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The Laporte Caves – Revised – Ch 07 – All of Nature Bows To the Nourished

Written by circes_cup :: [Sunday, 08 December 2019 00:14] Last updated by :: [Friday, 24 January 2020 12:17]

CHAPTER 07 – ALL OF NATURE BOWS TO THE NOURISHED


DISCLAIMER
This story contains adult sexual content.  If you are not of age to read this stuff, don't.  No resemblance between these characters and real people on Earth is implied or intended.

SYNOPSIS UP TO THIS POINT
Julia and Howard took a wrong turn in a Kentucky cave and tumbled out into world of amazon women.  Julia promised Howard that she would never drink the elixir that would transform her into an amazon.  But then she broke that promise, and Howard now finds his love for her mixed with a new sense of intimidation. The couple agrees to use her new powers to speed their search for a route home.  But Julia also finds herself growing closer to the very family that transformed her.


Morning came to the beach house with no sense of urgency. At least, that was how it felt to Julia. She had been anxious all night. Taking up more of the bed than Howard, forcing his smaller body to fight for a smaller share of the space, only served to remind Julia of her broken promise to him.

Ultimately, Howard appeared to abandon his efforts to sleep, rising quietly and disappearing into the house. When he came back later, he curled up next to her with the smell of vomit and Diana fruit on his breath. That disquieted Julia further, and soon she was the one to rise. Wrapping herself in a terry cloth robe, she stopped in the bathroom. Bits of Diana fruit lingered on the rim of the toilet. She wandered into the kitchen, and found the fruit bowl looking a bit emptier than it had the prior night.

She paused at the kitchen windows. The surf could be seen rolling in, slowly pounding out the dead time of the pre-dawn morning. She found herself watching it as the dark grey of the sky turned to pink.

The knowledge that she had betrayed him was bad enough. But it was made worse was the knowledge that she would have to give it all up. Memories of the previous day returned–the joy of running faster than a gazelle, swimming faster than a dolphin, lifting more than any earth creature could. Julia closed her eyes. Let it go, she told herself, taking a deep breath. It’s all just temporary. In the distance a cresting wave buckled in on itself with a WHOOSH.

You belong back on Earth. WHOOSH.

Howard belongs back on Earth. WHOOSH.

Stay focused. Stay calm. WHOOSH. Find the way home. WHOOSH.

WHOOSH, WHOOSH, WHOOSH. Julia repeated this mantras several dozen times, hoping the words and the waves would bring peace to her mind.

She counted the sea birds. One, two, three – it took a while because they kept switching positions in the air. Wasn’t her mind supposed to be faster these days? She finally counted sixteen in all. She counted the crabs – five in all.

What is sixteen raised to the fifth, Julia wondered to herself– sixteen times sixteen times sixteen five times over. Her mind didn’t know where to start. How about sixteen times five, she wondered to herself? Still the answer didn’t come. My Nourished mind should be able to do at least that, she knew. Her sense of disquiet grew.

Before long, heavy footsteps announced the arrival of another woman in the room. It was Ruth, also garbed in a terrycloth robe.

“I can’t multiply to save my life,” Julia announced to Ruth.

“That happens with anxiety,” the woman said. “And recently, you have had much on your mind. Don’t don’t fight it. When your mind is ready to perform, it will.”

“Or maybe I should just lower my expectations. I started off trying to raise sixteen to the fifth.”

“Sixteen million, seven hundred seventy seven thousand, two hundred and sixteen,” Ruth said faintly as she joined Julia at the window. “Just give yourself time.”

Time is the one thing I‘m not sure we have, Julia thought.

The older woman turned the green jewels of her eyes to the water. "I was thinking of a morning swim – to get a little exercise before the kids wake up. Would you be interested in joining me?"

"No, thank you. I should go to the caves today – try to scout a route home."

“So soon after Nourishing? I knew you did not see yourself as a permanent resident here, but I thought perhaps you’d stay a few weeks with us at least.”

“Howard is not doing as well as I thought.” She pointed at the partially empty bowl of Diana on the counter.

“He tried to Nourish last night?” Ruth laughed, as if she were watching a child try to walk in adult shoes. “That’s so cute.”

“I’m concerned about him.”

“The responsibilities of a woman are indeed unceasing.” Ruth’s eyes took on a weary look as she directed her attention out to the sea.

Julia examined the woman's features. Well into her forties, Julia surmised, given the age of the kids. And she doesn't have crow's feet, or for that matter, any other signs of age. The formation of wrinkles along the throat, the thinning of hair, the moles and other imperfections that mar skin over time – none of these were present.

Instead, the only outward sign of Ruth's true age was the color of her hair: silver hues had begun to mix with the woman's golden blond. But rather than diminish her attractiveness, the silver did the opposite: it leant her a aura of sophistication and elegance, much the same that greying hair did with men back on earth. Everything about the woman was naturally beautiful. Her cosmetic cabinet probably contains no makeup, no creams, nothing more than a toothbrush – if it even contains that. These women are blessed, Julia thought.

And yet, Ruth wasn't acting blessed today. Her emerald eyes had turned an olive drab against the grey sky. She closed them, and as if suffering from an inner pain, inhaled deeply. The "V" between her robe's panels erupted wide, revealing the marvelous depth of the woman's cleavage

Julia forced herself not to stare. "Is something wrong, Ruth?"

She let out a long, defeated sigh. "These morning swims used to be the highlight of my day here. One of my daughters would come along. We would explore together, frolic in the waves and the depths, share adventures that only Nourished women could share. I’m blessed to have three daughters; most women can only birth one. But my eldest daughter moved out long ago, and Becky is too young, and, Mindy has long since lost interest in cavorting with her mother.  And so I go alone."

"Your husband can't go with you?"

“To lollygag at the beach, sure. But not for a real swim." Ruth's crossed her forearms, thick with power, and stared at the waves. “I'm proud to be the head of my household, and the head of a company as well. But sometimes it gets lonely at the top, and never am I more aware of it than when I have to swim alone."

Julia felt a pang of guilt forming in her gut. This was the woman that had taken her and Howard in from the hospital. Julia owed her far more than a swim. "How long do you think it would take, if we went together?"

"You'd be interested? Really?" The emeralds of Ruth's eyes recovered their lustre. "We'd be back by breakfast, so you'd still have the rest of your day for your caves, if that is what you want to do."

Faced with the glow of Ruth's gemstones, Julia found her resistance to be made of softer stuff. "Sure," she said. "Can I borrow a suit?”

"Not for this kind of swimming." the woman replied. "We'll be using tails, and those can get you going really fast. All that speed would just create unnecessary wear and tear on the suit." In only a moment, she had shrugged out of her terry cloth robe and let it pile on the ground. Ruth was wearing nothing underneath. It was the first time Ruth had been naked in front of Julia. Her dimensions were positively herculean: thick slabs and dense balls of muscle everywhere the eye could roam, breasts that defied gravity and probably several other natural laws as well.

