4 parts Added Feb 2023 7,600 views 4.9 stars (29 votes) 21k words
The flier was nothing special, just a gray piece of paper, battered by the wind, with “WANTED: LIVE-IN CARETAKER” in bold black letters. Even in this small town, everyone had just walked by it without noticing.
To Ash, it was the first sign of salvation he had seen in weeks.
He pulled the flier off of the pole and skimmed the paragraph under the title. There was nothing too concerning, although he wasn’t taking too much of a close look. He needed money, and he was sure he could handle whatever snot-nosed brat or old asshole he had to take care of. It was only when he finished the paragraph that he saw the phone number at the bottom of the page.
It was then that all the feelings he was trying to ignore momentarily came back into focus. His jeans were torn and dirty, with pockets that had no phone. His backpack weighed heavily on his back. His joints ached from weeks of constant travel, not to mention the rhythmic pounding in his head or the nausea in his stomach. Worst of all, the sweat poured off of him because, for some reason, God had decided that he had to be homeless in the Deep South in the middle of summer—
He took a deep breath. He still had salvation. It would just take a little bit of work. He could do this. He looked around for anything that could help until he saw a woman sitting in her car on the other side of the square. She was a very large old woman, wearing a fancy dress and a wide brimmed, flowery hat. Shit, was it Sunday? Didn’t matter, if anyone was going to help him, she seemed like the type.
“Excuse me?” Ash said. His voice was hoarse, as it was the first time he had spoken to someone in days. “I’m really sorry, but I wanna call these people for this job, and I was wondering if you’d let me use your phone?”
The woman’s eyes lit up as she recognized the paper in Ash’s hand. “Oh! You’re lookin’ for the Williams family! Here, I’ll tell you what. How about you jump in here and I’ll take you to their house. They live outside of town, and I’m sure they’ll want to interview you first thing.”
Ash paused for a second, worried that this was a trap. There was no way someone would just let him into their car like that. However, his hand felt the dagger in his back pocket. There was no way she was going to do anything, but if she did? He’d be fine.
“Oh, uh, thanks,” Ash said as he climbed into the passenger’s seat. The car was old, but she kept it clean. Ash felt pretty self-conscious for bringing so much dirt into it. As she drove out of town, Ash pulled down the mirror and checked how he looked. His pitch-black hair was messy after weeks of travel, and the bags around his eyes betrayed how tired he really was. He combed his hair with his hands, trying to look somewhat put together.
It was hopeless. He knew what he looked like, and that was dirty trash. There’s no way someone would hire him, no matter how desperate they were.
“You’re gonna love Wyatt. Such a sweet boy, it’s a real shame what happened to him…” the lady shook her head.
Ash nodded. So it was a kid. Well, hopefully he was a nice kid.
In almost no time, she pulled into a long, dusty driveway as Ash could see their destination: an old house, one that was painted white a long time ago. To the side, there was a smaller house, or was that just a weird trailer? If it was a trailer, it was a pretty well-built one. Ash couldn’t make sense of it. However, he could see that someone was standing out on the porch.
“I know you’re gonna do great. If you need a ride back to town, just have Mary call me.” The church lady came to a stop right outside the porch.
Ash got out of the car, only to hear a “good luck!” as he walked up to the porch. He turned around to see Lily give him a knowing wink at him, something he didn’t really understand. The woman standing on the porch, presumably Mary, had a polite smile, but there was a tiredness in her eyes. Ash could almost call them haunted.
“Hello, I’m here about the job offer,” Ash said.
“You must be the boy Lily was callin’ about,” Mary said. Her voice was warm, with the exact tone of a Southern belle. “What’s your name?”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Ash. If you come inside, we can ask you some questions. Nothing too big, just wanna make sure you’re right for the job.”
Ash just gave a silent nod as she led him inside. She led him to the kitchen where her husband was sitting down, his arms crossed. She sat down right next to him, and Ash sat opposite of the pair.
During the interview, Ash found their questions incredibly easy, so he focused on learning as much as he could about the family. First thing he noticed was that Mary’s husband seemed awfully mean. His mouth was in an almost permanent scowl, and while his trucker hat hid his eyes, the glimpses Ash saw seemed pretty hateful.
The other thing he noticed was that they actually had some money. It wasn’t obvious at first. A lot of their house seemed worn down, but the TV was new, and the trucks outside seemed really nice. They probably weren’t millionaires or anything, but they had some decent jobs.
“Well, I just have one more question,” the man, who had introduced himself as Richard, said. “How soon can you start?”
“As soon as y’all need me.” Ash shrugged. He didn’t want to seem too desperate, but the sooner he could find a place to stay and get a paycheck, the better.
In response, Richard stood up and offered his hand. Ash immediately stood up and shook his hand. His grip was strong. Ash could tell he was no stranger to hard work.
“You’re hired. You should go introduce yourself to Wyatt out in the guest house. You two’ll be spendin’ a lot of time together,” Richard said, as he nodded towards the door. Ash thanked the two before heading out the door and towards the “guest house”.
As Ash approached, he realized that he was correct in his first assumption: It was some sort of modified trailer, redone and added onto until it was a small house. It was a weird way of making another house, but Ash still went up to the front door and knocked. He heard a TV turn off, along with some shuffling and noise until the door finally opened.
What stared back at him was not the child he was expecting, but a man his age. Well, Ash guessed that they were about the same age, but he looked to be doing much worse. His T-shirt was just draped over his body, entirely too loose. Looking down, his forearms and legs confirmed it, with pale skin stretched over bones and not much else. Looking at his face, his sunken cheeks told the same story, but there was more here. His hair was brown, just like his parents’, but his was shaved, leaving it very close to his head. However, his most striking features were his eyes. They were hazel in color, and a perfect mix of his parents’ eyes: As angry as his father’s and as haunted as his mother’s.
“Uh, hi, you must be Wyatt,” Ash said.
Wyatt looked him up and down, and Ash could see in the set of his jaw that he was pretty pissed. It only served to make Ash feel even more awkward. Out of all the options for how this would go, he never expected to be dealing with a handsome guy who didn’t seem to like him.
“They actually found a fuckin’ babysitter?” Wyatt said, his voice thick with the southern accent Ash had heard so much in the past few weeks. Wyatt’s voice was deep too, completely unlike the sounds someone would expect from his body.
Ash just nodded in response to the question, which caused Wyatt to sigh loudly and trudge back into the house. He motioned for Ash to come inside.
Ash was hit with a blast of cold air as he walked into Wyatt’s house, breathing a sigh of relief as he finally felt cool for the first time in weeks. Looking around the house was surprisingly normal. The kitchen and living room were one big room with a hallway to the side that Ash guessed had any bedrooms or bathrooms.
“You can put your stuff in the empty bedroom on the right,” Wyatt said, before he sat down on the couch in the living room and turned the TV back on. Ash could tell he was breathing pretty heavily.
“Cool. Is there anything you need me to help with?” Ash said. It’s not like he had much to unpack.
“Listen, I don’t know what they told you, but your only fuckin’ job is to call the funeral home after I’ve kicked the bucket, and scrape me off of whatever surface I finally die on. I don’t need anything else from you,” Wyatt said.
Ash stood there, frozen mostly from awkwardness. How was he even supposed to respond to that? It was then that his stomach rumbled, sending a sharp pain through his body. He needed food, but he had no money, and there was no way he was going to eat Wyatt’s food after he said that. That left only one thing to do.
“Hey, do you know if there’s a pawn shop around here?” Ash asked.
Wyatt looked back at him, confused. “There’s one two towns over, it’s about a half hour away from here.”
Fuck. That was way too far to walk on an empty stomach. Ash paced, trying to figure out how to get there. Maybe he could borrow a phone, call Lily, and she’d probably be able to take hi—
“Do you not have a car?” Wyatt asked. Ash shook his head, and Wyatt grunted and stood up. “C’mon, you can use my truck, but you’re driving.”
The two walked out to the driveway where a big silver truck was waiting. It was nice, one of those fancy newer ones, and it looked almost untouched. Ash climbed up into the driver’s seat and waited for Wyatt to climb into the passenger seat. It took him a while, but Ash didn’t say a word as he got inside. It was clear that it took him a lot of effort though, as he panted in the passenger’s seat. As Wyatt finally put his seatbelt on, Ash started to drive out of the driveway.
They sat in silence for most of the drive, listening to whatever country song was trying to crawl through the static of the radio, but for one moment Wyatt spoke up.
“How the hell did you get out to the house without a car?” Wyatt asked.
“Some lady drove me. Her name was Lily.”
Wyatt chuckled. “Of course she did. You’re not from around here, are you?”
“Iowa. Middle of nowhere.” Ash gripped the wheel a little tighter. That wasn’t too much information to give away, right? “Now I’m in the middle of nowhere, Alabama.”
“We’re in Mississippi,” Wyatt corrected him. He pointed to a truck driving in the other lane with a Mississippi license plate.
Shit. When did he cross a state line? He tried to remember, but the miles blurred in his head, becoming hours and hours of walking under a too bright sun, breathing in too humid air. Nothing about this place cared whether he’d had enough heat, whether it was Alabama, Mississippi or whatever Deep Southern state he was stuck in.
“Damn, guess I missed the sign,” Ash said.
Wyatt guided Ash, telling what turns to take until he finally reached the pawn shop. The building itself was an old wooden building, painted a bright yellow, which was now peeling. Ash stopped in the gravel parking lot and hopped out of the truck, backpack in tow. Wyatt climbed out of the truck too, pausing right after to take a breather.
“You need any help?” Ash said.
“I’m fine, just give me a minute,’’ Wyatt panted, and after a minute or two, he entered the building in front of Ash.
The inside looked a lot better than the outside, but the room was dark, with no windows around at all. It was only dimly lit by a few lights in the ceiling, and by the lit cases holding jewelry and other items. There was one man at the counters. He was an older man, bald with a graying beard. He seemed to perk up when he saw Wyatt’s face.
“Hey Bill, do you got a chair I could sit in?” Wyatt asked.
“Of course I do,” Bill said, before he went into the back. He reappeared quickly, with a chair in his arms that he set in front of Wyatt. “Who’s your friend here?”
“Oh uh… He needs to sell you something, I don’t know what,” Wyatt said.
At that cue, Ash pulled the last thing he had in his backpack out: a solid gold trophy of a bodybuilder. The statue’s golden muscles bulged with larger than life mass, a testament to everything the sport was. Even if Ash thought the trophy was kind of hot, It made him sick to even look at it.
Bill had a momentary look of surprise, before inspecting it closely. Ash knew it was real, but he hoped that this guy would figure that out. It didn’t take long for Bill to stop inspecting and come up with an offer.
“250 dollars,” Bill said.
“250!? That’s not even worth the gold it’s made out of! This isn’t a fake!” Ash yelled. He lifted up the trophy to show the official seal on the bottom. He couldn’t argue with that.
“Sorry kid, that’s the best I can do for you.”
“This is the Mr. Olympia trophy for Markus Volkov. He’s like the only bodybuilder anyone actually remembers!” Ash’s hands started shaking with rage. He did not steal this thing to just get almost nothing out of it.
“Wait, ain’t that the guy you really like, Bill?” Wyatt interrupted. “You got a whole safe of money just in case some of his memorabilia comes around.”
Now Bill’s poker face dropped, his eyes filling with rage as he stared at Hunter. His hands gripped the counter as if he was trying to crack the glass. Ash also turned to Wyatt in bewilderment.
