Truth in Lace
by Tempeste O’Riley
Desires Entwined, #3.5
Gay, Gender fluid, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 5, 2014 (ebook)
Length: Short / 24 pages
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When Alexander James Noble looks in the mirror, he sees a freak looking back at him. Despite his high grades and plans for culinary arts school after graduation, his parents would hate him if they really knew him.
Forced on a shopping trip with his twin sister, Lyric, and her friends, Alex eyes the girls jealously, longing to be able to dress like them—to be them. The constant struggle of being “gender fluid,” wrestling with an identity that seems to change daily, begins to wear on Alex. But all those questions and fears seem more manageable when his sister gives him his first skirt and lace panties.
ALEX LOOKED around, worried someone might see him watching Lyric, his twin sister, and her girl posse as they did each other’s hair and nails. They took nearly every piece of clothing out of her closet and tried them on, swapping items between the four girls until they all were happy with how they looked.
He sat on his twin bed, glancing over the top of the book he was “reading” to check the mirror again as he looked on with envy. They were allowed to spend time together, doing girly things. He knew, however, if any of them noticed him using the bathroom mirror to look into his sister’s room, they would tattle, claiming he was being a pervert.
Ha! If only they knew. It wasn’t them he was lusting after; it was their clothing and the ease with which they interacted. Girls could be feminine or butch, and no one thought a thing about it. Or, at least his dad didn’t care. But a boy wanting to wear a dress or wishing for pretty shoes or undies? Yeah, hell no. So not okay.
He’d realized about a year ago that girls held no appeal for him, not in the same way they did for the other guys his age. No, it was the boys in his class who had his stupid cock standing up and his stomach tight and fluttery. He’d attempted to deny it, but no matter how hard he tried, girls only held his attention because of how they acted and what they wore.
“Oh,” one of the girls squealed. Candy, he thought. “Wait ’til you see what I talked my sis into buying me.” Alex looked over the top of his book in time to see her proudly holding up a pair of purple lace panties and a matching bra. The huge grin on her face was so full of glee, he wanted to hit something. He knew where that exact outfit came from, having looked at it himself under the pretext of buying something nice for Lyric.
Angry at himself for being a freak, he slammed his book closed, hopped off the bed, and grabbed his coat off the back of his door before he stomped out the bedroom, planning to go for a long walk. Maybe they’ll be gone by the time I get back, he fumed. He got as far as the front door when he heard Lyric behind him.
“Alex? Can you drive us to the mall?”
They both had licenses, but only he had a car. Another stupid double standard, but it was one of the few in his favor. He spun on his heel, intending to tell her he had somewhere he had to be, but when he saw the pleading look in her eyes, he caved. He always caved for her. He was older by all of ten minutes, but when it came to willpower, she ruled all.
He frowned, not liking the idea, but resigned to spending his evening in the stores he could only wish he was allowed to shop in. Hell, it wasn’t that he wanted to be a girl. No, he was perfectly happy with the equipment he was born with; he just sometimes felt fem and wished he could wear the clothes that expressed who he was instead of the wrapper he’d been born with.
“Yeah. I guess, but I’m not a pack mule,” Alex grumbled.
“We know,” Lyric said, and patted him on the back. “Come on, it’ll be fun. We can shop, eat greasy foods Mom would kill us for without getting in trouble, and there’s the cooking store you can browse if you want.” She offered the last part up as a tasty morsel, knowing that was his biggest weakness at the mall.
Alex loved to cook and had already applied to a couple of culinary schools for after high school, determined to have the future he wanted, not the one his dad tried to foist on him. Seriously? What in the world was that man thinking? Bad enough his father had forced him into sports when Alex was younger, determined to “make him a man” but wanting him to go into construction with him—his father was the foreman for the company he worked for—was beyond him.
Alex was almost five-nine, slender but with firm muscles, with the same light mocha skin as his sister. People did not think butch when they looked at him, not if they had eyes and a brain cell or two. He worked hard not to look too girly, though, afraid of what his father would say and do.
“Hey,” Lyric said, snapping him out of his thoughts. “Why don’t you go warm the car up, and we’ll be there in a minute?”
“Yeah. Sounds good, just don’t forget to leave a note. You know Mom and Dad will freak if you don’t.”
“Stupid rules,” she grumbled as she turned and left him standing there.
Shaking off the darker thoughts, he headed to the car. He tried to prepare himself for the annoying music and chatter that taking his sister’s friends anywhere always included.
Other Stories by Tempeste:
“I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.”
—Rainbow Book Reviews, on “Designs of Desire”
“Tempeste O’Riley clearly has designs on our attention with Designs of Desire, a story as heart breaking as it is heart warming."
—Sensual Reads, on “Designs of Desire”
“The writer did an excellent job with the charactesr, they are likable and perfect. Not perfect in the way that they have no flaws, but in a way that they grab you and complement each other.”
—Love Bytes Reviews, on “Temptations of Desire”
About the Author:
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual gender fluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.
Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.
Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, Rainbow Romance Writers, and WisRWA. Learn more about Tempeste and her writing at http://tempesteoriley.com.
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