My father married because he felt like he needed an heir to carry on the family name. My mother married for money—his! Her family had had it long ago but by the time she came along not-go-genteel poverty was the order of the day. She was a beauty, even so, and she had nice, wide child-bearing hips, or so I’ve been told. She was even reasonably well-educated, a distant relation having paid for her four years at Vassar.
When they married, Mother was 25 and Papa was 45. He was dismayed to learn that despite her tendency to flirt she had virtually no interest in sex (at least with him) and no interest in children. She put it off as long as she could but finally, one sunny spring morning, I arrived. Mother was 32, Papa was 52—and dead of a heart attack a little more than three years later.
Mother got everything, of course. Well, control of it, anyway. It was almost all in my name. She had a plenty big settlement, thankfully, and the house and the cars and the furs and the jewels. But the real wealth was in my name. I sometimes wonder what she would have done if it had been the other way around. I’m sure she would have found a way to ditch me.
As it was, she was stuck. Fortunately for both of us, there was Aunt Jess, my father’s maternal aunt. She came with the house. She was already 70 by that time and Mother hated her—Aunt Jess was much too practical and level-headed for my remaining parent to appreciate. So, out of spite as much as anything else, Mother handed me over to Jess—an arrangement that suited all of us perfectly.
Aunt Jess was a dyke and she led a reasonably independent, sexually adventurous life up to the age of 50, when her lover died. About the same time my grandmother’s and Aunt Jess’s mother became ill and Jess moved back home to take care of her and then her father and then my grandmother. By the time I came along she was the last one left and she had been taking care of people for 20 years. You might have thought she’d be sick of so much care taking but I never felt that she was anything other than delighted by my presence in her life. I think I must have been her opportunity to start living again, not matter how belatedly.
The house, high up in the hills above Los Angeles, was two-story, Italianate, and huge. It was shaped like the letter U, with a big pool and formal gardens between the two wings. Aunt Jess and I had the upstairs half of one wing, my mother the downstairs half of the other wing. Except when she was at the pool and during Sunday brunch, when the three of us ate together, I rarely saw my mother.
Which was perhaps just as well. Frigid with my father, Mother turned out to be a sexual lioness once he was gone. There seemed to be a new lover every six months, rather like the new color scheme and the endless redecorating. There was the French playboy, the movie star, the politician, the Italian count, the German industrialist, the British poet, and a very long line of jocks. (There was even a real horse jockey, Fredo, who swore like a sailor and was my favorite out of the whole lot, and Jess’s, too. He actually liked kids and he was extraordinarily patient in teaching me how to handle horses when, along with the influx of Hunter green, Mother decided I ought to learn how to ride.)
They came and went and—except for Fredo and a couple of others—they were forgotten as soon as they were gone. (Thanks to Aunt Jess I was able to stay in touch with Fredo, who treats me like a favorite nephew to this day.)
Jess and I had our own life, almost always separate and apart from my mother’s, and it was a good one. Jess was a gifted teacher and I turned out to be an apt pupil. There was painting and sculpture and music and literature and poetry and philosophy. And travel. We went to Europe and Asia and Latin America and even Africa. (I learned math doing currency conversions under the eagle eye of Jess, who could do long division in her head and for the longest time thought I should be able to do so, also.) And lest you think that I was some poor home schooled wallflower she also made me go to dances and birthday parties and concerts and church socials and somehow I always wound up having two or three close friends to hang out with even though I didn’t go to a regular school.
All that changed the summer I was 14. Aunt Jess, at 84, was beginning to slow down. Ditto, my hormones had kicked in and Jess had no patience for adolescent males. She’d already figured out I was gay (too bad she didn’t bother to tell me then!) and, yes, she adored gay men. But teenagers? Pubescent boys? Quelle horreur.
But what changed everything, all our lives, was Jake. Jake was a 24 year old bodybuilder, Mother’s latest (she tended to prefer jocks in the summer months) boytoy. Mother wasn’t quite sure what bodybuilding was all about but she certainly liked looking at the results.
