This is a serious suspense story about Tracy, a New York based journalist. Tracy was born a boy of a single mother Hannah, who brought up Tracy through poverty. Hannah got pregnant by a young man who left her saying that he will be back soon, but never returned. Tracy realizes that she (at that time “he”) was born with wrong genitalia at the age of seven. Once furious, Hannah comes to understand her feelings and helps her to become a woman. By accident Tracy know who the father is and decides to make a revenge.
Travis/Tracy Belton is the 26 year old protagonist of the story. She is a stunning red head with intense green eyes and a great voluptuous figure. As the senior journalist of a NYC tabloid, she is sent to Greece to cover the wedding of stinking rich business tycoon, Ackerman. She intends using the opportunity for personal vendetta against Ackerman. During the trip to Mykonos Island, she finds true love in young Caleb Collins. Tracy takes on Ackerman but has to pay the heavy price of his ruthlessness.
Hannah Belton is Tracy’s mother who works as a construction site laborer before she gets a job in an animal shelter. Hannah is tricked into an affair by rich business tycoon, Ackerman who conceals his true identity from her. Hannah delivers Travis nine months later and waits indefinitely for Ackerman to come back. Hannah is initially confused by Travis’s effeminate behavior, but later helps him transform to Tracy.
Thomas Ackerman is a cold, ruthless, devious, multi-millionaire business tycoon who also happens to be Tracy’s biological father. He is of average height (5’6 or 5’7), has dark hair and eyes. Ackerman sports a close-chopped moustache on his upper lip.
Caleb Collins is Thomas Ackerman’s stepson and Tracy’s lover. In an astounding twist, Caleb happens to be a spitting image of Tracy’s sex doll, Jake. Caleb is in his late 20s, is 6 feet tall, has a fit well-toned body, prominent eyebrows, thick eyelashes and brown eyes. Caleb is a captain with the British navy and has a socialistic world view.
Jim Morgan is the 50 year old owner and editor-in-chief of ‘A Secret Revealed’, a tabloid Tracy works for. He recognizes Tracy’s potential and promotes her to the designation of a senior journalist. He sends her to Greece to follow a scoop.
Colin is the 16 year old high school senior who is attracted to Tracy. He is manly: has broad athletic shoulders, a square jaw generously sprinkled with stubble and big masculine hands. Colin asks Tracy out on a date after the two bond while editing their school magazine.
Mrs. Chapman is the owner of one of the houses Hannah is constructing. She confronts Hannah when the latter is thrashing Travis for behaving in an effeminate manner. An empathetic Mrs. Chapman explains to Hannah what the problem might be and requests her to be supportive of Travis.
Preeti Ackerman is Thomas Ackerman’s second wife and Ruby’s mother.
Camellia Christie is Thomas Ackerman’s ex-wife and the mother of his son, Robert. After her divorce with Ackerman, Camellia weds a Prof. Collins and begets Caleb, Tracy’s lover.
Robert Ackerman is Thomas Ackerman’s first born. He is one of the heirs to his father’s property and vast business empire. Robert is in his early to mid thirties, is of average height, has pale skin and dark hair.
Ruby Ackerman is Ackerman’s daughter born to his second wife. Ruby has pale skin, smoldering dark eyes, a straight nose and smiling lips. She is open, friendly, good-natured and unaffected. Ruby is congenial to Tracy even though she doesn’t remember having met her before.
Ramesh Somani is a business partner of Thomas Ackerman since the biginning of establishment.
Lilies for Ms. Tracy
A Secret Revealed
I walked in to the front gate. The office billboard that formerly blared ‘A Sojourner of Truth’ now read ‘A Secret Revealed’. Our broadsheet previously based on the tenets of investigative journalism, now catered to junk food news. I recalled the times when I had exposed political corruptions and corporate wrongdoings, both in America and abroad. A local political party that had embezzled funds meant for proving subsidized housing for the homeless had been barred by me. A group of charlatans who had started a production company as a front to circulate black-money slashed in Swiss banks had been unmasked by me. I was Nemesis—the Goddess of Justice and Retribution—who had succeeded in debunking the wrongdoings of a select few to the common unsuspecting public. It had been my longstanding ambition to unmask Thomas Ackerman, the biggest mountebank in the world. Ackerman was a British multi-millionaire business tycoon who owned the sprawling business empire Ackerman Industries Ltd. Ackerman was ostensibly much in to charity: he contributed to help the AIDS afflicted, malnourished children, victims of tsunamis, wars and terrorism. The world hailed him as a demi-God who had been sent to the earth to salvage the masses from a potentially catastrophic onslaught. I knew otherwise.
