The heart is a muscle

by Mikeytron

 A muscle growth bildungsroman: shy small nerd meets his college roommate, who’s friendly, confident, and fucking huge. Growth occurs, both emotional and physical, over the course of their first year together.

Added: Jun 2021 Updated: 31 Jul 2021 38,553 words 17,378 views 4.9 stars (53 votes)

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“Real strength never impairs beauty or harmony, but it often bestows it, and in everything imposingly beautiful, strength has much to do with the magic.”—Herman Melville, Moby Dick

September, 2004

Ben waved from the sidewalk as his parents’ car pulled out of the parking lot, turned right on the avenue, and disappeared behind the gleaming anonymity of the newly-built student center, handily adjacent to the handsome Edwardian dormitory that would be his home for the next eight months. They had safely ensconced their son in his dorm room, had taken him out to supper at a chain restaurant, and were now making the five hour drive back to their tiny hometown. It was early evening, pleasant, that period of September when the days still feel like summer but the nights carry the hint of autumn. The distant sound of frosh parties called to him, but Ben stood still on the mercifully empty sidewalk, took long slow breaths of the cool fresh air. He wanted a minute to collect himself, to think.

Ben had never been away from home for more than a week. His parents were so protective of their eldest son, so talented, so intelligent, so polite, so perfect—it was exhausting. Stifling. Ben had purposefully selected a university some distance from his hometown so that he could grow, explore, be dumb, be rude, be flawed.

Really, though, Ben’s only actual plan was to gay it up big time. His little hometown, surrounded for dozens of miles of nothing, had few if any possibilities for a horny closeted teen with low self-esteem and overprotective parents. But he was at university now, in a city now. His heart galloped when he considered the possibilities, equal forces of hope and fear warring across the vast battleground of thwarted adolescent desire.

He’d timidly came out to his parents in the weeks before the move. His mother reacted as if some precious object had been dropped to the floor, cracked in some irreparable way—not angry, but so, so unhappy, which was worse. Ben could have dealt with anger—could have responded to it with anger of his own, could have cloaked himself in righteousness. This terrible grief? It opened an unspeakable gulf, a great chasm. It couldn’t be answered. After that conversation the topic never came up again, but the tension in the house was palpable over his last weeks there.

But now Ben was free. Free to do … what, though? For years he’d been waiting for this moment. Here he stood, alone in the city, free to be himself, to recreate his identity, to follow his pleasure—but in those daydreams of this moment, he’d never actually imagined what specifically he would do. It was just abstract: “I want to be free!” And now he was free. So now what.

Back home, he’d stand before a full-length mirror late at night, after everyone had gone to bed, stand shirtless or even naked, and assess himself. A furnace-like teenaged metabolism kept him slim, about 145 pounds at 5’11”, but a life of limited physical activity kept him mostly toneless—his body was a long, thin column of pale flesh, his limbs graceful but exceedingly slender, his tummy soft. He had striking features, though—not cute, but powerful: a sharp roman nose, piercing blue eyes, thick dark hair, firm full lips that added an attractive quality to smiles and sneers alike. His female friends, most of whom knew he was gay, always told him he was handsome—regal, noble, words of that nature. But Ben had trouble believing it. In those midnight self-assessments, he felt great anxiety—would this be enough for anyone? Would anyone ever desire this portion of flesh that he called his own?

He was struck by a dilemma unique to homosexuality. Unlike their straight counterparts, gay people can and frequently will look at their own image and ask themselves that dreadful question: “would I fuck me?” And Ben, in his heart of hearts, knew the painful answer was “no.” Ben liked big men. Ben liked really, really big men—muscular men. Ben’s dirty secret was that he jacked off to bodybuilders, browsing incognito on his laptop after everyone else had gone to bed. And what muscle man would want an inexperienced skinny-fat twink full of neuroses?

Enough. It was time to head inside. He had a new life to build—and potentially a roommate to meet. He was assigned a double room, two twin beds on opposite sides of a cinderblock shoebox, but when he and his parents had moved his belongings in, earlier in the day, the other side of the room appeared vacant, unclaimed.


Ben turned the key, opened the door, and stopped in his tracks as he laid eyes on his roommate for the first time.

He was sleeping. He was face down on the twin bed and he was sleeping. He filled the bed. He overfilled the bed. He was wearing a jock and nothing else. Ben’s eyes darted all over the gigantic sleeping form but continually came to rest on the ass, like a compass needle finding north. That ass! Twin marble peaks, a work of art, jutting high and proud into the air, spherical, taut, framed perfectly by the bands of a jockstrap. The rest of him, though! He was too tall for the bed, too wide for the bed. Not just his big bare feet, but his calves—the size of those calves! Like cantaloupes but covered in hair and veins, even at rest!—his ankles in the air past the foot of the bed, his elbows in the air off the side—his forearms angled back towards his body, his hands buried under the pillow beneath his head. Ben could see him taking slow, even breaths, could watch his massive back, overfilled with gnarled knots of muscle, rise and fall. His back was so thick and overmuscled that there was cleavage over parts of his spine. He was definitely asleep. Ben’s mouth was dry. He still hadn’t moved from the doorway, his hand still on the doorknob. Ben was painfully, throbbingly, aching erect. The air smelled of … it was like a spice, or something like an unusual wood, a little musky but not unpleasant. Ben realized that he was smelling him. This was what pure potent masculinity must smell like.

It was only about 8:00 at night. There was a big frosh party, involving the whole house, in the common room on the ground floor. Should he wake this guy? No, not until he took care of this boner. A guy this big—probably a football jock. Probably straight. Possibly cool with gay guys, but possibly not—but in either case, probably not cool with being perved over. In any event, perving out on this guy would be a … suboptimal first impression. Ben very, very silently shut the door behind him, slowly crept across the floor to the closet-like en-suite bathroom, quietly shut and locked the door, turned on the fan to create some background noise, dropped his pants, and began rubbing his average-sized but nicely-shaped uncut cock.

It barely took twenty seconds to cum. He had to stifle his moans. But still his mind was flooded with images of his unconscious roommate. Fuck, you pervert, you don’t even know his name, what the fuck is wrong with you? But he couldn’t stop thinking about that alabaster mountain of ass. It was so big, so round. It looked so firm, yet so inviting … . Ben couldn’t believe it—his cock was still a mess of semen from the first orgasm, but he hadn’t softened one bit—if anything, he was harder than ever, his mind flooded with images of the musclebeast asleep on the other side of the door. Oh fuck. It had been, what, two or three minutes? But he had to go again. He began beating his meat once more, churning his still-fresh cum into a froth, using it as lube. This time he managed to last for maybe ninety seconds, but the orgasm was, if anything, more intense than the last, balls aching, overtaxed. He tried his best to stay silent, but he couldn’t help it—a single groan escaped his lips as he shuddered, his dick spasming in an orgasmic variant of dry heaves, contracting with all its might to force more cum out when he was already drained dry. Ben was panting, trembling, couldn’t catch his breath. “Oh shit,” he muttered to himself. “Shit.”

And then there was a tap on the door. A deep, friendly baritone voice rumbled through. “You okay in there, buddy?”

“Yeah! I’m good!” Ben said, immediately cursing how high and strangled his voice sounded in comparison. “Uh, sorry to wake you.” He surreptitiously flicked his hand into the sink, shaking gobs of cum free. This was a surreal introduction, through a locked door. Not ideal. But maybe for the best—face to face, Ben could never have kept his composure.

“No biggie, man, I fell asleep by accident anyway. Name’s Brock. I take it you’re the roomie? All that theatre stuff belongs to you?”

“Uh, y-yeah,” Ben said, trying to quietly rip off some toilet paper to wipe away the rest of the mess. He cringed, visualizing the cast photos and acting awards he’d arranged on his side of the room. “Kinda a theatre dork. I’m not studying it though. I guess you’re a sports guy.”

Ben heard Brock chuckle through the door. He realized with a sinking feeling just how not-at-all soundproof the walls were. “What makes you say that?”

“Dude, I saw you.”

“Oh yes? Well, why don’t you finish up in there and me and you can get a late dinner, get to know each other a bit better.”

Ben had, of course, already eaten, but he wasn’t about to say no to a guy like Brock. “Absolutely. Just, uh, give me a couple of minutes to finish cleaning myself up.”

“Take your time, dude.”

Ben leaned over the sink and slowly exhaled. He looked in the mirror, stared in his own piercing blue eyes. “Hoo boy,” he muttered to himself, breaking his gaze to turn on the faucet, wash away the cum, splash some cold water on his face. “Whoa.”


Brock turned out to be a great roommate. He was very friendly, very relaxed. He was indeed a “sports guy,” a football player and a powerlifter, but he was academically gifted, wasn’t interested in coasting on his abilities on the football field. “Besides, this school’s football team isn’t great,” Brock said, giving his yard-wide shoulders a little shrug. “I just like playing. It’s not a career. I’m thinking PhD—maybe history? Or maybe something with a bit more real world application, but still in the liberal arts. Poli Sci or something. Oh, don’t look so surprised, Ben. You know they assign roommates by SAT scores?”

“I did not know that,” Ben said. “But it makes sense. Sorry. I’m just … I come from a pretty remote area, pretty small town. I’m the first person in my family to go to college, I don’t know how any of this works. And all the football players at my high school were goons. No offense.”

“Hey, I used to be pretty goonish, too. Came to my senses probably about halfway through high school. Glad I did.”

The student center food court was nearly empty, maybe ten or fifteen people scattered through an area that could seat three hundred. Ben kept darting his eyes out the window, or to the dark Dairy Queen counter, closed for the day, or to the janitor slowly approaching with his floor-buffing machine. He was hyper-aware of looking at Brock the correct amount but not more than the correct amount.

“Jeez dude, you’re jumpy,” Brock said with a kind smile, leaning back in his chair, stretching his arms over his head. Ben allowed himself to look briefly at his roommate. The thin cotton t-shirt he had on stretched to its limit to contain his bowling-ball biceps, the thick corded ropes that were his triceps, the twin mounds of pecs, their uppermost cleft visible above the poor tortured collar, a collar that had already given way in places to Brock’s thick traps and wider-than-it-was-tall neck. This shirt lifted up as Brock stretched, revealing his stomach, thick bloated abs bowing out in a luxurious curve, a cute little innie belly-button almost lost in the crevice between his abs, a faint trail of blonde hair leading down into his shorts. Brock laughed and the abs snapped to attention, his midsection suddenly a tight six-pack. “Eyes up here, dude,” he said.

“Oh god, sorry, sorry, sorry,” Ben stammered, gaze shooting back to the distant janitor.

“Dude, relax. I’m playing with you. I don’t mind. Hey. Hey. Look at me. In the face, heh. Serious though, look at me.” Ben did as he was asked, making eye contact with his new roommate for the first time. His eyes were ice blue, paler than Ben’s, but just as intense. Almost a wolf’s eyes. He had close-cropped fair hair, thick features, a heavy brow, but his mouth was curved into a friendly smile. “I know I’m big. It didn’t happen by accident, trust me. I like being big. I like it a lot. And I like being looked at. You’re not going to offend me, okay? So, you know, relax. We’re going to be sharing pretty close quarters for a long while,” he said, throwing up a double bicep. The thick glob of muscle jumped into two hard balls; his skin was noticeably paler around the peaks where it stretched to its maximum to contain the burgeoning meat. “You’ll get sick of seeing me do this pretty soon, I’m sure.”

“Never,” Ben said before he could stop himself. He felt his face flush crimson, but Brock only laughed.

“Okay, then, you can help me track my progress. Hey, speaking of—you gonna eat that?” Brock’s hamburger had long ago disappeared, while more than two-thirds of Ben’s remained on his tray.

“I actually had supper with my parents earlier,” Ben said.

“Hey, so did I,” Brock said, grinning. “So, uh, you don’t mind …?” Ben shook his head ‘no,’ and Brock’s grin broke into a full smile as he slid Ben’s tray over to his side of the table. “Great. Gotta keep my calories up if I wanna grow.”

Ben felt his mouth go dry again, cock straining as if trying to get even harder. He had the urge to start looking all over the vast empty food court again, but he forced himself to keep his eyes on Brock, as instructed. “You, uh, you want to get bigger?”

“Mmf,” Brock said, his mouth full of burger. He swallowed. “Fuck yes. But in all honesty, this size is basically ideal for football. So I shouldn’t get more than ten or fifteen pounds heavier than I am right now. 285, if you’re curious. But yeah, dude, when I quit ball, I wanna grow. No such thing as too big,” he said, tearing into the burger again.

“Woah,” Ben said, overwhelmed again. “You’re, ah, you’re almost double my weight.”

“What’s double your weight?”

“290.”

“Gimme a couple of weeks.” The hamburger finished, Brock wiped his mouth with a paper napkin then grinned at his roommate. “I think we’re gonna get along real well, roomie.”


October, 2004

It was Halloween. Ben was drunk. The dormitory party was winding down. He’d come as Dream, from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, but it really wasn’t much of a costume for him—the diaphanous black clothes came from his own wardrobe, the spiky black hair was his own, the white facepaint was from the campus drugstore—the only elaborate flourish was the black contact lenses from a costume store downtown. But people kept thinking he was dressed as “that guy from Limp Bizkit,” and Ben had stopped explaining after the first few times.

Ben had made some other friends, but his roommate Brock was the only one he felt any sense of closeness to. Brock had, naturally, come as the Incredible Hulk, but Ben had lost track of him midway through the party, and he hadn’t seen him for an hour or two now.

The party was dying. It was late and Ben was drunk. Time to leave. The stupid black contact lenses were bugging his eyes, anyway. He tossed his plastic cup into the overflowing garbage bin and called out goodbyes to the remaining people he knew, exiting the dormitory’s ground floor common room.

Brock and Ben lived on the top floor. Ben waited by the elevator for several minutes, eventually losing patience and deciding that seven flights of stairs wasn’t all that bad. Probably someone was passed out in the elevator doorway on some floor between the bottom and the top, Ben figured.

He was winded by the time he reached the top of the staircase. “Fuck,” he thought, “am I that out of shape?” The truth was that the freshman fifteen was creeping up on sedentary Ben, whose metabolism was slowing, as it inevitably would. In clothes he still appeared lean and lithe, but shirtless, in the mirror, he was soft, pasty—still thin, at about 155 pounds, but with no muscle to speak of. It disheartened him more than he let on, especially when Brock paraded around shirtless (he was almost always in some state of undress), his skin stretched taut over the massive boulders he called his pecs, his delts, his biceps.

Ben finally reached the door to their room, unlocked it, opened it, and saw Brock’s naked back, the green body paint half worn away, his enormous round glutes in the air, looking even paler because they were untouched by green—but this time Brock wasn’t sleeping, and the glutes weren’t still, weren’t reminiscent of a marble statue, some Grecian hero in repose. This time, Brock was straddling a second figure, and those massive marble glutes shifted and flexed as he thrusted. Ben let out a strangled squawk, yelled “sorry!” and turned to hastily exit. Then his drunken brain finally processed some other key piece of visual information.

Brock was not fucking a woman. Brock was slamming his thick veiny cock into Wolverine’s hairy, meaty butt—or rather, James from Third Floor who’d shown up to the Halloween party as Wolverine, with big veiny biceps and thick hairy forearms that looked the part, to his credit.

“Sorry!” Ben squawked again, through the shut door, regaining his composure, beating a quick retreat. His heart was thumping faster than when he’d finished climbing the stairs. Brock was gay?!

Brock’s voice from inside the room, calling to him. “Dude, you okay? I forgot to put a sock on the handle, I’m an idiot.”

“Yeah!” Ben answered. “Just, uh, take your time finishing, I’ll go for a walk, be back in a half hour or something, yeah. Um. Okay! Bye! Have fun!” What. ‘Have fun?’ Why say that? Ben rushed to the elevator. Idiot idiot idiot idiot idiot. Then he remembered that the elevator was apparently broken. He turned on his heel and rushed in the opposite direction, to the stairs. Fuck. Idiot idiot idiot idiot idiot idiot idiot.

Ben walked out of the dorm. It was a little chilly outside, but not too bad. It was a black night, no moon, no stars. He walked down to the little duck pond halfway across campus. Drunken Halloween revellers passed occasionally, hooting and hollering. Ben smiled and did his best to respond in kind, but his heart wasn’t in it.

When he arrived at the pond, he sat down on a bench. He could see some people toking up in the gazebo on the other side of the pond, but mercifully he seemed to be alone. He stretched out on the bench and looked at the sky, giving a long, slow exhale.

Okay. So your friendly musclebound roommate is also gay. It’s like a big gay fantasy, just like the kind you’d have daydreaming in math class. Except it’s real.

But you are not in love with this guy. You are not allowed to be. If he was interested in you, he’d have made a move already. He’s confident. He knows you’re turned on by his body. If he wanted you he’d have taken you by now. So you need to put that thought out of your mind right now. Immediately. Crush that thought under your heel. Do it for your own good.

Okay.

Ben’s stomach was doing flip-flops. How would this change the comfortable roommate dynamic that he and Brock had established over the previous eight weeks? Ben didn’t want that dynamic to change. He liked it. It was nice. The little shoebox of a room he shared with Brock—it was maybe the first place in the world where he felt more or less comfortable, more or less at ease. And now he probably wouldn’t feel comfortable there, would he? Ben let out another long sigh as he lay on his back by the pond. The sky was absolutely featureless and awful-looking.

“So, what’s your costume supposed to be, that guy from Limp Bizkit?” asked a mocking voice.

Ben sighed. “No. Not to be rude, but please leave me alone.”

“Doofus, it’s me. I’m not going to leave you alone.” Ben sat up. Brock stood nearby, arms crossed. He was wearing his 4XL peacoat but appeared to have only underwear on underneath it. His face was still smeared with Hulk green. “Look, dude, you’re upset, and I wanna talk it out with you so it doesn’t ruin our friendship. Or our living situation.”

Ben blinked. He had come to think of Brock as a friend, but this was the first time either of them had used the word. “But what about James?”

Brock snorted. “He’s a dumb fuck,” he said, “but boy does he have a hot ass. Sorry. Don’t repeat that. All I mean is, he’s not a boyfriend or a friend or anything. We were just, yanno, fucking. Something I notice you don’t do, by the way.”

“I didn’t know you were gay,” Ben said.

“Um, I don’t think I could have been more blatant on the day we met,” Brock said.

“I didn’t get that. You have to remember, I was basically raised by wolves.”

“Funny, I’ve seen your mother’s picture, she doesn’t look like a wolf.”

“Haha. You know what I mean. I, uh, I don’t know these rules that everyone else seems to know. I don’t get what people mean half the time. I swear I’m not an idiot. This is just all new to me. Anyway. No. I did not know you were gay. I thought you were just a friendly non-homophobe straight dude. This is legitimately new information for me.”

“Dude, I invited you to leer at me all you wanted and told you I like it—okay, but whatever, I believe you. Miscommunication happened. We’re getting sidetracked.” Brock sighed. “Okay, so what has you upset then? I think I know but if I guess wrong I’ll sound like an arrogant prick.”

Ben looked away, at the guys smoking pot in the distant gazebo. The faintest acrid whiff of weed reached his nose. If mother dearest could see me now. He screwed up his courage. “You’re absolutely everything I ever wanted in a man, Brock.”

“I know. That’s why I’ve never done anything with you.”

“What?!” Ben’s heart jumped. “Isn’t that cruel?”

“No, it’s kind,” Brock said. “Look, okay, this is real talk. I say this as a friend—and we are friends—and I care for my friends. You have a lot of work to do. You need to become more self-confident, to become the man you want to be, rather than the frightened boy your parents and your hometown created. And this isn’t an insult or a criticism! You’re doing that work, and that’s one reason I really like you. But if we got together, it’d be a disaster. Either you’d hate me by Christmas, or you’d become absolutely devoted to me, suffocatingly devoted, and that isn’t something I want in a partner. I mean, I’m not even looking for a partner of any description right now. I don’t want a boyfriend, at the moment. But if I fucked around with you, like I fuck around with guys like James, well, it’d break your heart, I think. And I’m not going to do that.”

There was silence as Ben processed what Brock had said. “I get it,” Ben said. “But it still hurts a little to hear.”

“Growing always hurts,” Brock said, not unkindly.

“Is it going to be weird between us now?” Ben asked.

“Yeah, for a little while,” Brock said. “But we’ll get over it. We’ll be better friends because we had this conversation. Underneath all that anxiety you’re scrappy. You’re gonna grow from this.”

Ben sighed again, looking out over the black lake. ‘Scrappy.’ It wasn’t a word he’d ever applied to himself. He tried it on for size, found he kind of liked how it felt. Scrappy. “You’re right,” he said. “About everything. I guess you really are smart. Okay. Let’s go home. I need to take these fucking black contact lenses out before they blind me.”

“All right, let’s get out of here, Limp Bizkit.”

“Oh, fuck you!” Ben feigned outrage, punching Brock’s massive shoulder, then pretending he’d hurt his knuckles on those massive meaty deltoids.

“Mosquitos out tonight,” Brock remarked neutrally, looking in the opposite direction, pretending not to notice, scratching his shoulder where he’d been punched. He looked back toward Ben. “Oh, did you hurt your hand somehow?”

And so the roommates walked home.


January, 2005

Ben stood shirtless in the small en-suite bathroom in the dorm room he shared with his massive gay musclebeast of a roommate, Brock. He stared at his pasty, unimpressive body in the mirror. A term of cafeteria food, frosh boozing, and little physical activity had left him deeply unhappy with his body. Usually, Ben never allowed anyone to see him shirtless, but this time he’d left the bathroom door open.

Brock sat at the desk, reading a book about the Russian revolution for his history class. The difficult aftermath of Halloween had passed. Ben was fairly confident that he now felt a brotherly affection toward Brock, that their social dynamic was much healthier, something approaching an easy equality.

He had a question to ask Brock. It was an important one. He’d wanted to ask for some time now. But in previous months he’d been too nervous, too worried. Now, he was trying to be ‘scrappy,’ was trying to be the kind of man he wanted to be. So he screwed up his courage, walked out of the bathroom, still shirtless, and stood facing Brock expectantly.

Sensing his presence, Brock looked up. “Woah, dude, the glare. Warn me before you do that so I can put on my sunglasses.”

“Brock, I want… I would like you to show me how to work out. I don’t like my body and I want to do something about it.”

Brock grinned. “Good for you, guy. I was wondering when you’d ask me that. I’d be more than happy to help. Oh, okay, what’s that look for?”

Ben scowled. “You knew I wanted you to show me how to lift?”

“I can read you like a book. Actually, I can read you easier than a book,” Brock said, casting an evil glance at the thick, jargon-heavy academic tome on his desk. “Seriously though, it’s obvious you love muscle on other guys. Why shouldn’t you want some for yourself?”

“Well, yeah, exactly. But if you knew, why didn’t you invite me without me asking?”

“Uh, because I want you to grow as a person, maybe? You can’t be timid when you enter the iron game. You gotta have some grit, some spine.”

“Okay, okay, I get it. So I’ve grown as a person. I screwed up the courage to ask. So are you gonna do it?”

