Paul slept better that night than he had since his transformation. For the first time there was light at the end of the tunnel. It was just after eight in the morning that Paul woke up. It was very quiet in the apartment. Michael wasn't up yet. The small amount of clothes he had lay on a chair in a small pile. He didn't like the idea, but he was going to need new clothes. Female clothes. Well, at least he could choose ones that were less revealing.
Normally he started the morning with some simple exercises. He had let them slip but he decided to do them while he waited for Michael to get up. It felt very different than when he did them in his old body. His upper body was far more supple than he was used to and his lower male half was obviously far less fit and had been a stranger to exercise. His breasts bobbed and tugged at his chest with every movement. He had to stop several times just to readjust his bra and stop his breasts escaping. Surely there was a bra designed to stop breasts popping out during strenuous exercise.
He took his small bundle of clothes and locked himself in the bathroom. In the shower he methodically cleaned his body. It was still so alien to him. He still jumped every time he saw a young woman in the mirror.
He touched his breasts, lifting and holding them. It felt so strange to have such weights on his chest. He felt his nipples start to tingle. They were a hundred times as sensitive as his old male nipples and seemed to have a life of their own. He remembered how they had sprung erect when Jim in Julie's body had sucked him off. He also recalled how they had reacted during their mauling by the cop. He brushed the nipples lightly with his fingers and shivered at the feelings he was getting. Paul got out of the shower and tried to ignore the odd sensations of his body as he towelled himself dry.
His long blonde hair seemed to take ages to dry and it took some effort to comb the knots out. Finally he was as satisfied as he could be about his appearance and he headed out looking for breakfast.
Michael had appeared at last but still looked tired. "Not much sleep?" asked Paul.
"I was up late reading some of Chamberlain's papers. Fascinating stuff. But there isn't any indication that she has developed a fully working virus."
"She wants to stay ahead of the competition. Not really surprising, this is the discovery of the century. Fame and fortune are hers if she gets there before anyone else." Paul helped himself to a bowl of breakfast cereal. "So when can we start with testing my DNA?"
"Well... there's no time like the present."
"Your boss won't mind you dropping whatever you are doing now for this?"
"No. Not for something this important. Quince has never really cared for rules and regulations." Michael lapsed into silence as his mind started to fill with questions. How did the virus work? Did it just mask the old DNA or completely rewrite it?
Paul could barely wait till Michael was ready. At last his nightmare was approaching its end. Soon he would be restored to full manhood. After a hurried breakfast they were soon on their way to Michael's lab.
Paul's good mood was dampened somewhat as they neared Michael's workplace. "Stop the car!" he screamed.
Michael slammed on the brakes. "What is it?" He asked.
Paul scrambled out of the car and over to the sidewalk. Michael looked around to see what had upset Paul so much. All he could see was an empty street.
Paul was looking down at the sidewalk where some broken glass was scattered. "Shit! Shit! Shit! My fucking car's been stolen!" shouted Paul in frustration. He should have known better than to leave his car in an area like this overnight. "They got my fucking credit cards as well!"
"How much money have you got left?" Michael asked as Paul climbed back into the car.
"Barely enough for a few days with my cards gone."
"Paul, I'm not going to be able to support both you and me. My salary is barely enough for me to live on as it is. So you're going to have to think about getting a job."
Paul stared at him. "A job?"
"Yeah. I could hardly pick and choose my own job after the trial and I haven't got any savings. It may take months to find a cure..."
"MONTHS!?" interrupted Paul.
"That's just a worst case scenario. It probably won't come to that, but you have to prepare for the worst."
The rest of the journey was done in silence. Paul knew that wasn't the worst case scenario. At worst he would be stuck like this forever. When they arrived outside Quince Biochemicals Paul could see the huge black guard was on duty again inside. He recognised Paul as he entered.
"It's alright, Jeff," said Michael. "She's with me."
"Has Mr. Quince cleared her?" replied the guard.
"No, but I'll vouch for her," said Michael, a little uncomfortably.
