by Vickie Tern
She's right, I guess. I'm simply not assertive enough. I'm way too agreeable, way too much inclined to go along with whatever anyone suggests and hope for the best. Whatever comes, I make do.
I can't help it, I'm a nice guy, always have been, or anyhow I once was. I know now that I should've been a little less trusting. A lot less I suppose. I should have insisted on knowing what was going on. But who knew? And it doesn't really matter, it's just as well. How I've ended up isn't too bad. Really, it isn't, I'm not complaining! It's not unpleasant, not at all, don't get me wrong, I'm not really protesting or anything. In fact the chances are Cameron was right when she told me I'm a lot better off than before. "You just weren't cut out for what you were," she said. "So be grateful!" I do try.
No one else seems to think anything's wrong, that anything odd happened. Nobody at work, none of the other girls, the ones I hang out with nowadays. Certainly not Cameron.
Cameron's her last name, I don't even know her first name, but everyone calls her that except at work where she's always Ms. Cameron to subordinates like me. "The 'Ms.' keeps people distanced, if that's where I want them," she explained when she was telling me not to call her "Cameron" any longer.
Ms. Cameron was once my girlfriend. The one big thing I did in my life was talking her into letting me move in with her. Bugging her into it, maybe. I kept telling her how I wanted to until one day she relented. So for some months we lived together and I took care of her place, and even though we were never intimate I had hopes. I wanted her to be my girlfriend.
Then she really did become my girlfriend. We lived together the way girlfriends do, told each other secrets, shared our clothes and make-up, you know. Until she got married to Gary.
Now she's only my boss. She tells me to remember that whenever she says "Jump!" I've got only one answer, "How high?" She points out that we're no longer equals even socially, that I need to develop my own life completely apart from hers, the way she has from mine. Mostly I already have.
"You don't feel even a little bit responsible for me?" I once asked her when we were still living together, because by then I knew she'd set it all up knowing I'd go along because that was the course of least resistance.
"You urged yourself on me," she replied. "So you're responsible. You should have known you were asking for what happened. And anyhow, I've done you a favor. Be grateful. I've done what girlfriends always try to do for each other."
This puzzled me. She was saying we were girlfriends, which we were, though she was still my former girlfriend, or I'd hoped she would be. But when she did me this favor I was supposed to be her boyfriend, not her girlfriend, anyhow I was trying to get to be her boyfriend, and I still do consider myself her former boyfriend, in a way. But when I told that to the other girls at lunch the other day, they just laughed and told me to forget about it and get myself a steady boyfriend of my own, that it's past time.
She was still a girlfriend when she told me how I'd brought it on myself. We were still living together until the house she was planning to live in with Gary was ready and they could get married and move in, and I'd finally go into my own place, a small bed-sitter she found for me downtown. "Something a little more like what you can afford on your salary," as she told me. "Where you can walk to work. But still, respectable, so you can invite a friend to come in for a drink if you like him."
None of this is what I'd once hoped for. Some evenings I'd remember those old dreams and I'd sigh with that breathy moan they taught me at Charm School, "very feminine, drives men wild" they said, and that's proved true enough. But all Cameron ever did when I made noises like that was glance at me, then grin to herself and go back to her magazine or TV show or whatever.
One night I must have given out a really pathetic little yip without even realizing it, because she closed her book Snap! and suggested abruptly that we go out for a bite to eat and then do some more furniture shopping for her new place, then maybe go to a club and meet some new people so I could practice more of what I'd been learning about feminine sociability. Because we both knew that in public from then on I'd need to behave as if I really were what I look like, what people think I am. When I objected she just said impatiently in that honeyed voice of hers, "For God's sake, Jamie, do quit moping. Get over it! It's done! You're a girl! And you may not know it yet but you will love it! You already do in some ways, I can tell."
She wasn't wrong, not altogether. I didn't love it, but I'd gotten used to it, and I could see that there were certain advantages. Though sometimes I'd feel like such a fool! I mean, take for example her insistence that once a month I do what all the other girls in the office do so I'll be fully sharing their lives, and insert tampons into me same as they do, and take a teaspoon of Ipecac to simulate cramps same as theirs. "Then you'll appreciate how a girl feels down there. And also you'll get used to things getting put into you down there. It'll seem more natural."
Well, it didn't, not at the time. Not the "Super" size, anyhow, only the "Junior Miss." And not the dildos she wanted me to use before every date just in case, to give me a taste of the real thing. Though I must say, pushing those soft rubber tubes in and out of me has always felt sort of ... well, friendly, if you know what I mean. Delicious. I'd look forward to it.
So being a girl wasn't too bad at all, but it still didn't seem right. And I couldn't talk to her about any of it! She didn't want to know.
I tried once when I came down to breakfast still wearing that shortie nightgown she'd loaned me, thinking that it was time for me to get my own, and soon. She looked me over top to bottom, chewing her toast, and she listened to me begin my speech.
But only the beginning. She heard that much, then frowned and interrupted, "Don't tell me, Jamie! You should have told everyone months ago when it still mattered. You should have taken a stand right then, at the very beginning. Acted like a man! Told Sheila right off, and then the next day told the women at the salon and the doctors at the clinic too, everyone! But no, they all asked you if you really wanted this, or that, and you kept replying "Sort of," and "I guess." You agreed to everything! You were a good sport, the way you always are! You went along! So you did it to yourself!"
"Yes, but I've never been perfectly sure that ...."
She just looked steadily at me. "It does seem to me a little late for you to rethink your commitments. For God's sake, Jamie, just look at you! Soft and round and getting more so, face and body hair permanently gone, not that there ever was much. And your breasts coming in so nicely, just look at them, your nipples already poke out further than mine! And your weenie's now not much more than just that. I know, I see it often enough, what there is left to see. You can't go back."
I just stood there. She was right, I knew it.
She turned back to her morning paper. "Jamie, we've had this conversation before. What can I say? Suit yourself! Just don't expect me to stand by and cheer because you think you can breach a contract you signed in full knowledge of its consequences and then somehow scramble back to where you were and where we were! To where you wished we were! After everything that's happened?" She shook her head at the absurdity. "No way!"
Now she stood up. She was already dressed, I saw, wearing one of her business suits. On a Saturday? "I've got to go in for a few hours this morning," she said. "Gary's coming over this afternoon for drinks and talk and, you know, to fool around. I've asked him to bring his friend Marty for you again. You remember Marty? You loved being with him last time, I remember, whatever it was you two found to do." She smiled confidentially. "I'm sure he showed you how being a girl has its advantages."
I remembered. Marty hadn't known that I'd started using dildos to get off when my penis wouldn't stiffen any longer, but he did know it was my first time with a man, so he was very considerate. He poked only part of himself into me, to get me used to the feel, and then he lay there quietly. Even so he was huge, I could barely walk or sit the next day. Cameron probably thought we'd gone all the way. "Next time, Jamie!" he'd told me when he finally pulled it out. "Next time I'll fill you full of me. Till then you just think about it. Imagine what it's like. I want you to yearn for it!"
I had thought about it. I still wasn't sure. But yearn for it or not, apparently 'next time' was later today. I reconciled myself to it. I suppose I wanted it.
