The Chessboard

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Adult Romance  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

A girl gets more than she bargained for while spending the summer with her grandparents...

Natalia tucked a lock of chestnut hair behind her ear.

“But I was kind of thinking about getting a job for the summer to earn some spending money. A girl can never have enough clothes, you know. And there’s this Louis Vuitton bag that I’ve been drooling over.”

Natalia’s father, Dimitri, frowned in disapproval. “You have a mountain of clothes piled up in your closet because you have too many to hang up already! And you know how I feel about those ridiculously expensive designer handbags…”

“Oh, dad,” Natalia sassed. “I can’t help it, I’m a teenage girl. You know how these things are.”

Dimitri rolled his eyes. “Yes, I do… Yes, I most certainly do.”

“Your babushka and dedushka need your help this summer. They’re getting older and they’re ready to leave Illinois and move to Arizona. The heat is good for their joints. They have a ton of stuff in that old house, and they’re going to need help sorting through it, having garage sales, and cleaning. I can’t go all the way to Carbondale from Chicago every weekend. You know how busy I am at the firm. I really need you to do this for me, hun. For them.”

“Oh all right,” replied Natalia. “Guilt trip, much? It’s a good thing you’re paying my tuition, dad, or you would so owe me.”

Dimitri smiled and hugged his daughter.

***

That Saturday, the two drove down I-57 to Carbondale, Natalia bombarding her father with one Taylor Swift song after another for the entire journey. They arrived on Saturday afternoon.

Babushka and Dedushka greeted them warmly, catching up with each other before having a delicious dinner of beef stroganoff that Babushka prepared.

The following day, Natalia saw her father off, then went back inside to discuss what needed to be done with her grandparents.

Babushka and Dedushka wanted Natalia to get started cleaning out the attic, so she got to work. She constructed a cardboard Home Depot box, filled it with clothes. She constructed another box and filled it with dusty house décor. Another box. More junk. Rinse. Repeat.

By the afternoon, she was covered in dust and sweat and had had enough for the day. At least now, there was space to walk around in the attic a bit. It looked like there were a good two or three more days of work to fully clear it out, though.

As she packed the last box for the day, she noticed an old, wooden chessboard sitting on top of a dusty bookshelf along the vertical wall of the attic. She walked over to it and ran a finger along its smooth finish. Despite the fact that everything else was covered in a fine coat of dust, the chessboard was not. It’s smooth, maple length was pristine and clean.

The pieces were all standing in their proper places, ready for a game to begin. She moved a white pawn forward two squares on a whim before examining the rest of the flawless board. It was just… odd. There was something about it that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. She stood there for a moment, just staring at it.

She shook herself out of it. What was she doing? She needed to take this box down to the garage. Then, it was time for a nice, long, hot shower.

She couldn’t wait for that shower!

***

The following morning, Natalia pulled down the expanding stairs and ascended them into the attic again. She walked over to the pile of collapsed cardboard and began to build another box, when she noticed something out of the corner of her eye.

A black pawn had been moved two spaces forward.

Tucking a lock of hair behind her ear, Natalia examined the chessboard closely. It was a beautiful hardwood set. The white pieces had a vague curved, feminine profile, while the black pieces were blockier, more masculine. She hadn’t noticed that before. The board was in exactly the same place that it had been, the pieces in the same places that they had been, with the lone exception of the black pawn.

Her grandparents were too old to climb the rickety folding stairs to the attic. There was no way they had come up here and moved that pawn. There was no one else in the house that she was aware of. She would ask, but she was certain that she would have known had someone else come to visit. How, then, had that piece moved?

Had she moved it, then forgotten about it? She had read of people doing strange things while sleepwalking. Maybe she had moved the piece in her sleep without realizing it? She had never been told that she had ever sleepwalked by her family or anyone else, so it seemed unlikely, but what other explanation was there? A ghost? That seemed even more farfetched.

Natalia shook her head. Sometimes weird things just happened. She wouldn’t worry about it too much.

She was about to go back to packing boxes, but she couldn’t quite bring herself to look away from the chessboard. Not understanding why she was doing it, she moved another piece, a knight, forward to protect her pawn.

Why had she done that? It had just felt like… something she needed to do. She shook her head again and went back to packing up the piles of junk in the attic and bringing it down to the garage.

***

That night, she thought of the chessboard as she drifted off to sleep.

Her dreams that night were torrid. She dreamed of hands caressing her. She dreamed of lips kissing her. She dreamed of legs intertwining with hers. There didn’t seem to be another person, just touches. Erotic, sensual touches.

She woke up feeling aroused, feeling sexy.

After her shower, Natalia looked at herself in the mirror. Her pretty face and slender body were both very attractive and she had no problems attracting dates in high school. Her only wish was that her AA breasts had developed a bit more. Today, however, she was pleased with her looks. She looked good, she thought. Her breasts, while still small seemed slightly swollen today. Maybe she would make it to at least an A cup after all. She had heard of girls that developed a bit more at 18. Maybe she was one of them.

