Ashley Ann; Born From Harassment

A lot of rumors have surfaced lately involving the company. Apparently, there had been legal negotiations the last few weeks with regards to the suspected harassment suits. Several executives have already vanished, no public statement, from either the company or the employee. The rumors seem to be centered on some things that they had to accept to keep the lawsuits from going public.

Here is where the rumors really get wild, from the company going bankrupt all the way to the company holding a beauty pageant. The pageant is so absurd, harassment problems and the company holding a beauty pageant, definitely a rumor that has a life of its own, just not a realistic one. Now, this morning a bevy of emails and a meeting of all employees. I wonder what is going on.

The meeting had been hastily called, but a lot of employees had strong suspicions about the reason for it. The corporate offices of COC International had been rocked by revelations about harassment of female employees in the last few weeks, with the latest episode, just being revealed this morning by company email. The employees were sure that this meeting was called to deny some of these allegations and try to get some calm restored to the corporate offices.

Originally the company had denied any harassment, but with the resignations of quite a few male executives, a change in position seems to have occurred. All of these rumors and gossip culminated in the present meeting, trying to calm emotions and assure everyone that the harassment had stopped.

I was a junior member of the corporate executives, luckily not involved in any of this, but well aware of all the goings-on in the hierarchy. My area of responsibility was a department dealing with basic customer support. At the time of this meeting, I was an assistant manager, but the manager of the department was one of the executives that had resigned. Since I had witnessed several of his indiscretions, it was a sound move on his part to resign.

COC International is a sales support company that handled after-order service for quite a few large Internet companies. After the initial order, it is our job to complete the sales experience. After the order appeared in our system, it was our task to keep the customer happy with their order, allowing discounts for the frequent customers, based on their volume. We also handled shipping problems and product quality issues.

There were twenty-five women working in this department performing these tasks. Most of our work was based on phone conversations directly with the customer. Basically, my department handled ten large Internet companies, selling everything from fashion to housewares. Another department similar to mine handled email support with Internet customers. There were similar departments handling other groups of retailers, plus the company’s own accounting and billing departments.

My name is Ashley Richards, but in reality, my legal name is Ashley Ann Richards, a name that through the years has caused me many unhappy memories, as I tried to cope with an obviously female name. My Mother named me after my Grandmother, who was my biggest supporter, completely forgetting that Ashley Ann was not a name for a male. Well she may not have forgotten but went ahead with the name anyway.

Ashley Marie Sinclair was my Grandmother, and I doubted if my Mother really knew what the sex of her child was going to be. Aunt Sharon told me once, that Mother suspected that her first child was going to be female and had the name picked out. When I turned out to be a male, she was disappointed but used the name anyway. When I confronted my Mother later in life, asking her about my feminine name, I was simply told that it was a nice name, and it suited me.

Grandmother essentially raised me as a child, since my Mother and Father always had something more important to do. Grandma and I often thought that Mother was taken to the hospital in labor, complaining all the way, that she had to be across town for an important meeting.

My birth was merely an inconvenience to her. After I was born, my mother checked herself out of the hospital so she could continue to pursue her business, leaving Grandma to retrieve me and take me home. Sad to say, I spent ninety percent of my time at anyplace but my home, mostly with my Grandmother, and sometimes with my Aunt Sharon. When my sister Dana came along, everything just got more complicated. During our first few years, we spent most of our time at Grandmothers or Aunt Sharon’s.

Aunt Sharon was exactly the opposite of my Mother, being more concerned with our well-being than her own personal matters. Grandmother also was more concerned about my well-being than my own Mother, but due to her age, Grandmother found it hard to handle both of us. Aunt Sharon came to the rescue, managing to get custody of my sister at a younger age, so Dana managed to have a relatively normal childhood. When Grandma was not feeling well, Aunt Sharon helped out with me.

Quite often, Dana and I managed to play together at least two or three days a week. Neither of our parents really cared where we lived and who was raising us, just as long as they did not have to perform these duties. When my father died several years ago, followed by my mother a year later there was remorse, but not sympathy. Dana and I really never actually knew them, or they us, since we spent maybe a month or two in their presence during our entire childhood.

Meanwhile, back at the corporate offices, the auditorium is filling up with employees wanting to hear the latest episode on the soap opera brewing at COC International. Robert, our CEO, entered the auditorium and cleared his throat to get everybody’s attention. An immediate hush came over the assembled employees when the members of the Board of Directors also appeared on the stage, standing behind the CEO.

My fellow workers and I exchanged concerned looks, knowing that this is indeed serious if the Board showed up for the meeting. In fact, some of the employees were not even aware of the fact that COC International had a Board of Directors, since up to now, they had a limited involvement in the company operations. When I say limited involvement, the employees’ only contact with upper-level management was with Robert, our CEO. His interaction, in fact, like most executive interaction, was by email only.

He started to speak, mentioning each accusation of harassment and naming the people involved. It turns out that there were several more accusations than we had believed, and it involved many more executives than first talked about. Apparently, it was widespread throughout the company, encompassing most departments. He paused for effect, and then announced that all of the executives involved in this harassment had submitted their resignations. Since most of the claims would come under quid quo pro-harassment, resignations or terminations were the only options to the alleged offenders.

I swallowed hard on that statement since my boss was one of the offenders. I felt no sympathy for him since I had witnessed several of his offenses taking place. My concern was who they would name to be his replacement and how much the harassment claims were going to affect the company. Most of the male executives of this company were not the easiest people to work for, and I, for one, was not looking forward to a new boss.

The CEO continued with the admission that, in several cases, occurrences of harassment were witnessed by other corporate executives, but nobody took any action to report or stop the harassment. He admitted that he was guilty of this, but would reserve final judgment on his own case till later. I blushed red on that one, knowing I was also guilty of that same crime. I knew that not speaking up was wrong but I’d wanted to keep a low profile on this matter. I knew that if I went to HR with this, I would be involved in not only the allegation, but any legal procedures taken, as a witness.

My way of handling the problem was to ignore it and hope it would go away. Obviously, the harassment did not go away and ended up taking a third of corporate management with it. Since power seems to corrupt, it is no surprise that all of the offending executives were top tier management.

Robert announced that the Board of Directors had held a meeting and discussed ways to make all employees aware of the effects and consequences of harassment, and had worked out an unorthodox approach, which satisfied the legal and moral issues. Starting next Monday, ten male senior executive volunteers would enter a contest. It was hoped that this contest would make everybody more aware of their fellow employees’ lives and plights.

To involve the corporate employees in this contest, each senior male executive would have an advisory committee of four employees to help that assigned executive in winning the contest. Participation in this contest or comprehensive training in harassment avoidance is mandatory for all senior executives to retain employment with COC International. The CEO stated that he would participate in this contest also, knowing full well that the harassment occurred under his watch. It was hoped by the Board of Directors that the contest would help make the executives aware of all aspects of harassment.

He waited as the talk among the employees quieted down, sensing that the plan might be able to gain the support needed. After a brief pause, he told everyone that an email would be sent out in the next few days naming the type of contest and the members of each executive’s advisory group. The company still had to have a meeting with said male executives to inform them of the type of contest and the extent of the training. He stated that the contest is a serious attempt to enlighten company management to the causes and effects of harassment and was not to be taken lightly by anyone.

All employees were expected to give a one hundred percent effort in this contest, both in participating and advising the entrants. Any kind of negative talk or harassment of the employees taking part in this contest would result in immediate termination of the offenders. As of this meeting, there is a zero tolerance in this company for any type of harassment or bullying. There would be prizes for the winners and members of their advisory group. These prizes would involve corporate stock, cash prizes, and gift certificates from retailers. The expenses of participating in this contest or training would be covered by corporate, and extra time would be allocated to the participants in the activities.

The legal settlements don’t stop there. All male executives are required to take a course in recognizing and stopping the harassment. It would focus on woman’s issues and anti-harassment sensitivity. The course was three hours, twice a week for twelve weeks. This course would be after work, but the executives would be paid for the time in class. The contest volunteers would be excluded from these requirements since they would be getting hands-on experience in these matters.

Robert stated that, in addition, he would be forming a sensitivity committee to look into employee behavior focusing on bullying, harassment, and inadequate sensitivity. The committee would monitor behavior in the corporate workplace, including the approving of raises and promotions based on employees actions. The committee would consist of five women, the Chief Executive Officer, and the chairman of the Board of COC International. Their decision on matters of raises and promotions would be final.

Then as quick as the meeting had started, it was over, with no chance for the employees to ask questions and no further details on either the contest or other legal settlements due to the harassment. He thanked all of the employees for coming and told them to watch their email for the next few days. The employees were excused to go back to work, but he asked for all male corporate executives to remain in the auditorium. The talk among the employees seemed to be positive, with everyone trying to guess what the contest might involve.

I overheard several comments about the classes and the committee as they left. I know several of my friends in executive management were bemoaning taking the classes. The most repeated comment was being stuck in a class learning woman’s issues, and how much of a waste of time that would be. That made me think that maybe the education on harassment and sensitivity was long overdue.

The fact that all of the senior executive positions were vacant at the moment except for Robert, the CEO, was missed by most everybody. All of those positions were vacated due to resignations resulting from the harassment. There were several middle-level management executives involved in the harassment also, but the senior management seemed to take the prize for participation. Nine of the top ten officers of the company had committed harassment of some type or other, with Robert the only exception. Although Robert did admit some guilt to be addressed later, not outright harassment but ignoring what was happening.

After the employees had left, he asked that the doors be closed as he walked down to the front rows of the auditorium to talk with us. There were thirty-one executives remaining, as he checked our names off a list that he held in his hand.

The members of the COC Board came down into the front row taking seats, except Angela Smith, the chairman of the Board. She positioned herself next to Robert, our CEO, also in the front row. Angela was one of the younger members of the Board but had lots of power since she held so many shares of the company stock. Robert began with the importance of this contest, in bringing a company that was fractured with the harassment problems and the employees’ total loss of faith in their corporate leadership, back together as one entity.

He stressed that this contest would take its toll in their personal commitments to the company. He wanted to inform us of the details of the contest so that we could make an informed decision about our future here at COC International. I sat there with my mouth open since this was much more than I had expected, and it left me quite nervous and anxious.

Some of the existing male executives would be selected to fill the vacant senior management positions. The executives in the contest are eligible for these positions also, in fact, a volunteer for the contest will be looked upon favorably for promotion. This did not help my nerves any, and small beads of perspiration appeared on my forehead. At present nine of the positions were vacant due to resignations. Robert made it clear that the all senior management positions would be offered to only those that were deemed qualified. If one of these positions was accepted, a lot of responsibilities came along with it.

The volunteers for the contest had to be committed to the company and its future. Due to the nature of the contest, the volunteers would doubtlessly feel that they were shouldering the burden of the settlements. The legal ramifications of the settlements almost ended the company as we knew it. The contest was the only option available that would allow us to continue. Since the contestants would be experiencing the harassment directly as it affects a female, the training in harassment and sensitivity was not deemed necessary. All other male executives would be doing the classes, and would be subject to the sensitivity committee’s decisions. There was no negotiation on any of this because of the legal settlements.

Robert called Angela forward to give us the pertinent details. She asked all of the executives to come down to the front rows so she could talk to us personally. There were lots of nervous glances between the executives as we made our way down to the front of the auditorium. I definitely made sure I was not in the very front row, fearing I would be singled out for some action or comment.

Angela started with the overall condition of the company. It was not good; the disruption due to the harassment caused a lot of financial turmoil. Quite noticeably, a large amount of our participating customers were staying clear of us due to all the bad publicity. The publicity had not been made public, but the grapevine in these matters seemed to be exceptionally quick. Something had to be done and fairly quickly, to first stabilize the company and then try to heal the many problems that existed.

Since the harassment was so widespread in the company, it was the decision of the Board of Directors that whatever was done had to demonstrate to the executives what it was like to be a female employee in a male-dominated company since the vast majority of the workforce was female. Out of the five hundred and ninety-three employees, only eight percent were male.

If the employees could see that positive action was being taken to identify and correct these problems, a mutually-beneficial atmosphere might be re-established to allow the company to gain strength and prosper. The contest was also a requirement of legal settlements that each male executive find out what it was like to be a female in the workplace. This was to be accomplished by the extensive training or participation in the contest. These legal settlements were a result of the negotiations to settle the cases out-of-court.

To handle each of these requirements of both legal and professional matters, a no woman beauty contest would be conducted over the next three months, ending Valentine’s Day. The pageant would require more involvement than just the contest since the male executive had to dress and act like a woman for the full three months to enter the contest. I heard lots of comments when she announced the pageant, none that were favorable.

The act of dressing and behaving as a woman would show the female employees that the company and its executives were truly interested in correcting the present situation. It was felt that unless subjected to the female lifestyle, it would be very hard to understand the nuances of gender and male, female relationships. Of course, that got another boisterous reaction from the assembled male executives.

The Board realized that this was an extreme way to handle things but felt the situation warranted it. Productivity was at an all-time low, and morale in the company was practically non-existent. The implications of not complying with the many legal settlements were staggering, and most likely would lead to COC International closing in financial ruin.

But the main underlying reason was the fourteen individual cases of harassment. It wasn’t a case of simple harassment but repeated offenses with a sexual tone to them. For it to be that prevalent, many executives need guidance in interacting with fellow employees in an issue free manner.

The idea of having an advisory group for each contestant was an effort to build some bridges back where there were none now. The Board hoped to make the contest enjoyable and somehow gain a little trust back in corporate leadership. Maybe a little of the gap between corporate hierarchy and the employees could be bridged.

The aim of the contest, actually more of a beauty pageant, was to show the remaining executives what the female lifestyle was about and for them actually to experience life as a member of the female sex. The fact that they would have to dress and behave as women would convey to the male executives some of the differences between the sexes and what the female experiences as she tried to execute the duties of her job. From the number of harassment cases something that needs to be addressed and soon.

I know in my case that, although I had seen harassment taking place, I did nothing about it making me just as guilty as the ones that actually did the harassment. Unfortunately, I felt that most of the remaining male executives had just been in the wrong place at the time of the harassment. Their only fault was that they were not as vocal as they should have been, after witnessing harassment. In my eyes, they were not as friendly with, and knowledgeable about their employees, preferring to run their departments with the least effort possible. I offer my case as an example, I saw it happening but did nothing to stop it. As with most of the executives I handled my employees mainly through email, knowing maybe one or two employees by name.

Several of the guys that I was familiar with did manage to handle their departments in an efficient manner, but their employees always had something to complain about with regards to their bosses. Now we will all pay a price to keep the company afloat, and our jobs secure.

Angela stated that the board is aware of the severity of what they have requested the executives to do, and in an effort to make winning the contest more lucrative, had decided to fill all positions recently vacated with qualified volunteers for the contest, first, and then from the remaining executives. Some of these were in the upper tier of management with hefty salaries and many perks. Angela hoped that the executives selected would commit themselves to this pageant.

Another thorn in the side was the fact that there was no female leadership in the company whatsoever. Except for a couple of department heads, the female sex had no representation in mid or upper-level management. The company will address this by finding and promoting qualified females to management; the existing management needs to identify and start training these females so that they can be promoted.

On the negative side of the contest, all participants in this pageant had to be in female mode by Friday the twenty-second of November, eight days from now, continuing for three months and leading up to the actual day of the Pageant. The judging would be held Valentine’s Day of the upcoming year to crown Miss COC America. There were quite a few conditions of the pageant that will be discussed privately with the executives that choose to volunteer.

The company is aware that participation in the pageant is in itself a form of harassment, but due to the legal settlements, it is necessary. Any executive not selected to be a part of senior management would be able to maintain their existing job and pay level. There were several middle-level management positions open, and those will be filled from within the remaining male executives or qualified female employees. It is, however, the Board of Directors’ opinion that any executive wishing to advance within the company make the total commitment to the company and the pageant.

Due to a few suggestions from some of the employees, a novel way to identify possible volunteers in the contest had been selected. When the contest is announced to the company, via email tomorrow morning, each department would be asked to nominate a male executive from that area to participate in the contest. When the votes are tallied, those selected would be interviewed by Angela. At that time, each executive, after being informed of the requirements of the contest, would be asked if they wanted to volunteer for the contest. Angela hoped to see a large number of male executives wanting to do the right thing to help COC International regain its stature.

A total immersion in the contest is required for the entire three months. Any interaction with the public or customers would be limited to volunteers from the group. It was not the intent of the board to cause any extra humiliation nor embarrassment to the participants of the contest since participation in the pageant is in itself enough.

The contest itself would be patterned like a regular beauty pageant consisting of beauty, swimsuit, and a talent portion. This contest would also point out how the female is looked at by society, definitely different than how males are perceived. Lots of females are very intelligent, able to handle business situations with ease, but are judged, instead, by how they look or act. To attest to this, it was noted that there were a very limited amount of beauty pageants strictly for males in regular society, and the majority of corporate management worldwide is male.

Angela asked us to take advantage of our advisory groups, not only in what they suggested for the contest but in getting their input on company matters. The Board is strongly suggesting that if the contest is in our future, that it be done with enthusiasm. The more we acted and looked as females, the more likely a positive outcome of the company’s future would be. The old adage, if it is worth doing it should be done right, applied.

She told us to sleep on it and come in tomorrow ready to make a decision if selected. If selected to participate in the contest, she suggested it might help get things started and keep our nerves more stable, that we show up with some sign of femininity to emphasize our willingness to get things rolling. However, this was just a suggestion from her and is not required of any executive.

Angela said she would meet with each selected executive today and tomorrow, to give us the rest of the conditions so that we could think about it before letting her know our decision. She thanked us for using common sense not to participate in any harassment and hoped to see each one of us look favorably on the pageant and training. We were excused to return to our offices, although the walk back to my office seemed much longer than normal.

I was literally in turmoil as I left the auditorium and headed back to my office. Talk about revelations; this meeting was full of them! On the way back to the office, several of my fellow executives, but in different departments, tried to get my thoughts on what I am going to do. I simply responded that I needed time to think about what my course of action would be. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be offered any type of senior management position; I was barely able to function as any type of manager, much less a senior management position.

I had great ideas but never implemented any of them. I really didn’t know what I was going to do, but I am relatively sure I didn’t want to appear and work as a woman for three months. The prospect of twelve weeks of classes, plus being watched over by a sensitivity committee was not much more appealing. My time at COC international would not likely be anything like it was in the past.

I had prided myself over the years at assessing any situation and making the proper decision based on the facts, but this situation really had me stumped. I didn’t want to lose my job, since the job market was totally non-existent these days, especially since my resume would show me working for a company that was swamped with harassment problems. The doubt would always be there that I was somehow connected to those problems. If I resigned, any chance of a job other than entry level would be impossible, or nearly so.

I stopped at the break room and filled my coffee cup to the brim; most likely I would need it in the coming few hours before quitting time. The only other male executive left in my division, Sam, wandered into my office. He understood about seeing how the other half lives and being aware of their problems, but he felt that the likely scenarios, either the pageant or the training, would be more than he could take. Sam had a couple of prospects to check into tonight, but he was quite sure he would resign. The idea that the Board had even considered such a thing disturbed him greatly. Maybe it would be better for him to leave than be put into a position of choosing what he should do.

I wished him well and told him to let me know if he heard of any prospects for me. Unfortunately, he told me his leads were with a business of his wife’s father, feeling sure he would be allowed to work for them. He shook my hand and walked out. I really didn’t think I would see him the next day and am saddened by his departure. Things were definitely not looking good at the moment. The company is breaking up, and no one seems to be there to help put it back together again.

I wasn’t making much progress in anything work related that afternoon. Cheryl knocked on my door about four o’clock and asked if she could speak to me for a moment. Cheryl is an employee of my department that was somewhat a leader, with respect to the other women. I invited her in, asking her what was on her mind. She wasn’t sure how to phrase it, for fear of antagonizing me but wanted to inform me of what my employees thought about the upcoming contest.

They had been talking among themselves since the meeting and wanted to convey to me that I should volunteer for the contest. There were rumors from some of the harassed women that the contest was going to be a beauty pageant involving the male executives. Cheryl wanted me to know if that was going to be the case; my employees would support me one hundred percent in my participation. Even though I watched as some harassment occurred, the women felt that I would learn a lot from my participation, and be a natural for the pageant. I was speechless for a couple of minutes, not really having anything to say to her.

She leaned forward in the chair quietly telling me that the women in my department respected me a lot, just wanting the best for me. Finally, I managed to put a couple of words together, telling her, “Cheryl, I’m not eager to involve myself as a woman for the pageant.” I further explained, “I have quite a bit of guilt for not taking action when I witnessed harassment taking place, but living as a woman is probably more than I could stand.”

She told me that if I decided to volunteer for the pageant everybody in my department would support me and help in any way possible. As she got up to leave, she came around the desk to give me a hug. I couldn’t think of anything to say to her as she left. I definitely got the impression from her that my department was going to vote for me to participate in the pageant. My choices were now limited since I would have to decide if I would volunteer. If I didn’t volunteer it would look like my support for the company is non-existent, and that would not be good. I would be faced with two problems for sure and a no-win scenario as far as I could see.

Just before quitting time, Angela walked into my office. She shook my hand and told me to be seated. She pulled up a chair and told me that she had offered several male executives positions already. Their decisions would not be known until tomorrow since she required that they think about it overnight before making the final decision. She apologized for being so late and asked me if I had commitments or something I had to do. I responded in the negative, but was brave enough to ask why the pageant. She told me that I was the first one to ask that question, and that helped to confirm a suspicion that she had about me.

She told me the pageant was actually an idea from one of the harassed women. It is obviously an attempt to ridicule the people that had harassed her. The harassed woman had been told that with certain favors, she would be spared in a downsizing of the company. In her case, these were several dates with the executive and some unwanted kissing and fondling involved. She felt that she was manipulated and forced to do things she would never have done, in exchange for keeping her job.

The contest was her idea to make the executives see what it was like to be treated as a sexual object instead of a worthwhile employee. She had managed to contact most of the other women in the harassment suit and spread the idea. When the company’s lawyers sat down with their lawyers to try and reach an out-of-court settlement, the idea became a constant topic.

Our lawyers told the Board that an agreement could be reached, at less than what we originally figured it would cost us if the company included the pageant and the mandatory training in the deal. The Board of Directors talked it over for several days, but it seemed to be the only solution that would allow an out-of-court settlement. They finally told the lawyers that the company would agree to the settlement as long as the rules of the pageant were reasonable and prudent.

When the lawyers got back with the Board about the rules of the pageant, they were floored. The conditions were far in excess of the Board’s wildest ideas, but the lawyers said that the one woman that came up with the idea was unyielding about the company agreeing to the requirements as they stood. She admitted that she wanted to destroy the company after what she had been subjected to and was sure that most of the senior management would resign rather than submit to the ridicule and humiliation of the pageant.

Our lawyers tried to bargain for removal of several of the conditions, especially the three-month long pageant, but she was stubborn to the core on this. Our lawyers did manage to get the participation down to ten senior management instead of all remaining male executives.

In exchange, their duration as females were raised to six months, plus quite a few beauty treatments and classes were made mandatory. She had been instrumental in convincing the other women that the pageant had to be an integral part of the settlement, and the company ended up having to agree to the ridiculous settlement, knowing full well that if it didn’t settle, COC International would likely not come out of the resultant financial crisis. I was impressed that Angela had enough respect for me that she told me the whole story, although I knew it was difficult for her to do so.

Angela looked at me as I caught on to the fact that the term of being a female was now six months, not the three months that had been previously stated. I asked her why the change in the length of involvement. By not making all male executives participate in the contest, something had to be given in return to keep the settlement bitter and hard to swallow. Extending the duration of the involvement and adding mandatory beauty treatments kept the pill bitter. Again, the wish to punish the company was the prevalent reason. By extending the duration of dressing as a female, it would make it very unattractive to any participant.

No volunteers for the contest, no settlement, and the company would have to close. That suited the one woman who started the whole ordeal about the pageant just fine. The pageant would end in three months, but the executives would have to continue the female portrayal for another three months. As the volunteers were screened the next day, she would make sure that each executive understood the changes in the length of involvement. It was not announced in the beginning since they were afraid that it would curtail any volunteers at all.

She also conveyed to me she had another reason for coming to my office, the position of Chief Operating Officer. She felt that I would be perfect for the position if I allowed myself to be the real me, acting on decisions and interacting with my employees instead of hiding behind the desk and email. She also thought I should volunteer for the pageant since she was quite sure I would be selected by my employees to represent the department. I asked her if the promotion was connected to me volunteering for the pageant.

She gave me a larger than life smile, asking me how I could accuse her of such a deed. Then, I thought of the time period that Angela had just told me for the required participation in the pageant. My reply was, “Six months was a long time to portray a female!” She smiled, knowing that I had remembered the time frame of the participation.

She then told me, “The Board unanimously agreed that you should be promoted to Chief Operating Officer. You would receive the salary increase, effective as of last Monday, and assume the executive duties as of this upcoming Monday.” Angela further said, I know this is hard to accept, with the pageant and more duties and responsibilities, but I am confident that you will be able to handle everything with ease, and maybe even have a little fun along the way.” Now, that shocked me, ‘why would she think that’?

Then, she explained, “The decision is largely based on my opinion of your managerial abilities, even though you have been reluctant to use them in the past. I feel confident that you could do the job, but more importantly that you could excel in the pageant. The Board isn’t offering any senior executive positions to individuals that would have difficulty in the pageant. It’s not our desire to humiliate or punish anybody if they take on these duties.”

I could only stare at her and then she said, “Think it over carefully because six months is an awfully long time to be miserable.” I leaned back and thought things through for a few minutes and was aware that I had already made a decision about my possible participation in the contest.

“Angela I will volunteer for the pageant if selected.” But asked, “Do you really think I have the ability to be COO of this company?”

She smiled at me, reaching over the desk and grabbed my hand, then walked around the desk and gave me a giant hug. She quietly told me that it was her opinion that I would be convincing in the pageant, bringing honor back to the company, along with praise and compliments to myself as a senior member of management. As to you doing the COO job, “You just need to do what you feel is right instead of spending all your time waffling about things. You have the ability, you just never utilized it.” She continued, take the time to think it over tonight, and let me know tomorrow of your decision.”

Once I decided, I would be committed to the full six months, with no chance to change my mind. If I had any more questions or needed some advice or encouragement, I could contact her personally. She said that she would be proud to help in any way she could. She informed me that any announcement of promotions to senior management would be delayed until all ten spots had been filled, so, for now, I had to keep my mouth shut about any offered positions.

She again reminded me, “You will have an advisory group, and I want you to use them extensively for both the pageant and business.” My question back to her was, “Could you tell me who was in my group?” She smiled and told me, “Think of the four most beautiful women in your department, and I would have my answer.” As she left, my mouth was still open trying to visualize myself in the contest with the four most feminine women advising me on my makeup, my looks, and my soon to be female apparel.

The four I visualized were very feminine, handling themselves in a confident and proud manner. What that implied for me, as a contestant, was not what I had in mind by agreeing to participate. I felt that I would end up just as feminine as they were, as they advised me on my looks and behavior. I was positive that Cheryl was one of them, and she and the other women in my department apparently wanted me in the pageant badly.

It was after quitting time, and after making a few notes about who would do what the next day so that I would be somewhat prepared, I closed my office down and headed home. I definitely didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot. I thought of what Angela had mentioned in the meeting about starting the ball rolling and decided I’d take the plunge. Even though I had until the next day to decide, I had made my choice already.

This type of promotion didn’t often happen, although I had serious doubts about my ability to handle the responsibilities that went with such a position. As for the pageant, I doubted my ability to look convincing, but I would be in the pageant with nine others who would be in the same situation as myself.

In order to start the pageant off on the right foot, I immediately thought of calling my sister, since I needed some advice on what to do. Luckily, she was home, and I asked her if I could stop by. She gladly said yes, she had enough dinner for two, and would enjoy my company. I told her I would be there in fifteen minutes if the traffic allowed.

The traffic had other ideas, and it was twenty-five minutes before I arrived. Her house was a gift from Aunt Sharon when she moved out, my aunt taking a smaller apartment for her senior years. I think Aunt Sharon knew that it was unlikely that Dana would marry anytime soon, but she wanted to give her something to make her life more enjoyable. To be fair, I was offered a fifty percent share in the house, but I was the up-and-coming executive and didn’t want to live with my sister. Thus, I passed on the offer. A big head, filled with wild fantasies, does lend itself to immature decisions.

She gave me a hug at the door and dragged me to the kitchen table. She had a fairly large house, but she seemed always to eat in the kitchen, I guess because it was cozy and friendly, unlike her large dining room that was almost intimidating. The food was on the table, and she got me some sweet tea to drink, and then we sat down to eat. She has always been an excellent cook and ended up teaching me what little that I know about cooking. We chit-chatted for a while, and then she asked about my work.

