Peter had a habit of getting up as late as possible - it gave him an excuse to not spend time with the boys, who were even crabbier than usual in the mornings thanks to the prospect of school. Today was no exception, as Peter left himself just enough time to grab a cup of coffee and steal a kiss from Rebecca before heading out the door. It’s not like he was in any great hurry to get to work, but at least he could have a little fun there. The only person above him at the store - the general manager - was so overwhelmed with paperwork on a daily basis that Peter basically had free rein over the store, which meant that he was free to mess with the grunts as much as he liked. Playing pranks on those beneath him was the best way Peter had found to break up the mind-numbing tedium of his job, and, best of all, he knew that the shadow of intimidation he cast was more than enough to keep people from complaining to the higher-ups. Unfortunately for Peter, the mischief would have to wait as the general manager had to call off for a family emergency, leaving him to tackle the store’s paperwork until he arrived. It wasn’t until late that morning that he was finally able to escape from the office, anxious energy bubbling within him as he searched for someone on which to unleash it.
Within a matter of seconds he found an appropriate target - a young shelf stocker named Dawn who worked at the store in between classes at the local college. A grin crept across his face as he stealthily moved into the aisle next to hers, made a little clearing between the products, and poked a box of cereal off of its shelf. As Dawn moved over to pick it up, Peter crouched down, waited for the exact right moment...and then screamed and thrust his hand through the opening, causing the poor girl to cry out and jump back against the shelf behind her. Peter bellowed with laughter as he turned the corner and saw the girl pressed against a display of macaroni and cheese, eyes wide and a hand on her heaving chest. When she turned to Peter her first reaction was anger...which almost instantly gave way to confusion as she studied her boss with a cocked head and searching eyes.
“...Mr. Westall?” She asked. Peter chuckled and leaned up against a shelf.
“The very same.” He said. “Gotcha pretty good, didn’t I?”
Dawn didn’t immediately respond and Peter felt the giddiness of the moment slipping away as she regarded him with a look that said something was wrong.
“Are you sick or something?”
“What? No.” Peter said, annoyed. “Why do you ask?”
“You look...skinny.” She scrunched up her face. “You look like my boyfriend.”
“Oh yeah?” Peter scoffed. “Does your mother approve of you dating thirty-year-old guys?”
The girl shook her head, never taking her eyes off her boss.
Peter’s face fell as a growing numbness spread from his chest. Seeing that she had upset her supervisor, the girl smiled and tried to laugh off the comment.
“I mean, I’m sure it’s just ?cause you’re wearing those baggy clothes.” She said. “That used to happen to me all the time after I lost weight.”
Her attempts at reconciliation only made things worse as Peter looked down at himself in a near-panic, taking notice for the first time his billowing shirt and sagging slacks. Before the girl could say another word he dashed off, making his way to the employee bathroom with his head bowed and his eyes on the ground. He kept them down as he entered the room, his breath quickening, trying his best to work up the nerve necessary to look in the mirror.
“You’re just imagining things.” He muttered to himself. “And that silly little girl doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Just look up and everything’ll be fine.”
He let out a long exhale.
“On three. One...two...three!”
He swung his eyes up to the mirror...and saw a fresh-faced college kid, all arms and legs and big blue eyes. Peter cried out and staggered backwards, holding a hand up in defense as though the boy in the mirror was set to attack at any moment. Fear coursed through his veins and he felt on the verge of hyperventilating - but after a few seconds, he managed to pull himself back from the brink and examine the image with as much calm as he could muster. He was...puny. By his standards, at least. Though a flex of his arms revealed that there was still some muscle left it wasn’t anywhere near the sheer bulk he had dedicated his adult life to attaining. As he stared at his smooth babyfaced complexion he felt the initial shock of the moment become overwhelmed by something much more primal, a sense that the power that he held so dear was slipping away before his very eyes. A deep, pervading feeling of helplessness swallowed his heart while a swift undercurrent of shame flooded his body and made him feel like a stupid little kid playing dress up in daddy’s clothes.
