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Description Jooyong is working his uncle’s demolition site when he encounters a man in need of protection, but it’s more complicated than your average plea for help. For one thing, the man who needs help is not an ordinary man. And the kind of help he needs is something Jooyong isn’t even a little prepared for.

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Updated30 Jun 2017
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Part 1

Jooyong hurried out of room 8 of the derelict Lariat Family Motel and pulled the door firmly closed behind him. The stink seemed to linger on him, and he waved a work-gloved hand in front of his face to try to make it move on. His other hand was stuck holding his phone to a sweaty ear as his mother prattled on. He barely registered most of what she was saying. He had twenty years’ practice filtering her endless gab, taking in only what was necessary to respond when prompted.

He stepped back from the scarred, ill-fitting, baby-blue door to room 8 until he was well into the asphalt parking space that faced the room. He stared at the door with disgusted awe. He didn’t know whether animals had gotten in there, or a pack of wild humans who figured that if a building was abandoned and the plumbing wasn’t working you might as well do your business all over everything, but he was sure of one thing: he had never experienced a piss-stench so powerful he wanted to rip his own nose off.

“Your uncle told me he took you to the site today,” his mother was saying, and Jooyong’s stomach sank. He had a feeling he knew what was coming next, and that he wasn’t going to like it. He’d already been on this call for ten minutes, listening resignedly to her endless stream of hints, digressions, and passive-aggressive commentary as he worked alone in the room, unscrewing paintings from the wall and hauling the tables and chairs out to the center of the parking lot so his parsimonious uncle could decide whether to re-sell them. It was all a waste of time, at least where this lot was concerned, because unless someone had scat-themed décor he didn’t think any of the stuff from room 8 would sell anytime soon.

He wondered if his mother thought about whether it was appropriate for him to be on the phone at work. It was easy for her: she could jabber nonstop while she painted, and usually did, often on speakerphone as she moved around her studio. She said talking to her family and friends as she worked gave the back of her brain freedom to pain the unexpected. Usually, “the unexpected” involved squid for some reason, usually perambulating incongruously down Lautrec-esque moonlit urban landscapes. Unfortunately these Post-Squidpressian paintings sold well, which only reinforced her tendency to indulge in long, daily bouts of telephonic verbosity.

“Yeah, Ma,” Jooyong said into the phone, still frowning at the oddly colored door, behind which hid so much horror, “I’m at the site now.” Now that he was outside he tried breathing deeply through his nose, hoping it would clear his smell receptors, but the dusty parking lot of a tumbledown, derelict two-story Texas motel was not the ideal place to cleanse your olfactory neurons.

“I thought you were only going to be doing website design and IT for him,” his mother responded. “That’s what you said you were going to be doing. He said he needed you for that. That was what you were supposed to do.”

“I know, Ma,” Jooyong said. His long hair felt plastered to the back of his neck, and he was brushing it away from his skin with his gloved hand when he saw one of the other guys on the team, Mel, coming out of one of the rooms on the separate wing that stood perpendicular to the identical one he faced. He froze, his pulse quickening. Most of the guys who worked for his uncle were the human equivalent of pit bulls, his oversized, muscle-head cousins included. But there were three or four who looked like they belonged more on a Milan runway or a photoshoot for overpriced underwear than a demo site, and of those Mel was easily his favorite. He was the cream of them all, the image of relaxed, masculine allure from his boots all the way up to his tousled, dirty blond hair. Everything about him made Jooyong’s breath ragged and his dick want to swell up and point to him like a divining rod.

Jooyong watched raptly as Mel pulled off his damp navy company tee-shirt and rubbed his chiseled, hairy torso with it. “Ma, I do that stuff too,” he told his mother distractedly. “I talked Uncle into letting me work the site part-time. It’s boring staring at a computer screen all day. I like doing things. I know you understand that. Being active. Working with my hands.” He was staring intently as Mel slung the tee over his nicely bulging and well-tanned shoulder and bent to retrieve a bottle of water from the cooler at his feet. Jooyong’s eyes followed every movement as Mel uncapped the bottle took a long pull, draining the bottle of half its contents. His awareness seemed to zoom in on Mel’s hard, sweat-dappled form, his vision filling with Mel’s long, thick neck as his throat worked and his adam’s apple jogged up and down, before shifting to his balled biceps as he held the bottle up to his lips. Then the arm lowered and Jooyong let his gaze drift to Mel’s handsome, dirty face—only to catch on a pair of bright blue eyes fixed directly on him. Jooyong hastily looked away. He felt a powerful impulse to flee. He was no coward, not hardly, but he … he had stuff to do. There were fifteen more rooms to clear out on this wing, after all. Seven on the main level and eight more upstairs. Lots to do. He was supposed to have help, but god knew where his cousin Seung was—probably getting stoned somewhere. He forced himself into motion as if having to deliberately unroot his boots from the pavement, and, half-walking and half-trotting, he headed toward the next room on his list, room 7, unsure whether he was imagining Mel’s gaze boring into his back.

