BHM Big Shot (BHM, WG, Stuffing)

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Shh! Don’t tell!

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11.

“You read it,” said Liam two days later, pushing the New York Times at Isaiah. “I can’t, I’m too scared.”



“Alright, alright,” said Isaiah, lying on the couch in his jeans and a t-shirt, the bottom of his belly poking out. He was stress eating his way through a family sized bag of cheese curls. “I’ll do it.” He sucked the orange powder off his fingers and picked up the paper.



“Very rarely does a film come along that shocks and stuns the audience in the way this one does without sacrificing quality. This is a film that could, in the hands of the wrong director, verge into camp and bad taste because of it’s intensity and violence. Instead, thanks to Isaiah Resnik’s well-paced, realistic directorial style and brilliant performances from Evelyn Weiss and Jack Simmons, it bursts with an exceptional, ferocious passion.“



“Oh my god,” said Liam.



“Shh!” said Isaiah, grinning like a madman. “Liam McAllister’s unflinching, sometimes funny, sometimes devastating, writing could not be better served by a film adaptation. This is an extraordinary film-- It hits you right in the chest and leaves you breathless.”



“Oh my god!” said Liam.



“Liam, holy fuck!” said Isaiah. “Holy shit, fuck that asshole Zach Berger, fuck everyone at the studio who doubted us! Come here! Holy shit!” Isaiah sprang to his feet with surprising speed for the amount of weight he’d put on and the two men embraced, tightly. Isaiah’s tummy pressed against Liam’s flat stomach-his body felt incredibly soft in Liam’s arms and Liam was overtaken by an urge to kiss him, to touch his sides and his round belly with his hands, stroke and grab and squeeze his puffy love handles and fat ass. Instead, they broke apart, hot faced.



“We’re fucking going to the Oscars! There’s no way we’re not. Holy christ. Holy shit.”



“You did it,” said Liam.



“We did it!” said Isaiah. “Read another. You read this one.”



Another good review-“A haunting, gorey plunge into the darkness of the human mind. I can’t stop thinking about it.” Another. Then-



“Oh, god, Isaiah, this is-“


“Just read it. What’s it say?”


Isaiah looked over Liam’s shoulder.


This is a vile, perverted film. As usual, Resnik is a masterful purveyor of bad taste who mistakes his classless fixation on sex and violence for ‘realism.’


“Yes!” cried Isaiah, punching the air triumphantly.


“What?” said Liam. “That’s bad.”


“That’s controversy! It’s good. When people hear ‘bad taste’ and ‘sex and violence,’ they’ll want to see it-because we’re also getting a bunch of rave reviews from really respected critics, it’s alright to have a couple like that to stir the pot. Trust me. Just wait, just see. That guy can suck my classless dick while I’m cashing my classless checks.”


Liam was nervous, but it turned out Isaiah was right. Within the next hour, they got a call from Berger. They were killing opening weekend with record breaking ticket sales. Isaiah shouted a string of joyful expletives.


“We should do something to celebrate,” said Liam. “We should go out.”


“Damn straight we should.”



“Okay, so calamari. Let’s make that two orders. I want the squid ink linguini. I want gnocchi. And ah, how about the mushroom ravioli? And the spaghetti and meatballs- that’s just classic, you can’t really go wrong... Am I missing anything? Something you want?”


“Um,” Liam scanned the menu. “Do you want the macaroni with gruyere and ham?”


“Oh, Jesus Christ, yes.”


They ordered and drank and talked as they waited for the food.


“You should call your parents,” said Isaiah, dunking bread in olive oil. “Your mom must be so excited. Will she see it?”


“Oh,” said Liam. “I guess she will. I hope she doesn’t freak out because it’s violent. What are you going to do now that the movies done?”


“Here’s how things will optimistically go. As a first order of business, I’m going to eat my weight in pasta. Second order of business, go find some girls at a bar who already saw the movie. That’s a good trick, you’ve never gotten to do it before. Third order of business, collect my Oscar. Obviously, this a simplified version of events.”


Liam felt like the floor was dropping out beneath him, but he forced a smile. Of course he’d want to go pick up women. That was normal. Liam was the abnormal one. The food arrived. Liam didn’t feel like eating but Isaiah set about happily gorging himself. After demolishing far more then his share of the gargantuan meal on his own, he sat back, hands resting on his belly. He reminded Liam of a picture he’d seen in National Geographic of a lion resting after eating an antelope.


“So,” said Isaiah. “What are you going to do now?”


