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m/m The Repository - Part 4 (Completed, 9/21/21)


TQuintA

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  • TQuintA changed the title to The Repository - Part 4 (Chapters 9-10, 9/14/21)

The muscle growth descriptions are unbelievably erotic: 

 

              My pecs jutted out magnificently, caressed by the stretchy material, full to overflowing, distorting the logo and stretching its shape.

 

"I'll have what he's having!"

💪🤩

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Part 4 – The Hollywood Hunk

Chapter 11

            When it was time for us to leave, Shafe got up early and drove me to the airport, but he didn’t get on the plane with me.

            “Marietta and I have just started something, and I want to see where it goes,” he said.

            “Best of luck,” I said and hugged him goodbye.

            When I got back to my apartment in L.A. later that same night—and I do mean when, as in the exact second—I got a phone call from Margaret Whalen asking me to come by her office.

            “It’s late, and I’ve been traveling all day,” I said.  “Can’t this wait until tomorrow?”

            “If it could wait until tomorrow, I wouldn’t be waiting for you in my office.”

            Grumbling, I left my suitcase at the door and dragged myself to Jason’s PR firm.  The meek secretary took me right through the room of beige and brown into Margaret’s office.   When I got there, Margaret was typing frantically at her desk, her hair done up in a sloppy bun, garish red-framed glasses on her face—I guess she’d been wearing contacts when we last met.  Without looking up from her laptop, she pointed to the seat in front of her desk, where a mug of tea was waiting for me.  It was nice that there was tea waiting for me; most people would’ve offered coffee.

            “It might be cold,” she said, still not looking up.  “It took you longer to get here than I expected.”

            “Traffic,” I said.

            “Isn’t there always?” she said, shaking her head jovially as though she had made a joke.  She still hadn’t looked up from her typing.  I politely waited for her to finish typing, but she must have been typing a novel.  After sitting in silence for two minutes, I cleared my throat.  Still looking down at her laptop screen, she pointed to the tea. 

            At this point, I thought maybe the meeting wouldn’t begin until I tried the tea. It was a little cool, but delicious, just the type I usually made at home—Darjeeling—with just the right amount of honey.  I think it was even the same brand I usually bought.

            When I put the mug down, Margaret moved her laptop to the side and looked me dead in the eyes.

            “Good tea?” she asked.

            “Excellent,” I replied.

            “Well, then,” she said.  “Does the name Freddie Wade mean anything to you?”

            “Should it?”

            “He works the front desk at the Fairmont in Vancouver.”

            Jason was staying at the Fairmont.  The only person I interacted with there was the guy at the front desk who constantly tipped his hat to me.  “Oh.  Him.”  I shrugged.  “What about him?”
            “A prominent gossip blog that I have an in with was contacted by Freddie Wade.  He told them that the same man had come to Jason Prentiss’s hotel room numerous times, often leaving the room the following morning, clearly doing a walk of shame.”

            “There was no shame involved in my walks,” I responded.

            “He’s offering pictures to this blog.”

            “They would just be pictures of me in a lobby.  Jason and I didn’t do anything even remotely sexual in public.  We didn’t even hold hands.  And we made extra certain to clean up anything we did in his room to make sure the maids had nothing to gossip about.”

            “Rumpled clothing can count as sexual to a gossip blog,” she pointed out.

            “Did I do something wrong?” I asked.

            “Not even remotely.  However, you did do something inevitable. The fact that you’re dating Jason Prentiss is going to become tabloid news in a matter of hours.  The only reason the blog hasn’t published the story yet is because they owed me a favor, and I cashed in.”

            “You keep talking as though I’m in trouble.  Jason and I are two consenting adults.  We did nothing wrong.”

            “Absolutely nothing wrong,” Margaret said emphatically.  “But Jason values his private life.  He values it so much he pays me obscene gobs of money to keep it as private as it can be.  And now, it’s about to become a subject of public discourse.”

            “Why am I here?” I asked.

            “We have to handle the situation, or the situation will handle us.”

            That didn’t answer my question, so I tried a new approach.  “What do you need from me?”

