The Looking Glass

bySon_of_Battles©

This story contains Crossdressing, themes of Gender Fluidity, Exhibitionism, and Voyeurism. If any of this sounds unappealing to you, I welcome you to leave and find something more to your liking. This story is a submission for the 'Love The One You're With' Quarantine Story Event. Please take a second to rate after you finish reading.

Thank you to Skye4Life for her help in editing, and thank you to Insert25₵ and Outdoorsman5287

The Looking Glass

I've never done Heroin. I've never even been tempted. You hear all the time about how easy it is to become addicted, and how it can ruin your life. That knowledge alone has been sufficient to dissuade any thoughts of ever trying it. If I'd known that it wasn't only drugs that could suck you down the rabbit hole, upending your life forever, I would have never gone snooping around in Kelsey's flat. Hell, I would have never left the States, and stayed tucked up nice and safe in New Mexico. If only I'd known.

Like most things, it all started with a phone call.

"Luke? Are you there? Can you hear me?" Kelsey's voice burst through the speakers of my cell phone as I juggled it between my fumbling hands. "Luke?"

"Yeah, just a second!" I replied, slinging my bookbag back onto my shoulder before bringing the phone to my ear. "Sorry, what's up Kelz?"

"Hey, Cuz!" Kelsey said warmly. "What are you up to?"

Wincing at her choice of words, I answered. "Not much. Just finishing up my mid-terms. And I hate it when you call me that."

"What, you don't like being my cousin?" she asked sweetly. "I thought you liked me."

I could actually see her pouty face through the phone. Oh, I liked her all right. That was what made it so weird when she called me Cuz. Our fathers had been best friends since high school, and her dad had always been Uncle Jack to me, but ever since I could remember I'd had a crush on Kelsey. It was a crush that she seemed ever oblivious to, and whenever she called me her cousin it felt like she was driving a very solid wedge between us and my hopes for something more.

"What's going on?" I asked in a brighter tone as I suppressed a sigh. "I thought you were too busy for the likes of us lowborn mortals, what with you running away to Paris to become all successful and shit."

"I might have been a bit busy over the last couple of years, but I'll never be too good for my family," she said, pushing that wedge in just a little deeper. "And it's London, I'll have you know."

"Oh, London!" I mocked, affecting a horrible British accent. "My apologies to the Queen."

"I'll see if I can get you a pardon the next time we have tea," she shot back easily. "The reason I'm calling is, I was thinking of you quite a bit over the last couple of weeks."

"Really?" I asked, trying hard to mask my delight at the thought.

"Yup," she replied matter-of-factly. "I remembered that you're in college and realized that your spring break should be coming up."

"In about a week," I said, taking a moment to dodge a coed with her thumbs glued to her smartphone. "What about it?"

"I was thinking you might like to catch a flight down here for the holiday. There is a lot of cool stuff you could see, and the drinking age is 18. What do you say?"

"That would be awesome!" I thought out loud before remembering my bank balance. Then continuing in a more somber tone, "I don't know though. I don't really think I can afford it right now."

"You wouldn't have to worry about a hotel," she offered enticingly. "You can stay at my flat."

Staying with Kelsey would have made any vacation a hundred times better, even if nothing ever happened between us, and it physically hurt to tell her the truth and put an end to any thought of it. "I don't even think I'd be able to afford the plane ticket," I said honestly. "Not this last minute anyway."

"Humm," she thought. "I can use some of my miles," she offered after a few moments of silence. "I've got a ton of them saved up from traveling for work. All you would need is a few hundred to party with."

"Wow, really?" I asked. "You'd do all that just to see me?"

"About that..." she began awkwardly. "I'm not gonna be there. I have a work thing in Prague, so you would have the flat to yourself. But I figured it would work out nicely for you though," she said quickly. "You know, if you find a girl, you can bring her back and dazzle her with how huge your...apartment is." she finished with a slight giggle.

Just when I thought she might finally be coming to her senses... Well, I should have figured. To her, we would always just be family. Still, a free trip to England seemed like a great idea, and I would have been a fool to pass it up under any circumstances.

