Jay’s new year’s resolution was to get in shape, but it was already late January and he hadn’t made much progress. He had always been a spindly beanpole without much interest in sports or working out, and it had never really bothered him much. In fact, he enjoyed having a metabolism that allowed him to eat pretty much any crap he wanted without gaining an ounce.
Despite his sunken chest and scrawny arms, his ex-girlfriend had always insisted that she liked “skinny boys”. Then again, she always claimed to like his reddish-brown hair and pale complexion, right up until the day she dumped him for a tall, blond, tanned surfer who looked like he had just stepped off an Abercrombie bag, only he was in color.
Jay had discovered one problem with taking up exercise in his mid-twenties was that he had never built up much endurance. Even though he made a concerted effort to get up early each morning to come to the health club before work, he found that his energy waned quickly once he got there. He would plod along on the treadmill for a while before he grew winded and pooped out, sometimes venturing toward the weight machines in a futile attempt to beef up his twig-thin limbs but barely working up enough of a sweat to merit a shower. It didn’t do his already low self-esteem much good to start off each day surrounded by the extremely buff dudes who populated the place. Seriously, every guy here looked so jacked, Jay wondered if there was something in the water or a radiation leak.
One morning, after a particularly unproductive session, Jay was on his way toward the exit, fondly pondering the sausage and egg biscuit he planned to buy on his way to the office, when he heard the whiz of a blender echoing his direction from the gym’s juice bar. Jay realized that he was not helping to reach his fitness goals by stuffing his face with a pile of grease every morning, so he spun around and headed back to grab himself a smoothie.
He waited behind a wall of muscle who was practically busting out of his orange stringer tank. With a bleached-blond flat-top, the guy reminded Jay of that Russian boxer from that one “Rocky” movie, just not as oily. He was handed a jumbo styrofoam cup by the guy behind the counter, and pushed his way past Jay without even registering his presence.
The counter guy was not as inhumanly built as ol’ Flat-Top but annoyingly handsome, with dirty blond hair, riveting blue eyes, a model’s cheekbones and a firm jaw upon which he kept a carefully maintained two-day growth of stubble. He crossed his arms, which only highlighted the pump of his biceps and thickness of his pecs. He let loose a gleaming white smile as he saw Jay approach. “Hey, what can I get you, buddy?”
Jay jerked a thumb toward the departing steroid case and joked, “I’ll have what he’s having.”
The guy behind the counter squinted at Jay uncertainly. “Not sure you could handle what he ordered.”
Jay decided not to explain that he hadn’t been serious and turned his focus to the menu on the chalkboard behind the counter, wondering why all of the drinks had such stupid names. Perhaps just to embarrass the customers when they ordered them? Jay opted for the least cringeworthy flavor. “Can I just get an Orange Delite?”
“Sure thing,” said the clerk, assembling the ingredients with a flair for showmanship, even tossing a scoop of frozen yogurt from behind his back and over his shoulder, then deftly catching it in the pitcher of the blender. Just before he was ready to mix the concoction together, he paused and glanced back at Jay. “Do you want a boost with that?”
Jay shook his head. “Nah, that’s okay. I don’t think I need one.”
The guy gave Jay a long look. “Gotta say, you look pretty tired, my man. You could really use something to kick up your energy level a notch.” He pointed toward a plastic canister heaped with deep red granules.
“What are you talking about, like caffeine or something? I don’t want to be jittery at work.”
The guy waved his hands dismissively. “Nah, this stuff is totally safe, completely natural. Just gives you a pleasant buzz that keeps you revved up all day.” When he noticed that Jay was still wincing with uncertainty, the guy sweetened the deal. “Tell you what. I’ll toss in a scoop for free today. You come back tomorrow and tell me how you liked it.”
Jay shrugged. “Well, I guess I can’t argue with free!” Before he had even finished the sentence, the guy was dumping a scoop of the red powder into the blender and whipping up Jay’s drink. He poured it out and handed it across the counter to Jay, who took a cautious sip. Not only was it delicious, but he felt a definite tingle across his taste buds, a bit like the explosive burst of a mouthful of Pop Rocks. Jay nodded approvingly and handed over the money for the drink.
The guy rang up the transaction and placed the change in Jay’s palm, grasping his new customer’s hand in a firm shake in the process. “I’m Max. Nice to meetcha.” Jay swallowed a mouthful of smoothie and gave his name in response. “All right, Jay. Look forward to getting your full report tomorrow!”
Jay could feel the first effects of the boost kicking in by the time he reached his car. It was subtle but he definitely sensed an extra spring in his step. By the time he reached work, he was greedily sucking the last drops through his straw. He raced over from the parking lot to hold open the lobby door for Francine, the pretty young receptionist, who was arriving at the same time. Jay had long harbored a bit of a crush on Francine, but he knew she was dating a bearded outdoorsy type who sometimes showed up at the office reeking of Old Spice and B.O.
Francine stepped into the elevator and held the door open for Jay, but Jay informed her that he would take the stairs today. In the two years he had worked here, Jay couldn’t recall anyone ever mounting the seven flights between the lobby and the office except during a fire drill, but today Jay felt like he had energy to burn. He bounded into the stairwell, taking the steps two or three at a time. When Francine’s elevator arrived on seven, Jay was already waiting outside the office suite with his arms folded, trying to look nonchalant and conceal his heavy breathing.
Jay volunteered to start the coffee, usually one of Francine’s tasks, although he had no need for any himself this morning. He was already sufficiently buzzed from the boost. He sat down at his cubicle and dug into his work, finishing all of his assignments for the day by eleven a.m. He would usually take advantage of a lull by surfing the internet or playing computer solitaire, but he was far too restless. Instead, he roamed the office, asking if anyone had anything he could help them with.
Jay’s middle-aged boss Henry overheard this and gestured Jay into his office, handing him a thick folder and saying he needed a summary of its contents written up by the end of the day. Jay eagerly grabbed the folder and said he would get right on it. He dove right in, his attention so riveted on the task at hand that he worked straight through lunch, not even taking a break for a snack or a leak. At three o’clock, he brought Henry the finished summary, still warm from the laser printer, then informed Henry of a (non-existent) dental appointment that he had forgotten to mention earlier. Henry was so astonished by Jay’s sudden productiveness that he gladly let Jay take the rest of the afternoon off, promising to read through Jay’s work overnight.
Jay pulled off his necktie as he ran down the seven floors to the lobby. When he stepped outside, he inhaled deeply, relieved to have escaped the stuffy confines of the office. He was still so pumped that he considered heading back to the gym, but decided instead to go to his car and slip on his workout clothes for a quick jog in the nearby park. It was a cool day, but Jay found the brisk air invigorating as he chugged around the running path. He wasn’t setting any records—l he barely outpaced an elderly woman out for a stroll with her walker—l but, for the first time in memory, he was honestly psyched to be exercising.
He rewarded himself for his productive day by swinging into a sports bar, still sweaty in his black tank top and gray sweat pants, and filling up on Buffalo wings and a pitcher of beer. When he was done, he headed back to his apartment with the intention of catching up on the Downton Abbey episodes that were piling up on his DVR, but once he sat down on his sofa, his energy level plummeted. He was dozing in a matter of minutes, not waking until he heard his alarm sounding in the bedroom at 5:30 the following morning.
Jay felt miserable, an unholy union of utter exhaustion and the worst hangover of his life. He could barely lift himself off the couch, and crawled his way into the bedroom to shut off the buzzing clock. He was tempted to blow off the gym, but he felt the need to complain to Max about how shitty he felt. At least he was still in his workout clothes and didn’t have to expend any effort changing. He stuffed his work clothes into his gym bag and dragged himself out the door.
