Hunter: Fantasy, Football, Frenzy (musc)

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“You look sensational.”

Neil smiled at Mel as she walked out of the bathroom. Her black-and-white dress hugged her feminine figure beautifully, and her high heels made her legs look eight miles long. Neil loved when she wore heels – he was six-four and she was a whole foot shorter, which made any kind of romantic gesture more paternal than partnered. He had to bend down to kiss her, unless he wanted to kiss the top of her head. The height difference also looked strange in pictures; heels fixed all that.

The bodice of Mel’s dress fit her perfectly, and the skirt started high enough to conceal her barely-visible bump. Neil walked up and put his two large hands on her belly and they both smiled. He knew that inside was his third son, little Landon – a boy he knew was going to be full of surprises, just as Lachlan had said, and who would grow to be tall and handsome and apparently very active. Neil slowly ran his hands up and down Mel’s belly, as if rubbing it for good luck, and he felt her hands on top of his. Landon…funny, Lachlan could have lied to him and said that the third Blue was named something insane like Mothra, and for all Neil had known it would have been true. Where did they get Landon from, anyway?

“Have you thought about a name?”

He was so deep in thought, he barely heard her. “Huh?”

“I like Landon,” she said simply, and Neil was so stunned that he nearly fell over.

“I like that too,” he said with a big grin. “Landon Blue. Fits right in.”

“Landon Blue,” she said with a smile as she rubbed her stomach, before continuing, “…but please be a girl.”

Neil’s eyes became sympathetic as he stared at his wife. If she had looked up, she would have seen the blue pools shimmering with slight sadness, stuck in internal debate as to whether to share their knowledge. But Neil didn’t say a word.

“You look great,” she said, changing the subject. “I love it when you get dressed up.” She reached up and flicked the bangs of his blond hair upward, then dusted off his broad shoulders. He was so handsome, and she adored him. Mel had originally been attracted to Neil solely on looks – after all, they had slept together the day they met – but the more time she had spent with him, the more she fell for him. She knew from the start that he would be dedicated, hard-working, a caring husband and a wonderful father. The looks, though, they were certainly still there – the happy, open face that lit up like a lightbulb when he smiled and laughed, the perfect teeth and skin, the blue eyes that betrayed any emotion he felt. And of course his muscular swimmer’s build, broad and chiseled and flat, like a mattress she wanted to curl up and sleep on. Neil’s shoulders had always been one of her favorite parts of his – they reminded her of her father’s - an athlete’s shoulders, powerful and exceptionally broad. She couldn’t believe the power and strength of Neil’s body. It was a build that looked spectacular in anything, but a tailored tuxedo just sent her over the edge.

And when Leighton walked into their room and Neil scooped him up and tickled him, it was all Mel could do to not jump her husband right there. She knew Lachlan looked more like her, but Leighton was all Neil. The boy in Neil’s arms had the same openness to his face, the same big blue eyes and the same internal sparkle. As Mel watched her beautiful husband play with his doppelganger son, she fell more in love with both of them.

The doorbell rang and Neil could hear Bianca going to answer it, followed by the sound of Hunter’s deep voice.

Neil addressed Leighton as he still held him. “You wanna go play with Burke, buddy?”


Leighton descended to the floor and sped out of the room. Neil took a moment to kiss his wife and take her hand as they walked out of the bedroom. “I love you so much it’s stupid.”

“Mmmm, how romantic,” she smiled, her sarcasm highlighting her dark beauty. “We’re going to have some fun tonight.”

Neil smiled wolfishly. “You look edible.”

“So do you. God, when you wear a tux, I can barely control myself.”

Mel saw Neil blush as Katie and Hunter approached. Even after eight years of marriage, Neil still wasn’t used to compliments.

Katie looked miserable. Seven-and-a-half months pregnant with triplets, she was obviously slightly self-conscious about her unusual shape, and her dress was loose and draped over her large belly.

“Oh, sweetie,” Mel said, rushing over. “I know that look. Sick?”

“It hasn’t been a good day,” Katie said with a weak smile. “I want to go out and have a good time, but I feel like crap.”

“She’s been sick for most of the day. We almost cancelled,” Hunter continued, wrapping an arm around Katie’s shoulder. “We’ll probably leave early. She’s supposed to go on bed rest next week.”

“Daddy. Dad. Daaaaad,” Leighton said, pulling on Neil’s pant leg. “Tooooys.”

“Toys what?”

“Toys please.”

Neil smiled and picked up Leighton, and Hunter did the same with Burke as they headed down the hall of the Blue penthouse to the playroom. Burke looked over his Dad’s shoulder and waved to Katie, who waved back with a beautiful smile.

“Burke looks so much like Hunter, I’m really starting to notice it,” Mel whispered.

“Doesn’t he? It’s hilarious. Oh, I didn’t tell you, the other day he wanted applesauce and we were out, so I told him no, and he made this face,” she mimicked the expression, slightly widening her eyes and tilting her chin sideways, “and it’s the EXACT face Hunter makes when he’s annoyed. I almost lost it laughing right there. And he already loves football, too.”

“And he has all that hair!”

“Oh, I know. The head of black hair – we sweep it back, like Hunter does, and it makes him look like a little man, so funny. And look at Leighton, he’s Neil in baby form.”

“Isn’t he perfect? He’s my little Cupid with those blond curls.”

“I’d love to see baby pictures of Neil, just to compare.”

“We don’t have any, isn’t that horrible?!”

“None?” Katie asked the question and then realized, with one quick flash, exactly why that was the case.

“None! I’ve never really pressed the issue, but it’s weird. He was his parents’ first child and there are next to no pictures of him as a baby. I’ve seen one with his Dad holding him, but he’s about two weeks old in it, there’s no way of comparing the features. Neil looks nothing like his Dad though....his Dad was kind of short and tubby,” Mel said with a chortle. “It’s still funny, though, it shows the difference in the times. I think we had a thousand pictures of Lachlan by the time he was a month old, and Neil has ONE!”

Katie smiled. “That’s the strangest thing.” Neil really needs to tell you, she thought. “Can we go sit down? I’m already tired.”