“Nah, honest, he’s got a whole shrine dedicated to the guy in the back.” Wyatt pointed, and Ash could see a poster in the back room, with Markus Volkov in the back, glistening muscles and all.
Bill’s face was bright red now, either from anger or embarrassment. Ash set his hands on the counter again, confident in his upper hand.
“Listen, my grandfather gave this to me when he died. He was a friend of Markus’s and he cared for it, but I don’t give a fuck about any of this,” Ash said, his voice filled with a cold anger. “If you want someone who actually cares to have this, then you need to put some cash on the table.”
Bill said nothing. He just walked into the back room, and emerged later with a stack of bills which he then slammed down on the counter. Ash didn’t count them, but they looked real enough, and that was a lot more than 250 dollars. Ash didn’t say a word as he grabbed the money and left, he had pushed his luck enough. It was only as Wyatt climbed back into the truck that he said something again.
“How did you know that?” Ash said.
“I worked for him a couple of years back,” Wyatt said. “Nice guy.”
“Huh,” Ash said. He was learning more about Wyatt, bit by bit. “Is it okay if I stop by the grocery store?”
“Sure, I’ll just stay in the truck.”
Ash nodded and drove off. The grocery store trip was quick, just Ash grabbing some staples he hadn’t had in a long time, along with some beef jerky to eat now. The best part was that he found a deal on beer, so he bought a 30 pack for cheap. The drive back was mostly silent too, and it was only until they had parked in the driveway again that Ash spoke, noticing the pond that was a ways behind Wyatt’s house.
“Can you drink?” Ash said.
“Hasn’t killed me yet.”
Ash pointed over to the pond. “You wanna sit out there with me? It looks nice.”
Wyatt stared at the ground, his body hunched over. “I’ve already done a lot today. I don’t know if I can walk over there right now.”
In response, Ash asked one more question: “Do you have a wheelchair?”
The wheelchair wasn’t built to go anywhere that wasn’t paved, so Ash put all his effort in slowly pushing Wyatt towards the pond. He wasn’t heavy; it was only awkward, and it didn’t help that Ash was carrying a case of beer in his hand. Wyatt kept apologizing and cussing out the wheelchair for not moving, but eventually, the two made it to the edge of the pond. Ash sat down at the edge while Wyatt slid out of his wheelchair and did the same. Ash handed Wyatt a beer and cracked open one for himself, chugging the can almost immediately.
“God, that tastes like shit,” Ash said, grabbing another can.
“That’s why you can buy 30 for almost nothing. Hand me another one,” Wyatt said.
The two drank in silence for a while, just watching the sunset through the trees behind the pond. There was still an ungodly heat in the air, mixing with the humidity as it tried to smother Ash. It was working entirely too well, to the point that his headache and stomach trouble returned in full force. Even drinking wasn’t getting his mind off of it, so he thought to try some conversation.
“Thanks for helping me at the pawn shop,” Ash said.
“I didn’t wanna see you get cheated. It ain’t right,” Wyatt said, reaching for another beer. “It sucks you had to sell that trophy from your grandpa, though. You didn’t have to buy your own food, y’know? I have enough to share.”
“It’s fine. I wanted to get rid of the thing anyway. My grandpa isn’t even dead. I just wish he was.” Ash laughed at his own little joke before grabbing another beer. It took a couple more beers for each of them before Ash talked again.
“Stop me if this is too personal, but could you tell me more about your…” The alcohol muddled Ash’s brain, stopping him from finding a nicer word. “Thing?”
Wyatt laughed at Ash’s choice of words before letting out a sigh. “Muscular Dystrophy. Doctors said mine’s a weird case, it’s very aggressive, but it only started when I was 14. Basically, you’re watching a man’s muscles fall apart right in front of you.”
“Shit, that sucks,” Ash replied. “I’m sorry about all this. I know you probably don’t want me around.”
“No, no, you’re fine. It’s not you, it’s just… complicated. The whole situation is fuckin’ complicated, and I’m tired of it.”
Ash turned to look at Wyatt, who looked like he was holding back tears, or at least holding back something. Ash knew it all too well. There’s a look that gets on people’s faces when they have a secret they can’t keep anymore.
“I gotta tell you something, but you gotta promise that you won’t tell anyone else,” Wyatt said. Ash nodded in response. “I’m… gay.”
“Hell yeah, me too!” Ash said. He raised his hand up for a high five. Wyatt’s eyes went wide with shock, but he eventually returned the high five.
“Yeah, didn’t you notice? I think your dad noticed, he would not stop scowling at me,” Ash said.
“Naw, if he noticed, he would’ve chased you out of town,” Wyatt said. He started down at the ground again, clutching his drink. “He won’t even talk to my uncle again. His own damn brother. I ain’t even allowed to talk to him.”
Ash nodded. There wasn’t much else to say. He knew the situation all too well. It sucked, but what could he do?
“That’s the worst part,” Wyatt said. “Everyone keeps saying if I take this drug or pray a little harder, I might get a couple more years, but the truth is? I haven’t lived for a day. If I told him, I tried to live my life? He’d kick me out, and I’d be dead before the sun went down.”
Wyatt took a long drink, mourning himself. Ash watched him, trying in vain to think of a way he could help, but nothing came to mind. He was broke, with no way to find somewhere else Wyatt could live, and he knew nobody else that he could call. Ash was stuck.
Ash’s many bodily problems came back in full force. His head pounded, as if his brain was trying to escape his skull, and he felt that at any moment he could puke. Worst of all, his blood felt like it was on fire, and he knew why. He had a way to help Wyatt.
“I think I can help, but it’s gonna sound crazy,” Ash said.
“Shoot,” Wyatt replied.
In response, Ash reached over and found Wyatt’s pulse with his fingers. He could feel Wyatt’s heartbeat, but what was more important was what Wyatt was feeling from him. He didn’t know exactly how it would feel, but as he saw Wyatt’s expression slowly change to bewilderment. He tried to sputter out syllables while his eyes glanced from Ash’s hand to his face, and back again.
“It’s magic. In my blood. I can’t tell you much about it, but I’ve seen people drink it and become stronger. It might work for you, at least enough to not need your parents.”
The two paused, the weight of their mutual confessions pressing their moods down. Ash could feel his blood burning, just begging to do something, but he didn’t know if it would even work. The last thing he wanted was to promise something he couldn’t deliver.
“Fuck it,” Wyatt said, shaking his head. “I’ll try it. Can’t fuck me up too bad.”
“One more thing,” Ash said. “The guy who… showed me this, he said I was a demon. If he’s right… well, I don’t wanna fuck anything up for you down the line.”
“You think I care about going to heaven? I’ll take it.”
With that confirmation, Ash pulled the knife out of his back pocket. It was an odd thing, with a brown leather handle and a dull gray blade. On the blade there was an engraving, an intricate design that felt familiar, even if Ash couldn’t place it. All he knew about the knife was that it showed up in his back pocket when he was young and had stuck with him ever since. Nobody could keep it away from him, no matter how much they tried.
He took the blade and winced as he sliced across his palm; the blood flowing out almost immediately. He held his hand out to Wyatt and shrugged.
“Here goes nothin’,” Wyatt said, and he brought his lips to Ash’s hand.
Ash shook as he felt the gentle touch of Wyatt’s lips. When was the last time a man was so gentle with him? He couldn’t remember. He could remember being pinned down, the needles, and the blood bags full of his blood, but there was never anything soft.
Just then. He felt a memory burrow through his ears, tearing through his skull to burrow into his brain. Ash hated how easy it was to remember because that’s exactly what he wanted. He wanted Ash to remember how they tore him open just to take everything that was his, to leave him just an empty husk on that floor just to do it all over again. It was torturous to remember it over and over, all of it coalescing into one simple sentence: Better get used to it, this is the closest thing to love you’ll ever know.
“Ash?” Wyatt said. Ash snapped out of it. He could feel the tears welling up in his eyes. He saw Wyatt again, with his blood on Wyatt’s mouth.
“I’m fine, it just hurts. I shouldn’t have cut across my palm.”
“There’s some Band-Aids in—”
“It’s fine, it’ll heal. I just, I wanna watch the sun go down. If that’s okay with you,” Ash said, cutting him off.
Wyatt just nodded, and the two looked out over the pond. As the sun set over the horizon, it painted the sky a deep red. Ash sighed. It seemed like his entire world was just shades of red at this point. It was inescapable. He could even feel the shades of red on Wyatt’s mouth, and the worst part was it felt good. He almost didn’t want Wyatt to stop drinking from him, and now he wondered if this actually was the closest thing to love he would ever know.
Ash woke up, eyes wide open and panting. He couldn’t remember the dream he was having, but with the way his heart raced, it probably wasn’t great. He felt the sweat on his brow and how damp his clothes felt. He only had one bedsheet on and he still was sweating like he was lying on the surface of the sun. God, was it always going to be this hot here, even at night?
Ash turned over, staring at the clock on the opposite wall. It was 2 a.m., exactly two hours after he had gone to bed.
“Oh, fuck me,” Ash said as he rolled his eyes. There was a tense feeling in his body, so he stood up and looked around the bedroom. It was dark, but there was nothing here, nowhere for anyone to hide. He checked in the closet. Nothing. Finally, he checked under the bed. Nothing. It was just as dark as everywhere else in the room. It was only after checking everywhere that he felt the tension in his body release. His breathing slowed as he crawled back into bed.
“Fucking stupid,” Ash said, before he fell back asleep.
He woke up again at 4 a.m., repeating the same ritual, and then again at 6 a.m. At 8, he didn’t think it was worth it to try and sleep again, and he slowly got up and trudged over to the bathroom. His head pounded, but that was probably a hangover. He turned on the light to the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. It wasn’t great. The bags under his eyes were especially dark, but that just matched his black hair and dark brown eyes. It was clear all of the journeying he did had its effects. He was thinner now. and even had a little bit of a tan. Staring at his own reflection, he realized how much of a miracle it was that he actually got hired at all. They must’ve been incredibly desperate.
He splashed some water on his face, and walked out into the living room. Wyatt was sleeping on the couch, just as he was last night. Ash couldn’t decipher the expression on his face. Was he okay? Ash tried to keep an eye on him as he made a bowl of cereal, until he sat down on the other side of the couch.
He kept glancing over to Wyatt, as he tossed and turned, still asleep. He was sweating too, but it was still pretty warm out here. If he was actually dying from some blood magic fuckery, though, he would be screaming, right? Or at least Ash would be able to feel it. He’d probably be fine, and he looked like he was breathing.
Just then, Wyatt opened his eyes slowly and yawned. Ash quickly grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. It was on the sports channel, and Ash stared intently at the people on the screen discussing the last football game.
“How long you been out here?” Wyatt said, still groggy.
“Not long,” Ash said. He saw Wyatt sit up on the couch, still keeping the blanket on. “You feeling okay?”
“Cold. And a little sore.” Wyatt laughed. “You?”
“Fuck, I’m sorry.” Ash’s head pounded as he remembered spilling Wyatt out of his wheelchair last night. Coordination was never his strong suit while drunk.
“It’s fine,” Wyatt said, as he waved his hand. “Looks like you’re goin’ through some shit too.”
“And you’re not?” Ash said.
“I don’t get hangovers.”
Ash almost called him a lucky bastard, but stopped himself. Probably not the best thing to say.
“Okay, what about the other thing last night?”
“I’ll admit, your blood is kicking my ass right now. I’ll be fine though. Don’t worry about me.”
Ash almost dropped his bowl in confusion. This man drank someone’s blood and was clearly affected by it, and he was just acting like he had a cold. I mean, he was even sleeping on the couch, and Ash couldn’t think of a reason why. Come to think of it, he couldn’t remember bringing out a pillow or anything for the couch.
