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|The alarm went off at 5:30 in the morning. The song that met Cary's
ears on the first morning of the best summer of his life � the summer
that would change him forever � was Seal singing "Crazy." He was so
tired he ached, and his body definitely did not want to pull itself
from the soft comfort of the high threadcount sheets, so the song
seemed eerily appropriate.
He was crazy. He had to be, to even consider what he was doing. And like most mornings, promises made the day before now seemed like the workings of an insane mind, or one not his own at any rate.
He just lay there for ten minutes, wondering if this was such a great idea after all. `Muscles,' he thought. `What do I want with muscles? I'm fine. I'm great. So what if I'm a little� well�' He lifted the covers and looked down at himself in the pale light. "Puny," he said aloud. Then he grimaced, sighed with resignation and pulled himself out of bed, going to the toilet down the hall to empty his insistent bladder and look at his nude form in the bathroom mirror, under the harsh and unerringly truthful fluorescent light.
"Pitiful," he said softly. He lifted his arm and tried to force a muscle to bulge. There was something there, some soft bump, but nothing like what Steve could do just by lifting his arm to wave hello. He felt the straight edge of his shoulder, remembering what that same hand felt on his lover's mountains of brawn, the hard rounded masses under his tanned skin. The way each muscle group was defined, how they lead toward each other in folds and wedges of beautiful power.
He sighed, looking at his sunken chest and little nipples. "Fuck," he said. "Fuck yes. I want muscle."
A smile crept across his lips.
Like clockwork, his across-the-street exhibitionist and new lover Steve was on his porch steps at 6AM sharp. He didn't give him a chance to knock, he was waiting on the steps when Steve approached. It was unfair that he already looked so good this early in the morning. Even bedhead on that guy looked fucking sexy. "Hi," he said simply.
"You look like you've already been to the gym this morning." He meant it as a compliment, but in his groggy voice it sounded more like a complaint.
Steve's smile never faltered. "I had a good day yesterday," he said, a glint in his eye and his smile just a bit brighter. "Met this guy I've had my eye on."
"You're gay?!?" Now Cary was smiling, too. "Some huge muscle stud? Big dicked wonder, no doubt. Guy like yu could get anyone he wants, you know."
Steve's brow darkened. "Oh, he's a fucking stud muffin, that's for sure. Sweetest ass in town. Big fucking cock. Could choke a horse, frankly. And so beautiful�" He sighed, tilting his head slightly. "Frankly, I think I'm in love with him."
Cary's breath caught in his throat. "After only one day?"
"It was a very good day." He lay his heavy arm across Cary's shoulder as he got up, and then right there, on the street, in front of both their houses, he leaned in and kissed Cary's mouth deeply and passionately. Cary kissed him back, a thrill of sexual need and apprehension rushing through him.
The gym was deserted at this hour, as usual. All the way there, Steve had been uncharacteristically quiet. In the few hours that Cary had been with him, he'd learned that Steve was never without words for very long. Even in bed, his vocabulary of filth and the many intonations and overtones of meaning he managed to put into the word `fuck' was amazing. He wasn't the sort to just run off at the mouth with `me-tooisms' and pointless stories. Instead he was funny, and his remarks were usually based on keen observation and were usually devoid of a lot of uh's and oh's. He was smart as well as beautiful.
He wasn't sure what he appeared like to Steve. He felt like he was being himself, but every moment with this dream on two legs was almost too much to bear. He was perfect, and sometimes that made Cary � who had erected a shield of defense made of caustic wit and put-downs to fend off the expected gay slurs he was subjected to from time to time in this backwards little town � feel awkward and small and stupid. But this morning it was Steve's turn to be the mime, and he was doing a great job of it.
The gym was foreign territory to Cary. Big shiny machines, racks of metal disks, mirrors everywhere, other machines with pulleys, some with handles facing down, some sideways. What the hell could they all be for? Wasn't the point just to lift things up?
Steve took him to the lockers and opened the bag he'd brought, pulling out two white towels and two pairs of shorts that looked like they were made of some space age material, two gray cotton shirts, and even two jockstraps! Cary arched a brow at Steve who had his arms folded over his fat chest and was looking at Cary's wardrobe. He looked down at his blue jeans and polo shirt and Chuck Taylors. "What?"
