Mr. Lee had become adept at guessing what his customers wanted before they asked for it, but the man who had just stepped through the front door of his shop was a puzzler.
He cut an imposing figure: a muscular six-two, arms crossed, hands tucked under rock-solid biceps. From Mr. Lee’s vantage point, the man was a study in blackness, with deep ebony skin, a shaved head, impenetrably dark sunglasses, matching black polo shirt (with no logo of any sort to break up the uniformity), sharply creased dress pants, and thick-soled black boots. Even under normal circumstances, little light filtered through the shop’s intentionally grimy windows, but with this man standing between Mr. Lee and the glass, it was like Mr. Lee was caught in the shadow of a solar eclipse.
“May I help you?” asked Mr. Lee curiously.
“I understand you fulfill unusual requests,” said the man in a low, clipped, all-business tone.
“I hear that you can change the human body in ways that most people would consider impossible.”
“I may have a different definition of impossible than most people.”
“Let’s say, for example, that someone, on short notice, wished to appear older. Or more muscular.”
To Mr. Lee, the man appeared to be in his early-to-mid-thirties and was extraordinarily fit for a man of any age – not the sort of customer who would typically ask Mr. Lee for either of these transformations.
He added, “I’m asking for a friend.”
Mr. Lee nodded. Usually someone “asking for a friend” was merely too embarrassed to say they wanted the changes for themselves, but in this case it was plausible – in fact, more understandable – than that the man would want such modifications for himself.
“Yes, I can do what you ask.”
The man let down his guard slightly, stepping closer to Mr. Lee and removing his sunglasses – the whites of his eyes finally providing a contrast from the man’s all-black color scheme, although his irises were such a dark brown that they might as well have been black too. His speech patterns retained the staccato rhythms of a military man or police officer, and his tone continued to suggest that the matters they were discussing were of world-shattering importance.
“Can you be trusted to maintain the utmost secrecy?”
“Of course,” said Mr. Lee firmly. “What happens within these walls is private. I never reveal anything about my customers. Even to the police.”
The man in black allowed himself the slightest of grins, appreciating how Mr. Lee slyly fished for a hint of whether he was being visited by a police officer. The man reached behind him and unclipped a walkie-talkie (black, of course) from the waistline of his pants. “Send in King Joffrey.”
A black SUV with tinted windows screeched to a halt in front of the shop. The man inside Mr. Lee’s shop swiftly swung open the door. A slight figure bounded nimbly from the vehicle, a black hoodie shielding his entire head from view. As soon as the newcomer was inside, his advance man closed the door and the SUV sped off.
The man who had been speaking with Mr. Lee looked with concern at the dirt-covered windows which allowed in some light, and could allow outsiders to peer in. “You got any shades on those windows? I don’t want any bypassers to see my friend here.”
Mr. Lee merely raised his hands in the air and the opacity of the windows changed to 100%, leaving the three figures in the shop illuminated solely by a single spotlight shining on the slender figure in the hoodie. “That’s awesome,” he said in a boyish tenor. “We should work an effect like that into the stage show!” He lowered his hoodie to reveal a youthful man with an enormous, carefully shaped cascade of blond hair. “You gotta tell me the trick.”
“No trick. Magic. You are a magician, maybe?”
“I ain’t no magician,” the young man scoffed and looked up into the eyes of his protector, who towered over him by a solid six inches. “Dude doesn’t even know who I am?”
The large man turned to Mr. Lee. “I’m sorry, I should have done the introductions. Mister…Lee, is it? This is Billy Farrow. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?”
“Pleased to meet you, young Mr. Barrow.” Mr. Lee preferred to feign ignorance in such cases. If he was thought to be merely an ignorant, out-of-touch old Chinese man, people tended to be more willing to trust his vow of secrecy. But Mr. Lee had grand-daughters, and anyone in America within earshot of a girl between the ages of 9 and 13 was aware of Billy Farrow. He had first gained notice as a precocious 12-year-old by posting Vine videos: a new six-second song every day. This led to his major break the following year as a contestant on the music competition show, “America Wants S’more”, in which viewers voted whether to let the singers continue performing or to drop them into a vat of liquid marshmallow. Billy Farrow survived to be the only contestant not “creamed” during his season, and the cult of Billy exploded.
His fans were almost exclusively tween girls (who called themselves “Farrow-noids” and whose frenetic outbursts at concerts had been dubbed “Farrow-moans”) and twink-loving gay men. Both groups loved him for one simple reason, and it wasn’t his music: Billy Farrow was beautiful. In those first crude videos, he was unquestionably cute, but it was the fragile baby-fat cuteness which the horrors of puberty could potentially mangle into something truly unsightly. But by the “AMS” finale, it was obvious that this kid was developing into a fine-featured stunner. His trademark was the Farrow Flop, a swoop of sunkissed blond hair that hung over his right eye all the way down to his elegant cheekbone. Rumors abounded on the internet that he did not actually have a right eye, which merely intensified fans’ curiosity. Since it would be such a letdown to reveal that his hidden eye was simply an ordinary eye (albeit one sparkling purple in color, like the other), his manager had decided to maintain the mystery until such time as Billy’s fortunes began to wane and he needed to do something dramatic to attract publicity. For a while, Billy tried to come up a signature gesture he could do whenever taking a picture on a red carpet. One such concept consisted of pointing both index fingers at the camera and winking his left eye… but since his right eye was hidden by the Flop, it just looked like his eyes were closed.
Billy had recently turned 18 but was retaining his androgynous beauty remarkably well. Hormones had lowered his voice a bit, although he could still hit the high notes of his earliest hits. His fans still adored him and enough were continuing to buy his music rather than steal it that he had become a phenomenally wealthy teenager. His hard-nosed manager, Alan Wiseman, who had leapt aboard the Billy bandwagon after hearing just six seconds of his music, was insistent that Billy would not become another Justin Bieber or Lindsay Lohan or…god, the length of the list he could compile was truly depressing. Therefore, Billy’s public image remained unsullied, if a bit white-bread. He spoke of loving his family and steering clear of alcohol and drugs and saving himself until he finds the right person because his life these days was “like bonkers cray-zee with traveling and recording and stuff”. Yes, he said “stuff”. That’s how squeaky clean his public image was. He had been allowed to get his ears pierced, because tween girls thought that was “hot”, but tattoos were vetoed after a focus group deemed them “gross” and “too street”.
But Wiseman was mindful that Billy was now officially an adult and was starting to chafe at some of the restrictions which had helped make both of them very wealthy. That’s why, before Billy’s frustrated desires had a chance to erupt into some grotesque and embarrassing spectacle that would be all over TMZ, Billy’s chief bodyguard, the monumental Reese Boudreaux, had brought Billy to a whispered-about shop near Chinatown while they had a night off between gigs in San Francisco. If the rumors were true, perhaps Billy could have his own equivalent of the Amish tradition of rumspringa and get some of the rebelliousness out of his system.
Reese informed Mr. Lee that Billy was a well-known celebrity who had trouble going out in public without being recognized. Fans had managed to see through previous attempts at disguises and mobbed him wherever he went.
Mr. Lee nodded. “So you are not looking for a permanent transformation?”
“You can do that?” asked Billy, eager to hear more.
Reese poured cold water on Billy’s enthusiasm. “Yes, sir, just a temporary change. But one that’s foolproof enough that no one will realize that it is really Mr. Farrow.”
Mr. Lee walked behind his counter and opened a cabinet which seemed to be filled with junk jewelry, neatly organized by color. “For a temporary change, I use these bracelets. They allow you to try out a change to see if you like it before you commit to it for good. So, what would you like to change about yourself, Mr. Darrow?”
Billy’s success had spoiled him, so that he usually was able to get whatever he wanted, but it was beyond his imagination that he would ever be able to make radical changes to his own body as his whims dictated. His first wish came to mind immediately. “I wanna be taller. Like…six foot…two?” His voice went up, as if he was asking for something impossible with his very first request.
Mr. Lee was unfazed. As he sorted through his collection, he instructed Billy, “Please remove all of your other jewelry and take off your clothes.”
Billy shot Reese a leery look, which Reese translated to Mr. Lee. “Why exactly does he need to get undressed?”
“He is about to gain six inches of height. I assume he does not want to ruin his nice clothing.”
