Ready For Love

bykomrad1156©

"David? Are you doing all right?"

"Not really," he said rather quietly.

His older sister sat down beside him and said, "It's been nearly four years, David. And you have Sophie to think of. Isn't it time you tried meeting someone?"

"In principle, yes. I agree completely. But in reality, I...don't know. I just can't bring myself to get out there and even look, you know?"

"I do. I get it. Paula was the love of your life. Your soul mate. And it was so unfair to lose her at such a young age. We all loved her. She was amazing. She was funny and smart and...very pretty."

His sister smiled then said, "I was so envious of her. She was so thin and lithe and yet she never looked like...you know...."

"Like she had some kind of eating disorder?" David said, finally managing a smile.

"Well, okay. I guess that's what I was driving at. My point is, she just seemed to have it all. I battle with my weight, and I'm very aware I'm not all that attractive. And yet everything seemed to come so easily to your beautiful wife. I'm not saying she didn't deal with things. We all do. It's just that I'd have traded my stuff for hers in a minute."

"You know I love you, right, Krystal?"

"Of course."

"Then would you do me a big favor and give it a rest? Please?"

His sister smiled then sighed.

"Okay. Sorry. I know you'll start dating again when it feels like it's time. My set ups aren't exactly romantic, I know, but you can't blame me for trying."

Krystal paused then said, "It's none of my business. I just really, really care about you, David."

"I know, and I love you for it. But until I meet someone—on my own—who makes my heart do somersaults like Paula did, it just won't work," he told her in a way that said 'butt out' without actually saying it.

"So...no more setting you up with my friends?" she asked, knowing the answer.

"For starters," her brother told her. "But I do need you to continue being there for me the way you always been. There's no way I can thank you enough for that. And if Sophie was old enough to put her feelings into words, she'd say the same thing."

"Hey, I love that little girl like my own. I enjoy being here for her. For both of you."

Krystal stood up, looked down at her brother, then said, "Hang in there. And please, just promise me you won't stop looking, okay? I mean, stay open to the possibility of meeting someone. Will you do that for me?"

David smiled and thought about saying how it wasn't for her but for himself and his daughter. But his sister really had been there through it all from the day they learned that Paula had been taken from them in a drunk-driving accident nearly four years ago ago. Sophie wasn't quite three months old then and would never know her mother, and that hurt him almost as much as losing the woman he loved.

Krystal was also right about how pretty she was. Paula was both tall and thin. At 5'10" she was barely 120 pounds and wore a size four with ease. David had loved her from the first time he saw her, and when she'd agreed to go out with he vowed he wouldn't blow it. When she said 'yes' to a second date, he promised himself he'd marry her. Six months later he asked her, and six months after that, she'd promised to love him 'til death do us part.

How could either of them have known that death would part them less than two years later? But it had, and since that fateful day, David Sommers had gone it alone. If not for his sister's help, he'd wondered many times if he'd have been able to make it. And if not for Sophie, he'd wondered just as many times if going on was even worth the effort.

But now he was finally beginning to feel hopeful again. He'd gone out several times with some of Krystal's friends, but none of them had done anything for him at all. In fact, his first impressions of dating were very negative. It was just such a burden to try and pretend he was having a good time with a woman in whom he had no interest. They'd been pretty enough, he just couldn't generate romantic feelings for any of them.

That said, he'd recently felt like he might have turned a corner. Maybe, just maybe, he'd be able to start looking for himself. After all, setups were fine, but he knew that in order to find a woman who really interested him, she'd have be to someone he found not just attractive but interesting and pleasant to be with.

As a 35-year old insurance salesman, he knew he wasn't exactly the bastion of fascination. Yes, he was still a very good-looking guy, but just the mention of what he did for a living could cause nearly anyone's eyes to glaze over. He was quite good at it, and made a lot of money doing it, but he wasn't a doctor or a professional athlete or even a sleazy attorney. He sold life insurance and probably always would.

As those thoughts swirled through his mind in an instant, he smiled at his sister and told her, "I won't give up. I promise."

He stood up, walked her to the door, and thanked her again for everything she'd done.

"I'm always here for you, David. So anytime you need anything you just call me, okay?"

