Beer Run

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Beer Run

by

Paula Dillon

Craig Lawson was just your above average student going to the University of Texas Arlington,
Jennifer West and her girlfriend Melissa Conroy meet him and things happen.

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The two and a half ton rental van pulled up to the Rivendell Apartments and was expertly backed into two parking spaces. It was followed by a well-kept Mazda Preceda. One lady got out of each vehicle and they met up at the back of the truck for a hug.

The truck driver, a leggy brunette, was about five foot eight with an ample bust, and looked to be in her mid-twenties. Her mane of hair was up in a ponytail and would probably come between her shoulder blades, when not in a ponytail. The car driver was in her early twenties and an inch or two shorter, with a very proportionate figure, her blond hair in a cute short cropped curly hairstyle. They were both dressed in their grungies.

Going to their new second floor two bedroom apartment they opened it up so it could air out and they could start bringing their stuff in. The Rivendell Apartment complex was an upper mid-priced college apartment about two years old, and about a mile and a half away from the University of Texas at Arlington. This apartment complex had about four hundred units and amenities. The managers worked hard to keep its reputation high and its apartments were top notch. They knew college students wanted to have fun and blow off steam, and they didn’t mind that, but they didn’t go for the senseless revelry, littering and damages that some students inflicted on their apartment complexes. Any damages or extremely poor behavior was met by fines, evictions, or even arrests. The managers made that known upfront and vigorously enforced it. So the complex as a whole was top notch.

Jennifer West, the older girl, and Melissa Conroy, the younger girl, headed to the truck. They raised the door and looked desperately at the mound of stuff contained in the truck.

“I don’t really feel like moving all that stuff,” Melissa said.

“It was your idea to move closer to college, girl. Come on, this truck isn’t going to unload itself,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer wrestled with and pulled out the ramps, setting them in place.

“You girls moving in?” a voice from behind them said. “Do you two want some help.”

The two women turned and saw a guy who was maybe twenty and about Melissa’s height. He had a slim build and a cute face. His long mousy brown hair was neat and came just beneath the top of his shoulders in a mullet. Jennifer really didn’t think he would be that much help, but right at this moment, any help was greatly appreciated.

“Sure, any help will be great,” Jennifer said.

“My name is Craig Lawson; I am a student at UTA.”

“I am Jennifer West and this is Melissa Conroy. We are going to be students here too.”

Craig reached into his wallet and pulled out a twenty, “Do you have a twenty?”

Jennifer reached into the pockets of her bib overalls and pulled out a small wad of bills. She handed Craig a twenty. He then turned to the complex and put two fingers in his mouth and let out a loud shrieking whistle, which echoed around and shook windows. He then shouted, “Moving In, beer run.”

Jennifer was amazed to see a bunch of doors open and people pouring out. A small crowd formed of college boys and girls. More money appeared in Craig’s hands and a couple of guys began organizing the other boys into details. Craig handed the money to one girl and told her what they wanted, she and another girl left. Craig introduced the other girls to Jennifer and Melissa. They went with Melissa up to the apartment.

Jennifer and Melissa were amazed. In just under an hour and a half, four rooms of furniture had been unloaded and arranged. The girls emptied the boxes, and organized the kitchen, the bathroom and the bedrooms. The two new girls didn’t have to lift a finger, except to point out what went where.

Their first meal at their new home consisted of beer and pizza at an impromptu party near the pool in the middle of the quad. Jennifer and Melissa got to meet their neighbors as they joined in and socialized, although Melissa rarely left the bigger girl’s side. They found all the kids were pretty nice. Some of the guys tried to score points with the new girls by showing off.

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“That was a nice move in,” Melissa said, hugging Jennifer. “I am about ready to crash.”

“Yes, it was certainly amazing. There is Craig. We need to go over and thank him, before we go in for the night.”

Craig was sitting on a chase lounger, eating pizza and drinking a beer, flanked by two very pretty coeds who were talking very animatedly with him. One girl was dressed in a bikini she barely wore and the other wore a crop top and hot pants. Both girls had enormous boobs, slim waists and tremendous white smiles. They both could easily be cover girls for Hooters. He stood as he saw the two ladies approach him.

“I just want to thank you Craig, for all the help you gave us in moving in. You are a real lifesaver.”

“It was nothing and I didn’t do too much, I just left that to the big guys.”

“That might be true, but you organized this shindig and saved our poor backs. Thank you. We’ll just let you get back with your girlfriends.”

“I wish! Those aren’t my girlfriends. They just hang around me because they think I am safe,” Craig said, somewhat disheartened. “I like talking with them anyway.”

Jennifer smiled warmly, putting a hand on his shoulder, “Let us get settled in and in a few days you have to come over for dinner. Alright?”

“Sure,” Craig said. “I am in apartment 1106, if you two need any help. Let me give you my cell number and my email addy,” he said, scribbling it down on a bit of paper.

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Friday just before four thirty, Craig was walking up to his first floor apartment after his last class of the day. It had been five days since he had helped Jennifer and Melissa. When he checked his email, there was an email from Jennifer. “Tonight, dinner, 7:30 pm, our apartment 3216, dress nice. Jennifer.”

He sat down inside his efficiency apartment and spent a couple of hours studying and reading. He had all his textbooks in a digital format on his laptop. Craig was a twenty-year old junior engineering student. He had wanted to be an architect, but after he had taken a course in failure analysis, he decided to become a civil engineer. He also loved classical literature. He finished his current reading assignments and began to read ahead for the next week.

At six thirty, he began to get ready for tonight. He first polished his black shoes, shining them till he could see his face in them. He then took care of the three S’s; s***, shower and shaved all ten or fifteen hairs on his face off. He trimmed and plucked his hairy eyebrows a bit. His brows were easily the hairiest part of his body except for his headful of hair. He would have had a unibrow, if he didn’t keep them in shape. Then he got his best dress shirt, tie, black dress slacks.

He didn’t have a lot of nice clothes, but he took care of what he did have. Most of his money went to his schooling; he had a trust fund that would just pay for college and his apartment, if he was careful. He worked fifteen hours a week on campus, emptying trash cans and replacing the liners, to pay for his food and necessities. He worked hard and his boss in ‘Facilities’ liked him.

He wished that he had a nice suit with a real jacket, but he did have a nice black windbreaker, that looked a little dressy. Lastly, before he left, he spent ten minutes brushing his hair just so. He would hate to cut his hair when he graduated and had to go out into the job market. He had been growing it out since he had graduated high school three years ago.

He walked up to apartment 3216 and knocked on the door at seventy twenty-eight. Jennifer opened the door, smiling. “Hello Craig, come on in. It’s so good seeing you again.”

“It’s good seeing you again,” he said, offering her his hand.

Jennifer led him to the living room, which was as large as his whole apartment. The girls had worked a miracle on their apartment and turned it into a nice living space. The place showed a lot of feminine touches in the way it was adorned.

Jennifer looked really spectacular in her black just above her knee chiffon dress, sheer black stockings and black stiletto pumps. She had a lovely jeweled butterfly on her left shoulder, a string of pearls, pearl earrings, a diamond like tennis bracelet and two large stone rings on her fingers. Her makeup was spectacular; all in all she looked like a million dollars.

“Melissa is in the kitchen. She is a wonderful cook, I am sure you’ll agree. Please sit down,” Jennifer said, assessing the boy. He really looked nice, except for that jacket. She could see the care he had taken dressing. “You look really nice tonight. Don’t you have a nice jacket you could wear?”

“I am sorry, this is all I had. Money is kind of tight for me.”

“No problem, I totally understand. Melissa and I just love dressing up for dinner. Just a minute, let me check on dinner and things.”

Jennifer walked over to the kitchen and Craig looked around. The table had a tablecloth and a formal dinner setup, with candles yet to be lit. Craig could see Melissa and Jennifer in the kitchen talking. He couldn’t see all that Melissa was wearing, but she looked very nice in royal blue, he supposed. Jennifer then headed to a bedroom. She came out minutes later with a black jacket.

“Stand up please Craig and if you would, take off that windbreaker. You are not much bigger than Melissa; she has this nice jacket that is a tad large for her.”

Craig was a little embarrassed, but the girls had been so nice to him. He stood and took off his windbreaker. Jennifer then helped him on with the jacket. It was a black velvet jacket, which had those little puffs where the sleeves joined the coat. The shoulders were just wide enough for him, but the waist was an inch, maybe an inch and a half, too narrow for him to comfortably button. The lapels were wider than most men’s coats and there was a jeweled, sheaf of wheat, brooch on the left lapel. He touched the fabric of the sleeves, which were just a bit long for him and just loved the feel. Then he smelled the perfume of the jacket. The fragrance was absolutely intoxicating. It reminded him of his mother, and his face darkened a bit.

Jennifer began to panic a bit seeing the change come over him, “Are you okay with this jacket? If not, you can put your windbreaker back on? Melissa just loves dressing up, but we don’t want to hurt you.”

“Ah … no, the jacket is fine. It’s just … the fragrance on the jacket … reminded me of my … Mom. She and dad died three years …”

“I am so sorry … here let me help you take it off …” Jennifer said, almost in tears. She didn’t really want to hurt him; she just had no idea.

“No, please don’t. I am glad to think of them. I really like this jacket.”

“Then you must wear it.” She gave him a careful kiss on the lips.

Melissa came out of the kitchen smiling, taking off her apron, “Dinner is ready … Hey, no fair Jenny! I saw him first,” Melissa walked over to Craig and gave him a careful kiss, too.

Jennifer and Melissa had Craig sit down; they lit the candles, and brought in the salads. Jennifer turned down the lights, turned on the stereo to some light jazz, poured the wine and sat down.

They were Caesar salads, with fresh romaine lettuce, garlic croutons, grated Parmesan and a homemade dressing. Craig’s eyes brightened after he took his first bite. “Wow, I’m not a salad type guy, but this might make me one.”

“Thank you,” Melissa smiled brightly. “Flattery will get you everywhere with the chef. I like my jacket on you, it looks nice.” Melissa just had to brush a bit of fluff off the jacket. She really did like it.

They ate slowly and talked about themselves as they ate. Melissa only left the table to bring in the next courses, lemon pepper chicken, asparagus au gratin, broccoli, cauliflower and rice bakes.

Jennifer was twenty-five, she had graduated college, gotten her MBA and after a few years in business, she came back to get her DBA. She had been born and grown up in Kingwood Texas, where her mother still lived. She’d met Melissa at the business where they both worked. Money was tight for Melissa and after they got to know each other, they’d moved in together.

Melissa was twenty-one, and born in Cut and Shoot Texas, where her parents still lived. She had a really wild story of how the town was named and she really seemed to enjoy telling it to everyone there. She had graduated from high school, in Conroe, where she had studied business arts, (typing, filing, records keeping and some low level accounting). She hadn’t had a chance to go to college till now. She had saved as much of her salary as she could, to get here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut_and_Shoot,_Texas)

Craig was twenty years old, and was a computer geek born in Fort Worth Texas. He was studying Civil Engineering. He liked building models of buildings, bridges and other structures. His father was an accountant, who worked too hard and drank harder. Craig’s father and mother had gone out on April 16, to celebrate another tax day passing. They never made it home. His father had twice the legal blood alcohol in his system and had crashed into a car carrying another family on the way home. The crash killed both of his parents, the mother and seriously injured the father and son in the other car. He was seventeen at the time. He lost his home, all his parents’ savings and property. At least the lawyers had waited till he graduated high school to take the house. He received some money from a small life insurance policy, seventy five thousand dollars, about thirty-five thousand from his parents’ estate and he had a trust fund from his grandparents, which came to another seventy thousand dollars. He had been emancipated at seventeen and here he was at age twenty.

Craig was the last person to finish eating, a habit of his when eating good food. He slowly ate it, savoring each delicious bite. He had also had two glasses of wine. He didn’t know much about wine, but he loved what he was drinking. He just knew it was very delicious and at least a thousand times better than Thunderbird.

They moved to the living room to eat desert, a chocolate truffle cheesecake and a dessert wine. The girls had been so moved by his story they sat him down on the couch in between them, to give him comfort. They talked some more as they ate. When they finished eating, out came another bottle of wine. The wine and the music were just so soothing.

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Craig woke with a cottonmouth, squinting as he pressed the button that lit up his watch and saw that it was three thirty am. He looked around, there were a few dim lights on and the surroundings looked very strange to him. He was lying on a couch covered by a blanket. He sat up and realized that he didn’t have any pants on and his tie was gone, but he still wore the velvet jacket, his shirt and his brief’s. He had to go to the bathroom. He was glad that Jennifer and Melissa had left the light on in the bathroom, so he could locate it. He was still sleepy and groggy, so he sat to relieve his bladder. When he couldn’t find his pants, he had no option but to lie back down and go to sleep. He was so wobbly; he probably wouldn’t have made it back to his own place anyway.

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He woke to the smell of bacon and coffee, opening his eyes, wide awake. He could hear Melissa’s soprano voice softly singing like an angel, as she cooked. He sat up and found a soft pink terry robe lying on top of the blanket. He took off the jacket and put on the robe and stood back up to head to the bathroom.

“Oh, good morning Craig. Did you sleep well?”

“Yes, thank you, bathroom … sorry … just a minute.”

Melissa had to giggle, seeing Craig’s discomfort.

When he came out of the bathroom, breakfast was ready and on the breakfast bar. Melissa and Jennifer both got up to hug him.

“Did you sleep well?” Jennifer asked.

“Yes, thank you. My pants?” Craig asked.

“You spilt wine on your shirt, tie and pants last night. We blotted your shirt, but your pants were wetter,” Jennifer said.

“I ah … didn’t ruin your sofa did I?” Craig asked. He would hate to think he stained it.

“It’s leather, silly, a little wine won’t hurt it,” Melissa said.

“I guess I embarrassed myself last night? I am sorry. I’ll just get my pants and go.”

“You did no such thing last night. We got you drunk. You will come right here, sit down and eat first, Craig!” Jennifer commanded.

“Yes ma’am.” Craig said, moving to the indicated stool.

“It’s good to see a boy who can follow directions.” Jennifer said.

Breakfast was Kona coffee, bacon and cream cheese pancakes, with real maple syrup.

“Damn … oh sorry … these pancakes are great. I could get used to eating these.”

Melissa blushed and smiled brightly, “I really do love cooking for people. I love to see reactions like yours.”

“Dang, you could be a world class chef.”

“NO … I couldn’t. It would be work then, and not a labor of love. I have seen a few kitchens of top restaurants. I wouldn’t thrive, way too much stress.”

“Oh, were they like that TV show, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’.”

“Yes, that is it exactly. There are too many head chefs like Chef Ramsay. I can’t blame him; it is his good name that is at stake, but … I just couldn’t stand it.”

“What happened last night?” Craig asked, tentatively.

“You were a little stressed out, so we got you drunk. Nothing else happened. You were a perfect gentleman,” Jennifer said. “I’m sorry that we brought out such painful memories.”

“That’s okay, I know it still hurts a little. Guess it always will, but talking about it helps. I guess.”

“Yes, talking about it with friends does help,” Melissa replied.

“Are we friends?” Craig asked, carefully.

“We are, if you want to be our friend.” Melissa said.

“Then we are friends, because I really like the both of you.”

“Wait, before you say that Craig. We have one thing to confess to you.”

“What, that you two are extremely close?” Craig said, in a playful way.

“Now don’t be snooty. Yes we are lesbians. Are we still friends?”

“Of course, do you have to ask?”

“I just had to make sure. Not everyone can stand being around us.”

“Look, I can see that you both love each other dearly. I don’t see how that can hurt me one way or the other. I just like both of you. Is that okay?”

Craig’s answer was a kiss on both cheeks.

“I believe we owe you a new shirt, tie and a nice jacket, Craig. If we hadn’t got you drunk, you wouldn’t have ruined your clothes.”

“You don’t have to. I can wash this shirt and get a new tie.”

“Now be a good little boy, or I will have to turn you over on my lap and spank you. Of course we have to.”

“You better listen to her,” Melissa said. “She isn’t kidding about the spanking.”

Jennifer swatted at Melisa’s bottom, just missing as the girl dodged her efforts.

“Well, I can’t go anywhere dressed like this.” Craig indicated.

“Let’s get dressed and we will head out.”

The girls gave him his pants back, but told him to SIT! STAY! as they headed to their bedroom to get dressed. They both put on feminine finery suitable for daytime. Melissa chose a silky blue peasant blouse, a tight black mini skirt over a pair of suntan pantyhose and a pair of black pumps with a 3 inch heel. She had a rainbow pendant on a silver necklace, large silver hoop earrings, a silver Rolex and silver bangles. Her hair was a mass of curls and her makeup was feminine and sexy. Jennifer dressed in a red power suit, some kind of semi-shear black hosiery, red pumps with a 4 inch heel and a white silk blouse. She wore a pearl necklace that hung down a bit, pearl drop earrings, a rose gold Rolex and gold cuff bracelet. Her hair was in a twist with chop sticks and her makeup was immaculate and subtle. She appeared to be a formidable and confident woman dressed as she was.

They went to his apartment with Craig and waited as he cleaned up a bit and changed into his best other clothes. While he was busy, the girls talked. His apartment was a neat, clean, one-room, efficiency. Bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen were all one room. There was no TV or stereo like most college students have. His only furniture was a day bed, two end tables, a bookshelf, a dresser and a table with two chairs. The bathroom just had a shower, toilet, an over the toilet rack, a sink and a medicine cabinet. In the living room/bedroom/dining room/kitchen were several models. There was a bridge, a wall with what appeared to be two walkways, a stadium of some sorts and what could have only have been World Trade Centers one and two. They were immaculately crafted out of balsa and painted.

Craig came out of his bathroom, brushing his hair. He brushed it for several minutes, as the girls watched. He looked much like a young David Cassidy, only cuter, Jennifer thought. Her Mom had all the Partridge family shows on DVD, which had been created from original VHS tapes.

“What are these models of?” Jennifer asked.

“That is World Trade Centers one and two, the bridge is the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis, the Metro-Dome and the Kansas City Hyatt walkways.”

“All buildings and structures that failed,” Jennifer said.

“You got it with the first try.”

Craig finished preening and put his windbreaker on.

Craig was very surprised when Jennifer led them to a new red Jaguar XFR sedan. The back seat area was a little small, but fit him well enough. It was apparent that Jennifer knew just how to drive, as she handled the five hundred horses under the hood well. He tried to get her to stop at a Wally World (Wal-Mart) but Jennifer knew just where she was going. She left Arlington and drove straight to Dallas, Main Street and Neiman Marcus.

“I … I can’t shop here … I don’t have this kind of money.”

“Don’t worry, it’s on me,” Jennifer said. “Besides, you don’t want to make Melissa sad do you? Listen, we love to have dinners like last night. Melissa loves to dress up and have others dress up too. We aren’t looking down at you, but we would like to help you up a bit. Besides, you will have to look good to enter into the business world. So be a good boy and just go along for the ride.”

They went up to the men’s department and Jennifer had a few words with one of the sales associates. The man led them to a backroom and had Craig stand on a small dais so he could be measured. The man then brought in a dozen suits for Craig to try on. The suits were all Armani, Versace or D&G and such. Jennifer asked if Craig liked one particular suit, which she liked. The suit he liked was the blue/gray Armani; it looked and felt like a million dollars to Craig. He really did like it. Another man, obviously a tailor, came out and began marking the suit for a fitting. The pants needed a lot of work. He had to roll up the legs about six inches to keep from walking on the fabric, and then decided the legs were a little baggy and needed to be taken in a bit. The waist of the coat was taken in and a little padding needed to be added to the shoulders to square them up a bit. The tailor told them to come back on Tuesday to pick up the suit.

The girls also bought him two dress shirts to go with the suit, three power ties, two more pair of pants, and four more shirts. The girls only asked if he liked them, not if he wanted them.

From Neiman Marcus, they all headed to a salon. A stylist took care of Craig’s hair. She didn’t give him a haircut; she just gave him a trim to get rid of the split ends and a bit of styling to make it look better and to make it easier to comb out.

On the way home Jennifer stopped at a nice pawn shop in a good part of town. Craig watched as she almost skinned a jeweler out of a silver men’s Rolex. She haggled with the man for ten minutes pointing out his surplus of fine watches in the man’s showcase. They had started out at eight grand and he sold it for thirty-five hundred, the pawn shop still made five hundred on the deal.

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Craig became a regular at their apartment. Melissa loved having him over and she loved his looks in that suit. He was just so huggable, dressed up and he was an easy person to hug. He wasn’t a threat to Jennifer or Melissa’s relationship, and they weren’t a threat to him. He seemed to thrive being with these two women. The girls even got him a Tuxedo to go to the Dallas Opera, a symphony at Bass Hall in Fort Worth and a charitable to-do at the Botanical Gardens. He was the envy of many a man, as he escorted his two lovely women.

The to-do at the Botanical gardens was a five hundred dollar a plate dinner and a Bachelor Auction. Jennifer asked Craig to enter. Bidding was light till Jennifer bid two thousand dollars and Melissa bid twenty-five hundred. That began a bidding war between four women. Craig went to Jennifer, who had to outbid a cougar, excuse me a matron, who was licking her chops, for seventeen thousand five hundred. There were twenty-seven men at auction; the highest went for seventy-nine grand. Craig was in the top quarter. The women received a special portrait from a renowned local photographer for their money and an evening with the gent. The money went for cancer research.

As Thanksgiving came, they invited him to come to their home with them.

Craig looked at them strangely, and asked, “Do you have another place to live?”

“Yes, we just moved here to be close to school. We do have another home.”

“Alright, I think will like that. I would just be here all by myself here, if I didn’t.”

After the last class on Wednesday Craig packed up his clothes and laptop. He met Jennifer and Melissa at their apartment. All they were packing was their study material and their purses. Jennifer drove them in her Jaguar. She opened it up on 35E, as she drove towards Hillsboro, Texas. They got off the main road miles before Hillsboro and drove another fifteen minutes on a winding farm and market road. Jennifer turned off the farm road and drove towards a rather large ranch style home.

“Is this your place?” he asked.

“Yep, this is our home away from home. I own this property and a hundred and twenty-five acres.”

As they approach the front door, it opened and a little woman who was shorter than Craig, admitted them in, first giving Jennifer a hug, then Melissa, then Craig, saying, “Hello, I am glad you made it here alright.”

“Craig, this is my housekeeper, Anita Ramones. Anita, this is our friend, Craig Lawson.”

“Welcome Mr. Lawson, come on in. I have your room sorted out already.”

Craig pulled his suitcase and carried his backpack, with his laptop. Anita took his suitcase and began to take care of his clothes. The room was again larger than his apartment and had its own bathroom, connected to a walk-in closet almost as large as his apartment. The room was done in pink and had many feminine touches, but these didn’t bother Craig. He just placed his backpack down on the dresser and went to the living room.

“I am sorry that your room is so feminine,” Melissa said. “But you are the first male to be here in years.”

“I don’t mind. You and Jennifer have a lovely home. I really like what I see.”

Melissa radiated a huge smile at Craig and gave him a big hug. It was like he’d done a tremendous favor for the girl. Jennifer just smiled.

Anita came into the room and said, “Your mother called, Jennifer, she will be here around eleven.”

“Thank you, Anita. Would you open a bottle of Red and bring three glasses?”

“I have several breathing, and I will be back in just a second. Dinner will be ready in an hour and a half.”

Anita left and came back few minutes later. She set a tray down that had two bottles of wine and three glasses, then hurried off to the kitchen.

“Does Anita live here?” Craig asked.

“No, she just comes by three or four times a week to forward my mail, keep the place habitable and to occasionally cook for us, when we first get here. While we are here, she stops by every other day. Melissa will cook for us tomorrow.” Jennifer said, as she poured the wine.

The first glass she handed to Craig and then she poured for herself and Melissa. She held up her glass and said, “To friends.” The others held up theirs and repeated, “To friends.”

“Melissa, are your parents coming too?”

A tear formed in her eyes and she said, “No, my mom and dad don’t talk to me. They don’t approve of their daughter being a lesbian,” Melissa said, talking about herself in third person. “They won’t see me, unless I leave Jennifer, and I just can’t do that. I love Jennifer so much.”

Jennifer just gently held Melissa’s hand and rubbed her back lovingly.

“I am so sorry; I stuck my foot in my mouth. Forgive me, Melissa, I didn’t know.”

“That is alright Craig,” Jennifer said. “Like you said, you didn’t know and you weren’t being hateful. There is nothing to forgive.”

They had another glass of wine and Melissa told Craig how she had come out to her parents. Her parents would have died to protect her, but when she introduced her lover, Jennifer; her parents just showed them the door and calmly asked them not to come back. Her mom called her later that week and said she could come home if she got herself straightened out.

“I couldn’t leave Jennifer. She saved my life. I was so lonely and didn’t have many friends. I loved women, but I was deep in the closet. I would have eventually killed myself if not for her.”

“Melissa, I don’t know what to say. I accept you and Jennifer for what you are. Two people deeply in love and I thank you for letting me be your friend too.”

Melissa wrapped Craig in a hug and Jennifer just smiled. ‘Thank you Craig, she really likes you,’ Jennifer thought as she rubbed her lovers back.

