Andi and Allie Chapter 14
Do boys make passes at boys who wear dresses???
Allie had this marvelous little artificial Christmas tree that she and I played with one night. She normally set it up on the kitchen counter but I wanted to do something just a little different. I wanted to set it up on our ‘private’ dining table at the front window so that it could be seen from the street if one looked hard enough and we could both see it from most of the apartment.
The tree stood three feet tall and Allie had accumulated about two-dozen ornaments, some of which she made. We spent an evening playing with the tree, setting it up and placing the ornaments upon its branches. Personally I don’t see it as a religious symbol as much as an indication of the time of year.
Allie however saw the tree as more of a religious symbol and she had this intense in scale manger set complete with three kings and animals and all. Evidently it was made of ivory and very old; a remnant of someone else’s childhood years before Allie’s. The carvings were quite meticulous and she took great care in placing each piece carefully into a small glob of gum just beneath one of the branches.
My personal contribution to the tree was in the form of several sets of ‘grain of wheat’ light bulbs in colors and the transformer to power them. She was so delighted that she actually cried when I finally finished and turned on the power. We sat down in front of the tree with an arm around each other. Allie rested her head against my shoulder for a while and then kissed my cheek.
Christmas Eve was rapidly approaching and the office was abuzz with talk of the year-end bonuses. I rarely got caught up in these discussions because…well…unless I was going gown shopping with Allie anytime soon, I really didn’t think that much about money. I was making way more than I needed and that was good enough. Anyway, I had already received one bonus this year.
However Peter did ask me out for dinner. He was wining and dining a potential new client who was bringing a female companion and felt he needed a ‘companion’ that would fit into the spirit of things? This was a very unusual request for, and from Peter in that the account execs usually did the wining and dining but these folks wanted to meet the ‘creative’ team that would be devising a new logo for them.
“He seriously wants to fuck you.” Allie laughed.
We had gone out just to get a little air and take in the evening street scene on a week day night. We sat at the front window sipping our coffee and splitting a huge chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream and…you might have guessed it…chocolate syrup. We passed on the whipped cream…way too many calories.
I honestly wished I could say Allie was wrong. But I couldn’t. And…what was worse was that I kind of felt flattered. I mean Peter Grant was hot…red-hot! I knew I felt this attraction to him and I was nearly ready to say: ‘Peter…ready or not…here I am!’
But then there was Allie; dear, sweet Allie. Peter would have little trouble with me. He would simply grab me and kiss me and it would be all over. At least I felt that way at times. Like when I thought about that kiss on my neck and how it made me feel. I had my doubts that Allie would react the same way. I was not the type to simply do something like that. Allie reacted that way with men and though I was a man…or sorts…I wasn’t that type of man.
“Oh Andi…? Where are you Andi?”
I looked up at Allie.
“I think they should have fixed my nose.”
I had no idea why I said that other than it suddenly popped into my head.
“Avoidance…! Denial…!” Allie faked shouting cupping her hands around her mouth. “You know he likes you and you like him.”
“Yeah… But there’s a big difference between liking someone and wanting to hop into bed with them.”
The very second those words left my mouth I regretted them and I could see from the look on Allie’s face that she took it personally. I reached out and touched her hand.
“I didn’t mean it that way.”
I was pained that I caused her to think I meant her and the way she kind of acted with men.
“No… You’re right. I’m just a fool sometimes.” She couldn’t look at me.
“No… You don’t understand. There’s someone else I’m interested in.”
Allie suddenly looked up at me and smiled.
“What…?” She said gleefully.
“Yeah… And it’s a woman.”
Now I couldn’t look at her. But I did smile.
“What…? Oh my God…!” Allie’s face lit up and she grinned like a child opening a gift.
“Yeah…” My eyebrows arched and I nodded.
“Oh my God…!”
“Yeah…” I pulled a bit of dessert onto my spoon and looked at it before licking at it.
“Is it someone I know?”
I was afraid Allie would ask that. I shook my head. Okay… So that might have been deceitful but I definitely wasn’t ready to admit how I felt about her.
“What is she like?”
“Oh my God!!! She’s so totally amazing…the most amazing ever!” I giggled.
“Oh my God Andi…! That is so romantic.” Allie sighed and leaned toward me taking my hand.
“Yeah…” I sighed. “I really don’t know what to do. I mean… It’s not even like two men or two women.” Allie gazed at me with eyes wide opened. “I mean I am incredibly attracted to Peter. He’s so…I don’t know…attractive! I get all tingly around him and he knows it.”
“Well…what about her?”
Yeah… What about her…?
“I don’t feel the same way around her. I mean I’m attracted to her? But it’s different. It’s more of a sensual thingy? I think that we also think alike in lots of ways? We really seem to get along so amazingly.”
“When do you get to see her? I mean we do spend a lot of time together.”
“Sometimes you really don’t need to spend a lot of time with someone? You know?”
I really hoped she’d go for that.
Allie sighed and nodded her head. Cool… So I’m not the only clueless one.
“What are you going to do?”
“I really don’t know.”
There was no way to hide the sadness and confusion in my voice.
“I mean… Suppose it was you?” Allie looked at me…seriously. “Suppose some guy liked you a lot. But he also liked this guy? And he hasn’t slept with you or this guy. What would you tell him?”
