Stories atEROS TM Presents

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Copyright © 1999, 2000 by Julie. All rights reserved.

Four men decide they want to know what happens when their women attend a "Woman's Conference" over a long weekend. Thanks to a discovery one of them has made, they are able to send one of their number in the perfect disguise. Maybe though, it was a little too perfect.


TG sci-fi

The Women's Conference

by Julie

The Women's Conference
By Julie

"All they are going to do is sit around and spend four days bashing
men!" Glen said heatedly.

"Exactly my point," Chet agreed.  "They could do that here without
having to spend $1000."

"I'm sure they bash us already, but you know women," Jerry added,
"they love to spend our hard earned money."

The three men were sitting in the break room at General Medical, R &
D, where they worked.  General Medical, R & D was a group of
engineers, designers and medical technicians that were on the cutting
edge of specialty electronic equipment for the improvement of a
person's health and well being.  These particular men were a close knit
group and their families got together on the weekends.

They were currently discussing the women's conference that their
wives were planning on attending at the end of the month.

"What could 200 women do for four days?  I've never seen a group of
women larger than seven that didn't evolve into a major cat-fight.  Can
you just imagine the fight that that many women could produce?" Jerry

"What do you bet the conference is only three hours long and the rest
of the time is spent recovering from the battle?" Glen said, laughing.

"All I know is Maria has been planning on this conference for six
months.  It's all she has talked about for the last two weeks.  I wish
Jessica had never told her about it," Chet said, glaring at Jerry.

"Hey, don't look at me that way.  Irene told Jessica about it after she
came back from the one they held last year.  Apparently it was such a
big success that they plan on making it an annual event," Jerry said, in
his own defense.

"Tell me about it!  Irene came home from the last one already making
plans to attend this one.  She even talked her sister Stephanie into
going this time," Glen said.

"Well if Stephanie is going then Blake should be just as miserable as
the rest of us," Chet said.  "By the way, where is Blake?"

"He's finishing up the proposal on the Miller project.  You know how it
is when you're the new guy.  You just have to prove yourself," Glen

"Hell, he doesn't have to prove anything.  Did you see his last design?
It was flawless.  We are lucky to have him," Jerry said.  "As for him
being just as miserable as the rest of us, he and Stephanie are just
dating.  When she starts going on about the conference, he can just go
home.  We, on the other hand, are stuck!"

At that moment, Blake came into the break room.  He was younger
than the other three men who were sitting and talking.  He was short
for a man, only 5'5", and often felt self-conscious as a result.  In the
past, he had always thrown himself into his studies and later his work.
He never had much luck with the girls because of his insecurities.
Since he had spent most of his time over the keyboard of his computer,
he had been labeled a geek by some.

For the longest time, he had ignored his appearance.  His hair grew
long as did as his facial hair.  He began to look like a hermit, but while
attending the university, appearances didn't matter to him...only
grades.  As graduation loomed closer, he realized just how bad he
looked.  He shaved his beard and mustache off.  He thought about
cutting his hair but decided that as long as he kept it trimmed and
clean, it looked good.  Now he wore it pulled back in a ponytail while
he worked.  Stephanie loved his hair and said that it was wasted on a

While at a get-together at Glen and Irene's, he had met Stephanie,
Irene's youngest sister.  They had gotten along fairly well and as a
result, had gone on several dates.  It wasn't anything serious yet, they
simply enjoyed each other's company.

"Hi guys.  Sorry I'm late, but I wanted to finish up a couple of loose
ends," Blake said as he sat down.

"Blake, are you getting tired of hearing about this conference that all
our women are going to? Glen asked.

"Stephanie has mentioned it, but only in passing.  Why?" he asked.

"Has Stephanie said anything about what they are going to do while
they are there?  All our wives are going and we haven't a clue as to
what they are going to do when they get there," Glen answered.

"All she has said is that it's 'girl stuff' and I wouldn't be interested."
Blake thought about the few times the two of them had talked about
the conference.  "I know she's excited to go but she has never given me
any specifics about the agenda."

"That's what I mean!  None of us know what they will be doing and not
one of them is going to enlighten us," Chet said.

"I know a way to find out exactly what goes on," Jerry whispered,

The three men all huddled close to hear what Jerry had to say.

"The project I am working on is that of creating a total body scanner.
The idea is that a subject enters the scanning tube and a series of scans
can read back all types of medical data.  It's like an MRI only with
electrical impulses.  The patient could enter fully dressed, even with
jewelry since it doesn't use magnetic resonance.  A couple of months
ago, there were a few problems and I had to change out one of the
diagnostic modules.  When I put it back together again, I connected the
wires wrong."

"I was running a test at about 3:00 am so that I would have access to
the computer system's full capabilities.  I had run tests on myself
before so I didn't think anything about stepping into the chamber."

By this time, the three men listening were spellbound.

"As the test started, I noticed a higher RPM reading on the digital
readout.  About that time I started to feel a tingling sensation starting at
my head and slowly spreading downward.  I felt slightly disoriented
and was afraid I might pass out when the scan finally shut off.  I
stepped out of the tube and got the shock of my life.  I saw my
reflection in the glass wall that separates the tube from the lab and
almost screamed."  Jerry paused for dramatic effect.

"Well, what did you see?" Chet urged.

"Go on, don't leave us hanging!" Glen pleaded.

"Tell us!" Blake joined in.

"I had turned into a woman.  I still looked a little like me but I was
definitely a woman.  I had tits pushing against the front of my shirt and
I grabbed for my dick but it was gone.  It was as if it had never been

"Aw shit, I should have known you were pulling a fast one. You really
suckered me in with that one," Glen said, laughing.

Chet and Blake relaxed, not realizing how tense they had become.
They began laughing also.

"I'm deadly serious!  I started to panic, but I realized that I must have
reconnected the module incorrectly.  I spent two long hours pouring
over schematics and finally realized what I had done wrong.  If my
theory was correct, and I prayed it was, then it was reversible.  I made
the changes, stepped back into the tube and reran the test.  When the
tingling started, I almost cried.  When the scan ended, I grabbed my
crotch and, thank God, everything was back to normal.  The relief was
so intense, I almost came in my pants.  I haven't told anyone except
you guys because as soon as the 'suits' upstairs find out about what I've
managed to do, they will yank this away from me so fast my head will
spin.  Only when I have finish all my research and fully documented it,
will I tell the head honchos."

"Now what we do is change one of us into a woman and then that
person would go to the conference and bring us back all the details."

"What's the big deal anyway?" Blake asked, unnerved at the thought of
what was being discussed.  "So they want to go spend some time
together and they don't feel the need to share the details with us.  So

"You're not married so you don't understand.  Trust us to know this
could blow up into a real 'us vs. them' battle."  Turning to Jerry, Glen
continued, "So how convincing a change is it?"

"The change is 100%.  A male goes into the machine and within 15
minutes, a fully functioning female comes out."

"No shit?" Chet said in awe.

"So far, I have been able to change the sex of two rats, a rabbit and
three chimps.  The effects are completely reversible provided you don't
stay in the altered state for more than 120 hours.  I have been able to
affect a change numerous times with the same subject as long as I stay
within the 120-hour time limit.  After 120-hours, the cells loose their
flexibility and the change becomes permanent.  I have had one 'male'
rat deliver a healthy litter of babies.  The other rat, which had been
changed back and forth a couple of times, fathered them.  So
apparently there are no lasting affects of the change as long as you
don't exceed the time limit," Jerry explained.

All three men sat in silence as they tried to absorb the enormity of what
Jerry was telling them.

"This requires a lot of thought and planning if we are going to do this,"
Glen said.  "I suggest we think about it overnight."

Glen, Chet and Jerry pushed away from the table and left, their breaks

Blake sat alone in the break room, thinking about what Jerry had said.
Surely such a thing was impossible.  He didn't want to think the others
might actually give such a preposterous scheme serious thought.

What Blake had to think about was if they decided to go through with
it, would he be a part of it?  He was enjoying the friendship he was
developing with the men and their wives.  He hated how lonely he had
been before he came here and had been befriended by them.

The more he thought about it, the more he realized that he would do
whatever they did.  At that moment, he remembered his mother.

"Just because your friends jump off the roof, does that mean you have
to as well?"

The answer now was the same as when he was seven.  Yes, he would
jump off the roof, even though he was afraid of heights.

The next day was Saturday, and the four men got together to go
bowling as they did every other Saturday.

The four of them were in the process of putting on their bowling shoes
when Chet brought the subject up.

"Well, what do you guys think?  I wasn't sure when I went home if we
should even contemplate such an endeavor and then Maria started
telling me of all she needed to accomplish before she left.  I don't know
if I can take two more weeks of this."

"If we do this, it has to be a joint venture.  One of us changes and the
other three have to bankroll it.  I figured it would cost about two grand
to pull this off," Glen said as he stood to throw his first ball.

Blake was a little stunned at the amount of money Glen was talking
about.  The others were well situated in their jobs and could easily
afford the money, but he was just starting to get back on his feet after
paying off his mother's funeral expenses.  Part of his problem was that
he was so alone.  As an only child, the whole of the burden rested on

"Why so much?" Jerry asked, as Glen sat down after leaving two pins

Even though it was Chet's turn, he waited to hear what Glen said.
Apparently Blake wasn't the only one interested in that answer.

"Well, the registration is $1000 for the conference.  Then I figured
about $600 for clothing and all the other stuff a woman would take to
one of these things," Glen explained.

"And the last $400?" Chet asked.

"Spending money.  Think about it.  How much has Jessica said she
wants to take with her, Jerry?"

"She has been saving up and she said she had about $800 to take with
her," Jerry replied.

"You're right," Chet said.  "Maria told me she wants to take at least
$750 with her.  I think they plan to go shopping at some point.

"Irene told me she wanted $1500 because Stephanie didn't have much
money and she didn't want her to feel left out.  She also plans on taking
the credit cards with her," Glen continued with a grimace.  "The way I
figure it, who ever we send will have the shopping habits of a man and
won't need as much as the others."

"You've got a point, but won't the other women wonder if our guy acts
differently from them?" Jerry asked.

Blake listened, fascinated.  They actually thought this was going to
work.  He got up when it was his turn to bowl and was so distracted by
what they had been discussing that his first ball dropped into the gutter,
missing all the pins.  His second ball wasn't much better, but at least he
got two pins with that one.

"So how do we decide who the lucky bastard is," Chet asked.

"I think Jerry is out of the running because we will want to be sure he
can reverse the process.  Sure, he has already done it once, but I would
feel like hell if he was unable to change himself back because of
something...female," Glen said, vaguely.

"Makes sense to me," Chet said.  "So it's between us three.  I repeat,
how do we decide who the lucky bastard is?"

'Chet is sounding a little nervous,' Blake thought.

"Simple.  We draw straws.  The short straw gets to be a girl," Glen
said, matter-of-factly.  He reached over and grabbed his bowling bag.
After rummaging around for a few seconds, he pulled out three pieces
of different colored wire.  He handed then to Jerry. From the way Jerry
held them in his fist, they all appeared to be the same length.  He held
his fist out towards Glen, Chet and Blake.  "Go on...draw!"

Blake looked at Chet and Chet shrugged as he reached out and selected
a wire.  Glen chose next.  Blake took the last remaining wire.  All three
men held their pieces of wire out in their open palms.

Blake was stunned.  He felt as if he was falling off of that proverbial
roof his mother had asked him about so many years ago.

He had the shortest piece of wire!

Blake wanted to turn and run as fast and as far as possible, but his feet
seemed glued to the floor.  Taking a deep breath, he spoke.

"Ok-k, it seems like I'm the lucky guy.  So what's next?"

"Tomorrow, we meet at the lab and we change you," Jerry said.

"Tomorrow? But the conference isn't for two weeks.  Why do I have to
change tomorrow?" Blake asked, ready to panic.

"We need to get you outfitted.  After you change, we will take you
shopping and get you some clothes to wear," Glen explained.

"But what will I wear to go shopping?" Blake asked.

"Wow, I hadn't thought about that," Glen said.

"I know," Chet put in.  "Each of us need to bring one of our wife's
outfits.  Surely we can come up with something temporary.  You
know, panties, bras, shirt and jeans."

Blake thought he was going to be sick.  Panties and bras?  They were
serious.  They were going to change him into a woman, and he was
going to let them.  'If I survive this, I need to go see a shrink,' he

The next morning all four of them met in the break room where this
whole thing had started.  Each of them, except Blake, had a sack with
clothing in it.

"Maria almost caught me digging through her drawers this morning,"
Chet whispered, even though they were the only ones in the building.

"God, I would have loved to have seen you try to get out of that if she
had," Jerry laughed.  "Well Blake, are you ready to go where no 'man'
has gone?"

"Sure, lead the way," Blake replied with false bravado.  He hoped none
of the guys saw his legs shaking.

Jerry unlocked the door to his lab and all of them entered and looked at
the machinery.  It just looked like a bunch of circuits and wires.

"It's not pretty, but packaging isn't my strong suite.  When, or maybe I
should say if, this ever goes public, someone else will do that part of
it," Jerry explained.  "Blake, you need to stand in here." He gestured to
an enclosed area.  "Maybe you ought to take your cloths off first.  I
was pretty uncomfortable in mine."

Blake started to remove his clothes.  He noticed the guys were
watching him closely.  "I think I'll leave my boxers on.  They're pretty

After he had stripped as far as he was going to, he stepped into the
small chamber.  Jerry went over to a console and began flipping
switches and setting dials.

"Okay everybody, here we go," he said as he pressed the last button.

Blake heard the machinery begin to hum.  The numbers on the readout
began to change at a rapid pace but he didn't know what they meant.
The air in the chamber seemed heavy as if it were being pressurized.
Suddenly he felt as if hundreds of ants were scurrying over his head
and moving lower.  The hundreds turned into thousands as the
sensation moved downward.  It wasn't painful, but it was
uncomfortable.  He had an urge to try to brush them off with his hands
yet he couldn't move.  Then he started getting dizzy.  He still couldn't
move his hands and he wanted to hold onto the sides just in case he
started to fall.

Just as he was sure he was about to black out, the machine shut off, the
tingling went away and his head cleared.

Blake looked down at this chest and was amazed at the large breasts
that were now there.  With his preoccupation about not passing out, he
never felt them growing.  His hand immediately dropped to his crotch.
There he felt an absence of what was familiar.

"Oh shit," Blake whispered under his breath.

"Blake?  Come on out," Jerry called.

Blake just stood there.  He had left his boxers on so the guys wouldn't
get an eyeful, but he didn't think about his breasts.  They were still
going to get an eyeful.  Suddenly, he was shyer than at any other time
in his life.

"Is something wrong, Blake," Chet asked nervously.

 "Can someone hand me a shirt?" Blake asked.  "Preferably one of

Maria was the only one of the wives that had breasts as large as his.

"Maria's!" he heard someone say.

The door opened slightly and a hand passed a bag inside.

Digging inside the bag Blake pulled out a bra and a shirt.  He slipped
the bra on and then struggled with the clasp in the back.

'How do women do it?' he thought.  It took him a few moments, but he
finally got it.  The bra was still a little too small and it seemed as if his
breast were spilling out over the top.

He got the shirt and when he began to button it up, he had a hard time
because the buttons were on the wrong side.  Then he started to put
Maria's jeans over his boxers.  They were too large.  Maria was
extremely voluptuous over her entire body.  Apparently he was only
large in his chest.

"Let me try Jessica's pants," he called out.

He could hear the guys muttering amongst themselves, but he couldn't
make out what they were saying.  The door opened and another bag
was handed in.

Jessica's jeans were tight, but he knew his only other choice was Irene
and she was as slim as a matchstick.

Finally, he felt he could walk out without giving the guys a show.  As
he stepped out of the chamber, he saw the glass panel where Jerry had
seen his reflection.  The room on the other side of the panel was dark
so it acted almost like a mirror.  He stopped and stared.

It was definitely a girl in the glass.  She was slightly attractive, but
nothing that would stop men in their tracks. Since Blake hadn't put his
hair into a ponytail that morning, her hair caressed her breasts and
hung down her back.  It was slightly curlier than usual and seemed to
be a little thicker as well.  The fact that the jeans were too small made
her hips look even slimmer than they actually were.   Her face was
Blake's face, yet softly feminine.  Her lips were fuller than his and her
nose slightly smaller, but the resemblance was definitely there.

"Great job, Jerry!  If I bring Irene in can you make her tits that big?"
Glen asked.