“Already said yes, didn’t I? You’re rolling out with me at 6:30 tomorrow morning. No complaints about the time. I want you to be wearing your game face. You’re gonna feel weak and small, but if you give it your all and push yourself people will respect you. You got decent shoes, gym clothes? Good. Okay. You’ve got your marching orders. Now let me get back to the fucking Romanovs.” Brock picked up the book, his tricep forming a giant sleeve-straining horseshoe as he hefted the tome. He opened the book, appeared to begin reading—god, the way his chest mounded up towards his face when he held the book in that position, chin down, like he could scratch an itch on his pecs with his stubble—but then he paused, looked up, made eye contact. Fierce blue eyes met fierce blue eyes. “I’m proud of you, bro. I want you to know that. Today’s the first step on a long journey for you.”


May, 2005

Ben took to the gym like he was born for it. All the anxiety and neuroses melted away when he was under the bar. He’d clamp his fingers around the iron like he intended to break the weight in two. Those intense blue eyes, that strong roman nose, those proud full lips curling into a snarl. He had a scholar’s approach, too—sometimes overthinking things, but always, always doing his homework, always striving to improve his form. He was brutally meticulous with his diet.

“Newbie gains” was a phrase that entered his lexicon. Firm lumps sprouted on his arms; his thighs and butt started to fill his jeans in new, surprising ways. Just a few weeks in, he was brushing his teeth and was startled to see his tricep and forearm twitch in time to his brushstrokes.

“You’re doing real well,” Brock said. He’d coached him for the first few weeks, but then allowed him to go his own way, more for scheduling reasons than anything else—between maintaining a 4.0 GPA, football practice, and his own lifting sessions, Brock didn’t really have time to babysit Ben in the weight room.

But the regulars soon accepted Ben as one of their own. His dedication and focus could not go unnoticed. As January turned to February turned to March turned to April, it became clear that Ben wasn’t going anywhere—he became a regular in his own right, trading nods with other regulars who lifted when he lifted, sometimes even having brief chats about nutrition and form in the longer rests between heavy sets. The first time someone asked him to spot them on a bench press, Ben played it cool, but he could barely contain his pride—it was like a sign that he belonged there, now.

It was nearly the end of term. Ben’s pudgy middle had melted away, and he had added a solid 30 lbs of lean mass to his once-slender frame. He was still far from a mass monster—far even from a bodybuilder—but, even clothed, anyone with a trained eye could see that he lifted pretty seriously.

Brock was in the bathroom, shirt off, designer briefs straining to contain the double boulders of his ass, his thick cock and generous balls stretching the pouch. His stance was wide to accommodate his freaky-big quads, which, nevertheless, pressed together midway down to his knees. He was throwing poses into the mirror, crunching his abs, flexing his arms. “Dude,” he said, sticking his head into the room he shared with Ben, “whatcha weighing these days?”

“Uh, I dunno, like 175, 178. Why?”

“Get in here.”

Ben set aside his book, stood up, and walked over. “What?”

“Shirt off,” Brock said, gesturing at Ben’s chest.

Ben shrugged. Four months of changing in the locker room had erased most of his former modesty. He shucked his shirt, which offered surprising resistance against his lats as he tugged it off—he realized, with a surprise, that maybe he was getting too big for it.

“Look at us, bro,” Brock said, shuffling so he stood behind Ben. Wider and taller by a fair margin, Brock filled the mirror’s frame without even trying. But Ben was shocked to see that he held his own. Brock’s pecs were enormous, bulbous really, like two halves of a beachball pushing out from his ribcage, his big nipples pointing toward the ground. But Ben’s pecs were square, high and tight, with a little cleavage between them—and they were particularly full towards his collarbone. Brock grunted his approval. “You’ve been hitting that incline press, haven’t you? Your pecs are really coming in, nice and full. Throw me a bi.” Ben grinned and flexed his right arm. Brock reached over, adjusted the angle.

“What, are you teaching me to pose?” Ben asked, joking.

“Yes,” Brock said, quite seriously.

“Oh! Uh, this okay?”

Brock nodded. “Throw up the other arm, now.” Ben did, and Brock similarly adjusted it. “Try and remember this angle. Makes the arms look bigger from the front.”

“Dude, I thought you weren’t a bodybuilder.” Brock often corrected people who mistook him as a bodybuilder—he was a powerlifter.

“No, I’m not a bodybuilder. But you are.”

“What.”

“Don’t believe me? Just look in the mirror, bro.”

Ben cast a critical eye in the mirror. He let the double bi fall and experimentally flexed a few other areas. Wherever he flexed, a muscle jumped in obedient response. But he was hardly big. “I guess,” he said, skeptically. “But I’m still really small.”

Brock smirked. “And the fact that you said that is what tells me that you’re gonna get huge, my friend. Look at you. You look like an underwear model. You’ve got that small-boned frame, that handsome mug, a perfect 5’11” height, and now you’ve got nice, toned, ‘not too big’ muscles—in most people’s eyes, you’re almost an ideal male specimen.”

Ben caught Brock’s gaze in the mirror, held it for a moment. “But we’re not ‘most people,’ are we?”

“No sir, we are not,” Brock said. “Like I said. You’re a bodybuilder. Lat spread.”

Ben did his best attempt. Brock’s serious demeanour broke a little. “Hoo boy,” he said, chuckling, “we’re gonna have to work on this one. Flare the lats. Bring the shoulder-blades down. Better. Not there yet but better.”

Ben grinned. “Well, why don’t you show me how it’s done, big guy?”

Wordlessly, Brock turned. There was barely enough space in the small bathroom for both of them; his huge glutes and his ultra-thick back thrust into Ben’s face, pushed him back against the sink. Brock’s back was jam-packed with more meat than his frame could handle. He brought his arms and shoulders up, and then back and down, flaring his lats out out out out out, wider and wider and wider. “Fuck!” Ben heard himself say. “Dude, I haven’t noticed, but can you even fit through our door?”

“Gotta angle myself sideways a little bit,” Brock grunted, flexing. He shifted into a rear double bicep pose, the caps of his deltoids crowding up towards his face, the peaks of his biceps reaching up towards his fist. “Not that I’m complaining.”

“Holy shit,” Ben said, taking it all in. He was so close to Brock that he could see the beads of sweat forming on his lightly tanned skin, could see the angry red stretch marks where Brock’s muscles had grown faster than his skin could handle. “How big are your arms, even?”

Brock exhaled forcefully. “Haven’t measured for a little while. Almost 24” last time I did.”

Ben whistled. “Dude, I thought you couldn’t get any bigger because of ball.”

Brock dropped the pose and turned to face Ben. “Watching you grow this term, I guess I got inspired. I made a decision. I like football. But it’s a distraction. What I really want in life is this: to be the most massive muscular motherfucker I can possibly be. So I’m quitting the team. Which brings me to something else.”

“What’s that?”

“You’re not going back to that Podunk shithole for the summer, are you?”

“What else can I do?”

“Me and you. Let’s rent a little house—I got a friend who’s moving out and we can take his place. Spend the summer lifting and eating. Let’s grow, you fucker. Let’s get absolutely fucking massive. Blow some minds when we show up for the start of term in September. Whaddya say?”

Ben’s head was spinning. “That’d be the best thing in the world,” he said. “But I don’t know if I can afford it.”

“Talk to Tom at the gym. They need a student to work the front desk over the summer. It pays not great but enough for now. He’s seen you working out, sees how dedicated you are, how you’re a no bullshit kind of person. You even rack weights other people leave on the floor, you fucking boyscout. He says the job’s yours if you want it. I’ve got an offer to bounce at a club. Maybe when you get a little bigger you can join me there, if you want. Money won’t be a problem. So are you in?”

Ben turned to the mirror, took a long look at Brock’s massive, pumped frame, the way his skin stretched paper thin over every unbelievably bloated muscle. Ben popped his pecs. He liked how they had a bit of swell and sweep to them, the beginnings of roundness, the littlest line of cleavage. But he had so much more to grow, so much more size to gain. He wanted to be as big as Brock. No. He wanted to be bigger than Brock. He wanted to have trouble fitting through doors, to have people stare when he walked past—he wanted to be a 320 lbs superheavyweight bodybuilder.

Become the man you want to be. And that’s what you want to be. So that’s what you’re gonna be.

“Am I in?” Ben finally answered, a grin splitting his face. “Big brother, do you even have to ask? This summer. Me and you. Four month grow-a-thon. Fuck yes. Let’s do it. Let’s get huge.”

Ben lay back with a groan, his eyes shut, soft spring light through the second story window. Shadows cast across his massive build, cast by the hills and valleys of pecs, abs, delts. His body a geography of desire. He felt so good, taking up space, possessing such mass, every flex and twitch a reminder of his size, of what he had become, what he had grown into, what he had made himself. But all of these feelings were secondary to the iron spike of brain-melting bliss that protruded from his groin, freshly buried to the hilt in the tight, warm embrace of his boyfriend Karim’s ass.

“How do you do it?” Ben managed to pant, his eyes flying open, losing his gaze in Karim’s big, liquid, near-black eyes, framed so perfectly by thick, dark eyebrows, shaped so that his face always had a friendly, open aspect. Karim straddled Ben’s lap, sat upright, knees meeting Ben’s flared lats, hands cupping Ben’s various bulges as if constantly confirming and reconfirming their reality. The look of awe in Karim’s eyes was too much for Ben—his slim little lover never failed to be overwhelmed by Ben’s sheer mass, and Karim’s reaction always overwhelmed Ben in turn—so Ben shut his eyes once more, pushed his back into the mattress, thrust his hips hard, easily countering all of Karim’s weight, bucking him in the air. Ben stopped there. This felt way too good to blow his load so soon.

“How do I do what?” Karim asked, bobbing gently on Ben’s granite-hard dick in the aftermath of his single huge thrust. Karim’s teachers had been very good, leaving only the slightest trace of accent—but it drove Ben wild, the slight unpredictable glide of certain vowels as they left Karim’s mouth. The rapid twitches and spasms of Karim’s butt belied his gentle, measured tone. Karim was on the verge of losing his mind to a delirium of lust; Ben could tell.

Ben groaned, bucked wildly twice more, and then forced himself again to slow down, hold back. He couldn’t spurt yet, this had to last. Every nerve was blazing with electric fire. “Eighteen months and every time we do this it feels better than before,” he panted. “Fuck.” Karim chuckled and hummed knowingly, a warm baritone hum. The muscular contractions and soundwaves sent a flood of new sensation down Ben’s tightly-enveloped cock. “Oh, shit, careful, careful,” Ben moaned. Karim smirked at him, cocked a knowing eyebrow, and ground his ass against Ben’s tight balls. The big muscle man was losing his composure. “You’re, uh, you’re gonna make me, uh … lose my mind!” Karim knew exactly how to bring him to the edge of orgasm and leave him there for seeming eternity.

“What, little old me, make a big 270-pound hunk of beef like you go crazy?” Karim hefted his thick spear of a cock, more than eleven inches of veiny fuckmeat that bobbed with the rhythm of Ben’s spasmodic thrusts. Karim bent it down, rubbed it against Ben’s big cobblestone abdominals, bowing out and snapping tight, emerging and disappearing and emerging with each of Ben’s volcanic breaths, quickening as eruption drew nearer. Ben whimpered, feeling Karim’s outrageously fat organ roll against the ridges and valleys of his abs. He was, indeed, a 270-pound slab of muscle reduced to a whimpering panting mess of brain-breaking pleasure—brought to the brink of erotic madness by a man only slightly more than half his size.

Karim was intelligent, kind, cultured, remarkably handsome in a fine, small-boned way, his body a perfectly proportioned 5’7”, his ass two warm light-brown globes guarding a narrow portal to a realm of pure pleasure. Ben would’ve loved him regardless of what his dick looked like. But the fact that his devoted boyfriend had the largest cock Ben had ever seen—and, after he’d come out of his shell, he’d seen a good number, especially in that first year—well … it was almost too much to consider. Karim’s thick, veiny 11.5” looked even larger considering his slim build and short stature. It verged on the ridiculous, the cartoonish, the freakish, which is exactly what turned Ben on more than anything else. Freaks of masculine excess pushed Ben beyond the brink of reason and into a delirium of pleasure.

Karim was still grinding his fat log of a dick into Ben’s heaving abs, smearing precum around like some sort of holy balm. He knew exactly what he was doing. “Oh, fuck, Kay, oh fuck, I’m not gonna be able to hold off much longer,” Ben said, words tumbling out of his mouth, urgent.

Karim smiled, flashing his perfect white teeth. “Then don’t hold back, beast. Fuckin’ wreck me.” That incongruous profanity, and, again, that slight accent—just perceptible, partly upper class pan-European, partly-Maghrebi Arabic, partly American slang picked up from action movies, partly something else that was indefinable, pure and unique to Karim, all of it as subtle as perfume in the next room. These were the flourishes, the extra details, that brought these experiences beyond sex and into some other realm.

‘Fuckin’ wreck me’ was all the invitation Ben needed. With a deep growl that seemed to come from the center of his overgrown body, Ben grabbed Karim, holding him in place, speared on his cock. Ben rose to his knees and flipped Karim’s legs over the two meaty boulders he called his shoulders. He started slamming into him with abandon, pounding Karim’s beautiful velvet ass into oblivion with steady, quick rhythm.

“Fuck! Ugh! Unh!” Ben held nothing back. The same strength that allowed him to deadlift almost six hundred pounds was now ramming Karim with a vengeance—and Karim egged him on, urging encouragements between groans and moans.

Ben finished more quickly than he wanted to, but the erotic momentum was impossible to resist, like tumbling over Niagara Falls, some kind of Victorian daredevil of sex. With a wordless roar, his mind empty of everything but sensation, he slammed himself into place and began to pump his load deep into Karim. Five, six, seven, eight spurts—and more, smaller after-shocks, quivering spasms, a good dozen. Ben placed a thick arm on either side of Karim’s slender torso, veins bulging and spiraling down the thick twin pillars, transferred his weight to his palms, panting, totally spent. Sweat trickled down the bridge of his aristocratic nose and further speckled Karim’s dewey torso.

“Stay in me,” Karim instructed. Ben nodded, too breathless to speak, his monstrous muscular form heaving with each breath. Karim was masturbating himself now, using both hands. “Spit on my dick, muscle freak.” Ben did as instructed. “Now flex for me.”

Ben nodded, giving a double bicep pose, his body still heaving with panting breath, ab-gut inflating and snapping back into place over and over. Karim watched, full of awe. His jaw-dropper of a dick spasmed visibly in his hands even as his rhythm faltered along with his grip on reality. “Fuck, you’re huge,” he muttered.

Ben grunted, dropped his arms to his waist, popped his pecs, flared his lats. His arms and back had lately grown so large that sometimes, when pumped, he had trouble getting his hands to his waist to complete the pose. “Gonna get bigger, too,” he said, still breathing hard. “Remember when we met? I was just hitting 210. Hadn’t even been lifting a year. Yeah, I could feel your eyes on me from across the room even then. Soaking up your helpless gaze. Now look at me. Fuck, just look at me. Just think—I did all this growing in less than three years. Of course I’m gonna get bigger. A lot bigger. Fuck.”

Karim bit his lower lip and stifled a moan. The pace of his strokes increased. “Yeah?”

Ben nodded, then crouched into a most muscular pose, flexing everything as hard as he could, his still stiff dick nestled cozily in Karim’s cum-filled hole. “Yeah, you know I’m gonna get so huge. I know you want me to—fuckin’ musclebeast, swelling bigger by the day. Like a tick that hit an artery.” Veins popped to the surface of Ben’s pale paper-thin skin; he seemed to visibly swell, filling Karim’s field of vision, this massive heap of meat, growing larger and larger, his skin straining to hold it all in, the individual fibres of each muscle clearly visible as Ben forced more and more blood into them, flexing with every ounce of strength he commanded.

“Ooh, fuck,” Karim said, feeling himself losing control. “You look like … you’re gonna burst.”

Ben cocked an eyebrow, smirked, and somehow doubled down, flexing harder still, new fibres and veins popping, skin stretching to the limit. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you, you sick fuck? Maybe I will. I’m growing so fast, I don’t know if my skin can keep up.” Ben snarled and gave a quick, unexpected thrust of his hips, nailing Karim’s prostate without warning. Karim’s breath caught in his throat, and his massive cock erupted, shooting ropes of semen onto Ben’s straining musculature. He gasped and grunted, like the force being shunted through his gargantuan cock was too much for his small frame to handle. Spurt after spurt after spurt, baptizing Ben’s mind-bending musculature with load after load. Finally his whole body went limp, his cock still drooling. Ben gathered him in his cum-drenched arms, nestled him in their shared bed, feathered his face and torso with light kisses.

It was the afterglow. Who knows how much time had passed. Karim came to his senses wrapped in Ben’s enormous arms. They’d taped them at 22” last week, larger than Karim’s slender thigh. Only half-awake himself, Ben gently nibbled the nape of Karim’s neck, breathing in his essence, his lover’s scent reminiscent of toasted spices, sandalwood, sea salt. They lay locked in this post-coital embrace for a measureless moment. Karim remembered when he’d first seen Ben. Indeed, it had been more than sixty pounds ago—or about thirty months, as mortals measured time.

Karim was a young man from a wealthy family, attending American university more or less as a way to spend a few years in America, taking whatever classes suited his fancy, working his way towards a BA, not quite sure what to do after that, enjoying the insulated bubble of a northeastern liberal arts college. He was sitting at his desk, first day of the Introduction to American Literature class, leafing through Moby Dick, when Ben walked into the room—but of course, Karim did not even know his name, yet.

It was the fall of Ben’s second year; he’d been lifting seriously for only nine months, but he’d spent the summer doing little else, engaged in a four month grow-a-thon with his housemate and best friend, Brock. Ben had spent the whole summer gorging himself on protein-rich food, working the front desk of the campus gym, soaking in gym culture, thinking of little else beyond muscle, in a constant state of anabolism. He’d transformed from the gawky skinny-fat theatre nerd who’d come to college just to escape overprotective parents and a conservative small town. He now resembled a solidly built quarterback, if perhaps one with a poetic or artistic side. He was 5’11”, 210 pounds, with intense blue eyes, a proud Roman nose, thick dark hair, lips at once luscious and firm. Karim’s mouth was dry and his dick was hard, which could pose a real problem for one as endowed as himself. Karim remembered nothing of the dusty old professor’s first lecture. He could not take his eyes off the beautiful, solid, self-confident specimen of masculinity sitting two rows over, three desks ahead. Karim did remember one thing—the professor going around the room, getting people to say their name and a little bit about themselves, why they were taking this class.

“I’m Karim. I’m from the Netherlands but my family is Algerian. I want to know more about America.” The words sounded so vapid in his own ears, his accent so clunky. He desperately wanted to say something that would catch the muscular young man’s attention, but what?

A few other students said their forgettable lines. Karim remembered none of them, doubted they even registered in his mind in the moment. Then it was the beautiful stranger’s turn to speak. His voice matched his body, a strong, warm, deep voice, full of easy confidence. “I’m Ben. I’m taking this because it’s a prerequisite for some upper year lit seminars I want to take. But I’ve also really enjoyed reading Faulkner, Hemingway, Dickinson, Whitman—I want to learn more about them, to read others from the same tradition.” Ben. Karim wrote it on the first page of Moby Dick so he wouldn’t forget. It was clear he was no lunkhead. Ben shifted, as if embarrassed for revealing his bookwormish side. Just in that simple, casual rearranging of his body, his tricep flexed against the thin cotton of his t-shirt sleeve and his quad strained at the seam of his jeans. He hadn’t replaced much of his wardrobe, and clothes that were loose a year ago were tight and revealing now. Karim inhaled deeply, imagining a few particles of Ben were suspended in the air and were now inside him. He breathed deeply again, as if by that action he could draw this dream of a man nearer.

Then, almost three years later, a vibration through the structure of the house interrupted Karim’s reminiscing. Heavy footfalls, a key in a door, a familiar rough but friendly baritone voice. “Anybody home?”

Karim turned in Ben’s arms, seeing his enormous lover was half-asleep. When they met Ben had been a 210-pound college stud. Now, he was now a 270-pound bodybuilder. But he still had that regal face, and he still loved Faulkner and Dickinson. Karim breathed deep, again, just as he had done in that classroom on the day they—well, not ‘met.’ On the day he first encountered this living paragon of masculinity, even now drenched in Karim’s seed.

“Ben. Hey, Ben. Wake up. Brock’s home.”

Ben’s eyes opened and he smiled immediately. “Great,” he murmured happily. “Let’s see if he wants to eat.”

It had taken Karim some time to tame his jealousy where Brock was concerned. Ben was devoted to Brock in an incredibly deep way, devoted in a fashion rarely seen. But Karim had come to understand it was an intense form of brotherly devotion. As far as Ben was concerned, Brock had saved him from a pale, unsatisfying life, had taught him how to be a man, led him down the path to self-fulfillment. Brock was the big brother Ben never had but so desperately needed. Ben would follow Brock through anything, would even bleed for him, if need be. During one of their early fights, before Karim understood the nature of this bond, Ben turned, frustrated at Karim’s jealousy. “You like this, don’t you?” he said, flexing his bicep into a gnarly orb of mutant flesh. “This exists because of Brock. If I never met Brock, or if he’d been your garden variety douchebag, I’d still be a skinny self-loathing coward of a boy. You love me? You love what I am, the man I am? That means you love Brock too.”

And now Karim did—love Brock too, that is. Really, Brock made it easy.

“Hey, big man!” Ben called, leaping from the bed, not bothering to clothe himself, or wipe up the half-dried cum that coated his monumental muscles. He trotted down the hall, his chubbed-up cock wagging in time with his steps like a happy puppy’s tail, the juicy orbs of his pale ass bouncing in time with his steps, his broad shoulders threatening to scrape the walls of the narrow hallway. Karim watched him go with a smile before climbing out of bed. More modest, he hauled on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt before following Ben down to the ground floor.

“You massive dirt bag,” Brock said, not seriously, dodging the cum-caked Ben, who kept trying to catch the well-dressed big man in a hug. “You creature of filth. Do you always answer the door like this? What if I had Matt with me?” Karim was newly taken aback at the sight of Brock. People always were, when they first saw him, and he’d been away for four days, on a campus visit to a PhD program that was courting him. But four days was long enough for Karim’s brain to start to forget how abnormally huge Brock was, to diminish him in memory simply to make his unbelievable size less of a challenge, psychologically.

If Ben, 5’11” and 270, was the size of a superheavyweight bodybuilder, perhaps even a pro, Brock was several orders of magnitude larger again. 6’3”, short blond hair, ice-blue eyes, sturdy strong facial features, he tipped the scale at 340 pounds, all of it muscle, perhaps a little smoother than Ben’s freaky vascularity—but only a little. He was almost too large for built environments—he had to squeeze through many doorframes, he was too big for average plane seats, he regularly broke furniture, he had to have most of his clothes tailor-made. He was one of the few people who could make Ben appear normal-sized. Next to him, Karim looked positively minuscule, 8 inches shorter, 200 pounds lighter. Karim boggled at the sight of him—he was just beyond description, beyond belief, his beachball pecs, his arms the size of a cyclist’s thighs, his ass like two overgrown prize-winning pumpkins stuffed into tailor-made dress-pants until the fabric was so stretched out it was semi-see-through and almost shiny.

