimes the less said the better. How would he know the difference?"

"Sis, Leon and I haven't done it even once since those football players. He's been too busy with his extracurricular activities. That's why I wasn't on the Pill," she said bitterly. "Even Leon could figure it out. It doesn't take a brain surgeon."

"Andy's the father!"

Judy looked embarrassed.

"Does he know?"

"No, and don't tell him. I have enough to worry about."

A bubble of mirth rose in Wendy's chest. The giggle that escaped had hysteria in it. "That's my problem too. What a pair we are. Don't you get it? I'm pregnant. With Andy's baby."

"You're putting me on." A smile pulled at Judy's lips.

"No kidding. We ought to start a club. Oh dear, what are we ever going to do?"

"You slept with Andy? And didn't tell me? Now who's the one keeping secrets?"

"It was just once, after that New Year's party I told you about. Warren came over to bid on the job, and he looked so good, and Bob was out of town, and Andy reminded me of Warren, and . . . it just happened."

"You--" Judy broke up. It was a minute before she could gasp, "You made love with Andy just once and he got you pregnant. That's what happened with me! It was the first time, the night we got home from the islands. He's something else, isn't he? Talk about beginner's luck!"

Wendy doubled over laughing.

In a little while Judy said, "You didn't tell Bob, did you? Does he even know you're preggie?"

"No to both." Wendy wiped the tears from her eyes. "Sis, I just don't know what to do. He would believe it was his, we quite often, well, you know. But I got to thinking ahead. Bob's a woman. Almost, anyway. You know."

Judy nodded.

Wendy went on, "Permanently. He can't get back to being a man. So," she said slowly, "the baby will be raised in a household with two women in it. Two mothers, but no father. I don't know if I could take that."

"That's not so bad. Better than one woman and no father." Grievousness infected her tone.

"You'll remarry," Wendy said confidently.

"It sounded like something more than the baby having two mothers. Trouble in paradise?"

"Not really. We're getting along fine, more or less. It's just that sometimes I wish he wasn't quite so feminine."

"You're crazy, he's adorable."

"That's the trouble. He's too adorable. You know that little redheaded secretary of his, Nancy Dahl? Her husband wears dresses sometimes. He's really stunning when he makes up. If you didn't know, you'd never guess, you'd think, 'What an attractive girl.' But if you do know, there's always something about him that reminds you what he's got under that dress, and it's exciting! See what I mean? You're looking at a man in a dress. He's acting a part. It's a real turn-on.

"With Bob, even if you know you can't tell. There's no 'acting' about it. You have to force yourself to remember. How he got that way I don't know. The treatment, I guess. Besides," heat rose in her cheeks, "I'm kind of jealous. He's prettier than me. I don't mean his physical beauty so much. It's how lively he is, and that cute intent way he hangs on to your every word. And that sunny smile. Also," she grumbled, "he's got bigger boobs than me."

"Sis, you don't deserve him. I swear, if you don't watch out I'll try to take him away from you. Tell me more about this secretary's husband. Where did you meet him?"

"The first time was at that same New Year's party. Long blond hair, it's his real hair, and skirt up to here. He was sexy. I got all bothered down there."

Judy tittered. "I can imagine. Does he dress like that all the time, like Barbara?"

"No, only at home, and Nancy says not often enough to suit her. He's going to school to be an accountant. He ties his hair back during the day and wears pants and a jacket . . ."

Gossiping with her sister freed Wendy's subconscious. She discovered she had quite unwittingly made a decision.

She waited the rest of the day to be sure of it. She waited until she could wait no longer.

They were already in their nighties by the time she spoke. Bob was sitting at the vanity brushing his hair with long even strokes.

"Barbara," she said, "I want a divorce."

Chapter 16

BOB stared glumly at his desk's shiny surface, thoughts whirling. Just when everything was so right, everything was going so wrong.

The new house, where he and Wendy would live happily ever after, was finally under construction. This time the day before yesterday he had been excited and happy turning the first shovel, pushing it into the frost-crisp earth with his dainty shoe and lugging the filled shovel to the side; then watching the backhoe bite great chunks out of the ground, picturing the completed structure vividly in his mind's eye.

Last night's few level words from Wendy blew the whole thing down like a house of cards in a puff of breeze.

"I want a divorce."

He thought she was kidding. "You got it."


"You haven't worn your ring for three months and you're 'Miss Ogden' when we go out. How could we be any more divorced?"

"A real divorce, Bob. A legal one."

He stared.

"I-is it something I did?"

His mind raced. Had she found out about him and Andy?

"No, it's not you, it's me. It's . . . well, it's hard to explain. You're not a man anymore. I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but you have to admit it's true. A woman needs, well, a man, not another woman. I can't do it anymore."

"B-but--you wanted me to be this way. You said you liked it!" Bob heard his voice get hysterical and lowered it. "You said we'd be just like sisters to the outside world and husband and wife together in bed. That was all you wanted, you said."

She touched his manicured hand. "I know. Believe me, I do know. It's not fair. I didn't realize how mixed up things would be. I thought you'd just be my Bob in a dress, only with breasts. I didn't know how much you'd change. It's all my fault, I admit it, but I can't help the way I feel. I'd be miserable and I'd make you miserable too. It's better to break it off now while we're still friends. Mr. Berkovitz said that's always the best way. He's Judy's lawyer," she reminded him.

"A divorce? A real divorce?"

"I'm sorry."

"But--you, you're not going to leave, are you?"

"It wouldn't be much of a divorce otherwise, would it?"

Bob's stomach plunged as he digested her words.

"There's something you're not telling me. Is there someone else?"

Her eyes flickered, but she looked at him directly. "No."

"I don't understand. Why would you make a decision like this out of the blue? Right when things are going so well?"

"There's nothing. I just want out. I can't help it."


She hesitated. Her face got pink. She looked away. "All right! I'm-- I'm going to have a baby."

It took a long moment for the words to register; longer yet for him to react.

"Is that it! Wendy, it's wonderful! Did you think I'd be mad? I'm not. I think it's great!"

"Bob. Barbara," she emphasized his new name, "I am not going to have this child raised by two mothers. That's final."

"T-two mothers?"

"Yes, two mothers. I want the baby to have a father."

"A father? So there is someone else."

"In the future."

Bob shook his head, peripherally conscious of the way his hair swept back and forth on his cheeks. He had a heightened awareness of his breasts, snug in the lace cups of his nightie, the soft spread of his hips and bottom, the lack of strength in muscles which had once been hard despite the slenderness of his frame. His body suddenly embarrassed him.

"Wait a minute, I have something to say about it, don't I? It's my child too, after all."

"No it's not."

"What do you mean not? It's not mine?"


"Then who--" Wendy's infidelity leaped into his mind. "Andy! It's Andy's baby, isn't it."

"Oh, all right, yes, your little friend that you brought into the house. It's all your fault." She took a breath and said more calmly, "I'm sorry, dear. It just happened. It was only once. After the New Year's party I forgot my pills for a couple of days. By the time I remembered, it was too late. --How did you know it was him?"

He explained about finding the pajamas.

"You've known all this time?" Her eyes softened, and for a second he thought she might relent, but resolve crept back in.

He looked down. "I thought you were happy with me. You have to give me some time to get used to it."

"There'll be time. I'm going to see Mr. Berkovitz tomorrow and file, but it takes time. Don't worry, I know it's all my fault, I won't ask for alimony or anything, it'll just be a divorce on grounds of incompatibility. You won't contest it, I know."

"But how will you get along? I mean with the baby and all."

"I'll work. I worked before we were married, I can work again."

He felt like crying. "Look," he said reasonably, "You don't have to make up your mind all at once. Take some time to think about it. We'll talk, figure things out."

"Of course. I'm going to file in the morning, though," she warned.

She was so cool and determined, he thought. She'd made up her mind and he wasn't going to be able to change it.

