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m/m Saving Me - Chapter 7 Posted (09/16/2020)


GymPredator

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GymPredator

 I need to preface this story somewhat.  I think it will be a bit of a departure from what is typical here.  This is the first story I ever wrote for broad public consumption in 2006.  The story is semi-autobiographical, a dramatization  of the events that surrounded my own coming out.  Because of the subject matter and how close it hit to the pain that has lasted in real life over 20 years, I was never able to finish it.  After some recent events that a few close people on this forum will know - I decided come back to this story for the first time in almost 15 years.  I think with those events will allow me to finish this story at last.

This story, as with all of mine, is a slow burn.  What happens will happen over a period of chapters.   But I wanted to put this here for one reason really - when I originally published this, it was extremely well received.  One person I know here even remembered reading it when I posted it 15 years ago.  But, the one thing from this story that I will always treasure was an email from a teenager in Missouri who wrote how this story gave him the courage to come out of the closet to his father.  If this interpretation of my own coming out story can do some good for others like that, then what I experienced all those years ago is worth it.

***

Trigger Warning:

I should also give a trigger warning that this story touches on a lot of topics that are very real including - LGBT people and conservative Christianity and family, depression, post traumatic stress, teen suicide, teen homelessness, violence, and more.  I write all of my stories as much as possible to real life, and since this one is VERY close to real life and very personal, this is no exception.  Where ever possible, I will tone down some of the obvious  realities of these situations, but if you have come into contact with any of those in your life, fair warning.  All persons depicted in the story are over the age of 18.

 

I also write chapters in stories to various pieces of music that have a meaning to the chapters in question.  So, at the appropriate point, I have linked to youtube vids of those songs.

 



Dedication:

 

"Being the One is just like being in love.  No one can tell you you're in love, you just know it -- through and through, balls to bones." -- The Oracle

 

I'd never watched the movie The Matrix until recently.  Hard sci-fi's never really been my thing.  But, the movie was recommended by a friend. He said there were a few scenes that reminded him of me, but he didn't say which ones.  I'd just know, he said.  I did.

 

What is it like to LOVE?  Not a pre-teen puppy love, an unvoiced crush, or a hollow lust, but LOVE.  A LOVE that is all encompassing -- that agonizes and wounds and exalts and heals.  A LOVE that connects you to another soul . . . and through them to the universe.  A LOVE that raises you to immortality.  A LOVE that let's you, if but for a moment, "slip the surly bonds of earth, to touch the face of God."  Can you really describe it or can it only be experienced to be known?  Can any words illustrate it save you will know it when you feel it, balls to bones?

 

I've been blessed to find that LOVE in my life.  Although events have caused us to be separated by thousands of miles, the connection, soul-to-soul, is as strong as ever.  So many people believe that they can be happy without LOVE -- I used to be one of them.  But, as I discovered, hell is not a pit of sin; hell is being alone.

 

So, this story is dedicated to the man who first completed me, the man you will meet in these pages.  To the man who taught me what it is to know LOVE.  I could never have known who I am and what life truly is without him.  To the real Rian, I give all my LOVE - - through and through, balls to bones.  Gnothi Seauton.

 

--JBS, June 2006

 


 

Chapter 1 - A Light in the Darkness

 

"Sometimes I hate that chaos surrounds me / When all the answers that I seek go around me / Am I drowning? / Am I fading away? …”  

 

(Song on the Radio - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNkDPWVOf0s )

 

Dylen didn't listen to the radio that much anymore.  Music had become more of a habit rather than anything he actually enjoyed.  But, there was something in these lyrics that caught his mood.  His fingers moved from the radio back to the steering wheel.  Yeah, he was drowning. His whole life was nothing but a study in chaos, and the answers … if there were any, they surely slid around him, just out of reach.  

 

He pressed the gas pedal, accelerating his small, well-worn car further down the road.  As was typical for him on the drive home, Dylen's mental automatic pilot engaged, causing the music from the radio to drift away with the rest of his surroundings.  The dark, straight Colorado road that led to his home had claimed victims in the past, hypnotizing them as its endlessly flat ribbon never veered an inch to the right or the left. Dylen often mused that he was trapped into a destiny he wasn't sure he wanted.  His life was unalterable - inescapable -- just like this road. But, tonight his mind was so far away that nothing, not even the endless road, registered to his senses.

 

Dylen's mind returned to its torrid conversation, depressed and lonely.  The voice -- the fears and feelings that had become almost a second personality in the last year -- guided his thoughts, whispering to him.  "It's just two weeks before high school graduation and what do I have to show for my life? What do I have that is really worth all this pain? Nothing," he decided, "Nothing at all.  I'm at best a worthless coward.”

 

"Worthless?  Yeah, just look at this piece of shit car.  I had to pay for it on my own.  It barely even qualifies as a car.  I've got the pedal on the floor and can only manage 70.  I worked so hard to get what!? This piece of trash!  But, the damnable piece of trash matches me.  It's just another symbol of my worthless life." he thought.

 

"Coward?" he continued.  His eyes shifted to the rear-view mirror, catching a glimpse of a smooth, brown leather case in the back seat. Seeing that case silenced even the mental conversation.  The instant and eternal moments that plagued Dylen flashed before his mind's eye.  He felt a churn in his stomach.  Desires that he'd been taught to believe were sinful and wrong, wrong to feel and wrong to be, were inside of him again.  They were always there.  He'd tried so hard to shake them, to ignore them, to bury them in "right" feelings.  But, they were a part of him tha, try as he might, he could not escape.  He could admit them to no one; he could barely admit them to himself.  A brave man is one that conquers himself on the battlefield of life, he'd once read.  "So, what does that make me? Definitely a coward," Dylen spat out loud. Those desires were his greatest secret, the path that he foresaw leading to the downfall.

