Adam and the Three Wishes - Part 3/6

Adam and the Three Wishes, Part 3

By Portia Bennett

Introduction: The Victorian duplex is perfect as far as Adam is concerned. The location is great and the ambience of the area is refreshing. There is a problem, though. Charli and Randi, two beautiful, precocious girls, not yet teenagers know Adams secret, and he is confounded how they do. Randi mentions she's Cindy's sister. Adam can't quite place the name. Adam and Jim meet for a couple of drinks in Boston where Jim confesses his marriage is not going well.

This is another story in the Cynthia Chronicles series. Other stories in the series are An Incremental Journey, Cynthia and the Reluctant Girlfriend, Cynthia and the Dumpster Diver, Cynthia and the Moment of Truth, Cynthia and the High School Years - Part I, Cynthia and the High School Years - Part II, Charli and the Girl Cave, Bobbie and the Glass Ceiling; and Randi and the College Professor,. The time frame of this story takes place about three to four years after Charli and the Girl Cave. If you haven't read the stories before, it might be a good idea to go back and start at the beginning.


 

Once again Holly H. Hart has willingly provided her invaluable help in proofing and straightening out my poor English. Thank you so much, Holly.

This work is copyrighted by the author and any publication or distribution without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons living or dead is coincidental.


 

Adam and the Three Wishes

 

Part 3

Chapter 5

He moved in the next morning, and it was difficult for him to understand his good fortune. Essentially everything he needed was already there: dishes, utensils, linens, furniture, everything. Well, he did have to bring his television, entertainment system, and computer; however, all the internal wiring had already been installed, and it just took a call to the internet service to have a technician out to provide a modem/hub and check everything out.

Phantom was having a field day checking everything out. He would cautiously check out each room, looking into each corner. The window sills were his observation towers, and they, too, received his scrutiny. The location of the litter box received final testing and approval as well.

The knocking at the front door drew Adam away from putting the last items in the kitchen away. He had been making a list for what he knew would be a fairly extensive shopping trip to the local grocery. The Victorian door with its oval pane revealed the silhouette of a small figure. His visitor was Charli. She was an exceptionally beautiful young girl only a few years away from puberty. Adam was envious of the wonderful journey that she would be embarking on soon. Her complexion was dark, probably Mediterranean. Her wavy dark hair glowed red in the sunlight. He had noticed that the day before. Willie was sitting next to her feet. 'My goodness what a huge cat; his head's above her knees.'

"Willie wants to see Phantom."

"Do you think that's a good idea? Cat's, especially boy cats don't always get along very well." Adam looked back down the hall to see Phantom approaching. He was obviously checking Charli and Willie out. About four feet from the door, he gave a little hiss, puffed his long fur out, and turned sideways with his back arched. Adam figured it was all over, but Willie just stretched out on the porch with his front paws tucked under his chest. Then Phantom attacked. He launched himself at Willie's neck, attacking him as if he were a lion attacking a cape buffalo. Willie just blinked his eyes, and accepted the attack.

Willie finally shook Phantom off, and Phantom headed for the interior. Willie trotted after him. Phantom ducked into the dining room, and as Willie approached he attacked again. This time he charged and reared on his hind legs with his front legs extended upwards. He was a very fierce cat without a doubt. Willie'd had enough by this time, and with one huge paw and foreleg pushed Phantom to the floor. He then proceeded to groom him while paying particular attention to his ears.

"I knew they would get along," Charli said rather matter-of-factly. "Your home looks very nice. I knew it would. You are a girl, after all."

"What!" Adam was shocked to say the least. He could feel the heat of embarrassment rising to his face. "How could you possibly know anything like that? That's not the sort of thing a young girl should be talking about. How can you say anything like that? That's not right."

"Well, you are. I heard Cindy and Bobbie talking about you, and I wanted to see if they were right. Well, they are."

