The next morning Jessica was the first to wake up. Her arms had been wrapped around Tucker and it was not just so that they could stay warm, she had done it because she wanted to be close to him. After everything that had happened she was just glad that she had someone who didn't treat her like a monster. She couldn't help but think that he did look cute while he was asleep and she would have loved nothing more than to continue to hug him and imagine what their lives would be like if they were merely normal people. It was something that she did wonder on a regular basis but she never told him. She felt it would make things awkward between them.
When Jessica turned her head she could see Gwen still sitting on the same stump where she had been sitting that night. It was a little unnerving for Jessica seeing someone watching her as she slept. Gwen herself just sat there and it took her a moment or two to even realise that Jessica was awake. Unlike Jessica and Tucker, Gwen didn't need to sleep or even rest. It was another perk of her immortality.
"H-how long have you been there?" asked Jessica as she untangled her arms from Tucker and sat up. She was a little intimidated but she didn't want to do anything that might provoke Gwen into action.
"All night," replied Gwen very quickly. She stood up from the stump and she stretched herself a little. "It's been some time since I last came down to this plain so I'm taking in everything I can. That includes watching mortals sleeping and I must say you were holding onto your friend there pretty tightly. If I didn't know any better I would have said that you're more than just friends."
"Wait what?" Jessica began to blush a little and her emotions made her grow around a foot in height. This happened every time that she felt angry or when she blushed. "We're just friends."
"Yeah sure you are." A mischievous smile appeared on her face as she took a step towards Jessica. She walked past the smoulders of what had been a fire the previous night. All that was left was ashes and a small funnel of white smoke. "You can't pull the wool over my eyes."
"I promise you, Tucker and I are nothing like that. We're just very good friends." She was trying to lie to herself more than to Gwen.
"Ok I'll play your game for now." She had stopped walking and stood there with her arms crossed. "But if I'm right don't think I won't tell you."
Jessica saw Tucker beginning to stir as the conversation had woken him up. He did groan a little as he woke up and he had no idea what had just been discussed by the two women. It took him a moment to sit up and he tried to scratch an itch that was just on the part of his back that was just out of reach. This was a minor annoyance but he felt Jessica's long slender fingers scratch the part of his back that had been irritating him. He gave a small groan of relief as she scratched and his eyes had yet to fully open.
"What time is it?" asked Tucker. His voice was a little croaky and he had to clear his throat before he could speak again.
"It's still early if you want to go back to sleep," replied Jessica. Her voice was very soft and soothing.
"No I don't want to sleep all through the day again." He slowly got up to his feet and his eyes began to open slowly. Jessica was still sitting down and he had yet to realise that Gwen was even there. A part of him had even forgotten all about her and he staggered a little when he got up to his feet but he didn't fall. His eyes finally locked onto Gwen's who was at his exact level. "Oh you're still here. I was beginning to think that you had gone back to wherever it was you came from."
"Oh I'm not going back there anytime soon," replied Gwen with her arms crossed. "I wanted some excitement and believe me what I want I get."
"Before we get started maybe we should have some breakfast," said Jessica as she stood up to her full height. She was a little hungry since her large body did demand that she eat a lot of food but also so that she could defuse with what seemed to be a volatile situation. She stood next to Tucker in a small attempt to keep him safe.
"All you mortals do is eat. I must admit that after that heavenly meat that you gave me last night I'm eager to try whatever you make for this breakfast." She was still getting used to the sensation of eating and the tastes that came along with it. "You may make the breakfast mortals and I will eat it."
Jessica did feel that Gwen was being rude but she didn't want to correct her in fear of how the demi-goddess might react. She did notice that Tucker looked unusually small, it took her a couple of moments before she realised that she was slightly taller than she was before. Her height was up to nine feet rather than the usual eight but it was very easy for her to lose the extra foot she had gained. She still towered above her best friend but at least now she felt that it was normal.
