Chapter 13 - Attire

The green mini dress had a dangerously low, square neck, with inch-wide straps fastened to the outer sides of the neckline, leaving the reinforced hem that barely concealed my nipples completely unencumbered.

I'd known that already. I'd tried it on, and liked the fit. But what I hadn't expected was that it was too low for my backless bra, which peeked out a quarter inch over the neckline. I was planning to wear the dress at the Halloween party, so I wanted to wear it for our shopping trip, and I was running out of time to find other options. Friday night with Anita had left me short of sleep, and I hadn't woken until noon.

A little of the leftover boob tape let me stick the dress to the bra to prevent it peeking. That would be good enough for shopping. I'd look for a more suitable one for the party while we were out.

The day was chilly, so I wore hose with cotton socks inside my cowboy boots, and grabbed my heavy overcoat when I left, taking an Uber to the meeting point.


My phone had finally woken me. It seemed to have been pinging for hours, but that must have just been the way it affected my dreams, because there were only five messages waiting for me. They were a series of not-entirely-coherent texts from Alex, who was adamant that she didn't want to be a third wheel.

I'd met Alex - more than met her - and knew she was intelligent and quick-witted, even after booze and MJ. The wild texts were clearly for my amusement.

Me: "So, uh..."
Alex: "UR ALIVE AND WILL SAVE ME! what's with the so uh?"
Me: "Just opening a conversation Alex style. I'm awake and will be there. No need to get your panties in a twist."
Alex: "Shd I B nervous when a lesbian talks about my panties?
Me: "Maybe so, but since I'm not technically lesbian you're probably safe."
Alex: "IC"
Me: "Though I might be turning into one."
Alex: "Oh sh!t I am in trbl."

Self-censoring "shit" in a text message made me laugh.

Me: "Need to get ready or I won't be joining you."
Alex: "Pls join. ur TSF will be sadface."

My token straight friend has the weirdest sense of humor.


I was on time at the meeting place, but Alex and her friends were ten minutes late. Since she'd texted me about her arrival time, I'd popped into a Starbucks for a caramel macchiato, and had just returned to the meeting point when Alex, Jen and Calvin showed up. Calvin was a tall redhead, while Jen was dark-haired with glasses. They both seemed friendly, but very much into each other. I understood why Alex wanted a companion along.

"So what's the agenda?" I asked.

"I'm looking for my dress?" Alex said. I was puzzled for a second - how would I know how to answer that? Then I remembered Alex's speaking style. "So we're going to visit department stores, but Jen and Cal need to go to the Halloween popup store? If we make it there without my dress, I'll be staying longer. You can leave then, if you like, or we might take in a bar or two while looking."

"Sounds good," I said. "What dress?"

Alex frowned. "I'm not sure I'll find one, but I need a white tee shirt dress? Something that will take iron-on printer transfers. I've already printed the sheets, but the dress I wanted from Amazon wouldn't be here until November, so I'm hoping I can find something."

"Does it need to be white?"

"Maybe not." Alex frowned in thought for a moment. "The transfers are on a clear background, so it could be any color, but white or a very light color would be best? Cream, maybe? Or pink? What about you?"

"I need a headscarf to match a dress. Green."

"There are a lot of greens," Alex said.

"Yeah, that's why I'm wearing the dress. Under the coat."

"Aha, that makes sense," she said.

We started walking. Jen and Cal dropped back a ways to talk privately, so I used the opportunity to add to the conversation with Alex. "Also, I need a new bra, but you probably don't want to hear that from a lesbian, either."

She grinned. "You do know I don't care, right? I'm just winding you up? My roomie is a lesbian, in case you forget..."

"I know you're winding me up," I said. "It's your whole texting mode, and don't think I don't appreciate it. But I didn't want to broadcast the fact that I need to go bra shopping in unfamiliar company, especially mixed company. I'll probably wait until after the popup store, unless you find your dress before and are done."

"If I find a dress you and I can still hop a couple of bars," Alex said, "and we can hop a bra, too?"

I sighed. "You know, your texting style screams 'dork,' but somehow I manage to forget you're a dork when you're not texting, too."

She laughed. "I should remind you more often?"


We split up in the first department store, Alex looking for dresses, while I examined the headscarf collection. I slipped off my coat, carrying it over my arm, partly because it was too warm to wear indoors, and partly becauseI needed to compare colors. I didn't think I was likely to find an exact match, but I needed for it to be close.

I found more than I'd expected, but none close enough, so I spent more time with headscarves than I'd expected, while Alex had drawn a blank very quickly, so she met me in the headscarf racks.

"Holy God," I heard, looking up to see Alex watching me. "That is a true FMN dress."

"FMN?" I asked, brows furrowed.

"Fuck me now," she said.

I chuckled. "I guess it is, kinda, but it's for Halloween. You know, sexy postman, sexy footballer?"

"That is not for a postman or footballer costume," Alex said. "But I like it?"

I stepped closer, so that no one else would overhear when I asked Alex, "So do you want to fuck me now?"

She laughed. "You know I don't, but I approve of the dress. I'd wear it. It definitely functions as a straight FMN dress."

"Unfortunately, there's no matching green scarf," I said. "Next store?"

We found Jen and Cal and moved on. In the second store there was a single solid-color green headscarf, and it was close enough to the dress that I bought it on the spot. I didn't think I was likely to find anything better. So I located the casual dress section, finding Alex scowling at the selection.

I helped her look, finding an off-white skater dress that I thought might work.

"No good," Alex said. "It can't have pleats, I need to iron on transfers down to the hem?"

"I see," I replied, and carried on looking, finding nothing suitable.


We found nothing that would work before arriving at the popup Halloween store. Jen and Cal went off to hunt for costumes. I asked Alex if she needed anything.