And how not? Curly blond hair, blue eyes, tanned, built, he looked like he should have played Dave Draper’s baby brother in Don’t Make Waves, that silly Tony Curtis flick. (And, no, I will not tell the Tony Curtis story again.) And *jeez* was he built. No more than 5’8” tall, Tony weighed 225 lbs. of solid muscle. Enormous shoulders, huge pecs, amazing arms, awesome legs, and a minuscule 28 inch waist.
We were at poolside for afternoon cocktails when Mother introduced him to us. He was wearing the tiniest pair of gym shorts I’d ever seen and a tank top that left nothing to the imagination. I’d never seen anything like him. My erection was instantaneous and even though I immediately settled the NY Times Book Review section into my lap, raptor-vision Jess immediately noticed.
“Oh, brother,” she said, taking another, bigger swig of her Gibson.
“Here we go again…”
Mother was amazed and more than a little miffed that suddenly I was at her side all the time. I developed an abrupt interest in interior decorating and haute couture, accompanying Mother and Jake on her daily shopping expeditions. Plus I was there for breakfast and lunch and dinner, at which point she’d finally tell me to “find something else to do, sweetie dahling, Mama has a headache.”
Then she’d drag Jake off to her wing of the house and I’d go looking for Jess, who for her part turned cranky and imperious, declaring that the political situation in Baluchistan was giving her a headache and that she really could not deal with having to listen to twaddle about “Cruella,” her pet name for Mother.
So I did what any red-blooded, not to mention enormously wealthy, 14-year-old boy worth his salt would do. I went to my room and whacked off—usually no more than three or four times although I think once I got up to seven or eight—thinking about that gorgeous man in the other wing the whole time.
Perhaps it was my sudden interest in couturier that scuttled Jake’s chances with Mother. More likely it was the saleswoman at “Jus’ Grecian Urns and Stuff,” who commented—rather archly, I thought—that she was just “pleased as punch” that Mother had brought “both her sons” to her little emporium. “And they’re such a handsome pair. You must be very proud!”
A little too arch, perhaps. We left immediately, without the $1500 faux-distressed amphora Mother had had her eye on. She had the driver drop me at the front door and went directly—with Jake—to her private entrance. Half an hour later Jake was doing laps in the pool and Mother was announcing brightly (a little too brightly, I thought, but she really wasn’t one to employ substances other than vodka, although who knows what she kept on her vanity?) that she was leaving immediately for Costa Rica where her dear, dear friend, Heiko Kohannokonnannen, the noted Suomic paleobotanist, was hosting the grand opening of his new luxury resort for the environmentally self-conscious.
Jen raised an eyebrow and glanced toward the pool where Jake had just completed his 75th lap or thereabouts.
I gave her an evil glance—you really do learn a thing or two living with a couple of strong-willed women like Jess and Mother—but La Reina just sailed on.
“And I should be back in two or three weeks, I’ll let you know when I’m back in town.”
With that, she was gone. I never quite figured out how she always seemed to simply dematerialize.
I cleared my throat.
“You realize, of course, than he can stay here forever and she’ll never notice—especially if you keep him in our wing,” she pointed out.
“It’s hardly the first time,” she added. “Baron Whosit lived in the Conservatory for the better part of a year when you were just a sprout and I daresay she’d’ve been happy to have him in the bedroom next to hers, just for spite. So long as she doesn’t see them for meals, she really does NOT care.”
She gave me a side-long glance—the kind an eagle might give a particularly tasty looking mouse.
“I think you could stand to have a—what do they call it these days? Oh, yes, a personal trainer, that’s it.”
Suddenly Jess was talking brightly. I felt a bit like a gazelle at the riverbank, noticing the tigress on the other side.
“God knows you’re at an age where it might come in, uh, handy. And you can bet yer ass you’re not going to learn anything of that from me.”
She downed her Gibson and headed for the library.
I sat cross-legged at the end of the pool, waiting for Jake to finish his laps. For all his bulk he was as sleek and as graceful as a seal.
