The Ancient One admired the letter in her hands, a huge smirk on her lips. The overly bedazzled blood red envelope already told her who it was from. The extravagant, flourished writing on the front only confirmed it. By sunrise tomorrow, Kamar-Taj was about to have a wake up call.
And it’s name was Lola Mordo.
She sat at the breakfast table in the dining hall, watching the students eat. Stephen Strange was sitting with a new of the younger kids, finally getting over his “I’m an old man surrounded by young-in’s” mentality. They were making idling talk. Stephen seemed rather invested in what they were saying and it made the Ancient One smile. Beside her, Karl Mordo had the darkest, deepest scowl on his face.
“Smile, Mordo!” she teased him, swatting him with her fan. “It’s not often we get a visitor! And especially for you!”
“Trust me, Simon will gone within 5 minutes, whether he is driven out by our students or by sheer boredom!” Mordo snapped.
The Ancient One rolled her eyes. “Oh, don’t be that way. I think Lola is an absolute-”
“Pain in the ass!” Mordo finished, leaving his breakfast untouched. He stormed out of the room, causing a few people to watch, including Stephen.
Later that day, Stephen was heading down the hall, dressed in a grey robe over his sparring clothes and matching pants that were tucked into black boots. He pulling on his black leather gloves when he heard a commotion in the main room.
“You can stay-” he heard Mordo’s voice.
“Wherever you are, little brother!” another voice replied exuberantly. But..it sounded exactly like Mordo except more high pitched. And yet still masculine? “I’m here to see you , remember?”
“Don’t remind me,” Mordo droned flatly.
Curious, Stephen peaked around the wooden door frame. The Ancient One was standing there in her canary yellow robes and on either side of her was Mordo and….a women that looked exactly like Mordo?
All three turned at Stephen’s presence, each wearing a different shocked expression. The Ancient One looked delighted, as if anxious for his appearance. Mordo looked absolutely mortified.
The third person looked exactly like Mordo-the same body type, minus the rather large breasts that made their waistline appear smaller, the very same face except they had deep rogue lipstick on, a matching blush with glitter, blue eye shadow and thick false lashes. Their black hair was hanging over their shoulders, ironed flat with trimmed bangs that went straight over their eyebrows. They wore a brilliant sky blue wrapped top and billowing black pants and 5 inch blue heels, also to match the top and eye shadow.
Their eye’s widened and mouth dropped open with a loud, exaggerated gasp. “Oh my…,” they breathed, flipping their hair behind their shoulder. “Well, my day just got a whole lot better.”
Their eyes raked over Stephen’s form from toe to head. It had been quite some time since anyone had given Stephen such a look-like a lion on the prowl for meat. A woman admiring his charming good looks and body. It was doing wonders for his ego...yet it strangely unsettled him.
“Now, who is this... haaandsome , muscular devil before me?” they teased, strutting slowly toward Stephen, their heels clacking on the wood.
Mordo all but scrambled to block the way for this person. “No one! Stephen, go to the courtyard and wait for me there!”
“Stephen!” the lady gasped, as if she’d never heard the name before. “Oooh, what a fitting name.” She pushed Mordo aside and strutted right up to Stephen. A blood red, manicured nail stroked his freshly shaven cheek. “ Steeeepheeennn …” she all but moaned his name erotically.
Stephen was now grateful the pants he was wearing were loose and baggy. “Uh...y-ye-ye-yes...I’m uh...Stephen. Doctor Stephen Strange.”
Another gasp. “Oooh, a doctor? How...exciting,” she smiled. “I don’t suppose you still practice, do you?”
“Lola, be nice,” the Ancient One finally spoke up. She stood beside them both and smiled. “Stephen, this is Lola!”
“Karl’s twin sister,” she purred, holding her hand out. Ever the gentlemen, Stephen took it and politely kissed his/her knuckles? “Well, if you want to be technical, his older brother , but in this day and age, anyone can be anyone, am I right?”
