The Mirror Ch 3


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Chapter Three

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mirror wings.jpg

Steve peeked over at the woman sitting two seats away at the long table. Cindy Grant, at twenty-nine, didn’t look a day over twenty-two. ‘My . . . Er . . . Ivy’s eighty-two-year-old Uncle was married to her? No wonder Ivy’s mom called her a little gold digger. Hell, it’s no wonder Ivy thinks of her as a gold digger.’

“If everyone is now here I’ll begin.” Steve looked at the lawyer wondering if things like this were always so formal. “This is the last Will and Testament of Mr. Philip Norman Grant . . .” The family lawyer had a voice that would put even the most severely ADHD child asleep in seconds.

Steve glanced again at Cindy. The black dress showed too much cleavage and was cut way too high to be appropriate for a somber event like the reading of a will. Yet, Steve’s male mind appreciated it and he was pretty sure every man in the room did, as well. Based on the stir she’d caused when she arrived there were more than a few women present who were jealous.

When Steve entered the library, he’d noticed a low buzz of conversation. There was a shout, “Ivy!” and then he was being squished, boob-to-boob, in the embrace an older blonde woman. “Welcome home!”

“Hi, Mom.”

“It’s good to see you Ivy.” The firm hand on his shoulder caused Steve to turn and look up at the distinguished gentleman.

“Hi, Daddy.”

Glancing back at Ivy’s mom Steve instantly saw the strong resemblance between Ivy and her mom. They were the same height and had the same skin and eye color. Jessica Grant had a few wrinkles around her eyes and she was maybe ten pounds heavier than her daughter, other than that they could have been sisters.

“How’s school going? Have you met any well-connected boys?” While she spoke, Jessica dragged the woman she thought was her daughter toward a table loaded, buffet style, with food. “You must be starving. Did you drive the whole way home this morning? I know how much you hate mornings. I love that outfit, you look so sophisticated, when did you buy it?”

Feeling like he’d been caught up by a force of nature, instead of a person, Steve tried his best to keep up with her steady chatter. Before he knew it, he had a tiny plate piled with even smaller bits of food in one hand, and a tall thin glass of wine that he guessed from the bubbles must be Champagne, in the other.

“Oohh, I need to go talk to your Aunt Bea. I’ll be right back sweetie, it’s so good to have you home. Kiss-kiss.”

Feeling like he could breath for the first time in twenty minutes Steve watched as Ivy’s mom moved through the crowd of relatives and friends to a woman, something told him was Winston’s younger sister.

“She can be a bit much.”

Steve looked up and saw that Jessica’s dad was standing slightly behind him and to his left. Steve didn’t know what to say so he nodded and took a sip of wine.

“She loves you and misses you. You don’t come home as often as you should.”

The soft rebuke made Steve wince for some reason. “I know, Daddy. It’s a six-and-half-hour drive without stops. Even if I flew it would still take all day.” Then Steve looked up through his long blonde hair and pouted, “If you miss me that much you could send the helicopter to pick me up.”

At this Winston Grant chuckled, “You know why I won’t do that. How can I teach you how normal middle class American’s live if I fly you around in a private helicopter?”

“If you wanted me to know how “normal” people live you should have let me live in the dorms instead of forcing me to live in that apartment, or let me join a sorority.” Steve had no idea where that comment came from, it had just slipped out and he took a drink of wine to cover his surprise.

“Ivy, we’ve had this argument before. Your mother insisted on the apartment because she wasn’t comfortable with the school assigning you a roommate. If your mother hadn’t told you no on the sorority idea, I would have vetoed it. I remember what they were like when I was in school and you don’t need that negative influence. You find enough mischief on your own.”

Before Steve could respond the buzz of conversation stopped and Steve felt the comfortable atmosphere in the room change. He looked around and saw a tall red-head in a LBD designed more for a cocktail party than a funeral had entered the room.

“The little gold-digger decided to show up, I see.” Jessica Grant had somehow materialized at Steve’s elbow and her hissed comment was filled with contempt.

“She’s always been nice to me.”