I had tried to keep her up-to-date about the alleged harassment, and she naturally wanted to know the latest gossip. I told her about the meeting and about the fourteen male executives that had resigned so far with possibly more to come. She gave me a worried look; I knew she was concerned about me and my job. I assured her that it was secure, but the company would be going through quite a few changes in the near future, some good and some not so good.

That left her mouth open for a while, as she tried to process this latest revelation. I told her of Angela offering me something new and different but withheld the details. Since she knows me too well to assume that was what I wanted to talk to her about, she told me to spill the beans about the true reason for my visit.

I told her about the pageant, leaving out the part about the contestants being the male corporate executives. She made the comment that a beauty pageant always interests women and that maybe the company was actually doing something right for a change. She asked about the details of the pageant and I confided in her a little about the contest itself and the prizes that would be available to the winner. I was silent for several minutes, trying to figure out how to tell her one of the contestants was going to be me. Dana sensed that I was leaving an important ‘something’ out, so she began coaxing me to tell her the rest of the story.

I could see her mind processing the things that I have told her, and before I could put three words together, she blurted out, “Ashley Ann you’re in the contest aren’t you?”. I blushed ten shades of red as she giggled to herself. She wanted to know who else was in the contest and why. I told her of the legal settlements involving the pageant and the volunteer participation of the senior male executives. Then I told her that I was being offered one of the senior positions. She just smiled at me, looking like she wanted to know more and I better be quick about it.

I swallowed the last of my pride and asked her if she would help me start the ball rolling by telling me something I could do to show that I was a willing participant in the pageant. She became serious and asked me if I was actually going to go through with this and accept the position? I replied, ”Dana, that is indeed part of a long story, but due to several factors that I am going to go through with this, I am going to try my best to be enthusiastic.”

I explained that one factor that had been on my mind the most was that I had witnessed some of the harassment and had done nothing about it. I felt I owed the company and the female employees, at least my enthusiastic involvement in the pageant. The second important reason was that chances for another job, comparable to what I was offered, were nil. I was afraid that staying in my present position would result in it later being eliminated as other employees were promoted to management positions. Also, I felt that I had not done enough since I had progressed little since I was hired.

Dana was quiet for a minute, her mind actively engaged in thought, then jumped from her chair and grabbed her cell phone looking through her address book for a number. When she found it, she quickly dialed and spoke quietly into the phone for several minutes. Since my sister Dana keeps background music in her house all the time, it was very hard to hear the conversation on the phone. I could hear her talking, but could not understand what was being said. She closed her phone but wanted to be sure, “Are you really committed to the pageant?

I told her yes, then she grabbed my hand and her purse, and we headed to the front door. Within minutes, we were in her car and heading for the local mall, with me trying to pry out of her what was happening. My sister was usually either dead stop or full speed ahead on any project she took an interest in doing. I guess I now was one of her projects and we were already at full speed ahead.

We stopped several blocks from the mall at a small strip center, and I realized where we were headed. The sign out front is Turnabout Gurl Salon, a very upscale beauty salon. It was the beauty shop that Dana used, owned by a college roommate of hers. Dana’s hair was always very nicely styled, although very feminine with lots of curls, quite often with a multitude of hair adornments. I told her this was a little too much, but she said that you asked for help, and I am helping. I swallowed hard, several times, knowing that I didn’t have much choice since I had asked Dana for help.

I was just not expecting the salon experience to happen tonight, much less getting my hair styled. She dragged a reluctant male into the salon, and I was introduced to Beverly, her old college friend. Bev, as she preferred to be called, combed her fingers through my hair to see what she was up against. I was soon, dragged back to the sinks, with Beverly wanting to know all the gossip about the pageant and what the contest involved. I told her that there were many conditions to the pageant, but until I volunteered tomorrow I would not know the extent of the conditions or the degree of my involvement.

I had taken advantage of the liberal dress codes for executives and grown my hair down to my shoulders, but kept it in a low ponytail, usually tucked in my collar at work. From the front, it was barely visible, but when out of the ponytail it was a mass of hair. It was fairly straight, and a light blonde/brunette mix with a fine texture. Along with fairly androgynous facial features, I was not the typical manly male, my height being the only feature that didn’t put me on the female side of the fence.

At five foot ten inches tall, I would be considered out of the norm for a woman, but wet, I only weighed one hundred thirty-five pounds much too lean for a male of that height. Muscles and broad shoulders were not in my equipment list, a narrow waist though made the list, probably due to my exercising a lot.

Bev removed the scrunchie, and washed my hair three times, before using a conditioner on it. She used a coarse comb to remove the tangles from my hair, finally wrapping a towel around my head. Back in her styling chair, she removed my towel, using a comb on my hair again as she parted it down the middle and combed it smoothly down the sides of my head. Bev told me that she was going to cut off my split ends and even up my cut.

Dana was watching, and the conversation between her and Bev was about what would be best for my face and features. She cut on my hair for at least twenty minutes, but I saw very little actual hair leave my head. I was placed under a hair dryer, for a few minutes to dry my hair lightly, then back to her designer’s station.

She mixed up a solution in a bowl, and grabbed a small brush, returning to her work. She took a comb and separated small strands of my hair, brushing some of the solution on each strand and then wrapping the strand in a piece of aluminum foil. As this was happening, I was staring down Dana with a ‘what is she doing to my hair’ glare. Dana walked over to the chair, grabbing my hand and holding it with both of her hands.

She informed me, “This is my first lesson in what a woman has to go through to be beautiful.” Bev interjected, “You will be, indeed, beautiful, just like one of the girls.” After putting over fifty pieces of foil in my hair, I felt that if I could now receive a TV signal, it would be crystal clear with my new aluminum head antennae.

She told me that my highlights had to process for at least twenty minutes and gave me a magazine to read. One of those words I had recognized in the conversation between Dana and Bev. Remembering some of the talk back at work among women, the use of the word highlights usually involved one of the ladies getting a very feminine looking color, a mixture of light and dark colors that appeared to be painted on. The magazine that was handed to me was Elle, and I was soon learning fifteen ways to keep my husband from wandering. I kind of thought it unusual that I was actually reading this type of article. Maybe, it had to do with sitting in a beauty salon getting my hair highlighted.

A few minutes later, Dana came by the chair and fiddled with my ears and smiled as she walked away. I did notice that she had a marker in her hand, and as I was putting my hand up to my ear to see what she had done, Bev pushed my hand back down and then placed a gun-like object to my ear. Zap and my ear was now pierced, but that was only the start since she zapped my ear again only in another spot.

Soon she was on the other side of my head, and I ended up with four earrings in my ears, two in each earlobe. She leaned down where I could see her easier, handing me a mirror so that I could look at my new earrings. I now sported a diamond stud, plus a sapphire crystal stud, that she attached a dangling string of little blue sapphires to each earring. I was still shocked about my ears being pierced, but as my head moved around, I could feel the dangles as they brushed my face and neck.

A pleasant sensation, I must admit, they did look good on me. I guess this was just a part of being a willing and enthusiastic participant in the contest, but why so much so fast? I had been thinking more along the lines of a little makeup or maybe a ladies pair of pants, but instead, I was in a salon getting my hair styled and highlighted. Now that same person was sporting earrings and no telling what else before I managed to escape.

Dana was smiling away, from a chair across from the dryers and as I pointed to my ears she mouthed the words very pretty. I should have stated what I had in mind in doing instead of leaving it all up to Dana. Beverly checked to see if my highlights had taken and was satisfied with the results. The foil was removed from my hair, and it was then rinsed again.

Bev started sectioning off my hair and winding it up on curlers, spraying it with setting gel, at least that was what the label on the spray bottle said. Ending up with over sixty curlers in my hair, she then sprayed my head again with another layer of setting gel. I was sure that another stint under the dryer was next but was surprised when she just leaned the chair I was sitting in back and proceeded to examine my face. She made a few marks on my eyebrows and then brought over a pot of something that was plugged into an electrical outlet. She took a flat stick, sticking it in the pot, and then spreading the hot substance over my eyebrows.

Apparently, Bev had it warming before I had entered the salon. Bev then grabbed a cloth that was handed to her by Dana and pushed it into the warm substance. I could not figure out what she was up to, but as she jerked the cloth away from my face, a thought came rushing into my mind. She was pulling out all of my eyebrows. I started to scream in pain, but Dana grabbed my hand and squeezed it telling me it would be over shortly, and to just close my eyes and try to relax.

Relax, with that level of pain pulsing through my forehead; absolutely no way would I be able to calm down! The torture lasted for about fifteen minutes, but finally she seemed to be through with my face. After the initial shock, I was able to endure the pain without further vocal outbursts. The throbbing though was still there, maybe not as bad as I thought it was; but to my male ego, it was cause for panic. When I finally was able to look in a mirror, I was astounded.

My male facade, known as Ash, was no longer present. I saw a red-faced woman with curlers in her hair, staring back at me. My eyebrows were now very fine lines, highly arched and quite substantially less than I possessed on arrival. Shock, bewilderment, confusion was real, but a smile managed to creep up to the surface through all of this.

When I turned to look around, I saw that Dana had seen my smile, and I wouldn’t be able to deny my enjoyment of this trip into femininity. I was amazed, since I really looked like a young woman, at least the head did. More amazing was the fact that I liked how I looked, considering myself even pretty. Where that line of thought came from, I have no idea.

I have had a normal upbringing for a young male except for the dressing up that Dana and I had done as kids. I have dated some, but normally I would be so shy that the one date was as far as the relationship would progress. In fact, even referring to it as a relationship was a mistake. I usually took them out to eat, sometimes a movie, but not even a kiss or hug was exchanged as I took them back home. I guess that I did not spark any interest on their part. The cold hard fact was I was not interested that much either.

Dana grabbed her things, paid Bev, and dragged me out the door. I reminded her of my curlers, but we continued heading to her car. I was told that I would have to learn to sleep in them, and she would do my hair in the morning. We drove back to her house, not saying much to each other along the way. I was trying to arrive at some rational excuse for me to go along with everything that happened tonight.

I had asked her for her help, and I had received more assistance than I was probably comfortable with handling. The fact that my attempt to be a participant had been morphed into actually portraying a woman had not been lost in my thoughts.

When we got to her house, she made some tea, and we sat in the living room watching some drivel on the TV. After fifteen minutes of silence, I asked her if this was all necessary so soon, she turned to me, grabbing my hand. I was told that if I wanted to connect really with what being a female was like, this and a whole lot more was necessary. As to why so fast, Dana explained, “You’ve lived your last twenty-five years as a male, missing out on that number of years learning to be a woman, acting like a woman, and experiencing life as a woman.

“It will take the entire three months to impress on you the different type of life that being a woman involves. The present is as good a time to start as any, being that you wanted to immerse yourself in the pageant, all the better.” Dana told me, “I saw your smile, you enjoyed it, and you liked how you look, now enjoy being the real you” There was no escaping the truth in what she was saying or how I was feeling right now.

My thoughts were to participate actively in the pageant, not become a woman. When I looked in the hall mirror, as we got to her house, I did not see a male trying to be a part of something, I saw a woman preparing herself for work in the morning. I expressed my concern that I would look like a fool in the contest, but she told me to hold off judgment till the morning after she has done my hair. I was talking about being a male one day, and the next day showing up as a woman, Dana was speaking of me looking like a woman, a pretty one.

We adjourned to her bedroom, and she picked a brown pair of slacks and a tan sweater for me to wear tomorrow. The slacks were made from linen, a dark brown in color, fitting snug until they reached the knees, then flaring slightly. The tan sweater had a cowl neck with long sleeves in an angora fiber. Next came a tan pump with a two-inch heel. The shoe had a blocky heel with a pointed toe. Anyone seeing me would be convinced that I was an active participant in the contest, maybe an over achiever, but still a participant.

I thanked her for all her help, giving her a kiss on the cheek. I also told her she was enjoying this a little too much. She pulled me closer and gave me a big hug, holding it for several minutes. Dana informed me that I would sleep in the second bedroom since she had to do my hair in the morning. That would keep me from having to travel in curlers. She went to her dresser, pulling out a nightie for me to wear.

When I stayed over, I usually slept in the second bedroom, so this was not a problem for me, but a woman’s nightie was a bit more than I expected. At the moment, though, I was so overwhelmed with what had happened up to that point that I just went along. It did feel wonderful as it cascaded down my body.

The morning came way too fast since it felt like that I was asleep only for a few short hours. It isn’t easy to sleep with a head full of curlers, just no comfortable spot to be found. The alarm was ringing loudly, and I tried to hit the snooze alarm several times until I remembered that her clock’s snooze alarm did not work.

So I had to get physically up, so I could turn off the alarm. That required several attempts, till I managed to find the right button, of course, it was the button on the bottom and half the size of the other buttons.

I dragged myself to the bathroom after I remembered that Dana’s bathroom was down the hall from the second bedroom. As I entered the bathroom, I glanced in the full-length mirror to look at my image. I was stunned to see a rather attractive woman with curlers in her hair staring back, the red from the waxing of my eyebrows gone. I was quickly reminded of why I was in the bathroom in the first place and sat down on the toilet to do my business.

Only after I had finished, did I connect my sitting down to go to the bathroom with my feminine appearance. I was trying to figure this out, along with several other things, when Dana knocked on the door and entered. I started to protest about the intrusion, but Dana reminded me that we were just two young women now getting ready for work. She reminded me that there is lots to do and that if I didn’t get moving, I would be late.

The ‘women remark’, reminded me of when we were growing up and staying at our aunt’s house. Quite often Dana and I would dress up as girls to play. Dana seemed to make the same connection and asked me what Grandmother would think of my adventure. I didn’t say anything since I was pretty sure it would not faze Grandmother.

Aunt Sharon on the other hand often played with us and would help Dana dress me up. The fact that I never protested too much obviously was a clue to my aunt that I liked it. Dana was definitely enjoying this more than she should, telling me she ought to give our Grandmother a call and let her know that she had two daughters now. Grandmother always thought of us as a son and daughter, not as grandchildren, at least someone in our family acted like a Mother to us.

Dana checked my hair to make sure it had dried sufficiently to style, then rubbed her hands on my face to see if I had any beard growth. My beard has always been sparse, sometimes taking several days to make an appearance. Today was no different since my face seemed smooth.

Dana reminded me that it took time to make a woman beautiful, and to get things moving. She gave me a shower cap and handed me a pair of panties to put on when I was done. I groaned loudly, especially about the panties, but it didn’t help matters as Dana swatted my butt as I headed towards the shower.

After putting on the shower cap, I reluctantly entered and turned on the water. The shower felt good, as the warm, soothing water seemed to pull the tenseness out of my body. I wanted to stay there all day since that might preempt me from going to work. Finally, all good things had to come to an end, and I turned the water off.

When I finally left the shower, Dana was there with a towel and told me I should pat my skin dry and not rub as I had in the past. With my freshly patted dry skin, I picked up the bikini panties and tried to sneak past Dana and get back to the bedroom. I was hoping to recover my old briefs from yesterday, so I could forego at least the panties for today. I knew it would be eventually feminine lingerie all the time, but I was hoping for a reprieve for a day or two. As I entered the bedroom, I found that woman’s clothes were going to be the fare for today since Dana had taken all of my masculine clothes and hid them.

As I looked around the room, hoping she had missed an item, she came to the door and smiled. She informed me that everything had been confiscated and locked away. My only choice was either naked or as a female. I opted for female, since I was very uncomfortable as a nudist, pulling the silky panties up my legs. Yes, I did try the nudity thing once, but the humiliation of seeing my meager masculine bits among the most impressive men in the club convinced me that the life of a nudist was not for me.

I was helped into the padded bra by Dana, as she strategically placed the two rice-filled bags in the cups to give me a more classic feminine figure. The blouse was next; I didn’t notice that the blouse fastened in the back until Dana started fastening the buttons. Of course, she had to button me up since I couldn’t even start to reach the buttons, and she was smiling the whole time. I figured that the choice of this blouse was deliberate, to ensure that I didn’t try to remove it during the day. I told Dana that I would not have tried to ditch the blouse, but I thought she was being exceptionally cruel to me to make sure that I complied. Dana did giggle a little, admitting her choice of clothes was for a purpose.

Next was the knee-high hosiery that according to Dana was a necessity for my shoes to fit properly. The slacks followed, and they fit like a glove, very tight fitting in the waist, but slightly flared below the knee. Of course, they also zipped up the back, another obvious coincidence. The heels were handed to me, as I slipped them on, I noticed they fit snugly. Surprisingly, I was able to maneuver in them without much trouble.

The feminisation continued as Dana dragged me to her bedroom, setting me down in front of her vanity. She removed the curlers and lightly brushed out my hair. My whole head was a mass of curls bouncing all over the place. I was now in the girly gurl category with the most feminine hairdo that I had ever seen, way too many curls for being just a simple hairdo. She brushed the side of my head and partially pulled the curls out, leaving the side of my head somewhat smooth, and pinning the remaining mass of curls at the back of my head.

She repeated the procedure on the other side of my head, then placed a fancy jeweled comb, framing each side of my chignon at the back of my head. Looking in the mirror, I was utterly shocked, since my hair seemed to be very feminine this way, maybe too girly gurl. The determining factor in my female presentation was the curls that pushed me over the edge, way over. The mass of curls was an example of a hairstyle that would never be found on a male. Internally, though, I liked the looks of it and was proud of how good I looked, it created quite a conundrum for the day. Add in the highlights and there would be no doubt of the sex of the individual at least from the head up.

Some mascara was applied to my lashes and a light pink lipstick to my lips, and I was pronounced ready to go. I glanced at Dana and shook my head causing a flourish of curls to bounce around. I could not go out like this; it seemed that I was not a man impersonating a woman; I was a woman both in dress and looks. She dragged me to my feet, told me to stand up straight, and after putting my lipstick and mascara into a purse, she placed it in my hands. She told me my car keys were in the purse along with the other things that I would need as a woman, and under no circumstances was I to let the purse out of my sight.

Before I could gather my thoughts, I was encouraged out of the door. Nope, not encouraged, just outright pushed out the door of the house. I looked at my watch, not remembering when I had put it on, noticing that I now was the proud owner of a jeweled delicate little timepiece that I had to squint at to tell the time. When I finally was able to tell the correct time, I only had forty minutes to get to work. It usually took thirty minutes, so I had no choice but to head to work.

Getting into the car was an experience, but I finally managed. The purse, the added appendages on my chest, and the extra material on my pants made for a problem as to how I could enter the car with at least a little grace. I found myself checking my image in the rear view mirror often, just missing Dana’s mailbox at the end of her drive. After that close encounter, I managed to keep my eyes on the road and made the trip in the allotted time. At the company’s parking lot, I sat in the car several minutes, trying to get the nerve to go inside to my office.

I wanted to show everyone that I was a willing participant, but to come in dressed as a woman was maybe a little too drastic a change for the first day. The fact that I had not actually volunteered for the pageant yet seemed to verify that I had truly over reacted. I put my keys in my purse and decided to get it over with. Maybe if everybody got their laughs out of the way early, things would die down later, at least, I hoped that this would be the case.

I entered through security like I do every day flashing my badge to the guard. He smiled and waved me through. I just knew he saw the male picture on the badge, noticing that it did not match the person waving it. I walked down the hall to my office, unlocked the door, logged on to the computer and grabbed my coffee cup planning to head to the break room for my morning fix before everybody else arrived.

Today, I feared, I would need it and several more cups just to make it through the day. As I passed down the hall, I was aware of several glances made my way and even a couple of oohs and aahs. I filled up my coffee cup and headed back to my office. As I retraced my steps, there were several of my employees standing in their doorways checking me out. I said “Hi” to all of them, but kept moving towards the safety of my office.

Cheryl was among them, and as I passed her door, she followed me to my office. I was sure Cheryl was to be one of my advisers since she was the most attractive woman in the company. I had heard that she had done some modeling before she started here but desired a more promising future than a career in the fashion industry. She was apparently texting other members of my advisory committee. Soon Pat, Sally, and Toni had joined her.

Cheryl asked me to stand and turn around for them, so they could get a better look. Sally asked me to come out from behind the desk, and after turning around, I walked out front. All of them just stared at me, but Cheryl was the first one to break ranks. She approached me and gave me the biggest hug that I had ever received. The others were soon gathered around me giving me the same type of hugs. They wanted to know why I was dressed the way I was, am I going to volunteer for the contest already?

The women in my department had just finished voting for their selection to volunteer for the pageant and here I was already a contestant. By the way, Cheryl told me, I had been the unanimous selection of my department and the companion Internet department. The department’s official advisory group had not been informed yet of their candidate to make it into the beauty pageant as a contestant; but since the vote had been unanimous, and I am dressed as a woman, they would presume that I am that person, right?

Well, it took several minutes for the blood that is rushing to my head to retreat and allow my brain to function again. I realized as the blood flow subsided that they did not laugh at me. Instead, I got hugs. My worst fears were ungrounded. I tried to stammer out that I wanted to show my enthusiasm for the pageant, but mainly, I felt guilty since I had witnessed some of the harassment but didn’t take any action to stop it.

Maybe if I really tried hard in the pageant, I would come to a better understanding of what women had to put up with. All of them were impressed with my attitude but disappointed that I had done so much without their help or advice. Pat stated the real reason for their concern was they now felt threatened since a man is now prettier than they are.

Blushing every color of red, with even more blood trying to get through to my head, I then realized that they had accepted me as a female, even considered me a rival to their status as beautiful women. I was very surprised since I hardly felt that I was good at impersonating a woman much less a beautiful one. Cheryl told me the proof was in my appearance; I only needed some lessons on proper mannerisms and such. To them, they were talking and interacting with a female, not a male. That really surprised me, but felt really good to be accepted.

They wanted to know about my feminization treatments last night. We talked about my salon visit and about me sleeping in the curlers. They loved my hair and thought my thin eyebrows were the perfect complement to my curls.

I wanted to get the topic of conversation off of me and back to our company and work. I asked for their suggestions on ways we could do our job better and more efficiently. They gave me several ideas, and I decided on trying a couple of them right away. I assigned Pat and Sally to one of the ideas to match the customer’s situation and/or problem with the most compatible employee and told them to figure a way to implement it and report back.

I gave some of my former duties to Cheryl and Toni to keep things progressing. I told the ladies I wanted a meeting every day at four o’clock to discuss the day’s happenings and to plan for tomorrow. The girls got up and made their way back to their desks, but I sensed they were at least a little happier and more content in their employment, at least I hoped so.

I took a few minutes to check my email and discovered that Angela had announced to the company that I was now handling the duties of my former boss and about the pageant and the advisory committees. I guess that was the reason that the girls had not questioned me when I had told them their new job details.

The notification of me being promoted to Chief Operating Officer was not mentioned yet. Mention was made about the voting to find volunteers for the pageant, with her asking that the result of the voting be forwarded to her.

An hour later, I noticed Angela standing in my doorway. She had a very pleased look on her face, similar to a cat that had just caught and finished a very tasty meal. She strolled into my office and came around my desk. I stood up and was greeted with another very enthusiastic hug. I really liked this custom or habit that women use. It felt good and genuine in this day of smoke and mirrors.

She held me at arm’s length, as she looked me up and down taking in every feminine detail. She asked if I had help, and I told her that I had asked my sister to advise and help me on what I could do to show my enthusiasm on the pageant. She smiled and asked me if my sister had always wanted me to dress as a girl when we were growing up. I asked her if it was that obvious, knowing the answer before I asked the question.

Her smile answered my question since I blushed a little when I told her that the subject had been visited several times as we were growing up. Angela came by to tell me the official results of the department voting to identify a volunteer for the beauty pageant. I was the official winner with more votes than I had employees. She figured that one or more employees really wanted me in the pageant. She wanted to be sure that I had thought through my participation in the beauty contest thoroughly since it could not be undone once started.

I told her my mind was made up, and I intended to volunteer for the pageant. She put her finger to her lips, handing me a printed copy of the conditions that I would be subject to if I volunteered. She wanted me to read the list, putting my initials after each condition that I understood the implications of it. Then if I still wanted to volunteer my signature on the bottom as one of the contestants. I was to sign in both my male name and what female name I desired to use in the competition.

The list was very thorough, consisting of thirteen conditions or requirements of the pageant.

Have and maintain feminine hairstyle with added 18” hair extensions

Have hair permed or highlighted

Wear basic feminine makeup, including keeping eyebrows waxed

Have and keep body waxed

Have breast forms glued on and wear them 24/7 except for skin maintenance

Wear a waist training corset a minimum of twelve hours a day

Wear dresses or blouse/skirt at all times, no pants

Wear high heels with a minimum of a three-inch heel

Join a ladies gym with a minimum workout of one hour at least once a week

Have a weekly beauty salon appointment for touch ups and maintenance

Maintain living quarters (cook, clean, grocery shop) for the length of the contest

Take a basic modeling class at least one hour once a week

Take a basic dancing class at least one hour once a week

I could see the above conditions although some of them seemed a little drastic in nature because a lot of women work and juggle a marriage and kids along with their jobs. To follow these requirements anybody would quickly gain an appreciation of what a woman goes through for herself and family.

But the condition that really got my attention was the requirement of a social outing at least twice a week of at least two hours duration. These outings could include a girl’s night out, girl’s shopping trip or a male/female date with the contestant obviously filling the female portion of that duo. I looked over at Angela, raising my eyebrows quite a bit and asked her if this list was for real. She nodded yes. Unfortunately, the requirements were quite real and anybody living the six months in female mode doing these things would be deeply affected by the conditioning.

It was designed to get back at the people that did the harassing. However, those people are not now working for the company. The legal settlements still require that we go through with this, thus the board’s decision to request volunteers for the pageant. The people not responsible for any of the harassing are the employees that will have to pay the piper for the others. That is the reason for the sign off list and the signature at the bottom that you fully understand the implications of the contest requirements.

Angela asked me why I was volunteering for the pageant, even though she had a pretty good idea of my motivation in this matter. I told her that the guilt of knowing what was going on and doing nothing about it was the primary reason. She smiled but told me to keep going since she felt that was not the most important reason for my participation. I cleared my throat a couple of times, trying to summon up enough nerve, to be honest in my response.

I told her that I was concerned about the future of the company, knowing that I had done very little to help the company prosper. Another smile, keep going since that is not the reason you and I are looking for. I was silent for several minutes, really not knowing what to say. There was a more important reason for my interest in the beauty pageant, but I just couldn’t admit it to myself or others. Finally, Angela asked me if she could hazard a guess. I whispered yes if you think you know the reason, you can make a guess as to my motivation. She held my hand, looking me directly in the eyes and told me, “It was because you are a woman at heart.” I never figured that I was that transparent that others could see what was in my mind. I teared up a little but managed to keep my composure somehow. Believe me it was touch and go for a moment.

I looked over at her and asked, “How did you know?” I was informed that she knew the first time she met me, shortly after I was hired. She has followed my career ever since, watching as I struggled to fit into the mold that I was hired for. When the pageant idea first came up in the legal discussions, she immediately thought of me. I would finally be able to portray the role I was meant to. When they had to accept the settlement to be able to keep the company operationally, it was freely discussed among the board which male executives would either volunteer or could be talked into volunteering for the pageant.

Your name was the first to come up, and total agreement was reached about your positive participation in the contest. The other nine positions are a different matter. When we have a little spare time, I will tell you our thoughts and decisions with regards to the others. Just be aware that we are totally behind you, both in your participation in the pageant and secondly in your career with COC International. As I was listening to her, I had been glancing at the requirements of the pageant and decided I needed to make it official.

I reached for a pen on my desk and signed both signatures on the bottom of the agreement after checking each individual box. I was not sure how or if I could handle some of these requirements, but I knew that I would give my best trying. Angela folded up the agreement and placed it in her briefcase, then resumed her questions about my recent transformation.

Angela wanted all the details on what my sister had suggested and how I felt about it. I told her what Dana and Bev had done and that I was still getting accustomed to the changes. She wanted to know the name of Bev’s shop so she could tell some of the other groups about it. I could see Bev suddenly becoming very busy in the next few months. Angela had paused several times in our conversation seeming to be lost in her thoughts. Then she would resume like nothing had happened.

Apparently, she was thinking of other things that were of concern to her. I hoped I had not gone too far in my efforts to be enthusiastic about the pageant. I was the only executive that had done anything about the upcoming contest, in fact, most employees were just finding out about it.

She complimented me several times on my appearance and how natural I was as a woman. She felt like she was talking to a woman and not a male that is dressing like a woman. I hoped that was good, but I feared that the loss of Ash even before the contest started is maybe too much. I did enjoy my time as Ashley Ann, probably even more than I admitted to myself. The feeling would be best described as relaxed, as life intended.

