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The Auditor

Written by marknew742 :: [Thursday, 19 February 2009 01:23] Last updated by :: [Monday, 03 September 2012 07:08]


The Auditor
By Marknew
Until very recently I hadn't dreamed of Sara, Sara Wilkens, my first girlfriend, for years, not since high school. I thought of her as she was when I first met her, tall, willowy, kind of artistic (certainly much more than me!), quiet and gentle. I can see now that she and I didn't have very much in common, but back then it didn't matter. She smelled good, had long light brown hair and fit exactly right in my arms, it seemed. We dated for a little more than a year, and when I broke up with her right before I left town to go to business school, instead of marrying her, I felt horribly guilty, especially because our relationship had become much more physical in the final two months. She wrote me some long, tear-stained letters, which I responded to only with only brief, impersonal notes, and we had some awkward phone calls and one awful meeting when I was visiting home for Christmas, and that was the last I saw of her, I guess until the dream. I heard from some friends who stayed in town that she got married a year or two after I had left, and that it did not go very well, but no one knew exactly what happened to her after she moved away, although there were stories, very sad stories, about her being in serious trouble. I realize that my friends might not have wanted to give me all the details, and I did not press them very hard. After all, by that time it really was not my business, not anymore.
Even before I heard about that, in fact, toward the end of my relationship with Sara, I had realized I had to learn to control my base, bodily desires and to take my moral and ethical obligations more seriously, as I had been rightly taught by my family, by my teachers at school and by the preachers at my church. This had a strong influence, for some time, on my choice of career and on my relationships with women, although that has changed recently, as I will explain. But given what happened, I feel I should tell you about my dream first, which like many of the dreams I remember was probably about my fear of losing this control.
The dream with Sara in it was intense, very intense. I once had a dream about my grandfather, a year or two after he had died, and like that one, this dream felt like a visitation from the dead, with the shock of seeing someone in the flesh whom you thought you would never see again.
I was on a typical business trip, working in a bare hotel room after a full day at the office, putting the facts down about a waste-to-power generation facility that was not making the profits that had been projected for it, looking for patterns in the data, seeking the truth. Suddenly Sara was there next to me looking over my shoulder, looking just as she had in high school.  She didn't say anything, but instead ran her long finger over the lines of notes I had taken, my theories, and as she did the writing changed. It wasn't about my work anymore. It was all about her and me and a blow by blow description of the sex we'd had in the months at the end of our relationship, before we'd broken up. The words were as vivid as the experience itself and they were terribly distracting. In fact, the words themselves were arousing me physically, as can happen in dreams.
"What are you doing?" I thought, panicked at my reaction and the loss of my work. "I've got to finish this tonight."
"No you don't. You don't need to pay attention to that. You need to pay attention to me," she said, her deep green eyes now very serious, looking into mine.
I turned away from her and looked at my data, neat columns of figures that I had used to make my notes. As I read them she brushed her fingers across the first three columns (Burn rates, waste and shipments) in the first row, and the numbers changed to 32 25 31. That was her figure, bust, waist and hips.  Perfectly good, although not terribly feminine (I knew that she was an "A" cup) or dramatic.
"Sara, you have to stop that! Those are wrong. I need those numbers."
"You don't need them. You need me. We have to finish what we started."
"I can't! I have to work."
"What's wrong with me? You think I'm not good enough?" She stood up and reached over me to brush her fingers along the second row of the first three columns for a later period, and the numbers changed again, this time to 35 23 36. I looked at her, stretched out across me. Her figure had changed. She was busty now (definitely NOT an A cup), and her usual conservative looking blouse looked tight on her with spaces open between the buttons across her chest.  "Now. How about now?"
I was hard now. I couldn't help myself, but I didn't want her to know. "Change them back! You have to change them back so I can finish what I need to do!" I said insistently, trying to concentrate on what the numbers used to be before Sara had changed everything, trying to will them back into existence, but they were gone. All I could think of were Sara's new numbers. I had to keep control of myself, although like any man I couldn't help myself from looking into the new gap in her blouse.
"You don't need those old numbers. You need new numbers instead, like these."  She reached toward the paper again. I caught her hand. It was warm and the touch of her fingers made me tingle, pushing me further to where I didn't want to go, so I let go, and immediately she touched the third row of numbers, making them 39 21 37.
"Oh no!" I said, swallowing, as her chest pushed outwards. The top three buttons on her blouse had disappeared. They must have popped off, and now her breasts flowed out of her blouse, supported by a black undergarment that rested beneath them and served only to push them up. It hid nothing, especially not her fully erect nipples. Her conservative dark navy skirt was gone too. Instead she was wearing a tight mini-skirt that clung to her waist and then flared out around her womanly hips and stretched across her tight round bottom, which swayed from side to side as she spoke.
"You need to pay attention to me. To me!" she said insistently. Her hands were on her hips and she twirled her shoulders side to side, showing me her voluptuous bosom from every angle. "Isn't this what you really wanted? Aren't I good enough now?" She shook her head and her thick hair flowed around it in slow motion.
"It's not what I want," I tried to explain.
"Oh yes it is! And it's what I want, what I need," she said, desperately.  "Don't you understand what will happen if you don't?" she said. "You know what I can do, what I'm capable of! Why won't you? Do I have to make you do it?"  She looked at me, her green eyes boring into me. "So, yes, I have to make you.  And I will!"
I was right there on the edge, but I couldn't let it happen. Not now. Not after I'd already broken up with her. And wasn't she was married already?
"It's wrong," I insisted. "The numbers are all wrong now. And you're wrong.  This is all wrong!"
"I don't care!" she said. "Right and wrong doesn't matter to me. You need to do me, not your work. I have more numbers you know, not just these. The other ones are important. I know that as well as you, and I can change the other ones too!"
The next columns were a long series of numbers that showed the capacity of the different plants for power generation. "No! I need them!" I cried.
"I know you like those numbers. I know you need them. But that's why I need them more!" she said and pushed her finger across the next six columns in the first four rows. In the first row they changed to 11, 18, 32, 25, 16 and 12.
"What are they? What are you doing to my power numbers?"
"They're not your power numbers. They're for me! They're MY power numbers," she said hotly as the "power numbers" in the second row changed to 13, 21, 34, 23, 19 and 15.
Her blouse was gone, and so was her black undergarment. She was bare to her waist, her impressive breasts swayed near my head. Trying to resist their allure I looked at up her arms. Biceps? She had biceps? I felt a warning tingle in my member. I wanted to look away, but instead glanced further up and firm, toned muscles had appeared on her neck and her shoulders. Her pecs were more prominent and her waist seemed tighter, while her thighs and calves were becoming quite muscular, nearly as much as mine. She had the build of an aerobics trainer, with tight, hard muscles. She tightened her hand into little fists, and the muscles of her arm contracted with them, bunched and hard. Her face tightened too into a tight, hard smile. I was glad I had stuck to my exercise program. I was still stronger than she was, if it came to that. I was still in control.
Then the third row of "power numbers" changed. They were now 16, 23, 36, 21, 23 and 19. I heard a low, groan of satisfaction from Sara and she grabbed my shoulders and pulled me into a long, hard kiss. I felt it to my core, as though she had a direct line to my sexual switch. I grabbed her arms to push her away and was shocked to feel bulging, hard biceps that were so large my fingers could scarcely grip them. Instead I flattened my hands and just pushed, exerting all of my strength to dig into those muscles. Slowly I was winning, my longer reach rather than my strength the telling factor in the contest. Our lips separated and her head moved slowly backwards.
"Sara ... it's ... not ... right!" I was saying, and then I saw the fourth row of power numbers change to 20, 26, 41, 22, 28 and 24. An even larger, denser, harder biceps muscle pushed up against my hand, bending my fingers backwards.  I withdrew my hand slightly to straighten them and renew my efforts.
"Mmmmm, why do you bother?" she said, chuckling. "Mine are so much bigger, so much stronger than yours!" She took my wrist and pulled one arm to the other, and then held them both together in one hand, her forearm muscles tensing into a crushing grip.
"Aaaahoohawwh" I said, unable to bear the pain.
"Awwww. Did that hurt? I think I'll kiss it and make it better," she said. She relaxed her grip slightly and brushed her lips against my wrist and then ran her tongue up the inside of my arm, sending shivers all the way to my resurgent hard on. "This is much nicer," she said and ran her finger across the fifth row, this time across ten columns. 44, 21, 39, 24, 28, 42, 21, 32, 28 and then 10. Her 21 inch waist was now by far the smallest measurement in the row, except the last column, which was new. Her muscles pulsed outward again, absolutely bursting with power. She held my wrists together with just her thumb and forefinger and crushed my body against her massive chest, feeding her hard, extended nipple into my mouth and curling my legs between hers, positioning me for sex. Trying to keep control, I wondered what that last column meant, the 10 -- no part of her was that small now, when I felt my erection stiffen, grow and enter her, and then she ran her finger all the way down the last column so that it read 10 all the way down the page. "So you'll stay that way as long as I have you, and I'm going have you forever, my darling. You're mine now. You're mine. You're mine. Mine. Mine."
I came. I just couldn't help it. And then I woke up, sticky and wet with my seminal emissions.
It was just two weeks after that shameful dream that I went to Indiana.
It happened when I was on a long term assignment for my employer, ARA Fittings Inc., the standard six month trial audit team leadership exercise for promising employees, as specified in our guidance manual. To be clear, at this time in my career I was regarded as a promising employee.
At my level in the organisation it was all done by the book. After a series of very basic assignments close to headquarters, several projects as the junior member of the team at a small sales offices, an investigation into a payments irregularity involving a small customer and the wife of a salesman, which I headed, and then a two month assignment rewriting our product rebate credit policy to ensure that the misallocations I uncovered would not recur, it was my opportunity to conduct a full "manager review" of the travel expense reimbursement processes of the Indianapolis office, which had acquired a reputation for looseness in accepting deviations from the ARA Fittings travel expenditure manual and the procedural rules that were provided to all offices in three ring binders and also published on the company intranet. These applied to all employees, from assistant sales representatives to our Chief Executive Officer, with different allowances for discretionary approvals appropriate to the level of authority attached to the role. I was instructed that if one office was known to flout the policy it could jeopardize compliance with other policies set by our compliance team, our board of directors, and even with our obligations under the law.
I felt strongly that infringement of properly authorized and disseminated policies of behavior was something to be avoided, and if necessary prevented, at all costs. Disobeying these policies would undermine respect for the company's rules everywhere. Ensuring that this did not happen, and particularly not in any circumstance in which I was involved, gave me immense personal satisfaction. It was why I had sought employment as an internal auditor in the first place. And now I had my first opportunity to put my beliefs and, more importantly, my responsibilities, into action as a manager.
Almost immediately upon my entering the Indianapolis office the instincts I had developed from my years of training as an auditor told me something was amiss, even though to the untrained observer everything appeared as it should be. The ARA Fittings logo was hung properly, slightly off-center and to the right, as our style manual requires. Our company brochures were laid out, fan-like, on the standard round glass table next to the two standard green chairs facing the logo. The three sentences that formed our key mission messages were posted prominently on the wall. The receptionist's work station faced the door directly and her computer screen was fixed at a sixty degree angle so that a casual visitor would be unable to read any confidential information about our employee lists or the other visitors at the office, but any supervisory employee passing through the reception area could immediately tell whether the receptionist, who was invariably a young, reasonable attractive woman with limited training, ambition and intelligence, would not abuse her computer access for inappropriate purposes, such as shopping, reading about celebrities or engaging in email gossip with her friends. (Most internet chat functions were blocked by our network protocols.)
The problem was the receptionist herself. It was not her behavior. She greeted me as I arrived, took down my details, confirmed I was on the guest office list, and asked for my identification and employee number. She asked me to sit and to wait and phoned the district manager's secretary promptly to let her know I was ready to start. It was how she looked. She was too pretty, far too pretty. In fact she was stunningly beautiful, with shining, perfectly cut dark hair, high cheekbones with rich red natural color, deep blue eyes, a pert nose and full, ruby red lips. When she stood up to show me where to put my coat I saw she was 5'11", just half an inch shorter than I, with a heart-stopping figure, bust and hips that practically exploded away from her tiny waist. Even at our head office in Raleigh-Durham, an area noted for attractive, well-groomed women, none of the secretaries or receptionists could compare with her, much less the women in non-administrative positions. What was a girl like her doing working as a receptionist for the Indianapolis office of ARA Fittings, the world's fourth largest distributor of precision fittings for industrial pumps?
The further mystery, I noted, was that no one else in the office reacted to her spectacular appearance or even looked at her. In fact, the reception area was oddly quiet, even deserted. Something was seriously amiss. Human behavior is the same everywhere, and as a student of human behavior, I knew that in 9,999 out of 10,000 offices with a receptionist who looked like Ekara (putting aside for the moment the fact that there could not be so many offices with such a receptionist) the men working there would use any excuse to walk by her, pause, look, ogle, chat, ask a favor, do a favor, etc., and even the women would find a reason to walk by just to notice what she was wearing so that they could gossip about how inappropriate today's clothing was. Normal, heterosexual men will do anything to find a way to observe a pretty girl, and when the girl's attractions are as potent as Ekara's, the men in the company, mostly boisterous, aggressive, hard-drinking salesmen, should have been swarming. But although I could hear my colleagues in the rooms, cubicles and meeting rooms behind the partition, no one appeared. I even spotted two men walking around the outside of the building to enter through a back door. They were acting as though Ekara were a short, fat, pimply, forty-six year old daughter of the business founder, someone with bad breath who insisted on talking right next to you, someone who on the prowl three hundred sixty-five days a year for an office Sadie Hawkins dance date. During the fifteen minutes I was kept waiting the reception area stayed empty except for one, frail, bent old man, who quietly brought her a cup of coffee, mumbled something, and then hurried away.
An auditor must be observant -- one never knows which of the thousands of incidents that take place in a day will reveal itself to be the critical fact that unmasks inappropriate behavior, or even fraud. I knew full well that there was no objective reason for me to think her appearance or the men's strange behavior was in any way connected with the irregularities I was asked to investigate in the office's travel expense reimbursement processes. But also, there was no objective reason to think they were not connected. My work would naturally center on reviewing megabytes of authorization forms, conducting interviews with supervisors, travelers and secretaries, and comparing the travel patterns of the Indianapolis office against statistical studies of our other offices. However, until I had a better explanation, I would, for professional purposes of course, also be sure to keep Ekara the receptionist under close observation.
In the meantime, I sat and waited. To pass the time I looked up at our mission statements. Even though I knew them by heart, seeing them gave me a small feeling of comfort. Everywhere I might go, all over the world, these statements were posted in our offices in the same lettering, the same size, the same color. Even in foreign countries, they would appear in the same way, and in English, the mother language of our company. (Although officially approved translations of our mission statements into the local languages would also be posted, they were not shown in the same style, so that the difference between the original English and the mere translation was always apparent.)
"You never know how much you need us until you try us. After that, you'll find you can't live without us!"
"Once fitted, always fit."
"Our community, our employees and our customers make us stronger every day!"
I loved the direct optimism of these statements, the spirit of inevitable success. And I was a part of it. I loved my job. I was proud to be one of the "moving parts" of ARA Fittings, another company slogan often repeated at our team meetings.
As I noted above, fifteen minutes after I arrived, Muriel Cawle, secretary to the office's general manager, entered the reception area to escort me to the small office that would be my temporary station during my project. I noticed she looked briefly at Ekara and then at me and her lips curled slightly in an unpleasant kind of smile before we left the area to go to the rest of the office. Muriel looked like a typical career secretary in her mid-forties and I decided she must be jealous of Ekara's youth and beauty.
"You're Brian, right? Brian Stephensson? Two essess?"
I nodded. "Three actually, if you count the first one."
Muriel looked concerned about something and shook her head. Obviously precision did not interest her as much as it did me. "Oh dear! You find her pretty, don't you?" Muriel said as the door closed, making conversation and confirming my suspicion about the look she'd given Ekara.
"Yes," I said agreeably and then to change the subject to one more appropriate I added, "I assume the headquarters long distance authorization codes work on the phone system here?"
"They normally do. Let me know if you have any problems. Keith Hartnett is the office IT technician. He works only afternoons on Mondays and Fridays, so if you have a problem connecting you'll have to wait. Although sometimes Ralph Healy, the office manager can help you. If he's in a good mood. Bringing him a donut or two always helps get what you need."
"Thanks for that advice." I looked around the small, dimly lit office with its broken in-tray, a telephone that looked as though it began life with a rotary dial and a 14" CRT computer screen. "So, Ralph's the go-to guy to get things done here?"
"Yes. And me, of course."
"Of course. What about the receptionist? Ekara is it? At most of our offices the receptionist takes on a lot of miscellaneous duties, for when she isn't busy answering phones or greeting customers."
Muriel looked at me, pausing, like she was considering carefully just what to say. "You seem like an okay guy. Ambitious? You like the company?"
I nodded.
"My advice to you is steer clear of her. But we haven't had this conversation, and we won't have it again. Understood?"
"Why is that? I have to ask you why."
Muriel shook her head, sighed, and went on in an official, somewhat robotic voice. "Ekara Imponerende is a high performer. You will see from her annual contract review that she excels in every category of her duties and has or will develop the skills to progress as far as she wants, in this company or in any task she chooses."
"That's quite different from what you said just before." Muriel looked at me blankly. "And it's unusual. Usually an employee with that kind of review would move from a receptionist job to something more challenging very quickly. Is there a reason why she is still doing such a simple job? Is it her preference?  I assume the office here is well-acquainted with our non-discrimination rules."
Muriel looked at me carefully. Her eyes moved up and down my body as though appraising it and then she nodded. "Yes, that's certainly true. I suppose then that you'd better investigate her. That's what you do, right? I just help run the office here. I'm certainly not the one to tell you what to investigate."  She looked away. "So, Mr. Stephensson, how long do you expect to need this office?"
I noted her reaction. Did she think my interest was related to Ekara's appearance? Although it wasn't, I knew any denial would only confirm the connection in Muriel's mind, so I chose to say nothing about it. "Between one and four weeks, depending on the state of the records I review and the cooperation I get."
"I'll make sure that is recorded in the log," Muriel said. "We don't have much extra space and I have to manage it carefully. Please let me know if your plans change." She looked at me again and left.
I didn't think too much about her remark at the time other than to wonder who else would ever want to use this office. I unpacked and was pleased I was able to set up my workstation without any help from Ralph or Keith. I put a few finishing touches on the list of records I would request first for review and then sent it by email to the general manager. By the afternoon I was busily reviewing the expense authorizations and preparing for my first interviews later in the week.
I assume that for most people, business trips are very sociable occasions, with meetings, business dinners with team members and fellow travelers, late night drinking in hotels and other entertainment that is, at least partially, intended to grease the wheels of the business that is to be done and compensate for the inconvenience of travel. That surely was the picture I pieced together from my audit work, but my own experience was very different.  I'm not an unfriendly person, nor am I unattractive, at least not objectively speaking. But I have noticed that when I enter a group, conversation sometimes tends to slow down and even stop. I don't take offense. Co-workers could naturally be concerned that in my role as auditor I was obliged to use and report, if relevant, all information that came my way, by whatever means. I wasn't dishonest about that or underhanded. Everyone knew where I stood, and I took pride in my role and in my honesty about it.
It did, however, mean that I got lonely at times, especially when I was on assignment.
To fill the extra hours I had on the road, I normally doubled my gym time.  That's why instead of adding weight around my waistline when away from home, I would invariably come back in better shape than ever, my biceps harder and a little bigger. I was very proud of them, and enjoyed surprising my fellow employees who met me for the first time and expected to find only the typical kind of small, nerdish person in my kind of job. I wanted them to know there was nothing wimpy about being an auditor, and especially not THIS one. I also thought it helped me exercise the authority I needed to ensure I always had the fullest responses to my questions. I don't use my muscles to intimidate, but I think people have an instinctive reaction to my size and evident strength that makes them want to cooperate. And being in good shape has its other benefits, like the admiring look I got from the young female clerk on hotel reception when I checked in. Even though my values do not permit me take advantage of the Licias of this world (going by her "Trainee" name tag), I'd be dishonest if I didn't admit that “come hither” glances from the weaker sex were enjoyable confidence-boosters, affirmations that when the "one" came along my chances would be better than average.
After I checked in to my standard Radisson hotel room, where the company had a corporate account, I found a local gym and negotiated a temporary membership.  Soon I was into the repetitive, mindless body work that flushed away the cares of the day. By the time I was done, I had, unconsciously, completed the structure of my plan, the framework of my report, and the first set of questions I would pose. I had a light dinner and recorded my plan before settling into bed at 10:30. It was, I felt, a very successful first day of my trip.
The rest of the first week went as expected, and I was quietly confident that my first manager review would be a success. I had not yet established the identity of the office wrongdoer, or defalcator. But my success would not be measured solely by finding the culprit. An audit is a process that must be followed, and my duty, first and foremost, was to complete the process to the requisite standard. If the process failed to reveal the wrongdoer, then the flaw lay as much, or more, in the process as in my own abilities. This is not to say that I didn't have a strong interest in finding the wrongdoer and ensuring that he or she be punished. Identifying and punishing breaches of our rules was the reason I chose my profession. But becoming too focused on the final result could be as negative for my job performance as neglecting the purpose of the audit by being too caught up in the process, as it could cause me to neglect the basic steps of the investigation that served as the foundation for reaching the final result. I certainly hoped that the identity of the defalcator would become plain from my basic audit work, that one of the workers in the office would identify him or her for me or give me hints or clues so that I could more easily make my own "independent" discovery, or even that the culprit would become fearful of the consequences and seek to take advantage of official or unofficial channels for leniency. And while I hoped, I worked. As it was, by Friday of my first week I had completed the review of the business records 27% more quickly than our company standard, conducted 60% of my interviews and had identified at least three possible vectors of the improper actions, all of which I would pursue the following week.
I was also satisfied that the way I conducted myself during the work day routine had established the correct rapport with the general manager and other members of the office staff I encountered. It was true that no one yet was willing to use the opportunities I gave them to reveal "confidentially" the identity of the defalcator, at least not so far. But they accepted the role the company had assigned to me without resentment and seemed cautiously to wish me success. Interacting with them I noticed there was a certain uniformity of response among office members when I explained the subject of my review. This indicated to me that the defalcator must be a person who was universally treated at some distance at the office, was feared to a certain degree but also tolerated or even liked for some reason. It also indicated to me that most employees knew the identity of the defalcator. I had to believe that, on balance, they were rooting for me, and this gave me further incentives to end the improper practices that were, obviously, blighting the lives of my fellow compliant employees.
At my level in the company, the reimbursement policy for weekend travel home during extended business trips was not available until the third weekend of the trip. In compensation for this, the company continued my meal and hotel allowance even on non-working days, and did not insist that I officially log any work time during those days. Some employees, particularly those with families, considered this policy unfair, but I clearly understood the rationale, particularly because business travel was so expensive and so much work time would be wasted on back and forth trips on Fridays and Mondays.  Instead of complaining or using the extra time for a quick affair with Licia (who continued to eye me from behind the check-in desk each evening when I returned to my room), when I was away on assignment I treated my weekends as an opportunity to tour parts of the country I hadn't yet seen. And so, after doing my laundry, I spent my first free Saturday walking through the pioneer village exhibit just outside of town, of course bearing the cost of admission and additional gasoline usage myself. By the end of the day I was a bit tired, especially after my double workout, so I was planning to eat a light dinner and get to bed earlier than usual, leaving Sunday free for a relaxing walk in one of the local parks after attending a service at one of the local Lutheran churches.
Instead, when I returned to my motor hotel I was surprised to find Ekara, the receptionist, in the lobby, evidently waiting for me. She was dressed in casual weekend clothes: blue jeans, which were fairly tight on her shapely hips, a black one piece wraparound that covered part of her bust but left her full cleavage visible, and a light blue cardigan that hid much of what her wraparound left open, except when she moved her arms or shoulders or bent down or tugged at it or leaned to one side or fixed her hair or breathed or laughed or stretched or did any of the countless things a young, lively and attractive woman might do, so that it continually shifted position and left different parts of her extremely attractive chest open for me to see.
It was very distracting for me, you have to understand. As a normal male in good health in my twenties, I have a very strong sex drive. I should point out that after I reached a certain point in my life I put myself under very definite restrictions, sexually, and I have a strong moral drive, as I mentioned in my Prologue and as one could probably guess from my choice of profession. For this reason, when I travelled on business, even when I was not in the middle of a serious relationship (at the time I was not) I refrained from visiting pick-up bars or taking advantage of local women who might find an out of town visitor with good job prospects and an attractive well-developed body difficult to resist. I won't go into the opportunities I have passed up, especially at the local gyms I have frequented, but I will just say that there were opportunities and I did consciously and intentionally let them go. I also had a strict policy about dating fellow employees, for obvious reasons. I needed to avoid possible conflicts of interest, and even an appearance of a conflict, especially when I was on assignment. So Ekara's presence, and by that I don't mean only that she was present, with me, but her overpowering presence, the way she filled space, the way she smelled, the way she looked, the way she smiled, and most of all the way several square inches of her flesh continually became exposed and then covered again, the way it moved, with a will and rhythm all its own, the way it shaped and was shaped by her cardigan and her top, which pulled and was pushed, and then pushed back, which curved and folded and stretched and slipped and was put back into place only to fall all over again until I ....
No. It didn't happen quite like that, for a number of reasons. Because we were talking, in the lobby of the motor hotel, and I was the auditor and she was a junior employee at the office I was auditing. I knew all that. I was confident that she did too. And so I wouldn't let that happen. But ... well, I wouldn't have let it or anything happen, if what actually happened hadn't happened.
I know that last few paragraphs of part 5 must have sounded very strange. I'm not trying to be strange but it's not as strange as what follows. I am not trying to be literary. I'm an auditor, not a novelist, and the stories I am trained to tell are about dry facts. All I can say is, I don't know exactly what came over me when I was writing it, but I promised myself when I decided to write all this down that once I finished a paragraph I wouldn't change it, except for grammatical reasons. That was to make sure I was being completely honest about what happened and not dressing it up afterwards to make myself look better, or worse, than I really am. Nothing makes me angrier when I'm doing an audit than finding records that have been altered after the fact.  What has happened has happened, and can't be changed. So, I have to leave it just the way I wrote it, and you, the reader will have to do the best you can with it. I am determined to move forward only, as best as I can, and not to waste time trying to change what is already done. There's nothing I can do about that anyway, so I can at least be true to these smaller things.
When I saw Ekara in the lobby, in the back of my mind I was recalling Muriel Cawle's warning about her. At the time, I could not in good conscience promise to comply with it. I was under an obligation to follow each lead wherever it went and to make sure Muriel and everyone else in the office understood that I would do so. But there was no need to make an office receptionist a priority in the investigation unless the evidence led me there and at that point in my investigation there was nothing that pointed to her. So, without agreeing with Muriel or stating any intention to act as she had suggested, I still had said no more than ten words to Ekara during the rest of the week. This is why I was particularly surprised to see her in my hotel.