Allie gazed intently at me the entire time I asked her the question. I think she was gauging whether I was serious or not. But how could I not be? I mean who asks a question like that for fun? She looked back down at the dessert and scooped another spoonful. It was all kind of gooey at this point which was just the way we liked it.
“Well…? I don’t know.” Allie licked at her spoonful. “I would want to be the one…you know? Like…THE one... But, for sure…” She giggled. “I would want him to be absolutely sure? I know that if it was me…I would want to be sure. I think I would want that person to be very sure of whichever one he chose. I mean what happens after…you know?” She giggled again. “What happens after is what’s important. If they can snuggle well and make you feel good about yourself…and they make you feel important…then it’s a go, you know? Especially if everything else is good.”
I understood what Allie was saying but that still didn’t make anything easier. I wasn’t sure that I could sleep with either one just to ‘test’ them out. In spite of what Jill may have thought about Peter, I couldn’t help feel that I would be using him, and Allie. Having been there myself, it just wasn’t me. Perhaps if I had a better sense of my own sexuality I would have thought a little bit differently.
“By the way…” Allie looked at me with a sly expression. “I have a really big favor to ask.”
“Sure…anything.” ‘Well… Almost anyway…’ I thought.
“Could you come with me on Christmas day…you know…to my parents?”
Now her expression turned to hopeful? I was silent for a moment. I knew that she had a difficult relationship with them. Did I want to referee? Did I want to kind of play wingman if things went poorly?
“Ummm… Okay...” I smiled.
How could I refuse? I mean… She is my friend if nothing else and I certainly wanted to be there if they began to gang up on her.
“Oh you are the best! I’m going to rent a car so maybe we’ll do something along the way or on the way back.”
I can’t say that I’ve seen Allie that excited very often. No doubt I said the right thing. We strolled back slowly to the apartment, my arm around her waist and hers around mine. The night air was quite refreshing. We could almost see our breath as we walked quietly, my mind still thinking about my dilemma. I suddenly had an impulsive thought.
“I think I want to get a navel piercing.”
Allie stopped and took a step away to gaze at me. Her eyes were wide and mouth agape with surprise.
“Yeah. A navel piercing… I think they’re so cool.” I stepped up to her, took her by the waist again, and began to walk.
“Hmmm… Maybe I should get one also. What do you think?”
“That…would be totally hot!” OMG…! That definitely would be totally hot.
“I’m thinking of maybe getting a Brazilian. Want to get one too?” Allie giggled.
What’s a Brazilian? Well…if Allie’s getting one, why not me? Maybe I’ll get two.
Jill is a very tough woman for sure and anyone who has dealings with her, particularly business dealings, had better keep that in mind at all times. It’s not that she’s mean or nasty or anything like that at all. It’s simply that she’s way smart and completely attuned to whatever it is she’s doing.
Once in a while, Jill lets herself go and becomes a kid again, and Christmas Eve is just one of those occasions. It’s not so much a religious thing because she is agnostic. It’s more of the general spirit of the holidays where one can wonder and gawk and…just do childish things like play with toys and such.
Now I play with toys every day. I have my crayons and pens and various devices that in earlier years represented the only real childhood I had. Allie gets to play in her mud. But Jill really has nothing to play with. As the chief stylist and art director of a major food magazine, she really has no time. And even in her spare time she’s too busy keeping up with the competition by checking out their spreads in magazines.
We arrived at Jill’s apartment baring gifts. Allie made a lovely low walled, pedestalled bowl similar to the first one I painted. She embossed the side just at the rim with Chinese block characters and glazed it with a pale antique looking green. The characters where filled with a light brown glaze to make them look aged. It was a wonderfully imaginative piece for Allie to attempt.
I did a portrait in pastels. I wanted to show some of the less noted wonderful qualities of Jill so I gave her a soft and thoughtful appearance. I used three different pastel mediums; oil, soft and pencil. We matted the portrait in a soft green to contrast her warm colored walls. Allie thought it was a terrific piece.
We also bought her a set of fine pastel pencils and a good drawing pad. Jill had attended an art school and began her career as an artist. But others with better skills came along and rather than be in the midst of the pack, Jill began to exert herself as an administrator and director. I noticed that she did have a tendency to doodle and thought that this might give her the little push she needed to perhaps try her hand again.
Jill became quite emotional upon receiving her gifts. She was in tears, a first for me to see. She couldn’t hug or thank us enough. For some reason Jill seemed to dote upon me more than Allie. This was another first for me. Every time I wanted to help with something she would refuse and she would let Allie do it…whatever ‘it’ was…in my stead.
The table was positively gorgeous. The sparkling of crystal and the shining of silver in the dim light set an intimate and special tone to the evening. I just knew everything put out was special. This might very well be the only time of the year these things even got used. Silver linen rings and full silver service and three different glasses were only the beginning.
Jill’s six foot tall real tree was picture perfect. She had hosted a small tree trimming party for the interns under her supervision. And with an artist’s eye and a surgeon’s precision, each ornament was precisely placed. Many were antiques and some were of blown glass but all were exquisite. The entire ambience was…sacred? And yet it was otherwise devoid of religious symbolism.
The dinner was buffet style with a side table holding all the wonderful treats. Before we started, and after Jill composed herself from the emotional impact of our gifts, she had us hold hands and recited a poem of thanksgiving. In essence we were her family.