“So what if Matt was with you? What’s so special about Matt? Aww, your favourite fuck-buddy. He’s lifted with us plenty of times, so he’s seen me naked lots, in the locker room, in the shower. And a big slut like you can’t be afraid of a little wholesome semen—keeps your skin smooth and youthful, you know. Like we haven’t jacked off on the same sofa more times than I can count. C’mere and give me a bro-grab, you coward,” Ben laughed, darting at Brock. Brock pulled away more forcefully, and Ben immediately stopped his joking and drew back. “Woah, hold on. You’re serious. What’s up?”

Brock shifted uncomfortably, shrugging his wider-than-a-yard shoulders, which was like watching an avalanche of boulders covered in acres of soft cotton, if such an avalanche could become uncertain and indecisive. “You know,” he mumbled, avoiding eye contact.

“Oh my god,” Karim said. Ben looked at him; Brock kept his eyes down. “Ben. Brock’s in love.”

“Whaaaaat,” Ben said.

“No, it’s true, look at him.”

Ben did, carefully. “Holy shit, Karim. You’re right.”

Brock laughed but it sounded forced. “What? A guy’s allowed.”

“Of course you’re allowed, doofus. It’s just . . . it’s kind of new for you, isn’t it? You’ve always been Mr No Strings Attached.”

Brock finally looked up, and his face was pink—he was blushing! The mountain of a man was blushing! “I’ve just been realizing, trying to decide where I end up in the fall. Matt’s really special to me. I mean, we’ve been fucking around for a while, fuck, you’ve made us both breakfast a dozen times I’m sure, but it kind of hit me in the last week or two. We’re probably going to end up in entirely different parts of the country, and I… I hate that. When we’re together, it just feels … right, in a way that it never has with anyone before. I don’t ever want to be away from him. I think . . . I think I want him with me. With me.”

Ben was silent for a second, processing. Then his full, firm lips cracked into a huge smile and he laughed wordlessly, joyously. “Fuck, dude, that’s awesome!” Ben laughed. “My best friend’s in love! Fuck, I gotta go shower this shit off me, put some clothes on and give you a real hug without ruining your fancy outfit. I’m so happy for you. This is great. So great.”

Brock grimaced. “Don’t be premature. Maybe Matt just thinks I’m another easy fuck. Maybe he doesn’t want a boyfriend. Maybe it’s him that’s Mr No Strings Attached, not me.”

“No way,” Karim interjected. “I’ve seen the way Matt looks at you, Brock. He’s hopelessly devoted if you say the word. Ten thousand percent. Trust me on that.”

Brock smiled gratefully at him then, and Karim couldn’t believe there was a time when he’d been jealous of the big man, a time when he wished Brock would go away and leave Ben all for Karim.

“Okay, pals, I’m cleaning myself up,” Ben said. “Kay, why don’t you get some food going for us all, steaks or something.” He leaned in to give Karim a passionate kiss and a slap on the ass before trotting off to the bathroom. Karim watched him go, and sensed the massive form of Brock next to him, also watching Ben’s receding form.

“He’s looking real thick. You guys going ahead with your summer plan?” Brock asked.

“Yeah,” Karim said. “It’s all set up. We’ve got just an insane amount of roids and HGH and ancillaries on ice, the on-site doctor to administer and monitor it all, we’ve got the special-order training facility, all the food on order, a massage therapist to come in regularly to do deep tissue—everything. He’ll be sleeping in a high oxygen environment, even. At least the Gulf States are good for something, is all I can say.”

Brock shook his head. “Four months in a high-tech growth-lab set up by his wealthy muscle-obsessed boyfriend and a cabal of similarly-minded trust fund muscle sluts. That Ben. He was always the freakiest of the freaks deep down in his heart. Soon he’s gonna have the body to match.”

“Your invitation still stands, you know.” Karim said. “You can join us. Those growth-obsessed trust fund sluts, as you say, would love to get their paws on you.”

“Nah. I’m still growing naturally. I don’t wanna upset whatever anabolic state my body seems to default to. If I ever plateau, I’ll get in touch. Plus, you know, I want to stay close to Matt. I can’t ask him to be my boyfriend and then disappear into the desert for four months.”

“Sure, sure,” Karim said, turning to walk into the kitchen. “That makes sense.”

Brock shadowed him. He was still uncharacteristically serious. “Listen, Karim. Ben means … Ben means a lot to me. Best friend doesn’t even cover it. I feel like, if anything bad happens to him because of this, it’s me that set him down this path. Like if his liver says ‘fuck this!’ or his heart explodes or something awful like that. Make sure that doesn’t happen. I want him huge and happy, but I want him healthy too. I want him here forty years from now. We’re supposed to be dirty old men together.”

Karim met Brock’s ice-blue gaze with his own deep, dark, kind look. “I promise. I love Ben, Brock. I love him more than I thought it was possible to love another person. If something bad happened to him, it would end my world. I am going to take every precaution and then some.”

Brock nodded. “Good, good.” Then, as if he couldn’t resist, he continued. “So, ah, how big do the doctors and trainers think he’ll …”

“If it all goes to plan, he’ll roll into the first day at UCLA a lean 315. Maybe more, depending on how he responds to the drugs.”

Brock whistled. “Shiiiit. I gotta up my game.”

There was a sound like a refrigerator falling down a mountain. It was Ben, running downstairs to rejoin the two most important people in his world. He launched all 270 pounds of himself at Brock. Any lesser man would be knocked to the ground by his tackle, probably with some broken bones or bruised internal organs. Brock, though, absorbed the incredible force like it was a friendly pat on the shoulder. Ben squeezed with all his might, knots and cords popping up on his gargantuan arms. He tackled low and grabbed Brock around the waist simply because no one’s arms were long enough to encircle his mighty chest. “Loverboy,” Ben said, face muffled by Brock’s thick lats, “you don’t know how happy I am for you. You and Matt, huh? Call him, get him to come over, Karim will cook us all dinner. And then Kay and I will get out of your hair and you can get all lovey-dovey. This is our last week together, you know? All of us, I mean. We should have a party. We’re off to the desert next week. Heh, they’ll probably have to fly me back in a cargo crate, I’ll be too big for anything else. And then it’s California. And you’ll be in soggy ol’ New England. At least you’ll have that tattooed freak to keep you warm. You know when I say ‘freak’ it’s a compliment, right?”

“Okay, okay, you dork, slow down! What the fuck, did you do a line of pre-workout upstairs just now?” Brock cried, cutting off the rapid flow of words, enormous arms in the air, looking down at Ben, who was still latched on to him in the fiercest hug. “I get it, I get it. You love me and you want me to be happy. I hope you don’t treat your boyfriend this way, he’d snap in half.”

“Oh, I’m very gentle,” Ben said, tightening his grip. “Gentle as a lamb,” he growled. “Get in here, Karim, show Brock how much we’ll miss him.”

Karim set down his knife, wiped his hands on the dish towel, and took in the tableau before him. What a sight they were, Brock and Ben, two handsome writhing heaps of muscle—he doubted there had ever been a pair of friends quite like them before. Brock met his gaze, grinned, cocked his head to second Ben’s invitation. With a smile he couldn’t contain even if he wanted to, Karim clambered onto the mountain of flesh that was his crouching boyfriend’s meaty back and joined the embrace, snuggling his face into the warm boulder that was Brock’s shoulder. He never knew such happiness could be possible.

Late Spring, 2009

There was a man leaning on the gym’s front desk when Tommy came back from the washroom. He’d never seen the guy before—if he had, he’d sure as hell remember it. The guy was built—that was the only word for it. About six feet, probably closing in on 290 pounds, skin thin and tan and full of stylized tattoos—just a broad chunk of inked muscle, oozing power, rippling and warping the fabric of reality around him, the way truly huge bodybuilders do, to those who can perceive such things. This guy clearly didn’t lift here, but he clearly lifted—frequently—somewhere. Yeah, the guy was memorable all right, so Tommy was pretty sure he’d never seen him before. But what clinched it was his ass.

To be blunt: it was the most disproportionate, most protuberant pair of muscular glutes Tommy had ever seen on a man, and he spent a good part of each day around bodybuilders and powerlifters, gymrats, meatheads, roidfreaks, disciples of iron. Massive, meaty buttocks came with the territory, and few complained, except when trying to find pants that fit. A big round squatter’s butt was a badge of honour to be earned, and besides, people of all genders usually liked ‘em, how they looked, how they felt.

But this guy, he must have been genetically predisposed to a big firm bubble butt before he ever laid hands on a dumbbell. He must have clued in to the fact that his glutes over-responded to training, blowing up, growing out, rising like bread dough in warm sunlight—and he must have dialed his lower body routine up to eleven in response to that discovery. Fuck balance, fuck proportion—here was an outlandish, delirious, monumental, monstrous musclebutt.

He wore a pair of emerald rugby shorts, contrasting nicely against his medium dark skin, so loose around the waist that even from here Tommy could see the slack in the waistband—but so, so, so tight on his gigantic bodybuilder butt, bunching up on his enormous and super-defined thighs, striations twitching with each minuscule shift of his weight. The fabric in those poor shorts was under serious strain, threatening to split in a dozen places. Then Tommy noticed his calves, big as melons, twin orbs covered in veins as if clutched in place by roots, or by the gnarled fingers of a fairytale witch. Tommy thought of himself as mostly straight, but he could appreciate certain male bodies. Right now, those freaky calves, those super-thick too-big-for-his-shorts thighs, and above all those outrageous globes of ass like twin green planets, planets that seemed to expand to fill Tommy’s vision—it was all too much. His mouth was dry, his breath quick, his dick rocketing from wet noodle to titanium rod in record time. He did an about-turn and marched right back to the bathroom, striding purposefully into the stall, whipping out his nothing-special-nothing-shameful dick, bending it down, giving it exactly three light, almost feathery strokes, shooting a mega load directly into the toilet bowl. He just came and came and came, like he hadn’t come in weeks—big, ropey spurt after big ropey spurt forcefully hitting the water. His limbs quaked, but he clenched his mouth shut, kept his breath caught in his throat, didn’t allow even a single whimper to escape—he was practiced at the art of silent orgasm.

Tommy hadn’t even seen this guy’s face. But, frankly, he could look like a troll from the waist up and Tommy wouldn’t care. All he wanted to do was bury his face between those insane globes of meat and never remove it. He could suffocate there, for all he cared. That ass was sublime, in the truest sense—it was provoking crazy, dangerous, destructive thoughts.

Tommy dribbled his last into the toilet bowl. His balls ached from wanting to force out even more, his dick giving little twitching dry heave aftershocks.

“Okay,” Tommy said to himself, watching clouds of semen slowly pinwheel in the toilet bowl. “Okay.” He dabbed himself with some toilet paper, flushed the lot, exited the stall, ran the tap until the water was ice cold, dunked his head under the flow. Stifling a gasp, he held himself in place for a good five or six seconds.

“Okay,” he said again, staring at himself in the mirror, soaking wet short brown hair, receding around the temples. A year ago, he considered himself in the second rank, here at the gym. Tommy was an all-American meathead, Long Island subtype, half-Italian half-Polish, all man. A solid 220 on a 5’9” frame, he was no dilettante. His lifts were respectable, and his torso filled his L and XL shirts with firm round shapes in the right places. He fucked girls but rarely kept a girlfriend. He’d dabbled with steroids and he’d toyed with but rejected the idea of competing in local shows—he figured the diet would be too much of a bitch. But that all changed a year ago. Everyone had to readjust their perceptions, had to step up their game in response—the entire pecking order of the gym had to be renegotiated. Tommy was 240 now, the L shirts had been retired and the XLs were snugger than ever. Girls had started saying he was too big, but he felt smaller, in a way he hadn’t felt for years.

And now this unknown freak out front!

Tommy’s XL gym t-shirt, which he had to wear while on shift, was wet from the sink, clinging to his nicely mounded traps, but he didn’t care. “Get a grip,” he told his reflection. Maybe a quick turn around the gym floor would help.

Tommy found the weight room exactly as he expected. It was a Monday night, so The Legend was lifting, and everyone else was pretending to lift while actually watching that living mountain of freak flesh throw around unheard-of poundages. The stranger out front with the gnarly calves, the muscle-bloated thighs, the almost supernatural pair of glutes, all waiting at the front desk—he flew from Tommy’s mind, just as he hoped. Tommy was just in time to see The Legend deadlift the equivalent of a small car. The big man approached the bar, breathing heavy already, his shoulders and chest heaving, shirt off—no one cared—flesh ruby-red and stretched onion-skin thin over muscles pumped beyond the maximum and then pumped larger still. Seeing The Legend in full pump was almost scary. Veins popped and writhed in every direction as if frantically scrambling to find some space to exist between the muscle and the overextended skin. The skin itself looked on the verge of rupture at a dozen different points. Angry purple-red stretch marks like tiger stripes etched themselves in The Legend’s pecs, deltoids, thighs—undeniable proof that the freak was still growing. Runnels of sweat carved geography into the vast plains of his body, dripped from his broad nose, hung like stalactites off the curves and overhangs of his various muscles. His was the face of a Viking god; hearty, strong, full of lust for life and masculine good humor when at rest—but barely holding back a berserker’s fury when approaching the bar where the dam would burst with a roar and his full devastating power would be unleashed on the hapless bits of mere metal unfortunate enough to lie in his path.

And Tommy was just in time to watch.

How big was the man they called The Legend? It was hard to say. People who claimed to have insider info would quote numbers, but the numbers changed. Or rather, the numbers kept going up. He started lifting here in September, and in those first weeks people were quoting “340 pounds” and “350 pounds”, “25 inch arms,” “26 inch arms,” that kind of thing—The Legend was 6’3”, so this was within the realm of the human, but only barely.

But The Legend kept growing. And growing. And growing. In January and February those same people were saying 360. 365. 370. Now, in April, the gossip was 380, 385. Just yesterday someone said they’d seen The Legend weigh in, last workout, at 392 pounds. The scale only went to 400. The guy swore he’d seen it with his own eyes, said that he’d asked the mountain of a man about it. The Legend laughed and said he was aiming to bust through 400 before May. “Maybe I’ll stop there for a little while, get my bearings,” the guy had reported him as saying. “Or maybe not.” And then he winked.

“I asked him how he was even gonna weigh himself after he broke 400,” the guy said. “Get this—he said ‘maybe I’ll head out to the weighscales at the truck stop.’”

“Did he laugh?”

“Yeah, he laughed.”

“Then it was a joke.”

“Yeah, but … how is he gonna weigh himself when he gets over 400?”

Tommy, who’d been silent, listening, said, without thinking, “two scales, one under each foot. Add the numbers together.”

The guys were silent for a second. “You’ve thought about this, haven’t you?”

Tommy’s brain scrambled. He felt like he’d been caught out. “Nah, nah, it’s just a pretty obvious solution, bro. If I were him, that’s what I’d do.” Tommy’s dick gave a jump in his sweats at that—if I were him.

In fact, Tommy’s dick usually chubbed up around The Legend, but it was different from the immediate, mind-erasing “ejaculate now!” erection he’d just experienced at the sight of the mystery man out front. This was more to do with The Legend’s unquestionable masculine dominance. Though normally focused on lifting when at the gym, The Legend was friendly, easygoing, wasn’t into being violent or intimidating—but he was just so naturally the superior male specimen—the most superior male specimen—probably on the whole planet—that Tommy’s semi was more about sociality than sex, a smaller piece of maleness aligning itself to the magnetic field of masculinity that was The Legend.

It wasn’t sexual. Or so Tommy told himself.

Tommy counted the 100 pounds plates crowding either side of the special-order heavy-duty barbell, itself an even 100. 1300 pounds. Tommy knew that was a world record, by an almost shameful margin. But The Legend regularly set and broke those.

Loosening up, the Legend shook himself, his muscles flopping and hanging under their own immense weight before snapping back into place the moment he tensed them even slightly. He let out a growly breath—Tommy swore the windows shook—stepped to the bar, snapped himself into place with surprising quickness and lack of ceremony, then proceeded to rip the bar off the floor like it was a broomstick. He held it in place for several seconds, shoulders set, thick traps mounded up to his ears—and then the slow, controlled eccentric. Tommy almost burst into applause, but then he realized—The Legend was re-setting. He was doing this weight for reps. Two, three, each as easy as the first. Only on the fourth did he struggle—the upward trajectory of the lift slowing, the bar shaking just a little, the endless row of plates on either side clanking as if nervous. The Legend gave a bestial roar—not as part of a show, merely a side-effect of the need to access his full strength. The bar went up. As if to show there was never any doubt, he held it in place for even longer than before, and then he set it back down almost gently, always in command of the weight.

Tommy shook his head. If he didn’t regularly see The Legend, he wouldn’t believe such a man could even exist. But here he was.

It was time to get back to the front desk. He was on the clock, after all.

The man with the amazing ass was still there, but now Tommy could approach him from the front, so only his upper half was visible over the desk. He was handsome, young, his face finely formed and masculine, yet slightly delicate. Below the neck, much of the skin Tommy could see was covered in extensive, artfully designed tattoos—they were all abstract designs, Tommy couldn’t guess their meaning or where they came from. Medium skin, dark brown hair, clear hazel eyes holding a direct gaze—not challenging, just confident. Hispanic, if Tommy had to guess. He had a reserved air, but there was a half-masked twinkle in his eyes, a little quirk at the corners of his mouth that suggested he was accustomed to smiling, even if he looked all business. He wore a tanktop, displaying extensively developed upper body musculature, but nothing as over-the-top as the lower body Tommy knew to be hidden on the other side of the counter. Then Tommy gave himself a shake. This place was warping his perception—in literally any other context, this guy’s heavy, hanging pecs, his bulbous shoulders, his tree-trunk arms would be considered freakish, outrageous, at the limit of human possibility—but Tommy, and everyone else at this gym, knew better.

“Hey bro!” Tommy said, affecting a casual demeanour. “What can I do for you? You looking to join? Day pass?”

“Nah,” the guy said, shifting his weight. He leaned in on his elbows and forearms, shoulders rounded forward so they almost resembled beachballs, traps mounded around his head—all covered in stylized ink. In this pose, his head almost looked like a turtle’s, emerging from an enormous carapace of pecs, delts, and traps. “This place seems all right, but I’m pretty happy with where I lift right now. It’s near my work.”

“You look like you’d fit in here,” Tommy said. “Lots of big boys throwing iron around inside.”

“Yeah?” The guy’s reserve cracked, as predicted, his mouth twitching with a half-suppressed grin. “You think I might fit in with the big boys?” He popped his pecs twice in quick succession, glanced over at his right delt, mounded up and bigger than his head, then he smirked at Tommy, as if to say ‘come on, I’m the biggest guy there is—I’m king of any mountain you care to name.’

“Yeah, you’re a big dude, real big, but this gym’s home to the biggest dude of all, a real freak’s freak. I guarantee you’ve never seen anyone like him before. I wouldn’t believe such a man could exist, if I didn’t see him with my own eyes.”

There was something in the guy’s expression that Tommy couldn’t read. “Yeah? Tell me about this freak of nature.”

“Well, he weighed in at 392 a couple of days ago, for starters.”

“So he’s a fat powerlifter, big deal.”

“No, this guy’s lean. In fact, when he’s got his pump on, he’s kinda scary-vascular.”

“So he’s like seven feet tall, then.”

“Nope—try 6’3”.”

“Jeezus, how many grams is he pinning week to week?”

“That’s the thing—as far as anyone can tell, he’s natural. I mean, it’s beyond belief. He has to be on stuff. They must pull up a tanker truck of test to his house. But the dudes who should know all say—nope. It’s almost scary to think what might happen if he did get on the juice.”

“He’s still growing?”

“Dude, I don’t know if he can be stopped. Every week he’s bigger than the week before. He barely fits through our hallway. You can feel his footsteps shake the floor. You seen Jurassic Park? One of the guys set a glass of water on the desk here and it’s just like T-Rex approaching, you can see the shockwaves. Dude’s barely human. Stick around, see for yourself. He’s inside right now, but he should be done soon.”

“Wow,” the guy said, and Tommy couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or what. There was still something inscrutable in his expression that was throwing Tommy for a loop. He was a heavy-duty bodybuilder with a Cheshire grin. He didn’t say anything else and an awkward silence began to form. Tommy remembered his job.

“Fuck’s sake, I left you waiting for god knows how long, and now here I am gossiping about our gym’s Legend. That’s what we call him—The Legend, ‘cause, well, he is. Anyway. What can I do for you, guy? Name’s Tommy, by the way.”

“Hey Tommy. I’m Matt. Actually, I just wanted to surprise my boyfriend. He should be done just about now, but I wanted to make sure he didn’t finish up early or anything. I’d text him but, you know, kinda ruins the whole ‘surprise’ thing.”

“Sure, people boop their cards going and coming, I can look him up in the system, see if he’s still here. What’s his name?”

“Brock,” Matt said.

“Brock… .” Out of habit Tommy started to ask for a surname, but there was only one Brock in the system, and everyone knew who he was—although almost no one here ever called him by that name. “You mean … you’re … . he’s …” Tommy’s brain and mouth weren’t working well together.

Matt gave a short, sharp, not unkind laugh; his mounded musculature snapped to attention as he chuckled. “Yup, sounds like you got it. So is your ‘Legend’ still lifting?”

Before Tommy could collect his wits and answer, a steady rhythmic tremor became noticeable in the floorboards, growing with each repetition. The door to the gym floor opened and a mountain of male flesh turned itself sideways and carefully scraped through.

Brock, still shirtless, skin ruby red with pump, drenched in his own sweat, extricated himself from the doorway. The day would come soon, he knew, when they’d have to widen it, or let him use the loading bay out back—he was turning fully sideways now, and the doorframe was basically exfoliating his big ponderous pecs. He turned to face the desk. “Babe!” he exclaimed at the sight of Matt. “Tommy, you sneak, is that why you came in to spy on my last set?” Brock waddled over fast as his fat, exhausted hamstrings would allow. He scooped the 290 pounds tattooed bodybuilder up like he weighed nothing at all. Matt gave an involuntary laugh of pleasure which Brock silenced with an aggressive liplock. Tommy watched, his jaw on the floor.

After a long, intense kiss, they finally broke to gasp for air—as if the necessity of oxygen was the only thing that could tear their lips apart. “I finished at work early. Thought I’d come surprise you,” Matt said, his full 290 pounds resting easily in Brock’s massive, thick-as-a-waist arms.