"Somehow I knew you'd come unprepared. Get those clothes off. You need to gear up." Steve was already pulling off the sweat clothes he was dressed in which were doing a good job of hiding all the deliciousness underneath. But as he started stripping down, Cary wondered if he'd be able to control himself. The room smelled like sweat and something else, that indefinable male scent of muscle and grit and the stink of bodies mingling together in the altogether. Steve's torso looked as good as Cary remembered. Steve didn't seem to notice Cary just staring at him as he stripped naked and started pulling one of the beige jockstraps up his legs and then shoving his bulky package in the basket, arranging himself with a comfortable nonchalance which was, in itself, totally sexy.
Finally, Steve stood up wearing just that elastic collection of cotton straps and full basket and looked at Cary, who hadn't moved an inch. "Well?" He tossed the other jockstrap at him. "You need support. And if you expect to work out in those heavy jeans and that preppie shirt you'll be swimming in your own sweat in ten minutes � and sweating off pounds is that last thing you need, Cary." But he just stood there, staring at Steve's body, his mouth agape. Steve finally laughed and shook his head. "Mr. One-track Mind." He waved his hand to draw Cary's attention away from his collection of raw brawn. "Yo! Cary!"
"What? I what?"
"Did you need some help?"
He took a couple of steps toward him. "To get your clothes off, stud." Steve put his hands on Cary's waist and tugged the shirttails free. Then his hands were unbuckling his belt, then he unbuttoned the jeans and unzipped his fly. "More?" Cary nodded, loving the handling. So Steve kneeled down and untied his shoes and slipped them off, then tugged his jeans off. He stood again and pulled Cary's shirt from his body, so that now he stood there in his socks and underwear. He was very clearly excited by all this.
Steve kneeled again, slowly, and pressed his mouth onto Cary's rigid dick, kissing him through his Y-fronts. He pressed his long tongue onto Cary's stiffness, licking the cotton, pressing the wet warmth of his mouth onto Cary's helmet. He moved his face against Cary's belly, plunging his tongue into his navel, his hands on Cary's ass, and then he slid down Cary's flat belly and grabbed onto the elastic of his Jockeys with his teeth and pulled them down.
Cary's hardness caught the waistband and Steve, laughing, let the elastic go with a hard snap against Cary's white flesh. He sucked in a breath and smiled into the sudden thrill of stinging pain. Steve filed that little piece of information away for later and tugged the briefs off with his hands. "Save that for later, loverboy. You'll need the energy out there." Then Steve walked away, showing his tight, round ass spilling out of the empty butt of the jock before bending, offering a glimpse of his rosy bud, before pulling one pair of shorts up his legs. Then he pulled on a gray T-shirt and threw the other shorts and shirt toward Cary, who had managed to come to his senses and was shortly dressed himself, pulling his shoes back on.
Steve pointed him toward the gym. "Now we get warmed up. You can't exercise your body correctly until your muscles are relaxed. So we do a few stretched, some time on the bikes, then we hit the weights � and wait for Mr. Perfect to show up."
Steve glanced at the clock. "You'll see. He usually shows up at around 6:30. By then we'll have done our spins and stretches and be primed to start some pumping." Cary's mouth quirked into a doubtful frown, so Steve said, "Don't worry, we'll start you off easy. There's no way you can pump what I do, and if you try just to show off for me you'll hurt so bad tomorrow that the last thing on your mind will be anything but lying in bed alone." He planted a kiss on Cary's cheek. "And there's no way I'm going to allow you into bed alone tonight."
Steve showed Cary a few stretching exercises. Cary was amazed at Steve's flexibility, even after enjoying many hours of being with him in a variety of poses. When Steve did a little showing off of his own, performing a full split all the way down to the floor, Cary's eyes bulged almost as big as his dick. "Strength and flexibility, Cary," Steve said from the floor. "You need them both."