They walked into the kitchen and Katie eased into a chair, resting her back. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, carrying these three.”

“You poor thing. It’ll be worth it, though, you know it will.”

“I know, really I do. I don’t want to complain but I feel like it’s all I do! I’m just not used to being tired all the time! Hunter’s been so great and supportive, always rushing straight back to the City after practice,” she said with a smile crossing her lips. “The other night Burke came into our room at like three in the morning – he wakes us up, not the nanny, which is good. We want to be his parents, you know? Anyway, he was scared of the thunder. And Hunter didn’t know that I had woken up at all, and he picked up Burke and walked out of the room with him, and I could hear him say ‘Don’t wake up Mama, Mama’s really tired. Wake up Daddy.’ It was so sweet, because he’s so tired, too. He spends all day practicing and working out and training and then the weekends are games, and he travels back and forth for the entire week.”

“That’s adorable. Guys like Hunter and Neil are so hard to find,” Mel said. “They’re almost old-fashioned, in a way, aren’t they?”

Katie nodded. “We’re both really…blessed. I just knew Hunter was the one for me, and it scared me because I was so young. But none of my other married girlfriends come even close to the rapport that Hunter and I have, or that you and Neil do. I woke up the next day, after the storm, and Hunter was curled up with Burke in Burke’s bed. He doesn’t even come close to fitting, but it was such a sweet picture. He loves Burke so much. He changed in a lot of ways after Burke was born, and all for the better. Did Neil change after Lachlan?”

“Well, that was honestly pretty early in our relationship. You and Hunter had Burke after several years of marriage, but we’ve had Lachlan almost the whole time that I’ve known Neil,” she laughed and shrugged. “Whoopsie! I always knew Neil was an old soul, though. I feel like there’s still a lot I don’t know about him. I want to know him better, I really do. I’m also lucky to have him in my life, so lucky...blessed, like you said. He’s crazy about me and he’s an amazing father - his whole life is his family. I love him, of course I love him, he’s my husband! But do you ever feel, with Hunter, that you’re not getting the full story?”

“Not really,” Katie admitted, knowing that there wasn’t much else Hunter could tell her that could come as a surprise. Poor Mel. “Hunter and I met in our early teens. There’s not a lot to cover before then.”

“Neil’s just got an element of mystery to him, which is funny because he’s also the most accessible person I’ve ever known. I don’t know much about his childhood or his teen years. It’s like his life started when he met me, almost. I want to know everything about him! He fascinates me. I always want to talk but with two kids,” she looked down at her belly and smiled, “Well, two and a half kids, plus all our stuff going on, his training and PR stuff and mine too, it’s hard. And I have no reason to doubt him, so I just drop it.” She paused. “What’s taking them so long?”

“It HAS been a while, hasn’t it? I don’t know.”

Katie eased onto her feet and the two women walked back to the toy room, to find their husbands in their tuxedos, on their hands and knees, playing with their sons. Burke sat on Hunter’s back and Leighton was on Neil’s, and the two boys were dueling with plastic swords. Katie and Mel stood in the doorway and watched.

Hunter’s head didn’t move but his eyes shifted over to Katie. “Do we need to go?”

She laughed. “Baby, yes.”

“Alright, son,” Hunter moved his hands up and flipped a giggling Burke around and onto the floor. “We need to head out. Have fun with Leighton and Lachlan and do what Bianca tells you, okay?”

“’kay Dad.”

It was Mel who lifted Leighton off of Neil’s back and held him as her husband stood and wiped some lint off his knees. “Be good, sweetie,” she said to Leighton, and kissed him on the forehead.

“Yes, Mom.” Leighton got a wide grin on his face that was pure Neil; Neil’s whole essence within a two-year-old. Mel melted into it.

“That’s probably the last red carpet I walk with a belly the size of an oil tanker,” Katie said as she and Hunter walked into the fundraising gala.

“You still look amazing,” he said as he looked around the room.

“You’re sweet. Oh, here, your tie is crooked.”

“Shit, was it like that outside?,” he asked as she straightened it.

“No, I remember noticing it was okay. It must’ve gotten jostled in the crowd as we walked in.” She cupped her hands around his thick neck and grinned evilly. “Nice bronzer.”

“Shut up. You know I get weird tan lines during practice.”

“You’re wearing more makeup than me.”

Hunter grimaced. “Stop iiiiiit.”

She laughed and he glared down at her, but she looked up and batted her eyes and flashed her perfect smile, and that was all it took for him to crack and laugh too.

An inside photographer for the event took some candids of them, then they posed. “Beautiful couple, beautiful,” he said. Katie thanked him. Hunter put his hands in his pockets and gazed at her as she greeted friends and acquaintances.

She looked back over her shoulder at him and her eyes smiled. She loved him most when he was dressed up, at black-tie events like this one. The first time they had met, he had been dressed up – and just a boy. His shirt and tie had sat, slightly ill-fitting, on his adolescent body. But tonight, his tux was tailored perfectly to his gorgeous, strong physique. Wide chest, proud shoulders, defined waist, big arms. And his hair, all swept back and beautiful, with the trimmed sideburns framing his handsome, clean-shaven face.

She saw his eyes narrow and could tell that he had recognized someone. He folded his arms across his chest and puffed out his cheeks as he sized up whoever he was looking at, unaware that Katie was looking at him.

“So, who are you staring down?”

He smiled sheepishly. “I just can’t believe that he’s here. See that guy over there?”

“Which one?”

“Tux with the green tie.”

“Ahhh, yes. Let me guess.”

“You got it.”

She took his hand and led him over to a table where a waiter could take their drink orders. “Tell me the story, but I have to sit.”

He pulled out the chair for her and held her hand as she eased into it before he continued. “Okay. It was before Burke was born…”

“You drafted Hardy? That’s stupid.”

This loud declaration piqued Hunter Hardy’s interest as he sat in the corner booth at his usual bar. Neil was training at the pool. Katie was in an absolutely foul mood and at home in bed, pregnant with Burke. He was even tired of the guys on the team. Hunter didn’t really feel like spending time with anyone at the moment. He wanted to flash himself home and talk to his Dad or one of his brothers, but he couldn’t even do that.

