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Mirror, Mirror

By Terry O’Reilly

Published by JMS Books LLC at Smashwords

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Copyright 2018 Terry O’Reilly

ISBN 9781634867368

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Cover Design: Written Ink Designs |

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All rights reserved.

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Published in the United States of America.

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To all those struggling with the aging process.

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Mirror, Mirror

By Terry O’Reilly


Nine…ten…eleven…twelve. Dave Fleming mentally counted out the repetitions for his last set of bench presses, took a deep breath, racked the bar, and sat up. He grabbed his towel and wiped the sweat from his face. He surreptitiously checked himself out in one of the many mirrors that lined the walls of the gym. He was careful. He didn’t want to appear as narcissistic as some guys who were into working out. They were so blatant about it, strutting, flexing, making sure no one missed the show.

Sure, he wanted to be admired for his physique. What other reason would there be to put this much effort into it? It wasn’t for health reasons. You didn’t need to have a body like his to be healthy, although being healthy was a bonus. He just didn’t feel you had to flaunt it to be noticed.

He got up and walked to the shoulder press machine. There was a guy using it, so he waited. The guy was pretty hot—nice muscle development and handsome to boot. Dave had seen him here a couple of times before. They’d exchanged pleasantries, checked each other out, and Dave was pretty sure they both knew they were playing on the same team sexually.

Dave’s cock tingled and began to plump as he watched the man raise and lower the bar, working his delts. His legs were spread as he sat on the bench, revealing what could be a very promising package. The icing on the cake was he was shirtless, and there was a nice pattern of reddish hair on the stud’s chest. Dave liked hair—especially red. He couldn’t get why some guys shaved it off. He was proud of his own rug of dark brown fur. Rubbing it against the pelt of another man was one of Dave’s hot buttons.

The guy racked the bar and stood up. He wiped the sweat from the bench, gave Dave a big smile, and said, “All yours.”

Dave found himself hoping the phrase held a double meaning.

The man then walked toward Dave and stuck out his hand. “Todd, Todd Ross,” he said, an invitation in his smile. “Seen you around a few times. Been meaning to say hi. Just waitin’ for the right moment.”

Dave took the man’s hand. His shake was firm. “Dave Fleming. Yeah, I’ve noticed you, too. Glad to finally meet you.”

There it was—the preliminary check-out. They were both interested. But what about Charlie? Dave thought.

Dave knew he shouldn’t be flirting. At least not with the intention of something coming of it. He’d been with Charlie for a few months. They had an understanding. At one point Dave began to think they might be heading toward something permanent. They hadn’t moved in together yet, but that seemed the logical next step. But Dave wasn’t sure he was ready for that. There were so many hot guys around. He didn’t think he was ready for love and settling down. Maybe later, when he was older there would be time for stuff like that. For now…

“Maybe we could go out for a drink or dinner sometime,” Todd was saying.

Dave found himself responding, “Yeah, I’d like that.”

The two exchanged phone numbers.

As they walked away from each other, Todd to the showers and Dave to finish his workout, Dave thought, It’s time for Charlie and me to have ‘the talk’.

Dave picked up a couple of dumbbells. He stood next to the rack, faced the center of the room, and began his bicep curls. He watched an older man come into the weight area. His first thought was, What’s he doing here?

Dave finished his arm workout and put the weights away. The old man was working on the leg press machine. Dave felt a wave of pity, mingled with apprehension. The old guy was way beyond the need to work out. Why not just keep to walking or swimming for exercise? Why weight training? What did he hope to accomplish? Why wear shorts? Why not cover those chicken legs with sweats? And a tank top? Did the old man really want to show those skinny arms and scrawny shoulders to the whole world?

Dave decided then and there he’d never let old age catch up with him. He’d started working out young enough that he’d be able to ward off the effects of getting older. He’d already begun taking testosterone boosters and other supplements that promised to slow the aging process. Yes, he’d beat it. He wouldn’t wind up like this poor guy.

