The Soccer Players Ch. 1

The Soccer Players (by Mafisto)

Chapter 1
[Fantasy casting: Wesley Cotton as Wes Collins]

It was the weekend of the great game, and I was all out of beer. Now listen, I’d only had “Flannigan’s Pub” for… let’s see… we signed the papers on September 14… about a month… so I was still new at this. The previous owner had vanished during the summer, just like that. The bank suit in charge of the bankruptcy told me it was following ‘undisclosed criminal activities’. The negotiation was quick; the price was dirt-cheap. I didn’t have enough money for the ten thousand grand downpayment, but the bank found some way of making the numbers work. Owning a pub was not my lifelong ambition, but ambitions have to be sensible, don’t they? I wanted to avoid any links with the past, so “O’Shea’s Pub” became “Flannigan’s Pub”. This was the real thing, an authentic Irish pub. No television. No pinball machine. A place to talk. And to listen. Live Irish music every night but Tuesday — that’s when we’d have the ghost story readings. All in all, a quiet, orderly spot. The beer was cheap, at least the domestic stuff. I tried to increase profit a bit by importing draught and bottled beers directly from Ireland: lagers, stouts, dark ales, and of course, Guinness. I figured the rich kids would pay extra for the good stuff. I was right. Too right, I guess. The imported stuff became such a hit that I ran out of it after two weeks. My next order was due to arrive only in November. Meanwhile, the customers had to settle for the domestic stuff in the taps. Then even the taps were dry the Friday before the Ivy League’s soccer match between the Harvard Crimson and the Dartmouth Big Green.

Those beer suppliers morons told me they couldn’t deliver anything until Monday. I was so pissed! The Harvard crowd wouldn’t hang around five minutes if all I had to offer was sodas and fruit juices. There’s the hard stuff, but then the hard stuff is a bit of overkill before the sun’s down, isn’t it? And there was no way I was gonna lose money by reselling beer bought at retail!

Oh, something else I’ve got to mention: this was the same week as the Ghost Stories Night Incident, and that was still real fresh in my mind. You see, those Harvard snobs sure loved an opportunity to make fun of anyone who displayed the slightest vulnerability. So the Tuesday before, one of them, a clean-cut hunk, had told a story about a dwarf who’d killed himself in a pub after he learned he’d been rejected from some university. Now, how he had found out about my own failed attempt to attend Harvard, I’d no idea! And, just to get things straight, I may not be six feet tall, but 5’5″ is not that short either. So after he’d ridiculed me, he and his friends started to challenge my authority. I tried to look cool, you know, not to show any sign that his insinuations had any effect on me whatsoever, yet by the end of the night I was surrounded by total chaos. They turned the place upside down, threw chairs around, jumped on tables, shouted and laughed at me, called me the “illiterate midget”. Those fuckers! They may look great, especially the straight jocks, but let’s not forget they’re either there on athletic scholarships or because their parents are footing the bill, so what’s all the attitude about? Do they think it makes them something like young gods, with the right to mess up everything around them? Fuck did they hurt me that night! High school had been a breeze for me: all it had taken was a little discipline to study throughout the year and do the assignments as soon as they were assigned. I loved reading, especially books about how to take control of your life. I mean, Anthony Robbins was my god. I was ambitious as hell, and was aiming for Psychology at Harvard. Nothing else would do. So why apply anywhere else? My grades were excellent, and my SAT scores even better. So what if I couldn’t afford tuition? I’d work during the summer at some get-rich-quick scheme.

I wasn’t prepared for rejection. The letter was polite enough, and it described a few technicalities I had neglected. I was crushed. Took me all summer to get over it. Especially after I heard that Dave Berg, top jock, worst student, had been admitted. With a scholarship. He didn’t need it — his parents were loaded — so he spent it on a Porsche 911. Anyway, so I moved to Cambridge to be close to where I ultimately wanted to be; I bought the pub two years later to be close to the kind of people I ultimately wanted to be part of.

Now, all this made me think: fuck, do I really need to give Harvard jocks another reason to embarrass me this weekend? So, contrary to common sense, I closed down the pub at 1 PM on a Friday. I sat on a stool with the blues until Wes, my weekend barman, came in whistling. He was an exchange student at Harvard who studied philosophy at Oxford thanks to a scholarship from ‘the Richard Blackwell Scholarship Trust’ for ‘outstanding ability in rugby’. The UK version of a straight college jock who had it easy. A British young god. Well, demigod really: his parents were lower class, and his friends always made sure he remembered.