Stephen nodded, still holding Lola’s hand. “Are you...uhh?” he glanced down at Lola’s legs.
“Crossdresser,” Lola confirmed. “ Not transexual.”
“Right, okay,” Stephen nodded. “Just wanted to uh...clear that up.”
“Aren’t you sweet? He’s so sweet,” Lola purred, squeezing his hand. “Such a sweet thing-”
“Yes, alright!” Mordo snapped from behind them. “Now that we’ve all met, Stephen,” he addressed the other man frantically. “We are late for our sparring lesson. The courtyard... now ! If you please?”
“Sparring!” Lola clapped her hands. “How delightful. I’ll join you. Only to watch,” she added. “Just got these done. Can’t bear to chip one now!” she held up her nails.
“No,” Mordo growled. “You can stay here with the Ancient One.”
“Actually,” she spoke up too. “I’m heading to the courtyard as well.”
“Wonderful!” Lola clapped her hands. She turned her eyes to Stephen and held her arm out. “Care to escort a lady, Stephen?”
He smiled. “With pleasure,” he slipped his arm around Lola’s and they walked out of the room. Lola glanced over her shoulder and winked at Karl.
He growled again, clenching his fists. This was going to be the longest weekend ever.
As Stephen and Lola walked down the hall, he kept sparring glances at the woman on his arm. “So...you’re Karl’s twin?”
“Yes!” she beamed. “Older by three minutes and let me tell you ...best three minutes of my life!”
Stephen burst out laughing, throwing his head back. Lola giggled with him, resting her head on his shoulder. “I think it’s the one thing we can agree on,” she added, earning another laugh from Stephen.
As they stepped outside, Stephen led Lola to a nearby bench. She twirled herself as if she were wearing a ballgown and floated effervescently down to her seat. Stephen stood beside her, unbuttoning his robe.
“Here,” she purred. “Allow me.”
Her long fingers pinched the buttons, pushing them slowly through the holes. With each one, she playfully tapped the exposed clothing underneath. Stephen felt his face burning. This was strangely erotic-and yet so wrong in so many weird ways! Lola was Mordo’s twin! It was almost like a bizarre roleplay...but he had to remember Lola was her own person.
“Oh...dear...god,” Lola breathed, her face full of horror.
“What’s wrong?” Stephen asked, glancing down at himself.
Mordo and the Ancient One arrived just as Stephen removed his robe, showing off his clothing. Mordo stopped dead in his tracks. “Oh no…”
“I’m sorry, what?” Stephen asked, frowning at his clothes. He rather liked this top. It showed off his muscular arms and framed his body perfectly.
Lola met his gaze, as if offended. “ They’re...still... burgundy!?”
“It’s perfectly fine-” Mordo started to protest.
“NO, it’s not!” Lola cried, getting to her feet. “Dear god, I designed them for you! I told you-”
“ REEEEEEEEED!!!” Lola groaned, enunciating the ‘D’ sharply.
The Ancient One had her fan over her face, hiding her smile.
“Red, Karl!” she yelled, her voice echoing through the courtyard. “Red is the color of power ! Passion! Strength! Aaaaand…,” She put her hand on Stephen’s chest, rubbing it down to his hips as she moaned, stretching each sound of the word out, “ Sssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeex ! All of my favorite qualities in a man!"
Stephen’s eyes were like discs, his pupils dilating. His mouth was suddenly very dry. Oh…
“Simon, that’s enough!” Mordo barked and instantly, Lola pulled her hand off of Stephen, her legs and arms snapping to her sides. She pouted her lip at him. “That’s not going to work,” Mordo continued. “Now, Stephen and I have a lesson and you will not interfere any longer! Either go back to your room or if you stay, be silent! Am I clear?”
“Yes, Karl,” Lola replied instantly, her voice soft and hurt. The air around them turned icy cold. She sat down on the bench, her hands folded on her lap. Stephen pursed his lips, feeling bad for her. He wanted to say something to Mordo, but it wasn’t his place. But clearly...there was something between them.
