Beach fight 100: Giannis opportunity and Alfredos revenge
1. Fists fly on the beach
Hi, Im Alfredo. Im going to tell you about something that happened last summer: a great excitement and a great disappointment that led to a great privilege But lets start at the beginning. Im not a bad football player. Just not quite good enough to be a regular player in our local team. I was always one of the reserves. Not like Gianni. He was our top player, the striker, and also the best-looking guy on the team.
Ive got to admit, I had always wanted Gianni to like me. But so far as he was concernedwell, he knew my name, but thats about it. Since I was only on the reserves, he hardly noticed me. Not that he was arrogant; in fact he was a nice guy. Its just that he was so handsome, so athletic, that everyone competed for his attention, and I was just too far back in the crowd
But street-wise Renzo, he did pay attention to me. Stick with me, Gianni, and youll learn how to get on in the world. Youre made of the right stuff, I can tell. Just follow my example, and people will treat you with respect. So I began to go around with Renzo and his sidekick Paolo. Paolo was a scrawny-looking guy and, to tell the truth, I didnt like him much. I could tell he resented having to share Renzo with me. But Renzo made it plain that Paolo and I had to put up with one another. You two guys are like my left hand and my right hand, he said, so you gotta learn to cooperate, for the good of all three of us. Were like an army, we gotta have discipline.
One day, when we were lounging on the beach, Renzo nudged me in the ribs. Look, heres our chance! Theres Gianni. You say he doesnt respect you the way you deserve. Well, lets teach him a lesson. And at once he leapt up and strode over to Gianni, carrying a beachball.
You wanna fight, pretty boy? growled Renzo, pushing the beach ball hard into Giannis chest. (02)
What the ? said Gianni in surprise. But, before he could finished the sentence, Renzo had planted his right fist hard on the side of Giannis jaw. (03)
Seeing Gianni close up like thatthe effect of Renzos sneaky punch on the lean muscled body of the football superstarit gave me a funny feeling a funny excited feeling (04)
In quick succession, Renzo delivered a left to Giannis belly (05),
then a right (06)
Renzos fist was hard, but so were Giannis abs! (07)
, then another left (08)
At first Gianni tried to remonstrate. But Renzo, bigger and heavier than Gianni, was in no mood to listen.
Then suddenlyWHAM! Gianni slammed his right fist up under Renzos chin, swinging his superbly muscled upper body to add to the force of the blow! (09)
Wow! That was something Renzo hadnt expected! How would he react? How would he punish Gianni? Yet with a strange thrill, I realized that it was Gianni who was now punishing Renzo.
First a left (10)
and then a right (11)
landed with businesslike precision on my friends abs.
My friend Renzo, my only friend, was heading for humiliation! What should I do? I had to decide, and decide quickly
2. My fateful decision
Two possibilities flashed through my mind far faster than it takes to describe them.
Option one: I intervene on Giannis side. Renzo is demolished. Gianni shakes my hand and puts his arm round my shoulders: Thanks, Alfredo! Youre a real pal! Then, when word gets around that I am now Giannis best friend, everyone treats me with new respect
Or else (more likely) Gianni will say: Thanks, but I didnt need your help. And anyway, arent you meant to be a friend of his? Jesus! Im glad youre not a friend of mine! And, with a look of contempt, he will walk away
Option two: I help Renzo to defeat Gianni. Renzo is grateful, and elevates me above Paolo. Besides, if Paolo and I allow Renzo to be beaten, he will be in a sour mood for days
I chose option two. Renzo needed to know that he could count on me, and me alone. So I came up behind Gianni and punched him in the back as hard as I could (12).
(Yay! My first physical contact with Gianni! I found myself grinning
Gianni lurched round to face me. But he was off balance and WHAM! My right fist landed in his abs (13).
Yesss! The football superstar had noticed me now!
Attaboy, Alfredo! It was an encouraging shout from Renzo. My heart leapt. I had done the right thing, helping my friend! Whats more, Renzo had grabbed Gianni by the arms from behind, so as to offer me a clear target (14).
WHAM! I planted my right fist on Giannis jaw, deliberately echoing the first blow that Renzo had struck (15).
This time I didnt hit him as hard as I could. I wanted him to stay standing, so I could go on feeling his skin against my knuckles. I wanted the fun to last!
I realized that I was grinning with delight. I was finally making an impression on Gianni! It was the turn of my left fist now to land (hard but not too hard) on the pretty boys belly-button (16),
quickly followed by my right (17).
Ooof ! The handsome football stars face registered painpain inflicted by me, Alfredo, the despised reserve! Never before had I felt this kind of intoxicationthe intoxication of punishing someone for thinking that, just because I wasnt as handsome and popular as him, he could ignore me (18)
Alfredo why? Gianni croaked. Yes! He used my name! For the first time ever, I had Giannis full attention! Things could hardly get better. But I hadnt anticipated what happened next
3. Treachery and trust
Oof! It was my turn to react to a sneaky blow to my lower back! It was that little rat Paolo ! (19)
Renzo, he said, whyre you letting Alfredo go easy on Gianni? Hes just playing with him, not punishing him like he deserves!