“Nice,” Brock said. “Very, very sweet of you.” Without any further conversation, he flipped Matt over his shoulder so that Matt’s unforgettable ass stuck high in the air, directly facing Tommy. “My dick could drill a hole in a concrete wall right now. I hope you came prepared, little man,” Brock rumbled. Sure enough, Brock’s veiny uncut cudgel that Tommy had occasionally seen in the locker room, swinging soft or bobbing semi-erect, was obviously now at full mast, tenting Brock’s black shorts, sticking out—god, eight or nine inches. Brock reached up and ripped away Matt’s emerald shorts like they were made of wet tissue paper. The twin tan mountains of Matt’s ass were framed by a simple black jockstrap; they parted just enough to show Tommy a butt plug jammed up Matt’s hole. Brock had no way to see this—he was at the wrong angle, those gigantic mounds of gluteal muscle, combined with Brock’s own musclebound physique, made it impossible. So instead he casually pried around Matt’s crack with a few thick fingers. Feeling the plug in place, Brock grunted his satisfaction. “Good. Let’s get you home before I throw you down and rut you right here.”

Tommy’s brain finally sputtered to life, but the sound it sent to his mouth didn’t resemble any word. Instead, it was an infantile babble of syllables, an expression of inchoate awe and want. Brock shrugged at him. “Sorry, man—one track mind at the moment.” He nodded towards Matt’s ass, as if that explained it all—and it kind of did. “Heavy deads spike my test like you wouldn’t believe. We’ll get out of your hair.”

With Matt still slung over one shoulder, Brock turned and began walking down the hallway, a hallway only a little wider than he was, extra careful with the added width of Matt. If Brock’s normal footsteps sent subtle vibrations through the structure of the building, the combined weight of both men—almost 700 pounds—made each footfall a true seismic event, rattling windows, setting pictures askew—pictures of proud men, some only half Brock’s size, posing next to bodybuilding trophies. Matt, his upper body draped over the vast throbbing hills and furrows of Brock’s super-pumped back, radiating heat like a stove, raised his head to look back at Tommy as he was carried away. They caught each other’s eye. Matt winked and grinned like a conspiratorial schoolboy, then nodded toward the desk meaningfully. Tommy groaned, gripped the edge of the counter, and shot in his pants. Despite having come not even fifteen minutes earlier, this was easily the most overwhelming orgasm of his life—and he’d never even touched himself. He was still shooting when Brock and Matt turned the corner, his sweatpants soaking and ruined, his iron grip on the counter the only thing keeping him from collapsing in a heap.

The two men—the two gods—were out of sight, but Tommy could still feel the rumble of Brock’s doubly-heavy footsteps, could still see the bobbing twin globes of Matt’s perfect ass. Tommy knew he was helpless, a fly in amber—for the rest of his life he’d be in thrall to this moment, to its memory, to the erotic afterimages that were now burned into his psyche.

There was one other thing Tommy knew: he wanted more. Gasping like a just-caught fish, he slumped against the counter. That mischievous, meaningful look in Matt’s eye as the monster of muscle carried him away to fuck him senseless—what did it signify?

Then Tommy saw a carefully folded piece of paper half tucked under the card reader.


“Fuck, man, you broke it,” Matt gasped, returning to his senses, lying at a strange angle on the tilted remains of their living-room sofa. A crackling fire in the fireplace took the edge off the spring evening’s chill. Brock stood between Matt and the fire, a gigantic dark shape, like Jupiter transiting the sun, taking the last swigs of a gallon of whole milk made sludgy-thick with protein powder. He was surveying the destruction he’d wrought, the splintered furniture, Even though he’d come twice already, the evidence of his uncontainable power, how he’d reduced Matt to a fucked-to-oblivion puddle of whimpering flesh, how he’d reduced the sofa to a collection of splintered wood and askew cushions—it sent blood rushing anew to his veiny 9”, the foreskin slowly retracting once more, the skin popping over the coronal ridge with an excruciating flash of pleasure.

Then the phone rang. Brock grunted with irritation, but his third erotic crescendo was only just beginning—he could handle a small interruption right now. He answered. “Yeah,” he said, voice gravelly, rumbling.

There was silence on the other end, and then a stammered attempt at words. Brock smirked at Matt, who gave a catlike grin.

“Tommy. I see you got Matt’s little note. Cheeky bastard, ain’t he? No, no, don’t try to talk. We both know what you want, and guess what—it’s your lucky day. Get your tight little Long Island ass over here and we’ll let you watch. Fuck, maybe Matt’ll tag you in once I start to wear him out—we’re about to start round three over here, and I think it’s gonna be a long night. You got the address? Good. Don’t make us wait, little man.”

May 2012

Ben woke up aching. The tiny twin bed in the dorm was nowhere near big enough for his massive form, and the thin mattress was nearly crushed by his incredible weight. He hadn’t slept on a bed like this since his first year of undergrad, and he was much, much smaller back then. He felt completely unrested. At least it was the last day of the conference. He had to endure just one more night on this glorified cot, then he would be home again, on a proper king-sized mattress. On the downside, he had to give his paper today—not a good day to be waking up tired and in a bad mood. The room itself offered no cheer. The floor was institutional tile, the walls painted cinderblock. It smelled of twenty years of stale sweat covered with a fresh wipe of Lysol.

Ben grabbed one of the rough white towels provided to conference guests and wrapped it around his waist. It felt tight around the massive globes of his ass, as though his unheard-of glutes might force the towel apart at any moment. He took a quick glimpse at himself. He was too wide for the narrow mirror on the back of the door. Too wide by far. Ponderous pecs so huge his nipples pointed downward, muscle fibres twitching and flexing with every micro-motion. Pec-shelf jutting out seven or eight inches when he twisted his body this way and that. Arms resting away from his sides, elevated by his lats. Unable to lower them even if he tried. Tight midsection with bulging abs, a deeply-etched girdle of Adonis pointing down into his towel, toward his dick. He flexed and his cock stirred, twitched the towel. But his face—oh boy, he’d seen better mornings. His eyes were darkly shadowed from lack of sleep. He looked haggard and older than his 26 years. Dehydrated, too, he thought, smacking his mouth. Gotta find a gallon jug to have in here for tonight.

No help for it right now, though. He angled his body sideways as he stepped through the door, at this point an unthinking habit. Towel-clad, he waddled down the corridor toward the communal washroom and shower, so wide he blocked the hall, making the few other people squeeze against the wall as he passed. Each heavy footfall shook the floor. The cheap conference dorms were for grad students, post-docs, impoverished young adjuncts who still had dim hopes that a longer CV might lead to a better position. Tenured profs stayed at nicer hotels off campus. Ben could feel all their eyes on him as he lumbered down the corridor, inches away, nearly naked.

No one at this conference looked like Ben. Very few people in the world looked like Ben. He knew he was giving the other early risers a show, his bare torso on display, muscles so huge his skin looked like it could split if he flexed too hard. Every sweep of one quad around its bloated in-the-way neighbour suggested the towel might fall. Tantalizing. He felt all of their stares, bathed in all of the intense emotions the bare fact of his outlandish body provoked in them. The common big three: fear (unfortunate but no way to help it but smile), disgust (good, let them be disgusted, it meant he was a true freak), and Ben’s favourite: delicious, simmering lust (yes, more, stare harder).

He made the shower brief. It was more to wake himself up than to wash himself off. He was heading to the campus gym before conference sessions began. He’d need to shower again after, anyway. This first one was just a quick hop under the water to clear the cobwebs. He felt his dick dangle free as he tossed the towel aside, but he could not see it over his pecs. He took two shower heads and pointed them at himself. Otherwise, far too much of his vast body would be outside the water. There were two other guys in there. He could feel them not staring. That was as obvious as staring, in a way. Ben was one of the most muscular men on the planet—although still not the most muscular. It would be normal to look at him. Studying the floor or the wall instead was just as blatant as gawping. And, as if Ben needed any further proof, their rapidly stiffening cocks further betrayed their owners, as legs were unnaturally crossed and bodies angled away.

He knew he could have them both spurting in under a minute if he wanted to. But he had no time to play with them, to draw them out, to sweeten their morning. He had a workout to do. It’s fine, they’ll jack off to this memory for months to come, anyway. Heh. ‘To come.’ Ben grinned at his little joke as he towelled off, struggled into his custom-order workout gear, and waddled off to the gym, leaving a trail of incredulity and horniness in his wake.

He’d come to the campus gym every morning of the conference. The crowd was mixed. Frat hot-shots not half Ben’s size who resented the way his massive gravity disrupted their customary little solar systems, if he ever cared to notice (he never did). Football players who gave him nods of respect, or little grunts, maybe even three or four words. “Lookin’ massive, bro.” Cardio bunnies. Gay boys struggling to come out of their shells. Middle aged university staff doing tepid routines, reps with no obvious goal in mind, finishing their sets at twelve reps because the plan said twelve reps, not because the muscle was fatigued. Ben ignored them all unless one of them was on equipment he needed. He was here to do a job. He was always laser-focused in the gym. His steel-blue eyes drilled a hole into the mirror. The workout, like all workouts, was an intense confrontation with the self, a determined march past the ever-expanding borders of the body’s possibilities. Rep after rep, set after set, he further inflated his already outrageously huge muscles. Adamant. Insistent on more size. Every set counts. Every rep counts. You wanna get bigger, right? The pain is where the growth is.

He was resting before his penultimate set, breathing hard, sweat pouring off him, the pump verging on disturbing, skin-splitting, when he saw a professor-looking type on an elliptical machine staring hard at him. When Ben noticed, and the prof noticed he noticed, the older man’s eyes darted away like a hand that touched a hot stove. Ben chuckled to himself. He never got tired of catching people looking. He was about to resume ignoring the horny old codger when he noticed something else—the guy had a conference lanyard bouncing off his narrow chest as he continued on the elliptical at a moderate pace. Hmm.

Ben finished his workout—push day, always his favourite—and waddled into the locker room, exaggerating the gluteal sway of his walk just a little, making sure to bounce his pecs with each step for the watcher’s benefit, massive globes of meat flexing and wobbling. It made Ben giggle a little to think of him dealing with a stubborn stiffie on the elliptical machine.

So when the old guy actually followed him into the lockers, Ben was surprised. Guy’s got guts. The prof busied himself in his locker, about a dozen down from Ben’s. Ben knew he had no reason to go into his locker. He just wanted plausible deniability, a chance to see this muscle freak naked, or with his shirt off at least.

Well, may as well oblige him. Ben tried to peel off his sweat-soaked tank-top, to free his blood-bloated pecs. He was so pumped he couldn’t even get his arms over his head, and the cloth caught on his wider-than-a-door lats. Ben was stuck with it halfway over his head. Tugging at it, grunting. He was trapped, ab-gut hanging out, rising and falling with his laboured breaths. “Little help,” he muttered gruffly.

The startled sound the guy made. Ben would smile when he remembered it for years to come, the purity of it, how unexpected it was. This strangled squawk.

Ben tugged again. He really was stuck with his tanktop half-on half-off. “Little help,” he repeated, louder.

“Oh, ah!” He could feel the old man spring into action, panic making him clumsy. “What do I…”

“Just peel it up my lats.” He could feel the old guy’s cool hands work the sweat-soaked cloth. Fuck, the guy was trembling. Ben could smell himself. He reeked of roid-sweat. It was dripping off his various… protrusions. The old man must be about to have a stroke, he thought, glad the troublesome tanktop hid his cocky smirk.

Finally the fabric gave way and Ben was free. “Ahh, liberation,” he said, chucking the sodden rag onto the bench next to his bag. No longer restraining Ben’s mammoth torso, it looked comically large, like a drenched tent. The prof stood by Ben still, uncomfortably close. Ben could hear his rapid breathing. His eyes were wide, dilated. He almost looked to be in shock.

“Do you… does that…. Does that happen to you…. A lot?” the prof finally ventured, voice soft, strained.

Ben smirked, this time not caring to hide it. “Yeah man, my clothes can’t keep up, I just keep getting bigger—” he flexed one bi, “and bigger—” he flexed its companion, “and bigger.” He curled both arms down into crab-style most muscular, feeling his skin strain and his veins bulge, so close to the prof they were almost touching. He half-expected the old man to faint. He kind of wanted that to happen.

Instead, the prof showed his courage again. “Can I… can I touch your muscles… please?”

Ben cocked an eyebrow. “You tenured?”

“Yes. God. Please don’t tell my department. I’m sorry I asked, I didn’t mean to bother you, I’ll go now.”

“Stop right there.” The prof froze. “That’s not why I asked. I’d never narc on someone for appreciating all this swollen beef. Nah. You’re tenured, you said?” The prof nodded. “Okay then. $200 and you’ve got ten minutes with me in the wheelchair stall. If you don’t have the cash we’ll have a little stroll to an ATM.” The old guy’s eyes shone like he just won the lottery; Ben didn’t feel at all guilty about taking his money. He was tenured. He probably made over six figures and had near-supreme job security, and this was clearly a wet dream come true for him.

Luckily, the old guy had the cash. His hand trembled as he fished out his wallet and collected the money. Ben gathered the bills neatly, locked them in his locker, then led the poor addled man into the washroom. As soon as the door clicked shut, Ben shucked off his shorts and stood nude before the professor. The man genuinely gasped.

“Please… Your arms.” Ben smiled and flexed his biceps, relieved the old guy didn’t just dive toward his dick. He was a true muscle aficionado. “How… how big are they?”

“25 inches a couple mornings ago. That number mean anything to you, old man?”

The strangled noise the professor made told Ben that, yes, the number did indeed mean something to him.

“May I… touch?”

“Fuck yeah dude, just try to dent ‘em, bet you can’t.”

The old man squeezed as hard as he could; it was like squeezing a hot marble orb covered in satin. He moaned, grabbing at his dick through the fabric of his shorts.

“You like that, old guy? They’re only gonna get bigger. I’m a growing boy.”

His moans grew louder. Some part of Ben got worried. Maybe he should stifle him, so they didn’t both get in trouble. But that worried part of his brain was a muffled complaining voice in the corner of his mind. The part that was in control wanted to destroy this rich old scholar’s psyche with the immensity of all his muscles. The older he got, the bigger he got, the less of a fuck Ben seemed to give. It worried him, sometimes. What was he turning into? But not right now. Right now, the muscle was fully in control.

“Oh god, your chest. Oh god.” The prof was squeezing his cock through his shorts like it was a stress ball, eyes glued on Ben, his breathing rapid and shallow.

Ben started bouncing his pecs, slowly, letting the weight of each one flop down as he released the contraction. Left, right. Left, right. “Hey teach, wanna see something cool? If I get a itch on my chest, I can just use my scruff to scratch it.” Ben flexed his pecs so they bunched up around his face, then tucked his chin down, rubbing it over the surface of the muscle. “Aahh, feels good.” The prof whimpered. He actually whimpered. Ben smirked, hearing that, and began to lick his flexed pecs, slowly, sensuously, making out with his own muscle. The old guy actually shuddered. “Just imagine…” Lick. “How this’ll look…” Lick. “When I’m twice as big.”

Fuck. That did it. The old guy moaned again, louder, his knees buckling. “Fuck, shit,” Ben said. Pectoral tongue bath forgotten, he sprang into action, catching the old guy before he hit the floor. The professor’s cock was bucking and spraying, soaking his gym shorts—he’d never even hauled it out. The prof was absolutely reduced to his quaking animal self, his being seized by erotic frenzy. This was a senior scholar, tenured, probably a big deal in his field, and he was shaking and half-catatonic in Ben’s gargantuan arms.

Ben waited for him to come back to his senses. Panting and whimpering, the old guy looked at Ben in silent wonder as the muscle man propped him up on the toilet seat. A sudden impulse struck the impish muscle freak. He ruffled the senior scholar’s balding head, as if he was a school boy and Ben the doting elder teacher. “Hope you had fun, doc. Give it five minutes before you follow me out of here.” Ben blew him a little kiss as he stepped out of the stall and closed the door behind him.

Ben showered rapidly, dressed as quickly as his bloated muscles would allow, barely able to cram his unheard-of beef into his conference outfit. He was cutting it close after this unplanned bit of muscle worship. The first panel was starting in just a few minutes. He grabbed his phone and saw messages from Brock and Karim—both to be expected—as well as an email he hadn’t been expecting. He had no time to open it, but from the looks of the preview—some company wanted to sponsor him…? It had to wait; he was going to be late if he delayed one moment longer.


TEXT FROM BROCK: hey little bro, how’s the conference? You managing to stay on your prep diet while you’re there? That pro card won’t win itself. Tick tock tick tock. 65 days.

TEXT FROM KARIM: Look what just came in the mail, babe. I can’t wait to show you how fucking proud I am of you. Your first cover. Guess the magazine version of you will have to do for tonight [attached is an image of a bodybuilding magazine in a clear plastic bag; Ben is on the cover, mid bicep-curl, staring proudly, fierce eyes, roman nose, his frame almost overwhelmed with veiny muscle, and the words ‘Ben Greenwood: World’s Biggest Amateur (for now)’]


Ben sat at the front of a small classroom with the two other presenters and the panel moderator. He was approximately as wide as the other three people put together. He wore the suit that he’d had tailored for Karim’s sister’s wedding nine months ago, but he realized now that was a miscalculation. What was flatteringly form-fitting then was stranglingly tight now. He was aware, with every movement, that he might literally explode out of the constraining fabric. But he could hardly give a paper at the most prestigious conference in his field dressed in a tanktop and sweats.

There were twelve people in the audience. A pretty good turnout for the first panel of the morning. Ben’s Ph.D. supervisor was there, a bespectacled lady in her forties with a mound of dark curly hair, sharp eyes, and a darting, bird-like manner. Her pen poised to take notes.

The moderator stood up, gave a brief introduction, and called the first presenter to begin. Ben was third. He sat, trying not to wonder if the chair would hold his weight, bunched up, trying to make himself as small as possible. He continually tried and failed to focus on the paper being given. He wanted to be a good colleague. He wanted to think of at least two good questions to offer at the end. But he could feel all eyes on him as the first person droned on with their presentation. No one was listening to her. Everyone was watching him, the freakshow on display. God, scholars have no sense of drama, or style, or presentation. Do something to snap their attention back to you, Ben pleaded internally. Do anything to get them to stop staring at the 340-pound elephant stuffed into a suit!

Just as the first presenter finished, the door at the back of the room opened and someone stepped in to take a seat. Ben suppressed his reaction. It was the professor from the gym. The prof had no such poker face; he blanched at the sight of Ben, exploding out of his custom-made yet too-small suit jacket, his biceps testing the stitches as he dutifully took notes. The scholar scowled as he took a seat. Ben felt his heart rate increase, but not in a good way.

Ben tried his best but he truly could not follow the second paper. It was something about the diaries of 19th-century spinsters in Massachusetts. A lot of archival work. God, would it be too obvious to tie it in to Emily Dickinson? Or did she address that already and I missed it. Fuck.

Then it was Ben’s turn. He stood up, waddled to the podium, weirdly aware of how his huge ass must stick out a mile behind him when he was briefly in profile. He could feel the weight of the small crowd’s stares. Their judgement. The old guy from the gym bathroom looked severe, disapproving. As if Ben had tricked him. He was supposed to be a dumb himbo muscleslut, not a junior colleague giving a paper.

Ben tried to call on his theatre training. He hadn’t acted in seven years but he remembered how to inhabit a space, how to centre his energy, how to project his voice. How to be something other than a dry boring dusty old fuck. Back when he was merely big, a physical curiosity but still acceptable, his paper presentations were home runs, conference highlights. Now that he had grown himself into freak status, beyond the pale, he wondered if anyone heard a single thing he said, no matter how hard he worked to energize his words.

He was presenting a modified version of the second chapter of his dissertation, still in progress. He hoped he might get some useful feedback. He saw those hopes wither on the vine as he finished up his talk, awkwardly returned to his seat, and sat there to the right of the other presenters like a giant misplaced shawarma, a sweating hunk of meat in the corner. No one had any questions for him. He felt deflated. His paper was pointless. There was no reason for him to even be here.

The moderator thanked all three presenters and dismissed the panel. Ben gathered his things and left, confident no one was waiting to speak to him, except perhaps his Ph.D. supervisor, but they were getting lunch in an hour, anyway.


Ben’s supervisor poked at her salad as Ben sat down opposite her with his giant tray of food. He’d assembled three entrees to cover his caloric needs—he was in contest prep, but he was aiming for a stage weight of 310, so he still had to eat about 5000 calories a day. She glanced at the gigantic spread but made no remark about it.

“You left in a hurry,” she observed.

“Yeah,” Ben said, shrinking into himself, trying not to shovel food in too quickly. He didn’t have a lot of time to eat, considering the volume he had to get through, but he also didn’t want to seem rude before his supervisor.

She sighed. “Ben,” she said, setting her fork down, looking at him over the rim of her glasses. Her eyes were piercing, intelligent, but not unkind. “You practically ran away.”

Ben swallowed hard. “Well… yeah.”

“Do you think your paper went poorly?”

“I… I think my paper was fine, and I know I am a competent presenter. I just…”

“What, you had a bathroom emergency? Come on.”

Ben sighed. “Everyone ignored my paper, I didn’t get a single question. And I could feel everyone’s eyes on me. The whole time.”

“Is this a surprise? Is this an uncommon thing for you? Ben, everyone’s eyes are on you everywhere you go.” She snorted. “And it isn’t some accident, you were not born with two heads, you have pursued this on purpose.”

Ben began to shrug, then stopped himself as he felt his too-tight suit begin to give. “I… I know. But I like to believe I’ll be judged on the merit of my work, not on my appearance.”

His supervisor sighed. “Yes, I would like to believe that too. Perhaps this gives you insight into the female side of things that most men do not have. Believe me. Picking out an outfit for a conference, or even just to teach in, is always a miniature psychodrama. You must command respect but not be too sexy, but also not be dowdy or matronly. And even this chunky turquoise necklace,” she said, flicking the heavy thing around her neck, “this is a cliche that says ‘oh she’s spiritual but not religious, she’s a desert woman, she’s a bit of a bitch but not too much.’ You know?”

Ben nodded. “So. What does my appearance say?”

His supervisor hesitated. “Do you really want to know, Ben?”

He nodded again.

“Okay. You look like the Incredible Hulk. You look like an escaped lab experiment. People do not expect someone of your… extreme musculature to have much to offer by way of intelligent insights, and people, yes even top scholars, are very hard to budge from their preconceptions. And who would engage you in a debate? Did you see the scholar who came in halfway through? He looked terrified of you. You know as well as I that most ‘questions’ at a conference are actually the asker trying to show up the presenter. No wonder no one asked you anything, they would be afraid you’d squash them like a bug.”

Ben sat glumly. He knew she wasn’t saying these things were true about him, she was saying this was what people who did not know him would believe about him before he even had a chance to open his mouth.

“Oh Ben, Ben, I see I have upset you. Look. I know you are smart, you are a good man. But part of the Ph.D. supervisor relationship is like… master-apprentice. Jobs in academia are very difficult to come by, you need every single advantage just to even have a shot. I know the bodybuilding thing means a lot to you, and I know you’ve had incredible success with it. But you will be on the job market in two or three years and well… maybe you need to… downsize. Lose the meathead-on-every-steroid-imaginable look. Imagine if that professor who came in late was on a search committee and you walked in for a campus visit. How do you think your chance of getting the job would fare?”

