Body Punching Story
Jason Michaels is working out in his gym at home, upstairs from Donny Palmero’s coffee warehouse. Jason has a good setup… free weights and boxing gear, including a speed and heavy bag. Both are suspended from the high industrial ceiling. The blond-haired man likes to work up a heavy sweat before moving into his small ring for some sparring. But today he doesn’t have a partner, at least not yet.
It’s been 4 days since Jason ambushed Zander in the alley and worked him over with his fists. Jason’s mind goes back there every time he hits the heavy bag. He can’t help but imagine he’s digging punches into the street punk’s body. Man, he enjoyed beating up the younger guy. He’d sure like more of that action. But Zander hasn’t responded to Jason’s final challenge. It was a challenge to make something out his life and come work for Donny.
As if on cue, Jason’s doorbell rings. He grabs a towel on the way to the door and wipes the sweat off his face. Despite working for a mob boss, Jason doesn’t live in fear. He just opens the door to see who’s there. It’s Zander, and Jason has a hard time sounding unhappy: “What do you want?” Zander’s answer is straight to the point- “I thought about what you said. You’re right- I’m going nowhere fast. What can I do for you and Mr. Palmero?”
Jason likes Zander’s respectful attitude. “We need more guys in security, to watch the warehouse and take care of trouble spots. Think you can handle that?” Zander replies quickly- “Sure, show me what to do.”
“First, you need to learn how to handle yourself better than you did the other night.” Zander flashes a smile- “I know that’s right- I’m still sore.” He massages his stomach with his hand. Jason allows a tight smile of his own and clenches his right fist. “Yeah, I was a little rough on you. But like I said, you’ve got potential, and I was trying to knock some sense into you. Come on in.”
Jason turns and walks back inside. The dark-haired young man follows, closing the door behind. Jason heads straight for the workout room. Zander is impressed with the setup. He’s also impressed with his daylight view of Jason. The guy is tanned, muscled and handsome. Shirtless from his exercise, Jason wears only sweat pants hung low on the hips. Plus the towel draped over his shoulders. His body glistens with sweat. Jason throws off the towel, turns and faces Zander. “First thing you gotta learn is how to fight. Donny doesn’t go looking for trouble, but sometimes you have to take care of things with your fists.” Jason takes a fighting stance, and Zander experiences a surge of fear. These are the same fists which worked him over just days ago. Now he’s face-to-face with them again. Jason’s taller, stronger, and more experienced. What’s to prevent another beating? But Zander is game. He has a feeling Jason is a doorway to a new life, a life he can be proud of. “Okay, show me”
“Take off your shirt and we’ll go over a few moves.” Zander strips to the waist. He’s wearing a pair of old jeans. “You’re in good shape but it takes more than that to win a fight” Jason says, impressed with Zander’s condition. The young man is lean with tight muscles. Hair covers his solid chest in contrast to Jason’s smooth body. Zander also has strong arms. And Jason now sees the washboard gut he felt with his fists the other night. But overall Zander is not a big guy- both leaner and a couple inches shorter than Jason. So the kid will have to make up with skill what he lacks in stature.
Jason shows Zander a series of basic punches: jabs, crosses, blocks, uppercuts, and hooks to the body. No hard hitting, just examples. Jason is ready for more. “We should start with conditioning. I’ll set up a workout routine soon. But first, let’s get into the ring, spar a little, and see if you’ve learned anything.”
The two men climb in and face each other with clenched fists. “Gloves?” Zander asks. “You need ‘em?” Jason responds with a slight taunt. “Not if you don’t” is the answer. Zander doesn’t want to wimp out now. So the two shirtless men clench their fists and take fighting stances.
Jason goes on the offense, shooting out a couple of jabs which Zander blocks easily. They circle warily, Jason throwing all the punches. Suddenly, Zander blocks one jab, then counters with a right hook into Jason’s stomach. It’s a sharp blow, but one the bodyguard handles easily. “Good move” Jason mutters as he retaliates with a punch of his own to the gut. The blow slows Zander down briefly, so Jason follows up with a right-left combination to the stomach. Zander drops his guard to protect his belly. Jason seizes the opening with a right hook to the jaw, a punch which drops the younger man to the mat. Jason pulled the punch a little, but it did the job. “Lesson number one in fighting… protect your head. But you can’t protect your head if you can’t take a bodypunch. We’ll have to work on that gut of yours.”
“Thought you’d done that already,” Zander replies ruefully as he gets to his feet. ”Oh, I’m just getting started” Jason responds. As Zander starts to straighten up, Jason buries a right hook into his midsection. Zander’s torso curls up over the fist. Jason straightens him up, then digs another punch into the gut. A third time Jason opens up Zander then slugs him hard in the stomach. Zander is kept standing only by the fist stuck in his gut. Zander’s body is bent over, leaving his head vulnerable again. Jason smashes his left fist down across Zander’s jaw, driving the young man back down to his knees. Again, he pulled the punch a little. No sense hurting his hand, or Zander, too much. But again, the punch delivered the message. “See what happens when you can’t take a gutpunch? You’ve got big problems.”
Zander’s getting pissed. He’s not used to being knocked around like this. He regains his feet with the challenge “You think you’re that tough? Let’s see what you can take.”
“Sure, try me.” With that Jason motions Zander to bring it on. Jason doubles his fists and holds them tight around his head. The stance leaves his washboard stomach unprotected. The body language is clear- I won’t let you punch me in the face, but here are my abs for you to bang.
Zander accepts the invitation. He wades in with both fists flying, driving a right, a left, another right into Jason’s unprotected body. The bare fists land on bare gut, right around the navel. Zander’s knuckles hit hard muscle, apparently with no effect. Jason lets loose with a soft “uuuhhh” with each punch, but it’s more an expression of defiance than pain.
