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Lady Writer

by Abby Rhodes

  

4

  

I wrote non-stop for four hours, until Fifi appeared with a plate of finger food she'd rustled up. While I ate I told her what I'd been doing in New York and showed her the clothes I'd bought. She especially liked my Queen of Erotica going-out-to-dinner dress and asked if she could try it on. She disappeared for a minute or so and when she came back in, the dress that looked so good on me looked spectacular on her.

I felt a little guilty that I'd bought Danielle all sorts of things but hadn't bought Fifi so much as a bar of chocolate, which I knew she liked. While she was out of the room I thought about that some more and it got more complicated, because I wondered if buying her something would alter our relationship.

But what kind of a relationship did we have? She was a house guest and I knew she was trying to sort herself out, even though we'd never really discussed any of her problems. I had no expectations of Fifi at all and even though I occasionally had lustful thoughts about her I'd never acted on them. She helped me out and took care of my needs, but never in a subservient way. Sure, she liked to wear French Maid uniforms and they certainly suited her. In fact, those uniforms, in their modern form, were designed for Fifi.

But what did I actually know about her? Nothing really. If I brought her home some little handful of silk and lace, how would she see that? I didn't want to alter the rapport we had.

Maybe something arty? I wasn't sure about that. She was, after all, something of an expert where art was concerned and I'd be worried about buying the wrong thing. She already had access to every book in the house, so I thought, no, not a book. I had no real idea what she preferred to read, although her taste seemed to cover a wide range.

Then I had another thought I gave her money now and then which she accepted without comment apart from a thank-you, but it was probably time to put something formal in place. I was planning to ask her to take care of my fan mail and I wouldn't expect her to do that for nothing. When it came down to it, I really liked Fifi, and these days I was thinking of her as a close friend whose company I enjoyed very much. That being the case I could just get her a present like you do for girlfriends.

I shook my head to clear it and told her I wanted to get as much writing as possible done in the next two weeks or until the contract with Joel Cassandra was ready for signing. Not long after that I had a tour of the South to do and I also had an appointment with my hairdresser in two weeks. I'd been growing my hair uncut for quite a while, trying to decide what to do with it, and it was way below my shoulders, too long and too thick. I was having big problems getting it all up under a wig.

My hair has been long since I was just a kid but now I wanted to have it cut so it was a feminine style for everyday wear but could be put into something like a pony-tail or one of those cuts you can brush another way when Ryan King was doing his thing. I was having trouble making up my mind and Fifi and I had been through a lot of fashion magazines trying to figure out what would suit both of us, that is, Ryan and Anna. I suppose I'd been working up to this decision for a long time and now it was crunch time.

I was determined to get away from wearing wigs, which I was still doing whenever I went out. We still hadn't made a decision and time was running out. I'd set myself a deadline to have a new style by the time I left for Georgia.

We decided to have Bethany and Suzanne over for dinner on the Wednesday after next and I left Fifi to contact them and organise everything. (You see what I mean about Fifi? I'd come to depend on her to keep my life running smoothly while I was writing. If I cared to remember back to the days before I brought her home, it was microwave, microwave, microwave and fifteen days worth of laundry crying out for attention.)

 

During that week and a half, Fifi was her usual efficient self and saw that I had food and drink, took calls and answered the fan mail that was arriving by the wheelbarrow load, kindly forwarded by my publishers. She'd been only too happy to help with the mail.

On Thursday she asked if she could use the car to take care of some personal business in the city and I didn't see her again until late on Friday night. She looked distracted and was quiet for a day or two. I didn't ask her about it because I figured she'd say something if she wanted to. As I said, I've made it a point never to interfere in her business and I know that suits her.

So for two weeks I sat hunched over a keyboard for long hours, writing a synopsis and making notes about ideas for the new Ryan King novel and I also got the first draft of my life story down. I told it in a reasonably straightforward way, but I couldn't resist embellishing it to add in a few episodes I wished had happened to me. My working title was 'Say High to Heels'. It included the things I got up to between college and when my first book was published.