 

No one understood him.  No one could understand.  His parents could not grasp his dreams, even if he could relate them vocally. Not to mention they'd call him deranged for even entertaining them.  And so, Dylen's mind groped for any humiliating, degrading word his formidable intellect knew, and he invariably found examples from his past to prove that those words described him.  As he lurched from one horrific thought to the next and proved his uselessness to himself, anger and desperation festered, gnawing at what was left of his soul.

 


 

Of course, no one else on earth knew about this self-mutilation of soul save Dylen Mason.  In fact, to every other human who knew him, Dylen appeared to have everything any 18 year old could want.  Physically, most of the girls in his graduating class considered him to be the best unspoken for guy in the school.  "Cute" was the word they always seemed to return to.  His thick mane of light ginger hair was just beginning to sun bleach, as it did every summer.  His tan was now deep and rich despite his normally light toned complexion.  The daily chores required of him around the Mason's small family farm rendered him quite strong, beyond what his thin 5'10", 140 pound body would betray.  His facial features were wholly masculine, but there was something soft and inviting about his youthful smile.  But, everyone who knew him agreed his brown eyes were his best feature.  Those eyes were dark, seductive, but also seemed to shine with inner light, a fire sometimes fiercely blazing while at others softly glowing.

 

Behind those beautiful eyes shone Dylen's brilliant mind.  As long as anyone could remember, Dylen was years ahead of his peers.  He was reading simple sentences at 2, teen novels at 6, and college course level work by 10.  His parents never considered allowing Dylen to skip grades, so he was often bored.  He made up for it by reading and learning anything he could get his hands on.  He mastered playing the drums, including jazz set, classical snare, and tympani.  He'd even taken all-state honors on several occasions.  Now that he was almost grown, the colleges sent him offers en masse. A stack of over 70 unsolicited recruitment letters from some of the most prestigious universities in the United States sat in piles in his room. Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Vanderbilt, among many others, personally invited his application.  In fact, just yesterday, two letters arrived in the mail. The first was another congratulatory letter at being named as his class's valedictorian.  The second was the next in a series of communications with the University of Colorado - the school he'd cheered for and wanted to attend since childhood -- where he had secured a full Merit academic scholarship.

 

Dylen did have one obvious weakness, something that was common to children with his intellectual strength.  He was hard to get to know socially.  Everyone in school liked Dylen, but it was as if there were a buffer between him and his peers.  Most of his school friends chalked that up to his Mormon upbringing, but, even so, at his core, he was an intensely private person.  Dylen preferred the company of one or two close friends to any environment with large numbers of people. He had an almost impenetrable lack of external emotion, which hid seething passions underneath.  He did have a few friends who pierced the barrier and who found him to be the best, most loyal friend they had ever known.  But, even his parents admitted that, in some ways, they barely knew their own son.  Despite the emotional seclusion, Dylen had always been a strength and support to those close to him as they endured the pains of adolescence.

 

Dylen always seemed happy until the beginning of his senior year. But, something happened that particular August that no one understood. Seemingly overnight, Dylen withdrew completely.  He stopped visiting his friends, instead choosing to spend virtually all his free time alone in his room.  His once immaculately groomed appearance disappeared and was replaced by a sloppy, uncared for exterior.  Even the girls who once marveled, however secretly, at his looks, could rarely see any part of it now.  The cuteness, the fire, and Dylen himself, had been swallowed up by something.

 

At first, everyone thought it was a phase that would play out, but it didn't.  Dylen's friends didn't understand why he never seemed to be happy anymore.  Those close enough to read his complex emotions could tell he was overcome with sadness and sometimes even anger. The problem was that they did not know what it was over, much less if they could do anything about it. Months passed and things only got worse.  As winter closed in, a cold as formidable as any arctic blast gripped Dylen.  Nagging fears about their son became the topic of hushed conversations between his parents. Paul and Kathi Mason even went so far as to ask their bishop to interview their son, but the bishop was locked out by the formidable emotional wall the same as everyone else.

 

As spring dawned and graduation approached, Dylen's days seemed to be filled with syrupy sweet, but genuine compliments.  Dylen had won every award and honor that it was possible for him to win.  Perhaps, with the pressure of winning finally off, Dylen may return to something akin to normal his friends and family continued to vainly hope.  Dylen was outwardly grateful for all the concern; however, he immediately dismissed it in the privacy of his own mind.  The specter of that brown case and his desires were always there, overshadowing every action he made.  Their love was all misplaced anyway, Dylen decided.  If they knew what he really was, they'd be condemning him, not congratulating him.  So, through every obsessed-over twist of fate, through every eternal moment, his once strong spirit wilted a little more.

***

The autopilot registered something amiss.  But, Dylen was so lost in his wandering melancholy that the dog in the road didn't come to conscious thought until it was just a few yards away.  Time slowed and his senses accelerated as adrenaline rushed through him.  His foot hit the brakes, and the wheel lurched in his hands.  His breath restricted as the seat belt snapped taut around him.  Tires began to scream in protest.  Dylen was strangely calm as he found he was losing control.  Although he was going to miss the dog, he realized he was not going to stay on the road. The animal passed safely to his right, but it stayed in clear view through the front windshield.  The car was spinning.  Dylen heard the sound of scraping dirt and grinding metal under his car as he left the road.