‘Good morning, Tracy. You’re looking stunning today’ remarked Susan, the front office secretary. Susan was a homely, cheerful strawberry blonde in her late 30s. She was one of the few in the office who had been half-way decent to me in spite of knowing that I was an MTF transgender. The rest of them weren’t rude to my face, but behaved in a way that made me feel uneasy. The manner in which their eyes bore into me seemed to say ‘You’re a nature’s freak who has no business being a senior journalist in a prestigious newspaper office’. During coffee and lunch breaks, my colleagues organized themselves into packs and whispered among themselves. The topic of their conversation may have been innocuous office gossip on lines of who was dating whom, which colleague was due for a promotion and the like. However, since I was never invited to join these sessions, I felt the topic of their chit-chat may have been me. The behavior of my co-workers made me feel alienated and I kept to myself. Since Susan was employed at the front office, I didn’t get much of a chance to interact with her.
Presently, I thanked Susan congenially. Without being completely aware of what I was doing, I glanced at the transparent glass door. A gorgeous young woman returned my glance. She was in her mid 20s, had thick red hair and intense green eyes. The extreme whiteness of her skin stood in stark contrast with her dramatic coloring. The perfectly tailored, form-fitting emerald green suit she wore along with a pair of burgundy-colored heels, complimented her coloring to the utmost. The girl was none other than me.
I cast an eye into the inner office. Jim Morgan, the owner and editor-in-chief of the tabloid was busy talking over the phone. The characteristic furrow on his forehead only deepened with each passing minute. It was a matter of time before I’d know what was on Jim’s mind. He would soon usher me into his office and confide in me. Since I was the most diligent journalist in the office with an instinctively shrewd idea of which scoop was worth following, Jim consulted me before every decision he took.
Jim had been a little skeptical when I joined ‘A Sojourner of Truth’ five years back. I had topped my batch and had also performed meritoriously in my journalism internship with a lesser known daily. Yet Jim had been doubtful of my abilities from a panoramic point of view. The job application form contained a box for gender marked M, F and T, indicating Male, Female and Transgender respectively. In keeping with my transparent, guileless nature, I had ticked the last box. Even though America is more liberal towards the LGBT community than Italy, India, Saudi Arabia etc, it has a long way to go. Since transsexuals are a minority, we have to go out of our way to gain our pride of place in society. We go about it by organizing gay parades, protest marches etc.
In keeping with the typical conservative attitude, Jim had been apprehensive. He worried that my personal crisis and possible adjustment problems might affect the quality of my professional output. Jim had also been concerned about the image of ‘A Sojourn of Truth’. He thought it might get tainted if readers got a whiff of the fact that one of its correspondents was a transgender. Still, Jim had given me the benefit of doubt and had let me follow high profile stories. Since, I saw work and life as inseparable, I did a commendable job. Jim admitted that he had been in the wrong and soon gave me a promotion.
The broadsheet had run smoothly for the next few months. However, a year later, it was outsold by a tabloid that was blatantly called ‘Sex and Scandal’. When our daily was in flagrant hazard of becoming defunct, Jim and I had given it a makeover. Instead of making the news presentation a prosaic representation of corporate, political and social facts; we used it to report stories such as which sport star had the hottest WAG, who had purchased a multi-dollar mansion in France, personal sexual habits of the movers and shakers of the glamour world and so on. In keeping with the revised content, we also changed the name to ‘A Secret Revealed’. Our new ruse worked. In a matter of three weeks, our tabloid had thrown ‘Sex and Scandal’ out of business. My partnership with Jim had worked. He had been gratified enough to promote me to the designation of a senior journalist. It wasn’t too elevated a post, but was sufficient to keep me happy.
Five years had passed since I had worked my way from a young apprentice to a senior journalist. Yet, my appearance hadn’t changed. At 26, my skin was as supple, smooth and blemish free as 21 year olds’. My eyes, two bright fiery orbs, hadn’t lost their killer instinct. My perfect breasts, supported by a size 34 A cup-bra, were as firm and pert as they had been in my 13th year when I had undergone MTF hormone therapy. My small waist, bereft of complacent rolls of fat, hadn’t broadened beyond 22 inches. My hips were rounded, yet slim like a ballerina’s. At 5’5, I was considered neither tall nor short by Americans.
I had just settled down to write an article of food fads, when Jim rung me up. ‘Tracy, will you come over for a minute please?’ he crisply said over the phone before disconnecting it. I saved my article and walked over to his sprawling office. Jim offered me a seat as I walked in.
