1. Challenged
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Kelly took a sip of her hard lemonade then looked at me and asked, "So you know how me and Keira get kind of competitive sometimes?"

"Uh yeah," I nodded, rolling my eyes. "Pretty much anyone who's met the pair of you knows how you two get."

Seriously, Kelly and her sister could turn just about anything into a challenge or a contest. If one did something, the other had to do it better. And if she couldn't, then she'd do something else better and claim victory on that instead. It was usually just harmless fun, but occasionally the two of them took things a little too far.

I had a feeling this was going to be one of those times, based on the way Kelly was smiling at me like a cat who's just spotted a mouse.

She took a deep breath then said, "So Keira talked me into a little challenge. A bet, I guess. And you know I can't let her win, right?"

I took a swig of my beer and sighed, "What is it this time?"

Kelly talked me into one of their 'little challenges' last month, and it wound up costing me an entire weekend and a full tank of gas. I had to drive Kelly halfway across the province to win a stupid scavenger hunt.

Considering this was Friday night and neither of us had any plans for tonight or tomorrow, I had a bad feeling she was about to drag me into another expensive weekend-killing competition.

Still, I didn't want to complain too loudly. Kelly was drop-dead gorgeous, and I often wondered how I'd been so lucky as to hook up with her. Kelly, and her identical twin sister Keira too for that matter, were the kind of girls that caught everyone's eye.

They were tall, about five-foot-eight. Slim though, but with all the right curves in all the right places. They both had fiery red hair, beautiful emerald-green eyes, and just the right amount of freckles on their cheeks. And in other places too, but I was the only guy lucky enough to see those. At least with Kelly. With Keira, her girlfriend Amy was the lucky one.

Kelly and Keira still tended to dress the same, unlike most twins I'd seen in their twenties. They didn't wear matching outfits, but they had the same taste or style or whatever. Neither of them were overly femme, I'd only seen either of them in a dress once, or maybe twice. Usually it was jeans or leggings, and t-shirts, blouses, or oversized tops.

They weren't big on make-up or jewelry either, they normally just stuck with some lipstick and maybe some eyeshadow. And both usually had little studs in their ears.

Really the main way to tell the two apart was Kelly kept her hair a little longer, she let it grow down past her shoulders. Keira on the other hand tended to keep her hair an inch or two above her shoulders.

They weren't interested in the same things, either. Kelly was taking a psychology program at college, she was hoping to get into forensic psychology after she graduated. Keira was doing an English Lit course, but I wasn't sure what her plans were after that.

Of course the other big difference between the two was Kelly's straight, while Keira was gay.

My eyes stayed on Kelly as I waited to hear about this 'little challenge' she was about to drop on me.

She kept that wide smile on her face as she said, "Hear me out ok? Because this is going to sound a little crazy at first. Promise you'll hear me out?"

I suppressed a groan and a sigh. This didn't sound good, but I just nodded "Ok Kelly." I had another deep swig of beer and braced myself.

"So tomorrow night, Keira has to take a guy out on a date. And I have to go on a date with a girl. If either of us balks, or can't get a date, or doesn't show up, she loses and the other wins."

Kelly added, "It's a double-date. We'll all be going out for dinner together, then to a movie. Then I guess if it went any further, we'd be going back to my and Keira's place. I doubt it'll get that far, though."

The two sisters lived together, they had a nice two-bedroom apartment in one of the new luxury condo towers uptown. I'd only been there a couple times, usually when me and Kelly got together we'd hang out here at my little basement apartment. It wasn't anywhere near as nice as their place, but I figured she preferred it here because it gave her some time away from her twin.

I wondered sometimes how they managed to live together without destroying the place or each other with their silly bets and competitions. They also shared a car, and I was positive half their little challenges had to do with who'd get the car one week to the next.

Anyways, by now I was feeling kind of confused. So my girlfriend had to take another girl out on a date to win a bet? I wasn't really sure what part of this was going to involve me.

"Go on," I said, hoping I wouldn't regret it.

Kelly continued, "Here's the thing though babe. I don't want to cheat on you. So I got a crazy idea... What if we disguised you as a girl? Then you could be my date, I won't be cheating on you, and I'll win the bet!"

I just stared at her in disbelief.

Finally I sighed, "Seriously Kelly? Even if I did agree to that, there's absolutely no way you could make me look enough like a girl that your sister wouldn't see straight through it. In fact, everybody would see through it no matter how much make-up or how many skirts you stuck on me."

Don't get me wrong, I was no Mr. Universe, but my body was absolutely, unmistakably guy-shaped, through and through. Puberty hit me like a hairy brick soaked in Old Spice.

I was a couple inches taller than the twins, at around five-foot-ten. I had broad shoulders, a strong jawline, and a heavy brow. And don't get me started on the body hair. My skin's fair but my hair's dark, and a bit on the thick side. I'm one of those guys who's 'five o'clock shadow' shows up at seven in the morning. On top of all that, my voice was another killer. It was deep, low, and a little rumbly.

There was simply no way I could fool anyone into believing I was a girl.

