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growth To Protect and Serve - Chapters 10.1 (Posted 10 July 2021)


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  • 4 weeks later...

Author's Note: There is a very violent dream sequence toward the end of the chapter.  Although it is a dream and has a detached, almost comic quality to it, it is still VERY violent.  Trigger warnings for anyone who is disturbed by such a passage.  It is set off in italics and between horizontal rules for anyone who wants to skip it.  It can be skipped without losing any of the story.

 


Chapter 10 - A Titan on Olympus  - Part 1- Iapetus Awakens


“I'll take what I can, I'll do as I please / I am the God, the God within / Crushing thy kingdom by hiding in plain sight / Craving for lives still, burns deep inside me...” ~ Corroded, I Am the God


15 Sep 2020.  9 months after the accident


 

The email alert ping sounded on Will and Skye’s cell phones at the same time - two for Skye, one for Will.  They both knew who it was instantly, though it was the first time either of them remembered never getting emails together.  Not from both John and Gabriel.

 

Skye was on the computer, while Will was on the office floor, stretching before he went to the giant-scaled gym they kept in a building near their home.  Will raised up to look at the screen as Skye opened the email from John.  It was but one line.

 


HE SAID YES!!! 


 

Skye smiled as he rotated his chair toward his muscle beast of a husband.  “Well I guess getting that good bottle of wine ready for shipping is in order after all,”  he said. 

 

 They decided when John told them he was gonna to pop the question that part of their wedding gift was going to be a bottle of 2006 Chateau Ausone Bordeaux they’d been holding onto for several years.  It was a really good wine, yes,  but they’d kept it because of the quantity of it.  It was just a single bottle… a 6 liter single bottle.  Most 750ml bottles of wine barely gave one of them a single good glass at the amount they could drink with a meal;  so something equal to 8 regular bottles in one massive glass container was a rare treat.  Sure, it was almost 9,000$ US for that big bottle, but a wedding in the “family” didn’t happen often.  It was easily worth it.  Having a real toast and a real glass to celebrate with all the giants and Gabriel together had never happened before.  A thought flashed before Skye of Gabriel trying to handle a liter sized glass of wine.  He chucked to himself wondering if the Brit would get drunk on something that to them would barely wet the whistle.  But, that was going to be one of the perils of his future, he supposed.  A little living in a giant world...  

 

Skye's thoughts were broken into by Will.  “Skye, it’s really going to happen isn’t it?  John is really going to marry a little?”

 

“Looks that way, young man. I mean, if John does want to get married, there aren’t that many single muscle giants around to choose from. That only leaves littles.   I wish you’d give Gabriel more of a chance, though.  I think you’d find out he isn’t like the others.”

 

“Really, Skye?  The littles are just… you know what they are like.  They seem so nice and on the up and up at first.  But they always show their true colors in the end.  You know that.”

 

Skye slid out of his chair and sat down on the floor next to Will.  He took his husband by the hand.  “You trust me, don’t you Will?”

 

“Since that first day you walked into me in the gym.  I will always trust you with my life, Skye.”

 

“I know Will.  Just like I trust you.  So, I’m gonna ask you to trust me.  Gabriel is and will be who John needs.  I’ve gotten to re-know him lately, since my medical school days anyway.  Will, there isn’t a thought in his mind that isn’t devoted to John.  And you know how John is about him…”

 

“Tell me about it.  Skye, were we that bad back before we got married?”  Will said under his breath eliciting a laugh from Skye.

 

“We still are…” Skye said, which provoked a smile and harumph from Will.  But Will knew he was right.  “Then, Will, I can’t think of anyone better for them than each other.  Can you?  

 

“Sure, Gabriel will never truly understand.  He will never BE one of us completely unless we do things we swore we would never do again.  Sure, there are some things that he can’t help John deal with.  Things it’s just beyond him being a little.  Those things we can help John with.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t love each other, even with the differences.  Look at you and me.  In some ways, we are so different, but I love you and you love me.  That’s what’s important.”

 

Will closed his eyes.  Skye recognized the expression on his face.  He knew Will had a habit of closing his eyes when he was really thinking about something.  Sure, he could have sensed Will’s thoughts through their bond, but he didn’t want to.  What they had between them was almost like sharing a soul; but still, some things were a violation of who Will was as a man.  Skye was the more dominant personality, the more dominant in their sexual dynamic, but he would never dream of violating the dignity of making his own choices that he owed his man.

 

Will spoke up at that moment, his eyes still closed.  “Then, there is something I need to do, isn’t there?”  Will opened his eyes and looked at his husband almost in pain, “Do I have it in me to take one more leap of faith on a little?”

 

“I know, young man.  I know what this is going to be like for you.  But with this one, it won’t take as much faith as you think.”

 

Will nodded toward the computer.  “Then, do you mind if I use this for a while?”

 

Skye smiled.  Will, like always, had a way of making the right choice when the chips were down.  “Be my guest, you big lug.”

 

“What will he think after I have ignored him so much?  He has to know what I think.”

 

“He will think that you’re the amazing, wonderful man I’ve told him about.  The man of my dreams as much as John is his.  AND… he might also think you’re his big brother and are going to do what big brothers do to little brothers… I mean I JUST MIGHT have been guilty of that a few times with our little brother already.  If that helps you with what to say.”

 

Will burst out laughing, knowing Skye knew what he was feeling.  “I love you, Skye.”

 

“I love you too, young man.”  Skye said.   He stood and pulled his nine and a half foot tall husband to his feet.  He gave him a kiss on the cheek.  “And thank you for trusting me.  I’ll wait for you to go workout.  Feel like giving me a kick in the ass with my bent-over rows and pullups?”

 

Will’s eyes gleamed.  He knew what happened when they worked out together.  And they had not had sex in 24 hours…

 


 

Gabriel sat back at his office desk, allowing the emotions to wash from him.  Of anyone, his family was going to be the hardest to face.  He had just finished writing to his brother Robert, now presumptive head of the family. letting him know that he was going to marry John.  He also asked Robert to tell their parents, since the last meeting had not gone at all well, with many hurt words exchanged between father and firstborn son.  He was under no illusions how that would be received. Still, he would not marry the man of his dreams in secret. 

Gabriel had his eyes closed, looking much like John when he was in his mental construct, when the proton mail signal sounded from his laptop.  He opened his eyes and switched over to proton mail, expecting a reply from Skye to his email that he and John were marrying.  But, as he read what was in his inbox, he stopped cold.  “Oh my God.”  Gabriel said aloud, looking at the screen.  

 

John heard the shock all the way in the kitchen over the whirring of the blender, where he was making a monumental two liter protein shake.  John shut off the blender and made his way to Gabriel’s smaller private office space off the garage.  “What is it, babe?  What’s wrong,”  he said, rounding the door.  His eyes were met with Gabriel, his back to the door as if he didn’t even know John had come into the room, staring blankly at the screen.  John looked down to see displayed the proton mail inbox:

 

From: Will Schaffer     |     Subject: To My Future Brother-In-Law

 

John smiled as he stood behind Gabriel so his fiancé wouldn’t see the expression and misinterpret it.   He and Skye had been hoping practically from day one that Will would reach out to Gabriel.  But they both agreed they’d never push him into it.  They’d try to tell him what Gabriel was like.  Ask him to trust them, but that’s all.  They’d let Will reach out on his own when he was ready.

