The Box's Pandora part 17

I sat on the edge of my bed, with my body wrapped up in a sheet. At the moment, I felt stunned, confused, and even a little horrified. I couldn’t believe what I’d thought and felt last night. I couldn’t believe what I’d actually done…or that I’d enjoyed it.

“Oh God,” I groaned, trying to make sense of it all.

Last night, I’d gone to a bar with Jake and Dave, in order to have a few drinks. It was the first time that I’d ever done this, though neither of them knew that. I’d had a single beer…half a beer since I hadn’t been drinking much, and then I’d been all over Jake. I’d been kissing him and then… I paled at the memory, even as a large part of me remembered it fondly. That was what scared me the most.

I’d woken up a short time ago with Jake sleeping beside me, or at least, with Jake climbing out of bed. I had the day off from work, but Jake didn’t, so he was currently getting ready. While he did that, I remained where I was, not feeling eager to get up and face the day.

Jake came back into the bedroom, now fully dressed. “I still don’t like having to leave you alone,” he said. His eyes went to the magic sword that was leaning up against the wall a short distance away. He couldn’t bring it to work with him, though he did have a gun or two. Those were a lot easier to keep out of sight than a sword.

“You can’t stay with me all the time,” I reminded him, thinking of the conversation that we’d already had about this topic when he began going to work. Guarding me and the box might be important, but it wouldn’t do any good if we couldn’t afford to eat or do anything else. At the moment, I was happy to talk about this again, rather than about the elephant in the room. “I’ve got a gun and I know how to use it. And most importantly, Kraesse has no way of knowing where we are.”

“Not unless he somehow has another chip from the box,” Jake pointed out.

With a wry smile, I said, “I already looked the box over, and didn’t see any more chips in it.”

Jake nodded at that. “Then, be careful.”

He paused to look me over with an appreciative expression, then he smiled to himself as he turned and walked away. I was pretty sure that there was an extra bit of swagger to his walk this morning, though that could just have been my imagination. However, what wasn’t my imagination, was the fact that I found myself staring at his butt as he walked away, and actually thinking about how nice it looked.

“No,” I said, shaking my head to try clearing those strange thoughts out of it. “What the hell am I thinking?”

Once Jake was gone, I got up and stretched my body. There was sticky and crusty stuff all down the inside of my thigh, and I tried very hard not to think about what it was. However, I wasted no more time before going to the bathroom

When I looked into the bathroom mirror, I was met with a sight that caught me by surprise, and at any other time, I might have laughed at it. I’d gone to bed last night without removing my makeup, and it was now smeared all over my face, making me look like quite a mess. I just wondered why Jake hadn’t said anything about that before he’d left, or at least, why he hadn’t laughed.

“Just great,” I grumbled, thinking that if this was what my face looked like, how bad was my pillow?

However, as messy as my smeared makeup was, that was actually a very minor problem, and easily taken care of. I was a lot more concerned about last night, and about what it meant. Not only for my relationship with Jake, but also for my sense of self and very sanity.

“What’s happening to me?” I asked, as tears began to flow.

Of course, I already knew part of the answer to that. I was a woman now, whether I liked it or not. Last night had certainly proven that.

I was still feeling pretty dazed as I climbed into the shower and began to wash myself off. Getting all this stuff washed off of me felt good, in more than just a physical way. And once I was finished washing, I remained in the shower, savoring the warm water while I was lost in thought.

Not surprisingly, I continued to think about last night, wondering how it could have happened. How could I do something like that? I was pretty sure that I hadn’t been drunk. As I played those events over and over in my mind, I found myself thinking more and more about the final parts. I blushed brightly, feeling a mixture of shame, guilt…and naughty excitement.

My body responded to my thoughts, and I started to become excited. Almost without conscious thought, I found myself rubbing my new parts, which felt absolutely amazing. However, once I realized what I was doing, and how good it felt, I felt a surge of guilt and stopped.

“What is wrong with me?” I demanded, climbing out of the shower and drying off. I was careful to avoid touching myself, though the temptation was definitely there.