Just then, Wyatt let out a groan. “Fuck, I’m hungry.”‘
Wyatt stood up, blanket still wrapped around him, and trudged into the kitchen. Ash followed behind him as he grabbed a pan from the cabinets, a carton of eggs from the fridge, and a stool. He sat on the stool and put the pan on the stove.
“Need any help?” Ash asked.
“I can feed myself,” Wyatt said. “Next, you’ll be asking to wash me in the shower.”
Ash just rolled his eyes. “I was just asking. Also, why did you sleep on the couch last night? I could’ve helped you get to your room.”
Wyatt laughed. “No the fuck you couldn’t! Plus, I haven’t cleaned back there in a while. I’ve been meaning to get around to it, but it’s hard enough keeping this place clean.” He motioned to the kitchen around him. He cracked an egg on the pan.
“Cool. I’ll take care of that then.” Ash turned around and walked down the hallway. He heard Wyatt groaning and cursing him out. “Don’t worry, I won’t touch anything important.”
“Just… I really have been trying, okay?” Wyatt said.
Ash stopped just before opening the door to Wyatt’s bedroom. He sounded really sad when he said that, but Ash had to do something. Right now his track record was getting the person he was supposed to be taking care of drunk, and tipping him out of a wheelchair, which were both pretty fireable offenses.
Ash opened the door to find… a pretty normal room. Sure, it was dirty, and there was a thin layer of dust on most of the stuff in the room. There were a few piles of clothes on the floor, and the sheets definitely needed to be washed, but it wasn’t a disaster zone. He could finish this in a day.
As he was picking up clothes off the floor, Ash realized just how sparse the bedroom really was. Sure, it had a dresser, a bed, and a desk. But there wasn’t much in here that made it seem lived in, besides the clothes. It was only after he consolidated another pile of clothes that he saw his first sign of the person staying in this bedroom.
The magazine was a bright yellow, begging for eyes to catch it. On the sides were small headlines about the best workouts, or ways to boost testosterone. but Ash was more caught by who was on it. In the middle was a man flexing, with some of the biggest muscles the world had ever seen. His biceps bulged, caught in an eternal flex, but even the rest of him was impressive in power. His abs were like a stone wall, with legs that were thick like tree trunks. Even his chest, which Ash knew was his weakest part in most judges’ eyes, was considerably larger than most of the other bodybuilders that he competed with. However, Ash could only focus on the wide grin on him and the bright blue eyes he had seen too many goddamn times.
Ash dropped the clothes and picked up the magazine, hands shaking. He started to laugh, quietly at first, but slowly growing louder, until tears were streaming down his face and he was in total hysterics, still not able to escape the man he had been running from.
“Ash, are you all right?” Wyatt asked.
Ash turned around, magazine still in hand. He saw Wyatt, blanket still wrapped around him, at the door to the room. Wyatt’s face fell as he saw what Ash was holding.
“Wait, no, I wasn’t making fun of you. It’s just—” Ash pointed to the magazine, trying to explain. It didn’t take long before he realized he needed to tell the truth. “He beat the shit out of me a couple of times. It’s weird looking at his face now.”
“Him? Jake Moore?” Wyatt said, pointing at the man on the cover. His expression was confused, but not skeptical. “It’s hard to even picture you two in the same room.”
“My grandpa is pretty big in the whole fitness… thing. He has a whole supplement company and some pretty big sway in the industry. Hell, he’s the reason the Mr. Olympia competition happens in August now. That’s why I had the trophy,” Ash replied. “Also, I didn’t even know people still bought these things.”
“I, y’know, I never really had much in the way of muscles, so it’s weird seein’ guys with so much of it.”
Uh huh. “Weird.” Ash wasn’t buying it, but that wasn’t a conversation he wanted to breach right now. Mostly, he just wanted to drop this magazine now that he knew what Wyatt was using it for. Plus, Wyatt wasn’t doing so good. He was leaning up against the doorframe, and even now it looked like even coming down the hall took a lot out of him. Ash helped him get back to the living room so he could rest more.
“I really hope I didn’t fuck something up,” Ash said, still worried about the blood currently inside Wyatt.
“Don’t you worry. It’s working,” Wyatt said. “I can feel it.”
Wyatt was right, it was working. In Ash’s mind, it felt like it was almost working too well. Every day since their encounter, Wyatt was getting bigger. Visibly bigger. Ash watched as Wyatt filled out his shirts just a little bit more each day, the sleeves getting tighter, or the chest filling out more. It didn’t feel possible. It only took days, and he was just as big as Ash was, but it didn’t take long before Ash was overtaken by Wyatt in musculature.
It was two weeks after Wyatt had drunk his blood when it finally hit Ash. Wyatt had muscles now. He wasn’t as big as the bodybuilders in the magazine, but he was still big, and just a few weeks ago his muscles were wasting away. The shirts that he wore barely fit him anymore, stretched to the limit by muscles fitting a man who had been training for years.
Ash watched as Wyatt stretched on the floor of the living room. Wyatt had complained of some joint pain recently. He kept saying that “the rest of my body ain’t caught up to your blood yet.”
“How much do you weigh?” Ash said.
Wyatt looked up, finally noticing that Ash was staring at him. He stood up off of the ground. “Last I checked? 230 pounds.” He flexed his arm, bicep swelling to the size of a baseball. Ash could see a prominent vein snake up his bicep, a silent promise that he wasn’t even close to done growing.
“No fucking way.” Ash gulped. Wyatt was 50 pounds heavier than him and while Ash had some fat on him, Wyatt was fully muscle. He was crazy lean, showing striations in his muscles that only contest-ready bodybuilders had. Ash’s blood was taking everything it could and making it all into muscle.
Wyatt chuckled. “Plus, I can do this now!”—and with no warning, Wyatt sprinted out of the house.
Ash pelted after him, more out of fear than anything else. Ever since he’d started growing, Wyatt was way too reckless. Ash’s head pounded and his stomach turned as he ran out into the insufferable heat. He chased Wyatt around the yard, hoping secretly that his parents didn’t notice anything, but Wyatt just barely eked out in front of him the whole time. Thankfully, neither of them had the most stamina, so in a couple of minutes of running full force, the two collapsed onto their backs.
Ash panted as he looked over to Wyatt. Wyatt’s chest heaved up and down. Ash saw Wyatt’s nipples, clearly showing through the straining shirt. Wyatt stretched his arms and his shirt rode up, revealing that he even had abs.
“Why do you still have that shirt?” Ash asked.
“I’ve seen so many guys bust open sleeves with only their arms, I wanna do that too.” Wyatt flexed his arm to demonstrate, and they both heard a loud tearing noise as Wyatt’s sleeve finally gave up. “Damn, guess it couldn’t hold out any longer,” Wyatt said.
Ash was sure that the shirt wasn’t the problem here, it was that Wyatt was growing every second of the day, even if they couldn’t notice it beat by beat.
“God, your parents are definitely firing me,” Ash said, head still pounding.
“No, they won’t.”
Ash sat up with a confused look on his face. “You just sprinted around the yard like nothing’s wrong. You don’t need a babysitter anymore.”
Wyatt just rolled his eyes. “They left for vacation yesterday. They’ll be gone for months, I just know it. They just needed someone to push me off onto.” There was a hint of derision in his voice.
Ash looked towards the house and saw that all the lights were off and that the car his parents usually used was gone. They really were gone. Ash laid back onto the grass, staring up at the canopy of the trees in Wyatt’s yard. They’d really just leave Wyatt like that? Without any warning? Ash just now realized that he hadn’t even seen his parents talk to Wyatt since he had been hired.
“How are they gonna pay me?” Ash sighed.
“I can sign your paychecks. Their signatures ain’t hard,” Wyatt said.
“Okay,” Ash said. “You need to be more careful.”
Wyatt turned towards Ash, and tilted his head like a confused puppy.
“I…” Ash paused for a second, until he realized once again that he’d need to tell the truth. If there was anyone he could come clean to, it had to be Wyatt. “I can’t hear your heartbeat.”
“You aren’t the only guy who’s drank my blood. But I can hear their heartbeats, and I can’t hear yours. Plus, you’re growing way faster than I think they ever did. I don’t know what’s different about you, but there is something and that has me worried,” Ash said. It felt like a dam broke in his mind, and every secret just kept flowing out.
“Huh,” Wyatt said. “Who else drank your blood?”
“Buncha bodybuilders,” Ash said. “Basically anyone who’s winning contests right now. My grandpa wanted the guys he was sponsoring to win competitions, so he nabbed me and fed them my blood. I thought he’d give it to more people at this point. He’d go on and on about all the politicians, CEOs, and ‘alpha male’ influencer types who wanted an extra boost.”
“Fuck. He kidnapped you?” Wyatt said, looking down at Ash’s hands.
“No, it was a deal I made. He’d pay off my dad’s house and I’d work for him as an intern. I didn’t expect him to just lock me in some house he owned in Orlando and steal my fucking blood. He’d just show up randomly, drain me dry, and leave, and that was on a good day. He said it was ‘god’s plan’, that a demon like me should be happy I was even still alive.” Ash spit on the ground in disgust.
Wyatt touched Ash’s shoulder gently. “I’m so sorry that happened. How’d you even get away from him?”
“He fucked up his schedule, I guess. Nobody showed up for a couple days, so I could cut through the ropes,” Ash waved his hand, his knife flashing suddenly in his grip. “I left when it was dark. I never expected to get out of the city, but here I am.”
“Damn, I’m sorry that happened.”
“I could almost handle it now, if they weren’t so needy. Every day I can just feel them screaming for more,” Ash said. “I can tell it’s August, because they won’t stop, they just want to be bigger and bigger an—”
Ash was stopped short as he felt something quickly rise in his throat. He covered his face as bile filled his mouth. He started to heave, and quickly got up and ran back into Wyatt’s house. With seconds to spare, he made it to the bathroom, positioning his head over the toilet as he threw up. He expelled everything from his stomach, only to see that it was all dark red, with dark brown scabs floating in it. He flushed the bloody mess immediately, just in time for Wyatt to miss it.
“Shit, Ash, are you okay?” Wyatt said, crouching down next to Ash by the toilet.
“I’m fine. I just need some rest,” Ash said, his head threatening to split open. Wyatt didn’t need to see any of this.
“Are you sure? I’m sure I cou—” Wyatt was quickly interrupted by Ash shutting the door on him.
“I’ll be fine! Don’t worry!” Ash said, as he slumped onto the bed.
Ash immediately started to convulse, twitching and shaking as he could feel them wanting more and more. The contests must have been starting. Ash felt like he was on fire, and the pain only got worse and worse as he kept wincing with every new ask for more. The torture went on for hours, and slowly the lights in his room got brighter and brighter, until they flooded his whole vision.
Ash looked to his side, only to see that he wasn’t on his bed at all. He was on a stage, with a tremendous crowd watching him, cheering. Were they enjoying his suffering as he died on stage? He flipped over, only looking to see who they were truly cheering for.
Five men, all clad in only posers and a fake tan, flexed behind him. Their muscles were pumped to the absolute limit, pushing them all into grotesque masculine forms, beyond what anyone in humanity could have even thought possible. The men flexed and posed, their veins bulging prominently. They looked as if they were going to explode. Oh god, were they handing out awards?
Ash felt a stab of pain as the men called out for more, and looked down at his own body to see a large pulsating tumor attached to his stomach. It was bright red, with the texture of a scab, and attached to it was a long terrible vein, sucking him dry and pushing it to all the other competitors.
