The next morning I knocked on Claire's door. Friday, I thought. "Ex-Shep'll be just Ex today."
"Come in!" I heard her muffle from somewhere indoors. I groaned inside. This always meant one of two things. Either she had lost some files that she was working on at home, or that she was up working so late last night that she'd slept in.
I let myself in and went through to the kitchen.
"Won't be a minute!" Came drifting down from upstairs, so I didn't put the kettle on. When this happened, we usually missed the normal train and had to catch the later one in sixteen minutes. I hoped that this was unlikely, as I was hoping to be around when Claire returned the lipstick. Introduce ourselves, maybe. If we had to catch the later train, this would not be happening.
Happily enough though, at that moment I heard Claire skipping about upstairs closing doors, obviously ready. I picked up my briefcase and went to the hall, about to call out something to the effect of "shall we go?" when Claire stepped down into view.
She had the same black jacket and dark wine-coloured blouse as normal, but it was undone to the second button and showed more of her chest than I'd seen since we had been dating. Her hair, not tied back, hung in waves of gold around her smiling face. Smiling at me.
"Close your mouth!" she laughed, pushing my jaw back up so that my teeth clinked. "I'm not sure about these shoes, what do you think?" She struck a pose before me, leaning on the banister. I couldn't talk. She had never looked like this before, never!
"I guess you like them then!" she concluded with mock dignity, throwing back her head and pushing my jaw shut again. "Good. Shall we?"
She offered me her arm. Taking it and leaving the house, I felt like we were going to the theatre, not to work. As she locked the door behind us, the train sounded its horn in the distance.
"Come on!" gushed Claire, grasping my arm again. "We'll have to rush and you'll have to help me!"
As we rushed to the station, a four minute walk, I strode and Claire took tiny quick steps.
"Sorry if I'm slowing you down," she twinkled, "but that's the price you pay for looking good!"
"You look great," I agreed, finally finding my voice. "But isn't it a bit of a change of image?"
"I love it!" answered Claire, glancing up at me. "I should have changed my image a long time ago!"
We missed the train. It was pulling away as we bundled onto the empty platform. Birds squawked above us, carrying twigs, as we sat down on the bench.
"I think you're right about the shoes," continued Claire as though she hadn't seen the train. "High heels make you look so special! I always feel special when I'm wearing them, don't you?"
"You look good," I agreed, "but I've never worn them, so I wouldn't know."
"Oh, you know what I mean!" she chided, frowning slightly and looking sideways at me. "I think they set off the tights really well. I don't need to ask you if you agree with that!" She lifted her legs up and ran her hands down them, smiling and purring, pausing at her shoes. "Do I?"
She was right. Again I could feel myself becoming aroused. It was like old times, except that Claire had never been much of a tease before. She'd always been pretty straight.
"I thought about wearing stockings," she went on, shuffling just a tiny bit closer to me, "but I decided not for work. I thought about it this morning. Black stockings, rolled up my legs, smooth and sheer... I was going to wear my basque... But I decided to keep that for tonight."
What was she saying? I could hardly keep my eyes in their sockets, and my breathing regular! Was this Claire, or her sexy evil twin?
"Are you, er, going out tonight, then?" I asked, my voice cracking slightly.
"Wouldn't you like to know, Mr Bulgy!" she cooed, giving my leg a squeeze.
Bulging I was as the train pulled up. And confused. This was most unlike Claire, but it was very exciting. I was single, and she was single, and I was looking forward to calling her on the internal phone at work to ask if she was going to be busy over the weekend.
We sat down at the table most similar to our normal place on this later train. As I sat, Claire just put her bag on the seat beside me and slid instead into the space opposite. Almost as soon as the train pulled quietly away, she fished inside her jacket and pulled out some makeup.
"I've seen you watching your Glamour Girlfriend putting this on," she murmured. "You love it. You watch her as she puts it all on. Do I do it as well?" I watched, confused but happily excited as she applied it, and almost hit my head on the parcel rack when she rubbed her foot up my leg.
I didn't get to call Claire all day, but I thought about nothing else. It was a tough day, and I found it hard to concentrate on my work. There was plenty to do, and I worked with no break until six forty-five.
Sitting back in my chair, examining the inbox, I reckoned I could leave it at that. I hadn't finished, but it was the weekend, and I'd done most of it anyway.
A knock on the door preceded Claire peeping around.
"Are you coming?" She asked. I was pleased and a little surprised. We didn't normally travel home together, as we finished at different times. She sidled her leg around the door as she swung there on the handle, her high heels making my mind up for me.
"I've just finished," I replied. "Hang on, I'll get my coat."
The main train station was crowded, but after a few stops the carriage was almost empty.
Claire reached into her jacket again. This time the only thing she pulled out apart from a small mirror was a lipstick.
"Isn't that Glamour Girlfriend's lipstick?" I asked, noticing it was the same one from yesterday.
"It is," she replied, "I realised last night that I've never worn a colour like this. I've always used pink or brown. I was curious, so I just tried a little bit, and it was great. Do you think it suits me?"
"Do you really think you should be using other people's lipstick?" I asked, frowning. Claire undid the top and extended it. "You can hardly give it back now that you've..."
To kiss those lips...
Slowly she smacked her lips together, looking at herself in her little mirror. "I feel sexy when I wear lipstick. Don't you?"
To kiss those lips... To feel her lipstick on my lips...
"Yes." I whispered. She lowered the mirror and looked at me directly. Again she raised the lipstick and reapplied it.
