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Side Effects - Continued

Heather remembered being taught in nursing school that it was wrong morally and professionally to date a patient; that would be taking advantage of a vulnerable person. She didn't think much of it at the time, assuming it would be easy enough to resist temptation. After all, she planned to work with the mentally ill, and how could that possibly be sexy? However, that was before she did her rotation on the psychiatric ward and realized the men there were just as attractive as anywhere else, maybe even more so because she often got to watch them gain weight, a common side effect of the medications.

Now she faced a serious challenge. She had hoped her attraction to John would fade after he was gone from the hospital, but instead her drive to see him was getting stronger. For weeks she debated between her logical self that told her not to take the risk, and her emotional self that had to have him no matter what. She found she was no longer pleased with the average looking guys and their modest weight gains, not after watching the most handsome man she'd ever met put on over 60 pounds. She thought of him constantly, reviewing every memory she had until she had no choice but to look for him. Besides, wasn't it his idea in the first place? He seemed to be stable enough to make such a decision, didn't he?

The day she turned 21 she started going to the bar he'd mentioned, planning to go every day at varying times until she found success. She went alone because friends would only be a hindrance and push her in the direction of the scrawny boys they liked. She tried to convince herself she was just curious about how John was doing, she really had no intention of fattening him up and making love to him!

At first she felt awkward at a bar, then she realized she had her pick of the men and that relaxed her. She brushed off advances from quite a few physically fit guys, amused by their confused looks when she didn't jump into their arms. After a couple weeks she started to worry that she'd waited too long and lost track of her prey. She even worried that she'd been imagining things when she thought she saw an invitation. After all, if he'd been that serious, why didn't he just give her his number? Even worse, he might be off his medications and losing his mind again.

When she finally saw him she literally gasped with a combination of intense relief and excitement. First she recognized him by the way he often stood with his arms folded over his chest; with his superior posture and height it was an intimidating stance. Immediately she checked that he still had a belly, although she noted there was plenty of room for growth. For the longest time she sat at the bar and observed him playing pool. It was obvious from the way he shifted his weight that he was not yet accustomed to having even a moderate gut but he was moving easier than the last time she saw him. When he left the hospital he'd been getting fat, but now he looked more like an athlete on a particularly lengthy and decadent off-season. Heather was almost disappointed but something about the way he unconsciously stroked his own paunch at times led her to believe he might be persuaded to at least gain back what he lost. So much for the idea of just seeing how he's doing! She thought she must be crazy herself to have such a scheme in mind.

He was even more stunning than she remembered and her memories of him were already heart stopping. Something about his energy made him the focus of the room and she noticed other women sneaking glances at him. Heather figured they were probably overlooking his round stomach to notice his shapely muscles and wavy sun streaked hair. She was almost too overwhelmed to approach but she reminded herself he'd already shown interest in her and forced herself to go to him. She couldn't think of what to say but he smiled so warmly when he saw her, she knew she'd done the right thing.

“Hey, it's good to see you. Heather, right?” John broke the silence with his deep, purring voice.

“Good to see you too.” She thought her own voice sounded like a squeak, but he didn't seem to mind. Soon they were making small talk over a game of pool. Heather hated pool and she hated small talk but with John it was incredible. He kept trying to give her much-needed tips, standing so close that the swell of his stomach pressed into her seductively. She could feel that it was still soft and round as it yielded to the slightest pressure. He seemed casual and unaware of it, as he appeared absorbed as well in admiring Heather's body.

Heather suggested they share a pitcher of beer, as she was getting so aroused she could barely stand. She couldn't wait to see what John's appetite was like as she ordered enough food for four people, intending to eat very little herself. She slowly nibbled at her food and just as she hoped, John took over and he ate and drank constantly without thinking twice. It was distracting admiring his ability to gorge on high fat foods but she tried hard to listen. She loved to hear his stories of past athletic achievements while his belly seemed to expand before her eyes. She tried not to stare as it heaved with the effort of breathing and stretched the shirt that clung tightly to his curves.