“Hey, you forgot about the sign, mate,” he said with his cut and dried British accent, pointing towards the door sign showing the ‘we’re closed’ side. Although he was dressed for the fall in a gray wool sweater, you could sense how well built he was from the way his sweater stretched across his upper body when he moved and how sturdy his legs looked in his fit jeans.

“Not really, I’m closing the fucking pub for the weekend. We’re all out of beer.”

“Bloody hell!” he said, trying to look disappointed. But I saw the spark in his eyes. I knew the news made his day: he’d been bugging me all week to get the weekend off to train for the soccer game. He waited almost a full minute before asking: “So, I guess you won’t need me this weekend after all, he?”

“I wouldn’t say that,” I said, half-smiling at the grimace he then made. I enjoyed making things harder for him. It’s just that I couldn’t stand that life was so easy for him. To be completely frank, I also liked to have this kind of young flesh around me. “You’ll help me clean up in the cellar this afternoon.” The entire place had been a mess when I moved in, and I’d only had time to do the main floor before the grand opening.

“Shite! Can’t we do that tomorrow?” he whined, a hand in his short brown hair. “It’s just that I haven’t trained much for the game on Sunday, and I bloody need it. The coach warned me I could be off the team if I don’t get better at all that fancy footwork in football… I mean soccer… that you don’t have in rugby.”

“If we’re closed tomorrow, you can have the day off. You can practice then.”

I grabbed my flashlight. Wes sighed but followed me to the cellar door. As we were going down the stairs, I stumbled on a warped step and nearly broke my back. When I straightened myself up, I was shocked to see with how much junk the cellar was filled: planks of all sorts, half-empty buckets of paint and varnish, carpenter tools, old sofas, stools and stuffed chairs, a moldy mattress. In one cabinet, we found vials of colored liquids with little or no identification, yellowed sheets torn out of what seemed like antique books, flasks of powdered herbs and spices, etc. We stuffed everything in boxes as best we could, replaced the furniture a bit, then, when everything was more or less in a reasonable place, we washed the floor.

When we got to the stairs, I noticed the crooked step again: it was as if something had bent it out of shape. It was loose. I pulled it out, and then it occurred to me that it had been set in the wrong way. Something under the stairs reflected the light, and so I peered within the hole, using my flashlight. It was a keg of beer! A secret stash or something… The past owner’s must’ve thought of emergencies. We hauled it out from under the stairs. Someone had scrawled the word “tenderizer” with a wide felt tip pen over the Boston Beer Company label. This was fucking lucky. I looked at Wes smiling, and realized he did not see things like I did.

“Can I still have the day off tomorrow?” he said coldly. “This is the most important game of the year for us. We’ve had a bad season, and I’m dragging the team down. I just have to practice…”

“Wes, I said you’d get it if we’re closed tomorrow. We won’t be now that we found…”

He didn’t let me finish. He picked up the keg and said “I’ll set it up,” barely containing his anger. He stomped up the stairs. I ignored him, as I always did when he acted this way. What a temper!

There was something else in the hole, a small cardboard box. It contained a vial labeled “tenderizer” filled to the quarter with a clear liquid, a small vial labeled “dilator” almost completely filled with a dark liquid, and a torn sheet of paper which said: “Tenderizer effects are cumulative and last 24 hours. Dilator effects non-cumulative, take only a sip. Lasts an hour. DO NOT USE MORE THAN 3 TIMES A DAY. Domination.” I had no idea what this tenderizer or dilator shit meant.

I opened the dilator vial and took a sip. Not bad. Cherries and cinnamon, sweet and spicy. I waited a minute or two, anxious to see what it was exactly that would last an hour. I felt nothing. As I stood up, however, I felt like my brains were puffing up, and it almost made me pass out. I stumbled, but managed to get back to my feet. My head felt light and clear. That stuff would have been great for headaches! I guessed that was probably what it was: some kind of homemade remedy. I replaced the box under the stairs, and went to see what Wes was up to upstairs.

“Beer’s ok,” Wes said, extending a half-filled glass towards me. “Want some?”

“No, thanks. I’ll take your word for it.” I was still feeling light-headed from my sip of dilator.

“I’ll go adjust the door sign. I guess we’ll be open after all.”

His voice had made an echo in my brain. I’d heard what he’d said twice, with a few seconds delay between the two. I tried to ignore it. I figured it was a side effect of the dilator stuff. Maybe it was some kind of drug. Wes was talking to me but wasn’t making any sense. I wondered if the dilator tenderizer stuff was linked to the “undisclosed criminal activities” of the previous owner. Fuck! That beer the owner was selling might be spiked beer. Wes’ voice was still buzzing, it was distracting, I… I suddenly realized that Wes wasn’t truly talking. Yet, I was hearing him talk. Was it some kind of dream? « …have to find some bloody time for shite cynthia is coming tonight maybe a quick shag find some reason to go to bed early maybe if I asked someone to replace me if I found someone to take me place tomorrow would it be okay if I took the day off… »

“If I found someone to take me place tomorrow, would it be okay if I took the day off?”

