Laura, part 20

“This one’s for table six,” my colleague Saffron says to me as she places two hot cups of coffee on my tray. I take the opportunity to stealthily straighten my tight miniskirt before grabbing my tray and taking it over to the young couple at the corner table.

“Ah, thank you!” The young man says with genuine gratitude as I hand him and his girlfriend their drinks. “Can we also order a plate of chips to share, please?”

“Sure!” I enthuse. “What flavour would you like?”

“Let’s try the chilli and cheese,” the young woman says with a devilish grin.

“Coming right up!” I say with a smile as I note down their order and pass it through to the shop’s small kitchen.

On the outside, I am the very model of a professional waitress, smiling, courteous to my customers and providing a speedy service. On the inside, though, a large part of me wishes I was elsewhere- specifically, at the home of my boyfriend. However, I just need to be patient, as I’ll be heading there tonight, because today is exactly sixteen years to the day after my boyfriend was born, and tonight, we’ll be celebrating with all his family and friends. And then, at a later time, Kain and I will inevitably have some time to ourselves- and there are no longer any legal restrictions on what we can while we’re alone.

In the five months since I turned sixteen, I’ve felt increasingly frustrated by the fact that I was apparently legally able to consent, but my boyfriend was apparently not. The whole ‘aged 15 years and 364 days is wrong, but one day more’ thing seemed silly to me, and I found myself wishing and praying for Kain to hurry up and get older, but now that that day has finally come, I find myself feeling nervous, partly at the prospect of finally losing my virginity, but more at how my boyfriend will respond when he sees me naked for the first time.

I’ve been taking testosterone blockers since I was twelve, a reduced dose of oestrogen since I was fourteen and an adult dose since I was sixteen, all of which has given me a body that, when covered with clothes, is unmistakably female. Hell, even when I’m wearing just my underwear, or form-fitting clothes such as swimwear or a leotard, nothing really ‘shows’ thanks to the hormones that have ‘corrected’ my body. However, hormones can only go so far- and while my ‘birth defect’ is certainly very, very small, the fact is that it’s still attached to my body, whether I like it or not. Of course, when I turn eighteen, I’ll have the option of correcting even that (and that’s an option I intend to take at my earliest opportunity), but that’s still two years away, and I know that neither Kain nor I will be willing to wait that long.

Of course, it’s hardly a secret that I have my ‘birth defect’- Kain’s known about it for as long as he’s known me, and fancied me for the same amount of time, so it’s possible that he’ll be perfectly okay with it. Or, he’ll pretend that it doesn’t exist and that I’m just an ordinary girl- which, in fairness, is how I view ‘it’. Or the worst case scenario could happen, and Kain could take one look at my ‘birth defect’ and run away, or even worse, react violently, or humiliate me in front of the school. Logically, I know that shouldn’t happen, as every time Kain and I kiss, his ‘excitement’ at being with me couldn’t be more obvious. But there’s still no telling for sure how he’ll react…

“Hey!” Saffron says in a friendly, teasing way, snapping me out of my ‘trance’. “Earth to Laura?”

“Hmm?” I reply. “Oh, umm, sorry?”

“Two coffees for table 7?” Saffron chuckles. “Lost in thought?”

“Eh, a little,” I sigh. “It’s my boyfriend’s birthday today, there’s a big party tonight, that sort of thing.”

“Ooh, exciting!” Saffron says with a giggle. “A big birthday?”

“His sixteenth,” I reply. “And ‘cause I’m sixteen too…”

“And ‘law-abiding’?” Saffron asks. “It’s okay, I get it. Think every girl who ever lived does, heh.”

“Yeah, but it’s not quite that simple for me,” I sigh.

“Well, THAT all depends on how cool your boyfriend is,” Saffron advises. “Now go on, table 7!” I smirk as I take the drinks over to our customers as I realise that Saffron is right. If Kain does react the way I fear he will, then he wouldn’t be the boy I think he is- and certainly wouldn’t be worthy of going out with a girl like me. On the other hand, if he- a guy who very obviously fancies the pants off me- rejects me for being pre-op, then I’ll have no chance of ever finding a boyfriend who’d be willing to be ‘intimate’ with me…

My work shift comes to an end just after 4pm, and I let out a sigh of relief as I head into the back to grab my jacket and my handbag, not noticing that I’m not alone in the staff area.

“That was a hell of a sigh, Miss White!” The familiar androgynous northern twang of the shop’s deputy manager teases, making me cringe.

“Sorry…” I mumble.

“Nah, you’re alright,” Natalie giggles. “I know when I was sixteen I wouldn’t want to spend all Saturday at work. Definitely earned your pay today, heh!”

“Thanks,” I say with a giggle.

“And I bet you’re excited about tonight!” Natalie says with a smug grin. “Saffron told me earlier, your boyfriend’s birthday?”

“Oh- is everyone in the shop gossiping about my love life?” I moan as my supervisor tries (and fails) to control her laughter.

“I think there are a couple of customers out there who don’t know,” Natalie replies. “In fairness, you’ve kinda been, you know, ‘loud’ about it.”

“…I guess,” I shrug.

“Piece of advice?” Natalie offers. “Don’t force it. And by ‘it’ you can probably guess what I mean. Let it happen naturally and you’ll enjoy it a lot more.”

“Thanks, I think,” I say. “See you next Saturday!”

“See you,” Natalie replies. “And have fun tonight! And no, ‘fun’ isn’t a euphemism. This time.”

“Thanks,” I say flatly, before heading out of the coffee shop and breathing a sigh of relief. My tension levels rise when I get into the waiting car, however, all thanks to the person sitting in the driver’s seat.

“Afternoon!” Ricky says with his trademark smug grin. “Good day at work?”

“Meh,” I shrug, earning a giggle from the person in front of me on the passenger seat.

“Aye, I know that feeling!” Alice says in her broad north-eastern accent. “Could be worse though, my first job was in a chippy. Every day after working there I went home and showered for about an hour to try to get the smell out of grease out of my hair, heh.”

“You do know this shop sells chips, right?” I retort.

“Aye, and whose idea do you think that was?” Alice replies smugly. “The whole point of it being an ‘Angel coffee shop’ is that all of us get the chance to contribute an idea. That one was mine.”