"My costume is ready except for the damn dress," she said, "and we're not decorating, so not really."

"I need elf ears," I said. "I was going to order them online, but I bet they have some here."

"Elf ears?"

"Elf ears," I confirmed.

"Let's find them," Alex said.

We found some. I'm not sure if it was okay to try one on, but I did. They weren't as uncomfortable as I'd expected, and I could hear just fine with them. I went back to the front of the store to grab a basket, but neither Alex nor I had added anything else to the basket when Jen and Cal showed up with a shopping cart.

After we'd paid for our purchases, we parted company with Jen and Cal, Alex setting up a time to get together with Jen for coffee.

"What first?" Alex asked. "Bar hopping, bra hopping, or dress shhh-hopping?"

"Niiice," I said, sarcastically. "I'm thinking bar, because you need fortification before venturing back into dress racks. How about finding somewhere that makes mimosas?"

"I like that idea," she said. "Lead on."

There was a small bar close to the best store for bra shopping. It was well-lit, unlike most bars, catering to shoppers more than dedicated drinkers. Soon we were sitting with our mimosas, laughing at each other's dorkiness, because, be fair, I was every bit as much a dork as Alex.

"At least you found your scarf?" Alex said. "All I have to show for my shopping trip is this mimosa."

"More than that!" I announced. "I also have... da-daaa! Elf ears!"

"Oh, right, I'd forgotten about elf ears. So if I connected the ears, scarf and dress, would I know what your costume is?"

"You might," I replied. "Can I figure yours out from a tee shirt dress?"

"Probably not? Not unless you see the transfers," she said.

"You've printed them already?" I asked.

"I have! Next on my agenda - after finding the dress, if that's possible, is to borrow an iron."

"I have an iron," I said. "I don't have an ironing board, just a stiff ironing mat that I lay on the bed, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I press blouses and pants with no trouble. You could pick up your transfers and come over. If you find a dress."

She sighed. "Yeah, I'm not sure it exists," she said, "but maybe we'd better carry on."

"Bra first, since we're close," I said. Alex nodded agreement.


The store assistant insisted on measuring me to fit the bra. She led me to the changing room, then took a couple of quick measurements. The dress was thin enough and just loose enough not to interfere with the band fitting. Then she gave me a couple of backless bras to try.

Taking off my dress in the fitting room destroyed the boob tape holding my dress higher. Stupidly, I hadn't considered that, and hadn't brought extra. Also, when I tried both of the bras, they were more visible than my current bra. I returned to the assistant, shaking my head.

"They're higher than what I'm wearing," I said, gesturing to my top, which had a thick black line rising from the center of each boob to the outside. "The dress rides lower than it seemed, because I had it glued higher."

"I see," said the assistant, lowering her perfectly shaped, narrow eyebrows in a frown. "I don't know of a backless bra that would support that flat line along the bust. How essential is it that it's backless?"

I spun around to show her the low back. Alex watched me with amusement from a chair close by the register. She started typing on her phone.

"Hmm. It's low, but not backless..." She found me another option. It extended lower below my chest than any other bra I owned, with a front catch and plain back strap that might be low enough to remain hidden. I'd have to try it on.

My phone pinged as I took it back to the fitting room. I unlocked it, set it on a ledge so that I could see it as I stripped off my dress again.

Alex: "So, uh..."
Me: "Sigh."
Alex: "Uh..."
Me: "Spit it out."
Alex: "I thought that was more a straight girl thing."
Me: "Oh, God, why did you text me?"
Alex: "She said you had a flat bust."
Me: "..."

I emerged, cautiously optimistic, but took the time to glare at Alex before asking what she thought to the result.

"Still FMN," she stated. "No change."

"I mean, is the bra too high? Too noticeable?" I asked, trying to sound more frustrated than I really was. She did make me laugh. I turned to give her a look at the back. When I faced her again she made a point of staring.

"Nah. It works," she said, at last.

"Good," I said. "I thought so." Then I turned to the assistant and asked if I could pay for it without taking it off. Without the boob tape, the new bra was a much better fit. Also, it was surprisingly comfortable.


I thought I had found Alex the perfect dress in the next store. It was white, made from light cotton, with a V neck, and no pleats.

Alex shook her head, and I scowled at her. "What's wrong now?"

"Too low," she said. "I know you're all about cleavage? but there's a transfer that needs to go right there," she said, pointing at the neckline.

I sighed. That was annoying, but she knew what she was creating.


Next stop was another bar, where I had a gin and tonic, while Alex selected a margarita. She looked despondent.

"I wish I could buy the fucking thing online," she groused. "Everyone's delivery times are so long."

"I've noticed that with a lot of clothing lately," I said. "I guess it's mostly fabricate-on-demand in China, these days. But we're not at the end of the line yet. I can think of at least two more stores we can try."

"My feet are feeling the effort," she said.

"Yeah," I agreed, "but we can do it because we're strong in the dork side."

Alex huffed out a laugh, but seemed somewhat cheered.


The next store catered mostly to teen fashion. I had trouble persuading Alex even to try. As she'd expected, the racks were unpromising. After a few minutes I left her to slog through them, while I checked the clearance rack. That's where I found it. I knew as soon as I spread it out over the other garments in the rack that it was perfect. I didn't even bother to take it to Alex. I just turned toward her and whistled, earning us a few annoyed glances.

Alex frowned as she approached, seeing the dress spread wide. I'd checked the size first, and it was what she needed. It was peach, felt like tee shirt fabric, with a fairly high square neck and no waist. It was a cold-shoulder style, with a vertical band and a slightly wider band for the upper arm. Other than the shoulder, it was an incredibly uninteresting dress, which is probably why it was on clearance. It was almost completely straight-sided, with the tiniest of flare in the lower skirt section, but the entire surface was plain, which would be perfect for iron-on transfers.

