New Neighbors

Zack Goes Gambling


By MuscleBoy27

Zack grinned his million-dollar grin and he and Justin took off to explore The Venetian. The two of them rode the elevator down and joked about the expressions on Mike’s face and mine. When they got to the ground floor, they decided to wander through the shops area. The gondolas were going back and forth complete with non-Italian gondoliers singing badly. As they walked along, they looked in each shop. They were both dressed in tank tops and shorts, so there was little doubt about their bodies. A good number of the people who they’d passed during their walk stared as they passed. The baby-faced boys with the impressive muscles caught the attention of almost everyone who took anything longer than a passing glance.

The stores in the Venetian weren’t really intended to appeal to 14 year olds, and they didn’t much appeal to Justin and Zack. Finally the boys got to a food court area and decided to have some frozen yogurt. They sat eating their treat and watching the crowds go by. After a few minutes, a young couple sat next to them. Justin and Zack glanced over and noticed that they guy – who looked to be about 24 or so, was wearing a tight black knit shirt. His dark hair was slicked back and both he and his girlfriend were dripping in cheap gold jewelry. The guy had decent sized arms, and judging by the way he was staring, he was clearly obsessed by Justin’s guns.

Zack had spun around a ways on his chair and was now watching the guy watch Justin. Zack smiled a devilish smile and struck up a conversation with the guy’s girlfriend. “Hi there. Is this your first time here?” he said, smooth as silk.

“Naw,” she said, in what Zack took to be a long island accent, “Vinnie and I come here every four months or so – we love it!” She laughed a nervous laugh that only made Zack grin more broadly. “Vinnie’s a pretty big guy,” Zack cheesed, “but I wouldn’t have guessed you’d be hanging out with a queerboy.” Suddenly all eyes were on Zack. “Vinnie ain’t no queer!” the girl said.

“Yeah, who the fuck are you calling queer?” Vinnie added.

Zack turned and looked Vinnie straight in the eye. “I’m calling you queer. Why else would you be staring at my friend over here?” Zack stared a steely eyed stare at Vinnie. Justin had no idea what was up, but he knew Zack had a plan.

“I wasn’t staring at him, you little shit!” Vinnie complained.

“Yes you were. You were staring straight at his arm. I think you like my friend’s muscles, don’t you Vinnie?” Zack’s tone was even, yet he was clearly challenging Vinnie.

“Look, I’m no queer. So drop it, unless you want trouble – OK?” Vinnie’s tone was demanding. He wasn’t going to take this shit from Zack.

Zack now stared at Vinnie. “OK, stud. I say you were staring, you say you weren’t. Let’s settle this like we’re in Vegas, shall we? How old are you, Vinnie?” Zack’s grin told Justin that Zack was in total control of the situation, but it also said that Justin was going to have to perform shortly. Justin loved it.

“I’m 25, what’s it matter?” Vinnie said in his New York Italian accent.

“OK, Vinnie who’s 25. I still think you’re queer, and to prove it, I’ll bet five dollars that my friend here can beat you arm wrestling. He’s only 14, so a big tough guy like you should be able to beat him easily – unless you’re some sorta fag.” Zack was taunting Vinnie in front of his girl; there was no doubt that Vinnie was going to take the bait.

“You’re on, you little shit. There ain’t no 14 year old who can beat me arm wrestling.’ Now Justin was grinning too. Zack had pulled out the five dollar bill he’d won from Justin and set it on the table. Vinnie pulled one out too. “We’ll let the lady hold the money,” Zack grinned.

Justin started flexing. “I don’t know Zack, I’ve never beat a 25 year old guy before. He looks pretty tough.” Justin laughed. Vinnie nervously watched as Justin’s bicep expanded larger and larger, finally appearing to be about the size of a softball. Justin faced Vinnie and put his arm up on the table. “Take it easy on me, ok bro?” Justin whispered.

“No way kid.” Vinnie whispered back as he put his arm up and grasped Justin’s hand. Zack put both of his hands over theirs.

“OK, now. Are you both ready?” Zack asked as he held their hands. Justin and Vinnie both nodded. “I’ll count to three and then you two go, ready! One! Two! Three!” And then Zack released their hands. Vinnie started to push for all he was worth, but Justin just kept his arm at exactly 90 degrees. Vinnie was sweating and straining, but there was nothing he could do to move Justin’s arm. Justin was concentrating on holding Vinnie right where he was, but it was really no competition.

“Zack?” Justin said, “say when…” And a few seconds later Zack gave the signal. Justin closed his eyes briefly then opened them. He had that incredible look of concentration on his face. Slowly, but deliberately Justin slammed Vinnie’s arm to the table.

“Here ya go, honey!” Zack said holding his hand out. Vinnie’s girlfriend was stunned, without a word she handed the ten dollars over to Zack. “See? What did I tell ya baby? He’s a big ol’ queer. You can do better!” Vinnie was rubbing his arm trying to massage away the embarrassment of being so easily beaten by the 14-year-old powerhouse.

“Fuck you, kid!” Vinnie said as he got up from the table and grabbed his girlfriend’s arm. “Let’s get outta here!” He said as the two of them walked away.

“Hey baby!” Justin yelled as they walked away. “If you need a real man…” He turned sideways and flexed the arm that had just trounced her boyfriend. He and Zack started laughing uncontrollably. Justin finally looked over at Zack. “Fuck you’re a mean sonofabitch, aren’t you? Why’d you embarrass that guy like that?”