 


 

It had been years since Rian had enjoyed as satisfying a week as this one was turning out to be.  As he pulled off the freeway to drive to his parents home, he marveled at how good being successfully free of pressure could feel.  Final exams week were much more difficult than he'd anticipated, and he'd pulled two all-nighters to get through chemistry and calculus.  He had been rather worried about the calc exam because there were a lot of complicated formulas he had to get right.  But, when he walked out of class for the last time that semester, he knew he'd done well.  He relished the thought of the nights of freedom to come -- because he knew they would not last.  Good medical schools were getting more and more difficult to get into.  He needed good grades in classes that would be much more challenging than freshman intro courses.  College was going to get a lot harder very quickly.

 

But, this week had one more satisfying moment -- perhaps even more satisfying than finishing the year had been.  Rian finally moved out of the CU dorms.  He'd scouted out his small, but very nice loft apartment weeks ago.  Since then, he'd been moving things in, spending his small amounts of free time putting his new home together.  It had taken all of the Thursday after the calculus final to get the last of the moving done; but, late last night, for the first time, he'd slept in a home of his own.

 

Rian May was the guy everyone envied in high school.  Co-captain of the football team, contender for state in wrestling, smart in every subject.  Rian looked older than his just over 20 years, but that seemed to work to his advantage.  Every girl that ever crossed his path was tongue-tied when taking in his short styled blond hair, bottomless blue eyes, and ruggedly chiseled features.  In fact, most people thought Rian was a model, despite the fact he'd never done a photo shoot and never intended to stand in front of a camera.

 

In addition to his classic features, Rian maintained a classic physique model’s body.  But, unlike most of his athlete friends, Rian's gym experiences had always been a means to an end.  Sometimes, the gym was for simple stress relief as he shed his cares on unrelenting iron.  At other times, the gym helped him prepare for this sport or that; but truthfully, there was always another drive at the heart of his workouts.  When Rian was 13, he'd watched a Discovery Channel program on orthopedic surgeons.  He had been mesmerized.  He knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life from that day on.  Since he expected he would need to know a lot about the body and body structure to be a surgeon, what better place was there to learn about them than the gym, his young teen mind reasoned.  The tight, but thin thirteen year old poured himself into his workouts and never looked back.  What developed was a 5'11", 195 pound and growing body that would be the envy of any man.  But, the dedication and drive to maintain himself at his best, was a reflection of his deeper drive to achieve in every part of his life.

 

Rian also had the good fortune to be born into a family with means. Rian's grandfather was an exceptional businessman, a state legislator, and a farmer.  Rian's mom, his youngest daughter, was a remarkably beautiful woman, having been a finalist for Miss Colorado in her youth.  Rian's father was a bull of a man.  The definition of corn-fed football beef, he'd played line at Colorado State.  The young couple seemed the perfect match.  Unlike the dreams of many of his player friends, Rian's father always had Colorado soil in his blood.  All he ever wanted to do was return home and run the family farm.  But, Rian's mother inherited her father's business instincts.  The result was that the May’s had no worries for money, even when times for the other farmers were difficult.  They lived a comfortable life in one of the finest homes to be found in Colorado farm country.

 

When Rian, the May's only child, turned 18, he gained access to a trust set up for him by his grandfather.  Rian only knew of the trust's existence, and he always assumed it was enough to pay for his college.  He was astonished when he learned that, under his mother's watchful management, the trust had grown in his two decades of life from 25,000 to just under 3 million dollars.  At 18, he was a millionaire.  For most teenagers, this windfall on top of a life of relative privilege would have been the ticket to extravagance and indulgent self-destruction, but not Rian.  To be sure, he enjoyed the good things life had to offer, but he was always managed what he had carefully.  He never flaunted his money to others.  He knew he had been blessed, and that blessing required responsibility.  His goals in life were everything to him, and the gym taught him the discipline and work ethic to achieve them.

 

That fateful Friday started as so many normal days did for Rian. He got up at his usual 6 am and started a shirtless morning run in the crisp but warm late spring air. It ended an hour later at the Ward Athletic Center.  A number of Rian's friends who were now CU athletes -- along with a generous contribution from his mom to the athletic scholarship fund -- persuaded the athletic department to allow Rian to use the superior student athlete workout facility.  In the end, the investment paid off more than the coaching staff expected.  Over his years in the gym, Rian had turned himself into something of a conditioning expert.  He had discovered and tested virtually every exercise technique, diet strategy, and legal supplementation to help him learn about the body and to develop his physique.  In truth, Rian's knowledge rivaled the strength and conditioning coaches on staff.  The fact that he was the same age as the younger student athletes led them to be much more comfortable in posing questions and getting advice from Rian.  Since the advice came from a peer, it was usually followed more closely than if it came from "an old man."  The gains made by several freshman athletes were a testament to Rian's ability to train others as much as they were to the athletes' work in the gym.

