|The Transformation Story Archive||Spells 'R' Us|
A Bottle Of Dreams
The small wooden sign over the door said it all. Spells R Us, Magickal Supply Shoppe. Swinging gently as a breeze drifted down St. Phillip's street, it caught the attention of Andrew Davis on his way home in the French Quarter.
Small stores like this one were not uncommon in the Quarter. Several of his favorite places were hidden away like this one, on side streets or down alleys into the courtyards that were part of the heritage of the area. Along with it's occult appearance, it was a perfect fit with the atmosphere that was strictly New Orleans.
His curiosity was piqued. The store didn't look that recent, but considering how often he walked this way, he was surprised to find it at all. Deciding to take a look, he opened the door and walked into the shop.
A silver bell jingled as he entered, a curtain parting as an old gentleman walked out from the back.
"Welcome to my shop," he said simply. "If you see anything you like, let me know."
"Thank you, I will." Andrew proceeded to gaze about the shop, peering at the various pieces of jewelry in cases and at the books on shelves while the proprietor watched quietly.
Andrew picked up an old bound book, a touch dusty and read the Latin inscription on the binding. Chuckling to himself, he placed it back on the shelf while the proprietor raised an eyebrow in surprise. Few would have recognized the text, fewer still to be able to resist the spell associated with them. He cleared his throat, catching Andrew's attention.
"I take it you found something to your liking?"
Andrew chuckled gently. "A few items are interesting, but nothing's really standing up and saying, 'take me home', no. Then again, it's been a while since I've been in a really interesting store like this one."
That caught the old man's attention. "Oh? You've visited other places like this before?"
"Well, I used to live in Milwaukee and visited Sanctum Regnum regularly," Andrew admitted. "And there was this little place in Santa Cruz I used to know while I was living in Monterey. And there's the places here in town like Mystic Curio over on Royal St."
The old man's eyebrows rose slightly. "So you know about magic, then?"
"In a sense." Andrew picked up another book, this one a non-spelled one by Starhawk. "I do believe in magic, if that's what you're referring to."
Nodding, the old man gazed closely at his customer. "I suppose then selling you a love potion or spell to be wealthy wouldn't work, would it?"
Andrew laughed and shook his head. "No, it wouldn't. I'm quite happy with the work I do and the money I make and while I'm sure my love life could do with some improvements, I wouldn't want to make any radical changes there, either. Even if it's been a little lacking lately."
Again, the old man's eyebrows rose. "Why, if you don't mind me asking? I would have guessed you would have females following you all around."
Shaking his head, Andrew sighed. "No, I wouldn't want that, either. Fact is, being the way I am tends to make most females treat me more as a brother than as anything else. Not that I'm complaining," he said quickly, holding up a hand to forestall any comments. "It's just that what I'd prefer would be someone more willing to share the interests I have."
A glint came into the old man's eyes. "Interests such as what?"
Andrew grinned. "Magic, for one. Shapeshifting for another. I've always had a fascination for shapeshifters and transformations, collect stories and artwork in that vein. Adventurous as well, enjoying being out in the wilderness and exploring." He smiled at the old man, giving a wink. "I doubt you'd know of someone like that."
The old man remained silent for a minute, staring intently at Andrew. "You're serious," he said finally. "You are truly serious about this."
Andrew nodded, the mood in the store feeling quite different to him. Something felt odd, something that jangled his senses. As if he had just crossed a line and was about to get himself in trouble.
The shopkeeper shook his head. "Relax, I'm not going to do anything," he said as if reading Andrew's thoughts. "It's just rare for someone like you to come here. This wasn't chance at all." The last he muttered to himself, making Andrew blink.
"What wasn't chance?"
"Wait here," the shopkeeper said. He went back behind the counter and into the back room, disappearing from sight. There was sounds of rattling, then he came back into the room holding a bottle.
"This is for you. I received it two days ago, and wasn't certain why at the time. But I think it was meant for you to have."
He handed Andrew the bottle. It was heavier than he would have guessed, the shape that of a middle-eastern vase with a broad base, tapered neck and glass stopper. Dark blue in color, there was silver and gold tracery all around the bottle making it look quite decorative.
Andrew looked up at the old man. "What is this?"
"Yours." He said it simply. "Take it. This is what you wished for. Just remove the stopper and pour out the contents, and you'll discover the rest." The old man smiled warmly at Andrew. "Go ahead, take it."
Andrew looked uncertain. "I don't know..." he said haltingly. "I mean it's lovely, but..."
"Andrew," the old man said, surprising him with his name. "You're a special young man with a special gift. You are the most qualified for what's inside the bottle. If it doesn't work out, just return here in a week."
Still uncertain, Andrew nodded. "Ok, a week." With that, he opened the door and walked back out onto St. Phillips St. The old man watched him leave, then shook his head slowly.
"I hope this does work out," he said to himself.
Andrew walked down Chartres St, heading toward his home. The sounds of a Dixieland jazz band drifted on the winds, and tourists walked past him heading towards the Quarter. His place was on the edge of the Quarter, just a few blocks away from the French Market. Unlocking the door, he walked into his apartment and closed the door behind him. Placing the bottle on the living room table, he walked away to check messages on the answering machine. Two wrong numbers, AT&T asking for his business, and one customer wanting to design a new web page for their business. Sighing, Andrew made a note of the latter call and headed into the back rooms to fix dinner.
An hour later after some manicotti and cheese and a small glass of wine he went back into the living room to examine the bottle. There was no writings or inscriptions anywhere, even underneath. The glass was too dark to see what was inside, yet when he moved it he could feel something sloshing about within. Finally, he shrugged and unstoppered the bottle. Remembering what the old man said, he started pouring out whatever was inside.
A thick golden liquid started to flow out from the bottle. It pooled onto the floor, then slowly it started to shimmer and ripple. Andrew blinked in surprise, a tingling felt on his skin as the liquid rose up into the air, much like the character from the movie Terminator 2. The liquid took shape, becoming that of a young woman with a middle- eastern appearance. Long black hair cascaded across her shoulders and down her back, while deep green eyes opened to the light. Her body was sleek and shapely... and completely unclothed.
Andrew stared at her in shock. She didn't notice it at first, her arms raising up as she stretched and took a deep breath. Then her gaze met his and she smiled warmly, falling to her knees as she bowed down before him.
"Kind master, I thank you for your generosity in allowing me my freedom. What is it that you wish or desire of me, your humble slave?"
Andrew shook off his shock, blinking at her, then at the bottle. "I think," he said softly, "I think that we need to do is talk."
Her name was Aluria. She was in her own words a djinna. Andrew listened to her explaining who and what she was with a mixture of disbelief and rapt fascination.
"So you see, I am yours now." She said it as a matter of fact. "You are my master, and I shall obey whatever commands you give me, within my ability."
Andrew leaned back against his seat and hummmed softly. He had already put aside the fact that she was still naked, and was instead paying attention to her words.
"What do you mean 'within your ability?'"
"Some things I cannot do. Such as kill another person, bring back a person from death, affect others directly. My powers are limited only to myself and my master. Making his or her life easier, more convenient, giving him whatever he would desire."
Andrew hummed softly again. "Like asking for wealth or riches."
Aluria nodded. "I can't provided unlimited wealth, no. But if that is what you wised for, I could grant it. At least enough wealth to live comfortably for the rest of your life."
"No, no," Andrew quickly interjected, waving his hands. "I'm quite satisfied with what I have."
Aluria nodded again, bowing her head. "I have other abilities. You could shape me into whatever you desire me to be."
"Shape? As in shapeshift your form?"
"It is what my master can do with me, yes. If you find me unpleasing, you can turn me into whatever form you wished me to be."
A slight cough came from Andrew. "You mean I have control of your body?" The conversation had taken a turn into the Twilight Zone, he thought to himself.
"Oh, yes. My previous masters would turn me into whatever they desired for me to be." Aluria was serious as she spoke, causing Andrew to shake his head in amazement.
"If I hadn't seen you form out of that liquid," he said slowly, "I would swear someone's pulling a hoax on me. But I did see you form, and you're here." He shook his head again and sat back in his chair, relaxing. "Let's get a few things straight right now, though."
Aluria smiled. Andrew cleared his throat, then looked at her.
"First off, don't call me Master." That caught her off guard, and the look on her face showed it. He continued on talking, however.
"It's not that I don't understand what you're offering me here. It's just that, well, I'm not the sort who'll order a person around. I'll ask you what you would like, but I will not force you to do anything against your will."
Aluria was profoundly puzzled. "But... I was meant to serve others. It's part of who and what I am."
Andrew reached out and patted one of her hands. "I understand that. I can't deny you're here, and can't just simply take you back. The old man said for me to wait a week. But I can ask you to understand where I'm coming from here.
"Secondly, I've been living as a loner for a while now. I'm going to still be that way while you're here, although I know I do have to give you attention. So I will try to take time for you. You're likely not used to the way this world is now, so for the time being I want you to learn about the way things are for now."
Aluria nodded. "I've already learned much just from when you opened my bottle. It's part of my magick to learn about my ma... you when you first take control."
Andrew nodded slowly. "Ok. Then you probably know some things about me already. I'll answer any questions you have, and expect you to do the same when I ask you about yourself. Or about your abilities."
Aluria smiled slightly at that. "I'd think you'd rather see me simply demonstrate what I'm able to do," she said simply.
Andrew hummmed softly, then nodded. "Yeah," he replied. "I would probably want that. Finally, a simple thing. The middle room is my office. During the day when I'm there, try not to bother me too much. Any other time is fair enough. And the books are always there for you to read. That might help make the time go by easier when I am working."
She nodded in understanding, then smiled again. "May I ask a question then?"
Andrew nodded. "Ask away."
"Do you wish me to look different now?"
Andrew peered at her, humming softly once more. "You want to show me this is real, don't you?"
"Yes. Perhaps you'll believe that I'm speaking the truth when I say you can change my form with just a thought."
Andrew nodded, then looked at her closely. She really wasn't all that unattractive at all, rather fetching in appearance. Perhaps with longer hair, and black instead of brown...
There was an odd rustle, then Aluria's hair lengthened rapidly down her back, reaching just above her ass. As it grew the coloration darkened, until it was as black as night by the time it stopped growing. Aluria smiled, turning slowly to show off what had happened.
He let out a very low whistle. "Dear goddess," he said softly, admiring her again with a critical eye. "Just remind me not to go crazy around you with this."
Aluria looked a little disappointed. "I would think you'd turn me into your dream lover," she said bluntly. "Or someone very sexy looking."
Andrew laughed, then quickly stifled it at her expression. "My dear, I'm not quite that sort of male," he explained. "I mean, sure. I could make you into a Pam Anderson, or a Playboy bunny if I wanted to. But I don't want to. Not right now, at least. Perhaps later on. For now, we, and I mean WE need to get used to each other. It's not that I don't want to shift you about right now." He smiled warmly, trying to reassure her. "I just need to get used to this."