Steve wasn’t sure why he felt the need to defend the woman, but he had a flash of memory, laying out in a bikini by the pool with the red-head . . . going dancing in Minneapolis . . . drinking a glass of wine after everyone else had gone to bed.

“That’s because she’s almost your age!” Jessica shook her head, “Philip is a product of Grandpa Grant’s first marriage is seventeen years older than your father, but that doesn’t excuse him. He married a twenty-eight-year-old when he was eighty-one! That’s just obscene.”

“Mom, let it go. She made Philip happy. That’s important.”

There was a slight gasp and the sound brought Steve back to the present. He hadn’t been paying attention and looked around the table only to discover that people were staring at him. “Excuse me, could you repeat that?”

“Certainly, Ms. Grant. Your Uncle Philip has left forty percent of his wealth to you, forty percent to his wife and the remainder is to be divided up between the church and several different charities. Congratulations, young lady, when you turn twenty-five you will have full control of your new assets, but as of today you are a millionaire.”

***

Mary pushed the call button again waited. “Damn it, Ivy, where are you?” Mary glanced at her watch and shook her head. “I’ve got less than an hour before I have to take my history test.”

Mary pulled her phone out and sent Ivy a text: *Where R U?*

Then when there was no response Mary growled, “Okay, if you were Ivy, pretending to be Mary, and you weren’t at your apartment, where would you be?” Then Mary laughed, “Of course, she’s at the House!”

The walk to Mary’s sorority house took a few minutes and when Mary knocked, Patty, one of her friends, answered the door. For a moment Mary was amazed at how tiny Patty looked from her new six-two perspective.

“Hey, Steve, how are you?” The she reached out to run a tiny hand over Mary’s still pumped bicep. “Did you just get done working out, or did you come over for a workout?”

The blatant flirting caused Mary to blush, “Er . . . Um . . . I-I just finished working out. I’m really here to find my sister. Is Mary home?”

The mousy brunette pouted, “She is, but she’s dealing with an emergency.”

Mary gasped, “What happened? Is she okay?”

“Calm down stud, your sister is fine. Chloe and Leo broke up and Mary is helping Chloe right now. Why don’t you come back tomorrow, or better, I could keep you company?”

Frustrated, Mary grabbed the edge of the door and pushed it fully open and stepped around Patty. For an instant, she was amazed at how easy it was to move Patty out of the way. “Sorry, Patty, I need to speak with my sister.”

“MAN IN THE HOUSE!”

For a second Mary wanted to look around to see who Patty was talking about and then realized she was the man. ‘Yes, I am!’ she thought and grinned very conscious of the large flaccid tool hanging from her groin. Knowing that the girls would be in the large living area, where the bar was located, Mary hurried through the house.

“Mary!”

There were half a dozen sisters sitting around with one who’d obviously been crying. Mary took one look at Chloe and wanted to rush over and give her a hug.

“S-Steve, what’re you doing here?”

The sound of her former voice stopped Mary in her tracks and she looked over at her former body. Holding a drink and sitting cross-legged on the sofa with a large pillow on her lap.

“I’m here to remind you that you’ve got a history test in one hour.” At this several girls giggled and Mary caught a few whispered comments.

“So sweet . . .”

“A stud, and thoughtful . . .”

“I wish I had a brother . . .”

“I wonder if he’d adopt me. . .”

Feeling her face turn red Mary hurried over to Ivy and plucked the drink from her hand. “You’ve had enough, you need to focus, or you’re gonna fail your test.” When Mary pulled the pillow off Ivy’s lap she gasped, “Are you just wearing a t-shirt and panties? Mary, damn it. Get dressed. Now!”

There was an eruption of giggles and Patty grabbed Ivy’s hand, “Come on, hon, let’s get you dressed and on your way. Before that big, stud, of a brother throws you over one shoulder and carries you off to class.”

“He could carry me . . .”

“I wish he would . . .”

“I volunteer . . .”

“No, me first!”

Mary turned around and ran from the house. Once outside she let out a sigh, “What’s wrong with me? They were just teasing and flirting.” Then Mary glanced down and saw that she was now sporting wood. “Oh-my-god! What if they saw!” Feeling even more embarrassed Mary adjusted the new appendage and sat down on the front steps. Despite her best efforts there was an obvious bulge in her gym shorts.

