Crystal's StorySite


Lady Writer

by Abby Rhodes



As Valentine's Day got very near, things were getting back to normal, or so I thought. I'd picked Fifi up from the hospital after her Big Operation and brought her back home. That was in the third week of January. She'd started out either in her bed propped up on pillows or in the living room propped up on pillows and being looked after by me and the girls from the bookshop, Beth and Suzanne. She'd moved on quite quickly to getting around and looking after herself. I'm sure she enjoyed the attention but I suspect she was bored.

The vagina installation (remember those were Fifi's words, not mine – she considered Gender Reassignment Surgery too clinical a term for what was a dream coming true) had gone according to plan. For weeks she looked quite fetching in a series of nightgowns and robes, some of which seemed to be made from some form of spider's web.

I was busy with some rewriting of my new book, Dead Right, and I was grateful for Suzanne and Beth's help around the house. I know that Fifi appreciated not having to eat much of my cooking. Quick Kill had been optioned by a major movie house in mid-January for a startling amount of money and there was talk of making the movie towards the end of the year. Sometimes it still amazed me that people actually wanted to buy stuff I'd written. I sometimes have those dreams where I find it was all a huge mistake and I have to get up and go to back to work at my day job on the local paper again.

I'd gone to the City to sign the movie deal on Quick Kill and stayed a couple of nights with Danielle. Danielle was busy with Dead Right and overseeing the editing process as well as looking after new stuff from some of her other authors and we'd only seen each other twice since the New Year. One of her stable, Esther Williams, (no relation), had produced a cookbook that was getting rave reviews from people who had advance copies and Esther was being interviewed all over the place on radio and television. Danielle was racing around seeing that the publishers were on the ball with printing and deliveries.

I'd watched Esther being interviewed on a mid-morning chat show and despite being only about five foot tall and skinny, she showed the interviewer she wasn't taking any crap from anybody, especially an interviewer whose only contribution had been a comment that she didn't like broccoli and couldn't understand why anyone else did. Esther gave her both barrels. The publicity was wonderful and orders for her book went through the roof. Personally, I'm waiting for the Encyclopaedia of Ribs to come out. I only want to look at the pictures.

Fifi only took ten days or so before she was up and about. She complained about being a little sore but the treatment was working, as was her installation. A week later she opened the gallery for a day to see how she felt and was fine. From then on she seemed absolutely normal.

My own feelings about Fifi were still strange. I can't think of a better word than strange. I watched her make breakfast one day wearing a glorious vintage Tosca nylon chiffon and lace nightgown and robe and she seemed to have taken yet another step towards being the best looking girl in New York State. I mentioned earlier how the hormones had rounded out her figure and made her even more attractive, but now she was going to a new level of femininity. The gown was having trouble holding her breasts in (I suspect the gown was one size too small) and the amount of cleavage made me envious, among other things.

It would be naïve of me to pretend that Fifi didn't arouse a few inappropriate thoughts. From the time Fifi came to stay with me I'd had such thoughts in varying degrees ranging between admiration and downright lust. When I say inappropriate, it was because I had made a commitment to Danielle and I regarded her as my partner and a long-term partner at that. We'd been seeing each romantically for six months and I felt very comfortable with her. Even so, Danielle felt threatened by Fifi's presence in the house and I spent a lot of time reassuring her of my good intentions.

My erotic novel under the name Anna Ryan, Silk Beginnings, was due out in the middle of the year, around the end of June, and plans were being made for me to go out and promote it. Because the contract called for only a few weeks personal promotion I was trying to keep the tour away from home territory so that people who knew me as Anna Ryan locally wouldn't be likely to turn up at a local reading.


I want to set this out here because I get confused myself sometimes. I was now a split personality. Officially. I needed to get the Anna Ryan situation clear in my head before I started packing my suitcase. The Anna Ryan who wrote erotic novels still needed to be separated from the Anna Ryan who was me. Or did she? Was I worrying too much? Was it too late to change the name on the cover to something else? Should I bother? Am I going mad?