The Ryan King novel, tentatively titled Slow Kill, was the more important of the two works and I treated it accordingly. I had a good idea how it would evolve, but there were some gaps I needed to think about so that the story retained credibility and flow despite the outlandish things going on. On top of that, I had a brilliant idea for a new Anna Ryan story. I called it Silk Skins for now, but I thought I might come up with something better. It was a reference to lingerie, of course. I only worked on that when inspiration for the other two dried up temporarily. In fact, the pace of working on three stories was getting a bit much and when I finally had to stop I was more than ready.

 

The stop came on the Wednesday night the girls were coming over. I'd completely forgotten about them until Fifi reminded me an hour before they were due and I had that eternal dilemma about what to wear. I finally settled on a shortish pale blue satin skirt and a white silk tank. Fifi was having trouble making up her mind as well because I saw her in at least five different outfits before they arrived.

For me, the past twelve days had been a continuous cycle of switching between three stories. Around this time my inclination to dress in a business suit declined rapidly, mainly because of the intense pace I was working at. Usually I just sat down at the keyboard in whatever I was wearing when inspiration struck.

Nightgown and robe sets have always been among my favorites (I have about twenty satin, nylon, silk, chiffon, silk chiffon, lace) and I often wear those when I write because they're so comfortable. One day I wore my new corset with just panties, stockings and heels and I have to report it was distracting, but a good distraction, so distracting that I finally had to put on something else. I'm sure you know the feeling.

Sometimes I wore things I hadn't worn for a while, like some of those amazing big petticoats and a poodle skirt, short pleated skirts (I have a thing for short, pleated skirts either in a plaid or plain fabric because they're seriously sexy), and sometimes more sporty stuff. I'd started to bid, under Fifi's guidance, for some neat stuff on eBay. By the end of the second week I had half a dozen packages on the way. Once I started bidding I found it addictive.

Some of the things in my closet I hadn't worn for a while got thrown out after a wearing because I found out they didn't look as good as they should, or their time had gone, they didn't fit well or I just didn't like them any more.

I spoke to Danielle at least every other day and she rang on the Wednesday, just before the girls turned up, to say the Cassandra contracts were ready for signing, and should she come up or would I come to the city? I invited her to come up on Friday afternoon for a long weekend. The thought of three days with her was very appealing. I would make a point of taking Danielle into the Bookstore while she was here to introduce her to Suzanne and Bethany.

 

The girls arrived around six and had gone to a lot of trouble to look good for the occasion. Suzanne was wearing a black lace top and a black satin skirt that fell short of her knees by six inches. She had a black lacy bra underneath the top and looked drop-dead sexy. Bethany had gone for a red chiffon layered skirt and a black, form-fitting stretch satin shirt that enhanced her generous breasts. Fifi topped us all by appearing in a silver lurex tank top and a gold satin miniskirt that would barely have made 12 inches.

The girls looked quite different from the time we went to their place. Then they'd looked more country than city, but tonight they could have held their own anywhere. I mentioned how good they were looking and they both grinned.

"We thought we should make an effort for such a well-known writer, especially one who has a second, or is it a first, life as a gorgeous woman. We thought about it and decided we'd seen you as Anna about three times as often as we've seen you as Ryan," said Suzanne. "In fact, we've been talking about you two almost non-stop since you came to our place. We think you're both absolutely fascinating and we keep coming up with questions. Oh God, I'm being rude. Forget I said that, it's just that we're positively writhing with curiosity."

Fifi had poured wine by this stage and I took a big drink. "Well, I suppose we could consider a question and answer session," I said, "but only because we share such huge secrets. What size bra do you wear, Bethany?"

Bethany laughed, showing her even white teeth to full advantage. "Call me Beth," she said, "I asked for that. 36D."

"Ryan and I are both impressed, Beth."

She laughed again. "We haven't seen you two lately, Anna. Are you working on something? You usually visit the Bookstore at least once a week, but we haven't seen you since you came for drinks."

"I confess I've been hard at work, Beth. Once I get engrossed in a story I tend to just stay at it and not even answer the telephone, let alone leave the house."

"That reminds me," put in Suzanne. "You were looking at erotic literature the last time you came in. Does that mean you might be doing something a bit naughty?"

