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Description A simple operation can turn you into a hunk as hot as the football players you dream about. Do you even ask what the downside is?

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4 Parts tap bar to showtap bar to hide

The Problem with Derek

Okay, there I was at my high school graduation, sitting there in my cap and gown, stealing glances at Peter and wondering if I should claim the two hundred bucks he owed me. I mean, I’d won the bet, really I had. Ok, so maybe events had gotten a little out of control and the outcome wasn’t exactly the one we bet on. And there might be a few technicalities he could argue, but when you got right down to it, I’d definitely won, right? I should collect my money, shouldn’t I? And I could tell from Peter’s nervous reaction that he was wondering if I was going to try. You see, we’d had this bet since the beginning of the school year about Derek. He was my other friend. The three of us used to sit together at the same cafeteria table every day for lunch; we had since middle school. We all pretty much looked the same, average height, average build, slightly different hair colors with some variation in facial features. We were pretty much testaments to averageness. Well, at least they were; I was kind of cute.

I was blond and let’s face it, that went a long way right there. I wore my hair kind of long and shaggy so I could toss it, a really great effect when used at the right moment. I had really deep blue eyes, high cheek bones and dimpled cheeks when I smiled. Let’s face it; I was truly adorable.

Peter was probably my best friend. I mean, we’d had a thing once, but we were both into muscle and neither of us was athletically inclined. So we decided we were better off as friends.

Derek, although he leaned the same way as us, was far less… involved. It was almost like he had something better to do than ogle guys. I know, I know, it was a mystery to me, too.

Everyday at lunch Peter and I used to love to watch the jocks come in. We’d perfected the technique of looking and yet not looking like we were looking. ‘Cause, you know, if you got caught, you were pretty much in for a beating. But we were good at it. We never got caught—well, almost never.

There was this one time, John Dixon caught us looking. He came to our table, put both hands on the back of one of the cafeteria chairs, and leaned over it. Our cafeteria had these huge, heavy metal chairs. They were about fifty years old and must have weighed about seventy pounds each. Nobody liked them. They were uncomfortable and impossible to move around, but I think that might have been the point.

“What were you looking at,” he said, a really intense scowl on his face and then his rock hard forearms almost exploded out of his arms as he intensified his grip on the chair back. He turned red from the strain and we watched open mouthed as, slowly the chair back bent a little.

HOLY CRAP!

“Nothing,” we said, simultaneously.

“Good,” he said. He paused long enough to give us one more scowl before he walked away.

Damn, that was whack-off material for a least a week. But Derek was really freaked. “You guys are going to get us killed,” he said, and maybe he was right. But what a way to go.

We had our favorites. There was Brian Dumbrowski, one of the line backers. Holy crap he was huge, and a bit of a showoff. Whenever the weather was warm enough, he’d come in a sleeveless T. Those arms were thick and veined even when relaxed and we were pretty sure he had the biggest guns in school. They had to be at least 18 inches.

Then there was Tom Manerly. He was a soccer player, not nearly as big as Brian but absolute perfectly proportioned. That body looked like a Greek sculpture come to life, a regular work of muscle art. And he had one of those faces that screamed make me a model.

And Frank Pierce, he was just a muscle head. He didn’t belong to any teams or anything; he was a gym rat. Kept his head shaved. He wasn’t as tall or as bulky as Brian, but he was pretty damn big and totally ripped, and he always wore as little as he could get away with. I loved seeing his wide back pop out of his muscle shirts, and I once tried to count his intercostals, but you had to be extra careful with Frank. Definite drool material, but he always looked like he was mad at someone. We were pretty sure he was on roids; kinda scary, but in a hot kinda way.

And there were plenty more to go around, all frustratingly straight. But all the time Peter and I were busy cataloging and classifying the meat, Derek would just sit there at his laptop playing World of Warcraft or some other online game.

“Hey, Derek,” I‘d say, “check out Jim Evans. He’s defiantly been working his pecs. Look at those babies. Any bigger and they’ll start giving muscle milk.”

He’d look up and then say, “Yeah, Brandon, whatever,” and then he go back to his game. We kept trying to get him involved, but it was practically impossible. He was giving gay guys a bad name.

Finally, it was the first week of our senior year. It was early September, still hot, and all the jocks were dressed—comfortably, showing off just about everything they had to show. We had just watched a particularly spectacular procession of prime beef parade down the isle in front of us, and Peter and I were having trouble keeping our tongues in our mouths. Derek as usual was completely uninterested. He actually closed up his laptop, got up and left ten minutes before the bell rang. I couldn’t believe it, and I said as much to Peter.

“Don’t worry about it, Brandon,” he said. “Derek’s just not wired that way.”

“Un uh,” I said, “physiologically impossible. He can’t be gay and not appreciate muscle. It’s an established scientific fact. Maybe he’s straight.”

“No, take it from me, he’s gay.”

“Are you sure?”

“Very sure.”

And the way he said it, I got the feeling there’d been an encounter I hadn’t heard about. “Yeah? So tell me how you’re so sure,” I said batting my eyelashes and tossing my hair.

“Dude, I’m not going to go there. Just take it from me, straight is not the issue. Just not all gay guys go for muscle.”

“Impossible,” I said. “We have no choice. It’s in the gay gene”

“There’s a gay gene?”

“Of course there’s a gay gene. The muscle appreciation factor is somewhere on the forty-second or forty-third chromosome. Look it up.”

“Well, it doesn’t apply to Derek,” said Peter, “It wouldn’t matter if you got Mr. Olympia naked and twirling a hula-hoop. It wouldn’t even faze him.”

“That I refuse to believe,” I said. “The hula-hoop is extremely erotic.” We both laughed, before I said, “It’s probably very simple, an enzyme deficiency or something. I bet all he needs is the right… stimulus.”

“Brandon, Brandon, Brandon, you just won’t give it up, will you,” said Peter. “Derek’s just never going to get it.”

“You wanna bet?” I said.

“How much?” he asked.

“Five bucks,” I said.

“That’s not a bet. See, you don’t really believe you can do it.”

Of course I could do it. All I really needed to do was separate him from that damned laptop for an hour and I knew I could get him hooked. It was all a simple matter of body chemistry. I just had to trigger the right reaction. “Ok, how about two hundred bucks?” I said almost before I thought about it.

“You seriously want to give me two hundred dollars?” smirked Peter.

“I’m not giving you anything,” I said. “You’re going to be handing me two crisp one hundred dollar bills. Just remember, I like them new.”

“Ok,” said Pete. “You’re on. By graduation. Derek has to be into muscle by graduation or you owe me two hundred dollars.”

“Derek will not only be into muscle,” I said shaking his hand, “he will be obsessed by it.”

Pete laughed. “I’m going online tonight to figure out what I’m going to buy with my two hundred dollars.”

“Better look into savings plans while you’re at it,” I said. “If you start putting away a dollar a day, by graduation you should have just about enough to pay me.”

“You are so deluded.”

“We’ll see.”

And that’s how it started.

I’ve often wondered if I’d known at that moment how far things were going to go, would I still have bet him?

That night I went home and dug up all my best muscle mags. I had quite a selection and I was just about to start going through them when my mom called me.

“Brandon!” she yelled. “The shelves are gone again.”

Damn! Those stupid shelves! We had this long, tall set of metal shelves in our garage that was always falling over. My dad got them out of a junk yard when he was still alive and loaded them with all kinds of junk auto parts, alternators, wheels and even an engine block, plus all kinds of other crap. I keep telling my mom we should get rid of them, but somehow she can’t bring herself to do it. So, every once in a while when the shelves fall over we have to pick them up and put everything back up on them—except the engine block. That thing is now permanently on the garage floor since we’d need a freaking forklift to move it. Why couldn’t she have gotten sentimental over an old shirt or a tie?

I rushed down the stairs to the garage. “Ok, mom, let’s hurry up and get this over with. I’m engaged in work of great scientific importance.”

“Oh really?” she said. “I thought you were just up there whacking off to your magazines again.”

My mom did not have the decency, like other parents, to be embarrassed about having a sexually active child. It was really annoying.

“As it happens, no,” I said. But the night was still young.

It took Mom and me together, giving it everything we had, just to get the shelves back on their wobbly feet, then another hour to pick up and put away all that dirty, heavy junk. What a mess. It would take me a least a week to get clean. But first I had more important things to do.

My mags were right were I left them, but I’m afraid I got a little distracted going through them looking for my all time favorite pics. There was this one guy… I called him Butch—there was no name with the picture and Butch seemed to fit him just fine. He had it all going on, mountainous shoulders, an incredibly narrow waist with eight brick like abs, massive pecs, huge thighs, and an insane bulge in his poser. I liked the photo so much I scanned it into my computer and had a little morph-a-licious fun with it. By the time I was done, he looked too good to be human. I even put the improved Butch next to a shrunk down picture of a regular sized guy so Butch looked just gigantic. Needless, to say I had a lot of fun that night.

And that was just one of my photos. I had a lot more. Of course, I had to run back and forth to the bathroom several times during the evening, but by the time I finished I had a collection of pictures that would make anyone go into spontaneous orgasm, a fact to which I could personally attest.

The next morning I shoved my collection into my backpack and headed off to school. Man those pics were so hot I was afraid my backpack would catch fire. I had to be careful all morning. I had to fight the urge to browse through them during the boring lecture in Trig. I didn’t want any embarrassing accidents.

When lunch time finally came, I raced to our table, ripped open my pack and handed the stack of photos to Derek. “Here, bro,” I said, “check these out.”

Derek looked up from his laptop, took the pics from me, and glanced at the first two. “Oh yeah,” he said, handed them back to me, and went back to his laptop. That was it????? He didn’t even get to Butch! Peter started laughing.

“No, dude, you’ve got to check these out,” I said, putting Butch on top and trying to hand the pics back to him, but he made no move to take them.

“Yeah,” he said, “I saw them. Big guys. Cool.” He didn’t even look up that time.

“Cha ching!” said Peter. I glared at him. This wasn’t over yet. I couldn’t believe those pics hadn’t affected Derek at all. It just wasn’t scientifically possible. He had to have a boner, or at least a chubby. I tried to figure out a way to look without being obvious. I mean if a jock caught me checking out his equipment, I’d just get a beating. If Derek caught me, he’d be ragging on me for the rest of the year. But I had a plan.

“Didn’t I hear they were beta testing Halo 4 in the computer lab,” I said.

“Seriously?” gasped Derek shutting his laptop and jumping up.

Crap. Nothing. As far as I could tell, not even a chubby. Then Derek shoved his laptop into his backpack, and ran from the cafeteria.

“What was that about?” asked Peter reaching over and helping himself to my pics.

“The act of a desperate man,” I said.

I heard a gasp. Peter was holding my picture of Butch in his shaking hand. His eyes were bugging out and he was sweating. Yeah, Butch always had that same effect on me. Peter dropped the pics, stood up and then, with an awkward jerky walk, headed straight toward the bathroom. He got about halfway there before he turned around, staggered back, snatched up the Butch photo, and took it with him. One thing about Peter, he had great taste. Which was more than I could say for Derek.

But I wasn’t through yet. Already I had another plan. It was a little more risky, a little more desperate, but I was ready to go for it. I made a bee line for the computer lab, figuring Derek would still be there. And he was, along with Mark Wassenburg, Jim Schneider, and Nick Gibson, all the usual gamer suspects. Three more nerdy guys would be hard to imagine. Mark was the tallest of them at six feet, but he was all skin and bones. Jim was kind of short and pudgy. Nick wasn’t short but he had long passed pudgy and was rapidly approaching fat. There really wasn’t anything here to interest me at all.

Someone had downloaded a beta version of a new game—not Halo 4, although it would have been really cool if it had been—and they were all geeking out over by one of the monitors. They didn’t even see me come in. I was in luck. Derek’s laptop was in his backpack by the door. It was almost too easy to open it up and slip the computer out. I was out the door and down the hall before they ever even suspected I was there. Derek really should be more careful with his laptop; someone might steal it—someone else, I mean.

I grabbed an old padlock out of my locker and headed for the boys locker room. I had to hurry. There were only minutes before the bell would ring and the place would start filling with guys getting ready for gym—actually, on second thought, there was really no hurry. I could be a few minuets late for Greek History.

I found an empty locker, put Derek’s laptop inside, slipped the padlock on and closed it with a click. That should keep it safe until it was time to spring my trap. Then I loitered around and caught a few minutes of the show before heading back up to class.

The rest of the day passed agonizingly slowly, but I knew once the final bell rang I would only have a few minutes to put my plan into action. I would have to rush. I felt like a racehorse waiting at the gate—or at least what I imagine a racehorse waiting at the gate would feel like; I really had no way of knowing. They might not feel anything at all for all I knew. I mean they’re horses for Christ’s sake—but I digress.

The bell rang and I was off like a shot. I made straight for the computer lab. Derek was there almost every day after school, and he’d better be there today or I’d be completely screwed. But I was in luck. The whole gang of them was there. Derek looked a little stressed. Hmm, I wonder why.

“Hey Derek, you got your computer?” I asked.

“No,” he said, looking downcast, “someone stole it.”

“That’s funny,” I said, “’cause I thought I saw this strange kid with it down in the locker room.”

“Really?” his face lit up.

Yes! I had him. “Yeah, he put it in one of the lockers.”

“You think it’s still there?”

“I don’t know. Let’s go see.” Derek and I started for the locker room, and I checked my watch. Yup, the timing was working out perfectly. We arrived just as the football team was starting to get ready for practice. There they were: example after example of the finest beef our school had to offer, and all slowly disrobing. Derek had to respond. He just had to.

“Which locker is it?” he asked.

“Over here,” I said and I led him to the locker. I had chosen one near the center of a particularly narrow row. A few of the football players literally had to squeeze by us to get past. I could feel their hard bulging bodies pushing up against me as they went through, and my little soldier was suddenly awake and straining at my briefs. Man, why hadn’t I done this years ago? I glanced over at Derek He was just staring at the stupid locker.

“Damn! It’s locked,” he said.

I felt like screaming, “Would you forget the fucking computer for just thirty seconds!” But instead I said, “You wait here. I’ll go get the janitor. He’s got some bolt cutters.”

“He won’t just cut the lock for us,” said Derek despondently.

“He will if I tell him it’s mine and I lost the key.” Which would only be half a lie; I still had the key.

Derek brightened at once. “Thanks, Brandon.”

I intended to take a little time to find the janitor, figuring that Derek would get board waiting and start to look around. And when he did, how could he not notice he was in fucking wonderland?

I turned to go only to find Chad Sikowski standing in my way, wearing only his jock strap. He was six feet tall, big and beefy. Nice pecs, broad shoulders and thick arms, but he had a little more fat on him than I usually liked. Any abs he had were completely obscured by it. Peter and I had rated him as strictly B grade material, but right now he was certainly ringing all my chimes.

“What are you two faggots doing here?” he asked, clenching his fists. Suddenly I remembered why I hadn’t done this before.

“Never mind, I can guess,” he said glancing at my crotch. Holy fuck, I was stiff as a log and spotting. My little soldier had betrayed me! Benedict Arnold!

I opened my mouth to respond, but Derek beat me to it.

“Some asshole stole my computer and locked it in here,” he said, banging the locker. He was so mad and so sincere, it was much better than any half baked lie I might have come up with. No way could Chad not believe him.

“You’re fucking lying,” said Chad.

Ok, maybe there was a way.

“No, it’s true,” said Derek, amping out on the sincerity.

Chad kind of looked at him sideways and then sidled on over to the locker. Without warning he slammed his fist into the door. Holy crap, the freaking metal door buckled! What a fucking stud! The locker door had a dent in it just about the size of his fist, and the edge of it was popping out from the frame just enough for Chad to get his fingers in there. Then, triceps bulging, he gave a mighty yank and ripped the door open. Holy fuck! I almost came in my pants. I was gong to have to talk to Peter about giving Chad an upgrade.

“I’ll be damned,” he said, reaching into the locker and lifting out Derek’s computer. “You were telling the truth.”

“Thanks, man,” said Derek, his eyes lighting up at the sight of his beloved machine—and ONLY at the sight of his beloved machine. I was starting to consider brain damage.

Chad gave Derek his computer and my friend waltzed happily from the room. I was thoroughly disgusted. Another great plan had crashed and burned. I could almost feel the two hundred dollars flying away. I went to follow Derek, but Chad put his hand on my shoulder and stopped me. I was thrilled by his touch and frightened at the same time, a remarkably stimulating combination.

“Not you, Blondie” said Chad. “I want to talk to you.”

They always liked to pick on me. Oh well, I guess it was my curse for being the cute one. But, what was this about? I had absolutely no idea—well, I had one idea, but since it involved blood and bruises, I liked to pretend it didn’t exist.

Chad backed me up against the locker and looked down at me. Fuck, this was amazing. He had a completely dominating presence. I was staring right at those full, powerful pecs, and I could feel the heat of his near naked body. In a second I was going to cum. There was just no way around it. Oh well, since I was going to get the shit kicked out of me anyway, I was wondering if I could cop a feel before he started.