Aluria looked a little more hopeful. "But you will indulge yourself with me?"
A soft chuckle came from Andrew. "We'll see what happens."
Andrew woke to the smell of pancakes and bacon. He blinked his eyes to clear the sleep out of them, then winced slightly, remembering where he had been sleeping.
Aluria had said something about not needing sleep, but he had insisted she sleep in his bed. He had slept on the futon in the living room, keeping his office between himself and her. More for her own protection than anything else. Grumbling softly to himself, he looked at the clock, and was amazed to see it was 8:10 am.
Managing to get himself upright, he walked down the hall into the kitchen. There he saw Aluria cooking away, dressed in what could only be called harem domestic.
She smiled when she saw him leaning in the doorway. "Good morning," she said, making him wince slightly. "Breakfast will be ready in about 10 minutes."
"Good," he rumbled softly, turning to head into the bathroom. "Maybe I'll be awake by then." Staggering his way in, he managed to get himself looking and feeling more alive, wandering back into the kitchen once he had finished his morning ritual.
At the table sat Aluria, along with a short stack of pancakes, several bacon strips and a glass of milk. "I took the liberty," she said as he sat down, "of reading your thoughts last night. Since we're bound together now, I should know much more about you and what you enjoy."
Andrew paused for a moment, then sat down in his chair. "You're one up on me," he managed to say. "I'm still not sure about all of this."
"I know," she replied. "But you said to give it time."
He grunted, then chuckled softly. "Touche', mon pussy cat," he said back. "I deserve that one."
"You deserve more than that," she cryptically replied. "Eat up, it's getting cold."
"Yes, mother." Any further comments were stifled by his eating, which was quite good this morning. The pancakes were just shy of perfect, and the bacon crisp. Looking up, he saw her watching him intently eating.
"What are you looking at?" he asked.
"Just watching," she replied. "I guess I'm just fascinated at how you can enjoy something so simple."
"Simple tastes for simple minds," he shot back at her. She grinned and threw a grape at him, hitting him on the nose.
"You are hardly simple," she said. "I haven't had a master with such a vivid imagination before."
He looked up at her again. "What did I say last night?" he commented.
"I'm not calling you master, I'm making a statement. You do have a very vivid imagination. No one else I've been with would even think of some of the things you've thought up in your mind."
"Mmmmph." Andrew licked off a bit of syrup, then looked at her, resting his chin on his hands. "You mean the thoughts I've had about various forms?"
Aluria nodded. "None of my other owners were as creative in their thoughts. Most kept me in human form, although a few did have me take animal shape from time to time."
Andrew nodded, looking thoughtful. "How so?"
"One was a rahaj. He would have me turn into a tigress to prowl the grounds at night, shifting back into human form in the morning. Another wished to have a horse that would win races, so he shifted me into a swift mare and had me mate with a stallion. I became pregnant, and months later had a colt that was what he wished for."
Andrew hummed softly, listening to her. "I wouldn't wish that on anyone," he said mostly to himself.
"Oh, it wasn't so bad." She sighed softly, remembering that time. "Mostly I was cared for, fed and groomed. I didn't have to do anything other than carry the foal, so I let myself be a mare. No real conscious thoughts at all, other than being what I was then."
Andrew looked at Aluria and asked slowly, "Would you want to be a horse again?"
She smiled warmly. "If it was what you wished, and it was enjoyable, then I would. I'll admit there were some very interesting images you had that caught my attention."
Andrew would have responded to that, but a phone ringing made him stand up from his chair. "Work calls collect," he said. "Remember what I said, try not to bother me too much while I'm working. We'll talk more about this later on."
Work, it turned out, was actually something that Andrew explained as web page design work. Between talking with clients online and on the phone, he had managed to secure three new contracts as well as work out two new scripts for maintaining other pages. By the time 3pm rolled around, he was tired of staring at the screen, and turned it off.
Walking into the living room, Andrew found Aluria sitting on the floor, a number of his books and fanzines surrounding her. She looked up from what she was reading, her eyes filled with amazement. "So many ideas," she simply said.
Andrew chuckled gently and offered her a hand up. "I think you've had a bit of information overload, like me. Come on, let's go out and get something in the way of a late lunch."
"I'll need something more for outdoors." Aluria turned around, still dressed in her flimsy outfit. Andrew sighed and nodded, and instead of the sheer gauze, she found herself wearing a very colorful blouse and dress. Andrew chuckled softly, shaking his head at her.
"Got to admit one thing, shapeshifting does save on the clothes. Are they a part of you?"
"As much as anything else would be. I can take it off if I wanted to, but usually it just becomes a part of me if it's not needed."
Andrew nodded softly. "Ok. Let's go eat, and we can talk some more."
Port Of Call was on Esplanade, just a few blocks from Andrew's home. As they walked, he took the time to give Aluria a little history of the area, at least what he remembered about the Quarter.
The restaurant was busy, but not as busy as it might have been earlier. They managed to get a quiet spot to settle down in, Andrew ordering the house specialty for them both. Once the waiter left, Andrew looked at her and smiled a bit.
"So what's on your mind now?"
Aluria smiled back, shaking her head. "Just so many ideas. I can't believe some of the things I saw or read in those books you had."
"Well," he said as an explanation, "seems folks have learned to let their imagination run wild sometimes. Thinking about fantasy and what if's, they decided to actually write or draw those ideas and share them with others."
"It's just so... strange. So many ideas and concepts. Not many djinni would even consider half of them."
Andrew chuckled gently and sipped on a glass of tea. "Different strokes for different folks, dear. Me, I've always had a love for transformations and such, just never thought I'd get to find someone who could do them. Much less be able to make her do them at whim."
Aluria smiled at that. "I hope you'll do more than that with me. I've always been interested in seeing what someone would do with me, but some of those ideas are truly odd. I'm not sure if I'd enjoy them."
"Oh, I don't know," Andrew replied. "You might find out they are quite enjoyable. Whoops, here's our food."
The waiter arrived with a large tray, bearing the Port of Call's famous burgers and baked potatoes. Conversation ceased while they both enjoyed the meal, Aluria fascinated at how much there was. Both enjoyed the meal, and Andrew told her that this was one of five places he enjoyed having a meal in the Quarter.
"The other four are Napoleon House, Cafe Maspero's, Molly's at the Market and a place called Hooters." He grinned at the last. "An excuse to let scantily clad females serve good food and make males drool." Leaving a tip, he offered his hand to her and they headed back out into the street. For a little while, they wandered about the Quarter, stopping in the little A&P for some groceries, then headed back to Andrew's place.
Both settled back down in the living room once Aluria cleaned up her mess on the floor. Andrew watched as all the books literally flew back in place, chuckling softly as he shook his head in amazement. "Feel like I'm Major Nelson dealing with Barbara Eden again."
Aluria giggled at his words. "That's not far from the truth," she said, surprising him. "Only you can do more with me than he could with her."
"So, you've already learned about television and bad shows?" He grinned merrily, unable to keep from snickering.
For her part, she winked and suddenly her outfit changed into an identical dress of Jeanie. Andrew laughed, and the colors changed into a deep blue instead of the pink and off-red. "There, that's better. If you have to look like her."
Aluria giggled and twirled about, then sat down near Andrew. "So what else did you want to do with me?"
Andrew laughed and ruffled her hair. "Ok, ok. You want to show off for me." He settled back in his chair, looking at Aluria. "One thing I do want to see is you go back into that liquid state again."
Aluria smiled warmly. "All you have to do is wish it."
Andrew nodded, then suddenly Aluria's form seemed to ripple. She let out a soft moan as her body turned golden, flowing down to the floor. The puddle rippled a bit, then moved on it's own towards Andrew, pooling around his feet. He giggled at the tickling, then shook his head.
"Strange. Really strange. Wonder what you're thinking or feeling."
There was a soft tingle, and her voice whispered in his thoughts.
::It's very odd. Being formless.:: He carefully thought back at her.
::Are you ok this way?::
::Oh, this is my natural state.:: She flowed back into the center of the room. ::Just very different.::
Andrew nodded again, then let an idle thought cross his mind. The gold liquid rippled, flowing up into the air and taking the shape of a tall, dark skinned female with short black hair. Aluria shivered and stretched a moment, then caught her image in a mirror.
"Oh my," she said softly. "This looks very nice."
"Just a thought," Andrew said in response. He got out of his chair and walked over to her, admiring her form. "I'm beginning to see what makes you so alluring now. Being able to take anyone's fantasy form."
"It is what I am," she said, turning to look at him. "Isn't that what you wished to have?"
"Partially," was his reply. "But what about you? What do you want?"
She giggled softly again, then went over to one of the fanzines. "I want to try this," she said, pointing to a picture of a centaur female. "Or maybe this," indicating a feline morph. "You've always wanted to see something like this to be real, so make me real."
Chucking, Andrew took the fanzine. "You really want me to do this?" Seeing her nodding in agreement, he went back to his chair. "Well, not the centaur, not in here at least. But let's see..." His voice trailed a bit, then grinned as he remembered a picture he had on diskette.
Aluria shivered again, moaning gently as she felt herself changing again. The clothing vanished, leaving her standing naked in front of Andrew. There was a soft smile on his lips as he visualized what he wanted to see.
Her body grew larger, more muscular yet retaining a soft, feminine appearance. Across her body fur began to appear, initially white but quickly turning orange and black. Her face stretched out slightly, taking on a feline cast, muzzle and whiskers taking shape. She groaned low as a long tail appeared from behind her, quickly flicking in the air.
Andrew watched in rapt fascination. If anything was making him believe this was real, it was this. He stared as her breasts became fur covered as well, growing in size until they were quite impressive. Long golden hair fell down behind her shoulders, then with a sudden shudder Aluria staggered a bit, leaning against the wall.
Andrew bolted out of his chair, quickly reaching out to help her. He wasn't surprised when he touched her, finding that it was really fur on her body. She groaned softly, then turned to look at him with cat eyes.
"Oh my gods," she purred, looking down at her hands... paws. She looked back up at Andrew, who was staring intently at her as well. "Is this... what you intended?"
Andrew shook his head, clearing it as best he could. "I didn't expect this, but my lords, it's real." He ran his hands across her arms, feeling the soft fur. Both were startled as she started purring from the caresses.
"Don't stop," she pleaded. "It feels so... different." She stretched her arms, flexing about then giggling as her tail tickled his legs by accident. He watched her stretching, trying not to start at her too much, then chuckled and shook his head.
"Gods, a sexy tigress. I know folks who'd be going insane right now from the sight."
"Good," she purred. "Because I hope you're wanting to go insane from me." She stepped closer, and before he could move away, planted a very warm kiss on his lips.