“Thanks, I’ll know who blame when Kain kisses me and suddenly gets a craving for a plate of chips,” I snort, before grimacing as an awkward silence fills the car.

“…Yeah, thanks for reminding me that was tonight,” Ricky growls.

“You all excited for the party, then?” Alice asks. “Know what you’re gonna wear?”

“Oh, I’ve known THAT for weeks,” I reply with a grin. “Wearing that blue dress I got from Sarah a couple of weeks ago, long sleeves, short skirt, lots of leg, hehe!”

“Aye, I know the one!” Alice says. “Sarah made one for me too, helps that we’re both the same size, heh!” I grin at Alice’s statement- it’s always nice to be reminded that I’m the same dress size as a supermodel.

“I’m really excited about tonight, heh,” I say.

“I bet,” Alice teases. “Nervous, too?”

“We either change the topic of conversation now or you both walk home,” Ricky says, earning angry glares from both myself and Alice.

“We will talk about whatever we want!” The fiery redhead replies, making me smirk as my brother gets smacked down from his high horse. “Whether you like it or not, your sister’s growing up.”

“I bet you wouldn’t be so squeamish if I was still your brother,” I say, deepening Ricky’s frown.

“…Probably not,” Ricky concedes. “Which should demonstrate how much I’ve accepted you as my sister, shouldn’t it?”

“God, even when you’re being insulted you’re still trying to score points,” Alice snorts, giggling and rolling her eyes as Ricky replies with a smug grin.

“Not just ‘trying’,” my brother says. “But you can’t argue that I don’t have a point. No one wants to hear their little sister talking about THAT.”

“Yeah, well, like it or not, I’m not very ‘little’ anymore,” I retort. “And there are things I am legally allowed to do whether you like it or not.”

“Well, take it from your big sister,” Alice says with a serious look on her face. “Make absolutely 100% sure you’re ready before doing those ‘things’. You know whoever picked sixteen as the age of consent probably picked it at random. Just ‘cause you’re legal, it doesn’t mean you’re ready.” Even though I know that everything Alice says is true, I still feel my cheeks start to redden with embarrassment as my pseudo ‘big sister’ offers her advice.

“…Okay,” I sigh. “For once I agree with my brother, can we change the topic, please?”

“You’re outvoted 2 to 1,” Ricky says triumphantly. “You have a choice of sport or cars as the next topic of conversation.”

“BOY,” Alice and I say simultaneously, before sharing a genuine girlish giggle.

The three of us arrive back home a short while later, and after saying hi to mum, Sean and Lily, I head straight up to my bedroom to change out of my food smell-saturated clothes and into something a lot more exciting!

Before I pull on my dress- which is, of course, taking pride of place on a hanger in front of my wardrobe- I untie my hair from the tight high ponytail I’ve worn it in all day and brush it out, using the occasional jet of strong-smelling hairspray to maximise its volume (and mask the smell of food). Next is my make-up- thick smoky eyeshadow, heavy false eyelashes and deep red lipstick complement my features beautifully. A cloud of perfume follows next, to hopefully mask the last of the food smell from today, before I repaint my long, slender fingernails a deep red colour. Next, I slip out of the comfortable white bra and briefs I wore to work and into a considerably less comfortable black bra and thong set with very soft, sensual lace trim that feels amazing once it's on my body- particularly the thin strip of lace that's nestled between my buttocks!

With my hands trembling with excitement, I carefully ease the dress off its hanger, smiling as I hold it against my body. The dress will be form-fitting even when it’s on my skinny frame, and I’m certain it’ll have the desired ‘effect’ on my boyfriend. However, this just highlights my problem- ‘exciting’ Kain is a piece of cake when I’m wearing a dress like this. But if I’m wearing nothing at all? That still remains to be seen.

Nonetheless, I find myself pausing as I open my tights drawer- my legs are more than good enough to go uncovered tonight, but given how short my dress is, and how skimpy my thong is, I don’t want Kain to think I’m giving him an ‘invitation’. Then again, I don’t want him to think that I’m ‘shutting him out’, either…

Eventually, I reach my decision, and I have a smirk on my face as I carefully descend the stairs on my 4” heeled sandals, my smooth, hairless and, most importantly of all, bare legs on show for everyone to admire. The looks of pride on the faces of my family- with the obvious exception of Ricky, anyway- tell me that my dress is a very good choice. However, it’s my boyfriend’s approval that I’m most interested in…

“You just won’t stop growing up, will you?” Mum asks with an emotional sigh as she gives me a gentle hug. “Sometimes I just wish you’d go back to being eleven again…”

“Yeah, well, those days are in the past,” I say with a confident smirk.

“More’s the pity,” Ricky snorts, earning an elbow in the ribs from his girlfriend.

“Ignore him, Laura,” Alice says. “You look GORGEOUS. Seriously.”

“Thanks!” I giggle.

“Come on, let’s get going,” Sean says with a chuckle, rising from his seat and leading me to his car. “Don’t want to keep the birthday boy waiting, heh.”

“Yeah,” I say. “And thanks for the lift!”

“Just being a good stepfather,” Sean chuckles. “Though I hope that whatever happens tonight, you DON’T tell Lily. Don’t need her growing up as fast as you have!”

“Don’t think you’ve got any say in the matter,” I say, smiling sympathetically as my future stepfather sighs.

“No, don’t think I have,” Sean chuckles. “Doesn’t mean I don’t want to protect her. AND you. Whatever happens tonight, umm, just because you and Kain are both now of a legal age-“

“Sean, I’ve had this conversation with literally everybody today,” I sigh. “I think Lily might be the only person who DOESN’T get tonight’s significance.”

“I hope she doesn’t,” Sean grumbles. “Guess I’ve got nothing else to add, heh. Except have fun, and be careful!”

“I will,” I giggle as we drive the short distance to Kain’s house.

Mere minutes later, I take a deep breath and straighten my dress as I step out of Sean’s car and walk up to Kain’s front door, smirking at the sound of my heels clicking on the pavement outside. I ring the doorbell, and seconds later the door is opened by a very good-looking, very tall young man who looks a lot like Kain and who I recognise immediately.

“Hi David,” I say to my boyfriend’s older brother.