“Stephen!” Mordo snapped, marching away from them. He was clearly pissed off, which meant he was going to extra cruel in their lesson. Stephen gave Lola another glance, wanting to reach out and comfort her. The Ancient One sat beside her, placing a gentle hand on her shoulder.
“Stephen!” Mordo yelled, waiting impatiently by the boards. He held out his staff, tapping a boot irately.
“Coming,” he muttered, walking over to him. This was going to be very unpleasant.
“When do I get my relic?” Stephen asked as he and Mordo circled each other.
“When you’re ready,” he explained.
“I think I’m ready,” Stephen said confidently.
“Yeah, he is!” Lola called, catcalling him. Mordo scowled at her. The Ancient One chuckled.
“The relic will choose you when you’re ready,” he growled. “For now, conjure a weapon.”
Stephen and Lola both pouted. Mordo stood there expectantly. “Go on,” he urged.
“Alright…” Stephen put his hands together, fabricating strands of red and yellow.
Before he had a chance, Mordo cracked his whip over Stephen’s hand, forcing him to make a single rope. He put it over his head just in time. Mordo attacked again and again. “Fight!” he screamed. “Fight like your life depends on it!” He jumped into the air, using the propulsion of his boots to run around Stephen and delivered a strong punch to his face. Stephen was knocked off his feet, hitting the ground hard. He looked up at Mordo towered over him. “Because one day...it may!”
“Karl!” Lola had run across the courtyard, falling to her knees beside Stephen. There was a cut on his face bleeding. She pouted and stood up, standing just a few inches over Mordo’s head. “There’s no need to be so cruel! He’s still learning.”
“Don’t propose to tell me how to train my students,” Mordo growled. “He needs to prepared to fight. Because, unlike you , Stephen cannot run away!”
Lola seethed, her eyes blazing and a single tear trickled down her cheek. She swallowed thickly and pulled Stephen to his feet. “Unlike you, baby brother, I still have a heart, and I treat those around me with respect! ”
She stormed off, leaving the three of them in the courtyard. Her heels clacked down the hall and stopped followed by a door slamming.
“Mordo,” Stephen turned to him, but was met with a finger in his face.
“Do not assume you know what’s best,” Mordo snapped. “You know nothing of the world around you. You care for no one but yourself and your pride! You will never amount to anything here!”
“Mordo, that is enough,” The Ancient One spoke calmly. “We are finished here. Return to your quarters. I will speak with you in private.”
Seething, he stormed off, growling and mumbling to himself.
“What the hell is his problem? Family feud?” Stephen asked, wincing as he touched the fresh cut on his cheek.
“I am not free to say,” The Ancient One said as she walked away. Stephen sighed and went inside, stopping at the fork in the hall. He could see the lights flickering from Lola’s room. He gulped and glanced around. There was no one around. He walked over and knocked.
He heard footsteps and one of the wooden door creaked back. Lola was wearing a silver silk robe. Her eyes were slightly red as she smiled. “Well...aren’t you a sight for sore eyes?”
Stephen stood there, a blush on his cheeks. Even sad, she still had her pizazz. “I thought..maybe you could use some...company?”
Lola smiled sheepishly. “Oh, come to comfort the damsel in distress? How romantic. Come in, prince charming.” She walked back into her room, allowing Stephen to enter and shut the door behind them.
“Unzip a girl, would you?” she asked, draping her robe off, left in only her corset and bra. Stephen swallowed, feeling his throat and pants tighten.
“Oh, there’s no need to be embarrassed,” Lola assured him. “I’m sure you’ve done this a thousand times. I mean, look at those arms!” She stood waiting.
Stephen crossed over and reached a shaking hand out. Lola looked at him from her mirror and frowned. She turned around and Stephen got a faceful of a large black laced bra. “Your hands!” she realized.
“Uh...yeah,” Stephen mumbled. He held them up for her to see. Lola put her hands under his, delicate as if she were handling an injured bird.