"A bit naughty? Mmmm. Doesn't quite sound the same as erotic. And by the way, Fifi and I read all of those books and only found one that fitted our definition of erotic. I might come and get some more. But naughty? I suppose you could say that. Some of the best sex scenes I've read involve people being naughty about sex rather than merely erotic. It depends on the writer, because exactly the same scene can be written as erotic, exotic, naughty, purely romantic, humorous or dramatic." I explained about my new erotic book and what it was about. The girls were impressed and asked me if I would read some of it to them.

That took me by surprise, but why not? I went to my office to get a copy of the manuscript and when I returned the three girls were sitting side by side on the couch and had installed a tall kitchen stool for me to sit on.

I opened the book at random. This was actually a good opportunity to try a passage or two for later use when I hit the circuit. I sat down and cleared my throat theatrically and had a drink for lubrication.

 

"Maxine wasn't ready for a confrontation with David. She was too new to the commitment to this radically different life and she couldn't face her brother, who was sure to lecture, no, bully her about it, if he found out what her plans were. Christ, why couldn't he mind his own business, just fuck off.

She wanted to tell him exactly that, but she knew his upbringing was mainly to blame, although, God knows, at thirty-six he should be starting to think for himself. Perhaps avoidance was the best plan for now. She didn't respond to his knocking and went back to shaping her eyebrows. The next morning she was starting her job at Harts, packing boxes out in the back storeroom by herself. It was the ideal start no one near her all the time for her to fret about, worry and distract her. No one to think that she wasn't a girl at all and time to get used to being Maxine.

She felt as lonely as she ever had. All her ties were cut, her friends cut loose to wonder what became of her. Once she grew more confident she might visit them and tell them about her big decision, describe the agony she'd gone through when she decided once and for all that she was going to live as a girl. No more furtive cross-dressing, no more secreting her things from her family, hiding them under drawers and in locked suitcases. Just thinking about it made her feel better. She touched herself again to feel the lingerie she'd been wearing since she arrived at the apartment yesterday morning. She wondered again if a sex change might be a later step, but that kind of decision could wait until she got the hang of it all.

The clothes she'd bought were hung up in the wardrobe and her chest of drawers was fairly frothing with silk, satin and lace. There were two identical wigs on their forms on the small table in the corner. She was terrified that if she only had one and something happened to it she would be unmasked before she had time to buy another one. One of her new rules was 'be prepared for absolutely everything'. It would be a few months before her own hair was long enough to be styled.

She had only one regret, and that was the note she'd left her mother. It simply said she'd gone away for a while to think about things, try to decide what she wanted to do about her life. She knew her mother would miss her but there was a possibility her mother might already have a suspicion about her inclination to dress. Her father would be enraged if he found out. For some obscure reason she had felt obliged to tell one member of the family where she would be, for emergencies only, and had chosen her older brother David. She didn't tell him about the lifestyle, only what her address would be and asked him to respect her privacy. She was confident he would."

 

I looked up at the trio and had a mouthful of wine. "Okay so far?" I asked.

"Is this going to get erotic soon?" asked Beth.

I sighed and turned to a later chapter.

 

"Maxine stood in front of the mirror, hiked up her short skirt and studied the reflection of her black satin covered penis closely. She was still not sure whether to keep it or not, but she had to admit she was having a good time with it lately. Right now she would very much like to put it into Joanne's sweet pussy again. It swelled up as she watched it and she knew it would put her skirt seriously out of shape unless she did something about it. ("This is more like it," I heard from the couch.) She rang Joanne, who lived only a block away, and asked if she wanted to come over for some good sex. As it happened she did, and five minutes later she came through Maxine's door.

"Hello, looking for good sex," she called from the doorway. "Hello, looking for a gigantic cock to fuck me three ways into next Saturday. Hello, wet pussy coming into view." Joanne came into the living room dressed in a short skirt and a brief tank top. She kissed Maxine and lifted up her skirt. "Here it is. I didn't wear panties to save time. Listen, can you hear it calling? It's saying 'slippery when wet, juicy pussy has vacancy for juicy cock, this site available for immediate insertion, recreation area has bush for trimming, please feed the clitoris, insert penis in slot to start action, vagina wants a monologue."