Workout done, Dave headed for the showers. Would Todd still be there?

Dave smiled and nodded to the man on the leg press as he passed him. The man returned the smile.

Dave thought again of Todd. Maybe he’d be able to get a glimpse of his junk. That made Dave smile.

The thought of possibly getting a look at Todd pushed the old man safely out of Dave’s mind, and he left the gym. When he reached the showers, Todd was already gone. Disappointed, Dave stepped under the hot spray.

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Chapter 1

Dave stood under the hot spray of the shower in his bathroom, hoping the hot water would relax his stiff joints and tight muscles. He’d just worked out in his home gym, and as usual these days, even his reduced intensity routine produced discomfort.

Why do I do this? he thought. I’m not ever going to have the body I once had. All those hours of exercise, all the supplements—which you still take—he reminded himself, and it happened anyway. The plan didn’t work—I got old.

Doggedly, he continued his routine. He lathered up, rinsed, turned off the water, and applied Mrs. Jergin’s Crepe Skin Reducer to his warm, wet skin. He drummed his fingers on the glass wall of the shower enclosure as he counted out the two minutes it took for the concoction to supposedly work its magic and take away the offending wrinkled skin on his arms, legs, chest, and ass. It wouldn’t, of course, but as with the other weapons in his arsenal in his confrontation with aging, he still hung on to the hope that it might slow his descent into looking like Grandma Moses.

He thought about the book his grandmother used to read to him at bedtime: The Saggy, Baggy Elephant. The little elephant did his best to remove the sags and bags of his wrinkled skin, only in the end to accept that was how an elephant was supposed to look. He envied the little elephant’s submission to reality. But he wasn’t there yet. Hence Dave’s battle continued, despite deep inside, he knew it was doomed to failure.

He got out of the shower, toweled himself dry, and walked to the vanity. With a deep sigh he wiped away the condensation and looked into the mirror.

“Who are you, and what have you done with Dave?” he demanded of the reflection that looked back. As always there was no response, just the taunting evidence that the handsome man who once greeted his visits to the mirror was gone and replaced by what he considered a sad reflection of what once was.

Even though Dave was reluctant to admit it, he could still see evidence of the attractive face that once had been. But this was further degraded in his mind by echoes of the oft-heard phrase, “You look good for your age.”

How he hated that—for your age. What was that supposed to mean? Did people actually think that was a compliment? Didn’t it really mean you don’t look as good as you once did?

He guessed he actually did look better than many in his group of friends. And when he was clothed, his slender body gave the impression that a fit man was hidden beneath the fabric. However, he knew the truth. The muscled, bronzed, six foot two inch, two hundred and twenty pound man who graced the old photo he kept hidden in his wallet was long gone, and sadly would never return.

Dave shaved from the crown of his head to his chin. His once thick head of curly, dark brown hair had thinned and greyed to the point that there was no point. A Yul Brynner, King and I look, he felt, gave him a modicum of good looks. He then applied the last of his stockpile of creams and lotions to his face and body. He topped his assault off with just a hint of bronzer—not too much. He didn’t want his crowd to think he actually used the stuff. He applied just enough to give an illusion of a natural tan, enough so that his friends, behind his back, would debate whether it was real or not.

He walked to his bedroom. Cleo, his faithful old yellow lab lay snoozing on the bed in a shaft of sunlight that streamed through the window. She raised her head as he came in. Her tail thumped the thick comforter. Dave smiled. Theoretically she was older than he—if you compared dog years to humans. However, though she had thickened in the middle and her muzzle had turned grey, she was spry as a teenager, bounding off the deck to chase the idiot rabbit that insisted on living under the shed behind a house where a Labrador retriever resided.