Ben looked at his overflowing tray of food, one and a half meals eaten, one and a half meals to go. He felt his appetite ebbing away. He stood up, feeling his pants straining to hold in his too-big thighs and his crudely enormous ass. “Thank you for your honesty, Professor. I hope you’ll excuse me. I have to think about some things.” He waddled off, leaving her alone with her salad. She sighed, sat silently for a few moments, then resumed spearing leafy morsels with her fork.


“Well, this is a surprise!” Karim was at home when he answered Ben’s unscheduled FaceTime. He looked relaxed, smooth brown skin radiant, dark eyes warm, lips curved in a smile.

“Hi babe,” Ben said, trying to force some cheerfulness.

Karim snapped into focus. “Ben. What’s wrong.”

Ben sat on the edge of the thin mattress in the awful dorm room, suddenly aware he was about to cry. “Tough day, I guess. Needed to see my angel’s face.”

Karim snorted. “Don’t try to feed me that corny romantic stuff, you’re bad at it.”

Ben sighed and heard his breath quiver. He felt his stupid attempt at a brave face failing. “I don’t belong here, Karim.”

“Shh, shh, babe, it’s okay, tell me what happened. Did your panel go bad?”

“Yes. No. I mean. It went fine. Everyone stared at me like I was a circus freak and no one had any questions or responses for my paper. Then at lunch Dr. Karlovka told me I needed to quit bodybuilding.”

Karim frowned, having met Ben’s supervisor a few times, thinking of her as a generally kind and open-minded woman, if very sharp and direct. “In those words?”

“Well… no. She said if I wanted to get a job after my degree I would need to… downsize was the word she used. Lose the ‘roided up meathead look.”

Karim paused and Ben felt his stomach flop. His boyfriend was going to agree with her. “Well… is she right?”

Ben felt the first tears start to trickle down his face. “Yeah. I wish she wasn’t but… yeah.” He wiped his eye with the back of his hand, feeling his massive bicep press against his jutting pec as he did so.

Karim was silent for a moment. “I wish I could be there to hold you, big guy,” he finally said, quietly.

“I just… I don’t know what I’m gonna do.” Ben heard how tight and thick his voice was.

Karim seemed to be debating something. “I….” he stopped himself, then gathered his strength and started up again. “I have been thinking. This isn’t news to me. It can’t be news to you either, even if you wanted to ignore it for as long as you could. There’s no space for a man like you in academia but so what? Babe, just like the magazine cover said. You’re the world’s biggest amateur: for now. Everyone knows you’re winning your pro card at your show, and that’s not even ten weeks away. If anyone can make a living at bodybuilding, surely you can?”

Ben felt his heart lurch. He had dreamed about this, but… could he really? “I… babe, do you think I really could? I’d have to be like, Olympia top ten.”

Karim steeled himself. “Ben Greenwood. How long have we been dating?”

Ben felt the world dropping away. “Six years,” he heard himself say. He knew what Karim was going to ask next. In a stupid mouldy dorm room, over FaceTime. Ben knew exactly what was coming but he couldn’t believe, wouldn’t let himself think it.

“Ben. Marry me.”

Ben couldn’t trust his voice yet. He felt big fat tears falling from his eyes while Karim pressed ahead, as if Ben needed convincing. “My family’s got money, it can see us through the first couple of lean years. I know you’ve got the potential to be a huge star in bodybuilding, you will make a lot of money. And I have ideas for business ventures. I promise we’ll be happy, we’ll have what we need. Please, Ben. I don’t want to scrape by in some college town in Kansas or whatever while you shrink yourself to fit into a world that doesn’t even want you. Not when we can be happy instead. Be my pro bodybuilder husband.”

Ben, aware that his silence was starting to scare Karim, forced the words out, even if his voice was choked. “Yes,” he said. Giant jagged breath. “Yes. Yes, I will. Yes.”

Karim smiled and the clouds parted. “I love you, Ben.”

Ben laughed through his tears. “I love you too, Karim. I love you so much.”


Ben skipped the rest of the conference. Rode the bus downtown, got himself a nice all you can eat sushi dinner, texted Karim the whole time—next best thing to actually having him there, right? His fiancé. Sending each other goofy selfies. Planning when they’d tell people. When and how they’d do the deed. Something small at city hall? A big fancy function?

But Ben still had one night left before he could head home. One night left as a junior scholar. One night left to sleep on that thin mattress in that too-small bed.

The conference was notorious for throwing a big dance on the final night. Awkward people dancing awkwardly, awkward graduate students getting drunk and awkwardly hooking up. Ben, liberated from care, stopped by his room after getting back to campus, took off the too-tight suit, and stepped into a 5XL tanktop, a very short pair of shorts, and some high-top sneakers. He looked like a muscle fetishist’s wetdream. He sneered at himself in the mirror, flexing his arm, enjoying the gnarly orb of veiny muscle that tested his skin’s ability to s-t-r-e-t-c-h. He turned, vainly trying to see his mega-bubbled backside over his mounded-up traps. He was going to give someone an aneurysm just by looking at him, tonight. Good, he thought.

He strode across campus, gait wide-set, glutes bouncing, thighs rolling, slowly pushing his short shorts up even higher. His burgeoning muscles jiggling and flexing with each step. He owned the night. People stared. He wanted them to stare.

Ben didn’t dance, not at first. He sat, smiling. Aware that every pair of eyes in the room was either glued to him or studiously avoiding glancing at him, the gay muscle freak in their midst. The escaped lab experiment. The Incredible Hulk. Ben beamed at all of them, his best shit-eating grin.

Then the DJ started playing Carly Rae and Ben just couldn’t stay in his seat. He didn’t care who saw. He didn’t care what anyone thought. He got on the dancefloor and danced like he was alone in his kitchen, occasionally striking a bodybuilding pose on the beat. He even sang along. “Before you came into my life I missed you so bad! I missed you so bad! And you should know that!”

The song over, Ben threw back his head and laughed in the middle of the dancefloor, and was surprised to see a few smiles directed his way. I guess it’s hard to feel intimidated by a flaming gay guy dancing and singing along to Carly Rae Jepsen, no matter how freakishly muscular he is, Ben thought to himself as he waddled back to his seat.

There was a guy maybe ten years older than him standing nearby. Ben grinned at him and he grinned back. Ben tossed his head in a ‘come over here’ kind of way, and the fellow promptly did so. He was lean, tan, shaved head shining in the cheap disco lights. He wore a t-shirt from a webcomic Ben recognized. He wasn’t anything spectacular to look at, but he seemed friendly, pleasant, and Ben couldn’t remember the last time he felt in such a good mood.

“Have fun out there?” the guy asked, nodding at the dance floor when Ben had just made a total gay spectacle of himself, in his booty shorts and high-top sneakers.

Ben laughed. “Hell yes, I needed to cut loose like that like you wouldn’t believe.”

The guy smiled, but there was something a little funny about it. “You’re, ah… you’re Ben Greenwood, right? The bodybuilder?”

“Nah, I mostly run marathons,” Ben answered with a smirk.

“I saw your magazine cover at the bookstore yesterday. I’ve, uh… I’ve been a fan of yours for a couple years.”

“No shit, huh? So that makes at least two guys at this conference who can appreciate a little beef in their life.”

“A little beef? Ben, buddy, you’re the whole damn cow. A Belgian Blue at that.”

“Belgian Blue, eh? I’m impressed. You know the lingo.”

The bold bald guy blushed a little, the first sign that his confidence had limits. “I, uh… I guess you pick up a few things… here and there. When you have… interests… like…. I do. We do?”

Ben raised his arms into a double bi. “No such thing as too big,” he said, as if reciting a club motto.

“Shit!” the guy exclaimed reflexively at the sight of Ben’s arms. “Twenty-five inches the magazine article said, and I thought—bullshit, no fucking way, they always exaggerate. But fuck, I believe it now.”

“You ‘saw the cover at the bookstore’ huh?” Ben smirked, catching the guy out.

His blush deepened into a furious red. “Okay Okay I bought it immediately and I’ve already rubbed one out to it, are you satisfied?”

“Nope,” Ben purred, dropping one arm and flexing the other one harder. “Not satisfied.”

“Those are the biggest arms I’ve ever seen.”

“Other than synthol guys and the morbidly obese, they’re probably the second-biggest arms in the world, my man.”

“Can I…. can I touch them?”

Ben’s grin broadened. “What are you, adjunct, post-doc, grad student, tenure-track…?”

“Uh… adjunct? Does that… why does that matter?”

“Oh, it’s just a weird little Robin Hood thing I have, don’t worry about it. C’mon, let’s go back to the dorms, I’ll let you do more than touch.”


The guy was named Isaac and he was insatiable. He got so deep into Ben’s cavernous armpit that Ben was afraid he was going to suffocate in there. Ben liked the way his shaved head felt against the taut skin of his tricep, pec, and lat. And when Ben reached a big paw up to shove Isaac’s face a little deeper in, the smaller man shuddered and cried out as he came hand’s free, his nice cut cock spurting all over Ben’s thigh, which, they’d already confirmed, was bigger than Isaac’s chest.

That was only round one, however. Isaac kept babbling to himself as he explored Ben’s hugely swollen body, his eyes wide. He wanted Ben to run through his posing routine right there in the dorm room, and Ben was happy to oblige. He asked if he could take pics—Ben said sure, I want you to be able to prove to your friends this happened.

Isaac stayed with Ben for an hour and a half. After his second orgasm the two men cuddled in bed—or rather, Ben filled the entire mattress and Isaac stretched out on top of his double-wide torso—and chatted, got to know each other a little.

Ben asked the cliché question people always ask each other at academic conferences: what are you working on? “Visual culture and graphic media,” Isaac answered, “which is a fancy way to say comics. I keep coming to these conferences to bulk out my CV but you know how it is, academics and jobs are like Jane Austen heroines and husbands. If you’re not married or on the tenure track after you’ve been looking for three or four years, then your best-before date has passed and no one wants you.” His mood soured momentarily. “But don’t let me get you down, I’m sure you’ll have great luck finding a position. I honestly had no idea you were even an academic. I just know you as the most massive bodybuilder of the 21st century. I couldn’t believe it was really you when I saw you losing your mind to Call Me Maybe at the conference dance, of all the places in the world.”

“Actually, I decided today to leave academia,” Ben said brightly.

“Oh, wow!”

Isaac shifted, pushed a hand against Ben’s huge pec to raise himself up and look at his face. Ben grinned and nodded in confirmation. “Best decision I’ve made in years,” he said.

“What are you gonna do instead?”

Ben smirked. “Guess.”

“Uh… organic bee-keeper?”

“Close,” Ben chuckled, flexing his pecs, making Isaac’s entire body bounce from side to side.

The comic book nerd flipped onto his belly and held his hands on Ben’s bouncing chest. “Fuck,” he breathed, mesmerized.

“Something like that.”


After Isaac left, Ben fished out his phone to add the guy on social media. Definitely someone worth keeping in touch with. More texts awaited him.

BROCK: Karim called to tell me the news, little bro. I guess he couldn’t keep it to himself. Congrats! I couldn’t be happier.

BEN: Thanks big bro. You’ll be my best man…?

BROCK: fucking duh

BEN: love you too

BROCK: you giving the middle finger to academia too, huh?

BEN: yeah

BROCK: just ‘yeah’?

BEN: I mean I wanted to get a Ph.D. since I was like 18, it does kind of suck to walk away from it, but academia is very different from what I thought it was when I was that young, and if I’ve got to choose, I’m choosing bodybuilding

BROCK: Do you have to choose?

BEN: Well. Yeah.

BROCK: Don’t get me wrong. I think you should get your pro card, win your first Olympia in, oh, three or four years, definitely at least a six year dynasty as champ, make a million in sponsorships, all that. But you could also do all that and just get your Ph.D. for your own satisfaction, you know? You’ve got a few years of funding still. There’s no rule saying you need to use the degree to find some shitty job that wears you down for 70 hours a week while paying you barely enough to cover rent.

Ben paused. Brock had just jogged his memory. “Make a million in sponsorships.” He’d received an email this morning from some company offering a sponsorship, but he was in too much of a hurry to even look at it. He left Brock on read for a second, navigated away from his texts and into his inbox. He opened the email, started to read, and his eyes went wide.

BEN: Brock, I just got an email offering me $30k a year to wear this company’s athleisure stuff in instagram posts and on youtube.

BROCK: Yeah buddy! Free money! Hope it’s not ugly.

BEN: Nah, it’s nice. I gotta study the contract a bit more but I think I’m gonna take it.

BROCK: What about the rest of the stuff I said?

Ben let the phone drop into his lap. The euphoria of getting engaged, of planning a life of muscles and romance with Karim, it was all very real. But wouldn’t it be cool to be able to call himself “doctor”? To prove to all those people who thought he was a dumb himbo, thought he was a brainless freak… prove to them that he was smart enough, good enough? That their shitty prejudices were just that? Ben felt the fire in his belly stoking, the same fire that drove him through every workout. He was gonna do this. He was gonna do this out of pride. Out of spite. Out of a duty to his own sense of self-worth. Because Ben Greenwood never backs down.

BEN: You know bro, you might be right. I might just stick around for my own satisfaction. Who are these losers to try and drive me away when I’ve earned my place?

BROCK: There’s my little tough guy. Proud of you. Always.

BEN: Thanks for always being there, big guy.

BROCK: Nowhere else I’d rather be. Now go FaceTime your fiancé, he wants to hear about how many guys you jacked off during the conference.

BEN: fuck you

BROCK: Am I wrong?

BEN: … no.

BROCK: So how many?

BEN: two.

BROCK: Only two? Karim was right, you definitely haven’t been yourself this weekend. I love that you two are modern enough to enjoy hearing about each other’s solo escapades.

BEN: and Matt should be back any minute with tonight’s third, right?

BROCK: all this muscle, it’s a crime not to share it with the planet...

BEN: never change, Brock.

BROCK: never change, Ben.

October, 2012

For Sam, it was like being completely enveloped by flesh—hard, shifting, bulging male flesh. He was totally surrounded by muscle. He could barely draw breath, but what little air reached his nostrils tickled with the sharp scent of testosterone and sweat. His face was buried—wedged—in the largest pair of pecs he’d ever seen, while a second, only somewhat smaller pair pressed firmly against his upper back and neck. Together, they held him in place, like a gigantic vise made of muscle. Pinned, the whole of his small body felt like a living flesh-tube for the brutally thick cock that stretched his hole wider than he’d ever thought it could stretch. Thrust after thrust, held in place between these two muscle monsters, his ass absorbed the titanic force of each blow. His whole body quivered as the wrist-thick cock rammed its way deep inside of him—and his whole body ached as it pulled back, not from the pain of being pushed beyond his limits, but from the desire to be filled again, to be filled even more fully, to feel the hot fist-sized throbbing heart of masculine power deep in his guts. A second hard cock, belonging to the smaller of the two muscle beasts, rubbed urgently along the small of his back, the glans catching and dragging like an orb of hot glass. Sam’s own torturously erect member was mashed between the gigantic brute’s bulging heaving bowed-out muscle gut and Sam’s own slightly concave, near-hairless torso. His arms were draped around a corded neck thick as a sprinter’s thigh; he’d placed them there to hold on, but quickly found their help unnecessary. When he had sense enough to remember that any extremity of his body even existed, his elegant pianist’s fingers would spring to life, eagerly exploring the two trapezius muscles bulging uneasily to either side; Sam was sure this guy’s traps alone were wider than Sam’s entire body. Sam’s bare feet dangled in the air, his toes caressed four legs in turn, each like a monumental pillar, more power in a single balled-up overgrown-GMO-cantaloupe calf than Sam possessed in his entire small, slight body.

Sam had already come twice, his cum churned into a kind of thick butter by the pressure, heat, and never-ending thrusting and friction of skin sliding against skin, but the relentless fucking was still ongoing. The three men must have been at it for more than an hour by now. Every now and then the two giants would swap places, and the smaller, more elegant cock would enter Sam’s body like a newly-made regal sceptre still hot from the forge, quenching its heat in him, while the enormous monstrous cudgel-cock would trace Sam’s lumbar spine, send shockwaves of unbelievable pleasure wracking through Sam’s body.

Just three hours ago, Sam was attending a public lecture hosted by the History department. His postdoctoral appointment was only two weeks old, and he’d moved across the continent to take it. This was one of the first such events he’d had a chance to attend. Before the talk began he saw the mountain of a man from a distance, partially obscured by the crowd, so that Sam only had hints of his true jaw-dropping size. Even still it caused his mouth to go dry. Under the suit jacket (bespoke, surely), this man looked like he could be a truly massive bodybuilder or powerlifter—but, from a distance, obscured by the crowd, Sam failed to grasp—or could not bring himself to accept—the man’s true size. This, he would soon discover, but for now the stranger was huge, but still believable.

After the talk, the various dusty tenured professors, the younger harassed and sleep-deprived tenure-track faculty, and the lean, hungry graduate students milled around with plastic glasses of cheap wine, as was typical. Sam had just popped a piece of cheese into his mouth when a bass voice rumbled his eardrums. “Hey there.”

Sam almost choked. Surely there was some kind of optical illusion happening. Surely the man’s button-up shirt—it had to be custom-made—was padded in the shoulders and chest and arms and—but no, the sleeves were rolled up to expose forearms the size of—fuck—bigger than Sam’s thigh—bloated massive forearms, writhing with each flick of a finger—they couldn’t be faked—and if they were that size then the rest of him—had to be—well—just look—so wide and so tall that Sam couldn’t see around him—a chest so big it pulled the buttons apart a little—but if the shirt was bespoke—and it had to be—this guy’s chest was… . 68, 70, 72, 76 … more?—if it was a bespoke shirt but he was popping the buttons, then that could only mean—Sam realized he wasn’t breathing.

“Hey,” the guy said again, a little more urgently. “Hey. Breathe, dude.”

Sam gasped, almost choking on the half-chewed cheese. “Sorry!” His dark complexion made blushes hard to detect, but this one couldn’t be missed. Surely half the blood in his body was rushing to his face—and the other half was rushing south.

“You’re new here,” the man-mountain chuckled. “I’m Brock. You’ll get used to me. Are you one of the new grad students?”

Sam looked at the enormous hand Brock offered him, not understanding what was expected of him for several seconds. SHAKE. This basic piece of social programming took an embarrassingly long time to load. It was as if Sam’s brain was a computer that suddenly lacked sufficient RAM. Sam slipped his elegant smooth-skinned hand into the monster’s paw, feeling the rough calluses, the heat radiating through his palm, as Brock gripped his hand—the lightest touch he could manage, surely, yet still a powerful grasp of a handshake. Wait. He had been asked a question. What was it? “Oh! No, I’m not a grad student, I’m a post-doc. S-Samir, but everyone calls me Sam. I, I just started. I’m not even in History. I’m from Music. I’m just working on Slavic folk stuff so I keep my eyes open for other departments putting on talks I might be interested in.” Sam clamped his mouth shut to stop the babble of words.

Brock’s look was one of assessment. Sam finally began to notice details beyond the man’s sheer physical hugeness. Brock stood about 6’3”, maybe 6’4”, towering over Sam, a petite 5’5”. Sam had no idea how to guess the monster’s weight. He was blond, with intense blue eyes, a wolf’s eyes, really, fearless and direct in their gaze—but this was ameliorated by a mouth and eyebrows that suggested a pleasant disposition, a man with a broad mind and a lust for life; he was young, too young for deep wrinkles, but there was the slight suggestion of smile and laugh lines around his eyes.

Indeed, Brock broke into a grin. “You know, we’ve got better wine and cheese back at the house than what they serve at these talks, and I’ve got a collection of Russian folk music on vinyl you can look through. Interested? I think my fiancé would like you.”

Sam couldn’t get his coat quickly enough.

*

Matt did indeed approve of the adorable little twink Brock had brought home for them to play with—like a nervous fawn, about to bolt, but so so incredibly thirsty for brawn. He must be having the time of his life with those pecs. Matt looked down at the swirl of short dark hair crowning Sam’s head, heard the muffled semi-delirious moans the small man continued to make. He was just so tiny, his svelte waist several inches smaller than the pulsing planetoids of meat that were Brock’s upper arms.

Matt looked at Brock, then, his Brock, this monster of a man, as kind as he was smart, as smart as he was huge, as huge as he was powerful. The man who was soon to be his husband. Brock caught Matt’s eye mid-thrust and a shiver went down Matt’s spine. He was just so unthinkably powerful—so much more than any other man had ever been, living or dead—and he was growing. He was growing—well over 400 pounds now, and barely 26 years old. Sometimes Matt wondered what Brock would look like in ten years, and it challenged his imagination, made him feel the most potent combination of lust and fear. Even now, thinking of it, his dick gave a spasm and Matt almost lost control, almost painted the dark surface of Sam’s graceful arching back with a massive load of sperm, Jackson Pollock style.

“Fuck, Brock,” Matt gasped, “we’re gonna break this little dude in half if we keep going.

Brock smirked, leaned back a little to ease the pressure on Sam’s sandwiched body. “You think? Okay. Hey. Hey Sam. Sam. Look at me, buddy. Eyes up for a second.” It took a moment for Sam to come to his senses sufficiently to respond. Wordlessly, he extricated his face from the tight mountain valley of delight that existed between Brock’s pecs. He looked wonderingly at Brock’s face. “Hey. Sam. Matt here’s worried you might not be able to take much more. He’s a soft touch. You want us to stop? Or you want me to pop you like bubble wrap?”

Sam’s big, black eyes, the eyes that first made Brock consider taking the handsome post-doc home, the eyes with the long, bashful lashes, eyes so big and sensitive and liquid—they pleaded without words, but they didn’t plead for a cessation. They begged “please, don’t let this stop.” Still, it was ideal to get that explicit consent. “Nod for me, buddy, if you can’t speak. If these muscles are just so devastating they’ve robbed you of words. You want to keep going: yes or no?”

Sam nodded quickly, emphatically. Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. Brock palmed his head and, with a guttural roar of victory, shoved it back where it belonged, between Brock’s burgeoning pecs, and resumed thrusting his cock into Sam with renewed vigor. Sam’s wordless moans took on a more intense pitch and frequency, and then there was a series of quick muffled cries. Matt reached around Sam’s lithe body, finding fresh hot cum amongst the sticky batter that they’d been churning for some time now. “Fuck, dude, this little horndog came again.”

“Can you blame him?” Brock said, bouncing his pecs so that Sam’s delirious head lolled delicately between the two overwhelming orbs of muscle.

“I think he passed out … sir,” Matt said, feeling the power dynamic shift already—with Sam in the mix, Matt was one of a pair of dominant muscle monsters—the lesser of the pair, the smaller dragon, but a dragon nonetheless, possessor of a power terrifying and incomprehensible to mortals. But Sam was totally spent—where does he keep it all, Matt thought, comparing Sam’s three big messy loads to his small, skinny body—and so now Matt was diminishing rapidly, alone in comparison to Brock; Matt’s size, his power, his 305 pounds of tattooed musclefreak bulk, were nothing in comparison to Brock.