"You're…" Julia took in the woman's logic-defying dimensions. "You're magnificent."

Ruth let out a yelp of surprise. "Wow, thank you." She looked over her naked, sculpted form, as if for the first time. "It's been so many years since I first Nourished, I suppose it all had become commonplace to me. Hearing an outsider describe me in that way… magnificent… wow. It makes my toes tingle!"

Julia could only chuckle to herself. The woman was clearly in middle age, but with skin as smooth as a teenager’s and tits that were as prominent as they were ignorant off gravity. To think that such a nubile body had become commonplace to her!

The older woman untied the knot of Julia's robe. "Let's see what the Nourishment did for you over your second night," Julia felt the older woman's fingers sliding the robe off her shoulders, the cool tickle of air against her skin. "Nice. Your abs are showing about an inch of relief. I'd say you are twenty-two inches on the arms, twenty-nine on the thighs. You're a natural for this."

Ruth crossed the room and picked up a small, dumbell-shaped vial, perhaps an inch long and thick as a pencil. It had elegant silver ornamentation and contained a red liquid. Ruth unscrewed one of the wide ends, slipped the narrow bar through a piercing in her nipple, and then reattached it. On any Earth flesh, jewelry of this size would have seemed too big. But Ruth's nipple was thick as a strawberry: the vial was smothered by the sheer size of her feminine nub.

"What is it?" Julia asked.

"My husband’s blood. It’s traditional to put a vial of him through one of my tits whenever I go away from him. It's a reminder that, no matter how many men I enjoy, half of me still belongs to him."

How many men… Julia wondered how a woman could so naturally accept infidelity like this. But she also rubbed her own strawberry-sized nipple, wondering what it would feel like to be pierced by something so thick, to commit to a man with a puncture of that size.

Ruth eyed the motion of Julia’s fingers. “You’re thinking about Howard, aren’t you?”

Julia nodded. “You caught me.”

“One hundred eighty years of practice.”

That’s how old you are?

Ruth nodded.

“Howard was the man that saved me – not from any particular evil, but from myself. I thought I was ugly and worthless. But Howard – he always saw beauty in my even when I couldn’t find it myself. He always believed I was special, even when I didn’t believe the same thing. He means everything to me, and I wish I could wear something that so clearly showed it.” Her nipple stiffened and ached at the thought, feeling somehow hollow and lacking.

“Your dedication to that single man is impressive. You could teach a thing or two to a certain daughter of mine.”

Without shame for her nakedness, Ruth strode confidently outside, her robe wadded up in her fist.

Julia followed behind sheepishly, her panties still on, using her folded-up robe to screen her bust. “How exactly does it work here? You call Andos your husband, and yet there are these other men…”

“You will see many men come and go from every woman’s household. Most are only temporary dalliances, and they have no ongoing commitment to her. But every woman also maintains a harem of Claimed – men that are dedicated to that one woman for the remainder of their lives. She provides for him for the remainder of his days, and he dedicates his attention solely to her needs. In order for a man to become my Claimed, I must offer to Claim him and he must accept. The rules on this are very strict. It is the only important choice a man makes over the course of his life.”

I’m glad to hear that this world has at least some rules about something, Julia thought as she followed the naked woman down the beach. She adjusted the folded robe a bit more to shield herself.

“I love every man in my harem,” Ruth continued as they approached some large objects in on the sand. “But the greatest share of my love, my greatest affection, goes to my First Among, Andos. Howard could be this, if you ever decided to stay here.”

Ruth turned. She saw Julia’s lame attempt to cover herself and giggled. Ruth made a dismissive motion with her hand, and Julia complied, removing the robe.

As the sweet salt air tickled her nakedness, Ruth slid her hand down the front of Julia’s panties, taking possession of Julia’s only remaining coverage. "Is everyone this bashful where you come from?"

"Yes." Julia reddened. "We on Earth don't have perfect bodies, like you do."

"THEY don't have perfect bodies, like WE do" Ruth corrected. With a quick, forceful tug, Ruth snapped the panties clear off of her.

Julia gulped. There were men out walking their family dogs and this hour, but nobody seemed scandalized by the nakedness of the two women. They didn’t have to be. Julia was plenty scandalized herself.

"You said we were using something called a 'tail' for this swim?" Julia asked.

"Uh huh." Ruth pointed at two large objects, perhaps, each twenty feet in length, resembling the tail of a fish. "To get some exercise in the water, us ladies need some extra equipment. Simply thrashing our legs at full speed makes them act more like blenders than like propellers. So, when we work out in the water, we use these." The tails ended with broad fins about 10 feet wide. It was as if an enormous sea serpent had been severed in the middle, with the back half deposited on the ground.

"They look big," Julia said on instinct.

"They're only about five hundred pounds a piece," Ruth said, picking up one. "This one is mine. The other one is Mindy's but you can borrow it."

Five hundred pounds – Julia reminded herself not to be intimidated after her feats yesterday. She hoisted the twenty-foot-long mass onto her shoulder with reassuring ease. It glistened with iridescent beads, hundreds of them, the size of cherries. The material seemed somehow organic. She squeezed it a bit. It felt like flesh.

Once in the water, Ruth slid her legs into her tail and pulled it up to her waist. She looks like a mermaid, Julia thought, but a perverted version of one, with a tail twice as long and muscles many times as big.

Julia followed suit, slipping her legs in. The tail closed around her legs and hips on its own volition, squeezing the bottom half of her body like a giant hand. "Is this thing… Alive?"

"Not really. It's living tissue that's been grown in a lab. The part where it attaches to your torso is derived from clams, who are very good at attaching to other objects. The rest of it is mostly stiff organic fiber – good for transferring the energy of your leg motion across a wider area."

"I don't know, Ruth. It's really strange to be in the water with my legs confined, and something this large attached to me."

Julia tried to get her body vertical and tread water, but the massive tail scraped along the bottom and disrupted her balance. She was beginning to panic when she felt strong arms surround her torso. She then felt herself being rotated into a vertical position, on her side, eye-to-eye with Ruth.

"I've got you, honey," said the older woman.

Julia recovered her senses. She found herself staring into the sparkling emeralds of Ruth's eyes, her perfectly formed lips, the high cheekbones awash in the rose-colored light of dawn. Lordy she is beautiful, Julia sighed.071 Ruth Mermaid

And not just beautiful, but built for sex. Although their faces were nearly two feet apart, Julia could feel her nipples graze Ruth's under the water. That's how 'stacked' she is, how we both are, Julia thought. She found herself wondering what it would be like to explore Ruth's body, to run her hands along its incredible curves, feel her lips… oh, no. Julia felt her nipples hardening against the gentle pressure of Ruth's embrace. "Sorry," Julia whispered, her face reddening.