So he crept into his haunt in the middle of the day, grabbed a New York Times and a Heineken and tried to relax.

And now, some loudmouthed asshole was insulting him without even knowing he was there.

Hunter folded down the top of his newspaper and peered over the edge at the pair that had entered, the only other customers in the bar. Another guy had come in earlier but he was only there because he’d seen Hunter come in, and when he just sat and stared at the QB and didn’t order, the bartender kicked him out.

The two men were different in several ways. The one doing the talking – the loud one – looked to be mid-forties, whereas his cohort was 25 at the most. The younger one was reedy-looking, skinny - his clothes didn’t fit very well. A powder-blue Oxford shirt and tweed blazer, like something a professor would wear, only they were a few sizes too big. He was a couple inches shorter than the older guy and a good seventy-five pounds lighter. His hair was thin but he had a full head of it, and his glasses, clothes and general quiet demeanor indicated a bookish nature.

The older, noisy one had a horseshoe pattern of hair and a large belly that spilled over his belt. His white polo shirt had a slight stain on the pocket, probably from lunch. He looked slightly unkempt, and with his boisterous nature factored in, Hunter assumed he was divorced; his companion, unmarried and unattached. Their occupations were unknown, but they were obviously coworkers.

“Hardy’s a fuckin’ bodybuilder, not a QB,” the older one continued. “6-6, 265?! His muscles have muscles. That ain’t the body of a quarterback. It’s a wonder he can even move.”

Hunter rolled his eyes. Boy, there’s a new one.

“Mark, he’s the top QB in the nation, he’s already got a ring. He had 70% completion last season, almost 5,000 yards, 36 TDs, that’s just ridiculous, I mean he could-”

“He’s gonna have a bad season, you just watch, Johnny boy. Maybe pull a Brady and fuck his knee up or somethin’, I can just feel it. Guys like him don’t last. He’s too busy taking his shirt off and oiling up for whoever will take his fuckin’ picture, ya know?”

“I don’t think that’s fair,” John disagreed.

“Oiling himself up and boning that wife of his, va-va-voom. What a pretty boy,” Mark said dismissively with a crass laugh. Hunter nearly brought the bar’s ceiling down on the idiot’s head.

John shifted in discomfort and changed the subject. “So who’d you draft?”

“Hallenbeck,” Mark said with pride, leaning back and placing his arms behind his head. “Kid’s gonna explode this year, I can feel it.”

If Hunter had kept rolling his eyes, they would’ve fallen out of his head. Hallenbeck?! That fatass? Now I KNOW he’s full of shit.

“I don’t even have a linebacker yet,” John muttered, almost afraid to continue the conversation.

“Oh, Bayer is the best, no question,” Mark said, continuing to talk out of his ass. He belched, then continued to talk, and talk, and talk, not even bothering to respond when John mentioned how hot it was and took off his suit coat.

“See, your problem is that you’re just following what a couple charts are telling you. You gotta watch more closely, Johnny, you gotta-”

“Stop calling me Johnny.”


“My name is John, not Johnny.” John balled his left hand into a fist and stared at it blankly.

“What are ya, some kind of bigshot?”

John groaned and shifted in obvious discomfort. “Does my shirt look tight to you?”

“Now that you mention it, yeah, it does.”

“It feels really tight, really fuckin’ tight…” John looked downward and saw the wrinkles in the blue fabric slowly disappearing. It was like…weird…it looked like he was growing into the shirt, or something. It was starting to get really uncomfortable around his back and chest. He reached up and massaged his neck, then unbuttoned the second button to alleviate some of the pressure and noticed the way his shoulder bulged out when he moved his arm…had it done that before? His hands looked a lot bigger and as one of his fingers touched his jaw, he swore he felt the bone underneath shift a little. That was weird…and his shirt cuffs could barely contain his wrists – he’d never had thick wrists, he knew that. “Mark, Mark, I don’t think my shirt should be this tight.”

“I don’t think mine should be this loose,” Mark said in alarm, looking down at a rapidly receding gut. “That’s not a normal thing,” he mumbled as his body dwindled in size.

“Fuck, Mark, look at this fuckin’ shirt.” Mark looked up and saw John – or the man who had been John – bulging out of the blue oxford hilariously. He looked like one of those YouTube muscle guys who put on shirts from the boys department. That’s what it looked like, some gym bunny who had found his school uniform from fifth grade and was putting it on again. John’s pectorals popped the top three buttons of his shirt, which flew across the table and hit Mark. John’s shoulders looked so mountainous, now, almost like they were connected to the very top of his wider and shorter neck, sloping straight down into thick arms that were getting bigger by the minute. Mark noticed that John’s shirttail was above his belly button, not tucked into his pants like it had been. Was that little pipsqueak getting taller, too? Fuck. John’s waist packed on inch after inch of rock-solid mass, making his upper body positively square with power. Abs were barely delineated on his stomach, which now bulged out slightly and burst the button on his khakis.

As Mark stared at John, the now much-bigger John was reciprocating the gaze. Mark was so preoccupied with John’s changes that he failed to notice what was happening to his own body. Mark’s gut was gone, along with the slight flab that had hung all over his body. The older man’s body shrank until it was a much more compact 5-8, at the same rate of John’s height increase to 6-6. Mark stared up at John with fear, and John looked into Mark’s eyes, noticing how different they looked now – getting wider and bigger by the second, until they looked like the eyes on some anime character, wide as saucers with clear sparkling whites and beautiful big green irises. They were…pretty. Fuck, Mark’s whole face was pretty now. His lips weren’t thin anymore, they were thick and plump; his big nose had shrank into a tiny, sweet little ski-slope on his face. The bloom returned to his cheeks, which flushed hot pink, and his skin became so smooth and clear that he looked like a young man untouched by acne or even a razor. John reached across the table and ran a finger along Mark’s cheek, who recoiled. “Fuck, it’s like a little boy’s skin,” John muttered. Mark reached up with both hands and tried to push John’s arm away, but the big man was far too strong now. John’s hands were covered with blisters, tears, calluses, chapped and cracked like an old leather glove, not to mention the hands felt as big as Mark’s face. Mark didn’t like John touching him, he was older than John, he WAS, dammit!