“You were right though, boy,” Brock said, feeling the same power shift, enjoying it. “We broke him. But I think he liked it, don’t you?” Brock grunted, shifting, his rigid cock still buried in the now-unconscious post-doc’s skinny little ass, the cock so wide, the ass so narrow—it really did look like Brock might split the little man in two. “You close?”

Matt bit his lip. He was close, but he didn’t want to say so. He wanted to give the answer that would get him the thing he wanted. And he only wanted one thing—for Brock to fuck him senseless, for that perfect merging of flesh that was Brock’s brutal nine inches, so thick and veiny it was ugly and beautiful in the same moment, and Matt’s godly bubble butt, enough to make the perkiest Greek statue look like a tragic case of pancake ass.

Of course, Matt didn’t have to say anything. Brock knew exactly what his overgrown bubble butt muscleboy wanted. But Brock wanted the pleasure of seeing Matt’s desire overwhelm his senses. The look of confusion and even slight panic on Matt’s face as he tried to arrive at the correct answer drove Brock wild. He bucked his cock into Sam once more, then grabbed the puny postdoc around his miniscule ribcage, gently pulling him off. Holding the grown man aloft with ease, Brock growled. “Get that thing off my dick,” he said, nodding at the condom on his cock. Matt reached for it, and Brock gave a sharp grunt of disapproval. “No hands.”

Eager, Matt swooped down to Brock’s crotch and, relaxing his throat, he took Brock into him in one swallow, cock and condom both. Then, expertly manipulating his tongue and throat, Matt rolled the condom up Brock’s cock as he slowly retracted his mouth, eventually pulling away, the condom between his teeth, Brock’s now-naked cock bobbing free, a natural wonder of masculinity. Matt delicately spat the used condom to the side and looked up at Brock expectantly, awaiting his next order.

“Slick up,” Brock said, still holding Sam in the air like he weighed nothing. Brock now gently lowered their bedroom guest to the mattress where he instinctively curled into the fetal position, mind and body tested beyond their limits of sexual endurance.

Matt eagerly rubbed lube all around his ass. His hole twitched in a Pavlovian reaction; his autonomic nervous system knew what was coming next and was preparing for the joyful onslaught. Having finished, Matt knelt before Brock. Brock shook his head ‘no.’ “Up,” he said, reduced to single-word commands by the intensity of erotic feeling, of complete power and control. Matt was the size of an Olympia super-heavyweight contender, and a big one at that; he was a heavily tattooed bodybuilder badass, but all Brock had to do to make him his bitch was cock an eyebrow and say a single word. It was intoxicating.

Matt knew what “up” meant. It was his favourite. Brock’s too. He jumped up, wrapping his enormous thighs around Brock’s blocky waist. Brock caught his 305-pound weight with ease; Brock’s freaky legs now supported more than 750 pounds of male flesh, but they gave no sign of strain or struggle. Brock’s thick cock found Matt’s greased hole with no problem; they were practiced at this. Brock entered slowly; Matt moaned as his lover’s familiar girth spread his being apart. Then there was nothing slow—Brock slammed himself deep into Matt, lowered his lover until the orbs of his glutes rested against the upper sweep of Brock’s thighs, each leg greater in circumference than a normal man’s chest.

Matt tried desperately to last—but the hour or so of dominating Sam had kept his erotic juices on a slow boil, and it only took Brock a few forceful strokes, expertly nailing his aching prostate, before the dam burst deep within Matt. Matt always had messy orgasms, spewing cum everywhere, gasping and yelling and shaking—but this one seemed especially strong. Brock held him in place, Matt’s merely huge body enveloped and protected by Brock’s supernaturally gargantuan physical presence, as Matt convulsed and shuddered and roared and whimpered and shot and shot and shot and shot, every ballooning muscle twitching and flexing involuntarily, gobs of cum hitting his face, Brock’s face, arcing over both their shoulders, then ebbing, merely spewing and oozing streams of rich thick cum over both men’s densely muscled torsos.

Brock loved seeing Matt enjoy himself, loved how he abandoned himself to pleasure, how he was wracked and overwhelmed by it. But Brock still needed to get his rocks off. Matt was limp now, a ragdoll on Brock’s dick, a 6’ 305-pound fleshlight; Brock used his mindblowing strength to essentially masturbate his cock with Matt’s spent body, a kind of hyper-erotic modified front-raise. 30” arms flexed and shifted; his beachball delts popped. He was getting a pump; his muscles were swelling, testing the limits of his skin, bloating up huger and huger. If Sam were conscious, he might have a heart-attack at the sight.

Matt came around a little bit. “Oh, fuck,” he said, seeing the blood slowly engorging Brock’s arms and shoulders. “You’re so fucking huge. Oh fuck.” He looked at Brock through hazy eyes; Brock knew the look: desire, awe, and just a little bit of fear. Fear at the true extent of Brock’s power; just how strong he truly was, the ocean of testosterone that flowed through his veins, the slow-motion explosion of muscular size that was his body as it grew from month to month to month, year after year. Yes: desire, awe, and just a little fear.

Brock snarled animalistically; he was given over wholly to lust now; he could prevent himself from physically hurting Matt, but that was all; at the moment he couldn’t care less if the fucker was terrified. All of Brock’s being was focused on orgasm. He thrusted and thrusted and thrusted; Matt, senseless, his legs wrapped around the moving parts of a god-machine designed to fuck the world, moaned, the only suitable tribute he could manage.

Finally, Brock came, with a roar like he was announcing Ragnarok. His loads were always massive, but lately they were becoming ridiculous; Brock had to come at least three or four times a day, often more, and every time he did it seemed like at least a quart of fluid spewed from his thick towering cock. Sometimes, some corner of Matt’s mind wondered if there might be some accumulative physiological effect on him from repeatedly receiving such copious amounts of sperm from a mutant specimen like Brock.

A theory to explore another time. Right now, his insides were filling with Brock’s hot seed, and Brock was still panting and snarling and wild, as if, through orgasm, he could see through the veil of reality to some deeper annihilating truth beyond. Matt received it all, absorbed it all into himself.

When it was over, Matt felt Brock gather him in his arms, felt himself being placed in the bed where Sam was still curled up, fetus-style. Matt tried to hold onto consciousness, but he was slipping out of it, into some sort of bizarre erotic dream where Brock was everything in the world, and everything in the world was Brock. He felt himself fall away from the waking world.

Unlike Sam, unlike Matt, Brock was not overwhelmed by even the most intense orgasms. He always felt more alive, refreshed, vigorous after he shot a load. He watched both the satisfied lovers in slumber, small and large, both temporarily destroyed by him, by his overwhelming masculine power. Of course it was intoxicating.

Brock wandered away from the bedroom, wanting to let both of the men sleep. He became pensive at the sight of the picture window, watching the lights of the town. His massive naked form was also reflected back to him in the glass—but so what if the neighbours saw? Brock was the view.

Brock was always huge. It’s what made him different from Matt, from Ben, from his former football teammates, from his current gym buddies—yeah, they’re all varying degrees of huge now, and some of them were always big guys. But none of them had grown up so clearly on another level of human development. Brock had. Brock never knew what it felt like to be anything other than exceptional. The intelligent, even-keeled eldest son of a well-off family, his father a man of power and influence. Brock was confident, capable, handsome, blond, blue-eyed, tall, and above all incredibly muscular. Even if he’d been scrawny he wouldn’t have lacked for power and privilege. But Brock wasn’t scrawny—Brock was the living incarnation of some forgotten pagan deity of muscle. Brock always got what he wanted.

It could have been a disaster.

Where does human goodness come from? Kindness, consideration for others, the ability to empathize across the vast gulfs of difference that separate human experience—how are these traits acquired? In short, why wasn’t Brock a monumental douchebag?

Brock stood in the living room of the house he shared with Matt, the man who would soon become his husband. It was decorated in the impeccable low-key good taste of old-money New Englanders, the room’s aesthetic spliced with just a few genes borrowed from severe Scandinavian modernism. The house looked a little like it belonged to a pair of fussy frail fifty-something tweed-o-sexuals, a thought that made Brock smile; together, he and Matt weighed more than 750 pounds, a weight equal to about five desiccated Ivy league profs. Their furniture, solid as it appeared, was discretely reinforced to withstand their bulk, to withstand the force they could unleash on it.

Brock filled the room with his massive muscular presence, still naked. His cock, now mostly flaccid, drooled onto his thigh. The big day was less than two weeks away—the day when Matt would become his husband.

Brock waddled—there is no other word—over to the mantelpiece, swinging his thighs around one another—each was larger than a strapping man’s chest. The overgrown parts of his body flexed and wobbled and bounced in time to his step, ridiculous hyper-sized globs of muscle that existed for no other reason than as testament to Brock’s overwhelming physical being. His pecs, always his most impressive feature, had lately grown so overlarge they intruded on Brock’s field of vision. With eyes straight ahead, they filled the lower third of all he could see with their dual globes of pale skin, like two boulders of veiny marble, except dusted with golden hair. It made certain basic acts—like picking up an object from a low surface—difficult. Brock had learned to lock onto his target as he approached it, before it disappeared below the horizon of his pecs. His size required him to grow more gentle and careful. In this case, he focused on a simple, tasteful photo album, so that, when it disappeared below his pecs, his hand would still easily find it.

Who has a photo album nowadays, when images are so cheap, so plentiful, so passing? Matt gave it to Brock as a kind of engagement present. Most of the album was taken up with images of their life as a couple, their adventures, times with friends, happy domestic moments . Scenes from an early weekend together in New York, both men flexing by an ancient statue of Hercules at the Met. Brock with his forehead in his hands, desk covered with books and papers, studying, his enormous arms threatening to split the sleeves of his t-shirt. Both men posing by the gondolas in Venice they were forbidden from riding (“troppo grande!”). Matt waltzing with Brock’s mother at his father’s retirement party, still attaining a catlike grace and elegance despite his super-heavyweight build. Dinner with Karim’s enormous family, Karim’s brothers and sisters looking at the visitors in awe and excitement. Brock and Ben, both cartoonishly huge, clowning around, striking ridiculous poses, laughing their heads off in the pit at Muscle Beach, the sour-faced 250-pound weaklings in their midst staring. Matt getting his latest tattoo, smirking confidently at the camera, the intricate Central American design half-finished. Brock and Matt, broad and superbroad backs to the camera, hand in hand under the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. Christmases, birthdays, 4th of July barbecues, Halloweens, Thanksgivings—a record of a happy, full, loving life.

Brock heard a sound, the sound of a floorboard shifting under a three hundred pound tread. He smiled but did not look. Men of their size could not sneak up on anyone, no matter how graceful they were—although Matt was very graceful. Brock felt the familiar big arms snake around his big thick middle, felt the side of Matt’s face press itself against his rear delt like a pillow. Brock felt Matt breathing. Matt felt Brock breathing. They didn’t need words. They didn’t need to say anything at all.

Where does human goodness come from? Brock and Matt knew the answer.

Summer 2015

It was summer when Ben and Karim left The Facility behind. Not leaving it behind forever, of course—just for a little while. They had a cozy seaside cottage rented for a three-day weekend. It was on a private beach not too far away, and they had it to themselves for the duration. It was only fitting—this was their anniversary.

Drunk on dry prosecco and each other, they spent the first day in ecstatic play—rarely speaking, their pleasure and joy in each other beyond words, until they fell into a late-afternoon doze, the only sound the ostinato polyrhythm of three slow breaths—Karim, Ben, and the ceaseless Pacific.

Ben awoke some time after sunset, his massive musculature demanding calories. Hunger had become a foreign sensation to him—at The Facility he was on a strict feeding schedule. The computer knew when he needed calories well before he felt hunger, and instructed him to eat accordingly. But this was the seaside where all things were shifting and imprecise. He slipped out to the kitchen, careful not to wake Karim. He grabbed a special shake from a cooler that contained dozens of them, all pre-mixed for him, and began gulping. He didn’t know how many calories were in it, what its protein content was, what else might be in it—the computer calculated all these things. He caught sight of himself in the hall mirror, dimly lit by moonlight. He never thought he could grow so huge—one last big swallow—or that he could possibly grow more massive still.

‘Could grow.’ More like ‘will grow.’ ‘Am growing.’ His dangling cock began to stiffen.

There were a lot of things about the last nine years he couldn’t have imagined, as the frightened skinny 18-year-old he was when this all began. Now he was 27, almost 28. He was close to finishing his PhD. He lived on the west coast. He was married. He had an exuberant and adventurous sex life. He was—how big? Real fucking big, Ben thought, smirking arrogantly at his reflection, popping a single-arm bicep, admiring the orb of flesh that, a decade ago, would only have been possible with the help of photoshop. But here it was, in the flesh. His flesh.

His cock was throbbing now, beating vainly in time with his pulse.

Ben crept as quietly as a man of his bulk could creep. He dutifully brushed his teeth, raging erection bobbing in time—no protein-breath for his husband, not on their anniversary. He raised arms larger than a speed-skater’s thighs, revealing the deep dark caverns that were now his armpits. He sniffed. Not too bad. Nothing requiring immediate attention—besides, Karim liked a slight hint of musk.

He forced himself to be slow, gentle, when really all he wanted to do was pounce. But pouncing is out of the question when you outweigh your husband by three hundred pounds. Ben leaned in, his heart in his throat. Karim was always more beautiful than he could remember, and never moreso than when lit by moonlight. Those fine North African features, relaxed in sleep, warm and open and unguarded. Dark warm skin perfectly smooth in the silver light. Soft lips pulled into the slightest smile—whatever he was dreaming about, he was happy. Ben could feel Karim breathe, rhythmic and slow. It was almost too much—Ben felt frozen in the moment, unable to move forward or to retreat. He felt like he could burst at a single touch. Finally, though, he leaned in and gently kissed Karim on his elegant neck, nuzzled his face into the space beneath Karim’s defined jaw, breathed deep his lover’s special scent: masculine and clean, sandalwood and sea-salt.

Karim murmured and instinctively reached out to Ben, still sleeping. Ben guided his husband’s arms, his legs, lifted Karim out of the bed they shared. Karim began to wake. He sighed contentedly, shifted, leaned against the unthinkable wall of muscle he’d helped to create, let Ben take all of his weight, never any doubt that Ben could handle it easily. Karim’s monumental cock began to stiffen as he felt the smooth, warm boulders of Ben’s body curving beneath him. “Hi,” he murmured—that adorable polyglot mutt of an accent tracing the finest, most subtle filigrees into even so simple a word.

“Hi,” Ben rumbled back. “Happy anniversary.”

Now, Ben carried Karim out, through the rented house, down the steps into the fine sand under the luminous night sky. The sand still retained the heat of the day, radiating into Ben’s bare feet. Karim’s legs were wrapped around Ben’s thick, densely-muscled waist; Karim’s pillar of a cock was now totally erect, its domed head bobbing, smacking first one generous pectoral swell, then the other, in time with Ben’s footsteps and Karim’s heartbeat. The smallest pearl of precum began to gather at the tip, glittering in the moonlight, before smearing into one of Ben’s monster-sized pectorals, clearing the way for another pearl-like drop to form, then another, then another.

Ben waded into the water, the waves gentle, barely there, the smell of salt and iodine bathing the lovers. Karim’s grip around Ben’s waist and neck tightened as Ben, with a practiced hand, reached round Karim and prised apart his proud round ass, lightly teasing Karim’s most sensitive, private place first with a finger, then a pair of fingers—not inserting, just touching gently, feeling his lover pulse in anticipation. Ben withdrew his hand, briefly stuck his fingers in his mouth—making eye contact with Karim as he did—then returned his wet hand to where it had been. He patiently began to gently loosen his lover; Karim closed his eyes, his breath becoming uneven, quickening, even now.

And then, slowly, Ben entered him, his uncut cock slick with precum. Karim let his body lower until he felt Ben’s pubic hair against him. He sighed contentedly and held on to Ben with all of his might. For a time, there was no thrusting—they stood almost motionless, locked together, knee-deep in the gentle ocean, the moon suffusing the scene with its silver light, casting odd shadows over Ben’s improbable anatomy.

And then, the world shrank until it was only them, their conjoined bodies, one body lithe and graceful with a hard protrusion like tempered steel, the other body monstrous, burgeoning, bulging, huger than huge, orbs of meat and thick hose-like veins barely contained by pale skin stretched nearly to the breaking point.

The tiniest, most microscopic motion felt epochal to both lovers. Each heartbeat was a burst of almost overwhelming pleasure for both, and their hearts were hammering with all the love and excitement their frames could bear. Neither could tell how long they stayed joined like this. They panted, their eyes locked, unable to speak—but then, what good would speech serve? Eventually a wave, slightly larger than the others, splashed up Ben’s thighs, prompting him to slightly shift his weight, and this was enough. Squirming, trying in vain to hold back, Karim began to erupt, which prompted Ben to respond in kind. They held each other tight, like survivors of a shipwreck, groaning and gasping as orgasm wracked their bodies, so in love they both could weep from the joy of it.

When it was over, they stood still, panting, grasping, and Karim began to laugh, and Ben joined, because it was all so improbable, so insane, that they should be here, that things should be the way they are. But they were, and they were. It was delirious, thankful laughter, and Ben was still chuckling as he carried Karim out of the water, up the beach, and lowered him gently to the still-warm sand, quickly arranging himself next to his husband, raining small kisses all over his lithe body.

They had no idea what time it was. Time passed. For ages they kept silent, other than to murmur sweet inanities or to chuckle at nothings. Eventually, though, the spell faded. Karim sighed, turned on his side, stared out over the water like black glass. The moon had disappeared.

“You seem distracted,” Ben said.

Karim sighed again. “I’m thinking.”

“Not discontent, I hope…?”

“God, no!” Karim said quickly, flopping 180 degrees to face the love of his life. “My god, Ben, you are … if you couldn’t tell from what just happened, I mean… how can I even say?”

Ben chuckled. “Okay, then. Not discontent with me. But with something.” He snuggled closer, draped one heavy arm over his lover’s shoulders, drew him into a gentle embrace. “Citizenship application? Gay-married Arab guy, you’re everything old white Republicans are afraid of, but maybe the two halves will cancel each other out.”

“No. Money lubricates the way, as you well know by now. And I have studied very diligently. Ask me anything. I’m going to destroy that test.”

“Okay, not that. Family.”

Karim snorted. “They love you, all of them do. And my father wishes he was me—you know, when he’s visiting, and he gets drunk and the two of us are the only ones left awake—he tells me all about it. ‘The world was different thirty years ago, Karim!’ he says to me.” Karim began to impersonate his father, thickening his accent, lowering his voice. “‘Europe: different! America: different! Sure, in 1985 I could fly in a Yankee with nice pecs to sit around my poolside for the week-end, but a specimen like Ben? Karim, he is two Schwarzeneggars. Three! He is three Dorian Yates! And to marry, legally? My lucky boy, you live a dream. I could not even have imagined. I would not have dared to wish—it would have been too much to ask. And you have it. It is your life. I am so happy for you. I am so proud of you. My boy.’” He dropped the impression with a short, fond laugh, but his eyes were still troubled.

“So what’s up?”

Karim sighed, snuggled into Ben’s massive embrace, pressed his forehead against his monumental chest. “I’m worried about The Facility.”

“It’s basically self-running. We’ve had it going for more than a year now. I think all the kinks have been discovered and worked out.”

“That’s not what worries me.” The two lovers lay silent for a time. “That reporter is coming by next week to do the feature interview with me. ‘Karim Ismaili: This Man Makes Monsters.’ I know, I know. We’ve got our understanding with law enforcement. We’ve got our bribes, our permits. We’re a ‘medical research facility.’ I’m just worried we’re drawing too much attention to ourselves. I don’t like the thought of a reporter sniffing around the place.”

Ben nodded. The fears were valid and he had no easy answer for them, but they both agreed that, at this point, it was safer to play along with the press than to try to avoid them completely. “You’re worried about Sam?”

“Yes. I’m worried about Sam, among other things. We’ve been so selective about who we invite to the facility—intense screening, nondisclosure agreements, everything. Remember Johnny and Dana?”

Ben nodded. “Our first guests.”

“Yes, and they were perfect. In four months with us, they smashed through 280, then 300, then 320—and they’ve been discretion itself ever since. Same with everyone else we’ve taken in. But Sam is …”

“Brock and Matt will be here soon. They’ll know what to do.”

Karim laughed. “Yes, thank god for Brock Healey. A mega-heavyweight I can’t lay claim to—just by existing, he makes us look a little less suspicious. I’m getting too good at my job.”

“So what worries you about Sam?”

Karim sighed and took some time in answering, as if searching for words. “He just worries me. You know I like to feel like I’m in control of things. And Sam is something I don’t feel in control of. When he looks at me, you know, I feel like he’s looking through me.”

Ben was silent for a while, his eyes fixed out over the dark ocean. “He’s sad, K,” Ben said eventually, his voice quieter, smaller. “He doesn’t have much in this world. We’re helping him the only way we know how.”

“I know.” Karim tried to think of something else to say, but he couldn’t. The case was simple, yet impossible. “I know.”

They lay together in silence for a while, each deeply thankful to have the other near.


Two weeks later

Ben’s phone buzzed. He grabbed it, surprised at the flutter in his stomach. Was he … nervous?

It was the text he’d been waiting for. “Hey little bro, just got our bags. You here?”

Ben hurried to respond. “I’m pulled over by Pillar 32 at Arrivals, come on out.” He considered adding if you can fit through the door ;) but decided against it. He hit ‘send’, took the key out of the ignition, and got out of the vehicle to stand. He wanted to see them coming.

It had been too long—more than a year. And the last time they’d met, they agreed to surprise each other the next time. A year with no updates about gym progress. No selfies, no stats. They texted back and forth about married life, video games, books and movies, travel, politics—but not the one thing that was their deepest bond. Maybe that’s why Ben found himself with butterflies beating against his abdominal wall—this was a true reunion of sorts, a reunion of swolemates, brothers-in-iron. But he’s got me at a disadvantage, Ben thought. Ben didn’t hide himself. He’d been on magazine covers. He had a six-digit following on Instagram. Within the bodybuilding world, he’d become a celebrity, despite doing only a handful of shows after winning his pro card. The speculation about when he’d make his Olympia run—and what the other competitors would even do if he did—was perennial, and every year, as he got bigger and bigger, the buzz got louder and louder. There was awe and disbelief around Ben’s ever-swelling musculature, and he didn’t try to hide himself from public view. It would be easy to keep tabs on Ben’s progress despite the communications blackout on the subject. And none of that was true for the camera-shy…

Brock!