He realized as he approached the door to room 7 that he’d missed something his mother had said, and that she was waiting for him to respond. “Sorry, Ma, what?” he asked. “I missed that.”

“I didn’t say anything,” his mother said irritably. “I only said you that you’re too small for demolition. Your uncle always says that.”

Jooyong sighed as he tried the door. To his relief the knob turned easily. The rooms were all supposed to be unlocked, but that was one of the jobs they’d given Seung when the job started last week, so whether it had been done with any kind of thoroughness was as unpredictable as his sister’s hair color from one week to the next. “I’m five-eight, Ma,” he said, stepping into the dark and stuffy room. “And a hundred and forty pounds isn’t puny. I’m bigger than you are,” he added. He could have elaborated about the five pounds of muscle he’d packed on his lean, cut frame in the last couple of months, now that he’d started really applying himself at the gym, but he knew there was no point.

“I paint,” his mother returned, predictably. “I don’t need to be big.” He could have spoken her response along with her, word for word.

“Neither do I, Ma,” he said patiently as he looked around the dimly lit room, room, trying to assess what needed to be done. Two paintings to be unscrewed from the wall, both hideous depictions of misshapen fruit in unsymmetrical bowls, garnished with waxy-looking oak leaves for reason that escaped him. Uncle was certain he could get a price for the art, and however deluded Jooyong thought his uncle was the paintings would have to come down, along with the mirror on the other wall. Three equally ugly table lamps in glittery crimson, with damaged lampshades. Two red faux-leather chairs and a rickety round table. A long, low bureau with dents showing where the TV had been. Two sets of heavy curtains. The queen-sized bed frame was a platform unit bolted to the floor and would have to stay, at least for now, but the mattress would have to be hauled out too.

Jooyong’s brows drew together as he looked around, trying to figure out what was bugging him about the space. There was something strange about the musty room, like a subtle weirdness that was just beyond what you could sense or understand, like it was tickling the edge of his stomach. He shook his head. The place didn’t smell like a backed-up sewer, that was the main thing.

His mother was still talking. “You’re too small,” she insisted. “I don’t know why your uncle brought you to the site in the first place. Besides, you look better in a shirt and tie.” Amused, Jooyong looked down at his heavy tee shirt, clean dark jeans, tool belt, boots, and work gloves, and smiled. He thought he looked pretty manly, just like all his teenaged wet dreams about construction workers and other hard-working guys. Well, not just like. His mother was right about one thing—he was definitely smaller than most of the guys. Especially one tousled-haired guy in particular. Back then he’d imagined himself sometimes in those hard-hat fantasies, but these days when he thought back on the scenarios he’d imagined, the guys all tended to look like Mel. Taut muscles bunching as he worked, pounding in nails around fresh drywall. Hauling heavy loads of lumber without breaking a sweat. Grinning smugly and adjusting his hard hat as he stood over his latest very willing conquest. Jooyong swallowed, thinking it was not a bad thing that certain guys were bigger than him.

“You should be in the office,” his mother was saying, and Jooyong had to force himself grudgingly back into the conversation. He needed to forget about the places his imagination took him, and with whom—at least, while he was on site. He firmly banished his erotic imaginings and focused on his mother’s remonstrations. “You need to be using your skills,” she went on. “Your cousins are good for tearing things down. You need to be impressing your uncle with things he doesn’t understand.”

That would be a long list, Jooyong thought sourly. He knew his mother would agree. His mother didn’t think much of her brother-in-law, and six months of working for him had not endeared Jooyong to him either. The man was coarse and bad at listening, and the swelling success of his business had only confirmed him in the worst of his social behaviors. Plus always he smelled like meat, for some reason. Meat that was about to go off, like a steak that had been left out on the counter for a day or two. “Tell you what, Ma,” he broke in. “You call Uncle and tell him he doesn’t know what he’s doing, okay? I think he’d take it better coming from you.”

“Oh, he doesn’t listen to me,” his mother tsked. “But—”

“Ma, I gotta go,” Jooyong said, suddenly tired of the back-and-forth. “I’ll call you when I’m getting off, okay? Of work, I mean,” he added guiltily, feeling his cheeks heat slightly. He hadn’t put away those pesky fantasies after all, it seemed. Where the heck was his brain? Probably rubbing itself all over Mel’s strong, sweaty, striated chest, he thought uncomfortably. “I’ll talk to you later,” he said into the phone, and disconnected before she could object.

Shoving the phone away, Jooyong huffed at himself and how pathetic he was. A crush, at his age! Get a grip. He moved over to the nearest painting, noticing for the first time that the frame was just as ugly as the picture, cheaply made and finished with gold spray paint. He snorted and got to work, checking the screwheads and retrieving the appropriate screwdriver from his tool belt. He managed to get the paintings and mirror out, then the chairs and tables, before turning to the bed. The pedestal had two built-in night stands on either side, with cubby-holes rather than drawers. Unlike the previous room, though, this one had a wide drawer at the foot of the platform base, and he figured needed to check it before he started dragging the mattress out. Hope it’s not full of shit, he thought grimly as he crouched down next to the platform base and considered how to open it. After the last room, it was possible. There was no handle, but he could see a recessed gap underneath. He reached under and pulled the drawer out about a foot and a half before he saw what was inside.