"My daughter told me that you have insecurities about being attracted to other women. She says that some women on Earth have intercourse only with men."

Julia's face reddened. "Yes.”

"That seems so unnatural to me. What is more natural is variety. Sometimes you might want one thing, sometimes you might want something else. We don't put our desires into categories. Every experience fulfills a different yearning.”

Julia felt a hand cup one of her breasts.

"And sometimes, we need something that only a woman can provide." Julia felt Ruth thumb and forefinger clasp her nipple. "This, for example, is about a thousand pounds of force."

The kind of pressure that would shatter concrete only filled Julia’s breast with needful warmth. She felt her nipple engorging itself against the crushing force.

"Oh… Oh wow… Ruth, you have to stop… Howard…"

"You're so cute about your devotion to him. The intensity of your feelings toward him is silly but also inspiring." Ruth removed her hand. "Ready to swim?"

Julia nodded vigorously. Anything to escape the mix desire and emotion that swirled within her.

"Do it like this," Ruth released Julia's arms and slid away. Then, the woman gave her tail a kick. She darted through the water.

Julia tried it, a single swift kick up and down with the legs. Attached as she was to a twenty-foot-long object, this effort would have produced nothing but embarrassment in her old body. But in her new one, her abdominal and thigh muscles caused an undulation to travel down her 500-pound tail.

"There's a rhythm to it," Ruth said. "Your Nourished body learns new physical skills about five hundred times faster an un-Nourished one. What would normally take you twenty hours to learn should take you just under three minutes. Experiment with your tail a bit and you'll find the rhythm."

Julia kicked her legs up and down again at regular intervals, sending undulations one after the other down the length of the tail. After several tries, she quickly settled into a pattern of movement, that, once established, sent her rocketing through the water.

"You're a natural!" Ruth shouted catching up to her.

"This is SO cool! How fast can we go with these tails on?"

"I'm not telling. Why don't you find out!" Ruth giggled.

Julia ducked below the water, and was off. Every one of her leg and abdominal muscles pounded away with delightful fury, piling on tremendous speed. Underwater, fish and kelp shot by in a blur. When she came up for air, her face smashed through waves like the prow of a motorboat.

Ruth pulled up alongside, breaching the surface for air. Julia watched as her companion's head smashed into wave after wave like a cannonball in flight, sending spray twenty feet into the air.

A sleek powerboat appeared ahead, traveling at full speed out into the open ocean – probably a group leaving first thing in the morning for a day of fishing, Julia figured. Such was the boat's speed that it produced white plumes of spray in front of it. Julia slowed to a halt and righted herself, tail swishing gently beneath her for stability. Ruth followed suit.

"Think we can catch up to it?" Julia asked.

"It's so refreshing to be around you Julia. The innocence, the wonder - – you make me feel like young again, like an seventy-year-old woman. To think we’d have trouble catching a mere powerboat!”

Julia shrugged her huge shoulders, palms skyward. “What do I know?

“Prove it to yourself. Go catch them.”

Julia dutifully shot off toward the boat, torso and leg muscles felt like they were exploding as she put everything she had into the pursuit. THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP went the waves as she smashed through them like the prow of the powerboat they were chasing, Ruth following closely behind. They were moving with frightening speed, she knew, the water smashing against her body with force that would have killed her before the Nourishment. But her new body enjoyed the abuse immensely.

At the speed the women traveled, the boat went from a speck to something much larger in only a minute. A thick white froth emanated from its two large outboard engines: the craft was moving with at least half the throttle open, away from them. Julia kicked a bit harder and tried to imagine the immense power the her legs and abdomen were exerting. She laughed to herself. Although Julia did have to put some effort into it, closing the distance with the weaker machine was not hard.

When it was painfully obvious how easily their quarry would be caught, Ruth signaled for a stop.

Want to go say 'hi' to them?" Ruth proposed.

"I don't know," Julia hesitated, covering her breasts with her hands. "We're topless, after all."

"What’s wrong with that?” Ruth asked.

Julia cradled herself. “I’m a bit shy, that’s all.”

“Is there something about your body that could be improved?” Ruth sounded genuinely concerned. She brushed Julia’s hands away from her breasts and cupped them in her hands.

Julia then felt herself being hoisted out of the water by Ruth’s extraordinary strength – nearly a thousand pounds of force applied to the undersides of her breasts. It did not hurt in the slightest. Ruth was bringing the younger woman’s bosom to eye level and giving it a good look.

“54-inch bustline. No sagging. Symmetrical to within one tenth of one millileter. A pair of thick, pronounced nipples. Perfection. Many turn to jelly around breasts like these. Come, let’s go make some new friends.”

Ruth shot away.

“He girl, wait up!” Julia protested, still unsure she wanted to do this.

Within moments, the two women were alongside the boat. They were cruising like dolphins, dipping below the surface for speed and then coming back up again for air and orientation.

The arrival of the women had not gone unnoticed on the boat: the passengers, all men, had assembled on the deck and were pointing.

"A full boat of Unclaimed, with no women on board!" Ruth announced to her friend over the pounding of the water. "It’s a gift from the ocean gods!"

"Are you sure your husband doesn't mind you… Spending time with them?"

"Are you kidding?” Ruth yelled over the wind. “He's been BEGGING me to find some new boyfriends, so that he can actually get some sleep. Hi boys!” Ruth waved at the boat.

They smiled and waved back, enthusiastic. Julia was sure they'd seen Nourished women before, but they waved with the enthusiasm of men who were seeing women for the first time.

"How fast are you going?" Ruth yelled. Her powerful voice boomed across the waves, exceeding even the sound of the engines.

There was a brief pause as someone checked the gauge. "About 40 miles an hour," came the shout back.

"How fast do you think it will go?"

The boat responded by accelerating.

"That's it?" Ruth’s booming voice teased over the sound of the engines.

Julia watched the woman set her jaw in concentration and then rocket forward through the water, easily doubling whatever pitiful speed the boat had achieved. Julia followed. They left the boat behind them by several hundred yards, then crossed its path, turned back towards it, and then crossed behind its stern.

The two outboard motors were huge, perhaps four feet across. They must have been hundreds of hosepower apiece, and yet she was doing laps around it using only her muscles!

“You guys ready to see some real speed?” Ruth boomed.

The guys applauded and pumped their fists in the air.

“Here goes!” Ruth dove straight down into the water, disappearing.

Suddenly, the woman burst out of the water vertically, like a ballistic missile. She must have picked up immense velocity while underwater. Her body and its enormous tail arced clear over the boat and splashed down on the other side.

