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"I don't need that anymore, I experienced" I admit I laughed my ass off at that.  This was and is a great story. No idea if there's more but I would love little spin off stories. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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And now, the conclusion...

 

Thirty-Six: Aron  

 

            The day of Edmund’s bodybuilding competition had arrived. Aron walked beside him into the show venue, carrying a bag of snacks, Gatorade, spray tan, posing trunks, and, oddly, nonstick cooking spray. Aron was surprised when Edmund had asked him to pack it.

            “Do you plan on cooking in the hotel?” Aron had asked

            “No.” Edmund laughed. “Cooking spray is bodybuilder’s trick. Make’s you glisten and shine on stage like a polished bronze statue.”

            Edmund carried a bag, as well. It contained two 25 pound weights and some resistance bands. He had told Aron, they often didn’t have enough weights back stage for all the competitors to pump up with so he liked to bring his own.

            “But you can curl way more than 25’s,” Aron had said.

            “Light weight, and high reps is best for pumping up. I’ll probably do 50 reps on each arm. Couldn’t do that with 55’s,” Edmund replied.

            Aron was learning so much about this experience that he never knew. He thought you lifted weight, ate a lot, got big, then ate less, got lean, threw on a coat of spray tan and stepped on stage. In the crunch time leading up to the big day, however, Aron saw how much planning and detail went into it and how important timing was.

            After the club’s erotic encounter with Steven, Edmund went into very strict no carb diet. He wouldn’t even touch fruit. Everything Aron gave him had to be sugar free. His diet consisted of nothing but meat and vegetables. It was very easy food for Aron to prepare. Nothing like the intricate dishes he prepared for the rest of the club. Steam this. Grill that. Repeat. The fat fell off him. Aron didn’t think there was much fat to go after seeing how impressive he looked standing naked in Steven’s apartment, but his weight dropped and dropped. Around this time, Edmund also began eating more sodium. He told Aron it was to help fill his muscles with water, before depleting water later on.

            “You think I’m lean now. Wait three weeks,” Edmund had gloated. “You’ll see lean”.

            And Aron did see lean. After two weeks on the final, super low carb phase of his diet Edmund was completely shredded. Veins were visible all over his body, in places Aron didn’t even know veins could show. His abs! His Glutes! Aron could see muscle striations all over when he flexed. But Aron worried he was getting too small. At the peak of his bulk he was just over 240 pounds. Now he was just 215.

            “Don’t worry. I’ll actually gain weight before the competition.” Edmund reassured him.

            Aron also worried about the toll this diet was taking on him. His energy levels were very low, and he had frequent headaches.

            “No pain. No gain. That saying is not about bulking season. It’s about cutting,” Edmund had said after a grueling set of burpees. He collapsed on the couch, fatigued, and breathing heavy. His body fat was low single digits and with no carbs in his diet he just didn’t have it in him. Aron ran to get him food. Edmund pushed it away and demanded water. He was drinking a lot of water. A week and a half prior to the competition he stopped doing aggressive cardio, and a week before he stopped all weight training.

            Around this time, Edmund had told Aron to reduce his sodium content and he also began drinking less water, while upping his creatine consumption so the little water he was drinking would be forced into his muscles. Three days before the show Edmund told Aron to start feeding him carb’s again. A little bit, he specified.     

            The last time Aron made love to Edmund before they traveled down state to their hotel just outside of the show’s venue Edmund’s skin felt thin in his hands as he rubbed them over his rock-solid muscles. All his subcutaneous fat was gone and his muscles were a little fuller than they had been.

            The night before the competition Edmund had given Aron some money and told him to go to the nearest takeout place. He wanted carbs and more water.

            “Are you sure?” Aron asked.

            “I’m sure. Last year I didn’t carb up enough. Not this year. And make sure they don’t put any salt on it.”

            Aron came back with French fries and pasta, and a gallon jug of water.

            “Remember I said that I would gain weight before the show. Well…” Edmund grabbed a handful of French fries and shoved them into his mouth. He hadn’t had French fries in months.

            “I though the cheat meal came after the show.” Aron joked.

            “My cheat meal will make this look like a light snack,” Edmund said with his mouth full.

            After Edmund finished his late-night feast Aron applied the first coat of spray tan to him and let it dry. Edmund sipped on the water for the rest of the night. The next morning, he weighed 220 pounds, right where he wanted to be.

            “You know I’m glad to have you,” Edmund said. “Bianca helped me last year. She was good, but your great.” Aron blushed

            As he walked beside Edmund into the venue, he played those words over in his head: ‘You’re great’. He had never felt so useful to anyone in his life, nor as complete as when he was with Edmund. He looked up at him and couldn’t help but feel a twinge of pride. That physique was partly his doing.

            After they signed in and Edmund handed in his posing routine music, A young man directed them to the back-stage area. Aron had managed to get a quick glimpse of the audience. They filled the auditorium, a mix a men and women of all ages. He wondered how many were the family and friends of the competitors and how many were just muscle-obsessed fanboys like himself, there to take in the beautiful physiques soon to grace the stage.

            Each competitor was allowed one assistant. Aron was Edmund’s. Some bought their trainers or girlfriends. They made their way to the men’s side of the backstage area. Large dividers separated the men from the women. Aron thought his cock might poke a hole in his pants. It went so hard so fast at the sight of the room filled with muscle men. The teens had their corner. Boys younger than 18, yet so developed. Edmund was with the juniors. They were bigger than the teens but all still very young looking. There was also a section with older men, who were the largest most developed competitors.

