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"Alternately..."

I woke up when my alarm clock buzzed. I sat up and yawned, stretching my arms over my head. I looked at my pillow and wished that I could get another few hours of sleep before going to work. Not that I had been up late partying or anything. I didn't lead that exciting a life. I had been reading some quantum chromodynamics papers, but I had gone to bed around eleven. No, the problem was that I just wasn't looking forward to another miserable day at work. If I hadn't had such an interesting job, I probably would have been seriously depressed. Okay, maybe I was clinically depressed, but still functional around my job.

I stripped off my pajamas and got going. As I showered, I thought about my life – which was another of my problems. I was too introspective, and I guess you could say I was overly intellectual. Not too surprising when you know that at the age of twenty-five I already had a Ph.D. in quantum chromodynamics from the Physics Department of Cal Tech, and I was the principal researcher on a small research project at the Los Alamos Research Labs.

I was Adrian Holmes, just another skinny little egghead. I had mousy brown hair and a frail build. Not at all what my dad had wanted for a son. My father had wanted someone like himself – a tall, muscular powerhouse who was a football star and worked at a 'real' job, instead of working on some weird thing that he couldn't understand. He didn't even want me to try and explain what I worked on. My size and my brains and my problems with my father had made me very shy. Almost timid. So I had little life outside of my research work. But my behavior just made my dad more displeased with me. He wanted me to be a girl-chasing, hard-drinking stud, like he had been before he got married and got religion.

Since my work was classified, I couldn't tell my folks what I did.. even if I could have explained it to them... Which I couldn't begin to do without giving them a sixteen-hour physics lecture.. which my dad would never have sat still for past the first five minutes. I was running a small but expensive top-secret project for the Department of Defense. I was trying to build a functional baryon projector. I was heading up the project because I was one of the world's leading experts on some fascinating but highly classified aspects of quantum chromodynamics, which is the theory of how sub-sub-atomic particles behave. In fact, my doctoral thesis had been a very controversial analysis of the theoretical relationships between certain classes of sub-atomic particles and the canonical separation of the quantum foam.

I'd better explain some of that jargon before I go any farther. The quantum foam is really just a nickname for the theory that our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, which diverge and converge with one another as every possibility of every event occurs simultaneously, only in different (but parallel) universes. For example, if I roll a single six-sided die, one outcome occurs in the universe we experience.. but the other five outcomes occur as well, in parallel universes that branch out from ours.

Remember that explanation. I wouldn't be telling you about it if it didn't have a direct bearing on my story.

At Los Alamos I was working with a staff of only two, but that was enough staff for the work on the first prototype. I didn't need a huge staff to stroke my ego, and I preferred working with a small, effective team. I worked with Sam and Charlie. Sam was Samantha Willis, a woman who had just turned thirty and wasn't all that happy about her life either. She was another physics Ph.D. Her dissertation had been on laser-induced fusion reactions in low-molecular-weight isotopes. For this project, her areas of expertise complemented mine nicely. But she was a large, unattractive woman. As if that wasn't enough to ruin her social life, she was assertive enough that the other men at the lab all thought of her as a ball-busting dyke. I was close enough to her to know that their opinion was not only unfair, but actually painful to her. So she wasn't happy either. And since she was actually straight, she hardly ever had dates.

Charlie was Charles Barton. His doctorate was in physical engineering, and he was pretty good at micro-electronics. He did a lot of the technical work on building our lab-sized experimental prototype. Charlie was a twice-divorced 50-year-old with a pot belly and receding gray hair. His social life was a lot better than mine or Sam's, but he couldn't seem to keep the women that he wanted to hang on to. Charlie's problem seemed to be that he was still chasing pretty but extremely-stupid women.. and then tiring of them because they were dumb. But Charlie wasn't interested in changing his dating strategy, especially when the idea was coming from a couple of social 'losers' like Sam and me.

I led the project, even though I was the youngest member. That was for two reasons: my doctoral research made me one of the few experts on the various arcane theories of quantum baryon generation, and my boss Amos' male chauvinism kept Sam out of the job. My boss Amos Leekins was the supervisor of all the research physics programs in our division. Amos was a big, gruff, cranky bully of about fifty or so. Everyone in the division called him 'Anus Leaking' or 'Amos the Anus' behind his back, since he was such an obnoxious pain in the kiester.

Amos was bugging me to get some useful results ASAP, because the DoD (that's the Department of Defense) might give us a two-hundred-million dollar grant if we made our prototype work. That's right, a fifth of a billion bucks.

Of course, the grant would be to make our prototype work on a much bigger scale, in order to create particle-beam weapons and other nasty stuff. I hated the idea of my research being turned into incredibly expensive weapons designed to kill people and destroy things. And I was non-confrontational enough to dread my regular arguments with Amos the Anus. So I wasn't happy about the way administrative issues were going at work.

But things were even worse away from work. My dad hadn't talked to me since I had entered physics graduate school five years earlier, and my mom was too obedient of a housewife to go against his wishes. At least my sister Lynnette hadn't shut me out of her life, so now and then I saw her and her husband Ed and her kids. Lynnette and Ed had two terrific kids. Just being with them made me wish that I had a wife and kids. But I didn't even have a girlfriend anymore. Not since I had moved to Los Alamos and Karrie, the woman I was seeing then – the woman I had just asked to marry me – didn't want to move with me, much less get engaged. That had been almost a year ago.

Just the day before, I had received another letter from my mom. It was the usual party line, almost as if my dad had mentally dictated the letter to her. What kind of a weirdo job is physics research? Why don't you get a real job that we could be proud of, instead of something we don't even understand? Why don't you get married to a nice girl and give us some grandchildren? Why can't you be more like your sister, who's doing something we approve of, being a stay-at-home mother? Why can't you be more like your father?

I had felt so miserable by the time I had finished that letter that it was all I could do to keep from crying. I could hardly get a date, no one wanted to marry me, and my parents not only didn't understand what I did but they didn't want to know. And of course there was no mention of my dad in the letter, since he didn't speak to me. He had wanted Mr. Macho for a son, and he hated having a wimpy little egghead instead.

Between the pressure at work and the pressure at home, it was no wonder that I was feeling lousy. It was no wonder I just felt like pulling the covers up over my head and hibernating for a few months. But I had no idea how seriously my life was about to be shaken up. If I had, I sure wouldn't have gone into work that day!

I managed to get to work on time, but it was close. The security guard looked up as I ran in, and he grinned as he checked my badge. He probably assumed I had been out late the night before, having a wild time. I wish!

I dashed into the lab, and Sam looked up from her computer console to say, "Sorry Ade, but Amos the Anus wants to see you right away. If not sooner." She had been calling me Ade as a nickname for almost as long as I had been calling her Sam. Charlie liked to kid us with his own line: "Sam 'n' Ade – not as refreshing as lemonade, but twice the vitamin C!"

I thanked her and ran right back out. So then I had a tense meeting with Amos the Anus before getting back to my lab. Amos had gotten some phone calls from some DOD honchos who wanted to see some progress, and he was relaying the pressure to me. I got the feeling that in order to get a shot at that two hundred million dollars in grant money, he had already promised the DOD that my prototype would work like a charm – and that it would work Real Soon Now. "Great," I thought angrily, "All I need right now is more pressure in my life!"

Sam and Charlie and I continued our work on the prototype. Since we were nearly ready for the first tests, I hadn't seen any reason to pressure them. But I hadn't told Amos that we were nearly ready for the first tests, since I didn't want him hanging around bothering Sam and Charlie if things didn't work right. I was fairly hopeful. Our tests on the components had gone really well, and the dynamic simulations on the theoretical models we had been running on the lab supercomputers had come out even better than I had hoped.

By the end of the day, the prototype baryon projector was finally ready. It was well after five that Monday, but Sam and Charlie and I were all determined to stay and run the first tests before we went home. We set up our specially-designed test apparatus at the end of the room to detect any quantum particles that we generated, and the three of us stepped behind the protective wall on the other side of the main body of the machine.

I pressed the button, and the electrical current rushed through the field coils. The magnetic current rapidly built until our computer could generate a magnetic bottle coherent enough to hold a small fusion plasma. Then we created the plasma by introducing tritium into the magnetic bottle and ionizing it with a blast from a phased laser of the correct frequency. The fusion plasma lasted less than a millisecond, but that was enough time for our equipment to hit it with a counter-phased positron beam. And presto, a directed baryon pulse! Well.. in theory, anyway.

I held my breath, waiting to see what the detectors read...

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I woke up when my alarm clock buzzed. Boy, did I feel tired! I sat up and yawned, stretching my arms over my head. The sheets fell away, as usual, and I looked down.

Then I screamed in terror.

That wasn't my body I was staring at, and those sure weren't my pajamas! I was looking down at the body of an attractive young woman, clad in nothing but a pink short-sleeved nightie. And that body seemed to be mine! This couldn't be happening! Belatedly, I realized that the voice I had heard when I screamed was the high-pitched voice of a woman. It wasn't my voice. Not even close! What the hell was going on?

Even through that silky nightie, I could see that this wasn't my body. It wasn't anything like my body! I frantically pulled the damn nightie off and threw it across the room. But that didn't solve my problem. It just made my feminine appearance even more obvious. My body was no longer the hairy, muscled body of a young man, albeit a skinny one. No, I was staring at the lithe body of a slender, shapely young woman! But that wasn't possible!

I stared at the creamy, smooth skin devoid of body hair except for the finest haze of light brown down. Recently-shaved underarms. Slender female arms with small hands. Nicely-manicured but short fingernails coated with a subtle pink nail polish... But it wasn't possible for my hands to have become this small! My hands were big for my size!

And breasts! Oh my God, I had real breasts bulging out of my chest! How was I going to explain this to anyone? I stared in a mixture of horror and voyeurism at the hooters that seemed to be mine. I had glossy breasts, about a B-cup, with large dusky-pink areoles about nipples that had pearled up due to a combination of the brisk morning air and my raw fear. I was staring at a pair of really gorgeous tits, but they seemed to be mine! How was that possible?

I nervously hefted the mounds thrusting out from my now-hairless chest. I nearly choked as the sensations flooded through my torso. They were real! I could feel my hands moving over them! Oh God, how could this have happened to me? I felt underneath them and gently squeezed them. I wasn't exactly Casanova, but I knew the difference between silicone tits and the real thing – one semester in college I had dated a woman who had silicone implants. But the breasts jutting out from my body were the homegrown variety. I had no tell-tale scar under each breast to mark where the silicone bladder would have been inserted, and I didn't have the subtly different, somewhat less yielding, feel of silicone boobs when I squeezed my breasts.

But how could real breasts have grown out of my flat male chest? In order for my breasts to grow to that size, I should have needed months and months, if not years, of female puberty. And my breasts weren't the perfect breasts of a young teenaged girl before gravity had taken its toll. No, there was a little bit of sag there. These breasts had been this size for several years at a minimum.

Or had they? I tried to think of the possibilities. Alternately...

Alternately, 'someone' had made an unbelievable effort to make my breasts look real. But who could that 'someone' be? And why would anyone do this to me? And how could they have done it, when what I was gaping at seemed to be too natural to be the result of any kind of plastic surgery? I wished I had an answer that made some sense.

But it wasn't just my breasts. My torso was different. My whole body was different! My shoulders were much narrower, as was my chest. In fact, my chest was a perfectly tapered female ribcage leading down to a waistline that was significantly smaller than it had been the day before. But it shouldn't have been possible to alter my collarbones and ribcage to this extent! Especially when there were no scars anywhere on the smooth female skin I now wore!

I was almost afraid to push the covers back and see what other horrors had been wrought on my body. And when I did get up the courage to look, I was instantly sorry. My eyes took it all in, in one swift painful glance. The hips that were wider than they should have been. The lack of body hair except for a nicely-maintained pubic triangle. The shaven legs, so slender and sexy. And most stunning of all... no cock or balls!!

I stared in horror. I was too shocked to scream. Or maybe I was all choked up because I was seeing exactly what I had been dreading. I leaned closer, looking between the breasts that interfered somewhat with my view below... And I almost threw up. I was staring at a perfect little slit between my legs where my male privates should have been. A pair of pretty little wrinkled pussy lips that looked so real that they sent shivers of raw fear down my spine.

I reached down, desperately afraid of what I would find, and touched my nether lips. I almost leapt out of bed when I touched them, and… Oh my God, I could feel them! They were real. And that they were really a part of me. I didn't know what I had been hoping to find, but I had to admit that I had pussy lips between my legs where my balls should have been!

I was sweating with fear as I contemplated the next step. Did I have the rest of the equipment that my breasts and labia hinted at? Oh sweet Jesus, I hoped not. I took a deep breath and forced myself to find out. I slid one manicured finger into my slit, and I almost fainted as I felt the warm, moist tightness of a woman's vagina. Oh dear God, I had a vagina too! And Christ only knew how 'complete' my transformation was! What if I had ovaries and a uterus too? What if I could get pregnant? But surely that wasn't possible... Or was it?

I began to cry. What kind of nightmare was this? I pinched myself to make sure I wasn't asleep. Then I pinched myself even harder. Ouch! The sharp pain assured me that I was wide awake.. which wasn't particularly reassuring considering what I was facing. What could have happened? Who had done this horror to me, and how? The 'how' part really scared me, since I couldn't think of any way that anyone could have done this! And what was I going to do, when I couldn't see any way to reverse the ghastly thing that had been done to me? Was I trapped, apparently female, until whoever had done this to me decided to change me back? Was I trapped in this body permanently?

I had to get a grip on myself. I had to think for a moment! Was I asleep? No, I had already pinched myself hard enough to leave a bruise, and I was definitely awake. Not to mention that I knew what a dream was like, and this wasn't like my dreams at all. Was I insane? Maybe, but I had never heard of a mental illness like this! A never-before-heard-of psychosis that would make a man wake up and believe his body had been altered? Or one in which a woman wakes up and thinks she has been a man all her life up until that day? That sounded even crazier than what seemed to be happening to me. Alternately...

It suddenly dawned on me. What had I been doing last night? I realized that my memories stopped abruptly at the start of the test in the lab the previous evening. Someone must have kidnapped me – or all three of us – from the lab last night and done this to us. Maybe this wasn't the next day at all, but months afterward. Was I looking at the result of some secret government agency's effort to stop us – or steal our work? But why would anyone go to this much trouble when it would be far simpler merely to close down our project and walk off with our research? Or overdose us with hallucinogens and put us in an insane asylum? Or kill us and blow up the baryon generator? Or toss us in solitary confinement for years? What on earth was going on?

But those ideas didn't make any sense either. The government already owned our undertaking, and we were already running a top-secret project at a government-owned facility. Besides, how could anyone have kidnapped three people from a lab in the middle of a high-security facility like Los Alamos? Not even the guys from Mission Impossible could pull that off. Rampant paranoia wasn't going to help me out of this mess. Since my ideas didn't seem to make sense, I figured I had to come up with some other alternatives. So alternately...

While I thought up alternatives, each crazier than the one before, I clambered out of bed. It was farther to the floor than 'I' expected, although my body seemed to be prepared for the height. That was a very weird feeling – being mentally surprised even though I was physically prepared, sort of like playing tennis for the first time and yet instinctively returning a fast serve even when you've been caught off guard. I didn't know what it meant, but I was sure that it meant something.

I stood up and looked around. I realized with a start that the bed wasn't taller, I was shorter! I had to be two or three inches shorter than I should have been. But my legs looked longer in proportion to my torso than they should have been – at least as I remembered them being. I had the body of a well-constructed woman. A very nicely built woman. But there was no way that my old body could have been surgically altered to have this size torso or these legs, or hands and feet as small as I now possessed. At least as far as I knew. Not unless modern surgical techniques had made some kind of quantum jump since I watched last week's Discovery Channel programs on modern medicine.

I suddenly thought of something. My scar on the back of my right calf, where I had been snagged by barbed wire when I was out camping with my dad at the age of twelve. I had gotten a three-inch rip down the back of my calf, and we had needed to hike back to our car, me limping and whimpering all the way while my dad kept telling me to 'buck up and act like a man'. I had ended up with a nasty scar from it, and my dad had never again taken me camping. I turned my leg outward and looked, and... My scar was gone. The scar that the plastic surgeon had told me I would have for keeps? It had gotten up and walked off.

If someone had the technology to erase that scar, then they could perform any operations on me that they wanted, and then erase the scars from those surgeries as well. But that wouldn't explain how anyone could surgically re-construct my hands so that they were as functional as ever, but maybe half their original size. Or how anyone could take my body apart and rebuild it so that my shoulders were so much narrower than before. Or make my ribcage so much smaller. Or make my hips wider. It just wasn't possible with current medical technology. So alternately…

I ran my fingers over the area on my calf where my scar had been. There had been a nasty slice that went sideways under my skin, and I didn't have any feeling on the skin there. It was a tiny patch, about the size of a half a dime cut right down the middle.

And it was gone. I had no scar on the back of my right calf, and I had no area lacking sensitivity. Which was impossible. Whether someone had come up with a plastic surgery technique to mask scars or not, there was no way to re-grow nerves. Just ask Christopher Reeve.

So what the hell had been done to me? And why would anyone have done such a ruthless, perverted thing to me in the first place? I couldn't think of one good reason why anyone would have wanted to do such a sick thing to me. I couldn't think of a way that my bizarre transformation could be used by anyone to squeeze any top-secret information out of me. So alternately...

As I thought furiously, I walked across the bedroom floor. I expected to be strikingly uncoordinated since I hadn't had time to adjust to this 'new' body. But my body seemed capable of walking just fine by itself, thank you very much. I nearly choked as I realized that my steps were smaller than I was used to, so I automatically moved with a very feminine gait.

And I could feel my hips rolling as I moved, sashaying from side to side in an embarrassingly natural female motion. My breasts bobbled in a way that would have made my old male self hard as a poker, but I just felt embarrassed. Not just embarrassed, but horribly humiliated. I definitely did not want to have a bouncy pair of boobs jiggling on my chest, calling attention to my horribly unmasculine new body. I had a sickening feeling that my rounded buns were wiggling in a very feminine way, and I silently prayed that I wouldn't have to let anyone I knew see me like this.

I walked to the closet and reached in for my robe. Hanging there in the exact same spot – no, the hook was a couple inches lower than I remembered, so that it was ideally placed for my new height – was a robe. But it wasn't my old terrycloth bathrobe. I stared unhappily at a silky green robe that was unquestionably feminine, and a lot longer than my terrycloth bathrobe had been. This was undoubtedly the robe of a woman. Maybe it was a peignoir or something. But what alternative did I have, if I didn't want to walk around stark naked and show off this body to anyone peering in a window or something? I reluctantly put on 'my' robe, trying to ignore the pleasant way that the shiny fabric slid over my smooth hairless skin.

And I nearly choked when I saw that my clothes had all been replaced – although I should have expected it, given how thorough 'someone' had been in transforming my body. There in my closet were two rods full of female clothes where my male clothes should have been. And I noticed that only a few of the clothes looked brand new. Most of them seemed to have been worn before – presumably by 'me'. I had an uncomfortable feeling that every article of clothing in my apartment would fit my new body perfectly.