Then Chad leaned over and looked left and right, checking to make sure we were alone. Then he whispered, “Is it true—?”

“Is what true,” I asked, suddenly confused. Was he baiting me? We had to have passed the point where that was necessary.

“Is it true,” he said, his voice sinking even lower, “that gay guys give the best blow jobs?”

I was struck dumb. That was the last question I had been expecting. Well, maybe not the last question, but certainly in the bottom ten or fifteen. And I have to say I was amazed at how quickly I recovered my wits. “Well, it’s an established scientific fact,” I said, flipping my hair, flashing my eyes, and turning my cuteness all the way up, “that we have an appreciation and understanding of the penis that girls could never hope to have, not being owners themselves.”

I held my breath and suddenly his lip curled up in this kind of half smirk. “You want to prove that?” he asked.

Ok, now that was the last question I had been expecting. “Sure,” I managed to get out, my brief moment of lucidity now evaporating into shock, confusion, and need I say lust?

“Ok,” he said whispering, “Saturday, three o’clock. Meet me under the bleachers, and you better be damn good.” Then he turned and disappeared into the sea of masculinity that was currently flooding the locker room. I barely made it to the second floor restroom before I exploded. Holy crap! I may still lose the two hundred dollars, but fuck! I think it might be worth it.

But I hadn’t given up yet. That night, when I wasn’t thinking about Chad, I was racking my brain for a way to get through to Derek—which meant, unfortunately, that I spent about five minutes on the problem. So, when I got to school the next day I still had no idea what to do.

The answer to my problem came at me unexpectedly, as answers often do, in programming class. When I walked in I was a little surprised to see four pies sitting on a table at the front of the classroom, a chocolate cream pie, an apple pie, a lemon meringue pie, and a banana cream pie.

“Today’s class,” said Mr. Franklin, as he started his lecture, “is going to be a little unorthodox. But first, we’re going to start with a little pop quiz. Each of you will find a small program on your desk top called Franklin27. Its sole purpose is to take a string of integers and put them in order. But the program has a bug. Your task is to identify the bug and then fix it. When you’re done, email me the annotated, debugged program and then raise your hand. Go.”

I love a pop quiz as much as the next guy, but I have to say I was a little surprised about how easy this one was. And I must not have been the only one. We couldn’t have been at it ten minutes when the first hand went up.

“Excellent, Mr. Lopez,” said Mr. Franklin, “now come up and help yourself to a piece of pie.” That was unusual, but Carlos went up and got himself a piece of Lemon Meringue pie. The next one to finish was Laurie Piper. She got a piece of pie, too—Lemon Meringue. Then Bill Johnson went for the Lemon Meringue. When it was my turn, I bypassed the Banana Cream Pie, my personal favorite, because of a sudden urge for a piece of Lemon Meringue. When the Lemon Meringue ran out, Mr. Franklin just produced another. One by one, everyone in the class went up and got a piece of Lemon Meringue pie.

I was just thinking how wrong that was when Mr. Franklin started up his lecture again. “Can anyone tell me what just happened here with the pies?” he asked.

“An impossibility happened,” I said, raising my hand. “The Lemon Meringue pie should have been the last to go.”

“Would you care to explain that, Brandon,” Mr. Franklin invited.

“Well,” I said, standing up and tossing my hair, “it’s perfectly simple. The gay guys would normally go for the banana cream pie, because given the choice, we go for the banana every time. The straight guys would have gone for the apple, because unlike gay guys, they didn’t learn anything from that whole incident with Eve and the snake. And the girls all should have had the chocolate, because it’s long been an established scientific fact that the chocolate loving gene is endemic to the female of the species, which means the Lemon Meringue should have been left untouched. I’m telling you,” I said, pausing for dramatic effect, “something has occurred that runs contrary to the laws of nature.”

“Could you be anymore blond?” came a voice from the back of the room. That was just a small example of the kind of ignorance and jealousy my brilliance and extreme good looks often inspired.

“Well,” said Mr. Franklin, composing himself—he’d been laughing for some reason, “I can’t say I agree with your logic, but your conclusion is essentially correct.” Then he hit the lights and turned on the projector. There on the screen was a program diagram and he began to take us through it. It was a piece of malware that was designed to flash subliminal messages across your computer screen; in essence you would be programmed by your computer. This one was originally designed to sell cigarettes, but Mr. Franklin had adjusted it to push Lemon Meringue pie. He spent the rest of the period going over it and explaining how it worked. It seemed to fascinate him from a purely academic standpoint. It fascinated me from another standpoint entirely, the standpoint of winning my two hundred bucks.

While Mr. Franklin was engaged in his lecture, I pulled out my flash drive and helped myself to a copy of the malware. It had been rendered safe, in other words, unable to spread itself, so I wasn’t really doing anything too dangerous.

When I got home that evening I loaded it onto my PC and opened it up. Thanks to Mr. Franklin’s lecture, it was pretty easy to find the subliminal message and alter it. But what did I want to say? I had to get this right.

You love muscle, I typed. Muscle is all you can think about. You can never get enough Muscle. That should do it. It was certainly the way I felt most of the time. And it’s an established scientific fact that it’s the way Derek should feel. I was only correcting what was wrong to begin with, right? The program also contained an image of a perfect looking piece of Lemon Meringue pie. I replaced it with my giant Butch morph. Now everything was perfect. All I had to do was load it on to Derek’s computer, and that proved surprisingly simple.

The next day at lunch Derek got up to go to the bathroom. He left his laptop on the table, but not before asking us to watch it. I guess losing it for a few hours had been a bit of a trauma for him. As soon as he was out of sight I slid over, plugged my flash drive into his USB port and installed the program. I stuck it way in the back of one of his utility files where he’d never find it.

“What are you doing?” asked Peter.

“Trying a little experiment,” I said, finishing up, and reclaiming my flash drive.

“What kind of an experiment?” he asked.

“The secret kind, so don’t say anything to Derek.”

“Why shouldn’t I,” he said, a mischievous glint in his eye.

“Just go with me on this, ok, Peter? I’ll tell you later. Derek’s coming back.”

I slipped back into my seat just as Derek rounded the corner and sat down. He didn’t say two words to us before he was back on his computer. I couldn’t help but smile.

I spent the rest of lunch just dying to try out the new and improved Derek. I wondered how long I should give it to work. It had taken the program about ten minutes to start selling pie. I wondered how long it would take to sell muscle.

I was just about to interrupt Derek’s computer session to comment on a passing stud when he looked up and asked me, “How much do you weigh?”

I was a little surprised by the question, but I answered it. “About 140,” I said. Then he looked at Peter and asked, “How about you?”

“About the same,” he said.

“Yeah,” said Derek, “me, too.” Then he went back to his computer.

Peter and I exchanged what-the-fuck looks with each other, but then Derek popped up again.

“How tall are you, Brandon?” he asked.

“Five nine,” I said. “What is this?”

“Just asking,” said Derek “What about you, Peter?”

“Five nine and a half,” he said, stressing the half. He got endless joy out of being a half inch taller than me.

“Yeah,” that’s’ what I thought,” he said. Then he was back in his computer. We really didn’t have to ask him how tall he was. We knew he was about the same as us. But what was going on?

About a minute later he asked me if I wanted to arm wrestle.

“What?” I asked, completely taken by surprise. “Are you serious?”

“Yeah,” he said, putting his elbow on the table, and throwing me a challenging stare. “Come on, let’s do it.”

“Ok,” I said, shrugging. I put my elbow on the table and we clasped hands. There was a brief struggle, but I won pretty quickly. You see I had a set of dumbbells in my bedroom that I worked out with pretty regularly—ok, maybe not regularly, but once or twice a week—ok, ok, not really that either; I used them whenever I thought about it and wasn’t feeling too lazy. Are you happy now? But that was more than Derek did. He was pretty skinny and soft looking. All he ever worked was his fingers over his keyboard—occasionally, I’m sure he worked them over something else—but mostly his keyboard.

Derek looked really dejected at his loss, I mean, much more than he should have. He was feeling his upper arm, at least what there was of it. It really wasn’t any wider than any other part of his arm. I was beginning to wonder if I’d hurt him.

“You ok?” I asked.

“Yeah, great,” he said. Then he closed up his laptop, got up and left.

Peter and I looked at each other simultaneously and said, “What was that about?”

The next day at lunch Derek didn’t show up at all. I mean, I knew he was in school that day; I’d seen him. I wondered if I’d offended him in someway. Maybe I should have let him win. Well, I figured whatever it was, he’d get over it and we’d see him again soon. But there was a piece of me, a tiny sneaky, bad-mouthed piece of me, that wondered if maybe my little subliminal trick might just be responsible for his weird behavior. The more I thought about it the more it worried me and after school I went to look for him.

Of course, the obvious place to start was the computer lab. Derek wasn’t there, but the others were.

“You guys seen Derek?” I asked.

Jim Schneider, Nick Gibson, and Mark Wassenburg kind of exchanged looks and said, “Not since lunch.”

Ah ha, so he was here during lunch! “You have any idea where he could be?” I asked.

“Probably looking for somebody else to arm wrestle,” said Jim smirking.

“Yeah, someone he can beat,” said Nick, and the three of them kind of chuckled.

So, he’d done the arm wresting thing here, too… Weird. Well I had his phone number. I could always call him just to make sure he was ok. I walked out into the hall pulled out my phone and dialed him up.

“Hello?” came his voice from the other end.

“Hey Derek, missed you a lunch. Everything ok?”

“Yeah, fine,” he said in a tone that said it was not fine.

“Come on, Derek, something’s bothering you I can tell. I’m incredibly sensitive that way. It’s an established scientific fact.”

“It’ just that—” he trailed off.

“It’s just what?”

“I’m so small and weak.”

“Dude, you are not small and weak. You’re normal, like the rest of us.”

“Then how come everyone beats me at arm wrestling?”

“Derek, if that’s all that’s bothering you, join a gym. Lift a few weights. You’ll be beating us in no time.”

“Yeah, I thought about that. But I don’t know anything about it.”

“Dude, it’s, like, not brain surgery. You’ll figure it out. Go online, or you can always get a book.”

“Yeah. That’s it. That’s exactly what I’ll do.” It was kind of strange but there was a sort of frantic desperation in his voice.

“Good for you. See you Monday,” I said. I hung up with the feeling that I had done a good thing.

If only I’d known.

I mean it was pretty damn obvious at that point what had happened, but it didn’t even occur to me. But maybe it was because I had other things on my mind—ok, only one other thing, a thing called Chad.

The next day was Saturday and I spent the morning, in an absolute dither. I even tried to put my shoes on the wrong feet. I don’t know why this guy was getting me so frazzled—ok, yes I did; it was because he was the sexiest guy I’d ever had a chance to lay my hands on. I probably spent two hours just trying to figure out what to wear, before I realized jeans and a t shirt would do just fine. Chad wasn’t going to care what I was wearing.

I got to the bleachers a half hour early. As soon as I climbed under them and into that half lit gloom, I began to have my doubts. What if Chad didn’t come? Or worse, what if he was coming only to beat the living crap out of me? I didn’t have to worry for long because five minutes later he arrived.

“Good, you’re early,” he said as soon as he saw me.

“Yeah,” I said somewhat surprised to see him twenty-five minutes before the designated time. “You’re early, too.”

“Yup,” he said. “Let’s get this show on the road.” He started unbuttoning his jeans and pulling down the zipper while he was still walking toward me. Damn, he was eager.

“Better take off your shirt, too,” I said. He was wearing his football jersey. It was big on him without the padding and it hid all the good bits.

“Why?” he asked, instantly defensive. Whoa, I’d better tread carefully here. He was a pretty big guy, who could easily snap me in two if he got spooked, and it looked like he was half way there already. Why was that so fucking hot?

“Your shirt’s kind of long. It might get in the way,” I said. Of course that wasn’t the main reason I wanted it off, but for my own safety I was only giving information on a need to know basis.

“Ok, fine,” he said and he pulled it off. Oh, the glories of nature. What God had given that boy should not be covered up, huge meaty pecs, big, broad shoulders, nice thick arms. There was plenty of juicy muscle all over him. True he didn’t have the definition of a competition body builder, but a better diet and a little more aerobic exercise would take care of that. And then he’d be spectacular.

“What are you staring at?” he asked, defensive once again.

“You can’t expect me not to look a little. You’re pretty damn sexy.”

“Yeah, alright, fine,” he said, as though he were acknowledging something inevitable like death or taxes. “Just get on with it.”

He started fumbling to pull his underwear down—boxer briefs—but I put my hand on his to stop him. He flinched. This boy really was on edge. “Let me,” I said.

At first he looked reluctant to let me touch him, but then I guess he must have remembered what we were there for, because he relaxed and gave me full access. I peeled back the waste band and pulled them down. What tumbled out was full and meaty, a fine specimen; it suited him. No sooner did I take it in my hands than it sprang to life, as eager as the rest of him. I looked up past his plentiful pecs toward his face, and saw that he had his head back and his eyes closed. I only had to breathe on his member for it to fully expand to a healthy eight or eight and a half inches, the juicy head almost instantly coated with thick precum. I took him inside me and let his head float around the inside of my cheek. I could feel the heat coming off his shaft; it was practically vibrating with sexual energy, ready any second to spout forth a torrent of hot cum. I could tell he wasn’t going to last long, but I’d try and draw it out for him as long as I could. I slid him out of my mouth and began use my tongue to delicately, gently probe around the swollen head looking for his sensitive spot, and as soon as I touched him he let out a soft moan and his breathing sped up. Then, licking, darting and probing I slowly approached that area just north of the piss slit where I was pretty sure I’d find what I was looking for. The closer I got, the louder he moaned and the faster he drew breath. No sooner did I find his spot then I felt his rock hard cock shudder and I knew he was already cumming. I took him inside my mouth and did my best to help him get the most from his orgasm. And from the volume of his shout I was pretty sure I’d succeeded. I let him finish, swallowing his load, and withdrew.

The whole thing had taken less than a minute, and he was sweating and gasping.

“Damn,” he said. “Damn, that was incredible.”

“Thanks,” I said, “but I don’t think I did much. How long has it been?”

“What?”

“Since you got off. It’s been a while. I know the signs.”

“That’s none of your fucking business.”

Well, wasn’t that nice. “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t know how I could be so presumptuous. Excuse me, while I wipe your jizz off my lips.”

He looked down at me and for a second I wasn’t sure if he was going to hit me. Then he just shrugged. “My girlfriend is very old fashioned,” he said.

“Oh, I see,” I said, “no sex til the wedding night.”

“I think she’ll do engagement,” he said, “but it’s practically the same thing.”

“Maybe you should get another girlfriend.”

“No.” He shook his head. “I like her too much.”

“How about one on the side?”

“I’d never do that to her.”

“You’re doing it to her now,” I said spreading my arms apart.

“You don’t count,” he said.

“I don’t?”

“You’re not a girl.”

And people called my logic twisted. But since I was having a good time, I didn’t feel like calling him on it. “Can’t you help yourself out?” I asked, making the traditional jerk off gesture.

He kicked a stone and said, “I have three sisters and two brothers. I don’t get a lot of alone time.”

“What about when you’re in the bathroom?”

“Yeah,” he said, “we only have one of those, and did I mention I have three sisters? No sooner do I pull my pants down then one of them is pounding on the door telling me to hurry up. It’s not exactly relaxing.”

He was staring wistfully off into the distance. I don’t know what he was seeing, maybe a tiny bathroom all his own.

“Well, that just isn’t going to work,” I said. “You have to get off more or your balls will explode. It’s an established scientific fact.”

“Seriously?”

“Trust me on this. Well, Chad,” I said, “you look rested. You ready to go for round two?”

“You’d go again?”

“Chad, I’ll go til you run dry if you like. It’s the only humane thing to do.”

“Excellent!” he shouted. But no sooner did I reach for him then I head a high female voice.

“Chad!” it called. “Are you under there?”

“Shit!” shouted Chad. “It’s Liz. I told her to stay in the car!” And suddenly he was scrambling to pull up his pants.

“In the car?” I said. “I hope you cracked a window.”

“Are you free next Saturday?” he asked, his voice muffled as he pulled his shirt over his head. It was like the curtain closing at the end of a show.

I thought about it for a second before I realized that not only was Chad incredibly sexy, I was actually starting to like him. “I think I could find the time.”

“Three o’clock?”

“Ok, but next time, leave your pet at home.”

He stopped and gave me a dark look before he said, “You don’t like girls much do you?”

“They’re ok,” I answered. “I just don’t think every household should have one.”

Chasing Chad

When I got down to the cafeteria for lunch on Monday, I really had to fight the urge to tell Peter about my little rendezvous with Chad. Although Peter was a good friend, he couldn’t keep a secret to save his life. And if this got out, I was pretty sure it would end, and I really didn’t want it to end. So I clamped my mouth shut and just acted as though everything was normal. Until that is, Derek lurched over and sat down, wincing.

