(Note: The text that appears below is a pre-release preview which is taken from a version of the manuscript prior to final proof reading and formatting. As such, it may contain minor errors or typos which will be corrected in the final version of the novel.)
(Additional Note: This Chapter Contains Material which is NOT SAFE FOR WORK.)
IT HAD BEEN THREE days since Naomi’s abortive attempt at asking Anika out and she still hadn’t managed to put it out of her head. Not even a plate of the Vortex’s Nacho Tots, a Coronary Bypass Burger, and deep-fried cheesecake had improved her mood. She’d always had trouble asking for dates. In high school, she hadn’t gone out with any girls because it felt like lying. How do you start a relationship with someone and then just spring it on them that you’re a different gender than they thought? She’d thought it would get better once she came out and transitioned, but in a way, it had only made it worse. The idea of asking a lesbian out had been terrifying. How do you ask someone whose entire sexual identity was based on not wanting to sleep with a man to ignore the fact that you have a dick in your pants?
She kind of hated herself for even asking that question, because it was exactly the sort of bullshit that transphobes threw in trans women’s faces all the time. But that was kind of the problem. She’d heard it enough that on some level, she’d internalized it, and it made her choke up every time she even thought of asking a girl out.
She’d finally resorted to Tinder. Put herself on the app with her profile clearly marked as a trans woman. It had gotten her a few dates. The results were a bit mixed. She’d heard girls in the trans forums on Reddit talk about chasers, but they’d always been talking about guys. It hadn’t occurred to her that there were women out there who were only interested in her because she was a girl with a dick. A novelty. At least, not until she’d slept with one of them and then been told to her face that that’s all she was.
She’d been more careful after that, and even managed a couple of relationships, but nothing that had really lasted. She’d always been too caught up in her discomfort with herself to make things work. It was hard to feel good about having sex when you hated your own body that much. The girls she dated always got upset with how reluctant she was to let them touch her, and things just went downhill from there.
She’d hoped things would change once she got the surgery, but what happened with Anika made her wonder if she was ever going to get past her hang ups. Maybe this was just her life. The poor kid standing outside the candy store, her nose pressed against the glass, watching as everyone else got whatever they wanted.
She saved the file she was working on, then put down her stylus when she realized it had been almost half an hour since she’d done any work. She needed to get over this, if for no other reason than she had deadlines to meet. The problem is, she didn’t know how to do that. Nothing Dillon or Donna had said made any difference. She was just wrapped up in her own head.
God, she was half tempted to reinstall Digilife and go slut around the virtual world. Sex had always been easy to find in there. All you needed was a hot avatar and the ability to string together a few coherent sentences and you could find someone interested in a little erotic roleplay. It had been easy. In there, she was hot, she was confident, and she was willing, and with her imagination and her ability to string together really hot descriptions of things she wanted to do, she’d had a whole contact list full of people who were willing to play.
She’s stopped going in there because of what it did to her in the real world. It made her dysphoria worse. Made her hate the fact that her real body didn’t match up to her avatar. It made her prefer digital Naomi to the real-life Naomi. So, she’d deleted it. It had been almost three years since she’d last dipped into Digilife.
She missed it, though. She missed the nightclubs and the beat of the music and the way it felt to be the center of attention. To walk into a room and see the messages start popping up. To know she had her pick of lovers for the night, even if they were just words on a screen and a towel covered pillow tucked under her. She missed the confidence it gave her. The swagger.
God, she wished she could find that in the real world.
She heard a knock at the door, and she frowned and checked the time. It was the middle of the afternoon. She’d fixed herself lunch, so it wasn’t delivery. It was also late for FedEx and early for UPS. Plus, she hadn’t ordered anything.
She got up and headed for the door, wondering if Dillon had ordered another GI Joe figure without telling her. He was usually pretty good about giving her a head’s up when he was expecting a package, but he pre-ordered his GI Joes months in advance, so he wasn’t always the best about remembering when they were going to arrive. A quick check of the peephole showed there wasn’t anyone at the door, so she opened it and when she did, something fell. A post card that had been tucked in between the door and the door frame. She looked around and didn’t see anyone in the hall, or any packages. Annoyed, she leaned down and picked up the postcard, thinking it was for some stupid nightclub. Sure enough, it was an ad for a guest DJ named Urielle. She was about to throw it into the trash when she spotted the name of the club. It was Nectar. One of the two lesbian bars in town.