And I checked the wall above the hook which had held my new robe. There should have been a hole, or a patch, or something there to show where the old hook had been secured. I had used a big molly bolt to hold the brass hook to the plasterboard, and removing it should have left a hole the size of a quarter. But now there was no sign that anyone had ever touched that portion of the smooth plaster wall. Well, someone could have done a really expert patch job. Or replaced the entire section of plasterboard. Or put me in a room that was a duplicate of my real apartment. Or alternately...

The fact that I could think of several ways it could have been done didn't help me any. I didn't know what to do, so I decided to make myself some coffee and think over my dilemma. But I stopped in the bathroom to relieve myself. I glanced at myself in the large bathroom mirror, and I nearly fainted. There was no question of my being recognized as Adrian stuck with a woman's body. No, I no longer looked like Adrian. I no longer looked like any man. The woman in the mirror was much too cute to be mistaken for a guy.

I had the face and the body of a pretty, shapely, slender brunette. I stared at my new face with a mixture of horror and recognition. It wasn't my old face at all. But the face that looked back at me looked far too much like faces I had seen before – like that of my older sister Lynnette, or the faces of my mother and my Aunt Joan, my father's older sister. I was looking at a very pretty face that combined the best female features of the two sides of my family. But how was that possible? How had anyone managed to remove my heavy browbone structure, or completely alter my jawline? Or, for that matter, how could anyone possibly change my eye color?

My pretty female face was surrounded by shoulder-length chestnut hair, which was cut in a simple straight style that still managed to be flattering. It was almost a pageboy, but not quite short enough to count as a true pageboy. I had the perfectly smooth skin of my sister and my aunt. I had my mother's pretty little tip-tilted nose and full lips. And I had a pair of gorgeous big caramel-brown eyes under carefully arched eyebrows, with long, thick, lovely dark lashes fluttering before them. I recognized those eyes as coming from my father's side of the family – I had possessed dark brown eyes in my old body, but surely not eyes that large or that sexy. My new face was even cuter than my sister's, and I knew that when my sister was all made up, she was downright gorgeous. I cringed at the thought of being stuck in the body of a gorgeous brunette. My delicate ears looked like my mother's, and I suddenly realized that my ears were pierced, with delicate pearl studs inserted through holes that had healed.. a long time ago. How was that possible?

I opened up 'my' robe and studied the woman in the mirror. Mmmmm, very nice. Verrrry nice. If I had still been a guy, I would have been thrilled to get a look at this little honey. But that honey in the mirror was me! That was the face and body in which I was trapped, for God only knew how long. I stared at the pretty face, and the elegant neck.. which led down to a sexy smooth torso and a well-kept waistline. I looked over the glossy B-cup breasts, the slender but nicely-toned arms, the rounded hips, the long shapely legs, and the wrinkled labia between my legs.

I felt sick just thinking about being trapped in this sexy body, with guys coming onto me until I could get my old shape back. What was I going to do if I had to try and cope in public while still stuck looking like a foxy brunette babe? How was I going to survive if I was stuck like this? What was I going to do if – make that 'when' – men started hitting on me? How could I bear it if men groped me or molested me? Or if some creep pinned me down and raped me? After all, I was smaller than I used to be, and a lot less muscled. I was easy prey for some sicko out there…

With a shudder, I tore myself away from the mirror. I stepped over to the toilet.. and almost forgot to sit down to pee. But the toilet seat was down, as opposed to the way I always left it, and as I reached down to lift it I suddenly remembered that I was missing some pretty crucial equipment for urination while standing up. I grimaced as I sat down and peed without a penis for the first time in my life. It felt weird. Different. My urine wasn't going through the same plumbing as usual. I couldn't aim. I just sort of 'let go' the same way that I did as a guy, but it felt like different muscles were releasing. Or something. But it worked. A small waterfall cascaded down with a splash. And more splashing. Afterward, I had to wipe myself, since I could feel icky droplets of urine dangling from my crotch. No wonder women went through so much toilet paper.

I washed my hands. And I nearly jumped through the ceiling. Darn, that water was cold! But that was the same water I always washed my hands in. Or alternately… Oh. It wasn't the water. It was my new skin. Karrie had complained more than once about the water temperatures I liked. I didn't care if the water in the sink was freezing cold, but she wanted it nice and warm for handwashing. So how had someone made this body suddenly want warmer water for washing? Well, if they could re-grow nerves, they ought to be able to adjust nerve ends as well. Maybe.

Oh crud. Something else occurred to me. If my hands were 'adjusted' to want warmer water, then my skin was probably going to want showers the way Karrie liked them. I liked them hot and as hard as the water pressure would allow. Karrie didn't. She wouldn't get in the shower with me unless the water was set for her. Not as hot, and much gentler. And she liked washing dishes in water that burned the crap out of my hands. Were these new hands made for that too? Well, there was a simple way to find out.

I went in to the kitchen to make some coffee. The coffee machine was newer than I remembered, but the same brand. The glass coffee pot in the machine looked sparkling clean, instead of coated with a fine layer of crud from years of coffee-making. And it was now situated in the corner of the kitchen where my mother kept hers. How the hell did 'they' know that? I realized that if I really had been born female, I probably would have put my coffeemaker where mom kept hers.. and I certainly would have bought a new one to replace the old wreck that Adrian still kept around from his days as an undergraduate. I deduced that whoever had done this to me had been studying me and planning this for a long time.

As I made the coffee, I realized that my hands seemed to be more tolerant of really hot water. Just like my mother and my sister. Just like the hands of a real woman, who did dishes in hot water and cooked a lot more than guys did. I wondered how the hell anyone could have 'arranged' for that. While the coffee was brewing, I looked around 'my' apartment. It was eerie. The place was mine, and yet it wasn't.

I was apparently in the same apartment as I remembered renting, and presumably in the same apartment complex. But the decoration was decidedly feminine. I remembered buying an inexpensive dining room set for myself, but it was gone. Instead, in the dining area was something that couldn't possibly be there. My late grandmother Holmes's oak dining room set, including her china cabinet – and all of her china! I stared in astonishment. I walked over and stared. Oh yeah, that was her Lennox china, right down to the fancy antique cream and sugar set.

How on earth did that stuff get in my apartment? I knew darn well that the whole dining room set and china had gone to my cousin Irma, since Lynnette had gotten the dining room set from our other grandmother and there was no closer female relative lacking a dining room set. It was as if someone were trying to make it seem that I had been female for my whole life, and all my family was used to it! I stood there dumbstruck for long seconds.

I heard the coffee machine signal that it was done, and I hurried to get some. I needed a caffeine boost badly if I were going to think my way out of this mess so early in the morning. I opened the cupboard to get a mug.. and I got another surprise. The mugs were there, but they were different mugs, and they were hanging from cup hooks. That was the way my dad had done things back at home, but I had always just stacked my mugs.

I had a sudden odd flash of memory. Years earlier, when my dad and I had helped my sister move into an apartment, he had put up cup hooks in her kitchen cupboard for her coffee mugs and her tea cups. I opened the next cupboard, and sure enough, there were tea cups hanging on hooks too. As though my dad had helped me move into this apartment the previous year. My dad, who hadn't had anything to do with me for at least five years.

I looked below the tea cups. Only I wasn't looking at my old garage-sale dishes stacked there where they should have been. I was looking at the coordinated place settings that a woman would have bought for herself. Dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls, tea cups and saucers, and dessert bowls. Even a matching butter dish, three serving bowls, and a complete coffee service. I cringed at the thought that I had been completely outfitted to live like a girl for an indefinite period of time. I winced pathetically when I realized that I could be stranded in this new body for the rest of my life, if my tormentors decided not to change me back to Adrian.

I shut that cupboard door and returned to my study of my mugs. My old college-guy beer mugs were all gone – like whoever was responsible for my change would have let me keep the mug with the naked fraulein in bas relief – and there were some mugs that I had never seen before. Like the "World's Greatest Daughter, From Dad" mug, or the mug from "For Women Only" (which was a gym down the street that, as its name indicated, was just for women), or the pink Mary Kay Cosmetics mug which looked just like a couple of the mugs my sister had. Adrian wouldn't have been caught dead with pink Mary Kay coffee mugs, but now I was supposed to be happy with the stupid things.

I was beginning to feel more angry than scared. How dare they throw out my cherished beer mugs that were important keepsakes from my college days? Who the hell did they think they were, to give me a mug from my father, when we weren't even on speaking terms, and when he would have rather killed himself than have his son 'become' a daughter? My dad wouldn't have welcomed my new form into the family. He despised anyone the least bit abnormal sexually. He wouldn't even watch Siegfried and Roy on television. He would have beaten me to a bloody pulp if I had shown my face looking the way I did – like I had gone through the most perfect sex-change imaginable.

My hand shook as I poured some coffee into the League of Women Voters mug. I didn't like that. I carefully picked up the mug and sipped thoughtfully as I toured what had once been the apartment of a guy. It was my old apartment, all right. At least as far as the original construction and location went. But there were some changes that made it a feminine apartment. Like the throw rugs on the floor, and the paintings on the walls, and the knickknacks now sitting on my wall units, and the much nicer draperies. At least whoever had picked out 'my' new decorations had tastes like mine. I wondered how the heck 'they' had known what I liked and disliked. I wondered how long they had studied me while they planned this. I wondered how the heck I was ever going to get out of this mess.

I still had my wall units, which were from home, and my grandfather's pocket watch in a glass bell, and my oak business desk. However, someone had polished my wall units and oak desk recently, and they looked fabulous. They looked like someone had taken much better care of them than I and my college roommates had. I gasped as I realized that the gouges and scratches on my furniture were gone. The damage those pieces had picked up while I had college roommates.. simply wasn't there anymore. It was almost as if I had never had careless (or on occasion, careless and drunk) male housemates. I examined the wall units and desk carefully, but there was no sign that any damage had been repaired. No, they looked like my furniture, but as if they had never been damaged. How had 'they' managed that? And come to think of it, why had they even bothered? It wasn't like there was a stamp on any of those scuffs that publicly announced "Look! Men used to drop stuff on this!"

I could see my mom's letter lying on top of my desk, and I suddenly wondered if it had been altered.. like everything else. I hurried over to read it. As I read it, I nearly choked on my coffee. The letter was in my mom's handwriting – or alternately, a really incredible forgery – but it wasn't the letter I had read the day before. This letter from my mom was now written to her darling smart daughter Adrienne. And my mom wrote that she wished I would settle down and get married and give some man some lovely children – like my sister Lynnette.

To top it all off, there was a postscript that made my hands shake. I recognized my dad's handwriting, even though I hadn't seen it in a long time. My dad sent his best wishes to his darling younger daughter, and he hoped I would be able to make it home for Thanksgiving, like always.

'Like always'?!? What the hell was going on? If the letter was another part of this fantastic scheme, then 'they' would have had to alter my parents memories somehow – but then why hadn't they altered mine? But the letter couldn't be real! Alternately... 'They' could have forged the letter and left my folks alone. But then where did the dining room set come from, and what would keep me from calling my parents and verifying that the letter I was holding was a fake? If I could call them and get them to talk to me, when I didn't sound like my old self…

I didn't understand what was going on. But the letter was addressed to 'Adrienne' instead of 'Adrian'. And there was a black leather Coach purse sitting on the desk where I usually dumped my wallet and keys and lab ID badge. The purse wasn't new, either. Oh sure, it was in really good shape, but it had that 'well worn even if carefully handled' look to it. I dove into the purse and pulled out a tan leather wallet. It wasn't my wallet. It was a woman's wallet. And there in the purse, right next to the wallet, were my security badge and a keyring.

I stared at the picture on the front of the security badge. By then I was no longer surprised to see that I was looking at a picture of the new female me – the woman I had seen in my bathroom mirror only minutes ago. I recognized the shy look that I had always had, in just about every photo I could remember, but now on the face of a pretty woman. The hair I now had, but in a different length. No surprise there, since women often changed their hairstyles – except that I didn't know how they had managed to create that image. Maybe computer graphics. But someone had done a really good job of altering that digitally. The woman in the picture had a simple, fairly subtle makeup, thank God. I couldn't have stood it if I was expected to dress up like a slut and appear in public. Hell, I couldn't stand the thought of appearing in public under any circumstances! Not as long as I was trapped looking like a sexy little brunette!

The keyring looked the same, except that it now had a clip to attach it to the inside of 'my' purse, as well as a security clicker for 'my' car. I remembered buying my car and turning down the remote-control security feature as a waste of money. But I guessed that 'they' – whoever 'they' were – thought it was important for a woman to have that extra security. I realized that the extra bulk on the keyring didn't matter anymore, since I would no longer be carrying it in a pants pocket.

I just ground my teeth in frustration. Whoever had done this to me had done an infuriatingly thorough job. Seamless.. at least as far as I could tell. I began to realize that I might be trapped like this for a very long time. Like for eternity. I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of having to live as a woman, maybe for years, with my colleagues and friends – make that my former friends – laughing at me behind my back. Alternately, I had to face the possibility that their memories had been altered, and I would be treated like a woman regardless of my personal feelings. I wasn't sure which was more upsetting.

I opened my wallet and looked through it. There was a driver's license for Adrienne Holmes, with 'my' picture. My government ID card, with my new face looking back at me. Credit cards, gas company cards, department store credit cards, my ID card from the "For Women Only" gym with my picture on it. That picture had me in a leotard with my hair back in a ponytail, like I was about to begin working out. I cursed aloud, "Son of a bitch!" Whoever was behind this was frighteningly thorough. My Sears card was still there, but with my new name on it of course. And I had four new credit cards – for stores which specialized in clothing, shoes, and accessories for women.

I found a ticket from my dry cleaners. 'I' had dry cleaning to pick up – only it wasn't the two suits I remembered leaving for cleaning. The ticket I held said that I had left two blouses, a skirt, and a dress. And the credit card receipts in the wallet included purchases that looked like they would have to be Christmas gifts for my parents. Only I hadn't bought my dad a gift since he and I stopped talking. It looked like Adrienne wasn't supposed to have that problem with my father. I again wondered how they had 'convinced' my dad to go along with something like this. Probably against his will, the same way they had made me change.

Unless they had a stand-in in dad's place, surgically altered to look and sound exactly like dad, and ready to pretend that I had always been Adrienne. Of course, that was nuts. If whoever it was could do that, they wouldn't waste their time on relatives of physicists. They'd substitute their people for the President and the head of the U.N., and just take over the planet.

The doctor's receipt indicated that my gynecological exam had shown no problems, and my Pap smear was okay. Pap smear? Good God! I almost spit my coffee at the thought that I might now have a real female reproductive tract. Could that be possible? Would I have periods? Could I get pregnant? I cringed at the mere idea. I determined to be a lot more careful until I could find out for sure if my fears were real. 'Careful' didn't really begin to describe it. 'Paranoid' was more like it. I mean, there was no way on earth I was going to cooperate with some guy who wanted me to bend over and be his bitch for a few minutes of sweaty humping. Yuck. I just had to make sure that I didn't end up a rape victim.

I knew that if I were trapped as Adrienne for a long time, it was only a matter of a few weeks at most before I found out if I would have real periods. I tried to suppress the shudder of revulsion that ran down my spine. And I wondered if there was a bottle of Midol in my medicine chest. Or a box of tampons. Uggh! Was I going to have to learn how to insert tampons up my new slit? I felt sick at the thought. I took a look at the bottom of the purse, and sure enough, there were three or four tampons lurking down there, and a pad in a paper wrapper. Yuck.

I saw that I now had a Day-Timer in my purse. As a guy, I had just kept personal notes in a little black book that I could shove in my back left pants pocket. But that had changed. It had been changed for me, against my will. I gritted my teeth and growled quietly, "How obliging of them.. the bastards!" I looked at the inside cover and found that it was a gift from Dorothy Manion and the rest of the Women's Support Group at the lab. Oh. So I guess every new woman scientist at the lab got one as a 'welcome wagon' gift. No wonder all the women at the lab seemed to use them.

I looked through the Day-Timer and checked out 'my' schedule. I had an appointment to have my hair done later in the week. Jesus! I quickly glanced ahead and then back at the previous months. I had a hair appointment every four weeks, and I supposedly had been going through this ritual since January at the very least. I went three times a week to the "For Women Only" gym for jazzercise. I played bridge with Ellen on Thursday nights – I knew Ellen Connor, and I knew that she was a sharp astrophysicist at the lab, but I also knew she only played bridge with female partners. But now that I was supposed to be female, that wasn't supposed to be a problem. I wondered bitterly how she felt about this new arrangement. Then I wondered if she even 'knew' anymore that I used to be male.

I spotted a note for the weekly potluck at Dorothy's house. Well, that hadn't changed, except I had never been to one of them before. Dorothy Manion was one of the senior women scientists at the lab, and she had support-group potlucks for the other women researchers and technicians at the lab. I knew some of the more Neanderthal guys at the lab referred to the potlucks as Bitch Bashes and Cunt Parties and other nasty slurs. So now I was supposed to be one of the cunts going to the parties. And I was undoubtedly going to be talked down to or sexually harassed by the same assholes who did that stuff to the real women at the lab.

How could it be that nothing had changed except me and my relationships with other people, unless someone had done this to me? But if so, how could they have done it? And why? And how could they have 'persuaded' everyone I knew to go along with this bizarre scheme? If they could alter people's memories and change things to make it look like past events had occurred differently, then why hadn't they changed my memories to go with this body? I was so angry and upset – and scared – that I could have screamed. But that wouldn't help me any.

I kept looking through my Day-timer. I noticed that there were three entries over the last two months, always on Friday or Saturday nights, for "dinner with Sam." Dinner with Sam? One had a postscript saying "buy new dress". But Sam was female – or should I now be saying that Sam was female too? Was Adrienne supposed to be a lez? Or even worse, were Sam and I supposed to be double-dating? Yuck! The thought of dating a man while my friend Sam watched me, with me helplessly trapped in a woman's body and having to be some guy's friendly date for the evening, filled me with a queasy shameful revulsion that didn't want to go away. I silently prayed that I wouldn't be coerced into anything so gruesome. I didn't think I could bear the shame, even if Sam no longer remembered that I was really male inside.

I put down the Day-Timer once I had found just about all of the sickening aspects of the life that 'they' had chosen for me. Whoever the hell 'they' were. I decided to look around my apartment more carefully. And then I realized that my framed personal photographs had changed. The pictures were arranged more artistically, with more pictures than I had originally had out. The bastards had changed my pictures while leaving my frames almost the same. And they had added a dozen more framed pictures as well.

I looked at one of the 8x10s. There I was at my sister's house, holding my tiny nephew Geoffrey on my lap and talking to my sister – but now that picture had the new female me, wearing a nice dress and low heels and lipstick and eye makeup. And my nephew had a deathgrip on the earring in my ear, while I smiled at him and tried to persuade him to let go. Just the kind of amusing picture Lynnette's husband Ed would actually have snapped. I remembered him snapping a shot of the 'old' me holding baby Geoffrey and finding a yellow wet spot on my nice white shirt, but I was sure that picture was gone for good.

I just gritted my teeth in anger at the thought that 'they' – whoever they were – had been destroying some of the most precious mementos I had. And I kept looking at 'my' photos, even though they were all pictures of the new female me. There were pictures of 'me' and my parents and Lynnette and her family all together at what looked like my folks' house at Christmas. I swallowed hard at that one. How could anyone have managed to fake that photo? And how could anyone have persuaded my family to go along with this scheme?