Not for the first time did I think that he was a very pleasant-looking man. Not by the remotest stretch of imagination he be called handsome, yet Jim’s personality created a more lingering impression than a conventionally good-looking man would have. He had a roundish face, a small red button of a nose, a wide generous mouth and benign pale blue eyes. Lesser mortals said Jim looked like a circus clown. If there was truth in what they said, Jim would be a harmless circus clown. A good natured circus clown. One with a heart of gold. Not the frightening stereotypical monster that Hollywood movies and popular fiction loved to depict. Age-wise, I’d put Jim in the ‘not-young, not-old slot’—perhaps he was around 50.
‘Tracy’ Jim presently asked ‘Do you know Thomas Ackerman?’
The name filled me with ineffable fury. My heart galloped at top speed and beat loudly against my chest. Blood rushed to my face. Jim’s office started spinning around me. I held the table in front of me, tightly, to steady myself. My knuckles that clenched and unclenched the polished wooden slab convulsively were a deathly white.
‘Yes, I have’ I managed to say, in spite of the turmoil inside. Obviously, Jim hadn’t noticed my reaction, for he went on. ‘Ackerman’s daughter, Ruby, is marrying her childhood sweetheart this month’ he said ‘Ackerman is giving them a big wedding in Greece. I want you to sneak in as an insider and cover the wedding’.
I was aware Ackerman had two legitimate children from the two women he had married. The first was a son, Robert, born to his British ex-wife Camellia Christie 34 years ago. The second was 29 year old Ruby, born to Ackerman’s Indian wife, Preeti Saxena. I kept tabs on every move of Ackerman. But Ruby’s wedding was news to me. I didn’t know the old bastard was getting his daughter married. Rather, I didn’t know that the old bastard was getting his first daughter married.
‘Do you think it’s a good scoop?’ I asked, trying to sound casual ‘would people be all that interested in a wedding?’
‘My dear girl, it will be an excellent scoop!’ my boss’s pale-blue eyes glittered ‘And this is no ordinary wedding. It’s top dog Ackerman’s daughter’s! Don’t you remember the coverage Prince Williams’ and Kate Middleton’s wedding got?!’
‘The Ackermans are hardly royalty, are they?’ I said and closely inspected my nails.
‘They are—almost!’ Jim said exuberantly ‘any superrich person is treated as a royal blue-blood nowadays’.
‘How do you propose I get in?’ I asked, my tone devoid of expression ‘they’d hardly want the press invading their privacy’.
‘That, I leave to you, Tracy’ Jim said looking at me meaningfully ‘I know you have your ways’.
‘I’ll see what I can do’ I said, my tone non-committal.
‘If you’re successful with this story’ Jim told me his eyes twinkling ‘I’ll give you a hike’.
‘How much?’ I grinned in a relaxed manner.
‘Fifty percent’ said Jim ‘Plus medical insurance for you and your family’.
‘Why, that’s very kind of you, Jim’ I said sincerely ‘thank you’.
Jim gave a slight nod of acknowledgement. ‘That’s all, Tracy’ he said and politely dismissed me.
Though I had feigned indifferent in front of my boss, I was bubbling with excitement inside. Finally, I’d be face to face with Thomas Ackerman: the man, who didn’t ever know of my existence, yet had played a pivotal role in my life.
I finished the article on food fads and submitted it to Jim. He asked me to edit a feature, on casting couch in the movie industry, penned by another journalist. I proof-read some more articles when the office closed for the day. I picked my burgundy handbag up, freshened up in the ladies’ room and walked out into the streets of New York.
I walked along quickly. It’s a tacit rule among New Yorkers to walk fast. Strolling goes against city rules. As I walked along a stretch, I caught sight of the empire state building, one world trade centre and a few other significant buildings. The statue of liberty—symbolic of freedom, democracy and opportunity—was standing far off, a torch-grasped arm suspended high in the air. This was the wonder of America: who you were and where you came from was of little or no consequence to the heights you aspired to reach. I was an example to illustrate the point.
My mother, Hannah Belton, was a laborer at a construction site. From the age of three, I remembered her leave for construction sites dressed in a single grey t-shirt and denim overalls. Hannah spent the whole day outdoors sweeping and moping construction sites, tending pumps and compressors and erecting and bringing down scaffolding. With her thick red hair tied in a tight bun and piercing green eyes, she looked a lot like I do now. However, her complexion wasn’t white like mine. The nature of her job that exposed Hannah to many natural elements such as heat, dust, moisture and the sun had burnt her face to a mottled red. Carrying loads of bricks, cement and mortar up and down the construction sites had made her arms brawny and laterals broad like a man. Yet, in spite of a sun-burnt face, muscular arms and broad torso, Hannah was the most feminine woman I had ever seen. I suppose it had something to do with the swing of her hips, the radiance in her smile and the flute-like lilt in her voice.