And now I will relate what happened.
"Poor Mr. Stephensson," she said, with a smile that would have been shy on anyone else. "You have to stay here weekends, don't you." She looked down at her chest and laughed a little. "All by yourself."
I wasn't sure if it were a statement or a question, but in any case I said "Yes," my eyes darting away from the open space between the two front parts of her cardigan up to her eyes and then back down again. Somewhere in my mind I felt a small burst of pleasure that she was familiar with our office policies.  I tried hard to look at her eyes, only her eyes, which I knew from my first sight of her were bluer than any I'd seen, but she was still looking down and instead I followed their gaze and saw to my discomfort that at this moment her cardigan was almost completely separated, leaving the milky white fullness of her very large breasts wholly open. And since she was sitting down, the angle of my look enabled me to see all the way inside her clothes, and to see in all detail the full, magnificent shape of each round breast. "What, uh, brings you here? Passing by?" I said. She was making me nervous. I had done nothing wrong, but the more I looked at her the more I wanted to. I knew I should stop looking, and I couldn't.
I don't know how long I was looking at her, but I suddenly became aware that she was looking back at me and that she knew exactly what I had been looking at. She made a little noise in her throat and pulled her cardigan closed, tugging at her breasts to momentarily compress them slightly before they returned to their natural shape. And then she stood up.
"Ohhh, no. Not exactly," she said slowly, as if she were thinking, her eyes now looking past my shoulder and out the front door. Her hips swayed back and forth. For anyone else, it would have been a way of acting out a vagueness and indecision in the mind, but for her it was anything but that. For her, it was a casual demonstration of her presence, the space she filled, the space she owned. And for me, the soft relaxed haze that was the aftermath of my vigorous exercise was gone. My heart was racing, my crotch was pounding. Each little movement of her body was like the twist of a corkscrew into the top of the wine bottle, embedding the sense of her presence more and more deeply inside me, preparing for some future moment when a different movement entirely would be needed.
"When you came on Monday ... did you notice how I'm nearly as tall as you?"  she said, changing the subject. "I have very, very long legs. They're longer than yours are, although you do have a bigger torso." She had leaned forward toward me when she asked and then moved back again. "In most places, huh?" she added, giggling. While she waited impatiently for an answer she moved around, shifting her weight and twisting her body as I hesitated in my response.  "Anyway, so did you notice how tall I am?"
"I, uh, noticed, yes, on the first day," I said finally. "I try to notice everything. It was when you showed me the coat closet."
She smiled and nodded. "That's right!" She put her hand on my shoulder.  "That's right. Of course I did. Good for you for remembering. Everyone likes to be noticed, right?" She brushed my shoulder slightly and then took her hand off. "Most of the men in the office come in through the back door, but you don't. It's a local habit. I'd bet it's not how they do it in the other offices, right? That would just be stupid. It's the reception area. It's where you're supposed to come in. You've been around a lot of other offices so you would know. Still you came in all week and you never talk to me. You come in and you go right to work."
"I have a lot to do. I'm here on business."
"I know that. You're the auditor. We haven't had auditors here before from the head office, so I know you must be different from other people. Something has to be audited, right? Mostly we have customers visiting. They all want to talk to me, but the salesmen don't let them. They just want to sell them the things we make, which I know is the whole point of what they do. And sometimes we have other company people visiting. We had a lawyer visit here once named Artie and I got to know him very well. He didn't get along well with the other people in the office, but he talked to me."
"Artie? Was that Arthur Halberstram?"
"Arthur. Mr. Halberstram. Oh yes! Was he a friend of yours?"
I thought hard. I didn't know him well. Arthur had been part of the legal team in Raleigh-Durham. The lawyers always sat together with other lawyers in the company canteen, and the auditors sat with the auditors, and the younger auditors didn't mix with lawyers unless the audit was important for one of their lawsuits. I only knew him because he and I went to the same gym and we spotted for each other a few times. Apart from the fact that he lifted a lot more than I did, I knew very little about him, and I hadn't seen or thought about Arthur in a long time. In fact I didn't even know exactly when he had left. I was sure though that there had never been a memo about it, because I read all them carefully to understand more about the company and why sometimes things don't work out. "Not really," I finally said. "We didn't work together, and he's not with the company anymore. I don't recall exactly when or why he left but I haven't seen him in a very long time."
Ekara shrugged. "Too bad. I liked him. I really wish he had just stayed in Indianapolis. But you know, even though our office stays the same, people who visit us are always coming and going. That's one thing I learn from being a receptionist." She looked at me. "You kind of remind me of him a little. It's the way you speak. It's different from people around here."
"My accent, you mean?"
"No! Lots of people have them. It's the way you think about what you're going to say. Like you're writing a book in your head. I just say whatever pops into my head. I don't worry about it. Things work out fine for me no matter what I say."
Her ordinary chattiness was exactly what she needed to do to make me feel more at ease and I was becoming a little less self-conscious about my reaction to her body. And it was starting to occur to me that she might be a good source of information, if she had any. She certainly seemed pretty careless about what she said. I could see a business justification for talking to her more.  She was just a naive, chatty innocent girl who could give me unadulterated information on how the office functioned, who was friends with whom, who seemed dishonest and who took advantage of their position. It would have been irresponsible for me not to take advantage of the opportunity to interview such a completely guileless and unguarded employee in this kind of setting, away from the office, without anyone else knowing.
I was starting to organise a list of points I wanted her to uncover for me when she said, "Hey, what I was wondering, um, Mr. Stephensson, was, do you want to have dinner?"
I was not expecting her to take the initiative like that, and it put me on the defensive. I was the auditor, the investigator, not she, and my training was designed to establish the time, place and tone of the interview. Dinner in a restaurant would be less private and would be subject to interruptions that would disrupt the flow of my questions. Then again, agreeing to her suggestion would keep her relaxed and off her guard. My mind was going back and forth. I knew I had to respond so that she didn't get suspicious, and I was unable to resolve this contradiction quickly, so I must have stammered something like, "Um, I don't know, Ekara. I --
This didn't faze her. She wagged her finger at me and put her other hand on the very curvy part of her torso between her waist and her hips. "Don't tell me you have something else to do, Mr. Stephensson, because I'm just about totally sure you don't." She laughed again and said more lightly, "Hey, I admit you're pretty good looking, but it's not like I'm asking you for a date.  I knew you'd be here and alone by yourself and I thought you'd like some company. That's all. We both work for the same company, right? I know I'm just the receptionist, but I figured we could find some things to talk about. I could tell you lots about the office if you're interested. I've been working here for a good while, you know." She gave me a big smile showing off her even, perfectly white teeth.
I had no defense against this. "Well, I wouldn't want to take advantage of you. You know, as an auditor I'm bound to --"
She started laughing and leaned over, putting her hand on my shoulder again for support. Once again I looked through the yawning cleavage her position created as her cardigan fell open and her wondrous breasts floated inside her wraparound top. "Oh Mr. Stephensson!" she said through her laughter. "Are you, like, reading me my rights? Am I a suspect, like on a TV crime show?"
This was going all wrong. Had I somehow managed to imply that she needed to be careful about what she said to me? This was the last thing I wanted. But there was no easy way to repair the damage I had just done. I could not tell her that she was not a possible subject for my investigation, not without having completed more of my work. My scruples would not allow me to mislead her. But then I had a tremendous stroke of luck. She noticed my look of horror and evidently misinterpreted it as embarrassment.
"Oh, oh. There I go again! That's what happens when you say whatever comes into your head. I'm always putting my foot in my mouth. Of course that's not what you meant. I'm really sorry. Really." She looked a bit upset and I wondered if she was going to cry.
"Um, never mind that, Ekara. Sure then. Let's have dinner. I guess the restaurant here isn't too bad."
"Great! But ... do they have, um, room service in the hotel here? I've NEVER had room service."
"Well ... yes, but I don't think that's such a good idea."
"Please! If it costs more than you're allowed, then I'll pay my share! It's not like it's a date or anything that you should feel you should pay. It's just that it's something I've always wanted to do. Can you get anything you want?"
"Well, yes. But ...."
She clapped her hands gleefully. "Oh great! Thank you! Thank you so, so much!"
Why did these misunderstandings keep happening around her? I said yes to her question about what one can order on room service, not whether we could eat in my hotel room, alone together, and behind a locked door! My mind flashed back to a business ethics course I had years ago, when I took to heart a deep insight my professor had given to me. He said: "Never do anything that you would not want to see published on the first page of the Wall Street Journal."  Most of the problems I dealt with in my job would have been solved if my fellow employees would only have heeded this advice, and now I myself was about to be in a situation that would not pass his test, a situation anyone would see as highly improper. But then I had another insight. It wasn't as though we were going to my room to have sex, I told myself. Besides, eating together in this setting was actually very positive for my investigation, and it would take care of my concerns about being interrupted or being seen by other people at the office. I started mentally rewriting the newspaper article to emphasize what we would actually do in my room. There was a small round table near the window of the room where I already had my yellow pad set up. We would sit there, eat and talk. That was all. Only the wrong kind of newspaper would turn the facts into something salacious and inappropriate. Certainly not the paper my professor had spoken about, the Wall Street Journal! In fact, the article they would write would be how my audit was a textbook example of how one should be conducted, a mix of adherence to procedure, good relationships with the subject office, flashes of insight to make connections between seemingly unrelated facts and, lastly, slightly unconventional investigative digging to unearth background information that would otherwise be unavailable.  It would all come together for me. It would be the beginning of the next phase of my career.
I led Ekara up to my room, dismissing with a knowing attitude the looks I was getting from the few other guests, nearly all male, who were spending their weekends at the hotel, no doubt caught by the same kind of travel policy cost controls as I was. There was nothing I could (or should) say or do under the circumstances to correct their mis-interpretation of the situation. There are times when seemingly plain and obvious deductions from evidence are simply wrong, and I told myself to file this instance away as an example from which many could learn, although it also occurred to me that unless I uncovered specific evidence from this interview to assist in my project, which was possible although it could not be assured, it was one I would some difficulty explaining to others, particularly if they were not familiar with my strong moral values, if I were ever invited to assist in the company's training program for new auditors. For most people, the temptation to misunderstand what I was doing would be too strong. They would emphasize the appearance of error and ignore the underlying opportunity.
She pushed ahead of me into the room when I unlocked the door. "It's so neat!"  she exclaimed, kicking off her sandals.
"Well, they have maid service. They clean it everyday and make the beds." I was thankful that my regular routine also included putting away all of my work papers and ensuring that my laundry was folded and placed in the closet, because the maids would not have taken care of that. I handed her the plastic folder that held the hotel services directory and the room service menu and she scanned it eagerly.
"Oh, I know exactly what I'm having! The triple cheeseburger, fries and the chocolate milk shake, extra thick. What about you?"
I looked at her in amazement. With her figure and perfect skin I assumed that she would be accustomed to a much healthier diet. And then I realized that inferior education and likely limited family resources that led her to a job with such limited prospects would also make her unlikely to pay attention to those types of dietary risks. She was someone who lived for momentary pleasure, indulging each whim as it struck her. It was sad to think how her fresh young beauty would quickly be lost to a diet rich in salt, oils, sugars and fats.
"Is something wrong?"
"No, no I ... nothing. Of course not. That food is, er, too rich for me."
"Is it? Well then I'll see what you order. Maybe I'll get some better habits from you. Let me see how exactly you do it."
"Well, you just press the number "4" here and ...."
"They have a speakerphone like at the office! Let me listen!"
"OK." She really was very childish. I pressed the button and it started ringing.
"Room Service at the Radisson! Good evening, Mr Stephensson. Would you like to order dinner?"
"They know your name! How do they do that?" she squealed with excitement.
I waved my hand to indicate she should be quiet. "We'll have the triple cheeseburger, an order of French fries, the extra thick chocolate milk shake, and the grilled chicken breast with a side salad and a diet coke."
"The burger comes with French fries. Do you want an extra order on the side?"
Ekara nodded vigorously.
"Yes, please."
"Any dessert?"
I looked at Ekara who thought for a moment, bit her lip in a very cute way, winked at me and then shook her head.
"Any beer or wine?"
"No thanks," I said quickly.
"Thank you for your order, Mr. Stephensson. We guarantee delivery within 15 minutes. Good-bye." She hung up.
Ekara didn't seem bothered by my not ordering any alcoholic drinks, which would have been inconsistent with the business nature of our meal, or that I hadn't even asked her first. "That was neat!" she said. "I can't believe you get to do this all the time when you go on business trips."
"Well, to tell the truth, I usually prefer eating in the restaurant. It can feel a little lonely just being in the room sometimes." I wasn't sure why I said that.
"Well, that's not a problem today, is it?" she smiled. She walked slowly toward me, the curves of her body undulating with each movement, and I was worried for a moment that she was going to make some kind of advance, which I would have no possible option but to reject, embarrassing both of us, but instead she turned and walked around the room, ran her finger along the countertop ("they keep it very clean!") and across my briefcase, which naturally was closed, looked at the generic art ("it's cute isn't it?"), walked into the bathroom ("these little bottles of mouthwash, shampoo and hand cream are so cute!") and then went to the window to play with the curtain pull to open it and close it. I could not but notice how with each movement she made her body found a completely new way of bending or twisting, revealing new depths and angles to her figure, but she seemed to be completely unconscious of the effect her body had on me or would have had on any male who watched her. "Your room's a lot bigger than I expected, you know?" she said as she continued to play with the cord, twisting this way and that as she looked out the window at the fading light. "I think I'd really like going on business trips. I never get to leave Indianapolis!"
I saw my opening. "I don't think about it too much, except as a place to sleep. I spend most of the weekdays working, even when I'm not at your offices. Have you been there long?"
"Three years in July, since I left high school. And I'm still the newest one.  No one ever leaves!"
"Really? So you know everyone there."
"Oh sure! You can get an awful lot out of the people you work with." She leaned backwards as she looked out the window, her chest thrust out, almost to the extent that her breasts pointed toward the ceiling. It showed a remarkable degree of athleticism that she could bend that far and hold the position, and I thought with more that a few misgivings about how unfortunate it was that she was "out of bounds" for me. I found I was holding my breath until she suddenly straightened out and said, "Being here and looking up at the sky I can imagine I'm anywhere in the world. But then looking out on West Ohio Street kind of ruins it." She closed the curtain. "That's better."
There was a knock. "Room service."
"Oooooh! Is that it? Is it here already!?"
I nodded and opened the door. It was a young girl, probably just 18, tall and busty but with thin arms. She was struggling with the tray laden with food.  She looked at Ekara and me and tried to smile. "Will you be ... eating at the table?" I nodded, hoping she wouldn't drop it. I picked up my yellow writing pad, and she walked across the room as quickly as she could and put the tray down, and then spread the plates out on the table. She handed me the bill and watched carefully as I wrote out my usual precise 15% gratuity ($4.37) and signed it.
"Enjoy your meal, sir. Please push 4 when you're ready for me to pick up your tray. Good night!" She smiled again, a bit less fully than before, and left.
"Wow, she even called you 'sir'! I bet you're used to that. Can we eat?" I nodded and we sat down. She immediately took off her cardigan and tossed it onto the bed, leaving her very impressive cleavage completely exposed. "I hate getting my clothes dirty or stained, especially on my little salary!" she giggled, and then, following my eyes and looking down at the expanse of flesh she was exposing, "Yeah, I know, but it's so much easier to clean my own skin!  I'm safe with you, right?" I nodded, embarrassed, and then she unwrapped the straw, blew the paper that had covered it halfway across the room and pushed the plastic into the thick, dark drink, which must have been at least a pint and a half. She sucked hard on it, drawing up at least a third of her shake and swallowing it in great gulps without even taking a breath. "Oooooh, that's soooo good!" I couldn't help noticing the goosebumps that appeared on her breasts. She glanced up at me and smiled when I quickly looked away. Then licked around her lips and then picked up the thick burger and somehow fit it into her mouth and took an enormous first bite and then finished off her shake. I cut my chicken breast into small pieces and ate it slowly, alternating with my salad and sipping on my coke, not daring to look in her direction again. In any case, she was eating with too much enthusiasm for me to continue to question her, so I decided to wait until she slowed down or finished.
"I always finish my drink too fast! Can I have a taste of your coke? To help wash down my dinner?" My mouth was full, and before I could swallow and reply she had already taken my straw and gulped two large mouthfuls. "Ahh, thanks so much! I was SO thirsty! You didn't mind, do you?"
I forced the food down my throat. "N-n-no, that's fine." I did mind. I knew it was illogical. In other, more appropriate circumstances I would have wanted nothing more than to kiss her and engage in other intimacies that involved considerably more exchanges of bodily fluids than the thin layer of saliva she would have just left on my straw, but the context would have been completely different, and even then would have required a much higher degree of mutual understanding than we had. What she had just done, without even waiting for my permission, bothered me more than I should admit. I thought about just giving her the rest of my drink and taking some tap water from the sink instead, but I knew that she would think I was being very standoffish, and for professional reasons I didn't want her to withdraw or become uncomfortable with me. Still, my diet coke was now much less appealing to me, and I left it untouched, concentrating on eating my chicken and salad while she nearly finished her burger and the extra order of fries. At least she didn't notice my reaction and went on eating and drinking happily, oblivious to my emotional discomfort and the change in the pattern of my eating.
Finally, with just one large bite of her hamburger left, she paused to take a breath. "This is really good food, you know? I especially like having the fries on the separate plate, because they don't have the burger juice on them.  They're crispier and saltier, you know? Just the way I wanted them. I know I shouldn't, but I really love just about anything with a lot of salt, you know?  Especially when there's something to drink. How's your chicken?"
"Good. Mine's pretty salty too." I hadn't realized I was getting so thirsty and took a sip from my coke, my thirst making me forget for a moment my reluctance to drink it. She made a little sound, kind of like a chuckle, and when I looked up she had stopped eating and was grinning at me. I wondered if I had dripped some salad dressing onto my chin, so I dabbed my face with my napkin.
"Oh you're fine, just fine," she said looking at the part of my face I had touched. She leaned back in her chair and patted her perfectly flat stomach.  With a big smile, she picked up the last piece of hamburger and put it in her mouth and chewed it. "Yes! This was exactly what I wanted," she said with her mouth full. She swallowed and smiled contentedly. "And now is my completely absolutely totally favorite part, when I don't have to pretend anymore, Brian!" she said, almost chirping. She laughed again, freer sounding and more high-pitched, and then stood up, put her hands on her hips and looked down at me.
I looked up at her, a bit confused at her remark the slight change in her tone and the surprising use of my first name. Was she about to try to seduce me? I was trying hard to keep my focus on her eyes instead of the large breasts that were bursting right out of her chest, so boldly filling the space between my eyes and hers. I found however that it was an impossible task and in any event looking up at her was hurting my neck, so I stood up too. But as I was doing so she turned away from me and went over to my briefcase. She ran her finger along the side of the briefcase again like last time, but this time stopped and put her thumb on the latch, which I had closed. I realized with a skip of my heart that contrary to company policy and my normal, careful habits, I had neglected to spin the numbers on the lock.
"Ekara, what are you doing? Come on!" I said firmly, walking up to her. Her thumb remained on the latch, ready to pop it open, and I extended my hand toward hers to show her I would, if necessary, remove her hand from my briefcase (gently, of course) and stop her from looking at papers she had no right to see, papers I had a professional and contractual obligation to protect. Now I understood what Muriel Cawle had warned me about the first day of my trip. Ekara was a bit of trouble, a young girl who didn't observe the proper limits, who was difficult to control and who had a disruptive effect on the work of the office. No doubt she was kept on because her attractiveness aided sales efforts in some difficult to define way, as did other occasionally questionable practices that our salesmen would engage in. Now she was presenting me with a delicate situation I would have to handle, properly, before things got out of control and jeopardized the investigation.  Fortunately I had been trained to deal with situations just like this, and I was confident that I would be able to act with quiet authority to bring this situation to an end.
But the closer I got to her the less assured I felt, because something wasn't right. Strangely, even though I was standing up I felt as though I was looking up to her.
"Are you having some kind of problem, Brian?" she said, her thumb still poised on the latch.
I was staring at her, trying to decide. Was I ill? I didn't feel dizzy or feverish. The room wasn't spinning. She appeared as clear to my eyes as ever, although perhaps even more solid, more present, more vivid than ever, as if she extended herself in more than just the usual three dimensions. And yet I was looking up to her. I glanced down at her feet. She wasn't in heels; she was still barefoot from when she had entered the room and had, somewhat surprisingly at the time, taken off her sandals.
"My briefcase, Ekara." I insisted as firmly as I could. "It's confidential company property. You can't look inside it. You can't open it. You can't even touch it," I said in controlled, firm manner, although I was thinking, “This is my room, my briefcase, my papers. She has no right to do this." She was in my space but nevertheless she still seemed to be doing just what she wanted.  In fact, it occurred to me that everything that had happened this evening was what she had wanted. She had been in control every step of the way, when I was the one, by age, company authority and, excuse me, as by my sex, who should have been directing things. And now, suddenly I was in danger of losing control of my investigation. This was unacceptable, and it had to stop. Right now.
But just as that thought presented itself to me, Ekara pulled the latch and it snapped open. She put her thumb into the small space separating the top and the bottom of the briefcase. "Hey, guess I can," she teased. Her other hand was on her hip and she twisted her body slightly so that her hip was pointing toward me. Somehow it made me angry. I felt like her body was unfairly filling the space between us; that she was taking my space away from me. Yes, I was feeling there was definitely something unfair about what she was doing.
"I want to see how far you've gotten." She put her other hand on the counter, leaning on it, and wiggled her ass, side to side, like she was winding up to do something. She opened the case, in direct contravention to my clear order and saw my computer sitting beneath a pile of work papers with numbers in columns in my neat script. "These are just the numbers. I bet you do your real thinking on your computer."
She was completely disregarding me. "Ekara, this isn't funny!" I was right next to her. I hadn't touched her. I had done nothing to stop her except talk.  Yes, I had restrained myself so far but now I would have to start getting physical. "You are not allowed access to those files," I said firmly and put my hand on her arm to stop her from doing anything further.
"Oh, this is gonna be so great. I just love this part!" she said, enthusiastically. "You have NO idea how much I love it! I just have to decide ... I could ... nah ... yeah, that's it!"
As she was talking it was like a flickering image, almost as though I was at an old silent movie. One moment my hand was around her slender girlish arm, ready to pull it away from my briefcase. In the next my hand scarcely encircled it and I was looking way up at Ekara, who was more than a full head taller than I. With her long, feminine legs her hips reached almost as high as my chest. I was now even more distracted than before by the large breasts perched just below my chin, bobbing slightly as she moved. In my confusion I was completely frozen; meanwhile she had opened the laptop and now pushed the power button, ignoring the fact that my hand still was on her arm. She watched the lights blink and while she waited she rocked her incredible ass back and forth.
"Oooh, so when you turn it off, all you do is put it on standby!" she cooed.  "That's not company policy, is it? Tsk-tsk-tsk." The password screen came up and to my amazement she typed it in, quickly and expertly touch-typing the complex 23 character password I had chosen for this week, which, consistent with company policies, was filled with random letters, symbols and numbers.
I was in some kind of shock from all that was happening all of a sudden, none of which made any sense, and still couldn't quite bring myself to speak. I must have said something incoherent, like, "Wh-wh-wha ... wha-- how?"
"Keith Hartnett gave it to me," she said casually not even turning her head.  "The IT guys get all the passwords when people go onto the network. You know that, right?"
As meaningless and insignificant as that particular fact might appear to some people, compared with everything else that was going on, it offended me terribly and gave me something concrete to deal with, something objectively improper and indefensible. "That's ... that's supposed to be COMPLETELY confidential!" I exploded, filled with rage. It was obvious to me now that she was in league with the group of defalcators and that this whole evening was part of a plot to obtain confidential, proprietary information and undermine my investigation. I pulled her hand away from the keyboard just as my notes were coming up on the screen. But now it was clear that since she had already gained access to the computer and sight of the file, taking her hand was no longer enough. I had to get her physically away from the computer immediately so that she couldn't read my preliminary conclusions and plan of investigation. And, following that, much more radical measures would be necessary. She would have to be separated from the company -- before Monday morning -- and prosecuted to the full extent of the law!
In my confusion and my anger I have to admit I had ceased complying with standard procedures. I was not following my training. I was making decisions based on perceived necessity and emotion rather than the lessons derived from years of experience and thought on the part of the auditor giants on whose shoulders I stood. The watchword for my chosen profession was OEREV. Observe Evidence, Record Evidence, Verify. OEREV. To my shame, in the most critical situation of my career, I was doing none of those things. It is of no credit to me nor any defense to say that had I behaved properly at this stage, nothing different would have occurred. It would be a comfort perhaps to say that my behavior didn't matter, that I wasn't responsible for what happened and nothing I did or could have done would have helped. Well I won't say that.  I refuse to take the easy way out. I failed to notice and act on the flickering image my mind had
registered, the subjective perceptions of her size that were plainly at variance with the known facts -- and perhaps even known science. I disregarded perceptions and behaved according to pre-conceived ideas and emotion, a clear violation of OEREV.
Instead, what did I do? What course of action did I take?
What I did was what a normal, untrained, unprofessional person -- to be precise, a normal, untrained, unprofessional man -- would do. I used physical force. Physical force against a woman who was refusing to listen to my clear instructions.
With my feet firmly planted, my hand on her forearm and then my other hand gripping her upper arm I pulled her arm away from the surface where my open computer lay, displaying my work, with the full, understandable expectation that her body would stumble across the room onto the bed. I would then shut the computer off, stand between it and her to block any further access to it on her part, and then seek to persuade her by words or, if necessary, more force, to leave the room.
None of this happened.
I pulled her arm. I pulled harder. I pulled harder still, until I was using all of the strength of my well developed frame to get her away from my confidential file. She didn't move. Her body didn't bend toward mine. Her bare feet didn't slide along the carpet. She didn't whine in pain from a twisted arm or cry out from the tightness of my grip. No. She made a little muffled laugh from inside her throat and said, giggly and excited, "You're not getting very far, are you? With me, or in your investigation." And then, with the same, casual, rocking motion she had been using she swung her hips away from me and then towards me, but this time her ass hit me squarely in the middle of my torso. It felt like a truck hit me, my grip opened and I went flying, not onto the bed, as I had planned for her, but hurtling across the room into the wall, which I bounced off slightly, and fell heavily to the floor.
She made a short satisfied sound and went back to her reading, rapidly scanning down the file through my notes, my preliminary conclusions, my work plan and my list of questions answered and still to be answered. As I was mentally taking note, deciding that although the wind was fully knocked out of me nothing was broken, twisted or seriously bruised, she remarked, "I can see how you might get there eventually, but I may as well tell you now. The key is 5.11%, and me, of course. I get 5.11% of everything that comes or goes through the office, whether on the cost side or the revenue side. I thought the so-called financial wizards here had fixed it all so that no one at the head office would notice, with our operating profits just on the slightly low side of normal for the group, but I guess the travel expense procedures have some additional algorithms that detected something. Either that or someone thought he was being clever by letting a signal slip through the system. We'll have to get that fixed Monday morning, either way, won't we?" she concluded, snapping the computer lid and my briefcase shut. "But it's just Saturday night! It's not like it's a workday. There's still LOTS of time for play!" She turned to me and wiggled her hips again while her tongue swept around her lips.
