By Karen Singer
Confused and distracted. That’s how Candy felt as he stood across the stream from Stan and cast his line into the water again. Very confused. And consequently, very distracted.
Jennifer had begged him last night… made him swear… that he wouldn’t give Stan the slightest indication of what they had done together. And he of course, had agreed. He knew she didn’t want Stan finding out. For that matter, he didn’t want anyone finding out either. He would be branded a… a what? Lesbian? But he was a man? Basically, he wasn’t sure what he would be branded as, but most likely it wouldn’t be good. But more importantly, he didn’t want to ruin the strained relationship he still had with Stan. The relationship between them was nothing like it used to be, but he was still trying… doing his best and hoping that Stan would remain his friend.
Jessica had pretty much ordered him to start thinking of himself as a woman now and not as a man. She had gone through it all again after he and Jennifer had come out of the bedroom. And Jennifer had echoed everything that Jessica had said. Except… it was a lot harder to do than either of them thought. How could you think of yourself as a woman, when you knew perfectly well that deep down, you weren’t?
And last night… with Jennifer. Holy cow! He had never expected that. The sex had been great. Wonderful… but oddly, unfulfilling for him as well. Despite all the incredible feelings he went through, he never had an orgasm. He never even started to get hard – which he had suspected would be the case. And yet, it had been one of the most wonderful and intimate experiences of his life. An experience he would be glad to repeat in the future… even though, there was no ultimate reward in it for him. But the feelings themselves had been his reward this time, not the need to obtain an orgasm.
It was all so different. All so… confusing.
Not finding any fish in the area he was working on, he carefully eased his way downstream further.
Across the stream, Stan watched Candy moving further down the river. He was so confused over his feelings about… Candy… Roger! Even after all this time it was hard to think of that… person… as a woman. Even though he was starting to look all too… noticeable. The longer they kept trying to fish together, the less and less he saw of his old friend. This… Candy… was a different person! Despite what Candy / Roger kept telling him.
And this morning when he had picked him up… Candy had somehow miraculously changed again! Last week he had looked one way, and now, he… she… looked totally different! He guessed it was the new hairstyle that was much harder to miss. He didn’t miss the fact that Candy’s breasts appeared to be smaller today than they had in the past. He wondered why he… she... was using smaller stuffing in his bra now. Not that he dared give any indication that he cared.
He had another problem with Candy now too. Fortunately, when they were fishing, that problem wasn’t a problem at all. His… her… waders covered up his… her entire body. Well, from just below his-her breasts anyway. He didn’t have to look at that body when they were fishing. He couldn’t see anything except the shapeless form of the waders he-she was wearing. It was all the other times he had to deal with him-her that was the problem. The times when he-she wasn’t wearing the waders.
It had been especially bad this morning. He-she had seemed more feminine than ever when he-she came out of his-her house to put his-her gear into the truck. And he-she had looked… too damn… distracting. Those feelings of being around a beautiful woman had come over him again, worse than they ever had before with him-her.
And consequently, he was becoming more and more confused. His old friend was further gone than ever. And he was becoming all too fascinated with the body of this new person. This Candy – who wasn’t his old friend at all. This Candy, who without a doubt, wasn’t a… he… anymore.
On Sunday, Candy made another big splash in church with his new hairstyle. As he stood talking with all the oddball people who had become somewhat close friends, he couldn’t help feeling even more out of place with them than ever before. But oddly, there was a confidence starting to grow in him that let him not care or worry about it so much.
He was still finding it impossible to think of himself as a woman, but despite not being able to do that, he was suddenly feeling more confident and comfortable with his new self than ever before. Was that because of what he had done with Jennifer? He didn’t really think so. Maybe it was just an odd side-effect after having his hair done again. And if that was the case, no wonder women liked doing it so much. It was worth every cent he had spent on it!