 

Gabriel asked as nervously as it finally seemed to register that John had heard him and was standing there.  “What do you think, John?”

 

John knelt to the ground, bent down slightly further, and kissed Gabriel from behind on the cheek.  “I think it’s time that I leave you two alone so you can get to know each other.  I’ll be in the living room if you need me.”  John gave his little man one more peck, squeezed his tiny hand gently, and then arose.  He walked out back to his protein shake, his thunderous footfalls fading into the background.

 

John paused for a moment with his shake in his hand before he sat on the couch and closed his eyes.  He reached out to listen to Gabriel.  Every breath, every tiny movement, John could visualize as he listened.  He could hear the soft squish of the mousepad, the tiny plinks of the keyboard.  He saw and heard it all as if he were standing there.  He wouldn’t really be in the room.  Gabriel was a man and deserved to get to know Will as a man.  But that didn't mean John would leave him alone.  He supported Gabriel all he could from afar as he heard the mouse click, signaling the opening of the message.  

 

In the office, Gabriel began to read —

 


 

Dear Runt,

 

Well, being your biggest brother, it falls to me to have the very pleasurable duty to pick on you the most of your big brothers.  May as well start things off right with you.  Have to keep up my brotherly duties after all. 🙂

 

First, let me congratulate you.  I’ll talk to John separately and tell him, but I need to talk to you first.  I know you were not expecting that from me of all people. But in what I hope is an extension of trust on your part like I am extending trust to you - know it is a heartfelt feeling to you.  I am very, very happy that you make John so happy.  And he makes you just as happy.  I also hope you’ll extend me a bit of trust in learning to overcome my feelings towards littles.  Don’t know what John and Skye have told you, but as you get to know me I think you’ll figure out why I feel about littles like I do - until you learn that lesson for yourself.

 

Anyway, you’re going to be my littlest brother and my brother-in-law.  Outside of my own flesh and blood, a new little in the family is a first for me, much less a brother.   So, while I am still the biggest brother to both of you (But, rest assured.  Though John will outgrow me,  I’ll ALWAYS be your big brother… Shrimp 😛 )  let me offer a little sincere brotherly advice.  John told us a few weeks ago he was going to ask you to marry him, and me and Skye have been helping him with being so nervous and everything.  But, the stress on him was enormous.  I bet on you too.  You both need to celebrate and to blow off some steam.  When we suggested it, one of the things John said was that he didn’t have any idea how to celebrate with you.  That is seriously no good at all.

 

Now, any good proposal needs a good celebration.  So, I have a suggestion for something you both can do...  Before it is too late for John to do it.  John loves bodybuilding.  A LOT.  Maybe more than Skye or me ever did.  John says you have caught the little bodybuilder bug too, and are looking quite the part of a bodybuilder… for a pipsqueak, haha.  So, how about this…

 


 

Gabriel smiled as he read.  John is right again when he says “Payback is a bitch.”  He remembered what he had done to Robert through the years as the big brother.  Now, karma was going to make it all come back a hundredfold in the form of a three meter tall muscle giant.  The ways Will could pick on him were truly endless.  But, there was something about the tone in hearing Will “speaking” the words he wrote.  Gabriel could not put his finger on it.  Maybe it was John’s own feelings toward Will shading him a bit, but Gabriel couldn’t help but sense the tongue-in-cheek of the letter.  The feeling wasn’t nearly as strong as the feelings he got from John through the connection between them, but there was something.  A hint… perhaps it was some of John’s detective intuition coming through.  Something inside him said that while Will might pick on him, might humiliate him sometimes, he would just as quickly destroy anyone else who threatened him.  Will would rip them apart every bit as much as John might have.  Gabriel felt… oddly safe around Will reading this, as oxymoronic as that may have been. Even with the thought of WIll staring down at him over his pecs looking like he had found a new toy to play with had this twisted bit of … fun!?! to it.

 

Gabriel kept reading.  What WIll was asking him to do.  Holy FUCK.  It was perfect.  The perfect suggestion.  How had this not occurred to him he didn’t know.  How he could go about doing it on such short notice he had no idea.  Maybe he could ask Adam or Justin at the gym tomorrow if it was even possible.  They would surely know.  But, the suggestion fit them both so perfectly to not explore it.  Exactly what the suggestion of a loving jock big brother would be.

 

Gabriel finished up the note-

 


So, I guess it is best to say this as I finish up - take care of my big brother, will ya?  He’s gonna need it.  I think the only thing you could ever really do that would truly piss me off is not taking care of him.  We have never met, but I already love him like a brother.  And, if you will excuse my previous not talking and let us get to know one another, I think there is enough in me to love one more brother in my life too.  

 

Well, Runt, I look forward to getting to know you better.  Both as my brother AND as my personal pump up weight, and I workout almost everyday… :D.  

 

Your Future Big Brother AND BIG Tormentor,

Will

 


 

Big Brother AND BIG Tormentor”  Gabriel could not help but laugh out loud at that.  He could definitely hear some of John’s growing bad boy in that voice, and someday he would have to thank Will for that aspect of John.  It was a nice challenge, too, facing a bad boy behemoth who would be a bit more rough than John.  He remembered that there were more than a few times when Robert dished out plenty when they were small.  Sometimes, it was even more than Gabriel could handle.  Sure, he was at a massive disadvantage when it came to Will.  If Will really wanted to force him to do something, there was nothing he could do about it.  BUT - a mosquito can torment a human hundreds of times its size.  All it needs is the right spot to sting, and Gabriel was becoming quite expert at that when it came to giants.

 

“You OK?”  John asked from the living room.  Evidently, he had heard him laughing.

 

“I’m good, babe.  Just something he wrote reminded me of Robert when we were kids.  That’s all.  I’ll tell you more later.”

 

Just as he said that and was about to click reply, another message came.  

 

From: Will Schaffer     |     Subject: This One Is PRIVATE

 

Gabriel was curious as fuck.  Another message so soon.  John didn’t say anything.  So he must have assumed the message was from Skye.  That was probably for the best considering that subject line.  He opened it immediately, and began to read.

 


Hey Squirt,

 

I’ll be OK if you wanted to share that first message with John.  I think it might make him laugh.  But, this one… THIS ONE IS PRIVATE.  Just between you and me.  It is about John.

 

I will not tell John that this conversation ever existed except for the one reason I will tell you.  Skye does not even know I am sending this.  If he learns about it, he will learn at the same time I tell John about this.  And, as you get to know me, you’ll know I do almost nothing without telling my husband.  I ask you as well - don’t tell John and don't tell Skye either.  This is big brother to little brother.  IF EITHER JOHN OR SKYE FIND OUT ABOUT THIS, I WILL KNOW IT CAME FROM YOU AND AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, I WILL NEVER LOOK AT YOU WITH ANYTHING BUT DISGUST AND HATE.  Got me, runt?  Cause, as much as I will mess with you - this is serious. I am not exaggerating, it could be life and death.