 

As soon as Rian arrived, he changed into his usual workout gear and threw himself into his routine.  With the pressures of exams and the move finally off, he enjoyed an amazing leg workout.  He'd been on a plateau for a month, not really making the strength gains he'd set for himself.  But, today he felt so good; he believed he'd finally broken through it.  He made careful mental notes of how he did on each group of sets, and ended the workout with a careful examination of his body in the mirror.  Rian viewed himself with an almost clinical detachment, objectively noting any differences from the last time he'd thoroughly examined the muscle groups.  As he reviewed his progress, he decided how to approach the differences he found, good or bad, in his next workout cycle.  A number of the guys in the gym also stopped to watch Rian and his nearly 200 pounds of muscle go through the ritual.  There were more than a few cheers and shouts of praise like "Fucking Awesome Rian." Rian graciously accepted the complements, but remained absolutely objective in his observations.  His decision after he completed his last hamstring pose was not bad . . . not bad at all.  He'd gained a couple of mental stress pounds that lent a slight haze to his usual deep six pack, but he could take care of that quickly enough.  In fact, the summer promised to be a great one for him -- in the gym and elsewhere.

 


 

Time began to accelerate as the car slowed dramatically, finally coming to a complete stop.  For a moment the soft hiss and click of a hot engine prematurely stopped still registered in the air.  Then there was silence. Dylen remained frozen for a few seconds, his stunned brain still trying to sort out what happened.  Almost in shock, his body began to function automatically to remove him from the danger.  A hand with a life of its own clicked the seatbelt and opened the car door.  Legs removed him from the driver's seat.  His steps were labored, nearly stumbling, as the legs moved him away from the machine.  Slowly, as his feet made contact with the road, Dylen's conscious mind returned. He saw his car, turned 180 degrees. The rear wheels were at odd angles suspended a few inches off the ground and partially descend into a dry irrigation ditch.  The exterior of the car didn't appear to be damaged, outside of some cosmetic scrapes.  But, a portion of the undercarriage was deeply wedged onto a rise between the road and the canal, which was enhanced by several yards of scraped earth.  The car was floundered, like a squat teeter-totter.  Even if he could start it again, there was no way he could extricate the car by himself.

 

Perhaps it was the weight of this final, very real brush with death that caused it, but something inside of Dylen's self-tortured soul broke. It was as if his whole world finally collapsed.  On top of everything else . . . EVERYTHING ELSE . . . there was this.  He was still miles from home, he'd forgotten his cell phone that morning, and there were nothing but black, empty fields in sight.  At no other time in his life had he ever felt so alone.  Dylen's legs lost their strength, and he sank to the still warm asphalt.  His emotionless exterior melted and tears of furious sadness began to flow. "Oh FUCK!!!"  he wailed as a riptide of previously unspent emotion burst forth.  He shook with despair, kneeling in the road of what he saw as his shattered life.  "Why did this have to happen to me?" he cried.  But, the accident was no longer in his mind.  This was something much more.  "It always overtakes me.  Why should I fight it anymore?"  he thought.  "Maybe it would have been better for everyone if I hadn't walked out of that car alive. . ."

 


 

Rian opened his apartment door after the return jog home to find his answering machine blinking.  The message was from his parents, inviting him to come home for the weekend to celebrate the end of a successful freshman year.  It was this invitation that led Rian to drive down the sparsely traveled country road that evening.  Rian loved classic cars, so by chance, when he located a '62 Corvette Convertible, he couldn't resist the urge to splurge.  It was a beautiful night, so he put the top down. The convertible sped loudly down the road as he got the chance to let some of the power of the car emerge.  He had a CD of Stone Temple Pilots, his

favorite band, in a portable RF CD player -- he refused to deface the car with modern car audio -- when he noticed another vehicle in the distance.  

 

(Song on the radio - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxS4lqppZ6Y)

 

It was far away, but it definitely looked like an accident of some kind.  The lights from the other vehicle were pointed toward him, but at a strangely elevated angle.  As he closed in on the car, Rian couldn't quite make out what was going on, but there was some movement that interrupted the oncoming headlights.  Someone has just walked from the center of the road toward the shoulder.

***

A sound reached Dylen's ears.  He had no idea how long he'd been there in the road -- a few minutes or a few hours -- but something was coming.  Even from a distance it sounded powerful.  A muscle car engine.  "Maybe there is someone or something looking out for me," Dylen thought.  Then, he caught sight of the lights.  The car was approaching him.  He quickly, but shakily, stood up, and moved to the side of the road.  He tried to compose himself.  There was still a part of him that did not want to add further embarrassment into his situation, but he was sure his tear streaked appearance would be embarrassing enough.  The car came to a stop a few yards behind him, and a door opened.

 

"Hey, you need some help?"  The voice was a resonant, deep baritone, and it sounded familiar.  Dylen squinted into the headlights, but he couldn't make out who it was.  Then the shadow of a figure, wide and imposing, emerged from the glare.  "Dylen?  Jesus Christ, is that you?" Rian May asked as he emerged into the light.

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dredlifter

I remember reading the first chapters of this story so many years ago!  I remember it being fantastic.  It is emotional, yes, but in a good way.  So many of us will be able to relate.  And it will be a nice departure from the typical fare posted on here, my own stories included.   Sometimes we all could use a grounded, realistic story of finding oneself, even if muscles aren't necessarily the main point of the story.  

So excited to read the rest and hopefully to see it finished!

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Jtchef2

Yes I vaguely remember this story.  I look forward reading more. Thank you very much for sharing. 

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marius777

The quality of the writing in this story is simply superb; it reads like a published novel. I can't wait to see more!

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GymPredator

*Trigger Warning - This chapter has references to depression and  teen suicide*


Chapter 2 - A Promise Made

Farm towns are unique places in 21st century America.  Even though houses can be miles apart, everyone seems to know everyone else. Friendships that would almost never happen in closer, faster places can become lifelong bonds there.  So it was with Dylen and Rian.

