Cody looked around, and was immediately overwhelmed by the roaring crowd. Neutral location, my ass, he thought. The stadium was packed, and not with supporters for his team. He could hardly hear himself think. He looked down, at his teammates, then across the line of scrimmage at the opposing defense. They just seemed enormous. C'mon, he thought. You've done this a thousand times. It's no different than practice. It's the same as any other game. Even Cody didn't believe the lie. It was, in fact, different. It was the Super Bowl. He'd likely never be in a more important situation. Focus. He counted the players on his side of the ball. Eleven. He stood next to the holder, took a deep breath, and then took two steps backwards, then two steps sideways. Turning his body slightly, he bent over just a bit, and let his arms hang. It seemed like it went in slow motion. The holder called for the ball, and the center hiked it, shooting it backwards into the holder's hands. He caught it deftly, and quickly put the nose into the ground. Meanwhile, Cody had started his motion, taking his first step toward the ball. The holder spun the ball, putting the laces towards the goal post. Another step, and Cody planted. He swung his leg with all of his might, connecting solidly. He sent the ball on its way. The towering defenders jumped, but the ball sailed over their outstretched arms. Cody didn't want to watch, but he couldn't look away. He knew it had the distance. The ball arced through the air, and through the goal post. The crowd went silent. It was good! Then he heard the whistle. The opposing coach had called a timeout before the ball had been snapped, intending to ice the kicker, to get into Cody's head. So the kick didn't count. "Did it once, do it again, man," the holder said. Cody merely nodded. He glanced up at the scoreboard. One second remained on the clock. A single second until the end of the game,, and the score stood at 40-38,. A field goal would win it. Cody could win it. He could be the hero. Or he could be the man who lost the game. The other players stood around him in the huddle; he didn't need to call a play. They all knew what was coming. He looked up at them - they were each at least a foot taller than his five and a half feet, and most weighed at least twice as much. All of those enormous, muscle-bound men, and the game rested on Cody's narrow shoulders. Or on his small foot, as it happened. The referee blew the whistle, signaling that the time out was finished, and they broke the huddle. They lined up just like before, and Cody counted. Eleven. He took the same steps, and thought the same thoughts. The time out had not gotten into his head. He had made it once, and he would do it again. Cody had been signed practically off the street; the team's normal kicker had broken his leg the week before. Cody had kicked in college, and been reasonably successful, but he certainly had never been in such a pressure packed situation. But college was a while back, and he definitely hadn't been on the top of the list. A few lucky breaks and a really good workout for the coach, and Cody had been signed the week before the Super Bowl. He had already made two field goals that game. But none of that really entered Cody's mind as he stared at his holder, at the spot where the ball would be. Again, the holder signaled for the ball, and again, the center sent it back like a bullet. The holder caught it, and placed it on the ground. Cody took his steps, planted, and swung his leg, just as he had done thousands of times before. * Cody sat at his locker, his shoulder pads thrown carelessly on the ground beside him. But he didn't move; he didn't look around. He just stared at his locker, unseeing. He knew the moment the ball left his foot that the kick wouldn't be good. It should have been an easy kick. Only twenty-eight yards, and the ball had been right in the middle of the field. A high school kid could have made it. However, his foot hadn't hit the ball quite right. Just a millimeter one way or the other could alter the trajectory of the ball, and Cody's foot hadn't connected where it should have. It had sailed past the goal post, wide right by only a few inches. A game of inches, that's what they called it. Cody couldn't even look the other players in their eyes. He knew they blamed him, regardless of whether or not it made sense. Sure, they could have scored another touchdown earlier in the game, or stopped the other team at some point, but when everything was said and done, people would remember that Cody lost the game. It didn't make sense, but there it was. If he hadn't been so new, the other players might have tried to pick him up, to tell him that it wasn't his fault, to comfort him in some small way. But as it stood, he barely knew them, and they hardly knew him. So, they blamed him. He sat there, unable to move for what seemed like hours. He saw the reporters waiting to ask questions, but they didn't bother him, thankfully. Some of the other players gave interviews, but Cody couldn't even bring himself to move, much less answer questions. Slowly, he came back to himself. He had to do it sometime. Cody started to get undressed, and as always, was keenly aware that he did not have the body of a world-class athlete, not like the other players with their bulging muscles. No, Cody had always been slim. No matter how hard he worked, he had had trouble developing any muscle tone. But his lower body had always been slightly thicker than his upper body. Maybe it was all the kicking, or perhaps he was just built that way - genes or something, perhaps. Either way, he knew that his body was quite a bit different than the ones surrounding him. He undressed, wrapped a towel around his waist, and walked towards the shower. Cody didn't look at the other men as he stepped under a shower head. He didn't need to; he knew what he'd see. Judgment. Disappointment. Maybe even hatred. He showered quickly, and went back to his locker. He dressed just as quickly, and disappeared out a side door. Blessedly, there were no reporters waiting for him as he boarded the team bus. There was no one else aboard yet, so he quickly found a seat, and settled in. Slowly, a trickle of players piled into the bus, but none sat near him. It was the same when the bus took them to the airport, and they boarded the team plane. No one spoke to him. Nobody acknowledged Cody at all. He knew they blamed him. Hell, he blamed himself. He should have made that kick. He could have been the hero. Instead, Cody was the kicker who lost the Super Bowl. He tried to sleep on the flight, but only succeeded in sitting with his eyes closed, the kick replaying in his mind. Wide right. Just a few inches. The flight seemed a lot longer than it was, but eventually, they arrived back home. No one had spoken to him since he had missed the field goal, and no one would. Finally, Cody had had enough, and as soon as he left the plane, he didn't look back. He couldn't. He just wanted to get back to his life of blessed anonymity. So, he hailed a taxi outside of the airport, and went home. Thankfully, the driver didn't recognize him, and the short ride from the airport to his apartment was uneventful. Cody just wanted to leave it all behind, to forget that the Super Bowl had ever happened. He went into his apartment, threw his bag down, and went to his bedroom, where he fell onto the bed. Life hadn't been a cakewalk for him since he had graduated from college; times were tough, and there weren't many jobs available. He had gotten a degree in journalism, but there simply weren't any opportunities for him to work. So, Cody had even tried getting manual labor or retail jobs. The retail jobs were refused simply because he was far too overqualified. And as for the labor jobs...well, one look at his petite body, and there was no way they would hire him. Cody had gotten by with odd jobs here and there, but mostly, he had depended on his girlfriend for support. Melissa had been a godsend, and they had lived together since right after college. So, while being unemployed was very embarrassing for Cody, it wasn't like he was out in the street. But when that offer to join the team as their kicker had come around, it had changed everything. It was a