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|Robert has always been an exceptional athlete. Even when he was eleven, when I first met him, it was clear that he would pursue sports as he was very competitive. Most of the time we were together, he always wanted to run, throw a football, swim, and even arm wrestle. Occasionally, he would even attack me from behind, attempting to pull me to the ground and get me into a head or scissors lock. I admit, there were times when Iíd have to work pretty hard to get this little guy off of me and pin him to the ground. But, I would also make it look like I barely had the strength to finish the "match." I knew it would only encourage him to make another attempt, but if it kept his interest up in healthy activities rather than heading towards drugs, gangs or some other destructive behavior, that was fine with me. Having played tennis in high school and college, being involved in sports as I grew up helped me come out of my shell and, if anything else, gave me some extra time away from my psycho-parents. Because of my upbringing, it was somehow easier for me to later recognize kids who were on the edge and in danger of losing their lives through poor choices. Robert was definitely one of them. I knew that this "high risk" kid needed a positive influence and outlet.
His mother and I met through a mutual friend. I had just moved to Los Angeles after graduating college and, having come from a small desert community, was in culture shock and pretty much looked like a fish out of water. At twenty-two, I pretty much had life figured out, or so I believed, and launched into my pursuit of an acting career. Growing up in a sleepy little town gave me, what would turn out to be, a false sense of security. At six-foot-one with blond hair, blue eyes, and a very athletic body, I was used to drawing the attention of eyes that would follow my movements. Even in college I continued to noticed it, though there were some pretty strikingly handsome, muscular boys around the campus to compete with. But, after only a week in Los Angeles, I had discovered that tall, blond and handsome young men were a dime-a-dozen. It was clear that looks alone would not be the deciding factor in my success as an actor, for thousands of us would be eaten alive each year. I would have to rely on my brains and my talent, both of which were mediocre at best.
Robertís mother and I talked for some time and I learned that she was a widow and raising four children. I would later learn from Robert that living with his mom and three older sisters was tough enough, but that even the dogs were female. Karen tried to enroll Robert into some youth programs, but he showed no interest. She definitely felt that he needed some positive adult male association and was desperate to find something for him. After a while, Karen and I became closer and she finally asked me if I would meet her son and, if we seemed to connect, would I maybe spend a couple of hours with him, once a week or so. She even offered to pay me, which I explained would make me feel very uncomfortable. We set up a meeting for the following week, and Robert and I have been friends ever since.
The first year was taken up pretty much getting to know each other. By the time he was twelve, we had gotten pretty close, and he really looked up to me. I know as he continued to grow up, I disappointed him many times as it was tough for me to keep up with him. He really enjoyed football, basketball and baseball; all sports that made me look and feel completely uncoordinated. At fourteen, he could toss a football way farther, hit a baseball harder, and run as fast, if not faster, than I could. And, he was only five-six!
Through various contacts, I began working in television production. It was a very difficult period for me and the time constraints were very demanding. My contact with Robert began to fall-off, him with school activities, and me with unimaginable work hours interfering with our time together. Suddenly, all contact with Robert ceased. It was as if he disappeared off the face of the earth. I would later reflect that this was probably the time that he could have used my friendship and support more than any other time. For the next two years, Robert began fighting, using drugs, and eventually dropped out of high school.
At sixteen, Robert and I reconnected and we decided to go camping out on Catalina Island. I couldnít believe how much he had changed. His mind seemed distracted and he had a difficult time focusing even on the simplest of tasks or conversation. His dark-brown hair was long and bushy, framing his round face. His deep green eyes seemed vacant and darted around constantly. He had only grown another inch, but still looked smaller than five-seven, slightly hunched over as if he were carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. The one thing that contradicted his frail look were his legs. His quads and hamstrings were extremely well-developed, and he had two beautiful teardrops that accentuated the sharp lines of the smooth muscles that spread from his knees. As we sat on a windswept hillside overlooking Little Fishermanís Cove, I stole one more gaze over his muscular legs, noticing the tight, roundness of his powerful calves tapering down to strong tendons that drove his body on sturdy, vascular feet. It could have been my imagination, but even his toes looked powerful. I felt a stirring in my crotch and was startled to realize that I was stimulated by the sight of Robertís beautiful legs.
"Iím @#%$ up."
His voice sounded weak, and quivered as my mind was pulled back into why we were there.
"Why do you say that?" I asked.
Robert began to explain that heíd been trying to get away from the drug scene, but that the friends he was hanging out with made it difficult for him. He began cycling last year, and had done well in a few long-distance races, including a 150-mile trek in Baja. "That explains the condition of his legs," I thought. Robert had hoped that riding his bike and training would keep him away from wanting to get high, but it wasnít working. He stopped seeing me because he was embarrassed and thought that I would not want to be around him if I found out he was doing drugs. With my all-American looks and seemingly conservative attitude, he figured Iíd freak out and not want to have anything to do with him.
"Look," I said. "Weíve got a lot of mileage together. I care about you too much to let something like this get in the way of our friendship. Taking drugs may be something that you do, but it does not define who you are. And, I feel like I have a good idea of who you are and Iím willing to stand by you, no matter what you do. I am here for you now, and I will be here for you whenever you decide you need me."
He cried. And, we spoke no more about drugs or anything else about our lives of the last two years. We spent the rest of the weekend on the island, snorkeling, swimming, laying out in the sun, and sleeping. It would be another two years before I would see Robert again.