The side table top was completely covered with platters of various treats; smoked duck, smoked trout, salmon, cheeses, caviars, breads, sauces for each meat and fish, and candied vegetables among the odd other thing. It was a feast for sure and I’d never seen such an assortment of specialized foods before…not ever. A ‘good’ holiday meal for me was being left alone and that was just fine compared to the company of my mother and one of her ‘friends’.
We ate and drank really fine wine and had really killer desserts with delicious coffee till we could barely move from the table into Jill’s living room. There we sat and talked endlessly about everything and anything and nothing consequential at all. We spoke with stocking feet up on the antique low set center table with the ease and comfort that tends to envelope dear friends.
Over the course of the evening, when Allie left us to relieve herself, Jill gazed at me suddenly with that shrewd and appraising look of hers.
“You know…” She said with a smile. “…you must be the strangest person I’ve ever met. And let me tell you…” Jill hurried to add with a wagging finger. “I’ve met more than my share. But… I must say… You have been wonderful for Allie. And to her I might add.”
I smiled demurely and blushed pepper red enough to feel my own heat. “So…” Jill sat back stared at me intensely with narrowed eyes. “What are you waiting for? Another bum to come along and fuck up her life again?”
Jill wanted me to make my play at Allie? She was, in essence, giving her approval? But it’s more complicated than she thinks.
“It’s kind of complicated.”
I hesitated in saying that but what else could I say? It’s not like I was immediately prepared for this.
“Nonsense!” Jill laughed. “It’s really quite simple. I understand there’s another that you are attracted to.”
Oh my God! Allie told her about our conversation? I felt myself turn a new color of red…deep, deep red!
“Allie mentioned the conversation the two of you had. Of course she’s clueless and doesn’t realize that she’s the…’other woman’.” Jill laughed. “That girl is such a child in some ways.” She spoke almost under her breath.
I felt I had to let it loose…to tell Jill what I felt…how I felt.
“Allie thought I should…”
“Oh… Allie thought… Allie thought…” Jill sounded annoyed. “Allie is a good soul…the absolute sweetest…but she really knows nothing. Allie lacks center and you give her that. You give her life some focus. And you…” Jill emphasized ‘you’ with breathiness and a pointed finger. “You have enough passion for one hundred people but no direction. Allie gives you direction. You’re best works are the paintings of her. End of story…”
“But what if it doesn’t work?”
“Then it doesn’t work. That’s all... It happens every day. And don’t worry about Peter. He’ll always be there. Peter is too self-centered to meet anyone else on a serious basis. Don’t get me wrong…” Jill rushed to say. “Peter is a sweet and lovely man and he won’t intentional hurt you…or anybody else. But he doesn’t always act on his intentions. You’re a fascination to him because you have the one thing he has never had; artistic talent. He has the eye, but not nearly enough of the passion.”
Allie returned and took a seat on the couch next to me…as usual. She had, among other things, refreshed her face and looked positively amazing.
“Yes… Of course...” Jill chuckled. “So we spoke about you endlessly.”
Our evening ended just before one in the morning. Jill handed us each a card with an enclosed gift as well as a bag containing some of her chosen goodies from dinner. We took about ten minutes to say our thank you and good night and then we were out the door, down the elevator, and out on East Fifty Sixth Street. The air was fresh and crisp and much to our surprise and delight, snow began to fall lightly kind of making the evening complete.
We decided to walk up to Fifty Seventh Street and then head west. Others evidently had the same idea. There were couples everywhere just strolling and enjoying the evening. Allie and I walked with an arm around the other’s waist. Every once in a while I would rest my head upon her shoulder and she would do the same to me.
“You know…? We should get one of those big down coats that two people can wear at once.” Allie laughed. “I mean we seem to be out most with each other and that would be so totally cool.”
I stopped and hugged her. I rested my head upon her and really just savored that full body touch rush.
“Merry Christmas Allie.”
“Merry Christmas Andi.”
We separated only enough for a kiss on the lips. It only lasted a moment or two but…well…it was somewhat heated. We hugged again and decided to catch a cab downtown although we both would have liked to walk more. Allie was a bit tired and we had a very long day ahead of us tomorrow.
During the cab ride Allie decided to open her card. It was a lovely and very personal seasonal card. But also enclosed was a gift card to a very exclusive spa for an entire day. Allie was particularly excited because not only did we get the old ‘standards’, as she put it, but it included a Brazilian! I still had no idea because I had forgotten all about that and didn’t research what a Brazilian even was.
“I wonder how she guessed.” I giggled.
I slept in that morning. It simply felt so good to be in bed whilst outside the freeze was on. Apparently the snow continued through the night and, although it was no blizzard, everything was coated with a lovely white cover. Because most of the world was either abed or busy opening presents, the covering still had a pristine look.
I could smell the savory aroma of coffee so I knew that Allie was awake and about. No doubt she was readying, or steeling, herself for the ordeal of lunch with mommy and daddy…and who knows whom else. I got out of bed, threw on my robe, and went to collect a cup of the nectar of the Gods…caffeinated thank you.