Max spotted Jay the moment he entered the club, an eager smile plastered on his too-perky-for-six-a.m. face. When he noticed Jay’s demeanor, Max’s expression shifted abruptly to one of concern. “Dude, are you feeling okay?”
“No, ‘dude’, I’m not,” Jay said, his voice prickly. “You should have warned me that I’d crash like this.”
Max cringed. “Ooh, sorry, yeah, I forgot to tell you, the first day does take a lot out of you. But the good news is, the effects are cumulative. The more the boost builds up in your system, the less extreme the drop-off. But tell me about yesterday? Didn’t it feel amazing?”
Jay couldn’t deny how jazzed he had felt throughout the day. “Yeah, it was awesome, just like you promised, but I don’t think it’s for me. I don’t think it’s good to be walking around on an artificial high.”
“Dude, I told you, this shit’s a hundred percent natural. Here, let me give you another freebie. See if it peps you up through your workout.” Jay began to object, but Max waved a finger his direction. “Uh uh uh, you listen to your old doctor Max here. This is just what you need.” Soon, he had whipped up a frothy Orange Delite and was handing it to Jay, who felt it would be impolite to refuse.
The moment he took a sip, he felt foolish for hesitating. The cloud of fatigue that had been wearing him down lifted almost immediately. Jay gave Max a thumbs-up, and Max shot back a “told you so” grin. Jay dumped his gym bag in the locker room and polished off the smoothie before heading to the treadmill, where he managed a full thirty-minute sprint without getting winded. He then made his way to the weight machines and found himself easily lifting weights that were overtaxing him the week before. They were still comparatively miniscule, and he felt embarrassed each time he stepped into rotation with some top-heavy lifter and had to reduce the stack by a full hundred pounds before he did his set, but by his own standards, he had made a remarkable improvement. He could honestly feel his muscles growing tight, and between sets, he focused his attention on the guys around him, studying their movements for tips on improving his form.
Jay was so wrapped up in his workout that he didn’t even notice the time until he glanced at a clock that read 7:45. He couldn’t believe he had been exercising for close to two hours. Although he normally would have become frantic at the realization that he was now unavoidably late for work, Jay felt remarkably unperturbed. There was nothing he could do about it, he told himself, so why stress out over something he couldn’t change? Instead, he took a luxurious shower, dressed himself slowly, and stopped by the smoothie bar on his way to the exit.
“I think I’ll try the Choco-Mocha Loco,” he declared to Max. “With a boost.”
Max looked at him skeptically. “Another boost? On top of the one you already had.”
“I feel like I burnt off a lot of that in my workout. I wanna keep this feeling going.”
“Oh-kay. You’re the boss.” Max set about gathering the ingredients.
“But no more freebies, okay? I insist on paying for this one. So, how much will it be?”
“Large smoothie is $7.99. Boost is another ten. So, $17.99.”
Jay gulped, surprised to discover that he was about to pay eighteen bucks for a friggin’ milkshake. Then again, ten dollars seemed like a bargain for the feeling the boost gave him. He gladly forked over a twenty, putting the change into Max’s tip jar. Max smiled appreciatively and handed Jay his drink.
With a second scoop of the powerful substance surging through his veins, Jay felt ecstatic. He took the stairs again, bursting with so much energy that he overshot the seventh floor by five flights before he realized his mistake. He strode into the office with absolute confidence, and rather than ducking the wrath of his boss, he walked straight into Henry’s office and said, “Sorry for being late.”
“What?”, said Henry, glancing up from his schmeared onion bagel, spitting particles of cream cheese onto his desk. “Oh, no problem. Listen, Jay, hell of a job on that summary. Really impressive.”
“Thank you, Henry,” responded Jay with an uncharacteristically cocky grin.
“I’m glad to see you showing some initiative.” Henry studied his employee curiously. “What’s different about you? You lose weight or something?”
Jay barked a laugh. “With MY body? I sure hope not. But I have been working out every morning.”
“Oh. That must be it,” Henry said with a nod. “The wife keeps telling me I should get in shape, but…” Henry shrugged and slapped his palm across his expansive belly. The resulting concussion echoed around the room. “Maybe you’ll have to let me in on your secret.”
Jay just smiled and went to his cubicle, eager to dive into work. But unlike the previous day, Jay found it hard to stay focused on his tasks, as his thoughts kept drifting back to how good that morning’s workout had felt. He squirmed in his chair, the words on his computer screen blurring into gobbledygook. His palms grew clammy, and drops of sweat beaded up on his forehead. He popped his top shirt button and loosened his necktie, feeling straitjacketed in his Oxford shirt and Dockers. He slogged through his assignments the best he could, but he found himself longing to get back outside. Maybe he could go for another run at lunchtime.
He ducked out for lunch twenty minutes early, changed clothes in the car and hit the running path, vowing to take it easy but soon finding himself taking long strides and whizzing past other joggers. He wondered why he hadn’t taken up running when he was in high school, as he was finding the adrenalin rush addictive. He loved the feel of his hair blowing in the breeze, the cool air rushing past his skin, the envious glares of the slowpokes he was passing.
When he returned to his cubicle, munching on a power bar from the vending machines, he was drenched in sweat, still wearing his tank and sweats. He had hoped that the run would clear his mind, but he had even more trouble grasping what he was reading than he had in the morning. Besides that, he was distracted whenever he glanced down at his arms, which shone with perspiration and still retained their pump from that morning’s workout. He kept flexing his arms, unable to get enough of the sight of stony biceps rising in rigid semicircles beneath his skin.
He was in the middle of checking himself out when he noticed Henry out of the corner of his eye, hovering at the entrance of the cubicle. “Yeah, Henry, what can I do you for?”
Henry looked uncomfortable as he whispered, “It’s nothing personal. It’s just that…some of the other employees are complaining.”
“What about?”, asked Jay, swiveling back and forth.
Henry leaned closer, but backed off, wincing. “It’s just that you…you kinda stink.”
“Really?” Jay lowered his nose toward his armpit. He definitely detected a musky scent, but he kinda liked it. “Sorry, I went running over lunch.”
“Yeah, about that. I’m all for you getting fit and everything, but this really isn’t proper office attire,” he said, waving his hands toward Jay’s tank, sweats and sneakers.
“Well, I woulda showered if we had the facilities, but…” Jay shrugged his rounder-than-usual shoulders. “I couldn’t exactly put on my office clothes and smell ‘em up.”
“Yeah, I know. Look, don’t worry about it for today, but how about from now on, you restrict your workouts to before and after work?”
Jay wasn’t sure he could endure a whole workday without breaking for exercise, but Henry had always been a decent guy and treated him well, so Jay agreed.
For the rest of the afternoon, Jay continued to struggle with his work. He knew what he was doing was routine, the sort of stuff he could usually breeze through, but his heart just wasn’t in it today. He handled what he could, but his attention drifted further as the day dragged on. When five o’clock hit, he left a few folders in his inbox so he could tackle them in the morning when his mind was fresh.
On his way out, he couldn’t help but notice that Felicia couldn’t keep her eyes off him as he strode through the outer office, his bare arms swinging at his sides. He found himself winking at her, which felt odd. He’d never been a winking kind of guy, but it just felt right all of a sudden. It warmed his heart when she smiled back.