“I will make the presumption that since you are here in female mode that you have accepted the promotion to Chief Operations Officer,” Angela stated.

“I have reservations about it, but wanted to show my support to the company and employees. I will do my best, but I still feel it is beyond my abilities. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that I have to continue this for six months. At this particular point, I have reservations that I could do this,” I replied sincerely.

She reiterated that the announcement to the company of the promotions would be held back a few days until all the senior management slots were filled. If asked, she preferred for me not to discuss it with employees or fellow management.

She made mention that my actions so far this morning have impacted my employees in a positive manner. She told me how my employees (she was considering my fellow employees now to be my employees since she had issued her email) seemed much happier and more content. As she made her way to my office, everyone was talking, mainly about me, but also performing their tasks in apparently an efficient way. Cheryl had shared with some of the other employees that I did listen to employee’s ideas and requests.

“That to them is a great starting point since very few of the previous management had done so,” she concluded. She had stopped to talk to Cheryl for a second and is gratified by her praise of how I had taken over like it was nothing new and had involved several of the employees in my responsibilities and in the development of new ideas.” Angela also said she was very impressed with my behavior, now that I had joined the fairer sex. In a way I guess I had switched sides, at least gender-wise, since I was dressed as a woman, with a feminine hairstyle, and pretty much acting like a woman.

She talked about two more of the male executives that had decided to leave the company since what was transpiring was out of their comfort zone. One was in an adjacent department of mine that did the same thing that we did but only on the internet. I guess Sam considered the job with his wife’s father a better way to proceed.

She asked me to look in on them from time to time and to check with Rebecca, his assistant, on their tasks and duties. She had told Rebecca to make sure everyone had things to do but to check with me for direction and help. Angela told me that she would see to it that I was properly rewarded for my efforts. I was a little hesitant about taking this on, but Angela was apparently confident in my abilities.

Rebecca and I had a little problem a few years back when I first started, since I was promoted and moved through the company while she was passed over for jobs she was equally qualified for. A rather normal thing to happen with the company in the past. Rebecca’s feelings were nothing out in the open, but a comment or two had surfaced about me being promoted to a job that I had no prior experience for. Unfortunately, that was true since I had been promoted to my former bosses’ assistant with no previous experience in management.

Angela asked me to update her every day either early in the morning or the last thing at closing about things in my departments since I wouldn’t take on all of the employees until the announcement. She had a lot of faith in me but wanted to keep abreast of what is happening. She gave me a hug, a cheek kiss and told me she would see me later.

I decided to try and stop a potential problem, and clear the air with Rebecca, heading over to her desk. I definitely did not want things to fester any more than they had. She was with a couple of the other women discussing a problem they were having with a customer. I walked up and waited till she had finished, then was surprised as she involved me in the discussion about the customer. She filled me in on what had happened so far and asked me what I would do.

I thought about it for a minute, then suggested that she call the customer and listen to his side of the story. So far they had only assumptions by various employees that the customer was not happy. His volume was way down, and he was reluctant to talk with any member of the company.

As she was thinking about it, I picked up her phone and asked for his number. She was definitely nervous, but I placed the call and asked for the customer by name. He came on the line, and I told him who I was and asked his permission to put him on speaker phone. He agreed, and I switched him over and then told him who was in the office with me. I told him that we sensed that he might have a problem with our company and how he was being treated.

He kind of stammered, but finally acknowledged that there might be a misunderstanding between us. I asked him what it would take to regain his confidence in us, and if he felt any of our employees had overstepped their boundaries. He was quiet for a minute, then was seeming to search for the right words to say. I told him that we were open minded employees of this company and could take constructive criticism if needed. He tried to start the conversation several times, but the dialogue withered before he could get it going.

I had been reading his file as I talked on the phone, and suddenly it came to me why he is upset. I cleared my throat and asked him if I could take a stab as to the problem and a possible solution. I could hear his sigh on the other end of the phone, and he told me to guess away. I had discovered that he had a six-year relationship with another one of our employees that were given other business’s to contact. It was normal procedure recently, to shift employees around every few years to keep the mix varied.

She was a very good adviser, but tended to give too may discounts in return for additional business. I am reasonably sure that is his problem, since no one since Kathy has been able to handle him properly. I told him, if I put Kathy back on his account, would that make him happy. He answered promptly, yes. I wrote a note on a piece of paper and handed it to Rebecca.

I told her to take over the call and tell him that our company is frowning on the type of discounts that Kathy had given him, but if he could make his orders a little larger, she would authorize Kathy to allow the discount. She nodded her head in the affirmative, and I handed the phone over to her. She introduced herself and told him that she was assigning Kathy back to his account and that she was sorry for any ill feelings that may have occurred in the past, but it has been a recent company policy to change accounts for each of their consultants every year or two.

With regards to the discounts, he used to receive, she told him that the company had stopped allowing them since things were so tight in this recession. If he could make his orders larger, she would authorize Kathy to reinstate the discount. He was ecstatic and told her how much he appreciated the call and the willingness for the company to work out difficulties. He wanted to know her name and who the lady was that he talked to first, apparently forgetting my name as I started the conversation.

Rebecca looked over at me with a quizzical look, and I told her, Ashley Ann. Rebecca conveyed this to the customer and told him Kathy would call him in the next few days. He told her he would notify our company of our efforts and how much he appreciated our help, and straight forward handling of his situation. Rebecca smiled and after saying goodbye, she hung up the phone.

She looked straight at me and mouthed Ash. I nodded yes, and she started talking to the employees at her desk. That, she said, is how you handle problems like this in a straightforward and productive manner. The employees complimented me on my openness and the way I handled the call and problem. They were sent back to their desks, and Rebecca stared at me for a few minutes.

She asked if I was involved in the beauty pageant and I told her I thought that my appearance made it obvious that I was. She giggled at that comment but complimented me on my looks. She told me I was very pretty and definitely feminine. She pointed out that the customer perceived me to be a female since my voice is naturally higher than most males. Rebecca said that the perception of a female was cinched with my word choice and modulation of my voice. When I first came into her office, she thought she recognized me, but was not sure due to the female voice.

We talked about the customer and Rebecca thanked me for helping, and not making her look bad. I told her that I thought that we were all in this together, and it is our job to help each other to perform our duties in as efficient manner as possible. She smiled at me and welcomed me to womanhood and told me she would be pleased to be able to work under my supervision. I told her not under my supervision but alongside as we worked together. With a couple of tears starting to show on her cheeks, she came around the desk, and I received another big hug. I really could get used to being hugged.

I returned to my office and had just set down when my advisory group came in. Cheryl asked if I was ready for lunch, and reached over to switch off my computer. I smiled at her and said I was ready but had to make a restroom stop first. I was told that it was not called a restroom stop, but a visit to the ladies room. I headed that way, but Cheryl reminded me that I had forgotten something, then handed me my purse. We made our visit to the ladies room after I had initially balked at entering, and even freshened our makeup, namely mascara and lipstick.

As I was looking for my lipstick, I pulled a paper wrapped tube out of my purse and wondered what it was for. Toni noticed me holding it and asked if my period had started this month yet. It took me a couple of minutes to finally recognize that it was a tampon, and my blush proved that I was not in need of any more color on my cheeks as I promptly placed the tube back in my purse! Of course, Toni was giggling as I turned several shades of red.

We made our way to a restaurant just down the street from our company’s office that specialized in salads and other light lunches. We found a table over in the corner next to the front windows and placed our orders with the waitress. They told me that I was the topic of conversation throughout the company. I presumed that it was bad and that everyone was disgusted with my over doing the dressing up for the pageant. I started to apologize for my behavior, and thanked them for tolerating my actions. They looked at each other and then back at me and just laughed.

“Ashley Ann, you need to get real. They think you are beautiful and admire your commitment to the company and the other employees. You are single handed trying to turn the company around and without a doubt, every employee in the company would love to work for and with you. You have made an effort to show everybody that this establishment is worth working for and saving. You alone, out of all the male executives, have shown your willingness to embrace your feminine side and risk embarrassment to support Angela and the Board of Directors decisions.

While you were with Rebecca, the entire Board had come down to see you and ended up talking to the employees in your department. Every employee complimented you on your enthusiasm, confidence, and your excellent management skills.

Without a doubt, they feel that they now have a say in what happens and the decisions made. As your trusted advisers, we wholeheartedly agree. It would be nice, though, if you allowed us to advise you on something. Everything you do we support, and is the right thing to do; and we know you don’t actually need our advice, but you can at least allow us to think that we are helping”

Our salads were brought out and talk subsided a little as we ate our lunches. I usually have burgers and fries for lunch, but the salad and tea was a welcome change. Plus I was told that I now had to watch my figure so I could wear all of my sexy clothes. I was going to point out that I did not have any woman’s clothes, but decided to keep that between Dana and me. They asked me what I had planned for day two in beauty preparation, and I conceded that unless Dana comes up with something, there would be no changes for tomorrow. “Surely my look for today is good enough for a week or two?” I asked them.

Cheryl would have none of that and suggested that we go shopping after work. She had a couple of ideas that might work and was anxious to try them out. We strolled back to the office talking about the company, and if the proposed changes were enough to keep the companies head above water. I made my way to my desk, after checking on my employees as I made it around to their desks. I stopped to ask their name, asking about their projects, and how they were progressing?

Part of my department’s job was to make random phone calls to our customers checking on their orders and requests. If we could add to their orders, it was a plus, but the idea was to keep our customers happy and head off any problems before they occurred. As I made my rounds, I noticed that everybody was calling me Ashley Ann now, and they were quite a bit more open and honest with me. As Ash, I had interaction with them, but hardly any dialogue. I guess dealing with a woman really makes a difference somehow. I am essentially the same person, but now the perception of me is totally different.

I returned to my desk and soon thereafter I received a phone call from Dana. She wanted to know how I was holding up and what had happened today? I filled her in on some of the goings-on and asked her if I could stop by to pick up my clothes tonight. She informed me that I was living with her now so that she could be in my learning curve. As to picking up my clothes, I had not left any at her place. She had taken the opportunity to visit my apartment and check my wardrobe. Having never seen such decadent and outlandish woman’s clothes she decided to do me a favor and give them all to Goodwill.

I was not now and never had been a clothes horse, and really had only a few suits and most of them were very dated. I started to protest but decided against it. Everyone, especially Dana, was having such enjoyment at my expense, there seemed to be no reason to ruin their fun. I guess if I were honest with myself, I was enjoying it as much as they were. There has to be something wrong with a male enjoying dressing as a woman, but I was a male, and I was, at least, not against doing it.

About ten minutes before quitting time, I went to see Angela in her office to let her know what was happening in my department. As I am filling her in, she is just smiling, more of that Cheshire cat look pervading. After I had brought her up to date, she then told me that Rebecca had visited her and told her how I had broken down any remaining barriers between her employees and the company. Her customer had also called the CEO and praised both Rebecca and Ashley Ann for handling him in an honest and efficient manner.

Angela wanted me to know that I was the talk of the entire company, even employees of the company that I had not had any contact with were eager to hear and learn about the male executive that was embracing the contest with enthusiasm. She reached into her desk drawer and pulled out an envelope and handed it to me. She informed me that it was a check for clothing and needed accessories so that I would not need to spend my personal funds for pageant expenses. She thanked me again for all that I was doing and impressed upon me how important it was; telling me that I had the entire support of the Board.

I told her that I needed to be going since I had arranged a shopping trip with Cheryl, and needed to meet her at five-thirty at the food court. I got another of Angela’s hugs and made my way to my office. I collected my purse and made my way to the lobby. As I passed the security desk, the guard called me over. He handed me an I.D. card with my new feminine picture on it and shook my hand.

I kind of stared at him since I have never shaken hands with the security guard, but he blurted out that he just wanted to thank me for everything I was doing for the company. He assured me that all of the employees were one hundred percent behind me. I walked out of the lobby shaking my head a little, not knowing what to think. It seems that my dressing has somehow caught on within the company. I was just trying to show a little enthusiasm for the pageant, but instead, the employees seem to think that I am somehow changing the company for the better. I guess when things seem bleak, any changes that don’t make things worse are seen as being wonderful.

I was fortunately on time to meet Cheryl at the food court, and we picked up a couple of diet cokes, then found a table to sit at for a little while. She wanted to know what else I was thinking about doing for the pageant. I told her that I had not thought that much about it but definitely wanted to embrace my femininity enough to be able to understand what it was like being a female in the workforce. I did inform her that there was a quite extensive list of requirements for pageant contestants that pretty much left no doubt about how we dressed or behaved.

Cheryl wanted to know what they were, but I told her it needed to wait until the rest of the contestants were selected. Actually, the proper word is volunteered. I had thoughts about it what it is like to be a woman, but I was sure that most of them were not quite accurate and living a role versus acting out a role were two different animals. She told me how much she admired my attitude but stressed that all of my advisory group really wanted to help me attain my goals. I thought for a minute if they were maybe a little more than just supporting the pageant, maybe I did have another agenda. As we finished our cokes we headed out into the mall.

Cheryl led us down the mall stopping at a Mac cosmetic counter. She approached one of the makeup artists and made an appointment for a couple of hours later. Then we headed off to one of the better department stores in the mall and headed right to the misses department. She made her way to the business attire and started going through the racks. She told me what she was looking for, a two piece suit either with pants or skirts, in a light pastel color.

We had looked through several racks before I found a couple meeting her description. I asked her what size and she responded probably a twelve or fourteen. I found a light pink one and a yellow one to look at while Cheryl found a blue one for me to try. She told me to grab both sizes in each and then I could try them on. I was getting nervous now that I found out I would be trying them on in the store. That would require me to enter the ladies changing room, and I was no lady. Cheryl helped me find the sizes, and we proceeded to the changing rooms.

I hesitated on entering, and Cheryl just pushed me a little to get me moving. She whispered that I looked more like a woman than most of the other shoppers. We entered one of the larger rooms, and Cheryl hung the suits on a hook on the back of the door. I just stood there and finally Cheryl just smiled and said that to try on the clothes that I had to take off the clothes I presently had on. I blushed, but Cheryl reminded me that we were just two women shopping for clothes.

I stripped down to my panties and bra, and Cheryl held the skirt and blazer out for me to try on. The fourteen seemed to fit pretty well, with both the yellow and pink colors looking real good on me. The pink skirt was very tight around the hips and knees, and Cheryl told me that was called a pencil skirt. The hem was about four inches above the knee but real snug through the thighs. The yellow skirt was an A-line skirt with the hem about six inches above the knee.

I expressed concern with the fact that it was so short, but Cheryl said that was the style now and besides my legs needed to see a little more light of day since they were so attractive. Light of day notwithstanding, it would require constant attention to keep the skirt down and not show off my lingerie.

The blue suit had pants instead of a skirt, but it was manufactured by another company and did not fit as good. I would have preferred the pants, but I remembered the skirts were a requirement, one of the conditions of the pageant. Cheryl decided I should get both and we headed to the cashier after I managed to get my blouse and pants back on. Of course, Cheryl had to help me into the blouse since I couldn’t get it on or off without her help.

I attempted to pay for the suits, but Cheryl insisted on buying them for me saying she could not work for a boss that was not properly attired. She dragged me to VS next, and we spent an hour looking and buying panties, bras, and stockings. Since it was stockings instead of pantyhose, a garter belt was required. The panties were a mixture of several styles including a thong.

Cheryl insisted I wear it tomorrow and to let her know how I liked it. From the looks of it, I doubted that I would find it comfortable. The garter belt had way too much lace on it, and the six straps for attaching stockings seemed to be an overkill. But the bra was the prize winner of the bunch. The sales associate had measured me for the bra, a really embarrassing occurrence, and was told that I should wear a 38C.

I was apparently not unusual as a customer goes, even if I had no breasts to speak of. The associate had helped me into a bra of that size and then she reached into the cups and grabbed some of the flesh and pulled up, with the rice inserts keeping the flesh of my chest showing above the forms. Suddenly I had breasts, a cup full of breasts, that stayed put within the confines of the bra. Apparently, too much flabby skin in the chest area can be encouraged to look like breasts with the proper bra.

I didn’t know whether to be concerned about how the bra hugged me or the fact that I now had breasts. The fact that I had breasts won out, and I just stared at myself in the mirror. Cheryl finally gained my attention and we gathered our purchases and made our way to the checkout. The associate who waited on me was glad to ring up my purchases, and they even gave me a discount card to use for my next purchase. I still caught myself looking down at my breasts; I couldn’t believe that I had breasts.

Cheryl gently lifted my chin and told me that it was not proper for a young lady to admire her own breasts in public. With a bit too much blush on my cheeks, I paid the girl, gathering my bags we headed into the mall. Later I would come to the realization that my lingerie had cost over three hundred dollars. Now, though, my mind was fixated on the fact that on my chest were two mounds of flesh looking very much like a female’s breasts.

Cheryl looked at her watch since I could barely read what my watch said, and we decided that it was time to head back to the Mac store. We arrived a few minutes before my scheduled appointment, but they were not busy, and Sara was able to help me right away. Cheryl explained what was going on and to my surprise, Sara had no reaction to me being male. She first matched a foundation to my complexion then applied it to my face. She complimented me on my brows and how feminine my face was. Every step she explained what she was doing and how it enhanced my features. Blush, eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, lip liner, and then finally a lipstick to fill in my lips. She sprayed a mist onto my face to set my makeup and then turned me around so that I could see my face in an unobstructed view.

There was no sign of Ash left and Cheryl leaned to whisper to me that the real me was now in control. I kind of raised my eyebrows at that comment, but I am sure that my new highly arched eyebrows didn’t convey the concern that the comment had caused. I was shocked to see how much the bill had come to since the bill was close to four hundred dollars, I paid for it, and we headed back to the car. I could see how being a woman, especially an attractive one, was not without financial stress.

Cheryl did remind me that although there was cheaper makeup available the MAC makeup covered more and lasted longer, a really premium makeup. With the breasts and now the makeup I could not see any of the male executive that was present a couple of days ago. Only one day dressing as a woman, and there were no masculine looks to my body left. Still, three months of preparing for the pageant and I cringed to think of what I would look like at the end of the contest.

Cheryl and I parted company in the parking lot, after receiving another hug. She reiterated to me that she wanted me to wear the thong panty tomorrow and especially the bra that gave me breasts. I drove to Dana’s apartment, and of course, Dana met me at the door. I was grabbed, hugged, and examined in close detail as she helped me with the bags of goodies and then literally dragged me to the guest bedroom. She had to examine me from head to toe and then launched into her examination of all my purchases.

I told her about the bra and thong panty, and that Cheryl had wanted me to wear them tomorrow. She wanted me to try them on so she could see the results. I slipped the thong on after removing all of my clothes and the sensation of so little material covering me or at least trying to cover me up was priceless. I adjusted my male apparatus several times trying to get it comfortable with Dana splitting a gut laughing at me. With tears on her face since she was laughing so hard, she tried to tell me between spasms of laughter to remove the thong, she had just what I needed in her room.

She apparently laughed all the way to her room and back since the giggles never stopped. When she returned, she handed me a garment and told me to try it on. It fit real tight and held me in very securely. She moved my hand away and then pulled the garment down and took hold of my sac and pushed my balls up into my body. At first, it was a little uncomfortable but after a minute or two the feeling went away. Dana told me she had slipped out today to a store that Bev had mentioned to her. The place was a dancer’s supply, the gaff as it was called, would be used to keep male dancers smooth and trim in the genital area.

Then I pulled the thong back up, and it fit much better, but the back strap slid into my butt crack. I tried to reposition it several times, but it always returned to the same place. I asked Dana if she had any of these thong panties and she nodded yes, they are invaluable to wear under any tight fitting clothes since they show no panty line. I was still trying to find a better place for the strap, but Dana was examining the bra that I had worn out of VS.

Without a blouse, I was faced with the fact that I now had breasts. Dana adjusted them several times with each adjustment she gained a little more flesh in the cup. She told me not to go anywhere and took off for her bedroom again. She returned a minute later with two small pads in her hands and a bottle of liquid. She had me remove my bra and fussed with the pads underneath my nipples and then glued them to my chest about three inches below my nipples. I just stared at her and looked at my chest wondering what she was doing.

After ten minutes of her holding them to my chest, she removed her hands, and the pads remained securely glued to my chest. She then had me don the bra again and after fastening the clasp she reached into the cups and pulled the pads and the surrounding flesh into the cups. I couldn’t see real well since she had her hands in the way, but it seemed that I was now even more endowed than I was before. She adjusted my breasts a couple of more times, and then turned me around facing the mirror. The cups of the bra were now overflowing with flesh, and I was almost in tears. I guess that I was a little upset, and the speed of everything happening was just too much, but in a way, I also felt proud to have such an attractive bust.

Proud of having an attractive bust, I must be going crazy. Dana could see that I was having difficulty with things, and we sat on the edge of the bed while she looked through my purchases making comments about how pretty an item was or how it would look on me. Just chatter between sisters, but soon I was a little more comfortable and was actually replying to some of her statements. Afterwards, I just stared into space trying to get a feeling for what was going on. I was not embarrassed as I should be in my lingerie; I was proud that I looked as good as a female. Not exactly the thoughts that should be visited by a young male of the species.

She brought me back to reality as she handed me the pink outfit to put on. She told me to slide the skirt on while she got me a blouse to wear with the blazer. She came into the room bringing several blouses on hangers and after holding each up against the blazer she handed me a lacy ivory blouse with three quarter length sleeves and, of course, buttoning up the back. I failed to mention that in the center front of the blouse just about bust level was a keyhole opening showing off my extreme amount of cleavage.

I asked her if she had any blouses that didn’t button up the back and she just smiled. The front of the blouse had vertical stripes of lace that made the blouse seem to exude femininity as it seemed to drag any wandering eyes to the keyhole opening. As she buttoned up the blouse, she helped me pull the skirt up and closed the catch and zipped me up. I could feel very little space left between my thighs, with the skirt seeming to caress my upper legs. She helped me slip on the blazer, and I buttoned the only button securing the two lapels, again emphasizing my cleavage.

She ran off to her bedroom again and returned with a tan pair of stilettos. They must have had at least a four-inch heel but really looked good with the suit. I told her there was no way that I could wear a heel that high without practice. Looking back at me, Dana told me then I needed to practice then. That outfit is so you; you will wow them tomorrow.

That was what I was afraid of, way too much for only the second day. I practiced for another hour in the heels and in the process tried on the yellow suit. It was also good looking, but the pink suit was the best looking on me. The yellow skirt was going to be a handful trying to keep it down and not showing off my new lingerie.

I complained about the heels, but Dana just said that it was part of being beautiful. She suggested that when I was at my desk that I slip them off until I had to go somewhere. Because of wearing stockings they would be easy to slip on and off under my desk. That was how most women handled heels that were too tight or too tall.

We did get around to discussing the day’s activities, with Dana really interested in the compliments that I was getting. She told me that she had always been aware of my managerial skills but in the past, I never had the confidence to use them. It seemed to her that I had the ability, but couldn’t express myself or convey my thoughts to my fellow employees.

I guess in a way she was correct since, as a male, I watched what was going on, even failing to question the harassing that was going on. Instead of trying something or bringing up something new, I just waited till someone told me what to do next.

Finally, around eleven-thirty, she helped me remove my makeup. I donned a nightgown and went to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. I should rephrase that since, Dana had added some curlers to my head before I put the nightie on. I pleaded with her to skip them, but she would not hear of it. The price of beauty was her standard reply.

That stupid snooze alarm awoke me at five-thirty, and again I had to get up to be able to turn the damn thing off. Why I had to get up so early to go to work. As I was sitting on the toilet, I realized why I had to get up so early, hair, makeup, and several layers of clothes required extra time to put together. I put on the shower cap and headed for the shower, its warm cascade of water invigorating me. I patted dry and headed to the bedroom to start getting dressed.

Dana had already laid the clothes I needed for today out on the bed, and I started with the gaff that was what Dana called the contraption that made my front just like any other woman. After I had pushed my balls into place, it fit snug and smooth with the thong panties following close behind. The bra was next and just like last night the cups runneth over. Incidentally, the pads that Dana had glued to my chest were firm and unyielding in their attachment, apparently ready to go the distance.

Dana had laid a half slip out for me to put on and since the skirt was really not that heavy, I figured that the slip might be a good idea. Next came the blouse, and I had just managed to get it on when Dana appeared to do up the buttons for me. I asked how women manage this type of blouse without help, and she said that after a while I would be able to stretch around back to get to the buttons.

Also by pulling the blouse up on my shoulders, I would be able to reach a couple of buttons mid-way on my back. I knew that the blouse would stay on until I got back to Dana’s apartment since that flexibility was not there yet. The pencil skirt was next and was fairly easy for me to button and then zip up. I had already put on my garter belt and stockings, still getting used to the pull on the stockings from the garter straps.

I slid into the heels that she wanted me to wear and then walked over to the vanity so Dana could help me with my hair and makeup. She removed the curlers from last night and started brushing my hair into the same style as yesterday. With regards to my makeup, Dana had me do it and just made corrections as I applied the products that I got from the MAC counter last night. I had to redo my eyes twice since I could not get it right. Missed my lashes a couple of times and over did it once, way too much makeup unless I wanted to start a second career in the evening.

After forty minutes, I seemed to get the hang of it and managed to please my teacher. She had me change purses to a light pink shoulder bag making sure I had my new makeup so I could perform repairs. We adjourned to the kitchen for breakfast, with only some fruit and a cup of coffee for the fare. I really wanted a little bit more, but a look at my image in the mirror confirmed that to fit these clothes for more than a day or two would require constant monitoring of my diet. Not much room for any expansion of waist or hips. I made sure I had my I.D., my keys and left for another day at the workplace.

I arrived in thirty minutes today since the traffic was similar to yesterday. I was one of the first to arrive, but seemed to get everybody’s attention that was there. I made my way to my office and logged on the network and then proceeded to the break room to get that needed coffee. Sally had just arrived also and was making her way to the break room.

She stared at me and then gave me a very uncharacteristic wolf whistle. She greeted me with a big hug and then asked how long I had been dressing as a woman. I told her for only two days now; she then proceeded to inform me that it was not nice to make my advisory group look bad.

Sally then said, “Your looks say that you have been doing this your entire life. The fact that you are walking in four-inch heels proves my point; most women have trouble with heels any higher than three inches. You act so feminine and definitely are a natural.” I smiled, and we both entered the break room. The room although being clean had no coffee made and had obviously not been tidied up since yesterday.

I asked her if this was normal, and Sally proceeded to tell me how several women that came in early would take turns making coffee and straightening up the place. I remember arriving early several mornings but things had been completed before I arrived apparently. I made the coffee, and Sally straightened up. She asked me where I got the suit at and who did my makeup. I told her that Cheryl had helped me pick it out last night and that I had done my own makeup with a little supervision from my sister.

I explained, “Sara, the MAC adviser, had shown me what my colors were and had shown me how to apply the products, but Dana was the salvation this morning since having someone do it for you and doing it yourself is really different.” She just nodded. Toni was the next to arrive and after hugging me, we talked about the company and if the other male executives were going to participate more since I had made them look like fools yesterday.

Then looking over at me today, she snickered, “You will blow them completely out of the water with how you look today.” She also asked if I dressed as a woman before and I responded the same as to Sally. Cheryl arrived next, and I was passing out coffee as she came into the room. She took a cup and then stopped and stared at me. She looked directly at me and asked, “Did you get breast augmentation surgery last night?”

I chuckled and told her, “No, just a chicken filet for each cup.” All three of them spit coffee in a most unladylike way before bursting into laughter. They wanted to know what I was using and who told me how to do it? Cheryl was positive that when she left me last night at the mall that I was no bigger than a C cup, but now I was bordering on a D cup.

She complained to the other girls that it was not bad enough competing with the other women, now she had to compete with a male as well! Sally looked around saying that she did not see any guys anywhere, just four beautiful women, although one of them seems to be trying to show up the others. Toni wanted to know who made the coffee since it was one of the best cups she had ever tasted. I raised my hand, and she shook her head, wanting to know if there was anything that I didn’t know how to do?

Angela was the next to arrive and after hugs all around she examined me top to bottom. She wanted to know what I was going to call myself since I didn’t look anything like an Ash. I told her that I had not thought about it, but Ashley Ann might be a possibility since that was what my mom named me. I reminded her that I signed that name on the list of conditions for the pageant yesterday. That comment about my name caused Angela to give me a curious look and a blush filled face. The name met with everybody’s approval, and after exchanging lots of girl talk, we headed to our offices. I checked my email and returned a couple of calls to customers that had left messages.