By dinner, everyone was cheerful and bright. Melissa had taken a few minutes to clean up her face, Jennifer had gone with her and had pulled Craig with them. They sat together on the bed, while Melissa redid her makeup. Melissa had a naughty, mischievous look on her face, as she looked at her friend and lover.

“Close your eyes, Craig.”

She stepped over to him and expertly coated his lips with lipstick and lip-gloss. Then she took the rubber band holding his hair in a ponytail, brushed his hair out and twisted it a bit with her fingertips. She and Jennifer giggled as she did this. Craig knew what was happening, but he cared too much for Melissa to object. Craig was surprised when they showed him how he looked. With just that little bit of makeup, he could easily be mistaken for another girl.

Anita smiled when she saw the three of them, but didn’t say a word. She set four places at the table, and sat down with them. Anita wanted to know all about what the girls had been up to, since they had been away at school. She even wanted to know about Craig. They drank wine as they ate and talked.

After desert, Anita made her excuses to leave and gave everybody a big hug and a kiss, saying she needed to get back to her family. Craig and the girls headed back to the living room. It was about eight and the girls wanted to be up when, Debra West, Jennifer’s mom, got there.

They were relaxing after their meal, but Melissa looked like she was on pins and needles.

“Craig, I apologize for putting lipstick on you. The devil made me do it. I must say it looks so good on you. I’m not saying that you aren’t a man … but … Would you be adverse to me doing you up all the way? I have this image in my mind. You would look so cute.”

Craig had never in his life done anything remotely close to what Melissa was suggesting. It was true that he had sometimes been mistaken for a girl, at least while he wasn’t trying to look especially masculine. He did look quite masculine in his suit, with the girls, but at other times, he knew he looked somewhat in between. On top of that, he was quite drunk by this time. He drained his wine glass and said, “Why not? Do your worst to me, Mel.”

Jennifer wasn’t far behind him drink wise, but her higher body mass left her a little less drunk, “Hey that is my pet name for my girl. You ain’t making a move on her, er ya?” Jennifer teased, refilling Craig’s glass.

“No, I am sorry, I wouldn’t do that?” Craig said, obviously distressed.

The girls just broke out in giggles, and dragged Craig to their bedroom, with their wine glasses and a bottle of wine. Melissa was the most sober of the three of them. She always drank her wine slowly and not as much. She got right to work on the willing boy. Jennifer took a towel and covered the vanity mirror as her lover began to work. Melissa wasn’t about to touch his brows, although she really wanted to. They were masculine, but she saw where he had been plucking them. She used all her magic though to make him look his most feminine, just as she had imagined him.

After she had done his face, she did his hair. She combed, brushed, curled with her curling iron and set his hair with lots of hairspray. Melissa’s and Jennifer’s eyes got really big. Craig was really beautiful. Jennifer uncovered the mirror and showed him what he looked like.

“Oh my God! Is that me?” Craig asked.

“Yes, honey, that is you,” Jennifer said, just as dumbfounded. “At least, I think it’s you?”

Craig almost dropped his wine glass as he almost fell in lust with his own image. Melissa wanted to see him dressed up, but didn’t want to press her luck.

“Come on girls, my mom will be here in a short while, Let’s go up front and listen to music while we wait for her.” Jennifer didn’t want Craig to keep thinking about how he looked. She just wanted him to enjoy being with them.

They all went to the living room and had a little more wine while they listened to music. Melissa got Jennifer to dance with her and after a short while, she got Craig up dancing too. He didn’t realize it, but they were teaching him to dance much like a girl. He was still pretty much drunk.

By the time Debra arrived he was halfway sober. Jennifer introduced Craig to her Mom. Debra just hugged the boy warmly and helped him back to his bedroom. He looked about ready to crash. They took his coat, shoes, pants, socks, tie and dress shirt off and tucked him in bed.

Back in the living room, Debra asked, “You aren’t torturing that poor boy, are you?”

“We love him too much to do that,” Jennifer said. “We think he could be the one, Mom. He is strong and gentle, intelligent and thoughtful. He is wonderful.”

“I liked him too, from the moment we met him, Mom,” Melissa said. Since her parents rejected her, she had taken to calling Debra, Mom. Debra loved the girl as if she were her own and didn’t mind it one bit.

“I think I like him too, he gives good hugs. Be good to him, girls. It will be a lot to ask of him. He is quite a pretty one, though.”

In thirty minutes, everyone in this household was asleep.

>>>>><<<<<

Craig woke and was at war with himself. He was just so comfortable buried in a comforter. He didn’t want to get up, but he had too. All that wine was now in his bladder, screaming to get out. He barely remembered where the bathroom was and carefully made his way there. He didn’t trust his legs to hold him up, so he sat to take a leak. As he leaned forward his hair fell forward. The remnants of Melissa’s work with her curling iron remained and it all came back to him. When he finished, he stood and looked into the mirror. For the most part, the makeup on his face was a wreck, but his lips still looked quite luscious. He rubbed his lips with his finger. The lipstick didn’t smudge.

His mouth was full of cotton, so he brushed his teeth. He was mesmerized at seeing his bright red lips, with a toothbrush in his mouth. The rest of his face was a comical mess. He carefully washed his face. He didn’t know if the lipstick would come off with soap, but for some reason he didn’t want to ruin the look. He got the rest of the makeup off and carefully tried to bring his hair back to life. He got it back in some order; the curls mostly came out, leaving just a bit of a wave and it looked neat.

It was near seven in the morning, so he got dressed and took his laptop into the living room. He saw when he booted up that the house had a WIFI signal and that it wasn’t blocked. He logged on, checked his email, then got down to studying. He had gone all the way through in his reading and was now rereading his text books. After almost two and a half years, he was pulling a 3.8 average, with four B’s and sixteen A’s and he hoped to raise it a bit higher.

Debra was the first of the rest to wake up. She got her robe on, after she took care of her morning needs. She then went to start her coffee and saw Craig sitting on the couch gazing steadily at his laptop. She just quietly watched the boy for a minute or so. He didn’t even hear her.

Debra had seen him last night looking quite beautiful, and even this morning, he was very cute. She could tell that he had brushed his hair, and it still retained a little extra body and curl and his lips were still very red.

“Hello Craig, how are you this morning?”

Craig fumbled with his laptop; he had been startled to hear her, “Oh, hi Mrs. West. I didn’t know you were up.

“Do you feel like a cup of coffee?”

“Not really, but I could sure use one, to drink that is.” Craig said, giggling.

“Alright, wise guy,” Debra said, laughing. “One cup of coffee coming right up. How do you take it?”

“Black, two sugars.”

A few minutes later, Debra came back into the living room and set two cups of coffee on the coffee table.

“What are you studying so intently?”

“A failure analysis.”

“A what?”

Craig took a sip of coffee and began explaining what failure analysis was, “Failure analysis is the study of why structures, buildings, or machines fail. Take the I-35 bridge, in Minneapolis. The construction of the bridge began in 1964 and was completed in 1967. It was a major artery that connected the east, with the central US. It collapsed in 2007, killing thirteen and injuring couple of hundred people; ninety-eight were treated at eleven hospitals. The failure was linked to the design,” Craig said pulling up a cad/cam diagram of the faulty joint. “The steel gusset plates were undersized and inadequate to handle the load. Even at the time of the bridge’s construction, it was a bridge just waiting to fail. The load increased over the years and another two inches of concrete were added to the road bed over that time. After years of heavy traffic, the bridge couldn’t handle the strain anymore and it collapsed.”

“That is interesting. Tell me, what you want out of life, Craig? What do you want to do?”

“I want to get a job as a Civil Engineer, maybe specializing in failure analysis. When structures collapse, people get hurt and there is a huge economic loss that can cost millions to billions of dollars, if you take the World Trade Centers collapse into account. Failure analysis can save lives and money in improved construction and safety. We can find and correct common mistakes, and misconceptions.”

“That is remarkable, I hadn’t thought about that being such a big area of study, but then that is where the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) and the engineering boards get the people who study these things. I guess.”

They talked on the matter for about another ten minutes before Debra changed the subject. “You looked very pretty last night. How did you feel about it?”

“It was strange, Mrs. West …”

“Oh, you must call me Debra, I don’t want to think I am so old that a friend would feel it necessary to call me Mrs. West.”

“You’re not old, Debra. I think you are kinda hot. I can see where Jennifer gets her good looks.”

“Anyway, it was kinda strange. Even though I was drunk and let Melissa do what she wanted to do to keep from hurting her, it felt kinda good. I feel like I have a family again when I am with Jennifer and Melissa. I want to do whatever it takes to make them both happy and besides, I kinda liked the way I looked last night.”

“Whoa there, Craig. You said, you feel like you have a family again. What did you mean?”

Craig then went on to tell Debra how he’d lost his mother and father. He had felt really bad about losing his parents and about the pain they had caused the family his father had hurt. His father had hit another family in their car, and killed the wife and severely injured the father and son of that family. He had just buried his family, when a process server had handed him papers over a pending lawsuit. All of his parent’s assets were frozen. Luckily, Craig’s father had opened an account in Craig’s name. It had about thirty thousand in it. It was to help him at college, along with a trust fund, from his grandparents. They had thought it huge, but it was just going to be close enough, with him working to get his BSCE (Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering). The man tried to take that little life insurance policy also, but the courts ruled that it wasn’t part of his parents’ estate. It was cheaper to just give the man everything else rather than to fight the lawsuit he would eventually lose anyway.

He lost everything else, but seventy five thousand dollars from a life insurance policy and the thirty thousand from his own account. He had paid his legal fees, lived on and continued his education on what was left and a seventy thousand dollar trust fund, from his grandparents.

They both were crying, as Craig finished his story and Debra held him in a fierce hug. Craig cried on her shoulder.

“The man hated the fact that I was still alive. It didn’t matter that I lost my mom and dad. His wife was dead, his son is stuck in a wheel chair and he spent three months in a hospital. I was alive and well, and he just couldn’t stand that.”

It was about eight thirty in the morning. Craig was cried out, but Debra still held onto him. Jennifer and Melissa had seen Debra holding a crying Craig and just quietly went on with their business. Debra finally said, “Come with me Craig, let’s get you cleaned up.”

She took him to her room and handed him some cleanser, “This will take off your lipstick, and these eye drops will take out the redness from your eyes.”

“It might upset Melissa.”

“It wouldn’t hurt her, she is a big girl. They were just having fun last night, besides, the color is too bold for mornings and it really needs repair anyway. If you want to wear lipstick now, go with a lilac or a pink/red,” Debra said, looking at his skin tone. She went to her makeup kit, pulled out a couple of long wear lipsticks and set them by Craig as he washed his face and cleaned his lips. He stared at the lipsticks for a minute and then asked Debra for help. She looked closely at his face and took the lilac pink lipstick. First she brushed the color on and after it set, covered that with gloss. ‘Lilac is really a better color for Craig,’ she thought.

“Can you do my hair too?”

Debra took her curling iron out and set it to heating, then sprayed Craig’s hair to wet it a bit and blended a light gel into the hair with her fingers. She then wrapped sections of hair around the curling wand till it was dry. When she was done, she fussed with it till she liked what she saw. Instead of a handful of large curls, she gave Craig a lot of smaller strands of curls before she sprayed it to set the style.

It was one thing after another, as Craig asked about them. Debra wound up going down the whole road, till she had totally done up Craig and sprayed him with a light fragrance. He was dazzled as he looked in the mirror. Unlike the night before, today he had seen the whole transformation and was quite sober this time. From the neck up, he was quite feminine, from the neck down, he was indeterminate to somewhat masculine. When he smiled, though, he was positively radiant.

“Remember that smile, Craig; you could melt stone when you smile like that,” Debra said.

Still smiling, Debra and Craig came to the breakfast nook. Jennifer and Melissa had been quite worried. Jennifer held a tearful Melissa on her lap and was comforting the girl. Both girls looked up and were stunned by what they saw. Melissa leapt up and nearly knocked Craig over as she hugged him.

“I am so sorry Craig. I hope I didn’t hurt you last night,” Melissa said, crying onto his shoulder. As she sniffled she caught a whiff of fragrance. She stopped, wiped her eyes so she could see clearly and took a good look at Craig. “Oh my gosh, you … you … you’re beautiful.”

Craig flashed her that smile and Melissa wrapped him up back up into her hug and cried on his shoulder again. Only this time she was happy, because he had smiled at her. When she calmed down they all sat at the table.

“Craig, when Melissa and I saw you this morning, you were crying on Mom’s shoulder. What upset you?”

“Debra and I were talking. When I told her, that being around you and Melissa, I felt almost like being with a family again. She asked me to explain what I meant. As I talked about Mom and Dad, she started crying a bit and then I sort of just fell apart.”

“He just needed to let go, Jenny and once he started, he couldn’t stop till he let it all out,” Debra said.

“We were so worried about you,” Jennifer said. “Are you all right now?”

Craig nodded and said, “I asked Debra to help me look nice for Melissa. She seemed to like it when I wore makeup.”

“You don’t have to do that for me. We were drunk and were just having some fun. Don’t do anything for us unless it is something you want to do for yourself. You’ve become too important to us. Jenny is my soul mate, but we both love you too.”

“Melissa is my soul mate, but I love you too, Craig. You accept us for what we are and you don’t judge us,” Jennifer added. “I have to say though, that you look incredible.”

“Oh my gosh, look at the time,” Melissa said, looking at her watch. “If I don’t get cracking, we won’t have our Thanksgiving dinner till midnight.” She got up, kissed Debra’s and Craig’s cheeks and made a dash to her room to clean up her face. She was after all, a girly girl and according to the girly girl code they weren’t to be seen by others, unless they looked great.

Ten minutes later, she came back from the other direction, taking time to kiss all three. Then it was off to the kitchen. Four minutes later, she came out with a tray of fruit, muffins and coffee, which she set on the table before she went back into the kitchen.

Craig, Jennifer and Debra ate and drank coffee, while Melissa worked. When Craig finished, he got up and started to head towards the kitchen.

“DON’T go in there,” Jennifer said.

“Why? I was just going to see if she needed help.”

“I figured as much. Let her get things started and calm back down a bit, first. When she gets like this, it’s HER KITCHEN and wherever you are, you are in the way. Give her another half hour or so, then it will be safer to enter,” Jennifer said. “She is quite driven when she cooks and on top of that, this is a holiday meal.”

Soon the staccato sound of a French chef knife cutting, was ringing out. It almost sounded like a machine gun firing at a thousand rounds a minute. Craig looked to Jennifer, who shook her head. It wasn’t till the smell of food cooking started wafting out of the kitchen, that Jennifer nodded her head. They all stood to head in.

“One last warning, don’t try to taste anything unless she offers, and then be honest with her.”

They entered the kitchen with their dirty dishes; Jennifer took them to the sink and rinsed them off before putting them in the dishwasher. Melissa had about a dozen things going at the same time. It seemed like she knew just where she had to be to do the next thing. Craig started to take a close look around. This was one great kitchen. There was a lot of work space, separate stove tops and ovens, the large double door refrigerator was conveniently placed, and there was a lot of food storage.

Melissa smiled at her guests. When Craig got a little too close to the stove, where there were a lot of pots boiling, she said, “Oh, please Craig, don’t stand so close to the stove. All that steam rising will just wilt your pretty hair and just ruin your makeup. I know you are all here to help, but I think I got a handle on things. Please, just enjoy yourselves. Go catch the parades.”

Being politely dismissed, they headed out.

“Do you have a TV?” Craig asked

Debra just started giggling, Jennifer smiled, and said. “We didn’t give you the big tour yesterday. Yes, we have a small TV.” She gave him a grand tour of the homestead, ending at their home theater. There were four couches in a large room. There was a 70-inch LCD HD TV and a 500 watt home theater system. There were four speakers in the corners, two sub woofers and a separate tweeter. “Just take a seat on that couch.” Jennifer said, as she fired the system up. The whole room was full of sound as the TV screen lit up. Jennifer brought the remote to the couch and sandwiched Craig between herself and her Mom. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was well under way, but Anita had set the TVO, at Jennifer’s request. She used the TVO and caught the pre-parade show.

“Whoa, Wow, this would be a wonderful place to watch Star Wars, or Harry Potter,” Craig said.

“You have no Idea.” Jennifer said.

The parade was just over three hours. They were all wowed by the spectacle and glamour, which ended with good ole Santa on his sleigh.

It was nearly three, when the digital recording of the parade ended. A very dressed up Melissa stuck her head around the door and said, “Dinner will be ready in about an hour. Ya’ll need to get dressed up.”

Everyone headed back to their room, to get dressed. Craig was startled to see his suit laid out for him, but next to the dress shirt, was also a pink, long sleeve, chiffon blouse and next to one of his ties, was a wide satin ribbon. Melissa had to have set these things out. It looked like she was giving him a choice. He undressed, but didn’t take his eyes off the blouse and ribbon.

In the bathroom, he cleaned up with a bath cloth; he didn’t want to mess up his face. He didn’t know why, but he wanted this, but at least for right now. He put his pants on before he picked up the blouse. It felt wonderful as he pulled the blouse up his arms and up against his back and chest. The silk blend dress shirts Jennifer had bought him had been amazing, but the feel of this blouse was miles beyond. Craig also noticed the blouse buttoned up differently; it buttoned up right over left, instead of left over right. He picked up the, figuring he would tie it like a bow tie, just like tying his shoe laces. He worked slowly so as not to wrinkle the bow and to get used to tying a bow at his neck. It took a couple of tries till he got it looking right, pulled it tight, and fussed with it a bit.

With his coat on, the only ambiguity he saw was his flat chest. Otherwise, he could have been a girl with a pant suit on. He went to Jennifer and Melissa’s room and lightly knocked.

“Come on in,” Jennifer said.

Craig opened the door and went in. Jennifer was sitting on the bed in her slip and was rolling a pair of stockings up her leg. “Sorry,” he said, and he started to leave.

“No, stay Craig. Come, sit by me,” she said, as she rolled up the other stocking. “You look so cute.”

“Thank you, Jennifer,” Craig said, as he sat next to her.

She rolled the other stocking up. “These are stay up stockings, Craig. A girl doesn’t need a garter belt with them.”

“Melissa and I are both femmes, who like femmes that means, we like girls who really dress extra feminine, Melissa more so than me. I dress up for her whenever she needs me too.”

“Is that why she wanted me to be so dressy?”

“Yes, girls put in a lot of work when they choose to dress up nicely,” she said, as she stood and stepped into her dress. “Guys have it lucky, in ten minutes they can go from grungy underwear, to looking like a million dollars. Girls can dress in a hurry in fifteen to twenty minutes, but to look their best can take forty-five minutes to an hour or two, depending on the occasion.” She stepped into a pair of heels. “Can I redo your makeup, or do you want me to take it off, or what?”

“Sure, redo it, please,” Craig said. He sat in front of the vanity.

Jennifer cleaned off his face and began to add makeup. “Melissa is afraid of brutish type males. That is another reason she wanted you to dress nicely. Men in two thousand dollar suits tend to act better. Once she got to know you, it didn’t matter, except Melissa still wanted both of us to look nice. By the time we started to go to the Opera and symphony, she was pretty comfortable with you.”

Jennifer smiled at Craig. “I owe you a lot. It was hard to get her in the mindset to go back to college, much less go out and socialize.”

“She wasn’t attacked was she?”

“Not physically anyway. Rejection by her parents and being verbally harangued by macho, homophobic males made her want to hide after we came out to the world. You doing what you are doing right now will really help her.”

“Was it bad, when you came out?”

“Very bad! Some of the very co-workers that liked her and her work ethic, called her some very hateful names. Some lesbians will only hang out with other lesbians nowadays. That is fine for her, but a lot of my business is done in social settings and I am not ashamed of what I am, or of Melissa.”
“There, what do you think?” Jennifer asked, spritzing Craig with a perfume.

Craig looked in the mirror. Jennifer gave him a more dramatic, yet classy look. He found things he liked with all the looks he had worn. “You are a master artist, Jennifer. I can’t say more than that.”

“Scoot over, Craig. I need to do my face now,” Jennifer said. “Over the time we have known you; we have both grown to love you. It was a tremendous step for Melissa, when she asked me to invite you here. Melissa has this thing she likes to do. The first time she saw you, she fantasized about what you would look all made up. I will show you all the drawings she made of you dressed as a girl and all made up. She is quite an artist, too.”

Craig didn’t know what to make out of all that. Had he been maneuvered into this arrangement? Did he even care? He gave a safe answer, “I get that all the time because of my looks.”

“I will agree that your looks are a large part of it, but you have a soft side that comes out. I would bet that that is at the root of that conundrum. You don’t act Macho, you care for people, you don’t mind others being in charge, you are sensitive and you have a soft sexy voice, except when you hollered beer run. My ears are still ringing from that.” Jennifer laughed. “There are so many areas of your life, Craig, that just shout feminine. You are also a little submissive. You need to be careful with that. There are people who will take advantage of you and abuse you if you are too submissive.”

“I wasn’t that way till after my parents died. There were a lot of people who were telling me what I had to do. They would get mad at me if I resisted. My lawyers didn’t want me to give up on the suit against my parent’s estate away. I read the law though and although the plaintiffs couldn’t really go after me; my own attorney could, to pay his fees. I might not have lost as much by continuing to fight, but my lawyer would have gotten a lot more money than I would have. As it was, the judge did what he could for me.”

“That explains a bunch of things. You also didn’t have good representation. I will teach you how to stand up for yourself without doing wrong to others. Let’s go show the world a thing or two, shall we?”

It wasn’t till Craig stood in front of Jennifer, that he realized how nice she looked right now, “You look wonderful, Jennifer.”

“Why thank you, Craig, you look rather nice yourself.”

>>>>><<<<<

A wonderful spread was laid out for their Thanksgiving. Melissa had taken some time to fix herself up a bit and looked wonderful. There was no doubt she was the girliest person there. Debra called them together before they began loading their plates.

“One thing I have always done at the thanksgiving table, is to have everyone share something that they are thankful for. I will start. I am thankful that I have a wonderful daughter, who has an exceptional soul mate. I am thankful that we are all healthy and care for each other …”

Jennifer then went next, “I am thankful that I have Melissa. Mom, I can’t say enough about what you mean to me, you have been my rock. Thank you Craig, for coming into our lives.”

Melissa then took her turn, “I am thankful that Jennifer saved me, I am thankful that Debra adopted me and I am thankful we found a friend in Craig.”

‘My turn,’ Craig thought. He hadn’t thought of anything to be particularly thankful for before this day, but he gave it a shot. “I am thankful for Jennifer and Melissa, my friends. I am thankful for Debra, who listened to me when I needed someone just to talk to. I am thankful that we are all here together, sharing and caring for each other.”

They began to load their plates. There were the classic holiday essentials; turkey and dressing, of course, giblet gravy, candied yams, cranberry sauce, string bean casserole, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and pecan pie, along with some different dishes, pumpkin cheese cake, asparagus with hollandaise, and three bean salad. There were several bottles of Joseph Drouhin Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Blanc 1997 in buckets of ice at opposite corners of the table. They all drank at a much more sedate pace today.

After Craig took a bite of each dish, he had become addicted to the good food and just wanted to dive right in, but the girls all wanted to talk as they ate. He took smaller bites so he could respond in a timely manner. He should have just taped last night’s talk with Anita. Debra wanted to know the same things, although the girls were more open and forthcoming with Debra, therefore Craig followed suit. Debra laughed and almost spewed her wine out of her nose when Melissa described how Craig had gotten help to move the girls in. Eating slower had one benefit he didn’t need. He seemed to fill up with less food. He was comfortably full, instead of stuffed, well, like a turkey.

They all helped clean up and then took dessert in the theater. Debra, it seemed, was a Texas Aggie Fan, while Jennifer rooted for Texas. Craig took neutral ground, saying he was a TCU Fan. He even did a cheer for them.

‘TCU … TCU … the school where the girls are girls and the boys are too.’

He cracked them all up with that one. Actually, TCU was having a very good year.

Craig was surprised to see just how much Jennifer and her Mom knew about football. Debra knew most of the players on the Aggies side, and who were the players to watch for. Jennifer couldn’t match her blow for blow, but she knew more of UT’s team than he did of TCU’s team. He was lucky his team wasn’t playing today.

Melissa just cuddled with Jennifer, more than even Craig had seen before. He then realized that she was more comfortable here at this house. He just watched the two of them, using his peripheral vision. He smiled and shed a tear. This was the first thanksgiving that he actually was with other people since his parents passed. Debra saw the tear and the smile. It wasn’t a fake smile, or a smile that was used as a shield by a hurting person, so she just smiled and let it pass.

>>>>><<<<<

After the game, everyone migrated to bed. Craig took a shower, which washed away almost everything except for traces of the lipstick. Craig didn’t know how to clean it all off, so he just slept with it. Friday morning, Craig was the most Craig he had been since he got there, almost. He awoke early again and got dressed, and took his laptop to study, but this time he started the coffee and sat at the breakfast table in the kitchen.

The others weren’t too far behind him. They all came out already dressed. Melissa came out all looking as lovely as usual. Debra and Jennifer were just a few steps behind Melissa. Craig felt a little out of place in his jeans and polo shirt.