sizable amount of money, even though it was practically the league minimum. So, Cody had moved out of Melissa's apartment, and into his own place. Therein lie a problem, however. Cody had no illusions about being asked to return as the team's kicker. He had burned that bridge when he sent the kick sailing wide right. So there he was again, completely unemployed, and practically unemployable, but now, he had a new set of bills to pay. Cody fell asleep that night still pondering how he was going to get out of that mess. * Cody didn't leave his apartment for nearly a week after the Super Bowl. He barely ate, and he didn't answer his phone. Depression ruled his life. For the fist few days, he couldn't even watch television, for every show seemed to mention something about his missing the kick. Five days after the Super Bowl, there was a knock on Cody's door. He didn't bother to get up and answer it. Another knock. And then, he heard the telltale sign of a key turning, and the door opened. Melissa walked in. Even amidst Cody's depression, he had to keep himself from staring. She was a knockout. She had the body and face of a runway model, which meant that she was a few inches taller than Cody himself. She was perfect in nearly every way, and Cody had almost no idea why she was even with him. "Why haven't you been answering your phone?" she asked without preamble as she shut the door. "I've been calling for the last three days." "I don't know," Cody answered. Cody looked up, and Melissa's anger faded as soon as she saw the despair on his face. "It's going to be okay, you know," Melissa said. "Everything will settle down in a few weeks, and nobody will even remember it." Cody shrugged. "But what then? I don't have a job, and the money from that contract is going to run out soon." "You can always move back in with me," Melissa suggested. "It's just that for the first time in my life, I was completely independent. I felt like a man, more than any time since college," Cody said. "It's not that I don't like living with you. I do. I just need to do try to make this work...for me." "Sure doesn't sound like you like living with me," Melissa said as she sat next to where Cody was sitting on the couch. ""But I think I understand. I don't particularly like it. It's incredibly selfish and you're not really thinking about how that's going to make me feel, but I do understand." "I --" Cody began, but he was interrupted by Melissa. "No, Cody. I get it, and to be honest, I can't really blame you," she said. "Most men would feel the same way." The two talked for almost two hours before Melissa had to leave, citing an imminent business dinner. Against all odds, Cody felt slightly better after their conversation. * That warm, fuzzy feeling didn't last for long. The next day, Cody decided to begin his job hunt. He started with the usual suspects: radio stations, local television stations, and even his old college's journalism department. Apparently, the fallout from his missed field goal had not dissipated in the least bit. It was a typical sports town. They loved their heroes, and hated their villains. Cody happened to fall into the latter category. Everywhere he went, he was given the cold shoulder. Nearly everyone in town recognized him on sight, and it wasn't surprising. His picture had been plastered on television and newspapers everywhere, nowhere more than in his own city. The result was that Cody ended that first day with worse career prospects than he had ever had before. The next day was even worse. Not even his usual temporary employers would speak to him. His depression deepened with each rejection. Day by day, he kept looking, though. He was absolutely committed. Commitment, though, was not enough, and he couldn't even rustle up the odd jobs he had enjoyed before the Super Bowl. Almost a month after he had missed the kick, Cody lost all hope, and stopped even trying. One night, Melissa came over, and they were watching television, when she said, "So how is the job hunt going?" "Same," he answered. "You could move," she suggested. "And go where? At least here, I have the apartment paid up, and some sort of safety net. If I were to move, what would I have? And even then, there's no guarantee it would be any different," he said. "Then change your name," was her next suggestion. "That might get me in the door," he answered. "But they would still recognize me." "You could always dye your hair, or grow a beard or something," Melissa ventured. "I've never been able to grow a beard, and I don't think that dying my hair would do much good. You underestimate how much these people hate me," Cody said. "You're not from around here, but these people live, eat, and breathe football." "So --" she stopped. "No, that won't work." "What?" Cody asked, "It's silly," Melissa said. "Just forget I said anything." "C'mon," he coaxed. "I'm not going to be able to forget anything, and you know it." "Okay. Well, you could just change yourself so drastically that no one will recognize you," Melissa stated. "Easier said than done," Cody said sarcastically. "I guarantee that I could do it," she said. "You won't like it, but I could make it to where nobody would think of the kicker who lost the Super Bowl when they look at you." "What? How?" Cody asked, his interest perked. She looked away for a second, then turned back, "I could make you look like a girl." Cody had been prepared for a lot of things, but he could have never imagined that. He laughed, and said, "Ha ha. Very funny. I'm trying to be serious here, and you're making jokes." "I'm not joking, Cody," she said. "I mean, it's not really a stretch, is it? You're not exactly Mr. Macho, you know." Cody didn't know what to say. Was she still joking? Or was she actually serious? "Well, joking or not, I'm not interested in crossdressing." "But --" "Just drop it, okay?" Cody said, and she did. * Two months passed, and Cody still found no job. Those people held a grudge like nobody's business. Another month, and Cody was evicted from his apartment. Melissa, for her part, was as supportive as anyone could have expected, and offered Cody a place to live. He accepted, albeit sheepishly. When Cody moved in, Melissa said, "We're going to have to have some ground rules, here." "Like what? You know I'm not a messy person, and I don't mind cleaning the place up," Cody said. "No. I need you to get a job. It's not fair to me that you would be living here, rent free," Melissa stated. "You know I've been looking. I get laughed out of every single --" Cody was cut off. "Yeah, you've looked. You've tried it your way, but you completely rejected my suggestion," Melissa said. "What? The crossdressing thing?" Cody asked. "I told you I wouldn't do it." "Then you won't live here," Melissa said. "Don't bother arguing, either. If you can't be bothered to change what has obviously failed, then I can't be bothered to let you live here." Cody was floored by both Melissa's attitude and statement. Was she serious? She'd let him live on the streets? She knew he didn't have anywhere to go, and no way to earn any sort of money. "And I'm not just talking about the job hunt, either," Melissa stated. "I wasn't kidding when I implied that you weren't much of a man. Look at yourself, Cody. They won't even hire you to dig ditches. You're not man enough." "I can't --" Melissa interrupted, "Don't give an answer yet. I know this is a big decision, so you can stay the night. But I expect a commitment from you in the morning, or I expect you to be gone. Don't make me force you out," she added dangerously. Cody had no doubts about how a physical confrontation would go. "You can sleep in the spare room." Cody picked up his scarce belongings, and went to the indicated room. He set them down, and fell onto the bed, losing himself in thought. What did Melissa want? Was she really trying to help him? That seemed likely, even if her method was unorthodox. She had always been a loving, giving person, and had never been anything but honest with Cody. But the gravity of the situation refused to let Cody dismiss how strange her suggestion was. She wanted him to seek work as a woman, and she had implied that she wanted him to live as one, as well. What did that mean? More than anything, though, Cody