As 6:30 approached, Steve kept watching the doors. He was showing Cary the machines, talking about circuit training, how each muscle group was affected by each machine, the advantage of free weights, the importance of drinking lots of water, of diet, of aerobic as well as anaerobic exercise and why Cary would let his muscles rest every other day at first until he worked up to where he could get into heavy reps to start bulking up. "It'll take a lot less time than you think, Cary. And when you start seeing the gains, and feeling yourself growing stronger, and realizing what you body can do � you'll be in here every day, believe me. You won't be able to get enough of it."
Cary glanced at the doors when Steve did. "Who are you waiting for?"
"The guy." Steve was in the pec deck, sweat pouring down his face. His shirt was soaked and veins stood out starkly on his neck. Cary could tell that Steve's body was pumping up, but the shirt was hiding everything from him. Steve said this was a `chest and shoulders' day, and now he knew what that meant. He said Cary would need a log to keep track of reps and what he was doing, how he was improving and growing day by day. He said it would inspire Cary, because you couldn't always tell how you were changing just by looking, and unless he realized he was gaining, he might get discouraged and quit.
"Mr. Perfect." Steve slowly set the paddles back and leaned forward, rolling his shoulders and pushing his chest out. He looked a lot bigger. "I didn't want to tell you about him until you saw him, because you won't believe it until you see it."
"What? He's some bodybuilder?"
Steve shook his head and stood up. "Not exactly." He fell to the floor and started pumping out a couple dozen push-ups, shoving hot blood into his muscles, pumping them larger still. He was puffing like a steam engine, blowing out breaths on the way down, sucking them in on the way up. Cary circled around him and adjusted the weight on the pec deck and sat down, putting his arms behind the paddles. "So, who is he, then?"
Steve bounced back onto his feet and started to pull his shirt over his head, his words muffled under the gray cotton. "Dunno, Cary. I've only seen him�" The shirt peeled off, finally. Steve exhaled. "A couple of times."
Then Cary was exhaling, because Steve's torso was a map of beautiful muscular brawn. Fucking Jesus was he gorgeous. His skin was slick and shiny with sweat. When he turned toward the mirror to look at himself, Cary was presented with a smooth, bulging back that flared like wings. Steve pumped his chest muscles and then raised his arms, and Cary could see him front and back, at his front reflection in the mirror and from where sat on the muscle machine, watching his back muscles separate and bulge and stretch. "Shit," he whispered.
Steve just smiled. "See something you like?" He bulged fat and huge and strong. Cary had never seen him so big. He posed now both for himself and for his friend, his lover, the boy he was determined to build into another gorgeous hunk. "There's nothing else like this feeling, Cary." He belt his arms and watched himself swell. "The power of it, everywhere." He reached his hand across the slickened mountains of his chest. "You'll get here, Cary. I'm going to bring you here."
Cary swallowed hard, He was getting seriously turned on. Steve turned around and the light poured across his tanned, wet contours and he smiled. "So get to work, Tatum. Use that feeling your feeling right now, use your sex drive and push, Cary! Push hard!" He started pressing the weight with his arms and chest. Steve walked closer, his beautiful body pumped so full and hard, all the muscles bulging. "Fuck me with the weights, Cary. Push harder. Harder!" Cary started to feel the burn through his upper chest, across into his shoulders. "Harder, Cary! Fuck me harder!"
Twenty reps, his arms and chest felt like rubber. "One more, Cary! Deeper!" He shoved against the weight, his eyes pinched shut, gritting his teeth so hard together he thought they'd break. Then he released, and the shining pressure abated. "Again, Tatum! For me! Get bigger!" He started pushing again, his whole body shaking. He felt hot, like the blood was going to burst from his eyes. "Push it, fucker! Fuck me!" The weights inched closer together. Slowly. "Push it! C'mon, you can do it! Push it!"
The arms kissed, he held them there, his upper body screaming. The he released them and fell back against the rear pad, gulping in breaths. "Fuck, yeah, Cary! Fuck yeah!" Steve's hands were on his shoulders. "Feel it? Feel that burn? That clean, hard burn?" Cary nodded, he had no spit in his mouth. "That's you growing, Cary. That's the start. You're on your way, lover." There was pride in Steve's voice, and it filled Cary up with a feeling of accomplishment and desire.
