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Maximilian

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  1. So that's it for Public Relations. I'm sorry it took four goddamn years to finish, and want to thank anyone who stuck it out. I definitely want to revisit this later, but I'm going to try and organize myself a bit so it's not such a huge wait between installments. We'll see what that ends up looking like.
  2. Epilogue "On to our top story, Toronto police continue their investigation of the tragic disaster last Friday that left twenty-one people dead and forty-seven injured at the Ashbridges Bay yacht club. Experts have described the event as ‘totally inexplicable’ and ‘baffling.’ In an unprecedented response to public testimony of the incident, Chief of Police Mark Saunders released a damning statement this morning, warning the public that misuse of the Toronto Crime Stoppers hotline could result in prosecution, claiming that, quote: ‘anyone trying to make a joke or prank out of this horrible tragedy should think long and hard about the families of these victims, and those still fighting to survive.’ Saunders further condemned those giving false tips on Twitter. Police have not disclosed the nature of this false information. “In other news, Toronto Police have released the names of Kenneth Durante and Jennifer Gill-Durante as the owners of a house near Queen and Woodbine in which the body of an unidentified white male was found decapitated on Saturday. The couple hasn't been heard from since early March of this year, and police are asking for anyone with any information on them to contact Crime Stoppers. Despite the house being in the neighbourhood of the Ashbridges Bay yacht club, police are reporting these two incidents appear to be unrelated. “Up next: the Pan Am Games are coming to Toronto, and HOV lanes are now in effect! We'll go live to our--” Adam winced as he switched off the television and leaned back on his pillow. The final diagnosis: three broken ribs, major internal bleeding, and a concussion his doctor called “semi-serious,” which didn't sound particularly medical. All Adam knew was everything hurt, and the painkillers could be stronger. Luckily they'd avoided a puncture to the lung but it was apparently still a risk. They had to strap him down at night so he wouldn't roll onto his side in his sleep. His doctor wanted to keep him in the hospital all week but the nurse was telling him it'd probably just be another couple of nights. Adam just wanted to go home. He just wanted all the big, drama crazy to be all done so he could go back to his quiet, provincial crazy with his cute, magical crazy husband. He smiled as he turned to look at him. Cassidy had fallen asleep in his chair. His book had fallen onto the floor without waking him, and his head was lowered into his chest with his glasses sliding down one side of his face. Harry had apparently figured out a way to restore all the petrified sorcerers, and Cass had been the first to get stone-to-fleshed. He'd shown up that morning. But evidently being a statue for a couple days had taken a lot out of him, because he'd pretty much been sleeping the whole time. Adam was fine with that, though, smiling at his husband. It was enough to know he was safe. Adam winced and groaned as he took a drink of water. Pretty much doing anything for the next couple of weeks was going to hurt, he’d been told. Which sucked, but Adam figured the pain was a small price to pay. Things could’ve gone much, much worse. A figure appeared in the doorway, glancing around the room until her eyes found Adam’s. His smile drifted away. Mahtab took a step into his room, one hand in her pocket, the other loosely clasping a small flower basket with three bright orange gerbera daisies with a tiny get-well balloon tied to it. She raised it with a polite smile and set it down on a chair. Now with both hands in her pockets, she took a couple steps towards his bed, like they were old friends who hadn’t seen each other for a while. “Hey man.” Cassidy awoke with a start, knocking his glasses into his lap. He picked them up and righted them on his face. “Oh. Hey Maddy.” “Yeah, hi Maddy,” Adam grumbled, his voice still a gravelly rasp. “They takin good care of you?” Mahtab surveyed the room, as if assessing the facilities. “Yup,” Adam chatted back, unsmiling. “Five stars.” She chuckled, swaying awkwardly on her heels. “So… I think I owe you guys an apology. Well, I absolutely owe you guys an apology. I just… it felt like we were under attack, and it seemed like…well anyway, I AM sorry.” “Thanks,” Cassidy chimed, leaning both elbows on one armrest. “Regardless of any differences we had, I think it’s obvious after this that we need to stick together and… I mean, especially with Russell… gone…” she fumbled for a moment, before finding her train of thought once again. “I just miss being friends with you guys. I miss hanging out, and like… going on this insane adventure together.” Adam and Cassidy exchanged glances. Mahtab sighed and smiled. “I haven’t spoken to Harry or anyone about it yet but I’m sure he’d be open to the idea of you guys…” Adam raised his hand. “I’m gonna stop you right there.” “...coming back,” Mahtab continued, trailing off in confusion. “Okay, just stop talking and listen to me for a minute,” said Adam sternly. Cassidy pointed to himself and the door. “Should I…?” “No, Cass, I want you to stay,” said Adam, still looking at Mahtab. “Okay, so… I just wanna say I’m very sorry about what happened to Russell. He was a good guy and he didn’t… well nobody deserves that but he… y’know what I mean. It sucks. And I know you guys were close and I’m sure you must be really hurting right now. So… I know this is gonna sound harsh but I’m saying it now because I need to say it now. But… fuck you, man.” Mahtab blinked, and opened her mouth to say something but he cut her off. “You barged into my hotel and held me hostage. You dragged me all over the city, threatened me, threatened Cass… and while you were chasing us down that psycho was out there actually killing people. Killing people!” He grunted and winced, having raised his voice. “I… I said I was sorry…” Mahtab proffered quietly. Adam took another drink of water. “And I accept your apology. But we were doing fine before you guys came back into our lives. We were doing our own thing, keeping to ourselves, and it had nothing to do with you. And then all this happened.” Mahtab shook her head. “No… hey man, if it hadn’t been for us, Cass would still be…” Adam held up his hand again. “Shut up. Look, I’m not going to lay everything Cliff Esterez did at your feet, but it was you guys feeding him superpowers. So, maybe don’t try playing the ‘if it hadn’t been for us’ card.” “You are NOT being fair,” Mahtab jabbed her finger at him. “I don’t really care, end of the day,” Adam replied. “Here’s what I want to stress: we are going to go back to our lives, we are going to keep doing what we’re doing, and I don't ever want to have to deal with any of you ever again, all right?” Mahtab stuttered, and turned, incredulous, to Cassidy for help, but Cassidy just responded with a shrug. “Sorry, bae. She's the boss.” He pointed with his thumb at Adam. “You're both being ridiculous,” she mumbled. Adam looked about ready to lay into her again when another face popped in the door. “Hey boys! Oh; and girls!” Drew hopped over the threshold, holding out his hand to Mahtab. “Hi I'm Drew.” “Maddy was just leaving,” said Adam with a good-natured chuckle. “Thanks so much for stopping by, though. Oh and thanks for the flowers, you're so sweet!” Jamie was a step behind Drew, though not as chipper. Mahtab glared at him for a half second before adopting the charade herself, smiling broadly and adopting the affected warmth of a morning show host. “All right well you guys take care of yourself. Nice meeting you Drew. Bye!” she twirled around, waving with her fingers at everyone as she brushed by them to exit. She pinched Jamie lightly on the shoulder as she passed him. “So good to see you again, Jamie. Ta!” Jamie furrowed his brow as he watched her leave, then turned back toward the room, pointing out the door with his thumb. “I know I don't know her that well but is she, like, on drugs or something right now?” Adam leaned back on his pillow. “Long story.” “Oh my god Jamie you look terrible!” Cassidy exclaimed, putting a hand to his chest in shock. “Yeah!” Drew chirped, glancing at his boyfriend. “Everyone’s been making… a lot of jokes about domestic abuse.” “It’s not as bad as it looks,” said Jamie with a tired smile. “I think getting bruises as a giant just makes them look worse when you shrink back down.” Drew threw his arm around Jamie’s shoulders and scratched his stomach. “That’s my little hero.” Jamie squirmed out of his arms. “God, shut up,” he chuckled. Drew crossed the room as Cassidy rose and the two hugged. “Jeez, Cass, you’re like a sack of potatoes what’s wrong with you?” “Ugh, ohmygod I’m just SO tired I can barely do like, anything,” Cassidy explained laboriously. “Shouldn’t being frozen in stone leave you well rested?” asked Drew. “That IS how it worked on Gargoyles,” Adam noted. Cassidy rolled his eyes. “Oh my god leave me alone, you fascists!” he protested. “I’ve been through an ordeal.” Drew pulled Cassidy towards the door. “Here let’s go find some coffee.” Cassidy dragged his feet but followed him. “You want anything, hon?” “I’m good, thanks,” Adam nodded. Drew and Cassidy exited the room, though could be heard from the hallway. “I can’t grow you today I’m just SO wiped out,” Cassidy was telling him. “Dude, I can take a day off,” Drew answered him. Alone together, Jamie smiled at Adam. “So.” “Yeah.” Jamie took the gerberas off the chair, setting them on the floor, and slid it closer to the bed so he could sit down. “Cass texted us. Says you’re going to be fine?” “They’re keeping me for a bit in case anything goes wrong,” Adam confirmed. “I’m gonna be bedridden for a while but I should come around fine.” Jamie nodded. “Scary.” “Yeah.” They sat there lightly nodding in silence at each other before Adam took a deep breath. “Look, man. I just wanted to say… Jamie…” Jamie shook his head. “C’mon man, don’t get sappy n’ shit.” “Shut up, asshole,” Adam shook his head. “In here, the past couple days… I really felt like… not a lot of people would’ve come out like that. I needed help and you had my back.” Jamie breathed an uneasy sigh. “Dude, come on. It’s cool.” “YEAH it’s cool,” Adam agreed. “You’re cool.” Jamie rolled his eyes. “God you’re such a fag sometimes.” “I’m sorry we fell out of touch,” Adam pressed on. “Like… I took our friendship for granted. And I don’t give a shit that that’s a cliché,” he added quickly to fend off another quip from Jamie. “I don’t want it to ever happen again.” Jamie averted his eyes, rubbing his brow. “Okay?” Adam nudged him. “Okay! Jesus,” Jamie conceded. He sighed. “Look, before you have me sign some papers declaring you my B F F…” “You can be SUCH a dick.” “... I have something I want to say too,” Jamie put his hands on his knees and pursed his lips for a moment. “So… I want to apologize for my reaction when you told me you wanted to be bigger on a permanent basis.” “Oh my god,” Adam rolled his eyes. “Dude, absolutely nothing to apologize for.” “Well, no… I mean,” Jamie paused. “Like, I was sorta… all this magic stuff was a total bombshell for me and it just… it seemed like a lot. But I’ve thought about it some more, and I think you should go for it.” “Jesus christ, Jamie,” Adam shook his head. “Nothing could be further from my mind right now.” “Well, listen though,” said Jamie. “Like, this is something you want; this is something that will make you feel more like you’re living your true self; and it’s something you have the means to achieve. Right?” “I don’t know, man…” Adam looked away, and took a deep breath. “I just got finished telling Maddy off for treating me and Cass like shit, and for letting the stuff with Cliff Esterez get where it did but like… the abilities that made him really dangerous, he got that from Cass. And Cass only learned how to do that because I wanted him to… and now there’s twenty-one people dead. At least. I can’t help but think…” “Okay, I see where you’re going here, and I totally get it,” Jamie nodded. “And I mean, if you want to get down to the bottom line, you’re correct. But dude… Cliff was already a killer before he got to Cass, and we don’t even know how many people he’s murdered. I was there, man, I… I watched that happen. And maybe I could’ve done something to save them - I don’t know. But it’s not my fault. And it’s not yours.” “It’s not the same.” “Okay, sure,” Jamie agreed. “But let me just propose, for a second, that our propensity to blame ourselves for crimes someone else committed is rooted more in narcissism than any desire to… repent, or do anything actually positive.” Adam raised an eyebrow. “That’s twisted, man.” “We’re getting off track,” Jamie waved the comment away. “If you’ve changed your mind, that’s cool. And, y’know, obviously put some time into thinking about it. But if this is something you legitimately want, I think you should go for it. BUT… don’t send that e-mail.” Adam looked at him. “What?” “That e-mail you showed me - it’s not the right move. Listen,” Jamie scooched forward on his chair and leaned his elbows on his knees. “I’ve been thinking about it. You’re talking about going public with… magic, right?” Adam puffed out his cheeks and exhaled. “Well, I wasn’t gonna… call it that.” “Also a wrong move,” Jamie pointed at him. “Look, if you start walking around as a giant you’ll have to eventually address how it happened. One way or another. What you want to do, I think, is a controlled dissemination of information in the media.” “Wait, the media?” “Yes. If you do this, whether you want it or not, you WILL be in the public eye,” Jamie explained. “I guarantee it. So if you release select details of what exactly is going on, you’ll be able to control the narrative. You kind of have to approach it like a scandal. You get out in front of it, you set the stage and establish the context. By the time anything actually happens, it becomes the climax to an ongoing story. People will be excited for it.” Adam shook his head. “I don’t want any of that.” “Well, then, that’s something else to consider,” Jamie proposed. “It’s a consequence of what you want to do.” “Okay but I don’t even know how to do any of that,” Adam protested. “Like, who would I contact to…” “Why do you think I’M telling you all this, dude?” Jamie pointed to himself. “This is my job. I can help you.” Adam made a face. “I don’t know…” “So think about it,” Jamie shrugged. “Put some serious thought into it; discuss it with Cass. You know I got your back, right?” Jamie reached forward and clasped Adam’s forearm. Adam smiled at him. Jamie smirked. “You just focus on getting better and figuring out what you want to do. Leave the public relations to me.” *** “Ugh! Of all the days to break down, Elevator, why today!” Robyn groaned as she trudged painstakingly slowly up her apartment stairwell. Liam was a few steps behind, half-expecting her to fall back down on him at any moment. “It’s just the third floor, we’re almost there.” “You don’t know, man,” Robyn whined, gripping the railing tight. “Being petrified for months is such a drain. Honest? The only thing keeping me awake is how fucking starving I am.” “Well… all your perishables are probably toast,” Liam said, thinking aloud. “Pretty sure I got a frozen pizza,” Robyn replied. “And a bottle of wine.” “Maybe avoid booze for now?” Liam suggested. “Whatever, man. Thanks to that fucking douchetard I’ve been sober for three fucking months,” Robyn observed. She allowed herself a short laugh. “Ha! Stone sober…” They cleared the last flight of stairs and walked down the hall to Robyn’s apartment. She took her keys from her pocket and opened it up, revealing a short foyer before a modest kitchen. There was a doorway to the left but the kitchen was all you could see from the doorway. Robyn turned, smiling lazily. “Thanks for the ride, Liam. You didn’t have to walk me to my door.” “Well… I mean you sort of barely made it out of the car,” Liam noted. “I feel like I did.” Robyn chuckled. “You’re sweet.” She sighed. “Guess I’ve been celibate for three months, too.” She bit her lip, blinking slowly at him. “Feel like splitting a bottle of wine?” “Umm… you know I’m engaged, now, right?” Liam asked. Robyn smirked, undeterred. “So you’re in the last stretch of bachelordom, right? Last chance to get some kicks in.” She started to reach for his belt but Liam stepped away, smiling awkwardly. “Get some sleep, Robyn. I’ll see ya,” he gave her a sort of half-wave, and walked down the hall to the stairs. Robyn watched him go, her eyelids drooping. She sighed and turned inside her apartment, locking the door behind her. “It’s too bad, guys,” she called into her apartment as she turned on the oven. “You guys almost had another roommate.” Robyn kicked off her shoes and rounded the corner into her living room, where her collection of a dozen or so stone statues littered the room. She sat down on her couch between the stone forms of Kenneth Durante and Jennifer Gill-Durante, picking up the remote from the coffee table, on which sat the statue of a hissing cat. She glanced at all her familiar faces. Some frozen in shock, some relaxed, others enraged. She chuckled, sinking deeper into her couch cushions. “I missed you guys.” End
  3. Part 17: Cliff When Cliff’s father walked out on him and his mom a month after Cliff had turned fourteen, he knew he would have to step up. His mother Karen was not going to be able to handle things. She was prone to depression and addiction and was not very intelligent. She could barely keep it together when his dad had been around. Having to fend for the two of them immediately overwhelmed her. To her credit, Karen did what she could. She started courting suitors whom she believed could provide for them - and they did, at least for a while. But Cliff could always tell what Karen seemed blind to - these guys were looking for an occasional reliable fuck. No one she brought home was interested in tying the knot with an erratic, jobless divorcee (particularly when no papers had been signed to make that title legal) or getting attached to her delinquent teenage son. Cliff did what he could to pitch in. He sold pot at school and started stealing from construction sites and selling what he could to the creepy guy that owned the scrapyard. He stashed his money away and broke it out whenever Karen didn't have some guy around to pay their bills. He was a big kid. Nobody wanted to mess with him. Only the cops ever gave him any trouble,but he was smarter than them and nothing ever stuck. One time a kid at school named Greg Heitzner said Karen was a whore; that she'd gotten drunk at a bar and started offering blowjobs for twenty bucks each. It was probably true. So since Cliff couldn't argue, he broke Greg’s nose. In the month's suspension afterwards, he came to know he'd have to be strong, be tough, and be smart. Because Karen wasn't any of those things. And as bad as some of the losers Karen dragged home were, none of them ever laid a hand on her, because they didn't want to mess with Cliff. He was content with that for a while. It'd be bearable until he turned eighteen, and then Karen and Cliff wouldn't be responsible for each other, and he could get out of that shithole. He kept telling himself that, confident he was on track, until she brought home a very strange man. Antoine was an older guy. He had dark skin, thin hair, and a short beard speckled with grey. He didn't seem to have any money but nevertheless always seemed to have what they needed. He had a weird accent that Cliff couldn't place, and whenever Cliff - or Karen - tried to ask him about that he'd tell them not to worry about it, and then they wouldn't. In fact, whenever he told them not to do anything they'd stop doing it, and whatever he told them to do they would do.Even when they didn't want to. Even when it made no sense to. At first it wasn't that big a deal. It was weird and it was uncomfortable. But then it started to get disturbing. Antoine started hitting her. Cliff came at him, and Antoine told him to stop, and he did. It was the same the next time, and the next. The fourth time, Antoine told him to stop. He said he was tired, and he told Cliff to hit his mother in the face. Then, Cliff hit his mother in the face. She had a bruise shaped like Cliff’s knuckles for two weeks. Cliff stopped going after Antoine. Cliff stopped, but Antoine didn't stop. Strong. Tough. Smart. There was something happening that Cliff didn't understand. Antoine wasn't strong, or tough. But he had something that made none of that matter, and Cliff knew that if he ever encountered someone like Antoine again, he would need it too. Was Antoine smart? If he had been, Cliff figured he would have realized the only way the situation was going to conclude. He would had said something to made Cliff stop. Antoine may have tried, but was hampered by the pillow Cliff was pressing into his face, and the torn Discover card jammed in his jugular. Cliff left before sunrise. But not before finding some very interesting reading material among Antoine’s effects. Those, he took with him. He never saw Karen again. *** The stone man Cliff was carrying over his shoulder was still too heavy for him. He was sweating, taking laboured breaths, and his shoulder, arm, and back were all killing him. He could grow himself to a size where it would be negligible, but he couldn’t afford to yet. Once he made it to the water, everything would be fine. But he needed to make it there, first. He was careful as he loaded Cassidy’s frozen stone form into the bed of a black pickup truck, but it still clanked noisily as it did. “Hey… Hey! HEY! That’s my truck!” Cliff turned with a scowl at the guy sprinting towards him. White guy, blonde hair to his shoulders, wearing jean shorts and running in sandals. Reminded him a bit of Blake, though maybe a decade and a half older. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he asked as he closed in. He drew his fob from his pocket, and the horn chirped as he confirmed the truck was locked. Cliff turned, drawing back his shoulders. The shirt had been reduced to rags that hung off his sturdy frame. He wagered he was nearly seven feet tall, and pumped to the brim with muscle. It had been the only way to carry Cassidy. He stared down at the little man, who barely reached his chest, and curled his lip in contempt, growling, “Back off, man.” Cliff tried reflexively to shrink him. He felt his face flush as he realized he’d left the Asian kid back in the living room. All he had was Butch. But it would be enough. “Back off?” The blonde retorted incredulously. “That’s my fucking truck!” He sneered up at Cliff. “Look man I don’t care how big you are. You are not leaving here with…” His eyes widened as he watched Cliff growing right in front of him. Cliff crept inches taller as his thick, bulging muscles expanded all across his body. What was left of the shirt split into shreds, floating down off his body to the ground. “The fuck…?” The blonde took a step back, and held the fob forward. “I… I don’t know what you are but here, just take it. I don’t want any…” Cliff grabbed the driver’s side door handle, and would never be sure whether or not he meant to rip the door clear off the truck, but in either case, he did, and tossed it into the ditch. He pointed at the steering wheel. “You’re driving.” Sitting in the back of the truck, his arms spread out across the tailgate, Cliff felt happy in a way he hadn’t in a long time. The wind pummelling his swollen muscles, the sun setting behind the silhouette of the city wrapping around the glittering lake, the statue nestled between his knees, the stares he was getting from passersby… it was great. And it would all be his, soon. Once this coven was dealt with, no one would be able to stop him. Everyone would be his servant, like Blondie there. Anyone he couldn’t cow into submission, he’d kill. It was all pretty straightforward. He needed to get back to that house. He needed the Asian boy and that girl who could petrify people. He had only had time to take one and he settled on Butch. Or… Mini-Butch or whoever the fuck he really was. How did such a wimpy little toothpick weigh so much as a statue? It didn’t make much sense to Cliff. By now, Phil was probably dead. If by some miracle that idiot had managed to outdo one or more sorcerers, then Cliff would have to recalculate, but in the meantime… The black guy had called for backup. That backup was probably calling for backup too. He’d stash Butch on the islands, come back to the house, and find it full of all the best sorcerers in Toronto. And before yesterday, that might have given Cliff pause. But when he faced them, he intended to be far more than they could handle. He could see them now; looking up in terrified awe as he pulled the roof off that house. That would be the expression he hoped to capture once he petrified them. Then, all that power would be his. It’s tonight, then, he realized. It’s tonight that the true Cliff Esterez would be revealed to the world. He wondered to himself what skyscraper he’d knock over. He’d resolved long ago he’d have to topple at least one. As terrifying as a thousand-foot giant would be, one that clearly means business would inevitably be taken more seriously. He hadn’t like the Aura condo tower at first, but it had grown on him. It would probably be the Shangri-La hotel. His plan was to ram it with his shoulder. Instantly kill hundred, maybe thousands of people. Who’d mess with him then? He was getting hard thinking about it. The bulge in his straining jeans hardened into a pronounced outline of his cock. Cliff smirked, and watched as his cock suddenly spurted longer and thicker. He chuckled to himself as he lifted his eyes, and caught the gaze of the blonde driver in the rearview mirror, which immediately averted. Cliff grinned. He would have loved to shrink this guy into his toy, but there were ways to still have fun, eventually. “What’s your name?” Cliff called. The driver gulped, but remained silent. “Hey! I asked your name!” The driver replied, but it was lost in the wind. “Say what?” Cliff persisted pointedly. “Nick!” he shouted. “So, Nick…” Cliff drew a hand across his chest. “Do you think I’m sexy?” “Yes, sir…” Nick immediately nodded. “Very… very sexy.” “Be honest, Nick,” Cliff growled. “Well…” Nick sputtered, “I mean I’m not… really into guys… but…” Cliff grinned and leaned back, gazing up at the darkening sky, muttering to himself. “You'll come around.” *** “...and then this guy comes back to the bar, tells me he knows where Blake is, and here I am.” Tyson quietly explained to Jamie. “Like… I mean… when all the weird shit started to happen and I, like, changed into this?” he gestured to his musclebound torso. “I knew it had to be something crazy. But fuck… magic?” “I know,” Jamie rolled his eyes. “I feel like the last few months I've been sucked into fucking Narnia or some shit.” Leading them, ahead by a few paces, Mahtab and Nate walked side by side, and Adrian between the two pairs. “We got ‘im outa tha’ house.” Nated nodded approvingly. “That house protected him.” Mahtab pulled the keys from her jacket. They had decided to take Liam’s minivan. Jamie’s car was apparently too tight for Tyson, and nobody wanted to go fishing through the trash for Russell’s keys. She unlocked it with the fob and everyone started piling in. But as Nate went to walk past her she grabbed him by the arm and pulled him closer. “Tell me why I should fucking trust you,” she hissed. “You just come out of nowhere, know EVERYTHING, and have minihulk over there on guard duty.” She tightened her grip. “What's your connection here?” “Nate?” Tyson called from the other side of the van. “Everything okay?” Nate reached up and quietly peeled Mahtab’s hand off his arm. “S’all good, man. Jus’ sec,” he replied with a nod. Tyson didn't look reassured but got into the van anyway. Nate turned back to Mahtab. “‘Aight look, truth’s I jus' knew this’s goin’ on and came t’help.” Mahtab crossed her arms. “Uh-huh.” “‘M not ‘ere t’save you, bitch,” Nate spat, narrowing his gaze up at her. “An’ I don’ give a shit f’you believe me ‘r not. S’let’s jus’ skip t’the part where y’threaten to kill me if I get outa line same as you killed that guy in’ere.” Mahtab stifled a snarl, and the two stared at each other for a few more seconds before she mumbled. “Just something to keep in mind, kid.” Nate rolled his eyes. “Mind’s a bit occupied at th’moment,” he replied as he turned his back on her and strode towards the van. Mahtab looked back at the house. She didn't really have a play, which she wasn't a fan of. Nor was she very eager to follow someone else's lead, particularly some rando she'd never even heard of before. Why wasn't she giving a fuck about all the warning alarms going off in her head? Someone honked the horn in the van and Mahtab turned back to it with a scowl. Oh yeah. Revenge. It seemed like a fairly pedestrian motive… academically, at least. But it was apparently good enough for her. She jogged over to the van and slid into the driver's seat. As she started it up it was playing some upbeat feelgood pop song on Z103. She switched off the radio. Tyson, who was riding shotgun, pursed his lips. “I like that song,” he complained. Mahtab put the gear shift into drive. “Tough shit,” she muttered. *** The pickup truck groaned and tilted as Cliff slid to to end of the tailgate, and bounced on its suspension as he lifted off. It was dark, beginning to rain, and the half-nauseating, half-refreshing scent of the lake had Nick’s stomach in knots. Nick, the reluctant driver, clutched the steering wheel in his white knuckles, eyes locked to the rearview mirror at the gargantuan man. He had to be almost eight feet tall, and thick with more muscle than he'd ever seen before. Nick stayed as still and quiet as his nerves would allow, though he felt tremors in his knees and had to stifle a whimper of fear that wanted to squeak out of his throat. He just hoped the guy would leave. The missing door on his truck hardly seemed important now. This guy looked like he could just reach out, grab your whole head in one oversized hand, and pop it into jelly without breaking a sweat. But Cliff turned, locked eyes with Nick’s in the mirror, and his glower turned into an insidious grin. Nick swore the ground shook as Cliff rounded the side of the truck and blocked the while doorway with his abs and crotch. The overstuffed bulge in his stretched to the limit jeans twitched inches from Nick. Nick just stared straight ahead, ignoring the musk radiating from Cliff’s body. Cliff looked down at his terrified hostage. He bit his lip, and with a grunt, the bulged swelled even larger, and finally the jeans had had enough. The button of his fly popped off and the zipper was forced open, and a mound of Cliff’s shaft peeked out, so visible through his straining cotton briefs he might as well have been going commando. Cliff reached down a meaty paw and moaned as he pulled his cock out. “Mmmm… there we go.” Nick was taking very good care to keep his eyes straight ahead, but he couldn't help glancing over. It lolled over a foot long, thick as Nick’s forearm, and it didn't even look hard. It lowered out of view as Cliff squatted down to bring his face into view. “You like my cock, Nick?” Nick gulped. “It's, uhh….” “Look at me when I'm talkin to you,” Cliff growled. Nick snapped his head around so quick his blonde hair whipped in front of his eyes. He wanted to brush it away but couldn't unlock his hands from around the wheel. “Sorry! I'm sorry, I, uhh… I mean it's the biggest dick I've ever seen, man.” He finished with an awkward chuckle. “I can give you a giant fuckin hog, dude,” Cliff smiled. Nick somehow gripped the steering wheel even tighter as he felt an intense - but far from unpleasant - pressure in his groin. He felt his warm cock inching down his thigh, felt the left side of his jean shorts getting tighter. He looked down and gasped at the outline, inflating like a balloon. The sensation was deeply arousing, and it got harder as it grew. By the time his pink head peeked out from the hem of his jean shorts he was at full attention. He finally wrenched one hand off the wheel and lowered it down to his thigh - his cock was thicker than a pop can, and every touch was like a mini blowjob. He was amazed he hadn't cum. Cliff brushed the hair out from Nick’s face. “I can make you as big as me… bigger, even! Just promise to help me. To serve me. And I'll make you…” “Just let me go, man. Please? Please just let me go…” Nick’s eyes were welling with tears. Cliff’s face darkened. Nick saw the huge expression change, and began to protest. “I'm flattered. Seriously! You're huge, man. It's very impressive but I just can't… I mean it's not really my…” he gestured down to the boner that stretched past his knee. “No chick’s gonna let me go near her with this.” Cliff scoffed darkly. “You're worried about chicks, huh? Fine.” He lifted himself up, standing to his full height. His cock, which had in the interim become semi-hard, lolled lazily in front of him. Cliff folded his arms over his beefy chest. “I'll give you one less thing to worry about.” Nick felt a shiver scurry up his spine. At first he thought it was just the general peril he was in, but it quickly revealed itself to be much more. His shirt became snug, and he looked down in horror to see his flat stomach suddenly bowl out into a growing belly. His shirt rode up, revealing a modestly thick blond treasure trail down the centre of the inflating beach ball of a gut. He put his hands on it, as if to verify it was truly him, and then in some futile attempt to push it back. “No! Come on man, stop! Please.” It wasn't just his stomach. His arms, legs, and ass were becoming thick with layers of flab, and even as he pleaded he could feel his cheeks and chin hang heavier off his face. Even his hands and fingers were becoming bloated like overstuffed sausages. His clothes were beginning to tear. His watch snapped off his wrist. He winced in pain as his belly pressed up against the steering wheel, as his right thigh wedged up against the centre console. His shorts ripped away. His shirt tore apart. He felt the breeze on his thighs. “Stop!” Nick pressed against the windshield with his hand, his other arm flailing under his leg trying to adjust the seat. His protests only seemed to make his expansion accelerate. Cliff smirked as the growth subsided. Nick was in tears, sitting in the torn remains of his clothing, whimpering and grunting. “Please!” he blubbered, “please change me back. I can't move! It hurts!” Cliff shrugged his muscular shoulders, smiling at the sensation of all his overgrown brawn moving in tandem. “Not my problem,” he growled, and turned towards the back of the pickup. “No! No no no! Come back! Please!” Nick’s cries were becoming more and more shrill, his voice starting to crack. “I'll serve you! I'll… do whatever you want just, stop! Please! You can't leave me like this! I'll do anything!” Cliff hoisted the stone form of Cassidy, feeling the weight of it become less burdensome as he grew his body another foot taller, swelling his frame with more brawn. “I'll… I'll suck your cock,” Nick said quietly as Cliff passed the open door. “I'll let you fuck me! Whatever you want! I promise! Please stop! Please!” Cliff didn't respond. He didn't care. Nick had had his chance, just like everyone had. Every prissy little bitch that turned him down. Every stupid teenager who had ever given him grief. Every hot guy who avoided eye contact. Every Grindr profile who hadn't responded to him. They'd all had their chance to get into Cliff's good graces. To earn some level of mercy from him. But that time was over. Tonight began the era of Cliff. Where being smart, tough, and strong were the only currency of value. And he was smarter and tougher and stronger than anyone in this city. Anyone in the world. It was a full drizzle now. He could see it falling in sheets across the lake. A deep moan of pleasure rumbled inside him as Cliff felt himself growing larger and larger. His jeans and underwear finally gave out completely. Cassidy became smaller and smaller in the crook of his arm. The ground began to sink under his feet. The head of his cock brushed against the top of a small tree. It sent a fantastic shiver up his spine. “How you pussies like me now?” *** Hasan judiciously examined the dull glowing end of the roach perilously pinched between his thumb and finger. “Think there’s one hit there,” he mumbled, handing it to Drew. Drew carefully accepted the meager joint and took a drag. He didn't think he got anything. He flicked it off the edge of the balcony, and leaned over the rail on his elbows with a sigh. The night had turned colder, and it was spitting rain on an off. The balcony had been abandoned by everyone who wasn't smoking pot. “Awww what's wrong, muffin?” Hasan cooed, sliding up next to him. “Oh nothing.” Drew shrugged. “I