asked himself what choice he really, truly had. He had no family, and no friends who would be willing to take him in. He had no job prospects, little money, and nowhere else to go. And that scared him. It frightened him enough that he didn't sleep at all that night, for thoughts of living on the street, of having to rely on soup kitchens for his meals. But what was the cost of not surrendering to that? So he lay pondering his situation for the entire night, barely moving until he heard the door to the room open, and Melissa asked, "Have you made your decision, then?" "I have." As if there were a choice. "And?" Melissa asked. Cody sat up, and said, "I'll do it." "Good," Melissa said. "Let's get started then, shall we?" Cody barely had time to think before Melissa had him stripped, and had instructed him to shave his body, which he did. It felt strange, running the razor over his legs, like the action carried with it some sort of finality. He knew it was just body hair, and he had never had much to begin with, but that act seemed to seal the deal for him. He was committed. What did Melissa plan? Just to dress him in drag, and send him out into the world? What if someone recognized him? He would surely be ostracized even more, and the story would likely make its way to news outlets everywhere. The thought scared him, but not as much as being kicked out, and doomed to a life of homelessness. He nicked himself a few times, but after a while, was completely smooth. He looked at himself in the bathroom mirror, and realized that Melissa had been right. He didn't really have the body of a man. There wasn't anything even remotely masculine about him. Even his face was pretty rather than handsome, and his penis was a little below average in size. He wrapped a towel around his waist, and stepped from the bathroom. "No, not like that," Melissa said. "Wrap it around your chest." Cody sighed, and obeyed the direction. He felt frightfully exposed, what with the towel barely covering his rear end. Melissa directed Cody to sit down in a chair near her vanity, and she went to work applying makeup and styling his hair. Cody sat obediently, unable to really speak. Was he really going to go through with it? Cody didn't know how long he sat there, but eventually, Melissa said, "Okay, that will do. Now, let's get you dressed." Cody started to turn, to look at himself in the mirror but Melissa stopped him. "Wait until you can see the full effect." Cody shrugged. "Okay." For some reason, he couldn't even bring himself to argue with her about something so simple as looking in the mirror. She led him into her bedroom, where she had some clothes laid out. Cody couldn't look at them until Melissa hand him, piece by piece, a pair of black lace panties, a black bra, a garter belt, and a pair of thigh-high stockings. He put each piece of lingerie on reluctantly, and had particular trouble with the stockings. Melissa told him to be careful not to rip them, so Cody was extra careful as he slid them up his smooth legs. It only took a couple of minutes, but donning the lingerie seemed to take hours. Next came a gray skirt, and a white blouse. Cody felt ridiculous, standing there in women's clothes. Nothing filled his bra, and his tucked penis felt quite strange between his legs. And then he looked in the mirror. Cody gasped, and Melissa smiled. Beautiful. It was so disconcerting for Cody to see himself as a woman. Sure, he stood like a man, and his body didn't have quite the right shape (though part of that was merely his perception), but he still looked like a slightly masculine bodied woman. And his face...his face was female. There was no getting around it. Even with his relatively short hair, he looked unmistakeably like a beautiful woman. He stared for a few minutes before Melissa said, "See? I told you I could make you look like a woman. And this is without changing you at all - no implants or breast forms. No waist cinching undergarments. It's all you. I didn't even have to use that much makeup." She reached out, and turned Cody to face her. "Look, Cody. I know I didn't give you much of a choice here, but you have to admit, it is a good idea. What sort of life can you expect if you stay as you are? Do you think people will forget? Your only real hope is to change your name and your appearance to such a degree that no one will connect you with that guy who missed that field goal." "I know, but --" "No 'buts' Cody," she said. "You know I'm right. Besides, I think you're really cute like that." "You do?" Cody asked. She answered with a passionate kiss. "I think I do." Getting undressed went so much more quickly than putting on the clothes; Melissa practically tore them from Cody's body. Cody had never been a particularly aggressive man, but he had at least always been dominant in the bedroom. His depression, extraordinarily low self-esteem, fragile mental state, and the fact that he was dressed as a woman combined to push him further away from masculine dominance, and into a more feminine submissive nature. Melissa took full advantage as they made love. She was the dominant one; she was the aggressor. But it was good, that much Cody had to admit. Still with his stockings and garter belt on, Cody lay on the bed as Melissa rode him, and hard. She obviously quite enjoyed dominating him rather than the other way around. Afterward, as they lay in bed, Cody stayed in his submissive role as Melissa held him. Finally, he asked, "What now?" "Now, you agree to change your life drastically," Melissa answered. "And not just dressing like a woman. You have to become a woman. How much money do you have left?" "About a thousand dollars - it's what I got back in my security deposit," Cody stated. "That should get us started," Melissa said. "That's kind of vague," he responded. "Okay, you want specifics?" Melissa asked, standing. Cody nodded. "Well, first off, we're going to get you some female hormones. Then, we're going to change your name, and get you a new driver's license. After that, we're going to get you a couple of minor surgeries - don't worry, I'll pay for them. You know I have the money. I just want you to start moving towards changing your life, you know. It's not about the money." It was quite a lot to process. Surgery? Hormones? None of that sounded even the least bit reversible, and he said as much. "Of course it's not reversible. This isn't some temporary fix, Cody. This is something for the rest of your life," Melissa said as she got dressed. "Now put on some clothes. No, not the skirt and sexy lingerie. That was just to make a point. Just put on some panties, a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt. And be quick about it, or we're going to be late." "Late for what?" Cody asked. "You'll see," was Melissa's only answer. * After the events leading up to their arrival at the electrolysis clinic, Cody was only slightly surprised that Melissa had already made him an appointment. Sitting in the waiting room, Cody was keenly aware of the panties (pink and cotton) he wore beneath his jeans. Insisting that he needed to get used to it, Melissa had made him keep the feminine hair style and light makeup. All in all, he was quite self-conscious when he was led into the room. The doctor came in, and said, "What can we do for you today?" Melissa spoke up, and said, "We need to set up an aggressive schedule for the removal of all of his body hair." "Well, we can do it in a little over two weeks, but he'll have to come in every other day," the doctor answered. It irritated Cody only slightly that they were talking about him like he wasn't even there. "Maybe a bit less if he's not particularly hairy." "Oh, he's not," Melissa said. "You want to do the face, too?" he asked. "Of course. Everything below the eyebrows," she said. The doctor nodded. "Let's get started, then," he said, and Cody was instructed to lie back on a table, and the doctor started the procedure. He began with Cody's face and neck. Cody had expected it to hurt, but he only really felt a tingling sensation as the doctor did his work. That first session lasted about an hour. From there, Melissa and Cody went to another doctor, and again, Melissa spoke for him. She explained to the doctor that he was a woman living in a man's