Rather than having a cooked breakfast the group had a meal of bread, cheese, fruit and a couple of vegetables. Once again Gwen couldn't get over what she was eating and she would purposely shrink herself so that the food lasted longer. Jessica and Tucker somewhat couldn't believe what they were seeing. In proportion Gwen was eating enough to feed a small village and by the time she had actually finished she grew back to what seemed to be a more sensible size. But now she had a very large belly and it looked like she was heavily pregnant. Rather than being a baby underneath her flesh it was food that would be too much for any normal person to digest easily, in fact having such a large amount of food in their system could have killed them.
The pair could only watch in amazement as they saw Gwen's belly begin to deflate as the demi-goddess decided that having a large belly like this would be problematic so she was adjusting accordingly. It was a form of weight loss that most people could only dream of and within moments her stomach was perfectly flat once again. Just like it had been before and she looked normal.
"H-How did you do that?" asked Tucker in some disbelief. He could see by Gwen's body language that it didn't seem to be a big deal.
"Oh that little trick," replied Gwen. "I thought that having a big belly like that wasn't right so I decided to change it. Did I forget to mention that I can selectively change the size of any part of my body?" Both Jessica and Tucker shook their heads. "Oh silly me, sometimes when I get excited some things slip my mind." A mischievous smile appeared on her face as it filled the pair with some amount of dread. "How far is it to this next trial that you mentioned?"
"It should only be a couple of hours walk from here for Jessica. We should be there before noon if we start now."
"Why don't I just grow until I'm as tall as a mountain and take you there within minutes rather than hours?" Tucker didn't want to turn her down but he could imagine what could happen if a mountain sized Gwen went walking through the landscape. There would be untold destruction under the demi-goddess's enormous feet. With Gwen's lack of empathy she wouldn't care less who was crushed under her feet and Tucker couldn't have that on his conscience.
"You said yourself that you only wanted to watch and not interfere. Well if you were to carry us there that would be classed as interfering." Gwen fell silent for a few moments as he had no idea what she was going to do. He tried to hide how nervous he was and just tried to keep his cool.
"You have a point there. Very well I'll allow Jessica to carry us to the trial and then I can watch you either succeed or fail. I don't think that I need to tell you how disappointed I'd be if you failed but then again I don't think that you'll be alive for me to tell you." There was a slight chuckle from her since she found the while concept of death as bizarre. She herself would never face death so the fact that a mortal could die made them that much more below her.
The group took a few more minutes to rest before Jessica grew to her full size and picked up both Tucker and Gwen. So that she could have a little fun Gwen shrank herself until she was a few inches tall and sat on Tucker's shoulder. She had done this so that the size scale was even between the three of them. Gwen was only a few inches tall against Tucker while he was only a few inches tall compared to Jessica. The size difference between the two women was almost beyond comprehension. Gwen was near microscopic size compared to Jessica but the tables could be turned within a moment as soon as Gwen decided this. For now she wanted to have a bit of fun being the tiny one.
With everyone secured Jessica began to walk towards where the second trial was located. Tucker hand unwrapped the map and was pointing to where Jessica needed to go. He used the position of the sun to navigate his way. He was also picking up on some landmarks that had been detailed on the map and he truly felt that he was going the right way. He could hear Gwen speaking into his ear. He found it extremely odd to have a tiny woman sitting on his shoulder when it was in fact he who was used to sitting on the shoulder of a giantess. That was happening at that exact moment in time but he still found it odd and even a little unnerving to say the least.
"Hey you know it has been a while since I've been with a mortal," whispered Gwen into Tucker's ear. Her voice was so quiet that Jessica had no chance of hearing him. "Maybe after we're done we can spend a bit of time away from your friend here. I can take you to places that your mind hasn't even comprehended. With my abilities I can even make you the big man but if you really want to we can go with the concept that you seem to be familiar with." She even rubbed the side of his head and this sent a shiver down Tucker's spine. He could imagine what they would do given the opportunity but he didn't want to spoil anything between himself and Jessica.