was just really looking forward to spending Pride with Jamie. He always has such a shitty time but this year we had these other friends coming to the city… and like, now I have no idea where they are.” He paused a moment before adding, “Plus I really wanted to do that MDMA.” Hasan leaned his head on Drew’s shoulder. “Poor sweet Drew. I can be your boyfriend for the night if you want,” he suggested. “We can be one of those couples that get in loud, public fights.” Drew pursed his lips. “Tempting.” Hasan stood up straight and looked at Drew. “We didn't scare him off being extra, did we?” Drew smiled and put his arm around Hasan's shoulder. “No honey, y'all’re some basic hoes.” Hasan chuckled, leaning back on Drew's shoulder. “Bitch.” “Guys!” Elliot shouted from the doorway. They turned around as he rushed towards them. “Omigosh you guys, you'll never guess what the fuck.” Hasan and Drew exchanged glances. Hasan shrugged. “Grant just proposed to Wes!” Elliot jumped up and down clapping. Drew groaned. Hasan raised an eyebrow. “Did he say yes?” “Of COURSE he said yes,” Drew retorted, rolling his eyes. “He’s too much of a princess to turn down a wedding.” Elliot grimaced. “Who pissed in YOUR cheerios?” “Come on,” Drew protested. “You can't honestly think this is a good idea. They've been living together for like, three months?” Elliot raised his hand and splayed his fingers. “Uhh, five, bitch?” he corrected, then waved the comment away with a smile. “Whatever. Thanh and I are too poor to get married and you and Jamie are too butch.” Drew nodded sarcastically. “Right.” “I just want to go to a fag wedding,” Elliot admitted. “Don’t ruin this for me. Or… them, I guess.” “Wouldn't dream of it,” Drew acquiesced. “Whatever dumb bullshit any of you idiots want to waste your stupid lives on has my full support.” Hasan smiled wanly and hugged Drew. “That's all we ask, friendo.” “Ugh,” Drew squirmed. “Let's go inside it's cold.” Hasan rubbed Drew's stomach. “Mmm I'll keep you warm, babe.” Drew wriggled free with a chuckle. “Don’t touch me loser.” “Do you guys have any weed?” asked Elliot. “Sorry hun, just cashed that check,” Hasan apologized. Elliot gasped in faux outrage. “Bitches. All of you.” Drew giggled and brushed by Elliot to go back inside, Hasan close behind him. They were almost to the door when sheet lightning lit up the night above them with a soft rumble. Elliot gasped again. “Holy shit. Did you guys see that?” Drew sighed. “It's called lightning, Elliot, it's happens when… clouds… do something.” “Nonono, out in the lake.” Elliot walked to the railing, peering into the darkness. “What?” Hasan glanced at Drew before joining Elliot at the railing. Drew followed. “A ship?” “No… I dunno.” Elliot squinted. “I can almost see it still. Do you see that? It's like… it's too big to be a ship. It almost looks like a building.” Drew could followed their gaze. It was hard to see through the rain and the marijuana haze, but as his eyes adjusted he could make out a shape far off in the water. If it was anything, it was definitely too big to be a ship, and it was… “Is it…” Hasan asked cautiously, “moving?” “I can see it too!” a big Greek-looking guy a few metres from them said, leaning on the railing. “That thing is definitely moving.” “Omigosh is it, like a Godzilla or a sea monster or something?” Elliot posited. “Dude I'm kind of freaking out,” said Hasan quietly. “Alright,” Drew shook his head with a sigh. “Guys. This is a freshwater lake, we are not getting… Kaiju’ed. Lake Ontario isn't big enough to have a giant monster in it.” “Cloverfield was an alien that fell to earth,” Elliot countered. “In Pacific Rim they came out of a portal,” the Greek added. “Guys!” Drew exclaimed. “Look either we’re all just high and freaking out over nothing or there IS a giant monster in the Lake. Either way, let's not let it ruin our Pride, agreed?” Hasan stood up, turning away from the lake. “Yeah.” “It's freezing out here,” Drew shivered. “Let's go inside and congratulate our dumb friends on this huge mistake.” “Omigosh I wonder if Stanley knows!” Elliot turned and rushed back inside, the shape in the darkness forgotten. Hasan put his hand around Drew's waist and leaned on him as they walked back inside. “Thanks for saving Pride, babe.” “Anytime, sugarplum,” Drew replied. He did, however, cast another fleeting, worried glance at the lake. It was nothing. It was just the pot and the storm. It was nothing. It certainly had nothing to do with Jamie, or Cassidy, or Adam. Right? *** Mahtab raised her hand to keep the drizzle out of her eyes. She took a deep breath and sighed. “All right now I need you to hold as still as you can, okay? Take a deep breath and hold it. I’ve never done anything like this before.” The teary blonde man - grown so immensely fat he was unable to escape his pickup - whimpered and nodded. Mahtab took another long inhale, shook the water from her hands, and hopped from foot to foot for a second. She leaned forward and wedged her arm around Nick’s neck, her other hand sinking into the folds of his giant belly. “All right. One, two, three!” Mahtab hopped up to take her feet off the ground, and an ear-splitting screech of wrenched metal grated in her brain as she felt herself slip away. It was a mere fraction of a second. One moment Mahtab was leaning into Nick’s truck, and the next the two of them fell out of thin air fifteen feet away, crashing into the ground amidst chunks of the metal frame, the seat, and pieces of the steering wheel. It had been too tight a squeeze, and when she slipped she had been forced to take a piece of the truck with them. Mahtab grunted in pain as she felt the jagged edge of the windshield cut a gash in her arm. Nick slammed on the ground beside him as a misshapen slab of the truck’s ceiling fell on top of him. Blood oozed from a dozen cuts slashed into his bulbous body by the debris, and the roof had given him a nasty bruise on his forehead. Mahtab staggered to her feet, lifted the rubble off him with a grunt, and looked back at the truck, which looked like a giant hand had reached down and scooped a chunk out of the driver’s seat. “Are you okay?” she asked him after he had struggled to his feet. He had started to cry again. “What am I fucking going to do?” he mewled quietly. “Look, just…” Mahtab looked around. She couldn’t waste time babysitting this guy. “Just sit on that bench over there… we’ll get you fixed. Okay?” “Re...really?” Nick sniffed. “Yes,” she nodded emphatically, though she wasn’t really sure. “I have to go back to my friends, okay? You just sit tight.” As Nick lumbered away from his destroyed truck, Mahtab jogged towards the shore, briefly inspecting the wound on her arm. The four guys were standing in a line, looking out towards the lake, where the gigantic form of Cliff waded in the water. It was difficult to get a decent perspective at that distance for an exact figure, but he had grown himself to titanic proportions, probably close to two hundred feet tall. His every movement sent violent waves across the water, splashing up high above their heads at the shore. “We need to do something before he gets to the island,” she declared, raising her voice to be heard above the wind and rain. “We're gonna,” Nate quipped, and turned from the lake to look at Jamie. “You're gon’ hafta fight ‘im.” “What?” Jamie looked down at the smaller guy. “Why me?” “Yeah why him?” Mahtab asked archly. “It... can't be any of us,” Adrian explained slowly, as it was dawning on him. “The moment we get close to him, he'll just take our powers from us.” “S'only got Cass with ‘im,” said Nate. “It's the only power he's got.” Mahtab pointed at him. “It made him into a fucking mountain, I'd say it's plenty.” She crossed her arms, wincing again at the wound. “I say I just slip up next to him and slip away with a chunk of his brain.” “Dude, gross…” Tyson made a face. “I'll be too fast for him to anything,” Mahtab surmised. “Are you sure?” asked Adrian. “We don't know how long that takes. It might even be by proximity.” “An’ ‘e's been expectin’ an attack from you,” Nate continued. “S'got some safeguards… I'unno which ones ‘e ended up goin’ wit. But he doesn' know ‘bout me. He won’ be expectin’ ‘nother Cass.” He looked over at Mahtab, who was gazing out at Cliff. “Hey,” he said quietly. When she didn't respond he flicked her shoulder. “Hey!” Mahtab lowered her gaze to him. “Know why you wanna go,” he said evenly. “But this’s th’ better plan.” “I still haven't agreed to anything,” Jamie reminded them, raising his hand. Nate turned to Jamie. “Look bro, ‘e's got yer friend, an’ he is… like, y'don’ even know, man. Can't even. Guy's fucked, dude. An’ lookit ‘im.” Jamie turned his eyes back to the dark lake. The huge giant striding out into it. It was strangely mesmerizing. “S'not jus’ Cassidy, dude. S'all of us. An’ the whole city.” He paused. “S'gotta be you.” Jamie sighed, shuffled his feet a bit, looked at his shoes, crossed his arms and bit his lip. “God fucking dammit.” Nate smirked triumphantly. “Take off your clothes.” Jamie heaved another sigh before he started to undress, kicking off his shoes and wriggling out of his shirt, shivering as the drizzling rain hit his skin. Tyson’s presence made him a bit self-conscious but he figured it wouldn't really matter in a minute. He was about to take off his pants when he felt his cock plump up an inch or two bigger. He glanced at Nate, who returned a wink. Impressing these strangers with his cock was a low priority at this point, but Jamie gave him a subtle nod of appreciation regardless. Nate, Mahtab and Adrian were all yammering the plan they had discussed in the van to him again. Jamie was only catching every other word. Nate was trying to get him pumped, reminding him the changes would impede him in ways he might not expect. Mahtab was subtly stressing that Cassidy's survival needed to be treated as a second priority. Adrian seemed to be giving him tips on boxing but Jamie got the impression he had no idea what he was talking about. Mostly though, Jamie was asking himself if he could really kill someone. Someone he hadn't even seen before. From here he didn't even look like a person, and from the shore he looked more like a monster. He could get his head around that. But this WAS a person, and Jamie was going to have to look him in the face. Could he look someone in the eye and watch them die? Even knowing the stakes. All those lives in danger. All those people. He wouldn't be looking at them when he had to do it. They were all strangers too. But he'd be watching this stranger when he saved all of them. In his head he saw all of them. Not so much as people, just as crowds. No faces, no real details of their bodies or what they were wearing. Hundreds of thousands of them, all swarming together. He didn't know them, he couldn't see them. Would their abstract security be enough to let him do it? But he began, somehow, to pick out some of the faces. He could see Abbie, he could see Adam. And Drew. He could see Drew like he was standing right in front of him, wearing those jeans that he thought made his junk look bigger, and that Modest Mouse shirt he should've gotten rid of years ago, and those blue, scuffed up running shoes. And he had that smile that he got when he was reminded of some joke but didn't want to bother trying to explain it to anyone, and he was shaking his bangs out of his eyes, the way he'd do right before he complained how he never knew what to do with his hair even though it always looked perfect. “Alright everyone shut up!” Jamie cut off the chorus of advice. “I'm EXACTLY as psyched up as I need to be right now let's go.” Jamie immediately lurched taller. He grew three feet higher so quickly he almost fell over right there. The others hopped back with a start. “My bad, my bad,” Nate apologized. “I'll take it slower.” It started up again, at a more reasonable pace, giving Jamie time to adjust his footing. He rose taller and taller. When he was almost double his original height, he felt his muscles start to swell. Like they had that first night he found out about all this crazy bullshit. His chest puffed up with beef as his arms grew thick and corded, thighs bubbling up with size and weight. He looked down at the four people gaping up at him like they were small children. At fifteen feet tall, he strode out towards the lake, his cock slapping across his thighs as he continued to grow. He stepped over the breaker into the lake and it barely covered his foot. The shape before him was still formidable, but he was slowly catching up to it. He glanced down at his hands as he walked, watching them get thick and meaty. He felt his shoulders widen, his biceps bulge, and closed his hands into fists. Out on the lake, and at this altitude, the wind and rain was loud enough that Cliff couldn't hear him approaching, but he felt the lake bed trembling under footfalls other than his own, and turned around just in time to see the huge fist slam into his face. Cliff felt his teeth cutting the inside of his cheek as his brain rattled around in his skull. He tasted blood in his mouth, and it infuriated him. He staggered forward, almost falling to a knee, but came back around with his own, blind swing, his thick arm arc out wide, only hitting air. Jamie was still ten feet shy but was committing to the fight anyway, confident he was still getting bigger. As Cliff regained his footing, Jamie sent up a wave of water as he maneuvered his leg between Cliff’s, grunting as he threw an arm around his opponent's shoulder, hoping to knock him off balance and send him sprawling onto his back. But Cliff had planted his feet, and was very heavy. He retaliated by jabbing Jamie in the ribs with his elbow. At over two hundred feet tall, breathing was laboured enough. It felt like he was trying to breathe by sucking air out of a balloon. The strike winded him, and Jamie recoiled, almost slipping off of his hold, but he clenched his fist around Cliff's shoulder, using it as leverage to bring his knee up and hit Cliff right in the solar plexus. Cliff grunted loudly, coughing, a band of spit knocked out of his mouth, and he grappled for Jamie for a moment before crashing to his knees with a surge of water. Cliff was being careful not to strike his foe with the fist holding Cassidy. He figured it might be like hitting someone with a fit clenched around a roll of quarters but couldn't risk breaking the statue. He deposited Cassidy - like a coin machine toy in his hands - from his right to his left to keep his main hand available. But his eyes settled on another shape in the water, and Cliff smiled. Jamie moved in to grab him by the shoulders, hoping to shove him into the water, but Cliff suddenly slashed up at him, and Jamie felt something crack across his jaw. He was forced back a step, and Cliff clamoured to his feet, reeling back, ready to throw whatever he had in his hand. Jamie's eyes settled on it and widened as he realized what it was. Cliff had pulled a small cruise ship out of the water, and even as he held it aloft, Jamie spotted people being thrown overboard, plummeting down across Cliff's arm into the dark water below. Jamie threw out his legs and splashed into the water as Cliff launched the boat towards him. Adrian covered his mouth in horror as he watched the ship spiral through the air, and all eyes followed it as it descended on the shore, crashing into the parking lot of a marina, destroying half the building with it. Before Jamie could get up, Cliff was upon him delivering a punch to the eye that dazed Jamie, and pushing his head down into the water, holding his back down with his knee. Jamie thrashed beneath him but Cliff stayed put. Cliff laughed as he increased his own weight, feeling his frame expand again as Jamie struggled against him. Filling lungs this size took a lot of effort. It wouldn't be long before Cliff took care of this asshole, whoever he was. He'd teach people not to mess with him. A shape appeared from the side of his vision, blocking out the lights from the city, prompting Cliff to look up from his opponent, to see a titanically muscled, two-hundred-foot tall Tyson bring his hands hammering down on Cliff’s forehead. “Asshole!” Tyson shouted at his co-worker. Cliff let out a short wail before Tyson reared back and kicked him with a monstrous heel to the chest, forcing him to fall backward into the water and off of Jamie, he thrust his head out of the water, coughing and gasping for breath. Tyson quickly grabbed under his elbow and hoisted Jamie to his feet as Cliff scrambled to his own. “Fuckin kill you,” Cliff rasped. “BOTH of you. Fuckin dead.” It was really windy, though, and the two other giant couldn't really hear any of it. They got the gist, though. Tyson began to slowly creep through the water, staying well out of Cliff's reach, circling around to his right. Jamie was still taking huge gulps of air, trying to catch his breath again, still seeing stars, but kept his arms up defensively. Cliff made a suddenly feinted toward Jamie, and Jamie shifted away with a start. He felt a buoy smack against his shin, as his foot slid up against an outcropping in the lakebed, sharp enough to stagger him. He felt his leg buckle, then give way, and he slammed down to one knee, his thick arm flailing as he tried to steady himself. Cliff moved toward him quickly, grappling for his arm, but Tyson lunged forward as well. Cliff closed his hand around Jamie’s wrist, and kneed him in the chest, but Tyson took the opportunity to loop his arms under Cliff’s shoulders, interlocking his fingers behind the neck. Cliff’s arms were splayed open, and Jamie grit his teeth. Cliff tried to kick at Jamie but the water weakened the blow. Jamie deflected it with his arm as he rose to his feet and landed a hard uppercut in Cliff’s stomach. Tyson held him tight, feeling Cliff’s rainslick back against his chest, as Cliff grunted in pain, shuddering violently. Jamie’s eyes darted from left to right, and saw Cliff’s right hand was open, while he seemed determined to keep his left clenched shut. Jamie grabbed at the fist with both hands, trying to pry the fingers open. Cliff kicked at him again but Jamie swiveled to the side. “No!” Cliff cried. “Get off me you fuckin faggots!” “You’re such a dick, Cliff,” Tyson growled at him from behind. “Give it up!” “Fuckin cunts!” Cliff cried. They were going to beat him, he realized. He couldn’t go any bigger and keep breathing properly, especially not while exerting himself, and the two of them were just as big as he was. His left arm bulged as he strained to keep his fist closed, but Jamie’s fingers were digging their way in, and slowly he managed to bend one finger loose. Cliff had no choice. “FUCK!” Cliff screamed, and suddenly, he began to rapidly shrink. His legs burst out of the water, quickly rising up as he slipped out of Tyson’s grasp. The statue in his hand quickly became too big to hold and he released it. Tyson tried to catch Cliff as he fell - still diminishing - toward the water, but in a bright flash of white light, he was gone. The rain had picked up, and the flash had briefly blinded him, but Jamie had caught a glimpse of the still, stone figure falling through the air, he flailed wildly in front of him, though his side kept his arms from moving as fast as he would have liked, and he felt nothing but the wind. But then he saw a spray of white water on the lake, of something heavy splashing into the surface. He immediately squatted down, and thrust his hand into the water, raking his way through it, until he felt something hard hitting his palm, and lifted it out. He held his hand close to his face to see in the darkness, and amidst the algae and garbage covering his palm was a tiny stone man, in a seated position, his little face frozen in shocked dismay. Jamie breathed a deep sigh of relief, and felt his huge body finally relax. Tyson waded over to him, panting. “You got him?” he shouted. Jamie nodded. “Yeah.” “So…” Tyson glanced at the shore, shaking wet bangs from his face. “Did we win?” Jamie carefully staggered to his feet, cradling the tiny figure in his huge palm. “I think do, yeah.” “Okay…” Tyson looked back a the shore, then out to the lake. “So, uhh… what do we do now?” Jamie looked at Tyson and blinked. “That’s actually a great question.” He gestured back to the shore. “Let’s go check with them.” “Might not be a great idea,” Tyson replied, pointing. Not far from where they had stepped into the lake was the red flashing lights of emergency vehicles approaching the yacht club the cruise ship had crashed into, and even from there they could see many figures milling around. “Should we… can we help them?” Jamie shook his head. “Probably best to just let the professionals do their jobs. Here,” he tapped Tyson on the shoulder and gestured for him to follow as he waded towards the island. “Let’s just hide out in the water near the island til we start to shrink down.” Tyson fell into step after him. A flash of sheet lightning illuminated both of them for a moment, and a few seconds later a roll of thunder boomed overhead. “How long will that be?” he asked. “Uhh…” Jamie grimaced. “Something like six hours, I think.” “Fuck,” Tyson grumbled. Jamie shrugged. “You fight good, man,” said Tyson. Jamie chuckled, checking again on the stone figure in his hand. “You too, man, you too.” “What the fuck happened?” Mahtab shouted, peering into the darkness. “Got Cass,” Nate beamed. “‘Re jus’ hidin out for a bit. Maybe let’s pitch on a water taxi later.” “Wait what?” Mahtab glanced at him then out at the lake. “Where's Cliff?” “He shrank,” Adrian answered. “He must've had something prepared from before.” Nate nodded in agreement. “Shrink n’ blink,” he muttered quietly. “What?” Mahtab yelled. “Shrink n’ blink!” Nate yelled back. “What? Fuck is that?” “Nothin!” Nate replied, rolling his eyes. “Jus’ bein funny!” “Well don't!” Mahtab chided, wiping rain from her eyes. “If Cliff is still alive we need to find him!” “Where do we even start?” asked Adrian. “He could be anywhere between here and the island.” Nate shook his head. “Naw man he ‘ported away.” “What?” asked Adrian. “How do you… oh, shrink n’ blink; I get it.” “How do you even know all this?” Mahtab finished Adrian's question for him. Nate chuckled, turning and walking inland. “C'mon, guys. Figger it out.” “Where are you going?” Mahtab shouted after him. “Help the fat guy. ‘N get back to Cliff's house,” Nate called back. “What about Jamie and Tyson?” asked Adrian. “Can't help ‘em now,” Nate answered. “Plus that.” He stuck his arm out to the west, where firetrucks, cop cars, and ambulances were turning the flaming marina into a red and blue rave. “Oh…” Adrian nodded, and tapped Mahtab on the arm before jogging after Nate. “Good point, let's get out of here.” Mahtab took another look out at the water and the two dark shapes wading further out into the lake. She rubbed her bleeding arm and trudged after them with a resigned sigh. *** Liam breathed a shuddered sigh as he read the texts from Mahtab. “Harry! HARRY!” he shouted, running back into the house. “Liam, PLEASE!” Harry stressed. “I’m trying very hard to concentrate and you’re presently blocking the doorway!” “Oh… sorry.” Liam pressed himself against the side of the door as a stone statue floated silently through the air out toward the U-Haul they had hastily rented. Harry followed it at a slow, measured pace, telekinetically controlling it with his mind. But they'd done some quick calculations and each statue probably weighed upwards of five hundred pounds. Harry was growing more and more exhausted after each statue he transported, but was powering through. Corey was waiting outside with an umbrella for Harry, shielding him from the rain to avoid any distraction. He directed the statue into the open door of the truck, where Brian and Grace were waiting to wrap them in moving blankets. Before they had left to confront Cliff, Nate had restored Blake to his original size, and Roddy had shortly thereafter taken both Blake and Adam to an ER where he knew the staff, and he could likely avoid dealing with the police. This left Liam alone in a house full of distressingly lifelike statues, a huge, headless corpse, and apparently, a tarantula on the loose. Needless to say, he was grateful when Harry showed up in response to his call. Informed of the full situation, Harry had in all available hands to help deal with this as quickly as possible. They were going to carefully transport all the statues back to their headquarters, and see what they could do about restoring them. Even that looked to be a challenge. Harry had been forced to call in a favour. Liam had been too meek to object. As Harry carefully deposited the statue into the truck, he rubbed his temple, grimacing as he walked through the wet grass back to the house. “I'm sorry, you were saying?” he turned to Liam, drying his hands on his sweater-vest. “Word from Mahtab?” “Yes,” Liam nodded quickly. “They're on their way back with someone else Esterez has changed. They said they recovered Cassidy, but Esterez activated some sort of defensive spell and escaped! He may be coming back here!” Liam glanced at the body on the floor. “We need to leave!” “Liam, calm down,” Harry put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “If he returns as a giant we'll see him coming, and if not, there's more than enough of us to deal with him. Plus…” “Plus you've got me!” Oliver chimed in, thoroughly British. He strode out of the living room after having successfully outfitted all of the statues with oven mitts to protect their fingers. “I've no doubt we could fend him off together.” The tall, slim, older man clapped Liam on the back, and Liam poured all his effort into swallowing his disdain and forcing a smile. “I guess,” he replied. Oliver beamed. “That's the spirit. Though,” his tone became cautionary as he turned to Harry. “I'm tempted to agree with the young gentleman. Our proximity to this business at the marina is most unappealing.” Harry pursed his lips and nodded in agreement. “You're right. We'll have to leave him.” He glanced briefly at Phil's corpse, which had begun to smell.“Are you sure that's wise?” asked Oliver. “I don't even know what we'd do with him. Honestly the best way to avoid any connection to us is to leave him here, I believe.” Liam felt like a sigh of relief he'd had pent up for hours finally released. “All right I'll make sure everyone's ready to go just as soon as that last of our companions is on the truck,” Oliver replied with a nod. “And perhaps redirect the young lady to rendezvous elsewhere?” he suggested to Liam as he walked out the front door. Liam's expression fell back into a grim frown the second Oliver's back was turned. Harry, evidently, caught it. “You don't approve,” he observed. “I'm sorry, Harry, I just don't trust him,” said Liam quietly. "Neither do I, Liam, but this is a bigger crisis than we can handle alone. And it's not about who… wins, anymore. People have died.” “I know, Harry, I'm not… I get it. I do.” Liam sighed. “Good man,” Harry turned back to the living room. “All right, onto the next one…” The statue of Robyn scraped on the floor as it was hoisted into the air. Her handcuffs had been cut and she was wearing mismatched oven mitts. The stupid bitch. She had been the worst of all of them. The whole time she just wouldn't shut up. Even as he body was turning to stone Cliff had been afraid her struggling would damage her. She was a big loss. When the time came to reclaim his power, she would have to be an early acquisition. And it would be even harder this time. Four inches tall and naked, Cliff watched grimly from behind a vent grating as they stole all his powers from him one by one. He hated being small, but he knew it was the best way to survive an ambush, and so his carefully orchestrated spellcraft had been designed to teleport him to safety while hiding him from view. It would wear off soon, and Cliff would have to start over. But he had learned many things. Phil was a poor minion. Cassidy's powers came from a place of vanity and not practicality. And somehow, his wards had not kept them out. Next time, his defenses would rely on a more subtle version of stealth. Next time, he would recruit his followers more wisely. Next time… Something rustled softly behind him, amplified by the metallic echo of the vents. He turned, peering into the long narrow ventilation pipe that disappeared into darkness. He was about to dismiss it as his imagination when he saw the light glint dully of her black, featureless eyes. Slowly his eyes continued to adjust, and he made out more of her shape, nestled perfectly still in the shadows at the corner of the shaft. Her body was lowered, her front legs were spread. She was preparing to attack. Penny darted at him so quickly he barely had time to react. The first bite punctured his lung, and he couldn't even manage a scream. Liam, Harry, and Corey were all distracted by the work at hand, but had they looked down at just the right moment at just the right vent, they would have seen a tiny pair of hands clinging desperately onto the grating. But only briefly, before they were dragged off into the darkness. *** The beach had served as a serviceable pillow, but the water was too cold for them to get a decent sleep and the rain continued on and off through the night. They'd mostly chatted to pass the time. The only way they could remotely stay out of sight was to use the lake as a cover, though the water was fairly shallow until pretty far out, and Jamie didn't want to leave Cassidy unattended. So they did their best, but anyone who happened to look out at the south side of Captain Mori beach would have absolutely seen them. Jamie told Tyson all about what Cassidy and the coven, which was all news to Tyson. Tyson told Jamie about all the surreal transformations that had been going on at the Black Eagle, which Jamie was amazed he hadn't heard anything about. From there they just shot the shit to keep each other awake. It was still dark out when they felt their bodies begin to contract. They couldn’t really tell the time accurately, but it was close to an hour before they were at reasonably human sizes. As the sun had started to rise, they were back to normal. Or, they were back to where they’d been the night before. Tyson’s thick, sculpted physique and ample junk was on full display as they sunned themselves in the brisk dawn light not far from where they had deposited Cassidy. There was some conversation of what to do next. They hadn’t thought to discuss it. The ferries didn’t start running until nine, and even then, they had no idea what to do with Cassidy, and would probably cause a scene trying to do anything while stark naked. Luckily, their hands weren’t forced. They had fallen into silence, lying side by side on the beach, propped up on their elbows looking out at the lake. “Hey guys.” They both looked up to see Mahtab standing near the treeline. She looked like she’d had a shower and changed her outfit, and had her hands in her jacket pockets. She walked over to them, unslinging her overstuffed backpack, and fishing out their clothes and tossed them towards the pair. They sorted out which was whose and hastily dressed, though they were still pretty damp from the rain, and Jamie found himself shivering. Mahtab raised an eyebrow as she surveyed his chest and face. “Are you all right, man? You look like shit.” Jamie shrugged as he buttoned up his shirt, covering up the multiple large, dark purple bruises on his chest. He couldn’t do anything about the cut across his jaw, or the bloodshot black eye. “Looks worse than it feels,” he replied with a shrug. “Any sign of Cliff?” Mahtab shook her head. “Liam and some others were at his house for a couple hours after, getting all the statues out. He didn’t show. They left the dead guy, though. The cops are there now.” Tyson brushed sand from his back. “Should we, like, get our stories straight?” “You guys should be fine,” Mahtab sighed. “The rest of us, who fought him there… it might not come up. We’ll come up with a plan.” “You got a plan for him?” Jamie stuck out his thumb at the statue of Cassidy, lying on its side in the sand. “It’s a long way to carry him back to the ferry.” “Got it covered,” said Mahtab, looking past them out at the lake. She raised both her hands and started waving. Tyson and Jamie turned around, where they spotted a water-taxi turning towards them. “Heh,” Tyson chuckled. “Nice.” “Oh that’s just for Cassidy,” Mahtab informed him. “I don’t know how much he weighs. We’re all taking the ferry back.” “Aww man…” Tyson rolled his eyes. “We just saved the city! Couldn’t we get some V I P treatment?” “Dude who do you think I am?” Mahtab spread her hands. “I’m a student. I’m buried in debt. You want a medal take it up with John Tory.” “I mean, we DID put our lives on the line here,” Jamie stressed. “A ‘thank you’ would be nice.” Mahtab’s shoulders slumped as she dropped her defensive posture. “Well, like… thanks. Legit.” Tyson held up his hand, nodding to Jamie. “Hey man. Welcome to the saved the city club.” Jamie smirked and gave Tyson a high-five. “Likewise.” Tyson laughed and clapped Jamie on the back. “Man, we’re heroes! We’re so awesome.” Mahtab held her forehead with a quiet groan. “Jesus fucking christ.” *** Yes, Jamie had, in all likelihood, saved the city. But after they carefully loaded Cassidy onto the water taxi, he had to walk all the way to the dock, wait for the ferry, and take it across the bay back to the mainland. It was almost 11 AM by the time he was back in Toronto proper, and it wasn’t until he and Tyson exchanged numbers that he realized he hadn’t checked his phone in nearly twelve hours. He had a bunch of messages from Drew. They generally fell into the categories of “Where are you?”, “When are you coming home?” and “Where the fuck are you????” Jamie typed back: “Sorry D be home in 20 ;*” An uber would’ve been 15 bucks, an he wasn’t even that far from home. So Jamie walked up to Queen Street and waited for twenty minutes before a streetcar arrived with any room. People were staring in alarm at the bruises on his face. A couple of middle-aged black ladies even asked him if he needed some help. He laughed off any concern with “Just a bit of a rough night.” He wasn’t completely sure what he expected to come home to. What it ended up being was a groggy Drew seated at their little dining table, still getting his bearings, likely jarred awake by the opening of their front door. “Jamie…” he said quietly, his head lolling around on his neck. The sight of all Jamie’s bruises apparently woke him up some. “Jesus christ Jamie what happened to you?” “I know,” Jamie held up his hands. “It looks worse than it is. I had a but of a rough…” “Shut up,” Drew commanded, shaking the sleep from his head. “Shut up. I need to say something.” He paused, seemingly dazed. “I need to say something,” he repeated. “Look it’s… it was Adam. And Cassidy. And this… Drew, you have no idea.” “Shut up! Please!” Drew raised his voice, and his head drooped. But his half-asleep brain was still struggling to piece together the monologue he had been rehearsing until he passed out. “Just… please shut up and listen to me.” Drew raised his head again, and Jamie was surprised to see tears running down his face. “D… baby, what’s…” “You know I love you, right?” Drew croaked. “What?” Jamie furrowed his brow. “Of course I do, D…” “I know what happened tonight,” Drew quickly interrupted him. “Or… last night. Or, like, not all of it, but I know enough about it. I know what you did.” Jamie was about to say something but Drew cut him off again. “I don’t know… I mean, I guess love is something different to everyone, but to me… it means being there for someone. It means… it means being beside them when they put things on the line.” “D… come on I couldn’t just…” “I KNOW it’s scary and… I know you just want to keep my safe and that you don’t want me to get involved. I know you think you need to protect me but… I need to protect you, too,” Drew almost pleaded with him. “And when you… when you go into battle I want to be at your side. I NEED to be at your side. Do you understand what I’m telling you?” “D, I’m sorry I lied to you, but I just couldn’t let you…” “I NEED you to let me!” Drew shrieked. “I’m not going to wait at home and wonder whether or not you’re coming home!” Drew slumped his shoulders, and composed himself. “Look… I get that all the things you’re suddenly being exposed to seem… dangerous. And they are. But you can’t lie to me anymore. And you can’t shield me from it anymore. And you can’t…” Drew lifted up off the chair, taking a deep breath. “If I… if I can’t be beside you when you have to face… whatever this is, then I won’t be beside you at all.” Drew gulped. “Okay?” Jamie took a step forward, and drew grabbed Jamie’s hand in his own. “Okay,” Jamie nodded, feeling his own tears welling up. “I’m sorry,” he stammered. “I want you beside me.” He pulled Drew close and hugged him as tight as his fatigue would allow. “I fuckin love you.” Drew buried his face in Jamie’s shoulders. “You fuckin better.” Jamie tightened his grip. "So fucking much." Drew managed a teary chuckle. "So fucking much."