The men went wild with applause. They were clearly having a blast, and it was hard for Julia not to get caught up in the excitement. The boat slowed to a no-wake speed.

"Those guys are head over heels for you," Julia observed.

A perfectly white smile spread across Ruth's face, and her eyes sparkled. She gestured at the fishing poles that were still in their mountings. "See anything interesting out here yet?" she shouted.

Several of the men shook their heads.

She flipped over on her back. Ruth's magnificent breasts broke the surface of the water and pointed jubilantly skyward. "How about now?"

Wild hoots and hollers followed.

Ruth was being more flirtatious than Julia would have expected from a corporate executive and mother of four. And it made Julia unexpectedly possessive. Her memories of that hug Ruth gave her on the beach came flooding back. Despite herself, she found a wetness forming down in the depths of her tail, and it wasn't from the ocean water. Julia found herself approaching the woman from behind and wrapping an arm around her waist. "Sorry boys," she found herself shouting. "She's mine this morning!"

What the hell am I doing, Julia wondered to herself? But nonetheless, Julia found herself tightening her embrace, delighting in the feeling of her breasts pressing into the other woman's back with hundreds of pounds of force. "All mine!" Julia emphasized.

"No fair!" countered one of the guys, playing along. He reached into a cooler and threw a handful of ice cubes at her.

"Oh, is that how it is?" Julia asked. She flicked her massive tail at the boat, sending hundreds of gallons crashing across the deck, scattering men across its surface and drenching their bodies.

Guys tried to stand but slipped and fell on the flooded deck. Beers and baseball caps and sunglasses spilled into the ocean. The water drained out of the scuppers like it was coming out of a firehose. The engines sputtered to a halt in a cloud of white smoke.

Julia felt terrible. But to her surprise, that wasn’t the only thing she felt. There was also…

…An unexpected thrill. Water was continuing to gush off the deck. The boat looked like it had barely survived a monsoon. She had done all of that with just a flick of her legs. So much fucking power, Julia thought to herself, stunned. That boat may as well have been a toy in the bathtub. They weren’t bad guys, from what she could tell – certainly not deserving of what she had just done to them. But she had immense power over them nonetheless, and that felt… disturbingly good.

"I'm sorry!" Julia remembered to shout.

The men returned only wounded looks, casting disconsolate stares at the floating baseball caps and half-finished cans of beer.

“I am an awful person,” Julia announced to her friend. “I can’t believe I did that.”

Ruth wrapped a reassuring arm around Julia’s torso. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even after all these years, I sometimes lose track of how weak they are. If I upraided myself every time I knocked a guy over or gave him a few bruises, I don’t think I’d ever bring myself to leave the house.”

That made Julia feel better. Being superhumanly powerful did have its challenges, didn’t it?

"Why aren't they saying anything?" Julia asked quietly, continuing to observe the activity on board. “They ought to be chewing me out.”

"You could tear their boat to shreds if you felt like it." Ruth answered. "They know the price of making you upset."

"That's pretty sick.” But pretty cool too, a voice inside Julia said. The feeling resurged inside of her – the thrill of her raw power, and the satisfaction of knowing she had so much more of it than men. Tingles of pleasure coursed througout her body, and she had to force herself back to the matters at hand. "I want to make it up to them," she confessed to Ruth.

"That’s your prerogative. You have strength, money intelligence. They have nothing. The choice is always yours." Ruth directed her voice toward the boat. "My friend wants to make it up to you!”

The activity on the deck stopped. The men were listening.

0702 IMG 0105Ruth gave a quick flick to her tail and dove underwater. The surface was calm for a moment until she shot back up, vertically, alongside the boat. She grabbed the outer railing of the vessel and hoisted herself up on it, arms straight down, railing even with her upper thighs. Julia followed suit, hoisting herself up until her arms, too, were extended straight below her. They looked like gymnasts beginning a routine on the uneven bars, but with enormous fish-like tails extending below them into the water.

“Her name is Julia, and mind is Ruth. Are you still mad at us?”

From this position, the woman's naked breasts were eye-level for her audience. Each was half again as large as the men's heads. Ruth sighed, causing her massive mounds to balloon into the space in front of her. Their presence was overwhelming.

"It's ok," Ruth offered to the men. "You can say what's on your mind."

The men were transfixed. The anger that previously burned inside the men seemed suddenly to dissipate. Their limbs went a little bit slack. The tension in their faces eased. Their acuity, too, must have slackened, because none of them was able to produce a response. The deck was silent apart from the noise of the outboard engines trying, and failing, to restart.

"Or is nothing on your mind at all?" Ruth taunted. "Or maybe, your minds have emptied to clear space for these?" She removed one hand from the railing and cupped her breast, its heavy flesh spilling over and between her fingers. "They are huge, I know. Much bigger than your brains."

The men returned only awestruck stares.

Julia giggled. Did they even realize that Ruth was making fun of them?

"You see, my young Julia, bare breasts are intimidating to men. They contain so much of their own power. That’s why we usually cover up. It’s a courtesy to a gender that is so much more fragile than ours.”

Power, in boobs? It seemed silly, but strangely true. The men stared at her chest the way a zookeeper might look at a tiger that had gotten out of its cage – aware of the creature’s beauty, yes, but doubly aware of some unstated threat.

“But I get tired of covering up,” Ruth continued. “Sometimes I feel like I spend half my emotional energy just keeping the boys around me from feeling intimidated. What’s the harm in showing them our magnificence from time to time?”

0703 IMG 0107Julia admitted that she was beginning to like showing off. Unlike the leering glances she would have expected on earth, the stares she received here were the purest combination of need and respect.

Ruth raised her voice so that everyone on board could hear. "Maybe we could help get your day back on track. Permission to come aboard?"

One of the guys nodded, enthusiastic and intimidated at the same time.

With deft motion, Ruth slipped out of her mermaid's tail and clipped it to one of the boat's dock lines. She threw her legs over the railing and soon stood among them, fully naked.

Julia followed suit, forcing herself to resist for a final time the instinct to be bashful about nudity in front of a host of male strangers.

Ruth pointed to six of the guys. "Why don't you boys get the engine restarted, while the rest of you tell me about your fishing plans for the day?"

With the women on board, the activity on the deck appeared to shift to a new, happier mode. The energy seemed to come back into the men's limbs. When the men slipped on the still-wet deck, they just chuckled, shook their heads. We have that effect on them, Julia realized. And unlike Mindy or Amanda’s shenanigans, the effect that Ruth and Julia now produced wasn't from magic or body chemistry, but instead from pure, radiant beauty.