Jay swung by Whole Foods on the way home, stocking up on groceries more appropriate for his new regimen. Once he got home, he whipped up some grilled chicken and settled in at his computer. After glancing at his emails and Facebook, his gaze drifted to the file which held the bookmarks for his favorite porn sites, but he found that nothing was holding his interest for long. Instead, all he could think about was getting back into the gym in the morning. He searched online for tips that would make his workouts more productive and grew envious of the shredded models on all of the fitness sites. He stripped off his tank and stared in the bathroom mirror, disappointed that the modest gains he had seen during the day had all but faded away. He chided himself. “What the fuck did you expect? You work out for one day and suddenly you’re the Rock?” He switched off the computer and flopped into bed before eight o’clock, totally wiped out.
When his hand slammed onto the buzzing alarm clock at 5:30, Jay felt weary but, just as Max promised, not quite as miserable as he had been the morning before. Today, however, he had no hesitations about heading into the gym. There was no way he could get through another day without a little boost. Or two.
“Two?”, Max asked. “You sure you can handle that much?”
“I did two yesterday and I was fine,” Jay told him, writing off his distractedness on the job as part of getting acclimated to his new routine. Jay consciously puffed out his chest so it better filled his crisp white tank, knowing he still had a lot of hard work ahead of him if he ever hoped to get as toned as Max, let alone the more shredded adonises parading around the gym. He was almost giddy as he slid twenty-eight dollars across the counter to cover his Razzleberry Extreme, slipping Max an extra five for a tip. He guzzled his drink so quickly that an ice-cream headache pierced his brain. As he waited for the cold-induced agony to subside, Jay reminded himself, “No pain, no gain.”
Jay didn’t have to wait long for the rush of the boost to kick in, and soon his legs were flying on the treadmill. He pushed himself to forty-five minutes, unsure whether to attribute his euphoria to the boost or to the “runner’s high” he’d heard so much about all these years but was experiencing for the first time. At any rate, he was thoroughly pumped when he finally stepped off the treadmill and, instead of using the weight machines, decided to wander over to the free weights, where the serious bodybuilders congregated.
Jay held his shoulders back as he approached the dumbbells, attempting to hoist a pair of sixties before realizing they were far too heavy for him. He worked his way down the rack, testing each lower weight unsuccessfully until he finally managed to budge the thirty-pounders. As he strained to curl them, he heard a lumbering voice from behind him. “You’re not doin’ it right.”
Jay glanced in the mirror and saw the guy with the blond flat-top looming behind him, his absurdly jacked muscles fully visible in his black mesh tank. Flat-Top waddled closer on his bloated legs and gripped Jay’s upper arms, adjusting their positions. “Try that. And do each rep slower. You’ll feel the burn more.”
“Uh…thanks,” Jay said. He raised his right arm gradually, immediately noticing the difference. He glanced into the mirror and nodded appreciatively. The big guy just smiled back and walked over to a 200-pound barbell, which he hoisted over his head with a scream and a grimace.
Jay became completely engrossed in his workout, his attention focused intently on the effect each exercise was having on its targeted muscle group. Flat-Top would stroll past from time to time to check on him or offer advice on proper form. Two days ago, Jay couldn’t have imagined ever talking to this guy, but now he felt, if not accepted, at least tolerated, despite the vast disparity between their physiques.
On one such pass, Flat-Top leaned close to Jay and murmured conspiratorially into his ear, “So, you on the boost?”
Jay was flustered, nearly letting the weights slip from his hands. How did the guy know? “Uh, yeah, maybe, a little,” he said with an apologetic tone.
“Ain’t it awesome?”, asked Flat-Top, flashing a gap-toothed grin that made the he-man look momentarily like a goofy kid expressing his excitement over a new Christmas toy.
Jay nodded, then turned his attention back to his triceps, pausing mid-curl when he had a sudden realization. Flat-Top must be on the boost too! After all, the first time Jay had noticed Flat-Top, he was getting a smoothie from Max, one that Max had said was too much for Jay to handle. Holy shit, how much of the stuff must it take to get as ripped as Flat-Top? Just the thought that he might eventually grow to such a massive size was enough to stiffen Jay’s cock in his sweats. He was relieved that they were too baggy for his hard-on to be noticeable. He found himself wondering if the boost had the same notorious shrinking effect on your junk as steroids. He was satisfied with the answer he got from glancing in the mirror at Flat-Top’s reflection, as a zucchini-sized lump was clearly outlined by his body-hugging compression shorts. Jay shook his head to get the visual out of his mind, wondering how he had reached the point where he was checking out other guys’ bulges.
Jay thought it could be wishful thinking, but he could swear that his arms were looking heftier. His shoulders looked distinctly round, a marked change from their usual boniness, and that telltale weightlifter’s vein was now faintly visible over the surface of each of his biceps. This only encouraged him to keep pushing himself, moving up to heavier weights with each set. Logically, he ought to be feeling fatigued, but surprisingly his stamina seemed to be growing the longer he worked out.
He was so engrossed in lifting that, before he knew it, it was closing in on ten a.m. How was it possible that he had spent four hours at the gym? He knew he couldn’t simply waltz into the office two hours late without facing repercussions. Plus, he really was not in the mood to spend the rest of his day imprisoned in that cubicle. Jay headed to the locker room and checked his cell phone, which had three missed messages from Henry. He didn’t even bother to listen to the messages before he dialed his boss.
Henry sounded exasperated when he picked up, demanding to know why Jay hadn’t called him back sooner. Jay spoke hoarsely, his voice sounding even deeper than he had planned to make his ruse sound authentic. “I’m sorry, Henry. I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible head cold, so I slammed some NyQuil and I musta shut off my ringer, ‘cause I didn’t hear any of your calls come in. I really don’t think I can make it in today.”
Henry paused before reluctantly saying, “Okay. Take it easy and feel better. But from now on, you leave your phone on. A bunch of us here were worried about you.”
Jay smirked. Yeah, I bet “a bunch of you” were worried. He thought of the way Henry had asked about his weight and had seemed so nervous when Jay was wearing his tank in the office the day before. He wondered if Henry was checking him out. He knew Henry was married and all, but that didn’t mean shit. Jay chuckled. As if he would be interested in some old, out-of-shape guy like Henry when he was surrounded by so many hotter, younger guys at the gym.
Jay hung up, delighted that he now had the whole day ahead of him. He was tempted to go back on the floor and lift some more, but surely four hours was plenty for one day. A nice, long shower sounded tempting, so Jay stripped down, wrapped a towel around his waist and headed toward the shower room. Rounding the corner, he immediately collided with someone.
“Oh, sorry, dude,” said a familiar voice. Jay took a step back and realized it was Max, totally naked. As fit as Max looked fully clothed, it was nothing compared to seeing every facet of his finely-wrought musculature on display. His skin seemed to be shrink-wrapped around every curve of his well-defined muscles, without a trace of a tan line.
Max took a long look at Jay and said, “Whoa, Jay-man, look at you! I guess you COULD handle two scoops!”
As Jay looked down bashfully, he noticed just how pumped he had gotten from his long workout. His whole body seemed to have swollen, and a cleft had developed down the center of his abdomen, branching out to the sides in the beginnings of a six-pack. “Yeah, I guess so,” Jay said, his voice still surprisingly raspy. He felt his erection rising, tenting his towel enough that Max must have noticed it.
“Very impressive,” Max said, placing his palm over Jay’s shoulder and sliding it down until his thumb grazed the slope of his biceps and his fingers wrapped around Jay’s triceps.
