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Old June 15th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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Andrew Chapter 10: Version 2


On Saturday October 8th, the entire Pearson family met Mr. Malcolm on the ODCVI football field. Carrie was already there with her mother. Steve and his dad, Sarah and Mrs. Pearson were already en route to Toronto with Mr. Henderson, since they had an earlier flight to catch. Connor and Ralph and their parents had arrived at the OD field a few minutes before Andrew and Chad. With the arrival of Andrew and Chad, there were 11 people on the OD football field that morning.
"Good to see you Andrew," Mr. Malcolm said, shaking his hand. "Did you have fun with your friends last night?"
"Yes I did," Andrew replied, shaking Mr. Malcolm's hand gently. "Should we get right to business now?"
?I see you?re not wasting any time,? Mr. Malcolm realized. ?And you?re right; the sooner we get the Orillia strength tests over with, the sooner we can be on the plane to Miami. So why don't we start by having you lift your car a few times?"
"Good warm up weight," Andrew decided, walking over to his car. "Get your video camera ready Mr. Malcolm!"
Mr. Malcolm turned on his video camera and made sure he had a clear view through the lens. Andrew bent down and lifted up the right side of his car. Then he positioned himself carefully underneath the car until he could grab the left side as well. Then he stood up slowly, hoisting the car above his head. Andrew looked around at the awestruck faces of his friends and family members, most of whom had never seen him lift a car in person before.
?Pretty impressive, wasn?t it?? Andrew bragged, shoulder pressing his car a few times until he reached his limit. "Bet you didn't think I could do it again, did you?"
"That was amazing Andrew!" Chad yelled. "I guess your promise to me seven years ago has been fulfilled. You can lift your car after all! Congratulations son; you have officially crossed into the realm of superhuman strength!"
"Thanks Dad," Andrew said, grinning as he let the car down to the ground again. "I hate to shock you further, but the car is way too light for me! When we get down to Miami, I will have to try lifting a van! Maybe that will be enough weight to challenge me!"
"Why don't you try the bench strength test first," Mr. Malcolm said, motioning to the bench which was sitting on the side of the field. "We may not have all the team members here, but try lifting it with nine people sitting on it. I'll need nine volunteers please."
All nine people stepped forward. Mr. Malcolm motioned them towards the bench, realizing that there were only nine others besides himself and Andrew on the field that day.
"Okay Andrew, this will be a real challenge for you," Mr. Malcolm said. "Lift the entire bench with everyone on it and bring it over to me!"
"It might be a little difficult for me to get the bench all the way off the ground with everyone on it," Andrew reminded him. "I would have to curl the bench and everyone would fall off!"
"Why don't you put the bench across your shoulders first," Mr. Malcolm suggested. "Then if everyone can stand about six feet up on the bleachers, you can back up until they can all sit on the bench."
"Good idea," Andrew said, lifting the bench with ease. "Now this is what I call bench pressing!"
"Very funny Andrew!" Mr. Malcolm chuckled, walking down the field. He stopped under the goalposts and yelled, "Okay Andrew, bring the bench right over here to me! Everyone is already standing on the bleachers behind you!"
Andrew looked behind him and saw everyone standing a few levels up from the ground on the bleachers. Their feet were about six feet above the ground, which was the level of Andrew's shoulders. Andrew turned towards them, swinging the bench around effortlessly, and walked right up to the bleachers.
"Okay everyone, climb aboard and we're off to the end zone," Andrew ordered his nine passengers. He smiled at everyone as they slowly climbed onto the bench. "Don't worry; I won't drop anyone!"
Andrew started walking towards Mr. Malcolm, amazed at how light the bench seemed to him, even with nine people sitting on it. His pace began to slow as he approached Mr. Malcolm and Andrew felt the weight of the people straining his shoulders.
"Just a few more feet Andrew!" Mr. Malcolm encouraged him, his eyes widening at the display of Andrew's true strength.
Andrew gritted his teeth and forced himself forward a few more steps, until he was standing five feet from Mr. Malcolm.
"How should I set the bench down?" Andrew asked Mr. Malcolm, breathing heavily as his shoulders began to ache from the weight of the loaded bench.
"Just squat down and let everyone get off," Mr. Malcolm suggested.
Andrew did just that and everyone stepped off the bench, relieving Andrew of the strain of their weight. Andrew set the bench down on the ground and stood up, rubbing his aching shoulders.
"Very good Andrew," Mr. Malcolm said, writing Andrew's strength test results down on his clipboard. "Very well done indeed."
"Thank you sir," Andrew said, smiling as he flexed his massive biceps. He turned to his father and said, "What did you think of my true strength Dad? Are you proud of me?"
"That was incredible!" Chad shouted in astonishment, turning off his video camera. "Your power is truly amazing son, and very useful!"
"It will be very useful, as we discussed yesterday after the game," Mr. Malcolm reminded Andrew. "Now, you should go get changed and then we will get ready for the trip down to Miami. Is everyone all packed?" When everyone nodded, Mr. Malcolm said, "Good. Now we should discuss how we will handle the driving arrangements down to Toronto. Don't forget, we have to bring enough vehicles down for all ten of you to make it back without the rental van."
"How about you take Connor, Ralph and their parents, and I follow with Carrie in my car," Andrew suggested, as he took his t-shirt off. He leaned around his car, showing off his massively muscled torso, and added, "My dad can follow in his car."
"Then there are two cars coming back on Monday, with five people per car," Mr. Malcolm realized. He had to work hard to focus on what he was saying, getting pretty distracted by Andrew's muscular build. "You're proving that you're not just really strong, but also really smart as well! Very good job Andrew! Now, how about putting a shirt on! You're distracting everyone with your muscular build!"
"Sorry sir," Andrew apologized. "I meant to put a shirt on, but this conversation distracted me." He put on his spare t-shirt and pulled it down, trying to loosen it. "I am going to have to look for 4XL shirts now! This t-shirt shows off all my muscles!"
"That?s not a bad thing," Carrie whispered to him, as they walked towards his car.
"I know you like my muscles, but now isn't the time," Andrew whispered back. "Wait until we're on the plane, when we can let someone else do the driving."
"Good idea," Carrie agreed, as she got into Andrew's car. "I'll try not to distract you too much on the drive down to Toronto."
"Thank you," Andrew said, waving to Mr. Malcolm as he pulled his van out of the parking lot. Andrew got the car started and followed Mr. Malcolm's van towards the south end of town. "As fun as last night was, we can't snuggle like that all the time!"
"I look forward to more physical contact on the plane," Carrie said, putting her hand on his knee. "It's really exciting, going down to Miami to see our future college."
"Yes, it should be interesting to see Miami is like in October," Andrew agreed. "The last time I went down to University of Miami in October was ten years ago." He thought for a moment and then added, "That was my dad's 10th class reunion actually. I think it?s his 20th class reunion in three weeks time.?
?I?m sure Mr. Malcolm will keep him entertained while we?re having fun,? Carrie realized. "That's good; I look forward to having fun on the beach alone with you."
"I'm glad you're here with me," Andrew said, squeezing her hand gently. "This is the first time we have taken a trip down to Miami without both of our parents. But I guess we'd better get used to that. With our siblings going to different schools than we are, I guess the fairest thing was for our parents to split up this time."
"You're right," Carrie realized. "But at least you're here with me." She snuggled in closer to Andrew and he took one hand off the wheel. He draped one massive arm over her shoulders and Carrie said, "Your touch is so gentle Andrew!"
"I've been working really hard to control my great strength," Andrew informed her. "I look forward to seeing inside University of Miami again, where I can put my great strength to good use."
"I'm looking forward to seeing Miami as well," Carrie agreed. "I have never actually been inside the school, you know."
"I have, but that was ten years ago," Andrew said. "Mr. Malcolm told me last night that a lot has changed in that time. In about 24 hours, we'll get to see how much has changed for ourselves."
"Any idea whether we sit beside each other on the plane?" Carrie asked.
"I'm not sure, but I certainly hope so," Andrew said, smiling at her. "Check my carry on bag; our tickets should be in there."
Carrie opened his bag, and looked for the tickets. She finally found them and pulled them out.
"Did you find the answer to your question?" Andrew asked her.
"It looks like we do sit beside each other: in the First Class Cabin!" Carrie shouted in astonishment.
"What did you just say?" Andrew asked her.