“What the fuck...” Peter muttered, his humiliation only heightened by the feeling of hot tears pressing at the back of his eyes. He sniffed them back and concentrated best he could on what was happening to him and who might be able to help him puzzle this mystery out. Suddenly, his eyes widened and he shot bolt upright.
“Brent.” He whispered. Immediately he bolted out of the bathroom and rushed into his office, locking the door behind him before grabbing the phone and dialing Brent’s number.
“C’mon, buddy...” Peter murmured, tapping his feet impatiently as he waited for the call to connect. “Pick up pick up pick up pick up pick - ”
Peter frowned. Though the voice on the other line was undoubtedly Brent’s there was something weak and fragile about it. It was almost as though -
He felt his mouth grow dry. No. It couldn’t be.
“Peter!” The voice instantly perked up. “Fuck dude, am I glad it’s you. Listen, there’s something weird going on with me, man. I just looked in the mirror, and it’s almost like I’m...like I’m - ”
The line went silent. When Brent spoke again his voice was very small.
“How did you know that?”
“The same thing’s happening to me.” Peter responded, his voice trembling. A beat passed before Peter heard a low sob float over the line.
“Christ.” Brent moaned. “Christ almighty. What the fuck is going on, dude? What are we gonna do?”
Brent’s seeming panic struck Peter square between the eyes - he could never recall a time when his friend hadn’t been brimming with confidence, as though he could take over the world tomorrow if he felt like it. He realized that he was going to have to take control of the situation and took a deep breath before speaking again.
“Okay.” He finally said. “Okay. I think we should meet at the gym after work. We can look at what’s...happened to us and put our heads together to see what we can do.”
After a moment Peter heard Brent exhale and seemingly pull himself together.
“Alright.” He said. “Alright, sounds good. See you then, dude.”
That evening, when Brent pulled into the gym’s parking lot and stepped out of his car, he noticed that there was a teenager hanging around at the entrance, pacing nervously as though waiting for somebody.
“Damn kids.” He muttered. “Probably meeting somebody here to buy weed or - ”
Before he could finish his thought Brent suddenly came to a halt, struck by the realization of who that “kid” was. Holy shit, he thought. It’s Peter. Not a moment later Peter looked up, caught sight of Brent, and seemed to go through an awakening of his own. For a few moments they stared at each other across the lot before Brent swallowed and headed in his friend’s direction. Initially, neither spoke - but at the same time their eyes went into overdrive, each looking over the other’s new form with a combination of awe and crushing dread.
“This is fucking crazy.” Peter finally said. “You don’t look a day over sixteen.”
Sixteen. Brent shivered. Am I still getting younger?
Silence hung over heavy above them. When Peter spoke again Brent could barely hear him, as though he was afraid of asking the question.
“How...” He licked his lips. “How old do I look?”
Brent looked him up and down.
“Eighteen.” He murmured. “If that.”
Peter nodded grimly, as though Brent’s words were in confirmation of what he already knew.
“At first...” Peter began, “I thought I had contracted a virus, some sorta bug that eats muscle. But that wouldn’t explain...”
He gestured at himself.
“If it happened to both of us it’s gotta be something we were both exposed to.” Brent reasoned. “The only place we’ve been together is this gym - if it were something in the air here hundreds of people would have been affected and I’m sure it would have made the news or something. It’s gotta be something that only we - ”
Brent suddenly stopped, his eyes wide and his jaw slowly dropping. Peter frowned.
“What is it?” He asked.
Peter furrowed his brow. “What about him?”
“It was those supplements Albert had us take.” Brent said, his voice raising. “That little shit did this to us!”
“What?” Peter sounded incredulous. “That’s nuts. No pill can do this.”
“Think about it, dude!” Brent insisted. “We’re the only ones that took it. And it would explain why you lost more years than I did.”
“Why would that explain it?”
“Because,” He said, his face softening in sympathy. “You took two.”