Adam couldn't believe it. He had never thought that he presented a very feminine image. He had tried to keep it inside. There had never been anyone who had even hinted at it. Well, April Dawn had just about called him every name in the book, but he had always attributed that to her outré Christian beliefs and the fact that he was friendly with the LGTBQ community. Hell, when Jim had first brought her around he was still sleeping with Pamela. That didn't last, and there hadn't been anyone since; however, he thought that he had kept his inner girl well hidden. He didn't even have a wardrobe, although he was seriously considering starting one; something that he could experiment with in private.

Cindy and Bobbie, who were they? There was something familiar about the names, though. All he needed was for that little girl to tell her aunt that he was transgendered. She'd kick him out for the 'pervert' that he was.

"Charli, I think you'd better leave. Your aunt probably won't want you hanging around me if you told her what you just told me. You should probably take Willie with you." He turned to see Phantom and Willie sound asleep on the love seat.

"Adam, please forgive Charli," said a voice from the doorway. He turned to see Ms. Mather standing at the door. "She hears things and doesn't always understand everything that has been said. She had a rough time of it for a while. Her parents were murdered by some hoodlums, and Charli isolated herself for a number of years. Some dear friends in Bridgeport adopted her a few years ago. It's just been the last few years that she's been able to come out of her shell. She tends to overcompensate a bit. She's a very smart child, and she amazes us with the progress she's made, and I know she didn't mean any harm by whatever she said."

"Well, she caught me off guard, and the last thing I'd want you to think was that I was some sort of pervert. I assure you I'm not."

"We know you're not, Adam. Don't worry about a thing. Now, Jerry Amistad is working today and will be by here in a while to put in two pet doors for you. He found them in the storage shed. I think they'll work just fine."

"Ms. Esmeralda, how long have you known Willie?"

"About three years, as long as we've known Charli, I guess. Why?

"I don't think I've ever seen a house cat as big as he is. He looks like a killer. I'd hate to have him mad at me. He looks like he's had his share of tussles, with that torn ear. I thought he'd kill Phantom. Instead, they played like long lost friends."

"Who knows? Maybe they are. It's difficult to tell about cats.

"Oh, here's Jerry.

"Jerry, this is Mr. Grunewald, He'll be living with us for a while. He'll show you where the doors go."

The next morning Adam was jostled out of bed by Phantom chasing Willie through the house. Then it was Willie chasing Phantom. It soon turned into a daily activity.

Adam decided to go to Boston on Sunday night. He could have left very early Monday morning, but that was leaving too much to chance. Besides, the company would pay for the room. The travel time would count in his time account.

Tom Dillon was a nice enough fellow, probably cast from the same mold as Davis was. He took Adam around to meet all the staff in the regional office. Like St. Louis, there were four loss control consultants. They handled Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. Their reception of Adam was warm enough, but Adam felt an underlying current of mistrust. The reason for it was beyond his comprehension at the moment.

Tom took the loss control staff out to lunch. A couple of them had a drink, read that alcoholic beverage; however, Adam didn't feel it was proper. He was beginning to wonder if he was being tested.

They met for a couple of hours more in the afternoon before the meeting finally broke up.

"Jim, we've finally finished the meetings. Do you want to meet at that place you talked about? It's just around the corner from here. I can meet you there at five."

"That sounds good. I'm only a few blocks away from there. See you then."

'So this was the famous watering hole they based that old TV program on,' Adam thought as he found a small table. He ordered a Margarita for himself and a Scotch on the rocks for Jim. Jim showed up before the drinks were delivered. They exchanged firm hugs. "I'd better keep it to one drink. April gets upset if I've been drinking. I don't understand what the problem is. I never get drunk. Hell, we used to drink all the time. Then we got married."

"Problems?"

"Things were pretty good for a while after we moved here, but the liberal atmosphere around here bothers her. I guess I never realized how hung up she was about these things. I still don't understand what she has against you. I was so wrong about how I let her treat you.