When he'd finished the hundredth he sort of glided up onto the decking, materializing next to me like some comic book Denizen of the Deep, an Aquaman, all golden instead of blue.
He shook the water from his golden man while I handed him the luxurious terry towel from the warming bin.
“Well,” he began, “it looks like it's time for me to hit the road.”
I shook my head.
“Only if you want,” I pointed out, “and I really hope you DON'T want that. Mother is headed for Costa Rica for at least two weeks, which really means a month or more.”
He stopped rubbing and stood there, looking directly at me, the white bulk of the towel wrapped the muscled column of his neck, his meaty hands gripping the ends, his impossibly thick forearms looking bigger than my legs. I felt vaguely dizzy. This time I didn't try to hide my erection.
“And, and.” I stammered.
“And what, kiddo?”
I glanced down at my feet.
“I could really use a personal trainer. Aunt Jess says that you can stay in our wing and if you do, Mother's never likely to notice, much less care. So, free room and board—and I can give you part of my allowance, maybe $500 a week—in exchange for working out with me?”
He looked me up and down.
“What do you need a trainer for, kiddo? You're well put together for guy your age, which is what, 15?”
I blushed brightly—and then looked HIM in the eye.
“Well, 14, not 15, but you gotta be kidding! I'm a skinny runt!”
He cocked his head sideways and gave me a blinding smile.
“Well, yeah,” he agreed. “You're a skinny runt but you're lean and wiry and strong looking. And about 135 lbs.?”
“I wish! I'm doing good if I can keep it at 125. I've yet to hit 130!”
(Keep in mind that at 14 I was already 5’8” tall—exactly the same height as Jake, who was 10 years older than I.)
“So why do you WANT a trainer?”
I blushed again.
“I, uh, well, I.”
And then he did the most amazing thing. Right there by the pool, not three feet from me, he started posing! First one bicep, then the other, then both. Then he puffed out his chest and flexed his lats.
“Lemme guess,” he said, putting his hands on his hips and flexing his quads.
“You wanna be big, right? Big like me?”
Only later was I aware that I'd cum in my pants. I licked my lips.
“Yeah,” I answered. “Big. I wanna be big.”
He put his fucking huge arm around my bony shoulders and gave me another killer smile.
“In that case, let's get to work.”
The next year was nothing less than amazing. I don't think anyone—least of all me—would ever have predicted the outcome.
We used the Music Room for our gym. Aunt Jess looked aggrieved but she would be the first to admit that neither of us had a lick of musical ability. Could we carry a tune? Yes. Could we keep time? Yes. Could we sight read? Well, yes, after a fashion. Did it all add up? Not a bit.
So Jake and I had ourselves a gym, a fully (and expensively, naturally) equipped one. The walls were already mirrored all around, which made for a nice touch.
Jake showed me how to do everything, showing me the moves, correcting my form, encouraging me whenever it seemed (not very often) that I was flagging. He never corrected me more than once (he later said he'd never seen anyone get the FEEL of the weights as quickly as I did) and often enough he had to drag me from the gym when I was nothing more than a quivering mass of jelly, begging him to let me do one more set. Mostly he made me eat like a pig, and I did, anything and everything he set before me, including those godawful tuna shakes.
It worked, though. I grew like a weed. In the first month I gained 20 lbs. of solid muscle, while Jake put on another 10 lbs., all of it prime beef.
“Frankly, I'm dumbfounded. I've never seen anyone put on muscle so fast.”
He finished taking my measurements (and, yes, that was itself majorly boner inducing), then he took more pix. We'd done so at the first workout, over my loud, embarrassed protests.
“We need a visual record,” he insisted, “no Ifs, Ands, or Buts.”
(I swear sometimes I think the man has the soul of a librarian.)
“Look at these,” he said when the new set had been developed. “See what I mean?”
My mouth dropped open.
I *did* see!