Nancy interrupted his brooding.

"Mrs. Gunderson is here."


"Mrs. Gunderson, the new client Marie Argentina sent over. Mrs. Miller, are you all right? You look so pale."

"I didn't get much sleep last night. Domestic problems." He made his voice crisp. "Come on, let's see her."

Bob introduced himself, only to hear the lady shout exuberantly, "So you're Barbara Miller! Gladda meet'cha. Kind of young, ain't you? Never mind, Marie Argentina told me not to waste my time with anybody else," she fixed Dick Haskell with a baleful eye. "She said you'd give me a straight story about my finances, nobody else would."

Gluing a cordial smile to his lips, Bob averted his eyes from Haskell's scowl and the manifest amusement of Jane Bloom and Nancy, and ushered Mrs. Gunderson into his office.

She was a big handsome woman of indeterminate age. He liked her no- nonsense candor and rough sense of humor immediately. She turned out to own a portfolio of securities from her late husband that was even bigger than she was. She hailed from Iowa where her husband had made his fortune in pork bellies, she said, but it was time for her to get out of the humdrum priggish society she inhabited. She wanted adventure, she said. Marie, with whom she had formed a special friendship--"Know what I mean, dearie?"--had persuaded her to move to Chardsville. Bob couldn't help pointing out that as far as adventure went, Chardsville wasn't exactly Paris. She grinned at him. "It's enough for me."

An hour later she had agreed to a contract which would add another $24,000 to Bob's annual income. He escorted her to the door as she bellowed, "By God, you people ain't cheap, but I believe you and me's gonna get along like a house afire--if you keep the used-car salesmen away from my stocks!"

Bob heard a stifled titter from Mrs. Brower, who was peering from the file room, and saw surreptitious smiles from others of the office staff. They had evidently been alerted by Jane, or Nancy, or both.

Haskell took the contract from him. "Hmp. Only six million. Better than nothing, I suppose. Come into my office, Barbara, I want to talk to you."

Bob's heart sank. This was going to be bad. Haskell had been humiliated in front of the whole staff.

As he turned reluctantly, the man reached down and grabbed his ass and squeezed it in plain view of everybody.

Bob froze, unbelieving at first.

What with his problem with Wendy, Bob lost it.

He reacted instinctively. Without thinking he swung around and slapped him as hard as he could. Haskell tottered back holding his cheek, a stunned look on his face.

Bob burst into tears.

Teetering on his heels, he ran across the reception room, snatched his coat from the rack and fled. He was aware of Nancy following him as he rushed down the street trying to outrun the mortification he felt. He couldn't see; tears blinded him.

He stopped finally, loud sobs shaking his body, a chill April wind flapping his coat and trying to lift his skirt.

What was he going to do? It was too much. Too much for him to handle. First Wendy, and now this. His life was in shambles overnight.

Nancy put her arm through his. "Let's step in here to Mitzi's," he heard her say. "We'll have a nice cup of tea. It'll make you feel better, you'll see."

He let her lead him through the restaurant to the ladies' room.

"Here," she said, "wash your face. Your mascara's running."

The cool water made him feel better. He dried his face in the roller towel and checked his appearance. His lips were pale.

"I forgot my purse. I don't have any lipstick."

"It's okay, you look fine. Come on, let's have that tea."

At the table he took a swig of the scalding smoky-flavored beverage Nancy ordered. It burned down to his stomach, warming him. He exhaled shakily.

"It's good. What is it?"

"The Chinese call it Lapsang Soochong. It's a strong tea, good for the blue willies. You'll be super bad in no time. I couldn't believe my eyes. How did he dare? I'm glad you slapped him, the pervert."

"Oh Nancy, what am I going to do? I can't afford to lose this job."

"You're not thinking of going back there!"

"I have to. He said he'd tell on me if I quit."

Nancy took a moment to digest his words. "He knows about you?"

"Yes! From before. He made me do things. If I wouldn't, he'd tell."

She sipped her tea, scrutinizing him through green-tinted eyes. She said carefully, "He made you do things? What things?"

"In his office. And the hotel."

He spilled the whole story in a torrent of released emotion, sparing himself nothing. Weeping, he told her the shame of kneeling in front of the man, the anguish of baring his fanny for Haskell's pleasure; and went on to relate his grief at losing Wendy.

When at last he wound down, he was curiously relieved. He felt drained, purged of the secret ignominy he'd been carrying so long. He used a napkin to dry his eyes.

Nancy said, "What we won't do for a job."

"I'm ashamed."

"Don't be too rough on yourself. I know it must have been especially hard for you, but we women all do it sooner or later. One way or the other."

"We do?" he sniffled.

She grinned that world-brightening smile. "I'm out of a job now, so I guess I can tell you. I loved working for you. It was a wonderful job-- it paid great, the work was interesting, and it made me feel important, and you're a terrific boss. So I would've done almost anything to keep it. If you'd'a come on to me, I'd of pulled my panties down in a hot minute. Of course," she added reflectively, "the difference would be that I'd of liked it with you."

"Nancy!" Bob couldn't help smiling. "You're still working for me. I'll go back and apologize to Haskell. He can't afford to fire me anyway. I don't know who he could find to handle my accounts."

Nancy said seriously, "You can't go on taking Haskell's shit. Guys like him, it'll only get worse. He'll have gotten away with it. Next thing you know he'll be feeling you up in front of the whole office and you'll just be standing there letting him. So you just can't go back there, Mrs. Miller, uh, I mean Barbara."

"Where would I get another job? He would blacklist me, he'll tell everybody."

"That's hard. Let me think." She sipped her tea contemplatively for a minute. "All right, I do have some advice for you. Some really good advice. I know I'm usually a ditz, people don't take me that seriously, and I'm not as smart as you are, but this time you have to believe me and do what I tell you. Go to Mrs. Chard. Tell her what you told me. Tell her about--what Picky Dicky's been blackmailing you with."

"I can't! What would she think?"

"What would she think if it came from Haskell? He'll make a huge production out of it. Look, you couldn't be any worse off, and something good might happen. She really likes you and she's not nearly as conventional as she looks. She can be a good friend. The trouble with you is you think you're doing something terribly wrong and nobody would forgive you for it if they knew. You'll be surprised how Estelle will take it. So go along with me, I got an idea."

Bob was chilled. Reveal his gender to Mrs. Chard! But she'd know anyway as soon as Haskell opened his mouth. Nancy was right, he couldn't be any worse off. What difference did it make, he was lost anyhow, and Nancy knew Mrs. Chard better than he did. He had one thing going for him. The house was really for Wendy. If she wasn't going to live in it, if she was going to divorce him, he could let it go, declare bankruptcy, and move out of state. The thought gave him the courage of despair. He could confess his sins to one more person on the outside chance it would do more good than harm.

"All right."

"I'll give her a call to expect us."

Teeth chattering in the brisk air, he followed Nancy to her car and sat dejected in the passenger seat beside her.

During the drive she said, "Can I ask you something? Did you like it? Being with a man, I mean. If it wasn't Haskell."

Bob's cheeks heated. Despite the candid disclosures he had already made, he couldn't bring himself to confess what he really felt. "It was humiliating," he said faintly.

"I just wondered. You know about Jimmy, he likes it both ways. I thought, you're so feminine it's amazing you don't have any feelings in that direction."

"You once said you didn't mind about Jimmy and his friend."

"I don't. I think it's exciting. I like to watch him being, uh, made love to. It gets me all hot and bothered." She flashed her grin at him. "Then I jump his bones."

Bob laughed weakly. "You are a ditz."

"Here we are."

She turned through wrought-iron gates into a long curving driveway surrounded by sere lawns and stark oaks. A white three-story mansion which would dwarf the new house came into view.

"Do I look all right? Without lipstick and all?"

