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LaPorte Caves – Chapter 3

Written by circes_cup :: [Monday, 29 June 2015 03:48] Last updated by :: [Monday, 29 June 2015 09:43]

SYNOPSIS UP TO THIS POINT

Julia and Howard took a wrong turn in a Kentucky cave and tumbled out into world of amazon women. And it wasn’t a good visit. Powerless next to these women, Julia could only watch as one of the amazons slept with her boyfriend. Now, they are trying to leave, which means a trip back through the very same caves. But Howard has fallen and is buried in a landslide of boulders. The caves suddenly start to feel more like a tomb than an escape route. And the couple has just realized they are not alone.

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.

-----

As it approached, the blue light separated into two different points about a yard apart. The THUDing – Julia could now tell that this was heavy footsteps. Whoever, whatever it was, it stopped only a few feet from Julia. She could feel its warmth on her face.

“Who’s there?”

The large presence did not reply. Howard’s life is on the line, Julia reminded herself. I need to be brave.

Julia groped in front of her. Her hands landed on a stomach. Abdominal muscles the size of small baseballs filled her palms. Julia’s hands sought the outer edge of the body. Her fingers found forearms and spread wide to cover their girth. The blue light seemed to be coming from phosphorescent objects on the person’s arms.

“Why won’t you speak?” Julia asked.

“You told me not to ever speak to you again.” Mindy’s voice was sullen. “I don’t know why you’re mad at me.”

Relief – it hit Julia like a wave. Julia’s hands wandered upward to Mindy’s upper arms, thick as bread loaves and packed with solid muscle. These were the muscles that lifted that 800-lb stone lid like it was nothing more than a frisbee. To these muscles, a few rocks would be nothing.

Julia took a deep breath. Her lungs filled with new air – no longer suffocating, but seeming more fresh. They were going to be OK.

-----

With Mindy on hand, things got better – and fast. She hopped gingerly down a slope that Julia had found to be a technical challenge. Rocks begin to fly over Mindy’s shoulders. In only a minute, the girl had excavated the man from underneath the pile, safe and sound.

“I’m still mad at you, you know,” Julia declared.

Mindy paused. Her shoulders slumped. “I know. I can leave if you want.”

“No, no, I didn’t mean it like that! Being down here scares the crap out of me.” Julia mounted her reassembled headlamp on her brow. When trained on Mindy, the lamp’s single beam accentuated the ridiculous definition of the girl’s musculature. “I still don’t know how you do that.”

Mindy hauled the last boulder, the size of a pilates ball, off the pile. Howard was finally able to slink out from under the pile, scraped but otherwise unharmed. “Do what?”

“Hold a boulder like that.”

Mindy considered the beach ball-sized sphere of rock that was still balanced in a single palm. “It’s really just medium weight.” She furrowed her brow in momentary concentration. “Maybe 1,000 pounds?”

Julia felt her breath catch in her throat. At home, she seen some guys that were almost as big as Mindy. But they couldn’t hold thousand pounds in one hand. They couldn’t hold a hundred pounds in one hand. Julia stared at the amazon’s muscles. What made them so much stronger than they looked?

“They’re denser,” Mindy explained, as if on cue. “You want to feel?”

“I don’t want to be … weird.”

“But you’re curious, aren’t you? I can see the look in your eyes.”

Julia found herself scampering towards the girl. She had felt these amazon muscles before, but never with the intention of understanding them. She ran her hands over Mindy’s biceps, and then her triceps and her forearms. They were like living marble – smooth and hard to the touch, yet warm and alive. She tried to dent the flesh, but her thumb simply whitened with pressure.

Howard was standing now, brushing himself off. “Be careful around that boulder,” Howard cautioned. “What if she drops it?”

But Howard’s voice was just a background whisper in Julia thoughts, drowned out by the soft breathing of the nineteen-year-old girl who had the strength of hundreds. Julia glanced at the terrifying stone mass that was suspended above them both. She ran her open palms over the girl’s shoulders, which had widened with exertion. They didn’t quiver.

Mindy giggled and languidly curled her her arm, flexing the bicep. Julia’s fingers splayed wide to cover the thickening muscle. The girl’s voice was only a whisper. “You could have those, you know, if you wanted …”

Julia tried again to squeeze the marble writhing beneath her fingers. “They’re incredible …”

She heard a CRASH. Mindy had tossed away the boulder she was holding, with a flick of the wrist, to better concentrate on the arm Julia was exploring.

Julia looked at the boulder the girl had absentmindedly tossed away. It was sitting on the cavern floor, shattered. Such unreal power, this girl had!