Peter’s eyes widened.
“Maybe.” He whispered. “Maybe you’re right. But there’s only one way to find out. Let’s go see if Albert’s in there.”
Brent nodded and the two of them entered the gym - where they were stopped at the desk by Herb, the facility’s towering proprietor.
“Can I help you boys?” He asked. Peter and Brent both swallowed, suddenly feeling very small in comparison to the man’s monumental girth.
“Herb, it’s us.” Peter offered. “Peter and Brent.”
Herb’s eyes narrowed as he looked between them.
“I don’t know what you little punks are trying to pull,” He snapped, “But you’re not Peter and Brent and you’re not getting into this gym.”
“We’re telling the truth!” Brent chimed in, cringing at how much he sounded like a little boy caught in a lie. “We’ve got our membership cards and everything!”
Herb scowled. “You stole their membership cards?”
The boys cowered in unison and backed away as the hulking brute got up and advanced on them. As he approached the both turned and dashed out onto the sidewalk, scurrying into an alley down the street.
“Fuck!” Brent cursed, his chest heaving. “What do we do now?”
“I dunno.” Peter shook his head. “It’s not like we know where Albert works or lives...the only place we’ve ever seen him is the gym. I guess the only thing we can do is wait from him to come out.”
“Can’t do that tonight.” Brent complained. “Herb’ll just chase us off again.”
“Then I guess we’ll just have to come back tomorrow.” He stepped forward and took Brent by the shoulders. “Keep it together ?til then, buddy. Remember how strong you are - nothing can change that. Alright?”
Brent nodded and offered him a weak smile.
Peter slapped him on the back. “I’m gonna call off work so I can get here bright and early. You should do the same.”
“Okay.” Brent took a deep breath. “Okay. See you then.”
They parted and Brent watched as Peter moved swiftly to his car, trying to remain unseen lest he incur the wrath of Herb once more. Brent watched him pull away and then looked down at himself, down at the sloppy, untucked shirt and expensive silk slacks that seemed moments away from falling off his waist altogether. He sniffed and wallowed in his despair for a moment before struck by a thought.
You know what would cheer me up? He allowed himself to smile. A good fuck, that’s what.
And so it was that he found himself hovering in front of the entrance of the hotel bar - having already been chased out of the inside by the bartender - making passes at any halfway-appealing woman that came his way. Though some were polite with their rejections others put on no such pretenses, laughing in the face of the overconfident sophomore who thought that he was man enough for them. He was about to give up when a middle-aged woman came stumbling out of the bar, yelling over her shoulder at the bartender for giving her the bum’s rush. Brent cringed but decided to go for it. I could do worse.
“Good evening.” Brent said as he approached. The woman looked up. A boozy grin spread across her face.
“Well hello there, cutie.” She said. “Were you waiting out here just for little ol’ me?”
“Maybe.” He grinned and moved closer. “Are you looking for some company?”
The woman giggled. “Such a little charmer. Do your parents approve of this behavior, young man?”
Brent fumed and was about to curse the woman out - but before he could say a single word she was practically on top of him, her arms wrapped around his neck, eyes boring into his, the intoxicating aroma of perfume and bourbon filling his nostrils. She gently pushed him back into a dark little corner and released a little moan as she began to nibble on his beck. As his libido went into overdrive Brent found himself prey to a thousand different emotions swirling inside him at once - he had never before let a woman control him like this and despite the fear he felt at losing command of the situation it was overwhelmed by the sheer pleasure he was receiving at her experienced hands.
“Such a nice young man...” She murmured. “Let me teach you a lesson or two.”
With that she unclasped her hands from around Brent’s neck and moved them down his chest, gliding her palms ever so slowly across the fabric of his shirt. He was achingly hard and through the haze of arousal Brent began to grow nervous about where her hands were headed. He hadn’t been this horny since he was fifteen years old and it seemed a very real possibility that the slightest touch from this woman might...might...!
“Ahh! Ahh! Ahh! Unhhh...”