Naomi closed the door and sat back down at her desk. She stared at the postcard, a little surprised that a lesbian bar was handing out club flyers. She’d been to Nectar a few times, though she’d always preferred My Sister’s Room. Nectar was a bit too much of a meat market for her tastes. It was hard to pee when two girls were fucking in the stall next to you.
She should just throw the postcard out and get back to work, but for some reason, she couldn’t take her eyes off it. It was funny. Nectar was exactly the sort of club she’d have looked for in Digilife, but the kind of place she’d usually avoided in the real world. Oh, she’d thought about it. Swaggering in like she owned the place. Picking out some hot little number to take home for the night.
She looked at the date on the card. It was for the next night. Three-dollar well drinks. Four-dollar called. Ten-dollar cover. Not bad. Not that she was going to go. She was going to toss the card in the trash and get back to work. Not make bad life choices.
She reached for her phone, pulled up a contact, and hit send. The call connected on the first ring.
“Hey, Amethyst,” Naomi said. “I’m going shopping, and I could use some advice.”
“Okay, what exactly are we looking for?” Amethyst asked as the two of them walked into Amy’s Booty-que.
“I told you,” Naomi said. “I’m going to Nectar tomorrow night, and I want a new dress.”
“Yes, honey, I know that, but there’s going to Nectar, and then there’s going to Nectar. Which is it?”
Naomi looked over at Amethyst, who was looking back at her, and thought about the question. What exactly did she want? It wasn’t like she didn’t have plenty of perfectly serviceable dresses in her closet, even if the fit on some of them was a little off now that she actually had boobs and hips, but she’d known none of them would work. Not for this. If she was going to do what she was planning on doing, she needed something special. Something…Something like what she would wear in Digilife. And there was only one way she could think of to convey that particular sense of fashion.
“I want to find the sluttiest dress in the entire fucking city,” Naomi said.
Amethyst let out a whoop of joy and held up her hand for the high five. “Now that’s what I’m talking about, girlfriend,” Amethyst said as Naomi slapped her hand. “Come on. I know just the thing.”
Amethyst led her through the aisles, seemingly headed somewhere specific. As they went, a couple of girls waved to her, and one started following them. The one following them walked right up to Amethyst when she finally stopped.
“Hey, sugar,” the girl said.
“Hey, honey,” Amethyst replied. “This is my friend, Naomi. Naomi, this is Crystal.”
“Nice to meet you,” Crystal said. “You guys looking for anything in particular?”
“Yes, we are,” Amethyst said. “My girl here said she wants to find the sluttiest dress in the entire fucking city.”
Crystal smiled. “I can help with that,” she said. She walked over to one of the racks and started looking through it. She glanced back at Naomi a couple of times, then pulled a couple of dresses down.
“Come with me, sweetheart,” Crystal said.
Naomi followed Crystal back to the dressing room. Crystal handed her the dresses, and Naomi stepped into the booth. Crystal closed the door behind her, and Naomi looked at the first dress and swallowed, wondering what she’d gotten herself into.
The first dress was a bright, primary blue, and actually came with an instruction book on how to put it on. It was two pieces. The top was a jacket that ended just below the breasts and had a V neck so deep there was less than a quarter inch of material at the lowest point. There were ties attached to each side of the jacket that wrapped around her back, then tied off in the front just above her navel. The second piece was a skirt. It looked normal enough on the hanger, but once you put it on, you pulled a cinch on one side that bunched that side of the skirt, making it dip low at the top to expose the matching thong that came with the dress, and also pulled up the hem on the same side to show off more leg.
Once she managed to get her herself into it, she looked in the mirror, and frowned. She didn’t look bad. In fact, she looked pretty good.
“Come on out and let us see.”
Naomi opened the door to find Amethyst and Crystal waiting.
“Oh, honey, that is hot,” Amethyst said.
“Yeah,” Naomi said. “But it’s just…Not me.”
“Honey, trust me. That is all you,” Amethyst said. “But if it’s not what you’re looking for, let’s try the next one.”