“Well, I’m going to go back to the East Coast. There’s a novel I want to work on and I was offered a teaching gig at Columbia a while back.”


“Oh,” said Isaiah, his eyes going wide. “That’s great! Congratulations!”



They went to a bar. Lots of young women out with their friends-a pretty dark haired girl gave Liam a look. They’d barely gotten their drinks when Isaiah whipped around to look at the other side of the room. “No way.”


Liam followed his gaze. Evelyn was sitting alone at the far end of the bar.


“Isn’t she married? What’s she doing alone?”


“A little birdy told me she and her husband are spending some time apart. Actually not little, it was Bob Harrison-Hey! Evelyn Weiss!” Isaiah hollered. “I saw you in the movies! Can I get your autograph?”


Evelyn looked up, looking first frightened, then both amused and annoyed. “You ass,” she said as she joined Isaiah and Liam where they were sitting. “You scared me.”


“I’m sorry,” said Isaiah. “Can I get you a drink to make up for it?”


“You’d better,” said Evelyn, with a movie star smile.





Isaiah was astonished at the sense of abandonment he felt. Why was he so surprised that Liam was moving on and doing other things? Of course he wouldn’t stay in L.A. He was busy, he had his own life. Isaiah got another beer. He was beginning to feel seriously tipsy, not to mention bloated-he could feel the large quantity of food and alcohol slosh around inside him.


Liam was on his right, flirting in a subdued way with some girl. Why was Isaiah so incredibly pissed off at him? Why did he want to smash the drinks on the ground and get into a fist fight with him? He felt humiliated and needy. He turned to Evelyn. He had thought she was pretty attractive during filming- snarky and golden haired with a great ass. What’s not to like? And what a titillating scenario-she was clearly out to have an affair. Naughty.


Why did he not feel entirely interested, why was he so distracted, why did he wish he and Liam could leave this stupid bar and go home and eat ice cream and watch old movies and, and-


“Are you seeing anyone?” Evelyn asked.


“No,” said Isaiah. “Why?”


“You look like you settled down a little,” said Evelyn. “Like someone’s taking care of you.”


“No,” said Isaiah, patting his new spare tire with one hand. “I’ve just been pigging out.”


“It looks alright. Could be worse. You carry it pretty well.”


“Thanks, I’m glad I don’t come off like a complete slob.”


“Not a complete one. Would you like to come home with me?”


“Wouldn’t Mr. Weiss not like that?”


“We don’t live together anymore. It doesn’t matter what he likes,” Evelyn stirred the ice in her drink bitterly with her finger.


“I thought you hated me. I mean, I was awful to you during the shoot. Why this all of a sudden?”


“You’re a mean bastard who doesn’t give a damn about people’s feelings,” said Evelyn. “I need you to teach me how to be mean. How to not give a damn.”


Isaiah didn’t feel like he didn’t give a damn. He felt like he wanted to hold on to Liam so tight that he’d have to drag him all the way to the airport. But Evelyn was hot and he wanted to show himself, and Liam too, that this whole impending separation was nothing, no biggie. He pulled out his wallet, aware of Liam behind him.


“Let’s go.”
 
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Shh! Don’t tell!

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267
12.

Isaiah went home with Evelyn. He’d looked back as he left the bar to see Liam looking after him. “Bye,” Isaiah had mouthed.


He felt tense-there was a hot, unpleasant feeling in his chest. He looked over at Evelyn in the seat next to him-they had taken her car and she was driving. Her house was in the hills over Silverlake and as the car climbed up the steep curves of the hill, he felt a sudden fear for no apparent reason.


“Sorry,” said Evelyn. “It’s a steep drive.”


She lived in a pretty house, not one of the totally enormous mansions, but quite large. “What about the ankle-biters?” Isaiah asked, recalling her two young children. He’d hate to find himself face to face with some wide eyed little kid, wondering why there was a man who wasn’t his father in his mothers bedroom.


“They’re at a sleepover.”


They got out of the car and walked in. It smelled nice, like cleaning products and candles.


“Can I get you a drink?”


“Sure.”


Isaiah looked at her back as she got him some bourbon. He looked around her living room. Lots of pictures of her kids. One in particular, with her, her husband and the older one, a girl, smiling together caught his eye.


“I don’t want to pry.”


“Then maybe you shouldn’t.”


“Well, I’m just curious-“


“Hey, what happened with you and Emily Rue?”


Isaiah grimaced. “Touche.” He took his drink and her hand brushed his. So soft and cool.