She flicked a glance at him. "You look like about four years old, just darling. Don't be so worried. Nothing could ever be as bad as you think."

The maid answered their ring. Plump and middle-aged, she was surprisingly sexy in an abbreviated black uniform with a lace apron and cap in her hair.

"Hi Angie. This is Barbara Miller. Mrs. Chard is expecting us."

"She's in the drawing room, Miss Nancy. Right this way."

Nancy nudged her familiarly. "You look like the cat that licked up all the cream today. Who is it, that chauffeur down the street? The one with the buns? Shame on you."

Angie tittered. "Oh, Miss Nancy."

Tall and elegant in a pastel-blue shirtwaist that matched the color of her eyes, Mrs. Chard waited for them in a spacious high-ceilinged room decorated with period furniture. Paintings hung from picture molding on the walls. Bob's gaze flickered when he recognized Mrs. Chard and Mrs. Argentina in two portraits. They were posed nude together, and their casual embraces revealed so much of their relationship that he wondered at Mrs. Chard displaying them. He recognized the artist. It was the same one who had done Nancy's portrait.

With a welcoming smile Mrs. Chard hugged them each decorously. A light floral essence made itself known to Bob's nostrils. Despite his nervousness he wanted to ask her its name.

She said graciously, "So glad you came. Please sit down, won't you? Angie will bring tea."

"Thanks, Estelle," Nancy said. "but we're about tea-ed out. Got any sherry?"

Bob admired her lack of self-consciousness. The little redhead seemed perfectly comfortable in the presence of the dragon lady. Well, she had no shameful secret to lay bare.

A smile touched Mrs. Chard's lips. "Oh dear, in the middle of the day? Angie, you heard."

The maid grinned conspiratorially at Nancy and left.

Nancy said, "This is a kind of a sherry occasion."

"You said there was a problem."

"Barbara's decided to open her own office."

Bob started. His jaw dropped.

Mrs. Chard said, "Why that's marvelous! I'm so glad for you. I thought from the beginning you were wasted in that smarmy little man's firm."

"She quit this morning. She wants your account."

"Of course she'll have my account. I made sure my contract specified that she would personally work on it. If she's no longer with the firm then the contract is in default."

Bob had a sense of hurtling downhill with no brakes. What were they talking about? His own office? How had that come up?

Angie came in with a tray and served the fortified wine while Bob tried to regain his composure.

Mrs. Chard raised her glass. "Here's to a happy and successful venture. But I don't understand. What's the problem you mentioned?"

Nancy looked at him as if to say, "You take it from here."

He felt himself blushing deeply.

"Er, M-Mrs. Chard--"


"Th-there's something you don't know."


"I-- Oh hell." He blurted, "I'm not a woman."

Mrs. Chard raised her penciled eyebrows.

"I'm a man."

"But of course you are."

"I-- What?"

"Of course you're a man."

He sought Nancy's eyes. She looked as surprised as he was.

Mrs. Chard was smiling. "My dear Barbara. Do you think I would turn my finances over to somebody I hadn't investigated thoroughly? I'm so glad you came to me and that this is now in the open. There needn't be any pretense between us."

Bob's mouth hung open. "You knew?"

"Of course I knew. Now then, that's out of the way and I'm glad of it. But my dear, you shouldn't think of yourself that way. When I look at you I see an attractive young woman. So does everybody else. You're the only one that thinks otherwise. Be proud of your chosen gender. Now tell me, what does your--that is, Miss Ogden, think about your decision? That is, to open a new office."

Nancy said, "Wait a minute, Estelle, there's still a problem. Mr. Haskell threatened to tell all her clients about Barbara if she quit. He knows too. He's been sexually abusing her."

"Nancy!" That was too private.

"Estelle should have all the facts."

Mrs. Chard said, "Is this true?"

Bob ducked his head.

Anger replaced the usual cheer in Nancy's voice. "He made her, uh, fellate him. He would fire her and tell everybody about her if she didn't. He made her let him have intercourse with her. This morning he grabbed her ass in front of all of us."

Mrs. Chard looked shocked. "Outrageous! Oh my dear, I'm so sorry." She patted Bob's hand. "Never mind, we'll fix things. Come with me."

They followed her to a telephone on a polished sideboard. She dialed.

"Mr. Haskell, please. This is Mrs. Chard calling. . . . Mr. Haskell? I'm standing here with Barbara Miller. She tells me she's leaving your employ."

She listened.

"You say there was a misunderstanding, but you're willing to let bygones be bygones and are offering her a raise." Her eyes flashed as she looked at Bob. "Perhaps you'd like to tell her yourself."

She held the phone out. Her reassuring nod encouraged him.

He inhaled deeply, heart fluttering. "Hello?"

"Barbara, we've been looking all over. Jane must have called your home a dozen times. What are you doing over there? Listen, it was just a silly misunderstanding this morning. Come on down to the office, we'll talk."

Haskell's hateful patronizing voice infuriated him all over again, overriding his timidity. He took a breath.

"There's nothing to talk about. Nancy and I will come down tomorrow and collect our things--including our final paychecks."

"Don't be like that, Barbara. If I can be big enough to overlook your actions, you can too. Let's talk."

"Talk? Where, in your office? Bent over your desk?"

There was a shocked silence.

"Mrs. Chard's not still there, is she?"

"Or on my knees in a hotel room?"

"Now listen, that didn't mean anything. Anyway, you loved it. She's not there, right?"

"Sure she is. You want to talk to her?"

"For God's sake, you didn't say anything about--?"

"Sexual harassment in the workplace? Sorry, Dick. Your secret is out, I'm afraid."

"Why you goddam bitch. I warned you. Lemme speak with Mrs. Chard."

"My pleasure." Bob handed the receiver back to Mrs. Chard. "He wants to talk to you."


He watched anxiously as Mrs. Chard listened at length.

At last she said, "Mr. Haskell, I do not believe I have ever heard anything quite so contemptible in my life. That kind of scurrilous gossip is beyond the pale." She overrode the squawks Bob heard from the phone. "If I ever, ever, hear, from whatever source, that you have repeated it to anyone--anyone--I shall make it a point to exert whatever influence I have to put you out of business. To begin with, let me remind you that Chardsville First National Bank, of which I am chairperson and principal shareholder, owns the mortgages on both your residence and your office building, not to mention the loan on your new Mercedes and the margin on your stock investments. Do you understand? You will be reduced to chasing ambulances if you are not disbarred.

"Next, since Mrs. Miller is no longer with you, you may consider my contract with you to be terminated. I am withdrawing my accounts immediately. Please forward all paperwork to Mrs. Miller, she will be handling them from now on."

Bob started crying.

"I do not doubt, with Mrs. Miller gone, that certain other of your clients may wish to make a change. That is their decision. It should be a decision based on self-interest and their perception of Mrs. Miller's ability, nothing else. Do I make myself clear? If anyone should come to me with the same tale you have just repeated, you may expect severe repercussions."

She continued in the same frosty tone, "Yes I heard you, Mr. Haskell. You told me Mrs. Miller is a transvestite. Now, do we have an understanding? Yes? Excellent. Good-bye, then, Mr. Haskell."

She placed the receiver on the hook, and wordlessly handed Bob a lace-bordered handkerchief.

Nancy patted him on the shoulder as he dried his eyes.

"Isn't she a pistol?" she said. "I told you everything would be all right."

Bob sniffled and blew his nose. He murmured, "I'm very grateful, Mrs., er, Estelle. I don't know how I can ever repay you."

"Good financial advice is almost impossible to find. Just keep on doing what you're doing and I'll be amply repaid. Now, if we're done with business, I'd like to invite you and your--that is, Miss Ogden, to dinner next Saturday. If you're free. I have certain people I'd like you to meet." She gave Nancy a friendly look. "You and Amy too, of course."

Nancy said, "You going to have those yummy canapés?"