After a lot of thought, I decided, yes I was worrying too much, but I also remembered the conversation I'd had with everyone the night I'd done readings from Silk Beginnings for the girls. One of them had suggested I should adopt a different appearance for the book tour by disguising myself a little further with a long blonde or dark wig and clothes that I wouldn't normally wear. I took a look in the mirror to try envisaging what I could look like. I was wearing a white tee and a short salmon coloured silk skirt and a bit of gold jewellery. Thank God for central heating, because it was mighty cold outside.

I tried to imagine myself in various outfits that might suit the Queen of Erotica. I didn't do that well because I'm better at visualising words than pictures and I retired to the Internet to see what kind of wigs I could get. Naturally enough, the answer was - everything I could imagine. I saw a few I liked and called Fifi in to get an opinion and told her why I was looking. She liked a couple of my choices but vetoed the really long, wild wigs because of the maintenance factor. She picked out a couple that were below shoulder length but only slightly dishevelled. I had assumed I'd be alone on the tour but it occurred to me I could perhaps take along a companion. I made a mental note to see if Danielle had any free time in June. Maybe if she planned ahead she could cut herself loose from her job.

I ordered the wigs Fifi recommended and went back to my closet to see if I had anything suitable to wear on tour. To be honest, there were so many clothes in Anna Ryan's closet it was starting to overflow into Ryan King's closet. But what was the standard for erotic writers? Was there a book called 'Dressing for Erotic Writers: A Guide to Looking the Part'. I decided it should be form-fitting, sexy and I supposed red would be a suitable colour, but green went best with my red hair. Hang on a moment, if I was going to be a blonde, then black or white would be best, but if I wore the dark wig, then red was a possibility after all. I checked each red garment I could see and found a couple I thought might be okay. Then I remembered the Queen of Erotica black gown I'd bought in Saks, and that would be good too. Or I could say the hell with it and go shopping.

Decisions, decisions. The last option was looking attractive.

I went back to Dead Right. Fifi had left for the gallery and I thought I could get the rewrite finished in a day, or two at the most. After that, I'd promised to finish my life story, Say High to Heels, because Danielle had a potential buyer for the story and the publishers of Silk Beginnings wanted to read it as well. It wasn't going to be published, if it ever was, under any name anyone had ever heard before. I was leaning towards Diamond Le Basque as a pseudonym, but Monique de la Dessous was also a possibility.

Sometimes I wouldn't mind a break from writing. The good news was that because Quick Kill was quite recent, I could finish Dead Right and it would be at least Christmas before it was published. That would give me time for a break. I wanted to go to London and Paris for a month or so, but right now I had all these things to finish.


Things started to get complicated on Valentine's Day, and I suppose it was appropriate fate chose that particular day. By then I'd finished the Dead Right re-writes and didn't expect to have to go near the book again until much later in the year.

Say High to Heels was almost finished and I'd got well into Silk Skins, the new Anna Ryan erotic story. I'd started to relax a little and I invited Beth and Suzanne over for a Valentine's Day lunch and Danielle was taking part of Friday off to come and stay for the weekend. Everything was in place for hell to break loose.


February 13th was a cool day but not desperately cold. Danielle arrived around one and we were pleased to see each other again. I noted that Fifi was as charming as ever but I also caught a little hint of tension as they kissed each other hello. Fifi was just back from the village and was dressed in a figure hugging white silk top, a black wool pencil skirt and stiletto-heeled boots. As usual she looked like dynamite. Danielle was wearing black Prada from head to foot and she looked great too. Fifi was heading off to the gallery to meet an artist in an hour so we ate leftovers for lunch and Fifi talked about the operation and how she was getting along with her new equipment. It was a talk that left me a little, er, discombobulated.

As soon as Fifi left I assaulted Danielle sexually and we climbed into the shower 90 minutes later feeling sated and slippery. Suzanne and Beth had invited us all down to the Bookstore for a visit and around four we climbed into Danielle's BMW and set off. Fifi was going to meet us there later.