body, and that he wanted to become a woman. The doctor referred them to a psychiatrist, and prescribed some female hormones. They did not go to the psychiatrist, but instead, dropped the prescription at the pharmacist, and then, went home. The whole time, Cody had trouble keeping from rubbing his face. It was a little sore, but that wasn't why he kept touching it. There was no hair, not even the sparse stubble he was used to. When they got home, Melissa sat him down. She said, "I'm so proud of you for doing this, you know." Cody could only nod. He hardly knew what to think. * The next two weeks were a blur of activity. Each day, he returned to the doctor to continue his electrolysis, and by the end of two weeks, his body was completely smooth, save a small patch of hair at his crotch. He had been taking the hormones since that first day, but hadn't noticed any changes. He reasoned that they would take quite a while to do their work. Melissa had ordered some clothes online for him, and he had taken to wearing slightly unisex clothes (women's jeans, tee-shirts, and shorts) around the house. Melissa had thrown away his male clothes, so he had little choice. The lingerie was a different story. Melissa wouldn't allow him to wear anything plain; she said that he needed to feel feminine. So, he wore frilly, lacy panties and sexy bras (though he still didn't need one). On the few days when his underwear was cotton, the colors and patterns were decidedly feminine. In the middle of the second week, Melissa came home from work, and said, "I made your appointment with the surgeon for next week. It's just a consult, but the surgery should follow pretty quickly after that. A few weeks after that, and we can start you on the job hunt." She set her purse on the table, and continued, "Have you thought about a name, yet?" Cody shook his head. "You really need to do that. It won't be long before people will start looking at you funny if you introduce yourself as Cody." Cody had been avoiding the name thing. How do you pick a name? Hundreds had crossed his mind, but none seemed quite right. However, he knew time was running out. He'd have to make a decision soon. Sex had been strange in the two weeks since Cody had started his transition, but not necessarily in a bad way. Melissa's aggressive love-making had continued, and it seemed almost commonplace for Cody to submit, which was different, but not altogether strange. What was odd was the fact that sex between the two had become more sensual rather than purely sexual. They held one another, and foreplay seemed to last a lot longer than it had before. That said, Cody didn't mind the attention of Melissa's mouth all over his body, and he actually enjoyed pleasing her likewise, but he did know it was different. He supposed that Melissa was trying to make him feel more womanly, and he had to admit, it was working. Each day, Melissa would try to teach him feminine comportment, and Cody did try, but progress was slow. He couldn't help but feel like a man acting as a woman. He reasoned that comfort would come in time. Melissa would constantly chide him about his posture, gestures, and mannerisms, and for his part, Cody would take her suggestions, and try to apply them. And then there were the arerobics sessions. Melissa insisted that he do them for two reasons. One, they were designed to augment a feminine shape, and two, many had very feminine movements, and would, at least, continue his training. None of it seemed quite real, though. It felt like he was preparing for an acting role or something, and as seriously as he tried to take it, he always felt like a fraud. The day of his doctor's appointment came, and Melissa took him. It was quite daunting to hear them talk about body sculpting, breast augmentation, tracheal shaving, and facial feminization, but Cody took it all stoically. He even managed to smile a few times when the doctor addressed him. The procedure was scheduled for the end of the month, almost a week away. Cody's routine continued, and the day of the surgery arrived. Melissa took him to the hospital, they prepped him, and he remembered seeing the smiling face of the surgeon just before he lost consciousness. Cody awoke to confusion; it took him a few minutes to figure out exactly what was going on. Finally, his mind fought through the anesthesia, and he remembered about the surgeries. And then came the nausea. His stomach roiled, and he had to keep himself from vomiting. He could feel a slight discomfort throughout his body; pain masked by drugs, no doubt. He dozed back off after a few minutes. He awoke again in a hospital room, and he felt the pain in full. His entire body ached, he couldn't speak, and his fear began to mount. He was near panic (irrational though it was) when Melissa walked into the room. She saw the fear in his eyes, and sat on the edge of his bed. She stroked his hair, and comforted him with soft words. * The recovery was, like Cody's entire situation, odd. Not only did his wounds have to heal, but he had to get used to his new body as well. In addition, the hormones had begun to affect him. His mood swung from one end of the spectrum to another in a matter of seconds. It was a time of transition for Cody, and in every sense of the word. The first time he stood after the surgery, he was well aware of the weight of his breasts. They weren't big - just B-cups - but they were unmistakeable. Melissa h ad said that they would probably grow another cup size once the hormones had done their work. Then, there were all the bandages. The surgery had been extensive, and his entire face and neck sported gauze. In addition, his stomach felt like a professional boxer had used it for a punching bag. Altogether, Cody was miserable when he left the hospital two days after the surgeries. A week later, he finally made himself look at his naked body. It was still bruised, and it exhibited swelling in a few places, but the effect of the surgeries was drastic. He had always had a heavier lower than upper body, and the surgery (and the recovery) had accentuated that fact. He knew that his hips weren't really wider - they had decided against fat injections because the doctor didn't favor them - but they certainly looked that way. His waist was positively skinny, and his breasts were perky. His face was still bandaged, or bruised and swollen so badly it was unrecognizable, though. He wondered if the change would be just as drastic. He got his answer a week later when the doctor removed his bandages. The swelling had dissipated, and the doctor asked him to speak. Cody had been forbidden from speaking after the surgery so that his vocal cords could heal. "What do you want me to say?" he asked. He clamped a hand over his mouth in surprise. That wasn't his voice! Sure, it was still raspy, but that was not a man's voice at all. "Good," the doctor said. "Vocal chords are healing nicely." The checkup ended soon after that, and Melissa took Cody home. Once they were inside the apartment, Melissa said, "Go ahead and look. I know you're dying to." Cody was anxious to see his new face, but he was scared as well. He didn't need to be, as it turned out. He could still see himself when he looked in the mirror, but he could also see the changes. The doctor had done his job well, and Cody looked like he could have been a cousin or sister to his former self. He smiled. Life fell back into a rhythm, and Cody continued to recover. He started back with the aerobics, and comportment lessons, and to his surprise, he didn't really feel like he was acting anymore. It all felt, well, right. After a few minutes of thought, his surprise faded. Of course it felt right. He was becoming a woman. Another month passed, and soon, Cody was comfortable enough to leave the apartment in blatantly feminine clothes. He still didn't like wearing skirts or dresses, but it had little to do with comfort. He just didn't like the way men looked at him when he wore them. The hormones continued to do their job, and Cody's breasts gradually grew. After three more months, he was a C-cup. Looking in the mirror, he had to admit that aside from his penis (which had shrunk a bit), he had a body of which most women would be proud. A few weeks later, they were eating a