Maxine was laughing out loud (and so were the trio on the couch) and she reached down and caressed Joanne's pubic mound. She slid her fingers through the heart-shaped fuzz that Jo kept down there, felt how wet she was and inserted her fingers one at a time until there were four inside her. Joanne sighed. "You do that so well, Maxine. Oh, what a lover. I'm soaking wet - here, take me standing up. Just slide it in, that's right." Maxine put her cock inside Joanne and found that wet was an understatement. Jo wrapped her legs and arms around Max and she was lifted up and slid down Maxine's cock until their mounds collided. It was one of their pure pleasures that Joanne was small and light enough to have sex in almost any position."

 

"I have to tell you that Joanne is a drama student and given to theatricality. She's also Maxine's support group, friend and lover. Have you heard enough?"

All three said 'No' at the same time.

"All right then, I'll do one more reading. This will be further on." I flicked through the pages. "This is partly a detective story. Maxine and Joanne discover a drug operation is being operated out of the aforementioned Harts. They decide to get some details of how it operates to take to the police. By this time Maxine is leading a wholly satisfactory life, her confidence is up and she has the moves and the looks down, so the chance of her being read is more or less non-existent barring a strip-search. She has also decided that being a woman with operational men's equipment suits her very well, giving her the best of both worlds. In the process of getting the evidence, they find that the villain, whose name is Barb, has a girl locked up in her apartment and she keeps her drugged to use as a sex toy and personal slave. They decide to try and rescue her."

 

"The club was at its fastest and most furious as Maxine and Joanne went in a little after one in the morning. Bodies were pumping to the DJ up on the stage and the spotlight picked up the beads of sweat flying off him as he shook his body to the fast beat.

'Can you see her, Jo?' asked Maxine. 'Christ, I didn't think it would be this crowded. How the hell will we find her in this mob?'

'I've already found her. See up there on the balcony? The girl in the neon pink dress that barely covers her backside? That's Barb standing to her right in the shiny black rubber outfit.'

'Max looked up at Barb. The rubber pencil skirt reached knee level and the top was skin tight, showing her substantial breasts. Her blonde hair was absolutely straight and just brushed her shoulders and the look was topped off with multi-buckled, black, shiny ankle boots that had to have five-inch heels. She was holding a pink leash that was fastened to a spiked pink collar around the other girl's neck. They looked again at the girl in pink, because this was Sweet, the girl they intended to rescue.

'Well, Barb will never fall flat on her face with a bosom like that, but with those heels she'll fall sooner or later. I like that outfit, Jo, it's very sexy. If everything goes to plan I might take it off her and keep it.'

'If it all goes to plan I'll help you strip her. Let's move up on to the balcony.'

They climbed the stairs, Max wishing these places would get escalators. Her skirt was just a bit tight for easy stair climbing, but the red satin had been impossible to resist. Jo had it easier in a short black leather skirt and jacket.

At the top of the stairs they headed towards their quarry with some difficulty because of the crush of people. Barb had turned her back on the dance floor below and was holding court. Barb had very red lips and dark smoky eye shadow. The girls had to admit Barb was attractive, in a mating spider sort of a way. Their plan was to follow her into the restroom and watch her, convinced that she dispensed drugs from a cubicle. They assumed she would keep Sweet by her side at all times, except when she was using the cubicle for something other than dealing drugs, although that wasn't necessarily true. They staked out a position halfway between Barb and the restrooms and waited.

And waited.

An hour later Barb was still talking to her faithful acolytes, flashing her white teeth and flicking her blonde hair in a sexy manner. Her audience was almost exclusively men. Sweet stood passively while Barb showed off.

Eventually, Jo told Maxine she had to go pee and went into the restroom. Within ten seconds of the door closing behind her, Barb was heading in there with Sweet close behind on her leash and Max had to follow her, muttering, 'shit, shit, shit,' under her breath.

Inside, Barb went straight to the mirror. She fastened Sweet's leash to a brass rail to the left of the row of basins, then turned her attention to herself, smoothing imaginary strands of hair and inspecting her make-up. Maxine went to a basin two along and carefully and slowly washed her hands. By the time she finished, the infuriating woman was still primping and Max was obliged to see to her own make-up. God, the light was flattering in here! She looked at Sweet's reflection in the mirror. She was quite beautiful, her figure inclining towards the voluptuous, but her eyes seemed to be not quite focused.