"I keep hoping that we can get things straightened out, but right now, I don't think it looks very good. I haven't told anyone about this; however, when we got married, all she could talk about was having children. Well last year we got pregnant, but three months into the pregnancy we lost the baby. That happens, and the doctors explained it to us that it was no one's fault. Sometimes, things just aren't right; the body realizes it, and terminates the pregnancy. The body knows. Now she says that God didn't want us to have children, and somehow it's my fault. We haven't had sex in more than six months. I won't call it making love. And, now that I realize it, I don't think it ever was.

"We never should have gotten married. I realize it now. I'm still hoping that we can get things figured out, but I'm not very optimistic.

"Enough about my problems, how're you doing?"

"Not bad, the job pays well enough, but I'm getting a lot of vibrations that tell me the job won't be around too much longer. Everywhere I look the company's downsizing.

"Jim, I really enjoy the work I'm doing. It gives me a lot of freedom. The people I worked with are great, at least the ones I did work with. Now, I have a new supervisor and four other potential rivals. Their reception wasn't exactly warm.

"There's an office manager where I work, and a few other folks that work the other side of the insurance house, but I don't report to any of them. My boss is here." He took a sip from his Margarita. It was pretty good; a lot better than some he'd had on the road. He might have to have another one before he found dinner somewhere. He was sorry that Jim couldn't stay around longer. Still, he knew he'd be back to Boston every few months.

"How's your job going?" Adam asked.

"I guess I could say great. They like my work. They have an excellent computer system, and aren't afraid to spend the money on good software. I'm in the middle of developing a new claims analysis program for them."

They had an enjoyable time talking about past memories. Jim looked at his watch. It was starting to edge towards twilight. "Shit, I've got to go. April will be pissed off as it is. Let me know the next time you're coming over here. We'll have to get together again. By the way, I do have to go to Hartford every once in a while. Maybe we can get together over there. Then we can have dinner or something together without having to worry about April looking over my shoulder.

"I've five minutes to catch the MBTA. If I don't, it'll have to be a cab." Jim paused for a moment. "You know, you're the best friend I've ever had. I am so sorry I almost let April screw things up," he said, almost repeating what he had said earlier. They shook hands, and Jim grabbed his attaché case and headed for the MBTA.

"May I get you another drink, sweetie?" He turned to see an attractive waitress ready to take his order. Her beautiful cleavage was nicely revealed. 'If only,' he thought.

"Yes, I'd like to have another Margarita, and may I please see a menu."

The trip back to Hartford was time for a bit of contemplation. Yeah, Jim's marriage sucked. Anyone with half a brain could tell she wasn't the girl for him. Religiously, Jim was a liberal. April was about as fundamentalist as they came; however, she hid it beneath a veneer of lacquered bleached hair, suspected breast augmentation, and a probable nose job if her parents' proboscises were any indication. The fundamentalism was one thing; however, she, in Adam's opinion, was just not a very nice person. He sensed more than just a little hypocrisy about her.

What did she see in him? Did she see a ticket to something or somewhere? He just didn't understand it. Jim deserved a lot better than he was getting.

Charli waved at him as he pulled into his parking slot. There was something that bothered him, though. Willie and Phantom were roughhousing on the lawn, and the problem was that Adam had left Phantom inside behind locked doors. The pet door had been secured from the inside. Esmeralda was supposed to be looking after him, but he didn't expect Phantom to be allowed to go outside. In addition to Charli and the two cats was a young blonde girl. She might have been about a year older than Charli if her size was any indication.

The four of them came bounding over to greet Adam as he parked the car. Phantom was wrapping himself around Adam's ankles in a matter of seconds. "So, you little monster, what are you doing out here?"

"Adam, this is my best friend, Randi. She's visiting today because she wanted to see Phantom.

"Randi, this is Adam. What do you think?"

"I think you are right. No, I know you are right," Randi corrected herself.

"Hi, Adam, it's nice to meet you. I've heard a lot about you. Cindy is my big sister. She met you in Cape Girardeau."