Since a flurry of guys had formed around Ruth, Julia was, for a moment, alone. She turned her attention to the activity around the outboard motors. They were huge, 350 horsepower a piece, she had learned. Six guys were struggling to hoist one of them. They grunted with effort, and their muscles were visibly strained. Julia could see that the sheen of seawater had burned off their foreheads and had been replaced with the finer droplets that came from perspiration.

"Whatchya doin?" Julia asked.

The men ceased their struggle with the engine and began to experience a new struggle: the challenge of answering a simple question without permitting their eyes to course over the nakedness of her jaw-dropping figure. Julia could only smile as she watched the brief battle between their minds and their bodies.

"The outboard engines are waterlogged," one of the men finally answered. "They need to be pulled out of the water to drain."

“They don’t have drains on the bottom of the casing? How is a man supposed to drain it without a woman’s help?”

“They don’t design engines with men in mind.”

Julia approached one of the outboards. The small crowd of men cleared for her. She had to ask for help reading the language on the casing.

"800 pounds," explained one of the guys.

"That's pretty light," she remarked, before realizing the absurdity of it. Only a few days ago, weight like that was unimaginable to her.

She grabbed the engine with one hand and unfastened it from the boat with the other. Her upper arm, thick with enhanced female muscle fiber, barely swelled as she hoisted the huge object clear of its mountings. She considered the mass as it hung suspended in midair – ten feet long, four feet across, heavier than all four of the men combined and enough to crush any of them to death. But to her, it was no heavier than a small coil of dockline. Her arm didn't quiver in the least. It could, she knew, do so much more.

She felt the rapt stares of the men on her body, her naked perfection. Their breathing had deepened and become more labored, she noticed. I'm turning them on just by standing here! Her nipples stiffened slightly at the more she thought about it. She liked their attention. She liked their their appearance. She winked at one of them and watched his shorts distend with uncomfortable firmness. She found herself wondering what it would feel like to…

No! He mind rebelled at the suggestion. Why did she desire these men when she had Howard waiting for her back home? But the answer came from somewhere deep within her body: I want them all. The notion sickened her almost as much as it turned her on.

Forcing herself to the matter at hand, Julia realized that she was still holding the huge engine in mid-air. She twisted her wrist, rotating the entire 800-pound object on its axis. A thin stream of water spilled out.

"We never could have fixed that – not if we have twice as many guys and all day to do it," one of the guys whispered to another.

She twisted her wrist again, flipping it over. This drained the rest.

What's impossible for them is effortless for me, Julia realized. They are not upset anymore because they know what's good for them: just as easily as I can ruin their day, I can save it, with nothing more than a flock of my wrist. She returned the engine to its mountings, sliding the inch-thick pins into their collars with a heavy CLICK.

Satisfied that the first engine was drained, she performed the same tasks with the other one. Once back on their mountings, the engines started easily. Returning to the foredeck, Julia found Ruth reclining on some deck cushions, reviewing a map of the ocean with some of the guys. Her tone of voice with the men was flirtatious.

"They've been trying to catch giant hunter eel," Ruth announced to her friend.

"What the hell is a 'giant hunter eel'? It sounds like something a bush league science fiction writer would invent."

"They're very real to us. And hard critters to catch," offered one of the guys. "They're predators, so they range over a wide area and are constantly on the move. Strong, too – teeth four inches long. The kind of fish that is more than happy to eat your lure and your line, and your arm, too, if you're not careful."

"Aren't there any easier fish out there?" Julia asked.

"Sure, but the licenses to fish these are pretty cheap: they're an invasive species. Been chomping their way through native fauna for a few years now. So the government sees us as performing a service."

There again was that relationship between men and money. The men didn't have it. Julia was reminded of Mindy's comments about the Men's Beach, how the bathers there couldn't afford beach houses like the women. Out here, Julia could imagine women with their large, expensive yachts doing whatever sport fishing they liked, no matter how expensive the license.

"Is the meat any good?"

"Meat's great if you can catch it. Problem is, they're so strong, they just tear the lures right off the lines. We went out yesterday and came back empty-handed. We're hoping for better luck today. We can’t afford to keep the boat out for much longer."

"Oh, I'm sorry guys. I hope it goes better."

"It will." Ruth sat up. "I'm sure of it."

-----------

Their tail fins back on, the women tread water as they watched the boat speed away.

"How did I do up there?" Julia asked. "Do you think they'll forgive me?"

"I think they already have. You did great – far better than Mindy would have."

"Really?"

"If I had boarded that boat with Mindy, I would have spent the entire time trying to keep her from hurting the men's feelings." Ruth sighed. “It like she resents them, for some reason. But you, on the other hand…” Ruth’s smile turned into a mischievous grin.

“What? I just want to make it up to them.”

At that, her eyes positively sparkled. “You wanted to make love to them, you mean.”

Julia diverted her gaze down into the grey depths. “I have Howard.”

“Your body has more love in it than Howard can handle. You are an ocean which far exceeds the volume of his vessel.”

Julia watched the boat beginning to circle, the men on its deck dropping fishing lines in to the water. Even from here, she could see the see their rugged features, the bulges in their pants. She wanted to their rough, calloused hands against her skin, to touch those bulges and fell them stiffen into something more. “I like them more than I want to, Ruth. More than I should. My love belongs to Howard. I’m not a…”

Slut.

Julia didn’t dare say it, but that was how she felt.

“It’s not your fault, Julia. My ancestors were much like you before the Nourishment. The fruit alters the relationship between your body and your brain, removes the unnecessary feelings of attachment. You can make love a thousand men and your love for Howard will still burn as bright as it always has.”

Julia’s heart fluttered at the idea. She wanted those men. She wanted their hands on her. Their lips on her. She wanted to tear their clothes off and pin them to the ground, dominate their weak, adorable bodies with her inhumanly powerful passion.

Julia tread her hands through the water, spreading her hands away from her as if to brush away everything about this world that was so deeply wrong.

“I did like seeing how happy we made them.”

“Well, if you really want to see them smile some more… I have an idea. Andos is taking Becky and Roddie and the other boys to summer camp. They will all be gone for a month. I told the boys on the boat that, if they get lucky catching eels, we can throw them an eel bake on the beach. But they have to catch some eels, or no party.”

"Ruth, you're messing with their heads!" Julia laughed, giving her friend a playful shove through the water. "You know they're never going to catch anything!"

"Maybe they won't, maybe they will.” She spread her arms wide, as if to embrace the entirety of the sea. “All of nature bows to the Nourished.”

"I don't get it."

Ruth raised her hand out of the water and then pointed an index finger down into it. "Down there. Several hundred feet down there. Twelve feet long. Thick as a garbage can and all muscle. And lots of teeth. Maybe we go rough them up a bit, make them easier to catch."

"No," Julia responded. "That sounds scary."

But her objections were heard only by the ocean waves. Ruth had already dipped below the surface. The hunt was on.

