Double Take

bythrillerauthor©

Ashley was lying in bed, where she had cried herself to sleep. Her leg was in a cast, held up by two cables a few inches above her bed. Sandy closed the door behind him and stole quietly to her bedside. "Hey," he said in his own voice.

She looked up, and at first she didn't realize it was him. Then the biggest smile came over her face, and she started to giggle uncontrollably as he did a curtsy for her. "Look at you!" she said.

"Are you mad at me?"

"Why should I be mad at you? You saved my life."

"I stole your big love scene today."

"So I heard. I couldn't believe it when Darla told me you were going to go through with it. You saved her life, too."

"All in a day's work for a fearless stunt double."

"Did you have fun?"

"He's a good kisser."

"Oh yeah? Come here, Missy. I'll show you what a good kiss is." Sandy leaned over her, and she kissed him tenderly. He kissed her back the same way, feeling a sweet spike of arousal as his penis ached for the woman he had become. When they finally broke it off, she said, "I've mussed your lipstick. Here, let me fix it." She took a corner of her sheet and wiped the smudges off his beautiful face.

Sandy pulled a chair up next to the bed and sat down, carefully crossing his legs after he smoothed his dress beneath himself. "Are you as weirded out by this as I am?" he asked her.

"Yeah, but I'm loving it! I was so bummed before you came in."

"How long are you in here?"

"At least a week, and then it's another five weeks before I get the cast off. I'm going to need some physical therapy, but I should be ready to go for the next season."

"What makes you think the network's going to renew us?"

"Darla swore me to secrecy. She wanted to cheer me up, I guess. It's going to be announced next week You know what that means, don't you?"

"What?"

"You're gong to have to be a girl for another whole year."

"No way."

"I'm sure it's in your contract. You know, that contract you never read."

Sandy was secretly thrilled at the prospect. "Aren't you worried that I'll steal some more of your scenes?"

"Try it, and I'll tell Buster Cruz where he can find you. You might just wind up a girl permanently."

They bantered through the night like sisters, nourishing the seed that was planted the day Ashley caught her first wave, and Sandy wore his first dress.

* * *

With his final paycheck from the first season of Wet Girls, Sandy Lane finally had enough money to make the down payment on an oceanfront condo. It had only one bedroom, but it was right on the Esplanade in Redondo Beach, with a sweeping white water view. Best of all, he could jump out of bed and be in the surf in a matter of seconds. With most of the summer free before they resumed shooting for the second season, he had nothing to look forward to but sun, sand and surf.

Except for one thing. His studio contract required him to be available on short notice for publicity shots and marketing sessions. There was talk about a photo shoot on Waikiki Beach, with Pepper Reef riding the waves against the background of Diamond Head. Sandy was stoked about that, until he realized the ramifications. He was going to have to keep his girlish figure, and his layered shag hairdo, straight through the summer.

Sandy Lane had dropped out of sight after his violent run-in with Buster Cruz during the semi-finals of the Masters World Surfing Championship, and the surfing community had written him off. His role as a stunt double for Ashley Vaughn on the hit TV series Wet Girls was a deep Hollywood secret, and Sandy intended to keep it that way until he reemerged after the series ran its course.

Which presented Sandy with a big dilemma when he moved into his condo. In order to maintain his cover with his new neighbors, he resigned himself to living full time as a woman. With a heavy heart, he packed up all of his guy stuff and locked it away at a mini-storage facility in the San Fernando Valley. His meager wardrobe now consisted of a powder blue wetsuit, a few women's swim suits, and a pair of shorts and a tee shirt that he was able to bum off of Ashley Vaughn. At least his flip-flops were unisex.

Ashley was finally out of the hospital, recovering from her broken leg at her house in the Hollywood Hills. As soon as her leg was out of its cast, she was going to be working day and night with a personal trainer to get back in shape for the fall season. She took pity on Sandy when he confided in her, and agreed to help him put together a trousseau before he moved into his bachelor pad as a bachelorette. When Sandy pulled into her driveway in his new Audi convertible, Ashley was waiting for him at an upstairs window.

She watched him slide his waxed legs out of the car and perch his sunglasses on top of his blonde head as he waved hello. It was still hard to believe that her exact twin was really a guy. After months of lessons, his gestures and movements were becoming more and more feminine, to the point where Ashley and Sandy had been mistaken for each other on the set of Wet Girls before her accident. It was a good thing Sandy had taken to wearing wraparound sunglasses whenever he went out, or he would have been mobbed by her adoring public.