 

I need you to do something fucking important, little man.  Trust me, I know how important it is.  It is something that has to do with the videos we sent you both when we first reached out.  I need you to make something for me, for John…

 


 

Gabriel kept reading and reading as Will explained.  Gabriel’s jovial, jocular mood quieted as it sank in, what Will was asking.  In some ways, it shook Gabriel.  Badly.  Gabriel saw Will’s Predator there speaking to him, and he had no doubt if he betrayed Will’s trust… the consequences could be monumental.  But more important was John, Will would not be saying this unless he truly did love John.  The thought of… 

 

Will was right.  As Gabriel kept reading, Will was so, so right.  As much insight into being a giant as Will had, there were ways he was just dead spot on that he could not possibly begin to understand.  

 

When he was done reading, Gabriel took a deep breath.  He captured the tone he needed to strike, and then clicked reply--

 


 

Dear Giant Arse Jock Boy,

 

I only have a second to reply before John will begin to worry and look in on me.  So, know we will talk a lot more as we go on.  But thank you.  Reaching out means more than you know.  I welcome it.  I will welcome every message from you, and I welcome you trying to pick on me… if you can.  John will tell you I am not exactly an easy nut to crack. I am not easy to break, and, with John teaching me, I can give as good as I get.  So, come at me, you big dumb ox.

 

Now, your other message.  You are absolutely right.  100% right.  I remember what you were talking about, and I have seen with my own eyes how important it is.  John would have never stopped that night, if not for…  I will do as you ask in every point and manner possible.  Twice over in fact.  You’ll know when to use which particular one, if they are needed.  There is something else I want to send along too.  Just let me know how to get them to you without Skye knowing.  I will start working on them tomorrow.  I will also absolutely respect your request of me in not telling either John or Skye.  Not telling John is obvious.  Not telling Skye… it is necessary.  Skye would want to fix the problem before it exists, and that is the wrong approach with John.  AND - you asked me not to.  We have trust to build you and I.  There are some things that big brothers and little brothers just do not share with anyone else.  This is a way to start.

 

Yours,

Gabriel

 


 

Gabriel stared at the bar, shirtless, sweat rolling down his growing pecs and abs, trying to not let it psyche him out.  Three plates and a quarter on each side.  365 pounds.  Adam had said ordinarily, he would not make this kind of jump this fast with a new lifter.  But, Gabriel said he wanted a challenge.  He wanted something really hard.  So, there it was, looking back at him.  He tried to pump himself up, telling himself what John, Skye, and Will could easily do with this bar.  Fucking hell, in the makeshift gym, Gabriel had watched John curl more than this in one hand.  And, for the moment, the other giants were still stronger than John.  Surely he could lift this off the ground, if they could make it look like a toy.  Back in July, he never imagined he would even try to lift one hundred pounds off the ground, and now that one hundred pounds was beneath even a warm up deadlift for him.

 

Ever since he had learned about anger from John, how to focus and channel rage safely as a tool and not as a means of self-destruction, his coaches had let him start deadlifting for mass and power, not for just learning form.  And every week he had been jumping up 15-20 pounds for his five sets of five.  But today, after he engaged in the lifts, he felt stronger than ever before.  A LOT stronger.  It was as if the part of him that was John was flowing through him even more than normal.  Gabriel had come to understand how addictive all this was.  Feeling yourself growing, even in his “normal” sort of way.  Feeling the pump.  Seeing the veins stand out, your skin flush, how the sweat sets off your muscles.  It was frankly intoxicating.  No wonder John had fallen in love with it.  He had to admit, he had fallen in love with it too - just like Will said.


So it was that Gabriel looked at the bar with twice his body weight on it, more weight than he had ever moved in his life.  He was surrounded by his friends, lending support as they all did when any of their number was getting ready for a bigtime PR.  Gabriel paused a moment as again he heard John inside him.  “Don’t analyze it, Angel.  Feel it… See it.  Feel it.  Do it.” 

 

He closed his eyes and took a breath.  He felt the piece of him that was John, walking him through the lift. He saw himself doing it perfectly from every angle.  Felt his muscles react when they did it perfectly. One more breath, and then, when the piece of him that was John and the piece of him that was Gabriel opened their eyes together… Gabriel was in a world of his own.  He heard nothing except John’s deep voice inside him - “DO IT, my warrior angel.”  He saw nothing but the weight, felt nothing but his body.  Gabriel took a breath and walked forward with purpose.  He did exactly as he had visualized, the part of him that was John doing a non-verbal play by play as he did.  He took the bar in his hands.  He braced his core, kept his spine neutral.  Breathed one last time and his eyes lost focus. 

 

Inside, John’s voice mixed with his own.  “EXPLODE.”  Gabriel pulled.  FUCK it was heavy.  So heavy.  But he kept moving.  His will kept him moving.  John’s will kept him moving.  Skye’s will.  Will’s.  Adam’s.  Justin’s. Jack’s.  The bar passed his knees, the motion transitioned.  The bar slid up.  Gabriel screamed out loud as he reached standing upright.  The lift locked.  He had done it.

Every single man watching let go of a cheer.  They all remembered the first time they had made that pull, what it felt like, and they enjoyed that feeling again in seeing another man pass the threshold.  Gabriel smiled brilliantly, sexily, a smile that made the women lifters inside watching swoon instantly, a smile that was more reminiscent of John’s and Skye’s than Gabriel would ever know.  He nodded his head twice in triumph as he held the bar a few seconds before he let it go, allowing the bumper plates and stand to perform their function.  All the guys came up and patted Gabriel’s back, shaking his hand, congratulating him.  Gabriel took it all in stride, appreciating it.  But his first thought was a yell back to Adam, “Did you get it?”

 

Adam held up the phone.  “Every second.”  That made Gabriel truly happy.  He had taken to filming his PR attempts to share with John.  So he could participate too, even if vicariously.  Gabriel had started posting them to social media too, and he was starting to attract a following.  Between his perfect form and his growing sexy muscles and looks, while he was not a viral sensation like some of his friends here with hundreds of thousands of followers, he had amassed thousands.  He looked forward to sharing this one - it was fluff but the comments about how hot he was were still flattering.

 

“Well, that’s more than enough.  You’ve earned that workout.”  Adam said, handing the phone back, as the crowd had returned to their own workouts.  Gabriel took the phone, but Adam could see something was on the tip of his tongue.  “What is it dude?”

 

“Well, I am trying to do something.  Something a close friend suggested when we let him know about the wedding. But it is just impossible.  I looked online and everything is sold out.  I want to take John to Mr. Olympia.  Celebrate our engagement with something we both love.  And to cheer you guys on… fuck maybe even cheer Phil."   They both laughed as Gabriel referred to the 8 time winner of Mr Olympia.  "Well maybe just me cheering.  I am sure John will just intimidate him.  But every seat is just gone.  There is no way to do it.   I can find hotels easily enough.  But I can’t get into the venue.”