I was slowly standing up, angry that my computer files had been read, sore after having been thrown across the room, confused about how that had just happened, though relieved that my body still appeared to be basically in order. But those thoughts were quickly supplanted by another more exciting one. As you might have suspected, I was wondering whether her unexpected confession and explanation could indeed be true. The inaccuracies in the office books and records would have to be far broader than anything I had imagined. How had I missed it? But then I comforted myself that I had not been doing a full audit, just one focused on a single element of cost and procedure, so it was unlikely that my work was flawed in any way. If she were telling the truth her scheme would be undetectable using the audit procedures I had been following, entirely properly, unless I received a tip-off or a confession. Which I just had received. A confession. Yes! This was just what I needed! My plan was evidently not so foolish after all! This evening had turned out better than I ever could have expected.
"You look very happy," she said, as she walked closer to me, "for a man who has just been hip-bumped ten feet into the wall of his hotel room by the sexy, young office receptionist." She looked down at me and again licked her lips.  She put her hands down heavily onto my shoulders. "What should I do with you now? Oh what oh what should I do?" she repeated, again wiggling her hips and licking her lips.
Now that I had the information I wanted from her nothing else that happened mattered at all. The unwanted disclosure of my notes to her was irrelevant. My incomplete thoughts couldn't compromise an investigation that would now proceed along completely different lines. Now all I needed to do to take control of the situation was to end our meeting so that I could write up my report and obtain further instructions from the person I was reporting to on this assignment, Clem Munters, Manager, U.S. Region VII Audit Services. That was my desire, but I have to admit, I was not in my usual frame of mind, where I am thinking logically and can form a coherent plan. Other thoughts and, I admit, feelings, were pressing in on me. I was, after all, about to cause Ekara to lose her job and most likely, depending on the decisions of my superiors, the company would turn her in to the authorities for possible prosecution. I did not ordinarily have to deal so directly and personally with the person who would bear the consequences of my investigations, at least not after those consequences were so clear. And Ekara herself was seeming somehow more formidable than I had at first expected. I remembered just then that, inexplicably, this young girl had just pushed me so violently that I had flown across the room out of control. So there was the odd feeling that would inevitably arise when a man has been beaten in any way by a female in any contest of strength, however brief or unusual, something that I could not recall having experienced ever before. And there was the physical pain from my fall and the strangely strong pressure of her hands on my shoulders to deal with. And then there was the fact that I was alone in a room with an unusually attractive woman who was standing very close to me, whose very large breasts were just inches away, whose scent was very arousing, and who was touching me, although not in a manner that was at all erotic or seductive. Perhaps also because it was Saturday night, not a usual workday, personal considerations rather than work matters were assuming a heavier priority in my thoughts about Ekara than they should or ordinarily would.
So, although my mind had cleared enough that I was beginning again to make connections and sort things out, these thoughts were not all directed toward the proper end goals of my business trip. Perhaps the principles of OEREV were reasserting themselves. Notwithstanding the important work-related conclusions I was reaching, what I was now observing and most aware of was the position of her hands on my shoulders and of her head being much higher than mine. (And of course I was very aware of her breasts, but this was not a new perception, and at that moment I did not feel that their size, unlike her general size, was in any way threatening or disturbing.) That, combined with the apparent resolution of the immediate focus of my investigation, freed my mind to form, and, without any further consideration of where it was leading, to make an obvious, simple, and yet, bizarre observation.
"Ekara," I said, "you said when we were in the lobby just before you were almost as tall as me. And you were, when I met you the first day. But you're not ... I mean ... here we are and ... you're --
"5-11. I'm 5 feet, 11 inches tall," she said. "It's always five-eleven, exactly. 5'11". 5.11%. First name 'Ekara' five letters. Last name, 'Imponerende' eleven letters. Just like your names, and what your height is, supposedly! Get it?"
Although I normally have an immediate attraction to numbers (especially prime numbers) and the patterns they make, I ignored the apparent coincidence between her height and the extent of her admitted defalcation and replied stubbornly but thoughtfully in protest, "N-n-no you're not." As is my usual habit, I was insisting on an objective fact to discuss for the sake of conversation while I recovered my wits. "You just can't be. I'm 5-11 and a half!"
"Oh? Are you really?" she said. "Well, then how come you're so much smaller than me?"
She sounded genuinely curious in a simple-minded way. I have to admit that when anybody, and especially a very attractive girl, asks me a question I do my absolute best to answer it. It's not because I am showing off, but rather because I love facts and explanations, and I never feel quite so alive and excited as when I am sharing facts and explanations with other people, especially attractive girls, who seem interested. But this time I was stumped.  I knew how tall I was. She knew how tall she was. And yet unlike the way things were at beginning of the evening she towered above me. It obviously didn't seem to bother her, while for obvious reasons it did bother me. But first I had to say something. Nothing I could think to say made sense. And still, I had to respond. So I decided to share my thought process with her.  "Well, from what I know about science, people don't shrink. Not at my age, that is, so therefore, logically you must have ... grown. And yet ... that's ..." As I was saying this she very slowly seemed to rise higher, so that by the time I had said the word "logically", her bust was at the level of my eyes, and then, as my mouth stopped working and my words ceased, her bust swelled, pushing her black wraparound tighter and tighter, filling the space between us.
"Um, yeah?" she said, twisting slightly from side to side. My eyes followed her breasts, helplessly. "You talk like you're pretty confident for such a little guy," she said, sounding very amused.
"I am not 'little'!" I protested.
She laughed. "Oh, but you are! I bet that's why you became an auditor. You're too small to do real things yourself so you spend your time checking up on the people who do. Am I right?" she said, laughing. It wasn't a mean laugh, but I felt under the circumstances that it was slightly mocking. It was not a tone that I was used to hearing, personally or professionally.
"N-no. NO!" I said more loudly. "That's not it at all. It's because rules are important. Following rules is important," I repeated. "That's what makes everything work."
"Nope! That's just dumb," she said. "People make rules to make other people work, and I break them. It's fun. I don't need rules. If somebody does something I don't like, I just take care of it." She laughed again.  "Scientific rules. Logical rules. Corporate rules. Don't you know? Rules are made to be broken."
"That's 'records are made to be broken'," I said, correcting her.
She looked down at me and there was that low chuckle in her throat and she said, softly, "Oh, I am so going enjoy breaking YOU in." At that moment, something in her eyes gripped me. I could not, and still cannot, say what it was. It wasn't anger; she was clearly very pleased with herself. It wasn't beauty, although hers was certainly overwhelming. It was something deep, ageless and knowing. It was as close to infinite as anything I imagine one can see, and then in an instant it passed and once again I was seeing the eyes of a sexy, capricious and, I had now decided, entirely unethical young woman.
Her eyes had gripped me and now I felt her fingers gripping me, closing tightly and painfully under my shoulders. "Does that hurt?" she asked. My eyes must have widened, because she smiled and replied, "Good!" and tightened her grip further, her fingers digging into the tender place under my arms. I twisted and grasped at her arms to get free but her hold was precisely placed on my pressure points and deadened the nerves of my arms, leaving me with no strength to fight back. She pressed harder and the pain radiated outwards in arrows shooting through my whole body, all the way down to my feet and then she bent down and kissed me deeply, her tongue filling my mouth, probing deeply, her saliva flowing into me. I had to swallow. At the same time I had another sensation, not more pain, but like something else flowing through and out of my body, as if from mine to hers, something immensely powerful, overwhelming me. I had a vision of her as larger than me and vastly more powerful. I looked up at her, feeling helpless and lost. Her eyes were more alive than ever, a thrill and excitement I hadn't seen in her before. She noticed me looking at her and then pressed her fingers even more deeply. I started writhing in pain and before I passed out I heard, or at least I thought I heard, "Tsk, tsk. Hey, Brian Stephensson, you don't know it yet, but you're mine now. All mine."
But in the state I was in I could not really trust my observations or verify them, and it is definitely possible that as I lost consciousness I only imagined that she said that.
When I came to I had no sense of how much time had passed, although a glance at the alarm clock next to the bed told me it was about half an hour. Ekara was still there, watching an episode of "Friends" and laughing at Monica's insistence to a cleaning service hired by Rachel that her apartment be properly, thoroughly and completely cleaned, just the way Monica would do it herself. I will just say here that I did not regularly watch this show, but like everyone else I have seen quite a few episodes, and I've never understood why people find Monica's behavior amusing. I always thought she was the only character who was completely sensible. In fact, if I were given the option of marrying one of the characters on the show I would not have hesitated one moment to marry Monica. Physically she was good -- not my idea of perfection, but still very good -- but her character was exactly what I would want in a woman, and I carried the hope that I would someday meet someone who cared as much as she did about getting things exactly right. I decided that the portrayal of her in the show in a slightly negative way was really an "inside joke" between the writer and the possibly very few select members of his audience that appreciated such perfection, but the joke still annoyed me. I only wished that commercial concerns about ratings did not in this case so completely interfere with the writer's true goals and that "Monica" would have been allowed to take the central role and display her wonderful characteristics more fully and openly. As a member of the business world I understood why TV shows had to appeal to the broadest possible audience, but that did not mean I had to agree with it in all cases.
It was clear to me, however, that Ekara did not share my views. Every time Monica made a perfectly sensible comment or demonstrated how the cleaner had missed dirt in some out of the way place that a fully committed house cleaner should have found Ekara laughed along with the studio audience. (Granted, it might have been just a laughtrack.) Whatever it was, it angered me. But I had to control my feelings and focus on extricating myself from the situation I found myself in, a situation that had continually became worse and worse.  Because now while Ekara sat on the edge of the bed watching television, I found myself on the bed, flat on my back, with all of my clothing stripped off except for my briefs. My body ached and tingled, especially my arms, but I gathered my strength and stood up to find my clothes and, more importantly, recover full possession and control of my room and my belongings.
Rachel had come in and sent the cleaner away, and Ekara let the brief exchange between Monica and Rachel end and then clicked off the show. She stood up and turned to face me, her eyes apparently already familiar with the look of my body, because she didn't stare or laugh but only said, "So, you finally woke up." She rested her hands on her hips and said nothing more. I was relieved to see I was (once again?) taller than Ekara and wondered whether it was possible that I had imagined the events I described earlier, especially the part where I was looking up to her, which made absolutely no sense. Had I become ill suddenly and hallucinated? But why then was I undressed? Had Ekara done that to humiliate me, or rather, perhaps, as part of taking care of me, loosening my clothes and watching over me until I recovered?
And had I also imagined her confession? Was it even possible that I was still dreaming?
"What just happened?" I asked tentatively.
"You don't remember?"
"I'm not sure. Where are my clothes?"
"I put them away." She looked at the drawers built into the wall and then I noticed sitting on top, next to my briefcase, a new tray of food. No, not food. Four more milkshakes, all chocolate, extra thick. The old tray was gone.
"You ordered again?" I said, confused.
"While you were sleeping. The other ones were so good. And it's really healthy. You know, 'Got Milk'. 'Milk the wonder tonic.' 'Milk: Good and good for you!'"
"Um, I don't think the last slogan was for milk ... and anyway, they're not about milkshakes."
She made her throaty laugh and stepped over to them. "Yeah?" She raised one to her lips and started drinking, hardly stopping for a breath until she had finished all but a quarter of it. She lowered it for a moment to lick her lips and clean off the milk chocolate moustache and then gulped the rest down.  "Mmmmmmmm. More!" She took a second tall glass and started drinking.
I thought about stopping her and then decided not to. Having fallen asleep or fainted, or possibly something much worse, and now being almost completely undressed, I didn't feel I was in a position to exercise much authority. And although I was increasingly feeling that the events I just wrote about (including, I sadly concluded, her confession) was a hallucination connected to whatever had just knocked me out, the advice I had gotten from Muriel to keep away from Ekara was now strongly replaying itself in my head. Ekara was a problem. She was certainly beautiful, but there was something strange and troubled about her, and gulping down three milkshakes in less than an hour was certainly proof of it. She obviously was bulimic. She might be delusional. In fact, I realized now, she had probably slipped some kind of drug into my food!  Who knew what else she might be capable of? That must be what the rest of the office knew and why they avoided her. How stupid of me not to heed Muriel's advice and realize there was good reason for their conduct! The last thing I wanted was to involve myself in her life in a semi-parental role, particularly if I would have to take on an adversarial position later on. She inevitably would get sick, hopefully in my toilet rather than on the carpet, but, that was not going to be my responsibility.
She had now nearly finished the second glass of the thick, sweet drink, and I could see how the shakes and dinner pushed out her otherwise perfect stomach.  I tried not to think about what she would be doing soon, what she doubtless had to do to keep her stunning figure while still eating that way.
"You're looking at me funny," she said.
She picked up a third glass. "You are." She took a long drink.
"I'm not. I'm really not."
She drank again, draining the glass almost without taking a breath. "Liar."
"What did you say?"
She put the glass down on the tray and stared at me. "I said you're a liar, but you're a cute liar."
"Excuse me, Ekara!! You can't talk to me like that." She ignored me and picked up the fourth glass. I couldn't help myself. "And you CAN'T be having another!"
"This will make five. They're so good. I have to have five."
She nodded while she drank it down steadily. "Aaahhh. I did it. Five glasses.  With eleven breaths."
I stared at her. The bulge in her stomach from drinking the milkshakes was very noticeable and not at all attractive, but the rest of her was still breathtaking. "Eleven?" I asked, the numbers echoing uncomfortably in my mind.
"Yeah," she said as she walked toward me, swaying her hips, which seemed to have a bit of extra heft to them too. "I've got a real good pair of lungs, don't I?"
I glanced briefly at the breasts that filled out her wraparound top and looked away. "Ekara, that's really not a proper question for you to ask me. This whole evening was not at all what I had planned when you suggested we eat together, and I think you'd better go. Now."
"You have a nice body too, even though it's a bit too chiseled for my taste. I prefer raw muscle, do you know what I mean? The kind that's just naturally big and powerful, instead of from working out in a gym. Still, I'm not complaining. Our numbers match; I think you're cute-looking; you definitely have potential, the way I see things."
She had stopped just within an arm's length and now she extended her hand and lightly fingered my bare chest. I grabbed it and pulled it off my skin, not gently. "Ekara!!"
She looked up at me. "Brian," she said, calmly and confidently. "What are you doing?" She looked into my eyes and I looked away, avoiding looking at whatever I was seeing.
This was ridiculous. I was getting nowhere. Clearly I just had to get her out of the room. Until then there was nothing I could do. The more I thought about it, the faster my mind was going in circles. I usually control my feelings, but now my anger was really rising. My fists clenched and my arms tensed.  "Just get OUT of here!" I said, perhaps more loudly than I intended but certain to impress her with my determination and, to be honest, my muscle.
"Do you think you're going to throw ME out?" She put her hands on her hips and stood her ground, her breasts and her extra thick chocolate milkshake bloated belly thrust out at me, absurdly, as if their soft mass were any kind of defence against my masculine strength. "You can't make me. You don't have the power or the strength to do anything to me, except -- ha ha -- except audit me," she said with a smile, "and you haven't even done a very good job with that!"
That taunt was it. She was denigrating my profession again, and me by implication. I started forward, ready now to show her once and forever how wrong she was.
"Oho! Why don't you audit this!" she said.
The words hit me. They didn't make any sense until I saw what happened next.  And then, what happened didn't make sense either, but her words did, or at least I could see how in her mind they did, in the mind of someone who is not trained as an auditor, who has no grounding in systems, processes, rules and laws. She thought all an auditor did was observe, spy, stand on the outside of things and report on people. That's not it at all. OEREV. We do observe, but according to clearly defined rules. Our work has no meaning in the absence of those rules. OEREV. That's why I couldn't 'audit' what happened, what she did.  Not that she cares.
What was I supposed to audit? In the two seconds it should have taken for me to reach her before I grabbed her by the shoulders and propelled her out of the room the roundness in her stomach pulled back, leaving it as flat, no, flatter than it had been before. I stopped short, momentarily, confused, half thinking she was about to exercise some disgusting bulimic power to cause what she'd eaten and drunk to erupt from her mouth onto me in a stinking mess. I looked up, watching out for contractions in her chest and throat, the screwed up face, the open mouth, ready to move back at the first hint. But that was not it.
Her hands stayed on her hips. She stood erect, calm, watching me, the little Mona Lisa smile on her face, pleased I had noticed something had changed, that I had stopped short for the moment, that she had my full attention. There was that little throaty, self-satisfied laugh, and it started. I saw it first on her chest. Her black wraparound tightened and stretched, stress marks appearing and distorting the shape of the fabric, but it was not her breasts pushing it. It was her chest, her torso, widening, deepening, thrusting her breasts higher, pressing them together and out toward me. Another laugh, and her arms began to thicken, like they had during the momentary vision I had before, in what I had been thinking was just a dream. The vision, whatever it was, was merely a prelude. In seconds her arms were as muscular as mine. In seconds more the muscles were more than twice my size, not sleek, sculpted, trained muscle, but, in the same words she had just used, "raw" muscle, bulging, bursting, exploding out of the softer feminine flesh in her arms. She was no taller than before, still just very slightly shorter than me, but she was now massive and unmovable, overflowing with strength.
She lifted her chin and laughed, more loudly. "Audit this!" she taunted, flexing her biceps. I stared at her muscle in disbelief. No muscle could grow like hers, no muscle could pulse with such power. But what exactly did she mean for me to do? What was I auditing? What standard should I use? What periods should I audit? What procedures should I perform? With each flex they were growing more. Was I supposed to measure it? Compare it? To what? And when? When she first laughed? Now? In another five seconds, when it had become even larger and stronger? No. I knew what she was saying. She was telling me to compare the power of my audit against the power of her muscle. How my plan to report her to my superiors stacked up against her power over me. What did the truth of my report matter when she stood in the way of my doing anything with it? Or, in classic macho talk, do you have any idea what you're up against, chump?
But what was her game? Why bother confessing to me, only to kill me? With all the people who saw her come to my room, how would she ever get away with it? I couldn't put it together.
"You're looking a little scared. Do you think you're getting it?" she said, grabbing MY arm and spinning me around, hooking her arm around my chest and locking me against hers, soft for a moment when I pressed against her breasts and then hard when I reached the solid muscle beneath. I was having trouble breathing and pulled on her arm, struggling against a strength so vastly greater than mine. "No, you don't get it. Obviously. You have no idea," she said and slipped her other hand inside my briefs. "Now, what have we here?  Something to take out on a Saturday night?"
"Ekara! No!" I said, as an unexpected tingle of pleasure coursed through me. I had not realized I was so fully erect. It was not what I wanted. I pushed harder, trying to free myself from her unwelcome touching and then when brute strength failed I applied the basic martial arts training I had. First, the sharp elbow in the stomach. It was a useless maneuver, I should have realized, against abdominal muscles that were evidently as thick and hard as the biceps in the arm holding me, and she just chuckled. An elbow in the throat was impossible due to our positions, so I next tried to stomp on her foot. It was a less effective than it should have been because we were both barefoot, but she still grunted. Unfortunately it didn't make her let go.
"Ooooh, hey!" she said, annoyed.
Suddenly my toes were really smarting -- just the way hers should be, although I hadn't noticed her stepping on me. In fact, she couldn't have; I was in front of her.
"That's better. My pain's all yours. I hope you'll learn. You won't try anything like THAT more than once! But 'cause of that I'm going to make another adjustment." I felt a strange flowing sensation, like I had before I had passed out, but without the shooting pains to cover it. "Mmmm hmmmmm!" she said in her throaty voice. Her grip tightened around me and it felt like her body was harder or that I was more sensitive. I must have moaned. "Yeah, yeah.  You all do that at first but then you learn to stop, because it's so annoying."
"What ... exactly ... do ... you mean?" I said, now only managing little gasps of air.
"How would I know? I don't feel whatever it is you feel. I don't really care.  It always feels good to me." She squeezed and it felt like she was cutting me in two. "Heh heh. It just got worse for you, auditor."
She must have gotten stronger. Although I couldn't see any difference, when I pushed against her, the muscles in her arm felt more resistant, and even her breasts felt firmer against me as I tried to shift position. All the effort I was making was tiring me out and my legs were getting wobbly.
There was a knock on the door. "Room service."
"I didn't ..." I started to say.
But Ekara called out, "Come in."
I thought at first it was the same girl as before, but no, she was stockier.  Her arms were thicker and made the standard uniform tighter in the sleeves and her chest forced the front buttons of her blouse slightly open, with a gaps that left part of her bra visible. She picked up the tray with the four empty glasses. She looked at me, enfolded in Ekara's crushing hold and suppressed her laughter. She wasn't talking to me or calling me sir. "Would you like any more, ma'am?"
"No. That's all."
"OK. Thanks a lot for the extra tip, ma'am. It really comes in handy."
"You looked like you needed it. It came from him, anyway, from his PERSONAL assets. 15% was very cheap on his part. I always give at least 20%, and I was happy to let you have another five."
It WAS the same girl, but she looked so different. How? And then my mouth dropped open in outrage. Ekara had no authority to sign my name on the room charge! I was sorry that this girl would have to suffer the consequences for Ekara's actions, but surely she should know the rules. I started to speak but Ekara clamped her hand over my mouth.
"I hope you'll enjoy it. Just remember where it came from."
"Oh I sure will!" She looked at me again and chuckled. "I'll make sure you're not disturbed, ma'am. Thanks for the tip ... SIR!"
Ekara took her hand off my mouth and I yelled "Hey! I need help. Hey!!"
She nodded. "You sure do, 'sir', but you're really, really not going to get any from me." She pulled her blouse closed slightly, compressing one of her breasts for a moment and feeling her flexed biceps through her sleeve, and then smiled. "I have to go." She pulled the "Do NOT Disturb" sign off the inside part of the door and slipped it on the doorknob outside and shut the door.
I twisted and managed to turn slightly in Ekara's arm, but that did nothing to free me and she tightened her grip on me once again. I groaned loudly.
"Aren't you a fragile boy! Now you aren't even strong enough for a hug, let alone a REAL job!" I tried to move and then realizing how pointless it was I stopped and collapsed, surrendering to exhaustion, letting her hold me up. She pushed me onto the bed, where I lay, breathing hard, eyes closed, for a minute or two, confused but tired beyond caring. "Yeah, that's better," I heard her say. "You're giving up. I like that."
I'm not giving up, I said to myself. I didn't know what to do next, but as I rested it occurred to me not to do anything. What did I have to do? She would leave, eventually. She might take my computer, destroy my work, try to embarrass me, but she could not change the facts. I didn't understand exactly what had happened or how, but there were some things that were clear. She had confessed to embezzlement. She had kidnapped me and no doubt drugged me, making me weak and dizzy and giving me hallucinations. She had forged my name on the hotel charge slip, tipping far in excess of company guidelines to buy the loyalty of the hotel waitress. Well, she was having her fun now. She couldn't stay here with me forever, and unless she killed me the truth would come out. That was the wonderful thing about my job. I was interested only in the truth, in facts, in what actually was. So long as I was honest and worked hard, I would always succeed. Everything that happened would have a logical, scientific explanation. Nothing impossible happened. The words of the Beatles song came to me. "Nothing you can do that can't be done." Yes, this was my faith -- logic, law (the Lord's, the Nation's and the Company's), reason and science -- and in my faith my strength could not be questioned or overcome. It gave me strength to think about it, and I repeated the words to myself like a prayer.
She was talking again. "No, there's nothing you can do, Brian. Accept that your life as it was is over. All you can do is to learn how to play my game.  You're mine now. No one can save you. You can't be saved. In time you'll learn how to be. All you need is to let go of ...."
No, I thought. She's twisting it. Twisting the words of the song. That's not what it means. That's not how it is.
I felt a light slap. "But I didn't say you could go to sleep!" she said impatiently. She slapped me again. My eyes snapped open just in time to see her hand coming in to hit me a third time. I grabbed her wrist to stop her, but her hand continued on its way and struck me harder. Our eyes met and once again I had the strange feeling of being drawn in to her, of seeing something like infinity. The moment passed and she said, "Get up!" broke my hold, grabbed MY wrist and yanked me to my feet. I was startled and alert all of a sudden, like I just had three cups of coffee. Whether I was drugged before or not, I felt wide awake now and perfectly fine, other than the wrenching feeling in my shoulder and the vice-like grip around my forearm. I tugged to pull away but was still caught. I looked down ... and nearly passed out.
There were our arms. One thick with muscle, bulging and round in all the right places, the other, slender, smooth, straight from wrist to elbow and from elbow to shoulder. One held firmly in place by the hand attached to the other.  And it was her powerful arm gripping my thin, weak one. But that's not my arm.  It's really not my arm. It can't be my arm.
"Don't like your little arm, Brian?" My eyes darted to her other hand moving across her body, and after pausing on the vision of her large breasts, watched her long finger run slowly up my arm from my wrist to my shoulder, stopping momentarily on my biceps, or where my biceps should have been, to push down gently, showing me how easily she compressed it, how little was there, before completing her little journey. "Next time you'll be more generous with your tipping, so that I won't do it for you and give away more." She let two fingers rest against my upper arm again, tapping it occasionally. "For now she's just got 5% of yours -- I've got most of the rest, although I'll let you have most of it back if it pleases me. You're one of mine now, and I do take care of my things. But five percent was a tip, so you'll have to make that up by yourself, whatever way you men do these things with your weight-lifting. Or don't." She pulled me closer to her and let out her throaty little laugh. "But ... no, I want you do it. Yes. Understood?"
"What ... what are you talking about?" I said uncomprehendingly. "You did this?" I tried to take back my arm but I couldn't move it.
"Yeah. You're mine now, as I said. So, yeah. I do what I like with my things.  Those shakes were good. You, however, you've been bad."
She looked at me mostly impassively but deep down I could tell she was enjoying this. My rational mind told me what she was enjoying was putting one over on me, seeing whether I would acknowledge as true what was impossible, so that she could mock me for doing so and undermine my authority as auditor, and the very core of the values I cherished. And then another voice inside was saying something else entirely. But I said to myself, that way, the way of the other voice, meant only panic, despair, and horror. The end of all security, all certainty, all rules, all that I lived for. I grasped for support, for facts, my beloved facts.
"You'll just have to get used to it. Most of you do. Artie didn't." She shrugged. "Too bad for him."