He gave her a brotherly hug, kissed her on the cheek, and said, "I will," before letting her out.

Once he was alone, he sat there and realized he had another weekend to fill, and decided to try and find something to do with Sophie she might enjoy that he wouldn't dread. The greater Seattle area had a lot of very beautiful parks, and perhaps he'd take her to one of them and spend some time outside on an usually pleasant day. At least that's what the local weather forecast was calling for, and at that time of year, any day the sun came out was a time to get outside.

And who knew? If people met in bars or even grocery stores, couldn't they meet in a park? It was unlikely, yes, but he planned to keep his promise to Krystal and at least keep an eye an out.

For now, he was exhausted, and with Sophie sound asleep for the last three hours, all he could think of was going to bed himself. And, as always...Paula.

******

Six months earlier

"Oh, hey, Mom. I didn't expect you back yet."

"I got off a little early today," she said. She looked at him then said, "You've been running a lot lately."

"Yeah. I have. I just finished a pretty decent ten-miler."

"Honey?" she said.

"Yes?"

"Well, I was wondering if...well...are you...you know...."

Her son looked down for a moment then looked her right in the eye and said, "Yes."

"Oh, okay," his mother replied trying to sound nonchalant.

"Are you upset?" he asked.

"Upset? No. Of course not. I...I just thought that, you know, being in the Army for four years might have...cured that."

"It's funny, but when I enlisted, I was hoping for the same thing. Deep down, I knew there was nothing wrong with me, but I couldn't shake the feeling that if I did something super macho, it might just...fix...things."

"You were a Ranger for three of those years, and spent one of them in Afghanistan. It doesn't get much more macho than that."

"Don't forget the weight lifting, Mom. I was up to 172 pounds at one point, and had around 8% body fat."

His mother, Kathy Taylor, looked at him and wondered if he even weighed a hundred and fifty, knowing he couldn't possibly weigh even that much. He'd been running 5-15 miles a day six or seven days a week for months now. And he'd let his hair grow the entire time. So while she'd never asked, she was almost certain he'd either returned to it or was getting ready to.

"I remember, honey," she told him. "But I want you to know all that matters to me is that you're happy. I don't really understand this whole thing, but if it makes you happy, then I'm...okay with it."

"You know I don't want to actually be a woman, right?" he told her. "I just like dressing up as one."

"Yes. I know that. I did quite a bit of reading on the subject when I um, found out about this years ago."

Brandon Taylor was 25 years old and a senior at the University of Washington. He'd left the Army after four years and come back home to go school shortly after turning 22. With the GI Bill, and by living at home, he'd been able to go to college essentially for free. He also worked part-time, and he'd put most of that money aside once the urge to return to his former...hobby...had returned with a vengeance nearly fourteen months ago.

Since then, he'd stopped lifting and started running and was dieting like never before. He ate the bare minimum his body needed to sustain the running and not a calorie more. In that time, he'd dropped somewhere near 170 pounds to 137. Or at least that's what the bathroom scale had told him that morning. With any luck, he'd be at his goal weight of 135 within another week, and that's when he would begin putting a wardrobe together and re-enter life as Brandi Taylor. And at 5' 9", he knew that would be thin enough for the look he so desperately wanted to attain. Or perhaps 'reattain' was the better word.

Gone was any trace of the definition he'd worked so hard to gain. The body he now had looked nothing like the way it had just over a year ago. He'd been ripped and cut, but now looked almost emaciated with the very important exception that his face didn't look drawn. In fact, it looked the way he remembered it when he was dressing up in his mother's clothes years before. It was definitely older, of course, but not in a bad way. In fact, he preferred the more mature, sophisticated appearance looking back at him now to the previous childlike-look of his face before he enlisted.

Brandon was blessed with high cheekbones and long lashes as well as soft, full lips. The first time he'd tried crossdressing, he came in the panties he was wearing when he looked at himself in the mirror. His makeup was awful, but just the more-feminine image had hooked him for life.

He didn't know that at the time, and later thought perhaps the Army might be enough to make it all go away, and for some period of time, he'd loved going to the gym. He'd also enjoyed eating the way a bodybuilder has to eat to gain muscle mass, and yet, somewhere in the back of his mind was that thin, lithe 'girl' he'd seen so many times screaming to be let back out.