'That's where I heard that name before. Now, I remember. This is certainly a strange coincidence. What is going on?' Adam thought. 'My goodness, she's pretty. Her blonde beauty is the perfect complement to Charli's dark beauty.'

"We didn't let Phantom out. He knows how to unlock the pet door. Willie told him how to do it. I'll show you.

"Phantom, go back in your house and lock the pet door. We'll meet you inside."

Phantom took off and Willie followed. "Willie, no fair helping Phantom; he has to do it himself.

"Sometimes, Willie tries to help too much. Phantom is real young, but he's learning real well. Willie's real proud of him. He should be," Randi added.

When they entered, the two cats were proudly sitting in front of the pet door. The door was securely locked.

"How in the hell did they do that?" Adam asked. "And how'd they know what you were talking about?"

"We told them to do it. Didn't you hear us?" Charli said with her hands on her hips as only a child could do.

"I know I heard you tell them, but I have a bit of a problem believing that they understood you, and did what you told them to do."

"Well, they told us they understood us," Charli once again said rather emphatically. "Didn't you hear them?"

"Charli, I don't think Adam's ready yet."

"Ready for what?" Adam asked.

"Ready to talk with cats, dogs, and other animals.

"Someday, you will be," Randi said as she turned to Adam.

"I think you young ladies have some rather vivid imaginations," Adam responded.

"Girls, are you in here with Mr. Grunewald?" Five heads turned to see Esmeralda Mather standing in the entry hall. "I hope you're not bothering him with all this cat stuff. There will be plenty of time for that later.

"So, how was your trip?"

"Very nice: I was able to have a couple drinks with a good friend. The business part went pretty well, too. My boss is cool, but the others didn't exactly roll out the welcome mat." Then he changed the subject back to his precocious kitten someday to be a cat if he didn't get run over. "How did Phantom learn to unlock the pet door? I know he's a smart kitten but that is beyond me. I wanted to keep the door locked so that we didn't have any unauthorized 'guests'."

"Well, he is a very smart kitten. They are often a lot smarter than we give them credit for.

"I do have some news that shouldn't affect you for a while. Lewis Construction, they're the owners of this property, are going to be doing some updates around here. You may have noticed the stakes at the rear of some of the units. Those are where they are going to be putting garages for each of the units. They will also be converting half of the buildings into single family dwellings. I think that's what they have in store for this one. But as I said, you don't have to worry about that. The place is yours as long as you need it."

"I guess that's a bit disappointing. I really like it here, but I have a feeling that I will probably be moving on within the year. I'm beginning to understand the signs in this business. We'll just have to see, I guess."

Chapter 6

Adam found that he had to allow quite a bit more time to travel the same distances he had been traveling in Missouri. There was another problem that he had to overcome, also. He was a foreigner. His almost accentless voice immediately identified him as not being from the area. "Hi, I'm from your insurance company," elicits about the same response as saying you are from the IRS or from OSHA. Of course, Adam would never walk in on someone unannounced. That was a strict no-no. He would get his assignments and try to put together a trip that would get as many in one day as was practical. Some days were longer than others; however, he was home every night except when he had to go to Boston, which he did about once a quarter.

It worked out nicely on his second trip to Boston that Jim's wife was visiting a sister in West Plains who was going to be giving birth soon. Jim picked Adam up at his hotel, and they drove to one of the better known restaurants in the outskirts of town.

"This place is known for its seafood and steaks. On the advice of someone in the office, I took April here last year. She didn't like it at all. You might have noticed there's a gay bar and restaurant next door. She gets very uptight about that sort of thing, and I guess it ruined the dinner for her."

"Anything changed since last time?" Adam asked.

"Not much, she let me have sex with her a few weeks ago. I wouldn't call it making love. Let's just say it was very one sided, and leave it at that.

"So how's your love life?"