Despite the fact that her muzzle wasn't really meant for kissing, he responded in kind after a few seconds. She wrapped her arms around him, pressing close against his chest and rumbled in pleasure from the closeness. He felt himself responding in kind, somewhat shocked and surprised yet wanting this to happen. He stared into her eyes, then whispered, "So what now?"
She giggled softly. "Now we both find out what we've done."
Andrew laughed and kisses her nose, making her whiskers twitch. "Does this mean I'm going to have a tiger in bed for once?"
"Tigress," she corrected him.
Despite the surreal feel, he couldn't help but grin. "Hope I'm up for this."
Aluria laughed and hugged him tightly. "Feels like it to me," she said, nibbling on his ear.
Andrew laughed loudly, then grinned. Without saying a word he led her into the bedroom, and closed the door.
The ringing of a phone woke Andrew out of a sound sleep. He grumbled low, and started reaching out to the handset on a nearby nightstand.
"Andrew? It's Ed."
Andrew looked at the clock. 7:53am. "Ed, it's almost 8am. Couldn't you have waited?"
"Sorry, did I wake you up?"
Andrew turned over in bed, looking at the sleeping form of Aluria. The night's activities came back in a rush as he saw that she was still very much the tigress, purring softly.
"To be honest, Ed, I have company here."
There was a giggle on the other end. "Whoo whoo, our lone wolf actually is getting some tail for once?"
Ed's statement made Andrew chuckle. "In more ways than one, and you wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"Save it for another night. Anyways, CNG's server crashed last night. Major crash. They're trying to recover, but they think they lost all of the last revised web pages. I need to know if you've got copies of them."
Andrew sat up in bed, making Aluria stir slightly. "Yah, I've got them on a Zip disk here. They want a copy I take it?"
"You got it. Go down to their office and reinstall it on a local machine there. Their MIS director can do the reinstall without any problems. He just wants to make sure the files get where HE'LL have a backup this time."
"As long as they're paying for this."
Ed chuckled. "Oh, they're paying. Believe me. Nothing in the contract covering restoring lost files, and it's clear they are responsible for it."
"Ok, ok. I'll get dressed and head over to their offices. Tell them I'll be there at 10am."
"Gotcha. Give the lucky lady a hug and kiss from me, and I'll see you later on." The line went dead, and Andrew hung up the phone.
Sighing, he was just about to slip out of bed when two furry arms wrapped about his waist and pulled him back. "Leaving already?" Aluria purred, snuggling against him.
For a few minutes they lay there, snuggling. Then Andrew finally responded, sighing.
"Yah, I need to go here. Work related problem that I have to take care of."
Aluria looked disappointed, then smiled. "But you'll be back, won't you?"
"Oh, I'll be back, dear. And when I do come back, we'll see what else we can do together. Sounds good?"
Aluria grinned. "Oh, it sounds very good."
"Glad you agree." Andrew winced slightly and looked at his chest, where several thin claw marks were left. Aluria looked a bit chagrined at that, eyes downcast.
"Sorry, but I couldn't help myself."
Andrew instead smiled and kissed her lightly. "It's ok. And right now, you should be something other than a walking furry wet dream." Aluria shivered slightly, and slowly reverted back into her human form, only keeping the golden hair. She sighed softly, rubbing her arms and looking behind her.
"I'm already missing the fur and tail," she commented. Slipping out of the bed herself, she arched her back and shook herself.
"Don't worry," Andrew commented as he rummaged in the closet. "You'll have it back soon enough. Right now, I do need to get ready for this job."
Whistling idly, Andrew headed into the bathroom, taking a good hot shower. When he exited, he smelled breakfast being fixed and smiled. He sauntered back to the kitchen, where Aluria was already eating breakfast.
Two eggs and toast later, Andrew gave Aluria a warm kiss at the door. "Go ahead and look through the books and magazines again, dear. I want to hear what ideas you'd want to try and see if they mesh with the ideas I've had as well."
"I'll do that, Andrew." Aluria smiled, then closed the door. Andrew made sure it was locked, then headed down the street to the bus stop.
Several hours later, Andrew walked up the steps to his home. It had been much, much worse than expected, having to rebuild the entire web site from backups. But at least the job was done, and the paycheck to come would be well worth it.
He opened up the door, and leaned against it. "Gah, I hate my work sometimes." He shook his head, and headed inside to see Aluria again with all sorts of magazines and books around her. Grinning, he stepped carefully and kissed her in greeting. "So what have you been thinking about?"
"A lot." She stood up and hugged him tightly, then brought him down to the floor. "How can so many people have the same sort of interest in forms and shapeshifting?"
That managed to get a chuckle out of Andrew. "It's a long story. Why don't we discuss it over dinner? Did you get something to eat earlier?"
"I had some fruit earlier, and some of those crackers." She pointed to the open box of Oreos, causing Andrew to chuckle again.
"Come on, let's get you looking presentable and head down to Napoleon House. I feel like getting something special for dinner."
Aluria smiled and winked. The books and magazines went back in place, and she wore a long, green dress that hugged her in all the right spots. Andrew grinned and nodded, giving her another warm kiss, then together they headed out of the house.
Napoleon House stood at the corner of Chartres and Conti, just across from the old State Courthouse. The place got it's name from the fact that back in the early 1800's several citizens of New Orleans including Jean Lafitte bought the place while planning to spring Napoleon out of exile. Although it didn't happen, the house remained a landmark, and more recently a restaurant.
Requesting a quiet table, they were seated in a corner, near where the fishtank stood. Andrew looked at the fish for a moment, smiling to see a few new ones then gave his attention back to Aluria and the menu.
"So why do so many people want to be different?" Aluria asked while looking at the menu. "I'd think that most would be satisfied with what they are."
"Most would be," he replied. "But there's some who always want to be something else for reasons. Personal reasons. A dream. To see what being someone or something else would be like. Escapism. A lot of the magic has left this world, and some wish it would come back." He sighed softly, laying down his menu. "I'm like that myself, sometimes. Wishing I could be something different, even if just for a while. A wolf, a lion, a fox, a tree, whatever might be interesting and unusual."
Aluria nodded and was about to make a comment when the waitress came over. Andrew ordered a steak dinner, and she ordered the chicken salad. Drinks were quickly provided, and they were left alone once more. She sipped her wine, then looked at Andrew again.
"What would you do if you could change forms?"
Andrew sighed softly. "I don't know," he admitted. "Likely I'd want to try quite a few changes, but exactly what, I don't know. I'd feel like the kid in a candy shop with $5 and everything's a penny."
Aluria smiled at the analogy, nodding in understanding. "But if you could, would you do it?"
"Probably would," he said. "I mean, I'd like to try. But I know it's not possible."
"Don't say that," she chided. "If it's possible for me, it's certainly possible for you."
"Yes, but you're a djinna, dear. I'm not."
"Doesn't matter. Remember, I can affect you with my magic."
Andrew mulled it over. He remembered her mentioning it, but didn't take it seriously then. "I'd have to think about it," he said slowly. "It's not something I think I'd want to rush into..."
Aluria surprised him by agreeing. "Don't rush into it. Take your time and think about it. I'd like you to, but I have my own selfish reasons there."
Andrew laughed and leaned over the table, giving her a light kiss. "And some very good reasons, no?"
"Oh, a few." She giggled, giving him a sly wink. "Last night being a very good one to begin with."
"It was good for you, wasn't it?" Andrew smiled softly, remembering the sight of her over him, arching back as she was climaxing.
"More than just good, it was incredible. That form must have been made for sex, there's no other explaination. I thought I was going to go insane from the way every touch and sensation affected me."
Andrew chuckled gently. "My fault, I think. The image was from a picture I saw online, and liked. And since I associated it with a houri, I must have turned you into one."
"Oh, don't apologize, you were enjoying it just as much as I was."
Andrew grinned as a response, then kissed her lightly again. "We'll see what else my mind can come up with later on. Here comes dinner." He winked as the waitress came up with their tray, the smell making both of their mouths water.
"Enjoy your dinner, and if you need anything else, just ask." The waitress smiled and left, leaving them alone one more. Andrew dug into his meal, occasionally watching Aluria enjoying hers.
They took their time, chatting idly as they finished their meals. Aluria asked about Andrew's upbrining and hobbies, while Andrew questioned her about her past owners and experiences she's had.
Late afternoon turned into evening, and finally they departed Napoleon House, feeling a touch mellow. They wandered down the streets, pausing in Jackson Square to look at the buildings bathed in lights, then down to the French Market to pick up some fresh fruits. Finally they ended up back home, settling down in the living room once more.
Andrew walked back into the kitchen, then reappeared with two glasses of wine. Aluria smiled and took a sip, then found a place for her to sit down. Andrew sat opposite her, a glass near his elbow.
She took another sip of wine, then leaned back. "Mmmm, this is very nice. A lot better than any other owner I've had."
Andrew chuckled softly, taking a sip of his wine. "Why, because I'm concerned about you?"
"Truthfully? Yes. And you're willing to share things with me. It's every djinn's wish to have someone who's more concerned with the djinn's needs than their own." Aluria sighed softly and shook her head. "I thought that I'd never find someone like that."
Andrew shifted in his chair. "Ah," he said softly. "Well, I'm no one special. I just feel concerned about you, that's all. Even though we've only known each other what, three days now?"
Aluria nodded. "That's part of it, Andrew. But there's another part, something you should know. When you opened the bottle, I said I was bound to you. Well, I am. I can't be separated from you until you die. Nor can I be given away. I am essentially your property now."
Andrew sighed and shook his head. "Not property, no. I will never treat you as property. As a companion, yes. As someone to share things with, definitely." He surprised her as he gave a sly grin. "As someone to treat as silly putty, every chance I might get."
Aluria shivered a bit, then giggled softly. "I hope so," she replied. She reached for her wine, and was startled to feel her fingers wrap around the glass. "What the..."
Andrew blinked at the sight, then slipped out of his chair to go next to her. "Hrmmm, I wonder," he muttered. Reaching out, he poked a finger into her shoulder. It sank all the way down to the knuckle.
Aluria shivered in surprise. "Oooh, that feels strange." She looked at his hand, and when he moved his finger, the indentation slowly disappeared. "What happened?"
Andrew looked sheepish. "I... made you into silly putty, I guess. Or something that's responding like it. I could turn you back..."
"Don't," she interrupted. "I'd like to stay this way a while. It feels so different and unusual."
Andrew chuckled softly and gave her a hug, squeezing her warmly and watching her suddenly become distorted. "If you want to, go ahead."
She giggled from the squeezing, then slowly her form went back into shape. "Oooh, this might be a lot of fun." She stood up from her chair, laughing lightly. "Going to watch me play with this?"
Andrew kissed her warmly. "I want to see you deal with this."