"Fuck me," the woman whispered, before diving below the waves herself.

-----------

It took forever to find Ruth. That was because Julia had been looking close to the surface, where human beings are supposed to swim, not straight down. When Julia finally did look below her, she saw the glimmer Ruth's own tail down in the distance.

Julia felt a nervous know in her gut as she followed her friend down. Normally, the pressure at the bottom of a swimming pool was enough hurt her ears. But she descended now without pain – twenty-five feet, and then fifty. When will the pain come, she wondered? The descent continued – one hundred feet, two hundred, so deep that she couldn't tell for sure. Aren't my lungs supposed to collapse at some point? But it felt easy, natural.

Finally, Ruth stopped and motioned Julia close. Pointing, Ruth's arm traced a line to a writhing grey mass about a fifty feet wide, huddled in a crevasse on the sea floor.

Ruth then pointed up, indicating that she wanted Julia to surface with her.

Once they had done so, Ruth's hand disappeared beneath the waves, and came back with several iridescent beads the size of cherries. "These are stitched into the side of our tails. They aren't just decorative. They're full of solid oxygen – not the gas, but the solid."

She handed one to Julia. "Bite the casing to release the oxygen. Keep your lips closed for that part: it will feel like a grenade going off in your mouth. That's the oxygen expanding to a gas. Once it's released, your lungs will absorb it within seconds. Spit the casing out and you should have about a twenty-minute supply of air in your bloodstream."

"Will it hurt me?"

"No, silly. Just don't swallow them by mistake, or you'll fart like a rhinoceros."

That made Julia giggle. She considered the bead in her hand. "There must be two hundred of these on my tail."

"Closer to two thousand." Ruth motioned to the seemingly endless depths below, still gray with the muted light of dawn. "You could spend a month down there if you needed to."

Julia tried to imagine the implications. No SCUBA equipment, no need to surface every twenty minutes – she could explore thousands of miles of underwater scenery without ever bothering to surface. These enhancements her body had experienced – they offered more than the ability simply to do old things better. They opened entire new worlds to her.

But all this power came at a price, Julia realized as she followed Ruth into the depths. The line between the safe and the dangerous was no longer visible to her, and without more experience in this body, it would be easy to wander well onto the wrong side of that line.

As Julia descended, the reassuring light of the sky constricted itself into smaller and smaller circles behind her, and the gloom loomed ahead.

-----------

They were big, just as Ruth had promised. And, by all appearances, mean. Just like Ruth had said, they were twenty-foot long cylinders of muscle, thick as mature trees, and capped by rows of sharp teeth with sinister yellow eyes. And they were numerous: a pack of thirty writhed together in a giant knot.

0705 Fight A0706 Fight BThe undersea realm had been denuded of all life. Whereas Julia had seen fauna of many colors and stripes in other areas, here the water was grey and empty. These eels, she realized, had destroyed everything.

Roughhouse a little bit, Ruth had said. With these monsters? What the hell was she thinking? The beasts were not only huge, but visibly angry. And their teeth – my lord – each mouth contained more blades than Julia’s whole kitchen. And Julia was armed with, what, their bare hands?

She so felt defenseless and exposed that, instinctively, she covered her topless torso with her arms. As she did so, she looked with longing at the surface of the water, twenty stories above. From here, the light of the sky was only faint, and it made her feel so alone. What would happen if I sustained a bite from one of them, Julia wondered? How long until I bleed to death? How would they even find us? Will Howard get a phone call only after our bodies wash up on the beach?

She turned to Ruth, who was floating vertically, her tail swishing just enough to keep her upper body immobile against the current. See seemed to be sizing up the gaggle of death that swarmed in front of them. Julia wished that she could talk to Ruth right now, ask why exactly a little morning exercise had turned into a trip to the ocean floor, to confront something that eats swimmers for breakfast.

But there would be no conversation. Ruth was swimming toward the writhing mass already.

With a reluctant flick of her tail, Julia followed. You’re fast and you’re strong, Julia tried to remind herself. Fast and strong. Use those abilities as much as you can.

She watched the creatures reflexively open their jaws and close them, revealing for a moment their glittering phalanx of teeth. Those teeth were clearly sharp enough to cut through any flesh, Nourished or otherwise. With only the sound of her heartbeat to fill her ears, Julia felt a new rush of fear thump through her.

When it finally happened, it happened fast. The knot of giant eels unwound itself. Three of the creatures unleashed an underwater scream and launched themselves at Julia. Her mind unleashed a scream of its own as she darted away, her tail jerking back and forth in panic. She lost track of Ruth as she barreled toward the safety of the sea floor. On it were hulks of sunken driftwood – some of it quite large – grey limbs reaching upward into the water like the arms of the drowning.

0707 Fight C0708 Fight DJulia darted behind a large branch, maybe two feet thick. One of the eels opened its mouth wide and then brought it down with a CRUNCH: the creature's jaw cut easily through the trunk, a cloud of wood splinters billowing into the water. With a twist of its head, the creature tossed away the severed section and refocused its sinister yellow glow on her.

Those teeth cut through solid wood like it wasn’t even there, Julia’s mind shuddered. I have to get away, she thought, pumping her tail furiously. Julia darted behind an even larger submerged tree.

But the eels did not relent. A second one came after her. It spread its jaws wide and closed its mouth on the thick driftwood trunk. Another eruption of splinters filled the water.

No, Julia’ mind gasped, this can’t be happening! Julia shot out of the driftwood forest with a sudden burst of speed, surprising her assailants and leaving them, momentarily, behind.

She jerked her head in all directions, searching for Ruth, and found her close to the surface. The purple/green of Ruth’s tail was surrounded by the writhing grey of the eel pack. Ruth had drawn the bulk of the pack away from Julia, she realized. They were clearly pissed, and now Ruth was facing them– alone.

A dread overcame Julia. She had known Ruth for only a few days, but Julia felt an affinity for her that she felt for no other woman. Only Ruth had come to save her when she found herself marooned in a world of amazons. Only Ruth seemed to understand the bewilderment Julia felt in her transition to a Nourished body. And in contrast to Mindy, whose youthful confidence seemed boundless, only Ruth had shown Julia her vulnerable side, the beginnings of a true friendship. And now her nascent friend was facing a pack of death on her own.

The eels surrounding Ruth chortled out an underwater scream and lunged at the woman, their mouths wide open and showing their full array of vicious teeth. The water around Ruth became a ball of grey eel flesh as the attack ensued.

"NOOOO!" Julia screamed into the water.

At that moment, something changed inside Julia. An unexpected rage overcome her. With an angry thrash of her tail, she shot up to the ball of sea life that surrounded her friend. Julia surfaced explosively, scattering the attackers. She swung a wild, inexperienced punch at one of the huge creatures, hoping to create a distraction.