At first he thought the two-foot-long human figure lying inside the drawer amidst various scraps of fabric and other unidentifiable odds and ends was a large doll of some kind—an incredibly realistic, well-muscled and very anatomically correct doll, with light brown skin and dark chestnut hair almost as long as Jooyong’s shaggy shoulder-length locks. Then the doll opened its uncanny red-gold eyes and glared hard at him, making Jooyong’s heart instantly seize up as if it had suddenly imploded in his chest.

Who the fuck are you?!” the doll demanded furiously, sitting up on its elbows.

With a little shriek Jooyong slammed the drawer closed with a violent, instinctive shove. The doll-man, taken by surprise, didn’t quite move his head out of the way in time and got clipped by the edge of the drawer frame before the drawer was fully closed. “Owwww!!” came a muffled voice from within the pedestal. “Mother fucker!

“Jooyong!” barked a voice from across the room. Already in a state of shock, Jooyong’s pulse leapt wildly out of control as his head snapped up to see his uncle glowering at him half-silhouetted in the open doorway, his permanent frown looking even more unpleasant than usual.

Part 2

Jooyong clutched at his hammering chest, but the movement unbalanced his crouch and he fell onto his ass with an “eep”. He steading himself with one hand, the other still holding his chest as if his heart needed to be kept from slamming its way out of his body.

His uncle’s frown deepened, if that were possible. “What’s wrong with you?” he asked gruffly.

“Scared me,” Jooyong got out, barely able to keep himself from stammering.

His uncle grunted, unimpressed. “Loud noises in this business,” he warned. “You get scared when you hear an engine start up or explosives detonate, someone gets hurt.”

Jooyong just stared at him. His homily on safety delivered, his uncle glanced shrewdly around the room, assessing the progress he’d made. His eyes fell on the bed platform. “Anything in there?” he asked, pointing at the drawer.

Nothing on earth could make Jooyong tell his uncle that the drawer in question currently contained a living, foul-mouthed miniature man the size of a red panda. “Nope,” Jooyong said firmly.

His uncle squinted at him. “You checked?” he asked dubiously.

“Yup,” Jooyong said immediately.

His uncle grunted. “Your cousin Seung showed up,” he said, in a tone that said that this was an event that could not have been predicted either way. Evidently he was under no illusions about his son’s reliability. “Once I am done … speaking with him about his tardiness, I’ll send him over to you.” Looking his nephew over coldly he added, “Don’t move the mattress without his help.” Without waiting for Jooyong to respond, he turned and vanished into the brightness outside the motel room.

Jooyong stared after him in a daze. Slowly, he clambered to his feet and headed for the door. An impulse came over him to walk through it and keep walking, not stopping until he’d put all possible distance between himself and this place. Instead, he slowly closed the door, letting it latch gently, then turned the deadbolt. Then he returned to the bed platform and sank to his knees by the drawer. With infinite trepidation, Jooyong reached under the drawer front and slowly slid the drawer all the way open.

The fuming doll-man was staring daggers at him, holding his head. With a glance at the drawer frame, he dropped his arm and raised himself up onto his elbows again. Jooyong sat back on his heels at gaped at him.

Nothing happened for a moment as they stared hard at each other. Jooyong’s heart was beating fast, but his breathing was steady, and he was reasonably sure he wasn’t going to pass out, though he wouldn’t have put money on it. He wanted to take a closer look at the very fine, very naked, and apparently very real body the small man was currently exhibiting to him from where he lay amid the colorful pieces of fabric in the drawer, but he was afraid to prize his stare away from the glittering red-gold eyes that were currently locked with his own.

“Who,” said the small man at last, “are you?”

Jooyong swallowed. He was so full of questions there was no room for anything else. “Why …why are you in the drawer?” he asked. It was the only thing he could get through his mind and out his lips.

The small man bared his teeth. “Who are you?” he demanded.

“Why are you in the drawer?” Jooyong repeated, just as stubbornly.

Who are you?!” shouted the small man, eyes blazing.

Why are you in the drawer??!” Jooyong shouted back. He slapped a hand over his mouth, then reacted in surprise at the rough fabric that hit his lips—he had forgotten he was wearing work gloves. He lowered his hand back to his lap and closed his eyes. Raised voices had to be de-escalated. That was almost a credo for Jooyong. He was good at pouring oil on troubled waters. In his family, he had to be.

He opened his eyes and met the angry man’s gaze. It was a handsome face, at least, and fury seemed to make its beauty that much more forbidding. Jooyong wondered what it would be like to kiss those sweet lips, then flicked away the stray thought. His untamed libido crept up on him at the worst times. “My name as Jooyong Lee,” he said calmingly. “I’m here as part of a demolition team. We’re tearing down this motel.” The small man’s eyes widened, and in the same instant Jooyong realized he wasn’t just dealing with a terrifying and inexplicable discovery somehow left behind in one of the rooms—he’d come face to face with a resident who didn’t know his home was about to be destroyed. “I’m sorry,” he said sincerely, “but you won’t be able to live here anymore.”

