Part 8

by J

"It figures. We're stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to show for it." Rast said.

"Its not my fault that huge lizard creature wasn't affected by my spells. How was I to know that my magic won't overcome too strong of an instinct." Puran answered. "At least we were able to get away."

"Yeah, but it ate our draft horses. Now we only have the ones pulling the wagon. If we don't tame something big, we're never going to be able to pay for passage home." Rast continued.

The pair of travelers on the road were talking about stopping for lunch when they saw a cute little elf jog past them. A few seconds later, they saw an anthropomorphic cat-girl run past.

"Did you see that?" Rast asked.

A few seconds later, the elf went by really fast, followed by the other in a blur of motion. The elf girl returned and ran up to the travelers. She was followed closely by another elf, who had longer hair. Shayna wore tights and an open vest that did little to hide what was beneath it. The fabric flapped against firm breasts that quivered with every step she took, while her leg muscles rippled as she walked. Alara wore a loose half-shirt. Her bottom was clearly outlined by her skirt's fabric as she moved beneath it. They were each covered with a sheen of perspiration.

"Hi!" Alara said, waving.

"Uh, hi." Rast answered. "Where did you come from? We thought no one lived out here."

"That's why we came this way. It lets us have some time to ourselves. Its always really busy in town." Shayna answered. "I'm Shayna. This is Alara." The elves walked up to the wagon.

"I'm Rast. My friend's Puran." Rast was stocky, while Puran was tall and thin. While Puran was about two feet taller than either elf, his arms and thighs were smaller than Shayna's. This was especially true now that the elves were a little pumped-up from spending the morning running.

"Who, uh, what was chasing you?" Puran asked.

"That was me." Shayna answered. "I can change to a kitty to run really fast. I've got other magic things I can do if I need to, too." She smiled.

"Oh Um, how far are we from town?" Puran asked, trying to look unimpressed.

"We're just a few hours uhm days out." Alara answered.

"How about if we go there with you?" Shayna asked.

The two men looked at each other. They whispered about how the gods must be favoring them. They turned to the pair of smiling elves. "We wouldn't have it any other way." Rast said.
"Let me help you up." He reached his hand down.

"That's okay." Shayna said. "Its not that high up for me." Shayna answered. She hopped up onto the front of the wagon and sat between the two. Alara grabbed the side of the wagon and pulled herself up. She plopped herself down on Rast's lap. As she wiggled her hind end to get comfortable, Alara felt his erection grow beneath her. She giggled as she slid onto the seat next to him.

"Sorry, I didn't want to get you uncomfortable." Alara said.

"You did that on purpose." Shayna said in elvish.

"You're just jealous because you didn't think of it first." Alara answered, also in elvish. She stuck her tongue out at Shayna.

"You know it doesn't work too well. The big people aren't as fun to have sex with as we want them to be. They get tired out too fast. Too bad its like that." Shayna answered, in elvish.

"What's in the wagon?" Shayna asked, looking behind her. The wagon had some deep gouges in it. A tarp covered whatever was in back.

"Just what's left of our supplies." Puran answered. "I'll show you while Rast makes lunch." He did a quick smile at Rast.
When they got off the wagon, Rast unhitched the horses and started a small fire. Puran pulled back the tarp to reveal some empty boxes that once held food, a few spears, tents, heavy ropes, chains, and thick leather straps.

"What do you use those for?" Alara asked, pointing to the ropes and straps.

"We do animal taming." Puran replied. When he saw the curious looks this caused, he continued. "We catch wild animals and teach them not to be afraid of people. It helps if you know a little magic. We don't have to do all the nasty stuff that others do. There's rich people who have nothing better to do than spend a fortune taking care of some large animal. Its a status symbol. They think it'll make others jealous."

"Lunch'll be ready in a few minutes. We're having my special stew." Rast called out.

"Uhm, thanks, but we can't eat meat." Alara said. "It gets us kinda sick. We'll be right back with some stuff we can eat." Alara and Shayna disappeared into the woods for a few minutes. They returned by running out of the woods extremely fast. They passed the two men who were dishing out their lunches, and stopped to lean against the wagon. The elves stood a moment, catching their breaths.

"What's got you scared?" Puran asked the two frightened elves.

Rast jumped to his feet and ran to the wagon to pull out a spear. "I don't see anything coming this way."

"It's huge." Alara said.

"It's got two really long fangs." Shayna continued, between breaths.

"The ground shook when it moved." Alara added.

"Where's it now?" Puran asked. He nervously looked towards the woods.

"We were lucky. When it chased us past some old crumbly buildings, a hole opened up under it and it fell in." Shayna answered. "I think it was some kind of trap for people."