But when her fist connected with the beast's head, Julia felt something collapse under the blow. She piled more punches into the animal and watched its head begin to deform. I destroyed the thing's skull, Julia finally realized, as it floated away, unmoving.

She did not take time to celebrate. More of the disgusting creatures had circled her and were now attacking with a predator's fury. Julia swung her tail in a wild arc, hoping to catch one of them in the midsection. She heard a CRUNCH as her target's ribcage collapsed.

The water around Julia became a cloud of angry grey flesh. The creatures were everywhere, circling her, probing the perimeter defined by her swinging fists, lunging and receding. Julia twisted her head back and forth, swung her fists with abandon. But the swarm around her only tightened. Her eyes could not be everywhere at once. And so she didn't see the eel that had circled behind her – until she felt its terrible jaw close around her torso.0709 Fight E

Hundreds of teeth – the length of kitchen paring knives and far sharper – slammed down on her abdomen and breasts and neck and arm. A loud CRUNCH filled Julia's ears. Julia screamed in desperation. She got dragged underwater for a moment. When her head broke the surface of the water again, the air was full of…

…laughter. It was Ruth's voice, sultry and powerful at the same time. "What are you screaming about?"

Another giant eel closed in for the attack, jaw opened wide. Julia raised an arm in defense, but too late. The creature's jaw snapped shut over her forearm and bicep. Julia felt no pain.

The giant eel, confused, locked its jaw, mandible muscles flaring as it bore into her. Julia felt nothing. She rotated her arm, a quizzical expression on her face. The five-hundred-pound beast rotated with her.

Another eel approached from behind Julia, and she reacted. With the eel still on her forearm, she swung it hard into the new attacker, bringing the creatures together with a loud CRACK. It was the sound of their bodies breaking. Water sprayed twenty feet in the air from the collision.

Julia watched with fascination as the eel's jaw slackened and slipped off her forearm. There was not even a scratch! Her body was imbued with not only the strength of hundreds, but also an invulnerability she had not even explored – yet another absurdity that she would have to struggle to believe.

The water around Julia was still writhing with the creatures, their anger only amplified. Julia unfurled her arms skyward and backward, jutting her breasts at them. They used to be so small and tender, Julia remembered. When I played soccer, getting hit there by the soccer ball was painful. But now – she watched the waves bend around their curvature – I want to feel how much abuse they can take.

When the next creature lunged at her, she only smiled. It was the largest attacker yet. It's jaws slammed shut over her torso like a steel trap. Julia watched with fascination. Teeth sharp enough to splinter wood only dimpled the flesh of her breasts. She flexed her abdominals, instantly turning her midriff into a column of granite, and watched rows of teeth shatter against the extreme hardness of those muscles. One of the animal's incisors landed on her nipple: she wiggled back and forth with delight as it hardened and drove the tooth backward into its socket cracking the monster's jaw. Julia found the center of the creature's skull and slammed her fist downward, almost as an experiment, to watch more closely what would happen. The skull shattered like an oyster cracker under the force of her enhanced muscles. She wound up her fist for another punch, but it wasn't needed: the creature stopped writhing and spilled into the deep. These monsters had destroyed everything they encountered, she thought, but against me they are little more than toys. My power is that awesome.

"You finally letting yourself have fun yet, girl?" Ruth's sonorous voice asked.

"I'm learning." Julia popped an oxygen bead in her mouth and dipped back below the waves. Curiosity replaced fear as Julia examined the predators that encircled her.

Upon seeing the deaths of their pack-mates, the beasts had backed away a few yards, giving Julia a greater berth. The eels snarled snarled at her and spun in angry circles with unspent pathos. Julia feinted a swing of her fists, and the creatures instantly recoiled. They were terrified, Julia realized.

An opening formed in the wall of swarm. Into it swam the largest eel she had yet seen: thirty feet long and perhaps six feet across. This is the leader of the hunting pack, Julia realized. It snarled at her with unfettered anger.

Julia looked around. Carcasses of her former opponents floated away in thick maroon clouds of their own blood. She had never been a combative person, but when she saw the fear and destruction she had wrought, her confidence swelled.

The leader of the pack, the largest of the giant eels, snarled again. Julia snarled back. The creature lunged, its jaws wide. With lightning speed, Julia grabbed its top and bottom jaws, one in each hand, and held them open. The giant eel's body thrashed wildly in protest, throwing its weight around with enough force to capsize a small boat. And yet, its weight and momentum were nothing compared to the sheer power of Julia's enhanced muscle. For the thousand pounds of muscle the creature possessed, it may as well have been a minnow.

She shoved the creature away from her and hit the side of its head with an open-handed blow. A loud SMACK resonated through the water. The creature reeled backwards, dazed and uncertain. I am greater than you, Julia thought – greater than any adversary you can imagine. She raised her arm and considered her bicep, filled with muscle fiber hundreds of times more efficient than anything on earth. Julia slowly brought her fist to her chin and watched with delight as her bicep expanded from the size of a football to something even greater. The uncertainty in the creature's eyes seemed to grow. Julia raised her other arm and balled that muscle into its full 27-inch greatness as well. She poured all her strength into the pose, feeling her forearms and lats and deltoids explode outward – a coordinated display of supercharged brawn. The creature seemed to shudder as Julia swelled large before it, the yellow in its eyes appearing no longer sinister, but pale with uncertainty. Julia let out a underwater roar – a torrent of air bubbles and sound that seemed to shake the ocean it self. The giant eel, the leader of them all, recoiled from her, collapsing its body like an accordion.

And then it bolted. In fact, the whole pack bolted, following their leader.

Julia reveled in the moment. The most vicious wildlife she had ever encountered had succumbed to her overwhelming power and was fleeing in fear. She was the alpha creature – in the water, on the boat, on the land. She was now the predator, and they were the prey.

"They messed with the wrong bitch, didn't they?" Ruth laughed as Julia surfaced again.

"Yes, they did. I thought they were going to hurt you," Julia explained, wrapping her arms around Ruth. "And I couldn't stand to see you hurt." Their naked torsos came together with bone-crushing force – far more force than the eel had been able to exert with its bite.

"Hurt me? Julia, you are as endearing as you are naive," Ruth replied. Her inch-long nubs poked playfully into Julia's flesh.

It felt so good to hold her, watching the play of the morning light on the emerald of Ruth's eyes, feeling the swell of her powerful body that pressed into Julia with unfathomable, delightful force – a force that no man could withstand. She wondered what other pleasures their supercharged bodies could share that a man’s could not – thoughts that had never before zig-zagged across her straight mind.

She forced herself to focus on the task at hand.

“What now?" Julia asked.