"I said that we are both in the First Class Cabin," Carrie said. "That's amazing! I've always flown in Coach before!"
"So have I," Andrew realized. "Maybe Mr. Malcolm is trying to give me a taste of the NFL lifestyle. Then I will be more motivated to be successful at the University of Miami."
"That would be a good motivator," Carrie agreed, looking in Andrew's bag again. "It looks like you'll have to learn how to appreciate your status as a football star, whether you're ready or not. Maybe you'll have to get used to First Class seats now.?
"What are you looking for now?" Andrew asked, noticing Carrie still rummaging around in his carry on bag.
"I thought I saw a hotel brochure in here," Carrie replied, pulling it out of the bag. "Ah, here it is: our hotel in South Beach."
"Hey, I always used to go surfing in South Beach!" Andrew said, smiling at the memories.
"When did you learn to surf?" Carrie asked him. "I?ve never seen you surf before, even when we've gone down there on Christmas Break!"
"My dad taught me, about seven years ago," Andrew replied. "I guess you've forgotten how my family is never around on Thanksgiving weekend."
"You mean you've gone surfing every Thanksgiving weekend for the past seven years?" Carrie asked him.
"That's right," Andrew confirmed. "So I'm a natural by now, as you'll see later today."
?Really?? Carrie asked him. ?You?re planning to do some surfing today at South Beach??
"That's right," Andrew said. "Mr. Malcolm said that he would get Mike's brother Mark to meet us at our hotel when we get there."
"Is that why this newspaper in your bag has Mark's name on it?" Carrie asked him, pulling it out of the bag.
"Oh right, I'd forgotten about that," Andrew realized. "I asked Mike, while you were talking to Steve yesterday, why he had me sign two papers last month. He told me that he got one copy signed for his brother, and he wants me to give it to him."
"Well that's a great idea," Carrie said approvingly. "It sounds like you have everything worked out."
"Not unless I set foot in a gym down there!" Andrew reminded her, laughing.
"Is there a gym in South beach that you can work out in?" Carrie asked him, smiling at Andrew's joke.
"Yes, there's one called South Beach gym, on Ocean Drive," Andrew replied. "I found it on MapQuest."
"That gym is located near the ocean is it?" Carrie asked. "Is that why the street it's on is called Ocean Drive?"
"That's right," Andrew confirmed. "There's also a big public beach there, perfect for swimming."
"And also for showing off all your muscles," Carrie reminded him, smiling at the thought.
"That's not my intent at all," Andrew protested, trying to be modest. "I just look forward to swimming again. The summer's too short here." He squeezed her hand gently and added, "You're the only one I'm going to show off my muscles for. Just make sure you're with me when we're on the beach; I don't want to become a magnet for other people's attention."
"A magnet for the attention of other women, you mean," Carrie corrected him, with a stern look. "Don't worry; I'll be right by your side. If any woman tries to take one look at you, I'll take her out!"
"I hope you won't," Andrew said. "You're stronger than most women, being a hockey player, and you could wipe the floor with them."
"If they don't want to end up with their faces full of sand, they'd better keep their eyes off my man!" Carrie shouted, her face turning red with fury.
"You're pretty scary when you're jealous," Andrew realized, glad that he was not the object of her anger. "Is that what I look like when I get mad?"
"You're ten times scarier than anyone I know when you get mad," Carrie informed him. "That's probably because you're so big and strong!"
"Well, you've helped me realize exactly why I need to control my bad temper," Andrew informed Carrie. "Thanks a lot."
"You're welcome," Carrie said, squeezing his hand as she tried to calm down. She took a few deep breaths and closed her eyes, trying to force the thought of losing Andrew out of her mind. "Okay, I'm calm now," she informed Andrew. "Thanks for being here for me."
"You're welcome," Andrew said, trying to extract his hand from Carrie?s grip without hurting her. "Would you mind letting me have my hand back please?"
"Oops, sorry about that," Carrie apologized, releasing her grip on Andrew's hand. "Can you promise me that you'll never leave me for another woman?"
"I promise," Andrew assured her, looking deeply into her eyes. "I'd never love anyone that way I love you."
"I feel the same way about you," Carrie agreed. "So, what should we do during this weekend, when we aren't touring our future school?"
"That's a good question," Andrew realized. "Why don't you read me some of the information on the travel brochures and we can make some plans."
"Good idea," Carrie said agreeably. "If we're going to be in the Sunshine State all weekend, I'm going to have some 'fun in the sun' with my man!"
Andrew grinned at her as they began making their plans for the weekend.
After 90 minutes, the two cars and the rental van turned onto Highway 401 and headed west to Highway 427. Then they headed to the airport. The three vehicles headed up the road under the departures sign and entered the parking lot. Mr. Malcolm paid the attendant for three days of parking and then everyone got out of their vehicles.
"Let's go everyone," Mr. Malcolm said, looking at his watch. "It's 11:45; we only have 75 minutes until takeoff!"
Everyone unloaded their luggage, locked their vehicles securely, and then headed across the parking lot to the terminal doors.
As they walked, Andrew thought to himself, I bet I could rip even a locked car door off its hinges! I will have to find a safe environment to test that theory!
Once everyone got inside, Mr. Malcolm got out his rental agreement and took it to the van rental counter to pay the clerks there.
Andrew leaned over to Carrie and said, "It's exciting, going down to Miami this weekend, isn't it?"
"Yes it is," Carrie agreed. "I just realized something."
"What's that?" Andrew asked, holding her hand gently.
"You may attract attention here and on the plane," Carrie realized. "If anyone here saw the new story last month, that is."
"What, you don't think anyone saw me making good use of these babies?" Andrew asked her, flexing his biceps as he grinned hugely. When Andrew saw some people down the hall looking his way, he said, "Oh no! They're coming this way!"
"I told you that you would attract attention!" Carrie reminded him. "Are those autograph seekers down there?"
"I believe you're right," Andrew realized, his grin slowly fading. "I'm not sure what to do; I've never been asked for autographs by strangers before!"
"Should have thought about that before you flexed your biceps," Carrie reminded him, smiling at the sight of Andrew's huge arms. "That's what you get for showing off!"
"You didn't seem to mind," Andrew realized, noticing Carrie staring at his huge pumped biceps. "Come on girl; feel this muscle!"
"Later," Carrie whispered, as the people came into hearing range. "Say hello to your fans Andrew."
"You're Andrew Pearson?" one of the guys asked Andrew.
"That's me dude," Andrew confirmed, sliding smoothly into confident jock mode. "What can I do for you guys today?"
"I was hoping you could sign our papers," the guy said, holding his out. "We saw you on the news last month and we've been trying to find you."
"All you have to do is look for these muscles!" Andrew bragged, flexing his massive biceps and grinning. "They're impossible to miss, make no mistake about that!" When he noticed everyone staring at him in shock, Andrew grinned to himself and added, "So, do you want me to sign autographs, or should I show off my muscles some more?"
"No time for that Andrew," Mr. Malcolm informed him, squeezing his way through the crowd until he stood beside Andrew. "We have to get to our line; we don't want to miss our flight. Why don't you sign the papers on the way?"
"Good idea," Andrew agreed. He looped his carry on strap over his shoulder and began walking towards the line. The crowd flowed around him and Andrew grinned at his fans. "So, what's your name man?" he asked the first guy, taking the pen and paper from him.
"My name's Rick," the guy replied, pleased that Andrew was willing to sign autographs. "Where are you going this weekend?"
"I'm going to University of Miami for my recruiting visit," Andrew replied, grinning at the thought. "I'm also going to have some fun in the sun with my girlfriend Carrie." He squeezed her shoulders gently and smiled at her. "She's been with me all the way, throughout my attainment of great strength."
"What does attainment mean?" Rick asked, taking back his paper. He was amazed at how smart Andrew was. "You must be really smart man, to know big words like that!"
"Attainment means the act of reaching something; in this case: my goal of lifting a car," Andrew replied, grinning. "I was really happy when I reached my goal after seven years of hard work!"
"What's next for you, after car lifting?" Rick asked Andrew, as they reached the line of plane passengers.
"I'm sure I'll think of something," Andrew replied, remembering just in time to keep quiet about his true strength. "I can promise you, I won't be stumped for long!"
"How smart are you man?" Rick asked, grinning at the thought of Andrew showing off his great strength again.
