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“Curioser and curioser!” cried Alice …
Lewis Carroll — Alice in Wonderland
Chapter Five — Curioser and Curioser
It was surprisingly easy to gain access to Carter Malis’s room, aka himself, with Alex Ruskin’s looks. Everyone knew him and everyone was certain he was some kind of friend to the man lying there, trapped in his own mind, and hooked on medical devices that barely kept him alive.
The nurse fretted around him for like a minute, during which he didn’t dare to look at the pristine white bed. A single glimpse of a pale arm resting on top of the sheet was close enough to make him heave. Eventually, the nurse, another, not Marge, let him be.
“I let you two boys catch up. Talk to him, Mr. Ruskin. Hearing a familiar voice might help him find his way out of his coma.”
She knew nothing. Alex’s voice was nothing familiar to Carter. Yes, he knew the guy from all the ads, and the tabloids showing Aron and him attending various social functions. But, otherwise, if it was Alex Ruskin or one of the Kardashians, that was pretty much the same thing for Carter. He wasn’t watching TV, either.
As soon as the nurse left, he gathered enough courage to walk towards the bed. His actual face was an unpleasant shade of deep purple, with dark spots in places. The device placed over the nose was slowly filling with air, condensing on the plastic. The rhythmic sound of breathing and the small beeps from the machines keeping his body alive were the only things breaking the silence of the room.
The nurse had told him that Aron had taken care of paying for Carter’s medical bills, assuming that he already knew that. Aron hadn’t mentioned it, but Carter was glad he still had a friend in his former best friend. The room where his body had been placed was nice, away from the crowded areas, and it seemed cozy. Not that the guy lying on the bed could care less about it all. He was obviously dead to the world.
“Hey,” he whispered.
Could comatose people hear anything from what happened around them? He did not know. The stupid articles he had read on the topic completely by accident told all kinds of horrendous stories. People in coma seemed trapped in a nightmare, not able to move, or speak, or do anything. Just watch their dear ones debating whether they should pull the plug or not.
Well, he wasn’t here for that.
“Hey, Alex,” he spoke again.
What if Alex wasn’t inside him? What if he was just trying to speak to an empty shell? He watched the screen on which the vitals beeped softly. The thought was rushing through him like murky water released through a draining pipe.
“It’s like the weirdest thing happened, okay? I don’t want you to freak out,” Carter continued to speak gently. “But it looks like I’m Carter Malis and I’m trapped inside you, and, well, you’re here, in a coma, and you’re in my body.”
The vitals continued their monotonous pattern. It was stupid to believe a comatose patient was hearing anything.
“So I’m going to touch you, okay?” Carter spoke, refusing to lose hope.
He was hesitant to touch the inert hand resting on the sheet. But eventually he took it and held it. He had no idea what he was supposed to do next. It was not like he was an expert in body exchange or whatever this was.
Hmm, maybe he was supposed to be closer? He hoped he didn’t have to do something gross like kiss himself. But there were so many theories that the soul could travel out of the body through the mouth, via one last breath, or something like that. Maybe he could at least get closer to his comatose body.
The bed was wide, so it was pretty weird to try getting closer. Eventually, he chose to climb the bed, and lay next to Carter/Alex. Now he was side by side with the body, but he didn’t feel anything. He focused and tried to even hold his breath, but there was still nothing.
All right, maybe he could try the kissing part. If Alex’s soul wanted to get out of there, it couldn’t because of that thing over his mouth. Gently, he pulled it up a little and attempted a kiss. Suddenly, the vitals began running amok, and, in pure surprise, Carter slapped the plastic mask back on his body’s mouth.
A nurse rushed into a room and remained dead in her tracks for a fraction of a moment and then rushed to examine the patient. Feeling awkward enough, Carter got off the bed and watched the nurse adjusting the plastic mask on the patient’s face. The vitals returned to normal. What if he had just missed his chance?
“What were you doing? Trying to kill him?” the nurse admonished him.
Well, it wasn’t like he didn’t know that thing kept the body on the bed alive, but it was a risk he had to consider. Or maybe the kiss theory was just a load of crap. He was so lost in his own musings that he didn’t realize that the woman in white overalls was still waiting for an explanation.