  4. https://www.metabods.com/mbxx/site/fetch_storylist.php?type=author&author_ref=124 iciss tends to focus on one or two guys at a time but he racks up pretty high numbers I thought he had mentioned a story where everyone on a subway car grows but maybe I'm thinking of someone else
  5. It's been a while, so here's a quick recap: Magic is a lost art form that has recently been rediscovered. Through study and practice, members of the "Coven" can wield a bunch of cool powers, but generally you can only really master one form of it. Cassidy chose to learn how to grow people - or parts of people - to indulge his husband Adam's muscle growth and macro fetish. Mahtab can effectively teleport, which she called "slipping." Russell can cover himself in a nigh-impervious shield. Rodrigo can heal flesh wounds. Adrian can tap into a form of clairvoyance, though he is rarely sure how to interpret it. Nate is telepathic, and used his powers on Cassidy to learn how to copy his powers as well. But members of the magical community have begun to go missing; kidnapped, it turns out, by Cliff, who is able to steal powers from other sorcerers. Among others, he has gained the ability to shrink people, turn them to stone, and become invisible. A vicious sadist, Cliff has been shrinking men and keeping them captive, abusing them for his amusement, insisting they call him "Master." His current captives are Phil, Blake, and Rodrigo, whose healing powers he uses to repair his injured toys when he has finished with them. Cliff's most recent acquisition was Cassidy, and now Cliff has gained his powers as well. Mahtab and Russell conducted an investigation on the disappearances, initially believing Cassidy was behind it, and roped Adam into helping them. Russell eventually tracked Cliff down, but Cliff killed him, and left Rodrigo and Blake to die, taking Phil - who had been reporting on his cellmates' activities - with him. Mahtab and Adam are now closing in, as are Jamie, whom Adam secretly called, and Nate, who received a psychic cry for help from Cassidy and recruited Tyson, who wants to save Blake. There's some other B plots going on too but you'll figure it out. Part 16 - Phil Phil was afraid of the Master. But he hadn't always understood that fear. When was first brought into the home of the Master, all he knew was fear. It was a selfish, pitiful fear. Fear for the life he had been torn away from. Pedestrian concerns about his job, his home, his family. For his own survival, which had since become so trivial. He had seen the Master destroy other would-be acolytes of this new religion. They had been tempered in the crucible of the Master, and had been found lacking. The price of failing that test - the price of failing all tests worth undertaking, Phil now realized - was death. As the Master set Phil’s tiny body down on the hardwood floor, Phil looked up at him and wondered how anyone could fail to see what he now knew beyond any doubt. The Master was a creature so far beyond them. The things he could do were outside of the capacity of the limited, unenlightened sheep he had known in his life before. That fear was, in truth, awe. How could they deny it? How could Roddy and Blake fail to understand that after all this time? For their heathen ignorance and stubborn blasphemy, they deserved the destiny the Master had inflicted upon them. And the time had come for Phil to meet his. “You've been an adequate slave,” the Master grumbled, looming mountainous over Phil. “I've decided to bestow on you a fraction of my power,” he announced, drawing himself up to his full height. “Kneel.” Phil dropped to one knee, clasping his hands over the other. He bowed his head in solemnity. Pain shot through his limbs, and he stumbled as he felt them suddenly growing longer, flesh stretching tight over elongating bones. He clenched his teeth to keep from crying out, afraid the Master would be offended or disappointed. Phil glanced up at the Master as he writhed on the floor, and saw the Master return his gaze, arms crossed in satisfaction, grinning with delight at Phil’s agony. His body contorted as his shifting bones ground against each other, his legs cramping, toes curling as his feet grew. He drew strangled gasps of breath from the air, and each one was like sulfur in his lungs. He tasted blood in his mouth as his teeth grew faster than his jaw. Tears poured down his cheeks as his eyes bulged out of their sockets before the rest of his face caught up with them. Pain shrieked through every corner of his body, its keen more intense with every torturous moment. And then it was gone. The aches that echoed its passing were a welcome reprieve, though it took Phil a moment of uncertainty to realize he was still alive. His face was damp with tears, snot, spit and blood. Every muscle burned like a low ember, and every breath came staggered and raw. But it came. Phil looked up. He had been restored. He felt a tad crestfallen. He had enjoyed being the Master's favourite toy. But he was alive. He had been tested, and he had passed. “Stand,” the Master commanded, and Rodrigo tentatively braced himself the floor, slowly pushes himself up into a squat, and rose on shaky legs to his full height. He gulped as he found himself a head taller than the Master. In all these months he'd forgotten he had been a tall man. The Master looked up at Phil with hooded eyes and a sadistic smirk. “Thank you, Master,” Phil croaked hoarsely. The Master shook his head. “Oh we're just getting started.” The pain came again. *** Carlos shook lint and dust out of an old burgundy wool blanket and unfurled it into the air, allowing it to descend unevenly onto the cement floor. On his literal hands and knees to keep his head clear of the parking garage’s low ceiling, Hugo maneuvered his considerable bulk to rest his ass on the blanket, leaning back against the side of a pickup truck - which alarmingly shifted under his weight - with a groan. Carlos put his hands on his hips and nodded. “It’s not exactly the Hilton but it’ll have to do for now,” he grumbled. Hugo nodded, shifting his weight around to get comfortable. “Don’t think the Hilton would do the trick,” he chuckled. “Thanks man.” Carlos exchanged a mirthless glance with Daniel. They weren’t laughing. It was half a block from the Black Eagle to an apartment building owned by a longtime patron, but it took nearly half an hour to get Hugo’s fan club to leave him alone, and Hugo was not being helpful. Still enamoured by both his newfound size and all the attention it was getting him, Hugo was dragging his feet to get out of the spotlight, and paused to give his number to probably ten guys, at least. The logistics of his situation had, apparently, not quite registered with him yet. Even now he was experimentally flexing; running his hands over his muscles and his swollen gut; combing his fingers through his beard; occasionally hefting his impressive cock. Carlos sighed. After last night’s chaos, Carlos had been transformed into the biggest bear in town - if not the whole world. Now Hugo was outdoing him on every front. But Carlos had a hard time resenting him for it. Previously, Hugo had been a gym rat prettyboy, but now he was a rugged, gigantic beefcake. Carlos felt his cock - which had gone from a respectable six-inch rod to a thick footlong monster the previous night - slowly engorging. “I’m gonna run back to the bar. Try an’ find something to cover him up,” he mumbled to Daniel. “You stay here and keep him out of sight. Or try to, anyway…” Carlos turned and walked - briskly but slightly bow-legged - out of the garage. “Mmm,” Daniel replied with a nod, and slowly turned around to Hugo, who was hefting his belly with both hands, raising it as high up his torso as he could, and letting it plop back down with a slap against his lap. He saw Daniel looking and giggled. Daniel had always loved big men. It was what landed him a job at the Eagle in the first place, back when he was freshly immigrated, freshly out of the closet, and thin as a rake. He was particularly fond of men who were taller than he was. He was a man of supreme discipline but at six foot five, it was rare that he even had to test his resolve. Hugo, of all people, was now giving him that feeling in the pit of his stomach, the middle of his chest, and all over his balls. He took a deep breath and pulled out his phone, hoping to distract himself. It occurred to Daniel that he needed to update his Grindr profile after last night. “Y’know when I first started going with guys I tried to become a bear,” said Hugo. “In, like, upper school. But I could never keep the weight on.” He laughed. “I’d totally forgotten about it. And now… I mean fuck! Look at me!” He opened his palms and spread his arms, presenting himself like a piece of art. “I’m so huge! And look at these muscles, mate!” He raised his hands into fists and flexed his arms, glancing back and forth between both of his watermelon-sized biceps, his shaggy bangs whipping across his face in the process. “I never thought I’d be bigger than you, Daniel.” Daniel felt his cock twitch. “Mmm,” he replied. “Uhh… hee hee,” Hugo chuckled apologetically as he felt his cock hardening up again. “Sorry mate just can’t help it.” “Don’t worry none,” said Daniel with a shrug. “Hey, Daniel. Can you take a picture of me and send it to me? Here.” Hugo lifted off the pickup, leaving it to gently rock back and forth, and leaned forward so he could kneel on the blanket. Daniel glanced, only for a moment, and then went back to his phone. “No, my friend.” “Come on Daniel!” Hugo whined. “You can delete it right after you send it to me. My phone’s at the bar!” Daniel ignored him, saying nothing and thumbing through pages of guys on Grindr. He shook his head. “Daniel this is a big deal! I want to commemorate it!” Hugo sighed. “Please, Daniel? I’ll owe you big time.” And with that, Daniel felt his resolve crumble. Heaving an exaggerated sigh and tightening his mouth into an impatient frown (he couldn’t make things TOO easy for him), Daniel turned back towards Hugo and raised his camera. “Portrait o’ lan’scape?” Hugo’s big lips curled into a half-open smile. “Wait a tick, lemme get to full mast,” he requested, moving his hands to his cock. “Ey, I ain’t shootin you no porno, boy.” Daniel protested. Hugo rolled his eyes. “It’s a cock, Daniel. Nothin you haven’t seen before.” Oh, thought Daniel as he watched Hugo’s body come into focus on his phone, I seen plenty o’ dick, but I ain’t seen nothin like that before. Watching Hugo’s manhood rise to attention was a thrill in and of itself. Daniel kept thinking to himself: No, it can’t POSSIBLY get any bigger, and kept on being proven wrong. By the time it finally stopped swelling and settling into a steady throb, it was nearly at height with Hugo’s chest and as thick as an average man’s thigh. “Mmph… there we go,” said Hugo. “Aright let’s get a few.” He threw up his arms in the same double bicep flex, first wearing a goofy grin, then quickly assumed a devilishly sly expression. Click! Hugo lowered his arms and pointed to his dick, looking as if he was shocked by the size of it. Click! Hugo twisted to the side, lowering his right arm and gripping his forearm with his left hand, flexing in a classic “side chest” pose, his upright dick almost in the background, placed at a forty degree angle by his belly. Click! Next he shuffled around on his knees until his back was to Daniel. He struck a lat spread, flexing his enormous ass in the process. He glanced back, so he could eye the camera with a grin, ignoring the trail of precum that was dripping down the passenger side window of the pickup truck. Click! Daniel cleared his throat. Like - he assumed - every man who had been at the Black Eagle the night before, he too had had his (already impressive) manhood upgraded to a frankly ludicrous size. While most of the staff had spent their day shopping for clothes to fit their new physiques, Daniel had spent his at home enjoying his new cock. As a pubescent boy, he had privately nicknamed his dick “Lieutenant (JG) Armstrong,” after his hero, the astronaut Neil (not the pornstar Brad). But earlier today in an informal ceremony, Daniel’s cock had jumped a few ranks to Commander. (Outranking his namesake, for all you trivia buffs out there) Long story short, not only was Commander Armstrong quickly filling up a pair of jeans, it was filling up a pair that had been comfortably slack on the impressively muscled Daniel who woke up yesterday morning, not the pair that found themselves creaking at every movement of the ridiculously impossibly muscled Daniel who woke up today. Clearly, action had to be taken. “Can you take a video?” asked Hugo, who had turned back around and was looking down at his chest. “I want to make a gif of my pecs bouncing… Daniel?” Hugo looked up to see that Daniel had closed the distance. Hugo’s erect cock was barely an inch from Daniel’s huge swole chest. Hugo’s eyes somehow pulled themselves from his pecs and drifted past his carved-of-stone abs to see his tight jeans had been pulled open and a huge thick black cock sticking out and up - easily a foot long and thick as fuck. Hugo felt his cheeks flush. “Daniel, I…” Daniel took another step forward and Hugo shuddered as the head of his cock pressed into a deep canal between Daniel’s warm, sweat-slick pecs. Daniel held a finger to his lips. “Shhh…” he cooed. He stuck that finger into his mouth, doused it in spit, and slid it carefully into Hugo’s puckering urethra. “Oh blood godfuck!” Hugo gasp, pressing his back into the strip of precum on the window of the pickup truck. Daniel flashed a rare smile. “Boy, you talk too much…” Unbeknownst to either of them, Carlos stood in the doorway of the garage, holding a king sized sheet in his hands. He heaved a sigh, tossing the blanket over his shoulder, and glanced back and forth, looking for a place to watch and jack off. *** Adam squinted into the darkness. “There's someone in here.” “What?” Mahtab hissed, drawing close to him to follow his gaze. She squinted to. “That's a lamp.” “Are you new?” Adam growled quietly. “That is a fucking person!” “People,” Liam corrected. He flicked the light switch on the wall but the room remained shrouded in darkness. “Figures,” he mused, and pushed past Adam to the opposite wall. “Liam!” Mahtab squeaked in alarm, but Liam ignored her, and tugged the blind on the far wall. It snapped noisily upwards, and as Mahtab and Adam squinted against the sudden light from the street, they saw that Liam was right… sort of. Robyn was right next to the window, and they recognized her first, but as their eyes roved across the room they settled on a number of familiar faces, even if they were frozen in contorted expressions of fear, confusion, or rage. Sara, Dave, Mohan, Hong… even Oded from the Circle, nestled through a crowd of five or six others they didn’t recognize. All slate gray, cold and lifeless stone. “Jesus fucking christ,” Mahtab managed to choke. “Are they…?” she cupped her hand over her mouth. “Oh fucking god,” she gasped. “They're alive,” Adrian declared with a definitive nod, although his expression of certainty immediately dissolved. “I… I think.” “Holy shit this is all of them,” Mahtab moved through the room, squatting in front of Mohan’s statue. She reached out and touched his face, shaking her head in disbelief. “Cass?” Adam called out suddenly, his eyes searching frantically through the crowd of stone statues. “Liam? Do you see Cass?” Liam had been examining Robyn but stood up and surveyed the room. “I don't think so. No Russell either.” Adrian had stayed still at the threshold of the living room, watching the three animated, breathing people move amongst the stone ones. It was horrible and terrifying. But he found himself, to some surprise, unsurprised. He turned instead to the dark kitchen, and the door on the other side of it. He glanced back at his companions, still occupied taking inventory of the statues, and silently sidestepped into the kitchen. “Do you think we can turn them back, Maddy?” asked Liam, running his fingers over the strands of hair from a statue he didn't recognize. “Like where would we even begin?” “We'll figure it out,” Mahtab assured him. She glanced at Adam. “Might speed up the process if we had some help.” Adam glared back. “First we find Cass. Everything else comes after that.” “I wouldn't be so bitchy if I were you,” Mahtab crossed her arms. “You know, his not being here doesn't exactly get him off the hook.” “Are you fucking…?”Adam flailed his arms in the air in frustration. “Since when has Cass turned anyone to stone?” “Guys can you please get over yourselves?” asked Liam. He spread his hands dramatically, glancing at the statues. “We have bigger problems right now.” There was a loud creak of the floorboards, and all eyes shot to the staircase. *** Rodrigo could barely see the pale shape of Blake, near the far wall of the terrarium. It took all of Rodrigo’s concentration to keep his breathing slow and deep, and he hoped Blake had the presence of mind to do the same. If he passed out, it was all over. There was movement on the other side of the tank. Penny had stirred. He could see the dull glint off her black, numerous eyes. She had been sitting there, her legs curled close to her body, resting, watching Blake. He didn't know how long anymore. Every measured breath seemed to last an hour. But now she was slowly extending her legs, one pair at a time. She was preparing to strike. Suddenly the door opened and a blinding shaft of light flooded his vision. He shielded his eyes. Blake turned to look, and Penny sprang up, skittering across the tank. Blake cried out and jumped to the side but Penny quickly changed course to intercept. “Help!” Rodrigo started screaming. He couldn't see anything but it didn't matter who was standing in the doorway. He took a deep breath and shrieked until his throat was on fire. “HELP!” Blake had managed to stay on his feet but Penny was already overtaking him. She pushed him onto his hands and knees and was on top of him before he hit the ground. “Blake!” Rodrigo shouted, slamming his hands on the bars. Penny curled her legs around him, pressing down on his back. Blake grunted, struggling in vain against her. She spread her pedipalps and jammed her fangs into his abdomen, and a thick spurt of blood slashed across the terrarium glass. “Augh! Fuck!” Blake screamed. “No! Blake!” A shadow blocked the light from the door. “Holy shit, Roddy?” Blake was still screaming in pain. Penny stood clamped on top of him, motionless save for her worrying padipalps, and her black eyes seemed to be staring at Rodrigo through the glass. He looked up at the figure looming over him. It was Adrian, eyes wide and mouth hanging open. “Oh my god…” he croaked. “Adrian!” Rodrigo shouted. He banged his hands on the bars, pointing at the terrarium. “There's someone in there!” Adrian leaned down to hear him better and caught sight of the struggle in the tank. “Jesus Christ!” He reached inside, pulling at Penny by her thorax. She immediately swerved around and bit him in the hand. “Aw fuck!” Adrian cried. He quickly pulled his hand off the spider, throwing her off of Blake and slamming his arm against the side of the tank. The terrarium slid cockeyed, one end crashing against the birdcage and knocking Rodrigo to the ground while the other moved off the workbench. “Adrian!” Rodrigo cried. Penny had already scrambled upright and was moving back toward Blake. “Get him out of there! Hurry! Please!” Adrian jabbed his hand back into the tank, closing his hand around Blake and ripping out a clump of dirt as he withdrew. He knocked the terrarium with his elbow and it slid further off the workbench, teetering for a moment before it slid onto the floor with a crash. “Shit!” Adrian shouted. “Put him in here with me! Quickly!” Rodrigo climbed to his feet. All the excitement was already making him lightheaded. He needed to keep it together or Blake was done for. Adrian opened the birdcage and carefully deposited Blake inside, the soil he'd brought with him spilling through the grate. “I… I can't…” Blake was taking quick, shallow breaths. “I can't feel my legs.” “Shh,” Rodrigo hushed Blake as he knelt beside him. He laid his palms out flat atop his body, gently running them across his flesh, taking stock of the damage. “I got you. Everything will be fine,” Rodrigo promised, unsure if it was a promise he could keep. Penny had sliced through a kidney, his intestines, and liver, not to mention the extensive damage to his tissue. Venom and bile were flooding his system, and he was bleeding out. Rodrigo placed his hand over the wound, applying pressure. Blake groaned and winced. Adrian looked over the cage. “Is he gonna be…” “Quiet,” Rodrigo snapped. “And please get out of my light.” “Oh,” Adrian mumbled. “Sorry.” Blood seeped from the wound with every heartbeat, hot and pasty against Rodrigo’s palms, but the wound closed under his hands. He sensed the organ and tissue damage repairing itself as well. It was draining his reserves, though, and Rodrigo felt himself getting woozy. He grit his teeth. If he couldn't keep it together, Blake would die. He took Blake's right leg and crossed it over his left, and maneuvered his right arm across his chest. “I need to get you on your side.” “I can't…” Blake murmured groggily. Rodrigo moved to his right side and pushed as hard as he good. His peripheral vision was becoming blurry. Luckily Blake was helping him some, and turned on his side in a recovery position. Barely able to gather his thoughts, Rodrigo transitioned the offending elements through his body. “Fuck…” Blake rasped. “What are you…” “It's gonna be fine,” Rodrigo mumbled. Blake belched, coughed, and began to retch a foul-smelling, green-brown ooze. The rancid cocktail of poisonous bile pooled beneath the grating. Blake managed a wet cough and passed out. Confident that he had cleared Blake's system, Rodrigo heaved a strained sigh of relief, collapsed on his back, and fainted. Adrian blinked, peering at the unconscious, shrunken pair in the birdcage. “Shit…” he murmured. He stood upright. “Guys?” he took a step back towards the door. “Hey guys! In here!” He gasped as he rounded the doorway, and jumped out of the way just in time to avoid the flatscreen television sailing through the door. It hit the far wall with such speed that it smashed in half. *** Phil gripped the banister with one hand. The lacquered wood itself yielded to his strength. The Master had restored him, and done so much more. The Master had empowered him to destroy his enemies, and Phil no longer knew any fear. Phil threw himself down the staircase, landing with a crash on the hardwood floor. His opponents could only gape at him with incredulous awe. He took that moment of confusion, balled his fist, and backhanded Mahtab. She flew across the room, slamming into the television mounted above the mantle. She fell to the floor in a heap, and the dislodged flatscreen crashed down on her back. He stood to his full height, the eight feet gifted him by the Master. He drew back his thick round shoulders, puffed out his swollen chest, and glared down at them. They stared back at him with wide eyes full of fear and awe. They were bearing witness to the power of the Master. Like him when he first beheld it, they couldn't understand the glory of it. It was a pity they would not survive to learn. Phil lunged forward before they had any time to react. He slammed a fist the side of a watermelon into Adam’s chest, and heard a satisfying crack in reply. Adam's feet were swept off the ground, and he fell on his stomach with a winded, bloody cough. He felt something strike his shoulder and turned back to Mahtab, who had climbed to her feet and was grabbing anything at hand to throw at him. The first has been a picture frame. Now she had a table lamp in her hand and was struggling to yank the power cord from the wall. Phil pulled back his fist and bounded clear across the couch towards her, aiming to pulverize her as he landed. Mahtab saw him coming, dropped the lamp, and vanished with a loud crack. Phil’s fist connected with the statue behind her, obliterating the stone head like it had been made of plaster. Phil gasped, surprised by his own strength. The Master had wanted to keep his trophies intact. He would be angry. Now more than ever, it was imperative that Phil succeed. Liam was kneeling at Adam’s side, but Adam was struggling just to get to his hands and feet. The colour drained from Liam’s face as Phil’s glare fell on him. Mahtab was gone, Adrian was elsewhere, and Adam was down for the count. Liam stood upright, tried to gulp and nearly choked on his own dry throat. With a grunt, Phil scooped the television off the ground, and hurled it with the ease one might throw a dinner plate across the room. Liam collapsed to his left, feeling the air peeling away around the television as it spun past him and into the kitchen. Taking some care to avoid the stone statues clustered in the living room, Phil crossed the space between him and Liam. Liam scrambled in a clumsy, backward crab-walk on all fours, until he found himself huddled in a corner. “No, please…” he gasped. Phil grinned, and reached down with hand large enough to crush a human skull into pulp. Maybe that’s what was about to happen. Something flew through the air and stuck in Phil’s meaty shoulder. The picture frame had been nothing, but this was sharp, and it hurt. Phil heard an involuntary whimper escape his mouth, as he reached up and pulled a butcher knife out of his shoulder, covered in blood. He felt his cheeks getting flush with embarrassment. He had been given this gift; he had been made into a mighty warrior, stronger than any man alive. Yet still he whined like a woman. Like a girly faggot. They had all heard it. They all had to die. Another knife flew out of the darkness of the kitchen, but it was only the handle that struck Phil and he advanced into the shadows, stepping over Adam as he still tried to pull himself out of the way. He made out the form of the man inside. He was skinny and waifish; easily broken. Phil slammed his fingers on the light switch, but his hands were so huge he only managed to turn the lights on for a moment before immediately turning them back off. In that split second, he saw the thin, wiry form of Adrian yanking a drawer of cutlery from the counter, and a second later he felt pricks and prods all along his torso as Adrian flung the contents at his attacker. “Dumb fucker!” Phil shouted, stumbling forward and swinging his arms blindly in the darkness, feeling them crash into cupboard doors and the refrigerator as his thigh connected painfully with the corner of the island. The fridge gave him an idea, and he ripped the door open. The white light within was enough to sent an incandescent flare washing across the room, only to find it empty. Voices behind him told him where his attacker had gone. “Liam! Help me get him up! LIAM!” “I can’t he’s too heavy!” Phil turned around. Liam and Adrian were trying to lift Adam to his feet, but they dropped him back to the floor as they saw Phil’s attention fix on them. Adrian grabbed Liam and yanked him backwards, and they fled through the forest of statues to the far side of the room. Adrian began yanking at the window. Liam stood next to him, transfixed by Phil’s gargantuan, monstrous form. “Please…” Liam croaked out. “You don’t have to do this.” “Liam shut the fuck up and help me!” Phil stepped towards them, and his toes prodded the prone form of Adam, still gasping for shallow breaths on the floor, a line of bloody drool hanging out of his mouth. Phil grinned. “Stop, both of you,” Phil commanded. “Not fucking likely,” Adrian retorted. “Stop. Right now. Come back here. Come to me,” Phil continued. He looked down, and raised his right foot, placing it on Adam’s head, and gently forcing it back to the floor. “Come to me now or he’s fucking dead.” Adrian hesitated. Adam put a hand on Phil’s foot, trying lamely to pry it off of him. Even at full strength, Adam’s attempt would have been futile, but now he could barely breath, and it was like a piece of spaghetti trying to overcome a boulder. Adrian went back to the window, and Liam slapped his arm away. “Adrian stop! He’s gonna kill him!” “He’s gonna kill all of us!” Adrian hissed. “Maybe…” Phil mused with a shrug. “Maybe not. But here’s one thing for sure: if you don’t get your fucking hands away from the window and start walking over to me right now, this guy’s head just a fuckin’ pile of muck.” Phil exerted the tiniest amount of pressure, and Adam screamed. Liam took a step forward. Adrian snatched him by the elbow. “Liam! Don’t be retarded!” Phil smirked with a dark chuckle. “Have it your way, roaches,” he murmured, and raised his foot up. There was a crack and a rush of air, and Phil blinked with surprise to see Mahtab in the frame of the closed front door. His eyes followed her as she jumped into the air, tucking up her legs as if she were making a cannonball dive. She flung out her arm, and a ripple seemed to arc towards him through the air. It all happened very quickly. Another crack sounded through the room so loud it momentarily deafened everyone. Something - or more accurately, nothing - lanced across the room, and slashed a deep cut into the wall behind Phil. The sound of it slicing into the bookcase and the halves of framed pictures crashing to the floor was so distracting it took a moment for Adrian and Liam to notice the detached head flying through the air with two bright crimson contrails. It landed with an unceremonious splat next to the statue of Robyn. Their eyes darted back to Phil. His huge, obscenely overmuscled body seemed shocked to find itself suddenly headless, and it was a good solid moment before the thick arms slumped lifeless to his sides, and he swayed a moment more before toppling heavily to the ground. Luckily, Mahtab had the presence of mind to yank Adam out of the way. Phil crashed onto the floor, shaking the pictures on the walls and rattling the windows and compelling the statues still on their feet to sway back and forth for a moment. Liam stared with grotesque, alarmed fascination at the neck without a head. The dull white of the spine; the pitch black of the gaping trachea; the angry red of the surrounding tissue still spouting a steady stream of blood onto the floor. Everything in Liam’s body was tight. His only assurance that he hadn’t wet himself is that every orifice in his body had apparently sealed itself in panic. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t… “Hey….” Adrian slid in front of Liam, commanding his whole field of vision. He placed his hands firmly on Liam’s shoulders. “Hey. Hey, hey. Look at me.” Liam locked eyes with Adrian. “You’re okay. We’re all okay. It’s okay. Or like… it’s all fucked up but it’s okay. We’re okay. Adam’s okay.” Adrian accented every sentence with a nod. “Come back to me, man. Let yourself calm down. Please.” He lowered his voice. “I need you, man.” Liam’s lungs remembered how to breathe and he swallowed gulps of air. He nodded. “Sorry.” “S’all right, man,” Adrian shook his head. “It’s all fucked up.” He turned so that Mahtab could hear him. “It gets worse,” he announced. Mahtab was at Adam’s side. “Guys… Adam’s really messed up.” Liam nodded. “I’ll call an ambulance.” “Whoa!” said Mahtab and Adrian in unison. “You want to bring an ambulance HERE?” Mahtab waved her hands wildly in the air, gesturing equally to the stone statues all over room and the headless corpse a few feet from her. “Well we have to do something!” Liam insisted. “Hold up…” Adrian raised his hand. “I might have some good news too…” *** Jamie kept glancing at the house on Boardwalk. He was kind of out of sight, but not so out of sight that he looked like a creep. He had been playing Hearthstone for maybe fifteen minutes but it was murder on his battery so he just put in his earbuds and listened to Ke$ha for a while. He needed to keep his phone on in case Adam contacted him again. In the meantime, he was content to keep a low profile. After all, Jamie was an ad man. Subtlety was his specialty. “Hi Jamie,” said someone he’d never met before. He turned around and saw a short lean guy with a short buzzcut next to a jacked up prettyboy in a backwards ball cap, his swole arms folded across his swole chest. Jamie tried to hide his alarm as he yanked out his earbuds. “Yeah, hi… what? I mean… who? I’m not… How did…?” “S’all cool, man, s’nothin,” the little guy nonchalantly waved away his confusion, alarm, embarrassment, and various other reactions. “‘M Nate, this here’s Tyson.” The bodybuilder looked around a bit, as if to make sure there was nobody watching, before raising his hand in an awkward hello. “Sup.” “Sorry I don’t… know…? You…?” Jamie said it like a question, which it essentially was. “Yeah, s’fine,” Nate shrugged it off. “‘ know all ‘bout it, man. Adam, Cassidy… gettin’ big. I’unno… magic, I guess?” he whispered the last part. Tyson grimaced. “It all sounds so dumb.” Nate shrugged. “Yeah, well…” he shrugged again and that seemed to be his whole reply. “How…” Jamie took a step away from them. “Who are you people?” Nate raised his hand defensively. “We’re not th’people Adam warned y’about,” he assured him. “Adam doesn’ e’en know ‘bout us.” “Stop telling me who you aren’t,” Jamie snapped, taking another step. Jamie wasn’t a particularly fast guy and he guessed the little guy had some speed. And by the looks of him, Tyson would flatten him if it came to blows. Both fight and flight were not looking like good options. Nate searched momentarily for the proper words. “Third party,” he said finally, but held up a finger and added, “with vested interests.” He thought another moment and pointed to Jamie. “Same ‘s you.” “What does that even mean?” Jamie furrowed his brow. “You’re here t’help Adam, righ’?” asked Nate. “Tyson’s here fo’ somebody else, an’ so’m I.” He shook his head. “Lookit don’ matter none. We need to get inna tha’ house righ’ now.” “Dude,” said Jamie flatly. “I can barely understand what you’re saying.” Tyson tutted. “Don’t be a dick, man.” Nate screwed up his face and did his best impression of a hick Canadian accent. “Boys we gotta git goin up on that house there, eh. Ferda boys, eh?” Jamie rolled his eyes. “All right that’s enough.” Nate strolled past him, cocking his head as he did. Jamie fell into step next to Tyson and they followed Nate up to the front door. Jamie couldn’t help but notice Tyson, his angular face covered in light stubble; sculpted bangs peeking out of the rim of his ball cap, and contrasting bright blue eyes that seemed to sparkle. His photo-shoot features seemed out of place on top of his thick, muscular physique. Since Drew had opened up about his affinity for growth, and unnaturally large muscles on unnaturally large men, Jamie had seen many a photoshopped jpeg, png, and occasionally even a throwback bmp that had morphed attractive men to the similar shapes. Tyson was a muscle morph come to life. Tyson noticed Jamie looking and replied with a terse, awkward smile. Jamie turned his eyes forward and set his jaw. He wasn’t sure exactly what level of insanity he was getting swept up into, but he knew it would need his game face. Without bothering to knock, Nate flung open the door. A small Indian girl, a chubby Asian guy, and a skinny emo skid with an arm covered in a sleeve tattoo and ear spacers were all trying to support a half-dead guy who Jamie quickly realized was Adam. The three strangers looked out the doorway with wide eyes. Nate greeted them with open hands and a wide smile. “Hey, ‘know none of y’know who we’re, an ‘know this seems a bit…” he suddenly turned to his right and barfed. Jamie’s eyes fell on the likeliest reason why, and his mouth hung open at the sight of the gigantic headless corpse and its gaping neck-hole staring out the door like a one-eyed bloody… something. “Dude you just yacked on my shoe!” Tyson protested, hopping backward. “Dude that’s a headless fucking corpse!” Jamie thrust his arm into the doorway. “Hey!” The skinny guy dropped Adam’s arm. “Can we try NOT shouting ‘headless corpse’? Just a thought.” “Who the fuck are you?” Jamie spat. “Who the fucking fuck are YOU?” the woman shouted back. “One second though,” she amended, “get the fuck in here.” She swiped out her arm and grabbed Nate by the sleeve, pulling him inside. Despite the obviously dire situation before them, Tyson and Jamie played the “you first” “no no after you” game for a few seconds before they were successfully inside with the door closed behind them. A bunch of them all started shouting at each other at once. It was a free-for-all where only fragments of sentences were getting through at a time. The three carrying Adam were yelling confused demands of who the intruders were, Tyson was screaming for someone named Blake, and Nate was trying to calm everyone down with as loud a voice as calming anyone down would allow. But as Jamie spotted a dribble of spit or blood - he couldn’t tell - escape Adam’s lips and splat silently on the floor into a crimson puddle slowly expanding across the floor. “SHUT UP!” Jamie shouted so loud it burned his throat. But it seemed to do the trick. “Is he… is Adam…?” he mouthed the word “dead” but his tongue had sense enough not to speak it. “... alive?” “Yes,” said Mahtab impatiently. “But he needs help. And we can’t bring paramedics here.” “The fuck we can’t!” shouted Jamie. “Look. Shut up,” Mahtab snapped. “I don’t know who you are but… I mean do you want to explain all this to the cops? Look around, dumbass!” “Wait…” Liam furrowed his brow. “You were at the wedding… the ad guy.” Even as he said it Jamie recognized Liam. He’d put on weight. “Yeah,” Jamie muttered. The three of them slowly lowered Adam to the floor. “You don’t like Cass,” Liam blurted. “I’ve come around,” Jamie replied, annoyed. “Look, what’s going on here?” Adrian shouldered his way past everybody and disappeared out the kitchen. Jamie was about to call after him but Nate launched into an expository monologue. “‘Ll field that one,” Nate chimed cheerily, holding up a finger. “Aright, so…. “Guy named Cliff s’a wizard, like y’all, but he steals’s powers from other wizards. S’why he started turnin’ m’all to stone, once ‘learned how. He needs’m alive. Also; s’into shrinkin’ guys real small and fuckin’ wi’em. Killed ‘bunch o’em. Killed your friend Russell. ‘M real sorry bout tha’. Couldn’ get here fas’ ‘nough.” “Wha… what the fuck?” Mahtab shook her head in disbelief. “Fuck off. Where is he?” “Look,” Nate stressed, “‘M sorry but we don’ got time f’that. Cliff knew you’d come aft’ Russell. So ‘e took off with Cassidy. Only power ‘thinks ‘e needs.” Nate’s eyes inadvertently fell on Phil’s corpse again and he stifled a gag. “Who are you?” Mahtab asked again. “How do you know all this?” “Cuz Cassidy asked me for help,” Nate explained. “‘M not gon’ get int’it but ‘was enough for me to get th’rest.” “Fuck this. This is all bullshit,” Mahtab insisted. “Not quite,” came Adrian’s voice from the kitchen. He walked into the light with something cupped in both his hands. Jamie couldn’t see what it was but Adrian showed Mahtab and Liam first and they both gasped in surprise. Adrian drew one hand away to reveal a little human man groggily sitting up in his hand. “Roddy…” Liam whispered. Nate cracked his knuckles. “Great. Le’s get started.” “Whoa!” exclaimed Adrian as the tiny man in his hands quickly began expanding. As he surpassed the size of a toddler Adrian set him on the floor. Tyson was shaking his head, his hands clapped over his mouth. “Aww this is so fucked up!” his whispered loudly. Rodrigo gasped full lungs of breath for the first time in months. He felt dazed but energized, his whole body rejoicing at finally returning to a size it knew how to deal with. Stars flickered across his vision. Did he know these people? No. Oh wait. Yes. Wait. No. Sort of. Mahtab turned slowly to Nate as Rodrigo - now back at six feet and then some - fumbled to get his bearings. “Did you… do that?” she asked, pointing down at Roddy. Nate cocked his head and sort of nodded in a way that said yes, but… and replied. “‘M not gon’ get int’it.” Mahtab narrowed her gaze at him and nodded with a fake, thin smile. “There’s another one in there,” Adrian pointed with his thumb back to the garage. “Can you bring him back up to size too?” “No!” Roddy shouted hoarsely, coughing. “No, no. I mean… the poison. Give Blake a few hours to recover. I dunno what’ll…” “Wait, Blake?” Tyson’s eyes darted around frantically. “Blake Blake? Where is he?” “Look, just leave him alone for now,” Rodrigo rasped, massaging his neck as he spoke. “He’s safe now. The Mas… the… the guy who did all this. He’s gone.” “Roddy,” Adrian knelt down next to Rodrigo, who was seemingly doing inventory of his body, making sure everything was in the right proportion. “We need your help with Adam.” “Adam…?” Rodrigo slowly scanned across the room until his gaze came across Adam, lying on his back, drawing shallow breaths. Immediately, he sprang into action, scrambling on all fours over to him. Adam averted his eyes over to him and tried to speak, but Rodrigo shushed him. “Motherfuck…” Rodrigo whispered. He opened his palms and began to run them down Adam’s body, scanning for damage. Adrian took the opportunity to pulled Mahtab off to the side. They kept eyes locked on each other, trying to ignore the huge headless corpse next to them. “Mahtab,” it fell clunkily off his tongue. “Maddy,” he amended, more comfortably. He went to say something again but stopped, and fixed her with a stern stare before declaring: “We need to call Harry.” “No.” Mahtab shook her head. “Nope. No no no.” Adrian clawed his hand briefly, his mouth open as he searched for the words, before clenching a fist. “I wasn’t asking you a question. I was making a very obvious statement.” “Harry didn’t want to be involved,” Mahtab answered curtly. “Harry didn’t want to be involved in the INVESTIGATION,” Adrian stressed. “The investigation is over. We need big guns on this right fucking now.” Mahtab jabbed him in the chest. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Three fucking strangers walk in on this. We have no Cassidy, no Russell, no PERP, and you’re telling me…” “Russell is…” Rodrigo shook his head and sniffed. “He was murdered.” “No…” Mahtab grit her teeth. “No that’s bullshit!” Rodrigo lifted his hands off Adam and locked eyes with Mahtab. “This guy just set a deathtrap for you. He’s not messing around. He’s a fucking murderer, and Russell was not the first.” “I…” Mahtab stared into space and put her hands over her face. “Fuck.” “Maddy!” Adrian snapped his fingers in front of her face. But she just shook her head for a second before turning away. Adrian huffed, exasperated, and returned to the intruders. “All right so who actually are you? What are you actually doing here? And where did muscles go?” Jamie and Nate glanced behind them, surprised that a man Tyson’s size had managed to sneak off without them noticing. *** Tyson had just been surveying the damage, and the dead body was freaking him out a bit - more than a bunch of apparent wizards having tantrums at each other. He’d drifted through the kitchen and into the garage. The first thing that caught his sight was the broken television that had been smashed apart. The second was the shattered terrarium on the floor. The third was the birdcage on the workbench. “Oh fuck…” The last few days had been a strange fantasyland whirlwind for Tyson, but nothing was more surreal than seeing Blake, four inches tall, turned on his side and moaning uncomfortably in his sleep. It was as if his brain was trying to reconcile the contradictions it was witnessing. It attempted to removed him from the situation, tried to convince him he was playing a video game or watching TV. But he couldn’t escape himself, or the strangeness that he suddenly found himself immersed in. “Blake?” it was a half-whisper. He barely expected a response. Aside from being smaller, Blake looked like shit, too. He was skinnier, paler - he looked ill, and the smell wasn’t that great either. Tyson pursed his lips and gently blew on him. Blake’s hair ruffled, and he grimaced, hugging himself against the cold. He was real. He was right there, and Tyson wanted to pick him up and hold him close. He’d been through so much, it was plain to see, and Tyson wanted to make sure he would be safe forever. It didn’t matter what size he was. But there’d been something about poison, and letting him rest. “I’ll be back,” Tyson mumbled to his unconscious audience. “I....I really missed you…” Tyson turned and walked back into the house, unaware of the eight arachnid eyes that silently watched him go. *** “Look I can stabilize him and give him some time, but he had a broken rib that’s very, very close to puncturing a lung. I can’t do anything about that,” Rodrigo explained, gasping for breath at every break. Adam needs a hospital. Period.” “Yeah,” Jamie agreed, holding up his phone, “and he’s getting one.” “Wait, please!” Adrian held up his hands. “Let us figure something out!” He glanced pleadingly at Mahtab, but she still had her back turned. “Cliff’s gon’ try to make it the islands,” Nate explained. “Thinks the lake’ll slow us down.” “What’s that got to do with Adam?” Jamie threw up his arms. Nate turned to him. “Lookit. I know you’re here f’your friend. An’ I know you’re worried. But Cliff wants to kill s’all now. An’ he will ‘nless we stop him. Which we can.” Nate poked Jamie in the chest. “But I need y’help.” Jamie narrowed his eyes. “With what?” Liam raised an eyebrow. “Are you talking about killing someone? Someone else?” He jabbed his arm at the corpse. “I don’t think the solution here is another dead body to explain.” “That’s it,” Adrian pulled out his phone. “I’m calling Harry.” “Who the hell is Harry?” asked Jamie. “Stop.” All eyes found their way to Mahtab as she slowly turned about to face them, drawing in a long measured inhale and issuing a staggered, jagged exhale. “All right,” she murmured, took another deep breath, and nodded. “All right.” She turned to Adrian. “Put your phone away. Liam? You call Harry. Tell him whatever you want. Just get him here. And make sure he knows that Adam needs a hospital. Roddy, you stay with Liam and do whatever you can for Adam. The rest of us are leaving.” She grimaced, limping towards the door.” “Fuck that, I'm not going anywhere,” Jamie adamantly crossed his arms. “Jamie…” Adam coughed out. Rodrigo tried to silence him but batted him weakly aside. “You have to…” “Seriously Adam you HAVE to stop talking!” Rodrigo shouted as loud as his hoarse voice would permit. Jamie shook his head “Adam I'm not leaving you with these people I have no idea what…” “Jamie, y’gotta save Cassidy,” Nate stressed. “Adam's outta commission an’ ‘e don’ trust her to give a shit.” Mahtab rolled her eyes. “Good a time as any to reiterate that I DON’T give a shit, so Adrian, Muscles, and the Littlest Redneck…” “Bitch I'm from Cherokee Gardens,” Nate snarled. “Fuckin’ check y’self.” “Whatever,” Mahtab shrugged. “We're going. Joe Normal here,” she stuck her elbow at Jamie, “come with us or don't. But we're going.” “How do you plan on stopping this guy?” Liam demanded. “I'm not going to help you kill anyone and neither will Harry!” Mahtab turned on him, eyes wide and exasperated. “I know, Liam! That's why you're staying here!” “So you ARE trying to kill this guy?” asked Liam archly. “It doesn't matter what he's done we can't just go and…” “Yes! Yes I am going to try and kill him! Fuck yes!” Mahtab admitted. “What, you wanna see the cops try and handle him? You want to try and put this guy in a cell? He's a deranged psychopath with god knows what kind if powers. He’s killed a bunch of people, the latest of which was my best friend. So yeah, we’re going to find this sick fuck and kill the shit out of him.”
  6. hot profile pic

  7. Dude I just came for an hour straight Lovin it. Great job keep it up
  8. Great one off. Hot growth, original setting. Well done
  9. Part 15: Adrian The Master pulled his boot away and the sight turned Rodrigo's stomach. A crimson mess of gore stained Russell's crumpled shirt on the floor. “No…” he whimpered. “You didn't have to… he was only…” “You!” the Master shoved a meaty finger in Rodrigo's face and the tiny man stumbled backward with a start. “I knew you were going to be a problem eventually. I should've just added you to my gallery. Those clueless fucking douchebags can't save you, you pathetic little shit! They come at me they'll end up just like this shitstain.” “You're a fucking psycho!” Rodrigo suddenly exploded. “You need to turn people into toys just so you can… I don't even know! Feel like a big tough guy?” The Master shook his head in disbelief. “Oh you are fucking dead, roach…” “What difference does it make? When's it ever going to be enough for you you fucking pathetic loser! Can't even get a guy to come home with you unless you can fit him in your hand!” “Roddy, stop! Please!” Blake begged from the corner. “You're so fucking stupid,” Rodrigo went on. “No one notices? No one cares?” Rodrigo pointed at the pile of clothing. “He cared. His friends care. And when they come looking for him… god are you fucked.” “No one's coming for him,” the Master growled. “No one's coming for any of you, you dumb fucking bugs. Fuck…” he bent down and scooped up the pile of clothing, tossing the articles one by one in the garbage bin by the door. “I've protected you. Fed you. Cleaned up your piss and shit. And all I ever get from you is fucking grief. You think anyone out there gives a shit about some nobody ‘spic from buttfuck nowhere?” He returned to the cage, grabbed the water bottle from its side, and yanked it off, pouring the water out with a loud splatter onto the cement floor before tossing the empty bottle in the garbage. “Good fucking luck, dumbass.” “Master please!” Phil ran up to the bars. “Don't leave me! You know I'd never…” “Shut up!” shouted the Master. He reached out and unhooked the door of the cage. Rodrigo's eyes widened and he scrambled to the far side. But the Master reached inside and grabbed Phil around his waist, pulling him out and roughly depositing him in the front pocket of his shirt. Phil fumbled around to right himself. “Oh THANK you, Master! I…” “I said shut the fuck up!” the Master shouted again, and Phil clamped his hands on his ears, wincing. “Still looks a bit crowded in there,” said the Master, a crooked grin on his round face. He thrust his hand through the opening. Blake tried to dart to the other side but the Master's hand moved quickly, knocking Rodrigo to the floor as it did, and grabbed Blake by the leg. He pulled him to the ground, dragged him into the middle of the cage, then gripped him around the waist. “No!” Blake cried. “Please just leave me alone!” “If you say so,” said the Master as he pulled Blake clear of the opening. He turned, slid the door of the terrarium open, and dropped Blake inside. “No!” Rodrigo scrambled to his feet and rushed to the bars. “Please! Master I'm… I'm sorry! I didn't know what I was saying! Blake wanted me to stop! He respects you!” “Blake?” asked the Master as the terrarium door slid closed with a snap. “Who the fuck is Blake?” “Master I'm sorry!” Rodrigo pleaded. “I didn't mean it! Please take him out of there, I'll do whatever you want!” “All I want you to do is starve to fuckin death,” said the Master with a shrug. He turned and walked towards the door. “And it looks like that's pretty in the bag.” He flicked off the light and slammed the door behind him. Rodrigo raced to the side that faced the terrarium, already dizzy from the stress of the last few minutes, praying that Blake could at least hold out until help came. When had Penny been fed last? His eyes were still adjusting to the darkness and he couldn't see much of anything. “Roddy?” he weakly heard the quavering voice of Blake through the glass. “Be quiet!” Roddy hissed. “Where is she?” “Blake shut up, seriously!” said Roddy. “I can't see her. Don't say anything and don't move!” Would it help? Would it at least delay her? He had to believe someone would come for Russell. If Blake could hold out long enough, he might be saved. But how long? After all this time living inches away from her, Rodrigo still had little idea what Penny was capable of. He didn't really know how she hunted, or how often she needed to feed. He didn't know much of anything about tarantulas. *** Adrian’s heart skipped a beat. He could never really tell what that meant. His pursuits had been problematic from the start. He'd wanted to be able to see everything - to KNOW everything, but it had always been an issue trying to sort out what his spellcraft was telling him, and what his imagination was piecing together. Adrian had tried to supplement his magic with technology. He was fairly proud of his progress, though his innovations had been unsung by the majority of his peers. He had hoped his talents would award him favour with Harry; maybe gain him access to more resources, but only Russell and Mahtab seemed to take note of his value, and their involving him in their clandestine investigation had been more of a compliment to Adrian than the two of them likely realized. Adrian didn't know any details. His powers never laid it all out for him. All he ever got were feelings. Strange, instinctual spikes in his subconscious that were difficult to describe to others. And his instincts were telling him that something bad had happened. Something horrible, awful, and evil. And it had something to do with Russell. WHAT it had to do with Russell, he couldn't articulate. But the general feeling of unease he had had the whole day had intensified, and Adrian knew there had to be something more to it than just his imagination playing tricks on him. Adrian stared at Google Maps application he had modded. At the black square on Boardwalk Drive; the dead zone he had sent Russell into. Something had gone wrong. Adrian picked up his phone and dialled Russell. It went straight to voicemail. He hung up without leaving a message. Russell had said his phone was dying… maybe it was nothing to worry about. But that's not what Adrian’s gut was telling him. He called Liam. “Hey Adrian,” Liam greeted. “How's it goin’?” “Not good,” Adrian replied. “I think Russell's in trouble. Can you pick me up?” Liam stuttered a bit. “Of… yeah, of course. Is… what's going on? What happened?” “I don't know,” said Adrian. “I just got a bad feeling.” *** The Master reached into his pocket and pulled out Phil, depositing him nonchalantly on the kitchen counter. Phil climbed to his feet. He wanted to express his gratitude for sparing him; reiterate his devotion to the living god, but he was wary of the Master's warning to keep quiet, so he stood still and watched in silence. The Master tore a square of paper towel from a roll hanging off the underside of a cupboard, wiping blood from his nose as he moved into the living room. He stood there a moment, looking around the room. “Fuck,” he swore quietly to himself. “Fuckin dicks.” “What's wrong, Master?” Phil ventured. “What can I do to help?” The Master rolled his eyes. “He's right. They're gonna come after him. I have to leave.” “Take me with you, Master!” Phil pleaded. The Master turned to look at Phil, and a slow, fiendish grin crept onto his face. “No.” “But Master, I-” “You've served me well, insect,” said the Master as he approached the counter. “Now is your chance to show me just how grateful to me you are. Prove yourself and I will show you power you've never imagined.” Phil felt giddy with joy. “Anything, Master.” “He's right. People are gonna come looking for them,” the Master pointed with his thumb at the door to the garage. “But you're going to be here waiting for them.” His grin widened. “And you're going to kill them all.” *** Mahtab stood in the crowded club with her arms crossed across her chest, scowling at Adam as he leaned across the bar, showing the servers a picture of Cassidy on his phone. This was the fourth bar on Church Street they had been into, and she'd already gotten hit on twice; once by a lesbian and once by a guy who thought she was in drag. Normally she was liberal-minded enough to not let any of that bother her, but she'd been irritated all day and it was not helping. Finally he turned, scowling into empty space as opposed to making eye contact with her, and stormed past her on his way out of the bar. Mahtab wriggled through the crowd and followed him outside, where he stood awkwardly in the middle of the street - closed for Pride - with his hands on his hips and his shoulders hunched, staring at the pavement. Mahtab walked up beside him, swivelling to face him, her hands in her jacket pockets, one fiddling with the fraying threads from the rip Adam had inflicted earlier. Adam stood up straight, craning his neck, grunting as he stretched his back. “He hasn't seen him,” he mumbled. “That's getting progressively less shocking with every bar,” Mahtab retorted. She glanced around. “Look the crowd’s starting to pick up. Pretty soon there'll be way too many people here.” “You go then,” Adam spat. “I'll stay here and actually…” “Adam - Christ - listen to me,” Mahtab waved a hand across his face. “I need to find Cassidy. We're on the same side here. We both want the same thing.” She folded her arms and sucked her teeth. “For the moment anyway.” “Then help me,” Adam waved his arms. “Don't just…” “I AM helping you you fucking doofus,” Mahtab hissed. “You're just too hopped up on adrenaline to give a shit. You just want to feel like you're doing something as opposed to something USEFUL.” “Hey, this is the only plan I got!” “Are you kidding me? This is barely even a plan.” Mahtab sighed. “Let's assume you're right and the idea was to stay away from YOU, he wouldn't go to the first place you'd go looking for him. His parents live in Toronto, right?” Adam rolled his eyes. “He wouldn't just show up there.” “Well he had to spend the night somewhere,” Mahtab shrugged. “Let's at least rule them out. We'll call them. You got their number?” “How am I supposed to call them without tipping them off?” asked Adam impatiently. “If he's not there and they know he's missing they'll lose their shit. They're lawyers. They're fucking nuts.” Mahtab rolled her eyes. “You can be such a fucking retard sometimes I can't even believe it.” She pulled out her phone. “Give me their number.” Adam just looked at her for a moment before sighing and pulling out his phone. She held out her hand and he shook his head. “Just look. We’re not doing all that again.” Mahtab snorted a derisive chuckle but didn’t touch his phone. She put hers to her ear and held up her finger for silence. “... Hi there, my name’s Shannon Ginsberg I’m calling from the office of York University alumni… affairs. I’d like to speak to Cassidy Hamilton, please?... Oh! Well of course I’m so sorry!” She pursed her lips and shook her head at Adam. “Uh huh?... Y-... Yes please; go ahead… uh huh… ok great. We’ll update our information; sorry to bother you… Uh huh? Ok great, thanks… Yes, you too… Uh huh, I will thanks.” She turned to Adam and rolled her eyes. “Ok great take care now!” She quickly hung up the phone. “Shannon Ginsberg?” Adam crossed his arms and arched his eyebrow. She shrugged, and glanced at her phone. “Oh shit! I missed a call from Adrian!” she exclaimed, quickly dialling again and holding the phone to her ear, sticking a finger in the other. “Hey, Mahtab?” asked Adrian from the other end of the line. “Yeah Adrian what's up? Have you heard from Russell?” Mahtab made her way to an empty driveway to get away from the crowd, and Adam followed. “No but…” Adrian hesitated. “His phone was dying… I… I went out to find him. Liam’s with me. We… we found Russell's car.” “Where are you?” asked Mahtab. “Boardwalk Drive. Around Queen and Woodbine. Russell was going to check it out. Cassidy’s trail ended here but it's… it's really weird, Mahtab. Something’s wrong I… I'm kind of… I just have a really bad feeling.” Mahtab nodded, suddenly feeling a cold heavy lump in her stomach. “I'll be there in just a second. I'm bringing Adam.” “You can't slip here, Maddy, it's a dead zone!” Adrian protested. “I'll figure it out, just wait for me!” Mahtab hung up and shoved her phone back in her pocket. She grabbed Adam by the elbow and pulled him down the alley. “Come on.” Adam yanked his arm up out of her grip. “I'm coming. Jeez!” “You're going to feel a little winded,” Mahtab explained. “You didn't eat much today right? That's good; sometimes people crap themselves their first time.” “I'll be sure to clench,” Adam quipped. “Don't get distracted, either,” Mahtab continued. “It’s… it's difficult to describe but… you'll know what I am, or like, you'll know what's me. I'll be holding on to you so it should all be fine but try to stay focused on me.” “Or… what?” asked Adam, dubious. “Well I don't know, no one's ever fallen out of a slip on me before but I'm not exactly itching to find out,” she sighed. “Like I don't have enough shit to deal with today.” They rounded a corner and found a trio of dumpsters stinking of rancid urine. She stopped Adam, waited for someone to pass them, then turned and grabbed him by both shoulders. “All right,” she nodded. “On three we both need to jump at the same time. It's way easier.” “So like; one two three jump or…” Mahtab rolled her eyes. “One two jump, Adam. That's what ‘on three’ means.” Adam nodded. “Okay… can we do one two three jump? I feel like I'm gonna screw it up.” Mahtab threw up her arms. “I… fine whatever.” She clamped back down on his shoulders. “All right. One, two, three…” And they jumped. *** “...and this slow cooker has literally changed our lives,” Wes spread his arms to the ceiling, his wine glass dangerously close to spilling. Jamie nodded. “Oh yeah.” “And I have to say I mean,” Wes paused and smiled mischievously. “I know it's not the best thing for you, but Grant and I have been putting bacon into everything lately. We just started experimenting with bacon and it just took right off!” he laughed, sipping his wine. Jamie shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “Yeah. Bacon.” “Honestly, whatever the recipe is, you should add bacon,” Wes assured him. “You won't ever regret it. Do you do much cooking yourself?” Jamie tapped his foot. “Hm? Yeah all the time.” Wes put his hand on his chest and shook his head emphatically, “I just think it's so rewarding and it’s, y'know, I think it's important as just, like, a life skill? And so many people just don't know their way around the kitchen these days, I just…” The bathroom door in front of Jamie opened and Drew slid out. “Hey babe,” he greeted Jamie with a smile. Jamie, however, was already on the move, ushering Drew back inside and following him in, closing the door behind them both. Drew regarded him quizzically. “What the hell was that?” “This is for your own good,” Jamie assured him as he unzipped his fly and pulled out his cock in front of the toilet. “Wes is looking for anyone to talk at. About fucking… like he's a terrible cook, right?” he asked as he started urinating. Drew leaned against the closed door, taking out his phone. “He's actually gotten worse.” “I'm like; there's only one recipe for guacamole. I don't need to see yours. And what big secret ingredient could you possibly…” “It's bacon bits,” said Drew idly. “I can't imagine it's very good.” He sighed with defeat. “Ryan bailed.” “Called it,” said Jamie. Drew put his phone back in his pocket. “Congrats, you win!” he waved his hands with dramatic sarcasm. “Have you heard from Adam at all?” Jamie shook his head. “No. He never even got back to me about last night.” Drew sighed, moving in behind Jamie as he peed, rubbing his shoulders through his shirt. “When do you want to do that ecstasy?” Jamie shook the last dribbles of piss from his tool. “I was gonna wait til we get down there. Or like… are we TTCing down or what?” “Stan was gonna get an uber,” Drew shrugged. “Which… I guess yeah, I don't wanna be lovin’ out on the way down.” He released Jamie's shoulders as Jamie zipped up and sidestepped to the sink. “Man. Frank’s already blasted, eh?” Jamie noted. Drew nodded in agreement. “And he smells like a fuckin grow-op.” “Let's be in the middle of talking when we leave so Wes won't ambush us,” Jamie suggested. Drew snapped his finger and pointed at him. “Good plan. What do we talk about?” The bathroom door opened and Drew exited finishing a sentence. “...just be so cheesey if they killed Jon Snow and then immediately bring him back.” Jamie followed. “But Melisandre is like right there!” “I don't give a shit,” Drew shook his head adamantly. “If he's back in season six I am off the show for good.” Jamie rolled his eyes. “Oh please. You said that when they killed Roz.” Wes had paused in the bathroom doorway, to the annoyance of Stan who was next in line. “Are you guys talking about Game of…?” “In or out, Wes. C’mon man.” They entered the living room of Stan’s condo and Thanh, draped over the arm of the couch and leaning against his boyfriend Elliot, wagged a finger at them. “One to a stall, ladies,” he chided, followed up by one of his trademark, deep-throated chuckles. “Whatever, Thanh,” Drew countered. “Everyone knows you two have been sneaking handies when you think nobody's looking. News flash: they ARE.” “Lies!” Elliot shook his fist in the air. “Liza Minnelli!” Hasan, on the other side of Elliot, leaned forward and waved his hand. “Guys, Jamie's getting uncomfortable. Quick we gotta butch it up!” he curled his lip with a growl and flexed his arm. “Grrr! Hockey jargon! Car engines!” Thanh joined in though he sounded more like a pirate. “Grr! Home repair!” “Entourage!” Elliot chimed in. Jamie pulled his phone out of his pocket, glancing