"Tell me it's my size," Alex demanded, as she approached. "Please tell me it's my size."

"It's your size," I said. "I wasn't sure about the color."

"The color's perfect," she said. Then she looked up at the ceiling for a moment. I could see the wheels turning, before she looked back. "Yeah, it won't clash with the transfers, and it's an ideal background."

I lifted the dress on its hanger and held it to Alex's neck, holding the straps against one shoulder, so that we could get an idea of its length.

It was... short. No longer than mini. Alex pursed her lips, frowning for a moment, then shook her head. "That's fine," she said. "I can rearrange the lower layout if necessary. I'm going to try it on."

When she left the changing room, I realized that the dress wasn't quite as micro as it had seemed. It looked fine on her. Alex was beaming. She returned to the changing room, and a moment later was paying the vast sum of eighteen dollars for the dress.

"Success," she crowed, as we left the store. "You okay with grabbing the transfers on the way to your place to iron them on?"

"Only if you let me see the costume," I said.

"Only if you let me see yours," she countered.

"I'll show you mine, if you show me yours?" I asked. "Remind me again what TSF stands for?"

"Hah!" Alex exclaimed, "What about hopping another bar?"

"I can make drinks at home," I said. "Not a margarita, but G&T, bourbon, wine. I even have lemons I can slice, but no lime. Mimosas. I just happen to have sparkling wine in the fridge."

"That's what you use, is it?" Alex asked. "White wine to seduce the ladies?"

"Truer than you know," I said, as she unlocked her phone to summon our ride.


After a small detour to pick up Alex's printed transfers, we headed to my apartment. I looked curiously at her stack of papers as I held the door open for her. "Isn't that a photo of you?" I asked, seeing the top sheet.

She hugged the papers to her chest. "No peeking! And maybe."

"You're ironing a photo of yourself onto your own Halloween costume?" I asked. "Vanity, much? Are the rest also pictures of you?"

"You'll just have to wait to find out," she said.

"Can I leave you making drinks while I clear around the bedroom? I wasn't expecting anyone to see it today," I said.

"This is your ploy, to get me into your bedroom, is it?" She set the printer sheets face up on the table. I'd already seen the top one anyway, and I guess the transparent foil side was the one that needed to be protected from dust and possible cookie crumbs.

"Yes, yes, it is," I said. "My diabolical scheme is uncovered. I bought an iron and ironing mat for the bedroom because girls are driven to the brink of ecstasy by running a hot iron over a piece of fabric."

"Dork," Alex said. "Where's the booze?"

"OJ in the fridge, fizzy white in the fridge door. That will work for me. Spirits in that cabinet." I pointed to one of the kitchen eye-level cupboards. "Glasses there," pointing to another. "Tonic with the spirits, not cold, but there's ice in the freezer."

"I'm going with a mimosa too," she stated, "so that's all I need."

"Sounds good," I said. "Be right back."


The room wasn't a mess, but I hadn't made my bed, and to iron, I needed it to be perfect. No wrinkles. So I spent a good five minutes getting it that way, then slid my nightstand over to the work area, set my iron on it, turned it on, before carefully laying out the ironing mat.

"It's all ready," I announced, returning to the kitchen. Alex handed me an orange drink with a slight sparkle. "Thanks. I'll stand by until you're done. I promise not to look."

Alex shook her head and shooed me away. "You can put your costume on. I want to see it? I'll shout if there's a problem."

I nodded agreement, then grabbed what I needed from the bedroom. Alex's eyes rose at the plastic sword I left with, then she stacked her transfers on the bed, laid out her new dress, and got to work.

The hardest part of dressing was the headscarf. I knew it was going to be. I'd seen that it was possible to fasten one the way I wanted, but I didn't have any instructions. I spent over twenty minutes getting it to look right. When it was done, it vaguely resembled a long, flowing hat. The front was quite solidly hat-shaped, hiding my hair, but the tail was wound into my hair in a single braid.

Then I fitted the leather harness over my chest, clipping the sword to it before it was completely in place. One strap ran from the right side of my neck under my left arm, the other was a band around my chest, beneath my breasts. I removed my boots, stripped off my hose, and stepped into bright yellow leggings. When I had them adjusted correctly, I slipped my cowboy boots back on, and cinched a plain brown belt around my waist.

I was about to knock on the bedroom door to tell Alex I was ready, when I realized I'd forgotten something. I took the elf ears out of their bag, and affixed them.

I knocked on the bedroom door. "I'm ready."

"Almost done," came Alex's voice. "Five minutes."

"How's your drink?" I asked.

A moment later the door opened, and she handed me her empty glass. "I hope that was an offer," she said.

"It was," I replied, and made us another pair of mimosas. Alex had been pretty heavy-handed with the wine. The drink had tasted good, so I did the same, and added another bottle of wine to the fridge, just in case. The OJ was from frozen concentrate, and I had a couple more cans in the freezer, so we wouldn't run out.

At the bedroom, I knocked on the door with my forehead, since my hands were full. "Come in," Alex yelled.

"Open the door," I instructed, since I couldn't handle the door knob.

A moment later the door opened. She must have just put the dress on, because she untucked the rest of her copper hair from it before taking the drink from me.

I moved my hands to the side, so that she could see my outfit. I held my glasses in one hand, because the costume didn't work so well with them.

"Link!" she yelled. "Sexy Link! I love it."

"I thought you'd figure it out while we were shopping," I said. "The headscarf - well, it's supposed to be a hat, but I couldn't get one the right shape. It would have to be custom-made. And you saw the sword!"

"It seems obvious now," she agreed, "but it wasn't at the time." She sipped her drink again, then set it down and spread her arms. "So what do you think of mine?"