            All around him men pumped up with weights and pushups, flexed for their trainers, applied tan and bronzer. Aron almost forgot he was there for Edmund until he saw a bottle of tanner flash before his eyes. Edmund dangled it in front of him. He had changed into a throw-away pair of trunks he used when applying tan so he wouldn’t stain his posers.

            “Time for the second coat,” Edmund said.

            Aron began to dab small dots of the brown, thick, cream all over him, being careful to not use too much and to apply it evenly, just as Edmund had instructed him. After he was done rubbing him down Edmund stood and let the tan dry. He looked like pure perfection to Aron, like he had been cast by an artist. The tan bought out his definition and made his muscles pop.

            As Edmund dried, he chatted with some of the other competitors. They complimented each other. It was apparent Edmund knew some of them from his last competition and others he was meeting for the first time. Aron caught some competitors staring. He wondered if they were jealous, sizing him up, or if they had somehow heard about the club and recognized Edmund and him. He quickly dismissed that idea, though. They were over a hundred miles from campus.

            The women competed first. When they were done, they called the teens first in the men’s division. A short, dark haired 16-year-old won with ease. He was miles beyond the other competitors, and that was say a lot considering they all looked good.

            The Juniors were to go next. Edmund began to pump up as late as they would allow before moving the competitors into position. He wanted the pump to be as fresh as possible. Aron watched as the veins on his arms popped out, as his muscles filled with blood. He seemed to grow before his eyes. When he was done, Edmund did a most muscular pose for Aron and shouted “I love that feeling! Being pumped!” Aron sprayed a little cooking spray on him and rubbed it in. Then Edmund went off the line up with the other competitors. A woman pinned a number nine onto Edmund’s black posers.

            Looking at Edmund and the other 11 competitors from the side Aron couldn’t say for sure if he had the biggest muscles in the group (he was too muscle drunk from looking at half naked men all morning), but he was certainly the best conditioned and best proportioned. Edmund also had the biggest bulge of any competitor. Come to think of it, Aron thought, that’s probably what some of the guys had been staring at.    

            Aron heard the announcer speak and darted to take a seat in the audience. He wanted to see each competitor’s posing routine from the front. Each competitor was introduced, they did a posing routine and then exited the stage opposite the side they entered on. They were all smiles, waving at the crowd, and just exuded confidence all around.

             When Edmund’s name was called, he swaggered on to the stage. His held his arms slightly raised to accentuate his lats at all times. He bent down on one knee and lowered his head dramatically. Then the music he had selected began to play: Now We Are Free, from Gladiator. It was both epic and beautiful, and set his routine apart from his competitors.

             He moved with such flow and rythmn, holding each pose for a moment before moving on to the next. Many of the competitors made the mistake of moving too fast like they were rushing to get off stage. Their faster paced music reflected this. Not Edmund, though. He seemed at home on the stage, under the bright lights, a natural born showman, perhaps too much so. Aron noticed his bulge was growing. He was getting a full-blown erection on stage! Aron knew he often got sexually exited when he flexed, but didn’t think it would happen on stage. Aron slid down in his seat feeling embarrassed for Edmund, though the muscle god didn’t look embarrassed at all. How can those little posers contain that thing? Please get off the stage before that monster reaches its full size. And as if Edmund had heard Aron’s thought’s his posing routine was over. He waved at the crowd and walked off the stage. Aron rose in his seat again.

            Three more competitors performed their routines and then came the pose down. All the competitors came on stage and performed the mandatory posed when prompted by the judges. Now was the time to really compare their physiques. Edmund’s arms, and shoulder’s were clearly the best. Number 2 had the most perfect set of abs Aron had ever seen. Number 11 had the biggest legs. Number 5 had the most defined back. Number 7 had amazing pecs. Aron realized how hard it would be for the judges to pick a winner. To him they were all amazing.

            The judges then let the competitors have a little fun. They could all walk the stage, move in front of each other and flex however they liked. The audience started called out names and Aron joined in calling “Edmund! Go Edmund! Wooo!” as loud as his lungs would allow him. He wished The whole club could be here to root for Edmund, but Daniel was at his weightlifting meet 150 miles away. Brendon was his support, and Thomas was Brendon’s. Aron decided to scream loud enough for all of them.

            He watched as Edmund moved in front of number 11, blocking the audience’s view of him. Then number 7 did the same to Edmund. Edmund stepped from between them and looked at number 7’s pecs. He then did a side chest pose. Number 7 mirrored him. Then 1 and 8 stepped in front of them both and did a front double bicep and most muscular respectively. Edmund squeezed between them and did a rear lat spread. It was a flexing free for all.

            The announcer asked all of the competitors to line up in number order 1 to 6 on the left side of the stage,7 to 12 on the right. Between them a stand was moved into place with three level areas for the three top competitors. Three scantily clad women bounced on to stage each carrying a trophy for first, second and third place. The announcer walked on to the stage. His hair was gray, but be was clearly built like a brick house under his suit. The wonders of TRT. He appeared to be a retired bodybuilder. He thanked the audience and the competitors and asked for a round of applause for them. 

            The announcer read from a card in his hand. “Third place goes to number 2, Jason Benoist!” A woman handed him his trophy. He took a bow, shook the announcer’s hand and stood on the lowest part of the platform.

            “Second place goes to number 7, Ezra Tyler!” Ezra jumped up and pumped his fist. He took his trophy and leaned in to the announcer’s microphone. “Thank you!” he shouted. The announcer seemed surprised by this, and pointed him in the direction of the winner’s stand with a smile. Ezra ran to it and took his spot on the second level.

