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I’m a Giant. Well, I’m Almost a Giant.
Before I could grow to the usual ten feet most giants reach, a fey queen offered me a potion to stunt my growth.
And it worked.
Now I’m living my best life in the human realm. Yes, I’m six and a half feet tall, but I’m passing as human and I’ve landed my dream job as a lawyer.
Best of all, I’m dating my sexy new co-worker who doesn’t mind that I’m an inch taller than him or that I’m a virgin (not that I plan on keeping that label for long).
But all of my perfect plans for the future are suddenly in jeopardy when the fey queen who controls the potion forces me to defend a troll in a murder case who uses glamor to appear human.
Now, I’ll have to carefully maneuver my way around a series of lies to keep my secret, my job, my boyfriend, and my perfectly normal life.
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Tessa’s stepped into her house just as the school bus roared down the street. Her heart sank when she noticed the door was unlocked and her mother’s handbag was on the couch. This was a rare day that she hadn’t been assigned any homework, and Tessa had planned on spending her afternoon of eating junk food and playing video games until her parents came home from work.
She kicked off one of the black, patent leather shoes in the middle of the living room and made her way to the kitchen. Despite her 5 foot 10” height, she’d begged her mom for the high heeled shoes to wear for career day. All women lawyers wore heels. So Tessa insisted on wearing them too. And for once, her mother had lamented.
The other shoe hit the wall with a loud thud after she flipped it off. “Oops,” Tessa grimaced around, wondering if her mother had heard that. After a few seconds of silence, she thanked God and shrugged off the hot, suit jacket she’d worn to match her pencil skirt.
Career day had been perfect. Everyone had known exactly what she was when she stepped into the classroom. Okay well not everyone; a few knuckleheads thought she was dressed as a teacher or a librarian, which was ridiculous because she had never seen any teacher or librarian looked as good as she did with a blue pencil skirt, a matching jacket, and white blouse. With her usually curly hair flat ironed and curled he had to admit that she looked amazing and grown up and classy.
Unfortunately, the hot, twenty-minute bus ride had turned her straightened hair into a curly mess and blouse and jacket two very large, smelly sweat stains on the armpit.
She made her way through the living room to the kitchen. Tessa had not been eating bread as a way to prevent her hips (and boobs) from getting any bigger so, she had taken out the meat out of her hamburger at lunch, and she was starving.
Tessa gasped and placed her hand on her chest when she saw that both of her parents were sitting in the kitchen as still as statues staring at an old leather book on the table. “Y’all about gave me a heart attack what are you doing in the kitchen?”
They were both dressed in their work clothes. Jake Rice was a construction manager for the city. There was a hole at the bottom of his button-down plaid shirt. Holly Rice did secretarial work as a secretary at the University of Oklahoma, and she wore a pair of loose pants and a black t-shirt with flats.
Instead of answering Tessa’s question, they looked at each other and frowned. Her dad stood, leaned against the counter, folded his arms across his chest, and proceeded to stare at bits of tar on his work boots. That meant whatever was about to go down would be led by momma.
“Momma, what’s going on? Did somebody die?” Tessa asked, her earlier hunger forgotten.
“Sit.” Tessa’s mother motioned towards the chair her dad had just vacated.
Hesitantly, Tessa did as she was told. She felt like she was on the brink of crying, but she had no idea why. Her father still had his head down, but instead of staring at his shoes he was looking at luggage near the back door.
“Momma, what’s going on? Are you and dad getting a divorce?” As far as she knew they were happy together. But what if they were hiding their problems from her? “What are those bags for?”
“No, baby. No one has died, and your dad and I are fine.” Her mother had wrinkles in the corner of eyes and around her lips that were not there yesterday. It looked like she had aged five years overnight. “All three of us are taking a trip.”
Tessa cocked a brow in suspicion. They never traveled. “Where are we going?”
“We’re going to see your grandparents,” Holly Rice answered.
“Wow. Really?!” Her parents talked about their parents constantly, but Tessa had never met them. She didn’t even know where they lived. The only thing they would tell her was that they lived too far away and it was too expensive to get there.