"So it should still be there?" Puran asked.

"Yeah, I guess it is." Alara said. She got up from leaning against the wagon.

"You're gonna make it tame?" Shayna asked.

Rast walked over after hearing this. "Could you show us where it is? We'd be really thankful if you did."

"I... I guess so." Shayna answered.

It took well over two hours to lead the horses and wagon through the dense woods. They eventually came to an area with crumbled stone buildings in it. Trees and vines grew out of some piles of rubble. The animal was in a pit that extended under a half-crumbled building. The building had an arching walkway built into the `front' of it, directly above the hole. The crumbled edges of the pit were where the ground gave way into an underground chamber. The animal stood about twenty feet below ground level.

"An oliphaunt!" Rast shouted after looking into the pit. "That's just what we need. It's a big one too, at least two dozen tons."

"It won't eat us?" Alara asked. She stood a little behind him, peering over the edge at the animal.

"No, no. Those are tusks, not fangs. It doesn't eat people. I even know the spell for this." Puran chanted for several minutes, waving his hands about as he did so. "It'll let us near it now."

"Too bad we can't get it out of there." Rast said. "Oliphaunts can't climb."

"We can't just let it starve." Shayna added. "We've got to get it out."

"Can you tie those straps and ropes around it?" Alara asked.
"I've got some magic type stuff that could get it free."

Puran and Rast looked at each other for a few seconds before Rast asked "How are you going to do that?"

"I'm really, really strong. I think I could lift it out." Alara said

Puran chuckled. "You'll just pick it up?"

"Yeah Here. I'll show you." Alara said. She grabbed a chunk of stone that was about three feet around and lifted it over her head with one hand. She then threw it like a shot-put so that it landed on top of the nearby building, nearly twenty feet up.

"Come on. Give her a chance. You can't just leave the ollie-fant in there." Shayna added. "Our magic lets us move things. It won't take too long."

Puran looked at Rast. Then Rast said. "We've got nothing to lose. We might as well let you try. We've heard that elves can do some really unusual magics. " He lowered Puran down into the pit with a rope. Rast took several trips to gather and drop the rest of the ropes and leather straps into the pit. He then dragged the chains over and let them slide in over the edge. Puran set about tying a harness to the oliphaunt. "We'd normally use a full team of draft horses and pulleys to get that out." Rast said as he handed Alara the end of the chain.

Alara and Shayna talked to each other in elvish about what to do. "Could you stay with that to keep it from getting scared?" Shayna asked Puran. She pointed at the animal.

Alara lifted the chain and walked up the slanting archway until she reached a point in its middle. The archway got narrower there, so the chain could hang down through a point in the center of its length. As she climbed the walkway, Alara had to lean far towards the front of the building to avoid being toppled off the edge by several hundred pounds of metal. "Could you get on top of the oliphaunt instead of standing next to it? I don't want to drop it on you if I slip."

"Whatever you say" Puran answered. "You can't be serious."

"What do you mean? Why would I joke about this? I can do it. Really." Alara answered. She waited while Puran climbed onto the animal's back. He stood up, grasping one of the bundled ropes to keep himself steady.

Alara felt a soothing heat flow into her muscles as she started to pull up on the chain. She stood with her legs spaced wide apart to give herself a good footing. Alara grasped the chain with one hand and slowly pulled it up. She then grabbed it a little further down with the other hand, transferring the weight to it. The ropes around the animal creaked and groaned as they took on the weight. Alara's muscles expanded to their limits as she slowly lifted the animal. It took all her strength to lift the fifteen -foot tall creature with each arm. Alara's fully expanded muscles gleamed in the sunlight, rippling and quivering as she worked them. Her skirt was pulled up above thighs that had expanded to over three times their original size. They showed deep cuts between their individual muscles. Alara's waist stayed small, but had well-defined abdominals that moved with each breath. Her shirt was pulled up to the top of her chest, stretched over her suddenly larger breasts. "I wish they'd stay that big all the time, like Shayna's." Alara thought. She grunted with effort and her sweat dripped from her brow as she pulled the chain up, hand over hand. It took a long time to lift the animal from the pit. Alara's muscles burned from the effort. When Alara had finally lifted the oliphaunt above ground level, she stopped, holding its weight by one extended arm. She wiped the perspiration from her face with the other one. "How do I get it over to the side again?" Alara called over to her friend, between deep breaths.

"We decided you should swing it back and forth, remember?" Shayna answered."