There was a picture of me about three years earlier, while I was still in graduate school. But it had changed. It was no longer me and several of my buddies, clustered around the quantum gravitometer we had designed and built for a lab project. Now it was a photo of Adrienne with several of the women in the physics department, all clustered together for a photo of what looked like the Women In Physics Support Group. I recalled that the 'other' women in the photo were in that support group, but where had this woman who looked like me come from? And how could anyone have managed to fake that picture so perfectly?

And there was a photo of 'me' with some of the women at the lab who worked out at the "For Women Only" gym, all of us in tight aerobics outfits that would have had the old me ogling hungrily. But I didn't feel aroused by that picture. Now I was just too damned mad and too scared and too humiliated.

I studied the rest of the photos. Two of the pictures in my femininely re-decorated apartment showed me – the new female me – at the lab. In one of them, 'I' was wearing a beige blouse with a surplice neckline and a slim skirt that stopped a couple inches above a nice pair of knees. 'I' was standing with a big good-looking guy who could have been Sam's brother, along with Charlie. A limp-wristed, flat-stomached Charlie in a pastel-colored shirt and tight pants that Charlie wouldn't have been caught dead wearing. I just stared in astonishment. What the hell was going on??

Where was Samantha? Who was the big guy, and what was he doing in that photo? And how in hell could anyone have convinced homophobic Charlie to act swishy? Or even to get rid of that pot belly of his? But maybe Charlie had been given as much choice as I had. I shivered in fear at the thought that someone with that much power had decided to take control of my life. I stared helplessly. I had no idea what to do.

I was more-or-less on autopilot as I looked through my personal papers in the drawer of my desk, and I found more things that I didn't really want to find.

Instead of Sports Illustrated, I had apparently been subscribing to Cosmopolitan for five years. Great. I was a 'Cosmo girl'. I really, really hoped I wouldn't have to discuss 'the ten things men wish you would do for them in bed' or some Cosmo-crap like that with the next woman I ran into.

Oh. 'I' was active in the League of Women Voters. Terrific.

My copy of my birth certificate showed that 'I' had 'always' been female. Damn. Except for the name and the gender, the birth certificate looked exactly the same as before. No, wait. The time of birth was listed as 2:24 am. I was born at 2:22 am. I knew that. So what was the point of changing my time of birth by two lousy minutes? The date of birth was still the same. How could changing the time of birth be worth anything to anyone? And it would be easier to leave the time of birth unchanged. Wouldn't it? There had to be a reason why they would take the extra time to change the time of birth. Or was it just a random tidbit designed to drive me insane? I was going to figure this out, or die trying.

I found my scrapbooks just where they were supposed to be, in the left-hand wall unit. I was almost afraid to look inside them. I took a deep breath and began leafing through the pages. The scrapbooks were altered too. Expertly altered. Altered so expertly and so ruthlessly that I wanted to scratch someone's eyes out. My eyes stung with unshed tears as I perused the pages of what had once been cherished photos, but were now cruel reminders that I had lost not only my masculinity but also my history as a boy.

My scrapbooks showed my childhood and teenage years, but not quite as I remembered them. These photos all showed me as a quiet little girl, then a timid schoolgirl, and finally a shy teenaged woman. There wasn't much question that those pictures went with the face and body I now had, but how could anyone have managed all that? Those were the images from my past, but I had been a shy boy in those photos, instead of the shy girl who stared back at me. Even more technically sophisticated, some of the photos were slightly different, with different backgrounds or different arrangements of people, things that couldn't have been faked merely by digitally replacing one image with another using sophisticated computer software.

Then I hit the killer. The picture that really made me feel like I had been stabbed through the heart. I thought I would barf as I looked at my prom photos.. for the Senior Prom I hadn't attended. There was my new body as a shy teenager blossoming into a pretty young woman, in a flowing white prom dress. Only I was holding hands with a nerdy young man in a tux. My God, that was Eddie Filmore, my fellow brain in high school and just about my only real pal back then!

At that moment I could have cheerfully strangled my tormentors if I could only have gotten my dainty, manicured hands on them. I was furious that someone was perverting one of my few long-lasting friendships into a boy-girl sexual relationship. I was so hurt by the images that I had to clench my jaws to keep from bursting into feminine tears. And how could they have arranged to create these photos anyway? I knew Eddie hadn't gone to the Senior Prom either. Eddie and I had gone to The Geekfest instead. Well, that's what we called it. About fifteen or twenty of us nerds and geeks had held our own 'hey look we survived high school' get-together at Mark Worden's house. I remembered that Eddie and Julie Haversham and I had won the team Trivial Pursuit contest, and had gotten one of the wacky trophies that Mark had made out of scrap metal.

I felt too confused and too upset to do anything constructive, so outwardly I did nothing. As I stood there, almost shaking in anger and frustration and pain, I suddenly wondered if I was being monitored. Bugs? Cameras? Wiretaps? If they could do this to my body – not to mention my apartment and my records and my photos and God only knew what else – they certainly wouldn't stop at illegal surveillance.

But if they had the bio-med technology to alter my body like this, and the technology to change pretty much everything I knew, and maybe even the technology to alter people's memories, then surely they had better monitoring technologies than electronic bugs and cameras drilled into my walls.

What was I going to do? If I didn't even understand the technologies they were using to spy on me, how in heck did I stand a chance of finding their monitoring systems, or - better yet- thwarting them? I couldn't let 'them' win, so alternately...

I stood there, trying to look casual, while I frantically mulled over my options. Some casual act. I found myself pacing furiously back and forth across my living room rug. Only in my new body, I wasn't stomping about so much as I was sashaying. I could feel my hips swiveling as I walked. I had a horrid feeling that guys would be staring at my ass and thinking about… Well, you know. The things guys always thought. Like getting their hands on that ass. Or getting their dick in between those buns. Or just going into brain-lock and not really thinking anything in particular, just staring and drooling and losing all higher-order brain function until the girl was out of sight.

The doorbell rang, and I almost jumped out of my skin. I tiptoed silently to peer through the peephole in the door. It was Rick and Leah Goodson, from across the hall.

I almost wept in silent humiliation. I gasped to myself, "Oh my God, I can't face people trapped in this body! I'll die of shame! And certainly not these two! Not Rick!"

Rick was the most macho asshole I'd ever met. He was even worse than my dad, which was really saying something. Rick had always treated me like I was a flaming faggot because I didn't fish or hunt or enjoy boxing matches. Rick's idea of a sissy vehicle was anything smaller than a Dodge Ram 2500. I couldn't bear the thought of his reaction to my new appearance. Leah had just had a cute little baby, and there had been a baby shower two weeks before the birth. Rick had dodged the baby shower by watching college football with me for a few hours while he grumbled about being kicked out of his own apartment by a bunch of cackling hens.

I felt panicky and helpless. I didn't dare open the door to these two. Or did I? Alternately...

I thought about it for a few seconds. I reasoned it all out. Either they knew nothing about this bizarre plot, in which case they wouldn't recognize me in this body.. or else they were a part of the plot, in which case I could open the door to them and they would have to pretend that nothing was unusual. Except that neither of them could act to save their lives, so they would give themselves – and the conspiracy – away. After all, I knew they couldn't even keep a secret from each other.

I swallowed hard as I adjusted my robe and nervously opened the door. Leah smiled, "Oh, Adrienne, I thought you'd be all dressed for work by now, I'm sorry, but you did want copies of those pictures. And thanks again for letting Rick stay in your apartment while you came to the baby shower."

I felt queasy and scared as I watched their faces for the slightest trace of any slip. Actually, I was afraid that instead of a teeny slip I would see naked revulsion written all over their faces. But there was no sign of anything unusual. I murmured something like, "I'm running a little late this morning."

Rick grinned, "Yeah, you're a darn good neighbor, Adrienne. Here."

I took the photos and closed the door politely, even though Rick was ogling my female body like he wanted to eat me. I felt like I should have slapped his face, the pig. I looked at the photos after I locked the door, and I felt stunned. There 'I' was, at least the new me, at the baby shower I hadn't attended! But Rick and I had seen all the women who had been at the shower, and this woman hadn't been there!

Someone who looked exactly like my new female body was chatting with the 'other' women, holding someone else's baby, admiring the gifts, all the usual baby-shower stuff that women do. How was that possible? And how did anyone convince a macho jerk like Rick to act like I was really female? I realized that he hadn't been acting – he couldn't act to save his life. He had really found my new female body to be attractive. Had 'someone' changed their memories too? But then why not change mine as well?

Was it possible that the two people I had just talked with were actually not the Goodsons at all? Could they have been two people who were part of this bizarre plan, and were posing as Leah and Rick? If so, then they would be able to act like I was supposed to be female. Heck, they would have to be pros. They would probably be able to act like I was supposed to be a chimpanzee, if that was their assignment. So maybe I couldn't read anything into their supposedly lack of acting ability.

And what was the point of all this bizarre manipulation if I was still developing the same project at my lab? Which suggested several new ideas.. so alternately...

The phone rang. It took me a moment to get up the nerve to answer it. I answered, "555-7482" just like always, although my voice clearly wasn't the voice I was used to.

A man I had never heard before answered. He replied in an unnerved voice, "Umm, could I speak to Adrian Holmes please? It.. it's really important." The voice sounded strangely familiar, but I couldn't think why.

I stalled, "Can I tell him who's calling?"

The man stammered a moment and then decided to say, "Umm, t-tell him it's Sam. Sam Willis."

I suddenly felt faint. Had 'they' done the same horrible thing to poor Sam, but in reverse? I thought of the photo of our team sitting on my shelf, and I had a terrible feeling that I knew exactly what Sam looked like at that very moment. Like that handsome man in the photo, but scared silly.

I choked out, "Sam, umm, was your appearance really different when you woke up this morning?" I got a stunned yes.

"Is your last memory of yesterday the test run you did in the lab?" Another yes, only much more puzzled.

"Do you have a photo in your living room of your lab group, and there's a man who looks the way you look right now, and a pretty little brunette in a blouse and skirt, and Charlie, only Charlie is looking kind of, uhh, swishy?"

"Jesus! How the hell'd you know that? What the hell is going on? Where's Adrian? Who the hell are you?"

I cleared my throat, but I couldn't make my voice go down to a male pitch. "Sam, that brunette is me. I'm Adrian."

"Whaaat!! What the hell are you trying to pull? I..."

I felt tears of humiliation welling up in my eyes as I blushingly interrupted, "Please Sam, don't make this any harder than this already is. If you look like I think you do – I mean male instead of female – then you have to understand how awful I feel right now! I'm not the right sex either! I don't know what happened, or who did this to us, but I'm so embarrassed I could just die! You have that picture of me in your apartment, so you know just what I look like, and I don't know what to do. How can I ever face anyone when I'm trapped looking like this? I'll be the laughingstock of the whole lab!"

There was a stunned silence at the other end of the phone. Then that male voice choked out, "You too? Jesus! And you look like that... God, what are we gonna do?"

We frantically discussed what we could do, and what we didn't dare do. Whether we dared go into work. Whether we dared appear in public. Whether we dared not go into work. Sam insisted that we needed to go to work to find out what was going on, even though I felt utterly shamed at the mere idea. It took him a while before he finally convinced me we had to get over to the lab. But he was right. If this was connected with our research project, then we needed to get into work and find out what was going on. Right way. If not sooner.

I begged Sam to come over to my place, telling him how ashamed I was to appear in public looking as I did. And then I felt awful when I realized he undoubtedly felt the same way. Fortunately, Sam's assertive side finally won out over 'his' shock, and 'he' agreed to come over to my apartment.

He hung up, and I knew that I needed to get dressed before he arrived. But I couldn't get up the nerve to put on Adrienne's clothes. I wasn't supposed to wear women's clothing. I couldn't bear the thought of my dad seeing me like this and wearing a dress and heels. I couldn't bear the humiliation of putting on women's clothing and letting my friend Sam see what indignities I was enduring. I stood in my closet and looked through 'my' clothes, but there was nothing that I could bring myself to wear. No baggy sweatsuits, just a couple sets of tight spandex aerobics outfits that would cling to my female form like they were painted on me. No thanks, I would pass on those. No pants, except a few pair of jeans and dress pants that were so blatantly female in cut that I cringed at the mere idea of wearing them. The thought of wearing something that would fit too tightly over my now-feminine butt made me think way too much about guys staring at my can. I kept thinking back to the way I had walked as I paced across my rug, and how guys would ogle my butt, and…

I still hadn't picked out any clothes by the time Sam rang my doorbell. He showed up at my door within fifteen minutes of our phone call, apparently a man dressed for work.. except that he hadn't been able to get his necktie tied correctly. It looked a lot like my ties had back when I was ten and first learning how to put on a tie. I wondered if he was sticking his finger into his collar and struggling to relieve the tightness, like I had done when I first had to wear ties to church as a boy.

He walked in, moving as much like a real man as I was moving like a real woman. Probably more so. I was still in my robe, and he couldn't take his eyes off me. I noticed his attention with some surprise. How could Sam be looking at me like that? I jerked my robe closed so that less of my cleavage showed.

He choked out an embarrassed apology, "Ade, I'm really sorry, but not only do I look male, but I seem to be, umm, a heterosexual male. Very heterosexual. Could you please put on some clothes?"

Staring at his muscular form and handsome face, I felt a frightening warmth inside my tummy that made me deeply afraid that I was now a distinctly heterosexual woman. I knew that I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I had been transformed into not just a woman, but a woman who wanted to have sex with men! What could possibly be worse for a normal heterosexual man like me who was already uncomfortable with his life?

But I wasn't a normal heterosexual man anymore. Not as long as I looked like a pretty little brunette. Not as long as I had breasts and labia and a vagina, instead of what Sam now seemed to have bulging forward in his trousers... What Sam probably had bulging forward in his pants as he thought about my cleavage! I felt unbearably humiliated that someone was getting a hardon from looking at my feminine body.

I choked out a miserable plea. "But Sam, I don't have anything to wear! All I have now are women's clothes! You can't expect me to dress in..."

I looked at his set expression, and I realized that he did indeed expect me to put on those embarrassing female clothes, regardless of my humiliation. I couldn't bear to put on lingerie and heels and a dress, like some perverted little crossdresser! It would be like I was giving in to whoever had wreaked this horrible transformation on my body! It would be like I was finally admitting that I was willing to pretend that I was a girl! It would be like I was finally admitting something humiliating about myself to dad.. and Rick.. and everyone else who had ever given me shit about my nerdy interests and my geeky occupation and my unmacho hobbies. I couldn't do it. I couldn't give in on this when my relations with my dad were the way they were.

But alternately.. it would be the only thing I could do given the circumstances. I sighed miserably and turned to walk back to my bedroom. I couldn't help the tears that welled up in my eyes, or the way my shoulders slumped in mortified defeat.

Suddenly Sam's huge hand touched me on the shoulder. I could hardly look him in the eye, but I blinked away my tears and stared up at his face. I suddenly realized that he had nicked himself several times while trying to shave his face. That must have been pretty wretched for him.

He murmured, "Look Ade, I know how awful this is for you. It was pretty humiliating making myself dress up like a dyke, after all these years of being branded a lezzy. So I know just how embarrassing this is for you. I understand. Really. But you have to get dressed. As Adrienne. We've got to get over to the lab and find out what's going on. I'll help you if you need it, okay?"

I had been so self-centered that I hadn't thought a lot about Sam's feelings. But now a sudden series of images of him came to mind. Sam awakening to find herself trapped in a hairy male body complete with a penis. Then struggling to dress in men's clothes. Fighting with that tie and trying to deal with that tight collar. Repeatedly nicking himself with a razor as he labored to make his new body presentable. I had been so busy feeling sorry for myself that I had completely ignored how awful this was for him as well. God, what an egocentric little cow I was turning into.

Or alternately, I was just too shocked and unfocused to think as clearly as I ought to be doing. Which might be even worse, considering. Was that the whole point of this bizarre body-manipulation? To get Sam and me so off-balance that we couldn't think about what we would normally be doing? To make us so unsure of ourselves that we wouldn't concentrate on the real point of whatever was going on? If that was right, then I really needed to get into the lab as soon as possible and figure out what was happening. And I really didn't want to do that. But if the whole point was just keeping us from going into the lab, then why weren't we waking up this morning in a hut in the middle of Uganda? Or perhaps in a cell in the middle of a Turkish prison? I was sure I was missing something important. So what was I overlooking?

I ducked my head and apologized. "Sam, you're right. I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I didn't even stop to think how rotten this is for you. I, umm, how about if I take a quick shower while you pick out a wardrobe for me? Then I'll tie your tie for you too."

He smiled and nodded his agreement. I hurried to take a shower while Sam picked out clothes for me. Clothes which I would have to wear, no matter how much it offended what little was left of my masculinity, or how much it set off my internal 'dad would freak out' meter. I ran the water and hopped into the shower.

I washed my hair with the Pantene Pro-V 'Daily Moisture Renewal' shampoo that I found in the shower caddy, even though the fragrance was another painful reminder of my involuntary transformation. And it felt really strange having hair so much longer than I had ever worn. My hair felt like it was thicker too. A lot thicker. Then I used the matching Pantene Pro-V conditioner, even though my every male instinct told me not to. Once I rinsed the conditioner out of my hair, I picked up the soap. My old Lifeguard soap was gone, replaced with a sweet-smelling 'body bar' of Tone soap. Yuck.

Showering my new female body was an exercise in self-control. And not just in controlling my humiliation. I couldn't escape a thorough exploration of every inch of my smooth feminine skin and shapely female form. My body was so astoundingly different than it had been just the day before! My body was so much softer. So much curvier.

I was used to a body that had planes and angles. I was used to a body that had hard muscles. I was used to a body with bulging biceps and powerful thighs. It was like I was touching a body that not only wasn't mine, but couldn't be mine. This body might have some strength in its muscles, but those muscles were so much smaller than what I remembered. This body had curves everywhere, from my soft shoulders down to my smooth calves.

This body had breasts. Oh my God, I had real female breasts. Well, I had already spotted that. But washing these babies and feeling their softness under the shower spray really drove home just how different my body had become. Just how different I had become. The old me would have been totally revved up at the thought of soaping up a nice, sexy pair of hooters like these. Okay, they were about the same size as Karrie's, so that put them somewhere around a B cup size. They weren't anywhere near the size of Melinda Jackson's boobs, even if Melinda had breast implants that you could feel when you were making out with her. But these were some very nice breasts, and I could make them get all tingly by rubbing them and soaping them and massaging them.

On the other hand, that was about all I was getting. I wasn't getting that pulsing need in my groin. I obviously wasn't going to be getting a boner with this body. But I wasn't all horny and hot to trot just from caressing these things. Maybe I was just too upset. Or maybe my sex drive had been adjusted downward, just like so many other things had been altered on this body. I wanted to shout some really vile curses at whoever had done this to me.

Without body hair it took no time to get myself wet, or to soap myself up, or to rinse myself off. But my skin was more sensitive than a man's skin. More delicate. I felt it more intensely as I soaped up my breasts and my tummy and my buns and my legs. To my hands it felt like I was soaping up a naked woman, and the thought certainly got my interest. To my body it felt like I was being caressed all over, and I could feel the sensuous sensations. But my body wasn't responding like a bitch in heat. No, I just felt kind of good and tingly. It was pretty nice, but it sure wasn't going to make my Top Ten list.