The next dress was a red asymmetrical number. A single shoulder strap and sides that opened up just below the bust line and laced all the way down, holding together a front and back that went from wide to narrow back to wide several times. It wasn’t bad, but she vetoed it on the grounds that she couldn’t wear any panties under it.
The third dress was a green asymmetrical dress with a single shoulder strap. It came down to mid-thigh with a slit that opened one side up to about the bottom of her ass and a boob window that opened on her left shoulder and closed around her waist. She vetoed that one on the grounds that she didn’t want to have to tape her outfit to her tits.
She stepped out of the dressing booth in her jeans and t-shirt and handed Crystal the three dresses back.
“Okay, sweetheart. You have any better idea of what you’re looking for now?” Crystal asked.
“Um, maybe we can dial the sluttiness down a bit. Less ‘I’m a hooker’ and more ‘fuck me in the handicapped stall’?”
Crystal laughed. “I can see why Amethyst likes you,” she said. “You seemed to like the shorter skirts better.”
“Yeah,” Naomi said. “I mean, I’m five ten. Might as well show the leg.”
“Use what you got,” Crystal said. “Nothing where you have to tape your boobs in, and you want to wear panties.”
“Any color preference?”
“You have anything in silver?” Naomi asked.
Crystal looked over at Amethyst for a moment, and Naomi swore she could see some wheels turning. “You, wait here. Amethyst, come with me.”
Naomi watched as the two of them headed off to the racks. She couldn’t see what they were doing, but she did hear Amethyst let out a shout, and a moment later, she saw them headed back her way. When they got there, Crystal held out a single dress. It wasn’t quite silver, but it wasn’t quite not silver, either. It was a holographic fabric with a silver base, but every movement in the fabric sent rainbows skittering across the surface.
Naomi took it and looked at it, and she knew it was the one as soon as she did. She stepped back into the dressing room and closed the door, then rushed to get out of her clothes so she could pull the dress on.
The dress had a string that went around her neck and tied in the back, then draped down from there, slowly wrapping around so the sides of the dress met in the back about an inch above her ass, and the hem line of the dress ended about an inch below her ass. The dress left her arms and back completely bare, except for a pair of strings at breast level that tied off in the back.
It was exactly what she’d had in mind. She opened the door and stepped out, doing a little turn for Amethyst and Crystal as she did.
“Oh, honey, that is perfect,” Amethyst said.
“Yeah,” Crystal said. “I think we have a winner.”
Naomi looked at them both and said the only thing a woman could say in a moment like that. “I’m going to need new shoes.”
Naomi stepped into Nectar a little after 8:00 PM the next night and looked around. She didn’t recognize the music blaring through the speakers, but that wasn’t surprising. She wasn’t much into dance music. The room was filled with women, every one of them a total stranger, and for a moment, she regretted turning down Amethyst and Dillon’s offers to come with her. She always felt safer when she brought a friend along. But then, the point of tonight wasn’t to feel safe. It was to find her confidence. Something she wasn’t going to do standing in the doorway.
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, pushing everything aside. She could do this. She’d done this before. This was just like Digilife. She had the looks. She had the clothes. She had the power. She had the control. She could have anyone here she wanted if she just had the confidence. And tonight, she would have the confidence.
She straightened her back, squared her shoulders, picked a spot at the bar, and started walking. She put one foot directly in front of the other, walking an imaginary tightrope. The placement of her steps was careful and practiced, a trick she’d picked up when she first learned to walk in heels, and she knew it gave her ass that extra bit of wiggle as she walked. She looked good. She looked fucking amazing, and she had pictures to prove it.
The mental recitation worked. She might have started a little hesitant, but by the time she reached the bar, people were getting out of her way without even looking as she strutted forward. She sat down on one of the stools at the bar and crossed her legs, one knee over the other. It took a little effort to keep from bouncing her leg, but she forced herself to sit still. She looked at the bartender and waited like she didn’t have a care in the world.
It took a moment for the bartender to wander over, but Naomi just kept her expression the same. Somewhere between completely neutral and smiling.
“What can I get you?”
“Screwdriver,” Naomi said.
“Coming right up.”
She watched as the bartender poured orange juice and vodka into the mixer and shook it, then poured it into a highball glass.
“Three bucks,” the bartender said as she slid the drink across the counter. Naomi opened her purse and handed over a five.
“Keep it,” she said.
The bartender nodded and went off to help someone else.