Billy didn’t need to hear another word. He took several bracelets from his arms, rings from his fingers, and silver hoops from both earlobes, handing them to Reese, who pocketed them for safe-keeping. He then pulled his hoodie and a designer t-shirt over his head, kicked off his Nikes and slithered out of his skinny jeans. He was about to pull down his red silk bikini briefs when Mr. Lee raised a hand. “You can leave those on for now.” Billy seemed relieved that he could maintain a slight amount of modesty. He stood in the spotlight in the center of the store, feeling a little chilly. He glanced at himself in a full-length mirror across the room. Despite the best efforts of a full-time personal trainer who toured with him, Billy’s 18-year-old body remained scrawny with only the barest hints of muscle tone. At least the full-body tan he’d gotten during his last vacation in the Virgin Islands hadn’t entirely faded. Thanks to a private rooftop suite, he managed not to get a tan line, although a sunburn on his penis had led to a jerking-off hiatus of several excruciating days.
Mr. Lee handed a slim metallic red bracelet across the counter to Billy. “Please put this on your left wrist and close the clasp.” Billy excitedly slid the bracelet up his slender forearm and clasped it together. As the two sides of the bracelet connected, it triggered a surge of energy to shoot through Billy’s body like nothing he had ever experienced.
Reese looked concerned as Billy cringed in pain, but Mr. Lee assured him, “The pain is very brief, followed immediately by euphoria.”
Sure enough, Billy smirked, then grinned, then beamed his famed toothpaste-ad-worthy smile as a warm sensation flooded through him. Although his bones were still holding his body erect, he had the sensation that they had turned into gelatin and were morphing into longer shapes. The change was gradual but dramatic as his body grew upward like a vine. His arms dangled loosely from his shoulders and his spindly legs wobbled a bit at the knees before the calcium resolidified and he once again felt sturdy. Billy opened his eyes and laughed like a kid when he discovered he was now staring eye-to-eye with his stoic bodyguard. “Check it out, Reese! I’m as tall as you now!”
“Yeah, yeah, very nice, spaghetti boy.” He pointed toward the mirror and Billy spun to admire himself, only to be horrified by the sight. If he felt skinny before, he was now basically a skeleton wrapped in skin, with only a thin band of red silk wrapped around the middle. It was like looking in a carnival funhouse mirror at a gawky, emaciated version of himself, but there was nothing wrong with the mirror.
Billy spun toward Mr. Lee and made his next request frantically. “Muscles. I gotta have some muscles.”
Mr. Lee nodded. “How much muscle? On a scale of zero to ten where ten is your friend Mr. Reese here, and zero is…you.”
Billy pondered the choice carefully. He didn’t need to be a human tank like Reese, but the idea of suddenly becoming as buff as he wanted was making him greedy. “Eight. Wait, no, six.” Mr. Lee went to grab the proper bracelet when Billy blurted out, “Seven. We’ll go with seven.”
Mr. Lee’s intuition had already led him to grab an orange bracelet. “Seven it is.”
Billy put on the new bracelet and again, as soon as he closed the loop around his wrist, a jolt of agony was followed by a soothing sensation in his muscle tissue. He kept his eyes open this time and watched the transformation in the mirror. What no amount of time in the gym had been able to accomplish was suddenly happening spontaneously throughout his body. It was as if someone had hooked his body to a bicycle pump and was inflating him. His neck widened to match his broadening shoulders. In the mirror, he was admiring the swell in his pecs when his eyes fell upon his suddenly visible abs and the deepening V below. Extruding from the bottom of his tautly-stretched silk shorts were now bulging quads and calves that would be the envy of anyone on the Tour de France. The little shop seemed even smaller to Billy now and he was delighted to discover that he could extend his long muscular arms and touch the ceiling with his fingertips.
He felt incredible, but this he-man still had the smooth face that was known around the world. “You gotta do something about my face.”
“But your face is so pretty,” Mr. Lee smiled.
Billy could wretch. “I’m sick of having a ‘pretty’ face. I wanna be rugged. I wanna be dangerous. I wanna be a man.”
Mr. Lee understood. “How old this man?”
Billy thought a moment. “Young enough not to have wrinkles. Old enough not to get carded.”
Mr. Lee raised his finger, muttering, “I have just the thing.” He handed a yellow bracelet to Billy to put on. He braced himself, now fully prepared for that first jolt, then watched his reflection as his facial features contorted themselves beneath his skin. He nodded approvingly as his bones gained heft, disrupting the soft contours and smooth jawline that his fans loved and turning him into a brooding hunk with thick eyebrows, a sharply angled jawline and a five-o’clock shadow. He rubbed his immense hand across the bristles on his cheek and fingered the depth of his new chin cleft. He smiled, delighted, and noticed that this new face had killer dimples on top of it all. Billy got goosebumps.
He knew what had to come next. He ran his hands through the golden avalanche of hair atop his head. “We gotta get rid of this stupid hair.”
Mr. Lee frowned. “I have only limited hair to choose from. Maybe you go to a barber and ask for exactly what you want?”
Billy was thrilled by the thought of a barber giving the chop to the famous Farrow Flop, but Reese intervened. “No, I’m under specific instructions that he has to emerge with his hair intact.” Billy had a concert tomorrow night, and there was no way that Wiseman was going to let his star go onstage without his signature coif.
Mr. Lee rummaged around before coming up with a green bracelet. “You try this one.” Billy snatched the bracelet from Mr. Lee’s hand and snapped it on his wrist immediately. It was hypnotic to watch his carefully fashioned hairdo as it seemed to be absorbed back into his scalp. When only a few millimeters of hair remained above the surface of Billy’s scalp, the hair suddenly darkened into a black buzz cut. Without the distraction of the Flop, the stunning masculinity of his new face was even more apparent.
Billy’s excitement at seeing himself modified was escalating. He needed more, and fast. “Body hair!”, he snapped, and Mr. Lee forked over a blue bracelet. In moments, Billy had a lush new layer of wall-to-wall carpeting on his arms, chest, abs and legs. Curious, he looked inside his silk undies and was pleased by the dark bush of pubic hair he found there. But it was obvious that one part of his old body had stubbornly resisted any change so far.
“I just gotta have a bigger cock.”
Reese covered his eyes and shook his head. He could never have envisioned a moment like this when he signed onto the security detail for Billy Farrow three years ago. Mr. Lee kept any obvious reaction hidden, but he had expected this moment to come. Seemingly every man who entered his shop walked out with a larger penis. Even if they had other perceived imperfections that they wanted to fix first, they always seemed to tack on “bigger penis” at the end of their requests, as if they were making an impulse buy at the checkout stand of a convenience store. “Yeah, I need a pack of Marlboros, a fifth of Ketel One and…while you’re at it, can you toss in a huge fuckin’ dong?” And their size demands often demonstrated a lack of basic knowledge of the dimensions of the orifices into which they would be sticking these penises or the limits of haberdashery to properly accommodate such an enormous member. Nevertheless, Mr. Lee always did his best to give his customers what they wanted.
“Bigger length or bigger circumference?” asked Mr. Lee.
Billy mulled it for a second, then said hopefully, “Both?”
It was always both.
Mr. Lee handed an indigo bracelet to Billy, who waved it at Reese. “Hey, Reese, look at the size of my cock ring!” His wrist was now getting crowded with all of these narrow bracelets, but he made room for the new one. The intensity of the rush he got from this one startled Billy, as a flood of testosterone swelled his penis and balls to such a massive size that his silk underwear burst into tatters which fell to the floor…and he wasn’t even hard. Even Reese was impressed by what Billy was now packing.
Reese turned appreciatively toward Mr. Lee. “I think that covers everything. You happy, Billy?”
Billy was so entranced as he stared at his new meat dangling halfway down his thigh that he was only able to nod.
“You forget one thing,” said Mr. Lee. “His voice.”
Billy and Reese were amazed they hadn’t thought of it. Billy’s tenor voice was immediately recognizable to his fans, and it also seemed incongruous emerging from the strapping nude man now fondling himself in the middle of the store. Mr. Lee offered a violet bracelet which Reese snapped onto Billy’s forearm.
