I was reading a paperback romance in my comfortable chair beside the bed when the telephone on the small table beside me purred softly.
"Cleo? Your next gentleman has arrived and he's currently having a shower. He'll be with you in 5 minutes. His name is Reg."
It was the Madam of the Golden Palace, and I thanked her and replaced the receiver. I walked over to my dressing table and checked my hair and makeup. I was wearing sheer black nylons attached to a black satin suspender belt, black satin panties pulled on over the suspenders, a black lace bra and a pretty full-length black satin slip with French lace around the bust and hem. My feet were slipped into black pumps with 5 inch heels. Standard 'working girl' attire I suppose you could say.
This building was very comfortable thanks to the air conditioning, for it had been another blisteringly hot day. That is why the gentlemen who patronised the establishment were asked to shower, in order to wash off the sweat and dust of a day's work before meeting us. Body odour can be such a turn-off.
I turned as there was a soft knock on the door that led to the adjoining bathroom. "Come in," I said and a man clad only in a towel around his waist walked into the room. In my line of work, being a good actress and the ability to conceal one's true feelings can be an advantage and I needed both talents at that moment. You see I knew the man and his name wasn't Reg at all, it was John. True it was five years since I last saw him, but his body was as taut and lithe as ever and the only difference I could see was flecks of grey in his hair. He didn't recognise me, and why should he? The last time he had seen me I was a guy called Rick and we were partners in a gold prospecting venture about 300 miles north of where we now stood in a brothel in the mining town of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
We had both been drifters who had somehow arrived in this remote town and we'd met in one of the local bars. Where else can you go in a remote mining town, apart from the brothels of course! John had been looking for a partner to help him search for gold in the area for which he had purchased a license, and I had some cash and was looking to make more, so it suited us both. I bought a half share of the license, and we had set off a few days later with high hopes and a battered old truck loaded with picks, shovels and a tent, plus stores, water and the obligatory slabs of beer.
We worked hard for weeks, back-breaking work in the hot sun from daybreak to dusk. At first the signs looked good. We found some gold; not a lot it's true but enough so that we were encouraged to keep going. Every week or so we headed to a tiny settlement an hour's drive away, just a pub and store really, where we used the gold to purchase more provisions and banked the little that was over.
It's true what they say about 'gold fever'. Each little find drives you on and makes you think that one more strike of your pick in the hard ground will lead you to find another 'Welcome Stranger' the largest gold nugget ever found, back in 1869. Plenty of sizeable although smaller nuggets have been found right up to the present day and who knows what still lies hidden in the ground? Gradually however our enthusiasm dampened as days passed by and still we found little more than enough to buy our provisions. I was finding it harder than John and there were reasons for this. From my early teens I had been struggling with the sense that I had been born in the wrong body. Try as I might to put these feelings to the back of my mind they still continued to resurface. I over-compensated of course by choosing the roughest and most masculine occupations I could find but still they would not go away. As a teenager I had worn my mother's underwear on every occasion I could manage and while it felt 'right', it was not enough for me. I wanted to be more than a cross-dresser; I wanted to be a woman.
Seeing John walk around naked in our remote camp site after a plunge in the local waterhole after a day's work was particularly hard. I found it difficult not to look at his hard male body and lust after him. I knew I wasn't gay; I just wanted to be his woman. Of course I could not let the slightest hint of this out for it would have made our current partnership impossible. Sleeping in the same tent only made matters worse and I think he could see I was more withdrawn and didn't know what was causing it.
Relief came in the form of a letter from my sister saying that Mum was not well and could I return to Sydney? I told John about it and said that since I couldn't tell when I might be back and since the site barely made enough money for one person let alone two, I would sign over my half to him and maybe if he ever had a big find he could pay me back. A few days later we parted on good terms and I flew back to Sydney.