Cameron then looked around. "Meanwhile, Jamie, do us both a favor," she said. "While I'm gone clean up around here, would you? Thoroughly? And start a laundry—we're both running out of clean undies, or haven't you noticed?"
Then as she left she added, not looking back, "And while you're at it, for goodness' sake do something with your hair. Whatever do they teach you all those afternoons you spend at the salon instead of at your desk? And please don't come down again without putting on at least a little makeup! Take some pride in your appearance!" Then for emphasis, "Jamie!" The door slammed.
She didn't want to hear any more complaints, girlfriend or no girlfriend. She was right, I guess. What was done was done, no denying it. Accept it, live with it.
She was right, a few months earlier when things were a lot different, that was when I should have said something. I was still Jimmy then, a man who by sheer persistence had finally managed to talk her into letting me move in with her. Though I now know she agreed only because it suited her convenience. Once in, a few months passed with me trying to get up nerve enough to ask her to marry me. Though somehow whenever I started the subject she'd shunt it over onto something else, some movie we'd seen, an annoying change in her company's work regulations, phone calls from old college friends, this old friend of hers named Gary who'd showed up in town. Other stuff. It was as if she didn't want to hear about marriage. Maybe she didn't?
Then that one day everything changed. We were getting dressed together in the pre-dawn dark, getting ready to go to her office, me for the first time. Cameron's a marketing supervisor for Honeybelle, that huge Cosmetics manufacturer, you've seen their stuff everywhere, their head office is a huge high rise building in this city and Cameron had already been promoted to Senior Manager, in charge of a whole floor full of analysts and salespeople and bookkeepers. I was applying that morning for a job as her secretary/receptionist. As a job it doesn't sound like much, I know, but it really was rather special, she assured me, because everyone on the floor would have to come to me to get to her. It didn't matter that I wasn't a girl like all the other employees on that floor—under fair employment practices rules, men had an equal chance to qualify for any job that came available at Honeybelle, if they wanted it, if they were suitable.
And I needed the work. My savings were about gone. Soon after Cameron and I began living together I'd lost my job. The software company I'd worked for went belly up, and all sorts of programmers like me found themselves on the streets with no prospects. Most of them left town. I'd gotten a few out-of-town offers too, and each time Cameron had urged me to take them. But now that she and I were finally living in the same apartment, I didn't want to leave her. It would mean an end to our relationship. And I was in love with her. As she was with me, I wanted to believe, though she'd just shake her head whenever I hinted it hopefully.
When she finally agreed to let me move in with her, it wasn't the usual arrangement. It was very conditional. "There's a maid's room off the kitchen," she'd said. "That'll be yours. You don't enter my bedroom at all except to straighten up and make the bed and collect my laundry. You take over all the household chores, cleaning and so on, cooking full dinners whenever I eat in, that sort of thing. That's the arrangement. That's how you'll pay your way."
I'd been glad to, because it gave me plenty of opportunity to show her what a great husband I'd make.
"Don't expect intimacies of any kind," she'd stipulated. "If I should ever feel anything like that I'll tell you—you don't ever ask me."
I told her that sounded fair. So I never did ask, even though she never offered. But I still had hopes. And almost immediately, I couldn't believe my eyes, I was granted a kind of intimacy anyhow. The very next morning I found her sitting in the kitchen wearing only her bra and panties. She glanced up at me, then resumed reading the newspaper and sipping her coffee. I sat down and continued to stare at her.
She'd sighed and looked up again, then said in a level voice, "Jimmy, stop staring, it isn't polite. Maybe you don't understand. Just because you're living here now and looking after things for me doesn't mean I'm going to change any of my habits. This is my apartment. I expect you not to notice how I'm dressed or undressed. If you can't ignore it I'll have to ask you to move out."
So I didn't notice, not so she'd notice anyhow. Sometimes she actually went around nude, even when I was in the same room vacuuming or maybe running her bath. She had a sensational figure, thin but with astonishing curved bulges jutting out on her hips and chest and rear end. Once I heard her on the phone chatting with someone in a teasing tone of voice, some guy maybe, and when I passed through the room I could see that the whole time she'd been stroking her clit and wriggling her hips ever so slightly. Her fingers and labia, you know, that slit women have down there, they were glistening wet. But she just looked up at me and then through me as if I weren't there, and smiled at something the other person must have said, and diddled herself some more.
She'd seen me naked often enough too. And with a hard on a few times, when she was nearly naked and looking ravishing and I couldn't help it. But again, she never seemed to notice. Her eyes passed over me as if I were a piece of furniture. She didn't seem to care.
Even so, there I was, living with her. Shacked up, like they say. It was a beginning. I figured it was only a matter of time.
Once I was out of work I had lots of time to keep her place in perfect order. But still, I was a layabout. In the months that followed she'd sometimes get short-tempered about my hanging out reading the ads, interviewing for jobs for which I was overqualified and under-enthusiastic, then not getting them anyhow, or else doing nothing. Oh, I'd looked, but there were software designers all over the streets going begging. Literally! I'd passed one sitting on a street corner with a piece of cardboard around his neck reading "Will hack for food!" and I'd carefully not looked back at him. Someone's joke, I supposed, though maybe not.
But this Honeybelle thing was a real job opening. Rosemond, her previous secretary-receptionist, had just quit to get married and relocate out of town. At Cameron's request I'd designed and sent the couple a computer-animated congratulations e-mail, a cartoon hen mounting a cartoon rooster. "She'll laugh," Cameron had said. "It probably is that kind of relationship, too. She's smart and assertive and he's good looking but nobody." She'd then looked hard at me but said nothing. I felt uneasy. Watching me closely, she then told me that I had an inside track to replace Rosemond if I was willing to work as her secretary until something more suitable showed up. "Apply for the job, and I'll see that it's yours."
Well, what Rosemond did was no big deal. I could file, and I could type a blue streak flawlessly, an essential skill if one's profession is really writing software. And I could be pleasant enough with people waiting to see her, and certainly I could answer the phone and keep her appointment book, and so forth. No problem.
And I was much better-suited than an applicant she'd seen yesterday, Cameron told me. That's what had given her the idea. I wasn't as tall, she said, but like this other applicant I was slim and blonde and had small, pleasant features. And I move with a kind of sprightly good cheer people like, she pointed out. Girls have always thought I was cute. "You'd adapt well, I'm sure of it," she said. "And I hate to say it, but right now you're more of a nobody than even Rosemond's fiance. He at least has a job."
We agreed that it would be good for me to get out of the house, and that full-time work as her secretary wouldn't interfere with my domestic chores. "You may not be doing menial things for me here much longer anyhow," she said, looking meaningfully at me. "I'm thinking of changing our relationship, making other arrangements." My heart leapt up at the implication! At last? I didn't know at the time that she and Gary were already engaged. I didn't even know there was a Gary anywhere in her life.
So I'd made an appointment to talk to Personnel about Rosemond's job, and we were getting dressed to go in together, when she suddenly stopped and looked at me.
"That was shrimp we had last night, wasn't it?"