For breakfast, they had turkey omelets. That was something new for Craig, but very delicious. They were made with black and green olives, bell pepper, caramelized onions and mozzarella cheese. Melissa then made everyone a fancy cup of coffee. He had seen it the previous day, but hadn’t realized that they had a medium sized restaurant Espresso machine. He really loved the mocha latte Melissa made for him. The cup was about three or four times larger than a standard coffee cup.

They all sat around the table and talked about the parade, the football game, and a hundred other things. Before Craig had met the girls, mealtime had rarely lasted more than fifteen to twenty minutes, but when he was with the girls, it seemed rare that it would last less than forty-five minutes to an hour. Their dress up meals would last an hour and a half to two hours. Craig realized that they used this time to reconnect and socialize. It was like this was as necessary to them as the food itself was.

He mentioned this to them and then began to talk about what getting together at mealtime meant to them. Craig was right in many aspects of what he thought. The women agreed that they felt a need to reconnect at times. The socializing they did at times like these helped to renew the bonds they felt with each other. On top of that, Debra put in, girls are just plain nosey, they liked to know what was going on.

Lastly, they asked, “Don’t the meals taste better and don’t you enjoy it more, when you take your time and have pleasant conversation with people you like?”

Craig sat back in his chair and thought about that for about a minute. The girls knew he was thinking, so they just smiled expectantly and patiently waited, “You know, in the three years I have been on my own, till I met you two, Jennifer and Melissa; I was lonely and didn’t realize it. I filled my time with my studies and my work on campus. Life wasn’t bad for me, but neither was it very fulfilling. Yes, I would have to say, that dressing up, sitting down to a good meal and conversation, has been really enjoyable for me.”

Jennifer looked to Melissa and Debra. They each gave her a little nod. Then she smiled broadly and looked at him, “Craig, Mom is going home tomorrow and we have something important to discuss with you.”

Craig was dumbfounded, he didn’t have any clue about what they might have to discuss with him. Everyone’s smiles told him, that it wasn’t bad at least.

“We had many reasons for moving to Arlington and going back to college. Yes, we wanted to get our degrees, and yes, I wanted Melissa to be able to socialize with males without fear, but there is another reason...”

Craig began to notice that Jennifer was getting a little more squeamish as she talked, or maybe it was embarrassment. He wasn’t sure, and he wasn’t about to make this harder for her.

“Melissa, amongst her other course work, is studying child development … Oh heck … Melissa wants to be a mother … and at some point, so do I.”

“So, you two want me to be a sperm donor,” Craig said, smiling. “I can do that for you easily. Just tell me where and when to go.”

“Yes, we want you to be a sperm donor, but not in the clinical way … but … more in the natural way.”

Now it was Craig’s turn to be embarrassed, “I guess I can do that too … I ah … just don’t want to hurt either of you though.”

Melissa smiled at Craig, and then began, “We don’t want you to just be a sperm donor and then just disappear from our lives. We want more from you; we hope that you will become a part of our family. We want you to live with us, to have fun with us, to love with us, and help us raise our sons and or daughters, as an equal partner.”

“Don’t answer yet Craig, there is one more thing and it might be a deal breaker for you,” Jennifer said, now looking more seriously. “We don’t even want an answer from you till Christmas break. We want you to understand the ramifications and to think it over.”

“You want me to live with you as a girl, don’t you?”

Jennifer and Melissa were shocked and speechless; Debra just patted his hand and smiled. “Yes, that is what my two girls wanted to ask you. They called me and told me about you back in October.”

“We don’t want to hurt you and we still want to be your friend, but yes, that is our requirement. We would want you to live with us, living as a woman twenty-four/seven. We aren’t looking for a slave, or servant, but a partner. You would be able to do what you want, when you want, but … it would be easier on Melissa and me if you lived with us as a woman.”

Craig, now had a lot more to think about. He really did love these women and he didn’t mind helping them have children. They had demonstrated that they could make him look very feminine. If they wanted him to father children the natural way, then they wouldn’t want him to go all the way in becoming a woman. He had in fact, enjoyed their games of yesterday. He couldn’t believe just how pretty he looked. He didn’t have anybody to wonder about his disappearance.

To the women there, he didn’t look angry or repulsed; he just looked thoughtful. That gave them hope, at least a little hope.

“Okay, I will think hard on this … When is the last day of finals?”

Jennifer pulled out her cell phone and checked her calendar. “The last final is on the sixteenth, and the first day of class in January is the fourteenth.”

“Okay, I will give you my decision on the fifteenth of December, would that be acceptable? My first concern is, could I pass; I think that is what it is called, as a girl, no make that a woman. I guess a girl becomes, or is a woman, at about twenty. If I am to live this way every day, all day long, I would have to be able to pass; I know my face can be made acceptable, but there is the rest of the body, voice, mannerisms, and … I don’t know?”

Melissa smiled, “While I am not an expert, I would say that you would make a lovely woman. The looks are the easy part; forgive me for saying this, at least with you. The rest can be learned.”

Craig felt in his heart that Melissa was telling the truth. “Nothing to forgive, I asked, you answered,” he hesitated a moment and then said, “Now, show me.”

Melissa almost leapt across the table to hug him. Really, she just ran around the table quickly.

“This is going to be so much fun.”

Girl school began immediately. Craig found himself dragged back to Jennifer and Melissa’ room and stripped of clothes. The three women inspected him closely.

“Not much hair, is there?” Debra asked.

“My only hairy problem is my brows. I have to pluck them, or I would have one big hairy unibrow, I don’t have much of a beard, or sideburns.”

“I noticed that your brows looked plucked, you should use a moisturizer after plucking. I had wondered about that. We won’t touch your brows today so Craig can go back to school,” Jennifer said. “Still, the rest of your hair must go.”

They first shaved his armpits and then rubbed a depilatory on his body from the neck down. He noticed that they had an ample supply of depilatory. He was told to stand there with his arms held out.

“Should ya’ll be doing that, dressed like you are? You are going to ruin your dresses.”

“We’ll change while you stand there like that.”

The girls left. Melissa came back in, wearing just a dark blue UTA T-shirt tied just under her breasts, no bra and a teal string bikini bottom. Jennifer came back in, in a pair of orange hot pants, and get this, an honest to god, Hello Kitty T-shirt. Debra came back in wearing an orange, yellow and gold halter-top string bikini set.

Jennifer started to fill the bathtub after dumping in some bath salts, while Melissa pushed Craig into the shower after setting the temperature right. She followed him in and began wiping him down carefully, with a really soft bath cloth.

“Do you shave often?” Melissa asked.

“Only once or twice a week, one of my grandfathers was half American Indian. He never really shaved at all. I get a few whiskers now and then.”

“Good, then that won’t be a big problem. Now get out of the shower and relax in the tub for a while.”

Craig slid into the warm aromatic tub of water. He hadn’t taken a bath in years and when he did, the tubs were half, or one fourth, the size of this monster sized tub. ‘The other three girls could get in here too’, he thought. ‘He shook his head. Did he just think about the other girls? Did he just think of himself as a girl now?’, he thought.

After twenty minutes, Melissa came in and washed his hair twice, conditioned it for ten minutes, then drained the tub. Jennifer joined her, and they patted him dry, applied moisturizer and powder. Jennifer wrapped his hair in a turban and led him to the bedroom.

“Lie down on the bed, Craig,” Debra said.

He lay down on the left side of the bed. Debra took an alcohol pad and wiped down the chest area twice, then sprayed his chest with something. After a few minutes, she carefully placed first, one and then a second latex covered blobs of silicone on his chest. Craig realized that the blobs look just like breasts.

“Where did ya’ll get the fake … ah?”

“Breast forms. They were originally intended for women who have had radical mastectomies, after breast cancer,” Debra said. “Now they have been a big boon to the transgendered, who want to look feminine and haven’t grown their own, or haven’t had implants. Just hold them in place for a few minutes. Oh, and don’t worry, they are fairly easy to remove with the solvent.”

The girls had Craig stand, Jennifer then took a measuring tape to the boy, “Your measurements are now 37-28-33. We may have been a little enthusiastic on the breast forms. With your measurements, 32 below your bust, 37 at your bust, and 33 above your bust, we put you at a 36D. We can get you smaller breast forms later if you like, but this size is an advantage,” Jennifer told him.

Then she wrapped a corset around his waist, “You were 5’ 4”, 115 lbs., 32-28-33; we added five inches to your bust and need to add two inches to your hips and butt using a padded brief. A girl your weight and height, might be 34-24-36. Your current measurements are a good compromise if we can take off a couple of inches off your waist,” she said, beginning to tighten the corset.

“With a padded brief we will put you in, you will be 37-25-35, which would be a good compromise, though not perfect. To get a real nice hourglass shape, we would have to add even more inches to your hips, to maybe 38 to 39 inches, but that is harder than adding inches to your bust. Luckily, girls in real life come in all shapes.”

Jennifer took two inches off Craig’s waist. “You had a rectangle shape like most males. It would be hard for you to look feminine as a rectangle. Girls with rectangular figures are often mistaken as boys, just like you were mistaken as a girl. You will be a mix between an hourglass figure and a strawberry. Be glad that you aren’t a pear, or an apple.”

“Now, we will add garters to the corset for your stockings. We do this before we put on our panties, so the garter straps will be under your panties. It makes things easier when we go to the bathroom.” Then they showed Craig how to roll stockings up his leg. “If you accept our request, stockings will be better for you. Your testes will be hot enough with the panties and padded briefs. Adding another layer with pantyhose could temporarily affect your ability to father children. When we are ready to try to get pregnant, we will get you to wear fuller skirts and tap dance panties, so your testes will be cooler.”

“You really have researched this, haven’t you,” Craig said.

“I really am desperate to have a baby,” Melissa said. “We just want a male who can live with us and not make us … no … make that me, uncomfortable by their presence. It is my problem Craig, not Jennifer’s.”

“How hard was it to have me over?” Craig asked.

“Very hard, at first. Then not so hard, but I don’t know about having the boy Craig living with me. That is why I hit you with the makeup Wednesday. It made things easier for me.”

Craig slipped on the panties and the padded brief. He had to sit because he couldn’t bend easy. Jennifer talked him through hiding his testes and his penis, and then he pulled everything up tight.

When he stood, he looked like a woman in her dainties. Debra took him to a full-length mirror, so he could see. Even without makeup, and with his hair in a turban, there was no doubt that that the image was one hundred percent female, except it wasn’t.

Jennifer sat him down at the vanity, quickly rolled his hair and began doing makeup. Craig could see Melissa smiling warmly. He loved to see her smile; when Melissa smiled, the world was right.

Jennifer was very good at makeup. It took her just over ten minutes to complete the makeup and another ten minutes unrolling, combing out, and spraying his hair.

Next, Craig was dressed in a short sleeved, gathered scoop neck, blue green print, silk chiffon blouse and a black, just above knee length, straight, silk lined, wool skirt. Melissa put a silver locket on a chain around his throat, a silver watch on his left wrist, some silver bangles on his right wrist and a couple of silver rings on his fingers.

“Do you want to wear flats or kitten heels that have a two inch heel,” Melissa asked.

“What would a real girl wear with this outfit?” Craig asked.

“Probably a three or four inch heel, would look best.”

“Do you have a three inch heel which goes with this outfit?” Craig asked.

“We didn’t plan to do this now Craig, but we are prepared. Yes, we have a three inch heel for that outfit.” Jennifer opened a suitcase and pulled out a pair of black suede open toed pumps with a sterling silver bow on the vamp. She helped him put the shoes on and then helped him stand.

He was now taller than Melissa with her bare feet. He could hear Jennifer and Melissa’s voices catch, as he stood on his own. He carefully tried to walk to the mirror. He was a little ungainly, but didn’t fall on his face. He thought he knew what he would see and to some extent he was right. He saw a girl that was every bit as lovely as Melissa. He couldn’t help himself; he turned left and right, actually swishing the skirt. The clothes looked marvelous to him, and he couldn’t describe how wonderful they felt.

“We can’t call you Craig when you look like this. Is there a name you like?” Debra asked.

“I don’t know … my Mom’s name was Renee Annette Lawson, and she was a Jennings before that. How about, Renee Annette Jennings? In memory of my Mom.”

“Renee, I think that she would be proud of you,” Debra said. “Just sit here prettily, Renee. Let us get redressed for you. Smooth your skirt forward as you sit, dear.”

Renee/Craig walked gingerly to the bed and swept her skirt forward, as her rump went down. Debra left to go to her room to get dressed. Renee/Craig was surprised when Melissa and Jennifer took off what they were wearing and began to dress, right in front of him/her. Renee/Craig thought that the girls looked incredible. This was the first time that she/he had seen them so skimpily dressed. She just smiled as her friends dressed. It wasn’t lust, but rather, it was fascination. Although Renee had allowed herself to be beautified and dressed, she had never seen a real girl dress from skin out. Jennifer and Melissa were just totally comfortable being seen naked in front of Renee.

While the girls dressed, they heard the grandfather clock. There were the musical tones before the gong struck; Renee just counted eleven strikes. The girls seemed to enjoy having company while they did themselves up at least as well as they had done Renee up. Debra came in dressed in her Versace skirted suit, before the girls finished. Melissa worked especially hard to dress as femininely as she could.

The girls finished dressing, doing their hair and makeup, Debra was office power, Jennifer was sophisticated Chic, and Melissa was super feminine. Renee, at the moment, would fall between Jennifer and Melissa. They helped their new sister up and headed to the living room, giving her pointers along the way.

Debra and Jennifer sat down on the couch while Melissa gave Renee walking lessons. She had brought the flats and the kitten heels with her and had Renee change footwear often. Renee liked the three-inch heels and the flats. The flats were comfortable, but she thought the heels were sexier. The only talk had been just some directions, some corrections, or comments to help make Renee more believable. After an hour, she was allowed to sit. The grandfather clock had just struck the half hour, after twelve.

“Ya’ll hungry?” Melissa asked.

“A little, but I don’t think I will be able to each much in this corset,” Renee said. The others said that they were a little hungry too.

“I’ll make a tray of turkey salad finger sandwiches, and some other leftovers. Be right back.”

Jennifer and Debra talked with Renee and coached her on her voice. Craig’s voice wasn’t a bad pitch for a girl, but the tone, inflection, vocabulary, and her non-verbal communication, needed to change a bit. They told her that she needed to be more animated as she talked, too. Girls in some ways talked with their whole bodies, and often in a singsong manner, as compared to a male’s monotone.

“Do I have to act air-headed now?” Renee asked.

“Really, it isn’t the male who is in their right mind, it is the female.” Debra chuckled.

Renee licked her finger and drew an imaginary mark, “That is one for the females, I guess.”

“That is an important point there, Renee,” Debra said. “Males are more linear, logical, literal, and analytical about things, and those are left brain traits. Females are more creative, intuitive, and emotional, and that is right your brain traits coming through.”

“Just a minute,” Renee said. She left and got her laptop. After she logged onto the Internet she did a search on right brain vs. left brain. She showed the girls her results. She even found a few left/right brain tests. She was taking one when Melissa came in with the food trays. Renee found that she was 60/40 right brained. Jennifer took one while they ate and found that she was fifty-five/forty-five left brained. Melissa then took the test and found that she was 66/34 right brained.

They had a good laugh, as they explained to Melissa what the tests were about and why they took them. Melissa insisted that Debra take the test too. She was fifty-two to forty-eight right brained.

The rest of the afternoon they just talked about Craig and Renee.

Craig said in many ways he liked being Renee. He liked the clothes, and the process of becoming pretty was, for the most part, fun.

“I like everything but the spandex brief and the corset, I accept that they are necessary though. I like and hate the heels though, too.”

“Welcome to womanhood. You will find those sentiments quite widespread,” Debra said.

“So, what do you think about what’s happened to you? Love it, hate it, or what?” Melissa asked.

“I don’t hate it. I have found it interesting and I do like looking pretty. I guess I am strange, does liking this make me a pervert?”

“No more than me liking pretty and sexy girls makes me a pervert, Renee,” Melissa said. “At least that is the way I see it. People should be allowed to dress and be how they feel they should be, as long as they don’t intentionally hurt other people.”

“I don’t think you are a pervert either, Renee,” Debra said. “You aren’t doing this to get in other people’s panties. … you have your own,” the older woman giggled. “Really though, I think you are a sweet, sensitive person.”

“I like you as Craig, or Renee, but Renee can be more fun, and I am not talking about sex. As Renee, you aren’t bound by any masculine ideal. You can be freer to express yourself and do things a guy would never do.” Jennifer said.

“Like?”

“More guys don’t like Opera or Ballet, more girls do. Did you like the opera we went too?”

“Yes I did, but there were a lot of men there too.”

“Though there are men who like that type of thing, I guarantee that two thirds were there because of their SO’s (significant others). Women though, have fun getting ready, by looking spectacular, going out to eat, and enjoying the spectacle. Most men hate the monkey suits, would rather have burgers and fries, and just tolerate the show, although most men do like to look at the well-dressed women. Most women like to be around good looking women too,” Jennifer said. “So I take it that you don’t hate us for doing this?”

“No, but I see that I have a lot to think about. I will seriously consider your proposal and then give you an answer. Between now and then, will you two help me do this?” Renee indicated the way she was dressed. “And maybe teach me to do it, too?”

“Of course, we would be happy too,” Melissa said.

“One other question, if I do this how will I go back to college?”

“I can answer that,” Debra said. “This is just my suggestion. Finish out your junior year at UTA. Then, over the summer you could begin your transition, so to speak, to being feminine twenty-four/seven. We will file legal documents, which state you are in transition as a transgendered student. Do a legal name change, and you can start back next fall as Renee. The University has a legal policy against discrimination aimed at LGBT students. They will also do what is necessary to assist the student as far as changing names on the records so the student can receive credit for work the student has accomplished. It will require that a Licensed Clinical Psychologist evaluate the person and confirm a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.”

“I don’t know a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.”

“I beg your pardon, after all the time you have been with me, you deny my existence?” Debra said, feigning distress.

Jennifer was drinking ice tea at that moment and nearly blew some out of her nose, when she saw her mom’s performance.

“Let me guess?” Renee asked. “You are a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.”

“Been there, done that, wrote the book, $39.95 through Random House Publications.”

“You’re not kidding, are you?”

“Nope, ‘Clinical Psychology Practices’ by Dr. Debra West PhD. ,” Debra said. “I am both a Clinical and a Research Psychologist.”

“And you don’t think I am strange?”

“Strange can be good, normal is overrated.”

>>>>><<<<<

An hour later, all four of them were together on one couch, in the home theater. They watched the movie ‘Avatar’. It was awesome on the system they had. It almost felt and sounded like they were really there.

Renee was nestled between Melissa and Jennifer, with Debra next to her daughter.

“Oh, wow, the colors are so vibrant, and the sound makes me feel like I am in the middle of everything,” Renee said.

“It is great, isn’t it?” Melissa said. “When we come back here during Christmas, you are invited, no matter what you decide, we can watch all of the Harry Potter movies. I just love Hermione. She is definitely the brains of the trio.”

“Yeah, and it was so good seeing her grow from child to a woman, too,” Jennifer said. “But even I have to admit that Harry was the hero.”

They headed to bed at around eleven. Renee headed into her room. She got the blouse and skirt off, but was stuck on how to get the corset off. It was a problem, till there was a knock at her door. It was Jennifer, who came in dressed in a baby doll, with a baby doll and some other things. She unlaced Renee and helped her out of the corset. Renee took off the padded brief, the shoes and stockings before slipping into the baby doll. Then she removed her makeup with Jennifer’s assistance. Jennifer then rolled Renee’s hair up and covered it with a bonnet.

>>>>><<<<<

Saturday, Renee got up early, put the padded brief on, a pair of running shorts, shoes, and a T-shirt she tied under her breasts, the way she had seen Melissa do the day before. Then she went to the study with her laptop.

Melissa was up next. “Hello, sweetie, you sure are an early riser.”

“Always have been. So what are you up to.”

“Making a special breakfast for Debra, who is leaving about noon.”

“She is special, isn’t she?”

“Yes she is, I only wish my own mom and dad would have loved me like she does.”

Renee and Melissa moved into the kitchen, where Renee sat at the table with her laptop while Melissa worked. She made Eggs Benedict, with fruit bowls, and lattes for everyone. Jennifer and Debra came in as Melissa served Renee.

“Good morning, Mom, please have a seat. Let me serve you breakfast,” Melissa said, giving Debra a kiss.

Melissa then served Debra and Jennifer, before serving herself.

“I am so going to miss you, Mom,” Melissa said.

“Me too, Mom.”

“Nonsense girls, we will see each other at Christmas.”

“So, when are you going to leave?” Jennifer asked.

“I will leave after brunch. I just want to have a sit down with Renee. If I am going to sign-off on her transition, I really should talk with her.”

“But I am not going all the way.” Renee said.

“We hope not, but I still want to help you, regardless of what the outcome is.”

>>>>><<<<<

After they ate, Debra spent an hour talking to Renee/Craig. They talked some more about his family, about sex, and about what could happen with Renee professionally, if she went through with the girls’ basic plans. She gave him a list of things she wanted him to think about. She promised that she would call him in a week and they would have another long talk.

Craig hadn’t thought about what could happen if Craig became Renee, at least on the surface. Engineers were a big group of men, who, for the most part, were a lot of good ole boys’. There were more and more female engineers out there, but still, they had a long row to hoe. He looked at the list for a few minutes and then folded it up. Renee didn’t have any pockets, so she just put it in her T-shirt, next to her breast.

Debra spent about another hour with the girls, talking. Jennifer and Melissa had so much to talk about, Renee/Craig just let them talk. They ate a light meal of turkey and left over side dishes.

Debra got her suitcases and stuff and left after hugging and kissing everyone.

>>>>><<<<<

Once back inside, Jennifer and Melissa talked Renee into dressing up again. They took her back to their own room. Renee was back in the corset and stockings, followed by panties and padded brief. Jennifer did her makeup slowly, showing her how things were done. Jennifer then worked on Renee’s hair, giving her a feminine bun before she dressed in her black heels, Jennifer’s white blouse, and Melissa’s tight black mini-skirt.

“Would you like some more clothes, so you can practice dressing back in Arlington?” Jennifer asked.

“I think that that would be nice,” Renee said.

“Do you feel like going out? We will have to go to Waco; Hillsboro is a bust on clothing stores. Nobody will recognize you. You look good as any woman,” Jennifer said.

“You mean, me go out dressed as Renee? I couldn’t, I’m not good enough!”

“Yes you are. Just stick with us and do what we do. So what if they see you for a boy. I doubt if they will, but we won’t let you get hurt,” Melissa said.

The girls watched Renee think. They could almost read her mind by watching her facial expression, but after a minute or two, Renee/Craig said, “Yes, okay. Let’s do it before I change my mind.”

Jennifer made up a purse for Renee. She just had to get one of her spare purses and put Craig’s wallet, a compact, and lipstick in it. It didn’t take Jennifer and Melissa long to get ready. Renee was given a shearling lined bomber jacket. It was warm and felt really nice. She noticed the Ralph Lauren logo. As they climbed into the Jag, Renee was given lessons on how to enter and exit a vehicle. Then they were off to Waco.

From their place, it was a forty-eight minute drive to Waco, where they hit a mall with some nicer women’s fashion stores. Renee was a little nervous about getting out of the car, but being with real friends helped a lot. Jennifer and Melissa flanked her, and arm in arm, they entered the mall like Athos, Porthos and Aramis.

The first place they came to was a kiosk that had earrings. “How do you feel about getting your ears pierced? It is not unheard of for a girl not to have pierced ears, but it is unusual. The better earrings are all for pierced ears.”

“I guess I could wear studs, I see a few guys on campus that wear earrings.”

The girls bought three pair of studs and Renee got her ears pierced free, one simple gold ball stud in each ear.

Jennifer told him, “Some girls get an ear full off piercings, but you need to be more conservative if you are going into engineering.”

They headed to Nordstrom’s department store. “We will pick out two or three sets of clothes, which you can mix or match with.” Jennifer said.

They selected half a dozen tops, four skirts, and two pairs of slacks, then headed into the dressing room with Renee. Melissa went into the booth with Renee to help her change. With each change, they showed the outfits to Jennifer. Jennifer had selected several jackets and blazers which she thought went well with all the things. Jennifer was the judge of what looked good, but Renee was asked if she concurred with Jennifer. Two skirts were feminine, short and flirty. The slacks and the other skirts were more businesslike. The tops were a wide range of styles, yet all the tops went well with everything else.

Renee also tried on an Armani silk caddy suit, in red. They had to use two different suits to fit her. The jacket came from the larger suit, and the skirt from the smaller one. The skirt was knee length and looked fabulous, but when coupled with a white blouse and the red jacket, Renee looked very much the business professional. Standing straight, with her hands held gracefully at her side, she exuded power. The sales lady checked the fit. The skirt fit her waist nicely, but was an inch or so too wide at the hip. However, it didn’t look too bad. The jacket fit at the shoulders and bust, but the sleeves were a bit long, and it was two or three inches too large at the waist.

Jennifer stopped at the jewelry counter and just had to buy a rainbow pendant/brooch in diamond, ruby, emerald and yellow and blue sapphire.