What I didn't know was that they were having a promotion for a new how-to guide about attracting the opposite sex, released to coincide with Valentines Day. The girls planned on staying open late and were passing out champagne to all new arrivals. The author was making a personal appearance and by the time we got there a mixed group of people were in party mode.

The author of "Love Attractions" was a short, dark, full-figured lady by the name of Lee Ashton. Lee was a mass of black chiffon decorated with heart motifs and had black unruly curls. I made a mental note - her hair on me would radically alter my looks. This was the second to last call on her promo tour, the last being a large bookstore in the city the next (Valentines) day.

After we kissed and hugged Beth and Suzanne I was introduced to Lee and I immediately got into a series of questions about the tour and how it had been, who came, how many had she sold, etc.

"You seem to know all about this, Anna. Do you write? Have you been published?" she asked.

We were interrupted before I had time to think of an answer, by Danielle, who introduced herself and told Lee what she did.

"Oh, I've heard of you, Danielle. You're Ryan King's agent. I heard he lives around here somewhere. Is he likely to come tonight? I'd love to meet him. Are you up here visiting him?"

"I expect to see a lot of him later on," smiled Danielle. "He hardly ever comes out these days. He's really a bit of a recluse while he's working. Did Anna tell you she's his cousin and lives with him and helps him out?"

"No she didn't. Tell me, Anna, do you …. ." Lee was interrupted by a young guy with a nasty attack of spots who wanted some hints about approaching a girl he was interested in and she went into a huddle with him. I liked Lee. She was a bubbly girl who enjoyed her work and I watched her make serious efforts to help out the lovelorn that evening.

It must have been the Spirit of St Valentine at work that evening because the room gradually broke up into couples apart from a few people who clearly had some personality problems. I saw the spotty guy talking animatedly to an equally spotty girl, possibly about acne treatments.

I'd worn a long, pale wool skirt and knee-high boots in he same shade as the skirt with very wicked spike heels, along with a black wool jumper and scarf because of the cold outside. Occasionally I'd feel a hand caress my backside and I'd return the favour as Danielle smiled at me. Fifi arrived an hour after us and spent a lot of time with Beth and Suzanne when she wasn't talking to Danielle and me or Lee.

I watched Fifi as she circulated and felt some old stirrings. When Fifi and Danielle spoke to each other I again noticed a certain formality that didn't used to be there. It wasn't all that overt, but there wasn't quite the friendly, intimate chat there once was. I knew what the problem was and I suppose it was my fault because I hadn't managed to persuade Danielle that Fifi wasn't a threat to our relationship. It was inevitable that sooner or later the brown stuff would hit the fan and as it turned out it was much sooner than would have thought.


When the evening finally would up close to ten and the last genuine customer left, Lee offered to buy everyone one for the road. As the only real watering-hole in the village, the Candle in the Wind, was just across the street, that's where we headed. I bought the first round because I felt I wanted to help Lee out. That was because she was on her first book and probably wasn't making a huge amount of money from it. Little did I know. She eventually made enough from that one book to retire.

I found myself sitting at a table with Danielle and Fifi on either side of me with Lee, Beth and Suzanne opposite. I'd like to admit at this point that I sometimes have difficulty following women's thoughts, plans and motives and this was one of those times. It was a clear indication that although I may look every inch a female, my mind was clearly male in its simplistic, linear thinking.

It was during, I think, the third round. You have to remember we'd had quite a few drinks at the Bookstore before we went to the Candle and we hadn't eaten much. I was listening to Danielle propose a hypothetical situation to Lee and asking her how she'd handle it. It took a little while for the question to get through to me but I finally grasped that she was talking about me and her and Fifi and the stress of having a boyfriend who lived with the reincarnation of a blonde bombshell, a bombshell she thought was after her boyfriend.

It got through to Fifi a lot faster than it got through to me and suddenly she was standing up and demanding that Danielle stop it at once, there was nothing between us. Then Danielle was standing up and shouting and I stood up to negotiate a peace treaty just as Danielle let fly at Fifi with a right jab that caught me square on the chin and I stumbled sideways, banged my head on the wall and temporarily moved to another dimension.