“Thanks, man,” Billy grunted in a baritone rumble. His eyes widened and he looked up. “Did that come outta me?” He tested his singing abilities with the first line of his biggest hit, “Baby, You’re My Baby”. He seemed to have retained all of his vocal skills, just in a lower register. He looked at the rainbow of metal rings on his arm and shook his head in amazement. He felt like a new man. Hell, he was a new man.
Reese leaned on the counter and pulled out his wallet, asking Mr. Lee, “So, how much do we owe you?”
“Free trial. When you decide if you want to make any permanent changes, you come back here and return the bracelets, okay?”
“How do you know someone won’t just run off with the bracelets and never come back?”
“You asked if you could trust me. Now I am trusting you. It is a matter of honor.”
Reese smiled. He liked people who stood by their promises.
The towering stud at the center of the room reached across the counter and gave Mr. Lee a firm handshake. “This is a miracle, Mr. Lee. Thank you so much.”
Mr. Lee nodded humbly. “Don’t mention it.”
Reese shot back with a grin, “Don’t you mention it either, Mr. Lee.”
Billy started walking toward the front door when both Mr. Lee and Reese shouted simultaneously, “Stop!” Billy looked puzzled until Reese gestured toward Billy’s body. “If the goal here is not to be noticed, going outside like that is a bad way to start.”
Billy was so comfortable in his new skin, he had completely forgotten that he was totally naked.
In the back room of Mr. Lee’s shop, Billy grabbed some clothes that fit his new body, but the selection of hand-me-downs from Mr. Lee’s previous clients was less than spectacular. He chose an apparently authentic Lakers jersey bearing the name “RODMAN”, camouflage khakis and a pair of size-14 work boots just so he could get out the door, but once they got into the van, Billy told Reese the name of a trendy clothing store he wanted to visit.
Their driver took them to the store and Billy waited for Reese to open the SUV’s door for him. Out of habit, Reese stepped out and slid the door open. Billy peeked out cautiously, then out of habit, rushed toward the store to avoid being mobbed. Reese laughed and yelled, “Hey, slow down, big guy!” Billy stopped on the sidewalk and turned back to Reese, who whispered loudly enough to be heard over the traffic, “Nobody recognizes you.”
Billy took a moment to let this sink in. After living his life for years with the knowledge that fans or paparazzi could pop up at any moment, he hadn’t truly realized how liberating it would feel to be ignored.
Reese motioned for the SUV driver to find a place to park, then strode over to the sidewalk, planning to enter the store with Billy, who always delegated the actual dirty work of spending money to Reese, Wiseman or someone else in his entourage. Noticing Reese side-by-side and shoulder-to-shoulder with him, Billy stopped. “Let me go in by myself, okay?”
Reese nodded. Giving Billy a break from the routine was the whole point of this experiment. He didn’t need Reese tagging along to look after him. “You’re gonna need some money.” Reese pulled out his wallet and gave Billy a couple thousand bucks.
“Can I have more?”
Reese figured $2,000 should be enough to buy some new clothes, but then the stores Billy Farrow shopped in were a bit pricier than the ones that clothed Reese Boudreaux. He removed the rest of the cash from his wallet and handed it to Billy, with the instructions, “Call me on your cell phone if you need anything.”
“Okay, ‘Dad’.” Billy winked his left eye at Reese and shot him two upraised middle fingers. The whole world seemed different to Billy now, like he was suddenly looking at it in 3D. He then realized that after years of having that damn Farrow Flop blocking his right eye, he actually hadn’t been seeing the world in 3D since he was thirteen. That alone made this transformation, however temporary, worthwhile.
Reese stood on the sidewalk, feeling like he was watching Billy take his first steps as a man. It warmed his heart almost as much as when he had seen his own daughters take their first steps many years ago. They were now twelve and nine, firmly in the Billy Farrow demographic, so Reese was like a god to them. Well, actually, Billy was like a god to them, but their dad got to work for god, and that earned him major brownie points. It almost made up for the ribbing he took from his former colleagues when he took the gig “babysitting” Billy. Reese used to be a cop with the San Francisco Police Department, but he had to resign when the nagging knee injury he got playing college football began to cause him major grief and hamper his effectiveness on the force. Fortunately, the position on the Billy Farrow security detail came along.
At first, he took the gig because it seemed cushy and the pay was good enough to cover his child-support and, until his ex remarried, alimony payments. But as the years progressed, he had truly come to like Billy and tolerate his music. Frankly, given the circumstances, it was a miracle that Billy hadn’t turned into an industrial-strength douche. Reese tried to imagine what it would be like to have been famous since the age of twelve, to constantly be fawned over, to have every whim catered to, to never hear the word “no”. Even Reese and the rest of the security team were guilty of coddling him, taking it easy when Billy would challenge them to play basketball. They let him believe he was kicking their asses when they actually could have creamed him if they weren’t worried that he could have them all fired. Not that Billy would do that. Despite the code name of “King Joffrey” that security had given him, Billy was generous and friendly to everyone he worked with. So when Reese heard rumors from his old buddies on the police force that there was a mysterious shop near Chinatown that performed miraculous transformations, Reese was the one who pitched Alan Wiseman on giving Billy a day of anonymity as his reward for years of hard work, dedication and toeing the line.
Reese paced on the sidewalk outside the clothing store for close to an hour. He knew how particular Billy was with his clothing, so he must be having a great time playing dress-up with a brand new body. Even so, Billy had never needed to fend for himself in the real world, having been under the wing of Wiseman for almost a third of his life. Perhaps Billy could use Reese’s assistance but was too proud to ask for it. Reese wandered in, pretending to look at the clothes, even though one shirt from this store would probably cost a month of Reese’s pay. A salesman swooped over to ask Reese if he needed any help. Not spotting Billy anywhere in the store, he asked, “I’m looking for a friend. Little white guy. Well, actually, he’s about my height… now.”
The salesman’s eyes lit up. He most certainly did remember that gentleman. “Yes, I think he took several outfits to the back to try on.”
Reese smiled appreciatively and made his way to the dressing rooms. Reese startled a sad-eyed middle-aged man who was trying on a leather thong, but most of the other dressing rooms were empty. The final one had a locked door. Reese knocked and whispered Billy’s name, but got no answer, so he knelt down, wincing as he put pressure on his bum knee. Stared through the gap below the door, he couldn’t see any legs, but he did see the clothes Billy had worn from Mr. Lee’s shop strewn about the floor. Reese asked if the salesman could unlock that dressing room for him. “Official business,” said Reese with enough authority that the salesman was too afraid to ask what kind of official Reese was.
The salesman fumbled for the right key. Finally, the door swung open and the dressing room was empty. On a chair, Reese found Billy’s wallet with an I.D. and credit cards, a stack of cash (with a note to the store attached that said “Thanks for the outfit”), and Billy’s cell phone. On the screen of the phone was an unsent text message: “Hey Reese, Smell ya later, BF.”
Reese asked the salesman, “You got a back door?” The salesman pointed and Reese ran outside, limping on his aching knee. Billy was nowhere in sight.
Alan Wiseman was apoplectic even in the best of times. Right now, you could take his pulse simply by looking at the veins trying to leap out of his sunburnt forehead. Alan was completely bald, just like Reese, although in Reese’s case it was a style choice, not a genetic inevitability.
Reese hobbled along the sidewalk, furious at himself but more furious at Billy. He had to hold the phone several inches away from his head to prevent Wiseman’s screaming on the other end from bursting his eardrums.
Across town, Wiseman paced in a frenzy around his hotel room. “I knew this crazy idea of yours was a risk, but I thought you were gonna keep tabs on him.”
“I was just trying to give the kid some space. How can he relax if he’s got a bodyguard breathing down his neck the whole time?”
Wiseman countered, “Well, how can I relax knowing that the kid whose career I fucking built, who pays all of our fucking salaries, and who has a concert tomorrow fucking night is wandering around this city in some unrecognizable fucking body?”
“I thought I had taken appropriate measures,” Reese explained. “I put a GPS tracker on his cell phone, but he left the phone behind in the dressing room at the clothing store. Plus I had another GPS tracker sewn into his underwear.”
“He left that in the dressing room too?”
“Uh…no, sir. The underwear actually…burst into pieces.”
“How does underwear burst into fucking pieces?”
“Sir, that happened when, uh…when his cock…roughly tripled in size.”