"Ah, I'm not sure," Andrew replied, trying to remember if the news story had revealed his IQ. "Hopefully I'm smart enough to get into college on an athletic scholarship."
"I have no doubt about that," Mr. Malcolm assured him, showing his passport to the lady at the American Airlines counter. "Better get your passport Andrew. It looks like you'll be able to talk to your fans on the plane as well."
"Hey, you guys going to Miami as well?" Andrew asked Rick, suddenly noticing that Rick and his pals were in the same line as he was.
"That's right man," Rick replied, taking back his pen as Andrew finally finished signing autographs for his friends. "I always go down to Miami on Thanksgiving weekend."
"So do I," Andrew informed him.
"Yeah, I think I've seen you down at Miami Beach, when you've been surfing," Rick realized. "I bet you never thought you'd become famous."
"I had no idea that lifting my car would be caught on tape," Andrew agreed, handing his passport to the lady at the counter. He grinned at the shocked look that crossed her face. "But I'm glad that everyone knows my true strength, and how I got it."
"I must admit, I thought you must have been on Steroids or something," Rick admitted. ?But that interview changed my mind, when the true source of your ?enhancement? was revealed.?
"That's why I told everyone everything as soon as I found out for myself," Andrew informed him. "I didn't want everyone to think I used drugs to get to where I am."
"No chance of anyone thinking that now," Rick assured him. "So, what hotel are you staying at?"
"I don't remember," Andrew realized. "But I'm sure we can look at the brochure on the plane and find out. How about you: what hotel are you staying at?"
"Actually, I'm staying with family friends, the Andersons," Rick replied. "One of their sons is a junior at University of Miami. He plays on the Hurricanes football team as well: as an Offensive Lineman."
"Wonder if Mark knows him," Andrew mused, speaking mostly to himself.
"Mark Stevenson?" Rick asked in surprise. "The freshman quarterback? You know him??
?Hey, yeah,? Andrew replied, as they made their way into the departure line. ?I trained him during high school actually. He was my first trainee.?
?You?re pretty good at personal training,? Rick commended him. ?He?s a great quarterback; I?ve seen him playing really well at the games. And now we know who to thank for that!?
?Don?t give me too much credit,? Andrew warned him. ?I only showed him the path; he decided to walk down it. But we?ll have to continue this discussion on the plane. Looks like we?re approaching the customs line. Talk to you on the plane Rick.?
?I look forward to it,? Rick said, waving as Andrew approached the Customs Officers.
Andrew had to fight hard to keep an arrogant grin off his face as he saw the fear cross the officers? faces.
Even big guys are scared of me now! Andrew thought to himself.
?Destination sir?? the biggest guard asked Andrew hesitantly.
?Miami Beach,? Andrew replied, grinning at the thought of surfing.
?Reason for your trip sir?? the second guard asked, looking even more nervous than the first guard.
?Fun in the sun with my girlfriend,? Andrew replied, unable to keep a cocky grin off his face this time. ?I?m also visiting the University of Miami for a recruiting visit, hosted by Mr. Malcolm here.?
?Bringing any food, alcohol or weapons into the United States sir?? the third guard asked Andrew.
He looked even more nervous than his partners, probably because he was the smallest of the three Customs Officers. So he tried to cover that nervousness by inspecting Andrew?s passport closely.
?No I?m not bringing any of those things into the States,? Andrew replied.
He wisely decided that the answer, ?No weapons except for these guns?, meaning his biceps, would not be a smart answer to the Custom Officer?s question. Andrew breathed a quiet sigh of relief when he realized he had ?dodged a verbal bullet? by saying the right thing.
?Carry on sir,? the third guard said, waving Andrew towards the X-ray machine.
?Just one,? Andrew replied, holding up his carry on bag as he took his passport back.
He had been so focused on how he had dodged a verbal bullet last time that he forgot to say the right thing this time.
?Very funny sir!? the third guard laughed, relaxing as he smiled. ?Have a good trip sir!?
?Thanks a lot,? Andrew said, smiling as he realized that he had unintentionally made another joke.
He headed towards the X-ray machine, pleased that his jokes could still put people at ease. As he let the operator scan his bag, Andrew breathed a sigh of relief, happy that he now knew how to distract people from his size.
?I?m glad you didn?t make a joke about your biceps,? Carrie whispered, once she joined him on the other side of the X- ray machine. ?I know you like to refer to them as ?guns? Andrew.?
?Yeah I really ?dodged a bullet? there, didn?t I?? Andrew realized, smiling at her.
?Funny man!? Carrie laughed as she got his joke. ?Not a joke you would want to make around Customs Officers, however.?
?That?s true,? Andrew agreed. ?I?m glad about that; I might have caused a major incident if I had slipped into jock mode there!?
?Even if you had, I doubt the police could restrain you enough to get you to jail,? Carrie reminded him. ?That?s something to keep in mind if you want to stay on the proper side of Law and Order!?
?Good idea,? Andrew agreed, his grin fading as he thought about what might happen. ?I wouldn?t want to get in trouble with the law, just as I?m about to realize my dream!?
?Especially when you?re turning 18 next week!? Carrie reminded him. ?You do anything illegal past the age of 18, and you could be charged as an adult! Then you?d be put in jail!?
?As if any jail cell could hold me!? Andrew scoffed, his cocky grin returning. ?These pipes can break through any bars with ease!?
He laughed softly and didn?t notice his father approaching them.
?You?re probably right,? Chad said. ?We may have to test that theory sometime.?
?Good idea,? Andrew agreed. ?I?m sure my great strength will have all kinds of military applications, just as you mentioned last night.?
?I actually said that the police and the military were very impressed with your capture of the robber last year,? Chad corrected him. ?I never said that your great strength could have military applications. Though now that I think about it, that would be a great idea. I will have to discuss that with Colonel Mitchell when we get back home.?
?After we have our little chat next weekend,? Andrew reminded him, frowning slightly. He noticed his father?s look of fear, and added, ?But now we have more fun things to look forward to, like surfing in South Beach! Are you up for it Dad??
?Yes I am son,? Chad replied, breathing a sigh of relief that Andrew wasn?t going to confront him this weekend.
I?m not looking forward to that conversation, Chad thought to himself. I think that Susan?s anger last night was nothing compared to what Andrew?s anger will be next weekend! Maybe I should have told him everything I was planning for him seven years ago! But I didn?t want to get his hopes up if it didn?t work out. I hope he understands.
?I guess I will have to look for the South Beach gym I saw on MapQuest last night,? Andrew decided. ?I think they have a personal trainer on site; who I might be able to approach for a job down there. Mr. Malcolm said he is going to get me a work permit so that I can keep my employment intact down there.?
?I think I also realize now why you didn?t bring your barbells with you,? Chad said. ?There are already lots of weights at the South Beach gym for you to use.?
?Don?t forget the most important reason Dad,? Andrew reminded him, pointing to the metal detectors.
?Oh yeah, the barbells would set off the metal detectors, wouldn?t they?? Chad realized. ?That?s pretty smart of you son. You?re always trying to show how you?re one step ahead of the rest of us, aren?t you??
?I?m not one step ahead of you!? Andrew protested, pointing at his feet, which were behind his father?s. He moved forward a couple of steps until he was ahead of his father. ?Now I?m one step ahead of you!?
?You just can?t stop telling those jokes, can you son?? Chad asked Andrew, laughing and slapping his son?s broad shoulder. ?It really puts everyone at ease when you break the ice with jokes!?
?There?s no ice here,? Andrew grinned, as the rest of the group joined them. As Mr. Malcolm led them all to the waiting lounge, he added, ?In case you haven?t noticed, it?s October, not December! I thought you were supposed to be smart Dad!?
?Stop it!? Chad begged his son, holding up his hands. ?That?s enough for now! I can?t take any more!?
?Aren?t you glad that I use my mind to overwhelm others, instead of my muscles?? Andrew asked him, grinning. ?I found that my jokes really help others relax around me. Then they?re not scared of my great size anymore! Maybe that?s the secret to getting people comfortable around me.?
?As long as they have a sense of humour, I think you?re right,? Mr. Malcolm agreed, motioning Andrew to sit down on the couch. ?Now, did I hear you talking about the South Beach Gym??
?Yes you did sir,? Andrew replied. ?I was speaking to some of our fellow passengers earlier and they mentioned that they know Mark Stevenson; Mike?s brother. Do you think he has a membership at that gym??