My nipples were sort of pearling up into harder nubs. Unfortunately, right then I had a sudden mental image of Sam walking into the bathroom and catching me playing with my new breasts and teasing my nipples into hard little 'fuck me' peaks. Oh God, I would die of shame if that happened! I was so embarrassed that I had a hard time bringing myself to do one more thing that women had to do. I knew from my former girlfriends that women needed to wash 'between their legs'. I had seen more than one girlfriend washing up in the shower with me, so I knew in principle just what to do. But still I didn't want to do that embarrassing reminder of my loss of masculinity.

I bent forward, my breasts bobbing forward to pop into my downward view, and I washed my new pussy. It felt shockingly real. Frighteningly real. I really had labia. I cringed as I encountered my clitoris.

"Jeez!" I couldn't help gasping out a shocked noise. I mean, I knew what the clit was for. I'd played with one before, you know. But feeling that sudden bizarre zing, almost like getting a mild electric shock there, was totally freaky. But that meant that I not only had the physical shape, but the working equipment too. I wondered miserably about that. Just how 'real' was I now? If 'they' - whoever they were - could re-shape my body, and re-grow nerves, and adjust anything about me that they wanted to, then what was to stop them from putting a working female reproductive tract inside me? I felt kind of queasy just imagining it.

I finally made myself complete the job. I put one finger into my new vagina and washed myself out there as well. The almost-fishy smell scared the hell out of me. It smelled so much like Karrie that I just cringed.

I choked in humiliation as I miserably wondered, "Oh Jesus! Just how real a woman am I now? What the hell did they do to me?" I was afraid that I was going to find out the answer to the first question long before I really wanted to know. Like in a couple weeks, if - or maybe when - I had a period.

I turned off the water and began drying off. The plush towels that now hung in the bathroom were much softer than my old towels, but still I found myself patting my skin dry. My skin was so much more sensitive than what I was used to. Rubbing even these fluffy towels over my skin felt uncomfortably abrasive. On the other hand, with no male hair on my frame, it took much less time to dry off than I was used to. I started to wrap my towel around my waist, and I realized that strategy wasn't of much use anymore – not when I had those pink-nippled breasts bulging out of my hairless chest.

I hung up the towel and slipped my robe back on. Then I stared at my reflection. What was I supposed to do with my wet hair? I opened the drawers under the bathroom counter, and my old 'guy' hair dryer was gone. In its place was a fancy styling dryer, a couple women's hairbrushes, a woman's comb, and a tray of assorted hairclips and barrettes. I stared in a mixture of disgust and worry. I really didn't have any idea how to use those things properly.

I figured I didn't have a choice. I started drying my hair, trying hard to remember how Adrian's old girlfriend Leah - the one before Karrie - had dried her long hair. I remembered to bend forward and dry my hair from the roots, but I knew I was going to be utterly hopeless at styling my new locks.

There was a soft tap at the door, and Sam murmured, "You doing okay in there?"

I took a deep breath to get up my courage, and I pulled the door open. "No, not really," I admitted. "Sam, I, umm, I need your help doing my hair. I'm doing okay drying it, but I have no idea how to style it. And I.. I guess I need you to show me."

I could see in his eyes that he had expected this problem. *** He showed me how to blow-dry my hair to the point that it was ready to be styled, and then he showed me how to set the dryer on low and use one of 'my' women's hairbrushes to style my hair into the simple hairdo we had both seen in my pictures. It wasn't all that hard once I knew what to do, and I got the hang of using that styling brush without too much trouble. But I never would have been able to do it without Sam there to guide me.

I figured that I could manage to get my hair done by myself for however long I was stuck as Adrienne. I refused to let myself fret about how long I might be stranded in this body, since there was nothing I could do about it yet, and I would just make myself as miserable as I had been earlier.

Thinking about Sam's guidance, I said, "You know what? I should show you how to shave your face before you hack yourself up again tomorrow. And I'll show you how to tie your tie until you get the knack. Other than that, you look like you have things pretty well under control."

Sam grimaced, "Yeah, but I sure could have used some encouragement when I showered this morning. I've never been with a guy as hairy as I am now, and, well, it was a real shock to find out how long it takes to wash all that hair. Not to mention dealing with what I have between my legs. How on earth did you manage to wash yourself down there now that you've got.. you know.. a pussy."

I winced in embarrassment. "It was pretty awful, but I've seen it done before. But feeling how real I am now, well it was pretty scary. And really embarrassing. I'm as real as any girl I – I mean Adrian – ever dated. I don't know what it would take to prove I wasn't born a female. Maybe a cytological exam, or a trip to the gynecologist."

Sam paused a second before murmuring uncomfortably, "Maybe even a trip to the gynecologist wouldn't do it. I, uhh, well.. I know a man who used to be a woman that I knew in high school, and he had a sex change, and I've seen what he has between his legs now, and it's not nearly as realistic as what I have down there. I mean, I'm not a virgin. What I have between my legs is the real thing! And my balls are really sensitive, like they're real too. What if we have real reproductive systems? What if we're real?"

The anxiety on his face made me feel sick inside. Sick and helpless and vulnerable. I suddenly wished I had someone to hold me and tell me it would be all right. I insisted, "We can't be really the sexes we appear to be. They can't have changed our chromosomes and everything else. That’s not technically feasible." But I didn't feel anywhere near as confident as I tried to sound.

I just stood there, feeling more uncertain and helpless than I had ever felt before. As if it wasn't bad enough that someone had done this horrible violation to my body, I didn't even know how to get ready for work anymore! Sam realized what my problem was, and he reached down to take me by the hand.

He murmured, "Ade, I can see you're going to need my help again. I know you're not going to like this, but I think you'd better start with moisturizer and some foundation."

I winced, but I didn't see that I had a lot of alternatives. I carefully applied the Estee Lauder 'Morning Moisturizing Treat' to my face, and it quickly soaked into my pores. Well, that wasn't as awful as I had feared. While it soaked in, I looked over an entire tray of Estee Lauder makeup sitting on the counter for me to use.

Then Sam showed me how to put my foundation on, lightly smearing it across my face toward my hairline and blending it into my jawline to look natural. After that, I needed a lot more help. Sam had to show me where to apply the blusher, just at and under the apples of my cheeks, and brushing it back toward my ears. Then he showed me how to use the pressed translucent powder and how to brush off the excess with a huge sable brush sitting in 'my' makeup tray.

He smiled at me, "There, that wasn't so awful, was it?" I blushed as I shook my head no. He took me by the shoulder and said, "Okay, let's get you dressed before you chicken out. Then we'll finish your makeup." Gross. Women's clothes, and then more makeup.

We walked into my bedroom, and I saw the assortment of clothes which Sam had picked out for me. Hot gorge rose up my throat, and I had to swallow hard to choke it down. The beige blouse with surplice neckline that I recalled from the photo in my living room, and a black cotton skirt to go with it. And sexy lingerie to go under it, including a lacy taupe bra and matching panties, along with sheer pantyhose. And black pumps with nearly-two-inch heels to match the skirt.

I felt so ashamed that I just wanted to die. I couldn't help blushing a bright red, but I knew I didn't really have a choice. All I could think to say was, "I'll never be able to walk in those heels! Couldn't you find anything else?"

Sam shrugged in a surprisingly masculine way and mumbled, "Sorry, but that's what you have to go with the skirt. You don't seem to have a lot of choice in flats you can wear to work."

He was nice enough to step out of the room while I dressed. I hung up the robe and despite my inner revulsion, got started. I stepped into the silky taupe panties. As I slid the satiny panties up my smooth legs, I couldn't help feeling a tingling from the soft material. I cringed in embarrassment, but I pulled them up about my hips. They cupped my female crotch in a humiliating way that constantly reminded me of my new status as a woman. They rode up high on my thighs, showing plenty of hip and making my legs look even longer.

Then I reluctantly slipped into the bra. I'd seen women put their bras on before.. and I'd helped them off with their bras as well. But I was filled with shame at the thought of having to wear one myself to hold up my own bobbling breasts. I slipped my arms through the straps and tried to get my breasts adjusted in the cups.

I ended up doing what I'd seen my old girlfriend do – leaning forward and adjusting the cups under my bulges. My boobs stood up in their cups like they wanted men to notice them. Gross! I couldn't stand the thought of having to bear the stares of men as they ogled my chest. But my boobs looked really good in that lacy bra.

Then I found out that putting on a bra was even harder than it looked. I couldn't get the back hooked. I tried and tried, but I just couldn't get all three hooks hooked at the same time. After half a dozen struggles, I managed to choke out a plea to Sam.

"Uhh, Sam? I, umm, I, oh hell, I can't get the damn thing hooked in back! Would you..."

He answered from the hall. "Would I hook you up? Well, okay. I'll just... Jesus!"

I blushed hotly as Sam stepped in and saw me in my new female body and nothing but panties and an unhooked bra. I quickly turned away from him, wincing in humiliation. I hadn't missed his wide-eyed stare or his flaring nostrils. His new male mentality was finding my female body mortifyingly attractive. I was so ashamed that I wanted to go hide in the closet. Or burst into tears. I ground my teeth and thought to myself, "Yeah, right. Those are two really manly choices. What the hell did those bastards do to you?"

Sam stepped up and fastened my bra for me. His hands slid over my shoulderblades and then over my shoulders as he adjusted the straps. I suddenly realized that his hands were lingering longer on my skin than they needed to. And that my skin was tingling at his touch.

I looked over my shoulder and gasped, "Sam!" He suddenly jerked his head up and realized what he was doing. He blushed beet red and yanked his hands away. I knew that he had been having male sexual urges for my body – and that he was terribly ashamed of himself for it. Well, he was in good company. I wasn't about to admit that his hands on my bare skin had been not only horribly humiliating, but also shockingly stimulating! I glanced away from his face, and saw to my horror the bulge in his crotch where his cock was struggling to become erect.

He gulped, "I, uhh, I think I'd better go back in the hallway..."

And I snapped, "Yes!" Then before I could chew him out, I was overwhelmed with my own shame. I whimpered, "Please, stop looking at me. It makes me feel so..."

He rushed out. It was a good thing, because if he had stayed to hear the end of that sentence, I might have burst into tears. That would have really embarrassed both of us. But what was I going to do if Sam was having hardons over my new shape? Was I going to have to fight him off, like a college girl out on a date, sitting in a parked car with a horny frat man?

I knew what I needed to put on next. The pantyhose, and then the heels. Yuck! But I had a pretty good idea how to put on pantyhose. I had seen it done enough times, especially by my old girlfriend. I sat on the bed, trying to ignore how my panties slid under my now-female bottom. I wadded the pantyhose up on my fingers and slid one dainty foot into the hosiery. I slid it up my leg to my thigh, trying to ignore the feathery tingling. Then I repeated the process on my other leg. I stood up and tugged the pantyhose up my hips before tugging out a couple wrinkles and adjusting the waistband about my tummy.

I looked down in disgust. My legs looked great in those sheer nylons. Smooth and shapely and glossy. The kind of legs a man can't help but follow. And I was stuck with them. I remembered what great legs the women in my family had, and I gritted my teeth in anger. I did not want to be one of the lovely Holmes women. I did not want to look as pretty as my mother and my sister and my aunt. And I knew I didn't have a lot of choice in the matter.

Sam talked through the door, calling me back from my silent misery. "Come on, Ade. And don't get completely dressed. Leave off the blouse and skirt until I put your makeup on you, so you won't get anything on your clothes. Believe me, dry cleaning is too expensive to let that happen."

I sighed and stepped into the high heels. The shoes weren't brand new, and they fit me as though I had been wearing them for a long time. I expected to feel awkward and uncoordinated in heels, but I just felt ashamed. I felt like a fairy for putting on these horrid clothes while trapped in this lovely form. And I felt even worse as I realized that my body was somehow already used to wearing heels.

I had thought that I would be clumsy in those heels. I could feel how my feet were situated in a way that was new and different. My weight was shifted toward the balls of my feet, as my arches tilted up and over the shaped insoles, until my heels rested distinctly higher than my toes. But my body wasn't as bothered as my mind was. In fact, I adapted disgustingly quickly to those heels. It was as though my body had been wearing them for years.

I found that if I didn't think about walking in those heels, my body managed just fine. I could easily saunter over, pick up my robe, and slip it on over my degrading lingerie. And I could walk to the door as though I had been wearing heels for a long time. But I couldn't keep my body from bouncing and wiggling like it was really female.

My breasts bobbled and jiggled with my every step, not to mention rising and falling seductively as I breathed. My hips sashayed from side to side. My body swiveled at my waist instead of the way it used to. And I could feel my buns wiggling alluringly as I walked. I could feel my body sliding about inside that silky robe, and I cringed as I thought about Sam's reaction when he saw me.

I was so ashamed of my walk that I felt like bursting into tears – which sure didn't make me feel any manlier. Not for the first time, I wondered miserably what 'they' had done to me. I opened the door and walked into the bathroom where Sam was awaiting me. I was glad that my robe covered my humiliatingly feminine shape from Sam's hungry eyes, although his look told me that he still found my appearance frightfully sexy.

He managed to tear his eyes away from my breasts for long enough to tell me, "Okay Ade, we need to put your makeup on you and then I'll let you get dressed. You seem to have gotten the hang of walking in your pumps..."

I grimaced, "Yeah, I can't help it. My body acts like I've been wearing high heels for years! I feel like a damned queer!"

He gently smiled, "Then maybe you can put on your makeup too, if you don't think about it too much."

I balked at putting on more makeup. But there it was, sitting out on my bathroom counter waiting for me. I finally put it all on, even though I felt utterly ashamed as I did it. And I really needed Sam's guidance. My hands seemed to have the dexterity and skill to apply everything effectively, but I just didn't know how to do what my hands were ready for. I wondered how on earth 'they' could have taught my body how to act like a girl, when they hadn't changed my memories or my thoughts.

But with Sam's expert help, and a lot of looks at the photo Sam had brought from my shelves so I could see how Adrienne was supposed to look, I got everything applied. A soft brown eyebrow pencil to better define my eyebrows, taupe and cocoa eyeshadows to make my eyes look even bigger and sexier, dark brown mascara to make my eyelashes look longer and thicker, an eyelash curler to make my lashes look even sexier, and a rose lipstick to define my soft lips and make my mouth look shiny and luscious.

When I was all done, I was too ashamed to admire my looks. I felt deeply humiliated to be so feminine and pretty, when I knew I was really a man.. deep inside, where it no longer showed. But there in the mirror was a sexy brunette with gorgeous brown eyes and perfect skin and soft, kissable lips. I just cringed in shame. How could I face anyone looking like this? How could I even face Sam?

But facing Sam wasn't a problem – at least, not that way. Sam was staring at my face with a hungry look that told me I had better not look at his crotch if I wanted to avoid another painful reminder of how attractive he was finding me. Sam wasn't disgusted by my appearance. Not at all. I hurried out of the bathroom before I found out exactly what he was thinking.

Back in my bedroom, I reluctantly put on the rest of my clothes. Putting on a blouse and skirt was embarrassing, but it beat walking around in just a female body and sexy lingerie. I slipped on the blouse and buttoned it up. I had a little trouble with the buttons behind the placket, since they were on the wrong side from what I was used to. But once I was done, I could see that the blouse fit me really well. The surplice neckline elegantly showed off my assets, giving a sexy hint of my cleavage without appearing trashy.

I stepped into the black cotton skirt. I managed it without any trouble, since I didn't think about lifting up my feet and balancing in those heels. I just did it without thinking about it, and succeeded. But I wasn't sure how far to tuck the blouse into the skirt. I settled for tucking the blouse all the way in and zipping the skirt closed, before giving the front of the blouse a little tug upward. I put on the matching belt and buckled it. Was I all dressed? I decided to pass on any jewelry. I stepped in front of the full-length mirror and stared at myself.

I tried not to cringe at my pretty, feminine reflection. I was an attractive woman ready to go into work. Or at least I looked like a woman ready to go to work. Inside I was anything but ready. I looked like a babe, and I knew how sexy my lingerie was. I felt like the biggest drag queen on the planet. I felt so ashamed that I just wished I could vanish off the face of the earth. I felt like I would die of humiliation as soon as we got into work and everyone began laughing at me. Or cursing at me, telling me what a revolting faggot I was.

I started walking in heels and a straight skirt. The skirt constrained my steps if I took too large a step. I was totally unprepared for that. But my body didn't seem to mind. It adjusted frighteningly quickly. So it took me no time at all to master moving in my outfit – except that every dainty step made my hips roll and my ass wiggle and my boobs jiggle. I felt horribly embarrassed at my sexy female walk. Sam tried not to ogle me, but he obviously found my walk femininely erotic. I winced inwardly as I imagined the horrible things he had to be thinking about me.

Finally he spoke. "Jesus, do you look good when you walk in that tight skirt! I wonder how they made us learn how to walk and stuff. Because you walk like you've been wearing skirts and heels all your life. And I found out early this morning that I walk like a guy. I can't help it. It's awful! I feel like a dyke every time I walk across a room."

I ignored his line about my walk, and I consoled him, "Don't worry about it. That's not nearly as bad as my walk. I can't even keep my tushie from wiggling every time I take a step, and my hips just roll whether I want them to or not! Christ, I feel like I'm doing a bump-and-grind every time I try to walk anywhere."

He yanked his eyes off my rump and told me, "Don't worry about it. You look really natural. No one is going to tumble to you. But you will have to put up with guys staring at your can."

I looked him in the eye and snapped, "Yeah, I've already noticed that." He had the grace to blush.

We discussed the fact that we had supposedly been dating for months. Sam told me about finding a snapshot of 'him' with a cute brunette, and how he had been surprised when he saw me and realized who his date was. But not too surprised – he had found on his kitchen table a note from 'Adrienne' thanking him for 'a lovely dinner'.

He glanced away and added, "Well, at least this makes things easier for both of us. We don't have to worry about finding out that we're supposed to be having a hot and heavy affair with someone we don't know. God, I'd just die if I had to act like I was in love with another woman... I mean, with a woman. My body might be willing, but..."

I finished for him, "But you'd feel like a queer. I know. The thought of having some guy pawing me and trying to stick his meat in my.. my slit... Uggh!" I couldn't keep from shuddering in revulsion.

He pointed out, "Well, look at the bright side. None of your clothes are lying around at my place, and there don't seem to be any of 'my' clothes in your closet. So, whoever is doing this to us isn't trying to make things look like our relationship has, umm, progressed much farther than dinners."

I cringed at the thought. I grumbled, "Thank God. All I need is to go to work and have people treat me like I'm a slut, and have guys trying to pick me up and stuff. Yuck! For Pete's sake, let's get going before I lose my nerve and chicken out, like you said. Let me get your tie..."

I had a little trouble tying his tie correctly. I was only planning a simple overhand knot, but doing it from the wrong side of the body was confusing. I'd never tied someone else's tie before. I tried to concentrate on the tie, rather than the circumstances. I didn't want to think about the fact that I was nicely dressed in a blouse and skirt and heels, with my hair styled and my face made up, and almost touching a large muscular man as I tied his tie for him.

I could feel Sam staring down at me, and his eyes seemed to be burning my face where his glance touched me. He seemed to be feeling the humiliating intimacy at least as much as I did. But then he had already gotten a hardon from helping me with my bra, so he had to be pretty aroused to start with. I couldn't bear to look down and see whether his rod was straining forward as it tried to tear its way out of his pants.