“Oh my goodness,” she gasped. “What happened to you, you poor thing?”
“Car crash,” Stephen said simply. “I spent all my money trying to fix them. Irreversible nerve damage is what they told me-”
“But you wouldn’t take “No” for an answer,” Lola guessed.
Stephen nodded. He held his breath as Lola raised his hands to her lips, kissing each scar. “What a brave man you are,” she smiled. “I’ll get this.” She twisted her arm under and over her back, trying to find the zipper.
“N-no please, I still can do these,” Stephen assured, reaching for the zipper as Lola did. He grasped her hand, feeling the soft, lotioned skin. He gasped, rubbing his thumb down her wrist and back up over her perfect, scar-free knuckles. Clearing his throat, Stephen took the zipper between Lola’s shoulders and pulled it down. It stopped at the dimples in his back.
“There,” he whispered, stepping back and turning to give Lola some privacy.
“Oh please, Mr. Darcy , you can look,” Lola rolled her eyes. “You want to look and you know what? I like being looked at. So, we’re both happy.”
Stephen chuckled and turned around as Lola undressed. Her chest was thin for a man her age, but the muscles were nicely define. Her muscular legs were covered in black opaque tights and Stephen could see her hot pink panties underneath. It was obvious she was still a man.
“Like what you see?” Lola teased, winking at him.
“Uhh..” Stephen blushed. “I-I uh mean...y-you are-”
“Don’t be ashamed, you’re not the first man to be confused by me,” Lola said, tossing the breasts away. She bent down to unroll her tights. “And you’re certainly not the first man to be pining after my brother and come running to me.”
Stephen looked shocked. “Wha-wha-what? I don’t-I’m not-”
“Oh yeh-hes , you are!” Lola laughed, folding her stockings neatly. “I see the way you look at him and the way he looks at you just proves it!”
Stephen was now aware Lola was only in her pink panties before him and when he looked into her eyes, all he could see was Mordo with makeup and long hair. His sex drive was thoroughly confused. “Lola…”
“It’s alright,” she smiled, walking towards him. “Like I said, you’re not the first to be torn between my brother and me.” She pushed Stephen up against the wall, her hands crawling up his forearms, pressing his wrists to the wall on either side of his head. “I’m very flattered.”
“L-lo-lo...Lola!” Stephen gasped. This was definitely a first in his life!
“Mmmm?” she purred. “Pretending it’s Karl under here? People have done it before. They pretend it’s a kinky little tumble in the sheets with him. Since you can’t have him...why, I’m next best, right?” Lola brought her right hand down Stephen’s body, placing her open palm against Stephen’s crotch. They both felt his rock hard erection there. “See?” Lola raised an eyebrow.
“I..I’m sorry! I don’t-”
“ Stephen ,” Lola breathed. “I’m only teasing….but you’ve proved my point. You are smitten with my brother. In fact, it’s very...encouraging.” She let him go and stepped back. “It’s been quite some time since someone has come along and made Karl so...expressive.”
“You mean cruel,” Stephen corrected her. “What he said to you wasn’t okay! That was uncalled for.”
Lola shrugged. “We had a complicated childhood. It’s his way of showing...brotherly affection.”
“What, by insulting you?” Stephen scoffed. “That makes no sense!”
“Stephen,” Lola said calmly, pulling on a puffy white sweater. She sat on her bed and patted the space next to her. When Stephen sat down, she took a his hand. “You must understand. Our family is...fucked up, for a lack of a better word. Our grandpa was a cruel man. He had our mother betrothed to our father for the sole purpose of gaining an heir. He was a sorcerer,” Lola explained. “He lucked out when mother had twins, me first, Simon Mordo,” Lola said her true name. “Then Karl came next. From the moment we could walk and cognitively respond, our grandfather began training us, introducing us to dark magic.”