I next ventured over to Rebecca’s department, checking on their progress and made a couple of suggestions to some of the women. Of course, I received compliments on my appearance and had to tell everybody where I got the clothes. Rebecca wanted to talk privately for a few minutes. We adjourned to her office, and I sat down opposite her. I did remember to sit properly and smooth my skirt out before actually placing my derriere on the chair. I doubt that as tight as the skirt was that I had much to smooth out before sitting.

She had a problem with a couple of her employees that was beginning to cause a disruption in their work. I listened to her explain what they were doing and asked how long this had been going on. She replied since the first of the harassment cases had been announced. I asked her if it was related but she was not sure whether it was or not. The women were taking advantage of a lax workplace coming in late, taking longer breaks and not pulling their share of the workload. I asked her if she had brought this to their attention and she told me she had, but they slipped back to their original behavior after a couple of days.

I asked her to call a meeting of her group ten minutes before the morning break and make sure that another department picked up their work till the meeting was over. I returned to my office and made a couple of phone calls before heading back over to Rebecca’s. She had the meeting set up, and everyone was in attendance. I got up before the group and introduced myself using the name Ashley Ann.

I asked a couple of women in the meeting if they would answer some questions for me. I asked them about the breaks and if it was covered in the company handbook. I then asked what the handbook said about lunch break, namely how long and if they could leave the premises for lunch. I then asked about the dress code for the employees and if they felt it was unreasonable. The final question was about talking in the workplace during working hours.

After I had their answers, I began to cover the questions again but this time reading from the handbook. Although the handbook had not been updated in several years, it was still the official company stand on these matters. I could see the expressions on the faces of the women as I filled in them on what was official and what was not.

I paused then, and after a couple of minutes, I asked them what would be the best course of action if they were faced with these official matters as their working conditions. Nobody responded, sudden quiet in the room. I waited until the silence was almost deafening and then told them that they should appreciate the current allowances and not take advantage of them since at some time the official stand on these matters could be implemented.

I thanked them for their time and suggested they return to work. I had taken about ten minutes time, and it was now their break time, but every woman returned to their desks and started work. Rebecca was astounded and gave me a bigger than normal hug. Every time you surprise me with your confidence, your ability to handle a situation without causing any ill feelings. I am truly impressed.

When I turned around to proceed back to my office, I came face to face with Angela and the entire board. They had stood in the doorway listening to my meeting, but had not been visible to the women or me. Angela held my hand and congratulated me on my professionalism and honesty. She looked at each of the Board members verifying their agreement with her. We adjourned to my office, and only Angela stayed as the other members of the Board had other places to visit.

It seemed they had a much larger presence since the harassment charges became known. She closed my office door and took a seat. She wanted to know how I was holding up and if I had any problems other than the ones that I obviously handled. I told her none that I was aware of. She wanted to know if I had been approached by any of the other male executives about the pageant or my participation therein. I responded in the negative telling her that I had no contact with any of the executives about any matters.

She paused for a few minutes, telling me that three more executives have accepted senior management positions, possibly becoming contestants in the pageant also. Apparently, because of how I was actively pushing the boundaries of the pageant, several of the executives that were offered positions had declined, fearing that there was no way they could compete with me.

They felt that they should be competitive somewhat, but I was way past anything that they wanted to try at this early stage of the contest. Even though the pageant was on a volunteer basis the executives that resigned felt uneasy in the new climate at COC International with the mandatory training and the pageant being prominent in most business matters.

She then told me that she needed me to take on another department to supervise. The IT department was in need of some supervision since the resignations had removed the former male manager. This had put Vivian, an assistant manager, in charge of the daily operation. Since she had been one of the first victims of the harassment to come forward, the operation of the department had suffered.

Vivian, the assistant manager, had felt wronged in many ways and had been behind the legal battles resulting in the pageant. She had gone out of her way to persuade the other harassed victims to back her and unfortunately had let her department suffer while she had tried to get some revenge. Angela was not blaming her for her actions, just that she was not performing her job duties or supervising her employees.

I asked her if Robert had ever talked to her to see if she could be swayed to resume a more productive management approach. Angela replied in the negative, telling me that he was a little fearful of her. She was afraid that at some point Robert had gone a little too far in his interactions with her and maybe crossed the line with regards to harassing an employee.

It was not an apparent blatant offense but borderline, enough so to negate any control that he might have over her. She asked me if I would be willing to tackle the problem, just talking to her to see if she was determined to tear down the company, or maybe come to an understanding that would allow normal operations to resume.

I thought about it for a few minutes, knowing that I was stepping into the fire if I tackled this one. I decided why not, maybe she would listen to my thoughts and ease up. I told Angela that I would try, but I wanted her to be there as a witness, not to participate, but to observe. She smiled on hearing this and told me to name a time, and she would be there. I asked her if she had to be anywhere right now, of course, I was hoping she was free since I was really a bundle of nerves right now.

If I didn’t do this right now, I would never be able to build up the nerve to do it later. The more I thought about it, the more nervous I became. Angela grabbed my arm, and we headed down to the IT department. She told me she had confidence in me and would intervene if I felt I needed the help. I told her just to let me try my thoughts, and if they did not help, she could let someone else try later.

We arrived outside of Vivian’s office, and I knocked before we entered. She was on the phone but soon finished, and she invited us to sit. I introduced myself and, of course, she knew Angela. She asked if she could help me with something, and I asked her if I could be blunt. She nervously nodded yes, and I asked her if her only intention was to break up the company to gain revenge for her embarrassment at the hands of a few male executives?

I had surprised her with my bluntness, and she took a couple of minutes to compose herself. She asked me if I had ever been sexually harassed, ever felt the humiliation of being treated as a less than equal woman. I told her no, but is it worth the loss of your own job and a lot of others to get revenge? She was trying to remain calm, but was greatly disturbed by my questions and conversation.

Vivian tried to steer the conversation away by asking Angela, who was I, thinking that I could come and accuse her of tearing up the company. Angela looked my way and told Vivian I was her new boss, and I was only trying to understand her intentions. I asked Vivian when she was going to resume her duties as an assistant department manager and supervise her employees. She tried to tell me that she was doing her job, but I stopped that line of thought by suggesting that we call one of her employees to the office and ask her when the last interaction had been with her boss. She lowered her head but said nothing.

After a few minutes, Vivian returned her attention to me and asked me how I could judge another person when I had not experienced it myself. I told her I couldn’t and never would. I was not judging her, I just wanted to know why she was willing to risk her job, and a lot of other innocent people’s jobs to try just to get revenge for something that had happened in the past.

Her reply to us, “Women should not be treated like that or subjected to harassment is justification for my actions.”

“I agreed that the harassment was wrong from the littlest instance, but the wellbeing of the majority of the employees, both her, and the other five hundred and seventy-five were just as important a consideration, don’t you think?”

She was stricken with a loss of what to say since I kept bringing up the loss of jobs. Vivian then tried to attack from a different angle with, “How can I, or anyone else, be sure that it would not happen again since so many cases of harassment had occurred?

“I can’t speak for other employees, but I can tell you that it won’t happen within my departments, now, or in the future. That I can guarantee!” She said, “You’re a woman, and very few women harass other females in the workplace.” I acknowledged that, but told her I was not a woman; and more than anything else, I was interested in the company doing well and preserving a lot of jobs. I looked her in the eyes and said, “Why do you think I participated in the beauty pageant and am sitting her in full female mode? I am trying to experience what it is like to be a woman, to be treated as such, to live as they do and to feel what a woman feels.

However, my first concern is, and will always be, the condition of this company. For without, this company, I and a lot of others, will not have a job.”

Her mouth was still open as I got up to leave, although I still gave her a womanly hug as I made my way out of her office. I stopped at the door, and asked her to reconsider her actions and join me in putting the company first and personal feelings second.

I told her to email me with any concerns she had about the operation of her department and that I would be checking in with her periodically as to its operation and function. Angela preceded me out the door, and we headed back to my office. She took my arm, and we walked down the hall at a leisurely pace. After we had turned the corner, she pulled up and gave me another hug. Looking at me she wanted to know, “Has Ashley Ann always been a part of me, and why didn’t I bring her forth before?”

I explained to her that Ash is a different type of individual, a rather shy, conservative person lacking any confidence in what he was doing. For some reason, Ashley Ann just feels right, nervous at times, but confident that she can get the job done. Whatever the reason Angela was happy to have Ashley Ann on board.

When we arrived at my office, Cheryl saw that I was back and came into the office. My advisory committee wanted to take me out to lunch and asked if I had the time. She also invited Angela to come along; she agreed if she could pay. Cheryl quickly agreed, and we all adjourned to the ladies room to freshen our makeup and repair our hairdos.

Toni, Sally, and Pat joined us and the first comment made by them was how goes the managerial duties? I kind of stared at them for a minute or two and then Pat asked how Vivian was doing? We had just come back from her office and already most people knew what had happened and that I had another department to manage. The interoffice grapevine sure works fast! Angela got that big smile plastered on her face and responded to the girls that, “Ashley Ann just can’t keep from taking on more duties.”

“I tried to tell her that it maybe was too much, but she would not hear of it.” Sally looked over my way saying that was her Ashley Ann through and through.

Angela took us over to a more upscale restaurant, still serving salads and light type food, but better atmosphere and lots better tasting. The girls wanted to know what happened with Vivian since they had not got all the details through the grapevine before lunch. I shook my head, telling them the context of the meeting should remain personal and definitely not gossiped around. Sally just wanted to know if there were any punches thrown and if I had missed any hair. We all smiled, and Angela told them that it was a cordial meeting, and Ashley Ann had prevailed as usual.

The conversation came back to me again, and they wanted to know how I was holding up to my total immersion in femininity. I told them, “I’m doing alright, but quite often, I just was not aware that I was dressed as a female.” I got several strange looks at that comment. Toni said how can you not realize that you are dressed as a woman wearing makeup, and with boobs on your chest?

I shrugged my head, and finally, Cheryl came to my defense, “She is a woman on the inside who has finally come to her senses and began to live her life as it was intended.” There was sudden silence, and then I noticed everyone nodding their head in the affirmative. I was sure she was wrong but for some reason, I couldn’t come back with anything to say.

Angela added her two cents in saying that she has always thought of me as a female ever since I was hired. I gave her a puzzled look tilting my head to the side trying to understand her comment. She said it was true, although I dressed as a male and had no physical female traits she just perceived me as a woman. When the Board was debating the pageant she had thought of me as a natural for the contest, since I would finally look like I acted.

I was lost in thought and Sally had to lean over and asked me If I had heard them talking to me. I blushed red, knowing I had not heard a thing they had said in the last few minutes. Cheryl told me that I needed to think about it tonight, for, in her opinion, I would never go back to being a male. Everybody agreed, but I was lost in thought and now some worry. I guess that I accepted this new lifestyle without thinking about it too much, but I was sure that there was a normal male inside, well maybe hoped there was.

Cheryl reminded me that we had to get back to work, and Angela paid the bill, and we returned to the office. Of course, I had to go to the ladies room to repair my makeup; I let an errant thought enter my mind. Maybe the girls were right; I was too comfortable with this for only two days into my masquerade. I finished fixing my lipstick and grabbed my purse and returned to my desk. Yes, I was remembering my purse everywhere I went. It was almost as I needed it to handle whatever came up.

Back in my office, I had a visitor waiting for me, from the door it looked like a tall heavily built woman, but after entering and sitting at my desk I knew it was Robert our CEO. I looked him over as he did me and we complimented each other on our appearance. He said he had to come and see for himself the miracle that was Ashley Ann. I blushed again, and he just smiled. You even blush like a woman. He asked me how I was holding up and if there was anything he could do to help out. I told him I was doing fine, and we chatted about the company for several minutes.

He told me how he envied me on my ability to blend in so well and be so forthright about everything. I told him it was not as easy as it seemed and how I have been a nervous wreck as I attempted to do things. He seemed to relax a little, and he asked me if I could find an hour a day to visit him in his office. I told him that I could and would be honored.

He wanted me to be aware of matters in the company and what had been done so far to handle them. My face must have shown my puzzlement since he smiled and went farther. We both know that you will at some time move up in the company, and I want you to be aware of what is going on. I apparently had my mouth open, and he smiled. I guess that you were unaware of this, but now you know.

Without getting into a lot of details, he had made some mistakes, telling Angela and the Board about them. He agreed to stay on until his replacement could be trained. Angela had told him about me at that time, and he was very questionable of her decision since I was not even doing my job in a very admirable fashion.

Since the pageant announcement, he has noticed a total and miraculous turnaround both in my appearance and particularly my management skills. I had in two days started bringing the corporation back together and healed or at least caused months of harassment to be shoved under the doormat. He knows that harassment could never be totally forgotten, but at least it was not an everyday subject of conversation anymore.

He was sorry for ever doubting my abilities and knew Angela had seen something in me that she could bring to the front. She has done that quite a bit in her career. We agreed on meeting right after lunch for an hour a day, and he made his way out of my office.

He stopped at my door and asked I would do him a favor and book him an appointment at the same salon that I had used. I told him that I would be delighted to make one for him. He told me to make it right after work if possible any night she could fit him in. He told me that I would undoubtedly win the pageant, but he would try to give me a little competition at least.

The rest of the afternoon was primarily just basic business matters, but I made the rounds of my departments checking on everyone and talking with the women that worked there. I always got a smile, especially when I mentioned their name in conversation. I frequently received comments about my appearance, and I always found something to compliment them on as well. I played no favorites and made sure no one was missed or forgotten.

After going through the department, I would meet with the person overseeing that area, and we would talk about what work was coming up and who would be assigned the project. I never told them who should be doing it but tried to steer them in a positive direction. Of all the people running the departments, Rebecca was the first one to catch on to my methods. She told me several times that she appreciated that I was letting her make the decisions, even though I had to make her aware of a better choice.

I responded that how else could I train her to be able to take my job one day. She cocked her head a little and after seeing that I was serious blushed with apparent embarrassment. She was stunned that I would even consider her as my replacement. I smiled and told her to have a little more confidence in herself; she has had so much more experience in her career than I have. A big grin came over her face, and she realized that I had been aware of the times that she was overlooked for a promotion.

The rest of the day crawled along but eventually quitting time arrived. I had just come back from meeting Angela and updating her on the progress in my area of responsibility. She was pleased with my accomplishments and especially with my employee relations. She had asked me why I spent time with everyone, and after thinking about it for a couple of minutes, I told her that it was probably because no one in my division had ever taken the time to come around and see what was happening.

It was expected for us just to read our emails and do the required work. If we didn’t interpret the email right, we had to do the work over. Somehow that method did not seem to be the way to run an office. I like talking with my fellow employees, finding out how they are doing on their assignments and showing them that I care about them. Quite often a person’s performance is affected by personal matters and just letting them know that you want to help them with these matters allows them to solve their own problems.

Yesterday a woman with two young kids was having babysitting problems that was making her late for work. I told her to take a few hours and find a solution for her problem. When she returned after lunch, she had found a sitter and was relieved that she did not need to worry anymore. Since yesterday she has worked extra, through lunch and after work, and made up for all her lost time. She has completed all of her assigned work and has been helping a co-worker with her work. The employee is happy, and I have a smooth running department. What I did, cost the company nothing and handled a problem that might have festered into something major.

Angela listened in silence, then asked why I hadn’t done anything like that when I was Ash. I was embarrassed by the question since I knew that as Ash I never lifted a finger to make contact with any employee. A few of my fellow executives and I had talked at work but never an employee under my supervision. I depended on emails and intercompany mail to handle any communication that I had to have with them.

I guess since I am dressing and acting like a woman I felt closer to them, as though I could just talk to them and convey my thoughts to them. The barrier between company employee and male executive was not there. I was more like them, but the person responsible for seeing that they performed their tasks in an efficient manner.

Angela told me to keep up the work since my division was the only one showing signs of cohesion. Most of the other divisions were still struggling with morale, the most obvious problem. It seems that the other male executives are so scared that they will commit some form of harassment that they are doing nothing to help, just showing up. Only Robert has started preparing for the pageant, the other executives shying away from even the mention of the pageant. So far she has three volunteers for the pageant, most are scared of showing any femininity, and the rest just want to play everything safe and cautious, hoping everything just goes away.

I told Angela that I had to get going since Dana was expecting me home before six. She thanked me for the update on things and asked if I would try to help her get more people involved in the other divisions. I told her I would try. I made it back to my office, shut down my computer, gathered my purse, and headed out the door. Since that first-day security has greeted me every time that I pass. I always return the favor and have learned their names, so that the greeting is more personal.

Traffic was heavier tonight than it has been for several weeks. It was almost forty minutes before I was parked in Dana’s driveway. I have to remember to thank Dana for insisting that I stay at her house, since the travel time is less and being with someone really helps when learning so many new things. I enjoy the way we sit at night and talk about the days happenings; somehow it helps keep things in perspective.

As I entered the door, I yelled out I’m home. She was sitting in the living room reading her book; she got up, and I received a nice hug. She asked me to change my clothes to what was laying out on my bed. She told me she had made reservations for dinner, and then we were going dancing at a small nightclub. I raised my eyebrows a little and told her that I was not ready to cross that bridge yet, dressing at work is enough for now.

She pushed me towards the stairs and told me to get changed. She would be up to help me in a minute with my makeup and hair. I dragged my feet heading up to my room, like a kid that was scolded for doing something wrong. When I saw what she had laid out for me I was more than a little apprehensive.

I started to go back downstairs to find Dana to tell her that there was no way that I was going to wear that little piece of cloth. On my bed was a very short LBD that I doubted would cover much of my thigh. I stood trying to figure out what to do, knowing that Dana was pushing me to learn what life was as a female. I decided to go along for now since I was sure that I would lose any argument with her anyway.

I removed my clothes, at least the ones that I could get off, and waited for Dana to help me with the rest. She entered the bedroom with a big smile on her face and helped me with the blouse that buttoned up the back. I saw that I had to change bras, and decided that a change of panties was appropriate also. Dana told me that the bra was a push-up bra, but different than the one I bought because it had lace trim around the cups, and a deep slit between the breast cups, to be seen with a plunging neckline dress. As I picked up the LBD, I noticed that the neckline was very revealing, thus the reason for this bra. The dress was sleeveless, very tight in the waist and hips, with the hem coming about five inches above my knee.

Dana helped me with the zipper, the dress getting tighter as the zipper was pulled up. The final part of this costume was a pair of heels in black patent with silver trim. As I slipped my foot into the heel, I knew they were not the normal stiletto. The height of the heel was at least five inches tall, causing me to walk mainly on my toes. It took me a few steps to get comfortable. I knew at the first opportunity I would be giving my feet a rest, the toes being pointed would make the breaks infinitely more desirable.

Now, if someone had told me a few days ago that I would be wearing shoes with five-inch heels, I would have doubted them. After dressing, I saw in the mirror a young woman in a gorgeous LBD with sky high heels looking like she just stepped off the runway of some fashion house.

I went down to her bedroom and sat at her vanity waiting for her to change into her dress. I noticed that she had already done her makeup and hair. Her dress was a very tight fitting light pink sweater dress that left nothing to the imagination. Every curve of her body showed itself as she moved in the dress. I could see that her nipples were very erect, wanting to make their appearance known. I gave her a wolf whistle, and she blushed a little.

Wait till I get through with your hair and makeup, you will be just as pretty. She had me remove my present makeup, showing me how to do a more dramatic look for evening. The colors were more vibrant and darker than for daytime. I applied the makeup as instructed; then Dana started on my hair. The style was about the same with smooth sides and curls galore at the back of my head. Some of the curls were pulled out of the chignon allowing for a sexier, curl dangling look. She then pulled a few strands from the smooth sides at my ears. She encouraged them into little ringlets bouncing as my head moved. The effect as far as I was concerned was very dramatic.

I now looked like a young woman dressed to the nines and shopping for a husband. I loved the look, but I was also aware of the attention that I would receive, any woman would receive, dressed like this. I tried to get Dana to change her mind about going out, but she said that it was part of my education, and school was in session tonight. I had to change my purse to a black clutch but managed that with ease.

As we exited the house, walking to her car, I was aware of the tightness of my dress and the height of the heels. I was sure my butt was wiggling like a stripper doing her routine. I almost fell into the seat as I tried to enter the car gracefully. Dana giggled but quickly recovered. She drove to a little Italian restaurant that we had eaten at many times. It was owned by a couple that emigrated from Italy about ten years ago.

The woman did the cooking, and her husband waited on the tables. All the dishes were prepared after you ordered them, made from fresh ingredients. Sometimes their daughter helped wait on tables when they were real busy. The food was excellent, and you had to make reservations to get in, the word quickly spreading about the quality and level of service.

Dana parked in the municipal parking lot about a block away from the restaurant. We walked the short distance, knowing that would be the best approach since the nightclub was in the same block. I was very thankful that it was only a block since my feet in the tall heels were definitely letting me know of their distress. Their daughter, Sophia greeted us in the lobby and showed us to our table. She glanced my way several times before she recognized me.

She gave me such a hug, confiding in me that I was finally dressing as I should. My mouth was open, not knowing what to say. She asked Dana how she was able to persuade me to dress like the woman that I should have been. Well you know Dana, twenty minutes later Sophia knew all about the pageant. Sophia could not believe that I looked so beautiful, she felt that I was always a woman but to be so pretty too. Sophia wanted to know what name I used as a woman since Ash would never do for such an attractive lady.

Dana told her I used Ashley Ann. Sophia’s father came over to take our orders, wanting to know who the beautiful woman was that was seated next to Dana. Sophia made the introductions, as her father kissed my hand, then told him that I was Ash under the clothes. He couldn’t believe it, wanting to know why I would dress like a man when I obviously was a very attractive woman. I smiled not knowing exactly what to say to that comment.

After they had left the table to handle other customers, I looked over at Dana, asking her was it that obvious that everybody thought I was a woman masquerading as a man. Maybe not to everyone, but those that had more than a passing acquaintance with you saw the real you, that is, as a female. It wasn’t long before Salvatore brought our dinner out. We had ordered a chicken pasta salad each, but he brought way too many dishes for just two chicken salads.

Pointing to the different dishes, he said we are celebrating Ashley Ann finally becoming the woman we know she should be. Enjoy, all the dishes are low in calories. That was said with the biggest grin that I had ever seen him sport. The food was excellent like it always is and we definitely ate too much. I really doubted that all the dishes were low in calories. Lo-cal food does not taste that good. We finished, and Dana asked for the check, he responded that the check had been handled. Two beautiful women out on the town should not have to pay for their dinner. We thanked him for his kindness, left a tip and made our way to the ladies room. Lipstick had to be repaired and hair checked before we went to the nightclub. I still had cold feet about it, but Dana was determined for me to get the experience of clubbing as it is referred to now.

With our makeup fixed we said our goodbyes to Sophia and made our way out to the street. The pedestrian traffic had picked up considerably since we went in to eat. There were several nice restaurants in the area and two nightclubs within a three block stretch. We wandered down the street until we came to the club that Dana wanted to go to. There was a small line with a bouncer letting in a few people at a time.

Apparently, there were almost full inside, even though it was early. He was watching the line and as he saw us walk up he came down to where we were standing. I can make room for two beautiful ladies now, come on along. He had been staring at me, then gently held my arm as he escorted the two of us inside. Dana was doing a very bad job of controlling her giggles and as we entered she lost it.

Still giggling, she led me to a table over to the side of the bar and lounge, away from the dance floor. It was almost quiet enough to talk and understand what was being said. Her giggling had finally stopped, but she was studying me very intently. She asked if I had any idea of what just happened at the entrance. I told her we got in early apparently because he saw two attractive women standing in line.

No, he saw one very beautiful woman and her lady friend and your looks got us in. I tried to tell her that was not the case when Dana told me that the bouncer’s eyes never left my chest. Then to my utter dismay, she told me he obviously had a thing for me since parts of his body were standing tall. I was now blushing red, not just on my face if that was even possible.

I tried to look around the club to see who was there and what was going on as if that would help my embarrassment. There were many, very beautiful females in the club, and most were engaged in conversation with their girlfriends or many of the young men present. Dana scooted closer to me in the booth and began to inform me of the do’s and don’ts of clubbing. I was never to stare at any of the men for too long, or I would likely have them as companions.

She assured me that we would be asked to dance many times this evening and only to accept if I truly wanted to dance with him. If it was a slow number, not to hold him too tight or I would be sending him the wrong signals. If I felt uncomfortable at any time, ask to come back to the table and tell me you need to use the ladies room with me. Very rarely do females use the ladies room without their girlfriend coming along.

I was looking through my purse for some cash since I figured I was way overdue for a drink. Dana closed my purse and told me that I would not have to buy any drinks tonight, also suggesting that I drink only coke from a can. I kind of gave her a questioning look but knew that she had more experience at this than I did. Shortly a waitress came over and asked us what we were drinking since the two gentlemen at the bar wanted to get our drinks. Dana looked over at the bar, and the guys waved a little. Apparently, they checked out because Dana agreed and ordered us two cokes. I asked why in a can, and she told me that was one way to make sure nothing got put in the drinks. I was about to question her again but then thought of the date rape drug, and knew what she was talking about.

After the waitress had brought our cokes, we sipped them, and Dana pointed out some of the guys that she had run into before when she had come with her girlfriend. She was pointing them out since dancing with one of them would be quite safe. The two guys at the bar that had bought us drinks were two of the guys that she had prior knowledge of. Just as we were talking about them, they wandered up to our table and asked us to dance. I looked over at Dana since I was terrified of dancing with a guy.

She accepted for both of us, with Bob dancing with her and Steve dancing with me. Steve led me to the dance floor and then put his arm around my waist and held my other arm in his. I danced quite well as a man, but it took me a few moments to realize that I had to follow and not lead. Luckily Steve was not that good a dancer or he was as nervous as me since he didn’t notice my indecision. We danced that number, and then they played another slow number, and he pulled me in a little closer, and we danced.

I noticed that I was becoming more comfortable in this role, and I found myself enjoying being held and dancing. After that dance, we went back to the table where Dana and Bob were already seated. We exchanged a few details about our backgrounds and small talk about the club and their patrons. Bob and Steve were frequent visitors trying to meet women. They were particularly glad they came tonight.

Another gentleman came up to the table, looking directly at me and asked me to dance. I looked at Steve wondering if he would mind, then at Dana wondering if I should accept. She winked at me to accept, and I was being led to the dance floor again, thinking that this was really weird. I was a man dressed as a female in a club dancing with men that I had just met. I had dated some as Ash, even went dancing with some women, but for some reason, it was not that enjoyable, and I never did it more than a time or two.

The gentleman’s name was Joseph, but he wanted me to call him Joe. He was a much better dancer than Steve, and I was being whisked around the dance floor thoroughly enjoying myself. We ended up dancing for four more dances before I asked him to take me back to the table. Dana was not there and after looking around for a minute or two, I saw her dancing with Bob, with very little space between them. In fact, her head was lying on his shoulder. She was definitely enjoying herself.

Joe sat down with me and asked if he could get us some more to drink. I told him we were drinking cokes in a can, and he nodded and went to the bar. Soon he was back with the drinks and sat down next to me. We exchanged pleasantries and a little about ourselves before Dana and Bob returned to our table. After introducing everybody to each other Bob excused himself to check on Steve and Joe went to use the men’s room.

Dana almost squealed as she held my hand knowing that I had enjoyed myself. I was utterly confused with all of my emotions running rampant, I was a male, dressing as a female, dancing with men and the hard part to fathom, I was thrilled with it. Joe returned, and we talked for a while before he had to go, he was a doctor working the ER tomorrow and had to get some rest. He wanted to know if I came here often, I told him no. In that case, you need to give me your cell phone number so; I can call you.

He was smiling at me with the biggest grin, and I gave him my number without even thinking of the consequences of my action. He gave me a peck on the cheek, giving Dana one as well as he said goodbye. We gathered up our purses; then I asked Dana if she needed to see Bob before we left. She replied that it was not necessary since she had already given him her cell phone number. The last was said with a smile on her face.

We left and walked the short distance to where we had parked, Dana unlocking the doors so we could get in. The ride home was fairly quiet with Dana concentrating on her driving and me lost in thought on what had happened tonight, but only after I had slipped out of the heels. Sometime during the ride home I glanced at the clock on the console and released that we had spent four hours at the club.

My mind kept replaying what had happened tonight, and Joe was prominent in my thoughts. Maybe being a female had other advantages other than clothes and makeup. Dana had to touch my arm to get me to become aware of her talking to me. I asked her what she had said, surprised that she was giggling at me. You have sure got it bad; Ashley Ann now has a boyfriend, and I don’t think Ash, the male, will be coming back anytime soon. I started to reply but just dropped it knowing that she was probably right. Ashley Ann was in control now, not going to relinquish her newfound power or appeal for quite a while.