The small man seemed to absorb this. He sat forward, bringing his knees up and leaning his forearms on them, and hung his head for a moment. Jooyong allowed himself to examine his unexpected resident’s naked body. He told himself that it was because he still didn’t believe that the man was real, but he knew deep down that he’d already accepted that and at least a part of him, the more salacious part, had moved on to how hot he was.

Whereas Mel was tall, lithe, and muscular in the way of one of those fitness models who post a lot of pictures to Instagram with descriptions involving repeated iterations of words like “aesthetic”, “sculpted”, and “form”, this guy was huge and swole, like a natural bodybuilder whose muscles had built up bigger than anyone had expected, and yet retained all the beauty in face and physique of the freshest and most untroubled youth you’d ever expect to see hurling hay bales from a loft. His hairlessness, apart from his long chestnut mane and a small thatch arounds his impressive genitals, conveyed youth and purity much as his features did, though Jooyong somehow knew he was far from young. As the small man bent forward he exposed a back that flared wide as a house, his latte-brown skin looking warm and smooth in the dim light of the motel room. Jooyong was surprised to see a large, intricately colored tattoo of a leaping tiger across the man’s left shoulder-blade.

“Do you know what happened to my Protector?” the small man asked at last, looking up at Jooyong. The anger seemed to have drained out of him, at least for now. Jooyong somehow sensed the capital-P in “Protector”, but that didn’t help him make sense of what the small man was asking. When he saw that Jooyong did not understand, he explained, “The man who took this room, Archibald Matthews. Arch. Do you …?” He didn’t seem able to finish the question, clearly suspecting he was about to hear bad news.

Jooyong bit his lip. “No one has been at this motel for a very long time,” he said quietly. “My uncle said there was a murder here, like, ten years ago, and the motel hasn’t—”

“Ten years!” the small man repeated in dismay. He leapt to his feet, causing his hefty, uncut cock to waggle back and forth distractingly once he was standing. “I’ve been asleep and un-Protected for ten years,” he said, more to himself than to Jooyong. He started looking around his drawer, then stilled as his eyes fell on what appeared to be a solid silver cube with rounded corners and edges, much like a single die but without the spots, and about the same size. He picked it up sadly in one hand. It looked like solid silver or something similar and something told Jooyong it was fairly heavy for its size, but the thickly muscled man hefted it easily.

Jooyong was about to ask him to explain what was going on, starting with why there was a man a third the size of a normal man sleeping under a bed in an abandoned shit-hole motel in Middle-of-Bumfuck, Texas, when suddenly their conversation was disrupted by the sound of the doorknob being jiggled roughly by someone outside. They both snapped their heads toward the door.

“Joo! You in there?” shouted a voice from outside. Jooyong knew it could only be his thick-necked stoner cousin, Seung. His mind careened in frantic circles as he tried to sort out how to handle the situation.

“H-hey, cousin!” he called back after a second from where he knelt. Unable to think of anything to say, he added, “How’s it going?”

“Terrific! Stupendous!” came the sarcastic response. “You want to open the door, Pipsqueak?”

Jooyong stole a glance at the small muscle-man. The man in question was currently staring up at him with wide eyes, and a powerful, mostly inexplicable desire to safeguard this strange little man welled up in Jooyong. He turned back toward the door and very nearly gave his response as “Not really,” which would at least have been more honest.

“The, um, lock’s stuck on this side!” he called out instead. “I guess you need to find the key!”

“Fuck,” Seung replied. “Are you shitting me?” Fortunately this was apparently a rhetorical question, because he clearly heard the sound of boot soles scraping on concrete at his cousin turned on his heels to go find a master key. Jooyong had one in his pocket, of course, but it shouldn’t take Seung long to find another.

As soon as Jooyong turned back toward the drawer, the little muscle-man said, “I need your help. Will you … Protect me? Only temporarily,” he added quickly, as if putting a time limit on it would ameliorate his asking what sounded like the kind of favor you normally shouldn’t ask of a complete stranger who just discovered you in a drawer ten minutes earlier. His proud red-gold eyes were pleading.

Jooyong had again heard the extra layers in that word “Protect”, though he didn’t know what the additional meanings entailed. He did want to help the little man, and not just because he was, as he realized at that moment, almost desperate to touch his incredible body. He also knew that they had very little time. But his brain was balking, telling him this was all too much, too fast. “I—I don’t know you,” he stammered. “And you don’t know me, you don’t know you can trust me.”

“No choice,” the man in the drawer said. The words might have seemed demeaning, but Jooyong heard the urgent vulnerability in them. “I have to trust you, Jooyong.”

Jooyong chuffed out a breath, his heart fluttering at hearing his own name on those lips. “I don’t even know who you are,” he reiterated, stalling.

“I’ll tell you everything later,” said the small man, glancing past Jooyong toward the door. He met Jooyong’s gaze and said, “My name is … Hard.”