“Jeeze, Derek, are you ok?”

“Pain,” he groaned, “all over. Joined a gym over the weekend. Can barely move.”

“Did you ever think of just easing into it?” asked Peter, laughing.

“No, no time. I need to put on some muscle,” said Derek. And as soon as he said that, little alarm bells started going off in the back of my mind. They weren’t loud and I wasn’t sure what they meant, but they were definitely there. Fortunately, I have a natural inborn ability to shut such nuisances off; it’s the secret of my success. So, I gave the slightest effort, and poof they went away. Everything was bright and happy once more.

“What’s the hurry?” asked Peter.

“I don’t know,” said Derek. “I just think it would be cool.”

Hmmm, that’s a little different. Obviously this was the new into-muscle Derek we were seeing. I could almost taste that two hundred dollars. Time to test him out.

“Hey, Derek,” I said. “Check out Brian’s guns. Think they’re at eighteen and a half yet?”

“Where?” he said.

Ah ha! He was interested! “Over by the trash can.” Derek spun around and stared, but he was being way too obvious.

“Holy crap,” shouted Derek. “Look at the size of him. I wonder how he got that big. Do you think he’d tell me?”

“Sure,” I said, making frantic quiet gestures, “if you make it your last request. Are you fucking crazy? You don’t talk to the meat. And shouting about it isn’t healthy either.”

“And it’s probably safer not to stare,” said Peter, shielding his eyes, and looking at the table.

“Why?” asked Derek.

“Straight guys can’t stand being stared at by gay guys,” I said. “But don’t blame them. They can’t help it. It’s in their genes.”

“In their genes?” said Peter looking at me skeptically. “So there’s a straight guy gene, too?”

“Of course there is,” I said. “But it’s only in the twenty-first or twenty-second chromosome, a far more primal area. Their hatred of us is a natural reaction that any lower example of a species would have toward the more refined, more evolved members. They instinctively want to destroy us because they know eventually they will die out and we will replace them.”

“So now we’re more evolved?” asked Peter, with one raised eyebrow.

“Of course we are,” I said. “It’s an established scientific fact.”

“I don’t mean to poke holes in your theories,” said Peter, “but I see one tiny problem. Wouldn’t that kind of mean the end of the human race?”

“Of course not,” I said, unable to comprehend Peter’s ignorance. “Why do you think God gave us sperm banks?”

Peter just buried his head in his hands and Derek looked completely confused. But my brilliance frequently had that effect on people.

We spent most of the rest of lunch schooling Derek in the ways of looking without looking. I figured the bet was already won, except for one thing. Derek wasn’t drooling over these guys the way we were. It was more like he was sizing them up. I was kinda hoping Peter wouldn’t notice, but he did. He wasn’t ready to declare me the winner just yet.

“One day of mild interest doesn’t count,” he said later when I got him alone. “Remember, you said he he’d be obsessed. He didn’t look obsessed to me. We’ll just wait and see how this plays out. We’ve got time.”

I wasn’t worried. Derek still spent a lot of time glued to his computer where my little messages to love muscle were being constantly reinforced in his brain. You couldn’t look at subliminal messages for that long without becoming obsessed. It was an established scientific fact.

But the next day at lunch, Derek actually seemed less interested in scoping out the guys. He was back glued to his computer, although he wasn’t playing a game. I didn’t get it. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I asked him what he was doing.

“Reading about nutrition,” he said.

“What are you taking a life sciences class or something?”

“No, it’s for my workouts.”

“Oh.”

Peter was too smug for words. I just kept my eyes on the show and tired not to look at him. Oh well, I guessed subliminal suggestion wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I’d have to come up with another plan. But Peter was right about one thing, there was plenty of time until graduation. I knew I’d come up with something brilliant long before then. I had an incredibly devious mind.

In the mean time, I kept peeking at Chad’s table. There he was, sitting with his football buddies and their girlfriends. It was pretty easy to pick out Liz. She was the one hanging all over him. She was pretty enough and he really did seem to like her a lot. I kept hoping he’d look over in our direction, but he never did. I wondered if he had his own version of look but don’t look.

The rest of the week passed pretty much in the same way, except Derek eventually lost his limp. He was very enthusiastic about his workouts. There was a guy at the gym who told him he had a really good frame for adding mass. He was so jazzed about it he was practically hopping with joy. You’d think he’d won the lottery or something.

Saturday rolled around and I began to contemplate my next meeting with Chad. After a week of him ignoring me I didn’t feel at all like being early. Not to mention our garage shelves fell over again right around two o’clock. What a mess, picking up all that heavy, goopy junk. Of course I jammed my hand on one of those big, greasy metal auto-things and it hurt like hell. And then I had to wash. So I didn’t make it to the bleachers until three o’clock exactly. Chad was already there with his shirt off. My God, I’d forgotten what a fucking stud he was. I could feel myself getting hard already.

“I didn’t think you were coming,” he said.

“Why? Because I wasn’t here waiting for you wagging my tail like a little puppy dog waiting for his master?” Whoa. Where did that come from? I guess a week of watching Liz stick to him like lint had affected me more than I thought. I’d better tone down the attitude if I didn’t want to blow this—er… ah, you know what I mean.

“What’s your problem?” he said.

“Nothing. Sorry. Forget I said that.”

This week, I thought I’d start him off with a hand job, release some of that excess pressure. And when I took him in my hand and started stimulating him, he looked disappointed.

“No tongue today?” he said.

“I thought we’d work up to that,” I answered. Sure enough, less than a minute later he was shooting his first load. I also got a quite satisfying moan out of him.

“Damn, you’re good. You’re a lot better at that than I am.”

“Years of practice,” I said. “Now maybe you’ll hold it together long enough to have some fun.” Then I started in with my tongue flitting and darting. He was completely hard again in a second.

“Hold on to it,” I called, pausing. “Make it last.” Then I started back in.

“Oh fuck!” he shouted. “Oh fuck!” A sentiment he kept repeating, with minor variations, and at ever an increasing volume. I knew I wasn’t as good as he was making me out to be. He was just so damn repressed and horny. This time he made it a minute and a half before he blew.

“Damn,” he said, panting. “I’ve never felt anything like that in my life.”

“And we’ve only scratched the surface,” I said.

And then I heard it again, that same annoying female voice. “Chad, are you down here. I heard you shouting. Are you ok?”

“I thought you were going to leave her at home,” I hissed.

“I did,” he whispered, pulling up his pants. “But she was acting all weird like she suspected something. She must have followed me.”

“Terrific!” I said. “Maybe you should get her a leash and tie her up in the backyard.”

“Chad?” came Liz’s voice. “Is that you?”

Damn, she was close. It was dark down here and there were plenty of cross sections so she couldn’t see us clearly, but there was no doubt she could see us.

“Fuck, what do I do?” asked Chad.

I had an idea, not one of my favorites, but desperate times called for desperate measures. “Hit me,” I said.

“What?” asked Chad.

“In the mouth,” I said. “Draw a little blood. Say you caught me looking. It’s not the first time I’ve been beat up by a jock.”

“Really?” He actually looked a little concerned, but there wasn’t time for that now.

“Just hit me,” I said.

He raised his fist.

“Remember,” I said, putting my hand on his fist, “I said just a little blood.”

He nodded once, I removed my hand and then he let me have it.

I saw stars as I landed on the ground. I’d forgotten how much I hated pain. A little probing with my tongue confirmed my lip was split and bleeding. And just in time. Liz stepped through the last set of cross sections and into our private paradise.

“Chad, what’s going on?” she asked.

“I caught the little cocksucker staring at me,” he said.

Cocksucker? That was good, and surprisingly appropriate. I was tempted to stay and hear more, but I knew my part in this script only too well. I jumped up and took off running. And just as I got to the outside world, I could hear Liz ask, “Chad, why is your shirt off?” I almost bust out laughing. I really wanted to stay around to hear what he’d come up with, but I knew better and I made myself scarce.

Life began to settle into a kind of routine. During the week, it was the same old same old at lunch with Derek and Peter. Derek still continued to have only the mildest of interests in the never ending meat parade. Chad never even glanced my way. But Saturdays were a different story.

Sometimes, in the space between BJs, Chad and I would get talking about school and other stuff. We both liked the big summer blockbuster action movies, neither of us liked cheese cake, and we both thought we should pull out of Iraq. As a rule our conversations never got too deep, but there was one notable exception.

I had just finished blowing Chad for the third time. He was slightly out of breath and looking very, very relaxed.

“Brandon, can I tell you something?” he said.

“I already know how talented I am,” I told him, “but, then again, I never get tired of hearing it.”

“It’s not that,” he laughed. “I mean you are pretty amazing… with that tongue… Jesus. But I meant something else.”

“Sure,” I said.

“But you can’t tell anyone else—ever.”

“I never do,” I said. “I have super-secret-keeping powers.”

And even though we were alone under the bleachers of a disserted football field, he still lowered his voice when he said, “Sometimes when I’m in the showers with the team, I look at the other guys.”

That was interesting. Although I have to say I expected something of the sort already. He enjoyed our little encounters just a bit too much for things to be any other way.

“You look at them,” I prompted him.

“Well, I look at their muscles, especially the guys who are bigger than me.”

“And how does that make you feel?” I asked.

“Well,” he said, blushing, “I can’t look at them too long or I’d have a problem.” He looked down at his cock. It was still out in the open but resting.

“Big guys turn you on?” I asked, my eyebrows rising.

“Yeah, but only if they’re bigger than me. And it doesn’t make me gay. I mean I don’t like musicals or anything.”

“Sure, sure,” I said. “Enjoying musicals, of course, would be extremely gay, where as being turned on by large, muscular men could happen to anyone. It’s an established scientific fact.”

“Exactly, I knew you’d understand.”

Oh I understood alright. This poor, poor boy. I thought about setting him straight—if you’ll excuse the term—right there, but I was pretty sure he wasn’t ready for that yet. But given time, I felt sure I could bring him around. So, I assured him I didn’t think he was gay, and then proceeded to suck his cock.

One Monday in early October, Derek marched into the cafeteria, sat down and placed his elbow on the table.

“Arm wrestle me,” he said.

“Ok,” I said, shrugging. Bam! He brought me down with out even blinking.

“Holy shit,” I said. “What the hell happened to you?” It was my turn to rub my arm.

“You know, just my workouts,” he said, grinning. He pulled back his sleeve and flexed for us. There was a noticeable bulge, where there had been nothing a month ago. He was growing a bicep, there was no question.

“That’s coming along pretty fast,” I said.

“The guy at the gym says I have good genetics. I can beat all the guys in the computer lab now too,” he said like he was commenting on the weather.

“You don’t sound all that happy about it,” I said.

“Well,” he said, “I’m still pretty small and it just takes so long to get any size at all.”

“You’ve got time,” I said.

“I guess,” he said.

The next day at lunch, Peter and I were a little surprised when Derek sailed right past our table without slowing. We watched with interest to see where he’d go and were both a little alarmed when he walked straight up to where Frank Pierce, our local gym rat, was sitting resplendent in a skimpy muscle shirt. Man, I thought we’d told him: if you want to live a long and healthy life, you don’t talk to the meat, especially Frank Pierce. That guy’s biceps were looking particularly angry and pumped today with huge thick veins running up them and disappearing into his vicious looking, bulging delts. He looked like he was just waiting for an excuse to use them to start pounding on someone. We sat there on the edge of our seats waiting for the fists to start flying. But after a few minutes of giving Derek the glare-of-death, Frank’s expression softened and the two of them began to talk.

“Well, I guess Derek is kind of a gym-rat-in-training. Maybe they speak the same language,” said Peter.

Of course that had to be it. And given my experiences with Chad together with Derek and Frank, maybe our don’t-talk-to-the-meat policy wasn’t as sound a scientific concept as we originally thought.

When I got to the bleachers the next Saturday, Chad looked a little upset.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“I can’t meet you next week,” he said.

I was surprised at how much that alarmed me. “Why?” I asked.

“We’ve got a game against Bridgeport,” he said.

“So, meet me afterwards,” I said. The thought of him all hot and sweaty after a game, was pretty enticing.

“I don’t know how long it will go.”

“Not long,” I said. “They have no defense. You’ll blow right through them.”

Suddenly Chad’s mouth dropped open in sheer shock and surprise. It was one of the funniest looks I think I’d ever seen on anyone, and I broke out laughing. “What?” I asked in between guffaws. “What’s the matter?”

“They don’t have any defense,” he said. “It’s just, you know, I wouldn’t expect you to know that.”

I smiled a little, sighed and sat myself on the ground. “I’m not going to lie to you, Chad,” I said. “I started going to the games for less than sportsman-like reasons. But you can’t spend hours watching a bunch of sweaty big guys run up and down the field without picking up something about the game. It’s an established scientific fact.”

Chad just shook his head. “Liz has been to plenty of my games and she doesn’t know a halfback from half time.”

I shrugged. I refused to comment on Liz. In fact, most of the time I refused to even speak her name. “So,” I asked, “Bridgeport doesn’t have any defense, but their offense is pretty tight. What are you going to do?”

Suddenly Chad looked horrified. “I can’t talk football with you,” he said.

“Why not?” I asked. “Are you in a hurry?”

“It’s not that,” he said. “It’s just that… it would make you seem too much like a… like a real guy.”

“I am a real guy,” I said, tossing my hair and flashing my eyes.

“No you’re not,” he said quickly, “You’re a—” Suddenly he broke off. “I’ve got to get out of here,” he said. And before I could get in another word, he grabbed his shirt and took off, running.

What the heck was that? I’d known there was a sexual identity crisis brewing. I’d just never expected it to hit so hard and so fast. I felt a little like I’d had the wind knocked out of me. I guessed some of the lies Chad had been telling himself so he could keep our weekly appointments had just blown up in his face. I suddenly realized that I might never see him again. The sense of loss took me completely by surprise. I guess I’d never realized just how much these visits with Chad meant to me. On the other hand, I couldn’t help thinking that if he made it through this, there might be something bigger and better for us on the other side. I could only hope.

The next week Derek alternated lunch tables. One day he would sit with Peter and me, the next he would sit with Frank. We kept trying to get him to tell us what he and Frank were talking about. “Workout stuff,” was all he would say.

The next Saturday I went to the Bridgeport game. Did you honestly think I could stay away? Chad saw me cheering him on in the bleachers, and after that his game went to crap. Oh well, so much for my cheering ability. It wasn’t long before the coach pulled him and he spent the rest of the game warming the bench. I felt a little bad about that, but at least I knew he was thinking about me. After the game, I hung around under the bleachers for a while half hoping he’d show up. He didn’t.

During lunch the next week, I started playing the staring game, just to see what Chad would do. Peter was aghast. I was breaking all the rules, and risking our anonymity. I’m not sure if Chad noticed or not. He at least pretended he didn’t but eventually I found out he did.

I guess that’s why it took me until Friday to notice Derek. I could tell there was something off about him all week, but I couldn’t put my finger on it until Friday. Then it hit me. His t shirt wasn’t fitting him quite right. It was pulling tight across the chest and in the shoulders. And then it hit me. Holy crap, Derek had a chest and shoulders. I mean they weren’t huge or anything but they were defiantly there, filling in his shirt. Damn. Derek was growing a body.

“Not bad, Derek,” I said grabbing his shoulder. It felt pretty solid. “Keep it up and pretty soon you can join the parade.”

He kind of gave me a half grin and shrugged. “I’m not really anything yet,” he said.

“And modest, too,” I said. “This boy is getting sexier by the second.” He actually blushed.

Peter was kind of looking at Derek as though he hadn’t seen him before. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had been slow on the uptake.

There had been another football game Thursday after school, but I had decided not to torture Chad by going. Although I heard through the grape vine that he hadn’t played very well then either. I like to think it was because I wasn’t in the bleachers. Poor Chad, screwed if I showed, screwed if I didn’t. I guess I’d ruined the boy. Oh well, just another part of the curse of being me. I still made our usual three o’clock rendezvous under the bleachers, but once again he didn’t come. I was beginning to think, it really was over and I became depressed.

I was on my way to the bathroom during class one day, when I ran into Chad. There was no one else in the hall, so I said hi. He grabbed me and violently shoved me up against the lockers.

“Stop staring at me at lunch, Brandon” he growled. “People are starting to talk.”

“People are always taking about something,” I said. “They need to gossip, like they need to breath. It’s an established scientific fact.”

“Don’t give me any of your blond bullshit,” he said. “I just want you to leave me alone. It’s over, ok? If you keep it up, I’ll have to hurt you—for real. Understand?”

“Sure,” I said. Then he banged me up against the lockers, before he let me go and thundered on his way.

Ouch.