Mrs. Chard showed white teeth in a grin. "Of course!"

"Then count us in. Wait, there's one more thing. Barbara needs a birth certificate to get a driver's license."

"Nancy, that's too much!" Bob protested.

"Hey, it doesn't do any harm to ask."

Mrs. Chard nodded approvingly. "It might take some time. We'll talk about it on Saturday."

Bob's knees were weak as they took their leave. She had known all the time! He couldn't get over it. And she had stood up for him to Haskell and gave him her account. It was too much to take in all at once.

In the car he said, "Could we go over to where they're building the new house? I have to talk to the man."

"Sure. Bet you'll be glad to have a driver's license. She'll do it, you'll see. I told you she likes you." She smiled, "She's so sly. Did you notice she kept saying, 'Your wife, I mean Miss Ogden?' She was telling us she knew you and Wendy were married."

"Not for long, I'm afraid," he said ruefully, but his relief at being out of Haskell's clutches, and the prospect of being in business for himself, had robbed the impending separation of its emotion. In the back of his mind there lurked the thought that if Wendy was out of the house he could get together with Andy more often. And if Judy went with her to Clara's Corners . . . His penis stiffened in his fragile panties.

To take his mind off it, he did a quick calculation. He would be getting a hundred percent of client fees, not just two-fifths. If you didn't count office expenses, each client was now worth two and a half clients to him. With just Mrs. Chard and Chard Industries and maybe Marie Argentina, he would be earning more than ever.

"Nancy, you're a genius. Whatever made you think of starting my own firm?"

"You're too modest, you know that? Like Estelle said, everyone knows you were wasted down there. You have too much talent to be working for somebody else."

"I'll be forever grateful."

"Don't mention it. Just protecting my job. I do have a job, don't I?"

"For as long as you want. And a raise."

"So should I take my panties off now?"

Bob was still giggling as they approached the construction site. "Look over there, Chard's Lake Park. That'll be our view. You can see the lake through the trees."


She parked in front and they picked their way across the rough ground, doing their best to keep heels from plunging too deep. Bob saw Warren and Wendy standing in close conversation. They were holding hands.

Nancy saw them too. "She didn't waste much time, did she?"


Wendy and Warren. Well, well.

He appraised Warren anew. He could see what she saw in him. Tall, good-looking with nice eyes, he had an air of self-possession about him. No matter what happened he would be equal to it. If what she wanted was a man for her baby, she had found one.

Smiling cheerfully at Wendy's consternation and averted eyes, Bob said "Hi! Is Andy around?"

Warren said, "He's around back, Mrs. Miller. Trouble?"

"Just the opposite. We have to make some changes, though. Warren, I don't think you've met Nancy Dahl. Nancy, Warren Wilcox."

"Hi, Warren. Hi, Wendy. Is this your boyfriend?"

Bob said, "Nancy, be good!"

"They were holding hands."

Wendy gave Nancy a glare. Her eyes softened when she said to Bob, "It just happened. I told Warren I was going to be free, and he proposed. Can we talk about it later?"

Nancy was right, she hadn't wasted any time. Bob concealed his dismay as best he could, forced another smile, and said, "Proposed! How wonderful! You'll have to tell me all about it. But--" he fluttered his eyes up at Warren before continuing, "I have some news too. I quit my job."

Wendy said, "You didn't! Why on earth--?"

"I'm going into business for myself. I already have a rich client and a secretary." Nancy grinned and curtsied. He said, "You'll see, it's going to be fabulous. I'll tell you about it at home. Warren, would you be a dear and tell Andy we have to make some changes in the house?"

"I'll get him."

When Andy arrived he explained about the new firm and asked if he could delay construction on the main house to build a separate office in the same style, connected to the house by a roofed walkway for bad weather. "Just two rooms--no, three," he said, picturing a library for research or a room to work in, so a fancy desk could be kept clear of papers. No. No fancy desk. He'd have a small conference table with some comfortable chairs instead, so it wouldn't be God on one side of a stadium-sized desk and the humble client on the other, just two people mutually working out a problem. "And a lavatory. And--no, that's enough." He was getting carried away. "How soon could it be?"

Andy grinned at him and said he and Warren and the crew could probably get it ready in three or four weeks. "No problem. Warren finished pouring the main foundation, but we can get a new one poured by tomorrow evening. After that it's a piece of cake. We can use the lumber we have on hand."

"You're wonderful. I'll see you all at home."

Before starting the car Nancy shook her head at him. Admiration was in her voice when she mimicked him, "Oh Warren, be a dear and get Andy. Oh Andy you're so wonderful. Honestly Barbara, how do you get away with it?" She laughed. "And who is that Andy? Yummy. Sometimes I'm sorry I married so young."

That night he talked seriously with Wendy about Warren. She denied any hanky-panky with him, but admitted to a strong attraction and said she felt she knew enough about him by now, and had accepted his proposal.

He loved Wendy, but he was in love with Andy. Maybe it wasn't too bad a trade after all, though there was no future in it.

Chapter 17

ANDY padded upstairs early so he could shower before the others woke. For once he wanted to take his time. One bathroom wasn't really enough for four people. The funny thing was, the new house would have a bathroom for almost every bedroom, and plenty of hot water, but by the time it was finished, there would probably be only him and Barbara. Wendy would be living with Warren, and since Judy was related to Barbara only by marriage, a marriage that was just about over, she wasn't really Barbara's responsibility. Chances were Judy would go to Clara's Corners with Wendy to have her baby there.

Jeez, Wendy was knocked up too. He bet Warren was responsible. Barbara told him she didn't do it with Wendy any more, and Warren had confided over a beer that he met Wendy in the islands last summer. And there was that phone call.

It would be nice to be alone with Barbara. He remembered the days before Wendy came back from the islands. They would be able to do whatever they wanted, any time, like then, and sleep together all night. She would be his again. Or him hers. Soaping himself down there reminded him how much pleasure he had come to take from being fucked. He almost didn't blush about it anymore.

He luxuriated in a long shower, knowing the water heater would have time to recharge before the girls needed it. He dried himself, wrapped a towel around his waist, and began to shave in lukewarm water.

She'd certainly been in a fidget about her office. He finished it in record time, though, and she and that red-headed girl had been spring- loaded to get out of the dining room and over to the construction site. He dropped in a couple of times to see if he could get together with Barbara for a quickie, but the girl was always there.

Now that he'd experienced Barbara's cock in him, anyway now that he was less shy about it, he was always thinking about it. It still felt perverse, that was one of the things that made it so exciting. Only he and Barbara could know what was going on.

He finished shaving and rinsed his razor. His stomach began to churn. The perfume of the shaving cream, a lavender scent he usually liked, was too strong. Saliva poured from under his tongue. He kept swallowing, but it made the roiling in his stomach worse.

He was going to be sick. What did he eat last night? Barbara's roast beef and potatoes, nothing that the others didn't.

A spasm sent him to his knees in front of the toilet. He spewed desperately into the bowl.

There was a rap on the door.

"Just a minute," he gasped, and vomited again.

The door opened.

"I can't wait," Wendy's voice said. "I--oh! You too. I'll--"

She broke off and he heard her throw up in the sink. He gagged and emptied the rest of the contents of his stomach.

There must have been something wrong with dinner. He waited until he was sure his stomach was settling, flushed the toilet, and stood shakily to hold Wendy's forehead as she retched. His mouth tasted awful.

Wendy finished puking and ran water to rinse out the sink.

"Thanks. Morning sickness," she explained weakly. "They say it can last a couple of months. I'm not looking forward to it. Why were you sick? Aren't you feeling well? There's a flu going around, maybe you shouldn't go to work today. Stay in bed and I'll bring you some dry toast and juice."

"No, I feel okay now. It just hit me all of a sudden like."

"You don't get sick for no reason."