Before I had been—as he said that long ago afternoon by the pool—wiry and hard and strong looking. And painfully skinny. Now though…
I was just as hard, perhaps even a little harder, and I had muscles. Not very LARGE muscles, but muscles nonetheless. I had a good size peak to my biceps, nice forearms, noticeable delts and traps, even nice square pecs. As for my midsection, holy moly! I was ripped, with shredded abs, serratus, obliques, the whole nine yards. (And, yes, Jake had given me personalized anatomy lessons through out our work out sessions.) I looked like one of those physique models from Men's Fitness, all muscley and well proportioned, just not at all BIG.
That was 4th of July weekend. By the time school rolled around two months later I'd put on an extra 30 lbs. of muscle and Jake had added another 15 lbs. My friends and classmates were amazed. Just a hair taller than I'd been previously (just a little more than 5’8” tall) I was now 175 lbs. of solid muscle. I was built like a brick shithouse and a fucking 50 lbs. heavier than I'd been when school let out three months earlier.
“Ya know,” Jake said, “you should think about competing.”
My jaw dropped. I coulda sworn the CLUNK was audible.
“Heck, I wasn't much bigger than you are when I entered my first contest and I wasn't remotely as hard and I was 2-3 years older to boot. You'd do well in your weight class, regardless of who you were competing against, and against guys your own age, well, jeez.”
What a thought.
But he had me hooked. I did some scouting around on the internet and identified a contest occurring in late spring, a regional event that had both teen and open's divisions—and a rep for graduating winners to the pro ranks.
“I'll enter it if you will!” I told him.
His face lit up and I thought my knees would buckle from the sheer joy of having that beam turned upon me.
“You really know how to snooker a guy, don't you?”
With me in school 6-7 hours a day I didn't get in nearly as much gym time as I had previously and as a result I was NOT growing as fast, which was probably just as well. I'd already found a stretch mark here or there but Mother had an endless supply of Retin-A which cleared things up quite nicely.
Briefly I considered telling Mother I was quitting school but then I visualized Jess's reaction to the news and dropped that idea like a hot potato. Muscles don't do you any good at the bottom of the East River. I thought about asking for a home tutor, then realized I was having too much fun being Big Man On Campus (well, aspiring Big Man, anyway. I was only a freshman and there were already some BIG rich boys at St. Myophilus Prep.)
Anyone else, of course, would have killed to make our gains. By the time Christmas arrived I'd gained yet another 30 lbs. of solid muscle and Jake had put on his “usual” 15 lbs. At 205 lbs. I was only 20 lbs. lighter than Jake had been when we'd started out six months previously, gaining an awesome 80 lbs. of solid muscle. For his part Jake was up to 265 lbs., with not an ounce of body fat. He blew me away—we taped his chest at 60 inches, his waist AND his quads at 30 inches, and his fucking biceps were 22 inches COLD. By that time I'd read enough muscle magazines cover to cover to know that I was living and working with a world class contender—the world just didn't know it yet!
Mother had never come back from Costa Rica. Apparently she and Heiko were better friends than anyone ever realized (the two of them included) and the two week visit turned into a six month grand tour of potential sites for Heiko's proposed chain of luxury environmental resorts, “Ecco Paradiso.”
Jess, for her part, had poured herself into Baluchistan relief efforts so much that except for breakfasts and dinner on Sunday I rarely saw her. And even when I did I couldn't do anything other that prattle on mindlessly about lifting and the latest bodybuilding news.
“My sweet,” she said, finally, “if you say ONE more word about muscledom I will have the Music Room completely restored to its original condition and YOU will be packed off to Juilliard.”
I blanched and Jake kicked me under the table.
“Are we clear?”
I nodded vigorously.
“So, Jess,” Jake began, casually changing the subject. “How ARE the Baluchi elections coming along? I understand the big question is whether al-Zamda is going to be able to mobilize the hillsmen effectively?”
For the first time in the 14 years I'd known her, Jess let HER mouth fall open. The ensuing half hour oration was the most enthusiastic I'd heard the Old Girl deliver since, well, since Jake had arrived. He nodded and agreed and looked skeptical and offered diversionary follow up questions at all the right places. After dinner she let Jake escort her to the library, her ancient, mannish hand resting lightly on his fearsome forearm.