Ben waved at what was surely the largest human to ever dent the earth’s tectonic plates. Brock had grown. His huge 6’3” frame looked overwhelmed with meat, like it had run out of places to put it 80 pounds ago. He didn’t walk, he barely even waddled. Wherever Ben’s eye rested momentarily, his mind balked, unable to process his friend’s sheer massive size. He wore a tent of a tanktop—who knew how many X’s were stacked in front of that L? A year ago he’d been stretching out custom-made 8XLs, and he was bigger now than he was then. Much bigger. His beachball pecs cantilevered out from his chest, swelled up from his clavicle, presented a canyon you could easily lose a hand in—or a dick in—and they bounced with each step. The tanktop’s straps were pulled horizontal, taut and thin, stretched a mile from the peak of his skull-swallowing traps to the distant far swell of his unearthly pecs. Brock’s shorts sagged in great folds of excess fabric around his waist, but were prevented from falling by ghastly thighs that exploded out to either side, twice as big as that German cyclist’s famous hamhocks, writhing with veins as thick as garden hoses. He rolled each monster-leg around the other in an odd, circular gait, such that, even from the front, Ben could see the hint of absolutely outrageous asscheeks like two big medicine balls glued to the back of his body. Despite his super-wide-set swagger, his inner thighs pushed against each other almost down to his knees, forcing his substantial package up and forward, exaggerating it. By his side, his husband Matt, a handsome behemoth in his own right, tan skin covered in sinuous tattoos, shrink-wrapped over firm bulbuous muscles, looked normal—small, even. A ‘mere’ super-heavyweight bodybuilder, a comparatively puny man the size of an Olympia contender.

Ben realized he had frozen in mid-wave, and that his mouth was hanging open. He’d grown so used to being the biggest man around, the biggest man imaginable—and, yeah, some part of him had dared to dream he might have finally caught up to Brock, maybe even began to surpass his mentor and oldest friend.

But nope. Brock was unparalleled. Brock was unprecedented. Brock was some kind of fucking mutant.

And that’s when Ben made eye contact with Brock—two pairs of intense blue eyes, one pair light, one dark, one ice, one steel. And that’s when Brock’s brutal face cracked into a huge grin, the beginnings of laugh lines crinkling around his eyes. It was like all the years and the maturity both men had grown into fell away—somewhere in the space where those gazes met, suspended in the shimmering air over the hot asphalt, they were 19 again, that first summer, a 295-pound ex-football player and a 195-pound fitness model type, watching bodybuilding videos on youtube, shirtless in the living room of the shitty house they shared, the AC busted, plates piled high with chicken, rice, and broccoli steaming on their laps. Ben felt himself smiling in response; his heart swelled and his cock stirred like a happy puppy’s tail.

“You sidewalk crackin’ mutherfucker,” Ben cackled, striding toward the two massive men. “What did you do, eat the flight crew?” He threw his arms around his old friend—or rather, he tried to. Even if his arms were normally proportioned, and not bloated to semi-uselessness with sickening globs of muscle, Ben doubted they’d be able to encircle the freak’s beach-ball pecs and barn-door lats. It really was nothing like a hug. Muscles shaking hands, maybe—huge round masses of hard flesh shifting and arranging themselves against each other in a kind of dialogue, a kind of physical friendship. It was an intimate gesture that few other men could ever share. The two men’s faces were so far apart, yet there was no space between their bodies; acres of their flesh pressed against each other, shifted or held firm, hot and smooth and hard.

“Real good to see you too, buddy. I can tell you ain’t missin’ no meals,” Brock said with a smirk. They broke their embrace and stepped back to properly size up each other.

No questions were needed. Both Brock and Ben knew what the other most wanted to know.

Ben spoke first. “446.”

Brock smiled. “Five…. fifteen.”

“You freaky fuck!” Ben smacked the veiny globe that was Brock’s left delt. “You just don’t stop, do you? Can you believe this guy?” Ben asked, turning to Matt.

Matt smiled his Cheshire grin. “Nope,” he said. “In fact, I can’t believe either of you. Hi Ben.”

Ben returned the smile, then suddenly dove at the smaller man. “C’mere you,” he said, “don’t think you’re getting away without a nice-to-see-you squeeze.” The two embraced. “You’re looking real good yourself, Matt,” Ben said, tightening his hold. “What are you up to these days?”

“Oh, about 330,” Matt answered, responding in kind.

Ben continued the hug then broke away. He glanced at Brock, then returned his gaze to Matt, who was, as usual, just a little inscrutable in his expression. “You thinking of hooking up to the Facility’s system while you’re here, Matt?” Ben began walking back to the huge SUV—not his style at all, but a necessary compromise—not many vehicles are built for 1280+ pounds of dense male flesh. “It’s only two weeks, but I think we could add eight quality pounds, if not nine or ten.”

“Yeah, I think I will,” Matt answered. “I like Brock being bigger than me, but too much of a difference and it gets kinda … well …”

“Scary,” Brock finished Matt’s sentence with a wolfish grin.

“Yes, a little scary,” Matt confirmed.

“I don’t know how you don’t break a twig like Karim in half, big man,” Brock said to Ben.

“I’m very very gentle,” Ben laughed, opening the trunk. “Besides, it’s kinda fun, having a husband whose waist is smaller than my arm. Okay. Matt, you sit up front with me. Brock, try and squeeze that massive carcass into the back. Let’s test this thing’s suspension.”

“Speaking of Karim,” Matt said, “where is he?”

“Oh, well,” Ben said, turning the key in the ignition, “there’s a reporter doing a feature on him for a muscle mag, kind of like a ‘who the fuck is behind these mass monsters taking over bodybuilding’ kinda thing, and he’s at The Facility doing an interview. So I thought we’d kill a bit of time. I suspect you’d rather our paths didn’t cross with Mr. Reporter.”

Brock grunted his assent from the backseat, which was almost overfull with his unbelievable brawn.

“So what’s the plan?” Matt asked.

“I thought we’d hit the local hardcore gym, and then a diner I know. Karim’s gonna text me the all-clear when buddy leaves.”

“All right, that sounds great,” Brock said. “Let’s give the locals a show they won’t soon forget.”


Karim Ismaili: This Man Makes Monsters

Anyone even a little familiar with bodybuilding doesn’t need to be told that we’re in the early years of a new era. Perhaps two years ago, men started showing up for contests well over 300 pounds—and then, 350. And now some guys are creeping up on—or even past—400, and that’s stage weight, not off-season. This new era of mass can all be credited to—or blamed on—one man: Karim Ismaili, trainer, entrepreneur, eccentric millionaire, center of controversy, and husband of Ben “Big Ben” Greenwood, the most enormous of these new monsters. Every muscle freak bending stage floorboards nowadays has either passed through Ismaili’s “Facility,” or has been inspired by what little is known of his methods to try and keep up with those who have. Muscle Rag has managed to score an interview with the usually-reclusive Ismaili, which occurred within the walls of his “Facility,” walls seldom breached by mere mortals. Here’s part of our conversation—you can read the whole thing at musclerag.com

MR: Thank you so much for agreeing to speak with us, Mr. Ismaili.

KI: It’s my pleasure. Please, call me Karim.

MR: So, this is your ‘facility’—could you tell us some basic facts about it?

KI: Well, it’s very simple. Here at The Facility, we take a scientific approach to muscle-building, and then we control for as many variables as we possibly can. Training, food, sleep, supplementation—all of it is tightly monitored and controlled to maximize results. There’s nothing magical going on here—we just use the best technology in combination with the latest science, and we use them strictly and totally. Anyone active at The Facility lives here for the duration of their training—at least one month, although best results come from three or four. Clients are given a small number of three hour day passes every month—no more than one per week. I was inspired by a similar, though somewhat shadier and less precise, set-up I once saw in another country—I won’t specify where—and I thought ‘I’ve got the resources, I can do better than this.’

MR: So you ‘control for as many variables as you can’—what does that mean?

KI: Oh, that’s very simple. Everyone at the Facility wears a bio-monitor—that’s our big innovation, and licensing it has proven incredibly lucrative—it’s the only reason our fees are accessible to your average middle-class bodybuilder—provided he can take at least a month off work to live here, and he passes our physiological and psychological screening, I mean.

MR: Bio-monitors?

KI: Yes, wireless devices that monitor hormone levels, blood sugar, metabolites, that kind of thing—with data being transmitted to the central computer. It ensures everyone who is active on the system is constantly in an anabolic state—it’ll deliver instructions like “Ben: report to station 1,” where a protein shake or a zinc pill or something else will be there—whatever the system decides Ben—or whoever—needs to maintain his body in a maximally anabolic state.

MR: A testosterone injection. . .?

KI: [smiles but does not speak]

MR: Surely, though, if you’re monitoring hormone levels, you must also be manipulating them …?

KI: Well, that much is true, and I will say that everything we do is legal. But just the same I’d prefer not to discuss the finer points of hormone manipulation.

MR: Okay then. So what inspired you to do this? No offense, but you don’t look like a bodybuilder yourself… .

KI: None taken—I’m not. But I’m married to one. I’ve always been fascinated by muscular development, and when I got into a relationship with Ben [Greenwood, Ismaili’s husband, who likely needs no introduction to our readers] I really took to the idea of using my resources to help him maximize his growth.

MR: Well, you’ve done that, for sure! I think most of us would agree that Ben Greenwood is the most developed man to ever walk the face of the earth, in terms of sheer muscular size [see last month’s cover for a shredded Greenwood—who stands just below 6’—at a mindblowing shredded 440 pounds -ed].

KI: Well, thank you. But I’m afraid that’s not quite correct.

MR: Ah, yes, you must mean the mysterious Brock Healey. Ben’s ….?

KI: Best friend really is the word for it. Ben was a skinny soft-body when Brock first met him—and he probably would have stayed that way without Brock’s intervention. I just added some jet fuel to the process that Brock started.

MR: So just how big is this Brock …?

KI: [smirks] If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.

MR: I take it he’s also a graduate of your Facility?

KI: Oh, no, not at all. It’s all him. Okay. Here’s how I think of it. Ben is a science project—maybe that sounds creepy to you, but it doesn’t mean I love him any less. We’re very careful about his health. But his body is science. Science fiction. Brock’s is fantasy. It’s magic. His training and diet is all intuitive, and—I swear to you—he’s never touched the juice. I don’t have any explanation for it. It’s like he’s got a gland that naturally secretes massive doses of trenbolone. I’ve begged him to have an induction here at the Facility—not even to grow him, although god, imagine … no, I want to induct him just to get the raw data, to see what makes his body tick. We could even possibly use that knowledge to adapt our techniques here. He’s turned me down at every stage—he’s very private. But—I realize this makes me sound naïve—but I really do believe that he’s natural. If any of your readers have seen one of the few photos that are out there, they’ll disbelieve me, but I know him well, and I really think it’s true.

MR: So have you reached the limit of human muscular development here at your Facility?

KI: Oh, no. Not at all. Not at all. Not even close. These boys are growing. [he smiles enigmatically]


Two more,” Ben bellowed, holding onto the sled for dear life. He and Matt were perched atop the leg press, which was laden down with every 45-pound plate they could scavenge. Brock was at the bottom of his penultimate rep. He threw his head back and gave a berserker snarl, spittle flecking from his toothy mouth, the tendons and veins in his waist-thick neck bulging and distorting, his pecs smashed up towards his face by his monstrous thighs. The sled rose; Brock gulped air, his musclegut with its cobbled abs heaving in and out, tanktop long ago discarded. He paused at the top of the rep.

Last one. Make it count, motherfucker,” Ben yelled, grinning at Matt, who was crowded in next to him—really, the leg press was not made for two men of their size. It was lucky they liked each other, they were practically cuddling.

Matt grinned back at Ben in turn, then slapped his hand against the metal of the machine. “C’mon, beast, show the iron who’s boss,” he exhorted. The sled descended; Brock moaned; the crowd of onlookers—at least a dozen—craned to see if this was it, if the giant of a man in their midst was finally beaten. But no—with a sudden vicious vengeance, Brock slammed the sled back up like he had another dozen reps in him, jammed the safeties into place, then rolled out of the machine onto the floor, onto his hands and knees, shaking, heaving rapid breaths, rivers of sweat cutting paths over the vast terrain of his unthinkable bulk, groaning. Growing.

Ben hopped down to the left, Matt to the right. All three men had just slaughtered their legs. Matt knelt down and slowly rubbed Brock’s back. Ben hobbled out to address the crowd. “Show’s over for today, folks,” he said, striking a pose, flexing his arms so that the bicep leapt up toward his fist, then flaring his lats as wide as he possibly could—if only because he wasn’t sure his super-pumped exhausted legs had strength enough do anything more elaborate without cramping up or faltering.

“You nutcase,” Brock rasped, still on his hands and knees, but breath slowing down to something close to normal. “You total nutcase.”

“Don’t puke, buddy. Remember, if anyone pukes, they buy the others lunch. Speaking of, let’s get going. C’mon, up.” The three bodybuilders—huge, huger, and hugest—slowly limped their way into the locker room like three elderly men, pulsing with blood and new growth and an ocean of testosterone. The crowd had dispersed, but all eyes were on them as they made their way to the change-room.

“Fuck, it’s good to lift with you again,” Ben chirped as they entered the locker room, whipping off his shorts without a second thought, semi-hard uncut dick dangling. They were custom made, fastened with snaps, so he didn’t have to face the difficult proposition of getting them over his impractically huge thighs. “No one gets ‘intensity’ quite like you do, big man.” He tossed Brock and Matt a towel each before striding off towards the showers, his own towel jauntily over his right shoulder, swaying in time with his rolling gait, gargantuan ass flexing and rolling with each step.

As they undressed, Matt leaned in to Brock and whispered, “You’re such a beast,” then nuzzled his neck.

Brock chuckled. “You know it,” he said, grabbing Matt, hoisting him up, lifting him to kiss his torso rapidly, passionately, Matt’s dick flopping along the top of Brock’s vast pecs, quickly stiffening. Matt stifled a shriek of surprise and laughter; his monstrous lover’s scruff tickled. A pointed cough from a dozen lockers away—Brock and Matt glanced to see a disapproving old man glaring at them. “Wanna do something about it?” Brock challenged. The stranger quickly averted his gaze, hurried in dressing, and departed.

Matt laughed after he was gone—he was too kind to do it before. “Rude. You are a beast.”

“Yes, but even beasts need to get clean,” Brock said, throwing Matt over his shoulder and moving into the shower area.

It was a communal shower, with multiple shower heads and no dividers or privacy screens. Ben was sprawled on the floor, leaning against a far wall, two shower streams pointed at him. His legs were splayed, his hips loose and open after the brutal leg workout, his hamstrings two great gobs of muscle hanging off his thigh bone, his quads two gigantic teardrops sweeping out from his kneecaps, his calves two basketballs seemingly held in place by a vast network of veins, too big for his heels to rest on the floor. He was languorously stroking his cock, which was just above average-sized, but very nicely shaped, covered with generous foreskin. “What took you guys?” he said, brightening up at Brock and Matt’s entrance.

“Freakin’ out the normies,” Brock said, turning on multiple showers. “You always shower like that?” he asked.

“Only if I spot a couple of hunks in the changeroom,” Ben said. “Then I bust out my … sexuality.” He said, throwing his head back dramatically with the final word.

“Subtle,” Matt said.

“Hey, I’m a creature of appetite. And whatever they’ve got me on back at the Facility, it’s got me so horny I could probably jack off to a picture of Janet Reno.”

“I hope we’re a little better than that,” Brock said, smirking, turning his back on Ben and spreading his lats wider, wider, wider.

“Uuunh,” Ben said, his grip on his cock becoming feathery, his strokes very slow. “Woah. Fuck, I almost came, you asshole.”

Matt’s grin grew even more enigmatic; he leaned in to Brock and whispered something. Brock barked a laugh, glanced back at Ben, and said “your lucky day, old pal. Matt just had an idea.”

“What’s that?”

“Oh, you’ll see. Get ready, Matt.”

Matt braced himself against the far wall of the shower so that hot water ran down the rivulet of his spine and into the crack of his huge bubble ass, pumped two sizes bigger than normal by the intense leg workout the three men had just completed. Tattoos spiraling everywhere, his muscles slippery smooth bulges, his dark hair matted and spikey—everything seemed to emanate from the twin orbs of male power and beauty that were his glutes, like Matt’s ass was the omphalos, the center of all creation.

Brock moved over, spread Matt’s asscheeks with a practiced motion. “You ready?” he asked. Matt moaned in the affirmative. “Are you suuuure?” Brock asked, teasing now.

“God, yes, do it,” Matt managed.

“Maybe I better check,” Brock said, still teasing. He leaned in, put his face to Matt’s ass, nose to crack. He inhaled deeply and then dove in, working his tongue vigorously, teasing and delving. He popped back up after a few minutes. “Oh, yes,” he said, twisting his bulk to look Ben’s way, glancing back over the steep hill of his left trap. “I think he’s ready.” Ben straightened his posture, took a firmer grip on his dick.

“Please,” Matt said, arching his back, sticking his ass out toward Brock.

“Do it,” Ben said, edging closer to orgasm, his pecs bunching and shifting as he stroked himself. He slowed his tempo again—he didn’t want to bust before the show even properly began.

Brock smirked at both the smaller-yet-still-enormous men, and then piloted his cudgel of a cock, thick and uncut and gnarled with veins, towards Matt’s twitching hole, sliding in gently like coming home. Matt moaned appreciatively as Brock, once in, quickly escalated the speed and force of his thrusts. Soon, he was jackhammering, fast and hard.

Ben watched in something like awe. This wasn’t the first time he’d seen Brock in action, wasn’t the first time he’d seen Matt take it like a pro—but it had been a while, and Brock was bigger, stronger, more powerful than either man could have imagined all those years ago, back when they first met. A true beef-heap, arms bigger than a thin man’s chest, titanic, monumental, adjective-defying glutes, milky-white, rapidly shifting and morphing with each brutal thrust. It was hypnotic. Matt had to be absorbing an insane amount of force with each thrust—hundreds of pounds of force, maybe a thousand pounds, maybe more.

Ben was rapidly approaching delirium just watching and stroking. Yes, it was a little scary just to witness—yes, a lesser man would be torn apart, unable to withstand the onslaught of pure power—but it was so erotic. Ben started to spurt before he even realized what was happening. He couldn’t be silent. “Oh fuck,” he heard himself say as his spunk sprayed up onto his cramping abs, his pecs mounding up, digging into his chin, flexing with all their might. He felt like his whole body was coming apart at the seams, flexing involuntarily, muscles literally taking over. He came and came and came like something had broken inside him. “Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck,” he moaned as the spurts kept coming—some detached part of his brain knew the repetition of the same phrase signalled a feedback loop, that his brain had stopped processing new information and was in some kind of primal state of hypersex, pure sexual saturation—fight or flight, except erotic. And the desire was neither to fly nor to fight, but to melt into the floor, to go limp, to be utterly destroyed by the display of power before him.

Brock roared, slammed himself into Matt even more forcefully and didn’t pull out, like he was trying to spear Matt, like he wanted his cock to ram right through. He pounded his fist against the wall and left it there to help support himself as he unloaded in his lover, groaning and bellowing like the animal he was. Matt moaned and his dick started jumping as if touched by invisible electric currents; three shots of pure white cum splattered against the shower wall, and then drops begin to fall like rain, splattering in random directions by the violent spasms that wracked Matt’s dick.

Ben came back to himself, water running down his face, semi-hard dick still cradled in his curled fingers. Even just removing his hand sent sensation darting through him, almost unbearable. His cum had turned sticky, the way it does in hot water. Ben groaned and rose, surveying the scene before him. Brock was holding Matt, face buried in Matt’s neck, kissing him fervently. Matt looked like he was swooning. The tiles were dented where Brock had slammed his hand against them; one tile looked like it might fall off.

Ben shook his head, tried to come back to himself. “Dudes,” he said. “Look at the mess. You know, if we were anyone else, this would get us banned for sure.”

Brock smirked at Ben. “But we’re not anyone else, are we?”

Ben shook his head ruefully. “We’re not, but, you know, hardcore gyms like this have tiny profit margins—they’ve gotta compete with the Planet Shitnesses of the world.”

Brock barked a laugh and gently set a wobbly Matt on his feet. “Planet Shitness. Good one. Okay, okay, you’re right, we’ll pay for the repairs. It was worth it, anyway. You should have seen the look on your face, li’l Benny.”

“I’m sure I was a real pretty picture,” Ben responded, shutting off the water and grabbing his towel. “Let’s dry off and get some food—I’m going catabolic just standing around gabbing.”


“Thanks for the scoop, man,” the reporter said, shutting off his recorder. “This’ll move a lot of copies. I don’t know if you appreciate how many people are curious about you, and about what goes on here. You know how it is—people talk.”

“They do talk,” Karim answered. “I agreed to this interview because I hoped it’d make people settle down. If it just fans the fires, well, I’ll be pretty disappointed. Anyway. I’ll walk you out.”

They left Karim’s office where they had been chatting, and passed by the weightroom. Nick, one of the bodybuilders currently in residence, was in mid-set, incline bench, his ponderous pecs swelling together like two pieces of perfect masonry at the top of each rep, hiding his face from view. He’d shown up at The Facility three months ago at an offseason 290; he was 360 now, and leaner, and he still had a month to go. The most anyone had ever gained in four months was 78 pounds, and Nick looked like he was on track to beat that record handily.

“Holy shit, is that who I think it is?” the reporter asked as Nick lowered the weight, momentarily revealing most of his face.

“Sure is. Kid’s a monster.”

“Another success story.”

“Yup.”

They walked on in awkward silence. “Seriously, though, now that we’re off the record: surely you must burn through an insane quantity of steroids.”

Karim frowned. “I can’t believe you asked about testosterone injections with the recorder running. What the fuck did you expect me to say? The last thing I want is the feds busting down our door. We’ve taken every precaution we can take, we’re as legal as we can possibly be without setting up shop in Thailand. You signed the contract on the way in, yeah?”

“Yeah,” the reporter answered.

“Okay, good. So you’ll remember section 11.1: the interview is over, we are off the record, and if you publish anything—anything—I say to you right now, you will be in breach of contract with some pretty nasty penalties. Understood?”

“Yeah, yeah. Fuck.”

“No, not fuck. I’m protecting my life’s work from a system that doesn’t understand or appreciate what we do. You better fucking believe I take this seriously. Now, I want it to be clear: this stays between the two of us, as per the contract you signed. Yes?”

“Yes.”

“Okay then. Of-fucking-course we go through a bull elephant’s worth of testosterone on a daily basis. HGH, IGF-1, insulin, peptides, everything. The computer’s a better steroid guru than any living human; the bio-monitor allows micro-dosing, incredibly precise timing. I said we used cutting edge science. I meant it. Legality is … something to be navigated.”

“So how do you prevent law enforcement from …”

“We have our ways. Leave it at that. Like I said: this is my life’s work.”

The two men walked on in silence. They were nearing the exit when the reporter spotted an innocuous closed door. Something—his journalistic nose picking up a scent, maybe—made him ask: “hey, what’s behind that door?”

Karim turned, saw the door the reporter was indicating. His face was a smooth blank. “Oh, just storage,” he answered. “Anyway, I hope you got enough material to write something good. Email me if you think of any other questions, or want to clarify anything. And come back any time if you’re interested in becoming a client—I can see you with another 50 pounds on your bones, easy. Take care!”

The men shook hands and the reporter, taking a final glance around, walked through the front doors. Karim stayed put, watching, until the man got in his vehicle and drove out of the parking lot. As he made the turn and pulled out of sight, the starch seemed to come out Karim. He slumped against a nearby counter, let out a long shaky sigh, and said. “Thank fuck that’s over.” After a few slow, calming breaths, he straightened up and fished his phone out of his pocket. Reporter gone, he texted Ben. Bring the boys over at your leisure. Can’t wait to see them. He hit ‘send’ and turned to walk over to the unassuming door that the reporter had somehow thought to ask about. Karim opened it, annoyed, and announced: “he’s gone. You can come out now.”