"I feel like a woman when I wear lipstick. Don't you?" Warmth, like the sun in the evening, and smooth guitar chords filled my mind. I saw the colours swirling, red, crimson, Claire's lips. I wasn't quite sure what she was asking me, but it was good. "Yes..." I replied.
To kiss those lips... Soft smooth lipstick on my lips... The creamy feel of the lipstick on my lips...
Again, she raised the lipstick. Leaning forwards on the table, her cleavage showing, her blonde hair falling over her forehead, again she reapplied the lipstick.
"I love to wear lipstick," she went on, quietly, "Don't you?"
The scent, the perfume, the lipstick, I was dizzy. My head swam. Claire moved before me, lipstick in hand, gliding over her lips, applying it and reapplying it, deep deep red...
What was she asking me? If I wanted to wear lipstick? I wanted to agree with her, but I didn't want to wear it. I wanted her to wear it. I wanted her to keep on applying that smooth red lipstick.
To kiss those lips... Soft smooth lipstick on my lips... The creamy feel of the lipstick on my lips... Applying lipstick... My lips...
"I... I don't know" I murmured. It felt like I wanted to wear the lipstick, but I didn't! I don't want sleek red lips, a voice inside me said, I am a man! I don't want smooth creamy red lipstick to slide over my wet lips...
I was falling, down, down into a warm place, when I realised something was wrong. I was thinking about wearing the lipstick. I opened my eyes, suddenly alert. We had arrived at our stop. I was unsure what was going on, and glanced quickly around.
Claire looked surprised. She put the lipstick down, and without warning, leant forwards over the table and kissed me.
It was like a drug. The vision of her, the warm feeling, the hypnotic scent, and then the taste of her lipstick on my lips... I was lost. I could feel myself melting inside, the pressure in my groin building. Lipstick...On my lips...
No! A part of me was telling me, that's not it, that's not what you want! But another part of me was already surrendering. Surrendering to Claire, and to the smooth feel of her kiss.
As she pulled away, and looked into my eyes, she smiled.
"Now you know." she said. A battle was raging inside me, and she must have seen it in my eyes. My heart was raging and I felt like I wanted to explode. I wanted her, to take her and ravage her, but I couldn't. And I wanted her to do that to me again - to kiss me with her lipstick.
"Come here," she said, but I couldn't move. She picked up her things and grabbed my arm. I could barely get up in time as she whisked me off the train and onto the dark of the platform outside.
The sound of the train faded as the other disembarking passengers walked away, and she pulled me close.
"Claire?" I asked, but she held up a finger to silence me. Slowly she lifted the mesmerising lipstick to my lips. Don't let her do this, the voice inside me was saying. You're a man! Don't let her take you this way!
Take me? I wondered, as she moved her face closer.
I pulled her closer and dropped to my knees in front of her, holding my face up. "Please..." I begged. A strange warm feeling was spreading inside me, from my lips, back into my mind. As my hands slid down Claire's back to her legs and touched her black tights, I gasped.
She stepped back.
"Yes," she said. "You like that, don't you. You always did. You like my legs and my high heels."
"Yes!" I gasped, still on my knees. The warm tingling feeling filled my mind. I felt red and fuzzy, and as though my own mind was slipping pleasantly away.
"And you like to wear this lipstick, don't you." She continued, stepping forwards and stroking my hair. "You feel like a woman when you wear my lipstick, don't you."
"Yes!" I cried, reaching out for her again. It felt oddly right, to agree with her. I knew I had never wanted to feel like a woman or to wear lipstick before, but my lips and my new mind now felt so warm and compelling, and the feeling was spreading down, tingling at my throat and my chest. My nipples felt erect and hot. I could feel that my control of myself was slipping away. I wanted to let it go, to do what Claire wanted! To wear that lipstick...
"You want to wear a lacy black basque. You want it to support the weight of your own breasts."
"Yes! Yes! Yes, please!" I was feeling amazing. My body from my lips to my midriff, and spreading downwards, felt as though it was blazing with quiet power, and what Claire was saying filled me with longing. My own will and my own control of my body was being replaced by the strong, slowly spreading red feeling. The thought of a basque on my body, tight, black and constrictive, with Claire running her fingers down my sides and up to my own breasts delighted me beyond my wildest fantasies.
"And you will feel like a woman when you shave your legs and wear black stockings and high heels tonight. You want that more than anything else, don't you."
"Oh, yes!" My legs seemed to shine in my mind as the deep smooth red feeling spread further down to my knees and my ankles. I could see it already, my feet in stilettos with straps fastening them tight, and my smoothly shaven ankles in black and silky stockings that I would be fastening carefully to the basque's suspenders.
Knees pressed together, my diaphanous black stockings rubbing evocatively, I would bend over to pick up my skirt, and my breasts would hang in my basque, full and soft and round, pulling with new weight on my thin shoulder straps.
I knew these were not my own desires, but there was nothing I could do. I wanted them too badly. The feeling filled me now, from my toes to my lips. I felt red. I felt controlled. I felt like a woman.
"Come with me," ordered Claire, turning on her heel and walking away. I picked myself up and stumbled after her, my eyes glued to her thin black high heels as she clacked ahead of me.
She opened the door and stood aside for me to pass in. Just inside and to the left, I caught sight of myself in the mirror. My lips were bright glossy red, pouting and deep. I paused and looked. My heart beat stronger, and the feeling grew.
Claire entered behind me, her eyes smouldering. As she quietly closed the door, I knew my life had changed for ever.
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