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|“I can’t understand why he isn’t coming home for Thanksgiving,” JP’s dad boomed, obvious tension and disbelief in his voice. “What exactly did he say?”
“You know Ryan,” Mrs. Maloney answered evenly, trying in vain to calm her husband down. “He simply said that he was going to his roommate’s for Thanksgiving and that he probably wasn’t going to be stopping home. That’s all.”
“And you didn’t object to it?” Mr. Maloney was only becoming more livid.
“Paul, I thought we agreed to give him more space,” she replied, gently placing her hand on his shoulder. “Ryan’s his own man now.”
“What are you talking about, Maureen? We’ve been giving him space for four years!”
“Checkmate!” My attention jerked back to the game of chess I had been playing with Erin. The argument between JP’s parents had moved to another room anyway. I looked down at the board.
“You sure about that?” I asked, a little flummoxed as to how a girl of not-quite-14 could beat me in chess so quickly.
“Uh, yeah, buddy,” JP remarked over my shoulder. “There’s nothing you can do. Sorry.” I sighed as Erin giggled girlishly.
“I guess you have his brains, too,” I told her. She giggled even harder and turned a scarlet red.
“Erin, dear,” their mother called, sticking her head into the room. The argument over Ryan must have concluded. “Don’t you still have homework to finish?”
“Yeah, mom,” Erin sighed dramatically, getting up from the table and leaving the room, but not before she looked back over her shoulder and gave me one more flirtatious wave. JP sniggered.
“She obviously still has a thing for you,” he said once she was out of earshot.
“Doesn’t she have a boyfriend her own age by now?” I asked, helping my boyfriend put away the chess set.
“Not that I know of,” he replied, shrugging. “I guess it’s that whole high school senior mystique about you. You know how middle school girls are.” I smiled awkwardly.
JP put the cover back on the box and placed it onto the top shelf of a cupboard next to the TV that was reserved for board games – many of which hadn’t been played in years. The three Maloney kids had grown up so quickly. I watched with awed attention as the muscles in his arms and shoulders slid efficiently underneath his thin, tanned skin. The three distinct heads of his triceps exploded outward, the fibers of sinew in his delts rippled and flexed, his lats flared out like wings. A familiar shudder ran down my back; I was unable to take my eyes away from that display of sheer perfection.
It was mid-November and the wrestling season was about to begin again. As usual, JP was at the peak of his condition – well, he practically was even in the off-season – but since he was going to be wrestling 189, he had somehow cut 5 pounds off his immaculate body. I don’t know where those five pounds could have come from; he already had such low bodyfat. You could literally see every single vein and muscle fiber work in their flawless precision, no matter how slight the movement. He was like a walking anatomy chart. JP was all muscle – a beautiful, hunky mass of muscle.
I leaned back against the couch and let out a long sigh. He was all mine, I thought. JP, feeling my adoration of him, slowly turned around and flashed his gleaming white teeth at me. As he stepped down from the cupboard, his pecs gave an involuntary bounce under the old Navy Athletics shirt – the sleeves having been ripped off – that fit tightly around his impressive torso. The locks of his golden brown hair hung just above his piercing blue eyes, giving him an evocative, mystifying appearance as his hair got longer.
“I’m sorry about that,” he said sheepishly.
I blinked out of my trance. “Oh, no, it’s ok. I’m getting used to losing to you and Erin at everything.” JP smiled, knowing that I had completely misunderstood him.
“No,” he corrected, “I mean the thing about Ryan. My parents get upset about him when he doesn’t tell them anything.”
“Oh,” I replied, a little taken aback for the sudden change in topic. “I wasn’t really paying attention,” I fibbed. My boyfriend’s eyes told me he knew better.
“They just hope he comes home for Christmas,” JP said, looking down at the floor. I knew what he was thinking.
He saw his relationship with Ryan as the greatest regret in his life. Where at one time, the two brothers had been best buddies, encouraging each other to achieve their goals, the two were now embroiled in a fierce competition. And JP, being the kind of person he was, blamed it on himself. No matter how much I tried to make him realize his irrationality, the way he saw it, Ryan started becoming hostile because of him. If only he had allowed more patience with Ryan, he would tell himself, more understanding of him, then maybe things wouldn’t be the way they were.