He followed her to her room, drinking. She sat down on the bed and looked at him. He found his eyes drawn to the translucent paleness of her thighs. There was a strange apprehension, maybe even fear on her face. “Come over here,” she said.


——


Pinning her small body under his large one, he found himself trying to imagine what the next several months held. Nothing came to mind. Her lean legs wrapped around him and the way his belly covered her torso felt physically incredible, but his head was somewhere else and he couldn’t enjoy it completely. The sensation of his body against hers reminded him of hugging Liam earlier. He recalled the feeling of his fat pressing against Liam’s slim body-his stomach had already been full of snack food and then they went out for all that pasta, god, so much fucking pasta, getting so full, so big, oh, god, oh yes, oh yes. He rode out his orgasm and, as the sensation faded, he felt ashamed and lonely. He rolled off Evelyn to lie beside her, facing the wall.


God, I’m alone, he thought. I’m completely alone.


He heard a sound, a little stifled sound, from Evelyn’s side of the bed. A soft sob.


He looked over at her. She was staring at the ceiling, teary eyed. Oh no.


“Evelyn? Are you alright?”


Silence.


“ I didn’t-I didn’t hurt you or something, did I?” asked Isaiah.


She shook her head. “No. You didn’t.”.


“Did I do something wrong?”


“No, it isn’t you. I’m sorry. ”


“Is there something I can do?”


She looked over at him. “Why do you care?”


“I’d hate to leave you crying here alone. I mean, I know I’m an asshole, but even I know you’re shouldn’t- you know, slam, bam, thank you ma’am, have fun being sad alone.”


“I just-“ she paused for a moment. “I miss him. I’m sorry. This whole thing was a mistake. No offense to you.”


“None taken. I mean, you’re hot, but this sucks.” Isaiah slide off the bed heavily onto the floor and lay down, staring up at the ceiling. “Want to tell me what happened?”


“We just-stopped telling the truth. We weren’t even telling big lies, you know? Just little things, but they piled up until we didn’t know each other anymore. I wish I had called him tonight, but I couldn’t make myself pick up the phone. I’m a coward and telling the truth scared me too much.”


“Oof. Don’t say that. It makes me think of me.”


“Really?” Evelyn sounded surprised.


“Yeah. You want to know something crazy? I went home with you to avoid having to tell someone the truth. There’s someone I care about who’s leaving, who I might not see again for a long time. I wanted to ask that we see each other again, but I was too scared to say it. I thought that this would help, but now I just feel awful.”


Evelyn leaned over the side of the bed.


“I thought you said you weren’t seeing anyone.”


“I’m not. It’s just a friend.”


“Some friend.”


“You can love somebody as a friend.”


“Does this friend have a name? Come on. Share your gossip.”


“None of your business. I know you’ll just sell it to the tabloids.”


“I would never. And by the way, please don’t tell people what I said, or what happened tonight. Don’t embarrass me, please. I’d feel so ashamed.”


“I won’t. I promise.” Isaiah stared up at the ceiling. “You know that feeling when someone’s so good that you want to make yourself better so that you can be the type of person they deserve? God, wait, that sounded awful. I can’t believe I said that. I should just chop my balls off because I don’t deserve them after saying that.”


“No. I know what you mean. You should tell your friend how you feel.“


“But-“ Isaiah tried to interject.


“You should at least try being honest. I can’t guarantee that it will work, but I know that keeping things from people definitely doesn’t. You should do it before it’s too late.” She sighed. “I’m sorry. I need to be alone. Would you please go? I’m sorry, you’ve been really nice, but I just need to be alone.”


“Alright,” Isaiah got up, heaving himself to his feet. “No problem. Can I use your telephone?”


“Yes.”


“You’ll be fine if I go?”


“Yes.”

———


Liam had excused himself from the attentions of the girl in the bar and gone home. He felt dissatisfied and in the mood to write. He’d recently pulled back out an old story that he’d concocted as a teenager and took a second look at it, rearranging the pieces, putting his adult intelligence behind the framework he’d come up with as a dumb sixteen year old. He’d barely put pen to paper, however, when the phone rang. Liam froze.


Full of apprehension, he walked over to the phone. He picked it up cautiously.


“Hello?” he said, his voice cracking slightly.


“Hey, it’s, um. The Oscars. We voted early this year and you won everything. You won every award.”


“Wow. That’s great.”


“I don’t mean other people who worked on your movie won every award, I mean you personally won them. You won best writer and best actor and best costume design and best director-“


“Best director? What about Isaiah Resnik?”