“A cheese and broccoli omelet for my friend here,” Ben said, gesturing at Brock.

“And he’ll be having the marinara burger, double meat,” Brock said, gesturing at Ben.

“I’m good—just gonna watch from here on,” Matt said.

The waiter, a skinny nineteen-year-old with a visible boner stretching down the left leg of his black pants, stammered “s-sure” and collected the fourth set of dirty plates from the diner booth.

It was a game Brock and Ben used to play when they lived together—after lifting, they’d go to a diner or a fast food restaurant and they’d order for each other. And keep ordering, and keep ordering. The first person who couldn’t finish his food was the loser.

“Double meat?” Ben said, cocking an eyebrow at Brock. “You trying to give that poor kid a heart attack?”

“Get your mind out of the gutter,” Brock said.

Ben put on his best angelic look, his blue eyes losing their usual intensity, widening, becoming cherubic. “Oh calumny!” he exclaimed, fanning himself with his hand as if in distress. “To be falsely accuséd of possessing low moral character!”

“Clown around all you want—you still gotta eat it.”

“Oh, that was never in doubt. Seeing you blown up like a balloon animal has lit a fire under my ass, Brocky-boy. I’m gonna outgrow you one of these days. I’ve got science on my side.” Ben struck a superhero pose. “Science.”

“Is that why you’re starving me with a measly omelet?”

“Dude, trust me, that thing’s massive, and it’s just shiny with grease.”

“A little snack for me. I’ll wither away if this keeps up for a whole two weeks.”

Ben smirked. “Okay, then, big man, if that’s how you feel …” he raised his hand, beckoned the waiter. The waiter, of course, was staring at the three muscle monsters crammed into the family-size booth whenever he had a moment, and often when he didn’t have a moment—he’d already spilled two coffees and forgotten at least one order,

“Y-yes, sir?” the shy teen stammered.

“Mega-protein shake for my friend here. Double the serving size. Triple the whey. Use full-fat milk. Don’t be shy with the ice cream—chocolate, why fuck around with a classic? Oh, and chuck a half dozen spoonfuls of peanut butter in the mix, too. I wanna be able to roll this fat fuck out the door when he’s finished.”

Brock smirked. “Same order for him.”

The teen’s mouth fell open but no sound came out. He’d already brought enough food to feed a small army to this table, with another hearty course coming, and here they were ordering super-sized shakes that had more than a day’s worth of calories in them. “Uh,” he said.

Matt, who was closest to the waiter, smiled gently at him. “Just nod if you got all that,” he said, momentarily resting a hand on the teen’s arm. A quick shudder ran through the young man’s skinny body.

“Y-yes, sirs, right away,” the waiter managed to say, face flushing blood-red as he turned to flee.

“Matt!” Brock hissed, leaning in to his husband. “You just made that poor kid jizz in his pants!”

“Clean-up in aisle your crotch,” Ben said, imitating a supermarket PA.

“I was trying to calm him down,” Matt said unhappily.

“Eh, don’t feel bad, maybe he will be a little calmer, now that he’s busted his nut,” Ben offered.

“How did you grow so wise, Ben?” Brock said, sarcastic.

Ben’s phone buzzed. He fished it out of his pocket. “It’s Karim,” he said. “The coast is clear at The Facility and he’s eager to see you guys. Poor K. I bet he feels like he’s been through the wringer—he really had some serious reservations about agreeing to this interview. Want to get this last round to go and call it a tie?”

“No,” Brock said. “I want to race you.”

Ben smirked. “Okay, you’re on—you might be bigger than me, Healey, but I’ve always been faster than you.”

“We’ll see about that, Greenwood. Matt, you’re the judge.”

“Hey, no fair, don’t you think he’s kind of biased? He’s only, um, married to one of the contestants.”

“I’m fair!” Matt protested.

“Get the waiter over here, you can both be judges. You watch Brock, the kid will watch me. Say ‘done’ when the person you’re watching is finished. That’s fair,” Ben said.

“Sounds good to me,” Brock said. “We’ve got to wait for the poor guy to come back from the washroom, though.”

It took a few minutes for the waiter to re-emerge; his face was still crimson when Brock beckoned him over to the table and explained the rules of the little challenge. The food and shakes came shortly after, the shakes in ridiculous oversized Styrofoam cups, their contents thick like wet cement. Brock and Ben readied themselves, game faces on, steely eyes meeting icy ones.

“Ready?” Matt asked, glancing at both men. They nodded, all business. “Go.”

Ben rammed the burger into his mouth, swallowing rapidly, chewing the minimum amount required. Brock’s knife and fork flew, severing huge chunks of cheesy eggs and jamming them into his maw. At the back of his mind, Ben was worried—this was the fifth course, and each of the four preceding had been epic in their own right, a full gut-busting meal for a normal man. Ben’s ab-segmented stomach was already bowed out painfully, still lean and muscular but rounded now, like a gigantic hand grenade, etched with abdominals and veins like cracks in a bursting facade, a rock retaining wall approaching failure. But there was no way he was going to let Brock win this—even if an omelet was easier than a double burger. Just two more big bites. C’mon, Big Ben, you can—

“Done!” Matt exclaimed as Brock flopped back in the booth, breath heaving, sweat trickling down his heavy brow.

Ben groaned in defeat. Then, a realization: “your shake,” he said around a mouthful of beef. He gulped it down. “You ain’t done,” he said, speaking more clearly, before squashing the remainder of the burger into his mouth.

A light glinted in Brock’s eyes as he leaned forward, distended muscle-gut competing for space with his frankly ridiculous pecs. He grabbed the huge cup of thick fatty proteinous ice-creamy goop and started gulping. Ben was only seconds behind him. Ben closed his eyes and focused his whole mind on gulping as fast as he could. He treated it like a final set at the gym: push your body beyond what you think its limit is. Your body can handle it. It’s all a question of willpower.

The solution was just so thick, Ben had to take a few breaks to breathe from time to time. He was thankful to see Brock was in a similar situation. At one point, they were both pausing, gasping for air. Ben let out an involuntary belch, thankful not to puke. Brock leaned heavily on his elbows and gave Ben a long-suffering look. “You’re disgusting,” he said.

“You know it, baby,” Ben said, still panting. “I’m filth. Bottoms up.” He grabbed the cup like it was a dumbbell and this was his final set. His gut fucking ached—if he never felt hunger at The Facility, he never felt stuffed like this, either. He was kept in constant calorie surplus, but never this kind of ludicrous glorious excess. He was out of practice.

Finally, the last sludgy dregs of calorie-rich shake slid down Ben’s throat; he gulped hard then slammed the empty cup down just in time to see Brock do the same. “Done,” both watchers exclaimed in unison.

Matt and the skinny waiter glanced at each other. “I think it’s a tie,” Matt said. The waiter nodded anxiously, as if afraid of the possible consequences of there being no clear winner.

Ben and Brock both leaned back and groaned. Their titanic muscles were flooded with glycogen and nutrients; both looked the hugest they’d ever been, skin about to split over carb-engorged muscles far larger than nature ever intended. Both felt pinned to their seats by the huge mass of undigested food. They were sweating from the pure physical effort of eating to such excess. Both their guts were distended well beyond their normal sizes, enormous, hard and taut, but there wasn’t much space on either man’s frame to accommodate such expansion. Their swollen thighs pressed up from one direction, their enormous pecs pressed down from the other. They looked ready to burst, guts unnaturally protruding.

“Fuuuck,” Ben managed, lolling from side to side, unable to find a more comfortable position, awakening to the agony of his situation. “I don’t care. It’s a tie. Owwwwwww,” he whimpered and groaned. “Good job, Brock.”

Brock moaned, nodded to acknowledge Ben’s compliment and to agree. He wasn’t ready to speak yet. He attempted to shuck his tanktop, but it got stuck halfway up and Matt had to peel it the rest of the way. He lifted his hands over his head as Matt pulled off the tank, pecs shifting and morphing. Once the tank was clear, Brock fell back in his seat, tits mounding up towards his face, freaky-big and round, little pink nipples like pencil erasers pointing downwards at the bottom of their vast swell. Titanic arms resting uneasily on top of his super-thick lats. He had that exaggerated arms-wide posture so many bodybuilders pridefully adopt, except, in his case, it was a matter of necessity. His muscles had grown so large, his body was running out of space to put it all; he was truly obese with muscle. His musclegut, usually a gentle swell, stuck out a mile in front of him, ten months pregnant.

“Good idea,” Ben said slowly, leaning forward painfully and following suit. His muscles were so full and pumped, he found it difficult to get a good hold on his shirt. “Fuck,” he muttered. “Getting musclebound.” Matt, sensing his help was needed, leaned across the booth and gave Ben a start, pulling his shirt to the point where Ben could finish the job. Shirt off, Ben fell back in his seat and closed his eyes, enjoyed the feeling of cool air on the sweaty acres of his tortured flesh. He felt like he could pop. The best friends were two ticks that had hit an artery.

“Uh, uh, sirs,” the waiter stammered faintly. “Uh, sirs, we have a no shirt no shoes no … . no service policy.”

Ben waved him away like a pesky fly. “We’re not getting any more service. We’re leaving. As soon as we can walk. Bring the bill. Please.”

The waiter made some sounds that were almost words and then fled once more. Ben groaned, closing his eyes. He felt like a turtle trapped on its back, his gut like a segmented carapace—if the carapace was somehow overstuffed and about to blow wide open. “We probably traumatized that poor kid,” he said, voice still thick from shotgunning the shake.

Brock snorted and spoke without moving or opening his eyes. “Trauma? More like, gave him jack off material for the rest of his fucking life.”

“Still, though,” Ben said. He leaned forward painfully, reached for his wallet, drew out a couple of hundred dollar bills. “This should cover the bill and a nice tip to boot. Ugh, my gut fucking aches.”

Brock moaned. “Mine too, bud. What a fucking spectacle.” Still leaning back in his seat, he opened his eyes, glanced at Ben, at himself, at their nearly helpless condition. “I’m. So. Full. It. HURTS. Fucking ridiculous.”

“Let’s get back to The Facility. The moment I slip on my monitor the computer’s gonna freak out at me, I know it. I am so ‘beyond normal parameters’ right now. Ugh.” He adopted a robotic monotone voice. “‘Beep boop. Ben: swallow this wheelbarrow of glucophage within the next 15 seconds.” He dropped the impression. “Seriously though, Karim keeps these digestive enzymes on stock—it’ll help the bloat go down. We’ll take some, and in a couple of hours we’ll be back to normal—all this food will be converted to pure muscle,” Ben said, lightly tapping his tortured stomach. “Phew. Okay. C’mon. Let’s go.”


“Matt, this is my younger brother, Farid,” Karim said, holding the door to his office open.

“Hey, man, nice to meet you. I’ve heard so much about you,” Farid said. He was shorter, chubbier than his older brother, not ugly but not really handsome, either—cute, maybe, if you liked the nerdy type. But the feature most people noticed first were his gnarly arms, huge and knotted and veiny, splitting the sleeves of a vintage SNES t-shirt. They looked like they belonged on another man. They were so disproportionate, one might naturally suspect something like synthol, but there wasn’t an ounce of fat anywhere on Farid’s arms—the merest twitch of his finger sent massive cables of muscle shifting and rearranging themselves. His arms were clearly pure brawn, at least 20”, despite the seeming lack of muscle anywhere else on his body.

“Nice to meet you, Farid,” Matt said, shaking his hand.

“Farid’s the tech head—he’s my secret weapon. He’s the one who took the bio-monitor from concept to actual usable device, and he runs all our IT,” Karim explained.

“Ha, check it out—he can’t get over the cannons,” Farid laughed dorkily, flexing his ridiculous biceps. There was a faint tearing sound. “Shit. I liked this shirt.”

“He’s also a nerd with the social grace of a fucking camel,” Karim sighed. “See, this is why I hid you from the reporter, Farid—he wanted a scoop, and hoo boy would you have given him one. You can’t keep a secret, you love to talk, and those arms are just so . . so …”

“Those guns are … pretty noticeable,” Matt said.

“Yeah, well, I developed the tech, I help Karim run the place—that’s why he’s so sweet to me,” Farid said with over-the-top sarcasm. “And I look after all the computer stuff, so I get to do what I want. And what I want to do is have big. Fucking. Arms. Don’t really care about the rest of it.”

“Cool man,” Matt said. “I respect anyone who does their own thing. Not everyone understands why I’ve got all these tattoos, like, they want some deep reason and symbolism behind them, they think there must be something wrong with me to have inked up so much. But it’s just … I like ‘em, and isn’t that a good enough reason? Let your freak flag fly.”

Exactly. Hey, Karim, I like this guy.”

“Yeah,” Karim said, “he’s a pretty sweet fella.”

“So where’s Ben and his old boyfriend?” Farid asked.

“I’ve told you a million times: Brock and Ben never dated.”

“Pfft, whatever. Where are they?”

“Ben’s showing Brock around The Facility.”

“Oh, heh, reuniting with our permanent resident?”

“Farid, I swear, one of these days…” Karim raised his eyes skyward as if for guidance.

“Who’s your ‘permanent resident’?—isn’t that you guys?’” Matt asked.

“Actually, Matt, this concerns you. You remember Sam …?”

“Yeah, Samir, did he ever show up here?”

Farid snorted.

“Yeah, he did. He kind of lives here now.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Dude, he’s a fuckin’ beef-ball now,” Farid said.

“Oh, well, that’s … good?” Matt looked at Karim’s serious face in confusion. “Not good?”

Karim sighed. “I don’t think he’d pass our psychological screening, if we had administered it—he’s obsessed with growing to an unhealthy degree. But then, I guess that’s also true of Brock and Ben. You too, maybe. But he doesn’t have a life outside these walls, Matt. His obsession is totally unbalanced. Anyway. After you emailed me about him, I kinda considered it a charity to take him in, a duty even. When he showed up here without a job or a friend on this side of the continent, well, we decided to take care of him.”

Matt furrowed his brow. “Well, I guess Brock and I kind of … broke his brain, a little. Not that he didn’t like it. I remember it really well, actually. It was about a year after we’d fucked him. I had a day pass at a gym downtown—a gym I don’t often go to—I forget why I was there, I had business downtown or something and it was the only way I could fit in my workout. And, well, there was poor Sam, this little guy, tiny really, lifting his heart out, but going about it all wrong. He’d been at it ever since Brock took him home and we, well, kinda muscle-fucked his brains out. So I took him aside, asked him what his goals were, tried to teach him form on the most basic lifts, emphasize how important eating was, you know, like you do.”

“And he said …?”

“He said he wanted to get huge like us, and I said, well, my friends are setting up this place, and …”

“And now he’s the troll in our dungeon!” Farid exclaimed, laughing.

Matt frowned, ignoring Farid’s obnoxious outburst. “Karim, I had no idea. I’m worried. I never told Brock about any of this. This might not end well for either of them.”

Farid looked confused. “Why the hell not? It’s gonna be great. You jerks all like muscle, and Sam’s about to see the guy who made him realize that. You guys freed him from his old life as a miserable little college dork, doomed to scrape by teaching at some shithole in Buttfuck Nowhere. If I was Sam, I’d fall down and lick Brock’s feet at the sight of him, like he was the fucking Muscle Messiah.”

Karim sighed. “Farid, you’re a genius, but you can be so dumb sometimes. Ever think what it might actually feel like to have someone fall down and start licking your feet?”

Farid snorted again. “Yeah, brother, I think about it all the time. It’d be awesome.”

Karim looked at his younger brother. “You’re a super-villain, you know that,” he said flatly.

Farid flexed his ridiculous, ten-sizes-too-large arms and smirked dorkily. “Yup.”

Matt was still frowning. “Maybe I should go down there. I’m the one to blame for this.”

Karim glanced at the closed circuit monitor. “Too late—they’re going into the gym, and Sam’s finishing up his workout.” He sighed. “Look, this had to come—it’ll be fine. Maybe Farid’s right. Maybe this will be a happy thing.”

Matt settled into one of the empty office chairs and wheeled over next to Karim to watch the camera feed. “I hope you’re right.”


“So there’s only the most important room left to show you: the gym. Man, it’s awesome—ever want to just, you know, custom-design a gym so it has none of the problems of a commercial place? It’s kinda what I got to do here. Oh, wait, before we go in. This is important. Do you remember Samir?”

“Samir?”

“Sam. You and Matt basically fucked his brains out a couple of years ago. He was a musicologist doing a post-doc at your University.”

“Holy shit, yeah, I haven’t thought about that guy for a while. He was great—such a tiny dude, but so so into it. Wait, how the fuck do you know about him?”

“I guess Matt never told you. Well, about a year ago, just a little while after we set up shop here, he showed up on our doorstep. His postdoc was over and he had nothing to replace it, he’d lost interest in academia, was estranged from his shitty homophobic family. And he wanted to grow so bad, and, well, we felt bad for him. He really was tiny, like you say—I think he weighed like 105 pounds when we inducted him, he’s only 5’5”. Little pencil arms. So anyway, we took him in, set him up on the system. I trained him for the first couple of months, taught him his lifts. Man, you should have seen him grow—he was like a weed. I’d only seen that level of focus and intensity in a few other people—me, you, a couple of IFBB pros who’ve been through here. That’s it.”

“So the little dude’s a bodybuilder here now? Good for him,” Brock said, smiling.

“You’re not freaked out about this?” Ben asked, his hand on the gym door.

“Why would I be? Sounds like a real feel-good story to me.”

“All right—but, you know, just so we’re clear. Lifting is pretty much all Sam has in his life since he arrived. We’re kind of worried about him. He seems a little… uh… don’t tell him I said this, but kind of dead behind the eyes. We tried to socialize more with him at first but it was really awkward, so now we just give him space.”

“Oh. Gotcha. Well, quit stalling—let’s get this reunion on the go.”

Ben opened the door and strode in. The gym was, indeed, glorious. Every machine imaginable, from the standard to the obscure. A big cauldron of chalk in the center of the room. Specially-built dumbbells up to 300 pounds, a wealth of plates, multiple Olympic platforms, plenty of benches and power cages. A far corner with medicine balls, foam rollers, battle ropes, kettlebells, and many other toys to break up the monotony. Over at the far end of the room, a short but very-thickly-built South Asian man was doing an overhead press with a substantial weight. He popped it up and down like it was nothing, like playing airplane with a toddler; he was staring straight ahead at his reflection as he repped the weight, nearly-black eyes locked into a kind of tunnel vision. Ben waited for him to set the weight down before he called out.

Hey Sam. We got a visitor!”

Sam turned—his face was the same, those fine-boned features. And, to the trained eye, underneath the slabs of muscle his frame was the same—even though he was an utter tank now, he had the same delicate wrists, the same tiny ankles, which made the huge globs of muscle hanging heavy off those small bones look all the more impressive. Only 5’5”, Sam looked at least half as wide as he was tall—an impressive optical illusion that he cultivated by doing plenty of lifts for his lats and delts. His face brightened when he recognized the behemoth standing beside Ben.

“Holy fuck—is that … Brock?!”

“Yup,” Brock said happily, waddling across the room to Sam. “Looking thick, man. You’re like three of your former self.”

Sam’s face turned crimson and he glanced down at the ground, embarrassed. “Aw, gee, not quite, I’m only 270, that’s more like two and a half.”

Ben threw his hands up in the air. “Fuck’s sake. Take a compliment, Sam!”

Brock, though, seemed moved. He stepped in, chucked his massive paw under Sam’s downcast chin, raising the shorter man’s face up. “270 pounds at your height, on your frame, is insane size, and you look real lean—you’re a freakin’ monster now, man. Own it. Take pride in it. You’re one of us.”

Unexpectedly, Sam’s lip trembled. “Aw fuck,” he said, voice thick and quivering. “I promised I wouldn’t do this if I saw you again. Everything in my life just turned into a mess, you know, and I just remembered how I felt that night, with you guys, it was like I was truly alive for the first time, and I thought, maybe if I ….” He choked, unable to finish, quickly turning his face away.

“Hey, buddy, it’s okay. It’s okay. Seems to me you’ve kept a lot of things pent up since I saw you last. C’mere,” Brock said, gathering Sam into a tight embrace. It wasn’t sexual—it was warm, friendly, healing. “Let it out. I’m really proud of you. I really am.”

Ben, watching, could only think about how Brock seemed to be doing again what he had done once before, had done for him so many years ago. Ben felt himself suddenly well up at the memory—he owed it all to Brock, really, this beautiful life he had. Ben had once been similarly broken, unhappy, a scared little gay boy with no center in his life. And Brock had gently guided him through it, had turned him into the man he was, the man he wanted to be.

And really, the muscle wasn’t the point. Who cared about the muscle? It was great, but it wasn’t what mattered—what mattered was the heart. And Ben realized, with a sudden shame, that in the year since Sam had shown up at his door, Ben had attended very well to teaching him how to deadlift properly, how to keep his rotator cuffs happy, how to eat, how to slab on mass, but he hadn’t attended to the most important thing—guiding the poor suffering man through stormy waters and into a safe port.

Brock was gently cradling Sam, who was coming back to himself. “Oh fuck,” Sam said, voice quivering and thick, sniffling, wiping his face. “You must think I’m a real baby. An overgrown baby.”

“No,” Brock said. “Listen to me, Sam. The heart is a muscle. No one starts strong. No one is strong all the time. But the only way to be strong is to exercise what you’ve got. If you’ve gotta cry, the strong thing to do is cry. That’s heart exercise. Now. Ben tells me that you’ve basically been a zombie here, not doing anything but lifting. Is that right? Is that your whole life?”

Sam nodded. “I just … wanted to get huge, you know? It’s the only thing that mattered, the only thing that made sense anymore. My career was dead, my family didn’t care if I lived or died. When I was a kid I lived for music, but I studied it so much, for so long, that I lost any joy I once had for it. What else was there except: get huge?”

Brock grinned. “Being huge is awesome. I wouldn’t trade it for almost anything. You should keep going. But it’s not the only thing that matters. I’m really glad you’re here, Sam. I’m really glad I’m here with you. How many sets do you have left?”

“Three on the press, and then some lat raises supersetted with some face pulls, and then-”

“No ‘and then.’ You’re done for the day. Me and you and Matt and anyone else who cares to join us—we’re going to the beach. There’s a wide, wonderful world out there, Sam. It’s time we reintroduced you to it. You in?”

Sam looked overwhelmed, like he might cry again, but instead a laugh burst from his mouth. Ben was shocked to realize it was the first time he’d heard the man laugh. “Yes. I’m in.”

“All right, buddy. Let’s get out there. Ben, you coming?”

Ben looked at Brock. He couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off his face. His heart felt full. Yes, he realized—there are many ways a person can grow. The heart is a muscle, and his heart was full. “Big brother, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Let’s go get the boys and hit the road.”

Update posts:
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