I came around to find Beth holding a damp cloth to my forehead. An angry floor manager was speaking sternly to Fifi and Danielle, asking them to leave at once or he was going to call the police. Suzanne was trying to keep some control while Lee was sitting in stunned silence. She had no idea it was me who was the subject of this outbreak of violence. I guess I didn't fit the popular description of boyfriend.

My head hurt. I tried to get up but I had a dizzy spell and sat down again. While my head was spinning, Suzanne persuaded Fifi to leave with her and that left Danielle asking how I felt. She snatched the cloth out of Beth's hand and demanded iced water, which the severely disgruntled manager fetched. Danielle took over the forehead-cooling job and I could hear her, through a ringing noise, asking if I was okay.

"Are you okay, Anna? Do you want me to get a doctor?" asked Danielle for the third or fourth time. I finally came to enough to shake my head and wished I hadn't. The pain shot through my head and down through my neck. Danielle saw the pain on my face and asked the manager to get a doctor at once.

Fifteen minutes later Doc Holiday arrived and shone lights in my eyes and tested my reflexes and stuff like that. I'd managed to get up onto a chair and I was okay unless I moved. Doc pronounced me possibly concussed and said I was to go to bed immediately and stay there until he'd been to see me around noon the next day.

We called him Doc Holiday because he walked with a limp and when you tried to get an appointment to see him he always seemed to be on holiday. He was around fifty, tanned and good-looking. It was rumoured that he had four or five local women in love with him and it was true that when he was on holiday you could usually figure out who he was with because one of the four or five would be out of town as well.

Danielle took me home and put me to bed with some help from Beth. I was stripped and put into a black satin nightgown and plied with painkillers and a sleeping pill. I went to sleep immediately and woke just after eleven the next day.

Doc was due in an hour and I thought I'd go for glamour. I asked Danielle to find the pyjamas I'd bought a few years back at a lingerie boutique in New York. Made in pale gold satin and embellished with heavy white lace in all sorts of places, they just scream out 'Movie Star'. I also had a bra and brief set that was a reasonably good match and by the time Doc arrived I'd put on a little make-up and was ready to be treated. My head still hurt like hell and to be honest I wanted to know what I'd done to it. Danielle was constantly apologising for hitting me. Interestingly, there was no suggestion she was sorry for taking a swing at Fifi.

Fifi came to visit me just before Doc arrived and apologised for her part in the fracas. I didn't think she had anything to apologise for, but I was in too much pain to try and sort the girls out, although it was obvious that something had to be done. To complicate matters, Danielle had to go back to the city the next day to oversee a TV appearance by Esther Williams and she was trying to smooth things over with Fifi. Today was Valentine's Day and it wasn't going according to plan. Anybody's plan.

Fifi wasn't going to be smoothed over and told Danielle that she held her responsible for any damage I might have suffered and she should see if her insurance covered her for personal injury to third parties. All that did was start another stand-up shouting match and Fifi stormed out and back to the gallery for the day. Danielle was sitting on the side of my bed crying while my head kept hurting.

Doc Holiday arrived exactly at twelve and shone lights in my eyes again and did a few reflex tests to see if I was still functioning properly. He said my headache would hang around for a day or two and gave me a prescription for painkillers. 'Bed-rest and peace and quiet,' he said. Fat chance. Danielle questioned him closely about my health and finally I was left in peace and I slept like a baby for twelve hours.

Which took me through to midnight. I felt slightly better and took some nourishment from Danielle, who had made chicken soup, the universal elixir of life. It improved my outlook enormously and despite the throbbing in my head I was able to pay attention to another round of apologies and tears. I asked where Fifi was and was told she was staying with Beth and Suzanne and it was clear that Danielle was quite happy with that arrangement. It didn't take much to make me tired and with another bunch of painkillers I went back to sleep.