Mindy flexed her bicep further. Julia felt her fingers spread even wider as the mass between her fingers swelled with power. Howard said something, but she was too transfixed to care. “When I saw that you had come, I wasn’t scared anymore,” Julia said.

“What’s it like – to be scared?”

My lord, Julia thought. This teenager has never known fear. “I’ll explain it to you once we’re out, Mindy. Do you know the way out?”

“Sure. We can just retrace our steps.”

“But do you think we’ll be able get home?”

Mindy considered. “Back to my home, yes. But for you, that’s not back. That’s forward.”

-----

The climb up and out was far more fatiguing than the descent in.

After a few minutes of walking, Julia heard the POP of a beverage can behind her. The familiar fruity aroma of Nourishment filled the tunnel.

“I like a little boost in the middle of the day. Want some?” Mindy asked, motioning with the open can.

Julia tried to form a “no”, but the words didn’t come out. Euphoric memories of the fruit flooded over her – the delicious taste, the vigor that it brought her body, the vigor that it brought Howard when he looked upon her. She wanted to feel the fruit on her lips again, so badly.

“She’s decided to abstain,” Howard interjected. “The doctor told her that there’s no way to have ‘some’. If she drinks even a little bit, she’ll keep drinking until she looks like you.”

Julia shivered at the idea that a simple beverage could addict her so deeply – and make her so huge.

“You make it sound like I’m abnormal,” Mindy chuckled. “But have it your way.” She upended the can and guzzled its entire contents in a single motion.

As she did so, Julia grabbed Howard’s forearm. “Thank you,” she whispered. “From the bottom of my heart.”

Mindy crushed the can and let it clatter to the tunnel floor. “Come on, let’s get out of here.” She barged ahead.

Julia looked at the discarded can. We shouldn’t litter, she remembered. This is, after all, one of their state parks. She tucked the can into her fanny pack and jogged to catch up.

The incline of the tunnel continued to get steeper. Julia found herself winded. She was falling behind. Periodically, she had to rest bent over, hands on knees, panting. Finally, when they hit a particularly steady uphill, she stopped entirely. “I can’t go any further.”

“But we’re almost out,” Howard complained.

“I can carry her,” Mindy offered.

Before Julia knew it, she was scampering onto Mindy’s back, sticking her legs through the crooks of the girl’s arms. The smaller woman wrapped her arms around the larger one’s shoulders, and hugged tightly. Mindy’s back and neck were a steel column. In the tight embrace, Julia felt her soft body mold itself accommodate the contours of the hard one.

Julia delighted at the ease with which her mount handled the incline. It was like the trip to the treehouse all over again. Ascents that would have left Julia breathless went by with even a pause. Slopes that would have taken Julia ten minutes to scale went by in only seconds.

They were soon ahead of Howard. He was huffing and puffing to stay up with them. Julia giggled. It was fun to have power on her side for a change – fun to watch him struggle.

When Mindy occasionally reached above her head for a handhold, Julia could feel the muscles of the girl’s torso twist and flex. Their movement was steady and supple. I used to think this kind of muscularity was gross, Julia admitted to herself. But this body saved our asses down there, and for some reason, it doesn’t seem to gross anymore. Keeping one arm hooked around the girl’s neck, Julia freed the other one and ran her palm across the girl’s shoulders. No, definitely not gross.

Light filled the passageway as they approached the surface. Once one the surface, it was a steep-- perhaps a 45 degree angle – downward slope to the parking lot. When Julia had gone up this, she had done it on all fours. But now, her mount was skipping down it on two feet. Julia wondered what would happen to her if the girl slipped, if this immense body came down on top of Julia’s relatively tiny one. Julia wrapped both arms around Mindy’s neck, her palms slick with nervous sweat.

But to the extent the descent should have been fear-inducing, Mindy didn’t seem to know it. She skipped lightly down the first twenty yards of the slope before realizing that Howard wasn’t keeping up.

“Men,” she whispered to her passenger. “Their balance isn’t as good as ours.”

“Really?” Julia asked.

“Really. My mom once strung a 600-pound fishing line between the main house and the carriage house. It helps us get from one to the other without getting our feet dirty. But the men never used it. They always fell off.”

“You can balance on fishing line?”

Mindy smiled. “You could too.”

Above, Howard was still failing his arms for balance, struggling to descend the steep incline safely.

Julia laughed. He was struggling, but she had Mindy – and Mindy had skill. That felt nice. “He looks pathetic. Should we help him out?”

“Sure.” Mindy retraced her steps toward Howard. She balled her hand into a fist and slammed it into the rock face, shattering the stone to dust. “Step there, young man,” she suggested to the guy you was twice her age.