Beyond all that of course was the potential for embarrassment. It'd be bad enough for my girlfriend to see me in drag, and even worse with Keira. I wouldn't be caught dead going to a restaurant or movie like that.

With that in mind I added, "And there's no way I'd go out in public dressed up like a girl. None!"

Kelly pouted, "But babe, I can't let my sister win. This is important!"

"So pick a girl and ask her out, Kelly. That was the bet wasn't it? You have my permission to go out with a girl tomorrow night. There, now you don't have to worry about cheating."

I wasn't sure why she was so stressed about cheating anyways. Even though we'd been seeing each other more than a year, our relationship wasn't any kind of deep moving romance. We were both pretty casual about it. Don't get me wrong, neither of us were dating anyone else on the side. Basically we were both still young, and I think neither of us was ready to seriously commit to anything.

She pouted at me again, and I almost felt my resolve start to crumble. Seriously, nobody can resist my girlfriend's pout. Sometimes I think it's a superpower or something.

"But babe," she pleaded, dialling the pout up another notch. "I don't want to go out with some girl. I want to go out with you."

I took another swig of beer, followed by a deep breath. Then I shook my head "Nope. I'm not going out in drag. I'm sorry Kelly, but it's not going to happen."

She sighed again. Then her pout slowly morphed into a sly smile. "What if I could guarantee nobody would recognize you? What if I could guarantee it was a perfect disguise, so you really looked like a girl? Like, so perfect even you were convinced?"

I rolled my eyes, "That's impossible, Kelly. I mean, it'd take actual magic to pull that off." I drained the last of my beer and set the bottle down on the side table for now.

She was still wearing that sly smile as she said, "Yeah, you're right." She leaned a little closer and whispered, "I shouldn't tell you this, but... I really can work magic."

I turned to look at her, then cracked a smile. "Yeah, right. So what, you're some kind of witch or something?"

She giggled, "No, it's not like that."

The sly smile came back and she said, "I could use magic to turn you into a girl. Just temporarily of course. We could go shopping, get you a nice outfit, and go out on the date tomorrow night. I win the bet, you and me come back here afterwards and I turn you back to normal before we go to bed."

I got to my feet, laughing "Kelly, that's nonsense. There's no such thing as magic." I took the empty bottle and went back to the kitchenette, where I dropped the empty in the box then grabbed a cold one from the fridge.

As I returned to the living-room, I saw Kelly had deployed The Pout™ again.

"You don't believe me," she whined softly.

"Kelly it's not that I don't believe you," I said, trying not to sound exasperated. "There's just no such thing."

She was still pouting as she looked at me and asked, "Can I prove it to you? Let me use magic on you. If you're right, there's no such thing and nothing will happen."

I opened the beer and had a swig. I wasn't sure where she was going with this. I knew the magic stuff was bogus, but I had no idea what she actually had in mind.

Kelly's expression shifted from the pout to one of those 'innocent smiles' that you know's going to lead to trouble.

"I'll make it worth your while? Let me use magic on you, make you a girl for a little while. And whether it works or not, I promise you two nights of the best sex you've ever had."

I rolled my eyes a little, but I had to admit that sounded like a pretty good arrangement. I knew there was no such thing as real magic, so whatever she was up to it sounded like I'd win regardless.

Finally I sighed, "Ok fine, it's a deal. Go ahead and prove it to me, and I promise not to make fun of you when nothing happens."

That sly smile was back again and she said "Great! Ok put the beer down for now so you don't drop it. I'm going to turn you into a girl, and I promise nobody will recognize you, no-one will have any idea it's really you."

I rolled my eyes and had another gulp of beer. Finally I set the bottle down next to the sofa and sighed, "There. I'm ready, do your hocus-pocus stuff."

She beamed at me and the look of excitement in her eyes gave me a slight chill. I watched as she grabbed her purse and dug something out of it. Then she stood up and moved to stand directly in front of me.

Now I could see what she'd taken from her purse. It was some sort of necklace. There was a chunk of purple crystal in a silver setting, hanging from a length of black cord.

She held the necklace out, "Here, put this on."

I took it from her with a sigh. I slipped it over my head and looked down as it settled against my t-shirt, just above my chest. "Now what?"

Kelly grinned, "Now magic!"

Before I could say anything else she raised her right hand toward me and started whispering some strange words. At least I assume they were words, I couldn't quite make them out and what I did hear didn't make any sense to me.

Her little performance only lasted about fifteen seconds, then it was over.

I rolled my eyes, "Ok, that was -" The words caught in my throat as her brilliant green eyes seemed to flash with light.

The crystal around my neck started glowing, and I looked down at it. A little filament of light arced upwards out of it and connected with my forehead, and I felt a wave of dizziness. A few more little strands of light emerged from the crystal and down into my chest.

Then just like that, all the weird glowing light was gone. It all just blinked away as if someone flipped a switch.

I let out a sigh and looked at my girlfriend. "What the fuck Kelly! What was that?!"

Then everything around me dissolved into sparkling light.

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