I had to put my glasses back on to be able to see her clearly. It took a moment for me to figure out the costume. At the top, precisely centered over her breasts, was a horizontal bar with rounded corners, displaying the text "Swipe for more." Beneath that, in a flowery cursive script was the text "You matched!"

Below that was a pair of photos, set at an angle to each other. A curly haired guy on the left, and curly-haired Alex on the right, her image overlaying the other at the bottom. The guy's photo was labeled "Tim" underneath it, while the other said "Alexis."

Finally, at the bottom of the shirt was the text
"Confirm Match" in a fixed computer font,
"To Make Your" in script,
"Touch Here" in even fancier script, centered on a small rounded rectangle,
"Dreams Come True" in the earlier script."

"You're a ... dating app?" I said, realizing that I was correct as I said it. "You're a dating app!" I cried. "That's awesome." Then I looked closer. "Wait, is that Timothee Chalamet? You matched with Timothee Chalamet?"

Alex beamed. "Well, not really, of course, and I'm sure I'm violating all kinds of copyrights and stuff, but... Halloween. Amateur. No one's going to come after me. Though if Timothee comes after me, I won't turn him away."

"I think you're safe," I agreed. "Well, safe unless someone 'swipes for more,' or 'touches here to make their dreams come true.'"

"That's when he gets kicked in the balls," Alex said, matter-of-factly. "Unless he's Timothee Chalamet, of course."

"Of course," I said, with a grin.

I turned the iron off, then took it out to the kitchen to cool. When I returned, Alex was bent over the bed, collecting the various pieces of backing paper. She heard me return, and glanced back to see me appreciating the view. "Hey," she said. "Straight friend, remember?"

"So you say," I agreed, "but that dress does look good from the back."

"I'll take your expert opinion for what it is," she retorted, then dumped all the paper on me, I took it to the kitchen and tossed it into the trash.

Back in the bedroom, I rolled up the ironing mat and put it away.

"Hey, should we get selfies?" Alex asked. Her second mimosa was almost gone - though I wasn't far behind, and was feeling a pleasant buzz.

"Sure," I agreed. "Not for publication until November first, right?"

Alex frowned slightly. The day after Halloween wasn't the instant calculation it would have been sober, I guess. "Oh, right," she said. "No publication until then."

"Shall I refill our drinks?" I asked.

"Are you trying to get me drunk?" Alex asked, "because I hope so?"

"Why not?" I asked in return. "We did some things today. Good things. Good Halloween costume things."

"Link is awesome," she said.

"Dating app is awesome," I replied. "Not that I really know what one looks like."

"You've never used an app?"

I shook my head. "I was with Jason for years. I was tempted to, this past year," I said. "It was kinda dry. Never really felt like finding a replacement boyfriend, and was too scared to use one to meet girls." I reached out to take her glass.

"From what I've seen, the dry spell is over?" Alex smirked.

"Let's just say that if the last few weeks has been an oasis in the desert, there seems to be an abundance of water, and oh, my, is it sweet." I grinned at her, and she rolled her eyes. Then I headed back to the kitchen, finishing my own drink.

I used half the quantity of wine this time. I was feeling surprisingly buzzed, considering the first couple of drinks should have metabolized away by now. Then I smacked my forehead. "Hey, Alex?" I yelled. "Should I order us a pizza?"

"Sure?" she replied, so I took care of that before heading back to the bedroom with our refills.

There was a mini-phone tripod in a drawer somewhere. Alex watched me with amusement as I stooped down to look through the dresser drawers, but that's where I found it. Then I set my phone on the stand, gave it a five second delay, and pressed start, skipping back to where Alex was standing.

When the five seconds expired, we'd managed to each put our arm over the other's shoulder, and grinned at the camera. Then I took a photo of Alex, followed by one of myself, not realizing until I checked the results that she'd made devil horns beside my head. So I repeated the one of me, only to have the photo show me turning to be sure Alex wasn't injecting her dorky humor into the photo. Third time was fine, and Link was captured, my fists resting on my hips.

Adjusting the phone, I started it again. The light stayed on. "Video this time," I said. "I can edit out setup."

Alex picked up her glass and waved it toward the phone. "My non-straight friend Kayla is trying to get me drunk, no doubt for nefarious purposes."

"That's not true," I called out to the camera, speaking over her as she objected. "I am totally succeeding in getting my straight friend drunk."

"What about the nefa... nefarious purposes?" Alex asked, stumbling over the word.

"No comment," I said.

"See?" she yelled at the camera.

I took her drink out of her hands and set it aside. "What happens if I follow the instructions?" I asked.

"What do you mean?" Alex said, with a frown.

Raising my hand, I ran a finger very lightly over the front of her shirt, from left to right. "Swipe here," I said.

"I can't believe you did that?" Alex yelped, surprised, but not seeming angry.

"If you can't, you must be more drunk than I thought," I argued, "because I totally did do that. Did I swipe in the right direction, though? I don't know if you're supposed to swipe left or right."

I lifted my hand again. Alex caught it, laughing. "Oh no, you don't."

"What about 'Touch Here'?" I asked, forcing her hand lower.

"Oh, no. No, no, no," Alex said, still laughing. "Straight friend, remember?"

"Alright, alright," I said, stepping back. Alex smirked at me, then I turned to the phone. "Show's over," I told it, then picked it up and turned it off.

"Pizza will be here soon," I said.

"Go on out then, so I have time to change," Alex ordered. "Apparently it's not safe to wear words around you."

"Depends what the words are," I said, but left, finding my wallet to tip the delivery driver.


"I realized we were both drinking on empty stomachs," I said, when I was halfway through a slice.