But that’s where the other part of JP came in – the part that never gave up. The thing he realized that day during band camp when he saw how much influence he had on people even like Hunter was the fact that he could still make a change in Ryan, no matter how conceited he was. And there had to be some way to accomplish that, even if it meant having to fight it into him.
“You ready for the opening tournament tomorrow?” I asked in a desperate attempt to change the subject and break the awkward silence.
JP grinned confidently; if there was anything he was still somewhat cocky about, it was wrestling. “You kidding me?” he smirked, making me laugh. Then, he performed a quick most muscular pose that almost made me pee in my pants. His muscles practically exploded out of his skin, his lats stretching the seams of the shirt, his massive neck expanding past his cheekbones. It took my breath away. JP was the king of all superjocks. No one could touch him.
And that’s what everyone expected of him that wrestling season. A tinge of excitement filled the air of the gym the next day at the first tournament of the year. I noticed that the stands were a lot more crowded than usual, since JP had single-handedly brought a new spotlight to the sport in our school. Everyone wanted to come and see the young god wrestle…but the girls just wanted to see his body.
“JP is so fuckin’ hot,” I overheard a conversation between three smitten girls in the sports lobby. “I want him so bad.”
“I heard he’s still single for some reason,” the second girl said. “I would kill to get fucked by him.” I nearly spit out my soda when I heard that; she said it so matter-of-factly.
“Mm, yeah,” a third girl sighed, obviously already drooling just thinking about him. “I heard he’s hung like a porn star.”
I bit my lip, fighting the temptation to tell them that they had no chance in hell of doing anything with my boyfriend. But they didn’t know that. I just smiled to myself, knowing that I was the only one who would ever truly have JP and his beautiful body.
I hurried into the gym before I could hear anymore and found my seat next to Chrissy and her little brother Nick who was in such awe of his first high school wrestling experience. She seemed relieved to have me there since all Nick would talk about was what he had read online about this year’s wrestling team. He had all their statistics memorized and was rattling them off to his sister.
“They’re saying that JP is a shoe-in for the district title – he doesn’t have any competition from anyone. The Washington Post already has him seeded number one.” He was speaking insanely fast as usual, almost making Chrissy nauseous. “And Danny Tranh at 145 and Kyle Backton at 103 have a shot at their titles too, according to novasports.com.”
“Thank God you’re here,” Chrissy whispered to me. “Nick hasn’t stopped talking about JP since we arrived.” I looked back at her, smiling amusedly. “Not that that’s a bad thing,” she added, laughing. I laughed with her. She also thought JP was drop-dead gorgeous and hot beyond belief, but she was no longer interested in having a relationship with him.
“You should hear what some of the other girls out there are saying about him,” I suggested, nodding my head toward the sports lobby and cocking my eyebrow in a way that made Chrissy laugh even harder. She gazed distantly into my eyes and I felt a lump in my throat. I recognized that look. Fuck, she really did have a huge crush on me. How was I going to tell her that we couldn’t be together? How could I possibly let her down like that? Luckily, before I could think anymore on the topic, the PA system crackled to life.
“Ladies and Gentleman,” the voice rumbled, “your Central Spartans Wrestling Team!”
Our side of the gym erupted in cheers as JP and his teammates exited the locker room and onto the gym floor. Nick was completely beside himself, practically jumping up and down as he saw each of his teenage idols in the flesh.
After the wrestlers’ introductions – JP not surprisingly got the wildest ovation – and the national anthem, the tournament began. Kyle Backton, the 103-pounder, scored the first win, a dominant 12-3 victory. “Kyle was at the wrestling camp last summer,” Nick beamed. “He’s so cool…and he’s only a freshman.”
There were 11 matches before JP’s and, unlike last season, 9 wins in the Spartans column, including Danny Tranh’s. The team really has improved over the last year, I thought. And no doubt JP had something to do with that. His desire and dedication obviously had spread to the rest of the team.