“Hey-big-hiccup-bro . . . My-sisters-all-hiccup-think-your-hot!”

“Here she is . . . good luck on that test!” Patty laughed. “When you bring her back, I’ll make sure she gets to bed.”

Mary put her arm around Ivy’s waist steadying her, and then grabbed the backpack with her books. “Come on you little lush. Let’s get some coffee in you and get you to class. We’re down to thirty minutes!”

Mary led Ivy away from the house and once they were out of sight turned on her. “What are you thinking! I need to take that test and I can’t change back without the mirror! I thought you were going to wait for me at your apartment.”

“S-Sorry. The girls . . . they needed me! Hiccup . . . It was an all-hands-on-deck . . . hiccup . . . emergency!”

“Give me a break! How could you get so drunk?”

“I’m gonna be sick.” Abruptly, Ivy lurched out of Mary’s arm and stumbled to her knees and threw up onto the grass next to the sidewalk.

“Oh god. You are destroying my reputation.” Mary muttered taking a knee next to Ivy and holding her hair out of her face as she continued to vomit Tequila and Cheetos into the grass. Slowly, the heaves stopped and then Ivy wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and looked up at Mary.

“Steve? You’re such a good guy.”

“I’m n-er-Steve. Damn it, I’m Steve.” Mary shook her head unable to remind her drunk friend of who she really was. “Stupid mirror.”

“I always thought you were hot, but I didn’t know you were so nice.”

“Okay, Ivy, time to get you back to your apartment.”

“Ivy? I’m Mary . . . Mary Pierson.” Abruptly, Ivy looked confused. “Wait. The mirror?”

Mary dragged Ivy to her feet and then half carrying, half dragging, she helped Ivy walk the three blocks to Ivy’s apartment building. Once there it took Ivy three tries to use her card and PIN to unlock the door. Mary pulled the card from Ivy’s clumsy fingers, “What’s your code?”

“36-22-34”

“Don’t tell me, those are your sizes, right?”

“Hehehehe . . .”

Mary figured Ivy was too drunk for the stairs and while waiting for the elevator wondered why she’d even considered the stairs. ‘Cause Steve would have used them. He always says elevators make people lazy!’ The chime of the elevator arriving brought Mary back to what she was supposed to be doing. Once on the fourth floor she half carried Ivy to the door to her apartment. The key-card opened the door and Mary hauled Ivy through the apartment to her bedroom.

“I’d change you back right now, but if I capture that image, I’m afraid I’ll end up being the drunk person.”

“Change me back? Back to what?”

“Oh, just sleep it off!” Mary said, with a laugh. Then turning off the lights she closed the bedroom door and returned to the living room. Mary picked the mirror up from the mantel and looked at her reflection for a moment. Steve’s strong jaw and rugged good looks peered up at her.

“Okay, Steve’s backup is in slot one. Ivy’s backup is in slot two. Ivy in her PJs from this morning is in slot three and Ivy from after we switched back is in slot four. My backup is in slot five. Damn, it’s a good thing we’ve got those backups!”

With that Mary twisted the handle and counted five loud clicks. Then taking a deep breath she looked into the mirror. For a moment, she saw nothing and then an image resolved. The dark hair and cute nose were features she’d seen every day growing up. Suddenly, Mary realized she couldn’t move. Then the tingling started and she could feel the strange sensation of flesh moving around, rearranging. Long dark hair tumbled down to her shoulders and she lost several inches of height. The abrupt sucking sensation in her groin was matched by an inflating feeling in her chest. If she could have moved Mary would have gasped and as the physical changes slowed she once again felt the weird sensation of her clothes changing and transforming.

Then it was over and Mary almost dropped the mirror. She quickly turned it to face down returned it to the mantel and then glanced at the wall clock. “Crap! Ten minutes! I need to get moving.” Mary picked up her backpack slid the key-card to Ivy’s apartment into the backpack since her yoga pants didn’t have pockets and hurried out of the building.