Ironically, though Hannah spent most of her life building other people’s houses, we didn’t have a roof over her heads until I was six. I recall the early part of my life having been spent sleeping in parks, under bridges, and in sleeping bags along the streets. Once, in an instance that still sends chills down my spine, Hannah and I had slept in a cemetery. I can’t vividly remember how this came about; probably Hannah caught sight of the police coming in through one of the park gates and fled from the other side, with me in her arms. Not wishing to invoke a jail term for her transgression, she had probably sprinted down the road and sought refuge in the first deserted place that came her way. I vaguely remember her holding my head down underneath one of those forbidding sarcophaguses and heave a sigh of relief as the cops passed by. Hard work and a clear conscience had her snoozing in no time. Hannah was not the least bothered by the mustiness of the soil beneath, the ominous hooting of night birds nor the baneful protestations of those buried down under the earth. I, an over-imaginative, sensitive child had spent the whole night awake, vigilant for any sound that might have been out of the ordinary or any sight which couldn’t be explained by terrestrial laws.
A few months before my 7th birthday, Hannah had put together enough money to rent a one room apartment. It was tiny and cramped….but having a roof over one’s heads was better than being left out in open air at nights. In time, I got an education and climbed the class ladder. Hannah and I shifted to a slightly bigger, brick-finished two room apartment. If I managed to weave an engrossing story out of the newly offered scoop, perhaps I’d be able to afford a two bedroom house on the east side of NYC. If my more ambitious plan took flight, I’d be able to afford a mansion, villa or bungalow in any part of the world….
Ensconced in the above thoughts, I reached home. Hannah was seated on the living room couch watching a maudlin soap opera on television. Our cat, Smoky, was curled on her lap. Hannah worked in an animal shelter nowadays; Smoky was brought from there. The pay at the shelter was nominal, but Hannah got benefits that made up for that. She had worked her fingers to the bone ever since I could remember; I now offered her the option of quitting her job and spending her time relaxing at home. However, Hannah was having none of it. She would work until there was breath left in her body and would continue to contribute to the family kitty. This was just the kind of mother she had always been: supportive, hardworking, self-effacing. Hannah’s sacrifices brought the heinous injustice of Thomas Ackerman more forcibly to the forefront. I was determined to make him pay the price of what he had cheated Hannah of. Of what he had cheated me of.
I went into my bedroom and peeled off my stifling green office wear. The trousers slid down my thigh smoothly and the jacket came off without much fuss. I beheld the vision of my femininity encased in a beige lacy brassiere and underwear-set in the mirror. The light color made me appear translucent. My red hair appeared more vivid. I scrunched my hair up with a clip that looked like a shark’s rapacious jaws. My delicate feet took me to the warm inviting bath tub filled with lukewarm water by my caring mother. As I divested myself of the last remnants of clothing and stepped into the pool, I shouted ‘I’ll not be long, Jake’ to my beautiful, faithful lover who stood immobile in one corner of the room. I took a leisurely, relaxing shower as Jake watched. Knowing that his brown soulful eyes were watching me was extremely arousing. I felt my nipples go erect on my size 34A breasts.
I walked towards my patient lover, water dripping down my body and the viscous fluid of desire leaking down my thighs. The potency of Jake was such that he had made me climax without laying a finger on my body. The eyes had done it all.
Sheltered under prominent eyebrows and thick eye-lashes, Jake’s were the most beautiful eyes I had seen in a man. His blonde hair stood spiky and erect on his head. Jake’s beautifully toned body was a rich tan as if he’d lain in the sun for a long time and absorbed a substantial portion of its beams. I loved the slightly flaring nostrils of his noble nose and the sweet curve of his lower lip. What attracted me the most about Jake was that he never judged, nor made a U-turn. He loved me as I was: with an MTF body scoffed at by others. There was no aphrodisiac greater than an accepting boyfriend.
I pulled down his briefs and made him lay supine on bed. I climbed on top of him before gently guiding him into me. Then I frenziedly rode him in like an expert equestrienne. Jake calmly adjusted himself to my speed and momentum. When we climaxed, I was the only one who screamed. Jake just lay there without moving. His unblinking eyes were fixed on the ceiling.
Once done, I gave him a thorough wash and put a fresh set of clothes on him. Then I bent his arms and knees and put him in the box he had come in. If I let him stand indefinitely, dust would accumulate on that fine blonde hair and in the crevices of the ears.
They had the gall to call him a sex toy. However, he had been kinder, sweeter and gentler to me than any human male had been. My love for Jake went beyond mere sex. He understood my pains better than anyone else did.
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