"This is what Blake would have looked like if he had been born as a
girl. The women in his family have large breasts or else it would not be
in his genetic makeup," Jerry explained.  "So no, Glen, I cannot make
Irene's tits bigger.  Your out of luck there."

"Now what?" Blake asked.  He was startled at the soft, low voice that
came out of his mouth.  "Jeez, I don't even sound like me anymore!"

"I think you sound kinda sexy," Chet said, with a wink.

Blake punched Chet on the arm and everyone started laughing.  It was
just what they needed to break the tension.

Glen stepped over to talk to Jerry.  He wanted to know more about the
machine.  Chet approached Blake.

"So, what does it feel like?" Chet asked.

"What does what feel like?" Blake answered.

"You know...what does it feel like to be a girl?"  Chet sounded a touch

"I don't know, really.  I don't feel much different.  I'm a little off
balance because my center of gravity has changed.  Other that that, I
don't 'feel' any differently."

"Do you want me to show you how it feels?" Chet whispered.

"What?" Blake asked, confused.

"Do you want me to show you how it feels?  You know..." Chet

"No I do NOT want you to show me how it feels!  For crying out loud,
Chet!  I'm still Blake and I don't want you or any guy, for that matter,
showing me anything!  How would you like it if I showed you how it
feels to get kicked in the balls!"  Blake was appalled at Chet's

"Hey, calm down.  It was just an offer...scientific research only.  You
don't have to get nasty about it."

Blake went over to where Glen and Jerry were talking.

"The next question is 'who' am I and 'where' am I from?" Blake asked

"I thought you might be your long lost twin sister, who was raised by
your father, who was a missionary in China," Jerry said.

"People would expect him to know Chinese," Chet said.  "You don't
know any Chinese do you, Blake?"

"Not a single word, but I am curious as to why that type of cover
story," Blake answered.

"Well, if you were raised by a man, that could explain any faux pas
you might commit.  As to the missionary in China part, that way you
wouldn't have seen any modern magazines telling you how to do
things.  Ignorance can hide a multitude of discrepancies."

"You have a point," Glen said.  "Okay, how about a missionary to the
Eskimo Indians.  The odds of anyone you talk to, about your past,
knowing any of those dialects would be virtually nil.  Oh, and you
were home schooled as well."

"With that type of a background, it will be a wonder I can tie my own
shoes!" Blake laughed, feeling more at ease with the whole project.
"How are we going to explain my not being around to greet my long
lost twin?"

"I am going to send you out of town on a project and she will show up,
unexpectedly, a week early," Glen said.  "You might think about this
and come up with some convincing details.  You know women, they
aren't happy until they know your every secret."

"Wait a minute!  What is my name?  I can't go by Blake?"

"It needs to be something close to Blake so you will answer to it," Jerry

"What is close to Blake?" Chet asked.





"I know, Belinda!" Jerry exclaimed.

"How is Blake like Belinda?" Chet asked.

"Sound it out: Bah-lake, Bah-linda.  It's as close as we are going to
get," Jerry explained.

"Belinda it is," Glen confirmed.  "Blake, you have one week to get
your story straight.  Next weekend, we'll get together at my house for a
barbecue and you can spring the new on all of us about your long lost
sister coming to visit.  Then, just before the conference, she will arrive
unexpectedly.  With you out of town, I'll suggest to my wife that she
go with the four of them.  It's foolproof!"

Blake hated whenever anyone said something was foolproof.
Invariably something would go wrong.  Well it was up to him to be
sure that nothing did.

"Now what do we do?" he asked.

"Now, my dear 'girl', we go shopping!" Glen stated.

Everyone groaned because it is a well-known fact that men do not like
to shop for women's clothing.

Blake went to put on his sneakers and unfortunately, they were a little
large.  He tied them extra tight and they seemed secure.  Then all four
of them piled into Chet's Lexus.

As they were pulling out of the parking lot, Chet asked, "Where to
guys?  Oh, and girl...sorry Belinda."  He started snickering at his own
joke and Blake rolled his eyes.

"Aw, do you have to call me Belinda?" Blake asked.

"Chet's right.  We really ought to call you Belinda, at least when you
are a girl, so you can get used to the name," Glen said

"Since we only need stuff for four days, let's hit Wal-Mart.  There is no
point in spending a fortune for clothes that no one will need in just a
few days," Jerry said.

Once they were at Wal-Mart, the four of them headed to the women's

"Let's start at the skin and work out," Chet suggested.

"Yeah, Belinda, go get four pairs of panties and bras.  We'll be over in
sporting goods," Glen said.

"Wait just a minute!  I don't know anything about buying women's
underwear.  You can't just run off and leave me," Belinda complained.

"We don't know anything about women's unmentionables either," Jerry
said.  "Besides, how would it look for the three of us to go rummaging
around in that department.  People would think we were perverts or

"Just ask a sales lady to help you.  Remember, you're a woman now,"
Chet said as the three of them headed towards fishing supplies.

Belinda just stood there, not believing they would abandoned her like
that.  She slowly headed towards the lingerie department.

As she looked at what seemed to be endless rows of bras, she realized
she didn't even know where to start.  She saw a sales clerk
straightening some merchandise and approached her.  Before she even
opened her mouth, she was blushing bright red.  She never did that as a

"Excuse me, Miss.  I need to get some bras, but I don't know what size
I wear.  Can you help me?" she asked.

Sylvia looked at the woman that had approached her.  She looked as if
she was about to cry.  She felt a wave of compassion for the obviously
embarrassed girl.

"Sure thing, honey," Sylvia replied.  "I know it can be confusing.
Would you believe that some women would rather wear the wrong size
than ask for help?  Come over here to the dressing rooms and I'll
measure you."

Belinda was relieved that the woman hadn't started laughing at her.
Maybe she would survive this after all.

Sylvia took a measuring tape and put it around Belinda's chest, just
below her breasts.

"This measurement tells me you will wear a 34 because you are 34
inches around."

Then she measured across the fullest part of Belinda's breasts.

"This is the confusing part.  I subtract the first measurement from the
second measurement, which was 38, and add one.  Then I look at this
chart," she said as she picked up a piece of paper, "and it tells me you
will wear a 'D' cup.  Do you need help selecting a bra?"

"Thanks, I just want four plain white bras, nothing fancy," Belinda said
with a smile.  She didn't think she would ever find anything to smile
about while she was a girl and yet this kind person had somehow
understood just what she needed.

Sylvia selected several styles and handed them to Belinda.  "You might
want to try them on to find out which brand fits you best.  They're all a
little different."

Belinda sighed.  "I guess so, it's just that it's so difficult fastening them
in the back."

"Oh, you're like my Aunt Heddie.  She insists they fit better if she puts
them on that way.  I take the lazy way though...fasten in front, spin
them around and pull them up."

Sylvia was surprised at the bright smile her customer bestowed upon

"Thank you, I will," Belinda said as she turned to enter the dressing

She was so elated at finding out how to put a bra on, that she didn't
give much thought about entering the women's fitting rooms.  Once in
there, she tried on the four bras that Sylvia had handed her.  Sure
enough, they went on much easier once you knew the trick.  She found
one that seemed to fit better than the others.

She slipped Maria's bra on and as she was about to put the shirt back
on, she noticed the tag at the neck.  It said it was a size '10'.  Since it
was a little small, Belinda figured he needed a '11'.  She took her jeans
off to check for a size on them.  The tag said they were '8 Average'.

She wondered, 'Average what?'.

After she redressed, she went back to Sylvia.  "I like this one.  Do you
have four of them?"

"I'm sure we do," she answered.  After getting the bras, she asked, "Is
there anything else I can help you with?"

"Uh, I need some underwear, also, plain white."

Belinda was still embarrassed to ask even though Sylvia had very nice
and had not made her feel foolish for asking for help. She usually just
looked for something in her size and if she liked the color she bought
it.  She rarely, if ever, asked for help in a store.

"Do you know your size?" she asked.

Red faced, Belinda answered, "My weight has changed just recently
and I'm not, ah, sure."

"Well, let's measure you and find out."  She whipped out the tape again
and looped it around Belinda's waist.  "Your waist is 24," she said as
the tape dropped lower.  "And your hips are 34.  There is a chart on the
packages of panties that will tell you what size to get.  You know, you
have a stunning figure."

"Th-thanks," Belinda stammered, embarrassed.

She went over to the racks of panties and saw a familiar brand.  She
didn't know that 'Fruit of the Loom' made women's underwear also.
After checking the back of one of the packages, she grabbed the size
she needed.  Unfortunately, they came in packs of six.  Oh well, she
would just have two pair left over.

She took the bras and panties up to the register and paid for them
herself.  She didn't want to find the guys and then have to listen to the
comments they would make about her choices.  At least with them in a
bag and the top tied, she would have a measure of privacy.

She went back to the sporting goods section and found the three of
them discussing the merits of a particular lure.  Jerry saw her first.

"There you are!  What took so long?" Jerry asked.

"I think I am beginning to understand, a little, why it takes women so
long to go shopping.  You wouldn't believe what it takes just to buy
underwear," Belinda answered.

"Well, it shouldn't take as long, with all of us helping, to get the rest of
the stuff," Chet said.

All four of them moved towards the racks of women's clothes.  They
started to look at the various outfits until Glen called out.

"Hey, I found the clearance stuff!  Since we only need outfits for four
days, why spend full price?  When this is all over and done with, we
can give the clothes to Good Will or the Salvation Army.  Any idea
what sizes you need, Belinda?"

"Yeah, an 11 in shirts and a 9 in jeans." Belinda felt quite proud until
she noticed that all the guys were looking at her.

"How the hell do you know that?" Chet asked.

"I looked at the tags in what I'm wearing now.  Jeez, what did you
think that just because you turned me into a woman on the outside that
I am suddenly becoming one on the inside, too?" Belinda whispered.

"Calm down, Belinda," Jerry said.  "I'm sure Chet didn't mean anything
by it.  I think we are all just a touch off balance by this."

"Hell, I just wondered how you knew?  I didn't mean to upset you.
You'd think you were on the rag or something," Chet said.

"Another comment like that and you can find yourself someone else to
go to this damned conference!" Belinda said hotly.

"Chet, I think it would be a good idea for you to keep your mouth shut
for a while, okay?" Glen advised.

Chet just shrugged his shoulders and began looking through the racks
of clothes.

"I don't see any 9's or 11's.  They all seem to be even numbers.  Do you
want to try 10's and 12's?" Jerry asked.

"I guess that would work.  I just can't go any smaller.  These barely fit
as it is."

"Yeah, I noticed," Chet said with a grin.  "Ok, I'm shutting up!"

Jerry held up a dress and asked, " Belinda, what about this one?"

"No dresses!  I will not wear a dress.  It has to be jeans and shirts or
nothing," Belinda protested.  Her eyes shot open as she realized just
what she had said.  Her eyes then darted over to Chet for the obvious
comment he was sure to make.

"Don't say it, Chet," Glen and Jerry said in unison.

Chet closed his mouth on whatever it was he was going to say.

The four of them rummaged around through the racks.

"The only jeans on clearance are these pink ones, Belinda, will they
do?" Jerry asked.

"Pink?  Aw man...okay, I guess that will work...just no dresses!"
Belinda insisted.

They searched through the clothing until they had selected four outfits
in the sizes they had discussed.

"Okay, we have the clothes.  Can we go back now?" Belinda asked.

"Not yet, we still have to get you a few more things," Jerry said.

"Like what?" Belinda asked.

"Well, you have to have some make-up.  Women always wear make-
up," Jerry answered.  "And a purse.  Have you ever seen a woman
without a purse?"

They happened to pass through the purses on their way to cosmetics.

"Big or little?" Belinda asked.

"Jessica's is huge.  She crams all sorts of stuff in it," Jerry commented.

"Then I will get a smaller one because I don't have anything to put in
it," Blake said.

"Tell you what," Glen said.  "Play it safe and split the difference.  Get a
medium sized one.  That way you can keep your make-up and a wallet
in it, and maybe your comb and brush.  That should be enough junk."

Belinda grabbed the first medium sized purse she saw, which was a
metallic gold and had a long strap.

"Good choice!  Gold goes with everything, doesn't it?" Jerry asked.

As they walked over to the cosmetic section, Belinda asked, "Does
anyone know anything about this stuff?"

The men stood looking at the row after row of make-up.

"Well, Irene says no woman goes out without at least lipstick on." Glen
explained.  "So we need to get you that much at the very least.

There were at least six different displays containing lipstick and each
display had what appeared to the men to be at least fifty different

Chet reached out and grabbed a tube of bright red lipstick.  "I think this
is the color Maria wears and it looks good on her."

"You can't go wrong with red, can you?" Glen asked.

"Sounds okay to me," Jerry said.  "Now how about perfume.  Women
always wear something smelly."

"Not this woman!" Belinda protested.

"We better pass on that," Glen said.  "I think we have everything we
need.  Let's pay for this stuff and head back to the lab."

"Wait!  What about pajamas?" Chet asked.

"I usually sleep in a pair of boxers," Belinda admitted.

"From little up, girls love slumber parties.  I wouldn't be surprised if
they have a hen party with everyone sitting around in their night
clothes," Jerry guessed.

"Jerry's right.  You need something even if you don't actually wear it to
bed," Glen agreed.

So it was back to the lingerie department.  The nightclothes were on
the edge of the department so this time they all went to look.

"I guess a gown is out of the question, huh?"  Chet asked.  "What about

Chet held up a pair of oversized pajamas in a bright shade of hot pink.

"Works for me," Belinda said as she grabbed them from Chet.  "Now
let's get out of here."

On their way to the front of the store to check out, Belinda stumbled
and almost fell.

"Damn," she said, barely regaining her balance.  "I guess I need to buy
shoes.  This pair is too big."

With a mixture of sighs and groans, they all turned to the shoe

"What is it with women and shoes?" Chet asked, exasperated.

"Shut up, Chet," Belinda said.  "I'm not a woman, so I don't know."

"The offer to make you a woman still stands," Chet whispered.

"So does the offer of a kick in the balls!" Belinda replied.  'Never with
Chet!' she thought.

She almost stumbled as she realized she might consider it with
someone else.

'Damn, I have to get my body back!' was her next thought.

At the shoe department, all four of them just stood and looked at the
racks  of women's shoes.

"I don't even have a clue as to what size I wear now," Belinda said.

"Hey, these are neat looking, for a girl that is," Chet said, holding up a
pair of purple sneakers.

Belinda decided now was just as good a time as any to start ignoring

"I think women's shoes run about two numbers higher than men's
shoes.  What size shoe do you wear?" Jerry asked.

"I wear a size '5'," Belinda answered.  "Okay, I have small feet.  So
what?" she added, when the guys just looked at her.

"That would be a '7' in women's and since those are too big, try a '6',"
Glen suggested.

Belinda went over to the rack that held the size '6' shoes and found a
pair of simple, white canvas deck shoes.  She slipped one on and the fit
was perfect.  She put them back into their box and added the box to the
rest of the items they were purchasing.  That done, they all turned
towards the registers and freedom.

A short time later, Belinda was back inside the chamber, awaiting Jerry
to turn the device on.  The machinery began humming and the tingling
sensation began again.

The whole time she was in the process of changing, she was mouthing
prayers that she wouldn't get stuck as a woman.  Finally the machine
shut off.  Blake noticed that the clothes that were so tight just a few
minutes ago were now hanging on him.  His chest was flat and his
crotch wasn't.  He stripped down to his boxers and stepped out.

He glanced into the reflection and noticed that everything seemed to be
back to normal.  He heaved a deep sigh of relief.

"See?  Everything's back to normal," Jerry said. "But, I know how you
felt.  I felt the same way when I changed."

Blake gave the guys a sheepish grin.  "I guess I was a bit nervous about
the changing back part.  This just might work after all."

"It will be a cinch," Chet said.  "Just remember to go along with
whatever the women do."

"Right!  Just remember, 'when in Rome...'.  As long as you do what
they do, they will never suspect that you are not one of them," Glen
said.  "You'll do just fine."

'Famous last words,' Blake thought.

* * * * *

Blake was on his way over to Glen's for the barbecue.  He had gone
over and over the story in his mind and felt reasonably sure he could
pull it off.  As he pulled up, he noticed that he was the last to arrive.
He wondered if Glen told him the wrong time in order to stage an

"Blake, darling, we were wondering where you were," Irene said as she
kissed his cheek.

She was this way all the time.  Everybody was 'darling' and if you
didn't get a kiss then you got a hug.

Blake shot Glen a dirty look and said, "Sorry, Irene, but I just got the
most wonderful news and time just slipped away."