***

Steve breathed steadily as he felt sweat running down his chest between his boobs. The sunlight was broken up by the canopy of trees along the jogging trail but it was still warm enough that Steve had already worked up a good sweat. He’d been running the trail that ran along the property for twenty minutes and was just about to complete his first loop. Running in this body was the strangest and, in a scary way, most normal feeling thing he’d done in the last two days. The bounce and jiggle of his chest in the sports bra, the flex and spring of the flesh on his round sweetly curved ass were things that he found normal and a little erotic.

After the Will had been read Steve wanted nothing more than to escape. The looks he got from the family were curious, and Steve could guess they were wondering why he’d inherited so much instead of distributing the wealth more broadly. Those were much better than the openly hostile looks Cindy received. Yet, she appeared not to notice. Instead, she just smiled sweetly and wondered where her poor departed Philip might be in the afterlife.

Steve had quickly excused himself and retreated to Ivy’s room. He was a little bothered when he arrived at her door without thinking about it. Steve knew he couldn’t just hid in Ivy’s room. There were too many relatives on the estate and there would be all sorts of questions. Thinking quickly he changed into the hot pink and black running outfit Ivy had packed. Steve quickly pulled his long blonde hair into a pony tail and threaded it through the back of a pink baseball cap that matched the pink in the outfit. Without really knowing how he knew, Steve left the house through a side door and walked through the rose garden and down a path that led to the jogging trail. The trail followed the fence line at the edge of the estate to a gate led out onto the larger property. Steve started jogging.

He’d always liked running but had cut back over the last few years to focus on weight training. He enjoyed the power and the looks from the ladies that he now got, yet he missed the mindless simplicity of running. Ivy was in great shape from the time she spent working out and practicing with the cheer squad. Her body was more of a yoga and CrossFit body than a pure runners body. With boobs this big Steve understood why. Yet, she obviously spent some time every week on a treadmill.

Just as Steve rounded the last turn and got ready to start his second lap he noticed there was someone waiting for him. The bright green and white outfit and the flash of red hair gave the identity away.

“Mind if I join you?” Cindy asked falling into place next to Steve.

“Sure. I’m only doing one more lap though.” Steve couldn’t help noticing that the woman had a body that would have done a stripper proud and felt a pang of jealousy that she was several inches taller than Steve.

For several minutes, the two women jogged in silence. “It’s been a while since I ran this trail. I always found it peaceful. A good place to escape the, family. Philip and I used to walk it.”

“Why did you do it?”

“Do what?”

“Marry Philip. He was more than fifty years older than you.”

“Ha! You are so direct. It’s refreshing. The rest of the family just gives me dark stares and calls me names behind my back. That’s why I like you the best.” When Steve didn’t say anything, Cindy continued. “I did it for the money, of course. But Philip knew that, we even talked about it, before we got married. He was lonely and wanted a companion and I was broke after school with loans a mile high and no job prospects in my field. At least no jobs that paid much, and honestly, I needed a new start. I’d been in an abusive relationship. We had a number of common interests, artifacts, antiques, and the occult, to name a few. Did you know that Cindy-er-I have a master’s and a doctorate degree in history and archeology?”

“So you married him and lived off of him for a year or two and now you just inherited over a hundred million dollars? If what Daddy said about Uncle Philip’s money is true.”

“Best job ever, all I had to do was keep a nice old man company.”

“The family is pissed. Daddy is talking about fighting the Will in court.”

“Winston was always arrogant, and a bit of a moron. The Will is completely, legally, tight. He’ll waste half a million dollars and six months on legal fees and achieve nothing.”

“How do you know?” Steve glanced at Cindy, “How can you be so sure?”

“Because I-er-Philip hired the best lawyers’ money can buy. The law firm that did the documents is based in New York City with a branch in Minneapolis and the team cost Philip almost a million dollars. Trust me. You are an independently wealthy young woman.” Then after a moment Cindy added, “Besides, Winston got the majority of the Grant money when Grandpa Grant died. Grandpa always thought Philip was too irresponsible to be trusted with the full family wealth. He gave most of the money to Winston, with Bea and Liz getting the smallest shares. Of course, those fools had no idea that Philip had built his nest egg into so much wealth. The look of surprise on all their egotistical faces was delightful.”