Jooyong frowned at him, momentarily sidetracked. Okay, but how hard could it be? Maybe it was one of those Eastern European names with lots of pointy things and no vowels. He could empathize, as he knew from experience that plenty of people had trouble even with simple names. Like Jooyong, for example. He smiled at the small man standing before him in the scrap-strewn drawer. “If you say it slowly,” he said reassuringly, “I think I can give it a go.”

The little muscle-man squeezed eyes shut, pinching the bridge of his nose. “No, Jooyong,” he said, slowly and carefully. He sounded like he was struggling mightily not to rain curses down on his much larger interlocutor. “My name,” he continued, looking back up at him, “is Hard. H-A-R-D.” Jooyong blinked once at him. “Like your skull,” Hard gritted out.

Clarity dawned, and Jooyong grinned shamefacedly at him. “Oh, right,” he said, chagrinned. “Sorry.”

Hard was about to speak, but at that moment they heard Seung’s voice again suddenly from beyond the door. “Hey, Joo,” his cousin called out, “I can’t find the key, and this fucking eyesore’s coming down anyway. I’m busting the door down, okay? Stand back!”

Alarmed, Jooyong turned to Hard. “Take the cube,” Hard said quickly, holding the silver cube up to him. Automatically Jooyong started to take it, but Hard abruptly pulled it back. “Wait!” he said. "Your gloves!” Not understanding the problem, but knowing there was no time for questions, Jooyong ripped the glove off his right hand. Hard gestured he should put out his hand facing up. When he did so, Hard dropped the silver cube onto his palm. Jooyong had time to register that it was, as he’d suspected, quite heavy for something so small before Hard started pushing at the backs of Jooyong’s fingers, and Jooyong intuited that he was to clasp his fist around the cube. He did so, and instantly he felt a thrill of wild energy flying through him.

In the same moment, a loud smashing sound came from the front of the room, the noise of the impact massive enough for Jooyong to almost believe it was a rhinoceros trying to bust into the room instead of just his rhino-sized cousin. Involuntarily Jooyong whipped his head around to stare at the door. The flimsy door frame around the lock was already splintering. Seung would be through the door in seconds.

“Jooyong!” Hard shouted frantically. Jooyong turned back to him, realizing as he did so that he was shivering with the towering quantities of energy feeding into him from the cube. He didn’t know what he was being prepared for, but he knew he was about to find out.

“You have to kiss me,” Hard told him, his red-gold eyes almost luminescent in the darkened room. “Right now.”

“Wh-what?” Jooyong said, floored. Did Hard know about that stray sexy idea he’d had before? Was he being called out? Millions of thoughts were spinning through his head, and the rush of energy from the cube only seemed to make them swirl faster.

“Hurry!” Hard was shouting. Jooyong’s consciousness seemed to tunnel, so that all he could see was Hard’s handsome face, contorted as it was in fear and exasperation. “Kiss me! Kiss me, now! Kiss me, you stupid, ridiculous fucker!”

Jooyong couldn’t think of a reason not to kiss this strong, powerful, beautiful man. He leaned his face down toward where Hard stood in his drawer, almost quivering with impatience. There was a loud smash behind them, but Jooyong didn’t turn to see. He pressed his mouth against Hard’s much smaller lips, and then space seemed to fold itself inside out, and Hard’s warm, sweet mouth was all there was, and there was no difference in size or dimension, just a single kiss that was more fulfilling, more satisfying, than any Jooyong had ever experienced or even imagined. The two men intersected with reality, not quite within it, and Jooyong felt Hard’s muscular body against his, and Hard’s strong arms, wrapping around his own smaller frame, as their kiss deepened and their adamantine cocks pushed irresistibly against each other.

And then, in a single still moment, Hard came inside Jooyong … in the most literal way possible.

Part 3

When Jooyong’s eyes fluttered open, he saw two alarming things. The first was that there was no two-foot-tall, naked, latte-skinned muscle-man standing in the open bed-pedestal drawer shouting at him or cursing him for his idiocy. The drawer was still filled with those random scraps of thick fabric that Hard had been using for a bed during his long slumber, Jooyong guessed, but there was no sign at all that the little muscle-man himself had ever even existed, and Jooyong immediately stabbed himself with the horrifying thought that he might have imagined Hard. If that was the case, Jooyong thought with mounting panic, the only explanation for everything he’d just experienced was that his brain was as broken as the Titanic before it sank. He could still feel Hard’s warm, sweet kiss on his lips, and everything it had done to him.

The second was the tree-trunk legs and booted feet of his cousin almost directly in front of him. Clearly Seung had succeeded in breaking into the room, and was now standing before him, a witness to his descent into bananatown.

“Joo, you okay?” Seung’s knees seemed to ask. He could smell pot on his cousin, and wondered whether he could be getting a really, really intense contact high. But no, this all started way before Seung had literally bashed his way into this truly fucked-up situation.