            “And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. First place goes to…” He paused for dramatic effect. Aron leaned forward with anticipation. Edmund looked at the announcer, expectantly. “Number 9, Edmund Moreno!” Steven jumped up at the sound of his lover’s name. Edmund closed his eyes and opened his mouth. He stepped forward and took his trophy, the biggest one, and did a most muscular pose for the crowd. They cheered. He looked like he was smiling so hard his face would spit open. He shook the announcer’s hand and slowly ascended the stand to the highest position. He held the trophy above his head and the other competitors followed suit.

            Aron clapped so hard his hands began to hurt. He felt like a proud father.

            Suddenly a little man ran on stage and whispered in the announcer’s ear. The old bodybuilder’s eyes grew wide and he hit his forehead with his palm. The little man glanced briefly at the crowd before darting off stage. What’s going on? Aron wondered as the announcer raised his hands and asked the cheering crowd to be silent.

            “Please, please,” he said “I’m so sorry. I still may have the body of a young man, but these old eyes aren’t what they used to be.”

            The audience laughed.

            “I’ve made a mistake with score card,” He continued. Edmund’s smile disappeared. “It seems second place actually goes to number 9, Edmund Moreno. First place goes number seven, Ezra Tyler!” He motioned to the competitors as the show women guided Edmund and Tyler to trade places and exchange trophies.

            Aron’s heart sank. He had never seen Ed look so disappointed, but he quickly put on a fake smile for the crowd as he held up his second-place trophy.  

             When Aron ran back stage he grabbed Edmund around the torso and squeezed.

            “You’re still the best!” Aron shouted. Edmund leaned down and kissed him square on the lips.

            “To bad you aren’t one of the judges,” Edmund said. “Here.” He handed the trophy to Aron. It was heavy.

            “They must have been blind.” Aron looked at the trophy in his hands. It had a silver colored bodybuilder doing a double biceps pose on top.

            “Nah,” Edmund said, “Ezra had a killer physique and I still beat out 9 other competitors. That’s still something to celebrate. Last year I came in third so I’m headed in the right direction. He performed a double biceps pose, emulating the trophy.

            “How do you want to celebrate?” Aron asked.

            “We’ll celebrate with the club when we get back, but right now…” Edmund leaned in to Aron’s ear. “A blowjob would be nice.”

            Aron looked down at Edmund’s posers and smiled. He could see his cock was still semi-hard.

            “With pleasure,” Aron said.

            As they walked toward the restroom, a middle-aged blonde man in grey slacks and a white shirt, called out to them, “Mr. Moreno.”

            Aron and Ed turned. The gentleman jogged up to them and introduced himself as Darren Beaumont, one of the judges. “I just want to say you were spectacular out there. You won in every judges’ eyes.”

            Edmund raised an eyebrow at that.

            “Then why didn’t he get first place?” Aron asked, in an irritated tone.

            “You’re name.” Darren said.

            “What about it?” Edmund looked at him confused. Aron, too, had a confused look on his face.

            “One of the judges has a daughter that goes to your University. He heard about your, uh, club, on parent’s day and recognized your name the second you were called out. He didn’t agree with it. He said such a person would be a bad ambassador for the sport and would get no high score from him. Most of the judges rated you first and Ezra second but his low score bought your average down just enough that Ezra won.”

            “I haven’t seen the official score card yet,” Edmund said. “How far behind was I?”

            “One point behind,” Said the judge. “I’m telling you just so you don’t lose faith. Your loss had nothing to do with your physique, which is exceptional. Bodybuilding is a subjective sport and sometimes a competitor fails because of someone’s poor opinion. Not all judges are like that. Most of us, like myself, believe it should be all about the physique. You do have a future in this sport young man and I know you’ll go on to win many competitions. Don’t give up.”

            Edmund smiled. “I’m not. My goal is to be the biggest and the best bodybuilder in the world and I’m going to do it.”

            Darren nodded his head. “Lofty goal. I like it.” He and Edmund shook hands and parted ways.

            Aron had thought the club was done with the consequences of Steven’s actions, but some people make waves that keep on going long after they, themselves, have stopped.  

 

 

Thirty-Seven: Brendon

 

            He put a hand on Daniel’s shoulder and squeezed. “You got this,” he said.

            “I got this.” Daniel repeated the words, slowly, in a low tone. Brendon wasn’t sure his friend believed them.

            Daniel held his head low. His eyes were closed. Was he praying or just mentally preparing himself? It was the day of the powerlifting meet. The day Brendon had prepared to walk into The Carson Weightlifting Center a competitor, side by side with Daniel. Instead he entered as Daniel’s trainer and moral support.

            Brendon had missed two months of training after his back injury. When he started to feel better, he had hopes of putting his name back in the lineup and going on an aggressive training regimen to make up for lost time. He realized that was a pipe-dream however. He was too far behind in his training and the signup deadline had passed. He had lost so much strength during his recovery that he was sure Daniel was nearly as strong as him. He decided it wasn’t worth competing if he couldn’t bring his A-game. Thomas had voiced his disapproval of the idea as well, saying Brendon should take it easy and come back next year to ‘obliterate the competition.’