“Hey Laura,” David says with a smirk as he ushers me into the house’s living room, where the party is already in full swing, with several of Kain’s male friends present, playing videogames, listening to music and chatting- and all of whom turn their heads and get a good long look at my legs as I stride up to my boyfriend and greet him with a long, deep kiss. The sneers on Kain’s friends’ girlfriends’ faces are also very gratifying.

“Hey babe,” I purr, tingling with excitement as Kain wraps an arm around my tiny waist. “Happy birthday!”

“Hey sexy,” Kain replies, intensifying my tingles- that choice of pet name can’t be a coincidence. “Do, umm, do you want a drink?”

“Please,” I say, grinning at the stares the two of us receive as we walk hand-in-hand to the kitchen.

“It’s soft drink only,” Kain sighs. “You know how my parents are, and Dave’s playing policeman-“

“It’s okay,” I shrug. “Lot of people here today!”

“Hey, captain of the basketball team!” Kain chuckles. “Makes me popular, you know? Reckon I’m more popular ‘cause I go out with you too, heh.”

“Yeah…” I say with a nervous chuckle. “Dunno about THAT, heh.”

“No, trust me,” Kain says. “I saw the looks the guys were giving you when you came in.”

“Yeah, I seem to remember you giving me those same looks for about a year before we started going out,” I tease, giggling as Kain’s cheeks start to redden.

“Heh, yep,” Kain half-giggles and half-mumbles. “And, you know, I’m the only guy who gets to touch as well as look…” My grin widens as Kain’s hand stealthily lowers from my hip to my backside- though I can’t help but squirm a little as this one gesture makes it very clear that Kain wants to take advantage of his new age- and, more to the point, of me. Not that I’d mind that too much, of course…

“Oh, hey Laura!” Megan says as she enters the kitchen hand-in-hand with her boyfriend. “Thought I saw you coming in here!”

“Hey Megan!” I giggle, briefly breaking away from my boyfriend to exchange a quick hug with my BFF. “Why are you here?”

“With George,” Megan replies with a grin which, like mine, gets wider when her boyfriend approaches and wraps his arm around my BFF’s waist.

“Hey Laura,” George says with a smirk.

“Hi George,” I say to the young man who’s changed a lot in the time I’ve known him. When we first met, he was Ashley’s overweight, knuckle-dragging, girl-obsessed and, worst of all, transphobic best friend. Now, however, he’s fit, very tall (over 6’ 4” in sock feet) and sensitive in a good way. Someone as smart, cool and beautiful as Megan definitely wouldn’t be going out with him if he wasn’t cool. Even if he, like every other boy, can’t keep his eyes off my legs.

“Hey man,” Kain says, handing George a drink.

“Cheers mate,” George says as Megan and I roll our eyes at the two boys. “…What?”

“BOYS,” Megan and I say, before sharing an excited giggle.

“…Nah, I dunno either, mate,” Kain shrugs as he wraps his arm back around my waist.

“Ah, you wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?” I tease.

“…Nah,” Kain replies with a wide, smug grin as we return to the living room.

I spend the next couple of hours having as much fun as I possibly can. I chat with the others at the party (Morgan and Sabrina from cheer club are also present as both of them go out with basketball players too), compare outfits and dance a little. However, most of my time is spent giving the birthday boy the attention he deserves, even if it does mean sitting on his lap for most of the evening and constantly having to adjust my dress to avoid flashing my panties to everyone!

The commotion at the party helps to distract me from my big concern about tonight- it’s not like Kain and I can do anything with a dozen other people in the room, after all. Gradually, though, the partygoers start to leave, and by the time 10:30pm rolls around, it’s just me, Megan, George, Kain and his brother left in the house, all of us tired but happy after an evening of fun.

“Ehh, my mum’s just sent me a text,” George moans as Megan rests against him the same way I’m snuggled up against my boyfriend. “Wants to know when I want picking up.”

“I’m guessing she’s not asking you if you want picking up now, she’s telling you?” Kain asks, earning a genuine giggle from myself and Megan.

“Yeah, heh,” George sighs. “Great night though, mate.”

“Cheers mate,” Kain says, before sighing as his brother pokes his head around the living room door.

“Kain? Get in here and help tidy up,” David orders, making my boyfriend roll his eyes.

“You tidy up,” Kain retorts, before sighing, unwrapping me from around him and following his brother into the kitchen.

“You want a lift home too, Laura?” George asks as the three of us are left alone in the living room.

“Assuming Laura even IS coming home,” Megan says with an accusatory stare.

“…What?” I snort. “Don’t think I like what you’re saying…”

“You’re sixteen, he’s sixteen,” Megan says. “And it’s not like you haven’t been, well, ‘open’ about wanting to, well, you know…”

“Maybe I have, maybe I haven’t,” I shrug.

“And is just coincidence that you’re wearing a dress your arse is hanging out of?” Megan asks, sighing as I start to pout. “Look, I’m not judging, it’s not like you’d be doing anything illegal, after all. It’s just- you’re kinda like my little sister, you know?”

“I’m four months older than you,” I feebly retort.

“You know what I mean,” Megan sighs. “Whatever you choose, just- just be careful, okay?”

“Okay,” I whisper as I realise that I do have a decision to make. However… It’s not like I don’t have time to think about it, as it’s not like Kain or I are going to suddenly stop being over the age of consent. It IS late, I’m feeling tired and I know that Kain is as well, and we’re not alone in the house so it’s not like we’d be able to relax and enjoy ‘it’… On the other hand, the longer I wait, the longer I’ll be stressed out about how Kain will react when he finally sees my 'birth defect'…

“Think that’s my mum’s car now,” George says as the sound of an engine suddenly comes from outside. “Laura, are- are you-?”

“I’ll be out in a bit,” I say with a tired smile. “Just want to say, umm, goodbye to Kain first…”

“Umm, okay,” George says hesitantly as he and Megan walk hand-in-hand to the front door. I take a deep breath before heading to the kitchen to say goodbye to Kain, but before I enter the room, one of the voices from inside the room makes me pause.

“…I mean, for a tranny and all,” David’s voice says- and it couldn’t be more obvious who he’s talking about.

“Mate, not cool,” Kain says. “’Tranny’ means ‘guy who pretends to be a girl’. Laura IS a girl, she was just, you know, born wrong.”