Jooyong struggled to pull himself together. He needed to make sense of what he was feeling. Euphoria still coursed through him from the … whatever it had been that he and Hard had experienced together, in that single still moment that seemed to fall between the discreet ticks of normality. More than that, he could sense that whatever had begun in that moment was, somehow, still happening to him. Something was progressing deep inside him, and his heart, though it was beating at a normal, steady pace, seemed still to be crashing through him, over and over again, each beat thundering incredibly in his ears. Or—no, it was … it was like it was … two beats. Two pulses.

Jooyong knew that was impossible, and maybe it wasn’t literal. But he was now strangely certain. There was only one way to account for Hard having been there and not being there now, and for the feeling of … bonding he’d experienced with Hard from the moment their lips touched, and for the strange sense of his heartbeat being doubled. He had two life-forces within him.

By accepting the role of Protector, however “temporarily,” Jooyong had agreed to take Hard’s life force—his essential being—inside himself.

“Joo—!” Seung’s voice said, more insistently this time.

Jooyong remembered the extra spike of energy instilled in him by the cube, which seemed more to have settled into him than to have dissipated, leaving his body stimulated and fresh and his mind slowly ramping up to match. The cube! He opened his ungloved hand, but where the cube had been there was now what looked like a silvered tattoo, as if someone had inked the palm of his hand with a simple, isometric wireframe of a six-sided die without the spots. And then, even as he watched, the silvery tattoo seemed to vanish into his skin as if sinking away into profound, invisible depths. Before he knew it the image had vanished, and he was staring at his unmarked palm.

“Joo, are you drunk or something?” Seung was now demanding, having shifted from concerned to testy. “Get the fuck up! Pop says we have to do this whole wing today.”

Jooyong looked up at his mountain of a cousin. He was a large man, and somehow his wearing the same uniform as Jooyong’s—dark blue company tee, jeans, boots, tool belt, and gloves—only with everything much larger (and also less generally clean and well-cared-for) managed to emphasize his cousin’s superior size (not to mention his habitual slovenliness). Jooyong liked guys who were big and powerful, and Seung was actually not bad-looking, especially if you liked thick eyebrows and didn’t mind the lingering reek of marijuana; but the bottom line was that Seung was built less like a fitness model and more like a fridge.

When their eyes met, Seung drew his brows together. “You got red contacts?” he asked in surprise, then started shaking his head. “Your mom is not gonna like that,” he observed, with exactly the kind of grin you gave a family member who was soon going to get a verbal pasting from his famously strait-laced mom. He gestured with his chin toward the bed. “C’mon, let’s get the mattress, then we can do the bureau and take down the drapes.”

Still trying to orient himself, Jooyong got unsteadily to his feet. It wasn’t quite as easy at it should have been. It was almost as if his center of gravity had shifted. Jooyong’s head swam. Now standing, he looked up at Seung. His cousin was still, as always, much taller than him, but … it didn’t seem like quite the angle he was used to, somehow. Seung eyed him sidelong. “Dude, you been working out?” he asked dubiously, as if an affirmative answer wasn’t something that should have been within the realm of credibility, yet nonetheless seemed indicated by the evidence at hand. Jooyong had, in fact, been working out, so he just nodded mutely.

Brows still knitted, Seung seemed to be assessing him as if he were a puzzle. Then his gaze seemed to catch on something. His eyes widened and brows flew up, and he actually took a couple steps back from Jooyong. For a moment Seung just stood there gaping at him open-mouthed, before managing a strangled “Dude, what the fuck?”

Jooyong stared back at him, stomach twisting. The comment about the red eyes had finally penetrated, lining up perfectly with the previous sensation of a new, second life-force inside him. There was only one explanation. And if his eyes had turned red, maybe that meant that there would soon be only one life-force inside him, and not the one he was used to.

He realized that Seung was still goggling incredulously at him. “Wh-what’s wrong?” he stammered.

“Dude, you’re hard!” Seung said, voice rising in pitch. “Why are you hard?”

Jooyong felt thunderstruck. His pulse raced. “I’m not! I’m not!” he protested frantically, panic flooding back into him. “I’m still—”

“The fuck you’re not!” Seung shot back, pointing an accusing finger at Jooyong’s crotch. “Fuck, Joo, they could see that thing from space! What the fuck?”

Jooyong stared at Seung for another second before looking down at himself. First he registered what Seung had meant with his earlier comment about working out—even from this vantage he could tell that his pecs seemed to stand out a little more against his thick work tee shirt, and though he didn’t have time to examine his arms closely, if his forearms were any indication the slight upgrade to his physique was probably general. Even as the thought occurred to him, he became aware of the tightness of his jeans, which before had fit him well and now seemed snug around the thighs and across his ass—and also an inch or so two short.

But that wasn’t was Seung was making a fuss about now. Seung’s shaking finger was pointing at Jooyong’s hugely erect cock. Except it wasn’t quite Jooyong’s cock, not anymore. Maybe the shape was the same—he’d always loved the perfectly cylindrical, torpedo-like thickness of his previously respectable, but very average, tool. But the iron-hard, quivering erection thrusting up from his groin and radiating warmth back into his skin looked like it was trying to make its way toward becoming a real torpedo through simple proportional expansion. It was massive, easily big enough for three or four hands, making itself extremely obvious as it shoved rudely up under his heavy tee until it topped out most of the way up what he suspected were his now insanely chiseled abs.

