New Hebron, California
“Oh Lord,” the once old man stepped through the automatic glass doors and cast his eyes about the place, a scowl on his new face as they slid shut behind him.
Amelia, stopped craned her neck around, those intense green eyes of her studying him with a look he would have a hard time interpreting if not for the bond between the two. The agent seemed curious, but impatience overtook it the longer he looked around.
He sighed shook his head and took several steps toward her, his cheeks burned as he noticed people watching him. The worst part? It wasn’t because he been standing there craning his neck around like a jackass. Like it or not, racist or not, in his new form he sure was easy on the eyes. Even the baggy, ill-fitting t-shirt and sweatpants he wore seemed to do little to keep people from looking.
He scowled at a young man, no older than fourteen or fifteen, when he caught him casting furtive glances at his chest and with no prompting veered toward the kid both hands balled up into fists.
A thousand slurs were on the tip of his tongue, some worse than others, but before he could unleash any of them he remembered himself. He stopped mid-stride glanced back at the Amelia and shook his head, remembering his deal with her. She’d promised him a meal and by hell he would get one.
He shook his head, returned to the agent and met her gaze. She smiled and nodded. “That was hard for you, wasn’t it, Liv?”
He scowled, but didn’t say a word. According to the United States Government Everett Eugene Howard died during the encounter with the Gallu, and in his place stood Sapphira Olivia Scott a young woman who hadn’t existed a week ago and wouldn’t exist until they processed the right forms. He folded his arms across his chest, his cheeks burning anew as they pressed into his soft, large breasts and sighed.
He’d chosen Sapphira, and he’d left the rest up to Van den Broeke. She’d even dubbed him ‘Liv’ stating that he looked more like a Liv than a Sapphira. His choice in moniker didn’t seem to fit, but for some damn reason it made him all warm and tingly. It was damned unsettling.
The agent stopped at a place called Tease Me, Please Me and waved the other inside. Sapphira swallowed hard, eying the window display which featured mannequins wearing lacy bras and panties that looked too damned impractical, not to mention uncomfortable, for anyone to wear day to day. He saw the necessity for underwear even if the thought of it made him sick. He gritted his teeth, growled out a dozen curses under his breath and followed the agent inside. It was time to goddamned bra shopping.
The agent seemed to know where she was going, that much was clear, but as they moved deeper into the store the more uncertain she became. Her relief was clear through the bond when a saleswoman greeted them, but as the two conversed Sapphira’s panic settled in. This wasn’t right, it wasn’t what he wanted. Dammit!
“Can I help you two find anything?”
“Yes, my friend had a little breast work done, and she’d like a fitting. She’s self-conscious about it,” Amelia smiled and glanced back over her shoulder at Sapphira.
Of course, she would have to say that.
His cheeks burned, as the saleswoman, led him away. She offered encouragement, and Everett might have found her to be endearing if the situation were a little different. When she led him within the fitting room, things got all the more awkward. Somehow she talked him into disrobing and he could only imagine his cheeks were a bright scarlet. Then again maybe not. Could you tell when a black person was blushing?
“My, I must say your doctor does excellent work. I would have never guessed, they look so natural.”
Everett hemmed and hawed as the saleswoman smiled back at him. He wouldn’t call his breasts natural, but they weren’t implants, that much was for sure. “Yes, well they don’t call the doc, the breast man of New Hebron for nothing,” Sapphira said letting out a nervous laugh as the saleswoman eyed him.
She smiled again and glanced down at his chest. “Er, may I?”
Sapphira stood frozen in terror. He knew what the next step must entail, but the prospect seemed so wrong. He forced himself to nod though what he most wanted to do was run. The woman produced a tape measure from within her skirt pocket and took several measurements before disappearing from the little fitting room stall and Sapphira let out a sigh of relief.
“All right in there, Liv?” the agent’s muffled voice came through the door and Sapphira jumped glaring at the door.
“This is humiliating,” he said looking down at his cocoa-colored breasts and gritted his teeth. “This isn’t who I am. Why the hell did you tell the saleswoman I’d had plastic surgery?”
“I’m sorry, I really am, it’s the easiest explanation and as it keeps her from making the one conclusion, we’re trying to avoid. This will be the worst part, if you can get through this, I promise it gets easier. She’s coming back, please keep it up. You’ve done great playing along so far,” Amelia replied and was silent. Though she did not speak, he experienced a warmth through their bond that spoke volumes.
A moment later the door, cracked back open, and the saleswoman came through holding a half a dozen pairs of bras in her hand.
Sapphira, let her have it trying on one after the other. With Amelia’s comforting presence in the back of his head, somehow it didn’t seem so bad.