As I showered, I realized that I hadn’t given a whole lot of thought on what I would wear. From what I gathered from Allie, they were sort of formal? I mean a jacket and tie at a family lunch seemed a bit much. But when in Rome…do as Vandals did? I would wear a navy blue blazer, beige trousers and a lovely ivory colored ruffled collar blouse. A cordovan colored, brass buckled belt and my tasseled penny loafers should be a preppy enough look for this crowd.
I wrapped a towel around myself tucking the end in beneath my arm and walked out of the bathroom to my closet. I looked at my wardrobe and suddenly thought that maybe…just maybe Allie was right. I needed to consider maybe wearing skirts and maybe even…on some rare occasions…a dress? I certainly would have a far greater selection of mix and match outfits if I did.
I pulled the things I was going to wear and hung them on my door hook. After one last look I walked back to the bathroom to do my hair and face. I decided to go for the ‘nude’ look. A touch of blush, a swipe, or two, or mascara, a light brown eye liner, and pale pink lipstick in a berry shade would to it. Just a hint of color on this snowy Christmas morning would be enough with all the glaring light.
After blow drying my hair and slipping on my panty beneath my towel I stood facing the mirror. Whilst closely inspecting my face, and the wretched nose I so detested in spite of Allie’s claim that it was simply character defining…whatever that meant…I loosen the towel and let it drop to my feet. That’s when I noticed it…them!
“ALLIE… ALLIE… COME QUICKLY…!” I shouted for her because I didn’t believe what I was seeing.
“Andi…? What’s wrong? Are you alright?” She entered my bathroom with a very concerned look on her face. Allie hadn’t even bothered to throw on a robe and was in her panty and bra.
“Come and check this out.” I turned back toward the mirror. “I think I have mini boobage! Finally…!”
“What?” Allie sounded a bit annoyed. She looked in the mirror and I guess she saw much less than I did. “You scared the hell out of me you know.”
“I’m really sorry. But look!”
I really didn’t mean to scare her but my excitement got the better of me. Allie walked up to stand alongside of me. She took me by the shoulders and turned me to face her. She looked carefully at my chest and started to reach out to touch me. I kind of pulled back a little.
“What’s the matter baby?”
“I’ve been really achy there for a while.”
“I’ll be very gentle. I promise. But I do need to check this out. I think I really do see a little development?”
She giggled as she slowly touched the surface of my chest and began to gently circle the area around my nipple. She gently pressed down and circled first one side and then the other. As she did so her eyes began to widen as did her smile.
“Oh my God…! You’re getting boobs!” She giggled. Allie’s touch actually felt good. “Are you still jerking off every day in the shower?”
“Allie…!” How’d she know? I never made and announcement. “That’s personal.”
“Listen sweetie… I need to know. We need to know that you’re not taking too great a dosage of hormones, you know?”
I looked at her trying to decide whether she was serious or not.
“Yes…” I felt so embarrassed with the admission of emission.
“Morning and night?”
“Yes…!” I rolled my eyes and took a deep breath.
“Do you think of him…or of her?” Allie’s expression was so very serious I thought this was something…important?
“Well… It kind of depends who’s on my mind.”
“Oh my God…! I knew it! I just knew it!” She began to laugh. “You do it in the shower! I guess I’ll need to wear floppies if I have to go in there.” Allie continued to laugh as I turned yet another new shade of garnet red.
“That wasn’t fair Allie.”
“Okay… If you must know…I do it in bed and in the shower.” Allie’s eyes slowly started to roll in thought. “In the cave, at my desk, in the ladies room…”
“Okay… Okay… I get the picture.”
Now I was somewhat pissed off though I wasn’t sure why. Maybe I was envious of her sexuality and her ability to express it so…so freely?
“I guess I should wash my hand if I touch yours.” I said with just a wee hint of sarcasm. “…or sniff it.” I had to snicker.
“Okay…want to feel something really cool?” Allie smiled quite sincerely.
I was so naïve and clueless…as usual.
“Sure.” I smiled innocently.
“Okay… But I need to warn you that it’s going to tickle…only for a minute though.”
Allie grasped my upper arms and looked so innocently into my eyes. How could I refuse her? I nodded my head. Suddenly she attached her mouth to my nipple and wet it thoroughly with her tongue. As quickly as she did it, she removed her mouth and blew her breath directly upon it. Then she giggled crazily and ran from the bathroom.
“Oh my God…!” I cried out.
I couldn’t have chased her anyway. I was way busy feeling my body tremble with the electricity she sent through it. The cool air drying on my nipple felt absolutely amazing! I actually saw it enlarge a bit and after the electricity dissipated my nipple began to itch like crazy. I began to rub it with the palm of my hand as my other nipple began to itch in sympathy with its…twin sister? I also noticed that I had become semi-erect!
“I’ll get you for this Morris!”
I called her by her last name whenever I had an issue with Allie. That happened rarely and usually because she did something to tease me.
I finished doing my makeup between trying to sooth the itching and went into my bedroom to begin dressing. I had chosen the powder blue matching bra to the panty I wore and inserted my breast forms. The coolness to the silicone actually felt soothing against my itchy and achy chest.
I put on a pair of sheer nude thigh highs and turned to gaze at the main event again. After thinking about the combination of the blazer, the trousers and the blouse, I decided that perhaps this look was a bit too butch; especially since Allie no doubt would be in a skirt or dress…as usual.