“John, John, help me, what’s happening to me…to us…” Mark grabbed his throat and gasped at the voice coming out of it. It was still a deep voice – not as deep as it had been, but the tone was so much silkier, so much younger. He sounded like some college kid.

By now, John was grasping the table as if his life depended on it. The buttons on his cuff exploded into air as the sleeves were forced open by forearms bigger than John’s old upper arms. His shirt had become so ridiculously tight that it looked painted on – nipples and veins were apparent through the struggling fabric. All the buttons had popped off save for the bottom, and soon the new muscles on John’s enormous frame had nowhere to go but outward. Mark could hear the tearing. A large rip in the fabric wrent itself all the way from the middle of John’s shoulder blades – which now looked six feet wide – to his lower back. His biceps, now bigger than an average man’s head, forced their way through his sleeves and deltoids the size of dodgeballs began to work through as well. With annoyance, John ripped the sleeves off, then scratched furiously as his arms grew thick with brown curly hair. His chest, which looked screwed onto his upper body like a car’s bumper, grew a pelt to match, and he couldn’t see the beginnings of a brown beard sprouting on his face. John’s mitt of a hand reached down and tried to adjust his crotch, the fabric of which was getting caught up on his enormous cock and wrenching his balls to uncomfortable levels. The khaki looked paper-thin across his dick and thighs, and two small rips in the fabric grew larger as John flexed his leg muscles to reveal massive teardrop quads bursting through. His glasses slid off his face and clattered onto the floor, and he blinked vigorously as his vision adjusted.

“This shirt doesn’t fit anymore,” John said vacantly, and he tore off the blue Oxford in one stroke, exposing an enormous upper body covered with hairy muscle. His beard was trimmed and neat and ran across a much stronger jawline and thicker chin. His thin brown locks were gone, replaced with just a dusting of hair on top of his head, barely a buzz cut. Mark saw John’s nose get a little wider, a little flatter, the bookish man’s fine features changing into rougher, more masculine ones – thinner lips, deeper-set eyes, a broad face on top of a thick neck. Not gorgeous, but handsome in that hyper-masculine way, like a super-soldier. John couldn’t stop flexing his muscles, touching them, feeling their perfection. He was HUGE. It was kind of scary, but he figured he didn’t have much to worry about since he was getting better. Mark was really freaking though.

John stared at Mark with a cocky smirk. Mark was such an asshole – John had wanted to give him hell for years now. “Mind if I grab that shirt off ya? It’ll fit me better than it fits you.”

Mark wriggled backward as John reached for the white polo. “No, no, stop! I don’t have anything to weeeaaghi…” His words were garbled as the shirt was yanked over his head without his consent. John squeezed his huge frame into the garment and grinned at how amazing he looked. It was still pretty much skin-tight, but it wasn’t going to rip or tear. His nipples poked out of the semi-sheer white fabric stretched across his mammoth chest. His arms pulled the sleeves almost to the breaking point and the big vein caused a slight ripple in the fabric. The open collar showed off the thickness of his neck, the huge breadth of his shoulders. John couldn’t stop smiling, a big white toothy smirk breaking through the brown whiskers around his lips.

He looked at Mark, who now had a full head of platinum-blond locks, his features so impossibly cute and sunny that his fear looked more precious than sad. His body was young and ruddy. Compact muscles were on his frame, better proportioned to his much shorter height – a nice pair of pecs and rippling abs, well-shaped biceps and a strong back. His thighs were huge, though, flaring out through tears in his jeans. The muscles on his legs were borderline disproportionate to the rest of him. It was the body of someone who spent a lot of time in the gym to make up for his shorter height.

John stood, easing onto his feet with tenacity. His khakis were stretched so tight that he could barely bend his knees, but he didn’t care – he looked hot. He liked looking hot, he had never looked hot before and knowing how it felt was the best thing ever. He flexed his upper body again and practically heard the polo’s fabric scream for mercy.

Mark was balled up in the booth, staring at his face in the reflection of a picture frame hanging on the wall. “Look at me, John, I look like a fuckin’ kid! 22, maybe 23 at most.”

John’s voice had changed into a loud foghorn, wildly different from the soft tones it had been before. “Yeah, you’re a baby.”

Mark looked back, trying to understand anything, trying not to freak. “Your voice! MY voice! I can’t go back to work like this! You can’t either, we’re different people, oh God, who are you? Who am I?!”

John nodded but didn’t answer the question, then wobbled slightly and scratched his head. “Do you feel a breeze?”

Mark’s long blond hair was fluttering, as if caught in a wind. “Yeah, what is that?”

“Wow, it’s strong,” John muttered as he took a step back, his big square ass tearing the khakis slightly. “Really strong, Mark, I…” The big man reached out and grabbed Mark’s hand, and Mark tried to pull, but they were both suddenly sucked into the omniscient wind and before they knew it, they weren’t in the bar at all.

Hunter chuckled and flipped to the sports section, happy to have some peace. The main article was about the Giants new place-kicker, some pretty-boy with a blond surfer shag, whose kicks were so far off the mark – one missing the end zone completely and flying into the stands over the 10-yard line, and another that had ended with him lying on his back like Charlie Brown – that he had been tested afterward to make sure his depth perception was alright. The article made passing mention of a low-key debut of the team’s newest linebacker, a hulking behemoth of a man named John Herzog.

“You’re so mean,” Katie said. “That was almost uncalled for.”

“Just having a little fun,” Hunter said defensively. “I talked to them both later, explained what had happened, the usual,” he said casually, as if he were talking about mail delivery or pumping gas.

“Did you apologize for scaring the hell out of Mark and then making him look like an ass in front of a stadium of people?”

“Nah, he thought he was the shit. It’s his own fault. Aaaanyway, when I talked to them later, Mark wanted to be his old self again-”

“Can’t blame him.”