The day the dam burst and she won out was etched in his mind forever. It was as though a switch had been thrown, and the thought of lifting anything heavier than his book bag was out of the question.

He was now finally back to a weight, and more importantly, a size, that he felt comfortable with. He'd been saving his money while spending many, many hours looking at fashion on line to see what women his age were wearing, and dreaming about looking feminine and pretty again.

Soon, he'd be making his first purchases for the things he longed to wear again: bras, panties, stockings, heels, jewelry, and makeup. Just the thought of doing so made him hard for hours, and the anticipation of being able to fit into a size eight again was nearly enough to make him cum.

Eventually, he vowed to be a size six as he'd been back when his mother came home early that day many years ago and found him wearing her things. He smiled every time he thought of it. By then, he'd practiced enough to be able to wear makeup well enough that with his very young skin, he looked so much like an actual girl it blew his mind. And when his mother first saw him, she had to look not once but twice and then a third time to be sure.

Her jaw had dropped, her eyes were open wide in disbelief, and she'd finally said, "Brandon? Is that you?"

He'd been deeply embarrassed and also thrilled beyond measure by the experience. He was too shy to tell his mom he called himself 'Brandi' when he was dressed as a girl, but he'd finally admitted it a year or so later.

His mother had been shocked, but to her credit she'd done her level best to understand. Doing so had required taking her son to a therapist, who, to his credit, helped her understand there was nothing wrong with her son. That had helped, but it hadn't made it easy for her nor had it taken away the guilt her son often felt for being a...pervert. The only thing that had helped was that her husband had left her when Brandon was ten, and without him in the house, she'd been able to let her son 'do his thing' as long as she wasn't home to see it. She'd wanted to be even more understanding, but that additional acceptance had never come.

Brandon was aware of the constant tension in the house, and subconsciously, it had played a role in his decision to enlist. His mother had been beside herself with glee that he wanted to stop this 'odd behavior' and yet worried sick because of the war still going on in Afghanistan.

He came home without a scratch on him, and for that, she was beyond grateful. So when he'd started running, a little voice in the back of her mind told her, "You know why, right?"

She'd tried to dismiss it at first, and Brandon had never mentioned it. But today was the day she could no longer pretend. She had to know so she'd asked. She had her answer, and although she would have preferred to hear her son say 'no', she already knew the answer had to be 'yes'.

So now it was up to her to try and be as accepting as she could, and while she wasn't sure she could fully embrace it, she promised herself she would make an honest effort to be as supportive as she possible could.

Brandon smiled at his mom then said, "I know you did. You've always tried to understand. And I'm very grateful for that. I'm sure you're disappointed to learn the truth, but you know I'll never lie to you. So when you asked, the only option was to tell you the truth, and the truth is I fully intend to start crossdressing again very soon."

She smiled back then said, "I will admit to feeling some amount of disappointment, but I want you to know I will really make an effort to understand this time. But that means you need to give me some time to get there, okay?"

"Take as much as you need, Mom. I'm not an in-your-face kind of activist. That's not my style nor has it ever been. I just prefer to live a quiet, private life, and try and enjoy myself as much as possible."

"And this is what you enjoy?" she said as much as a statement of fact as a question.

"Very much, Mom. Nothing else has ever made me so happy. I...I feel...I feel complete when I'm dressed like a girl. I can't explain it. I can only be honest and tell you that's how it makes me feel."

"Well, if that's the case, then you need to be able to be yourself. And as I said, if you can be patient with me, I'll do my best to understand."

He went to hug her then pulled back because he was still sweaty.

She smiled and said, "Oh, come here, and hug your mother!"

"Love you, Mom," he told her as she held him close.

"And I love you, too," she replied. "And maybe, well, if you'd like, maybe I could take you shopping sometime?"

"I'd love that, but you don't have to. I can order everything online now."

"Oh, right," she said. "But still, if you'd like to, just let me know. As long as you're, you know, dressed as...a boy."

"Thanks, Mom," he told her, knowing that going out in public with Brandi was too much to expect. "I'll let you know. For now, I'm gonna go take a shower."