Wes had actually asked that question out loud, and there’d been that echo again. Suddenly it all made sense: I was hearing his thoughts! That’s why I was hearing everything twice when he actually talked: I heard what he was about to say as it came to him in his mind, then I heard it again when he really said it.

“Don’t think so,” I answered distractedly. “You know I’ve my own way of doing things here. It took you long enough to learn it. I don’t want to spend the day teaching a stranger who’s gonna be gone the next day.”

A wave of anger crashed upon his thoughts: « …should quit this bloody job now who does he think he is can’t he make an exception to his bloody rules hate this bloke bossing me around must find a way could say I’m sick tomorrow not come in might lost the job but need the job tips are excellent might not find another the rent is due should’ve used dad’s check for rent not go out at all next two weeks… »

The loose, simplistic blah blah within his mind fascinated me. You see, my teenage memories were filled with young gods like Wes bullying, rejecting or denying me; although I’d always despised them, they had impressed me with their strength, they had awed me with their charisma. I had assumed… some sort of coherence in their actions, some sort of forethought, some complexity in fact. And I respected that it was certainly a complexity different than my own. But Wes’ mind was simple as a preschool toy. Big shiny colorful buttons: performance in his social life, performance at school, performance in sports, performance in bed… His entire personality was centered on the satisfaction of his most basic urges in the quickest, simplest way. His decisions were mostly impulsive, not even considered by his reason. Wes’ simplistic thought patterns — what made him what he was — were now exposed to me, and my despise rose to a higher degree. It was a revelation to me: I now knew what went on in the heads of the young gods.

« …still no customers obvious he doesn’t need me did I mess up me hair keep putting me fingers in me hair not too bad these pants are starting to be tight must be the gym bloody hell me undies in me crack my balls squeezed is he looking no quick snap the button hand inside feels better… »

I was violating someone’s mind; I was intimate to someone’s private thoughts. I was somewhere I shouldn’t be, watching from the shadows as Wes went through his typical day, unaware of his mental nudity. Fuck, my heart was beating like a drummer in a solo. I should stop, think about this, and tell someone…

« …an exam monday I think so hell haven’t read a single page call cynthia can study with her like it when she’s there maybe she bring sarah her tits be nice study with two girls cynthia would never be up for it… »

That mess… Wes’ errant illogical thoughts… I had an urge to shape them up into something useful… To impress him with how well I understood him, and by how well I’d help him make sense of his thoughts… “Cheers Chris,” he’d say in the future I dreamed of then, “I’m so bloody grateful that you straightened me out. I’ll dedicate meself to you from now on.”

The roles would be reversed, man, that’s it: I would soon be a god to him, and he’d worship me.

The Soccer Players Ch. 2

The Soccer Players (by Mafisto)

Chapter 2
[Fantasy casting: Casper Van Dien as Casper Weisen, David Beckham as Dave Berg, Wesley Cotton as Wes Collins, Michael Owen as Mike Howe]

Ten minutes later, two student jocks walked in. I recognized the well-groomed well-built dark blonde one: he was the one who had told the ghost story about the dwarf, the fucker. The other was a few years younger, and a few inches shorter, than him. “I must warn you,” I said as they were heading for a table, “the only kind of beer I have left is Samuel Adams in tap. Do you mind?” I hoped they would.

They frowned at each other. They were about to leave when Wes, who saw them as he came out of the bathroom, said: “Cheers! So, you two’ll be ready for the big one on Sunday, he? I know I bloody won’t.”

The blonde fucker turned to me and said, with a smile and a wink: “Samuel Adams will be fine.” He adjusted the expensive looking black jacket he wore over a white T-shirt and faded jeans. His hair was combed back with gel. It looked like a freshly plowed field. “So Wes,” he said, “I didn’t know you worked here… Isn’t it illegal to work off-campus the first year on an F-1 student visa?”

Wes just watched them, dumbfounded, as they sat down right at the middle table.

“Just a joke, Wes, I won’t tell if you won’t tell,” smile wink. Fuck, this guy was full of himself! Confident smile. Loads of fake charisma. The third jock wore black nylon pants and a white nylon sports jacket over his tight athletic built. His brown hair was cut even shorter than Wes’ was: it exposed a wide forehead.

“Chris, those two bloody jokers here are Casper and Mike,” Wes told me. “They’re in the Crimson team.”