Ash thrashed, trying desperately to get up, until a foot came slamming down on to his throat. He choked as he looked up, seeing Jake Moore staring down at him with that same cocky smile. He had clearly outpaced all the rest of his competitors, easily winning. This was just a victory lap to him.
“Glad the demon could finally make it,” Jake said through gritted teeth. “Now you might actually be worth something, you pathetic little faggot.”
Jake roared as he flexed in a most muscular pose, every muscle in his body visibly growing on stage. Ash cried out as he felt his blood leave his body even faster, the foot coming down on his neck even harder. He was going to die here, on stage, silently while everyone cheered. He needed something, anything, to come save him, and fast.
Just then, he felt something in his hand. It was the same leather handle that he knew all too well. With a weak battle cry, he lifted his arm and stabbed his knife into the tumor overtaking his body.
The relief was instant. The pain was gone, but Ash’s vision was hazy. The tumor slowly receded back into his body, blood spurting out of the wound. Jake stumbled back, and Ash could see the blood dripping down his nose. The bigger man fell to the ground, coughing up blood. The other competitors ran off the stage, some stumbling, while the new Mr. Olympia collapsed onto the ground, blood flowing out of his mouth like a river.
Ash turned his head, looking at the bright lights as the paramedics grabbed Jake. It was too late for both of them, Ash knew, as he slowly closed his eyes. He heard someone in the crowd yelling his name, but for some reason it felt like they were getting closer. He heard them get louder and louder until—
Ash opened his eyes as Wyatt shook his shoulders. He saw Wyatt’s face, his hazel eyes widened in fear. The room was dark, with the light off and the window outside being dark. He must’ve been out for hours. Ash looked down to see that he was covered with blood. His knife was in his left hand, and there was a cut in his shirt, but no wound in his stomach.
“I heard you scream and I-I—” Wyatt tried to explain, his voice choking with fear. “There was a knife in your gut! I saw it! I—”
As he failed to get out the words, he pulled Ash into a hug and started to sob. His hug was crushing, and his cries were loud as he tried to reconcile what he just saw. Fat teardrops splashed onto Ash’s shoulder. Ash rubbed his back slowly.
“It’s okay, I’m okay,” Ash reassured Wyatt, and he actually meant it. He could feel a weight lifted off of his shoulders, with one conspicuous heartbeat gone from his head.
The two sat there for a moment, holding each other on Ash’s blood-soaked mattress. Slowly, Wyatt’s cries quieted, until he was only sniffling into Ash’s shoulder.
“I probably need to take a shower,” Ash said.
Wyatt begrudgingly let him go, but followed closely behind him as Ash made his way to the bathroom. Ash turned on the water and kept the door to the bathroom open. He motioned for Wyatt to join him in the shower.
“You can’t be serious,” Wyatt said.
“You’re covered with blood too,” Ash said as he took his shirt off. That was true, but mostly Ash didn’t want to be alone tonight.
Wyatt touched a bloody hand to his own cheek, before he finally gave in, and took his own shirt off.
The shower was a somewhat awkward fit. For two normal sized people it would have been fine, but Wyatt was slowly getting out of normal range, so they both had to share the water. The both of them stayed silent as they washed.
Ash watched the water stain red as they washed themselves off until it was clear again. He saw Wyatt’s back as Wyatt tried to wash himself. The muscles in his back were hypnotic as they flexed and moved, clear striation in his muscles. Wyatt was lean, but not for long. Ash could feel the power inside him, just waiting to get bigger, to grow. Even with how big he already was, he wasn’t even close to done.
Ash tried his best to hide his boner, keeping his back to Wyatt, but just as they both almost finished, the two both turned to see each other’s dick. Both of them were rock hard.
The pair glanced at each other. The glance confirmed many of the feelings they both thought were unrequited, but it also confirmed something else in both of their minds: not tonight.
Wyatt stepped out first and dried off with a towel, and Ash followed suit. It was only after they were both almost dry that Wyatt spoke up.
“I can sleep on the couch tonight,” Wyatt said. “Your bed’s fucked, but you can take mine.”
“Could you stay with me tonight?” Ash said. “I just think we’d both sleep easier that way.”
Wyatt just nodded, and after both of them put on something to wear to bed, they both went to Wyatt’s room and crawled into bed.
“I’m glad I cleaned these sheets,” Ash said.
Wyatt wrapped his arms around Ash. His grip was tight, his arms strong and thick. He was probably stranger than Ash was now.
“You and me both,” Wyatt said.
The two drifted off to sleep after a time, with Ash’s body feeling just a little bit lighter that night, having lost one strained, terrible connection.
Ash woke up, squinting as the light from the window hit his eyes. He lifted his arm to block the light, yawned, and tried to get out of bed. It was only after a minute of struggling that he realized that Wyatt’s arms, even while he was asleep, were too strong for Ash to wriggle out of. So, he laid there, and with a few minutes of a lazy morning, he realized just how much better he felt.
He was still insanely sweaty and hot, and Wyatt wasn’t helping with that at the moment. Other than that, though, he was doing well. His previously eternal headache and stomach issues were softer. He could ignore them pretty easily if they stayed like this.
Ash heard a small grunt as the arms around him shifted slightly. Behind him, Wyatt finally woke up. Wyatt stretched, his arm rising to the sky, when both of them heard the sound of fabric tearing.
Ash turned around to see that Wyatt was much bigger. A few days ago, hell, even last night he was big, but he was the type of big that people reasonably expected with years in the gym. Now? Even with the parts Ash could see, he knew that Wyatt had easily surpassed the realm of average—or even the realm of above average.
Wyatt immediately jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom, and Ash followed. When Ash caught up he saw Wyatt, shirt looking more like it was painted on, staring down at the scale. It said that Wyatt was 294 pounds. He had gained 64 pounds in one night.
“Damn, that’s a big fuckin’ number,” Wyatt said. He hefted one of his pecs with his hand, the globe of muscle filling it completely. He then turned to Ash, a look of concern on his face. “This ain’t hurtin’ you, is it?”
“I feel better than I have in years,” Ash said.
“You’re not just sayin’ that?”
“If I was, you’d know. I’m fine. Plus, If I was dying I’d put up more of a fight than let you grow this much. You’re plenty big.”
“Really?” Wyatt said. He flexed an arm, his monstrous bicep splitting his other sleeve.
Ash didn’t say a word as he tried to hide his boner. He thought Wyatt was hot the first second he saw the guy, but now his lust felt nuclear. He didn’t want to show it too much, just in case that moment in the shower was just a fluke, so he just sat in silence as Wyatt started to make breakfast. He insisted on doing it himself, so Ash just watched as he struggled with flipping pancakes until he started cursing, tearing his shirt right off of his torso.
“That’s better,” Wyatt sighed, his beefy chest just out in the open air.
Ash just looked straight down as the two of them ate breakfast. It was only a few minutes into eating that Wyatt spoke up.
“Do you like it here?” Wyatt said.
Ash paused for a moment, the question taking time to sink in.
“I know you didn’t get much of a choice in the matter, but I just—I hope it hasn’t been too bad livin’ here.”
He didn’t know what to say. Even so far away from home, this place felt familiar, with its rundown streets and nice people who didn’t really like you. However, there was just something in the way people talked, the way things were set up: it wasn’t the same. There was just enough to keep that idea in the back of his mind that even with all of this running, he still wasn’t home. Maybe that was all he’d get. Always trying but never actually making it home, actually moving on. It didn’t help that he might not have a home to return to. He worried that if he went home, saw his parents again, they would hear from his grandpa what he was, and they’d hate him for it. He couldn’t handle a thought like that for too long.
“It’s been fine,” Ash lied. “I mean, it’s pretty similar to my hometown, except there’re fields of cotton instead of corn and there are more hills, but it’s good to just have a place to live again.”
“It’s still too fucking hot though,” Ash added.
“Is the cold really that big of a deal?” Wyatt laughed.
“Yes! I’ve always hated summer and here it’s so much worse! The heat down here is like the world’s wettest, warmest blanket, except you can never take it off. So then you’re stuck just sweating to death for months! The cold doesn’t smother you like that. Like, have you seen snow before?” Ash asked.
“I think it snowed here once or twice. It never stays, though. Everyone around here acts like the sky’s fallin’,” Wyatt said.
“Yeah, I guess that makes sense down here, but it really is pretty, even if everyone complains about it,” Ash said. “I’ll have to show you sometime.”
“I’d like that,” Wyatt smiled.
The two sat in silence again for a little bit, until Ash spoke up again.
“So, if you could get a job right now, doing whatever you wanted, what would you do?”
“I don’t know. I’d like a job that lets me get outside once in a while,” Wyatt shrugged, before he snapped his fingers, a new idea popping into his head. “Oh! And I wanna work with my hands. I wasn’t the best at school, and I might as well put these muscles to work.”
Wyatt flexed again, showing off the arms that had already destroyed his shirt. Ash hoped that this would become a normal thing.
“How about you?” Wyatt said, returning the question.
Ash paused, trying to think of an answer. In the years after high school, he was too busy keeping his parents from losing their house to think about himself. For years, all he would do was try to keep his family well. Hell, that was why he was in this situation right now, and he still couldn’t think about his future. His problem was states away and didn’t know where he was, but it still kept its grip on him, leaving him paralyzed.
Ash opened his mouth to answer, but just then he heard a knock at the door. Who could that even be? The whole time Ash had been there, nobody had ever shown up unannounced. He took the opportunity to get some extra time on his question and got up, making his way to the door before Wyatt could get to it.
He opened the door to see a bald man standing on the other side. His face was gaunt, but Ash was more focused on the man’s body, which was incredibly muscled, even more than Wyatt’s was. There were only a few people who could easily claim that.
At the sight of Ash, tears filled the man’s eyes, and he immediately fell to the ground on his hands and knees, sobbing. It was then that Wyatt finally came over to the door to see who it was.
“Do you… know him?” Wyatt said.
Ash knew him, he knew the man too well. Just like with all the other bodybuilders that had his blood. He knew the man’s resting heart rate, the way his stomach churned to digest his food. Ash could even describe the pattern of his nerves firing that left him on the ground, crying. All the information used to overtake Ash’s mind, but he had learned to block it out. Now, though, it was all coming back, and he was scared. His problems had followed him.
“Number 6,” Ash said, referring to his placement in last night’s competition. It was mean, but Ash couldn’t refer to him by name. The syllables were getting stuck on his tongue.
“P-Please forgive me,” the man said in between sobs. “I didn’t, It was just a supplement he gave me! He didn’t tell us it was doing this to you! I’m sorry.”
The man grabbed onto Ash’s legs, which caused Ash to recoil back. The man fell to the floor again and looked up at Ash’s face.
“I- felt it last night, at the contest. All the pain, all the draining. All those nights spent alone. You didn’t deserve that, nobody could deserve that. I can barely live with myself knowing I was a part of it, so please,” Number 6 said, “forgive me.”
“You really mean that?” Ash crouched down to his level, looking him straight in the eyes. He only met one guy who had eaten his blood, and he clearly thought Ash deserved it. Ash thought there wasn’t another option for them.
“Good,” Ash said, knife materializing in his left hand. “Then I want my blood back.”