"I thought it might be something I ate. Whatever, it's gone now."

"Served you right."

He laughed. "Why?"

"To be sick too. You did this to me."

"Made you throw up? I thought you said it was morning sickness."

"It is. You caused it. It's your baby."


"I thought you should know."

"How--?" He gaped.

"You know how."

"I was going to say h-how do you know it was me?" He started to add, "You've been making love with Barbara," but in the nick of time remembered he wasn't supposed to know about her.

"Because the only time I didn't have protection was that night."

"Oh jeez."

"It's all right, Andy. I told Warren and he still wants to marry me, so there's no problem. You're off the hook."

"Warren knows?"

"He was perfectly darling about it. He says you can be its uncle! I just wanted to tell you so you wouldn't be surprised if there's a resemblance between you and little Andy or Andiette."

"You're going to name it after me!?"

"No, dear, I'm just teasing. Oh Andy, I'm so happy. I was frightened at first. I wasn't sure I wanted a baby, especially out of wedlock, but then I got that wonderful feeling of a life growing inside me, and now I want it more than anything. Warren too."

"Does Barbara know?"

"She was the first."

"That it's mine?"

"That too." She turned the tap. "I have to brush my teeth, my mouth is so icky."

Jeez. Barbara hadn't said anything to him about it.

He watched while she brushed. His baby! It was weird to think of himself as a father. He had a sneaky feeling of pride, but he was embarrassed and scared too. He must have a responsibility to the kid, but she said he didn't, Warren would take care of them. About all he could do was what Warren said, be an uncle, like, come around and play with it sometimes, bring it toys, maybe. He wondered if Warren was mad at him about it, getting in Wendy's pants and knocking her up.

Suppose the kid turned out like him! The thought froze him. How would he explain? Maybe he wouldn't have to. It might not be like him. Did "dominant characteristic" guarantee it? Or if it did have two kinds of parts, maybe he could say he didn't know anything about it, it just happened.

He worked hard all day with his crew, finishing the rough framing and closing the house in with plywood. In a couple of days they'd be able to work inside in comfort, warmed by kerosene space heaters, and next month they could put siding on and finish the rest of the outside trim. It looked like the house would be on schedule, or even a little ahead of time.

Warren was friendly as always and didn't say anything about the baby. He was relieved, but wondered if he should bring it up himself. Maybe if he could catch Warren alone when they weren't busy.

When he got home Barbara was bubbling with excitement about the chance of picking up new clients. She was certainly up these days, being in business for herself really made her happy. He went along with her, listening appreciatively as she told how somebody named Bannerman was going to put a notice about her on his club bulletin board. She wound down finally and said "Thanks for listening, you're so supportive," and pecked him on the cheek right in front of Wendy. He got hard in his pants, and had to masturbate in bed before he could get to sleep, one hand working his dong, two fingers of the other inside himself.

The next morning he was sick again.

Wendy said, "I told you there was a flu going around. You have to take care of yourself." She patted him on the head as if he was a kid, then grinned, "Gee, you'd think you had morning sickness too."

Late in the day, in the middle of supervising the placement of the last sheet of plywood, he remembered her words. His mind took a bounce to the times with Barbara, rebounded to his monthly "spells," lurched to the realization that he hadn't had a spell for a long time. He tried to remember the last one and couldn't.

A few minutes later he thought, No. Couldn't be, he was a guy.

He rejected the whole horrible idea.

"What's the matter, boss, you okay?"


"You're white as a sheet."

"Yeah, I'm okay. Maybe I got a touch of the flu. Spike on that last one and we'll all go home. I'll pay the extra hour."

It just couldn't be. But what if it was? Oh jeez. Nah, he was being ridiculous. He was a guy, not a girl. Guys didn't have kids. He had an upset stomach a couple of days in a row, so what? That didn't mean anything. He smiled sourly. Look at him working himself up over nothing at all.

He could see the girls wondering why he was so silent over dinner and tried to keep up his end. Barbara fizzed over about somebody new coming to work for her after June, Amy Dahl, her secretary's sister-in-law. Wendy looked surprised. He did his best to join in, he was happy for her, but he really didn't feel like talking. He was mad at himself for letting that dumb idea get to him.

After being sick again the next morning he drove down to Dr. Goody's clinic.

His worst fear was confirmed.

"There's no doubt about it," the doctor said. "You are pregnant. You'll be a mother in five months. Or father." Behind the milk-bottle lenses of his glasses his eyes twinkled. "You should deliver, let's see, the beginning of October."

"Doc, it can't be. I'm a guy."

Dr. Goody gave him a level look. "Yes. But you have both genders' organs. Surely you knew the female organs were fertile. Your menstrual periods."

"They were just a pain in the neck. I didn't think--nobody ever told me."

"I don't know if you know how intriguing this is for a medical doctor. My late father delivered numerous cases of androgyny--you and your father, for example, but this is a first. Until now the mothers have all been female, or at least of the, ah, female persuasion, if you see what I mean. Now, I'll want you to come in for regular prenatal checkups. We don't want the least little thing to go wrong."

"Doctor, I can't have a baby."

"What? Of course you can. You're perfectly healthy and the fœtus is doing fine. We'll almost certainly have to do a Caesarean section, because your pelvis is too narrow for a normal delivery--but let me worry about that."

"What would people say?"

"People? What people? Oh, I see. Yes. All right, we can fix that. When you begin to show you can stay here at the clinic. You'll have perfect privacy. How does that sound?"

"I don't want to have a baby! Can't you do something?"

Dr. Goody's stare was owl-like.

"Do something. You mean an abortion. I'm sorry, Mr. Joiner. Even if you were not well into the second trimester, that living creature in your womb has as much right to live as you do. If for some reason you can't take care of it, you can give it up for adoption. My boy, I want you to think very carefully about this. Take some time. This has come as a shock, I can see that. Give yourself a chance to get over it and examine all your options. Will you promise me that?"

Andy's disappointment showed in his voice. "Well . . . we'll see."

"Good. I'd like to see you again in three weeks. In the meantime get plenty of exercise, eight hours sleep, and eat a well-balanced diet. I'm going to prescribe a special vitamin supplement."

Seething with frustration Andy drove back to Chardsville.

Barbara was his best friend, but he almost didn't tell her. He was furious. She had done this to him.

In the next few weeks he threw himself into his work, trying to forget what was going on inside him, pushing his crew, accelerating the construction work. He watched his waistline carefully. Nothing seemed to be happening at first, and he began to wonder if it had all been some kind of false alarm. But one day he noticed that he was using a new hole in his belt when he fastened it, instead of the one that had crease marks of the buckle on it. From that time, day by day he saw his waist thicken. It spurred him to ever greater efforts to complete the house as quickly as possible. He took to staying on the site after the crew went home, pounding nails and sawing wood until it was too dark to see. He slept poorly at night and anxiety roused him early each morning.

He avoided being alone with Barbara even when they had the opportunity. Her dismay was apparent; once she asked him timidly if he was angry with her. He didn't know how to tell her the consequence of the obscene acts she had visited on him, or even how revulsed he was at the mere thought of accepting her down there.

He had to get rid of the baby. He came to accept the fact of it inside him, but giving birth to it, in fact having it grow one more day, swelling his belly, was intolerable.

Maybe Barbara knew someone. Like it or not, she was the only one he could talk to about it--and anyway, it was her fault, she had a responsibility to help him.

Now that he had decided to talk to her he couldn't seem to get her alone. After a week he went over to her offices during the day and asked if he could speak with her privately. Her secretary looked at him curiously, but Barbara ignored her and took him into her private office. It was furnished sparingly, the principal item of furniture being a small conference table, capable of seating only six. "It's on purpose," she had explained. "Instead of God sitting on one side of a stadium- sized desk and the supplicant on the other, like in Haskell's office, a table like this makes us just two people mutually working out a problem."