“I already know Casper,” I said coldly. Wes threw me a puzzled look — he didn’t know about the incident.

“I’m the friendly ghost,” said Casper, smile wink. “How about two beers, Wes?” Wes nodded and left.

“Do you think we should even play on Sunday?” asked Casper to Mike. “This is the most disastrous season I’ve been in. What am I saying? You wouldn’t know, you and Wes are still rookies, you can’t compare.”

“Well, I do know we need more training. I think it’s just that we don’t share our methods enough. Like you and Dave, you have a lot of experience. You know a lot of techniques that you could share with us the rookies. I learn a lot just by watching you two. Like last Saturday, remember Dave, when he ran towards Tymmons and there was no way he’d get pass him…” He grabbed a bread roll from the basket on their table, stood up and threw it to the floor. He pushed it around with his feet as he continued, with passion and admiration: “… Dave has such amazing ball control, you know, so when he got close to Tymmons with the ball in front of him, he got close enough to make Tymmons think he’d have no trouble to kick the ball away. Then, he dipped his shoulder to the left, faked with the ball also to the left with the right foot, then he was gone to the right. That’s the type of technique that will make us win on Sunday, if he teaches it to us.”

“That’s great,” said Casper as Wes was coming back with the beers, “but I’m still worried. If we lose this one, we’re finished. I don’t think the coach knows what he’s doing. Take today’s practice: training for penalty kicks, what was that all about? By the way, Wes, I don’t know how you can afford to miss practice like that.”

Wes glared at me — « …why did we have to clean this bloody cellar today we wouldn’t have found the beer he always needs to I think he enjoys imposing his the way he looked at me when I bent over to grab the… » — then he said: “I had to work today. We can’t be all bloody rich like Dave. Some of us must earn a living.”

“Even it it’s illegally as I can see… You should drop off the team then, if you can’t afford to be a part of it.”

Wes contained his rage. Mike sat down and said: “I you need someone to practice with, Wes, I’m available.”

“Thanks, mate,” Wes said. “I just might take you up on that. I don’t know when, it all depends on my boss.”

The three of them turned their attention towards me. I’d started to sense Casper and Mike’s thoughts, faint feelings really, and in this single moment my mind was flooded with their intense shared desire to win. At this point, the door opened and another student walked in, blonder and thinner then Casper, with more of a swimmer’s built. “So this is where you guys hang out,” he said, without a smile. I couldn’t believe it: it was Dave Berg, from my old high school! I hadn’t seen him in two years. He didn’t even recognize me.

“Aye Dave,” said Mike. “Come join us. We were talking about the technique you used with Tymmons.”

“I would have thought you’d be learning it, not talking about it,” Dave answered. He looked around with disapproval. “What kind of a dump is this? And what’s Wes doing behind the bar?”

“He works here,” Mike said. “Wes, bring a beer to Dave please.”

“Sure thing,” said Wes. « …don’t like this dave thinks he’s better than everyone because he’s got money have a second beer for meself chris isn’t looking should stop at two though ’cause he’ll notice… »

As the three students drank for the next half hour, they talked about sex (“So, Mike, I heard you couldn’t get it up with Tania last week?”), sports (“Those Dartmouth guys will cream us on Sunday, that’s for sure!”) and action flicks (“Have you heard about ‘The Whole Nine Yards’, the new Bruce Willis movie?”).

During that time, my head was buzzing more and more. Their voices were making echoes in my brain, like Wes’ voice had. I was hearing Casper try to convince Dave to invest in the startup company he’d launch after graduation, but there he was, listening to Dave quietly with his mouth shut; I was hearing Mike constantly repeat: « …I’m gonna perform tomorrow perform tomorrow… » as if he was trying to drown his worries about the game in positive thoughts, but he wasn’t moving his lips; I heard Dave silently say: « …hate this beer is it so hard to make beer that tastes right should’ve gone elsewhere… » Once again I felt like a voyeur, or an écouteur to be precise, violating their minds, listening to their most intimate thoughts. I loved it. Fuck, I would have loved it even more if they’d been thinking about something like sex. Like their private sex fantasies, that would’ve been entertaining. I burped mentally as if my mind was overstuffed.

I heard Dave’s thoughts start to wander towards a gorgeous stewardess he had dated a few weeks back. They were on a plane, and she was stripping out of her uniform for him. A faint smile appeared on his face just then. It was way cool to listen to that, to see that in my mind, while he thought no one except her and himself knew about this. The other three were also thinking about sex now: Wes fantasized about Mike’s girlfriend, Tania, giving him a massage; Mike about his Biology teacher, exposing her breasts in class; and Casper, about forcing himself upon that bitch Roxanna who had rejected him because she thought he was too superficial. He was tearing her clothes off while she screamed and sobbed, helpless before his strength.