Having just turned twenty-nine, I was finally enjoying some moderate success as an actor with a comedy group and began touring around the country. On a brief stay at home in Los Angeles, I received a call from Robert who wanted to get together since it had been so long since we had seen each other. He was eighteen now, and wanted to share some news with me and do some catching up. We agreed to meet at a restaurant in Hollywood. I arrived there a bit early and grabbed a small table near the rear of the place and ordered some juice. I looked over the crowd that was there, quite a mix of people, but definitely a crowd who was there to be seen.
A strikingly handsome young man entered through the front door, drawing looks from many of the patrons. Even with the thick pullover sweater he was wearing you could tell this guy was built Ė broad shoulders, heavy chest, tiny waist Ė with a muscular neck that supported the sharp angular features of his handsome face, his brown hair cropped short. His baggy Levis couldnít hide the shape of his narrow hips and powerful legs as he moved through the restaurant. This guy was @#%$ gorgeous. His eyes scanned over the faces of the crowd, eventually catching my gaze. I was embarrassed that he caught me staring and I looked away as nonchalantly as I could. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him moving quickly towards my table, so I turned back to look at him. A huge smile spread across his face and as he drew closer, I was stunned to realize that this beautiful young guy was Robert. I jumped up as he reached the table, my mouth hanging open in disbelief.
"Hey, man!" he said, his young baritone voice straining to contain his excitement.
"Holy @#%$!" I exclaimed. "Look at you. I didnít even @#%$ recognize you!"
Robert threw his arms around me and squeezed me hard, crushing the air out of my lungs. I held on to him, more for support at first, and then hugged him back, realizing at that moment how much I had missed seeing him. Even through his sweater I could feel the hardness of thick muscles in his strong body.
"Thatís okay, dude," Robert replied. "Iíd recognize you anywhere."
We sat opposite each other, grinning and sitting in an almost awkward silence. Finally, I spoke.
"Jesus, Robert. I canít get over how much youíve grown. I mean, youíre soÖ different."
"Well," he said. "A lot has happened since we went to Catalina. You may not remember, but that little talk we had when I told you about me and drugs, and all of that stuff, wellÖ I decided I needed to change my life or I was going to end up dead. And, you helped me."
"Howís that possible?" I asked. "I havenít seen you in two years. I didnít know what happened to you, but I figured I failed you in some way."
"Totally the opposite, bro," he replied. "You gave me something to believe in."
Robert explained that, through our talk on the island and knowing that I would support him in whatever he wanted to do, he decided to get clean. The memory of my words to him was what he used to support his efforts. He joined a gym and began working out, eating healthy food, and staying clean. He put all of his spare time and energy into building his body. He got a job bagging groceries at the Mayfair and started saving money. He bought a motorcycle last year and he started dating a girl he met at the gym last month. And, now that he was eighteen, he was looking to move out of the house into a place of his own.
"Knowing that you were always there to support me was what kept me going," he continued. "Even though we never talked. I was embarrassed for my behavior, but only just recently got what you said. That my taking drugs didnít define who I was. And, now that I have a pretty good idea of who I am and that you could see who I was even then, I wanted to say Ďthanks.í Because, I donít know what would have happened to me if you hadnít been there."
I was dumbfounded and in awe. Robert seemed so much more mature than his eighteen years.
A few weeks later, Robert moved into my apartment. Rents being as high as they were in Los Angeles, it proved a tough obstacle for him when trying to find something he could afford. He started working for a moving company, but the money still wasnít good enough for him to rent his own place, pay bills, and maintain his bachelor lifestyle, for he was quite popular with the ladies. And, as I was on the road three or four weeks at a time, we proved to be perfect roommates. When I was home, we would hang together, going to the gym, the beach or camping. When I was gone, he had the place to himself where his girlfriend would be a frequent visitor.
He was also quite the personal trainer. He pushed me hard when we would go to the gym and the results were amazing. My chest began to grow, my arms tightened and my abs reappeared with the same familiar cuts I had in high school and college. It didnít hurt having his beautiful body there to inspire me. At five-nine, he was compact and built like a tank. His pecs were slabs of muscle, heavy, and capped with nipples that taunted my mouth. His broad shoulders were round, beefy and sported veins that connected from his chest to his bulging biceps. His traps rose sharply from his shoulders to his thick neck. His stomach was flat and contoured with a rippling six-pack. His navel was the starting point for a small trickle of hair that plunged into his waistband, the only noticeable hair on his muscular torso. His legs were pillars of steel, quaking with power, deep cuts defining the separation of each muscle and tendon, a dusting of fine dark hair sprouting around his lower calves. And, the bulge. It was impossible to ignore. Everything about Robert exuded sex. An amazing contrast to two years ago, his deep green eyes sparkled, drawing you into his very soul. His straight nose and full lips completed his handsome, chiseled features.
Three months after he moved in, I was headed to New York for a month-long gig. Robert and I had spent the previous three weeks doing practically everything together. There were a few nights when he had his girlfriend over to join us for dinner. They would later adjourn to his room and I would soon hear Julie crying out over the squeaking bedsprings as Robert @#%$ her long into the night. I would press my ear to the door, yearning to see the two of them making love, imagining Robertís flexing butt cheeks driving his big dick into her, content to stay there for as long as it would take, until I could hear him grunting and moaning as he shot his load inside her. I would retire to my room, slipping out of my cum-soaked boxers and into bed, jealous and envious of Julie as I fell asleep. As I headed to the airport, a wave of nausea and anxiety moved through me as I thought of Robert and the fact that I wouldnít see him for a month.
"Oh, my God," I thought. It suddenly hit me. "Iím in love with him."
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