Well, he was here to work out a problem, all right. He sat in one of the comfortable leather chairs.

"You sure we're private here? Nobody can hear us."

"Why, you think the room might be bugged? I'm not that important, I don't think. What is it, Andy? You look so serious."

He plunged in. "We got a problem. You remember when I told you about the spells I used to have?"

"Spells? Oh, yes, when I asked you about the backtracks in your shorts. Your menstrual periods."

"Yeah, well, I haven't had a spell for a long time."

"That's good, isn't it? You hated them."

"Ever since we began doing it--that other way."

"That other--?"

She looked confused. He let the message sink in.

At last her eyes flickered. She stared.

"You're not saying-- You mean--? You--?" She caught her breath.

He nodded. "That's the problem."

"But--but that's impossible! You're . . ." Her voice trailed off. She blinked.

"That's what I thought too. Dr. Goody said I should have known if I had p--" he made himself say it, "--p-periods, that I was f-fertile."

"Oh God," she whispered, "what are we going to do?"

"We have to get rid of it. That's why I wanted to talk to you, to see if you knew somebody. Who we could trust."

"Get rid of it! Have an abortion? Oh God."

She looked stunned. Her eyes dropped to his waist, snapped away, wavered back.

She said, "H-how long--? I mean how far along is it?"

"The doctor said four months, but that was three or four weeks ago."

"Five months! Andy, you can't have an abortion now. It would be too dangerous. They say three months is the limit. Anyway the baby is already formed. It's a real living creature."

"Get serious. I'm a guy, I can't have a baby. Please, I'm in trouble here. Think of something."

"I'm trying!"

He could see the wheels turning.

She said, "Can't you have it? You could stay in the house where nobody could see. I could adopt it. After all, it's mine."

"Yeah, nobody could see except Wendy and Judy. And Wendy would tell Warren, and Judy would tell Christ only knows who. Anyway, I been through all that. Dr. Goody said I could stay at the clinic. That's no good. I want to get rid of it. Maybe some doctor in Mexico or something. You know about all that stuff. Figure something out."

"Why would I know anything about it? I never went around getting abortions for people. Besides, that's my child you're planning on killing."

"You should'a thought of that before you screwed me. You could'a used a rubber, at least."

"So now it's all my fault. Oh Andy, give me some time to think. This is like, like a bomb exploding. I have to have some time to get used to the idea. Let's talk later. I'll think of something, I promise."

But she failed him.

As the days went by her resistance to the very idea of abortion stiffened. She refused to look for a doctor who would induce a premature labor--that, said Dr. Goody, was the only way left to abort the child, in view of the time frame--and she kept after him to have the baby and let her adopt it.

They were at an impasse until the summer evening when the house was finished.

Chapter 18

WENDY clinked champagne glasses with the others in a toast to the completion of the new house, and tried hard to match their high spirits. Her sadness persisted.

The remorse she felt about leaving Bob was not going to alter her decision to become Warren's wife, but it was real nonetheless. She loved Bob; only the fact of her pregnancy could have induced her to abandon him. Abandon him she would, though. There was a baby to think about. But the prospect hurt her as much as it must hurt him. A tear burned in her eye. To conceal it she ducked her head and took a sip of the fizzy wine.

Only a few days now. The kitchen appliances were installed, and the furniture, drapes, and rugs she and Judy had ordered would be delivered tomorrow. Where had the time gone?

Bob was already half moved in. The office, connected to the main house by a covered walkway, was finished two months ago. He and Nancy had been working there ever since.

She was staggered when he told her he quit his job and was going into business for himself. Haskell Associates had been ideal--high pay and regular hours and an important position in the firm. She couldn't imagine what got into him.

It turned out he was right to quit. Estelle Chard had given him all her business; so had Marie Argentina and four or five other Haskell clients, and he was getting rich. She wondered about the morality of leaving a firm and taking its clients with him. She guessed it was okay; Bob wouldn't do anything unethical.

Success was good for him. Look at him, absolutely sparkling in a new chemise that showed his figure to advantage. She saw Warren's sidelong examination of his bosom and had a momentary pang of jealousy. But Warren knew Bob's true gender; he was only looking; that's what men did.

Another reason for Bob's high spirits was his acquisition of the long-awaited birth certificate. Estelle called his office this morning to let him know the job was done. Nancy insisted on driving him immediately to the town clerk's office to get a certified copy. When he examined it, he said, it was his real birth certificate; somebody had broken into the records and indetectably altered the name and sex of the baby. Everything else was the same, footprints and all. He went straight down to the motor vehicle bureau and applied for a license. He'd take his test next week. He'd be impossible.

Andy was a bit sober and distracted this evening. He hadn't been his usual bouncy self lately. Maybe he, too, was feeling this was the end of something. With the money Bob would pay him for the construction he could find a place of his own.

Big-bellied in her seventh month of pregnancy, Judy held her glass out to Warren for a refill. Wendy could see she was already tipsy, laughing without restraint at something he said. She wished she wouldn't drink so much; it couldn't be good for the baby. Judy had quit for a while after she filed for divorce, but as her pregnancy advanced the pressures seemed to build up and she started again. Wendy could understand the stress, a single mother and all that.

It was Andy's child--he had made them both pregnant. The corner of her mouth gave a quirk. What a triumph for a nineteen-year-old! She supposed he felt as macho as could be. Well, he was macho. Not in a bad way, like men who thought a woman's place was in the bedroom and kitchen, but just plain manly. Bossing a construction crew around had made him grow up quickly.

She emptied her glass, bubbles tickling her nose, and wandered over to the window to the back yard. The maple tree's leaves rustled in the night, and the air was fragrant with spring. She would miss this house. It had been her pride and joy, though she knew Bob had always seen it as a stepping stone.

"Everybody listen. I have an announcement."

She turned at Bob's clear tones. Flushed and pretty, he glowed with whatever surprise he had in mind.

He said, "Not an announcement, exactly. More like a business proposition. Andy and Warren, you work pretty well together, don't you?"


"So why not keep on? Here's what I have in mind. The financial management business is going well, so I'm going to have some extra capital even with the expense of the house. What if we form a partnership for a construction business? Not just Warren, masonry person, and Andy, carpentry person, but a full-service house- construction company that can bid on big profitable jobs. I might even have a customer already. One of my clients--you met Mrs. Gunderson, she came to see the house--wants to build a home in Chardsville. I'd put up the money and you'd do the contracting. I can do the books."

Andy looked at Warren. "What do you think?"

He got that cute dumb-looking "thinking it over carefully" expression of his, and finally said slowly, "It's a temptation. But I'd have to say no. It's too much of a free ride. If I had the money to buy in, that would be different. No, it's a nice idea, Barbara, and thanks, but I can't see my way clear just yet."

Bob's face fell. "Wait a minute." he said, "You'd be doing all the work. That's the point."

"Yeah, well, see, that's what I'd be doing anyway. I mean if you got money you can always hire somebody to do the job. If you don't, then you work for somebody who does. See? If you had a construction company you could hire me and Andy."

"But I don't know anything about construction."

"So you hire somebody. You don't make 'em a partner."

"He's right," Andy said. "Let's take a rain check. If I can get my own business up and running, maybe I'll be able to put aside enough to go in with you. Besides, I got some problems right now that I gotta work out."

"I want to talk with you about that later," Bob said. "All right, how about this?"

Wendy thought he looked utterly winsome and earnest, and he wasn't giving an inch. No wonder he did so well with clients.

"I owe Andy for building the house, he can settle up with Warren, but there will be plenty left over. I know. I wrote out his final checks for the workmen and suppliers last night, and did a quick profit-and-loss statement. Andy's got enough money right now if he doesn't have to spend it on living expenses.

"Warren, you have a house in Clara's Corners. If you mortgage it to the hilt, or better yet if you sell it, you'll have the necessary capital."