“Screwdriver, huh?” someone asked.
Naomi turned slowly, and looked at the woman who’d spoken, careful to keep her expression unchanged. It was harder than she’d expected. The woman looking back was gorgeous. Long, luxurious black hair, deep, soulful brown eyes, skin the color of burnished leather, and a smile that could light a stadium.
“Don’t see many of those these days.”
Naomi shrugged a shoulder. “My doctor told me to get more vitamin C,” she said. She mentally high fived herself as she took a sip of her drink. It was exactly the sort of line her digital self would have thrown out, and if the laugh she got from the woman in front of her was any indication, it was a good choice.
“My doctor keeps telling me I need more vegetables. Maybe I should switch to Bloody Marys.”
Naomi smiled, figuring the woman deserved it for playing along. “You could probably score bonus points if you got the bartender to give you an extra stick of celery for garnish.”
“Probably, but I hate celery,” the woman said. “Tastes like…Honestly, I can’t think of anything it tastes like, other than terrible.”
Naomi couldn’t stop herself from laughing at that, which made the woman smile a little wider. Naomi turned so she was facing her.
“You know, we could be on to something here,” she said. “A whole new health craze. Better living through mixers.”
“It’s brilliant,” the woman said. “We’ll be millionaires.”
“Millionaires? That’s a little ambitious for someone only making thirty percent.”
“Thirty?” the woman asked. “It should be fifty-fifty. It was my idea to expand beyond orange juice.”
Naomi tilted her head, as if she was thinking about it. “Sixty forty,” she said.
“Okay,” the woman said. “But only because you’re cute.”
“Cute?” Naomi asked in a cold tone. She turned back to the bar and took another sip of her drink.
“Damn,” the woman said. “I should have said hot, shouldn’t I?”
“Probably,” Naomi said. “Hot would have definitely gotten you further than cute.”
“I’m sorry. Would it do me any good to admit that I’m terrible at flirting?”
“Ouch,” the woman said. She let out a dramatic sigh. “I should probably go find a spot to lick my wounds.”
Naomi looked over at her. “You’re really giving up that easily?” she asked.
“I don’t want to stay where I’m not wanted.”
Naomi turned back to her. “Well, you do have good manners.”
“What’s your name?”
“It’s nice to meet you, Naomi.”
“Don’t take this as a line, but are you new here? I don’t think I’ve seen you around before.”
“It’s been a while. I usually haunt My Sister’s Room.”
“What brought you here instead?”
“Looking for something a little different tonight,” Naomi said.
“You find it?”
“I don’t know yet,” Naomi said. “I thought maybe I had, but then she called me cute.”
Elana winced. “I’m never going to live that down, am I?”
“I don’t know. What are you going to do to make me forget it?”
Elana looked over at the dance floor, then back at Naomi. “How about a dance?”
Naomi picked up her drink and tilted it back, draining the glass, then set it back on the bar and held out her hand. “Lead the way.”
Elana stood up and took her hand, leading her out onto the dance floor. Naomi felt herself relax as the two of them started to move to the music. She was actually a little surprised at how well things were going. She’d never been this smooth with a woman before. At least, not face to face. Something about trying to channel the persona she normally used online seemed to be working, because not only was Elana into her, but for once, Naomi wasn’t the one scrambling to keep up. She felt calm and cool and in control. The anxiety that she normally felt with other women was nowhere to be found.
Elana started to move to the music. It was a simple dance, just kind of rocking back and forth and side to side. Naomi matched it, finding the rhythm of the song and letting it carry her. She kept her eyes on Elana, and God, she liked what she saw. Tight jeans, a tight t-shirt, a leather jacket, and boots wrapped around a hard body. Elana was just the kind of soft butch that always got Naomi’s motor running.
The song changed, and Elana shifted to a different dance. Naomi switched with her and moved in a little closer. Not as close as she wanted to be, but it was a start. Elana gave her a look that was every bit as hungry as she felt, and Naomi decided right then and there that if Elana asked, she would go home with her. She wondered if it was written on her face, because Elana’s smile changed, got a little smugness in it, which was almost as much of a turn on as the way her hips were moving.