The man looked surprised, but quickly he nodded and turned his head, exposing his cheek. Ash took the knife and made the tiniest cut on his cheek. The blood dribbled out a deep,dark red. Ash touched the blood on the man’s cheek and it immediately disappeared, absorbing into Ash’s body. Ash trailed his fingers up the man’s cheek until he was touching the cut, holding his fingers to it for just long enough to get most of it out. None of his blood would be left in the man. Number 6 wouldn’t make many gains after this. Hell, he’d probably shrink a little. However, Ash couldn’t care about that, he just wanted to cut him off.
As Ash pulled his fingers away from the cut, he stood up, and the man did too. Number 6 dabbed his cheek, feeling no cut at all. The wound had healed completely.
“Thank you,” the man said, smiling. He walked back to his car, and Ash watched as he drove down the driveway, knowing he’d never see that man again.
“How’d you know to do that?” Wyatt said, pointing to Ash’s knife.
“Uh, Instinct? I guess?” Ash felt like he could remember doing this before, but he knew there was no actual memory attached to the action. He just knew what to do, that’s all.
“Well, glad that’s over!” Wyatt said, draping his arm around Ash’s shoulder. Ash shook his head.
“There’ll be more.”
That night, Ash saw a news report about a tragedy at the Mr. Olympia competition. Apparently, as the winners of the Open category were being crowned, all the top 5 competitors started bleeding on stage. They were all rushed to the hospital and were recovering, except one: the first place winner, Jake Moore, who died on stage. Spectators report seeing him talk to no one before he collapsed.
Ash knew that, of course. There was no way he couldn’t have known, but hearing it out loud made him shudder. He killed someone.
He listened as the medical experts tried to rationalize what happened to those men. They talked for minutes, before coming to the conclusion of “steroids”, and moving on. It seems like Ash would be one of the only people who knew what really happened that night.
Just then, Wyatt came from the kitchen and fell into Ash on the couch, wrapping his strong arms around Ash’s body. He nuzzled into Ash’s neck.
“It ain’t your fault,” Wyatt said.
“I know, but-”
“No buts,” Wyatt said, cutting him off. “Come to bed, your mattress is still fucked.”
“I still wanna see if they say anything els—”
Before Ash could continue, Wyatt grunted and picked Ash up off of the couch. Wyatt slung Ash over his shoulder and lumbered over to his bedroom.
Ash knew he could probably wriggle his way out of this, but with the way he was positioned he got a great look at Wyatt’s back and bulbous ass. Just seeing those globes of muscle bounce as Wyatt walked was enough to stop his own guilt, his mind filled with thoughts of just how massive those things could get.
When they got to the bedroom, Wyatt placed Ash on the bed and immediately pulled the covers over him. He then got in the bed on the other side and wrapped his arms around Ash.
“Night,” Wyatt said.
Ash felt tired fairly quickly, the comfort of Wyatt’s arms soothing him. With his last thoughts being of plans of what to do with that mattress, he fell asleep.
The next morning, another man came asking for forgiveness. Two days after that, another showed up. They just kept showing up, each one waiting a few days after the last one had left, all of them begging for forgiveness. Ash watched them show up, one after the other. Number 7, Number 10, Number 5, guys who didn’t place, hell, even guys who didn’t compete showed up all begging to be forgiven. Apparently, his grandfather had given his blood to almost every bodybuilder that had been winning competitions, and none of them knew the whole story.
Soon enough, it became monotonous to Ash, watching all these grown men with freakishly muscular bodies fall to their knees and cry about how they had hurt him. It was just so… boring to him, and because of that, the days blended together. They were sorry, and that was nice to hear, but frequently they made it about themselves. The worst part was that a few of them wanted more from Ash, one going so far as to try and kiss him.
“Don’t you have a wife?” Ash asked, his arm pushing on the guy’s chest.
“She doesn’t have to know. I just need you. You awakened something in me, man.” Number 8 tilted his head a little. “Do you… not feel the same?”
Oh, lord. Ash weighed his options carefully. Most of the other guys would have left by now, but Ash figured that this man hadn’t been rejected in his life. He didn’t know how to say, “No, I don’t want to kiss you, as you were a part of the plan that kept me bleeding out for years. Also, I’m interested in someone else?”, so he kept quiet until he heard Wyatt yell “Hey!”
Ash turned towards the yard to see Wyatt in the driveway, wearing a sweaty wife-beater and shorts. Ash didn’t know what Wyatt had been doing all day, but apparently, he had a good sense of timing.
“You’re gonna have to wrestle me for that kiss. Them’s the rules,” Wyatt said. He crouched down, as if he was in a high school wrestling meet.
“You can’t be fucking serious,” Number 8 said to both Ash and Wyatt.
Ash didn’t think he was serious either, but he loved the opportunity to not explain himself.
“Sorry, them’s the rules. You gotta earn it,” Ash said.
“Hey, I get it if you’re scared. Feel free to run off with your tail between your legs,” Wyatt said.
Number 8 did, for a bit. He walked back towards his car, but as he passed Wyatt, he turned as if he was possessed and tackled Wyatt to the ground.
Ash’s eyes widened in surprise as he saw them actually wrestle. He ran over near them, but it was pretty clear to Ash that once the two hit the ground that it would be hard to pry them apart. As he watched the two roll around in the gravel of the driveway, he realized he didn’t want to intervene. He watched as the two wrestled in the driveway, sweaty arms flailing. It felt good, because they were fighting over him. Some deep part of him told him that it felt right.
It was then that Ash noticed that Wyatt was the bigger of the two. As the two were still locked in their fight, it was clear: His arms were thicker, his torso larger, hell, even his legs were outsizing the other guy. Ash had seen Wyatt near the other guys, and it was clear before he was closing the gap between them, but now? He had surpassed them without even trying.
Ash knew how big Number 8 was. He was 314 pounds of muscle and ego. If Wyatt was so clearly outsizing Number 8 right now, how big was he? Ash could just imagine him still growing as he pinned this man to the ground, veins pulsing with power. He would pump larger and larger, every beat of his heart growing him faster. He would tear out of all his clothes, proudly showing the hundreds of pounds of muscle and monstrously thick cock grinding against the poor soul underneath him. He would gain hundreds of pounds, becoming a true mountain of muscle and veins until—
Ash grabbed the sides of his head and shook it. He needed to stop this before he either came in his pants or did something much worse.
“All right, I think that’s where a ref would call it. Wyatt wins,” Ash said.
Wyatt slowly got off Number 8, and before Ash or Wyatt could say anything, Number 8 got in his car and drove off. Ash felt a sense of both relief and embarrassment as he left, and not just about what Wyatt did.
“Sorry about all that. I was tryin’ to distract him from that whole situation. He put up a helluva fight,” Wyatt said.
“It’s fine. How did you even know I needed help there?”
“These guys may think you’re all mysterious, but you ain’t that hard to read.” Wyatt examined his arms, which were now covered in scrapes. “It was kind of fun, though. I might ask the other guys to wrestle when they come to find you. Help ’em get their anger towards me out.”
“Why would they be mad at you?” Ash asked.
“Hell if I know. They keep threatenin’ me when you’re not around.”
“Shit, I’m sorry,” Ash could feel his blood boiling once again. He tried to calm himself down before someone’s head exploded. This kind of anger wasn’t normal, at least not to him. He needed to focus on something else.
However, the only thing around was Wyatt himself, filling Ash’s view. That wife-beater he had on was stretched to its limits. It was one of the many things Wyatt took from his dad’s closet as he started to outgrow his own clothes, but now even those were showing their wear. It calmed Ash down, but Ash still didn’t want to start drooling over Wyatt wearing a shirt covered in sweat and…grease?
“Have you been working on the truck?” Ash asked.
“Guess the secrets out. I’ve been tryin’ to change the oil in the truck all day. I only just finished,” Wyatt sighed. “25 years old and I can’t do shit.”
“I mean, you weren’t able to do a lot of that stuff. It makes sense that you wouldn’t be perfect at it on the first try.”
“That’s the problem! I’m so far behind, I’ll never catch up. I’m still learnin’ the basics. It’s hopeless.”
“Hey!” Ash said. “Quit talking about yourself like that. You’ve got plenty of time.”
Ash didn’t know who he was talking to more, but he meant it. He didn’t even know Wyatt was struggling with this, as he was too focused on the procession of people that kept showing up at his door. At that moment, he promised to try his hardest to focus on the present. No more wallowing in the past. They could come and ask for forgiveness, fine. However, he was focusing on his life now, whatever that meant.
As the days went on, the first thing focusing on his life meant burning that rotten mattress. It smelled like shit, and it smelled even worse when burning, but soon enough it was gone, and one deep clean of the room left it as good as new. Except for the missing mattress.
However, he was still sleeping in Wyatt’s bed, so that wasn’t much of an issue. For now, the two just tried to keep the place they had in order, but there was more purpose to it than before. He wasn’t just stumbling blindly, or at least he was stumbling with purpose.
It helped that he was getting enough sleep now, thanks to Wyatt sleeping right next to him. It was why that next Sunday, Ash was surprised to not feel him there, instead waking up to see him trying to put on a pair of dress pants.
“Fuck fuck fuckkk,” Wyatt said as he hopped on one leg, trying to fit the other in the pants. “I’m gonna be late!”
“Late for what?” Ash asked,
“Church,” Wyatt said, sitting on the bed now that both of his legs were in the pants. “If my parents realize I wasn’t goin’, even though I could, they’ll kill me.”
“Do you want me to come too?” Ash said.
“Sure, I didn’t want to wake you, but since you’re awake, you can come. Hurry up though, I think the service might’ve started by now.” Wyatt pulled the pants on his bulbous thighs and started buttoning up his shirt.
Ash quickly grabbed and put on whatever clothes he could find, and when he came back, he saw Wyatt all dressed up. The pants he was wearing looked painted on as they struggled to contain his titanic thighs. His shirt was faring worse, as Wyatt was forced to not button the top three buttons because of his massive chest. Even still, the shirt was stretched to its absolute limit. He looked perfect.
“I’m sorry darlin, but we don’t have time for you to stare,” Wyatt said as he ran out to the car. Ash followed right behind him. He’d have time to stare later.
It was only on the way into town that Ash realized how big this was. Wyatt really hadn’t been out that much since he drank Ash’s blood, and that was mostly to hide what was happening. This was the first time anyone would really see what had happened to Wyatt. What were they going to say?
Before Ash could come up with anything, the truck stopped, having parked near the church. It was a pretty small church, the wood outside painted white, but fading. The steeple reached high, as if reaching for the heavens itself. It was probably the tallest thing in town, although that wasn’t saying much. Wyatt hopped out and checked his clothes one last time.
“We’re gonna have to be quiet. Service has already started,” Wyatt said.
With that, the two entered the church. The entrance room was a small, carpeted room, with a stairway leading to the basement and two wooden doors leading to the main room. Ash could hear someone talking inside the main room, probably the pastor.
As quietly as he could, Wyatt opened the doors with a small creak, and Ash followed him inside. Ash noticed that there were a lot of people in the church. The churches he went to as a kid were a lot sparser than this one was, and the people here were way more dressed up. Wyatt and he grabbed the spots in the pew in the back.
It wasn’t long before Ash could feel people staring at him. He caught a few people in the act, but for every person he saw, he knew there were 10 others he didn’t catch. He wondered what they were thinking about him. For him to have shown up one day, not interacted with almost anyone, and then to just then go to church with Wyatt looking like that? It had to be suspicious.
To ignore the stares, he just focused on the sermon, which was a mistake. While the church had some differences, the sermons were something he was intimately familiar with. The pastor at the altar was a graying man, with big thick-rimmed glasses, and a huge bible in his hands. He was a classic fire and brimstone preacher, down to the letter, and all of his talk about demons infiltrating the world to tempt people into sin made Ash’s skin crawl. It was all the same shit he was familiar with, both before and during his living nightmare in Florida. It was all the things his grandfather said he was, just with people agreeing with shouts of “Amen!” from the crowd.