I don't know why, but a memory came to mind suddenly of a meeting at our headquarters that I had interrupted accidentally. I had the wrong room, evidently, for an audit department meeting discussing possible changes in our Excel report template to take advantage of more advanced features in the new version of Microsoft Office, and had walked in to one of the conference rooms on our floor to see, to my shock, the senior members of the legal department and some HR representatives. I thought it was odd at the time that they were meeting so far from their part of the building, but I apologized and waited for them to acknowledge it before I left, so as not to seem disrespectful.  Before I did I saw an old man trying hard to convince the others to do something, while our army of executives listened unwillingly and impatiently, some with a frown, some shaking their heads and some just reading emails on their Blackberries. The man seemed familiar, but looked to be at least fifteen years older than anyone working at our company, and probably older. I assumed, since he had attracted so many people to the meeting, that he was a retiree unhappy with his pension, someone who must have been important in his day or just someone with a big claim. The head lawyer there indicated with his hand that I should go, so I apologized again and left, although the old man was looking at me and seemed to want me to stay, as if I could help him. Obviously he didn't know that I would have nothing to do with approving his request. I can't explain why that thought came to me, just then.
"Artie ran away. I told him not to, I told him what would happen, but he wouldn't listen. He brought his problems on himself." She pulled me closer, so my body pressed against her breast. "I hope you're smarter, because I think you're cute, even when you're small like you are now."
"What problems?" I asked.
She looked serious for a moment and then smiled brightly and ran her fingers down my body in a very proprietary way as if it were her own body, as though she really did own me. "He couldn't live without me. He insisted on trying, but he just couldn't. That's the way it is, once someone is mine."
"Wh-what do you mean by that?"
"You're mine. It's really quite simple. Everything you have, everything there is about you belongs to me now." I shook my head. "Oh yes, you'll see, even if you haven't figured it all out already. Just about everyone does after a while, and they get used to it." She looked around the room, satisfied. "It's always a good feeling when I've got someone new. I just want to play with him ... or her, to see what they're good for. It's exciting, and fun, especially when it's someone who responds to the way I look like you do."
"Uh uh. I'm not --
"Hey, even without doing anything, I really make you hard, whether I'm 'Muscles Ekara' or just normal 'Sexy Ekara'. I like that," she said, playing with me again inside my briefs. "It'll come in handy when I want it from you."  I tried to get away, again. "Oh, no no no. What DO you think you're DOING? Do you have ANY idea how EASILY I could break you? Look at these muscles! This part is always so funny, especially for you guys, when you start worrying that you're not the one in control. You're so much weaker and you still try, for awhile at least. And you never see the humor in it. Not now and not later either."
I was still pushing against her. "This doesn't make any sense!" I insisted. "I don't belong to you. I'm not your slave. You're NOT stronger than me. You CAN'T push me around like this, and you CAN'T tell me what to do. I have a job to do and I'm going to finish doing it."
She held me closer still, almost crushing me. "You're completely wrong about everything!" she replied gaily. "I am SO much stronger than you, so much more powerful in SO many more ways than you can imagine. I'll make you do ANYTHING I want, and the jobs you'll be doing will be the ones I give you, or, if you bore me, it'll be up to someone else, someone I choose. Or, if that doesn't work ... well, you don't want to know about that. So what happens to you is partly up to you. But just understand, I'll make YOU into anything I want and there's nothing you can do about it." She smiled sweetly. "You'll see."
She let me go and I staggered away from her, my legs thin and weak. "This isn't real! I'm imagining all this. You've drugged me."
She stood back. "Yes, I have, in a way." She smiled again, a smile of utter confidence and triumph. "So? There's nothing you can do. You're part of me now. Nothing can change that, as long as you live, which I hope, for your sake, will be a long time. But that's up to you. Just don't go too far, Brian Stephensson."
She had admitted it again. She admitted everything. I WAS drugged. Perhaps nothing I was perceiving was real. Or possibly some of it might be, but there was no way to be sure what. I shook my head as if that would clear it and backed away from her to my clothes drawer. She didn't try to stop me. I pulled on my other weekend pants and a shirt. She just watched. I slipped on my loafers and continued backing away until I reached the door. She was still standing there, a slight smile on her face, not saying anything. It felt even more unreal. I felt as though I were dreaming or sleepwalking. Why wasn't she stopping me? Was she even there? She must be. If not, who had drugged me? But everything else was a trick. A powerful trick. She was beautiful, but manipulative, evil, horrible. I wasn't going to ask her or wait until she did something else to keep me there or terrify me even more.
Needing all of my strength I pulled the room door open and ran away as quickly as my shaking legs would allow. Strangely, my weakened limbs seemed restored nearly to normal once I stepped outside the room, out of her sight and her malign influence. No wonder everyone in the office avoided her. I didn't understand her or her hypnotic powers but I knew I had to get away. I avoided the elevator and skipped down the stairs to the lobby. I had to get out and report back to my superiors. But then I stopped cold. My wallet was in my other pants. How would I get home? And could I just leave without checking out and settling my bill? How would I explain such a gross violation of policy? I thought about returning to retrieve it and almost shivered with fear, which was ridiculous. If I KNEW she had drugged me then I must simply disbelieve everything she told me and everything my senses told me that was nonsensical.  Surely I would be able to detect that. The knowledge of that key fact would protect me. Yes, I would get my wallet, my computer and briefcase, check out and return home to report. It was settled, until another thought hit me just as hard. What exactly would I report? What evidence did I have? What proof did I have that any of this was real? My own story of what had happened to me tonight would never be accepted. It would probably cost me my job, perhaps my career as an auditor. The fact it was true was not the point. What had I done to substantiate it? How would the evidence be interpreted? If she didn't confess, what evidence, either positive or circumstantial, would I have to present to support Ekara's dismissal? I was the auditor. It wasn't my job simply to make accusations but to prove them with evidence or deliver a report showing the proper completion of the audit process. And if I left now I would have failed my assignment, and what's more, would fail a crucial test for my own career. I couldn't let that happen, to be defeated so early in my career -- by a receptionist! No. I couldn't leave. Not now.
Let me say that I know that most people consider me emotionless and cold. I don't really understand why. My feelings are very strong and real to me. Isn't that clear by the previous paragraph? Perhaps where I differ from some people, not only women, is that just as I would not make unfounded statements of fact or obligation, I don't feel it's right to impose my emotions on other people unless they are logical and justified by the situation. So I normally consider carefully whether and how to express the feelings I have. But in this case, the stress of the evening, all the confusion about what I should do, and, to be completely honest, perhaps a bit of fear, must have weakened the control I normally exercised, and my face must have betrayed what I was feeling, right in plain view of everyone in the hotel lobby.
I came to realize this only because a girl working at the hotel, one of the employees who cleans the rooms, who I think was nearing the end of her shift, noticed the irresolution in my movements and the evidently shifting expressions on my face that evidently revealed the slightly disordered state of my mind. She was staring at me with a mildly curious expression, as if after turning on a television she was deciding whether to stay with whatever program happened to be on the first channel or to try the next one. The look on her stolid, Midwestern farm girl face struck me as dull, and after being with Ekara her small-breasted, but hefty, broad-shouldered, wide-hipped body seemed to blend in with the chain hotel decor. So please understand that at no time was I looking to make any kind of advance on her. That would absolutely have been contrary to my ethics and also, to be frank, contrary to my admittedly conventional personal taste in women's bodies.
"You ok?" she said hesitantly. I heard the words but they barely penetrated. I wasn't even sure she was talking to me. I nodded but my expression must have been unconvincing. "Are you ... sure?" she said slowly.
She didn't seem very bright, not at all, which would probably be expected given the job she had, but once I became aware of it I had to acknowledge her expression of concern, regardless of whether it was personal or mandated by her training, so I nodded again more vigorously and said, "Yes, thank you -- Elsie." I had noticed her name, Elsie Wolkowitski, on her name pin. It was simply common courtesy that I do so.
Then I got an idea, an idea that I realized could turn everything around.
"Um Elsie, well, actually I was planning a surprise for my girlfriend, but I ran out to meet someone and realized I left my wallet, my briefcase and my room key in the room."
"Oh. That's no big deal. You can get the desk to make you another. All you need to do is show them your ID."
"But my ID is in the room."
She nodded more seriously but said nothing. She could see that this was true.  This was now a problem outside the scope of her training or her obviously limited ability to solve.
I suggested a solution. "Don't you have a master key? Couldn't you get my things for me?"
She looked shocked. "I ... I'm not allowed to do that with my key. It's just for me to use for cleaning rooms."
I had anticipated that reaction, and I nodded gravely, showing my concern. "Of course. If my girlfriend is there, you can ask her if it's ok. If she isn't, just come back and tell me, and then I'll ask the desk to send someone up with me. It would, um, upset her if I came up with you. Like we were, um, in it together. You know?"
Elsie looked at me with a dull, uncomprehending look for ten seconds and then the penny dropped. She looked shocked, and just this side of offended, but then flattered and then hoped she was hiding it. "Oh. Oh I see. Yeah! Well ...  if you think it would be best that ...."
"I'd rather not have to get the desk to help me if I don't have to. She'll think I've been stupid. But if you do it, she'll think it has something to do with the surprise."
"She knows about the surprise?"
"Well, she suspects I have something planned but she doesn't know. She knows I like to surprise her."
Elsie sighed. "I think she must know she's a very lucky girl to have a man like you, sir." She looked around to make sure no one was in earshot. "I'll help you," she said quietly and dramatically. She held one finger up for emphasis, to make sure I understood she was taking part in my plan.
"There's one, um, thing. Is there someplace else we could meet? If I'm in the lobby and she comes out she'll probably wonder what I'm up to."
Elsie nodded. She looked in both directors and motioned me to follow her down a corridor, then she fished a cardkey out of the pocket of her uniform.  "Here's the card for Room 104. It's a special room for us cleaning girls to change and, you know." She looked embarrassed. "Guests aren't supposed to use it, but you can wait for me there." I nodded. She continued, her momentum slowing. "The other girls are all gone by now. I'm a little slow." She looked down at the ground.
She seemed so simple that I felt a little sorry for her. "You're being a great help, Elsie. I can't imagine anyone being more helpful. My room is 412."
She looked down but couldn't hide her smile. I understood her feeling. She felt I was giving her an opportunity to show how she was truly performing her job, a service job. She was an important part of a greater whole, fulfilling her role at work and in life. We shared that feeling about our work, and for a moment I felt a real kinship with her. But quickly her face settled back into its dull expression, and my mind was again focused on my own concerns.
She hesitated a moment, unsure whether some sort of physical contact was necessary to seal the agreement, but I moved away slightly and she seemed to acknowledge that, probably considering that this was a professional errand rather than a personal one, and turned abruptly to disappear into the elevator. I walked the rest of the way down the corridor and waited in the room.
It seemed to take ages for her to return -- there was no clock in the room, I had no watch and the darkness outside gave me no clues about how much time was passing. There were the usual sounds of people moving through the halls. At one point someone fell against the door and started moaning in the hall.  Knowing I was not supposed to be in the room at all, I didn't come out to help, but I peeked through the fisheye lens in the door and saw a very old woman dressed in the hotel uniform on the floor right below me, her limbs moving spasmodically. We were not far from the lobby, and someone must have heard her. Very quickly there was a lot of bustle outside the room while several employees and a doctor tried to help her, but she resisted and kicked the door as long as her limited strength would allow while muttering incoherently. After a few minutes of this she went limp and then several men picked her up. A short while later emergency lights lit the room from outside and I watched an ambulance drive away.
About ten minutes later there were two knocks on the door. I looked through the hole. It was Elsie, and I let her in. I had kept the lights off; she didn't turn them on, but the room was lit from the hotel lights just outside.  She was breathing rapidly, her face was red with emotion, the effect exaggerated by the odd lighting.
"It wasn't ... wasn't at all what you said!" she said breathlessly between sobs, obviously angry, though keeping her voice quiet. "You ... you liar! I'm so ... embarrassed. And angry. Why did you make me DO that?! What kind of person are you ... to do this to me?"
I flushed too. She called me a liar ... and I did lie to her. I'm not used to lying about anything, and now to be caught like in a lie like this by a room cleaner, to have my little plan fail like this. But what could have gone wrong? It was so simple. Ekara must have said or done something to her.  Everything was spinning out of control. "What happened? Tell me exactly what happened," was all I could think of saying, my normal auditor's instinct taking over.
She didn't respond at all like my interview subjects. The tears were really flowing now, while the flashing of the lights outside made a kind of strobe effect. "Just ... because ... you ... think ... I'm a ... nobody ... and you're some ... kind of ... big shot, you think ... I don't ... matter? Just ... because ... I clean up after you ... and other people ... you ... think ... you can just ... use ... me to play your games?" She stopped and breathed heavily to control herself. "That getting me in trouble is ... ok? Now what am I supposed to do?"
"You're in trouble?" I said, surprised. "What kind of trouble?"
"That girl in your room ... she called the desk. She said I was some kind of con woman, taking advantage of my position here to steal a wallet. Either that or I was too stupid not to realize someone else was using me to do it. She'd never heard of a hotel person here acting this way. The way she was acting I know she'll call the desk and complain. But I would never have done anything like that. Never in a million years."
"Of course not. I'm sorry. Really. I had no idea ... I'll talk to them. I'll explain."
Her fists were clenched. "They'll fire me. I know it. Bad things always seem to happen around me!"
"Let me help. It's all a misunderstanding. I'm sure I can clear it up."
"You?" She crossed her arms under her chest protectively, looked down and smiled. Her smile, so innocent-looking before, seemed more threatening now in the strange light of the room, and the shadows from outside made her bust seem much larger than it was. "What can YOU do? You're in as much trouble as me.  More," she said, with a gleam of satisfaction.
"Yeah!" She nodded vigorously. "Yeah. They'll come for you. With the police.  You're the big mastermind who got me in trouble, so I'll make sure it comes back to you."
"But it was my wallet you were getting. I didn't do anything wrong."
"I'm not stupid like you think," she said triumphantly. She straightened up proudly when she said it, squaring her broad farm girl shoulders. "I wasn't sure what you were up to, so I made sure I'd get something out of it too, something from the other room you told me about, room 511."
"I told you 412. I didn't say anything about room 511."
"Nothing but 511 would do," she repeated. "You DO think I'm stupid. Well. I'm NOT!" Her eyes flashed. Then the lights outside. Then her eyes. The light seemed to linger there, and something about them frightened me, but I couldn't look away. "You're finished. You'll see."
I shook my head. "I'll be able to explain everything."
"No you won't. You can't explain anything." Her hands dropped to her hips and rested on her feminine curves. She pulled the fabric of her uniform down so that it fit more tightly across her bust.
My auditor's intuition was telling me there was something wrong here. "I don't believe you. If you told them then why aren't the police here? Where are they?  Where's hotel management?"
She bounced up and down on her feet slightly. "Maybe I didn't tell them yet.  They're busy with the old woman -- that is, with her body. With explaining."
"What's to explain? The ambulance took her."
"They had an 85 year old woman working here. Cleaning rooms. They worked her until the day she died."
"Didn't you see her just now? She was trying to get into this room. Good thing you didn't let her, or you'd a been caught up in that too. She wasn't too bright. Always the last one finished. But they say she was a hard worker and pretty strong -- when she was younger."
I stared at her. A chill ran through me. "That's horrible. I can't believe the hotel would do that."
"Don't feel bad. She didn't suffer long. I bet she was happy to be working until the very end. She probably had no idea what was about to happen.  Wouldn't you prefer it that way?" I shook my head slowly. This was all very wrong. "No. You're different. You're probably the kind who'd want to know what went wrong. All the details. How it happened. Why it happened. So you can explain it, and then figure out a way stop it from happening next time. But you can't. No! You can't."
"Wha-what do you mean?" The flashing light, the dim room, the strange talk was making me increasingly agitated.
"Maybe I'll let you off. Maybe, if you know how to please me."
"What are you saying? What do you want from me?"
"You don't know, do you? You don't know what I've done or what I can do to you. And you hate that, don't you? You like to know!" She stepped closer and grabbed me tightly. I felt her breasts compress against my chest. "Come on!"  she said, her voice low and hot. "Elsie's farm girl muscles are strong. They can take you for a real ride, you know. I'm not the innocent farm girl you may think I am. No, I'm surely not." Her hands cupped my ass and pulled me against her. "See what those muscles can do." She pushed forward with unexpected force and I toppled backwards onto the bed. She hiked up her dress -- she had nothing on underneath -- and hopped onto me.
"Come on, big shot. Fuck me. I need it. Fuck me hard! I'm not some helpless little flower." She was a wildcat, unearthly strong, holding me down, straddling my legs, tugging at my pants, which, beltless due to my hasty departure from my room, slipped off easily. She clawed my undershorts off and stroked me lustily. "Yeah, yeah, there he is, like a fucking horse's. I'm gonna ride him, like my daddy's horse!"
"Stop that!" I said, but she had already mounted me. She was very wet and she was already pushing me deep inside her.
"Come on, move it. Move your thing, move that fucking thing of yours! Move it!  More! MORE!!" She let go of my arms and now was bouncing on me heavily, gripping my ass so hard I was probably bleeding where her fingernails were digging into my skin. It was hard to resist her, even harder to resist my body's desire to do just what she wanted me to do, but I couldn't let myself take advantage of her that way, even though it would probably have appeared, on the surface, that she was the one "taking advantage" of me. Wherever that balance lay, this was not something I could allow to continue, or even worse, to reach its soon-to-become-inevitable conclusion. My arms now free, I took hold of her upper arms to pull her to the side as the first step to getting her off me. It was my arms against her abdominals, but I didn't have much leverage, and her legs clamped onto me more and more tightly. "No. No!" she cried out, sounding very determined. She let go of my ass and grabbed at my arms while still moving her pelvis against me and squeezing me inside her.
I was struggling too much to be paying close attention to her body or to the progress of my response to her, but she suddenly started moving in a way that stimulated me even more strongly, and her too, judging by her breathing. I was getting increasingly desperate to get her off me before my reactions passed out of my control, and I summoned all my strength once and for all to pull her harder. I was bending her body down, her legs were cutting hard into me, desperately trying to hold on. The light outside flashed again and for the first time I saw her looking concerned, biting her lip.
"No ... you ... WON'T!" she cried out. "YOU ... WON'T!" She breathed deeply and said "There!" and then added a "Hmmph!", sounding pleased with herself.
There was that strange unsettling feeling again, and when it passed she was upright again, having undone in seconds all my hard-won progress. I kept struggling, but now almost completely without effect. She leaned down slightly over me, with one hand to hold my shoulder to the bed, forcing my right arm away from her and put the other underneath me again. "Now, come on. Get ON with it!" she demanded, her right hand now pushing me upward into her more strongly, while she moved on top. "Come ON, damnit!" she said, getting angry.  "What kind of man are you? Are you DEAD or something?"
I might have been wondering why she was suddenly handling me so easily, but I was using all my concentration to focus on other things. My work plan. My computer passwords. The order of the church service. My route to work. My fat boss. It was working. I was getting softer, the progress toward orgasm had halted. I had won. I must have been smiling as the lights flashed again.
She took her hand out from under me and shook both my shoulders. "Oh you nasty ... you think I can't make you? You think you can stop me? Hmmph. Well. Just this one time ... it won't be as much fun ... but this will show you what can happen. You little fucker. Little big shot fucker. Teach YOU to deny me. I could ... no. Not yet. Well, see what you think of this!"
She gripped my shoulders tightly and I felt a swirl of dizziness and then a stabbing pain in my crotch and I screamed.
"Yeah! Let's HEAR you scream, fucker!"
She was moving on me again, a different motion now, up and down, each motion pinning me to the bed and with each movement I screamed, a mixture of pain and something else, a feeling that was starting in my crotch but pulsing everywhere. I couldn't help pushing back, trying to move the stabbing to the right place, to exactly the right place where there was less pain and more of that incredible pulsing that was making me shiver and scream even more. I wasn't pushing her away now, I was clutching at her and screaming "Oh! OH! OH!  OH!"
"Yeah FUCKER. Yeah! Let's HEAR you scream ... bitch!"
"OH! OH!"
"Yeah! I'm --
-- gonna --
-- give it --
-- to you so --
-- hard, so good --
-- you're gonna --
"OH ... OH ... OH PLEASE!"
-- DIE when you never --
-- ever, ever, EVER --
"Oh oh oh oh"
-- feel this ever --
"AGAIN! Uhhh!"
"AII! AII!!! AAAIIIIII!" I said, clutching her with all my strength as I felt a final burst of stiffness and then a warm fullness inside and my body pulsed in a thousand ways at once and my legs curled and twisted around her wanting more of her, more of her inside me. Inside me. Inside ... me? And then she wasn't there anymore. There was no there, no feeling at all where stars had just exploded inside me, nothing except wetness, sticky wetness, growing colder, and my soft penis pushing against her. I tried to get out from under her but she held me there roughly.
"Where do you think you're going?"
I pushed but couldn't move away, couldn't get her off me.
"What happened? What just happened?" I said, finding it hard to speak.
"You KNOW what happened."
"Yes you do."
"No. It's not ... who ... what are you? Elsie?"
"Elsie?" She laughed. "Partly. What do YOU think?" I couldn't think. She reached over to the wall and switched on the light, and it was Ekara's face looking down at me. I should have been shocked, but I wasn't. Still, the chill I had felt earlier returned fivefold. Goosebumps ran down my arms. "Elsie got old and died. She's gone now. Except for what I took." She extended her arm, showing me the well-developed biceps of a hefty farm girl who had done physical labor her whole life. "Yeah, these are Elsie's." She flexed and the muscles bunched impressively and then grew, more than doubling in size. I groaned from a sudden increase in the weight on me. "Yeah, and these are yours. Miss 'em?"
I looked down at my own arm, thin and soft again, like a young girl's and obviously as weak.
"Where oh where did they go? Yeah, you're pretty sad for a man now, aren't you? Maybe you should have done me as I wanted, when I wanted it. You'd think a smart fellow like you would learn more quickly. Hmmmm?" I felt another huge increase in weight. "Ooooh, I bet that must really hurt, Brian. Just to be clear, I don't care." She turned her wrist, forcing her inhumanly large biceps higher. "These were Artie's. Poor old Artie. Poor, poor, old Artie. When he was young, he was really strong. He could lift a lot more than you, I bet."
I nodded, scarcely able to breathe.
"Is it nice to know that parts of your friend live on? You probably need words like those for comfort. To help you accept things you can't understand.  Mortality -- yours, that is. Loss -- again yours. And Me."
She shifted position and put her hand on my chest, gradually pushing down, slowly forcing the remaining bits of air from my lungs. I gasped trying to gulp down even a tiny breath. Any movement I made just made it worse. Then she lifted her hand. I breathed desperately, too weak to move otherwise. She watched me and, looking somewhat bored, pressed down again, harder this time.  I fought to breathe and then to push her hand away, but my hand did not even fit around her muscular forearm. Pushing it away from my chest was far beyond my power.
Expressing her impatience, she drummed her fingers heavily on my chest, each "tap" of her finger feeling like a hammer blow. "Do you see how easy this is for me? Against me you are completely helpless. I'm sure this is obvious to you. Why isn't the next step for you obvious too?" She looked into my eyes.  "I'll let you think about it awhile." I stared back into the infinitely reflecting window of her soul, and the terror built in me, overwhelmed me, until I could take no more. Short of breath and courage, I passed out.
When my eyes opened it was morning. Sunday morning. The sky was bright blue and the light shone through the window, which directly faced the parking lot in front of the hotel. Across the street I could see the tower of the Episcopal Church. It was not my denomination, but the cross on top soothed me.  It was Sunday.
There were questions flooding my brain, and no answers. I struggled briefly to put things together to make some sense, but then relaxed. Perhaps there would be no answers. It was Sunday. There were powers stronger than I was, mysteries that controlled my life, all life. A plan that my merely human mind could not comprehend. I had my small role to play, which I did to the best of my abilities. But sometimes that was not enough. And so, there was Sunday. It was time to confront the mysteries in the only other way open to me. It was time to pray.
Across the room my pants were bunched on the chair. I walked stiffly to them and pulled them on slowly, feeling to my surprise my wallet and my room key.  Should I be surprised? Nothing added up. Today, I decided, I would not try to add them up. Maybe tomorrow. But today was Sunday. Today I would surrender ...  to God. I felt just then a peace I had not known before. Could this be part of the plan God had for me? I felt so small, so insignificant, so embarrassed at my presumption. But I was willing to learn, willing to be open to what He had in store for me. Yes, I would submit ... to Him.
People were walking to the church. I jumped up. I needed to be there too. I quickly cleaned myself, rinsed my mouth with the tiny bottle of mouthwash in the room, pushed my hair into place and left the room, turning around at the last moment for fear I had left something behind, but the door closed too quickly. On the door it said Room 115. 115? Wasn't I just in Room 104? And wasn't my room 412? I shook my head. Another mystery. But just a petty mystery compared to the far more important one I would shortly enter, in church, right opposite the hotel directly across the street, minutes away. My heart beat with excitement. Never before I had been so keen to join a service to worship the true God.
I walked quickly down the corridor, nodding to the people I passed, walking right out the door into the bright sunlight. My heart nearly burst with joy and I nearly broke into a run and crossed the street in the middle to go right to the church. But of course I didn't jaywalk. I walked to the crosswalk at the corner and waited for the traffic light to change. Two women in their sixties, obviously dressed for church, joined me and I smiled at them. They looked at each other but didn't respond to me. Well, no doubt the usual distrust of strangers. You get that sometimes in this part of the country. I smiled again reassuringly, shrugged when that produced no warmer reaction, and then crossed ahead of them as soon as the light changed, walking with large strides, covering the distance between myself and the church door as quickly as I could.
The minister stood outside, greeting the congregants as they entered. I stood on line as patiently as I could until I reached the front of the line. He looked at me carefully. "Is this your first time?"
I nodded. "I've been in Indianapolis since Monday, here on business. I'm a member of another church, in Raleigh-Durham. Christ the King. Lutheran," I added, my voice growing slightly quieter at the name of my own denomination.
"I see. Just this week. That, uh, explains it." He looked down the line and smiled at the person behind me, slightly embarrassed, and held up his hand to indicate he should wait.
"I won't take communion if you feel it's, uh, inappropriate," I said, trying to appease him.
He nodded. "Yes." He motioned me to the side of the line, a few feet away, and asked in a soft voice. "I'm not sure that this church ... you see ..." he said, awkwardly. "Your business here?"
"Um, I work as an auditor for ARA Fittings, the --"
"Yes. Yes. Of course you do." He sighed. "Our church ... I think it would not be right for you to join us." He looked at the line of people watching and I did too. They all looked at me. They were impatient. But there was something more.
I tried to explain. "It's not to join the church. It's just for today. I want to worship. I'm a Christian. Surely I can worship here."
"You would find ... it's very hard to explain. I'm sure you will understand ... in time ... in due course. It's for the best, really. It must be very new to you."
"I don't understand. I travel a lot. On business. I've always gone to church on Sundays, wherever I am."
"Have you? I am so sorry, young man. It is such a pity." He rubbed his furrowed brow with his fingers.
"Well, I see!" I said, suddenly angry. "I didn't realize the churches here were so exclusive! Maybe then you can tell me where the closest Lutheran church is, where I would be more welcome."