A toilet flushed and Jo appeared, surprised to see Maxine and Barb and she took the basin between them to wash her hands and then inspect her make-up. Maxine could see Barb was still looking at a spot or something nearly invisible close to her right ear. Max gave Jo a look, more of a grimace really, and shrugged her shoulders ever so slightly. At that moment Barb turned towards the cubicles and told Sweet to remain standing exactly where she was. Jo and Maxine knew this could be the only chance they'd get to rescue the girl."

 

I could see the three girls on the couch were leaning forward and I stopped there. Maybe I'd read some more later, maybe not. There were cries of 'not fair!' and 'boo!'.

I grinned. "Those were samples of the best erotic novel ever. There's a ton of hot sex, lust and humor, as well as drugs, crime and intrigue. I promise you two girls can be among the first to see a copy. Fifi's already read the whole thing. What did you think? I don't suppose that's a fair question, because you only heard a little bit of it. It's different from the average book involving cross-dressing."

"I thought it was going to be something else, but the last bit about the club said different," said Beth. "I can't wait to read it. Isn't there a danger of it crossing over from the erotic to the mainstream?"

"Yes," agreed Suzanne. "How would you cope with that, Anna? How would you promote the story without more people getting the opportunity to compare Ryan and Anna? Doesn't that pose a risk that more people will make the connection?"

I explained I was already committed to promotional tour.

"So you'll do something to disguise your appearance? I'm sorry, I'm being nosy again, but I feel sort of protective. Will you alter your appearance with, say, a blonde wig and heavier make-up, or sorry, I'm putting this badly. Your usual appearance, as you are right now, is not too far from Ryan King. To be honest, unless you alter your features, at least the easily recognisable ones, you're going to get identified."

"Come and sit in the dining room while I get the food ready," said Fifi. "It won't take long, but I want to be able to hear the conversation." She got up and moved through the doorway to where the table was set.

"You've touched on something we've been talking about," I said. "I have an appointment with Judy at Hair Apparent (it's two doors down from the Bookstore) next Tuesday. I was going to get this lot I shook my head styled for all purposes. You know, a two-way Ryan/Anna style, but now you've got me worried. Is my facial shape that distinctive?"

"It depends on the light. Think about the bright lights they sometimes shine on you when you do promotions and readings. Glaring, aren't they? You may remember I saw you when you did the reading at Holbys last month. The light was so bright it showed every small mark on your face. I'm speaking of very tiny imperfections. It highlighted every feature - cheekbones, lips, brows, ear shape and just about individual pores. The most distinctive thing was your ponytail, which was lush for a guy. I hadn't made the connection then between you and Anna, of course, but I believe you need to differentiate between Anna the erotic writer and Anna the girl who lives in this house. A different hair colour, different make-up and different clothes.

"My opinion, and I love giving opinions, is that you should get whatever style you've always wanted for the Anna we see right here, right now, who is, after all, your main persona. Don't compromise for Ryan's sake because you won't be happy with it if you're Anna most of the time, which I gather you are. Just shove it up under a baseball cap when Ryan has to turn up in public. When you have to be Anna Ryan the author, go sexy. Get a long curly wig off the Net or in the city. Make it a lighter colour, red or dark blonde, and make up to look sexy as hell. Make sure no-one will say, 'Hey, there's Ryan King dressed like a woman'"

I took Suzanne's impassioned speech in and said, "Beth? How do you see it?"

"Much the same, Anna. You're probably already on dangerous ground. Take, for instance, the locals. Around here, they know Ryan King. They're proud to have you living close to their little town and they point to you in the street and nudge each other and say, 'There he is, that's Ryan King the author'. In other words, you're very well known and recognisable.

"Even more recognisable is the girl they see you both with. They recognise Ryan and they wonder about Anna because they know she lives in your house, but they definitely recognise Fifi. If Beth and I made the connection, others might as well. What stops them making that connection is that Anna is quite clearly a girl. She always looks pretty and feminine and because you wear a dark wig when you're in town there's been nothing to lead them into even thinking about you being two people.

"I've heard them speculating about Ryan and Fifi and also Ryan and Anna, because he link is Fifi, who is seen with both, but never all three of you together. I have to wonder if just a moment, Anna, and I don't mean to pry, but I just realised that you don't have any facial hair. Usually that would reinforce maleness to people."