Mum improved but I had another reason for staying in Sydney. I had decided that it was now or never and went to see some specialist doctors to resolve my dilemma about my identity. Don't let anyone tell you that being transgendered is easy. People who know, joke that it takes balls to get rid of them, and they're right. You have to go through so many examinations and talk about your innermost feelings and I guess that's reasonable for you are proposing to take an irrevocable step. You have to live as a woman for a couple of years and in the early days it's not so easy because you don't look entirely feminine and people may stare or make hurtful remarks, but you have to take it and soldier on.
Gradually, with various treatments I became more passable, and the sniggers and stares stopped as people ceased to notice me. It was the happiest day of my life when I finally went for that surgery which would make my body match my mind. Over the following weeks the discomfort gradually eased as I grew used to life as a complete woman. Only one thing remained for me to satisfy myself that my change was complete.
His name was Gary and he was a barman at a local hotel where I had got in the habit of calling for a drink in the evenings over the past couple of years. He knew all about me but he was wonderfully understanding. Every girl need a shoulder to cry on I guess. We chatted and flirted and one day he asked me out for a day at the races. I spent almost the last of my money on a new silk dress for the occasion. It was soft pastel hues, so floaty and feminine and I wore it with 5inch heels and an elegant hat. We had a great time. I even won $300 dollars on a hunch bet which shouldn't have come in but did. When Gary drove me home, I asked him in for coffee and 'the rest is history' as the old cliché goes. That moment when he took me to bed and I finally felt how it was to make love as a woman made the hard journey all worthwhile.
By this time I was broke and finding a job was essential. Not everyone will approve of my next move I know. I wasn't qualified for anything, but I could have got a job in a bar serving drinks or some other 'respectable' job. What that night with Gary had proved to me was that I loved sex now that I had become a woman, and when an advert for a 'gentleman's club' caught my eye, I thought 'Why not?' It was a very up market establishment, well run and safe with a superior clientele. Soon I was earning a very nice income and not exactly having to work hard for it. Of course a girl has to look after her appearance but I just loved that side of being a woman anyway, especially buying lovely feminine clothes. The experience of pulling sheer nylon stockings up my newly shaved legs never failed to give me a sensual thrill. The feel of silk and nylon lingerie against my skin or the feel of the breeze on my legs as I walked down the street wearing a pretty dress, were things I had longed for for so many years and now I could indulge myself in them all. I had a nice apartment and a sporty little car and life was good.
One thing happened a couple of years after my transition. I hadn't really thought much about John, my old gold-mining partner until I saw a small article in the paper headed "Finds Spark Mini Gold Rush'. There was a picture of a smiling John holding a very respectable nugget, and the story of how he had finally struck it rich. I was happy that he had had success at last, he deserved it. Anyway, I was hardly going to come out and claim my share with all the attendant tabloid publicity that might bring. I had seen what the gutter press could do to people in my position. As far as I was concerned, that was my past life and a closed book.
I guess I might have stayed on in Sydney indefinitely if it hadn't been from an unpleasant incident where I was mugged one night. It was my fault, taking a shortcut down an alley-way in a less than salubrious part of town. The moment I felt the arms around my body and a voice hissing in my ear "OK lady, just let me have your bag and no-one gets hurt." I knew I had been a damn fool. I let the bag go and apart from a few bruises I was unscathed, but then of course there was all the inconvenience of cancelling cards and changing the locks at my apartment, and I decided maybe it was time for a change of scenery. I spoke to the Madam the next day and she was most understanding of my need for time out. She mentioned a friend who ran a brothel in Kalgoorlie and offered to give her a call. I felt a strange feeling in my stomach at the thought of returning to a place I had known so well, but I thought 'Why not?' and so it was arranged. Two days later I was on the train heading out of Sydney.
So that's how I came to be standing in a room with a guy whose body I had lusted over five years previously and which I was finally going to enjoy after all. I moved towards him with a practised smile, seeing his eyes gliding over my body as I purred "It seems that this is my lucky day."