I didn’t really pay much attention to anything for the next couple of weeks, wallowing in the loss of a relationship that had never truly existed in the first place. I was a sad, sick excuse for a person. Even the meat parade couldn’t snap me out of it. Finally Peter talked me into going to the Halloween party our school was having. I told him I’d go, but I didn’t really expect to have any fun. I had a little Devil costume I kept for just such occasions. It had a red hood with horns but the face was completely exposed. I could have worn a mask, but when you have a face as cute as mine, you really didn’t want to cover it up. Peter came as the headless horseman, or at least that’s what he told everybody he was. Since he didn’t have a horse he just looked kinda like a headless guy wondering around.

“I’m the headless horseman,” he kept telling everyone, “a horseman.” But let’s face it; a horseman without a horse was pretty lame.

Derek said he was going but he wouldn’t tell us what he would be wearing, so Peter and I spent the first few minutes trying to figure out who he was. Most guys came as horribly gored zombies or Hollywood serial killers. There was a host of Jasons and Freddies and Mike Myerses. Originality was not a huge strong point. Of course there were a couple of bright spots. A few of the jocks came as gladiators 300 style, with very little armor and big pecs and cut six packs for all to see. Mmmmm, a couple of them had really nice thick, ripped legs. And there was this one guy who came as a shirtless, hooded executioner, in black leather pants. He didn’t quite have the bulk to pull it off, but he definitely had some useful meat on his bones and he was ripped to shreds.

After a few minutes I ditched Peter and, poor pathetic soul that I was, I went to look for Chad. Of course I had no idea what he would be wearing, and I had no idea what I would do if I actually found him, but I went looking anyway.

I had spent about twenty minutes wondering through the throng looking for someone of his approximate height and build when I noticed the executioner guy heading toward me. For a second I thought it might be Chad. But the executioner was too short and he simply didn’t have Chad’s bulk. Plus he was totally ripped. He had amazingly cut abs, a firm defined chest, softball sized delts, and thick angry looking biceps that his skin was struggling to contain. Did I mention he was hot, really hot in those tight leather pants, and my heart did beat a little faster when he stopped in front of me.

“Hi,” he said, disguising his voice by making it low and gravely. I thought it sounded familiar but I couldn’t be sure.

“Do I know you?” I asked, trying to drag my eyes up past those pecs to his black cloth hood.

“Do you, Brandon?” he said, laughing. Man, this was frustrating I almost knew who he was, almost. But I had to admit, I kind of liked the mystery.

“You know you’re really cute,” he said.

I did know that. It was my trademark. But who was this guy? “And you’re kind of hot,” I said. “What’s under the hood?”

“Come back here and I just might show you,” he nodded toward a large plywood flat of a haunted house. What the heck? I followed him back behind it.

As soon as we were alone, he dropped the gravely voice. “You know I’ve always had a thing for you, Brandon. You’re so damn cute, but you only went for the muscley guys.”

Holy crap, that voice! I knew that voice! My heart almost leapt into my throat and nearly choked me.

“Derek?” I gasped. “Holy crap, is that you?”

“In the flesh,” he said. I could just hear the cocky grin in his voice. “You like?” he said and he flexed his arm.

Fuck! The bicep that bulged up couldn’t belong to Derek’s arm. It just couldn’t. It was baseball sized, big and round and full with a vein snaking over the top of it. And his triceps seemed to extend out just as far making his upper arm look large and powerful. And his forearms were broad and strong with veins running all up and down them. I felt myself getting hard. Fuck, I was getting hard over Derek. But I couldn’t be.

“That’s not possible,” I said. “No way could you have gotten that big, that fast.”

“Frank hooked me up,” he said, “if you know what I mean. I’ve dropped almost all of my body fat in the past month and still put on about 20 pounds.”

“Steroids,” I said. “You’re on steroids?”

“Shush,” he said. “It’s not exactly legal.”

“Sorry,” I said, “But even with steroids, that was fast.”

“Yeah, that’s what everybody says. I guess I just have really good genetics.”

I looked him over, those thick pecs, that defined six pack, those broad shoulders. “My, you’re big,” I said.

“Not really,” he said. “I’m still pretty small.”

He had to be kidding. “Compared to what?” I asked.

“Compared to what I want to be,” said Derek. “I don’t know how to describe how I feel. I just know I want to be bigger, much bigger. I want to be so big, I can’t fit through doors, with muscles so huge and massive I could lift a car. Wouldn’t that be awesome? To be that fucking powerful? You’d like to see me like that, wouldn’t you?”

Holy crap, Derek was flipping out. Those steroids must have gone straight to his brain. “That almost sounds like too much muscle,” I said laughing nervously.

“I can never get too much muscle,” said Derek.

OH MY GOD! The alarm bells were back and ringing loud enough to shatter glass. And this time I knew exactly what they meant. I can never get too much muscle, that’s what Derek had said. It was one of the subliminal phrases I’d put into the malware. It wasn’t the steroids that had gone to Derek’s head; it was me! I was causing this. His whole workout binge was because of me! But that’s not fair. I wanted him to appreciate muscle, not grow it. No, he wasn’t just growing it, he was obsessed with growing it, an unrealistic amount of it, just like I programmed him to be. Fuck! What if he hurt himself? It would be my fault. Holy crap! What did I do?

“Most guys would be satisfied with the build you have now,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady. “In fact, steroids aren’t that good for you. Maybe you should back off on them a little.”

“Yeah,” he said. “I might just do that. They’ll only take me so far anyway. Besides I’ve already found a better alternative.”

“A better alternative,” I stammered. “What are you talking about?”

“First you gotta promise me you won’t tell anyone about this, not even Peter,” he said looking left and right. “It’s really intense, and definitely illegal, and it’s probably really dangerous, too. But Frank knew some people who knew some people who knew this doctor… well he’s not exactly a doctor, but—“

“Wait a minute. Wait a minute,” I said. “What do you mean he’s not exactly a doctor? Either he is or he isn’t.”

“He’s practically a doctor. He was almost finished with medical school when they kicked him out.”

“Kicked him out?!”

“Yeah, for his revolutionary thinking. They got caught up with morality and other crap like that.”

“God forbid we should let morality bother us. What did he do?”

“Well there were these kids who had brain tumors.”

“I don’t like where this is going,” I said.

“No, don’t worry. They’re fine. Man, are they fine! When the doctors removed the tumors, they accidentally affected the brain so that it stimulated their glands to produce incredible amounts of growth hormones and testosterone. They shot right up. Each one of them grew to be over seven feet tall before they stopped. Can you imagine that, being over seven feet tall? Imagine the muscle they could pack onto their frames, especially with all those hormones rushing through them. Man, I get hard just thinking about it.”

My heart rate was up, but it wasn’t from thinking about muscle. “And what exactly is this almost-doctor going to do to you?”

“Operate on my brain, stupid, so it will stimulate my glands, just like those tumor kids.”

Stupid? “Ok, wait a minute, let me get this straight. You’re going to some med school washout to have him cut open your brain, and you’re calling me stupid?” Nobody called me stupid!

His face fell. “I thought you would understand. I guess I just can’t explain to you how much this means to me, how growing muscles is all I think about anymore. I have to do this. I just have to. I’m not even sure I understand why.” Then Derek turned his ripped, muscular back on me and disappeared out into the crowd.

He might not understand why, but I did. Oh my God, I had to do something. I couldn’t let Derek go to some quack to have his brain sliced and diced. He could wind up a drooling vegetable or worse. I had to take action, but what?

I wondered out into the crowd. I was so lost in thought I didn’t see him approach until he was standing right next to me.

“Hey Brandon,” said Chad. He was dressed like some kind of zombie serial killer, torn pants, bare chested with fake blood and scars painted on him and a horrible rubber mask.

Oh for the love of God, why did he choose this moment?

“Hi Chad,” I said.

“Can we talk?” he asked.

It was on the tip of my tongue to say, “Now is not a good time,” but knowing the way things were, it would probably be the only time he’d ask. So, I followed him out the door to the alley at the side of the auditorium, where it was pitch black and I’m sure he felt no one would see us.

“I just want to say up front, I know I’ve treated you badly,” he said.

Well, that was a promising start.

“But it hasn’t been easy on me either,” he said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about what we’d been doing under the bleachers all those times, what I’d been doing. I would think about you and I would get hard. It was freaky.”

“Not from where I’m standing,” I said, nodding at his crotch. He was sporting a nice one.

“Fuck! See, I don’t have any control over it,” he said, adjusting his stance.

“Who does?” I asked. “You want some help with that?”

There was a split second where he thought about it, but then I could see his mind snap shut behind his eyes. “No! Fuck, no! That’s not why I’m here. After a couple of weeks, I couldn’t stand it anymore and I told Liz.”

“You told Liz?” I said, shocked. “Everything?”

“Yup, everything.”

“What did she say?”

“At first she was mad, real mad. She stormed out and slammed the door after her. I thought that was it. It was over.”

“Is it?” That sounded entirely too eager. “I mean, was it?”

“She came to see me a couple of days later and we had a long talk. We came to an understanding that we both could live with. So, no. it’s not over.”

“I see,” I said my hopes dashing, “the premarital sex ban is off.”

“Kind of. She agreed to do what you did. But if it’s any conciliation, she’s nowhere near as good.”

Was it a conciliation that he was getting lousy blow jobs? Yeah, actually, it was.

“Liz said I just couldn’t leave things with you the way I’d left them,” said Chad. “She said I had to come talk to you.”

So the bitch was generous in victory. Good for her.

“And I want you to have this.” He reached into the bag he was carrying, pulled out his football jersey, and handed it to me. “You used to like it off of me better than on; now it will always be off of me.” Not knowing what else to do, I took it from him and put it on. It was huge on me, even over my costume it was practically a baggy dress.

“Thanks,” I said. I honestly felt like I’d had my guts smashed out and that was all I could think of to say.

He started to go but then turned back. “Oh, and don’t wear that to school. If you do, I’ll have to say you stole it and then kick the shit out of you in public to make it look good.”

I had no response to that and after a minute of waiting futilely for one, he turned and walked out of the alley.

I’m ashamed to say I wanted to cry. It wasn’t just Chad. It was also the mess with Derek. I felt wretched and awful. I pulled off Chad’s shirt. I thought about chucking it into the dumpster, but for some reason I kept it instead. I had just finished stuffing it down my costume when Peter found me.

“Brandon, there you are,” he said, cheerfully. “Having a good time? I bet you’re glad I made you come.”

That was the first time in my life I think I ever hit someone.

Out of Control!

That night when I got home from the Halloween party, I couldn’t even think of sleeping, not with Derek in danger of having his brain chopped up. Right after I tossed Chad’s shirt into the deepest recesses of my closet, I booted up my computer, and looked for the piece of subliminal malware so I could create a counter suggestion. Crap. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I must have deleted it. Damn, well there was only one thing to do. I’d have to wipe his hard drive. Maybe the programming would fade. “Sorry, Derek,” I’d say. “Little accident there. I hope you have your back up discs.” And it would be done. Satisfied with my solution, I finally went to bed.

On Monday I was horrified to discover that Derek hadn’t come to school. Oh my God, what if I was too late? Practically in a panic, I called him. When I didn’t get an answer, I called his mom. She told me he had taken off for a couple of days to attend a pre-frosh program at Pen State where he was going the following fall. Relief washed over me until I realized that this might just be an elaborate cover. Of course, he wasn’t going to say, “Hey mom, I’m just running down the street to have brain surgery. Be back at six.” I called Pen State. Sure enough, there was no pre-frosh program there this week. Oh my God, Derek was probably under the knife at this very moment! But where? I had no idea where.

Forgetting everything else, I made my way to the weight room where I was sure to find Frank Pierce. Ignoring all don’t-talk-to-the-meat protocols, I marched right up to him and demanded, “Where’s Derek?”

Frank had been in the middle of a set of bench presses when I arrived. He set down the barbell and sat up looking like he was about to start swinging, but when he saw who it was, the fight seemed to evaporate out of him.

“Oh, you’re one of Derek’s buds,” he said, “the blond one.”

“Yes, I am one of Derek’s… buds. Where is he? Where is that lunatic cutting open his brain?”

“Oh, you know about that,” said Frank.

“Yes, I know about that. How could you let him do something so stupid?!”

“Don’t look at me, dude. I told him it was a bad idea. I mean, I juice every now and then, but brain surgery, that’s whacked. But he wouldn’t listen. I mean, I thought I was obsessed with getting bigger, but Derek… Man, he is a whole other league of obsessed.”

Ok, just when I didn’t think I could feel any worse. “But where is he?”

Frank looked at his watch and shook his head. “It was at 9:00 am this morning. Dude, it’s all over by now.”

Suddenly every ounce of strength I had ran right out of me, and I slumped down onto a bench. I’d killed him. I’d killed Derek. I didn’t mean to. I just wanted to show him the finer points of muscle appreciation. How could this have happened?

“Are you ok?” asked Frank, putting his hand on my shoulder.

“No,” I said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be ok again.”

“You know, it might be fine,” he said. “Everything might just be fine.”

I could hear Frank’s words and they seemed to make sense, but somehow I just couldn’t connect fine with Derek having his brain cut open. I don’t know why. Maybe I was just funny that way.

The next day was a grey haze. No one had heard anything about Derek. I wondered if we ever would, or if he would just vanish without a trace. Poof, no more Derek. His mom would probably call the police. Maybe they’d even discover the subliminal malware on his computer. They might even trace it to me. Then they could arrest me. I’d go quietly, without a fight, confess everything. Yes, I killed him. I killed Derek in the name of muscle lust.

Peter noticed I was down, and asked me what the matter was. But I’d never gotten around to telling him about the malware and I sure couldn’t tell him now. I wouldn’t have even known where to begin.

The next day I almost didn’t go to school, but in the end I did. No sooner did I walk in the door than I saw him. I saw Derek! He was alive! His head was shaved. He had a bandage on the top of his skull, but he was alive! He came up to me in the hall with this big smile on his face.

“It’s ok, Brandon,” he said. “I heard you were worried, but everything went great! The Doc said there was a possibility I’d get to be seven feet tall but he couldn’t guarantee it. He did promise me at least a foot. Can you fucking believe it? That’ll make me at least six nine! Is that awesome or what?

“Awesome,” I said, still trying to process the fact that Derek was alive and not a drooling idiot—well, except for the whole growth thing. Seven feet tall? Please.

“And Dude, I’ve got so many hormones flooding my system right now. I can work out three times a day and get results each time. Three times a fucking day! My metabolism is off the charts.” He flexed and showed me his baseball sized bicep again. “I’m going to be so fucking huge.”

“Yeah,” I said, “great.”

“I gotta go,” said Derek, “but I’ll catch you at lunch.”

Yup, lunch. I’d be there ready to wipe his hard drive. I may have not been able to stop the brain surgery, but I intended to stop him from doing anything else stupid.

At lunch I got to hear Derek’s cover story as he told it to Peter. He said there had been hazing at the pre-frosh event and they had shaved his head. The bandage was because he had rolled out of the top bunk in a set of dorm bunk beds. His brain may have been carved up, but he seemed to be thinking just fine. And there was nothing wrong with his appetite. He ate about four times what he usually ate. It was pretty amazing to watch. Only one thing was strange. He didn’t pull out his computer once during lunch. I was flabbergasted. I mean it had to be a first. Oh well, I’d just have to sabotage it tomorrow.

But the next day, strangeness took on new dimensions. First, frustratingly enough, Derek went through another lunch period without pulling out his computer. Second, he ate even more than the day before. And third and possibly the most amazing thing was that he actually seemed physically bigger. His chest and shoulders actually seemed larger, as if they were pulling his shirt a little tighter all across them and he might even have been a little taller. He said he’d put on ten pounds since the operation. I knew it was unlikely but looking at him, I had to believe it. “Gonna be huge,” he grinned, flexing. Man, it looked like his biceps were bigger, too.

And the rest of the week went pretty much the same way. It was hard to believe but everyday Derek looked a little bigger. He ate huge amounts of food, usually high protein stuff he brought from home. And his backpack was filled with a seemingly endless supply of protein bars that he was almost constantly munching on. He worked out three times a day and swore that he made progress each and every time. And looking at him, I believed it.

Each day I watched his shoulders grow a little larger and a little broader. His pecs began rounding out into globes, looking fuller and pulling his shirt tighter and tighter around them. I saw his lats slowly form into small wings, straining his tightening shirt even further. His biceps bulged up a little larger every day until at the end of the week, they were filling his sleeves. He was completely jazzed about what was happening to him and sometimes he would just stop eating and start checking himself out, right there at the lunch table, knocking on his stomach and running his fingers over his hard swelling pecs. He loved to flex and show us the huge veiny softball that was now erupting out of his upper arm. But he never once cracked his computer.

By the following Monday, a week after the operation, there was no doubt he was taller than Peter and me by at least an inch. His shirt looked like it had reached its limit hugging every curve and bulge on his upper body. He said he’d gained thirty pounds since the operation and I swore I could see every ounce of them harassing his shirt as it clung to his bulging chest and back. Holy crap, he was becoming a genuine stud, and so quickly.