"Do tell, dear boy, we are dying to hear," Irene said as she pulled him
into the room.  "Glen, get Blake a beer.  We can't have him getting
thirsty while he is telling us his good news."

Glen handed Blake his beer with a wink.

"I just found out I have a twin sister!"

"Really!  Why is it that you didn't know of this sister before?" Jessica
asked with a gleam in her eye.  She just loved stories where families
were reunited.

"I was always told how my mother and father were divorced shortly
after I was born."   This much was the truth at least.  "What I was never
told was that I was a twin and that he got custody of my twin sister.
Well, my father died just a few weeks ago and Belinda, my sister,
found references of me in his papers when she was clearing up his
affairs.  Since Mom and I never moved, it was fairly easy for her to
track me down"

"It appears he spent most of his life doing missionary work with the
Eskimo Indians up in the northern most reaches of Alaska.  With him
gone, she says that she wants to go somewhere it's warm.  I asked her
to visit me a while until she made up her mind as to where she wanted
to live."

"That's fantastic!" Maria said.  There was just a trace of tears in her
eyes.  Maria always was over emotional.  "When will she be arriving?
We will have to throw a party in her honor, of course."

"She'll be arriving sometime during the week after next," Blake said.
He couldn't believe everyone was buying his story.  It sounded so
hokey to him.

"Blake, I know you are going out of town with the Saunder's project in
a few days.  Will you be back in time to greet her?" Glen asked.

Blake could see the approval in his eyes.  That's what this was all about
as far as he was concerned...being a part of something.

"I'll fly back next Monday in plenty of time to prepare for her visit.  I
believe she said she would arrive on Thursday, a week.  So you see?
No problems," Blake explained.

"We'll be back from the conference in plenty of time to plan a special
get-together to welcome your sister," Stephanie declared.

With the mention of the conference all the women started talking
excitedly about all the fun they were going to have while they were out
of town.  The men just rolled their eyes.

The stage was set.

* * * * *

Irene was getting the last of her luggage down to the front door to load
into the car.  All the girls were meeting over at Maria's and they were
driving out together in her mini-van.  There was plenty of room for
them and all their luggage.

Just as she was preparing to leave a note reminding Glen of everything
he needed to do while she was gone, she heard the front door open and
Glen call out.

"Irene?  Just wait here a moment.  Irene, where are you?"

"Glen, what are you doing home?  Is there something wrong?"  She
hoped nothing had come up that would prevent her from going to the

As she entered the living room she saw a young lady standing in the
doorway, looking around.  She had beautiful auburn hair, which
clashed horribly with the red striped blouse she was wearing and was
in desperate need of a good cut.  She had a fairly impressive bosom,
which was over-accentuated by the fact that the stripes on her blouse
ran horizontally.  To top it all off, she was wearing a pair of rose
colored jeans.

Irene couldn't help but wonder if the girl was colorblind.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

The young lady turned at the sound of her voice and as soon as Irene
saw her face, she knew who she was.

"Why, you're Belinda, aren't you?" she asked.  "Of course you are!
The resemblance between you and your brother is amazing."

"Oh, there you are, Irene.  Look who showed up a week early," Glen
said as he walked back into the room.

"I am not early, my brother apparently misunderstood me," Belinda

'What a lovely voice,' Irene thought.  "Of course you aren't early,
darling," Irene said giving her a hug.  "Men are notorious for getting
dates wrong.  Glen still thinks my birthday is in July.  It's in August,

"Since Blake is still out of town for the next five days, I thought you
might take Belinda under your wing and take her to this 'woman's
thing' that you are going to," Glen said.

Irene thought a moment and said, "I don't know if there are any
openings still available.  Let me call the hotel and check."

For a brief moment, Belinda panicked.  What if there was no room for
her.  Then she realized if there wasn't she could go back to being
herself right away.

Irene wondered at the flicker of panic in Belinda's eyes, but it was so
brief that she convinced herself she was mistaken.

When she came back into the room, she was smiling.

"Good news.  I spoke to the chairwoman handling registration and she
said that there were a few cancellations due to emergencies, so there is
room for you."

"Thank you," Belinda said, softly.  "I appreciate that you're taking a
total stranger with you and I thank you."

"Oh now, you're not a stranger.  You're Blake's sister and that makes
you family," Irene insisted.  "Now we need to get going.  Do you have
your luggage with you?"

"It's there by the door," Belinda said as she pointed towards a duffel
bag that was propped against the wall.

"This is everything?" Irene asked in surprise.  "Glen did tell you this
was a four day conference, didn't he?"

"Yes, he did.  I have four outfits in there," Belinda answered.
"Besides, it's all I have with me at the moment.  The rest of my stuff is
in Alaska and isn't really suitable for this climate."

"Well, that's okay, dear.  We can pick a few things later on.  Let me
call the others because I'm running a little late.  Once I let them know
we're on our way, we can leave."  She turned to Glen, who had been
watching their exchange.  "You run along, dear.  Belinda and I will get
along just fine."

Glen leaned over and kissed his wife on the cheek.  "Irene, you see to it
that Belinda gets the most out of this thing, okay?" he whispered.  "She
seems a little shy to me."

"Don't worry, dear, she is in good hands," Irene whispered back.

Belinda felt uncomfortable watching the couple say their good-byes.
She turned and made a point of ignoring their whisperings.  She
wondered if she would ever find that 'special' person the way all her
friends had.  Maybe when this was all over, he and Stephanie could
look at deepening their relationship.

* * * * *

Maria came back into the room after hanging up with Irene.

"Was that Irene?" Jessica asked.

"Yes, she is on her way and she said she's bringing a surprise," Maria
informed the others.

"Well, I wonder what that could be," Jessica mused.  "Any ideas,

  "She didn't mention anything about a surprise to me," Stephanie

"We'll find out soon enough," Maria said, eager to change subjects.
"Now tell me, you two, has your sex life gotten better lately?"

"What?" Stephanie gasped, blushing.

"Irene and I were talking yesterday and both of us have become aware
of an increase in our 'bedroom activities' in the last two weeks," Maria
explained, "and I was wondering if either of you noticed the same?"

"Now that you mention it, Jerry has been a bit friskier than usual.  I
wonder what's up?" Jessica pondered.

"There must be a new girl at work that started in the last two weeks or
so," Maria guessed.

"That's got to be it!" Jessica agreed.

"Doesn't that bother you?" Stephanie asked.  "I mean the fact that your
husbands are getting turned on by another woman..."

Both of the other women started laughing.

"Honey, as long as Chet brings it home to Mama, I don't care what
stimulates him," Maria said, winking.  "You're still young..."

"And single," Jessica added.  "Has Blake acted any differently the last
two weeks?"

"Well...not really..." Stephanie sounded unsure.

"Uh oh, tell Auntie Jessica all about it, dear," Jessica said, scooting
closer to Stephanie.

"It's nothing, really!  He is concerned about his sister's visit, that's all."

"Concerned?  How?" Maria asked.

"What with her being isolated up in the outback of Alaska with only
her father, he was concerned about her needing to know about women
things," Stephanie explained.

"Alaska doesn't have an outback, dear.  I think you mean the 'wilds of
Alaska'.  But never mind that," Jessica said, "what was he asking you?"

"Whatever!  He wanted to know how I went about selecting an outfit to
wear," Stephanie said, sorry she ever brought the subject up.

"Do you mean, that while our husbands were trying to get into our
pants, Blake was trying to get into your closet?" Maria asked,

Maria was full-blooded Italian and a very passionate woman.  Her dark
eyes were flashing and Stephanie wasn't sure if it was outrage or

"That's not what I meant and you know it!" Stephanie said,

The other women burst out laughing.

"Honey, I'm sorry.  I get so used to giving that ass-hole of a husband a
hard time that I forget myself sometimes," Maria said as she wiped
tears of mirth from her eyes.

"By the way, why do you stay with Chet if you feel that way about
him?" Stephanie asked.  "It's not like you have any kids or anything.
I've heard you refer to him as an ass-hole on more than one occasion."

"Chet is a good man.  His main problem is that he forgets to engage his
brain before he open his mouth. Besides, I love him, ass-hole that he is.
More importantly, he loves me.  He may be a jerk most of the time, but
Honey, between the sheets, the man is a god!" Maria explained.
"Which brings us back to the original topic...has Blake been
more...amorous lately?"

"Well...we haven't gotten to that stage in our relationship yet,"
Stephanie confessed.  "The most we have done is kiss and hold hands.
Although lately there has been something more in his kisses."

"Go on...more passion?" Jessica asked.

"I'm sure it's just my imagination," Stephanie evaded.

"Of course not!  We women notice things a man would never even
dream of telling us verbally.  We are much better at reading body
language than men are.  That's where a lot of our 'women's intuition'
comes from.  Trust your instincts, girl," Maria explained.  "Now tell

"I'm sure it's nothing, but it almost seemed as if he had something to
prove.  There was almost a desperate quality to it.  Like I said, just my

The sound of car doors slamming outside distracted the women from
the topic they were discussing, much to Stephanie's relief.

"She's here!  Now we can get started," Jessica exclaimed.

Maria rushed to the door and threw it open.

"It's about time you...oh, hello, I'm sorry, that was rude of me," Jessica
and Stephanie heard Maria say.

They looked at each other and Jessica shrugged.  Both women went to
see who was at the door.  As they were entering the foyer they saw a
woman they didn't know, enter.  Right behind her was Irene.

"Everybody, here is my surprise.  I would like you to meet Belinda
Scott, Blake's sister from Alaska.  Belinda, this is Maria Coleman,
Jessica Stewart and my sister, Stephanie James.

"I'm pleased to meet you.  I hope you ladies don't mind my busting in
like this," Belinda said.

"Oh...of course not, Belinda.  As Blake's sister, you're already family.
We are glad you could join us on such short notice," Jessica said.

All of the women were a little stunned by Belinda's appearance.

"Where are my manners?" Maria said.  "Please come in."

Maria stepped back and then led everyone into the den where everyone
had been waiting.

"Can I get you something to drink?"

"No, thank you," Belinda said softly.  "But if I may use your

"Sure, it's down the hall, third door on the left," Maria said.

Belinda almost ran to the bathroom.  'This was never going to work,'
she thought.  'How could I ever have believed I could convince these
four women that I was one of them.'

She wondered how long she could hide in the bathroom before
someone came looking for her.

Back in the den, the women were whispering fast.

"Did you see her clothes!  See looks as if she were dressed by a
committee of men," Jessica whispered.

"No wonder Blake has been worried," Stephanie realized.

"Ladies!  We have a rare opportunity here.  We have the chance to turn
that mismatched eyesore into a lovely young lady," Irene said.

"Lovely, nothing!  Did you see her bone structure? And that figure?
She has the potential to be drop-dead gorgeous!" Maria added.

"We owe it to Blake...scratch that...we owe it to womankind to turn
that caterpillar into a butterfly," Irene stated.

"And what better place to do that, than at the conference!" Jessica

"Shhh...keep it down.  We don't want to hurt her feelings," Stephanie
said quietly.

"Exactly!  This is quite a job in front of us ladies.  I suggest we stop at
the mall on the way out of town under the pretext of one of us needing
something and see if we can't get her a decent looking outfit," Maria
said, warming to the task.

"Slowly ladies, we don't need to change the whole outfit yet, just the
blouse." Irene said.

"We'll definitely need an outfit for tomorrow, though," Jessica said.

"What makes you say that?" Stephanie asked.

"Think about it.  If you were going to meet a brother you had never
met before, wouldn't you want to look your best?" Jessica replied.

"Oh God, in that case, I would hate to see the rest of her clothes,"
Maria stated.

"Okay, a blouse for today and a simple outfit for tomorrow," Irene

"But what about that atrocious lipstick?" Stephanie asked.

"I know, Stephanie, you buy a tube of something in a rose color and
when hers wears off and she gets ready to reapply it, offer her yours.
Say you didn't care for the color or something," Jessica suggested.

"That's the plan then.  After we arrive at the conference, we let that
guide our plans.  Stephanie, you'll have a big part in this.  I suggest that
you room with her since you are the closest to her in age.  Play up the
girlfriend bit, doing the hair, experimenting with make-up, you know
what I mean?" Irene asked.

"Whew, got it.  I'll give it my best," Stephanie said with a nod.

"Maria, do you have a camera?" Jessica asked.

"What for?"

"I would love a before and after picture."

"You would have to take one of each of us then so she doesn't feel
singled out," Stephanie advised.

"No problem...I have plenty of film," Maria said as she slipped from
the room.

Belinda was still in the bathroom trying to work up the courage to go
out.  'How bad can the next four days be?' she thought.  'It's just 96
hours and I'll be back to my old self.  I can do this.'

Maria was coming back down the hall when the bathroom door opened
and Belinda came out.

"Oh, you're just in time.  We are going to take pictures of everyone
before we leave," Maria said.

"Please, don't feel you have to include me...I know I'm a late addition.
I'll be happy just to tag along," Belinda said, feeling a touch of panic.
'Not pictures,' she thought.

"Now that's not the way to get the full enjoyment out of this.  Come on,
let'll have a blast!"  By that time they were back in with the

"Okay everybody, we'll do this one at a time.  Stephanie, stand over
against that wall and smile," Maria said.

Stephanie stood where Maria indicated and struck a coy pose.  Jessica
was next and she hammed it up with a seductive pose.  Irene stood in a
relaxed yet proper pose, preferring a more traditional picture.

"You're next Belinda."

Belinda stood where the others had and tried to smile.  She was stiff
and try as she would, she couldn't relax.

"My turn," Maria said.  "Irene, would you do the honors?  It's set, all
you have to do is point the camera and push the button."

Belinda thought the camera might melt from the hot look Maria gave

"That one's for Chet," she giggled.

"Alright, let's get moving, ladies.  We need to make a stop at the mall
because I forgot something," Jessica said.

All five ladies entered Maria's mini van and they were off.  The mall
was a short drive from Maria's home.

Belinda listened to them chatter in excitement.  She listened closely,
hoping that when she was back to her 'old' self that she would have
enough stuff to tell the guys that would make all this worth while.  She
doubted it though; all they were talking about was the conference and
some 'special project' that they were all involved with.

Once they were at the mall, they went straight to a women's clothing
store.  Even though Jessica was the one that had forgotten something,
they were all looking through the racks.

"This is nice," Jessica said, holding up a blouse.

"Yes, but not quite, if you know what I mean," Irene said.

The other women agreed and Belinda wondered what Irene meant, but
she wasn't about to ask.

"Now this is it!" Stephanie said, holding up a teal colored pantsuit.

"Oh yes, but that isn't your color, Stephanie," Maria said with a frown.
"But Belinda, that would be beautiful on you.  Why don't you go try it

"I don't think..." Belinda started.

"Nonsense, dear, it is perfect for you.  Now into the dressing room
with you.  Be sure and let us see how it looks"

Belinda knew she was going to have to go shopping sometime on this
trip, however she didn't expect it to happen so soon.  She decided to go
along with everyone and went into the dressing room.

As she looked into the mirror, she realized the new outfit looked really
good on her.  She took a deep breath and stepped outside.

"Oh, yes!  That suit was made for you," Jessica said.  It brings out the
color of your beautiful eyes.  You must buy it."

"No, let me buy it for you," Irene said.

"Oh, I couldn't," Belinda protested.

"Of course you can," Irene said.  "Besides, Glen told me I was to see to
it that this was a memorable time for you."

"Thank you, Irene.  I do like the outfit.  And I can assure you, I will
never forget this trip," Belinda said.

Before they left the store, everyone had purchased something.  There
was a blouse that everyone insisted she try on and she ended up
wearing it out.  When the women had approved of how she looked in
it, she decided to part with some of her funds and buy it.  Soon they
were on their way again.

There was no lull in the conversation during the drive to the
conference.  All the women made an effort to include Belinda.  Much
to her surprise, the women never even mentioned their husbands.

Once they reached the hotel where they were to spend the next  four
days, Belinda received a shock.

Irene was handing out the keys to their rooms.  "Maria, you and Jessica
will share a room and Stephanie, you and Belinda."

"Oh, no, that's not necessary.  I'm sure that before I came along, Irene,
you and Stephanie were sharing a room.  I don't want to put you out.
As a  matter of fact, I insist the two of you room together.  I'll take the
single room."  Belinda was struggling not to be obvious about her
desire to be alone.

"Now, darling, you are the answer to a prayer.  I'm embarrassed to
admit it, but I have a little snoring problem.  Glen sleeps like the dead,
so it doesn't bother him, but I was worried about keeping Stephanie
awake every night," Irene said, sheepishly.