Wiseman beat his head against the window, looking down at the city. “Fuckin’ San Francisco. Okay, get back here to the hotel. You and I are going to scour his room for clues as to where he might have gone. But as far as anyone else knows, everything is normal. Billy is just down with a twenty-four hour bug and is staying in bed all day.”
“Yes, sir. I’m on my way,” said Reese, hanging up his phone. The SUV pulled over to pick him up. Reese ordered the driver to take him back to the hotel.
“We gonna pick up Billy?”
Reese turned to the driver excitedly. “You know where Billy is?”
The driver looked puzzled. “I thought we left him back at that shop in Chinatown.”
Reese sagged, then tried to cover. “Ah, right. No, he took a taxi back to the hotel already. He wasn’t feeling himself today.”
“Aw, poor kid,” said the driver. “What about that guy we dropped off here?”
“Wha…? Oh. No, he’s gone too.”
“That’s too bad,” the driver said, pulling into traffic. “He was fuckin’ hot.”
When he arrived at the hotel, Reese went straight to Billy’s room. He tapped lightly on the door and Wiseman let him in. “Find anything?” he asked Wiseman.
Wiseman yelled, “I don’t even know what I’m fucking looking for.”
Reese shushed him. “Stop panicking. Everything will be fine. At least until a mysterious body is found floating in the bay.”
Wiseman was in no mood for jokes. “Don’t even kid about that.”
At five-six and two-fifty, Wiseman was a heart attack waiting to happen, so Reese should have known not to raise his ire further. But sometimes it was a fun game to poke Wiseman with a stick just to see how outraged he could become.
Reese risked getting down on his bad knee again to look under Billy’s bed. There, he found a baggie containing a small amount of pot and some ecstasy, which Reese was frankly surprised Billy hadn’t taken with him. Even further under the bed was a laptop. That was strange, thought Reese, since Billy already had a laptop lying above the sheets of his unmade bed.
This second laptop was just within reach of Reese’s fingertips. He snagged a corner and dragged it out, then carried it over to a desk where he booted it up and began to search through the files. Wiseman hovered over his shoulder and asked, “Finding anything?”
Reese wasn’t a computer whiz, but he did have some training from his days on the force. “Most of the files look encrypted to me. We’d have to bring in someone who knows what they’re doing to crack those, and I’m not sure you want to bring in any outsiders on this. Looks like there are some video files in this folder. Let me click on one.”
Suddenly the screen was filled with amateur-shot footage of two men in a bed. The larger, beefier man was wearing leather and pounding the bejesus out of the ass of a younger, slimmer man. Wiseman cringed and looked away, until he had a thought that made his temples throb. “Please tell me that kid’s not Billy.”
Reese squinted at the grainy footage. The young man being rammed sure didn’t look like Billy, although he definitely qualified as a pretty young thing. Reese clicked on another file, which was a different video with the same basic subject matter and lack of plot. The younger man in that footage also did not look familiar. Just to be sure, he checked a few more of the files.
“Doesn’t seem to be Billy in any of these. But I guess we know what Billy’s been watching all those nights when we thought he was playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’.”
Billy felt a little guilty about running away from Reese like that, since Reese was such a stand-up guy. But as soon as he heard the crazy idea of giving him some free time in another body, Billy had been making plans for what he would do in the unlikely case that this bizarre transformation actually worked. Once he turned 18, Billy had been using his secret second laptop to set up bank accounts under other names around the world, accounts that only he had access to and which Wiseman knew nothing about. He slipped some of the debit cards from those accounts into his wallet this morning, then took them with him when he escaped from the clothing store. Those, combined with the cash he’d gotten off Reese, ought to get him through the evening’s adventures.
Now he was sitting in a sidewalk cafe, running up a tab on a card bearing the name “Liam Fortune”, and truly relaxing for the first time in months… maybe years. Just knowing that Wiseman had to be freaking out somewhere and that, for once, Billy didn’t need to hear it, was almost a vacation in itself. He was determined to take advantage of the amazing opportunity he had been given.
He leaned back with his feet propped on another chair, wriggling his toes in the flip-flops he’d picked up at the clothing store, luxuriating in the feeling of stretching his long and powerful legs. The shiny, neon-colored outfits that Billy characteristically wore would have looked bizarre on the sturdy and studly Liam Fortune, not to mention too attention-getting, so he went casual. He wore a black silk vest with no shirt underneath, allowing him to display enticing hints of the newly acquired pelt of body hair on his newly acquired broad chest. Relaxed black jeans covered his legs and his massive junk, which was riding commando down his right pantleg.
Billy had never cared for the taste of beer before, but right now it tasted like freedom. And it really showed off the rock-hard peak of his biceps whenever he tilted back the bottle for another swig. He had been checking out the redhead two tables over for the past ten minutes, and felt no need to be subtle about it. For years, he’d never managed more than subtle glances and coy smiles that led nowhere, as his whole career might be in jeopardy with even the slightest hint to his mobs of tweenage admirers that not only did they not have a chance with their dream boy, but that no one with their type of genitals did.
Finally, the redhead rose from his table and headed directly toward Billy’s table. Billy’s heart raced and he thought about standing up and asking the boy if he was interested in hooking up, but he felt like Liam was more the type to kick back and let the ginger beg for the opportunity – hell, the honor – of betting fucked. Billy/Liam took a healthy mouthful of beer just as the redheaded boy walked past. Under his breath, he blurted out, “I did see you looking at me, and I’m very flattered, but I’m afraid you’re too old for me.”
Liam burst into a laugh, spewing his beer explosively across his chest. He sat up, dabbing away the beer and foam from his chest hair and his vest with a napkin. The redhead was easily five years older than Billy in reality, but “Liam” must look to him like an ancient man… of 27 or 28.
Billy was starting to make a distinction between his brain, which still felt like Billy, and his new body, which seemed more like a Liam, although even that dividing line was becoming less clear the more he drank. Liam was definitely the one craving more beer, so he signaled the waitress to bring another as his eyes began to roam again. A seriously cute bike messenger in a white tank and royal blue bicycle shorts was waiting for the light to change and scoping out Liam’s body approvingly. Liam’s cock began to stiffen in his pants as he studied the curve of the bicyclist’s ass. He pointed both index fingers at the messenger and gave him his standard wink. The biker snorted a chuckle at the corny move and weaved back into traffic. Billy was puzzled. He was so used to everyone who he encountered being awestruck just to be in his presence. Even with all the obvious merits of this designer body, it seemed like Billy would have to work harder to get Liam laid.
At the moment, though, Liam was starting to get hungry. Although he had passed through San Francisco on tour several times, Billy had always been driven wherever he needed to go and usually got his meals from room service or backstage at the concert. He paid for his beers and set out on foot to explore the city and search for a restaurant. He quickly discovered that flip-flops weren’t the wisest choice for tromping up and down the city’s hills, so he handed them to a homeless man and entered the Nike Town store barefoot. One of the staff stopped him at the door. “You can’t come in here without shoes, sir.”
Billy chuckled at being called “sir”, then told the employee that he was here to buy shoes. “The fact that I don’t have shoes is exactly why I need to buy shoes.” Billy was accustomed to dressing however he wanted wherever he wanted. The last time he had shopped here, they had opened the store for him after hours by special request and he came in wearing nothing but sweat pants. When the employee stood firm and threatened to call her manager, Billy went outside and asked the homeless man if he could have his flip-flops back. The man clutched them in his arms and refused to hand them over, so Billy offered to buy them. Reaching into his pocket, he discovered that he had nothing but hundred-dollar bills. It was unlikely that the homeless guy would have any change, so he gave him a Benjamin for the flip-flops, then returned to Nike Town and bought a pair of Air Jordans…and a second pair that he gave to the homeless guy on his way out.
Billy usually demanded nothing more than the junkiest of junk food, but Liam seemed to be craving a thick, rare steak. He spotted an upscale steak house and headed inside, only to be halted at the door again. The place had a dress code, and a silk vest, jeans and basketball shoes was not one of the approved ensembles. Instead of arguing, Billy decided to stick with what he knew and found the nearest McDonald’s where he wolfed down three Big Macs, two large fries and two large shakes before Liam was sated. The tables near him were occupied by young girls who probably had Billy Farrow posters on their bedroom walls, but they didn’t waste a second glance on Liam. Give them a few years and they would appreciate the assets Liam had on display, but for now they were only obsessed with things that were cute. Their nonstop jabber about cute boys and cute clothes and cute backpacks while they shot cute selfies was giving Billy acute nausea. He was tempted to ask the girls what they thought of Billy Farrow, but didn’t want to seem like some kind of perv. Little did they know how safe they were from his advances.