He did. She continued down the slope, slamming a fist or a heel into the rock at regular intervals. SMASH, SMASH, SMASH. A plume of rock debris rose from each impact, air smelled of rock dust. After several dozen such blows, a trail of footholds had formed, giving Howard easy purchase.

That’s strange, Julia thought. No matter how strong her muscles, acting as a human jackhammer should have ruined the bones of her hand. But the girl seemed unharmed. Never felt fear – those were the words Mindy used back in the cave. These women – they aren’t just strong, Julia realized. They are, for all intents and purposes, indestructible.

“That doesn’t hurt you, does it?” Julia asked. “You bones are stronger than rock, aren’t they?”

Mindy only grinned. “You could have that.”

-----

On the ride home, Julia and Howard sat in the back seat – the part of the car that was specifically designed for men and children. Nourished women, on the other hand, sat in front, where the seats were deeper and the distance to the floor greater.

Normally, being relegated to the back would have annoyed the couple. But now, Julia was relieved to have a little privacy.

“So, we’re stuck here, at least for now,” she whispered to Howard.

He nodded. “I’ll get your through this, somehow.”

“Howard, I want you to promise me that you will keep your zipper up, now matter who is trying to pull it down. These women are strong, but they don’t seem to be predatory. You can still tell them no. If I ever, ever find you screwing around on my again, I swear I’ll find a way to make your life miserable.”

A pang of guilt crossed Howard’s eyes.

Good, she thought. He should indeed feel guilty.

“I’ll happily promise you that,” he said. “All I want is for this this – this trip, all of this weirdness – to be over. But one good promise deserves another. I see how you’ve been reacting to the smell of that fruit drink. And you know what will happen if you take even a sip.”

“I won’t be able to stop.”

“That’s right. So, you need to promise me that you will stay away from that stuff. Abstinence is the only way back home, the only way back to your normal life. When you get home, you can join a gym, get healthier, be more athletic, whatever you want. Back home, being addicted to something that is unavailable is not happiness, it’s misery. And having 300 pounds of muscle is not attractive, it’s freakish.”

The word ‘freak’ was jarring to Julia. All the women here were so nice, they didn’t deserve that. And yet, she understood his point. “OK, we can make each other solemn promise. You will stay away from the girls; I will stay away from the juice. And we will get through this, together.”

“Together,” he agreed.

As they exited the car, Julia saw a trash bin. She reached into her fanny pack to discard the crumpled can Mindy had left on the floor of the tunnel. But when she opened the fanny pack, the familiar, pleasant aroma wafted out. She paused. Without thinking, she brought the crumpled metal to her nose and breathed deeply. A happy, lightheaded rush came over her. Dribbles of the juice spilled onto her fingers, and she licked them, delighting in the taste. It makes me feel so … Good, Julia realized. And it reminds me of the time in the woods, when Howard found me so attractive that he couldn’t control himself. The smell brings such happy feelings, perhaps I’ll keep it just a little bit longer. Tomorrow, I’ll throw it out, Julia promised herself. She zipped the crumpled metal back into her pack.

-----

“Howard, where the heck did you get that?” Julia sat cross-legged on the living room carpet of the host family’s home, surrounded by their caving gear.

“I always bring the gun with us when we go into the backcountry. We could have run into anyone in those caves, and not all of them are good. And frankly, I’m glad that I have it now. The women here might be enormous, but they’re still human. And I’m sure not all of them are good, either.”

“Sorry.” He was right, she knew. “These women do scare me. You always such a good job of protecting me. And I’m glad you’re here to look out for me now --- to look out for both of us.”

“I’m still looking out for you. I’ll keep this close.” He unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a holster, and slid the weapon in. “And as long as I have anything to do with it, no one will mistreat us, no matter how big they are.”

“Always my hero,” Julia smiled, pecking him on the cheek. She had called him that so many times before. But this time, it felt strangely hollow.

As he was re-buttoning his shirt, Julia tried on her climbing harness. After usage, all equipment had to be checked for tears and broken parts – anything that could be an hazard as they attempted to find their way back home through the caves.

“I think their muscles look silly,” Julia announced as she ran her hands over the reinforced nylon straps. “Girls aren’t supposed to look that strong.”

Howard nodded as he pulled his own climbing harness down over his shoulders. “I think this Nourishment they are talking about is just some type of steroid. And if so, then their bodies are a lot less impressive than they appear. People on steroids have no flexibility, no range of motion, ligaments that are undeveloped relative to the muscle, no endurance, health issues. The list goes on.”

“I hadn’t realized that,” Julia admitted. “I suppose every benefit comes at a price, doesn’t it?” Howard was so smart, Julia thought to herself as she watched him don his own harness. And yet, whatever the consequences, she did miss the taste of the fruit. With every passing hour, the ache grew …

Julia was still running her hands over the reinforced nylon straps when Mindy’s voice rang out from hallway.