They had stopped talking. They were staring at each other silently, waiting for one of the others to say something, all absorbed in their sexual fantasies. As I had wished they’d be. Was I the one who had made it happen? There was this weird mental burp thing I’d felt when I wished they’d think about sex. It was as if a… a bubble… had formed around my thought. Then I had felt it whoosh towards them, invisibly.

Mike suddenly got up. “Gotta go,” he said, “I’ve got a Sociology class at four. We don’t seem to have anything to talk about anyway — we haven’t said a word in ten minutes. What were you all thinking about?”

His words snapped Casper and Dave right out of their thoughts. “Nothing really,” said Casper. “The game.”

“Do you three want to go to Alfonso’s for dinner? My treat?” asked Dave, also getting up. He took another sip of his beer. “Then we should all practice tonight, don’t you think? How about at my place? We’ll be quiet. We’ll also need to talk about our plan for Sunday’s game, go over a few strategies I thought about.”

“We don’t need another coach. I’ll see you at practice tomorrow,” said Casper, ignoring Dave’s glare.

“Well, I for one will meet you at Alfonso’s,” said Mike to Dave. “How about you Wes? Working tonight?”

Wes didn’t answer. He was leaning over the bar, oblivious to them. They stared at him, confused. “What the fuck’s the matter with him?” asked Mike as Dave pushed out him and Casper.

“Let’s go,” said Dave. “He’ll snap out of it. He’s probably out of the game anyway. It’ll just be the two of us.” After they left, my mind was on fire from the stress of hearing so many thoughts at once. Wes was still lost in his fantasies: he was thinking of Tania secretly visiting him at his dorm, and kissing him lovingly. As I was clearing the students’ table, I wondered: why was he more into it than they had been? Was it because they only had a beer each, while Wes had two? It could be: the paper did say the effects were cumulative. I had long suspected about his drinking at work, but he’d never gotten drunk enough for me to be sure.

I decided to check if I could really influence someone ‘tenderized’. I discreetly locked the door and flipped the sign to ‘we’re closed’. Then I thought about Wes’ fantasies growing wilder, and his getting really aroused by those fantasies, forgetting where he was and letting himself go. A bubble formed around my thought; I mentally pushed it out of my head towards his. It’s weird to talk about it physically like that but that’s the best way I can describe it. The bubble was softly absorbed in his brain. He thought about Tania showing him her breasts and him sucking on them slowly; he closed his eyes. Then he imagined she ripped her clothes off and looked at him hungrily; he smiled dumbly. Then he imagined she came close to him and pressed her naked breasts against his chest; he squirmed in place. Then he got a hard-on, both in his fantasy and for real, and imagined she grabbed it in his jeans and said: “I wish Mike could get hard like that…”; he grabbed his crotch boldly and whispered: “That’s a bloody man’s hard-on…”

I was getting a bloody man’s hard-on myself. I moved closer to him, feeling the warmth of his body. He was rubbing his crotch against the counter, waving his ass slowly left and right. Fuck, was it erotic! I squeezed one of his ass cheeks and he smiled and whispered: “Can’t resist, he?” I lifted his wool sweater and T-shirt up a bit and gazed at his belly button and happy trail. Then, his voice grew fainter in my mind: fuck! the dilator’s effects were almost over. I hurried to project a bubbled thought to make him cum. His intense orgasm in my mind triggered my own; we both creamed our pants. I sent him another quick bubbled thought, but I lost contact right after, so I had no idea if he absorbed it. I went to the window before he opened his eyes; I pretended looking out and not having noticed his behavior.

“They’re gone?” I heard him ask behind me. “This was so bloody weird. I think I’ve lost it for a while. Maybe it’s the stress about tomorrow. I need to relax, mate, I need to relax. Shite! I also need to go to the bathroom.”

I was still blown away by what had just happened and what it meant. Not only was I able to read people’s thoughts with that dilator stuff, but also I was able to alter them, to influence them. What could I get out of it? Money? Sex? Love? What about Wes? I unlocked the door and flipped the door sign to reopen the pub.

“Not many customers, he?” Wes said, coming out after ten minutes. “I hope there’ll be more tonight.”

“Wes,” I said. “I know what you’re going through with this soccer game. I think I can help you.”

He frowned with suspicion. “What do you mean, help me? Like finally give me a bloody day off?”

“No. I can help you make sense of your thoughts, make sense of your life. I understand you well enough.”