Alex had shown up just as the pizza arrived, wearing a dark purple top, which had a wide neck and narrow shoulder straps, and a jean skirt. I didn't recognize the outfit, since she'd been wearing a heavy coat all day, not taking it off indoors as I had. She wore socks, but no shoes.

"Yeah, that was dumb," Alex agreed, "But I'll be ready for another drink when I've finished one slice. I think I'll save the rest of my half for later? I don't want to be bloated."

"Yeah, I'm not really very hungry," I said. "More a matter of not letting the wine go right to my head. So, where are you planning to be a dating app? I take it there's a college party?"

Alex nodded. "There's always a party," she said, "but especially at Halloween. What about you?"

"Gabby's," I said. "There's a party on Halloween night, and unlike the Monday dances, it isn't dry. Apparently they hire extra staff. Which means a cover charge, of course."

"You'll certainly be surrounded by more 'sexy character' costumes than a mixed party," she stated, with a grin.

"I'm counting on it," I replied. "So, do you want to watch the vid?"

"I know what's on it," Alex said, "but why not?"

Propping my phone against the side of the pizza box, I pressed play.

"I didn't realize how drunk we sounded," I said.

"Same," Alex agreed.

When I "swiped" on the video, Alex said again, "I really can't believe you did that," but her expression was amused.

"I, uh," I said, quietly, as video Alex was tussling with video Kayla, "didn't actually realize you weren't wearing a bra."

"It's okay," she said. "It was..." She stopped speaking, grabbed her drink and took a large swallow. "I think I'm ready for the next."

"Sure, after this," I said, as the video drew to a close. Video Kayla stepped back, as video Alex's eyes followed her...

"Wait, what did I just see?" I said. "Hold on, I have to rewind this."

I scrubbed the video back a few seconds, then hit play, then scrubbed it back and pressed play, then pause... "Oh, my God," I said to Alex. "Look at you."

She stared at the still image, then said, "That is totally out of context! That is not what it looks like! And I need that drink now!"

I chuckled as I looked again at video Alex, whose eyes were fixated on video Kayla's cleavage.

"Out of context, right," I said, skeptically. "I'll get the refills."


While I was pouring the next mimosas, Alex closed the pizza box, then wandered off. My buzz was fading from time and food, so I made these drinks a little stronger, though not like Alex's first mix.

I found her in the bedroom, laid out in the center of the bed. I handed her a glass. She sat up, and I moved a pillow behind her back for support. After sipping my own drink, I set it down, and began removing that which made me Link.

"I'm resting," Alex said, unnecessarily. "Been a long day."

"Successful, though," I said, uncoiling the headscarf. I folded it neatly, then set it in the dresser drawer. The sword went into the dress closet. I unhooked the belt and hung it with others. Then I unbuckled the harness and held it up for Alex to see.

"This, apparently, is a BDSM accessory, but it looks just like Link's sword harness."

"Apparently?" Alex said.

"It looked like what I needed. When I clicked through it's listed as men's harness, leather fetish." I shrugged. "I bought it anyway, and it does what I need. There are similar harnesses that are listed as 'suspension harness.' What's the deal, they hang themselves up? I don't see the fun in that."

"Hmm," Alex said, helpfully.

"I don't think this would survive holding a guy up," I continue. "And I wondered if I shouldn't wear it. What if someone recognizes what it is? Then I thought, what the fuck, look at the dress, the whole sexy Link concept. If anyone recognizes a BDSM accessory it's only going to increase the sexiness quotient, right? Maybe if someone asks me about it, they can explain how it's used."

"Yeah, what the fuck?" Alex replied, apparently on a few second delay loop.

I hung the potential BDSM fetish equipment with the belts, took off my cowboy boots, and began pulling off the yellow tights.

"Hey, Kayla?" came the voice from behind me. "Why are you taking your pants off?"

"Tights," I corrected. "Costume tights. Don't worry, straight friend, I'm still wearing panties, and they're still hidden by the dress. Is talking about my panties below the belt?"

"I... wait. You didn't just say that."

"You seem to be having memory problems today," I said. "I totally did say that."

Tights folded and put away, I bounced onto the left side of the bed, almost making Alex spill her drink. She yelped.

"Are you falling asleep?" I asked her. "Do you need for me to get you an Uber?"

"When there's more drinking to do?" she asked. "No, I'm not tired. I needed to rest my feet a little?" She took a sip of her mimosa. "Let me rest a few more minutes? I can move across if you need to lie down."

"I'm fine," I said. Her copper curls were untidy from the pillow. I reached out with my right hand and tucked them behind her ear, running my fingers down to her neck, then pinched a strand and rubbed it between finger and thumb. "This is a beautiful color," I said. "Have I told you that? It suits you."

Alex blushed. "It's not real, you know. The color, I mean. The hair's real. But it's dyed."

"Well yeah," I said. "I don't think anyone actually has hair this color. But you chose it, and I think it works."

"Your hair is different from when I saw you last," she said. "I like it."

"Thanks," I said, running my fingers down the strand of Alex's hair again. My fingers brushed the back of her ear. "I think I'm going to get it colored, too. I've never done that before, but my stylist is very persuasive." I stroked the back of her ear directly, my finger continuing down her neck.

"What color?" she asked.

"Dunno yet," I said, my finger drifting under her chin. She lifted her head slightly. I wasn't even sure that she knew she had. I used the access she'd given me to run my finger around beneath her chin.

Alex took another sip, then held her glass out to me. I took it, setting it on the nightstand as she pushed the pillow flat, then lowered her head to it.

I stroked the edge of her jaw, then circled my finger below her ear. "So why is my straight friend fixated on my breasts in that video?" I asked.

"Context," she repeated. Her face had colored slightly again. "I wasn't. And why shouldn't I? You've been showing them to me all afternoon. If you didn't want me to look, you didn't need to do that."