at the screen. “Christ, they should give you idiots a sitcom.” He jostled his phone. “Sorry just a sec,” he added, and turned away to walk into the foyer. “Oh great now he's a sadsack,” Hasan gestured to Jamie. Drew rolled his eyes. “You guys gonna be this bitchy all night?” Thanh nodded matter-of-factly. “It'll probably get worse.” Jamie leaned against the wall and put his phone to his ear. “Hey Adam, we were just-” “Look I don't have a lot of time,” came a harsh, whispered voice over the line. Jamie barely recognized it as Adam. “Jamie…” he said, then after a pause. “Jamie I'm in trouble. I need your help.” “Adam?” Jamie stood up off the wall, lowering his voice. “What's wrong? What's going on?” “I can't get into it right now,” Jamie whispered. “It's Cassidy. And… some of the people we used to work with. I don't…” there was a windy rustling over the line. “I need you to come to me. I'm in the Beaches, but…” he took a couple of heavy breaths. “I don't know what's gonna happen. They're like… they're dangerous.” “Do you…” Jamie asked quietly and slowly. “Should I call the cops?” “No,” Adam answered quickly. “No cops, not yet. Just be careful and keep your distance until I can… shit. Look I gotta go. I'll text you the address. Can you come?” “Yeah,” said Jamie with a nod, and the other end hung up. Jamie shoved his phone into his pocket as he searched for his shoes in the pile at the foyer, an excuse to leave already taking form in his head until he realized… Drew. Drew would want to go with him. Drew would see through the bullshit he fed Thanh and the others. They had agreed: no more secrets, no more lies. The last one had nearly ruined them. But he couldn't let Drew tag along into this. Jamie had no idea what was going on, but Adam sounded afraid, and Adam had never been afraid of anything. He was Jamie's friend, not Drew’s. He was Jamie's responsibility, not Drew’s, and Jamie wasn't going to let Drew put himself in harm’s way for the sake of someone he had met two nights ago. Jamie found his shoes and stood up, exhaling slowly, trying to calm himself down. He relaxed his shoulders, rehearsed a couple of casual hand gestures; nonchalant facial expressions. He took another deep breath, and sauntered back into the room. Jamie walked up next to Drew and put a hand on his shoulder. “You're gonna hate me.” Drew turned to him with a sigh. “What.” “That was JC. There's some disaster at work. I gotta bail.” He shrugged powerlessly. “I'm really sorry.” “It's like eight-thirty on a Friday!” Drew protested. “The client’s in Tokyo and it's nine-thirty AM there. They're just seeing a presentation. They're freaking out.” “Well…” Drew’s shoulders drooped with dismay. “You're just a contractor. Can't they get someone else to handle this? Come on man, it's Pride!” “I know, and I'm sorry, but I gotta take care of this.” Jamie felt his voice quaver a bit, so he leaned in and kissed Drew on the cheek. “Sorry.” He gave a quick wave to the room. “See you around guys,” he called, and went back to the door. He was dismayed to see Drew following him. “Tokyo’s AHEAD of us, Jamie. It's Saturday morning there!” he complained as Jamie put on his shoes. “Can't they wait til Monday?” Jamie hadn't realized that. “Look, I don't know the details. But it's red alert and all hands on deck. I'm sorry. I'll make it up to you.” Done tying his laces, he stood up and gave Drew a kiss. Drew wrapped his arms around Jamie, and made a quick goodbye peck into a long and sensual one. Jamie thought he was going to break. He withdrew, forcing a smile. “I'll text you later,” he chirped, and quickly exited the apartment. Drew heaved a disappointed sigh and turned back to the party. *** Adam quietly slipped his phone into his pocket and loudly faked a cough, wetting his mouth with spit. He stood up and wiped it off again. “Sorry,” he croaked hoarsely. “God, Adam,” Mahtab spat, “You have any organs left?” “I'm sorry that fucking teleporting doesn't agree with me,” he fired back. “Whatever. Let's go,” she shoved her hands in her pockets and smoldered down the sidewalk. Liam and Adrian were waiting awkwardly on the corner of Boardwalk Drive, a residential side street, populated by a row of nearly identical houses. Adrian spotted the two as they approached and waved his hand needlessly, as the street was otherwise deserted. Mahtab gave them a nod as they met. “Hey,” she muttered. Adam drew up beside her. “Hey guys.” Adrian hadn't changed much since he saw him last. Rail thin, straight black hair down to his shoulders, small black spacers in both ears. It looked like his arm has acquired a few more tattoos but Adam couldn't really remember. “Adam,” he greeted him with a note of uncertainty. “Been a while.” Adam shrugged. “Yeah.” “No sign of Russell, huh,” Mahtab noted, glancing at Russell’s car parked across the street. Adrian pointed. “It's up here,” he started up the sidewalk, and Mahtab fell in beside him. He started discussing his tracking spell, and the difficulty he'd had with the dead zone. Adam hung back, quickly entering the address in a text message and sending it before anyone could notice. But it looked like Liam saw him putting the phone away. “How's… how was hanging out with Maddy?” he asked quietly. Adam sighed. “It's been a stressful day for both of us.” “Yeah,” said Liam. “You know how she is. She's just worried. And now with Russell…” “Honestly, Liam?” Adam raised his hand to cut him off. “I'm past giving a shit. I'm here to find Cass and then I'm not dealing with any of this ever again.” “C'mon man don't be like that…” Liam protested. Adam bit his lip. “Seriously? Everything was fine until this bullshit came back into our lives. And even if we prove Cass has nothing to do with all this garbage, it's not like Maddy’s gonna apologize for being such a psycho. I'm done. For good.” Liam looked down at the sidewalk, saying nothing. Mahtab led them up the walkway to the house, a nondescript two-storey, distinguished from its neighbours only by its clay-brown colour. Adrian glanced around to see if anyone was watching while Mahtab glanced in the windows. “I can’t see anything,” she reported quietly. Adam stepped up onto the narrow cement slab that served as a porch. He stood in front of the door for a moment, and turned the handle. Unlocked. The door swung inward with a soft creak. “Is that a good sign or a bad sign?” Liam whispered. They all crowded around the doorway and peered inside. All the lights were off and all the curtains drawn, but even then it seemed unusually dark, and it was hard to see. Adam could make out a dark doorway on the left, a staircase, and an open room on the right with an outline of furniture. He took the initiative and stepped inside. He paused once he crossed the threshold, listening carefully, hearing only silence. He took another slow step within, and heard the others follow behind him. Hidden in the shadows at the top of the stairs, Phil watched the four, silhouettes in the light of the doorway, creep into the house. His lips curled into an unseen smile. The time had come to prove himself.
  10. Part 14: Hugo His world was dark and cold. He felt constricted, strangled, as if buried under a mound of soil. Panic had subsided into an otherworldly calm. He couldn't see or hear, but there was a certain degree of perception he couldn't completely explain. He had a strange series of… he wouldn't exactly call them sensations, but he concluded that he was being moved; was moving; had moved. How, by what, and where to, he couldn't say. It was clear that although his body was now beyond his means to manipulate, his mind appeared to be intact. He couldn't really perceive time accurately, but he was sure it was passing. You have power here, he assured himself. There must be some way to use it. There were others who had managed to separate their body and mind, project their thoughts elsewhere; observe, even communicate with people halfway across the world. But this was never something he had learned to do, and he doubted he could teach it to himself with nothing to go on. Except… it wasn't nothing, was it? Something had touched him that night at WAYLA. Some entity had drilled into his mind and he had felt its presence. It had been confusing and unclear at the time but in retrospect - perhaps freed from the distractions of his biology - he understood what had happened. He had been overwhelmed by his memories, relived two years of ordeals and triumphs all at once. He swam through the darkness back to that moment. Was it… yes. There was someone else there. A thin, delicate thread connected them to each other. He reached out. Took careful hold of it, grasped it tight, and pulled. If Will had any substance here; if Thought and Memory were no longer abstract in this bodiless void, then he focused them and all other forces he could muster on a single, simple idea. He pushed it away from him. He didn’t know if it would work, but it was all he could do to try. Cassidy called out: I need your help. *** Brent dozed lazily through the afternoon while Nate wet-vacced up the mess. Nate fed him pizza pockets and beer after he had the place mostly cleaned up, and afterwards Brent drifted in and out of naps. He would awake to mild alarm at being barely able to move, but then would settle into revelling at his size. He felt so heavy, so thick, and it was all he could do to keep his gargantuan cock from getting hard again, not wanting to burden Nate with another sea of jizz to clean up. They began to shrink back to normal in the evening. The process was much more subtle. As his overblown muscles began to deflate he felt his limbs aching, probably just from lying still for so long. He rose to his feet when he decided he had returned to normal, but a big thick cock flopping against his knees suggested he still had a bit of a ways to go. He lumbered out of his room and down the hall, finding Nate almost back to his usual height lying across the couch playing with his phone, wearing the shorts he'd arrived in and a borrowed shirt of Brent's. Nate looked up and his face blossomed into a wide smile. “Hey man! How you feelin?” Brent shrugged. “A little out of it,” he mumbled. He leaned back and stretched with a loud yawn. “But feelin’ good. Amazing, actually.” He shook his head, massaging his neck. “I still can’t believe this actually happened.” He looked down at his body. Even diminished, his muscles were still pretty thick. “Is STILL happening!” he added with a chuckle. Nate sat upright. “Yeah. S’pretty wild.” He nodded. He glanced down at his phone, then back up at Brent. “‘Know you wanted to hang out more with Pride an’ shit, but I’s out learnin’ how ‘a do this.” Brent plopped down on the couch next to Nate. His flaccid dick had receded up his thigh and he figured he was nearly back to his normal size. “How DID you learn all this?” Nate grinned. “Sorry man, can’ really tell.” “So… that night at the Black Eagle. You knew? Did you know the whole time?” Nate paused. “I…” he hesitated. “Guy I learned it from s’the same guy who pumped you up,” he admitted. “Serious though, man. S’all I can say.” “But like… he told you?” Brent pressed. “Is this someone who knows me?” He paused. “It’s not Luke or Jayson, is it?” “I put it together,” Nate mumbled. “S’all m’gonna say, brah. Period.” Brent nodded, leaning back. “This is nuts.” “THESE‘re nuts,” Nate reached over and tickled Brent's balls. Brent giggled and swatted him away. “It's just… wow… y'know?” Nate rolled his eyes. “Fuck, bro, will you get over it ‘lready?” “Come on, man, this is a big deal!” Brent protested. “Magic? It's fucking world-changing.” “Nah man, s’not,” Nate shook his head. “Jus’ cuz you didn’ know ‘bout it doesn’ mean s’never there, right?” He shrugged. “Sides, you did know ‘bout it. What ya think ‘at was at th’ Eagle?” Brent raised his eyebrows. “Yeah good point.” He paused a moment. “Hey. Do you know Mahtab Nilan… uhh, Nil… I can never remember her last name. It's long and Indian.” “Huh?” Nate looked at him. “Who?” “Mahtab. She… well we hung out a lot first semester. She's at York too. And she told me… well she started telling me about this group she was a part of, and how they were like… doing magic. Like real magic and I was… like at first I thought it was just a prank or something but when it… like she seriously believed it. I just thought she was legit psycho. So after the Christmas break I just kinda cut her off. I didn't want to deal with her. After the Eagle…” he dropped his gaze. “I wanted to say sorry but I didn't know, like, what would happen, y'know? And I just had been like, ‘don't tell anyone about it.’ Especially after the drug test and all that shit with Tyler and Farhan.” “I’unno man… thi’ shit’s all…” Nate shook his head vigorously. “Naw man fuck all ‘at. No mopin’, got me?” The finger he pointed in Brent’s face was stern, but the smile behind it was impish as ever. “Didn’ come here t’hang wi’ a downer all day. S’exciting. Get excited, y’fuckin dumbass.” Brent's smile returned. “Sorry. You're right. This IS exciting.” “‘Can make it permanent too, bro,” said Nate, putting his arm around Brent and rubbing his shoulder. “Big s’you want. Twenny-four-seven.” “Yeah?” Brent raised an eyebrow. “Jesus…” “Yeah, man. Gon’ get some shit sorted out an’en YOU might be the short one,” Nate winked. Brent's brow furrowed. “Huh?” “Think I'd go t’all the trouble an’ not use this on me?” Nate chuckled and shook his head. “Always knew I’s destined for bigger things.” “Wait… seriously?” Brent turned to him. “What'll you tell people?” “I’unno,” Nate shrugged. “Who gives a shit?” “Well like…” Brent stammered, “how big are we talking about?” “Stop worryin’, man!” Nate chided laboriously, squeezing his shoulder. “S’gonna be great. Ev’thing’s gon’ be fine.” He leaned his head on Brent's shoulder. “Jus’ got… gotta…” he voice drawled off. Brent felt Nate's grip on his shoulder go limp. “Nate?” he shook him by the knee. “What is it?” Nate sat upright, then stood. He seemed suddenly uncomfortable and confused. “I… jus’ hol’ on a sec.” Nate darted to the washroom. Brent sat forward as Nate shut the door behind him. “Nate? What the hell? Are you okay?” “S’fine!” Nate called through the door. Brent stood up, confused and not really sure what to do. He stood close to the door and held his breath, listening for anything from within, but there was only silence. He exhaled and plodded back to his room, the potential crisis making him suddenly and acutely aware of his nudity. He returned in boxers and a thin white undershirt, and was briefly relieved when he saw Nate emerge from the bathroom. But when he saw his face, Brent began to worry again. Nate wasn't smiling. He seemed pale and stressed and maybe even… afraid. “Nate?” Nate turned to him, and for a brief fraction of a moment he looked back at Brent with a strange longing, fear, and helplessness. But it was just a flash, like an errant frame on a movie reel. His grin returned, he shrugged, rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Sorry man, I jus’ forgot some’in,” he chuckled. “I act’ly gotta split.” He reached out and pulled Brent's neck down, craning up to kiss him. It was a short, affectionate kiss - not his usual sloppy tongue-thrash. And as their lips parted, Nate held Brent's head close and pressed their foreheads against each other. It was nice, but it was weird. Brent could see that something had changed. The fluffy cartoon clouds of excitement for the future seemed to have suddenly turned into a lingering putrid smoke of doubt that they even had a future. Brent knew it had happened. He knew it. But as Nate drew away from him he giggled and smirked bashfully like he always did. Nate was trying to make Brent think that change hadn't occurred; Brent was too scared and confused to just call out the bullshit. They might as well had BOTH been mind-readers. “Nate…” Brent took a faltering step forward as Nate slipped into his shoes. “I… you know if there's ever something wrong that I'm… I'd have your back. I'd want to help. I…” he stammered. “Like, you get that, right?” Another brief break in the facade. The smile twitched, betraying its deceit, his eyes trembled with uncharted depths of understanding and… maybe regret. Depths Brent hadn't realized Nate possessed. And just like before, it fell away into the practiced casual, easy-going charm he always exhibited. He cupped one hand at the side of his mouth, called out “Gayyyyyy!” and disappeared out the door. *** As Nate rounded the corner and Brent's house dropped out of view, his brow furrowed, his grin hardened into a frown. He glanced around for somewhere he could focus. He'd tried in the bathroom but Brent was too distracting. He needed something nice and serene. There was an old folks’ home at the intersection. In the middle of a sparsely populated parking lot was a small island of thin yellowing sod inhabited by a gangly red maple sapling and a cracked cement garbage bin. It'd do. He jogged over to it, sat down with his back against the garbage bin, closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The sky was still mostly overcast but even through his eyelids he could see the light of the sun shifting behind the clouds. A cicada was keening nearby. The sounds of motors and horns and reverberating bass beats from Finch Steet rattled like stones in a dryer, and there was a distant echo of playground noise; an incoherent rabble of childish shrieks and shouts. This was better. This could work. Nate pulled himself out of all that and listened for what he had heard before. Yes, there it was. Someone had tried to present an idea. But it was all crumpled up like a wad of paper. He had to peel it apart very carefully, lest it slip through his fingers and he lose it again. Whoever had sent this had no clue what they were doing. Nate had been reading thoughts for a while, and had arrived at a number of insights. First and most importantly: every human mind was unique. While there was overlap in shared experiences everyone generally had their own set of interpretations, associations, and representations for even very basic and simple ideas. Reading surface thoughts, probing memories, and digging through someone’s knowledge was one thing. It was like looking through a library or a computer database - albeit without the help of a card catalogue or logically nested folders - but once you found what you were looking for, you were set. But someone was trying to send him an idea or an instruction, and it was so loaded with subtext and abstractions that it essentially had to be decoded. When it had hit him, he immediately felt a rush of adrenaline, which - coming on while lazily dozing next to Brent - had confused and alarmed him. He felt like he was being attacked. Even now he found this concept cloaked with desperation and dripping with panic. Whatever was going on, it was dangerous, maybe even deadly. Things began to align themselves in a way Nate found recognizable. He realized it had come from Cassidy, but the particulars were still muddled. He tried to follow the line back and… everything sort of exploded, beyond even a scope that Cassidy understood. Cassidy had unwittingly provided Nate with what amounted to a phone line in an otherwise locked room; a room in which Cassidy was not alone. It all unloaded on Nate so fast he was immediately flooded with memories and emotions and experiences. His heart started to race, stars speckled the inside of his eyelids, there was a tenebrous pitch rising in his ears, and pain lanced through his brain from every direction at once. Nate pulled himself out with a gasp and after a momentary reprieve, a sharp ache seeped into his head. He held the bridge of his nose and cringed, waiting for it to pass, too distracted by agony to sort out everything he had seen. But as the eye-popping migraine subsided into a dull, mild hangover headache, it all became very clear. Nate had never wanted this kind of thing. Drama and danger. His preferred genre of adventure was whimsical jaunt, not harrowing quests. Lives on the line? What kind of masochist wants to deal with that shit? Nate had a burly, growth-hungry beefcake a literal five minute walk from where he sat. A beefcake that LIKED him. Liked him a lot. He could go back there, he knew. He could just ignore all this bullshit and let nature take its course. He didn't know these people; what did he care? This didn't involve him. He didn't owe any of these people the time of day. He owed something to Brent. He owed it to Brent to stay alive, and not risk his life for a bunch of strangers… Right…? A mixed blessing of being a telepath was that more often than not you had a better idea of what kind of person one was than they did themselves. He'd always thought that skill had given him some insight into what kind of person he was: someone who didn't get involved if he didn't have an angle. He could go back to Brent, never mention any of it, and no one could ever give him any shit over it. He could leave all those people to whatever fate had in store for them. He could. That was an option. It was a decision he could make. It didn't matter that he was their only hope. It didn't matter that if he didn't try to help them, nobody else would. Fuck. Nate stood up and dusted off his shorts. He was just wasting time trying to convince himself. In reality, he already knew that he was about to do something incredibly heroic. He kicked dejectedly at the grass. “Aww, maaaaaan…” *** Just as Adam and Mahtab were retreating down the alleyway, Nate was walking up the street behind them. Everyone around him was buzzed and horny, so he had closed off his senses to them. There wasn't much point to scanning anyone; he had a pretty complete picture of what was going on. He wasn't there on recon anyway. He wasn't familiar with many of the active players, and how they might react to his involvement was just a guess. He'd decided he needed to get some backup that was more predictable. Even with the cloud cover it was still light out but the Black Eagle already had a line. Nate sighed and sidled up at the back, eavesdropping on a trio of twentysomething bears and cubs in front of him. “... but dude, look at the fuckin bouncer!” The larger of the bears was saying. “He was big but never THAT big.” “Lookit, jus’ cuz it's a good hoax don't make it any less a hoax,” countered a blonde bearded guy who looked like he had just started bulking up. “I saw a thing on Facebook that said it's a publicity stunt for Magic Mike.” “I dunno, man, that's pretty thorough,” replied a shorter tanned cub. “Like there's a bunch of Youtube vids, all from different accounts… and if they're fake I've never seen anything like that before.” “So what,” the blonde dropped his shoulders. “What, it's all real? Bunch o’ guys - at the fuckin Eagle - spontaneously turn into bodybuilders an’ pornstars an’ supermodels? For no reason? Got any ‘splanation for that?” “Hey man, I'm not sayin’ I can explain it,” the cub shrugged his thick shoulders. “But… well yeah. Look at that bouncer. How do YOU explain it?” Nate turned away, suppressing a chuckle, before realizing he'd been standing there for five minutes and the line hadn't moved. A quick read of Daniel - the freakishly overmuscled bouncer who was attracting so much attention - revealed that they were keeping their numbers low until more staff showed up. Until then, no one else was getting in before people inside left. Nate was surprised Daniel was thinking so clearly with all these guys flirting with him - feeling his arms and chest; asking for selfies with him; or just staring at him with shameless lust. The second bouncer, Hugo, was a bit peevish. While Daniel had had this job for years and was a loyal friend to the owner, Hugo only came in every now and then, and only did it so he could pick up guys at the bar. Hugo had already been in good shape, and the previous night Nate had grown him nearly a foot taller to a respectable six-foot-four, which he seemed happy with but was upset at all the attention Daniel was getting. Christ, Nate thought to himself. I make this guy taller overnight and he still finds something to bitch about. Still, it gave Nate a decent idea on how to kill two birds with one stone. “Off the stairs,” Daniel grumbled softly at the next couple of guys in line - two middle aged bears with tasseled leather jackets hanging open over their otherwise bare chests. The one in the cowboy hat took a step back. “I tell ya, man. Wasn't sure I believed it. Didn’ think you could get any bigger.” “Hmm,” Daniel acknowledged mirthlessly, and turned his gaze to the rest of the line. Hugo rolled his eyes. It had been like this all night. All these guys fawning over Daniel, whose stoic, joyless responses only seemed to drive them even crazier for him. That, and Daniel hadn't bothered to buy a new shirt and showed up for his shift bare-chested. Meanwhile no one even bothered to bat an eye at Hugo. Sure, he'd gotten considerably taller but he worked there so sporadically no one had retained a mental “before” image to compare him to. The dark-eyed blonde leaned against the wall with a sigh. He had imagined the life of a Church Street bouncer would be much more glamorous - though as the thought occurred to him now it seemed a bit silly. He was probably just exhausted. All the excitement from the night before had made for a restless sleep, not to mention a couple rails of coke. The novelty of all that weirdness was more than enough to keep him happy. But he felt something strange beyond that. He'd been so high last night it had been difficult so sort out one from the other. But he was stone sober, and there was a strange tautness in his guts that went far deeper than the run-of-the-mill anxiety he sometimes experienced at this job. He furrowed his brow. It felt familiar. Was it happening again? He got his answer as his clothes began to get extra snug around his frame. He looked down and saw his chest puffing out under his shirt. He spread his arms, glancing back and forth between them. “Uhh...Daniel?” “Mmm,” Daniel replied, nodding slowly as he looked out at the crowd, attempting (not for the first time) to fold his arms across his chest before realizing his arms were too big and settling for resting them on his hips. One of the leather clad cowboys was the first to notice, his eyes bugging out and his mouth hanging open. He pointed, trying to get his friend’s attention but apparently at a loss for words. Daniel turned to see what had him so agitated, and his eyes shot wide open. “Muddasic!” he exclaimed, reaching for his walkie. He had a little trouble finding an angle that would get it close to his mouth. “Code green! We gotta code green out front. I'll be needin some support out here on the double!” Hugo was already starting to feel the shirt straining to contain him. His feet were getting cramped in the converse hi-tops he had had to buy today to make up for his feet jumping three sizes last night. And it looked like he'd be making another trip tomorrow. He looked to Daniel for some help but Daniel had his hands full containing the line, which had begun to notice Hugo’s ongoing gains and were swarming the velvet rope to get a better look. Hugo was so wrapped up in his muscles bulging bigger that it wasn't until the cuffs of his jeans started riding up his swelling calves that he realized he was getting taller again as well. He couldn't be too far from seven feet. Two out of three guys in the gathering crowd had their phones out taking videos, and the clamour of disbelief was becoming deafening. “Take it off!” he heard someone yell. His collar was nearly strangling his neck and he was pretty sure a seam had split over one shoulder. “I don't think I can!” Hugo shouted back with a grin. “Show off your guns!” someone else called, and a chorus of hoots and cheers followed. Daniel’s gigantic frame was a literal wall at the base of the stairs, but he seemed to be struggling to keep people from climbing over him. Hugo, basking in the attention, raised both arms up, clenched his fists, and flexed. Immediately another wave of growth radiated through his body. His sleeves popped open as his biceps ballooned to the size of bowling balls. His shirt split right down the middle, revealing his hairless, gargantuan pecs atop a cut, bulging eight-pack. The seams of his jeans popped, yielding to his expanding buttocks and thighs thick as columns, all as he felt himself getting bigger everywhere. EVERYwhere. He opened his mouth and gasped as the fly of his jeans blew open and his inflating dick forced the zipper apart. The door opened and Carl and Darcy emerged, each holding a beach towel. They rushed down the stairs and both immediately took a step back as they looked up at Hugo. The growth seemed to have ended, and Hugo panted for breath as he looked down at himself, his destroyed jeans sliding down his legs. His T-shirt had become a miniscule vest, his new shoes had split open, and his CK underwear was barely holding on around his thick bubble butt and strangled cock and balls. The crowd cheered, and camera flashes sparkled through the street. He felt like he was headlining a rock concert. He had to be almost 8 feet tall, built like a mac truck, and only a quickly diminishing sense of modesty kept him from reaching down right there and jacking off his huge cock in front of all his adoring fans. “Do I…” Darcy tentatively raised his towel. “Should I cover him up?” “Nah,” Carlos sighed. “He's into it.” He brushed past a passerby who had skipped the line and was trying to get at Hugo, arranging himself opposite Daniel on the sidewalk. The crowd was losing their minds. People were roiling against Daniel trying to shout at Hugo. “Take it off!” “Do a lat spread!” “Show us your cock!” “Beefier!” “Are you on Grindr?” “Beefier!” Somehow the crowd had latched onto it, and were chanting “Beef-i-er! Beef-i-er!” over and over in unison. Hugo chuckled, spreading his hands helplessly. “I don't think it works that way, guys,” he said apologetically, pleased at the lower octave rumbling out of his throat. “Uhh…” Darcy had to intone loudly to be heard over the crowd. “Hugo? It might…” Hugo felt his face bristling, and put a hand up to feel a short but full and even beard covering his formerly clean-shaven face. The sensation seemed to be travelling down his body, and he watched a carpet of thick blonde fur unfurl down his chest, narrowing into a thinner trail as it loped through his abs. But just as it crawled under his tight undies and into his pubes - which he felt getting bushier - his newly acquired eight-pack disappeared under a generous layer of fat. “Whoa,” Hugo’s eyed widened at the belly ballooning into view from under his thick furry pecs. He put both hands on it and felt it expanding under his palms. It was soft but sturdy, and he gave it a few experimental bounces as it settled into a sizeable musclegut. Another splash of warmth burst outward from his belly. His pecs jutted out further, his arms thickened even more, his ass swelled against the wall, sliding up as he grew yet a few more inches taller, and finally his cock and balls grew too big for his underwear to handle, and they split open, spilling out his half-hard, two-foot chubby manhood, and allowing his softball ball-sized testicles to hang free. A flurry of camera flashes urged Daniel to check in on Hugo, and the big man’s stoicism faltered into awe as he looked up at Hugo’s gigantic frame, larger than not only anyone’s gains from the previous night but larger than anyone Daniel had ever heard of. His moment of reverie was enough for one of the cowboys to push past Daniel and charge Hugo. Darcy moved to cover up Hugo with his beach towel but the burly cowboy shoved him into the stairwell and pressed up against Hugo’s round gut, his head not even coming up to his chest. “I'll do anything you want. Please. Let me do anything. Please.” Him getting through opened the floodgates, and soon the sidewalk was filled with guys pleading for Hugo’s attention. “Fuck,” Carlos was forced to back away, and surveyed the mounting chaos outside of his bar; at Daniel struggling to get guys off the steps while simultaneously trying to stop others from joining in. “Hey… hey guys come on,” Hugo warned. “I don't want to hurt anybody…” “Hurt me!” a big, thick, fully decked-out leather daddy shouted up at him. “I've been looking for a man who could for years!” Even light nudges were sending guys sprawling backward against the crowd. Hugo realized that if he wasn't careful he could easily kill someone. “Fuck!” Carlos swore as someone shoved him away. Oh shit, Hugo thought. Am I gonna be like this forever? Multiple men were pressing against him, hands groping everywhere. Hugo didn't know what to do. And then someone got a hold of his cock. Hugo was completely unprepared for the sensations his new genitals came equipped with. Suddenly his anxieties dissolved. He wasn't worried about tomorrow. He