"Little?" Stephanie said laughing.  "When we were kids, I used to think
there was a monster in her room at night.  I would really appreciate it if
you would share a room with me, Belinda."

Irene was standing there looking a bit embarrassed while Stephanie
was waiting hopefully.  Damn!  She couldn't say no, but how could she
say yes?

"If you're sure," Belinda said slowly, "I will be glad to share a room
with Stephanie."

"Great!" Stephanie said.  "We are going to have a wonderful time, wait
and see."

Again, Belinda thought she needed to have her head examined.

They all went to their rooms which were on the ninth floor.  Belinda
was glad to see the double beds.  For a few minutes, after she had
accepted, she had wondered if she was going to have to share the same
bed.  If that had been the case, she would have found some reason to
switch with Irene.

As they began to hang up their clothes, Stephanie realized that she was
right about the state of Belinda's clothing.

"Didn't you bring a dress with you? she asked.

"I don't own any dresses," Belinda answered.  "Where I was, they
weren't very practical, what with letting the cold get up your skirt."

Belinda had thought about several questions she might be asked and
had answers ready for them.  The dress question was one of them.

"That's okay, we can take care of that here.  You will want a dress for
Saturday night, when we go out," Stephanie said.  "Right now, let's go
get the others and get this conference started."

The five women went to the hotel ballroom, which had been set up as a
meeting room for the two hundred women registered.  There, Belinda
learned the agenda that the husbands had been so eager to learn about.

The conference was for women to help them realize their full potential
in both their inner and outer beauty.  Due to there being 200 women
attending, half of the women would do the outer beauty on one day,
and the other half, the next.  According to their schedule, tomorrow
they would address the outer beauty first.  There would be lectures and
demonstrations on applying make-up as well as hair styles and clothes.
Tomorrow afternoon would see a fashion show of the newest styles
followed by a shopping excursion so you could implement what you
had learned.  Saturday, would focus on the inner beauty.  There were
lectures scheduled on self esteem,  time management and finances.
Sunday, there was a talk on 'Sexuality and the Modern Woman'.

As Belinda looked over the agenda she had been given, she saw
absolutely nothing that the guys would be interested in.  The women
weren't trying to hide anything from their husbands.  There were no
'Husband Bashing'  or 'Down With Men' lectures planned.  This was a
waste of all their time and money. Sunday night, she was going to go
back to being her old self.  She would just go along with everything.
Besides, she felt closer to these women now.  That in its self was
reason enough for her to be involved.  Besides, everything she learned
here will help her to understand women better in the future.  These
women weren't stupid.  If she didn't pay attention and get involved,
they would begin to wonder about her.

When the introductory speaker was finished, all the women left the
room.  They were excited to begin.

Belinda was exhausted.  All she wanted to do was go to sleep.  Being a
woman was hard work!

"You poor dear," Stephanie said, "You look bushed.  Why don't you
take a relaxing hot bath before you turn in for the night.  Here use
some of these bath crystals.  They are for relaxation."

"I usually just take a shower," Belinda answered.  "Besides, I'm sure
you want a turn in the bathroom."

"I'll bath later.  Right now there's this book that I'm in the middle of
and I want to read for a while, so you go ahead."

Belinda took her pajamas into the bathroom to get ready for bed.  She
looked at the tub and thought about what Stephanie had said.

"What the hell, why not?" Belinda said as she started bath water
running.  She poured some of the crystals into the water and enjoyed
the soothing fragrance as she undressed.

As she slipped into the hot water, she could almost feel the tension
easing from her body.  When the water had cooled, she bathed quickly
and got out.  She could barely keep her eyes open, she was so relaxed.
She put on the bright pink pajamas that Chet had picked out and went
into the other room.

Stephanie was lying on the bed reading.  Unfortunately, she was only
wearing her panties and her bra.  Belinda dropped all her clothes,
stunned at the sight that she, as Blake, had only imagined.

Picking up her clothes gave her a moment to try to compose herself.

"The...ah...bathroom is free n-now," she stuttered.

"Thanks," Stephanie replied, getting up.

Belinda tried her best not to stare at Stephanie's lithe body as she
walked to the bathroom, but she was only human.  Oddly enough, the
sight of Stephanie's nearly naked body didn't arouse her as she thought
it would have.  That really worried  her.

Blake had the normal desires that a man has for a lovely woman.
Granted, he had never done anything about it.  The guys would have a
fit if they knew Blake was still a virgin.  On several occasions, he had
been aroused by Stephanie, but since it was still early in their
relationship, he hadn't made any moves in that direction yet.  He didn't
want to do anything to ruin the friendship that was building between

Belinda was still dwelling on her lack of response thirty minutes later
when Stephanie came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel.  As she
stood in front of the chest of drawers, where she had placed her
clothes, she removed the towel and stooped to get a nightgown.  She
raised her arms, lifting the gown over her head and turned slightly
which gave Belinda a full view of her nakedness.

'This is not good,' Belinda thought.  Her heart remained slow and
steady.  There was no increase in her breathing rate.  No part of her
seemed to be reacting to the lovely sight she was seeing.

Stephanie's legs were long and shapely.  Her breasts appeared firm and
pert.  There didn't appear to be an ounce of fat anywhere.  The thatch
of brown hair at the juncture of her slender thighs indicated that she
didn't color her hair.

The only feeling Belinda had was that she was slightly embarrassed
because she knew Stephanie would never have appeared in a state of
undress if she knew who she really was.  She clung to the thought that
Jerry had said the rat was able to father babies.  For some reason, her
lack of response didn't keep her awake as she expected.  Within a few
minutes she was asleep.

The next morning, the phone rang waking both girls.  It was the wake-
up call they had requested.

"I am so excited!" Stephanie exclaimed.  "Let's get ready and meet the
others for breakfast.  The first thing on the agenda is make-up so don't
put on a lot, just the essentials."

"Oh, I don't wear make-up...except for lipstick of course," Belinda
said.  "I prefer the natural look."

"So do I.  I'm hoping to get some tips on how to make my make-up
look more natural.  Speaking of lipstick," Stephanie said, as she went
over to her purse, "I bought this color yesterday and I realized it's not
my shade.  Although, I think it would look lovely on you.  It would go
very well with your new suit."

Belinda took the lipstick gratefully, because she hadn't cared for the
way the red lipstick looked on her.  She didn't know why it would look
good on Maria and bad on her.  Maybe Chet was mistaken about it
being Maria's color.

The two girls dressed and were soon ready to meet the others.

"Is that the only pair of shoes you brought with you?" Stephanie asked.

"Yes...what's wrong with them?  I thought white went with
everything," Belinda said.

"Oh, it does.  It's just that sometimes a darker color goes better, that's
all.  We'll take care of that later.  Right now I'm hungry."

The two girls went downstairs to the restaurant where the others were
already waiting.

"There you are.  I was wondering what could be keeping the two of
you," Irene said.  "Belinda, you look lovely this morning.  That teal
suit really brings out your eyes."

"Oh yes, that is definitely your color.  You hair positively gleams next
to it," Jessica added.

"Okay ladies," Maria interrupted, "I'm hungry!  Let's get a move on."

Belinda was relieved when the focus shifted off of her, however she
had a warm feeling as a result of the compliments the women had
given her.  After a quick breakfast of fruit and toast, the ladies headed
for the assembly room.

Irene led them towards the front seats.  "I need to be close to see
better," she said when Belinda suggested they sit farther back.

"Besides, you can hear better, and I don't want to miss a thing," Maria

Belinda wondered what the big deal was.  Surely there wasn't that
much to putting on make-up.

The women had just taken their seats when the morning's speaker
approached the podium.  She was short and didn't have the best of
figures, however her face was beautiful.  Belinda couldn't imagine why
she would even want to wear make-up.  Behind the speaker was a large
drop-down screen.

"Good morning, I'm Louise Bishop," she announced.  "Learning the
correct way to apply make-up literally changed my life."  A picture of
a plain woman flashed upon the screen.  "As you can see, I wasn't
much to look at."

Belinda was surprised that the picture and the speaker were the same
person.  The photograph must have been doctored to make Louise look
so plain.

"I was easily overlooked.  Let's face it.  I'm short and not that good
looking.  There wasn't anything I could do about my height, however I
could do something about the way I looked.  I went to the library and
read all the make-up books I could find and then I experimented with
what I had learned and even tried some of my own ideas.  How I look
today is the result.  Looking good did so much for my self esteem, that
I decided to teach the art of make-up to anyone who wants to learn.
And that's why I'm here today."

For the next hour, Belinda sat, fascinated, and listened to Louise tells
everything there was to know about make-up.  She learned about the
different skin tones and how the wrong shades of make-up can make
you look worse than no make-up at all. The talk was illustrated with
slides showing the right thing to do as well as the wrong.  She listened
to an explanation of how various facial shapes can be made to appear
different through shading and highlighting. There were several before
and after pictures, which served to point out exactly what the speaker
was saying.  There was even a brief show of how make-up styles had
changed through the years.  There was much laughter as picture after
picture was shown on the screen of how much make-up styles had
changed over the last few decades.

Before Belinda realized it, Louise was winding up her presentation.
The last hour had just flown by and where as Belinda expected to
bored to tears, she had been enthralled by all the intricacies involved in
looking beautiful.

"Thank you for listening so attentively.  And now in the ballroom
across the hall, there are representatives for Estee Lauder, Clinique and
Elizabeth Arden set up to do makeovers..."

"Let's go," Irene whispered.  "We need to get out of here if we want to
get our makeovers early.  Last year, there were too many women and
not enough chairs set up, so it took longer than they had planned to get
everyone their makeover."

The five women quietly slipped down the aisle to the door.

"I don't need a makeover," Belinda said.  "I mean if there is a shortage
of chairs, someone else can have my place."

"Nonsense, you are getting a makeover.  Why I bet you've never had
one living in Alaska as you did," Maria insisted.  "There is something
luxurious in having someone else put your make-up on for you."

"I don't think there is anything to worry about," Irene said as they
entered the ballroom.  "There is three times as many chairs as there
was last year.  Everyone should have a turn.  There's a seat over there.
You first, Belinda."

As Belinda sat in the chair, she realized she was curious as to just how
good make-up could make her look.

"What type of look are you wanting?" the woman who would be
applying her make-up asked.  Her name tag said her name was Penny.

"Oh...I guess..," Belinda stammered.

Irene stepped in.  " Glamour, definitely.  Give her the works.  Look at
those eyes, accent them as well as her cheeks."

Irene stood there as Belinda got her makeover.  The others scattered to
nearby chairs to get theirs.

Penny explained Belinda's skin coloring and what shades would be
most flattering to her.  She told Belinda, step-by-step, what she was
using and why, how to apply it and how to change it to suit whatever
event she was going to.  Anytime she had a question of preferences,
Irene would answer her.  When she was finished, she handed a mirror
to Belinda.

Belinda couldn't believe that the reflection was her.  She was stunning!
There was almost a sense of simmering sexuality and it was all the
make-up.  All this time she had thought herself to be just slightly
attractive and yet the mirror told her a different story.  If Chet could
see her now he would say she was a 'hotty'.

While Belinda was admiring herself in the mirror, Irene slipped Penny
her charge card.

"All of it," Irene mouthed.  She had a feeling that Belinda couldn't
afford to buy all the make-up that Penny used to make her so beautiful.
Well, she would tell Belinda it was all part of the makeover.  After all,
Glen said to be sure Belinda was included in everything.

Irene took Belinda's place for her own makeover.  Belinda stood and
watched.  Now she could see how it was done.  Penny was kind
enough to explain the differences in the two styles of make-up.
Belinda looked into the bag of make-up that Irene had handed her
before taking her place in the chair.  Belinda thought she might be able
to apply her own make-up for the next two days with what she had

Maria, Stephanie and Jessica came over after they had finished and
were so excited over how great Belinda looked.  The four of them
stood and watched as Irene glowed under Penny's expert touch.

When all five were finished, they went to the hotel restaurant for a cup
of coffee before the next workshop.

"I can't believe the difference that a little bit of make-up has made in
how I look," Belinda said, as she sipped her coffee.  It tasted a bit
harsh and when she made a face, Jessica pushed the creamer her way.

"Try a little cream to smooth it out," she suggested.  "I have always
loved to look at before and after pictures of people who have been
made over."

"Well, I knew Belinda would be a looker," Maria commented.  "She
has cheek bones to die for."

Belinda blushed at the praise.  "So what's next on the agenda?" she
asked, in an attempt to take the focus off herself.

"Hair...the same type format, a speaker then having professionals do
your hair," Stephanie answered.  "That's the one I'm interested in.
There has to be a more flattering way to wear my hair," she said as she
pulled her long brown hair away from her face.

"But I've always liked your hair," Belinda said.

"Always?" Stephanie asked puzzled.

"Well, since I've met you," Belinda added, lamely.  'Boy, I almost blew
it,' she thought.

"Oh, okay," Stephanie replied, shrugging.

"Well, let's get going, ladies.  I want to get a good seat," Jessica urged.

The five of them moved into a different room than where Louise had
lectured on make-up.  They found seats a couple of rows closer than
where they had been before.

The speaker walked to center stage.  Her hair was long.  It was so long
it was obvious she could sit on it.  As she approached the microphone,
she brushed her hair to her back.  It flowed like silk.

"Hi everyone, I'm Maureen.  As you can tell, my most notable feature
is my hair.  Since everybody always stares at my hair, most people
don't even notice that I have a plain face."

When she said that, Belinda looked to her face and realized that she
was indeed plain.  Had anyone asked her what she looked like, she
would have replied 'Beautiful' because her hair made her so.

"I don't recommend this hair style to anyone without advising them
that it takes me two hours to wash and dry it.  As simple a style as this
is, it is high maintenance. That's one of the things we are going to
discuss today.  Not only does a hairstyle have to flatter your face, it has
to fit your lifestyle.  Also, very few facial shapes can wear long,
straight hair.  So let's get started," Maureen began.

Belinda absorbed every word.  She heard again about the various facial
shapes and what hair styles were flattering to each.  She learned how
easy it was to damage your hair beyond repair and how important it
was to use the proper shampoo and conditioner for your hair type.
Long or short, straight or curly, each head of hair was different and had
to be treated individually.  However there were general rules that
applied to all hair and Maureen covered these.

There was a slide show of before and after pictures showing how much
the right hair style (or wrong one for that matter) could change your

Blake had always just parted his hair down the middle and pulled it
into a pony tail at his neck.  That was also how Belinda wore hers.
Now she knew that it was all wrong for her.  What didn't matter on
Blake, would make a big difference on her.  She was eager to see what
a difference a different hairstyle would do for her.  If it were too
feminine, she would just get a different haircut after she changed back.
Now she realized that Blake could use a different style to help his self-

When the lecture was over, the women headed for a meeting room on
the next floor where the salon chairs had been set up.  Do to the fact
that they were sitting up at the front, by the time they arrived, there
was only one chair open.  Belinda shoved Stephanie towards it.

"Go on...get it before someone else does," she said.

"But what about you?  I know you will want to have your hair done.
Maybe you should go first," Stephanie said, eyeing the open chair.

"I'll grab the next one open, I promise.  Now scoot!" Belinda said,
laughing.  She was feeling as if she was a solid part of the group of
women, which was strange.  She had always felt just on the edge but
never really a part of the gang as Blake.

Belinda and the others watched as Stephanie was getting her hair done.
She noticed a man as she watched the other women having their hair
cut or colored or just styled.  He seemed to move from chair to chair
offering advice or making a comment.  He was dressed in black and his
long black hair was braided and hung down his back. A straw cowboy
hat completed his ensemble.

As he left Stephanie's chair, he noticed Belinda.  He approached her
and lifted his hand to her hair.  As the silken strands slipped through
his fingers, he looked at her.

"Your hair is beautiful, so pure.  It's as if it has never known a curler or
blow dryer.  But you would look so much more attractive with a
different style."

As he was talking, Belinda noticed the looks on the faces of her
friends.  It was a mixture of awe and laughter.  They obviously knew
who this man was.

"Keeping your hair pure and yet finding a style that sets off that
beautiful face will be a challenge.  I will do your hair myself!"

She heard her friends gasp and noticed looks of envy on the faces of
some of the other women.  As the man headed off, Jessica pushed her
after him.

"That's Jose Eber, Stylist to the Stars!  You are so lucky!" Jessica
whispered as she guided Belinda towards the empty chair that sat apart
from the others.  "Usually he just comments on how his associates are
doing and makes suggestions."