I paused. "That's right," I said. "You know we did. It was your idea."
"Not a good idea, I see."
"You thought it was," I replied, a little puzzled. "You bought it and brought it home for me to cook, remember? You didn't remember about my reaction to it last time? It was delicious. You took such pleasure in it, you kept urging me to have more and more, and I did, too!"
I couldn't help myself—that New Orleans Creole recipe I'd used was just marvelous. I'd figured the dish would go for two meals, maybe even also a lunch, but between us we'd finished the whole casserole! Mostly, I'd finished it. I was taking a chance with a food allergy—shrimp usually give me a facial rash, though only for a day or two. More serious I thought was the pigging out, because I was on a strict diet, trying to stay slim. But with Cameron so enthusiastic about it I'd enjoyed the dish for once without worrying about either my allergies or my weight.
I'd gone down twenty-five pounds since I'd first gone jobless, trying to look lean and mean for my interviews. In fact, as Cameron was asking me about last night's shrimp I was pulling up a pair of pants from a business suit I hadn't worn for months, and noticing that the waistline was now far too large. I tightened my belt and it looked as if I'd tied a sack around myself. Pin the waist up in back so it'll seem to fit in front? No, then all that material would sag around my rear, and I'd look thirty years older.
I let them fall to the floor and went to my closet to find another pair. Another business suit, also no good. A pair of flannel slacks? Doubtful. And all the rest of my pants were casual wear, jeans and khakis to wear whenever it doesn't matter. Useless for a job interview.
"Didn't you once tell me you were allergic to shrimp?" Cameron asked while watching me rehang my oversized pants and stare helplessly at my problem. "I seem to remember." Then without another word she went to her own closet and took down a pair of her own slacks, a dark shiny fabric I always enjoyed seeing her wear, tight around her butt and thighs but flared and loose below the knee. It had panache, the way she did! "Here, try these," she said, holding them out. "They'll fit."
"Cameron, they're cut for your figure! I'd feel foolish!"
"They're pants. You'd feel even more foolish applying for a secretary/receptionist's position looking like a hip-hop hobo. A neat appearance is even more important for that job than fast typing. It's great that you've slimmed down, but you should have realized before now that your suits aren't suitable any more."
She smiled. I didn't. I held her slacks up to the light and looked them over. The waistline was about right, but the material did seem a little floppy.
"Don't worry," she said. "This pair is man-tailored. They may fit a little snug on your butt, but snug is better than sloppy, and the material stretches to form fit, it won't pull or sag. Wear that big tweed sports jacket you've got—it'll hang down far enough to keep men from staring at your rounded rear, if that's what's worrying you. Just don't waggle." She smiled, then added, "It'll also hide the fact that there's no fly. Your pants are no problem. But just look at your face. That's what we've got to deal with. Those shrimp have done you in, Jimmy!"
A glance in the mirror confirmed what she was saying. Overeating all that shrimp had made my skin red and blotchy. I knew it was temporary. But my interview was this morning, and I now had the flushed complexion of an habitual drunkard.
"God, what'll I do?" I looked at her a little wildly. She was right, the pants were no problem at all in comparison.
"What I'd do, I suppose," she replied. "Slip into those pants and sit down over there, and I'll take care of it. No, not with those boxer shorts, they'll bunch and the legs will look lumpy! Here!" She reached into her drawer and took out a pair of her panties. "These'll keep your bottom neat. Don't worry about the lace on the waist band and the legs, they're so your panty line won't show. You wouldn't want that, would you?" Now she grinned broadly.
"Cameron, this isn't going to work!" I said. "I can't...."
"Look, Jimmy! This is your best job opportunity in months. Only two interviews required, me and Personnel, and I've already told Personnel you're who I want. Get past Personnel and come work for me, and look what we'll have! Two incomes again! And together all day long at the office! And once you're in-house, you'll be the first to hear about other jobs closer to your special skills. It's perfect!"
"But what about my face?"
"Tuck your package between your legs, those panties have enough lycra and spandex to keep them there. Good! See now, I knew those pants would fit. Nicely form fit in the crotch and rear, yet your panty line doesn't show at all! Here, sit here and let me attend to your face. You gave yourself a really close shave this morning, I see. Maybe that's why that rash is so visible? But first bind your hair back! Brush it a few times, then use this!" She handed me one of her ponytail scrunchies. "That's it. Before anything else we need to get our hair off our faces! No, higher up, so it's off your neck too."
I pulled my long hair back as instructed, then sat down at her makeup table, back to the mirror and facing her as she pulled up a chair. "Rose beige, I'd say," she said, reaching behind me toward the massed bottles alongside the mirror. "Lucky I have it in the Honeybelle Colorfast line—it's like paint, it won't rub off."
"What is?" I wasn't too happy about this, but I knew that once Cameron decides on a course of action she follows through. And she was right. I needed this job, and I felt sure that once I was working with her we'd come to feel closer. I was sure of it. It would end the little strains that had developed in our relationship, and return me to something like respect. Maybe even admiration.
"This foundation. Covers all blemishes and discolorations. There! Look!" She stopped stroking my face with a small sponge and sat back. "Almost done! Beautiful complexion restored!"
Was she teasing me? I turned and looked into the mirror. The blotches were indeed gone. But instead I saw the face of a store window mannequin, my face a uniform pale tan, forehead, cheeks, and nose. Even my lips and eyebrows had disappeared under the even coating.
"I look spray-painted," I told her. "Artificial! Like a display dummy! Cameron, this isn't going to...."
"Oh yes it will! I wear this foundation to work every day, and it looks perfectly natural! Just wait! Only a few more touches to return you to a state of nature! No more talk—we're running late as it is!"
Appalled as I was, I sat still as she reached behind me for different items and applied them swiftly, touches of another shade of foundation here and there, then a dark beige lipstick to recover the shape of my lips, pink blush on my cheeks but also underneath to create shadowed cheekbones, and a few strokes of eyebrow pencil.
"There, now your brow arch is very becoming, and you don't look plucked hairless any more. But your eyes have nearly disappeared. I'd better make them a little more bold! Close them!"
I did, and felt a soft crayon lining the edges, then something feathery across my eyelids. "Look up!" and I could see her clearly, concentrating intently as something wiped my lashes, wet for a moment, then dry. "There! Now close again!" I felt a powder puff and smelled a faint flowery dust in the air. "That's what blends everything! Keep them shut! Don't breathe for a moment!" And I heard a hissing and felt momentary moisture, as if she were hair spraying ... my face? "My little trick!" she said, satisfied. "Now none of it will rub off or wash off. You'll need to use makeup remover tonight, just like all of us girls. I have plenty. Now you can look at yourself!"
I turned again, and did. "There's my matinee idol," she added. "My pretty boy! Perfect!"
What I saw in the mirror was perfect, all right. And that was the problem. Men's faces take character from their imperfections, jutting masses covered with mottled skin. But not mine. It was me all right. But I saw large doll eyes staring out innocently from a face that was blushing as if at some overly-intimate suggestion, My eyebrows were thin, delicate, raised quizzically. My lips were their natural color, nearly, but darker, and perfectly outlined against my smooth, flawless, ivory-beige skin, somehow more ... plump. I looked natural, yet artificial. Smooth. Like a girl made up for work or a date.