Zack grinned at Justin, “I figured we could get five bucks easy, that’s why.”

“So why’d you call the guy gay? You know my brother and Eric are gay. It kinda hits close to home.” Justin asked now with a deadly serious face.

“Relax Justin! I really like Mike and Eric, shit I wouldn’t care if you were gay – I just knew that the one thing THAT guy couldn’t handle would be to have me call him a fag.” There was a twinkle in Zack’s eye that told Justin he was telling the truth. Then after a brief pause, Zack added, “why? Are you gay?”

“What if I am?” Justin asked back.

“Justin?” Zack smiled, “you know the only people who say ‘what if I am’, are.”

Justin thought about it for a minute. He hadn’t intended the conversation to go this way. But… since it was… he asked; “Are you gay, Zack?”

Now the confident grin was gone from Zack’s face. He was measuring his words carefully. “I didn’t think I was,” he finally said.

Justin thought through Zack’s response. “Didn’t?”

“Didn’t.” Zack replied, “Until I met you.”

“What does that mean?” Justin asked straight-faced. He was scared out of his mind. He didn’t want to push the issue with Zack, but the conversation was happening. He couldn’t just drop it.

“It means I’m confused.” Zack said slowly. “I spend six years in gymnastics around plenty of guys who were total queens and I never felt anything for them. Now…” His voice trailed off.

“Now…, what?” Justin still couldn’t let it drop. He wanted Zack to want him so badly; he just couldn’t let the conversation end, even though he knew he probably should.

Zack was now frowning. The two of them were walking again – looking forward – not at each other. “Now… I wonder what it would be like to be with you.” Zack couldn’t believe his own ears. How cold he be saying this? He was alone with three guys he barely knew, all of them much stronger than he was. What if Justin decided to force him to do something? It was a stupid thought. Zack trusted his instincts when it came to people. Justin might be the strongest 14 year old on the planet, but Zack knew Justin wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Justin was grinning now. “Zack… You are with me. All weekend… but I guess that’s not what you meant though.” He was giving Zack an out – a chance to push their relationship back to just friends.

“Let’s just leave it there, Justin. I’m happy I’m with you like we are. OK?” Zack was fighting himself. He wanted to know what felt like to kiss Justin – to feel Justin’s amazing arms pull him in tight and to feel their bodies against each other. Even to just walk along as they were – but to be holding hands. That would have been enough. But he wasn’t ready. Damn it, why wasn’t he ready? Zack thought about his parents and their expectations for him. He wasn’t allowed to be gay. He wasn’t allowed to be anything but perfect. He hated the feelings he felt at that moment.

They’d circled the shop area and were now back at the nexus of the shops, hotel and casino. “You wanna go back up stairs?” Justin asked timidly, sensing Zack’s frustration.

Zack looked around and spied a five-dollar slot machine at the edge of the casino. “Hey Justin, watch me turn that ten bucks in ten thousand.” Zack grinned as he walked toward the machine.

“Zack, we aren’t supposed to be in the casino…” Justin worried.

“Relax. I probably won’t win anything and we aren’t in the casino, we’re sort of at the edge of it.” Zack slid the first five into the machine and pulled the handle. The wheels spun, then nothing. He put the second five in, and then turned to Justin. “You pull it this time…” Justin did. The wheels spun around. First one cherry came up, then the second, and then the third! All of a sudden, clank, clank, clank, clank – metal coins started dropping into the stainless steel dish. Zack’s head spun around checking to see if anyone was watching. He didn’t see anyone, so he put his hands under the coins to stop the noise. They kept falling and falling, one after the next. After about two minutes, they stopped.

“What the hell are these?” Zack asked as he looked at the large silver coins.

“They’re Casino money. We have to trade them in if we want real money.” Justin said.

“How are we going to do that? The cashiers will never believe we’re 21.” Zack was panicking. He looked around and saw a very pretty girl about four slot machines over. “We need something to put these in, Justin.” Zack said as he watched the girl. Zack figured she was probably exactly 21, but that was close enough for him.

Justin grabbed a small red tray and handed it Zack. Zack counted as loaded the coins in the tray. “Ninety-six.” He finally said, “that’s $480. Wait here, I’ll be right back.”

Zack walked up to the girl. He held the tray in his hand. “Excuse me!” He said as politely has he could. “You look like the sort of person who would help me.” The girl turned and did a double take as her eyes traced over Zack’s beautiful face and body. “I just won this, and I’m not old enough to cash it in. I was wondering if you’d do it for me? There’s $50 it for you!” He grinned his killer smile. She smiled back and agreed to cash in the chips. She took the tray and the two of them walked up to the cashier’s booth. They chatted as they walked commenting on the artwork in the hotel. The cashier paid out the money and handed it to the girl. The two of them walked back toward Justin.

When they arrived back where they’d left Justin, Zack thanked the girl for helping and waited for her to hand over the money. “I’ll give it to you, but I want one more thing.” The girl smiled shyly. “I want a kiss.” Zack readily agreed and planted a kiss on her that made Justin more than a little jealous. In something of a fog from Zack’s kiss, the girl handed over the roll of bills.

“Don’t you want your $50” Zack asked?

The girl slowly regained her senses, “What? Oh, ummm, of course!” Zack handed her a fifty and then turned with Justin to head for the elevators. •

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