It occurred to me that Aunt Jess was the one who needed to do the talking, not me, and in one brief lesson Jake had displayed mastery of skill I didn't know existed.
Well, what can I say?
I was 14, going on 15, and I was definitely getting to be too big for my britches. We don't learn unless we make mistakes. The sad thing is that some of them hurt so damned much.
Christmas was surreal. Mother showed up, finally, with Heiko in tow, and it occurred to me for the first time in my life that I might wind up with a stepfather. How weird was that?
For her part, Mother kept looking at me, something she'd never been keen to do previously, as if something were somehow different. Durrr! She couldn't quite grasp my transformation from skinny little geek to big, buff Uberstud, and not being able to grasp it she apparently couldn't even SEE it. It was like I was a mirage or an optical illusion, always just around the corner from her concept of me. Jess wasn't paying attention either, even when I started showing up for breakfast in clothes that once belonged to Jake, e.g., skimpy lycra gym shorts, spaghetti strap tank tops, big oversized, deep cut sweatshirts.
Heiko DID notice, both of us, and he was VERY friendly, always complimentary, always remarking on what great progress we seemed to have made (he'd seen pictures), and I was more than a little convinced that he had at least one or two bisexual bones in his body. Amazingly enough, we all actually seemed to LIKE Heiko, and by “we” I mean Jake AND Jess AND me. His dubious schemes notwithstanding, it was clear that he was not only friendly but, in his own way, perceptive, intelligent, and not the least bit pretentious. Which begged the question of what the hell he was doing hanging out with Mother—and vice versa.
The holidays came and went and Mother and Heiko decamped for Rome, where the latter was working on an initiative to develop and promote archaeologically correct post-modern villas for British and American expatriates with too much money and not enough common sense. “My specialty,” he pointed out, with a sly grin that would have been annoying as hell on anyone else. Jess went back to her work with the other old ladies who comprised the Baluchi AID Teams but in January she caught a cold and spent much of her time in bed or holding court in the Conservatory with the other BATS.
Jake and I kept lifting and we kept GROWING. By the time the contest rolled around in May, shortly after my 15th birthday, I was 35 lbs. heavier than I had been at Christmas. In the same period Jake packed on another 25 lbs. of quality muscle.
During those months I began to figure out what “critical mass” was really all about, especially from a bodybuilding point of view. I not only looked different, I felt different, I moved differently, people looked at me differently, they interacted with me differently. It was a rush and like most rushes slightly disorienting. I had a tendency to bump into things. I was having a bit of a time figuring out that I really did take up more SPACE, and not just physical space—people tended to back off when I got too close to them, although it didn't seem to me like I was getting any closer to them than I did previously. My friends at school tended to step back when I came near, especially after they figured out that the kind of boyish rough housing we used to do was likely to end up with one or more of them flat on their asses. (Well, I wasn't TRYING to knock Brent over the table, he just punched my shoulder like always and I punched back.) It was disconcerting—and it made my dick hard, which was even MORE disconcerting.
The day before the contest Jake posed for me, like he did that time by the pool, only this time I had the tape and I got to measure as we went along. It was totally fucking mind-blowing. There he was, 5’8” tall, all 290 lbs. of him, no more than 4% bodyfat, tanned and totally fucking gorgeous. His stats were breath-taking—64 inch chest, 31 inch waist, 33 inch quads, 25 inch biceps, 21 inch forearms.
“Down boy,” he growled but I just kept on measuring and taking pix, heedless of my raging erection.
Then he did the same thing for me, first putting me through my posing routine. Right bicep, left bicep, double bicep, quads, calves, rear lat spread, side chest, front chest, all of it. We'd been over it and over it and over it, a thousand times, tweaking it here, adjusting it there, making modifications to take into my ever growing muscle mass.
“OK,” he said, finally. “Now do it again—only this time, actually SEE yourself, OK?”
And so I did. I was speechless.