"Cameron," I began.
"Never mind, Jimmy! You're fine. Trust me. Maybe a little cute, but that's you, and now you're well-defined, perfectly groomed, the way a receptionist should look when greeting important people and telling them to wait until they're called. Honey, that's the best I can do, and it'll do! Would you rather go in splotchy and mottled, looking like an old lush? A diseased drunk? You look good now! Lovely, if you must know. Finish getting ready. No, no tie with that sports jacket, an open necked-shirt, and wear your tasseled loafers, not those formal lace-up clod hoppers. I usually wear pale pastels with those slacks—here's the pinkish sports shirt I got you a few weeks ago, wear that! Let's go, we're late!"
I hesitated at the front door. "Go, baby!" she urged me. "I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that Sheila—she's the gal who'll interview you—will wonder why you look so ... so good. Well, don't worry about it. If she thinks maybe you're gay, the way you look, well, it won't hurt. Effeminate won't hurt either. We don't discriminate at Honeybelle, in fact she's lezzie herself. Tell you what, I'll bring you in and make my speech and we'll make sure she does only what the procedures require, test your typing speed and fill out your employment forms and so on. Stuff like that. Because I have a busy morning, and I need you at your desk right now, practically! Let's go!"
And then I was on the front walk, heading toward her car. My face felt a little stiff—the make-up, I supposed. My pants felt strange as I put one leg in front of the other, their loose cuffs flapping on my ankles, their smooth upper legs snugly hugging my thighs, and I realized that the way the stretch fabric gripped me, my tight-clad bottom was rotating under my oversized jacket. My God, I thought, I bet my rear end moves like Cameron's now! Suddenly it came to me! The pants were skin-tight, no pockets! No wallet! I had no documents! I patted down my jacket in a mindless reflex! Empty, of course.
"I've got them, Jimmy," Cameron said as my hands danced over my body. "All you need really is your social security card and your driver's license with your old address on it. It's best if it isn't on the record that we live together. Nepotism, favoritism, whatever. It makes for divisive office gossip. I'll drive."
A half-hour later we'd parked in her reserved space in the underground parking garage and were heading up in the elevator. It stopped at the first floor and an older man got on. "Ladies," he said, touching his hat to both of us, then turning to face the door. I looked at Cameron, shocked! She looked back grinning as if it was some huge joke she wanted to share.
When the man got out a few floors higher, I said to Cameron, deeply worried, "I was afraid of that!"
"Whatever for?" was her reply. "Does it matter? You look nice. Employable. The rest is unimportant, I told you, gender is not a basis for discrimination at this firm! Stop looking so furtive. Just get yourself hired! Confidence is what you need to display! Shoulders back! That's it! But, ahhh, baby, you'd better button your jacket if you're going to thrust out your chest that far. It's too obvious that you're ... under-endowed."
"Wait a minute," I said. "Under endowed for what? For a man? What do you mean?"
Cameron looked at me regretfully for a moment, biting her lip, not quite sure how to reply, when the elevator door opened. We stepped out. There across an expanse of deep-pile red carpet was a large elliptical reception desk with a gorgeous, dark-haired young woman seated behind it, her face even more carefully made up than mine. But she looked small compared to the image behind her on the wall, a huge, floor to ceiling photo of a glamorous woman's face, hollow-cheeked, eyes beautifully shadowed and staring dreamily at everyone leaving the elevator, welcoming me. I recognized it, the Honeybelle logo face, reproduced on every tube and jar on Cameron's dressing table. I saw too, that that was how Cameron had done my eyes. Wide with wonder and deeply shadowed in mystery.
"Ms. Cameron!" she said. "Good morning! And you're Jamie, of course! Go right through, Sheila's expecting you!" She smiled at me. It was a smile unlike any I'd ever previously received from a woman. Encouraging. Not flirtatious, not cautious, not even merely gracious. Instead, intimate yet unguarded, warm, somehow even conspiratorial, as though there were some huge secret we shared. Sisterly, that was it. I realized that she thought I was one of her kind. A woman. She was encouraging me as if one woman to another.
We proceeded down a corridor. I was still wondering why the receptionist had called me "Jamie" and not my name, "James" or "Jim," and what her smile might mean, when we paused at a large double-glass door marked "Personnel." Cameron suddenly opened her purse and took a smaller clutch purse out of it. "Here we are," she said, handing it to me. "Your papers are in this. Some mad money too. You'd better take it now." Then she opened the door and we both walked in, each of us, I suddenly realized, carrying purses.
There were several desks in a rather large room lined with filing cabinets. Behind one was a striking woman, also impeccably made-up but older, with a streak of gray in her well-coiffed hair and an experienced gleam in her eyes as she rose to come around and greet us. "Oh, good, Cameron, here you are! Jamie is it? Welcome to the company, my dear! I suppose I can say that even now, since Cameron has already made it clear that you're the person she wants to hire, and hiring the people their bosses want is what I do!"
She grasped my hands in both of hers and glanced down at them for a moment, then back to Cameron. "You can go to your office now, if you like, honey. We'll need about a half-hour here for the formalities, then I'll send Jamie up to you and you can explain her duties to her."
"Jamie" again. And "her"? Cameron turned to me. "Just go with the flow, Jamie." She emphasized the word, that was my name. "To get along, go along, you know? No problems! I want you up there whatever! Do you understand me?" She held my gaze.
I didn't, but I looked back and nodded anyway. She seemed satisfied. "Lovely! See you soon!" And she was out the door.
I was alone with Sheila. She now looked at me almost affectionately.
"Cameron's really something, isn't she? She's one of our rising stars here. Whatever she wants, she gets. I think that's the first thing you need to know about her, at least during business hours. You'll be paid to do whatever she wants you to do, the fewer questions the better, and with no hesitation. Is that clear?"
Finally, a moment to speak. "Yes, of course," I said. My voice sounded a little high and tight to me—why was I nervous? "I understand that. But there's a misapprehension here, maybe because of my appearance this morning, some...ahh...skin cream I've had to use today. My name is James, and no one calls me 'Jamie.' I...."
"I beg to differ, Jamie," Sheila interrupted. "Cameron called you 'Jamie' just now, didn't she, and what did I just tell you? What Cameron wants, Cameron gets! In this case she wants a secretary/receptionist named 'Jamie,' no questions or exceptions! "You just said you understood that!"
"I do," I said, chastened.
She settled back in her chair and looked up at me. "Then too, I've already had your name-plate made out as 'Jamie.' So that's that. Now understand please, there are many questions I'm not allowed to ask you, about race, age, marital status, gender, sexual preference, things like that. It's against the law. So I'd rather not hear you mention them or try to explain them either. I've seen your resume of course. It's impressive, all that computer experience. You may feel a little underemployed as a receptionist-typist here, but as I'll explain we intend to use your special skills as well. And Cameron is on the move and slated for bigger things—if you work out I'm sure she'll carry you with her. You could end up serving as an administrative secretary on the fourteenth floor. Right now that depends on how well you meet her expectations and Honeybelle's!"