“I ate way too much. You should stop me when I do that, I can't get away with it anymore.” He ran his hand over his full stomach.

“What do you mean?” She asked innocently, ordering another pitcher of beer to finish while they waited for the meal to settle.

“I gained so much weight from those medications I have to be really careful. By the way, your hospital scales run almost 10 pounds under, I was pushing 260 when I got home. I was disgusted I couldn't even begin to put on my clothes so I've been on a strict diet ever since.”

“That's great.” She lied, “I can really tell.”

“It seemed like I lost 20 pounds in just a couple weeks, but then nothing no matter what I do. It's a struggle maintaining this weight, actually. The medications make me hungry all the time and too tired to work out much. It's about impossible to get used to it.”

“I was worried you would quit the medications the first chance you got.”

“Don't think I'm not tempted. I could lose all the extra weight almost overnight and be as active as I want. I just don't think I can risk ending up in the hospital again.”

“No, it isn't worth it. It's great to see you doing so well. Besides, you really aren't much overweight.” She tried to be supportive without revealing her preferences.

“Maybe not to most people, but to me it's a lot. The worst part is people see me and think I'm just weak. They're always giving me advice on how to lose weight. I can't tell them why I have no control over it, unless I want them to know about my illness, and I don't.”

“You know you can talk to me about anything.”

“I hoped so. You've seen me through my worst already and you're still here.”

John and Heather fell into a relationship quickly, spending much of their time together eating out or sleeping together. Sex was even better than she could have imagined; that giving bulk pinning her to the bed showed her what had been missing in her previous lovers. She didn't feel she could tell him though; it was still too strange even for her to accept. She only hoped she was subtle when she wrapped her arm around his lower back to feel his rounded sides or when she ran her hands over his strong shoulders to his softening chest. She went out of her way to seem like she was indifferent to his belly, only touching it in passing. She didn't want him getting scared off by her unconventional desires.

Heather intended to trick John into gaining more weight than ever with a threefold attack. First she insisted he take her out to eat frequently, not telling him it was only because she loved to watch him eat until he burst out of his clothes, especially in public. She would order twice as much food as she wanted, expecting him to help her, and he always did make sure nothing was wasted. He never seemed to notice that he was basically eating everything.

Secondly, although they weren't living together, Heather decided to take over John's kitchen, sneaking in high fat ingredients when she cooked for him and baking desserts he'd feel obligated to eat. She visited almost every day and stocked his shelves with fattening snacks and beer. He had a tendency to overindulge in beer anyway, so all Heather had to do was bring them to him. She gradually got him used to having a six pack every night. On some level she was a little concerned that he drank so much, but it was doing wonders for his belly. In no time his stomach had grown into a nice sphere that preceded him when he entered a room.

Third, she wanted John to maintain his muscle and strength, that way he would be less likely to complain about being so heavy, or even notice it, knowing him. She encouraged him to continue lifting weights but whenever he planned to do anything aerobic Heather suddenly got desperately horny to distract him. He fell for it every time, ditching the exercise to exert himself in a different way.

Heather rewarded his compliance with more and more sex and John seemed to make an unconscious connection; he didn't need much encouragement to get lazy and forget his diet. If he noticed he was barely working out at all anymore and that all his lost weight had returned he didn't complain. Heather wondered what he was thinking after he'd worked so hard to lose weight but she was afraid to say anything and jinx the trend. She even got aroused as she shopped for larger sizes that would keep him comfortable and unaware as he got heavier. He actually believed that his laundry detergent was suddenly shrinking his clothes!

After several months John finally realized that he'd gained some weight but he was really shocked to find he was nearing 290 pounds, one hundred-pounds more than he weighed when he started the medications. Heather was quietly pleased that he continued to blame just the pills, hoping that meant he didn't notice her part in changing his habits. He apologized for letting it happen and promised to change. At first she was worried, but then she decided he could afford to lose a few pounds and still be overweight (and ready to gain again).

