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Nick (Sequel to JP)
|“Damn, are you as tired as I am?” Ian griped, letting his head fall onto his forearm. He looked exhausted, his eyes barely able to focus on his lunch.
“A little bit,” Nick answered, taking a swig of water. In reality, he didn’t feel the least bit tired. Rather, he felt buzzed; his whole body seemed to tingle with energy. That was the only way he could describe it. But Ian obviously wasn’t feeling the same way.
It had been a tough week at wrestling camp. Every morning, JP and the other high school wrestlers would lead the boys in a grueling workout, making sure they performed their push-ups and sit-ups correctly. Then, they would drill maneuvers, over and over again, adding one or two more each day. After a much-needed lunch, it was time for scrimmages. Each camper would be paired up with another and wrestle under the guidance of a high schooler, who would act as referee.
Both Nick and Ian had excelled, consistently victorious with each bout. But while Nick felt as though he was getting stronger every day, he watched his best friend grow more and more tired, almost to the point of collapse by lunchtime on Friday.
“You have to push through,” Nick reassured him.
“I know,” Ian picked up. “You never get anywhere by giving up. JP tells us that all the time.” He looked like he believed those words, but his voice held only a hint of the enthusiasm it had four days ago.
“Well, we get to wear the singlets when we scrimmage after lunch,” Nick reminded Ian, hoping that that would brighten him up a little. Sure enough, the boy smiled.
“Yeah, I can’t wait to look like a real wrestler,” Ian sat up abruptly. Nick could tell he was excited about that. They had been wearing the camp T-shirts all week and they knew that the feel of the singlets would make it so much more real; their dream of wrestling for the Spartans so much closer.
Back in the wrestling room, the campers were told to sit in the center of the mat again. Nick felt his heart begin to race as he saw JP carrying a big box of wrestling uniforms from the locker room, his massive arms bulging as he easily handled the weight.
“This afternoon,” Coach Graves started, “we have a special treat for all of you.” The look on his face was one of pride; he knew the kids were looking forward to this. “As you participate in the scrimmage, you will each be wearing an official Central Spartans wrestling uniform. These are exactly like the ones the real guys wear during the season. So today, you are all now honorary members of the Spartan Wrestling Team.”
Everyone cheered when they heard the coach’s words. Nick glanced over at Ian, who seemed more than overjoyed at wearing an authentic uniform like his teen idols. Quickly, the boys scrambled to the box as Tyler and Danny handed out the singlets. Nick felt his veins pulse with blood as he looked at the design he had seen so many times in the newspaper: a white spandex suit with bright blue stripes down the side, a scripted SPARTANS written across the front and a blue Spartan head on the back. This was too good to be true.
They were led into the locker room to change, nearly everyone in a frenzy as they walked amongst the lockers and benches, trying to find an empty spot. Nick already had his shirt off before he found one, Ian right next to him and Billy on his other side.
“This uniform looks so cool,” Billy admired, gazing at the singlet in apparent disbelief.
“Are you gonna put in on or stare at it all day,” Ian scoffed, kicking his shorts off his ankles and fumbling with his uniform. “And don’t put it on backwards or anything,” he added. “The Spartan goes on the back.”
“I know,” Billy responded, though it looked like he really was about to put it on backwards.
Nick, on the other hand, knew exactly how it was supposed to be worn. He had pictured it so many times in his dreams. He stepped into the leg holes and slid the singlet up to his waist, making sure there weren’t any folds or creases in the fabric. Then, he expertly pulled the straps over his shoulders, letting them slap lightly against his skin. Man, it felt awesome! It was a little tight in the crotch area, but he would get used to that, he was sure.
He checked himself out in the mirror. Wow! He looked like a true wrestler – a kind of short, skinny one – but a wrestler nonetheless. He liked how the straps curved over his shoulders, how the spandex fit the shape of his hips and butt, how the stretch of the material felt on his thighs. He had to admit he looked pretty good in that thing.
“Isn’t it awesome?” Ian gleamed, standing next to him and looking at his own reflection. He pinched at the spandex, watching it immediately snap back next to his skin. “It fits me perfectly!”