Aluria threw her arms around his shoulders, draping herself against him. "Let's see what this form can do." She moved away, then started stretching herself about, rapidly distorting her body. Andrew grinned and watched, sipping his wine idly as Aluria made herself into a twisted blob, then slowly untwisted back into shape.
She giggled as she worked her form about, stretching arms and legs, twisting herself into knots and strange shapes. Looking at Andrew, she could see he was really enjoying her show, giving her a wink. She stretched her head and neck to his, grinning and kissing him lightly. "This is incredible."
"You're incredible," he replied. "You really enjoy the shifting, don't you?"
She unwound herself and settled down in his lap, leaning against him. "I am. More than you could imagine. You've shown me more in the few days than anyone else has in lifetimes."
He kissed her warmly, then winked. "You're showing me quite a bit, too." Grinning, he tickled her lightly, letting his fingers push into her pliable body. She squealed in delight, then wrapped her arms and legs around him. "Come on, I want to see what this body can do."
He laughed, and carried her into the bedroom. Once there, she proceeded to wrap herself around him, covering him in a living blanket. She easily slipped him inside of her, kissing him passionately as they both lay together, making love together in a very unusual and erotic way.
The rest of the night passed quickly, falling asleep together with Aluria remaining wrapped about Andrew snugly.
Andrew yawned and threw off the covers over him. Or rather, he tried to. He felt warm, too warm for just a blanket. Looking down, he blinked at the sight of Aluria still wrapped around him, then giggled. Lightly he tickled her skin, making her stir.
"Urf. I'm awake, I'm awake." She tried to move, then blinked in surprise. "Oh."
Andrew laughed softly. "Oh. Yes. Forgot, didn't we?"
"Mmmm, I slept so soundly."
"I did as well." Andrew grinned, watching her slowly unwrap off of him and become normal shaped again. "But that was quite, ummm... unique?"
She giggled at the words. "That's not how I'd describe it. But close." She held her arms out, and he snuggled against her. Her body firmed up, becoming solid once more. "Mmmmm, so what are you thinking about today?"
Andrew chuckled. "Well, I don't have to work, not for the next three days. So... we talk some more, and you get to show off. Only we're not going to do it here."
"Oh?" She raised herself up on her elbows and grinned. "Where are we going to do it?"
"There's a camp on the North Shore I know. Friend of mine owns it, but I have a key for the place. Lots of space. We're going there, because I want to see just how much I can change you."
She smiled and snuggled against him warmly. "As long as you're enjoying it."
Andrew gave her a wicked smile. "Oh, I am, I am. Just as much as you are."
Two hours later Andrew was driving down US 190, away from Mandeville towards Slidel on the north shore. Aluria watched the passing scenery with fascination, admitting that most of her past owners rarely let her out. The trip across Lake Ponchatrain was particularly strange for her, having never seen anything cross such a wide stretch of water.
Carefully watching the signposts, Andrew turned left onto a dirt road. The ride was a bit rough, but soon the sight of a small house appeared in the forest. Pulling up to the place, Andrew turned off the engine. "Well, here we are."
They both got out of the car and looked around. The pine trees surrounding the spot sheltered the home from onlookers, while the yard was quite large. A thin layer of pine needles covered the ground, and the smell of the forest was surprisingly crisp for the time of year.
Fumbling with his key ring, Andrew found the right one and unlocked the door. "Come on in, dear. This is our weekend home."
Throwing a switch, the power came on, lighting up the house. Aluria saw that it was decorated in a simple manner, nothing really fancy in the way of furnishings. "A place in the wilderness?"
"You could say that. My friend uses it mostly as a weekend camp in the summer, but it's good to visit even now with the weather turning cooler. And really, what I have in mind to try with you will need the space."
Aluria was curious. "What do you have in mind?"
"Well, like I said earlier, it's the weekend. Don't have to work, don't have to answer calls, so I can relax. Besides, it's kind of hard to have you shifted into, oh, a horse in my place."
She giggled softly as she settled down on the couch. "Didn't think about that."
"Most folks wouldn't." Andrew checked all the plumbing, turning on faucets and making sure there were no problems, then walked back into the living room. "Ok, everything's working fine." He settled down next to her, giving a warm snug.
"I've been needing a short vacation as it was," he said, continuing his thoughts. "This is as good an excuse as any. Find out what your limits are, see what sorts of forms are possible with you."
She snuggled against him, trailing a finger lightly through his hair. "Well, I really don't know what I'm capable of. No one before has tried to do much with me, aside from the few non-human changes."
Andrew nodded slowly. "I know. That's why I wanted to come out here for the weekend. Give us the time to find out your limits, physically and mentally. Thankfully we've got the space and the place to try all of this."
He stood up, offering his hand to help her to her feet. "I don't know how you're feeling about this, but I do want to see what you're able to do." He hugged her gently, smiling into her eyes.
She smiled back, planting a kiss on his nose. "Oh, I want to know myself. There's a lot you've already shown me about myself, and I want to know more." She let out a giggle, then winked playfully as she tickled him. "So where to start?"
Andrew let out a snicker and batted at her hands. "We start by going outside." With that he led her out of the house, and into the center of the yard. She stood there waiting anxiously, wondering what he'd start with.
"First off, I want to be able to hear your thoughts no matter what form you take." Aluria nodded, and a soft giggle entered his thoughts. ::Is this what you mean?:: she whispered in his mind.
::Exactly.:: He gave a warm wink, then found a stump to settle down on. ::I'll start with basic forms, dear. Then depending on how we're feeling, go on to the more unusual.:: He stared at her for a moment, then gave a sly wink.
She shivered a bit, then let out a gasp as she felt herself starting to change. Her body arched down towards the ground, her arms already lengthening down. She felt her neck stretching out, then her head pushed forwards, elongating as her body rearranged itself. A long tail appeared from behind, hands and feet turning into hooves while a thick coat of fur covered her body. A soft nicker came from her, and she turned her head to look at Andrew, already realizing she was a horse once again.
Andrew walked over to her, reaching out to scritch her under her muzzle. She nickered softly, then flicked an ear as she slowly walked about. ::Oh, I forgot how good this felt.::
::You look quite lovely that way,:: he sent her. ::Adjusting to the form already?::
::I was this once before, so it's quickly remembered.:: She nickered again, snuffling his head and making him giggle from the response. Before she could do anything else, he hopped up onto her back and snugged her neck.
She nickered warmly, her thoughts warm with pleasure. ::Nice:: Slowly she trotted around, Andrew riding her and watching her enjoy horsing around this way, then slid off of her. She turned her head to look, then shivered as she felt herself changing again.
Her body shrank down in size, becoming slimmer and less muscular. Her muzzle became smaller and thinner, while her legs became thin, the hooves splitting slightly. She made a soft sound at Andrew, flicking her now short fluffy tail. ::What?::
Andrew reached over to scritch her between the ears, giggling. ::Just a deer, dear.:: He grinned and ran his hand down her neck to her back, watching her twitch from the touch. ::Jumpy, aren't you?::
::Can't help it.:: Aluria managed a giggle, then licked his hand with her tongue. ::Salty.::
::Folks say I needed some seasoning,:: he replied back to her. He motioned for her to wander for a bit, watching her experiment bounding about the yard.
For a while he kept up the simple changes, shifting her from deer to dog to cat, from raccoon to eagle, from snake to human. Aluria would play around in each form, experimenting and letting Andrew know what it felt like, then he'd shift her again into a new shape.
Lunch came and went, Aluria having grazed as a goat while Andrew snacked on a sandwich. They continued to experiment, Andrew feeling ready to try something very different with her.
Aluria was already back in her human shape, nibbling on an apple. Andrew walked up behind her, rubbing her shoulder warmly. She looked around and smiled, having showed no hesitation from all the changes.
He bent down and kissed her lightly, then winked. "Ready for some unusual changes now, dear?"
She giggled and nodded vigorously. "If it's anything like what I've seen in your thoughts, I'm as ready as I'll ever be."
Andrew winked warmly, nudging her into the middle of the yard. "Just stand right there, and be ready for a real surprise." She winked back and stood there, looking as provocative as she can. He grinned at the sight, then seriously thought about what he wanted her to become.
Aluria gasped as she felt the change beginning in her. She started feeling odd, stiff, her body becoming harder to move. Looking down at her feet, she could see her toes stretching into the ground, her legs merging together as they started turning brown. She looked up in surprise at Andrew, about to say something when she discovered she couldn't speak. ::Andrew?::
::Just wait,:: was his only reply. He watched her, a smile on his lips that twitched with amusement. Already her legs and hips had become a trunk, the rest of her body stretching up into the air as the changes continued. Her arms spread out, splitting and resplitting into branches, leaves rapidly appearing. Her head and face disappeared into the trunk, as all her senses suddenly changed, altered completely.
She couldn't see, not as before. Instead there was a hazy sense of what was around her, the feeling of things nearby. Hearing had changed as well, all that she could tell was a low whisper of unidentifiable sounds from all around. She took a breath... and was surprised at the fact that she was breathing almost constantly now.
A thought penetrated hers. ::Aluria?::
::Andrew?:: Her thoughts were sluggish now, time flowing differently around her. ::Feels... odd... comforting.::
Andrew's thoughts touched hers again. ::Been an hour... need to shift you back.::
Just as he finished saying that, she suddenly felt her body shift back to human, feeling like it was instantly happening. She stood there for a moment, then shuddered when Andrew touched her.
"Are you all right?" He was concerned now, worry clear on his face. She shook her head, managing a slight smile.
"I'll be ok. That just was... wow." She looked up at Andrew, a sparkle in her eyes. "I have never tried anything like that before."
"I wasn't sure," he said softly as he settled down next to her. "It was something I wanted to see myself, if you could become something really different."
"It was different. Felt like only a few minutes passed for me while I was that way. You said it was an hour?"
"Hour and a half, actually." He nodded at the shadows, lengthening across the ground. "It took me a while to get through to you."
She hugged him tightly. "It's ok. You wanted to see me that way, and I'm not angry. It wasn't really uncomfortable, just so very different. I think I'd like to try it again one day."
Andrew nodded slowly, and helped her to her feet. "Let's go back inside, dear. I think I've had enough of experimenting today."
Aluria blinked at the tone in Andrew's voice, but let herself be led back inside the house. Andrew brought her some water, and fixed dinner for the two of them. He remained quiet for a while, excusing himself after dinner to sit outside under the stars.
Andrew looked up at the starry night, a soft sigh escaping his lips. His feelings were all in turmoil now, unsure of how he felt, even what he felt. Aluria's willingness disturbed him now, the incident with her becoming a tree heavy on his mind. That she enjoyed the change made him look seriously at himself now, his own feelings, thoughts and dreams.
A soft crunch of pine needles alerted him that she was close by. He didn't stir, instead sat there looking up at the stars shining brightly in the night.