"Wait a minute, I can't sell the house. We still have to live somewhere." He flicked a glance at Wendy.

"That's the beauty of it. We can all live in the new house! It's much too big for just one or two people anyway."

Warren laughed. "Barbara, that's a free ride too."

"Not if you look at it that we've all been so close we're almost a family."

He stepped close to him and sweetly held each side of his shirt collar as if he were going to shake him or kiss him. Warren edged back uncomfortably. He knew about Bob, but Bob didn't know he knew. Looking up at him, helpless female to big strong man, Bob said, "Come on, Warry, families live together."

Warren contained himself, then burst out laughing. "Hey, take it easy on me. What do you think, Andy? She's making a weird kind of sense. We have been kind of like a family. You been living here and so's Patty most of the time. Also, you did all that extra work like milling the door and window moldings instead of getting cheap store-bought stuff and wouldn't take pay for it, just the materials, remember?"

"Yeah, and you did all that extra outside stuff, driveway, landscaping, the flagstone patio. But I don't know . . ."

Bob said, "Good, then it's settled. Warren and Wendy can have one of the master bedrooms and Andy and Judy can have their own rooms. We'll split up the chores."

Warren and Wendy. Bob was putting his public seal of approval on their marriage.

She had reservations. There was plenty of room, but it would be awkward, living with her new husband in the same house with her ex. Still, they were all grown-ups, and Bob and Warren were so easy-going it might work out.

She hated Warren's house, anyway. It was Darlene's. And that awful Mrs. Higgins next door did nothing but spy and pry. When Warren glanced inquiringly at her she made a little nod of agreement.

Warren said, "I kind of like the idea of a big family. What do they call it, an extended family? Fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, like that."

Wendy smiled. Her baby and Patty--and Judy's baby--would have lots of people to take care of them.

Judy was staring behind her. The other three followed her eyes.

Wendy turned.

Patty stood in the doorway peach-naked, a sleepy fist rubbing her eyes. Her little penis dangled in full view.

Wendy jumped up.

The child saw her, smiled radiantly, and held out her arms.

Wendy rushed over and snatched her up, holding her close to conceal the shameless organ.

She gave Warren a despairing look and glared at them.

"Well, what are you staring at? Haven't you ever seen a little girl without a diaper?"

"She has a--"

"Never mind!" she said fiercely. "That's the way she was born. It's perfectly normal and she's going to grow up to be a beautiful woman. Oh Warren, I'm so sorry." She couldn't see for the shimmer of tears in her eyes. "I forgot to put up the sides of the crib."

"Hey, take it easy. If we're gonna be a family," he looked at Bob and Andy, "I guess we shouldn't have secrets from each other. These guys are okay, they're not going to say anything."

He eyed Judy uncertainly.

She was clearly befuddled, but shook her head no.

Bob and Andy looked at each other with surprising composure.

Andy said cautiously, "What, does she have both kinds of things?"

"Yeah. I'm pretty sure she's gonna end up being a girl, though."

"No kidding? A girl? Except for--?" Then, an undertone of excitement in his voice, "So who does she take after, her mother . . . ?"

Hanging in the air was, ". . . or you?"

Wendy said, "It's none of your business. You leave Warren alone."

Warren said evenly, "Oh, hell. It's nothing to be ashamed about. No, it's from my side of the family. We keep it quiet because people would get all bent out of shape."

"Yeah," Andy said with conviction.

"It's called androgyny," Bob said.

Warren looked surprised. "That's right. You know about that?"

Bob held Wendy's eyes. "We all have secrets, I suppose, some bigger than others."

It made her ashamed. He had the biggest secret of all, and she had spilled it to Warren. When Bob held his slender arms out for the baby, she hesitated only for an instant before letting him take her.

He cuddled her against his ample bosom. "There's my sweetheart." Tugging gently at her thing until she giggled and squirmed, he cooed, "Is that why Aunt Wendy never wanted me to change your diaper? Huh? Aren't grown-ups dumb? What do you think?"

There it was again, that unabashed motherliness that had captured her heart so long ago. She should have known better than to worry that he might ever be less than kind to a helpless creature.

Andy said to Warren. "Your side of the family, huh? So you're like that too." He had a peculiar intent expression.

Warren looked away. "Used to be."

Bob peeped at Wendy through his lashes. "You knew about this?"

"Of course I knew. How could I change her without knowing?"

Andy persisted, "Used to be. What, did you have an operation?"

Warren gave him an intent look. "What made you think of that?"

"Just seemed reasonable."

"Yeah?" Warren sounded skeptical.

Fist in the small of her back, Judy waddled over. "I want to see. Oh, look, she's just darling! Gosh, I'm jealous. I wish I had one. What fun!"

"Judy, you are a total first-class nut. Careful," Bob said as the baby's expression changed. "Don't pull on it so hard, you'll hurt her. Oh!" Judy flinched as a stream of urine splashed into her face.

"Wooty," Patty said.

Bob started laughing. "Serves you right. Oh, ick," he said when a spreading darkness discolored his new dress, "she's peeing the other way too." His laughter pealed helplessly. "Come on, help me with her diaper. We can clean up."

Wendy started to go with them but changed her mind. They both knew perfectly well how to change a diaper, and she wanted to be on hand if Andy got out of line with Warren. He had certainly been very insistent.

Andy was silent. Hands clasped behind him he shuffled to the window and stared out into the night.

She caught Warren's eye. He gave her a wink and a shrug of his shoulder. The confession of his and his daughter's differentness didn't seem to bother him. She smiled. He was a dear.

Andy turned to her. He cleared his throat.

"You knew about all this? About Warren? He told you."

She moved to Warren's side. "We're going to be married. Yes."

"What'd you think?"

"Nothing! There's nothing wrong with it, I said."

"I know." He averted his eyes. "This is really tough." He looked as if he were making up his mind about what to say. "See, I'm like that too." His quick glance at Warren was less than direct. "Maybe we're related, I don't know. We probably are, somewhere back there. Because I'm the same way as you except--I didn't have an operation. Couldn't afford it." His face got red. "In fact I--I got a problem because of that. I don't know how it happened, well, I do, but I wasn't expecting it. I mean, I'm a guy, for God sakes. I thought you could maybe help me out with a name or something. I mean, you prob'ly have a doctor or someone you could give me a lead to. See--I got caught. I gotta get rid of it."

Wendy stared at him, trying to understand. He was like Warren used to be? Like Patty? But he was so tall and masculine. To accept the anomaly of a penis and minuscule testicles on her baby girl wasn't hard. They were small, harmless, no more than an eccentricity, really. But Andy!

She had been to bed with the solid-muscled young man. He had given her a baby.

Yet now he had as much as declared that, like Patty, he had a vagina. How could she not have known? He hadn't taken off his pajama bottoms, that's why. She wondered if Judy knew. He had lived with her for a couple of weeks before Leon returned from San Cabrón, and who knew what might be going on between them still, despite her pregnancy and despite the fact he was supposed to be sleeping on the couch. But she hadn't said anything. Maybe she didn't know.

Warren smiled, "You're gonna have a baby, huh? I thought you were getting a pretty good potbelly for a young guy."

"Cut it out, that's not funny. Do you know a doctor you can trust or don't you?"

"My gosh, lemme think." He held Wendy to him. "Why do you have to get rid of it?"

"Well, because!" Andy was surprised. "I'm a guy, I can't have a baby. Besides, what would I do with it?"

"What anybody else does--have it, and raise it. I'm not going to ask who's the father, I think I know, but I'm sure he would help."

"That's not it. I'm a guy!" He sounded beside himself.

It began to catch up to her. Baby. The boy said he was pregnant. Impossible. Once or twice she had let herself imagine Patty grown up, a fertile woman but with a penis, little more than the kind of titillating fantasy she pretended when she was on top of Bob. For this boy, this man, to have a uterus and a baby growing in it was beyond acceptance.