“Naw, fuck that guy. And, um, you won best supporting actor-“


“What about best actress?”


“Oh, especially best actress. And best…fucking…ass-scratcher. Best at…stuff…”


“Hm, I didn’t know those were awards.”


“Oh, they’re new. We made them especially for you.”


“Well, thank you. I’m very flattered. I don’t know if they’ll all fit on my shelf, though.”


“Hey, are you busy? I need a ride.”


“No, I’m not busy.” Liam stood up. “Where are you?”


——


Isaiah was sitting on the stairs leading up to Evelyn’s house.


“Hey!” He waved. “How about that hill, huh? What kind of idiot would build a city here? It’s on a fucking fault-line.”


“It’s also pretty much in the desert,” said Liam as Isaiah got into the passenger seat.


“And it’s full of the worst people in world. You’re smart to go back to New York.”


Liam drove down the hill. “What’s Chicago like?”


“You’ve never been?” Isaiah asked.


“No.”


“It’s a place.”


“Descriptive.”


“I’m more of a visual person. No, I like Chicago, but I grew up near-you know what Packingtown is?” Isaiah shifted, looking slightly uncomfortable.


“Packingtown?” The name rung a bell, but Liam couldn’t put his finger on where he’d heard it. “No.”


“By the stockyards, which I guess aren’t what they used to be now. But when I was a kid, it was like living right on the mouth of hell. Just thousands and thousands of animals being butchered. If you’d just take a minute to picture the smell-“


Liam wrinked his nose. “Oh.”


“Yeah,” Isaiah looked out the window. “Not exactly a suburb on Long Island.”


“You never told me that.”


“You never asked. So, hey, did you hit that? That girl back at the bar?”


“No. I went home.”


“Oh,” said Isaiah.


Liam tried to focus on the road. “You hooked up with Evelyn.”


Isaiah paused. “Yes, but don’t tell people. She seems like she’s having sort of a rough time and she doesn’t want people to know we slept together.”


“Ah.”


“She’s hot, though. And she’s smart.”


“She is.”


“If things don’t work out between her and her husband, I might call her. I think she’s pretty great. Why didn’t you pick up that girl back at the bar? She seemed really into you. You queer or something?”


“No,” said Liam, frowning. “I just felt like going home.”


“Jeez, I was just joking. Why can’t you take a joke?”


“I can take a joke.”


“Doesn’t seem like it. God, you’re such a pussy.”


“Okay, you know what? You’re being sort of awful. I came out here and gave you a ride-“


“Bet you like giving rides,” said Isaiah in a mocking tone. “Letting people ride you-“


“What is wrong with you? You’re being horrible. You’re horrible.”


“Am I horrible?” said Isaiah. “Do you think I’m horrible?”


“You’re twisting my words.”


“It’s literally what you said!”


“You’re acting horrible. That’s what I meant.”


“Well, sorry. I didn’t mean to offend your prissy sensibilities. I guess I couldn’t help it, because I’m horrible.”


“Well, I’m sorry,” said Liam, pissed off and shocked by how the situation was degenerating. “I didn’t mean to damage your fragile ego. ”


“Fragile!” Isaiah snarled, his face a mask of rage. “You think I’m fragile? You don’t know anything about me!”


“Well, maybe I don’t,” Liam growled. “Because I thought I liked you, but now I’m having serious second thoughts.”


Isaiah was silent for a few seconds. “Pull the car over,” he said, softly and poisonously.


Liam pulled over and looked at Isaiah, who was getting out of the car. To Liam’s horror, his eyes looked red. Isaiah slammed the door shut and started walking away.
 
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Shh! Don’t tell!

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Messages
267
13.

Isaiah had spent most of his life with his temper as his constant companion. It had loomed behind him when he walked in the street. It had lain next to him in bed at night. It had protected him. It had gotten him into trouble. It had driven most people away. He hadn’t realized how much the burning, all-consuming rage had faded recently until it came back, suddenly and in full force. His face burned. He wanted to hit something. Isaiah rubbed his eyes as he walked. Don’t cry, don’t cry, you stupid little waste of life, do not fucking cry!


“Isaiah!” Liam called.


“I’m walking home. It’s not that far.”


“Isaiah-“ Liam got out of the car.


“Don’t follow me!”


“Will you get back in the car? I can’t just leave you here.”


“Fuck you! You do not get to tell me what to do!”


Oh, oh-

——


“You do not get to tell me what to do!”