“Fuck, I feel awesome. Check out my back,” he said, as his made his lats flair for me. Damn, he was getting wide, but I refused to be distracted. I couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted that malware destroyed before anything else happened.

“Derek, where’s your computer,” I finally asked.

“Oh,” he said. “I don’t have it anymore.”

I felt panic rip through me. “What do you mean you don’t have it anymore?”

“I sold it,” he said. “I needed the money. That operation wasn’t cheap.”

“You sold it?” I gasped, horrified. “To who?”

“Mark Wassenburg,” he said. “The cheap bastard didn’t give me half what it was worth.”

I was out of my chair like a shot, making a bee line for the computer lab. Jim Schneider and Nick Gibson were there, but no Mark Wassenburg. Figures.

“Where’s Mark?” I asked.

Jim and Nick looked at each other and shrugged. “He’s not in school today,” said Jim.

“Is he sick?”

“I don’t think so,” said Jim. “He’s visiting an aunt or something.”

A horrible thought began to form in my brilliant mind. “He hasn’t been acting weird lately, has he?”

Jim and Nick exchanged another look, and without them having to say anything, I knew that he had.

“Nothing too weird,” said Nick. “He’s just been hanging out in the weight room a lot.”

HOLY CRAP!

I ran back to the cafeteria as quickly as I could. Peter had left and Derek was just packing up to go.

“Derek,” I gasped, out of breath from so much running. “Was your brain guy’s contact information on your computer when you sold it?”

“I think so,” he said, “Yeah, the whole e brochure was on there. Why?”

“I think Mark Wassenburg may be having his brain cut open at this very moment.”

“Seriously?” said Derek. “That’s outstanding.”

“I’m glad you think so,” I said. I didn’t. I was horrified.

He smiled. “I was a little worried I might feel like a freak when this was all done,” he explained. “But with two of us, it’ll be a lot easier.” He flexed his powerful bulging bis again and this time I heard threads popping. “Damn, I love how I never stop growing,” he grinned.

And he just didn’t seem to. The next day he came down the cafeteria looking like he might burst from excitement. Damn, he was definitely bigger. I don’t know how he squeezed into that shirt. It was obviously way too small for him now. It was stretched so tight you could clearly see his pecs and abs heaving and bugling beneath it.

“Dudes, dudes, you’ve got to see this,” he said to Peter and me. “I’ve been trying to control myself all day, you know, saving it for you guys, but check this out.” Then he flexed. His biceps bulged up, looking even bigger than they had yesterday. They strained his sleeves, popping threads for a second before his big, granite-hard muscles just exploded out of them. Man, they were tall rocky peaks bigger than softballs with the shreds of his shirt still clinging to them the way mist clung to mountains.

“Did you see that?” he grinned. “Man, that was even cooler than when I did it at home this morning. All my shirts are too fucking small now. Can you believe that? Damn, I’m getting so fucking huge.” And he was taller, too. I had to look up to meet his eyes, and when I looked down, I could see his pants cuffs up around his ankles.

Derek sat down, pulled a pair of scissors from his back pack. Then he took off his shirt and started cutting the ruined sleeves from it. OH MY GOD. He was getting huge. I mean I could tell he was big even through his shirt, but it’s a whole other thing when I could see his body uncovered. He had solid round pecs like cantaloupes hovering above a massively cut six pack. His shoulders seemed miles wide with a couple of huge hill-like traps rising out of them framing his thick bulging neck. And I could see his lats peeking out at me from behind his ribcage. I was getting hard just watching his sizable forearms bulge and relax as he cut his shirt.

I suddenly felt so conflicted. I mean on one hand I loved what was happening to Derek. It was insanely hot. But on the other hand my part in what he’d done to himself to get there still bothered me.

“So what do you think, guys,” said Derek pulling a most muscular from a seated position. Those cantaloupes exploded outwards and grew ridges. His cut six pack looked like it was going to leap right out of his stomach. His traps were huge mounds rising up on either side of a bull neck. And his arms bulged out looking even bigger than they had even a moment before. My God, looking at all that huge muscle bulging up within touching distance was taking my breath away, and to think that was Derek. Holy Crap, my mind felt like it was about to lock up.

“You might not believe this,” said Derek, “but it feels even better than it looks. Do you think I could join your parade now?”

“Fuck, you can lead it,” said Peter, his mouth hanging open. “That’s one hell of a growth spurt you’re having.”

Derek grinned back at him. “Yeah, and I have a feeling it’s just getting started. Just wait. You ain’t seen nothing yet. I’m going to be so huge, they’ll have to widen the doors for me.”

The thought of Derek continually getting bigger was just too much for me. My hormones overrode my guilt complex and I made a bee line for the bathroom. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Peter right behind me.

“I call dibs on the wheelchair stall,” he said.

The next day Mark Wassenburg came back to school, head shaved and with a bandage. His cover story was that there had been a horrible kitchen accident at his aunts house and that his hair and caught fire and had to be cut off. The bandage was for a burn. I found myself really wanting to believe it. I mean he looked pretty normal otherwise. You know, no drooling or slurred words or anything. But by the end of the week he was an inch taller and that’s not all. He’d been skin and bones before, but now there were definite pecs appearing under his shirt and when he bent his arm, clear biceps could be seen forming in his sleeve. Damn, I had to get to that computer.

I went down to the computer lab, but only Nick was there. It was odd, only a month ago I would have found all four of them there huddled around some monitor. The room looked oddly vacant with only Nick playing some game all on his own.

“Where is everyone?” I asked.

“Oh it’s you, Brandon,” said Nick, turning away from his game. “Maybe you can tell me what the fuck is going on. They’re all down in the weight room. It’s like they’ve all gone muscle crazy. And, Jesus, have you seen Derek?”

“Yup, I’ve seen Derek. Oh man, have I seen Derek.” Then it hit me. “What, all of them? Even Jim?”

“Yeah, Jim started going last week, just after you came by last time.”

You didn’t need a brain as brilliant as mine to figure this one out. “Jim didn’t buy Derek’s computer from Mark, did he?” I asked, hoping against hope I was wrong.

“Yeah, he did,” said Nick, “but I don’t know why he bothered. He just turned around and sold it to me today.”

“He sold it to you?”

“Yeah.”

“You have it right here now?”

“Sure.”

I couldn’t believe my luck. “Can I see it?”

“Why?” he asked, his brow knitting.

I’d better come up with something fast. “It’s ah… broken. I have to fix it.”

“It’s not broken,” he said. “I went over it very carefully before I bought it. It works great.”

Oh man, I didn’t want to do this but I had no choice. No more brain surgeries. “Can I buy it from you then?”

I’d caught him by surprise. I could tell. He thought about it for a minute.

“Ok,” he said, “for three thousand dollars.”

HOLY CRAP! “You paid three thousand dollars for it?!”

“No. I got it for five hundred, but it would cost me that much to replace it. That’s a state of the art machine. The video card is insane.”

Of course, it’s a gamer’s PC, the most expensive kind. “I don’t have that kind of money,” I said.

“Then, I’m sorry I can’t help you.”

“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” I said. I had a couple of savings bonds. I hated to do it but I could cash one of them in. “I’ll get the money. Just do me a favor and don’t use it.”

“Are you crazy?”

“No, you have to trust me on this. That PC is why all your friends are acting weird.”

“Sure it is.”

“No, seriously, it’s sending subliminal messages to their brains.”

“Yeah, right,” he said. “And I suppose that’s an established scientific fact.”

“Yes it is.” And why did those words sound so familiar?

“Dude, get real,” said Nick. “If you think I’m going to lower the price, forget it. Three thousand dollars. End of line.”

“Just don’t use it.” I tried one last time.

“Yeah, right. I’ll see you when you’ve got the money, and not before.” Then Nick picked up his backpack and left.

Fuck! It would take me at least a week to get that money, and by then Nick would be shaved, bandaged and pumping himself up right along side the others. Not that this in itself was a bad thing. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was only a matter of time before one of these procedures went horribly wrong. Then I’d have a death or worse on my conscious.

I kept thinking about getting that money. That was a lot of money. My grandmother had given me those bonds when I was twelve. And as I contemplated cashing one, I realized I wasn’t exactly sure where they were kept. It turned out they were in a safety deposit box, but it wasn’t even in this state. I wrote my grandmother asking her to cash one for me. I didn’t even have to lie about the reason. I told her I needed the money to buy a computer. But it was going to take me a lot longer than a week to get the money. Nick would be well and truly programmed by then. Then it hit me, along with a sinking feeling, that as soon as the subliminal messages took hold, Nick would probably take a lot less for the PC.

I couldn’t think about much else that week. On Friday I saw Mark again, Christ, he was a least six three, and his clothes was pulling tight all over him. His pecs were stressing his buttons and his widening lats were stretching his shirt back taut. His sleeves were rolled up and I could see how thick and ripped his forearms were getting. Holy crap, another guy was becoming a muscle stud right in front of me.

Derek’s growth was out of control. He was over six feet tall now and, even though his shirts had stopped fitting him more than a week ago, he still wore them. All the sleeves were gone, either cut off or torn off, leaving those constantly swelling pythons in full view for all to see. Their hard, bulging hugeness had surpassed even our favorite linebacker’s guns in size and were definitely pushing nineteen steely inches with thick veins running across them and up to his mammoth delts.

Every day his shoulders seemed to push further and further out from his thickening neck, while insane traps rose thicker and higher creating a rolling landscape from shoulder to shoulder. His back and pecs were getting so broad that he was forced to cut a slit down the front center of his t- shirts from the neck to just below the chest, to give his huge upper body room to expand and prevent his shirt from exploding off of him. Each day that slit would pull wider and wider, showcasing more and more of his impressive muscle cleavage, formed by pecs which seemed to get bigger and bigger every time I saw him. And he just kept growing taller causing the bottom of his shirt to ride up, giving anyone who cared to look a glimpse of the bottom row of his truly impressive abdominals. Derek was transforming into a true muscle monster right in front of my eyes, and it was getting difficult to look at him without getting hard. Peter was having the same trouble, and I was pretty sure Derek knew the effect he was having on us. He never passed up an opportunity to flex in front of us, and he seemed to get a kick out of constantly sending us scurrying toward the bathroom.

I asked him once if he wanted to get together outside of school. I knew he had a thing for me and holy crap, I was starting to get a real thing for his body!

“Oh, Brandon,” he said, looking really upset “if you had only asked me at the Halloween party, I wouldn’t have been able to say yes fast enough. But now… oh man, I only have a little time before my body chemistry normalizes. I have to get as big as possible. I don’t know how to explain this to you. It’s just so important to me, more than anything. Sex just takes too much energy that I need for my workouts. But don’t worry; I’ll come knocking just as soon as I finish growing. And I promise you, you’ll hear me coming, because my lightest footsteps are going to be setting off car alarms.” He grinned and flexed for me.

No sex til then? Man, that went way beyond obsessed.

The following week Jim Schneider disappeared from school. I didn’t even bother to find out his cover story. I knew where he was. After school, I headed to the computer lab to see if Nick would drop his price yet. I wasn’t really surprised to find the lab empty. That’s ok. I knew where I had to go.

I’d hardly ever been to the weight room, but I knew where it was. Sure enough, they were all there, Derek, Mark and Nick. Derek and Mark had their shirts off. They were flexing and checking themselves out in the mirror.

Derek wasn’t just big anymore, he was gigantic. His body had a ponderous size and mass to it. Jesus, he was like four of me put together. In just the few weeks since I’d last seen him shirtless, he looked like he’d tripled in size. About six foot four inches tall, every muscle on him was bulging out to huge proportions. He was so fucking wide at the shoulders and in the back, it was a wonder he could fit through doors any more. His shoulders were like soccer balls, his traps, thick and mountainous, almost reached up to his head. I could see so many huge thick muscles writhing and pulsing in his back as he moved that I couldn’t keep track of them all. His flexed bicep was just enormous, like a small pile of skin-covered boulders piled up on his arm, with vine-like veins crawling all over them. His legs were spread slightly apart but only because they had to be. His magnificent thighs wouldn’t let them get any closer. And each freaky huge muscle on those legs was clearly defined under his paper thin skin.

Holy crap, look at him, just one solid, writhing mass of muscle. I couldn’t believe that was my friend I’d known since middle school. It was like he used to be Derek but now he was something more, something much fucking more, something incredibly powerful, and he was getting me really, really hard.

Mark was no slouch either. If Derek hadn’t been standing right next to him, he would have owned that room. I guess this gland thing effected people differently. Mark had started off at about six feet tall and now he’d shot up at least another six inches. He was even taller than Derek, but he didn’t have anywhere near Derek’s bulk. Although smaller than Derek’s, Mark’s pecs were still pretty large. His nipples were just about at the point where they were being pushed into that downwards position by his burgeoning globes of muscle. So his chest wasn’t quite big enough to shadow his ripped-to-shreds eight pack. His shoulders were large and powerful looking, and his arms showcased a pronounced horseshoe and a softball sized bicep. All that high quality muscle together with all that height, made him damned impressive.

In fact, looking at the two of them together made me want to go someplace private so I could relieve the tension I suddenly felt. But I had to keep my mind on what I was there to do. I focused on Nick. He was still basically a normal, overweight guy just curling a couple twenty-five pound dumbbells.

“Hey, Nick,” I said.

Nick dropped the dumbbells as soon as he saw me and called over to Derek and Mark. “Hey, guys,” he said, “its Brandon.”

Suddenly they stopped their posing session and came to stand around me. Man, I felt like I was in a valley between two mountains.

“I bet you’re here about the computer,” said Nick.

“Yeah,” I said. “You still sticking to your three thousand dollar price?

He got this kind of smirk on his face as he looked up at Derek and Mark. “I don’t think it’s for sale anymore,” he said. “Is it, guys?”

Then the two giants started chuckling, causing their huge pecs to heave in and out over their mammoth rippling abs. Ok, what was going on here? I was starting to get a little nervous. “Why not?” I asked, my voice shaking a little.

“Nick told us what you said to him,” said Derek, “about the subliminal messages. I think we want to hear a little more about this.”

Oh crap! I couldn’t tell him. I just couldn’t. “Don’t listen to me,” I said. “You know how full of crap I am. I was just trying to get him to lower the price.”

“That’s all it was?” said Derek.

“Yeah, that’s all it was,” I answered, gulping.

“Nick, bring it over here,” said Derek.

Nick went over to his backpack and removed the laptop. He set it on a weight bench, opened it and booted it up.

“What are you doing?” I asked, near panic.

“There’s a video on Youtube I’d like you to see,” said Derek.

“On your PC?”

“Well, technically it’s Nick’s, but yeah. Why, you got a problem with that?”

Hell, yes! “No, of course not, but I can’t. Really, I’ve got to go.” I was defiantly panicking now.

“I don’t think so,” said Derek.

I got up but there was another figure standing in front of the door with his large arms crossed. It was Frank Pierce. Holy crap! His shaved head had a bandage on it.

“You, too?” I said.

“What?” he said, “You think I’m going to let a bunch of gamers outgrow me? Guess again.”

I was trapped. There was no way I was going to get past Frank. He was still pretty much the same size he’d always been, but that was pretty damn big. I really had no choice. “Alright, I’ll tell you,” I said turning to Derek.

Then I told him everything, all about the bet with Peter, the trick I played on him in the locker room and the malware I planted on his computer. I explained to him I hadn’t realized what I’d done until the night of the Halloween party.

“I’m so sorry,” I said. “I had no idea what I was doing, and I’ll do anything to make up for it.”

Derek reached down with his giant hands and I felt his iron grip as he placed them on either side of my body and effortlessly picked me up. Man, I could remember when I used to beat him at arm wrestling. But look at him fucking now. More muscle in his arm than I had in my whole fucking body. Oh, god, I thought, this is it. I’m dead. A brilliant young life cut short. And I had so much to offer.

Then he hugged me, pulling me tight against those huge, hard pecs of his. “Thank you,” he said. “I can’t thank you enough.” Then he set me down. “If it wasn’t for you I’d still be that pathetic lump of a gamer, instead of this.” He spread his thick bulging arms wide, displaying his magnificent muscle inundated torso. He bounced his magnificent pecs and made his hard bulging abs pop from his stomach. Holy crap, he looked so fucking powerful, my mouth went dry. I was so fucking hard now, in a minute I was going to blow. “And I owe it all to you,” he said.

Then Mark reached down and took my hand, practically crushing it when he shook it. “Thank you, Brandon,” he said. “I think you’re brilliant.”

Well, I was. That was an established scientific fact, but—

Even Nick shook my hand. “I’m having the operation too,” he said. “Pretty soon I’ll be big as these guys and I can’t wait.”

I couldn’t believe it. These guys had been brainwashed—not to mention sliced and diced—and they were happy about it. Go figure.

“Well, I’m glad everything worked out then,” I said. “But maybe we should wipe the hard drive, you know, before I help anyone else. It is scientifically possible to have too much of a good thing.”

