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Guest posted a topic in StoriesThis is my first story. It's going to have bite sized chapters and very regular updates (most likely daily). This is a m/m superhero romance. The first two chapters are mostly set up, but after that every chapter has plenty of sexy muscle and feats of strength, so please stick with it! Chapter 1 It began as all the best love stories do: with terrorism. The 24th of March 2013 is much like any other day. Hugo Chavez recently died, triggering what would go on to become an economic crisis in Venezuela, the UN security council has just slammed North Korea with harsh new sanctions, Justin Timberlake is topping the charts with ‘Mirrors’, protestors are waving signs outside Parliament, protesting about something, pigeons are shitting, rain is pouring, and I'm on my way to work. The newly opened Shard is difficult to miss. It towers over London’s skyline, jutting into the clouds like the lair of a comic book villain. I make my way inside, flashing my ID as I go. ‘Jake Langley’, it says in large capital letters, along with an employee number and my date of birth. I only show it as a courtesy - the security guards have all memorised my face by now. I sometimes wonder what they think of me. Am I ‘that cute, fresh faced little pastry chef with the dimples’ or do they just see me as a child straight out of college, coasting by on boyish looks, with no clue what he’s doing? I’d like to think it was the former. I’d like to. But I don’t. I wish I was the kind of guy who had the guts to ask. The kind who knows he's good enough, who knows he's not going to be rejected or shut down. But even if I wasn't gay, I will never be that kind of guy. It's not in my nature. I'm not assertive or domineering. I smile, wave, and make pastry. That's my nature. I slip by in this hyper masculine world by being too small for anyone to see as a threat. And for the most part, it works. The kitchens still shine like the day they were installed, which wasn't that long ago. Most kitchens are crowded, starkly lit places where you can barely move an inch without bumping into someone or knocking something over, but not this one. Natural light pours through the floor-to-ceiling windows, treating us to a view of London that millions of people would kill for. But I'm not here for the views. Okay, maybe a little bit. But mostly, I'm here to do my job. I find my little corner and start preparing for the day’s guests. It's a Sunday, so we're expecting a lot of traffic. There isn’t an overpaid banker in London who doesn’t salivate over the idea of lunch at the Shard. Russian oligarchs, Saudi oil barons, British royalty, Colombian drug lords - we serve them all. I don’t care who they are or what they do. It's none of my business. It sounds like a simple, boring job - making pastry. You’d be surprised at how much there is to it. There’s a reason they have pastry chefs – this is a difficult thing to get right. It's always come easily to me. I find something calming about rolling out a sheet of puff, spreading on the butter, folding it over, and rolling it out again. There's a rhythm to it. My movements soon become mechanical and I can feel myself floating away into a distant world where I'm someone interesting, somewhere interesting, doing something interesting. The kitchen hums around me as the first orders come in. Pans clink, hobs fizzle, water gurgles as it boils. I can barely hear the orders being barked over it all. But I'm not really paying attention. Boom. I can feel a wave of pressure pass through my feet, up to my head, and down again. Everything is shaking; the walls, the floor, the windows. Pots rattle above my head on their hooks. I turn to see the kitchen staff frozen, eyeing one another with pointed glares. I don't think I've ever seen this room so quiet. “What was that?” I hear one of them whisper, his voice carrying clear across the room. No one answers. Was it an earthquake? It couldn’t be. Earthquakes aren’t instantaneous, they're gradual. Then it comes again, much louder. BOOM. I don’t know if it's the ringing in my ears or the shaking beneath my feat, but I'm suddenly hunched over a table, flour covering my hands, gasping for breath. I don't know how long I spend there, trying to comprehend what's going on. It must be a minute or two, at least. My daze is broken as an alarm whirrs into life, high pitched and screaming. Red lights flash. All at once, the shock turns to chaos. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. They're coming faster now, from all over the building. I can feel them in my bones. While others run for the doors, I huddled under my table. What the hell is going on? My eyes drift to the windows, where black smoke is billowing up past our floor, carrying dust and paper. Fuck. I watched 9/11 unfold on live TV and I was here when they locked down London during the 7/7 attacks. It's impossible to ignore the reality of what's going on. This is a terrorist attack. I can see dark shapes floating past outside, just beyond the smoke. Choppers. News choppers. When I had dreamed of appearing on TV, I was thinking more along the lines of Deal or No Deal, not this. Anything but this. I'm now alone in the kitchen. I don't know when that happened. I presume everyone else has fled. My gaze flickers to the open door as I try to decide what to do. Maybe if I run now, I could get out before the building collapses. Or maybe the lower floors are experiencing the worst of it, and I'm best waiting up here while the blaze is brought under control. Is there anything here I could turn into a parachute? No, I scold myself. That’s pointless and stupid. I’d never