“But…” Tessa said, coming to her senses. “It’s the middle of the week. I have a test tomorrow.” She wasn’t sure seeing her long lost grandparents warranted losing her number one class ranking. “How long are we going to be gone? We need to get my class work if…”
“I need you to slow down and listen.” Holly Rice grabbed her daughter’s arm, her grip digging into Tessa’s skin. “Your homework and ranking won’t matter because we are not coming back.”
Tessa chuckled, hoping her mom and dad would start laughing along with her. But her father continued to stare at the ground, and her mother stared at Tessa like someone was dead or dying… “Do you have cancer?” Tessa blurted out.
“No. Just listen. Have you ever wondered why you’re so much taller than everyone you know?”
“I’m a thirteen-year-old girl. We mature faster than boys. Everyone knows that. You tell me that all the time.” Her mother also told strangers they meet in the grocery story, the mall, and at the gas station when they gaped and had to mention that Tessa was the tallest girls they had ever seen.
“You’re the tallest girl by far. You’re taller than your father and me.”
“I’m tall. So what?”
Her mom pushed the leather bound book from the center of the table and towards Tessa. It was dusty and smelled of mothballs. As Holly turned the pages, they crinkled loudly from stiffness.
“These are your grandparents,” Holly pointed to the pictures inside of the book. “This is my mother and father.” she pointed to a light-skinned woman. “This is my father,” she said pointing to a caramel colored man. He was almost twice his wife’s height.
“He’s tall.” Tessa ran her hands over the image. “Like me.”
Her mother nodded and turned the page. “This is your father’s family.” She pointed to another couple. The man looked just like her dad. The woman was a few inches shorter than her husband. They were both tall.
“You have his mother’s smile,” Holly said, pointing at a dark-skinned woman. Her kinky hair was wrapped in a bun atop of her head.
Tessa ran her finger along the picture. “She’s beautiful.” Suddenly the thought of missing a few days of school wasn’t looking so bad. Grandparents were legendary for spoiling their grandkids, right?
“Everyone but my mother are giants.” Crazy, abnormally tall, but Tessa, deciding to be polite, didn’t bring up that last point.
“Yeah, they’re tall,” Tessa agreed.
“They are more than tall. They are scary tall. They are the kind of tall that scares most people. The kind of tall that scares the sanity out of most people.”
Her father quickly approached the table. “You are a giant. You come from a long line of giants.” His voice was strained and impatient as if he could no longer stay silent.
“Just because they’re tall doesn’t mean they’re giants. That’s kinda crazy, Dad,” Tessa chuckled.
“It’s not safe here for you, and we have to leave. That’s why our bags are packed.” He was calmer now, his tone even.
Tessa didn’t understand. “Are you trying to tell me that you aren’t my parents, because I look just like you, Dad.”
“No, that’s not what we’re trying to say.” He looked away, exasperated.
Tessa was losing patience. She couldn’t comprehend anything they were saying. They were speaking crazy talk. She was smart. Dammit! She was the smartest person in her class. And they were talking about giants. How could she be a giant? That was ridiculousness. Giants aren’t even real.
“Wait a minute. Are there cameras hidden somewhere? Am I being filmed?” She forced her mouth into a wide smile especially for the hidden cameras.
“It’s time.” Out of nowhere, a small woman with dark, glossy hair and red streak appeared behind in the kitchen.
“Is she part of the TV crew?” Tessa asked, deciding to ignore the fact that the pixie-like woman had appeared out of thin air and she had pointed ear. It must have been part of the show.
“She didn’t believe you?” The woman walked further into the kitchen as if she belonged there.
“No,” her father and mother answered in unison.
“They never believe,” the pixie-like woman replied.
Her father walked over to the luggage. “Time to go, Tessa.”
“Who are you?” Tess tried to give her best smile for the camera. She should have kept her jacket and high heels on.
“I’m Queen Isis. I’m here to take you home.”
“Queen Isis,” Tessa said with a strained smile looking over at her mom. “I’m already home.”
“Jake, Holly, are you ready?” Queen Isis asked, ignoring Tess.
Her parents walked to Tessa and stood on either side of her. “Yes, we’re ready.” They grabbed her hand.
“Where are we going?” Tessa fought the urge the pull her hands away.