            “There are four options.  Really, there are only three, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  As they will all require your direct participation, I need to know which of the four we’re going with.  I can’t force you to do anything, so the choice has to be yours.”

            “Okay.  So, what’s my first option?”
            “Option 1 is the non-option, the one that doesn’t really count.  We do absolutely nothing.  Let it ride.  See what happens.  If we go that route, there’s a slim chance—winning-the-lottery-while-being-struck-by-lightning slim chance—that no one cares and the story dies because some bigger piece of gossip eclipses it.  But the far more likely route is that the worst sort of tabloid reporters and paparazzi track you down to get the scoop.”

            “That sounds sinister.”

            “Oh, it is.  I found out about Freddie Wade 12 hours ago, and I’ve spent much of those 12 hours researching you; I even hired a P.I.  Now, I had a head start because I know your name, address, and phone number, but those aren’t state secrets.  Give someone eight weeks and enough financial incentive, and they’ll know more about you than you do.  In just my 12 hours of research, I found out a lot about you.  Where you went to school, your parents’ names, every speeding ticket you ever got.”  She paused, then with a weight in her voice, added, “Your typical grocery store purchases.”

            “That’s how you knew how I like my tea?” I asked.

            “Yes.  Kind of a practical demonstration.  I also learned that you shared your hotel room in Vancouver with a man named Gil Shafer.”

            I heard a click inside my head.  “Oh, is that what this is about?  He’s just a friend of mine.  He has been for 10 years.  More importantly, he’s straight.”

            “You misunderstand.  This isn’t about facts.  This is about facts that, without explanation, will cause a casual viewer to draw the wrong conclusion.  And TMZ only has casual viewers.  You signed in at a hotel in Canada with one man, and then were seen having romantic encounters with Jason.  And at the Fairmont, you used the name Miles Uhler, but that is not your legal name.”

            “Yeah.  Jason knows that.  Miles Uhler is my pen name.  I told you this when we first met.”

            “You don’t see the potential for scandal?  Secret names!  Mysterious men!  It’s got all the pieces to elicit curiosity.  If we do nothing, they can track down every last scrap of your life.”

            “But I doubt they’ll track me down as easily as you did.  I trust my friends to keep my secrets.  I don’t do social media.  I’m a very private person.”

            Margaret sighed in exasperation.  “That’s actually worse.  If they can’t track you down quickly enough, they’ll simply make things up.”

            “Like what?”

            “You’re a large, muscular man, Miles.  The rumors will immediately be steroids.  And since Jason just went through that transformation for the superhero movie, they’ll all conclude that Jason’s on steroids too.”

            “But he’s not.  I’m not.”

            “They don’t care.  In a gossip rag, the scent of impropriety is the same as guilt.  And then, because you’re both gay men, they’ll accuse you of far worse than illegal drugs.  Need I name specifics?”

            “Ok, so that option is out.”

            “Glad we agree.”

            “What’s the next option?”

            “Likely, it’s equally repellent to you, but I have to put it on the table because it’s literally my job.  Option 2 is that we turn you into a star.”

            “What?”

            “You’re a wealthy, muscular, and handsome man.  You’re a bestselling author of a beloved YA franchise.  You’re dating an A-list movie star.  I could sell that reality show to Netflix, Bravo, or AppleTV before I went to bed tonight.  Maybe all three.  We’d call it Mr. Write or some other odious pun.  People would watch just for a chance to snatch a peek at Jason.  We could even get this Gil Shafer to come on the show, prove that he’s just a heterosexual friend, clear the whole thing up, and make a little money out of the infotainment.  Is Mr. Shafer as photogenic as you?  I didn’t bother to Google him because I assumed it was another fake name.”

            “It’s his real name.  He’s a sweet guy.  We met while I was still in college.  He’s a bodybuilder training for Olympia.  He’s the one who showed me how to professionally lift and get seriously big.  He comes from money, and he’s obsessed with psychic phenomena, the occult, and the supernatural.”