I was suddenly struck with the idea of perhaps wearing a pastel pink cashmere wool turtle neck sweater I had purchased. Whilst I’m not necessarily a ‘pink’ kind of person, I have to admit that pink does have its place in almost everyone’s wardrobe. I retrieved it from my sweater shelf and held it to my neck. That cashmere wool was so incredibly soft. Beneath the sweater I chose a silk pink camisole I had actually purchased on sale for wearing next spring and summer.
I was having a second cup of coffee with toast when Allie finally made her appearance. She looked…amazing…as usual. She wore wonderfully colorful print dress of tiny Christmas symbols on an apple green field. It was a pull over with an elasticized fitted waist that was snug enough to show her curves but not so snug as to be…well…overly enticing?
Allie’s heels were a shade or two off the apple green but not enough to be noticed by most. She did wear white tights in deference to the weather. Her makeup style was similar to mine only she chose a bright scarlet lipstick which did pick up on the coloration of some of the symbols on her dress. Her lovely golden curls framed her face like a neatly arrange halo.
We grabbed our purses and coats. Allie wore her full length down coat and I had my camel color wool wrap coat that feel to just below my knees. The car was parked in the alley behind the building so we exited through the back door which I had never used before. We got into the little Honda Allie had rented and we were quickly navigating our way toward the East Side Drive heading uptown.
The ride to Bronxville was actually beautiful. The sun shone brightly and the sky was a lovely light shade of…well…sky blue. All the clouds were gone. Allie talked incessantly the entire way. Now I was quite accustomed to her talking about everything and anything and I was a particularly good listener. I usually found Allie’s voice to often be almost like music and I was able to get past the words and learn much more from her intonations and inflections.
But this was something different. Allie was nervous…very nervous. I could tell from the almost quavering sound of her voice. I’m sure that given a choice, she would have done anything other than what she was doing. Allie had only spoken about her parents, and her growing up, on very rare occasions and I never brought the subject up.
As we motored along, the high rise buildings became smaller multi-family dwellings and then single family homes. The snow cover coupled with all of the Christmas decorations on the homes lent the feeling of a large amusement park rather than a sacred religious period. But even these homes, as roomy as they appeared to be, gave way to mansions surrounded by expansive lawns and iron or stone fences.
Allie pulled up to one of the larger mansions and stopped at the gate house. She smiled and nodded and the guard opened the gate; a guard mind you! She drove up the gravel road…it was too wide to simply be a driveway…toward a Tudor styled stone faced home. This was, beyond any doubt, the largest house I’d ever seen. The main entrance had windows towering at least two stories that were stained glass. The home went up another two stories beyond that!
The roadway split and Allie veered left toward the front of the house where other cars were parked. I was to learn that the other turn led to the garage in the rear of the house. Allie told me that the garage was actually the former carriage house and was large enough for seven cars! The upper floor of the carriage house is where the grounds keeper and his wife lived.
As we pulled up to the entrance of the house, an older man with silver hair wearing a black suit with a white shirt and a red and blue stripped tie met us. He first opened my door and warmly smiled whilst bidding me hello. Then he went around to Allie’s side and assisted her out of the car. Allie immediately hugged him.
“Merry Christmas Mister Sean…” Her voice was quite sincere as Allie hugged him and then kissed his cheek.
“And a merry Christmas to you Miss Allie... How have you been?” Mister Sean gave her another big hug.
“I’ve been quite well.” Turning toward me whilst still holding his hands, Allie spoke again. “And this is my…friend…” That did sound so much better than tenant or roommate. “…Andi.”
“Yes…” He smiled and turned toward me. “Hello Andi... Welcome and let’s go in. You both must want to freshen up after your drive and we do have such a wonderful menu for today.”
Turning to Allie with a smile, his blue eyes twinkling with joy, he spoke.
“Your mother and father are so looking forward to seeing you.”
“Oh Mister Sean, you were always such a good fibber.”
She giggled as Mister Sean looked down for a moment as he smiled and blushed baby pink. He seemed to concede that she was correct, at least in this instance.
Allie and Mister Sean entered the huge double oak doors slightly before I did. The sight before me as I crossed the threshold was amazing. I entered an atrium that reached up one very tall story and then a second. The floors were stone…marble I guessed…and covered with large Persian rugs that were somewhat worn with age. A very wide center stairway, also of stone, went up about half the height of the first floor and then split into two halves that went up the rest of the way to the second floor.
To my right was a large salon filled with…I would guess…about two dozen people. Mister Sean helped me off with my coat, hung it up next to Allie’s, and escorted us into that room. The floors were wood but again covered with Persian rugs. There was a slightly musty odor in the air that comes with furnishings that have seen more than several ages.
The window treatments were silk no doubt and quite heavy with their deep crimson fronting and their sun blocking backs. Golden cords secured them back and away from the tall windows that gave an unobstructed view of the snow covered lawn and leaf barren trees.
Paintings lined the walls; mostly portraits. From what I could take in they were period pieces dating back to…from the look of the dress mode and style…perhaps the late eighteenth through the twentieth centuries.
Before photography, the wealthy could afford to ‘immortalize’ themselves by having a portrait painted. Often the artist specialized in doing these portraits and some of the artists were quite good at it and could almost make a living.