"Oh!" he said, obviously distressed. "I couldn't ... it's not that. We welcome all, even non-believers. And the same is true for my brethren in the Lutheran denomination too. Except, well, as we all have learned, you see, she would not ... it would not be wise, for either of us, you see...." His voice trailed off. "I am so sorry, my son. We are all fallen creatures, flawed in His eyes."  He looked up, startled. "We will pray for you. But ... if you would excuse me, please." He hurried over to the line of waiting worshipers.
I stared at him in disbelief and then at the long line of congregants, stretching now down the block. They were looking at me, pointing at me, gesturing, talking emotionally amongst themselves. The Minister walked down the line, saying a few words to each as he passed them, and as they did they calmed down and looked away from me. Soon they all filed into church. I stood outside, alone. And then I wasn't alone.
"You don't belong in there. You belong to me." She was standing next to me wearing a low-cut t-shirt and tiny shorts, exposing nearly all of her bust and her long legs in a way wholly inappropriate for a Sunday, especially near a church. "They know better. You will, eventually. These places, with their stupid, made up lies, annoy me to no end. It would be easy to destroy them, all of them. But as you see we've reached an understanding. I take what I want, and they don't touch my things. Doing that, demonstrating their cowardice, their compromises, embarrasses them to no end. Shouldn't they fight for what they believe? Shouldn't they battle the "she-devil" and retrieve your precious soul? Ha-ha! But they know if they do they'll be destroyed. So quickly, so easily. They could be destroyed and then they're mine and then they serve me. But as it is it suits me fine. They stay in business, they betray their ideals, and prove their hypocrisy."
She looked into my eyes and leaned over slightly. I couldn't help but glance down her shirt.
"Awww, aren't they magnificent? I'm not the devil. Although to you I may seem godlike it's nothing supernatural. It's as natural as can be. My powers over all my things are scientifically verifiable, even repeatable in a laboratory, although only through me, since I am unique. It's just that I'm amazing and powerful. Once you've tasted me I own you. I'm unstoppable, and you're helpless. That's all there is to it."
I backed away from her. "No. I can't accept that. I won't. Even if His churches are imperfect He is still God and you are subject to Him."
"You think so?" she said.
I fell on my knees and looked up at the cross, praying with all my heart. The Church itself seemed bathed in light and the cross began to shine. He was on it and He looked down at me. He smiled at me at I felt His infinite compassion and His love. "Brian," He said. "Submit to Ekara. It is My will." I looked up at Him and His eyes turned to Ekara, as did mine. She was playing with the grass with her bare feet. "Submit to Ekara, Brian, as I have done." He floated down from the cross and settled at her feet. He gently kissed each of her toes and then faded away.
She looked over at me, her arms crossed over her bust. She raised her foot, crossing her big toe over her second toe. "Had a vision? Happy now?"
I looked up at the cross, still glowing, but fading slightly. "It ... it wasn't real!"
"What wasn't real?" she said innocently.
"The ... He ... what He said."
"Can you prove it?" she said carelessly. "I don't know. If you really believe ... shouldn't you listen to him? He might be angry if you don't. And what about me? I just might get angry too if you don't submit to me." She pointed her big toe at me and a boil erupted on my arm. "Ewwww. Nasty. Does that happen to you often?" She pointed the second toe at me and another one erupted, this one on my leg. "I've got ten toes, you know. You wouldn't be much good to me as a frog. Or a locust. Or a puddle of blood. But this is taking sooooo long!" She lifted her foot higher.
"What do you want with me?" I cried out.
She looked down at me, her foot poised in the air. "Well! I thought you would never ask! Come on, then." She turned around and walked down the church lawn toward the road. I got up and followed, limping, each step aggravating the boil. "Move it," she said.
"I'm trying. But it ... hurts."
"Oh, that!" She shrugged and the boils vanished. She crossed directly to the hotel. The cars all stopped for her. I hesitated for a moment then followed her quickly through the lobby and up to my room. 412. It was just as I had left it, except that someone had made the bed.
"Now, Mr. Auditor, you are going to fix this little audit of yours for me so that every single little irregularity is explained away. And you're going to tell me what triggered it. And you are going to redesign the system so that I continue getting my 5.11% from MY company without ANYONE bothering me about it EVER again. Right?"
I looked at her in dismay. She was forcing me to betray everything I believed in and to deliberately sabotage and fail my first assignment. It would end any hope I had of advancement in my field.
She sighed. "Come on, Brian. That's over anyway, you know. As I told you, you can't leave. Now that we're connected, or, actually, now that you're connected to me, if we're more than about 5 miles apart you'll start to weaken and get old, just like Artie. It would take two, maybe three weeks. You can't live without me near, so get used to it. And you can get used to my reading your mind too. 'Your thoughts are my thoughts', you know -- when I'm interested."
"You mean, I'm a prisoner? In Indianapolis?"
"It's not so bad, except the winters. Hey, I'm kind of stuck here too, you know. It's been years since I've gone anywhere, although TV and the Internet helps. You see, if I left, all of my things would die and I'd have to start all over. It's not impossible, of course. It wouldn't kill me, like it would you -- I'm a lot tougher than that -- but I'm used to having all of you around, to take what I want, whenever I want it. Strength, beauty, intelligence, youth, knowledge. Whatever. It would take time to build it up again. And they know me here. Did you see how the traffic stopped? It's easy for me that way. I'll get Muriel or Ralph to arrange it. They take care of the boring details for me. You know?"
Were they part of her group too? I shrugged. "Sure," I said indifferently.
"Good. So how long will it take you?"
I stared at my computer. "I don't know," I said without any enthusiasm. It seemed my job was no longer about seeking truth, but instead hiding it. "A couple of days maybe. I'd have to investigate."
"Yes, you do that. I'll decide what else to do with you afterwards, when I see how well you perform." She sighed "I suppose I'll have to get your stay here extended. And you'll need a place to live. All these details to worry about when I get new things."
Now I really did feel like a mere thing -- that this girl was wondering where to put me, like a new doll for her dollhouse. "And how exactly are you going to do that? You may have power over me and a bunch of people out here, but you're still just a receptionist in the Indianapolis sales office." I laughed with more than a little trace of bitterness. "And what does that make me? The receptionist's toy! A girl's plaything!"
She rolled her eyes. "Is that what you think? Who and what, exactly, do you think I am? Just because I look like this ... I could look like anything and anyone you know, and so many you don't.." She stared at me, and once again I was lost in her eyes. I saw thousands of faces, male and female, in countless styles of appearance. I turned away. "You're so easy to frighten, little boy.  It is YOU who is the child!"
"I am not a child, and I am not a thing!" I said defiantly.
"Oh really? I thought you were a little puppet!" She held out her hands and played at pulling strings and my arms went up and down uncontrollably -- at least not under MY control -- like I was Pinocchio. "Or a little rag doll!"  She pushed me gently in my stomach with two fingers and I collapsed onto the floor, completely limp, a Raggedy Andy. She kneeled down and propped me up so I was sitting against the wall, looking at her. I was completely humiliated. I couldn't speak or even move a muscle. I just sat, mute, paralyzed.
"So cute!" She exclaimed, putting her hands together over her heart. "Can I have him, Daddy? Can I keep him? Please! Please Daddy!"
She walked a few feet and turned as though facing herself and in a blink of an eye she was a large heavyset man in his late forties, needing a shave and speaking in a deep, older voice. "Now Ekara, you don't really need more things. You have so many that you never even play with anymore"
He walked back and again was Ekara. "That's not so, Daddy. I play with ALL my toys! I LOVE my toys!"
She walked back. "That's what you always say," the "father" said. He sighed.  "And you always get your way, don't you?"
He walked back and Ekara crossed her arms and said. "Of course I do, Daddy, and I always will!" She leaned forward and stretched up on her toes and gave a little kiss ... to the air. Then she bent down toward me and touched my nose, and I could feel my arms and legs again. I stretched them and slowly tried to stand up.
Ekara looked down at me, watching me struggle. "And you say you're not a thing of mine, when you can't even move a muscle unless I allow it. Understand this.  You love the truth, you think, but in truth you fear it, as you'll fear me.  That's why you're an auditor. Trying to find out what others try to hide, but knowing nothing yourself. You think that's something very special, but the important truths are what you make, not what you find." She smiled. "That's ok. You've found me. That's a start at least, although not the start you expected. But what happens now?" I stared at her blankly, the feeling still slowly coming back into my limbs. "You don't know! Does that frighten you?  Hmmmm?" Her arms were crossed in front of her chest and she tapped her foot, waiting for an answer. "Well, I can tell you that the ones who don't care are completely hopeless. Even though they're easier at first, they're much less fun. Without disorientation, wonder, fear, awe and disgust, you'd be no more than machines." Her eyes were wide, and more than she had since the craziness had begun late yesterday, she looked like the young girl I had taken her for.  "My favorite things are real people. Do you think you, Brian, can be a real boy?" She moved her arms like she was pulling a string and I was up on my feet.
I didn't know what to do or say. "I don't know what you mean. I'm ... of course I'm real."
"Are you?" she laughed looking deep into my eyes, and once again I saw a glimpse of something I did not understand. "Well, we'll see soon enough whether you've got what it takes to be real."
What could I say? "I guess you should let me get to starting my new assignment," I said and turned on the computer. I found the assignment already open. Ekara must have disabled the password and began to look at it.
Ekara frowned. "On Sunday? What for? It's the weekend! You don't have to work!  I mean, you're not going anywhere. Don't you know anything about how to have fun?" She looked at me intently. "Oh, you nasty thing! Wasn't that a sexy dream you had about her! What do you say if ...."
The images flooded my brain even more intensely than when I dreamed them.  Sara, growing more voluptuous and powerful with each passing second, overwhelming my resistance in every conceivable way. My heart was pounding, the blood raced through my veins.
"There must be little bit of life in you, right? Let's see!"
I found myself opening a new spreadsheet and typing 44 21 39. Was she was going to grow like Sara had in my dream? Sure enough her already impressive figure started to develop further, her bust expanding while her waist contracted. She slipped off her t-shirt, leaving just a seriously overtaxed bra and her light shorts, already struggling with her sexier hips and butt. I knew from memory that very soon her muscles would start to grow as well, and then she would overpower me, as she had done earlier in the weekend. But now, as she had demonstrated with her total control over me, there would be no way for me to stop my body's reactions to her as I had before. I was completely in her hands, a slave to her whims. And then I found myself typing 77 25 44 ...
... but instead to my shock I was the one growing, and before I knew it I was many inches taller than Ekara, probably 6'5", 77" and my muscles were growing too. It was my biceps that must have reached 25" and they were rock hard.  Ekara seemed shocked, for once. She backed away from me uncertainly.
"No ... that's not what I ...." She looked up at me. "Stop that!" she shouted.  She looked around the room wildly. "No, I say! No!"
Who was she talking to?
"You promised! You said I could!" she was saying, suddenly using the little girl voice she had merely played at a short while ago. She whirled around, listening to a response I could not hear. "But you SAID!" she said emphatically. "He's MINE! You SAID!!" She froze, unmoving, listening, her face running through anger, betrayal, fear and despair in a matter of seconds. "You can't DO this to me!!"
She turned to me and in a rage rushed at me, arms flailing. I caught her easily and held her arms. "Let ... me ... GO!" she shouted at me. She stared up at me and her eyes had the same frightening look of infinity. I dropped my hands and she started to hit me, her fists smacking against my chest and my abdomen, but without any effect. "No! No!!" she shouted in immature frustration, her fists hitting faster, but without any real strength, at least not against the powerful abdominals I suddenly had. I grabbed her wrists again and held them tightly. "You're ... hurting me!" she whined and strained to free her arms, but I held her so that she could not move.
"Then stop hitting me!" I said, having regained my confidence. She glared at me but although something in her eyes still frightened me, she was as powerless against my enhanced strength as any girl would be. She said nothing but nodded slightly and I slowly released her wrists. She rubbed them and stepped away a few inches, still glaring.
She looked at my body and closed her eyes, concentrating, then bit her lip and stamped her feet. "Damn you!"
"Hey!" I said. "Don't talk to me like that."
"I wasn't talking to YOU, Brian," she said sarcastically.
There was no one else in the room, of course, but that was not the most important thing. "Something's happened," I said.
"Nothing's happened!" she maintained, her lips pursed. "Let's play!" She held out her arms and her brow furrowed. And I felt it again. I was growing even taller and stronger. Now it was all going wrong for her ... and right for me.
We stood there, saying nothing, doing nothing. The mood had changed. She wasn't in control. Was that it, I wondered. Could I be ... free? I knew just what I would do if I were.
"Excuse me," I said, moving her slightly and sitting down at my desk. I opened the computer. My notes were still there, as I had left them, seemingly a lifetime ago, but in fact less than a day before. She made no move to try to stop me. I scrolled through the accounts and did a few sums. Yes, it was obvious now. The skimming, hidden through some fictitious payees, some extra expenses, easy to spot if you knew the correct number, 5.11%, as applied to each item. Why hadn't I seen it before? I highlighted the entries and quickly added notes to my previous work. It wouldn't take long.
"What do you think you're doing?" she asked. "We're supposed to be playing."
"I'm doing my job. My real job. Tell me, do you still have the money?"
She laughed. "Of course not. I have expenses. Rent, clothing, perfume. What do you think a receptionist around here earns?"
"Well, you're going to have to make a deal; otherwise you're in trouble."
"You think so? Well, so are you if you don't play with me!"
"Me? Why?"
"You think that just because you've gotten all big and muscley that you've got real power? You still can't leave. Not as long as I'm alive! You can't be much more than 5 miles away from me. 5.11 miles, to be exact -- I know you like being exact, Brian! You're stuck here, bumped right off your career track, banned from your precious church. And with your attitude, there's no way I'M going to help you get settled here!" She crossed her arms in front of her chest with a Hmmmph!
A chill ran down my spine. What if she was right? "You don't ... you can't --"
She was obviously cross with me. "Why don't you go and see? Finish your audit.  Get on a plane. It'll be a week before you get time to make your presentation, and by then you'll feel twenty years older, just like your friend Artie.  Another week and you'll be ready to retire. But don't worry about your pension, Brian. You're not going to outlive your savings. One week more and you'll be a dead auditor. So what'll it be? A live thing of mine or a dead auditor, hmmmm?"
"I don't believe you!" I stood up and looked down at her. I towered over her now. Who knew how or why, but my chest and shoulders were so broad and powerful. I was massively muscular, far larger than Arthur ever was. I felt like I could put my fist through the wall with one blow. I could crush Ekara if I wanted, for sure. I grabbed her by the shoulders and lifted her into the air. She weighed nothing. If I killed her ... but no, of course that was one thing I would not do. But I didn't have to play her games. I was no longer under her power. I put her down and packed up my computer, threw my clothing and the odds and ends in the bathroom into my case and left the room.
My suitcase and briefcase felt weightless. That girl Licia at the reception desk was on the phone and looked at me closely while she listened to someone, nodding and smiling frequently. When she hung up I asked for my bill. She hesitated and stared up at my chest and biceps in rapt, open admiration, her cheeks flushed, her nostrils flaring and her eyes bright. "Are you in a real hurry, sir?" she asked. "I'm Licia," she said breathlessly, her hand compressing her breast around her name tag to highlight it, "Licia Kraftwohnen", although how the tag said 'Ass't Mgr.' "You know, you shouldn't go. Not yet. There's no flights 'til 7. It's not even noon yet, and I get off in only half 'n hour." She brushed her blonde hair back and pushed out her pert breasts. Her nipples were bullets against the thin, light-colored, standard issue Radisson blouse. "It wouldn't break any hotel rules, you know."
I smiled and nodded. "I follow other rules. I have to go," I replied to her evident surprise and disappointment. She bit her lip and printed my bill, which I paid with my company Visa card. I crammed my oversized body into my compact rental car and drove toward the airport, hitting the speed limit on I-70 as quickly as I could. The airport was 6.8 miles from the hotel, but when I reached South Holt Road, one exit before the Airport Expressway, I exited I-70 and stopped the car. I had gone 5.4 miles on the odometer, but with the highway route and the turns I was sure I was still less than 5 miles from the hotel.
I sat behind the wheel. I was in full control of myself, master of my fate.  What was I doing stopping the car? What the hell was I doing? Why should I be afraid of what she said? If I died, I died. Meanwhile, I had a life, my own life. My own projects and responsibilities. There was so much to do.
Like the audit, the reason I'd been sent to Indianapolis in the first place.  How could I leave?
Leaving Ekara didn't mean freedom. Leaving Indianapolis before my assignment was done meant the end of my career.
I started the car, continuing north on South Holt, and then back east on US 40 to the hotel. I parked and picked up my things out of the trunk. I went back into the hotel. Licia looked up and smiled brightly as I walked through the lobby and onto the elevator, not even stopping to check in for a new key. I knocked. Seconds later Ekara opened the door. She had 'Friends' on. It was always on. She looked up at me and then went back to watching the show, saying only, "Oh, so you're back."
I put my suitcase down and my computer case on the desk. "I have more to do here for my audit," I said. "I have to finish it."
She clicked off the TV with the remote. "Yeah? Is that it? You didn't decide that what you really needed to do was play with me? Or maybe you afraid of what would happen if you left Indianapolis after all?"
"No," I said. I was sure of myself. Ekara was not the one in control anymore.  I was. I was going to complete the job, my job.
She walked toward me and looked up into my eyes. She reached toward my chest but I caught her hand. "Tell me, Brian. Tell me you came back to play!"
"No I didn't!" I said, my jaw firmly set. I looked down at her, my full confidence back.
"Oh yes you did," she sighed and shook her head, "although you won't admit it.  Yes, I can see that you didn't come back to play with me. You're afraid of playing my game, but you're still playing. The auditor from the big head office game. So high and mighty. So cocky here with all that righteous authority, not to mention all the muscle. Well, it's the wrong game. A stupid, dumb game."
"Maybe to you it is, but it's important to me."
"You won't play the games I like. And that's what's so sad. What's important to you is so boring to me." She sighed again. "Well, I can see it won't work out with you. So be it."
She flipped her hand quickly, escaping from my hold and then took my thickly muscled wrist with her hand. "All that power. All that strength." She drew on my arm, the light touches arousing me immediately. They looked like esses -- or were they fives? "Big man from head office gonna work hard and make everything come out right, huh? That's your game. But it's not mine, and it's not the game you're going to play anyway."
"Stop that!" I said, and as I started to pull my arm away she tightened her grip and the next thing I knew she had twisted my powerfully built arm up, behind my back. I knelt down, groaning, on the floor.
"So big and strong, so powerful, so muscular, and yet against me you're only as strong as a five year old," she said, kneeling in back of me. She reached in front, fondling my huge biceps with her slender fingers and then reaching under my shirt to touch my stomach and chest, sending shivers down my body, while her large breasts pushed against my back. I felt their weight and their softness, even the points of her nipples. My pants were getting uncomfortably tight. I could see her forearm, thin and soft, and yet with all my muscle I couldn't move her. "And if to me you're no stronger than a five year old boy, then you can see why it isn't hard at all for me to do this. Even us girls can push little boys around when we have to make them behave. But how could it be that all that muscle, and all of your righteousness, doesn't 'protect' you from me? Why doesn't it work?" She tightened her fingers into a fist and jabbed me in the stomach. Even without any visible strength and in the awkward position, she pushed right through my 'wall of muscle', and I groaned in pain.  "Ooooh! Those muscles look hard, but they're mush when I hit 'em. Funny, huh?  Why IS THAT, Mr. Auditor? Why don't you audit that?"
"I can't. It's not ... auditable," I said through the pain as she twisted my arm higher.
"What was that you just said?" she said in mock surprise. "Of course it is!  You just measure the differential in displacement of your abdominals when I hit you --
"Ugh" I groaned when she hit me again.
-- and when someone else does." The door unlocked and Licia was standing there. "Ah, Licia, you're off duty! Play time for you!"
Licia smiled at her and seemed to curtsey slightly.
"Do you like Brian's abs?"
Licia licked her lips and nodded.
"I know how you feel about his muscles. Try 'em out. Get more comfortable, and then hit him as hard as you can."
Licia removed her work blouse. She was wearing just a thin camisole underneath, which made her highly aroused nipples fully apparent. Her blue eyes were bright and she seemed to shiver with excitement. She pulled her arm back preparing for a much fuller punch than Ekara's. Her fist shot forward and I desperately tightened my useless abs. Her fist bounced off. "Wow!" she said, shaking her hand and rubbing her wrist. "They're so solid, so hard!" Her eyes were wide, her checks were flushed and her nostrils flared as she touched my strangely once again impervious 8 pack with her fingers and then smoothed her thick, slightly wavy blonde hair.
"Brian's just an auditor," Ekara said, "but he spends a lot of time in the gym. We were just finishing a little discussion. So, Brian, if you plotted the displacement against the force exerted, don't you think you would get some interesting results on your audit? I think it would be the inverse of the predicted result. What is your theory? Might you still be missing something essential? Speaking of something essential...." She pushed her finger lightly along my forearm twice tracing two lines. Or was it the number "11"? My pants just got much tighter. My member was pushing higher, above the waistband. She let go of me and stepped in front to look, then clasped her hands together in front of her chest. "Ooooh! Look what's come up! What a BIG one! I want to see the whole thing!" She looked at Licia, who nodded enthusiastically, and reached for my pants button. I tried to push her hand away, but she rolled her eyes and took hold of the button, opened my pants and pulled down the zipper while I pushed and strained, my oversized muscles bulging and shaking but unable to move her slender hand one bit. My member emerged, half again longer than it should have been. "Now HE'S all grown up! And this time, HE'S gonna do the work!"
I looked briefly at Licia. It was obvious from her expression I'd get no support there! "Please, Ekara!"
"Please! What a word! Did mother tell you that it's a 'magic' word? Well, it's no-ot" she sang out. "It's a word for 'I want'. You want this and I want that.  And who wins? Who always wins? Think harder, Mr. Auditor. Think with all your brain and maybe someday you'll learn something, because if you don't, there's one person in here who's gonna break!"
"Then break me. Kill me if you want to!" I said desperately. "But I won't be your thing!"
"I will if I have too," she said calmly, "but remember: you already ARE my thing. All of you are." Licia nodded in agreement. "So why should I kill you?  I wanted to break you in, not break you to pieces. I take very good care of ALL my things. It was just a question of ... what kind of a thing you'll be. A real thing? A favorite thing? Well, clearly not. Now you might be a thing that's given away. Or you might end up a broken thing that doesn't get played with much," she said and looked up at me sharply, "but who's good for spare parts."
"I'm a person, not a thing! I won't be used like this."
Ekara and Licia looked at each other. "You just don't get it." Ekara sighed.  "You are so unplayful! What do YOU think, Licia."
"Ones from head office are the hardest," Licia observed, neutrally. "I don't get what their problem is, unless it's just a control thing. I LOVE being your thing. It's so much better than ANYTHING else! And I think he COULD be fun," she added, her eyebrows raised beseechingly. "I've got some ideas, if, you know...."
Ekara smiled. "You've always been a sweet thing, Licia."
At Ekara's nod she moved her hand up to my pecs. "Mmmm. They're really nice!"
"I know you like them. I made everything bigger." Ekara took a last look at me, shrugged, put her finger in her mouth and then took Licia's hand. "Well, Licia, you've got your auditor. Let's see how you do. I'm going to go out now.  You've got your assignment, Mr. Auditor. I'll see how you both do before I make my final decision. Do what you want with him, Licia, and DO have fun, I insist. We'll see if you can teach him how. Just remember he has work to do for me tomorrow."
"Oh, I will, I will. I promise! THANK you so much! You are the absolute best!!"
Ekara nodded and took a baleful look at me. "I shouldn't say this, but ...  Licia likes muscles, Brian. Big muscles. But not like you think, not like the way you boys like 'tits'." She laughed and Licia giggled. "Girls like strong guys because it probably means strong children, and for protection, and good health for her mate. But having strong guys around can also be dangerous for girls. For most girls. Most of the time. But not today."
Licia giggled with pure delight and put her hand in her mouth, as if to contain her excitement. She looked over at me and smiled.
"Girls are very practical. Feeling safe and in control is the best turn on for them. I should know, because I always feel that way, even though sometimes I like to play otherwise. But make sure you understand, Brian, it was just play.  And now I'm leaving you to her! Congratulations. You're Licia's now," Ekara said, "the thing of a thing. For as long as she wants you." She let go of me and walked out without a look back.
I stared at the door as it closed. When I turned back to Licia she had already undressed and now was completely naked, her pert breasts slightly larger than I had expected. Her nipples were large, thick and very pink and were completely erect. "Will you get dressed!" I exclaimed. I turned around and tried unsuccessfully to open the door, but the handle would not even turn. I couldn't believe it.
"Uh uh! No way!" she replied, scampering back into my sight. She reached for me and touched my large biceps, before I pushed her hand away.
"Stop that!" I said. "I'm not interested."
"Oh you are so thick!" she said, slightly annoyed. Then, with a little smile, she added, "I'm not talking about your muscles, of course. I love 'em, so beautifully thick and strong. What I mean is, you're supposed to be smart. Why don't you understand what's happening, what has already happened?"
"I DON'T understand! I have no idea what's happening! It's a bad dream, a nightmare! None of it makes any sense to me at all!"
Licia looked at me a little bit sympathetically. "Poor man," she said simply.  "It is like a dream, yeah, but it doesn't have to be a bad dream."
"How can you say that! I can't go to church -- they won't let me in!"
Licia nodded. "I know. I miss it too, especially the singing. But you don't have to be in church to pray, do you?"
She DID understand. "Yes ... but being in there is PART of it! If I can't go where I want to I'm not a free man!"
"Well, that's true," Licia agreed.
I went on. "And I can't do my job! Ekara says if I leave town to go home I'll die. If I stay here my body keeps changing. I wake up in different places than I went to sleep. I've completely lost control of my life!"
"You mean, you used to have control over your life?" she said, at least partly seriously. "You don't have to work to live? You can go wherever you want? Do what you please? Come on! Were you ever sick, really sick? Did you have the smarts and money to go to the best school anywhere? Did you get to be friends with whoever you wanted? Did your parents love you -- I mean, really love you?  Were you ever bullied -- I'm sure you were never raped."
For the first time in nearly a day I felt I was talking to a real person! "No, of course not. There are always things you can't control, things you have to accept."
"Exactly!" she said. "So now there are other things you can't control, and some that you can ... and some that I can ... if I want." She held out her hand toward me -- not in friendship, but to touch my body -- but I stepped back out of reach, holding my hand out in front of me, warning her off.
I had abandoned any hope of successfully opposing Ekara, but Licia was a different thing. "I thought you understood! Don't you start now too!" I warned. She reached forward and pinched the muscles of my forearm. "I'm not going to hurt you, but I will be firm!"
I had judged her wrong. I pulled away. "Stop that! I don't want you touching me. I have my values!"
"Your values," she repeated. "With all the things you've done to get you here, where you are right now, tell me, what exactly DO you value?" She frowned and pouted. "Please Brian," she started, and then laughed. "What am I saying! Will you just listen to ME say 'please'! Even when I don't have to. It's such a habit you get, you know, growing up here. You see how SHE hates it! I mean, if I want to touch them, feel them up..." she licked her lips, "Because of her I can just do it!"