“Hey, there you guys are!” Mindy strode into the room, attired in the same outfit she had worn into the caves: a high-necked, sleeveless maroon top had the miserable task of containing her prodigious bust, and a pair of jean shorts suffered similar challenges with her thighs and the hard globes of her ass. The outfit ceded her mid-section to open display. Julia found it hard not to gawk at the magnificence of the girl’s rounded, perfectly defined abdominal muscles. “What’s that thing you’re wearing?” the amazon asked.

“It’s a climbing harness, for the caves. I can attach a rope to this carabiner here,” Julia pointed, “and the harness is strong enough to support my weight from that single connection point.”

Mindy quizzically hooked a finger through the carabiner and tugged upward. Julia felt her feet leave the ground. Looking down, Julia realized her entire weight was supported only but the girl’s extended index finger.

“That’s super cool!” Mindy proclaimed. “Why didn’t they invent one of these in this world?”

Mindy raised Julia further, and Julia found herself staring at the finger that held her aloft. It was extended horizontally – the worst possible leverage – and didn’t quiver in the least. All of Julia’s 150 pounds – suspended on a single finger, and it was effortless for this girl. Julia had seen what their larger muscles could do, but she hadn’t realized that their superhuman nature extended right down to their tiniest of muscles. “Wow,” Julia whispered to herself.

“No kidding! These harness things are brilliant!” Mindy exclaimed, misunderstanding. The behemoth of a girl hooked her other index finger through the appropriate place on Howard’s harness. He too, was soon aloft.

As the couple dangled in the air, Julia felt a new presence in the room. She craned her neck to see Mindy’s little sister standing in the corner. By her face and build, Julia guessed she was perhaps 10 years old. But she was taller, and sturdier, than any 10-year-old back home – nothing near the musculature of Mindy or the other women, but certainly sturdy enough to make any high school boy think twice about pushing her around.

“Hi,” the little girl offered, looking at her shoelaces.

“I don’t think we were ever introduced last night,” Julia said, trying to sound adult even as she dangled like a little toy. “Your name is Becky?”

She nodded with vigor at her shoes. “Wanna see my tree house?”

“She always wants to show people her tree house,” Mindy explained. “Doesn’t matter if you’re the mail man, the gardener or some chick that just crawled out of a cave from another planet. It’s always the tree house. I’ll take you up if you want to go. The harness things would make it easy.”

“So, do you wanna see?” Becky prodded.

“Sure.” What other answer is possible when you are being held aloft like a doll?

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Howard replied, feet kicking.

“Doesn’t matter!” Mindy chirped, setting them down. “Lady always wins. Come on!”

Before Julia knew what was happening, they were out the door and in the backyard of the house, Becky skipping jubilantly ahead.

Julia craned her neck backward, following the trunks of the trees up – and up, and up, and up. These were no normal Kentucky trees, but something far more magnificent. They must have been two hundred feet tall.

Leading them to the base of the tallest, Becky grabbed a metal rung that had been nailed into it. The rung was the lowest of a series that ran up the length of the trunk. The child began scrambling up the rungs at a lightening pace, without hesitation or a pause for rest.

Mindy clipped the harnesses into the chain links of her belt. She put her hands on the first rung. “Ready?”

As it turned out, she didn’t wait for an answer, but instead heaved herself upward.

“It’s not safe for the un-Nourished,” Mindy said, craning her neck upward. “But I think we can fix that little problem using your caving harnesses. Mindy produced a rope from a pile of supplies at the base of the tree. She tied it around her waist, then ran it through Julia’s harness, then Howard’s. She left only a few inches of rope between her and Julia, and then about six feet between Julia and Howard.

Mindy began climbing the tree.

“Mindy, are you sure is safe?” Howard asked. “These trees look very tall. Are you sur … OOOFF!” Howard had the air knocked out of him as he was suddenly hoisted skyward, dangling about six feet below the other ladies. Mindy’s sizable body rocked back and forth with the rapid climb. Julia looked down to see Howard swinging wildly, like a pendulum as Mindy sprang upward from rung to rung.

Julia, for her part, had a different problem. There was only about six inches of rope between Mindy’s waist and Julia’s harness, meaning that Julia was more-or-less clinging to the larger woman’s back like a marsupial. More than once, Julia’s body slammed into Mindy’s more substantial one.

After several uncomfortable collisions, Julia learned to stabilize herself, looping one arm around the girl’s abdomen, the other around the girl’s thigh, which was nearly as wide as Julia’s entire torso. Holding the girl in this way was like hugging a warm stone column. She is so incredibly solid, Julia remarked to herself!