“Well- yeah, but she still used to be a boy, right?” David asks, pausing as Kain replies in a way I’m not able to hear through the door. “So there you go. But the point is, for someone who used to be a boy, she is REALLY fit.” Suddenly, the anger that’s been brewing inside me vanishes, to be replaced by a feeling of great pride- if David, an older guy who’s never seen me before, can think that way about me even knowing that I’m transgendered…

“She is,” Kain says, widening my smile.

“And she’s obviously gagging for it as well,” David says, bringing my anger right back and making me roll my eyes at the toxic masculinity on display. David would get on well with my brother…

“I guess,” Kain mumbles.

“Mate, there’s nothing stopping you now,” David advises. “You’re no less a man for waiting until you’re sixteen but now that you ARE sixteen, you need to get a move on. And don’t let anyone tell you that it doesn’t count just ‘cause you’ll have to go in her back door, because it does.” I feel my backside start to tense up at the casual mention of the ‘mechanics’ of what sex with Kain would involve. It’s not that I’m not willing, of course, but I’m just as nervous about that as I am anything else- the last thing I want is for it to hurt, or to not be enjoyable in any way. Yet another reason why I want to be ‘corrected’ as soon as possible, though even then, there’s no guarantee I’d enjoy 'natural' sex…

“I guess,” Kain mumbles again.

“I know,” David says firmly. “Don’t keep her waiting too long or she’ll just look for what she can get somewhere else.” Okay, I think to myself. That’s it. After taking a deep breath, I open the kitchen door, causing the conversation to stop dead in its tracks, before walking up to my boyfriend giving him a long, deep kiss.

“My lift’s here,” I purr. “I’ve got to go now.”

“Oh, okay,” Kain says, clearly disappointed by the news (and clearly getting ‘excited’ by my kiss). “Shall I, umm, see you again, you know, next week?”

“I’m not doing anything on Monday,” I shrug. “You?”

“Sure,” Kain shrugs. “Want me to come to your place?” I pause before answering this question- if Kain comes to my house, we won’t have any privacy, as I’ll be expected to look after Lily, and the last time I was alone in my bedroom with a boy and others were downstairs, it did NOT end well for me. Kain, however, has no younger siblings and both of his parents and his older brother work, so we’d be free to do whatever we wanted- assuming, of course, that either of us wanted to do whatever we wanted.

“…How about here?” I shrug, making Kain giggle nervously as he’s obviously had the same thought as me.

“I- I’d prefer your place,” Kain mumbles, making me sigh sadly- I know exactly what it’s like to have an older brother try to impose his views onto me, and given how shy Kain is, it must not have been fun for him growing up.

“My place it is,” I shrug, before giving Kain another kiss. “I, umm, don’t want to keep George’s parents waiting. See you Monday, babe.”

“See you,” Kain says, giving me another kiss as I leave.

If Kain and his brother continue talking after I leave the kitchen, I don’t hear it as I leave the house and climb into George’s mother’s car. A short while later, the car pulls up outside my home, and I take a deep breath and brace myself for a confrontation when I see that the lights in the living room are still on despite it being almost 11pm.

Sure enough, when I walk through the front door, the first thing I see is mum sat in her usual chair, looking at me with a mixture of concern and disappointment in her eyes.

“Did you have fun?” Mum asks stoically as I drop my bag on the sideboard and kick off my heels.

“Yeah,” I shrug. “It was fun. A lot of people there, more than I was expecting. Place was, umm, packed out.”

“Is Kain well?” Mum asks.

“Yep,” I say, before letting out a long sigh at the sheer awkwardness of the situation. This is the last conversation I'd ever want to have with my mum, but she seems determined to both have the conversation and pussyfoot around it as well. The sooner I get it over and done with... “And to answer the question you’re NOT asking, no, nothing happened, not tonight. And it wouldn’t have been a problem if it had.”

“I’ll be the judge of that, if you don’t mind,” mum retorts, scowling as I flop down onto the sofa and roll my eyes. “Like it or not Laura, you ARE still a child, I AM still responsible for you, and I most definitely do NOT want to see you getting hurt.”

“I’m not going to get hurt with Kain,” I snort. “He isn’t Scott. You’ve met him, you know how, well, ‘sensitive’ he is…”

“’Sensitive’ enough to have- in your words- a ‘packed out’ party?” Mum asks.

“…Maybe,” I mumble. "Can- can I just go to bed, please?"

“Laura, trust me when I say I’m not trying to stop you from having fun,” mum says in a calm, soothing voice. “If that was the case I wouldn’t have let you go to the party at all. Believe it or not, I do remember what it’s like to be sixteen, to have all this extra freedom… I’m not saying you haven’t earned the extra freedom, god knows you’ve accepted all the extra responsibilities like your exams, your part-time work… But you do need to be careful.”

“I AM careful,” I say. “Like I said, nothing happened tonight.”

“But it will do sooner or later,” mum says. “Probably sooner, knowing you. And I don’t want to be insensitive, Laura, but we have to face reality- when you lose your virginity, it’s not going to be like when other girls do.”

“…Yeah, I know,” I say with a tired sigh. “And yes, I’ve thought about that myself. A LOT.”

“You know,” mum says, “just because you CAN have sex, it doesn’t mean that you MUST.”

“I know that too,” I say. "I really am tired though, can I just go to be-"

“Peer pressure’s a horrible thing,” mum sighs, making me frown as I stand up only to sit right back down again. “Probably my least favourite thing about when I was at school.”

“It’s not peer pressure,” I retort. “Megan was at the party, she was in as big a flap as you are about the whole thing.”

“Okay, first, I’m not ‘in a flap’,” mum says. “Second, just because it’s not overt, doesn’t mean it’s not peer pressure. Just the fact that some of your friends are ‘active’ might be enough to convince you that you need to be as well.”

“…I know Kain’s been feeling peer pressure,” I mumble. “I overheard him talking to his brother.”

“Heh, he’s got the opposite problem to you then?” Mum chuckles. “Not that I disagree with Ricky, not this time, anyway. God knows THAT doesn’t happen very often!”

“Yeah,” I chuckle. “Look, mum, I- I’m really, really tired, can I please just go to bed?"

“Sure,” mum says with a tired smile. “When are you seeing Kain next?”