Belinda had never heard of Jose Eber, but it was obvious from the way
everyone was acting, her being singled out this way was an honor.  As
she sat in the chair, Jose began by running his fingers though her hair,
lifting it, pulling it from one side to the other as he studied the way it
fell naturally.

"Beautiful," he murmured as he dampened her hair.  Then he reached
for his scissors.  Belinda just sat and watched in the mirror as he
moved from one side of her head to the other.  As he worked his
magic, her hair seemed to curl and wave without any assistance.

"The weight of your long hair has kept it straight," Jose said as he
layered her hair.  "With some of that weight gone, it springs to life.
Also, you should never part your hair down the center like that.  It
makes your face look long.  Your face is like a beautiful portrait and it
needs an equally beautiful frame.  A beautiful frame enhances even a
dull picture."

When he stepped back, Belinda just sat there, dumbfounded.  The girl
in the mirror bore no resemblance to the girl in the mirror this morning.
Her hair curled softly around her face with a tousled look, almost
giving the appearance of having just come from a passionate embrace.

"Oh, wow..." she said.

Jose laughed.  "A speechless woman is indeed high praise.  Darling,
I'm just teasing you," he said with a quick hug.  "Your true beauty now
shines through.  I did nothing more than set it free.  Now go...enjoy
your beauty."  With that he turned and went back to checking on the

Stephanie had come over after she had finished getting her hair done.

"Belinda, you are so beautiful," she said.

"This isn't me.  The real me was that plain girl of this morning,"
Belinda protested.

"Belinda Scott, you listen to me and you listen good!  All the make-up
and hairstyles in the world can't make a plain woman as radiantly
beautiful as you are this minute.  It only accentuates what you already
have.  If you washed off all the make-up and washed your hair, you
would still see the girl that's in that mirror over there.  She wouldn't be
as flashy, but she would still be beautiful!   You just didn't know she
was there.  Now that you do, she will never go away.  You will always
see her."  Stephanie stopped to take a few breaths.

Never had anyone ever risen to Belinda or Blake's defense the way
Stephanie just had.  Granted she was defending her from her own low
self-esteem.  Belinda felt tears of gratitude coming to her eyes.

"Oh, no...don't cry.  You'll mess up your mascara.  I didn't mean to
hurt your feelings."

"Thank you, Stephanie.  I've never had a friend like you before, that is
if I can call you my friend," Belinda sniffed.

"Please, don't cry, you'll make me cry too and then we'll both be a
mess.  And of course I'm your friend," Stephanie responded.

The two women laughed at the mental picture of the two of them with
black streaks down their cheeks and the tears vanished.  Arm in arm,
they went in search of the others who were at this time getting their
own hair done by Jose's associates.

It was almost 1:00 o'clock by the time they were finished and they
headed for the restaurant for a late lunch.  As they ate, they all
discussed each other's new looks.

Stephanie's was probably the most drastic.  Her long straight brown
hair was now a short wedge with reddish highlights.  Blake had always
liked Stephanie's long hair.  Although the short cut gave her a pixyish
look.  Maria, on the other hand, had very little done other than a trim
and refining the style she already had.  Irene was now a blonde and
Jessica's straight hair now was a mop of riotous curls thanks to the
perm she had been given.

"Gosh, I hope Blake doesn't mind me cutting my hair," Stephanie said.
"But I feel so much freer and taller without all that weight."

"Well, since he didn't have to take the time to fix it, he really doesn't
have much of a say in it," Jessica stated.

"I'm sure he will like it," Belinda said, firmly.

"I don't know.  You know men and long hair.  That's the reason I didn't
get much cut off," Maria said.  "The last time I got more than a trim,
Chet hit the roof and didn't let up until it had grown back out.  Of
course, I made sure I had a new wardrobe in exchange for the longer
hair," she laughed.

Well, Glen doesn't seem to even notice when I get my hair done.  What
do you bet he notices this time," Irene said laughing.  "But the biggest
surprise is the beautiful butterfly that Belinda is becoming."

"Without a doubt.  We are going to have to keep an eye on our
husbands," Marie said.

"Maybe your husband, but Jerry knows better," Jessica said laughing.

"Excuse me for interrupting you ladies," a tall matronly woman said, as
she stood near their table.  "I just wanted to say how much you have
bloomed since I noticed you last night," she said to Belinda.  "That is
the reason an old woman like me comes to these things.  It does my
heart good to see young things like you blooming into womanhood."

"Why thank you," Belinda said, surprised that a complete stranger
would care.  "And for what it's worth, I don't think you are old."

"Bless you, my child.  I have grandchildren your age, but I thank you
for the compliment."  With a smile she left.

"She didn't look old enough to have a grandchild my age," Belinda said
to the group.

"That's one of the wonders of good skin care," Irene said.  "Take care
of your skin and you don't age."

"Look at the time!" Jessica said.   "We have just enough time to get to
the next lecture room."

The five women left the moneys for their meals on the table and
hurried to the room where they would spend the next two hours.

The room had been arranged to allow for a platform to run down the
center of the room.  The speaker's podium had been moved to one side.
As they were getting settled, the house lights dimmed.  A spotlight was
focused at the head of the platform.

Out walked a woman in faded, torn jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers.  A
disembodied voice rang out.

"I'd like to welcome you ladies to the fashion portion of your

The next woman entered the runway in a housecoat and slippers with
her hair in curlers.  There were titters of laughter across the audience.

"Ladies, how many of us look like this when we think no one will
see?" the voice continued.

"Is this how our husbands see us?  If it is, no wonder the divorce rate is
so high.  With just a little effort on our part, look at the difference we
can make in our appearance."

The next woman was still wearing jeans, however they were designer
jeans and she wore a nice blouse with it.  The woman wearing the
housecoat and slippers was replaced by one wearing a simple yet
lovely nightgown and matching robe.

And so it continued, with examples of the wrong clothes followed by
examples of the right clothes.

After about 20 minutes, the lights came back up and the body of the
narrator was now visible.  She was, of course, impeccably dressed.
Her name was Lydia and she continued her lecture on how to select the
right clothes for your shape and coloring.

Belinda began to realize the clothes that the guys had picked out were
the worst possible clothes that they could have chosen.  It was a credit
to the women that they didn't laugh her out of the house the first time
they saw her.  Instead, they opened their hearts and arms and embraced
her.  Their caring humbled her.  She so wanted the approval of these
women, if only for the next couple of days.

Now she began to worry.  What was everyone going to say when
Belinda disappeared and Blake reappeared?  They hadn't thought this
thing through.  Somehow, Belinda was going to have to stay in touch.
She was going to have to think about this.  The last thing she wanted
was to hurt these women or make them think 'Belinda' was ungrateful
for all they had done.

As Lydia finished her lecture, the house lights dimmed again.

"To finish the fashion segment of this conference, we have arranged
for a fashion show.  What you are about to see are this seasons
fashions followed by a preview of what is going to in vogue next
season," she said.  "Also, we have made arrangements with the better
clothiers in the mall across the street, that if you show them your
conference identification, they will extend to you a 20% discount on all
your purchases this weekend."

You could hear a buzz go through the room as the discount was

"Hey, that's great!" Jessica whispered.

"Did they do this last year?" Maria quietly asked Irene.

"No, this is new," Irene replied in a hushed voice, with a gleam in her

"I take it we are going shopping?" Belinda asked, fearing the answer.

"Of course we are.  Just think of the look on your brother's face when
he sees how beautiful his sister is," Stephanie answered.  "I'd like to
think that we can be honest with each other and sweetie, you NEED to
go shopping!"

"Ladies...ladies, I know we are ALL eager to get shopping.  As you
leave the room, you will be handed a list of the retailers that are
participating in this conference.  Remember what you have learned so
far and have fun!"

The buzz became a roar as all the women began talking about their
proposed trips to the mall.

"We need a game plan," Maria said.  "We need to make a list of all the
things we want to get.  That way we can shop together on the things we
all want to buy and then split up for the individual stuff."

"No way!" Jessica jumped in.  "Who likes shopping alone?  I say we
stick together so we have everyone's input on what we buy.  That way
we know that what we are getting makes us look the best we can."

"I like Jessica's suggestion," Belinda put in.  She had learned a lot,
however she there was still so much she didn't know.

"Jessica's right.  Besides, we will have more fun seeing what everyone
else is getting," Irene agreed.

"But when it comes to little stuff like pantyhose or underwear, we
could break up into twos and threes," Stephanie added.

"I like the list idea if for no other reason that we don't forget anything.
You know how it is when you're shopping, you invariably forget
something," Irene stated.

"I think we ought to have an early dinner first," Maria put in.  "After
all, we need to build up our strength for a marathon of shopping."

Laughing all the women agreed.  Belinda went along hoping they were
just joking.

They weren't.

They had already been at the mall over two and a half hours.  Oddly
enough, Belinda was enjoying herself.  As each of the women would
try something on, they would come out of the dressing room and
model it for the other four.  The agreement had to be unanimous before
it was purchased.  So far, Belinda had just purchased two pantsuits.
She didn't see any reason for buying anything else since she wasn't
going to need it after Sunday.

They were going through some racks of dresses when Maria turned to

"Belinda, you must try this dress on.  It would be stunning with your
coloring and figure!"

"No, really, I don't ever wear dresses.  Thank you, but it would be a
waste of money," Belinda protested.

"But you have to have a dress for tomorrow night," Irene put in.
"There's an unofficial get-together Saturday night and everyone dresses
for it.  It gives us a chance to show off how much we've learned.
Maria's right, that dress has your name written all over it."

Belinda held the dress close to her body as the women cajoled her into
the dressing room.  She tried the dress on.  It was as if it had been sewn
especially for her.  It had to be the most beautiful dress in the world.  It
was solid black.  The front dipped down low enough to show some
cleavage.  The bodice fit snuggly to hint of the bounty it concealed.
The slim skirt flowed modestly to just above her knees, however there
was a slit up one side to expose one leg to mid thigh.  Belinda loved
the dress, but there was no way she was going to walk out there for
everyone to see.  But, oh, how she loved that dress!

"What do you suppose is taking her so long?"  Jessica asked.  "She has
already been in there long enough to try on several dresses."

"Maybe I better check on her," Stephanie volunteered.

As she walked into the dressing area, she heard a sniffle as if someone
were crying.

"Belinda, is everything all right?"  Stephanie called out.

"Oh, (sniff) Stephanie...I ah..."

"Belinda, what's wrong?"  Stephanie asked, standing outside the door
of the cubicle Belinda was in.  "Is there something wrong with the
dress?  We can get you another one if there is."

"No...the dress is perfect.  Actually, it's the most beautiful dress I've
ever seen.  It's me...I can't go out and show everyone how I look."

"Well, why not?  If the dress is wonderful...I don't understand?"
Stephanie asked, totally confused.

"Remember I told you I didn't wear dresses because of the cold?  Well,
I've never in my entire life worn a dress."  This at least was true.  "As a
result...I've never shaved my legs.  I can't walk out there in this
beautiful dress with legs as hairy as a m-man's."  Belinda was surprised
by how much she felt like crying.  This was the first time since their
trip began that she felt like an outsider.

"Oh, Belinda, don't cry.  May I come in?  I won't be put off by your
legs, I promise," Stephanie vowed.

"Okay, I guess," Belinda said, reluctantly as she unlocked the door.

As Stephanie entered, she realized that the dress was indeed perfect
and that Belinda stood as if she were preparing for a blow.

"Oh, honey, come here," Stephanie said as she took Belinda in a
comforting embrace.  "I know you don't know any of us very well yet,
but I promise you we wouldn't tease you or ridicule you.  Believe me,
we all have been insecure about our looks at one time or another."

Belinda began to relax as Stephanie held her.  It was different from the
times when Stephanie had held Blake.

The two of them didn't notice that Jessica had entered the dressing
room to see if there was anything she could do.  She overheard the
conversation and slipped back out to the others.

"Bless her heart," Irene said.  "All along, we have been set on getting
her fitted out without thinking about how she must be feeling about
these changes.  We have to be careful about overpowering her and
hurting her feelings without realizing it."

"I so very glad she seems to have connected with Stephanie," Maria
said.  "That will help a great deal."

"Can you imagine reaching her age without ever having worn a dress?
She had to have been raised as if she were a boy.  I wonder what else
we take for granted that she has never done.  You're right, Irene, we
could very easily bruise her blossoming femininity if we aren't

Just then, Belinda and Stephanie came out of the dressing room.
Belinda was carrying the dress over her arm.

"That dress looks so good," Stephanie began, "that we decided we
would surprise you with the complete ensemble on Saturday night."

"That sounds like fun.  I can hardly wait," Irene said.

"Can we help with the picking out of accessories? Jessica asked.

"Sure," Belinda said, relieved.  She had been afraid that the women
would demand to see her in the dress.  Stephanie winked at her and

The next stop was the jewelry department because everyone knows a
new outfit demands just the right accents.  The only snag was Belinda
didn't have pierced ears.

"Well, there's not as good a selection with clip-ons, but I'm sure we can
find something," Jessica assured her.  "You might think about getting
your ears pierced one day."

"Well, maybe next weekend," Belinda felt safe in saying.

After that was the shoe department.

"Oh, look at these...aren't they just the bomb?" Stephanie squealed
over a pair of open toed high heels.

Irene just rolled her eyes.

"The that good?" Maria asked, grinning.

"I'm glad you asked," Belinda whispered confidentially, "because I was
afraid to."

"Yes, it's good," Stephanie replied with an exaggerated sigh.

"Belinda, you will have to have a new pair of shoes to go with that new
dress.  Besides, a woman can never have enough shoes.   That dress
cries out for high heels, but unless you are used to wearing them, you
might want to start with say, 1-inch heels," Jessica suggested.

Belinda found a style that she liked and that the others though would
go good with the dress.  This particular style was available in both 1-
inch and 3-inch heels.  She wanted to try the 3-inch heels because as
Blake, she had always likes women in high heels and yet Jessica had a
point about not being used to wearing heels.  She didn't want to look
like a million and then fall flat on her face.

Maria noticed the indecision on Belinda's face.  "Why not get both.
When we get back home you can return which ever pair you decide not
to keep."

"I can't afford both pair," Belinda explained.  "I didn't bring enough
money with me."

"That's what this is for," Irene said, flashing her credit card.  "You can
pay me back whenever you can after we return.  Besides, you need a
pair of pumps to go with the pantsuits you bought."

"Oh, I couldn't..." Belinda started.

"Of course you can.  What are friends for?" Irene said.

'Friends,' Belinda thought.  She realized she had become closer to these
four women than she ever had with their husbands.  The though made
her sad for a moment, then she shook it off.  She wasn't about to waste
any of the precious time she had remaining.

"You're right!  Thank you, Irene," she said.

"Oh piffle, it's only money, darling.  What good is it if it can't bring
you pleasure occasionally."

Just across the aisle was hosiery and each of the women stocked up on
nylons.  Stephanie helped Belinda select several pair and then
remembered the men's tube socks that Belinda had put on that morning
suggested some knee-highs as well.

The last stop in the mall was a Bath and Body shop.  Everyone seemed
to need something different so they all split up, except for Belinda and
Stephanie.  They slipped across the mall to a drug store.  Together they
selected a razor and some shaving gel for Belinda's legs.

"Belinda, why don't you try these?"  Stephanie suggested, reaching for
a package.  "They are temporary, press-on nails.  They look real
enough, however they don't last very long, usually a day or two.  When
we get back, I'll introduce you to the girl that does Irene and my nails."

"Okay, I'll give them a try.  I have to warn you though, I've never had
nails longer than these," Belinda said, holding out her hands.  Her nails
were very short but appeared to be well kept.  "Oh, and I also need
some shampoo and conditioner like Jose was talking about."

"Sure thing.  Those would be over here," Stephanie replied as the pair
went down a different aisle.  "You know, I am so glad you came.  I am
having so much more fun with you here.  Don't get me wrong, I love
my sister and the others.  It's just that you're closer to my own age."

"You don't know how glad I am that you were here," Belinda said.  "It
could have been so hard, with my not knowing anything about being a
woman, but you never once teased me or said an unkind word about
my ignorance.  I want to thank you for that."

"Oh, phooey, I just treated you the same way I would have wanted to
be treated.  Besides, you  are so easy to be nice to.  Not every woman
is.  You could have just as easily been defensive and hard to get along
with.  Now we better get back before they miss us," Stephanie stated.

Then they slipped back to the Bath and Body shop.

After they left the store, Maria turned to Belinda.

"I smelled these in the store and the scent made me think of you, so
clean, sweet and pure," she said as she handed a bath set containing
scented bath crystals, two matching scented candles and body spray to
Belinda, "so I bought them for you.  I hope you will accept this as a
token of our beginning friendship."