Alara slowly pumped her arm like she was doing curls. To keep from being pulled off the walkway, Alara stood against the front of the building and grasped her hand onto the edge of a large metal object that lay mostly buried in it. "You know. This is kind of a challenge." Alara said. After a few minutes of continuous effort, the animal was swinging back and forth. The ropes creaked loudly. Alara felt her arm muscles burning uncomfortably from the work. It was worst at the bottom of each swing, when the momentum from the oliphaunt's weight pulled its hardest. When she tried to grab the chain with her other hand, Alara nearly lost her balance and almost fell into the pit. The line slipped from her fingers and pulled through her open hand for a couple of yards before she closed her grip. Alara felt her muscles tingle as she caught the weight and steadied herself. A wave of exhilaration passed through Alara's body. Afterwards, the weight seemed to be much less of a strain.

"Careful!" Puran shouted.

"Are you okay?" Shayna asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Alara answered. "I just slipped. It won't happen again." Alara absently curled the animal's weight and lifted her hand above her head. She didn't have to strain to lift the oliphaunt anymore. It actually felt good to do so. She started swinging the oliphaunt by doing one arm curls fast enough so the animal fell a couple of feet and was jerked to a stop each time she lowered her arm. The extra effort Alara took to resist the tug when she caught the oliphaunt's weight was what felt best. "See. I'm okay. It's not too heavy for me. I could keep doing this all day!"

"Come on. Stop showing off or you'll break the ropes." Shayna said.

"Alara looked over and said "Sorry, I forgot. She carefully swung the oliphaunt a little more each time she lifted it up, eventually gaining enough momentum to let it swing a little past the pit's edge. The oliphaunt landed with a loud `thoom'. The stones beneath it cracked.

Puran climbed down and started undoing the harnesses while the others jogged over. The animal had bruises where the ropes and straps had dug into its flesh. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt it." Alara said.

"Anything's better than starving at the bottom of a pit." Rast said. He looked Alara over. Her muscles stayed pumped-up so they were still rather big. They shined and rippled when she took the slightest movement. It was odd seeing muscles that size on such a cute little bobbed haired elf. (Alara was just 4'6" tall.) "Uhm, you looked a lot bigger when you were pulling the oliphaunt out."

"My muscles get bigger when I really use them. They get really hard too. Want to see?" Alara lifted her arm for Rast to feel her bicep. As Alara bent her arm at the elbow, her bicep expanded enough to make her arm go to nearly twice its size around. Her arm muscles showed the greatest level of definition he had ever seen. Near Alara's elbow and just before her shoulder muscles expanded out, her arm was fairly thin. Rast could nearly close his hand around it there. The peaks of Alara's bicep rose up high, making her arm about sixteen inches around. Rast didn't know that this was just its resting size from her exertions, instead of fully flexed. He rubbed his fingers over the prominent striations and then grasped his hand over the biceps' peak and squeezed. His fingertips blanched white with the pressure he used, but Rast wasn't able to make the slightest dent in it. Alara was looking at the oliphaunt, so she didn't see that Rast was using his full effort when she said "Now go ahead and squeeze it as hard as you can. You're not going to hurt me. Use both hands." It took a lot of concentration to slowly expand her bicep, instead of doing it all at once. Rast grunted with effort as his hands were forced apart by Alara's expanding bicep. He saw from her face that she wasn't putting in any effort. Alara held herself from going any further when she reached only a third of her ability. "I'm working on my control, too." She said to Shayna, in elvish. Shayna was already busy bringing the ropes and harnesses back onto the wagon, though, carrying them in a big pile.

The return of the group to town caused quite a stir. Several years had passed since the last time an oliphaunt had been seen in Blackwell. Shayna and Alara went to the inn while Rast and Puran brought the animal to the docks. "You know, I'd like to head back home soon." Alara said. "We've been here a couple of weeks already."

"Yeah. It would be nice to get back to see our friends. I'd also like to have some better tasting things to eat." Shayna answered.

The pair, who were speaking in elvish, were interrupted by a stranger. "I've heard that one of you was able to move that table with her magic about a week ago. I've got a bet that you can't. I mean, the stories about you two can't all be true. The people around here just like to exaggerate things, right? Especially stories about sorceresses."

"I hope you didn't bet too much. The table isn't all that- heavy." Alara answered. "This'll just take a minute." She said to Shayna. Alara walked over and grabbed the ten-ton lead table by the handle built into it. She took a deep breath and slowly lifted her arm, bracing to resist its weight. Her arm expanded from seven to over twenty inches around as she picked up the weight. "You know, this was a lot heavier last time I was here. They must have switched it for a new lighter one." When she put the table back down with a loud `boom', she continued. "Okay. Now I get to finish my lunch." She sat back down across from Shayna and sat back with her arms behind her head. As she did so, Alara's biceps swelled to about sixteen inches around.