Jennifer purchased three skirts, two slacks, six tops, and two blazers. They then purchased five pairs of shoes. Each pair of shoes went well with several of the outfits. There were three heels and two flats. At the last minute, Jennifer had her try on and buy a pair of red pumps. Renee wondered why Jennifer wanted her to have the red pumps, with the four inch heel. They also bought two purses and a wallet, at the shoe shop.

In the lingerie dept. Renee was outfitted with eight bras, a dozen panties, two padded briefs, a dozen stockings, two more corsets, several camisoles, three half-slips in white, red, and black, two robes, satin and terry cloth, and a couple of sleep sets. She had to try on every bra, which meant she had to come out of the corset. Jennifer helped her. There were four white bras, underwired, two lace bras, a smooth T-shirt bra, one in satin, a red bra, a black bra, a mint green bra, and a blue bra. Then they selected panties that matched the bras. Renee was a little skittish at first, but Jennifer’s calm assertiveness and composure helped her relax. The corset she had worn here was all white, and had come from a bridal shop. The two she tried on today, fit and felt better, and were really quite spectacular in appearance. She wore the teal, green, and blue explosion out of the store. It was trimmed in black lace. When she was tightened down in it, she was fairly comfortable at twenty five inches. She had to wear a camisole over it, as it could easily be seen through her blouse. The other corset was a burgundy corset with black lace trim.

“All of this is just two or three outfits?” Renee asked, as they took the clothes to the car.

“Well, maybe one week’s worth. We didn’t get you any sportswear. Besides, shopping is so much fun we sometimes get carried away,” Melissa said.

“We are not finished yet, Renee. You need your own makeup now. We will teach you how to use it.”

“Where am I going to keep all of this stuff?”

“You can use our second bedroom. We set it up for Mom. She won’t mind you using it,” Jennifer said. “You can come over as much as you like. I even have a key for you.”

“Okay.”

They first stopped to eat. Renee stopped at the Gyro counter and selected a Lamb gyro. Jennifer and Melissa stopped at the Magic Wok counter and selected a beef stir fry dish. As they ate they watched the other shoppers. Two days after Thanksgiving, the mall was crowded with shoppers. Jennifer and Melissa gave Renee their impressions of the various shoppers. Some of the shoppers looked like they had been in battle and others were preparing to join the fray. Renee was surprised to see that she was the last to finish eating and that they had been there over forty minutes.

Jennifer led them to the ladies room. Renee wanted to say that she could wait till they got back, but she really needed to go. Melissa comforted her and whispered in her ear. Being as the mall was full, so were the restrooms. Though this mall was better than some and had more stalls for the women, they still had to wait in line. Renee’s nervousness exacerbated her need to go. She finally got her chance and sat on the toilet after pulling her skirt up and underthings down. After she finished, she came out of the stall and washed her hands, before checking her lipstick and powdering her face like the other women there.

From there they went to a couple of cosmetic stores. Renee had her foundation, concealer and pressed powder professionally matched. They then set about collecting all the various things a woman needs, eye shadows, eye liners, blushes, lipsticks, glosses, nail polishes, makeup removers, cleansers and toners. They put everything into an aluminum makeup case, which had wheels and a telescoping handle. The case looked like a wheeled aluminum carryon bag.

Lastly, they hit a salon store and picked up several bottle of shampoos, conditioners, blow dryer, curling iron, barrettes, bands, pins, scrunchies, sprays, brushes and combs.

Renee was never told about the cost of this shopping trip. Although it was considerable, Jennifer and Melissa didn’t want that to influence Renee too much. They could have gone to Wal-Mart, but they weren’t Wal-Mart type people. They saw to it that Renee had as good as they had.

Just before they left the mall, they had one more stop. Renee had to have suitcases for all her things. Renee was crowded in the back seat and Melissa had bags in her lap, but they made it back, where they emptied the Jag into their home. Jennifer then told Melissa to pull the Range Rover around front, as she was going to leave the Jag here for a few days. Melissa pulled the black cherry Range Rover out of the garage and brought it around front while Jennifer drove the Jag into the garage.

Inside, Jennifer organized the makeup kit, while Melissa and Renee, sorted, folded, and packed the clothes along with the other things into Renee’s suitcases. They also packed all of Craig’s things up. They decided that Renee would return to Arlington and then change back to Craig.

After they finished, Melissa made them a light dinner, which they ate while watching TV. Renee was sandwiched on the couch, still dressed, as were Jennifer and Melissa. They all sat back with their heels resting on the coffee table.

At ten, Melissa was asleep, holding onto one of Renee’s arms. Jennifer decided it was time to go to bed. They got Melissa up, and together they all got to Jennifer’s and Melissa’s bedroom. They helped each other undress. Jennifer didn’t take Renee’s corset off, but she did loosen it a couple of inches and helped her into a negligee. They also managed to get Melissa, half-asleep, into one and got her face cleaned before they tucked her into bed.

Renee managed to clean her face and was headed to her room, when Jennifer picked her up and set her in the middle of their bed next to Melissa. She climbed in behind Renee. Ten minutes later, everyone was asleep.

>>>>><<<<<

Renee slept on her side, something that Craig did also, and generally only rolled over once to sleep on the other side. Jennifer and Melissa were back sleepers. She first slept with an arm across Melissa. In her sleep, she hugged that arm tightly. When Renee rolled over and draped her arm across Jennifer, she scooted over closer and hugged her arm.

It was about six am when Renee woke. She carefully crawled over Jennifer to get out of bed and made her way to the bathroom. After she sat on the toilet and took care of business, she looked in the mirror. Her hair was a mess, so she took it down and brushed it out. She then put it into a ponytail, and after some thought, began to twist it and put it up in a bun, which she bobby pinned. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than she thought she would get it.

Back in the room, she grabbed her clothes and makeup kit, and headed into her room. She managed to tighten the corset, put on her stockings and heels, before fresh panties and a padded brief. This brief seemed to have more padding. She then put on one of her new skirts and blouse. From the makeup kit she only took out a lipstick. She found it easy to draw within the lines of her lips and to blot them. After she packed up, she grabbed her laptop and purse before heading to the kitchen to study. She made coffee and got right into studying. She got a good bit of studying in before the girls came in about eight-thirty to make breakfast. They were dressed and beautiful as ever.

Both women smiled when they saw Renee, and hugged and kissed her cheeks.

“That was nice last night, Renee. We enjoyed having you in our bed. You are warmer than Melissa and I.”

“It was nice and strange for me. I have never slept with anyone else before that I can remember.”

“You did your hair, didn’t you?” Jennifer asked.

“Yes, it isn’t good is it?”

“It’s very good for a first try. Better than I did as a young girl,” Jennifer said, as she took the bun down and redid it. “What course are you studying for?”

“I am studying from one of my senior level engineering textbooks. My first two years of work were mostly basics. This year I began my basic engineering courses. Next year is when the hard work starts. Then I have four more years of work, if I can afford it.”

That was when Jennifer decided to talk to her Mom. She could afford to help Renee go as far as she wanted too in engineering, but it might be better if her Mom did it.

After breakfast, they loaded the Range Rover before they went around the house, making sure it was ready to be left and to make sure nothing they needed was left behind. Jennifer then called Anita and left a message that they were leaving.

Renee had never ridden in a Range Rover before and was surprised by its power and handling. In a little over an hour, they were back in Arlington and moving Renee’s bags into Jennifer and Melissa’s apartment. There they set about taking care of Renee’s things. They taught her how to set up her dresser and closet.

When they finished, they sat about drinking a nice wine while talking and watching TV for another hour. Then it was time to deconstruct Renee and reconstruct Craig. Renee undressed, and Jennifer used the solvent to remove the breast forms. Then Craig took a bath, washing his hair to take out any curls that might persist. The shampoo and conditioner the girls had bought him left his hair fuller, with more body and shine. He then dressed by himself, although he still wore a pair of panties and a camisole under his shirt.

He stayed another hour and then headed back to his own apartment.

>>>>><<<<<

Over the next three weeks, Craig spent as much time as he could at Jennifer and Melissa’s place. He would come over and learn how to create Renee. He wouldn’t attach the breast forms with adhesive but he would place them in his bra cups. He also learned to put on and take off the corset on his own. The girls taught him makeup, dressing and how to act and feel like a girl. He liked looking a little more feminine than Jennifer, but Renee wasn’t destined to be as feminine as Melissa.

December, the third, a UPS truck arrived, delivering a red Armani suit for Renee. Renee put her hands on her hips and looked crossly at her friends. It was kind of comical to see the short girl trying to stubbornly stare down an equally stubborn Jennifer. The stare down lasted three minutes before Jennifer had to blink. Then the dam broke and all three of them had a good laugh.

Melissa hustled Renee into her bedroom, where and she and Jennifer supervised Renee’s dressing into her in her Armani suit. Jennifer did her hair up this time in a French twist, with a few decorative hair pins and then created a business/professional woman’s makeup job on Renee.

First, they dressed in her red corset, rolled on a pair of off black stockings, red panties, padded, brief, white camisole, white silk blouse, red heels and then her red Armani suit. The suit had been altered and fit like a glove. The skirt fit nicely at the waist and with the new padded brief, it fit perfectly through the hips, the skirts hem just touched the top of her knee. The jacket fit the shoulders, bust, and the waist. The sleeves hit just where they should. The red 4 inch heels previously bought, looked great with the suit. Jennifer added a single strand pearl necklace, pearl drop earrings, a large silver cuff bracelet, a silver dial Rolex and the sheaf of wheat pin on her left lapel. Renee then fixed up her new red purse.

Jennifer did her hair up this time in a French twist, with a few decorative hair pins, then created a business/professional woman’s makeup job on Renee.

Jennifer and Melissa spent time getting dressed up and the three of them went out to eat at a nice restaurant in Dallas. Renee was comfortable in her role, but still had a mild case of nerves. All of Renee’s work over the last three weeks paid off. She didn’t give a single sign of not being what she appeared to be. All three of them turned heads as they were seated.

After they got their drinks, they ordered their salads and entrées. Jennifer got Renee talking about the latest failure analysis that Renee had studied. Renee picked the Kansas City Hyatt failure, an old case, but one that showed how failures multiplied. At first she worked hard at talking about engineering in a feminine manner. Jennifer had asked her to practice this when she was alone. It was sort of an acid test to see if she could pull it off. Renee had given Jennifer a list of pertinent questions on the subject to ask her, and then Renee would try to answer them. They talked in a normal voice, so they were overheard. Renee did extremely well. The girls noticed some gentlemen’s ears perking up as they talked. Renee became more comfortable.

One man approached their table and said, “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear your discussion. My name is Tim Hartley and I am an engineer. You look a little young, but are you an engineer too?”

“My name is Renee Jennings, this is Jennifer West and Melissa Conroy, and to answer your question, no sir, I’m not an engineer yet. I am just a junior, majoring in Civil Engineering. I plan to go for my masters in civil engineering, specializing in structural engineering. I spend a lot of time reading technical reports on structural failures.”

“I can tell, although the Kansas City Hyatt failure is well known, you seem to be extremely well versed in it. You gave your friends a clear, concise and accurate description of the failure.” Tim reached in his jacket and pulled out a card. “Give me a call when you get your BSCE and maybe you can intern summers with us, while you do your graduate work. We need more women in the engineering field.”

“I just might do that,” Renee said, smiling warmly.

Tim went back to his table and Renee looked at the card. Tim Hartley, Hartley, Cole, Remington and Wilson. Certified Structural Engineers. Houston, Austin, Dallas and El Paso. She put the card in her purse.

They talked for a bit about the offer. Renee hadn’t done this to fish for a job. She just wanted to see if she could talk like a female engineer.

“Too bad, I can’t possibly do it. I will have to work summers and during school, to go to graduate school.”

>>>>><<<<<

They were all busy during the last week of school. Craig was well prepared for the finals and did well. Melissa and Jennifer also did well in their course work. After their last final, they all sat together on the couch, their minds fried, drinking a glass of wine. After the first glass, Craig got up and headed to his own room. It was just two in the afternoon. The girls started to follow, but Craig stopped them. He wanted to do this on his own.

He selected his most feminine outfit, a teal, blue and green corset, and matching things. After a bath, he closed his eyes and channeled Renee. She dressed in her undies, stockings, half-slip and black open toe pumps, before she sat at her vanity. She combed and brushed out her hair, sprayed it with a curl enhancing spray, then curled it with a curling iron, till her face was framed with curly tendrils. Next, she used all her meager skills with makeup, to create the feminine look Melissa favored. She did a very credible job, considering her situation. Then she got dressed, put on a green knee length, silk skirt, which flared to a wide knee length hem, her blue/green chiffon blouse and her new black blazer. Finally, she put on a necklace, earrings, silver cuff bracelet and watch.

Renee liked the way she looked. She smiled and posed for the mirror, knowing Jennifer and Melissa were on pins and needles, but they could wait. Her life was about to change and she deserved this time for herself.

When she could no longer contain herself, she grabbed her purse and went out to meet her friends. Jennifer and Melissa were sitting on the couch holding hands, comforting each other. They smiled when they saw Renee. Although she had looked prettier when Jennifer or Melissa had done her makeup, they thought she was the prettiest thing they had ever seen. Her smile just radiated love.

“I told you that I would give you my decision today. I could have answered you at Thanksgiving, as I couldn’t imagine living without either of you. Yes, I will join your family in whatever role you want of me. I hope that you both will accept me. I would rather die than to split the two of you up. Yes, I will father your children and be there to help you raise them in a loving home.”

Jennifer and Melissa jumped up and smothered Renee in kisses till they all broke down in tears. They sat on the couch and had a good cry together.

After they were all cried out. Melissa turned to Jennifer and Renee, she had an evil look in her eyes, “You know what this means, don’t you.”

“No,” Renee said.

“OH YES!” Jennifer said smiling.

“WE SHOP TILL WE DROP, SIS!” Melissa and Jennifer said in perfect unison.

“Renee, you don’t have near enough clothes for winter and spring,” Jennifer added.

Her two friends dragged Renee to their room after picking up her makeup kit. They took turns cleaning their faces and doing their makeup. Together the two girls did Renee’s makeup after cleaning up her tear stained face.

Just before they left to hit the stores, Jennifer reached in her purse and pulled out the rainbow brooch and pinned it on Renee’s jacket.

“I truly believed that you would become sisters with me and Melissa back in November. I bought this brooch for you then. Melissa and I welcome you to our family.”

They hit the better stores over the next five hours as Renee more than tripled her wardrobe. Renee was pleasantly in shock as they went from store to store. Her friends were like cougars on the prowl, stalking their prey, then pouncing on and devouring the weak and the helpless. There were few women’s stores in the area left unscathed. Renee hardly got the chance to leave the dressing room areas, as they brought her what they found, like a mother cougar brings her fresh meat to her cubs.

They had so many things, they had to arrange to have it shipped to them the next day. They dragged themselves home late that night. Renee again slept with them in their bed.

The sixteenth of December, they began packing. They were going to Kingwood, to spend most of the holidays with Debra. They sorted out the clothes that were delivered and packed, or put them up in Renee’s room. They all did themselves’ up in their cool weather feminine finery and makeup. Then after four in the evening, they hit I-45 south to Kingwood.

They talked as they drove. “I have decided Renee; you and Craig should move into our apartment when we get back. Craig will finish out the next semester. If you still want to help us, you can transition after school ends in May. What do you think?”

“Are you sure you want Craig living in your home?”

Jennifer looked at Melissa who nodded, “Yes, we are sure. Craig is so Renee now, it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. You could leave his apartment and save the money for your education. That will help you out quite a bit.”

“I could be recognized as Craig and Renee at the apartment complex. It could cause us problems.”

“Yes it could, but we have faced problems before. It wouldn’t be the end of the world. On top of that, the University has an anti-discrimination policy. It wouldn’t be easy, but we are strong.”

“Ok, Craig and I will do it.”

Four hours after they hit the roads they pulled up in front a large two story house, which sat up on a ridge overlooking Lake Houston. Debra met them before they could open their car doors. She had lots of hugs and kisses for them. A house keeper came out and assisted the girls in unloading the Range Rover

Renee could only stare at the home. It was massive; Debra told her, as she was being given a tour, the home was a 7000 sq. ft. twelve room, six bedroom, seven and a half bath, on one and a half acres, with two, two car garages. The appointments in the home were all top dollar, fine furniture, paintings, rugs, wall hangings, knick-knacks, and all the many things that make up a fine home. Then Debra showed Renee to her room. They talked along the way.

Renee knew that Jennifer had to be well off, but seeing her Mom’s home, things just fell together, “Ya’ll never said that ya’ll were millionaires.”

“Would it have made a difference?” Debra asked.

“It might have. I might not have been so free around Jennifer and Melissa.”

“And you might not have gotten close enough, to love them enough, to become part of their family,” Debra said. “Am I right?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Do you regret anything that has happened?”

“No ma’am.”

“Would you go back to the way things were, before the girls came into your life?”

“No, I don’t think I would like that. I haven’t been in as much peace, since I lost my Mom and Dad. I really love your girls. I don’t think I would stay as Craig, even if the girls didn’t want me to stay with them.”

“And they really love you, too.”

“I love you also, would you mind very much if I called you Mom?” Renee said, tears forming in her eyes.

“I would love to have you as one of my daughters, Renee,” also crying and hugging the girl.

>>>>><<<<<

The four women spent the next seven days shopping for Christmas. They bought a nine foot tall Christmas tree, the first tree that Renee/Craig had helped decorate in over four years. She cried happy and sad tears as they decorated the tree; it was more beautiful than any Christmas tree she had ever seen. They went out and bought Christmas presents for each other. Renee took a portion of the savings she had set aside for college to buy gifts for the others. She might have to work more to finish her schooling, but it was worth it to her.

On the nineteenth of December, Debra took all of them to buy gowns. Renee was fitted in a long, flowing, burgundy, satin gown, with matching heels. She could only wear panties and stay up stockings under the gown. It was a good thing that Debra brought petals, to cover up all their nipples.

The next day, they all got dressed. They were all going to go see the ‘Nutcracker’, by the Houston Ballet. Renee thought the dress was a dream; she liked dressing up. Jennifer did her hair and makeup, in a glamour look, that included false eyelashes. They had thought about doing the whole salon experience, but they wanted to be sure that nothing would be done that was long term to Craig. He still had the next semester to go to college. She wore a marvelous diamond stud necklace and chandelier earrings, a sliver 5 carat garnet ring and a diamond bracelet. The others were also dressed to the nines.

They had dinner at Masraff’s a five star seafood restaurant. The girls had four different dishes and traded bites with each other. Renee had never eaten such food before. Craig was a hamburger and fries, or mac and cheese guy.

The ballet was very good. Houston might not be Paris, or New York, but their ballet company was very competent and the orchestra was very good. Being with good company was an added bonus. Renee totally enjoyed the experience. One thing Renee noticed was that the people in Houston were a little dressier than they were in Fort Worth or Dallas.

Christmas Eve, everyone stayed at home and avoided the last minute shoppers, and the horrendous holiday exodus of people heading out of Houston, traveling to see their extended families. The house was in all its holiday finest. Melissa did her prep work for their Christmas feast and baked a couple of hundred Christmas cookies while the rest finished their holiday wrapping and carefully placed the presents under the Christmas tree.

>>>>><<<<<

Christmas morning Renee dressed up in a white blouse, green sweater, red pleated skirt and her skyscraper, red heels. She did her makeup and her hair before she left her bedroom. She wasn’t the first one up for a change. Debra had set her alarm.

“Good Morning, Mom.”

“Good Morning, Renee, and how are you today?”

“Fabulous, I never thought that I would be happy again on Christmas, after my parents died.”

“You will never forget them Renee, but most of the pain goes away with time.”

“You know, one thing bothers me, I can’t remember what they sounded like now.”

“Just look in your heart baby, they are still there. I know that they would be proud of you and what you’ve accomplished on your own.”

Jennifer and Melissa came downstairs, hollering, “Christmas present time,” like little girls. They all huddled around the tree.

“Jennifer, you can play Santa and pass out everyone’s presents. We wait in my household, till all the presents are passed out before you begin to open them.”

Jennifer passed out a large pile of presents; everyone got six or seven packages, “Okay, we start with the youngest and go to the oldest.”

Renee opened her first package, “It’s from Jennifer.” She carefully removed the wrapping paper from a twenty by fourteen by seven-inch box. When the paper came off, Renee saw a brand new Lenovo Laptop.

“It’s got just about everything a laptop can have,” Jennifer said.

“Thank you, Jennifer.”

Melissa picked up a box, it was from Renee. She opened it and found a very nice music box which played ‘Tiny Dancer’ and had a ballerina that turned on her toe. So it went, till everything was opened.

Debra stood and walked over to Renee, “I have two more gifts for you my dear. She handed two envelopes to the girl. She opened the one that had something hard inside it. It was a Mercedes Key fob.

Renee couldn’t believe it. She looked at Debra and stuttered “Thank you, Debra. I don’t know what else to say.” She looked at the key fob, stunned.

“Put these on that key fob, Renee. It goes to a 5 year old Mercedes S550. I heard you didn’t have a car, and I had four. The car that they go to belonged to Thomas, my husband. It was just sitting around collecting dust.”

“I can’t take that, it is too much.”

“You can and you will. I don’t want my new daughter having to walk through town. It isn’t safe nowadays.”

“But …”

“No buts, say thank you.”

“Thank you.”

“Good girl.”

Renee opened the other envelope. It had several pieces of paper inside. She saw that it was an agreement of some sort. Her jaw dropped, as she read that Debra West agreed to pay Craig Lawson/Renee Jennings’ college tuition, for as far as she wanted to take it. The only caveat was, that she not take alternate employment not related to the field, during the Fall and Spring terms. It covered tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, and board. Her hands began to shake and she began to cry.

“Thank you Mom, but I still say you shouldn’t have, but thank you.”

“Follow me, dear,” Debra said.

They all got up and followed Debra out back. There were two garages out back, one to the left of the drive and the other to the right.

“Click your white fob, dear.”

Renee clicked the white fob and the garage door began opening and the bright garage lights came on

“I took the Mercedes to the dealership and had them service it and get it back into proper condition for driving dear. It is as good as new.”

Renee walked around the car. The exterior was as good as new. She didn’t see any faults in the lunar blue paint, and the tires were brand new. She clicked the black fob and the security system chirped and unlocked all the doors. She opened the driver’s side door and got in. The premium leather seats were soft as butter. Debra got in the front passenger seat, while Jennifer and Melissa got in the back seat. Debra talked the girl through everything, from adjusting the seats, climate controls, the audio system, navigation system, and the vehicle controls. The car had 57k miles on it and a full gas tank.

“Take us for a drive, Renee,” Melissa all but shouted from the back seat.

“I haven’t driven since before …”

“No time like the present, to break that pattern, dear,” Debra said. “I have insurance on you, and you do have a license, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do, in my purse, in the house.”

“Drive to the front, I will get all of our purses,” Jennifer said.

Renee cranked the car back to life. The exhaust had a nice throaty, powerful, but quiet purr. She put the beast into reverse, backing the car out and driving it around to the front of the house. Her hands almost shook with fear. She calmed down a bit as she waited for Jennifer. When she got back, she passed out the purses. Debra took out several State Farm insurance cards and put one in the glove compartment and another into Renee’s male wallet.

“You must get a lady’s wallet, dear. Now drive on.”

“Yes ma’am.”

She drove the powerful car onto the city street and headed out of the subdivision. Debra gave careful directions. As she got use to the vehicle, she began to go from timid to comfortable, but not overly aggressive. When they got to US-59, she turned north and began to work the horses harder. She went from twenty to seventy mph in three seconds. Renee had to restrain herself and the vehicle, as it wanted to go faster. The car handled superbly.

“Do me a favor, Renee. Keep driving north. I want to see something,” Melissa said. She gave Renee directions to Cut and Shoot. When she had Renee turn on one road, she asked Renee to slow down.”

“Mom should I stop and see if …”

“I can’t say if you should or shouldn’t. Only you can dear. We will all be here for you though.”

“Stop by that bird bath, Renee.”

When Melissa opened her door, the others did too. They all walked up to the front door. Melissa knocked, in a few seconds, a woman opened the door. She looked to be an older version of Melissa, there was no mistaking this woman for anybody but her mother.

“Hello, Momma.”

The woman looked at Melissa, she was hard to read, “Hello Melissa, how are you?”

“I am doing well,” Melissa was just itching for a hug, but held back. “How are you and Dad?”

“We are doing well. Are you still with that woman?” her mom asked.

“Yes, she is my soul mate, Momma,”

“Yes, I see, then please leave,” the woman said, closing the door.

Melissa calmly walked back to the car, with Jennifer by her side. At the car, she looked back at the house and gave Jennifer a big kiss. It wasn’t till they were all in the car, Renee pulled away, from in front of the house and Debra had set the navigation unit to home, that Melissa broke down crying on Jennifer’s shoulder.

Renee wound up in Conroe and headed south on I-45. When Renee turned off I-45 Melissa had calmed down.

“Sorry, I just had to see.”

“There is nothing to be sorry about, Melissa,” Debra said. “A child needs to know their parents love them.”