Once the pastor said something about “sexual deviants” for the 100th time, Ash knew he’d had enough. He waited for one minute exactly, just enough to make sure that nobody would connect the two, and he quietly walked out of the room and into the entrance. He saw the stairs and went down those, hoping to find a bathroom or something.
In that dark basement full of folding chairs, he found the bathroom he needed. He walked into the bathroom and went into one of the stalls. He pulled his pants down and sat on the toilets, as if he actually needed to go. It was best to have an excuse, so nobody thought he was actually avoiding the sermon.
Ash looked around. The stall was a dark gray, with aging tile on the floor and water stains on the ceiling. Nobody came down here, he just knew it. Ash heard the pastor still yelling out his sermon, but he couldn’t make out the words. Jackpot. He could spend the rest of the sermon down here, just twiddling his thumbs. He had plenty of experience waiting.
Or he would be able to stay down there, but he heard the sound of the door opening. Ash heard the sound of dress shoes on tile until he saw a pair of pants that were strained to the limit around a very large pair of calves. “Someone” knocked at the door.
“It’s unlocked,” Ash said.
Wyatt opened the door to see Ash in all of his pantsless glory.
“Were you actually…”
“No,” Ash scoffed, “Just gotta keep the illusion going. I’m sorry for not staying up there.”
“No, I get it. He’s not fun to listen to. I couldn’t imagine doin’ it with what you went through.”
“I was doing shit like this way before that,” Ash said. “I always hated church. Guess that’s why I’m a demon.”
“You ain’t a demon,” Wyatt said.
Ash and Wyatt just stood there for a minute. Ash didn’t want to fight him on that right now, because he wanted it to be true more than anything. He didn’t want to be a demon, and he wanted the weird shit that happened to him to just be that, but he knew that wasn’t real.
“Well, we better leave before someone gets suspicious,” Ash said.
He stood up without thinking, and in doing so, showed that he was rock hard, his dick pointing straight at Wyatt. He immediately blushed a bright red, but there was no hiding it this time. No pretending in the shower. It was just him, out in the open.
“Shit, that’s embarrassing,” Ash said, putting his hand behind his head.
“Do you want me to take care of it?” Wyatt said.
“What?” Ash’s heart stopped. This wasn’t actually happening, was it?
“I said,” Wyatt got down on his knees, his head right at the same level as Ash’s dick, “Do you want me to help with that?”
“Yes, god, yes.” The words left Ash’s mouth without thinking, an outpouring of lust that had been held back for months.
Ash’s hands slammed against the walls of the stall as he felt his cock enter Wyatt’s mouth. Another act of consumption, but this one felt so much better. Ash moaned as he felt Wyatt’s warm tongue and wet lips work his cock. Wyatt went slowly, and Ash could feel his teeth at times, showing that this was probably his first time, but Ash didn’t care.
His eyes rolled back in his head as the sensations overwhelmed him. It was only when he heard a creaking that he looked down to see Wyatt’s shoulders pressing up against the bathroom stall. The stall cried out as Wyatt’s muscles were unrelenting. Ash didn’t want it to end. He wanted Wyatt to keep growing, to bust open the stall, with his shoulders alone. He imagined Wyatt with hundreds and hundreds of pounds of muscle, his head locked in place by pecs swelling up to his chin and traps overtaking his head. He imagined biceps like mountains, a pillar of flesh that was still growing. He could see Wyatt filling an entire room with just his muscles, thousands and thousands of pounds of just him. Ash wanted to be completely engulfed in him, and for him to never stop fucking growing—
Ash moaned as he finally shot his load, sending it right down Wyatt’s throat. Ash panted, completely spent. He realized just how much he was sweating in this dingy church bathroom as Wyatt stood back up and wiped his mouth off.
“Fuck, I did not last long,” Ash said. He couldn’t even remember the last time he jerked off, and getting a blowjob was entirely new territory.
“That’s a good thing. I don’t know how much more my jaw could take…”
Wyatt massaged his sore jaw as Ash saw how the bathroom stall had warped, just begging to hold on after failing to deal with Wyatt’s existence. He was a monolith of masculinity now, brimming with power. If Ash had his way, he’d get Wyatt to sneak out the back so that he could worship Wyatt’s body at home, but they had obligations to uphold.
“We better get back to the service before people notice,” Ash said.
“Oh shit,” Wyatt said.
The two of them left the bathroom and made their way quickly back up the stairs and back to the sermon where they were at least caught the last couple of minutes. Ash sat down and ignored whatever the fuck the pastor was saying, noticing the few dirty looks that were coming his way. He knew they couldn’t say anything though. He was still here for the end of the service, after all.
Ash sighed in relief as the pastor finally shut up until it dawned on him that this whole thing wasn’t over. These people wanted to talk, and they especially wanted to talk to Wyatt. Ash tried to pull out of every conversation, but these people were relentless. Their “good ol’ southern charm” was out in full force, and they just wouldn’t take Ash’s short replies to mean that he didn’t want to talk to them.
Ash rolled his eyes. At least back home, people didn’t keep trying after they knew you didn’t want to talk to them. It didn’t help how many people were ogling Wyatt’s muscles and asking way too many questions about his miraculous recovery. Hell, even the pastor himself had gotten in on it, and it was only when Wyatt replied to his questions that Ash started listening again.
“Well sir, it’s a funny story,” Wyatt said “When my parents hired him, I didn’t like him that much, but he kept prayin’ for me every night and I was healed!”
Wyatt clapped Ash on the back as he said this, but Ash was too busy staring at the pastor’s face, which had momentarily changed from his normal pleasant smile.
“Oh, that is just great to hear,” the pastor said, “I’m glad there’s another man of God in this town. Can never have enough of ‘em.”
The pastor had bored deep into Ash at that moment, revealing everything that he was. The pastor knew he was no man of god, with his dirty, cheap clothes and his attitude. He had taken Wyatt, tempted him, turned him into a monster of muscle and sinew. He was a false prophet, a creator of twisted miracles, things that could fool the average person but could never sway a man of god.
Like a demon.
“Haha yeah, I never thought my prayers could do so much for a man, but I’m so glad he was healed by the grace of god,” Ash said as he spotted a path to the door. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I got a lot of stuff to do back at the house.”
With one quick motion, Ash grabbed Wyatt by the wrist and started pulling him towards the door. He heard Wyatt telling other people goodbye, but Ash didn’t stop until they were back at the truck. Ash hopped in wordlessly, nervous energy carrying him inside. Wyatt hopped in the other side and started the truck.
“Don’t worry about him,” Wyatt said. “He’s just mad that he can’t use me for pity points anymore. He tried to ‘heal’ me once, and I fell out of my wheelchair in front of the whole church.”
Ash looked out on the town as Wyatt drove through it slowly. He cursed his luck for ruining this day. He got his dick sucked in a church, and he still couldn’t feel happy about it! He tried to distract himself with anything the town had to offer, but with almost everyone at church, the place was even more dead than usual. The only person he could even see was at the gas station, and upon closer observation Ash recognized him, and perked up. Maybe he could get another win out of this day.
“Shit, hey can you stop at the gas station?” Ash asked.
Wyatt started to ask why, before seeing who was at the gas station. He nodded and stopped at one of the pumps. Ash hopped out and walked towards the man on the other pump. He was wearing sunglasses, so his expression was hard to read, but Ash knew why he was here. With muscles that big, there was only one reason why he was here.
“Number 2?” Ash asked.
“Try disqualified,” the man scoffed as he took the gas nozzle out of his car and put it back on the pump. “They don’t let you win if you pass out on stage.”
The man turned to him, sunglasses still covering his eyes. He held out his arm, and Ash could feel the knife in his hand once again. The man looked so out of place here, with a neon tank top and basketball shorts. It hurt Ash’s eyes to even look at the guy in the daylight.
“Come on, let’s get this over with. I don’t want to be in this shithole any longer than I have to be.”
“One question first,” Ash said, his knife at the ready. “Why do y’all hate Wyatt so much? He has nothing to do with you.”
“And he has everything to do with you,” the man said, the indifference in his voice turning to anger. “For years, I made a deal with a man I didn’t know, and I loved him, but the love I felt was so real, so powerful it could only come from a god. Only to one day know that I could find him, meet him, show my devotion for the man that turned me into this—”
He motioned to his huge, muscular body, hands shaking. He took a breath, then he sighed, his shoulders slumped over.
“But he hates me, understandably, and he loves someone else. You didn’t even make a deal with him, you just gave him your blood.”
“I don’t think it was a deal,” Ash scoffed. “I can’t see what I got out of this.”
“Can you not feel it? My body has been completely changed for your pleasure and you don’t even care. I can’t live like this anymore. Please, just take it. All of it,” the man begged.
Ash couldn’t wait to, as he didn’t want to think of how much sway he had over all of their bodies ever again. The man reached his hand out again, and gently Ash poked the man’s middle finger with the knife and then pressed his hand to the wound. He thought he’d feel better, having all of his blood in one place again, but it just felt the same. He still could feel some pounding in his head, no matter how faint it was.
“Feel any better?” Ash said.
“Yeah,” the man laughed. “Although I still think you’re cute. Guess I need to rethink some things about myself.”
Ash stood there, silent as the man got back into his car. Before he left, he rolled down the window and took off his sunglasses. His eyes were a deep brown, and it looked like he had been crying.
“Hey,” the man said. “Good luck. I hope your grandpa doesn’t find you.”
Ash knew he was being earnest, but as he sped off into the distance, Ash could only feel like someone had twisted the knife in his gut.
Ash was sick, and he was pissed about it.
Ever since he cut off the last guy that had drank his blood a couple of weeks ago, his body just became more and more sluggish. It was infuriating. He was supposed to be free of all of this bullshit. They were all gone! The worst part was he couldn’t even tell if this was actually something, or just stress. How was he supposed to stay calm when the threat of being recaptured loomed over his head?
Whatever it was, Ash thought it was stupid, so he pretended it wasn’t happening. He woke up every day like it was normal, even through severe fatigue and muscle pains, mostly out of spite for his own body. His only worries right now were appearing normal. To make sure of that, he checked his reflection in the mirror.
He looked like a corpse. His skin was deathly pale, his breathing heavy. Worst of all was the shaking, as chills were sent up and down his spine. All of this was compounded with a new sense of paranoia, the feeling of dozens, maybe even hundreds, of eyes watching him. It was odd. It felt just like it did when he was still connected to those bodybuilders, but this time it was much worse.
It was like he was being sucked dry.
The realization hit him so fast that it shocked him he didn’t think of it sooner. Of course his grandpa had more of his blood stored, why wouldn’t he? It was just good business, and when your demon escapes, you can just feed his blood to so many people that he’ll be torn apart from the inside out. He probably just went down the list of potential buyers, of which there had to be hundreds. Remote detonation, without any of the mess of trying to get him back. Ash was going to die like this, with no chance of fighting back. He never truly escaped.
Even with that realization, he wasn’t alone, so he thought it was best to keep up appearances. Ash stumbled out into the living room where Wyatt was on the couch.
“You’ve been sleepin’ a lot lately, you feelin’ okay?” Wyatt said.
“I’m fine, just tired,” Ash said.
Wyatt turned towards Ash, and on further inspection, he could see that Wyatt’s body was covered with dark stretch marks. Wyatt had stretch marks for a while now, but these were so wide, Ash was worried that they would start bleeding if he moved too fast. He looked to be tearing out of his own skin.