"Nonexistent, I haven't had time to get out much. They're a few nice restaurants around, but I don't really have the funds. 'Old Muddy' will pay for my share of this one. I have met two absolutely gorgeous girls who were staying with my landlady. One is this sultry, dark little thing with the most beautiful dark auburn hair. Her best friend is a natural platinum blonde with the deepest blue eyes. They live in Bridgeport out in the western part of the state. The bad news is they are 10 and 11. What's really weird is that I met the blonde's sister in Cape Girardeau, Missouri last spring. She and her friend were visiting this old guy who was running a strange little store I had to survey." Adam decided not to mention the other weird things about the trip.

"Guess who was with her sister? She's her sister's best friend."

"I haven't a clue."

"Bobbie Schmedlap."

"You have to be kidding. My God, she's good looking. So, was her friend that lush, golden haired blonde?"

"Yes, her name's Cindy, and she's gorgeous," Adam replied.

"I saw the two of them on the cover of the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated. They made the cover instead of the pros. I understand they did it for charity.

"I didn't see the magazine when it came out, but I found it on the internet. I was searching Bobbie's name, and all sorts of stuff popped up. I had vaguely remembered seeing a picture of her on one of Dad's golf magazines. I just play the game. I don't obsess about it like Dad does."

"I'm surprised you didn't know about the pictures in SI, since I know you like pretty women."

'I do, but not for the reason you think' Adam thought. "I've been pretty busy and just didn't get around to getting the issue this year."

"Well, I'd let you look at my copy except that April threw it out a while ago. Are they as pretty in person as the pictures made them out to be?"

"I would have to say so." Adam paused for a second thinking back to that snowy day. "I didn't recognize Bobbie at first, but I realized she was a golfer when I saw that her left hand wasn't tanned. I guess she saw me looking at her hand, and complimented me on guessing she was a golfer. Who she was hadn't sunk in yet. Maybe I was being too appreciative of their good looks.

"The proprietor of the store told me that Cindy, Lewis is her last name, is a pre-med student here in Boston. I think he said Bobbie was going to Wake Forest. That only makes sense. There's quite a golf heritage there."

"I guess you don't keep up with the news."

"I do. I listen to NPR when I travel. I get the Courant. Why?"

"They both got married this summer. It was a big double wedding in Bridgeport. They made a big deal about it on those morning news programs. Cindy's husband has been a two time All American as a place kicker for Boston College. He kicked a seventy-two yarder last season. Bobbie's husband is an All American golfer on the men's team at Wake forest.

"So, a ten and eleven year-old, eh, that's probably too long for you to wait. Any other prospects?"

"Nope."

"So, how are the digs?"

"Where I live? Great! I'll have to move out some day, though. They have a project starting where they're going to convert the place to private homes. They told me that I can stay there as long as I want. I have a feeling I'll be looking for a job within the year.

"The place is very nice. It's an older home with a very Victorian feel. It came furnished, and most of the furniture is Eastlake, really nice walnut and other hardwoods. The kitchen is modern with some of the best appliances I've ever seen for the type of place it is."

"You always were sort of the homebody," Jim chuckled. "Not that you're a neat freak, but you've always made sure everything was right."

"Actually, I think you are being a bit kind. I don't like mess," Adam interrupted.

"I think it's more than that. You rearranged our dorm room so that it worked well for both of us. Hell, I was willing to just take it just as it was. You see things differently than most guys do. It's strange. You like sports, but aren't eaten up by them. Well, you like some sports. You certainly aren't a NASCAR fan. You're a Royals fan, and George Brett is your hero. I'm a St. Louis fan, and Albert Pujols, the traitor, is my idol; however, we like them both. We both like to fish. You're a far better golfer than I am, and you helped my game. I don't know if you can cook or not; however, your comments about food make me think you know how to get around in the kitchen.

"There are other things about you that are difficult to put a finger on. You listen well. You're sensitive. You've let me talk about my marriage problems, and you've always been supportive. I've seen you cry at movies. Not many guys do that. You tell me you've adopted an orphan cat. I've always liked cats," Jim seemed to be a bit contemplative when he started talking about cats.

