Chapter 5

I stepped slightly less than confidently into my first class of the day. It was precisely seven fifty seven in the morning, and I was all nerves. I had had to borrow Laury's clothes (including his underwear), and was very self conscious for two major reasons. One, the pants were just too short enough that the only redemption was misdemeanor sagging; two, the boxers I was forced to wear over my man-parts were much, much too free. Parts were not supposed to have freedom. I tried my best to shake off the clenching discomfort and moved to a seat in the middle of the classroom. I always sat in the middle. I noticed belatedly as I sat in one of the many swivel chairs bolted to the long, curving table that Johnson was seated neatly in the front of the class, asleep. I vehemently repressed my urge to smile tenderly at the scene of his mussed sandy hair, peaceful face partially embedded in his book, and the thin line of drool escaping from his mouth. I was a man, dammit, and men did not smile tenderly at other men. He suddenly snapped awake, and for some reason, I could have sworn that his eyes were red instead of their usual amber-flecked green. He looked at me oddly, and I looked away, choosing to ignore the feelings his gaze invoked. I wasn't sure what they were. I could feel his eyes still on me, and for a second I forgot I was male and started blushing. I came to the realization of my girlish behavior too late--someone had noticed.

"Hey, man, you OK?" a very attractive man asked as he stood beside me, setting his books on the table in front of the seat adjoining mine. "Your face is a little red," he added, as if I couldn't feel it burning. I didn't think. I should have.

"U-uh, yeah," I responded nervously. "Hot flashes," was my brilliant excuse. He rewarded me with a very perplexed 'okay, is he weird or just acting weird?' look before shrugging, letting me off the hook. I sighed audibly. I really needed to work on how flustered I tended to get; my face felt like it could combust it was so hot. The guy suddenly laughed and clapped me on the back. I flinched, but tried not to show it. I felt my back tingle slightly, and willed the wings to stop, silently threatening to cut them off if they so much as thought of trying that again.

"Don't be embarrassed. We're all in remedial math, too, you know. It's a damn waste of money, but what can you do?" I smiled at his encouragement, trying to be manly about it.

"Yeah, I guess," I concurred, my own deep voice suddenly sounding odd to me. My leg hair itched, my crotch itched, and I suddenly felt very nervous again. I would never get over being male. Ever.

After class, Johnson approached me.

"Were you staring at me?" he asked. I shrugged.

"You were sleeping," I retorted offhandedly, not really looking at him.

"Thanks. You woke me up. I would've slept through the whole class otherwise." He suddenly stuck his hand toward me. "I'm Taylor." I started at his hand.

"I'm, uh, Taylor," I told him, finally taking his offered appendage. I could not, for the life of me, think of another name cool enough to go by. Johnson laughed.

"There sure are a lot of Taylors here," he told me. I started walking again.

"Yeah," I said absently. He smiled and moved to match my pace. I smiled back without thinking.

"When's your next class?" he asked.

"In a few minutes," I replied. Luckily for me, it was in a building very close by, so not a whole lot of walking was involved.

"Mine too." He sighed dejectedly.

"Don't fall asleep again," I teased. He chuckled.

"See you around, Tay!" he called as he began a quick escape in the other direction. 'Tay', huh? It wasn't so bad...

At the end of the day, as I slammed the dorm door behind myself, I realized just how worn I was. Not only were some of my classes already difficult, but staying in man-form for extended periods of time was terribly taxing. I stripped of Laury's pants and allowed myself to switch back to normal as I flopped down on my bed. The pillows felt so nice against my face that I would've fallen asleep had it not been for Laury's noisy entrance. I groaned to signal my annoyance, but refused to move.

"Did I say you could wear my boxers as a girl?" he demanded. I lifted my head and glared at him.

"Bite me," I countered. He shrugged.

"I'll remember that next time I transform." I blanched.

"How was your day?" I finally asked, sitting up to face him. He glanced at his watch.

"I have one more class," he informed me. "In a few minutes."

"But, it's four already."

"Yeah, I have work in the middle of the day for a couple hours, so I take morning and evening classes."

"Oh." Suddenly, the bathroom door burst open, and Johnson burst in.

"Hey," he greeted.

"Yo," Laury responded distractedly while digging in his bookbag.

"Hi!" I chirped with a wave.

"I like her greeting better," Johnson told Laury. He grunted in reply.

"How was your day?" I asked him. He shrugged.

"It was a day. I've been assured that this will be over in four years."

"Not for you," Laury commented.

"Oh, I met a guy named Taylor today. Isn't that crazy? How many Taylors can there possibly be in one area?" Johnson said. For the second time in a ten minute span, I paled. Laury glanced at me, taking in my expression, which I hoped wasn't too obvious, before returning to his duty.

"Really," he hummed. Johnson nodded.

"He was pretty cool, maybe he would hang with us sometime," he continued on. Many images of this "hanging" going horribly wrong flashed through my mind. An abrupt knock at the door startled us out of conversation. Without warning, a male head poked in, and when he saw me, he exclaimed, throwing the door wide, "It is true! There's a girl living on our floor!" There were about ten other guys crowded behind him, who all had varying manly reactions to the news. I blushed and hid in my pillows, but kept an eye on the action, just in case.

"Dude, she's wearing boxers! Are those yours, man?" one of the guys exclaimed, pointing at Johnson. He shook his head.

"Whoa, she's your girlfriend, huh? How'd you get them to let her stay here?" They were addressing Laury now. He shrugged and then said in a conspiratorial voice, "That's a secret." I was shocked he was taking it so well, unless...Yes! That had to be it. He was using me to make the guys think he was getting some! That creep.

A few minutes later, Laury had to leave, and he made sure that the other guys were cleared out. I mentally thanked him for that, but I was still a little miffed about what I suspected his reason was for playing it so cool. For a good thirty minutes, I just lay on my bed, glad that the day was over, ignoring the fact that Johnson hadn't left the room. He was going through Laury's stuff, probably looking for loose change, so it was no concern of mine. I fiddled with the necklace a little, not sure why I was suddenly so aware of its presence. It was weird, it felt like it was being thought of. I felt a familiar tingling itch overtake me and willed it to go away with all my might. It did, but I was still left with a tight feeling in my chest.

It was being thought of.