“I didn’t know Philip was worth so much, either. Won’t that make the family fight harder to take it from you. You aren’t blood after all, and you admit that you only married Philip to get his money.”

“Besides the fact that the Will is airtight, your dad will give up once he figures out what would happen if he won.”

Steve gave the sexy red-head jogging next to him a puzzled look, “I don’t understand.”

“If the Will fails then the whole family will jump in to it, with their attorney’s, and fight over the money. Right now, his daughter, you, are getting forty percent. That’s much more than you’d get if it got split twelve ways.”

“Oh, twelve ways?” Steve’s mind was spinning. The Grant family politics were confusing and he’d never thought about wealth, power, and the in-fighting that came with it.

“Of course. Once you add in Philip’s half-brother and sisters, and all of their kids. It’s a sizable family. Philip is the only one never to have children.”

By now they’d almost completed another lap and Steve could feel the strain in his legs and his chest was starting to hurt from all the bouncing. “I’m going to stop here and walk, I need to cool down and then get cleaned up. We’re supposed to have a family dinner tonight.”

“Before you go, I’ve got a question. Winston donated some of Philip’s antiques to a charity event last summer, while I was in Hawaii.”

Steve slowed to a walk and Cindy slowed down to match him. “Oh? I guess, that does sound like Daddy.”

“Neither Philip nor I gave him permission. Once I found out it took some work and expense but I recovered most of the items.”

“I-I’m sorry you had to go to all that trouble. I’m sure that Daddy wouldn’t have done it if he knew Philip didn’t approve.”

“Ha! Don’t be silly, of course he would have . . . my point is I’m still missing a piece. There was an antique mirror hidden inside a lady’s jewelry cabinet. It is worth a bit, but it has sentimental value to me. Do you know anything about it? The organizer of the charity auction said that you picked out the pieces.”

“A mirror? I can’t say that I remember finding a mirror.” Steve felt a surge of excitement, and guilt, rush through him and bent over to stretch and cover up his surprise. ‘Ivy said that she found the mirror. Obviously, she never told anyone what she found or what it could do. I wonder, does Cindy know? Then a new thought hit him, ‘Cindy left for her vacation to Hawaii and that’s when Philip started acting odd, he couldn’t remember things, and he locked himself in his room. I wonder if Philip used the mirror to swap places with Cindy? Maybe just for a short break and then ended up stuck when Ivy took the mirror?’

Steve straightened up, “Look, I need to get back up to the house. I’ll see you at dinner?”

Cindy grabbed his wrist and Steve looked up at the older, taller, and stronger woman. He’d never felt intimidated by a woman before but the look Cindy gave him was fierce. “Ivy, I’m not playing around. That mirror is important to me. Do you know anything about it?”

Steve blinked and tried to give Cindy the most innocent and confused look he could. “A mirror in an antique jewelry cabinet? No, I can honestly say I don’t know what you’re talking about. Can you describe the mirror? Maybe I’ve seen it around the house.”

“It’s a lady’s hand mirror, made of a dark metal and silver. The handle looks like a dark angel with her wings sweeping up to hold the mirror.”

Steve felt a chill run through him, ‘That’s the mirror Ivy used to turn me into her twin!’ Keeping a straight face Steve twisted his wrist and pulled against Cindy’s thumb breaking her grip. “I can’t say that I’ve seen it. What if one of the charity appraisers found it? They must have inspected the cabinet before they set a price to start the bidding? Have you talked to them?”

“No. It wasn’t sold at the charity auction, I checked the registry of every item sold.”

“Maybe someone found it and bought it before the auction? I’d talk to the appraisers if I were you.”

After a moment, Cindy nodded, “I will.” She turned away and started running but Steve still heard her last comment. “I’ll have my mirror back if it’s the last thing I do.”