It was Sunday morning when I woke up again and I felt better. Still a dull ache in my head but not as much pain. Definitely an improvement. Danielle was lying in bed next to me, snoring gently but looking washed out. I looked at the clock by the bed and saw it was nine-thirty. I sneaked out to use the bathroom and on the way back I detoured to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Suzanne was there at the table reading a newspaper and eating corn flakes so I assumed she'd been here all night. The fact she was wearing a short satin robe in a vivid pink colour supported that theory.

"You're finally up? How do you feel? How's the headache?"

"Improved, thank you, Suzanne. I can focus properly and I feel hungry again. I'm sure that's a good sign. Is there any coffee?"

"Coming up," she said. "I assume Danielle is still in bed?"

"Fast asleep and snoring. She looks pale though. Has she been here the whole time?"

"Night and day. She's been crying half the time and she spent a lot of that time just sitting next to you on a chair. I think she feels real guilty about damaging your head. Don't forget she's in love with you.'

"I haven't forgotten. Is Fifi still at your place?"

"Yes. You know you have to sort those two out, don't you?"

I sighed. "Yes, I know that, but I don't really know what to do."

"Well, when you get around to making a decision, just remember that Fifi adores you too."

"She does?"

"You mean you didn't know?"

I could feel my headache starting again. "I suppose, deep down, I knew she had a thing about me, but I also thought she decided that she might prefer girls as partners."

"I think that was before her sex change, while it was all theoretical. Beth and I think that now she's all woman she's more inclined to go straight. She hasn't forgotten all your kindness to her and she has reported, quite frequently, that she has seen you looking at her with lust in your heart. At least she thought it was your heart. Was it?"

"It's complicated. I think the world of Fifi. Jesus Christ, Suzanne, what do I do now? Right at this moment Fifi and Danielle can't be in the same house together without starting a fight. This is Fifi's home as well as mine, but Danielle is my girlfriend. That could be difficult to work out. I don't want Fifi to go somewhere else, I want her here, but that means Danielle would have to live with that. I …"

"It's not something I'm prepared to do." Danielle's voice came from the doorway. "It's a case of she goes or I do. I'm sorry, Anna, but that's how it is. Her or me. Your call."

Danielle turned around and headed back to the other end of the house. I stood and followed her, my head now throbbing. I caught up with her in the bedroom doorway and took her hand.

"Danielle, do you have to do this? Why won't you accept there's nothing between me and Fifi?"

"Simply because I don't believe there's nothing between you. I saw you at the Bookstore watching her every move and there was a look on your face that said you definitely have something going for her. Whether you admit it or not or even realise it, I believe you have the hots for Fifi, if I can use that rather crude expression. Maybe you haven't come to terms with the attraction but believe when me I say it's there.

"I'm going back to New York right now. Think about what I'm saying, Anna. Her or me. I know it's a cliché, but there it is."

"But you're asking me to throw Fifi out of the house."

"Throw? I don't think so. Fifi has enough money to buy her own house. Her circumstances have changed dramatically recently but she didn't move out, even though she knows I feel uncomfortable with her around you. I'll go further than that. I think she deliberately stayed to further her own ambitions where you're concerned. Don't go telling me I supported her staying here last year. I know I did and it was a good decision at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, Anna."

I was starting to get annoyed. I couldn't see why it had to be this way, with constant fighting and bickering. I didn't want either of them to go, but now I needed time to think about it. I took Danielle's hands in mine and asked her to think about it and not act hastily, to give things a chance to work out. As soon as I spoke I realised she wasn't going to change her mind. I would have to make the running on this one.

Danielle kissed me on the lips and said, "I'm going now, Anna. I have an appointment in the city. This is personal, not business. Our relationship as writer and agent doesn't have to be affected unless you want it to be. Call me when you've made up your mind." She turned and left with her weekend bag in her hand. She didn't look back, even though I followed her outside and watched her go. She went down the driveway and left me felling rotten, physically and mentally.