But the intimacy was finally too much for him. I gasped as his arms slid down mine, tingling on my skin as they went, until his hands took my small waist and pulled me against his hard body. I couldn't believe that he was doing what he appeared to be doing. My arms were virtually trapped between our chests, his tie still in my hands. My breasts were pressed against his chest in an unbearably intimate way. I looked up at him as I opened my mouth to give him a sharp retort. But I froze when I saw his face moving down toward mine. The hunger in his eyes was so blatant that I thought I could feel it.

I saw his lips coming, and I knew I had to pull away. I told myself to pull back. My body didn't pay any attention to me. He kissed me soundly. His mouth was slightly open, so I couldn't miss the heat and moisture of his kiss. I should have drawn back and slapped him. Or something. But I didn't know what to do. And once my body felt the tingling warmth of his kiss, it didn't seem interested in doing anything to stop him.

My muscles stopped obeying me, and my hands just sort of clung to his tie virtually begging him to kiss me deeper. He obliged. He licked my shiny lips until I felt like I was melting inside. It felt like the blood in my veins was heating to the boiling point. The heat was astonishing. Debilitating. Mind-numbing. I tried to remember what it was that I needed to do, but I could no longer concentrate.

He turned his face so that his lips slanted across mine, and he slid his tongue along the seam of my lips until I groaned defenselessly from the shocking pleasure. His tongue slid deeper into my mouth, caressing my gums and inner lips, tantalizing my tissues until I couldn't control the need I felt. I helplessly parted my lips and teeth even farther for him, and he quickly slid his thick taster all the way into my mouth.

I was being kissed by a man. He was thrusting his slippery tongue into my mouth. He was pressing his shaven face against my smooth one until I could feel the rasp of his face. I should have been horribly repulsed. But my body wasn't repulsed at all. He hungrily tongued my mouth until my knees grew weak and my jaws opened even farther to allow him easier access to my mouth. My body strained forward to help his onslaught. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was horrified, but my body clung to him hungrily and let him possess my mouth while I felt faint with the surprisingly intense pleasure. Somewhere in the back of my mind I noticed that his hard cock was pressing fiercely against my tummy, but all I felt was an arousal that wanted to keep increasing until I was as ready as he was.

I didn't know what was happening to me, but my blood felt like it was turning to steam. I felt like I was melting in his arms. I felt like my bones were dissolving and only his strength was keeping me upright. All my resistance evaporated. I just let him seduce me, as though I were really the pretty brunette woman I appeared to be. I stopped analyzing my situation. I stopped thinking altogether. I just closed my eyes and gave myself over to the astonishing ecstasy that was roaring through my ears and pulsing through my veins and smoldering through my tummy.

I didn't think about stopping him or even keeping him from going much farther. I didn't think about what he had to be wanting to do to me. Fortunately, Sam wasn't as far gone as I was. I felt him withdraw before he slowly slid his tongue back out of my mouth. He reluctantly broke our clench, even though I wasn't sure I could stand without support. We just stared at each other for long seconds.

I slowly realized that my mouth was still open and I was panting hotly. My nipples felt taut and needy. My breasts were full and achy for something I couldn't describe. I felt heated to the boiling point, and the smoldering warmth in my tummy was tying my guts into knots. The pulsing heat between my legs was making it hard to stand upright.

Then my mind shifted out of neutral and I realized what had happened. I burst into tears. I couldn't help it. I didn't want to cry, and I certainly didn't want to cry in front of Sam. But I just felt so ashamed, not only of my feminine appearance, but of what I had just done. And of what I had been feeling. And of the sickening things that I would have let Sam do to me if he hadn't stopped. I put my arms around his chest and bawled like a little girl.

He tenderly held me in his strong arms while I blubbered, "I'm so sorry! I don't know what happened to me! I don't want to be attracted to guys! Please, don't be mad at me. I didn't mean to!"

He kissed my hair and uncomfortably replied, "Ade, I know exactly what you're going through. I know just what you're feeling, because I don't want to be attracted to women. You know how much crap I've had to take about looking like a lez. But I am, without a doubt, attracted to women. I, uhh.. it seems that I now subscribe to Playboy. And there was one open in my living room. And the naked brunette lying there made me.. well, hot. Just humiliatingly horny. I never understood why guys like looking at naked women, but I guess now I do. But it sure has been murder on my libido already. And seeing you like that... I just lost control."

He had lost control? I murmured miserably, "Hunh! You're the one who had enough control to stop. I didn't do a thing to stop you. I, uhh.. I'm really afraid that I wouldn't have done anything to stop you no matter how far you went."

I couldn't admit to him how steamy I still felt. I was literally steamy. I could feel the moist heat between my legs, and the boiling heat in my veins, and the smoldering warmth still in my tummy. I was practically on fire. For a man. I felt so ashamed that I could have died. I had let a man kiss me and seduce me, and I was so turned on by it that my slit was already wet for him.

I desperately told myself, "It's not true. It's not true! It's not like you let a man make love to you. You're just upset and scared, and you let Sam kiss you! Sam's your old friend, and she's female! So get a grip on yourself!" I had to believe that I hadn't let a man seduce me, because alternately...

Because the alternative was too frightening and too repulsive to consider.

Sam led me back to the bathroom, and I cringed when I saw myself in the mirror. I looked like a sexy brunette who had been making out with her man. My eyes looked kind of starry despite their tears, and my lips looked swollen with passion. My lipstick was smeared, and my foundation was smudged all around my mouth. My mascara had run slightly where I had been crying. I tried to put a light note in my voice as I said, "Well, I guess I need to fix my face." The look on Sam's face told me that I wasn't fooling anyone.

Sam gave me helpful hints when I needed them, so it wasn't too awful. I had to re-do my foundation around my mouth, and clean up my mascara before re-applying it to my long eyelashes. Then I pressed new translucent powder to my face and brushed it off, making sure not to get any on my blouse. Finally, I touched up my lipstick. And I was ready to go to work. Or at least I looked like I was ready to go to work. Inside, I was quivering like a coward.

But I couldn't bring myself to admit that to Sam. Instead, I looked up at him and said, "God I hate this. Why do I have to learn how to put makeup on my face? I feel like a fruit."

He smiled weakly, "Look Ade, I know you don't like it, but you have to learn how to fix your makeup yourself, at least until we figure out how to repair whatever they did to us. I mean, what happens after lunch when you have to touch up your lipstick?" Oh God, I hadn't thought of that!

I swallowed hard at the thought. I knew I would never have remembered to do that without Sam's suggestion. How many other things would I have to learn? How many other things would I have to be able to remember as though they were natural? Things that every woman knew to do, and that every woman knew how to do. How could I even get away with something as simple as going to 'my' gym for jazzercise? Especially when I didn't even know what the hell jazzercise was or how to do it. Heck, I could hardly dry my hair by myself, or put on makeup!

I snapped out of my anxious musing when Sam said, "Let me just call home and check my messages. I'm really hoping Charlie has called."

I was hoping too. I knew I would feel more comfortable if my support group were larger than just Sam. Especially since I had just made a fool of myself with him. But what if Charlie were in on this plot? Or what if he had been brainwashed like my neighbors and had no recollection that I wasn't supposed to be female? Alternately...

It suddenly occurred to me that Charlie might be sickeningly transformed, just like we had been. He might be of absolutely no help. He might be a bigger basketcase than Sam and me combined. Or alternately, he might... Oh Jesus! It suddenly hit me. He was undoubtedly transformed into the flaming faggot in my photographs! What help would Charlie be to us if 'they' had done that to him? He'd be in even worse shape than me!

Sam called his house and triggered his answering machine. I stood close and heard his answering machine message – in his new masculine voice, of course – telling the world that they had reached the home of Sam Willis and he couldn't come to the phone but would they leave a message. There were two beeps, and then a message. Sam blanched when he heard the message.

I couldn't blame him. I felt sick to my stomach just listening to it. The message was from Amos the Anus. Amos was bellowing, "Willis, what the hell is wrong with you? You're late! And neither of your people has shown up. I don't care if you're screwing that little brunette, but your faggot friend isn't here either! You have work to do, and I've got the DoD breathing down my neck! I want you in here as soon as possible!"

We just stared at each other. The shock I saw in his eyes had to be mirrored in my own. We both knew that everyone we knew had to be in on this bizarre plot against us, with the possible exception of Charlie. And anyone who wasn't in on the plot must have had their memories altered. Somehow. Although I still didn't see how that was scientifically possible. But alternately...

We went to work, although I needed a little more time than usual to get down the stairs in my mid-height heels and straight skirt. Even trying to let my body operate on autopilot didn't help quite enough when I had to step down the stairs. The heels made me stretch my ankles in a way that was completely alien to what I remembered, and the skirt kept constricting my thighs every time I took a step the slightest bit too long. Sam gave me his arm, and I took it. I felt terribly embarrassed doing it, but I needed his support – in more than one sense of the word.

We walked down the sidewalk to the parking lot, my heels clicking sexily under me. I had always loved that sound. The sound of a sexy woman coming to see me. But now I was the pretty babe in the heels. I felt sick just thinking about it. I looked around and didn't see Sam's old Ford. I did see my Honda, and it looked untouched.

Sam led me to a hot red Mazda. I stared at it in surprise. When I looked up at Sam, he blushed a little. He muttered, "Yeah, I had a hard time finding my car this morning until I remembered the Mazda in the background of one of my photos in my living room. I guess I'm supposed to have put my money into a jazzier car instead of getting the nicest apartment in the complex." Which was exactly the opposite of what Samantha had done, and both Sam and I recalled it. Apparently, no one else did.

He unlocked the passenger door for me, and I froze before I climbed into the car. If I had had that much trouble walking down the stairs, there was no way I could swing my legs into the seat of a car like Adrian had always done. Damn, what had my dates done when they were dressed the way I was? Oh yeah.

I sat into the seat butt first, sliding my skirted behind across the leather seat and keeping my legs together. I told myself sternly, "Keep those knees together! All you need is to get some Peeping Tom hot for your twat." I managed to swing my long legs in reasonably gracefully, even if I had a little trouble getting my feet past the edge of the doorframe.

I buckled my seat belt and Sam said admiringly, "Impressive. That was nicely done, Ade. I saw you thinking it over, but I didn't know if you'd be able to do it smoothly enough. Or if you'd be able to stomach it once you realized what you'd have to do. I know how hard this is for you, and I just want you to know I'm proud of you." I felt all choked up at that, and I couldn't say anything in reply.

As he drove off, he said uncomfortably, "Ade, if we ever get back to normal, I'm giving you fair warning that Samantha is gonna make a play for Adrian. I was an idiot not to try before, but it seemed so unprofessional. And I didn't want to jeopardize our friendship. I kept telling myself that I wanted a guy who was my size. Or bigger. Someone who would make me feel smaller by comparison, instead of feeling like I was a big ugly moose. But you were the only guy who treated me like I was female and also a colleague. The other guys treated me like I was sexless, or just another cunt, or a ball-busting dyke. So if we ever get our old bodies back, I'm going to be asking you out to dinner. At a minimum. Right now I feel so horny that I think Samantha is going to be spreading her legs for you on your first date. She may not even wait until dinner's over."

I swallowed hard as I thought over all the implications of Sam's words. Sam was telling me that she had wanted to have a relationship with Adrian for some time, and her short life as a man was making her feelings a lot harder to ignore. I could understand that. A lot. As Adrian I hadn't found Samantha physically attractive, but as Adrienne I had to admit that Sam was a real hunk.

I murmured awkwardly, "Sam, if we can't get our old bodies back, we'll need each other even more. We won't have anyone else that we can talk to about this, or even trust anymore. We're going to have to be a support group of two – or three, if Charlie isn't in this against us as well. And we'll have to teach each other all the things we need to know. Like how to shave and tie your tie, or how I'm supposed to put on makeup."

Sam nodded, "Yeah, or how to shoot a rifle. Samantha's dad never took her hunting with him, but now I have his old Winchester in a gunrack at my place, and I have a picture of dad and me, well I mean Sam, as a teenager, standing over a dead buck. And I think Sam still hunts and stuff."

I murmured unhappily, "Yeah, that and a lot of other things. You're walking like a guy, but do you know how to do guy-talk? Do you know how to power-lunch and fight for turf? Do you know what to do when you're in the locker room of your gym surrounded by naked men? Because I sure don't know what I'm gonna do if I have to go work out at Adrienne's gym and shower with a roomful of naked women. Jesus, Adrian would have given his eyeteeth for that, and now I'm scared to death that I'll do something stupid and tip everyone off that my inside doesn't match my outside."

Sam agreed, "Yeah, there's a lot of stuff that we're going to have to teach each other, as long as we're stuck this way. You're gonna have to teach me how to keep my hands off women. I sure failed abysmally with you this morning, and I'm damned if I'm gonna act like Creepy Carter and go around groping women when they're not looking."

That was something else I didn't want to think about. 'Creepy' Carter was Donald J. Carter, a pig over in Defense Department Research who had the manners of a Neanderthal. I would have to start watching out for grabby jerks like Carter, and condescending assholes like snotty Eldon 'The Old Professor' Phillips, who treated every woman scientist in the whole lab as if she had the brains of a turnip. Great. I ended our conversation by turning to look out the right-hand window of Sam's car. Sensing my mood, Sam let me have some quiet.

I studied the sidewalks as Sam drove us in to work. It took me a few minutes before I realized what was wrong. What was wrong was inside my head. My eyes no longer tracked pretty women along the street, except to check out their taste in clothing or their children! I was no longer staring at passing women's butts and boobs and legs. Instead, my eyes were zeroing in on men's buns and their rugged faces. And even worse, I was mentally comparing them to Sam's!

The first time it happened I thought I would upchuck right in Sam's car, but it kept happening. I couldn't stop it from happening. I had to face the fact that I was no longer physically attracted to pretty women. I wretchedly recalled that the gorgeous, overly made-up model on the cover of 'my' latest issue of Cosmo sure hadn't done anything for my libido. Certainly not like staring at Sam's buns had. And definitely not like Sam's kiss on my shiny, rose-colored lips.

What was I going to do if I were really trapped in the body of a heterosexual woman? One who had supposedly been dating Sam for months? One who was apparently quite willing to let Sam kiss her silly, and who wouldn't have stopped him that morning if he had undressed her and taken her to bed? I thought I would die of shame at a sudden revolting mental image of Sam laying on my writhing female body and screwing my brunette brains out, his erection pumping in and out of my steamy snatch, while I dug my fingernails in his back and shrieked passionately. But if I couldn't get back to Adrian, that might very well happen – and a hell of a lot sooner than I wanted!

We had very little to say to each other the rest of the way into the lab. We were both lost in our own miserable worlds. I was stewing over being trapped in Adrienne's pretty form, while Sam was almost certainly worrying over the same thing, only in reverse. And we were both worrying about our sudden physical attraction to one another. I was also sweating out the possibility that our masquerade wouldn't hold up once we entered the lab.

I was almost trembling as we walked up to the building entrance. My limbs were shaking enough that I was afraid I would stumble in my heels. I could see that the guards were the same guards that had been saying 'hi' to me – to Adrian – every morning for months and months. But the guards acted like nothing was wrong. We sailed through lab security as though we had always been Samuel Willis and Adrienne Holmes.

But the guards didn't say 'hi' to me. They said "Hello, Sam." And they both gave me that smug male hey-there-good-lookin' smile.

We walked on. Sam leaned over to me and whispered, "They never say hi to me!"

I sadly realized that as far as those two guards were concerned, I really was female and Sam was really male. What the heck had happened here?

We walked on. Hardly anything in the building had changed.. except the two of us. And everyone else's memories of us. Sure, there were lots of little cosmetic differences I noticed, like the potted plants in the entryway were different now, and the entryway was painted a different shade of blue, and some of the pictures lining the hallways had changed. I couldn’t figure out that one. But everyone treated us as though we were really Sam and Adrienne. People stopped to talk to us in the halls, and I gradually realized that Adrienne had more friends as a woman than Adrian had as a man. How humiliating! I hadn't had that many chums at the lab, but Adrienne seemed to be on speaking terms with every other woman on site. Even the secretaries.

Several of my women friends noticed that I was late getting in, and that I was with that studly hunk Sam Willis. And they drew their own conclusions. I got a couple subtly raised eyebrows, and one pleased smile and one subtle smirk. At least women didn't say things in public like, "Hey stud, I see you scored with Willis last night. Way to go!" I think I would have died of embarrassment if that had happened. The looks I was getting were awful enough.

Samuel seemed to have more friends than Samantha had, and I could tell it was bothering him a lot. Some of the men who spoke to him looked me over speculatively, and I cringed inwardly at the thought that these guys were all assuming that Sam had been too busy screwing me to get to work on time. Gross. Just what I wanted, to be thought 'easy' by a bunch of men I had to work with. And the guys weren't nearly as subtle as the women were. Not even close.

Dorothy Manion came around the corner. I knew who she was, but I never talked with her. At least the old me hadn't. Her face lit up when she saw us, and she walked right over. She put her hand on my arm and beamed. "Oh Adrienne, you're just the person I was looking for. Would you please bring your marvelous cherry crumb cake to the potluck again? And please, could you bring half a dozen copies of the recipe? Everyone's still raving about it."

I did my best to put a sincere smile on my face, and I tried to make girltalk. "I'd be happy to. And I don't mind sharing the recipe. I'm just glad everyone liked it."

Dorothy grinned that my cake was too delicious not to like, and I did my best to sound gracious. Even though I felt shaken. I mean, that cherry crumb cake had to be my mother's recipe! Jesus! Was I now supposed to be cooking like my mother and using her recipes that I liked best?

Dorothy walked off, and Sam looked a question at me. I whispered, "I found out about the potlucks in my day-timer. But Sam, that recipe is my mom's!"

He looked shocked. I didn't know whether it was from finding out that I now had a day-timer like every other female scientist at the lab, or because I had accidentally called it mine, or because I now was supposed to be fluent in my mother's cooking recipes. We continued the long walk through the corridors to our laboratory. The walk had never seemed so long before.

Sam murmured out of the corner of his mouth, “They moved a bunch of the portraits. Didn’t they?”

I whispered carefully, “I think they changed some of them, because I’ve seen a couple that I’m sure weren’t on any wall in the building before.”

“But why?” Sam was asking the very question I was asking myself. What was the point of changing the pictures on the walls? And why wasn’t anyone else noticing the changes?

Then Brad Winslow saw us and called out to Sam. I cringed. Brad swaggered up to us, smirking at the sight of Sam coming to work late with his cute co-worker. I knew exactly what Brad had to be thinking, because sex was all that Brad ever thought about. He was one of those guys who thought he was God's gift to women, even though 99.99% of all women who actually knew him wanted to barf at the mere idea of dating him.

He leered at me, and I glared back. He smirked, "Hey Sam, you old dog, you told me nothing was going on between you two, and here you are coming in late to work with the cutest physicist in the whole damn lab!"

Sam must have known what Brad was going to say, because he smoothly lied, "No, it's nothing like that. Adrienne had auto trouble this morning, and I tried to get it started for her. But no luck. We waited until the tow truck took it, and then I drove her in to work." I silently sighed in relief, and I made a mental note to thank Sam in private for the lie.