The furniture pieces were all originals and antique. The chairs and loveseats and settees were arranged in small groups with end tables dotting the area between the pieces. There were three elaborate crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling offering additional lighting. Whilst I wouldn’t call the room warm or elegant, it was certainly well appointed if one chose to live in a museum.
I fit right in! Of all the blazers present, including those being worn by women, most were navy blue. And if penny loafers weren’t on one’s feet, then boating shoes were. The gold jewelry was elegant, solid and quite real and the diamond rings and earrings flashed nearly as brightly as the cosmetically enhanced smiles. I had to giggle. I felt as though I was in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel brought up to date.
I was totally lost with taking everything in when Allie grabbed my arm and gently squeezed. I looked into her falsely smiling face as she spoke between her teeth.
“Here comes mommy dearest.”
Allie motioned with her eyes toward a blond woman in a Merino wool sweater dress partially obscured by…you guessed it…a navy blue blazer. Her face was pumper than that proverbial fatted calf. This was no doubt due to the excessive amounts of Botox required to erase every line ever drawn by a life of even greater excess. She not only had a bunny nose, she had bunny eyes.
“Alison dear…” She croaked across the several yards still separating us. “…how are you?” Her arms came up, ready to embrace her daughter.
“I’m well mother.”
‘Mother’…? The two embraced and kissed. Then Allie’s mother held her at arm’s length and closely inspected her daughter.
“You do look a bit tired. Are you getting enough sleep?” Then with a soured expression she killed the entire day for poor Allie. “Are you putting on more weight again?”
‘Bitch…’ I thought. I could see any joy within poor Allie just leave her as her eyes dulled. Did her mother need to make that sound like a statement? It was a double slap in the face, no doubt perfected over years of verbally slapping various people. Now was the time for me to be the total artist…immersed in the truth…as I saw it.
“So…” She turned toward me with a very toothy smile. “You must be Andi…the artist.”
“Yes… And a merry Christmas to you...” I couldn’t approach her in the toothy department but I did smile.
“You must find it difficult to make ends meet as an artist.”
What a very odd statement. She was going straight into my pockets to have a look.
“Actually, I seem to be doing quite well. I have a job with an advertising firm as a graphic artist.”
“Andi just had a showing at the Preston Gallery.” Allie added that with a revived excitement.
“Ahhh… You sold a painting.”
I hated the manner in which she stated her questions as though they were statements of facts.
“Well…” I actually blushed carmesi red and looked at Allie with a smile. “We sold almost everything. The pieces Allie and I did were quite desirable and rather sold quickly.”
“Really…? How interesting…”
Allie’s mother seemed quite astonished that her daughter’s work could be wanted by others. Allie blushed vivid auburn, grasped my hand and gently squeezed; an action not lost on her mother.
“But it really was a study I did of Allie that took the show. Several prospective buyers were actually bidding on the painting.”
I had to giggle as I recalled the scene with Bob Preston in the middle.
Mommy’s voice seemed to find an even lower octave to express further disbelief. She looked at her daughter with surprise.
“You posed? Nude…?”
“No…” I had to answer this one. Allie is too honest sometimes? “Allie was as attired as one might be at the beach. And the pose was quite modest…and robed.”
“Well…” Mom breathed the word! “I don’t see how being dressed so scantily as they seem to be these days at the beach could be confused with modesty.”
I had such a crusher that I couldn’t resist.
“Some of the greatest artists of all time…especially some of the French and Italian Renaissance masters…were able to paint a woman without any clothes on and yet portray her modesty…her humility…her femininity without invoking anything vulgar or profane. That is where we differ from the average male. A male sees a nude woman and immediately the most carnal of thoughts form in his mind. Just think of the work of Raffaello or Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. Allie…”
I turned my head slightly to notice I had suddenly attracted a small group of people who seemed to be listening to me.
“…was the perfect study for me. Had she lived during the time of those masters, no doubt they would have sought her out to immortalize in oils.” I turned to gaze at Allie. “She has a timeless and classical beauty.”
“But the two people you mentioned are men.”
I turned to see a rather neat, finely manicured man with horn rimmed glasses and the emblem of a club of some sort on his blazer breast pocket. He was, no doubt, yet another member of the leisure class.
“Ah…but they are more than simply men.”
I love using the present tense for dead artists. I mean…we’re still speaking of them so are they truly dead? I had to giggle.
“What sets them, and others like them, apart is they can look at a woman…” I couldn’t resist placing my hand upon Allie’s mom’s shoulder. “…as something other than simply an anatomical invitation to procreate.”
I noticed that several of the women…the younger ones in particular…who had gathered in our ever expanding group nodded their heads in agreement. I was so pleased with myself at that moment. I could have started a war between the sexes with little trouble.
As I walked about the large room gazing at each portrait, I held forth on the particular period and the gathering seemed to follow me and grow in size. Allie had disappeared at some point and I didn’t see her until quite late in the afternoon when dessert was being served.
Her lovely face was reddened and I couldn’t help but notice the crumpled tissues in her hand. Allie had been crying. As she held my hand and squeezed for a brief moment, I couldn’t help but ask.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah…” She sniffled and wiped her nose. “I can’t wait to leave.”
Allie had two glasses of wine before we left. She felt she needed that to maintain any façade of civility. Once in the car, Allie let me begin the drive home. We sat in silence for the first ten minutes or so. I was letting her take her own time in letting go of whatever was done to her.