“Yeah, we will,” said Derek, “in a few minutes.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Have a seat,” he said, and suddenly I felt his powerful hands grip my shoulders with an irresistible strength and force me to sit on one of the benches where he held me in place.

“What are you doing?” I asked, panicking again.

“Getting you to watch that video,” he said. He nodded at Nick and Nick turned the computer screen toward me.

“But, but—” I started.

“After all you’ve done for us, it’s the least we can do to do the same for you.”

YIKES! “No, really, that’s ok,” I said, closing my eyes tight. “I’m happy being adorable little me. I don’t need to be supersized.”

“We have to,” said Derek. “You know about us. You’re the only outsider who does. We don’t want this broadcast around. We could have a lot of problems over it.”

“I won’t say anything,” I promised.

“You’ll be less likely to once you have as much to lose as the rest of us. Now, open your eyes,” said Derek, “or I’ll have Mark hold them open.”

“I don’t want my brain cut open,” I protested. “It might affect my dazzlingly brilliant mind.”

“Don’t be such a baby,” said Mark. “He knocks you out, and when you wake up it’s done. You won’t even notice. The worst part is getting your head shaved.”

“Ok, there you go,” I said, “Bald is not my look,” I said, tossing my gorgeous blond locks.

“Come on now, open your eyes,” said Derek. “And eventually I did. I mean, I couldn’t keep my eyes closed forever. It just wasn’t scientifically possible.

The video they had me watch was series of muscle morphs by this guy named “O”, a muscle artist I knew and admired, extremely hot stuff. How well Derek knew me. He chose something I couldn’t help but watch. It lasted about ten minutes, and when it was done, true to their words, they wiped the hard drive.

On my way home I told myself it wouldn’t work on me. I already had a great appreciation for muscle. Those subliminally implanted thoughts were already running around in my head, but my brain interpreted them differently from those others guys. I would be ok.

And I managed to believe that until I got home, looked in the mirror and saw the world’s skinniest guy looking back out at me. Sure I had a breathtaking face and fantastic hair, but otherwise I looked so small and pathetic. Crap. What was wrong with me? I’d never cared how big I was before. I had no problem being an average height and weight—and incredibly cute. Why did I suddenly and desperately need to be huge? I tried to ignore those thoughts, to tell myself they were artificially implanted in my brain and that they were not real. But every time I saw my reflection, my feebly thin body bugged the shit out of me.

And going to school made it worse. Derek just continued getting bigger. It was insane. He knew exactly what I was going through, but instead of trying to make it better, he went out of his way to make it worse. The day after my programming he wore one of his older altered shirts to lunch and just exploded out of it in front of Peter and me. Holy shit, he was mammoth! Look at him standing there with fucking shreds of cloth hanging from those giant traps, across those heaving basketball-sized pecs and those bulging, cut, segmented abs. And his arms, Christ, they were bigger than some of the freshmen.

His display sent Peter racing for the bathroom, and if this had been last week I’d have been running right along side him, but not now. I was just sitting there thinking what a wimpy stick-boy I was.

“Come here, runt,” said Derek.

I stood up. Crap, I just couldn’t resist him. He stood there looking down at me from seven inches above, and he was so fucking wide and thick, he dwarfed me. Didn’t we used to be the same size? But now I was lost in his shadow, and I almost got dizzy looking up at him.

“Let me see your arm,” he said.

I held it up for him, but he just shook his head. “That’s not what I mean, Tiny. Flex.”

Almost like I robot I obeyed him flexing my arm. What I had almost didn’t qualify as a bump.

He laughed. “That’s not an arm,” he said. “This is an arm.” He bent his elbow and I watched a mountain explode out of his upper arm, a heaving, bugling mass of pure power, wrapped in veins and looking hard as steel. Holy crap, you could probably fit fifty of my tiny little bumps into his bicep alone. “Now this is what a real man should look like,” he said ginning down at me.

All I could do was stare.

“Remember this?” he said grabbing the seventy pound metal chair that John Dixon had bent all that time ago. The back still had that uncomfortable angel in it, and no one ever used it. “I remember how it freaked me when Dixon did this,” he said. “Back when I was puny like you. Watch me now.”

Derek got this evil looking grin on his face, grabbed the chair back and started to squeeze it with just his fingers. His forearms bulged out, showing every huge corded muscle starkly defined beneath his skin, and holy crap, I could see the metal denting beneath his fingers, leaving deep divots underneath each digit. I wondered if his fingerprints were now permanently imprinted in there, stamped there by the insane pressure he seemed to be able to apply with just his fingers. Then I heard a pop, pop, pop as each of his mammoth fingers began bursting through the chair back.

“Holy Fuck,” I said.

“You like that?” he said. “Then watch this.”

He began to push inward, and the metal chair back began to bend. A low audible creaking filled the air as his giant pecs flexed and I watched the sturdy chair back fold completely in on itself.

“Yes, oh yes,” he said, like he was getting off on bending the chair. I looked down and sure enough, his mammoth cock was at full mast. Man there was no missing that monster sticking straight down his pants half way to his knee. Fuck, all those hormones were working all kinds of miracles.

“Man, I remember when I could hardly move one of these,” he said, grinning as he applied more pressure and the seat began buckling under his powerful hands as if it were cheap tin. Then he quickly mashed each leg together and twisted them into a tangle, grinning all the time, loving each second of the destruction he was causing with his huge, powerful limbs. With a clatter he let the shapeless mass of warped metal fall to the ground. Damn, he was barley even breathing hard.

“You want to try, Puny?” he said. And I felt puny, just like nothing compared to the muscle mountain I was standing next to. I was such a wimpy loser. “Why are you doing this to me?” I whimpered.

“It’s for your own good,” he said. “You’re one of us, now. Stop fighting it.”

“I’m not one of you,” I said. “My glorious brain is still intact.”

“It’s not just the operation that made us what we are, Brandon,” he said. “I’ve been back to see the doctor. He said he’s never seen growth like mine. He said it must be my obsessive attitude that’s responsible, and that’s you. You gave that to me, and now we’ve given it to you. You’re obsessed with becoming huge; I can tell you are, just like the rest of us. Give in. You’ll love being massive. It’s amazing. I promise you.”

And then he flexed again showing me his inhumanly powerful bicep and suddenly I realized just how much I wanted one just like it. It was almost a physical force pulling me, like when you get hungry or horny. Then Peter came back and the spell was broken.

“What the hell happened to the chair?” he asked looking down at the twisted wreck.

“The chair? Is here something wrong with it?” asked Derek.

“Yeah, never mind,” said Peter.

We all sat down again, and I kept thinking about what Derek had said, but I realized didn’t want to give in. I knew the desire to be huge was just inside my head. It was fake, not real, and I wasn’t going to have unnecessary brain surgery over something that wasn’t real.

But Derek didn’t give up. He kept at me and he kept growing. The day of our talk, his shoulders had been almost as broad as our table, then a few days later they were just as broad as the table, and then they got boarder than the table. His pecs kept pushing out further and further over our eating surface until Peter and I had to scrunch to find room. And he kept getting taller, too. Up and up he grew. He was at least six eight by now. It was unreal. Pretty soon he’d be so fucking big he wouldn’t fit at the table with me and Peter anymore. And at every opportunity he would stand next to me looking down, putting me in the shadow of his monstrous chest, flexing his ridiculously huge biceps next to my face. His fucking upper arms were almost twice as big as my head. One he even walked behind me and lifted me and my seventy pound chair up with one arm like we were nothing. What fucking power. And I wanted to be just like him, to feel that kind of strength in my arms. I tried to tell myself that desire wasn’t real, but still I couldn’t stand to look at my own skinny arms anymore. I felt like an ant, no, less than an ant. Looking at Derek as he slowly became a muscle giant depressed me, more and more everyday.

And when Peter wasn’t around, he’d say, “Give into it, runt. You know you want to.”

That was another thing; he seemed to completely forget my name. I was now Runt, Tiny, Pipsqueak, or Puny. It was killing me.

One day, Peter stopped me in the hall and asked, “What is it with you and Derek? Is he coming on to you or what?”

I laughed. “Come on, Peter, you know me better than that. With his body, would he really have to try that hard?”

“Then, what’s the deal?”

I opened my mouth to tell him, but I couldn’t. Who knew what Derek would do to him if I did? “It’s nothing,” I said. “Don’t worry about it.”

And Derek wasn’t the only one growing. The other guys were getting huge, too. Mark had to be pushing seven feet. I don’t think most people noticed just how freaking muscular he was getting. All that height helped obscure those huge pecs and those enormous arms, and ridiculously broad shoulders. Plus he didn’t let his shirts get tight, the way Derek did. He just kept buying them bigger and bigger. But I was a practiced muscle watcher, so I had a really good idea what was forming under his continually expanding shirts. And it was unbelievably hot how he was now constantly ducking his head and twisting slightly sideways to get through doors.

Jim had only recently returned to school, but already he had changed substantially. All his pudge was gone. His frame still looked thick but it wasn’t fat anymore. And his shortness had been pretty much cured; he was nearly as tall as me now.

Frank, he was the most amazing of all. I don’t know. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he had already been a bodybuilder, but he had just exploded with mass practically over night. He shot up to about six two and bulked up to about three hundred and fifty pounds of rolling, bulging muscle. He and Derek must have the same ideas about fashion, because Frank’s shirts got so skimpy, it was almost as though he wasn’t wearing one. His giant back spread out through the huge arm holes on either side of him, practically doubling his body width. Each of his intercostals was clearly visible wherever he went. You could even see the edge of his brick wall abs. That is if your eyes got past those mega arms. They were so thick with muscle you wondered how he could bend them. And his frown was gone. Everywhere he went now, he had this giant grin on his face.

And all these guys, every time I saw them, would wave and say, “Hey Puny!” and then move on. It was a freaking conspiracy!

And then one day Nick wasn’t in school. I freaked. I knew in a couple of days he would be back, and then he’d start to change, slowly growing large and powerful right in front of my eyes. I didn’t think I could stand to see it happen again, while I just watched, skinny and pathetic.

I must have looked really bad at lunch, because both Derek and Peter were throwing worried glances at me.

“Dude, everything ok?” asked Peter.

Before I could answer, Derek said,” I know what’s wrong with him. And I know just how to help him.” But he didn’t say anymore.

That night when I got home, I felt providence was showing me what to do. The mail had just delivered the cashier’s check from my savings bond, and moments later I was reading an email from Derek. He’d sent me the e brochure from the brain guy. The cost of the operation was almost exactly the amount I had just received in the mail. Almost before I knew what I was doing I was calling up the brain guy and making an appointment.

All I could think was I’d better still be cute when I’m seven feet tall!

The Muscle Brains

Mark had been right. The worst part about the brain operation had been getting my head shaved, watching all my beautiful blond hair fluttering to the ground. After that, it had been just like taking a nap. Except when I woke up from this nap, I had an insane amount of energy. The brain guy kept me around a day for observation, but then he let me go home.

I had told my mom I was going on an overnight school fieldtrip and when I got home I stole Mark’s hair-on-fire story to explain my baldness. HOLY CRAP, I WAS BALD!!!!!! I can’t tell you how many times I tried to toss my hair, but there was nothing there. It was totally freaking me out. I stood there looking at myself in the mirror, just trying to process the lack of hair. I looked ridiculous. My cuteness had been reduced by at least 50 percent—ok, we’ll maybe not that much. My face was pretty damn amazing. But there had been at least 30 percent cuteness reduction. It was pretty hard to handle.

And my body didn’t look any different at all, still the same old flat chest and stomach, slender arms and plain old bony shoulders. No signs of any muscle monster there. But I felt completely different, like I’d never be tired again. But when I tired to sleep, bam, I’d drop right off. It was weird.

My first day back at school, I went early. I couldn’t wait to hit the weight room. I had so much energy; I felt if I didn’t lift something heavy my body would explode. When I got to the weight room the other guys were already there. They were all working out shirtless. Man, there were only five of them, but they were so huge they seemed to pack the room with wall to wall muscle. As soon as I walked in I got a round of applause. I guess the dead giveaway was the shaved head (oh my god I was bald!) and the bright white bandage. I had taken the final step.

“Hey, Brandon,” said Mark. Christ, he had to be over seven feet tall. His eight brick-like abs were bursting from his gut. His pecs were soccer balls and his shoulders were cannonballs. It looked like he was curling 380 pounds with his massive pumped arms.

“Jeeze, it took you long enough,” said Nick. I was looking up at Nick now. He had definitely hit six feet and had grown shoulders about twice as broad as the geek I tried to buy the computer from.

“Hoo, hoo, hoo,” said Jim. “Brandon’s gonna get big.” And Jim was even bigger than Nick. Crap, he used to be such a little shrimp. Now he had biceps to rival the biggest line backer on the football team, and he was probably taller than him, too.

There was a four-station weight machine in the corner and Derek had been over there shirtless doing dead lifts with the entire apparatus. When I came in he had dropped it with a room shaking crash. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Derek almost didn’t look human. Bulging, ripped, gargantuan muscles just erupted out all over him everywhere you looked from head to foot. The skinny gamer kid was almost completely gone. All that was left was his face, grinning down at me from the top of an immense body, an unbelievably tightly woven configuration of incredibly massive muscles. He was definitely a freak of nature, but the kind of freak we all wish we could be. It was impossible to see him and not be awed. He was about seven feet tall now, and about five feet wide at the shoulders, with huge thick mountainous traps dwarfing his fire plug neck and brushing the back of his skull. He had gigantic, satiated wrecking ball delts that split into three distinct massive muscle groups, each one of them bigger than a professional body builder’s entire shoulder. And they were all sitting on top of enormous, veined wrapped upper arms that looked like four overinflated footballs pushed together. His forearms were as thick around as my waste. His chest was two beach balls except hard, solid and ripped.

His abs… I could count eight concrete slabs of muscle leading down to his workout shorts, but I suspected there might be another two hidden below the waste band. I’d have to try and convince him to show me later. And there was obviously something else hidden by his workout shorts pulling them tight, something that had also enjoyed a healthy growth spurt.

And his legs, crap, his thighs were so big around, I doubted I could wrap my arms around one of them, and I could see each and every gigantic leg muscle bulge and ripple under his skin as he shifted his weight from foot to foot.

“Hey, Brandon,” he said. “Glad you finally made it.”

“Jesus, Derek,” I said. “Look at you. If you got any bigger you’d attract satellites.”

“You like,” he said flexing and unbelievably causing his titanic body to bulge up even larger. “You want a body like this, Brandon?”

“No, Derek,” I said grinning back, “bigger.”

“That’s the attitude,” said Derek, “Cause pretty soon now you’re going to have one.” He picked me up and hugged me, crushing me in a sea of rock hard, rippling muscle. I was pretty much in heaven. Then he set me down and said, “Guess I won’t be able to do that for long.” And the other guys started chuckling. Thunder might have been softer; it was definitely higher in pitch.

Derek was defiantly the biggest but I’d say Mark and Frank were vying for the number two spot. Mark was by far the tallest of all of them, being at least two inches taller than Derek, but not as wide, broad or thick. Frank had an almost inhuman thickness to him, but he had not hit the seven foot mark, being only about six nine or so. The other two seemed like striplings. Of course, they were much newer members and still had a lot of growing to do. Jim, the former fat shrimp, was about six two with huge ripped-to-hell muscles—at least for a regular guy—and if it hadn’t been for the three monstrous guys I just mentioned, he might have been the biggest guy in school. And Nick, well Nick hadn’t hit six feet yet. He looked like a regular sized football jock. But he was a far cry from the pudgy five eight butterball he’d been just two weeks ago.

Looking at them standing there, I think I felt worse about my skinny frame than ever. But I had a boiling energy inside me, and I was ready to start using it. Luckily for me I had the equivalent of five big brothers—way big brothers—who’d all been through this before and could show me what to do. And that’s kinda what we were, a brotherhood, six guys so obsessed with getting huge that we’d had our brains operated on. Muscle Brains, that’s what we were, and that’s what we started calling ourselves.

Derek put together a complete routine for me, and I started right in. I couldn’t believe how much I loved it. My body screamed with pleasure each time I used it to move some weight, and the more weight I used the better it liked it. I kept doing set after set, pushing my body until it just wouldn’t move anymore. But I recovered so fast that in a couple of hours I was ready to do it again. Ok, not just ready, anxious. I couldn’t wait to do it again. I worked out like that three times on Monday, before school, during lunch and after school, working different body parts on each occasion. And I don’t think I stopped eating for more than five minutes. I just couldn’t get enough food. I had to carry it with me from class to class. And when I got home that night, I stood there staring at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t believe it. Holy crap, I was bigger already.