"Sit down at that desk, would you Jamie? And copy any page of that book there into that word processor. Let's see something of this fabled speed and accuracy."
I sat down and glanced at the computer screen. One of the more complex office word processors, but quite familiar to me. I opened the book at random. Dense text, tables, and a mathematical formula toward the bottom. I sighed, and began, and under a minute later I looked up, done. Sheila came over, scrolled the screen to inspect what I'd entered, made a print copy,, then wordlessly motioned me over to the chair alongside her desk. Then sat down silently, at last impressed. I thought she would be.
"A job like that is best done with a scanner and character recognition," I commented. "A scanner would take one-tenth the time. Then your secretaries can pay more attention to tasks requiring human judgment."
"That's true, Jamie," Sheila said, for the first time abandoning her brassy declarative speaking style. "And that's why you won't just be Cameron's receptionist. We'll want to hire you as well as a kind of informal technical adviser to all the girls in the typing pool, all the stenographers. We need someone so easygoing that they never hesitate to ask you to show them the best way to do things like that. When we discussed replacing Rosemond last Friday we both agreed that was desirable. So that's also in your job specs. Cameron's office closes at four. At that time each day you'll drift over to the secretarial pool to join them until they quit at five, help out the girls that've gotten behind, but mainly hint or suggest ways they can finish their work more efficiently when you see what they're doing. Low key, informally, of course, so no one feels they're being criticized. Can you do that?"
"For that same reason we want you to become their good friend. You'll join one or another group of them for lunch every day, chat with them, be sociable and helpful, become one of them. If any want to pause for a drink after work, that too. Cameron's agreed to spare you for those obligations, though she'll keep you busy otherwise. Is that satisfactory with you?"
I nodded. Any job requiring that I mingle with informally with girls in a typing pool had to be satisfactory. Quite flattering to my male ego. Cameron was taking a big chance, testing my fidelity to her that severely! I wasn't sure I was up to it!
"You see, Jamie, there's another motto we follow here in addition to 'to get along, go along' and so forth. That's 'one hand washes the other.' We need a woman to serve as an in-house computer trainer, and Cameron needs you to replace Rosemond. You're qualified for both jobs, so you'll do both. I agreed, so Cameron agreed. Your salary will be commensurate."
I looked addled, because I felt addled. What was she saying? "I'm not..." I began.
"I told you, Jamie, I'm not allowed to listen! I don't want to know anything about sex, gender, religion, anything like that! Please. Now, there's something else you need to know., a strict company policy. We do hire men as back office people, of course, but our products are made for women. So all of our secretaries, receptionists, typists, and any other of our employees who will be seen by the public are expected to serve as showcases for our products. The Fair Employment people allow us this exception in hiring for just that reason. For you to serve as Cameron's secretary/receptionist, I needed to know that you have an attractive face that can be enhanced by using Honeybelle. I see that you do. We'll show you how to use our products to best advantage, of course—tomorrow you'll begin that part of your training. We have a salon where you'll spend a fair part of the day. Cameron assured me you're qualified for the real work, so you are, so that's that!"
What could I say? I blinked a few times, and realized that my lashes were still heavy with the mascara Cameron had laid on to make my eyes look more bold. My doll's eyes.
"I do hope you're not a snob, that you won't feel superior to these girls. We want them to feel you're one of them in every respect. So you'll need to take up similar interests and concerns, make them your own. At lunch with them every day you'll chat with them about their problems, their programming skills, their periods, their boyfriends, pop singers, any topic that arises, and you'll share with them whatever similar stories you can—Cameron will make suggestions. You'll socialize with them in whatever ways may help them build the confidence they'll need to do whatever you suggest they learn to do. Now, I need to hear you say it plainly. Can you work here under these circumstances?"
She paused. I said nothing. I was feeling a little betrayed. She seemed to be saying that I'd need to behave like these secretaries, even wear Honeybelle products to work every day. And Honeybelle doesn't make men's cosmetics. I didn't think they did, anyhow. She was saying I'd need to look like a girl? Cameron wanted me to take this job for my own good, for the good of our relationship, I was sure, but still!
"If you say you can, there'll be no turning back. For example tomorrow the salon girls will teach you the best ways for you personally to wear and display whatever we sell, so you exhibit it and can demonstrate its use if called on.. The salon will want to remake your look, not too high-styled but a little more stylish than it is now, just enough so you'll blend in with all the other girls."
My mind raced. Blend in? She did assume I wanted to look like a girl! Or that I was one already? If this job meant that I have to spend the day in make-up, how could I get it off before coming home? Loiter after the girls leave at five I suppose, until I'm alone? But then how would I get Cameron's dinner ready?
Well, if I'm working again, that home-making task won't be mine exclusively any more. We could eat out more. But with me looking a little effeminate?
"Now understand, what they do in that salon is not casual. You've noticed I'm sure that we're all impeccably groomed. We all have our hair done weekly and our faces and nails every few weeks, as necessary. I notice that your nails have never been touched. Well, they'll need to look as nice as the rest of you. Our nail products are practically irremovable and indestructible, especially the ones we target toward hands-on employees like secretaries who need nails that are easy to maintain. I notice too that your hair is rather prettily held back by that scrunchy, and that the scrunchy matches your blouse—no, that's a shirt, isn't it? Well, even so, we'll want to restyle it altogether, to show our own hair products to best advantage. You saw how pretty Dana is, the dark-haired receptionist on this floor who faces the elevators? She's wearing our new brunette tone. You'll need to be more of a honey blonde, I'd think, to show yourself to best advantage. And with your pixie face, a cap of curls might well be perfect! So feminine, you'd look adorable. But that'll be for the salon to decide."
I'd completely forgotten about that scrunchy! I usually gathered my hair in back with ponytail elastics, not with the band of frilly pink ribbon Cameron had handed me! Men don't wear scrunchies! I touched it, a little embarrassed. Sheila seemed not to notice.
"What our salon can't accomplish, our clinic can and will, and the treatments and medications they advise are all free to employees. Then there're your orientation and training courses, we call it our Charm School. They'll take up a lot of your time this week. Simple things most girls already know but we have our own ways, how our secretaries need to sit and move, manners when approached by visitors male or female, these all reflect on our products. We'll invest some considerable time making you over into someone we can all be proud of, a Honeybelle girl, a model of femininity and grace. That's why your first contract, the one I'm prepared to sign with you right now, will run for six months, with you guaranteeing us the first three months of your services. After that, if you should want to quit, you'll have three additional months of paid leave to recover whatever you can of the way you were before we hired you. If you want to. Surely you'll agree that that's generous!"
She opened a file on top of her desk and placed my typing test on top of a stack of papers—I saw that Cameron had given her my resume, because there it was. She pulled out a rather formal looking legal document, five pages of small script, set it in front of me, and laid a pen alongside it. I said nothing. The whole deal sounded very generous to me, but also a little kinky. I'd need to sacrifice a certain amount of masculine ego, apparently wear make-up and a wig during the day and submit to their posture-training, or whatever it was. Seem to be a girl. But Cameron must have known those things and she'd urged me to apply for this job anyhow, so she didn't mind. Maybe she was testing my sincerity? What had I to lose?