Renee pulled into a Dairy Queen that was open. “Ice cream?” she asked.

Yes, they all said. Renee got a Mocha Blizzard, Debra a cookies and cream, Jennifer a rocky road and Melissa a mint chocolate chip. They sat down and talked.

“I didn’t think my parents would change, but I hoped they had.”

“I am proud of you Melissa. I always have been,” Jennifer said. “And you know I love you.”

Melissa sagged into Jennifer’s side. Jennifer held the girl tenderly.

“I know how you feel, Melissa,” Renee said, “It’s like you lost your parents too, but worse. Yours turned their backs on you. I can’t make things any better, but I love you too.”

“We are all behind you; dear and we will never cast you away,” Debra told her middle daughter.

When they left, the car told Renee used the navigation system to tell her how to get home.

“Park in the front, dear. I transferred the car to Jennifer’s name, but it is yours. She will transfer the car to you, no matter what happens, when your status clears. You are the principal driver.”

>>>>><<<<<

The girls had a chance to dress up again. Debra wanted to go with them to the New Year Eve’s Party at the Hyatt Hilton in Houston. They did do the salon thing this time.

They went to the salon Debra frequented. She gave very specific instructions on what was to be done. The stylist knew about the problem, but it didn’t bother her. She treated Renee just like any other girl, and though she was tempted, she didn’t do anything long term. She waxed the girls legs, gave her a massage, cleaned up her brows a bit, hot oil treatment, shampoo, condition, style, manicure, pedicure and put her hair up in a twist, with a pair of jeweled chopsticks. Renee was in heaven after the massage. She made a note to do this again.

At home, the girls got dressed up in one room. They helped each other with their dresses and such. It was cooler this night, so Debra loaned each of the girls one of her furs after they dressed. Renee got to wear a sable coat. The fur felt amazing; she now knew why women chose to wear fur. The girls had Renee drive them in her sedan. She had gotten better at driving over the last week. They arrived at the hotel at eight. It had valet parking, several of the valets fought for the right to help the ladies and to park the car. Renee handed over the keys to the one female valet.

The lounge was on top of the Hilton, and provided a wonderful view of the city. There was to be a fireworks laser light show on top of the many sky scrapers at nine that night, so Debra and the girls chose a table near the rim. All the tables were set up for eight, so they waited to see who would be at their table. They didn’t have long to wait, Debra saw an old friend, his wife and two sons.

“Jim,” she called out. “Would you care to join us?”

“Debra, it’s been ages. It’s so good seeing you. Of course we would be glad to join you.” Turning to the younger women, “My name is James Benet; this is my wife Kathy, and my sons, Richard and Trevor.”

“I am Debra West; this is my daughter Jennifer and her friends Melissa Conroy and Renee Jennings. Please have a seat. Girls, Jim was a friend and colleague of my Thomas.”

“How have you been, Debra? We have been meaning to get in touch with you after Thomas’s passing.”

“We have been doing very good. I have got my practice back up, and my daughter is back in college getting her DBA. Melissa and Renee also both go to UTA.”

“So what are you two studying?” Jim asked.

“I am studying psychology and child rearing,” Melissa said.

“I’m into Engineering.”

“What field?”

“Civil engineering, I like to make and break things, so I like Failure Analysis. What do you do, Mr. Benet?”

“Please you must call me Jim. Thomas and I were in investments. We were some of the first investment councilors to recommend sell on Enron to our clients. Not a popular call. Enron was soaring, but we saved our clients millions.”

“Hmm, I wonder if business failures can be modeled like structure failures.”

“Hmm, I am sure they are. The Enron failure is being studied in forensic accounting.”

“NO business talk!” Kathy said. “Jim can talk for hours on anything to do with his business.”

Some ohhs and ahhs, interrupted their conversation; they turned to watch the fireworks and laser light show.

After the show, the band started up. The girls were inundated with requests for dances. Renee passed on their requests, and Melissa was very selective on who she danced with. Richard and Trevor were pretty safe, as they were younger than the girls and their dad was here. Jim got Debra out on the floor, leaving Kathy and Renee at the table.

“Tell me, how did a pretty little thing like you get interested in engineering?”

“I don’t know, I guess I am kinda strange. I like to know how things are put together, and after reading about some of the news reports on building failures, like the Hyatt walkways, the I-35 bridge collapse, the I-10 bridge collapse and the Oakland bridge collapse. I kept asking myself why.”

“That is interesting. You are such a pretty thang, why aren’t you dancing?”

“I never learned how, and I just like watching.”

Kathy looked left and right, then leaned forward. “You should learn, especially if you are going into business. You can learn a lot about your opponents, even if you don’t like guys.”

Renee looked a little surprised.

“Oh, don’t worry honey. I don’t care if you are that way, and hanging out with straight girls is a good cover. I say more power to us girls.”

Renee giggled to herself, ‘Kathy thinks I am a lesbian’ she thought. ‘Well, maybe I am.’

She thought of a safe response. “I am used to watching the drinks for my girlfriends, Kathy; it pays to be safe, especially around a college campus.”

“Do tell. It’s a real shame that girls have to be so defensive. I love my boys, but I would castrate them if they ever did that to any girl.”

Debra and Melissa returned and Jim took his wife out on the floor. Renee told them what Kathy had to say. They all had a good laugh.

“They are good people, Renee,” Debra said. “But maybe a little off in their ability to read people.”

Jennifer and Melissa found a quiet secluded place for a few minutes before midnight, where they shared a kiss. Renee had to turn down both Richard and Trevor for that honor. They were disappointed, but they lived.

>>>>><<<<<

Renee, Jennifer and Melissa left early to get back to Arlington. They moved Craig into their apartment and he returned the apartment key back to the management. He lost his deposit, but saved money and got to live with friends. Some students noticed a boy and two girls going in and three girls going out, but they left them alone. The girls seemed a little snooty.

By Easter break, Melissa started keeping close records of her period, using a basal thermometer every day and using ovulation kits to plot her cycle and get a baseline. Jennifer and Melissa sat down with Craig and started plotting an impregnation day. Melissa wanted to get pregnant in late August, September, or October, so she could have her baby after she finished the next spring semester.

“School ends in May, so I can count three months forward June, July, and August. If I have the baby by at least early August, I can, with help from you guys, go back to classes in September,” Melissa said.

“We are looking forward a year, but Melissa really does want to get a degree and we are most fertile before we hit thirty,” Jennifer added.

“I will be ready when you girls are.”

>>>>><<<<<

Easter break they spent at their place in Hillsboro. Debra came up to talk with the girls. After she talked with Renee for two hours alone, Renee definitely wanted to transition, to living as a girl, full time after finals. The girls already knew, but Debra and Renee sat at the kitchen table and joined Jennifer and Melissa in drinking lattes. They explained their plans on impregnation. Melissa laid out a calendar and showed Debra. She just laughed a bit and said something about Hi-Tech sex.

“Well, I will get your paper work ready Renee, and approve you for breast implants. You won’t go on hormones, as they will ruin your fertility. Do you want to be this size?”

“Yes, all my clothes are sized for a 36 D. They are expensive clothes, and I have gotten pretty much used to having a big bust.”

“Well, I got a surgeon lined up for you on May eighteenth. He will need to see you after finals, on the twelfth. He has a clinic in Dallas and will do the procedures there. If there are no complications, you will be home that night. You know, you can still stop at any time.”

“I know Debra, but I want this with all my heart. It may sound funny, but I started out saying I would do this for them, Jennifer and Melissa. At first, that was true, but as I grew to love them, I also grew to love what I was becoming. I love the new me I am when I am Renee. I am Renee, and I need my sisters to be complete.”

“I think I knew that when I first met you, Renee. You were drunk and made up so prettily, half man and half woman, and yet, you had the soul of an angel. You have since convinced me that Renee is the true you.”

“Thanks Mom. Before I met my sisters, I wasn’t really alive. My body was moving and breathing, I was going through the motions of living, but now, the times I am Renee at least, I can say I know what living is.”

>>>>><<<<<

The fifth of May was Craig’s birthday. He had just gotten back from class and was really surprised when he stepped through the door. Jennifer, Melissa, and Debra jumped up and yelled, “Happy Birthday!” Craig was so startled he jumped back. Birthdays had been another thing that Craig had missed in the nearly five years since his parents passed. He was braced against the wall and began smiling and crying at the same time. Jennifer and Melissa surrounded him in a hug. They didn’t need to be told why he was crying and why he was smiling.

They dressed him in his men’s Armani suit one last time, and cleaned his face. Together they went out to eat. Since he was now of legal drinking age, he ordered a bottle of Dom for them. He looked too young as Craig, and even had to show his ID this time. Renee looked more mature, and could have ordered alcohol easily.

Even at the restaurant, he received a surprise. The waiters wheeled out a cake with twenty one candles blazing away on top. The wait staff and patrons at the restaurant then sang happy birthday to him.

Debra drove them home in the Mercedes. She had only had one glass of champagne. Once they were home, the girls gave him their presents. Melissa bought him an iPhone and Jennifer bought him an iPad that had many bells and whistles. Debra handed him two envelopes. He opened the first and saw the documents for a legal name change, Craig Welford Lawson to Renee Annette Jennings. All that was needed to be done was to appear and file them in Court. There was paperwork approving Renee’s transition and her recommendation that she begin her real life test. There was paperwork to assist Renee in changing her driver’s license, her status with the University and other legal necessities. Lastly, there was a recommendation for her to receive breast augmentation without undergoing HRT for the time being.

“My lawyer and I will assist you in clarifying your legal status when the time comes. You will be Renee Annette Jennings, but you will still have an M on your license until you undergo SRS, which may be never, I know. The RLT paperwork will help in any legal problems about your gender.”

“Like being pulled over for speeding?”

“Exactly. Still, don’t get pulled over for speeding.”

“The Mercedes is a demon, but I am an angel. I can control it,” Craig, channeling Renee, said, with a feminine eye flutter.

“Life for you must have been rough before Renee. In less than eight months, you’ve got your feminine thang down tight.”

“It was hard trying to act masculine as Craig. It’s been a lot easier on me relaxing and just being Renee.”

“How have the neighbors been?”

“A mixed bag. Some have been really good, we’ve all been tagged as lesbian. Some have figured me for being a FTM cross-dresser, instead of a MTF transsexual. I don’t think anybody has made me for a male. We’ve made more female friends than male friends. The good thing has been that there hasn’t been any really bad behavior towards us. Too much surveillance at the apartment complex. You can’t walk from one apartment to another without being seen by at least three cameras and they have a foot patrol at random times at night. Masked or hooded people would draw a lot of attention around here in a hurry.”

>>>>><<<<<

Renee went to the Doctor’s office on the twelfth of May with Jennifer and Melissa. Dr. Dave Carter was to be the surgeon. He discussed the procedure with Renee and the girls. He told them how things were going to happen and what to expect from Renee after the surgery. More importantly, he told them what things could be considered an emergency, which they should call him about. He then did the pre-op physical alone with Renee, and had a private talk with her about why she wanted this done, how she felt about things, and what she expected out of this surgery.

“Looking at you, I think we need to do this in two procedures. First, I will insert inflatable bags that will take you up to a B-cup. This will allow your skin to stretch; you really don’t want stretch marks. I will check on you in a month. If your skin stretches well, we may go in and do the larger implants. If the skin is tight, I might inflate you to a C-cup and then, maybe in a month; do the D-cup implants. The inflation won’t require anesthesia, it will be a small incision and then we pump a little more saline solution into the bags. The first and final operations will require general anesthesia. I could do it in one procedure, but you might not be as happy with the results.”

“Let’s do it in two or three then.”

“Alright then, for the next week, massage your breasts twice every day for half an hour, using a good moisturizer,” Dr. Carter demonstrated, stretching his skin up from the ribcage, from the armpits towards the center of his chest and his chest itself, pushing his skin into a mound at the nipple. “This will help your skin stretch some. I have a list of dos and don’ts I want to give you. The most important thing is DON’T EAT anything after midnight the night before the surgery. Someone needs to be here with you who can make medical decisions for you during the procedure, and to take you home afterwards. I look forward to seeing you next Thursday at seven AM.”

At home, they talked about the procedures, and Craig demonstrated the massage for the girls, who took it upon themselves to do it for him. Craig thought they were enjoying themselves a bit too much, but they didn’t hurt him, so he let them go on doing it.

>>>>><<<<<

Craig finished his last final and they hurried home to celebrate. He stayed Craig today, as it might be Craig’s last day. They ate light, and celebrated with sparkling grape juice. Jennifer called a stop at seven and drove them home. They sat on the couch sandwiching Craig. They talked about everything but the next day. At nine they all went to bed. The girls didn’t let him sleep alone.

Five o’clock came early the next morning, but the girls wanted him wide awake before they left.

“This is your next to last chance to quit this before the surgery. If you are doing this just for us, don’t. If you are doing this for you, get dressed,” Jennifer said.

“I am doing this for me, Jennifer, so let’s get ready.”

Renee dressed in her bra, panties, a wraparound dress and athletic shoes. She did her own hair in a bun. Jennifer drove them to the clinic in Renee’s Mercedes.

Dr. Carter was pleased with Renee’s pre-surgery physical. She was checked for stray hairs on the chest and armpits. There were none, but they shaved her anyway. They gave her some sedatives orally and in an hour they gave her a shot that knocked her out.

In the surgical suite, they put her under anesthesia and got to work, going in under the armpits. The doctor used his tools to create a pocket for the balloons. When he had both in place, he started inflating them with sterile saline, adding a hundred ml’s to one side, then the other side. The skin was stretching nicely, so he added another hundred ml’s to both sides. She was doing well, but starting to get tight. He added another fifty to both sides and after a few minutes, another fifty. Dr. Carter estimated her to be right at a B cup. He pushed in another 25 ml’s and closed up. Renee was then wheeled into Recovery.

She came to fifteen minutes after the procedure ended. Jennifer and Melissa were sitting beside her, each holding one hand. She was given a small sip of water.

“How do you feel?” A nurse asked.

“Sore and a little groggy.”

“We are adjusting your pain meds. Just rest a bit, we’ll need to get you walking in a bit.”

In a half hour, the doctor came back to see Renee. He and the nurse helped Renee sit up slowly, then checked her over. Her lungs sounded clear and her blood pressure was good and stable. He inspected the incisions, which looked good. They did a post op measurement and found that she was now a 34 B+. Renee’s skin was taut, but not overly so.

“I was able to use a little more saline than I had originally planned. Your skin stretched nicely. We should be able to take you the rest of the way next time.” He turned to the girls and said, “Give her a minute or two and then get her walking around. I will see her again in half an hour.”

With Jennifer on one side and Melissa on the other, they got Renee walking around. She was given a few more sips of water. When the doctor came back, he checked her over, went over her post-surgical release form and given another ‘do and don’t do’ form. Then she was allowed to dress and go home.

At home she did a lot of sleeping. Lunch was a cup of chicken soup and she had to walk around slowly around for a short while.

>>>>><<<<<

The next day, Renee was sore but in good spirits. However, her mother hens were getting on her nerves a bit. If it wasn’t on the list, she couldn’t do it.

“Going to the bathroom isn’t on the list. I guess I should be glad that you let me do that,” Renee said.

Melissa checked the list, then pretended to panic, “Jennifer, we screwed up! Going to the bathroom isn’t on the list,” Melissa tried to sound serious.

“Oh my, we did screw up. You’ve got to hold it till Monday when you see the doctor,” Jennifer couldn’t help it but smile.

Renee started to put her hands on her hips, but a twinge of pain changed her mind. It was twenty-four hours after recovery before they let Renee shower, with the two of them with her. They looked at her chest and lightly touched her breasts. The girls liked them, but they looked a little tight and didn’t jiggle. They patted her dry and put a slumber bra on her.

Day by day Renee got better, the skin over her breasts seemed to relax and the soreness and pain disappeared. Monday, she saw the doctor, who seemed very pleased with her. He scheduled her next surgery for two weeks, where he would add some small lip implants, do some work on her cheeks and her nose.

>>>>><<<<<

The doc was happy, and went with the final silicone implants. Renee was a little crankier after the next surgery, her lips felt thick, she couldn’t breathe out of her nose, her face hurt a little, her breasts were very taut, again. That was likely to lessen, as the swelling lessened. She again was mothered by her two hens; but deep inside she really loved it.

She saw the doc a week later, the doctor smiled, as he checked her face and chest. He scheduled a checkup in another month, and said goodbye.

They stayed in Arlington another week, before they headed to Hillsboro in two vehicles. Jennifer and Melissa finally let Renee drive, as long as Melissa rode with her. Renee loved driving down there, it relaxed her. Jennifer made her wear a wireless bra and a top. She could breathe through her nose and foundation hid the fading bruises on her face.

Anita was excited when the girls got there. And knowing what had been done, she wouldn’t let Renee carry anything but her purse.

“I’m not an invalid,” Renee complained.

“No you aren’t,” Anita said. “And in a week or two, you can start doing what you normally do. I love what they did to your nose and cheeks. You look so pretty.”

“And you don’t mind?” Renee asked.

“When I first met you, I felt something wasn’t right. I don’t think that now. You are a wonderful person Renee. We will say nothing more about this. Get your pretty butt into a swimsuit and out in the pool.”

Renee changed into the suit that Jennifer had surprised her with. It had a bikini bra and a tight boy cut bottom. Renee’s bottom had grown a little bigger, but her waist was a couple of inches narrower, due to her wearing a corset fifty hours a week. She couldn’t wear an over the bust corset, so she had purchased four under the bust corsets. Now she removed her corset and dressed in her suit. The panty was tight, but it helped keep things in place.

Out back, she was the last one to reach the pool. She sat down next to her friends and rubbed herself down with sunscreen. She wanted a little sun, but didn’t want to cook her skin by overexposure to the sun. She took five minutes on a side, then slid into the pool. She definitely found swimming a lot different with her new chest. She did slow laps for twenty minutes. It didn’t take many strokes to travel thirty-five feet. She wanted to try out the diving board, but that was also a couple of weeks away.

When she had enough, she went inside. The first thing she did was hit the bathtub. She took a long bubble bath while she shampooed the chlorine out of her hair. Her hair was now well between her shoulders. She needed to do something with it, so she put it up in a ponytail.

She carried her tablet and laptop into the kitchen and began reading her textbooks for the fall semester, making notes. She already knew what courses she would be taking. She had improved her GPA over the last year, in no small part due to her new friends, who’d made her care again.

Melissa came in and saw Renee, “You studying again?” she said, with a little exasperation.

“Yes, I am going to become an engineer. I have to study.”

“You are so like Jennifer in many ways.”

“She is getting her DBA, that isn’t easy, either.”

“I know, I really like the dedication you two have to succeed. You two are way smarter than I am.”

“You are above average, girl. Don’t ever look down on yourself. We both love you.”

Melissa smiled, “I know that and we both love you too.”

Renee smiled. “I am looking better. I think it is about time I went all the way to looking great. Why don’t we hit the salon tomorrow?”

Melissa brightened right up, “What a wonderful idea. Let me go talk to Jennifer.”

Jennifer loved the idea, too; she had been just about to suggest that very thing, as she wanted some work done too. Melissa was always ready to go to the salon.

The next day, the three of them drove up to Dallas to a salon. It was one of the better salons in town. Renee dressed casually in jeans, but wore a corset, and the top she wore showed off a good bit of cleavage. She liked the way she looked. Her skin was finally relaxing again. She also carried her suit bag with her. She wanted to look her best when her friends saw her again.

Renee met with the stylist and discussed what she wanted done. She chose a hairstyle somewhat like Katy Perry, without the flashy colors. She chose to take her hair to a golden brown, with darker undertones. She wanted her brows thinned just a little and given a nice arch; a full set of acrylic nails, and her makeup done. All the work took time, three and a half-hours to be exact. She took another half hour to get dressed in her Red Armani suit and heels. Her stylist fussed with her a minute, before she came out and showed herself off to her friends.

When she came out, Jennifer’s and Melissa’s mouths dropped open. For the first time, Renee looked so much more feminine, now that she had taken the plunge. She looked like a million bucks. Every inch of her spoke of power, authority and femininity. Renee turned slowly around, so the girls could see all of her.

“You look ready to go to work, Renee. You are every bit the business professional,” Jennifer said. “Beautiful, powerful and chic, I love what you had done to your hair.”

Renee smiled, then looked at her friends, “You both look great, too. Melissa you look like a dream.”

Jennifer and Melissa had dressed up too, they weren’t about to let their sister outclass them by much. They all looked great. Jennifer was dressed in a navy suit and looked very professional, like a banker. Melissa wore a very sophisticated but chic dress. She was the prettiest and most feminine out of the three.

They went out on the town that night and drew a lot of attention everywhere they went. Jennifer and Renee put on airs, like they were discussing a business deal and Melissa was their client. Renee would pull out her tablet and find a set of technical drawings. They used that to fend off unwanted attention when the gentlemen were persistent. They wound up their night in a jazz club, where the music was mellow and hot.

>>>>><<<<<

Early the following week, Debra came up. Everybody got their hugs and kisses and helped her move in. As they sat around to talk, Debra commented on Renee’s looks. She talked the girl out of her blouse and bra and took a close inventory of the young woman.

“Dr. Carter did excellent work, I see.”

“I think he did. He also worked on my lips, my cheeks and my nose.”

“You look very good dear. I doubt if anyone would recognize you now.”

“Hell, I don’t recognize myself. I am still getting use to the new me.”

“Well you look lovely. The reason I came up here is, that we are going to court in Fort Worth tomorrow. Renee, you are going to be totally legal after tomorrow.”

Jennifer and Melissa hugged their friend after that bit of news.

“How long are you staying?” Jennifer asked.

“Just a week, I need to get back to my patients. I hope that you can come back down for the fourth? We can go down to Clear Lake for their fireworks show.”

>>>>><<<<<

Renee dressed in her suit. She realized that she needed another suit. She mentioned that to Jennifer, who agreed with Renee, so the four of them headed to Fort Worth.

They met Attorney John Nolan just outside the courtroom a half-hour before their appointment. He knew Debra and Jennifer, but for the life of him, he couldn’t pick his client out from the blond girl and the brown haired girl.

“I know why my client is here, but for the life of me, I can’t pick out my client. To keep from embarrassing myself, Debra, please introduce me.”

Debra went to Renee and said, “The other girl is Melissa Conroy. This is the girl who wants to change her name to Renee Annette Jennings.”

Mr. Nolan shook each girls’ hand, ending with Renee. “Well Renee, I can see why you need a name change.”

They talked for a few minutes about what they would be doing and what they could expect. They entered the courtroom of Barbra Davidson. Renee and Mr. Nolan stood, when Craig’s name was called.

“Is this your client, Mr. Nolan?”

“Yes ma’am, Judge Davidson. This is Craig Wilford Lawson. He wants to change his name to Renee Annette Jennings. Renee is a transsexual who is taking her Real Life Test to transition to a woman, your Honor.”

Judge Davidson stood and looked closely at Renee and shook her head. “If she is taking a test, I would give her an A+.” The judge asked her a dozen legally mandated questions about the name change. She also stated that no change to the reference of sex could be made till after Sexual Reassignment Surgery. She asked if Renee understood that. Renee’s answers satisfied all the legal requirements and the judge made the name change official and made note of the Real Life Test, something that wasn’t legally required or statutory.

“Congratulations, Renee Annette Jennings. You are legal. My clerk will provide you with your papers.”

“Thank you, Judge Davidson.”

Their ten minutes was over and someone else took their place before the bench. The clerk provided Renee with the papers to making the name change legal.

From there, they went to the nearest DPS (Department of Public Safety) driver’s license office, filled out a name change form and changed her address to the Hillsboro address. When she got to the front of the line she handed the clerk the name change form, Craig’s driver’s license and the court document. The clerk nearly broke her eyebrows as she checked the documents and looked at Renee, before she reread the documents. She took the money and processed the name change before taking Renee’s picture. She just issued her a paper license, instead of returning Craig’s old license.

“You should receive your new license in ten days to two weeks. Next.”

The four of them drove to UTA’s administrative office. She presented her old student ID, her paper license, the court documents and the letter from her Psychologist. The clerk sent them to the Dean of Admissions. He checked the documents and the letter; gave Renee a spiel about their anti-discrimination policy, covered a few other legal points and made changes to the official records. He then sent her back to the clerk who recorded the changes and photographed her for her new student ID.

“You should receive notice that the changes have been made within a week. They will be sent to your new address. Call us if you don’t hear from us, especially since you are a senior. We want to get you in the same classes as you would have been in.”

Satisfied, that he wasn’t needed anymore, at least for right now, Mr. Nolan shook hands with all of them, “Call me if you have any troubles associated with your name change, your real life test, or with any discrimination. I will enjoy representing you in any law suit.”

They drove back to their apartment, instead of going all the way back to home. This was the first time Debra had been to the apartment. She walked around it.

“This is a nice apartment, much better than the one I lived in when I went to Texas A&M. One thing though, is it your intent to try and start a family over the next year, Melissa?”

“Yes Mom.”

“Is your lease up in August, Jennifer?”

“Yes, it is,” Jennifer said.

“Good! Renee, you know this area pretty good. Let’s find a three or four bed condo, or home, to lease or buy. Go get a couple of newspapers.”