            Brendon had decided if he couldn’t win, then it was Daniel’s job to win for the both of them, but he didn’t tell Daniel this directly for fear of putting too much pressure on his shoulders. Instead he pushed his friend to the limits, every training session. When Daniel said he couldn’t lift any more weight Brendon added ten pounds. When he said, he couldn’t do another rep he told him to go for two. Daniel kept up his eating as well and grew to an impressive 250 powerful pounds.

            In the weeks leading up to the meet Brendon was Daniel’s coach, physical therapist, dietician, and cheerleader. All the work he had put into himself he began to throw at Daniel. He made him test his one rep maxes with regularity and decided they needed to stop their old practice of doing it all in one day. That was skewing the results. Each day was devoted to a different lift. One week out from the meet put Daniel on a deload to insure his muscles were fully recovered before the competition. During that weak they did foam rolling, mobility work, core exercises, and bodyweight exercises. Daniel’s squat went up to 520. His bench was 475. His deadlift was 650, and his clean and jerk was 325. Was it enough? Brendon hoped so, but he knew Daniel would be competing against some of the best college-aged lifters in the state. He hoped Daniel would find some hidden strength deep inside of him when the time came.

            Daniel entered the Carson center first, followed by Brendon and Thomas. They each carried a bag. Daniel’s was the largest since it contained his clothing and equipment. All three carried an assortment of snacks, sandwiches, and beverages. The meet would take all day and no one wanted to leave the center to get a meal.

 

            Danel signed in at a table setup in the main lobby. He was competing in the Junior Men’s, age 20-23, 264 lb (120 Kg) weight class, raw division (raw meaning no use of a squat suit or bench shirt). Brendon had voiced some concern about his weight class early on. Since Daniel was between the 231 and 264 weight classes Brendon suggested that he try to shed as much water weight and fat as possible before the weigh in so he might make it into the 231 pound weight class.

            “What if I fall just short of 231?” Daniel had asked. “If I’m just one pound over 231 they’ll put me in the 264-weight class anyway, then I would have put myself through the stress of cutting weight for nothing.”

            “I’m sure I can get you down,” Brendon replied.

            But Daniel was adamant. He didn’t want to risk it. “I feel stronger when I weigh more, anyway,” he had said, and that was the end of that.

            After signing in Daniel went to the men’s room and changed into his lifting clothes: Black Converse All Stars with high socks to protect his shins, and a black singlet, or as Brendon liked to call them, a wedgie suit. They were uncomfortable, but required for all competitors. Daniel kept his gear (a weightlifting belt, wrist straps, and knee sleeves} in his bag. He would put those on when needed.

            Thomas pointed to the list of events. “I don’t see clean and jerk up there.”

            “That’s ’cus it’s not one of the events,” Brendon replied. “Only squat, bench, and deadlift.”

            “Then why do you two practice it?”

            “It’s a full body workout, and it’s hella fun.” Brendon laughed. “Besides it’s an impressive lift to do so I don’t feel right ignoring it.”

            “I’m going to eat a little something them start warming up. First event’s in 1 hour and 15 minutes,” Daniel said. Brendon and Thomas joined him, eating one of their sandwiches, while Daniel ate a power bar with a Gatorade. Then it was off to the warm up section. The event planners had setup a large open area with stations for stretching, squatting, bench press, and deadlifting. Despite the size of the room it still felt cramped with all of the big, burly men and their teams jostling for space at the different stations. Some of the men in the highest weigh classes, must have weighed over 300 pounds. They made even Brendon feel small. It wasn’t often that Brendon got to be around so many men on his level or greater.

            Brendon looked at Thomas and could see his eyes had grown wide at the sight of this many powerlifters in one spot. The clanking of massive weight interspersed with the sound of aggressive grunting. The thick, wide bodies, with their muscle guts and hairy chests. Thomas must be in heaven. Brendon saw his lover adjust his cock and immediately knew he was.

            The first event was going to be the Squat, so that is what Daniel warmed up with. After putting on his knee sleeves, he stretched and, starting with a very low 200 pounds, performed 12 reps. When the blood was flowing Brendon helped him up the weight to 400. Daniel performed 5 reps at that weight.

            “Want to make it 450?” Brendon asked.

            “Yeah,” Daniel replied. He performed three reps at that weight.

            “Ok, that’s it,” Brendon said. “Now you rest until they call you.”

            A half an hour after warm-up the Squat event was called. Competitors and their teams filed into gymnasium one. There were six gymnasiums and two auditoriums in the center, as well as 4 stations setup outside to accommodate every weight class, age group, sex, and division competing that day. Brendon and Daniel got their first good look at the competition as they all gathered around the squat rack. There were seven competitors in Daniel’s weight. A few were his height, but most were shorter. Brendon worried the shorter competitors might have an advantage over Dan with their thicker bodies and shorter limbs.

            One by one competitors made their first squat attempts. The crowd cheered after each attempt.  

            “So how does this work?” Thomas asked, clearly confused. “It doesn’t seem like their struggling.”

            “This is just the first try,” Brendon said. “They have two more. Everybody starts out low and works their way up.”

            “And those lights.” Thomas pointed to an array of lights on the other side of the room.

            “Those represent the judges scores for each lift,” Brendon replied. “Red means it was a bad lift. White means a good lift. There are three judges so you need at least two white lights for the lift to pass. I though you heard them explain all this.”

            “I guess I was too busy ogling the competitors.” Thomas snickered.  

            When Daniel’s name was called sixth, Brendon whispered in his ear, “40 lbs less than your last max.” Then he patted him on the back. “Go Dan!”