"No you can't. That's not how it works. And you should know that, growing up here, a place with real values! Look, Licia. You seem like a nice girl, really. But I'm not the kind of man who just has sex with any woman at any time. I don't understand what's been happening to me, but I have my own values, my principles. And with Ekara gone I'm going to finish my work, the audit. And then I'm going to continue my life. My own life as I want to live it."
"You think so? Really?" She smiled. "Oh, but it's not your life. It probably never was all yours, but certainly not anymore. Not since Ekara. You know, I've been so looking forward to this day. For so long! This is my day, the beginning of my new life. And it can be for you too. Or I should say, it will be, now, one way or the other. It's kind of up to you just how it goes. So you do have some control, you see." She giggled and blushed. "But nowhere near as much as me!"
"As I," I corrected her.
"Not you, Mr. Bigshot, as me!" She looked up into my eyes with a somewhat defiant smirk, and I looked back to impress her with my firm resolve. But something shook me. It wasn't her confidence, ill-informed and grammatically weak as it was. It was her eyes. I no longer saw just the whites and the blues. There were still the deep blue of the lower part of the sky, the part, by the horizon, where the majesty of the mountains or the more humble things of man break into the purity of the heavens. No. Where I saw the terror of infinity in Ekara's eyes, I now saw the broad sweep of the earth in Licia's.  At first, just the deep blue of free, open sky, but very quickly ringed by something like the Midwestern rural landscape of farmland, grass, barns, weather vanes and houses. And then, improbably, of soft, green, rounded hills in the background, rising.
They didn't belong. Not in Indianapolis. And certainly not in her eyes.
The hills were rising, still rising, making tiny the windblown wheat and trees and the whirling of the windmills. Now the hills were mountains, the grass just hard, grey stone. The rising mountains in Licia's eyes, still growing larger, broader, crowding out the sky.
"You see? You see?" she was saying. "It's different with us now from when you checked in. Now you're less than me!"
Less what? What was she talking about? I was twice the size of this slip of a girl. I broke away from her gaze. I tried the door again, futilely, and then turned around. "No!" I insisted and then added. "And it's 'than I'!"
"No Brian. Than me!" She touched my chin to turn me toward her but I resisted and pulled her hand off. "You can't even look me in the eye!" I turned my head further. "It's the power she gave me. Can you feel it too? It's that you're afraid of me now, right?"
What was she talking about? "Of course I'm not!"
"Yeah? Then why are you trying to leave? Why won't ya even look at me?"
"You're not dressed. You know you shouldn't be undressed in a room with a man."
She ran around, in front of me. "Not in front of you? Why not? It's not like that. Not now. I don't have to be afraid of you. See?"
What was I supposed to do? Look at her body? I'd been raised to look a girl in the eye, not stare down at her breasts. But the terrible, awesome mountains in her eyes were still growing. I couldn't look at them. Huge, hard and powerful, they left only a sliver of sky. Then the sky was gone. I was hemmed in, trapped.
"She let you go as part of her game, but with me there's no way out, because it's not the playing I want, it's you," she continued. "You were what I wanted the first time I saw you. When I checked you in I knew you'd be Ekara's, from your name and where you worked, but I thought I could have a chance if you let Ekara lose interest, and that's just what you did. And now you're mine. Mine.  All mine."
Her blue eyes shone brightly, but in her eyes I saw only the rock. It still seemed to grow, to thicken as if extending outwards, toward me, around me and away from me, in all directions at once, and then transforming, glistening like metal, like steel. I couldn't look anymore. I closed my eyes.
"Yeah, I really do scare you. You know it, don't you. And you should be scared, at least until we're right with each other, the way I want. You see, for you it's just like with her, but more intense, because she's got thousands and thousands, you know, but for me you're the only one. You'll be the only one, the one that really matters to me." She grabbed my biceps again and squeezed. "Mmmmm, I love just to feel it, so thick, knowing what's to come!  She knows what I like. She knows what I want, and I know she'll help me."
I opened my eyes. "Are you crazy? For the last time!" I roared, scowling, and pulled her hand off me.
She shook her head. "No, no, you're so wrong. This isn't even the beginning. I haven't even started."
"Listen, I haven't used my strength yet against you, but if you insist on acting like this and won't let me out I will. I'm going to --
She laughed. "Your strength? Against me! Really?" She held the back of her hand in front of my deeply muscled stomach and flicked her hand backwards at me, pushing right through into my gut. I felt it like being hit by the fat end of a baseball bat and nearly doubled over. "Oooooo, you poor thing!" she squealed excitedly. "Did that hurt? Oh, I'm so sorry! But did it really hurt?!!"
I could hardly breathe, hardly keep my breakfast down, much less answer her.
"It did!" she said, jumping up and down, her pert breasts bouncing. She stopped and studied me. "Isn't that amazing? How your muscles can be so big and strong, and so useless against me? Oh, I've got so much to do and to learn! And so do you! But it doesn't have to be all at once, and it can be so nice if we do it together." She reached up, put her fingers between the buttons of my shirt and touched my chest, massaging my pectorals. A wave of relief spread through my body with each movement of her fingers, and my tortured breathing rapidly calmed. "There! Don't I make you feel good? I'm not a mean person, you know. Now, what I wanna see first is how you look really pumped, so take off your shirt -- your pants too -- so I can see everything I want. And then really, really flex 'em up. You know what I mean, right? Lemme see your muscle get really big. Do it like this, you know?" She held up her own arm and clenched her fist,
making her tiny muscle jump a little bit, while she continued to rub my chest.
Her touches were making me very aroused, despite all my efforts to distract myself from the sensations her hand was producing and the sight of her admittedly attractive naked chest right next to me, and getting undressed with her was the last thing I wanted to do. I made a quick shake of my head.
"Come on, Brian! Don't waste our time together. It's the afternoon already, and you have to go do the work for Ekara in the morning. Take off your clothes and show me that strength of yours. Don't make me mad. That's what I wanna see, so you have to do it!"
I clenched my fist in protest. "You can talk crazy like this all you want but I'm not going to do it."
Her hand abruptly stopped. Her cheeks flushed and her face turned cold. "Oh no Brian. No, no, no! You do NOT speak to me that way. YOU DO NOT EVER EVER EVER REFUSE ME!!" She turned her hand inside and pulled, ripping my shirt, my clean, ironed, church shirt, wide open. "Take the rest of your clothes off NOW! ALL of them!"
How dare she! I was so angry now I lost all control. I put my hands on her shoulders and pushed hard to shove her into the wall. Nothing happened. She didn't move. She didn't bend. My muscles were fully tensed, from the legs, to my abs to my shoulders and triceps, but it was as if I were pushing against a steel sculpture rooted into the floor. And meanwhile, she was standing there, looking up at me with an expression of angry disapproval, but her body was otherwise completely relaxed and at ease.
I roared with frustration, an animalistic growl from the depths of my chest, like no noise I had ever made before.
"Ha ha ha!" she trilled, her laughter a high-pitched tinkle. "Look at you.  LISTEN to you! This is so funny! And because you're making me laugh I could almost forgive you!" She looked down at my large hand on her shoulder and her expression turned again. "But you know I can't allow this kind of behaviour from you. No, I really can't. Not now, and not ever again. I have to teach you how to behave toward me."
I was still trying, but she lifted my hand off her shoulder as easily as if I had just laid it there gently, as though I were not pushing down her with all of my considerable bulk and muscle. Then she put her other hand under my arm, about three inches from my shoulder and pulled down on my hand while pulling my upper arm toward the wall, immediately propelling me against it with amazing force, as though I weighed nothing. The pain was blinding. I felt waves of it cascading through my body. I staggered, nearly knocked out.  Meanwhile she clapped her hands together. "Look at that! Look what I've done!"  She seemed more than pleased with herself.
I stood next to her unsteadily, leaning against the wall. I didn't understand it. How could she do that? I was so much larger and stronger than she was and yet against her it was as though my muscle didn't exist. Just like with ...  Ekara! Oh no! Was I Licia's thing? What had Ekara said? "A thing of a thing."
Licia reached up and grabbed each of my biceps in her small hands. "Awright now! You better make 'em hard now, Brian, as hard as they get, 'cause I'm really gonna crush 'em if you don't!" she warned. I didn't need to be told twice and tightened them as much as I could, out of fear, not obedience. She looked at them hungrily, her eyes shifting from one to the other, and I felt her fingers lightly testing their firmness, their heavy solidity, probing their large roundness. It was almost pleasurable the way she was touching me.  I wondered what kind of girl she was, what was she thinking, what was she going to do next. She looked up at me, a brief smile flickering on her face.  She could be attractive, I was thinking at that moment, but immediately I thought of how shallow, how grasping, how disgustingly fawning she was around Ekara. And was this her reward for that? Was I her reward? I felt sick. I should have no illusions about her. My expression must have betrayed my thoughts, because her face flushed and her lips tightened.
"Ohhhh you!! I wasn't going to do it all at once, but you're making me 'cause of the way you're being to me. I was hoping you were different from what Ekara said but you're not! Well, now you'll learn. I'll teach you to see me differently. You have no idea what I am to you now, do you! No idea what I can be!" she said suddenly, her voice like ice. "You think you're so much better than me! Do you? DO YOU?" Her voice was rising, shrill in my ears.
I was horrified that she would think that of me. I would never give anyone that impression! "No I don't."
"Liar! What do you think makes you better! Because you're a man? A BIG man? Is that how you see me?"
"I'm not better than anyone!" I said fervently.
"You say that! You might even think you think that, maybe 'cause of your religion or education, but you don't know! You think I'm ... I'm --" she sniffed and for a moment I thought she was going to cry. "That I'm small, stupid, unimportant..."
"Licia, I'm sorry if I insulted you. I don't know what I said."
The moment was gone. "It doesn't matter what you say now! You've said enough.  You're gonna see how special I am to you!" Her fists were clenched. She looked up at me with pure anger and then advanced on me, pushing her body against me, into me, her head pressed into my chest, her breasts against my abdomen, and all I could see looking down was her blond hair flowing down her bare back all the way to her backside. Then she looked up into my face. "Kiss me. Now!" It was so far down to her lips that she could not reach me, and I wasn't go to move, wasn't going to listen. No matter; she pulled on my shoulders and forced me down. My lips were against hers, her lips pressed hard and forced my mouth open then her tongue was inside, our juices mixing. Then her arms squeezed me closer and I felt an odd feeling like yesterday's, sick, like something flowing out of me. My knees felt weak and I would have stumbled if she had not been standing next to me, pressing harder against me, like she was more there than I was, more substantial, more real. I could feel her chest pushing against me and then her breathing quickening, like in sex, and she started moaning, "Oh ... OH ... yes OH ... OH .. OH MY GOD, OH IT'S SO, IF I KNEW WHAT SHE ... OOOHHHHH .... OOOOHHHHHHH ...... OOOOOOOHHHHHHHH!!" She gave a great sigh of pleasure. "Oh, if I'd only known I never would have waited even a second!" She looked up at me. In her eyes were flames, glowing tongues of fire dancing in every color of the rainbow. Fire as far as I could see. "Now you REALLY look scared of me! And with what I can do, you SHOULD be! Tell me. What do you see, Brian?"
"Flames. Hellish flames." I said, dry-mouthed and truly terrified. "Are you the devil?"
Her arms were around my waist and she was leaning backwards, looking up into my eyes. "Ha ha ha. Of course not, and she's not either! You're scared of me now, and you're seeing what scares you, not what I am. With her I saw a man, a giant man, at first. Like you are now. Ha ha. I'm not the devil but, thanks to her, to you I am power, pure power." Her face was flushed, excited, with a wild smile on her mouth. "I don't know what she sees when she looks at her things, but do you want to know what I see in your eyes, Brian? Ha ha! I see your future! With me! Brian, you're going to ask to marry me, you know that?"
I shook my head. "NO. Absolutely not. You're not right for me."
"Oh yes you are! You're gonna want to so much! And when you ask, you know what I'm gonna say? Ha HA! Well, you won't know 'til you ask!" She giggled. "I NEVER should've waited even a second to do it!"
She was crazy, clearly, but she had some kind of power over me. "Licia, just let me go, please!" I said, as calmly as I could, trying to reach some part of her that would hear me and understand.
"Oh I couldn't!" She leaned further back and looked up to me. "And you won't WANT me too either, once I finish, once you see me the way I want you to! And now I'm gonna start."
"Start? Start what?" Looking into her eyes I felt small and afraid, even though I towered over her. It made me angry that I seemed to be subject to some power she had, and that there was nothing I could do about it.
Her eyes were bright and she pressed her palms together. "You don't think I'm right for you. Well, tell me, Brian. What IS it you like in a girl?"
She made a satisfied sound. "You probably know this already -- that a girl really likes it when a guy says her name a lot, so just keep doing that." She looked into my eyes. "It's not hard. You like girls who are good, hmmm? Young?  Innocent? Is that it? A virgin? Is that really important? You know, I'm still a virgin. And don't I look young? Like I'm just 21? Is that young enough? You don't like them any younger, do you? Of course you don't! But do you like breasts? Large ones? Long legs? Blonde hair?"
I shook my head. "That's just not the kind of thing I'd ever ... If you must know, I like a girl who would be the right kind of mother for my children! Who will raise them with good values and make us a good family. One that ... stop that, Licia!" She was touching me again.
"I like it when you say my name, but I don't know how you can be such a liar, Brian! Those things are the practical things a woman thinks about. It's not how a man chooses! Men choose girls that get them excited. Everything else comes after. Don't you know that? Never mind. It's probably better this way.  I'm gonna -- oh, but no need to tell you. You see I read in one of the magazines for girls -- the kind you'd never read -- that that the things that guys like in girls start when they're really young, when girls were really young too, when you guys were first starting to get interested. It's the model you use, you know, for what you think is attractive? That's what's important.  So forget about now. Tell me, what girls did you like when you were first looking at girls -- and why?"
Not that I wanted to please her, but I needed to think of something as kind of an escape from the situation, which I seemed unable to do anything about right now. My mind flashed back to Debi Marshall and Marissa Tolbert, my junior high school crushes. Their images were clear at first, shy smiles, budding breasts, the first hint of curves, animated voices and expressions and soft skin, but the images quickly flickered and grew indistinct in my mind. There was another girl. Who was she? I was spying on her, through the doors to the gym. Long blonde hair, kind of wavy. A very athletic body. Surprising muscle curves on her upper arms as well as the expected ones on her chest and hips. Always bouncy and energetic, a gymnast, doing amazing leaps and headstands, moves I tried in private but could never do. She was so cute and so amazing. Her breasts were small, but her large, dark nipples pushed right against her shirt, as if she never wore a bra. I shifted uncomfortably, suddenly very aroused, ashamed of myself. Who was that girl? Why couldn't I remember her name?
Licia made a low satisfied sound. "You can't think of a name? Really? Were you too young then, too immature to be looking at girls, thinking about girls?  Somehow I don't believe that. Or maybe you're embarrassed thinking about them.  Maybe they're too young for you now. But that's ok. What about in high school?"
My mind flashed up Carrie Czankowitz, of course, like the rest of us boys.  Taller than I was (before I shot up at the age of 16, just after she left town) and so curvy, with huge breasts even in tenth grade. I had to look up to see her face, but it was so much easier just to stare at her chest. When she walked down the hall even the teachers couldn't help looking. And the fantasies about her I had, sitting next to her in English for a whole year, even though I never talked to her. I looked at Licia, who couldn't have been more different. Sure, I'd tell her. "Carrie Czankowitz," I croaked. "She was amazing, better looking than any movie star I've ever seen."
"Czankowitz? What kind of name is that?" Licia said, laughing. "So, why her?  Was it her, uh, values? The way she was around children? Did she have a sweet personality? Is that what was important to you, you know, back then?"
Her personality! In the high school social world she acted as though she were so far above us and never let us forget it. I hadn't thought about her in years, but suddenly I was remembering in vivid detail the completely inappropriate fantasies I had about her. Looking at her breasts move as she walked. Imagining I was playing with them, holding them, undressing her. I would have loved to put my lips on her skin. That was as far as I had dared think back then, and I didn't do anything about it.
I looked briefly at Licia. Her face was red but her eyes were closed. "You're embarrassed again. I bet she had breasts, really large breasts. That's what guys in high school like, right? Breasts and a great body. Am I right?"
I nodded.
"Was that all? Think about it," she insisted.
It was a long time ago, I wanted to protest, but then the image of Carrie was back, stronger and even more vivid than before. She was looking over at me from her seat in English class, her contempt for me completely clear. What a chest she had, but in my mind's eye I now saw it wasn't all breast. In the tight top she was wearing I could see the outlines of muscle that shaped the way her breasts stood on her chest. Her shoulders were broad too and her arms were surprisingly thick. I hadn't thought of her as a jock. Yet I was now remembering her not as a cheerleader but playing basketball, running down the court, her breasts bouncing wildly even though she tried to bind them tightly, her strong chest holding them higher and firmer than any of us could believe, stopping and shooting from twenty, thirty feet out. Scoring nearly every time.  And playing softball, a sophomore on the varsity team. She was unhittable as a pitcher, even, on a dare, pitching overhand to the boys varsity team and striking them all out. How could I have forgotten that? Standing on the mound, her hands on her hips, wiggling them, laughing at their futility until the coach came out and made her stop.
Wait! Did that really happen? How could I have forgotten this about Carrie Czankowitz, when I had thought about her so intensely throughout high school, even after she had moved away, to the extent that I remembered each outfit she wore and how she looked in it?
I opened my eyes. Licia was staring at me, smiling. "Won't you tell me what you remember about her? Did you want to ask her out? Why didn't you?"
I shook my head. "It was just ... she was so much taller, more mature, out of my, you know, my league."
"Because she was so pretty, or because she was bigger than you? How did you feel when you stood next to her? Did she make you feel like a little boy? Did she treat you like one?"
I remembered one time when class ended, we were both heading for the door at the same time. I wasn't looking where I was going and bumped into her. She turned and glared at me. "You little runt!" she said to me, contemptuously. "I bet you've been thinking and scheming all year about bumping into me!" I denied it. I swore it was just an accident. I said I was sorry.
And then suddenly it was like I was right there, in the empty classroom, just Carrie and me. She looked down at me and grabbed me under my arms and lifted me into the air effortlessly so that my head was close to the ceiling. I looked down at her, seeing the shelf of her bosom more prominently than ever before, sitting on top of a powerful chest, hiding the rest of her body beneath it.
"How dare you touch me, you little worm?" she said. "I don't know why I even let you look at me! You're so small, so weak, hardly even a man! Compared to me, you're nothing!"
This never happened! I was sure of it! And yet the memory continued to play in my head, and as it did I felt myself as aroused as I've ever been. She was wearing just a t-shirt, and her muscles, fully visible to me for the first time, bulged against the short, tight sleeves, stretching them, pushing them outward. I stared at them, amazed. Something was making me think of that blonde girl. The one whose name I couldn't remember. But Carrie was so much bigger, so much stronger and so much more beautiful. I felt like I was an inch away from coming. And she'd see!
"I can see your thing! Look at it! I must be giving you the thrill of your life! Have you ever had a girl touch you before? Oh, I know. It's not just my touching you, not just my figure. It's my strength. My muscles. My power over you. I can tell. Some guys get that look, you know. I see it when I play guys in sport and beat them. Some guys compete, while some just stare at me and want me to crush them. That's you, isn't it?"
I shook my head. "No. That's not true, really! Please Carrie. Just let me go.  I won't bother you again. I promise."
"Oh that's for sure! You better not even look at me, because if you do I'll make everyone knows just what you look for in a girl. Too bad for you that you'll never find anyone else like me. I'll hold you like this and let you look at me this time. I'll spoil you for any other girl, and I'll do it just because I have the power and beauty to do it." The memory was unbearable, as were the waves and waves of desire surging through me, like when I'd first reached puberty. As though they came from outside me, drowning me in their power. I couldn't stop them, couldn't turn them off.
She shifted me higher and grabbed me by the belt, now holding me up one-handed. Her biceps bulged even higher, larger than I ever could have imagined. "Am I the sexiest girl you could ever imagine?" she said, sneering.  "I know I am. I can feel your body shaking. Ha ha! You'd better forget this, Brian, because if you don't no one else will EVER turn you on like I am! No one else could EVER do to you what I'm doing. You'll have to work VERY hard to forget. Are you going to imagine this never happened? Are you going to convince yourself that what you're feeling now is wrong? What will you do with a desire you'll never satisfy?" She lowered me down and pressed me to her hard voluptuous body, my chest against her bosom. "FEEL that, Brian. Feel those soft breasts, FEEL how your weak body is completely dominated by mine. FEEL what you'll NEVER feel again!"
"What is it Brian?" Licia was asking. "You're shaking. What happened with Carrie? Do tell me!"
The scene stopped. How did it end? I couldn't remember, although what I'd seen stayed vivid in my mind, and the sensations it brought were still pounding away inside my pants. "I ... I can't ... remember. I'm not sure."
"Really? Yeah, but I can tell something special about her really turned you on, didn't it? What was it?"
I shook my head.
"Oh, I'll get it out of you somehow. But tell me, if you never made it with her, did you go with anyone else in high school?" I nodded. "Was she anything like that Czankowitz or different?"
I thought of Sara again. She was actually the exact opposite of Carrie.  Modest, quiet, slender. Modest with a modest figure -- small breasts, boyish hips. She never was involved in sports, unlike Carrie. (But wait! Was Carrie really a jock? How had I forgotten that? And yet ... in a way it made sense ... if Sara was Carrie's opposite in every other way.... But I couldn't have forgotten. I couldn't have suppressed it.) Sara never exercised. She even hated to walk. She liked to daydream, to paint and to write poetry about flowers and emotions. She was so soft, all over, with arms that were so thin.  I had to handle her so gently ....
"No, not really," I said to Licia.
"But you were attracted to her too?"
I thought about her. Pictured her in my mind, searching for any part of the feeling I had just before that now was quickly ebbing. No, I didn't feel anything. No arousal at all. Had I always felt this way about Sara? Hadn't we started getting physical, very physical, at the end of our relationship, just before I broke it off? I searched my memory harder. Yes, we had, but I couldn't remember the passion, and right now, visualizing her, I couldn't summon any sense of desire for her soft, willowy body. Was it just because I was younger then, more desperate? But I wasn't so old now. I was so turned on, just moments ago, thinking of Carrie.
"Yeah, sure. Of course I was."
I was visualizing her naked chest, the small breasts that I remembered being so desperate to see and touch after almost six months of dating her. I remembered that just thinking about taking off her shirt used to get me hard.  But right now that part of me felt completely dead.
"You don't sound so sure."
"Well I was."
"Maybe when you were with the other girl you were really thinking about Carrie. Maybe that's what turned you on."
"I wouldn't do that!"
"Really? I thought guys were always fantasizing about other girls, especially the body parts they liked."
"Or maybe you were thinking about the other girl, but thinking about her with bigger breasts, or a sexier walk."
"Or maybe something else about Czankowitz's body."
I shook my head, but as I did the image of Carrie holding me in the air came back to me again. Carrie and her large shelf of breast and those enormous biceps, powerful enough to lift me and hold me over her head without any strain. And then I was comparing Sara to Carrie, imagining the two of them together. As I did it was as if Sara weren't even there, so insubstantial did she seem.
And then it was Carrie who was no longer there. I was with Sara. I was remembering a conversation we had in March of our senior year, just before Easter vacation, when I was about to leave on a trip with my family to spend time with my grandparents. I remembered that day well -- as beginning of the last "phase" of our relationship, when things suddenly became more physical.  But as that day started out, I was restless around her, eager to go, while she wanted me to stay.
"I don't see why you have to go with your parents," she was saying. "What are you going to do there all day?"
"Visit, I guess. They want me to go with them, and I said I would. And I better be going home to get ready. I've got some schoolwork to do before we leave."
She shook her head and drew on my chest with her finger. "Why now? We've got the house all to ourselves. You've already got your college applications in, and you know you'll get in at Penn State. That's the important one." She smiled. "And until I graduate from high school you'll be just 45 minutes away from me in Altoona and then after I do...." She looked up at me, waiting for me to say something. When I didn't she lowered her eyes and said, less warmly, "My point is ... all you need to do now is pass your courses. You don't need to get �A's'. It's not like art, where you're always creating something."
"But we're supposed to keep up with our coursework."
"I know. I know." She fixed her eyes on me. "You not bored with me, are you?"
"No. No. Of course not."
"You're just a little ... you know, we could do more than we've done before. I wouldn't mind." Her mouth twitched a little. "As long as you love me."
"Sara, I've told you I love you. But ... you know you always said ... until we're married ...."
"I know," she sighed. "But I know we're going to be married. It's just a matter of time. So why not start now? What's the point of waiting?"
"I guess ... I guess because we're supposed to. I mean, your parents wouldn't trust us to be alone together if they thought we would take advantage of it."
"My parents! If you only knew! Have you ever thought that they -- no, I won't say that." She bit her lip and looked like she was coming to a decision, an important one. "There are some things I'm a little nervous about, you know. I don't want you to think I'm not ... attractive."
"Sara! How can you say that!" I exclaimed. I had been so frustrated around her for so long. I had been wanting to go a lot further than she had for so long, but she always guarded her body so carefully! I had given up hope of any real sex until I left for college.
She unbuttoned one button on her blouse. My eyes flicked to the opening. She wasn't wearing a bra, and I could see most her breast through the space. It excited me and I looked away, but not before she had caught my eye. She fingered the snap on her blue jeans. "Have you ever wondered why ... why I don't ever wear short dresses. Or shorts in the summer?"
"You'd have to wear long dresses if you belonged to my church."
"Your church, yeah, I know. But I don't, not yet at least, so that's not the reason. It's because of my ... my legs." She looked down at them and so did I.
"Is there something wrong? Something you want to tell me?" I said, suddenly concerned. Was she crippled in some way she hadn't told me? I knew she was permanently excused from gym, but she had always said it was because of asthma. She always walked fine, although she tended to be driven around most of the time, and it wasn't as if her legs were shrivelled from polio or something. In fact, her jeans always fit snugly on her legs, even though she was generally slender elsewhere -- "willowy".
"It's a little embarrassing. I hope you won't think I'm not ... feminine. But I wanted you to know before ... before we get, you know, formally engaged. I don't want you to think I tricked you into it or anything like that."
"You wouldn't do that," I said to show her my faith in her. But I was nervously wondering what she had in mind.
"You know I don't go to gym class. I don't play sports ... or do anything really physical. Nothing more than, you know, painting or sculpting."
I nodded. "I know. You like artistic things. You're just not a very physical person."
She looked at me intently. "Ummm, yes and no. I love art. I love creating things. I think that is a female thing, creating and growing, rather than analyzing and calculating. But," she added hurriedly, "the point is, I AM a physical person too. A very physical person." She fingered another button on her blouse. "It's not that I don't play sports because I can't. I don't for another reason."