            Margaret googled him quickly.  “Okay, he’d be a main cast member.  Every episode would feature a scene of you and Mr. Shafer at the gym working out together—shirtless.  In one episode, you’d throw a book launch party filled with fabulous people.  In another episode, Mr. Shafer would host a séance.  In the season finale, you’d have some Hollywood meeting, and there’d be a cameo in the episode by Jason.”  Margaret paused, surprised how quickly that all formed.  Then, she added, “I’d watch this show.”

            “Is this really your favorite option?”
            “If you were my client, yes.  But Jason’s my client.  If you took this option, you’d spend less time with him, and he’d withdraw from you because you betrayed his trust.  You’d likely break up within three months.  Jason’s more profitable when he’s happy.  But, more importantly, I like him, and I want him happy.  Option 2 would break his heart.”

            “Good, because I hate Option 2.”  After shaking my head, I asked, “Option 3?”

            “We have the two of you do a circuit of morning shows.  The audience gets to see you, gets to see that there’s nothing unseemly going on, and that keeps them happy.  It will likely spill over into a puff piece in a magazine or two, and soon, you’re as non-famous as Jim Toth or Romain Douriac.  People can find you on Google, but only if they’re already looking.”

            “Is this your favorite option?” I asked.

            “I like it better than the other two.  But, there’s a possible consequence I’m none too keen on.  There’s a chance the two of you become a Brangelina or a Bennifer, and then the press would swamp you if you even set foot out of your houses.  Normally, it wouldn’t be a very big chance, but with Jason’s status as one of the sexiest men in Hollywood and a man as striking and handsome as you who’s already marginally famous, the chances go up.  The fact that you’re charming, witty, and quick on your feet—I’d call it a 50/50 coin toss.  As Jason’s PR rep, I don’t like the odds.  It’s not the press we want for him.”

            “Option 4?”

            “You show up on Jason’s arm at one very high-profile event, and then kiss him in front of a whole bunch of cameras, and then exit immediately without saying a word.  Jason then explains to the press who you are, and because he’s built up this wall of privacy over eight years in the industry, the press know not to ask any follow-ups if they want him vivacious and lively for the cameras.  From then on, you can be the silent guy who’s on his arm at the occasional event, and only the lowest of the low will pursue the gossip, and mainstream publications will shame them for trying.”

            “This sounds risky.”

            “Because of the groundwork Jason’s already laid, the risk is surprisingly minimal.  The only real risk is if you have any skeletons in your closet that might come out somewhere down the line.  If you do, tell me now.”

            I sighed and told her how I scammed Rhodes and Steele out of a hundred grand with my college boyfriend.

            “What are these men’s first names?” she asked pragmatically, her fingers poised to start researching.

            “I never learned them.  They were just two rich jackasses I went to college with.”

            “You went to Crocker, right?” she asked.

            “Yes.  You’ve definitely researched me.”

            “Impressive, by the way.  Full scholarship.”  She was typing while she said that.  “Okay.  Considering your graduation date, that would be Michael Rhodes and Otis Steele.”

            “His name is Otis?  I could’ve been calling him Otis this whole time?”

            “Yeah, they’re not going to be a problem.  They started a health foods conglomerate called Metal Colossus.”

            They’re Metal Colossus?  I buy their oatmeal.”  I felt disappointed with myself.

            “Yes, that’s them.  They’re the co-CEOs of that particular health food and supplement empire.  If it became public that their first product was a scam, they’d be in serious jeopardy.  You’re safe from them.”  Without a pause, Margaret continued.  “And what was the name of the man you performed this scam with?”

            “Trevor Flynn,” I said.  “No problem there, either.  I’ve looked him up online a few times out of curiosity.  He’s the head of an investment fund worth hundreds of millions, maybe billions.  He wouldn’t want to be associated with this scandal either.”

            “And you dated him?”

            “He basically proposed to me.”

            “And that’s your only skeleton?”

            “Skeleton, yes.  I have other secrets, though.  I have some books published under another pen name, but nothing I’d class as a skeleton.”

            “Any sexual items from your past I should be aware of?  No judgment here—I just have to protect Jason.”