            Daniel performed one squat with 480 pounds. “That was easy,” He said as he walked back. It was easy as well as on the lighter side. Most of the competitors first attempts were closer to 500.

            After 20 minutes, it was time for the second attempts. Most competitors added 20 to 30 pounds for this lift, but Daniel added 40 bringing his second attempt to 520 pounds. That number put him in the middle of the pack.

            Another 20 minutes passed and the third attempts were called.

            “This is where you really push yourself,” Brendon said.

            “How high do you think I should go?” Daniel asked

            “Depends on how you’re feeling.”

            “I’m feeling strong.”

            “Then aim high,” Brendon said. “but remember don’t get hurt.”

            Daniel went for 550. He crouched down under the bar and rested it on his shoulders. He rose and walked forward with slow steady steps. His body swayed slightly. Brendon looked him dead in the eyes and nodded. Then Daniel lowered himself and the weight down with perfect form. As he rose, however, Brendon could see his knees quake. Oh God, don’t fall. Daniel seemed to pause half way up. Brendon glanced at the judges. Their faces were stern, their stares were intense. It looked as if Daniel might tip to one side but with a quick jerk he locked out the lift and re-racked the weight. His face was red from exertion.

            “Yeah!” Brendon shouted.

            “Go Dan!” Thomas exclaimed.

            After the third attempts were completed it and the final competitor failed to squat an impressive weight it was clear which competitors were going to be Daniels main competition. There was an Asian guy with huge legs who squatted 585, the highest number. Brendon took to calling him ‘Tree Trunks’. There was a tall red head who managed 560. Brendon called him ‘Red’. Then there was black guy with a huge gut, but ripped arms who managed 575. Brendon called him ‘Tubs’.

            There was one and half hours before the next event, bench press, so the three club members ate again. This time it was Daniel who had a sandwich (he had worked up an appetite), While Thomas and Brendon ate a power bar.  As they ate, they discussed the competition, and the next event.

            “I think the Asian guy is your hardest competition,” Thomas said

            “Definitely on the squat,” Brendon said. “Possibly on the deadlift due to how short he is, but not on the bench. His upper body is not that impressive. He looks like he carries most of his weight in his legs. For the bench it’s Red you gotta worry about. His chest is very developed. I can tell he benches a lot.”

            “What about the black guy?” Daniel said. “Did you see his arms. Benching is almost as much about arms as it is chest.”

            “Tubs is definitely second after Red,” Brendon said.

            When they finished eating Daniel warmed up and then they heard the announcement for the Bench press. The competitors filed into gymnasium three and took their seats off to the side. Brendon had been right about Tree Trunks. He was all lower body and only managed 460 on the bench press, making for one of the less impressive weights. He walked away from the bench shaking his head, clearly embarrassed that he had performed so poorly after such an impressive squat. Red managed an impressive 490, and Tubs pushed 485. On Dan’s first attempt he pushed 440. On his second attempt, he did 475, and for his final attempt he managed 495. Daniel had managed the highest Bench! Brendon grabbed him and shook him with excitement. If he didn’t win the overall, then at least he would walk away with the award for benching.   

            “I think I could have got 500,” Daniel said.

            “Maybe, but 495 is 20 more than you’ve ever done,” Brendon said, reassuringly. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

            The final event was the deadlift and that was the event where most lifters carried their most weight. It was still anybody’s game to win. Brendon took out his phone and did some quick calculations, adding the highest bench and squat for each competitor. Dan was tied with Tree Trunks at 1045. Red had 1050, and Tubs had 1060. Brandon was impressed how close the top four competitors were.

            After another 1 and a half hours, a third snack, and the final warmup it was time for the last event. The most Daniel had ever Dead lifted was 650 pounds. That would get him the top prize if the other competitors all did 20 pounds less than that, but he knew that wasn’t going to happen. Daniel was going to have to go much higher than 650 to win this.

            The Deadlift was held in Gymnasium Four. The competitors gathered around the deadlifting platform. Brendon caught Tree Trunks staring at Daniel. He must know they are tied.

Most competitors pulled 600 or less on their first attempts, except for Tree Trunks, who managed 630. For the second attempts, they began to show their true strength. Tubs pulled 630. Red managed 640, and Tree Trunks pulled 670. Daniel pulled 650.

            “I told you the Asian guy was going to be your toughest competition,” Thomas said.

            “Yeah,” Brendon said. “What he lacks on the bench he makes up for with his deadlift. I was expecting you to top out at 680, but now that won’t be enough. If his second attempt was 670 he should be able to pull 690 on his third attempt.”

            “690. Damn!” Daniel exclaimed. Daniel paused and shook his head, then he looked Brendon dead in the eyes. “Whatever he pulls, I’m pulling more, that’s it.”

            “That’s the spirit,” Brendon said.

            On his third attempt Tree Trunks pulled 695. That was a full 45 pounds more than Daniel had ever done. Tubs did 660 and Red pulled 685.

            “695,” Brendon said. “Five more than I thought.”

            “I’m putting 700,” Daniel said as he walked to the bar.

            Brendon and Thomas looked at each other. Thomas mouthed out: 700 pounds. Brendon nodded slowly. 700 pounds.

            Daniel stood behind the bar. He stared down at it with a look of pure determination. He clapped his hands together and a cloud of chalk formed in front of him. Beads of sweat glistened on his forehead. He took several deep breaths which Brendon felt like he was sharing with him. Daniel bent down and grasped the bar in the standard reverse grip, one hand over the bar and the other under the bar. His back was level. His legs shoulder width. His arms straight. Perfect form.