"What would you like for dinner?" she asked. "Can I make you anything?"

She knew the answer to that question, as well, but had to ask.

"No, thanks. I'll take care of it when I come back down," he told her.

Brandon's diet was the other obvious tipoff. He only ate certain foods and always very carefully weighed portions. He took vitamins and supplements to make sure he was getting the nutrients his body needed, but other than that, he ate so little it scared her—especially with all the running. And yet he seemed perfectly healthy, and he was obviously happy, so she did her best not to worry.

"Okay. I guess I'll throw something in the microwave for myself," she said as she watched her now very-thin son walk away, even as she recalled that first time she'd seen him as Brandi.

Those few times she'd seen him dressed as a girl he'd looked so...pretty. He was tall and thin and statuesque, and he'd looked so much like a girl it had truly taken her breath away. Her clothes hadn't fit him quite right, so the one thing she'd done was to buy him a few outfits he could wear at home when 'playing dress-up', her term for what her son loved doing.

*****

Present Day

"Oh, my. Don't you look pretty!" Brandi's mom told her.

"Thank you, Mom," she said sincerely.

Brandi's mom wasn't sure what amazed her more. The way her son looked when dressed as a woman or the way he'd nearly perfected a feminine voice over the last few months since telling her he was returning to this hobby of his.

Brandon began building up Brandi's wardrobe six months ago right after he'd admitted his need to crossdress had returned.

Kathy had been very concerned her son, or 'part-time daughter' as she'd playfully called him, would buy the kinds of things that would make him look slutty or ridiculous. And yet each item he showed her was both tasteful and pretty. She'd even helped him choose the first outfit to wear for his coming (back) out party. Well, it wasn't actually a party. It was just the two of them getting to know one another at home, and Kathy trying to make it all fit in her brain; a brain that still wished her son didn't have this...proclivity. But he did, so she was bound and determined to learn to accept it, and had spent that evening with Brandi for the first time.

Six months later, seeing him as a woman no longer shocked her or even surprised her. It was actually beginning to be a very pleasant experience; one in which she often felt like she had the daughter she'd always wanted but never had. This change was still a work in progress, but Kathy was now able to accept Brandi as often as she 'appeared'.

Brandi was sweet, thoughtful, polite, and caring, and after a lot of experimenting with makeup and hairstyles, someone who looked so much like a genetic woman that Kathy honestly couldn't tell. When Brandon first returned to crossdressing, the voice was a dead giveaway, but Brandi had recently found a pitch that was just as 'passable' as her appearance, and the difference was simply stunning. Even when Kathy closed her eyes and listened to Brandi speak, she honestly couldn't tell it was coming from a man.

That was true to the point that Kathy had agreed to have lunch in public with her new 'daughter' about three weeks ago, another huge milestone for her, and no one had had any idea. It wasn't that people were ignoring the obvious and being polite. It was that Brandi was so convincingly female that it just wasn't possible to tell.

Other than the voice, the thing that often gave crossdressers away was an Adam's apple. But Brandon's was so small, it too, wasn't noticeable making it a non-issue.

Brandi had also worked on feminine mannerisms to the point where she walked, moved, gestured, and even laughed like a woman. Lastly, her own thick, dark hair was now shoulder length. Brandon could wear it in a ponytail while Brandi could style it beautifully giving her the 'icing on the cake' needed to pull everything together to make her look like a beautiful young woman.

"Are you going somewhere, sweetheart?" Kathy asked her beautiful daughter after recalling the past six months in a moment.

"I was thinking about going to the park for a while. Just to relax and maybe do a little reading," Brandi told her.

"That sounds lovely, sweetie," her mom said sincerely. "Just be careful, okay? I worry about my daughter being out alone in places like that."

"I'll be fine, Mom," she assured her. "And your daughter is a well-trained former Army Ranger, remember?"

Kathy laughed and said, "Yes, but it's not easy when I see you look like this."

The weather was actually quite nice for Seattle this time of year. It was supposed to get up to around 60 degrees with mostly clear skies, a pleasant change from the dark, dreary overcast skies they lived with most of the year.

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