This woman who dubbed herself Queen Isis walked over and stood directly in front of Tessa. This close, she could see the woman had long sharp teeth canines and pupils that were a little too large to be normal. She smelled of earth after a spring rain. An intense fear of this woman–this queen– rooted itself in Tessa’s gut. “We’re going home.” The so-called queen put her hands on Tessa’s arm, and the world disappeared.
Ten years later….
Tessa placed the last moving box on her brand new marble countertop. “That’s the last of it! I’m officially moved in.” She couldn’t help but beam. It felt like her birthday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July all wrapped up into one day.
“Woohoo!” Peony came into the kitchen holding a glass of gin and orange juice. “Party time!” she said, lifting the glass above her head and shimmying her shoulders. Peony wore jeans and flip flops. She had probably moved one box the entire day. Instead, she had sat on the sidelines gossiping and drinking.
“If you spill any of that on my carpets, I’m kicking your ass.”
Her perfect pink lips turned down into a frown. “You think you’re all that don’t you?”
Tessa put her hand on hip and dipped her head. “Yes. Yes, I do.” This apartment, this feeling of accomplishment was ten years in the making. She was going savor every second of it.
Her parents had been right. The ‘giant’ gene that had skipped both of them decided to attack Tessa full on. She had grown half a foot within the first year she arrived in the fey realm.
Lucky for Tessa, Queen Isis and some of her sorcerers were experimenting on a portion to stunt the growth of giants. Her parents didn’t want her to be a part of the experimental trials, but Tessa begged and pleaded until they agreed to let her participate. Tessa had plans, plans that she felt were embedded in her DNA from the day she was born. And none of those plans included being labeled a freak giant or living in an ass-backwards place called the Fey Realm.
While they experimented with the potion, Tessa refused to give up on her plan. After 4 years of homeschooling in the fey realm, she earned a real-live human high school diploma, followed by another four years correspondence courses to get a bachelor’s degree.
There had been drawbacks of the experimental potions, of course: painful acne all over her body, stomach cramps, uncontrollable weight loss one day, uncontrollable weight gain the next week. But most of the side effects had worked out over time. All except the joint pain. The joints in her elbows, knees, and fingers were constantly in pain. A pain she happily suffered through in return for normalcy and a life in the human realm where she belonged.
She had stopped growing five years back, but Queen Isis and her parents refused to let her leave the fey realm until they were 100% sure the potion had worked. Just in time for her to start law school. Queen Isis had finally come up with a formula to stop her growth enough to let her finish the two years it would take her to get a law degree.
Even after no growth for a year, her parents had made her live with them the entire time she was in law school.
She made her way into the living room the glass of brandy, vodka from Peony and plopped on
She plopped on the oversized couch, the only couch that accommodated her 6ft5 bulk. “Where is my drink?” Tessa asked Peony.
“Get it yourself.” Peony sat next to here on the couch. She’d taken off her shoes, and her feet were curled underneath her. Tessa wanted to tell her to get her feet off of the new white leather couch, but she stayed quiet, fighting the need to control everything and be perfect.
Peony was an elf she’d met in the first month of law school. They had known exactly what the other was as soon as they had seen each other in the hair salon near campus. Elves weren’t as tall giants, but they were still taller than most humans. With gaunt cheeks, canine teeth that were sharper than humans, arms a little too long, and torsos a little shorter, they fit in well enough to pass as human. But if you knew what to look for, it was obvious they were a different species.
They had become quick friends after that. Despite being an elf and having short, straight hair, Peony knew how to do box braids, flat iron, and install hair weave, that in itself was worth keeping Peony around.
“Here,” Deidre said, handing Tessa a drink. Tessa had met Deidre through Peony. The three of them became quick friends.
“Ooh wow. How did you know?” Tessa asked jokingly. Deidre was a truthsayer or what some liked to call a prophet. She knew what would happen before it happened. She is super handy to have around. Except most of the time she never told you what would happen. Her motto was, everyone needed to make their own mistakes. But that never stopped Tessa or Peony from asking.
Deidre and Peony had made readjusting to human realm much easier, and she loved them for it.
“Toast time.” Deidre stood and lifted her glass. Tessa and Peony stood and raised her glass.
“To our little giant. After two years of working her ass off, she’s finally gotten everything she’s dreamed of.”