“No, no!” he protested, a bit too forcibly. “I was just … trying to get a reaction out of him.” casino şirketleri
“A reaction? By suppressing his air supply? His lungs would not work on their own, you know? I realize that you are some big star, Mr. Ruskin, but that definitely doesn’t make you an expert in health care,” the woman glared at him over her thick-rimmed glasses.
Wow, someone who didn’t like him. Didn’t like Alex, actually. Well, that was refreshing. But that didn’t change the fact that whatever he had tried hadn’t worked. He must have had a really desolated look on his face, as the nurse’s pursed lips began to melt into an apologetic smile.
“Are you close to Mr. Malis?”
“Not really, my husband is friends with him, but the fact that we were both involved in the same accident … makes me think I have a duty towards him. To help him get well,” he said quickly.
The nurse came close to him and patted him on the arm.
“Leave that to us, dear. Visit him, talk to him, but please don’t ever touch anything again. We’re hoping that he will wake up soon.”
“Okay,” he nodded.
Well, it looked like the nurse now no longer wanted to leave, which meant that visitation hours were done for the day, or at least for him, the guy who tried to not so accidentally kill the patient by taking off the mask.
“I should get going,” he said and the nurse nodded at him with a hint of relief in her myopic eyes.
Great, now he was nothing short than the enemy of the state in the woman’s eyes. He wondered if he would get another chance to be alone with his own body, and try to reach Alex on the other side.
Well, it looked like he was going to spend at least some time in this body, so it was for the best to get to know it. He took off all his clothes and stood in front of the full-size mirror in the bathroom. Vanity was too little a word to describe that space. It was a temple worthy of a beauty queen. Carter had browsed through all the lotions, creams, and whatever other stuff was, just to get a bit acquainted with Alex’s lifestyle.
He had given up by the time he read on a cream that said it was for afternoon treatments. He hadn’t lived under a rock, and he had a vague idea about beauty regimens since he had once had a girlfriend obsessed with her nighttime treatment, but having a cream for afternoon care sounded pretty extra.
Now it was time to examine himself a little. It was quite strange that he no longer felt that uneasy inhabiting another dude’s body. Wasn’t supposed to be a rule about this or something? You shan’t feel good except in your own skin? Maybe he was still trapped in a nightmare and this was going to end soon.
No, dreams could not be this long and vivid. He was just trying to fool himself, nothing else. For lack of anything better to do, he began examining Alex’s body in the mirror. How could the guy survive while being this skinny?
The most annoying part was that he didn’t look bad like this. Alex was fine-boned, and had a harmonious, lean body. There weren’t bones sticking everywhere; if anything, he had the body of a young dancer. And seeing that Alex was what? 25? 26?, that said something about the fucker’s good genes.
And everything about him was so flawless and symmetrical. His face was really worthy of starring in commercials. Alex had striking green eyes, perfect eyebrows, probably manscaped, of a darker ash blonde compared to his hair, hair that was shaved fashionably high to complement the quiff.
It was so easy to change facial expressions that Carter found himself fascinated with making faces in the mirror. A little pout, and the guy looked like he could convince Cleopatra to surrender her throne just to see him no longer miffed like a child. A small smile, and he looked sexy. Yeah, that was a panty-dropping smile, right there. Well, that if the guy had been into girls, which he was not. Anyway, he clearly could charm anyone out of their pants, and probably more.
Carter sighed. So the guy was perfect. A look at the plump lips made him instantly think of Aron’s words. You’re amazing with blowjobs, the guy had said. No wonder there. The guy had the most beautiful lips Carter had ever seen, and it was not that unfathomable to imagine him getting on his knees and servicing his husband with his mouth.
He groaned, as his eyes traveled lower. His damn cock was springing up to attention. He could not remember ever having gay thoughts in his life before the accident and this stupid body swap. But all this had to happen because Alex was gay, and this was his body, hence gay thoughts. Although the brain seemed to belong to Carter, for now.
But was he really sure about that? From a physical point of view, the brain actually still belonged to Alex. And the neural pathways or whatever those were called were trained to think of blowjobs, and gay sex, and a sexy husband who had gone down on …
Carter straightened up and exhaled. Could this make him gay? Living inside casino firmaları a gay guy’s body? Was it really cheating if he slept with Aron, while being Alex? It was basically the same body. Wait, what was he thinking again? The episode from last night was already making him think that he was crossing barrier after barrier like he was a runner on steroids.