Carlita came up to talk with them that day, praising the way he had looked as well. That certainly made him feel good. Carlita had even invited him to sit with her during church. Candy seriously thought about it, but declined. He would stay with his friends who had been with him much longer. He might be out of place with them now, but he no longer cared.
He didn’t listen to the sermon all that much again. He spent most of his time thinking about the new confidence he felt. Where had it come from? He didn’t know, but he knew he was happy about it.
Carol laid on the white sandy beach and soaked up the sun. The sun was terribly hot, but her new bikini was on full display for the guys further down the beach to see… if they would just come a bit closer. Her mother was sitting in a beach chair only two feet away though, reading a book, which was what was probably keeping the guys away. Damn!
She propped another towel up under her head so she could see down the beach better. She noted the nearly naked bodies of each of the three guys there. Very suntanned… as she hoped to be as well very soon. Oh the things she could think to do to those bodies… if she could ever get her hands on them – which she already knew wouldn’t ever happen. But it was such fun thinking up so many different things to do with each of them… separately, or all together!
Janice glanced up from her book and saw her daughter staring down the beach. She was quick to note the boys her daughter was looking at. “What are you thinking dear?” she asked.
Carol looked up at her mother. “Are you sure you really want to know?”
Janice looked briefly over at the boys again. “Go ahead, tell me. Give me all the details.”
Carol giggled. “See the one with the long hair and the big muscular body?”
Janice looked. “Yes?”
“I’d love to put him on his knees and then tie his arms back behind him, maybe up to his neck. Then I think it would be fun to take that long hair of his and bend him backwards and tie it to his feet. Then I’d stand over him and make him eat me out like that for about six hours!”
Janice giggled. “Sounds heavenly dear.” She stared for a moment at her daughter, still looking at the boys on the beach. “Maybe we should continue this discussion in the bedroom. I have no doubt you have other suggestions as well.”
Carol giggled and got up quickly from where she was laying. Yeah, she did have lots of fun things on her mind that she could do with those guys. All of them!
None of the guys on the work crew said a word about his new hairstyle… which kind of disappointed Candy a bit. None of them said anything different to him at all. None of them even mentioned his smaller breasts… or his new jeans that weren’t so tight… or anything! But he did notice some of them looking at him more. Maybe they didn’t like what they saw now. Maybe he should have worn the breast forms again.
He rethought that idea later in the day. He was working and only half listening to the guys talking with each other… much as he usually did. The guys could often be… so crude when they talked. And he simply felt, out of place doing that now. He had seen some women who acted and talked that way, and he had always been put off by their behavior. He never wanted anyone to think of him as that kind of crude woman… even though he wasn’t a woman at all.
But the guys were joking about sex – again. One of their usual topics. One of them was describing an unfortunate encounter he’d had in a bar over the weekend with a woman who had eventually refused to have sex with him… even after he had bought drinks for her all night.
“You could always get Candy to suck you off!” Another of the guys joked loudly.
Candy was surprised at how his face had turned red. He hadn’t liked the comment at all! It was all he could do to totally ignore what had been said.
But that one tossed out remark, was like breaking the ice. As the days passed and whenever he was working with the rest of the crew around, Candy heard more and more comments like that. Lewd remarks. And he wasn’t happy about them at all.
He finally brought the matter up to Fitz, his foreman. “Fuck you!” Fitz had replied. “Maybe you deserve all that talk! If you don’t like it, then quit!” And then he had walked off.
Candy had been aghast! He didn’t like the guy and he knew that Fitz didn’t particularly like him, but to be talked to that way… it was simply… wrong! He bit his tongue though and went back to work. But he wasn’t happy at all!
Every morning, Janice spent an hour at her favorite hobby… playing a shell game. Not with the shells from the beach, but with the many bank accounts she had in two different names… and that didn’t even count the account for ‘Islands of Hope.’ She also had bank accounts now in Switzerland and a second one in the Cayman Islands beside the one that still held Halifax’s money. Every morning she shuffled money around over the internet from bank to bank to bank. She’d pull money out of one bank and send it to another. Later she’d move money into that first bank from somewhere else. It was so much fun! And it would make things more and more impossible in case anyone tried to trace any of the money in her accounts.