***

“I wonder if she’s sobered up yet?” Mary said as she typed Ivy’s code into the key pad and when she heard the “click” she opened the door to the apartment building. The sun was setting and Mary hurried to the elevator. ‘It’s after five pm so I should be able to use the mirror. I can’t believe I’ve got to go on a date with Stacy.’ Mary tried to suppress the illicit thrill that ran through her at the idea of becoming her brother, again. When she opened the door to Ivy’s apartment there was no sign of Ivy.

Spotting the mirror right where she’d left it Mary went to pick it up and then heard Ivy’s phone chime. Curious, she went to it and saw a text message from Ted. “Wow, he’s hot, and from what I’ve heard, rich. If I knew what her password was I’d unlock the phone . . . I wonder.” On a hunch, Mary typed in 362234 and the phone unlocked. “I can’t believe she’s so vain that she uses that for everything! Now what did Ted want?”

Mary pushed the text Icon and then opened the conversation with Ted: *Ivy, babe, I hate to do this, but I’ve got to cnx tonight. My dad was in a car accident and he’s in the hospital.*

Mary quickly typed in a reply. *Ohhh . . . will he be okay? Don’t worry about the date. I’m feeling a little sick anyway.*

*Mom said he should be fine. Probably has a concussion. Dr’s are keeping him over night. Are you okay?*

*That’s good. Yeah, just female issues. ?*

*Okay. TTYL.*

Mary put Ivy’s phone down and then went to her bedroom. The light from the doorway gave Mary a surreal view of her body, now stripped down to a t-shirt and panties spooning a long pillow. ‘I can’t believe it. Even passed out drunk, I’m super cute!’ The thought made Mary giggle and she quietly shut the door. Mary hurried back to the living room and picked up the mirror.

“The things I do for my brother, and my friends!”

Mary refused to admit it, but the thought of transforming into Steve was exhilarating. His body was so powerful, it was like becoming a superhero! She’d had no idea that he was so strong until she and Drake had hit the gym. When they’d been kids she’d loved dressing up as Steve and fooling their parents. Then when puberty hit and Steve started getting taller Mary had been jealous. At least until she’d noticed boys and the way they looked at her.

Mary glanced at the clock and cursed, “Shit! It’s almost five thirty! Steve and Drake are supposed to meet Stacy and Becky at six thirty at the bowling alley and I was sweaty and still in Steve’s gym clothes when I changed.” Then a thought hit her. “Steve’s saved image. He was wearing jeans and a collared shirt and had been ready to go out with Stacy until I called.”

Mary rotated the handle hearing one distinct click and then turned the mirror over. At first there was no reflection and then it clouded up and when it cleared she saw the image of her brother, ready for his date, peering up at her. Once again Mary discovered that she couldn’t move. The tingling sensation that raced over her body was starting to become familiar and then her bones began rearranging themselves, her muscles inflated as her hair retracted. In a few seconds, it was over and Mary could move. She turned the handle of the mirror around seven times listening to it click and then sat it down.

Slowly, she ran her large callused hands over her chest and arms. “Damn! I bet these biceps are almost nineteen inches! Being a guy is so cool!” Then she realized what she’d said and gasped. “I-I can’t believe I said that.” Then she shook her head, “I guess being a guy is cool, but so is being a girl!”

Now that she was ready for Steve’s date Mary didn’t feel so rushed and thought about Steve. “I wonder how he’s doing?” She pulled his phone out of his back pocket, where he normally kept it, and drew a Z across the screen. “Same pattern as always. Hehehe . . . my brother is so predictable!” With the phone open Mary used WhatsApp to IM Steve.

“How are you doing . . . Ivy?”

Almost instantly a reply popped in. “Mary? I’m okay. Getting ready for dinner with the family. We need to talk about Cindy. Uncle Philip’s widow.”

“Oh? Why?”

“I think she might not be who we think. She knows about the mirror and wants it. I think she might hire someone to find it for her if she can’t find it herself.”

“Okay. We’ll talk about it when you get back. When are you leaving?”

“Right after the funeral on Saturday.”

“K. I’m off for my date with Stacy.”

“Hahahaha . . . be nice. Don’t make, Steve, look like a dork. I really like her.”

“I’ll be cool. ??”