The rest of her body looked good too. All of this manual labor must be doing her body some good. She looked extra toned and just the slightest bit curvier. Mostly, she just felt… good. She felt alive, energized, and beautiful this morning.

Smiling, she headed up to the attic. Another day of packing, maybe two, and she would be done clearing the massive amount of junk up there. As she reached the top of the stairs, her eyes were drawn again to the chessboard.

This time, a black knight had moved.

She walked over to the chessboard again. Did the white pieces look different today than they had yesterday? She wasn’t sure.

She picked up the blocky knight piece that had moved and put it back to its original location. She watched it, half expecting it to move in front of her. It didn’t.

She was tempted to move another white piece, but she decided not to. Maybe the black pieces would stop moving if she stopped moving the white pieces. She tucked her hair behind her ear as she thought. This was getting to be a little freaky now.

She wasn’t sure whether she should ask her grandparents about the board. What if she had done something wrong by moving the first piece? She didn’t want them to be upset with her. She didn’t want to frighten them either. Her grandfather had been having some heart trouble as it was. The last thing that she needed to do was give him anxiety about living in a haunted house. Her grandparents were firm believers in the supernatural. Natalia never had been, but this chessboard thing was starting to give her second thoughts. She decided that if she stopped moving pieces, and everything stayed the same, there was no need to do anything further. It was odd, but it would be over. Someday, she would ask them. After they had moved out of this house.

Natalia worked for the rest of the day on cleaning up the attic and came very close to finishing. By lunchtime tomorrow, she would be finished.

That evening, she called her friend Rei. They chatted about Rei’s new boyfriend, about what clothes to get for school, and about the upcoming weekend, when Rei was going to join her for a few days over the fourth of July in Carbondale. Natalia thought about telling Rei what had happened with the chessboard but decided that she would show her when she came. She didn’t want her friend to think she was crazy. Maybe she would move a piece and see if her friend could corroborate what was happening. If nothing else, maybe they could have a cool, if harmless ghost story to tell people on Halloween at school.

As she fell asleep tonight, her thoughts again went to the chessboard and that masculine-looking knight piece.

Her dreams that night were even hotter than the previous night. She felt her back arch, her desire rise. She was writhing in pleasure.

She awoke, skin moist and hot to the touch. She felt as if she had been making out with her boyfriend and things had begun to border on foreplay territory.

She let out a deep breath, calming her heartrate.

As she came out of the shower this morning, she looked closely at her body again. She was getting that 18-year-old last push of puberty after all. Her breasts were clearly larger, definitely a proper A cup. The rest of her body looked even better than it had the day before, thanks to the constant physical activity of the last few days. Were her narrow hips a bit wider? Maybe. Her smile looked a bit whiter, her hair had good volume today. She was looking forward to getting some new clothes with Rei this weekend. By the looks of things, she was going to need at least some new bras.

She dressed in short jean shorts and a tank top, ready to wrap things up in the attic. She pulled down the extension stairs and climbed up. She walked to the chessboard.

The black knight had advanced twice from where she had put it, and another black pawn had moved.

Apparently, not making her move hadn’t stopped the game. It had accelerated it. The black player had made three moves! Well, two really, since one of them just got the black knight to where it had been originally yesterday morning before she moved the piece.

Natalia picked up the white pawn. She was fairly sure that it had a more exaggerated shape today that it had on Sunday when she first saw it.

This was crazy! Apparently, she couldn’t stop the game. It was going to continue whether she made a move or not. Worse, it seemed to take her move if she didn’t take it! She debated again whether to discuss this with her grandparents but decided to show Rei and get her thoughts before she did. Rei would be here in a couple of days, anyway.

She pondered, then made a move, sliding a pawn to a position also covered by her knight. She wanted a strong defensive position, since her opponent seemed eager to attack.

Natalia packed up the rest of the junk in the attic in the morning, then used broom and dust rag to clean in the afternoon. She looked at the chessboard and debated what to do. She could leave it up the attic, away from her and just continue this game as she had been. She could move it to the garage with everything else. She could move it into her room. She considered that last idea. If she moved it to her room, she would be able to keep an eye on it. Maybe she would even be able to see how it was moving! She could stay up and watch it until she observed what was happening.

It was decided. She picked up the chessboard and brought it down the stairs to her room, setting it on top of her dresser.

***

Natalia lay on her stomach on the bed, arms propping her head up, watching the chessboard. As midnight approached, her eyes grew heavy, and despite her best intentions, she drifted off to sleep. That night, Natalia’s dreams were vivid, intense. Her body felt sleeker and more voluptuous. Something was filling her, and she bucked in pleasure. She awoke in mid-moan, close to orgasm.

She took several deep breaths to calm herself down, though her body still tingled with pent up arousal.

She looked to the chessboard. The black bishop had advanced.

She moved another pawn to protect her original pawn against this new threat.