“It was awful.” Allie said softly as she stared off to the side. “They think we’re in a lesbian relationship.”
I thought about that for a moment and then burst out in laughter.
“What is so funny?” Allie said softly as tears began to appear again. “They said I couldn’t get a man because I’m too fat and I don’t keep the right company and…” Allie stopped and stared at me. “What is so funny!” She demanded.
“You should have told them I had a dick!” I cackled. “They would have had a coronary!”
“That’s not funny Andi!” Allie fumed.
“It would be if they knew the size!” I couldn’t contain myself.
That finally got a chuckle out of Allie…albeit reluctantly. I guess the image of me exposing myself to them finally broke the malaise she was in. By the time we returned home, Allie was in a much better mood. However I was a nervous wreck. I would be much happier with her doing the driving in the future. We both took some time to freshen ourselves and kind of wind down from the emotional afternoon.
I didn’t like becoming as verbally aggressive as I had when I first encountered ‘mother dearest’ but I suppose both of her parents are bullies of the worst kind. Allie didn’t expect them to come at her as they did and by the time she recognized those same old wounds being reopened, it was too late.
I went into the kitchen to get something non-alcoholic to drink. I was rummaging around in the fridge when Allie came in with a gift wrapped box. She was grinning as she hugged me and kissed me.
“Merry Christmas sweet heart...” She backed away and handed me the box.
“Oh my God…!” I was surprised.
I mean I sort of expected a little something but I went so long without anything really special at any time of the year that the smallest thing I received was truly a great joy and pleasure. I recognized the gift wrapping of her second home. Bloomie’s of course...
I glanced at Allie with my biggest smile as I carefully nudged the ribbon over the corner of the box. It had to be clothing; the one thing I couldn’t have enough of. I carefully removed the wrapping paper…
“Come on…! Open it already!”
Allie was more excited than I was. She couldn’t wait to see her expected expression on my face.
I carefully removed the wrapping paper giggling like a fool. Now I really would take my time if for no other reason than to drive her crazy. Allie was not exactly your delayed gratification kind of girl. She was bouncing on her toes as I took off the box top and set it aside with the neatly folded wrapping paper and the ribbon.
I opened the tissue paper to find what I thought was a gorgeous camisole top. It was cream colored with a delicate silver threaded geometric pattern. It wasn’t until I grasped the delicate straps and lifted it up that I saw it was a dress.
I was stunned. It was gorgeous. The fabric was silk and the length appeared to fall too just above my knees. This was definitely a cocktail dress and a gorgeous one at that. I was totally overcome with emotion. I hugged Allie not letting go of the straps.
“Oh my God…! This is so…so amazing!”
This was something I would never have thought to buy for myself. I felt a tear well up as I held the piece at arm’s length and simply gazed at it.
“I have to try it on!”
This kind of dress had to fit me perfectly? I mean…it’s a tank top with spaghetti straps and the fabric was so light and delicate that it almost had to be worn braless. The only problem is that I barely had boobs to go braless with? I almost didn’t care as I held the dress against me trying to gauge how it would look.
“Come on…go try it on.” Allie was bursting to see me in this dress.
Really this was kind of a first for me in that the gown would need to wait for an occasion. This dress I could wear out even to go dancing or something…anything after working hours really. I rushed to my bedroom and quickly stripped down to my panty. I slipped the dress over my head and luxuriated in feeling the silk lining sliding down my body till the straps fell into place on my shoulders. The coolness of the material felt wonderful against my ever itching nipples.
I reached around my back to pull the zipper up. I got it most of the way but failed to get it all the way up. I went to my mirror to have a look and, as luck would have it, the fit was nearly perfect. This dress was designed for a woman with ‘next to nothing’ sized boobs. But I didn’t think a bra would work. The cut of the bodice was almost too low to afford coverage for anything other than maybe fashion forms for some support and shaping, and modesty.
I slipped my pumps on and went back into the kitchen to show Allie. I was aglow as I turned this was and that and spun completely around. Allie smiled and nodded her approval. We discussed the boob issue. Allie said we’d need to glue them in place and maybe then add the fashion forms. The color of my boobs was close enough to my natural skin tone to have the edges concealed with a bit of foundation and coloring.
If I didn’t move radically and I wasn’t going out dancing…at least dancing too actively…I shouldn’t have a problem. Anyway, I could always wear a lace or silk wrap or shawl or even a boa of some type.
“I know just when I’m going to wear this.” It occurred to me in a flash. Like the light bulb went off over my head or something.
“Oh?” Allie leaned on her elbows and suddenly perked up to the oncoming news report.
“Yeah… On next Tuesday night when Peter takes out that potential client and his wife. This’ll be perfect!”
“Oh my God…! You’re going to fuck him…aren’t you?” Allie’s eyes popped wide open and her jaw dropped in a smile. “That’s what that dress is you know. It’s a ‘fuck me’ dress. I mean…I should know. You def need to get some higher heeled pumps to wear. We could look around for the right pair tomorrow.”
I looked at Allie and grinned as I continued to sort of pose and move in the dress. But in truth I was thinking about what she said. And she was right. Maybe I did want to fuck Peter and I knew that this dress would elicit that kind of response from him. Maybe I did want to look ‘hot’ for a change…to see if I could even pull it off. Maybe I wanted to see if I could be that sensual vixen that seemed to come so naturally to Allie.