 

The two young men had known each other since early childhood.  In fact, neither of them honestly remembered how they became playmates; it was as if the other were always there.  Before kindergarten, they spent many days playing typical childhood games around the May and Mason farms.  By the time they reached school age though, their parents were surprised that the friendship continued.  Rian was a grade ahead of Dylen.  Dylen's inward nature and Rian's outgoing spirit were already clearly developing.  Despite this, they were the definition of best friends.  There was just something unquantifiable about them that seemed to click.

 

But, the teen years often have a way of changing close friendships. Rian moved to middle school first and gained his interest in athletics. Often Dylen would feel left out as Rian went to practices and games, places Dylen could not go.  At the same time, Dylen's parents began to involve him in the massive array of LDS youth activities, like scouting and mutual.

 

With less and less time together, Rian and Dylan's friendship became more of a distant friendly acquaintance.  They got along well when they were together, but those times were few and far between.

 

The two had drifted apart completely by the time Rian reached high school.  His circle of friends exploded as he grew into the star athlete and the head-turning physical specimen he was destined to become.  But, against every odd of teenage cliquedom, when Dylen reached high school, their friendship rekindled.  At first, they seemed so different that no one thought it would work.  Dylen wasn't athletic and his group of friends was much smaller than Rian's. But, while they were not as close as they had been in childhood, they did talk and hang out from time to time.

 

As Dylen blossomed into his own in high school, the friendship became one of mutual respect and admiration.  For as long as he had known Rian, Dylen had looked up to him.  When they were little Rian was like a brother, someone the lonely Dylen desperately wanted.  And after they were grown, Rian, the super popular athlete, treated him as an equal.  Even more surprising to Dylen, he completely trusted Rian.  It was not something he'd typically do, especially as he grew into young adulthood.  But, there was just something about Rian that made Dylen feel comfortable, more comfortable than being around anyone else he knew.

 

That Dylen would admire Rian wasn't exactly surprising -- everyone either admired or envied Rian.  But what would have shocked most people, including Dylen himself, was how much Rian admired him.  Rian grew to see Dylen as the model of a good man.  He admired the way Dylen inspired others to be their best.  In Rian’s eyes, Dylen had done as many things as he had to be proud of.  He'd earned an eagle scout at 14 and was a great musician.  He was good looking and a virtual genius.  But, all the while, he was still humble.  Rian knew a lot of girls who were attracted to Dylen's thin, tailored body and his cute, boyish features.  He could have taken advantage of dozens of opportunities those girls offered for sex and greater popularity, but he never did. That was something Rian could not claim for himself.

 

Being an athlete, Rian was expected to bed his share of girls.  He did it not out of love or even a desire for sexual satisfaction, but simply out of locker room peer pressure.  The rumor mill greatly exaggerated the number of Rian's "conquests."  He'd had sex with only three girls, but there was no feeling, no love -- just empty contact.  That he couldn't resist temptation and save himself for someone he loved was secretly an embarrassment to Rian.

 

***

 

Before that night in the middle of that lonely road, Rian hadn't seen Dylen since he'd moved to college.  A year is a long time, and people can change sometimes.  But standing there in the barely illuminated blackness of the road, the being Rian saw in front of him was not the Dylen he knew.  This Dylen looked more like a stereotypical grunge fan dropout. His hair looked uncombed and about three times longer than it used to be.  His clothes were clean, but hap-hazard and wrinkled, a huge difference from the well-maintained, spit and polish man Rian remembered.  The calm that once seemed to flow from his younger friend like a cool mountain stream was gone.  Dylen's eyes were almost dark, bereft of their life loving light.  They were red and puffy, surrounded by tear streaked cheeks.  It was obvious that Dylen had been crying and crying hard.  And crying over an accident wasn't the old Dylen -- not by a long shot.  'Something horrible is going on,' Rian surmised.  What could have changed the person he knew this much?

 

At first, Dylen stared at Rian blankly.  Rian gripped Dylen's shoulders and shook him gently.  Dylen just continued staring.  "Dylen, are . . .  you . . .  OK?" Rian repeated slowly, with evident concern.

 

With those words, Dylen's unfocused eyes started clearing.  It finally registered to his still foggy mind who had found him.  He took a reflexive deep breath of relief.  "Rian?"  he said.

 

Of all the people in the world to see at this moment, Dylen's heart knew that Rian was the best.  It had taken a moment to recognize him - and not just because of the depressed anger that had clouded his mind.  Rian had shed the last of his teen looks.  Dylen was honestly overtaken by the vision of the fully grown, handsome man who he called friend.  He had always felt something around Rian, but in this moment, there was even more. It felt like a connection -- an urge, a magnetic pull - drawing him toward Rian.  It was an unearthly, breathtaking feeling.  But, as quickly as it arose, the feeling vanished.

 

Perhaps because of that good feeling, the pit of despair Dylen had fallen into was fading.  Even though Rian hadn't asked it, Dylen's cracking voice answered the question he'd expected to hear.  "Wasn't paying attention, I guess."

 

"What?"  Rian asked.  Dylen's words sounded disjointed.  Moving from the road, the blank stare, disjoint comments.  'He may have a concussion,' Rian thought.  Rian had taken basic first aid in high school, and the training kicked in.  "Come on.  You need to sit down."

 

Rian wrapped his hard, powerfully built arm around Dylen's shoulder and helped him toward his convertible.  Even though Dylen was moving under his own under power, Rian couldn't help but feel like he was holding his friend up.  Rian almost lifted Dylen off his feet as he guided him gently into the driver's seat.  Once Dylen was seated and stationary, Rian gave him a quick once over, making sure there were no obvious injuries.