Brad looked at me with a condescending look that plainly said "Yeah, even girls in physics can't do something simple like fix a car, that's guy stuff." Then he asked, "So Sam, you still planning on going elk-hunting with us next weekend?"

Sam said, "Sure. Wouldn't miss it." Brad walked off. When Sam saw the surprised look in my eyes, he quietly reminded me, "I have that rifle rack in my apartment now. Remember? I'll just have to learn enough gun safety between now and then that I don't shoot any of them. Although I wouldn't mind putting some buckshot in Brad's behind..."

I giggled at that, and I thanked him for protecting my reputation. I made a mental note to brief Sam on guy talk and what to expect when he was off camping with a bunch of macho men. We were still smiling together when we reached our lab. It was just where we left it - which wasn't something I had been all that confident about. But the nameplates on the wall to the left of the door had been changed. The top plate still had our division on it. But the second plate - the plate for the principal investigator - now read "Samuel H. Willis, P.I." and the second plate had my name. My new female name. The third plate still had Charlie's name on it, as before, but now there was something new. It had been defaced with magic marker and cleaned afterward. But whoever had cleaned it hadn't been able to get all the black magic marker off. If you looked really hard, you could still tell that someone had written on it, and you could guess that the word written over Charlie's nameplate was 'FAGGOT' in all caps.

The door was locked, as usual, but Sam's key still worked. We walked into our lab, which I no longer ran. It was now Sam's lab. I tried to ignore the little voice which was pointing out that perhaps the whole point of changing me to a woman and Sam to a man was to set things up so that Sam would be running our project instead of me. I really didn't want to think that Sam could be involved in this, in any way.

There was Charlie, waiting for us – or rather, waiting for Samantha and Adrian. He stared at us in surprise and embarrassment, not recognizing us at all. And he was dressed like a fruit. The Charlie I remembered wouldn't have been caught dead in that bright pink shirt, or those tight pants. No wonder he was practically quivering with humiliation. The Charlie I remembered had carried too much of a pot belly to wear those small sizes anyway. But this Charlie was trim and tan and buffed, and he was wearing one of the short hairstyles that was currently popular in the California gay community.

It looked like he had been crying. Since he didn't recognize us, we had to try to explain that overnight we had been turned into Samuel and Adrienne, but we didn't know how. It was a hard sell, even though we knew things that no one else would know about Charlie.

But his own transformation was eventually enough to convince him that what we said was true. He wept, "Th-they did something to me too. Something awful! I don't know how I can stand it! Oh God, just look at me! I'm a frigging queer! What did I ever do to deserve this?"

He covered his face with his hands and began to cry miserably. He sobbed out his story to us. He had awakened in someone else's bed. But, instead of the waitress he had been dating, he was in bed with a male chef. Poor Charlie had been horrified, but the chef had been revoltingly amorous. Charlie had been horrified, but when the man kissed Charlie, poor Charlie found that his body responded! Charlie could barely choke out enough information for us to guess that he had been screwed up the ass by his male lover, and to make matters even more mortifying, he had experienced a horribly humiliating orgasm as a result.

Charlie sobbed as he told us that he had been turned into a homosexual somehow, and he didn't know what to do about it. We sympathized with him instead of abusing him, so he became a little more expansive. He sobbed that he didn't know how he could live with himself, even though he had engaged in great sex that morning. Especially since he had engaged in great sex that morning.. with another man. But when he went home that morning, all his old clothes were gone. He found that he had nothing to wear but a shameful collection of 'faggot clothes' that he was bitterly ashamed to have to wear.

Sam thought for a minute and then quietly asked if it had hurt a lot when Charlie had been humped. Charlie turned beet red and wept out an embarrassed 'no'. Sam then gently pointed out what that meant. That Charlie's body had been subjected to that kind of treatment for a long time in order for his anus to be that stretched and ready at the drop of a hat. I thought for a moment that Charlie would faint.

I felt sick to my stomach as I thought about the horrors Charlie had endured and might have to continue enduring, and what awful things might be awaiting me if I had to remain a woman for the rest of my life. We explained that we had awakened with our old memories too, but our bodies were astonishingly altered.

Charlie was inadvertently checking out Sam's body, and when he realized what he was doing, he began to cry again. He wept miserably, "Why did they do this to me? What did I ever do to anyone? I wish I was dead!"

Sam insisted, "We have to check over everything and find out why someone did this to us. There has to be a clue around here somewhere. So start looking!"

We looked feverishly. None of us wanted to be stuck as we were for a second longer than necessary. We checked our computers and our records and our equipment, and none of our experimental work appeared to have been touched. Just our personal property in the room. Charlie's pin-up calendar background on his computer was now a Playgirl pin-up of a muscular lifeguard. My stash of candy bars was gone from my desk drawer, replaced with a package of ricecakes. And a spare pair of pantyhose was balled up in the same drawer too, along with a small plastic pouch holding two tampons and a pad. Sam's Boynton animals calendar on the wall was gone, replaced with a calendar with artistic pictures of the great outdoors. I was pretty sure that the picture for this month was by Ansel Adams. At least, whoever was doing this to us had good taste.

All our computers said that it was the day after our test, but none of us really believed that. I insisted that we had to find out how long we had been held unconscious and 'treated', so we each checked an electronic time source.

I checked with an old college friend now working at NIST in Washington D.C. He remembered me as Adrienne, which really made me wonder whether he was part of the plot or just one more victim. He sent me a coded time-pulse from the NIST atomic clock. I knew that the NIST time pulses couldn't be tampered with. But it said that we were at exactly the date and time we thought it was. That was impossible, wasn't it? All the things that had changed couldn't have been changed in one night, could they? That was impossible! But alternately...

Charlie and Sam stepped over to talk to me. They had gotten results identical to mine. Charlie had checked an international time signal from Greenwich England, and Sam had checked a secure time server on the Internet that was used to synchronize thousands of computers across the globe. But no one could tamper with all those clocks! No one could tamper with any of those clocks!

But alternately... How could this have been done to us – and everyone we knew – overnight? Even if someone had a magic spell to switch brains from one body to another, that didn't explain how anyone had done what had happened to Charlie. Or how the memories of the people around us had been altered.

Charlie eerily reflected my own thoughts. "Christ, it's almost enough to make you believe in magic. Anyone piss off Endora lately?" Sam laughed a little, but I was too upset to laugh at a reference to an old television show.

I quoted Clarke's Law at him. "Remember what Arthur C. Clarke said. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Sam added, "Yeah, but who's got this kind of technology? Are Vulcans from the future screwing around with us?"

Charlie sniped, "Maybe it's Q. He mistook Ade for Captain Picard and fixed our asses."

They grumbled about various absurd possibilities. But none of the possible alternatives made any sense. We couldn't all be insane and yet have exactly the same delusion. We weren't asleep. Anyone – or any secret agency, or any extraterrestrial power, or any kind of magic-wielder, or any time travelers from the future – with the ability to do what had been done to us could have changed our memories just as easily as they changed other people's. But they hadn't. And on top of that there was no reason to do such a thing to us!

And then, to make matters worse, our boss came by to hassle us about our project. Anus Leaking stood there jawing with Sam about our progress, and Sam was clearly unwilling to let Amos know that we had already run our first test. And the old pig kept ogling me whenever he thought I wasn't looking, as though I really were a cute woman. The dirty old man. I knew he would never act that way unless he truly believed I was female. Which meant that his memories of us had been altered too.

He angrily urged us to get to work and get that prototype finished and tested. Sam nodded and said we'd start as soon as he left us in peace, and so Amos the Anus left. It was obvious to me that he was blustering because he already knew he wouldn't be able to bully Sam. So that meant that he really believed Sam was a large, virile man. And that he thought he had memories of him failing to bully Sam in the past. I worried about that. How had anyone – or anything – changed all those memories?

After Amos the Anus left, Sam shut and locked the door. We had a hurried conference, trying to make as little noise as possible. Charlie whispered, "We already tested the prototype. Last night!"

Sam added, "But no one except us knows that."

I nervously asked, "Does that have anything to do with our transformations?"

Sam said, "Let's find out. Start checking the entire apparatus, from top to bottom."

We did. We looked over the whole system, and found it exactly as we had left it. Well, my end of it was exactly as I had left it. Charlie wasn't all that sure. He thought that one of his circuit boards might have been touched. But he wasn't sure, since the change was so minor and so trivial. A small arrangement of transistors was set as the mirror image of the way he remembered it, which wouldn't affect the system output any. It was just a matter of, well, aesthetics. And this Charlie was supposed to be more of an aesthete, right? Still, Charlie just wasn't sure whether the change was real, or just his own imagination playing tricks on him because he was so upset.

Still, the thought that someone might have messed with our equipment spurred us on. So we began studying last night's results as the computer had recorded them off the testing equipment. We spent the rest of the morning going over test results with a fine-toothed comb.

We finally broke for lunch. Charlie wasn't about to let anyone else see his embarrassing clothes, so he stayed behind while Sam took me to lunch at the cafeteria. I remembered who I was supposed to be, and so I got a bowl of soup and some low-fat crackers. I wasn't hungry anyway. Not with all those men staring at me like they wanted to tear off my clothes and rape me! I wondered wretchedly how 'other' pretty women could stand the way men stared at them.

Sam and I paid for our food and sat down at a small table far enough from anyone else that we could talk without being overheard. But the searing looks that he kept giving me plainly said that he wanted to take me back to his apartment and screw my brains out. I was scared silly. I knew I couldn't bear to have 'another' man screw me – even if I wasn't in a male body anymore. The thought of a huge erection grotesquely pistoning in and out of my slippery vagina filled me with sick revulsion.

But the memory of my complete loss of willpower in Sam's arms made me deeply afraid that once Sam started seducing me, I wouldn't be able to summon the willpower to stop him until he had already blasted hot cum deep inside me. And what if he gave me an orgasm? I would absolutely die of shame! More importantly, what if he knocked me up? What on earth would I do then?

I was so upset by my thoughts that I could hardly eat. So I spent most of the meal staring at my bowl of soup. When I looked up into Sam's ruggedly handsome face, I felt that scary warmth inside me again. And my timid glances just made Sam hotter. I could see it in his face, as if I had been reading his body language like a real woman would.

Afterward, I remembered to go into the ladies' room and touch up my lipstick. I managed that without too much trouble, thanks to the lessons Sam had given me.

Jennie Rodgers stopped and said hello. She grinned naughtily as she asked me, "Hey Adrienne, are you and Sam getting serious? He's sure looking at you like he's ready to eat you up... Or maybe some other verb is really more appropriate?"

I blushed bright red. I could see my blush even through my foundation, so I knew Jennie could see it as well. I lied, "Well, not quite. We're still just dating. Sam wants to get a lot more intimate, but I'm just not sure if I'm ready yet."

She grinned as she walked out the door, "Don't wait too long, honey. You can't keep a man like that on a string forever. And there are plenty of women around who would cut you out in a second if they got the chance. Even here at the lab."

I stared unhappily at her back and thought over her words. As I thought over our conversation, I had to face the uncomfortable fact that I hadn't really lied. We weren't serious – yet. Sam definitely wanted to get into my panties. And I definitely wanted him to wait! But after this morning at least part of my body was ready for him: the part between my legs that I hadn't ever had before.

I finished touching up my lipstick and made my way back to Sam. He led me back to our lab, but he left again. He came back a few minutes later. When I noticed the damp locks of hair on his forehead, he admitted that he had gone in the men's room and splashed freezing cold water on his face until he lost his erection.

I squeezed his masculine hand and murmured, "Thank you. I, umm, I don't know what to say. I'm sorry I'm doing this to you. I always hated it when I was dating a girl and I had the hots for her really bad and she wasn't interested in putting out for me, but she was making me hotter than a fox. I know how miserable this is for you. I wish there was something more I could do for you..." I saw his hungry stare and quickly amended my statement, "..well, anything but that."

It took us almost the rest of the day, going over every single aspect of the equipment, before I found the discrepancy. I sat up and told the other two, "This data's been altered. The angular momentum estimates for the baryons can't be right. If they are, then the Reines constant would have to be about 1.14 percent too high."

That may not seem like anything to you, but it meant a lot to me. The Reines constant is one of the more-or-less arbitrary constants in physics. It has to do with the angular momentum and spin rate of the heavier subatomic particles. And our results were way off. Our result was about as likely as running a test on the sky and having your instruments tell you that the sun was now green instead of yellow.

Sam said, "Experimental error? Maybe the equipment was malfunctioning."

Charlie shook his head, "No way. I've been checking this stuff all day, and it's working correctly."

I stuck in my two cents, "Besides, with an experiment this carefully calibrated, 1.14 percent is way too far off to be experimental error. Even one tenth of one percent error would be too high. Even a hundredth of one percent would be unacceptable with this equipment. That one point one percent error is about four thousand times higher than the error should be if it were just experimental error."

In frustration, Sam said, "But it can't be. We can't have gotten an estimate that far off. I mean, the Reines constant is constant! I mean, even P.A. M. Dirac said that our physical constants can only change over phenomenal distances and time changes, and we haven’t moved. Plus, I still haven’t seen any solid evidence that Dirac was right."

I thought about the problem. So someone had tampered with our experiment. Or alternately...

That's when it hit me. If I hadn't been a theoretical physicist, and if I hadn't done my doctoral dissertation on what I had, I might never have thought of it. But then, if I hadn't done my dissertation on this work, I never would have built the baryon projector in the first place. I never would have been able to design and build a working baryon generator.

I murmured tightly, "You mean the Reines constant is constant within our universe. But what if this isn't our universe?"

Charlie looked at me like I had finally gone over the edge. He snapped, "You've been reading too much science fiction. Get a grip."

I insisted, "Think about it. It's the only thing that explains why everything is the same except the three of us. And it's the only thing that explains why we're the way we are."

Sam shook his head, "That's a pretty wild conjecture, Adrienne. But none of our other ideas have made any sense at all. At least this one does. You want to try and convince me?"

I said, "All we have to do to test it is verify what the Reines constant actually is."

Charlie pulled a physics text off the shelf and smirked, "See, the value of the Reines constant is... Shit, the damn book is wrong! This isn't right!"

We hurried over to look. The value in the text was just about 1.14% higher than the number we three knew to be true. The value in the book agreed almost exactly with our result. It was well within experimental error of our answer. We just stared at each other.

Sam murmured angrily, "It's a trick. Just like everything else they did to us. They rigged our equipment and altered the textbooks we have in our labroom here."

I swallowed hard before I tried again. "Maybe. But what if they didn't? If our baryon projector dropped our conscious selves into a parallel universe, an alternate universe, then that would explain why the only thing different in this universe is the three of us! Our memories don't agree with our personal histories, because our memories are from another universe entirely! And none of us remembers last night, because we all lost our short-term memory as our thoughts transferred across between the two universes."

Charlie swore, "Hell, that's crazier than my 'black magic' idea."

But Sam murmured, "Let's test it. We'll pick a lab at random, sneak in, and test the Reines constant there. That'll put your theory to rest."

We did just what he suggested. We picked one that we weren't supposed to have access to, and Sam jimmied the door lock with a stiff strip of thermoplastic. It took us about two hours to set up the experiment and run it. And sure enough, I was right. Somehow, the science-fiction implications of my doctoral dissertation, which had created so much controversy among the faculty at Cal Tech, were correct. It was possible to use artificially-generated baryons to move – in certain peculiar ways – through the quantum foam into one of the infinity of alternate universes. But not our bodies, just our minds. And not even all of our minds – we all seemed to have the instincts and urges that went with our appearances. So, that suggested that we could only transfer our memories and thought processes. Not the components of our brains that were hard-wired, like our neuron pathways or the parts of the brain that determine sexual behaviors.

But that made me realize some other unpleasant facts. I didn't just look female. I had to face the fact that unless I could get back my own universe, I was female. A hundred percent woman, right down to my chromosomes. Not a transsexual, but a real, honest-to-God woman who had always been female, and who would be expected by all her friend and relatives to be the sweet, shy woman they remembered.

I was a real woman. A woman would have periods and who could get pregnant. A woman who was obviously heterosexual. A woman who was too small and delicate to defend herself against an attacker, or a rapist, or even a date who was drunk. There was no way I could ever be Adrian again, unless I could get out of this universe and back into the right one – out of an infinity of possible choices.

Sam stared at me. "Okay, so how do we get back to our own universe? The baryon projector?"

I nodded slowly as I thought about it. "I don't really know, but it might be possible to 'bounce' back to our real universe. But alternately... Well, we might just get even more lost in these parallel universes, and get further and further away from the lives we remember. We probably had to move a fairly significant distance through the quantum foam to end up in a cluster of universes where the Reines constant is this different from what we know. And don’t ask me to define a distance metric yet! Look, I don't know how to make us go back to where we should be, instead of making things even worse. After all, we're talking about an infinite number of places to jump to, so how do we pick the right one?"

I felt even more timid than usual about this experiment. Our very lives were on the line. I didn't want to stay Adrienne a moment longer than I had to, but I was scared to death at the idea of making things worse. Sam and Charlie knew the risks too, but they were more determined. Sam was his usual assertive self, and Charlie was desperate to stop being gay as soon as possible.

I spent a couple hours making calculations, although Sam and I had to make some pretty tenuous assumptions at several points along the way. I nervously warned my two friends that the odds of this working had to be terribly low, but they were both ready to try. Charlie was far more than ready – he was desperately reckless. He was begging me to go ahead, and tears were welling up in his eyes. So against my better judgment, I completed my calculations. We calibrated the machinery. We stood just where we had been standing the night before. Then, even though it was getting really late, we tried to bounce back to our own universe.

I pressed the starter button, and the electrical current rushed through the field coils. The magnetic current rapidly built until it generated the magnetic bottle. The equipment momentarily created the fusion plasma with the phased laser, and then before the plasma collapsed, quickly hit the plasma with the positron beam.

I held my breath, waiting to see what happened...

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I woke up when my alarm clock buzzed. Boy, did I feel tired! I sat up and yawned, stretching my arms over my head. The sheets fell away, as usual, and I looked down. I gasped in horror.

Oh God, I was still Adrienne! But now I was wearing a humiliatingly sexy pink see-through babydoll nightie.. and no panties. Jesus, I was dressed like a tramp! And I was really afraid I could guess why. My nipples pressed erotically against the sheer pink material, and I frantically clamped my arms over my nearly-exposed chest.

But now it took more of my arms to cover up my chest, because I was sporting a pair of D-cup tits! I just gaped in shock at the massive melons jutting out from my chest. Big, sexy globes with large areoles just begging for a man's attention.

I wondered miserably, "How the heck did I go from a B-cup to a D-cup overnight? Oh shit, that's right. This isn't even the same universe as before. But how did I get a pair of knockers this big?"

I gingerly felt underneath my jiggling jugs, and I found a pair of small well-healed scars. This Adrienne had gone through breast implant surgery! Oh God, that meant that I was going to be ogled and harassed even more than the day before! I whimpered in humiliation. I had a sudden mental image of me, trapped in this more voluptuous body, looking in the closet to find nothing but miniskirts and see-through tops waiting there. I prayed that wouldn't be the case.

Then I saw something even worse. I was wearing an engagement ring! There on my ring finger was a gorgeously-cut diamond set in a delicate gold band. I whimpered to myself, "Oh God no! Not only am I still Adrienne, but now I'm engaged to be married! To a man! I don't want to be a bride, and I don't..."