“Oh,” Jooyong said uneasily, completely at a loss. “Heh. Weird.”

“‘Weird’,” Seung parroted in a low, slow voice. He lowered his arm and otherwise remained very still.

Hard, Jooyong thought. It had to be Hard. Hard was doing things to him. Changing him. Changing him more and more. Hard was taking him over!

In that moment, Jooyong became aware of a new wave of incredible energy and power flooding through him, ten times as intense as what he’d felt when he’d first accepted the silver cube. His whole being seemed almost to shimmer. Before Jooyong could react, either in exuberance or panic, he distinctly heard a voice from somewhere deep inside his own mind.

Don’t think of me, Hard’s voice said. It was clearly a warning, and an urgent one.

The instruction seemed so ridiculous that Jooyong wanted to laugh out loud—and it would have been a crazy laugh, a laugh maniacal enough to send Seung pelting out of the motel room in search of the men with the white coats and butterfly nets. You can’t tell someone not to think about something! Jooyong thought wildly. That’s a guarantee that they’ll

Stop, Hard’s voice cut in firmly. You have to stop. Focusing on me intensifies the changes to your physical form. We did this too quickly. You weren’t properly prepared. You must not think about me, not until you have mastered how to control your thoughts.

Are you nuts? Maybe … maybe I’m nuts, Jooyong thought, his stomach dropping like an elevator in freefall. Shit, shit, fucking shitty shit. He was still staring down at himself, every attribute and in every dimension juddering on the verge of something more, something else, and his intense awareness of how in flux his entire body was only made his sanity, his very existence, seem unbearably precarious. Please, please! he thought desperately. What am I supposed to do? What the fuck am I supposed to do?

Think about reality, Hard pressed him. Think about your job. Your family. You must control what happens to you now, in this moment. Think about this moment you are in, Jooyong. Think about how I am counting on you to Protect me. And how that means that you must be safe and normal.

Jooyong’s mind raced. He was right. Hard was right. He had to protect his new … friend, or passenger, or whatever, and that meant he had to protect himself. His charge. He’d agreed to be Hard’s Protector, and that was a promise, and a commitment, and a responsibility. A very pressing one, at the moment.

He had to steady this moment, and that meant being safe and normal.

Jooyong rethought about his situation. He was on the job site. Seung was standing over him, agog at his very inappropriate condition. Things could get much worse from here, he knew. It would not be a good thing for his career if word spread that he was a perv who was spending all of his time on the job sneaking into closed rooms and obsessively pleasuring his unnaturally huge dick. He looked up and met Seung’s gaze—and he could tell that Seung seemed to be thinking exactly that. Excuses. He needed a line of approach that both rationalized and reassured. He started with his so-far unexplained arousal.

Jooyong took a slow breath and aimed a crooked smile at his cousin. “I, uh, found a stash of old porn,” he explained lamely. “Got distracted.” He tried to chuckle like a guy who’d been caught leafing through an unexpected trove of dirty magazines.

Seung immediately shifted gears, breaking into a licentious grin. “Oh yeah?”

“Oh,” Jooyong said, not expecting this reaction. “No, you wouldn’t be interested. It was all dudes, man, sorry.”

Jooyong felt himself slowly calming, and took another deep breath. His body already felt more stable, setting into the new form he’d discovered himself in on waking up after the bonding. Okay, so far so good, he thought. There was no response in his head from Hard, which was probably a good thing. He determined to remain focused and see this moment through.

Seung grimaced at the idea of all-dude porn. “Fuck that shit,” he said. His words seemed belied, though, by the way his eyes seemed unable to keep from dropping to Jooyong’s new and incredibly obvious monster erection. After a minute Seung swallowed and said, “I, uh, had no idea you were that big.”

Jooyong had had a few compliments on his pleasantly girthy cock before, so it wasn’t completely beyond his experience to shrug and say, “I guess,” like someone who was totally used to straight guys lusting after his boner. Right now, there were a couple things he knew with some degree of confidence: whatever had happened to his body was because of Hard, and the bonding they’d undergone meant that Hard was inside him, his life-force alive and responsive within him, in some way intertwined with Jooyong’s. Knowing he would be able to have a nice long talk with his new body co-pilot was helping him to relax for now and go with the flow. A flow that seemed to involve a cock so big it instilled undue interest from his pussy-worshipping cousin, who, at the moment, couldn’t seem to keep his eyes off the thing.

Seung had been worrying how lower lip. “Can I, um, can I see it?” he asked finally.

Jooyong was surprised, but not displeased. He always sought ways to put things on an even keel and smooth confrontations, and Seung’s curiosity afforded him an opportunity he could easily turn toward restabilizing things between himself and his extra-large cousin. De-escalation, that was Jooyong’s specialty. He gave Seung an easy smile. “Suuure,” he drawled. “But, you know, aren’t you worried your dad will see you? Perving on my dick an’ all?” he teased.