As JP stood up to prepare for his match, you could almost hear everyone’s heart beat out loud. All eyes were on the superboy as he slowly, yet nonchalantly, unzipped his warm-up suit. I felt my blood pulse faster as he pulled the jacket over his massive shoulders. His arms were like two stone pylons, packed with rock-hard muscle, his forearms looked like bowling pins writhing with thick veins. His neck was insanely wide, overlapping his beautifully sculpted traps. His broad chest was impossibly ripped, clear striations rippled across his pecs as he freed the jacket from his arms. His abs were ridiculously shredded, each section expanding and contrasting as he breathed calmly, his serratus muscles moving along with them. His twin obliques were sharply cut down toward his crotch, a series of veins snaked up from his waist, hinting at what was below.
As he turned around to stretch, every single muscle in his back was plainly visible, emphasizing the incredible V-shape caused by his immense lats as they swathed down to his outrageously tiny waist. I felt my breath quicken even more as JP lowered his pants, showing off the most amazing lower body anyone could possibly imagine. His ass was beyond mouth-watering, the two perfect globes of rock stretching the spandex fabric of the singlet below the ridges of his lower back. His enormous thighs flexed with strength, the giant pythons of steel writhing menacingly underneath his golden tan skin. His diamond-shaped claves bulged with such power, it was as if they were alive.
Then, JP turned around again. Holy shit! I almost lost it all right there in the bleachers as I saw his tremendous bulge testing the elasticity of the spandex. How could anyone miss that sight? I saw it nearly every day, but there was something about seeing JP’s huge cock in a wrestling singlet that made it even more impressive. It was so big, you couldn’t get your hand around it if you tried…and it was still flaccid. I gulped, trying hard to look unaffected.
JP confidently strutted over to the mat once he was called, his meaty arms swaying heavily. He looked huge, he looked intimidating, he looked unbeatable. The other wrestler didn’t stand a chance – he couldn’t. In fact, JP’s challenger – for that’s what he was – seemed downright scared. Though he looked older than JP, the boy was no where near as built, as cut or as strong-looking as his opponent. He was already trembling at the sight of the boy-god.
As soon as the referee blew his whistle to start the match, JP was on top of the guy in the blink of an eye. Apparently, he hadn’t lost any of his speed, despite nearly doubling his size. The other wrestler was immediately throw into defensive mode…and he was never given a chance to do anything else. 15 seconds after the match started, the match ended. JP had pinned him and won the match before he knew what hit him.
The referee – who frankly, looked almost as stunned as the loser – raised JP’s arm in victory. The home side of the gym cheered in ecstatic disbelief. JP hadn’t even broken a sweat as he walked off the mat and into the waiting handshakes and high-fives of his teammates. He was their leader and he had just showed them how it was done.
“Is it over already?” Chrissy asked, her eyes totally glassed over.
“I think so,” I replied absently, completely overwhelmed at my own boyfriend’s display of strength, speed and sheer athletic prowess. “I’ve never seen anything like that before. He’s amazing!”
“Wow,” Nick’s face was astoundingly bright, “that was so awesome.” He leaned over and clung onto his sister’s shirt. “Can I go down and meet him? Can I? Can I?”
“Ok, fine,” she answered, trying unsuccessfully to keep her excited brother from jumping out of his seat. “But we should wait until the whole tournament is over first.” He reluctantly agreed.
Minutes after the final match, the three of us waited outside the hallway leading to the locker room – Nick very impatiently – for JP to come out and meet us. Nick was a bundle of excited nerves. JP was his favorite athlete in the whole world and he looked up to him adoringly, practically worshipping the ground he walked on.
“There he is,” he cried as the jock-god himself rounded the corner, having now changed into his street clothes. He smiled as soon as he saw Nick and reached out his hand to give him a high-five like they were buddies. Nick was in such awe of the boy, that he was almost at a loss for words…but he quickly recovered. “You were so awesome! I wanna be like you when I grow up.”
JP grinned, his deep blue eyes gleaming brightly, and squatted down so that he was eye-level with his biggest fan. “Well, you have to work really, really hard,” he said, “just like you learned at wrestling camp.” Nick’s face was all teeth, taking in every single word his idol said. “If you workout a lot and train a lot and practice all your moves a lot, you’ll probably be even better than I am someday.”