“Is it really…?”
“Yes,” he said. “It's really you. Now pose, dammit.”
I moved through the routine one last time, while he called off my numbers:
5’9” (an inch taller than last summer)
240 lbs. (a gain of 115 lbs. since we started training)
55 inch chest.
30 inch waist.
30 inch quads.
21 inch calves.
21 inch biceps.
18 inch forearms.
“Oh, my god…”
I turned to face my mother, her mouth twisted in a mask of fury and disgust. She was standing, draped in the latest Milan fashions, in the doorway to the Music Room with Heiko, a bemused look on his face, at her side.
“What have you done to my SON?!”
Since I've had precious little feedback about the new additions to “Big Little Rich Boy” I figured I'd give MYSELF some feedback. It's what we all crave, right? And once upon a time I was a newspaper reporter, after all.
I caught up with myself in the living room / office of my suburban home in Houston. The evening had been a curious mix—a major row (yet another) with my roommate, then I hit the road to see “The Rules of Attraction” (fabulous), back home (to the grimly silent roommate, still fuming at my transgression) to have a bite to eat, then (serendipitously) to watch “Angel” (how did I miss the season premiere?), followed (even more serendipitously) by Episode 2 of “The Forsyte Saga” on Masterpiece Theatre.
Having set the scene, we can begin with the Questions:
Q. SO, SELF, WHAT PROMPTED THIS PARTICULAR STORY LINE?
A. You know, the thing I really cannot determine is whether this is the ORIGINAL “Forsyte Saga,” the one that appeared 30 years ago when I was just about the age of Big Little Rich Boy, or a new version. Of course, I never saw the original so I have no reason for wondering whether this is an update. And yet it has the look and feel of something new.
Q. DAMMIT, SELF, ANSWER THE QUESTION! WHAT PROMPTED…?
A. Oh, yes, yes, yes, I'm getting there. Well, in fact, like all my stories, it's basically a secret fantasy that I held for a long, long time. Always unhappy with my family of origin (although they seem like a cross between Prince Charming, Snow White, and the Osbournes by comparison to the roomie) I was always imagining what it would be like to be WEALTHY, ya know? With dry, brittle, indulgent parents who would, like, let me do steroids AND suck cock. It didn't quite matter whether I was the illegitimate offspring of Howard Hughes (I'm sure some readers will say “Howard Who?” but then I am an old troll, aren't I?) or a (different) younger brother of the Prince of Wales (who always conveniently got knocked off during a skiing accident in some place like Klosters or Gstaad) or maybe the love child of Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky, assuming Larry was about 30 years older than I am. (Lordy gumdrops, do you suppose he's actually YOUNGER than I am? I'll have to look that up sometime!)
Q. YES, YES, YES, ENOUGH PRATTLE. NOW HERE'S THE BIG QUESTION: WHEN WILL JAKE AND THE BIG LITTLE RICH BOY HAVE SEX?
A. Oh, my dear. Surely by now you've figured out that I can't write a sex scene worth shit? I mean, there are more than 40 chapters posted on the MGS Archive site under my name and HOW many of them have a decent sex scene?
Q. I'M ASKING THE QUESTIONS, NOT YOU. SO…?
A. It's not like I don't have any experience, mind you. I did my “kid in a candy store” phase after I came out and I really did NOT exercise any degree of restraint. Still, all the technical details really don't do it a lot for me. Reading that cute, incredibly innocent looking Ralph Garcia's little tale about “Building the Perfect Body” is the kind of thing that sends ME over the top. Think of it—between ages 16 and 20 he put on *90* lbs. of fucking muscle. From 135 to 225. It's mind blowing.
Q. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO ANSWER THE QUESTION?
A. Ask something else.
Q. OK, HERE'S ONE FOR YOU. HOW BIG IS THE BIG LITTLE RICH BOY'S WEINER?
A. Ah ha! You noticed that thus far I've made NO mention of it whatsoever. That's unusual for me, isn't it?
Q. HEY, I'M THE ONE WHO'S SUPPOSED TO BE ASKING THE QUESTIONS. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL HERE?