“…so I let him, but then he missed the young body so he asked me to change him back again. So, he’s still living down his first game – but his kicks are a whole lot better now.”

“Funny. I'm glad he’s gotten better. He must not have had any kids.”

“Nah, I asked. Divorced twice, no kids. Maybe a second chance will do him some good.”

Katie looked over at the muscled, tuxedoed mass that was John Herzog. He had a drink in his hand and was exchanging pleasantries with a man who looked to be about half his size. The tux was tailored perfectly. He was beefier than Hunter, big junky muscles as opposed to Hunter’s leaner, but not smaller, mass – but Hunter was so much more handsome.

“So,” Katie guided the conversation along. “John.”

“John Herzog, interesting guy,” Hunter said, running with the segue. “I haven’t run into him in a couple of years and I certainly didn’t think he’d be attending any gala fundraising events. Last time we played, he had a chance to sack me and he didn’t, he pretended to slip on the grass because it was raining…I really appreciated that. I last saw him at the ESPYs. He swore off the professor look when he got the new body, so it’s funny to see him in a tux, he’s usually a t-shirt-and-jeans guy. Looks almost exactly the same – hair’s a little different, but that’s it. The longer hair looks better with the beard anyway.”

“Who’s the woman with him?”

“No idea, last I heard, he had been caught having sex with Mark in the locker room – more than once, in fact. So I’m surprised to see him with a woman. Lots of things could’ve happened, maybe he’s bisexual, maybe he wanted a biological family, or the Giants forced him back into the closet…I don’t know. They look happy, and not the fake happy, but like they really enjoy each other’s company – I’m not going to judge him. She’s gorgeous.”

“She really is. Looks Brazilian.”

“I was thinking that. She’s still not nearly as perfect as you.” Hunter put his hands on Katie’s waist. “Big NFL guys always pick good women, don’t you think?”

“I would say that’s a fair assessment.”

Neil rushed up, looking almost frantic, and interrupted the moment. “Hunter, I need to talk to you now.”

They walked a few steps away. Hunter thought Neil had spotted someone he knew, or wanted to help – but he quickly realized that Neil was not in a good mood. “Bianca just called me.”

Hunter’s brow knotted with tension. “Yeah?”

“She said all the furniture from the playroom is in the hallway in a big pile and that the walls, carpet and ceiling are covered with purple polka-dots, and she has no idea how any of it happened.”

If Hunter hadn’t been chilled to the bone, the scenario would’ve been almost funny. “Ohhhhhh no.”

Neil wasn’t used to seeing Hunter rattled. The quarterback’s tan skin went white with fear. Neil stammered out, “I’m worried about Leighton. Hunter, please, please, Burke can’t do anything to my son, I’ll-”

“Get Katie and Mel and head back to your place, I’m going to flash myself there now, okay?”

Neil nodded and disappeared into the sea of people, searching for Katie and Mel.

He grabbed Katie’s arm from behind and she jumped. “I’m sorry, Katie, I’m sorry, didn’t mean to scare you…we’ve got to go. We’ve got to go now.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Burke’s discovered his little ability.”

Her skin turned the same color that Hunter’s had seconds before. “What? Now? How? Wh-what can we…”

“Where’s Mel?”

“She’s over talking to the museum curator, I just saw her…where’s Hunter?”

“Already back at my place. Head for the car, please Katie, please, I’m panicking, we’ve got to get out of here now.”

She nodded and ran to the exits, spotted their SUV and eased her way into it. She was glad Hunter was already on the scene. Katie told the driver there was a change of plans and they were going to head for Neil’s building, and that the Blues were on their way. She leaned back into the seat, sat still for a few moments, and then burst into tears. The driver sat awkwardly, unsure of what to say, so he passed her his pocket square and she took it gratefully.

She was still crying when Mel and Neil got into the car, and still crying as the car sped through the New York streets. Mel was in a state of panic and didn’t know what was happening, and Neil was obviously ill-equipped to handle the situation, sitting with his head in his trembling hands. Mel begged them to tell her what was going on, but Katie didn’t know what to say and Neil didn’t know where to start.

Mel tried to comfort Katie, even though she didn’t even know why her friend was crying. They finally arrived at the building and the doormen rushed out to assist them, and as they ascended in the elevator, Katie grabbed Mel’s arm.

“Owwww, Kate, iron grip,” Mel said with surprise.

“I think I’m going into labor,” Katie gasped.

“What?!” Neil responded with panic, but Mel tried to calm Katie down. “No, no, you’re just a little freaked out, you’re fine…”

“No, no, this is NOT fine, I know this feeling. Oh no, oh no, I’m only 30 weeks, that’s not enough…triplets are usually premature but I’m not ready!” She shook her head vigorously. “I’m not ready, Mel!”

“Calm down, calm down, we’re going to get Hunter and everything will be fine, just hold onto my hand, okay, sweetie, there, hold Neil’s too.” Neil winced from Katie’s fingernails digging into his skin and drawing blood.

Katie was helped into the penthouse, totally panicked, and collapsed onto the couch. Mel and Neil ran up the stairs to playroom to find it looking totally normal. They had passed Lachlan’s dark bedroom on the way. Leighton was playing by himself and Burke was in Hunter’s arms, eyes wide and alert.

Neil didn’t know what to say first, so as he scooped up Leighton, he gasped out, “Is everything okay? Did he change Leighton?”

“No, Leighton was fine. Lachlan was fine, Bianca was fine. Everything normal except for the furniture in the hallway, like Poltergeist or something. A little damage control fixed everything. Burke…I don’t think he knew what he did. I told him to not do anything like that again, and that feeling like that was bad, and he promised he wouldn’t, so we’ll see if-”

“Katie thinks she’s in labor.”

Hunter’s eyes bugged out of his head. “WHAT?!”

Hunter started to rush out of the room until Mel’s voice stopped him cold.

“WHAT IS GOING ON?!,” she finally yelled, completely mystified and beginning to cry for the first time that evening. She had been standing in the room, silently hearing the whole conversation and going mad from confusion.