break through those windows anyway. Turning on my phone, I check the BBC. The first result is a live video of the Shard, burning in a dozen places. The news anchors are speaking but I can’t hear a word of it. I watch the screen in horror as the fire begins to creep outward from the explosion sites. One of them is pretty close to this kitchen. Placing my hands on the ground, I feel warmth. There’s a rumbling sensation. Something is crackling not far from our door. As fast as I can, I slam it shut, backing away with a hiss as the handle burns my skin, leaving it red and blotchy. Now there’s smoke trickling in through the vents and the air is getting hazy. Pulling a wet cloth over my mouth, I run around the kitchen and turn on all the taps and block all the drains. They overflow one by one, spilling out onto the floor until there’s a pool of water an inch deep. This won’t save me, but it might slow the spread. It’s getting seriously hot in here. I clutch my burned hands around the wet cloth, which eases the pain, but nothing can stop the coughing fits. There’s soot clogging my lungs and in my eyes, causing them to water uncontrollably. The air is so thick now that I can barely see from one end of the room to the other. My only sign that the door has buckled is the red tongues of flame licking at the ceiling. At the same time, I’m hit by a wave of heat so overwhelming that my only option is to curl up on the floor and cover my face as I feel the skin of my back start to blister. Then something astonishing happens. Something so unusual that I wonder if I’m hallucinating. There's a silhouette visible through the smoke. A man. He's enormous, and seems completely unphased by the fire caressing every inch of his body. His eyes find me on the floor, and a look of relief flits across his face. I blink, and he’s suddenly leaning over me. How did he move so fast? I open my mouth to ask, but only a ragged cough comes out. Two huge arms gently scoop me up. I press my face into his chest to escape the heat. Somehow even in the middle of a burning skyscraper, his touch makes me feel safe. Protected. Isn’t that strange? I hear the sound of shattering glass, feel a rush of cold air on my neck. The arms wrap more tightly around me. The lurching in my stomach tells me we’re moving, and I try to look around, but one hand on the back of my head keeps me locked to his chest. As the adrenaline fades, my body starts to scream in pain. I’ve never felt such agony. It’s only a matter of time before blackness is creeping into my vision, clouding my mind. And then I’m gone.
This story is intended to be more of a slow burn, but it'll have regular updates. The first chapters are more of a set-up, until the interesting stuff come along! Chapter 1 The only thing that kept me from screaming out loud was the constant, artificial reassurance of my internal monologue. Calm down, Jason. It's a wonderful job, you know. Working with these people will teach you to come out of your shell and obliterate any remnants of your social anxiety! I try to prevent my mind from responding to, well, my mind, but this cheerful voice inside be has been part of my life since I was a toddler, and so I indulge in my own insanity. How exactly is working as a laboratory intern a way of fixing my anxiety? The only thing they make me do is clean up the apparatus after they're done with their experiments! And I just stand there like a scarecrow, with a fake smile on my face, saying 'Thanks!' as if they gave me the most important mission of my entire life! The voice doesn't seem to have an answer for my accusation, and so it finally shuts up, letting me to resume the monotony of the past few hours. In hindsight, working for 'Astral Arc' seemed like a great prospect of adding work experience to my CV as an undergraduate student, at least when some official representatives had visited my university to present their new and upcoming company. From Pharmaceutics to Research & Development, and even Bioengineering of infectious agents, the company appeared as the perfect place to work and learn, with 'friendly' staff and many opportunities to grow. In the first month of working here, I realized that the only good thing about Astral Arc was their marketing department, because they had done a damn good job at hiding the fact that all students would be treated like house elves that their only objective in life was cleaning and filing up stacks of paperwork. But I'm not mad or anything. Besides, my inability to handle confrontation prevents me from speaking up about the horrible working hours or measly pay. So, all I do is keep my head down and follow the orders of the Senior Researchers, who're essentially in charge in the Bioengineering Sector of the building. The only silver lining in this scam job is that I have my own desk and computer that I use when I'm not cleaning lab equipment, although the laboratory has restricted access to the internet in order to prevent any leaking of 'redacted information'. The funniest part of this whole farce is that my section, Lab 1, is only working on a potential bio-agent that can detect epithelial cell damage, which has to be the most boring assignment yet. It's rather unfair, because the other labs are working on far more exciting projects, or so I've heard. As each minute passes, the clock on the wall somehow gets slower, the passing hours feeling like eons of boredom and apathy. Another intern sitting next to me taps the plastic wall that separates our desks. He's rather cute, with clear blue eyes, red hair and a gentle smile, but I never made a move, because not knowing is better than rejection in my opinion. It's not that I look unappealing, but