Jay’s first instinct was to pull his arm away from this unwanted contact, but for some reason he didn’t mind Max’s touch. He noticed Max’s unencumbered cock growing plump and tilting slightly upwards. Jay’s brain struggled to comprehend the possibility that a seemingly regular dude like Max might be turned on by guys or, even more unbelievably, might be turned on by Jay.
“I gotta go,” said Jay, unconvincingly, his voice cracking as if puberty were reasserting itself a decade late. He tried to step away, but Max maintained a firm grip on his arm.
“Do you? Really?” Max flashed his winning smile and his blue eyes locked in on Jay. “‘Cause I could swear I just heard you calling in sick.” Max’s hand grazed across Jay’s pecs, then down his rudimentary abs until his fingers came to rest along the edge of Jay’s towel.
Jay’s breath grew shallow, while his pulse raced. Goddamn, he realized, Max looked even more handsome at such close proximity. Although Jay was straight, he couldn’t deny the attraction he was feeling for Max at that moment. It occurred to Jay that Max wasn’t just a good-looking guy, he was objectively prettier than any of the women Jay had ever dated. While Jay couldn’t really understand the strange feelings he was experiencing, they were strong and impossible to ignore. He stood frozen in place, unsure what to do next.
Max handled the decision making, taking Jay by the hand and dragging him into the sauna. He shut the door behind them and posted a “closed for maintenance” sign to keep out intruders. The dry heat was making Jay lightheaded. His knees buckled, but Max kept a firm grip on Jay’s hands to keep him from falling down. Max yanked the towel away from Jay’s waist and smiled approvingly at the sight of Jay’s bobbing erection. Although Max couldn’t be sure how well-endowed Jay had been before starting the boost, he hadn’t possessed the swagger and confidence one would normally expect from someone packing such a hefty slab of meat between his legs. Besides, Max had seen the boost’s effects first-hand so many times that he could easily identify its exquisite handiwork.
Jay’s eyes were glazing over as Max leaned close to his ear and whispered, “Don’t be afraid. This is all perfectly natural.”
At the sound of those words, the final shreds of Jay’s resistance melted away and he surrendered to his physical desires. He cupped his hands around Max’s bristly cheeks and planted a succulent kiss on Max’s soft lips. Jay’s cock indicated its approval by tilting toward the ceiling and oozing out a dollop of cum. Max cupped and fondled Jay’s balls as his tongue migrated into Jay’s mouth.
Max guided Jay to one of the wooden benches along the side of the room, gently pushing him downward to a seated position so Jay was at eye level with Max’s rigid cock. Jay began to salivate at the sight of it hovering right in his face. He gazed up, his eyes silently pleading for permission. Max just nodded, and Jay leaned forward, lips open as he slid the other man’s rock-hard dick inside his mouth. Jay had never done this before but, to quote Max, it felt perfectly natural.
Max stroked his hands through Jay’s thick brown hair, clutching its strands and gently sliding Jay’s head back and forth. He had known on first sight that Jay would be an excellent target for the boost. Anyone who radiated that much shyness and insecurity would be much more receptive to the radical changes brought about by the boost. Max knew that the powder’s rapid results had an addictive allure which would quickly leave Jay craving more.
He had also known that the boost’s most notorious side effect would soon permanently alter Jay’s deepest desires, just as it had for so many before him, such as Chuck, the behemoth who Jay thought of as “Flat-Top”. Three weeks ago, Chuck had been even shorter and meeker and more frail than Jay had been. Now Chuck had undergone a total transformation into a ferocious muscle beast who, when he wasn’t pumping iron, spent his days prowling the city, attempting to quench his insatiable desire for dick and discovering that someone as shredded as he had become didn’t need to search for very long to find a willing partner.
And then there was Max himself. Max had been a collegiate swimmer engaged to his high-school girlfriend when he was first exposed to the boost five years ago while seeking a safe, legal substance that would give him an edge in the pool. He quickly succumbed to its allure, exploding with two hundred pounds of solid muscle before plunging off the deep end into a lost weekend of cock-centric debauchery that lasted six months. When he finally bottomed out three years ago, turning tricks and committing petty thefts for the sole purpose of scrounging up the money for his next hit of the red stuff, he was befriended by a dashing young businessman who took Max into his home and nursed him back to health.
His benefactor gradually cut back Max’s intake of the boost to a maintenance level that sustained the trim, nicely-proportioned physique Max now sported and set Max up with a job behind the smoothie counter at a local gym that he owned. Max figured he owed the businessman his life and was willing to do anything for him, even if it meant luring new customers into using the boost, despite what Max knew personally of the consequences of excessive use. Easily half of the club’s clientele had been turned onto the boost by Max, and they owed their hard bodies and ravenous sexual appetites to it. Max had long suspected that his mysterious guardian was also the manufacturer of the boost, since he could get his hands on unlimited quantities any time he wished, but Max felt powerless to say anything. If he didn’t do as he was told, his supply could be cut off immediately and he would once again be back on the streets, doing whatever it took for his next boost.
Jay, of course, knew none of this. He just knew that nothing had ever turned him on as much as feeling Max’s mighty meat against his tongue. Jay wrapped a free hand around his own cock, stroking it furiously, the pre-cum euphoria already more dizzying than any full-blown orgasm he had experienced. He felt something warm and viscous squirt against the roof of his mouth, followed by a larger blast which shot straight down his throat. Jay nearly gagged, but kept sliding Max’s shaft between his lips as it throbbed in rhythm, pumping out so much cum that it began to dribble out the corners of Jay’s mouth and trickle down his chin. Jay’s cock fired off a torrent of jizz which squirted upwards onto Max’s taut abs and dripped downward, sizzling as it hit the sauna’s hot wooden slats.
Jay leaned back his head, spent but satisfied. His smiled blissfully, unaware that the boost was deadening any parts of his brain which didn’t immediately involve what would become his new twin obsessions, working out and fucking guys. By now, Max knew how to spot all the signs of this final stage of the transformation. Tension evaporated from the body, leaving the user feeling completely chill, even in a sauna. This total relaxation relaxed the facial muscles, which not only made the user happier and feel more at ease but inevitably made them look more handsome too. Finally, the eyes intensified in the vibrancy of their color, while the light behind those eyes noticeably dimmed. Max still retained a faint memory of having been smarter once, but he never could recall exactly what kind of information used to clutter up his mind. Whatever it was, he never seemed to miss it. His interests may have narrowed, but the absence of intellectual distractions let him devote his full concentration to his body’s more elemental cravings.
Max looked down at Jay with a kindly grin. “Did you like that?”
Jay tilted his head up, his lovely face beaming dopily. “For sure!”, he replied. His brain felt pleasantly fuzzy, like his skull was filled with cotton candy. Noticing the trail of cum still trickling down Max’s torso, Jay leaned forward and placed his tongue on Max’s salty skin. He gradually rose to his feet, licking up the mixture of his own cum and Max’s sweat as his tongue navigated over the bumps of Max’s abs and the smooth crevasse between his pecs. When he reached his full height, Jay discovered that he was now eye-to-eye with Max and nearly as ripped. There was nothing better than being a big strong guy, thought Jay, aside from fucking a big strong guy.
Max unlocked the sauna door and led Jay into the shower room, so they could clean off. Jay took particular delight in lathering Max’s body and scrubbing him down. Returning to the locker room, Jay sat down beside his locker, struggling to remember his combination. When he finally managed to open it, he pulled out his work clothes, but the sleeves of his shirt were now far too narrow to accommodate his thickly-muscled arm. He managed to insert most of one forearm before the seam split loudly.
“What are you doin’, man?”, Max asked. “Aren’t you gonna work out today?”