light dinner when Melissa said, "I think you're ready." "For what?" Cody asked. "To get a job as a woman," she explained. "You don't look anything like you used to. Some people might think you look vaguely familiar, but I doubt anyone will put two and two together." "But what sort of job should I look for?" he asked. "As it happens, there is an opening where I work for a secretary," she stated. "We won't work together, or really anywhere near one another, but we could carpool, at least." "A secretary? Am I qualified?" Cody asked. "You can type, and you can answer the phone," Melissa said. "Everything else, you can learn. If you want the job, I can get you an interview." "I recognize that look. There's a caveat here," Cody said. "A couple, actually. First, you can't put it off anymore. You have to change your name, and you're going to have to talk to your college, and get your records transferred to that name if you ever want something more than a secretarial job." Cody didn't know what to say. He had known the day was coming, but changing one's name is a difficult decision. Finally, he said, "Stacy. And I'll use your last name if you don't mind." "We could be sisters!" Melissa squealed. That hadn't been Cody's first thought, in truth. He thought it a grand gesture of his love that he would take Melissa's name, just like if they were married. If he was honest with himself, he would have admitted that there was no such love really there on either side. They had been drifting slowly apart, at least sexually, since his surgeries. But emotionally, they were closer than ever, which was why Cody mistook his feelings for love. He forced a smile. "Okay, then, Stacy. We'll fill out the paperwork tomorrow," Melissa said. * Stacy wrung her hands nervously as she sat in the waiting room. Stacy thought it a little odd that she thought of herself as a woman now, but figured that it had been inevitable. She wasn't a man anymore, and she couldn't afford to think of herself as one. It had been surprisingly easy to change her name and legal status - just a bunch of paperwork and a few fees. But it had tipped the balance for Stacy. She had left Cody behind when she had signed the papers, and had fully committed to her new identity. Even so, she felt butterflies dancing in her tummy as she sat waiting for her interview. She tried to read a magazine, but couldn't concentrate. She had been on dozens of job interviews, and none had affected her quite so much. She knew why. It wasn't that the job was great - it wasn't. She didn't even want it that much, aside from needing to show Melissa that she was serious. No, she didn't care about the actual job. But in the back of her mind, she knew that she was interviewing for more than a job. She was being tested for the rest of her life. If she got the job, it would be an affirmation of everything Melissa had said. If not...Stacy didn't want to even think about that. She had taken great pains to look her best, but Stacy was no fool. She knew, perhaps better than most, that looking professional was only part of it. She had to look enticing, sexy, and professional all at the same time. It was a difficult balancing act, but Stacy thought she had done quite well - with Melissa's help, of course. Her skirt was modest, but tight enough to show off her feminine rear end. She had chosen a fitted white blouse, the top buttons of which, she left open, showing off a bit of cleavage. Stockings and high heels completed the ensemble, and Stacy had been satisfied that she looked quite fetching. Her name was called, and the secretary said, "Mr. Robinson will see you now." Stacy stood, and entered the office. Behind the desk sat a balding, middle-aged man. He might have been handsome once, but a sedentary lifestyle coupled with the passing years had given him a bit of a paunchy look. "Ah, so you're Melissa's little sister, eh?" he said, rising and extending his hand. They had come up with that story, even though Stacy was, in fact, older than Melissa by two years. Stacy took his hand, and shook it daintily. "Have a seat." The interview went almost perfectly. Mr. Robinson asked the normal questions, and Stacy answered them as truthfully as she could without giving away her secret. But more than that, Stacy got her first practice with flirting. She battered her eyelashes, laughed at Mr. Robinson's bad jokes, and endured his openly lustful stares with grace. It made her uncomfortable at first, but Melissa had warned Stacy that it was bound to happen to a pretty girl like her, and that she should use it to her advantage. She did her best. After about twenty minutes, Mr. Robinson said, "Well, I think that's about it. Do you want the job or not?" The question surprised Stacy a little. She expected to get the job, sure, but she hadn't anticipated getting an offer directly after the interview. She managed to stammer, "Yes sir, I do." "Okay, then. You start next Monday at nine sharp," he said. "You'll be reporting to Mrs. Franklin on the second floor. She'll get you settled in." Mr. Robinson stood, and extended his hand. "Welcome to our little family." * "We have to celebrate!" Melissa exclaimed. Stacy smiled. "Let's go out tonight. We'll go dancing." "I don't know," Stacy said. She didn't think he was ready for that step. "Oh, come on. It'll be fun," Melissa insisted. "You'll have fun, I promise." Stacy knew that Melissa wasn't going to relent until she agreed. "Okay, but --" Melissa cut Stacy off with a hug, and a kiss to her cheek, "This is going to be so fun! I know just what you should wear." Melissa led Stacy into her room, and immediately started rummaging through her closet. Stacy sat down, waiting patiently, but Melissa's excitement was absolutely infectious. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea; she could use a little fun, and Stacy had gotten pretty good at her dance aerobics sessions. Melissa pulled out a short little red dress. It was loose, but had elastic around the hem. She tossed it on the bed, and then went to Stacy's underwear drawer. She picked out a red thong, and threw it to Stacy. Finally, she found a pair of strappy heels to complete the outfit. "Where did all this come from? I know I didn't buy it," Stacy said. "It was going to be a gift for your birthday, but this seemed like a good occasion," Melissa answered. "Don't you like the outfit?" Stacy shrugged, and said, "I guess. It's a little, ah...racy, isn't it?" "Of course it is, silly. That's the point," Melissa explained. "I'm going to go take a shower and shave. You are so lucky you don't have to shave your legs." And she disappeared into the bathroom they shared. "What bra should I wear?" Stacy asked. From the bathroom, Melissa called out, "You don't wear a bra with that. Let the girls be free tonight." The girls. Her breasts. She still wasn't quite used to them. * They arrived at the club a little after nine, and were let in without standing in line. Stacy felt extremely self-conscious in her short dress, but put on a brave face. Melissa, on the other hand, seemed looser than she had in months. It was a little strange for Stacy to have men offer her drinks, and she politely refused most of them. After all, her sexual orientation hadn't really changed; she still liked women. Melissa seemed to have no such reservations, and was soon a little tipsy. The two danced together, and Stacy had to admit that she was having a good time. But then, she found herself dancing with a man. He was tall, but otherwise average looking. She didn't see a way to gracefully excuse herself, so she danced with him. The man's hands were all over her, and who could blame him? Stacy was sexy, she knew, and she was dressed like she wanted the attention. She looked at Melissa, who danced with another man. But Melissa didn't politely push the man's hands away like Stacy kept doing. No, she let him rub her up and down. After a few minutes, Stacy couldn't really take it anymore. She grabbed Melissa by the wrist, and pulled her away from the dance floor. "I think we need to go home," she said. Melissa responded, 'You go ahead. I need to get laid." "What? You can't --" Stacy began, but was interrupted by Melissa. "Go on home, sis," Melissa said. "I'll be fine." With that, she walked away, leaving a stunned