You think Alfredo isnt up to handling Gianni? Well, lets give him a chance to show what he can doon his own! So saying, Renzo abruptly let go of Gianni and backed away.
I realized Renzo was putting me to the test. It was me alone against the football star now! I was being given my chance to prove myselfand put the runt Paolo in the shade
Unfortunately, I was too preoccupied with the honour Renzo was doing me to notice that Gianni had revived. Suddenly I felt his fist on my left cheekbone. (20)
Then it was his other fist in my belly(21)
and again ! (22)
Its true I wanted to make an impression on him, but I didnt want him to make such an impression on menot that way! I mean, Im pretty well-muscled, but those pecs and biceps of Gianniswow! They werent just for show! (23)
It was no fun being on the receiving end of what they could inflict! It was time to fight dirty, or else I would go down (24)
Oh yes! I slammed my knee hard up into Giannis groin. That put me on top again! This time, when my right fist landed in Giannis belly (25),
I felt the soft flesh yield. (26)
The lean muscleboy, taken by surprise, hadnt tightened his abs! (27)
I paused for a moment, surveying my handiwork.
That turned out to be a mistake. I had again underestimated the superfit footballers speed of recovery. Giannis right fist slammed into my belly again. But at the same time Renzo came to my rescue by attacking him from behind! (28)
Yes! My friend and mentor Renzo had joined in, so that he and I were working together as a team! And against the two of us, the pretty boy had no chance. With both hands Gianni struggled to dislodge Renzos chokehold around his neck while I punished his soft abs once more. (29)
That dazed look on Giannis facehow I relished it! (29a)
Now Renzo shifted his grip so as to present to me Giannis face as a target. Yes! Gianni could glower as much as he liked, but he couldnt stop my fist landing on his nose! (30)
I was punched Giannis belly (31)
his belly again (32)
I felt a surge of delicious excitement. Giannis smooth tanned skin glistened with sweat under the pounding of my fists. Only Renzos hold on him stopped him from collapsing to the sand. That lean torso with its well-defined muscularityit was a superb canvas for my knuckles to work on
4. My enemy, my friend
Hey, let me have a turn! Paolo piped up. I cursed inwardly.
OK said Renzo, Alfredo and I will hold him while you have a go.
At least I had the satisfaction of knowing that Renzo recognized that Paolo was too weak to tackle Gianni on his own. Paolo taunted Gianni with the football (33)
before punching him in the abs (34)
those splendid abs that Renzo and I had paid homage to with our fists! I almost felt sorry for Gianniso bruised now that even a feeble punch from little Paolo could hurt him. Gianni glowered at Paoloand so did I! (35)
It was a kind of desecration: Giannis splendid body being messed with by a runt like Paolo! (36)
And to cap it all, Paolo kneed Gianni in the balls! (37)
When I had done that, I had had no alternative, or else Gianni would have beaten mebut Paolo had no need to, because Renzo and I had Gianni totally under control.
Oh, Gianni, Im sorry, you dont deserve this : I didnt say that out loud, but that was what was going through my mind as I watched the agony on poor Giannis face. (38)
Twice more Paolo punched Gianni, in the belly (39)
and in the chest. (40)
At that point I couldnt stand it any longer, seeing the little pipsqueak insult the handsome footballer like this. (39a)
Renzo, isnt it your turn? I said.
Good thinking! replied Renzo, and immediately let go of Giannis left arm.
I grabbed my chance. I seized hold of both of Giannis arms from behind, so that my chest was pressed up against Giannis muscular back. Against my own skin, I could feel the satin-smooth skin of Gianni, slick with perspiration. With my arms and hands I could sense the power latent in his awesome shoulders and biceps. I realised it was my responsibility (my privilege!) to prevent Gianni from using his superb strength now to ruin Renzo and Paolo (41)
Above all, I was intoxicated by what my nostrils were sensing. The smell of Giannis hair the musky smell of his armpits all the pungent sweaty smell of a proud young athlete! And not just proud but eye-catchingly handsome pushed close to the limit of his endurance one against three, yet still defiantly resisting (42)
As Renzo continued punishing Gianni, the weight of his punches was transmitted to me through Giannis body. (43)
Then Paolo too joined in, coordinating his attack with Renzo. It was as if Gianni and I were fellow-victims !
First the two of them pounded Giannis chest (44).
Then their fists, like a double battering-ram, slammed into his belly (45).
