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|This is, as usual, for D C O|
|We had arrived in plenty of time, we thought, before the First-timers
were called on-stage, but already the hall, a converted old market
building, was filling up with competitors and crowds of helpers and
"The noise" Ben breathed into my ear.
"I know, babe- it made me worried last year for my first show---but after a while, it's not there any more" He gurgled-- a short laugh, "Its part of the excitement", he whispered. "Remember it all, "I told him
Some retailers were setting up stalls. Officials with papers were hurrying about, looking official. Nick found out where the changing area was and took us there. There was only one guy there already together with a very large lady who was applying tan.
"Hi, Mildred" said Nick, "Who's this?"
"This is a future Mr USA on his way up", said Mildred.
"Hi, everyone, I'm Michael---Michael Chin" said the bodybuilder.
As Ben took off his T-shirt there was a quick appraisal on both sides and an unspoken agreement that although Michael was damn good, Ben was better, but not by much. And we were all made aware that Jake was looking at Michael and Michael was looking at Jake.
I was told to check with the organizers and see what needed to be done and what time it had to be done by-which I did. In the meantime, Nick, Laura and Jake (with oil) set out to use the CreamTan application which Nick had obtained. Ben stripped down as I left the area.
The organizers were amazed to hear that Ben was blind and the chief judge asked if he needed help. I suggested that he guide Ben by voice only and that Ben did not need any favours or molly-coddling. He knew what to do and what to expect.
I chatted with Mrs Pataki for a moment. She was looking out for a particular man she remembered from the last show she attended (my first) and she was hoping he would be competing and would remember her!
I answered my phone and a voice I remembered said "Hi Ned. Shafiq here. How's our champ? Is he ready? He looks ready!"
Amazed, I glanced around the hall. "Where are you?" I asked. "In the hall" was the answer, so I looked around, slowly and carefully. At last I saw a big bearded man, not disguised at all by dark glasses standing in the shadows by the steps leading to the upper level.
"Now -how inconspicuous can you ever be?" I asked and received a deep throaty chuckle in response. "I've been asked to present some of the trophies. But it's supposed to be a surprise, so I'm keeping low"
"Ben will be pleased to know you are here".
"Don't tell him yet, Ned. Let him concentrate on the judging. OK?"
"You're right, of course".
"I'll see you all, after the judging and before the evening show"
"See you later, Shafiq"
"See you later", he said and moved further into the shadows.
I turned and went back to the changing area, now filled with a number of first-timers frantically preparing for the judging, but as I moved past a number of hopefuls, I was stopped in my tracks. I could see Ben. For a moment he stood there isolated as Nick and Jake stepped back to inspect their handiwork. He stood there, at once, proud, relaxed and happily excited, but also controlled. Like Mary Poppins, his tan was "practically perfect in every way" and Jake had been very careful to apply just the right amount of oil.
Ben stood there for a moment but I took that glimpse into my brain knowing I would keep it there for the rest of my life. He was about 5'10 and maybe just over 215 lbs; I was overwhelmed by his proportions. His handsome face-and he was still trying to get the moustache to be more than a suggestion-sat upon a beautiful neck and his traps curved to delts which, if not as large as they would be, still showed the masterly definition required for competition. His pecs were full and deep with that trace of division between upper and lower which would separate the men from the boys-and his hard nipples were encircled by dark aureoles. His biceps were fully peaked and his triceps were heavy. Lats? ---well, they were there, but the taper was his weakest point. However, his fabulous six pack more than made up for them and his quads were something else again, while his calves and hamstrings wouldn't let him down. All through that body, muscle flowed into muscle but with enough definition to make a viewer gasp. There were one or two other competitors who already had a look of defeat about them.
Ben was turning slowly; Nick was checking him out. Ben showed his back-and it was mind-blowing! Yes, he needed a bit more width but the thickness was there, even to the first suggestion of a Christmas tree and, oh, the definition! He was going to be bigger and better than me-probably. Nick was satisfied, I could tell. No-I was wrong! He asked Ben to do some press-ups and some stretches. Those done, our competitor was ready.
The first-timers were called and I took Ben to the side of the stage. He was standing just in front of Michael, who softly said to Ben, "I'm here for you" as they were led out into the light.
For me, the rest of the show seemed to splinter into a multitude of pictured events. I was taking as many brain photographs as I could, storing them for later. I remember seeing Mrs.Pataki chatting earnestly with a competitor in the Masters class, who smiled appreciatively when she felt his flexed bicep. I was not surprised when she informed us that she would not be returning home with us, but would get a lift from Bert, the next morning. I remember Ben, in the brown slip Jake had provided, enjoying the judging and the sheer masculine beauty of some of his posing. There was a sharp intake of breath around the hall when Ben and Michael produced back double biceps poses to rival any more experienced bodybuilders. I remember thinking that I had never seen a six-pack like Ben's on any young competitor at any previous show. I remember the calls, the whistles, the noise when Ben produced a most muscular that defied description and the impudent grin that asked, "How's that?"