Belinda felt tears forming again.  She had never cried this much when
she was Blake.  Blinking away the tears, she replied, "Thank you very
much. I don't know what to say.  Your friendship is important to me.  I
hope I don't ever let any of you down."

"Of course you won't," Maria said.  "Hey, it's only 8:30.  Why don't we
go to the food court for a snack?

"Cookies and milk was always my favorite evening snack as a kid,"
Stephanie confessed.

"Me too," Jessica said.  "This is a pleasure weekend so why not forget
our diets for one evening and the cookies and milk is on me!"

The five women sat in the middle of the food court eating cookies and
drinking milk and laughing.

Belinda noticed some of the men passing by giving her the eye.  She
knew she looked good thanks to her make-up and new hairstyle.  What
bothered her about the men noticing her was the fact that she enjoyed
it.  She felt a sense of approval and belonging that she never felt as

Later, back at the hotel, Belinda shaved her legs.  It took a lot longer
than when she had shaved her face, but then she was covering a larger
area.  While she was at it, she shaved under her arms also.  She would
just make sure the guys never found out about it.  That was when she
realized that that was the first she had thought of the guys all day.  She
had thought about herself as Blake, but she hadn't thought of the men
who were responsible for her being here.

The next morning, Belinda got up earlier than the day before.  She
wanted to see if she could do her own hair and make-up.  The hair was
easy.  As she dried it with the blow dryer, which she had borrowed
from Stephanie, the way Jose had shown her, it seemed to just fall into
place.  The make-up was more difficult.  It took several tries and some
advice from Stephanie before she was satisfied.

Next came the new pantsuit she had purchased the night before.  The
knee-highs and new pumps made her feel quite feminine.  She finished
up with some simple gold earrings and a gold chain.  The girl looking
back at her from the mirror was definitely an eye catcher.

Belinda was amazed at how much her confidence grew because of her
new looks.  She didn't realize it, but when she walked across the room,
there was a confident swing in her steps.  Stephanie noticed and

Downstairs in the restaurant, all five of the women were wearing new
clothes and looking their best.

"Well, don't we all look grand this morning!  And Belinda...I think
that you look absolutely fabulous," Maria said.

"Thank you, Maria.  But I couldn't have done it without all of you,"
Belinda explained.

"Nonsense," Irene replied.  "It might have taken you longer, but you
would still have bloomed eventually.  We just speeded up the process a

"I doubt it, however I'll give in graciously," Belinda said with a smile.
"So what's on today's agenda?"

"Today we work on our inner beauty," Jessica said as she read her
schedule.  Our first lecture is on self-esteem."

"Boy, do I need that!" Belinda said.  She figured that anything she
learned in this lecture, Blake could put into use.

"Well then, let's go," Stephanie said linking her arm through Belinda's.

As the speaker approached the microphone, Belinda realized she had
seen her around the hotel.  She had such a bubbly, outgoing personality
that you couldn't help but notice her.

"Hi everyone!  Are you having a good time this weekend?  I'm Carol
and believe it or not, just a few years ago I was shy wallflower who
could barely talk to one person let alone an auditorium full.  I was so
convinced that I had no worth, that I barely opened my mouth.  Now
my husband can't get me to shut up."

Everyone laughed as they thought about this energetic woman being

"No, really, I was barely visible.  My job was to blend in so well that
you wouldn't see me and therefore engage me in conversation.  I was
so self-conscious that one-day while I was walking past a group of
people in the mall they started laughing.  I hurried into the restroom to
see if my slip was showing or that my make-up was smudged or maybe
that my hair was sticking straight up.  I was that convinced that they
were laughing at me.  I didn't want to leave the restroom because I
couldn't find what they had been laughing at and I didn't want anyone
else to laugh at me.

Pretty sad, huh?  Never the less, that was what I thought.  It never
entered my mind that someone might have just told a joke as I walked
by.  My self-esteem was so low I figured that everybody had to be
laughing at me.

It's really quite arrogant when you think about it.  In a sick, twisted
way, I was so important that I had to be the center of everyone's

Belinda hung on her every word.  She understood perfectly as only one
who has been there can.  Here was someone who was telling the world
Belinda's innermost feelings.

"It all begins with an unkind word," Carol continued.  "Maybe from a
friend or parent, but from someone you trust.  In a fit of anger, they say
you are no good, or you're fat, or you're stupid or any of a thousand
crippling phrases.  Once they cool off, they forget all of what they had
said.  You on the other hand, think they must be right because you trust
them and you begin to repeat the words to yourself.  Maybe I am no
good.  Maybe I am fat.  Maybe I am stupid.  You repeat it over and
over until you begin to believe it.  This is called negative self-talk and
it is so very powerful.  Next you're telling yourself I can't do this or I
couldn't possibly do that and you know what?  You can't!  It's a case of
self-fulfilling prophecy.

But you can break the cycle.  It takes time.  The longer you have been
telling yourself negative things, the harder it is to break out of that
pattern.  Maybe you did things you don't want anyone to know about
because you are ashamed.  You need to draw a line in the sand and step
across.  Leave all that old baggage on the other side.  Begin positive
self talk.  I AM good.  I CAN do it.  I AM smart.  Surround yourself
with people who encourage you rather than belittle you.  Soon you will
find yourself stepping out and doing things you never thought you
would have the courage to do."

Carol continued to talk for almost an hour.  Belinda felt her heart swell
with hope that she might overcome her insecurities.  Every word Carol
spoke seemed a pearl of wisdom that Belinda tucked away to look at
more closely at a later time.

"Wow!" Stephanie exclaimed as the thunderous applause for Carol
died down.  "Wasn't she something!"

"I feel don't know...I guess charged is what I'm trying to
say," Belinda stammered.

"I know one thing," Jessica said, "she is one hell of a motivational

"Isn't she though," Irene said.  "She spoke at the conference last year
and from what I understand, everyone who wanted this to become an
annual event, also wanted her to come back."

"Well, I can certainly see why.  So what's next?" Maria asked.

"Next on the agenda is Time Management," Irene said.

"Boy, do I ever need that!" Maria said, with a laugh.  "Chet says I'm
never on time for anything."

"Then you'll get a lot out of this speaker," Belinda said, reading her
agenda.  "I've read some of her books and what she says makes a lot of
sense.  I've use just a few of her suggestions and it has helped me out a
great deal."

"Cool, let's get a good seat then," Maria said as she led the women in
to the next lecture.

Belinda didn't pay very much attention to the speaker.  Not only had
she read some of her books, but also when she was in college, she had
taken a time management course from her at the university.  It really
had helped her to organize her lifestyle.  Belinda had a lot of thinking
to do.

'Boy, that self-esteem lecture was enlightening,' Belinda thought.  'I
know that Blake will be able to use every bit of that.  Maybe he can
turn things around.  Might as well start now.  I am good. I have
beautiful wait...this is for Blake.  I have a great personality. I
am smart.  I have gorgeous hair.  I am beautiful.  Damn, that's Belinda
not Blake.  I am good at what I do.  I have beautiful breasts.  My height
is perfect now.  I feel good about myself.  I am happier now than I
have ever been before.'

Belinda paused as she realized what she had just thought.

'Why am I happier as Belinda?' the thoughts continued.  'I'm friends
with the women as Belinda where as Blake was friends with the guys,
so what has changed?  Blake never felt as connected with the guys as I
do with the women.  He was always afraid of doing the wrong thing
and being ostracized by the men.  On the other hand, I did everything
wrong as Belinda and the women embraced me and helped me to
correct my flaws.  I can't see Glen, Jerry and Chet doing that for Blake.
They would laugh at him.  So much for surrounding myself with
positive people.'

Belinda was surprised by that revelation.  She continued to dwell on
these thoughts throughout the entire lecture.  When it was finished, the
ladies strolled over to the restaurant for lunch.

"Now I know what I was doing wrong.  Boy, won't Chet be surprised
the next time we go out because I will be ready on time," Maria said

"He won't know what to think.  It will blow his mind," Jessica said.

"Honey, it doesn't take much to blow Chet's mind," Maria said with a

Belinda decided to put off what she had been thinking and enjoy what
time she had left with the women.

"So what's next for the day?" Stephanie asked.  "I left my agenda in the

"Financial management, yuck!  Sounds boring," Jessica said.

"I know, we have a financial manager who does that for us," Irene said.

"We use the same guy," Maria added.

"I don't have any finances to manage," Belinda said with a giggle.

"Me either," Stephanie replied.

"In that case, why don't we blow off the rest of this afternoon," Irene

"And do what?" Belinda asked.

"I know, why don't we get all dressed up in our new dresses and go out
for a really nice dinner and then maybe a  nice club to listen to some
music," Maria suggested.

"That sounds like a blast.  It's been a while since we've done a ladies
night out," Irene said.

Belinda sat quietly, listening to the women discuss dressing up and
going out.  She thought she should be protesting the whole idea,
however part of her wanted to dress-up at least once before she
changed back.  To be honest, she wanted to experience the whole
gamut of being a woman before she had to return to being a man but
she knew it wasn't possible.

"Great then!  We retire to our rooms for baths and naps and we meet at
6:00 PM in the lobby.  I'll find out a good place to go from the
concierge and the everyone watch out!  We are going to paint this town
red!"  Maria said.

Belinda went up to their hotel room with a light heart.  She was
looking forward to dressing up and doing the town.  She refused to
think about being Blake.  Tonight, she was Belinda.  She was going to
participate in the evening's activities and store up all the memories she

She was too excited to sleep, so while Stephanie was taking a short
nap, Belinda pampered herself with a long bath.  She wanted to
experience as much as she could before she changed back. So she took
out the two candles from the bath set Maria had given her.  She had
heard about women taking a bath by candle light, but could never
understand why they did it.  Now she was going to experience it

She filled the tub and added some of the crystals that Maria had given
her.  When they hit the water, a light citrus fragrance filled the
bathroom.  She checked her duffel for a box of matches.  Ever since
she had been in the Boy Scouts,  she had carried matches.  It was a
habit she got into and it even paid off on a time of two.  She lit the two
candles and placed one at each corner of the tub near where her head
would go.  Then turning off the light, she slipped into the water.

She couldn't believe how sensual the candles made the bath.  It felt
almost sinful.  The flickering light from the candles bathed her body in
a warm glow.  She spilled the warm, fragrant water over her breasts
and as it rolled off and the cool air touched them, her nipples hardened
and a shaft of desire pierced her very center.  She splashed the water
again and felt the sensations again.  Without thinking, her hand slipped

A few minutes later, Belinda shuddered through her first climax as a
female.  She bit her lower lip to prevent any cries of delight from
escaping into the next room and waking Stephanie.  Her limbs felt
boneless as they floated in the warm water.

'Oh, wow,' she thought.  'I never realized what a woman felt when she
came.  I wonder if it's different when it's with a man.  Hell, I don't even
know if it's different for a man with a woman.  But this WAS different.
I felt this throughout my entire body.  I don't even know if my legs
would support me right now.'

Belinda continued to lie in the cooling water as her breathing returned
to normal.  She felt as if something inside her had shifted and she
would never be the same again.  As she drained the now cold water
from the tub, she pushed her thoughts away.

'Plenty of time to think about it when I'm Blake again,' she thought.

As she was drying her hair, Stephanie awoke.

"That was a good nap.  I won't get tired too early tonight," she said, as
she took her turn in the bathroom.

Belinda stared at herself in the mirror.  She was wearing her underwear
and pantyhose.  She sprayed on some of the cologne Maria had given
her.  Her next task was her make-up.  She wanted to look her very best
tonight.  But first, while Stephanie was in the bathroom, Belinda pulled
out the 3-inch heels.  She put them on and walked across the bedroom
floor several times.  She stumbled three times and almost hit the floor a
fourth.  She was about to give up when she caught a glimpse of herself
in the mirror.  The heels made her legs look incredibly long and sexy.
With determination, she continued back and forth across the floor.

Stephanie came out of the bathroom as Belinda was practicing.  She
could see the look of determination on Belinda's face.

"One thing heels do is straighten your back," Stephanie said. "so stand
up tall and don't lean into your walk.  Keep your shoulders straight and
your head up.  Don't be afraid to let your hips roll as you walk.  Most
of all, walk slowly.  Make the world wait for you because you're worth

Belinda followed the instructions and found it was quit a bit easier.
After a couple of turns around the room without a mishap, she smiled.

"Thanks, Stephanie.  I really wanted to wear these, but not if I looked
clumsy in them."

"Are you sure?  You're not used to wearing heels and your feet are
going to kill you before the evening is over.  Are you sure you don't
want to try the 1-inch heels?"

"All my life I have wanted to be taller.  I love the feeling the heels give
me.  I want to try them," Belinda explained.

"Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you.  Now, let's get our make-up

"Since we are going out, could you show me how to 'dress-up' my
make-up the way Louise suggested?" Belinda asked.

"I would love to.  This is going to be so much fun!" Stephanie giggled.

The two women laughed and carried on as they finished getting ready
for their evening out.  Belinda put on the gold earrings and necklace
that she had purchased to go with the dress.  Then she clasped a fine
gold chain around her ankle.  She was surprised at the sexy feelings the
golden links gave her.

Finally, just before going out, Belinda looked at herself in the full
length mirror.  She couldn't believe that the woman who looked back at
her was the same woman that stepped out of Jerry's scanner.  That
woman was insecure, only passably attractive and hardly worth a
second glance.

The woman in the mirror was self-assured, sexy, gorgeous, in short, a
woman that everyone would notice and want to get to know.
Stephanie had to pull her away from the mirror.

"Come on.  Let's see if you can mesmerize the general population the
same way you seem to have mesmerized yourself," she said as she led
Belinda to the door.

The two of them met the other women downstairs in the lobby.

"Wow, Belinda!  Look at you!" Maria exclaimed.  "No one is even
going to notice us once they get a look at you!"

"Darling, you look stunning!" Irene stated.

"You don't even look like the same person we met, what, three days
ago," Jessica said.

"Isn't she something else?" Stephanie boasted, proud as a mother hen.

Belinda started blushing.  She wasn't used to compliments.

"Aw, come on.  You more than anyone should realize that it's just
smoke and mirrors," Belinda said.

"Nonsense, dear girl!  You know the old saying, 'You can't turn a sow's
ear into a silk purse'?  Well it's true.  All the make-up and hairstyle did
was enhance the beauty you had hidden.  I think you were always
beautiful, you just had it camouflaged," Jessica said, emphatically.

"I told them that first morning that you were a looker while you were
in the bathroom, didn't I?" Maria questioned.

"She did at that," Irene acknowledged.  "Now, let's go have some fun."

The ladies took a taxi across town to the restaurant the concierge had
recommended.  He had said that the food was first class and there was
a club with dancing next door.  The club was upscale so the women
didn't need to worry about running into any trouble.

The meal was delicious.  The women chatted throughout the meal
about the conference and how it was going.  All remarked at one time
or another about how different Belinda looked and how ravishing she
was in that dress.  They all noticed how the men kept looking over
towards Belinda.

Belinda wasn't sure how she felt about all the admiring glances.  A part
of her said that since she wasn't really a woman that the looks should
be bothering her.  The truth was, she was enjoying it.  It gave her a
warm feeling inside to know she was being admired.

After the meal, they went next door to the club for drinks and music.  It
was fairly early in the evening and as a result, there was a table
available on the edge of the dance floor.  The music was loud and

"I just love watching people dance," Irene said, after ordering white
wine for the table.  "Now a days, everyone dances differently.  Some
people get out there and barely shuffle their feet, while others
practically take up the entire floor with their gyrations."

"I've never been dancing," Belinda said loudly, so as to be heard over
the music.  "And yet I love music."

"I started dancing in my bedroom in front of the mirror so I could see
where I needed to improve," Stephanie confessed.

"You too?  That's all I've ever done, but I never had the guts to dance
in public.  I was always afraid everyone would laugh," Belinda

"Nonsense.  Just watch the various styles and you'll realize that
everyone is different.  No one would laugh because there is no one set
way to dance," Jessica said.

"I felt that way till the first time Chet and I went dancing.  Believe me,
if no one laughed at Chet's dancing, they won't laugh at yours."

"I remember watching Chet dance one New Year's Eve.  He really
enjoyed the music and you could tell it by his dancing," Jessica said.

About that time, a nice looking man approached Belinda."

"Would you care to dance?" he asked.

Belinda was surprised that anyone would ask her to dance.  She just
hadn't thought of the possibility.