?Yes he does,? Mr. Malcolm replied. ?Once we land in Miami, I can arrange for him to meet you there; after you check into your hotel of course. Did I hear you say that Mark has a brother named Mike??
?Yes you did sir,? Andrew replied; grinning. ?I start training him next week. I look forward to helping him reach his goals.?
?What are his goals?? Mr. Malcolm asked. ?Does he want to play football in University??
?I?m not sure,? Andrew replied. ?But he does want to go to your school, just like his brother does.?
?Does he play football like his brother?? Mr. Malcolm asked. ?I can tell you, Mark?s a great quarterback! He has a great shot at going pro!?
?Good to know my training helped him,? Andrew said, mostly to himself.
?He was trained by you personally?? Mr. Malcolm asked Andrew, a smile showing on his face. ?That explains why he keeps saying he wouldn?t be on our team if it wasn?t for you! I had wondered what he was talking about. Thanks for clearing that up, Andrew, and thanks for providing us with a great freshman quarterback!?
?You?re welcome sir,? Andrew said, lowering his head. He was embarrassed by all the attention, but then he decided to make a conscious effort to enjoy it. He looked up again and added, ?Mark Stevenson is not the only small kid I have successfully trained to become a football player.?
?What do you mean?? Mr. Malcolm asked, checking his watch.
?I trained Ralph and Connor as well,? Andrew replied, pointing a massive arm in their direction. ?They just joined the team last year.?
?And they?ve reached scholarship level already!? Mr. Malcolm reminded him. ?You must be a great Personal Trainer!?
"Well, I wouldn't know about that," Andrew said modestly. "But it seems that Mark, my first trainee, benefited from my training, so I guess I did a good enough job with him."
"Did you just say that Mark was your first trainee?" Mr. Malcolm asked Andrew in astonishment. "I would never have known that by the results! He didn't even have to red shirt this season, so you must have taught him a lot about football as well!"
"Well, he was on our high school team for the last two years," Andrew reminded Mr. Malcolm. "But what did you mean when you used the term 'red shirt'? I don't think I have ever heard that term before."
"Probably because you've never had to do it," Mr. Malcolm told him. "And I can assure you, you won't be red shirting, or riding the bench, during any game at our school either!"
"I hope I won't have to ride the bench," Andrew said. "I think I've got it now. Red shirting means sitting on the bench most of the season, even though you practice with all the players."
"That's exactly right," Mr. Malcolm said. "Red shirting is somewhat similar to the three month probation in most jobs."
"I get it now," Andrew said. "I've only had one job in my life, and I breezed past that three month probation with no trouble!"
"It didn't have anything to do with your father being the Fitness Manager of the company did it?" Mr. Malcolm asked him.
"How did you know about that?" Andrew asked him. "I never told you that did I?"
"No you didn't," Mr. Malcolm confirmed. "But your parents and I had quite a long talk about your past, present and future while you were having fun with your friends last night."
"Ah, I understand now," Andrew said. "But to get back to your question: no my hiring did not have anything to do with my father being the Fitness Manager of the company at the time. He did have to interview me, but I brought Mark with me, who I had been training for one month at that point. Mark vouched for my personal training skills, and also explained how much his strength had improved under my tutelage in only one month. So my father ended up hiring us both; Mark as a salesman and myself as a Personal Trainer intern."
"That must have been great for you," Mr. Malcolm said. "You must be really happy, having your passion as a job. Are you a fully certified Personal Trainer by now?"
"Yes I am sir," Andrew replied, opening up his wallet and showing Mr. Malcolm his Trainer card. "I've been certified for almost one year now. In fact, it was one of my birthday presents last year, getting my certification. Of course my brand new Honda was a great gift as well! That was a great 17th birthday!"
"Well, that must have been a lot of fun for you," Mr. Malcolm said, checking his watch again. "We still have a few minutes before our plane reaches the docking arm. Tell me more about Mark; like how did you first meet him?"
"He asked me for personal training on my first day of high school," Andrew replied, joining Mr. Malcolm at the window. As they looked over the runway, he added, "Frankly I was amazed that a Grade Ten student would approach a Grade Nine student for weight training advice! Especially with all the other jocks at the school!"
"I think your reputation for athletic performance preceded your arrival at high school," Mr. Malcolm said. "Coach Everson told me he came to your public school to scout you and he was very impressed with your football skills even then!"
"Well I'm glad I was able to make a good impression," Andrew said, smiling. "I only hope I can make the same positive impact on the NFL when the time comes."
"Don't worry about that Andrew," Mr. Malcolm assured him. "Your skills and raw power blew me away! I'm sure the NFL coaches will be just as impressed with you! When we arrange a longer visit, I may have to arrange a meeting with the Miami Dolphins, so that you can meet your future head on!"
"Do you expect me to butt heads with them?" Andrew asked him, grinning at his joke.
"Oh you're on fire today!" Mr. Malcolm laughed, patting Andrew on his massive shoulder.
"I guess you'd better get the extinguisher over there and put out the flames!" Andrew chuckled, pointing with one massive arm.
"You're a really funny guy Andrew!" Mr. Malcolm chuckled. "Tell me a bit more about Mark's progress during your training sessions."
"One year ago, he was only 150 pounds, but he was benching 300 pounds," Andrew replied. "He's really strong for his size! He packed on twenty pounds of muscles last school year! By June, he was up to 170 pounds of solid muscle, and he could bench 400 pounds!"
"Well he's up to a 500 pound bench-press now!" Mr. Malcolm informed him. "And he weighs 195 pounds now!"
"25 pounds of muscle growth in four months is pretty impressive," Andrew said, grinning at Mark's progress. "I guess I'll get to see just how muscular he is when I see him at South Beach later this afternoon."
"Knowing more about his past helps explain his performance on our team today," Mr. Malcolm said. "He has a real shot at going pro, and it may not have happened without your support over the years! Thanks a lot Andrew!"
"You're welcome sir," Andrew said, pleased that his training had helped other people over the years. "It makes my job all worthwhile, knowing that I have helped others realize their potential."
"I think you've called me 'sir' enough today," Mr. Malcolm informed Andrew. "It's time you started calling me Alan again. Since I've been calling you by your first name all this time, it seems only fair."
"Good idea," Andrew agreed, noticing a plane coming closer to their boarding tunnel. "Is that our plane approaching?"
"I believe it is," Malcolm said, checking his ticket and his watch. "Yes that's it; a few minutes ahead of schedule as well." He turned away from the window and said, "Everyone get their tickets ready; it's almost time to get on board!"
As everyone got their tickets out, Carrie stepped up Andrew, who said, "I'm getting really excited. This is it: we're on our way to the Sunshine State!"
"Calm down Andrew," Carrie advised him, laying a gentle hand on his shoulder. "The ticket lady is signaling us; it's time to board the plane."
Andrew and Carrie joined the rest of the group, and they handed their tickets to the ticket lady one by one.
"Enjoy your flight," the ticket lady said to them.
"Thank you," Mr. Malcolm said, ushering everyone down the boarding tunnel.
"Looks like we've got seats right next to each other," Andrew commented to Carrie, checking their seat numbers.
"That's great," Carrie said, holding Andrew's hand as they walked down the boarding tunnel. "Who gets the window seat?"
"I think I do," Andrew replied, handing Carrie's ticket back to her. "Unless you'd like to switch seats."
"No you keep the window seat," Carrie advised him. She smiled seductively and added, "I'll have to be content with the view inside the plane."
"Oh really," Andrew grinned as he stepped inside the First Class cabin. "I see what you're thinking of; it's written all over your face!" Once they were sitting in their seats, Andrew leaned over to Carrie and added, "I'll make sure the view is well worth it!"
Once everyone was in their seats, with their luggage in the overhead compartment, Mr. Malcolm finally relaxed, pleased that he had managed to get everyone on the plane safely.
I have never brought such a big group down to the school before, he thought to himself. It is usually just one player and his parents on the Canadian Thanksgiving scouting visit. But I saw so many potential football stars on this scouting visit; I just had to bring them down to Miami today!
Connor and Ralph leaned over to Andrew from across the aisle and Connor said, "This is really exciting man, going down to the Sunshine State! I've never been there before, you know!"
"Gee, I could never have guessed," Andrew teased him, grinning smugly.