 

Adam smiled back.  “So, you mean to tell me the Predator is gonna come out of hiding?  Or what is it the social media people are calling him, the Titan?”  Gabriel nodded affirmatively. 

 

 Ever since John had competed, the videos of him posing, in the posedown with the bantamweight, and especially the posing with Cedric McMillan… they had all gone viral.  No one knew who John was.  Even the name Kyle Brady and what show the routines were from fell away into the background noise of social media’s forgotten intelligence.  Instead, the connoisseurs of viral had taken to calling the giant, perfect, hot as fuck man shown in them, “Titan.”

 

“Yes, I think he will.  I haven’t asked him.  But, my gut says yes.  Especially if he knows he won’t be alone, and if he is looked at for his size, and not people waiting to see if he will blow his stack.  Besides that, the same friend has some pull of his own with John,”  Gabriel replied.  

 

“Well if it means getting you two to come out of hiding… there is always more than one way to skin a cat, as they say. Come on.”  Gabriel pulled a tank top over his bare chest as he followed Adam into Dylan’s office.  He did a quick knock, to which Dylan motioned his friends inside.  “Hey Dylan.  Need a favor.” Adam began.  “Who’s gonna be here doing photoshoots the next two weeks?”  

 

“God, way too many.  You know how it is around Olympia time.” Dylan replied.  “Why? What’s up?”  Adam and Gabriel explained the situation.  Dylan, being within the small loop who knew MOST of the truth about John, began to smile.  Nothing would make him happier than for John to come out of seclusion at the biggest weekend in bodybuilding.  The biggest man in the sport needed to be at the biggest weekend.  Dylan’s mind boggled at the reception John would get.  And Gabriel too for that matter, as he was fast approaching physique model status the way he was changing.  

 

"Let me see what the guys can do.  You never know unless you ask."  Dylan grabbed his phone and started a group message to all of John and Gabriel’s friends in the gym, even adding Phil into the mix.

Dylan Armbrust: Hey everyone.  Gabriel just told me John and he want to go to Olympia, but it is sold out, of course.  Who is up for making sure the boys get some tix?

 

The replies flew back instantly.

 

Martin Fitzwater: Easy.  Will hit up everyone I know.  Get Hunter and his old man on it too.  They both saw the vids.  

 

John Meadows : WOW?!? You’re kidding right? Gabriel said he would!?!  I will send out the word to the other coaches.  Neil, Milos, Hany.  They’ll get their guys and ladies on board I am sure.  John belongs there.

 

Justin Vetters: I will hit up the Canadians.  Dorian, Iain, and Reagan owe me a favor.  Besides, they all asked me who the “Titan” is.

 

And just like that, the phone tree started to work its magic.  Through John Meadows, the top coaches in the world like Neil Hill and Hany Rambod hit up the top Olympia hopefuls in the world.  The messages spread.  Chris Brumstead, Flex Lewis, Big Ramy.  Top contenders like Logan Franklin, Hunter Labrada, Regan Grimes, Derek Lunsford.  Even retired Olympians like Jay Cutler and Lee Labrada.  Within 2 hours, a flood of emails started to hit the powers that be in IFBB, eventually winding up with dozens of texts hitting Jake Wood - the new owner of Mr. Olympia - at once.  Even he had heard of the gigantic unknown bodybuilder they called the Titan.  In the end, it took less than 24 hours…

 

 The next morning Gabriel was having a sunrise cuppa with his egg whites and oats when a text chime sounded from his phone.  He looked at it to see a number he had only used one time before, that day in Colorado Springs.

 

Phil Heath:  Hey brother.  I was asked to reach out to you about your request.  Look at your email. Future bodybuilding royalty needs a suitable party of introduction and there is no better. Congrats to you both from me and Mrs. Heath.  Made a bit of personal arrangements for you both to come backstage through the entire show too whenever you want.  Even the amateur if you want to scare some of your competitors shitless.  I owe the Predator for a little bit of lighting the fire under my ass even more than usual and I owe him a little bit of payback.  See you soon.

Gabriel excitedly opened his email.  There was one new message from Mr. Olympia LLC.  Attached was a will-call code for two platinum level competitors' access passes to Olympia weekend.  With it was a quick note from IFBB chairman Jim Manion asking them both to come personally as his guests.  Gabriel sat back overwhelmed.  He just wanted tickets to the show.  He never imagined they would treat him and John like the competing athletes themselves.  

 

It struck Gabriel, after what Will had voiced to him as they were just starting to talk - the weird dichotomy of what John and the others called the littles.  What they called… him, despite them saying over and over he was more like one of them than a little.  Gabriel tried to understand it, but the more he tried the more he was confused.  

 

What was it that made Skye and especially Will so distrustful of littles, any little, that their attitude was some mix of superiority and dread with something that bordered on hatred.  Sure, they were HUGE and scary.  People do not respond well to things and people that are different.  But, to evoke such feelings?  Gabriel took his friends, John’s friends, as an example.  They cared so much that within a day, they not only got them two tickets but had gone so far beyond the pale.  Fucking hell, there was John when he was a little.  How John took such care with him that morning the man was chasing him before the accident.  How John played basketball with the teens, how he never forgot Brenda Heath.  

 

And yet - 

 

There was forcing John out of law enforcement due to politics.  There was the scumbag, Jeff Heath.  The one who attacked them without even knowing them in the parking lot.  That one who tried to mug him that very first morning.  Are the bad ones, even the very worst of humanity that are out there, so bad that they outweigh all the good that was in humanity?  Should every single little really be judged by the actions of others, or the sins of their fathers?  Was he to always bear the stigma and stain of his own family's behavior despite his best attempts to undo it?  Are humans good at their core?  Or are humans good… only as long as it was self-serving like Will and Skye thought?  Even though he thought they were wrong, Gabriel could not exactly fault Will and Skye for abandoning humanity.  If all humans were bad, even the good ones, were they not worthy of abandonment, disdain, even hatred?

 

Gabriel thought about his email to Robert.  He knew that as far as his family was concerned, things would now be sealed.  There was no going back.  He asked Robert one last time to set aside tradition.  But he knew Robert couldn’t.  Robert was a good man at his core.  Gabriel knew it..  And yet…

 

And yet…

 

And yet…

 

Gabriel set aside those thoughts for now.  He was not able to judge humanity’s fitness to exist.  He was part of that humanity.  Better at the moment to focus on what was going to be good for him and John.

 

“JOHN…” He yelled out as he walked into the living room.

 

A gargantuan roar came back.  “Coming back from the lake.  Be there in a sec.”  Gabriel looked out the sliding doors to see John a good quarter of a mile away, taking up a trot that was faster than most men could run.  