“Mine’s a wee tight,” Billy piped up from behind them. They turned around to look. Well, it fit him fine around the chest, but the rolls of fat on his sides were a little squeezed and he looked like he had to suck in his gut a bit.
“Dude!” Ian smirked, stifling a laugh. Billy’s eyebrows went up, as if he was getting ready to cry.
“Don’t worry,” Nick interrupted before either could say anything, “with all this working out we’ve been doing, you’ll lose that fat real fast.” Billy grinned hopefully.
As soon as the high school wrestlers had made sure everyone’s uniform was on correctly, they led the boys into the main gym. A chorus of ohh’s and ahh’s emanated from the group as they walked into the cavernous room. Then, they were split into their weight classes and paired up. Nick and Ian were once again together.
Since this last scrimmage was going to be run like a real tournament, each pair got to dual one at a time, beginning with the lightweights. A boy who looked like he couldn’t have weighed much more than 70 pounds – the singlet was practically falling off of him – won the first bout. Nick was surprised by the boy’s quickness. As soon as his opponent would make a move, the little kid would react with a well-learned defensive maneuver. Danny clapped enthusiastically, knowing that one of his students was succeeding. Nick felt himself rooting for the physical underdog as he escaped out of hold after hold, amassing a good deal of points. Finally, at the end of two minutes, he was declared the winner. He jumped up and down, causing one of his straps to fall down off his shoulder. He didn’t care; he still smiled as broadly as his mouth would allow.
“Blake did awesome,” Ian chided. “He’s like the smallest kid here!”
“JP always says you don’t have to be the biggest wrestler to be the best,” Nick recited.
“Yeah, but it certainly helps.”
A few more duals later, it was Billy’s turn to go. He looked nervous as he lumbered to the center of the mat, his eyes focused deep in concentration. His opponent was about the same size as he was, but much quicker. Billy was taken down almost immediately. Nick and Ian cheered for their friend, urging him to keep fighting. And he did. When he was caught in a hold, he muscled his way out of it and once even prevented himself from getting pinned. But as the clock ticked down to zero, he finished behind in points. His opponent had the victory. Billy was visibly upset and looked as if he was about to cry, but Tyler put his hand on the boy’s shoulder and said something to him. Whatever it was, it made Billy smile.
“What did he say?” Nick asked as he came bounding over to them.
“He told me I did some moves he had never seen someone at my level do!” Nick smiled, knowing that even though he wasn’t completely successful, he was still having fun.
Finally, the last dual came down to Nick and Ian. Both boys were almost quivering uncontrollably as the referee blew his whistle. Immediately, the two were in a lock from the start. All Nick could hear was the sound of his own breathing and the grind of his body against Ian’s. After what seemed like an eternity, Nick felt Ian give way and both of them collapsed on the mat. Instantly – almost without thinking – Nick lunged for his best friend’s shoulders and moved in for the pin. Sweat was pouring into his eyes as he heard the whistle blow. He looked down at Ian who looked like he was in complete shock.
“Holy shit!” Ian exclaimed “I barely had time to react. How did you do that?”
“How did I do what?” Nick was confused. Then, he glanced at the clock on the table and nearly fell over. He had pinned Ian in 10 seconds!
“Good job, Nick,” JP patted him on the back. “That was a textbook pin.” Nick grinned brightly, delirious that he had done something so great without even realizing it. He looked back at Ian, who, now that the initial shock had worn off, didn’t seem to share in his elation. In fact, he looked rather devastated.
JP went over to him and squatted down. Nick leaned in to hear. “You’re one of the best wrestlers here,” he assured him. “Don’t give up because you lose one match. You have a lot of talent. A natural athlete.” Ian seemed cheered up by the comment and gave JP a high-five before being helped up.
After Coach Graves made his closing comments, the camp broke for the week and everyone scrambled to gather their clothes. Nick and Ian were ecstatic that they were allowed to keep their singlets. He looked across the gym floor and saw his sister talking with JP and Danny. Standing next to her was a tall guy with light brown hair and beautiful, round eyes. It had to be Matt Andersson. Chrissy always said how he looked a little like Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars.
“Did you see me, Chrissy? Did you see me?” he screamed as he ran over to his sister. He tried to hug her, but she immediately coiled back.