 

Dylen looked at the kneeling man and again felt that strange urge. It was now something like an electric buzz, as Rian gently touched him, checking for injury.  That feeling seemed to go straight to his soul. 'Rian could handle anything, unlike me,' Dylen thought.  'He's so calm.' Dylen had always secretly felt inferior to muscular guys.  It was so different with Rian.  But, as quickly as it came before, the feeling retreated again.

 

As Rian continued his check, Dylen started to explain his answer. "I ran up on a dog.  I swerved to miss it and wound up there.  I should have been paying more attention to what the fuck I was doing," Dylen said. Rian caught an almost bitter tone to Dylen's recovering voice but let the comment go.  He knew that he'd be mad too if he'd been in a careless accident. Still, it was not like Dylen to curse, even when he was mad.

 

Rian focused again on his friend's face.  Dylen seemed to be getting better by the second, but the blankness -- the dimness in his eyes -- was still there.  It was just out of place.  Still, Rian decided that it would be OK to leave him for a second while he checked out the wrecked car. "You're gonna be OK, Dylen.  I think you're just shaken up a little bit. I'm gonna see if there's anything I can do about your car.  You'll be alright until then.  OK?"

 

Dylen nodded understanding, and watched as Rian stood up.  He turned around and walked toward the floundered car.  After circling several times, Rian arrived at the same conclusion Dylen had earlier-- he couldn't see any real damage.  He knelt on the ground to see how and where the car was stuck.  Unlike the disaster Dylen saw when he viewed the scene, Rian noticed that the car didn't appear to be deeply imbedded in the rise.  It was balanced just on top of the collected soil.  Rian added up everything and decided he could push the car back onto the road easily. It wouldn't be any more difficult than moving a car sliding in mud, perhaps easier.  If Dylen wasn't able to follow him to the Mason farm - and there was no way, Rian was going to let him go it alone -- at least he could move the car to an access road nearby and leave it until morning.

 

Rian returned to his own car.  He noticed Dylen was still intently watching him, but he looked much better after the few minutes calm.  Rian didn't want to ask what he was going to, just when Dylen seemed to be back together.  But he needed the help.  Rian leaned in and propped himself against the car using the windshield and the side of the car for support.

Now overshadowed by Rian's bulk, Dylen felt almost totally enveloped - and strangely safe.  "Feeling better?" Rian asked.

 

'Yeah.  I can think again at least," Dylen replied, a little distracted.

 

"Do you think you can help me get your car out of the ditch?  Feel up to it?"  Rian asked.

 

"Huh?" Dylen asked incredulously.  "You think we can move it?"  Dylen had expected that it would take a tow truck to pull his car out.


 

"Shouldn't be a problem," Rian said matter-of -factly.  "It's not as stuck as it looks.  We just need to move the car a foot or two forward, and then it will be on solid ground.  I can push, if you will steer it back on the road."

 

Dylen paused.  He'd always known Rian as strong as hell -- seeing the Adonis standing in front of him only solidified that -- but he thought Rian was crazy for trying to do this alone.  But, then he glanced up at those outstretched triceps hanging like flesh horseshoes.  Maybe Rian really could do it.  Dylen decided to take the chance. "OK," he said.

 

Rian stood upright again, allowing Dylen to also stand.  Once they reached Dylen's car, Rian opened the much more easily accessed passenger door.  He explained to Dylen what he wanted him to do.  Dylen slid in the passenger seat and moved the gear shift to neutral.

 

Meanwhile, Rian moved around to the back of the car.  He stepped over the rise and down into the ditch.  He needed to find good footing, and in this light, that wasn't going to be easy.  After looking around for a moment, he found a spot of solid earth several inches below where the water line would have been.  He'd have no choice but to approach the car at an odd angle, so this would be harder than he first thought.

 

Rian willed his mind to enter "the zone," a state he knew so well through sports and lifting that he could access it almost on command.  He focused his concentration, causing everything to fall away except his opponent.  Ritualistically, Ryan cracked his neck, squared his shoulders, and settled into a wrestler-like position, ready to free the car.

 

"You ready?"  Rian asked.

 

"Go ahead." Dylen yelled back.

 

Rian took a deep breath and placed his hands on the rear bumper. His muscles tightened and expanded as he applied force to the car.  At first, there was no movement at all.  The car was going to put up a fight. After a few moments of stalemate, Rian relaxed but only for a second, allowing momentum to do some work.  He re-gathered his forces, and again, pushed hard against the car.  This time, there was a sound, a grinding of metal on earth.  Rian and Dylen felt the car slide forward ever so slightly.  It's perfectly perched angle changed, and Dylen felt the rear end tilt.  He was shocked.  He couldn't believe that Rian was really doing it.

 

Rian was invigorated.  He'd felt his opponent break, and he dumped more power in to the push.  There was a further movement and Rian took a step forward.  Finally, he growled with exertion and pushed even harder. He took another step, then another, then another.  The odd angle he was forced to start at was righting, allowing him to more easily free the vehicle.  There was slow, steady movement now, but Rian kept pushing.  A final bump- bounce signaled that the tires had rolled off the rise.  The car was now free of its earthen trap.