Natalia decided to see if her body looked any different. Checking herself in the mirror, she saw that her body was as it had been in the dream. She was taller, her legs were definitely longer. Every part of her looked a bit better, healthier, shapelier. Her breasts had to be closing in on a B cup size. It was still her, but slightly magnified again.

Though Natalia had always been attractive, Rei had always been beautiful. Natalia had always envied her friend a little, as she had clearly been the prettier of the two. Now, however, it had to be pretty close. She was clearly catching up.

If she had to deal with strange supernatural events in this house for the summer, at least there seemed to be some perks that came with it! She smiled, then giggled. At least I seem to be dealing with a sexy ghost… she thought.

Friday and Saturday were much the same. She tried to stay awake to watch the chessboard but couldn’t manage it. She fell asleep to increasingly erotic dreams, then awoke just before she came. Her body continued to improve by the day, legs smoother and longer, breasts fuller, stomach tighter, face more alluring. She couldn’t wait until Rei saw her. Her friend certainly didn’t have anything on her now, looks-wise! Rei might even be a little envious of her now! The thought sent shivers of pleasure through her. Maybe she was enjoying her unnatural development a little too much!

She was so sensitive these last few days. She had outgrown her bras and her nipples were constantly hardening as they rubbed against her cotton shirts. Her hips and butt had swelled a bit, so she was forced to start leaving the buttons on her shorts undone. Their skin-tight fabric rubbed against her down there, making her moist repeatedly during the day. As she imagined this must be something like what horny teenage boys felt like, she almost laughed aloud.

One thing was certain—she needed new clothes. When Rei came, they were totally going shopping. She tucked her hair behind her ear. Maybe tonight, she and Rei would be able to take turns watching the board and finally see what was happening.

***

Rei pulled up in the driveway, and Natalia sprinted out to see her, enveloping her in a hug the moment she stepped out of her car. As Natalia stepped back, Rei realized that they were eye-to-eye. Gone was the three-inch height disparity that she had enjoyed throughout their senior year.

“Wow, Nats!” Rei said, noticing that her height wasn’t the only way in which her friend had grown. “You look totally amazeballs! Check you out!”

“I know, right? I had a little bit of a late growth spurt. There’s something I have to show you...”

“Little? I’d say more than a little!” Rei responded, seeming to ignore Natalia’s last comment. “Anyway, you look mega-hot. I can’t wait to check out the Carbondale club scene with such a sexy wingman…” Rei grinned slyly.

“Is there a Carbondale club scene?” Natalia joked.

“Totes!” Rei responded. “Well, there’s one anyway, for under 21s. I saw it on Yelp when I was looking for things that we could do this weekend."

“First things first, though. We need to find you some new Forever 21s.”

Natalia popped back into the house to let her grandparent know that she was going shopping, then hopped into Rei’s car and the two drove straight to the mall.

True to her word, Rei started Natalia at Forever 21. As her friend came out of the changing room in tight jean shorts and a cropped sweatshirt, Rei gushed.

“You look snatched, Nats! Your abs are sexiliscious! You totally need to show them off. Here, try this one too.”

Natalia tried Rei’s next outfit on, modeling it in front of the mirror, unsure if she was comfortable showing this much skin. It was a fire engine red halter with a black, scandalously high-cut tube mini.

“I can think of a wide-eyed emoticon that would be appropriate right about now,” Rei said, walking around her friend in admiration. “You are wearing this one to the club tonight.”

“My dad will never let me out of the house in this crazy thing!” Natalia protested.

“Good thing he’s not here then,” winked Rei. “I think I saw something like that on Etsy, but I wussed and didn’t get it. You so have the body to pull it off.

"Come on, Natalia... you’ve got to do it.”

Wearing sexy clothes and crop tops was more Rei’s style then Natalia’s. Natalia was more a jeans and t-shirt girl. Tanks were usually as sexy as she got. She had nice legs and wore a skirt from time to time—especially when she was set on attracting a guy—but for the most part, she was conservative. Being raised by a single dad didn’t lend itself to daring fashion choices.

There was a part of her, however, that had always wanted to be daring, to be sexy, to be more like her gorgeous friend. The more dynamic peaks and valleys of her new profile seemed to encourage her to put them on display. The nightly stimulation seemed to have her body in a simmering concupiscent state these days as well.

Whatever influenced her, she relented, agreeing to buy the revealing clothes that her friend was foisting on her.

Slinky dresses, tiny shorts, cropped tops. The girls took advantage of seemingly every sale at the mall to add to their collection.

Finally, they wound their way to Victoria’s Secret. Natalia opted to have her measurement taken, finding that she was between a B and a C cup now. On the chance that her growth spurt would continue, she opted for the C. Rei picked up a B for herself while they were there.

As they drove back to Natalia’s grandparents’ house, she told her friend that she had seen some strange things happening at the house, prepping to tell her about the chessboard.

“So the pieces are just moving on their own?” Rei confirmed, eying her friend suspiciously, as if she were waiting for a punchline.