courage isn't one of my strengths, to say at least. With straight black hair and black eyes, I'm no stunner, but I think I'm seen as generally attractive. Combined with an average 5'10 frame, I fit well into the median. "Hey Jason, do you need anything from the vending machine? I ought to have a break now, my fingers are killing me from all this typing," he smiles at me as he flexes his hand muscles. He's taller than me, and slightly toned, and I briefly take a peek at the veins of his forearms. I look up at him from my desk, and my stomach suddenly reminds me that I haven't eaten anything after breakfast, and more than ten hours have passed since then. "I-err. Could you get me a bar or something? Just make sure it has like, a gazillion calories," I reply back and with a nod, I watch him leave our cramped room and disappear into the nearby hallway. His butt perks as he walks away, and I tear my gaze away in case he looks back. Like I said, no courage. Now with my eyes back on the computer screen, I notice a flashing icon in the taskbar, just underneath the opened documents where I'm working on today's lab report. It's a red mail, meaning a message from Headquarters itself. My stomach suddenly feels as if its falling from Mt. Everest. From the rumors I've heard, receiving messages like this generally means one thing: reduced performance and subsequent termination. My hand trembles as I move the mouse towards the blinking message, and then I click. >CODE SS-A: IMMEDIATE EVACUATION< It has come to our attention that an accident occurred in Laboratory 5 of the Bioengineering Section. We have a verified report of a potential Bio-Agent human contamination. As such, we are requesting Labs 1, 2, 3 and 4 and their subsequent intern centers to be evacuated until the situation has been resolved. We have contacted emergency services and a team of first responders have been stationed outside the building. Do not be afraid. The situation is currently under control, and so we urge you to evacuate as calmly as possible. Thank you for your mandatory cooperation. The moment my eyes read the last sentence of the message, the white lights in the room suddenly go out and are immediately replaced by a bright, ominous crimson that bathes the walls in red. I look at my hands, and I see them shaking, a bad omen from my experiences. It's just an evacuation, calm down! The computer screen is displaying the message again, now flooded with warning signs and a map showing the nearest escape. Then, as if the lights weren't enough, a blaring wail begins echoing through the intern center, a screeching sound so loud that it floods out all other noises and senses. I can hear the faint screams of the nearby interns, three girls and two guys my age that I never introduced myself to. A primal fear has tainted their eyes, and if I had a mirror, I'd probably have the same kind of horror carved on my face. Oh crap. OH CRAP. The combination of the red lights with the roaring sounds of the alarm made me feel as if someone had opened a portal to Hell and let something truly infernal come out of it. Some interns scramble to run towards the door, while others are left behind to try and take their personal objects with them. All of them are shouting and screaming, and it makes me want to cry in fear, even though I know that there's no immediate danger. I try to drown my own scream from escaping my throat, but it only results in a pathetic sound that reminds me of a dying cat. Thankfully, the human body is a work of art in terms of survival, and so my animal instincts kick in and I find myself running for the exit corridor. The only perk of working in Lab 1 is that its nearest to the escape doors, which should lead to the safety of the outside parking lot. And so, I join in the rampant run towards the exit, only taking my phone with me and leaving everything else behind. The security guards that are usually stationed out of each center have disappeared to somewhere unknown, and that makes me feel a tinge of anger. They're supposed to be here to protect us, aren't they? Did they actually just abandon their posts and left us all to fend for ourselves?! I push the thoughts away and focus on my current task: escape this hellhole as fast as possible. I didn't want to wait and find out just what exactly had escaped from Lab 5, but in my frenzied panic, a zombie apocalypse was the only thing that came up my mind, even though I knew that the chances of that happening was more science fiction that real-life. Maybe it was a bio-engineered bacterium that caused a number of diseases; maybe it was just modified corn that was somehow sneaked out of the lab. The exit doors are now just in front of me, and so I push them with glee and panic, letting the evening wind hit me straight in the face. I quickly join the rest of my intern group, our faces drained of colour and still shaking from this possibly traumatic experience. But everything was over. We had successfully evacuated from the facility, and so we could go home now, right? We would wait for the other groups to come join us, and then everything would be fine. As soon as that happy thought crossed my mind, a ten-person squad of people in hazmat suits surrounded us. We couldn't see their faces, as the sun had set an hour ago and only the cloudy sky was reflected back from the glass. They screamed at us to make a line, so they could spray us with a primary disinfectant vapor, and then the tsunami of questions started pouring out of their mouths, the constant stream being muffled by the hazmat suits. Before we could even begin to answer them, something absorbed all of our collective collection away. The doors of the building