John started and quit several exercise programs before suggesting they start hiking together; it was one of the few things he could still do at his weight, plus he could show Heather some of the rock climbs he used to do. She didn't discourage him from aerobic work anymore now that his weight had reached her secret goal. At this point it would take so much energy and discipline to get back in shape, the sedating medications would never allow it. Then when she saw how much he ate after a day in the mountains, she knew he wouldn't lose weight like that anyway; of course, she wasn't going to tell him.

While the nature views were impressive, Heather was much more interested in watching John's expanded beer belly in action, another unexpected benefit of the hikes. When he walked uphill she could see it brush his thigh when the ground got steep enough. The downhill hike was even better, the way his stomach jostled with gravity, its movement working his shirt loose where it had been tucked in, just barely reaching. His solid legs and hips supported his heavy paunch fairly easily but he had to pause frequently to stretch his aching and overloaded lower back.

“I can't believe I was running this trail last year,” he panted as he barely completed a hike. Admirably, he always finished what he started even if he spent more time resting and snacking than actually moving. He liked to show her rock climbs he'd done as they walked past them and Heather didn't have to exaggerate to be suitably impressed. She looked up at overhanging routes that continued into the clouds and understood for the first time what John was giving up to control his manic illness. She really felt guilty for being an even worse influence on him but at the same time the thought that he couldn't dream of doing those climbs again excited her more than ever.

On one of their hikes Heather noticed a young couple with climbing equipment whispering to each other when they saw John. They must have been acquaintances he didn't want to see, as he tried to turn away from them but it was too late. They seemed to recognize him and they approached with curious expressions.

“John, is that you?” The female was blond with a long distance runner's physique and the tension between the two indicated they must have slept together at some point. John already told Heather that before he met her he always had several girlfriends at once without committing to any of them; naturally they always ended up hating him. “The rumor was you gained a little weight but I wasn't expecting this.”

“I'm working on it,” John tried to defend himself.

“What, making your belly bigger?” She peeked under his shirt and patted his bloated stomach before he could stop her. “I just wanted to see if it's real and as huge as it looks. What happened to you?”

“Don't worry about me, Michelle.”

“I'm just surprised, that's all. I never imagined you would get fat, you were always such a natural athlete.” Michelle shook her head in disapproval and true disbelief, “Dan didn't believe me when I said it was you. He's always been so jealous of you.”

“Looks like I don't have to worry about it anymore. That gut would bounce you off the rock if you tried to climb now.” Dan chose that moment to strip off his own shirt to display his defined torso, bulging with wiry muscles. Heather knew that John missed being able to take his shirt off in hot weather but he felt he'd gotten so big it would be obscene for him to go topless.

“He wouldn't be able to see past that tummy to find the footholds either,” Michelle added.

“That's enough, I know I've gotten heavy. You can tell everyone I got a girlfriend and let myself go.” John squeezed Heather's shoulders, pressing her closer into his billowing stomach before they continued on their way.

“They don't seem to like you very much,” she observed when they were out of hearing range.

“No, I was always pretty arrogant and I alienated a lot of people, I guess. They like to see that I have a weakness now.”

“What's that?” She smiled at him, so aroused the hiking was a little uncomfortable for her as well.

“Having a huge gut is a weakness, Heather. I'm starting to think I should take my chances without those medications.”

“Why, because of a couple rude people?” She stopped him so he could look in her eyes. “Don't you care what I think?”

“More than you know.”

“Well, I think you are perfect the way you are.” Heather admitted. “I might as well tell you, I've loved watching you put on weight; ever since I first met you I wanted to see you like this.” She ran her hand over his plump chest to his ballooning stomach. He looked surprised but not shy in the least; in fact he looked as comfortable as if he'd been fat his entire adult life and it suited him well. “I hope you aren't mad at me.”

“Why would I be? I don't enjoy worrying about my weight. If you like me better fat, it's easier on me. Be sure to tell me if I get to the point I'm not attractive to you though. That is all that matters to me.”

Did that mean he might let himself get even bigger? She didn't know how much more John could gracefully carry, but it looked like they might find out together.