A short time later, I finished drying off and getting dressed. I looked myself over in the mirror, then decided to avoid the goth makeup…at least for now. Putting all that makeup on was a bit of a hassle, and it wasn’t necessary at the moment since I didn’t plan on leaving the house. The only person who’d seem me without the goth persona, until Jake came home, was Dave, and he already knew I was hiding out.

I left the basement suite and went upstairs, where I was immediately met with the smell of bacon. Dave was in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. He gave me a nod, and before I could even say anything he handed me a cup of coffee.

“Thank you,” I responded, pouring a little cream and some chocolate syrup into it, to make it a little easier to drink. Lately, I’d been drinking so much coffee, that I’d started to develop a taste for it, or at least, I no longer found it quite as nasty as I once had.

“No problem,” Dave said, handing me a plate full of scrambled eggs and bacon.

We sat down at the breakfast nook and ate, with neither of us saying anything at first. Dave seemed more interested in reading the funny pages from the paper, than he did in talking, at least until he’d finished.

“You look good without all that makeup,” Dave finally said. “You should keep this look.”

I gave him a wry smile and admitted, “But if I used this look all the time, then it would be easier for certain people to recognize me…”

“Ah,” he said, nodding in understanding. “Total witness protection stuff. Got it.”

“Yep,” I agreed. “But it seems to be working pretty well, for the most part.”

“Can’t argue with you there,” Dave responded with a shrug and smile. “You look pretty different without the makeup.” He paused to stare at me for a moment with a thoughtful expression, then asked, “How old are you, anyway?”

The question nearly made me choke, though I quickly recovered and gave one of the responses I’d heard Aunt Dora use to similar questions. “You know, it isn’t polite to ask a lady her age.”

Dave grimaced at that. “Good point. You’d think that I’d be smart enough to know better by now.”

I just smiled at that, wondering what he’d say if he knew that I was only sixteen years old, or at least, just a little shy of it. Somehow, I didn’t think that he’d believe me. In fact, I was pretty sure that almost nobody would believe that I was really that young.

When we’d finished eating, Dave leaned back in his chair and asked, “So, Pan, do you ever play any video games?”

I blinked in surprise. “I’ve been known to play a game or two,” I said with a smile.

I loved video games, though I’d been under the impression that adults weren’t really allowed to play them. Of course, I’d learned otherwise after meeting Dave. He had a huge video game collection, and had bragged several times about his favorite ones.

Dave and I spent the next couple hours playing the most recent Halo game, and for a time, I was able to forget about my worries and problems. For just a couple hours, I was able to pretend that I was still Byron, and that everything was still normal.

Eventually, the game play ended, and Dave announced that he had to go run a few errands. “I’ll be back in a couple hours,” he told me. “What do you think of burgers for dinner? I can pick up some patties and buns on the way home…”

“That sounds good to me,” I told him.

After Dave left, I could have continued playing some of his games, though I reminded myself that grown-ups didn’t sit around playing video games all day. Or at least, that was what my parents had always told me. Dave was proof that this wasn’t always the case though.

Since I didn’t know what else to do, I went back to the basement and began washing the sheets and pillow cases, which were all filthy after last night. While I was doing this, my thoughts turned back to how they’d gotten dirty, which made me feel guilty and awkward again.

“But it felt so good,” I told myself, brushing brightly.

I couldn’t help but thinking about how attractive Jake was, even though I thought it was wrong at the same time. Last night, it was like a floodgate had opened, unleashing a rush of new feelings and desires. And though they were no longer as overwhelming as they had been at first, they hadn’t gone away entirely. These new feelings and urges were still there, at least to some degree.

“What the hell is wrong with me?” I demanded.

However, I already had a pretty good guess. Theressa and I had talked about my new body, and what it would mean. And of course, there was a bit of common sense mixed in as well.

My guess was that what I was now feeling, was biology at work. Physically, I was now an adult woman. My body, hormones, and brain chemistry all said that I now was, regardless of what my memories and past experience say.