“Really?” Nick exclaimed, practically bursting out of himself. I could see his mind racing with the possibilities.
“Listen,” JP continued, “how would you like it if I brought you in to meet the team?” Nick’s face lit up like a Christmas tree and he nodded his head so hard, he almost lost his balance. It must’ve been like a dream come true for him. JP laughed and stood up. “I’ll catch up with you guys later,” he said to Chrissy and me before leading Nick into the locker room.
“He’s so good with him,” Chrissy sighed. She turned to me leaning against the lockers in the hallway. I was looking in the direction that JP had gone with Nick, thinking the same thing.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “He’s a really good role model.”
Then, after a short hesitation, Chrissy stepped toward me and gently took my right hand. I looked puzzlingly at her as she reached with her other hand behind my head, leaned even closer and started kissing me, giving me no choice but to kiss her back. She pressed her body further into mine and I felt her hand wander up under my shirt, toward my chest. Instinctively, I pushed her arm away from me, causing her to step back.
“I’m sorry,” I told her, unsure of what else to say.
“No, I’m sorry,” she immediately answered, touching her lips and looking distantly at me. “I couldn’t help it.” She took in a deep breath, making a face as if it hurt. “You’re so beautiful. I…I don’t know.”
I shut my eyes painfully. Shit, I thought to myself, why did this have to happen? I knew she liked me, but the last thing I expected was for her to make such a sudden move like that.
“Chrissy,” I started, “there’s something I have to tell you.” Fuck, I had dreaded to moment for a while. I didn’t know how else to break the truth to her. “I’m sorry…but I don’t think the two of us is ever going to work out.”
Chrissy stepped toward me again worriedly. I could see the pain of rejection in her face and immediately looked away. She softly placed her fingers on my palm, this time with a hint of concern.
“What’s wrong?” she asked quietly.
“It’s not you,” I explained. “You’re an amazing girl and I’d totally ask you out if I weren’t…if I wasn’t…” My voice trailed off, unable to say what I wanted. Chrissy looked at me as if she were trying to pull the words out of me.
“Chrissy, I’m gay.”
Her mouth fell open and she blinked a few times. At first, I thought she was going to cry, but then her eyes brightened and she looked straight at me, almost relieved. “Seriously?” she said. “Wow, you are the last person I would’ve ever thought to be gay.”
I smiled awkwardly as she drew closer to me again and whispered, “Does JP know about this?” she asked.
“Uh,” I answered, biting my lip. Whoa, this was awkward. “Well, JP and I are…”
Chrissy’s mouth fell open as if she had just lost control of it. “Oh my God,” she shouted before quickly covering her mouth and lowering her voice again. “You two are…together?” She looked unbelievably shocked. I nodded.
“We’ve been out to each other for almost a year now,” I replied, a little more comfortable.
“Does anyone else know?”
I shook my head. “Only my mom.”
Chrissy leaned against the lockers next to me with an amused sigh. “Wow,” she went on, shaking her head in disbelief, “I knew you two were too good to be straight.” We both laughed.
“Well, that was very interesting,” I muttered.
Then, we heard the sounds of Nick and JP coming back from the locker room. “Chrissy,” I warned her quickly. “You can’t tell anyone about us, otherwise...”
“I know,” she answered. I gave her a slight grin of appreciation. She wasn’t stupid. She understood the consequences that would face JP if his true sexuality ever came out. Chrissy really was an amazing girl and I trusted her almost as much as I trusted my own boyfriend. I knew that our secret would be safe with her.
“Man, that was awesome,” Nick exclaimed. “The guys are really nice and Kyle is like only two years older than me and JP’s arms are so big, I couldn’t even get my fingers around them and that weight room…wow, Chrissy, you should see that weight room!” The kid kept jumping from one topic to the next so fast, he was barely understandable. Meanwhile, JP just stood there trying to keep from laughing out loud.
“Well,” he interjected when Nick finally took a breath, “what were you two doing out here?”
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