            “I’ve had a lot of one night stands, but most of them knew nothing about me.  Some didn’t know my first name.”

            “Good to know.  In the wrong hands, that could be a weapon.  Just to quantify, how much is a lot?”

            “Dozens?”  I didn’t count.

            “Okay.”  She sounded a little worried, and a hair impressed.

            Then, I added, “If it matters, some of those men were strippers.  Oh!  I dated a stripper for a few months, but he’s currently teaching ballet to children in Florida.  I doubt he’d want that fact to see the light of day.”

            “Thank you for telling me, but I doubt that will raise many eyebrows.  People care more about sex acts that are deemed bizarre or shocking.”

            I shrugged.  “I had a three-way in high school.”

            “What were the men’s names?”
            “One was Jonah Patterson-Moore.  He’s married and has two kids.  I’m still friends with him.  I’m also friends with his husband Cole.  And his kids are delightful.”

            “We’ll have no problem from him.”

            “No, we will not.  The other man was Gregg Conner.  The first name ends in two Gs.”

            Margaret finished typing and hit enter.  “Gregg Conner who played quarterback for Illinois State Gregg Conner?”

            “Did he end up playing college football?  Good for him.”

            “He had an impressive college career and was set to go pro, but he injured his shoulder and blew his chance to be recruited.”

            “I don’t think he’ll be a problem either.”

            “Glad to hear.  But from hearing these stories, I really wish you’d said yes to reality TV.”

            The conversation went on like this for two hours.

            At the end of it, Margaret said, “To sum it up, here’s my pitch.  Jason gets back from Vancouver tomorrow.  The movie he shot before he met you is having its premiere.  You ride in the limo with him, you help him out of the car like a proper gentleman, and just when the press thinks you’re a new bodyguard, you kiss him goodbye and get back in the limo.  The kiss needs to be steamy enough to register as romantic, but chaste enough to be played on morning talk shows.”

            “If I must, and if Jason agrees.”

            “Let’s call him.”  She took off her glasses and picked up her phone.  Jason picked up after only two rings.  The conversation went so quickly that even though Jason was responding, she never paused for more than half a second.  “Jason, yes, it’s Margaret.  Miles is in my office, and we have to go public like we discussed.  Yes.  He went with Option 4, just like you predicted.  The red carpet on Friday.  Tuxes.  You too, sweetie.”  She hung up, put her glasses back on, and looked at me.  “It’s all settled.  If things go cockeyed and there’s need for more PR, I’ll be in touch.  Otherwise, have a sweet night.”

            In what felt like two seconds later, it was Friday night and I was on that red carpet, kissing Jason, blinded by a million lights.  The photo went viral on Twitter for a few hours, but Jason was quick to squelch discussion of his romantic life, and it went exactly as Margaret laid out.  Exactly.  Eerily so, as if she’d orchestrated it.

            The following morning—a Saturday—the photo was even shown on some weekend morning shows that referred to me as “Mystery Man Miles.”

            My closest friends recognized me, of course.  I got a string of humorous texts and calls. 

            Shafe texted, “Dude!  Ur b-friend is Jason Prentiss?  U 🐶!  Marietta wants a signed pic!” 

            Natalie asked if we could parlay this news into a movie deal, and I laughed so hard she knew it meant a no. 

            H. K. texted, “You two are adorable together!  Dinner Thursday?” 

            Jonah called and, among other things, let me know that, “Cole will be disappointed.  Jason Prentiss is his hall pass.”  Then, he joked in a mock-threat, “Keep your man away from my man.” 

            Even my parents called.  They were more confused over why the news was calling me “Miles,” but there was no hostility from them, so it was a nice call—the nicest I’d had in years.

            After a week, no one in the media really cared about it anymore.  Instead, when Jason went on talk shows—because he had to—they asked about his workouts, if he had any funny stories about his co-stars, insipid things like that.  And our life went back to semi-normal.