"I'm alright for now thank you," said Tucker. He turned his head towards the tiny Gwen but Jessica had also heard what he had just said and turned her head to him. She had no idea what he was talking about and was a little confused.
"Did you just say something Tucker?" asked Jessica with a small amount of confusion in her voice.
"Oh Gwen was just asking me if I needed my ear cleaning out." This was a little white lie from the top of his head. He didn't want to know how Jessica might react if he told her that Gwen was basically asking to have sex with her. "She said that she could shrink herself even more and remove any excess wax I might have. She said it was her way of thanking us for going along with this."
"Really?" Jessica was finding this a little hard to believe since the last thing she expected a demi-goddess to do was clean out the ear of a mortal but then again she didn't know too much about Gwen. She remembered how bored Gwen said she had been in the upper plains of existence and that cleaning out the ears of a human was probably like watching a great battle taking place. "Are you sure about that?"
"Yes Jessica, believe me I found it odd myself but then again since we started out I haven't had that much chance to clean my ears."
"Well if you say so." She still found it extremely odd but she thought that it was best to leave things as they were. She didn't want to conversation to get any weirder and if Tucker told her that this was what was happening she believed him. He had always been honest to her in the past and she didn't believe that this was any different.
It took Jessica roughly an hour after this until she reached where the map indicated that the test was located. They found themselves in a tropical looking wood with the sun beating down on them. Jessica placed Tucker on the ground so that he could search along the ground while she remained at her full size so that she could look around the area as she tried to find anything that seemed to be a clue.
The search lasted for over an hour but there seemed to be nothing found there. Tucker continually looked at the map and the area around him and he could see that they were in the right place but it almost seemed that there was absolutely nothing there for them to find. He had also noticed that Gwen had seemingly disappeared. He knew that she had been on his shoulder throughout their trip there but now she had disappeared. He didn't know if she had simply fallen off or decided to go back to wherever she came from. This relieved him in a way since if Gwen continued her advances towards him he thought that there might be a confrontation between her and Jessica. It was not Gwen's safety that he was concerned about, it was Jessica's. For the first time ever he knew that there was someone who could be even bigger and stronger than his best friend and the last thing he wanted was to see her getting hurt or worse.
"You found anything?" asked Tucker as he shouted up to Jessica. She wasn't too far away from him and was looking to see if there was anything that looked remotely like an entrance to the test.
"No nothing from up here," replied Jessica as she continued to look. "How about you, have you spotted anything down there."
"A sweet load of naff all." He was beginning to get a little frustrated and he admitted that if Gwen had been there she could have been a help. She might have even known where the entrance was but alas the demi-goddess was nowhere to be seen. "I'm sure that we're in the right place."
"Maybe we're looking in the wrong place." She stepped towards him and as she did she began to shrink herself and mere moments later she was back down to her smallest size. She still towered above him but at least things now seemed to be normal. "Think about it, if anyone could have found the entrance it would have been discovered and the test be solved years ago. It has to be hidden somewhere in a way that makes it extremely difficult to spot." She gave him a little smile. "You're a smart guy Tucker, I'm sure that we can figure it out somehow."
"Ok just give me a moment to think." He took a few moments to really think hard and he did come up with a little something. "If the entrance is indeed hidden then there must be something around here that can reveal it to us. There has to be some kind of trigger or a lever that will make the entrance appear to us."
"Now you're thinking but you can guess what my next question is going to be." He did and the question was... where was the lever? This was a question that he had absolutely no idea of. "Does the map give some kind of clue?"
"I don't think so." Just to be sure he did take another look at the map and much to his surprise there was indeed writing at the bottom of the map. They had not been there before and he could only guess that they magically appeared there much like the way to the second test appeared right after they completed the first one. "Fuck me, there's some writing here that sure as hell wasn't there before."