"It isn't about me, though," I said, "and now you've admitted to looking at them before."

"Hey, I can appreciate a girl's body," she said. "Like the girls on the covers of magazines. I can recognize beauty. Doesn't mean I want to take them to bed."

"Somehow we skipped from ogling my chest to going to bed with a cover girl," I said. "I think I missed a logical step somewhere there, but it seems you do like ogling. Do you ogle other girls' chests?"

"No, just yours," Alex said, then realized what she'd said. "Wait, that was a trick question. You can't ask me trick questions when I'm not in control of my mouth."

I drew my finger up to her forehead, then across to tuck in the displaced curls on the right side of her face, circling her right cheek. "Is this bothering you?" I asked.

Alex shook her head. "It's fine? Relaxing."

"Okay," I said, moving my finger back to the left, over her lips. Her breath seemed to hitch when I did, so I stroked them again, fairly sure that her chest rose further when I did.

Alex's eyes held mine for a time, as I moved my finger back over the left side of her face to her neck, then turned toward the ceiling. I felt her pulse point. Her heart seemed to be beating quite quickly.

Turning slightly, I moved my right leg partway onto the bed, so that I was closer to facing her, then moved my left hand onto her knee, drawing circles on the side of her leg, as I trailed my right hand down to her collar bone, drawing multiple fingers along and back. Lifting my left hand from her knee, I held it away from her as my fingers grazed the underside of her thigh, sliding just a few inches up, then back down to her knee.

Slowly, I let my right hand roam lower, until it reached Alex's neckline, an inch short of the edge of her breasts, while my left moved higher as I lightly scratched the underside of her thigh with my fingernail. Her eyes, when they met mine, seemed neutral, but she made no sound nor any move to stop me.

My right hand drifted back upward, caressing the area between her neckline and her bare shoulder. I touched her pulse point again, finding that her heart rate had increased noticeably, then circled my finger over her upper chest, gently pushing the strap aside, then following its line back to the fabric of the top, tugging it down a tiny distance, just enough to prevent the strap from sliding back into place.

Drawing my fingertip along the line of the top, I repeated my actions. Now both straps were slightly off Alex's shoulders. Then, as I caressed her upper chest, I gradually eased her neckline down until the swell of her breasts was just visible. I caressed the edge of both breasts with my fingertips.

Alex's breathing was audible now, and as I moved my left hand higher, my fingertips caressing ever closer to her underwear, it became louder. My left forefinger touched thin fabric, and I drew it lightly over her panties to caress her right thigh.

Not moving my right hand any lower, I kept stroking the edge of both breasts, while my other hand drew circles on her right thigh, drifting higher until again I felt the fabric of her panties.

Alex's breathing rasped as I slipped my finger barely inside her panties, then running my fingernail over her upper thigh, within her underwear. I gripped the fabric between my thumb and first finger joint so that it tightened and move against her as I caressed.

Moving to her left thigh after a minute or two, I again tugged on her panties as I caressed within the boundary. Looking up, I found that Alex had worked the pillow forward, so that it was under her neck, her head leaning back.

I could tell from the slippery movements of the fabric that she was quite wet, and when I pressed two fingers deeper into her underwear to caress her folds, I confirmed that. My fingers circled against her pussy, and she began to moan softly.

Moving my right hand higher, I felt her pulse one more time. It was racing, as expected. Then I inched the strap down her arm. I licked my fingers, then eased the top down.

Uncovered, Alex's breast was lovely, rounded, pale, unblemished, with a light brown nipple, narrow but hard, and a pale brown areola, that pressed outward from her breast with arousal. I placed my moistened fingers around her nipple and caressed it.

"Nnng...." Alex grunted, her eyes closed. Her breathing grew more rapid, and I sped up the movement of my left hand against her, pressing firmly.

Her chest rose and fell further. I cupped her breast and squeezed hard, then moved my left hand higher, my palm pressed against her folds while my finger and thumb hunted for her clitoris, finding it peeking out. I rubbed the skin around it firmly, not letting up as Alex's back began to arch.

She groaned as the stimulation kept her curved skyward, then cried out as she came, her whole body jerking. I touched her more gently, but didn't release her until she was lying on the bed again, panting softly.

Her eyes found mine again, and there was heat in her gaze.

"I... uh... wasn't intending for that to happen," I said. "but you seemed to be into it, and I guess my self-control is shit."

"Hey, Kayla?" Alex said.

"Yes?" I responded, nervously.

"Can we get naked now?"

"Oh, hell, yes," I replied, laughing with relief.


We didn't. Not immediately. As soon as I'd stepped out of the green dress, I launched myself at her. She was still pulling the purple top over her head, so I pinned her arms behind her on the bed and kissed her hard.

Alex made a surprised grunt, then fell into the kiss, her passion at least a match for mine. We were breathless in moments. But it wasn't accomplishing the goal of getting naked, so I released her arms, unfastening her skirt as she struggled out of her top. Then I freed both myself and Alex from the burdens of wearing panties, while she felt behind me for the catch on my bra.

"I guess straight girls never learn how to open front-clasp bras with their teeth," I said.

"Like you can do that?" Alex retorted. In spite of the intonation, I knew she wasn't asking a question.

"No, but wouldn't that be an awesome superpower?" I countered, and she laughed.

Then we were wrestling, our kisses ferocious as her chest pressed to mine, and I felt the rolling of her breasts against mine. Our hands explored the other's body, our legs entangling, pressing to the other's sex. We rolled on the bed, locked together, panting.

Both of us were moaning, and each of us took turns being on top of the other, before the other managed to roll us over to take charge.

Soon our moans turned to cries, vying with each other to bring the other pleasure.