“Monday,” I say. “He’s coming round here, so nothing’ll happen then, either, not as we’ll inevitably have to babysit Lily too.”

“Okay,” mum says with a nod as I disappear upstairs to remove my dress and my make-up, before climbing into my warm single bed.

I don’t take long to drift off to sleep, though mum’s words of advice are the last thing on my mind before I do, and are still resonating in my mind when I wake up on Sunday morning.

After showering, I pull on a comfortable long-sleeved black bodysuit followed by a slender ankle-length grey skirt I’ve borrowed from Ashley at one of our regular clothes ‘swap meets’. After the dress I wore last night, covering a little more of my legs does seem like a good idea. A light layer of make-up follows before I tie my hair back into its usual high ponytail and head downstairs, where my family are all enjoying breakfast- including an unexpected guest.

“Hi grandma!” I squeak excitedly, giving the older woman a gentle hug before sitting down next to her.

“Good morning Laura!” Grandma chuckles. “That’s a very pretty skirt, did you get it recently?”

“Yep!” I reply. “Borrowed it from a friend of mine.”

“Aww,” Lily pouts. “Guess that means I can’t have it when I’m older, then?”

“Haven’t you laid claim to enough of your sister’s wardrobe, young lady?” Grandma chastises Lily, making me smirk and the younger girl blush.

“Sorry…” Lily mumbles into her breakfast, which earns her a gentle hug from my mother.

“No, you’re okay,” mum reassures the 11 year old girl. “There are times even I’m envious of Laura’s wardrobe! If only I could fit into any of it, heh.”

“I’m definitely having the dress Laura wore to her party last night,” Lily says, making me cringe as my grandmother’s attention immediately turns toward me.

“What party was this?” Grandma asks. “One of your friends’ birthdays?”

“Umm, kinda…” I grimace. “It- it was my boyfriend’s birthday, His sixteenth.”

“Oh,” grandma replies as I feel myself shrinking into my chair. “I see. Did you have fun?”

“Sure,” I shrug as the silence that’s fallen over the table grows more and more awkward. “I, umm…”

“How long can you stay today, Margaret?” Sean asks, mercifully lessening the tension in the room.

“For as long as you’ll have me!” Grandma chuckles. “Though I do want to stop off and see Ricky today, if he doesn’t drop round here first, of course.”

“Chance’d be a fine thing,” mum snorts. “He stopped round yesterday and I think that’ll be him for the month. Still, I suppose it’s inevitable that children will spread their wings…” And we’re tense again, I think to myself with a frown.

“Children don’t stay children forever,” grandma says in a quiet, emotional voice. “Nor do grandchildren. It’s hard to believe that Ricky will be 25 in a few months.”

“Trust me, I’m having a harder time believing that than you,” Mum chuckles. “About a year and a half from now I’ll have two adult children, heh.” Though I bet you still won’t acknowledge that I’m an adult even then, I think to myself.

“Ah well,” Sean sighs as he gives his daughter a gentle hug. “At least Lily will be a kid for the next forty years, right?”

“You wish,” Lily snorts, making everyone at the table chuckle as we continue talking- with the topic of conversation staying as far away from last night’s party as possible.

However, after breakfast, Lily heads out to one of her friends’ houses with Sean, while mum heads into her bedroom to do some ironing, leaving me alone in the living room with grandma- and if I thought that mum had a disapproving look on her face last night, it’s nothing compared to the glare my grandmother is giving me now.

“…Your boyfriend’s sixteenth birthday, then?” Grandma asks, making me cringe. If I didn't want to have this conversation with my mum, I DEFINITELY don't want to have it with grandma.

“Yes,” I mumble. “And yes, I’ve had ‘the talk’ with just about everyone I know several times already.”

“Good,” grandma says sternly. “Hopefully what you were told will sink in a little.”

“…I’m not going to become a nun,” I say, cringing as grandma’s stare grows sterner. “I mean, I’m not doing anything illegal…”

“And it’s not immoral either, no matter what other people might try to tell you,” grandma says, her stern expression cracking briefly. “But it’s still a much, much bigger deal than you think.”

“I dunno, I’ve been thinking a LOT about it lately,” I say, before cringing again. “I mean, about what a change it-“

“I know what you mean,” grandma says softly. “And I’m sure you don’t want to hear me of all people talk about it with you.”

“Yeah, this is kinda a really embarrassing conversation,” I say, making the older woman grin.

"It's only embarrassing if there are other people around," grandma corrects me. "And we just don’t want to see you get hurt. You’ve been through too much over these last five years, far more than you deserved to.”

“Yeah,” I whisper. A kidnapping, an eating disorder, repeated bullying from the other kids at school… I’ve had a lot of wins too, with my dancing, my acting, and of course some of the best friends a person could ever have, but I’ve had to endure a lot to earn those wins. However, that just serves to make them all the sweeter.

“The last thing you need is for some teenaged boy to make things worse,” grandma says.

“Kain’s not just ‘some boy’ though,” I say. “And he’s probably as nervous as I am. And probably getting as many of these awkward talks from his family too.”

“I doubt it,” grandma says. “After all, he’s a boy, and you’re not.”

“Yeah,” I say with a proud smile. “Take it you never had this talk with Ricky, then?”

“Oh good heavens, no!” Grandma chuckles. “Your brother never needed any help THERE, believe you me! And even if he did, he’d probably have been a hundred times more embarrassed talking about it with his grandmother than you are.”

“Hard to think of anything embarrassing him,” I snort.

“You’d be surprised,” grandma says. “Don’t forget that he grew up without any male role models, his grandfather died when he was eight, he has no older brothers, no uncles either, and the less said about his so-called ‘father’ the better.”

“I guess,” I shrug.

“His only real role models were his friends from school and his Army Cadet instructors,” grandma explains. “And he made mistakes. A lot of them. Not that he’d ever own up to any, of course.”

“Yeah, I’ve been on the receiving end of a few of his ‘mistakes’ myself,” I grumble.

“Indeed you have,” grandma says. “But there’s no sense in making any yourself if they can be avoided.”

“I guess,” I shrug. “I hope- umm, never mind…”

“No, go on,” grandma insists.

“I hope-“ I say, before smirking. “I hope you go as hard on Lily as you’re going on me when it’s her turn for this talk.”