A. See, you asked a question anyway. I'm not trying to pull anything, except one or two legs. It's the least I can do for having received so much satisfaction from this particular venue. I can't tell you how many times I've pulled my OWN (third) leg after having read something here.
Q. IS THAT SUPPOSED TO GET ME ALL HOT AND BOTHERED?
A. How can it not? We're the same person. But let ME ask a question or two.
Q. HUH? I THOUGHT WE ANSWERED THAT ALREADY.
A. Not really. So tell me—how do you like the arch little references I've spread through out the story. You know, things like “luxury resorts for the environmentally self-conscious” and “archaeologically correct post-modern villas”?
Q. DO I HAVE TO ANSWER IN ALL CAPS?
A. Unless we want to trade. Do you want to become “B,” perhaps?
B. Yes, that'll do. Well, I think perhaps they're a little TOO arch.
A. WHAT ELSE?
B. Lordy. Now YOU are typing in caps.
B. I think you need to see a shrink.
A. TOMORROW, DARLING, TOMORROW.
B. It's another day, after all.
“What have you done to my son?!”
That was Mother being hysterical, of course.
Heiko opened his mouth…
Jake opened his mouth…
I held up a thick muscular finger.
“Mother, and I use that term loosely, no one did anything to me that I didn’t want done,” I said in a voice that was at least an octave lower than the last time I spoke to her.
“If you were ever here long enough to notice, or if you were here and ever happened to notice anything at all about me, you would have known that I have been working in this direction for a solid year. All Jake done is give me the tools, the knowledge and, yes, the support to make it happen. Now knock it off before I decide to really get shirty with you!”
Heiko’s and Jake’s mouths were perfect “O’s,” Mother’s eyes blazed. She turned angrily to Heiko and opened her mouth, at which point HE held up a finger…
“Miriam, dearest, Trey has a point,” he said. “You’ve left him in Jess’s care for all these 15 years so you’re not really in a position to criticize the direction he’s taken. Besides, he IS 15 and clearly old enough to make up his own mind what he wants. And that appears to be bodybuilding.”
Then she turned to Jake.
He ducked his head.
“I’ll pack my bags…”
“Like hell you will,” I interrupted. “Mother would do well to recall this is my house and I have as much say over who lives here as she does. Jake, you’re my employee, your contract includes free housing, and your suite is the legal property of the corporation I set up to employ you.”
Suddenly, Mother wilted.
“Roger Elliot Farnsworth the Third,” she said. “You win. I should have known better than to try to fight a Farnsworth. I suppose Jess is fine and dandy with all of this, Trey.”
She said the last in the arch, sarcastic tone she always employed when discussing Jess. You’d think at 47 Miriam Delacorte Farnsworth would have grown up a little bit – you would have been wrong.
“Leave Jess out of this,” I replied. “She’s…”
Just then, Yvette, Jess’s personal assistant, burst into the room.
“Oh, Mister Trey, Miss Miriam, it’s Miss Jess,” she said, pausing to sob. “C’est triste. C’est vraiment, vraiment triste!”
Heiko and Jake were already running towards Jess’s room while Mother and Yvette babbled French and I just stood there dumbfounded.
Then I ran, too…
It was too late, of course. She had gone down for her nap after lunch and when Yvette went to wake her she was gone. A stroke, apparently. She was 85, after all. But I thought I would have her forever.
There was no point in calling the paramedics. Heiko, blessed soul, after some quiet consultation with Mother, arranged for the mortuary (our mortuary, in point of fact; we owned it) to come. After consulting with Yvette, he made all of the arrangements, too.
Mother looked as stunned as I felt. But somehow we managed to get through that week. Amazingly, after it was all over, Mother, instead of fleeing as was her usual wont, pulled me aside.
“Trey,” she said. “I know I have been a less than stellar mother. I wasn’t cut out for it, among other things. But I will never apologize for giving you over to Jess to raise. I don’t know if you’ll ever know what an amazing woman she was. She was one helluva dyke.”