"Hello, Aluria." He turned to see her, worry written on her face.
"Andrew, what's wrong?" She sat down next to him, looking into his eyes trying to read what was there.
"I... I don't know." He shook his head, another sigh coming from him. "I just wish sometimes..."
Aluria reached up to hold his hand. "You wish what?" she asked gently, not wanting to see him close up on her.
He sighed deeply, looking up at the stars again. "For the longest time I've dreamed about what happened earlier today with you. Being able to shapeshift into different forms, even just for a little while. But when I made you into a tree, and the look on your face afterwards, it hit me. Hard.
"You're lucky. You're able to take all those shapes, all those different forms and enjoy them all. And all I can do is stand on the side, watching you, knowing that I can do that to your body but can't experience it myself."
"Andrew," she gently said, squeezing his hand with hers, "you could if you wished to. Truthfully, I'd want you to be able to share this with me. You're intelligent, you're caring, and you've got a wonderful imagination, more than anyone else before you. I like what you do with me, and I'd want you to be able to share that as well. With me."
Andrew closed his eyes, thinking to himself. When he opened them, a tear was visible at the edge. "Aluria, you don't know how much I'd enjoy that. I've been thinking about this since you first showed up. It's just that this afternoon really got me thinking about this. Do I really want to do that? Go that far and take that step? I don't know, deep down I do, but a part of me is honestly afraid."
To his surprise, Aluria rose up and kissed him gently. "I know. I've known it in your thoughts since we were bonded. But I promise you this. If you decide after you become like me to give it up, I'll take away the ability without a word. I want you to be satisfied and happy, just like you want me to be the same."
Andrew closed his eyes again, then opened them. A smile came to his lips, and he kissed her lightly. "I believe you. And even though I'm afraid of this, I want to do it."
Taking his hand, they walked back into the house. She hugged him warmly, standing there together for a short while as he shivered and tried to keep from being nervous. Finally, she kissed him warmly, caressing his face.
"Just relax," she said softly, "and let things happen. It's going to be very strange for you, but this is the only way that I can do with." She gave a sly wink, causing both their clothes to vanish. Andrew blushed a bit, then managed to chuckle.
"You know what's best," he said, kissing her lightly. "I'm in your hands now."
Aluria winked, then kissed him passionately. He responded in kind, feeling her pressing tightly against his body. For a moment he wondered what she was doing, then a warm tingle spread though him.
She moaned softly, her body rubbing against his. He responded in kind, discovering that he had already slipped inside of her without knowing it. The tingling increased, making him feel very warm.
Her body started to flow about him, wrapping about as the other night before. Only she was turning liquid, flowing across his legs, encasing his hips and slowly working her way up his chest. The more she covered him, the more intense the tingles became, making him feel soft.
Her tongue probed deep into his mouth, then started pushing deeper into his throat. For a moment he was afraid, but a soothing thought caused all his fear to vanish. He continued to feel himself becoming soft, watery, unable to move at all. His head became covered with her liquid form, sight and sound disappearing completely.
Still the tingles increased, the sensations becoming erotic. A part of his mind could sense what was happening to him, his body becoming liquid, melting down to the floor while surrounded by Aluria. The feelings were powerful, waves of warmth and desire mingled with a sense of wonder. He could hear her thoughts now, as distinct as his own. She was also feeling the pleasures, wanting him more than ever. He let himself go, his body dissolving completely as a series of shocks ran through him, orgasmic explosions that shook them both. He mentally cried out, falling towards unconsciousness...
...and the last thought he heard was of Aluria, calling his name over and over again.
There are varying ways that a person wakes up. For some, the morning is a bleak period between crawling out of bed and that first cup of coffee. For others, the moment the alarm rings they're fully away and ready for the day's activities. Others tend to wake slowly, savoring those last few minutes of drowsy feeling before finally slipping out from between the covers.
Andrew was feeling very much like the last, fading back to conscious thought from the depths of sleep. He was acutely aware of his body, more than ever before. The gentle rhythm of his breathing, the sound of blood rushing in his ears as his heart beats strongly. The light caress of an errant breeze across him, the lazy curling of his tail behind his back.
The lazy curling of his tail behind his back.....
The lazy curling of his tail.....
Time froze for a moment as the thought echoed inside his mind. A Tail? He cautiously opened one eye, peering down at his nose.
A black nub greeted his vision, slightly damp. It sat at the tip of a blunt muzzle, orange fur covering it while long whiskers twitched with amusement. He opened his other eye, peering with both at the unusual image.
It definitely was a nose, his nose. He tried to twitch it, watching it move on command. As if in a dream he raised up one hand, peering with wide eyes at the sight.
His hand was fur covered as well, the same orange fur with black stripes at his wrist. The fingers were shorter than normal, giving the impression of a paw. Flexing one finger, he watched a sharp claw extend outwards, retracting when he relaxed.
The fur continued down his arm, and his gaze went down until he saw his chest. He was totally covered in fur, the marking clearly those of a tiger. His body was much more muscular, his frame having expanded in size. Glancing down his chest, he saw a sheath there, guessing that he had expanded in size there as well.
The door opened slowly, his ears catching the sound instantly. Turning to look, he saw Aluria standing there in the doorway, her own form back in the tigress shape he shifted her into back a few nights ago. She smiled softly and walked over to the bed, her tail swaying in rhythm with her hips.
"Good morning, dear." She settled down on the bed, giving Andrew a detailed gaze. He would have blushed at her staring, but managed merely to give a smile back.
"Morning." He hesitated, trying to find the words to say, then gave up. "I, uh... it worked?"
She giggled softly and kissed his nose, making him sneeze. "It worked. Congratuations, you're now like me."
He raised himself up in the bed, leaning against the headboard. "What do you mean, I'm like you? I thought that I wished to be..." His voice trailed off, then let out a sigh. "I did wish to be like you, didn't I?"
"Not in as many words, but it was the only way I could do it." She smiled up at him, scritching his chest with her fingers. He rumbled softly in response, surprising himself by the sound.
"Ah, I... guess I'm confused a bit." He shook his head, then looked down at Aluria. "What happened? I remember you against me, then things became rather hazy."
She smiled and snuggled up against him. "Simply? I made you become the same as me. For all intents, you're a djinn now. And bonded to me as I'm bonded to you. You don't have any magic yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if you developed your own powers there."
"A djinn." His voice trailed off into silence, then he scritched her lightly under her muzzle. "Does that mean you're able to do the same to me as I was doing to you before?"
"Yes and no." Aluria worked her paw down his chest, making him squirm slightly from the touch. "You can still affect me, and I can affect you. But because we're bonded to each other, it has to be willingly now. I can shift myself now, something I couldn't do before. And I'd guess you're going to be able to shift yourself as you choose to." She scritched lower, ignoring the batting of his paws. "Hey, what do you think you're doing?"
"Trying to distract you, that's what." He growled at her, then let out a yelp as she groped him with both paws.
"I'm the one trying to distract you." She grinned, looking down and feeling him stirring to life in her paws. "And it's looking like I'm starting to succeed."
Andrew laughed despite the situation. "You keep that up, and you might have more than a handful to deal with."
She grinned back evilly at his words. "I hope so." She kept up her attention, stroking him firmly until he let out a soft moan, becoming aroused. When she felt that it was time, she straddled his hips, slipping him inside of her before he could twist away.
He shuddered underneath her, looking at her sitting on top of him. She slowly rose up and down on him, using her entire body as enticement, coaxing him to let go. A low growl came from him, his senses inflamed now as she drove him without mercy.
It wasn't long before he responded in kind, his paws reaching up to rub her breasts, hips pushing upwards to meet hers. Growls and moans filled the air along with the scent of their lovemaking, becoming lost in a frenzy of need for each other. Their bodies shuddered, then cried out as they each exploded in powerful climaxes, the bond between them echoing their pleasure in the other's minds.
A long time later Andrew managed to speak again, exhausted from their lovemaking. "Urrrr, that was incredible."
Aluria smiled, nuzzling him as she lay there next to him. They both were sweaty and worn out, their bodies finally drained of animal passion. "Goddess, it was wonderful. You were wonderful."
He smiled and licked her muzzle, still amazed at himself and his reactions. "I still feel funny about this. Like it's natural but not quite real to me."
"You'll adjust," she replied. "You're flexible, lover. And you're already feeling comfortable with the changes."
Andrew realized that he was comfortable with the fact that he was a tiger, and that she felt perfectly normal to her. "You're right," he said, rumbling gently as she scritched his side. "It does feel comfortable. Somehow. Like it's always been a part of me, like my dreams were."
She nodded, sitting up in bed. "I think," she said gently, "that your dreams might be a reason why you're adapting. You really did want to be like me so much in the past, you already knew what it was going to be like."
Andrew mulled her words, then kissed her nose. "I don't know if you're right or not, but I do know one thing. I'm getting hungry."
Her stomach growled at his words, making her tickle him. "You had to remind me of that!"
He grinned, and suddenly rolled her over onto her back, pinning her down. "Hah. Gotcha."
"Whatcha going to do about it, Mister Tiger?" She giggled and gave him a sly wink which he returned.
"I'll tell you. After breakfast." He hopped up off of the bed, then helped her up. "There's a Shoney's down the road a bit, they have an all you can eat breakfast bar. That'll be perfect for me."
"Hey, I need to eat, too. All that shifting takes a lot out of a girl." She giggled, then shimmered as she returned to human form. "I don't think you'll want to wander out this way, would you?"
"Maybe if I'm going to an LSU football game. Hey, maybe I can be the mascot now?" He stepped out of the way of her slap, then grinned. "All right, what do I do?"
"Just visualize yourself."
Andrew closed his eyes, trying to remember what he looked like before. There was an odd feeling of fluidity, his body flowing and reshaping itself, then solid again. When he opened his eyes, he saw that he was human, back in his normal form now. "Weird," he commented. "Very strange, I feel... naked."
"You are naked, lover." Aluria giggled, then slipped into the bathroom. "First call for the shower."
The Shoney's wasn't so crowded as Andrew expected. 10am, and the place was only half full. The result being that he and Aluria easily found a table, managed to make a serious dent on the breakfast, and leave before the Antioch Baptist Church ended the day's sermons and everyone descended on the place.
They decided to take a while and drive, the scenery on the North Shore being colorful enough with fall in the air. Aluria watched as they went past forests and farmland, passing through the small towns and ending up in Abita Springs. Andrew took time to explain things to her, from oil rigs to hiking trails, puzzled somewhat at the idea of fast food and giggling as he showed her the small brewery in Abita Springs. Just for fun he bought a pack of Purple Haze beer, watching her laugh at the bottles.
It was early evening when they finally drove back to the cabin, their talk turning to silence and Aluria leaning against him as he drove down the highway. Their thoughts had drifted back to the morning, sensing that the other was wanting the privacy again. Andrew guided the car down the dirt road, then stopped as they reached their home for now.