This was a calculated move on Jooyong’s part. Seung might take offense, but he didn’t think he would. Jooyong knew from experience that a well-placed poke between friends or family members actually signaled awareness and protection of the other’s vulnerabilities—if it was done just right, in a positive way, it was taken as love, not scorn. Jooyong was the master of playing family flaws into trust and appreciation. If he hadn’t known how to work his uncle, after all, he’d never have even gotten this job, much less been here today to experience … whatever the fuck he had just experienced. The meeting with Hard. The bonding. He was still not completely convinced he hadn’t made a horrible, horrible mistake accepting Hard’s plea, even if he couldn’t really see himself making any choice other than agreeing to help Hard when he’d asked for it. And the incredibly pleasurable power and strength that seemed to be teeming all through his clearly upgraded body told him not to discount the idea that his deal with Hard might, in the end, be a turn for the better.

Seung’s response to his jab, meanwhile, was to glance guiltily in the direction of the busted-down door. Then, moving closer, he grabbed Jooyong’s shoulders roughly in both of his meaty hands, turning Jooyong slightly so that his back was fully to the door. “Okay,” he said, dropping his arms again. His eyes flicked between Jooyong’s face and his dick, clearly waiting for the big reveal.

Jooyong grinned. If their positions were reversed, and Seung were the younger, hotter cousin with the arm-sized cock, Jooyong would be begging him for a look-see, too. He contemplated humming some stripper music, but elected, under the circumstances, for a simple, gradual lifting of his shirt. Seung watched, enraptured. When the monster was fully freed it sprang forward an inch, then remained rigidly vertical, the slit slightly damp from a smeared bead of precum. In fast succession Jooyong knew he wanted to taste that precum, and then became acutely aware that he almost certainly could, and with ridiculous ease.

“Wow,” Seung said, clearly in awe. He looked up to meet Jooyong’s gaze. “Can I touch it? Please?”

Jooyong hesitated. His body was still quivering with the euphoric aftermath of his epic communion with Hard. Instinctively he felt that even a simple caress just now might hurl his already overwhelmed senses way beyond what he could handle at the moment. At the same time, he felt a ridiculous urge to charge Seung for the privilege. He was pretty sure could pry a twenty out of Seung for it easy, maybe more. But he pushed the thought away brusquely. He quickly resolved to get the touching thing off the table while letting Seung down easy. “Um—” he started to say.

“Just real quick,” Seung said. Before Jooyong could say anything else, Seung quickly reached out and stroked the back of his crooked index finger all the way up the front of Jooyong’s wide, enormous shaft. Jooyong gasped, shuddering with the intense pleasure—fuu-uuck, his dick was so sensitive now! Christ, imagine if it were groped by someone he was actually into.

And then, unbidden, an image of Mel came into his head. Standing in front of Jooyong just as Seung was. Staring down at Jooyong’s big, beautiful cock… and licking his lips.

With that thought Jooyong was in imminent danger of succumbing to a massive release right there on the spot, all from a simple caress and a very hot image in his mind. Jooyong had to spend several seconds painfully fighting off the mind-blowing orgasm threatening to engulf him. Mastering himself with great difficulty, he quickly pulled his shirt back over his hard-on and took a step back from Seung for good measure, taking several rapid, deep breaths in succession.

“Sorry,” Seung said, clearly surprised by the extent of Jooyong’s reaction. “I guess that stash you found got you pretty riled up.” Assessing the obviousness of Jooyong’s not-at-all-hidden monster he added, “Maybe you should go in the bathroom and, you know, take care of that thing?”

Jooyong considered this, but he strongly suspected that this particular appendage did not yet know the meaning of the word “soft”, and that it would, in all likelihood, take a very long time to learn it. “Let’s just get to work,” he sighed, turning and moving around to the far side of the bed so they could get started on the mattress. “Five minutes in the toilet isn’t even going to make a dent in this thing.”

“I hear you,” Seung said, matching his position on the other side of the mattress. “But if you, uh, need any help later, let me know.”

Jooyong shook his head and didn’t respond, though he kept a smile of his lips so Seung wouldn’t think he was too upset at the idea. He hefted the mattress, finding it easier than expected, though its size and flexibility still made it as willful and contrary as grumpy mule—or, he added wryly to himself, a foul-mouthed, thigh-high, supernatural muscle man with a knack for twisting up other people’s lives without telling them what they were in for. As he and Seung hauled the mattress awkwardly out to the parking lot, his stiff, heavy monster cock barely shifting against the inside of his shirt as they moved, Jooyong reflected that there was another giant dick making his life weird right now. And that one had a fuck-ton of explaining to do.

Description Jooyong is working his uncle’s demolition site when he encounters a man in need of protection, but it’s more complicated than your average plea for help. For one thing, the man who needs help is not an ordinary man. And the kind of help he needs is something Jooyong isn’t even a little prepared for.

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AddedJune 2017
Updated30 Jun 2017
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