“Hey, how big are you now?” Ash said.
“Pretty big,” Wyatt said as he flexed his arm. The peak of his bicep threatened to hit his fists. “I haven’t checked in a while, though.”
“Could you check?”
“Sure,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt got up and lumbered over to the bathroom. Ash watched his legs smash into each other, his quads so bloated with beef that he couldn’t even walk without a wide gait. Wyatt even had to turn sideways to get in the bathroom, and even then, his pecs threatened to hit the side of the doorframe. However, Wyatt did get in, and just as Ash followed in, he looked down and saw what the scale said.
Wyatt was 412 pounds.
“Goddamn,” Wyatt said. “Thought the scale would have broke by now.”
Ash couldn’t say a word. He never thought someone could even get this big, even with his blood. The thought creeped in that maybe Wyatt wouldn’t stop growing. Just the way his body heaved, thick with mass that didn’t feel possible. He wanted nothing more than to reach out and touch it.
“You don’t have to just stare,” Wyatt said, flexing his arm once again.
Ash’s hand reached out, making contact with the mound of muscle before he could control himself. He heard Wyatt let out a grunt as he felt the bulbous peak, easily filling his hand. He could feel the thick striations in the muscle, and even the pumping of the veins that fed his bicep. It felt powerful, full of life and vitality.
Ash’s other hand reached its way over to Wyatt’s pec. His hand felt the light dusting of hair and the droplets of sweat on a muscle so unimaginably swollen and huge. Wyatt was grunting and groaning in full force now, and Ash swore that he felt warmer and sweatier as Ash’s touch worked him up. Ash’s hand kept going, spurred on by Wyatt’s reaction. He hefted the pec now, feeling its mass over fill his hand and spill out of it, just entirely too much for him to hold.
It was when, after minutes of worshiping the muscle god in front of him, Ash’s thumb brushed the edge of Wyatt’s nipple. Wyatt moaned loudly, his tree-trunk legs shaking. Ash looked down to see a huge dark spot forming on the crotch area of Wyatt’s jeans. Poor thing couldn’t hold his load after all that. Ash chuckled.
“God forbid a man be sensitive,” Wyatt pulled back a little, crossing his arms to block access to his nipples.
“No, that’s not why I laughed. I’m just amazed I can have that effect on you,” Ash said.
“Well, when you work me up like that, of course you can,” Wyatt said.
Ash nodded, still staring at Wyatt’s body. He really was a monster now, easily the biggest man ever. It was enough to make Ash wonder if Wyatt even wanted this. Even if he felt it was hot, was it too much? Was he too much?
“Have you been feeling okay?” Ash said.
“Pretty good, My knees hurt like hell and I can’t wash my back alone. I’m fine with that though, as long as you’re around to help,” Wyatt stopped when he saw the expression on Ash’s face. “Are you worried about me?”
“I’m worried about a lot right now,” Ash said. His legs started shaking as he willed himself to not look sick, or tired. “I don’t wanna talk about it.”
“You wanna go to the football game with me? There should be a game starting soon at the school. Could help get your mind off of it,” Wyatt shrugged.
“Yeah… that sounds nice.”
It really did sound nice, and as the pair hopped into the truck, Ash was determined to not let this stupid fighting over his blood stop him. As the trees passed by in the night, Ash made a pact with himself to have a good time, no matter how long he had.
It didn’t take long for them to ride into town. Wyatt parked the truck, and Ash hopped out, feeling the warm, muggy air slap him in the face once again. He just shook his head. It seemed like he was going to be sweating to death for the rest of his life.
The field was the only thing lit up, with the field goals clear against the rest of the dark sky. Ash could hear the sound of the announcer calling out the plays as the crowd started to cheer. The scoreboard changed, with the home team finally putting some points on the board.
Ash and Wyatt slowly made their way to the field, finally stopping on the home team’s side. Both of them leaned on the fence and watched the game.
“Not a fan of the bleachers?” Ash asked.
“I think I’d bust ‘em,” Wyatt said, glancing over at the old wooden bleachers. They probably hadn’t been redone since the 80s.
Ash watched the game closely,as the kids slammed into each other at full force. Although the home team got some early points, the Away team was catching up fast. It didn’t take long for them to overtake the lead.
“I swear we were better when I was in high school,” Wyatt said, shaking his head. “Must’ve gotten a bad batch of seniors.”
“It’s fine, my high school was bad at sports too. I wasn’t really big into it. Were you a football guy?”
“I played a little freshman year, before we found out… y’know. Doc wouldn’t let me play after that.”
“Well, I bet you’d make a pretty good lineman,” Ash said.
Wyatt laughed. “I’d be afraid I’d break ’em now.”
Ash kept watching the game, but he noticed that the people around kept staring at him and Wyatt. It was putting him on edge. He already knew how badly he messed up talking to the pastor last Sunday, and with the extra paranoia, it just felt worse.
“Hey, uh, do you know how people around here feel about me?” Ash said. “I’m seeing a lot of staring…”
“Can’t blame ‘em. They’ve probably never seen someone so big,” Wyatt tensed his bicep, just slightly, but his arm bulged obscenely. It was way bigger than his own head at this point. “But when it comes to you, half the town thinks you’re some kinda miracle worker.”
“And the other half thinks I’m the Antichrist.”
“Well, Lily told me the other half don’t know what to think, but you shouldn’t worry about that.” Wyatt draped his arm around Ash and pulled him close. Ash could feel the weight of Wyatt’s arm on his shoulder and the warmth he was giving off. “I’ll keep you safe.”
“You’re doing this here? What about—”
“Don’t worry, they ain’t gonna say anything. At least, not tonight. I just wanna keep you close.”
Even though Ash was currently sweating to death, he wanted it too.
The rest of the game went well, except that the home team got destroyed. However, Ash had a good time, and that was all that he cared about. Ash and Wyatt went back to the truck, but with the amount of cars leaving the parking lot, they just decided to wait it out. They didn’t have anywhere to go, anyway, and it gave Ash time to ask something important.
“So, are you planning on staying here with your parents still? Or do you have plans to go somewhere else?”
“Well, I might have some other places to go. Actually, and I’ve been meanin’ to tell you this, but I found my uncle’s number and I’ve been talkin’ to him again.”
“Oh shit, that’s great!” Ash remembered him mentioning Wyatt’s uncle when they first met.
“Yeah, He’s been doing pretty well for himself. He’s runnin’ a whole ranch out west and everything. He said if I needed to, I could stay with him.” Wyatt started the car, the parking lot finally starting to clear out.
“That’s good to hear,” Ash said.
“Yeah, and that’s not all. I got the courage to talk to my sister again, did I ever tell you about her?” Wyatt said.
Ash shook his head. This was the first he’d ever heard about a sister.
“Figures. She left for college a few years after I got sick. I always felt bad, takin’ all the attention away from her. She didn’t seem to hold a grudge though, said I could visit her apartment out in California.” Wyatt had a big grin plastered on his face as he started the truck, the parking lot finally clearing out.
“That’s good,” Ash said.
“Yeah, how about you? Y’know, now that you’ve gotten your blood back and all.”
Ash slumped in his seat, glad that he wasn’t standing up. He could feel the eyes that had been watching him, and he could hear…laughing? Fuck, they knew. They knew what he was, and they were trying to kill him. He had a week or so at most, and no way to fight back. It hurt, knowing that Wyatt had a bright future he couldn’t see, but Wyatt didn’t need to know that.
After a long pause, Ash replied. “I don’t know.” The truck stopped in the driveway, and both of them hopped out.
“Well, if you wanted you could come with me. I’m sure either of ’em wouldn’t mind.” Wyatt walked up to the front door, with Ash following, until he stopped and turned around. “You’ve helped me out so much, I just wanna repay you somehow.”
Ash looked into Wyatt’s hazel eyes. God, he was so sweet.
“Kiss me, please. That’s all I need,” Ash said.
“I—uh, you sure? I don’t wanna intrude, it is only our first…date? Did you consider that a date?”
“I—yes,” Ash rolled his eyes. “If I’m being real, you’ve already sucked my dick. It’s fine.”
“Oh, yeah, guess I did do that. Well…” Wyatt trailed off as he leaned over, leaving Ash to bridge the gap.
Wyatt’s kissing was soft and gentle. He was so careful. It was just another way he was too sweet. It made Ash feel kind of self-conscious, as he kissed a little more desperately, with just a little hunger. He just… wanted him more than anything, even though he didn’t deserve it.
It was then that he felt connected to Wyatt, through the blood he had willingly given. It wasn’t straining, like all the fuckers that were pulling him apart, or controlling like the repentant bodybuilders. It was soft, a knock on the door, a can I come in? Ash wanted nothing more, so he let Wyatt in, a connection of sensation, but with clearer lines. Two people, as close as possible.
Wyatt pulled away from the kiss and rested his forehead against Ash’s.
“Please, I could feel it. Tell me what’s wrong,” Wyatt said, the sadness in his voice almost overflowing.
Ash could hear it clearly now, the laughing. His grandpa kept his word and fed him to every shitty man who begged for a piece of his power. They were all laughing at him, a cacophony of ridicule. They knew what he was, and they knew he was dying.
“I—he had more of my blood. He gave it to so many people. They won’t stop laughing at me,” Ash said, tears streaming down his face. “I don’t know how long I can do this.”
Wyatt pulled him close, His arms comforting Ash as he sobbed, openly, for the first time in years.
“It’s okay, it’s okay. I’ll protect you. I promise,” Wyatt said. “God, I’d like to rip that man’s head off.”
As he said that, the pair saw headlights crawling up the driveway. On closer inspection, Ash recognized the bright red sports car they were attached to. The last person Ash ever wanted to see was coming back to reclaim him.
“No, he can’t know—” Ash pulled away from Wyatt’s hug. “Please, just go inside. I don’t know what he’s brought with him, but I can’t watch you get hurt.”
“I—” Wyatt stopped seeing the look on Ash’s face. “Fine, if you need help, just yell. I’ll be out.”
Ash watched as Wyatt slowly walked back into the house, and then he turned to see the car, headlights shining into the driveway. He stumbled out in front of them, the world tipping and spinning. When he finally got his bearings, staring down the bright red car, the man of his nightmares finally stepped out.
His grandpa was in his 70s, but he aged like a celebrity. Graying hair and some wrinkled face were the only signifiers his body had aged, while he had a body a 20 year old model would kill for. He was perfect in the most disgusting sense, a body pulled and stretched and changed until age didn’t even affect him anymore, all covered in an immaculate white suit. Hell, Ash didn’t remember him being this big. He almost looked like he did in his old bodybuilding days again.
“What did you do to me!?” Ash screamed.
“I did what I had to. You’ve been out of control these past few months. You escape once and fuck everything up. It’s okay though, I can help you fix it,” His grandpa said.
“Fuck you.” Ash spit on the ground in front of him. “Where’s all your bodyguards, huh? You leave them out in this forest?”
“I came alone. I want to make a deal.” His grandpa smiled, his teeth too bright. “We can work together this time, none of this fighting, this arguing. It isn’t right. We’re family, and I’m all you have left. I told your parents about your true demonic nature and your sexual deviance. I doubt they’ll ever want you back.”
“What, you just wanted to ruin my life one more time before you kill me?” Ash could still hear all the men he fed, laughing at his misfortune.