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Part 4 – The Hollywood Hunk

Chapter 12

            It was a month and a half after we kissed on a red carpet, and Jason’s shoot, which had dragged on long past its initial three-month schedule, was finally finishing up.  By this point, we were basically living together.  He was my home, after all.  Each of us still had our own place, but we almost never slept alone.  I’d been writing like a maniac—coming close to finishing the tenth Death Knell and another Vaughn one-off romance.  Life felt sweet and perfect.

            Over breakfast one morning, he dropped a script in my lap.

            “What’s this?” I asked.

            “Read it.  I have a question, followed by a conundrum.”

            I read the script right then, in one sitting, and fell in love with it.  “You’re playing Scott?” I asked.

            “I was asked to play Scott, and I’d absolutely love to.”

            “Great.  What’s the question?”

            “I’m already signed up for the sequel to this superhero film.  I’m contractually obligated to do it.  The sequel doesn’t start shooting for six months.  The shooting for this movie falls right in the middle of that six months.  I was supposed to use that six months for things like doing talk shows and taking auditions, and I thought another chunk of it could be a real vacation.  If I do this movie, the timing gets tight, and we can kiss the vacation goodbye.”

            I nodded, encouraging him to continue.

            “They don’t want superhero-sized Jason Prentiss.  They want normal-sized Jason Prentiss.”

            “Yeah, Scott couldn’t be as big as you.”

            “So, I’d have ten weeks to lose 30 pounds of muscle for a movie with a 10-day shoot.  Then, I’d have 4 months to put those 30 pounds back on.”

            “You could definitely do that.”

            Jason ran to the cabinet and grabbed the bag of pretzels he’d hidden in my hall closet.  As he began eating, he said, “I know I could, but, honestly, I don’t know if I want to put my body through that hell.  I don’t mind putting in the effort to keep the extra muscle mass.  In fact, if my agent would let me and if I physically could, I’d blow up bigger than you, even.  But to lose and gain so much in one year—that scares me.”  He grabbed another handful of pretzels from the bag.

            I took the bag away from him and put it back in the closet.  “I think it’d be worth it to do this movie.”

            “I do too.”

            “Where’s the film shooting?”

            “Here in LA.  Well, just outside of the city for budget reasons.”

            “Then I have a suggestion,” I said.  “Every morning, you lend me 30 pounds of muscle, and every evening when you get home, I give it back.  Then, at the end of the shoot, I give you back your muscle.  Voila.”

            “I can’t ask you to do that.  And it’ll kill our sex life.  This would be every day for the two weeks I’m shooting.  On top of that, you’d have to take a deposit any time I have an appearance during that whole six month period—I have meetings and press to do.  I’d have to look like I slowly lost 30 pounds and then slowly put it back on.”

            I went through his objections like bullet points.  “You didn’t ask me; I volunteered.  We’re not doing it for sex.  In fact, during this whole process, we won’t have sex while I’m taking a deposit from you.  And I’m fine with making it look like you slowly lost and gained.  I’ve done it before; it won’t be hard to do it again.  You kept me out of the spotlight, and I am very grateful for that.”

            “That’s the thing, too.  You won’t be able to leave the house or anything like that.  People will get suspicious.”

            “I’m wrapping up two novels at the moment,” I reminded him.  “I was barely going to leave the house anyways.  The only work-related people I meet with are Natalie and H. K., and they stopped asking questions about my muscles years ago.  As for friends, my local friends are used to my fluctuating size, and Jonah and Shafe know I’m The Repository.  I say go for it.”

            “Really?”

            “I would say go for it even if you had to put yourself through hell for six months ‘cause I’d be right beside you helping you through it.  This way, at least I can make it easier on you.”

            When the superhero movie wrapped, we started our plan.  Jason essentially moved in to my condo for the first three months; it was just easier that way.  He had 70 days to lose 30 pounds of muscle.  So, every day before he left the condo, he would lend me some muscle.  We started with half a pound, and then increased that by half a pound every day until I was borrowing 30 pounds from him, topping out at 315 for me (and bottoming out at 185 for Jason).  Natalie either didn’t notice or didn’t care.  H. K. noticed, but he knew Jason liked guys with big muscles, so he teased me that I was getting even more huge for Jason.  He wasn’t entirely wrong.