“Melissa, your car is still here, let me go pick up a Star-Telegram and a Dallas Morning News. I will also pick up an apartment finder and a house finder. Then meet me at the IHoP. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I am hungry.” Renee said, grabbing her laptop. She kissed every one and headed out.

>>>>><<<<<

When Jennifer, Melissa and Debra got to the IHoP, Renee was sitting at a long booth; she had her laptop out and was clicking away at the keyboard. The girls got together and worked as they ate. Jennifer was going through the home finder. With the recession going on, the housing markets were very soft in the medium to upper end housing. She came upon an ad which she read out loud, “a five bedroom, three and a half bath home for sale or lease, located a mile and a half away from the University.”

Jennifer added, “Three years ago the home would have probably gone for six to seven hundred thousand. Today they are asking in the three to four hundred thousand range, or twenty-five hundred a month lease. Let’s go check it out.”

Jennifer called the agent who listed the property, then they all drove to the property. The home looked fairly good from the street. A bad thing was that the home was on a major street, which meant heavy traffic, but it was in a good neighborhood. Jennifer looked up and down the street and saw two more “For Sale” signs.

When the agent arrived, he took them on a tour of the property. The home was in fairly good condition, but needed some work. Renee did a wonderful job at finding and pointing out faults. She was all over the place. Jennifer had to smile; the girl was good. Every time she pointed something out, the agent’s smile got a little smaller.

“Would you give us a minute, sir?” Jennifer asked.

“Certainly, Ma’am,”

The four women got their heads together. Jennifer knew her property, but she turned to Renee. “What do you think Renee?”

“The house is in fairly good condition. Without some tools, I can only guess about the electrical system, the plumbing, and the heating and cooling systems. They seem okay, but I would like a closer look. If they check out, we can put in twenty-five to thirty thousand in fixes and upgrades and it will be as good as or better than new.”

“Do you like it Melissa?

“I love it. It has a nice back yard. When we have kids, we will have to make sure they can’t easily go out the front door, though.”

“Agreed,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer returned her attention the real estate agent. “What is the asking price?”

“Three seventy-five.”

“How much are the owners still into it?”

“Two hundred,”

“How far are they in arrears?”

“Twenty two.”

“Property taxes current?”

“No, two years out, they owe nine grand.”

“How close are the wolves?”

“Forty days.”

Jennifer got her friends together and huddled and talked. Then Jennifer talked to the agent.

“I want my engineer, Ms. Jennings to go over the home more closely later today. I am going to go to the county and check the records. If we find no other problems and no other liens on the home, I will make a cash offer.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Let me go make a call.”

“Renee, can you check the house out, or will you need to call someone in?”

“I can do it. I will need to stop and get some tools.”

“Go change your clothes and get what you need. Then come on back here. Melissa, you can go home with Renee. You too, Mom, unless you want to dig in the records with me?”

“I think I would like to dig in the records with you,” Debra said.

“I will make us a big dinner tonight,” Melissa said.

The agent came back in and said, “I can be back in an hour and a half for your inspection. The owners are very excited.”

Renee went to the local Home depot where she picked up a tool belt and a couple of dozen items before she and Melissa went home. Renee dressed in jeans, a UTA Engineering sweatshirt and running shoes. Melissa wrapped Renee’s hair up in a bandana then took Renee back to the house in Renee’s Mercedes, leaving her there, as Melissa drove back home.

More suitably dressed, Renee went everywhere, in the attic, on the roof, she checked the plumbing, electrical outlets, breaker boxes, junction boxes, the central air and heating unit, the two car garage and checked the foundation, making cryptic notes on her iPhone.

When she finished, she told the agent that they would be in touch the next day. Then she called a cab and headed home.

Renee took a long shower to clean off the dirt and insulation. The house was clean except for areas like the attic and the garage. She came out of her room dressed in a skirt, blouse, no hose, and heels.

Everybody was back, so they sat down to dinner. Renee took out her iPhone as she took her place. They discussed what they had found.

“The agent was right, they owe nine thousand in taxes, plus interest and penalties, so make that ten grand. The house is appraised at five hundred fifty and there are no outstanding liens, other than the mortgage. The mortgage holder is BofA. How about you Renee?”

“I went over the place with a fine tooth comb. The electrical and plumbing are everything you would expect in the price range. They looked very good. The AC/Heater units are fair, but may need looking at in a couple of years. No signs of termites and the walls sounded solid. The insulation is above average. The carpet in the master bed, living room, and stairs could stand replacement. They are clean, but worn. The built in stove and ovens are good, but need cleaning. The kitchen cabinets are solid, but they could stand refinishing. The kitchen was used a lot, the grease and grime has built up on the woodwork . That affects wood; I would suggest sanding and refinishing them. I like them though. I didn’t see any cracks in the slab style foundation. Like I guesstimated, twenty-five to thirty thousand would clean it up nicely.”

Jennifer smiled, that is about what she would have said, “So let’s vote. Melissa.”

“I like it, it would be a good home to raise kids in. We just need to keep them in the house and back yard.”

Mom what do you think. “It is a good house to invest in. The neighborhood is still good, although I hope the other homes would sell to good people.”

Jennifer turned to Renee and asked, “What about you, Renee, it’s going to be your home too?”

“A good home, in a good neighborhood, Win/Win.”

>>>>><<<<<

The four of them were dressed in suits the next day when they met with the agent in his office.

“I am prepared to make an offer on the house. I propose to offer you two sixty on the home. Cash in thirty days and we cover the taxes.”

“The home is worth more than that.”

“It was when the market was booming. Have you checked the stock market? Some stocks are down over half their value of two years ago, even blue chippers. Let me guess. This home was owned by an executive who was let go. He had a wife and grown children. If he loses the home, he goes down the toilet. I could call Bank of America and offer to buy the note for one eighty five. They are holding tons of bad paper right now. They would be salivating over selling that mortgage. If you lease the home, you either pay on the note, or pay on the taxes, not both. Paying on the note will give you another five months. If you are leasing it, it will be harder to sell. In January, the home will be auctioned off to pay taxes; you, the bank and your client get nothing. Talk to your client.”

The agent made a phone call, the girls could tell that the call wasn’t going well, but they sat there quietly. The agent had to tell the seller the facts of life. He put his hand on the mouthpiece and turned to the women.

“Three hundred,”

“Not going to happen. Two seventy.”

He spoke on the phone and turned back, “Two seventy five, you pay arrears and we have a deal.”

“No, your client pays arrears and any secondary mortgages, we pay taxes.”

The agent sadly shook his head and talked on the phone, ten seconds later, he said, “Deal.”

“Great, send me the contracts.”

“The owner is in Seattle looking for work. I have signed contracts right here. I just need to fill in the amounts.” He opened a safe and pulled out the contracts. He inserted what the owner would pay, what the buyer would pay, and the price.

“Better, I will put a hundred thousand in escrow till after the title search. You get the balance 30 days after closing.” Jennifer said, writing out a check. “We will also lease it for three months, so we can prepare it and move in. That will give your client an extra eight grand.”

“That will be great. Will you need financing?”

“I don’t need to finance it. I could buy a couple of blocks around here. You can check me out at Dun and Bradstreet. I checked you out,” she said, handing him the check after she read and signed the contracts.

“I can’t say it was a pleasure working with you, but it is a relief for my client. We haven’t had a serious offer in months. I will notify BofA that the house is sold.”

The girls left the agent’s office. “Tough negotiator sis,” Renee said.

“That is business. He was going to lose it, his back was up against the wall. At least he will walk away with forty five thousand. It will help him a little. I think he bought too much house. When there is plenty of money and low interest rates, people sometimes overspend, which inflates housing costs. I got the Hillsboro home for two fifty, that place is worth twice this home.”

>>>>><<<<<

To celebrate they went shopping for clothes, Renee got two more suits, a DK in black, with a skirt and pants, and a burgundy, D&G, with just a skirt. Jennifer got a black Versace and Melissa got a fuchsia Saint Laurent. Even Debra bought a suit; she picked a sage colored Armani.

They then headed back to Hillsboro. Debra stayed four more days, then headed back to Kingwood. Renee got an official letter from the school acknowledging her name change. Renee Jennings was credited with all the coursework that Craig Lawson had taken, and she was scheduled to be in all the classes that Craig had signed up for. She also received notice that Renee Jennings was approved for fast tracking for a master’s degree in Civil Engineering.

That last bit was new news. Craig had requested Fast Tracking. That would allow her to take a few masters level courses in her senior year. She would have to call her advisor and see what changes could be made. She was carrying twelve credit hours this fall; she could easily carry fifteen.

She took out her iPhone and called her advisor. Dr. Morgan Samuels couldn’t remember having advised a student named Renee Jennings. He was assigned KLMNO’s not a J, however after he pulled up her file on the computer and saw that she was linked to Craig Lawson, he was a little surprised. The picture shocked him. Wow, she was a babe, but that was a line he wouldn’t cross. “Renee, did you use to be Craig Lawson?” He asked tentatively

It was a better reaction than she expected. “Yes, I am in transition to becoming a woman. Is that going to be a problem?”

“Your change just came out of left field. I see that you have been fast tracked, is that what you are calling about?”

He didn’t sound like it bothered him, “Yes, what would you suggest?”

They talked for about ten minutes and the advisor made a change in the fall and suggested two changes in the spring.

“You are still on track to graduate next spring. Come by my office late August, or early September.”

>>>>><<<<<

Melissa asked Renee to start wearing fuller skirts and looser undies at the end of June. She wanted Renee’s sperm to be stronger and more robust, was the way she put it. Tight undies tended to overheat testicles and made sperm less motile. Renee humored her. The clothes weren’t something she would like to wear every day and Renee would hate going to classes dressed like this, especially when she was making things and breaking things in engineering.

She loved breaking things. There was nothing like putting a concrete plug you’d made in a pneumatic press, and compressing it till failure. They did that to show the different compressive strengths of different formulas of concrete.

Melissa had her calendars out and was predicting ovulation around August thirteenth. Renee was to have her calendar clear two days before and two days after that day. She even insisted that Renee mark the date on her phone calendar. Melissa was so frantic Renee wanted to laugh, but that wouldn’t be helpful to her situation. So she kept her laughter inside and just hugged her friend.

When she got her new Texas Driver’s License; she rushed to show it to her friends. Jennifer thought her DL picture was one of the best she had ever seen. The people who take the pictures seem to take perverse pleasure in catching the people at their worst. The person who took hers though, did a great job.

When she showed Jennifer and Melissa the license, they had to compare theirs to her. Jennifer’s was better than Melissa’s but not as good as Renee’s

“That’s no fair! You have to go back and let them screw up your photo like everybody else’s,” Melissa said.

“You’re just jealous.” Renee pouted.

Renee’s action precipitated a pillow fight that lasted ten minutes, and ended in the destruction of three pillows. They fell into each other’s arm laughing.

When they were pretty much recovered, Jennifer held up the remnants of her pillow. “Why don’t you analyze this failure, Renee?”

To Jennifer’s dismay, Renee snatched the three pillows and began to do just that, leaving Jennifer and Melissa to clean up the mess. Four hours later, Jennifer and Melissa still hadn’t seen Renee, so they went looking for her. She was just coming out of the garage, as her friends were approaching.

She was just coming out of the garage as her friends were approaching. “Let’s eat, I am hungry. Then I’ll show you what I’ve come up with.”

Melissa hadn’t cooked, so they headed to the local Whataburger for some fast food.

Renee sat between her friends and opened her laptop. “You’ll have to forgive me if the results, are a result of guesstimations, but I didn’t have any of the school’s technical equipment like scales and strain gauges. I used a lot of estimation in my analysis.”

As they ate, she went through a power point slide show and CAD/CAM diagrams. Renee showed the locations of the individual pillow failures. Two pillows had end seam failures, but one pillow had burst on one side, about a quarter of the distance of the pillow’s length from the end. She talked about twenty minutes on the end seam failures. She even had camera phone pictures of the pillows at its best resolution, showing where the failures occurred. She determined that the thread used to sew the pillows had failed under the stress of repetitive loads put on the seams that exceeded the tensile strength of the thread. She went on to explain how the pillows might be improved to prevent such failures in the future.

She found the pillow whose side burst more interesting, spending thirty minutes on its explanation. Here is where there was more guesstimation. She had numerous photos showing the area where the fabric ripped open. She developed several hypothesizes of failure and began to work through each of them. She spent the most time explaining the most probable mode of failure in very technical detail. Her conclusion was that one of the girls’ pillow’s had failed because the pillow’s shell had been penetrated by an arc shaped sharp implement, causing a cascading failure of neighboring threads, due to continual impacts, till the pillows’ shell failed.

Then in simple language she said, “The pillow failed because the girl holding the pillow, gripped it so tightly that her fingernails ripped through the fabric. Repeated uses of the pillow in the pillow fight caused the tears to grow till the pillow ripped open and spilled the contents. I could be more exact if I had my instruments.”

“I don’t know what to say,” Jennifer said, clearly wowed by her friend. “Your explanation was remarkable. Save those files, Renee.” Jennifer was deep in thought for several minutes. “What would you need to do a more detailed analysis, without guesstimating?”

Renee opened Word and began typing as she thought about what she would need to replicate the experiment and garner hard evidence. The list included scales, accelerometers, strain gauges, high speed cameras, and a dozen other things besides pillows.

When they got back to their home, they all took a late afternoon swim and did topless sunbathing, on the back deck. All three of them had slowly gained a strapless golden tan, over the weeks.

Jennifer looked over at Renee and smiled. She seemed so comfortable in her role as a girl, “How does it feel having your own breasts, rather than wearing the breast forms?”

“I liked the looks of my breasts. If I didn’t have my own, I would wear the breast forms, but I think this is the real me. Having said that, I am glad I got the operation. The forms don’t have nerves and I couldn’t feel them. It was like wearing a heavy backpack on my chest. I can feel the sun warming my chest, I love the way silks and satins feel on my breasts, and believe it or not, I like the way they move as I move about. I am glad I met you and Melissa. Even if we didn’t love each other, I would still have loved how ya’ll changed me.”

“How did we change you?” Melissa asked, a worried note in her voice. She was afraid they might have hurt Renee.

“You made me care again, you showed me there was more to living, and you gave me love. That is how you changed me,” Renee said, in a knowing manner. “Don’t worry, you and Jennifer didn’t hurt me, or what I might have become. I wanted to succeed then, but I want to conquer now. That is a good thing, isn’t it?”

“Yes, that is a good thing if it is channeled in the right direction, and in my heart, I believe you are,” Jennifer said.

Melissa and Jennifer both held hands with Renee.

On the first of July, they ran up to Arlington and closed on the home. Jennifer made arrangements to transfer the final payment for the house. They contracted a decorator and put her company in charge of clearing the apartment, fixing up the home and moving their things in.

Then they hit the road to Kingwood in the Mercedes. This had become their favorite car as a family. It had a lot more room for all of them. When it had just been Jennifer and Melissa, or when it was just Jennifer on her own, the Jag had been more than enough car.

Debra, after she had greeted all of her children, just had to see how Renee’s breasts looked. It might have been strange, but it was alright with Renee. She took her jacket, blouse and bra off, in the living room and showed off her assets. She looked beautiful. The skin had almost totally relaxed around the implants, giving her breasts a more natural appearance. Debra checked the way Renee’s nipples reacted, gently manipulating them for a bit to get them to stand up. She realized that Renee would have to be on hormones for a while before they would become more sensitive, but there were other more important things that needed to happen first, grandchildren. She was so excited about that. She had been afraid that she would never hold a grandchild, but Jennifer’s happiness had been more important. They talked for a bit, then went out to eat. Debra wanted to show off her lovely daughters.

>>>>><<<<<

They all went down to Clear Lake to watch their fireworks display. Frank and Helen Rienfeld, friends of Debra’s, had invited them down to watch the event on their yacht. Frank and Helen had been friends with Debra and Thomas when they had all been college students. Frank was with NASA, and Helen was into the arts.

They met up at the docks and loaded the yacht with goodies, then motored out to the middle of the lake, and anchored away from the shore, out in the lake. They drank champagne and ate canapés as the fireworks burst in the sky. It might not have been as big as the show in Houston, but it was still spectacular, watching the display in the air and seeing it reflected off the smooth sparkling surface of the lake. It was a wonderful experience for them.

After the show was over they went below deck and sat down to dinner. They talked as they had a dinner of speckled trout almandine, steamed asparagus vinaigrette and wild rice, with broccoli, with a nice white wine.

“So tell me, Frank,” Jennifer said. “What do you do for NASA?”

“I am just what NASA needs, another administrative paper pusher.”

“Nonsense Frank, don’t lie to the girl,” Helen said, chastising her husband.”

“Alright, dear. What I do is trouble shoot the telemetry relay system. What that means is, we are constantly receiving telemetry and data from the space shuttle and the ISS. When the data transfer fails for whatever reason, I have to go crazy and try to track it down, if the problem is on my end.”

“Oh, so you are an electrical engineer,” Renee said.

“Yes quite so, and what do you do?” Frank asked.

“We are all students at UTA.” Renee indicated the other two girls too, “I am a senior, working for my BSCE.”

“Ah we have a civil engineer amongst us. What do you like doing?”

“I like to break things. Really though, I like to figure out why things break, then work to improve upon others peoples’ ideas, or work to diagnose and prevent future failures.”

“A worthy desire my dear and you, Jennifer, what are you taking?”

Jennifer told him what she was working toward and talked about what she wanted to do, as did Melissa. Melissa said nothing about being a momma, just what she hoped to accomplish from school. She really did want to be a psychologist.

Late that night they pulled into their mooring and spent the night on the yacht. The boat had three bedrooms and Renee slept on the sofa in the living room.

>>>>><<<<<

The girls moved into their home, and started changing it in small ways to make it their own. Renee was excited that not only did she have a bedroom to herself, but she had a room where she could set up her computers and work on her engineering projects at home.

Some women are regular as clockwork. They could almost set the atomic clock by their periods. Some girls, if they have had sex, and if their periods are late by one day, there is a very high probability that they are pregnant.

Melissa had been keeping up with her periods by basal thermometers and ovulation kits. She was somewhat irregular, within one or two days. Some girls are like that. One period might be 30 days, and later, another might be twenty-eight or twenty-nine. On the tenth, she noted a drop in her basal temp, so she ran an ovulation test, which was inconclusive. The next day, her temp spiked and the ovulation kit showed a spike in her Luteinizing Hormone.

She ran to Renee’s room, shouting, “Screw me, Renee.” Renee woke and was rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, “What?”

“It’s time, Renee. I am ovulating,” Melissa said, pulling her panties off and laying on the bed beside Renee.

It may have been hard to admit, and nobody had asked, but Renee was a virgin. The only sex she’d had ever had was with Mary Thumb and her four sisters. Today though, she did have a morning woody, and managed to insert it into Melissa. She didn’t know too much about sex with a girl, but she did know it was supposed to go in and out.

Melissa, bless her heart, was going to lie there and take it like a woman. As far as sex with a guy, she was also a virgin, although her lover Jennifer had claimed her maidenhead with Leroy. She had seen Renee naked before, but never with a full woody. Renee was bigger than Leroy. Renee, for her part, tried to do right by Melissa. She had heard girls’ talking about so and so’s who were twenty-second wonders. She was upset that she didn’t have time for foreplay with Melissa, so she tried to hold herself back as long as she could. Melissa was surprised by Renee. She had been just going to lie there and take it, but after a few minutes, it just felt too good. She began to caress, hold, kiss and move with Renee. Renee varied her pace and the force she used, when she got too excited. She seemed to realize that this helped.

“When you come … ah …ah … stick it … ah … all …ah … the way in ah … ah … and hold it oooh … it there OOooo … for Sssssssome minutes ooooo … oooo … till you stop ohhhhh coming. AAAhhhh …OOhh …OOHH …OOhh, yes … yes … yes …YYYYEEEESSSSSssssss …”

Renee could hold it much longer and began going faster and harder. When she felt like she was about to explode, she buried herself all the way and let go.

Melissa wrapped her arms around Renee’s neck and her legs firmly held Renee inside her. She took time to stabilize her breathing. Renee was panting, too. They held onto each other, then began to kiss and cuddle.

After ten minutes Melissa turned around on the bed, so her bottom was facing the wall and arranged herself so her legs and pelvis were pointed up the wall. She wanted all of Renee’s seed to puddle around her cervix for as long as she could stand it.

Renee kissed Melissa. Sex with her had been great, better than jerking off, much, much better. Still, she felt guilty. Was it wrong for her to enjoy having sex with a friend’s lover? They knew it was going to happen, they had planned it, but they hadn’t considered the impact. Renee took a long shower. When she came out of the bathroom, Melissa was gone. She got dressed in her girly-girly, keep the balls cool, stuff and made up her face. Both she and Melissa were looking a little guilty about enjoying things.

“Renee, sit,” Jennifer said, pointing to a point next to Melissa. “We screwed up. I guess, I screwed up. We need to talk. Melissa, do you consider Renee part of the family?”

“Yes I do.”

“Renee, are you part of our family?”

“Yes I am, I guess.”

“There is no guess. Either you are, or you aren’t?”

“Yes.”

“Good. We should have talked about this earlier, but we didn’t. Melissa, you enjoyed yourself this morning, didn’t you?”

“Yes. Renee felt wonderful.”

“Renee, did you enjoy yourself?”

“Of course I did.”

“That is good. I don’t expect you to be a celibate in our family, Renee. Melissa, you are allowed to enjoy yourself with Renee. Renee, you are allowed to enjoy yourself. The reason we haven’t done it before, was timing for Melissa and I. We want to get the most out of our schooling. Stop feeling guilty about it, neither of you is cheating as long as it stays between the three of us. Now, you two kiss and like it.”

Jennifer smiled, as she saw her friend and lover kiss. She was glad to know Renee was good to her lover. She knew her time was coming too.

Renee and Melissa made love six more times over the next three days. They both got better at it. The twelfth day after ovulation, Melissa’s basal temperature began to drop. She didn’t get pregnant. They made love a couple of times when it wasn’t necessary.

School started and things began to get very complicated. Renee’s senior year was a lot more work, but she was proving up to it. Some of the students wondered who this brilliant young lady was. Some figured it out and didn’t like it, but the school’s code kept them in line. Some didn’t care who or what Renee was. Some were interested, but Renee wasn’t. Some of the professors didn’t like it. They found it better to just ignore her and just grade her on par with the others. There was some tension, but Renee could live with it.

A couple of weeks into school, round 2 with Melissa came about. There was less fumbling, more bonding and more enjoyment. They made love eight times over the next three days. Still, twelve days after ovulation, her temperature dropped. If they didn’t do it in October, she and Jennifer would both go on the pill till next summer.

In October, some of the bad vibes of school had played out and Renee began to have a better time with the other students. It was her personality, her knowledge, and her work ethic that won out. She was good to be partnered with. She carried her own weight and did her share of work on projects, something that couldn’t be said of all the students. By the second week of October, Renee was rereading the textbooks, and things that hadn’t quite made sense, made sense.

Jennifer began working on her Doctoral dissertation. September and October consisted of a massive research project. She spent long days in the library and online. Once her project was accepted, she began to work in earnest. She also began to help teach some classes for the professors while she worked. Melissa was wonderful for her. She helped keep Jennifer organized and inline. She did some of the typing, although it was hard to make heads or tails of Jennifer’s writings.

Round Three began and it went very easily. They made love another eight times over three days. They enjoyed it when they made love, and Jennifer was pleased with that.

One day Renee went to the living room when she heard Jennifer call her. There were three boxes there waiting for her, as she entered.

“You called me?” Renee said.

“Open the boxes. please.”

Renee reached for one box. The label was from a scientific supply company. She tore into the box. Inside were dozens of different sensor kits. She was like a kid in a candy store as she sorted through the sensors. She would have to do a lot of work to make them work, but she could do that easily. There was everything she had put on her wish list and more. The next two boxes, were more of the same. She grabbed the stuff and headed to her workroom. She got out her solder station and some tools and started on a simple vibration sensor.

An hour later, she booted up her laptop, loaded her O-scope software, and plugged in the sensor to the laptop’s USB port. She checked her work. The sensor seemed to be working right. She set the sensor on the table, increased the sensitivity, then lightly scratched the table. When she was sure it was reading, she set about following directions to calibrate the sensor. Then she set that aside and began to plan her work on the other sensors. Her reverie was only interrupted by the dinner bell.

The next week Melissa hid a smile as they all headed about doing their own things. She thought that she was pregnant, but wanted to wait a week till she could do one of those home pregnancy kits. They all had things they had to do.

November came and Melissa ran her pregnancy test. It came up negative, even though her basal temp was still elevated. But she was only a few days late. She knew it in her heart that she was pregnant and didn’t let it get her down.

She waited two more days and ran the pregnancy test again and got a positive. She was pregnant. From what she had been told, they were all going to be home tonight. Elated, she planned a big meal for Saturday.

Renee was pleased with her last lab reports that she got back. The grade was an A, but it was the grader’s comments that pleased her the most, “You are consistently at the top of your class, your work is clear, concise, and accurate. Keep up the good work.” And that was from her masters level course. She was running a 4.0 so far this semester. She was elated, as she headed home that Friday night.

