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"Awesome! Let's throw on another ten! Think you can do it?!" Julian asked excitedly.
"Well I haven't benched this much since college Julian," I said quietly.
"Yeah but like just seeing you bench 340 would be sooooo cool!" The boy's enthusiasm was enough to release any hold on rational thought. Benching 340 pounds with a spotter who had maxed out at 105 wasn't a smart idea. It was a lot for a 12 year old to bench press, but if I ran into trouble, he couldn't save me for anything.
"I suppose I can try it for you Jul," I said conceding to his smiling face. We tossed the weight on the bar, and I laid back. Then after gripping the bar tightly, I lifted it off the frame and lowered it to my chest, then pretty easily pressed it back up and set it down.
"Holy!" Julian said unable to stand still. He was jumping up and down on the spot, which just added to his adorable character.
When I sat up he threw his arms around me with his excitement. "That was so cool Mike, you don't even understand!"
I chucked and kissed the top of his head. "Thanks sport," I said softly. "We better get ourselves looking a little better if we want to go suit shopping this afternoon don't you think?"
"Can we go out tonight do you think?" Julian asked.
"Well I don't know.. it could be tough to set up," I said pensively, but Julian already knew if it could be set up, I'd do it.
"Thanks," he said smiling and giggling to himself.
"And just what are you giggling about?" I asked tickling him and adding to his giggles as he squirmed away from my hands.
"I have you wrapped around my little finger," he said completely amused.
"Oh really?" I asked.
"Yup!" He chirped.
"Well I guess that's not such a bad thing," I said as he moved forward to give me another hug. I felt totally at peace in Julian's arms. Nothing else seemed to matter. This boy; this wonderful, sensitive, and caring boy loved me. Nothing could be so magical and wonderful as Julian's love.
"Let's get you showered and shaven," Julian said pulling away after our tender moment. "Sound good?"
"Sounds great," I answered smiling.
"Kay umm.. well you can use the shower down here, and I'll go shower upstairs but you gotta wait for me so I can watch you shave when you're done kay?"
I was a little surprised that Julian hadn't asked me to join him since that was the direction things had been taking that day, but I was far from disappointed. Things were moving quickly, and I was still mentally trying to catch up. I also was sure that a certain part of my anatomy wouldn't behave himself if Julian was in such close proximity with no clothes on. I'd never make an advance towards the boy, but a situation could come up and if the boy asked, I'd obey. It was better that way in the long run.
Julian led me back to the bathroom outside the weight room and insisted on showing me how to get the shower running since he didn't want me to burn myself as he had put it. I couldn't help but smile at the boy's care and forethought. He got me some towels and a new bar of Lever 2000 fresh from it's box, and left the bathroom closing the door quietly behind him. I took a moment to look around the bathroom. It was brightly lit by large bulbs along the sides of the mirror and on the walls where there was no mirror, there was white paint, but again nearly every wall was covered with a mirror. To me, Julian's father was seeming more and more like a narcissistic bastard. It was inconceivable how someone could leave such a wonderful boy and beautiful wife behind. I decided I would have to ask Debra about it if she didn't mind filling me in on some more of the details of the breakup. Under "normal" circumstances I would have felt that it was none of my business, but these circumstances were hardly "normal."
I showered quickly, and was just finishing drying myself when there was a gentle knocking at the door. "Come on in," I said as I wrapped a towel around myself. Julian came in wearing only a towel himself. I smiled at the boy who looked at me as if amazed.
"Wow, you're even bigger than I thought you were!" he said in a hushed voice. He stepped up and tried to wrap his fingers around my right bicep. My 18 inch arm was too big for the boy to grip. He ran his gentle hands down my arm then back up to my shoulder and then rested a hand on my right peck and gave it a squeeze. "Solid," he said, his voice barely even a whisper. I stood still watching him as he outlined the muscles of my chest and abdomen, then moved behind me and ran his hands up and down my back feeling the definition of my lats. After a few moments of inspection, Julian looked down to my calves. He stooped and ran a hand along the back and then stood back up grazing over my thigh as he stood. "I'll save the thighs for later," he said winking at me. If I had had a mouthful of anything I would have spit it out for sure as my jaw dropped nearly to the floor.
I recovered quickly and took my new razor, and Julian's new razor from my newly bought bag of tricks. Along with the razors I pulled out a can of shaving gel and handed the razor to Julian. He inspected the "fake razor" at the end of it and smile up at me. "I can practice!" he said with an playful grin. He set the razor down and picked up the can of gel and popped the top off. Holding it over his cupped hand, Julian squirted some of the can's contents onto his palm and examined it. "Isn't it supposed to be white?" he asked looking up to me.