“Ew, don’t hug me! You’re all sweaty!”
“Can I sign up for next year?” he gushed. “Can I? Can I?”
“You’ll have to talk to mom and dad first, Nick,” she answered, smiling.
Then, he looked at the other boy. Wow, his eyes really were awesome-looking! “Hi, I’m Nick,” he greeted him, sticking out his hand. “You must be that Matt Andersson guy Chrissy keeps talking about.” Matt shook his hand a little absently and side-glanced at Chrissy.
“Uh, yeah, I am,” he answered. He’s pretty built for a band geek like my sister, Nick thought to himself. I wouldn’t mind looking like him, either.
“Nice to meet you,” he let out before turning back to Chrissy. “I wanna go home and try my new moves.”
“Ok, ok,” she said, rolling her eyes, making the boys laugh. “Wait for me, will you?” she called after her brother, but he was already running toward the exit where Ian was waiting.
When Nick and Ian returned home, they immediately ran up to Nick’s room. They hadn’t even bothered to change out of their singlets…despite Chrissy’s protests of them smelling up her car.
“Let’s wrestle again,” Nick squealed, starting to pull down his shorts before he even got to his bedroom door.
“Yeah, rematch,” Ian agreed. “I didn’t get a chance to try those new moves we learned today.” He was still a little upset by what had happened earlier, but he’d make it up to himself.
Quickly, the two boys moved everything out of the way so that there was plenty of space to grapple. Nick’s room was pretty big for a kid his size, but they still had to push the bed into one corner. Then, they got into position and Ian counted them off.
Instantly, the two were in a deadlock again. They really were perfect wrestling partners. Ian felt Nick’s arms wrapped tightly around his shoulders and fought desperately to keep from being taken down as quickly as before. Suddenly, Ian felt his knees buckle and his butt hit the floor hard. Ouch, that hurt!
But he wasn’t about to repeat the defeat of that afternoon. He twisted his body to prevent a pin – the escape that he had been dieing to use – but Nick held firmly onto his legs, not allowing him to go through with it all the way. After a few more seconds of stalemate, Ian let out a primal yell and forced Nick over and onto his back with the sheer force of his legs. It wasn’t a move he had learned, but it was the only thing he could think of to do. He scampered over to Nick’s shoulders as soon as he saw his friend’s vulnerability. He had him! He wasn’t going to let him go! He pushed with all his might against the force of Nick’s torso until finally, his shoulder blades made contact with the floor.
“Pin! You win!” Nick shouted, smiling broadly.
“Oh yeah!” Ian cheered, jumping up victoriously. He looked down at his best friend who was gazing up at him proudly. Ian reached his hand down to help him up. “Now we’re even.”
“Good job, dude,” Nick complimented. “That move was brilliant.”
“Too bad I couldn’t think of it before,” Ian said, catching his reflection in the closet door mirror. He was sweating profusely and breathing hard. His chest heaved up and down, his hair matted to his forehead. Wow, he thought, I look awesome. And at that moment, he flexed his arms and scowled at himself. Damn, he felt strong!
Nick laughed. “Ian, pull down your top,” he joked. “Show us what a real athlete looks like!”
As soon as he heard those words, Ian felt a pulse run through his body. He liked the sound of that. In one swift move, he slipped the singlet straps down over his shoulders, letting his torso breathe freely. His tanned skin was glowing; his body felt pumped. Of course, he didn’t have the muscle that the high school guys had, but he knew that would come. He had only been wrestling for a week.
Then, Nick stepped up next to him and stripped down his uniform, performing the same flex that Ian was. Holy shit, Ian said to himself. Nick looked awesome! The sweat on his golden skin was glistening even more than Ian’s and…no, it couldn’t be. Were those…is that possible?
Nick caught the stares of his best friend. “What you lookin’ at?” he asked.
“Look at your stomach! You grew muscles!”
Ian watched Nick look back and forth between his own body and the mirror. Sure enough, he had a faint six-pack. The boys had seen each other countless times with their shirts off, so Ian was sure they hadn’t been there a week ago. It was only visible when he flexed, but when he did, his skin tightened slightly around six definite sections.