“Oh, trust me, we’ll go even harder on her!” Grandma says with a devious smirk of her own that makes me giggle uncontrollably.

The rest of the morning and afternoon is spent relaxing watching TV, catching up on my social media accounts and working on GCSE coursework. However, Kain is a constant distraction in my mind throughout the day- and not in his usual way.

Grandma’s advice, when added to advice from Ricky, mum, Sean and others, has only helped to make me more anxious about the inevitable. I get that it’s a big deal. But afterwards, Kain and I will still be the same people we were beforehand- at least, I hope we’ll be, because as grandma’s pointed out, I know a thing or two about being changed by major life events…

“It’s 4pm, you ready to go?” Sean asks as he knocks on my bedroom door, interrupting the coursework I was trying to complete.

“Oh, umm, yeah,” I reply, putting away my laptop and pulling on a pair of cute ankle boots with a low wedge heel. “Just gimme a second…”

“You lost in thought in there?” Sean asks.

“Just busy with coursework,” I reply. “And before you make any sarcastic comments, yes, I was genuinely doing coursework, not thinking about anything else.”

“Never implied you were,” Sean says. “Besides, I think we said everything we needed to say last night. These kinds of talks are usually just as embarrassing for the parent as well.”

“I really, really doubt that,” I say as I grab my handbag and follow Sean down to his car. “It’s not your sex life being talked about.”

“Not a bad point,” Sean shrugs. “But think of it this way- I watched Lily being born, I changed thousands of her nappies, took her to Disneyland, bought her first doll… And in about five years’ time, I’m going to have to have THAT talk with her. Hell, I’m dreading the inevitable talk I’m going to have to have with her in the next couple of years.”

“Yeah,” I muse. “Sometimes I don’t know whether or not I’m lucky to have skipped that one. And surely mum can have that particular talk?”

“She could, yes,” Sean says. “But I want to have that talk as well. Lily’s my daughter, and I don’t want her ever to think I’m neglecting my responsibilities toward her. And the same goes for you. Hell, the same goes for Ricky as well, not that he’ll ever appreciate it.”

“Yeah,” I chuckle. “And thanks, I guess.”

“You’re welcome, I guess!” Sean laughs as we onto the busy London streets.

A short while later, the car pulls up outside the house of my BFF, who greets me with a tight hug as she answers the door.

“Hi Laura!” Megan squeaks happily. “LOVE that skirt, hehe! That a new one?”

“Kinda,” I shrug. “Borrowing it from Ash, she got my pink glittery crop top in return, you know the one, right?”

“Think so,” Megan shrugs. “So lucky, having someone who’s actually the same size as you, heh.”

“Aww,” I sigh, giving a gentle hug to the 6’ 2” girl. “Doesn’t stop you being girly and gorgeous, right?”

“Hell no it doesn’t!” Megan giggles. “Even if my shoes for prom are size 10 and have virtually no heel, heh.”

“I repeat: girly and gorgeous,” I say. “And let’s not have the whole ‘who is least happy with their body’ thing again ‘cause I think you know we’ll BOTH lose there.”

“…Yeah,” Megan giggles as she leads me up to her bedroom and puts on some music (including a teaser track from Out of Heaven’s next album).

“So,” I say as I flop into Megan’s comfy chair, “did you catch hell from your parents too for last night?”

“Not really,” Megan shrugs. “Probably would’ve done if I’d woken James up when I got in, but I didn’t, so, well, yeah.”

“Lucky you,” I snort. “I didn’t wake Lily up but I still got both barrels from mum.”

“Ouch,” Megan grimaces.

“And Sean,” I sigh. “And grandma too when she dropped round this morning.”

“Jeez,” Megan says.

“Think they reckon that the second me and Kain both turn sixteen, I’m going to turn into some kind of sexaholic or something,” I snort.

“The whole Scott thing probably didn’t help,” Megan says.

“And whose side are you on?” I ask, before grimacing as my BFF frowns. “Eesh, sorry… And I guess you’re right, I just- I just wish it wasn’t such a big deal…”

“You wish that your folks weren’t making such a big deal of it, or that it wasn’t such a big deal full stop?” Megan asks.

“…That it wasn’t such a big deal full stop,” I sigh. “I’ve, like, built it up so much in my mind…”

“Have you talked to Kain about it?” Megan asks, and I’m forced to pause as I realise that the answer to this question is actually ‘no’.

In hindsight, it’s such an obvious thing- it’s not just about me, it’s about me and Kain. He’s probably as nervous as I am about the whole thing, and his conversation with his brother last night is definitely proof of that. And as nervous as I am about him seeing me naked for the first time, there’s nothing to say that he isn’t just as naked…

“I’ll take that silence as a ‘no’, then,” Megan says smugly. “Do you guys talk at all or do you just suck each other’s tongues all the time?”

“We talk,” I reply. “Okay, we ‘suck tongue’ more, but he has a really nice tasting tongue, you know?”

“I bet,” Megan snorts. “What do you two talk about?”

“Just, you know, stuff,” I shrug. “School, family, friends, Kain talks about his basketball team, I talk about cheerleading and ballet…”

“…That it?” Megan asks, making me roll my eyes.

“Like you and George have already discussed it,” I retort.

“We have, actually,” Megan says with a smug look on her bespectacled face.

“…Really?” I ask.

“Seriously,” Megan confirms. “We talked about it, we both agreed that we should wait until a time when we’re both of legal age and we can both make it special for the other.”

“No offence,” I say hesitantly, “but George doesn’t strike me as the ‘mature conversation’ type.”

“I’ve put a look of hard work into him,” Megan says with an even smugger grin than before. “Not many guys out there who’ll be seen with a 6’ 2” broad shouldered girl.”

“Like there aren’t many guys who’ll be seen with a transgendered girl?” I ask. “Yeah, I got the hint.”

“I didn’t drop any hint,” Megan retorts. “Okay, maybe I did, but you’ve got to admit, I’ve got a point, right?”

“Okay, maybe,” I sigh. “Can we talk about something else, please?”

“Something other than how fit our boyfriends are?” Megan asks with a playful pout.

“…Okay, that IS a pretty good topic, hehe!” I giggle.