We did the usual girl preparations for the night and then headed to the kitchen for tea and snacks. I made the tea and Dana opened a new container of Danish Butter Cookies. We sat and talked about the evening, with Dana going on and on about Bob, and me talking about Joe. It was surprisingly all girl talk, about their looks, their actions, their dancing, and how their kisses felt.

When we had covered the main topics, Dana got a little serious and asked me how I felt about acting like a female. I told her I enjoyed it, although the wrong behavior for a man, it felt natural and comfortable to me as a woman. Did I want to try it again, yes especially with Joe, although I would like to have you there for moral support. She told me that she had always felt I was a female inside, but she was never able to get me to embrace that side of me. When the idea of the pageant came up, she thanked God for placing the vehicle for my feminization in play. As so many people have observed, you have been a female in spirit but always dressed as a man.

There is so much more to the genders than just body parts and clothes. The way you act, your mannerisms with regards to people, give your acquaintances the perception that they are interacting with a man or a woman. In your case, there is no doubt that they are interacting with a female. At work you have stated that everyone seems more vocal with you, possibly because they feel that they are interacting with a female and not a male. Females always feel more comfortable with other females since there is not any sex involved to get in the way.

It was after one in the morning, and I had work, and Dana had a consulting job tomorrow. She did interior decorating and went to clients homes and advised them what should go where and what piece they needed to fill that particular spot. Tomorrow’s job had a base fee of five hundred dollars before any extra add-ons. Of course, it has taken Dana several years to get the following and referrals, but recently she has a steady income and a little more business each month.

We adjourned to our bedrooms, and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was sound asleep. The stupid snooze alarm woke me the next morning, and I was grasping around for the clock so that I could do damage to it. I finally found it and managed to get the alarm turned off. The dream that it so rudely interrupted was such a wonderful dream that I just sat on the edge of the bed running it back through my head.

Dana was standing in the doorway observing me and wanted to know if I got to the part where Joe kissed me on the cheek. I blushed in a vibrant reddish color and told her I had to use the facilities real bad. When I returned to the bedroom Dana had already laid my outfit out for the day; the yellow A-line skirt was up today.

A normal male, if there is such a person, in a beauty pageant might choose to wear ladies pants, T-shirts, or other gender neutral clothing to fulfill the conditions of the contest. In this pageant, the requirements, however, dictated skirts or dresses only. This un-normal male chooses the most feminine of clothes, jewelry, and makeup to wear. I guess it could be called raising the bar a little. However, the other male executives at my company had not taken the bait.

It seemed to be just me progressing toward that female image that I craved. Crave seems to be the word since I was obviously pushing the boundaries to become the person that I deemed was the true me. How else could I explain dressing as a woman totally with makeup and a feminine hairdo, although I was born a male and existed that way for many years?

I managed to get myself dressed in the chosen clothes and after checking my appearance, I pronounced myself ready for makeup and hair. I did manage to get most of the makeup applied in a respectable manner, but my attempts at styling my hair resulted in less favorable results.

Dana came to the rescue again, changing my style a little since she had not put my hair in curlers last night since it was so late. It was still very feminine, a high curly ponytail with yellow ribbons added to the scrunchie.

Some toast and tea is the fare this morning, and we headed to our jobs. Dana had asked if I would like to have lunch with her since we would both be in the same area around lunchtime. I agreed, and she would meet me at my office. I told her I would tell security that she would be coming, and they would have a visitor’s pass ready for her.

I arrived at work feeling fairly good for once. I am either getting used to dressing up, or maybe I was just accepting that I am now a woman and started acting that way. I stopped at security, telling them about Dana, and he told me he would have her pass ready when she arrived. I went on to my office, as I walked down the hall, I noticed that everyone was watching to see what I was wearing today. Cheryl gave me a little whistle, following me to my office.

She appraised my look for the day, telling me that this dominating the fashion looks every day had to come to a halt. I told her that she had picked out this outfit, so she could place the blame where it belonged. She giggled but told me that how that dress looked on me was almost sinful. We made small talk for a few minutes then I had to model the outfit for the rest of my advisory committee. Sally told me she was dropping out of the competition for best-dressed woman at work since she could not compete against me. I was flattered but doubted that I looked that good.

I was informed that I now had a least a little competition for the pageant. I asked who it was, and they told me that Robert had been to his appointment at Beverly’s salon. They wanted me to visit him this morning, complimenting him on his efforts. I asked if he looked good and Toni summed it up quite elegantly. A pretty lady, not a winner of the pageant.

I inquired how the development of their ideas was coming along, and they told me they were ready to try them out. I told them to go ahead and let me know what the results were. They thought that I would want to know the details before I allowed them to be integrated into the system. I asked them if they had double checked their work, Sally telling me they had gone over it a number of times. I said then if they had covered their asses than why would I want to know the details. To manage properly, one should find talented people, make sure they check their work, then let them do their job. I checked to see if Cheryl and Toni had any problems in their tasks, both responding that were doing fine.

They returned to their desks, and I checked my email. I had several new emails, responding to the ones that needed it, deleting the ones that were intercompany after reading them. My next destination was Robert’s office, looking forward to seeing how he had turned out after his beauty treatments. His secretary smiled as she saw me enter the outer office. She told me Roberta was expecting me this morning and to go on in. I knocked on the partially open door, and she told me to enter.

I went over to give her a hug of encouragement, asking her to turn around so I could get a good look. Beverly had done wonderfully with Roberta since she now looked the part. Her hair was cut in a pageboy style. Obviously, she had gotten extensions since she had short hair before. Her makeup was basic, but her feminine features were highlighted and emphasized. Her brows had been shaped into fine arches really adding to her feminine looks.

Sitting on her couch with her I noticed that she had been educated in female actions since she sat on the couch quite daintily after smoothing her skirt. I asked her how things were going if she was ready to embrace the sex change scheduled at the end of the pageant. She giggled at that, telling me that his wife preferred that he keep his original equipment, but the wife was having a blast at his expense, helping with the preparations.

He now had to practice feminine mannerisms and walking in heels every night for several hours. Even his youngest daughter was thrilled that Daddy had been practicing to be a mommy. He took a minute to appraise my looks, telling me that I was more a woman than most of the women working here. I didn’t respond since I felt that she might be right. We talked about the company if I was having problems that I couldn’t handle. I told her that all was running smoothly so far, my employees seeming to relate better to me as a female than as a male.

She informed me that we had six senior executive management people now on board. That was not including Roberta or me. Only a few more to go to fill all of the vacated positions. Surprisingly the pageant was not a big deal with me anymore. I did not see myself as a male participating in the contest, but as a female, trying to handle my work in an as effective manner as possible. When the change took place, I do not know, but I saw everything through a different set of lenses. After I had left his office, I walked through my departments asking questions and checking on progress. Of course, I had to tell most everybody where I got the outfit and was complimented many times that morning.

I returned to my office to jot down a few notes about the pageant, trying to figure out if I was going to keep pushing the envelope or rest on my laurels. For some reason, the desire to become more feminine was somehow entrenched in my brain. A knock on my door, Angela appearing and sporting that Cheshire cat smile, made her way into my office. She came up beside me, looking over my shoulder at my list, her smile making me giggle. After she had examined my list carefully, she surprised me by saying that you don’t consider yourself male any longer do you. I too quickly told her that I never really connected as a male, but ever since this pageant, I thought of myself as a woman.

Before she left, she raved about my outfit, asking me to come shopping with her so I could help her pick out some glamorous outfits. At that time Dana walked into my office, and I introduced her to Angela. Angela wanted to talk with her, so I suggested that we all go to lunch together. In the back of my head, I had the notion that this might not be a good idea but what the heck. We all visited the ladies room to freshen up our looks and then headed out.

Angela drove to a nice Chinese restaurant a few miles down the road since everybody was yearning for good Chinese food. The restaurant was busy for a weekday but after a twenty-minute wait, we were seated. The waitress gave us menus and took our drink orders. Ten minutes later she brought us our drinks and took our order. Dana and Angela were deep in conversation with me only catching a few highlights as they progressed through the work activities, the pageant and me.

Dana told of our growing up as kids, stressing the times that she managed to get me to dress as her sister. This was something that I had hoped would not come up in conversation, but I guess it was for the better since all of my little secrets were now out in the open. Dana told Angela about some of her ideas that she had for me to become a little more female. The main one being involved in dating a man since how could a man know how a woman feels if he never experiences life as a single female.

I tried to get across to her that I was only interested in women as a romantic partner, but both she and Angela felt the experience would open my eyes quite a bit. Then Dana told Angela about last night. To my dismay, Dana had snapped a picture of me with Joe on her phone and was showing Angela how I looked. Angela smiled, still looking at my picture, but obviously thinking about how I looked and apparently acted. Then Dana told her that I even gave Joe my cell phone number last night.

Angela’s only words to me were if she was going to be invited to the wedding. I had no come back to that, so I just stared at the wall. When they talk about Murphy’s Law, most people, just shrug their shoulders, not really believing that it happens. My cell phone started ringing, and I looked at it, not recognizing the number. I answered, guess who was on the line. Joe asked me how I was, but I felt confused for a minute with both Dana and Angela busting their gut on the other side of the table.

Finally, things calmed down a little, and I managed to sound like a normal human, I was actually able to put a few sentences together. He asked me if I enjoyed last night and I replied in the affirmative, the big sigh that I let out giving away my true feelings. Again Dana and Angela couldn’t keep from giggling. Even Joe heard the giggles and asked who I was with.

I told him my sister and boss were with me for lunch, and they had a hard time acting like civilized people. The reason for his call was he wanted to ask me out on a date tomorrow evening. I hesitated but after a few minutes, he managed to convince me that I wanted to go out with him, and I agreed to the date. He told me he was taking me to the Green Gables restaurant in town, and our reservations were for nine P.M. I told him to behave himself, and I would see him tomorrow.

I soon as I hit, end of call, both women were asking all kinds of questions. From my end of the conversation, they had presumed a date was the outcome of the call but wanted to know all the details. I told them the Green Gables restaurant at nine P.M. tomorrow evening. Both took in a large intake of air and Angela asked if I was considering marriage. Meanwhile, Dana was on the phone to Beverly to get me an appointment for my hair.

I tried to tell Angela he was just a nice guy that I had danced with last night and nothing more. She surprised me by telling me that I had to get real and very fast. The typical dinner at the Green Gables was in excess of five hundred dollars not including the wine. When a guy spends that type of money, he is definitely serious. Dana then started asking Angela if she knew where I could get an evening gown real fast. Angela knew of several places and would call them after we got back to the office.

I stupidly asked why I couldn’t wear the LBD that I wore last night. The looks that the two gave me would melt lead, both of them telling me that it was not done that way. I would need a formal gown preferably strapless and long.

The food was served, quite good looking on the plate and to my surprise also tasted as good as it looked. It was chicken cooked on a hibachi with a sesame seed sauce on rice, in fact, I almost got another order to take with me since it was so good.

The conversation returned to me after we had eaten our lunch. They compared notes on clothes that looked best on me on the way back to the office, finally deciding that the business suit look was my best option for work. Since I was now dating evening attire was also discussed in length. Beverly had called Dana back and confirmed that she could squeeze me in about three P.M. tomorrow afternoon.

Then to my total shock, Dana and I were invited over to Angela’s for a Saturday pool party. Before I could turn it down Dana had accepted, finding out that bikinis were required. I knew the bikini option was just for my benefit since both of them had been trying to get me into a bikini since the contest started, besides it was mid-September, a little late for bikinis and swimming in general. I surrendered to my fate knowing that the sooner that I got this feat accomplished the soon we could move on to less embarrassing attire.

When we returned to my office, the pageant and the newly appointed senior executive management were discussed. Angela felt that the executives selected would do well with the pageant, since most were small in stature and decidedly not in the macho linebacker category. Now all she had to do was get them to volunteer for the contest. All of them were qualified for the positions they were appointed to, and should not have any trouble with their new jobs.

The only problems might be the severity of the pageant, although they have been told in advance what all it entails, being told and living it are two different things. The sad part of all of this was since the harassment charges were leveled, COC International had lost twenty-five male executives to resignation. Most were guilty of actual harassment, but the contest (due to the settlement) counted for almost as many resignations since the male executives just couldn’t handle the idea of possibly being selected to dress as a female.

The woman who thought up this contest almost got her way, with the majority of male corporate executives opting out of the company. It is obvious to me that COC International never utilized the female talent that they had working for them all along, just getting by with the typical male executive stereotype. At least Beverly was going to get quite a bit of business out of this pageant, and the women employees of COC would be judged on their talent and work.

The discussion for the next half hour centered on why some men were able to drop the macho personality and embrace the idea of dressing as a female. I told them that most men are scared to death of showing any caring or affection for another person. When they marry, some of them are able to show love and affection for their wife, but basically, any emotions other than for a spouse are subject to ridicule by other males. The words sissy, faggot, queer, and homo are applied to anybody that does not fit into their comfortable little-departmentalized world.

The fact that women are not seen as equals to them is because they do show emotions, caring for other people. The male executive sees that as being weak, just not capable of surviving in the corporate world. Through all of this discussion Angela and Dana just smiled, knowing I was not one of those individuals.

Dana had a salon appointment and had to get going to be able to make it. Angela gave me a big hug, telling me again that on being a woman I would win the pageant hands down, any day of the year. She told Dana that she would look into the evening gowns and call her back. Then she looked at me, complimenting me on landing a doctor after only two days dressing as a female. Blush city returned, and I tried to tell her that we just met and were friends. Her cat-like smile returned, and she left.

She was headed out to see Roberta, to see how the new female CEO was holding up. I walked through my departments, stopping to talk to the women, about their jobs, their families, and life in general. Before this pageant, I never knew much about my employees, much less their names. Now I saw them as equals, calling them by name and talking with them as girlfriends did. There was much less talk than before, and the tasks assigned were being completed in record time, a result of employees seeing that changes were happening. They seemed to be happy, actually enjoying their work. Too bad that this company only found out about this when it was near destruction.

When I returned to my office, I thought about my list of things to possibly do, trying to figure out what my next step should be in my quest to show active participation in the pageant. I guess, somehow, I had been made a role model in this pageant and wanted to keep pushing the boundaries for myself so that those that follow would have something to strive for. Now, all I had to do was believe that was the real reason.

Roberta emailed me that afternoon, suggesting that I take a little time off, knowing that I had done more than most to help the company. I replied that I just might do that.

I was trying to think who I could consult on some future developments, but Dana was the only one other than Angela that I could trust. Since Dana was at Beverly’s salon, that being only four blocks away, I decided I would visit her at the salon. I could also get Beverly’s ideas as well while I was there. I let everybody know that I was leaving early and made my way to the salon. Dana was under a dryer when I got there, and Beverly was finishing up with a customer.

She wanted to know if I wanted anything done today, me telling her that I just wanted to talk with her and Dana when they were through. She asked if I was excited about my date tomorrow and I groaned since now everybody seemed to think this was serious and was leading to something. I told her that I was glad to be going out since I enjoyed Joe’s company.

I grabbed a magazine and started looking through the hairstyles pictured in them. I saw several styles that seemed to be more feminine than my style, and I dog-eared the page to ask their opinion.

As I looked at the feminine styles, a disturbing thought crossed my mind. Why am I, a young member of the male species, trying to get more girly than I was already? In the last couple of days, I had told myself that I was making up for not reporting harassment that I had witnessed. A guilt that I had caused needless suffering by not speaking out. Was that the real reason for seemingly want to be more girly every day, or is there some compulsion to become a woman?

I had dressed as a female for a couple of Halloweens years ago, although it wasn’t a conscious effort on my part to do so. A female friend dressed me one year, deciding that I looked like a princess to her, I think the real reason was that she didn’t want to wear the costume her mother had gotten for her. The last occurrence was when my Grandmother dressed me as a nurse when I had refused to consider any other costume.

She was a nurse, her uniform fitting me since we were close to the same size as she was a very petite woman. I had wanted a fancy Star Wars costume that was very expensive and truthfully we didn’t have that kind of money. I was acting like a spoiled brat, finally pissing her off enough that she decided I would go out on Halloween in her choice of costume. I grumbled complaining about what my friends would say, but she told me it was either a nurse or I wouldn’t be able to go out.

Surprisingly my friends were cool with her choice and not much was said about the costume. In both cases from the pictures that were taken at the time, I was very believable as a girl. You know how Grandmother’s like to have embarrassing pictures of you as a child and bring them out anytime that you have a new friend or girlfriend over.

I felt I was quite “normal” for a male, but my behavior lately has me thinking otherwise. In the magazine I had been looking at I saw the feminine image that reached out to me. It is of a young blond woman, apparently with brunette highlights with curly hair down below her shoulders. It was a mass of curls, framing her face with soft shadows of blond and brunette. I held my finger in the hair styling magazine to mark my place. I sat there thinking why would I want such a feminine style, but at the same time a little out of breath visualizing myself with that style. I was also wondering if Joe would find it attractive on me. Now that thought was scary.

Dana’s hair was now dry, and Beverly had taken her back to her styling chair. As she was removing the curlers and starting to brush her style into shape, I wandered over to them. Beverly wanted to know what I wanted to talk to her about, while I was trying to pick what words to use to tell them what I was looking for, she told me thank you, for all the business I am sending her.

She had three appointments for the works in the next couple of days, and she was very grateful for the business. Dana wanted to know what I had found in the magazine that I found interesting. I quickly tried to hide the magazine behind my back, but as I moved my hand, the magazine slid out of my grip and fell to the floor.

Of course, it opened to the page I had been enthralled with. Beverly leaned down to pick up the magazine and looked at the style, then me. Dana was looking at the style too with a big grin appearing on her face. Her comment being that Ashley Ann finally was emerging from her cocoon and making herself known. Beverly looked at me then decided I was serious about this and told me to think it through real good.

The color was a radical change from my present hair color since this shade of blond was one of the lightest, and the brunette highlights would make it extremely female. Dana was watching the exchange between Beverly and me, but smiling a little more as the conversation progressed, it was quiet for a minute or two as I tried to figure out what to say, with both Dana and Beverly just staring at me waiting for me to say something.

Beverly broke the silence asking me if tomorrow’s appointment would be alright with me. I nodded, with her telling me that it would take almost five hours to do everything and asked if I could be at the salon at one. Dana hugged me big time since Beverly had finished her style. She told me that I would just love my style, but on the negative side of the coin I had to be careful since blondes are known to have a lower IQ than most females.

She told me it would help with Joe since with that hairstyle he would be putty in my hands. I wonder if how Joe perceived me was my only consideration in getting the new more feminine style. That thought managed to get me giggling to myself, since worrying how a man would be affected by a hairstyle I wore was definitely entering the domain of a female. Surely no male would concern himself with any such thought. I giggled at that, but I guess the deed had been done. I was going to have a new very feminine hairdo tomorrow that just screamed that the wearer is a female.

Dana and I headed to the apartment since nothing else had been planned for tonight. I changed clothes into a pair of jeans and a stretchy top and started dinner. Since I had been staying at Dana’s more, I had been trying to help out as much as possible both financially and in doing chores. I tried to cook often but did the dishes on a regular basis since it was the least I could do.

Dana always gave me that quizzical look since as a kid I never helped with cooking or dishes. She was not complaining just astounded that it was happening. I prepared a light salad with chicken breast, using a ranch sauce with cracked pepper for the dressing. Dana told me she could get used to this real quick if I wanted to move in full time. Surprisingly I told her that I would think about it. Prior to this, I had never even contemplated moving in with her. The fact that we were now so much closer than we had ever been in the past seemed to make moving in with her more sensible.

After dinner, Dana went to change, and I made some fresh tea. I had found a bakery a few blocks from the office and found they made the best ginger snaps. I had bought some to bring home, and we would nibble on them tonight. We sat and watched a little TV while we were nibbling on the snaps and tea. After a period of silence, Dana asked me if I was going to stay as Ashley Ann in the future. I truthfully told her that I was not sure but at the moment it seemed that that option was the one that I was going to choose. I got a big hug for that, but I had long ago figured out that is what Dana desired.

She asked me when I was not deceiving myself, what gender was the most comfortable for me. I told er that I always connected to the female far better that I did to the male. When with men, I just didn’t seem to fit in. I knew what was expected of me as a man and often did what was expected but it wasn’t really me, just something I did trying to not single myself out as a different. However, with women, I feel more comfortable in my dealings or just in conversation. I love what women talk about whether it being makeup, hair, fashion, kids, and even men. I can relate to being with a man, while dressed as a woman, but only while I am picturing myself as the woman. Man to man I am awkward, very shy, and at a loss for words.

Dana confirmed that with women I seem to come alive, showing real enthusiasm in everything I do, with men, however, Ash was lackluster, not seeming to be a part of the program. She told me that Angela had remarked to her that since the pageant I have shown real leadership, something she was sure that I possessed, but never allowed out. The employees have seen a total turnabout in your character and would do anything that Ashley Ann requested.

More than one employee has told her that Ashley Ann has actually shown genuine caring for them, by remembering their names and little facts about them. Something no other male employee has ever shown them at COC International. Several of the women who were not really for the pageant portion of the legal settlement, now think it was for the good of all concerned, especially since they were able to see a side of Ashley Ann that nobody had ever seen before. I thanked her for sharing those thoughts with me, telling her I am really glad that I accepted a part in the pageant.

Soon thereafter Angela called and told Dana the name of a dress shop, very close to Beverly’s salon that had a wonderful selection of long gowns that would do the alterations within the hour. I had an appointment at eleven A.M. to choose a gown and then be fitted. The alterations would be done, and I could pick up the dress after I was done at Beverly’s.

Since it was getting late, we cleaned off our makeup, getting ready for bed like most women would. I was comfortable staying with Dana and was walking to the guest room in my nightie. I slipped into the bed in my pink baby doll pajamas, and before I knew it, I was in a deep sleep. The dream I had was vivid but vague when I tried to remember it the next morning. Something about a wedding, with a kiss the clearest of my thoughts.

Dana had made a pot of oatmeal with lots of fresh coffee. Oatmeal had always been both of our favorites since we were kids but neither one of us took time to make it now. The oatmeal was good for a change, making my stomach feel good this morning. The warmth plus the sweet taste of brown sugar adding to the memories. I did the dishes since Dana had made the meal, with her protesting that I didn’t have to since I was a guest. Besides one of the requirements of the pageant was to cook, clean and grocery shop for myself. I told her I was just practicing for when I moved in with her. That got me a great big hug, with her wanting to know when. I told her I would see what I could do with my lease and then we could talk about it again.

I dressed in some of Dana’s clothes that she had picked out for me to wear, choosing a dress with a shirtwaist top in a light blue color. It came to just above my knee with a flowing skirt that accented my waist. In other words, it made me look like I had hips when I obviously didn’t. I brushed my hair into a high ponytail, adding a couple of dark blue ribbons to secure it. I thought I looked pretty good and for some reason that made me feel good. I told Dana I would see her later at the dress shop and made my way to the office. The traffic was not cooperating this morning, but I managed to make it still with a couple of minutes to spare.

I had got into the habit of walking through my departments as I came in the morning, greeting everybody and checking progress on their projects. This morning several of my fellow employees had completed their projects ahead of schedule. Instead of waiting around for their next project they had taken upon themselves to help one of the other women finish her project. I made sure to tell them that I admired their cooperation and responsibility to their job. You could just see them swell up with pride at somebody complimenting them for thinking ahead. It was sure a shame that this company never tried to motivate and utilize this part of human behavior.

When I got to my office, I wrote an email to Roberta telling him of my observations and how my department’s productivity had already increased almost four hundred percent. I checked my other emails answering a couple of them that required a response. Then when my computer logged on to the network to send the replies, I received another email from Roberta. I looked at it twice since my original email was a part of this reply, but it had been sent to every employee in the company. His addition was short but blunt. When you treat people like humans, they respond in the most delicious ways. From now on this is how COC International will do business. Have I made myself clear? It was signed Roberta, chief female executive officer.

I smiled maybe it is not too late for this company. I signed out of email and started planning some more tasks that need completing and which employee would be the best to handle them. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my executive committee waiting at my doorway. I invited them in telling them to pull up a seat and let’s talk. Before I could start they told me that they were first with their agenda, then I could talk company business. I smiled but let them proceed. Cheryl was the natural leader of the group, and she started the ball rolling.

They were put out that I had picked all of my feminine changes, and that was just not right. They were my advisory committee, and they wanted to advise me. I giggled a little, telling them to start advising. Sally held up a list of suggestions that they had come up with to make me more feminine and to give me a better understanding of what it is like to be a woman. They conceded that I already looked like a woman passing with no trouble, but to really appreciate how a woman feels when she is pretty, I needed to take these actions. When they had called Beverly’s salon to make my appointments for these changes, they found out that I had already arranged to take the next step, and that hurt them deeply.

They were doing a poor job of stifling their giggles, so I apologized for acting without their consent and told them it would not happen again. They smiled, losing their self-control and just letting it all loose. Cheryl was the first to recover a little and asked what hairstyle I had picked out for my next stage. I showed them the picture from the magazine and they all took a look at it. Pat and Toni exchanged glances then raised an eyebrow towards Cheryl. Sally was the one to clear the air though telling me what they thought.

She had a question first. I told her to ask away. She wanted to know if I was going to start dating men. I had an idea what she meant, but I also saw a chance to let them know what Dana and Angela were planning for me. I told them that I was looking for the right man to date, but I was sure they knew that most of the available men were not the ones suitable to marry. I broke out laughing as I saw all four of them doing goldfish imitations.

Toni, in a softer voice, asked what I was looking for in a man. I was still trying to control my giggling but not doing a good job of it. I told them that thanks to Dana and her clubbing trip I already had a young man interested in me. I could see all four of them take in air, so I asked them if they were worried about the competition. Cheryl started giggling, but through the giggling confirmed that they didn’t need any more competition for the few good men that were out there. Of course, I had to give all the details about my young man.

We settled down a little then Sally resumed her list of most important things to accomplish. She told me that they had made an appointment with Beverly the next day right after the one I had arranged to get a full body wax. No more unsightly body hair for our beauty queen, head to toes complete removal of all body hair except a landing strip mid torso.

I interrupted her, telling her that appointment had to be moved since I had changed my appointment with Beverly so that I would be done in time for my date. She wanted to know if this guy was my young man and where was he taking me. I told her he was a doctor, and he was taking me to the Green Gables restaurant. Again total silence as they processed that data. I was group-hugged by all, and then the rest of the details had to be divulged.

Cheryl again was the first to ask me if I was aware of how serious he was. Apparently, all females in this local were aware of the exclusiveness of this restaurant and what a date there involved. I told her we were just friends that met when Dana and I had gone out clubbing. Again another revelation they were not aware of. We had danced some and talked a lot, with the exchange of cell phone numbers. I was asked how I could downplay the first date since I was now being taken to the fanciest restaurant in town. I shrugged my head but had no answer, at least one that I thought might be appropriate.

The conversation returned to their plans for me, but I could see the wheels in motion as they tried to get all of this in the right compartments. Sally told me the next day at two P.M. you have an appointment at Lillian’s in the mall for an underwear fitting. This will take approximately two hours. At five P.M. that same day you have a scheduled meeting with a modeling school to evaluate your skills and make recommendations on classes to correct any deficiency they may find.

The next appointment is with a Doctor that specializes in helping men that are transgendered. I started to say something, but Cheryl put her finger to my lips and told me just to listen to what they had to say. We have all noticed the change in you since this started, while we see the real effort on your part to participate in this pageant all of us feel that Ashley Ann is the real person, and Ash was only a masquerade to cover up your true feelings.

We have consulted with Dana on this, and she agrees with us whole heartedly. You don’t have to do anything, but we love you enough to offer you the chance to check out the real you. We have also consulted a psychologist on this and from what we have told him he also agrees that Ashley Ann is the dominant person in this. If you want to explore this side of you, the doctor can make several semi-permanent changes in your body to allow you to experience life as a female.

Then after a reasonable real life test those changes can be made permanent if you so desire. Before you deny any female feelings or try to convince us you don’t want to change anything we would really like you to talk with the doctor and then decide.

I was dumbstruck that I was viewed as a female instead of as a man. I wanted to deny everything and tell them that I would not be going to see the doctor, but in the back of my mind, Ashley Ann was whispering to me this is the real you and you need to let her out. I swallowed hard, biting my lip, but told them I would keep the doctor’s appointment. All at once I saw a sigh of relief, from all of the girls, since they obviously didn’t know what my reaction on the doctor would be.

We hugged and they told me I could handle business now, they were done for the time being. With a few tears in my eyes, I thanked them for caring about me, something that no one in the past had ever done. I tried to get back on track, but they had pretty much made my mind a blank. I asked how their projects were doing, but was happy to hear that they were completed. They had checked everything twice like I had asked, then just implemented the changes.