The song changed again, and this time Naomi recognized the opening beats. It was a slower song, but the beat was strong. She turned around, putting her back to Elana as she started rocking from side to side, backing up slowly. Elana seemed to pick up on what she wanted quick enough. She felt warm, strong hands rest on her hips, felt the heat of Elana’s body right behind her, felt her ass brush against Elana every couple of swings.
When the song changed again, the rhythm was the same, and Naomi took advantage of it. She reached down and guided Elana’s hand around, letting it rest low on her stomach. She felt the touch even lower still and closed her eyes, biting her lip as she moved with the music.
She’d dreamed of this moment, of feeling a woman close behind her on the dance floor, of the palpable desire flowing back and forth. God, it was better than she’d ever imagined, and it only got better as Elana pulled her back. Naomi moaned as she felt Elana’s body press against her, both of them moving together. The song changed again, but the rhythm, thankfully, stayed the same. Elana’s hand was moving, slowly rubbing circles on Naomi’s stomach as the two of them moved together.
The song changed again, and Naomi honestly didn’t know if the rhythm changed. She felt lips press against the skin just below the neck strap of her dress, and the rest of the world seemed to vanish.
The moment the door was closed, Elana pushed her back against it, kissing her roughly. Naomi moaned and wrapped her arms around Elana, pulling her closer. Elana reached down, grabbing her ass and kneading it as she rocked her hips against Naomi. She broke the kiss and started working her way down Naomi’s jaw, and then her neck. Naomi tilted her head back, giving Elana better access.
Elena let go of her ass and reached up, slipping a hand between Naomi and the door. Naomi arched her back, having a pretty good idea of what Elana was after and giving her room to work. She felt a tug on the knot in the middle of her back, and a moment later, her dress loosened as the ties fell free. Elana slid her hand around, pushing Naomi’s dress aside, baring her left breast as she kissed her way down.
Naomi panted the whole time, rocking her hips against Elana, more turned on than she could ever remember being in her whole life. She had a beautiful, sexy woman’s hands on her, and for the first time ever, she wasn’t ashamed of what those hands would find. She wanted them to touch her everywhere. She wanted Elana to take her and fuck her and make her beg, and it felt wonderful and amazing and God, it felt like freedom.
Elana’s mouth closed over her nipple and Naomi grabbed for anything she could reach, twisting one hand in the leather of Elana’s jacket while the other wrapped around the doorknob, and for a moment, she was sure she was about to come. She hadn’t been able to resist the temptation to play with her breasts a few nights, when she was feeling her way around, learning the ins and outs of her new body, so she knew they were more sensitive now than before, but she wasn’t prepared for how much more intense it felt when it was someone else touching them, and Elana knew how to use her tongue and her teeth.
“Fuck,” Naomi cried as Elana sucked one her nipple, and Elana moaned her approval at the reaction, which only made Naomi writhe that much harder. Elana reached up behind Naomi’s neck and tugged at the tie there, pulling the knot loose, and Naomi’s dress fell, pooling around her ankles, leaving Naomi in nothing but a thong and a purse strap.
Elana switched her attention to Naomi’s other breast, and Naomi was sure she was dead and this was heaven. Especially when Elana pressed a thigh between her legs. She clawed at Elana’s back, trying to tell her what she wanted, but too lost in the feel of a hot mouth on her breast and denim wrapped muscle pressed against her crotch to form words.
“Please,” slipped out of her mouth finally.
Elana pulled back and Naomi whimpered, wanting her mouth back where it was.
“Come on,” Elana said.
When they’d left the club, Naomi had done everything she was supposed to. Texted Dillon a picture of Elana, a picture of her license plate, and the address of Elana’s apartment. She’d also dropped a pin on the map for Dillon when they’d pulled into the parking lot. But when Elana took her hand and led her deeper into the apartment, Naomi was pretty sure she would have followed her through the gates of hell if Elana promised to finish what she’d started on the other side.
Fortunately, instead of the gates of hell, Elana led her to a queen size bed in a neat, well-kept bedroom.
“Sit down,” Elana said.
Naomi sat down on the side of the bed and watched as Elana undressed. She didn’t make a show of it and Naomi honestly liked it better that way. She was less interested in unwrapping her present than playing with it. But once Elana was naked, she opened the drawer in the bedside table and pulled out a box of gloves, a roll of plastic wrap, and a bottle of lube.
