COSTUME SHOP – ACCEPTED

Ryan spent his whole life pretending to be something he wasn’t . . . STRAIGHT. He was barely out of college, but was still in the closet, knowing his family and friends would never accept the fact he was gay. It wasn’t fair and he wished more than anything he had the courage to come out and truly BE who he was. It would be amazing to have that kind of courage, to have that life.

He stood at the rows of costumes in the costume shop, searching for something that would make him feel closer to who he was. Halloween was always his favorite time of year because he could pretend without abandon. He could be whoever or whatever he wanted without judgement. It was just a costume. People thought it was funny when he “acted gay” or picked that certain something that was out of the ordinary, but felt completely true to him.

“Can I help you with something?” A voice came from behind and Ryan turned to see a handsome, dapper man in a suit.

“No, I’m good,” Ryan said, tossing him a smile. “Just looking around.”

“I’m sure I could help if you’d like me to. I tend to know exactly what people need.” He smiled again. Damn he was handsome and the British accent didn’t hurt. Ryan found himself unsure what to say as he swallowed hard and glanced away. “Perhaps I can pick something out for you and bring it to the dressing room? I can assure you, it will be exactly what you’re looking for.” The man motioned to one of the nearby dressing rooms.

“Um, sure. Okay. That sounds great.”

Ryan stepped into one of the dressing rooms and waited for a few minutes. He tapped his legs nervously. Maybe he should just leave. Yeah, this was odd and he wasn’t sure WHAT was going on. He began to turn, startled to find the man standing there with a costume in tow.

“Oh, sorry. Didn’t mean to frighten you.” He leaned in, closer, the faint smell of leather and spiced cologne hitting Ryan as he felt his cock twitch. “I found something I think you’ll enjoy very much. I’d say it’s exactly what you’re looking for.” The man hung a costume on the wall next to Ryan and turned with a smile. “I’m sure it will fit perfectly. Enjoy, Peter.”

“No. My name’s Ryan.”

“Of course. My apologies.” The man nodded, stepping out of the dressing room before closing the door behind.

“Peter? What the hell?” Suddenly curious, Ryan turned to look at the costume and found that it wasn’t really a costume at all. It was a suit. Dark blue with a bright blue tie. Looked pretty ordinary and anything BUT what Ryan truly wanted. What was he supposed to go for as Halloween? Banker? Accountant? Wasn’t anything very exciting about that.

He shrugged and decided to give it a try anyway. Why not?

Ryan removed his clothes to reveal his chubby frame. He’d never considered himself attractive and zero to no confidence. That was part of the problem. Why come out of the closet when he didn’t feel anybody could ever love him anyway?

He removed the nice shirt from the hangar and slid it on. The fabric was soft against his skin as he buttoned it, the shirt feeling almost tailored perfectly for his frame. He oddly even felt different in it, his chest feeling a bit tighter and firm, almost as if the shirt hid his man boobs completely. He glanced down to see it even made his gut almost disappear. Damn, maybe he should have been wearing suits all this time?

He slid on the pants, tucking the shirt in as he buckled the belt. He pulled on long silk socks and pushed his feet into a pair of dark dress shoes before reaching for the deep blue tie. It all felt so natural to him, his body almost moving through the motions as if he’d put this suit on a hundred times before. Tightening the tie around his neck, he felt his posture change. He definitely felt different in the suit as he reached for the jacket. Again, it slid onto his frame as if tailored to do so. How could it fit so perfectly? How was this even possible?

He glanced down at himself and his gut was completely gone. He slid his hands over his stomach and it even FELT different. Is this why so many men wore suits? Did they really hide everything so perfectly? He then felt something in the pocket of his pants and reached in, revealing a small gold wedding band. Weird. He felt the urge to slide it onto his ring finger and, as he did, he felt dizzy for a brief moment. He blinked through it, taking in a deep breath as he turned to the mirror, curious how he looked, but he was shocked to see another man standing there, a man he recognized…

Pete Buttigieg.

Ryan glanced back, checking to see if this was real, but Mayor Pete’s every move matched his own. Ryan reached up, touched his face, looked at his thin, strong hands as he blinked through the confusion.

“Holy shit,” he said, Pete Buttigieg’s voice coming from his lips. Even his Indiana accent was there. He WAS Pete Buttigieg, a rush of memories suddenly hitting him. Being in the military. Coming out. Marrying his husband Chasten. He was a confident, strong, handsome gay man who was proud of who he was. Everything he’d always wanted.

“You ready?” A voice came from behind and Pete turned to see Chasten standing there with a smile on his face, looking at him in that way only Chasten could. “You look so handsome, babe.”

“Thanks. I wore your favorite tie.” Pete said, nodding down to the bright blue tie Chasten had bought him for their anniversary.

“Well, it’s hard to fight those baby blues.” Chasten stepped closer, leaned in and gave Pete a long, deep kiss. “You’re going to be great.”

Pete suddenly remembered they were backstage before a Presidential Debate. He wrapped his arms around his husband and gave him another deep kiss.

“Thanks, babe. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Pete took Chasten’s hand and they stepped out of the green room to join the flashing cameras, but Pete didn’t care. He wanted the world to see how much he loved his husband and how proud he was of the kind of man he’d become.

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