 

Seeing John, with what he was just thinking, Gabriel could not help it.  A tear began to fall down his cheek.  Fate.  They were fighting fate, and fate always had a habit of winning.  Even with the giant's abilities, they couldn't avoid fate.  What both of them knew MUST be John’s future, and what he would have to face to get there.  What Will had asked him to do - and what Will had said, “...Until you learn yourself.”  Gabriel could imagine such unspoken pain in those words, pain knowing what John was yet to face, what neither of them could not tell him.  What Will had told him his beloved's future would be.  

 

What would it be like to be able to hear him cry out from that far away.  To run like that, to be big and strong like that.  To see every wrong you could put right… but mustn’t.  What self-control it must take to stand back and make peace with letting the world go on… without you.  

 

John came inside the living room within two minutes.  “What is it babe?”  John said but then he picked up on Gabriel’s anguish.  “Angel?”

 

Gabriel quickly semi-composed himself and quickly figured out how to play off his mood.  “John.  When I was telling everyone we were getting married someone suggested something.  Something to celebrate getting engaged.  Something we would both love.  Except I looked into it.  It’s just impossible.  I told Adam and Justin about it yesterday.  Just yesterday.  And then I got this just now.”

 

Gabriel handed over his phone with the text from Phil Heath on it.  John looked puzzled after reading it.  “What does he mean, backstage through the whole show? What are we going to see?”

 

Gabriel took his phone back and opened the email.  He handed it to John smiling.  John didn’t even have to take the phone out of Gabriel’s hand to read the note:

 

***

 

“Phillip said that “The Titan” wanted to come to Mr. Olympia.  I do not relish the pitchforks that would be thrown my way if I didn’t make that happen.  So, consider this an invitation to an all-access experience of the show as both my personal guest and the guest of Phillip and Jay.  Both John - I am so glad I know a name now - and yourself Dr. York.  It speaks very highly of you that both Adam Young and John Meadows are coaching you, and what you yourself are capable of.  Both of you stop by and speak to me while you are here, any time.  And perhaps the Titan can be on that Olympia stage in the next couple of years.  By all accounts, he would keep taking the world by storm.

Jim Manion”

 

***

 

“Angel?!?”  John grasped what this meant.  What Gabriel and his friends had done.

 

“Happy… Happy… I don’t know what you call a wedding proposal party.  Hahaha.  So, whatever we want to call this thing, you want to go to Mr Olympia with me?” Gabriel said, his tears muted by a smile wide as hell.

 

“But… but… it's impossible.  Who?  How?  I can't be seen… I...”

 

“You have a LOT of friends John.  Not just me.  They may not see you the way I see you, but they all still care.  They voice it all the time, even if they don't tell you.  All I had to do was ask and it was done beyond my wildest dreams.  As for the idea, I suppose you have a certain person who thinks of you as a brother to thank for that.”  Gabriel flipped onto his proton mail and read the first email from Will.

 

“Why that scrawny, big ass fuck.  Wait until I get hold of him.”  John walked to the couch and almost collapsed overwhelmed.

 

“I think he can still outsize you, but you out skill him.  So it would be quite the match.”  Gabriel quipped.  “And I guess I have a future person to practice my self-defense on.”

 

“You damned well better.”  John laughed.  “But if he gets too playful or too rough, just say the word and I will--”

 

“He won’t.  Call it, my John-lessons in reading people coming out.  But, how?  Well, I know I was all about us keeping a low profile.  But, realistically, that won’t be possible in a few months, not if Jack and I have our way with the data and the lab.  They are going to find out John.  So, tell me.  As a strategist, isn’t it better that we reveal what we want them to know and control when they learn who and what you are?  Make the reveal on terms of our choosing?  They can hardly approach us at the biggest bodybuilding event on earth with 100,000 people around us on the Las Vegas strip.  A risk? Yes.  But we are in control.  Isn’t that best?”

 

In a lightning burst of speed, John lunged forward, taking Gabriel off of his feet, then sitting him on his lap as he returned to the couch.  “You are getting way too good at this strategery,  Angel.  Either I am a good teacher or you have way more of a knack for this than even I thought.  What the hell am I going to do with you, Squirt?”

 

Gabriel released a cocky, twisted, sexy as all fuck smile.  “Why, you are going to marry me, John Declann.  That’s what you’re going to do.”  John roared in laughter, as he realized he had left himself totally vulnerable for that one.  Gabriel continued, “Well, what do you say?”

 

“Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.  I will say what I have already said.  What I always say.”  John smiled almost fiendishly, but oh so sexily.  “If we are going to do it Angel, then lets’s fucking do it right.  Let’s make a SPLASH.  Let’s not hide at all, but make every person there shit themselves wondering when both of us are going to get on that stage.  Let’s become the People’s Champions even though we are not competing.  You up for it?”

 

“Oooohhh.  There’s my bad boy.  But, I do have one condition…”

 

“Yes, little man?”

 

“You are not going to be the only bad boy in town.”  Gabriel laughed and smiled, but John knew he was serious.  Predator Gabriel was going to go public too, if he had his way.

 

“Knock ‘em dead, you sexy badass Angel you.”  John allows his hand to pass over Gabriel’s cock and sighed.  “Leave ‘em begging YOU for more.”

 

Gabriel jumped forward and hugged John.  “Thank you babe.  Thank you for trusting me, and Will.”

 

“I will never lose my faith in you Angel.  Never.”

 


 

“Jesus, Angel.  When I said I would go to Mr. Olympia, I never expected this.  Do we really--”

 

From behind John a voice emerged.  “Mr. Declann?”

 

“Yes, Ma'am?”

 

“SSSSHHHHHH!!!!”  The tailor “screamed” at the top of her lungs standing on a 3 foot tall step stool.  "If you keep talking when I need you to be quiet, this isn’t going to fit.  And I will turn you into a pin cushion.  And this will take hours instead of minutes.”

 

John immediately fell silent, and Gabriel roared laughing from the next room, where he himself was having his tuxedo fitted.  “Hahahahaha.  Mrs. Letham, do you do work at home?  I can’t ever make him be quiet.”

 

“But, Gabriel--”

 

“SSSSSSHHHHH!!!  Seems that I am not having the best of luck either, Dr. York.  At this rate, you will need a blood transfusion from all the pin pricks if you don’t stop moving and be quiet unless I need you to talk”  the old woman replied.  

 

“But--”

 

“You really DO have a death wish, don’t you?”  

 

“I’ve been dead before.”  John said with more than a touch of unspoken irony. 



“Just one more word…”  John smiled, but hung his head in defeat. He let the woman with 50 years of experience making custom clothing go about her work.  He always knew it was a hopeless task to plead a case before someone who had seen all life could throw at them like Mrs. Letham.  He knew when he was beaten.