“Yes!” said Natalia. “I know it sounds weird, but when I moved the first piece, every night another black piece moves. Well except for that one night where I didn’t move, and it moved three times, but really it was twice because I moved one of the pieces, and then there are the dreams...”

Natalia paused for breath, as her friend gave her an uncomprehending look at her eager babble. When Natalia was unsure how to say something, she tended to just rattle in a stream of consciousness.

“I heard a lot of stuff about chess pieces and something about dreams. Dreams sound a lot more interesting than chess pieces, so take it from there,” Rei said expectantly.

“Yeah, my dreams have been rated M for mature each night since the chess match started. I feel all this… stuff, you know. Then I wake up all hot and bothered.” Natalia’s face went crimson, but she needed to confide in someone about what was happening, and her friend was the best person for it.

“What do you mean by stuff? Rei asked, curious.

Of all things to ask, why did she have to ask about that word! Natalia looked at the floor and flushed an even deeper shade of red. “You know, like sexy touching and… filling… and stuff.”

“Ahhh…” her friend replied in comprehension.

“Is he good looking?” Rei asked.

“I don’t really see him. I just kind of feel him.” Natalia’s face could make a strawberry look pale.

“So you’ve got yourself a sexy, body-enhancing, chess-playing ghost, eh?” said Rei. “And here I came to see you because I thought you were going to be bored to death!”

Natalia, as embarrassed as she was, was happy to have shared these crazy events with someone. The two girls chattered while they dressed and did hair and makeup for the club.

The girls were immediately granted entrance by the bouncer; hotness test #1 passed. Two guys bought them (non-alchoholic) drinks; hotness test #2 passed. They danced the evening away with said guys; hotness test #3 passed.

The girls plopped into bed, exhausted when they got home, all thoughts of chess and ghosts forgotten, while they giggled about the guys they had wrapped around their pretty little fingers at the club.

***

In the morning, Natalia awoke after another night of tantalizing dreams, wiping the moisture from her forehead, and… other places.

“Crap! I totally forgot! I was going to have us take turns watching the chessboard,” she exclaimed as she saw a black rook in a new location on the board.

Rei sat up, woken by her friend’s outburst.

“Sorry, Rei. My bad.” Natalia told her.

“No worries. Did another piece move?” Rei asked.

“Yes! A rook this time. Hey—did you feel anything, you know, unusual last night?”

“You mean other than this sex god ghost, who…” Rei replied.

Natalia’s eyes went wide.

“…I’m just messing with you, Nats. No, sadly, I didn’t feel a thing,” Rei finished with a grin.

“You bitch!” Natalia laughed, throwing her pillow at Rei.

Rei looked her friend over and said, “I’m pretty sure those are full Cs now, hot stuff.”

Natalia looked down in surprise, then smiled.

The following morning, Rei awoke to a cry of pleasure as Natalia came. Rei rushed over to her friend’s side as she bucked and moaned in her sleep. Rei shook her awake.

“What?” Natalia said groggily. Then, she remembered her intense, erotic dream and quivered. “Did I just…?”

“Yep,” said Rei with a twinkle in her ebony eye.

“Oh. My. God.” Natalia pulled her pillow over her head in embarrassment.

“You’re a screamer, Nats. You are definitely a screamer,” Rei added with a beatific grin.

Natalia reached over and flung another pillow in her direction.

Rei caught the pillow and walked over to the chessboard.

“Uh oh. Check.” Rei said.

“What?!?” said a muffled voice from under the pillow.

“Check! As in, you’re losing your chess match to Ghostly McWonderdick.” Rei sassed.

“I tried to stay awake last night, but it was sooo totally boring that I couldn’t make it.” She added, apologetically.

Natalia tried to will her blush away as she removed her pillow from her face and set it to the side. She walked over to the chess set as Rei admired the significantly longer, sexier legs that emerged from Natalia’s oversized t-shirt that she used as pajamas.

“Wow! Look at those glorious gams,” Rei said.

“What?”

“Your legs are ridiculous! You’ve got to take that t-shirt off, so I can see the rest of you!”

“Shut up!”

“Slut!”

“Whore!”

As she bantered with her friend, Natalia picked up the white queen. The chess pieces were dramatically different in shape than they had been. They seemed taller and more dynamically shaped. Natalia focused on the board. Rei was right, she was in check. Luckily, she saw the way out, moving her bishop to block.

When she was alone in the bathroom, Natalia did as requested and removed her baggy t-shirt.

“O… M… G…” she mouthed.

Straight out of bed without shower or makeup, and she still looked like something from the photoshopped pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. She had surged in beauty last night, well beyond any of her previous enhancements.

Luxuriant waves of blond-streaked brown tresses flowed around her magnificent face. High, arching eyebrows framed huge, dazzling, viridian eyes. Bold ebony lashes flashed as she blinked in surprise. Regal cheekbones, a retroussé nose, and captivating lips graced her elegant visage. Her breasts were voluptuous and full, her stomach ridged and defined, her hips rounded and firm, legs endless and curvaceous.