"Did you notice that your arms do that whenever you bend them?" Shayna asked.

"Yeah. I guess they're like that permanently now. My legs do that too, see." Alara stretched out her leg, causing her muscles to double in size. "I'm not even tightening them." Alara flexed her leg muscles, letting them double in size again. "That's what they're like when I tighten them now. I think picking that oliphaunt up out of the pit made me have to get stronger. You know. I don't think I've gotta be so scared of orcs anymore."
Several weeks later, Shayna and Alara had made their way back home. Alara couldn't wait to try the exercise weights that they had left in Samarind. (As a note, when the weights were all gathered together, each had a maximum weight of about ten times their regular weights. The lightest was about as heavy as a typical elf was (25 kilograms) if she didn't concentrate on making it any heavier.) "You know, I don't remember what I was able to do before we left." Alara said to Shayna, who was working with the sixth size up. Shayna held one in each hand, using her strength to its limits to exercise. Alara quickly tried the first four sizes. "Are you sure these still work? They really don't have any weight to them. I think only the size you're using has any magic in it." She lifted the fifth size up and concentrated on making it as heavy as it would get. "This one hardly make my muscles swell up at all. It must only weigh a little bit."

"You had to do a lot of stuff while we were on our `adventure'." Shayna answered. The gravel floor crunched loudly where she put down the weights she was using. "Maybe you got a lot stronger. These still feel really heavy to me."
"I guess I should try the really heavy ones, then." Alara said. She grabbed the eighth size dumbbells and lifted them. "This is more like it. At least they weigh something on their own." Alara's biceps expanded a little when she lifted the weights. She found that if she concentrated on making the weights as heavy as they could get, they were still only good for a warm up. "Too bad they don't get heavier, though Ooh. This one's really good." she said when she picked up the barbell. "I've really got to work to use this one." The full weight of the barbell was just enough to fully tax her strength. When Alara concentrated on making the barbell its heaviest, the metal bar groaned and the one yard across ends drooped more than usual. She was worried for a moment, but decided that the item's magic wouldn't let it break itself. Alara's muscles throbbed from her exertions as she exercised. Her body felt like it was bursting with energy as she slowly pumped the weight. Alara continued working her muscles until they were really burning. After her workout, Alara sat down on the metal slab to catch her breath. Looking out the window, she noticed that several hours had gone by. The sun was a lot lower in the sky.

A little later, Heather and Shayna found Alara at the river. She was standing with just her head out of the water. "Shayna said that some wizard she knows wants to know if you could do something for him." Heather called out. "He'll tell you about it after supper. But, for now, you've got the right idea." Heather stripped off her clothes to bathe and leapt into the river. As she jumped in, she was stopped in mid-air by a wave of water. Alara had moved her arm through the water as fast as she could do so in air, sending forth a huge wave that drenched her friend just before she could hit the water's surface. The wave's impact knocked the wind out of Heather, who landed on her back with a loud `smack'.

Alara quickly moved over to help Heather to her feet. "Sorry. I didn't think I splashed you -that- hard. Are you okay?"

Heather grabbed onto Alara's shoulder to steady herself. It took her a little bit to be able to catch her breath. Between gasps for breath, Heather said "I'mI'm okay. I guess I just wasn't ready for that. I didn't expect to be spashed that hard."
Alara turned to Shayna and said "She's okay! I just caught her by surprise!" Alara absently lifted her hand that was under Heather's bottom, supporting her while she caught her breath.
"Hey, watch it!" Heather called out as she grabbed under Alara's upraised hand to steady herself.

When Alara looked back towards Heather, she realized that she had lifted her up instead of just raising her hand out of the water to wave at Shayna. "Uh, sorry. I didn't realize I was picking you up. I don't notice when I lift really small weights."
"That's okay. How much does something have to weigh for it not to be a tiny amount?" Heather replied.

"I'm not too sure. Only the biggest exercise weights Shayna has feel like they weigh anything to me. I think I could pick up one or two of those really big work horses with one hand without too much effort." Alara answered. "Do you want me to put you down?"