After her little shell game, she and Carol usually spent some time relaxing on the beach. But after that, it was back to work. Each blanket had to have most of the seams carefully removed so the money could be extracted. Then those same seams had to be sewn up again so that they looked as good as new… or as good as she was able to make them look. It was more often a bit difficult to make them look totally perfect, but she was getting better at it. Not that anyone would probably notice the difference anyway. Once the quilts were ready, they were boxed up again and eventually shipped out… this time as a gift from ‘Islands of Hope’ to the International Red Cross.
Later each day, she and Carol both went to different banks and deposited a bit of the cash in each one. Not too much. Just enough to look like they were depositing the money from a moderately successful business. The hard part was making sure each of them used the right identities when they went into each bank. And since they had two accounts in most of the banks under different names but at different branches, that was something else that had to be carefully taken into consideration. It was irksome, but every single day put more and more money into those accounts for her to play with. And that was very, very satisfying!
Candy was becoming more and more bothered by Jessica. Like she had done for so long, asking him to imagine himself being happy with a man, she refused to stop hounding him to start thinking of himself as a woman. If anything, she was being even worse about it. And the part that bothered him the most, was that he was afraid she might be wearing him down. And to make matters worse, Jennifer seemed to be after him about it too! He didn’t think Jennifer was talking to Jessica about it, but every time he saw her, she always asked him about it. And she always spent time trying to convince him to change his thinking. But despite all their arguments, it was still difficult. Yet he feared they were starting to get to him… wearing him down.
He didn’t see Jennifer all that much though, but he did see her. They got together to go shopping a few times and they had gotten together for coffee a few times as well. Only once did they repeat what they had done at Jessica’s house. And that had only come as something that Jennifer had decided she wanted to do while they were talking over coffee at her house one evening. The results had been the same for Candy as it had been the first time, no ultimate orgasm, yet it was a more than satisfying intimate experience. There was no question that it was woman on woman sex, but even that wasn’t enough to get Candy to think of himself as a woman all the time. But it was a big part of what was wearing him down.
Most of the crew had moved onto another house, but Candy was left working alone on a project long after the others had moved to the next one. More and more often now, that was the case since he was doing most of the detailed finishing work. The newer guys usually did more framing than anything else, but finishing work took far more skill. In fact, by the time Candy got to a job site now, he rarely saw any of the framing anymore. More often than not, he’d get there and most of the sheetrock was already in place. But less guys around meant less of the lewd comments he had to endure. He found a peace in that along with the satisfaction that he could move a little bit slower and do an even better job. Taking pride in his work was one of the things that had always given him the most satisfaction. Fitz was always on his case though to move faster, but he didn’t care. The guy did his job, but he didn’t like Fitz much at all!
He finished caulking the window sill he had been working on and stood back. He looked all around, then he walked all through the house. He was done. Time to move on to where the rest of the crew were working now. He packed up his tools and headed out to the new site.
The new job wasn’t a whole house, but it was a large addition onto an already large house. When he got there, he could see that the guys were just then hanging the sheetrock. There would be little that he could do if the rock wasn’t hung yet. He walked around the site taking a good look at what he’d have to do.
Two of the new guys were just starting to hang sheetrock on one of the walls, when he spotted something that wasn’t right. “Hey! Don’t hang that yet!” he said quickly. “That door frame isn’t right!” He quickly looked down the wall. “And there isn’t even a proper header over that window! You’ve got to fix that before you do anything else!”
“Shut up!” Fitz’s voice barked from behind him. “Keep hanging the rock guys!”
“But you can’t! That’s not right!” Candy argued back.
“It’s right if I say it is!” Fitz shot back.
“The inspectors will make you rip it all out!” Candy told him.
“The inspectors will never see it if it’s all covered up!” Fitz replied. “Now shut up and let them do their job!”