She effected a witheringly sexy come-hither stare at the mirror, and her own sexuality blasted through her. Wow! As Rei would say, she was sexy AF.

When she showered and put on some of her new, sexy clothes, her beauty was absolutely breathtaking. She was on another whole level. She looked as if she belonged with Hollywood celebrities and Instagram goddesses. She dare not put on any makeup for fear that she would make herself look worse! She walked out of the bathroom and back to their shared room.

“OMG, Nats! You are sexy AF!” Rei said, covering her mouth with her hand.

Told you! Natalia thought to herself. She thought that she detected a note of desire in her friend’s awestruck expression and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear.

The next morning, Natalia awoke, erogenous zones simmering, but not in mid-orgasm as she had been yesterday. She stretched longer, sexier limbs.

She walked to the chessboard. Black had made another move. The ghost was after her queen. She moved defensively, taking her queen out of immediate danger. She pondered her strategy as Rei began to stir.

Natalia decided to check her latest changes as she stepped toward the mirror in their shared bedroom. Her lips curled into a delighted smile.

Natalia couldn’t stop admiring herself. She was absolutely stunning. She cocked her hip one way, then another. One leg bent, both legs straight. She practiced looking provocative. Then Innocent. She continued to model for herself in the mirror, fascinated with her new looks. If she had needed a C before, she probably needed a DD/E now. Maybe they could go to the mall so that she could try more clothes on her aesthetically exquisite body.

A few feet away, watching her friend strike one sexy pose after another, Rei was growing more and more turned on. She had never before thought of her friend that way, but she was just so… sexy!

Rei’s gaze lingered on Natalia’s interminable legs. They swelled with feminine muscle under flawless, smooth skin. The delectable flesh of her legs looked so perfect, almost polished. Rei wondered what it would feel like against hers. She wondered what it would feel like on her lips… Rei came to her senses with a start! What was she thinking! This was her bestie—she shouldn’t be thinking about Natalia like this! Rei was a beautiful girl. She had her pick of the guys in high school, and Natalia had always been her sidekick. Now, however, Natalia’s beauty had far surpassed her own, reversing their relative positions in the social hierarchy. The thought of it made Rei hot with desire. She had never had interest in girls before, but the combination of her friend passing her as the alpha female of the two as well as the sheer seductive power of Natalia’s increasingly intoxicating beauty sent shudders of surprisingly powerful erotic hunger through her.

Rei continued to gaze at her friend as she came back from her shower and began to dress. Natalia put on a tank top and low-rider shorts. The tank top, originally long enough to come to her pants, now left two inches of electrifyingly sexy midriff showing. Rei licked her lips as her eyes drank in the other girl’s ridiculously toned abdomen. Ridges of taut muscle stood in defined relief under svelte, nubile skin.

Rei’s eyes continued up the swell of her full, voluptuous breasts. They filled out the tank top in spectacular fashion, perky nipples visible as Natalia didn’t have a bra capable of containing them.

Her face was captivating and elegant. Waves of rich, luxurious tresses, now more brilliant blond than vibrant brown tumbled downward. Huge, striking green eyes loomed over lofty, prominent cheekbones, framed by long, bold lashes. Scarlet lips, full and pillowy consummated her elegant, glamorous face.

Natalia was a work of art—a masterpiece.


Natalia noticed Rei’s eyes on her.

“These dreams are really doing a number on my body, huh?

Rei swallowed, then nodded.

“I think that I’m going to need another trip to the mall. I definitely need some new bras. Probably some new shorts too. These are getting pretty tight in the hips.” Natalia wiggled her flaring hips, the fabric of her shorts straining to contain them.

Rei nodded again.

***

Natalia felt confident and sexy as she walked out of the Victoria’s Secret fitting room to show her friend her new DDs. Rei and the salesgirl looked on in awe as Natalia’s breathtaking body looked significantly better than those of the world’s hottest models whose posters adorned the walls.

Natalia examined herself in the mirror. The bra was just a little tight, she thought. She should probably get some extra DDDs, just in case she needed them tomorrow. She noticed the shop girl and Rei staring at her wide-eyed in the mirror’s reflection. She grinned. Being drop-dead gorgeous was really starting to be fun!

Next stop, the hair salon, so that she could have her amazing locks looking as amazing as the rest of her. She tucked her hair behind her ear.

***

As the two girls walked out of the mall, Natalia was the one doing most of the talking, a role-reversal from their typical banter.

“That stylist did such a great job with my hair! And I really like the French-tip manicure that we both got at the nail place. I’ve never had my brows threaded before, either. They did an amazing job!” Natalia gushed about their various stops at the mall.

“Totes,” replied Rei, lost in thought admiring her friend’s improvements on perfection. “You look… irresistible, Nats.”

Natalia beamed, never having seen her friend awestruck before today. She was pleased that she had been the one to do it to her. She had to admit, she did look pretty incredible. She couldn’t wait to try that new curve-hugging bodycon dress their next time at the club. She was certain the guys would be drooling over her in that thing.