wasn't worried about an hour from then. All that he knew was the now. And right now someone had their thick, sweaty hands running up and down his shaft, and was slowly pressing a tongue into his urethra. He couldn't even see who it was, there were so many guys all over him - squeezing his huge arms, craning their necks to kiss and suck on his hard nipples, running their fingers through the hair on his big hard belly. He didn't care that he was huge and naked on a well lit street with dozens of people watching and filming him. Hadn't he always been? This had become his past present and future. “FUCK!” Carlos shouted, setting his jaw and shaking his head. He cupped his hands over his mouth and commanded Darcy: “Call the cops!” “Fuck,” Darcy observed, and turned to clamber up the stairs. “Yeah. Fuck.” Carlos agreed. Hugo was breathing hard, his chest heaving with every moan. Someone was working his balls now. Someone was licking his feet. Hugo’s hands fumbled limp through them like he was feeling his way through a dark room, until one short otter in a spiked collar and elaborate harness grabbed his hand and started sucking on his sausage-sized fingers. He felt someone trying to get as his asshole but his butt was pressed up against the wall, so he thrust his hips forward and leaned back with his shoulders. His flash-harem adjusted quickly, and immediately he had one pair of hands on each testicle, and after finding his gigantic ass too thick to rim, the denim-clad bear stuck his two middle fingers in Hugo’s asshole. Why is everyone in love with me? thought Hugo. Why am I so much bigger and stronger than everyone else? Why am I so huge and powerful? Why am I being worshipped? I must be God. His newly-minted cult did nothing to discourage this theory. Further away there were panicked shouts, frantic conversations, a dull white noise of chatter. His immediate vicinity was awash with the sounds of pleasure. Moans, groans, gasps, slurps, kisses; the odd whispered promise of servitude to him. Every inch of him felt amazing, and there were just so many inches. Giving up on attempting to deflate the situation, Carlos lumbered off the sidewalk through the gathering crowd. Maybe it… maybe it wasn’t so bad…? But as he got to the middle of Church Street and turned around, that small hope dissolved. Hugo stood two feet - at least - taller than the alcove leading up into the Black Eagle. Huge, nude, and being pleasured by a crowd of leather and denim daddies. He could see where this was going, and with at least thirty cameras filming the whole thing he couldn't imagine this not making the news. And while he appreciated the publicity, Carlos had a feeling this time would end up being more trouble than it was worth. Hugo felt sweat dripping down his body, greedily licked off by a dozen eager tongues. “Oh fuck,” he groaned into the air, looking up at the darkening twilit sky. He felt a strange sensation in his crotch; a familiar bubbling, but less like a pot on the stove than a volcano. He clenched his ass reflexively, and whoever had their hand up there sucked their teeth as they found it trapped between two cheeks of solid brawn. “I’m,” Hugo gasped. “I’m…” his voice trailed off. He felt that building pressure move from his groin at an aching crawl up his pulsing, iron-hard shaft. The hands stroking it seemed to sense this, increasing their pace and becoming more florid in their massage. None of them had ever given a hand job to a schlong they could share with multiple people, and evidently this new opportunity was bringing out a heretofore untapped creative side. Further and further he felt the pressure extend down his dick, over and over amazed at just how much cock he had. Finally it reached his head, and exploded. Carlos threw both hands to his face in shock, disbelief, and the thought “what the hell am I supposed to do about this” as Hugo’s twenty-six inch cock hosed down the crowd of ravenous adorers in front of him. The cowboy who had his tongue up his slit was bowled over onto his ass, a thick layer of jizz covering his face. As he fell away the torrent sprayed forth and struck Daniel in the back with such force he staggered forward to retain his footing. The remaining worshippers giggled like children playing in a sprinkler as they were splashed with Hugo’s hot cum. While for some, getting covered in a nine-foot tall giant’s semen pulled them out of the moment, for others it only drew them deeper. Men licked Hugo’s spunk off each other, rubbed it on their skin like it was lotion, shook it from their hair as if they had just taken a shower. Finally the geyser extinguished and Hugo leaned back, panting heavily as his chest heaved. He massaged his belly as he waited to catch his breath, dull post-coital fireworks still popping through his brain. Carlos glanced around at the onlookers on Church Street in an attempt to read their expressions. Equal parts confusion, disgust, arousal, and fascination. A generous puddle of jizm had amassed on the sidewalk. “Daniel!” he barked. “We need to get him off the street! Now!” “You outta your mind, man?” Daniel retorted. “No way dat boy fittin’ into the bar!” Carlos clenched his teeth. “That’s why I said ‘off the street.’ Come on!” *** Tyson drew up the bottle of tequila a foot and a half from the bar, letting the liquor splash as he filled five neatly arranged shot glasses. He expertly spun the bottle in his hand before depositing it back on the shelf behind him. He slid a slice of lemon into each glass and slammed a salt shaker next to them, spreading his arms as he leaned on the bar like he was presenting a piece of art. “That’ll be thirty, please,” he said, adding a wink for good measure. The fiftysomething waifish diva flitted his heavily mascaraed eyes and slid two twenties across the bar, letting his hand linger on the bills so that when Tyson went to pick them up, the diva ran his fingers over the back of his hand. “Keep the change, gorgeous,” he cooed with a (probably fake) southwestern American accent, and delicately picked up all five shots at once, disappearing into the crowd. Paul, who had finally started to enjoy himself, stifled a laugh. “Good lord, you are such a bloody trollop,” he chuckled. Paul always got more British when he was on M. Tyson, meanwhile, had decided to play the night sober. He had a lot more mass and had reasoned that he didn’t know his limits anymore. He had resolved to test them in a controlled environment, but maybe after the weekend. He was happy with that decision because he was making a goddamn killing. Tyson was a natural charmer to begin with. Suddenly being one of the beefiest guys in the room had upped his game to another level, and he was raking in tips he could scarcely believe. To Paul, he just spread his arms with a grin. “Don’t hate the player, man.” Paul cackled loudly - even though it hadn’t been that funny a joke - and turned to the newest patron approaching the bar. “What can I get you mate?” The short fit buzzed white kid pointed across the bar. “Need t’talk at Tyson.” Tyson glanced over, immediately recognizing him as the guy who had almost fainted a couple nights earlier. And he’d been in just the previous night, as well, right before all the chaos broke out. Paul shot his co-worker an impressed smirk, and the two maneuvered around each other - which had been much easier yesterday - and switched spots. Tyson motioned his hand in front of his chest. “If you want to ask about… all this, I don’t really…” The kid shook his head. “No. S’not about that.” He leaned forward. “Aight, look. Tyson, you gotta come wi’ me. Righ’ now.” Tyson paused, but his look of concern quickly melted into a bashful smile. “Look man, I'm flattered and… like, I mean you're a pretty cute guy I wouldn't even be against it it's just, y'know, I'm working and I can't just…” “No. No, I…” the kid interjected, shaking his head. He seemed to lose his place for a moment, and then sighed, leaning further across the bar. “It's Blake.” The colour drained from Tyson’s face. “How… who…” “Blake,” the kid reiterated with more force. “Th’same Blake. S’in trouble, man. ‘M tryin t’help him but I need your help, Tyson. An’ we gotta go righ’ fuckin’ now.” Tyson stared blankly at him, stood up from the bar and looked around for a moment, before leaning back down. “Who the fuck even are you?” he asked with exasperation. “Nate,” he replied quickly. He put a hand to his chest. “I'm Nate, you're Tyson, ‘e’s Blake.” he softly pounded his fist on the bar. “‘Can ‘splain everythin, but we runnin’ outa time. We gotta go now, man. Righ’ now.” Tyson had been having a weird couple of nights. There had to be a point where he put his foot down and said enough is enough, not get wrapped up in some more bullshit. But if it was true… if Blake hadn't been seen since the night they were together, and was in trouble, then maybe it had something to do with Tyson. “Jus’ gotta trus’ me, man,” Nate shrugged. “Make up your mind, though. S’if you ain’ comin’ I gotta go on my own.” Tyson stood up again. He took a deep breath and glanced back at Nate, who was tapping an imaginary wristwatch. “Shit,” Tyson whispered under his breath, and slid over next to Paul. “Paul I gotta take care of something. I gotta go.” Paul made a face. “Dude,” he protested, gesturing to the crowded bar. “It's an emergency,” Tyson pleaded. “Yeah an emergency shag,” Paul shot back with a roll of his eyes. “C'mon man you know I wouldn't do this to you if it wasn't a big deal,” said Tyson, putting a hand on Paul's shoulder and giving it a reassuring squeeze. Paul shrugged the hand off but condeded with a sigh. “What'll I tell Carlos?” “Let me worry about that,” Tyson replied, already shimmying away. He swivelled out from behind the bar and slapped Nate on the shoulder. “Let's go.” As he led Nate out of the stairwell leading into the bar, Tyson was surprised to find Darcy hosing off the steps, with no sign of Daniel or Hugo. “Darcy?” Tyson raised his eyebrow, looking at the pile of torn clothes and men covered in jizz. “What the hell happened?” Darcy was about to answer when Nate grabbed Tyson’s wrist. “‘Ll tell you all abou’it on th’way.” He took off at a run still holding onto Tyson, who nearly toppled over, still unused to being so top-heavy. Nate dragged him through the crowd until finally they broke through and hurried down the street.
  11. Part 13: Mahtab It was a grey, overcast morning and the hotel room was dark. But the sun peeked out from its cloud cover and moved slowly across Mahtab’s face. When it reached her eyes she squinted and awoke groggily with a moan. She sat upright in the chair, rubbing her aching neck, and glanced over at Russell, playing on his phone in the desk chair on the other side of the room. Adam was asleep on the bed, full clothed and on top of the covers. “Still nothing,” said Russell quietly, shaking his head. “Fuck…” Mahtab whispered. She glanced at Adam. One hand was on his chest, rising and falling at a slow, measured rhythm. “You sure he didn't warn him somehow?” Russell nodded. “You still got his phone right?” Mahtab checked her pocket and felt Adam's iphone right where she had left it. “Yeah…” “So what now?” Russell asked. Mahtab sighed. “I dunno. See if Adrian has anything?” She paused. “We should keep an eye on Adam, though. For leverage if nothing else.” “What if…” Russell glanced at Adam and set his phone down, leaning toward her and lowering his voice further. “What if whoever's actually responsible has gotten him, too?” “Just as we're staking him out?” asked Mahtab. “Coincidence much?” “You said it yourself, Matty,” Russell countered. “Him coming to Toronto was the perfect chance to confront him. If someone else had been after him…” “But who?” Mahtab shook her head, and hoisted herself out of the chair, stretching. “All the most likely suspects are missing already. Unless you want to start looking at the Circle again.” “Look, it could be anyone,” Russell spread his hands. “One of our own, one of theirs… even a hedge mage. Or another organization is trying to weaken both of us before they let us know they're here.” He sighed and stood up. “I'm gonna see what Adrian has. If he’s still got a read on Cassidy it may lead us to whoever's been doing this, one way or another.” Mahtab nodded. “Okay. I'll stay with Adam, see what he has to say. But take Adrian with you if you're going to check it out, all right?” “I'll be fine.” “Suit or no suit you're not invincible,” Mahtab quietly reminded him. “Just be careful.” Russell rolled his eyes. “Yeah yeah. I'll be in touch, okay?” Mahtab nodded as he made his way out the door. “See ya.” He grabbed a cold slice of pizza from the box on the desk and left, shutting the door behind him. Mahtab turned back to look at Adam sleeping on the bed. She sighed. “Fuck.” *** Tyson hit the snooze button on his alarm and turned onto his back. His big, broad, V-shaped back. He took a deep breath, feeling his heavy chest rise and fall, and ran a hand from his pecs down to his abs. Well, he thought to himself, I guess it wasn't a dream… Continuing down his body, his hand found its way around his cock - erect as usual at this time of the morning - and he gave it a lazy stroke. Oh wow… He had to sit up on his elbows to see over his pecs, and smiled at what he saw. It seemed that his muscles weren't the only part of him that had been upgraded. His schlong had grown from its usual six inches to a thick ten, at least. His testicles had fared similarly, bloated to the size of tennis balls. “Fuckin’ A,” he mumbled aloud, and lowered himself back down to lie on his back as he began to stroke himself. One hand pumped his cock while the other slid over his torso, tracing ridged abs, his pronounced obliques, and his big furry pecs, lingering on his nipples. His cock was primed and ready to go, already leaking pre just a few strokes in. Tyson closed his eyes and let his mind wander back to the night before. As alarmingly weird as it had been, it had been so hot to watch. Not just the transformations themselves but the looks on everyone's faces - shocked, disbelieving, ecstatic, thrilled. It defied all explanation but by the end of it he didn't care. Either he was crazy and it wasn't happening at all, or it was happening and it was fucking amazing. He remembered again feeling the leather straps of his harness constricting around his bulging body, how the sound of it popping off was one of the sexiest things he'd ever heard. That, evidently, was enough to push him over, and with a loud, sultry grunt, his big balls pushed a big fountain of cum out of his big dick and he gasped and moaned and writhed on his mattress, feeling every bulging muscle through his whole body tense. When finally his cock was spent, he went limp on the bed, idly wiping his jizz-soaked hand on his covers, and dozed happily for another twenty minutes until his alarm went off again. He checked his phone. Text message from Carlos: Mandatory staff meeting 12pm sharp. BE THERE Gee, Tyson smiled. Wonder what that could be about. Tyson got up, his big flaccid dick flopping between his thick thighs, and made his way over to his bathroom. The tiny mirror over his sink was too small to get much of a complete picture of himself but he checked himself out one section at a time, flexing muscles he hadn't even realized existed. He was carved out of marble. He was huge and shredded. God it felt so good. He'd never given being this big any serious consideration, but now that he had this size he was almost amazed he had never tried to get there on his own. He had no trouble getting guys as it was; now he felt like he'd never sleep alone again. With some awkward maneuvering he squeezed into his standing shower and cleaned himself off, noting at one point that he'd be going through a lot more bodywash from here on in. Having favoured tight-fitting clothes his wardrobe options were fairly limited. He ended up going with a bright turquoise tank top that had once hung loose off his shoulders that he now had to squeeze himself into, and a similarly tight pair of large athletic shorts he wore to play basketball. He slipped into a pair of sandals, threw on his charcoal Puma ball cap and Oakley shades, and swaggered out the door. The second he got outside he saw how grey it was and hung his shades off his collar, where they nestled in his pec cleavage. People were staring at him on the streetcar. Some he recognized as familiar faces from his commute, probably trying to figure out whether it was him or not. Others were strangers who apparently just liked to look at him. It became a routine after a few stops; he'd catch people with their gaze locked on him and they'd bashfully avert their eyes, and then he'd grin. Tyson overshot Church Street so he could get a green tea frappucino and a bagel at the Starbucks on Yonge. He munched and sipped as he walked across Wellesley Street, still with plenty of time to spare. “Uhmm… Tyson?” came a voice from behind him, and he turned with his mouth full of bagel. It was a short guy of average build, with long black hair and a matching big bushy beard. Tyson wasn't sure who he was until he recognized the Guided By Voices band shirt. “Darcy? Is that you?” The guy grinned broadly, stroking his beard. “Yeah man.” He gave a laugh and fell in step next to him. “Last night, right?” Darcy was the occasional DJ at the Black Eagle, who had until now sported a bright red swoop and no facial hair whatsoever. “I always assumed you were a redhead,” Tyson noted. Darcy laughed. “Hah! Yeah. No, man. Been dying it for years.” He took a lock of his hair between his fingers. “Cut off the ends this morning. It looked retarded,” he confessed, then slapped Tyson on the back. “Shit, dude. You got huge!” Tyson felt himself blush a bit. “Yeah… well it was a very… strange shift last night.” “Fuck, man, tell me about it,” Darcy nodded. “Hey check this out.” He lifted the shirt to reveal a rug of dark dense body hair covering his chest and belly. “I was fuckin bare as a newborn before last night,” he announced with pride. Tyson took another sip of his frap. “Looks good on you, man,” he nodded. Darcy scoffed. “Yeah, so does the, like, hundred pounds of Schwarzenegger on you, man.” Tyson smirked. “Heh. Thanks,” he said, shoving the last of his bagel in his mouth. He stole a glance at Darcy’s crotch, noting with a chuckle that he was sporting a big bulge. “This is so trippy, man,” Darcy remarked. “I've never been able to grow decent facial hair and now I look like… like an extra from Vikings or something. Hey!” he smacked Tyson's arm. “Gay marriage in the States!” Tyson shrugged. “Yeah. Was gonna happen sooner later.” “Maybe,” Darcy conceded. “Still, though. Exciting times.” They entered the bar at ten minutes to noon, but pretty much everyone was there already. The room looked like a circus side show. Everyone was either gigantically tall, swollen with muscle, hugely fat or excessively hairy - all except Simon, who had had the night off and was staring around in bewildered shock. Chairs and barstools were arranged in a crooked circle, and a cardboard pot of Tim Hortons coffee was on a table next to an open box of timbits. Tyson and Darcy poured themselves cups and munched timbits while the last of the employees filed in. Tyson broke off from Darcy and sat next to Paul, who was wearing the same extra-large staff shirt he had taken to go home. Paul greeted him with a nod but said nothing, looking annoyed. Pretty much everyone was poorly dressed in worn out gym clothes or old clothing they didn't care about stretching out or ripping. Paul, who famously detested sandals, was wearing an old pair of too-small flipflops, which Tyson noted with a chuckle. “Hey,” Tyson nudged him and grinned. “What's your shoe size now?” Paul just looked at him. “I don't wanna talk about it.” Tyson shrugged and sipped his coffee. They waited til quarter after when they seemed to decide that anyone who hadn't arrived wasn't going to. When the cops had shown up Tyson’s instincts suggested to him his buzz was about to be killed, and he left as quickly and quietly as a guy his size could. In the chaos he had missed out on a few of his colleagues’ changes, among them the co-owner, Carlos. As he heard the heavy stomps coming up from the private rooms in the basement, Tyson assumed it was Daniel, but then saw him already standing by the bar. Daniel had decided - or perhaps had been forced - to forego wearing a shirt altogether, revealing the hugely muscled torso last night's antics had afforded him. Daniel had been hulked out into a giant swole freak, his vascular muscles snaking with veins even when he was relaxed. His neck had essentially disappeared beneath bulging traps that led right into massively thick shoulders and arms. He'd had to walk sideways through most doorways. So if Daniel was there, who was coming up the stairs, rattling the bottles behind the bar with every thudding step? Tyson gaped as he watched Carlos squeeze his bulk through the door with a bemused grin on his face. Carlos, who had formerly been shorter than Tyson and of a similar lean physique, had been rendered all but unrecognizable. He stood at least seven feet tall, and everything about him had gone from average to gargantuan. A huge belly stuck out nearly a foot in front of him, and his big thick arms were covered by a layer of fat that did little to soften the powerful muscles beneath it. In place of his neatly trimmed goatee was a huge bushy beard, and in place of his buzzcut was a thick mane of hair he had tied back into a tail that reached halfway down his back. While everyone else had apparently struggled to cobble together an outfit that would fit their new dimensions, it almost looked like Carlos had been prepared for this day, wearing a thin white muscle shirt under a black leather vest, tucked into dark blue jeans topped by a leather belt clasped with an ornate belt buckle of a goat's head overtop a pentagram. What really sold the whole piece was his thick leather boots ornamented with thin steel chains and spiked buckles. Where the hell had he found boots like that to fit his huge feet in the, what, six or seven hours since he had gone up a few sizes? Carlos was a pretty friendly, laidback guy, and his newfound gigantism hadn't dampened his attitude. With Daniel flanking him from behind, he sidled up onto a barstool, one boot resting flat on the floor. His ample package was plain to see as he sat down, and Tyson did a quick sweep of the room, noting that every man there - regardless of whatever other transformation he had undergone - had also been upgraded in the dick department. Carlos smiled with a note of bemusement. “First I just want to update you guys on Jorge. He’s fine, he got released from the ER and he’s sleeping at home. Second I want to thank everyone for coming out on such short notice,” he said with a bemused smile and a nod. “And I'll cut right to the chase. Obviously last night was… a bit of an event.” “A bit of an event?” came the incredulous query from Dennis, the barback who had gone from five-foot-eleven twig to six-foot-six bear. “Man I gained a hundred and fifty pounds in thirty seconds.” “Yeah,” Carlos agreed. “Well obviously a lot of us went through some significant changes.” “Okay seriously,” the patio bartender Rosharon held up her hand. “Does anyone have any notion what the fuck actually happened? Cuz this?” she gestured to her breasts which had blown up a few sizes, “makes no fuckin sense at all.” “Look, I don't know,” Carlos admitted, and was about to say something else when Paul cut him off. “That's not bloody good enough. This is impossible to explain!” Paul gestured around the whole room. “What am I supposed to tell people?” “All right hold on,” Carlos raised his hands defensively, “this is actually what I wanted to talk about. CP24 aired a piece on it this morning. They seem to think it's a hoax.” “Yeah so do the fuckin’ cops,” said Rosharon. “They were talkin’ about public mischief charges.” “Okay look,” said Carlos, “I've already spoken to my lawyer and we're gonna handle that. In the meantime though I need everyone to give no comment if you're approached by the media or the police.” “What if we get subpoenaed?” Carlos briefly pinched the bridge of his nose in annoyance, “Jesus christ Rosharon they're not gonna subpoena you for public mischief.” “Have you tried getting in touch with that cop that's always coming in?” asked Darcy. “Whatsisname… Vince something? He could vouch for us, right? At least confirm we aren't just making it all up.” “How’s that gonna go?” spat Paul. “‘Yeah no guys it's cool all these guys just spontaneously grew for no reason.’” “Vince is at L A pride and will be back in a week or so, I think,” said Carlos. “When he is I'll reach out to him but for now…” “So what are we supposed to do about all the customers we had?” asked Paul. “How are you gonna get them not to say anything?” “Obviously there's nothing we can do about them,” Carlos conceded. “Which is why it's so important we keep a unified front on a media blackout, all right? At least for the next few days.” He adjusted himself and brightened. “Now otherwise, I think we need to see the opportunity we had here. I know it was strange but I think we can all agree…” Carlos gestured to them gathered around the room. “This isn't such a bad thing.” “Are you bloody kidding me?” asked Paul incredulously. “Carlos we have absolutely zero idea how or why this happened. What if we all end up getting cancer or something?” “Aside from Jorge’s panic attack the paramedics said everyone checked out fine,” said Carlos, “and I realize thay doesn't cover everything but I mean, has anyone had any adverse effects? Me, I feel great.” “Adverse effects?” asked Paul, and began counting off on his fingers. “I'm too big for my bed, my entire wardrobe is rubbish…” “These bitches gon’ give me back problems before long, I'll tell you that,” Rosharon mumbled. “But c'mon, man,” said Darcy. “You gotta admit this is pretty fuckin cool, right?” “Pretty cool?!” Paul shouted at him. “What the hell is wrong with you people? Doesn't anyone care HOW this happened? Doesn't anyone care that this is bloody impossible?” “Magic,” Daniel suggested with a nonchalant shrug of his mighty shoulders. “Magic,” Paul repeated dryly, “that's the explanation we're goin’ with: magic.” “What else you got, sonny boy?” asked Daniel archly. “Look around. The short boys get tall. The skinny boys get big. The big boys get bigger.” - here he gestured to himself - “An’ I wager all your little tonkys got a nice growth spurt too, ah?” he tried to fold his arms over his chest but his huge biceps clashed with his giant pecs so he settled for putting his hands on his hips. “You got another word for wishes comin’ true, now?” Tyson raised an eyebrow. What the hell are tonkys? “Hey, I didn't wish for this,” said Paul. “Oh come on,” Carlos protested. “You're honestly telling me you never wanted to be taller?” Paul went to say something and then threw up his hands, sighed, and smoldered moodily in silence. “Okay,” Carlos said with a nod. “We don't know how it happened but it did. It's Pride Friday and the Internet is goin nuts over this thing. Tonight is gonna be a total shitshow, and I need all hands on deck. Even if you weren't scheduled. I've gone ahead and cancelled dirty bingo and we're not gonna open til six. And as far as your rubbish wardrobe goes, Paul, I've dipped into some discretionary funds and everyone is getting two hundred bucks so you can buy some new threads for the new you.” Tyson smiled. “Sweet.” Carlos continued. “I know two hundred bucks doesn't go too far but it's the best we can do for now. I know this is weird,” he chuckled with a nod. “It’s a goddamn mind-fuck. But we’re a family here and we got your backs. We'll have time to try and figure all this out later but we're primed to have one of our biggest weekends in history if we play our cards right.” He rose up off the stool, the floorboards creaking as he shifted his weight. “That's about it, then. If you can make it tonight let me know, and I'll see you all back here around five.” Everyone went past the bar to pick up their cash and then exited in single file, as only a handful of them could fit through the halls at the same time. Tyson said goodbye to Darcy and Simon and jogged to catch up with Paul, who was sulkily walking down the sidewalk. “Hey man,” he greeted. Paul responded with a halfhearted nod but didn't say anything, fishing a cigarette out of his pack. He offered the open pack to Tyson who slid out his own. “You… you seemed pretty angry in there,” Tyson noted as Paul lit his cigarette. “Everything okay?” Paul glanced at Tyson as he handed him the lighter, looking over his big beefy body, and shook his head. “It's just so fuckin’ weird.” Tyson lit his cigarette and handed back the lighter. “No argument there, man.” “I just…” Paul sighed. “I like to think I have some control over my life, and if something can just come along and… do THIS to me? I mean what else could happen?” “There's not some part of you that's happy about it though?” asked Tyson. “Oh well sure. The inner teenager in me is losing his shit,” Paul admitted. “But like, when I was younger I always wanted to be taller, and even in my twenties I was like, holdin’ out for a late growth spurt. But when it didn't come, I accepted it and came to terms with just bein’ a little guy. An’ now…” “You're a tall guy,” Tyson finished with a shrug. “Could be worse.” “Okay fine, but what if we all suddenly go back to normal?” said Paul. Tyson frowned. That hadn't occurred to him. “Why would that happen?” “Why would ANY of this happen, that's my bloody point,” Paul explained. “If I can spontaneously grow a foot and half taller, waking up one morning to find I'm back to five-foot-four wouldn't particularly surprise me.” He paused. “An’ even thinking about it now, I don't want that to happen. Which means I never really came to terms with being a little guy in the first place. An’ if I have to do it again…” he shook his head dejectedly and took a drag from his cigarette. “You're overthinking this,” said Tyson. “If you don't know what's gonna happen you're just gonna drive yourself crazy guessing. I feel like you gave me that advice yesterday.” “Well,” Paul rolled his eyes. “Yesterday was a very different day.” Tyson nodded, and they walked together in silence until they finished their smokes. “Hey,” Tyson nudged Paul. “Wanna go shopping?” Paul shrugged. “Yeah all right.” *** Brent stepped out of the shower to find a text waiting for him from Nate. It upset him a bit that he got so excited just to see the notice. You're falling too hard for this guy, he mentally reminded himself. You're just a summer fling to him. He resisted the temptation to pick up the phone right away, deciding instead to take his time toweling off and getting dressed. He'd really been looking forward to Pride this year. It was his first one in Toronto and his first one with a boyfriend - or, not-boyfriend, or whatever the hell was going on with Nate. But it was Friday and they still hadn't seen each other. Maybe Pride just wasn't Nate’s thing, or maybe he had legitimately become suddenly swamped with things he had to get done, but in Brent’s experience if you wanted to do something you made the time to do it, or at least explained yourself with more detail than “I'm too busy.” When he finally decided he had exercised an appropriate amount of restraint, Brent picked up the phone and checked the message. There were two. I wanna c u U home? Is ayush there Ayush was out for the day at some kind of panel at U of T, and had invited Brent to join him and his friends at Crew's and Tangos after dinner. He had given a wishy-washy, non-committal response; holding out, he later realized, for Nate to make plans with him. No Ayush is out U can come over, Brent sent back, and soon Nate replied: K omw He did a hurried survey of the house and a rudimentary tidying of his room. He laboured over what he should be in the middle of when Nate showed up, and settled on playing Far Cry 4. He'd just finished losing an Outpost match when he heard a knock on the front door. Brent did a quick mental inventory of his outfit. Hemp shorts, boxer-briefs, and his Patriots jersey. Just another day lazing around at home. What did he care if the guy he was totally into showed up at his door? Not much, was the message he hoped he was sending. He opened his door staring into the bare chest of some guy who was taller than the doorframe. “Uhhhhhh,” said Brent. “Sup, man?” the lanky body ducked under the frame, forcing Brent back a step. Who the hell was this guy? Was some gang of giants about to do a home invasion on him? How did - holy shit… “Nate?!” he shrieked. He was at least seven feet tall, probably with an inch or two to spare. He smirked down at Brent. “Somethin’ wrong, man?” he chuckled. “What… what the hell happened to you?” Bren