Ashley hobbled downstairs in her walking cast to greet him with a peck on the cheek. "Hey, sister, how's the move going?"

"Got a fridge and a phone. How's the leg?"

"It itches like crazy."

Even with her leg in a cast, Ashley Vaughn was drop-dead gorgeous, and Sandy felt himself stirring as they stood awkwardly in her smartly decorated foyer. He was tantalizingly close to one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood, in a relationship that was beyond strange. "You look nice."

"Yeah, right." Sometimes she seemed to like him as guy, but today he was just a girlfriend. "You ready to try on some of my clothes?" Her master bedroom was on the ground floor, and he followed her past a small kitchen to a bright and airy room decorated in pink and yellow. Piles of skirts, tops and dresses were strewn across the queen size bed. "All this stuff was ready for the Goodwill anyway."

Sandy gulped while he took them in. "Do you really think I need all that?"

"Well, it all depends. Knowing you, you're probably planning to spend the entire summer on the beach. But what if you need to go out? Like to buy food, for instance?"

"Can't I just get by with shorts or jeans?"

"Most of the time, sure. But what if the studio needs you to go somewhere? We have my image to think about."

"Your image?"

"Sandy, you're a dead ringer for me. Without those sunglasses, people are going to think you're Ashley Vaughn. Unless you're planning to stay home every night."

Sandy hadn't thought about that. He'd go stir crazy cooped up in his condo all summer. "I guess you're right."

"Good girl. Now take off your shirt and shorts." With a shrug of resignation, Sandy pulled off his tee shirt, and he blushed as he stepped out of his shorts. Ashley was shocked to discover that he wasn't wearing any underwear, and his penis was already at half mast.

"My God, look at you!" He wilted under her scorn, and she rummaged through one of her lingerie drawers for an old pair of cotton panties. "Put these on at once!" she commanded, and he meekly complied. She eyed the tell-tale bulge with a glint of amusement in her eyes. "Are you turned on by wearing my panties, or are you just happy to see me?" she said, doing a perfect Mae West impression.

"Both," Sandy answered honestly.

Ashley was shaking her head as she returned to her drawer and pulled out a wonder bra. "They padded you up pretty good on the set, didn't they?" she asked rhetorically as she waited for him to put his arms through the straps. After she snapped him up from behind, she made sure the cookies were inserted in each of the cups as she tugged them into place. "There. You have your figure back." Sandy's hard-on had vanished, and he looked almost natural in his bra and panties.

Ashley pointed to her bed with a wave of her hand. "What shall we try on first? Have you ever worn a skirt?"

"Uh, no," Sandy admitted.

"Okay, first things first. Let's try on a pair of my shoes." Ashley looked under her bed and found a battered pair of white skimmer flats. "Oh good, I thought I'd thrown these away." Sandy tried them on, but his feet were too wide for them. "No problem, we'll just go to Plan B," Ashley said, reaching into her lingerie drawer once again for a pair of pantyhose. "Do you know how to put these on?"

"I can do it," Sandy said, trying to disguise his enthusiasm. He sat down on the foot of her bed, and began to ease Ashley's nylons up his sleek legs. Once again, the sensation of sheer delight took him by surprise. His poor brain was in a cauldron, sending mixed signals to his bewildered penis: This feels so great! Whoa, down boy! What will Ashley think?"

Ashley didn't know what to think as she watched his raging member trying to break through her old panties. "Are we having fun down there?" she finally asked.

Sandy was mortified. "A girl wants to dress me up in her clothes. Does that make me a fag?" he stammered.

"I don't know, but it's making the girl hot," she said in a sultry voice as she pulled Sandy's panties down to his knees. His tortured penis sprang to attention, and she teased it with her soft fingers as Sandy hung his head in embarrassment. "We can't have you walking around like this," she said matter-of-factly. "I've been wondering how to thank you for saving my life. Here goes." With that, she lowered her beautiful head, and took him into her mouth.

Sandy hadn't gotten laid since the night before Buster Cruz put him in the hospital, and he exploded instantly, moaning in ecstasy as the waves of pure, sweet pleasure went on and on. Ashley rubbed his stockinged calves while she coaxed the last drop out of him, and then she tucked him between his legs and gently pulled his panties and hose up to his waist.

Blown away, Sandy lay back on her bed, surrounded by a sea of skirts and dresses as she sat down beside him. "Wouldn't that have been ironic," she said. "I might have drowned giving a blow job to the guy who pulled me out of the water."