The employees that were affected were extremely happy and wanted me to know that they appreciated what I was doing for the company. I looked at Cheryl and asked her why they had not taken the credit for the changes, they had made the changes, implemented them and were the ones that the fault would come back to if things had not worked out. Cheryl looked at me, stating that I was the one to allow the implementation of new ideas, to provide the means of developing them, and most important you are our boss. I had to dab my eyes on that one.

Since I had not prepared for other projects, I told them to find something that was not working in our departments and fix it. Each of you is to work independently from each other but after coming up with a solution run it by the other members of the committee. If any other employees have ideas and want to participate, by all means, welcome them to the committee. I was silent for a few minutes; then the girls told me they better be going since they had lots to do. Besides Angela is waiting to see you and we should not hold her up any longer. I had not even noticed that Angela was there, probably because my mind was still on what the girls had said.

They filed out then I saw Angela in the doorway. I asked her how much she had heard, her response telling me that she had heard all of it. I was more than a little embarrassed at what she had heard but could not do anything about it now. She asked if this is how I managed my employee meetings, with my eyes avoiding contact with her, I responded yes. Well since this is how you have determined in your wisdom to run your departments than that leaves me no choice in the matter.

I was afraid she was going to terminate me on the spot since I had probably broken every company rule in the book. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed a number. They answered, and she told them that they needed to come down to my office as soon as possible. Apparently, they had asked what about, but Angela just told them they would find out when they got here. Angela stared at me a few minutes, I felt she was boring into my mind, then asked me if I was finally going to become the woman she and everybody knew I was. I couldn’t believe this; I was obviously the last person to see what everybody has seen for quite a while.

Roberta came into my office after knocking on the door and just smiled at me. Angela told him what my advisory committee had told me and wanted to know what his take on my gender was. Ashley Ann has always been an OK type of employee, but since she has dropped the Ash disguise all of her potential has come to the front. Her employees love her and would walk on water if that is what she wanted.

Well since you and I are in agreement, I think it would be appropriate for Ashley Ann to have a couple of days off from work so she can adjust her appearance to be more in line with her gender. She can’t leave her employees without some guidance, so let’s allow her to assign projects and appoint some people to oversee her departments while she is away. She asked me if I could handle that task this afternoon and I told her that it would only take a few hours to accomplish.

Roberta had to get back to his office to handle an appointment in a half hour. I got a big hug from her, and we cheek kissed. Angela sat back down in the chair she found upon entering and apparently was not planning on vacating. She smiled at me when I returned to my seat, telling me that my facial expressions were priceless when she made the phone call. You thought you were going to be let go didn’t you.

I nodded my head trying my best not to make eye contact with her. Angela told me that if you would look around you would come to the realization that at the moment you are the sole person holding this company together. Every employee that works for COC International would do anything in their power to please you. Even the employees that you do not have contact with have heard about you and your management style. I know since I have asked a lot of them about you and without a doubt they are totally behind you.

I asked her why everyone was so concerned with what happens to me or what I do. Angela said that was a good question; the answer is harder to come by, though. You have shown to all the employees your desire to do something for the good of the company without worrying about the consequences. Look at how many male executives have quit, throwing away years of investment in the company because they can’t allow themselves to be seen as a woman.

A lot of them will give you a song and dance about their desire to see how the other half lives, but that desire quickly evaporates as soon as someone suggests that they dress as a woman or put on some makeup. To most of them, it is beneath themselves to become a female, nice to look at, great to have sex with, but not to be one. You have shown that it is alright for a man to become a woman, to share in her dreams, desires and hopes. Your fellow female employees see that in you, and will do anything you ask to show you they appreciate your commitment.

I didn’t know what to say to her, I guess she is right, the females do seem to connect with me because I seem to be one of them. I understand a little about their struggle in life because I talk with them about their children, their husbands, and their job. I try to put myself in their shoes at times when they want some time off, or when their child is sick, and there is no one to take them to the doctor. Every one of them is more than grateful when they return to work because something that they thought was important was handled.

I have seen a couple of them working through their lunches to make up the time and keep their work current. That is a true sign of a dedicated employee, one that I am truly appreciative of. When I was masquerading as Ash I never bothered to talk to my employees, to even know them by name, they just were an employee that I needed to perform a task.

Angela had been sitting there watching me as I went over these things in my mind. She asked if I now saw why my employees were so supportive of my efforts. I was one of them not one of the executives. About your time off, I want you to take a little time off to embrace your femininity. Whether you realize it or not you are a female in all ways except parts of your anatomy. I hope you take the time to see the doctor, to take advantage of his services and become a woman in all areas of your body.

I think that this will make you see that the true person is Ashley Ann. If you do this, I know you will be content with yourself for the first time in your life. I felt tears beginning to leak from my eyes, reaching into my purse to extract a Kleenex, I was sure that there were many more tears to follow. Angela rose to her feet, coming to give me a hug and kiss, then told me that she would pay any fees from the doctor in regards to my gender. You will have to pay me back by helping make this company solvent again and prosperous.

I told her I would do all in my power to accomplish that. With a big hug and cheek kiss she left telling me that the doctor’s appointment was in three hours, you need to get your act together and make that list for your employees. She handed me a slip of paper with the doctor’s name and address and the time of the appointment.

I made up the list of jobs to be done and who should do each group of jobs. I sent emails to each of the women that I wanted to oversee others. I asked them to distribute the jobs to the employees on their list and be available if that employee needed help or guidance. If there were problems that they couldn’t handle to see the Ashley Ann committee and among them come to a decision that will satisfy the requirements of the task.

If all tasks were completed, they were to help each other so that all departments were kept current. I explained to them that I was taking a few days to handle a few issues that were personal in nature. If all else fails, Cheryl would have my contact number, and I could be reached by her. I then visited Cheryl and told her how to contact me, and what I would be doing. She was grateful that I was seeing the doctor since she felt that I deserved a little happiness in my life.

She made me promise that I would call every day and inform her of my progress. I was told that everyone here at COC cared about me and wanted nothing but peace for me, a peace that allowed me to be content in my gender role and happy in my life. The three hours’ time evaporated that day, and I had to get going to make my appointment. I hugged Cheryl and then high tailed it to my office then on to my car.

I managed to make the appointment with a few minutes to spare. I checked in at the clinic that this doctor was a part of and to my utter surprise I was called back to see him in less than ten minutes. I was shown to his office and was greeted by a young man in his thirties. That young man was Dr. Joe Summers. I got a hug from him, and the biggest smile. He showed me to his couch, and we made ourselves comfortable.

He said that when he talked with my friends about me, he was unaware that I was the same person that he had danced with who stole his heart. He suggested that we leave that part out of today’s discussions and just handle my needs. I was sure that things would change between us now that he knew I was male. I felt a little disappointed because I really liked being liked for the Ashley Ann part of me.

He informed me of his qualifications, his schooling and a little of his personal life. He held an MD and Ph.D. in psychology, with an MD in plastic surgery working E.R. when necessary to handle critically injured patients. In the plastic surgery, he was board certified with fifteen years’ experience. The clinic was started by him five years ago, treating gender problems along with normal requests for plastic surgery. People that were greatly troubled did not have to jump through hoops to get help; they did, however, have to be sure of their desires and be able to convince their doctors that this is what they wanted. In a lot of cases, the clinic was able to help them attain some of the traits that were important to them on a semi-permanent basis. Nothing that could not be reversed if they changed their mind, but enough to allow them to live their dreams.

He asked me a bunch of questions about me, about my work, and about the pageant. I raised my eyebrow on that one, how could he know about the pageant. He told me that I had lots of true friends that wanted the best for me whatever that was. I was told that he had lengthy talks with Cheryl, Sally, Pat, and Toni about me. His deciding moment was when he talked with Angela, a more than four-hour conversation, for that was when he saw some of the inner me.

He told me that Angela had followed you since you started with the company. She saw things in you that were not apparent to others. She realized that you were living a disguise as Ash, but until the pageant came along she had no way to convince you otherwise. The pageant has allowed you to drop some of the disguise and try things that you would never have done a few months ago.

The doctor told me that he and Angela were friends since university, meeting in psychology classes. Angela is good at what she does seeing the inner person long before that person sees herself. Although Angela does not acknowledge it, she also has a Ph.D. in psychology and even had a practice for a year or two after graduating from school. Now that I have laid the groundwork, you need to tell me Dr. Joe Summers, what you want out of life.

I don’t want to hear all the macho crap most males come up with; I want to hear what makes you happy and what things you might change to help matters along. Forget the pageant for now, but tell me what excites you, what entices you, and what you would like to try if all restrictions were lifted.

Well, that got my mind rolling, the thoughts just rolled off my tongue like I had no control. I told him that I wanted to live as a woman full time, I really don’t know why but it just seems right. I love everything feminine and want to experience what life can be as a female. I want my own breasts, ones that I can touch and feel. I want my male organ gone, and I guess that I want it replaced with the female version.

I am not sure I desire sex with a male, but I do want to be loved as a woman would be loved. I had hesitated before mentioning that part since we had become something more than just acquaintances. I was quiet for a minute, and Joe knew I was putting my thoughts into words. He waited and made me tell him what else that I wanted.

I swallowed hard and shifted on the couch to try and get more comfortable. I want to care for and raise children, my children and give them the love that I never received in my childhood. I know that is not possible for me to have children, but I could always adopt. Joe set there for the longest time scribbling notes in his notebook and glancing over at me every once in a while.

He went to his desk, picking up the phone and talking with someone. I did hear part of the conversation where Joe asked if she concurred with him on my diagnosis. He made a couple of more calls asking his staff if any vacancies were available in the next couple of days. He returned to the couch, sitting closer to me, and opened up his notebook. He showed me a test for gender and how it was scored.

By asking questions, a psychologist can score a patient on their gender role. This is the one that I did just now, with your score of one hundred twenty. The other psychologist that was listening to our conversation audibly scored you at one hundred twenty-seven. Flipping the page, he showed me another test with a score of one hundred thirty-two; this one was done by Angela over the last few weeks. She was trying to score you without letting you know that she was doing it.

With Angela’s skill, I rather think that her scoring is the most accurate. I asked her what it meant. Well, let’s just go over the suggested ranges of each gender. The male part of the test should score somewhere in the eighty or ninety range. Around one hundred ten is most women or girls and above one hundred twenty is the ones that are really female at heart and act it.

Joseph told me what really convinced him was the whole time I was talking to him he felt like he was talking and interacting with a genuine woman, just like when we met and danced at the club. The tests are just a guide to help validate a decision. The what is in front of you when you look at a patient is the real determining factor. He looked me straight in the eyes and wanted to know when I wanted to start.

My thought was it can’t be that easy. Just talk to a doctor and then take the next step to femininity. Joseph wanted to know if I had any reservations, my resounding no answered him on that. He suggested breast implants first since they needed time to heal to be more comfortable. I shook my head yes, still in shock a little.

Then he turned to a page in the back of his notebook and showed me a picture of a male patient’s groin. The next picture showed how they glued it back between the legs to make a smooth front. The extra skin from the scrotum was formed into a vagina like fold and glued into place. Joe told me that it would hold for months hiding the fact that I was a male. It does require you to sit like a woman to urinate though.

I was tearing up a little not realizing how much I had wanted these things and started to thank Joseph for everything. He informed me that is the final validating gesture that we have to prove that you are truly a female at heart. Tears of joy, congratulations it’s a girl. The breast implants could be done tomorrow at one P.M., also liposuction on my waist, depositing the fat in my hips. I would have to wear a special corset for several days as the fat removed needs to be held in place until it re-attaches to the body.

Give those a couple of days to heal and the realignment of my vagina could be done at eight AM on Friday. Joseph suggested that since my male equipment was to be packed away that a semen sample is procured before the procedure was completed. We had already discussed that I did not and had not participated in any sexual acts including masturbation. When the penis is glued back, I would still feel sensation, but an erection is not possible. He did tell me that my breasts would be a lot of fun if I so wished to participate in the activities.

He told me to let him know of any changes in my breast size or the measurements that my waist or hips were to be. He and I had decided on a D cup breast, with a waist measurement of twenty-eight, and with hips at thirty-eight. That would give me overall measurements of 38-28-38 with a D cup.

He asked me to step into one of the examination rooms so he could see what I had to work with. I was given the classic air-conditioned gown and told to lay on the examination table. He lifted my legs into the stirrups and strapped them in. Then he reached for my male organs and checked them for size and elasticity. This was also done to my chest as he pulled the nipple out and looked at the amount of slack that I had around my boob. I noticed when he pulled on the nipple he was able to pull it out quite far. I was informed that the breast implants would be no problem since there was enough elasticity in the breast to allow a D cup implant.

With regards to my proposed vagina, my scrotum was large enough to provide ample material to make a normal looking vagina. Since my penis was not the average sized organ, he would implant a slow release device in my penis to keep any threat of an erection from happening. With it glued in place, an erection could be very painful in cases where the penis was a little larger than normal. This would prevent any such occurrence. He suggested that the sperm sample be pulled now and insert the hormone implant so it could have time to take effect before the procedure.

He used a long penis type of device in my anus to cause the ejection of the sample. After using lube on my anus, he massaged my prostrate and in only a few minutes a white substance leaked from my penis into the vial. I moaned a little at the feeling but could not move my legs since my feet were in the stirrups. I was really not fond of this type of examination, and after mentioning it to Joseph, he told me that most of womanhood would agree with me. I was then treated to the insertion of my implant into my buttocks.

Finally, he released my feet from the stirrups, and I was allowed to dress again. He came back with a receipt for the sperm sample and told me what facility they used to store the samples in. He asked me to be an hour early for each of my appointments since I had to be prepared for the surgery. I was also handed a card with his personal cell phone number on it if I had any reservations or concerns. The same number as he had given me on our club date.

I started to leave, but he gently grasped my arm and pulled me into a hug. Now that the doctor thing is over with I want to confirm my date with a very beautiful young woman. I tried to say something, but he put his finger to my lips. Since you have medical procedures, tomorrow let’s move our date to this next Monday. I will not take a negative answer on this. Since your doctor and I are such good friends, he has made it clear that this part of the treatment is critical to your healing. I nodded my head since I really did want to be with him. He lowered his head to mine and gently kissed me on the lips, telling me that was also part of my treatment. I managed to ask him if he kisses all of his patients that way, he just replied only the pretty ones.

I headed back to Dana’s since I had so much to tell her. I guess the sister that she wanted as a playmate when she was young was to be granted but just a few years later than she desired. Funny I now saw myself as a woman instead of a man with lots of confusing thoughts playing havoc with my mind.

On arriving at the apartment, I was almost run over at the door. Dana had been waiting for me apparently and wanted to greet me in a special way. I was hugged and kissed with a vengeance until I managed to break finally free and get a breath. Before I could put two words together, she asked me how it went at the doctors. I guess everyone but me knew about the appointment and what it was about.

I tried to get her to calm down, and we went over to the couch to sit down. I told her that I was more female than her, but I would not be allowed to carry a baby until I had lived as a woman for two years. That got her attention, and I was able to do to her what she always does to me and gently close her mouth with my finger. I told her that I had two appointments this week and would be able to pass close inspection by the weekend.

Of course, she wanted to know all the details and what was said. I did ask her if she would go with me for the surgeries. She told me that I couldn’t keep her away. Then I told her who the doctor was and accused her of planning the chance meeting at the club to set me up with Joe. Of course, she denied everything.

We adjourned to the kitchen, and she had prepared two Cobb salads that were just fantastic. They really hit the spot, while not adding inches to the figure. We talked about everything, and I came to the conclusion that I was going to be a busy lady for the rest of the week. The phone rang, and I answered it since I figured who it might be. I was sure that Cheryl would be calling, but it was Angela instead.

She wanted to know how I felt now, after seeing the doctor. I told her a little better, not so worried about my future. She had already talked to Joseph and got his side of the meeting. She told me that I had really impressed Joseph since I looked and acted so female and I had not had anything in supporting surgeries done yet. Angela told me she was really happy for me, but to keep her apprised of any concerns or wishes that I had. I told her with my scheduled surgeries that I would have to cancel my date for tomorrow night with Joseph.

It did take her a couple of minutes to add up the fact that my date with Joe and my Dr. Joseph were the same person. My phone beeped with an incoming call, and I told Angela that I would call her tomorrow, but I am sure that Cheryl was downright frantic to find out how things went. She giggled and hung up.

I pressed the button to transfer Cheryl’s call and told her this is Ashley Ann’s answering service, how may I help you. I had used a lower voice, and it took a few seconds for Cheryl to figure out that I was the same. She also asked the question for the day, how did I do at the doctors. I filled her in on the details since with as many times as I told this part I was getting good at it.

She also wanted daily updates on Ashley Ann’s activities apart from the briefing that we would have every day about the company. She also insisted on pictures from my salon appointment after Beverly got done with my hair. I told her I would try to comply. That reminded me that I would have to cancel Beverly’s appointment till later in the week.

Dana had listened to all of this, at least what I was saying, nodding every once in a while when some new detail had appeared in the conversation. We re-hashed everything and then we made some popcorn and watched a chick flick to the early hours of the morning. I did cry extensively at the proper spots, and we snuggled up together on the couch for the last part of the movie. Dana kissed me after the movie was over telling me she was so happy to have Ashley Ann living with her now. That reminded me I needed to do something with my old apartment if I was going to live with Dana now.

We removed our makeup, brushed our hair, putting it up in braids and went to bed. Before my head hit the pillow, I was asleep dreaming of makeup, hairstyles and men. The hairstyle was clear in my dream that being the one that Beverly was going to create for me. The makeup and men portion was blurred with me only remembering parts of it.

The next morning seemed to start with a vengeance, but it was mainly my alarm that I had forgotten to turn off. Since I was awake, I decided to fix us some breakfast, some orange juice, and cantaloupe slices. Dana wondered out later wanting to know why I was up so early. I explained about the alarm, then my dreams, with her only hearing the part about men. That brought up about me accepting a date as a woman and if I was ready yet.

I shocked her telling her that after next week I was committed to finding a nice young man with the intentions of getting married. Yep, no more single life for me, I just needed a big hunk and a nice three-bedroom ranch house on a few acres to make me happy. I was able to close her mouth again, for she was so caught up in what I was saying she didn’t pick up on the fact that it was in jest. That is a real treat to turn the tables on someone who had caused that same reaction in you earlier. I still remember the blood surging to my head when the girls had teased me.

I checked in with the office, namely Cheryl, and she told me everything was going well. Everybody was busy, but almost every employee that I had working for me asked if I was alright since I was absent today. Finally, Cheryl sent out an email telling everyone that I was just taking a few days off, and I would return next week. I completely forgot about this, sending out an email to my department heads let them know what was going on but I forgot everybody else. I thanked her for covering for me.

She let me know that we now had ten new female employees working for COC, and they were working out pretty good. It took me a moment to figure out who she meant but then the light bulb finally turned own, and I knew she was talking about the other male executives. I asked how their presentation was, and she replied that there was lots of effort in their attempts to conform. Their advisory committees were helping them, and most of the executives seemed to be relaxing a little since they were not made fun of or laughed at.

Several of them are emulating you with your approach to your employees and of course, the women know who to thank for this. The overall attitude though has improved, and morale has seemed to improve. By the way, Roberta wanted to say hi and thanks for spearheading the drive to such outstanding success. I managed to pry from Cheryl, who the executives were that showed up with their feminine sides showing and asked her if any more had resigned. Only two more resigned, with six more getting their hair done today. The pageant will have a respectable amount of participants to vie for Miss COC International, although how much they will learn about their employees remain to be seen.

I got ready to go to the clinic and shortly thereafter Dana joined me in the kitchen. She grabbed a bite to eat, but Joe had told me to skip breakfast since I might not be able to hold it down during the surgery. Dana drove me to the clinic, getting me there about eleven forty-five. I was taken to one of the examination rooms and prepped for surgery. Joseph checked on me about twelve-thirty and told me just to relax, and all my wishes would come true.

Dana gave him a questioning look, but he winked at her, and I knew she had masterminded all of this. I began to lose cohesive thought but didn’t remember anyone giving me a shot to put me under. The nurses wheeled me out of the room and down the hall to their surgery room. All of this was done as outpatient surgery, thus quite a bit more affordable than conventional hospital surgery. According to Dana, I was in surgery for four hours.

When I was first told this, it didn’t make sense, with what the doctor had told me the procedure would require. I was still kind out of it, but my mind was running wild with all the things that might have gone wrong causing the extra surgery time. Finally, Joseph came into the room to check on me. He checked the areas that he had manipulated on me telling me that everything looked good. Several times I had tried to ask him questions about the surgery, each time he just told me to ssh and be a good patient.

Finally, after he had checked me over, he told me what he had done. The breast implants had been done using fat from my waist with the extra fat deposited in my hips. He worked extra fat from my upper thighs to enhance both my breasts and hips. The nurse will be in soon to fit you with the special corset to help hold the fat in position till the fat is absorbed back into your body. Since you are a special friend of the doctor, I was able to arrange your vagina while I had you under. I used a new surgical technique to shape your new opening which will allow you to have sex if you so desire. To accomplish this, I had to stitch your penis to your crotch to keep it out of the way. The folds of your scrotum made the vagina lips with enough room to allow you to experience sex.

I also injected your lips with a solution to fill them out a little and you will have to wear a mold to help the look of the lips to be perfect. This will only have to be worn for two days. My assistants also used a laser to remove all your body hair from the eyebrows down. This is a new laser with amazing results that last, with the first treatment, not like some other laser treatments having to be done several times to be effective.

He asked me if I had any other questions but since I was still pretty much out of it before I could say anything much I was asleep. I do remember him kissing my cheek, at least I think he kissed my cheek.

Dana was sitting on my bed when I awoke the next time. I smiled at her, thanking her for staying with me. She told me that I had worn out my welcome and that they wanted me out of the bed so they could use it for another patient. I sat up on the side of the bed and noticed that I was wearing a girdle or corset that covered me from my thighs to my upper chest. I had a definite female shape now with breasts and a very narrow waist. On moving around on the bed to get comfortable, I also noticed I had padding where I had none before. I couldn’t see the forms on my lips but I could feel them with my tongue. I did wonder what kissing would be like with enhanced lips.

Dana helped me to slip on my dress over the new undergarments and after sliding my feet into my shoes, we were off. Dana told me that the nurse had been by to give me instructions to care for my new curves, but since I was too groggy and sleepy, she was told how to care for my additions.

We walked out of the clinic, but I was still a little disoriented. We made it to the car and Dana managed to get me home. I did manage to make it from the car to the house, and then to my bedroom, I think. I was feeling a little better after I walked around a little but once in my bedroom that is where my memory stops.

Apparently, Dana had helped get me undressed and into bed where once again I was sound asleep. I remember waking a couple of times to stare at my room but then nothing. Later that afternoon I was awakened by Dana shaking me telling me that I had slept enough. She helped me set up in bed and after several minutes of my mind trying to figure out what was going on I finally remembered the surgery and the new additions to my body.

Dana is sitting on the side of my bed watching me as the realization of what had transpired slowly sunk in. She asked me how I felt and welcomed me to the tit and ass club. I chuckled a little at that knowing I had indeed joined that club. I told her that I was still a little groggy, but otherwise, I felt fine. She told me the nurse had told her that I would be a little sore for several days and that the girdle had to stay on for three days to allow the moved fatty tissue to adhere to the new locale.

That reminded me that I needed to use the facilities, and Dana helped me stand and walk to the bathroom. Dana helped me pull up the edge of the girdle so that I could pee but upon reaching the usual spot, I found nothing to aim. Dana broke up laughing as she told me that the doctor had secured my penis to my crotch as I had instructed him to and that I had now sat to use the bathroom.

I did remember asking the doctor if he could do anything to make it easier to be undetected as a male. I now looked like a woman whether in clothes or naked. I had to concentrate for a few moments before the stream let go. It was definitely a different sensation. Dana handed me toilet paper and told me that I now needed to wipe after I used the bathroom. She helped me adjust the girdle, and I made my back to the bedroom.

I sat in the lounger that was there while Dana got me a pair of slippers to wear and a peignoir to wear over my nightie. I just sat there as I tried to make sense of the sensations of my new additions. I was aware of the weight on my chest, the padding that now covered my butt and the void that was now my crotch. I knew it was still there, but the feeling was that everything was gone. I tried putting my legs together and for the first time they moved together closer than at any time before.

Before the procedure when I tried to cross my legs at the knee it was a job trying to get one leg over the other, with my package getting in the way. Now it was very easy, almost natural feeling when the legs crossed at the knee. We talked about the procedure and how they were amazed that I slept through most of it. They told her some patients were that way, but a small percentage. The sleep would probably help in my recovery, and my discomfort would be less.

Dana told me that she had seen me before they put the girdle on and I would never be mistaken for a male anymore. There was only a small amount of bruising that would fade in three to four days, but otherwise, I was the perfect image of a young woman. I kept touching my breasts from time to time lifting them occasionally to feel the weight. Dana saw this and responded that yes they were heavy, and that was my cross to bear now. That is why most women that are well endowed always wear a brasserie.

The bra supports them reducing the jiggling and spreads the weight to the shoulders. I had become aware of the jiggling since whenever I touched them, they seemed to take a more than expected motion in the opposite direction.

I managed to eat a little dinner that evening before I fell asleep on the couch in the living room. I was either using sleep to recover from the procedures, or I was in training for the next Olympics in the sport of deep sleep. I did awake a little later when the phone rang. Since I was in super slow mode, Dana managed to pick up before I even set up on the couch.

It was Angela and Dana filled her in on the procedures and my progress. They talked a little more than Dana handed me the phone. Angela wanted to hear how I was doing from the source. Except for falling asleep at the drop of a hat, I told her that I was beginning to feel better. Then she surprised me by asking if I could come in tomorrow. Apparently, there were some new developments that Angela wanted to be sure that I knew about. I told her that I could probably manage it. I asked her at what time did she require my attendance, with her reply that Eleven o’clock in her office would be fine.

I told her that I doubted that I would be able to stay all day, but I was planning on working the next day if that would be adequate. She giggled a little and told me that would have to do. I was puzzled at her reply but wasn’t sure what any of this was about. She told me to take care of myself, and she would see me tomorrow morning.

I hung up the phone and asked Dana what the deal was. She also giggled but told me she would help me pick out a nice outfit for tomorrow. I told her that I was planning to just wear jeans and a sweatshirt since Angela didn’t say I had to dress up. Dana thought I should dress up, at least a little since a woman never knows what might happen on any set day or time. I was beginning to smell a rat and knew that something bigger was going on, and Angela had told Dana what it was about.

I also knew that Dana would keep the secret until Angela spilled the beans, so I wasn’t going to find out until tomorrow. I padded along to my bathroom and after a taking a sponge bath on the parts that weren’t covered with the girdle I replaced my nightie and laid down on the bed. According to Dana, when she woke me later, I was asleep before she could climb the stairs to check on me.

Dana woke me about Ten P.M. to make sure I was doing alright and to check the few stitches that the doctor had used on me. She had brought me a glass of iced tea, and it was consumed quite readily since I was so thirsty. She had laid an outfit for me to wear tomorrow on the chair by the dresser. Taking a look at the outfit and the four-inch heels, I knew something was going on. After looking at the clothes I grinned at Dana, but she just smiled telling me that a woman should always look nice.

The conversation focused on Angela for a while with Dana telling me that she was a most confident young female that knew how to get what she wanted with the least effort. I asked her what she thought Angela wanted from me. She paused before replying that Angela cared greatly for me, and thought I had great potential, but until recently I showed none of it in the performance of my job. She felt that the pageant, in my case, was the determining factor in making me leave the shell and show what I could do. I am sure that she just wants you to be the leader that you can be and help the company prosper. Again, I felt Dana was leaving something out in the conversation.

Since I had yawned four times since Dana and I had been talking, I decided it was time to slip back into dreamland, and sure enough, I was asleep within minutes. The next morning came all too soon, with Dana telling me that breakfast was ready and that if I was going to meet Angela on time, I better get a move on. I glanced at the clock, and it was almost nine. I slipped on a robe and headed to the kitchen. Dana had some fresh fruit and toast ready.

I realized that I was more wide awake today, almost too awake, but it felt good for a change. Dana informed me that I looked much better than yesterday, but was also concerned if I was still as sleepy as before. I told her that seemed to be a former problem instead of a present one.

I still had to pass on the shower until tomorrow, doctor’s orders. I powdered heavily to prevent any manly smells from infiltrating my aura. When I finished, only a perfume saleswoman smelled better. Since my lingerie was already on, I just had to slip into the sweater dress that Dana had laid out for me. It was a rather figure hugging dress in a gray pattern. After it was on, I looked in the mirror, noticing that I looked quite attractive for a young woman. Even though I had not found the time to ponder my most recent cosmetic surgery between my naps, I felt confident in the fact that I looked the part of a real woman. Dana let out a low whistle as she gazed at my image in the mirror. Since I was running late, she offered to help me with my makeup and hair. I never turn down help in those two areas since I didn’t have the experience of my teen years to learn the skills.