The offices of Strahan and Associates was on the second floor of an up-and-coming shopping center on the edge of downtown Oklahoma City. The local community had lovingly labeled the area Midtown. A pub, that Tessa knew she would be spending lots of time, a sandwich shop, a bakery, and a burger restaurant were on the first floor. A gym and her new job were on the second.
The elevator for the building was out of order, and the stairs rose above her like an insurmountable mountain. In the fey realm, she practically had to walk everywhere. There were no cars, escalators or elevators. Tessa may have been in constant joint pain caused her potion slash medication, but she had at least weighed less. Here with fast food, fancy restaurants, and Uber. She had gained thirty pounds – all in her boobs and hips – and she habitually avoided every single stair known to man.
These stairs were karma personified, staring her down and laughing.
She took off her high-heeled shoes. They were only one of two pairs she could find that fit and were comfortable. But there was no a high-heel created that would make walking up these steep stairs bearable.
A masculine voice cut through Tessa’s trepidation. She turned to see a set of blue eyes looking directly into her own. She almost never got to look directly into a man’s eyes in this realm without looking down, but this guy was almost as tall as she was.
“Do you need some help?” he asked.
It took a moment for Tessa register the question. She was too shocked by his height. She wanted to ask if he was a basketball player, but she quickly dismissed the thought. If she had a dime for every damn human who asked her if she was a basketball player, she’d be a one-thousandaire.
“The elevator is out of order,” Tessa replied, with false bravado.
“You look like you’re in pain,” he mocked with a twinkle in his clear blue eyes. “You want me to carry you?”
“I’m not in pain.” At least she wasn’t in pain yet. Her knees would be screaming after she conquered the steps. There had to be at least fifty. “I’m just lazy and out of shape.”
He ran his gaze down her body and up again. She had to fight the urge to cover herself with her arms. “You look in pretty good shape to me,” he said
Despite herself, she blushed. Was he flirting with her? Before she could think of anything clever or flirtatious to say back, he ran up the stairs. His long, lean legs skipped three steps at a time. His grey cotton joggers were just tight enough to show the outline of a well-shaped ass while he ran.
Once he reached the top, he turned and stared down at her.
“Show off,” Tessa said from the bottom of the stairs. “I could do that if I didn’t have on a skirt.”
He replied with a smile before disappeared into the gym.
“Asshole,” she muttered. I can do it if he can do it. Tessa took a deep breath and did a slow climb up the stairs. It was at a snail’s pace, but she confidently took them three steps at a time.
“Hi. I’m Tessa Williams. I’m here to. . .” Tessa said to the short auburn haired secretary.
“Yeah. I know who you are,” the secretary replied. “I remember you from your interview. I guess you don’t remember me.”
“I remember you. I just — “
“Don’t worry about it. Most people don’t bother to remember the secretary.”
But… I do remember you, Tessa wanted to say to the little waif of a woman, but the secretary was already halfway down the hall, switching her hips, and talking a mile a minute. It only took a couple of strides, and Tessa had caught up. She followed Paige-she remembered the secretary’s name- past the conference room and into the back where there were six offices, three on each side divided by a hallway.
During her interview, Bill the owner of Strahan and Associates had told her it was a new firm looking to expand. Walking down the hall and glimpsing the empty offices, Tessa understood that he had not been exaggerating.
“This is your office.” Page stopped at the last office on the right. “Bill will be here later to explain your duties. Until he returns from court, you can complete your HR forms, health insurance, and 401k. The papers are on your desk.”
“Well okay. Do you have any questions?” Paige asked after a few seconds of awkward silence.
“No… I guess not,” Tessa answered.
Paige turned abruptly and left the room.
What the hell was wrong with her? Tessa wondered. There goes one person I will not be best friends with. Anyway. I’m not going to let that heffa get to me. Tessa turned and took in her office. It wasn’t very big, but it didn’t matter. She had her own office. It wasn’t a cubicle or some type of open space nonsense where everyone was breathing down each other’s necks.
Beige curtains, that were better suited for a retirement home, hung from the lone window. A laptop with a docking station and a monitor sat on the L-shaped desk made from cheap manufactured wood. Two tall bookshelves half filled with law books sat against the wall opposite the desk. The room smelled of dust and abandonment
Don’t worry, she thought, sitting behind the desk. I’ll use you. Tessa knew it was nerdy, but she couldn’t feel excited as she imagined all of the hours of work she and her office were going to have together.