The ground was quickly receding, and was now perhaps eighty feet below her. Julia gulped.

Branches passed by at a steady pace, as if she were attached to an elevator rather than a person. Some of the iron ladder rungs had fallen away. When Mindy encountered this, the girl simply grasped branches and notches in the trunk, without slowing her juggernaut ascent. Forcing herself to look down again, Julia noticed not only that the ground had receded further – perhaps one hundred feet now – but also that Mindy’s feet dangled free. Looking back up at the girl’s arms, she could see the muscles writhe with steady exertion.

My lord, Julia thought to herself. She is hauling my mass and Howard’s and her own absurd weight up on only the strength of her arms. And she’s doing it at a ridiculous pace, without stopping to rest or even wavering! It reminded her of the ridiculous feat of strength she saw in the caves – one thousand pounds, that rock weighted! What muscles are capable of this kind of power, Julia wondered to herself?

The handholds were further apart in the upper reaches of the tree, and Mindy began to swing more wildly as she shifted from one to the other. Julia squeezed the girl’s abdomen a bit harder, hoping for more stability. But the muscles there offered no give: they were constructed of flesh harder than Julia’s world had ever known. Julia found herself running her hand over the writhing mass, observing how it stretched and shifted and bulged with every exertion. The experience of touching Mindy in this way was somehow … invigorating.

The branches thinned considerably now. She tried not to look at the ground, now a deadly distance below her. A platform came into view. Although Mindy had called it a tree house, it was more of a lean-to: floor, walls on two sides, open on two other sides, and a roof. Becky was already up there, her feet dangling over the edge. Mindy powered her way toward the structure. Only a minute later, they, too, had arrived.

“I used to love it up here.” Mindy was unclipping Julia and Howard, placing them on the surface of the platform. “I always came up here when I got sick of my mom and my brother. Be careful, though. We didn’t put any railings on. Men never come up here.”

Julia backed herself cautiously against one of the walls and looked toward the horizon. The landscape of this new world spread out before them. “What about Becky? Do you worry about her falling off?”

“That little twerp falls off all the time.”

“I do NOT.” The little girl’s face compressed into a scowl.

“You fell off yesterday. There’s a dent in the backyard two feet deep.”

“I did that on PURPOSE. I was just playing.”

Julia peered toward the ground, two hundred sickening feet below. The house, big as it was, appeared no larger than the width of her hand. They let this little girl tumble off the edge like that – regularly?

“The caves you came from are over there,” Mindy pointed. “And that’s the beach. We have a house there. And over behind the clouds, those are the mountains where we go skiing.”

Julia looked the mountain range, but not much was visible. The tops had been blanketed by dark clouds.

“Looks like crummy weather on the ski slopes today,” Howard observed.

“No, it’s clear. Look.” Mindy’s arm extended up.

Julia’s eyes followed the arm skyward. There, at the upper edge of the cloud bank, the peaks broke through, jutting into the openness above. Covered in snow, their whiteness seemed nearly to blend with the haze of the atmosphere. Their ridge-line was a jagged knife, and their slopes a jumble of cliffs and gorges.

“Those are huge mountains,” Julia observed. “They must be 12,000 feet tall.”

“Closer to 20.” Mindy’s tone was nonchalant.

Julia heard someone call Mindy’s name. “Whatcha doing?” the voice below asked. It was a female voice – perhaps someone about Mindy’s age – eighteen or nineteen.

Mindy sidled up to the edge and waved back. “I’ve got visitors!”

“Who?”

“They’re like, from another world!” Mindy replied.

“No way!”

“And one of them is an un-Nourished woman!”

“You’re shitting me!”

Mindy turned to her guests and motioned them to the edge. “Come on, I want to show you to my friend Amanda.”

Julia crept closer to the edge, but stopped several feet away. There were no railings, and the open void hollowed out a pit in her stomach. She approached edge inches at a time on shuddering hands and knees. Her palms became slick with sweat, and she stopped.

As always, Howard was more sure-footed, and athletic. He went right to the edge, braced his sneakers against the outer lip of the platform, and offered a hand to Julia. “I’ll hold you if you’re scared.”

Julia stared with unease at the tops of the smaller trees, far below. Wind whipped across her face.

She looked at Howard’s extended hand. She had always sought the protection of his strength in the past, but now her elbows quivered with unease. This world was so different, and this tree was so tall!

Mindy was on the edge, too. Julia found herself looking at Mindy’s upper arm: it was nearly the size of Julia’s thigh. It had carried three people up a two-hundred-foot tree with ease.

Mindy raised the elbow towards Julia, inviting her to grab on.

