A young man and a young woman swap bodies and find themselves falling in love while on their long journey to swap back in Just a Little Crush, available on Body Swap Stories, Smashwords, Amazon or wherever ebooks are sold.
Jamie and Anna have always been high school friends that bonded over their love of geekdom, but over the summer Anna blossomed and became stunningly beautiful while Jamie…did not.
Thinking he’s lost his chance with Anna, Jamie goes to a fortune teller for advice. She gives him a spell that will make them closer than ever and the next day they awaken in each other’s bodies.
It’s terrifying and exhilarating and even arousing as they get used to their new bodies. But the most exciting thing Jamie finds is how close he and Anna get when they strike out on the long journey back to the fortune teller. And how much they learn about each other along the way.
Jamie and Tom wobbled off the carnival ride. The world still spun slightly as they tromped down the metal steps and onto the soggy, trampled grass. Calliope music filled the air, mingling with the rumble of the other attractions and the gleeful shouts of the riders as they were flipped and spun about.
“You look a little pale,” Jamie said as he patted Tom on the shoulder. “Too much for you?”
“Ugh,” Tom said, his hand on his stomach. “Probably shouldn’t have had the corndog before the ride.”
“You shouldn’t have had that corndog at all. Do you know what’s in those things?”
“Delicious meat and fat,” Tom groaned.
“It’s the leftover parts of the animal that no one wants. All ground up.”
“But when you batter it and fry it and pop it on a stick it makes it all better,” Tom grinned.
Jamie stuck out his tongue. “Gross.”
They slowly walked away from the rides and down towards the midway. Soon, the greenish hue of Tom’s face faded back to a healthy pink. The cries of the barkers cajoling people to “step right up” gradually became louder. A couple passed them coming the other way, the guy was big and beefy and had a huge stuffed bear under one arm and a smug look plastered across his face.
Jamie nudged Tom. “How much do you think they pay him to walk around with that?”
“Waaay more than it’s worth.”
“I think they must find the most annoying person at the fair and give them the biggest prize. Like an asshole indicator.”
Tom laughed. “Yeah. So you gonna try to win some crap?”
“Hell no. It’s all rigged anyway. I’m no sucker.”
They wandered past the too-small basketball hoops, the small plastic ducks with prize numbers hidden on their bottoms going round the waterway, the row of goldfish bowls that were just slightly too big to fit the rings people tried to toss around them. Jamie paused briefly to watch an old man ping some BBs off a few targets and then complain to the woman behind the counter that the sight was bent.
A loud voice drew his attention. “Come on in, just two more contestants. There’s a winner every round!”
The kiosk nearby was filled with huge stuffed animals. A row of plastic clown heads with targets for mouths sat against the back wall. Above each was a plastic horse attached to a track that stretched up to a painted finish line. Aimed at each clown were some metal water guns that were fixed to a bench. A rough-looking man with a long beard cajoled people to join the game.
“Here we go,” Tom said, “Someone always wins this one.”
“Sure, you could win a tiny knock-off Barbie,” Jamie rolled his eyes, but he followed Tom over to the kiosk.
There were already people manning three of the water gun stations and the man running it was still calling out to the crowd, imploring more people to join. The point was to shoot the target in the clown’s mouth with the water balloon, which would cause its horse to rise up the track. The winner was the one who got their horse to the finish line first. Jamie folded his arms and stood back, fully intending to watch and see how the game was rigged. Was there a pedal behind the counter that controlled the flow of water? Was one clown more sensitive than the others?
Jamie was interrupted by a sweet voice at his side. “Scoping out the competition?”
Jamie turned and found Anna beside him. His throat went dry and his palms grew sweaty. He’d known Anna for years but he’d only ever started getting nervous around her when she returned from her family trip to Greece last summer, suntanned, with a figure that was even more stunning than when she’d left. She’d grown up over that one summer into a hot blonde and now looked very much the type of person that wouldn’t be caught dead with a dork like Jamie in a million years. And yet, miraculously, she was still his friend.
They were in all the advanced classes together, and Jamie’s grades had taken a dive that first semester as he tried to get his around the fact that this stunning looker was his long-time friend. The thick black glasses frames were replaced with trendy clear pink frames. Her figure was exquisite. And she’d gained this confidence and seeming nonchalance about her body that was enchanting. Yet she still joked with him, still shared the same sense of humor and the interest in video games.