            It was actually fun being 315 pounds for 8-12 hours a day.  I would stalk around the condo, feeling my size that much bigger than I was used to.  I even adjusted to typing with biceps so big they fought my pecs.  You’d be surprised how fast you can adapt.  I’m also not going to lie; I masturbated a lot at 315 pounds.  For one, it was a great way to clear my mind when I struggled with my writing.  For another, I was fucking huge and fucking gorgeous.  It kind of felt like playing a naughty game of dress up.  Then, my man would come home.  Super sexy, svelte Jason Prentiss like I’d seen him onscreen.  I’d give him back his muscles, and he’d swell up into my Vancouver superhero.

            Jason had been worried this would hurt our sex life, but it didn’t.  We never had sex when I was taking a deposit, but seeing each other blow up with mass on a regular basis helped our libidos.

            It was a fun three months.

            When the shoot for the independent movie ended, though, our fun hit a snag.

            Jason had come home from the film’s final day of shooting with a solemn look on his face with just a hint of “holding back a pout.”  He’d had a similar face when the superhero movie had wrapped, so I just assumed that the face he was making was his “I just finished shooting a movie” face.  However, it was his, “I’m thinking deeply” face.  Because he was, in fact, thinking deeply.

            I’d given him back his deposit, we’d had a silent dinner, and then had a silent evening where I wrote and he sat silently—he didn’t even read.  He just sat silently.

            After too long of this silence, I turned to him and said, “Okay, what’s up?”

            “We have a problem, Miles, and I don’t know how to solve it.”

            “It can’t be that big of a problem.”

            “They’ve hired Curtis again to help me bulk back up.”

            “We expected something like this,” I said.  “We’re just going to do the first solution in reverse.  I borrow less and less from you every day.  And, likely, by the end of it, you’ll have put on even more than 30 pounds.”

            “That’s not the problem,” he said.  “There was a clause… I never thought they would actually … I signed the contract before we even met!”  Jason wasn’t finishing any of his thoughts, so I had to drag it out of him.

            “What clause?  What contract?  Who are ‘they’?”

            “I’m hungry again,” Jason said.  “Want to see if there are any barbecue places open nearby?”

            “Jason,” I said, rising my tone like a mild scold.  “Answer my questions.  It’s probably not a big deal.”

            “The contract for the superhero film.  I wasn’t just signing up for a film, I was signing up for a franchise.  That’s why I couldn’t say no to the sequel.  The studio will sue me for breach.”

            I nodded.  This was all info I already had.  “Okay.  Now you’ve explained ‘the contract’ and the ‘they.’  What’s ‘the clause?’”

            “There was a clause giving them permission to monetize studio expenses.”

            “What does that even mean?”

            “Curtis costs money.  He’s a very expensive personal trainer.  The studio’s investing a lot of money in me.  So, to recoup some of those costs, if they can turn a source of expense into a source of income, they’re contractually allowed to.”

            “I still don’t see the issue.”

            “They offered Curtis a reality show about his celebrity clients.  He accepted it.  I’m contractually obligated to appear as one of his clients on the show because of a contract I signed before we even met.”

            “Why is that such a big deal?”

            “The way they pitched the show, it’s basically a celebrity boot camp.  Me and a few other of his celebrity clients are going to live at his compound for three months.”

            “You’d be on location for three months?”

            “I know!  When I was on location for two weeks, you flipped out so hard that you took a flight to Vancouver.  What’s three months apart going to do to us?”

            I sat calmly and thought about it.  “When would you leave?”

            “In a week.”

            I nodded and exhaled deeply.  “I think I can do it.  Last time, you sprung it on me the night before, so I overreacted.  Also, last time, it was the day after you said you loved me for the first time.  I wasn’t as confident that our relationship was durable.  Now, you’re giving me a whole week to process it.  And, since we’ve been together for months, I know that when you come back, we’re still together.  I think I can do it this time.”