I got my things together in my purse, including lipstick and mascara, and made my way to the living room. Dana had come down to get me a coat to wear and my keys. She wanted to know if I was alright to drive and I told her that I felt pretty good. It took about thirty minutes to get to the office, and I found a parking spot fairly close to the main entrance. I swung my feet out and headed into the building. I waved at security and headed up to Angela’s office. When I arrived, I noticed quite a bit of commotion around her office. There seemed to be a lot more people in the area than normal. She was standing in the doorway and upon seeing me waved me over. I slipped off my coat, leaving it in the outer office, and followed her in.

She told me to be seated and then closed the door. I was almost afraid of what she was going to tell me. Maybe I had over-reacted since getting implants was a little off the charts to normal behavior especially so soon. She got a call, apparently one she was expecting so she took it. I only heard Angela’s replies but apparently there seemed to be quite a bit of negative publicity about the pageant.

Angela confirmed that Vivian had leaked the info about the pageant to the press, leaving out some of the details that were important to justify the company’s involvement in the contest. I presumed Vivian still had an ax to grind even if it meant the downfall of the company. It was several minutes before Angela had finished with the call.

She called Roberta on the intercom and asked her to come to her office. I sensed that this was indeed serious if both were involved. Angela asked how I was doing since the surgery, and I told her things were healing up nicely. She asked me if I had any doubts at all, I replied no none at all. She told me that was very good since she needed me to perform another miracle for the company. About that time Roberta came in, and I got a hug from her.

Roberta apologized to me for asking me to come in but told me that a situation had come up causing real problems in the company. She told me that both she and Angela felt that the only viable situation to this problem would involve me. Angela took over and explained that apparently, Vivian had gone to the press, not satisfied with how things were progressing. Vivian had visualized the company coming apart at the seams, eventually being forced to close. To her mind, that was the only eventuality that would satisfy her need for revenge. Since I had made my entrance into the pageant, the company was recovering from its wounds, and that was not what Vivian wanted. Several of Vivian s fellow co-workers had informed Angela of this after Vivian had told them of her concerns and plans.

The lawyers were filing charges against her for failure to adhere to the terms of the settlement, but the damage had already been done. The press had used what Vivian had given them and left out the terms of the settlement, the willing participation of most male corporate executives, and the employee’s opinions of how things had changed in such a short time. Vivian had used my absence to alert the press, trying to take advantage of my absence. Now the company had to do something to offset the bad publicity to avoid losing some of their clients. Several of the clients had already expressed concern about all of the negative publicity we were receiving.

Angela looked at me and told me she was not proud of what she was offering, but the company really needed me to help. I replied that I would help all I could, but was not sure of what I could do to stem the tide of events. She swallowed hard, telling me that the Board of Directors unanimously voted to create a new position of Chief Operating Officer. It would be on the same level as the CEO position and would be responsible for the daily operations of the company. I wondered what that had to do with me, but the smile on Angela’s face told me that my worst fears were soon to be recognized.

She wanted me to assume the duties of Chief Operating Officer immediately. With the possible loss of some of our clients, it was imperative to keep employees focused on their jobs and minimize any further loss of business. The main reason was since I was the talk of the company the Board wanted to take advantage of this and show the employees that changes were being implemented to correct past mistakes. I tried to tell her that I was not that qualified for such a position, but Angela just told me to look at my record since the pageant was announced.

The fact that I had total employee support was the deciding factor. As far as the employees are concerned, you are the one changing the company around, and they like the changes and the person behind those changes. I glanced over to Roberta to get her reaction to this since I apparently would be an equal to her CEO position. Roberta looked back at me, informing me that it was her idea to either promote me or have me assume her position. I wanted to ask Roberta more questions, but she got a call and had to return to her office.

I didn’t know where to start, this was definitely too much, my mind just awash in feeling and emotions. I could not see how I could assume this type of responsibility. Just a few weeks ago I stood by and watched harassment going on and did nothing about it. Now I was being offered one of the top executive positions at our company. It all came to a head, and I started crying, something I had never done before. Angela came around and steered me over to a couch and sat beside me holding me as I wept. I started apologizing for showing my emotions, but she just comforted me and held me until the tears seemed to dry up.

I asked her why me, I don’t have that much experience; I have never held a position higher than a department head, and I seriously doubt that I have the confidence to handle such a job. Angela disagreed with me on all counts. She informed me that I had the people skills from the start, I just never utilized them. From her first meeting with me soon after I was hired she thought that I had the ability to manage people if I could be coerced me into using that skill.

I was still processing what she had said; I guess she was right in a way since I was managing more people than before without a lot of trouble. Somehow the thought of handling one of the top executive jobs at the company was terrifying, even if she thought I could do it. Angela was still talking to me although I had missed most of the conversation.

She was asking me to be the spokesperson on the pageant with the press. Whoa, what did you just ask me to do? Angela grinned a little more than she usually does, then repeated the request. Angela wanted me to be the spokesperson for COC International with regards to the pageant with the press. I thought that was she had stated. Again, I am sure there are other people capable of handling the press besides me. Angela replied there were, but not any as convincing as you in your presentation as a pageant contestant.

She wanted someone to make the contest more real, not just males dressing as females. Too much bad publicity is already referring to the drag show at one of our local businesses. The pageant was agreed to as a learning tool for the male executives to gain a better perspective of what a female experiences in her quest to have a job. The fact, that a lot of the women saw it as a punishment for the harassment needs to be downplayed. At this moment the women that wanted to bring the company down are winning unless things can be turned around.

Well, I seemed to have backed myself into a corner. I look like a genetic woman, I dress like a woman, and unfortunately I am the best-looking male in the pageant. That last part mainly due to my enthusiasm for being the best pageant contestant. I guess if anybody is going to try and convince the press that the pageant is not a drag show, but a learning experience for male executives it would probably be me. Just how I will be able to do that is beyond me at the moment.

Angela and I remain silent for about ten minutes as I tried to grasp what she had asked of me. Thoughts of my picture appearing in all the papers flash before my eyes. The fact that every word that I put out there is going to be analyzed to the nth degree also crosses my mind. One slip up and the turmoil is going to get worse. Maybe not enough to close us down, but adding to the problems we already have.

I finally raised my eyes and looked at Angela. I clear my throat since what I want to say is stuck there, not wanting to see the light of day. I force the words out almost as if I am yelling them, but my ears only pick up a slight elevation in my voice. I tell her that I will accept what she has asked of me, but with several conditions. She starts to thank me, but I raise my hand to stop her. You better listen to the conditions first before thanking me.

First I want Cheryl as my executive assistant, with me setting her wage. Angela had agreed before I went any further. Second, I want any action against Vivian dropped without any explanation. Angela agreed, grinning from ear to ear. Third, I wanted to have direct control of the male executive’s participation in the pageant. Again she agreed giggling a little this time. Lastly, unless I made a mistake, I wanted a guarantee that the Board and Roberta would stay out of any decisions that I made. If I was informed that I had made a mistake, I would resign immediately.

I told Angela that I had some unconventional ideas about running the company, but ones that I felt strongly about. If I had to fight everybody about implementing them, I did not want the position. I would, however, concede to run most of my ideas past Angela before I implemented them, not for approval but to keep her informed of my intentions. Angela agreed without questioning me on any of my conditions.

It took me a minute or two to comprehend that I was now the COO of this company since all of my attempts to sidestep the position had been accepted. I asked her where my office was to be located, also asking her if I could get Cheryl up here to start going over things. She told me that this office was to be mine, Cheryl will be here right after lunch, and that the email informing the employees of my promotion is circulating now.

My mouth was hanging open, but Angela just leaned forward and gave me a big hug. She whispered in my ear, thanking me for doing this for the company. I asked her how she knew I would accept the offer since she was a little presumptuous about the email and talking to Cheryl. Her reply was simple; you are just that kind of person.

Angela called down to Roberta’s office informing her of my acceptance of the job. She then told Roberta to concentrate on the financial matters as per our earlier discussions. She briefly explained my conditions and her approval of them and asked Roberta if she had any problem with them. Angela handed the phone to me, and Roberta told me she was one hundred percent behind me and if I needed any help or info just to let her know.

I asked her if she was sure since I didn’t want to step on any toes. I recommended you to Angela having full faith in your abilities and judgment. This company needs help now, and you are one to bring us around. She hung up telling me to get to work.

Angela got very serious, asking me if I felt alright or if I needed to rest awhile. I told her I was fine, but since you dumped all of this on me, I needed to make a few inroads today before I went home. She was all smiles as she picked up her purse and left the office. I set back thinking of a few things that I wanted to start on and made a few notes. I logged into the system and made a rough draft of an email I wanted to send out to all the employees. It was more of a where we are at and where we are going type of email, but I was sure that I wanted all of the employees to know where I stood on our condition and direction.

Cheryl knocked on my door and walked in. Her calling me boss and, of course, a big hug went along with the salutation. I asked her to set up her desk to be ready for business tomorrow. She grinned and told me it was all ready to go, and she just needed to know what I wanted first. I jokingly asked her if everybody knew of this before I did. She replied pretty much, although there were a few employees on vacation that were not aware of the changes.

I shook my head and told her that I was sending her an email, for her to check it for errors, send a copy to Angela and Roberta, then send it companywide at three o’clock this afternoon. She told me it would be handled right away. About twenty minutes later she reappeared with an iced tea for me, telling me that the copies have been sent, and the company-wide email was ready to go. I asked her what she thought about the situation and the email.

She thought the email was perfect, and the timing was right. The whole mess that the company was involved in almost too much to comprehend. She asked me if I was going to pursue the legal route with Vivian and I told her no. In my opinion, that would only make her stronger since then; it would be the evil company trying to punish her for her behavior. I was going to not tangle with her at all, but I was going to circumvent her authority, by making a host of managerial changes in her department. Cheryl grinned but did not make any further comment.

I got emails back from both Roberta and Angela approving of my actions. I also saw my copy of the email that Angela had sent company wide informing the employees of my promotion. She left no doubt that my authority was final in all matters involving operations. I got a giggle from the last line of the email where Angela told of the Boards approval with any decision that Ashley Ann wished to make, knowing full well that woman’s intuition is quite often right. A male dressed and acting like a woman using her female intuition to run the company; now that is something to giggle about.

I asked Cheryl to call a meeting of all male executives who have volunteered for the pageant at nine A.M. tomorrow morning, reminding them that female presentation is required at this stage of the contest. When she informed me that the meeting was set up, I asked her which male executives were participating and which ones were putting off their involvement. She handed me a sheet of all male executives including myself and what level if any had been achieved. I noticed that next to my name the words fully female were scribbled, looking further down the list there were only three executives besides Roberta that had made any significant progress. Tomorrow I needed to change that fact. I jotted down some notes for tomorrow that would help me be more prepared.

Next, I decided to tour the company and see for myself what condition we were actually in. I told Cheryl what I was up to and left my office. The first stop was the ladies room where I took advantage of the facilities, of course, I freshened my makeup just like a normal female while I was there. Then on to the different departments, stopping to talk to as many employees as possible as I made my way through the different departments. Surprisingly everybody seemed to know me even if I had not met them before.

The employees were enthusiastic, conveying to me that the situation was not as bad as everybody was making it to be. Most of them had discussed with their customers the goings on here at COC International and tried to inform them of all the positive changes taking place. I learned as many names as possible but realistically told them to allow me a few days to remember their names. Most were just content to see someone from upper-level management in their departments talking to them.

One thing that surprised me was running into Roberta, doing the same thing in the financial section of the company. Roberta smiled at me as I approached telling me that sometimes it was necessary to change in mid-stream to better handle what comes at you. She told me she learned that from a young upstart female executive that was making her presence known at a company that she was familiar with. We talked a few minutes then she excused herself so she could get to everybody in her departments today. Maybe there was hope for the future.

I managed to get around to most everybody that afternoon including Vivian’s department. She seemed startled to see me in her office, but I remained calm asking her how things were going. She obviously was still clueless as she tried to tell me what was going on. The fact that her employees were telling a different story became crystal clear to me that Vivian was not even trying. I confronted her on a couple of issues where the differences were the most dramatic. She tried to appease me by stretching the truth a little more than is normal in business.

I was silent until she had finished, then told her I had asked her to get a handle on her department before, but she still had not done that. Since I get a different story from your employees, you are obviously twisting the facts to save your butt. I am giving you a second warning, to get things under your control in the next few days, or I will move the responsibility to someone else.

Her attempt at making excuses is pitiful; I finally stopped her ministrations by suggesting that maybe if she forgot about the lawsuit, and her desire to ruin the company, that maybe she would have the time to do her job. She made the mistake of bringing up the counter suit to make her adhere to the settlement, as weighing heavily on her mind. I told her that I had stopped any such action. Now do your job and get this department back in order. As I left, I heard a splattering of applause from her employees.

I made it back to my office, and Cheryl was smiling as I told her what had transpired on my escapade. I told her of several things that I wanted to be done and asked her to find the appropriate person and get them done. As I went into my office, I heard her on the phone as she communicated my wishes to the right people. About thirty minutes later she knocked on my door, then proceeded to my desk. I asked what was happening since she had that big smile on her face again.

I was first told that my requests were being handled, but more importantly, the topic of conversation throughout the company was me. The employees are so glad that someone actually cares for them, willing to talk to them and most importantly making changes to make this a better place to work. I was a little flustered by her comments but happy that the employees were seeing improvement.

Then she shared with me something that happened earlier this afternoon that she said maybe shows a little more the impact that I am having. One of the younger male executives that up to now had only minimally participated in the pageant told his advisory committee that he was leaving early to bring his level of femininity up to the standards set by Ashley Ann. This was shortly after I had been through his department talking to his employees.

He confessed to his advisers that the respect that the employees were showing me had made him ashamed of not being a participant in the pageant. He assured them that there would be no doubt of his participation by the morning. I decided then to have Cheryl change the email about the meeting to include full female appearance is required for this meeting. Any variances requires a note from their advisory committee. Cheryl was giggling as she jotted what I had requested down. Her remarking that you truly are a woman at heart, and extremely conniving as well, Ashley Ann.

My whole advisory committee showed up about four-thirty to keep me up to date on what is happening in my old department. We talked about the pageant and about the reluctance of the male executives to join in. They liked my email and thought that might move a few into action. I gave Toni the responsibility of my old department, telling Sally that I had a spot for her that would open up in a day or two, and then asked Pat to do a few projects for me on the side, in addition to her regular duties. They all had their mouths open, not expecting me to hand them extra duties. It was a real pleasure to see someone other than me speechless and red in the face. Probably too much blood rushing to the brain. Cheryl was giggling along with me as they seemed to be at a loss for words.

They did recover enough to ask me if there was anything left in my desire to become more feminine that they could advise me on. I replied that I could not think of much else to do. Sally jokingly suggested that I get my unmentionable pinned back so that I would have to sit to pee, thinking that would make my presentation more realistic. I told her that it was a fantastic idea, but unfortunately, Dana had already thought about it, and the surgeon had already performed the task.

I got to see the look of bewilderment on all of their faces then. Pat said that the only thing left was to find me a husband so that I wouldn’t be so cranky at times. Of course, I mentioned that there were a couple of people working on that too.

We adjourned the meeting, and I called Angela on her cell phone since I didn’t know if she was still here and where she was sitting up office since I had her old office. She answered on the second ring, asking how goes the conflict. I guess she recognized the extension number as her old office. I told her I was getting settled in but wanted to talk to her for a few minutes. She told me she would be right down to see me. Before I could say anything more, I heard the phone click.

True to her word, she appeared in my office about five minutes later. I got a big hug that lasted a little longer than usual. We both sat on my couch, with Cheryl bringing us a cup of tea each. I thanked her for her thoughtfulness, suggesting that she head home since tomorrow was going to be a long day. She wanted to be sure that I would not need anything more, then left. I turned to Angela asking her if I had made any mistakes yet. She told me that she was not keeping an eye on what I was doing, but since the company was getting better and the morale was at an all-time high, she guessed that I was not making any negative decisions.

She assured me that the talk within the ranks was very positive, with the employees anxious to show up for work to see what was going to happen next. I told her what I had said to Vivian, in case she wanted to do something different. She approved of my actions and would be curious as to Vivian’s response.

We talked a little more about the upcoming meeting with the executives, with her noticing that more and more of the executives were seeing what I was managing to accomplish, that it looked like the majority of the executives has seen it wise to participate in the pageant. As of this afternoon, only five executives were still on the fence, doing just enough to keep from being singled out, but not really in the pageant or more importantly learning from the experience.

I informed her that tomorrow that would change one way or the other. She smiled, then wanted me to know that a nasty rumor was circulating around the company that the new Chief Operating Officer of COC International was really a bitch who loved using her power to make everyone do as she wanted. I told her that it was not a rumor but the truth, and tomorrow another group of employees would feel my wrath. Angela hugged me, telling me she would see the bitch tomorrow. All of this was said with smiles that stretched from ear to ear.

At my desk, I made notes of things needing to be handled tomorrow, as this was becoming my habit as of late, so I would be ready for work without spending valuable time figuring what should be done first. I needed to follow up with Vivian first and make sure that things were changing in the right direction. Next was the male executive meeting and getting everybody on the fence off and into their feminine best.

I really did understand the male executive’s reluctance to jump off the cliff to participate in the pageant; it is a big step that involves lots of possible humiliation and embarrassment. The legal settlements that allowed the continued operation of the company, however, dictated this pageant. If the company had fought the idea of the pageant in court, they would probably have won but at a financial cost way in excess of their resources.

I suddenly felt tired as the whole day seemed to collapse around me. I realized that when you finally slow down, the adrenalin backs off, leaving you wondering what exactly happened. I finished my notes, cleaned up my desk, finally leaving the office as I grabbed my purse on the way out. I noticed that my stride was not as long as this morning, or the pace as fast, as I made my way to the car. I sat in the driver’s seat and swung my legs into the car in as graceful manner, then looking in my purse for my keys.

Yes, my purse caused me to think for a minute or two. In fact ever, since I had come in this morning, I had not once thought about my new breasts or the lack of a bulge in my crotch. Feeling my emotions rise to the boiling over point I quickly started the car and made my way to Dana’s. Thankfully the traffic managed to keep my mind occupied so that the emotional roller coaster stayed stuck in the starting position.

On arriving at my sister’s apartment, a gentle calm like atmosphere seemed to come over me. After she had greeted me, actually it was a hug, she wanted to know how my day was and how I was holding up. I responded, saying the day was not bad, but as soon as I let up the tiredness just overtook me. I tried to beg off eating anything, but my sister, a.k.a. mother convinced me that I at least had to eat something. We sat at the table nibbling on a pot roast, plus the potatoes, carrots, celery and everything else that Dana had managed to prepare.

I honestly did not eat much of it, but I satisfied the mother that was hovering around the table. When Dana asked about my new amendments, whether anybody noticed, I told her that it was no big deal. Everybody seemed to presume that Ashley Ann already had these accessories, therefore there was nothing new to make a fuss about.

We chatted for a few minutes more, with Dana getting more nervous, maybe excited would be a better word. Finally, she asked what Angela had talked to me about this morning. I feigned innocence, knowing that she already had talked to Angela, and knew exactly what had transpired. Now Dana was frustrated because I was not letting on to any of the developments that were supposed to happen today. I got up, yawning and stretching my arms, telling her that I was going to turn in.

Well, that did it, she came unglued telling me that I was not going anywhere until I admitted getting the promotion. At that last portion of the sentence, she covered her mouth, knowing she had let it slip that she did know what was going on. We giggled for several minutes. Finally, I admitted that I had accepted, working most of the day to try and straighten out a few of the problems.

Angela had never told Dana the position I had recently accepted had been arranged days before. Once all the senior management positions were filled she could announce who accepted, and who were contestants in the pageant. Most of the recently promoted executives had made serious attempts at getting that feminine look. Bev had obviously been quite busy with the alterations, and everybody that I had seen was reasonably attractive. Angela had done what she originally stated and tried to make sure that the positions offered went to males that were not linebacker material.

Of the group three were married, the rest all single. Of the single men, two had girlfriends that were apparently having great fun at their boyfriend’s expense. There were differences in height with several executives in the tall category, especially for a female. Most though were quite slender, not muscular just trim, obviously working out to maintain their physiques. Roberta, because of her largish frame was, the most obvious male dressing as a female, but her wife had helped her considerably in wardrobe choices to hide her mannish features.

First look you would see a woman, but second look you might notice her large hands and broad shoulders. Her attitude though made up for a lot of her flaws, her openness and caring making her a positive influence in anybody she meets.

I was extremely tired, so I helped clean up, putting all the leftovers in the fridge and getting the dishwasher loaded and running. We adjourned to the bathroom where I cleaned off my makeup and my usual night time chores. I wandered into the bedroom since my movements were slowing down by the minute. I managed to get my clothes off and hung up, but ended up sleeping in my underwear. I did try, but the bed looked so comfy, and I had no resistance to the numbered sheep that were crossing before my eyes. The next thing I remembered was that stupid alarm clock making a pest of its self. It did take me longer to find the snooze button, but after hitting it, I was surely tempted to lay back down in that enticing, and alluring bed.

Dana ruined it for me, catching me as my head was on its way down to that wonderful pillow. Her reason that since I was senior management, I had to be on time, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I jokingly looked at my rear end to see if there had sprouted any bushy tailed appendages. There were none, but Dana was relentless, and I had to give in and get my shower.

I performed my morning rituals, making sure to sterilize my ears. I dressed in some of my VS underwear and went to Dana’s bedroom to borrow some clothes. I knew that I would have to do some shopping soon since you can’t ever wear an outfit twice in the same month. An unwritten law that was deeply ingrained into me by Dana.

Looking in her closet, I found a black and white sweater dress that would fit, with a hem three inches above my knee. I no longer feared short skirts or dresses since I felt comfortable in my movements to keep modestly covered. The dress was rather tight fitting and was particularly snug around the bust. Since I was now a little more endowed in the bust than Dana, which was understandable.

I had not felt like sleeping in curlers last night, so I brushed my hair into a high ponytail and added a scrunchie. I found a couple of black and pink ribbons in her accessory drawer, and I tied them around the scrunchie. I sat at her vanity and did my makeup; then while putting on my lipstick, I saw Dana in the doorway. She complimented me on my look, noticing that I did not need as much help as before. I told her we needed to go shopping for clothes since it was not right for me to borrow her clothes. She told me that would be corrected when I had my own, and she could borrow from me.

I grabbed a few melon balls, a cup of coffee, and headed to my car. I was almost happy to go to work. What a change in the last few weeks, I was not dreading work, I was eager to experience another day of it. I parked in my new designated parking spot and made my way to my new office. Of course, I was greeted along the way by security and fellow employees in the elevator and hall. This never happened in the past, the most I received as Ash was a nod of the head or a hello.

Now there were small conversations, involving fashion or how I was dressed, along with me inquiring about their families. I felt more connected to my job and definitely felt good about my actions and behavior.

I greeted Cheryl as I entered and she followed me into my office appraising me of what was on the schedule for today and what appointments I had. She offered me a cup of coffee; I accepted since you can never get enough coffee, especially in the morning.

I checked my emails, then decided to make my presence known and tour the company. I started carrying an electronic tablet for making notes and sending messages to the appropriate individuals. My tour started in Rebecca’s department as I wondered through greeting employees, most by name, finding out how things are going. I then spoke with Rebecca about some things that might need looking into, then on to the next department. I received such a hug from Rebecca as I departed. I have been adding a new department every day with only four more to go. I made sure that on my first visit that I try to get everybody’s name and job title in the company. I notice that when I do the employee seems to swell up with pride knowing someone actually is interested in them and what they do.

My last visit for the day was Vivian’s IT department. I had made the rounds before she saw me there. When I stepped into her office, I noticed that she was not as confrontational as before. We talked about her employees and what jobs they were doing. I told her that I had noticed that the computer system had less downtime and problems were not as plentiful as before. She thanked me for noticing, telling me that she had formed a committee of four employees to look into new problems as they arose and decided the best way to fix the problems.

That procedure was working better for the department since a more adequate evaluation of the problem was being done. I asked her if she wanted to talk about any other problems, she smiled telling me there were no more problems, just her desire to apologize to me for her past behavior. I responded that her apology was not necessary, just her desire to do her job. She insisted that I listen since I had made her realize what was more important.

When she finally listened to some of her employees, she became aware of how much they needed their jobs to survive. When she balanced that against her desire to punish the company she saw that I was right. What good was it to punish the company with the result being no employment for anybody? I thanked her for taking the time to think things through and for doing her job to keep things running smoothly. She asked if I wanted her to talk with the other employees, and lawyers to see if anything could be done about voiding the legal settlement.

I quickly told her no, the pageant is needed to remind all the employees here at COC International that harassment is not just a term to be lightly thought of. It affects people deeply and should never be tolerated in any form or degree. I gave her a hug, yes they are as nice to give as to receive, then headed back to my office.

Cheryl informed me that Roberta had come by looking for me and wanted to see me when I had a little time. I told her now was as good a time as any, as I headed to her office. Her secretary told me to go on in since Cheryl had called telling her that I was on my way. Roberta was finishing up a phone conversation, so I made myself comfortable on her couch. I thought back to my more masculine days when executive conversations were always done in chairs facing each other, usually with a desk in between. I presume that was to impress the subordinate with the power that the office holder had. Much better with a casual conversation sitting on a couch, sipping coffee and handling problems instead of positioning oneself in the corporate hierarchy. Maybe that is why the company ended up as it did.

Roberta hung up the phone, complimenting me on my attire for the day. I liked her outfit too since she was looking better every day. She started out as a man in a dress, but now she was looking like a typical young female executive. She had told me that her last visit with Bev she had asked her to add highlights like I had, the highlights suited her making her look much more feminine and minimizing her masculine facial features. Bev had also added bangs to her hairstyle, helping frame her face a little.

I inquired about her wife, Roberta telling me that things were better than ever between them. His wife preferred the feminine Roberta; they were able to discuss things without arguing, but most importantly Roberta seemed to be more relaxed and much happier. Even her kids preferred their second Mommy, running to her when she got home to get hugs and tell her what they had done during the day. Roberta confessed that she looked forward to this every evening.

She wanted to know how I was doing, if there were any problems that I needed assistance with or just needed to talk about. Both Roberta and I had discovered the therapeutic benefits of talking a problem through with a friend, not necessarily solving the problem but definitely putting it in the right perspective. We have had several of those discussions since the promotions, both relishing the time we had spent together.

The reason for her visit was that the last candidate for the senior management team had accepted, and now all positions were filled Angela would send out the email tomorrow morning listing the new promotions, their new female names, and notify all of the company employees of the training that these contestants were going to go through to be in the beauty pageant. The advisory committees would be named, and the first appointments would be made for their conversion to the gentler sex.

I was glad that it was now out in the open, with me being the first one picked, I had to keep quiet until all the others had been picked. I had completed most of my required transformations already, my desire to really get into it causing me to do things that were not even on the list of to do and experience. Roberta had also handled a great deal of her to do list, with an enthusiastic wife pushing it was not much of a struggle. She told me that Angela had called a meeting of all the senior management this afternoon at three so that all involved could get their schedules and appointments. We hugged and headed back to our offices. I told Roberta I would see her at the meeting as I was headed out.

I was anxious to see who the other contestants were and see whether they would be able to cope with the changes. The second and third choice had also started on their to-do list, but it was obvious that the changes were more profound than they imagined. It took them several days to get a handle on how they looked now, since going from male to female overnight is quite a shock. One day a three piece suit, boxers, and black loafers, the next a two piece ladies business suit with a skirt, ladies lingerie, heels, and makeup.

It bothered me too for several days, as I slowly became adjusted to the female image looking back at me from any mirror. Lucky for me I have had lots of support from my sister, Angela, and my fellow co-workers.

The meeting that Angela called for that afternoon was very cordial. Everybody got introduced, with a little history of their stay at COC International. Most were four to six-year veterans with the company working their way up to managing a department. Their senior management positions were not as substantial as Roberta’s and mine, largely having to do with financial concerns. Those jobs reported to Roberta, as her main area of responsibility had been shifted to focus on the financial aspects of the company. Billing and collecting were of prime concern now with a sagging economy, every dollar earned had to be collected in a reasonable time frame.