"You know, April has a cat, and I can't get near it. April says it's because I must have abused a cat or other pet sometime past. I assure you I've never abused any animal.

"April doesn't know that we met the last time you were here. I've just never seen any reason to tell her. It was bad enough when you were my best man. She didn't understand why I would even let some 'queer' take part in the wedding."

"I'm not gay."

"I know that, but there is something about you that sets her off. It's almost like she is competing with you for my affection. I know you are my best friend, and I'm not gay either. I don't know what it is, but there is something about her that I didn't have a clue about when we were back in college.

"There's something else I want to talk with you about. I have to go over to Hartford for a couple of days next week. April won't be home for at least another week after that. Her sister's not due until then, and April says her sister has long pregnancies. Maybe we could get together for some golf. April doesn't know that you're around here. She thinks you're in Hartford, and has no idea you come to Boston on business. As far as I'm concerned it's none of her business where the hell you are. I was just trying to smooth things out a bit with her, and the last thing I wanted was her to fume over the fact you were nearby.

"Why can't we enjoy each other's company? That's what friends do when they are able. I have a few drinking buddies from the office, but they're not my type. Our interests are just too different."

"You can stay with me if you want," Adam said after only the briefest pause. "I have plenty of room, and that way you can save on expenses. Rockledge Golf course isn't too far away, and I can reserve a tee time. The trees are starting to turn, and it should be very pretty out there. I like golfing in the cooler weather, and I haven't had a chance to play very often. I'll give you five strokes a side."

"Make it seven: I haven't played in over a year.

****************************

'That will be nice,' Adam thought the next morning as he made the two hour trip back to Hartford. He checked at the office to see if there was anything going on that he hadn't been aware of, and found several new assignments that had been added that morning. He had two new ones that would take him to Bridgeport. That was an interesting city. He liked its proximity to the sea (actually Long Island Sound) and the smell of the sea air. He'd recently done a survey of a container business down there. It'd been quite a learning experience. One of the neat things about it, it had been an all day survey, well at least four hours, was that he took his lunch break at a Portuguese restaurant specializing in sea food. He'd ordered the fried scallop luncheon expecting maybe a half dozen, or so, scallops. Instead, he had a mound of maybe thirty or forty scallops about the size of the end of his thumb. The batter was light, almost a tempura, and they were so hot they steamed. There were more French fries on a separate dish than he could eat in three meals. He took what scallops that were left over for Phantom to sample. Phantom had thought that they were quite acceptable.

This time there weren't any big assignments, just quite a few small ones. There was one for a franchise store belonging to the same company of nutrition centers he had allegedly surveyed in Cape Girardeau months before. He was still trying to figure out that hallucination. He must have been working too hard or something. Maybe someone had slipped some hallucinogenic mushrooms into his lunch that day. Where had he eaten, and what? He was sure it was that Chinese buffet that he had stopped at before. If that was the case, why would anyone do something like that? But that couldn't be, because he still had the photos on his computer. Yet the final report that was in the files was of a nutrition center, not a novelty shop named Spells-á´™-Us. 'I mean that's one of the biggest sources of stories in the world of TG literature. That's just too weird. But Mr. Bettencourt didn't look much like the wizard in the stories.'

Phantom was waiting for him on the front porch as he drove up. "Hey, fella, did you miss me?"

"Mrrup (Yes, it's lonely here since Willie had to go home. I almost caught a rat this morning, but he went under the woodpile.)

"We're going to have a visitor later this week. He's a friend of mine. We went to college together, and he likes cats."

"Mrrice."

"Is that a scab on your ear? When did you get that?"

'This morning. That rat bit me. I might have a little scar. It won't be like Willie's. I didn't even know it was there until Esmeralda told me.'