When Alex rolled me onto my back, I turned the tables on her by shifting her higher on my body, then fastening my mouth to her right nipple. She shuddered at the new source of erotic stimulation, and I wrapped my right arm around her left thigh, locating her vagina from behind, poking my fingers inside her, pressing against the front wall of her sex.

Seconds later, Alex cried out, then collapsed against me, her arms wrapped around my neck, whimpering, as her body shook against mine with spasms of pleasure.

I continued to buck against the thigh she'd wedged against my sex, coming against her before her body's eruptions had subsided.

"Unfair," Alex whispered into my ear, when she'd recovered the power of speech.

"Not at all," I said, sliding her back down my body, so our faces were level. "After all, first served, first come."

"That's bad, even for a dork?" Alex said. "Also, it doesn't make sense? Also, you need to let me live out my fantasy?"

She slid further down, taking my left nipple into her mouth. My arousal buzzed within me as she closed her left hand over my right breast, squeezing it hard, rolling it around, while her right hand grasped the base of my right breast, wringing it in her hand as she suckled.

"What's your fantasy?" I asked.

"A dream?" Alex replied. I was torn between wanting to hear the tale and wanting her mouth back on my breast. God, seeing her looking up at me, copper curls untidily spread, while her hands and mouth were doing such wonderful things, was so hot. Fortunately, she continued to kiss my nipple between sentences.

"You said it would be trite if I claimed to be gay?" she said. "And it would, and I'm not, but no guy ever did what you did. And a few days later, I found myself dreaming about it. And a couple of times, I was the one licking? And I have to know if it's as good as it seems like it must be in my dreams."

"You fantasize about going down on me?" I ask. "I can get behind that."

"I dream about going down on someone?" she answered, after tugging at my nipple. "You know how dreams are?"

"Oh, now I'm jealous," I said, my voice betraying my arousal.

"No you're not, dork," Alex said, sliding down my body.

I gasped as she kissed my thighs. Then I said, "But that's the dream... You've been fantasizing about going down on me, haven't you?"

"Can't talk," she said. "Mouth full."

And it was, and it was good. Very good, feeling better all the time as her lips traveled over my pussy, then I felt her tongue slip into me quickly. She seemed to like drawing her tongue over me, then flicking it lightly inside.

Fortunately, she'd stopped using words, because I would have had no breath to reply, and no rationality to my name. There was only the feeling of Alex's mouth on me. I lay back, trying to relax, my arousal a burning coal.

Her mouth continued to explore. Her tongue approached my clit, drawing heavy strokes over the skin surrounding it, then slowly caressing the clit itself, making me moan loudly before she drew back. She teased until I had little awareness of my response, feeling ever increasing desire for her.

Again, she slowly drew her tongue along my clit, but then moved it more strongly. I felt her lips close around me...

The force of my orgasm caught me by surprise. My sight faded for a moment as my senses went into overload. When I finally found myself able to breathe, and to move without triggering another contraction, I found her looking up with heat in her gaze, but also amusement, I thought.

"God," I said, my breath still ragged. "You totally have been fantasizing about me, haven't you?"

"I don't know why you would think that," Alex said, moving up the bed to lie against me.

"Were you planning this when you invited me shopping?" I asked, tousling her damp curls.

"I don't think so?" Alex said. "I think if I had thought that, I wouldn't have had the courage. But you wore that dress. And I didn't have the courage to seduce you, but maybe if we were tipsy, you'd seduce me?"

I laughed. "So you wanted to have sex with me, but you were scared to, so you manipulated me into manipulating you into needing to have sex?"

"You understand me so well, fellow dork," she said. "And maybe I have a thing for elf girls?"

It took a second for the comment to register. Then I reached up to find I still had the right elf ear. The left had fallen off at some point.

"I'm a half-elf," I said.

"Maybe I have a thing for half-elf girls?" Alex offered.

I giggled. "Now that you've broken the ice, are you still my totally straight friend?"

"Token," she corrected. "Token straight friend? I didn't claim to be totally straight, did I?"

"So, token not-really-straight friend?" I suggested. "Except I have a few of those, so you're not a token. You know what, though? I think you should probably let me introduce you to Gabby's."

She shrugged. "Maybe... there would be something I'd miss."

"What's that?" I asked.

"Dork. You've had boyfriends," Alex said.

"Oh, right. Well... yeah, that," I agreed. I kissed her. "I guess it's sad that you're so addicted, but you could always find a guy when the need is too great."

Alex gave me a skeptical look.

"Or there iiis an alternative," I suggested.

"Is that viable?" Alex asked, the skepticism still apparent.

"As someone who has been on... all three horns of the dilemma, I'd say it was... mmm, viable, definitely," I said. "I can... demonstrate?" Damn, Alex's speech patterns were infecting me. "But if I do, it would be better if I cover your eyes first. Don't worry, you can trust me."

"Hah," Alex said. "Like I could trust you not to take touching too far?"

"I'm sure you'll be just as disappointed as you were then," I countered, rolling out of bed. I walked over to Alex's side, feeling her eyes roaming my naked body, then handed her her drink, while I took a large sip of my own. Most of the ice had melted, but it was still good. Then I found another headscarf, a boring one with tan / brown squares, not the green one, which I didn't want to risk, and returned to the bed.

I smoothed the scarf over her eyes, then tied it behind her. "Are you going to tell me why this part is necessary?" Alex asked.

"In a few minutes, sure," I replied.

She shrugged, and worked on her drink. I took my strap on to the bathroom, buckling myself in quickly, unrolled a condom onto the dildo, smothered it with lube, then headed back. "Last sip," I told Alex. She finished the drink, and I set the glass down on the nightstand. The lube I laid on the bed beside her, in case I needed more.