He wanted more. "I want muscle," he managed to whisper.
"Fuck, yeah," Steve agreed. "Let's hit the bench and then we're done."
Cary's eyes flicked open. "More?" The thought killed him.
Steve laughed slightly. "There's always more, Cary." He offered his hand and helped the smaller boy up, giving him the water bottle as he mopped off the sweat. "You're doing really great, Cary! Really great!"
They both heard the doors open on the other side of the gym, and they both looked over in anticipation. Steve still hadn't told Cary what, exactly, was so great about this Mr. Perfect he kept talking about, so he didn't know what to expect. But it sure wasn't what walked through the doors.
He still felt something inside him twist when he saw who it was joining them on their private morning. And he looked at Steve with something like worry or jealousy to see if his lover's face changed when he looked across the room and saw Jim McDonald, one (of how many?) of Steve's ex-lovers, walk through the doors.
"That's Mr. Perfect?"
"Um," said Steve, his hopeful face falling, "no."
Jim stopped dead in his tracks when his gaze found the two other young man standing on the other side of the gym, Steve Taylor with his shirt off and his well-muscled arm hung across the slim shoulders of the school faggot, Cary Tatum. This, he didn't expect to see.
But if anything, Jim was very good at masking his feelings. He'd learned that from living inside his own closet � where he still lived � for years. `Look but don't touch,' had been his mantra until Steve had broken through that wall and started touching him. Or maybe he pushed through the other way. It really didn't matter, eventually there was a lot of touching going on as well as a lot of kissing and stroking and, eventually, fucking. And they'd even made fun of that Cary guy.
Until Steve put a stop to that, very firmly.
Recovering from his stupor almost immediately, he walked purposefully across the floor towards them, smiling. "Hey, Taylor! And you're Cary, right? Cary Tatum? I'm Jim." He offered his hand.
Cary scowled slightly but accepted the hand, his own warm and sweat slick, Jim's cool and dry. "I know who you are."
Steve smirked. "Hey, McDonald. I didn't know you used this gym." His arm stayed planted across Cary's shoulder.
Jim's eyes flickered back and forth between them a couple of times, noting Cary's possessive scowl and Steve's friendly, even intimate posture next to Cary, and his eyebrows rose. "Um, usually I use the one at school, but it's closed until summer session starts next week, so�"
Steve nodded. "Yeah, it's hard to take a week off, isn't it?" He reached down to his shorts and scratched himself, hefting his balls in his grip once for good measure.
"Um, yeah." He looked more closely at Steve. "So, Tatum," he asked, "I didn't know you and Steve knew each other."
Cary opened his mouth, but Steve cut him off shocking the shit out of him when he said, "We spent yesterday fucking at his house, so I guess you could say we know each other."
Jim froze for a second, then he started laughing his ass off. Cary felt a heat inside him, until he looked over at Steve and his lover bent his face toward him and kissed him soundly. "Jesus Cary, you don't think I haven't been pining over you for a while, did you? And I told you Jimmy and I were� we've been�"
"Fucking each other," Jim supplied. "But that's all, Tatum, swear to God. Every time he'd come up for air it was `Cary this' and `Cary that' and `Doesn't Cary have a great ass?' and so forth." He looked at Steve, his smile genuine. "It's about fucking time you two got together. Jesus, I'd never seen sexual tension like that since Ross and Rachel back when Friends was still funny." Then he looked at Cary. "Congratulations, Tatum. Speaking from experience, I think you caught the biggest shark in the ocean."
Cary's mouth fell open, but nothing came out, so Steve said, "I think I got the better part of this deal, McDonald." He looked over at Cary and winked.
"No doubt, no doubt." Jimmy put his hand on Cary's shoulder. "You all right Tatum? Shit, Steve, I think he's frozen stiff."
Steve looked down toward Cary's crotch. "Not from this angle."
"Shut up, Steve." Cary finally found his voice, and his face was turning red. Jim was another beautiful young man, tall and well- built. Taller than either Steve or him, but lankier than Steve, but still more muscled than Cary.