"What does it say?" She quickly went closer to him so that she could have a better view of the map and the writing was there as plain as day but there was a problem. The message read 'DSZG BLF HVVP XZMMLG YV ULFMW DRGS GSV VBV. LMOB LMV DRGS Z KFIVHG LU SVZIGH YB GSV GZOOVHG GIVV XZM URMW DSZG BLF HVVP.' To both in question they had absolutely no idea what the message actually said. "That doesn't make any sense, it's just pure gibberish."
"Maybe it's another language, one of the dead tongues that was around during the Age Of Titans. Or maybe it's a language from across Sea Of Pryde."
"It isn't like any language I've ever heard."
"Damn it if Gwen hadn't gone and disappeared on us then she could have helped. For once I wish that she was still here."
"Wait Gwen's gone?" This was something that Tucker hadn't mentioned to her. He had to bite his upper lip as he realised that he hadn't told his best friend about the demi-goddess going missing.
"Yeah she went missing just after we arrived. I have no idea where she's gone." He did scratch his shoulder a little where Gwen had once been sitting. "I think she might have gone back to where she came from. I don't think she fell since she could have just grown and made her presence known. Even if she did fall I seriously doubt it would have killed her." Jessica didn't need to be reminded that Gwen was immortal and infinitely more powerful than her. It made her feel inadequate.
"Well I guess there's only one thing we can do." She gave a sigh as she ignored the fact that Tucker had not told her this information. "We'll have to go and get some help. If I'm not mistaken the town of Logan isn't too far from here?"
"Err." He took another quick look at the map and indeed the coastal town of Logan was not far from where they were. "Yes it is."
"Then we should go there for help, I know it might be unlikely that we'll find the answers but we do have to try. If it is some kind of dead language then there is bound to be someone there who will know and if worse comes to worse at least we can add another landmark to our trip." She looked down and smiled at him and Tucker couldn't help but feel a little happier about the situation. He couldn't believe how upbeat she was despite everything that had happened to her since the events in July. He knew that it had changed her on the inside but she was still the loving friend that he had grown up with up throughout his life. He knew that he could always count on her for almost anything.
"Yeah sure." He looked up and smiled back at her. He did watch her begin to grow as she began to sit down but she stopped growing when she was at eye level with him while she was at a sitting position. "But first I just want to have a few minutes to rest, even at my full size I can get very tired after a long walk."
"Ok fine but we shouldn't hang around here too long. Gwen might decide to pop up at any moment."
"I don't think we can ever hide from her Tucker. If she wants to find us believe me I think she could easily find us." She continued to smile at him but she did feel that she needed to ask him something. "Tucker is it alright if I ask you something?" Tucker gave her a nod since he was more than willing to answer any of her questions. "Do you feel that there is some kind of question between us? I know what you're going to think but I assure you that's not what I'm talking about. I feel that there is something that ties us together, something I can't explain."
"What are you talking about Jessica?" He admitted to himself that he did think that she was talking about love at first but he knew now that she was talking about something else entirely. Something that was beyond the norm.
"Remember when we used to play hide and seek when we were younger? Whenever I went to find you I would straight away."
"Yeah because you always cheated."
"I didn't cheat!" There was some anger in her voice but she realised this and cleared her throat so that she could keep talking in a calmer voice. "I didn't cheat Tucker, I just knew somehow that you were there. No matter where you hid I could feel where you were and believe me no one was more surprised than me that I found you every time. I felt something like that when we were fighting each other in July. The spell that I was under was extremely powerful and I don't think that it was mere luck that it broke when we fought. I think that whatever this thing is between us broke the spell and set me free. If it wasn't for that I would have been Lord Nostory's slave for the rest of my days." Tucker looked at her with some confusion as he was having to take in everything that she was saying. "You can't deny this Tucker." She reached and grabbed his arm, at her enlarged size the hand seemed very large in comparison. "I know what I'm saying might sound creepy but I know what I'm saying is true." She had a somewhat saddened look on her face as she looked into the eyes of her best friend. "Please tell me that you've felt the same."