“Dark magic?” Stephen echoed. “You mean-”
“Yes, the very same the Ancient One is preparing you for,” Lola nodded. “We didn’t know any better. I never liked it and pulled away. Our father was accepting of it and let me stop, but my grandfather didn’t approve.”
Lola was silent for a moment, taking a deep breath. Her eyes were shimmering.
“Lola?” Stephen frowned. “What?”
“He made our mother kill our father. Karl didn’t find out until he overheard them talking about it. I thought he was lying,” Lola said darkly. Her voice had dropped and for a moment, Stephen swore he sounded exactly like Mordo. “I ran away, like he said, and found my escape in leather and lace. I made a new life for myself, but I didn’t get very far. Since there’s a sanctum in London,” Lola chortled. “But I’m thankful...it keeps us in touch.”
“Wait, wait...so what happened to Mordo? If your-your mother!?” Stephen was baffled by the story. It made so much sense why Mordo was so anti-social and pushing for him to fight so hard. “Is his...I mean, your grandfather still alive? Are we going to have to fight him someday?”
Lola shrugged. “I couldn’t tell you, Stephen. He was in league with some very nasty monsters. I never learned their names, nor do I want to. It’s not my fight, but I care about my brother’s wellbeing.”
Stephen sat there. Everything made so much sense now. “And you think hooking me up with your brother will make things better?”
Lola laughed. “Oh honey! It won’t, but it would certainly give him something to be happy about! It’ll give me a kick!” She glanced at Stephen. “He is harsh because he cares about you. It’s twisted, I know. He wants to see you succeed and not fail. Because he feels that he lost me to all this,” Lola gestured to the room around them. “I ran away from it all, from him, and he felt forced to bear it all. But believe he cares...and wants you.”
“Then why doesn’t he say so?” Stephen frowned.
“You’ll become his weakness,” Lola sighed. “Weakness is fatal to him, but he can’t help it. He’s in a self-destructive cycle. He wants to keep his distance from you so he doesn’t get close and attached. But if he’s too distant, he won’t be able to save you. If he can’t save you, he’ll lose you so he stays close-”
“But not too close,” Stephen nodded. “Right…? Why does he even do it?”
“Because he feels he doesn’t deserve any good in his life. All our lives, we’ve suffered so when something good comes along, Karl sees it as a cruel trick from the universe.”
“That’s depressing…” Stephen muttered.
Lola cleared her throat. “Well, I’m determined to not sit here and feel sorry for my little brother, and neither should you! There’s work to do!”
“Work?” Stephen asked.
“Yes!” Lola beamed. “As you said, hooking you and my brother up will do you both some good.”
“How exactly do you plan to do that?”
Lola smirked and cupped his cheek. “While you were too busy ogling me, Karl could not keep his eyes off you! He was so jealous that you were enamored with me in a way you never are with him. I think...if we keep it up, he’ll crack and confess his feelings to you.”
Stephen blushed. He hadn’t noticed if Mordo looked at him. “Isn’t that...a bit...mean?”
“Compared to the nonsense he spews at me, absolutely not!” Lola cried, snapping her fingers. “What do you say, Stephen from New York? Let me play matchmaker?”
Stephen bit his lip. “Okay,” he said after a moment.
Lola giggled, clapped her hands and cupped Stephen’s cheeks. “Ooh goody! Oh Stephen, I could kiss you! But I’ll leave that to my brother!” She licked her lips, looking over him. “Unless…”
Stephen was already leaning in closer, lips parted. His hands went to Lola’s exposed torso, cupping his waistline. Lola pulled him in, their lips smashing together. Lola tasted of sugary sweet cherry with a mix of spicy cinnamon. Lola bit at Stephen’s lower lip, pulling him closer.
Both of them were so immersed in the kiss, they didn’t hear the doors creak open.
“Lola, we need to-” Mordo’s voice filled the small room as he came in, stopping mid-step when he saw the sight before him.
Lola and Stephen gasped, pulling away from each other. “Karl!” she gasped.
“Oh shit…” Stephen cursed under his breath.