Phantom was growing like a weed, but he would never be the size that Willie was. His long fur did make him look a bit bigger than he really was, but he might not get much bigger than 12 - 14 pounds if he didn't get fat. Still, that was rather larger than average.

'Did you bring me any scallops like you did before? I really liked those.'

"Sorry, I didn't bring any special food for you. I might be able to in a week or so. I'm going to Bridgeport in a few weeks. I might get shrimp next time. You'll like them, I'm pretty sure." Adam didn't realize that what he thought was a one way conversation was actually two way. For that matter, Phantom didn't realize it either. Of course, cats always felt they were understood, or at least should be.

The rest of the day was spent at a rather leisurely pace making sure that things would be ready for Jim towards the end of the week. He'd come in on Wednesday evening. Surprisingly, he was able to get a 9:00 AM tee time for them on Saturday, and a 10:00 AM time for Sunday. They'd be paired with other twosomes, of course. After getting the tee time, he moved on to doing some general cleaning.

The guest bedroom had twin beds, and the furnishings pretty much followed that of the rest of the house. There was a nice dresser, a night stand with a lovely lamp between the beds, a marble top vanity, and a nice easy chair by the window alcove that overlooked the front yard. Along the center wall was a closet that ran the entire length. Adam hadn't checked that area out too closely before moving in. He just knew that there was a closet there.

The inside of the closet was pretty much the way he remembered it: cedar lined. A bar for hangers ran its length. 'Wait a moment. The closet's bigger. At least it looks that way from the outside. And what's that beautiful aroma?' Adam looked at the wall to make sure. 'It has to be at least six feet longer.'

Checking the far end of the closet, he noted that the clothes' bar extended through the wall. In fact it wasn't a wall at all. It was a folding partition. Behind it were clothes, and what clothes they were: beautiful dresses, two and three piece ensembles, formal dresses, cocktail dresses, and even casual clothes. Below the dresses was a shoe rack that extended from the existing one. The big difference was that it was covered in shoes for every occasion. There were even hiking boots and golf shoes. A gamut of emotions ran through him. 'If only,' he thought as he checked them out. They were obviously too small for him. If he'd been about four inches shorter than his six feet and forty pounds lighter, he might have had a chance.

They were mostly designer labels, and even the more familiar store labels were at the better end of the scale. Adam could remember seeing many of the items at some of the internet sites he had gone to when he was trying to satisfy his imagination and desires. Had the clothes been the right size, he would have tried them on, but he couldn't have done that anyway. The dresses weren't his, and he didn't have the correct undergarments. Then he noted a lingerie chest at the far end of the closet. All the appropriate under garments were located there. Something was unusual; the bras, panties, slips, and camisoles were all new. He was certain they hadn't been worn.

He had tried on some of his mother's and sisters clothes, and even experimented with makeup when he was just entering puberty, and it gave him quite a rush in spite of the fact he looked awful; however, a growth spurt and a forest of body hair quickly destroyed the visual effect. He had decided at the time that if he couldn't look good, he wasn't going to do it; however, recent urges had pushed him to thinking about starting a wardrobe. He was going to have to start transitioning someday. He knew that. It was just that with a new job, no money, and a definite non-feminine appearance, it was going to be a long time coming.

What were these clothes doing here? He could see that it was a fairly complete wardrobe. Whoever they belonged to certainly had a nice figure. The bras, at least the ones he looked at, were 34C's. He tried to imagine what she looked like. She had to be classy, but an image wouldn't come to mind.

"Ms. Esmeralda, it's the strangest thing. I was doing some cleaning up, and I found what must be the best part of a complete wardrobe behind a partition in the front closet. Do you have any idea whom they might belong to?"

"Oh dear, I had forgotten all about those. They belong to a young lady who is not here at the moment. I'm sure she will get them when she arrives."

*******************************

Next time: Adam is barely settled in when it's announced that the Hartford office is closing. Adam is allowed to work from his home office, but he sees the handwriting on the wall. Two months later, he is out of a job. What will he do, and where will he go?



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