The topic of our boyfriends crops up repeatedly as Megan and I spend the evening chatting, doing the occasional bit of coursework and working on one of Megan’s side projects (she wants to study TV production at college, so has been producing a lot of YouTube videos that I’ve helped her out by acting in). Eventually, the time comes for me to head home, and eventually, to bed, where Megan’s advice has given me yet more to think about. She’s right about one thing, though- the person I need to talk to the most is Kain. Everyone else, friends and family alike, can only advise. Kain’s the only person I can talk to to actually get things done- and I’ll have that opportunity tomorrow morning.

When morning comes, I get up before 8am, despite it being the school holidays, and get ready for the day ahead. Obviously, I take care with my appearance- after showering, I apply a modest, but still full face of make-up (complete with a red lipstick that I know Kain loves) and repaint my nails a delicate pink colour. I keep my hair loose, but brushed away from my face, and make sure the rest of my body is completely hair-free as well before selecting my outfit for the day.

I start by pulling on a plain, but matching grey bra and thong set, before opening my tights drawer and sighing as I face the same dilemma I faced on Saturday night. Going bare-legged will send the same ‘signal’ I did then, but it is colder today, and with me having to babysit Lily, nothing will ever happen anyway. And my legs look good even if they are covered by tights, so in the end, I opt for a pair of translucent tights with a flirty dot pattern on them. It should go without saying that the skirt I choose to cover the tights doesn’t actually cover much of them at all, the hem sitting just above the middle of my thighs, and the top I opt for, while long-sleeved, is very clingy and has a neckline low-cut enough to show just a tiny hint of cleavage.

Finally, I select my jewellery for the day- a plain pair of silver hoop earrings, one of my lightest silver necklaces and, last but not least, Kain's 'Scrabble' bracelet he got me for Valentine's Day. A part of me still feels bad that I didn't wear it on Saturday, even if it didn't go with my dress, so I want to make sure that Kain knows how much I appreciate it.

“Good morning, Laura,” mum says, obviously suppressing a sigh as I enter the kitchen and sit down.

“Morning everyone!” I say with a grin. “When are you two heading out?”

“Once we’ve finished breakfast,” Sean says. “Thanks for agreeing to babysit Lily today.”

“There wasn’t much ‘agreeing’,” I retort, before smiling. “But I don’t mind.”

“And thanks for saying ‘baby’ sit,” Lily snorts. “I was talking to Molly last night on Facebook anyway, she says I can go round to hers this morning, so could you give me a lift round there, please?” I bite my lip as I see a look of concern spread across mum and Sean’s faces- not at the thought of Lily going to her friend’s house, of course, but at the thought of who’s coming round here later this morning.

“Umm, sure, I guess,” Sean says, earning a glare from my mother. “Go and get dressed, we’re leaving in a few minutes.”

“Okay,” Lily says with a grin as she leaves the table and heads upstairs, leaving me alone in the kitchen with two very stern glares.

“…Seriously, are we going to have this conversation every time I’m going to spend time alone with Kain?” I ask.

“You are still a child, Laura,” mum reminds me. “You are still our responsibility, and we don’t want to see you get hurt, like I’ve said so many times.”

“Then why is the age of consent sixteen and not eighteen?” I ask.

“Maybe it should be,” mum says. “Maybe I should ask Ricky to come and keep an eye on you.”

“You wouldn’t dare!” I say, fidgeting and tugging the hem of my skirt lower.

“Maybe I would, maybe I wouldn’t,” mum says, before letting out a long sigh. “And I suppose I can’t prevent the inevitable, no matter how much I want to try. But you do have a tendency to rush head-first into things without thinking them through first. At least- at least talk to your counsellor about it too. You're seeing her on Wednesday."

"We've talked plenty about it already," I say. "And maybe I'm not the only one who needs to speak to someone about it if it's getting you this worked up."

"Laura," Sean cautions in a dark voice.

"...Maybe I do," mum concedes, confusing me- I was expecting a reaction like Sean's, or worse, but for mum to actually agree with me shows how seriously she's taking the situation- that this isn't just a case of her trying to control for control's sake. "We- we need to go now, Laura. You take care, okay? And for the love of god, be careful."

"I will," I whisper, exchanging a hug with her as she, Sean and Lily head out to her car, leaving me alone in the house, and alone with my thoughts. Everybody has their own opinion of what I should and shouldn't do. Everybody seems to think I'm not mature enough to make my own decisions, despite being old enough. But everybody is genuinely concerned for me- even though I know they don't need to be- and it's obvious that they all genuinely love me, and still will regardless of what happens with Kain today. If anything, it's Kain himself who I'm most worried about...

"Finally," I whisper to myself as the front doorbell rings. I put a smile on my face as I open the door- and, obviously, that smile grows wider as the tall boy on the other side of the door greets me with a long kiss.

"Hey babe," Kain says. "Thought I'd do that now 'cause, you know, we probably won't get to with your sister around..."

"Ah, yeah," I say with a grimace. "She- she kinda went to a friend's heh. We- we've got the whole house to ourselves!" Much to my surprise, the look that spreads over Kain's face isn't one of lust, or even excitement- it can best be described as one of pure terror...

"Oh- really?" Kain asks.

"Yeah," I say as I gently take Kain's hand and sit him down on the sofa. Confusingly, despite his seeming terror, he's already clearly getting 'excited' at the mere feeling of my hand in his...

"Okay, umm, yeah..." Kain laughs as he gets increasingly flustered, causing Megan's words of advice come back to me.

"Kain," I say softly. "We- ugh, there needs to be a better way of wording this... We- we need to talk."

"Oh- oh god..." Kain moans, looking almost like he's about to cry.

"No- no, god, I didn't mean-" I say.

"Typical, I finally turn sixteen and my girlfriend dumps me," Kain whines in an extremely unattractive way.

"No, Kain..." I sigh, before grabbing his hand again and giving it a firm squeeze. "Listen. I am NOT dumping you. When I say 'we need to talk', I mean- we- we need to have A talk. We kinda don't do that all that much, you know?"

"Well- umm, I guess?" Kain asks, clearly confused by my behaviour.

"I- I heard you and your brother talking on Saturday," I begin after taking a deep breath. "Before I went home. I know what you were talking about, and why you were talking about it... And I've had about, like, a million of those 'talks' over the last few days."