The other jobs were actually sales orientated, our services having to be sold to our customers. One position dealt with acquiring new customers both internet and phone sales. There is also a position with regards to our regular customers since most of our business is arranged for and signed to yearly contracts. These contracts have to be renewed each year, and the contracts have to be renegotiated. The rest of the company strives to keep those customer’s happy and perform the contracted services for that customer. Out of the eight senior management jobs, five were in financial affairs and three were in sales. The financial reported to Roberta, while the sales reported to me.

Besides myself and Roberta, the volunteers were all tall and relatively thin, especially for males. Most were brunettes, with two blondes and one redhead in the group. True to Angela’s word all will make a decent looking woman. I am not sure they all have as much desire to participate in this as I do, but they seem to have made peace with themselves in what they are doing. For this meeting, a couple of them were wearing ladies slacks and a blouse, but most were still in male mode.

The next few days will tell in their ability to adapt to all the changes. All had to be in female mode by the first of next week, a lot of changes in a short amount of time. In the individual introductions most were married with only two having a girlfriend. They all confided that the subject had been brought up with their S.O. and their cooperation had been attained. In fact, a couple of the spouses couldn’t wait to start on their husbands. Roberta was smiling as they relayed those thoughts.

After the introductions, Angela laid out the general set-up of the pageant and the conditions required to keep everybody happy. Everybody was given weekly appointments with Bev for hair

styling and makeup. A lingerie shop whose owner was a friend of Angela was an initial stop for everyone as they were fitted for breast forms, and other figure contouring garments. She went over the budget for clothes that everyone received from the company mentioning some of the items that they had to be sure to acquire, namely a swimsuit, a gown for the talent portion of the pageant, and appropriate business attire for the upcoming year. Since they would be living the female life 24/7/365, they also would require at home clothes plus nightwear. Everybody was told that if they did not have a wife or girlfriend they would come to the realization, real fast of how hard it is to keep clothed on a limited budget. Simple fact, a woman’s clothes are expensive.

To simulate the interaction of women with each other and with males, they had to have at least two stepping out experiences a week. These could be clubbing, ladies night out, dates with the opposite sex, or some type of public meeting. The idea that to experience the lifestyle you would actually have to engage in some type of public interaction with people.

In your folder, an appointment has been made for a modeling school. Each of you will be evaluated for your behavior, your mannerisms, and your poise. Depending on your level of skill, classes would be custom tailored to your needs and a schedule would be furnished for you to attend said classes to bring your presentation up to that of a normal female. A once a week class would be mandatory as a starting point.

In your folder, a year’s membership for a ladies gym is also furnished. Twice a week workouts are required for at least two hours per workout. A more feminine body appearance would result in a better presentation and a more productive pageant appearance. A personal trainer would be available for your evaluation and weekly needs.

The dance classes are the last item that is on the required list. It will help with the socialization that is required, even to the requirements required for social interaction provided the interaction is male/female. It will add a considerable amount of grace to your lives, plus possibly give you a talent for the pageant if needed. Most of the classes are two hours long, and you can select any type of dance you are interested in.

Finally, a provision for a psychiatrist is provided if needed. The company is aware of the challenge this pageant has presented. Due to the interaction of a spouse or significant other, matters may come up requiring some type of mental help. It is there if needed, for anyone desiring these services. Although the terms of the legal settlements were agreed upon to settle the charges of harassment, it is apparent that going through with these tasks and living 24/7 as a woman, conditions the body to be female, both in mind and body.

All of you have been selected with the eventual outcome of the conditioning in mind. The psychiatrist is also available to those who have trouble with the changes or need help in keeping who you are intact. Your selections have been made with the possibility that the lifestyle you are living in becoming the prevalent one in the future. In other words, whether you are comfortable with it or not, you will all make very attractive, very believable women.

The requirement of the sensitivity classes or the committee’s review of conduct has been waived in these positions since you will be finding out firsthand what a woman has to do and experience to live their lives. Please learn from your time and if possible have a little fun with it. This experience to see what the other sex is all about does not come often. Thank you all for volunteering for this pageant, learn all you can, and enjoy the position, its salary and its benefits.

I looked in my envelope, incidentally addressed to Miss Ashley Ann Richards, to find my schedule. Since I had already finished a lot of the required tasks, the modeling school, the ladies gym and the dancing classes were the only items on my schedule. The ladies gym is the same one that Dana used; I was sure Dana would want to go with me. I decided to ask Dana tonight when she wanted to set up a regular time to go. After work seemed to be the best idea to me, since Dana would not have much traffic to contend with, and I could miss the evening rush hour by working on my feminine shape.

My appointment for the modeling school evaluation was for later that evening. The dancing class was up to me to schedule since I had to fit it into my schedule. I thought that maybe Thursday night would be the best time to work it in since my evenings were very quickly filling up. As Angela walked over after the meeting was over, she asked me if I had been corseted yet.

I blushed since I had forgotten that requirement. Even though I had been trimmed down in the waist area, I still had to wear a corset every day. Angela confessed she could not wait to see me in the corset since it was her opinion that I would fully exemplify the hour glass figure after corseting. I told her that I would call tomorrow, but Angela insisted on calling for me and taking me over when she could fit me in.

Instead of going home and then have to come back, I decided to call Dana and ask if she wanted to eat out. Then after dinner I could go to the modeling school. Dana agreed to meet me at our favorite Italian restaurant in thirty minutes. I got there a little earlier than planned and got us a table. Sophia seated me and told me that she would show Dana over as soon as she got there. The place was crowded, and Sophia was very busy, not having time to chat.

I did notice that she had eyed my breasts with a skeptical look. Before the night was over, I knew I would be asked several questions. When her father came over to take the order, I ordered for both Dana and me, our usual in both cases. Twenty minutes later Sophia showed Dana to the table, telling me that I could not leave tonight until I satisfied her curiosity. Dana wanted to know what that was about, I merely pointed to my breasts, and Dana giggled in response.

I guess she has not seen you since your recent addition; I’m sure she noticed your breasts. Dana and I chatted for a while since it was about thirty minutes before our food was brought out. It was worth the wait, like eating the most delicious food in the world. The crowd thinned out some and Sophia was catching up. After we had finished eating, she came over and asked if she could sit at our table for a few moments, always polite, never too pushy. I knew what was coming, so I tried to deflect her conversation, asking her how her mother and father were. She picked up on my effort, smiling and telling me that she was not answering any questions until I told her of my acquisitions.

Dana answered for me, telling Sophia that I was unhappy with the amount of attention she was receiving and convinced her new boyfriend to give her a boob job so she could feel better about herself. Everybody expects a June wedding since the boyfriend is nuts about her. I listened, shaking my head through the entire rendition of how I supposedly acquired my boobs. I guess telling Sophia the rest, would really raise her eyebrows.

Sophia wanted to know all the pertinent facts, mainly who the guy was that swooped Ashley Ann off her feet. Dana told her and she gasped, turning to look into the dining room that was off to the right of the one we were in. I immediately presumed that Joe was here eating, I just didn’t see him enter. Well, when you speak of someone, especially with my luck, they turn up, and as I looked up, Joe was on his way to our table. He greeted both Dana, and I then leaned over and gave me a kiss on the lips.

I was a little reserved in my response, Joe asking me if that was how I was going to treat my doctor. I quickly looked to Dana and Sophia to see what they were doing. Dana had inherited that Cheshire cat smile and Sophia was busy giggling, well more like trying to keep from outright laughter. She excused herself, as she put it, so the lovers could indulge in some tonsil hockey. Everybody thinks they are comedians. Dana said she had to go to the ladies room and vanished.

Joe made himself comfortable in one of the chairs at our table and while holding one of my hands asked if I was feeling alright. I told him that things were healing quickly since I had such a talented doctor. He smiled and tried the kiss again, this time, I responded in the manner appropriate of a female. He broke off the kiss, telling me that was much better, maybe there was hope yet.

He asked me if I was free next Monday, I had to think for a minute of my new classes and gym, but told him I think I am available. He still owed me a dinner at the Green Gables, and he was not getting out of it. I told him I would call him later tonight to let him know for sure, but I needed to get going since I had a modeling school evaluation to attend in the next half hour. His eyebrows raised up a little, but he just ended up smiling as he leaned over and gave me another kiss.

It was much longer, more passionate, with Dana having to interrupt us to get my attention. I was definitely short of breath after that kiss. Joe gave Dana a hug and kiss, and he left. He told me he would be expecting my call before eleven P.M. Dana trying to get me moving so I would not miss the appointment, Sophia whispering to me to not let Joe slip through my fingers on the way out.

Wonderful feelings were running through my mind, and I was literally in a daze. I did not remember walking to the modeling school, or talking to the receptionist telling her that I was there for an evaluation. We sat in the front lobby for a few minutes when a tall woman came out to greet us. She introduced herself as Cynthia, the owner of the school. I heard the name and that she was the owner, but my thoughts were still on that last kiss and Joe.

Dana elbowed me to get my concentration back, and I got up to follow her back to her office. She had me take a seat and wanted to know about me. She was watching me very carefully, especially my hands and facial movements. After a few minutes, she asked me to walk over to the door and return. I was as careful as I could be trying to keep my stride and hip movements proper. She told me to take a seat again, this time asking me where I thought I needed improvement. I told her my walk was not as good as I would have liked, I constantly had to concentrate to move the way I deemed necessary.

My hands and shoulders seemed to be lost at what to do quite often. I thought I had mastered sitting, and in and out of cars was okay, except when wearing very high heels and evening gowns. I did not know how far the schooling went with regards to poise and movement, but I was sure that I could use all the help I could get.

Cynthia had been making notes as we talked, telling me that there were a few areas that could be improved, but she needed to know what my goals were considering career and family. I looked a little puzzled, but told her I was a corporate executive mainly, with a slim chance of marrying someday if the right person came along. She asked if I was open to a couple of other options if the chance came along.

I told her that I was just seeking to live my life as happily as possible, and nothing was set in stone. She suggested that I enroll in their professional modeling class. It would handle most of my shortcomings, plus give me training in another possible career. I was a little curious what she was hinting at but was not sure how to ask her. She read my mind, laying out for me what she thought I had the ability and qualifications for doing.

She told me she knew about my former sex, as she did all the contestants of the pageant, but in my case, there was something quite different going on. Your looks are rare in that you have the height, the face, and with training the poise that a runway model possesses. Very few people of either sex have it, but if developed it could make you a lot of money. Unfortunately, the career usually lasts for only a few years, since age and youthful looks are paramount to succeed. If handled by a good agency you have a lot of time for yourself, and get to travel for free.

I could not see doing any modeling with my present COO position at COC International, but getting the training would be alright. Who knows what a few years down the road will bring in developments. I signed up for the class held on, Tuesday night, and Saturday morning both hour long classes. Cynthia asked if I had any other questions, the only one coming to mind was if she was sure about me having any chance at all to become a model.

She responded that I was a lot like her, in height, in figure, with excellent facial features, perfect for a model. I told her that where I was a guy, she had the advantage because she was a woman. The smile radiating from her face spoke volumes, who said I was a woman. Mouth open, guppy imitation, no coherent words coming from my mouth, how is that possible.

Cynthia related her story of how she started taking classes to become a model, a male model. The instructor pointed out a few things to her as she migrated her way through the class. When she started on the professional model class, the instructor told her that becoming a male model for her was impossible. Her figure was more like a woman, her facial features definitely a woman, but the deciding factor was her movements.

He suggested that she come to class the next few days dressed as a woman and see what the other students and instructors had to say. Well, she did that and from that point on she dressed as a woman. When she completed her class, she landed several small modeling jobs, but quickly her portfolio spoke for her. Within four months she was booked solid for the next five years. She confessed she had not done her homework with regards to modeling agencies at first and ended up working six and seven days a week for not much money.

Three months into her career she was talking to another model and found the agency she has been with ever since. From that moment, she managed to cut her work days to three to four a week and made almost fifty percent more than what she was taking in before.

We talked a while more than she suggested that while I was there that she get a few pictures for my portfolio. I glanced down at my clothes, she giggled, we have clothes you can wear. I asked her if I could bring my sister in since she was waiting for me in the lobby. Cynthia went to the door and opened it asking Dana to come in. Dana appeared in the doorway smiling from ear to ear, then pointed to a mirror on the wall of the room.

She told me that she could see everything that was going on, but was worried that my new fame would make me forget my relatives and friends. I told her that I was not a model yet, and that talk was a little premature. Besides with my job I didn’t have any time for a modeling career. Cynthia spoke up telling me that she was sure that Angela would allow me a little time to expand my horizons. I asked her if she knew Angela, and she told me they had been friends for years.

In fact, when Angela was arranging for the modeling school to help with the pageant. She had asked Cynthia to let her know what she thought of Ashley Ann. I guess little old me was the last person to know about anything relative to me or my career. Maybe I should look at that in a different light, what finally comes to hit me in the head, others have seen it coming for quite some time.

Cynthia showed Dana and me to a dressing room with rack after rack of clothes in it. She browsed the rack looking for my perfect outfit and grabbed several different styles. She hung them on a small rack by a full-length mirror and told me to try the dress first. It was a lilac color sweater dress with an Aztec design woven into the fabric. The design was delicate, accented with teal and maroon colors. It was also very short on my body coming to only a few inches below my panties.

From the moment that I put it on I was trying to get it to cover a little more of my legs. When Cynthia returned, she told me it was perfect and to come with her. We stepped into the next room, where she had set up the lights, on a short runway looking stage. She assisted me up the stairs and told me what she wanted me to do. I was to walk the short distance of the stage keeping my foot directly in front of the other as I walked, taking very short strides. I did as instructed, her taking lots and lots of pictures as I walked down the stage.

She had me turn at the end of the stage and start to walk back looking over my shoulder at the camera as I did so. I had to do that twice and then she had me change into the next costume. It was an LBD that came mid-thigh, with spaghetti straps over my shoulders. What made the outfit was the diamond earrings and necklace, I guess cubic zirconium was more accurate, but it sparkled in the lights of the runway. The earrings were chandelier, and the necklace was triangle shaped with the largest stone centered on my chest right between my breasts. As I walked the runway, I felt the earrings swaying in my ears, definitely a wonderful feeling.

The last outfit that she had me try was a next to nothing bikini with a see thru cover-up, all in pink. I felt naked and almost didn’t make it to the stage. My breasts were bouncing all around as I walked in the heels, I hesitated at the door but Dana gave me a push, and I ended up on the runway for the last time that night. Cynthia complimented me on my overall blush telling me that it added to my beauty.

After that, I changed back into my clothes and Cynthia showed me what the pictures looked like on her computer. I was impressed; I really didn’t look that bad. Cynthia told me that I looked awesome, and after she had shown them around tomorrow she was sure that I would have a few jobs immediately. She explained that they would be for stills advertising a product or design. After I had completed the course, I could get fashion show type of work if I so desired. She printed a couple of pictures for me to take with me and told me she would see me next Friday.

Dana and I headed home, with lots of new thoughts and feelings running through my brain cells. We got home about nine fifteen, changing clothes and heading to the kitchen for a snack and tea. After getting the tea made and the cookies out of the tin, I reflected back on tonight’s events. The idea of me as a model was still my major thought. Then I remembered Joe, I looked at the time and decided that I better call him. I retrieved my cell phone and dialed his number; I don’t think it even ringed on his end before he picked it up.

He asked me how everything went, and when would I fulfill my obligation to properly thank my doctor for his work and services. I told him I thought he was taking me to dinner, not to schedule an orgy on his behalf. We agreed on the Green Gable restaurant date on Monday night of the next week. Only a week after my surgery and the first re-scheduled date. After I had told him how much I appreciated his help, I was able to end the conversation without declaring my deepest love for him. Dana, just sitting across the table from me having a hard time keeping from outright laughing at me. When I hung up the phone she told me that I had it bad, you are so in love with him.

I tried to change the subject to something that would not cause me to blush, asking her when she wanted to do the ladies gym with me. It was decided that Mondays and Saturday afternoon would have the best chance of lasting as a regularly scheduled time. Going over my schedule in my mind, Monday was the ladies gym, Tuesday was modeling, Wednesday was open, Thursday was dancing class, Friday was my weekly bea

uty salon appointment followed by date night, Saturday was modeling followed by the ladies gym, and Sunday was open at present.

Of course, my date with Joe preempted the first night at the ladies gym, but maybe Dana and I could go this Sunday, to fulfill my obligations. Dana suggested that I get a leotard and tights to wear as I worked out so that I would fit in with all of the other ladies. A sudden chill seemed to transverse my body as I contemplated the statement of fitting in with all the other ladies.

Here I was a young male doing lots of things only a woman would do, and for all intensive purposes was considered by all to be a woman. In fact, I often considered myself to be a woman since I had the looks and mannerisms of that gender. I was living as a woman all the time, working as a woman, and even acting as a woman in a social environment, all things that would be normal for a female. But quite often when I got these chills, the realization that I was a male, came storming back. A reminder that all was not black and white in my world.

We agreed to do some shopping this Sunday after the ladies gym, as Dana insisted I needed a fancy dress to wear for my date with Joe. Add to that the leotard and tights and you have an excuse to shop for most of the day. Yes, I was getting the shopping bug that most females acquire, ready to spend hours to find that perfect outfit.

Dana reminded me that I would need to get an appointment with Beverly for Monday during the day so that I would look my best for my Doctor friend. I made a note to call Beverly and make that appointment. Hopefully, she could work me in on such short notice.

One more day to experience the joys of femininity, with me into the office a little earlier than usual. I made my rounds talking to the employees that I knew came in earlier than required. We chatted about clothes, about their lives, and about the company. Most were happy with the progress that COC International was making, especially the change in management and attitude of their bosses. In their opinion, it was a friendlier, less hostile place to work for.

Angela saw me as I was walking through the departments, telling me she could never find me in my office. When she inquired of Cheryl if I was in, she told me that I was doing what I usually did, walking the departments talking with my employees. Cheryl was able to tell her where I would normally be at this time of the morning. Angela listened to part of my conversation with a couple of Rebecca’s employees, not saying anything, but she seemed to be really interested in their responses to my questions. When I moved on to the next group, Angela pulled me aside and told me she had made an appointment with the corset lady, and we had to get going. A couple of the employees had heard part of the conversation and giggled. I asked them if they had seen the email that I had sent out that morning requiring any employee of the female sex to wear a corset starting next week. Their quick response was if Ashley Ann was wearing one they would be happy to wear one too.

Angela laughed at my embarrassment and dragged me out to her car. It was only about a fifteen minute trip to the lingerie shop, and we arrived a little before nine. I thought we would have to wait until they opened at nine, but was surprised when the door of the shop was open. Angela led me back to the counter, introducing me to Vicky. Vicky shook my hand and asked me to come with her.

I was led back to a dressing room, fairly large with a center raised area in the middle of the room. She asked me to undress laying my clothes on a chair in the corner of the room. After I had finished, both Vicky and Angela were staring at me. Vicky looked at Angela telling her that I would not need the breast forms or the fake vagina that she had laid out. She put a measuring tape around me and told me that I could wear one of her smaller more restrictive corsets since my waist measurement was so small.

She went to a stockroom to retrieve the corset and Angela asked me if Joe had done the work. I smiled. Her response was that if she had not known before she would be convinced that I was a natural woman. Vicky returned with several corsets in her hands and laid them on a table near the center of the room. She attached some padded cuffs around my wrists and asked me to grab the bar over my head. I reached up to grab the bar and she attached a clip to the cuffs. I was affixed to the bar, and then as the bar raised my body was lifted until I was barely standing on my toes. I looked a little surprised, then Vicky telling me that it would make it easier to lace the corset that way.

She affixed the first corset around me hooking the busk in front. It was fairly tight already, and she had not started tightening it yet. Angela made a cute remark about me just hanging around, deciding that she could do some shopping since I will be occupied for a little while. She left, and Vicky started tightening the laces on the corset. She was telling me what she was doing as she progressed along with the corset tightening its grip on me with each pull of the laces.

Every few minutes she would stop to let my body adjust to the tightness before resuming her assault on my waist line. I was informed before she started that I had a thirty-two-inch waist at the beginning. After she had worked on my laces for twenty minutes, she had managed to get it down to twenty-six inches. She let down the bar, and as my body resumed its normal position, the corset seemed much tighter. Vicky told me my body would adjust after a couple of hours in the corset and although it would still feel tight it would be livable with.

I told her that it was snug, but not unbearable at the moment. She asked me to hold still, and she relaxed the laces, then unfastened the busk. She picked up a heavier looking corset in a light pink brocade fabric. She wrapped it around my waist fastening the busk hooks. She then raised the bar again, but this time, she lifted my feet off the ground. This was a more restrictive corset, thus the reason to get as much advantage in the lacing as possible. As I was hanging there, I could feel my body stretching out a little. She started taking in the laces on this corset, causing me to be very aware of her efforts in this regards. There seemed to be very little give in this one, every time she pulled on the laces my waist seemed to shrink significantly.

Within a few minutes, I was gasping for air as my lungs tried to fill the rapidly declining space with air. She stopped more often to allow me to adjust to the tightness of the corset, but after reaching twenty-four inches, she decided that would do for now. She slowly lowered the bar until I was standing on my tiptoes, then after another twenty minutes to adjust, she lowered me to the floor. Where the first corset was tight but almost bearable, this one was very restrictive.

Before I could complain much, she scooted me over in front of a full-length mirror and pointed to my image in the mirror. I was still having a little trouble getting my breath, but she told me to take shallower breaths, trying to relax at the same time. I was settling down a little, able now to get my breath, but still glued to my image in the mirror. I had the most fantastic figure I have ever seen on a woman. Then the realization that I was that woman and the hour glass figure was mine came rushing from the back of my mind.

I was still glued to that image when Angela came back into the store. She stood at the door of the dressing room and gave me a wolf whistle. I turned to see where the noise was coming from and almost fell off the dais I was standing on. She giggled but told me that I looked fantastic, just another nail in my former male persona. Vicky told me I could get dressed, but that everything would be loose on me until I had them altered or bought new ones.

Incidentally, the corsets were over the bust models that pushed my breasts to new levels of exposure. I now looked like a Hooters Girl even though I did not have the regulation shorts and T-shirt. As I put on my clothes, I was indeed smaller than before, and most of my clothes were baggy on me. As I checked my appearance in the mirror before I left, my new figure was very apparent even through the baggy clothes.

Angela signed the bill for the corsets, as Vicky was checking the fit of the corset I was wearing. The bag she gave me contained the corset that I had tried on plus two more identical to the ones that I had tried on. She included one for me to wear at night so that my body would adapt to the fit of the corsets faster. I thanked her for her assistance but reserved the right to hate her later if the corsets failed to get comfortable, as she told me they would. She giggled and whispered to me that she hoped I would enjoy my life as a woman since everything she saw confirmed that I was indeed one.

Angela led me out of the lingerie store and down a couple of shops in the same shopping center to a ladies clothing store. From the window displays, it seemed to cater to the younger woman since miniskirts, and sexy tops were featured in the displays. We entered the shop, and Angela led me directly over to a portable rack that had some clothes picked out on it. The sales associate came over right away and led me to a dressing room, placing the rack of clothes next to me. Angela helped me with my skirt since bending over now was a difficult task with the corset. All the clothes were a perfect fit, and I decided on most of them. The corset really made a difference, since my new figure really emphasized my femininity. A couple of the outfits that Cheryl and Dana had helped me pick out were short in the skirt length, but not like these.

At the back of the rack were several business suits, tailored to fit my new figure, but a little longer in the skirt department. We settled on wearing the gray one out of the store. The blazer fitted me like a blouse would with a single button to hold the front together. I wanted to wear a blouse underneath it, but Angela wanted me to flaunt my assets, both breast wise and waist wise. I gave in but felt almost naked in the outfit. I was thankful that the corset made it almost impossible to bend over, since any attempt to, might show more than I was comfortable with.

I insisted that I had to get back to work, playing hooky a little more might be enjoyable, but the clothes that I was dressed in kind of made it quite risky. Another hour shopping and I would probably be staking out a corner for the evening rush hour. Angela went to meet with the board and I started making the rest of my rounds. I actually met the rest of the contestants as I made my way through the company. They were initially bewildered by my appearance, but soon we were over that hump. I invited them to accompany me on the rest of my rounds, reluctant at first then they seemed to get the idea and we turned out to be quite a sight. Nine new females meeting and greeting the employees that worked for us.

After concluding the tour I invited them back to my office, I had a kernel of an idea and wanted to feel them out. As we entered Cheryl got up and opened my office door. There was a table set-up with different drinks, a few nibbles, lo-cal of course, and enough chairs for everyone. Everybody fed their face, took a drink and found a seat. We chit chatted about the company, then I asked them their thoughts on the pageant. I got a few stilted answers, several red faces and even a couple of straight honest answers.

It turned out that Angela definitely knew how to pick them, a lot of them were like me, maybe not as far along as I was but the desires and tendencies were there. I decided I was going to spring my idea on them and see what happens. I buzzed Cheryl and started to request something of her.

Her remark stopped that dead in its tracks. “Roberta is on her way down, I will send her in as soon as she gets here.” I will have to remember not to think any thoughts in her presence, since she can apparently read minds. Roberta wandered in and took the last reaming chair in my office. I cleared my throat then started.

“Since we are in this together a thought came into my mind a couple of days ago.” Roberta snickered but motioned for me to continue. I must do something to get her back, she is getting really confident in her female presentation and a little too uppity.

“Anyways my thought is this. Instead of keeping up this farce about the contest I suggest we do away with the contest part, live out the term of the agreement as females, doing everything that was asked of us. But more importantly spend the extra time doing our jobs here to the best of our abilities. If after the time restraints are over if you would like to continue the gender swap, out company records will be changed to fit that reality. I suggest we each wear a pin on our blouse of jacket stating that we are Miss COC International Beauty Queens, and proud of it. Now that I have stated my idea what is your opinion?”

I saw each of them looking around the room, a few heads nodding but no words were spoken. Well so much for my crazy idea. At that moment Cheryl walked in with a tray of something in her hands. She went to each person, showed them what the items were in the tray, and then waited. I watched them reach in and pick one of the items then hold it in their hand. Finally Cheryl reached Roberta, he didn’t even look just grabbed one of the items and held it. Cheryl moved next to me and picked one of items up and pinned it to my jacket lapel. As I looked around the others were doing the same. I started to tear up, then Cheryl interrupted. I don’t have enough tissue for all of these tears, so get out of here and get some work done. I got hugs from everyone, and then ended up facing Roberta. Her hug was the best of all, as she pulled me in tight and whispered you are such a girl. Giggled hysterically and left.

Cheryl handed me some tissues, then helped erase the mascara streaks down my cheeks. She pushed me to the bathroom and handed me my purse. I giggled, as I reached in to remove my mascara. So ingrained in the role now, it is a must to look my best again before anyone else sees me.

Speaking of the devil in walks Angela, a huge smile plastered on her face. She walks right up to me, examines the pin then I get a hug. “Been busy I see, you never cease to amaze me.”

“I think I have some news that should perk you up though.” The lawyers for the females that had been harassed have contacted us. As of an hour ago all suits have been dropped, and the complaints to the EEOC have been withdrawn. The word is already being spread among our customers, that the new COO has performed a modern day business miracle. If your makeup was a little more perfect I would give you a kiss. Oh hell and she laid one on me. On the lips and so nice.

Cheryl interrupted telling that Vivian was here to see me, if I could spare a moment. I greeted her at the door giving her a hug, then asked what can I do for you?

I just dropped by to tell you that I got all the suits and complaints dropped, the pageant is no longer necessary. I am ashamed of myself to have stooped to such extreme measures to get revenge, revenge that was hurting the very people that mattered the most. I hugged her, no need to be ashamed it did make a difference, just maybe not the way you intended. All of the contestants and I have just decided to do away with the pageant, but will live out the original term as females working for the company. It was unanimous, I just offered a suggestion and they decided the rest. I think most of us will remain females, even after the time is up, I do hope there is some room here for more females. I showed her the pin, then as a few tears were escaping she hurriedly told me she had to get back to her department.

I held on to her not letting her go, gave her a huge hug and told her we need to talk about another position that has recently become vacant. I suggest next Monday as soon as she has visited her department. The tears were flowing now, so I handed her a few tissues suggesting that she fix her mascara, upper level management should always try and present a business like appearance. She was bawling now as Cheryl took her hand and led her away.

Angela just stood in front of me, shaking her head. I had my hunches about you when I hired you, but if I had known you were this capable and caring I would have personally seen to your castration soon thereafter. Ashley Ann maybe was born from harassment, but was here all the time just waiting to escape. An escape she has done quite well with.

I did get my dinner at the Green Gables, and also a proposal to go along with it. I will let you guess what it was about. Right now Ashley Ann couldn’t be any happier, my feet never touching the ground, my head in the clouds.

Story Complete For Now

© 2016 thru 2021 Fran Cesca Walker

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