“That was just to make sure you didn’t run rampant with this. I can help you, but you just need to come with me—”
Ash’s grandpa was cut off by the sound of a door flying open and the sound of a shotgun cocking. Within seconds, Wyatt was right by Ash’s side, pointing a shotgun right at his grandpa.
“You need to get the fuck out of here. Now.” Wyatt’s voice was filled with a cold anger.
Ash’s heartbeat quickened in his chest. He didn’t want Wyatt to do this. It wasn’t his fight. He didn’t need blood on his hands.
“I know you can’t hurt me. He doesn’t want you to,” Ash’s grandpa said with more derision in his voice. “And this man here is the perfect example of how this goes wrong. Because this is what happens when you’re left to your own devices. You take good Christian men, and you infect their minds and bodies with your infernal lust, turning them into hypermuscled faggots—”
Ash’s grandpa was cut off by Wyatt firing a shot right into the windshield of his sports car. Wyatt aimed for his head again and pumped the shotgun.
“Call me a faggot one more time and I’ll blow your fuckin’ head off!” Wyatt roared.
Ash saw his grandpa’s face change from his smug, holier than thou expression to one of pure terror. However, Ash had his own conundrum: his grandpa knew too much. And not just in a stalking way, he had information that shouldn’t have been possible for him to have. And why was nobody else here to back him up? It was only when the realization hit him that he pointed at his grandpa, knife appearing in his hand once again.
“You drank my blood,” Ash said.
His grandpa tried to deny it, but Ash could feel his body. He could feel his heart hammering, his stomach churning. He felt every nerve firing to move his muscles, as his grandpa slowly walked backwards towards his car. But it was more than that. Everyone else had a small amount of his blood, nothing more, but he had gorged himself on the stuff. It was to the tune of gallons, all inside of him. Why the fuck would he do that?
“Because you didn’t deserve this!” Ash’s grandpa yelled, an answer to Ash’s silent question. “If I had that power, I could turn good, strong, upstanding men into the most powerful beings on earth. I could make the earth itself into His perfect image, wiping away all the degenerates that have ruined it! But you? All you’ve done after crawling out of Hell is possess a miscarriage and pretend to be human!”
Ash, knife in hand, flicked his wrist. It was a motion so simple, but Ash could feel the weight of an ancient power behind it. He heard a sickening CRRACK as his grandpa’s body snapped and shattered, muscles exerting too much force for the bones they were attached to. His grandpa’s back slammed onto the hood of his car, shattering his spine. His arms broke and twisted at unnatural angles, rendering them useless. His grandpa cried out in pain, but the laughing in Ash’s head stopped, as all of those men felt a ghostly grip around their throats.
Ash trudged forwards, pulled by his sense of freedom. He had done everything he could to just forget what happened, but this fucker just couldn’t let him go. He gripped his knife tighter, as he straddled his broken grandpa. The only way to get rid of his past now was to kill it.
“As…mo…deus, please,” his grandpa said.
Ash could feel his veins fill with liquid rage. Even in his last moments, he couldn’t say Ash’s actual name. Couldn’t even consider him human. Ash lifted the knife higher.
“No, you can’t!” his grandpa choked out, his body expelling the last of his energy. “I’m important! people will notice if I’m gone. And the others! You’d be destroying America itself if you did this! You can’t kill us!”
Ash wavered for just a second before realizing what his grandpa was saying. He couldn’t apologize, all he could do was just beg. He didn’t want forgiveness. He wanted to live without consequence, and Ash wasn’t going to let that happen any longer. He stabbed his knife straight into his grandfather’s head.
His grandpa didn’t scream. Ash could hear men screaming, all the men who thought they were invincible suddenly learning they weren’t, but his grandpa wasn’t screaming. He stared, wide-eyed at the night sky, and then his skin started to sag. Ash could feel the solidness of his body failing, feeling more like an underfilled water balloon.
Then, his grandpa’s skin turned a dark crimson shade and started to melt. His clothes and even his car turned the same dark red and melted. Ash slowly sank closer to the ground as his grandpa turned into nothing but a puddle of blood.
Finally, Ash’s knees rested on the gravel driveway, sitting in a puddle of blood that used to be his grandfather. He started to laugh. His laugh was loud, and slowly turned to crying. He sobbed as he felt Wyatt’s strong arms around him, and with one deep, primal scream, Everything went dark.
Ash woke up in Wyatt’s bed with no pain at all, with Wyatt’s arms wrapped around him. He looked up to see Wyatt on his phone, with his other hand on Ash’s wrist. It was light outside, the next day. Wyatt looked down at Ash and smiled.
“How long have you been up?” Ash said.
“I’ve been in and out of it,” Wyatt said. “You gave me quite a scare passin’ out like that. I wanted to keep an eye on your pulse.”
“Shit… I’m so sorry,” Ash said, his voice choking up.
“No, no, what’s wrong?” Wyatt said, holding Ash close to his chest. “It’s over, ain’t it?”
“How are you not scared of me?” Ash said, clutching onto Wyatt as hard as he could. “You saw what I did to him.”
“He was tryin’ to kill you. That’s self-defense. Plus, I would’ve done a lot worse if I were you.” Wyatt patted his head.
Ash laid there for a minute, sniffling. There was no way he made it out of this so unscathed. Just because his grandpa was gone didn’t mean he wouldn’t face any consequences. Something had to have been broken because of him.
“Has America been destroyed yet?” Ash asked. He flinched a little, waiting for the answer.
“Nope, Next day and the news ain’t even talkin’ about it that much.”
Ash sat up in disbelief.
“No fucking way, I killed so many people! Known people too, plus I know there were a good chunk of those were politicians. How is that not, like, a terrorist attack, at least!?”
“Well, they were all at the same party. I guess they were celebratin’… you know,” Wyatt motioned to Ash. “And one of the senator’s wife has been interviewin’ constantly about the drugs that were apparently at this ‘boy’s night’. Police said they all OD’d.”
Wyatt turned his phone to show Ash. There was a video of a young woman talking to some journalists on a morning news show. She cried just the right amount to know she was distraught, but just enough to still be easy to hear. She talked about the danger of her husband’s addiction. It was too convincing. Even Ash felt himself starting to believe her, and he knew what had actually happened.
Ash just nodded and stood up. He felt like he needed to ask more questions, that he should want to find out who she was, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. He was free, for real this time. He could feel it, his body felt so… normal. No issues, just him. It was over; it was truly, finally over.
“What’re you thinkin’ about?” Wyatt said, as he got up and gave Ash another hug.
Ash’s head immediately nestled into his cavernous pecs, feeling the thrum of his heartbeat, and just a little bit of his own magic still in Wyatt’s body. He couldn’t believe that Wyatt was going to keep growing. Who knows how big he would get? Ash absentmindedly felt Wyatt’s pecs with his hands, until his finger traced over his nipple.
“Careful,” Wyatt grunted. “You know I’m sensitive.”
Ash grinned deviously as he pulled his head out of Wyatt’s pecs. His finger was still tracing Wyatt’s nipple, causing the big man to moan like an animal in heat. Ash’s other hand felt up Wyatt’s abs. It felt like a brick wall, all hard and full of power, just like the rest of him.
“Maybe this was my plan the whole time,” Ash said. “Pretend I’m some poor soul, until I could properly infect you, making you grow way too big.”
“‘Too big?’ There ain’t no such thing!” Wyatt proved his point with a most muscular pose. He could only be described as mountainous, with his traps overtaking his neck. “How big do you think I could get? 450? 500 pounds? Hell, If I really tried, I bet I could make it to 600. Who am I kiddin’? I’ll be way bigger than that!”
Ash just stared in disbelief, in awe of the man in front of him, and how lucky he was to have found Wyatt. He couldn’t think of another man who would’ve taken his magic in stride, and never judged him for it. Not only that, but he liked it, he truly, actually liked it. The best part was that Ash could feel he had no control over it. Wyatt would grow at his insanely quick pace, and that was enough to satiate even Ash’s biggest desires. Which was why he had to do this.
Ash’s mouth latched onto Wyatt’s other nipple, eliciting a loud groan. His hands went to work, feeling up Wyatt’s body, with one reaching around to Wyatt’s massive back and bulging lat. His other hand traced down past his abs until it had reached into his pants and found his cock.
Ash could feel Wyatt’s thick cock in his hand, already slicked with pre. He stroked Wyatt’s cock slowly, drinking the moans coming from the big man. Ash himself was in his own form of ecstasy as he sucked on Wyatt’s nipple. He could imagine doing this over the years, each time amazed by Wyatt’s growth. It didn’t matter how big he imagined Wyatt to be: He was going to outdo Ash’s imagination every time.
Soon enough, Wyatt’s moaning and grunting reached a fever pitch. He roared and flexed as hard as he could, as his cock shot load after load onto his own abs. His orgasm seemed to last for minutes until finally he started to pant as his cumming came to a close. Ash pulled off of Wyatt’s pec to see Wyatt’s abs covered in his own cum. He wanted to make a joke, but Wyatt stopped him by resting his forehead against Ash’s own.
“It ain’t evil for you to be horny for this. I doubt anyone could really blame you,” Wyatt said. He flexed his arm again, showing off the mountain of muscles that he had gained.
Ash took a shaky breath. Even when he was telling jokes, Wyatt was so earnest, so nice, so unbearably honest. What did he do to deserve this?
The pair stayed like that for a few minutes until Wyatt spoke up again. He had just one more thing he had to ask.
“Hey,” Ash stared at the ground, afraid to admit what he wanted to do next. “Do you think it would go okay if I saw my parents again? I know what my grandpa told them, but he might have lied about their reaction.”
“Couldn’t hurt to try,” Wyatt said. “Plus, I’d like to see where you grew up.”
“Are you coming with me?” Ash asked.
“Don’t want your boyfriend to meet the parents? You’ve already met mine.” Wyatt tilted his head. “Do they know?”
“I never really told them, but they knew,” Ash said. “I think they didn’t know how to talk to me about it, but they were nice. They started to tell me that they loved me a lot more after they found out. Maybe that still applies even while being a demon,” Ash said.
“I’m sure it will, I guarantee it.” Wyatt smiled, but Ash could see that he was hurt, deep down. Hopefully, his parents would come around eventually. “Also, you do need me, unless you’re plannin’ on walkin’ to Iowa.”
Ash took a deep breath. It felt like the first one in years. He was actually going to see his parents again. And after that, who knows? Maybe he’d just follow Wyatt to wherever he was going. That could be fun.
“Oh, I almost forgot,” Wyatt said, letting go of Ash. “Your, uh, magic teleportin’ knife is still out in the driveway. I tried to bring it in, but it kept going right back to the ground. I tried for an hour last night, no luck.”
“I’ll get it,” Ash said, shaking his head. “Get some sleep. You need it.”
Ash turned to leave after making sure Wyatt crawled into bed, but he heard a soft, “Hey.” He turned around to see Wyatt looking at him, smiling.
“He was wrong, y’know. You’re just human, not pretendin’ or anything,” Wyatt said.
“You still don’t think I’m a demon? Even after all that?” Ash said.
“Nope. Never will.” Wyatt shook his head. “Course, we could always just compromise and say you’re both. Don’t think there’s any rules against that.”
Ash didn’t say anything, but he smiled as he left the house. He could handle being both.
Ash walked into the driveway. Wyatt’s truck was here, and his knife was laying in the gravel, but there was nothing else, not even a stain on the ground. It was like he was never here at all. Ash walked over to the knife and picked it back up, twirling it in his hand. Just then, he felt a cool breeze come down from the driveway. Maybe Mississippi was finally entering a cooler season, but to Ash, it felt like a gift he needed.
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