Shucking clothes as he went, he headed for the bathroom. He’d set up a mirror in the shower so he could shave and shower at the same time. He didn’t realize until he was standing in the warm spray ready to shave that he couldn’t see well enough to do it.
He stepped out of the shower and went in search of the glasses, shivering and dripping water on the floor. What a pain. Surely he wouldn’t be forced to wear them much longer, but for now, seeing well enough to shave was a priority. He couldn’t get anywhere with Maggie Grady if he looked like a homeless person.
Back in the warm shower, he lathered up and stroked the razor across his chin. Hello. What was this extra piece of flab? Since when did he have two chins to shave?
He wiped the shaving cream off and tried to get a good look in the round mirror. Damned if he didn’t have a double chin! He couldn’t blame it on last night’s meal. Fat didn’t work that way. The extra fold must have been creeping up on him, created by a second helping of potatoes here, a doughnut there.
At least his body was still fit…or was it? He gazed down at what he remembered as rock-hard abs and saw a little paunch. God, had he let himself go that much? Below the paunch—now this had to be an optical illusion—his dick looked smaller.
Getting out of the shower again, still dripping water, he tried to see himself in the medicine cabinet mirror. He didn’t own a full-length mirror, had always considered that a vain thing to have. But without a full-length mirror, he was forced to get a stepstool so he could get the full picture, section by section.
The view wasn’t encouraging. Surely he’d had more muscle definition yesterday. If not, why had six different women tried to hit on him? He’d been a studmuffin yesterday, but this morning, not so much.
As he moved up and down the stepstool trying to decide if the mirror was flawed, his cell phone rang. He dried his hands, walked into the bedroom and picked it up off the dresser. He didn’t recognize the number, but he answered, anyway.
Ambrose’s voice came on the line. “How are you feeling?”
“Strange, if you must know. I can’t see anything without the glasses you gave me, but that could be from a hangover. What I didn’t realize is that I’ve apparently been developing a double chin without noticing it until now, and somehow I’ve let myself get way out of shape. On top of that my hair decided to go wacko on me this morning…” A horrible thought came to him. But no, that was too wild.
“The herbal supplements must be working!” Ambrose sounded tickled shitless. “Dorcas will be thrilled.”
“You did this?” In a way he was relieved to know he wasn’t slowly falling apart, but he didn’t remember taking any herbal supplements. “What supplements?”
“Dorcas mixed a few things in with what you were eating and drinking last night. She thought that would be the easiest route to go. We expected that you’d stay around for breakfast so we could discuss the changes, but—”
“Hold on a minute. Herbs take a long time to work. This was overnight.”
“The brandy acts as a booster. Also the cocoa in the cake.”
“But you drank the brandy and ate the cake!”
“Just a little. But it’s a peculiar thing with these types of herbs. They work differently depending on your body composition and your…well, your mental attitude. I’m sure you’ve heard about the mind-body connection.”
It sounded like California woo-woo stuff to Sean. “You should have told me what you were doing.”
“To be truthful, we didn’t know if it would work. Dorcas had never tried this sort of sp—uh, combination of herbs before. She was a little afraid that you’d actually end up looking better instead of worse. Thank goodness we lucked out and that didn’t happen.” He hesitated. “This is what you wanted, isn’t it?”
“I guess so, but I didn’t really imagine…my eyes are part of it, too, aren’t they?” He tried not to panic. There was probably some antidote he could take.
“It’s better if you really need the glasses than if you’re faking it. People can tell if the glasses aren’t necessary.”
Sean rubbed his forehead. The headache he’d been expecting after drinking all that wine had finally arrived. “Okay, maybe I did ask for this, but something’s come up, and I want the effects reversed. Mix up whatever you need to. I’ll be over in fifteen minutes. I don’t care what it tastes like, so long as it puts me back the way I was.”
“Hey, Dorcas is good, but she’s not that good.”
In spite of standing there dripping wet in a cold room, Sean began to sweat. “What do you mean?”
“She made that concoction with some very rare herbs and she used up her entire supply. Gathering the herbs to reverse it would be next to impossible. She’d have to send away for some things, and a few of them might not be available this time of year. I’m afraid you’ll have to let it wear off.”
“And how long will that be? A day or so?” He could deal with twenty-four hours. Maggie would still be here, and he could take command of the situation then.
“Probably about two weeks, give or take.”
“Two weeks?” Sean began to hyperventilate. “No, no, that’s way too long. You have no idea what’s on the line, here. I just met someone.”
“You wouldn’t know her, but she wants to buy my family’s old property and put up a store. Plus she’s really hot, and if I looked the way I used to, I’m sure I could talk her into dropping the whole idea.”
“Man, I wish I could help you, but there’s no way.” Ambrose didn’t sound as sorry as maybe he should have, considering. “I guess you’ll have to work with what you have for the next couple of weeks.”
Sean felt desperation clawing at his insides. “You don’t understand. She’s after the property I want. Ever hear that old song about paving paradise to put up a parking lot? That’s what she plans to do!”
“I’ll bet you can change her mind.”
“Not like this.”
“Because...because...” He couldn’t bring himself to admit that sometimes he’d counted on his good looks to get him what he wanted. He’d asked Dorcas and Ambrose to transform him so he could be something besides a sex symbol. Obviously he was no longer a sex symbol, but who was he?