Mary closed the phone and slid it, along with Ivy’s apartment key-card into her pocket and headed out.

***

Steve walked down the hallway toward the stairs that led to the first floor, a bit unsteady on the six-inch platform heels he’d picked out. The old family house was huge. More than big enough to hold the entire Grant clan, and yet, there were now four other houses on the estate. Winston, as the heir, had claimed the mansion. Winston’s two younger sisters had used that as an excuse to build their own houses. After all, Philip already had one. The fourth house had been built as a guest house for visitors that the family didn’t want staying under the same roof with them.

Steven felt a sense of Déjà vu as he descended the spiral stairs. A flash of memory . . . a ballgown . . . a formal dance . . . Mom . . . taking pictures. Steve focused on the memory as he glided down the stairs and then into the formal dining room. He didn’t even think about the way his hips moved or the platform heels. The LBD he was wearing hugged every curve, and displayed Ivy’s assets in a way that Steve loved. He’d spent ten minutes standing in front of Ivy’s mirror twisting, turning, and posing. The most disturbing thing was that the image didn’t excite him like it would have in his male body. Or even like Ivy’s body had that first night in the hotel. He knew he looked hot, but it didn’t turn him on.

“Ivy, dear, you look lovely.”

“Thanks, Mom. You look great, too. Have you lost weight?”

“You’re sweet to say that. If anything, I’ve gained a pound or two. Your father took me to Italy last month and you know pasta goes straight to my hips.”

“Champaign?”

Steve turned to the waiter in his formal uniform and took a tall thin fluted glass from the tray. “Yes, thank you.” Looking around the room, Steve felt a little worried. There were so many people here he didn’t know.

“Your cousins are so jealous.” Jessica threaded her arm through Steve’s and guided him away from the door and to one side of the room. “I thought Beatrix and Elizabeth were going to choke when they heard that the bimbo is getting forty percent of Philip’s estate but they practically turned purple when they heard that you’re getting just as much.”

“Well, if any of my cousins had taken the time to get to know Philip they might have gotten part of his estate.” Steve flushed as soon as the words left his mouth. ‘Where did that come from?’ he wondered.

“True. Philip always liked you and there were times when I thought his crazy stories might inspire you to go tramping about third world countries digging through ruins.”

Steve felt a flash of irritation but suppressed it. ‘Like you’d ever let me off the leash long enough for something like that,’ the thought flitted through his mind, but all he said out loud was, “When will dinner start?”

Jessica gave him a puzzled look, “At seven thirty.”

“You can’t possibly intend to hang onto Ivy all night, can you?”

The smooth masculine voice caused both Jessica and Steve to turn. The tall man had to be close to Ivy’s age. He had broad shoulders, clear blue eyes, a strong chin and the dark hair the Grant men were famous for.

“Barnard, how are you?” Jessica flashed a fake smile at the young man. “I’ve not spent time with my daughter for over a month, can you blame me for clinging?”

“Of course, not Aunt Jess.” Then Barnard grinned at Steve. “How have you been, cousin?”

“I’m good. School is keeping me busy.”

“I heard you made the cheerleading squad.”

“I did. It’s so much fun.”

“Ivy!” Jessica scolded. “You know I didn’t want you to do that!”

“Mom, I’m twenty-one. I want to do a few things that other girls my age do. You wouldn’t let me live in the dorms. You were against me joining a sorority. Making the team was super important to me.” The words poured out of Steve’s mouth leaving him astonished.

His words had a similar effect on Jessica. Her mouth dropped open and her face flushed. “I-I . . .”

“For what it’s worth, I think it’s amazing that you’re off doing your own thing. I let my mom and dad talk me into going to Harvard. The only good sporting events are the Patriots.” Then he gave Steve a wink, “I bet you could make the Pats cheerleading squad when you graduate from school.”

“Don’t be crass Barnard. Ivy will do no such thing!”

Before Steve could answer there was a chime and everyone turned to the uniformed waiter by the table. “Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, dinner is served.”

***

“Damn, dude! That’s your third strike in a row.” Drake shouted and lifted a beer in salute. “What a comeback. Gutter balls in your first two frames and then you were at forty-one points in the fifth frame.”