Jennifer was pleased, she had shown her dissertation advisor the work she had done so far. She had a long way to go, but her advisor was happy with what she had done so far.

Everyone came home happy this evening, all for very different reasons.

Jennifer broke out a bottle of Red wine, as she and Renee shared their news. Melissa hugged the two girls, who did not notice that Melissa was just drinking grape juice. She kept her two friend’s glasses full, even opening another bottle of wine for them.
She had them dinner. She loved fixing her friends a quick dinner. She’d fixed grilled chicken, Caesar salads. When her friends switched to a white wine, she switched to white grape juice. They were half soused at eight that night. They all ended up in the same bed and somehow Jennifer wound up having sex with Renee. Jennifer was a screamer, even when Melissa used Leroy on her, or when they gave each other oral. Tonight with Renee, she was more so. For the most part, Renee was on the bottom and Jennifer rode her. They were sloppy from the wine, Melissa just giggled and helped keep things in line. Jennifer fell asleep on top of Renee, who fell asleep shortly afterwards. It was over an hour before Jennifer rolled off Renee, into Melissa’s arms.

>>>>><<<<<

Saturday, Melissa woke and looked at her two lovers. Renee and Jennifer were sleeping on their sides, facing each other. Renee had another woody and Melissa giggled. She maneuvered Renee a little and tickled Jennifer a little and after five minutes, only half asleep, she had the two at it again, this time with Renee on top. They quickly woke, but were too lost in passion to quit. Jennifer orgasmed several times before Renee did.

“You did this to us. You little vixen,” Jennifer accused, as she and Renee got up to clean themselves up.

“You better believe I did,” Melissa said, giggling.

Jennifer started to swing a pillow at Melissa.

“You wouldn’t dare hit a pregnant woman, would you?”

“WHAT! You’re PREGNANT?”

Melissa just smiled and nodded.

Jennifer was still a little slow and said, “Renee, we’re Pregnant … I mean, Melissa’s pregnant … we’re gonna have a baby!”

All three of them began jumping up and down, hugging each other.

>>>>><<<<<

They went to Hillsboro for Thanksgiving, while Debra headed up from Kingwood to be there with them. Anita was ecstatic to see Jennifer, Melissa, and Renee. When Melissa broke the news to her, she made Jennifer and Renee do all the work bringing in their stuff.

When Debra arrived there was pandemonium all over again as she found out that Melissa was pregnant. They all sat down to talk. Anita called her family and said she would be very late. Melissa could tell them within two days, the date she conceived. The doctor said she was due sometime in late July, early August. Debra was excited; she just had to know when Christmas break was so they could come down to her place. She had plans to make.

Jennifer pulled out her phone and pulled up her calendar. She was about to tell her Mom when she saw a note she’d made. She then made a mental calculation. “Oh God, you little vixen,” Jennifer said, accusatorially at Melissa. “Melissa, I am working on my Doctoral dissertation and you got me pregnant”

You could hear a pin drop as the people there tried to wrap their minds around that. Debra and Anita both looked at Renee, who was just smiling innocently. She fluttered her eyes at them.

“How late is your period?” Debra asked.

“Four days, Mom. I have never been four days late, and a little over two weeks ago, Melissa navigated Renee and me, half-drunk, into bed.”

“And you two had sex?” a smiling Debra asked.

“Twice, Mom. I will be pregnant when I turn in my dissertation and do my oral defense.”

“Oh, this is going to be so good, two babies within a month.”

They all had a hug fest. It wasn’t that Jennifer was mad about having children. She had just wanted to wait till after she got her DBA. After the shock of realizing she was pregnant, she was happy, and whispered in Renee’s ear “Thank you, Renee.”

“So when are you going to have a baby, Renee?” Anita teased. She knew that Renee was born a male.

“I’ll have to give that some thought and I think there will also have to be a miracle in medicine first.”

Debra planted a big kiss on Renee’s cheek. Tears were streaming from her eyes, but she wore a big smile on her face, “Renee, you are a treasure, my child. I am glad you came into our lives and our loves.”

Nobody got to bed before midnight. Renee had to go to Hillsboro and find a store that sold home pregnancy kits. Once home, it was ten minutes till Jennifer came out and confirmed that she indeed was pregnant.

>>>>><<<<<

Renee sat at her laptop, viewing a diagram of a bridge, listed by the TXDoT (Texas Department of Transportation). The bridge was on the list of the top ten worst condition bridges in the State of Texas. It was located in Dallas and crossed the Trinity River.

Of the many bridges on major highways nationally, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Texas had 200+ structurally deficient bridges (those scoring less than fifty on a scale of one to a hundred). Renee had about thirty sensors out of nearly fifty that were suitable to study a bridge. She was plotting out just where she would place her sensors on the Wallace Street Bridge (fictional), in Dallas. This bridge, averaged seventeen thousand vehicles a day, and any detour would add five miles to commutes, and add more traffic to two almost as poorly conditioned, bridges.

The Wallace Street bridge had been built over the Trinity River, in 1907, and upgraded in 1930. The bridge, was two types of bridges. One portion was a 675 foot long Pratt through truss bridge (http://bridgehunter.com/nd/mchenry/25106400/), connected to a four hundred foot, concrete arch bridge (http://www.aaroads.com/northeast/pennsylvania075/i-076_eb_ex...). Both portions of the bridge were of concern, with the Pratt through truss of greatest concern, with a score of just 31.

Renee wanted to see what the sensors could tell her about the bridge. She decided to talk with the Dallas County Engineer and ask if she could put the sensors on the bridge some Saturday, in the next week or two. In this age of terrorism and Homeland Security, it didn’t pay to be crawling over a bridge without permission, and without anybody knowing about it.

Melissa got up at about nine and headed to the kitchen. She saw Renee dressed in her more usual straight skirt, blouse, hose and heels, working on her laptop. She hugged and kissed her lover and asked. “Whatcha doin, babe?”

“Just musing about something I want to do. I want to put my sensors on a bridge in Dallas. I was just figuring out placements and such.”

“Is school all you think about?”

“No, but I enjoy doing this type thing.”

“Well I need to get cracking. I’ll try not to get in your way.”

Melissa made two lattes and started working on Thanksgiving Day Dinner. In the next half hour, Debra and Jennifer came in and fixed bowls of cereal for breakfast. Renee followed them out of the now steamy kitchen into the dining room.

“Come March or April, you are going to need help around the house,” Debra told her daughter.

“I can imagine. I have known a few pregnant women, although I haven’t lived with one. There will be two in our household. Renee, I know you want to be more help around the home, you can help, but I don’t want that to detract from your studies. School first, nurturing egos second and help around the house last. We will hire some help if we need to.”

Melissa came out singing and delivering more Lattes as they were talking, “I know a girl we might be able to hire. She is a junior in some of my classes. She was talking about taking fewer classes due to the cost of schooling. She is in some of my psychology classes. She is a sweet girl,” Melissa said.

“That could be good for us, although we might need full time help by the summer,” Jennifer said. “We will see.”

Melissa headed back to her domain.

“I will miss this place, but it will be better for Melissa and me to live in the city this coming summer,” Jennifer said.

“I also want to talk to Tim Hartley about interning this summer. I hope he was telling me the truth,” Renee stated.

“You should call him in January or February,” Jennifer said.

Renee made a note on her iPhone to call him during the Christmas break in January. Renee joined Debra and Jennifer at the home theater to watch the Macy’s Parade. They caught the parade in full, live this time.

Come dinner time, they were all dressed in their finest clothes as they each offered what they were thankful for. Melissa out did herself this time. It was amazing what she could do in a kitchen.

Renee was glad that her dress had an open back. She wasn’t wearing a corset, so she could eat a little more. Constant corset wearing had brought her natural waist down to a twenty six, as long as she didn’t go without one for more than a few days. She had gained five pounds, not counting the implants, up and down. Her figure looked very good in her gown and her legs were luscious, not toothpicks. Her sisters just loved her legs.

After dinner, they all went to the theater to watch the UT/A&M game.

“It will be a shame if the UT/A&M rivalry ends this year,” Debra said.

“I understand that the Texas legislature may take action requiring the game,” Jennifer said.

“It may not pass. The legislature is in between sessions. The support is there, but I don’t know. We will have to see what happens. Ya’ll going shopping tomorrow?” Debra asked.

“Of course, it’s as traditional as turkey today. I thought we would hit Camp Bowie in Fort Worth.”

“Sounds good, Jennifer,” Debra said.

>>>>><<<<<

Jennifer and Melissa pulled Renee into their bedroom that night. They had fun for about two hours, before they fell asleep. Now that the tension was over and worrying about getting pregnant was past, they wanted Renee to realize how big a part of their family she was. Renee was in heaven, along with her dear friends and lovers.

When things began to wind down, Renee was left sleeping between Jennifer and Melissa. First she slept facing Jennifer. Later she rolled over facing Melissa, who wrapped her up tightly in a hug, as they slept.

>>>>><<<<<<

After a late breakfast, the women all got dressed up and headed to Fort Worth. Camp Bowie runs from downtown all the way to White Settlement. That four and a half mile stretch has some of the best in shopping and boutiques in the city, ending in Neiman Marcus at Ridgemar Mall. At one jewelry store, they bought three sets of Wedding Rings. They each gave one ring to one of the others. They decided to have a private commitment ceremony before school started in January.

At the boutiques they found, they acquired some more clothes. It was too early to buy expectant mother’s clothes, but there were plenty of other stylish things for them to look at and purchase. Renee also bought some new work clothes; work boots, coveralls, gloves, two hard hats in white and green, and safety glasses. The girls still had her model her things. Renee walked back and forth like she was on a runway modeling. The workers and patrons at the construction clothing and safety supply shop, just shook their heads, laughed and clapped for Renee as she put on the show. They got her to model tool belts and other equipment as she made her walks. Sales at the store actually jumped during her performances.

At Ridgemar Mall, she stopped at ‘Old Navy” and bought a half dozen flannel shirts, micro fiber t-shirts and boot cut jeans. She was doing more and more things at school for which wearing skirts was counterproductive.

>>>>><<<<<

The four women were cuddled up in the theater, relaxing and watching the TV when Debra said, “I can quit my practice and move in with ya’ll …”

“Don’t do that, Mom! You need something like your practice,” Jennifer said.

“I can’t argue with that, work kept me sane after Thomas died, but I can take a couple of months off after Melissa delivers. Grandbabies are important, too.”

“I will agree with that, but don’t quit doing what you love doing.”

“I won’t, but I wonder … I will stay here till Tuesday.”

“We can’t stay, Mom, we have classes.”

“Yes and you all will be there for them. I think I need to spend some time with Anita.”

>>>>><<<<<

When Renee finished class on Thursday she drove to the Dallas County Engineer’s office, dressed in her black DKNY suit. She had called ahead and made an appointment to see him this afternoon. When she was escorted to his office she found a man who appeared to be buried beneath a pile of blue prints. He appeared to be in his late fifties, or early sixties, balding, with gray hair around the sides.

“Mr. Beard, your two thirty appointment is here,” his secretary said.

“Oh yes, send her on in,” He said.

“She is already here, Mr. Beard.”

He looked up, then stood up. He might have been losing hair, but there was nothing old about the rest of his body. He was a mass of muscle from his chin down.

“Hello, Mr. Beard, I am Renee Jennings, a senior CE student at UTA,” Renee said.

“Welcome to my office, Ms. Jennings, I am Marvin Beard, Dallas County’s Engineer, but then I suppose you already know that. Please have a seat.”

Renee looked around for a chair and moved some blue prints around to take a seat.

“Now what can I do for you, Ms. Jennings?”

“I am a senior engineering student, and I came up with an idea that I would like to try out. The Webster Street bridge is one of the lowest graded bridges in Dallas County, especially the Pratt through truss portion of the bridge. I would like to place various sensors on the bridge and just see what I can see.”

“Tell me what you know about the bridge, Ms. Jennings.”

She spent the next ten minutes reciting everything she knew about the bridge from memory, including the year it was begun, the year it was finished, the year of the last major upgrade and what she knew of the bridge’s maintenance.

Mr. Beard added several things she didn’t say about the bridge. Many of the things were either harder to find out, or not common knowledge, all without the need to check any records.

“That bridge is a big pain in my ass, excuse the French. I would give anything to see it replaced. A new Wallace street bridge could help alleviate many traffic woes, but politics keep pushing other projects ahead of replacing it. What do you have in mind, Ms. Jennings?”

Renee took out her laptop and found somewhere to put it where he could see it. She pulled up the outline of her project and talked her way through it. Mr. Beard listened and looked at what the girl had.

“Who was your materials Professor?”

“Dr. Arnold Albright.”

“And have you had Failure Analysis?”

“Yes, under Dr. Wendell Davis.”

“And how is that ole Buzzard? I thought he was going to retire and take things easy.”

“He is sweet and ornery, as usual. I hear he can be a handful, but I never gave him cause to be so with me. He hates late and sloppy work.”

“That is him, alright. Let me make a couple of calls. Would you mind stepping out for a couple of minutes?”

Renee waited for about ten minutes. She knew he would call her professors and would find out about her not being born female. She worried about that as she waited, but she wasn’t going to turn and run, or back away.

“Ms. Jennings, Mr. Beard will see you again,” his secretary said.

Renee stood straight as an arrow and headed into his office.

“Come on in Ms. Jennings. Dr. Davis describes you as almost anal about your work, which from him is a good recommendation. Be at the eastern end of the Wallace Street Bridge at six am this Saturday. Do you have a green hard hat and reflective vest?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good, bring them, and dress appropriately for work. Your green hard hat marks you as a visitor, or a noob. That means you will take orders from everybody else on my crew. I am anal about safety, you got that?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good, I need to make some plans myself to check that bridge out to justify spending county money looking at it. See you on Saturday.”

Renee was up at four thirty. She dressed in her flannel shirt, t-shirt, jeans, cotton socks, and work boots. She loaded her sensors into her trunk, along with her coveralls, and carried both laptops down to her Mercedes. She stopped at a local Denny’s and had breakfast before she headed to the bridge.

At the bridge, she stepped into her coveralls, zipped down her legs and tied the arms around her waist. She drank coffee while she waited for Mr. Beard and his crew. At five till six, Mr. Beard and a crew of six men arrived. He barked orders to his crew and he and a Red hat walked over to her.

“Ms. Jennings, this is Timothy Warren. He is wearing a red cap and is in charge of safety. If he says jump, jump as high as you can, then ask if that was high enough. He will plant your sensors. Just tell him where.”

“Timothy, this is Ms. Jennings, an engineering student. Take care of her. I have a crew to see to.”

“Yes sir.”

Renee shook hands with him and told him what she wanted. Timothy made some suggestions to Renee as she pointed out locations.

“Okay, they got the bridge half closed, let’s get to work. We will leave the sensors up tonight and pick them back up in the morning. Can you record data remotely? That way you will have more data.”

“Let me think on that. Hmmm, can we draw power from the bridge’s lights? I can put a laptop on the steel I beams, then log it on the Internet. I can send blocks of data to my home computer.”

They walked out on the bridge, where Mr. Beard’s crew were laying out seismic data cables and attaching their sensors. Tim got to work doing what he needed to do while the bridge was half closed. Renee called home and talked Melissa through booting Renee’s home computer and connecting to her laptop. Tim arranged power for the laptop she would leave behind. He also checked with Renee after he placed every sensor to make sure it was running hot. Two hours later, they opened the bridge back up. Mr. Beard was reading data on his computer; Renee sat next to him and was watching her own laptop. She smiled as she began collecting hard data.

As the morning progressed, the traffic began to get heavier. Renee could see just how the bridge was vibrating. She didn’t have any experience with other bridges, but she didn’t like what she saw. At about nine forty five, she heard Mr. Beard say, “Oh shit, WTF is that truck doing coming over my bridge?”

Renee looked up to see an oversized load lead car on the bridge ahead of a crane on a low boy.

“I know TXDoT didn’t approve this route,” he said, taking his phone out and making a call.

In Texas, the routes of oversized, and/or overweight loads have to be approved by the Texas Department of Transportation. They know the clearances of every overpass, stop lights, and power lines and any weight restrictions of any bridges. There are huge fines for violations of TXDoT routes. Some routes are many miles longer and more convoluted than a straight shot, so some companies try to move things at night or on weekends, like today.

The low boy was on the concrete arch portion of the bridge, Renee didn’t have sensors there, but she was already starting to receive signals from vibrations that truck was causing. Timothy pulled the lead car over off to the side. Renee saw that the crane just made it under the bridge truss. The sensors were going crazy. She saw similar readings from Mr. Beard’s computer. Mr. Beard held his breath as the truck got halfway across. Renee saw standing waves echoing back and forth. As the truck cleared the bridge, it was greeted by the Texas Department of Public Safety who pulled the truck over and minutes later by a TXDoT supervisor.

On Renee’s laptop, the echoes the truck had created were diminishing slowly and things began to return to a less stressful state.

“Hey Marvin, you old reprobate, what are you doing out of the old folks home?” The supervisor from TXDoT asked.

“Well, they let you out of the funny farm, William. I was just checking out one pain in my ass, when that asshole decided to take a short cut on my bridge.”

“Well, they are catching fines out the yazoo about now. That Weight Watcher (DPS Trooper who deal with large trucks) is really hitting that truck driver hard. Who is the lady?”

“William Branch, this is Renee Jennings. She is a hotshot engineering student at UTA. She may have my job when I decide to retire.”

“Pleased to meet you, Ms. Jennings, and you ain’t gonna retire, Marvin. They’re going have to bury you in some foundation, onsite.”

“Nah, beside the foundation, I wouldn’t be strong enough to keep some structure up. Ms. Jennings, show Mr. Branch what you got just now.”

Renee played her data back for Mr. Branch.

“Ouch! You and I need to get crews on this bridge ASAP, Marvin. We might need to down grade this bridge.”

“If you authorize it, I will call in an outsider on this one to take a look at it. We need to do some serious maintenance on this one soon.”

“Yep and I will fast track a replacement, if he finds what we know he will.”

“Ms. Jennings, just keep collecting your data, we might want to use it later. I need to talk business.”

Renee just thought that she would be here for four hours or so, collecting data. Now she would have twenty four solid hours of data, and Mr. Beard apparently, wanted her to stay for a while. It was all good, she thought. She called home again and told her friends.

She saw a few more disturbing tremors over the next couple of hours. Soon there was another Dallas county crew and a TXDoT crew there. The bridge was again half shut down, with flag crews directing traffic. More cars arrived. Mr. Beard didn’t introduce her to the politicians, who weren’t happy. Some wanted the heads of the people who had driven that damn crane over the bridge.

About one in the afternoon, an H3 drove up and a man stepped out and donned a white hard hat. The man was Tim Hartley, and he was dressed for work.”

“Hey Tim, come over here,” Mr. Beard called out. “I would like to introduce you to Ms. Jennings.”

“Yeah, she is an Engineering student at UTA, if I remember correctly.”

“I see you have met her before. Anyway, come look at this.”

Mr. Beard showed Mr. Hartley his data and Renee showed him her data.

“These aren’t normal vibrations, Marvin. What do you want done?”

“We need to see if we can save this bridge for a few more years. I think we can push a replacement through now, but that will take time.”

“Well, let me get my crew working. Together we will give this bridge a head to toe physical. Renee, come with me please.”

She followed Tim over to his crew and he introduced her as the reason they were here. When he began to issue orders, people sprang to work. He headed onto the bridge and began to supervise and talk to Renee.

“Tell me why I am missing my Michigan State game.”

Renee laid out her project to Mr. Hartley and told him what she had expected to collect.

“I don’t have any data to compare with what I got, but I was disturbed by the oscillations I recorded.”

“I would be disturbed too. We have too many bridges in this country that need to be brought down and replaced. This bridge is on the state’s top ten list, and the only reason it isn’t the top one, is there are some on the interstate highways which have higher traffic levels. Tell me what you have on this bridge, and where.”

>>>>><<<<<

Renee was tired when she got home, at about five that afternoon, but she was hungrier, so she let Melissa feed her before she showered. She talked about what happened. Jennifer and Melissa followed her into the bathroom, where they’d made a tub of hot water, with bath oils, to relax in. Melissa got her a change of underwear and Jennifer helped dry her. Dressed in panties, bra and robe, she took them to her workroom. She was still collecting data, she saw. She would have a large wireless data bill the next month. She then showed them what had started all the fuss and some cell pictures she had taken of the truck crossing the bridge.

“Look, you can see the normal vibrations of the bridge and here is where the oversized load started on the bridge. There is the bad resonance. Mr. Beard, the county engineer, nearly came unglued. That oversized load didn’t have any business crossing that bridge. It was way too heavy for the bridge.”

“Everything is nearly off the scale,” Jennifer said. “I don’t know what it means, but it doesn’t look good.”

“It isn’t. There are a lot of people working on the bridge to save it. A replacement is years away.”

>>>>><<<<<

The next morning, Renee headed back to the bridge. As she was approaching the bridge, she saw a ‘Bridge Closed’ sign and she had to follow the detour around. Mr. Beard and Timothy Warren were there. She donned her green hat as she left her Mercedes.

“Hello Ms. Jennings. You stirred up a hornet’s nest, but don’t worry, you won’t get stung. We downgraded the bridge for demolition. There ain’t enough there to save. Mr. Hartley got the emergency contract for the bridge’s replacement.”

“What type bridge are they going to put in?”

“Not sure. He hasn’t put forth a proposal yet. That might take months.”

“It’s a real shame. This bridge was an artifact.”

“Everything comes to an end, sooner or later. Both bridge sections will come down in February. CDI (Controlled Demolition Inc.) is going to drop it.”

“Oh wow, this I got to see.”

“Collect all your data, see me and we will organize it. I will help you interpret the data. Write it up and turn it in to Dr. Davis. He is expecting it soon, this year if possible. Tim, get her gear.”

>>>>><<<<<

Renee was hustling the last two weeks of school. She had to study for finals, go over her data, see Mr. Beard, write up a paper she hadn’t expected to do until the next year, and go with her girlfriends to see their OB/GYN’s. They also met Janet, the girl, which Melissa had told them about. Janet Long really needed some help if she was going to be able to finish her junior and senior year. Their offer of food and housing, and two hundred a month was more than enough to make a real difference. She accepted the unusual circumstances of the relationships and never knew that Renee wasn’t female. Janet would move in come January.

The next to last day of finals Renee dropped by Mr. Beard’s office. She let him read her paper first. She didn’t have to wait. He let her straight in. He smiled as she gave him a copy. They had worked together on her data for four hours. He had helped her to interpret her own data, comparing it with his data, and she then did her own paper. After he read the paper he just smiled and said, “Good job. Dr. Davis should be happy. I will kick the old fart in the butt if he isn’t.” He picked up his phone and made a call.

“Hey, you old fart, what are you doing? This is Marvin. When are you going to roll over and play dead?”

“The same here. Say, that student of yours, Renee Jennings, is here. She got her paper done. A damn fine piece of work. You treat her good or I will come kick your ass. Okay, I will send her right over.”

“He wants to see you today and he wants to see your data. Show him the bit with that truck crossing the bridge. That is the most telling data.”

Renee hurried back to campus. She hadn’t expected to do this today, but she had everything she needed. She hadn’t seen Dr. Davis since last year, but she knew where his office was. She took her laptop and paper with her to his office.

“Sit down, Miss Jennings and show me what you have.” At sixty eight, he was still pretty fit. He read her thirty page paper in half an hour, then looked at her data.

“Ah, see those standing waves echoing back and forth? That shows us that the bridge is slowly destroying itself ….” He went on telling her what he saw on her laptop. “I would like a copy of all the data if you will. You don’t have to, but I can use this stuff in class. It’s amazing the bridge didn’t collapse under that load. I will try to work this in as a research project for you. You might have to expand your paper a bit. The reason we had you turn it in so quick, is that in Engineering, you might be called to write a quick paper which could save lives while you’re still working on your other projects. Marvin stayed up that night and turned a critical report into TXDoT, that night. We gave you two weeks. Do you have a test tomorrow?”

“Yes, in a master’s level class course.”

“Well, go get a crackin’ on it.” He took a card from his breast pocket and handed it to her. “Give me a call before school starts.”

>>>>><<<<<

Early in December, Melissa started feeling the effects of morning sickness. By the time they were headed down to Kingwood, TX, Jennifer was also throwing up. Poor Renee did whatever she could to make things better for her friends and lovers. There was an awful lot of clean ups around the house. They were lucky to have so many bathrooms. The worse thing about it was when one got sick; she often triggered the other to throw up too. They went through a lot of ginger ale and crackers.

Debra was exuberant when the girls drove up. She brought along a full time housekeeper for the girls. She helped Renee move the mountain of luggage in from the Car. Debra actually had some help for the girls when it came to morning sickness, whether it was a placebo effect or it was medically helping, the girls benefited from her assistance.

They spent a lot of time shopping for Christmas in Houston. They wanted to get each other just the right presents to express their love for each other. They also put on a fashion show for each other. They did hit another work clothes store and Renee vamped it up again. She wore a Carhartt coverall, white hard hat, tool belt and four inch heels as she strutted around the store. She almost caused some heart attacks, as she had not worn a blouse underneath the coveralls, and left her front zip low enough to show the bottom of her bra as a teaser.