“No! You can’t build something this way!”
“Either shut up, or get out!” Fitz roared.
Candy was shocked! Major shocked. “I can’t believe Mike would allow anything to be built like this.”
“You gonna leave, or should I just fire you and kick you out?” Fitz yelled.
Candy’s jaw dropped. “You’re really going to cover all that up?”
“Get out! You’re fired!” Fitz yelled angrily. “I never liked having you around anyway. Get your ass out of here you… freak! Get out and don’t let me ever see your stupid ass again!”
The tears started flowing fast as Candy hurried back to his truck. He had been fired! He couldn’t believe how much that hurt! And he couldn’t believe that anyone would build something so stupidly. It wasn’t right! He knew Mike! At least he thought he did. Mike watched everything – carefully. He had no doubt at all that Mike knew exactly what was going on! There was no way he couldn’t!
Well, if they were going to do such half-assed work, then he certainly didn’t want to work for them anymore. He sobbed most of the way home. The job had paid very well. Now he was going to have a big problem with money again. The one and only consolation from it all, was that he wouldn’t have to listen to any more of the suggestive and lewd comments from the guys.
Hurt and disillusioned, he went to his room and cried… like the woman his body was becoming!
He remained angry over the issue all day. How could Mike ever allow any of his projects to be built so stupidly? It made him angry. He had looked up to Mike for years as someone he wanted to be like… only to learn now that his mentor would permit such shoddy work. And he knew perfectly well that it was all done in the name of getting a job done faster so they could get their money and move on to another job. That was the case with all too many contractors. He had seen it a dozen times over the years. Only now did he realize that Mike was another one of those.
He knew he wouldn’t have done it when he was a man, but he also wouldn’t have run to his room to cry over it either. He knew it was something a woman was more likely to do than a man, but… well… heck, Jessica and Jennifer had been trying to convince him that he was more of a woman now anyway. So that night, feeling the need to give Mike a piece of his mind, he angrily phoned his former mentor. “How could you!” he immediately yelled into the phone the moment Mike had said hello. “How could you!” Yeah, he realized he was sounding like a stupid upset woman, but that’s just what he was right then.
“Candy? What the heck are you talking about?”
“How could you build things with such half-assed shoddy work? And then hide it all so the inspectors don’t see it? I used to look up to you Mike, but not anymore!”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“You know perfectly well what I’m talking about! Taking so many shortcuts to finish the jobs faster. There’s no way you can’t know. Ask Fitz if you need to know the specifics.”
“Candy, why don’t you come to my house and we’ll talk about it?”
“I don’t work for you anymore Mike! Other than the fact that Fitz was kind enough to fire me today and throw me off the job site, I couldn’t ever work for someone who does that kind of lousy work!”
“Fitz fired you?”
“I looked up to you Mike. I don’t anymore!” With that, Candy hung up the phone. He had told him off! Told him off good! He went back to his room and laid on his bed and cried again. He used to respect Mike. It hurt to find out that someone he respected so much could be so damn… callus!
It was dark, but Mike Clemmons drove out to the house where Fitz’s crew had been working. There were no lights in the construction area yet so he had to use a flashlight to see anything. Fitz’s crew had been working fast… as they usually did. The framing was done already and the sheetrock was already in place. He looked all around but couldn’t see a single thing wrong.
Mystified, he went back to his truck and went home. What the heck had Candy been talking about? And why had Fitz fired her? Candy was probably the best finishing carpenter he had!
Late the following day, Candy was up on a ladder painting the outside of his house. It was long past time that he got around to that little job. The cell phone in his jeans rang and he did his best to free up a hand and dig the thing out of his pocket. “Hello?”
“Candy! I need you to get over here as soon as possible!”
“Mike? I told you, I won’t work for you anymore. Sorry!”
He was about to hang up but he hard Mike saying, “Wait a minute!”
“I had no idea what was going on there. So just get over here to the job site and let’s talk about it. Okay?”