I almost puked as I suddenly had a mental image of myself trapped on a honeymoon with some big hairy creep who was intent on spending every waking moment groping my big breasts and shoving his cock into my tight slit! It was all I could do not to cry in fear. I knew I couldn't go through with something so ghastly! If I were really trapped in this alternate universe, I told myself I would kill myself before I let myself go through that hell.

I hopped out of bed, my big breasts bouncing erotically without a bra to support them, and I saw that I still possessed nearly the same body I had worn the day before, in that alternate universe. I didn't notice any other major changes, although my jutting breasts were interfering with my downward view to an unnerving extent. But I did notice that my fingernail polish had changed from a subtle pink to a sexy red. And my nails were longer, as well as being more elegantly manicured. I was almost afraid to find out what other changes had occurred. I was almost afraid to find out why I was different.. but that engagement ring was a hint too big to ignore.

As I walked to the closet to fetch my robe, I noticed that my toenails were polished the same sexy red as my fingernails. And my stomach and thighs appeared to be more toned than they had been the day before. Was this Adrienne working out harder to make herself sexier? This body was sure built better, and dressing a hell of a lot sexier at night... Then the implications of 'my' wearing a sexy nightie like that caught up with me and my knees almost gave out.

I hastily grabbed my robe from the closet and inadvertently noticed what was in my laundry basket. There on top was a pair of men's boxer shorts. Oh God, 'I' was already sleeping with my 'intended'!

I thought angrily, "Christ! 'Sleeping with' him? Face facts, Adrienne! You're fucking some big hairy goon! You've been letting some creep shove his cock into your hot little twat and then driving him wild until he blasted your cunt with wads of his cum! And you're dressing like a whore in this sleazy little nightie to get him hot for you in the first place!"

I felt sick at the very idea. God, this was getting worse with every cross-universe 'leap'! I stared in horror at those boxers, and I saw something that really made my stomach knot up. That bright red stain on the fly of those shorts was undoubtedly lipstick. 'I' was sucking 'my' fiance's cock. The woman whose body I now possessed had sucked off her lover and gotten lipstick not only on his dipstick but on his shorts. And I would just bet that he – whoever he was – would be expecting me to launder the lipstick stains off his underwear too. And he would be eagerly awaiting a repeat performance.

Accepting a man's cock into my mouth and licking it until he spurted into my mouth? God, just the thought made me feel ill. Christ only knew what this new, sexier version of Adrienne was doing with her boyfriend. Heaven only knew how often Adrienne put out for her studmuffin. And what if this goon wouldn't take 'no' for an answer from me? What if Adrienne had let this guy ram his log up her poopchute? What if she regularly let him fuck her face and shove his cock down her throat? What if she let him tie her up for kinky sex games? What if they played at rape fantasies? Or something even worse? I felt like vomiting. I felt like crying.

I trudged miserably toward the bathroom, angrily telling myself, "You goddamned whore! You slut, why couldn't you keep your damn legs together? Now look at the mess you've gotten me into! I'll bet whoever he is, he really loved your see-through nightie. Especially with those gazongas you've got now. Thank God I didn't wake up with him in bed with me – or on top of me, all ready for more hot sex with his busty little fuckbunny!" I shuddered in revulsion.

In the bathroom, nothing was different. No, that wasn't quite true. There were a couple small but repugnant differences. There was a container of birth control pills on the counter, and I knew that I would have to take those awful little pills every day or risk getting impregnated by Adrienne's fiance. Uggh! But taking those pills felt like I was agreeing to go on with Adrienne's life – not to mention her sexlife. I was almost in tears at the thought.

And the makeup on the counter was different. In addition to the makeup that I remembered from the day before – in an alternate universe – there were some additions. Some really sexy makeup that looked fairly new. And I knew it had to be there to make my lover hot for me. Yuck! I felt sick just thinking about it.

I looked at myself in the mirror and saw more changes. I was still Adrienne, but 'I' had changed my look. My hair was longer, and more sexily styled, with lovely natural-looking highlights that I knew were from a beauty salon. No doubt, for my man. My lovely 'new' hairdo made my pretty face look even sexier. And my eyebrows were plucked into sexier arches, and they seemed to be colored to the sexy chestnut brown that I was seeing. Probably a dye job in a beauty salon.

I went potty, sitting down to pee without having to think about it. I sarcastically told myself, "Well, at least you won't have to mess with eybrow pencil for a while..." I thought of a few things from yesterday, and I hurried to finish peeing. As soon as I wiped myself, I hurried out to the living room to read my letter from mom.

The letter had changed, although not nearly as much as the day before – although that was the day before in a completely different universe. Things were still much as they had been in the letter I had read the day before. But in this letter, mom and dad were thrilled to death that I was going to marry Sam and give them some grandchildren. Mom was urging me to give up my job at the lab and become a housewife. I sighed in relief as I read and re-read that missive. At least Sam would understand my feelings and give me the protection I needed – I hoped. But alternately...

I realized in horror that I had no guarantee that 'my' Sam had made the leap with me. I might be trapped in this universe with a horny male Sam who had been fucking 'me' for months and who had no idea that I was really male deep inside my head.

And there was an even worse alternative. 'My' Sam had already become quite heterosexual. And I clearly remembered him telling me about getting hot from looking at a big-breasted brunette in his copy of Playboy. What if he wanted my new, improved body enough to ignore my feelings? If my body had been sleeping with him and was preparing to marry him, there was very little that I could do if he decided to rape the holy shit out of me whenever he felt like it! Who would believe me if I claimed that my fiance – the fiance I had gotten a titjob for, and who I had been screwing for Christ only knew how long – had raped me and that I was really a man from another universe trapped in the body of a gorgeous babe?

No, I couldn't tell that story. Suppose I just claimed that my fiance had raped me? How could I ever take a polygraph test to verify my story? I couldn't even state what my real name was without making the polygraph go off. And Sam would be the only person who would know that I couldn't pass a polygraph test. I could be permanently trapped as his helpless, defenseless victim if I wasn't careful! Tears welled up in my eyes again, and I struggled not to cry.

I started some coffee brewing, and I looked around my apartment. The pictures had changed subtly, although the rest of the apartment looked the same as it had the day before. Now the pictures included more shots of me and Sam. And 'I' looked a hell of a lot sexier in those photos, with my sexy hairdo and my more elaborate makeup, and some alluring new clothes which definitely showed off my striking new cleavage and my long shapely legs. God, in some of those photos I looked like a bimbo! Christ, in one of them I looked like more like a whore than a physicist!

There Sam and I were in the first photo, together over a romantic dinner, with me wearing a lowcut little black dress that looked sexy as hell on my voluptuous bod. There were the two of us swimming in a pool with me absolutely bulging out of a teeny little bikini and Sam looking at me like he couldn't wait to take it off me. There we were, kissing in what had to be my parents' living room. Oh God! I felt kind of queasy looking at those pictures of 'me' cuddling up to manly Sam. I wouldn't have felt so bad if he hadn't looked so damn sexy in those pictures, and if I hadn't vividly recalled what had happened between us just the day before.

There were several pictures of Sam and li'l ol' sexpot me, with Charlie in them, some dating back months. Charlie was standing with another man and looking at the guy in a distinctly unmasculine way. There was one apparently quite recent photo, since I was wearing Sam's ring and my current hairstyle.. and in that photo Charlie was standing beside us and looking like he had been crying. I didn't know what that meant, and I was scared to find out. Had he been dumped by his boyfriend, or was he weeping because he had been transferred against his will by a baryon generator into the life and body of a gay guy?

My day-timer now had notes on all kinds of wedding preparations, and notes about traveling with Sam to meet his family at Christmas, and a couple notes about my upcoming bridal shower at Jennie Rodgers' apartment. I scrambled through the day-timer and found that 'I' had scheduled my breast implant surgery almost six months earlier. So everyone at the lab had seen me looking like this for about half a year now. I shuddered to think about the reactions of the guys like Creepy Carter. My scrapbook looked exactly – I mean exactly – the same it had the day before, all the way up to my start at the Los Alamos Lab.

I realized from looking at my pictures that in this universe Adrienne had decided to start a relationship with Samuel outside of work, and had transformed herself from what I had been in that other universe – God, it was just the day before – into a sexier, sultrier, more voluptuous woman whom Sam couldn't resist. And this Adrienne had obviously been extremely successful. I imagined that with my new hairstyle and my new improved boobies and my new improved wardrobe, I probably looked exactly like Sam's dreamgirl.

I immediately thought of Samantha's problem of whether or not to try to start a relationship with Adrian. I knew I was looking at both sides of one such choice, in two alternate universes. I was really seeing proof – a proof that I could never cite in any physics journal – that the quantum foam existed, as an infinite set of parallel universes reflecting all the infinity of possible choices. Only now I was in the universe where Adrienne was screwing a man and about to get married! I knew I had to call Sam.

The phone rang, and I picked it up.

It was Sam. He had seen the photos in his apartment, and he found a love letter from 'me' to 'him', not to mention a see-through white nightie hanging in his closet. He slowly told me that he had also found a naughty Polaroid picture of me wearing that same nightie, with nylons and high heels and nothing else, while sitting back on his bed with my legs spread wide for him, and giving him a look that should have melted the camera lens.

He swallowed hard before he said, "I guess we.. we're sleeping together. A lot. And we're getting married in a few months. I guess it's a good thing, if you're making these.. dirty pictures for me. Not that I didn't enjoy the hell out of it when I found it..."

I winced. I could just imagine what I looked like in that photo, and I could envision the throbbing hardon Sam probably got as an immediate result.

I couldn't help sounding unhappy as I groused, "Yeah, I saw all the wedding plans 'I' have scheduled. Thanks for the engagement ring. It's lovely. But you shouldn't have!" And I didn't mean it the way any other woman would have meant it. I meant that I really didn't want that ring on my finger!

I quickly changed the subject. I asked about Charlie. Sam didn't know. He said he would pick me up and drive me to work, if I would call Charlie and see how he was doing. That seemed like a fair deal. I called several times, but there was no answer and Charlie's answering machine wasn't on. I looked through my day-timer, but I couldn't find a number for Charlie's 'boyfriend', so I couldn't call over there. Wherever 'there' was.

I slapped the day-timer to the table in frustration, and I reluctantly walked into the bathroom to get my sexy female body ready for work. I showered, making sure to follow the directions on the bottles of shampoo and conditioner. They were salon-formulated concoctions for 'colored and permed hair' as the labels said. I figured that as long as I was stuck with this hairstyle I would have to make it work. But I resolved to get it turned into something much easier to care for as soon as I could.

I washed my body, and I had to deal with my large breasts getting in the way as I tried to see what I was doing. God, why on earth had Adrienne wanted tits this big, anyway? Their heaviness pulled me forward, and tugged relentlessly on my chest, until I was almost looking forward to putting on a bra. I washed between my legs, and I was relieved to find that I didn't have a load of cum to wash out of my pussy. At least, not this morning. I felt sick to my stomach just thinking about that.

I dried myself off with soft pats of my towel, and I struggled to dry my hair properly. It was bad enough dealing with the way my hair had been the day before, but this time my longer hair was that much more difficult to work with. Fortunately, I had learned enough the day before to be able to do the basics of drying long hair. My hair felt thicker, which was probably due to the shampoo and conditioner. But the body and curl in my hair made it easier to get my hair ready to go. It just 'knew' how to curl up as I dried it over the styling brush. I was glad I had learned how to use a styling brush the day before. I hadn't realized the advantages of a good perm.. even if, when I was done, my hair looked painfully sexy.

Then I went back into the bedroom to get dressed. My lingerie was in the same drawers it had been the day before – in another universe, of course – but now the lingerie was a lot sexier. I stared in revulsion at the lowcut semi-sheer beige underwire bra that lay atop the pile of bras. My God, if I put that on, I would look like I was nearly naked! And the cups were huge!

Oh yeah. I looked down at my full breasts and remembered why the cups were so huge. Because I had knockers the size of grapefruits. I rudely reminded myself that I needed to wear a bra to support those chest melons. I shuddered in revulsion at the thought of appearing in public without a bra, and having Amos the Anus or Creepy Carter groping me because they could see my nipples poking out against my blouse. Yuuck! Not to mention how much it would probably hurt if I forgot to wear a bra and let those heavy hooters bounce around unsupported for too long.

I unwillingly snatched up that underwire bra, as well as the matching bikini panties. I stepped into the panties and adjusted them about my soft hips. I winced as I looked at myself in the full-length mirror. Those panties were definitely on the small side, and they were cut about as high as they could go at the sides. They were semi-sheer like the bra, and so I could see most of my bush peering through the material. I looked at my backside, and there was so little material back there that I might as well have been wearing a thong. The back of the panty was doing its best to hide in the crack of my plump, rounded ass.

I slipped my arms into the bra straps and carefully adjusted the bra about my newly-acquired chest mountains. I made sure to adjust the underwire underneath my breasts until it was as comfortable as it was likely to get. Then I wrapped the chestband about my slim body and struggled to fasten the hook-and-eyes in back. It took me about a dozen tries before I had both hooks in the right eyes.

I saw myself in the mirror, and I choked in embarrassment. In those semi-sheer scraps of sexy lingerie, I looked like a model out of a Victoria's Secret catalog. No, I looked sexier than that. My breasts were supported and cupped by that bra, so that I had a cleavage men would be panting over. And my nipples were mostly visible through the soft fabric. Just as my bush was visible to anyone who wanted to look. I thought about how strikingly sexy I had looked in those photos with Sam, with my long sexy hair and my more alluring makeup. I suddenly realized that if I were wearing makeup and just that lingerie, I would look like a sultry, voluptuous fox straight out of a Playboy lingerie catalog. I choked miserably at the thought. God, I would have to pry Sam off me with a crowbar!

I stepped into the closet to find myself a dress to wear to work. But there were no tame, safe dresses in that closet anymore. No, it was painfully obvious that when 'I' had gotten my breasts enlarged, 'I' had bought a new wardrobe to fit my new shape. And that new wardrobe was much too sexy for a shy little physicist. I cringed at the lowcut blouses, and the racy minidresses, and all the other outfits that I couldn't bring myself to even try on.

I finally settled on a teal and dove-gray dress that didn't look too short or too lowcut. Well, not when compared with the rest of the wardrobe I had to choose from. I found a pair of matching dove gray pumps with spike heels that had to be three inches high. I winced and wondered if I would be able to walk in the darn things. Then I remembered how well my body had coped the day before in that parallel universe, and I figured that I would be able to walk in those heels.. if I could keep from thinking about it and just let my body do its stuff.

I walked back to the bureau and found some pantyhose to go with the dress and pumps. When I stepped into the pantyhose and pulled them up my waist, I found to my disgust that they were extremely sheer smoke-colored hose. And they were sheer all the way up to the waistband. Everything was visible through the material. My panties and every bit of me. I felt so exposed that I was quite ready to get into that dress for a little coverage. But I remembered my makeup lessons from the day before. I stepped into the high heels and went into the bathroom to apply most of my makeup before putting on the dress.

I struggled miserably with each of the makeup steps – the makeup sponge for the foundation, the brush for the blusher, the pressed powder to set my foundation, the mascara wand, the eyemakeup brushes, the lip pencil and lipbrush, everything. Thank God Adrienne still had a couple makeup charts from some Estee Lauder consultants stuffed in her bathroom drawer with her hair dryer. And as I worked, I worried about how much makeup 'I' was using in this universe. I had to base my choice on the latest photos I could find that looked like they were from work, even if I did look like a big-boobed sexpot in those photos.

When I had applied everything except the lipstick, I stepped back into the bedroom and stepped into the dress. I slipped my arms into the short cap sleeves, and I managed to get the dress zipped up the back. But when I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw that there wasn't enough dress there. The hemline stopped well above my knees to show off my long, alluring legs. And the 'V' neckline dove down low enough to show a substantial portion of my jiggling cleavage. I winced miserably at the notion that this was the most sedate dress I had to wear.

Then it was back into the bathroom to use the lip pencil and the lipbrush to give my lips a sexy, shiny, stunning coat of red. By the time I was done, I looked like the Adrienne in those photos. But that was what was bothering me! The gorgeous babe who stared back at me in the mirror looked really sexy. I looked much too sexy to be a physicist. I looked more like a lovely, luscious, big-breasted movie starlet playing the part of a physicist in some movie.. some sleazy spy movie where the hero screws every gorgeous babe he meets. No wonder Sam had caved in to Adrienne in this universe!

I was all set to clean off my face and try again, but the doorbell rang. I had a feeling who it was, so I hurried to open the door. Sure enough, it was Sam. I let him in, and he stared at me as though he had never seen me before. I swallowed hard as I realized that he hadn't. The Sam who was used to Adrienne's new look was gone, replaced by the Sam I knew. This was the Sam who had only seen 'my' new look in pictures, and who was now seeing it for the first time in the flesh, so to speak.

I blushed as I tried to explain, "I, uhh, I was just about to tone down the makeup and stuff. I was only trying to match the way Adrienne looked in those photos..."

He stared at me and murmured, "Don't change. You look... You look perfect." But the way he said 'perfect', in that husky aroused voice, sent a shiver of fear down my spine. He thought I looked perfect, all right. Only not for work. For a bout of steamy sex. I actually had an impulse to step back from him and cross my arms up over my breasts.

Looking at the hunger in his eyes, I could hardly swallow as I nervously tried to suggest that I was wearing too much makeup. But assertive Sam had me picking up my purse and walking out the door in no time. He led me to his car, and he even opened the door for me. I carefully slid into the seat, and he studied my movements like he was trying to memorize them. He drove the two of us to work, although he kept glancing away from the road to check out my cleavage and my face.

He finally muttered, "I thought you looked really hot in those photos, but I didn't realize... My God, you're built like Pamela Anderson or something! I tried to tell myself that it was a trick of the light or something, or you were wearing some sort of padding inside your bra, but... Jesus! You look incredible! I don't know if I can keep my hands to myself!"

I muttered miserably, "I think that was the idea. Adrienne got these breast implants about six months ago, and I figure you must have been the intended target. Knowing that you're a 'breast' man, I guess she made the right call. Only now I'm stuck with the damn things!"

He stared at my chest as though he wanted to find out for himself just how big and juicy my breasts really were. And the heated stares he was giving me were doing something bizarre to my body. I couldn't help it, but there was an unwanted and shockingly powerful sexual tension between us. I was a lovely brunette, he was a real hunk, and we knew that in this universe we had been screwing each other's brains out for God only knew how long. He was hot for my bod, and I was afraid that my body was responding to him as it had only the day before in an alternate universe. Maybe more so.

He mentioned that he had found some of my lingerie in his clothes basket and one of my nighties hanging in his closet and a pair of my pantyhose on his shower rod. I felt sick as I thought what those meant – that we had been having sex at his place pretty regularly, in addition to my place. I felt bitterly ashamed, but I managed to admit to him that a pair of his briefs were at my house.

As I looked at him, at his hard muscles and ruggedly handsome face and his tight buns and flat stomach and the bulge in his pants, I felt something happening to me. Something very feminine. There was a hot trembling between my thighs and a buttery ache in my abdomen that I knew was female physical desire. My breasts started feeling as though they were getting heavier by the minute, and I tried not to groan as my nipples tightened. I realized wretchedly that my body was aching for his kiss, if not his hands and his body – and probably his erect cock as well! I felt ill at the very thought, but my body and my mind were on two separate tracks.