Other guys had noticed as well and as Jamie struggled to think past his unexpected attraction they had swooped in. Anna was currently dating David, a star of the school soccer team who was also vying for valedictorian. If anyone asked Jamie, he would have said David was a snobby rich kid who expected the world handed to him and why should Anna give him any more victories? Unfortunately, no one asked Jamie, least of all Anna.
“Um, uh, yeah, huh, just…looking for weaknesses,” Jamie finally replied.
Anna blinked her green eyes slowly at him. Her cute pink glasses were perched on her perfect nose. Jamie let his gaze swoop quickly across her delicate ears, the gentle slope of her cheeks, and her perfect chin before looking away to hide his desire. Why hadn’t he asked her out when he had a chance?
“Oh. Yeah. Right. Um, the little kid looks like he can’t pull the trigger.”
“Gunning for the little kid. My hero,” Anna laughed, and leaned briefly on his shoulder.
“Hey, little kids can be tough. My brother knocked my tooth out when we were little kids.”
“True. My sister gave me this scar.” Anna pointed to a faint white line on the back of her hand.
“Ooh, that looks painful.”
“So never mind what I said. Go kick that seven year old’s ass,” Anna laughed.
“Which prize do you want me to win you?” Jamie joked.
“Ooh, the unicorn,” Anna said.
“One unicorn, coming—”
“There you are, babe,” a deep voice interrupted them. It was David, toting a huge stuffed bear under one arm and a shit-eating grin on his face. He nodded at Jamie. “’Sup.”
“Hey,” Jamie responded.
“Hanging back?” David asked. “Don’t blame you. This shit is hard.” He turned to Anna. “Hold this, let me go kick some clown ass.”
David thrust the stuffed bear into Anna’s arms before she could respond and took a seat in front of the water guns.
“Last chance! Last chance! Any more contestants? Everyone’s a winner!” The announcer hollered out.
“I’m in,” Jamie said, surprising even himself. But he wasn’t going to let big pigheaded David show him up.
Jamie paid his money and took a seat behind one of the water guns. Tom came up beside him and whispered in his ear in a mocking voice, “It’s all rigged anyway. I’m no sucker.”
Jamie shrugged him and glanced over at David. Such a smug asshole. A tiny part of Jamie believed that if he could win this carnival game it would make Anna realize she always had feelings for him and then she’d dump David right there and go off with Jamie to have a blissful life. With that determination, Jamie gripped the handles tighter as the carnival barker counted down. At one, water jetted out of the nozzles.
Jamie aimed squarely at the clown’s mouth. The horse above the clown’s head raced up towards the ceiling. It was so close but his horse was ahead by the nose as it reached the top. Yes, this was it! He was going to win and the world would be perfect!
And then the victory bell rang just before Jamie’s horse hit the top and the barker cried out, “We have a winner.”
It was David. Of course it was. David winked at Jamie.
“Better luck next time,” Tom patted Jamie’s shoulder.
David held a huge stuffed zebra over his head, celebrating as if he’d just won the world cup. “Yeah, that’s right! Take that, clown!”
Anna had an embarrassed smile on her face but giggled as David swept her into his arms. “You’re gonna have a whole menagerie after tonight.”
David kissed her in a long slow kiss. His hand crept up the back of her shirt and she jerked her arm behind her to grab his hand and stop him. The longer the kiss went on the more uncomfortable Anna seemed until she pulled away from him. David remained clutching her, laughing as she struggled.
“Hey, David, want to go another round?” Jamie asked, coming up to interrupt them.
David finally pulled away from Anna and glared at Jamie. Anna glanced at him gratefully as David released her. “I’m kinda with my girl, here.”
“So that means you think you’re gonna lose?”
David grinned. “Fuck it, man, you’re on.” David slung his arm around Jamie’s neck and whispered in his ear. “And when I win, you leave me and Anna the fuck alone.”
David pushed him away, pretending it was playful but putting just a little more oomph in the motion than was necessary. The two guys took their seats. They were the only ones seated and the carnival barker began to sing out for more people.
“Step right up—”
“Hey!” Jamie interrupted the guy. “We don’t need anyone else. Just me and him.”
The carnival barker counted down and then the squirt guns roared into life. Jamie concentrated all his fire on the clown’s mouth, willing the horse to rise. Maybe it was the announcer’s help but Jamie’s balloon burst first. David grunted and slammed his fist on the table. The man behind the booth pointed out the possible prizes and when Jamie chose one—a stuffed unicorn—he turned to give it to Anna only to find her walking away, David’s arm slung around her waist and David’s huge stuffed animals filling her arms.