“Mike, how could you not know? You have to visit the job sites all the time! You have to see the corners they’re cutting!”
“That’s just it! Your crew was doing such a good job I didn’t have to spend so much time there. And I stopped looking that closely at everything. You all worked fast and it always looked great. I could trust you!”
“Are you saying you really didn’t know?”
“I really didn’t know! Now get over here. Please! At least come talk to me about it.”
Candy thought about it for a few moments. “Shit!” he sore softly. “Give me some time. I’m up on a ladder with a bucket of paint.”
“I’ll be here waiting, whenever you get here.”
It was nearly an hour before Candy could get to the job site. The thing he noticed first was that the only tuck there was Mike’s. He found him inside the construction looking around. What he also found was that he could hardly move because every bit of wallboard they had put up had been ripped down and was lying all over the floor. “Mike?” he said. “What’s going on?”
Mike looked at the woman that now approached him. It certainly didn’t look like Roger at all. She didn’t sound like or act like Roger either. This woman had even been crying when he had talked to her on the phone last night. “I want you to go all around this place with me,” he said. “I want you to look at absolutely everything. And I want you to tell me what you see that isn’t right!”
Candy looked at him like he was crazy. “How the hell can you not see it?”
“Just do it!” Mike ordered. “Show me where you think we went so wrong!”
Candy rolled his eyes. With all the wallboard gone, he could see all the framing, all the electrical work, all the plumbing that was in place. He had to walk on top of the pieces of sheetrock that had been ripped down. “Well, the first thing I saw was that door over there. It’s not framed right. And the header over the window next to it isn’t right either.”
Mike made some notes on his clipboard. “What else?”
Together, they went over absolutely everything. Candy pointed out what he saw that wasn’t right… along with everything that was okay, but could have been done better.
When they were done, Mike handed Candy the clip board. “You noticed a few things even I didn’t see. I told the guys to come back tomorrow morning. You’re the new foreman. Make sure it’s all done right!”
Candy looked at him dubiously. “You’re making me the foreman? What about Fitz?”
“Fitz doesn’t work for me anymore.”
Candy was glad to hear that. Another thought hit him. “If I’m going to be the foreman, than there’s something that I need to stop that’s been bothering me for a while now.”
“The lewd and suggestive comments. They’ve been getting worse.”
“I’ll talk to them all tomorrow. If they can’t handle that, then they can leave!”
Candy shook his head. “Maybe I better talk to them instead. I just need them to know that you put me in charge.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure! And I’ll tell them all personally to watch what they say around you, so they know it’s coming from me! But there is one other thing.”
“You haven’t had to leave too much for your handyman work… that I know of. If you’re going to be my foreman, then I need you here on the job and not somewhere else.”
Candy shook his head. “The business hasn’t been as good as I hoped it would be.”
“That’s because you’re a woman. Most people would rather hire a man to do that kind of work. They figure a man can do it better.”
“I know,” Candy replied sadly.
“So will you spend more time on my jobs now? You need the experience anyway if you’re going to get your contractor’s license.”
He did have a good point, but Candy still thought about it for a minute. “Depends,” he finally said.
“I need a raise!”
Mike smiled. “It goes with the job!”
Two days later, Candy was at work when his cell phone rang. Getting it out of his pocket wasn’t nearly as hard with the new jeans he was wearing. He just hoped it wasn’t another customer calling for his handyman business. He didn’t know when he was going to find time to take care of them now. Getting the phone out of his jeans faster gave him a second to check the caller ID. Blocked number! With a sigh he realized it had to be another customer. “Hello?”
“Candy?” Janice’s voice replied. “I hope you have the house nice and clean. Carol and I will be there sometime tomorrow. And don’t forget, I’m not your housekeeper anymore! Carol and I expect to be treated like proper guests this time.”
Candy nearly dropped the phone. He was really hoping that she would never come back!
He left the job site early in a near panic. He had to get home and clean the house!