suddenly bulged outwards, and more than twenty people start running screaming outside. I recognize the cute intern in the horde, any trace of smile having been wiped clean out of his face, and subsequently replaced with an all-known terror. But something was different. I couldn't pinpoint what exactly, but his eyes betrayed a whole different level of fear, not the mindless panic and chaos that my group and I exhibited. And then we all heard it. A hissing sound emanating from the doors. It sounded like a giant snake, really. My imagination was quick to fill up the gaps with the horrors of animals mutated beyond recognition. The horde of interns was quick to take many steps back from the escape doors, and I saw many familiar faces, even a friend of mine. I had never seen Luke so scared in his life. I couldn't move from my spot to go and join him. Somehow, my body was completely frozen, with the exception of my hands, which were still shaking. The hissing increased in pitch, and everything stayed still. As I saw later in the news, the explosion obliterated the entire laboratory, along with many of its occupants.
It's been a while since I've posted anything here. The usual stuff happened/happens I guess, so I haven't really had enough time to write much of anything. That's not actually true. For those of you curious, I've written the next two parts of Beyond Sexy a couple of times, but I don't know, for some reason I end up satisfied and delete them. That's a work in progress and will continue to be for awhile. Hopefully no more than a couple of weeks. Anyways, that old 'got to write something' feeling snuck up on me today and a some time later, I had this written up. Feel free to make any additions, other than incest or furry stuff. Hope you enjoy. %% Also if it seems overly complex/convoluted for a magic base story, I'm not entirely sure why I did that. So, basically the character puts on the ring to transform, the speed of the changes are controlled the by character, and any changes are permanent after the ring is taken off. Now in the ring is placed back on, then the character can again change his appearance. So really the changes are only permanent if the character loses the ring. The Ring Transfiguration. A process reserved only for the most skillful and trustworthy magicians. Usage was strictly regulated and those unauthorized were punished severely. It was only natural that such revered magic would be perverted by a teenager. Daniel Veras was neither particularly powerful nor skilled, yet through sheer determination and endless repetition he managed to create something comparable to a miracle. Crafted into a simple stainless steel ring, lacking any engraving or precious stones, was a magic born of thousands of years of arcane knowledge and countless failures. By slipping his fourth digit through the ring, Daniel was able to undergo a complete metamorphosis, adding or losing mass, changing form completely or simply making cosmetic adjustments. Unlike transfiguration spells, that only changed the physical appearance, the ring's magic recorded the changes made on the macroscopic world and altered the microscopic world to match. Giving the wearer a new genetic template meant specialized magic given form for the purpose of undoing transfiguration spells was ineffective because there was nothing to change back. It also meant the transformations were permanent once the ring was removed. **** Daniel rummaged through a drawer full of condoms for several seconds before settling on a particular size and flavor. He stuffed a handful of extra large rubbers into back pocket before wandering through the apartment making sure his roommates were gone. Satisfied and at easy with his roommates gone, Daniel ducked into his closet and entered the combination on an enchanted safe; only those able to manipulate magic were able to even perceive the solid chuck of metal. He rummaged through the mystic artifacts, searching for a familiar worn circle. Once he found it, Daniel walked to the full length mirror hanging against the back of his bedroom door and slipped the metallic circle onto its home. The changes were immediate. Everywhere, except that the waist, Daniel's jeans tightened as thick muscle spontaneously developed from nothingness. The denim molded like a secondary skin around Daniel's expanding rear globes and impressive frontal mound. The skin on his upper body tightened as the few pounds of fat melted away, revealing a network of well defined muscle. Daniel added mass to his arms and chest, while keeping his abdomen flat, yet allowing his abs to pop against his dark blue polo. As his bones thickened and lengthened, the ring expanded in size, keeping snug against Daniel's muscular finger. For several minutes Daniel stared into the mirror, admiring his imagination and the ring's power. He grabbed the hem of his polo, lifted it shoulder level, and flexed his meaty bricks for several seconds before deciding to make the cuts deeper and more pronounced. Satisfied he dropped the hem and continued model in front of the mirror. As Daniel struck pose after pose, he altered the bone structure of his face. With each cover worthy shot, Daniel's cheekbones became more pronounced and better defined, his jawline became stronger making him look older than his 21-years. He played around going from youthfully handsome to rugged manly, as a finishing touch, he added a short, dense forest of jet black hair to his face and scalp. Unable to find any further changes, Daniel walked into the garaged and started the engine of his car. Seconds later he sped out of the drive way, thinking of the fun ahead and the endless possibilities of the ring.