 

Once it was fully on the road again, Rian stopped pushing. He took a satisfied deep breath, and slowly let it out.  It had not been the hardest thing he'd ever done to be sure.  Still it wasn't easy, and he was a little winded at the effort.  Dylen open his door and almost ran the six feet to the car's rear to thank Rian.  Dylen skidded to a halt as he turned the corner.  While he had been impressed before, the sight of Rian now really was breathtaking.  Rian's skin was slightly reddened from the sudden exertion. Every muscle group Dylen could see clearly, from Rian's forearms to his calves, was now enlarged from the slight pump.  Rian barely registered the difference, but to Dylen's inexperienced eyes, he was monstrous.  Dylen tried to take in the first bodybuilder "pump" he'd ever seen in the flesh, but all his overloaded mind could manage at the sight was one slowly whispered word:

 

"Shit."

 

As he said it, Dylen wondered what Rian would look like after a long workout, throwing around tons of clanking plates, drenched in sweat. That electric feeling zapped through him again.

 

An almost imperceptible smile graced Rian's mouth and eyes as he heard Dylen speak.  Strongman feats just weren't his style.  Still, it was nice to be appreciated by someone like Dylen.  "Ah.  I promise it was a lot harder than I thought it would be," Rian said.  Dylen turned a little red himself, embarrassed that Rian had heard him.  Rian continued to smile and stood to full height again.  He raised his arms above his head, stretching his arms and delts.  "Come on.  Let's see if we can get it started, huh," Rian said.

 

Dylen was preoccupied with what he'd just witnessed as he rounded the car and opened the driver's door.  Rian was almost ready to make the walk himself when he noticed a trail of liquid slowly spreading.  He knelt down and touched it.  It slid between his fingers almost like water, but the smell gave it away.  Gasoline.  Something in the rise must have torn the fuel line, or worse, punctured the gas tank.  'It's a miracle Dylen's still alive,' Rian thought.  In any case, this car was going nowhere under power until he knew where the fuel was coming from.

 

"Hey Dylen," Rian said as he moved around to the driver's door. Dylen turned and looked out the lowered window.  On Rian's outstretched fingers, he saw a liquid shine and caught a whiff of fuel.  His mind leapt to the correct conclusion.  Dylen's newfound calm shredded and for a moment tears welled up in his eyes.

 

"Jesus fucking Christ, can anything else go goddamned wrong?  Is there any other way I can possibly fuck up any worse!"  Dylen yelled.  Rian almost took a step back at the ferocity, the unbridled self-hatred, he heard in that voice.  He knew his gut reaction had been right.  Something horrible was happening because he'd heard the sound of those words before. They triggered something -- something Rian had tried very hard to forget but couldn't.  It involuntarily played in his memory, resurrected by that cry.  A flower covered room . . . an open burnished steel box . . . A too-pale, reconstructed face. . . the loud but soundless close of a lid. He saw it all vividly.  Everything made sense now.  The question was why?

 

"Hey.  It's OK." Rian said, trying to calm Dylen down.  Dylen looked up to face Rian, with the fire of demonic anger filling his eyes. Rian started stumbling. That look was frightening.  He tried to stem the tide of what he feared was soon to come.  "I must have pulled a line loose or something getting the car back on the road.  It's nothing that can't be easily fixed.  We'll just move the car off the road.  Your dad can get it home tomorrow.  I'll drop you off at your house.  After something like this, you're just lucky to be alive."

 

Dylen closed up again.  The anger, much to Rian's relief seemed to fade.  "I'm sorry.  I'm just upset, I guess," Dylen lied.  The violent shadow in him was upset that he hadn't blown up.  He'd be no more trouble to anyone that way.  For the second time that night, Dylen wondered if he was more trouble than he was worth.

 

Rian opened the passenger side door to his convertible and again led Dylen to it.  After securing the door, Rian returned to Dylen's car and easily guided it about 100 yards back to a field access road.  He found a scrap of paper that had once been in one of Dylen's textbooks, wrote a note with a pen he found, and put it under a windshield wiper.

 

Rian returned to his own car and gave Dylen his keys back.  "I'll have you home in 10 minutes."  Rian cranked his engine and Stone Temple Pilots "Creep"  blared from the speakers.  Quickly fumbling with the CD player, Rian turned down the volume, only to hear that Dylen had started to hum along.  "You like STP?"  Rian asked.

 

"They're one of my favorite bands." was Dylen subdued reply.  Rian increased the volume and Dylen resumed humming.  He didn't realize it, but it had been a long time.

***

Rian sat down and opened his laptop.  He clicked open his journal, entered the password, and began typing. He first entered some details of his workout that morning and then typed on:

 

May 7, 2004 -

 

I was feeling great about the day, until late this evening.  I was a few miles from home when I ran into Dylen Mason.  He'd had an accident on the road coming to our parents' houses.  Something about trying to miss a dog, he said.  I helped him with his car and got him home, but something's really wrong with him.

 

Every word out of his mouth was as if it came from a perfect stranger, instead of the person I grew up around.  Sure, people can change, and granted I haven't really talked with him or even seen him in a year. But, a man like Dylen, a man I have always thought so much of -- Hell.  Why is it so hard to be honest here, I admire Dylen Mason and what life has in store for him.  -- change so radically from the character I always saw in him.

 

It was really scary, like the way Brock sounded just before that day.  Standing there with Dylen, I saw it all happening again.  I know they believe it was drugs with Brock, but I know better.  I know exactly why he did it, and I don't think I can ever forgive myself for my part in it.  I pushed him, pushed him so hard . . . But whatever it was that drove Brock to do it, I'll never believe that its drugs with Dylen.  How can somebody with as much going for him as Dylen has be so depressed?  Of course, all the guys on the floor thought the same thing about Brock.  Only I knew the truth.