            “Okay, fine,” Jason said, still at the same high level of anxiety.  “But the problem goes beyond that.  While we’re at boot camp, there are going to be cameras everywhere.”

            That was a problem.  “Then I can’t just give you back your muscles—there’d be too much chance of me being exposed."

            "Exactly.”

            I grunted in frustration.  “This all sounds like they’re chasing one expense after another.  Will they really make money off this?”

            “Reality shows have a shoestring budget.  They were paying Curtis anyway, and my appearance fee for the reality show was absorbed into my payment for the superhero sequel.  They’re essentially getting me—all the celebrities—for nothing.  And at the end of three months, they have a product they can sell.”

            “Does this mean for three months we can’t even call each other?  That I can’t do.”

            “No, we can talk on the phone.  You’re even allowed to visit at a few show-approved times, but the place will be swarmed by cameras, and I suspect the phone calls will be recorded.”

            “This is a problem,” I repeated, this time out loud.

            “I can’t go in there already a massive 215.  There will be too many questions.  And I won’t ask you to take a deposit for three months like that.  It’s just not fair to you.”

            “If we can get you a private phone line, we can rig something up.  I swear.  I have experience in this.  Let me talk to Margaret.  I’ll visit her at her office.  See if she can do something.”

            The conversation with Margaret did not go well.

            “The studio wants to record everything except nudity and bathroom business,” she said, shaking her head.  “I could get you on the show,” she added.  “By reality show definitions, you’re technically a celebrity.  In fact, Curtis asked to have you be one of the clients—he says you motivate Jason to get big, and he also thinks more people will watch if there’s a showmance.”

            The thought of enduring Curtis’s intense and highly effective workout regime for three months while borrowing 30 pounds from Jason whizzed through my head.  Curtis had packed 13 pounds on me in one month when I wasn’t borrowing anything.  After three months, I’d be lucky if I came out the other side under 500 pounds.  Everyone would find out my secret, and I could kiss my normal life goodbye.

            Margaret kept talking, “But that’s the opposite of what you two want, so I say suck it up for three months.  It’s not fun.  It’s not entirely fair.  But it’s showbiz.”

            I went back to the condo defeated.

            When I got there, to my complete surprise, Jason was not alone.  Shafe and Marietta were there too—all three of them clearly having a blast, which completely jarred me out of my funk.  Jason and Shafe were on the couch.  Marietta was in a chair from my breakfast table she’d pulled over to the couch.  She was holding Jason’s hand.

            “Welcome home,” Shafe said, smiling broadly.

            “Jason, are you okay with this?” I asked.

            Jason looked natural, calm, and relaxed.  “Of course,” he said cheerfully, practically purring.  “In fact, I called them over.”

            I closed the door, grabbed another breakfast table chair, and pulled it over to join them.     “I’ve been wanting to meet some more of your friends,” Jason continued, “and without Shafe, we wouldn’t have had our Vancouver vacation.”

            “No big deal,” Shafe said, patting Jason on the back.  “Without that trip, I never would’ve met Marietta.”

            “She’s reading my palm,” Jason said to me.  “I’ve never had a palm reading.  You have the most fascinating friends.”

            “What’s his palm say?” I asked Marietta.

            “There’s a weird hiccup in his love line in the very near future, but the line looks solid and thorough afterwards.”

            “You told her about the reality show,” I said.

            “I did not,” Jason insisted.  “I spent most of our conversation asking about her pet ghost.”

            “Cynthia was a friend, not a pet,” Marietta corrected.

            “Sorry.  I apologize,” Jason responded.

            “Does his palm say anything else?” I asked.

            “He’s a creative person who prefers small groups.  He’s quiet and intuitive, can be high-strung or sullen at times, and he doesn’t believe in fate.  And he’s going to live until he’s at least 95.”

            “It’s all accurate,” Jason said.  “As far as I’m aware.  I don’t know when I’m going to die, but the other stuff is all true.”

            “I’m happy to see you,” I said to Shafe, “don’t get me wrong,” I turned to Jason and asked him, “but why did you call them over?”

            Shafe answered.  “He called me over.  Marietta came with.  She didn’t want to stay home alone.”