“I just needed to get used to throwing a sixteen-pound ball.” Mary replied, pausing to flex her arms. ‘And get used to how light it felt!’ she added mentally.

“Dude, you always use a sixteen-pound ball.”

“But not after pushing 320 lbs.!” Then on a whim she grabbed Stacy around the waist planning on giving her a hug. The sexy brunette had other ideas and pressed her mouth to Mary’s.

Caught by surprise Mary was too stunned to think. Stacy twined her fingers into Mary’s hair pulling her face down and at five ten Stacy only had to stand up on her toes to reach Mary’s mouth. Then Mary felt her male body reacting, one hand dropping to squeeze the soft curve of Stacy’s bottom while the other moved up to the middle of her back. Stacy responded by melting into Mary and opening her mouth giving Mary access.

“Are we bowling or making out?”

“Get a room, you two!”

Embarrassed, Mary let go of Stacy, and there was an obvious bulge in her jeans. “We’re kicking your ass.”

When Mary went to the bowling alley she’d discovered that Drake was already there, along with the ladies. Stacy had laced her fingers through Mary’s thick masculine digits and pulled her into the building. Remembering Steve’s shoe size had been hard, but easier than picking out a ball. Mary had ended up going back and trading the ten-and-a-half shoes for size twelves. Then she’d started out by picking up a six-pound ball and realized her fingers wouldn’t even fit into the holes.

Normally, Mary and Steve were very good bowlers. Steve’s body was so much bigger and stronger than what Mary was used to it took almost half a game before she found her groove. Now, she loved how she could send the ball screaming down the lane to smash into the pins. The result was sending them in all directions and strike after strike.

“My big strong man.” Stacy whispered running her tiny hand over Mary’s large arms. Then she stood up on her toes to whisper in Mary’s ear. “Watching you destroy those pins is such a turn on.”

“Your turn bro.” Mary hooked an arm around Stacy’s waist and lead her to the seats to watch Drake.

By the time they’d bowled two games the girls decided they were hungry and the group left for a local steak house. Once seated Stacy turned to Becky, “I need to use the ladies room.”

“Me too.”

As soon as the girls left Drake turned to Mary. “You are one lucky guy! She wants you. Unless you totally screw up you are getting laid tonight!”

‘Laid? Oh, shit. I can’t have sex with Stacy! I’m really a girl, I don’t like girls . . . Steve is SO going to kill me if I mess this up.’ Out loud, “She is into me. What are you and Becky doing after dinner?”

“I’ve already got a room at the Hilton.” Then Drake waved at a waitress, “Can I get a pitcher of Blue Moon and four glasses?”

Mary didn’t know what to say. While they’d been bowling they’d downed four pitchers of beer and she didn’t feel drunk. This much beer would normally have left her wasted. Mary shook her head trying to think strait, the idea of having sex with Stacy was becoming more and more interesting. Especially since it felt like Stacy couldn’t keep her hands-off Mary’s rock-hard body. Mary was also pretty sure that the, “accidental” brushing of Stacy’s hand against her crotch hadn’t been accidents. By the time they left the bowling alley Mary’d had a pleasant buzz from the beer and the rush of raw testosterone in her system. The cool evening air and the walk to the restaurant had helped clear her head a bit, but now Drake was ordering more beer.

“Maybe we should slow down? I could use some water.”

“Don’t be a pussy! I’ve seen you drink more than this. Loosen up, oh, hey, here are the ladies.”

“Did you boys miss us?” Becky slid into the booth next to Drake and wrapped her arms around his neck kissing him.

Mary felt Stacy settle in beside him, “That looks like fun.”

Mary turned to face Stacy, “What?” Then she felt Stacy’s lips on hers and Stacy’s tiny tongue darted into Mary’s mouth. At the same time, she felt Stacy’s hand drop down to her crotch. The feeling of Stacy stroking her cock through her jeans sent a rush of sensations through her body.

“A pitcher of Blue Moon?”

At this Mary pulled back and Stacy made a slight pouty expression as they turned to face the waitress.

“Yeah, thanks.”



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