Before he could even finish the thought the woman had given him a careless little squeeze and sent him over the edge. He threw his head back and let out a ragged moan, letting the feelings crash over his body and completely overpower him. Brent couldn’t remember the last time he had felt them that strongly - but when he came back down it was to the sight of the woman giggling madly and the feeling of the warm, sticky byproduct soaking the front of his boxers.
“I’m so sorry, sweetie.” The woman apologized through her laughter. “I thought a big strong man like you would have a little more self-control than that.”
With the hot string of tears in the corner of his eyes Brent dashed away from the scene, the woman’s cackling ringing in his ears as he sprinted up the stairs to his room. He ran and ran, clutching at his clothing, not stopping until he was in his room with the door shut behind him. With tears freely flowing down his cheeks he stripped naked - letting out a low sob as he peeled the boxers from his body - collapsed into bed, and gave himself freely to the sweet escape of sleep.
Peter got home safely - having driven as cautiously as possible for fear of being pulled over and not looking like the man on his license. When he entered his house the boys were at their video game again and Rebecca - to his relief - was in the other room. Without a word he flew into the bedroom and pressed his back against the door. No matter what, he thought as he caught his breath, I can’t let Rebecca see me like this.
“Peter?” Rebecca said as she knocked on the door. “Is that you?”
“Uh...yeah, honey.” He said, trying his best to calm his tone. “I had a rough day and I’m not feeling too well, so I’m just gonna turn in early.”
There was a pause.
“Well, alright. If you get hungry dinner’ll be ready in about half an hour.”
“Okay. Thanks, baby.”
Peter tried to sleep but it was no use - just as he was beginning to grow drowsy the sound of approaching footsteps snapped him to attention. In a flash he had the covers over his head and his eyes closed, pretending to sleep as Rebecca entered the room. Peter’s heart pounded in his chest as he felt her draw close to the bed and stand over him, as though assessing whether or not he was really asleep. After a moment’s examination she was seemingly satisfied and began to undress for bed - and despite the situation Peter found himself compelled to take a peek, as though it was the most important thing in the world that he see this woman in her underwear. In a matter of seconds she was down to her bra and panties, kicking off her clothes as she stood just two shreds of clothing away from nudity in the hazy shadows of the darkened room. It was a sight Peter had seen so often that it barely even registered with him anymore - but for some reason, on this evening, a mere glimpse of her exposed midriff and barely-contained breasts was enough to dry his mouth, slick his palms and send blood rushing to certain locations. The feelings only intensified when she flopped into bed beside him and let out a little yawn, the sound of her voice and her particular scent combining forces to drive him up the wall.
I can’t ask if she wants to fool around, he thought as he licked his lips. Even in a room this dark she might get a good enough look to realize that something’s wrong. Peter tried to simply shake away the feelings but his hormones would not be denied, the pulsing growing so strong that it seemed to pound between his ears, the need for release becoming more and more desperate with each passing second. Barely in control of his actions, Peter let a hand drift downwards and take hold. He tried his best to be quiet - biting on his knuckle the way he used to when he was fourteen and his parents’ room was next door - but try as he might, he couldn’t muffle the moans that seemed to escape of their own volition, heralding the climax, growing louder and more ragged until...until...!
He instantly froze - but there was now no stopping what he had set about. With a shudder and a low moan release finally came in the form of thick warmth splashing across his heaving stomach. It was euphoria - until Peter looked over to see Rebecca leap out of bed and throw her clothes on.
“Fucking disgusting.” She muttered. “That’s just sick, Peter. Just because I’m not in the mood doesn’t mean you’re allowed to jerk off with me lying next to you!”
At that moment it seemed as though the after-effect of his actions were burning his skin for the sheer guilt and shame that had overtook him. Before he could get a word out she had already dressed and stormed out to go sleep on the couch. As she slammed the door behind her the sound reverberated throughout the room, leaving Peter alone with his humiliation, an empty bed, and a mess to clean up.