            Daniel pulled the weight up, but it was no good. He was struggling to pull himself straight and lockout to finish the movement. Thomas erroneously began to celebrate, thinking Daniel had succeeded, because he lifted the weight.

            “No!” Brendon shouted. “He has to do the complete movement and he has to do it right.” Thomas immediately stopped clapping. 

            “Come on Dan!” Brendon said. “You can do this!”

            Daniel’s entire body shook, veins and tendon’s in his neck popped out. His skin was beet red. Then his legs began to straighten and he pulled his back up into a completely upright position. Daniel had locked it out!

            “Yes!” Brendon jumped up. He felt like he was out there on the mat.

            Now don’t drop it. Lower it.

            Daniel lowered the weigh back down to the mat keeping his hands on the bar until it was completely down.

            “That’s it!” Brendon shouted. He grabbed Thomas and kissed him.

            Daniel collapsed to his knees and threw his hands up victoriously. The crowd erupted into cheers. Tree Trunks had a frown on his face but the other competitors looked impressed. That lift gave Daniel an overall number of 1745 pounds, to Tree Trunks’ 1740.

            Daniel ran to Brendon and Thomas. They embraced him. There was one more lifter to go but he didn’t matter. Daniel had won overall in his weight class by 5 pounds. He received two trophies at the Awards ceremony, one for bench press, and one for highest total.

            As they left the Carson Center all of their phones vibrated at the same time.

            “It’s a text from Edmund,” Daniel said. “He came in second out of 11.”

            “Not bad,” Thomas said, looking at his phone. “He was third last year. That’s a win for him as far as I’m concerned.”

            “The Muscle Gut Club is unstoppable,” Brendon said with pride. He threw one arm around Daniel and the other around Thomas. Together, they walked to the train station, excited, and ready to celebrate with Edmund and Aron. 

 

Thirty-Eight: Aron

 

            He sat in his dorm room, phone in hand. His father was on the other end.

            “Can you put mom on.”

            “I’m sorry son, she’s still upset. She still can’t get over what she saw online.”

            Aron felt like he should be crying. He could. He was absolutely alone in his dorm room. If he wanted to burst into tears no one would see, but he didn’t. Aron wasn’t sad enough to cry. He was angry. The last time he spoke to his mother was that windy April day when she visited for Parent’s Day. He couldn’t believe a mother would reject her son the way she did, though he had heard the coming out horror stories of others. His father, while unapproving, was nice enough to at least try to have a normal relationship with his son.

            “Did you try talking to her,” Aron asked.

            “I did. You know I did. I told her we could go to family counseling,” Mr. Ocampo said. “She said no amount of counseling would-”

            Aron heard silence. “Would what, dad?”

            “Would take the devil out of her son.” Aron heard his father’s voice crack. Was he about to cry? Aron wanted to throw his phone to the ground right then and there. She thinks I’m the devil.      

            “And there’s one more thing son. She doesn’t want you living here anymore. But don’t worry. I put my foot down to that. I told her at the end of the school year I was going to pick you up, alone, and drive you home-”

            “No!” Aron said. “I’m not living with her if she doesn’t want me there.”

            “But this is your home.” Mr. Ocampo pleaded

            “Home is with people who love you. I have a home here at school.” Aron hoped he had a home at school. He wasn’t sure what would happen to the club house when the school year ended, but hoped he could live in it over the summer. He would ask the club at that evening’s celebration cheat meal.

            “Son-”

            “Goodbye. Please don’t come to pick me up. I love you, and if you want to, tell her that I love her too.” He put his phone down. After he said the words, he wasn’t sure if he loved her or not, but it felt good to say them.

            Aron arrived at the club house at 5:30pm that evening. The sun high on the horizon and though it was still spring, summer was in the air. It was 85 degrees F and not expected to dip below 70 that night.

            He opened the door with his key and entered the living room. He found the club seated, having a casual chat. They were dressed nicely in their standard going out fair, Dark jeans, and tight shirts. Their hair was perfectly combed and groomed. They looked good. Very good. Aron couldn’t help but notice how much bigger they all were compared to the first day he met them. It seemed like years ago. They had been through so much together, but it had only been 10 months!

            “Are we walking?” Aron asked.

            “Nah,” Said Brendon. “We called a cab. We’re going all the way across town.”

            “What place did you guys decide on?”

            “Miss Ling’s, that new Chinese buffet,” Edmund said. “It’s supposed to be amazing, and the selection, well Brendon could eat 12 plates and not try everything.”

            “Then I’ll just have to go for 13.” Brendon laughed, but he clasped his hands together in such a way that Aron knew he was 100% serious.

            “We got something for you,” Edmund said. “You’ll need it tonight.” He held out his hand. In it was a card. Aron took it and looked it over. It was a fake id.

            “We going to a bar?” Aron asked.

            “Hell, yeah, I haven’t had alcohol in four months,” Edmund replied. The club laughed. 

            The cab came and picked them up and in 20 minutes they were being seated at Miss Ling’s. They requested a spacious private booth in the back and were readily accommodated. Miss Ling’s was like no Chinese buffet Aron had ever been in. It was fancy enough in décor to rival a five-star restaurant and the food selection could rival a Las Vegas casino.

            Thomas raised his shirt revealing his chiseled six-pack. “Hey Ed let’s say good bye to them right now,” He said with a grin. Edmund raised his shirt as well and they ran their hands up and down their washboards. “Good bye guys.”