Billy returned to the street, slapping his tight abs with satisfaction after his meal. He knew what his next destination would be, but had no clue how to get there. He asked a passing police officer how to get to the Castro. The friendly cop offered detailed directions, and even suggested a couple of clubs he might check out.
Billy could have hailed a cab if he had known how to do it. Instead, he followed the stranger’s directions and ran there. His old body had great stamina for cardio, which undoubtedly kept him so skinny and helped him through a heavily choreographed ninety-minute concert several nights a week. But Liam’s powerful muscles gave him a true runner’s high as he pounded the pavement in a three-mile sprint to the neighborhood where he hoped to pick up the pace of this evening’s events.
Pumped and musky from the run, yet amazingly not short of breath, Billy unbuttoned his vest and walked into the first gay bar he found. His stomach churned with excitement and half-digested Mickey D’s at the thrill of entering forbidden territory for the first time, but unlike at the stores he visited, no one here stopped Liam from entering because of the way he was dressed. For the first time since the changes, he started to feel the familiar sensation of attracting the immediate attention of strangers just by walking into a room. They may not have known who he really was, but the clientele of this establishment were definitely fans of the man who he was tonight.
Billy was so used to strangers approaching him that he discovered he was surprisingly inept in the art of initiating a conversation. Also, he knew the type of guy who turned him on, and none of the other drinkers here seemed to fit that template. The closest match was the bartender, a clean-cut athletic type with no shirt and Greek Letters tattooed on his left pec. After a shot of Jagermeister (possibly a mistake, Billy thought) and another beer, Liam’s tongue became looser. He pointed to the bartender’s chest. “So, are you from Greece?”
The jock laughed and said they were the letters of his frat. Billy hit his forehead with his fist, annoyed with his stupidity. He informed the bartender that he had played Greece recently.
“You played Greece? Like, in what, soccer?”
Billy realized that Liam needed to be less accurate in his descriptions. Unlikely as it might be in this body, he didn’t want to tip anyone off to the fact that they were really talking to Billy Farrow. “I mean I traveled there. I traveled all over Europe.”
“Cool. Were you studying abroad?”
“If I wanted to study a broad, would I be in a bar like this?”
The bartender groaned. “Walked right into that one, didn’t I?”
Liam’s lips curled into a seductive grin as he continued to survey the bartender’s well-toned body. After a bit more chit-chat, he gestured for the bartender to lean in closer, lowered his voice and asked, trying to be clever, “When do you get off? Work, I mean.”
The bartender had dealt with this situation countless times and knew just how to dash a customer’s hopes gently. First, he assured Liam that he took it as a compliment, and he understood that he was probably sending mixed messages by standing shirtless in a gay bar, but he was in fact straight with a great fiancee. “But I can’t imagine a guy like you has any trouble finding new friends in your travels.”
“More trouble than you’d think.” That was definitely Billy talking, as he drained his beer. This adventure was going south fast.
“Well, don’t make any sudden moves, but if you like the way I look, there’s a guy who came in about five minutes ago who’s been doing nothing but staring at you since he walked in. Look casually at eight o’clock.”
Billy was getting drunker and his thoughts sillier. “Eight o’clock? Can’t I look sooner?”
The bartender groaned and told Liam to check over his left shoulder. Liam swiveled his stool to the left and tried not to be too obvious, but it was clear who the bartender meant. Sitting alone on a stool at a tall table was an adorable guy with lightly tanned skin, wearing a white muscle shirt, jean shorts and cowboy boots. His shaggy brown hair with highlights hung in bangs across his forehead. Looking extremely bored, he hopped down from his stool and crossed the room to the jukebox, allowing Liam to admire the grace with which his lithe body moved. Like a gymnast. Or one of the many sexy backup dancers who Billy never risked getting to know better. Or one of the taut-muscled bottoms in the dom/sub videos he secretly liked to watch at night on his private laptop.
Liam was still hesitating, so the bartender handed him another shot of Jager. “This one’s on me. To apologize if I led you on.”
Liam slammed the shot, placed the glass upside down on the bar, and summoned the courage to walk over to the jukebox. He liked the way this boy’s firm tight ass filled out those shorts and the shape of his legs approached perfection. One of his cowboy boots was crossed behind the other, calling attention to his sculpted calves as he leaned on the jukebox and pondered his selections. Liam moved closer and pretended to look at the song titles as well, but he was furtively checking out the young man, who was having trouble concealing a smirk. “See anything you like?”
Liam answered with a drawn-out “mmm-hmmm” which left no doubt that he wasn’t thinking about what songs were on the jukebox. The kid (who technically had to be older than the real Billy just to get in the door here legally) pressed a couple of buttons and waited for his selection to play. Billy expected to hear something by Lady Gaga or Kesha or, based on the young man’s footwear, some country song, but the jukebox began to blast Ray Charles’s “Unchain My Heart”. The agile young man stepped away from the jukebox and began to gyrate to the upbeat music. Billy watched him admiringly. The guy was clearly not a professional dancer, but he had good intuitive moves.
The young dancer cast his pale blue eyes on Liam’s violet eyes. “You gonna join me, or are you just gonna watch, big man?”
Liam was definitely getting bigger the longer he watched. He scooted across the floor in his basketball shoes. All the drinks he’d been consuming had added sloppiness to his dance moves, but his new dance partner nodded approvingly. He shouted over the music, “What’s your name?”
The name “Billy” was just about to cross his lips when something made him realize the mistake he was about to make. Instead, he said “Liam”. When the word came out, it just felt right. This was going to be Liam’s night. Billy was just along for the ride.
“Hey, Liam. I’m Todd. My friends call me Todd the Rod. Or Todd the Wad. Or Todd the Bod. Or Todd the Odd.”
“And which do you prefer?”
“Todd the God,” he smirked.
“I agree,” Liam shouted over the music. They danced without further conversation. Liam enjoyed being so close to Todd and was ogling him without shame or hesitation. Todd’s shirt clung tight to his skin, so Liam could make out his general contours, but he was sure he’d appreciate the additional details that would be visible once the shirt came off.
The song faded out and Todd eyed Liam. “What next?” Liam’s mind was swimming with possibilities, which Todd dashed with a grin. “What song do you want to hear next?”
Todd waggled his hips exaggeratedly as he crossed back to the jukebox. Liam followed like he was on a leash. Wait, wasn’t he supposed to be the one in control tonight? He leaned his hands on the jukebox, surveying his options. “Holy shit!”, he thought as he noticed that “Forever Girl”, one of his own hits, was on the jukebox. He selected it and, as the opening notes kicked in, launched into a sloppy version of the introductory dance step he performed to open the song during every concert. Todd watched Liam’s moves and shook his head.
“What, you don’t like my choreography?”
Todd shrugged. “Guess I’m not a huge Billy Farrow fan.”
Liam stopped in his tracks and became a little agitated. “Why? What’s the matter with him?”
Todd leaned back against the jukebox, surprised by Liam’s intensity. “Chill out. What, are you the president of his fan club or something?”
Liam realized he needed to take down his attitude a notch, and not take it so personally. “I just think he’s really talented. For a kid.”
“He’s definitely cute, if that’s what you’re into. And he can sing, no question. But that hair of his is a joke. And his songs…” Todd stopped before he got too wrapped up in his tirade.
“No, tell me, what about his songs?” asked Liam in more measured tones, his curiosity growing.
“They’re just so antiseptic. It’s all a bunch of generic bubble-gum nonsense. Ray Charles, you could hear in his voice that the man had lived. You get the feeling Billy Farrow’s never had a real emotion in his life.”
Liam leapt vehemently to Billy Farrow’s defense. “He’s got emotions…” Whoa, a little strong there, buddy. Back off. “…I’m sure.” That’s better. “Maybe he’s just so isolated from the real world that he’s not as experienced as he’d like to be. But look at all he’s accomplished. He sold twenty million albums before he turned eighteen. What had Ray Charles done by that age?”
