Sloan woke up after a troubled sleep. His conversation with Toni had caused him to really take a look at his career. He knew that he had the talent to make it in this town, but what did that really mean? The world was full of highly talented actors. They flocked to Hollywood and New York every day. Each one of them certain that they could be a star. Some few actually had a modicum of success, but the vast majority were ground up like sausage and in no time, they were back home in some bar telling lies about their empty dreams.
He knew that talent was not a guarantee of success. It also required commitment and opportunity. In Hollywood, opportunities were like the proverbial golden ticket of Willie Wonka fame. They were so rare, that many people failed to recognize them when they were right in front of their faces. Sloan Taylor recognized this opportunity for what it was, a one-in-a-billion shot at stardom. He had the talent and the opportunity. He could not afford to lack commitment at this point.
He felt a pang of self-loathing as he remembered returning to their tiny bungalow and sitting on the sofa for two hours without letting Dana know he was home. It troubled him even more that he might have upset her since she had failed to wake him as she left this morning. Their work schedules were rarely aligned, but in four years, they had rarely failed in this ritual as they came and went. It was just part of their...one-ness...that they made a point of sharing those moments with each other.
He had been feeling so guilty last night, knowing that he had failed to wake her because he did not want her to know how eager he was to be feminized. It was a part of himself that he had always hidden from her. Something that shamed him, as a man.
He wandered into the living room and saw the bags that Dana had brought, clothing, make-up, jewelry, accessories. His heart fluttered as he was drawn to the bag of lingerie. His fingers began to lightly caress the silky undergarments as his eyes closed and he drank in the feelings. He knew it was wrong. This was something that had been reinforced many times by his father. Men were men and women were women. Any attempt to cross that line was deviant, sinful, evil.
Sloan loved his father, and he could not ever recall the man raising his voice, much less his hand, to his only son. He was a kind and gentle man, who rarely talked about his life before he met Sloan's mother. He knew that his dad had served in the military, and had three scars where tattoos had been removed. Whenever his son asked him about them, Braddock Taylor said that they were "monuments to my stupidity" and then he would get a far-off look and go quiet.
Sloan's mother shed very little light on the subject, only saying that many men are changed by life, and some things are best forgotten. That had become Sloan's mantra regarding cross dressing...some things are best forgotten. Now, life had thrown him a curveball. He had his shot, but it required remembering and embracing his past.
Over the years, Sloan had been perceptive enough to know how people reacted to his androgynous looks, but he had always managed to 'man up' and use his talent to hide anything that might be too effeminate. His father's disappointment the time he learned of Sloan's dressing up, as well as the attitude of other boys toward any guy that acted 'queer' were enough to convince him to guard his actions at all times.
With a deep sigh, Sloan Taylor put the garments back down and began undressing. When he was naked he went into the bathroom and began to draw himself a bath. 'In for a penny...' he thought, as he added a generous amount of bath lotion and crystals to the hot water.
He ran his hands along his legs and arms then picked up one of Dana's safety razors before entering the steaming tub. As Sloan sank into the hot water, he tried to clear his mind. He needed to create a space within himself to mold and shape the new character. As he began soaping his leg, he had a sudden realization that perhaps he was not so much creating a new character, as he was releasing one that had been there all along.
Sloan drew the razor along his legs and softly began humming a soft melody that he recalled performing with his sisters. They were both grown and had children. Abby, the oldest, had been divorced twice and was already bitching about husband number three. She had always been a free-spirit and he smiled to himself as he remembered her as a teen. She was always a bit pushy, an instigator. Deb, the middle sister, always complained that Abby kept getting them all in trouble, but somehow, they always ended up going along with whatever hare-brained idea she came up with.
He finished his left leg and began to work on the right, noticing that his toenails needed a trim. He idly wondered about what color would look pretty on them. Despite his earlier fears, Sloan couldn't help it as a feeling of calm came over him. He continued reminiscing as he cleaned the hair from his chest, arms and armpits.
When he stepped out of the bath, he wrapped his body in a towel up high, the way Dana did. Stepping to her vanity, he opened a bottle of lotion and began rubbing it into his skin, enjoying the sleek way his body felt. Taking the seat in front of the mirror, he used a cleanser on his face before applying any cosmetics. Although Sloan was not nearly the expert that his wife was, he knew a lot more about skin care and make-up than 90% of the men in the world. He began to slowly unveil the woman within as he worked at the mirror, marveling at the transformation he saw.
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