Work Ethic

The last stop on Ewan's tour was the gym. It defied his expectations of a run-of-the-mill corporate weight room, but he wasn't surprised. Rainwater Interactive was new enough to still be bloated on startup money and idealism. The salary they'd offered right out of the gate had proven that.

"So this is why you wanted me to bring my gym bag." Ewan chuckled.

"Figured you'd be impressed," Rick said. "A healthy company is a happy company. We're striving for a different kind of work environment here." His eyes twinkled as he said it, as if the concept was any more novel than talk of paradigms shifting and action items. Maybe it would have been, too, if he hadn't pointed out Rainwater's ‘different' environment on seven or eight occasions already. After the part about private offices for all employees, Ewan had lost count.

Be gracious, he reminded himself. "I'm convinced, Mr. Tapia," he said. The man quirked an eyebrow. "Sorry. Rick. I'm still getting used to the first name thing."

"Don't worry about it. You're a little overwhelmed. I'm just glad we could steal you from Saxon & Simm. You've got a golden eye for design, buddy."

If he had been anyone else, Ewan would have thought the compliments a bit profuse. He glanced at his reflection in one of the full-length mirrors. He'd had his body for enough time to grow used to the way that it made people act. His lips parted to show perfect white teeth when he thought back to high school. They'd called him a shrimp, then, before he'd joined the wrestling team and sprouted up half a foot in the same year. He'd probably been as short as Rick, before that.

Rick followed his gaze to the mirror, then glanced up at him. "You wouldn't have any workout tips for me, would you?" He patted his stomach. "Lisa's cooking has been a little too good to me."

"Sure thing, Rick. As you were saying, a happy company is a healthy company. I guess I can cancel my gym memberships now."

"Waste of money, anyway," said Rick. "The big fitness chains haven't had much luck up here. Can work out here, at State, or drive the hour down to Cerritos."

Ewan shrugged. His button-down shirt protested against the width of his shoulders. At least he wouldn't have to dress up after today. The company's dress code was business casual at best. "I guess I can't complain. Hey, if you don't mind me asking, why build headquarters up here?"

"We're a different--"

"--kind of business. Gotcha."

"And Marsh White? He's got a house up on the mountain."

"Hey," Ewan said. "When you're the boss…"

"It's good to be king," agreed Rick. "Anyway, kid, it looks like almost everyone's gone for the day, so you'll probably be the last person in the office. Hit the alarm on your way out; the doors auto-lock after that. I've gotta get out of here. It's stroganoff night."

"They have those?"

"Only at Chez Tapia. Enjoy your workout, and welcome to Rainwater." He shook Ewan's hand.

Alone in the gym, Ewan took it in with fresh eyes. It was far bigger than the one at S & S's Los Angeles office. Treadmills and elliptical trainers stood before huge windows looking out over a tree-filled valley. He'd gotten used to watching the bustle of city streets that stood in the perpetual shadows of skyscrapers. This was a welcome change. The benefits weren't bad either, and the salary… well, Mr. White wasn't the only one with a nice house out here.

He was pleased to find that they'd overspent on the locker rooms, too. Ewan had seen spas in Vegas that would have been put to shame by the black marble tiles and the plush-padded benches that sprouted out of the floor. The stone around the sinks was swirled white and cream, and no fingerprints marred its mirror finish. Ewan shook his head and slipped his gym bag over his neck. He placed it on one of the benches as he stripped off his work clothes. His Kenneth Cole suit, ink-black to better highlight the hue of his pastel blue button-down, he hung up in an empty locker. He luxuriated in the feel of his white undershirt as it eased slowly, as if reluctant, up over the muscles of his back and the tautness of his eight-pack abdominals. It was a little difficult to get the shirt over his shoulders, but moving up to a larger size would make his shirt baggy about his waist. He already had to get all of his dress clothes specially tailored due to the 28" waistline that was a pleasant echo of unpleasant days as the skinniest boy in school.

In just his black boxer-briefs and socks, he went to the sink and washed his face. It was impossible not to appreciate the way the overhead lights played over his dense muscles. They pressed up against his paper-thin skin, unsullied by body fat. He cupped one big pectoral with an elegant hand, admiring the way the rounded muscle created an overhang over his abs without looking overly bulky. An adult height of 6'4 allowed him to carry a great deal of muscle and still look proportional. Men were always commenting on the sheer breadth of his shoulders and the huge, perfectly-sculpted arms that hung from them. Women seemed to care more about what he had to offer above the neck.

