“Gah” I murmured in a mixture of amused affection and exasperation as I looked at my Christmas presents. Stefan was a rigid follower of the rule that when you bought a girl presents the choices were flowers, bath bombs, make up,perfume, scented candles, jewellery, chocolate, clothes, lingerie and associated accessories. The fact that he knew perfectly well that I was a man up until eighteen months before when he began turning me into Belinda clearly hadn't caused him to vary that rule in the slightest.
“Alright, I happen to like all those things; that doesn't make it any less of a sexist stereotype.” I said to myself. All the same I had to admit it was an impressive array of goodies and Stefan's suggestion that I nip upstairs and try some of the things on was a perfectly reasonable one. So far I'd got as far as trying on a rich, red lipstick and was standing in nude irresolution before my options. There was what an innocent might have called a choker and a sophisticate or cynic a collar, made from leather and steel wrapped in velvet. Stefan was innocent in a number of areas but sex wasn't one of them so it was a collar.
“Oh well, it makes him happy,” I thought as I fastened it around my throat and heard the little click of the lock snapping shut.
The next choice was between a black and purple corset or a white lace teddy
“This is not the eighties; black and purple corset it is. Besides the teddy wouldn't go with the collar.” I shuddered as I looked at the teddy “Honestly Stefan, some days your taste fails altogether. If you want to get me into that thng you're going to have to use up a forfeit.”
I owed Stefan quite a few forfeits. Long ago he'd suggested playing chess for forfeits and I'd suggested arm wrestling. (before hormones and diets had robbed me of most of my muscle mass) That was when I'd discovered just how much stronger he'd become since we were at school. A couple of surprising and (to me) embarrassing defeats later I'd agreed to chess. He beat me at that as well. So I'd suggested cards. My chances were a bit better there. I'd calculated he only beat me an average of four times out of five.
We both enjoy cards so I currently owed him approximately two hundred and fifty forfeits. I was thinking of suggesting a ballet contest for forfeits as the last thing I could think of where I was almost certainly better than Stefan. That would hoist him with his own petard; he'd used a forfeit to make me take ballet lessons in the first place. To be fair, he was right – I did enjoy it and it did make me a lot more supple!
I carefully fastened myself into the corset. Although it forced a stiff sort of grace on me it wasn't uncomfortable. In a weird sort of way its restriction was comforting, as if I was being held in an embrace, something my time as Stefan's girl had certainly made me familiar with.
I decided not to bother with knickers – with the house to ourselves there was no way they'd be staying on long anyway, but slid my new spider web stockings up my legs. Being hold ups they spared me the need for a garter belt which was a relief – I couldn't wear one of those things without feeling like I was about to star in a bad seventies sketch.
I added just a dash of perfume at my wrists, throat, underarms and the top of my cleavage, fastened the gorgeous Celtic knotwork earrings Stefan had got me in my ears, and slipped on a score of tiny bracelets that chimed when I moved. I added silver rings to my fingers and then sat at my dressing table for the piece de resistance.
“What are you doing up there?” came a voice from downstairs
“Patience, Mr Shilpott, you can't rush perfection,” I replied, letting a hint of smugness creep into my voice. He'd wanted me to be dressed up like a princess, well princesses take their time. By the time I was finished I wanted him to be panting for me.
I picked up the last present, a set of eyeliner pencils, eyeshadows, mascaras, eyelash curlers and prepared to adorn the most important thing about a girl's appearance – my eyes. What? Eyes are always what a guy notices first aren't they? Surely?
Ten minutes later my eyes were huge, dark, luminous pools, fringed with long, curved lashes which could be batted sweetly. It was at this point that the panic attack began.
I started shaking like a leaf, feeling literally sick with fear. Who was I? What was I doing? Where could I go from here? Stefan is a millionaire, generous and, I think, loves me. I knew that if I persuaded Stefan I was truly unhappy he would not only let me go but spend whatever was necessary on hormones, surgery or what have you to get me as close to being a man again as was possible. That said, I was no medical expert but I wasn't at all sure how close that was. I had a vagina, a clitoris, breasts, a girl's shape, hips and butt. I was pretty, beautiful on a good day. Just how far back things could change I wasn't sure.
The second problem of course was that I wasn't unhappy most of the time. For the first time in my life I was loved. I spent my days doing fun or worthwhile things with my favourite person. Surely looking like my own fantasies brought to life wasn't too terrible a price to pay for that? Except when it was. It felt like I was two people: the Brian I had been to start with and the Belinda Stefan had helped me to become.
I was living Belinda's dream. I was living Brian's nightmare. What was I going to do?
“Belinda? Are you alright?” came Stefan's voice up the stairs. I came back to myself. I made a decision. I was going to walk down those stairs and give Stefan the best Christmas ever. On New Years Day I would make a decision, whether to take the path that led to marriage and somewhat kinky domestic bliss, or forge my way back to being Brian, the grumpy, unpleasant English teacher. Until then I wouldn't think about it.
I donned the wonderfully lacy black dress Stefan had got me - purely for show, I knew it wouldn't stay on long - and slowly descended the stairs, careful not to trip in my new, elegant platform heels which raised me to only a couple of inches less than Stefan's height, but meant I'd probably need to cling to his arm for safety's sake – something I was quite sure was part of his cunning plan in the first place .
When Stefan saw me I flushed bright red from my cleavage to the roots of my hair. That expression, that awe and love and desire and happiness on Stefan's face was overwhelming. It was almost frightening to think that I could be the cause of it.
It was the best Christmas present I'd ever had.
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