And I saw Ben's face light up when Shafiq came to see us, officially, after the judging and comparison rounds. He was so pleased and astounded that Shafiq should come to see his first show. Ben allowed his excitement to show as he described the sets, the failures, the problems and the successes of the past months. The he calmed himself, took some nourishment, pumped a little and changed into the green posing slip-Mrs Pataki told him he was "Gorgeous" and he actually blushed
But the highlight was his posing routine-breathtaking! Jake led him onto the stage as arranged, placing him carefully with his back to the audience, breathing an "Enjoy yourself-you look great" before leaving Ben, who then deliberately took one diagonal step towards the back of the stage. Laura and I exchanged glances-that step promised the changes that Ben had been working on. My throat and lips were, I must admit, a little dry. Ben raised his hands over his head and flexed as the tape started with the click. He brought his hands down to the crucifix and flexed then down and, although I know the turn towards the front of the stage came next, I was not prepared for what happened. He flew into the air as the music came to the longer wriggly bit and turned a complete circle and a half, travelling slightly so that he finished where Jake had placed him (not quite facing the audience, but he adjusted quickly). There was a long "Aaah" as Ben dropped to one knee and produced that Bob Paris pose. Ben was in command. Each pose flowed into the next. The flex was absolutely on the beat-Ben was part of the music. The audience loved it-Ben finished the chest poses, turned and continued with his back poses. Then came the slower music and yes, he had retained that suggestion of moon-walking and followed that with an abs and thighs pose with his hands at the back of his neck. I heard Jake murmur, "Oh Shit" and knew just what he meant. Ben was grinning broadly when he came to the last repeat of the music-he used the wriggly bit this time to flick his quads, as the first part of a most muscular, then turned, took that diagonal step and as he did so, shimmed his glutes before raising his hands and concluding with a repeat of his first pose. (I knew now why Jake and he had been laughing)
The hall exploded. Laura was dancing with Nick, Jake and Michael were cheering and I stood there knowing I had seen something special.
Ben won, with Michael a close second and the others in the class some way back. Shafiq presented trophies and Ben was given not only the 1st place trophy, but also a personal trophy from Shafiq who told the audience that it was for perseverance and courage. Shafiq told them of Ben's determination to overcome blindness and added that the trophy was also because of his posing routine. "Ben was not content just to churn out some poses", he said, "He was brave enough to attempt something more. He challenged himself-and all of you can see how he succeeded" (I thought to myself that Shafiq must have gambled a little by having that gift with him)
And so, eventually we arrived at the apartment above the garage. And Ben had one more surprise for me. I walked in to the main room and saw that somehow it had been cleared-all the furniture had been moved to the side leaving a space in the middle of the room except for one chair.
"Sit there, Ned", Ben said and went into the bedroom. I waited wondering what Ben was going to do. He came out of the bedroom wearing his green slip, a bulge already showing. Music started and for the life of me I can't recall what it was. Maybe it was that-but I got three minutes of flexing and exotic lap dancing that drove me wild--- I was touched, stroked, undressed as Ben flexed and danced. He pushed his nipples at my mouth, gurgling,then sat on my lap, facing me and kissed me while he played with my nipples. I could feel my cock rising to the occasion--- by then he had practically undressed me and he was flexing, flexing and inviting me to lick him and suck him as he licked and sucked me. As the music finished he lay across my lap, so I gathered him in my arms, stood up and took him into the bedroom.
There is an epilogue to this tale-it's a small story in itself. Ben had shown us all how to realise one's potential. After that glorious day and night, Ben had continued to work-out, and was preparing for another show. On this particular day he was back at University. Nick was in the office. Laura was behind the counter. Jake and Michael, their training session together finished were in the back room and I was training a client and it was the usual sort of a morning.
Three guys entered the gym and I recognised the loudmouth; what was his name again? Ah, yes, Brandon---and it seemed to me he had not learnt anything in the months since his last visit. He was strutting his (very ordinary) stuff in front of the other two, loudly telling them of his ability, deriding the others using the gym and being as obnoxious as he had been before. I said "Excuse me a moment" to my client and went to stand behind the counter with Laura. A moment later, Brandon saw me and recognized me, and then his glance slipped to someone behind me.
We were all taken by surprise when an authoritative voice behind me said, "That's enough" and Jake, without a T-shirt and with a chest pumped by his workout, walked from the door behind, past me to stand in front of Brandon. "I used to be smaller than you, didn't I, chump? Well, take a good look at me now."
Brandon opened his mouth, but whether it was to say something or because of surprise, I couldn't tell. And Jake didn't give him a chance to say anything.
"Don't you remember what happens to stupid silly boys? Do you want that to happen again? And it'll be me doing it, with pleasure, Brandon, because I can!"
Jake flexed a bicep that was pumped and hard. Brandon gulped. He remembered.
"Why don't you stay, and learn?" Jake asked, but Brandon was on his way out, followed by one of the other boys.
Jake turned to me, a broad grin on his face. He gave me a hi-five, then one to Laura and one to Michael. The four of us were all grinning like Cheshire cats. "You did good, Jake," I told him and the others agreed. As I told Laura and Ben later, it was a pleasure to see that Jake had taken another step towards fulfilling his potential.
Jake was feeling good so I quickly made up my mind. I said, "Jake, you've got another job, if you want it" Jakes eyes lit up---he was eager.
"Look over there, Jake. There's a guy who wants some attention, just as you did when you came here first. You want to start him off?"
"You trust me?"
"Sure do" I replied, and he whispered, "Thanks Ned".
Jake looked at Michael, who mouthed the word "Go"
Jake walked over to the boy by the door.
"Hi", he said. "I'm Jake. What can we do for you?"
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