"We have only just arrived," Irene said.  "Give us a little time to relax
and get into the music.   You might check back later."

"Thank you, I will," he said with another glance at Belinda.  "Ladies,"
he added with a nod of his head.

"Oh, he's a polite one," Maria said.  "you don't see too many of those,
now a days."

"Why did you say that?" Belinda asked.  "Now, he's probably going to
come back!"

"If he does, then he does," Irene answered airily.  "Here, have some
more wine."

Belinda had never been much of a wine drinker.  Blake always drank
beer with the guys.  She did like the dry flavor of the wine though and
she let Irene fill her glass from the bottle they had ordered.

Several other men came to the table and asked Belinda to dance and
Irene told them all to check back later.

Belinda continued to watch the different dancers while sipping her
wine. She didn't realize that the glass never seemed to get empty.

Irene arose to go to the restroom and Maria went with her.  Once they
were inside, Maria turned to Irene.

"What are you trying to do, get her drunk?" Maria asked, obviously

"No, of course not!" Irene answered indignantly.  "All I want to do is
lower her inhibitions a bit.  I did the same thing with Stephanie the first
time she went out dancing. This way, she will get over the hump of her
first dance and with us watching out for her, no one can take advantage
of her.  Stephanie just loves to go dancing, although she hasn't been
since she started dating Blake.  Apparently, he doesn't dance."

"Well, since you put it that way, I guess it's okay.  I'm sorry I didn't
trust your judgement," Maria apologized.

"Hey, it's okay.  There's something about her that makes a person feel
protective towards her.  You usually don't see innocence like that in a
woman her age.  Now, let's take care of business and get back out
there," Irene said.

Belinda was enjoying the music.  Her toes were tapping along with the
rhythm of the music.  She could feel the beat throughout her body.  She
slowly realized that she hoped someone would ask her to dance again.
It had been about 20 minutes since the last guy asked. Now was the
time since Irene was in the bathroom and couldn't chase them off.  She
had thought about it and it seemed that the longer she dwelled on it, the
fewer reasons she could come up with as to why she shouldn't dance
with a man.  Hadn't she decided to experience everything she could
before she had to change back?

About that time, the first guy that had approached Belinda returned.

"Hi, my name is Ethan.  Do you feel like dancing yet?"

"I'm Belinda, and yes I do.  I have to warn you though, I've never
danced with anyone before."

"I'm sure you will do fine," Ethan said.

As the two of them walked towards an open spot on the dance floor,
Irene and Maria came back from the restrooms.

"Well, it worked," Stephanie told her sister.

"What worked?" Irene asked innocently.

"Oh, come on now.  You think I didn't realize that you were doing the
same thing for Belinda that you did for me?" Stephanie asked.

"I didn't realize that you understood what I had done," Irene replied.

"Oh, not that night I didn't.  The next afternoon I did, though.  I never
told you how grateful I was either."

"Oh pooh!  I didn't do anything for you except give you room to make
the decision without all the doubts clouding your mind," Irene said.
"She seems to be doing alright," indicating Belinda, dancing away.

Belinda was more than alright.  She felt as if she were being carried
away by the music. Belinda's moves on the dance floor were modest
compared to some of the more flamboyant moves of some other
dancers.  However, the slower moves had an innate  sensuality to them.
More than one man turned to watch Belinda dance.

At the end of the dance, Ethan escorted Belinda back to her table.

"I hope you will dance with me again before the night is over," he said.

"Thank you for the dance and it would be my pleasure," Belinda
replied as she sat down.

Ethan again nodded to the rest of the women then he turned and
disappeared into the crowded dance floor.

Belinda turned to get a sip of her wine and noticed her glass was gone
and a tumbler of carbonated clear liquid with a lemon twist stood in its

"What's this?" she asked, lifting the glass.

"Darling, you looked like you were getting thirsty while you were
dancing and wine should never be used to quench a thirst, so I ordered
you a club soda with a lemon twist," Irene said.

"Oh, thank you!  I am indeed thirsty," Belinda said and then took a
long drink.  "Ahh, that's perfect."

Irene looked over at Stephanie and winked.

Belinda danced several dances over the next hour.  She felt totally
alive!  Never could she remember a time when she had had so much
fun.  A young man came and asked Stephanie to dance.

"Sorry, I can't," she replied.

"Why not?" Belinda asked.

"Because I'm seeing Blake and it wouldn't be right," Stephanie

"I'm sure it wouldn't bother Blake if you enjoyed yourself and danced.
Why, I bet he has never taken you dancing," Belinda said, knowing full
well that he never had.

"Oh, do you think so?  I do love to dance," Stephanie said wistfully.

"I sure he would be more upset knowing you denied yourself the
simple pleasure of dancing just because of him," Belinda insisted.

"Okay, I will," Stephanie said.  And just a few minutes later, she did.

Belinda was just beginning to catch her breath from her last dance
when Ethan came over again.  She enjoyed Ethan's company.  He was
just under six foot and was pleasant looking,  but that wasn't it.  He
treated her like a lady.  He didn't try to cop a feel or make sexual
suggestions like some of the others did.  A quick trampling of their
toes took care of them. He just enjoyed dancing, especially with a
beautiful woman.

"Feel up to another go round?" Ethan asked.

"I would love to," Belinda answered.

Ethan led the way to the dance floor.  When he turned back to her, he
found that he was several paces ahead of her.  Belinda had kept in
mind about what Stephanie had said about walking slowly.  Ethan
stood and watched as she approached him, with her slow walk and
rolling hips.  His smile grew with each step she took.  Just as she
reached him, the next song began.

"Oh no, it's a slow song.  I've never danced with anyone to a slow song
before.  I think we should sit this one out," Belinda said, quickly.

"Relax, there's nothing to it.  Trust me, we'll take it easy.  Just put your
arms around my neck and listen to the music and move.  That's all
there is to it," Ethan explained.

"Okay," Belinda replied, hesitantly.  "But if I step on your toes, don't
say I didn't warn you."

She stepped forward and placed her arms around his neck.  He gently
rested his hands on her waist and took a step towards her.

"Rest your head on my shoulder," he whispered into her ear.

Belinda did as he had suggested and moved in closer.  Together they
began to sway to the music, gently at first.  As he felt Belinda begin to
relax, he led her across the floor.

Belinda couldn't believe the incredible sensations coursing through her.
As she relaxed against Ethan, her arms dropped to around his
shoulders.  Her breasts were pressed against his chest.  His hands
moved up to her back in a gently  caressing motion.

Belinda began to feel the return of some of the feelings she had
experienced in the bathtub.  She realized she was becoming aroused by
a man and yet it didn't alarm her.  She liked what she was feeling.  At
one point, as she brushed against Ethan, she realized that he was just as
affected as she was.

"Is there any chance this might be more than just a dance?" Ethan
whispered as they glided across the floor.

"No, I'm sorry.  We are from out of town and my friends..."  Belinda
stopped when she realized that she wanted to say yes.

"Shhh.  This is enough.  I won't pressure you," Ethan soothed and then
placed a chaste kiss to her temple.

They continued to dance to the slow music.  In spite of the fact that
both knew it would go no further, they drew closer together and Ethan
slowly caressed the back of Belinda's neck.  It was as if both of them
were trying to put as much into this one dance since there would be no
continuing with a relationship.

When the song ended, they were on the far side of the dance floor.
Ethan leaned down and lightly kissed Belinda on the lips.  Her lips
parted in surprise as she drew a quick breath.  Ethan looked as if he
were about to take the advantage and kiss her again, but restrained

"Do you mind if I don't walk you back to your table?  I would hate for
your friends to see my obvious lack of self-control," he said glancing

Belinda could see what he meant.  His state of arousal was rather

"No, I don't mind.  Ethan, thank you for a wonderful dance.  I doubt I
will ever forget it," Belinda said.

"Nor will I.  Now, you better get back to your table before your friends
start to come looking for you," he said as he placed a small kiss on her

Belinda turned and went back to the table.  She felt as if she were
floating.  That dance had let her know that what she had felt in the
bathtub was just the tip of the iceberg.  The floating stopped and she
came back to earth as she realized that she would never know the
whole experience.

"What happened to Ethan?" Jessica asked as Belinda approached the

"He had to go to the restroom," Belinda improvised.  She sat down and
reached over and took a drink of Stephanie's wine.

Belinda and Stephanie continued to dance.  Belinda danced with Ethan
a few more times.  Unfortunately, none of them were slow, which the
more she thought about it, was probably a good thing.  Before she had
a chance to realize it, the evening was over.

As the two girls entered their hotel room, Belinda realized her time
with the women was growing short.  She was completely surprised at
how much this thought hurt.

"Boy, I had such a good time tonight!" Stephanie said, beaming.  "It's
been a while since I had been dancing and I didn't realize how much I
missed it.  Belinda?  What's wrong?  You look so sad all of a sudden."

"I have never been so happy in my life," Belinda said and then burst
into tears.

Stephanie took the sobbing girl into her arms and led her to the bed.

"Oh honey, what's wrong?  Did you have too much of a good time and
it's all catching up with you?" Stephanie asked, concerned.

"It's just that I will probably never be this happy again," Belinda stated.

Stephanie was surprised at the certainty in Belinda's voice.

"Surely, you can't believe that!" Stephanie exclaimed.

"I will find contentment, I hope, but I doubt I will ever be truly happy
after this weekend," Belinda stated.

"But why would you ever believe that?" Stephanie asked, appalled.

"I c-can't tell you.  I d-don't want you to h-hate me," Belinda sobbed as
she broke down.

"Oh sweetie, you can tell me anything.  I couldn't hate you.  Trust me,
you'll feel better if you talk about it," Stephanie encouraged.

Maybe it was the wine or maybe it was the fact that things were never
going to be the same no matter what.  It didn't matter, Belinda felt she
couldn't keep the secret any longer.

"When I was young I was so lonely.  As a result, I fell into the wrong
crowd.  I would have done anything just to keep what I thought were
my friends.  Fortunately, I realized that they weren't really my friends
before I did anything I would regret for the rest of my life.  Instead, I
plunged into my studies and continued to be a loner.  I got a good job
in the field I had  studied for.  I made some friends at work and when
they asked me to do something, of course I felt I had to do it.  I was
afraid if I didn't go along with their plans that they wouldn't be my
friends anymore.  Even though they called me a friend, I still felt so
insecure and alone."

Stephanie listened to Belinda's story.  Some of it didn't seem to fit with
what she knew about Belinda's past, it sounded more like Blake's past,
Yet she didn't interrupt or ask any questions.  It was obvious that
something was really upsetting Belinda, so Stephanie decided to let her
tell her story at her own pace.

"They invited me to their homes to meet their spouses and there were
get-togethers on the weekends.  I was finally being accepted and I
couldn't do anything that would jeopardize that," Belinda continued.
"Then one day, they asked me to masquerade as someone I wasn't to
get some information for them.  I didn't want to...but I was afraid of
the loneliness.  I did it and I found some true friends.  They will
probably never have anything to do with me once the truth comes out
and I will go back to being alone again."

"What is the truth?" Stephanie asked when Belinda stopped talking.

"I'm really Blake.  The guys wanted to know what was going on this
weekend and they used Jerry's recent discovery to turn me into a
woman.  How was I supposed to know that I would be happier as a
woman?  That I would feel closer to the wives than I ever did to the
husbands.  And knowing this, it's hurting me that I have to go back to
being the way I was."

Stephanie just sat there with her mouth open.  In her wildest dreams
she never imagined the tale Belinda had just told her.

"But...I mean...Blake?" Stephanie stammered.

"Yes," Belinda answered, heavily.

"No...this is just too much to believe.  Such a thing is just not
possible!" Stephanie denied.  "What kind of machine could do that?"

"Jerry accidentally discovered a way to alter a man at the DNA level
while trying to design a machine that would do a variety of medical
scans," Belinda explained.

"Okay, if you're Blake, where were we the first time we made love?"
Stephanie asked.

"I've never made love to you, Stephanie.   I've never made love to any
woman.  However, the first time I held your hand was when I was
helping you step over a broken step on the bleachers at the football
stadium.  We weren't supposed to be there, but you had seen this scene
in an old movie and wanted to have a picnic on the 50-yard line.  Once
you were over the step, we just continued to hold hands.  The first time
I kissed you was when I took you home after the date where the waiter
spilled the spaghetti in my lap.  I figured that since the night was
already a disaster,  if you slapped me, it would fit right in.  As it was, I
consider it one of our best dates.

"Oh my God...It is you."  The two of them sat there for a few minutes
as the news soaked in.

"Those uncaring bastards!  How could they do that to you?"  Once
Stephanie had accepted what Belinda told her, it all made perfect

Belinda felt a stirring of hope when she realized that Stephanie was
cursing the others and not him.  She let Stephanie rant and rave until
she had expended her anger.

"Ok, sorry about that, but damn that infuriates me that they would pull
such a stupid stunt and expect to get away with it.  Back to you.  If you
are happier now, then why can't you stay the way you are?" Stephanie

"If I stayed the way I am and showed up for work this way on Monday,
all four of us would probably lose our jobs.  As much as my work
means to me, I couldn't do that to Irene, Jessica and Maria.  You four
are my closest friends.  I can', I won't do anything that would
cause any of you hardship.  That means I have to go back to being
Blake tomorrow n-night."  Belinda broke down and started sobbing
again at that thought.

"Let's tell the others and maybe we can figure a way out for you,"
Stephanie suggested.

"No!  I mean, I would have told you eventually because Blake will
never be the same and you have a right to know why.  But, the others, I
don't want to run the risk of losing what little Blake had before with
them.  I can't lose those friendships even though it is a pale shadow of
what I have experienced this weekend."

Stephanie helped Belinda undress and get into bed.  In a short amount
of time, she was asleep from either the wine or the crying or probably
both.  Stephanie tossed and turned long into the night, her thoughts in a

'Why aren't I mad at' she thought.  'Even now,
when I know she's really a he, I don't regret having undressed in front
of her, I mean him.  God, this is so confusing!  There has to be a way
to let Belinda stay as Belinda.  She is so unhappy.  I knew there was
something wrong with Blake the last two weeks!  I wish Belinda would
tell the others...'

The next morning, both women were red eyed from the previous
evening, Belinda from crying and Stephanie from lack of sleep.
Stephanie showed Belinda how to use concealer to help hide her
swollen eyes.  When they met the other women for breakfast, Belinda
put on a smile and pretended that nothing was wrong.  For her sake,
Stephanie did the same.

They chatted through breakfast and afterwards, Stephanie excused
herself to go to the restroom.  When she emerged from the stall, Irene
was waiting for her.

"What's wrong?" she demanded.

"What makes you think something's wrong? Stephanie replied, forcing
a smile.

"You're my sister.  I've known you all your life.  I know when
something major is bothering you.  Besides, both you and Belinda have
enough concealer on to paint this bathroom, now give!" Irene

Stephanie sighed a heavy sigh.  "It's not for me to tell.  This is going to
have to come from Belinda."

"It's big isn't it?" Irene asked, gently.

"Oh yea," Stephanie said with a shaky laugh.  "It's big alright."

"Is it too big to fix?"

Stephanie looked at her sister.  "It just might be and that's what I'm
afraid of."  With that cryptic remark Stephanie left Irene standing in
the bathroom.

When Irene came out of the bathroom Belinda asked her, "What is this
morning's lecture about?"

"It's on Sexuality and the Modern Woman.  Then it is followed up by a
conference wrap-up," she answered.  "Are we ready to wrap this
conference up?"

Irene was surprised by the quick flash of pain in Belinda's eyes, but she
respected what Stephanie had told her and didn't say anything.

The room was set up in an almost banquet style.  Instead of the rows
chairs set in auditorium seating, there were large round tables that we
set with 10 chairs each.  The women went to an empty table further
back than they normally sat so they would all be facing, more or less,
the speaker platform.

 The speaker was a pleasant looking woman who seemed to glow with
an inner beauty that had nothing to do with make-up.

"Good morning.  I'm Judith Anderson.  This morning I want to talk to
you about Sexuality and the Modern Woman.  In today's world, sexual
freedom is more or less taken for granted.  Gone are the days when
babies were born in cabbage patches because it was taboo to talk about
sex.  Now everybody talks about sex.

But do we really have the freedom we think we do?  Even now, some
women feel ashamed of their sexuality, that it is wrong to get turned on
or to have an orgasm.   A lot of women are ashamed to tell their
partners what does and more importantly, does NOT feel good.