            “We moved in together,” she said, dancing a little in her chair.

            “Can you believe it?” Shafe asked.  “It was so impulsive.  We didn’t consult our horoscopes or anything.”

            “We just went with our guts,” Marietta said.

            “You just left Vancouver behind?  What about your house?  Friends?  Family?  Your job?”

            Marietta laughed.  “I had a shitty apartment and hated my roommate.  My friends were really happy for me.  My parents and brothers live in Winnipeg, so I only saw them on holidays anyway.  And I’ll have no problem finding a job as a personal trainer in LA.”

            I shrugged.  “Awesome,” I said.  “I’m happy for you, Shafe.”

            “Right?  She’s so awesome.”

            I turned back to Jason.  “But, that didn’t really answer my question.  Why did you call Shafe over?”

            “Just to visit.  To talk.  To think about a solution to our problem.”  He subtly pointed to Marietta with his head.  “I don’t know if we can talk in the open, though.”

            Marietta gave Jason his hand back and pinched his cheek.  “You’re so cute.”

            “That’s the third time she’s done that,” Jason said, rubbing his cheek.

            Marietta turned to me and said, “I know you’re The Repository.  If that’s what this is about.”

            I looked at Shafe, more nervous than angry.  “You told?”

            Shafe looked at me shamefacedly.  “She got it out of me.”

            “How?” Jason asked.

            Marietta licked her lips.

            Well, that answered that question. 

            “Why did she even ask?” Jason continued.

            “I could tell Shafe was keeping a secret.  So, I bent him to my will, and he spilled.”  She nudged me with her shoulder.  “I’m not telling anyone.  Don’t worry.”

            “Okay, so I can talk freely.”  Jason sighed.  He explained to them our situation.

            “You redid the TGS scam!” Shafe said cheerfully.

            “In a sense,” I said.

            Jason continued.  “If—and this is just an if at this point—if I lend Miles the 30 pounds for three months, he is going to be fizzing uncontrollably.  Left to his own devices, he’ll just stack on 30 more pounds of muscle with even mild workouts.  He’d be a 345-pound behemoth in no time.  As damn sexy as he would be, that’s just too much for every day.”  He turned to Shafe.  “But you got him into meditation.  You could help him find his center, and overcome the fizzing, and visualize peace.”

            “Easy,” Shafe said.

            “His aura wants him to be huge,” Marietta said, disagreeing. 

            “Be that as it may,” I said, glossing over Marietta’s pronouncement, “my frontal lobe wants me to be able to keep up a modicum of self-control, and I am terrified of people finding out about my ability.”

            Marietta shrugged.  “His Will might overpower his aura.  I’ve seen it happen.”

            Shafe chimed in.  “Listen, because of you two, I met the love of my life.  I’m all for this if it’s what Vaughn wants.”

            Meditation to stop the fizzing?  It sounded ludicrous, but I had never tried it.  The last time the fizzing got bad, I entirely abandoned meditation.

            “Let’s try it.  We’re in this problem in part because I pushed Jason to do that indie film.  If I go into this with an open mind, it might just work.”

            That’s what I said out loud.  Inside, I was awash in emotions.  I didn’t want Jason to leave for three months, afraid it would hurt too much.  I was worried about taking such a large deposit for three months, too.  However, there was another emotion, a positive one, and I clung to it.  There was an excitement within me that reveled at something very important they overlooked, something which would lead to some excellent vacation sex when Jason got back from shooting Curtis’s show.

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  • TQuintA changed the title to The Repository - Part 4 (Chapters 11-13, 9/17/21)

Love the mental implications part. He became a true meathead if only for a brief time! The first and the last mental changes that would occur I think. 

I found Illia Golem to be quite the good comparison.

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I think the most recent chapter is one of my favourite bits of writing in a very long time. I love reading about the inevitable loss in the fight for control (even if it's gained in the end). It's so well written and enjoyable to follow along, as with all your stories!

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  • TQuintA changed the title to The Repository - Part 4 (Completed, 9/21/21)

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