“Sorry,” he said, coldly, “but I don’t need you to make sense of me thoughts: they make bloody sense to me. Why do you care anyway? I’ve seen how you looked at me butt while we were cleaning up downstairs…”

“You don’t understand,” I said, my voice wavering. “I don’t want your body, I want to help you… I know mental techniques that will make you a better athlete. It’s all about attitude.”

“I’ll become a better athlete me own way, not with your ‘mental techniques’. You want to change me. I know that since I started working here. Like when you tried to make me like jazz, or that time when you tried to break me and me girlfriend up. I don’t know what exactly you want me to become, but it won’t happen.”

I was furious! How could he reject my help? I darted towards the john, my face red. Wes avoided looking at me in the eyes. I locked myself in the bathroom. Then I saw something which changed my mood instantly: his wet white cotton jockeys were on the toilet seat, full of his fresh cum, as I had instructed him to do with them in my last bubbled thought. I sat on the throne, breathed in their strong scent, strong like he was, and I started to jerk off. A plan was taking form in my mind. His friends were practicing tonight. I didn’t know where, but I knew they’d have dinner at Alfonso’s. They’d help me get to him. Content with that knowledge, I tasted his cum and it tasted like heaven. It didn’t take me long to cum again.

The Soccer Players Ch. 3

The Soccer Players (by Mafisto)

Chapter 3
[Fantasy casting: David Beckham as Dave Berg, Wesley Cotton as Wes Collins, Michael Owen as Mike Howe]

When I came out of the bathroom, the silence struck me. It was almost 6 PM but no customer had wandered in yet, even for a quick sandwich. Wes was making himself busy, sweeping the floor and wiping the tables –he avoided talking to or looking at me. The noise whose absence I noticed the most was the mix of inner voices from tenderized brains. It had taken only an hour for me to get completely hooked on that buzz; now that it wasn’t there anymore I was feeling kinda blue. During the next half hour, we only got a handful of customers: a student with her chatty parents, two nerds from Harvard scoffing MIT, and an ancient teacher of modern history with a loose rug. There was a lull after we served them, and Wes seemed to consider whether or not to take advantage of it. He finally sighed and said: “Say, I didn’t mean to hurt you earlier.”

“I was only trying to help, Wes,” I said, looking sincerely into his misty green eyes.

“I know, I know,” he said. He passed his fingers through his tousled hair. It was his thoughts that I missed the most. “It’s just this bloody game… this bloody situation with the coach. I’m usually great at anything sports-related, and it’s starting to worry me more than a wee bit, you know, me future as an athlete and all.”

I sat down on a stool before him, and said: “Why is this game so important to you anyway, Wes?”

“At first it wasn’t. It’s not even my bloody sport, this soccer: I’m a rugby player. I didn’t want to get into American football, there’s just too much gear — I bloody hate helmets. So I got into soccer, and when I start something I finish it. But with the studies, and the job here, I didn’t have time to practice. Now, all the blokes in my team think I’m a dud, and I just know I could get fantastic at it if I just practiced enough.”

“I just don’t understand why you say you haven’t had any time. You had all weeknights off this week.”

“Right uh…” He suddenly headed towards the nerds’ table. “So, mates, can I serve you another beer, then?”

“Not really. Too bad you don’t have any Guinness. Hey, you’re in the Crimson soccer team, aren’t you? The English guy. You must be training like hell since that fiasco last Saturday.”

Wes frowned. “Not as much as I should.” He picked up their glasses and walked back towards me. “Like I needed to be reminded of that day. I’m starting to bloody panic here; I haven’t made the slightest bit of progress since then. I uh… I had to study for my midterms. They’re next week.” I gave him a ‘don’t give me bullshit’ look, and he looked down, embarrassed. “Alright. I might have spent a few nights at parties, and Tuesday I spent the evening with this cute American gal. Ah, bloody hell! I just hope I won’t get kicked off.”

“I keep telling you it’s discipline you need, Wes.” I couldn’t help thinking he was going commando in his jeans right now. How nice it’d be to spank his bare ass! “Or else, quit soccer. You’ve a choice to make. Anyway, I have to leave to run some errands. I’ll be back around nine thirty, when it starts getting busy…”

Before I left, I went down to the cellar and slipped the dilator flask in my jacket. When I came back up, Wes was sitting on the bar, pensive. “I guess you’re right,” he said mysteriously. “I’ve a choice to make.”