"Is there a chance that you will be back in London before I would have to leave?" I asked hopefully, but already knowing my answer.

"Umm. Maybe," she said thoughtfully. "It might be tight, but we might have a few hours...a day at the most. Does this mean you're coming?"

"Yeah," I told her. "I'm coming."

"Great!" her voice beamed. "I'll buy your plane ticket tonight and email you the info."

"Thanks, Kelz."

"Don't mention it, Luke," she replied. "I feel like I dropped the ball on your whole high school graduation gift, so I hope this makes it better."

"And then some," I assured her.

Before I even made it back home from campus, I had received an email from Kelsey with my flight information and a link to my E-Ticket inside. I was still a little bummed that she hadn't been inviting me to London so we could hang out and she could accidentally realize that she had the hots for me. That would have really been hoping for too much, but despite that I was still excited. I'd never been outside of New Mexico, and barely ever outside of Santa Fe. A chance to go to London for free felt unreal.

Skipping past the pleasantries with my parents, I rushed through the front door and upstairs to my bedroom, slamming the door behind me in my excitement as I fired up my computer and began looking up things to do in London and the surrounding areas. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Tower of London were on the list for sure, but the thing I was most looking forward to were the bars, and the kind of trouble every teenage boy looks for on vacation, or at home for that matter—sex of course.

Later that evening when I hopped out of the shower before dinner, I took a long look at myself in the mirror and regretted neglecting that gym membership my mom had gotten me for my birthday last summer. I had been meaning to put some muscle on my body, but with school and a part time job, I'd only seen the inside of the gym a half a dozen times in the last six months. Staring at my scrawny frame, I tried flexing my muscles in an attempt to look more manly, but the effort failed miserably. I looked thin and lanky...everywhere but my ass, that was. Years of climbing up and down the stairs at my house, as well as the schools I attended, had seen fit to sculpt it into something firm and shapely.

At dinner I announced to my parents my plans to go to London for spring break.

"That sounds like a great Idea," my dad said, clapping his hand on my shoulder as he took his seat beside me at the head of the table. "You and Kelsey haven't gotten the chance to see each other in some time. How is she doing by the way?"

"She's good. She told me she has a big fancy flat downtown," I said, purposely forgetting to mention that Kelsey wouldn't even be on the same land mass as me. I might have been old enough to fight for my country, or vote, but my parents still wouldn't have let me go to another country without supervision.

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Mom asked, concerned. "Isn't there that Croney thing going around over there?"

"That's in China," I said quickly, hoping she wouldn't say no.

"I heard something about someone dying from it in Italy just today," she said. "Maybe you should wait until this all dies down a bit."


"Italy is like a thousand miles away, Mom," I insisted. "And it's just the flu. I've had the flu before. It's nothing I can't sleep off if it comes to that."

"It's supposed to be more than just a flu," Mom began before dad cut her off.

"Relax, Hun," he said giving me a knowing smile. "I'm sure Luke will be fine. Besides, Kelsey will be there to take care of him," he added with a subtle wink to me that I hoped our mother had not seen.

I had never told anyone about my little crush on Kelsey, but my dad had seemed to know the moment that I did. He never mentioned it out loud, but he never stood in the way whenever Kelsey and I wanted to hang out, even when I was supposed to be in trouble. Deep down I always knew she was way out of my league, but my father never seemed to notice, always giving me that subtle encouragement while never speaking a word on the subject, so as not to embarrass me. A good dad.

"Well, you double check that she has all of our numbers just as soon as you get off the plane," My mother insisted.

"She has them," I assured her, "but I'll make sure," I added when I saw that she was about to press the matter. As far as I could see, she was the only potential obstacle, and I wanted to stay ahead of that if I could.

The next ten minutes of dinner passed in patches of awkward silence as I pushed my peas around my plate with my fork and nibbled on a few pieces of potato. All the while, my father kept giving me knowing smirks that flirted with that delicate line we had established about not embarrassing me about Kelsey.