"Your asthma. Some athletes play even with asthma, so it's not that you can't," I said helpfully. "You're just being careful, cautious --
"I'm not cautious. I don't have asthma," she replied. "I'm actually healthy, perfectly healthy. I got a doctor to lie to get me out of gym."
What? I didn't remember this at all. "You ... what? But ... because you don't like sports? Or competing?" I suggested.
"I don't like competing, no, but that's not it." She took my hand and put it on her thigh. "Feel my leg." I touched her leg gently with two fingers, feeling the soft fabric of her blue jeans mostly. "No, no. Use your whole hand. Put your hand around my leg. Squeeze me."
I looked at her quizzically but squeezed, lightly at first, so as not to hurt her, but then harder as I realized her thigh muscles were very solid.
But as I was reliving this, I was thinking that this was not what I remembered. What I remembered was touching her, at her insistence, and feeling that her leg was soft, very soft, and she had said, "No, no. Use your whole hand. Put your hand around my leg. Hold me." And then she started breathing heavily. I got very aroused too from touching her and she said, "You see what I'm like, Brian? That's what happens to me, my body responding to you like this, just from these little touches. I AM a physical person, a very physical, very sexual woman, if I let myself be. Up to now I haven't, because I was afraid of what would happen, but if we're going to be together you have to know what I'm capable of."
But that's not how it was going now. She was saying, "harder, Brian. Use your whole hand. Put your hand around my leg, as much as you can." She was getting more animated, more excited. "You see what I'm like, Brian?" I looked at her confused, uncomprehending. "That's muscle, Brian. That's what happens to me, to my legs, how they respond just from the walking I do, little as it may be.  I AM a physical person, a very physical, very athletic woman, if I let myself be. Up to now I haven't, because I was afraid of what would happen if you knew, but if we're going to be together you have to know what I, I mean my body, is capable of."
Instead, I let go of her. "What do you mean?"
She looked me in the eye, more boldly than her usual shy, indirect gaze. "You know how I don't go to gym class. I don't exercise at all, because if I did, even a little bit, then, well, in no time at all my whole body would be like this leg, like both my legs. Solid, thick, hard, very hard. Muscular. And bigger. It's my genetics, Brian."
"I don't understand. As long as I've known you I've never seen you be at all athletic. I thought you hated sport."
She laughed a little bitterly. "Have you ever noticed there are no pictures of me as a little girl on display in my house? Nothing before I turned 12 or so?  Ever wonder why? It's not because they don't have the pictures. I'm an only child, after all. They were taking pictures from the minute I was born. It's because they didn't want anyone to see what I used to look like -- the body I had."
"What? Were you, um, overweight?"
"Me? Fat? Hardly! I was a real tomboy, with muscles all over. I was stronger than any of the boys in the neighbourhood, even boys four years older than me.  I did all the sports, and I loved being good at them, and especially being strong. But my parents hated it. They took me to doctors to see if I was abnormal or had some kind of hormonal imbalance. It turned out I was perfectly healthy. But they said I had an unusual genetic makeup, that my body was extremely sensitive to exercise and that especially after I reached puberty I'd probably become even stronger, even more muscular. This made them very upset, especially my mother. I remember she and my father disappeared into their room for almost a whole day, talking and arguing, and eventually she came out, sat me down and told me she wouldn't buy me dresses, that boys wouldn't like me, that people would make fun of me if I didn't learn to act like a girl. And that if I wanted to develop a real girl's body, instead of something half-girl and half-boy, I would have to listen to her carefully and do everything she told me. I was scared. I didn't want to be 'half' anything, and I started crying. My mother held me and reassured me. I liked drawing, didn't I? She promised to buy me all the paints and pencils I wanted and send me to art school, but I would have stop being a tomboy and stop exercising.  Completely."
Sara shook her head. "From that time, since I was nine, I've hardly tensed a muscle, except maybe in my sleep. My parents got me excused from gym class, and I haven't gone swimming, haven't run or jumped, haven't thrown a ball, haven't carried any more books even than I've absolutely had to. It took almost three years until my muscles pretty much disappeared and I was left with the soft upper body you see today. And then once that had happened we moved here, a few hundred miles from where we used to live, where no one knew us, and no one knew what I used to be like."
"The only muscles that wouldn't go away were in my legs, because I couldn't stop walking, although they're not as big as they used to be. But you know how little I walk and you just felt how solid they still are. That's why I always wear pants, or very long dresses, and I don't go swimming or even to the lake, so that no one ever sees my muscular legs."
I looked at her confused. "I can't believe this. I thought it was because you were modest and shy."
Sara shrugged. "I am modest, and a bit shy, but not with you, Brian. You're my boyfriend."
"Still, it ... it doesn't seem possible."
"I don't know about what's possible. I'm not interested in the science, in how or why I am the way I am. All I know is I've listened to my mother for half of my life, but now other things and other people are more important. I feel like it's not fair to you, or to me, to keep hiding this part of me. I mean, we can't really go on the way we have, not if we're going to get married. You're going to see and feel my body sooner or later, and I'd rather know how you feel about me, the real me, sooner. Anyway, I just turned 18 and I should be able to make my own decisions now. Don't you think so?"
"Um, yes. Of course."
"I knew you'd think so!" She leaned toward me and let the top of her shirt fall open. My eyes darted to the opening and looked back at her face, guiltily. "Oh Brian! Don't be embarrassed! Don't you understand? I LIKE that you want to look at me, especially after I told you what I just told you. Can I show something else? Just one more thing, and then you'll get a big reward for listening to me. OK?" She stood up and sat down, right next to me. "Now, put your hand on my thigh again. Not around it, just on top. I don't want you to get hurt." I looked at her, puzzled. It all seemed so strange. But when I did as she asked it all seemed familiar. My hand on her leg. My being very turned on. It was how our first real exploration into sex had begun. My memory, not the one I was reliving, was of my hand on her blue jeans, which in her usual style, was soft, old and full of holes, I was sure, my fingers pushing into those holes to touch her, but these jeans were new, for her, and completely intact. I was wondering about the difference, and also the hardness of the muscle beneath. Just thinking those words was making me even harder.  But was I harder in the memory or in the present, sitting in the hotel room with Licia? Licia? The memory, or the reliving, or something else completely was so powerful that I was unsure exactly where I was. Was I with Licia in the room, or in a dream, or in a daydream or somewhere else completely?
"Brian? Are you with me?" Sara was saying. "Watch this. Look what I can do."  She put her hand on top of mine lightly, while mine was on her blue jeans. I felt her thigh muscle tense beneath my hand. It bulged and spread my fingers and lifted my hand up and then I heard and felt a ripping. She had split the thigh of her blue jeans. Now my hand slipped right inside, as I remembered doing, and I did the same again, or remembered doing it, but it felt different, hard, pulsing muscle, rather than the soft, squishy leg of my first girlfriend.
"That's me, Brian, that's me, the real me," she was saying. She reached over to me and pulled on my shoulders while laying back on the bed. I resisted, slightly, although I was more turned on than I'd ever been with Sara. "Come on, Brian. Won't you lie down next to me? No one else is here. You can do your work later, if really have to, or if you want to. But right now let me make you feel good, let me give you your reward for listening to me."
"My reward?" I said, yielding, now next to her on the bed.
"Yes," she said softly, her voice almost a whisper. She reached down inside my pants, and I let her. "Ooooh," she said. "It's so big. It's hard to believe that you could be in my um ... does it hurt if I ...."
"No," I croaked. "It feels good."
I felt it like the first time. It was happening now just as I remembered it.
"Good," she said. "I want to make you feel good. Should I do it faster?  Harder?" I nodded. "When you come back it'll be different, you know. I'll be ready, and we can do more. OK? I'm not going to do what my mother told me anymore. And I'll be different too. OK?"
She was bringing me closer and closer. I was going to come in my pants, on her hand. What would she think? What would she say? Would she be disgusted with me?
"You won't mind, will you? You won't mind if I'm bigger? If I'm not so soft?  If I have muscles again? Like I used to?"
I wasn't sure I wanted to come, but I was so close I didn't think I could stop. "Wh-hat do you mean?" I said in a last minute attempt to distract myself.
Her hand movement slowed slightly while she thought about her answer. It kept me right on the edge.
"I mean ... my body will go back to its natural, normal shape. I'll be healthier, stronger, more physical ... sexier, you know? 'Cause if I'm in better shape I'll be more physical ... with you, you know?"
She was getting into the idea and started stroking me faster again.
"My tummy will be smaller and harder, and I'll probably get a sixpack, like yours. My shoulders will get broader and my chest muscles will come back, but this time I have breasts, and they'll look bigger than they do now. And my arms will be," she looked at my face, "um, more toned." She was stroking me hard now, and fast. "Will you mind that Brian? Will you still love me?"
I groaned and came, in spurt after spurt after spurt.
"So it doesn't bother you? Really?"
I wasn't sure who asked me that question, Licia or Sara, but before I 'replied' I was somewhere else. It was another memory, maybe a month later. We were in a park about half an hour from town. Sara had made a picnic lunch and we hiked together to a remote part. I remembered this day clearly. It was the only hike Sara and I had taken together. She was annoyed because it was 'hot and buggy', and I kept going 'too fast'. In my memory now she was standing about fifteen feet away from me, with her back to me. Had we just had words?  "I'm so hot!" she was saying, as I remembered. And then she took her shirt off. She was wearing just a bikini top and shorts.
"Isn't this a WONDERFUL day! I just LOVE hiking with you! You didn't mind my going ahead, did you? I found this really great place for us!" she exclaimed looking up at the forest. She turned back toward me. Although we had made out a couple of times in my car and she was more open about letting me touch her, this was the first time I had seen her full body in the light since before my trip to my grandparents. "Well? Notice anything different now?"
I certainly had noticed in school that her figure seemed sharper, that each day her bust seemed more prominent and her curves more dramatic, but seeing her in the skin in the light outside was incredible. Her legs were full of muscle, thicker than mine! She said they always were strong. But in just four weeks they had thickened and bulged with each step she took toward me. She also had developed well-defined abs, as visible as mine. Her shoulders had real definition, as she predicted. But to me, her arms stood out the most.  They didn't look as defined as her torso, but they were thick and solid. I wondered whether she was stronger than I was, whether, if she flexed, her muscles would be larger than mine. I felt a flood of desire for her.
"Brian! You're staring at me! Is something wrong?"
"No. I'm just surprised. I didn't realize, when you said that you would get bigger, just how quickly --
"I know! I surprised myself! I guess what that doctor told us was right.  Whatever genetics thing I have seems to be even stronger now that I've matured. But you know I have no interest in biology. I just like the way I feel now. I like being able to walk and run again, to push my body. I'm always in a good mood. Haven't you noticed?" She was next to me now. "And I'm always wanting my boyfriend. Have you noticed that, Brian?" Her arm was around my waist, pulling me next to her. "You don't mind that, do you?"
She was holding me, hugging me close to her, and I felt her heart beating into my chest. I wasn't used to the strength of her arms. Was that the way it had felt to her when I had held her tightly. The next thing I knew she had pulled me down onto the soft grass. "Oh Brian! Will you make love to me? I'm ready for you. I want you so badly." One of her arms was still around me, and the other was at my crotch, waiting for permission to touch me.
"Yes," I said, excitedly.
She quickly undid the snap of my jeans and loosened her hold so that I could strip off, while she wriggled out of her shorts. Immediately I was on top of her again. She guided me inside with a little cry of pain. "It's ok," she said. "Don't stop. I want you to feel good. Just go ahead. We'll work on me another time, when we're more experienced. Oh!" I was thrusting hard, unable to help myself. "Oh! Is that good for you?" She was clutching at me and her grip almost hurt, but the pleasure building in me was far greater and then I came. "Oh Brian! Was that it? Did it feel good? Was it what you expected, Oh, Brian, I love you. I love you. I love you so much."
And then we were at her house, nearly four weeks later. Her parents were out again -- they never seemed to be home that Spring -- and we were in her room.  I remembered this night clearly -- the last time I had sex with Sara. (In fact, it would be the last sex I had for years.) She was in her closet, putting something "special" on for me.
"You don't mind, do you, Brian? I mean, the important thing is that we do it together, right? It's another thing we can do together. Don't you love that?"
What was she talking about? "Um, yeah," I said, unsure what I was agreeing to.
"It's not important who does more or less. I'm not judging you, not at all.  Quite the contrary, you know. It's that we love each other, right? It's just the way my body is. But I just love doing it with you. It makes me feel even closer to you"
Was she talking about orgasms? I remembered that she never reached orgasm with me.
She came out of the closet. My jaw dropped.
"Oh, you like it?! It's from Victoria's Secret!"
It wasn't the tiny violet frilly negligee I was reacting to. Or the way her breasts filled it. Or the way the open area in the panties, at her crotch, was inviting me in.
"Even though I can lift twice as much as you can now, I am still VERY much a girl, you know!"
She was far more muscular than me. Her biceps were larger than any I'd ever seen. She extended her hands out to me, invitingly, palms upward, the movement making her biceps bunch and grow even more.
"A girl who loves you very, very much, and wants you inside her very, very badly!"
She put her arms around me. I was burning with desire. But this wasn't how it happened. I was sure of that. She was shy and soft, passive and quiet. She would always wait for me to come to her.
"I love feeling the way your body responds to me, even though I've grown so much, so quickly. Especially because you're not very verbal, it's your way of assuring me how much you want me, right?"
I had to say something, but all I could manage was, "Umm, yeah."
"Not that I wouldn't want to hear it from your lips too, but you'll learn how to do that, I know. We're both still young, and we have so much of our lives to be together."
I realized I had no clothes on. When did that happen?
"Let's do it like last time. It'll be even better now, because I've gotten even stronger." Before I could answer she leaned forward and grabbed the back of my thighs and lifted me off the ground. She spread her legs, pushed my legs between hers and inserted my very hard member into her. She was so wet that I slipped right in. She felt warm and tight. "Oh, you feel so WONDERFUL inside me! See how well we fit together!" She lowered and raised me slightly so that I moved in and out of her. The feeling was indescribable. She held me closer and pulled me deeper inside, tightened her muscles around me and then her body shuddered twice. "Oh-oh-oh! That's two already, and I'm going to get a lot more before I'm done with you."
I was sure this was NOT what happened. Sara was never this muscular, this strong, or this aggressive. My firm recollection was that she was completely passive when we had sex; she would just lie back and wait for me to satisfy myself. And also, I don't recall her ever having an orgasm, at least not that I noticed. Certainly not so quickly. "Sara! Since when can you --
She clamped her lips on me and kissed me deeply. "Ssshh!" she said when she finished. "Now's not the time. I have a surprise for you! Get ready!" She adjusted her hands slightly. "You don't have to hold on, silly. I'm more than strong enough, and I think your hands are better used for touching me.  Understand?" I felt a throbbing against my member. "Do you feel that? I'm just beginning." The throbbing was getting faster and more insistent. "Do you like that? Now how about this?" I couldn't help but cry out. It was like a rolling sensation, the pressure running up and down the length of my member but still somehow everywhere at the same time. The pleasure was so intense it was almost unbearable. "Yeah! Yeah! You DO like it! Touch me, Brian. Touch me everywhere.  Squeeze me. Ha-ha. Yeah, just try to squeeze me. I'm so strong! I LOVE being strong. Don't you love my strength? Don't you love what I can do with it? Let me feel YOUR strength!" I was tingling all over and just wanted to press against her harder and harder, but everywhere I touched her I could feel her muscles tightening and expanding against my hands, harder than me, stronger than me. "Your touch is so light against me! So sweet! Like a tickle!" A tickle? I pressed harder against her. "Oh Brian, you ARE so sweet! Oh! Oh! Can you feel it when I come? See how I make your whole body shake! Oooooh, I can even do it both ways at the same time now. How does THAT make you feel?" How was she doing that? Throbbing, rolling up down and all over. The pleasure was everywhere now, in my arms, my legs, running up and down my spine, as though she was tapping directly into the pleasure center of my brain. "Oh! Oh!" she said, shuddering again. "This feels SOOO GOOOD!" I had no idea where I was, what was happening, how what she was doing was even possible, but I knew I was getting close myself, and I wanted to push harder and get just a bit more inside her.
"Are YOU going to come too? Oh no! No! Not yet! I'm not nearly ready for you!"  I felt a pull near the base of my shaft, and the pressure that was building up inside ebbed. "Ha ha! See what I can do? I'M in control!" The about-to-cum sensations faded, but I was still hard inside her, rock hard. "You're not complaining are you? Have you ever felt so good?"
"But Sara --
She started the throbbing again, even harder and faster than before and laughed at the gasp of pleasure that cut off my words. "Your breathing's getting kind of ragged and your eyes are, like, glazing over. Am I THAT good?"
With fireworks going off in my brain it was getting terribly hard to concentrate. She was still holding me, pulling me harder against her. I reached down to her wrists and pulled to make her let go. I couldn't budge them.
"You don't really want me to stop do you? If you do you're really not trying very hard to make me. Or maybe all this stimulation is turning your muscles into mush. Or maybe am I just too strong for you? Heh, heh, that's the thing, really. Let me give you a closer look." She shifted position, so that she was now holding me to her with just one hand and brought her other hand up to flex. My god! Her biceps were enormous. I stared at them in amazement and she started working her vaginal muscles against my member even more insistently.  "So you know it's my STRENGTH that's making you feel so good, Brian. The strength of my huge, powerful growing muscles. Growing ALL the time, because the MORE I use them, the MORE they grow, and the MORE they grow the STRONGER they get. Aren't they AMAZING? Don't you just LOVE them, Brian? Don't you LOVE what I can DO to you with them?"
With each word she emphasized she was stimulating me more intensely. Didn't she ever get tired?
"Oh-oh-oh-OH! That feels SO GOOD! OOH OHH OOOOOOH!" she exclaimed her whole body pulsing into mine with each orgasm. "I LOVE having you inside me! Like your thing is a part of me. Ha, the way I make you feel it's like you're just a part of me, huh? Can you FEEL it? Isn't it WONderful! I'm going to make you feel so good. You didn't know just HOW WONDERFUL you COULD FEEL, did you?"
How much more of this could I take before I surrendered completely to her and the ever escalating pleasure she was giving me?
"It is a kind of surrender, but why should you resist it, when it just makes you feel good? There's nothing wrong with feeling good is there?"
"But we're not ... married." I said, or thought that I said. Were we speaking, or had she somehow penetrated my thoughts too? I couldn't tell, couldn't concentrate, couldn't think.
"But we should be ... and we WILL be, right?" She was tuning me to ever higher levels of pleasure. How could I be feeling this? And how had I forgotten this?
"Why didn't you marry her?" It was Licia's voice, breaking through.
Suddenly, all I could think of was my mother, scolding me. It was late afternoon and we were alone in the house, at the kitchen table, dressed for mid-week evening church. "You can't marry yet, and certainly not her! Sara's not our kind. She's never in church. She's godless, immoral, lazy and useless.  You can't argue with that, can you? And she's not even pretty! Or is that what you think is pretty! I can't imagine anyone else would agree! But that's not what's important! What about your schooling? What kind of career will you have if you start with a marriage now with her? You've worked so hard and you've been accepted into good colleges with scholarships? Are you going to throw all that away for a mediocre art student? Is this what we raised you for?"
The feelings were gone. I felt deadness in their place, a sinking depression, fear about what was to come.
"We've tolerated her, yes, hoping that you'd see sense, but we know now what you two have been doing and we can't let this continue. Imagine, the parents of a young girl leaving the two of you alone together! Isn't it obvious to you what's going on? Can't you see it's a trap? She would never do any better than you. She's given away her virtue just to get you -- if she isn't pregnant already! Don't you see it? Haven't you learned what we've taught you? What your whole community has been teaching you since you were born? If she were one of us ... but you know she is not and never can be! And we thought you were smart! It's a lie, isn't it. It would all be a lie if you marry her.  Well? What do you have to say for yourself?"
"It's not like that!" I protested, as I had told my mother before. But it felt different this time. Then I had felt a slight disgust for Sara, a relief that I was being forced to let her go. Now I felt a loss. She had made me feel something special, something I did not want to do without. But that was wrong, I knew. My mother's advice was correct, and I had to submit to it.
"It IS that! It's only the devil that could give a thing like that power over you! Can't you see that, after all we've taught you? It's as plain as can be!  Look inside yourself. Answer me! What else can it be?"
I felt chills throughout. That what she said. It was just as I had remembered, and it was true. It had pained me when she said it, but I accepted it. Now I resented it too.
"We must leave for church now. But when we pray tonight, you either confess your sins and recommit yourself, or you walk out until you are ready to be true to yourself, to your community and to God. Otherwise it is all a lie. And at the very least you still know that we did not raise you to lie to God. Do you accept that, at least?"
"Yes. Yes I do."
She nodded satisfied. "We are called upon to accept, and to do, much more, but I am not the one to tell you. You must find the voice who will tell you, and you must listen to that voice. That is all I will say on the subject today."
I was chilled to the bone, fearful of my future. That night I went with my mother to church. After the service and a long private session with our minister, he and I wrote a note to Sara breaking off the engagement and the relationship forever, and my mother delivered it to her house.
My mind flashed through what happened next. The phone rang as soon as she read it and continued ringing for days until we changed our number. Then she wrote me long letters (which I read while supervised by my mother or my minister) and I returned brief replies that had to be approved by my minister or my mother. Forbidden to talk to her, I stayed away her from at school, and soon she stopped attending. I was never sure if it was her at the back of the auditorium at my graduation, although I thought she was there. I spent the summer away, working on my uncle's farm, and then went off to college, far from home. I found a church there, approved by my minister. I worked hard. The letters stopped. I was safe. Safe and still saved ... I hoped.
Licia's voice broke through this memory. "Did you ever see her again?"
And then I was in another recollection, reliving it, in my house during my first Christmas break from college. My mother had just left for church to help prepare decorations for the special holiday programs. I was tired from exams and didn't feel like going with her, so I stayed behind by myself and turned on the television. Almost as soon as I sat down the phone rang. I answered. No one spoke, and after saying "hello" several times I hung up. Three minutes later I heard terrible sounds outside, the shattering of glass and the crashing of metal. I ran to the window and saw my old car was now a total wreck. Sara! Remembering this episode gave me a chill. I had rushed outside to see what happened. Sara had smashed my car and now lay inside her own wrecked car. Somehow Licia was forcing me to relive this. I would have to pull her out and carry her inside, and then wait with her until the ambulance arrived. That thirty minute period was, until this weekend, one of the worst of my life and one of the most uncomfortable conversations I'd ever had. Why was she making me relive it? Still, I ran outside to do what I knew I had to do. When I got to the car I looked around, puzzled. My car was totaled, even worse than I had thought I had remembered, but where was Sara's? It should be a few yards from mine, but except for the splinters of glass from my car's windshield the rest of the street was clear. I looked around closely, walked halfway down the block in each direction but I saw nothing.
I went back inside into the TV room of my now well-chilled house. The TV was off, and in my chair, sitting comfortably, was Sara, covered by the wool blanket my mother always used. She looked smugly satisfied, completely protected from the cold, as if she were in her own room, chair, blanket and house.
"Sara! What are you doing here?" I exclaimed, completely surprised. She didn't belong here. She had no right to be here. And if my mother knew ...
"Hi Brian," she said. There was something chilly but oddly thrilling in her tone. "It's been awhile since I heard from you. How was school?" Her voice was rich and confident and her eyes met mine with a possessive intimacy that unnerved me.
My memory told me I should have been hovering over her, conflicted between concern for her condition, worry about the blood on my mother's blanket, embarrassment at seeing her again after I had broken things off, wondering about my car and, frankly, relief that we were no longer together, that I was no longer responsible for her. But that was not what I was seeing or feeling, other than the concern about my car. Although all I could see was her head and bits of her feet poking out from under the blanket. I felt a strangely strong desire for her, a yearning for the electric pleasure I had just experienced, along with complete confusion about what was real, what was imagined and what exactly I should do about it. Everything felt real, although I knew it couldn't be. What if I acted on my impulses? If this were just imagined, did it matter? I knew there was no way to solve that conundrum, and the answer came to me immediately. It did matter. Lustful thoughts were as evil as lustful acts. Wherever I might be, my will was my own, my will was free and my responsibilities clear. Whether or not the house, the car, my mother and Sara were real, the temptation was real, and so was my duty to resist it. Because I could not know, I must behave as if she were real.
"Do you like being away from home? Do you have a girlfriend at school?" she asked, pausing between questions, giving me a chance to answer before moving on. "Would you even tell me if you did?" She laughed. "I don't know if you would. So, have you thought about me ... at all? Do you miss our ... loving?"  She shifted her head slightly.
My heart was pounding in my chest. This wasn't at all what I remembered, this slow, confident, sexy talk. Shouldn't she be hurt, shivering, barely able to talk except to whine about how I'd left her alone, ruined her reputation, her whole life.
She shifted slightly and snuggled under the blanket, rearranging it more tightly, revealing a large bulge near her chest. I took a sharp breath. What was that? Could that be her breasts? Or was it just a fold? I remembered when I'd brought her in from the wrecked car how big and heavy she had gotten. How fat. I remembered I was barely able to lift her. That was all it was! It must be. All that muscle stuff was my imagination, a dream. But just recalling the dream was making me stir inside my pants. Stop that.
Sara was smiling at me. "I'm still working out. A lot." She took a deep breath and the blanket rose with it. It wasn't just a fold. It was her. "I've changed even more, you know, since you saw me. It'll surprise you, I know, when you see how big I've become. How big and how strong."
No! I didn't want to hear it. I remembered it clearly. She had gotten fat, disgustingly fat, that was all. Still, I was responding. It was awful, shameful.
"You want to shut me out of your mind, and out of your life, but you can't.  You want me," she teased, "really badly."
"Sara, you have to leave."
"But I don't want to!" she said playfully, childishly raising her eyebrows as if in disbelief. "Are you going to throw me out? Are you really going to pick me up, push me into the cold and shut the door on me? Do you really think you can do that? Wouldn't you rather have some fun?"
I didn't want to play. I didn't dare touch her. But she had to go! "Sara, you don't belong here," I insisted.
Her face got serious. "You're wrong. I belong with you!" she said, suddenly emotional and completely serious. "We belong together. Always!"
That's just what I remembered her saying to me, and I remembered how angry and disgusted those words made me at the time. But not this time. This time the same words were thrilling me, tempting me. I had to fight those feelings. I had to get her out of my house before I weakened and gave in.
"You can't resist me. You can try to close your mind to your feelings, but you won't succeed. They're part of you, just like I am."
"You are not!" I said angrily. This was ridiculous. I stormed over to her, preparing to pull the blanket off her and move her off the chair and out of the house.