Stacy in her wake. * Stacy lay on her bed in just her panties later that night. She had quickly removed the dress; it made her feel slutty and cheap, but had seen no reason to put anything else on. She was, after all, alone. Melissa still hadn't returned. What had she meant? Was she really going to sleep with some random man? What about Stacy's feelings? Weren't they still a couple? In truth, they hadn't slept together since the surgeries. Stacy had assumed that everything would remain the same as it was before she had changed, that the two would remain together, but Melissa, it seemed, had other ideas. After waiting up for nearly two more hours, Stacy finally fell asleep. Melissa still wasn't home when she awoke the next morning. It was almost noon before she returned, looking for all the world like she had had one wild night. "Where have you been?" Stacy demanded. "I told you. I needed to get laid," Melissa answered. "What's the problem?" "What's the problem? You can't be serious," Stacy said. "I thought...I thought you were my girlfriend, that --" "Oh, sweety. I'm not a lesbian," Melissa said sweetly. "I thought you understood that. You're a girl, now, and while I do find girls attractive sometimes, I will, from time to time, need a man." "But --" "Just wait. You'll see. In fact, that's something we need to talk about," Melissa said. "You're starting your new job next week, and people are going to expect a normal, heterosexual girl. You can't get all guarded when a man touches you." "I'm not going to sleep with men," Stacy responded. "I just won't." "I think you will," Melissa said. "And I think you should. Nothing makes you feel more like a woman when some man sticks his big cock in you." She looked up, as if an idea had just sprung into her head. "You know...you said you want to have sex with me, still, right?" Stacy nodded. "And we can do it anyway I want?" "Of course. Whatever you want," Stacy answered. Melissa smiled. "I'm going to hold you to that, honey." * Stacy knelt in front of the strap-on dildo, and stared at it for almost a minute. Melissa had left almost as soon as she had gotten cleaned up, and returned with the box about an hour later. After a short argument, Stacy agreed that Melissa could do what she wanted with it. So, she had strapped it on, and asked for a blow job. Stacy knew that it was just a piece of rubber, and that it wouldn't make her gay if she sucked it. In fact, she hardly knew what constituted gay anymore. She thought of herself as a woman, so did that mean that having sex with a woman made her a lesbian? Or because she still had a penis, did having sex with a man make her a homosexual? Confused thoughts danced through her head until, finally, she just decided to go with it. She took the rubber penis into her mouth all at once, and roughly sucked it. "No. Not like that. Tease it a little. Show a little technique. Do what you would have liked done to you before the change," Melissa instructed. So, Stacy tried. She licked it, and kissed it, doing all of the things she had liked before. It felt odd, sucking a fake cock, and, in truth, Stacy felt silly about it all. But to her credit, she did her best to treat it like it was real. Melissa rested her hand on Stacy's head, and said, "Look at me while you're doing it." Stacy looked up. After a few minutes of sucking, Melissa said, "Okay. Enough of that. Get on your hands and knees." She pointed to the bed, and Stacy did as she was told. "Now put your face into the bed, and get that ass up in the air. Good." Stacy looked back at Melissa, who had a tube of lubricant in her hand. She squirted some onto her fingers. It was cold when Melissa touched Stacy's rectum that first time, and she flinched. Melissa caressed Stacy's rear with her other hand, and said, "It's okay. Just relax." Then, she plunged a finger in. It was different, but not in a bad way, Stacy thought as Melissa worked the finger in and out. After a couple of minutes, one finger became two. It was a tight fit, and Melissa told Stacy to relax again. She tried her best, but couldn't help but clench her rectum. When Melissa pulled her fingers out, Stacy felt an emptiness in her bottom. She looked back again, but this time, Melissa was rubbing her hand up and down the rubber dildo, lubing it up. It looked so big compared to her fingers. Could she take that much? Stacy buried her face in the sheets, and waited, her breasts hanging freely. Melissa wasn't quite ready, though. She was enjoying the anticipation. Stacy felt the dildo rubbing against the outer rim of her anus, teasingly. Finally, Stacy felt Melissa's hands planted firmly on her buttons, and then, the tip went in slowly. Stacy gasped - it hurt so much! Melissa went slowly, easing it in inch by inch, and Stacy felt tears welling in her eyes. A whimper escaped her lips. "It's almost in. You're doing so good, baby," Melissa cooed as she continued to push the dildo in. After what seemed like hours, it was in, and Stacy felt Melissa's hips brushing against her. Melissa left it in for a few seconds, and Stacy started to relax. The pain started to fade a little. It was still there, but part of it had been replaced by pleasure. It was so much different than what she had felt as a man. And then Melissa started to pull out just as slowly as she had pushed the dildo inside of Stacy. She pushed it back in, a little faster than before. Each thrust was faster, and with each one, Stacy's pain faded. In and out, Melissa fucked Stacy's ass. The two went at it for hours until exhaustion forced them to stop. They tried so many different positions that Stacy couldn't even remember them all. And from that day on, Stacy was the woman in the relationship. When they had sex (and it really wasn't that often - Melissa wasn't a lesbian after all), it was Melissa fucking Stacy with the strap-on dildo. * Stacy's first day as a secretary had been hell. She had arrived a little early, but Mrs. Franklin had looked at her like she had shown up two hours late. While spouting off a litany of rules and regulations, she led Stacy to her small desk. And then things got busy. She hardly had a second to herself between answering phones, typing memos, and running little errands for everyone from the other secretaries (being the new girl and all) to the executives and sales staff. By lunch, she was absolutely exhausted - not physically, but mentally. She decided to go up to Melissa's floor to have lunch (Melissa was a senior sales associate), but was moderately surprised that Melissa had already made a lunch date with one of her male colleagues. So, deciding to just zone out at her desk for her lunch break, Stacy boarded the elevator. A second later, a handsome (even Stacy had to admit that he was cute) young man in a business suit got onto the elevator as well. He looked at her, and obviously noticing her downtrodden look, said, "You okay?" "I'm fine," Stacy answered. She looked up at him, and said, "I was supposed to have lunch with my...sister, but she made other plans, apparently." Why had she said that? She hadn't intended to share any information with the man. She looked at him again. He was tall - around six feet - and with an athletic build. He had short brown hair, blue eyes, and a ruggedly handsome face. But there was something else there that just screamed "trust me." Stacy couldn't put her finger on it. "Oh," he staid. "That's terrible." After a few seconds, he said, "Well, why don't you let me take you to lunch. I'm probably not as good of company as your sister, but I'll do in a pinch." Stacy didn't really know what to say. She had been asked out before, and was kind of used to it by now. Something, though, made her say, "Okay." She smiled shyly. "Okay, then," the man said. "I'm Owen, by the way." He extended his hand. "Stacy," she answered, taking it. * Later that day, Stacy entered the apartment, still thinking about Owen. Their lunch date had been fantastic. He was charming, funny, and yes, quite handsome. And he was obviously taken with Stacy. The two made a plan for a proper date that weekend. Stacy couldn't help but wonder what she was doing. She didn't like men, did she? She wasn't so sure, now. Still, though, she kept the information from Melissa. Part of her was embarrassed about