"No. The sunlight reflecting off the water all around feels kind of good. Its just uncomfortable having your fingers sliding up my butt." Heather said. "you're not getting tired from this?"
"I'm okay, I don't even feel your weight. Here, see if this is more comfortable to sit on. Watch out that I don't pinch you between my biceps and my forearm." Alara flexed her arm fully. Its peak rose above her upstretched hand. Heather climbed to sit on the barrel-shaped muscle, her thighs out to her sides in a split, with her lower legs hanging down. She squeezed her legs as tight as she could to avoid sliding off.
"That's better. Can you do anything about those ridges on your muscle. They're really, really hard and pinch my skin. When did your muscles get this big? I remember your arm being kinda big, but not like `this' when you tightened it" Heather gave Alara's bicep a really hard kick with both her heels and a solid punch at the same time. "Ow!" She grabbed her hand. "You were only gone a few months."

"I can't help that. The striations in my muscles get really big when I tighten them, too. You shouldn't hit my muscles like that. You could hurt yourself." She relaxed her bicep, lowering Heather down. Heather held on with both hands squeezing as tight as she could. It wasn't comfortable sitting on Alara's resting arm. The sharply rising peak was as hard as rock under her behind. "It doesn't feel good in my neck to have to look up like that to talk to you. I guess I just got a lot stronger because I had to. Now get ready to do a dive. I'm gonna toss you up in the air really fast, okay." Alara then flexed her bicep quickly, tossing Heather over fifteen feet up. She did a cannonball, drenching Alara when she hit the water.

After a few minutes of playing around, they got out of the river to get ready to eat. Shayna had gone back to town by then. She said she had a lot of things to do. Alara held up a set of shiny tights before carefully pulling them on "You know, I forgot I had these. As she smoothed them over her still expanded muscles, the tights did a good job of enhancing her sculpted features. Several hours had passed, but Alara's muscles hadn't returned to their usual size. She said to Heather "You know, ever since I had to get a really big animal called an "olliphaunt" free from a pit in the ground, my muscles have stayed like this." As Alara bent her arm at the elbow, it expanded from seven to sixteen inches around. Her muscles now showed prominent striations. A vein ran across the peak of her bicep. The fabric sleeve gained a couple of runs in it as it was stretched to its limits. "Now they get kinda big and quiver whenever I move."

As they walked back to town, Heather saw something in the bushes ahead. She grabbed Alara's shoulder and pointed. "Look over there. What are those things?"

"Uh oh. I think those are orcs. How'd they get all the ways here?" Alara answered. She crouched down and continued. "We've got to stop them before they start killing people."
"I don't have my bow here, and you know I've never been good at fighting. You're gonna have to do it yourself." Heather answered.

"Its not that easy. They're really big and tough. If I try to tighten up my muscles so the orcs won't be able to hurt me as much, I'll rip up my tights." Alara said.

"Come on. I'm sure you can do it. If you don't, a lot of people could get hurt." Heather said.

"I hope I can at least knock them out before they hurt me." Alara cut short what she was saying when she saw an orc rise up from sneaking behind Heather. "Look out!" She said as she dove forward to catch the end of the orc's mace. Alara gripped the end of the weapon as hard as she could, the muscles in her forearm swelling up as she did so. The metal groaned as the weapon was crushed. Brass oozed from between Alara's fingers as the pressure she exerted caused the metal to heat up and flow. Heather ducked under cover as a second orc charged through the underbrush. Alara thought to herself "Not too hard. Don't rip up the clothes." She leaped up into a split, kicking both orcs in the sides of their helmets. Alara's opponents were knocked away from her, crashing to the ground.

"There's one running towards town!" Heather shouted, pointing towards a third orc.

"Wait here and watch these two. I'll stop that one." Alara said. She raced past the orc at over twice its sprinting speed, stopping in its path to say "You're not getting away. I'm going to take you to the town's elders." The orc didn't understand a word she said. It charged forwards and swung its battle-axe at the annoying little gibbering elf. Alara didn't expect the orc to respond like that. She tightened her stomach muscles fully as the axe hit here there. The weapon rang as if it had hit a block of metal, sending a painful shock up the orc's arms as its forward motion suddenly stopped. (Try to think of swinging a wood axe and hitting a rock on the ground instead of the log.) The blow sent Alara back a couple of steps. She looked down to see that she was okay. The blow didn't even sting, but maybe she just didn't feel her injury yet. Alara saw that she had caught the blade of the weapon between her abdominals as she expanded them. The iron blade was flattened by her expanding muscles where it had lodged. Alara let it drop and thought about how it would have been really bad if the orc had used the spike on the back of the blade, though. She called back to Heather, saying "I hope this doesn't hurt my hand. Its wearing metal plates on itself." As Alara balled up her fist to hit the orc, she heard her tights split from her expanded bicep. She stepped in close and punched the orc as hard as she could in its stomach. The metal plate she hit was sent up through its body into the orc's head as its innards erupted out of its upper back, spraying the forest behind it.
"Eew! That's gross." Heather said as she came jogging up.
Alara wiped her hand off on the orc's pants leg. "Yeah. Shayna told me that lots of nasty stuff comes flying out of orcs when you hit them. Are the other two okay?