His hazel eyes were bright beneath dark brows that never needed shaping or plucking. He had gotten some sun over the weekend that darkened his flawless skin to a radiant bronze while freckling his patrician nose. Ewan pursed his lips. He hadn't been sure when he'd shaved his head that he'd like the look, but the spiked black hair and his matching diamond ear studs lent him an air of danger. Women liked that, too. He hated to disappoint them.

It took a conscious effort to pull himself away from the mirror. Sometimes people called him vain, but in reality he appreciated the aesthetics of his body the way he might a priceless artwork. Even after he had turned away, he flexed his right biceps beneath his hand, checking the steely firmness.

He glanced heavenward. "Thanks, big guy," he muttered without thinking.

The black tank top protested as he pulled it on. He'd bought it to be tight, but a few spins in the wash had left it less yielding against his mass. His sleek red basketball shorts fit better. Try as he might, he could not find any other type of shorts that hid his endowment as well. These, combined with the restraint of his boxer-briefs, would have to suffice.

After rummaging through his bag for his iPod and putting on his shoes, he was finally ready for the gym. Before he left the bathroom, though, he took a last glance in the mirror. He looked good. Amazing, really.

He had a playlist for running. His long legs ate up ground fast enough that the coaches back in college had begged him to join the varsity cross country team, even offered him a captaincy right out of the gate. The accolades hadn't convinced him. He didn't enjoy running. But the music helped.

It was Carmen today. He couldn't remember when he'd started listening to opera while he worked out, but it kept him on pace even if he didn't understand the words. He knew people found the habit curious. Jim Rojas, one of the bigger jocks at his old gym, had found Ewan's iPod after it had been left unattended, and shouted at the top of his lungs that some ‘fag' had lost it, laughing all the while with his posse. He hadn't found opera quite so funny when Ewan found out.

He lost himself in the rhythm of his legs, the vibrancy of the music, the power of Carmen's impeccable mezzo-soprano. It was the only recording he'd been able to find, so he didn't know how she stood up to other singers in the part, but her voice was as bright as bells. Perhaps Porgy and Bess tomorrow, he thought. He could understand the lyrics, and he liked that one song—

Another sound broke his concentration. He pushed the stop button on his treadmill and immediately noticed movement to his right. There was someone else in the gym, using one of the elliptical trainers. He glanced, and caught a flash of auburn hair and red lips, a slender blur. He did a double-take. The boyish figure's skin was sheened with sweat and his cheeks were flushed with exertion, but neither could hide the fact that he was the best looking man Ewan had ever seen. Never mind that Ewan preferred his men muscled and the other man's body was slender, its muscles clinging lithely to bones. The man's face was so finely-sculpted that it could have been a doll's, although no porcelain had ever held such a rich tan. Vivid green eyes, so bright that their hue was obvious from yards away, winked like jewels in that face. For a moment, he thought those emerald eyes flicked toward him, and he forced himself to pretend he'd just been casually glancing in that direction.

His face heated. It took a few seconds, while stretching out his legs and wiping sweat from his brow, to convince himself that he'd imagined the look. All the while, he allowed himself to savor the sight, replaying the image of those wiry, athletic legs straining on the cardio machine.

He was instantly sorry. Blood already excited to pounding by his run—and it had been a good run, the opera was almost half done—rushed downward and tingled in the base of his cock. Against his wishes, his dick thickened precipitously. He decided he was done stretching. Almost, he decided to end the workout, but it was chest and biceps day, and the opera wasn't done.

Consciously avoiding even the slightest glance at the stranger, he went to one of the benches and loaded it up with a few plates. A glance around reassured him that he would have plenty more weight to throw around. Two seventy-five was a good warmup weight, but he hadn't maxed out that low since before college. He dropped down and executed fifty pushups to get the blood flowing into his pecs. At least it wasn't flowing to that other place any more.

He was careful with the weight on the bench, even if it was a relatively easy lift. Mr. Chang, his high school wrestling coach, had always taught his teams to respect the weights they were using even if they thought the amount easy. Ewan had stuck to that concept, and he hadn't injured himself yet. He powered through his warmup set with ease before loading fifty more pounds on the bar. For a moment, he wondered if he should scale down and start with something lower. He thought about asking the other man to spot, but he knew that would be a mistake. His crotch tingled again.