Tucker remained silent for a few moments as he fully comprehended everything that Jessica had just said. She had said something to him that had been truly from the heart and he was just glad that there was no one around to hear this. He could feel Jessica's large but soft hand around his arm and he walked closer to her. She was silent as well and he admitted to himself that he had felt a somewhat similar connection. Unlike her he had no difficulties knowing where she was due to her size but he had felt something when he was in her presence. He had never known what to really call it but he didn't know that the feeling had been stronger in his friend.
"J-Jessica I'm not sure what to say," replied Tucker. He was having to think about each word that he spoke. "I have felt something as well but I thought it was just me being stupid as usual. I had always felt something when we were close to each other, I just thought that it had simply been in the presence of someone of your size that made me feel that way. I know that it must be something besides that."
"I know it sounds crazy, its one reason why I wanted to come with you on this quest. When I'm not around you I feel lonely, a sort of empty feeling that nothing else can seem to fill. It was why I was always saddened when you had to leave Morgan for an extended time. Whenever you came back I would always feel like I could breathe easily again knowing that you weren't far." She gently pulled him closer but not like she was forcing him to come towards her. Her grip on his arm was weak enough for him to break free if he wished but Tucker did take step closer towards her. When she felt that he was close enough she embraced him in a hug but this time it did feel different than it did before. Tucker felt a sense of warmth and safety that he had never felt before. They both felt truly blessed to have one another.
The hug lasted for a minute or two before they broke it off and they both smiled at one another. They were unaware that everything that they were doing was being watched. Gwen was still around but she had shrunk herself until she was so small that she couldn't be seen by either one of them. She was still sitting on Tucker's shoulder taking in everything that she was seeing and hearing. She could tell that Jessica's feelings towards Tucker was far deeper than mere friendship. Gwen had in fact heard of this link that Jessica and Tucker shared, it was a trait between two people who the gods had deemed to be soulmates in a way. Very few people possessed this but despite all of this she saw all this as a challenge. She had her eye on Tucker and she didn't care if the gods had deemed him to be soulmates with Jessica. In her eyes Tucker was going to be a challenge and that was what made it even more fun for her. She didn't even want to keep Tucker forever, she just wanted to have him until she gotten past this sexual phase that she felt every now and again and then discard him after she had finished.
This wasn't the first time that she had done this. Multiple times over the millennia's she had come down to Earth when she was either bored or needed that sexual twinge in her mind satisfied. She would make a man fall in love with her and then she would use him to satisfy her sexual urges. When she was done she would leave giving no thought to what happened to her sexual partner soon after. Most of them would fall into deep depression after they fell for her and discovering that she didn't care about them. Some had even turned to suicide and even then Gwen didn't care about their fate. To her human lives were almost nothing to her, it would be like a regular person caring about the death of a cockroach or spider. The human would serve their purpose and then she would be done with them like a workman with their tools.
In Gwen's eyes Tucker seemed to be no different and Jessica wasn't going to be an obstacle in her way either. Despite the fact that Jessica herself was a giantess she would still seem like an insect in comparison to the self-titled Mistress Of Size. She could grow until she was large enough to crush Jessica with minimal effort or if she wanted to be particularly cruel she could shrink herself and attack Jessica from the inside.
Once Gwen had even had her sexual urges satisfied by another woman and at one point had even shrunk until she crawled into the other woman's womb so that she could fulfil her urges. During the process Gwen had decided that she had bored of the woman at one point the woman even insulted her. This made Gwen grow until she exploded out of the woman in question killing her immediately.
For now Gwen didn't want to make her presence known, the fact that Jessica and Tucker had thought that she had simply gone away would work for her. It allowed her to watch events without being noticed and she decided to show herself again after the second trial was completed. Until then she was more than happy to stay hidden and watch both humans put their lives in peril while she didn't lift a finger. In a way it was what she had agreed to from the start.