“Whoa!” Nick gasped, obviously shocked at what he was seeing. “I guess all those sit-ups and stuff really worked. I must’ve lost some baby fat or something!” He looked over at Ian’s body again. “Do you have them?”
Ian stared hard at his stomach, searching for any sign of muscle. There wasn’t. “I don’t think I have any muscles,” he stated hollowly.
“Don’t worry,” Nick reassured him. “You probably haven’t lost as much fat as I have. Maybe it has something to do with how much taller you are.” Ian wasn’t too convinced. “I’m sure by next week you’ll have ‘em.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Ian uttered. He looked at his best friend’s body one more time. Nick’s stomach wasn’t the only thing that looked different. Ian could swear his chest seemed a little more taught and his arms a bit bigger. Or maybe he was just seeing things. No one could change that much in only one week. Ashamed, he turned away and grabbed his shirt that he had discarded on the bed.
“You wanna stay for dinner,” Nick asked, still shirtless.
“Nah,” Ian answered hoarsely. “I have to go home to start getting dinner ready. My parents want me to do it tonight.”
“Ok, see you tomorrow then.”
There was something weird in the way that Ian left. One minute, he was excited and pumped about winning the rematch – although Nick had eased up at the last second and kind of let him win – and the next minute, he was sullen and almost upset by something. Maybe it was those mood swings that he had learned about in school. Guys his age were supposed to have them.
Anyway, he glanced back at his reflection, tightening and loosening his stomach over and over again, admiring how his little abs appeared and disappeared on his command. He liked it. In fact, it was awesome. He had never seen anything like this on his body. God, he felt real strong! He just knew that one day he’d be as big and ripped as JP. He knew that his dreams would come true.
“Nicolas, it’s time for dinner!” the voice of his mom called from the kitchen.
Nick came back to reality, suddenly feeling his stomach growl. He was hungry. After one more look of himself in the mirror, he quickly changed out of the singlet and headed downstairs.
“I told him I would never go out with him,” Erin reported to her best friend Kim over the phone. “He’s such a jerk.”
To Erin Maloney, life was moving at a fast pace. Like many eighth grade girls her age, she spent a lot of her free time on the phone talking to friends. And it seemed like every day, some boy would make a move on her. You see, Erin was probably the hottest girl in her class and while that had its perks, she was sick of the attention it brought her from the opposite sex. She would’ve loved to have a boyfriend, don’t get me wrong, but it was just that all the guys in her grade were either immature dweebs who hadn’t gone into puberty yet or immature jerks who had and thought they were all that.
“The guy is an asshole anyway,” Kim comforted Erin.
Then, Erin heard a car pull into the driveway. It was probably JP back from marching band camp. Erin could never figure out why he still stayed in band when he could be a star football player like his older brother Ryan. But at least Matt, the guy JP always hung out with, was gorgeous. Too bad he was so much older than she. Now that’s the kind of guy she would like to date.
Erin told Kim she’d call her back and ran to the front door to maybe catch a glimpse of Matt before he drove away. God, he was so cute! She could practically feel her heart pounding as she reached the front hall, but then it fell once she saw who really was home – Ryan. Apparently, he had decided to finally stop home before heading down to Virginia Tech. And not only that, but he had some bimbo high school girl on his arm. Of course, he wasn’t wearing a shirt, showing off his huge muscles to the world. Erin rolled her eyes and started to retreat back to the living room as the pair burst through the door.
“Hiya, sis,” Ryan greeted her in his seemingly-constant egotistical sneer. While her big brothers were possibly the two most perfect physical specimens of teenage athletes, they couldn’t have been more different in attitude. Where JP was down to Earth and caring, Ryan was an absolute jerk, the poster child for everything that was wrong about jocks. Frankly, it sometimes made Erin nauseous. “Are mom and dad home?”
Erin narrowed her eyes, knowing the reason for the question. She grudgingly shook her head. “Good,” Ryan smirked as he towed the blond toward the stairs. “Hey, you like my new tat,” he quipped, thrusting his massive chest in his sister’s face…100% Grade A Beef.
Typical, Erin thought. “It fits you perfectly,” she answered sarcastically. But Ryan didn’t wait to hear her response. He was already halfway up to his room to no doubt give the girl the best sex of her life.
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