Hunter looked over at Neil, who looked like he wanted to die. “You’ve still haven’t told her?”

“Told me what?” Mel’s tone was terrified and terrifying, all at once. “Neil Blue, what haven’t you told me?! Hunter, tell me, what is going on, PLEASE…”

“Where’s Katie?”

“She’s downstairs on the couch,” Neil said emptily.

Mel grabbed Hunter’s arm. “Please tell me what’s going on, why were you talking about Leighton and Lachlan? What could’ve happened to them?!”

“Mel, please, I have to go, I’m sorry, I had no idea that you-”

She interrupted him with an icy tone, as tears rolled down her motionless face. “Why do I get the feeling that everyone else knows something that I don’t?”

“Mel, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” Hunter said with true empathy. “I don’t have time, Kate is in labor, we’ve got to get to the hospital. We have to, I’m sorry, Neil will have to explain…”

Hunter bolted and Mel stood still, her wide eyes taking in every crack and crevice of the room. She looked Hollywood-gorgeous, with a defined clavicle and perfect cleavage, her chest rising and falling with each confused breath.

She turned to her husband, who also was motionless with Leighton curled up asleep in his arms. Neil could see Mel’s frustration and knew that it was time. He was petrified and there was no hiding it – she could see fear all over his face. His big blue eyes burned with it.

Her brow was furrowed with confusion and hurt. “Neil?”

He stared back at her for a long time, his mouth dropped open slightly. He couldn’t say anything – he tried, but nothing came out. He just wrapped his hands around Leighton and buried his face in his son’s hair, kissing the sleeping head.

Hunter, with Burke in his arms, was desperately trying to stay in control of the situation. He would’ve just flashed them straight to the hospital except he couldn’t control Burke, and he wouldn’t leave his son behind, so the car service would have to do. He heard Neil’s voice shouting from upstairs right as he got to Katie. “Hunter, wait.”

“Make it quick, Neil,” Hunter said quickly without turning his head, too focused on his wife to really pay attention to his best friend.

Mel stood in the playroom and, from her vantage point to the stairs, saw Neil whisper something in Hunter’s ear. Hunter nodded, said something like “Done, good luck” and before Mel could walk over, Hunter and Katie and Burke were walking into the hallway with the building’s staff rushing to their aid.

Neil walked into Leighton’s bedroom and placed his son under the sheets, careful to not wake him. He looked into Lachlan’s room and saw his oldest fast asleep. He smiled.

Bianca stood in the hallway. “Neil, do you need anything else?”

“Bianca,” Neil said as he removed his jacket. “Mel and I have to have a serious talk. It’d be good if the kids wouldn’t come in for a couple of hours. If you could stay up and make sure that they don’t disturb us, I’d really appreciate it…if they really need us, last resort, come get me. I’ll tell you when you can go to bed, I’m really sorry to keep you up, this is kind of an emergency.”

Her accented English was clear and concise. “It is alright, Neil. It is alright. My last employer made me stay up with the children every night. They did not enjoy being parents. You enjoy being a parent, I know it. Two hours…even one whole night…it is alright,” she said with a smile.

He touched her shoulder and smiled. A total charmer. “Thank you, Bianca.”

Neil shut the door to his bedroom and looked at Mel’s back. She stood looking out the huge glass window, down onto Central Park. Her fingers delicately rolled back and forth across the silver chain of her necklace, and one of her hands rested lightly on her belly. When she heard the door click, she turned around. A single tear rolled down her cheek.

He held his hands outward. “Baby…”

“Neil Blue, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s secrets.”

“I know.” He looked down at the floor, with his hands in his pockets. His white shirt made his tan skin glow and his blond hair shimmer, and he looked vibrant and handsome. She had to remind herself that she was mad at him.

He walked up to her and took her hands in his, and raised them up to his mouth and kissed them, then pressed his forehead against them. “What I’m about to tell you, you’re probably not going to believe.”

She raised an eyebrow, her icy Romanian demeanor cracking through as it did on occasion, in contrast to her easygoing husband. “Try me.”

He guided her to the bed and the sat down on the edge of it. She could feel his hands shaking and he had trouble looking into her eyes, which scared her – he always stared dead into them, unflinching.

“I’ll start at the beginning.”

And he did. He described a lonely, ugly boy – short and fat - who knew he deserved a better life but didn’t think it would ever come. He talked about friends that he didn’t enjoy and a job he hated and a school that he dreaded going to, and a mother that needed a lot of help that his dead father couldn’t provide. Then he talked about a handsome stranger stepping into his life and showing him a little kindness on a day that he needed it most.

Then Neil started talking weird. He talked about transformations and a life-changing day when that ugly boy turned into a gorgeous hunk. He talked about popularity and the joy it brought, the feeling of discovering all these new abilities. He talked about swimming and training nonstop, blown away by his new body’s capabilities, by the women it could land. He talked about standing in his bathroom for hours, just staring at himself, running his hands across the planes of his face and contours of his body and crying from joy. He talked about going out on the town with that handsome stranger, who was now his best friend, and changing people’s lives in the same way that his own had been changed forever. He talked about meeting a beautiful girl and slowly realizing that this girl was going to be his wife, and that he loved her – and how scary and wonderful and intoxicating it all was.

He told her everything. All of it.

And when Neil was done, he just sat, hunched and exhausted, hands still trembling. He looked into her eyes and she looked into his. He looked sad and afraid, she looked confused and hurt.

“Do you believe me?”

She wiped tears from her eyes and sat for a long time before she could say anything at all. “I don’t know, Neil, I don’t know. You seem to believe it, that’s for sure, but you have to understand that this sounds…crazy.”

“I know.”

“I have a hard time believing that you haven’t always been you, that you’ve had this whole life that I don’t know about, that Hunter somehow…God. How did I not know about this for so long? I’m your wife. I want to know everything about you. I had hoped that I already did.”

“I know. I’m sorry, I know it sounds nuts. Maybe…” He took a deep breath and pushed tears out of his eyes. She could see the vibrations of his heartbeat through his tux shirt. “Maybe this will help.”