Before she could head inside, Andrew held her arm. "Not yet, lover. There's something I want to do before. While there's still some light outside."
"Oh?" Aluria looked a bit puzzled. "What's that?"
"Well, you said that we could shift ourselves. I want to try something before we head inside. Something I've always dreamed of doing, even before you gave me this ability. Fly. I want to fly with you a while."
A soft smile appeared on her lips. "I think I'd like that," she replied back, following him into the yard. "What do you think you'd like to be?"
"Much as I'd like to be a dragon, we can't try it. Too many people around, and something that large would appear on radar once we got too high. But a raptor, say an eagle or hawk, that'd be perfect."
She nodded in agreement. "You first? Or me?"
"You go first, love. I want to watch you change."
She smiled warmly, then her form shimmered and blurred, shrinking in size. Her features changed, feet thinning and becoming talons, while her face shrank, nose and mouth turning into a yellow beak. Her arms stretched out, feathers appearing to replace hair, long shafts to hold her on updrafts. She let out a screech and lifted into the air, wings rapidly beating to send her skyward.
Andrew watched in admiration, then his own form blurred and changed about. He watched his perspective change, dropping in size while his body became smaller, lighter. His skin tickled as feathers grew outwards, his arms and legs shifting with his posture. He hopped slightly, spying Aluria soaring overhead, then instinctively began flapping his wings, heading into the sky to join her.
The land dropped beneath him, moving away as he gained altitude. He felt giddy, the sensation of air blowing through his feather tickling him. Moving with powerful wingstrokes he soared upwards, flying past Aluria then tucking to dive down, pulling out at the last moment level to her. She screeched in surprise, a cry that he echoed back.
They flew higher still, drifting over the countryside and looking down from their vantage point. Andrew was surprised at how crisp his vision was, able to focus on little things even high up. The sounds below reached him faintly, cars driving along US 190, the scent of the lake off a short ways away. Aluria flew along with him, her eagle eyes bright with wonder.
The setting sun reminded them that it would be dark soon. Gazing down, Andrew was surprised as how far they had flown, passing over the Interstate near Covington. He sent his thoughts to Aluria, pointing out the aerial signs.
By the time darkness was beginning to cover the land they flew down into the yard, shifting at the very last moment to land on human feet. Aluria ran over to him, hugging and kissing him warmly with tears in her eyes. "Lover, that was so amazing. I felt like I wanted to stay that way."
He kissed her back, his own tears mingling with hers. "I was tempted. Gods, I was tempted. Flying was so... wonderful. That's the only word I can find for it."
She nodded, still hugging him tightly. "Thank you," she said, laying her head on his chest. "Thank you for being so willing."
To her surprise, he sighed and nuzzled her head. "Thank you, love. For giving me this gift to share with you."
Together they walked back into the house, murmuring to each other.
They sat together in the living room, quietly talking as the evening passed. For Andrew, today had been a day of revelation, both at what he had become as well as who he had become. Reflecting back, he was still amazed at how fast things had happened since wandering into that magic shop. He knew, though, he wouldn't trade what's happened for anything else.
Aluria was also amazed at Andrew, and herself. No one before had made her feel the way he was, feelings of care, of love. She was willing to go as far as she did, making him a djinn so that she wouldn't lose him. Rash, certainly. Djinni generally didn't make rash actions, but she was certain he'd accept her reasons.
Andrew learned more from her about what being a djinn meant. About the history of the djinn, their lore, why they are the way they are. Human companionship was important to them, almost necessary.
"There have always been legends," she was saying, "about djinni. How we helped Aladdin and Sinbad, how we twisted wishes about for those who deserved them. That's quite true, but for reasons.
"Djinni feel that for each djinn there is a person who's meant for them. A companion or mate, so to speak. It's every djinn's wish that they find that person, for it fulfills their reason for being. Suleymann never meant for djinn to be separate from humanity, but to eventually be a part of humankind."
Andrew nodded softly in understanding. "So in a way being with me fulfills your wish?"
"I think so, yes. You're what every djinn would wish for, a loving, caring individual who's willing to share their life." Aluria smiled warmly at him, making him blush. He blushed easily, she noticed.
Coughing softly, Andrew managed to cover it. "I do love you," he said softly, whispering it. "Gods, if I've been willing to let you make me into a copy of yourself, I must love you."
She leaned close and kissed him warmly. "I know," she replied. "I love you, too. The bonding makes that love even more powerful now."
"The bond makes a lot of things more powerful," he commented. She laughed, and when she managed to stifle it, he continued on. "We're able to sense each other much more, can't we?"
"Sense, hear, feel." She paused, then smiled. "Think of it as maybe two spirits inhabiting one body. Or one personality sharing two forms."
Andrew reflected on her words, then looked at her from an angle. "We were one body last night, weren't we?"
This time she blushed, looking rather embarrassed. "It was the only way," she said in reply.
He smiled, and kissed her gently. "It's ok. Really. Funny thing is, I've sometimes had ideas like that in the past."
She blinked, slightly startled. "Like what?"
"Like being liquid and merging together with a lover," he said, shrugging his shoulders. "Guess it's just the idea that made it so fascinating to me. And erotic."
Aluria looked carefully at him, then in a slow, measured tone said, "Would you like to?"
Andrew cocked his head to the side, sensing her question. "I think I would, yeah. It'd be different from anything else we've tried together, so far. If you don't want to, just say so."
She shook her head. "Love, I'd want to be with you any way you think would be pleasurable for us together. Just tell me if you want to do it."
He sat back for a moment, thinking over what he had said. Then, he stood up, reaching down and bringing her to her feet. Wordlessly he kissed her, hugging her tightly against him. She sighed softly and settled against him, already knowing his answer.
They stood there, together for a long time, holding each other and basking in their closeness. Without a sound or a signal, they both shimmered golden and turned liquid, flowing down to the floor to become a puddle that rippled and quivered from within.
Together they moved towards each other, feeling themselves merging and sharing, their desire for the other strong. The liquid form responded to their thoughts, undulating and flowing about as an amoeba, occasionally taking shape as they took their pleasures.
>From the liquid they rose up, Andrew behind Aluria, both shimmering golden. He leaned up against her, his arms wrapped about her waist while caressing her breasts, she lifting her head up and letting out a strange moan. Their bodies were visible from the waist up, the golden fluid spread out around them being the rest of their form. A shimmering of forms, melting back into the fluid, then again they rose, only this time face to face, kissing each other passionately.
Repeatedly they formed and reformed into shape, melting back into liquid shape. Time had no meaning to them, lost completely in their pleasure until in one, overwhelming climax they fell into unconscious sleep.
The liquid body fell still, laying upon the floor. Slowly it took shape, remaining fluid but taking on the image of Andrew and Aluria, their appearance blended together into one form that was both male and female. They lay there for the rest of the night, dreams twined in their thoughts as tightly as their bodies were.
A soft buzzing penetrated Andrew's sleepy thoughts, the sound insistent. He thought he had turned the pager off, but no it sat on the small table. The buzzer went off again, and he groggily got up from the floor.
His mind wasn't fully functioning, otherwise the odd feel would have made more sense. His chest felt heavier, and the movement was different. The buzzer went off, and he grabbed the pager, tossing the hair out of his eyes to look at the number. He cursed softly, then reached into a coat pocket to pull out a cellular phone. A few seconds to dial, then a ring followed by a voice.
"Ed, what is it?"
His sluggish thoughts caught the odd sound of his voice. He blinked, then let out a soft groan as he saw himself in the mirror.
The face was male yet soft, the shoulders slim but muscular. Staring at the image, he could see that he was a blending of himself and Aluria, male and female both. Firm breasts graced his chest, while down below he could see both male and female genitals between his legs.
The voice from the phone was talking, and Andrew put the receiver back up to his ear. "Sorry, got a bad connection here. I'm in the North Shore."
"Ah, that explains why you sound like shit." Ed let out a chuckle, then continued on. "I wish I didn't have to page you, but I have a problem that you need to take care of."
"Ed, I told you I was taking a vacation. Today's supposed to be a holiday." Mentally he felt Aluria stirring, starting to awaken as well.
"I wish it could wait," Ed said. "But this client wants us there today, and I couldn't say no. Not when he's agreed to pay overtime on this job."
"How much?""Damn, you're mercenary, you know that?"
"When it's interfering with my vacation? I should charge double for the job. Who and where?"
"Harris Engineering, down on St. Charles St. at the corner of Upperline. Internet connection via ISDN to a Windows NT server. I told them you can be there at 1pm."
"Ed, what time is it?"
"Just after 8am. Even with the drive, you can be back in town in plenty of time."
Aluria and Andrew sighed together. "All right, all right. I'll be there. I don't like it, but since they are paying..."
"Oh, they are paying. You're getting a good paycheck out of this as well, so what are you complaining about?"
"It's taking away from my relaxation and fun." Aluria giggled in his mind, and he mentally winked at her. "I'll give you call when I'm back in town."
"Talk with you then." The line went dead, and Andrew placed the phone on the table.
::Sorry, love.:: He went back to the mirror, looking at himself. Herself.
::Don't be. As you're fond of saying, it happens. It's not as if we can't do anything later on.::
Andrew sighed and nodded. ::Doesn't mean I have to like it.:: He took a last look at the sight, reaching up for a moment and touching a breast. ::Later.::
::Later,:: she echoed. He nodded, and suddenly the form shimmered and turned golden, flowing down to the floor in a liquid cascade. The puddle separated into two, reluctantly, then reformed back into their original human bodies. Aluria looked over at Andrew, a gentle smile on her lips. "I'll admit that was a very interesting way to wake up, however."
Andrew chuckled and gave her a warm hug. "Very interesting. And very enticing. I wish we could have taken the time to explore that, but time waits for no one."
"Or no djinn." She grinned, and tickled him lightly, watching him squirm. "Go get your shower, and I'll have breakfast waiting."
By 9am they had both grabbed showers and a decent breakfast, and was more able to face the world once more. Andrew went through the house, making sure the power was turned completely off, and that there was nothing left in the way of perishables. Before getting in the car, he took a last look at the place, letting out a soft sigh.
Aluria squeezed his hand as he settled inside the car. "We'll get another chance to be alone, love."
"I know," he said, maneuvering the car around and driving towards the highway. "I just wish it lasted a while longer. Work just gets in the way sometimes."
Aluria nodded, watching him deal with the traffic before turning onto the highway, heading back to New Orleans. "We have a lot of time ahead of us, love."
"Not if I can't deal with the traffic," he said, snickering a bit. A curse came from him as a road hog blew past him, making him swerve slightly. "Damned idiots. I swear, they had to give out licenses to drive in this state in boxes of Cracker Jacks."