She ran her hands along the surface of the desk and sneezed when a thin layer of dust hit her nostrils.
Having her own office space had been one of the many reasons why she had chosen this firm over the bigger firms that had offered her a job. She could stand out – not that it wasn’t hard for a 6’6” woman to stand out- and she would be thrown into important work quicker. The sooner she was able to skip grunt work and to sink her teeth into big, important cases, the sooner she could start her own firm.
Surprisingly, the chair and the desk were tall enough so that she didn’t have to bend her knees at an awkward angle. But she did have to get two thick law books from the shelf to put under the monitor so she could see the monitor without craning her neck downwards.
Jeremy Simmons ran through double glass doors of Midtown Plaza and almost ran into the tallest woman he had ever seen. And he knew tall women. He played college ball and dated a quarter of the girls’ basketball team.
This woman looked absolutely pissed as she stood in the hallway, looking up at the stairs that led to the second floor where the gym and a few offices were.
The scent of peaches and something salty and sweet surrounded her, making him both hungry and aroused. He shook the last thought away. What was wrong with him? He hadn’t even seen this woman’s face.
“You need some help,” he asked, approaching from behind.
Her warm, brown eyes looked directly into his. She took a second to answer like she hadn’t understood the question. She wore hair in a high bun atop of her head. Her blue skirt was tight around her waist, but the matching jacket was loose, showing off a white floral shirt underneath. The blouse was thin, and he wondered if he looked hard enough if he could see the outline of her bra.
“The elevator is out of order.” She tore her gaze away from him to face her nemesis.
“You look like you’re in pain. You want me to carry you?” He spoke without thinking, but once they were out, he realized he meant every word.
She giggled. The sound of her laughter made his dick jump.
“No, I’m not old and feeble yet. I’m just lazy and out of shape.”
He swept his gaze away from her brown eyes and down the length of her body. She wasn’t skinny, but she definitely wasn’t out of shape. She was curvy, well-proportioned and had an ample amount breast to round out the beautiful ass he’d seen when he’d ran into the building. “You look like you’re in pretty good shape to me.”
Jeremy pushed his workout to the limit, using the maximum weight on all of his lifts in a vein effort to forget about the woman he had seen at the bottom of the stairwell.
It was like she’d put him under a spell. He couldn’t stop thinking about her smile or the sexy curves of her body. All he succeeded in doing with his grueling workout was tweak a muscle in his leg when he’d come down on a squat too fast.
Tired and in pain, thoughts of her were still running rapid as he stood in the shower. He desperately wanted to jerk off, but only creeps masturbated in public showers. He refused to be that creepy guy.
Damn. He needed to get laid. He needed his woman, but things hadn’t been going well with Lisa. She was always busy. But damn so was he, and he always made time for her.
He turned off the water and stepped out of the shower, thoughts of Lisa drowned out the other woman completely.
He wasn’t psychic, but his instincts were always spot on. Right now they were telling him, things weren’t right with Lisa.
He grabbed his towel off the shower hook and walked over to his locker. They were meeting tonight for dinner. Hopefully, by the end of tonight he’d be in bed with his woman.
The moment Jeremy walked into the office, Paige the part-time paralegal and part-time secretary smiled mischievously at him. He could tell from her grin that Paige had gossip, and he had no choice but to stop and listen. Besides the boss, there were only two of them in the budding law firm, so Jeremy was Paige’s only outlet for office and family gossip. He wished he could ignore her, but a pissing off the office’s only paralegal was stupid.
With only the three of them, there wasn’t much to gossip about, but Paige knew all the trainers in the gym across the hall and most of the wait staff who worked in the restaurants on the first floor.
“The new lawyer started today,” she whispered, conspiratorially.
“Damn. Really?” Bill had mentioned he was going to hire a new lawyer, but he hadn’t told Jeremy he’d gone through with it.
Paige nodded, with her lips pressed into a thin line.
“Is she in Bill’s office now?”
The moment I asked the question, the statuesque woman who smelled of peaches and was afraid to climb the stairs walked out of the boss’s office.
Jeremy knew it was a cliché, but he felt his heart jump into his throat.