I drove to Alfonso’s and waited outside in my car for Dave and Mike to come out of the restaurant. They walked up to Dave’s illegally parked Porsche further along the street, and drove off. I followed. We got out of the city and arrived at a huge property, sprinkled with majestic oaks. I parked my car on a cross street and walked up to the gate. It was closed and locked, and there seemed to be some sort of security device. I saw them come out of the mansion, which was a few hundred yards away from the gate. They were dressed in soccer uniforms and both carried a soccer ball; then they were out of sight, but I could hear them talk and practice. Fuck did that scene represent everything I hated about the world! Young gods praised for their brawn instead of their brains, enjoying their unfair share of the world’s riches. Well, I was there to improve the world, wasn’t I? Now I had the power to do what was best for them. First, I had to make them realize it, then they would beg me to help them with their little game, help them with their little attitudes. Wes would hear them talk about me and would logically, of his own free will, realize I was someone to be revered, and choose me as a mentor. So what if his friends’ loyalty needed to be fake for his to be real? Trembling with anticipation, I took a sip from the dilator flask, my second one today. Instantly my mind puffed up and became lighter, less dense. Even though Dave and Mike were far, I could instantly pick up their thoughts: « …kick run where is it got it left he’s coming right how did he do that never be able to… » « …good move be careful not teach him too much left? amateur he’ll go right yes ah got it run run kick… » I wrapped a thought («You are expecting tonight the owner of the pub where Wes works. He knows mental techniques to improve your performance.») inside two bubbles, and pushed one towards each of them. They crashed against their minds; after some initial resistance, they seeped in. I buzzed the gate doorbell.

They walked up to the gate instead of using the intercom. “Yes?” asked Dave, catching his breath. Then he recognized me, and said: “Oh, you’re Wes’ boss from the pub? We were expecting you. Come on in.”

He opened the gate for me, and we walked up to the field where they’d been practicing. My head was humming with their thoughts — anticipation, worry, disbelief, and eagerness to improve. They stood before me, both holding a soccer ball, gorgeous in their white soccer uniforms with blue stripes, a bit out of breath.

“I don’t remember exactly what we said when we agreed to meet tonight,” said Dave, unsmiling as usual. “As you know, the game on Sunday is our only chance to be in the finals. We need all the help we can get. But I really don’t believe in all this mental techniques crap, so you’d better give us some proof they work…”

“Come on, Dave,” said Mike. “They won’t work if you don’t believe. You have to give them a chance.”

“I’ll give you your proof,” I said with confidence. “In just five minutes, if you follow my instructions carefully, I will make you hypersensitive to my touch, beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

“That would be proof enough,” said Mike, looking at Dave for confirmation. Dave did a ‘whatever!’ nod.

“Okay, now put the balls on the ground, close your eyes and imagine a soccer ball in your mind…” I had them do a few bogus relaxation techniques, then sent them a bubbled thought that their shirts were itching so much that they’d have to take them off. It was absorbed without problem, and they immediately began to scratch under their shirts. Mike stripped off his shirt first; Dave opened his eyes, fidgeted a bit, then removed his. Their naked chests shone with sweat; they were not too muscular, but smooth and healthy.

“Wow!” said Mike. “This thing really works. I just couldn’t keep my shirt on any longer.”

“Now,” I said. “I will touch your upper body. Tell me what you feel when I do so.” I palpated their upper bodies from spot to spot, squeezed their breasts, massaged their shoulders, fingered their flaccid nipples.

“I feel nothing unusual,” Dave said, smirking. “This thing doesn’t work. It doesn’t make sense anyway.”

“It’s not supposed to,” I said. “I just want you to be able to compare. Now, close your eyes and contemplate what would happen if you lost the game, how your future as athletes would be affected… Focus on your inner soccer ball… Now I will repeat exactly what I just did. Feel the difference.” This time I made them absorb a bubbled thought that my touch would send powerful waves of sexual pleasure in their bodies.

The minute I came in contact with Dave’s chest, he started to shift uncomfortably. “Hmm,” he said, biting his lips. “What?” said Mike. “Nothing.” As I rubbed my hand on his firm pecs, I could see a bulge quickly swell in his shorts. “You seem to enjoy that…” laughed Mike. Dave was flushed. “It’s just an instinctive reaction,” he said. When it was Mike’s turn, he shifted, took a long deep breath, and moaned loudly. “Sorry,” he said. Dave was looking at him, smiling. “You seem to enjoy it too.” When I moved to Mike’s shoulders, he was not only getting a hard on: he started to shake violently. Dave looked at him with disdain. I hurried to start on Dave’s shoulders. He was taken aback with the surging sensation, and threw his head backwards. “Hmmm, this feels so good…” he said. Then I squeezed and squeezed his shoulders and he lost it. His hips started to gyrate, and he moaned loud and clear. I slowly moved a finger down his spine, and he squirmed and moaned, under Mike’s surprised stare, until he pleaded, with a broken voice: “Stop please, I don’t know why, but you’re gonna make me cum. I believe you now. It works. I want to learn. Stop.”