Isaiah stayed as still as he could in bed, eyes closed, trying to not hear his parents fighting.


“If you don’t stop, I’ll leave. I’ll take Isaiah and leave.”


“If you do that,” Isaiah heard a click and a gasp. “I’ll do this. You want me gone? Wish granted. Have fun cleaning up my brains off the floor after I do it-“


“No, no, don’t, don’t-“


“You’ll have my blood on your hands. Do you want that? Do you want me dead?”


Inconsolably sobbing. “Abram, no, no, please don’t. I won’t complain anymore. Just don’t do that.”


“So you want me around after all. I wouldn’t know it from how you’ve been acting!”


“I’m sorry! I’ll be better!”


“Sorry isn’t good enough!”


“I’m sorry!”


“Sorry isn’t good enough!”



Isaiah froze in his tracks, feeling as though he might vomit or collapse. I’m acting like my father, he thought. The thought was quickly followed by another-this is wrong. If Liam wants to leave, he can leave and that’s okay. I shouldn’t be angry at him. A third thought- Oh my god, I’m going to miss him so much. A forth thought to conclude the sequence-I’m crying like a bitch. Isaiah wiped his eyes and tried to steady his breathing.


“Isaiah?” Liam was just behind him. “Are you alright?”


Isaiah took a deep breath. “I’m sorry. For what I said.” He turned, trying to not look a Liam’s face. “And-for getting out of the car.”


“Do you-you’re-“ Liam seemed to think better of what he was about to say. “What is this about? I just feel so confused. Things have been so weird all night. Did I do something wrong? ”


“No, you didn’t do anything wrong,” Isaiah ran his hand through his hair, feeling ashamed and emotionally exposed.


“Those things you said to me were really hurtful. I don’t know why you’d say that.”


“I don’t know why I would either. I’m sorry. There’s no good reason. You don’t deserve that.” Isaiah looked down at his hands.


“What do you want? I just don’t understand.” Liam walked toward him, looking the way someone might look when approaching a wild animal.


“I want-“ Isaiah paused, his lip trembling. “I want to go get a burger and a milkshake.”


Liam laughed, taken-aback. “Do you really?”


“Yes! I want to get a burger and a milkshake and I want to talk to you. That’s all I want right now.”


“Alright,” said Liam. His face softened. “We’ll go get that.”




Liam ended up getting a small milkshake at the drive-through, while Isaiah got a large milkshake, a bacon-cheeseburger, and a side of fries. Liam drove. Isaiah didn’t bother asking where he was going. He just ate and talked.


“I’m sorry,” Isaiah said as he slurped his milkshake. “I was being awful. I just don’t-I don’t know what to do now that the movie’s over. I just-this is all happening so fast all of a sudden. When are you leaving, for New York?”


“Just before Christmas.”


“So in two weeks or so.”


“Yes.”


Isaiah licked some ice cream off the corner of his mouth. “I’m going to miss you.”


Liam looked ahead at the road, the lights bouncing off his pale face. “I’ll miss you too. ”


“Really? Even after tonight?”


“Of course.”


Isaiah took a bite of his burger. “You’re too good. Do you know that? You’re almost superhumanly good-it just shines out of you. I don’t get why you spend so much time with me.”


“You don’t know everything about me,” said Liam.


“That’s true. But I know that you’re good. If I don’t know that, I don’t know anything.” Isaiah took another bite as he looked out the window. “Where are we going?”


“The beach,” said Liam.


“Why?”


“It feels right. Isaiah, um-“


“Yeah?”


“Who was your first crush when you were a kid?”


“What?” said Isaiah, almost choking on his milkshake. “Where’d that come from?”


“I’m curious. I don’t want to be mad at you or just be unhappy together.”


Isaiah laughed, taking another sip of milkshake. The cup rested perfectly on the crest of his overfilled belly as he sucked on the straw. “My first crush. It’s like we’re little girls having a slumber party. Wanna paint my nails? No, I’m sorry. I’ll have to think. Wait, hang on. I liked Mae West when I was like six or something. You know, she’d make that sound in her throat like rrrrrmmmmmmm. I loved that.”


“You have good taste,” said Liam with a nod. “What about real people you knew, not actresses?”


“Oh, um,” Isaiah smiled sadly. “There was this girl who lived on my street. She had the prettiest hair, it was a light, light brown, almost blonde but not quite. She was older then me-I guess she was ten or eleven and I was eight? She used to walk past my window with her mother and she had the most incredible walk, all graceful, you know? Anyway, I was terrible to her. The worst. I threw dirt at her.”