Naomi bit her lower lip as she watched Elana pull on a pair of gloves, then knelt in front of her. She carefully unfastened the straps on Naomi’s shoes, and slipped them off, then reached up and pushed Naomi back on the bed. Once Naomi was lying flat, Elana pulled off her panties and tossed them aside, before pulling Naomi towards the edge of the bed, so her ass was right on the edge. She grabbed the plastic wrap and tore off a piece, laying it on Naomi’s belly, and set the bottle of lube on the bed next to her.
“Is this okay?” Elana asked.
“Yes,” Naomi said. She wasn’t quite as desperate with need as she had been, but God, she wanted this, and when Elana reached up, running her hands up and down the inside of Naomi’s thighs, Naomi just closed her eyes and let herself enjoy being touched.
It was different from touching herself. The feel of the nitril gloves sliding over her skin wasn’t the same as skin on skin, but it still made her muscles tremble and she felt herself getting wet. She felt the need building in her again, returning to that frantic desire she’d felt when she was pressed against the door. Elana was teasing her, taunting her, touching her everywhere except where she needed it most. Along the insides of her thighs, her mons, her stomach, her ass.
“Please,” she whispered, and Elana leaned in and kissed the inside of her thigh as she cupped Naomi’s vulva, grinding her hand against it. Naomi grabbed the comforter under her, twisting it in her hands as she rocked her hips.
Elana picked up the bottle of lube, and Naomi watched as Elana filled her hand with it, then closed the bottle and set it aside. She gasped at the cold as Elana smeared the lube over her, but then she whimpered as she felt the tips of Elana’s fingers part her folds and caress the sensitive skin inside, smearing it with lube. She whimpered when Elana took her fingers away, but then Elana picked up the piece of plastic wrap and draped it between her legs, using both hands to hold it in place as she leaned in.
Naomi slammed her head back into the mattress, sucking in a breath and bucking her hips as she felt Elana’s tongue running over her.
“Oh, God,” she moaned as it happened again.
She closed her eyes and just let herself feel what was happening. Elana’s tongue sliding through her folds, dipping inside her entrance, stroking her clit. Two of Elana’s fingers slipping under the plastic wrap and sliding inside her, fucking her slowly at first, but then faster as she begged for more. Calling it overwhelming was an understatement, but she wasn’t sure which was more intense. The physical sensation, or the emotions that came with it.
Being touched so intimately, being stretched and filled and caressed and sucked and fucked lit every nerve in her body on fire in a way sex never had before, because it was the first time that she’d ever been able to completely let go and just enjoy her own body. But with that came relief and joy and elation and a feeling of peace. She was finally herself. She was finally the person she was supposed to be. The way nature had twisted and disfigured and mutilated her body was washed away. She could just be in the moment for the first time in her life. She could feel connected to her body without any of the horror or shame or revulsion that normally came with it. She’d once told her therapist that it felt like she’d been carrying around another person on her back for her whole life, but now, it felt like the last bits of that other person were finally washed away, and all that was left was her. Naomi. Pure and whole.
She didn’t have any warning when she came. She’d touched herself after the surgery. Of course she had. She’d gotten herself off a few times. She thought she was prepared for what it felt like, but she wasn’t. When she’d first started on hormones years earlier, she’d realized that her whole life, her emotions had been dulled, like every feeling she’d ever had had been wrapped in a thick blanket, and when she came, it was like having that realization all over again. It was like every orgasm she’d had before had been muted and dampened by her tainted relationship with her own body. But now, now she was free, now her body belonged to her, and the unwanted passenger who had lived on her back for so long no longer had any claim on it. Her orgasm gripped her and shook her and tore through her and left her a sobbing mess.
She wasn’t a stranger to crying after sex. When a partner touched her in a place she didn’t want to be touched, or pressured her into something she hated, or it turned into a fight over something she didn’t want. Though in all those cases, it was later, after her partner was gone. This was different. She wasn’t crying in pain. She was crying in relief and joy.
When Elana looked at her, fear in her eyes, asking what was wrong, Naomi couldn’t find the words. All she could do was pull her in and kiss her, and whisper thank you repeatedly. Elana hugged her and held her, while Naomi cried, purging a lifetime of emotions.
Transistor is available as an eBook and a Trade Paperback from Desert Palm Press.