Christmas came they all had presents under the tree. Renee was surprised that Debra didn’t go crazy with baby things. All the presents were sensible and well appreciated. Renee bought Melissa an antique silver brush, comb and mirror set. She gave Jennifer a custom-made leather attaché case. Renee received a eighteenth century surveyor’s transit from Jennifer and a slinky red evening gown from Melissa, who still had hopes of making a girly girl out of Renee. She though, was headed towards being a more business professional like Jennifer, even when she was dressed like Jack the Engineer. They gave Debra individual gifts and a professional portrait album with pictures of each of them in their best formal gowns. She had presents too, for all of them.

The last one for Renee was out back. The six year old S550 was gone and a new S600 had taken its place. Melissa also had a gift certificate for a Mercedes M class SUV, while Jennifer received the same for a new Jag XFR. Jennifer was partial to Jags.

“Melissa, I know you will be doing the bulk of driving my Grandbabies around. I hope you don’t mind doing that.”

“I don’t, Mom.”

“Renee, you seem to be the driver when all of you are together, so each of you will enjoy this car. I also want you to feel like the professional you are.”

“Thank you, Mom,” Renee cried.

“I have another surprise for all of you if you will have it. I am moving my practice to Hillsboro.”

All three girls mobbed Debra in a hug. They loved it that they would be able to see her more often.

Renee dressed in her Red Armani and disappeared for four hours in late December. She drove to Cut and Shoot, to see Melisa’s parents. Renee found just Melissa’s mom. Her father had passed away over the last year. Renee tried to convince Eliza to see her daughter. She told Eliza that her daughter was expecting.

“What, a test tube baby, or a turkey baster baby?”

Renee was incensed, but she kept her cool, “No, she is having my baby.”

Eliza spilled tea over her dress and almost dropped her tea cup, “How? You’re not … are you?”

“I am a pre-op transsexual. She wanted me to get her pregnant before I get my surgery. She desperately wanted to have babies.”

“At least she did something right, but with a pervert … She should be ashamed. Now please leave, and don’t come back.”

“You have a lovely, loving young daughter. Too bad you are a raging bigot underneath a cloak of dignity. I feel sorry for you.”

Renee stepped outside and took a handkerchief out of her purse. She leaned against her car, and cleaned the heel and sole of one shoe, before she did the same to the other, then got into her car. She had tried to show Eliza that she was making the wrong choice and that they were innocent. She also didn’t want to contaminate her car with hatred.

“Call Jennifer West in Hillsboro, if you change your mind, Eliza. You have a wonderful daughter, and you will soon have grandchildren who could use a grandmother.”

Renee talked with Debra and cried with her for two hours before everyone sat down to talk to Melissa. She cried for her father’s death, and for her mother’s hate, but it seemed there was nothing else she could do for either. Everyone had a good cry and they held each other. That was the last they heard of from Eliza Conroy.

>>>>><<<<<

Debra went to Hillsboro with her kids. She packed her car and shipped what she couldn’t carry with her. They would save the Kingwood home as a vacation place, but she would live at Jennifer’s home. The kids stayed two more days before they had to return to Arlington.

Janet was waiting for them as they drove up. “Hi Janet,” Melissa said as she hugged her friend. “Are you ready to move in?”

“Yes, and I really want to thank you guys.”

They let her in and showed her to her room.

Renee called Dr. Davis up and talked with him. He told her that she could use that paper as a start on her thesis. This would give her a head start on her thesis, it just needed to be better defined. If she liked his idea he could arrange to be her thesis advisor.

>>>>><<<<<

When classes started in January, Jennifer and Melissa worked doubly hard. They knew things would be more difficult in May. Janet fit in where she could, and even helped gather materials for Jennifer and did typing dictation style, which sometimes fit Jennifer’s mood.

Renee buried herself in study, as she was taking eighteen hours, six of which were master’s level courses.

The one good thing this year was being able to get away from things in Hillsboro. Debra was a lifeline, and helped anchor the girls. Janet went with them when she couldn’t get back home to Pecos, TX. Debra liked the girl’s charm and energy.

Another good thing was that Jennifer and Melissa both got over their morning sicknesses. Their energy and moods both improved. Their doctors were happy with their progress and health. They even got to see ultrasound pictures of their babies. Melissa was scheduled back sooner, as her doctor thought that there might be a surprise hiding behind the baby on the screen, she might be having twins. Two weeks later the Doctor confirmed that Melissa had twins growing inside her. The Doc said it was fifty/fifty for a boy and a girl or two boys and they appeared to be healthy. The doctor told Jennifer that she had a single healthy girl.

>>>>><<<<<

In February Renee was invited by Tim Hartley to be onsite when CDI dropped the Wallace Street bridge. She had never been to an explosive demolition before. Many people were there, who were upset about losing the bridge for a minimum of two years. Others hated to see the old historic bridge go. Renee sat with Mr. Hartley and Mr. Beard at the one thousand yard mark to watch the demolition.

Tim Hartley’s crew planted seismic sensors all around the area and videotaped every building within a half-mile. They helped build shields on the nearest buildings, taped the window panes and fenced off the safety zone around the demolition site. His men also cleared out the exclusionary zone.

They heard the horns and heard the countdown on the radio. There were a series of puffs on the two bridges. The truss bridge fell, and a few seconds later the concrete arch bridge came down. It wasn’t as dirty as some demolitions you see on TV, but the concrete arch bridge disappeared for about ten minutes. The last thing TXDoT did was to block the road with concrete rails and a wood pillar, steel guard rail in front at both sides. Renee caught it all on her camcorder. Two months of preparations, five hundred seventy-five thousand dollars, two days of planting explosives, three hundred fifty thousand dollars, watching it all come down in ten seconds, priceless.

>>>>><<<<<

Easter break wasn’t much of a break. Renee and Melissa were busy helping Jennifer get her dissertation ready to turn in. Her advisor had read and approved the final two chapters. Renee really helped a lot, as she was pretty sharp using publishing software. Melissa helped make sure that everything was in order. The paper ended up at two hundred twenty six pages. Renee got it formatted, then printed ten copies on very good 20 lb. white stock paper. They took the document and had it copyrighted, microfilmed, digitally stored and bound.

That done, they went shopping. Both girls were gaining weight and girth as their pregnancies progressed. It was time to graduate to Mommy clothes. Melissa, at twenty-three weeks had gained 17.5 lbs. Jennifer at twenty weeks, had gained eleven lbs. Debra came up to go with the girls to buy mommy clothes.

Jennifer was very pregnant as she gave her oral defense of her Doctoral Dissertation, in April. At twenty-five weeks she had gained 13 lbs. and was beginning to feel fat. She was grilled heavily on her topic. The way they grilled her, she wasn’t sure if they liked her work or not, but she presented her subject well and stood by her conclusions. She answered every challenge to her interpretation. A week later she received her nod. She would graduate with honors in May.

On the same day Jennifer did her orals, Renee took Melissa to see her doctor. Melissa would be seeing her doctor every week from this point till she delivered. She had gained 20.5 lbs. She was in the high normal range and considering she was carrying twins, the doctor was happy. The doctor told her to expect delivery anytime after July 4th. The doctor told her that July 4th looked to be the bare minimum and they would do anything they could to make that date, at least.

>>>>><<<<<

Graduation was at two pm, and the girls had to be there at one pm. They went to the salon at seven thirty that morning to get their hair and makeup done. Renee got highlights put in, and her first perm, a long curly hairdo like Carmine Electra. Jennifer had hers styled and straightened, like Eva Longoria. Melissa, who had grown her hair out since September, got a short blond bob with bangs, like Dianna Agron. Debra even updated her do to a younger style.

They hurried to get home to get their things and let Jennifer and Melissa to take care of their pressing bladders. They were just at the point of needing to be with in a hundred feet of a bath room, anytime they were out. They got their gowns, Renee got her mortar board and Jennifer got her Tam and Stole. The girls got to the Stadium at twelve forty eight.

Jennifer and Renee had their pictures taken by a professional photographer, then headed in to the hall where they were put in order and waited for the program.

Even though the students knew how important the day was to them, many students thought that the verbose speakers were getting their last shot at their students as a way to get back at them. They were eager to turn their tassels, do their walk and get their diplomas, even though they weren’t really handed their diplomas as took their walk. They would get them later.

Melissa and Debra met up with Janet, Anita and her husband Henry, her ten year old daughter Anna, and her eight year old son Philippe. They proudly sat through the two hour ceremony and watched Renee and Jennifer graduate.

Renee got her BSCE with honors and Jennifer got her DBA with honors. They took so many pictures of the ceremony they had to replace the batteries twice, and the memory card once. Debra got all teary eyed and hugged her girls, when they met up after the ceremony. Renee was surprised when Mr. Hartley and Mr. Beard both congratulated her after the ceremony.

They all went out to eat after the ceremony. Jennifer had been smart and made reservations back in early April, still the places were crowded. This was where being pregnant came as a bonus. The women were given the right of way to move about. Their reservations got them an early table.

“Well, how do you feel Dr. West,” Renee teased.

“Oh, please don’t call me Dr. West. Mom you’re the real doctor of this family.”

“Darling, you have worked hard to get that Degree. You don’t have to have everyone address you as Dr. West, but don’t dismiss the power that that title can grant you. Dr. Jennifer Marie West, DBA can open more doors than Jennifer West can. The title in many circles can garner a degree of respect. You are an expert in your field, Jenny, use that expertise and the title.”

>>>>><<<<<

Renee started her internship with Hartley, Cole, Remington and Wilson. It was a salaried position that was just above minimum wage. She had told them that she didn’t need the money, but it did cover her expenses and a bit. There was a mountain of paperwork to sign, a two week course on jobsite safety put on by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and two days of HR training. She was told to keep a three day bag packed, work clothes, a suit, and casual clothes, packed in the trunk of her car.

Renee was put to work shadowing Tim Hartley. He had a PA at the office, but Renee went with him to the job sites. She had her work laptop loaded with any diagrams or plans that Mr. Hartley might need. She wore the green hard hat of a noob on site, and was restricted from high hazard sites for the time being. But she followed him most everywhere else. After using the porta-Johns at one jobsite, she carried a plastic bag with toilet seat covers with her the next day.

Tim worked with the various contractors, and Renee would take notes then, or reconstruct notes from memory at a later time. When they were alone they sometimes talked candidly about things, with Tim asking her impressions of the people, jobsites and the work she saw. Several times he would take someone out of site and dress them down about this or that, but when he could compliment someone he made sure to do it, where his coworkers could see and hear. He had an uncanny radar when it came to finding problems.

Melissa’s doctor didn’t like her blood pressure going up and she had some spotting. She was 33 weeks along and had gained 25lbs. They took a movie of the twins in 3D. The babies, almost definitely a boy and a girl, were doing well and were heads down, already. He placed her on strict bed rest till delivery, when she saw her doctor on the third of June. Janet came back from Pecos, and Debra was often up from Hillsboro to help around the house.

Renee was moved out of her office so they could set up a bedroom for Melissa downstairs. She moved her computers upstairs into the garage’s mother-in-law apartment they had built.

Jennifer was progressing well when she saw the doctor. At week thirty she was 20lbs heavier. She was doing good and she got to see a movie of her girl on the ultra-sound. Her baby was also head down.

Jennifer used the living room as her office. She jumped into researching businesses listed on the various stock exchanges, putting her knowledge to work. She had stacks of periodicals, the WSJ and more than fifty sites online that she would visit. Reading at better than 2500 words a minute didn’t hurt at all. She knew over 75 percent of the stock market symbols and kept up with a stock ticker on her laptop. She wouldn’t put out her resume till after her baby came and she was released to work, but there was a lot she could do at home to get ready. She also worked her investments hard now. The first part of the year she had let that slip a bit. Her money was in companies that weren’t losing money, but now she was looking to start making a higher return.

The middle of one work day on the eighteenth of June, Renee was with Mr. Hartley. They were at one of their worksites, checking with the contractors about what materials they were using. Renee took a sample of the concrete that was being poured while Tim was checking the ironworkers, who were tying rebar.

Tim got a quick phone call, hung up and gave a whistle at Renee. After he had found out that Renee was a good whistler they whistled signals back at each other. When she looked up, he pointed at the H3 Hummer.

She wheeled the box of samples to the H3. Tim had opened his laptop and set up a video conference.

“What’s up boss?” Renee asked.

“A problem at a bridge in San Antonio.”

He got the video and audio from the office. “Hello Mr. Hartley,” Margaret Keller, Mr. Hartley’s PA said.

“What’s up, Margaret.”

“It’s what’s down. A bridge in San Antonio came down. Not one of ours. NHTSB called and asked if we can come down for a week and help them out.” Margaret rolled some news footage for them of the bridge. It appeared to be a five section, fifteen to twenty year old steel beam bridge. The second section had fallen. The bridge had scored a seventy on its last inspection two years earlier.

“Okay, assemble an action team. I will be back in thirty. We will drop off some samples. Have the guys test them. Renee, can you drive down to San Antonio?”

“Sure thing, Mr. Hartley.”

“Good. Margaret, give Renee all the data you can get and give her a Company card. She’ll drive down and pick me up at the airport. The action team and I will fly down tonight. Let’s get rolling.”

Tim drove back to the office, where Renee turned in the concrete samples for testing. “Ms. Jennings, would you mind if I threw my bags in your car?” Tim asked. “I hate airlines losing them.”

“Sure thing, just let me pull around.”

Renee stripped off her coveralls and put them in the trunk, then drove behind her boss’s H3.

“That’s not quite the typical starving students car,” Tim stated as he saw her Mercedes for the first time.

“No sir, it isn’t. It was a gift from a dear friend.”

“Damn, I need friends like you have.” He laughed, “Go see Margaret , get whatever she has and get on the road. You’ll be in San Antonio before I get there. Pick me up at the airport. Alright?”

“Yes sir.”

Margaret had an office boy help Renee with the materials and gave her a corporate credit card. She got on the road as soon as she could.

“Call home,” Renee said. The car’s phone system dialed the number and Melissa answered. “Hey Missy how are you feeling, baby?”

“Bored to death from being in bed. How are you doing?”

“I am on the road to San Antonio. There was a bridge collapse.”

“I heard about that. Twelve dead and a hundred injured. How long are you going to be gone?”

“Maybe a week or so. I am sorry. I want to be there for you, but …”

“I know. This is your cup of tea. Mom is going on vacation and is coming up here. Jennifer and Janet are here, I have plenty of support. We will call you if we need you. Go make us proud of you girl. We love you!”

“Be safe! And come back home to us.” Jennifer added over the speaker phone. “We do love you.”

“I love both of you. When do you two see your doctors next?”

“We are both going in the day after tomorrow …” They made small talk for the next half hour.

Mr. Hartley called about an hour later, “Ms. Jennings, we have a motel reserved about a mile and a half away from the bridge accident.” He gave her the address. “See Dave Cole once you get there. I will be flying in on a NHTSB Gulfstream. We will get there about six thirty. Pick me up at the private terminal. Be ready to go to the scene tonight. We are going to put in a long day today.”

Renee got to the motel at about four thirty, where she found Dave Cole in the parking lot. They introduced themselves, and Mr. Cole gave her, her and Tim’s room keycards.

“So you’re that hotshot CE student Tim has been telling me about.”

“I guess, I am. Mr. Hartley offered to let me internship.”

“Marvin and Wendall speak highly of you. Go get settled and dressed out. I understand you are picking Tim up?”

“Yes sir, Mr. Cole.”

“Good, in private you can call me Dave. Do you know where the bridge is?”

“Yes sir.”

Dave pulled out a map and pointed to a spot on the map. “The incident command post is here. Bring Tim here after you pick him up.”

Renee took their bags to their rooms. She got cleaned up, then headed to the airport. She stopped and picked up some fast food on the way. She only had to wait at the airport for twenty some odd minutes before Tim got off the NHTSB Gulfstream. He and another gentleman approached her.

“Hey, Ms. Jennings,” Tim said. “This is Nick Stoddard from the NHTSB. Nick, this my intern for the summer, Renee Jennings.”

“Hello Mr. Stoddard.” Renee offered her hand.

“Hello Ms. Jennings. Is that your car Tim?”

“No, that is my esteemed intern’s car.”

“Can I get a ride to the command post?”

“Certainly,” Renee said. “Just hop on in.”

At the bridge site they headed into the incident command post. There were all sorts of people in place. FBI, Texas Rangers, firemen, EMS and people from the State Fire Marshall’s office. They were led to and introduced to the Incident commander, who stated that he had command of the incident till they had finished recovery.

He organized the engineers into parties under the operations commander. They were to help the fire and rescue to safely recover the dead and wounded. As an intern, Renee couldn’t go to the scene yet as there was still significant structure hanging. She would stay at the command post and could take notes and keep a record for the engineers.

Renee got to sit in front of a huge monitor with eight security cams focused on the bridge. She had her laptop out and began typing out a log of the engineers’ communication, adding a time stamp. She was sad that she couldn’t get out there and see the damage first hand, but she actually could see more, and definitely knew more about what was going on than any one engineer at the site. On the screen she could see cranes being moved into place to move the debris. Several times she was called and asked to make some calculations to recheck the engineers work as they tried to determine loads and safety factors. She also supplied materials references for them. It wasn’t until about four in the morning that they shifted from recovery to investigation. Some of the engineers were released to get some sleep. She and Tim were off till eleven in the morning.

After recovery ended the investigation process began. It was two more days before the site was judged safe enough for her to join the engineers at the site. She tried to stay close enough to be of assistance, but not in the way. She even got a chance to get geared up and go over the edge to look to inspect the critical damage they found. She kept a mental catalogue of what they found and entered it into her computer when they broke to eat or when ever she found a moment to do it. At the end of their day she would coagulate everything into a report. She asked questions when she didn’t understand things, but tried not to be a pest. She proved herself a very capable assistant to Tim.

It was on the fifth day, that they found what they thought was the smoking gun. An I beam had some significant damage that might not be associated with the structure falling. It was photographed and looked at, but only when it was moved to the lab could they say for sure, if it was the cause.

Teams were sent up and down the remaining spans to determine if they were suitable for retaining, and two more of the spans were marked for further analysis. One of the marked spans was marked for demolition.

As Renee organized her data into several reports, Tim drove Renee’s Mercedes back to Dallas. The first report was a day by day account of her boss’s actions and what he’d reported back to her. The second was a report of things reported to her at the command post and how she dealt with those reports. The third report dealt with the facts and clues they had found at the site.

Tim had more time on the drive to explain things Renee wanted to know. The last was an outline of the failure analysis of the bridge. Tim helped her organize the outline. It wouldn’t, or couldn’t, be finished till the lab got the material and finished their scientific analysis, which could take a significant amount of time.

Renee’s reports had no conclusions, but did have several hypotheses. She emailed her preliminary reports back to the office. She took a minute to think and with Tim’s permission, she CC’ed Mr. Beard and Dr. Davis copies, along with the hundreds of pictures she had taken.

At the office she turned in her credit card and a stack of receipts to Margaret, who handed her printed copies of her reports. It was late on the twenty eighth of June when she got back home. Jennifer and Melissa had hugs and kisses ready for her; Janet took her stinky things and threw them in the washer. They made her take a long bubble bath before they would allow her to sit down and eat.

>>>>><<<<<

They all sat down to watch the festivities of the fourth from their living room on their big screen TV. They had just got to see the start of the rockets’ red glare from Boston Harbor when Melissa’s water broke. It was good that they were less than half a mile from the hospital, as Craig was born an hour later and his sister Debra was born twenty minutes after Craig. They were both healthy, but due to their weight, they stayed at the hospital another five days. Melissa got to go home two days after giving birth and returned daily to breast feed and express milk for her babies. She was in nirvana, at least till they got home.

Janet had moved downstairs into the room vacated by Melissa, and the room Janet had stayed in became the nursery. Jennifer, Melissa, Janet and Debra each took turns for the two AM feedings. Renee slept with her both her sisters for a change now, and took turns at diaper duty when she was home.

Debra went home on the fifteenth to get back to work. Melissa was given a clean bill of health and could now do things around the home. She became happier when she could finally start cooking a bit more.

Mr. Hartley fed Renee reports from the labs and NHSTB on the bridge failure as he got them. Mr. Beard and Dr. Davis both contacted her and gave her directions on how to improve and what to add to her reports. They thanked her for the data and pointed out areas she should investigate. She in turn added to her reports, and kept Mr. Hartley informed about her thoughts and conclusions in addition to her regular duties.

Renee didn’t know just how much mileage her reports were getting; she didn’t know Mr. Hartley forwarded her work to Mr. Stoddard with the NHTSB, and William Branch with TXDoT, who in turn forwarded them up the chain.

Jennifer’s doctor was pleased with her progress. He pointed to an early to mid-August delivery and highlighted the eleventh as most probable. Melissa started an exercise routine to try to get back some of her figure. She did ten crunches three times a day, toe touches (she celebrated just being able to see her toes), while standing, side stretches and walking a half mile in the mornings and evenings. She slowly built up her stamina.

Janet loved working with the babies and she really took a load off Melissa’s and Jennifer’s shoulders. The way they were sharing duties kept things from being too taxing on her, too. Renee had fun too, the babies were just so beautiful. She love pushing the triplets stroller with just the twins in it, with Melissa and Jennifer walking, although Jennifer was beginning to slow down more than just a bit.

On August first Renee was sent to Austin on Hartley, Cole, Remington and Wilson’s dollar to TXDoT’s Lab for two days. On the second August she was included in with a group of engineers, as they ran a series of tests on the bridge’s steel. She got to see how the big boys did it. She saw that they had more and bigger toys than the school had. The results of the test were inconclusive, but there were still many avenues of investigation going on. Some of the steel was sent to NHTSB’s DC lab for microscopic inspection. On the third of August, TXDoT did find some anomalous readings on an ultra-sonic test, but she couldn’t stay long enough see what came out of those tests.

Jennifer was restless and anxious on the eighth of August. There was nothing she could do to get comfortable. She couldn’t sit down for more than a few minutes and she couldn’t stand for too long. When her back started hurting, she called her doctor. He told her to head to the hospital and he would check her out there. Janet drove her to the hospital and helped check her in. The doctor saw her at about four in the evening, checked her out he saw that her cervix was dilated to over three centimeters. He had just finished when she was hit by a contraction.

“I think you are in labor, young lady.”

Renee got to the hospital with Melissa. Melissa had called a friend who was a part time LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) to watch the twins so she could be with her friend. Debra got to the hospital around seven. Melissa’s labor went pretty fast, partly because the babies were just 37 weeks and were smaller. Jennifer wasn’t so lucky. She was in labor for eleven hours before Renee was born very early in the morning.

Jennifer slept half the day, and was tired and sore when she woke. She felt like she had given birth to an elephant. Little Renee was eight pounds nine ounces and twenty inches long. She was over a pound bigger than either of the month old twins, who had started out at five pounds nine and five pound six. They were now up to seven pounds one and seven pounds. Jennifer smiled as Melissa handed her little Renee.

Melissa took a semester off from college; Jennifer worked at getting back in shape and started putting out her résumé locally. She didn’t want to leave the area. She found a local branch of an investment firm and began to work her way rapidly up the corporate ladder. Renee returned to work on her masters.

Renee and Melissa graduated together in December the following year. Melissa got her BA in psychology and Renee got her MCE with honors. Renee got a job with Hartley, Cole, Remington and Wilson. She worked with them for four years while also working on her Doctorate. She got to work with Mr. Hartley on the new Wallace Street Bridge. It was a marvelous single pier, cable stay bridge. By this time Renee had six children, four with Melissa and two with Jennifer. She started on HRT while Jennifer was pregnant with her second.

She finished her doctoral dissertation and her oral defense, and graduated with honors. Six months later she passed all of her exams and became a Professional Engineer at age twenty eight. Renee took four months off to have her SRS and fully become a woman. When she went back to work, she worked for TXDoT for six years and NHTSB for thirteen years.

Granny ‘Deb Deb’ was in seventh heaven. She worked in Hillsboro as a psychologist till she passed at eighty five. She had nineteen great grandchildren, and eight great, great grandchildren.

At forty-seven Renee came back to Hillsboro to teach engineering at UTA. She didn’t want to be away from her family anymore. The NHTSB had sent her all over the country. Jennifer and Melissa couldn’t have been happier when Renee took the job at UTA.

Jennifer made millions, but gave up the daily grind of business when she hit fifty five. She settled down to raise horses. Melissa never did go into psychology. She was more than happy to be the mom of the family. When Jennifer passed at seventy, Melissa and Renee both nearly gave up on life. An important part of their lives had been ripped away. They turned to each other for the strength to carry on. Seven years later at seventy, Renee also passed away. Melissa was almost shattered; she only survived by the strength of the love of their children. When she passed at ninety one, there were forty-five members of their family around her bed.

And all of this happened because of one beer run.

 

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WOW

This was a truly wonderful and heart warming story about love, committment and sharing.  Thank you for posting it.

Agreeable me....

...hey sis!  I totally agree...I should add that i bawled at the end, but then that's not really news.