The weight was easier than he expected, and after fifteen reps he felt like he could go another twenty. His arms should have been at least a bit tired after that. While resting, his eyes played over the mirrored wall. They were drawn to the figure on the elliptical machine like iron to a loadstone. While the man's eyes were still in the periphery, Ewan would have sworn that they were settled on him, but by the time he focused his gaze, the auburn-haired man appeared engrossed in his workout.

This was ridiculous, Ewan knew. He was a prize catch. His ‘league,' in dating terms, was unquestionably the majors. Chance was that his fellow gymgoer was straight, anyway. About a 90% chance, if the rough numbers were to be believed. All of these thoughts shot through his head, drowning out the music, as he loaded up another pair of 20s onto the bar and worked through a set of twelve. His arms were shaking by the end, despite the adrenaline that shot through him whenever he caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of his eyes.

He shut his eyes tight and focused on the sound of Carmen and Escamillo professing their love for one another. When he got up to put another pair of twenties on the bar for his last set, he kept his eyes down and pretended he was alone in the gym. This set of ten was tough. Not quite his maximum, but his arms felt like jelly as he racked up the weight after his final set. Three hundred and sixty-five pounds was nothing to scoff at.

The technique, keeping his eyes closed whenever possible, helped him through the incline and the decline and well into a punishing workout for his biceps. By the time he reached preacher curls, he was drenched in sweat, and forced himself to do extra reps as if the pain could punish him for behaving so stupidly over some cute guy in an office gym. By the time he finished his last set of curls, his biceps were huge and bloated with their pump, spiderwebs of veins the only thing seeming to hold them back from bursting through his skin.

"Excuse me," a voice said, filtering through the love song, and Ewan's muscles lost control of the weight, nearly wrenching his elbow as his arms followed it forward. He stopped it at the last moment and, with more control, eased the barbell down into its holder. Somehow, he managed to steel himself before looking up at the other man.

He was beautiful. Normally, Ewan would have reserved the adjective for the fairer sex, but there was nothing else that did justice to the face that looked down at him. Not that it had to look very far down. Its owner was not especially tall, despite the fact that he was standing. Ewan guessed him to be around 5'7, maybe 5'8. His height usually skewed his estimations of shorter men.

Ewan made a show of turning off his music and removing his earphones. Good, he thought. Maybe he'll just think I was engrossed in my music. Ewan's ears rang in the sudden silence.

"I'm sorry, what?" He tried to keep his voice brusque, but it just came out husky.

"Er, I didn't mean to bother you," said the other man. He had seemed boyish from a distance, but up close he looked to be of an age with Ewan, probably in his late 20s. His voice was mellifluous, beautiful as his features were beautiful, and the disappointment in that voice made Ewan backpedal with haste.

"No, no—don't be sorry, you're not bothering me. I just, you know. Get in to my workout."
"Yeah, I can see that," said the auburn-haired man with a chuckle. His eyes lingered on Ewan's arm. "I'm Dean, by the way."

"No kidding. Dean Carrow? The Boy Wonder? Rick told me about you."

Twin spots of color bloomed in Dean's cheeks. He glanced away, although his gaze seemed loathe to leave the expanse of Ewan's biceps. Ewan told himself that was just imagination playing tricks on him. Wishful thinking.

"Everyone around here calls me that. It's not like I'm even the best coder at Rainwater."

Ewan shrugged. "Sorry. I guess we can stick with just Dean, then. I suck at nicknames anyway. I'm Ewan."

"Ewan?" Dean blinked. "Unusual name."

Ewan peered back at him until Dean's perplexed look vanished in a laugh and another blush. "Sorry, yeah, I guess you don't see all that many Deans out there either."

"No, not really." Ewan lazily did another curl. This time, he was sure he did not imagine Dean's vibrant green eyes darting to the flexion of his biceps. "I'm the new advertising hire. You know Rick?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I know Rick. Great guy. Anyway," Dean segued gracelessly, "you're, uh. You're pretty big." A long moment of silence passed between them, and he continued, "And not too many people here even use the gym, much less handle weight like you do. I mean, I know I don't know you, but do you think you could show me the ropes?"

Ewan leaned forward as if in thought. Somehow, the dynamic had changed, and he was back in control of the situation. He let out a deep breath of relief and disguised it as a sigh of contemplation. "I guess we could do that, sure."