Our sexual feelings and urges are God-given and you have a right to
enjoy what you've been given.  If you have a sexual relationship with
someone you care for and who I hope cares for you, then you should
not be afraid to try different things.  If you don't like something, tell
your partner.  You cannot enjoy yourself fully if you are doing
something you don't enjoy."

As Belinda listened, she thought about those women that the speaker
was referring to.

'I would give anything to be able to experience just once, what these
women take for granted,' she thought.  'I would love to have the
opportunity to be able to say, I like this or I don't like that.  These
women are so lucky and I bet most of them don't even realize it!'

While she was lost in thought, Judith had finished and the applause
brought Belinda back from her thoughts.

"Now for something new.  Those of us who planned this event want to
know what each of you thought and want your suggestions as to how
to improve things next year.  So we have divided you up into tables of
9 with the 10th person being one of the people who have helped put on
this conference.

What we would like to see happen is that each one of you tell what you
got out of this experience and what went wrong or right, and how we
could make it better.  Try to be considerate of the table next to you and
keep your noise level low.  When you have all had your say, the
conference is over.  We have enjoyed having you're here this year and
I hope we will see you next year."

The room erupted into a buzz of voices as everyone began commenting
on the most recent turn of events.

"Hi, I'm Janice.  I'm on the planning committee for the next conference
and I'm going to be the moderator for this table.  Now, what have you
learned this weekend?" she asked the person sitting on her left.

Belinda gave a sigh of relief because she was sitting to Janice's
immediate right.  She listened to what the other women had to say and
thought about her own response.

"I found a new best friend," Stephanie said, when it was her turn.  "and
watching her discover her true beauty has made me appreciate what
being a woman is all about.  And she has helped me to realize just how
wonderful it is to be a woman.  I hope to be her best friend for a very
long time."

Belinda smiled her thanks to Stephanie.

The others had their say and then it was Belinda's turn.

"These last three days has meant more to me than any other time in my
life that I can recall.  I have found four special friends whom I have
come to love.  I have learned what it is like to truly be yourself and not
to be afraid what strangers might think.  I have found that I love being
a woman and I will cherish the memory of this weekend for a very
long time."

As she spoke, Belinda felt herself tearing up.  As she looked across the
table, she noticed Stephanie subtly wiping a tear from her eye.  Irene,
Jessica and Maria looked from one woman to another.  Each had
sensed that something had changed between the two women, yet knew
this wasn't the place or time to discuss it.

"I want to thank all of you for joining us this weekend.  I have watched
some of you bloom over the last few days and that makes the work we
have done here worth while.  I hope you have a safe trip home."

The next 30 minutes everyone was busy getting their luggage and
checking out.  Soon, they were in the van and on their way home.
Belinda sat quietly, unable to pretend it didn't matter anymore that they
were going home.  Soon Belinda would be gone and Blake would have
to face living in a world in which he knew he would never truly fit.

All the women were more quiet than normal.  They knew something
was bothering Belinda and Stephanie but didn't know how to approach
it.  After they had been on the road about 25 minutes, Irene decided to
take the bull by the horns.

"Okay, I'm tired of stepping over the dead elephant in the middle of the
room!" she announced.

Everyone looked at her as if she had just spoken in a foreign tongue.

"There is a dead elephant in the middle of the room and even though
everyone steps around it and doesn't talk about it, doesn't make it go
away.  It's still there!" she explained, heatedly.  "So who wants to say
what's going on?"

Maria had been noticing signs announcing a rest stop ahead.  When
Irene made her announcement, she exited into it and pulled into a
parking space.

Stephanie placed her hand on Belinda's knee.

"Trust us," she whispered.

All Belinda had to do was keep quiet for the rest of the ride home and
then Belinda would be gone and no one except Stephanie would know
where she went.  Could she dare hope that if she told these women the
whole story that they would still respect her?  She could handle being a
man if these four women still respected her.  A single tear rolled down
her cheek.

Slowly, she began to talk.  She explained about her youth, about
growing up alone and how it had affected her.  As she told about the
events leading up to this weekend, she kept her head low.  She didn't
think she could bear to see the disdain in their eyes.

Stephanie had scooted closer to Belinda and had put her arm around
Belinda's shoulders in a show of support.  As the unbelievable story
unfolded, Stephanie met the eyes of her friends and nodded her
confirmation.  When Belinda finished speaking, there was silence in
the van.

Suddenly, Maria opened the door and stepped out of the van.  She
walked over to the sidewalk, looked to the heavens and screamed.
Belinda cringed, knowing her worst fears were about to be realized.

"Maria!" Irene snapped, as she also got out of the van.  "What are you

Maria paused in her screaming.  "I'm Italian! I talk with my hands and
when I'm very angry I SCREAM!

"How could that stupid asshole do something like this?  That SON-OF-
A-BITCH!" Maria continued screaming.

Maria then turned and got back into the van.

"Sorry about that.  My therapist says that I need to do a primal scream
to clear my anger so that it won't cloud my thinking, and this is
definitely a need for clear thinking if I ever saw one.  Damn that man!"
she exclaimed.

Belinda finally understood that Maria's anger wasn't directed towards
her.  The other women asked her questions until, like Stephanie, they
believed her story.

"Okay, tell us the reasons you think you can't stay the way you are
right now," Jessica asked.  They had been at the rest stop for almost 45
minutes while Belinda convinced first Irene and , finally, Jessica.

"Okay, but I don't see what good it will do," Belinda answered.   "But
first off, Maria, you believed me right away without my having to
convince you.  Why?"

"Because Stephanie obviously believed you and because this is a
typical stunt for that asshole husband of mine.  If Chet was involved, it
had to be true."

Belinda smiled for the first time that day.

"I'll except that.  Now for the reasons...number one, if I don't change
back, your husbands will probably loose their jobs for unauthorized
experimentation.  I have come to care very deeply for each one of you
and I won't do anything that could harm you.

Second, my job is very important to me.  I decided to go into this type
of research because my mother died of a heart attack two weeks after
she had a physical and was pronounced fit.  The type of work I do is in
an effort to try to see that something like that doesn't happen again.
Jerry's machine has the potential to do just that!

Third, if I stay a woman, I will have no identity, no proof of schooling,
no birth certificate or social security number.  Unfortunately, in this
day and age, everybody is a number and you can't legally exist without

I'm sure there are lots of smaller issues to be faced as well.  Where to
live, clothes, the works.  I just don't see how it's realistically feasible."

"Okay, first of all, when and where were you to meet our husbands in
order to change back?" Jessica asked.

"We are to meet in Jerry's office at  8:30 this evening.  They are going
to be over at Blake' apartment playing poker until then,"
Belinda answered.  "They will change me back and then they expect to
talk until at least 11:00 while I am supposed to fill them in on
everything that we did this weekend."

"Okay, Maria, let's hit the road.  We have a lot to discuss and a ways to
travel," Irene ordered.

"Aye-aye, Captain," Maria responded with a grin.  She started the van
and got back on the highway.

The five women talked and argued and then talked some more.  By the
time they reached home, they had a plan of action in place.  Maria
pulled into Jessica's drive way and all the women went into the house.
Belinda had been swept along and now she was beginning to think that
the plan they had concocted just might work.

* * * * *

Chet stepped out into the hall.  They had just finished a hand and he
wanted to see if Blake had made it back yet.  He was just about to go
back into Jerry's office when he heard a door close somewhere on the
other corridor.  He stuck his head back inside.

"Deal me out of the next hand, guys.  I have to go to the bathroom."

He stepped back into the hall and proceeded to where he thought he
heard the door close.  Just as he was about to turn a second corner, he
heard footsteps behind him.

Turning, he saw a beautiful woman in a black dress walking slowly
towards him.  He had never seen her around here before and he
wondered if she was lost and looking for help.

He stood where he was so he could watch her walk to him.  Her hips
swung gently from side to side as she walked.  He would occasionally
catch a glimpse of her thigh as the slit in her dress opened.

'If she's not a super-model, she should be,' he thought.

She stopped just a few steps away from him.  Chet had started
breathing heavily after just a few short moments of watching her walk.
When she stopped, she looked up at him with slumberous eyes.  After
a moment, she licked her lips, making them glisten in the overhead

Chet thought his heart was going to explode.

"Hi Chet," Belinda said in a low voice.

"Hello.  Do I know you?" Chet asked. Surely if he knew someone this
beautiful he wouldn't forget he thought.

Belinda smiled.  "We had a date tonight, remember?"

Chet's mouth dropped open.  "Blake?" he whispered in astonishment.
At her nod he continued.  "My God!  What did they do to you?"

"Go get the others and meet me in the break room and I'll see that you
know everything," Belinda promised.  She turned and walked down the
hall towards the break room.

Chet stood admiring the way her rear end swung from side to side.
Then he realized...'This is Blake!" he thought, pulling himself up
short.  'I'm lusting after man!'

Chet turned and ran back to Jerry's office.

"Oh my God...they turned Blake into a real woman!" Chet exclaimed
as he burst into Jerry's office.

"What are you talking about?  We were the ones who changed Blake
into a woman.  Is he back?" Jerry asked, thinking Chet was losing it.

"No...I mean yes, he's back, but no, we changed him into a woman,
but 'they' changed him into a 'Woman'!" Chet tried to explain.  Even
though he had stressed 'Woman', he realized the others didn't
understand.  "You have to see!  It's Blake, but it's not Blake."

"You losing it, Chet," Glen said.  "How can Blake not be Blake?"

"He's in the break room.  You have to go see.  Then you'll understand.
Come on!" Chet was almost incoherent so the others decided to go
check out the break room.

As they entered the doorway, the only thing they noticed was a
beautiful woman sitting on one of the tables.  Her legs were crossed at
the knees and her dress had fallen open along her thigh.  She had her
hands braced on the table behind her which had the effect of showing
off her bosom.  She turned her head to face the three men.  Her hair fell
sexily across her shoulders.

"Hi guys, I'm back," she said.

"B-blake?" Jerry asked.

"Who else would it be?  We were supposed to meet here weren't we?"

"Ah...yes!  Of course we were.  It's just that you look so different,"
Glen said.

"We need to get you changed back right away," Jerry interrupted.
"The sooner you're back to your old self, the better."

"Well, that's the problem," Belinda said.  "I don't want to change

"Could this be a side effect?" Glen asked Jerry, ignoring Belinda.

"I said I don't want to change back.  I want to stay a woman," Belinda

"Of course not.  We can't let you remain a woman," Glen explained.

"And why not?" a female voice asked from behind the men.

The three men spun around and found, to their shock and dismay, their
wives.  They had been sitting against the wall, watching the entire
exchange.  The men had so fixated on Belinda that they never even
noticed there was anyone else in the room.

Belinda got up from the table and went and sat down amidst the

"I asked you why can't Belinda remain as a woman?" Irene repeated,

"Because he's a guy!" Chet answered, emphatically.

"No...thanks to your machine, Jerry, she's as much a woman as I am,"
Jessica said.

"But he can't stay as a woman," Jerry said.  "There would be too many

"I think you all should sit down and get ready to listen," Maria said,
indicating three chairs at the end of the room.

"Not now, we have to get Blake back," Chet argued.

"I said SIT DOWN!"  Maria took a few moments to steady her
breathing while the men took their seats.

Stephanie sat holding hands with Belinda.  They had agreed that the
wives would handle their husbands while she provided Belinda with
moral support.

"Now," Maria began, pacing in front of the men, "you have messed
around doing things you should never have done.  You tricked
someone younger and less experienced than yourselves into doing your
dirty work.  In my book, that makes all of you bullies."

"We didn't trick anyone," Jerry insisted.

"Of course you did!" Jessica said, joining Maria in front of the men.  "I
overheard your phone conversation, with Glen, discussing colored
wires.  Blake was the only one who could possibly fit the scenario you
had put together.  We all knew the three of you didn't have twin sisters
hidden somewhere.  Blake was the only unknown."

"Also, we know you three to well, having lived with you as long as we
have," Irene added, joining the others in front of the men.  "None of
you could have pulled this off.  Blake was the only one.  So you
arranged for him to draw the short straw and you pushed him into
doing something he didn't want to do."

"We didn't put a gun to his head.  He did it voluntarily," Glen said in
their defense.

"Bullshit!"  Irene looked Glen straight in the eyes.  "You knew how
insecure Blake was.  We had even talked of it briefly.  You know
enough psychology, Glen Masters, to be pretty sure he wouldn't back

"Now all that remains is to see that Belinda is taken care of and you,
gentlemen, have to do it," Maria said, taking over for Irene.

"Glen, as Blake's immediate supervisor, you will let it be known that
Blake gave you his two week notice and that his last day was this past
Thursday.  You will also tell everyone that you found a replacement
for him, one who is every bit as capable.  Her name is Belinda
Reeves," Irene explained.

"Belinda Reeves?  But Blake has to have a drivers license or social
security number.  Federal law states..." Glen protested.

"We know what the employment laws are," Jessica interrupted.  "Maria
has friends who can help us with whatever we need...for a price."

As the men looked at Maria, she shrugged.  "Hey, I'm Italian.  I have
family who know 'Family'."

"Exactly.  Now since you three men decided to play with another
person's life, you have to pay the consequences.  A complete set of
forged identification including accreditation at a well known university
and credit cards for Belinda will run $10,000.00 and you are going to
pay for it," Irene told them.

"$10,000.00!" Jerry exclaimed.

"That's just for starters," Jessica continued.  "Belinda will need a
complete wardrobe and this time WE will take her shopping to get it.
No more Wal-Mart clearance.  That we estimate that at about

"$4000.00 just for clothes?!" Chet yelled.

"That's for clothes, shoes, coats and anything else a woman her age
would find in her closets," Jessica  explained.

"In addition," Maria added, "Belinda will need a place of her own to
live.  Since she will need to establish credibility with all the utilities,
you will pay for all the deposits, her first month's rent and one of you
will co-sign on a loan for a new car.  That's another $2500.00."

"Which one of us will have to co-sign?" Glen asked.

"Why, we'll just have to draw straws to decide that," Irene said with an
evil smile.

Glen just dropped his head into his hands.

"That comes to $16,500.00!" Jerry exclaimed after adding everything
up.  "Where are we going to get that kind of money."

"Jerry, you're going to sell your bass boat," Jessica said.

"Chet, you're going to sell your pool table and your autographed, Mark
McGwire rookie card," Maria added.

"Nooo," Chet moaned

"And Glen, since you seem to have been the ring leader, you are going
to sell that hot little sports car you keep covered up in the garage,"
Irene demanded.

"Wait, if we sell all that, it will come to more than the $16,500.00 you
say you need to fund Blake's transformation," Glen argued.  He didn't
want to part with  the vintage Corvette Sting Ray that he had worked
so hard to restore.

"Any money over what is needed to establish Belinda in her new life
will be put into a savings account in her name.  You have to realize,
she is starting out with nothing.  She needs something to fall back on in
case of an emergency," Jessica explained.

"And what if we refuse to do it?" Glen asked.

"If you refuse, you will each find yourselves slapped with divorce
papers based on irreconcilable differences.  You will each have to sell
everything we already mentioned and more in the settlements!" Irene

Belinda held her breath.  This was the part she didn't agree with.  The
last thing she wanted was to be the reason her friends' marriages broke

There was silence as each man tried to tell if their wives were bluffing.
It was the biggest hand of poker they had ever played  What they
would win was small in comparison to what they would lose if their
wives weren't bluffing.

"Ok, you got me," Jerry conceded.

"I'm in," Chet said with a heavy sigh.

Everyone looked at Glen.

"Alright!  I don't think it's fair, but alright, I'll sell my car," he

Belinda let out the breath she had been holding and Stephanie
squeezed her hand in congratulations.

"Tomorrow, each of you will borrow against your 401K plans, your
share of what it will take to set Belinda up.  The sooner you sell your
items, the sooner you can repay those loans," Jessica insisted.

"But the interest we'll lose doing that..." Chet started.

"Then I guess you better hope your pool table and baseball card sells
quickly," Maria said.

"I hope more than anything else that you have realized that you can't
play with other peoples lives the way you did with Belinda's," Jessica

After that, all the women left the break room, leaving the men to
commiserate with each other.

"I can't believe it worked!" Belinda exclaimed, overjoyed.

"Darling, as a woman, you will find you have the power to get a man
to do almost anything.  You just have to find the right way to motivate
him," Irene explained.  "By the way, welcome to the sisterhood."

Each of the women gave Belinda a hug.  By the time each had a turn,
Belinda was crying tears of happiness.  She finally knew who she was
and had true friends that cared about her.  Her future looked promising.
And all this was thanks to a women's conference.

The End.

Copyright © 1999, 2000 by Julie. All rights reserved.
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