Cameron had also made it clear that she expected me to say and do whatever is necessary, and Sheila had made it equally clear that whatever Cameron wants, she gets. Well, she wanted me working with her even under these circumstances! So I wanted that too.
"Any questions?" she asked. I shook my head.
"Here's your six-month probationary contract then. Notice the complete health package—it includes skin care and whatever cosmetic and body surgery seems desirable for you to look your best. Notice too that we're offering you half-again as much salary as your previous employer, because you're at least that much more valuable to us. Someone with your abilities who is willing to work as a mere secretary/receptionist among the others is rare indeed. Especially if that someone comes to us sponsored by our brightest rising star!"
I looked at the contract, lying on the desk under my nose, and at the pen alongside it. It added up to a huge amount of money, and it was sitting on that desk and waiting only for my signature! Infinitely more money than I'm earning now, I thought ruefully.
"When I sign, what happens?"
"I'll send you upstairs immediately to start your day's work. Cameron will no doubt tell you specifically what she requires, and you'll do whatever she asks of you. Cameron gets what she wants. Then tomorrow we'll retrofit you for the job, so to speak, as I've described it. Salon, clinic, and training center. Cameron will have to do without you all day tomorrow, but you'll be quite a different person when you resume with her on Wednesday. When she sends you to get acquainted with the other typists and receptionists you'll fit right in by Wednesday. You may still feel a little woozy from Tuesday's procedures, but ditzy behavior never hurts when you're dealing with that age group. "
"And if I don't like the job, after three months I'll be paid for three more months while I undo everything?" What did I have to lose? "This is what Cameron wants?"
"While you undo what can be undone. And yes, it's precisely what Cameron wants, Jamie."
I didn't even read the contract. Cameron gets what she wants, and I wanted Cameron. So why not? I picked up the pen and signed on the last page, as indicated.
"And here," Sheila said. "And here! And here too! And initials here!" I did as she asked. "Now on this sheet sign 'Jamie' here, not 'James.' I did, wondering why.
Then she grinned broadly. "There, now you're officially 'Jamie.' and that makes all the other signatures legal. Our lawyer will file the name change at the court house tomorrow, but it's done! Congratulations, dear, you're a Honeybelle girl now, at least for the next three months! Welcome to the firm!"
A Honeybelle what? Was that just a figure of speech? More likely it was the indifference to gender her job required. I'd be girly enough, I supposed, what with wearing Honeybelle cosmetics all day long.
She co-signed or witnessed each signature, then clamped a notary's seal on the last page and handed me a copy. "Just lovely, Jamie!" she said. "Your parents certainly created a chance for confusion when they named you 'James.' But with this name-change on the record no one will doubt who you are when you answer the phone. A little voice training will help too, but I suspect just being among the girls day after day will put a bit more sweetness into the way you sound. You'll say 'Honeybelle, Ms. Cameron's office, Jamie speaking,' so often it'll become second nature."
"Ahh, Sheila, do you think that I....?"
Sheila paused from her gracious commentary and eyed me closely, for just one moment. Penetratingly! Then she turned away, and as she stowed her copies she said in level tones, "I don't think, Jamie, I know. I'm paid to know things. What I know is what this contract says. Read it yourself tonight!"
She laid her hand on my arm, reassuringly it seemed. "Just one or two more things, honey. "Tomorrow we begin your body modification regimen along with your beauty treatments, so you'll ...ahhh ...curve more invitingly in the right places. Men who visit our administrative offices like to see secretaries and receptionists who are well-turned out. Your breasts and hips are rather ... ungenerous at the moment, but certain clinical procedures can change those proportions fairly quickly."
This sounded serious. I got alarmed. "Sheila, listen!"
She didn't. Instead, she continued with what I realized was her set personnel orientation speech. Maybe she'd delivered it so often that she didn't even notice how inappropriate it was in my case? Had she really mistaken me for a woman the whole time? That damned makeup Cameron had put on me? And this scrunchy?
And Cameron's slacks? My jacket had fallen open, and as I looked down I saw that in my sitting position their tight cut swept across my groin down to my crotch to reveal ... nothing! No bulge. A woman's 'V'! Those lycra panties held my cock and balls back under and out of sight so efficiently that down there was ... nothing at all. And the slacks revealed that fact shamelessly! If I insisted now that I was a man, why would she believe me? I saw she'd followed my line of sight and had glanced indifferently at my crotch! And seen no more there than she expected to see.
Then she looked back at my face, her own still registering impersonal cordiality. "If after your probationary three months you agree to continue, we'll go further. We'll offer you a new contract for five years with an option to renew, if you'll agree to submit to a more thoroughgoing reorienting. We'll not only greatly enhance your desirability, the girls tell me the treatments also enhance desire. Our married women have the most satisfied husbands in town, I hear—and those husbands who can't keep up with their wives don't seem to mind it if the wives seek supplementary attention elsewhere. One woman took on five men in a single evening and felt as regal as a queen the whole time and just as horny afterward, she told us. Her husband needed some attitude adjustment, but he did finally admit he was proud of her. You may not be that kind of girl of course."
This was more extreme than wearing make-up and fraternizing with young girls. Had I made a mistake? I found my voice. "What happens if I agree to none of this now, Sheila? If I just walk out?"
Sheila looked shocked! "Why, you've signed! You'll be in breach of contract and out of a highly desirable job! And I must add, unemployable anywhere else ever! Think what sort of reference we'd be forced to enter under your name in the national employment database we use! To say nothing about how Cameron would feel about it! This job was tailored for you! You can't mean it!"
Sheila was not the person I had to talk to, I saw. She was far too proper, too company-rules oriented! I smiled at her reassuringly. Cameron would tell me which rules were inflexible and which ones bent.
"Oh, I see! You wanted to shake me up a little! Well, you certainly did! I'd better let you get to where Cameron needs you! One more thing only...." She glanced once again at my crotch and then rose to walk me to the door. I stood up and followed. "We have a strict dress code here, honey! No more slacks during working hours, not even slacks as dressy and provocative as the ones you're wearing! No crotches or rounded rear ends—and yours are both very becoming, incidentally. Skirts and blouses and dresses only. If you fancy a low neckline, only a hint of cleavage! It's all in this handbook, read it! Your new office is on the tenth floor, and I'm sure Cameron's waiting for you! Goodbye for now, Jamie, and again, welcome to Honeybelle."
As I walked to the elevator, wondering if I'd been too hasty and what to do about it, she came running after me. "Honey, you forgot your purse!" she called out. And as she handed it to me she gave me a wry, sly smile, as if she'd just eaten a cage full of canaries! "You'll love it here," she said. "Whatever you're thinking now, in three months you won't want it any other way! No one ever does."
I found that statement consoling and depressing all at once, but I'd already decided to go with the flow and see what happens.
When the elevator opened on the tenth floor and I got out, Cameron was waiting for me in the lobby.
"Cameron," I began, eager to get any misunderstandings straightened out at once.