“Isaiah!” said Liam in mock shock.


“I’m sorry! I was an awful kid. I got in lots of fights and it made my mother cry. Bad kid.” Isaiah sighed. “What about you? Who was your first crush?”


Liam bit his lip. “I don’t remember.”


“You came up with the question in the first place! How can you not remember? Fine. Tell me about something else you remember from being a kid.”


“I was a nerd. I never had a lot of friends. I just read books and wrote stories.”


“You weren’t a nerd. You played sports, right?”


“Yeah, but it was because I had something to prove. How did you get into film?”


“Well, I really liked going to the movies. Honestly, all I really liked to do was watch tv and go to the movies. So I graduated high school and got my job at the movie theatre. That was good for learning theory, but I needed experience and connections. So I, um. Bob Harrison was working on something in Chicago at the time and I tracked him down and followed him back to his apartment.”


“You what?” Liam looked shocked. “Jesus Christ, Isaiah!”


“I thought he was great, you know? I just loved him-you know, if we’re talking about crushes, I guess the way I felt about Bob Harrison was kind of a crush. I loved him. I wanted to tell him how great I thought his work was and I thought maybe if I said it convincingly enough he’d give me a job.I was seventeen, alright? So I told his doorman I was here to see him-I was just this grimey, skinny kid with fucking ugly glasses-not these ones, I actually like these a lot-and second hand clothes. And the doorman looked like he was going to throw me out or something, but just then Harrison came downstairs and I yelled, Mr. Harrison! I think you should hire me and here’s why! And I just talked. I just told him everything I loved about his movies, all the little things I noticed in every shot. I just went on and on and he just looked at me and said, what’s your name? And I told him. And he said, how old are you? And I said I was nineteen, and he said, no, how old are you really? And I told him. He said, can you operate a camera? And I lied and said yes and he made me a camera assistant.”


“That’s such a Bob Harrison thing to do.”


“It really is. I still love that guy, even though I don’t stalk him anymore. I owe everything I have to him taking a chance on me. I worked for him for a while and I directed a low budget short film that attracted some attention. That’s what happened. Now you tell me something.”


“Um. Let’s see.” Liam thought. “Once my mother found a dirty magazine I’d hidden in my room and she made me go see a priest.”


“Ha!” snorted Isaiah as he attacked the French fries. “I can imagine that.”


“It wasn’t soft core either. Fully explicit. Girls giving blowjobs and stuff. She was furious.” Liam glanced over at Isaiah, smiling sheepishly.


“Oh, this one’s pretty funny. One time, I got so hungry I stole a bunch of raw potatoes from a vendor and I ate them, but it turns out you can’t eat raw potatoes. I was so sick afterwards.”


Isaiah looked over at Liam, who was looking at him with a horrified expression. “You were that hungry?”


Isaiah licked his lips, feeling awkward. “Yeah. But it’s alright.”


“You-“


“Oh, look, the beach.”


It was a beautiful night. The beach was empty, since it was chilly for L.A., and the city lights reflected on the dark water. Liam drove onto the beach and parked.


“What you said about being hungry as a kid-“


“Don’t worry about it. I’m fine now,” Isaiah sat back, showing off his full belly. “Look at this.” He slapped it with one hand and sent the round mass of fat jiggling. “I don’t think I’m going to starve today. You should worry about my buttons, they’re the ones in trouble. But-“ He paused, concerned that Liam might misinterpret this situation. “Don’t think for a second that it was my moms fault. She’s a wonderful person. Better then I’ve ever deserved. She would have walked through fire for me. She practically did.”


“What’s your dad like?” asked Liam. “You never talk about him.”


“Oh, he’s great. That’s why I’m so stable and well-adjusted,” Isaiah looked over at Liam, hoping to make him laugh. No dice. Liam looked ready to cry. Isaiah looked down at his swollen belly and the fast food carnage before him. He’d finished everything except the milkshake, which he quickly drained the last dregs of.
 

Shh! Don’t tell!

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 5, 2018
Messages
267
14.

“I’m sorry I called you fragile,” said Liam.


Isaiah looked embarressed. “Oh, god, don’t worry about that. I needed to be taken down a peg. I am kind of fragile, anyway. My lungs hurt when I run. I’m scared of those fucking silverfish centipede things, with all the legs. I don’t take criticism well. I’m pretty fragile if you think about.”