As Alex lay back, I parted her legs, climbing between them. Crouching, I slid Alex into my lap, dragging her thighs up my legs, impaling her on the dildo when she was close enough, then slowly lifting her, letting the silicone penis slide into her. She was so completely turned on that the toy slid home easily. I wasn't even sure that the initial lube coating had been required.

Once I was fully inside her, I began rocking my hips. "Oh, wow," she breathed. Her legs rose behind me and began to squeeze me against her sex, reinforcing the rocking of her own hips.

Initially, I gripped her waist, anchoring the movement of our bodies as her legs did, then I released her. Picking up the lube, I popped the top, squirting a little onto my fingers, spreading it to the fingers of both hands after closing the bottle. Then leaned forward just far enough to touch the tips of her nipples. With my fingers horizontal, I moved them in circles against her nipples, making her groan.

"I want to see you," Alex said.

I'd completely forgotten the blindfold. "Oh, right," I said. "Sorry, take it off."

She did, her eyes moving to my fingers, where my eyes were too, captivated by her full breasts, slowly moving to my touch, occasionally rippling as her body shifted. She caressed the backs of my arms.

"How does this feel?" I asked.

"Mmm, yeah, definitely, viable?" Alex replied, clearly having trouble keeping her voice steady as her heavy breathing had intensified.

"You're such a dork," I informed her, my own voice not much more stable than hers. "Also, you have a great body, and I love your boobs. They feel so good."

"They felt even better against yours," Alex croaked.

"I thought so too," I said.

Alex made a soft cry of arousal at the thought, and my own heart skipped a beat as I thought of her body against mine. After a moment's consideration, I moved my hands under her arms, gripping her ribs, then drawing her upright, so that she sat in my lap, the dildo still moving freely within her as her hips rolled against mine. My arms wrapped around her back, while hers hooked behind my neck, our chests pressed together tightly.

In this position, Alex was an inch or two above me. Looking up, I found her mouth close to mine. I nipped her lower lip, suckling it. She let out a strangled groan, bouncing more strongly in my lap. Then she drew back, before fastening her lips to mine.

Our kisses had been passionate. But with Alex aroused by riding my hips, our breasts moving against the other's, the dildo slamming into her, they were incandescent. I might have climaxed from the power of our kiss alone, but the sheathe on the base of the strap on was pressing against my clit, translating our movements into stimulation, and I could already feel my orgasm building.

Groaning into the kiss, I felt Alex doing the same, her breasts lifting against mine as her body moved more strongly against me, the dildo pistoning into her. I flattened my tongue against hers as I felt myself on the edge of losing control. Alex moaned loudly, and I felt her body start to stiffen in my arms, as I reached the edge of control.

Our kiss broke, by mutual need, both of us crying out as our passion hit overload. And, God, my climax seemed to go on forever as Alex's overstimulated body kept twitching in my arms as her own climax persisted. We continued to feed each other's lust for what must have been a minute, though it seemed far longer. Even as we came down from the high, a small movement by either one of us made the other gasp,

Drawing Alex to me, I lightly nipped her earlobe. "And no need to separate in a hurry, because the toy isn't going to deflate and risk all of the unpleasant consequences of het sex," I murmured.

"That's a nice..." Alex's breath caught before she continued, "feature?"

I chuckled, and we carefully separated, Alex collapsing back to the bed with a sigh.

"So, what was with the blindfold?" Alex asked, a few minutes later.

"I didn't want to kill the mood," I said. I stepped down from the bed. "The first time I saw one, I came close to laughing. Now the anticipation keeps me safe from breaking out in giggles.

"I can see that?" Alex said, grinning at me.

I headed to the bathroom to clean up. When I returned, Alex was looking at me like a diner who'd just finished the most sumptuous meal they'd ever tasted, her expression in turns sated, excited, and regretful.

"I guess I should go?" she said. I couldn't tell if the uptick in her tone was her usual affectation, or if it was hopeful that I'd ask her to stay the night. But I wouldn't do that, and she clearly understood casual hookups.

"You're still kinda drunk," I said. "Will you be okay in an Uber? I'd drive you if I wasn't also kinda drunk."

"The downside of my master plan," Alex said. "Yeah, I'll be fine, if you help me find my clothes."

I laughed. "That can be a problem. Don't forget your dress, too."

"Yes, mom," Alex said.

"That's kinda creepy, when we're both stark naked?" I said.

Sha laughed. "Dork. Okay, I guess I'd better not call you sis, either. This..." she seemed to be a little more serious as she waved a hand between us, "isn't going to affect being friends, is it?"

"Well, yeah, duh," I said. "No way are you my token straight friend now."

"Oh, that," she said, with a sigh. She'd managed to retrieve her skirt and panties. "Token strange friend?" My missing elf ear appeared from somewhere, and she tossed it to me.

"That'll work," I said, "and I hope your weird texting style never changes. Promise that you'll text me when you get home?"

"Sure, m... my favorite dork," she said, launching the ride share app.


I waited the ten minutes until receiving Alex's arrival message before readying for sleep.

It was only about eighteen hours since leaving Anita's bed this morning. I'd had more orgasms in the last forty-eight hours than any two month period with Jason, and I'd had more exciting sex than over that entire relationship.

The only cloud on the horizon was my feeling that casual encounters couldn't last much longer. Alex would be graduating this year. Most of my friends would. Anita would. Soon I'd be losing my casual dating support group. Having a one night stand rule might be good for avoiding inconvenient relationships, but I was still close to all of these women, and I didn't think I'd feel the same about next year's seniors - not even considering that I'd be another year older and more removed from them.

From what I'd seen of the monthly twenty-one-plus dances, they wouldn't replace the gap that Mondays at Gabby's would leave.

On the other hand, if the next few months were as good to me as the last couple had been, there was plenty of excitement still to be had. I'd been sincere when I assured Alex that abundance had been sweet.