"In this building I'm Ms. Cameron to you, Jamie! Never forget that! May I see your copy of the contract you signed?" She held out her hand.
"Yes, of course!" I handed it to here, subdued.
She studied it briefly, and then looked at me. "Let's be clear about this. Here are all the standard clauses for our women employees, and you signed every one of them, Jamie. Did you think we were just fooling around? We manufacture and market beauty products. This says you've agreed to model them for us while you work here! It gives our beauty consultants and medical staff full authority to re-make you into the most attractive woman they think you can be. Here and here! Moreover, "Jamie" is now your legal given name, here's where James signed it over. Goodbye James! What else? Tomorrow a complete makeover—the salon will harmonize your appearance with our Spring cosmetics campaign, which happens to have as its motto, "No girl can ever be too blonde." Also, I see, tomorrow you'll begin your three-month hormone regimen for skin tone, body reshaping, and breast augmentation. And voice training, you'll learn to moan into the phone as if you were in heat—we like our junior staff to sound that way. Let's see, yes, the whole range of whatever's needed to fit you in with the girls in the typing pool, so they'll feel you're one of them. We have two kinds of makeover, "adaptive" for employees who just want to work here and "intensive" for those who want to make their careers here. With "intensive" many of the changes are permanent. Guess which one you chose. Were you so eager to look like a starlet, Jamie? You didn't negotiate out of any of these conditions? I see you agreed to the full array!"
She glared at me.
"Ms. Cameron, I figured this Sheila knew what was appropriate. You discussed things with her, didn't you? What was suitable for me and what not? I thought she knew I was a man, but it was confusing. When I signed, it became clear that she assumed I was a woman and was being hired as a woman!"
"Of course! Because when you signed, that's what you became! That's what you are for the next three months, Jamie! That's what you'll certainly be by the end of the three months. Did Sheila happen to mention what happens if you try to break this contract?"
"She said I'd become unemployable!"
"Correct! Anywhere in America or Europe, we have branches everywhere, and we belong to all sorts of consortia for identifying unreliable employees. Though no one ever wants to leave us for employment elsewhere anyhow. And we don't want them to, if only to keep our trade secrets secret. What do you think our girls usually do when they've finished their probationary three months?"
"I don't know."
Was she angry? Annoyed? I couldn't tell. "My dear! You have no idea? They always sign up again! Always! For the full five years! And management never needs to urge anything! Everyone loves it here! We encourage them to provide each other all sorts of inducements and gratifications, personal, social, sexual, whatever! I see you're committed to spend hours and hours weekly with other women at your level! Well, you'll love it! Sweetheart, somewhere inside your panties are a man's balls, I know because I saw them there this morning. But right now you can bend over and kiss them goodbye. From now on they'll only be in your way."
She paused, and her voice sounded amused. "I see you've even signed up for the optional weekend retreat in how to attract men!" she noted. "That'll be nice for you! From what the girls tell me, the field trips are unforgettable!"
"Ms. Cameron, please!" I was distraught! What had I done? How could I get out of this?
Finally she took pity on me. "Well, Jamie, we'll talk about all this tonight," she said. "Maybe you didn't understand a few things. Settle yourself at your desk and look over Rosemond's notes to her successor and see if you can prepare my schedule for the rest of today and for all day tomorrow, because you'll be getting your first beauty and clinic treatments all day tomorrow! Tomorrow evening I'll take you shopping, because believe me, after tomorrow there'll be no mistaking what you've become, and you'll need a whole new wardrobe. Then when the three months are up you'll have a whole new figure."
She turned on a high heel and walked imperiously back into her office. She'd never seemed further away from me than that moment., altogether out of reach.
Just as I sat down, the telephone rang. I answered it and tried to remember what to say. "Honeybelle, Ms. Cameron's office," I said rather mournfully. Then I added, "Jamie speaking."
"Hello, Jamie, this is Sheila, is Cameron available? Your voice already sounds much improved, dear! I'm sure you'll feel quite comfortable with everything in no time at all!"
"Just a moment!" I said, found a buzzer on the phone, and pressed it. Then when I heard Cameron pick up I looked for a switch to cut off their conversation so I could hang up silently. I couldn't find one, and meanwhile they exchanged comments.
"Cameron, I'm sure you know, he bought the whole package. Just as you'd hoped. He must have thought it impolite to interrupt me with questions when he wasn't sure what I was arranging. Isn't that wonderful?"
"Yes, he's so trusting. So tomorrow we'll gild the lily, then geld it, and that will be that. No more potential problems with Gary. Imagine what Gary'd have done if he found out I've been living with another man since we got engaged and he went off to do that European thing of his. Killed Jamie and broken off with me without another word spoken. No way would he believe I took him on as my housekeeper and personal maid and no more than that, that Jamie was just too sweet and docile and eager and convenient to turn away."
"Who'd believe such a man exists?" Sheila commented.
"Well, now by the time Gary gets back he won't, it won't occur to him that the girl who looks after my place for me was once a real man. If Jamie ever was a real man. So I'm safe and Jamie's safe too. And he has a job now to tide him over when Gary comes back and we get married and move away. And anyhow, I'm sure that being a girl will provide him a more appropriate kind of life. It's perfect for him. Yet here he is, still hoping that he hasn't yet too much compromised his masculinity. It's kind of sweet."
"Maybe so, Cameron. I must say, he's more suitable than that last boy friend you blew off this way, Bob, or Barbie, whatever his name is now, the one who finished up with huge boobs and married a gay accountant on the West Coast. This one looks girly already, and the salon and clinic haven't even begun with him."
"Yes, it worked with Bob, so I couldn't imagine it wouldn't work with Jamie. He's such a dear! Or she is! He'll be a lovely girl! I owe you one, Sheila!"
"Well, I owe you too, Cameron. Management's been urging me to hire a computer techie the girls can feel comfortable with, and there are so few women in the field! This arrangement's perfect. Then too, they asked us to look into ways we can appeal to the metrosexual and transgendered market, every few points of market share helps, and this is a beginning. Your Jamie could end up a corporate logo for new products if she comes out of the salon tomorrow looking the way I expect she will."
"Maybe. I hope so."
"So tell me more about Gary. He's due back soon?"
"In only a few weeks. Just time enough to get Jamie past the point where Gary might worry about him. The wedding won't be for a few more months, not until our new house is ready and fully furnished. So I'll keep Jamie with me till then, then settle her into her own apartment and out of my life. She's always doted on me, the poor dear, and I can't fault her for that. So I suppose I owe her. That's why I liked your idea, distract her by putting her in with lots of other girls until after I'm married. I don't want her feeling lovelorn, or loitering or stalking me, or offending Gary, or getting moody, or making any kind of trouble like that."
"No, the girls will keep him occupied. He has such trouble disagreeing with anyone or breaking ranks that I'm sure they'll keep him in line."
"I suppose I should regret what we're doing to him. But he was so pathetically insistent on moving in with me. And he provided such excellent maid service! But Gary would never understand, and when Gary's jealous he can be so ... physical. What he'd do to the poor thing? Jamie's much safer this way!"