sputtered. Nate shrugged nonchalantly. “Same thing that happened to you.” Brent was lost. “What?!” “That night at the Black Eagle?” Nate grinned. Brent's eyes somehow got even wider. How could he know? How could anyone know? He hadn't said a thing to a single person about it. “S’all right, man. Don' sweat it,” Nate slapped him lightly on the shoulder. “I learned how to do it too.” “This… how… this doesn't make any sense!” Brent protested. Nate shut the door behind him. “S’only gon’ get worse, brah…” he laughed, his impish eyes twinkling. Brent suddenly felt a strange electric jolt in the pit of his stomach. It was the origin point of a swirling liquid warmth that pumped through his veins and quickly flowed through his whole body. He felt a bit lightheaded. “What… ooooh,” he moaned, staggering back a step as he felt his jersey sliding across his body. It felt like that night at the Eagle but so much more intense. Brent felt his pecs getting heavy with pure muscle, his shoulders widening and swelling with brawn up his neck, thickening up against the collar of his jersey, his biceps blowing up like balloons of meat. Soon the once-loose jersey was hugging tight to every contour of his expanding frame. The shorts which had been pretty snug on his already-thick thighs stretched to their limit around his inflating butt. Brent was overwhelmed by the sweet feeling of warmth and weight pumping through his body. His eyes fluttered in ecstasy and he felt his cock twitching with excitement. His rational thoughts were being smothered by a serotonin fog of bliss but as he looked down at himself and saw how huge he was getting he groaned. “No… no this is too much! What’ll…” His expansion seemed to subside. “Naw man don’ worry ‘bout it. You'll be back to your old self in a few hours,” Nate assured him with a smarmy wink. “S’just enjoy ourselves, aright? C’mere.” Nate took a step towards him and leaned down, lifting Brent's chin so their lips met in a kiss. Nate's long arms reached down and his hand cupped Brent's balls before sliding over his thigh and clutching his ass. Despite Nate leaning down, Brent had to stand on the balls of his feet to reach him. Nate released Brent from their kiss, standing again to his full, intimidating height. He chuckled. “Bet you don’ reach up to kiss anyone too often. Mmm…” he ran his hands from Brent's neck over his shoulders and down his arms. “Flex for me, big boy…” Brent raised his arm slowly, looking at it as if it was someone else’s, but feeling the push and pull of all the new muscles blown up under his skin. He made a fist and flexed, watching his bicep ball up and feeling the sleeve of his jersey tight around it. Nate ran his hand over its peak, first as a gentle caress then with a firm squeeze. To feel his hand against it was utter bliss. All that size resisting his grip, tight and hard and huge and hot. Brent felt so powerful, stronger than ever before. He puffed out his chest, felt the mesh fabric of the jersey taut across them, and envisioned Tyler seeing him like this. His imagination turned Tyler into a cartoon, jaw dropping down to the floor while his eyes bugged out of their sockets. Brent smirked to himself. Nate meanwhile was hard from not only watching Brent transform, but his telepathy allowed him to virtually experience it. Every sensation and thought that passed through Brent's conscious mind moaned its way over Nate's. It was all he could do to keep from creaming himself, and the peak of the tent in his sweat shorts was dark with a growing stain of pre. Nate shook his head. “Aright, gotta get ya to the bedroom.” He clapped Brent on the shoulders and pushed hjm in the direction of his bedroom. Brent felt heavy and thick as he trounced down the hallways, his bulging muscles rubbing against each other as we walked. His thighs were so big he couldn't walk normally, and staggered in front of Nate as he pushed him towards his room. “No it's… it's fine… Ayush won't be back for…” “Naw man, jus’ gettin’ you comfortable,” Nate explained with a chuckle, “cuz ‘fore long you gon’ be too big to fit through the doorway.” Brent gasped. “Wait, what?” Nate pushed him into his bedroom and he wavered to stay upright. Nate massaged his shoulders briefly with a moan, leaned down to peck him on the cheek, then circled around, pulling him around to the foot of his bedframe. It only took a nudge to push top-heavy Brent onto the mattress. Brent sat up with a giggle. “Jesus… Nate how big can you make people?” Nate’s grin widened. “Haven’ tested my limits yet, man. Sky's the limit s’far as I know.” To demonstrate, Nate stretched taller right before his eyes, his body growing in proportion, the cigarette pack, lighter, and wallet in his shorts bulging prominently in his pockets, along with his growing package. He averted his eyes upwards, taking a step to his right to avoid hitting the light fixture. “Or in this case the ceilin,” he added with a laugh. He grunted, adjusting his balls through his shorts, pulling the head of his cock out of the top of his waistband, dripping with a thick sheen of pre. “Christ man, you're huge!” Brent exclaimed, looking up and down Nate's body. He dwarfed the room around him, made Brent's desk, chair, and bookcase all seem like miniature movie props. “Damn right,” Nate agreed with a smug nod. “Think you like me now, jus’ wait man.” With a grunt, Nate bobbed his cock up and down, and Brent watched mesmerized as it stretched larger, lengthening up Nate's abs and fattening up nice and thick. His balls grew big and heavy, further weighing down his shorts. “Ah… mmmm,” Nate grunted again, then sighed. “Whoo! 'At's always a rush.” Nate wormed his way out of his shorts until they were down around his ankles, and kicked them away, knocking his head against the light overhead with a blush and a chuckle. “Nate you gotta be pushing eight feet tall!” Brent shouted. “This is unreal!” Nate gave his huge hard cock a playful wag and stepped closer to the bed. “Naw man, s’all real,” he thrust his hips a little and his dick bobbed up and down. He nodded at it. “Touch it.” Brent put his meaty hands around the thick cock, feeling the heat coming off it, feeling the stickiness of his pre. “Fuck…” “Mmmm,” Nate moaned as Brent began to stroke the two-foot length of his shaft. “Yeah, man. We can do whatever we want now,” he cooed, running his hand from the crown of Brent's head down his burly neck to his huge shoulders. “Can make you as huge as you want, man. You deserve it…” “Can you make me as tall as you?” Brent looked up at him. “Nuh-uh,” Nate winked and shook his head. “Tonight I get to be the tall guy. An’ you…” - Brent felt that same kinetic warmth through his body and his jersey shifted across his skin - “...you get to be the big swole fuckin’ beast.” Again his body began to swell, already huge muscles bulging with even greater size. His felt his shorts straining against him until they burst, and he looked down in amazement as he watched the fabric tear away, revealing thighs that were getting massive with hard, heavy meat. The boxers underneath were still holding out but he didn't put much faith in them lasting long either. It was phenomenal. He was actually outgrowing his clothes. His jersey was beginning to succumb as well as his chest blew up with bulging muscle and his biceps inflated with brawn. He felt his traps stretching out the collar, his lats straining the back. Finally it began to give way, the tiny holes in the mesh stretching larger and larger until finally they opened up across his chest and back. “Oh god,” he moaned as his expanding body continued to rip the jersey apart. His muscles were growing larger than he'd ever seen on anyone before. The sounds coming from his body were almost hotter than the feel of it - skin and tendons stretching like rubber, muscles squelching against each other as they fought for space, bones popping as they thickened and lengthened to support the increasing weight of his frame. He clenched his pecs and they rose up against his chin. He flexed his arms and his biceps blew up to the size of watermelons . He flared out his lats and they obliterated what little remained of his jersey. “How much do I weigh?” Brent asked with a gasp. Nate laughed. “Fuck if I know, man,” he licked his lips. “Mmm… you're so goddamn hot, bro.” He leaned forward, putting his hands on Brent's shoulders, his ridiculous cock thrusting against the deep tight valley between Brent's pecs. Brent tried to reach forward to take it in his hand, but found with amazement his arms had actually become too thick to bend all the way. Nate laughed at his struggle. “Don' worry ‘bout me, man. These puppies -” he reached down and pinched each of Brent's nipples “- are doin all the work for you.” And Brent was only getting bigger. His growing arms forced his hands further from in front of him as his pecs surged forward and enveloped Nate's dick. Nate began to slowly buck his hips, and Brent felt his big thick cock sliding up and down between his pecs, unable to help but smile as Nate winced every time he flexed them. He could barely believe it. He was getting too huge to even move. He tried to stay upright but his giant thighs were growing into his lap, forcing his torso slowly onto its back. He could hear his bedframe whining in protest under his endlessly increasing mass. It was a strange contradiction to feel so empowered with strength and yet nearly immobilized by the giant muscles that were granting it to him. It didn't matter, though. Every time he attempted to sort out the logistics of his impossible size a jolt of pleasure would hit him, hit reset on his thought process, and he'd have to start over. Before long he simply abandoned the effort, letting sensation and bliss ooze into every corner of his mind. Nothing else mattered, just the feel of the throbbing cock lodged in his chest and the strength and size blossoming inside his body. Sweat dripped off Nate onto Brent's chest and abs. Nate’s breath was coming in heavy gasps accented with grunts and moans and mumbled cries of “Aww yeah.” Nate shuddered, groaned, and Brent felt a flood of hot cum gushing between his pecs. His continental shelf of a chest blocked his view he could feel the spunk oozing out from his sternum and down his abs. Nate braced himself on Brent's pecs and lowered let his head bob down, taking a moment to swallow a few breaths before he raised his grinning face, leaned forward across his chest and kissed him on the lips. Brent tried to reach forward to hug him close but his gargantuan arms wouldn't permit it. Nate stood up, his cock slurping out from between Brent's pecs, flopping against Nate's thighs as he went flaccid. “This s’ gon’ be so awesome man. Fuck. Can’ wait ‘til next season. We’re gon’ be so huge all the guys’ll be shittin’ emselves the second they see you strut out on the field. Tyler's head’s gon’ fuckin’ explode, man.” Brent closed his eyes as he felt his hard cock getting warmer and warmer til it was like it had become white hot. He shuddered and moaned as it began to expand, inflating bigger with every throbbing heartbeat. His balls groaned as his sack stretched larger, pressing against his thighs. He felt Nate's hands clasp around his shaft. He assumed Nate had bent over but when he opened his eyes he gasped in shock. Nate was still standing at his full height, and Brent's dick was already well past the four foot mark and still rising, still inflating thicker, throbbing veins getting fatter, pre issuing freely from the tip. “Oh my fucking god!” Brent cried. “YOU'RE a fuckin’ god, man,” Nate murmured as he ran his hands down either side of Brent's shaft. “Fuckin’ look at you, man. Wide as a fuckin’ truck.” The cock was still inching higher, bloating thicker, getting heavier on his crotch. “How…” Brent sucked in a lung full of air, “how big are you gonna… oooooooh.” Brent's query trailed off into a moan as he watched his cock surge another two feet taller before his eyes, and as it rose past Nate's head Brent realized with awestruck bewilderment that his own cock had gotten as long as Brent was tall. A tremor of pleasure quaked through his body as his pre-soaked tip pressed up against the ceiling. Make that: longER. Nate took a step forward and threw his arms around Brent's tremendous shaft, pressing his body against the underside of his cock, moaning and licking pre from the head. Brent shuddered and tried to reach up to stroke it but his cartoonishly swollen muscles prevented him from doing anything but grab clumpfuls of blanket from beneath him. “Holy fuck!” Brent coughed. It was amazing. It was beyond amazing. Every inch of his huge sweaty body and monstrous tree-trunk of a cock was alive, hot and electric. As Nate continued to work his shaft, jostling Brent's beachball-sized testicles with his knees, bringing him closer and closer to climax, Brent's reality outside that moment disappeared in a flood of blood cum and sweat. He had always been here, in this moment, gigantically swole and titanically hung, being serviced by an eight foot plus giant. York, the Fox, the Lions, his friends, his family, Far Cry 4 still on the main menu in the other room - it all melted away; had never been. The world ended beyond the door to his bedroom. This bed, this body, this cock, this man. That was all that was. His huge balls convulsed and he felt a geyser of cum bubbling up his pillar of a cock until it erupted out the tip, spraying back off thr ceiling and raining downon him with the force of a pressure washer. Nate was getting a similar onslaught, but had the disadvantage of being on his feet and at proportions he was unaccustomed to. He shielded his eyes and staggered back a couple steps, bumping his head on light fixture again before falling on his ass with a crash that shook the room and knocked a couple of books off their shelves. Brent's orgasm seemed to last for days. A torrential stream of jizz kept blasting out of his giant cock until finally he was spent, and he let his head fall back with a grunt, feeling the cum oozing across his body and dripping down in thick gobs from the ceiling. Nate climbed back to his feet, giggling maniacally and dripping with semen. He was still laughing as he climbed on top of Brent, the bedframe creaking in protest, his hands and knees slipping across the thick layer of cum. He settled face down on top of Brent, his long legs straddling the gargantuan cock that teetered unevenly as it slowly went soft, his pecs over Brent's face, rising and falling with every breath. “Aww fuck,” Nate squealed impishly, his own cock humping lazily against Brent's abs. “Fun, huh?” Brent could barely move he was so overblown with muscle, and his room was covered in a pool of cum he couldn't even begin to think about cleaning up. But he felt so good there, lying there with Nate, bigger than anything. All he could do was laugh back at him. “Heh. Yeah.” *** “Absolutely not.” Mahtab crossed her arms, firmly shaking her head. “Mahtab,” Adam growled. “This is getting ridiculous. Give me. My fucking. Phone.” “No,” she shrugged like it would settle the matter. “There's a lot of balls in the air here. I can't let you contact Cassidy.” Adam took a deep breath. “Mahtab…” “You think it's a coincidence we come to confront him and he never shows up?” she asked archly. “If by confront you mean fucking ambush,” Adam retorted. Mahtab rolled her eyes. “Don't be so dramatic.” “I'm…” Adam sputtered incredulously. “You come in here and accuse my husband of kidnapping - or worse - and I’M being fucking DRAMATIC?!” his voice rose to a shout. He was about to scream something else at her but fumed inwardly for a moment, before laying his hands open in front of him. “Look, either your ambush - which it fucking WAS - failed, or it didn't and Cassidy never came home last night for some other reason. Do you not get this?” Adam pointed at himself. “MY FUCKING HUSBAND DIDN'T COME HOME LAST NIGHT!” “Jesus christ, will you keep it down?” Mahtab hissed. “If Cassidy tries to contact you I'll let you know. But he hasn't responded to any of the texts I'm sending from your phone. What makes you think he'll reply with you at the keyboard?” “Call him,” Adam barked. Another shake of her head. “Absolutely not.” Adam lunged for her jacket and she clamped her hand down on her pocket. He tried to pry her hand off and she grabbed at his wrist, trying to wrench it away. They grappled for a few seconds more before she twisted out of his grip, hopping a few steps away and holding out her hand to ward him off. “Fuck you, man,” Mahtab glared at him. “You think this only goes one way? If Cassidy's on to us then we're all in danger, and Russell is out there right now. No way I am hanging him out to dry.” “Mahtab, seriously,” he massaged his forehead, “you have completely lost your fucking mind. I mean…” he cut off as he lunged at her again, this time fending off her hand with his left and jabbing into her pocket with the right. He ripped his iphone away, tearing her pocket and knocking her own cell phone to the floor. “You dick!” Mahtab cried, and jumped to grab it back out of his hand, but Adam held it out of reach. When she persisted, he put his free hand on her face and shoved her away. She stumbled backward, tripping over the armchair and slamming her shoulder into the desk. “Fuck,” she swore, wincing as she grabbed the edge of the desk and pulled herself to her feet. Adam glanced at her, a brief look of concern flashing across his face before he scowled, and hastily dialed on his phone, putting it up to his ear. “Adam…” Mahtab warned grimly, taking a step towards him. He pulled away and held his hand up. She sighed, picking up her phone. “You ripped my jacket you asshole.” Adam turned his palm around and flipped her off. “Bill me,” he spat. He stood glaring at her until he pulled the phone away from his face with a dejected sigh. “Just goes to voicemail.” Mahtab strode over to him. “Was it worth it, you dumb fuck?” she asked, and punched him in the jaw with her right, injured arm. He reeled back, swatting at her, as she winced and turned away, clutching at her shoulder as pain crackled down her arm. They stood there nursing their bruises, glowering at each other until finally Adam shoved his phone into his jeans. “Alright; fuck this and fuck you.” He grabbed his keys and wallet from off the bed. “I'm going to look for him.” Mahtab laughed. “Oh my god. Fucking where, you retard? You have any idea where he is?” “No but I'm not gonna stay here with you in this goddamn hotel while he's out there somewhere not answering his phone,” Adam replied. “Well I'm coming with you,” Mahtab insisted. “Until I see Cassidy I'm not letting you out of my sight.” “Good!” Adam spat. “I'm really looking forward to seeing the look on your face when you realize what a vindictive cunt you are.” Mahtab rolled her eyes and walked over to the door, holding her arm out. “After you, Captain Class-Act.” Adam gave her a sour glare but walked to the doorway. “You're too kind.” He heaved a sigh and turned to face her. “Look. We're both pissed and might be talking a lot of shit right now, so I wanna make something clear.” He nodded. “If I find out that you've been lying to me and that you took Cassidy, or hurt him in any way, I will fucking murder you.” He paused. “Understood?” Mahtab brushed a lock of hair from her eyes and returned his gaze with a subtle shake of her head. “Crystal clear.” “All right,” Adam walked out the door. “Let's go.” *** “Okay,” Adrian warbled through Russell's phone speaker, “I think I got him.” “You think?” Russell asked, turning off of Danforth and slowing his car to a crawl down a narrow residential street. “Yeah. I THINK,” Adrian curtly replied. “Look I told you; something happened downtown. He… it's different. But I'm pretty sure this is him.” Russell sighed. “Where?” “I'm still zeroing in…” said Adrian. “Somewhere in the Beaches.” “You think Cassidy is trying to hide from you?” asked Russell. “I'm… not sure,” Adrian stammered over the phone. “That's not what it feels like. I've never seen anything like this before.” Russell rolled his eyes. “So I'm just driving around hoping I run into him?” “I'm working on it!” Adrian replied peevishly. Russell kept the line open but drove wordlessly towards the Beaches, his phone obnoxiously beeping periodically to remind him it was low on power. The grey skies were darkening prematurely, and Russell resolved that if Adrian didn't get a break soon - preferably something more substantial than a gut feeling - he was going to give up and reconvene with Mahtab to plan their next move. The more he thought about it, though, the worse he felt. Mahtab insisted that things had changed; that they didn't know Adam or Cassidy anymore. And maybe they didn't. Cassidy had always been a bit of an unknown quantity, an unpredictable liability, but that was only because he was cavalier, not malicious. Russell couldn't believe what Mahtab kept trying to convince him. Cassidy didn't want to hurt anyone - and if he ever did, Adam wouldn't stand for it. In Russell's experience, people changed glacially, at tiptoeing steps at a time. That Cassidy had gone from well-meaning if reckless to insidious, plotting, and malevolent in such a short span of time just rang false to Russell. Maybe he was just being naive. He sighed. Magic had been supposed to make their lives easier, and now it felt like a constant headache. “Whoa…” came Adrian through the phone. “Okay, I definitely found something.” “Don't keep me in suspense, man,” Russell chimed. “There's a dead zone on Broadway Drive,” said Adrian. “It's a house.” A “dead zone” was Adrian’s term for an area that had been warded to prevent a scryer like him to see what was going on inside. The craft to maintain it wasn't too elaborate and many of the Coven had taken such precautions once things had started becoming tense with the Circle - Russell included. Cassidy had woven one around his own house in Caledon. Though it kept a curious scryer from seeing what was going on inside, it made it obvious that someone was trying to hide something. “Anyone we know?” asked Russell. “Don't think so,” Adrian replied. “Cassidy's trail is spotty but it leads to that area… it could be a coincidence.” “Yeah it COULD be,” Russell shook his head. “What's the address?” “I'm gonna pack up and meet you there,” Adrian announced. “I'll be at the corner of Woodbine and Queen in…” “No,” said Russell firmly. “You stay there and keep an eye on the area. If Cassidy is on the move again we have to know.” “Russell I don't like this, there's something… there's something strange about this one. I don't like it. Wait for me and we'll go in together.” “No,” Russell repeated. “Stay there and keep your eyes out.” “Russell…” “Adrian we don't have time for this,” Russell shouted at his phone. “We played our hand. If Cassidy goes off the grid we might lose him for good, and then we're all in danger. Give me the address. Tell Mahtab and she can back me up.” “Mahtab’s not gonna slip anywhere near a dead zone,” Adrian pointed out. Russell rolled his eyes. “Then she can back me up the old fashioned way. Adrian. Tell me where I need to go right fucking now.” Adrian paused, and let out an extended sigh. “You got a pen handy?” “I don't need one,” Russell shook his head. “Shoot.” *** Rodrigo sat in the middle of the birdcage while Phil and Blake snored quietly against opposite walls. The trouble that came with trying to breathe at this size, coupled with the blurring divide between night and day, made it difficult to maintain normal waking hours, but Rodrigo tried hard to fight the sleep that threatened to overtake him. Mostly the trouble was that he was so bored. There was nothing to read, no Internet to surf, no Netflix to binge, no music, no Xbox, no porn. The Master insisted they work out - he didn't want his toys going soft - and had arranged a crude set of weight fashioned from bolts and wingnuts, ball bearings, and thick rubber bands that smelled like broccoli. This helped to pass the time but anything that was physically exerting couldn't last too long at four inches tall. Even masturbating had him breathing too heavy and left him on the verge of fainting if he ever managed to get himself to completion. If the guys had been awake, Rodrigo would've sung to himself. Cesar had been in a band that did Spanish covers of the Doors. Singing “Jinetes sobre la tempestad” always afforded Rodrigo a sliver of comfort, and his gringo cellmates seemed to enjoy the familiar rhythm. Now he did sit-ups to perk himself back up whenever he felt himself begin to doze, but he could only manage five or six before he saw stars and had to stop. He heard fumbling around the door; more than usual. Rodrigo closed his eyes, praying the Master wasn't drunk. When he was drunk he was paranoid, unpredictable, impossible to assuage. He evidently liked Phil and Blake more than many of his earlier cellmates. They had lasted far longer than some of their predecessors, and the Master hadn't brought home anyone new since Blake. But if he was drunk, all bets were off. Rodrigo felt like even his own life was in danger. But the metallic clatter at the door continued. Rodrigo pulled himself to his feet and approached the wall of the cage, sliding his arms through the bars and leaning against them. What was going on? It had been over a minute now. As chaotic as his internment here had been, there was a level of routine to it. Something felt strange and different, and Rodrigo felt a cold fear sucking his chest in. Finally the lock turned with a loud clack, and the door swung in a few inches, hanging there a moment before a figure appeared in the doorway and entered with trepidation, taking small quiet steps and glancing around, as if afraid he was being watched. Rodrigo squinted into the darkness, trying to make out any details. It wasn't the tall, burly silhouette of the Master, but a shorter, skinnier figure. Was the Master being robbed? Rodrigo spent a few seconds guessing what a stranger might do if he found them, before he began to discern some familiar features. “Russell?” he whispered in disbelief, then raised his hands to his mouth and shouted. “Russell!” Phil started awake with a gasp. “Whuzzuh… what's going on?” Russell's ears perked and he glanced bewildered around the room. Rodrigo frantically grabbed one of the bolt-and-nut weights off the floor and clanged it against the bars. This roused Blake, who sat up groggily. Russell looked straight at the cage as Rodrigo clanged the weight again. Russell searched the wall for a lightswitch, and when he found it the fluorescent lights overhead flickered on. Rodrigo was briefly blinded but saw a shudder of motion in the terrarium and caught a glimpse of Penny's furry legs disappearing into the foliage. Russell approached the birdcage, his mouth hanging open in disbelief. It was so nice to see any face other than the Master's Rodrigo nearly burst into tears. Phil had backed up to the far side of the cage. “Who the fuck is that?” he hissed. “Holy shit…” Russell whispered. “Roddy? Holy shit…” he glanced around. “What the hell is this place? Who did this to you?” “Roddy what's going on?” Blake asked quietly. “Where's the Master?” Phil blurted. “Who are these guys?” asked Russell. “Russell…” saying his name; talking to anyone from his old life… Rodrigo felt suddenly like a person again. Everything was going to be all right. They were going to be free. But he shook his head. “Russell there's no time, you gotta get out of here.” “What?!” Blake shouted. “No! Dude, get US the fuck out of here!” “No,” Rodrigo was adamant. “He'll be back any minute. He might be in the house right now.” “Who?” asked Russell. Rodrigo shook his head. “I don't know who he is but he's more powerful than anything I've ever seen before.” “I'm not leaving without you,” said Russell, reaching to undo the clasp. “The Master's going to fucking kill him,” Phil mumbled darkly. “What the fuck, Phil?” Blake demanded. “Russell, no!” Rodrigo banged his hands against the bars. “Go get help! Come back with the rest of the Coven.” “I'm not leaving you!” said Russell again. “Russell I'm telling you: you cannot handle this guy. Get out. Right now.” He came out of nowhere. Materialized out of thin air. The Master appeared behind Russell with a hammer in an upraised hand. Rodrigo's eyes went wide and he tried to shout but already the hammer was falling. The Master struck at the back of Russell's head, and with a loud, electrical crack it deflected off the energy field Russell had learned to surround his body with. He called it his suit. The impact was absorbed by the suit but its force propelled him forward, and Russell stumbled with a loud “Fuck!”, bracing himself against the table. The birdcage rattled and its occupants were thrown to the floor. The Master looked dumbfounded at the hammer, then struck again as Russell turned to face him, landing the hammer soundly on his jaw. Rodrigo could see the energy disperse across the suit - a white electric ripple coating Russell's body like a second skin. Russell was prepared that time and barely flinched, swatting the hammer aside and delivering a swift punch to the Master - a left to the jaw, a right to the nose. The second jab sent the Master back a step with a grunt of pain. Russell rose to his full height, hopped away from the work table, and raised his fists in a practiced boxer's stance, light on his feet and waiting for an opening to strike. The Master held the hammer out defensively in front of him, his other hand going to his nose and finding blood dribbling down his face. “Oh you're… you fucking trash nigger asshole,” he licked blood from his upper lip. “You're fucking dead.” Russell prepared for another assault but the Master just stood there. He spat blood on the cement floor and tossed the hammer away with a loud clatter. Russell glanced at the hammer in the floor, then gasped sharply as he felt a strange, unnameable pull tugging at his insides. His clothes began to shift over his body, and he felt suddenly lightheaded. “No…” Rodrigo gaped. “No no no no no!” he slammed his hands on the bars and felt hot tears welling in his eyes. “Master no! PLEASE!” Russell looked in bewildered horror at his hands as his body began to contract. His sleeves slid down his arms as they shrank, his collar sank down his chest. He fumbled to grab at his pants as they fell off his hips but his now-billowing shirt got in the way, and he tripped over his shoes which were becoming three, four, five sizes too big for him and more. He swore and fell forward, finding himself swimming in his tent of a shirt, even the weight of it overpowering his quickly-diminishing body. The Master looked on, arms folded across his thick chest, a smug, victorious smile on his face. “You dumb fucking shit. You thought you could beat ME? Hurt ME? KILL ME?!” “Master!” Rodrigo banged his fist on the bars. “Master he doesn't know! Master PLEASE don't!” Russell fought his way out from under his shirt, and staggered to his feet. He looked up at the cavernous room, dizzy and disoriented, silently praying this was a vivid nightmare. The Master took a step towards him and the tremor he sent across the floor nearly threw Russell back on his knees. “You fucking stupid, tiny asshole,” the Master continued, ignoring Rodrigo's pleas. “You can't kill me. I can do anything. You dumb fucks think you're so fuckin great. I'm so far beyond you. You're just pathetic. Fucking pathetic.” He took another step towards Russell. Russell tried to back away but tripped over a fold in his shirt, falling back on his ass, gasping for breath. The Master closed the gap, towering over him like a skyscraper. “This is what happens,” the Master barked. “This is what you get when you try to take on fucking GOD.” He raised his workbooted foot aloft and held it there over Russell, its gargantuan shadow enveloping him. Blake had started to hyperventilate, and crouched low in the corner, closing his eyes covering his ears and shaking his head back and forth. “No! Master don't! Just put him in here with us!” Rodrigo rattled the bars of the birdcage, his voice getting hoarse. “Master please don't do this!” “Kill him, Master,” Phil had appeared next to Rodrigo at the bars, a strange, fanatical look in his face. “Show him how small he is. Show him how powerful you are.” “Phil shut the fuck up!” Rodrigo shrieked, pushing him away. “I might be persuaded to change my mind,” the Master grumbled, steadying himself on the workbench as he continued to hold his foot aloft. “I might spare you. Forgive your transgression.” He wiped blood from his lip with his hand and sniffed. “If you plead your case. Beg for your life. Show me you know that you belong to me now.” Russell opened his mouth to speak but he could barely breathe, and only managed a strangled squeak. The Master spat again. “Stupid fucking roach,” he grumbled, and the boot fell with a wet, sickening crunch.