But, seriously, now he was starting to get a bit curious. How would it be to …? He turned to examine Alex’s backside. A cute, pert butt came into view. Hell, Carter was straight, and yet he could still appreciate that sight. Slowly, he grabbed his buttocks and pulled them apart. From there, a small pink hole was staring at him like it wanted to ask him what the fuck he was looking at. That was the thing Aron had stared at last night and jizzed all over.
Carter had seen Aron’s cock. He had held it in his hand. And that thing was huge. There was no way that cannon could pass through that tiny hole. No wonder Alex was such a fussy lover. That had to fucking hurt. Yeah, Carter could sympathize with the guy. And Aron could just go suck it.
Actually, no, not suck it. That had instantly brought images of Aron on his knees, looking at him with hooded eyes and swiping his tongue all along Carter’s shaft. It hadn’t mattered that it was basically Alex’s cock; Carter had felt it. And it had felt pretty darn good.
Well, at least, his theory of having too tiny an asshole to withstand a fucking from his beloved husband was holding water. The proof was right there, in front of him. Aron should have known better than marry a skinny guy, no matter how beautiful, with a tiny fuck hole. Everything Aron was enduring now was his own making.
He was pleased with that realization. He was not going to regret fending off Aron’s advances from now on. It was only right to do that and he was sure of it. All he needed to confirm his decision was to take a look at Alex’s tiny asshole in the mirror.
How could he change back into his body, though? Maybe he could just ask Google. People were talking about the weirdest things online right now, so if anyone had happened to go through the same experience, they were likely to share their experience and thoughts on social media.
Half an hour later, Carter was still as unknowledgeable on the matter as he had been when he had opened the laptop. He was about to just go to the kitchen and grab something to eat, when he heard, quite distinctly, a phone ringing.
He searched with his eyes until he noticed the smartphone on the nightstand. A pretty thing, dressed in a rose gold case and decorated with Swarovski crystals. That had to be Alex’s phone, there was no other explanation.
He had a mind to just let it ring. But maybe it was Aron, worrying about one thing or another, and wanting to check on his husband. Eventually, Carter decided to grab it from the nightstand. It wasn’t Aron. He just put it back, decided to continue his foray in the knowledge of body-swapping that was the Internet.
The phone rang again. Well, he could not avoid being Alex forever. Maybe just talking to someone Alex knew on the phone was a good start. Plus, he didn’t want to create any more suspicions and he didn’t want to have doctors really look at his head and decide that he was the perfect candidate for a visit to the loony bin.
The name on the screen said Yolanda. Sounded like someone working in the fashion business. Well, he had to do it, anyway. So he inhaled and swiped right. The phone wasn’t locked.
“Alex, I am so going to kill you!” a high-pitched voice made him take the phone away from his ear and grimace as if he had just had lemon wedges for lunch. That was probably the kind of meal Alex usually indulged in.
“Hey, Yolanda,” he answered, a bit unsure.
“Don’t hey, Yolanda, me, you fucking diva,” the female voice on the other end reached an even higher pitch. It was probably out of any musical scale in existence, and it broke the sound barrier faster than a supersonic jet. “Get your ass right here, right now. And if I catch a single scratch on that beautiful face of yours, I’m sending you to Switzerland for a full recovery treatment!”
Carter jumped to his feet and hurried to look in a mirror. He was in no mood to go to Switzerland. His body was still in the hospital. He exhaled in relief as he noticed that there was no trace of the scratches from before on Alex’s handsome face.
“No, I’m totally perfect,” he hurried to communicate the results of his examination to the woman on the other end.
“Good,” the woman seemed a bit appeased. “So what are you doing at home? Get your ass here right this instant!”
“I’m still on medical leave,” he said sharply.
Whoever this Yolanda was, he didn’t like her. She was a shrew and a slave driver. Supposedly.
“Honey, you’re on medical leave if you have a medical problem. Can you stand?”
“Yeah, I can,” Carter replied.
“Then chop-chop! Come güvenilir casino to work or else.”
“Or else what?” he tried his luck.
A growl that might have belonged to a lion on a diet or a pissed wild cat was the only answer.