My arms were a little thicker and I swear I could see a vein beginning to protrude and run over my bicep. My shoulders seemed to have grown tiny little caps of muscle that never used to be there and just below my rib cage I could see a couple of bumps that had to be my upper abdominals. I poked them just to be sure and they seemed pretty tough. It was amazing. I mean I still pretty much looked like me (a less cute, bald me), and, if I were wearing a shirt, no one else would notice any difference. But holy crap, I was starting to change and it scared and excited me at the same time. And something else weird happened. I felt my little soldier coming to attention, as I stared at my new swelling muscles. This was a first for me. I’d never been turned on by my own body before, and I tried to decide if this was a perversion or just a tremendous convenience. Either way, I hauled him out and engaged him in battle.

The funniest thing was Peter. On days I had a free period I could use for my midday workouts, I still met with Derek and Peter for lunch. Poor Peter, throughout the whole fall, he hadn’t had a clue what was happening to Derek, but he wasn’t stupid. He was a muscle watcher. By this time he knew what the bald head and bandage meant. And when I showed up hairless, he seemed to guess right off.

“Oh no, not you, too,” he said, patting the top of his head.

“Oh, the hair,” I said. “I’m trying this new fashion—”

“Don’t, just don’t,” said Peter, cutting me off. “I don’t want to hear about the freak accident or the practical joke, or even a new fashion statement. I’ve heard all the excuses, and I was hoping you at least would tell me the truth.”

I glanced over at Derek, but he slowly shook his head no.

“You mean you don’t think bald is my look, either?” I said to Peter.

He raised his eyebrows and paused before saying, “Now that’s an established scientific fact. Come on, you’ve got to tell me what’s going on.”

“I think we’re through with this conversation,” said Derek, and there was no mistaking the command in his voice. Peter shut up at once. I mean how do you argue with a seven foot behemoth?

After school in the weight room, I asked Derek about Peter. “Maybe we should let him in,” I said. “I know he can’t get the programming but he could still have the operation.”

“He’d never do it without the programming,” said Derek. “I mean, you had the programming and even then you almost didn’t do it.”

It turned out it was too late anyway. A couple of days later the brain guy was the victim of an FBI sting and was now in jail. It had been all over the news. Apparently he didn’t keep records on his patients, and the police were asking for his “victims” to come forward. For some reason, none of us really felt like it. I guess our brotherhood was as big as it was ever going to get—numbers-wise anyway.

I didn’t think about it much, because I was too distracted by what was happening to my body. I mean, there hadn’t been any substantial changes in it in the last few years—you know, ever since puberty had finished transforming me into the stunning young man everyone knew and loved—and now suddenly everything was changing again. I was starting to feel so different. It was like my body was tightening up and getting harder and growing bigger all at the same time.

In a week, I watched those little caps of shoulder muscle develop into definite bumps. My flat chest was now two distinct mounds. And I was stunned as my stomach slowly grew tighter and my abs popped up and formed a solid six pack. Day by day my biceps grew larger. It was like they were bigger every time I looked, and I looked a lot. I got the feeling I was always growing. In almost no time they were about the size of tennis balls. Holy crap, look at those suckers! I’d always liked big guns and almost couldn’t believe I was starting to grow a pair of my own. I had endless fun flexing my arms and feeling the hard muscle ball up against my forearms. It was kind of unreal.

And just going to bed became an amazing experience. I would lay there at night, constantly changing positions so I could feel my new hard muscles bulging up between me and the mattress. And if I lay very still and quite, I was almost positive I could feel myself growing, each muscle slowly getting thicker, expanding under my skin millimeter by millimeter, pulling it ever so slightly tighter. And then my hand would reach under the covers and find my little soldier, who was incidentally engaged in growth games of his own, and put him through his paces.

On Wednesday my shirt began to feel tight. And on Friday I started to get stares, mostly from the girls, but hey, what are you going to do?

Of course the guy who stared the most was Peter. But every time he started to say something, Derek would shut him up with a glare. I have to admit that I got an enormous amount of satisfaction that Friday when I stood up and noticed that I was now a half inch taller than he was. The look on his face was classic.

“This just isn’t fair,” he said. “Why won’t you guys tell me what’s happening?”

“Maybe we’re just having growth spurts,” I said. “It’s perfectly natural, happens all the time. It’s an established scientific fact.”

“There is nothing natural about this,” said Peter.

I looked up at Derek and said, “I have to tell him.”

“No,” said Derek.

“Come on, he’s our best friend. We can’t leave him completely out of this.”

Derek just stayed quiet and I decided to interpret his silence as permission. “Peter,” I said, trying my best to make it all clear, “Using my amazing computer skills I sent Derek a really clever subliminally programmed message to love muscle. But he interpreted it all wrong and decided he needed to grow it. So, he had his brain altered to trigger a massive growth spurt. Then he liked it so much he forced me to be subliminally programmed just the way he was, and then of course I had to have my brain altered, too. So now I’m having a growth spurt just like his.” As I finished I held my breath to see his reaction. I didn’t have to wait long.

“Oh for Christ’s sake,” shouted Peter, “do I look like a complete moron? Who would buy that? I ask a simple question and all I get is more of your exquisite bullshit. Jeeze, Brandon, if you’re going to lie to me, at least come up something better than that! Had your brains altered, my ass!” And then he stormed away.

We both stood there stunned for a second before Derek said, “I thought you put that very well.”

“Thank you,” I replied.

But Monday at lunch, despite everything, Peter sat down with Derek and me again. I could see him looking me over carefully. I didn’t blame him. I had grown almost an inch taller over the weekend and put on another 15 pounds. I was starting to grow some awesome looking muscles. I felt heavier, more substantial and I was looking pretty good—except for the hair. The hair was still a big problem.

Peter scowled at me and for a second I thought he was going to pick up where he’d left off on Friday. But instead all he said was, “We’re going to need a bigger table.”

And it was becoming pretty obvious I was going to need bigger clothes. I could feel my new hard muscles stretching my shirt to the tearing point. So now I only had to decide if I wanted to go the showy route like Derek did, not buying anything new so everyone could see my massive expanding sinews as they slowly ripped their way out of my clothing. Or did I want to go more conservative like Mark had done, just buying ever larger new clothes, to keep pace with my growing body. I couldn’t decide at first.

But on Wednesday morning, as I was reaching up to rub the stubble that currently passed for my hair, my bicep just blew out of my shirt sleeve. It caught me completely by surprise. Suddenly I was standing there staring at that beautifully shaped orb bulging up on my arm with the shreds of cloth still clinging to it and I had a spontaneous orgasm. That decided it. I just couldn’t hide the new me from the world. It wouldn’t be fair. Showy it was.

I proceeded to rip both sleeves off my shirt and wore it to school just like it was. As I expected the stare factor multiplied by a factor of at least 4. Too right it did. Check out these guns. I even got a double take from Chad when I passed him in the hall. Moments like that made my humble life worth living.

Of course, that was for school. At home it was a different matter. I’d bought myself a couple of very large baggy sweaters, and I would wear one of them whenever mom was around. So far they had hidden things pretty well. I was still struggling with how I was going to explain this to her. Mom wasn’t the most observant of women, but even she might eventually notice once I got to be seven feet tall and five feet wide.

But that Friday everything came to a head. I was feeling particularly like celebrating. I’d hit a few landmarks that day. I was now six feet tall, a height that only a few weeks ago I would never have dreamed I’d reach. I weighed two hundred and forty pounds, which meant I’d gained exactly one hundred pounds since the operation, and I’d squatted about ten reps of five hundred pounds that morning. I was smiling remembering how my ripped granite quads had responded so enthusiastically to the demands I had placed on them, and how they had practically vibrated with joy as they moved the substantial weight I had balanced on my shoulders. I started to get hard thinking about it and couldn’t wait to get home to my room where I could express my excitement a little more physically. I was feeling so good that of course something had to go horribly wrong.

No sooner did I get home than I heard a muffled call from the garage. I went out there only discover those freakin‘ shelves had fallen over again and this time they’d pinned my poor mother underneath. If it hadn’t been for that engine block on the floor, mom would probably have been crushed.

“Mom!” I cried.

“Brandon,” she said when she saw me. “Quick, run and get Mr. Miller, and the two of you can get these shelves off of me.”

“Are you all right?”

“I think so. Just hurry up and get Mr. Miller.”

“Oh, I don’t think we’ll be needing Mr. Miller,” I said, and I pulled off my sweater. I didn’t want to get it dirty.

“My God, Brandon, what happened to you?” she gasped when she saw me and my 17 inch biceps in my torn sleeveless t.

“I’ve been working out—a lot,” I said. That was no lie. “I’ll have you out of there in no time.”

“Are you sure you can handle it?”

“Mom, please,” I said as I knelt down and grabbed the large metal shelf unit in about the center. I lifted it—mostly with my legs (God, I loved my legs)—and I gotta tell you even I was surprised at how easy it was. I could remember struggling just to budge them with my mom helping me, and now lifting them smoothly was no trouble at all. And when I got them up I even did a quick military press with them for good measure. Man, they were nothing, and my hard-on was screaming for attention.

Once mom was back on her feet, she gave me a good look up and down and said. “I thought you were a little old for growth spurts.”

“Me too, but I’m having a lulu.”

“You can say that again. Wow, you must be getting laid every night.”

“Mom!”

“Sorry, I know, I know, forbidden subject. I’m just glad I don’t have to worry about you getting anyone pregnant.”

“Can we please change the subject?”

“Just tell me you’re using condoms.”

“Oh, for God’s sake!”

Mom finally gave me permission to get rid of the shelves and their heavy greasy contents, but suddenly I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. I kept thinking some of that stuff might be fun to test myself on as I got bigger. I was staring at my large, veiny biceps and thinking about bending large metal items and suddenly my cock just erupted in my pants. Thank God mom had already gone inside.

And I just kept getting bigger. By the end of the third week, I had out grown all my old clothes and I was having serious lust issues with my own body. And not without reason. I was amazing. Every muscle I had was bulging out of me. I felt so hard and heavy and powerful. So this is why jocks had all that attitude. I never dreamed muscles could feel so good. My body felt completely different from the way it did when I was five nine and skinny. If I’d known it would be like this, I’d have started working out years ago. And my body looked incredible, too. It got so I hated to cover it up at all. I went sleeveless just about all of the time, and sometimes I would find myself sitting in class nursing a hard on by simply staring at my bugling bicep as I flexed it over and over. It had passed large and was approaching huge and it just felt awesome on my arm.

And then there was the way people treated me. They spoke to me very respectfully. No one ever called me “that blond” any more. Now I was “that ape.” That was an improvement, right? And no more pushing my way down the corridors. Now when they saw me coming, they got out of my way. I was pretty sure I could get used to that.

By this time, I’d hit six feet two inches, I weighed 290 pounds and I felt like I was still too small. It bothered me. And it bothered me that it bothered me. And it bothered me that it bothered me that it bothered me. I’d gotten huge. Enormous muscles had just erupted out all over me, even in places I didn’t know I had muscles. And I was taller than most of the other guys at school, and yet for some reason I didn’t feel big enough. It didn’t make sense. Before my programming, I never used to think about my size much at all. I was perfectly content being five nine and skinny. Could ten minutes of those subliminal messages really have changed me that much? It couldn’t think of anything I’d written anything in those messages that could possibly have had—if you’ll excuse the term—such a huge effect.

Then one day, I was passing the gym on my way to Greek History class when I happened to look in through the door and see a basketball game in progress. Derek was there. His growth hadn’t quite stopped, but it had definitely slowed. He was about seven foot one now and weighed somewhere near 600 pounds. Derek wasn’t allowed to run and jump in gym anymore. The building was getting kind of old and they were afraid the floor wouldn’t take it. So he would just stand there by the basket. Someone would throw him the ball and he would put it through the hoop. I watched him standing by the basket while all the other guys ran around him. They looked like kids playing around a mighty oak. Derek was so massive. Of course his gym shirt didn’t have sleeves. His upper arms were now bigger than most of the other guy’s torsos. What sleeve could contain them? And his shirt was also way too tight and way too short. His rippling midriff was completely exposed. I think each of his abs was about the size of a regular kid’s head. And his pecs dwarfed the basket ball. He almost didn’t look real. He looked like a morph. Then it hit me. Derek looked almost exactly like my morph of Butch, the one I had put into the malware to flash subliminally at Derek and awaken his interest in muscle. That was it. My ridiculously exaggerated image of a body builder subliminally etched into my brain was what was behind the drive to become inhumanly gigantic. But knowing this did nothing to make the desire go away. In fact, if anything, I wanted it more. To think that one day I might out grow Butch was an incredibly hot thought and it just made me want to cum on the spot.

It was sometime around Valentine’s Day, I was six five and about three hundred and fifty pounds. I was going through my closet getting rid of all my old clothes, pausing occasionally to flex out of one of my old shirts—that never got old—when I came across a wadded up lump of cloth way in the back. It was Chad’s football jersey. Seeing it brought back a wave of painful memories of being used and tossed aside. I was just about to toss the shirt aside and into the box with the rest of my discarded clothes, when an impulse hit me and I put it on instead.

I remembered the last time I’d worn it the night of the Halloween party. It had been so big on me, I’d almost gotten lost in its folds. Now it was tight. I stood there staring at my reflection for several minuets looking at how my huge pecs were distorting the number in front, grinning at how my mammoth shoulders were stretching cloth meant to hold thick padding, seeing how my mountainous traps were pushing their way out through the extra wide neck. I flexed and watch my monstrous twenty-three inch bicep explode out of my arm, and thought, with a satisfactory grin, how much bigger I was than Chad now. And then I got a thought, a truly wonderful, evil thought, and the next day I wore Chad’s shirt to school.

By this time I was used to getting stares, but the stares I got that day were of an entirely different quality. These came with muted whispers. I couldn’t make out most of what was said, but I definitely caught Chad’s name on more than one occasion.

And when I sat down at lunch, I got the same kind of stares from Derek and Peter.

“Dude, what the fuck’s with the shirt?” asked Peter, genuinely alarmed.

“I’m trying to get someone’s attention,” I said.

“Looks like you got it,” said Derek.

I looked over at the football jock’s table and I could see there were several animated conversations going on. It looked like Chad was getting an earful. I could tell he was going with either the I-lost-it or he-stole-it defense. And I could equally tell his buddies were egging him on to do something about it. But I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to come over to our table—not with both Derek and me there. Derek, alone, would intimidate half the team.

So, I decided to mosey on up to the lunch counter and see what else they might have to offer, you know just to put a little distance between myself and Mount Derek, and give Chad a chance to get me alone. See, I told you I had an incredibly devious mind.

It worked. Chad took the bait.

“Hey, dude, that’s my shirt,” I heard his voice loud and blustering behind me.

I tuned and looked at him and was instantly struck by how small he looked. Suddenly I was trying to remember what had attracted me to this smallish pudgy guy. “No, Chad,” I said equally loud, “I think it’s my shirt since you gave it to me.”

Ok, that put an end to his loud blustering. His voice dropped almost to a whisper as he asked, “Jesus, what happened to you?”

“I got big,” I said flexing my twenty-three-incher. “Don’t you like me big? I like me big.” I looked down at Chad’s relatively smaller body and for the first time got a real feel for just how much fucking bigger and stronger I was than him and I felt this weird kind of buzz run through me. I’m not sure what happened next, I guess my testosterone must have been spiking because I reached over, grabbed him under the arms and lifted him off the ground. Christ, he wasn’t heavy at all, and I felt so all-fucking-powerful effortlessly holding him up helpless in front of me, my huge arms just bulging with rock hard sinew against which he had no chance.

And then I remembered how he’d threatened me at the Halloween party and I got a teensy bit mad.

“You said you’d kick the shit out of me if I wore your shirt,” I said, ginning evilly. “Well, I’m wearing it. Start kicking.”

Suddenly a half dozen of his football buddies leapt to their feet to come to his aid. But Derek stood up and then all four of the other Muscle Brains rose up like mountains, towering over everyone and everything in the cafeteria, completely dominating the room, and practically blotting out the light from the windows with their wide, thick, outrageously muscular bodies. That took the wind out of the jock’s sails and they sat back down again. We’d made one thing clear, the football team was no longer the biggest, baddest thing at our school; we were, and now everyone knew it.

Chad’s expression was a combination of shock, fear… and something else. I looked down. Yup, he was tenting. All I had to do was yank down his trousers and that would be the end of Chad Sikowski, football player, and we could add another gay student to the ranks.

But was that really what I wanted to do? No, it wasn’t. I dropped him.

“Go away, Chad,” I said.

“Not without my shirt,” he said. Then he nailed me in the gut with his fist.

“Oomph,” I said as a little air escaped me. But that’s all he got, and he wouldn’t have gotten that much if I’d been prepared. He didn’t do as well, though. He was obviously hurting, shaking his hand up and down. Fuck I remembered seeing him punch a dent in a locker door and the same punch now barley even fazed me. My body was so fucking strong now, I was practically unstoppable. I put my hand on my stomach, and through the shirt, it was easy to feel the eight huge muscle-bricks rising out of my abdomen. This was going to be fun.