At that moment, as I started at her I felt momentarily confused. Consistent with my upbringing and my values I was not one to be physically forceful with girls or women, and I am sure I never had been with Sara. But -- and this will demonstrate the unusual strain I was under -- had I not done or tried to do something like this several times, not in the distant past, but this weekend?  And, incredibly, each time I had tried I failed completely, I being overpowered by a girl smaller than I but who seemed to be many times stronger.  As I remembered this an electric charge of arousal ran through me. I felt myself, imagining an immensely powerful Sara, thwarting me, and as I imagined it I was getting a strong erection. What was this!! This had never happened to me before. No! I said to myself, feeling angrier than ever. No! No! No! This is wrong. Being overpowered by Sara or any girl does NOT interest me. It is perverted, disgusting. It is NOT who or what I am. Sara was looking at the visible bulge in my crotch mockingly, a stupid smile on her lips. I hated her.  I wanted to wipe it off. It would not happen again, and it would not happen NOW with Sara!! I was going to throw Sara out of my house, if only to prove to myself who I really was.
I yanked the blanket off her and bent down to grab her arms and lift or drag her out of the chair. I felt sure that I would see her she was wearing overlarge, baggy, grey sweats, now torn and blood-stained from the crash, to hide all the weight she had gained since I last saw her. But once I tore the blanket off her I was seeing something very different. Still curled up in the dark brown chair, she wore a black, tight-fitting, lycra, one-piece suit that covered her all the way from the white skin of her ankles up to her neck. The dark hues of the fabric and her bodysuit and the dim light of the TV room made it difficult to see the outlines of her body. But it surely didn't look like she was fat.
"Oh I AM a part of you!" she replied. "Even though you won't admit it, it's obvious from how turned on I'm making you."
I glared down at her but hesitated, and as I made up my mind to act she moved first. She unwrapped her arms and legs and slowly but gracefully stood up out of the chair, her knees gradually unbending, pushing her long, thick thighs up towards me, her head rising higher and higher although her body was still bent at the waist, yet her eyes were already level with mine and still rising, as she still unfolded her body, her chest now as high as my head and expanding out at me as she straightened her shoulders and breathed deeply, relaxed, standing proudly, my mouth gaping open as she looked down at me, her head higher than mine by well more than a foot.
"Brian. Little Brian. My little bitty Brian," she said condescendingly, putting her large hands on my shoulders, her powerfully thick arms barring the way on either side. Her palms rested heavily on me, her thumbs ran nearly to my neck and her fingers pressed hard nearly a third of the way down my back.  She pulled me closer. My face stopped when it brushed against the coarse fabric of her bodysuit and then the relative softness of the enormous bosom compressed by and beneath it.
"You can't be Sara!" I said, my voice muffled against her breast.
"But I am. I am Sara five times over!" she laughed, her voice like thunder in my ears and all through my body. "And I have you now!"
I felt something hard against my face, her nipple stiffening, growing, pushing against the lycra suit like a bullet in slow motion aimed at my head, stretching it into my cheek. Instinctively I turned to receive it in my mouth but felt and tasted only the rough fabric of her suit.
"You can't have me," she sneered letting go of one shoulder and reaching down into my pants to grasp my hot, hard member. "But I have you!"
"No!" I protested. Her touch sent shivers of lustful desire through me. I twisted and shook my shoulders to knock her hand off but she held me fast against her with the single arm. I grabbed her hand with both of mine to pull it off. She let me take them but then closed her larger fingers around them, trapping them in her grip, and then squeezed.
"Aaaghhh!" I said suddenly in great pain.
"Oho!" she laughed. "So tender. So fragile. And that's just a little squeeze.  Smashing your car to pieces with my bare hands was easy. Pulling you to pieces would be a piece of cake!"
I was pulling as hard as I could to wrest my hands away but I could neither free them or move hers even an inch from where she held them.
"I use the anger and hurt and humiliation and pain you caused me to make myself bigger and stronger and then -- HAH!! -- somehow I started growing again. I'm nearly seven feet tall and still growing! And just look at these muscles!" She flexed the muscles of the arm that was holding my hand. I helplessly watched her biceps rise, the fabric shining in the dim light as her muscles beneath stretched it ever higher, and as she closed her hand to squeeze her biceps higher her hand was contracting around mine.
"Stop. Please." I begged, the pain shooting all the way to my shoulder.
"Did I squeeze you again? I didn't even realize I was doing it!" she laughed, loosening her grip slightly. "It just happens naturally when I flex, you know.  But your little cry interrupted me. You didn't get to see just how big they are. Aren't you curious? HE is!" she smirked, giving my member a gentle squeeze with her thumb and forefinger.
"Oh god!" I muttered, desperately using my willpower, trying not to come, but my mind was out of control. All I could think about was her body, her bosom, her power, her size, her muscle. Images of each bulge, stretching her bodysuit, and then unleashed, free to expand at will, flooded my mind, against my own will.
"You think you should be entitled to a little 'pleasure', with all I'm putting you through? Fat chance!" She squeezed me lower down, physically forcing a halt to the erotic build-up then I was unable to do mentally myself.
"Now I've got more time to tell you it's not just my muscles that have been growing. I'm sure, even with your new morality, you've noticed a couple of other new things about me." She pushed her breasts further into my face. "Now, imagine what they look like when I'm not wearing this? Hmmm?"
"What do you want from me?" I said, still struggling futilely to free myself from her grip.
She held me away from her at arm's length and looked down at me, her eyes narrowed. "I want to know you made a mistake. I want YOU to know you made a mistake. I want you to regret it ... to regret it FOREVER!" she said, baring her teeth in a sneer. She tensed her pectorals, pushing her breasts out further. "See that? Hmmm?"
I was staring. How could they have grown so much? So quickly?
"They're spectacular, don't you think? Can you imagine anything so large, so round, so soft? Wouldn't you love to fondle them? To suck on them? To be able to touch them whenever you wanted, as I would let my husband? Not that I'd EVER give YOU the pleasure of feeling them against your face or even seeing them, but I want you appreciate their full size, and I don't think you possibly could. Not yet. Maybe if I take off my bra...." She leaned back, took her hand out of my pants and reached behind her, snaking her arm down her suit and unfastening the hooks, quickly, as only a woman can do. "There! I had to cut the front part out to give my nipples room to grow -- you know how much they like to grow -- but they DO give the rest of me a bit of camouflage, you know." She twisted as she somehow eased out of the shoulder straps. "Ahh, now they're free!"
"See what you've been missing? Aren't they amazing?" she teased. "I'm a E cup -- almost an F!! I'm sure you'd want to know, right? But it's not the size, it's the way they look, so round and firm! And aren't those nipples just crazy when they get excited? Don't they make your mouth water?"
I couldn't help looking at her breasts as, even though they were still under the restraint of her bodysuit, they ballooned further out toward me, bobbing down and up more freely as she turned her chest from side to side. I could not believe how large and round they were, and how they pushed out from her chest so boldly. I was in a complete state of ferment, confusion and, to my shame, lust. Images of different parts of her body again filled my mind, each taking its turn, each one pressing firmly against her tight bodysuit, expanding against it, growing larger, rounder as she flexed or twisted or turned. My heart beat faster, harder, and the pulse of new images quickened.
"You never realized how sexy I would be, once I unleashed my real self, my true potential. And now ... I drive you wild, don't I? You may not love me, but you love my body. Is it my breasts that excite you? Or is it my muscles?  Hmmmm?" She was flexing her biceps, now enormous mounds nearly half the size of my head. I started imagining Carrie, holding me in the air (but did that really happen?), but wasn't I younger then, younger and smaller, while Sara was so much bigger, so much stronger. She was really pumping them now, and with each movement they changed shape, growing and contracting under her bodysuit, becoming rounder, then taller, stretching the bodysuit, threatening to burst through. I couldn't tear my eyes away, as though each pump of her biceps was pumping up my lust. Oh no! I was so close again to coming -- and what was this? My clothes were off, and my fully erect member was pushing against the side of her thick, rock-hard leg. "Oh, there's no doubt. It's my muscles. ESPECIALLY THESE muscles," she was saying, "my biceps. MY biceps.  They're so hard, so large, so beautifully shaped and so strong ... so very, very, very strong. I'M my work of art now, and it's obvious you appreciate it, just by the way you're looking at it, not to mention by the way your hard-on is nuzzling my thigh."
I tried to pull away but she held me in an iron grip.
"Oh, don't you be embarrassed. It's just what I wanted...."
"... just what I wanted," I heard, in Licia's voice. I was in the Radisson in Indianapolis, in a hotel room, with Licia, the hotel desk clerk or assistant manager, not at my childhood home in Pennsylvania, not with Sara. It had been all a dream, all unreal, although it was so vivid it was if I had really lived it.
"I must have been asleep, dreaming. Sorry," I said. I owed Licia that common courtesy, nothing else.
She didn't seem bothered. Her eyes were fixed on me, but I looked away. "I love dreams. They show you the truest things about you, all the way down to your soul, and you know, when they're real enough they can change you. Don't you think so?"
"No," I said and stood up. "Nothing can change me that isn't real, and dreams are all in the head. They're just dreams."
"Oh really? We'll see about that. Anyway, I'm real," she said and stood up too, once again in my way, between me and the door. She put her hands on her hips. "Why don't we see if anything's different?"
This again? What did she want from me now? I felt a strong urge to try again to push her out of the way and get away. She didn't seem any different than before. She still looked like a normal, pretty girl, except for her admittedly oversized, erect nipples. She was healthy, but not muscular and certainly not stronger than me. Yet she had already overpowered me twice; the second time she had thrown me across the room. And strangely, with that recollection and the idea that she might do it to me again, I felt a spark of arousal in my groin, and a series of images passed through my head. That unnamed gymnast in junior high school. Carrie, holding me in the air. Sara, bursting with muscle.  Each image of power fed the arousal. I shut them out of my mind until it was just Licia I saw.
"Or are you afraid of me now? Afraid even to try?" she taunted, motioning with her hands for me to come closer, to take her on.
"I'm not afraid of you."
"Don't underestimate me. I was a real tomboy growing up. I've always loved sports, especially gymnastics. I can still do my floor routine, and I'm in great shape now. See?" She lifted her arms up as if preparing for a run and a series of cartwheels, just like the gymnast I saw in my dream.
I stood alertly, watching to see what she would do to me next, and wondering what I could do about it. "That has nothing to do with anything," I said, finally.
She was grinning. "You're right. I've got power over you. So even though I'm a little small for a girl, and you're all pumped up with your own muscle and what Ekara gave you -- just look at 'em! -- and still I'm so much more powerful than you are." She was staring at me, her eyes flicking with delight to the unwelcome, growing bulge pressing against my pants. "And you like it!"  she said, licking her lips.
"I don't like it one bit! I don't care about you."
"Oh yes you do! You think I can't tell? The thought of it drives you wild even though it scares you. You're even afraid to look me in the eye."
"Don't be ridiculous!" I replied. But in response to her challenge I did look.  This time all I saw in her eyes was myself, my reflection, but in her eyes I felt smaller, as if she were the larger one. And with that thought I felt another spark in my groin. I needed to shift around to give myself more space, but I didn't want her to know.
"You'd like it even more if I were bigger, if I were bigger and you were smaller..."
I was pulsing against my trousers. Could she see? "You can't do that!" I protested.
She went on, "...if I were stronger and you were weaker, if I had muscles like yours and you had muscles like mine or ... or even smaller, softer, weaker."  Her eyes shone with excitement. "Think about them ... mine and yours ... you and me."
My eyes widened. I bent slightly and twisted, hoping a change of position would give me some room.
"Imagining it, hmmm? You do like that. You'll see, it won't matter to you or anyone else. Practically no one knows you here, and you can't leave so you're never going back. You don't need muscle to do your work. You just sit at a desk and do numbers. How big do you need to be do that?"
"I need to be ... it helps to get people to cooperate!" I said, my voice rising. "How big do YOU need to be ... to be a desk clerk!"
"Assistant Manager!" she retorted. "And probably Manager soon! I'll be more successful if I'm bigger. Size makes a real difference, you know, in how people look at you."
"What about me? What about my job?" Was I actually pleading with her? I looked in her eyes and felt even smaller.
She cocked her head. "Your job's gonna change, and you'll cooperate, I'm sure." She smiled and made a happy moan. "Make 'em hard now. Flex 'em, really big! I want to see 'em one more time." She took a step toward me. "Now!  C'mon!"
Something in me felt I needed to obey. I held out my bare arms and flexed them, as she asked and watched with pleasure as my muscles bunched and rose.  Is this what she wanted to see? Yes, I was strong, strong and confident enough to face her down. I looked down at her, but my reflection in her eyes was looking up.
"Lovely! Aren't they lovely!" she exclaimed.
"They're not for show!" I said, stepping toward her.
"Oh, I know that!" she replied looking up at me. "I absolutely know that."
I reached down to move her out of the way. Before my hands reached her I felt odd, dizzy. The room spun. I couldn't focus. What was happening? I had to concentrate. I had to steady myself. How? The thought came to me. OEREV.  Observe Evidence, Record Evidence, Verify. That's what I had to do! But how? I was blind!! My hands reached down to take hold of her shoulders. No. They felt wrong. Not like shoulders. Where were the tops? What did it matter? I had to get her away from me! I pulled blindly and then tried to push her to the side, but she was planted like a tree. Was this that same strange power she had again? No! Don't theorize. Don't panic. Observe. Record. Verify. That steadied me, at last. My heart rate slowed. My vision was clearing. Observe! What did I see? In front of me all I saw was ... breasts?? My hands ... they weren't on shoulders, they were on hips. My arms were spread to hold wide hips. I took my hands off quickly, as though the skin burned me. Observe! I looked up, willing my eyes past breasts, past thick erect nipples, like thumbs, to wide shoulders. Shoulders wider than I was, higher than my head. I craned my head upwards. Licia was looking down at me, smiling, golden hair falling loose around her face. In her eyes I seemed very small.
"It's happening. It won't take long. Look at my breasts. They'll make you feel better. Or even suck on them. I'd like that. Or just watch. Yeah, watch."
I started feeling tingly and strange, a lightness on my feet and heaviness in my body and then something that wasn't a feeling exactly, more of a general imbalance, like air being let out of me, like my insides were rearranging themselves. As I felt that, Licia let out a highly pleasured moan and her nipples, amazingly, became even bigger. She sighed again and again, a series of increasingly higher pitched, excited sounds as if she were coming to orgasm. I was looking ahead at Licia's breasts, which moved outward and upward, inching closer to my face although growing no larger. No, it was her chest that was growing larger, deeper, more muscular, lifting her breasts and pushing them toward me.
"Look at me! Look at me! I'm big and now I'm strong too!" she crowed. She raised her arms into the air and flexed them. "Oh my god! Oh, oh, just look!  They're so big and so beautiful and so hard!" she cried, and stroked her right biceps with her fingers. "I love them!" she thrilled and then looked down at me. "And you, Brian! You love them too, don't you? Touch them. I want you to touch them, squeeze them and -- oh, but -- this is so -- you won't even be able to REACH them!" she squealed with delight. "I have to LOWER my ARMS so you can TOUCH them!"
While she was chattering excitedly I was thinking that for her to be so much bigger than I was in my expanded body she must be truly gigantic, over eight feet tall at least, with muscles the size of boulders. Although my queasiness had softened my erection this time I found myself shamefully unable to turn my eyes away from her body, and once again I started getting very aroused.  Strangely, however, now I was feeling none of the previous discomfort in my pants. I was completely hard, though, and when I glanced down I was embarrassed to see the shape of a surprisingly extreme erection pushing out the front of my pants. But how could that be? I was wearing normal blue jeans, not an immodest swimsuit or loose pyjamas. My blue jeans were too tight for that. And surely whatever power Ekara had given Licia, it couldn't extend to expanding my clothing. It didn't make sense. Moreover (although for obvious reasons I have not had very much personal comment on this matter from any women (other than Ekara) with experience in this area, I know from medical studies I had read to satisfy my entirely natural and understandable masculine curiosity that I am considered very well-endowed as a man), the bulge I was making seemed to be far larger than it should have been.
Licia must have seen my expression, because she said, "Oh don't be embarrassed! That's what I WANTED! Of COURSE that's what I wanted. And now I want you to touch me, and I know you want to touch me too. Touch my muscles and love them. Worship them."
"Worship them!" I exclaimed. "I'm not going to --
"Oh silly! Of course you will. You already ARE!" With that she reached down, took my wrist and lifted my hand to rest on her truly mountainous biceps. The touch was electric, a bolt of lightning that seared me to my very core. I had never felt anything like it, not even in my dreams. So large, so warm and hard, I could feel its power shift beneath my hand with every tiny movement she made. How could this be? I was shivering with excitement, with intense longing. Her muscle was enormous and so ... beautiful. It was so perfect, so feminine, the ultimate object of desire. I had to have the woman who possessed that muscle.
Then my brain kicked in. What was I thinking?!? What was I feeling?! This wasn't me! This wasn't how I going to choose my life partner. It wasn't what I wanted, what my life was about! I pulled my hand back, but it went nowhere.
"Where are you goin' honey?" Licia said smiling. "You're right where I want you!"
I pulled harder.
In a teasing voice she sang out, "You hear me? Ummm, not going ANYwhere! Not like THAT you're not!" She slid her hand up my arm, my skinny, soft arm, so skinny that she went all the way from my wrist to my shoulder with her thumb and forefinger joined together. "See Brian? See how much bigger I am?" She hooked her index finger around my arm and held it next to mine. My head was spinning. She had made me even smaller than Ekara had yesterday, but what frightened me more was that I could not look away. My eyes were fixed onto her biceps. My head pulsed with thoughts of "she's so strong," "she has muscles," "what muscles," "how big can they get?" "how hard are they?" "so strong," "so much stronger than me". I wanted to bow my head and kiss them, press my lips against their hardness, take them into my mouth and ....
Where did that come from? "I ... I don't know what I'm doing," I said haltingly. "This isn't ... right!" I added. "I have to leave."
"Try!" she laughed. "Try harder" she repeated as I pulled against her finger.  She leaned down and whispered in my ear. "I'm not using that power, sweetie.  You're just too weak. See what I mean? You've got soft, tiny muscles. But that's ok. I love you like this, and you love me too. You just have to admit it."
"No! No! No!" I cried out, pulling harder to Licia's obvious amusement. I didn't have a chance! She had so much muscle and I had so little. And now that only made me want her more.
She reached down and stroked my erection gently through the cloth of my pants.  "Well, he's sure not small. And there's lots more room in your pants for that part of you. But your thing is just as big as before, even bigger compared to the rest of you, I guess!!" She played with it more insistently.
"Stop it, please!" I begged, close to coming. Desperate, I balled my free hand into a fist and threw it at her stomach. She didn't try to block me and hardly reacted, except to laugh. I hit her again and again, but I was tiring quickly and each effort was even less effective.
"Oh Brian! This only makes me feel better! I mean, I wish you weren't mad, and you shouldn't be hitting me, but it doesn't even hurt. My abs are so thick and so solid; because I'm narrower than you were my abs ended up a lot thicker than yours. And those punches of yours just feel like little bitty love taps.  You've really got to see that you've got no strength at all. I left you with less than half the amount of muscle I had and barely half my level of fitness." She clamped her hand over my fist, pressed it to her stomach and rolled it around. "Feel that?" The pressure her hand needed so that my fist could make even a small indentation in her wall of abdominal muscles was far more than my punches had generated and was crushing my knuckles and fingers together.
"Ahh! Ahh!" I cried out, unable to hold in my moaning.
She stopped, and the pain stopped immediately. "Poor Brian! I didn't realize.  I didn't mean to hurt you!" She put her hand under me and lifted me to her face and then kissed me. "I took the pain away. I don't want to hurt you, Brian. Not ever! I just wanted to show you what I'm made of." She held me closer, more gently. My legs dangled in the air and my toes touched her knees.  I felt the points of her nipples rub against my stomach.
She twitched her arm twice, making her biceps jump and pushing my body closer against her with the force of their expansion. "My little Brian! I'm two inches taller than Ekara made you, and you're five inches smaller than I was.  It just took more of your little bones to top up my big bones, you know? But I'll take care of my little boy, don't you worry! I know that's what you really want."
"No I don't!," I protested. "Please, put me back. Can't you make me the way I was?" I begged. "I don't need what Ekara gave me. You can keep that. But ..."
"Ssssh, Brian. You don't really want that. You want me the way I am. You want us the way we are, me big and powerful, and you small and weak." She flexed her biceps again and held them up next to my eyes. "This is what you want.  This is what you need. Not for yourself, but for me. For me to have, and for you to hold, to cherish and to obey." While I stared at them she whispered in my ear. "Don't you remember, back in school, when you were younger, before you grew? That gymnast girl, your first crush. You watched her, admired her. All the things she could do with her body, things that you couldn't do. Remember that? Remember what you felt, being short, clumsy and late to mature? How much you wanted her, but could never even come close? You know who she was?"
"I remember her but I can't remember her name," I confessed.
"I'm that girl, Brian. That was me."
I shook my head. "But that can't be. You're younger than me. We never met before ...." But as I looked at her face, although I didn't understand how, I knew it was her.
"You see? You do remember! Just like before, I can do things you can never do.  I'm bigger, stronger, more fit than you are, and I always will be. You'll depend on me, listen to me and always do what I say. And Love me. And that's a good thing, right?" She squeezed her biceps and incredibly it rose even higher.
"Oh ... my ... god!" I exclaimed, mesmerized. It was true. She was the one, my dream.
"Touch it. Push on it." I cupped it with my hand and tried to push it down. It was immovable, like steel. "Try harder. Come on, use all you got."
I put everything into it, my fingers, my wrist, my arm and my shoulders. I might have found a millimeter of give but no more.
"What a little powderpuff!" She laughed joyfully. I felt her tear on my hand.  "You don't mind at all now," she said, sniffling.
"I've never seen anything so beautiful." I rested my cheek on her biceps, my free hand on her breast, fingering her nipple. "Licia, can we ....
"Yes, Brian. Yes, I'll marry you," she said quickly, happily. "And now, now, I'm going to show you what I like."
I knew the rest of my life would be different, but even with that in mind, Monday did not start well. My suits naturally did not fit me, so I had to go to work in some abandoned boys school clothes Licia found for me in the hotel's storage room. As I entered the office, Ekara laughed out loud, and then gave me a glare that nearly burned my new clothes off my body. I quickly realized I was supposed to use the back entrance that the others used. Then there was the matter of the locked door of my office.
"Um, Muriel, the office I was in last week --
Muriel looked down at me and sniffed. "Mrs. Cawle, if you would. Yes, Brian?"
My office was, unaccountably, locked when I arrived. As I was struggling with the weight of my laptop bag and needed both arms just then to carry it, was not properly dressed for work, and I was dependent on her for a place to put my things down, I didn't feel I was in a position to insist on status, so I ignored the slight, for the moment. I just said, "I'll be wrapping up my investigation this week. But you know I'm applying for a transfer to this office, so is there is another office I'll be able to use more permanently? Or I can just use the office I was in last week?"
"I had to come in early today to work on the papers for your transfer.  Somebody's very keen for you to be here." She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. "The office you used last week is for head office visitors and is not available to local staff. There is some free space on the table next to our bookkeeper, Mrs. Perkins. I'll ask Keith to find an extension cord for your computer. The outlet is under Mrs. Perkins' desk."
"But I can't work there! My work is confidential!"
She leaned over me and put her face close to mine. "Brian, we both know that your work this week will be a complete fiction and is not confidential in the least."
"But I need a phone, space ...."
She shook her head. "You won't need a phone for that work. Mrs. Perkins will let you use hers for internal calls. Any non-sales calls outside of the Indianapolis area must be approved by Ralph Healy, which means me. Mrs.  Perkins is fully aware of the details of your investigation and she will help you with any additional facts you need to complete your report.
"But ....
"Once that report is done you will have no further work for the head office.  You will be on general office duties. As you can well imagine, we have no need for a dedicated auditor in this office. This is a sales office. You aren't physically capable of playing a round of golf or carrying a round of beer, so we aren't likely to use you as a salesman, I'm sure. I don't know about your IT skills, but Keith handles that job fine on a part time basis. Mrs. Perkins wants an assistant, and you're good with numbers, so working next to her will be perfect. When she retires in three years you will be well-positioned to take over her job."
My jaw dropped. "I have an accounting and business degree. I don't need to be trained by a bookkeeper! I have experience throughout the ARA Fittings group and its associates! I don't need --
"I won't listen to any of your complaining. As I recall, you were warned very clearly last Monday about your 'associations' here. You chose to disregard the warning. Very well, it's clear that you're bearing the consequences. If you don't like what we're offering you're certainly free to find another job in Indianapolis, but everyone knows all about Ekara in this town. I think it's unlikely that you'll be hired, unless you want to work at one of the other establishments where she's got her 'things', like the Radisson." Muriel's face registered a clear look of disapproval. "I think you know the girl they're saying will be the new Manager there, Licia Kraftwohnen. A 'rising star,' I heard on WISH TV news this morning. You could work under her if you want."
"She was on television?!"
"Local news -- "Faces to Watch". The anchor at Channel 8 WISH TV Daybreak News is one of Ekara's things. We watch it to find out what she's up to, to help us keep clear."
The old man shuffled past slowly with a cup of coffee. I watched him carry it carefully down the corridor to give to Ekara.
"But ....
She dismissed me with a wave of her hand. "That's all the time I have for you this morning. I'll send you the papers to complete to put you on our local plans and insurance policies. There isn't much turnover here, so with the fact that you're from out of town and how you came to us, you can expect it will take awhile for the others to warm up to you. That fellow who walked by was the last new guy we had here, so you might start with him. He came from out your way. You probably have a few things in common."
I sighed. I thought I saw a smirk on her face but I could have been mistaken but it was clear I would get nowhere with her this morning. Maybe she would warm up to me later on. I looked at the old man, shuffling back towards us now. "OK. I'll get started on my report." I looked at him approaching slowly.  Tell me, what's that guy's name?"
There definitely was a smirk.
At the sound of his name, the man stopped. He looked at me and I thought I saw a glimmer of recognition.
"Stephensson? Brian Stephensson?" he said. He nodded and stared at me, and then muttered, "From the old days? From the old days, huh?" I nodded. He put his hand on Muriel's arm to steady himself.
"Those are your affairs, Artie, and none of my business, thank you very much."  She firmly took his hand off and walked away.
The man stared at me. "Well, Stephensson. It is you. Funny seeing you here.  Looks like you're not lifting much these days either."
"Arthur? But how --
"Man's got to live somehow. She keeps me on. One of her things, you know.  Except that you're not, huh? You're someone else's."
"How do you -- how does everyone know?"
"Got to be observant. You were never as good at that as you thought. Hmmmph!  Auditors! Blundering around everywhere they don't belong. Leave us lawyers to clean up the mess! Well, still, we outsiders ought to stick together. You can take me to lunch, while you're still on the corporate account. In town, of course. Just not the Radisson, ok?"
"Yeah, sure Arthur. Sure."
"Arthur? It's Artie now. Be seeing you around. One o'clock. Yeah, one will be good. I don't get hungry as early now. One o'clock."
"OK, Artie. See you then."
I hoisted my work bag a little higher and turned to find Mrs. Perkins. As I left I heard Artie muttering. "11:05. Next coffee at 11:05. 11:05. Cookies at 5:11. 5:11."
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