And as Mel watched, Neil seemed to collapse in on himself. His shoulders lost their proud square shape and his waist widened as his body became doughy and chubby. His beautiful blond hair, immaculately styled, exploded into kinky curls. The square jaw receded, his nose beaked out. Even the hands that held Mel’s got soft and stubby, losing their masculine form.

She shot backward, briefly horrified. The man who sat on the bed was not her husband, not even close. He was ugly and unkempt – just a boy, really, an awkward boy. She had watched Neil grow into the man she loved, the father of her children, his boyishly cute twenty-year-old features transitioning into the stunningly handsome face of the twenty-nine-year-old Neil. Neither one of those Neils were on the bed.

He looked back into her eyes with tears rolling out of his. She gasped. The eyes – the eyes were the same. Their shape was a little different, and their color wasn’t nearly as vivid, but the soul behind them shone as bright and beautiful as it always had. He looked like he’d been mortally wounded. It broke her heart.

“You never…” He started to say, before flinching in horror at his high, dorky voice. “Noooooo, I forgot that.” He took another breath. “You n-never would have married me, not if y-you knew. I wanted t-to tell you but I never had the chance, the s-strength…I c-c-c-couldn’t tell you…”

“Stop.” She sat and stared at him for a long time, this broken and sad man that she did not know on the surface. He was about to start begging her to stay, to not leave him, when she took his face in her hands and kissed it hard, the tears on their cheeks mixing together. She could feel the relief he felt, the release that he had been dreading all these years.

“Neil Blue,” she said as she leaned her forehead against his, their noses lightly touching, “I vowed ‘til death, not ‘til beauty.”

He sobbed and collapsed onto her, his short arms wrapping around her and holding her as tight as he could, frustrated with the absence of his strength. “I kn-knew I married the right woman.”

She took a deep breath. “Make love to me.”

He jumped back. “Wh-what?!”

“The only way you could show me what you wanted to say was physically, and the same goes for me,” she said as she slowly pushed him down on the bed, internally surprised at how soft his body felt through his ill-fitting clothes. The body she had fucked for the last nine years was rock-hard and muscular and huge, but she wanted to show Neil that she loved him for the man he was, and that nothing could change that. She was not attracted to the new body, not in the least, but she loved the man within.

Nothing about him was as good as it had been before – his small hands fumbled with her zipper and he didn’t dominate her the way she liked. She tore his clothes off and rolled underneath him, keeping a kind smile even as she felt his strange fat folds press up against her own perfect body.

He started fucking her, and she pretended to like it. She knew what he liked hearing and she said it, but she could tell he didn’t believe her. His penis was small, unimpressive. He wasn’t confident at all. The thrusting stopped and she felt his breath on his face.

“What’s wrong?”

“I h-huh-hate this,” he said, that strange voice that she did not know coming out of him. “This is horrible. This is horrible,” he said, beginning to tremble. He looked at her face and saw the expressions of people he’d gone to high school with, people who were nice because they felt bad for him. “This is shit.”

“It’s not. I love you.”

“I never wanted you to s-see me like this, ever,” he said, his voice rising in pitch. She could hear the rage tearing through his tone. He was furious. Livid. The words were sucked inward as his lips quivered violently; anger and sadness seeped from every pore. “Ever. EVER. I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed. I hate myself like this. I hate it,” he emphasized, and she started getting nervous. Neil had a nasty temper at times.

“Please don’t, baby, I don’t want you to hate anything about yourself-”

“I’m so humiliated,” he moaned, drawing out the last word with tears exploding out of his eyes. His fist slammed into a pillow next to their bodies. “FUCK, I hate this body! I forgot how shitty it feels, I never want to see it again! I HATE IT!”


Every time he said it, the word “hate” was twisted into such a vicious sneer, backed by intense animosity, that it was like a weapon – he drew it out long and sadistically. “I HATE IT,” he said again, loudly, throwing his head back and releasing a guttural moan. Neil shook violently as his body radiated hot rage. She felt the strangest sensation, like a shifting all over her body, which she quickly realized was Neil. He thrust and she squealed in surprise as she felt the small stubby dick grow hard and long inside of her, several inches longer than it had been, into the large size she had grown accustomed to. It hurt – but it was the hottest thing she’d ever felt, at the same time. The skin on Neil’s body was pulled tighter as he grew back into his six-four frame. Her hands were wrapped around his back and she could feel his spine elongating and his shoulders and lats beginning to flare out. “I hate you, I HATE YOU! Go away!” She looked up in surprise to make sure he wasn’t talking to her. She saw him staring straight at the headboard. Veins bulged from his neck.

His head snapped down and looked at his saggy, fat chest and gut. “GO AWAYYYY,” he bellowed at his own body, his face red with fury. She covered his mouth, so that he wouldn’t scare the children, and felt his sweat burning her hand. Together, they looked down at his torso as it became rock-solid and perfect – two sumptuous, symmetrical pecs jutting out from his chest, eight cobblestone abs leading down into his pornographically proportioned dick. He thrust again and she moaned with pleasure, every nerve on her body going wild with joy. The gut was gone and his chiseled-out hips and obliques rubbed up against her, the way they always did, and it drove her wild. His butt shrank back into the tight, pert shelf that she knew well and loved to smack. This was the hottest thing Mel had ever seen, her husband growing back into the man he wanted to be, regaining the confidence to be in the driver’s seat. She wanted her man to be a MAN.