* * *

Two hours later, the trunk and back seat of Sandy's car were crammed with Ashley's hand-me-downs, including shoes, purses, and fashion jewelry. They were sitting at her kitchen table having a light lunch as Ashley went over the list she had made for him. "I've put enough makeup in this bag to get you through the next few days, but you're going to need to stock up on some essentials. Oh, and don't forget to buy some undies and nylons. Here, I'll write down your sizes. You can pick them up at any drugstore."

Sandy studied her list as she rambled on. "You shouldn't need another haircut for at least a month," she was saying. Neither one of them had said another word about what went on between them in Ashley's bedroom, although each knew that it had added a volatile ingredient to the strange bond that was developing between them. "Let me see your driver's license," Ashley said.

Sandy fished it out of the pocket of his shorts. "Hmm, not bad," she said. "With your long hair, you look sort of like a girl. Here, I have an idea." She reached into the cosmetics bag on the kitchen table and took out some nail polish. She shook the bottle, opened it, and applied a strategic dab over the M. "There," she said as she blew on the polish. "Sandy Lane. Sex: unknown."

* * *

One month later, Sandy had a long hot shower after surfing for two hours off the Redondo jetty. It was mild at the beach, as usual, but the forecast was for temperatures in the high nineties in the Hollywood Hills. Sandy selected the coolest clothes he could think of: panties, bra, a short sundress and sandals.

Ashley was getting her cast off today, and Sandy intended to surprise her with flowers and ask her out to dinner. After he got dressed and put on his makeup, he decided he'd better make sure she was back from the doctor's office. But when he called her number, a guy answered the phone.

"Is Ashley there?"

"Sure, hang on. It's for you, Babe."

Sandy felt a knot in his stomach as he waited for her to pick up. "Hello?"

"Hey."

"Sandy! How are you?"

"Okay. How's the leg?"

"Great! I can't believe it's finally out of that stupid cast! It looks gross, and it's so stiff I need a cane. You should see me hobbling around."

"I thought I'd stop by and maybe we could go out someplace for dinner."

"Oh Sandy, I'd love to, but I've got other plans."

"Who's the guy?"

"Just an old friend." Sandy could hear him laughing while Ashley whispered for him to hush. "Well actually, more than an old friend. A guy I went to USC with."

"Oh."

"I'm sorry. I hope you didn't go to any trouble."

"Oh no. I just shaved my legs and put on a dress."

"You're wearing a dress?" There was more laughter in the background.

"Yes." Sandy felt like the biggest fool in the world.

"That's so sweet."

"Yeah. Well, I'd better let you go."

"Call me again, okay?"

"Bye." Sandy hung up. Suddenly he needed to get out, to get away from his absurd existence. He grabbed his purse and ran out the door, all dressed up with no place to go.

* * *

Sandy drove for miles up the Pacific Coast Highway, past the Santa Monica Pier where he had saved Ashley's life, and up the coast into Malibu. Pretty girls in convertibles are not a rare sight in Southern California, but Sandy was attracting more than his share of attention from the guys passing by, which only added to his feelings of shame and frustration. He was sick of being a girl. He needed to be a guy again.

Finally Sandy picked up his cell phone and punched in the number of his best friend, Toby Goodfin. Sandy and Toby had traveled the world together, surfing in Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Costa Rica, and they had lived together for six months on the north shore of Oahu. Sandy hadn't spoken to Toby, or any of his surfer buddies, since the day he agreed to become a stunt double for Ashley Vaughn.

He was relieved when Toby answered the phone, thinking that he might have moved out of the beach pad he shared with two other guys in Malibu. "Toby, it's me. Sandy."

"Dude! Where are you?"

"In the 'Bu."

"No way! Where have you been, man?"

"It's a long story. You doing anything?"

"I was gonna surf up at Zuma later, can you make it?"

"No. Toby, can we meet someplace?"

"Come on over."

Sandy knew he could trust Toby, but he wasn't sure about his roommates. Sandy glanced at his Swatch. "How about Moondoggies?"

"I'm down."

"And Toby, get ready for a surprise."

* * *

Sandy found a parking space a half a block from Moondoggies, a Malibu dive known for its burgers and beers. He left his sunglasses on as he walked inside. Toby was standing at the bar, drinking a beer and watching a surf video on closed circuit television. Sandy walked up next to him and waited for Toby to say something.