When they arrived home, Natalia rattled on about how excited she was about her improvements, her new clothes, her anticipation of their next trip to the club, and how she was looking forward to heading to college in the fall even more now.

Rei didn’t say much. Her eyes kept drifting to Natalia’s body, which was creating new, suggestive feelings in her. She didn’t know what to make of them or whether she should act on them. Luckily, Natalia was too bubbly to notice.

***

That night, as Rei tried to keep watch on the chessboard, Natalia seemed to be asleep.

As Rei’s eyes began to slowly close involuntarily, she felt Natalia roll over, pressing up next to her in their shared bed.

Good lord, was her friend naked under the sheets?!?

Natalia’s large bare breasts pressed into her arm. Her bare hips touched the side of Rei’s.

Rei’s eyes went wide. She was suddenly wide awake!

As Rei was about to say something, Natalia cut her off with luscious lips and probing tongue. Rei stiffened and thought about pushing her friend away. But the sensation of her friend’s perfect body, perfect lips, melted the thought in flames of arousal. As her friends lips drifted lower and lower, all remaining thought gave way to molten desire.

***

As morning sunlight began to stream through the window, Natalia awoke naked, with Rei in her arms. “What the hell?” Natalia said out loud.

Rei’s eyes fluttered open as she was awoken by Natalia’s confused words. She looked into her friend’s dazzlingly beautiful eyes, even more perfect today than they had been yesterday, and pressed her lips to the soft perfection of Natalia’s.

Natalia pushed her friend away and sat bolt upright in shock. “What is going on here?” she asked, alarmed. She tried to think back to what had happened last night. She had fallen asleep. Had she had another erotic dream? Yes, she had! I wasn’t with the ghost… is was with… Oh My God! She had slept with her best friend in her dream. But was it just a dream? Their naked bodies and Rei’s morning kiss seemed to indicate otherwise!

“I was just… I thought…” Rei started, a lump forming in her throat, surprised and hurt by Natalia’s reaction. She felt helpless against her rising arousal as she looked at her ever-more-gorgeous friend’s beyond-stunning face. Her eyes grew glassy as tears formed.

A range of emotions swirled through Natalia’s perfectly formed chest. She felt horrified that she had slept with her bestie without even intending to. She felt bad for her friend, who was clearly hurt by her reaction this morning. She felt… aroused that she had managed to seduce her friend, who had never given the slightest hint that she had ever been attracted to women before. Natalia didn’t know what to do. She was completely unprepared for this situation and completely at a loss for words and actions.

As she looked at Natalia’s conflicted expression, tears began to stream down Rei’s cheeks. Rei’s hurt turned to anger as her desire for Natalia continued to grow. She was just so achingly beautiful. “You’re the one who kissed me, Natalia! I just… I mean… I couldn’t…” her words began to fail.

“I did? I… think I was dreaming, Rei. I didn’t mean to… you know.” Natalia struggled for words to explain what had happened to her friend.

“Fuck!” said Rei, in frustration. She was beginning to understand what had happened. Natalia hadn’t meant to do what she did. She was just having one of those erotic dreams again, and Rei was in the same bed…

Rei got out of bed and ran to the bathroom, locking the door behind her. She began to sob.

Natalia lay back in the bed, hands to her head. How had things gone so wrong so quickly! She had been enjoying her tremendous beauty and her friend Rei’s company. How had this happened! She felt terrible and guilty. Though she hadn’t meant to, she clearly had put her best friend through an emotional roller coaster. What should she do now? Her friend seemed to have romantic feelings toward her now. Did she feel the same toward Rei? She didn’t know. She needed to sort things out. For now, she set her feelings aside. She brushed stray strands of hair behind her ear.

Natalia arose from the bed to stand naked before the mirror. She didn’t feel the same joy or delight today, with the Rei situation weighing heavily on her mind. However, she did notice in a clinical way the massive improvements to her beauty overnight.

Perfection had become über-perfection. Her face was beyond compare. Her breasts, matchless paragons of flesh. Her waist and hips, the quintessence of athletic flawlessness. Her spellbinding ass was heart-stopping and unsurpassable. Her legs, ideal examples of feminine perfection.

The difference in beauty between her and the supermodels on the lingerie posters from yesterday was now as vast as the difference between those models and their overweight grandmothers.

There had never been a more perfect beauty.

“How is this happening?” she said out loud, awed by her own reflection. The question pushed her thoughts to the chessboard. Black had put her in check again. There was one move available to her, so she took it. It was not looking like she was going to win this game, but she wasn’t certain what would happen if she did. Examining the pieces, they were exquisite. Curved and polished, she had never seen craftsmanship on this level before. They were far better than they had been at the start of the game.

It was time to ask Babushka if she knew anything about the chessboard.

***

Natalia, in form-fitting workout clothes, approached her grandmother, who she had barely seen since Rei had arrived. Her grandmother’s eyes went wide in shock.