Involuntarily I looked down at his groin again, and he was rock-hard. And his erection looked enormous. I was surprised his pants hadn't ripped apart, considering the tension the fabric seemed to be under. Seeing that erection pressing upward made my nipples pearl up until they almost hurt. I felt a sudden shocking moistness between my legs. My lips were suddenly dry, and I licked them.

I realized with something akin to horror that my body was responding to Sam like I was a bitch in heat, and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. I couldn't help moving to try and relieve the tension in my loins. I didn't realize how my actions looked to Sam. In fact, I hadn't even thought about how my actions might look to him. I was too busy feeling deeply shamed by my feminine responses.

He suddenly turned toward me and gasped, "God, Ade! You're driving me up the wall! If you don't stop doing that, I.. I'm gonna turn the car around and take you straight to bed! How the hell do guys stand being this horny? I feel like I'm gonna die if I don't..." He couldn't bring himself to say what he was thinking: "... if I don't shove my cock into your tight little twat and screw your brains out until your ears bleed!"

I knew exactly how horny he was, and I still remembered how it felt. I grimaced, "They don't stand it very well. That's why they're always groping women who don't want to be groped. So, how do girls stand it? I feel like I'm about to explode in a big fireball! What are we gonna do?"

That was the wrong question. He looked me over like I was naked, and it was obvious what he thought we should do. He wanted to fuck the living daylights out of me. And I was terribly afraid that if he took me in his powerful arms and kissed me, what little resistance I still had would go up in flames. I would end up lying on my back with his manly body on top of me and his cock deep inside my female body! My body shivered in desire while my mind protested furiously at the shameful image.

It took a lot of Sam's willpower to get us to work. And by then we were both so horny that we didn't dare touch each other. We had to leave the car separately to keep from pawing each other as we walked from the parking lot to our lab. I felt bitterly ashamed that my body was so desperately hot for sex with a big, powerful man. But I couldn't keep my nipples from pearling up into tight little pebbles, or keep my heavy breasts from feeling swollen and achy for his touch. I couldn't stop the wet heat between my legs, which was spreading sensual warmth through the rest of my body like a space heater in a small room.

I walked in first, past the security guards who ogled me when they thought I wasn't looking. Their stares did a lot to cool me off. I felt dirty having men I didn't like look me over like I was working in a whorehouse. I strode past them and into the main lobby.

There was a cop standing there with Anus Leaking, and I could tell by Amos' look of recognition that they were waiting for me. I wondered what was up. I didn't see any way that our baryon experiments could have led to Amos bringing in a cop, and I didn't see how anyone could have caught on to our switching bodies with the people of this universe – not this soon, anyway – so I tried not to worry.

The cop looked me over thoroughly, with a definite visual inspection of my breasts, and asked, "Miss Adrienne Holmes?"

I didn't like the hungry assessment I had just received, or the fact that he was talking to my nipples instead of me, so I firmly insisted, "Miz, please."

Amos grinned rudely, "Oh cut out the feminist stuff, honey. You're getting married, you know, so you don't have to act like a dyke."

I gritted my teeth and tried not to bite his head off, the ugly old creep. I stared stonily at the cop and insisted, "It's still 'Ms. Holmes'. And it's going to stay that way, even after Sam and I are married." I turned to Amos and gave him a sickly-sweet smile, "You wouldn't want to lose out on any grant money because I changed my last name and the proposal reviewers didn't realize that all those prior publications were really mine, now would you?"

His eyes opened wider, and he actually thought about it. I could see that hitting him in the wallet would be my best way of dealing with him as long as I was still Adrienne. I would rather have hit him right in the nuts. With a sledgehammer.

Sam walked in, and the cop ID'ed him too. Sam casually draped his arm about my shoulders as he agreed that he was Sam Willis. I was too worried to ask what was wrong, but Sam did. I found myself clinging to his arm for protection, and he wrapped me up in his arms like he'd been doing it for quite a while. I was ashamed to admit it, but I felt a lot safer with him as my loving protector.

The cop pretty much ignored me, except as a sex object, once he had a man to talk to. He said to Sam, "Well Doctor Willis, it's your employee Charles Barton. He, umm, he committed suicide..."

"Oh my God!" I clapped my hands over my mouth and burrowed harder against Sam's strength.

Sam squeezed me supportively and asked, "Charlie? Are you sure? I.. I can't believe it!"

The cop relentlessly droned onward, telling us things I would have given anything not to have to hear. Charlie had committed suicide two days earlier. His landlord had found the body. Charlie had left a suicide note saying that he couldn't go on since Bruce had left him. And then he had taken fifty sleeping pills.

Sam and I stared at each other in horror. We couldn't admit that we had seen Charlie just the day before – that hadn't happened in this universe. And we sure couldn't admit that the Charlie we knew wasn't the one from this universe! I shivered and wondered what we would do. I wondered what had happened, and then I realized that alternately...

I froze in horror as the idea hit me. But I couldn't talk to Sam about it until we were alone. I had to stand there as Amos told the cop that Charlie hadn't shown up for work the day before, and that Sam hadn't known where he was. Sam and I could do nothing more than agree. I admitted that I had tried to call Charlie just that morning. That was safe enough to tell the police. After some more questions, the cop finally left, and Amos strode off as though he was glad to be rid of a queer employee whom he detested anyway.

I hugged Sam frantically for support, and he kissed the top of my shiny hair. I whispered miserably, "We killed him! If we hadn't taken him into this universe he'd still be alive! Oh God, it's all my fault for designing that damn generator..."

Sam insisted, "You don't know that. Look how tightly these universes are linked. It might be that in all the nearby universes Charlie dies. Besides, Charlie is the one who was the most insistent that we try the jump last night. Charlie and I pushed you into it, remember? You didn't want to try the jump. So it's not your fault. Really!"

We talked it over for a long time. We didn't dare risk another jump. I knew I couldn't bear it if my next jump separated me from Sam. And we had no idea whether things would get even worse with our next jumps. We had no guarantee that either of us would still be alive in the next parallel universe, or anything. One of us might already be married to someone else. I might be pregnant by another man, or a rape victim, or trapped in an abusive marriage to some muscular bully. Almost anything was possible, and most of those possibilities were worse than what we were facing. Almost all of them were far worse than what we were facing. The only alternative that wasn't a lot worse was the one-in-a-trillion chance that we might jump into a universe in which we were the 'right' sexes again.

Sam finally said, "Look, there's no point in sitting here feeling miserable, Ade." He turned and dialed the phone.

He waited a few seconds until he got a voice on the other end, and he said, "Hi, Amos. It's Sam Willis... No, nothing new about Charlie. Adrienne is way to upset to do any work, and I'm going to drive her home... Yeah, I know we have deadlines, but if she can't concentrate she can't design the baryon generation scenarios we need anyway... Yeah, I figure she'll be fine in a couple days. You just have to bear with her. This was a really nasty shock, and she's been a close friend of Charlie's for some time. And it wasn't like you and that cop did anything to soften the blow... Yeah, I know you're counting on me, I won't let the project fall apart... Okay... Bye."

He hung up and said, "Okay honey, you need some rest. I'm going to drive you back home now. I got the okay from The Anus, so you won't get into trouble."

I just nodded miserably. I really wanted to go home. I wanted to go crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head and just cry for the next three months. Sam led me back to his car, and he drove me back to my apartment. We walked in and I saw the pictures of us and Charlie on my shelves, and I just started crying. Sam seated me at my kitchen table and made me a cup of hot tea. Then he held my hand while I cried miserably.

I just felt so guilty and so helpless. The Charlie of this universe was dead, and there was no way we could ever find out what had happened to the Charlie we knew. I was trapped in a lovely female body, and there was no way to regain my manhood other than a long series of incredibly risky cross-universe jumps, any one of which might kill me or put me in a horrible jam I couldn't get out of. I didn't know what to do.

Sam patted my shoulder and said, "Okay honey, I'd better go back to work. I'll drop by this evening to see how you're doing."

But I grabbed his hand and whimpered, "No! Please Sam, don't leave me! I can't... I don't want to be left alone right now. I just feel so lost! Besides you, there's no one in this entire universe I can talk to. Can't you just stay with me and be here for me?"

Sam got a funny look on his face, but after a moment he said, "Sure I can. I'm not sure it's a good idea, but I'll stay with you for a while longer."

We talked for a long time, mostly about the mess we were in. I fixed us some lunch, and we talked some more. We moved to my living room, and kept talking. But somehow our conversation drifted to Charlie, and I burst into tears again. Sam held me tightly while I sobbed on his shirt and clung to his strong body.

Eventually, what I should have expected to happen, did happen. I stopped crying and looked up into Sam's face. The naked desire I saw there warned me what was coming, but I didn't let go of his body, much less try to get away. He kissed me, tenderly at first.. and then as I kissed him back, he kissed me harder. What part of my brain was still working was idly wondering why I wasn't repelled by his strong mouth and his rough cheeks and his masculine scent and all the things that shouted out that I was kissing a man. But I wasn't repelled. At all. No, all those things were turning me on like crazy. All the things that would make a real woman hot were making me hot. Because I was in a real woman's body.

Our mutual attraction overwhelmed us.. and I so desperately needed Sam's strength. I kissed him back, parting my lips to let him thrust his tongue into my mouth. Part of me was telling myself that I shouldn't, but I just couldn't help the tearing need I felt. I sucked on his plundering tongue, while we frantically caressed each other's clothed bodies. And then we were caressing each other's partially-clothed bodies.

He seduced me.. and vice versa. We undressed each other as we made our way into my bedroom. He lavished wonderful attentions on my sensitive breasts while I arched and gasped under his mouth and hands. He made tender love to me for hours, until it was long after dusk. And he gave me more orgasms than I could count. I shrieked and shivered and humped against his powerful body like a bitch in heat. My afterglow felt like the bed was about to catch on fire.

We grabbed a couple Dove Bars out of my freezer for a fast dinner, and then we went right back to my bed. I warmly cuddled against Sam's hard body for long minutes, sensuously kissing him and stroking his hard muscles and nuzzling his chest. Meanwhile, Sam kissed me, and he fondled those huge breasts he couldn't resist, and he sensuously caressed my pussy lips. In no time, I felt his manhood growing again. And feeling his cock growing and throbbing with desire for me made me as hot as a firecracker.

I eagerly joined with him in another blazing session of passionate lovemaking, until we had a beautiful simultaneous orgasm. It was so perfect that it was almost painful. Then finally, we fell asleep, wrapped lovingly in each other's arms...

I awoke the next morning to a soft tongue laving my nipples. Before I was even fully awake, I could tell I was terrifically aroused. I pulled his face to mine and kissed him until neither of us could wait any longer. And then Sam made love to me again, giving me another blistering orgasm that almost made me pass out. He gathered my limp form against his muscular chest, and I struggled to regain my breath.

I panted, "Jesus, that's the best alarm clock I ever had!" He snickered and nuzzled my smooth cheek. God, did that feel good. I pulled his face back to mine so he could do it some more.

As I lay there in his arms, I realized that sometime during that wonderful night of passion, I had become resigned to living my life as Adrienne. No, I was far more than merely resigned. And Sam seemed quite happy with the way things were. Hell, who could blame him? He had a gorgeous, red-hot honey with big tits, and his honey was just dying for his cock. What red-blooded male would be complaining about that?

We showered together, although Sam would have let me shower by myself if I had asked. I didn't ask. No, I wanted his naked body in the shower with me. I needed his naked body in the shower with me. And once I had him in the shower with me, I just couldn't keep from wrapping my arms about his neck and kissing him with all the hunger I felt for him. So, of course things got out of hand – again. We were over an hour late for work. The security guard couldn't keep the smirk off his face, and I knew from his reaction that this wasn't unusual for Sam and Adrienne, that sexy young couple who were getting married.

On the way into the lab, we decided what to do about the baryon generation project. We spent a couple weeks preparing enough fake data to 'convince' anyone that the baryon projector was a dead end. Then we made sure that the machinery was completely non-functional, just in case someone else wanted to play with it. And we reported to Amos that the project was an abysmal failure. He wasn't at all happy about that, and he yelled at us for an hour. I couldn't help cringing at his anger. Fortunately, Sam wrapped one arm about me and gave me the emotional support I needed.

We turned in an extensive report on the 'failure' of the baryon generator, and we wrote a couple papers detailing the design features and 'explaining' why the projector was a waste of time, particularly in weapons research. Then we took the baryon projector apart and scrapped what we could. Sam and I knew that the projector was far too dangerous to be left lying around loose. I only hoped my alternates in all those other universes had enough sense to do likewise.

As my work progressed, I found that I liked having Sam in charge. He protected me from Amos, and his presence provided me with a shield from the cruel suspicions that had dogged Adrian. And, just as I slid into Adrienne's work, I found myself sliding into Adrienne's life. The transition turned out to be a lot smoother than I expected. No one ever noticed when I slipped up, because no one ever doubted that I was the Adrienne Holmes that they had known for so long. So I went right on doing all the things that Adrienne did. Planning my wedding, doing aerobics to keep in shape for my lover, networking with my female friends, and everything else a woman does...

Including getting screwed more times in a week than Adrian had gotten in years. Some weekends Sam was so potent I had to wonder if he was cleaning out entire oyster beds. But he always assured me that it was my stunning sex appeal that he found so irresistible. I even shopped for some new nighties – some sheer ones – and some other sexy lingerie that my male memories told me would make Sam hotter than a fox fucking in a forest fire (as Adrian's dad had liked to say when 'the girls' weren't around). That's how I found out how easily one of my nighties could get forgotten at Sam's house. And how my lipstick could end up on a pair of his shorts.

Sam really couldn't resist my full breasts, so I started wearing really lowcut outfits for him. Push-up bras and bustiers aren't that comfortable, but the response I would get from my lover was more than worth the price. And 69 was just unbelievable. Sam was incredibly fluent at cunnilingus, thanks to Samantha's female memories. He told me that I had to be the best female fellatio artist on the planet, since we both knew that Adrian's memories were helping me give him the utmost in male pleasures. And God, did I ever enjoy sucking on his cock, making him lose control with just my lips and tongue!

Well, the Department of Defense was not especially thrilled to hear that our project had failed. But on the plus side, Amos got a major-league chewing out from the lab director and two Army colonels for promising what we couldn't fulfill when he knew we didn't even have a working prototype yet. He received a demotion and a paycut, as well as some nasty marks in his personnel files. And since he was so unpopular, several women in administration who I knew were more than happy to leak all the details to other women around the lab.

Also on the bright side, our successful, if small-scale, work with the plasma fusion system got us another grant: a six-year cooperative grant (as part of a much larger lab effort) from the Department of Energy to develop a more workable 'magnetic bottle' for containing larger, longer-lasting fusion reactions. Clean, safe, nuclear energy sounded like a wonderful thing to work toward. That was something our children would be proud of. And I was looking forward to having children to whom I could show our work. Beautiful little children who would look like their daddy.

It took me a huge amount of theoretical research on the side, but I've proven to my satisfaction – and Sam's as well – that the jumps through the quantum foam can only be instigated if 'matching' people on both sides of an interdimensional barrier operate baryon projectors in the same 'place' at the same 'time' (that's an extremely non-technical, rather unscientific corollary of the theorems in the paper I wrote). And since we aren't going to do that again, we are safe. Together forever. In this universe. I can only hope that our twins in those other dimensions are as happy as we have become.

linebreak shadow

Epilogue

Six months later...

Sam had really enjoyed the dinner I had cooked for him. Well, I had put a lot of work into it, since we were celebrating the three-month anniversary of our marriage. It was funny, but I had gotten to the point where I actually enjoyed cooking for Sam. The last time Sam and I had been at my parents' house, I had caught my mom and my sister smiling to one another when they saw how domestic I was becoming.

I was utterly thrilled when I saw Sam's gift for me. The most beautiful diamond earrings, in settings that matched perfectly the setting of my engagement ring. I no longer thought about how feminine my reactions were, or what Adrian would have done in my shoes. In fact, I didn't think about Adrian at all anymore. Instead, I was just really glad that I had made a special purchase or two for Sam's anniversary gift from me.

I stepped into our bedroom and hurriedly stripped off my blouse and skirt. Then I pulled from a shopping bag the red leather skyscraper heels I had bought at lunchtime, instead of getting some lunch. I was already wearing the tiny red satin corselette with its attached garters. I just slid on the sheer red nylons, clipped them to my garters, and buckled on the high-heeled pumps. I wasn't wearing anything else, except for my wedding ring and my engagement diamond.

I slipped my new earrings into my earlobes. I looked down between my full breasts and admired my pussy. I wasn't wearing any panties, and I had gotten a bikini wax for Sam's benefit, even though it had really smarted as that beautician waxed those hairs from my groin. I knew that one look at my sexy pussy and my alluring cleavage would have him tearing his clothes off. And I could hardly wait.

Thinking of that, and looking at those gold bands on my finger, made me think of the wonderful honeymoon Sam had given me in Miami... And how we hadn't gotten out of our hotel room during daylight even once in those two weeks. With a knowing smile, I remembered how worried I had once been about being on a honeymoon with an oversexed man trying to screw my brains out every waking moment. How could I have been so dumb? I knew better now. It had been the most wonderful, most pleasurable, most perfect honeymoon I could have asked for.

My pussy felt all tingly and steamy just thinking about our honeymoon.. and about what I was planning for Sam's dessert. I quickly added some candy-apple red lipstick, more black mascara, some additional pearlescent gray and soft plum eyeshadows... I hurriedly touched up my hair... And then I called him back to our bedroom. "Sweetheart, could you come here a minute?"

I sat back on the bed and arranged myself in a posture worthy of a Playboy centerfold, with my head back and my breasts forward and my long legs elegantly spread. The reaction I got when he walked in the door more than made up for my little efforts. I thought his eyes were going to pop right out of his head.

After he completely lost control and plunged into me until we both screamed with ecstasy, we 69'ed for maybe an hour. God, was Sam expert at pussy-licking! He liked to tell me, "Love, it's only fair, since nobody could possibly be better at cock-sucking than you!" After a while, I desperately needed to feel his huge cock inside my pussy again.. and he was more than happy to oblige me. We made love over and over again that night, until neither of us could stay conscious.

When we woke up, with me cuddled against his strong body as always, it was after eight am. We were already late for work. Again. As usual. I studied his hairy muscular chest, and his flat stomach, and his thick cock, and I wanted him all over again. Desperately. So I made sure that we were very late for work that morning. I'm finally used to the security guards giving Sam and me 'that' leer when we show up late. We've certainly gotten it often enough.

And our co-workers in our new lab – Diana and Rick and Jerry and the others – have been really patient with us. Although the time when we used the equipment closet for a quickie and came out to find that we weren't alone after all, Jerry couldn't stop snickering at our blushing faces, and poor Diana was beet red with embarrassment. I guess we had both been pretty darn loud in there.

Sam says I'm going to have to control my urges better, or Amos will find some way to make us work in separate labs. I know he's just teasing, since he is even more amorous than I am – and I love the ways he proves it. Yum!

Besides, how can I control my desire for the most wonderful man in the world? Or at least, in this universe...

THE END

in this universe, anyway
but alternately...