She giggled at that comment. "Do you always make obscure jokes?"
He had to laugh at that. "It's an old habit, dear. You'll get used to it from me." He turned onto the ramp leading to the Causeway, then fished out a few dollars. Giving them to the toll attendant, he headed onto the bridge, and the long drive back into the city.
Aluria was quiet the first part of the trip. Andrew occasionally looked at her to make sure she was ok, but she sat silently thinking, staring at the lake. Just when he thought about turning on the radio, she broke the silence.
"Can I ask you a question, love?"
"Sure, you can ask me anything."
She paused, then said, "What did you think about this morning?"
He made a slightly startled sound, then shook his head. "What do you mean?"
"When we woke up together. Literally together. What did you feel about that?"
Her question made him consider for a moment. "It was... different. Very different. I'd say frightening for a moment, if it hadn't felt so... so right? The feeling inside, I mean."
Aluria slowly nodded her head, looking carefully at him. "Would you... would you want to try that again? Or maybe be female for me?" She said it softly, embarrassed at asking the question. "When I had female owners in the past, I took male shape for them. And I thought that maybe I could do that for you, and you could be female for me."
He didn't respond, not immediately. When he did, it was with care in how he spoke.
"I can't say," Andrew replied, choosing his words. "I'm not saying that I won't. That's something I couldn't promise to you if I wanted to. But... I would have to be in the right mood first. At least for the first time.
"Being female, totally female, scares me. It'd be like giving up a part of me that makes me who I am. I know it's irrational, I'm a shapeshifter now like you, and that I should experience everything that's possible. And that does include being female. But it's hard for me to say yes or no, since it's so sudden with me."
He took a deep breath and sighed. "Love, we have plenty of time for us to try all the things we want to. There's no need to rush into things."
Aluria sighed as well, but a sigh of agreement. "You're right. I just feel disappointed because of this morning."
"Because we couldn't do anything. I know." Andrew sighed as well. "Life isn't fair, but it's the only game in town." He grinned at her, enjoying her laugh. He leaned over close enough to give her a light kiss, then dealt with his driving again. "We'll get another chance, don't worry."
"As long as you're willing to, I won't be." She snuggled back against him, letting the rhythm of the road.
They stopped for a quick bite once back in New Orleans, then drove down St. Charles Ave. to Harris Engineering. After finding a parking spot close enough to the place, they walked up the path to an old Victorian style house, now used as an office. A quick knock on the door brought a gray-haired gentleman to greet them.
"I'm Dan Harris. You're with Info Specialists?"
Andrew shook the gentleman's hand. "I'm Andrew Davis. Ed sent me over to do the installation of your ISDN link."
"Nice to meet you, come on in." He opened the door and they stepped inside. "Pardon the mess," he added, moving a box out of the way. "We're still moving in and not everything's where it belongs."
"Looks like my apartment," he quipped, getting swatted by Aluria. Dan grinned at the two, then tilted his head at her. "Girlfriend?"
"Fiancee." Andrew grinned at Aluria, who responded by giving him a kiss on the nose.
"I don't know a thing about this, so I'm just along for the ride," she explained. Dan nodded, and pointed down the hall. "Computer's in the room on the right. Break room and coffee's on the left."
Andrew nodded, and headed down the hall, Aluria following behind. He slipped into the computer room, noticing that everything he needed was already in place. "Good, this is going to be a lot easier than I expected. Love, get me a cup of coffee, and I'll be all set."
Aluria winked, and presented him with a cup of coffee. He took it, shaking his head at her from using her magic and sipped. "Perfect. Now, just sit back and let me do my own form of magic."
Four hours later, Andrew leaned back and sighed. Dan stuck his head in the door and looked at the results. "All connected?"
"Connected, checked, logged and registered. The line is full time, so you'll be able to access the Internet whenever you want. And the web browser is set up so that all the workstations can use it."
"Good." He shook Andrew's hand again, smiling. "Appreciate this immensely. I've got your check all ready to sign."
He went back down the hall while Andrew finished up typing a few final commands. Aluria came over from where she had been sitting, giving him a light hug. "Now what?"
"We drop the check off at the office, then we go home." He kissed her gently, then let go of her as Dan came back in, check in hand.
"Here you go. More than happy to have your help."
Andrew smiled and nodded. "No problem, if you need anything, give Ed a call."
They headed out, waving a final greeting to Dan as they walked to the car. Piling in, Aluria planted a hard kiss on Andrew's lips, then giggled. "So, now what?"
"Mmmmm, like I said, I have to drop this off, but after that? Home, love. Home."
Fortunately Ed wasn't in the office, otherwise he would have corralled Andrew in his office. Instead Andrew gave the check to the receptionist, who smiled at him and Aluria. "So this is the lucky lady, eh? Ed mentioned you had a girlfriend now."
"Ed talks too much," Andrew shot back, grinning. "But tell him I dropped in, and I'll expect my paycheck soon enough."
"Don't worry, I'll remind him." She placed the check in her desk, and winked. "Go out and have fun, you two."
"Oh, I think we can manage," Aluria responded, giving Andrew a sly wink. The receptionist laughed and waved them off, getting back to her work.
Soon they were home, both happy to be there once more. Andrew was feeling tired, so by consent he went into the bedroom to rest while she went back to her reading, still looking for ideas. Quickly he drifted off to sleep, odd images flitting about in his dreams.
Something brought Andrew awake. Something sitting on his chest. He opened his eyes, surprised at the darkness, then sighed. Reaching out, he was about to turn on the light when a tiny voice could be heard.
"Not yet, love." A soft glow came from the headboard, and Andrew saw Aluria sitting on his chest. She giggled, and stood up, showing off her form.
He guessed she was maybe at most a foot tall now, a tiny doll twirling about on him. He chuckled softly and smiled, looking down at her.
"Why did you do this?" he asked, keeping his voice at a whisper.
She giggled again and moved up towards his face. "I thought you'd like something different, love. Not exactly shapeshifting, but still fun."
Andrew laughed and shook his head at her. "You're insatiable, you know that? Not that I'm complaining in the least, but gods... I always thought I'd be the one who'd be small."
"Oh, I want you to be, love." She winked and leaned over his face to kiss his lips. "But I wanted to do this first, just to see what it's like."
Andrew grinned at her, sending out a light puff of air at her. She squealed and giggled from it, then winked warmly as she moved down his chest again. He watched her moving, giggling from time to time. "Ummm, just what do you think you're doing down there?" he asked, squirming as she got to his hips. She looked back over her shoulder and winked.
"Just getting friendly, that's all." She reached out and ran her hands lightly along his shaft, making it twitch from the touch. Wrapping her arms around it, she started stroking it, pressing up against the warm flesh with her chest.
Andrew shivered slightly, watching her. "Ummm, lover, you better watch it... that might go off." He giggled softly, then settled himself so that he could watch her actions, becoming mesmerized at the sight.
She giggled and looked up at him, smiling. "I hope it does, love." Stroking him more intently, she felt him stiffening against her and moaned, his scent beginning to arouse her.
He stared down at her, her hands wrapped around his shaft, her tiny body rubbing up and down to send shivers through him. He groaned again, the sheer sight of her using her entire body to get him off making him want more.
He was fully hard now, twitching in rhythm to her strokes. She wrapped her legs around his cock, rubbing up hard against the length and letting out tiny moans of delight herself. Aluria glanced up at him, seeing the look of pleasure on his face, then rubbed harder, wanting to feel him climaxing against her.
It wasn't long in coming. Her moans, the sight of her stradding his cock and the wild sensations of her actions brought him to a shuddering climax. He jerked in the bed as his juices spurted over his chest, hips and particularly Aluria. She let out a tiny yelp as she shook against his shaft, climaxing as well. She let go of him, laying back on his hips and looking up with glazed eyes. "Gods, oh gods that was wild."
Andrew reached down and slid his hand underneath her, then lifted her up. He brought her up to his head, smiling warmly at his little lover. "Do you know how lovely you look, even as messy as you are right now?"
She giggled and kissed his nose, then yelped as he licked her chest. "Hey! Watch it with that thing!"
Andrew grinned at her, then licked her lightly again across the chest, making her moan gently. He cleaned her off as best he could, then, still holding her, took her into the bathroom. Using a damp washcloth, he bathed her as best he could, cleaning off all the stickiness. She giggled and squealed in delight from the attention, then did a dance as he used a hair dryer on very low setting. Once she was dry, he carried her back into the bed and lay back down with her on his chest. She settled down, looking up at him. "You don't mind if I stay this way, do you?"
"You won't be hurt if I roll over in the middle of the night?"
Aluria shook her head. "No, I'll be safe. We can't really hurt each other, you know. Even if you were laying on top of me, I'd be ok."
Andrew nodded slowly, then raised his head up towards her. She leaned in close, giving him a light kiss on the lips. "Good night, love," she said quietly.
"Good night, love," he replied. "Sweet dreams."
She smiled and settled down on his chest, the light fading out as they drifted off to sleep.
Bright light brought Andrew out of sleep. He opened his eyes, then sat upright in shock at the sight of the room. No longer was he in his home, his bedroom. Instead, he was laying on a very large circular bed, in the middle of a room that could come only from a middle-eastern fantasy. A fountain burbled softly in one corner of the room, while tapestries hung from every wall. There were no windows, only a single door in the middle of one wall away from him.
He slipped out of the bed, finding clothes appearing on him as he moved away. He knew immediately that wherever he was, it most certainly wasn't good news.
The door opened, and a young woman entered. She bowed low before him, dressed in the style of an houri. "Young lord," she said, "your presence is requested. Follow."
Not having a choice, Andrew followed the young woman out into the hallway. The door shut itself behind him, reminding him that there was no escape. He walked behind the houri, forcing himself to ignore her appearance and allure, instead his mind firmly fixed on wanting to know what's going on.
She turned several corners, then stopped before a double door with a seal upon it. Touching the knob the seal glowed and the doors parted open. "Please step inside, young lord. They await you."
He walked inside, and blinked in surprise. A simple table stood in the middle of the room, behind which three individuals sat. One was female while other two were male, all garbed in a rich blue robe. The female nodded in recognition, then a chair appeared in front of the table.
"Please be seated, Andrew Davis." She spoke fluidly, almost singing her words rather than merely speaking them. Andrew took the seat after first making certain it was real.
Once seated, the woman continued to speak in her peculiar way. "I am Awafet, this is Fouad," nodding to the person on her left, "and Rajab," nodding to her right. "We represent the Council in the matter of you."
Andrew nodded slowly in greeting, then looked at Awafet directly. "Why am I here?"
"There are... certain matters we need to discuss and rule on," she said, sitting back down. "Matters that directly affect you and Aluria. Matters that affect all Djinni. Such things that directly concern you and your existence."
Andrew sat back in his chair, digesting her words. "So you are judges to determine if I should be allowed to remain as I am?"