“The trouble with you, Chad,” I said, “is that you never had any abs. I don’t happen to have that problem.” I lifted up my shirt and displayed my bulging stone-like abdominals. I loved looking at them, the way they fit in with each other in a beautiful pattern, like an ornamental brick wall of power. I ran my hand over them. I loved the feel, so hard, so strong. It looked like Chad was about to start drooling. “What to try again?” I asked. “I’ll let you.” I pulled my shirt up all the way, exposing my entire muscle saturated lower torso to him, right up to the bottom of my bowling ball pecs.

“I want my shirt back,” he said, but he didn’t try to hit me.

“Ok,” I said, dropping the shirt. “I’m feeling generous. I’ll give you your shirt back at the end of the week. But I’m going to wear it everyday until then and I don’t want to hear anymore about it from you. Got that?”

He nodded weakly. “Yeah.”

“Good.” I had a little surprise in mind for him on Friday, but his shirt was already tight on me and I wasn’t sure it would last until then.

“What the fuck was that about?” asked Peter when I got back to the table. The cat was pretty much out of the bag so I told them everything.

Peter was shocked. “I can’t believe you never told me,” he said.

“I had my reasons,” I said.

“Like the reason you won’t tell my why you’re suddenly so incredibly hot.”

“You think I’m incredibly hot?” I asked smiling.

“Oh, dude, you know you are. And when you manhandled that football player you shot straight up to an eleven on the one-to-ten hotness scale.”

“You think I’m an eleven?”

“Dude, once you hair grows all the way in, you’ll be so hot you’ll be burning down buildings.”

“Do I make you hot?”

“You have no idea.”

“Well, why don’t you come over tonight and explain it to me.” And just like that Peter and I were back together again.

Poor Derek. I could see it didn’t make him happy, but he’d had his chance. Besides, I didn’t like the way he found me completely resistible.

That night, my mom was going out to play bridge. I know, it was total 50’s sitcom but that’s what she liked to do. So, when Peter came over we had the house to ourselves.

We went up to my room, he sat on my bed and I proceeded to pull off my t shirt—not nearly as basic and straight forward as it sounded. My biceps were so big now and my back so broad, it was hard to get my arms to bend enough to grab hold of it. I imagined I get the hang of it eventually, but being this big was still pretty new to me, and I was having a little trouble with it. When I finally got hold of the shirt and began to pull, it didn’t come off smoothly. It was kind of tight on me and I wound up having to kind of peel it up. First I could feet the cool air against my brick wall abs and then I peeled it up over my torso releasing my mammoth pecs and lats.

“Oh fuck,” I heard Peter whisper, just as I freed my head from the cloth. I looked down at him and saw a wet spot forming at his crotch.

“You came?” I asked.

He nodded. “Sorry.”

“I only pulled off my shirt.”

“Dude, there was no “only” about that. I could watch you pull of your shirt over and over again for the rest of my life—just that and nothing else for my whole life—and die perfectly happy and contented.”

“Really,” I said. “Maybe I should leave the pants on. I don’t want you going into a coma or anything.”

“Don’t you fucking dare,” he said. And I didn’t.

I had never been worshiped before. It was a new thing for me, and judging from Peter’s over eager and awkward tongue work, it was new for him too. But what he lacked in experience he more than made up for with enthusiasm, and it shortly became a night to remember.

Afterwards while we were lying there, he looked up at me and asked, “Are you going to get any bigger?”

“Peter, I’m already bigger,” I said. “I’m bigger than I was this morning. I’m even bigger than I was when you got here. I’m always growing.”

He swallowed and I could feel him getting hard again against my thigh. “How big are you going to get?” he asked. “Big as Derek?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe bigger.” His cock was rock hard now, for what, the fifth or sixth time?

“I hope you get bigger than Derek,” he said.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. I hope you get much, much bigger.”

“Would you like that,” I asked. “Would you like me to be eight feet tall and a thousand pounds of massive ripped muscle?”

“Oh yeah, hell yeah,” he gasped, and I felt him dousing my leg in his warm, sticky cum.

“Then I’ll see what I can do.”

Friday rolled around and as I suspected I had to squeeze myself into Chad’s shirt. I felt incredibly huge, that is until I got to the weight room for my morning work out. In that room, I was still the little guy. Nick and Jim were the closest to me, each at six eight and around four hundred pounds.

Jim was a little upset because even though he’d had the operation weeks ahead of Nick, his friend had completely caught up with him. Each of them had biceps the size of soccer balls and they were currently kneeling on the floor, arms on a bench, locked together in an arm wrestling match to the death. They were each turning three shades of red, and they struggled against each other, massive arms bulging out beyond reason beneath finger-thick veins. I could hear the bench groan under the strain seconds before there was a loud crack as the bench broke in two sending the two goliaths sprawling on the floor.

“Ok, that’s enough of that,” said Frank. “Some of us still have to work out here.” Frank was only an inch taller than them, but he was inhumanly thick, weighing close to six hundred pounds. You hear jokes about people who are as wide as they are tall. In Frank’s case I’m not sure it was an exaggeration. Derek was still seven one, and a just a monster. Mark had hit seven four, he still didn’t quite have Derek’s bulk, but if the two of them ever arm wrestled, I’d expect it to leave a crater.

Lunch time came almost before I knew it and the moment I’d been planning for had arrived. I’d been working my upper body extra hard all week just to get ready for this. I got up and swaggered over to Chad’s table. He looked up as he saw me coming and the look on his face was perfect. He obviously had no idea what I was going to do, but whatever he thought it was, I don’t think he was looking forward to it. He was no fool.

I stood there looking down on him for a minute. Man, he looked so small now. Then I said, “Chad, you still want your shirt back?”

He nodded.

“Then let me just get it off.” I pulled a most muscular. I felt my stone like body explode with mass, thrusting out against the shirt. The back was immediately blown apart by my monstrous lats. Then my meteorite-like delts exploded out of the shoulders at almost the same time my giant striated pecs tore out the front. The decimated shirt scraps slid past my rippling, heaving brick wall of a stomach and fluttered to the ground right at Chad’s feet. I stood there in front of him with the full glory of my muscular torso revealed to him, forcing each sinew to bulge out to it’s max. I couldn’t help but notice the wet spot at his crotch. Damn, that was the second time this week, I’d made a guy cum just by removing my shirt. I’d have to flex out of something for Peter. I bet he’d like that. Yeah, I bet he’d like that a lot.

I slowly turned and walked back to my seat where Derek, Peter and a fresh shirt were waiting for me. It was kind of funny, but as soon as I destroyed Chad’s shirt, I felt myself released from any interest in him at all. I was free to go on with my life and I confess I almost never thought of him again.

It was a few weeks after that that I stopped being human. Seriously, that’s exactly what it felt like. I mean I was six foot ten and I weighed four hundred and eighty pounds. I came down the stairs to breakfast one morning only to find my Mom hiding under the table.

“Quick Brandon,” she said, “get in the doorway until the earthquake passes.”

I tried not to take these things personally. “That was just me, Mom.”

“No, seriously, the whole house was shaking.”

“That. Was. Just. Me. Mom.” And I raised my leg and tensing my massive quads only slightly, I stamped my foot in demonstration. The room shook. A couple of the cupboards flew open and their contents spilled out.

“Oh,” she said, “As she crawled out from under the table. “You want juice or coffee with your two dozen eggs?”

And that was just a sample. There was nothing normal about my life anymore. I didn’t even feel like the same species I used to be, and I didn’t look like the same species. My muscles were gigantic, huge, hard, bulging vein covered masses. There was a ridiculous amount of power in my slightest move. My upper arms were thirty two inches, which was wider than my waist used to be. I could pick up any engine part on those garage shelves and break it apart just by squeezing it with one hand. That old engine block we needed a forklift to move, I was using it as a door stop. It seemed ridiculously light to me now. Probably because my back was so wide you could project a movie on it. And my pecs… people were starting to joke, “Here comes Brandon’s pecs, and five minutes later, here comes Brandon.” I actually thought that was kind of funny.

My legs were just ridiculous. Each one took up about as much space walking down the corridor as one of the football players. Once, some jock wasn’t looking where he was going and blundered into one. It knocked him about ten yards down the corridor and into some lockers. But it wasn’t my fault. How was I supposed to see him down there? I was so tall now that I normally looked over the heads of almost every other human being I encountered; they seemed like little kids to me. Fortunately, the jock only suffered only a minor concussion. Ever since then I’ve been constantly aware of the enormous size, weight and power of my massive quads and hamstrings as I thundered down the halls, fully aware that a collision with me could mean serious injury. One guy joked that I should have turn signals installed with a light for the top of my head to warn airplanes.

One day I walked into Greek history and squeezed into my desk. Man, the seat was really small and incredibly uncomfortable beneath my massive rock hard glutes. It started creaking even worse than usual, and I think I might have even heard something snap.

Jack Benet, who sat behind me, and said in a flawless Scottish accent, “She canna take it, Captain. She’s gonna blow!”

“Apparently you’re completely unfamiliar with the rigorous scientific tests the school desks are put through,” I said twisting around to face him. “Each one is tested using the weight of an entire school of elephants.”

I turned back and my desk disintegrated. I mean it. Before I knew what happened I was picking myself off of the floor from underneath shards of wood and plastic. There wasn’t much left.

“An entire school of elephants?” said Jack. “That’s a lot of elephants. By the way, I see your hair’s growing back in, just as blond as ever.”

Why yes it was. And wasn’t it nice of him to notice.

From then on I had to use one of the cafeteria chairs. They were the only things that would safely hold me.

And it wasn’t just the desk. I was so freaking strong that I would frequently destroy things without even noticing. I opened my locker one day and then suddenly realized that I had forgotten to unlock it first. I had unintentionally just ripped the lock apart. And when I tried to force the door shut afterwards I just wound up crumpling it.

Peter loved that I kept accidentally tearing things apart. He called me distructo-boy and said I gave new meaning to the term blond bombshell. He always said the sweetest things.

Clothes were a real problem though. I was growing so fast, mom refused to buy me too many at once. For a while I was actually purchasing Mark’s hand me downs. His family had plenty of money so he had some nice clothes. He had this great pair of cotton pants that I was so excited to grow into. They were kind of thin and they hugged the quads in such a way that every head could be clearly seen beneath them. They were extremely hot. But the first time I wore them to school, I got hit by a car in the school parking lot by some kid who’d only had his license a week. Can you believe it? It knocked me over and tore a huge gash in the right pant leg. They were ruined! I was so mad. His insurance better cover this!

I leapt up and tried to glare at him inside the car, but I couldn’t because the whole front of the car was caved in and the hood had been bent up blocking the windshield. Not to mention all the steam issuing from the water-squirty-thing in the front. I tried to push the bent hood back down out of the way but the thing just popped off. I was so pissed I started to take it out on the hood. I began to feel it bend under the pressure from my hands. I loved the feel of it yielding to my insanely powerful arms. Teeth gritted and lips pulled back, I pushed further and harder and I think I might even have been growling a little. It felt great to vent my anger on it and I just kept mashing the hood, causing my massive rock hard biceps to bulge up to basketball size. There was an explosive ripping noise as they blew out my sleeves. Great. This day was just one clothing disaster after another. I slammed the wadded up hood on the ground where it became imbedded in the pavement.

The kid, for some reason, didn’t seem to want to get out of the car.

“Are you coming out here?” I shouted.

The kid just shook his head rapidly.

I tried to pull open the door and of course that ripped off, too. Piece of shit car.

“Come on out,” I said.

The kid finally stumbled out staring slack jawed at his car. “Oh my God, you totaled my car,” he said.

“Who cares about your crappy twenty-year-old Nissan?” I said. “Maybe you should have learned how to drive it before you pulled it out of the garage. Look what you did to my pants. I’ll never get another pair this nice. Do you know how expensive these are? They are irreplaceable, you understand, irreplaceable. They were custom tailored. Do you know how much cloth it takes to cover these quads?”

The kid stared down at the gigantic ripped masses that were my quads—they were clearly visible thorough the tear—and gulped. He just looked like he might be in shock. “I can’t believe I hit you so hard my car is totaled, and your just standing there like nothing happened.”

“Nothing happened? My favorite pants are now rags and you ‘re trying to tell me nothing happened?” The nerve of this kid.

But ordinary people just didn’t seem to get me anymore. I was really only comfortable with my fellow Muscle Brains—and Peter, of course. We had long since out grown the weight room and moved down to a local gym. I think the gym owner regretted selling us memberships because when we went there we kind of cleared the place out. Not because we were intimidating people, but simply because when we worked out we needed all the weights.

The rest of the school year seemed to fly by. Derek never got past seven one, but he looked incredible and he seemed happy with his size. His muscles were inhumanly huge and with them bulging out all over his giant frame, he never failed to get stares where ever he went. And he was right about the car alarm thing; he was setting them off left and right.

He did tell me once he was sorry it never worked out between us, but he never had trouble finding company when he wanted it. Of course, not the other Muscle Brains. They were all into girls, but, you know, there’s no accounting for taste.

Nick stopped at seven feet. He wasn’t quite as thick as Derek either, but he was incredibly strong. He’d started a new hobby. He loved to go out into the parking lot, pick up and drag cars from one parking spot to another, and then hang out after school to watch people try and find their vehicles. And then when they finally did, he loved to watch their faces as they tried to figue out how the car got where it was. He thought it was the funniest thing. He’d get caught occasionally but the car owners would just laugh good naturedly. What else were they going to do? He was a foot taller than most of them and his biceps were bigger and harder than most car tires.

Jim never got taller than six ten, but then he was the shortest of us to begin with. And among regular men, he was still truly immense. We did sort of give him the nick name shorty. But he didn’t seam to mind—at least when we called him that. Anyone else was taking their lives in their hands.

Only Frank was shorter than him, as he held steady at six nine, but he was still thicker than any of the others. He really had trouble getting through doors whether he twisted or not. His pec shelf and upper back combined were almost as deep as his shoulders were wide. Where as the rest of us enjoyed occasionally blowing out a shirt, he occasionally enjoyed blowing out a door frame. Just a little twist and CRACK, there it’d go. “Oops, sorry,” he’d say. But what were they going to do?

Mark was actually the tallest at seven four. His muscles were longer than anyone else’s, but he never developed Derek’s bulk. Derek was still the king in that department, or he would have been if it weren’t for me. I was just as bulky as he was, except I was seven one. I called it my revenge for him forcing the programming on me. But secretly I had wanted to be the biggest over all, and I wasn’t. I mentioned it to Derek once, and he pulled me aside.

“You may not be the tallest, or the strongest, or the thickest,” he said, “but with that face you are definitely the hottest.” Well, I guessed I could live with that.

So, there we were at graduation. All six of us had to have our gowns custom made. Good thing the school paid for it. My mom was sick and tired of constantly buying new clothes for me.

On my way to my seat for the ceremony, I ran into Chad. Actually I almost ran over him. I still hadn’t gotten that look-down-while-you’re-walking-thing right yet.

“Brandon,” he said looking up and gulping. Jeeze the guy was tenting right in front of me.

“Chad,” I said.

“I just wanted you to know I broke it off with Liz. I couldn’t go on lying to myself.”

“Good for you,” I said, just wishing he’d get out of my way so I could get to my seat without stepping on him.

“It’s just after you flexed out of my shirt, I couldn’t stop thinking about you. Every time I closed my eyes, I’d see you standing there with all those muscles, bulging and heaving, ripping their way out of my shirt.”

Christ, the guy was breathing hard. Any second he was going to ruin his good pants.

“Chad, I think we need to get to our seats.”

“Sure. I was just wondering, if you know, after the ceremony—”

I cut him off with a laugh. It’s not like I was trying to be cruel, it just the entire situation genuinely struck me as funny. “Chad,” I said, “That ship has long since sailed. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a very different person from the one I used to be, and second, I’m already spoken for. Go out and find yourself a nice guy who’ll want you for what you are. I’m afraid you’ve just gotten a little too small for me.” Then I brushed by him, trying not to knock him down, but, you know, I didn’t actually succeed. Ouch. I hope he doesn’t need stitches.

So there I was sitting there in my red graduation gown and looking over at the other five red mountains interspersed throughout the crowd, and I remembered Peter’s and my little bet. Its true Derek never became the meat aficionado I had originally intended to make him, but there also was no question that he was entirely obsessed by muscle. So, did I win, or not?

After the ceremony Peter came up to me. “I guess I owe you two hundred dollars,” he said.

“Well,” I said, “Kinda, and kinda not. Derek is definitely obsessed by muscle, so I think you should pay me the two hundred dollars.” His face fell.

“But, since he’s not obsessed in the way we thought he’d be, you don’t have to pay me in cash,” I continued.

“Then how—?”

“There are all kinds of ways you can work off the debt, and they’ll all be much more fun than money,” I grinned. “It’s an established scientific fact.”

Description A simple operation can turn you into a hunk as hot as the football players you dream about. Do you even ask what the downside is?

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