  12. Thanks, handsomegrad, and I will. My apologies for the delay to everyone who was reading. I know how frustrating it can be. I actually have the next chapter written but because we're amping up towards a finale I want to have more done so I can release the last few chapters on a more reliable schedule. Rest assured Public Relations WILL get finished.
  13. I've created a character guide to hopefully help sort out the many characters. I intend to keep it up to date as the story goes forward.
  14. I've received some critiques that the number of characters in my series Public Relations has made reading it a tad cumbersome, especially at the staggered and unpredictable pace I release new chapters. In an effort to accommodate that, I will be maintaining a character reference guide to give readers a bit of a refresher on who everyone is and what their relationships are. I plan to update this with new parts as they are released, meaning the information here should be consistently one installment behind. It will therefore contain spoilers, and is intended only for people who have already read it. If anyone notices any omission, or if something is unclear, please let me know. Current Installment: Part 14: Hugo Jamie Dietrich 31 years old, 5'11", black hair, brown eyes, medium build but not in great shape. White and of English/Irish descent. Wears glasses. Former advertising account manager at J Walter Thompson who left his job out of principle, currently working as a freelance consultant and project manager. Longtime boyfriend of Drew. Was good friends with Adam at York University and has since reconnected. Grew up in Barrie, lives in a condo in Queen West he recently bought with Drew. Adam Fauvelle 31 years old, 6'2", black salt-and-pepper hair, grey eyes, lean build. White and of French and Eastern European descent. Post-secondary student trying to get his masters in linguistics while working as a waiter at Jack Astor's. Husband to Cassidy of seven years. His expertise in ancient languages allowed the Coven to make unprecedented strides in their research, giving them access to powers they had imagined impossible. Was good friends with Jamie as York University and has since reconnected. Grew up in Laval, Quebec, currently lives with Cassidy in Caledon in a house Cassidy's parents gave them as a wedding gift. Cassidy Hamilton 30 years old, 5'6", black hair, brown eyes, slim build. Mixed race, of Scottish and Chinese descent. Wears glasses. IT consultant working for Pearson Clinical Assessment. Husband to Adam of seven years. Comes from a wealthy family. Deeply involved in occult research with the Coven, which Adam's expertise allowed to flourish, and is now capable of spontaneously growing himself or others. Adam had a falling out with the leaders of the Coven and now works alone, though is still close with Liam. Grew up in the Beaches, currently lives with Adam in Caledon in a house his parents gave them as a wedding gift. Has been recently captured by Cliff, and turned to stone. Drew Faber 32 years old, 6'1", blonde hair, blue eyes, slim build but not in great shape. White, of Scandinavian descent. Financial adviser at Bank of Montreal with an academic background in social studies and business. Longtime boyfriend of Jamie. Formerly closeted macro fetishist. Close friends with co-worker Ryan. Grew up in Burlington, currently lives in a condo in Queen West he recently bought with Drew. Brent Malinowski 20 years old, 6'2", light brown hair, brown eyes, muscular build but lacks definition. White, of Polish descent. First year student at York University, currently undeclared but plans to go into kinesiology. Hopes to be a halfback or fullback on the university football team. Working as a busboy and barback at the Fox & Fiddle over the summer. Was permanently grown by 15 pounds of muscle, prompting a drug test of the team and trainees which resulted in two senior players being kicked from the team. Has engaged in an ongoing but ambiguous affair with Nate. Was friends with Mahtab, but distanced himself from her when she revealed her connections to the occult. Grew up in Thunder Bay, currently rents the ground floor of a house near Sheppard & Jane with Ayush. Nathaniel Sommerville 19 years old, 5'6", dirty blonde hair worn in a buzzcut, grey eyes, fit build. White, of English descent. Goes by "Nate." First year student at York University, majoring in philosophy. Hopes to be a running back on the university football team. Was taught magic by his au pair Sofia, and learned telepathy. Has since used his telepathy to learn Cassidy's power, using thoughts read from Tahar, Brent, and Tyson to track him down. Has been seeing Brent. Grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, currently living in Winters residence on York campus. Tyson Chandler 26 years old, 5'11", dark brown hair, blue eyes, muscular build. White, of English and French descent. Bartender at the Black Eagle and occasionally other bars. Part-time model. Academic background in literary theory. Has a reputation as a prolific lover. Hooked up with Blake at the bar and believes he was ghosted, Grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in a small bachelor apartment in Regent Park. Was permanently given considerably more muscle mass by Nate. Cliff Esterez 32 years old, 5'7", black hair worn in a buzzcut, brown eyes, heavy build. Mixed race, of Mexican and Italian descent. Relatively new bouncer to at the Black Eagle. Is in fact the mysterious sorcerer calling himself the Master who has been shrinking men, kidnapping them, and subjecting them to humiliating sexual tortures, sometimes killing them in the process. Currently holds Blake, Phil, and Rodrigo as shrunken captives in a birdcage. Also holds a number of other people captive, having transformed them into stone statues, the latest of whom is Cassidy. Appears to be able to steal the powers of other magi. The Coven A band of fledgling sorcerers who have taken giant leaps in their research thanks to translation assistance from Adam. Mahtab Nilaanjana - 23 years old, 5'5", black hair, green eyes, medium build. South-asian, daughter of Indian immigrants. Pro-active member of the Coven, also studying business at Seneca. Has been investigating disappearances of Coven members over the past several months, and believes Cassidy is behind it. Was friends with Brent until she told him about her occult studies, and he distanced himself from her. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia. Harry Kwan - 57 years old, 5'10", black greying hair, brown eyes, thin build. Taiwanese immigrant. Principal benefactor of the Coven. Senior Vice President for a manufacturing firm he co-founded. After a disagreement with Cassidy, he demanded Cassidy leave the Coven. Russell Dillion - 27 years old, 5'11", black hair, brown eyes, medium build. Black, son of Tobagonian immigrants. Has been working with Mahtab investigating disappearances of Coven members over the past several months, but disagrees on her conclusions. Originally from Calgary, Alberta. Rodrigo Valenzuela - 30 years old, 0'4" (formerly 6'1"), black hair, hazel eyes, lean build. Latino; Mexican immigrant. Goes by "Roddy." Coven member who used Adam's research to develop fantastic powers to heal others. Also works as a nurse at Princess Margaret Hospital. Has since been captured by the Master, shrunk, and is being used to keep the other captives alive after he injures them. Cesar & Angelica - Rodrigo's brother and sister-in-law, who still live in Mexico. Corey Arlington - 32 years old, 5'9", blonde hair, brown eyes, average build, a bit on the pudgy side. Freelance graphic designer and occasionally DJs under the handle "HardCorey." Worked briefly with and befriended Jamie when he was at JWT. Liam Chen - 30 years old, 6'0", black hair, brown eyes, chubby build. Asian, son of Chinese immigrants. Is the only Coven member to have retained ties with Cassidy and Adam. Erin - Liam's fiancee. Adrian Vand - as yet unseen member of the Coven, who allegedly advocated using magic to bring an end to the Syrian Civil War. Has also been assisting Mahtab and Russell. Capable of tracking people and a certain degree of clairvoyance. Robyn - Coven member who was apparently in talks with rival group called the Circle. One of the missing members being investigated. Sara - one of the missing Coven members; may have moved to Montreal. Hong - one of the missing coven members; may have followed Sara to Montreal. Dave & Mohan - missing coven members. The Circle A rival group of sorcerers operating out of the East End. Oded Hume - a member of the Circle who has gone missing. The Black Eagle Toronto's original leather/denim cruising bar, located in the heart of the Church and Wellesley village. Paul Stewart-Maskell - 27 years old, 6'4" (formerly 5'4"), light brown hair shaved bald, blue eyes, medium build. White, of British, French, and Spanish descent. Originally from Bristol, England. Bartender at the Black Eagle, good friends with Tyson. Was permanently grown a foot taller by Nate. Daniel Bodley - 38 years old, 6'5", black hair shaved bald, black eyes, extreme muscular build. Black, originally from Grenada. Longtime bouncer at the Black Eagle. Was permanently made considerably more muscular by Nate. Hugo Berg - 28 years old, 6'5" (formerly 5'9"), blonde hair, brown eyes eyes, medium build. A British immigrant of German descent. An occasional bouncer at the Black Eagle. Was permanently grown taller by Nate. Darcy Williams - 30 years old, 5'7", black hair, black eyes, average build, thick beard. White, of French descent. DJ and tech support at the Black Eagle. Was permanently made significantly hairier by Nate. Carlos Filetti - 39 years old, 7'1" (formerly 5'11"), black hair, brown eyes, heavy build, thick beard, long hair. A Brazilian immigrant. Co-owner and manager at the Black Eagle. Was grown permanently larger, beefier, brawnier, and hairier by Nate. Rosharon Ridley - 29 years old, 5'10", black hair, brown eyes, athletic build. Of African-American descent. Regular patio bartender at the Black Eagle. Had her breasts inflated a few bra sizes by Nate. Dennis Graham - 23 years old, 6'6" (formerly 5'10"), red hair, heavy build. Irish-Canadian. Regular barback at the Black Eagle. Was turned from a short twig into a tall bear by Nate. Simon Marshak - 27 years old, 6'0", black hair, thin build. White, son of Russian immigrants. Regular barback at the Black Eagle. Was absent during the night Nate grew everyone at the Black Eagle. Butch - ?? years old, 6'5", black hair and beard, brown eyes, muscular/obese build. Cassidy's giant bear alter-ego he would transform into to test his powers in the Gay Village. Tahar Mazoud - 44 years old, 6'1, black greying hair, green eyes, toned build. Middle-Eastern, originally from Lebanon. Attorney specializing in immigration and environmental law. Emigrated with his fiance Samuel, they have since broken up. Was a longtime romantic partner of Butch. Frequent patron of the Black Eagle. Andrew Washburn - 58 years old, 6'1", grey hair and beard, blue eyes, obese build. White, of Swedish and Scottish descent. Goes by "Andy." Frequent patron of the Black Eagle. Permanently grew a considerably larger belly courtesy of Nate. Kero Saguin - 45 years old, 5'5", bald, brown eyes, thick muscular build, Filipino. Frequent companion of Andy's, usually serving as his slave. Was permanently given considerably more muscle mass by Nate. Blake Ouillette - 24 years old, 0'4" (formerly 6'0"), blonde hair, brown eyes, slim build. White, of French descent, originally from Gatineau, Quebec. Third year psychology student at U of T, working part-time at Starbucks. Hooked up with Tyson his first night at the Black Eagle, was shrunk and kidnapped by the Master, has been held captive ever since. Nathalie & Kim - lesbian friends of Blake whom he ditched to go hang at the Black Eagle. Jorge - A heretorfore unseen employee of the Black Eagle who went to the hospital with a panic attack following Nate's antics. Bank of Montreal One of the larger Canadian banks. Drew works at the Dufferin & Eglinton branch. Ryan Pramazov - 28 years old, 5'8", black hair, blue eyes, slim build. Mixed race, of Chinese and Russian descent. Wears glasses Teller, file clerk, and receptionist at the Bank of Montreal. Chronically single. Also plays bass in a drone metal band called Titanomachy. Good friend of Drew's. Viola Bakatatatis - 51 years old, 5'10", black hair, black eyes, thin build. Mixed race, of African-American and Greek heritage. Originally from Athens, Greece. Branch manager at the Bank of Montreal, and on friendly terms with Drew. Sabine Schumacher - used to work at the branch in partnership with Drew, has recently been transferred to a branch downtown, and many of their mutual clients followed her. J. Walter Thompson An international advertising firm based out of New York City; Jamie used to work at the Toronto office. Harold Morris - Manager of the Toronto office, former colleague and friend of Jamie's for many years. It's since come out that he has spread rumours throughout the industry that Jamie left the company due to mental instability. Shiela Morris - Harold's wife. Abigail Morris - 15 years old, 5'3", brown hair dyed red, hazel eyes, slim build. Missing most of her right arm from a childhood accident. White, of Irish and German heritage. Goes by "Abbie." Daughter of Harold and Shiela. Grew up with Jamie around and they developed a close relationship until he left JWT, but a chance meeting has allowed them to reconnect. York University One of the larger Toronto-based universities, its main campus located in the north end of the city. Ayush Vishwakarma - 21 years old, 5'8", black hair, hazel eyes, medium build. South-Asian, son of Indian immigrants. Wears glasses. Second year biology student at York, currently renting the ground floor of a bungalow with Brent. Nate (in disguise) used his powers to permanently grow Ayush's 4" cock to 14". Tyler Freeman - 25 years old, 6'2", brown hair, blue eyes, muscular build. White, of Irish and British descent. Former fullback on the York Lions but was kicked off for his final year after testing positive for cocaine and anabolic steroids. Blames Brent's inexplicable growth spurt for his predicament, and resents him for it. Robert Cordle - 25 years old, 6'0", black hair, black eyes, muscular build. Black, of African-American descent. Halfback on the York Lions and friend of Tyler's. Farhan Singh Chugh - former running back for the York Lions, kicked off the team after testing positive for cocaine. Chantal Vandenberg - student living in Calumet res who was briefly seeing Tyler, and may-or-may-not have caught him doing something alone on a nanny-cam she had installed in her dorm. Jayson & Luke - trainees for the football team who had been close with Brent but derided his decision to go to the Black Eagle. They later joined the rest of the team in ostracizing him when Tyler and Farhan were suspended. Elsewhere in the Village Contessa Velveeta - 34 years old, 6'0", black hair, brown eyes, slim build, black. One of the most garish and glamorous drag queens of Church and Wellesley, frequent performer at Buddies, Woody's, O'Grady's, and other bars. Well acquainted with Butch. Raph - young, muscular, gino-type partyboy, frequenting Sailor, Crew's, and other gay bars in the neighbourhood. Well acquainted with Butch. Sung - young Korean clubgoer over Pride. Was permanently given a subtle but noticeable upsize to his muscles by Nate while at Steamworks. "Chinstrap" - young, slightly obnoxious bro-type who was at Steamworks over Pride. Was permanently given more definition to his abs, chest, and arms by Nate while at Steamworks. Real name currently unknown. Matt - a friend of Ayush who was hanging out with him during Pride but had to bail due to work in the morning. Toronto Police Services To serve and protect. In theory. Shannon Demuth - 42 years old, 5'10", black hair, brown eyes, heavy build, black. A plainclothes detective assigned to investigate Blake's disappearance. Richard Furyk - 33 years old, 5'7", black hair, black eyes, olive skin, of Polish/Portuguese descent. An aggressive constable partnered with Demuth. Others Josh Aldrin - 29 years old, 7'5" (formerly 6'2"), blonde hair, brown eyes, extreme heavyweight muscular build. Lives in Detroit, Michigan. Webcam entertainer and part-time model. Was permanently grown in height, muscularity, and cock size by Cassidy, the video of which has been making the rounds on muscle/growth fetish web communities. Shane - Josh's on-again/off-again fling, also a webcam entertainer. Philip Roessler - 33 years old, 0'4" (formerly 6'4"), brown hair, brown eyes, medium build. Has been shrunk and kidnapped by the Master, who holds him captive in a birdcage. Marie Yoon - 61 years old, 5'4", thin build, Korean. Tyson's busybody landlord. Grindr User - muscular, possibly Scandinavian webcam performer, whose dick Cassidy grew to a foot long as a prank. Keith - coworker of Jamie's at Jack Astor's and a close friend. Blair - some guy with a black eye who once went home with Tyson. Oprah - an affectionate orange tabby cat who lives with Drew & Jamie. Penny - ????????????????
  15. Part 12: Tyson Act III: Night The Black Eagle was fucking packed. Everyone was drunk, frenetic bass-heavy dance music reverberated through the bar, and a steady cacophony of gabbing queers had transcended into white noise. Tyson had entered into a state of mind where he was barely conscious of his actions, operating on a form of autopilot where thinking actively about anything had the potential to disrupt his rhythm and fuck up the whole rest of the night. He’d changed into his harness, but Paul had opted to stick to the black T-shirt. Hugo - bless him - had had the presence of mind to bring some coke, and the two of them and Paul did a line each in the keg room for a pickup earlier. It had been a real lifesaver, but it wasn’t that late and he was already beginning to feel burnt out. He’d been getting hit on all night and Paul had been encouraging him to take someone up on it, but at this rate Tyson suspected that by the end of his shift, an empty bed in his apartment would be the most exciting prospect on the table. After pouring a pitcher, mixing a pair of tequila sunrises, and serving five shots of Jager without missing a beat, he afforded himself a half-second to yawn. “Awww, feeling sleepy?” Andy teased with a laugh. His considerable girth had been stuffed into a large leather vest that even now strained to contain it. His on-and-off drinking buddy/slave Kero, wearing nothing but a codpiece and chaps and leashed to Andy’s belt by a spiked collar, chucked beside him. Christ Andy, don’t you ever fucking go home? Tyson thought to himself but shook his head cheerfully and leaned over the bar. “Nah just catching my breath. What can I get you?” “Don’t worry, Princess, Paul’s already got me,” Andy smirked, pointing with his elbow at Paul who was busy at the taps. Tyson resisted the urge to roll his eyes and nodded, turning to the next patron in line. He nodded at him but he didn’t place an order, just standing there smiling at him. He was short, a bit squirrelly, near-bald with a fine buzzcut, and wearing a smirk that seemed nailed onto his face. After a second, he recognized him as the guy from the night before. “Oh, hey man,” Tyson greeted. “You recover from last night?” He laughed. “Naw, man, s’all good. ’Ll have a shot of Jack Daniels.” Tyson nodded and grabbed a shot glass from under the bar and the bottle from behind him. “Ya seen Tahar here, man?” he asked. “Hmm? No I don’t think so,” Tyson replied. He smirked. “You guys hit it off?” The guy grinned, putting a bill on the bar as Tyson slid him the shot. “Naw man s’not like that. Jus’ wanted to thank him. You too, man.” “Me?” Tyson took the bill, grabbing him change as the guy downed the shot. “I didn’t do anything.” “More’n you know, guy,” the guy gave him a wink and left the change on the bar. “Have a good night,” he bid with a nod, and turned back into the crowd. “Fuck, Tyson,” Andy noted as Paul came back with his drinks. “You should get these guys to take a…” he trailed off as a look of tension crossed his face. His cheeks reddened. “Andy…?” asked Paul. “Andy, man, you okay?” Kero shook him by the shoulder. “Andy?” Suddenly, Andy’s vest began to pop open. Tyson raised an eyebrow, thinking for a second that Andy had forced his gut forward, but Andy’s already ample body was expanding outwards at all sides right in front of him. Kero released his shoulder and jumped back, exclaiming a profanity in some other language. Andy groaned as the pounds piled on, his jeans filling out with thickening thighs. The waist of his jeans blew out. Other patrons had begun to notice, and gasps of alarm and awe rippled through the crowd. “What the hell is this?” asked Paul. Tyson just stared and gaped. It had to be some trick… maybe an inflating bodysuit? But it looked way too real and was growing way too fast. Andy's face was shifting back and forth from worried to content and back again. He put his hands on his growing belly and gasped as it lurched out one last time. Andy had gone from big fat leather daddy to huge sumo wrestler squeezed into too-small clothing. He stood still for a moment, as if anticipating another expansion, then let his shoulders drop with a disoriented moan. Kero knocked on the bartop. “Hey! Hey! Call an ambulance!” he shouted at Tyson over the music still blaring before turning back to Andy. “Are you all right?” Andy was running his hands over his new size. “I'm… I....” “Argh!” Paul suddenly cried out, dropping a bottle of beer and Tyson looked over, eyes going wide as he watching Paul sprouting taller and taller, his shirt sliding up his torso. “What the fuck?!” he shouted, looking over to Tyson with panic in his eyes. No bodysuit could pull that off. Paul was staring at his hands, watching his fingers grow longer. The rest of his fit body seemed to be growing in proportion. As he surpassed Tyson's height - meaning he had grown at least a foot taller - he suddenly winced and stumbled, leaning against the bar, and a tearing sound from below drew Tyson’s rapt gaze to his feet under the cuffs of his jeans now hugging his calved, which were quickly tearing their way out of his shoes. “What the…” Paul panted. “What the fuck is happening?” Was he dreaming? Was he on a drug trip? Had Hugo cut the cocaine with like bath salts or something? Tyson shook the doubts from his head, and put a hand on Paul’s shoulder. “I'm gonna call a… a…” he trailed off as a strange feeling began to flood his system. His muscles tensed. His whole body felt like it was on fire but it was almost soothing. Tyson felt flushed, aroused, and sensual. He took a sharp breath. What was happening to him? “Holy shit!” Paul exclaimed beside him, and Tyson glanced over to see Paul gaping at him. Tyson looked down just as everything began to feel tighter. His lean, toned physique was inflating with muscle. His slim-fit black jeans were quickly overwhelmed by thick, powerful thighs. His arms had already grown twice as big and still expanding. His hairy chest swelled, the sturdy leather harness digging into his torso as it surged thicker and heavier - the rising traps and broadening shoulders not helping in that regard. He winced as the buckles pinched his growing flesh, feeling almost strangled by the harness until finally his body became too huge for it to handle, snapping first one strap and then another, leaving dirty purple welts where they had been particularly constrictive. With his jeans split to shreds, and the harness in a heap at his feet, he felt the sensation subside, but the size he had gained remained. Panting, and suddenly exhausted, he looked over at Paul to see his reaction, but Paul was distracted, staring in shock out at the bar. Tyson followed his gaze. The blaring music had drowned out the noise but no longer distracted by his sudden growth spurt, Tyson heard the rabble of commotion accompanying the bizarre scene before him. All across the bar people were transforming before his eyes - regulars, first-timers, and staff alike. A pair of slim twinks swelled into amateur bodybuilders; big bald Hank suddenly sprouted a head of thick, luxurious hair that fell down past his shoulders; Mistress Gerta threw her hands to her chest as her inflating boobs threatened to pop out out of her bodice; a first-time skinny hipster kid suddenly blew out into a full-blown bear; Kero had gone from skinny short sub to wide, thick fireplug (his neck so big it broke his collar); pudgy little Walter had grown two feet taller and a thick dark beard… there was so much going on it was all impossible to take in. People were freaking out in every corner of the bar as the sounds of ripping jeans and stretching leather accented the pumping bass still blaring through the bar. He heard Paul shouting at people to calm down, announcing that paramedics were on the way. He heard Daniel trying to shout over the din. But for Tyson, the initial panic had subsided, and he found himself reveling in the absurdly impossible, totally chaotic, and erotically fantastic scene he had found himself in. If it was a dream or a trip, all he could do was ride it out. He sighed, leaning back against the bar, startled a little bit by the wider back he now possessed, but then he just sat back and watched the show. He looked around for familiar faces, to see what they had become, and as he catalogued the various changes - some minor, some rendered barely recognizable - he remembered the little guy from last night. The one who'd been asking about Tahar. Now he was probably twice as tall, maybe even more ripped than Tyson had become. But as he scanned the bar, he couldn't find him. Oh well, Tyson thought, there's plenty more to see. He grabbed himself a bottle of Tankhouse and cracked it open, sighed contentedly, and watched the Black Eagle explode. *** These were Drew's third favourite shorts, so he was very cautious as he drew his keys from his pocket, careful to stay as upright as possible. The journey home had taken twice as long in his effort to keep them intact, and he breathed a sigh of relief as he extracted his keys and carefully slid his card into the lock, and quickly slipped inside as he heard one of his neighbours coming down the hall, and didn’t want to have to pretend to be his own brother or something. “D?” Jamie called from the living room. “Yeah hey Jamie,” Drew replied, dropping the plastic bag and beginning to maneuver out of his shoes but feeling his shorts strain as he bent his leg. “D get in here!” Jamie shouted. “Umm… actually I could kinda use a hand here,” Drew called back. “Drew seriously get the fuck in here!” Jamie insisted. Drew opted to leave his shoes on and carefully picked his way over the pile of shoes and through the kitchen to the living room. Jamie was sitting on the couch watching CP24. Oprah was playing with the cat toy hanging off the third tier of her cat tree in the corner. “What’s the emergency?” “D, look at this!” Jamie glanced over and did a double take. “Whoa…” Drew blushed as he saw Jamie drink him in. “Yeah, I uhh, ran into Cassidy. We hung out for a while. Actually…” Jamie snapped back to the television. “That’s cool, but seriously, check this out.” He picked up the remote and turned up the volume. “Jamie can you help me out of these clothes? I don’t wanna lose these shorts.” “In a second. Look.” Jamie pointed, and Drew looked. President Barack Obama was leaning on the podium with those windows behind him, flanked by an American and presidential flag. He was in the middle of a speech. “...will end the patchwork system we currently have. It will end the uncertainty hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples face from not knowing whether their marriage, legitimate in the eyes of one state, will remain if they decide to move - or even visit - another. This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land.” Drew’s mouth dropped open. “Is this…?” Jamie shushed him as Obama continued: “In my second inaugural address, I said that if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.” He paused. “It is gratifying, to see that principle enshrined into law by this decision. This ruling is a victory for Jim Oger...full” - he struggled briefly with the name - “and the other plaintiffs in the case.It's a victory for gay and lesbian couples who have fought so long for their basic civil rights. It’s a victory for their children, whose families will now be recognized as equal to any other. It’s a victory for the allies and friends and supporters who spent years, even decades, working and praying for change to come. And this ruling is a victory for America. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.” “Holy shit…” Drew whispered. Jamie turned it back down. “This morning, man,” Jamie grinned at Drew. “Gay marriage is legal from sea to shining sea.” He stood up and stepped over to Drew, throwing his arms around him. Drew leaned down to kiss him and they held each other, smelling each other’s familiar scents, Jamie tasting the whiskey and Ruffles on Drew’s tongue; Drew the green curry on Jamie’s. “We should celebrate,” Drew suggested as he broke away from Jamie’s lips. Jamie raised an eyebrow. “You really want to go out like that?” Drew hummed to himself in mock pensivity. “I can think of a few ways to celebrate right here…” he grinned rakishly. Jamie chuckled and leaned into Drew, nuzzling his pecs through his shirt. Drew paused awkwardly. “...Seriously, though, I need your help getting out of these clothes.” “Oh, uhh…” Jamie pulled back and looked Drew up and down. “All right. Suck in, buddy.” Drew took a deep breath. *** Cassidy groaned in his sleep, his eyelids fluttering, his head throbbing in agony with every heartbeat. Fuck, he thought, how much did I drink? He tried to roll over but found that he couldn’t. In fact, he wasn’t even in bed. He was sitting upright. His legs had been duct-taped together, and his arms had been duct-taped to his sides. In spite of the headache, he tried to concentrate on making himself big enough to shred the duct tape and pummel whoever had done this to him - Cliff, he remembered now - into a stain on the carpet. But… nothing happened. Nothing even started to happen. He tried to reach out with his mind, find those energies that had allowed him to work his magic before but they were just… gone. It was like he was falling through an endless void, and however far he could reach, he just grasped at empty space. “That’s not gonna work,” the gravelly voice of his captor came from behind him. Cassidy slowly cracked open his eyes. What little light there was in the room was glaring, and his entire field of vision was so blurry he may as well have been looking through gauze. “Where am I?” he mumbled incoherently, but Cliff, who had moved to his side, seemed to make it out anyway. “It doesn’t really matter,” he replied. “You won’t be going anywhere for a long time.” Cassidy tried again to grow himself, and Cliff laughed aloud. “I told you… that’s pointless,” he said, coming around to the front of the couch Cassidy was sitting on. His vision was starting to clear, and he looked up at the beefy form of Cliff looming over him. “See, that thing you do?” Cliff grinned down at him, and as Cassidy watched, he swelled larger, his bulk expanding to fill out his once-loose T-shirt. “It belongs to me. Now it’s the thing I do.” He chuckled, raising his arms and flexing them, feeling his thick chest through his shirt. As Cassidy’s periphery came into focus, he became aware of other figures in the room. Some standing, some sitting. There were quite a few of them, actually. All of them silent and still. It was too dark to make them out. “Y’see, Butch,” Cliff moaned as he bounced his pecs, “while the rest of you fucking idiots were out there, spending years learning one thing, the thing I learned was how to take that away from you, and now?” he grinned, “while all of you are bitchin at each other for scraps, I’ve gotten better than all of you put together. If you dumb pukes had any sense you’d get down on your knees and fucking worship me.” With a start, Cassidy realized someone was sitting next to him on the couch. He turned to look at him but in the darkness it was difficult to discern his features. His face was contorted in dismay, but he wasn’t moving. He wasn’t even breathing. “It wouldn’t matter, though. I can get anyone to worship me,” Cliff shrugged nonchalantly. “All of you? You’re all going to end up the same. Maybe here… though it’s beginning to get a bit crowded.” He sniffed, and wiped his nose. “I’m not worried, though. Won’t be long before no one can stop me.” Cassidy tried to elbow the guy next to him but ended up falling against him. Beneath his shirt though, the man was hard and stiff and cold. Like he was made of....stone. Cassidy looked around the room with horror. They were all stone. His vision had returned enough that he even recognized some of them. A stone statue of Mohan was tied to a chair across from him. Oded from the Circle was standing in the corner, looking back over his shoulder with a look of surprised. Robyn was handcuffed to a radiator, frozen in mid-struggle to break free, her face in the middle of shouting some profanity. “No…” Cassidy began to feel a deathly cold creeping up his legs. “Fraid so, Butch,” Cliff nodded in mock sympathy. “Y’know how thrilled I was when I realized what you did to me that night? I knew there was something about you. I could tell. And then you even made Daniel taller? Like I wouldn’t figure that out?” he shook his head. “Oh, and then, the next morning, I wake up and it’s all gone? What kind of fucking asshole does that?” The feeling had completely abandoned his legs. Cassidy took deep breaths, beginning to panic. “Please… you don’t have to do this, we can…” “But I CAN do this, don’t you get it?” Cliff asked. “Why would I negotiate with you when I can just take everything you’d offer me?” It had crept past his crotch. His fingers hung leaden off his hands. He felt his insides clanking against each other. Cliff chuckled down at him as Cassidy felt the cold climb up his chest, slither up his neck. “Thanks a lot, Butch,” he laughed. And then, all he felt was the cold.
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