Jay puzzled over that, realizing Max was right. What was he thinking, coming to the gym and then forgetting to work out? Man, he sure was feeling dumb lately. He wriggled free from his ruined dress shirt and began to pull a white tank top over his head, but even that was too constraining for his broad chest.
“Looks like you need some new clothes, my friend. Tell you what, I’ll take you shopping after we’re done working out.” It just so happened that one of Max’s benefactors’ business was a big-and-tall menswear store, and Max had brought them dozens of loyal customers over the years. He tossed Jay an XXL shirt and roomy basketball shorts. “Here, you can wear these for now.”
Before working out, Jay insisted on getting a double-boost smoothie, indicating no memory that he had already had two boosts that morning. Jay ducked behind the counter at the juice bar and whipped up a Pina Cool-ada, handing the cup across the counter and saying to Jay, “That’ll be fifty bucks.”
That seemed kinda pricey to Jay, but he couldn’t honestly remember what he had paid before. All he knew was he desperately needed that boost in order to achieve the results he desired. He didn’t have enough cash, so he put it on his debit card. As Max knew better than most, once you were hooked on the boost and chasing that rush, no price was too high. The key, his mentor had taught him, was to charge the maximum amount possible without drawing undue attention to your actions. There was a reason the boost wasn’t officially on the menu board and was never rung up on the register.
Jay slammed down the drink in a single gulp, then roared, “Let’s fuckin’ do this, bro.” He gave Max a fist bump, then he marched purposefully toward the free weights. Max followed behind, admiring the way Jay’s new muscles rebalanced themselves in an intricate dance with each stride and the way his prominent glutes bounced inside his shorts.
Jay and Flat-Top alternated sets, egging on each other to ever-increasing weights. Flat-Top was already impossibly shredded, and Jay seemed determined to catch up to him as fast as possible. Max hung back, sporadically doing a few light curls to keep himself toned but not overdoing it, knowing that moderation was the key to preventing him from relapsing. He was happy with his physique, although he could still appreciate the sight of others pushing themselves to the max.
When Jay went into work the next morning, he brought with him a box full of free smoothies, compliments of the gym. He wore a white polo shirt which snugly hugged the contours of his torso and cargo shorts which showed off the sinewy bulges of his calves, eliciting stares of wonder and gasps of disbelief from his co-workers. They wouldn’t be his co-workers for long, as Jay already planned to submit his resignation. He no longer had any interest in his job and, although he didn’t realize it, had lost the intellectual capacity to do it effectively any more. No, he planned to spend his days at the gym from now on, hanging out with his new buddies and perfecting his bod. The other guys at the gym had been very cool and welcoming to him, even though he still had lots of work to do before he was quite in their league.
Jay wasn’t worried about no longer having a salary, because Max had said he would cover Jay’s expenses, including the hundred dollars he owed for every boosted smoothie he drank. All Jay had to do in return was recruit new members into the gym and sing the praises of the boost. That shouldn’t be a problem for someone as uninhibited and outgoing as Jay, who rarely talked about anything other than the gym. He was literally a walking, talking billboard for the results that could be achieved there, with a brand new tattoo of the gym’s name arching across his traps.
Jay walked into Henry’s office and placed a large smoothie in the middle of his desk. “You wanted to know my secret? There it is!”
Henry looked at the drink, then up at Jay, who had somehow grown phenomenally during his “sick day”. The face was still recognizable, although somehow more handsome, perched atop his thickened neck and broad bodybuilder’s physique. Henry’s jaw hung slack, speechless.
“Go ahead,” Jay’s voice boomed as he gestured toward the drink. “Trust me, you’ll love it.” Noticing Henry’s hesitation, Jay said, “Don’t worry, man. It’s totally natural.”
Henry found it impossible to defy the commanding figure hovering on the other side of his desk. He took a cautious sip. It was definitely tasty. And it had an indefinable zing that sent a charge through his body the second it hit his tongue. He was impressed. “Mmm. I think I could get hooked on this.”
Jay grinned. That was exactly what he wanted to hear. He could already envision Henry’s gut melting away, his double chin vanishing, his wrinkles fading, his comb-over filling in… Why, give Henry enough boost and he could be downright fuckable.
Francine sidled up beside Jay, gently pressing her hand against his upper arm. “Think I could get one of those, Jay?”, she asked with a slight purr in her voice.
“Sorry,” Jay said, looking down with mock regret. “I only brought enough for the guys.”
Jay escorted his former boss Henry into the health club like a proud tour guide showing a foreign dignitary around the White House. Henry was awestruck—l not by the building, which was a bit run-down and grungy, at least compared to the slick and sanitary big-name chain gym his wife had bought him a membership to a few years ago (and which he visited a handful of times before deciding he was a lost cause). No, what caught Henry’s eye was the clientele. He was practically getting whiplash noticing all of the stunningly well-muscled guys circulating around him. The place was hard-body heaven.
Henry only had a single boosted smoothie the day before, a freebie that Jay had given him at the office, and his response was essentially the same as Jay’s after his first one. Henry had become incredibly energetic and productive on the job, his instincts keener and reflexes sharper than he had ever experienced. Even colors and sounds seemed more vivid than usual. This was followed by a wave of overwhelming fatigue that set in with a vengeance around suppertime. All afternoon, the rejuvenated Henry had hoped to surprise his wife Diane with an uncharacteristically vigorous night in the sack, powered by his sudden surge of virility, but he was already snoring on the sofa before Vanna lit up a single letter on “Wheel Of Fortune”. Diane dutifully dragged her near-comatose hubby into the bedroom and hooked him up to his sleep apnea machine, where he remained deep in slumber until dawn.
So much for romance.
When he awoke in the morning and stumbled bleary-eyed into the bathroom, seeing his reflection in the mirror was a crushing reality check. He may have felt like a dynamo the day before, but staring back at him in the mirror was his familiar 46-year-old self, with sagging jowls, an ample gut, and graying strands stretching desperately from one ear to the other in a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to create the illusion of a full head of hair. He may have felt like a million dollars yesterday, but this morning his body would be lucky to fetch twenty bucks on Craigslist. And that would only be for the chemicals.
Henry’s brain was about as functional as a six-pound wad of bubble gum, so when he first heard the doorbell, he had no clue who could possibly be paying him a visit at six a.m. In his bathrobe and slippers, Henry shuffled to the front door, where his former employee Jay stood in a blue tank top and ripped jeans, jacked arms arcing outward like steroid-fueled parentheses at his sides, bountiful bangs descending across his forehead.
“Ready to get pumped?”, Jay asked enthusiastically, reminding Henry that he had agreed to come to Jay’s gym for a complimentary workout. Henry attempted to weasel out, claiming extreme exhaustion, but Jay insisted that Henry’s attitude would change once he actually got there. What finally changed Henry’s mind was the promise of another smoothie like the one he had so enjoyed yesterday. He hastily tossed a plain white t-shirt, sweatpants and his grass-stained lawn-mowing sneakers into a paper bag, kissed his dozing wife on the cheek, and followed Jay’s car to the health club.
Entering the club, Henry figured he must be the oldest man in the place by a wide margin. He knew he was twenty years older than young Jay, and Jay had grown even more youthful-looking since he had started coming here. Henry had been amazed by how swiftly Jay had transformed, with the meek and anemic non-entity from the office exploding practically overnight into the strapping, confident stud now preening beside him. He didn’t expect those kind of results, but if there was even a chance that this place could help Henry lose a few pounds or look a smidgen younger, he wanted in on the secret.