After sitting with them for the bare minimum amount of time required to maintain good manners, I excused myself to go back up to my room. I still had a few more tests to cram for before I was London bound in a week. My books sat neglected though. As stupid as I knew it was, I found myself face down on my floor trying to squeeze out a measly ten pushups. There was no way any work I did now would make a noticeable difference in only a week, but that wasn't going to prevent me from trying.

With Kelsey out of town, my prospects with her were zero, but that didn't mean I couldn't try my hand at the local watering holes. Everyone always talked about how European girls go crazy for American guys. As much as I wanted Kelsey, it wasn't like I was desperately obsessed with her. It was more of a lustful longing from a distance. Besides, I was only human...and male. I'd had my first taste of sex after my senior prom, and I was instantly hooked. I'll admit, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it beforehand. The only thing I had to compare it to was masturbation, and I'd been practicing that at least twice a day since puberty, but I have to say, sex with another person definitely wins out in a contest. Hell, I'd take bad sex over good masturbation, and I'm sure any other guy would agree.

By the time I made it up off the floor and into my bed for the night, I had managed forty pushups, and I had a painful erection from thinking about hot spring break sex with British girls. My arms felt like jelly, but that didn't stop me from wrapping my fingers around my cock and stroking with the last ounces of energy I had left. As horny as I was though, and as hot as those British girls in my imagination were, I still fell asleep long before my climax.

The next week passed slowly and painfully, both mentally and physically. With my excitement from my impending trip, each day seemed to drag out, milking every last second from the clock. Between last minute cram sessions for midterms and finishing up a few last-minute assignments, I still found time to squeeze in my futile work outs.

As the day of my last two classes neared, my mother's worrisome nature seemed to be going into overload. Nearly every hour she would call or send another text, mentioning that "Croney thing" that she'd been hearing about, and wondering if I thought it would be better to put off my trip. I loved her, but sometimes she worried entirely too much. Sure, you could die from a flu, but only if you didn't take care of yourself, or you were really young or really old. Everyone knew that. Every year a new flu strain came along, and every year it passed. This one would be no different.

Even with my mind filled with thoughts of my upcoming trip, by some stroke of magic I managed to pull off all A's and B's in my midterm exams. As good as if felt to be thriving in my first year of college, I barely paused to celebrate when my last grade came in. The only flight Kelsey could book was for early Friday morning, and I now had less than twelve hours to finish packing and get to the airport.

I arrived at the airport in the wee hours of the morning, three hours before my flight, determined not to miss it. My first time in a plane, and thoughts of my eventual destination, were enough to keep me pretty amped. This trip was going to be the highlight of my life, I could just feel it.

*** *** ***

My first day in London was a waste. I landed at Heathrow Airport at 3am local time, and after fumbling through customs and baggage claim, I managed to find a cab to take me to Kelsey's flat downtown. I tried to be excited about being in a new country, but I felt so sleep deprived that I couldn't summon the energy. By the time I made it through the front door of her apartment the sun was finally rising, and the light was spilling in through a wall of windows that faced the street.

Telling myself that I would only need a short nap before I was good to go, I fell onto the bed, fully clothed, and pulled the thick comforter over my face to block out the light.

When I finally woke again, it was dark. I checked my phone, and I'd slept away the entire day. It was nearly midnight. Realizing I had wasted my first day, I tried to go back to sleep for a few hours to help shift my internal clock, but it wasn't happening. I was fully awake, and the gears in my mind were already turning, imagining all the cool things I could be doing in only a few hours.

Ripping back the blankets, I sat up and took my first real look around. The flat wasn't massive or anything, but it was still impressive. It was basically one large room, with the exception of a closet and a criminally small bathroom that left the old-fashioned claw foot tub sitting against the wall outside of it. The modern kitchen flowed seamlessly into the living room, and the living room into the bedroom. The large queen-sized bed, with its black and silver blankets and pillows, sat oddly place right in front of the wall of windows that looked out toward a beautiful building with fanciful carvings across the street. I could only guess that Kelsey wanted to wake up to that view every morning. All in all, she really had made something of herself to be able to afford such an amazing place.