"I don't think so. Their heads are kinda sitting the wrong way. Are you okay? That one hit you really hard with its weapon." Heather pulled Alara's shirt up from her stomach, but couldn't see any cut. "Could you stretch backward a little. I can't pry your muscles apart to see if you've been hurt.

"I'm okay. It just looked worse than it felt. I don't think orcs know how to swing hard enough to hurt me." Alara answered. "I guess they fell the wrong way. I think I knocked them out."
"Lets bring this one's axe back with us to show the wizard." Heather struggled to lift the weapon with both hands. "He'll " >grunt< "know what to do." Her knees wobbled a bit as she tried to walk with the axe.

"I'll get that." Alara said.

"Its okay. I'd like to help against the orcs, too." >grunt< Heather nearly stumbled over a log, but caught her balance.
Alara rolled her ripped sleeve up over her shoulder. "At least it won't look too bad like this." When Heather nearly fell over again, Alara took the axe from her. "There's no use hurting yourself while helping, though."

The pair walked to the Azure Dragon Inn, one of Alara's favorite places in Samarind. She really liked overhearing the people from distant places talk about their journeys. They drew some stares when they entered. People don't usually carry large battle-axes around, especially not elves. As Heather ordered some food for both of them from the barmaid, Alara leaned back in her chair, her arms clasped behind her head. They had finished the vegetable casserole and Alara was flicking walnuts open when another elf approached them. Heather introduced him "Alara, this is Gilad, the wizard we're supposed to meet."

Alara quickly wiped her hand clean and extended it to the visitor. "Hello. You're the wizard that Shayna told me about, aren't you? She says you're really nice."

As Gilad took Alara's hand, she shook his and pulled him to sit down. "Thank you. You're that friend that Shayna and Heather told me about. I guess you're still what Shayna calls `pumped up' from exercising?" He tapped the peak of Alara's exposed bicep. "I hope you're as strong as Heather says you are. I really need you to do something for me."

"My arm's always like that when resting. I don't think it looks that- big." Alara answered. She clasped her left hand over her uncovered right bicep. "Well, it's not bigger than Heather's thigh, at least." She asked Heather "How strong did you tell him I am?"

"I, umh, told him you could lift, like, a thousand pounds with one hand." Heather hesitated a bit. "You can do that, right?"
Alara chuckled. "Yeah. I can do lots more than that, though."
"Yeah, I'm sure that you can now. When you left, you were that strong, right?" Heather asked.

"I don't know. I think I was as strong as Shayna then. " Alara said. "I'm not too sure, though." She turned to Gilad "When I saw orcs in the past, they used clubs. Today we saw some right outside of town that had metal armor and used this axe." (Alara lifted the axe.) "I squished the blade a little when fighting them."

"I think we should continue this conversation somewhere else. How about using your house? That way no one makes up some wild stories based on half of what we're saying." Gilad asked.

"I guess that'll be okay. I'm sure Shayna wouldn't mind." Alara answered.

They gathered at the exercise room to continue what they were talking about. Gilad and Heather sat on the metal slab, while Alara stood in front of them. Gilad spoke. "I want to know if you'd be willing to go to where the orcs live. They're getting new metal weapons and armor to help them start an attack on our lands. I need to know who's doing this for them so they can be stopped."

"I'll do it. Just, um, why didn't you ask Shayna?" Alara asked.
"She's busy heading up north. " Gilad answered. "I could really use your help."

"I could go too. You know that I'm really good at using the bow. I'm also good at sneaking." Heather added. "While we're here, how about showing Gilad just how strong you are?"
"Thanks, Heather. I could use the help." Alara walked up next to the barbell and grasped it with one hand. "I guess it'll help you to know how strong I am, right? You're a wizard, so you can tell how much this weighs." (As Alara lifted the weight in her left hand, her muscles swelled, ripping her tights over her arm and thighs.) "You can fix these with your magic, too?" She grasped the free ends of material. Alara did some one -arm curls of the weight before grasping the barbell with both hands. The gravel crunched and broke under Alara's feet as she did so. "Its not heavy now, but if I concentrate on it, the weight gets really heavy." The barbell creaked and groaned as its weight increased tenfold. Alara slowly did curls, lifting the weight until the metal bar bumped into her biceps each time. She let the weight drop back to normal before lifting it with one hand to place it back on its holding pads. "My muscles get really hard when I tighten them, too. " Alara picked up the battle-axe and placed it so that the blade rested against her hand and the spike on the opposite side of its head was against her upper arm. "Here, I'll show you." As Alara slowly flexed her bicep, the iron weapon was flattened against her hand. The axe head groaned and shattered under the pressure. "It gets even harder when its fully tightened." She flexed her bicep fully. It expanded , showing incredible definition, along with rippling striations and vasculature. She relaxed her arm down to its usual size and walked over in front of the others. Alara clasped her hands together behind her back and waited for Gilad to speak.