"Mine too" he replied as I gently ran my fingers over the muscles of his chest, feeling them quiver in response. He reached out and cupped my breasts in his hands, feeling my hardening nipples and smiled. I reached down for the towel and freed it up to drop to the floor and then he was in my hand, already responding to my touch. 'Oh yes!' I thought 'I'm really going to enjoy this moment.' I tilted up my face and started to kiss him, while working on him, feeling him quiver and jerk under my touch. His hands were now around my ass, squeezing me through the satin slip and drawing me closer to him. Our tongues were now playing and my own desire was rising to meet his.
I sank to my knees and took him in my mouth. Ok, this was strictly against normal rules, but I didn't care, I just wanted to taste him. His fingers were in my hair as I flicked my tongue over the taut smooth flesh and his moans of pleasure vibrated through his body. I knew exactly how far I should go because I didn't intend it to end this way. I slowly rose to my feet and lifted the slip up over my head and threw it aside. Then I unfastened my bra and let my breasts hang free. John was standing there, his chest heaving, his manhood rampant, almost purple in color and quiveringly erect.
"Come here tiger," I gasped drawing him to me. With a practiced hand I slipped a condom onto his manhood, then slid my panties down and off and lay back on the bed. In an instant he was between my legs and I arched my back as his full length slid deep within me. Any working girl will tell you there are times when you have to do a little play-acting, but not me on this occasion. All my moans and squeals as I matched his thrusts were totally genuine. It was hard to stop myself crying out his real name as I clamped my legs around his hard body and my nails raked his back. Faster and faster he thrust until I felt his body tense and then explode into my own body shuddering in climax as I met him in that magical moment. We lay on the bed together panting, our hearts pounding for quite a while until we came down from that high.
"You really felt that didn't you?" John gasped. I nodded, still gasping for air.
"As much as you did," I replied. I wondered if I'd been too open with my feelings. Working girls aren't supposed to get so caught up in the moment. I saw a change in his expression and thought I knew what was coming but I was prepared.
"It's funny," he began "but you remind me of someone I once knew."
"Who was she?" I replied but I knew what his answer would be.
"That's the odd thing; it wasn't a woman but a man I knew years ago."
I managed to look surprised and then played my trump card.
"Maybe you met my brother. He was prospecting for gold here about five or six years ago. His name was Rick Jones." John's face brightened.
"That's it!" he replied. "He went back to Sydney and we lost touch. How is he now?"
"I'm sorry to tell you he's no longer with us." I replied, seriously. Well in a way that was true.
"He prospected with another guy for a while but they didn't have much luck. I think it was a Jack or John, I'm not really sure. Anyway it's all in the past now." I reached down and felt for him again and he grinned as he felt my fingers working their magic on him. It didn't take long to get him ready for another encounter, and I quickly whipped off the used condom and replaced it with a fresh one. Then I pushed him on his back and straddled him, lowering myself onto him and riding him, my breasts swinging above his face as he bucked like a bronco, but this lasted for a lot longer than a standard ten second bronco ride and no way was I going to fall off! We both climaxed again, almost as hard as the first time.
After that he went for a shower, but not before promising me he'd come to see me again before he left town.
A few days later I entered the front door of the brothel ready for my session and walked up to the reception desk where Sophie was sorting through paperwork. I asked about my bookings, rather hoping that "Reg" was among them but he wasn't.
"Oh, this came for you," she said and used both hands to lift a box about the size of a house brick. "I don't know what it is but it weighs a ton."
I was curious. The package was amazingly heavy for its size. I carried it to my room and closed the door before opening it. Then I sat down, or more accurately my legs gave way and I collapsed into a chair as I gazed at the gold nugget that filled the box. For a long time I stared at it, and then I noticed a small slip of paper tucked in beside it. It was signed 'John -- alias Reg' and was very short, just three words with the last word underlined. All it said was 'Thanks for everything'.