 

John HATED suits.  He had always hated them, ever since he was a kid in Church.  He got the aversion honestly.  His grandfather used to joke about hating suits after he saw a hanging as a kid - of course such things were gone long before even his grandpa was born, but the man did all he could to never put on a tie.  John had even been chided by judges over the years when he was in court and avoided ties.  And now, here he was, being fitted for not just shirts and pants and a jacket but a goddamned tux!!!  The only reason he was suffering the indignation of wearing a tux was for his Angel.  He did seem to be enjoying John’s discomfort in an impish sort of way, and that side of Gabriel always made John smile.

 

Sure enough, once John stopped fighting his fate, the skilled woman worked at near lightning speed.  John marveled watching her in the mirror.  She seemed to work at a speed and a precision that rivaled his own abilities.  He felt the jacket pull, twist, straighten, change at near warp speed.  And as it did, it fit him better, and better and better, until…

“That’s it Mr Declann.  Let’s go to the large mirror and see what we think.  To be honest, you are so large, no offense, that I can’t see how the overall fit is myself until I am standing a lot further away .”  Mrs. Letham said, offhandedly.

 

John turned and walked slowly into the next room, careful not to pull at himself, bending very carefully to get through the doors so as to not disturb the pins.  As soon as he emerged and saw Gabriel, he stopped.  The exact response came from Gabriel as he saw John standing tall in a tuxedo designed from the ground up for him.  They both stared at each other - speechless.  They had never seen each other like this - these kinds of clothing that accented their bodies perfectly.  Absolutely perfectly.  

 

Gabriel’s tailor let out a low whistle seeing them both.  “Wow.  Mrs. Letham.  That is amazing.  I must say it has been fun to work on two men such as you.  Such proportions and bodies are so rare.  It is fun to make clothes that are meant for you to make you look--”

 

“Jesus Christ…”  John mumbled under his breath, still stunned seeing Gabriel like this, using all he had to not get hard immediately.

 

Mrs. Letham chucked.  “My thoughts exactly.  Did you bring the shoes, Dr. York?”

 

“Uh-huh.” was all Gabriel could manage, overwhelmed as he was.

 

“Shoes?”  John managed.  To which, Gabriel just pointed to a large box near the chair where he waited during the fitting.

 

Darryl, Gabriel’s tailor, walked up and took the box that covered his entire torso.  “You can’t very well go around in these sorts of clothes in stocking feet.  When we got your proportions, remember when we measured your feet?  There was a reason.  Our cobbler loved making these.  He has a thing for unusual jobs.  And size 28 shoes are plenty unusual.  Let me help you get these on.”  

 

Darryl popped open the box to reveal an amazing pair of black patent leather shoes.  They were the perfect mix of tradition and modern aesthetics that fit John’s model looks to a tee.  John held up his feet one at a time assisting the small man fit the massive dress shoes into place.  He stood back, to which Gabriel finally managed to say, “Oh God, John.  You have no idea…”

 

John looked in the mirror.  It did fit him.  So perfect.  The jacket was not designed to be buttoned, a Nehru collar with a fitted waistcoat beneath.   Enough room to move, but the clothing hugged every curve of muscle just enough to show his size without being obnoxious about it.  John felt a bit like a modern James Bond - a Gen Z Daniel Craig if there were such a thing - in his suits in the movies.  But, he quickly turned back to Gabriel, seeing his tux fitting him just as well, if not better.  Gabriel had a slightly more conservatives traditional look than John, while still being a modern all black look. And Gabriel had worn these things enough through the years that he was confident in it… and it showed.

 

Darryl had Gabriel come over to John, so that the two were standing side by side.  It was remarkable.  They looked ready for a European runway, despite even Gabriel (much less John) easily outmassing a typical high fashion male model.   ‘Well, I will say, you two will make rooms go silent when you walk in.”

 

Gabriel was finally able to engage his brain to mouth connection again, though his throat was still dry from seeing John like this.  “How long until you can finish?”

 

Mrs Letham looked at her counterpart.  “Tomorrow?”  He nodded in reply.  “It looks like a lot of work, but it isn’t really.  Way more pins than actual alterations.  Your casual wear is already done.  Stop by first thing in the morning and we will have it.”

 

John replied, “You two are absolute miracle workers.”

 

Both tailors laughed, “Oh no.  Working on well muscled bodies is a lot of fun.  We will see you in the morning.”

 

Just as the two men were pulled apart to begin to undress, Gabriel’s phone signaled a Gmail message was incoming.  He paused at his phone sitting in the chair, and looked at the screen.  Seeing the title and sender … Gabriel’s world stopped:

 

From: Robert Severn     |     Subject: Hello Gabriel.  A Reply to Your News...

 

Gabriel had never expected to hear from his family.  Not in a million years.  John sensed something was wrong immediately.  “Gabriel?”  John walked up behind his fiance and looked at the phone.  He immediately understood.  John put his great hand on the little man’s shoulder.  “We can do this together when we get home.  OK Angel?  You will never face this alone again.”

 

Gabriel responded by putting his hand up onto John’s on his shoulder, squeezing it and nodding.  He was going to need John for this - maybe more than he had needed him for anything else.  He was going to lose his family…. He just knew it.

***

 

Gabriel collapsed onto the couch as he pulled out his phone.  John knelt down behind the couch, his hands swallowing Gabriel’s shoulders as they rested there.  Gabriel needed him, needed him badly right now.  That was clear on the drive home as fear poured from the littlest giant as he stared at the unopened email.  John was preparing himself to hold his little man close, to let him cry out the pain when it came.  Nothing would keep him from protecting and loving his man.  Nothing…

 

“Whenever you are ready my love.  I am not leaving you.”  John said from behind.  Gabriel closed his eyes, took a deep breath and opened the message:

 


 

Hello Gabriel 

 

As always, I hope this letter finds you well, no matter what you are currently facing in life.

 

I carefully considered how to respond to your last letter, and I must admit that I am at a bit of a loss to express myself properly.  So, I hope you will forgive me for speaking a bit gruffly.  As you might gather as you read this, this is going to be extremely difficult.  I never asked to be put in this position, although circumstance seems to keep placing me in the middle.

 

Gabriel, about your request.  You know that I cannot tell our parents about your news.  It has to come from you, and you alone.  It is not my place to tell our mother and father about your wedding just because you want to hide from the consequences of your choices.  You have to face them.  Just as you had to face the consequences and accept them when you came out of the closet to them - so you must accept and face them now.  I can tell you that what you fear the reaction will be, what you are trying to avoid, will be the case.  I am sorry, but it is what it is.  But it is better to do it sooner than later.  Allowing this to age, possibly come to them from a source that is not you - that would be far worse than what is coming.  You know that.  I suspect that is why you wrote to me and asked.  But this must be my reply.

 

Now - allow me to speak personally - for myself, Jean, and the kids.  Gabriel, I wish the past could somehow be different now.  I wish that we were still a family in the old way without the unspoken shadow in the room.  The shadow is there to be sure, but… if I have my way, when I have my way, that shadow will be gone.  It may take decades, but… Gabriel someday perhaps you and John can come back to England.  I want you to know that no matter the past, you and John will be welcome with our small family.  I am so proud you found someone who makes you as happy as Jean makes me.  We may not see eye to eye on some things - a lot of things - but you have always deserved happiness.  And I wish you every happiness.