Gilad was momentarily distracted by having Alara's breasts thrust out in front of him. He thought for a minute before talking. "The ends of the barbell are about a yard across and a yard thick. I'd guess that it weighs between thirteen and fifteen tons. You say that it doesn't feel like much to you?"
"No. But these weights get about ten times heavier when I concentrate on it. That's a lot of weight, isn't it?" Alara answered. "Is there anything you can do to fix my tights?"
"I can fix them so they'll take whatever shape you want them to. I'd have to borrow them for a couple of days to work on them. After that, I'm planning to spend some time to figure out what area in the orc lands our problem's coming from. Would you be able to go when they're ready?"

"Yeah sure. Could you wait here a minute before going?" Alara ran out of the room, returning in just a few moments. She had a skirt and an open vest on. She handed the bundled up tights to the wizard. "I didn't want you to forget these when you're doing your magic and looking in on the orcs."

After Gilad left, Alara asked Heather "It's a long ways to the orc lands. They're really dangerous, too. Are you sure you want to go?"

Heather answered "Of course! I don't want to take the chance that one of my friends would go off and get hurt. I could also help you learn a bit more about being able to sneak while we go."

"We're both gonna have to be able to deal with orcs. I know I'm nowhere as good as you are with the bow, but you're going to have to be able to handle them when they get in close with their clubs and stuff." Alara said.

"I could always learn how to use a staff to fight them. Do you have any ideas?" Heather asked.

"Using these exercise weights helped me a lot. They should be able to help you, too." Alara answered. She picked up the lightest ones and handed them to her friend. "How about if you work on getting used to these really light ones. Then we can work up to something that'll take some effort."

Heather grasped one of the dumb-bells in both hands. It took all of her strength to hold it up. "This is >grunt< not going to be easy. >urf<" She let the weight drop to the ground.
While the wizard got Alara's tights fixed up in a just over a week, it was several times longer before he was done with his research. In the meantime, while Alara worked with her, Heather struggled with the weights each morning. Alara held their exercise sessions by the river. The weather was too nice to be indoors.

"I don't see how this is going to help me." Heather said. "I've been using these every day with you, but I'm still just using the lightest ones. It feels good when my muscles tingle from using them really hard, but its not like I'm getting any stronger." She picked up the weights in either hand and started her exercises. "I close my eyes and concentrate and think about the weights, like you told me to, but I don't think its helping me."

"You're able to use them in one hand. Isn't that something?" Alara answered.

"I'm not sure. I mean, I was able to do that in just a couple of days. Shouldn't I have been able to get to the next size yet? I can still make these too heavy to lift if I think about it." Heather concentrated really hard on what she was doing, letting the weight increase to where she could barely hold it up. She continued working past the point of exhaustion, so that her muscles got that tingly feeling that made her feel full of energy again. "One good thing I've gained is that I don't seem to get tired from doing things. I'm also a lot better at making love. >giggle<." Heather continued exercising until her muscles got sore again, and then placed the weights over by a tree. "Thanks for letting me borrow your tights to exercise in. I can't believe how comfortable they are. Its like I can't even feel them. They don't pull like my vest or skirt did. You were really protective of them until a week ago" She stretched out and then stripped to go for a swim. Heather wrung out the tights so they were dry. "The dirt and sweat and stuff just comes right off of them, too." She was splashing around in the water, wrestling with Alara when they were met by one of their friends.

"Come on in! Its too hot to be sitting around in the sun." Alara shouted.

"Yeah. Its nice in here." Heather added. She sent over a splash that narrowly missed him, but hit hers and Alara's clothes.

The visitor stuck out his tongue at Heather. "Missed!"

"Uh. Could you get those dry for us. I don't want them to get all wrinkly." Alara asked.

"Sure." He replied, picking up Alara's stuff to wring it out and fluff it up before placing it on a branch.

"Hey! Be sure to get mine, too." Heather added. She reached down to grab Alara's leg and flung her back a couple of yards. "Come on. Just wring it out and it'll be all dry."

"That's easier to say than to do. Are you sure this stretches at all?" He held up the shirt and struggled to pull his hands apart, letting out his breath when the item wouldn't budge.