"Well I am serious," Connor assured him, staring out the window past Andrew's massive chest. "Can't you suck in your chest a bit more man? I can't tell if we're moving or not!"
"I can't help it!" Andrew protested, looking out the window himself. "I have too much muscle on me to be thin enough to see around!" He grinned and flexed his pecs, and Connor was amazed.
"When did you learn to do that?" he asked Andrew.
"Just a few months ago," Andrew replied. "But to answer your first question: yes we are moving now."
"Attention all passengers," the captain said over the intercom. "It is now 12:55 pm and the tower has cleared us for takeoff. We will be airborne within two minutes. Make sure all your belongings are secure in the overhead compartments and enjoy the flight to Miami. Thank you for flying American Airlines today."
The plane began to move down the runway, picking up speed as it went. Then it lifted off, pressing everyone back into their seats with the G-forces. Andrew decided to resist the G-forces, so that he could see how strong he really was. He was pleased that he could resist the G-forces, forcing his back away from the seat.
"This will have to be my workout today," Andrew said to Carrie.
"I'll give you more of a workout when we level out," Carrie promised, smiling at him.
"Whoa, whoa, calm down girl!" Andrew advised her, smiling. "You just can't get enough of my muscles, can you?"
"Can you blame me?" Carrie asked him, reaching over and massaging his massive pecs. "Your muscles are so attractive, I can't stop touching them!"
"Why, do they have magnets in them?" Andrew teased her, grinning.
"Stop that!" Carrie laughed, trying to slap his chest.
Andrew quickly caught her hand in mid-slap, concerned that she would hurt herself.
"What are you going to do now?" Andrew asked her, grinning smugly. "I've got you now, Carrie!"
"I was all yours anyway," Carrie reminded him, trying to free her hand. "I'm not going anywhere, especially if you don't let me go!"
"Want me to let you go now?" Andrew asked her, smiling at her futile attempts to escape his iron grip.
"Yes please," Carrie replied, smiling at Andrew's gentle grip, even while he kept her hands pinned together. "Just don't do this for real!"
"Not to worry, I won't," Andrew assured her, releasing her hands.
The plane leveled out after a few moments, at a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet. Andrew looked up and saw the seatbelt sign go out. He looked around the cabin and noticed that none of the autograph seekers were in that section of the plane.
"Looking for Rick and his friends?" Carrie asked Andrew, smiling at him.
"Yes I am," Andrew replied, deciding not to deny the fact that he craved the attention of his fans. "I'm going to talk to them for a few minutes; I'll be back later."
"Have fun chatting with your fans!" Carrie called out to him, as Andrew walked through the curtain. Andrew stopped midway through the curtain and flexed his bicep for Carrie. "Now I have something to look forward to when you get back!" Carrie told him.
Andrew grinned and disappeared into the Coach section of the plane. He saw Rick and his friends waving at him, and he walked over to them.
"You can sit here while you talk to us," Rick told him, motioning to the empty seat beside him. "I'd love to hear more about your football career so far."
"Sure man, "Andrew said agreeably. "I'd be glad to fill you in on all the events that made me the man I am today."
Back in the First Class section of the plane, Carrie turned towards Ralph and said, "Andrew's really fitting into the Sports Star Mode, isn't he?"
"Yes he is," Connor agreed. "It's quite an amazing thing to see, considering he was just an ordinary football player last season."
"I wonder if we will get swarmed like he does, just because of our association with him," Ralph wondered.
"I wonder if he gets any special discounts or special treatment because he's going to be a football star," Connor wondered.
"This trip in First Class proves that he does," Mr. Malcolm said, looking around the cabin for Andrew. "You two will probably get special treatment as well, given the fact that both of you will get scholarships to our school as well. Don't tell Andrew, but a limo will take us all to the Hurricane's game today, while another limo takes all your luggage to your hotel in South Beach." He looked around the cabin some more and finally realized that Andrew wasn't there. "Is Andrew going to spend the entire trip back in the Coach section? We do have a few things to discuss; since he is one of the main reasons for this trip." He stopped himself from saying 'the main reason for this trip?; noticing Ralph, Connor and Carrie were still within hearing range. "Would you mind getting your son for me, Mr. Pearson?"
"Sure, I'd be glad to," Chad said agreeably. "You can call me Chad, Mr. Malcolm."
"No problem Chad," Mr. Malcolm said. "You can call me Alan then. So, if you can go get Andrew, then I can get him prepared for his reception at the airport."
"What reception?" Chad asked, pausing halfway out of his seat. "Why do I get the feeling you're not just talking about fans?"
"Because you're just as smart as your son," Alan replied. "Remember how Mr. Henderson came up from Florida State and already knew who Andrew was?"
"Yes I do," Chad replied. "I had wondered about that. How did Mr. Henderson find out about Andrew? You didn't tell him, did you?"
"No I did not," Alan replied. "I wouldn't want Mr. Henderson to steal Andrew away from our school! You may not have seen how he tried to do that at the game last night. Florida State happens to be one of the chief rivals of our school on the gridiron."
"If I hadn't played football myself, I may not have understood that reference," Chad realized. "So, how exactly did Mr. Henderson find out about Andrew anyway?"
"The news reports of the car lifting were broadcast all over the continent the next day," Alan replied. "Fortunately Coach Everson called me just after the interview, so I was able to get a head start on the recruiting visit planning. I was certainly motivated once I remembered that you had also gone to our school! Anyway, there were news cameras at the Miami airport when I left. I guess they caught wind of my trip up north this weekend. Even though I told them nothing more than the fact that I was going on a recruiting visit, they knew there was only one person I would be coming to Canada to see. It would have to be someone really important to get me away from Miami the day before one of our football games! Your son is really one of a kind, Chad! We're really counting on him to sign with us next year! What do you think: will he sign with us?"
"I believe he will," Chad replied. "I think I'm getting the hint; there will be news cameras waiting for us at the airport."
"You're right," Alan agreed, pleased that Chad had figured it out. "Sorry about talking for so long! I guess I get a little long-winded when I get excited about a potential football star! And your son certainly has the makings of a future Heisman Trophy Winner!"
"Well I'm certainly glad that Andrew is starting down the path to glory on the gridiron," Chad said, smiling at the thought. "I'm just curious why you didn't tell us about a possible media frenzy down here."
"I just realized all this just now," Mr. Malcolm replied.
"Ah I understand now," Chad said. "I'll go get Andrew now."
Back in Coach, Andrew was chatting with his teenage fans. He had told a few of his jokes, which had helped drain away any nervousness his fans felt at his size. In fact, when Chad walked through the curtain, he saw Andrew in mid-flex, with a girl massaging his massive bicep. Everyone around Andrew marveled at the size of his massive flexed bicep.
"Excuse me, but Andrew's presence is requested back in the First Class cabin," Chad said, trying not to be too amazed at the huge veins running down Andrew's flexed arm.
"Coming Dad," Andrew said, grinning. He got up from his seat and then saw the disappointed look on his fans? faces. "Don't worry; you guys can see me at South Beach tomorrow. We're staying at the Marriot Hotel, near Ocean Park."
Andrew smiled as he saw the disappointed look leave the faces of his fans.
But the smile on his face faded when Chad said, "You shouldn't let girls feel up your biceps like that son."
"Just trying to keep the fans happy," Andrew protested, making sure he was out of hearing range of his fans.
"Believe me, I understand son," Chad said, laying a big hand on his son's massive shoulder. "I got lots of attention from the female fans when I played football for the Hurricanes, especially at the beach. But you have to be careful with your fans son! You don't want Carrie to get jealous, seeing some strange girl feeling up your bicep like that, do you?"
"No I don't Dad," Andrew said, realizing how close he had come to cheating on Carrie. "I guess I was just too focused on pleasing the fans to remember Carrie at that moment."
"Fans come and go; you want Carrie to be with you forever, don't you?" Chad asked.
"Of course I do," Andrew said quietly.
"So put yourself in her place," Chad said. "How would you have felt if you had seen some strange guy rubbing Carrie's arm?"
Andrew's face turned red with fury and he said, "I'd smash his bloody face in! Any guy who tries to touch my girl will never get up again!"
"Then imagine how mad Carrie would have been if she had seen what I just saw," Chad said.
"I see what you mean," Andrew said, remembering his earlier conversation with Carrie about admirers on the beach. "I hope you won't tell Carrie what you saw just now."