“Went blind, for one,” Todd said calmly.
Liam had to laugh, realizing that he may have gotten too worked up over the subject, and that Billy Farrow, talented as he was, was no Ray Charles. Certainly not yet. “You got me.”
“Is that a promise?” Todd moved closer to Liam with a grin on his face, hips swaying to the beat of the song. Maybe he was more into this Billy Farrow song than he was letting on. He took Liam’s hands and guided them toward Todd’s hips. Liam had a four-inch height advantage on Todd, but they didn’t seem like an odd pair. Todd pointed to the nine bracelets around Liam’s left forearm. “Those are nice.”
“Thanks, I just got them today. Actually, I got all of this today,” he said with a gesture that he meant for Todd to understand as “this entire wardrobe”, although lurking in the back of his brain, Billy secretly meant “this entire body”.
As Billy Farrow’s recorded voice faded out, Liam strode over to the jukebox to make another selection, but Todd took his hand. “If you really feel like dancing, there are better places than this dump. Come on.” Even after admiring the definition of Todd’s compact muscles, he was surprised how strong the shorter man was. He nearly dislocated Liam’s arm yanking him toward the door.
Soon Todd had led him to a building up the street which looked unimpressive from the outside. The youthful-looking Todd was asked for an I.D., but Todd whispered something to the bouncer, who nodded and let him pass. Liam was just waved through, as if his age was obvious. The vast space inside the building was filled with fog and spotlights and thumping noise and men and sweat. Billy had performed in plenty of venues this size early in his career, but the dominant noise was high-pitched screaming and the crowds were much younger and monolithically female. Billy might have been overwhelmed (and swamped by admirers) if he had wandered in here, but Liam seemed prepared to handle it.
Todd had worked his way to the bar and brought back two beers. He handed one to Liam and proposed a toast. “To new and interesting experiences.” They clinked bottles and drank. “Follow me,” said Todd, dragging Liam behind him as he maneuvered across the tightly packed dance floor to the DJ booth. Todd climbed up and had a shouted conversation with the DJ that Liam couldn’t make out over the pounding music.
The DJ shook his head at Todd’s request, and Todd returned to Liam disappointed. “What’s the matter?” Liam asked.
“I wanted to surprise you and get up on one of the dance poles, but he said they’re for the professional dancers only. Insurance reasons or something.”
Liam would certainly be interested in seeing what contortions Todd’s limber body could do on a stripper pole. He decided to test his dominance by walking over to the DJ and making his own argument… in the form of cash. Liam returned to Todd victoriously. “Apparently, for a thousand dollars, insurance reasons can go fuck themselves.”
The DJ gestured for Todd to come up onstage as the current song faded and made an announcement. “We’ve got a special treat for all you sexy, sexy boys tonight. Stepping up to shake his gorgeous ass on the silver pole, we have…” Off-mic, he asked the dancer for his name again. The DJ misheard and announced, “Todd the Cod!”
Todd smirked at Liam and shrugged a “Whatchagonnadoaboutit?” He peeled his sweaty shirt off his torso, to the approving roar of the crowd – the deep bellow from Liam being the loudest and most enthusiastic of all. Todd tauntingly unbuttoned his shorts, but left them on, as well as his cowboy boots. He took hold of the pole and waited for the music to begin. The music sounded extremely familiar to Liam, yet he couldn’t immediately place it. The hook kicked in and he realized it was a remix he’d never heard before of “I’m Your Boy”, the first single by a very young and very high-pitched Billy Farrow. The DJ got a few catcalls, but most of the crowd was delighted or at least amused for nostalgic reasons. Liam couldn’t help but wonder how many of the men in this room had first realized they were gay when they saw pretty little Billy Farrow on “America Wants S’more”.
Todd leapt in the air and suspended himself with one knee wrapped tightly around the pole as his arms swung free. Damn that skinny boy could move. The crowd was enjoying his performance tremendously, and Liam (actually, in this case, more Billy than Liam) felt left out. That was HIS song being played. Much as he was enjoying watching Todd gyrate, he craved some attention too. He stepped over to the DJ and asked to borrow his mic. Liam’s cash supply was getting perilously low, but another hundred persuaded the DJ to surrender the mic.
While everyone’s eyes were still focused on Todd’s acrobatics, Liam’s deep sexy croon came over the speakers in a perfectly harmonized duet with squeaky little Billy Farrow. One of the spotlights found Liam in the darkness at the edge of the stage where he started to move. Between the alcohol in his system and the bulkiness of his new body, Liam’s moves weren’t nearly as slick as Billy Farrow’s would be, but he was still an impressive hoofer. As the crowd egged him on, Liam pulled his vest slowly off one shoulder, then off the other and flung it into the crowd. He reached the chorus and bellowed “I’m Your Boy” directly at Todd, who was currently suspended upside down on the pole, his face at Liam’s eye level. Liam walked over and kissed Todd’s upside-down lips, and the crowd went berserk. Billy Farrow’s anthem of puppy love suddenly took on a whole new meaning, especially for Billy Farrow himself.
When the song ended, the crowd cheered boisterously. Liam carried Todd offstage in his strong arms, stopping at the booth to ask the DJ where he’d gotten that version of the song. The DJ said it was his own remix, and Liam complimented him on how great it sounded. Liam stepped down from the stage, remarking on how light Todd felt in his arms. Todd giggled and seemed to be contemplating the wisdom of his next move before committing to giving Liam another kiss. Their tongues connected between their parted lips and the kiss continued far longer than either of them had expected. When they finally separated, Todd asked, “What do you want to do next?”
Liam knew what he really wanted to do next, but he was having such a good time, he hated to leave the club so soon. The two stuck around for another hour, dancing in the middle of the crowd as one man after another made their way over to praise both Liam and Todd for their performances. Todd’s face seemed to be blushing permanently, while Liam’s heart was warmed by the praise. Billy Farrow had never gotten good reviews from critics, and he had reached the point where he never knew if he could trust the opinions of his fans or his entourage, because everyone seemed to have a reason to suck up to him. Even factoring in that a few of these people could be bullshitting in hopes of getting into Liam’s pants, most of these compliments seemed entirely genuine.
Eventually, Liam and Todd left the club, both bare from the waist up. Liam wrapped his meaty arms around his smaller companion to keep him warm. “What now?” Todd asked.
Liam’s booze-soaked brain came up with what seemed like a great idea. “Let’s steal a cable car!”
“Calm down there, big guy. Why don’t we go to Coit Tower and look at the city lights?”
“Mmm, that sounds romantic. How do we get there?”
“If you don’t mind riding behind me, we could take my motorcycle.”
“Holy shit, you got a motorcycle?” Billy’s youthful excitement had momentarily overwhelmed Liam’s reserve. Wiseman had absolutely refused to let Billy get a motorcycle for fear of that Billy might get in an accident, doing irreparable harm to his career…and to Wiseman’s bank account, Billy always added mentally. Rounding a corner near the bar where they met, Liam saw a late model Harley-Davidson parked on the street and resisted the temptation to drool.
“I’ve only got the one helmet,” said Todd. “So, if you ride with me, we’d technically be breaking the law. I don’t know if we should risk it.”
Liam gave his answer by straddling the bike’s seat. “Get on, babe. I’ll handle any cops.”
Amused, Todd wriggled his way onto the seat in front of Liam, his compact butt fitting snugly between Liam’s spread legs. Todd tightened the strap on his helmet and roared the engine. Todd could feel Liam’s giant cock pressing hard against his right ass cheek. He steered the bike into traffic and set them on a course for Coit Tower. Halfway there, he leaned back and shouted, “You steer. I’ll tell you where to turn.”
Liam removed his arms from around Todd’s waist and placed his hands upon the handlebars. Despite all his fame and all the celebrities he had met, Billy Farrow had never felt as full of life as he did right now.
They reached the top of Telegraph Hill and sat together on the grass in Pioneer Park. After thirty seconds of marveling at the panoramic view, Liam rolled Todd back on the grass and they began to make out. Liam’s erection seemed to have been in a constant state of getting harder and bigger since the first moment he met Todd, and he knew he needed release soon. As he began to kiss Todd, he became short of breath and light-headed as his backlog of cum urgently pumped its way into his pants. Liam slid his bare chest across Todd’s as he rocked back and forth in coordination with his ejaculations. When the surging finally stopped after emptying what seemed like a liter of jizz, Liam collapsed like dead weight atop Todd.