 

When Dylen screamed over the gas, I honestly believe he would have done it then, if he'd been alone or had a gun.  I promised myself - I promised him standing there that last time -- never again.  I will not let it happen to Dylen.  I've already let one friend blow his brains out without even saying a word.  I was too involved in myself before to see it, but not now.  It won't happen again.  Not to Dylen.  He's got too much to live for.

 

Before I left the Mason's, I asked Dylen's dad if I could come over to see him tomorrow morning and he agreed.  I need to make arrangements to pay for that gas leak, whatever it is, whether I did it or not.  At least, it will give me a chance to see what I can do for Dylen.  One thing's for certain.  The Dylen I knew is gone.  I've got to help him get back."


 

Rian closed the screen as a tear ran down his cheek.  The worst week in his young life replayed as he sat there.  He saw it all again . . . The blood soaked mattress . . . Police . . .  Funeral . . . Carrying Brock's casket to the graveside. . . The hollow sound of dirt hitting a concrete vault . . . A cold granite stone.

 

Not again.

 

***

 

The lights snapped out as Dylen's mom left the room and closed the door.  Dylen lay in his bed.  It took a half hour of poking, prodding, and questioning from his parents before they were satisfied that he was indeed OK.  But, there was something wrong with him.  It occurred to him as he sat listening to that song in Rian's car.  He couldn't shake the voice in his head that he'd been listening to when the wreck had happened.  If he ever called it a voice, they'd lock him up as schizophrenic; besides it wasn't really a voice.  It was more of a drive, something pulling him along into what?  He really didn't know until tonight.  Suicide.  Listening to that song and realizing that he'd honestly been considering it, scared Dylen. But, the shadow was always there.  'It's here right now,' Dylen thought.

 

It had taken tonight's events with Rian for Dylen to come to the realization that he was no longer the person he had been a year ago.  The voice had changed him, turned him.  But, he was changed.  He was different fundamentally from what his parents, and everyone else, thought he was.  He was half the man he used to be, just like in the song.  Is this what it really means to be this way?  If he gave in to his feelings, was it a sentence of continual loneliness or was it that electric thrill he felt with Rian tonight?  There was no one to turn to, no one to help him. He couldn't figure out what to do.  What if all this happens again, only this time Rian isn't there?

 

Dylen needed a release badly.  Something to help him feel good, even for a few moments.  The images of Rian came back to his mind.  Rian had been so nice, so understanding when he didn't have to be.  He could have just called his father to come and help him, but Rian had stayed with him and helped every step of the way.  He'd taken charge when Dylen could barely think for himself.  Then the picture of Rian first coming into the light popped into his mind, that first moment of recognition.  God, he was huge.  So beautiful.  Flawless.  There was nothing that such beauty could not do.  Then, Dylen's mind raced over images he saw the rest of the evening -- after pushing the car, the ride home, helping him inside to his parents.  Dylen had become entranced as he watched every flexion of Rian's body.  If there really was an ultimate man, he'd just seen him.  So strong, so perfect.  Dylen reached inside his boxers for his hardening dick.

 

Dylen saw the triceps flexed above his head again.  Then he saw Rian step back and take off his shirt.  Rian started flexing his muscles, flexing his muscles just for him.  There was a glow of sweat and a nodded invitation.  He could almost smell the pungent salty musk coating his vision in a surreal shine.  Dylen reached out to touch the warm . . .

 

Wet . . .

 

Hard . . . flesh.

 

Another instantly eternal moment had begun.

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marius777

I love the way you've taken a serious, emotional story and woven in elements typical of muscle growth fiction; it makes for such an enjoyable read!

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GymPredator

Thanks everyone.  

Like I said in the intro - this story means a lot to me for several reasons.  Although most everything in this story happened to me personally, a few incidents are things that I witnessed happen to others in my life about the same time as my own coming out.    In these days and times with so much consuming the LGBT movement, it seems that we are forgetting still how hard it is for so many to come out and what they face when they do.    Straight people tell me how they just do not care anymore if someone is gay or not.  But, I know that for millions that isn't true at all.  Including my own family.

Just as example - according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, a full 40% of all teen in the US who are homeless are LGBT - still, in 2020.  According to the Trevor Project a full 1 in 4 of all teen suicides in 2020 are LGBT.   It is a forgotten plague, until you see it for yourself and then you never forget.

I come from a Mormon background - which will come out a little later in this story.  I KNOW how rampant it still in for us - be it the Lost Boys (these are the straight teen boys who are the forgotten victims of religious polygamy) or just how homeless and suicidal LDS LGBT teens there are in high population areas LDS areas.  I just hope that with the political victories we win, and the zeal of worthy causes to save others who are not part of the community, that we do not forget our own, and just how many we lose because so many of us are not there for the kids and adults who are left behind.

I try not to get political anymore online.  It is too fraught these days, what when saying one wrong word bringing the wrath of millions upon you.  So I will stop here except to ask anyone who is reading this - don't forget to reach a hand back to the young people just discovering who they are and seeing the personal traps that lie within their own lives and it looks like there is no way out.  God know I remember, and to this day it still raises its ugly head.  It can get very discouraging when everyone says you should be totally free, but you know you can't be without a price that seems too high to pay.  Like I said in the intro, hell is being alone, and way too many give up believing, or in some cases knowing,  they have been left alone.  (End of soapbox)

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  • GymPredator changed the title to Saving Me - Chapter 7 Posted (09/16/2020)

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