it all, even though she knew that she had nothing about which to be ashamed. She was a woman who had had lunch with a man. Nothing wrong with that. But in the back of Stacy's mind, she felt supremely uncomfortable with it. She wasn't a real woman, after all, she thought. The feeling that she was simply a man acting like a woman lingered in the back of her mind. As the days passed, Stacy became far more comfortable with her new job. It wasn't so hard if she just kept from panicking, and organized her time correctly. She also became used to being viewed as a bit of a sex object. She felt men's eyes on her wherever she went, and why not? She was a very pretty young woman, and she dressed like it. Stacy practically asked for the attention. She was, however, a bit taken aback the first time one of her bosses patted her on the rear. She was less surprised by the little pet names they had for her, like honey or sweety. She got used to it, though. Such was the life of a pretty young secretary, or so Melissa told her. Besides, they were terms of endearment, and Stacy sort of liked it. * The day of Stacy's date arrived, and she was forced to tell Melissa. She did want to look her best, after all, and she couldn't do that without Melissa. Melissa did not react at all as Stacy expected. She thought that Melissa would be jealous, angry, or maybe even laugh, but she did none of that. Instead, she seemed genuinely excited. "I know just what you should wear!" Melissa said as she disappeared into her closet. Stacy was surprised to see that Melissa didn't go for a dress or a skirt, but instead, chose a simple pair of black capri pants, a fitted, collared, and ivory-colored shirt, and simple flats. Stacy looked at her questioningly, but Melissa said, "You don't want him to think you're a slut." If the outerwear had been conservative, the lingerie was decidedly not. Lacy and white, Stacy knew it was intended to make her feel girly and sexy. It did the trick nicely. There was no way she would forget just how feminine she had become when wearing that underwear. She dressed, and looked in the mirror. Casual but still sexy. Although, Stacy reasoned, she thought she might look sexy in just about anything. The hormones had continued to do their work, and her body showed it. The date itself went as expected - just a movie and a meal. Owen was, as before, handsome, funny, and intelligent. He didn't dominate a conversation, but instead let Stacy speak her own mind. At the end of the date, as she stood in front of the door to her apartment, staring at Owen, Stacy couldn't help but think just how perfect he was. Then the guilt hit. He deserved to know the truth. "I have to tell you something, Owen," Stacy said. "And you're probably not going to like it." "You have a boyfriend, don't you?" Owen asked. Stacy shook her head. "A husband?" "No, it's not that," Stacy responded. "Then I don't need to know anything except for the answer to one simple question," Owen said. He smiled, and then asked, "When can I see you again?" Stacy didn't have the heart to tell him what was on her mind, so she said, "Oh, I don't know," a playful tone in her voice. "Who says I want to?" And then he kissed her. Stacy had kissed a lot of girls in her life, but nothing could have prepared her for the feeling of being kissed by a man. He was forceful, strong, and tender all at the same time. When Owen began to pull away, Stacy almost went with him. She simply didn't want it to end. When she opened her eyes to a smiling Owen, she said, "I think tomorrow's good." * And so it went for Stacy. She and Owen saw one another almost daily, and spoke on the phone even more often than that. Melissa was supportive, and the two even went on a few double dates. They talked about their respective relationships (Melissa about whichever guy she was seeing at the moment and Stacy about Owen). They were closer than they had ever been, but at the same time, their relationship was so different that it was hard to make a comparison. Occasionally, they would have sex, but it was clear, even while they made love, that neither's heart was really in it. As the weeks passed they slowly gravitated away from that sort of relationship. As for her job, Stacy quickly became a respected part of the team. She took the playful flirting in stride, and did her job exceedingly well. It wasn't long before the other secretaries quit giving her the least desirable jobs, and Stacy settled into her life quite well. But it all came crashing down about a month after Stacy had started her new job. It was at the end of yet another date with Owen, and the two were getting frisky. Owen's hands roamed over Stacy's body, massaging her breasts while Stacy's smaller hands found Owen's crotch. They had been on quite a few dates, and Stacy had been wondering how long she could keep up the chaste act. It was clear to anyone who saw them that they wanted one another. So when would Stacy have to tell him? The guilt had been building since that first date, and finally, in the middle of their fooling around, Stacy said, "Owen. Before we do anything else, I have to tell you something. Don't try to stop me, or I won't be able to get it out." She pulled away. "This sounds serious," Owen said, recognizing the gravity of the situation from the tone of Stacy's voice. "Please don't hate me. Whatever else happens, know that I wanted to tell you that first night, and that I just --" "It will be okay, Stacy. Just spit it out," Owen said. "I'm not who you think I am," Stacy said. "I," she struggled with the words. "I used to be a man." * Stacy sat on the couch, head in her hands, and cried. Her hair formed a curtain around her face, obscuring her vision. Melissa sat beside her, rubbing her back, and trying to console her. "He just said to get out," Stacy said between sobs. "It was so surreal. He didn't raise his voice or sound angry, but I knew it was there. It...I don't know." "He'll come around, Stacy. You'll see," Melissa said. "It doesn't matter what you used to be, just what you are now. If he can't see that, you're better off without him." Stacy knew that Owen wouldn't come around. Melissa hadn't seen the look on his face when he finally processed what Stacy had said. It was one of disgust. But she had had no choice but to tell him. Better sooner than later, before the emotional investment was too high. Stacy cried her self asleep that night. Melissa had insisted that the two sleep in the same bed, and as Stacy lay in Melissa's arms, she couldn't help but wonder at what life would throw at her next. She didn't have to wonder that long, because the next morning, it was clear that word had gotten around. Everyone at work looked at her differently, and there were no flirtatious nicknames or pats on the rear. She had complained to Melissa about those very same things on countless occasions, but their lack was even more disturbing. She wasn't a woman anymore. She wasn't Stacy, the pretty secretary. She was a freak, someone to avoid. Then and there, Stacy made a decision. She would not let herself be singled out again. She wouldn't allow the world to dictate to her. It was a bold move, and probably not at all rational, but Stacy quit that day. At the same time, she knew that if only she went ahead with complete gender reassignment, future problems might not exist. But then there was the extraordinary cost, not inconsiderable pain, and the risk of getting a bad surgery, which would make the whole thing worthless. No, Stacy would remain as she was, and people would simply have to accept her for that. Strangely, quitting her job reinvigorated her ambition. She had been coasting, she knew, content with her job as a secretary. But when she got home that day, she called her college, and got the ball rolling on changing her records over to her current name. Melissa was supportive as always, when she arrived home. She had heard what had happened, and tried to comfort Stacy as best she could. Stacy, though, was past that point. She had tossed her pain and disappointment aside for the moment, and had her sights set on something bigger. She wanted to succeed, and in the field in which she had dreamed of working since she had been in college. She wanted to be a journalist. A couple of weeks