"You really mean it?" The excitement in Dean's voice took a decade off his age. "I promise, you won't be wasting your time. I've been putting the effort in, I just feel like I'm doing it wrong. And I don't know enough about what to eat, and how to lift, and I'm usually able to get things like this if I work hard enough at them, you know? My sister says I have a great work ethic."

Ewan grinned. "All right, I'm convinced. I'll tell you one thing off the bat, though. You need to do less cardio. You were on that thing for, what, an hour or so?"

Dean shrugged. "Well, yeah. It's all the same, isn't it?"

"We've got a lot of work to do, partner."

His new workout partner opened his mouth to respond, but at that moment, Ewan did another half-hearted biceps curl and Dean's words caught in his throat.

"Something wrong?" Ewan quirked an eyebrow.

Dean shook his head. He cleared his throat. He hadn't been choking, but his face was so red that he might as well have been gasping for air. "No, just. Wow, man, your arm is… I've just never seen, up close—"

"Do you want to touch it?" Ewan's casual question was turned into something more by the long silence that followed.

"Can I?"

Ewan nodded. He bent his arm and tightened the muscle. It leapt up, a grapefruit-sized ball of steel beneath a layer of skin softer than silk. There were a number of veins crowning it, but one was bigger than the rest, twitching with Ewan's quickening heartbeat.

Dean reached for Ewan's arm as if it was a live adder. His hand was clammy against Ewan's hot flesh, and at first, his fingers only caressed the muscle. The two shared a look, Ewan's reassuring gaze meeting the trepidation in Dean's, and the fingers grew more confident in their exploration. They tried their hardest to dent the muscle, but it was unyielding adamant beneath their feeble grip.

"Looks like you're enjoying yourself," said Ewan.

Dean's mouth opened. He followed Ewan's gaze down to the crotch of his gym shorts, the sheen of which revealed a bulge in stern relief. If possible, Dean's face got redder. "I-I'm sorry," he stuttered.

"Relax," Ewan said, and shifted backward on the preacher bench. The shape in the front of his shorts left nothing to the imagination. He had dreaded that being the case only minutes before, but the gasp from Dean as his eyes traveled along the length and breadth of Ewan's cock washed that away.

"One in ten chance," Ewan muttered. "Thanks, big guy."

Dean's look of puzzlement vanished as Ewan's hand snaked out, pulling him forward. "You—but someone might—holy shit, that's huge—I—someone might walk in," Dean rambled.

Ewan stood up. He towered over Dean, leaving the smaller man staring into the pumped mass of his chest. Ewan craned his neck to look out the window. "No cars other than yours or mine. Nice Beamer, by the way. Are there any cameras in the gym?"

"N-no," Dean said. "Company policy on personal—"

Ewan cut off the rest by pulling Dean tighter. Dean was so light that Ewan easily lifted him with one arm. His feet fumbled for the ground while the men's cocks ground together, Dean's smaller erection against Ewan's massive one. Dean gasped at Ewan's roughness and a shudder went through him, but the loss of control seemed temporary. Within moments, his arms were wrapped around Ewan's back, and his hands busy with exploring the tightly-bunched muscles there.

It was no effort at all for Ewan to maneuver them toward the locker room, still locked in their embrace. Dean scrabbled up as Ewan sat down on one of the padded benches, leaving the smaller man seated in his lap, straddling him. Dean freed one hand to trail over Ewan's cock in its fabric prison, and it was the muscled jock's turn to lose control. But just for a moment. This was well-trodden ground for him.

"Do you want to see it?"

Dean nodded wordlessly.

"Help me with these, then." He stood up, easily lifting Dean off his lap and helping him stand. Reverence shone in the smaller man's eyes as he placed his hands on either side of Ewan's basketball shorts and drew them slowly downward. Ewan's huge dick strained against the pouch of his boxer-briefs, stretching their waistband away from his stomach. He wasn't ready yet, though. He kicked his shoes and socks off, then his shorts. Even in his stocking feet, he marveled at the difference in their heights.

Now it was time for a show. He drew his tank top up with exaggerated slowness, revealing brick by brick every row of his cobblestone abs. Just before he pulled it over his head, he let out a low, satisfied grunt that dead-ended into a sigh. To his satisfaction, he saw Dean's cock jump beneath his shorts at the sound.