"You gonna turn our boy here into a muscle stud, Taylor?" He wiggled his brows. "You're gonna be one killer little hunk, Tatum. Look what he did to me." He lifted his shirt to reveal a belly of abdominals so thick and well defined that it was almost like they were fake. But as Jimmy breathed, they flexed and bulged. Jesus, the fucker was built!
"Steve did that?"
Steve shrugged. "I got him started, then he took over from there." He looked at Cary. "It's kind of addicting once you start seeing results." He nodded at Jim, saying, "Show him the rest, McDonald. Don't act shy, cause I know you're not."
Jimmy smiled and started to pull his shirt over his head. It was true, his body was much better muscled and more defined that Cary ever thought. He'd never seen Jim up close, hadn't paid that much attention to him, really, but the guy had a body so thick and hard with muscle that it appeared there was no fat on him at all. Everywhere Cary's eyes traveled, all he found was more bulging masses of fine, tight brawn. "Jesus."
"Thanks," Jim said easily. He was holding his shirt in his hand, and the muscles on his torso were flexing and bulging with every move of his tall frame. His muscles weren't fat bellies like Steve's, they were like plates or strands. Cary could see every fiber of every line of brawn. "But compared to Taylor, I'm just a runt."
Cary's heart sank. "What's that make me?"
"Give yourself time, Cary. By the time I'm finished with you, you'll make me look like Peewee Herman." Steve's arm across his shoulders squeezed him gently.
"How'd you do that?"
Jimmy smiled as he folded his powerful arms across his deeply etched chest. "You mean Mr. Muscle here hasn't given you the schpiel about diet and exercise, balancing aerobic and anaerobic, more reps for size, more weight for strength, yodda yodda yodda?" He shrugged. "As much as it pains me to give him any credit, he's right about all that." He shrugged. "You watch what you eat, and how much, you get to the gym, you run, you swim, you pump the iron some more, it's pretty simple, really. After only a few weeks you start seeing gains you never thought you'd see on your own body, and that spurs you on, your workouts become more intense, you start augmenting your diet with some supplements, nothing illegal, of course, just some extra protein to build more mass, some weird pills to feed your growing muscles what they need, zinc, amino acids, ginseng�" Cary's head was spinning, and Jim laughed. "You just wait, smart guy. Next month you'll be just like me." His eyes narrowed. "Maybe not as tall, but you'll be surprised how fast you start changing."
Steve said, "The man speaks truth." He looked at Cary. "There's also genetics to consider. Part of the reason I look bulkier and he looks vascular is because of how we're built. Muscles aren't the same from person to person, either. Sometimes you have long, lean ones. Sometimes you have short, fat ones. Sometimes, if you're really lucky, you get both." He shrugged his huge shoulders. "But all the other stuff helps� and you're not gonna gain an inch if we don't get you over to the bench to blast your pecs. Move your ass, beautiful!"
As Cary walked over to the bench, Jim and Steve talked behind him. He could almost feel Steve's gaze on his ass.
"So? Was he here?" It was Jimmy's voice.
"Nope. Not yet. But if he isn't here by now he's probably not coming." There was a pause. "Is that why you're here?"
"To see this Miracle Man, of course. I still think you're yanking my chain, but after your description of your last meeting I� oh, sorry." Cary glanced back and they were both looking at him. Steve smiled encouragingly. Jim leaned over and whispered something. Steve shook his head. Jim's mouth made an `oh' shape.
Cary wasn't dumb. His bench workout had a little anger behind him to push him to the extra reps he wanted.
After Steve did some sets, incline and decline, pumping his chest to massiveness with definition in the upper and lower pectorals that made Cary feel more than a little hot under the collar, they left Jim behind in the gym where he started his own workout ("Back and bi's today," he told them) and headed to the showers.
The hot water felt good. Cary already felt sore in muscles he hadn't even known were there before, and Steve helped him relax with a little massage right there under the water until they were both clean and feeling pretty pumped. "Are your parents going to be out all day again, Baby?" No one ever called him that before. He smiled and sighed as he nodded. "Fantastic. I know another workout you're really going to love."
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