Todd was more amused than upset. Having flashbacks to the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s”, Todd managed to lug Liam to the motorcycle and prop him up on the seat. With Liam’s furry chest pressed onto Todd’s bare back, the motorcycle slowly wound through the city streets. Todd found a cheap hotel and got a room, dragging Liam to bed and undressing him before collapsing with fatigue himself.
Billy woke up to the faint sound of something vibrating. At first, the noise seemed to be inside his head, which felt like it had been stuffed with cotton during the night. As he cracked open his eyelids and saw the naked hairy body stretched out on the bed before him, the events of the previous night began to filter into his head. A smile crept across his lips as he looked at the jumbo cock laying heavily atop his granite abs. He could get used to the sight of “Liam’s” body first thing every morning. But how had he gotten here? And where was that cute guy from last night?
The buzzing sound hadn’t stopped, and Billy realized it must be his second phone vibrating in the jeans that were folded neatly on a chair. He wasn’t as hungover as he might have expected given everything he drank last night, but it was still a struggle for him to slide off the bed and extract the phone from his pants pocket. He looked at the screen, which indicated that the caller was blocked. But who could even have this number? No one knew this phone existed. Billy thought of ignoring the call, but his curiosity was too strong. He answered it. “Yeah?” Oh, that’s right, he remembered upon hearing his husky new voice again.
“Good morning. Is this the fugitive?”
It was Reese. “How did you get this phone number?” Billy asked, peeking through the drapes to see if anyone was spying on him from outside.
“I have connections. Don’t forget, I used to be a cop here. So, you had your fun. Are you ready to come back to reality?”
Billy stared admiringly at the reflection of his body in a mirror on the wall, rubbing the heavy stubble on his cheeks, then letting his hand slide down his hairy torso and finally onto his cock. “You know what? Tell Wiseman I’m not sure I’m coming back. Ever.”
Reese sighed. “Then we’re gonna have a situation. If you don’t come back soon, people are gonna start to wonder what happened to Billy Farrow.”
“Tell the world that Billy died. In a fiery motorcycle wreck. He could only be IDed by his hairdo.” Billy brushed his hand across his bristly buzz cut, loving that he could climb out of bed and not need to spend 45 minutes gelling “the Flop” into shape. “I’ve got money stashed away. I’ve got enough money for a normal person to live on the rest of his life.”
“You’re kidding yourself, Billy. In a week, you’ll be begging to get your old life back. You knew going in that this was a one-night deal, only you didn’t hold up your end. You know how much Wiseman reamed me out for letting you escape?”
“I never meant to get you in trouble, Reese. You’ve always been super-nice to me. But I can’t give up this body. I’m enjoying it too much”
“You have a concert to perform in twelve hours. You have obligations. Trust me, we will find you, the same way I found this phone number.”
Billy realized that Reese was probably right. Wiseman was not going to let Billy simply walk away from his lucrative career. Billy suddenly had a brainstorm. “I know, tell Wiseman he can manage the new me. I’ve still got my voice, only it’s a lot sexier now. And every once in a while, I can take off the bracelet that lowered my voice and record a ‘lost’ Billy Farrow album that Wiseman can release posthumously!”
There were several seconds of silence from Reese’s end. “Get serious, Billy. Tell me where I can find you and we’ll go back to Mr. Lee’s store and put everything back in order.”
Billy thought it over. He simply was not ready to surrender his new freedom. “No deal, Reese.” Billy hung up, opened a window and flung his phone into the street where a car promptly ran over it, grinding it to bits.
Billy felt liberated. He also desperately needed to take a leak. He stepped into the bathroom and sighed with almost orgasmic pleasure as he pissed. When he heard the door to the hotel room opening, his piss stopped flowing. Could that be Reese? He felt completely vulnerable, standing naked, so he grabbed a bath towel and wrapped it around his waist. If he needed to, he would fight Reese for his freedom. Reese might be a tower of muscle, but Liam’s body gave Billy at least a fighting chance.
A lyrical tenor voice called out, “Liam? Are you here?” Billy peeked through the gap between the bathroom door and the jamb and saw his friend from last night’s adventures, Todd, with two paper cups of coffee and a bag of croissants. He seemed to be alone. Billy exhaled with relief and walked out of the bathroom.
“Boy, am I glad to see you. I thought you ditched me.”
“Nobody gets away from me that easily,” said Todd, still wearing his shorts and boots from last night, with the addition of a touristy San Francisco t-shirt which Todd filled out nicely. “I had to buy a shirt in the gift shop. For some stupid reason, most places require you to be dressed when you enter.”
“So I’ve learned.” Todd set down the breakfast items and stood on tiptoe to kiss Liam, who hung his arms over Todd’s shoulders. Billy felt Liam taking command of the situation as Liam’s towel tented in the front. “Listen, my memories are kinda sketchy from last night. Did we…?”
Todd shook his head with a wistful grin. “You conked out before we could.”
“That’s what I thought.” Liam’s powerful hands gripped the back collar of Todd’s t-shirt and pulled hard in opposite directions, shredding the shirt and yanking it off his body. Todd looked shocked. “Don’t worry, I’ll buy you a new shirt. I’ll buy you ten if you want. Now drop those shorts.” Todd suddenly became shy and hesitant. “Do I have to rip those too?”
Todd shook his head. Liam flung his towel to the floor and leapt onto the bed. He leaned against the headboard, hands clasped behind his head as his cock rose majestically to a right angle. He watched Todd unbutton his cut-offs and pull them down his sleek legs slowly. He stepped out of them, then pulled off his black thong in a similar manner. Todd’s cock was fully hard, maxing out at five inches, but it looked proportional with his compact body. Todd jumped onto the bed and straddled Liam.
“Aren’t you gonna take off your cowboy boots?” Liam asked.
Todd shook his head. “Never.”
Liam didn’t mind. He sat up and pushed Todd’s body backwards, then flipped him face down, ass up. He stroked his hardened cock and maneuvered it toward the depression between Todd’s sweet ass cheeks. He pounded his way in, causing Todd to yelp loudly in an equal mix of pain and pleasure. Todd’s hands gripped tightly onto the bed’s footboard, his knuckles turning white.
Liam felt incredible. The strength of this new body and the sensitivity of his new dick were overwhelming him. He leaned forward, pressing down on Todd’s well-built shoulders for leverage as he worked to get as much of his mighty cock as possible into Todd’s hole. The metal bracelets on his left arm slid and clanked against each other with each heavy thrust of his body. Todd’s wails became higher pitched as both men drew closer to climax. Liam finally shot his wad inside Todd, while pulses of thick creamy cum flowed onto the bedsheets from Todd’s cock. Liam lay his heavy body atop Todd, blissfully spent.
After a couple of minutes, Liam rolled off and spread his arms, one palm resting cozily atop Todd’s ass and giving a squeeze. Todd leaned over to kiss him and asked if he was satisfied. Liam nodded weakly. Todd smirked and said, “Well, I’m not. Sit up, I want to try something.” With effort, Liam rose into a seated position. Todd directed him to turn around and lean against the headboard. Intrigued, Liam followed orders.
Todd hopped off the bed, his boot heels clopping on the floor as he walked toward a bag that Liam hadn’t noticed before. Todd must have gone shopping for more than breakfast while he was out. Todd bent down to look in the bag, flaunting his bubble butt in Liam’s direction. He pulled out something which he kept hidden behind his back until he reached the bed. “Put your hands up by the railing,” Todd instructed. Liam complied, and Todd revealed a pair of handcuffs which he promptly latched around Liam’s right wrist. It was harder to find room on the left arm, with all those bracelets, but he finally managed.
Liam was now securely fastened to the headboard and smiled in anticipation of Todd’s next kinky surprise. Todd stared at the multi-colored bracelets on Liam’s arm and said, “I think I’d like you better without the bracelets.”
Liam panicked. “No, don’t touch them!”
“They’re just… I never take them off. Kinda like you and your boots.”
“Let me just take off one.”
