The Cost of Youth
George held the Rejuvenation Center door open for his wife while she shuffled through behind her walker. Young, healthy men and women clustered around information terminals, staring at the elderly woman in rapt fascination. Ellen hated being stared at. That's why she'd rarely left their house in eight years, since the rejuvenation treatments became widely available. She'd still be suffering in self-imposed isolation if the Center hadn't needed spokespeople for its new, full-body replacement treatment so badly. They'd taken two-thirds off the cost of treatment in return for George and Ellen's endorsements.
Once safely inside the administrator's office, George and Ellen sat through a discussion of the whole process again. Ellen shifted quietly in her seat. Her hip was starting to bother her.
"Can we wrap this up? My wife's getting uncomfortable."
"Of course." The administrator smiled an oily grin, and pushed a stack of papers across his desk to George. "Just sign here, on the last page. It absolves us of responsibility for any unforeseen medical complications, and gives us all rights to broadcast your reactions in both text and video."
George signed the document, then helped guide Ellen's hand across the page to scrawl her own signature. After he passed the papers back, George held his wife's hand for a moment.
"This is it, love. From now on, we'll be just like everyone else. No one will ever stare at us again."
George woke up as the orderlies transferred his new body out of the nutrient bath. They helped him to stand, then left the room. He was admiring his straight and tall 19-year-old body in the mirror, when a perky young nurse in a skin tight mini-form walked in, holding a towel.
He crossed his hands in front of his nakedness, turning away from her, but she followed him and started briskly toweling away the nutrient residue clinging to his body. The towel was soft, and just the slightest bit scratchy, and her hands were warm, as she buffed his skin.
Reaction slammed through him with a force he'd forgotten. His pulse raced, his skin heated, his breath quickened, and his manhood swelled. Then she slid the towel between his legs, drying the short curls of hair, and his eyes crossed with the powerful needs roaring through him. He grabbed her shoulders, bracing himself against the onslaught that weakened his knees, and begged her to stop her torture.
"I'm a married man," he groaned.
"Well now you're a clean one," she teased, pointing him toward another door. "Wait in there."
He tried to grab the towel, to hide his swollen erection, but she snatched it away.
"The new body needs to air."
He stumbled through the door, into a blindingly bright room. Spotlights shone from the white ceiling, reflecting from the floor-to-ceiling mirrored walls. Hidden vents gusted warm air over his sensitive new skin, and a white foam floor cushioned his steps, rippling under his feet as if he walked on water.
A mirror on the other side of the room split away, revealing another door, and a beautiful naked woman stepped through. Ellen! The way she'd looked when they were in high school together, with her long blond hair and bouncing breasts. All she needed were her pom-poms.
The blood pounded in his ears, overwhelming his senses. He raced across the room, relishing the feel of hard muscles driving strong legs, and swept her up in a passionate kiss.
Her hands slid through his hair, over his shoulders, and down his back. He lifted her supple new body, wrapped her legs around his waist, and plunged his heated shaft into her.
She threw back her head and screamed, arching against him and pulling him deeper inside her. They fell to the floor, writhing teenagers lost in the grip of raging hormones they'd had no time to accustom themselves to. Hours passed, as they made love again and again, making up for all those years when illness and infirmity had kept their bodies apart even while their love had grown. Finally, exhausted and spent, they collapsed in each other's arms and fell into a deep sleep.
They woke to find their new clothes laid out on the floor, and one of the doors open. Ellen laughed as they interrupted their dressing to touch and taste each other. "I think we'll be able to give the Center a glowing endorsement, don't you?"
Hand in hand, they followed the corridor away from the recovery room. It led to a large reception area, where knots of people clustered around information terminals. As they brushed past the edge of one group, one of the people shouted, "It's them!"
The people turned, regrouping around George and Ellen, and revealing the screen they'd been watching so avidly. The camera moved in for a close-up of Ellen's rapturous expression as George plunged inside her, then cut to his contorted features smoothing with his sudden release.
"Rejuvaway. It's orgasmic," the unseen announcer declared.
Ellen clenched his hand with frozen fingers, all the blood draining from her face. "I am never leaving our house again."
Jennifer Dunne has several publication credits and her novel, Raven's Heart, will be available from New Concepts Publishing November 1998. Jennifer is the Editor in Chief and Publisher of an outstanding newsletter Science Fiction Romance.