"I won't," Chad said, noticing his son's iron grip on his arm. When he looked into Andrew's eyes, he saw a pleading look there, instead of the look of dominance he expected. "If I could have my arm back, I'd appreciate it son." Andrew let go quickly, concerned that he had accidentally hurt Chad. "I'm okay son," Chad assured Andrew, hoping that Andrew didn't notice him massaging his arm. Chad was sure he felt handprints on his forearm, but he forced down his fear and said, "I won't cover for you either, however. I won't say, 'Carrie's coming' if you're in the middle of another 'fan pleasing session', understand?"
"Okay, I get it Dad," Andrew assured his father.
"I hope so, because not all fans have pure motives," Chad advised him. "That may be why the word fan is derived from the word fanatic!"
"Are you trying to scare me Dad?" Andrew asked.
"Just letting you know the potential consequences of being a player with the girls," Chad clarified.
"As opposed to being a player on the football field," Andrew said, grinning. "But I could also be called a 'Goliath on the Gridiron', couldn't I?"
"That's true," Chad said, smiling as he understood his son's reference. "Just be glad that Carrie is close by; she'll keep you from straying."
"Thanks Dad," Andrew said, heading back to his seat. He leaned over to give Carrie a quick kiss and asked her, "Did you request my presence?"
"Actually I did," Mr. Malcolm said, standing up from his seat at the front of the plane. "Would you mind joining me up here please?"
"Sure man, I'd be glad to," Andrew agreed, coming up to the Coach's seat. "So, what's up sir? What did you want to talk about?"
"Did your father tell you?" Mr. Malcolm asked him.
"Tell me what?" Andrew asked.
"I'll take that as a 'no' then," Mr. Malcolm said. "I want to tell you about the potential media frenzy you may face when we land in Miami."
"What media frenzy would that be?" Andrew asked in confusion.
"Did you ever wonder how those people in the terminal knew who you were?"
"Carrie mentioned something about the news footage of my car lifting reaching them," Andrew replied.
"That's because the TV signals from Canada travel across the border," Mr. Malcolm informed him. "If the news stories are important enough, they get picked up by all American stations and relayed across the country."
"Is that how Mr. Henderson found out about me?" Andrew asked. "I thought he came just to see Steve play!"
"That was his main reason for coming," Mr. Malcolm agreed. "But he did come to see you as well, after seeing your footage. I see that your reputation for being brainy is well deserved Andrew!"
"Aww stop it sir, you're embarrassing me," Andrew said, ducking his head in embarrassment.
"Nothing to be embarrassed about Andrew," Mr. Malcolm assured him. "It shows that you?re well rounded. The media will love that. They may be waiting for you when we touch down, actually."
"How come?" Andrew asked. "Did you tell them you were coming to Orillia to scout me?"
"As much as I wanted to, no I didn't," Mr. Malcolm replied. "I just said that I was going on a scouting visit. It's a little hard for me, as the Head Coach of a big football school, to slip away unnoticed. So I had to tell them something, when they intercepted me at the airport. They figured out where I was going by checking the flight schedule and figured out that I was coming to scout you. After the news reports last month, they knew that there was only one person I would be going to see in the Toronto area. That would be you, Andrew."
"What about Steve?" Andrew asked. "If he wasn't committed to Florida State, his dad's old school, would you have scouted him as well?"
"Yes I would have," Mr. Malcolm replied. "His plays were very impressive on the field last night. But I'm not about to try to steal him away from the school he wants to go to, like Mr. Henderson tried to do with you."
"I see," Andrew said, realizing that the rivalry between University of Miami and Florida State was not just a rumor. "So you decided to settle for me."
"I was hardly settling!" Mr. Malcolm corrected Andrew. "You were the only reason I came up to Orillia," he added, lowering his voice so Ralph and Connor didn't hear him. "Fortunately for Ralph and Connor, I saw how well they played, so I recruited them too."
"I understand now," Andrew said, smiling at the thought of being the main reason for Mr. Malcolm's visit to Canada. "I'm glad that you found my athletic achievements important enough to scout me. I'm beginning to enjoy my 'celebrity'. Do you think there will be any autograph seekers at the airport when we land?"
"I don't think so," Mr. Malcolm said, realizing that he had forgotten to tell Andrew something else.
?Why not?? Andrew asked him. ?Is my fame wearing out or something??
?That?s a pretty healthy ego you have there, Andrew,? Mr. Malcolm said, frowning slightly. ?But I guess you?ll need that confidence where you?re going! To answer your question, no your fame has not worn off. But with the Miami Hurricane?s football game at 4:15 pm today, I?m sure that all the media is there today. I may have you come down to the field at halftime and meet your future teammates.?
?And end up right in the path of all the television cameras,? Andrew realized, looking slightly uncomfortable. ?How do I handle the attention from all the media and news reporters??
?You seemed to do pretty well one month ago,? Mr. Malcolm remembered. ?You were very confident in that interview.?
?I was in the room with just a few people then,? Andrew reminded him. ?The interview wasn?t live either.?
?Sounds like you may have a hidden shy streak that you?re just revealing now,? Mr. Malcolm realized. ?Good thing I told you about the game and the reporters before we landed.?
?So how do I deal with my shyness?? Andrew asked him.
?I think if you just pretend you?re alone with each fan, that should work,? Mr. Malcolm advised him. ?Just put the cameras out of your mind and flex your biceps. From what I?ve seen, your shyness vanishes whenever you show off your muscles.?
?Can you blame me for that?? Andrew sneered, flexing his 31 inch bicep. ?Why shouldn?t I be confident, showing off the pipes that let me bench my car? I bet that surprised you sir!?
?It certainly did,? Mr. Malcolm agreed. ?Your strength is really scary Andrew, but at least you seem to be a really nice guy.?
?Thank you sir,? Andrew said, smiling softly. ?I don?t usually have the urge to dominate people with my great strength. I?d rather help them out, like I helped Carrie out when I lifted my car out of the ditch. I was afraid I had hurt myself doing that, but I guess my performance in practice proved that I hadn?t.?
?You know, you may have just stumbled upon the best way to make people comfortable around you,? Mr. Malcolm realized. ?If you use your great strength to help people, they will be too grateful to be scared of you. Then they will be your fans out of gratitude.?
?Don?t you mean ?friends? sir?? Andrew asked him.
?No, I actually used the term ?fans? deliberately,? Mr. Malcolm corrected him. ?Fans like you because of what you can do for them. Friends like you because of who you are, even if you do nothing for them. I?ve been around enough sports stars to figure out the difference. After all, Rick and his friends never talked to you before you became famous, did they??
?You?re right sir,? Andrew realized. ?I had never thought about that before. I?m glad you, and my dad, have been filling me in on all this new information.?
?There?s a lot more to being a sports star than simply playing the sport,? Mr. Malcolm informed Andrew. ?But your father is a great person to tell you what it?s like from the perspective of the sports star, having been one himself. I?ll also be here for you, knowing what sports stars experience today.?
?Thank you sir,? Andrew said gratefully. ?That was a great explanation of the difference between fan and friend sir.?
?Glad I could help explain the difference to you,? Mr. Malcolm said. ?I just have one question before we continue.?
?What?s that sir?? Andrew asked.
?Why do you keep calling me sir?? Mr. Malcolm asked him.
?Do I?? Andrew asked, smiling. When Mr. Malcolm nodded, Andrew said, ?I didn?t realize I was doing that.?
?I?m not your superior officer in the military,? Mr. Malcolm informed him. ?I?m a football coach, not a drill sergeant!?
?Are you sure there?s a difference there?? Andrew teased him, grinning at his joke.
?You?re a really funny guy Andrew!? Mr. Malcolm laughed. ?If I didn?t have a great sense of humour, I might have taken offense at that joke!?
?I could make two more jokes with your choice of words,? Andrew informed him, grinning smugly.
?I get the first one,? Mr. Malcolm said. ?You?d try to link it to the football field somehow, wouldn?t you??
?Yes sir,? Andrew said, pleased that Mr. Malcolm was getting his jokes.
?How could you make a second joke from the term ?offense? Andrew?? Mr. Malcolm asked.
?If you keep pronouncing it like the words ?a fence?, I?ll have no trouble making jokes,? Andrew informed him. ?I can tell you what I?d do if I took ?a fence? sir!?