Jason allows Zander to back him up against the corner of the ring as Zander works the body. One fist after another finds Jason’s stomach. Zander uses underhanded and sidearm punches to pound the body in front of him. The thud of bare fist hitting muscled flesh is heard repeatedly in the room. As is Zander’s heavy breathing and Jason’s regulated grunts. Zander tries to mix the attack with uppercuts to the head, but Jason’s guard is too tight. So the younger man goes back downstairs, raining blows on Jason’s tanned and bulging abs. He starts getting weary, his arms heavy. Already weakened by Jason’s blows, Zander’s own punches start to slow down, start to lose power. He can’t believe how well Jason can handle the gutwork. And he can’t believe how his own solid abs offer so little resistance.
Duly impressed, Zander backs off. “How can you take that many punches?” he asks. Jason responds: “Muscles alone don’t make a punchproof stomach. Ask any fighter. The only way to learn to take a gutpunch is by taking punches to the gut. Why do you think boxers use medicine balls? They pound the body over and over again until it can handle the punishment.”
Jason is ready to demonstrate. He reaches out, grabs one of Zander’s wrists and bends it behind the back in a hammerlock. The move leaves Jason’s right hand free and Zander’s standing straight up, his shirtless torso wide open. Zander takes a big punch right in the pit of the stomach. The younger man wants to double up but can’t. Jason pulls back and lands another solid body blow. A third, a fourth punch digs in. Zander covers his gut with his other hand. Jason counters with a right cross to the jaw. It snaps Zander’s head. A second punch to the jaw lands easily. “Keep protecting your body and I’ll work over your face.” Zander can’t take any more head shots so his choice is clear. Reluctantly, he lifts his arm to protect his face. Jason goes back downstairs, driving his right fist repeatedly into Zander’s open gut.
Zander can only look down and see Jason’s bare fist land on his cut midsection, right on top of the navel. Each blow is debilitiating, each punch removes whatever strength Zander had left. Instinctively he knows Jason could be hurting him a lot more with head shots. And he knows this beating may do him good in the long run. But right now, Zander feels helpless. And defeated. Again. For the second time in a few days, the same man is using him as a personal punching bag.
Jason is slipping into that zone of his and almost loses control. But he checks himself and pulls back for a moment, releasing his hold on Zander. The bare-chested young man collapses at Jason’s feet. Doubling over, he clutches his battered midsection. Zander gags for air, almost wretching. Jason is tempted to finish him off with a vicious kick to the stomach. But that move is for enemies. Zander’s going to be on his team. So he holds back, at least for now.
Jason backs into a corner and rests his arms over the top rope. It’s the pose of a confident, dominating fighter. “You okay? Sometimes I get carried away.”
Zander coughs “I’ll survive. Will all those punches really help.”
“There’s no other way,” Jason says. “When you can stand up to me and my fists, I’ll know you’re ready for a real fight.”
Jason is enjoying this. He loves working over another man with his fists, then watching him suffer on the ground, helpless to fight back. Especially muscular young men who think they are too tough to get beat up.
This young man is showing real courage. And real committment. Zander looks up at Jason and says “Okay, make me ready. I can take it.” With that, Zander struggles to his feet, barely able to straighten up. Jason is impressed. Zander is passing the test. Jason knows this workout will build loyalty… to him and to Donny’s organization. It’s a manly bonding, the kind of trust which connects two men who can fistfight without lasting hostility.
Jason is also pleased for another reason. He wasn’t ready to stop working out. “Okay, you asked for it.” He walks up to Zander and pushes him backwards. The dark-haired young man falls into the corner, back to the turnbuckle. Jason sets up his target. He drapes Zander’s arms over both ropes so he can’t fall down. Then Jason steps back and takes in the scene. Zander is standing shirtless in the corner of the ring, arms out of the way. His hair-covered chest and washboard abs rise and fall with each breath. The young man’s jeans have slipped well below the navel. Jason is ready for more action. He wants to work over that sweet spot in the pit of Zander’s stomach. So he wades back in with a straight right into the wide open gut. Jason hears that now-familiar ‘uuuuggghhh’ from Zander. He hears it again when his left fist hits the same spot.
Jason now gets into a rhythm, a punching trance. Right, left, right, left- all straight shots into the stomach. Zander is shorter, so Jason takes a boxer’s crouch, working close inside. All Jason can see are his own muscular forearms and big fists landing blow after blow on Zander’s shirtless gut. The pace is deliberate but steady. Only seconds separate each smack of flesh against flesh. Only seconds lapse between each new groan from the dark-haired young man. A familiar glow of satiscation spreads through Jason’s body. He enjoys the hard-on he’s got without caring what it means. He loves the feel of his bare fists against Zander’s muscular abs. These are the abs he wanted to break down the other night. He can feel them softening- Zander can’t keep his stomach muscles flexed under the steady barrage of punches.
Zander just hangs there in the corner, absorbing the punishment. He can do nothing to stop the flow of punches except ask Jason to stop. But he doesn’t give up yet. He wants to prove a point, to prove he’s worthy of being on Donny’s team. If this is what it takes, then so be it. So Zander slides into a punch-drunk daze. The feeling of surrender he felt in the alley takes over his whole body. He still feels each punch land. He still grunts as each fist digs into his stomach. But the blows start running together, their individual impact melding into a overwhelming sensation of defeat and submission. He’s giving in to gutpunches from the bare fists of a fighter expert at working over men. The beating goes on and on.
Jason finally relents. Zander barely realizes the punches have stopped. For now Jason is satisfied. He knows more workouts are ahead. One day Zander may even return the beating. But Zander has proven his mettle. With a little training, he’ll be an asset in the warehouse. And eventually, he’ll take his place by Jason’s side as one of Donny’s trusted bodyguards.
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