later, the process of having her records transferred having been completed, she went to a local news station. The reaction was ridiculously different from what she had received as a man. Stacy supposed that being a pretty young woman had more than a little to do with it, but she wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. She had an interview within the week, and a job within two. It wasn't anything glamorous - just as a reporter. The man who had offered her the job hadn't made any bones about it; she was going to be doing fluff pieces at first. If, and only if, she proved herself, she would get a chance to do something a little more substantial. Stacy took that as a challenge. Over the next six months, she truly applied herself to the job like she hadn't with anything since football. Stacy did everything that was asked of her, reporting on stories which most journalists wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. But Stacy was driven. She wanted success. One morning, she was at the studio making herself a cup of coffee when she heard two of the male anchors discussing the latest Sunday's football happenings. She eagerly joined the conversation. A lot had changed in Stacy's life, but nothing could take away her love of football. It was, after all, why she had started playing in the first place. And so, each weekend, she watched college and professional games. The anchors were a little insulting at first, as they assumed that she, like many women, knew nothing of the sport, but soon changed their tunes when she demonstrated a knowledge which exceeded even their own. Soon, word got around that she knew her sports, and the producers started giving her the sports related stories. After a few more months, she had become a local celebrity (this time, the good kind). People knew who she was, and some even asked for autographs. Stacy took it all in stride, even though at first, she was supremely afraid that someone might make the connection between the sports girl and the kicker who had missed the winning field goal in the Super Bowl. She needn't have worried, for she had become a far different person, inside and out. Life, it seemed, had taken a turn for the better - at least professionally. Stacy's personal life, however, was empty. She went out on dates quite frequently, but she kept everyone at arm's length. She couldn't tell anyone her secret; she was afraid that if anyone knew, she would lose her newly found success. * One night, Melissa and Stacy were sitting at their small dinner table, eating, when the phone rang. Melissa walked over to it, and picked it up. "Hello," she said. "Oh, yeah. One sec." Melissa strode to Stacy, and said, "For you." Stacy held the phone to her ear, and said, "Hello? Yes, this is she." She paused. "Yes, I know who you are." She listened to the person on the other end speak for a few moments, and then said, "I'll be there. Thank you. Thank you so much." She hung up the phone, and with a stunned look, sat back down at the table. After a few seconds, Melissa said, "Well?" "That was one of the producers for the network - you know, the national network. They want to interview me for a job," Stacy responded. "As a sideline reporter for their football broadcasts." Melissa reacted as one might expect, squealing with joy and congratulating Stacy. Stacy couldn't help but be excited too, even knowing that it was still a long shot that she would even get the job. But they had called. That meant something. She caught a flight two days later to New York, and when she walked into their offices, she felt extremely intimidated. Everyone moved so purposefully, and it was all going so fast. She told the receptionist who she was, and she was told that the producer would be free in a few minutes. Stacy looked around; she had expected to see a lot of other women interviewing for the job, but there was no one else there. It was only her. Perhaps they had already conducted the others. A few minutes later, she was told that the producer, a man named Bob Adams, was ready for her. She stood, took a deep breath, straightened her skirt, and strode through the office door. Adams was a short, fat, and bald man dressed in a very expensive suit. He stood, and smiled at Stacy as she walked in. "Glad you could make it," he said. Stacy smiled, and returned the greeting. As it turned out, there were no other interviewees. There was only Stacy, and the interview was a formality. They had seen her work, and they wanted her. The ball was in Stacy's court. The two talked for a few minutes before Stacy was asked if she wanted the job. She took it without a second thought. Two weeks later, she was on the sidelines of a professional football game, reporting on injuries, interviewing coaches at halftime, and trying to contribute to the broadcast as much as possible. After the game, though, she was confronted with a situation she had been dreading - the locker room interviews. Athletes, Stacy knew, having been one, were not exactly shy about their locker room attire. Most thought nothing of giving an interview completely naked, especially to pretty young reporters like Stacy. They knew the effect they had on women, and that was the true test of a female reporter. Could they keep their cool when confronted by fifty or so half-naked (or fully naked) men in their physical prime? That was where Stacy wasn't so sure of herself. Despite her early denials, she was, in fact, attracted to men. She liked women, too, of course. Maybe it had always been like that. Perhaps she had been attracted to men all along, and had simply repressed it because it wasn't socially acceptable. But the fact remained that, over the course of her life as a woman, Stacy had started noticing men a lot more. She had dated men, kissed men, and even given oral sex to a few. She felt safe with them, and she certainly enjoyed the way they looked at her. Stacy had a theory that attraction isn't necessarily a one way street. Perhaps it is as much about who finds you attractive as who you find aesthetically pleasing. The attraction, Stacy supposed, was, in and of itself, attractive. Or maybe she just liked men, and was trying to rationalize it. Either way, she stood outside of the locker room, frozen for a few moments before she gathered her wits, and pushed through the door. As expected, she was the recipient of a few catcalls, and she saw more than one dangling penis (from which she would quickly avert her eyes). But she made it through her interviews without a hiccup. It was quite strange, though. It hadn't been that long ago that she would have felt completely at home in a locker room surrounded by men., but as she left, Stacy felt a distinct sense of relief. She had felt out of place there, like she didn't belong (which she didn't). That realization was important, Stacy realized later that night. She truly felt like a woman intruding into that locker room. Did that mean her journey was complete, that she had passed completely into womanhood? Maybe so. * Many years, and quite a lot of success later, Stacy looked back on that moment as just what it was - the end of one life, and the beginning of another. It wasn't that long after that day before someone recognized Stacy for who she had been, but it wasn't the disaster Stacy had expected. It had been in a locker room where a player noticed her. He had been one of Stacy's teammates in college. But what he did with that information, Stacy could not have expected. He had found her after the game, and had told her that they needed to talk. Stacy agreed, and he poured his heart out. The reason, it seemed, that he had recognized Stacy as Cody was because he had come to know Cody's face, his mannerisms so well. He had watched him, desired him. But he had kept it secret, for an openly homosexual football player didn't get drafted. No team was going to take that kind of public relations risk. But when he had seen Stacy, he had known almost immediately. They talked well into the night. The two slept together two days later. They were married six months after that. No one else ever knew Stacy's secret. Some people may want to know what the rest of their life was like, but suffice it to say that they were, to Stacy's enormous relief, quite a normal couple.