"Yeah, me too," Kain chuckles. "Feels like I've talked to literally everyone I know about it, heh. Some of them aren't as, well, 'encouraging' as Dave though."

"Can probably guess," I snort.

"Some people at school still reckon I'm, like, 'technically gay' for going out with you," Kain mumbles. "Some people can't get past the whole, you know."

"It sounded like your brother was only barely past it himself," I say. "Didn't know people still used the word 'tranny'."

"Ugh, that completely sucked of him, I'm SO sorry," Kain says.

"Trust me, I know all about arsehole big brothers," I giggle. "And what you were saying about having talked to everyone about it... I can name one person you haven't talked to."

"...Who?" Kain asks, reacting with surprise as I ambush him with a kiss.

"Me, dummy!" I reply. "And it's my fault too, because I could've talked to you at any time about it as well. And should've done. Which is what I'm doing now. And that's why I say 'we need to talk'."

"Ah, so this is a good 'we need to talk' then?" Kain asks.

"Well... Depends on the outcome, I guess," I say. "Because you can probably guess that all of my family kinda went the opposite way to what your brother said."

"I figured," Kain chuckles. "That's, like, what my mum said. What I think she said, anyway, I was kinda distracted 'cause I was dying of embarrassment at the same time."

"Try talking to your grandma about it, then you'll know what embarrassment is!" I scoff, smirking as Kain chuckles with laughter. "But it's up to us when we do it, no one else's opinion matters. So... Are- are we gonna, you know?"

"I- I want to, but-" Kain says, before grimacing. "I, umm, I..."

"Go on," I say. "Whatever it is, I want to hear it." Even if it is 'I'm afraid of your penis'...

"I, umm," Kain moans. "I want the first time to be- ugh, this will sound so lame..."

"You want the first time to be something special?" I ask, smiling as Kain nods. "What's so lame about that?"

"Well, like-" Kain replies. "I'm- I'm supposed to, you know, always be up for it, all the guys say that, like, I should want it all the time... They only talk about 'fucking' girls, but I want- I want it to be more special than that, I-" Kain yelps with surprise and stops talking as I give him a long, tight hug.

"I am seriously going out with the best guy at school," I say, bringing a smile to my boyfriend's face.

"What- seriously?" Kain asks. "You're okay with this? Even after, like, Scott?"

"Me and Scott never actually had sex," I say. "I'm sure I've told you that already."

"But- well, yeah..." Kain says.

"And the other BOYS at school can get fucked," I say. "Literally, can get fucked. There's nothing wrong with being sensitive. There's a lot right about it, in fact."

"Umm, if you say so..." Kain mumbles.

"And who else's opinion matters?" I ask, smirking as a grin spreads across Kain's face.

"No one's," Kain says. "So- so you're not too upset if we, you know, wait?"

"...We should both want it," I say softly. "Even if you are 'raring to go', heh."

"Yeah..." Kain says with a grimace as he desperately tries to hide the bulge in his trousers. "Sorry..."

"Umm, it is kinda a compliment, you know?" I say. "Like you said, a lot of the morons at school still can't see me as a girl despite the obvious."

"Yeah," Kain laughs.

"Which brings me onto something else," I say with a sigh. "Whether or not you're still going to be 'raring to go' if you see me naked. I mean, like, fully naked."

"I don't see why I wouldn't," Kain says. "It's not like I don't, you know, 'know'."

"But you can pretend it's not there, right?" I say. "God knows I do most of the time."

"Well- maybe?" Kain says. "I dunno. I- I guess there's only one way to find out..."

"...If you insist," I say, slowly peeling off my top.

"Whoa- wait, I didn't- I, umm, don't want you to do this if you don't want-" Kain stammers.

"Relax!" I giggle. "I've got no problem with this. Honestly, I don't. I was kinda expecting to have to do this today anyway, heh. Feels, you know, a bit more 'natural' like this, I dunno." Kain smiles and almost starts to hyperventilate as I remove my skirt and my tights, standing before him in just my bra and my thong.

"Wow," Kain whispers, a fine sheen of sweat appearing on his face as I unclip my bra and let my breasts hang free. "I, umm, I didn't ask to see your breasts..."

"I can put them away, if you'd prefer?" I ask, giggling as Kain eagerly shakes his head. "Didn't think so. Okay... I want you to be honest, now." I grimace as I slowly roll my thong down my legs, standing naked before the young man, whose eyes are immediately drawn to my 'birth defect'. "Honest. Seriously. Please."

"I- it's not actually that big a deal," Kain says with an element of surprise to his voice. "I- I mean, I thought it'd be more of a problem, but, you know, looking at it... It isn't."

"You- you really mean that?" I ask as I hastily pull my thong back into place and refasten my bra.

"Really," Kain replies. "I mean, like, now I know what to expect, I- I'm okay with it." A quick glance at Kain's crotch confirms that he is indeed telling the truth.

"I'm glad," I whisper, before leaning in to give Kain a gentle kiss and smirking as he gasps at the feel of my lacy bra against his bare arm. "You like that, huh?"

"Oh- yes, definitely!" Kain breathlessly replies, before twitching as I take his hand and place it on one of my soft breasts. I smile as he tentatively squeezes, applying as little pressure as possible out of fear he might damage me.

"You like that, I guess?" I ask with a giggle.

"I- umm, I think I'm going to need some tissues..." Kain moans, before yelping as I grab a handful of tissues with one hand and unzip his fly with the other. "What- what are you-"

"Let me," I say. "Please?" I smile as Kain eagerly nods and lets out a long, happy sigh of relief...

Ten minutes later, both of us are again fully clothed and cuddled together on the sofa, chatting away with big grins on our faces. So what if I haven't (technically) lost my virginity today? There's more to being in a relationship than sex. And more to sex than just mindless penetration. Kain wants our first time to be special, and so do I- and what Kain and I just shared was definitely special. And private. Nothing our friends or families need to know about, and definitely not anything they need to worry about.

And I don't need to worry about Kain. Especially after what happened with Phil two months ago, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have a boyfriend like Kain. Eventually, we will 'properly' lose our virginity to each other. But I can wait for that day, because on that day I know I will be with the right boy- and in his eyes, I'll not just be a girl, but I'll be the right girl for him too.

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