“No, you’re not fragile at all. You-“ Liam looked lost for words. “You’re a goddamn warrior. You never give up. You never stop fighting. I could never do what you did.”


Isaiah felt his face get hot. “I’m sure you could. You’re so smart. You got into an Ivy League. I was a terrible student, I barely graduated.”


“But I had every advantage in the world, and you know what? You’re more successful than me and you’re only thirty! You already have an academy award. I’m thirty-seven. I’d only just published my first novel by your age and it flopped! And I had everything working in my favor! You’re a fucking champion. Here,” Liam thrust his milkshake at Isaiah. “I’m not going to drink this. Do you want it?”


“I-“ Isaiah eyed it. “It looks good, but I already had so much.”


“You deserve it. Enjoy it.”


Isaiah took the milkshake and drank it slowly, sitting back in his chair. He could feel his stomach stretch and strain with each sip.


“I’ll really miss you,” he said, looking over at Liam. “I really do love you.” He did. Not just love. The better phrasing, Isaiah realized, would be that he was in love with him, but he couldn’t say that. Liam looked back at him. His freckles mirrored the stars on this unusually clear Los Angeles night. That would be a great shot in a movie if it were with an actress. Or not an actress. Why not a man?


“You know,” said Liam. “I was thinking. Do you want to come to New York with me?”


Isaiah thought his jaw would hit the floor. “You’d want that?”


“I wanted it from the beginning, but I thought you might have something going on in L.A., or that I’d seem clingy.” Liam turned partially in his seat, looking apologetic, hopeful, as handsome as a movie star.


“I don’t have shit going on in L.A,” said Isaiah. “Would you really want me to come with you?”


“If you’d come.”


“I’d like that,” said Isaiah. “I’d love that.” He felt like he was stepping up to the podium and accepting that little gold trophy. Better. Who gives a damn about that? Isaiah sipped a little more milkshake, then put it down, frowning.


“Oof,” he said. “I’m really full. I mean, I should be used to being really full. I’ve put on so much weight recently.”


————


“It’s not all that much,” said Liam automatically, looking at Isaiah’s stomach. It was that much. “I mean-“


“I weighed myself the other day. I didn’t have a scale in New York. Do you know how much weight I gained?”


“No.”


“Guess.”


Liam looked at Isaiah.


“How much did you weigh before you gained weight?”


“A hundred and thirty two pounds.”


“God, that’s thin. Um. Thirty pounds?”


“Not even close.”


“Fifty pounds?”


“Try again. Think bigger.”


“Sixty-five pounds.”


“For someone who just had his writing called “unflinching” by a New York Times critic, you’re really beating around the bush. Come on,” Isaiah lifted the round, wobbling mass of his gut with his hands and dropped it down into his lap. “What does this look like?”


“Eighty pounds.”


Isaiah smiled wickedly. For some reason, the light glinting off his glasses completely terrified Liam. “There’s my college grad. Smart boy. It’s eighty eight, last time I checked. Probably more by now.”


Liam sucked in air through his teeth.


“It’s pretty crazy when you say it out loud, isn’t it? Six months. Do you want to touch it?”


“Do I what?”


“Do you want to touch my stomach? It feels weird, it’s really soft,” Isaiah unbuttoned his shirt, revealing his round, heavy gut. It was a perfect sphere of fat-wobbly, gelatinous. Every little hair, the soft downy ones and the courser ones, was visible in the moonlight. His belly button was changing shape, being slightly squished by fat. Liam spied a couple of small red stretch marks and old paler pink ones.


Liam reached forward, his hands trembling, and lightly touched Isaiah’s belly in just about the equivalent place that he’d touched it all those months ago, when he’d been thin and showing off how bloated he was after eating that silly food challenge. Liam prodded and his fingers sunk deeply into the warm, soft flesh.


“Wow,” said Isaiah, reaching for his cup and slurping down the last of the ice cream. “I must have really grossed you out. You should see your face.”


“I’m-“ Liam struggled to swallow. “I’m not grossed out. What does it feel like? How do you feel?”


“It feels-“ Isaiah paused, putting down the empty cup. “You know, believe it or not, it actually feels good. I feel good. I like being big, you know? I like eating, I like taking up space. I feel powerful. It’s comforting. More than comforting. What-what the hell is happening right now? Are we-“


“I don’t know,” Liam removed his hand, looking pale, scared, ashamed.


“Do you-is this hot for you?”


Liam paused, took a deep breath. “Yes.”


Isaiah exhaled, his lips trembling. “Thank you. I couldn’t say it. I-I really, really want to keep going, but I’m scared it’s going to be weird afterward.”