One doesn’t hug Miriam Delacorte Farnsworth. One might wrinkle her latest couture or muss her latest coiffure or, God forbid, break a nail. But I air-kissed her on both cheeks.
“Mama,” I said, reverting to an expression I hadn’t used since I was 2 years old. “I know. And I thank you.”
Jake and I never made it to the bodybuilding contest.
I leaned on Jake a lot for a couple of months after that.
“What am I going to do?” I asked, over and over again.
Finally, he wrapped me in a big bear hug and whispered in my ear.
“You’ll keep doing what you have been doing,” he said. “Exactly as Jess would have wanted you to do.”
And that’s when I did it. I leaned in and kissed him, full on the mouth. He kissed back, enthusiastically. Then he pulled back.
“It’s not time,” he said.
I looked at him like he was out of his mind.
He smiled a crooked little smile.
“As far as I’m concerned, you’re a grown man,” he said. “As far the State of California is concerned, you’re a minor and anyone who has sex with you, even if it’s consenting, is a predator.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Truly,” he said. “And…
I looked at him.
“I’m a bottom and I don’t bottom for anyone who is smaller than I am.”
He was 295 lbs. at that point.
“You must not be getting any sex in that case,” I said.
Then I picked him up and threw him in the pool before I stalked off.
That was a little more than three years ago.
The year after Jess died continued to be strange and in more than one way. For one thing, we found out that all of her money wasn’t going to charity after all. $10 million of it went to Yvette. And $10 million of it went to Jake. Mother’s mouth tightened ever so slightly on the news of that but then she brightened and announced that she and Heiko were getting married. Back in the day I would have been appalled and apprehensive. Instead I was delighted.
“You are always welcome in this house,” I told both of them.
The only constant in all the time since then has been lifting and growing! Jake has put on 60 lbs. of solid muscle. At 5’8 and 350 lbs. he’s a fucking tank and last September he won his second consecutive Mr. Olympia title, this time weighing in at 330 lbs. on the posing dais, the biggest man ever to set foot on the Olympia stage. He was an inch shorter and 20 lbs. heavier than Big Ramy, who was looking pleased as punch to be in second place after having been so thoroughly outclassed.
(Phil Heath, Jake’s predecessor as the title-holder, disappeared after being blown out during Jake’s first appearance. I mean, literally. No one knows where he is or what happened to him. Rumor has it he joined a religious commune in New Mexico…)
Much to my amazement Mother and Heiko were at both contests. And not just because Heiko was angling to get Jake’s brand on his resorts’ health clubs. That would have happened in any event. But Heiko has gotten seriously into bodybuilding himself. He’s packed on 50 pounds, all of it muscle, making him one of the studliest 50-year-olds on the planet. And even Mother has turned into a fitness buff. Her “Body by Miriam” line of workout couture has been extremely successful. She looks happy, something I never thought I’d say!
As for me…
In three years I have grown three inches taller, so any more I’m right at 6 feet. And I’ve gained a little more than 300 pounds, all of it muscle, 100 pounds per year. I was 350 on my 16th birthday. I was 450 on my 17th birthday. And now, at 550 pounds, I outweigh Jake by exactly 200 pounds.
(He likes to point out that if he were 6 feet instead of 5’8” he would be closer to 400 pounds so really I don’t outweigh him all that much. Cute, right?)
“Am I big enough now?” I asked him that on my 18th birthday.
“Hunny chile,” he drawled. “You were big enough two years ago. The difference is now you’re old enough!”
That was a long night. One that turned into a long weekend. A month later I graduated from high school. And tomorrow Jake and I are getting married. Heiko and Mother will do double-duty as parents of the groom and best man and matron (uh, excuse me, “maid”) of honor. I’m just sorry Jess isn’t here to see it. She would have scoffed, I’m sure, but I feel certain that somewhere she’s looking down at all of us, knocking back her Gibson, and saying.
“Go for it, Sonny Boy. Grab life by the ass and never let go!”