But instead of being that lush, plush, fertility Goddess type, I would need to be the super sophisticated type. I would mousse my hair straight back and wear a bold red lipstick with a bit more blue to it and go for a really dramatic look with smoky eyes and all. I channeled Parisian clubs during the nineteen thirties with their decadence and hot gypsy jazz music. My mind was awhirl with every romantic image I’d ever taken in.
“Just remember to have your extra panty and liner handy. Oh…” Allie perked up again. “And tissues...”
“You’ll need tissues.”
“I always have a few with me.”
“No… I mean more than a few.”
“Are you going to sleep with him?”
“First of all… My dear…” I gazed at her intensely. “I don’t know that I’m going to fuck him. And even if I did, I would have to come back home because I definitely would not be bringing an extra wardrobe to wear the next day.”
“So…” Allie was giggling now. “You’d have to wear that dress home, right?”
“Then you’ll need the tissues so that you won’t stain your panty or that dress when you’re on your way home.” Now she was chuckling. It took me a minute to realize what she was telling me.
“Oh my God… Allie…!” I put my hands on my hips faking irritation at what she said. “You are so bad!”
“Listen…I’m only speaking from experience.” She laughed. “You don’t want to leak any of Peter all over your dress, or the cab seat for that matter. I mean you’ll be the one who has to sit in it if you forget.”
I smiled and giggled and continued to relish how this dress felt on. God…! I never thought I would ever go this far. Yet in less than a month I owned two amazing pieces. I walked over to the nearest mirror and as I gazed at myself I thought how lovely this would look once I had more boobage. In fact, if the straps could be made just slightly tighter…I could get by just as I was with my little ‘bumps’ and some kind of a shawl; something in a silk and silver threaded pattern.
“What do you think about this?” I asked Allie as I held the straps up raising the dress about a half inch.
“Hmmm… It’s doable.” She got off her stool and came up behind me to see how they were attached to the back. “Here sweetie…let’s zip it up all the way.”
Allie zipped it up and then took hold of the straps where I had and lifted until the deep scoop of the front was at a more…modest height?
“Yeah… This could work. And we can always let it down when… when you fill in?” Allie giggled.
“You’re the best!” I hugged her and kissed her cheek.
I rushed back into my bedroom to change and hang up the dress. Once I had my lounging tee on, I rushed into my studio to get the portrait I’d been working on for her. I had actually finished it several days ago but the oils do take time to dry.
I painted Allie at her wheel trimming a piece she had just thrown. I remember how deeply she concentrated on what she was doing. Her intent demeanor wasn’t simply for the sake of accuracy of form; she was savoring the act itself; the creation of something from nothing; the art of the craft.
I carefully lifted the canvas and carried it in the kitchen where Allie sat at the counter with her back toward me. I carefully set the painting down on a counter with the top resting against one of the glass doors of the shelves. She knew I was in the kitchen but Allie was sipping her tea at the moment and didn’t suspect that I had done anything other than enter the room.
“This is for you…what do you think?”
I smiled as I came up behind her and placed my hands on her shoulders. I slowly spun her around till she faced the painting.
Allie got off her stool to have a closer look. It was a fair sized canvas at twenty four inches by thirty. Allie came closer yet. Her mouth was wide opened as were her eyes.
“Well? Do you like it?”
I was beginning to worry when she did nothing but stare at the painting. She looked at me without changing expression. Now I was really worried. I thought the work was quite good. But… Well… I am biased you know.
“I have another one you might like.”
I didn’t expect such a vehement response. Allie looked at me with tears in her eyes.
She was having trouble speaking. I handed her a napkin to wipe her tears.
“This is…simply wonderful! It’s an exceptional…no…it’s a great work. Are you sure you want to give it to me?” I could tell her question was a serious one.
“I can’t think of anyone I’d rather see have this.”
I hugged her and whispered a Merry Christmas into her ear. We both turned to look at the painting, my arm around her shoulder and her arm around my waist.
“I can almost smell the dust.” She laughed and sniffled. “Where should we put it?”
“How about in our little dining area…? We’re certainly back and forth across that area and, when we have guests, they’ll have no choice but to see you with dirt on your face.” I laughed.
She was gorgeous even when dirty faced.
“I almost feel like hanging it somewhere near the entrance so that everyone can see it the moment they come in. I mean…this is really a breathtaking work.” Allie shook her head slowly. “Nobody has ever given me anything like this before. I mean…”
She turned into me to hold my waist with both of her hands. She leaned her head onto my shoulder.
“I’ve gotten things of value before. But this is extra special because it’s really like a piece of someone.” She looked into my eyes for just a moment. “It’s like a piece of you.”
“Well…I have to tell you that this is the very best Christmas I’ve ever had and it’s really due to you. If I hadn’t met you…I probably would be spending it alone.”
“Or worse yet… With Peter…?” Allie laughed though I thought I detected just a wee trace of…jealousy?
Next on the ‘Andi and Allie’ show… He wears dresses. He uses cosmetics. He loves his kitten heels. He’s on hormones. His boss is crazy about him and Andi’s weakening. But he’s not in transition? Even I’m confused!!! All this and more in the continuing saga of…‘Andi and Allie’!!!
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