“Natalia? What happened to you? You look so different!” Babushka asked.

Tears welled in Natalia’s eyes. She relayed the whole story to her grandmother.

Babushka remained silent for a long while when she finished. Natalia was about to ask her for her thoughts, when she suddenly spoke.

“Like mother, like daughter.”

Natalia wasn’t sure what she had been expecting her grandmother to say, but it certainly hadn’t been that!

“I should have known about the draw of Rasputin’s chessboard. I know that I shouldn’t have, but in my age, I had forgotten it.”

Natalia waited for her to continue, tucking a lock of gorgeous blond hair behind her ear.

“When you were a baby, your mother would bring you here, to our house. One day, she moved a piece on the board. Strange things started to happen to her. One day, she just disappeared.”

Babushka stared out the window as she spoke, a distant look in her eye.

“It wasn’t until years later that I put things together. The chess match had to be related to her disappearance. I had the chessboard examined by an expert, and he traced it back to a Khlyst owner. This owner said it had belonged to Rasputin himself. Apparently, Rasputin had been involved with the Khlysts. His Khlyst cell had been obsessed with beauty and its association with the divine. The people in the cell believed that Rasputin could heal their physical defects, as he did for the tsar’s family, but to make them more beautiful, not just more healthy.”

“Anyway, I was never sure where your mother went. I didn’t know if the spirit of the chessboard had taken her over and she left, or if she became part of it. I never knew. I thought about destroying the thing… but what if your mother was trapped inside? I searched for someone who could tell me, but I never found someone. Eventually, I gave up and accepted that my daughter was lost to me, one way or the other. I thought that I had made my peace with the outcome, though I always pray for your mother to be returned to us.”

“Now, however, I am faced with the same situation again! It is my punishment for never fully dealing with it the first time, I suppose.”

Natalia’s grandmother looked shaken now.

“We need to find someone who can help us! What about someone at SIU?” Natalia suggested.

“Sure, child. I’m willing to try anything. Perhaps you will succeed where I failed.”

“Alright, then. Let’s go,” said Natalia. She let a puffy-eyed Rei know that she was leaving for a bit. She picked up the chessboard, taking care not to disturb the pieces, and got in the car with her grandmother. She googled Russian history professors at the university, texted herself his office number and building, and they headed out to meet him.?

Rei looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were puffy from crying, and she hadn’t put on any makeup today. She didn’t care. She hadn’t entered a strange and wonderful new relationship with her best friend as she thought she had last night. She was just a body that happened to be in the bed while her friend was having a sex dream.

Just her luck.

She didn’t ever seem to have good luck with guys, so why should women be any different. Rei didn’t even know who she was any more. She couldn’t believe how this trip had turned out! She began to cry again.

Suddenly, Rei noticed that Natalia’s grandfather was standing in the doorway, and she tried to gather herself. He scanned around the room and was gone.

That was strange, Reilly thought, as she struggled to gain control over her emotions. She walked out of the room to see what he had been looking for. He probably just wants to know where Natalia went, she thought.

***

Natalia and her grandmother knocked on Professor Turgenev’s door at SIU. Even in the conservative clothes she had borrowed from her grandmother, Natalia’s spectacular beauty took the man aback, his attraction to her instant and obvious. However, as his eyes turned to her grandmother, the professor seemed to be spurred back to business.

As the professor ushered them into his office, Natalia set the chessboard down on his desk.

Natalia relayed the tale, and the professor seemed to pay particular attention to her lips as she spoke. She hoped he was actually listening!

As she finished, he seemed skeptical. Granted, it did seem outlandish, but she could prove at least one aspect of it. She pulled out her phone and showed him a selfie that she took two weeks ago. That was me two weeks ago, Dr. Turgenev. And look at me now. She indicated her impressive form, filling out her grandmother’s stodgy clothes in ways never anticipated by their designer. Oh my gosh, thought Natalia, as she watched him stare at her impressive charms yet again, now I see why they say that beauty is a curse!

“Up here, professor,” Natalia said, pointing to her breathtakingly gorgeous face.

“Uh, yes,” he said sheepishly, cheeks flushing. This girl was just that attractive. He had never seen anything like it. He struggled to get his brain functioning again... If those photos were really from two weeks ago, her story just might be true.

“Well, I have studied the Khlyst sect in some detail, and I’m aware of the rumors from the time period that Rasputin was a member of the sect, but most scholars believe that Rasputin’s so-called powers of healing were actually…”

Natalia cleared her throat, pointing at the picture on the phone, then at her face. “I’ve got some fairly compelling evidence that the rumors of Rasputin’s powers might be legit here, doc.”

“Point taken,” said the professor. “There is actually a Khlyst sect member locally here in Carbondale that I interviewed for my book a few years back. He might be a good person to talk to about this. He might at least know the oral history of this chessboard from within the cult. I can’t remember his name, but let me check…”

A moment later the professor looked pleased. Apparently, he had found the name that he’d been looking for. “His name was Boris Lebedev,” the professor said, an expression of victory on his face.