Cleo loved racing to retrieve thrown sticks, although never giving them up when she returned them. Dave was envious. Why did those glucosamine/chondroitin tabs he gave her daily work for her, when the ones he took seemed to do nothing for him? He couldn’t even take Motrin for his pain anymore. He had developed ulcers from overdosing so that he could keep jogging long beyond the time it was wise for him to do so.

“Hello, Princess,” Dave said and sat on the bed to give her neck a rub. Her tail thumped harder in gratitude for the attention.

“I’m going to Nick’s tonight. It’s his semi-regular gay men’s potluck,” Dave told the attentive pooch, who seemed to hang on to and understand every word. “You remember. You went along once and met his yappy little Yorkie, who you thought was a snack. That’s why you’re not invited back.”

Cleo put her paw on Dave’s leg and forced her head into his hand. Of course she remembered. She was sorry. Would she ever be invited back? Could she come tonight?

Dave got up, bent, and gave her a kiss on the head. He went to his closet and took out a long-sleeve, Oxford button down—no more tight muscle shirts or short-sleeve polos for him. His concession to vanity was the shirt was fitted at the waist to show off his flat stomach. Even though it was July, and the party was to be poolside, he chose a pair of long khakis rather than shorts. He didn’t want to show off his woefully skinny legs.

He sighed as he pulled a pair of baggy boxers out of the dresser. They were stacked next to the neatly folded, but never to be used again, low rise briefs and thongs. Once again he briefly considered donating them to the Red Cross. But as he always did, he put that thought aside for another day. He slipped the paisley boxers on and got a pair of stockings from another drawer. There he saw his powder blue speedo swim trunks. He ignored them. Sure, it was a pool party, but there was no way he’d be participating in that aspect of the evening. Dave made a mental note to add the trunks to the Red Cross donation.

“I wonder who’ll be there tonight?” he asked Cleo, who was now laying with her head up and front paws crossed in front of her.

“Probably the regulars, Bob, Jim, Kerry, and Steve—maybe a few other friends.” He sat on the bed to pull on his socks. “And I’m sure a new guy or two. They’ll be younger of course.”

Dave sat with his hands on his knees. “Oh my God. Younger!” He turned to look at the dog. “That means they’ll be in their fifties or sixties. I remember when men that age seemed ancient to me. Now they seem like twinks.”

Dave got up and put on his pants. “There may be a few of those there. Real twinks I mean. Nick likes to give us some eye candy to tantalize us. They’ll be young shits that are into us silver daddies. They would be there for the amusement value of taunting us with what we once were.”

He went to Cleo, held her muzzle in his hands, and bent to kiss her on the nose. “I was one of those, you know. Well, not a daddy hunter. But I was a twink—a snot-nosed egotistical twink who thought he’d never grow old and look like an old fossil.”

He kissed her again and put on his shirt. He turned to his dresser mirror and looked at himself. He then turned side to side. Not too bad, he thought. Unless a miracle occurs before I get to Nick’s, it’ll have to do. He looked back at Cleo. “Come on. You should eat and go out before I leave.”

He patted his leg. Cleo got up, stretched, jumped down off the bed, and followed him as he walked slowly down the stairs. Dave dished out her food and waited for her to eat, then let her out. He heard her bark as she raced to see if the dumb bunny could get across the yard to the opening to his warren under the shed before she got to him. He made it.

Dave went to the freezer, took out a store-bought cheesecake, got the can of pie cherries from the cupboard, and opened it. Dave didn’t cook much, so his contribution to the potluck was always cherry covered cheesecake. Since it was always gone by the end of the evening, he felt justified in not going out of his way to whip up something from scratch, which he’d probably be ashamed of anyway. Besides, he did sort of make it. Didn’t he add the cherries?

Cleo barked to come in. Dave gave her fresh water and told her to take care of the house. He took the cheesecake and a bottle of wine, grabbed his car keys, and headed for the door. He stopped and turned to Cleo, who was looking mournfully at him. It was as if she were saying she’d be good and promised to try not to eat the yappy little Yorkie if she could please go with him.

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