I was distressed by all the pressure and blamed Danielle for it. It probably wasn't fair and I don't know what went on between Fifi and Danielle while I was lying on the floor in the Candle. I wondered if there hadn't been some things said. In any case, that particular outbreak of violence was the last straw for the two girls. I slept for a long time that night and almost through until noon. I felt less tired but still confused.

I tried rationalising, weighing up the pros and cons. Then I tried it again. No result.

I went to the kitchen and found a beer and wondered what I should do. It occurred to me that I hadn't actually talked to Fifi since Valentines Day, so I rang Beth and asked to speak to her.

"She's not here, Anna, she's down at the Gallery. Call her there."

I decided I wouldn't call her; I'd go and visit her. I showered and threw on one of my favourite bra and pants sets, the ones in a vibrant purple stretch satin with a matching garter belt, along with black, lace-top stockings and, since it was cold outside, I wore a purple silk chemise under a black cashmere polo-neck jumper and a mid-knee length black wool skirt. I put on the pair of knee-high black suede boots I loved and with a little gold jewellery and a black wool coat I was ready to rock. My headache had eased again and I was looking forward to getting out of the house.

I drove to the village and parked outside the Bookstore and crossed the road to the Gallery. The sign on the door said 'Closed' but there was a light on down the back and I could see Fifi sitting at her desk. I tried the door to find it locked but knocking brought Fifi to the door.

"Anna. I wasn't expecting you. Come in out of the cold. I'm just catching up on some bookwork. How are you feeling? Is your head still hurting?" She put her hand on my forehead to see if I had a fever and I swear the coolness went right inside my brain and I felt really good. "I still feel terrible about the other night, Anna. It was at least partly my fault and I feel embarrassed. Has Danielle gone back to New York?"

"Left about three hours ago and she says she's not coming back. She thinks I have a thing about you, so she won't even think about returning while you live in the house with me."

"And do you have a thing about me?"

"You know, I think I do."

"That's really nice, Anna. I think I have a thing about you too." She stepped up close to me and then we were kissing. That went on for a while and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We parted for a second and Fifi said, "Can I come back home now?"

"I insist on it, Fifi. Do you know you're a great kisser?"

"It's only because I'm inspired, Anna. Let me lock up here and then I want to buy you a drink at the Candle in the Wind, if they'll let us in. I have a few things to say to you before we go home, because once we go home things could happen that might distract me." She kissed me again and went to turn off the lights.

"What about the bookwork?" I asked.

"To hell with the bookwork. The bookwork can wait; this won't."

The room darkened as she flicked the switches and turned on the burglar alarm. She locked the door and I took her arm and headed her towards the Candle. We shed our coats in the lobby and headed for the bar.

The barman greeted us like old friends and offered a drink on the house. He said he enjoyed our visit a few nights ago but said we should try to avoid the manager because he still hadn't come to terms with clients fighting in his bar and was likely to ask us to leave.

"I promise," I said, "No fighting."

"It was that other girl who threw the first punch, or to put it more accurately, the only punch. I saw the whole thing. She caught you right on the point of your chin. Has she done some boxing training?"

"No, but she's feisty. Can we have a bottle of good champagne? We'll be over in the far booth in the corner avoiding the management."

"Coming right up and on the house." We moved through a sparse crowd and sat down.


By now my head was buzzing a bit and I had that sense of heightened receptiveness you get when something really important is going to happen to you. You know the one I mean? Your whole body is tense and you're in a fever of anticipation but you also know things have to be done in the right order and you have to stay outwardly calm and behave yourself until the time to cut everything loose arrives.

There's a ritual to it, like a Japanese tea ceremony I suppose, where you have to concentrate on what's being said and respond appropriately while inside your head there's a series of high-powered model airplanes going in fast circles.

That's how it is with me and I've been known to get so tense I don't hear a word that's said to me unless the person slaps me across the cheek and holds my head facing them to get my attention while they speak.

So here I was with the gorgeous blonde Fifi sitting across the table from me. I felt a rising under my skirt as the purple satin was put to the test and I waited to see what she had to say to me.




© 2004 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.