 

That being said - I know that your last visit ended with certain things said by our father.  I never spoke out about those things, but I want you to know just how unfair and wrong I consider those things.  You know how Father is, but he doesn’t speak for me.  So, I took some steps - what I could do anyway.  Father doesn’t know, and I will have to face my own consequences but this is worth it.  I remember grandfather once saying that no one in the family would ever be homeless, he would not allow it, no matter what anyone’s choices were.  I have found the wisdom in that.  So, I want you to consider what I have done as part of a wedding gift to you and John.

 

I know how you feel about the family money and resources.  I won’t inflict more of that upon you.  But, now that you are getting married there are some things you need to know.  Things Father would not tell you.  When I gained access to the financial records when I got married, I discovered a few things.  What is pertinent to you goes back to what grandpa said.  Your current trust is not the only one you have.  In grandpa’s will, this was expressly instructed to be kept confidential as a full out condition.  But those conditions of quiet have now been fulfilled with your announcement.  So here goes --

 

There is one more trust in your name - to be revealed and released to you at the time of your wedding.  It was expected that it would go along with the titles and such, but the particulars do not tie it to the title and majority stakes.  It belongs to you - no matter what.

 

This trust is LARGE, Gabriel.  It is larger than the trusts both of us received when we went into college.  By an order of magnitude Gabriel. The trust is in a separate bank in Switzerland.  I already placed the proper legal barriers around it, so that Father cannot revoke the trust.  It is yours, and you will receive control of it as soon as the bank receives legal confirmation of your marriage - being married to another man or no.  You did not have any worries before the way you spent your first trust.  I dare say - having seen what it is - you will have no issues with the second.  I can also assure you that even though you will gain controlling interest of your marriage trust the day you are married - you never have to accept it if you do not want to.  It will stay there sealed until the day you unlock it.

 

Finally, let me share something that you might find more palatable.  Jean and I want to give you both a proper wedding present.  Material needs have always meant very little to you.  So, I did some snooping.  If you will accept it, I have secured you and John the use of a certain “out of the way” spot for a honeymoon.  A private island in Fiji known as Nananu-I-Cake.  600 acres, 5 beaches, 6 bedrooms, 7 baths, it even has a very complete gymnasium for you and John since I know that is important to you… and, most importantly, not a single soul on it for 2 weeks other than you.  Just the two of you with beaches and privacy.  I can promise you I didn’t pay a single cent for it.  I just called in a favor with one of Father’s friends in the Lords whose family owns it.  I was told on the downlow, the family may be wanting to sell it.  I remember you used to talk about moving to such a place someday.  So, call this a “trial run” to see if you would like to do it.  All you have to do is let me know, and the airline tickets to Suva (that I did spend some money on for a private flight.  I know privacy is important to you as well as John from what you have told me) and transport to and from the island is waiting on you.  I do hope you will accept Gabriel.  I may not be able to do all that I would like, all that you would like, but I want this thing between us to go away.  I want my kids and eventual grandkids to get to know their Uncle Gabriel… and their new Uncle John one day.

 

I will close, hoping that this letter is well-received.  I await your reply - 

 

With Love,

Rob and Jean

 


 

Gabriel was weeping as he finished the letter.  All he could do was hold the phone up for John to read it as well.  When John was done, he leaned forward and kissed Gabriel on the crown of his head.  “See.  Not everyone is frozen in the thinking of the past.”

 

“Of all people in my past to reach out with forgiveness, I never imagined it would be Robert.  Never.  He was also so rigid…”

 

“Time changes people, Angel.  Hell, look at us.”  John said, dropping down so that he could rest his chin and neck on his man’s shoulder.  “So, do you want to accept?”

 

“What do you think John?  I told you what my family is like.  The complications…”

 

“Kind of simple to me, Angel.  I don’t give a fuck about complications.  This is about you and me.   I love the mountains.  You… You love the beach.  We are living in the mountains… I COULD go for a nice, warm, sunny 80 degree honeymoon on a beach in… say January???”

 

Gabriel turned around, his tears intensified, “You mean…”

 

“Who wants a long engagement?  I am all for some nice ship’s captain or a judge doing the deed.  Our marriage is for us.  Not anyone else.  Let’s keep it small, huh?”

 

Gabriel flew into another tight John hug, throwing himself at his man.  “You took the words right out of my mouth.  I’m gonna marry you, you big lug.”

 

“I know,” John said smiling.  “And just wait until I get to play with you under the stars on a private island on the beach with the surf… and not a soul within miles to see me.  I am gonna give you a first wedding night like no one else on earth has ever had.” 

 

Gabriel kissed John’s neck, “I don’t know if I can wait that long.  Can I get a preview to tide me over?”

 

John stood, clutching Gabriel to him.  He began to expertly give Gabriel’s shorts-covered cock a hand job.... Except it was John’s abs doing the work.  Closing around that 8 inches of hardening dick… encasing it, working it in a way no human Gabriel’s size had ever felt.  He moaned, his entire shaft hardening under the expertly tight massage.  The little Angel heard the voice of the bad boy, “Oh, I think that can be arranged, little man.  I definitely think that can be arranged…”

 


 

It started exactly as his video-perfect memory remembered it happening before.

 

Gabriel flying backwards under his hand onto the pile of mulch.  The machine’s legs unleashing, taking off running straight toward the tiny, insignificant nothing with the knife.  Crossing tens of meters from a dead stop in the time it takes to snap fingers.  The nothing runt totally unprepared for the freight train barreling toward him.  The nothing having barely enough time to see him coming and beginning to turn the knife into an attack position. 

 

His eyes locking on the knife, seeing the knife so close.  A cold rage gripping the muscle giant.  This tiny thing -- this insect wanted to attack him.  The micro-bastard wanted to take Gabriel from him.  But the bastard was so slow in its movements. But then… then it changed.  

 

The cold rage became something… inhuman.  John/Predator fell into the background and stopped.  The Demon exploded forward within him, taking over everything.  His hand shot forward and grasped almost all of the nothing’s right forearm.  Squeezing at full power, he twisted the attacker's wrist and forearm, rotating them around. He turned the arm until he forced the hand open, causing the knife to fall to the ground…

 

And then the Demon kept turning.  He cocked his wrist in a tortuous snap, and smiled as he heard bones crack cleanly under the flesh.  He relished the high pitched scream of suffering… and he kept turning.  There was a sickening pop at the shoulder.  And he kept turning.  Suddenly, the demon took the nothing by its other arm, threw it into the air, caught it, and drove it head first into the pavement.  There was a muted crunch, like a walnut popping within his palm, as the body of the nothing fell lifeless at his feet.