"True. Safer and also out of your hair, quite unlikely to make problems when Gary comes back into your life. You're her boss, what can she say? Then too, some of the girls in the typing pool can be quite venturesome. As he teaches them about computers they'll teach him about themselves. I'm sure he'll soon be getting all the pussy he could ever want."
"Eating all the pussy he'll ever want, anyhow, once the clinic's hormones take hold and his cock goes limp," Cameron said. "Soon enough."
"Yes. Then getting all the cock he'll ever want too as the girls introduce him to their favorite men. That'll more than make up for the loss of his own. Chances are when your Jamie's three month probation ends she'll want her own pussy. I've seen it before. Who wouldn't? Didn't your friend Bob? I seem to recall she was fully equipped by the time she became Barbie and transferred to the West Coast office and finally got married."
"'Bob,' yes. He didn't become 'Barbie' until his breasts came in and he was forced to rethink things. Yes, he got himself sexually reassigned while he was still here. Once he learned how to attract men he wanted a cunt, and once he had a cunt and got himself laid a few times there was no stopping him."
"Oh yes, I remember now how I changed all his personnel records so no one on the West Coast would know."
"You did, Sheila. And while we're on the topic, you made Bob's transition a lot easier than Jeff's as I recall."
Sheila chuckled. "Yes, I was a little hard on Jeff maybe. But he deserved it. He wouldn't give me that divorce."
"Sheila, he didn't know you were a lesbian! He thought you were sleeping around with other men! I kept telling you, men feel threatened when their wives fuck other men! They get furious! No wonder he went crazy when you told him he didn't measure up."
"Cameron, he got so violent I had to sedate him!"
"Yes, I remember. But then while he was sedated you didn't have to pump up his breasts and push him through the clinic as a special project, so when he woke up all he saw was a pussy where his balls had been. Talk about the tantrum he threw then?"
"I had to protect myself," Sheila said a little truculently.
"Big mistake. I warned you. You had to keep him incommunicado till he calmed down, tied to his bed in that brothel where you sent him, in the middle of nowhere."
"Not nowhere. Mexico."
"Yes. Then a month or so later, when he was healed but still weak from all that inactivity, you took the Madame's advice and brought in three different hunks on three successive nights, and they each taught him how to appreciate men with his mouth and his boobs and his pussy and his ass and with both hands. And that finally calmed him down. After that he couldn't sign the divorce papers to be rid of you fast enough!"
"That's right. I did him a favor. I hear he still can't get enough cock. Some girls are like that—who knew he was one of those? But we should be careful, Cameron. Jamie may be listening."
"What difference would that make now? She's under contract. And if she ever hints to Gary that she isn't a girl, he'll kill her. She has to be a girl now. We've both done her a favor, really. Are you listening, Jamie honey?"
I found the switch, flicked it, and hung up. And did some thinking.
I couldn't blame Cameron. I'd foisted myself on her I guess, and she didn't have the heart to turn me down, nor to turn down all of my unpaid domestic help. And Sheila wasn't wrong either. I could run or stay. I had to decide, should I make myself permanently unemployable, change my identity, and leave town, or should I stay with the present arrangement, change my identity, and go with the flow.
There wasn't much to decide, as I saw it. That night I said nothing to Cameron, and the next morning I reported to the Honeybelle salon and emerged that afternoon golden blonde and curly-headed, altogether altered, a true Honeybelle girl they said. Then I went to the clinic and they shot me full of stuff that made me feel woozy and mellow and horny all at once. When I recovered but was still all silly and giggly, one of the nurses brought me down to the typing pool and introduced me around. I fit right in. That evening I had a marvelous time shopping with Cameron, still giggly, buying all sorts of lovely things.
Over the next several months, I got to be very popular. My morning sickness didn't last long, only about two weeks, no problem. I did Cameron's typing and filing, and kept her appointments, and I taught the girls all sorts of short-cuts helpful to their work. Gary returned from wherever he'd been and Cameron began to spend all her free time with him. But by then it didn't bother me. Some of the girls knew I'd once been a man, and they took me home while I could still get erections. "You're my lovely warm dildo," one of them said to me. "With no long-term complications to worry about." Some of the others never did catch on, but when one ordered me to suck and lick her while she sat at her desk, because I seemed submissive enough, others did too. Meanwhile, my nipples puffed up and my cock softened, and my first breast stroking sessions with other girls were incredible!.
The second month Cameron told Gary the truth about me, but by then he was only amused. He brought his friend Marty over when he came calling on Cameron, a gay friend as it turned out, and I sucked Marty's cock while he licked my limp clit and then fitted himself into my asshole, my very first real cock. I'd thought it'd be disgusting, but I was wrong. His tube felt like satin. When I slid my lips or my bottom up and down on it I could hear him groan up top. It was fun. It was nice. I liked it. Around then I began wondering what it would be like to have a more usual place to receive men.
Then my third month's training included a weekend retreat where a Honeybelle adviser taught me feminine wiles useful for attracting men. During those three days I got to suck a good half-dozen cocks, and while I was away Cameron and Gary moved into their new place. When I returned from the retreat I was a different girl. I went directly into my own place, my downtown bed-sitter, and I didn't give Cameron another thought. She was now Ms. Cameron to me, my boss at work, and that was all.
I finished that third month recovering from my operation and looking forward to a whole three months of paid leave to get accustomed to my new pussy before my new five year contract with Honeybelle took effect. Now that I was working as a woman and living as a woman and enjoying the fun of being a woman, I figured why not? Be a woman all the way, go with the flow, follow the course of least resistance! It wasn't as if anyone would ever again think I was anything other than a woman.
And I don't mind, not at all. Why should I? I have many girlfriends, and a few guys too who want to keep me happy. One in particular. Whenever I can, I schedule Ms. Cameron out of town on business trips, and whenever that happens her husband Gary stops by my flat to impress upon me again and again how I never stood a chance, how I was never any real competition for him, why Cameron could never think of me as anything other than a convenient housekeeper. I'd never been a real man.
But there's no doubt Gary's a real man! He feels so good inside me, and he's so forceful, so persuasive!
And now I don't know what to do. He's urging me to leave my little apartment and come live with him and Cameron in their new house as their housekeeper. "You could keep your job and your friends, we'd make allowance for that, and your maid's room would be much bigger than this one for entertaining them," he tells me as he pumps himself deeper into me, gazing into my eyes. "It'd be a lot more convenient for me. For you too, even for Cameron. She hates picking up after me, and she isn't much of a cook."
I just might. The problem is, Cameron knows that Gary's seeing me when she's away. She put him up to it in fact. She knows how nowadays I look forward to his visits. That's the incentive she's counting on. If I come live in their house as their maid, she says, it'd be like when I was living with her as her housekeeper, so there'd be no need for her to pay me anything. Of course I'd get an allowance for the maid's uniforms I'd wear when they entertain their friends, things like that. But otherwise, she says, I should hold in mind that I'm saving on rent and food, and getting from Gary what I'd hoped to get from her but never did. Except in a sense.
So I don't know. I'll ask the other girls what they think.
© 2004 by Vickie Tern
© 2004 by Vickie Tern. 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.