            The club wasted no time filling their plates at the buffet. Aron worried their shirt’s might be too tight. He imagined them hulking out of their clothes at the table as they ate more and more. Then his cock became hard at the thought of how sexy that would be. The club used their usual method of getting two plates at a time. Aron found he was eating more now than the first time he went to a buffet with the club. He was no longer a skeletal 100 pounds, and his new 120-pound body could take in more calories.

            The club made little time for talking as they ate. The only sounds coming from the booth were the sounds of chewing, forks and knives on ceramic, mm mms, and the occasional seat creaking.

            Finally, when they were done feasting and they sat, rubbing their distended bellies it was time for conversation. Aron was first to speak.

            “Guys. I have an announcement.”

            All club member eyes were on him.

            “I won’t be going home at the end of the semester.”

            The club members looked at each other.

            “Oh,” Edmund said, adjusting himself straight in the booth. It looked like he wanted to speak, but he rested his hand on his belly instead and groaned.

            “Looks like someone’s stomach shrunk during their cut,” Brendon said.

            “Where will you be staying?” said Daniel.

            “Well, that’s why I’m bringing it up,” Aron said. “I was wondering what do you guys do with the club house. Do you stop paying rent and move out-”?

            “Let me stop you there,” Brendon said. “If you want to stay at the club house over the summer that will be fine. You can keep me company.”

            “You stay there over the summer?” Aron said, surprised.

            “Yeah, and the rest of the club comes by and visits from time to time.”

            “Is this about your parents?” Edmund forced out.

            Aron nodded in reply. Edmund nodded back.

            “In a way, you’re part of the club,” Brendon said. “Our house is your house.” The club member’s all patted Aron on the shoulder and shook him, playfully. He felt like he had a new family.

            “Well!” Edmund exclaimed. “Sitting here is no good. I’ll fall asleep. Let’s go for a walk before heading to the bar and let this food settle. They left Miss Ling’s at 8 and walked into the crisp night air.

 

            After walking through the downtown area for two hours, talking, and horsing around they decided it was time to drink. Aron hadn’t done much drinking this past school year, but he imagined he’d be getting drunk that night. Brendon suggested The Phoenix Nightclub, citing their extensive bar, and the rest of the club agreed.

            They lined up at the door, were carded by a fat, bald man in leather who hardly looked at the IDs. Inside the music was blasting.

            “Bar’s upstairs. It’s a little quieter up there,” Brendon said in a raised voice.

            As the club reached the stairs a black woman appeared from behind the curtain. She embraced Brendon in a hug.

            “Guys this is Jada,” Brendon said. “And Jada, this is-”

            “They need no introduction honey!” Jada exclaimed. “This is the rest of The Muscle Gut Club.”

            She offered her hand to each of the club members and Aron. “I have seen some of your videos and they are smokin’.” She fanned herself with her hand in an exaggerated manner. “And might I say you all are as fine in clothes as out of them. Even you, cutie.” She poked Aron on the nose.

            “I like this chick,” Edmund said.

            Jada did a slight curtsy. “So, what brings you celebrities to my establishment?”

            “Celebrating.”

            “Alright, now. I have ecstasy, weed, women, men.”

            “That sounds great but we’re here to drink-” Edmund began.

            “What kind of women?” Daniel asked.

            “Oh yeah, you’re the straight one. I’ll hook you up later, but first let’s go up and get some drinks.”

            Jada sat the club at the end of the bar and told the bar tender to start pouring. She placed a full shot glass in front of each club member. 

            “So what are we celebrating?” Jada asked.

            “Weight lifting victory,” Said Daniel.

            “Bodybuilding win, kind of.” Edmund flexed his arms.

            “My back is finally back to normal,” Brendon said.

            “A sponsorship,” Thomas said.

            “Coming out and finding a place I belong,” Said Aron.

            They all raised their glasses and clanked them together before downing them in one gulp. Aron didn’t know what he was drinking, but it burned. For the next hour or so the club drank and chatted with Jada. They went into detail about Steven. How he revealed them to the campus and then how they got him to admit his homosexuality. Jada seemed to really enjoy that part. They each discussed their personal struggles and accomplishments as well, in bodybuilding, weightlifting, coming out and more. Jada was a great listener, and master conversationalist.

            By midnight the club was quite tipsy, but not drunk. Jada had moved on to schmoozing with her other clients, but not before sending up two girls to make-out with Daniel and give him a hand job. Jada did it free of charge, because Daniel was Brendon’s friend and she felt sorry for him losing his girlfriend the way he had. Edmund even got in on the action as well, making out with one of the girls. Aron didn’t care. He accepted his lover’s bisexuality, and besides, after his competition he deserved a little extra-curricular fun. 

            After Daniel and Edmund had their fun the club left The Phoenix. Aron was light headed, and thought they were heading home, but Brendon said “The night’s still young, where to now boys?”

            Then Aron had an idea. Something he had always wanted to do, but never had the nerve to. He figured with the club as company, now would be as good a time as any. Might as well make this night one I’ll never forget.

            “Are there any Gay clubs around?” Aron asked.

            “I know a good one,” Thomas said, looking around at the other club members.

            “Hell, I’m game,” Brendon said.

            “Me too,” Edmund chimed in.

            “I’ve never been to a gay club before.” Daniel looked at the other club members, nervously.

            Brendon placed his arm around Daniel and said “Well, buddy, there’s a first time for everything.”