He kissed her so hard it almost hurt, as if he was trying to devour her. His aggression was shocking. “Mmmmmmmmmngrrrrgh,” he growled, like an animal, and she heard his voice drop lower. His fatty neck was looking stronger, thicker; she could see the Adam’s Apple enlarging. “I w-wanna be ME again,” he muttered. “Let me be me, I wannaaaaunghh…” She slid her hands down his arms and felt the fat vanish into solid muscle, huge veiny arms wrapping around her and holding her strong the way she liked it. His biceps looked so big now, she had never realized just how musclebound he was before. He pumped his huge cock in and out of her and she moaned with gratitude, unable to control the noises she was making. “Oh God, oh God, Neeeeil…”

“Look at my face,” he commanded, and she did, watching as the nose became the beautiful button once again, as the cheekbones and square jawline emerged and pulled his skin taut. His stubble got heavier, his brow more intense. She could see the blue color of his eyes flare explosively, even see his eyelashes get longer. His kinky curls straightened into the beautiful beach-blond cut. Everything about this Neil was better. “I love you,” he said, then when he said it again, “I love you,” his voice dropped back into its usual pitch and cadence, the stutter eradicated once more by confidence.

“I’m cloooose,” she moaned.

“Me too. Oh God, me too.”

She felt him finish growing, the muscles rippling against her body, his perfect physique bulging with power in the throes of passion. Every muscle was at attention, she could feel it. Bigger. Bigger. Bigger. It wouldn’t stop. Bigger. God, his muscles…

Neil leaned down and whispered “I’m back” softly into her ear, and she looked up and saw his beautiful face and his happy blue eyes and she climaxed at the sight of them. He smiled his big white smile and kissed her neck and shoulders. She felt his hands – large, and rough from weights – rubbing across her back. He held her for minutes on end, feeling her breathing relax, calming himself down from the emotional climax he himself had had.

“Did you miss me?”

“You never left.”

“Melly, I…I never want to look like that again. I hate that Neil,” he said, and she was surprised to hear it. His voice dripped with disdain, and she wasn’t used to Neil using that kind of tone. “Until I was able to break out, I never realized how much he held me back. I hate him. He’s a loser and I’m glad he’s gone.”

She shook her head. “No, he’s you. He is inside you and he’s why you were never a cocky dickhead like all the other hot guys that wanted to date me and marry me. Don’t hate him. He is what made you, you.” She touched his face and his eyes fluttered shut. “Don’t hate yourself. Don’t be ashamed. That body was your…your…vessel, for the first 18 years of your life. You developed your mannerisms and your personality in that body. I love that body. It may not be as beautiful, but I love it.”

“I want to look like the man you fell in love with. I want to look like my children. I don’t want to look like him. Those feelings, the way people looked at me and treated me, I couldn’t handle it. I don’t want to look like that! I don’t…I WON’T.”

“You’re still healing from all those years of hating yourself, aren’t you?”

He nodded without speaking, but the tears told the whole story. His lips were pressed fiercely together but they shook uncontrollably. She had never seen him this profoundly sad, and it pained her. As she consoled him, she began to see how much like Neil their sons were, in looks and personality. When he was sad, it was like she was staring into the face of an adult Leighton.

“You deserve me,” she whispered. “You deserve your sons, and this new baby inside of me. Don’t ever think that you aren’t worthy of your family. Don’t ever be ashamed of who you are…or were. And don’t feel like you’re somehow indebted to Hunter, because you’re not. You are your own man.”

They sat naked in bed, their legs wrapped around each other’s waists, arms around torsos. Neil just hugged Mel and held her close. More minutes passed without a word being said, until they finally leaned into the soft covers and fell fast asleep.

Neil’s cell phone erupted. They both jumped from the surprise noise. “I’ll get it,” he said, and she shook her head no. “I’m closer, I’ve got it.”

She answered. “Hello?”

“Hi Mel,” Neil could hear Hunter’s deep voice coming through the speaker.

“What’s the news?” She walked into their bathroom and pulled on her bathrobe and tossed Neil’s to him on the bed. He rolled out of bed and looked down at his body. Tall, magnificent – muscled. The body he had had for the last decade or so. He sighed with relief and shrugged his robe over his brawny shoulders, cinching it tightly around his perfect waist.

A thought suddenly flashed through his mind and he darted out of his room and down the hall.

Leighton…Hunter can’t change himself but he looks like his Dad. What if my showing Mel somehow changed Leighton, or Lucky…oh no…oh please, no…

He darted into Leighton’s room and crouched down at eye-level with his sleeping son. Leighton’s cherubic face was perfect and unaltered. The blond hair framed his round face and Neil tenderly touched it, exhaled in relief, then stood and turned to leave.


Neil turned and saw Leighton rubbing his big blue eyes and looking up at his Dad with curiosity. Neil smiled. He still got a rush of joy up his spine every time one of his sons called him Dad. “Hi, champ, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you up.”

Leighton just sat groggily and smiled back at his Dad. Neil reached down and picked up his son, then stood with him secure in his arms. “Go to sleep, L-boy, I’m sorry.” He rocked back and forth and felt Leighton relax into sleep. Neil kissed the top of Leighton’s head and held him tight, thinking about his son’s future, and past, and present. Oh, how he loved Leighton. What are you going to do with your life, buddy? What do you have in store? Your Mom and I can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up.

Mel walked into the doorframe but stopped when she saw her husband holding their son. Leighton was still small enough to be held in Neil’s large grasp, but the boy’s legs were splayed out over Neil’s beefy forearms, and his tiny head nestled between the curves of Neil’s bicep and pectoral. Mel stood and smiled at the picture.

Neil looked a little sheepish. “I just…I…” He trailed off and chuckled at himself. “I just, you know, I just wanted to make sure that he wasn’t-”

“I know,” she whispered with a smile and a knowing nod. “I know.”

His smile was understated, but his eyes sparkled. “Thank you.”

“Hunter wants to talk to you,” she said softly, as she bent down to pick up Leighton, who sleepily wrapped his arms around her. “Ooof, you’re getting big.”

Neil kissed Mel’s cheek and took the phone.


“Hey, Neil.”

“Is everything okay? Was it just a scare? How’s Katie?”

“Katie’s fine. She’s asleep. Did you tell Mel about, uh, everything?”

“Yeah, I did, you and I will talk later. But Hunter, the triplets, are they oka-”

“They’re here.”


“The triplets are here. They’re early and they’re so small, but…God…our Moms are flying up tonight…Neil, I have three new children.” Hunter started to laugh and the joy was apparent through the phone. “I have three new babies, man! There are three more Hardys in the world!”

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