"I had it removed when my second book was a success," I said. "Laser removal in New York at a discreet clinic, followed by the rest of me after my third book. I can't grow it back as a disguise. Were you thinking of something like a false beard? False five-o'clock shadow?"

"Maybe a false moustache. It means that you could do a reading as Ryan King, tear off the moustache and go out at night as Anna Ryan."

Fifi was frowning. "The girls are right, Anna. We need to think about this some more."

By this time we were well into substantial pork chops and for a while silence reigned apart from knives and forks hitting cutlery and the noises of eating from people clearly enjoying their food.

Wiping the gravy off her chin, Suzanne said, "I felt a familiar feeling when Maxine was thinking about her new life and wishing her brother would just go away. Beth and I were at our wit's end by the time we finally made the move up here. There were so many people who knew better than us what we wanted and so many relatives wanting to split us up. For a time it was getting close to one of us being abducted to be de-programmed, and I think some of my family would have done it if they thought they could get away with it. It got real scary."

"I can imagine," I said. "I'm incredibly lucky because I never had to face up to parents. My father never found out I was different before they went to live in a warmer climate. I would have told him if I had to, but he would have had difficulty coping with it. Fifi had a much tougher time than me, from what little I know of her story."

"That's right," came from the doorway, where Fifi was extracting the cork from a fresh bottle of wine. "I wish my path had been as smooth as Anna's. There are some real pricks in this world, and of both sexes. But I agree with one thing families are the worst. Either for or against and hardly ever any middle ground."

Beth chimed in. "I think my parents are coming round finally, but I have these deep-seated resentments that they made no effort to support me at the time. They just told me to stop being stupid and they were outright abusive towards Suzanne." She leaned over and kissed Suzanne and I could tell that the hurt was still there.

It made me wonder again - why was my mother so liberal about me and the girls dressing me up and taking me out? Did she know other cross-dressers? Did one of her friends have a wayward son or daughter? Once again, I made myself a promise to find out more, ask her some questions.

"It's a great story, Anna," said Suzanne. "I like the idea that a cross-dresser can just get on with living as a female, and getting involved in something like a detective story as well is most unusual. Why, it's like being a bookseller and not just a lesbian. Quite refreshing I thought." I noticed Beth and Suzanne had moved their chairs closer together and were touching one another a lot. Some nerves had been touched tonight.

We ate, drank and talked for another three hours and by one in the morning the girls were too drunk to drive home so I showed them to one of the spare bedrooms which had a king-size bed and left them after they'd been offered a nightgown each and refused. I wished them goodnight and went to bed, also feeling a little under the influence.

This was an unusual night for some of us. I slept alone, briefly wondering how I'd look with a moustache, and I slept like a baby. Suzanne and Bethany invited Fifi to share their bed and Fifi took a little persuading but finally agreed. When I saw them at breakfast the next morning they looked a little tired and dishevelled but definitely satisfied. Fifi was dressed in a short black chiffon babydoll gown and peignoir (I wanted them!) and didn't say much. I found out later that they talked about inviting me into their bed as well, but Fifi had vetoed the idea because of my attachment to Danielle. Fifi is a very clever girl. Wait a moment does that mean it would have been okay if I wasn't seeing Danielle? I was confused.

Suzanne and Beth didn't get specific about what went on that night, but Beth whispered in Fifi's ear at one point and I saw Fifi actually blush for the first time ever, while looking very pleased with herself. I still don't know what they got up to but I was understandably curious. The girls went home not long after breakfast and I went to work on the new Ryan King story dressed in a red satin chemise with a matching bra and panties. God knows what my readers would say if they saw me.

 

Later that day, Fifi told me she'd had a message from the lawyer who looked after her Aunt Blythe's affairs. Her trip into New York the previous week had been to visit her Aunt who had been hospitalised with a terminal condition. She wasn't expected to last much longer and Fifi asked if she could borrow the car again. I told her to take the keys and take as long as she liked. I also gave her a heap of cash in case she needed to stay over or buy anything. She hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and thanked me. She was looking sad and tearful. I didn't know anything about Aunt Blythe, but if Fifi needed to see her or do anything for her I'd be there helping.

  

  

  

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2003 by Abby Rhodes. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, and compilation design) may be printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without the express written consent of StorySite and the copyright holder.