?What would you do, Andrew?? Mr. Malcolm asked him, realizing that Andrew would keep calling him ?sir? throughout the visit to Miami.
?I?d smash the boards to pieces, after ripping the entire fence out of the ground!? Andrew replied, grinning at the thought.
?That may not be a bad idea, if you know someone who can?t afford to have it done professionally,? Mr. Malcolm realized. ?Use your great strength to perform community service and let out your aggression at the same time!?
?Good idea sir,? Andrew agreed, feeling a sense of peace wash over him. He realized now that there were more ways that he could show off his muscles while helping others. ?Not to be rude, but didn?t we get a bit off track with that discussion??
?Off track?? Mr. Malcolm repeated. ?We?re not on a train Andrew! We?re on a plane, and it?s not off course!?
?Very funny jokes sir!? Andrew laughed. ?I guess I?m not the only one who can make two jokes out of one statement! But how can you tell we?re on the right course, sir??
?I?ve made this same flight dozens of times Andrew,? Mr. Malcolm informed him. ?I have a frequent flyer discount with American Airlines; I?ve taken this flight so many times! I would therefore know if we?re off course!?
?Understood sir,? Andrew said. ?So, you said you had one more question before we continued. We have had a whole separate discussion now.?
?Ah yes, but I remember what I wanted to talk to you about next,? Mr. Malcolm said. ?What were you doing back in Coach anyway? I bought you and your family First Class tickets so that you could get a small taste of your upcoming celebrity status. Were you feeling nostalgic for the old days when you were just an anonymous football player??
?Possibly,? Andrew replied. ?But I also wanted to spend some time with my fans back in Coach. Is this how it?s going to be from now on: me in First Class instead of Coach??
?Don?t get ahead of yourself Andrew,? Mr. Malcolm advised him.
?A little hard to do that without a clone,? Andrew joked.
?Very funny Andrew!? Mr. Malcolm laughed. ?But I do have a favour to ask, if you don?t mind.?
?What would that be?? Andrew asked him, glad that each of his jokes could make Mr. Malcolm laugh.
?If you could save the jokes until we?re done our talk, I?ll do the same,? Mr. Malcolm requested. ?We really need to have this serious talk before we land. Do you think you can stop the jokes for a few moments??
?Understood sir,? Andrew said, glad that Mr. Malcolm asked him nicely.
?Thank you Andrew,? Mr. Malcolm said. ?Now, to answer your question, you won?t be in First Class all the time. It?s a good thing too, because you seem to miss the old days!?
?That?s true sir,? Andrew replied. ?I wish I was the type who could instantly adjust to my new role in life, but I seem to be having trouble.?
?Hard to instantly adapt when you were instantly transformed into a superhuman football star,? Mr. Malcolm realized.
?The word ?transformed? is quite an accurate description of what happened,? Andrew agreed. ?I?m going to have a little chat with a certain someone next weekend about that very subject.? He cast a not so subtle glance back at his father and his face turned red with anger briefly. Then he turned back to Mr. Malcolm and added, ?But this trip is more about ?fun in the sun,? isn?t it??
?You?re right,? Mr. Malcolm agreed, glad that Andrew was not mad at him. ?But I think I know someone who has had no trouble adapting to your new role in life.?
?Who?s that sir?? Andrew asked him. ?Are you talking about Carrie??
?That?s true,? Mr. Malcolm replied. ?You?re pretty smart Andrew.?
?Thank you sir,? Andrew said. ?And you?re right; Carrie is the only one who is not scared of me. Maybe it?s because she sees me everyday.?
?Which would mean that she can get used to gradual increases in your size and strength,? Mr. Malcolm realized.
?That?s exactly right,? Andrew agreed. ?But I?m sure she doesn?t know that I can bench 6000 pounds now.?
?You didn?t tell her last night?? Mr. Malcolm asked in surprise.
?Hey, we don?t talk about me all the time!? Andrew informed him. ?Last night we were talking about us! And that?s all I?ve got to say about that.?
?Understood,? Mr. Malcolm said, noticing how Andrew had quickly dropped the ?sir? when he was slightly angry. ?But I do have one last question.?
?You always seem to have ?one last question? sir,? Andrew realized, grinning as he calmed down again.
?I guess you?re right,? Mr. Malcolm agreed, grinning back at Andrew.
?I should be, I?m right handed,? Andrew said, unable to resist one last joke. ?I know you said to leave the jokes aside for now, but I couldn?t resist sir.?
?That?s okay,? Mr. Malcolm assured him. ?We?re nearly done. My last question is: Why do you always call me sir??
?Too much time spent with Matt and his army buddies,? Andrew realized.
?Mike?s older brother Matt, the one in the Army Reserves?? Mr. Malcolm asked.
?That?s the one,? Andrew confirmed. ?He?s been in Beavers, Scouts, Cadets, and now he?s in the Army Reserves!?
?Hey, good for him,? Mr. Malcolm said approvingly. ?I?d glad to hear that he?s serving his country proudly. Have you ever thought about doing the same thing? Your father tells me that you have spent a lot of time on that Military Base.?
?I have spent a lot of time at that base, due to my father supplying a lot of their fitness equipment,? Andrew stated. ?I?m just so focused on football, I?m not sure I?d have time to join the Reserves though, especially since I?ll be playing football down here.?
?You?re probably right,? Mr. Malcolm realized. ?That?s too bad; you?d really be a great soldier, especially with your respect for authority. And let?s not forget about your great size and strength!?
?A little hard to do that, considering the size of these massive biceps!? Andrew bragged, flexing his massive 31 inch arms. ?But maybe if I eventually get American Citizenship, I could join the military down here,? Andrew said. ?Do you think you could look into that for me??
?I?d be glad to,? Mr. Malcolm agreed. ?But you should really talk to Colonel Mitchell when you get back to Canada. He may be able to fit Reserves Training around your football training schedule. If I?m not mistaken, it?s one weekend a month and two weeks a year.?
?Good idea sir!? Andrew said, smiling at the thought of more ways to use his great strength in helpful ways. ?Is that all you wanted to talk about? Can I go back and sit with Carrie now??
"Go right ahead," Mr. Malcolm said. "It looks like your father is finished his conversation with Carrie. He should be ready to come back up here and take your place beside me."
Andrew was relieved when Alan stood up and waved Chad over. It gave Andrew a chance to hide his look of guilt, by bending down to tie up his loose shoelace. When he stood up again, he grinned at his dad.
"Hey Dad, what's up?" Andrew asked, straightening up to his full height. He grinned as he towered over his father by almost six inches. "Did you have a good talk with Carrie?"
"Yes I did," Chad replied, trying to hide his fear of Andrew's great size. "She would like to talk with you now."
"Sure I'll talk to her now," Andrew said agreeably. "See you later Dad." He walked back to Carrie's seat and sat down beside her. "You wanted to talk to me?" he asked her, holding her hand gently.
"Yes I did," Carrie replied, squeezing his hand softly in return. "I thought you were going to sit with your fans during the whole trip!"
"Naw, I was just keeping the fans happy," Andrew corrected her. "They looked pretty sad when I left them!"
"That's probably because you were showing off your muscles for them!" Carrie reminded him. "Your dad told me all about that!" She glared at him and then added, "I am the only one who gets to see your muscles!" She grinned to let him know she was kidding. "Your muscles are all mine little man!"
"Who you calling little?" Andrew sneered, flexing his massive rippling bicep. "And another thing; the only way my muscles could be yours is if they're on your body!" He reached over and hugged her gently. "And this is the closest you'll get to having my muscles on your body!"
"I'm not complaining," Carrie purred, rubbing his massive pecs and washboard abs through his skintight t-shirt. "You're so big and strong, you muscle god! And you're all mine!"
"I'm so glad to be yours, you know," Andrew said softly, rubbing her face softly. He wondered how he could ever have looked at anyone else; much less let them feel his muscles. "You're so beautiful, you know."
"No I don't know," Carrie teased him, grinning. She stared into his soft blue eyes and snuggled deeper into his massive arms. Once she was nestled against his massive pecs, she added, "Why don't you tell me all about it?"
"Are you sure you want to hear that mushy stuff that makes you cry?" Andrew asked her, massaging her shoulders gently.
"Don't you worry about that," Carrie assured him. "They'll be tears of joy, believe me!"