"Well, I'm not sure. You know what Mr. Quince is like about security."
"Okay. Look, if you get one of your people to keep an eye on her while she's here today. Then I'll talk to Mr. Quince and clear it with him."
The guard thought about it. "Okay. But the first sign of trouble and she's out. Understand?"
"No problem. You won't be any trouble, will you, Paula?"
Paul was momentarily confused by the feminine version of his name and then shook his head.
As they walked down to the lab Paul said, "Paula?"
"Sorry. It was all I could think of on the spur of the moment."
Paul was rather surprised by the lab. It was nowhere near as well equipped as Anne's. Michael saw the look on Paul's face. "I know, I don't get the latest equipment here. But what I've got should be good enough."
Michael started to prepare to take samples from Paul. Despite Michael's assurances, Paul wasn't totally convinced. The lab didn't make sense to Paul, surely the company was too small to support a research and development facility. And the lab didn't seem part of any production line. It just didn't make sense to him.
Just then the door opened and another heavily muscled guard entered. This one was white and bald. He eyed Paul's large breasts, making no effort to hide the lust in his eyes.
Paul did his best to ignore the guard as Michael took two small samples of skin and some swabs from his mouth. "Right I'll run some tests on these."
Michael launched into a series of tests, none of which Paul understood. Paul got bored sitting around and ended up helping Michael in his experiments.
For Michael the time flew past. Some simple tests with samples from himself quickly established some change was happening. But he needed something more concrete to convince Quince this was something worth researching. He turned to the guard, "Bill, get one of the test mice."
The guard grudgingly did what he was told. Paul looked on as Michael prepared a syringe. "You going to see if it has any effect on the mouse?"
"From what I've read, the DNA virus should be able to alter any mammalian DNA. You see, I need proof to take to Mr Quince otherwise he isn't going to let me do the research you need to solve your problem."
The door to the lab burst open and in stalked an imposing man in an immaculate suit. "Speak of the devil," muttered Michael.
Quince was in his late thirties, his brown hair already going grey. "What the hell is going on, Kingston?" he demanded. Paul noted he wasn't that tall, but he seemed to dominate everyone else in the room. "I thought you knew better than to bring your girlfriend here."
"Mr. Quince, I can explain. Look at this." Michael quickly held the mouse down and injected it with the solution. I hope this works, he prayed to himself.
Almost instantly the mouse started to writhe and change under his hand. Michael jerked back his hand and stared at the mouse. Its fur receded and its arms and legs began to grow. Its claws grew into impossibly tiny fingers, recognisably human. Then suddenly it stopped and the twisted creature lay still, obviously dead.
Paul turned away and fought down the urge to be sick.
"What is that?" asked Quince in absolute disbelief.
"It's the reason I brought this person here. Here, let me show you my notes," answered Michael. Quince went through the records asking questions at various points as Michael explained Paul's story.
Paul's eyes were dragged unwillingly back to the dead mouse. It hadn't completed the change to human, it was still three quarters mouse. He turned to Michael. "W-why didn't it change all the way?"
Michael thought for a moment. "Probably the difference in size between a human and a mouse was too great. The mouse didn't have the resources to complete the change and no human that size could live." He turned back to Quince and continued explaining. Quince was lapping it up, his eyes bright with excitement and ideas.
Paul was chilled by the look. He tried to shake it off. At least Quince would throw his whole weight behind the project now. He went to the far side of the lab and opened the window. The fresh air helped calm him down. But in his stomach the fear remained. The thing that had killed the mouse and twisted its body was running free and unchecked through every cell in his body.
He tried to think about something else. He needed to get a job to support himself. How was he going to do that? He couldn't be a lawyer and he had no identity he could use. When was this nightmare going to end?
Paul felt eyes on him and turned around to see Quince staring at him in lust. But not the sexual desire most men had shown since he had become half-female. It was pure greed. Quince didn't see a person, he saw a meal ticket to a personal fortune.