Toby looked at the gorgeous blonde, smiled, and asked if he could buy her a beer. "Sure," Sandy said in a shy voice. The bartender asked to see some identification, and Sandy produced his driver's license. Fortunately, the bartender was new, and he had never heard of Sandy Lane. After he glanced at the license, he handed it back to Sandy, and Sandy handed it to Toby.

Toby stared at it for a few seconds, then looked up at Sandy, who had removed his sunglasses. His jaw dropped as he stared at his friend, dumbstruck. Sandy took back his license and walked over to a quiet table, Toby two steps behind him.

"Dude, is it really you?" Toby asked after they sat down.

"Shhhh. Yes, it's me. You gotta promise to keep this a secret," Sandy whispered.

"I never even knew you wanted to be a chick. Did you like leave the country for an operation?"

"I'm not a chick, and I didn't have any operation, except for a nose job. This is all a disguise."

"A disguise? Whoa. Are you like hiding out from Buster Cruz?"

"No! I got a job as a stunt double on Wet Girls."

"No way!" Toby studied him closely. "Holy shit! You're Pepper Reef!"

"Just in the water. The rest of the time she's played by a real actress."

"She's hot, man. Hell, you're hot. This is unfuckingbelievable."

"Tell me about it." A waitress came to their table to take their orders. Sandy asked for the biggest, greasiest cheeseburger on the menu, and another beer. To hell with Ashley Vaughn and her fucking diet. It was great being a guy again.

"Can I have your autograph?" the waitress asked out of the blue. "You're Ashley Vaughn, right?"

"Yes."

"The bartender said your driver's license was in a different name, and that your picture was a little different. I told him I was sure it was you."

"Ashley Vaughn is my stage name, and I had a nose job. Any more questions?"

The waitress retreated without her autograph while Toby looked on in amusement. "You really do look like her. But do you have to dress up like that all the time?"

How to explain it to him? "It's in my contract. That's why you have to keep this a secret. They don't want it to get out that Pepper Reef's surfing is being done by a guy."

"But there are plenty of great girl surfers out there. Why you?"

"You said it. We're like identical twins."

"Are you sure you didn't have that operation?"

"Trust me. They can do amazing things with makeup and padding."

"How long are you stuck like this?"

"At least another year."

"No shit. That sucks."

"Yeah, but the money's great."

"Really? Like how much?"

"Two hundred grand a season."

Toby spit up his beer. "Hell, for two hundred grand, I'd grow a pair of tits."

* * *

Sandy was able to finish about a third of his burger, sadly realizing how much his stomach had shrunken from his constant dieting. It was so great shooting the shit with Toby again, he lost track of time. When they finally got up to leave, he noticed that a large crowd had gathered around the bar. Holding court before his adoring minions was none other than Buster Cruz.

Sandy and Toby were walking towards the door when Buster shouted out to them. "Goodfin, aren't you going to introduce me to your lady friend?"

Toby was about to tell him to get fucked when Sandy grabbed his arm. "Let me handle this," he whispered. The crowd parted to admit them into Buster's presence.

"What's your name, honey?"

"Ashley."

"You're hot, Ashley. What are you doing with a wimp like Goodfin?" The crowd snickered as Toby turned bright red. "Let me know if you want to go out with a real man sometime."

"Sorry, I only date my own species." This was lost on Buster. "Then again, I've never dated a baboon. Maybe I should try it."

Nervous laughter swept through the crowded bar.

"You've got a nasty mouth."

"You've got a nasty face."

"If you were a guy, I'd kick your ass."

"Yeah? Well if I were I guy, you'd be taking it up the ass."

Buster got up off his barstool and loomed over Sandy. "Don't let me see you in here again, bitch."

Sandy and Toby headed towards the door. The noisy bar was suddenly dead quiet. "That would be impossible."

"What do you mean?"

"For you to see me. How could you, with your head up your ass?"

Peals of laughter rocked the bar as Toby and Sandy beat a hasty retreat. They got to Sandy's car first, and he hopped inside after blowing Toby a kiss. "It's been weird," Toby shouted as Sandy peeled off.

* * *

When Sandy got back to his condo, there were three messages on his answering machine. He pushed the play button as he kicked off his sandals.

"Hi, it's Ashley. Just checking in to see how your day went. Give me a call when you can."

"It's me again. Please give me a call. Thanks."

"Sandy, please call me. I'm sorry about today. Please pick up if you're listening. Dammit!"

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