Julia found herself looping a trembling arm around the girl’s magnificent bicep. It was hard as granite and unyielding as a mountain. Although the girl was only nineteen, holding her arm washed an immense tide of relief over Julia.

Julia sidled up to the very edge of the platform, the gaping expanse below no longer seeming to be such a threat. Turning to Howard, she looked instead at his extended hand and shook her head. “I’m good now, thanks.”

-----

“She’s so tiny,” the voice from the ground observed. Julia twisted in her climbing harness to get a better view of this friend that had been exchanging friendly shouts with Mindy during the entire trip down.

The ground was only about twenty feet below them at this point. Julia released a sigh of relief and relaxed her grip on Mindy’s torso. She had been clawing at the girl’s flesh without realizing it, trying to better her grip. Her hands were now cramped with fatigue. It had been like trying to squeeze granite for five minutes straight.

Mindy’s friend turned out to be built like Mindy herself--- perhaps two inches taller and identically proportioned. Her blue-green eyes and freckles suggested a childish innocence, but there was nothing innocent about the girl’s body: Muscles layered themselves atop other muscles, their curvatures somehow feminine and awesome at the same time.

Her hair was golden blond, cut short in a bob. She was attired in a leotard, as if she had just returned from gymnastics. Julia shuddered to think what a gymnastics session with this girl might look like. The parallel bars would need to be six inches thick to absorb the punishment of her momentum.

As soon as Julia was out of the harness, she felt the coolness of Amanda’s shadow cover her. Amanda’s voice was booming and sonorous. “She’s so tiny. Is she OK?”

“The hospital said she was about as healthy as a man. She’s soft, too, like a man.”

Julia felt Amanda’s fingers squeeze her bicep with all the gentleness a steel vice. She tried to withdraw her arm, but it was trapped.

“Nourishment doesn’t work on you?” Amanda asked, speaking directly to Julia for the first time.

“It’s more complicated than that.” Julia lowered her eyes.

Amanda released the woman’s arm, and turned to her friend. “Hey, can I borrow your car?”

“Sure. Which one?”

“I dunno. The orange Danica? Something with some speed. I’m in the mood for a joy ride.”

Becky, apparently bored with the conversation, hopped and skipped back to the house. The remaining foursome made their way to the garage. Julia and Howard found themselves hopping and skipping, as well, to keep up with their behemoth companions.

Like everything else about the residence, the garage was palatial, two stories tall. Even before the garage door rose, Julia knew it was easily large enough to hold four or five cars. And glancing down the street, this seemed typical for the neighborhood. This was a wealthy neighborhood, no doubt.

But the surprising size of the garage was nothing compared the interior of it. As the door went up, she could see that the structure contained not five cars, but at least ten. The cars were hanging vertically from the I-beam rafters, like carcasses of cattle in a slaughterhouse. Stepping into the garage, the two large girls wandered the aisles between the hanging vehicles. As they chatted about the attributes of the various cars, Julia and her boyfriend followed behind in stunned silence.

“I think I still want the Danica,” Amanda concluded, walking up to an orange sports car hanging nose-down in the corner. The machine looked like it belonged in Beverly Hills, or perhaps a racetrack. Its tires were as wide as Julia’s shoulders.

“The orange one it is.” Mindy crossed her arms. “Just be sure to bring it back in one piece.”

“Dude, you are so unfair! That accident happened, like, two years ago! I was only sixteen then.” Amanda reached under the front bumper and grabbed a steel handle. With her free hand, she grabbed a second handle that protruded through the hood.

Then, she lifted. The car came off its hook.

Julia followed sheepishly behind as the phenomenally powerful girl walked the car out of the garage. Her muscles – they bulged slightly to accommodate the weight. But if bearing the burden was the least bit uncomfortable, her face didn’t show it.

Once clear of the garage, Amanda turned to face the visitors. Rather than put the car down, she simply cocked her hip to one side and rested an elbow on it. Releasing her hold on the hood handle, she balanced the car vertically using only her grip on the bumper handle.

“How long are you guys staying?” Amanda asked.

“We … we …” Howard struggled to form words, Julia noticed.

“That is SO cute,” Amanda giggled, turning to Julia. “Your guy is, like wigging out.”

“It must be very different where you guys come from,” Mindy offered.

“Totally!” Amanda agreed, without waiting for a response. “I bet your cars have like five wheels or rocket boosters or something.”

Howard’s jaw continued to quiver. “They uh, they …”

“Oh my gosh,” Amanda squealed. “I’ve never seen a guy do that before. It’s totally adorable and I don’t even know why. Can I borrow him too?”

Julia realized that the question was directed at her. “Borrow him?”