I stopped for now, and moved in front of them, staring at their sweaty shirtless bodies and the hard-ons in their shorts. Their faces were a mix of embarrassment and anger. Then the doorbell buzzed and startled me. “Casper changed his mind,” said Dave. “Would you open the gate while we uh… control our excitement?”

As I walked to the gate, I picked up a trail of thoughts: « …hope they’re here I’ve only an hour and a half what if chris comes back why aren’t they here did casper give me the right address… » It was Wes, the little fucker! So this was his big decision: close the pub to get a chance to practice. How fucking irresponsible! I had to block all my feelings to control my rage inside. I became cold. When Wes saw me, his face blanched.

“What… Why… How… I just thought…” Then he gave up on trying to find the right words to say.

“So we’re both surprised to see each other here. Come in, I’m showing your friends some of my techniques.”

I opened the gate. He was still too much in shock to say a word. Dave and Mike had put their shirts back on, and their excitement had… softened up. “Hey Wes!” said Mike. “Your boss’ techniques are excellent.”

Wes didn’t answer. Dave added with a smirk: “We still have to see if they work for soccer.”

“Let’s do that right now,” I said. “For this you must line up in front of me. You’ll need to close your eyes…”

Dave and Mike hurried to follow my instructions. “Let me watch first,” Wes said, “I owe it to you to at least think about it.” I nodded coldly. He took off his wool sweater; he had a black T-shirt underneath. I figured my suggestions would work like hypnotic suggestions and affect their performance for real, so after the usual meditation mumbo-jumbo, I sent Dave and Mike the bubbled thought: «You’ll now perform beyond your normal abilities, although you’ll find that your clothes are heavy and constraining. Each time you strip from a piece of clothing, you’ll perform even better. » It easily seeped into their minds.

The minute the three of them were on the field, Dave and Mike danced with the ball with amazing grace and control. Wes managed a few nice moves — it was clear he was a natural athlete — but next to his friends, he looked clumsy as hell. Mike stripped from his shirt and it immediately boosted his play. The ball became an extension of himself: it rolled around his feet with complete coordination. “Try it without your shirt on!” yelled Mike to Dave. “Better freedom of movement.” Dave only sneered. But when Mike stole the ball from him as if he wasn’t there, it convinced him to discreetly peel off his shirt. They both outclassed Wes, who was growing more and more frustrated. Fuck, I think I even saw red in his eyes. Dave and Mike were now so equally matched that they got stuck in a rhythmic pattern of control of the ball. It drove Dave to take his shorts off, desperate to get an edge. Now wearing only a jockstrap, his tight white ass flashing me regularly, not only was he able to break the pattern, but from then on no one was able to steal control of the ball from him. It convinced Mike to discard his shorts too. By exposing his well-rounded, slightly hairy butt, he was once again on a par with Dave. When Wes, in a pathetic attempt to imitate his friends, took off his shirt to bare his shiny smooth muscular chest, I stared at him without blinking for the next three minutes: boy, did he look sexy in those jeans, especially now that he wore nothing but them. Of course, it did nothing to improve his game, and he just ran randomly on the field, his friends always three steps ahead of him.

Eventually, he ran to me, panting and teary-eyed. “Why did you need to bloody interfere with me life?” he asked me in anger. “You’ve made me friends act crazy: would you just look at them? Playing in their bloody jockstraps? The worst part is that your bloody techniques work. What do you want from me?”

I gazed at the two almost-naked jocks on the field; I looked back at the shirtless humiliated Wes. Something snapped inside me; a sudden urge to wallow in my power made me lose control and blast his mind with my desire. He dropped down on all fours, thinking he was a dog. I patted his bare back; I squeezed his warm tight shoulders. “Good dog!” I said. I could see the furry top of his butt crack. No underwear. I rubbed his ass through his jeans. He barked twice, then darted towards Dave, rubbed his face over Dave’s jockstrap, sniffed the sweat. He wiggled his ass as if he had a tail. The young god was now a puppy under my command. But the dilator effects were almost gone, so I made everyone forget about this little indulgence.

“I want to help you with your performance,” I then answered Wes, “to guide your life, to become your mentor. I want to help your team win. I’ll close the pub tomorrow afternoon, and we’ll work on making you the best soccer player, and your team the best soccer team, in the whole Ivy League. Do you agree?”

He nodded, faintly at first, then more and more strongly as he considered my proposal. “Alright, I agree.”