The color drained from Natalia’s exquisitely beautiful face.

Boris Lebedev was Natalia’s grandfather.

Rei caught up to Boris, Natailia’s Dedushka and tapped his shoulder. He spun around and said, “Oh my dear. I’m sorry to disturb you, I was just looking for Natalia.”

“She went with her grandmother to the University. She’ll be back before long.” Rei answered.

“Thank you. I noticed she was playing a game of chess with you, but I noticed that the chessboard was gone from your room.”

Rei, unsure how much she should say, simply said, “I think that she put the board somewhere else.”

“Ah, okay. Thank you.” Boris said and shuffled away.

***

Natalia grabbed the chessboard and told her grandmother that it was time to go.

“What’s your hurry?!? I thought that you wanted to know about the history of the chessboard. Let me call Boris…” said Dr. Turgenev.

“NO! Don’t call him. Forget that we were ever here! We don’t need anything more,” the gorgeous girl said.

As they made their way back to the car, Babushka asked her granddaughter, “What does all of this mean?”

Natalia sighed, debating what she should say to her grandmother. She decided to tell her the full truth of her suspicions.

“Babushka, Dedushka is a member of the Khlyst sect. I don’t think that it’s coincidence that the Rasputin chessboard is in your house. I think that he wanted it there. You told me that you thought it had something to do with mom’s disappearance. I was reading about the Khlyst on our way here. Each Khlyst cell has two leaders, a “Christ” and a “Mother of God”. When Rasputin died, he was believed to be the “Christ” of that cell. I don’t know who the mother is.”

“The craziest thing is that Rasputin was believed to be working on a different sort of everlasting life for two leaders of his cell. He was working on capturing souls, I guess. I’m wondering if either he or the mother of that sect was able to trap their soul inside the chessboard. Maybe the soul in the chessboard takes over the soul of the other player if they win the match?”

“Maybe mom ran away to escape that from happening to her?” said Natalia, questioningly.

“But that would mean… that your soul depends on the outcome of this chess match?” asked Babushka.

“Maybe… I don’t know,” said Natalia. “But I’m certain that Dedushka knows something about the chessboard. And we’re going to find out exactly what it is.”

When Natalia arrived back at the house with her grandmother, she set the chessboard on the dining room table. She went to find her grandfather but found Rei first. Rei noticed the intense look on her friend's beautiful face and frowned.

"What's wrong, Nats?"

"It's Dedushka. I think that he's the one who's been moving the pieces on the chessboard every night. I think that the chessboard might be a tool to steal people's souls. When the match is over, the loser's soul is exchanged with the soul trapped in the board."

"Is that why you've been... changing?" Rei asked, her voice quivering slightly.

"I'm not sure. Maybe," Natalia tucked a lock of bright golden hair behind her ear.

"Okay, so what do we do?" Rei asked, breathing in to steel herself in anticipation of the coming conflict.

"We find Dedushka," Natalia said firmly.

The two girls searched the house in vain.

They came back to the kitchen... and Dedushka was there! He had re-placed every piece on the chessboard, configuring it in exactly the same way that it had been when Natalia had taken it back to the professor.

He was about to make the final move!

Natalia and Rei sprang into action, Natalia grabbing one arm and Rei the other, their momentum carrying all three into the wall. Each girl held one of the old man's arms, using both hands to press arm to wall, preventing him from achieving the checkmate that could take Natalia's soul.

As the two girls struggled to hold the older man in place, Natalia heard familiar voices coming from the hallway toward the kitchen.

"Mother, are you sure that we should give Rasputin this body? She will be powerful, very powerful." Natalia knew that voice! Where had she heard it?

Babushka walked into the kitchen with the professor from SIU! It had been the professor's voice! But why had he called Babushka mother? She certainly wasn't his birth mother. It had to be... that Babushka was the other of the two leaders of the Khlyst cell!

Natalia gasped as realization dawned. Her grandfather and grandmother were the two leaders of a Khlyst cell! A cell that included Dr. Turgenev. And they were trying to give her body to someone else!

Natalia's mother walked in behind them, carrying a dagger. Natalia's heart dropped through the floor, and she relaxed her grip as shock washed over her. Her grandfather used Natalia's distraction to struggle free. He used his free hand to pull Rei away, and pushed her into Natalia's mother, back first.

Natalia's mother put one arm around the girl's stomach and drew the dagger around her under her far ear. In one swift motion, she sliced across Rei's throat. Rei gurgled for a moment, eyes wide and locked on Natalia's gorgeous, horrified face before dropping to the ground.

Babushka walked to the table and made the final move. Checkmate.

Natalia froze in fear. She felt... strange. Floating. She closed her eyes.

As Natalia opened her eyes again, she began to laugh.

She didn't tuck her hair behind her ear.
 


Submitted: December 24, 2019

© Copyright 2021 hikerangel. All rights reserved.

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