Jay led his new recruit to the juice bar, where Henry saw the dazzlingly rugged Max standing at his post, dipping as he leaned back against a shelf, sneaking in a few reps as he worked to keep his triceps in top condition. Jay was sure that Max would be pleased that his first recruit was such a potential gold mine. Thanks to an errant accounting document that was left in a copy machine and promptly circulated throughout the office, Jay knew Henry’s exact income down to the penny. Given Henry’s pedestrian wardrobe, ten-year-old compact car, and modest suburban home, Jay knew Henry must have socked most of that salary away in savings. Now that Henry’s first taste of the boost had lit the flames of a desire to become hunkier, he could afford to pay handsomely to achieve handsomeness.
Although Max had been excited when Jay texted him that he had “reeled in a big fish”, Max was less enthusiastic now that he saw Henry in the sagging flesh. He wasn’t a lost cause by any means. If you looked past the wear-and-tear of parenting and a half-century of a sedentary desk job, there were still traces which suggested that Henry was probably a decent-looking guy in his youth. But at middle age, Henry was, to put it charitably, a fixer-upper. Sort of like New Orleans, post-Katrina. For this kind of heavy lifting, Max knew that even the boost would need a boost.
“Henry, this is my main man Max,” Jay boomed proudly, gesturing toward the man who manned the blenders. “Just tell him what flavor you want and he’ll mix you up another one of those incredible smoothies.”
Henry would definitely need something to perk him up if he was actually going to exercise at this godforsaken hour. He surveyed his options on the blackboard behind Max’s head with the worried gaze of someone scanning the menu for something suitably bland and recognizable on their first visit to a Botswanan restaurant. “Is the Peach Perfection any good?”
“What part of ‘Perfection’ don’t you understand?”, asked Max with a charming grin that put Henry at ease. Henry watched as the master tossed together a combination of peaches, frozen yogurt, skim milk, and a scoop of some kind of red powder. He excused himself to the back room and returned carrying a fistful of what looked a bit like cranberries, only they were a deep, inky black.
“What are those?”, asked Henry warily.
Max just shrugged impishly and winked. “Mystery ingredient.” With the press of a button, the berries were obliterated into tiny bits swirling through the frothy liquid. After thirty seconds, Max poured the results into a cup and handed it to Henry, who took a cautious sip. He definitely recognized the enticing tingle he had experienced from the previous day’s sample, but also detected something extra, something intoxicating that seemed to go straight to his head. The mystery ingredient, no doubt, as he’d never gotten that kind of ecstatic rush from a peach before. Henry nodded his approval and pulled out his wallet. “Delicious! How much do I owe you?”
“That’ll be ten dollars today.” Henry had no idea that the key word in that sentence was “today”. Max’s rates for his smoothies were notorious fluid, varying from customer to customer, but he knew to start out low with a newcomer. As their need for the stuff grew more urgent, prices had a curious tendency to skyrocket. Henry didn’t flinch at the price, although his tightfisted nature showed itself with the twenty-five cent piece he dropped in Max’s tip jar. Max just smiled politely and said, “Thank you,” knowing that Henry would soon be coughing up the Benjamins once his craving for the boost became sufficiently desperate. Jay ordered a double-boosted Banana-Rama Ding-Dong, which Max happily put on Jay’s account.
Henry was relieved that the locker room was empty as he changed into his workout clothes. He tugged at the hem of his extra-large t-shirt, embarrassed that it failed to cover the entirety of his gut, and he hastily wiggled his pale, pudgy legs into his sweatpants. In his peripheral vision, he noticed Jay pulling on a newly-purchased, form-fitting sleeveless tee which left no question about how toned every inch of his upper body had become. Stripping off his jeans, Jay revealed a surprisingly hefty cock, flopping freely in the absence of underwear. He shimmied a pair of compression shorts over his thickly muscled thighs and stuffed his dong inside. Studying himself admiringly in the mirror, Jay twisted his body in an amateur’s approximation of warm-up stretches. “Ready, Henry?”, he asked with a sparkle in his eyes.
Until this recent metamorphosis, Henry had always assumed that Jay was straight, but the young man was now sending off a barrage of signals that even the ordinarily gay-blind Henry could detect. Diane frequently teased Henry about his adorably naive shock whenever some “OB-viously” gay movie star would come out of the closet. Henry always figured he just wasn’t hip enough to pick up the signs. Besides, as an overweight middle-aged office manager, he didn’t figure he was in much danger of finding himself on the receiving end of unwanted advances from Doogie Howser any time soon.
Henry and Jay began their workouts on side-by-side treadmills. “Just start off slow and find your pace. Don’t worry about keeping up with me,” Jay advised, the voice of several days’ experience.
“Not much chance of that,” Henry chuckled with self-deprecation as he struggled to figure out the control panel. He hadn’t seriously jogged since sometime in college, so he was anticipating nothing more than a leisurely stroll, but as he gradually picked up speed, so did the boost surging in his veins. As his feet thudded on the conveyor belt, his belly and man-boobs jiggled like cranberry sauce with each step. He watched enviously as Jay’s long legs whipped back and forth, his blindingly-white Nikes making only brief contact with the treadmill during each stride. Henry focused his energies and chugged onward, mentally setting himself the seemingly impossible goal of someday being able to keep up with the kid.
After a blistering thirty-minute dash during which he had become lost in the techno music flowing through his earbuds, Jay cooled down to a trot. He had glanced over periodically to check on Henry’s progress, impressed that the old guy had stuck it out so long. Grimacing with determination, Henry was still lumbering along, his cheap t-shirt clinging to his skin, rendered nearly transparent by the sweat pumping from his pores. “Great job, Henry! You’ve definitely earned a shower.”
Henry panted and shook his head, splattering the treadmill console with a cloudburst of perspiration. “I’m gonna…keep going…some more,” he blurted out between gasps for air.
“You done plenty, man. You don’t hafta prove anything to me,” Jay said reassuringly.
“It’s…not…for…you,” Henry panted, pointing his thumb toward his chest.
Jay was impressed by Henry’s commitment, and even more awestruck by the powerful properties of the boost that could be giving Henry such endurance. He strolled over to the juice bar to inform Max of Henry’s stick-to-it-ive-ness.
“Not surprised,” Max said softly. “He’s got a lot of youthful energy to keep him going.”
Jay wasn’t as quick a thinker as he used to be, but he caught Max’s implication. “What, you mean the berries? Why, what do they do?” Max just stared into the distance, with no intention of explaining further. Jay grew pissed. “You mean you got somethin’ good and you’re holdin’ out on me? How come?”
Max muttered so only Jay could hear him. “Because you don’t need it. Your buddy Henry’s got two decades of road miles on him that you don’t. So unless you have a desperate urge to return to your glory days of being a five-year-old, you’ll steer clear of the berries.”
That stern warning was enough to make Jay back off. He was too in love with his body and his life to mess with anything dangerous. Except for more of the boost, of course.
Jay ordered a Strawberry Chia Forever with a single boost, just enough to recharge him up for a session of pumping iron in the free-weight pit. Jay swelled with pride as he watched his protruding veins snake across his buff arms while he did curls. Seeing his massive quads stretch the elasticity of his clinging shorts, he knew that his devotion to leg crunches was paying off. In the dim chronology of his boost-warped mind, he took it for granted that he’d been perfecting his body as a gym rat for years and would have howled with laughter if anyone had informed him that he had been thin as a twig just four days ago. Although not everyone at the gym was on the boost, those who were lived in a strictly A.B. world—l After Boost. It was as if their lives before encountering the miracle powder had never happened or were, at best, a faint memory from long ago, quite literally another life. They had quit their jobs, they had drifted away from family and loved ones, and they defined themselves not by who they had been but by what they had become.