I think I know who the father is, Warren said. Who? One of the workmen? Trying to picture Andy having sexual relations with a man was outside the scope of her imagination. Yet . . . if all this was true, if he was like Patty, and if he was pregnant, then he must have.

A tiny tentative inkling that Bob might know about Andy, and that they might have gotten together, trickled into her mind. With a rush it became a certainty.

Oh dear God, it was Bob. It had to be. She boggled. Her world spun. Everything turned upside down. She could accept Bob in skirts and with breasts because she had made him do it. She could even accept the femininity of his appearance and demeanor; she had grown used to it. She could not accept the thought of him going to bed with another man.

Yet--if you only saw them as others did, a pretty young woman and a handsome youth, having sex together would all seem perfectly normal. But that was backwards.

Her husband, her almost-ex husband, had made love to a--not a woman, you could never think of Andy as a woman, whether he had a vagina or not--to another man.

Warren said, "Slow down, let me get hold of this. Hot damn! You're the first I ever met except for my mother. I wonder if we are related somewhere back there. But you know, maybe there are some things you haven't thought of. I had a hysterectomy when I was fourteen, they took out everything. It wasn't my idea, it was my father's. He got it in his head I would be able to lead a normal life. You know, go out for sports and take showers with the guys and make out with the girls, like that.

"I'm older now and I've learned some things since then. Like what's important and what's not.

"Trying to blend in with everybody else isn't. Bringing new life into the world is.

"I envy you. You didn't get the operation, you're going to have a baby. That's the greatest thing you'll ever do. You should'a seen how I envied Darlene when little Patty was growing inside her. She made a big production out of it, always complaining, but I figured she was entitled, it was nothing compared to the great thing she was doing.

"I could kick myself for not standing up to my old man and letting him have me spayed. Don't make the same mistake I did."


"Think about it, Andy. You got a chance to do something terrific, better than building a house. Don't blow it."

Andy shook his head stubbornly. "I can't. Everyone would see me. They'd know. Besides, what would I do with a baby? How could I take care of it?"

"I would." Bob came in with Patty in his arms. He was blushing furiously. "I'd take care of it."

Warren said, "You heard?"

Judy headed for the champagne.

Wendy watched fascinated as Bob went to Andy and looked up at him. "That's what I wanted to speak to you about. Could we . . . go upstairs for a little while?" His red lips trembled. "To talk?"

The baby waved her arm feebly, almost asleep. Wendy took her from Bob and sat on the couch, still watching.

"Please?" He put his hand on Andy's forearm, for all the world like a gently pleading woman.

Andy shrugged and followed him to the stairs.

Wendy waited until she heard the bedroom door close to say, "Did I hear right? Andy's going to--? It's too fantastic."

Judy said, "I don't get it.."

She was obviously at a loss.

Warren explained patiently, "Andy and me, we're what they call androgynes. Hermaphrodites. We were born with both kinds of parts. Men's and women's," he spelled out when he saw she was still confused.

"Morphadites!" she exclaimed.

"Yeah. But you gotta understand it's not something bad. It's just-- different, like Patty. You don't think she's so bad, do you?"

"She's darling! But--I mean, she's a little girl!"

"Yeah, I'm sure you're right. But we won't really know until she grows up. There's always a chance she might develop into a guy."

"That's terrible."

"Why so terrible? Andy and I did."

She shook her head, bewildered. "You were little girls?"

Warren laughed. "No! That's what I'm saying. We could go either way. See, before puberty you should think of the kid as being just a child, you don't know what it is yet. Mostly we're raised in boy's clothes because the, uh, male parts are more noticeable. Then if the kid turns out to be a girl, the family might have to move away and start over with a daughter instead of a son. The only reason Patty's in dresses is I'm pretty sure how she'll be."


"Anyhow, even though Andy looks like a guy, he can still have a baby. That's what's happening. He's going to have a baby, if he doesn't go crazy and get rid of it. Get it?"

"Oh." Her brow wrinkled in thought. "Get rid of it? Have an abortion? That would be a sin."

Wendy thought so too. She knew there were many good reasons for having an abortion, but for the most part believed that killing an unborn child was wrong. Not that she could blame somebody whose pregnancy was the result of rape.

Andy and Bob came back down. Andy's arm was around Bob's waist. Their faces shone.

Warren took one look at them and said, "Well, it looks like she talked you into it. You're going to keep the baby, huh?"

Andy said shyly, "Yes. Barbara says I can stay at Dr. Goody's clinic." He stopped.

Bob nudged him. "Tell them."

A rich scarlet that matched Bob's blush overspread his cheeks. "We're going to get married."

"Married!" Wendy exclaimed. Her Bob was going to marry another man. No, he was Barbara now, and she had said it herself: a woman needs a man. For an inflamed moment she pictured them in bed together, Bob lifting his nightie to push inside the other man. Did he touch Andy's penis? Oh God, what she wouldn't give to see. Then she thought, It's the answer. She didn't have to worry about leaving him, unable to form a relationship with either man or woman. Until now she had been halfway hoping he and Judy would get together, but even then it would just be two women living together.

Bob said, "Really married. With my handy-dandy birth certificate we can be married by any justice of the peace." He gave Andy a mischievous look. "Are you sure you want to go through with it? You'll have to put up with me a long time."

Andy smiled weakly.

Wendy said, "Why Barbara, that's wonderful! I'm so happy for you both."

"It's great!" Warren said. "Congratulations. Hey, dump the champagne, where's the beer? Let's have a real celebration."

Bob said timidly, "Andy thinks you know about me. Do you?"

"Oh Barbara, I'm sorry," Wendy interjected. "I told him. it just came out one day."

"No, it's okay, I'm glad. It's all in the family, isn't it? Anyway," he said, a twinkle peeping through his lashes, "What's one more? Everybody seems to know--Mrs. Chard, Nancy, Amy, Wendy and Judy . . . I might as well give up."

His lively glance fell on Judy. "What's the matter?"

Tears were running down her cheeks.

He put his arm around her shoulders. "Don't. Don't cry. Please don't."

"I'm s-so happy for you. But his baby will have both of you and Wendy's will have her and Warren, but mine will only have me. I'll be a s-single parent," she wailed.

"Sh, sh. We were talking about that. We figured out the timing. It's Andy's baby, isn't it? He's not going to abandon you. He'll be the father and we'll be the mothers. We'll all be together in the new house, and the baby won't want for any love or attention" he said soothingly.

"Oh-h." Her tear-stained face brightened. She sniffled in Bob's arms, "I w-was feeling so alone."

Wendy said, "Alone! You'll never be alone, Sis. Barbara's right, you'll have all of us." She patted Judy's swollen belly. Her own eyes were blurred with unshed tears.

Warren lifted a humorous eyebrow at Andy. "Women get very emotional," he grinned.

Andy returned his smile, but the color on his face deepened. He said awkwardly, "So about me and Barbara, about us getting married. You really think it's all right?"

"It's terrific. Hey," he said with perceptive sympathy, "we can go either way, you know. If you'd've grown breasts when you were a kid you'd expect it. So what's the difference?"

Wendy said, "It's perfect. It's the perfect solution. But--" Her laughter rang. "Do you realize how strange it all is? Andy's going to bear the child, but Barbara, who's the father, is going to be the mother! And the mother is going to be the father! I can't stand it, I've got to sit down, I'm going to pee my panties."

Warren got a comical look. "Put that way--" he chuckled, then guffawed until tears came to his eyes.

Their laughter was infectious. Bob and Judy started giggling, and a moment later Andy laughed hilariously.

They roared until their sides hurt; and it only took a "The mother is the father, and the father is the mother," to break them up all over again.

To be continued. Constructive comments welcome; flames assigned to the incinerator.