"In a matter of speaking, yes." That came from Rajab, his grey eyes staring intently at Andrew. "We, meaning the Council, must know your reasons for why you have taken the actions that occurred over the last few days. To that, we have brought you here to question you and your motives."
"My motives? What other motives would I have?"
"Power. Greed. Avarice." Fouad shook his head slowly, earrings janging softly in the air. "Humans who have wished to become djinni have always done so for these reasons. We wish to know the truth of your wish."
Andrew shook his head. "Truth? What truth could I tell you? I made the wish, yes. But not for power or wealth or anything like that, I made it for Aluria."
Rajab continued his penetrating gaze at Andrew. "Why would you make such a wish for her? She was your property, a tool to use as we were meant to be used." His voice rumbled, sounding like distant thunder about to herald a storm. Andrew looked at him and shook his head again.
"She was not my property, I made that clear the first night. She was initially a guest, then a lover, then my fiancee. Faster than I would have expected, but it happened and I have no regrets over it happening. But never, not once was she property."
His response caught them by surprise, and they murmured softly for a few moments. When they turned back to him, Awafet resumed the questioning. "Why would you care that she was not property?"
Andrew answered immediately. "Because I don't believe in the idea of owning a person. Sharing my life with her, yes. I would willingly do so. But I make no demands on her at all, she's free to leave me whenever she so chooses."
"But she is bonded to you." Fouad looked a bit startled at the intensity of Andrew's responses. "All djinni are bound by the rule of Suleyman to serve when they are owned by humans."
"Define service." Andrew took control of the questions. "Tell me how she was supposed to serve someone who didn't want that from her unless she chose it willingly. Explain to me how I could live with myself having total and complete control over her that way, not giving her a choice in the matter."
Once again, the three conversed together. Rajab raised his head and asked, "But you changed her form about into various shapes, did you not?"
"Yes. But only when she wished me to do so. Never once did I do it against her will."
They conversed again in a low voice, then Awafet nodded. "We know this to be true. As human traits go, it is rare to find one who is considerate of the djinni.
"How did you come about of her?" Awafet looked at him through slitted eyes as she asked, gauging his reaction. Andrew shrugged, and leaned back again in his chair.
"I was heading home, and passed a shop that hadn't been there before. A place called Spells R Us, if I remember correctly."
"Spells R Us?" Rajab suddenly looked startled by the statement. "Run by a rather elderly looking human, frail yet quick of eye and hand?"
"That was him, yes." Andrew was curious now, wondering how they knew of the owner.
"I know of him. He is a wizard, a powerful practitioner of magic on your world. His specialty is in transformation magic. There was word that he had set up a shop to spread his magic about. Rumor has turned into truth in this case." Rajab mulled while glancing at Andrew, running his fingers through his beard. "Is this how you came across Aluria's bottle?"
"Yes. I had entered the shop, merely curious. There were a few items that looked interesting, but when I was about to leave, he stopped me, gave me a bottle and told me to open it at home." Andrew closed his eyes and sighed, then looked back at the panel. "I did so, and that's when I first saw Aluria."
They conferred a bit again, then Fouad nodded to Andrew. "Did you realize at that time what she was?"
"She explained it, yes. I couldn't believe it at first, but since then I've become used to her and what she was. Just as I've had to become used to what she turned me into." The phrasing made Awafet and Rajab look at each other, then back at Andrew.
"You didn't know?" Rajab blinked at the revelation, surprised at Andrew once again.
"Not at first, no. It wasn't until the next day that she explained what she did. But I think she did it because she believed it was what I wanted, and I did it for her sake. Because she wanted me to."
They looked at Andrew, then stood up as one. "We will continue this in an hour. Remain here, and you will be tended to." Together they nodded to him, then vanished into mist. Andrew stared at the empty space, then sighed softly.
Two other young ladies entered the room as he sat, bringing food and drink. He shook his head, but accepted a glass of water and some bread from them. He played over the conversation in his head again, wondering why they were so surprised at what he had done. True, djinni expected little from humans other than treating them as tools, but still that's no excuse for their treatment of him. He was their prisoner right now, and likely Aluria as well.
A slight stirring of air announced their arrival. They stood in the same spots as when they left, then sat down quietly. There was a different feel about them, he noticed. The expression on their faces were more open, more revealing.
Rajab coughed softly, catching Andrew's attention. He smiled a bit, still running his fingers through his beard. "Tell me, what would you do now that you're a djinn. Is there anything you'd want to try?"
"I don't understand." Andrew shook his head, trying to grasp the question. "Are you asking me if I'd go crazy or something like that? Try to rule the world or what?"
That made the three chuckle gently. "No, Andrew," Fouad said gently. "We're wondering what you would do personally."
"Nothing much different, really. Work, live my life with Aluria, enjoy her company and show her my world, that's really all I've considered. I'm happy with the way I am now, and really don't have any reason to change it."
They nodded slowly, accepting his answer. "And Aluria?" asked Awafet. "What about her?"
"Love her, care for her, try to show her how much I care about her." Andrew smiled a bit, then chuckled. "She's quite, ah, insatiable at times, and I've had a hard time keeping her happy."
"Oh, I don't know," Rajab said, a glint in his eyes. "You've done a fairly good job so far. Not many humans know about a djinn's ability to take different forms, fewer still willing to try them. You're very well suited to her and her enjoyments."
Andrew tilted his head to one side, then nodded. "Ah, well, I try to be. She's a very loving and lovely person, and she deserves more."
Awafet smiled at that statement, then her expression turned serious. "Young Andrew, your situation has caused us a problem, one which we have been empowered to deal with.
"Normally when a human wishes to become a djinni, they are bound to servitude for a time so that they may learn humility and understanding. The greed and need for power is purged from within them by their being bound to a vessel and to those who possess that vessel. However we have judged you to be unique. You are not driven by lust or avarice. You are compassionate and caring, noble traits to us."
They stood up, and the table and chairs vanished. Aluria appeared next to Andrew, his hand immediately finding hers and holding tightly. The judges looked at the two, then warmly smiled at them.
"It is by our command that Aluria's servitude be dissolved. That she is no longer bound to her bottle, and is now a free djinna." A thin silver bracelet appeared on her wrist, flowing Arabic script curling around the length. Awafet smiled warmly at her, then turned her attention to Andrew.
"Andrew Davis, by law and tradition, becoming a djinn would bind you to servitude for a period of no less than 300 years." Aluria caught her breath, and Andrew squeezed her hand, trying to hold on. Awafet continued on, singing the words.
"Because of the compassion and love that you have shown Aluria, we cannot in true faith do so. Such would be a punishment upon you both, a punishment that would not be fair in the eyes of Allah. Thus we have decided.
"Andrew Davis, to be known amongst us as Andra, is as of this day a free djinn, given all rights and powers granted to us by Allah in his wisdom and mercy. That you will as a free djinn use those abilities as Allah sees fit." There was a glow around Andrew, and he let out a soft sigh as he felt the magic flow into him. Aluria was stunned at the sight, then hugged him tightly around the neck.
A soft tapping made them break the hug and turn back to look. Awafet smiled again at the two, while Rajab looked positively amused. "One final decree," Awafet announced. "By command of the Council, Aluria and Andra are to be declared married in the eyes of Allah, bound to each other until the end of time. To you both the Council gives their blessings and their wishes for a long and happy life together.
"This is now adjourned."
Andra and Aluria sat quietly in the room that he had woken up in, still dazed by what had occurred. The sudden changes made Andra feel disoriented, and together they decided not to leave until he felt comfortable enough to.
There was a soft knock at the door, then it opened to reveal Rajab standing there. "I wanted to come and say a few things in private," he admitted. "Things I felt were better said afterwards."
Aluria stood up and went to bring him over. "I was worried there for a moment," she admitted. "Afraid that you would have gone ahead and bound him to servitude."
"There was a real discussion about that," he acknowledged. He sat on the edge of the bed, and smiled at the two. "But in the end, your love made all the difference. We couldn't in honestly sentence Andra and you both to that long apart."
Andra smiled and nodded. "We both appreciate that. I don't know if we would have managed, but we would have tried to."
"I realize that, and so do the rest. That's the mark of true love, being willing to suffer for the other person. You both are willing to sacrifice for the other, a very welcomed sight to us djinni." Rajab coughed softly then grinned at the two.
"One thing I did want to mention, and that's your magic," he said to Andra. "It will take some time to adjust to the power, so for now do not try anything in the way of spells. Let Aluria teach you how to use what's within you first, then how to use the magic of the world."
Andra nodded. "I wasn't planning to try anything for a long while, actually. Felt like I was run over by a truck, then backed up and ran over again."
Rajab and Aluria chuckled. "A very apt comparison," Rajab said. "There is something you could teach to many of us, and that's in transformations. You seem to have a very strong ability in that respect, from what I've seen."
Aluria blushed a bit, making Andra chuckle. "You've been looking in on us, haven't you?" he asked, making Rajab laugh.
"A bit, yes," he admitted. "I must admit I hadn't seen anything like that in many a century."
"Remind me to double the privacy," Andra replied, making Aluria blush even harder. Rajab laughed again, and shook his head.
"Don't worry about that, your privacy is now guaranteed. Only when we truly need to will we look in on you two." He stood up, bowing low before them both. "Take care, children. We shall meet again, under much more cordial circumstances." He left the room, and Aluria looked at Andra.
"So what are we going to do now?"
Andra kissed her gently. "First, we go home. Then, I'll show you."
The night was just beginning to settle when Aluria and Andrew materialized in the apartment once again. Andrew groaned softly, and plopped down in a nearby chair, shivering from the sudden change. "That's the last time I'm doing that," he commented. "Next time, we're flying."
Aluria giggled. "By plane or by wing?"
"Yes." He grinned and reached out, snagging her and pulling her into his lap. She let herself be pulled, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him warmly, then laying her head on his shoulder.
"Home," she said simply. He nodded gently, nuzzling the top of her head.
"Home." They both knew it felt right. This was their home now.
She smiled and looked at him, a glint in her eyes. "So, love, care to show me a good time in the Big Easy?" She slowly shifted her form so that there was a sexy-looking vixen in his lap, licking her muzzle and peering at him with a hungry expression.
He giggled at her, reaching up to lightly tweak one of her nipples. She yipped softly, then slipped out of the chair, walking slowly towards the bedroom, tail swishing behind her seductively. His own form blurred into a male fox, and leapt after her. She avoided his leap, then giggled as he snagged her ankle and flipped her onto the bed, jumping up on top of her. For a long moment they stared into each other's eyes, then snuggled up against each other in a warm embrace.
Anyone passing under the window might have been puzzled at the sounds coming from within, odd yappings and murrings that continued through the night.
A Bottle Of Dreams copyright 1997 by Tal Greywolf.
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