“Hmm hmmm.” Amanda slowly flexed the her arm up and down, performing a steady, one-armed curl with the car. Her bicep expanded and contracted in a steady rhythm, swelling to something twice the size of a football when it fully contracted. The repetitions were smooth and apparently effortless.

The girl yawned.

She isn’t showing off, Julia realized. She’s bored. She doing bicep curls with a car because she’s bored. It’s as difficult as twirling her hair or biting her fingernails.

“It’s rude to say no,” Mindy whispered. “Amanda would lend you someone to if you asked.”

Julia watched the car slowly rise and fall with the girl’s movement. I don’t even know what “borrowing” means, she thought to herself. But then again, this girl could tear me to pieces with less effort than it takes me to remove a candy wrapper. Either of these girls could. So far, they’ve been very gracious to us – putting us up at their house, taking us back to the caves, and then rescuing us when things went awry. But what happens if their patience runs out? What happens if we do something that is incredibly offensive to them, without our even knowing it? They could throw us throw us out of the house tonight, or even worse, decide to keep us for a while. We have to follow local custom, at least until we can leave. There is no other choice. “Uh, sure, you can borrow him. When?”

“I’ll come pick him up in like, an hour, after dinner. I can have him back first thing tomorrow.”

Julia turned to Mindy for guidance. The girl shrugged her shoulders and nodded. I’m “lending” my boyfriend on the advice of a teenager, Julia lamented. “OK,” she agreed. “But like Mindy said with the car, bring him back in one piece.”

That got a laugh out of both the giant girls. Julia was relieved: the locals were happy. But as she accompanied a shocked Howard back into the house, she pulled him aside. “You made me a promise in the back of that car, remember?”

Howard nodded.

“I’m assuming her request is entirely innocent. Maybe she needs someone to do some handyman work, or help babysit a little sibling. But if it’s less innocent than that, no matter what she threatens or what wiles she works, your damn zipper stays up. You understand?”

He nodded.

Julia took a deep breath and followed him into the house, unable to shake the feeling that she had just agreed to something horrible.

-----

Amanda came later that evening to pick up Howard for the mysterious “Borrowing.” After the two departed, Julia’s anxiety must have been palpable. Everyone in the house noticed it. Finally, Ruth asked her directly.

“I just want to know that he’s OK,” Julia admitted. “He’s everything to me. And I am a complete foreigner here. I have no idea what might be happening right now.”

Ruth put a sympathetic hand on Julia’s knee. “I’m sure nothing bad. It’s just a Borrowing. But if you’re uneasy, then that’s not good.” She turned to Mindy, who was doing her homework at the table. “Where do you think Amanda and Howard are right now?”

“Probably the bluffs.”

“Can you take her, so that she doesn’t feel so anxious? Maybe bring the male vision extenders. Her eyes are probably about a man’s level.”

They’re worse, actually, Julia thought.

Male vision extenders turned out to be binoculars. Julia almost dropped them as she watched Mindy take a two-door coupe down from its rack in the garage. She had seen the feat performed once only an hour before, but it was still mind-boggling. Mindy walked the car out to the driveway, balancing it vertically by the handle on the front bumper. Julia must have been staring slack-jawed, because Mindy noticed.

“You think this is weird, don’t you?”

“I … I don’t think ‘weird’ even comes close.”

“How much can the strongest man in your world lift? Two thousand pounds? A thousand?”

“I don’t know. Maybe a few hundred? I’ve never really thought about it.”

Mindy laughed. She raised and lowered her forearm in a smooth motion, just as Amanda had earlier. Her bicep swelled to something larger than a football with each contraction. The was no shaking in her arm, not even a quiver. “Do you want to feel?”

“Feel what?”

“What a real muscle feels like.”

“I already did, in the caves, remember?”

“But you’re fascinated, I can tell.”

Julia’s mind didn’t know how to answer, but her feet did. She found herself walking, with some trepidation, under the car. It loomed black against the indigo of the night sky. She found her hand on Mindy’s bicep, squeezing it gently at first, and then less so. It was like warm, living stone. The girl did another bicep curl with the car. Julia felt the muscle spread her fingers wide as it swelled in the contraction.

The girl’s skin was supple, flawless. There were no veins, none of the leathery look she had associated with body builders. She smelled like flowers. “Wow,” Julia whispered.

“You could have those,” Mindy suggested.

“No … no,” Julia retorted, recoiling. The girls muscles, were impressive – incredibly impressive – but no. “That kind of bulk – it wouldn’t look good on me.”

Mindy shrugged her shoulders, lowered the car onto its tires, and climbed in. “Well, are you coming?”