After an hour of heavy lifting alongside his ripped buddy Flat-Top, Jay grew curious about Henry. He couldn’t believe that Henry would have left without at least swinging by to thank Jay. To Jay’s surprise, Henry was still plowing forward on that same treadmill. He even seemed to have gained steam, moving more briskly than before, mopping his abundant sweat with a soaked towel. Jay brought over a fresh towel and a bottled water, which Henry took appreciatively without slowing his pace.
“Jeez, man, take a break. It’s not like you hafta get in shape TODAY!”, Jay said, although that appeared to be exactly what was happening. Henry was still husky but had easily sweated off fifteen pounds, and his eyes burned with determination to keep the process going. He even looked a bit younger, although Jay figured that was just the natural result of dropping some weight. Still, seeing such marked and immediate improvements in Henry bolstered Jay’s enthusiasm for going out and drumming up more customers for the gym.
Jay suggested to Flat-Top that they hit the beach and search for potential new recruits. Flat-Top didn’t need much convincing. When he wasn’t perfecting his physique at the gym, Flat-Top loved nothing more than hitting the sand, catching some rays, strutting his stuff, and ogling some Speedos. Jay urged Henry to take it easy, then headed to the showers with Flat-Top.
When Henry finally did tucker out, he wobbled to the juice bar, smiled victoriously at Max, and promptly passed out, crumpling into a heap on the floor. Max rushed from behind the counter and knelt down to check for a heartbeat, relieved to hear it kathumping along at a healthy rate. He roused Henry back to consciousness and gave him some water to sip. Max chided Henry for overexerting himself, even though Max knew full well that Henry would have been nearly powerless to resist the boost-and-berry-driven imperative to push himself further.
Once he felt rejuvenated and rehydrated, Henry shuffled to the locker room and slowly peeled away his sopping t-shirt, revealing the magnitude of what his mini-marathon had accomplished. His gut had receded to more of a paunch, and his arms had lost some of their gelatinous qualities. He was a long way from being beefcake, but if this was what he could expect from a single workout, tomorrow could not arrive soon enough. He wished Jay still worked for him so he could give him a promotion just for introducing him to this place. He’d have to find some other way to show his appreciation.
It was mid-morning, and Henry could not face the prospect of a boring day trapped at the office. He called in sick for the first time in years, liberated by a sudden sense of freedom. He headed home and busied himself with all of the repair jobs his wife had been urging to take care of for months or, in some cases, years. After a productive afternoon during which his energy remained sky high, Henry luxuriated in a long hot shower, invigorated by the droplets pelting his skin. His cock chubbed up as he lathered himself thoroughly, but he didn’t want to squander a good erection. It would only be fair to save himself for Diane. He pulled on his favorite Hawaiian shirt, amazed by how loosely it hung on his frame, and was able to squeeze into a pair of Dockers he had outgrown three years earlier.
Diane immediately knew something was strange when she pulled into the driveway and saw Henry’s car, as he had not arrived home from work before her in at least a decade. As she entered, she was greeted by unexpected aromas from the kitchen, where Henry was busy preparing spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread, one of the few meals he had ever learned to cook on his own. She stood in the doorway, silent and wide-eyed, as her husband bounded excitedly around the room, boisterously singing “That’s Amore”, humming to fill in the gaps for the lyrics he couldn’t remember (which was pretty much everything other than “That’s Amore”).
Finally noticing his wife’s arrival, Henry dashed across the room to plant a tomato-and-basil-flavored kiss on her lips. “Hello, honey,” he sang in place of “That’s Amore”, and danced back to the stove to resume stirring the sauce.
Diane was so stunned by his uncharacteristic exuberance that his weight loss didn’t even register. She just knew something was different. “What has gotten into you, Henry?”, she asked, but Henry just smiled and kept on sing-humming. She walked over to help him, but he poured her a glass of Chianti and demanded that she take a load off and relax while he finished fixing dinner.
During a leisurely meal, Diane told anecdotes of her taxing day and Henry vaguely described his, telling her little more than that he felt “marvelous” and “like a kid again”. The more she looked at him across the table, she could swear it looked like he had lost weight, but she had been on enough diets over the years to know it was impossible to drop more than a handful of pounds of water weight in a day. She figured his fresh appearance must just a pleasant byproduct of his unaccountably chipper attitude. Whatever had caused this boost in Henry’s mood, she wasn’t about to complain.
Uncorking a second bottle, Henry insisted that they leave the dirty dishes until the morning and maneuvered Diane to the sofa for some heavy petting. He was friskier than he had been the night before, and had no concerns about his energy plummeting, but as he nuzzled his wife’s neck, something felt off. Much as he wanted to please Diane, his dick was staying soft. On top of that, unfamiliar thoughts began to assault Henry’s mind. Images flashed and then vanished, at first so brief that he couldn’t identify them, but they were distracting enough that Diane could sense his concentration waning.
“What’s the matter, honey?”, she asked.
“Nothing,” Henry assured her, although he was not so certain. As he held Diane’s face in his hands and closed his eyes to kiss her, a single image finally gelled in Henry’s mind.
It was Jay in all of his newly-buffed splendor. Standing completely naked in the locker room. With an eight-inch erection. Pointing straight in Henry’s direction.
Henry was shaken by this vision.
He was even more unnerved by the realization that his penis, flaccid until that moment, had sprung to life, stiffening inside his boxers.
“Oh, Henry!”, Diane gasped as she felt his hardness press against her thigh.
Early on, Max had insisted on being up front with his customers about the radical changes that the boost would impose on their brain and their hormones. It was never an issue with his gay clients, as the boost only intensified their pre-existing preferences and markedly heightened their erotic pleasure, but he had felt morally obliged to alert straight men that the boost would permanently reconfigure their sexual orientation. Max’s boss had frowned upon this level of honesty, not wanting to cut off potentially lucrative sources of revenue.
In the end, Max had realized that giving the warning was ultimately pointless. Even those who strenuously objected and put up some kind of struggle against their newfound desires would inevitably surrender, their overwhelming craving for the benefits of the boost proving far more powerful than even the most virulent homophobia. Max himself had been something of a bullying asshole toward two teammates on his college swim team whom he had learned were gay, although his attitude evolved quickly once they began to supply him with the red powder that they promised would do wonders for his performance. Now, all these years later, Max had only the faintest of memories of having once been attracted to women, while the teammates who had been the targets of his abuse were now two of his oldest and dearest friends.
Max had no idea why the boost made its straight users gay and its gay users gayer, although he suspected the surge in testosterone that it caused was at least somewhat responsible. He did know that the triggering event for the irrevocable transition was invariably the same: one’s first post-boost orgasm.
Henry’s mind mounted some resistance as his brain was flooded with more thoughts of Jay and Max and the other shredded specimens who had surrounded him at the gym, his visions fragmenting into isolated close-ups of straining biceps and striated quads and ripe ass-cheeks and upward-arching cocks. There was still a tangible allure to Diane’s warm body pressed against his, still a nostalgic familiarity to the scent of White Diamonds perfume on her skin, and he knew he was still intellectually in love with this woman with whom he had shared the past quarter-century, but these intrusive thoughts had become too persistent—l and too arousing—l to ignore. Once he stopped fighting them, he ejaculated immediately, pumping dollop after dollop of thick, warm cream into his undershorts. The energy swiftly ebbed from Henry’s body and he collapsed on top of Diane, the events of the day finally taking their toll.