Liam wriggled ferociously, but he was firmly shackled to the heavy wooden headboard. Todd unlocked the violet bracelet and placed it on the bedside table. Liam shuddered, then plead to Todd, “Please stop.” He was startled to hear Billy’s voice once again emerging from this body.
“Wow, listen to that. You sound like a whole different person. Wonder what would happen if I removed the next one.” Todd sprung the latch on the indigo bracelet, and Liam whimpered as he saw his cock shrink back to Billy’s usual size, which was a little smaller than what Todd was packing.
Liam was practically screeching now. “Who sent you here? Was it Reese?”
Todd spoke calmly as he continued to remove Liam’s bracelets one by one. “That wasn’t a nice thing you did to Reese. You know, giving you this makeover was his idea in the first place. He sympathized with your predicament. He wasn’t going to be a buzzkill. He had to tail you, but he planned to do it from a discreet distance. He wanted to give you your space to explore. But you had to run off on your own. You must have known that someone had to keep an eye on you, to make sure you didn’t put yourself in too much danger. You’re too valuable an asset not to have some protection. Reese even gave you one last chance to come back voluntarily this morning, but you refused.”
Liam’s head was abuzz. How did Todd know about Reese’s phone call? Liam felt his impressive muscles sagging and disappearing. His bones creaked as they contracted and his body hair retreated into its follicles. He was practically weeping as he watched the change. “So what happened? Wiseman hired you to tail me?”
“Wiseman doesn’t know about me,” Todd smiled. “Reese used his connections with the police force to keep an eye out for a man with your description. Your new description. When they found you, they called Reese with the location. And then you met me.” Todd looked down at the lovely young man on the bed, who had surrendered to his fate and was no longer squirming. “My god, you’re Billy Farrow! Oh, wait, not quite. One bracelet left.” Todd removed the green bracelet, and the dark buzz cut regrew into the Farrow Flop in its full glory. Liam – no, wait, he was without question Billy now – sagged his slight shoulders in defeat.
“Just tell me who you are. Some male prostitute that Reese hired?”
“Let’s just say that all those videos on your computer gave Reese a pretty good idea of your ‘type’. Since you’d changed yourself into a dominant type body, that must be who you fantasized being when you were watching those videos. So you were probably on the hunt for a submissive. Based on your preferred videos, that meant probably a slender guy with a pretty face who looked younger than his years. In other words, someone who looked a lot like Billy Farrow. You literally wanted to go fuck yourself.”
Todd kicked off his cowboy boots. Clasped around his left ankle were a number of colored bracelets, just like the ones that Billy had been wearing, although wider to accommodate the size of leg bones. Todd bent over and began unsnapping them. Immediately, his body grew inches taller, his muscles bulkier and his cock longer and thicker. Billy had never seen a cock so big, certainly not in person but not even on the internet. As Todd continued, his face grew more menacing, his hair receded fully into his head, his eyes turned deep brown and his skin darkened to a rich black. Finally, he removed a violet ring and his voice shifted from Todd’s high tenor to the familiar low Ving-Rhames-y tones that Billy had just heard on the phone earlier this morning. “Surprise.”
“Fuck me,” groaned Billy.
“Can’t now. You’ve got a show to get ready for,” said Reese, all business as always. “While I was out getting breakfast – and handcuffs – I picked up some clothes for you. Some for me too. I can’t guarantee they’re fashionable, but they’ll fit well enough that we won’t have to leave the hotel naked.”
Billy hung from the headboard, limp and shellshocked, his pathetic arms still held loosely in the air by the handcuffs. He noticed there was still one metal band left on Reese’s leg. “So that last bracelet, is that the one that made you act all gay?”
“Who says I needed a bracelet to be gay?”
Billy was floored by this revelation, then grinned. “Holy shit, Reese. I just fucked you in the ass.”
“No, man, you fucked me in the ass yesterday when you ran away. This morning was my reward for putting up with your shit. I don’t think Wiseman needs to know about anything you and I did together. Do you?”
Billy unleashed the radiant smile that adorned so many little girls’ bedroom walls. “You and me? We didn’t do a damn thing. But Liam and Todd had a blast.”
Reese’s face betrayed the hint of a smile as he removed the cuffs from Billy’s wrists and handed him his new clothes.
Reese stood across the counter from Mr. Lee, who was examining the bracelets that Reese had just returned.
“One missing,” said Mr. Lee.
“Oh, yeah, I wanted to keep the one you gave me for my bad knee,” Reese said. “It feels brand new. You can’t imagine the things I was able to do with two good knees.”
“I try not to imagine,” Mr. Lee said with the merest smirk.
“What do I owe you for it?” Reese pulled out his wallet.
Mr. Lee waved him off. “You kept your promise to bring back the bracelets. Consider this my thank-you for your honorable behavior.”
“Come on, man. You got no idea how much money I’ve paid doctors to fix this knee, and they never did jack. You fixed it with one little bracelet.”
“If you insist on paying me, I only barter for what I need for my transformations.” Mr. Lee gestured to the glass jars full of unusual substances on the shelves behind him. “What do you have that you could spare? Some of your muscles, perhaps?”
“No, man, I’m a bodyguard. I gotta stay strong.” He thought, then thought of something. He spoke in a whisper, even though no one else was in the shop to hear him. “It’s a little embarrassing, but I’ve gotten some complaints over the years that my dick is…too big. Maybe you could make it smaller.”
Mr. Lee’s eyebrows rose slightly. “Smaller length or smaller circumference?”
Reese cleared his throat and said, “Both? I know, I know, stereotypes and all that, but seriously, it’s gotten in the way of me finding a good steady relationship. It’s too much for most people to handle. Literally.”
Mr. Lee asked, “May I see?” Reese extracted his cock from his pants. Mr. Lee was usually an expert at hiding his thoughts and feelings from the customers, but his jaw dropped. He extended his hand and said, “It’s a deal.”
Outside, the SUV was idling with Wiseman in the front passenger seat and Billy sprawled in a custom swivel chair at the back, with stereo speakers embedded in the headrest and videogame controls in each armrest. Billy was surfing the web and discovered that someone had posted a shaky video of Liam’s “I’m Your Boy” performance from the night before. Billy looked wistful, watching Liam and Todd having so much fun. Billy passed his iPad to Wiseman and said, “I want to do this arrangement of ‘I’m Your Boy’ tonight.” It was a bit harder-edged than anything in Billy’s usual set, but Wiseman liked it and thought the fans would enjoy it too. Just as long as Billy’s delivery wasn’t as raunchy as this anonymous shirtless guy in the video. Wiseman agreed to find the DJ who had done the remix and make sure he was properly compensated.
Billy sat in his comfy throne at the back of the SUV and told Wiseman, “I also think it’s time for me to get rid of the Flop.”
Wiseman turned around, livid. “You can’t. It’s your signature.”
“It’s a joke. I look absurd. What we’ll do is I’ll get my hair cut off and donate it to one of those cancer charities for the kids who lose their hair getting chemo. We’ll give ‘em a big check too. Lots of positive publicity!”
Wiseman pondered the notion. Maybe it was time for the Flop to go. Despite running away yesterday, Billy was acting more mature today. Maybe his image should mature too.
The side door slid open and Reese hopped into the SUV, showing more agility than he had since college.
“Everything copacetic?” Wiseman asked.
“Yup, we’re all clear. I want to put the shopkeeper and his grand-daughters on the list for backstage passes at tonight’s show. And, here, I got something for you.” He passed a thin green bracelet to Wiseman, who looked at it skeptically.
“Uh, thanks, I guess. I’m not big into jewelry, ya know.”
“I know, but I wanted to get you a thank-you present for not firing me. I think you’ll like it. Put it on your left wrist.”
Curious, Billy leaned forward, resting his chin on Reese’s shoulder as Wiseman slapped the bracelet onto his forearm. He yowled from a strange jolt shooting through his body, then calmed down as a cooling rush spread through his body and localized in his head. Although Wiseman hadn’t realized it yet, Liam’s buzz cut had now taken root on Wiseman’s previously naked scalp. Reese looked amused and Billy cackled, but they both thought it actually looked pretty good on him.
Wiseman looked back at them with annoyance. “What’s so funny?” Wiseman asked as he gestured for the driver to pull away from Mr. Lee’s little store.
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