The drive to the bluffs was brief. The the sun had long since set, but the two moons illuminated the landscape in a bright pale light. They parked at the top of the bluffs. Far below, the ocean surf rumbled. The air was fresh, but in constant movement – unsettled.

“There they are,” Mindy pointed.

Julia followed Mindy’s hand but saw nothing. She put the binoculars to her eye, and eventually was able to pick them out. They were on a bluff, far below, relaxing in the grass. A bottle of wine was lying on its side, apparently already empty.

Her heart sank. She had held out hope that Amanda’s “Borrowing” of Howard was to help with a chore around the house, maybe some handyman-type thing at which men were particularly good. But, no, this was a date.

Julia pressed her eyes to the binoculars. They had been talking when she first spied them, but by now the talking had ceased. Amanda had stood up and turned to him. The two moons in the sky lit her body clearly. It was covered only in that tightly stretched leotard. The moonlight traced the hard lines of her body in a stark silhouette, showing the girl to be a paragon of muscular perfection.

Suddenly, Amanda slipped her arms through the shoulders of her leotard. She hooked two thumbs into the top of it and stretched it over her immense bust. The movement was slow.

“Amanda has to be careful,” Mindy explained. “She has ripped lots of leotards like that. She’s 56 inches in the bust. I’m only 52.”

Julia braced her forearms against her 30-inch bust in order to stop them from shaking.

“How old is she?” Julia asked, her voice quivering as she peered into the binoculars with accumulating dread.

“Eighteen.”

Eighteen, Julia thought, and spectacular. Her breasts – all 56 inches of them – were titanic. They were also ridiculously firm. With every movement, they bounced and swayed a bit, inviting Julia’s gaze to follow, to linger. The girl’s nipples were thicker than Julia’s thumbs, so large that they were visible even through the binoculars. And her physique – she was a female version of Adonis, every scrap of her body smooth, and carved by the moonlight into sleek, hard curves. Her arms – the ones arms that previously held a car aloft without effort – now dangled limp at her sides, swollen with unspent power. The girl’s simple, short-cropped hair, cut in a simple bob, should have been her weak point. But its shortness served only to clear the view of her shoulders, muscles piled on top of more muscles piled on top of still more. The brawn of her upper torso was beast-like and yet blessed with a frightening beauty. I don’t like the way she looks, Julia reminded herself. I’m not supposed to.

Seeing Amanda naked was … humbling. The girl in the binoculars was in nothing but her birthday suit, on a promontory that could be seen from any number of bluff-top points, and yet she had not a scrap of concern or shyness on her face. And why would she? The girl had nothing-- not a single thing-- that could be considered a flaw. Julia could only imagine the shame she herself would feel if she were buck naked in the moonlight, for anyone in the parking lot above to see. She clung to the windbreaker she wore, drawing it tight around her torso and taking some scant assurance in the coverage it offered.

Julia watched Amanda saunter towards him. He put up a hand-- perhaps a protest of sorts. She giggled, making immense breasts wobble slightly. She placed his palms on them. And when her hands came off, his stayed.

A finger on the man’s sternum lowered him to his knees. Before Julia knew it, he was naked, leaning back into the dune grass. She mounted him in a quick, fluid motion. She was a tiger with its prey – except that they prey didn’t die. It howled in unexpected ecstasy.

“See?” Mindy said as she returned to the car. “Nothing to worry about. Just a normal Borrowing.”

-----

Julia eyes were bloodshot from all the crying, her voice hoarse from all the screaming, when Howard finally slunk into the room, close to dawn.

He looked at her tear-streaked face, and also at the crumpled pillow she had used to muffle her cries from the ears of her hosts.

“Julia, before you say anything, I just want you to know that I did everything I could —”

“Shut up!” Julia snapped. “Shut up! I don’t want to hear your pathetic excuses. The only thing I want is to get out of this hell.”

Howard regarded her soberly.

“Did you …” Julia started

“Did I what?”

“Did you like it?”

“Julia …”

“I need to know, Howard. The truth.”

He paused. “Do you really want that – the truth?”

Julia felt her face turn to stone. Howard would know that meant “yes.”

“I don’t know how to say this. She was … incredible. Her body did things that I didn’t know were poss—”

“She was only eighteen!” Julia spat, fresh sobs welling up inside of her. “She doesn’t know the first thing about you! She’s HALF your age! How could you tell me you enjoyed it? We’ve been dating for three years and I’ve been bested by a girl with no sexual experience!” Julia buried her face in the pillow.

“From the way she moved, I wouldn’t say she was inexp—”

“Screw off!” She buried her face further. “Howard, I swear, I am going to do everything – everything in my power – to make sure you never do this to me again.”

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