“Just great,” I grumbled. Though I was relieved to have figured out why I was feeling these things, that didn’t answer all my questions. “Why now? Why so suddenly?” And of course, “Why Jake?” Then again, another part of me simply answered that he was cute, and that was why him.

I tried to distract myself, by taking the magic sword and practicing some moves in the basement. The moves now came easily, courtesy of all the practice I’d previously had. However, without someone to spar against, I wasn’t actually going to get any better.

Next, I began to practice with my gun. Of course, I couldn’t go firing it inside the house, or even in the back yard. What I did do, was practice taking it apart and putting it back together again. It came easier and more quickly each time, which may have been an indication that my inherited muscle memories were giving me some assistance.

Then, after working with the gun, I decided to practice with my makeup. I didn’t bother putting on the goth makeup, but instead, tried to do something else. I wanted to see if I could make myself look older and more sophisticated, instead of young and wild.

Theressa had already given me some lessons with makeup, just so that I’d be able to pass as a woman more effectively. However, I’d been too self-conscious to practice much with her and Cliff around. Now, I currently had the entire house to myself, so I went to work.

“Not bad,” I said, looking myself over in the mirror and being surprised by my reflection. At that moment, I looked a lot more like Aunt Dora than I ever had before. Of course, it wasn’t up to her usual quality, but it was close enough to get the point across. With that, I began cleaning it all off, before announcing, “Now to try again…”

As with a number of other things, the inherited muscle memories seemed to help me, because my skills improved a lot faster than they should have. After only an hour of practicing with the makeup, I was now able to make myself up exactly like Aunt Dora.

“This is kind of scary,” I admitted as I stared at my dead aunt in the mirror. Of course, I saw her every time I looked into the mirror, but I looked even more like her than usual now. However, I was still missing her confident posture and body language. “I bet I could pick some of that up too, if I practiced.”

Though I was tempted to try moving more like Aunt Dora, I decided not to do so, at least not now. I’d already picked up a lot of her body language and physical mannerisms, and thought it would be a little creepy to intentionally pick up more.

Instead, I cleaned my makeup off again, then began to go back to my goth image. However, this time, I went a bit lighter with the eye shadow, and was a bit more subtle with everything. When I was done, I still had a goth look, but it was cleaner and looked more attractive on me.

“I think I like this version better,” I mused with a smile. I posed in front of the mirror, deciding that I definitely preferred this.

Dave returned just a short time after I’d finished with my makeup, and he paused just long enough to give me a once over. He seemed vaguely surprised by my altered look, but didn’t say anything about it. I felt vaguely annoyed at that. After all, I’d gone through the trouble of changing my look, so the least he could have done was compliment me on it.

It didn’t take much longer before Jake returned home as well. He was dirty, and definitely needed a shower. However, I still found myself looking at him in appreciation.

“I spent all day planting trees,” Jake said with a sigh.

“Then I bet you’re bushed,” I joked, earning a chuckle.

“Yeah, but we need the money,” Jake responded, “so I couldn’t just leaf.”

We both chuckled for a few seconds, then just stood there and stared at each other. Neither of us said a word about what had happened last night, though we were both thinking about it. There was a strange awkwardness that hadn’t been there before.

Then, Jake stepped forward put his arms around me, kissing me right on my lips. I didn’t resist him at all, and quickly found myself kissing him back, and enjoying it thoroughly.

When we pulled apart, neither of us said a word. We just stared at each other for a few more seconds, with the awkwardness having turned into a different kind of tension. My heart was racing, and I was starting to get wet down below.

“I…I need a shower,” Jake announced, giving me an appreciative look before he hurried towards the bathroom.

I remained where I was for nearly a minute, trying to make sense of everything that I was thinking and feeling. Attraction. Shame. Excitement. Guilt. Desire. Confusion. There was too much going on for me to make any sense of it all.

“Oh my God,” I moaned to myself, unable to deny my strange new attraction to Jake, in spite of just how messed up that was. “What am I going to do?”

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