“Alex, you don’t want to know what else means in my vocabulary,” Yolanda said sweetly, but Carter was no fool.
That woman was probably sharpening her nails right now. He shuddered at the sudden image of Cruella de Vil crossed with Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada flashing in front of his eyes.
“So, do you need me?” he examined his face again in the mirror. “Like right now?”
“Like this morning, but let’s just pretend that I can live with you being fashionably late.”
“Fashionably late? It’s 1 pm,” Carter snorted.
“Yes, like in the definition of a rock star on coke, dear. Come now, don’t keep mommy waiting.”
Mommy? He was damn certain that devil of a woman had not one maternal bone in her skinny body. Well, she had to be skinny.
“Wait, I need to eat something first,” Carter said.
“Eat? Come now, Alex, fashion icons never eat. Come lean and hungry, dear. This is what brings home the dough.”
Carter shrugged. He was just going to grab a burger on his way to wherever Alex was working.
“Okay. Just give me the address.”
“What?” the voice reached the top notes from before in less than a fraction of a second.
“Ah, didn’t I tell you?” Carter said airily. “I’m kind of amnesic.”
“Shit,” the woman seemed appeased now, but, surprisingly enough, she sounded more human. “Should I let you rest then?”
“Nah, the doc says I should go back to familiar things, and it will all come back to me.”
“Great! Don’t worry! I’ll be here for you!” Yolanda said brightly.
He wasn’t sure he liked it when she said that.
He was more than content with the cheeseburger he had on the way to work, and he was now ready to face that harpy named Yolanda. Lean and hungry, my ass, he thought to himself. He was not one to be denied his protein. Maybe he could fatten Alex a little while at it. The guy was going to throw a hissy fit when they were going to get back to the way they were supposed to be. And when that was going to happen, he was ready to grab the popcorn and watch the show.
The fashion studio was housed by the same building sheltering a beauty mag and a fitness club. It all looked hip and, of course, fashionable, and it sort of intimidated him. But, as he passed through the chrome plated revolving doors, he could only think of one thing.
Don’t blow it.
A doorman dressed in livery that looked taken from a musical hurried to welcome him, offering him a pass since he naturally didn’t have his. From there, he was guided to an elevator and sent directly to Yolanda’s office.
He could tell, even without looking that everyone was talking about him. In hush-hush voices, but all a smile as they greeted him. And all these people looked like they were candidates to Next Top Model. He had to admit that he felt thankful he was walking in Alex’s shoes for a change. All these beasts dressed in designer clothes looked like they were about to rip him to shreds and the only thing keeping them from doing that was that Alex had creed. Like fashion creed, not street creed, and in this people’s eyes, loaded with too much mascara, that was all that mattered.
He was ready to face Yolanda Jones, as he read the name on the door. Yeah, he could take her.
“Alex,” a woman measuring no more than 5.1 sauntered from her desk and hurried to him.
She looked nothing like Meryl Streep or Cruella. She was just a short lady, dressed smartly in a pants suit the color of duck eggs, sporting a black bob with blue reflections. Her small round eyes reminded him of Marge from the hospital. And where he expected to see cruelty and the determination and lack of human empathy necessary for swinging a whip, he saw only kindness.
“So glad you’re fine,” she said as she began touching him everywhere like she wanted to make sure that he had all his 206 bones. “You had me worried, pumpkin!”
“Yolanda?” he said expectantly. Maybe this woman was just the secretary.
“Yes, dear?” she said quickly.
“I thought you were going to have my head over the phone.”
“Why would I? You’re here,” she said matter-of-factly. “Well, sometimes you need a little kick in the teeth. Figuratively speaking. Trust me, you bring out the worst in me. Before I met you, I almost never used four-letter words. Now, onto serious business. We have to prep you for the shampoo commercial at 3, and then we need to talk to the guys from that cosmetics company, you know, the one with the organic products. Dear, please do bear in mind to channel the bitchiest you, because we need to be tough. These people think that if they add a smidge of green to a label, they’re suddenly emissaries from God Almighty. In other words, they think they are entitled to a cheaper deal. Are you with me? And are you really fine, sweetie?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. And about all you said, sure thing, boss,” Carter said with a small smile.
Yolanda Jones was not a wild cat, but more of a mother hen.
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