With sleep a known impossibility, I crawled out of bed to find something to eat. The last thing I'd had was the inflight meal, and it spoke volumes of the troubled times airline companies were experiencing. I wasn't sure what Kelsey would mind me eating from her fridge, so I limited myself to coffee until I could go shopping.

As I sipped the delicious Italian roast, I wondered where the hell I was going to find groceries. I knew there had to be stores, but I honestly didn't have a clue what I was doing in a strange country. After I realized that google could help me, it made my life seem a little easier and I moved on to more important conundrums, like do they still call it Italian roast in Italy, or is it just coffee?

Morning came closer, and I decided to get a jump on the day since I was already up. I went to take a bath in the claw foot tub that sat against the wall near the door to the closet-like bathroom. Having not taken a bath since I'd been four, it felt strange to be sitting submerged in the warm water as I scrubbed my body with a loofa. It wasn't until the water was draining, and I was standing on the hard wood floor drying myself off, that I realized I was in full view of anyone who might be awake in the building across the street.

Blushing, I pulled the towel against my body, quickly fumbling to get it around my waist. Stepping lightly, I moved toward the windows to close the curtains. Before I got there I noticed something else, there were no curtains. Holding the towel tightly at my waist, I searched either side of the room, still dripping water everywhere, looking for some contraption or hidden whatchamacallit that contained blinds or something else that covered the windows. I even looked toward the ceiling to see if they dropped down, but I found nothing. Despite it being one of the older buildings, the flat seemed to be renovated into a more modern style, so I was sure I was missing some trick, but for the moment I was stymied. Giving up, I pulled some fresh clothing from a suitcase and went into the cramped bathroom to change.

*** *** ***

"Did you get in okay?" Kelsey asked later that morning before I headed out to explore the city. "I tried calling yesterday but you never answered."

"Yeah, I'm here," I said. "I passed out after the flight and didn't wake up until about midnight."

"I figured," she laughed. "That happens to me a lot with work. They send me all over the place, and that first day is usually wasted from the brunt of the jetlag. It's only one day though. You still have a ton of time to see everything."

"I'm sure I will," I said. "Uh...speaking of seeing everything, how do I close the blinds in your apartment?"

"Oh...I uh... I guess I don't have any," she said.

"How do you not have blinds?" I asked. "Your bathtub is basically in your living room."

"I like to think of it as part of the bedroom, thank you very much," she said with a bit of snark. "And to be honest, I'm not there all that much. I only moved in a few months ago, and all together I've probably only been there for three weeks of that. With work being so busy, I never got around to having curtains or blinds installed."

"You just take baths right where everyone can see you?" I asked, unable to stop the image forming in my mind of watching her from one of those windows across the street as she soaped her naked body, kneeling in the tub as she poured water over those small perky breasts, washing away the foam. My cock began to grow at the thought.

"I normally use the dressing blinds," she said, intruding on my imagination.

"Dressing blinds?" I asked, looking around for something that might fit that name.

"Yeah, it's the little foldy thing. It should be leaning against the wall near the tub," she said. After a moment of silence on my part she added, "Think fancy Asian folding screen."

"Oh!" I exclaimed as I finally noticed it. It wasn't exactly next to the tub; it was sitting further down the wall by the window. I had even leaned it out of the way while I was looking for some sort of switch to work the nonexistent blinds earlier. "That might make things slightly less awkward."

"Maybe just slightly," she mused with a chuckle.

"Hey, before I forget," I said quickly. "What's the deal with your refrigerator?"

"Uh...it keeps things cold..." she said awkwardly.

"No, what I mean is, can I eat things from it?" I asked. "I can replace the stuff...If I can find it somewhere around here. I don't recognize half of what's in there."

"Eat whatever you want," Kelsey offered automatically. "And don't worry about replacing the food. Everything in the fridge usually goes bad before I get back from a trip anyway. If you get into my wine though, you will have to replace that," she added.

"I don't think you'll have to worry about that." I assured her, my eyes scanning the impressive wine rack hanging on the wall near her kitchen area. "Give me a cold beer over wine any day."

"That works out great for me then," she said. "Well, you probably want to go adventuring, so I'll leave you alone. If you get lost, or need anything, you can call or text me any time."

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