 

“FUCK YOU.”  The Demon said in its deep, emotionlessly menacing voice brimming with hate… and satisfaction.  “FUCK YOU ALL…”  He then heard a whimper and turned to see the person he only knew as Mr. Fuk, the mugger in Boulder the day of the accident.  Another one who tried to take Gabriel from him.  But Gabriel was HIS to do with as he pleased.  This shitstain deserved the same as the other.  THEY ALL DID.  With ungodly speed, the Demon was on him.  His hand grasped the back of Fuk’s neck, twisted, and threw the body thirty feet away.  It collapsed as it hit the ground with open, lifeless eyes.  

 

“Please… please…”  The rage was barely getting started as the Demon saw Jeff Heath backing away.  He ran toward Heath, grabbed him by the back, and punched straight forward into his pec, driving his fist into the body.  The body was just deadweight as the Demon threw it with the others, his smile growing.  

 

He looked at the small creature on the mulch and spoke to it.  The only words the insignificant deserved to hear from their God, and he had given him those words.  “CRUSH THE WORLD…”  The Demon smiled.  He would crush them all…

 

The Demon cut his now reddening brown eyes toward a sound.  The vermin were gathering like rats.  He began to run towards them, even as  more and more of the worthless specs appeared around him.  The specs moved as if they were stuck in amber… insects in amber.  The cops in the parking lot, the kid soldiers at the silo… snap, snap, snap.  The paramedics … snap, snap, toss… faster and faster.  The flight surgeon and nurses … snap, bloody stomps through the pinned underfoot living corpses that just didn’t know they were dead yet.  Ten….Twenty… Thirty.  The pile grew higher.  But, the rage wasn’t satisfied.  It just became stronger as the machine began to scream a sound never heard before, a scream that made every little stop and piss itself - the roar of a fallen god from the deepest pits of hell.  They were so nothing.  Barely worth the effort to dispose of… Animals that had become inflated beyond their purpose.  A virus.  A mistake of evolution.  A mistake he was made to correct.  

 

The military police he had worked with.  Forty… Dougherty and the LEO leadership… Fifty… a pile of bodies growing taller and taller.  Blood and rage, a red coated god of death crushing the world and reveling in it.  The last of what had once been human in the Demon fell away and died.  He screamed again… a terrible scream of something beyond evil being born, a force of nature, a Titan....

 

The now glowing all-red eyes cut back toward the small creature on the pile of mulch.  It was standing now, moving backwards.  His Creator, now wreaking of fear… The Demon smiled as it moved toward the small man.  The Creation moves beyond the Creator...  

 

He felt something touch his hand….

 


 

John’s scream was so loud as he awoke from the nightmare that it could be heard at the resort a half a mile away.  Gabriel’s ears were ringing and then became silent for a moment, the shock of the sound of John’s thunderous scream of horror overloading his ability to hear.  John’s face was almost animalistic in terror as his mind kept living the nightmare for a few seconds more.  He was covered in sweat from head to toe.  John’s eyes shifted all over, looking this way and that in blind panic.  He caught a glimpse of Gabriel’s hands that had been holding his, before they flew toward the little man’s ears out of raw instinct to protect his stinging ears.

 

John’s breathing began to slow as he realized it was a nightmare… Another nightmare.  They have been coming more and more lately.  After he integrated the Demon into him, it seemed to manifest in a primal fear of losing control.  Fear of what he could do, fear of what he could become, released in his dreams.  But this was the first proper night terror, thrashing and screaming in his sleep.  He had never told Gabriel about the dreams.  But he was going to have to now...

 

John began to calm slightly as rationality began to exert itself.   He saw Gabriel’s fear and obvious pain at the sudden shock of sound.  John’s terror turned into a wave of remorse as he leapt to care for Gabriel.  “Angel, Angel.  Are you OK? Did I hurt you?  Oh God…”  John was nearing panic now seeing Gabriel hurt.

 

Gabriel put up his hands, waving at John.  As John looked at him, Gabriel took John’s single hand into his own.  Gabriel could barely hear John talking over the ringing, but he could hear.  The shock would pass in time, the physician inside him knew.  “I will be OK John.  You were just so loud.  My ears are ringing…” Gabriel didn’t realize he was shouting, like someone does after coming into a quiet environment after a loud rock concert or dance.  

 

John hugged his little man close, cradling him for what seemed like hours.  John was holding onto Gabriel as his talisman against the darkness as much as he was holding him to take care of him.  As the ringing in Gabriel’s ears subsided, John whispered to him what had been happening - how his dreams of late had been plagued by nightmares of losing control.  The pressure John had been putting on himself to not give into the Demon - how integrating the fury was not as easy as it seemed.  How he thought if he ever felt anger for even a moment, it would consume him.  Gabriel began to hug John back, seeing the wisdom more and more in what Will had told him to do.  John was going to crack under this pressure he was putting himself through.  John needed an outlet - a way to let the Demon run its course when John felt anger.  It would be deadly if John bottled up his feelings as powerful as they were.  John was dreaming the future if this kept going.

 

They talked and talked.  Gabriel resolved to share this with Will, not Skye.  Skye had the rage, yes, but Will’s was much closer, more visceral - like John’s.  Will could help, suggest ways to vent safely for John and for everyone else around him.  Gabriel told John it was OK to feel.  Even our negative emotions.  It is what makes us human.  It is just what we do with them toward ourselves or others that is good or bad - not the feelings.  They agreed - John needed an outlet, and they would find it together.  But, for now, they were going to let it all go.  No more stress.  They were leaving for Vegas tomorrow.  Stress was going to be off limits for the next 6 days.  John promised - he would have fun and not give a damn who saw what.  Not stress about being seen, or hiding or all the rest.  Be seen… and Gabriel knew as John was seen, that the powers above him that were going to act against them would think twice before coming after John.  If Will and Skye had beaten them… John could humiliate them.

 

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  • GymPredator changed the title to To Protect and Serve - Chapters 10.1 (Posted 10 July 2021)

Perect timing - I was starting to wonder when the next chapter would be posted! :D

I absolutely love this latest part! There's a real sense of camaderie developing between all of them now that Will's opened up a little. It'll be interesting to see how to world takes to John and Gabriel when they rock up in Vegas, that's for sure!

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Just a heads up for everyone - I am going to be moving from Las Vegas to Denver during the next month.  With all that packing and unpacking, the next chapter may be delayed until September.  I am going to try and get 10.2 up before moving begins in earnest in 2 weeks.  But, I may not make it, and if I don't a lot of my August is going to be burned.

So, that leaves a little more time if any of you have ideas of how John and Gabriel might show off at the Olympia expo and other places in Vegas, send them.  This chapter is basically pure "fan service" before the climax starts.  And thanks to everyone who has sent suggestions so far.  I am putting all those in the outline over the next few days... including, just how many men does it take to beat John at a tug-of-war... lol.  That is IF they can.  And John's arm wrestling skills have improved, and he might have taught some of it to Gabriel.  ;)  

And an edit that may help visualize.  Thanks to @dredlifter with making some clear background "models" - this is a visual of Gabriel vs Will, and you can see why Will says he is going to play with him the way he did.  Gabriel is 5'8" and Will is 9'6".

Will and Gabriel.jpg

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