"You have to rub it between your hands first and it foams up," I said as he followed my instructions and worked up a pretty thick layer of foam - way more than he needed. He rubbed it onto his face while looking at his own gorgeous face in the mirror and had plenty left over. He looked from his face, to his hand, then up to mine and smiled. Holding his hand up to my face he coated me with my own layer of foam and then took a deep breath and said "there," as if it had taken most of his energy. He giggled once again and said "now what?"
He turned back to face the mirror and looked at me in the mirror while he stood in front of me. I reached around him to turn on the faucet to warm water and picked up my new razor and dabbled it under the tap. Julian followed my example and soon we were shaving as I explained shaving with the "grain" as I like to call it. I told him about razor burn, and to keep his razor clean so he didn't get shaving bumps. I even went into in-grown hairs and how to find them by just running your fingers gently over the skin and finding the bump, then looking for the hair and hoping it was close to the surface so you didn't have to dig for it.
"It sure is tough bein a man huh Mike?" Julian asked innocently.
I chuckled slightly thinking of the alternative. "Well just think that girls usually shave their legs, arms, and other things and deal with all that but over their whole body."
Julian pulled an adorable "eek" face. That's the best way I could describe it as he showed his teeth and pulled the corners of his mouth back, and down, and contorting his brow into a slight frown. "I guess it's not so bad then," he said then giggled. "Mom tries to talk to me about stuff sometimes but it's just kinda different with a guy tellin me," Julian admitted.
"Do you miss your dad?" I asked softly resting a hand on Julian's shoulder.
"Kinda," he said rather distantly. "He was always sorta mean to me anyways so it's better he's not here. Plus I like you more," Julian said looking at me in the mirror.
"How was he mean to you Jul?" I asked the boy whose shoulder hung down.
"He was always calling me soft. He'd work out and get mad when my mom wouldn't let me work out with him. He used to say I was weak and I'd always be a sissy and probably turn out..." Julian choked back a sob. I wrapped my arms around his neck letting my hands rest against his chest.
"It's okay Julian. Just let it out," I said as soothingly as I could. He turned around and held his arms up like a 4 year old who wanted to be picked up and my heart broke at the tears now falling freely from his eyes. I lifted him into my arms and he put his head again on my shoulder and held me around the neck so tight it hurt, but I didn't complain. I couldn't complain.
"It was the night he moved out. Mom and dad were fighting about me cause dad wanted me to go up north to Washington on a hunting trip with the guys. I said I didn't wanna go cause.. I didn't wanna hunt any animals. Then he started calling me sissy. Mom told him to stop, and he started swearing at her, and told her it was her fault I was.. 'a fuckin queer' and that if I wasn't I would be soon.. He said she'd ruined me and I'd be weak and soft like a little girl my whole life and turn out to be a little fag taking hard cock up the ass and down the throat every chance I got.." Julian was trembling. I set him down on the countertop and looked into his eyes which were glazed over like he was in shock. My blood boiled as the most powerful seething anger I have ever experienced boiled up inside me. If I could have gotten my hands on Julian's father at that moment I have no doubt I could have easily killed him. I was like a storm gathering force as I kept my outward appearance as calm and caring. Inside I felt hatred, but for the boy's sake if no one else's, I kept my cool.
"Julian," I said softly holding his face to make him look at me. He seemed to be somewhere else, and his face frightened me. It was like he was reliving some nightmare and it took me calling his name twice more for him to snap out and come back to me. "Julian," I repeated as he looked into my eyes and then seemed to recognize me. "I'm sorry Julian, are you okay?" I asked concerned.
"He beat up mommy that night," Julian said in a quaking voice. "I tried to stop him and he beat me up too. That's when he left."
I couldn't say anything. I couldn't even speak. I couldn't make a sound. The emotions coursing through me were too much! I wanted to hold this boy and tell him how wonderful he was, and at the same time be busying myself slaughtering his father. So much made sense now, though. Julian's affinity with size and strength stemming from feeling inadequate, and having not been able to protect his mother when she was in trouble. For a boy who had been through this much, and kept this much inside, Julian had still seemed like any other boy except for that one thing I couldn't quite put my finger on. That undeniable feature that I couldn't resist. There was still that little something that set him apart from everyone else, and as I held the quaking boy in my arms it seemed like I was understanding me feelings of love. I was closer to him now. He trusted me with his secret and it somehow made me feelings so much stronger. That thing about him.. That unexplained something, that something about Julian.