Dean was less careful this time. Perhaps the anticipation had just become too great. He struggled to get Ewan's boxer-briefs down around the jock's huge thighs, and the fabric gave a protesting creak. At last, though, the underpants moved, and Ewan's huge cock leapt out. It hung between them, immense and ready, bouncing as if of its own accord.

"Holy crap," breathed Dean.

"Get yours off, too," Ewan commanded, a smile playing over his lips.

His partner stripped with all the grace of a clumsy schoolboy, hopping out of his shorts and pants and almost tripping on the slick floor. Ewan was there to steady him and give him another reassuring look. To his satisfaction, Dean's body was—like the rest of him—beautiful. His bones were delicate, and his musculature more like a teenage athlete's than that of a full-grown man. There was not a wisp of hair on his chest, just some at his armpits and around the base of a more-than-adequate cock. A good seven inches, but next to Dean's monster, it looked pathetic. Dean said as much.

Ewan shut him up with a kiss. Dean's heart might have been trembling in his chest like a little bird's, but he knew how to kiss. He had a way of biting the bottom of Ewan's lip, not enough to be painful, that stars spiraling across Dean's field of view. He couldn't remember the last time he had felt this good, and they weren't even—

His dick was thinking ahead. It was rubbing against Dean's butt urgently, its length gone an angry red. He knew Dean would let him go through with it, but he pulled back. Dean's blissful expression twisted with perplexion.

"No condoms," Ewan said. Dean did not seem fazed. "Almost there anyway."

Dean straddled him, pushing their dicks together. "Me too," he rasped. He rubbed the two organs together, slowly at first, but with increasing urgency, the precum dribbling from both providing more than adequate lubrication.

"So big," Dean grunted. He timed his words with his thrusts against Ewan's cock. The worship and the sensation was driving Ewan wild. His toes curled and uncurled, and he thrust back like a wild animal. "All over. Huge. Muscles, body, cock. Fuck. Wish I was… big as you."

Dean's eyes must have caught the light, because for a moment, their radiance was intense like green flame. All of the tension gathered in Ewan, exploding up the length of his cock in a wave of burning pleasure that licked through his veins like fire and ice all at once. He bucked, and a gout of hot cum exploded from his immense dick, followed by another, no less than the first. Dean was cumming, too. He was lost in a series of mindless moans, all the while trying to keep a grip on both slicked members at once.

The next eruption of cum hit Dean in the chin. His shots were quick and smaller than Ewan's. In seconds, his orgasm was almost spent, but Ewan's continued relentlessly, making his back arch and soliciting baritone grunts from his throat. Dean kept stroking Ewan's huge cock, and Ewan had no breath to tell him that the pleasure was almost unbearable.

At last, it was finished. The two lay there for a long couple of minutes, panting and trembling in a sticky embrace. Dean moved first, extracting himself from the tangle of limbs and softening cocks. His chest and face were splattered with cum, and he let out a laugh.

"Oh, that's kind of gross," he said.

Ewan laughed, too. "Mmn." He glanced up. "That was amazing. And we didn't even—"

"Next time," Dean promised. "Ugh, I need to get cleaned up. It's starting to get cold."

"I should, too," Ewan said. He sat up, a little dizzy. They rinsed off together in one stall. Ewan chuckled when he saw that Dean was hard again already. He didn't think he'd be ready to go for hours. It was as if all the tension from the workout had left with his orgasm, and his entire body felt slack as if he'd had a deep tissue massage.

When they were both done and dried off, Ewan watched Dean's back as he dressed. "Just throwing it out there, but would you like to come back to my place?"

"I think you've got the whole ‘first date' order all mixed up. You're supposed to invite me home and then fool around with me." Dean grinned at him over his shoulder. "But I promise I'll take you up on that next time. You got me all wired. I totally want to finish my workout. What do you say, training session?"

Ewan gawked at him, incredulous. "After that? I'm useless. I just want to go home and sleep."

"Well, it's a good thing I'm not going home with you," said Dean. "We wouldn't get much sleeping done."

"I almost never do that on the first time," Ewan mused.

"I like being unique," Dean said. His confidence retreated. "You know, I was just kidding about the date thing. I mean, you were horny, I was horny, and…"

"Relax, man," Ewan said, shaking off a bit of his grogginess. He didn't want to fall asleep while driving home. "It was good. We were good."

Dean's smile lit up the room. "Great. Well, I'm going to try doing what you were doing. Just with way lower weights. Training session tomorrow, then? After work?"

"Tomorrow," Ewan promised. "After work."

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