"Well, it's just like you wanted: we make amends to the men on the boat."

Julia forced her mind to shift. Her thoughts slowly left the world of the powerful, the fearless and the feminine. They returned, with reluctance, to the world of the weak, the fearful, and the masculine. "And how do we help those poor men?"

"We herd the eels straight under their fishing poles."

In a flash, the women were off. Julia's legs and torso moved with strength an order of magnitude greater than anything existing in un-Nourished nature. Her tail beat the water with an indulgent fury. She shot forward into the depths at a speed that was an easy multiple of whatever the weaker, giant eels could do. Even though their quarry had a head start, Julia had no reservations about her ability to catch it.

The pack of eels was following a course parallel to the shore, with the open ocean to their left. Ruth rocketed to their right. They spun out to sea.

Julia, surfaced long enough to get her bearings on the fishing boat, and then descended again, pointing. She rocketed to the left of the herd, refining their course.

Ruth took up a position on the right flank of the herd, Julia on the left. When one of the creatures strayed, the women moved at blinding speed, corralling it with ease. Soon, the hull of a boat darkened the surface above: they had found the men's fishing vessel. Thick fishing line hung from the boat down into the depths, creating streamers of reflected light. At the end of the lines were hooks worthy of a 500 pound animal. Apart from the bait, the hooks were empty.

When the eels saw the bait, they pounced. Lines that had been slack with inactivity quickly straightened. A hum pervaded the water: Julia learned later that this was the sound of the winches on the reels, designed to haul in beasts too large for men to haul in on their own. Some of the eels struggled, causing the winches to groan and slow, but Ruth simply slapped them, on the side of the head, dazing them and robbing the, of their strength. The giant sea creatures never had a chance– not against the women.

It was about fifteen minutes later that the women surfaced, at a distance beyond the notice of the boat. Hooting and hollering could be heard echoing across the water.

Julia felt Ruth's arms encircle her from behind, loosely. Grasping Ruth's elbows, Julia guided them together, enjoying the tightening embrace.

Ruth snuggled the younger woman as she turned her ear to the hollars from the boat. “What do you say– did we turn their day around a bit?”

More than a bit, Julia could tell. “They so weak,” she acknowledged for the first time. “And yet, listen to them. They’re so happy!”

“Why wouldn’t they be?” Ruth asked. “They have everything.”

Julia thought about that during the swim back, the roar of the rushing water fading to background noise as her inner thoughts gained volume. Yes, yes – what Ruth said was true. Howard had gone ocean fishing before – almost caught a swordfish once – but it was nowhere near the day that these guys had enjoyed. And the reward for their great catch? A huge party on the beach – a bonfire, all the food they could eat, and when it was over, time with Ruth.

Ruth.

They had arrived at the beach, and Julia watched the woman emerging from the water alongside her, massive fin draped over her shoulder. The woman’s torso was positively herculean, her arms like cannons, her breasts magnificent. The woman’s skin was perfectly smooth, her hair shone silver and gold in the sunlight, framing a face that no sane man could resist kissing. Those men would soon have a chance to fuck her until the sun came up – as much as their little bodies could handle.

Yes, Ruth was right. For the next few days at least, these men had everything.

A new sense of hope cast light into Julia’s brooding darkness. If these men could be happy here, Julia realized, then surely Howard could too.

-----------

The beach was rife with activity by now – fishermen hauling nets out to their boats, fathers watching their children play in the sand, younger men apparently single, walking ankle-deep in the water.

Ruth made no attempt to cover herself, and this time, neither did Julia. Let them stare, Julia thought to herself. How could she deny these poor little men the thrill of looking at her?

0710 IMG 0109Her body, after all, was spectacular. And she felt spectacular.

“Thank you for talking me out of spending a dreary day in the caves,” Julia said as they crossed the ankle-deep water with long strides.

The woman laughed, lightly. “Maybe I’m the one who should be thanking you–for making me feel young again.”

"Well, at a minimum, it's brought the flirt out in you."

Ruth cast a bashful smile into the sand. “I’ve been so busy at work, I didn’t realize what a rut I was getting into. My harem is down to only three or four men, and even at work, the surface of my desk has felt the weight of only a handful of men. I can’t wait to rip the clothes of those boys when they get back. The variety will be so refreshing!”

Julia knew how she wanted her brain to react: she wanted to find Ruth’s promiscuity objectionable. But something about having her way with twelve– count ‘em, twelve – men was strangely thrilling to her. Julia’s body felt the urge growing. No unwanted pregnancies, no trasmitted diseases, endless stamina – the Nourished could have sex from sundown to sunup and enjoy every moment of it far more than her unenhanced body ever could. The thought of indulging herself in that way – so many men! – it sent shivers through her, all the way down to the toes.

They arrived at Julia’s robe, still piled on the beach. The sounds of breakfast being prepared emanated from the kitchen window.

Ruth took her friend’s fin. “I’ll put these away and see you at breakfast. And here is your robe.”

Watching the pendulum sway of Ruth’s derriere as she walked away, one thousand pounds of material on her shoulder, made Julia feel so warm inside. But then she turned her attention to the cold, clammy robe, wadded up in her hands. She was reluctant to put it on. Men – the dads, the single guys – were turning their heads toward her with diminishing shyness. They wanted her– all of them. It felt surprisingly good to be so brazeningly ogled in this way.

0711 Julia at the BeachBeauty was its own sort of power, she realized, and she now possessed it. There was almost an energy in the air.

Julia chuckled to herself at the thought of showing up naked for breakfast. Ruth and Mindy wouldn’t bat an eye, and even Andos could probably deal with it. But Howard, no, it would weird him out too much. And so, with a sigh of regret, she slid her arms through the sleeves, the smothering plushness of the robe replacing the airy breeze.

Before pulling the panels of the robe shut, she took one last look down at the sculpture her body had become. Skin that was every bit as tough as steel had the appearance of new, perfectly spun silk, a flawlessness that no human being should be able to possess. Rising and falling with each breath were large and shapely breasts, obscuring with their movement two proud rows of cobblestone-like abs. And beyond them, the powerful swell of her thighs – muscles that had propelled her body across a hundred miles of water as if it were no more than a dog paddle in the backyard pool. Every inch of her musculature was perfectly defined, perfectly symmetrical, perfectly shaped.

When she pulled the panels of the robe shut, the men seened to recover their senses: their shoulders slumped just a little bit more, and the spring in their step lessened. The energy in the air had disappeared– for for them and for Julia.

Julia’s feet plodded towards the house. Her new body was simply spectacular, she admitted to herself. It deserves to be shown off. It wanted to be shown off. And the thick robe – the one she wore for Howard – simply felt constricting.

Perhaps it was time to liberate her new body – and show Howard how much fun it could be.

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