 

            Thomas lead them to an inconspicuous looking club not far from The Phoenix. A sign on the front said “The Peacock”. The only clue to the club’s true nature was a double Mars symbol on the bottom left corner of the sign.

            Inside, there was nothing inconspicuous about the place. It was colorful, it was bright. It was loud, and it was packed. Men in cages wearing nothing but boots and briefs danced in cages. Men in costumes lined the catwalks overhead sipping colorful drinks and chatting. Shirtless men with beautiful physiques and flawless skin served drinks behind the bar. The dance floor was filled with men fully clothed or half-naked of all shapes, sizes, and ages. They gyrated. The kissed. They seemed to be having a ball.

            “Well, what do you think?” Thomas said. 

            “I think I’m in heaven,” Aron replied. The club laughed.

            They made their way to the bar and ordered a round of drinks.

            “Do I know you?” The bartender, a short well-proportioned Latino, asked Edmund.

            “I don’t think so.”

            “You all look familiar.” The bartender continued. “You come here often?”

            Edmund smiled. “Maybe you’ve seen our videos, online.”

            “Videos?”

            “Yeah, we’re The Muscle Gut Club,” Edmund said proudly.

            The bartender’s mouth dropped and his eyes grew wide. He turned around and tapped his co-worker firmly on his bare back. The co-worker spun around. “Whaaaat?”. Then he caught site of the club. He paused for a moment then blurted out “Holy shit! I masturbated to you guys last night.”

            “My name’s Juan,” Said the first bartender, as he extended a hand.

            “And I’m Sammy,” Said the second, also offering his hand.

            “Aren’t you guys hot in those shirts,” Juan said.

            The club members looked at each other and immediately took off their shirts, revealing their thick muscular bodies. Their bellies were bloated from a night of eating and drinking, but it only served to accentuate their powerful frames.

            The club drank and schmoozed with revelers who came by to meet them. They were invited to dance, but were very popular, and hardly got to dance with one guy for a minute before being pulled in the direction of another. Even Aron found himself the center of much attention when four burly daddy types began dancing around him all at once.

            Then Aron heard Edmund say “Holy shit!” He turned to face him. Edmund pulled Aron close and pointed to the other side of the bar. “Look who it is!”

            “Aron peered through the crowd of sweaty, pulsating bodies and saw Steven on the other side of the room. He was shirtless, kissing a muscular guy with dark features, much like his own, on a couch. He seemed oblivious to the world around him. They called Brendon, Daniel, and Thomas over to watch.

            “Well, someone’s certainly enjoying himself,” Brendon said. “Let’s go surprise him.”

            “Nah, he looks like he’s got his hands full,” Edmund said.

            “And mouth full,” Daniel japed.

            “You guys know Steven?” Juan seemed to appear out of nowhere.

            “We’ve hung out,” Edmund said, sharing a knowing look with the club.

            “He’s been a regular here for a few weeks. Hey, Steven!” Juan darted over to him, and pulled him over to the club. “You never told me you were friends with The Muscle Gut Club.”

            Steven smiled and averted his eyes from the club. “I don’t like to brag, Juan.”

            “How’s it going, buddy?” Brendon said, with a sly grin.

            “Great.” Steven said, and Aron believed him. He looked genuinely satisfied with life.

            The muscular guy he had been kissing stepped up behind him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Are these the guys you told me about, babe?” He said.

            “Yes,” Steven said. “Guys this is my boyfriend, Jesse.”

            “Boyfriend, Good for you?” Edmund said. “You look happy.”

            “I am,” Steven said.

            “We are,” Jesse said, “and I hear we have you to thank for that, all of you.”

            “He told you what went on between us?” Brendon questioned, apprehensively.

            “Well he didn’t go into much detail,” Jesse looked at Steven, lovingly, “and I didn’t press him, but he did say that the Muscle Gut Club bought him out of his shell, and made him confront who he really was. If he never accepted who he was I wouldn’t have him now.”

            “Aww, how sweet,” Juan said. “Why don’t you all come over to the bar. Rounds on me.”

            Steven and his boyfriend sat and drank with the club. Then they all danced into the night.

            Before they left Aron offered up a final toast for the evening. “To new and old friends, to love and being true to yourself, to continued growth, both of body and spirit, and most of all to The Muscle Gut Club!” They clanked their glasses and drank.   

 

                                   The End   (Or maybe not. I have an idea for a sequel, but I have some ideas for fantasy stories I want to work on first)  

             

              

                                        

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On 6/23/2019 at 11:27 AM, musclegin30 said:

“You were our enemy,” Brendon said shaking his head. “God knows you were, and we thought about all kinds of things we could do to you, but then we thought about your notebook.”

giphy.gif

On 6/23/2019 at 7:58 PM, musclegin30 said:

To new and old friends, to love and being true to yourself, to continued growth, both of body and spirit, and most of all to The Muscle Gut Club!” They clanked their glasses and drank.   

https://i.gifer.com/1vMf.gif

 

 

Perfect. This journey was perfect and im glad i read it.

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On 6/23/2019 at 11:27 AM, musclegin30 said:

“You were our enemy,” Brendon said shaking his head. “God knows you were, and we thought about all kinds of things we could do to you, but then we thought about your notebook.”

giphy.gif

On 6/23/2019 at 7:58 PM, musclegin30 said:

To new and old friends, to love and being true to yourself, to continued growth, both of body and spirit, and most of all to The Muscle Gut Club!” They clanked their glasses and drank.   

https://i.gifer.com/1vMf.gif

 

 

Perfect. This journey was perfect and im glad i read it.

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