"Quit playing around. Okay, I'll get it." Heather got out of the water and jogged over. She grabbed the shirt and stretched it out. "You just wanted me to have to get out." She shook her hair to spray water around her. "At least I could get you a little. How about getting the pants while I get the shirt done. Please."
"I'm not kidding. It won't budge. See." He pulled at the pants to no effect. It was as if he was trying to stretch out a tire with his bare hands.

"I don't get it. It just stretches for me. Maybe it has some kind of magic that won't let it be used by you." Heather pulled on the shirt and pants and smoothed out the wrinkles. She pulled at the sleeve. "It stretches really easy now."

Her friend grabbed Heather's arm by the elbow and tried to pinch some of the material with his other hand. "I think it's like some sort of armor for you. Your arm feels like its made of iron."

"I guess it gives me some magic protection. My arm doesn't feel too hard to me. Its just a little firmer from the exercises I've been doing for the last bunch of weeks. You know, I've never really looked at how the exercises have affected me." Heather bent her arm at the elbow and flexed hard. "See. The shirt stretches really easily for whoever's wearing it. I don't even feel it pulling." As Heather did so, her arm swelled up to several times its usual size. A vein prominently passed over the peak of her bicep. Striations danced over her shoulder and bicep. "Woah! That's big. It must be about two feet around." She shouted to Alara. "Why didn't you tell me how big my muscles can get while I'm exercising?"

"I wanted to surprise you. You've got a lot stronger than you thought." Alara answered, smiling.

"I guess I should've noticed. I bet it'll be really fun to use my muscles now." Heather looked at her friend with a mischievous grin. She grabbed the waist of his pants and lifted him from the ground. "You know something. I hardly even feel how much you weigh."

He grabbed Heather's arm to keep his balance. "What are you planning on doing?"

"Oh, nothing much." Heather answered. She absently did one-arm curls. "I could toss you in the river, but I don't think you'd like that." She continued lifting him up and down for a minute, watching her bicep expand and shrink each time. "Too bad you don't weigh more." Heather fully flexed her bicep. The sunlight shined off the mirror-like tights. "I wonder how much I can lift now?" She put her friend down and looked at the tree next to them. "You know, since that lightning strike, we've been waiting for someone to cut this dead tree down." She punched her fist into a knothole as hard as she could, sinking her hand into the wood. A few more blows left her hand deep inside of it. She then concentrated on lifting her hand up, curling the tree with her hand inside it. The wood of the tree groaned in protest, but the tree didn't budge. Heather closed her eyes and concentrated as hard as she could. She felt her muscles tingle as a wave of pleasure washed over her. Her nipples came erect and pressed the fabric of Heather's tights outward. She took a deep breath and tried again. As she did so, she felt her hand push up a little through the tree. The roots creaked and started to give way. Heather opened her eyes to see her expanded bicep pressing its way into the side of the tree. She strained against the weight and felt another wave of tingling pass through her as her bicep expanded its way deeper into the tree, crushing the wood between it and her hand. Once Heather applied enough force, the tree was ripped free of its roots and lifted into the air. "I guess I can lift enough to do this." She grinned. Heather placed the tree down with a `thoom' that shook the ground. She pulled her hand out and inspected the cavity her bicep had crushed into the side of the tree. After a minute she said "You know how it feels when you're really hungry and you sink your teeth into something that tastes really good? Feeling my muscles crushing the tree felt something like that." Heather looked toward the water and said "I'll see you later, okay Alara?" She then jogged off towards town, with her friend in a sprint behind her.

Heather found a few of her friends, talking. Her guy friend came up behind her, gasping for breath. "This is really neat. You should see how much the stuff this is made of can stretch." Heather grabbed the side of her shirt and pulled it out as far as she could reach. "Its Alara's. I didn't know it could do this until today." She grabbed the other side and did the same thing. "Do any of you want to try it?"

"I guess I could. I like the way it shines." She was answered.
Heather and her friend traded shirts. Heather put her friend's shirt over her shoulder.

"I can't pull this on. Give me a hand, okay?" her friend asked.
As Heather stretched out the shirt, she said, "Um, I don't think you should try it on. I just realized something. Maybe it just feels easy for me to stretch it out because I'm kinda strong. I thought that maybe it was just some sort of magic and acted like armor for me because it made my muscles feel really hard. But if you three can't stretch it out and I can, maybe its not what made them feel that way. You really would look good in it. Too bad its too stiff for you." Heather pulled the stretchy top on and returned her friend's shirt. "There's gotta be a way for you to get one that looks like this, though."