"Okay," Andrew agreed, massaging her neck softly. "Your skin is so soft and smooth, Carrie!" He traced his fingers softly along her cheek with a feather-light touch. "Your eyes are so beautiful! I love their hazel colour and I love you!"
"I love you too," Carrie whispered, leaning her head up against his warm chest. "Your heartbeat is really fast! But it sounds really strong and steady as well!"
"That must be why I am so strong," Andrew realized. "All that blood rushing to my muscles at that speed; feeding them and making them bigger. I wonder what could be making my heart beat so fast; making my muscles bigger at a much faster rate than normal apparently! Did you know that I weigh 350 pounds as of last night?"
"350 pounds of solid muscle, you mean," Carrie reminded him, rubbing his ripped abs softly. "I'm not surprised; you've put on about 25 pounds of muscle every month since July! And you thought you wouldn't put on any more weight when you seemed to get stuck at 275 pounds a year ago!"
"I may have reached my normal physical plateau one year ago," Andrew realized. "But I must have reached a strength plateau as well! I only increased my bench press by 40 pounds in Grade Eleven, instead of the usual 100!"
"But you obviously got a lot more ripped and defined over that time," Carrie reminded him, tracing the contours of his massive pecs. "Your six-pack was a lot more defined by the end of Grade Eleven! I hope you remember the last time we had a 'contour tracing' session."
"That night in the boat," Andrew remembered, smiling softly as he ran his fingers along the small of her back. "That was the most relaxed I have ever felt in all the time I have spent with you. Except for right now, that is."
"I feel the same way," Carrie sighed, relaxing slowly as the warmth of Andrew's gentle touch flowed into her. She tucked her head under Andrew's chin and added, "Just remember the promise we made to each other last night."
"About waiting until our wedding night," Andrew said, smiling at her softly. "Don't you worry; I want our first time to be special as well. I look forward to it, and I'm sure it will be well worth the wait."
As Carrie looked into his blue eyes and saw the tender look there, Carrie felt very relieved. Any doubts she had vanished, because she now knew Andrew would wait for her until she was ready. She was very glad that Andrew wasn't going to pressure her into something she wasn't ready for.
"I love you so much, you know, especially since you're not putting any pressure on me," Carrie sighed in contentment.
"How about now?" Andrew teased her, pressing her back muscles softly with his fingers. "How's the pressure now?"
"That's not what I meant Andrew," Carrie declared. "I'm trying to have a serious talk here; it's not the time for jokes!"
"Understood," Andrew said; smiling as Carrie struggled uselessly in his iron grip, even though it was really gentle.
His grin faded however, when Carrie said, "I need to turn around, Andrew! You have to loosen your grip!"
"Sorry about that," Andrew apologized, lifting his hands off her back so that Carrie could face him. "My grip must be really strong if you can't move even when it's gentle!"
"You're right about that," Carrie agreed, staring into his soft blue eyes. As she saw the gentle look there, she knew that Andrew would never hurt her deliberately. "Your strength is pretty scary Andrew, even when you use a gentle grip!"
"Not to worry, I'll always let you go if you ask me to," Andrew informed her. "I just hope you won't ask me to, that's all."
"Why do I get the feeling you're not talking about the strength of your grip anymore?" Carrie asked him.
"Because you know me so well," Andrew said, smiling softly at her. "So, could you answer my question please?"
"Since you said 'please', sure I will," Carrie replied. "The only way I would leave is if you cheated on me! Make sure you don't do that, if you ever want to see me again!"
"Not to worry about that," Andrew assured her, promising himself that he would never let another girl touch his muscles. "I could never leave you either."
He laid his hand softly against the side of her face and then tilted her head back. Carrie saw where he was going and leaned into his embrace as he kissed her softly. Carrie relaxed completely and smiled with contentment as he stroked her hair softly.
When they finally came up for air, Andrew said, "What were you talking about earlier, when you were talking about the pressure?"
"I'm glad you're not pressuring me to do something I don't want to do, yet," Carrie said, stoking his face softly.
"I want our first time to be special, so I'm willing to wait for it," Andrew reminded her. "There's only one first time, you know, and then it's gone."
"I understand," Carrie said; smiling as Andrew began to massage her back again. "I'm really lucky to have such a patient guy for a boyfriend."
"Sounds like a really great guy," Andrew said, smiling softly. "When do I get to meet him?" he asked with a joking grin.
"I was talking about you, you idiot!" Carrie snapped, smiling as she slapped his chest lightly. Then she shook her hand in pain and shouted, "Oww! Is your chest made of bricks?"
"No, just really rock-hard muscle," Andrew bragged, flexing his massive 31 inch bicep. "Come on girl, feel it and let me know what you think!"
Andrew was so wrapped up in his muscles; he forgot to make sure Carrie's hand was not really hurt. Carrie was about to mention that to him when Andrew noticed her massaging her sore hand.
"Hey, I didn't hurt you, did I Carrie?" Andrew asked her, concerned that her hand might be broken.
"No you didn't, I hurt myself!" Carrie replied.
"That's what you get for slapping my rock hard chest!" Andrew reminded her, grinning. "But if you want me to, I'll kiss it better." He picked up her hand gently and kissed it softly. "There, how's that? Does your hand feel better now?"
"Yes it does; thank you," Carrie said, smiling as she saw the tender look in Andrew's eyes. "I thought you were going to flex your bicep and let me feel it."
"Go ahead then girl, feel my muscles!" Andrew ordered her, flexing his huge bicep inches from her face. "Then you'll find out what real muscle feels like!"
?Feels like unlimited power!? Carrie marveled, stroking his massive bicep. Andrew?s eyes closed in contentment and he smiled softly. ?Are you going to show off your great strength in Miami??
?I might bench a car or two,? Andrew replied casually. He grinned at the thought and opened his eyes. He saw Carrie staring at him, amazed that he would talk so casually about lifting a few thousand pounds. When he saw her look of amazement turn into an excited grin, Andrew asked, ?My great strength really turns you on, doesn?t it?? When Carrie started to answer, Andrew put a finger on her lips firmly. ?Answer truthfully now; none of that ?you can?t turn me on without a switch? nonsense! Do we understand each other, Carrie??
?Understood,? Carrie said; smiling as Andrew frowned at her with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. ?You don?t do a very good job pretending to be angry, Andrew. Maybe you should stick to what you?re good at.?
?And what would that be?? Andrew asked her, smiling softly.
?Turning me on,? Carrie replied, smiling suggestively. ?If you?re a good boy, one day I?ll show you just how much you turn me on!? Noticing Andrew?s look of excitement, she added, ?But you?ll have to wait for our wedding night for that experience!? Andrew looked disappointed, but then he nodded with understanding, remembering their promise to each other the night before. ?In the meantime, I guess we?ll have to amuse ourselves with alternate activities.?
?What kinds of activities would those be?? Andrew asked, staring into Carrie?s hazel eyes and smiling softly. He hoped Carrie?s ideas involved more physical contact with her. ?I?ll do whatever you ask me to.?
?Just hold me in your arms while we gaze towards our future,? Carrie asked him, turning around so that Andrew formed a human shield around her. ?I feel so relaxed; I may fall asleep right now!?
?Go right ahead,? Andrew said. ?I?ll be right here when you wake up.?
?I know that,? Carrie assured him, smiling as she turned around to give Andrew a big kiss. She felt relieved that Andrew was still her boyfriend after almost four years. ?You?re such a great boyfriend, do you know that??
?No, you?ve never told me that before,? Andrew teased her, stroking her hair softly as she turned back towards the window. When Carrie glared up at him, Andrew looked down at her until a smile appeared on her face. ?You know I?m just joking, don?t you??
?Yes I do,? Carrie replied, smiling softly. ?I?m such a lucky girl to have such a great guy for a boyfriend. You think you?re just a big joker, don?t you??
?I?m a big something,? Andrew replied. ?I think the term ?muscle god? suits me best.?
?Funny man,? Carrie laughed, her eyes closing in relaxment. Her breathing began to slow and she murmured, ?Good night Andrew.?
?Good night Carrie,? Andrew said, deciding not to tell her it was still afternoon. ?Have a good sleep.?
He wasn?t sure if Carrie heard him, because it sounded to him as if she had already fallen asleep. Andrew stroked her hair softly and smiled to himself in contentment, realizing how lucky he was to have Carrie as a girlfriend. As he stared out the window at the clouds, he wondered what else the future had in store for him.
Sean Lackie
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