“Me too,” said Liam. “Have you ever been with a man?”


“No. Not really.” Isaiah looked nervous. “No.”


“I haven’t either.” Liam felt completely terrified. “I’d really like to kiss you, but I’m scared that something bad will happen.”


“Alright. Okay. Here’s what I think we should do. I think we should kiss and if it’s terrible or disgusting or something, for one or both of us, then we’ll stop and we won’t speak of this again. It’ll just be something we tried. And if it’s good, then we’ll keep going, but slowly. We can stop at any time and forget the whole thing. Does that sound alright?”


Liam thought, then nodded. “Yes. And I’d like this to be a secret.”


“Well, obviously.”


“I don’t want things to be different between us, no matter what happens. I want to stay friends. I want us to be able to hang out the same way we have.”


“Alright. Agreed. Pucker up,” Isaiah made an exaggerated kissy sound.


“Oh my god, you jack-ass.”


“Sorry, I’ll be serious. Could you get closer to me? I’m too full, I don’t want to move.”


Liam leaned towards Isaiah.


“Can I touch your face?”


“Go ahead.”


Liam leaned in and touched the side of Isaiah’s face. He paused, preparing, trying to think what angle he should go in at.


“Oh, just get it over with already!” Isaiah growled as he grabbed Liam’s face and smashed their mouths together. It was an awful kiss, a sloppy teeth clashing with teeth middle school type kiss. Liam turned his head to the side as Isaiah probed with his tongue. Ah.


They broke apart. Isaiah looked at him, breathing heavily. “Well? What do you think?”


“You go first.”


“I liked it. I thought it was great. And now you’re gonna say it was bad-“


Liam leaned in for another kiss, a softer one, a little longer. Then he pulled away.


“Can I touch your stomach again?”


“Please, please do that. Yes. Let’s get in the back seat. Come on.” Liam climbed into the backseat. Isaiah was in no condition to climb and walked around. They sat side by side, legs tangled. Liam was unusually aware of the sound of Isaiah’s breathing.


He moved his hands to touch the crest of Isaiah’s belly. “You’re full. I can feel how full you are.”


“I am. I’m very, very full. Do you like that?”


“Yes.” Liam probed Isaiah’s navel with a finger.


Isaiah’s mouth was hanging slightly open and although he wasn’t exerting himself, he was almost panting. “Why?”


“I don’t know,” said Liam. “I always liked this kind of thing, as long as I can remember. I guess I specifically like-seeing that you’re taken care of. I want you to be safe and comfortable.”


“Let me show you something.” Isaiah moved Liam’s hand down to the underside of his belly. “Feel that.” He moved his hand to touch the crease that separated his belly from his hips. “You feel that crease? That fold. That only showed up like fifteen pounds ago.”


“It’s soft,” said Liam. “The skin, right on the crease, is so soft.”


“What else do you want to feel? Satisfy your curiosity.”


“Your-“ Liam blushed.


“Just touch. Nothing’s off limits.”


Liam reached out and gently touched Isaiah’s double chin.


“Oh my god,” Isaiah snorted. Liam leaned in and kissed it. “Wait, that tickles.”


“Sorry.” Liam sat back.


“Hey, what’s your dick look like?”


Liam laughed. “That’s the least romantic thing I think I’ve ever heard in my life. What does yours look like?”


Isaiah clumsily removed his clothing. Fumbling, Liam did the same. They looked each other’s naked bodies up and down.


“You’re uncircumcised.”


“You’re not. Uncircumcised.”


“Well, obviously I’m not. I mean, I am. Fuck.” Isaiah laughed nervously. “I am not uncircumcised.”


“Sorry, that was a kind of confusing double negative. ‘Not un’.”


“Enough linguistics. Is this good?”


Liam could barely get the word out. “Yes,” he whispered, watching Isaiah milking him with his clever, expressive hands, watching his body jiggle as his arm moved.


“Wow, you’re really hot. Have we ever discussed in depth how hot you are? You look like you take good care of your body. Unlike me. I’m such a glutton. If it was practical, I’d never stop eating and you can really see it, can’t you? Hang on. I think maybe you’ll like this.” Isaiah moved closer and pressed Liam’s cock into his soft belly, also rubbing his erection against Liam’s thigh in the process. Holy hell. Liam’s vision went white as he came on Isaiah’s stomach.

“Ha! Woah,” Isaiah smeared the white semen across his golden skin with his hand.
 
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