Diane squirmed out from under her bulky husband, sighing with disappointment at the speed with which their romantic evening had come to an end, although it was far from unprecedented.
As Henry began to snore, Diane adjusted him on the couch so he would be more comfortable, tucking a comforter around him and bringing out his sleep apnea machine. The spark may have left their relationship long ago, but she still doted on the big lug.
Meanwhile, as Henry slept, the boost set about reordering his priorities.
Jay had no idea how much alcohol he had consumed the night before. His improved metabolism meant that a great quantity of booze was required to achieve even a slight buzz, so he must have downed a couple bottles of tequila to end up as blotto as he had become. Dim memories of dim nightclubs filtered through his head. He could recall flashes of colored light and the cool sensation of dry-ice fog against his shirtless torso. He remembered feasting his eyes on a buffet of delectable dudes, and being the object of innumerable devouring stares and roaming hands. The two twinks who had accompanied them back to Flat-Top’s place came back to him as little more than nimble blond and ginger blurs, but he knew the four of them had stayed busy most of the night as Flat-Top taught Jay the joys of versatility. Jay had awoken this morning wracked with unfamiliar aches, feeling as if every orifice had been stretched beyond its intended limits.
Since he had started on the boost, Jay had never waited as late as ten o’clock to get his morning jolt, and its absence in his body was killing him. His colossal hangover was merely miserable icing on the agony cake. His energy had dwindled precipitously, his impressive bulk had softened noticeably, and his extremities were riddled with the pinprick sensations that preceded numbness. Desperate for his fix, Jay staggered the final twenty feet toward the juice bar before flopping onto the counter, spread-eagled as he begged Max, “Blueberry Bonanza. And make it a triple.”
Max felt a twinge of guilt as he saw Jay so strung out, but he also knew there was only one remedy that would satisfy him. Max chastised Jay, “As happy as I am to see you shed your inhibitions, we do have health codes around here.” He shooed Jay off the counter and whipped up the drink in record time. Jay guzzled it down greedily, purple trickles leaking from the corners of his mouth and down his chin.
Jay’s spirits revived, he filled in Max on the previous day’s recruiting successes, but he found his attention drifting toward the gym floor, where a dark-eyed young stud in a black tank top and knee-length black shorts was scoping out his surroundings. He had thickly muscled arms and a broad chest, but slimmed down to an enviably narrow waist and the lean, perfectly toned legs of a disciplined runner. His jaw and cheekbones were precision sculpted, and a wild, undisciplined thatch of chocolate-brown hair jutted over his forehead before curling back like a breaking wave off Malibu. Jay figured he had to be a newbie, because there was no way this guy could have escaped Jay’s notice. Even before the boost had altered his predilections, Jay would have fixated on this guy out of pure envy.
To Jay’s amazement, the kid’s face lit up the moment he spotted Jay. As he sauntered coolly toward the juice bar, all of the sexual confidence Jay had gained from the previous night’s conquests faded into anxiety as he fretted over what he could possibly say to this adonis.
“Jaaaaaay!”, shouted the young man, beaming as he rushed over. He wrapped his python arms tight around Jay and easily hoisted the considerably heavier man off his feet. Jay shot a baffled glance at Max, who was stifling a chuckle.
“I don’t blame you, boy,” crowed the young man. “I don’t recognize me either!”
The voice was instantly recognizable, but bubbling with an unfamiliar zest for life. The tan Jay had gained from his day at the beach blanched instantaneously as his brain grappled with the realization that the lanky hunk squeezing the breath out of him had emerged from the great white whale that was Henry.
Even after witnessing Henry’s treadmill endurance test, Jay could never have imagined that Henry’s lump of coal could have been refined into such a diamond. Could such immaculate bone structure really have been lurking beneath Henry’s jowls and wrinkles all along? How had the sparse shrubbery on Henry’s head sprouted so spectacularly overnight? Jay’s own boosted body seemed like a minor overhaul when compared to how Henry had been super-remodeled into a supermodel.
Henry lowered Jay back down to the floor, then spun around so Jay could get a complete look at his wide v-shaped back, his buoyant butt, his firm, wrinkle-free skin. “Can you believe this shit?”, he asked, yanking on his unwieldy mop of hair, giggling with delight when it remained attached to his scalp. “I feel like a kid again, but I never looked half this good when I was young. Isn’t it a-fucking-mazing?”
Words were eluding Jay. All that emerged from his mouth was one long “Uhhhhhh…”, but it still managed to convey his approval.
As Henry slept, his body had undergone extensive renovations. When he awoke to this phenomenal discovery, he made his way quietly out of the house, careful not to wake Diane, and drove directly to the gym. Max prepared him a smoothie with a double boost and two handfuls of berries, for the reasonable price of thirty dollars, which Henry paid without blinking an eye. Once the smoothie got into his system and he began to exercise, Henry’s improvements had only become more and more refined. “I’ve been here since five a.m., and every time I check myself the mirror, I look better. It’s like watching Michelangelo carving David out of an ugly chunk of marble. Only I was the ugly chunk of marble. And now, I’m David!”
Jay’s head was swimming, only in part because he no longer knew who Michelangelo was.
“Hey, what do you think about David?”, Henry asked excitedly, conducting a quick poll of Jay and Max.
“Think about him for what?”, Jay asked.
“For a name. For me. I sure as shit don’t feel like a Henry any more, and I sure as fuck don’t look like one.”
“I dunno,” Max chimed in. “You ever seen that Henry Cavill?” Max wolf-whistled and his eyebrows leapt.
“Naaah, Henry’s an old man name,” Henry insisted with a dismissive wave of his hands. “I feel like a David now.”
Jay was still grappling with the whole situation. “So you’re just gonna go into work looking like this, and tell ‘em to start calling you David?”
Henry burst out laughing, the picture of youthful rebellion. “Fuck that. I’m not going back to that shithole. If I spent one more second cooped up behind that desk, I think I’d fucking die. No, man, I’m following your example. THIS is my life now!” He spread out his arms, his mighty wingspan stretching wide to indicate the whole gym. His eyes gleamed with enthusiasm for his future. “All those years of slaving away, stashing away my money for a rainy day. Well, it’s finally raining, honey, and…” He broke into song, “It’s raining men! Hallelujah!” He spun Jay around in a few sloppily improvised dance moves, effectively disproving the cliche that homosexuality correlates directly with a knack for choreography.
Jay backed away, feeling personally responsible for how radically Henry had changed. “So if you’re not going to work, what ARE you gonna do now?”
“Now? You mean, like right now? Well, I got at least one idea.” With that, he stared seductively into Jay’s eyes.
Jay had never realized that Henry’s eyes were so mesmerizing, so deep and dark, especially at the office where he kept them imprisoned behind glasses that, from all appearances, he no longer needed. Jay felt unable to look away.
Without taking his eyes off Jay, Henry asked, “Hey, Max, can Jay and I use your back room for a bit?”
Max expressed amused annoyance. “You want to have sex behind the juice bar? What is it that you guys don’t grasp about health codes? Go find yourselves someplace more fuck-friendly.”
“Well, we could go get a room somewhere,” David said with a grin. “I just wasn’t sure Jay could wait that long.”
“Huh? What?”, Jay said, suddenly aware that his rigid cock was straining inside his compression shorts, stretching so far down the right leg that the head was in danger of poking its way to freedom.
When he looked back up, Jay’s conflicting emotions over what had happened to Henry were swept away, replaced by a single crystal-clear thought.
“Fuck me, David.”