What I felt was its hard to describe a delicious agony an ecstasy of painful admiration for this beautiful young man. I felt privileged to have his shoulders pressed against my chest. The weight of his body, held upright by my arms encircling his, was a weight that I would happily have carried for ever (44a, 45a)
5. Giannis opportunity
My ecstasy was interrupted. Let go of him! commanded Renzo. I obeyed. Would Gianni collapse? No! He stood, dazed, mouth agapeuntil Renzo grabbed his head and slammed his forehead into a metal post: CLUNGGG! (46)
Gianni staggered drunkenly. Yet even now he managed not to collapse!
Renzo steered Gianni around so that his back leaned against the post. What would he do now? Would the amazing Gianni still defy himstill defy all of us?
After this build-upwhat an anticlimax! Renzo hit Gianni in the stomach again with his fistyet casually, almost bored (47)
Oh, Gianni deserved so much better than that! He deserved an opponent with passion, one that appreciated his courage and strength and beauty! My admiration for him compelled me to intervene
Its my turn! I yelled. Im in the football clubI deserve to have more time with him! And before Renzo could say anything, I grabbed Gianni by the throat (48)
to hold him in position against the post before slamming his jaw with my right fist.
This time I held nothing back. (49)
I didnt care about Renzo, I didnt care about Paolo. All I cared about was showing Gianni how much I admired his stamina. The proud athlete would understand that I was giving him an opportunity to demonstrate his amazing power of endurance. (Or so I hoped.) So I blasted him in the belly as hard as I could with my right fist. (50)
He sagged forward (51),
but I came in close for a follow-up sledgehammer blow from my left. Then, with a wide swing, I slammed my fist into his jaw (52).
It was a way of paying tribute to himwhile at the same time (I hoped) he would recognise me as a worthy opponent. Renzo and Paolo were mere bit players, while Gianni and I were superstarsmy smooth chunky muscularity (52a)
complementing his superb lean physique
I was elated. I could have gone on and on and on, paying homage to Gianni with my fists. Just by staying upright, the football star would in the end be the winner the more sweaty and bruised his torso, the more gloriously it would shine in triumph
But Gianni disappointed me. Oh, he disappointed me so cruelly!
6. My revenge on Gianni
After that punch on the jaw, Gianni nearly fell. His staminathat stamina that I had counted on, enabling him to absorb endless punishmentseemed to have abruptly run out. Only Renzo saved him, by grabbing his arms. And now Gianni could stay upright only with the help of Renzo, who held on to his wrists behind the post. (53)
So Gianni wasnt invincible after all!
My mood changed from elation to fury. Giannis chest, his pectoral muscles, the contours of his absthey had never looked more beautiful than they did now. Yet the beautiful young man had let me down. He had endured so much punishment from Renzo and Paoloyet, after only three more blows from me, he had crumpled!
I was not interested in paying homage to Gianni any more. I wanted now to punish himand punish him far more savagely than Renzo or Paolo would have done. I showed my contempt for him by squashing his nose with my elbow. (54)
Then I punched him in the balls (55)
and elbowed him in the belly (56)
How different from when I had been behind Gianni, supporting him while Renzo and Paolo punched him! Back then, his pride and courage and beauty seemed to demand chivalrous treatment. But not now. Now he deserved no mercy. It was with a new sort of cold satisfaction that I held him by the shoulders while kneeing him in the groin (57)
and then the belly. (58)
His grunts and gasps of painthey were music to my ears. (59)
The pain was no more than what he deserved for despising my help against Renzo. Yes, he would have despised my help, I was sure of it. Anyway, that other possibilityoption oneit was too late for that now it would always be too late
Renzo manoeuvred Gianni away from the post. Gianni was too weak to stand now, so Renzo allowed him to sink to his knees. But that was not the end of his punishment. Oh no! Angry disappointment kept my adrenalin pumping. Giannis handsome face (60)
and his soft abs (61, 62)
they deserved every ounce of the pain that my knuckles were inflicting ...
7. Beauty vanquished
Let me have a go! It was Paolo. And, strangely, I found I was no longer reluctant to hand Gianni over to that little runt. To be punched and kicked by Paolothat would be a humiliation, but one that Gianni now deserved. Besides, it gave me the opportunity to stand back and watch
First Paolo kicked Gianni in the face. (63)
Oh wow! The ultimate indignity! And Giannis body, so slim, now so vulnerable his ribcage, his nipples, the muscles of his sides and belly I couldnt tear my eyes away (63a)
Gianni was trapped between beefy Renzo, towering over him, and vicious Paolo, relishing the opportunity to torture him. He groaned as Paolo punched him in the balls (64)
and in the sternum. (65)
Giannis armsthose arms that had inflicted such pain on Renzo not long agodangled like overcooked spaghetti. (66)
With my side view of Giannis lean physique, I couldnt help noticing how appearances deceive. His dark nipples still highlighted the bulges of his pectoral muscles, echoed by the elegant half-moon contours of his chest. Yet those formidable muscles, mashed to pulp, were useless now (67)
Oh, things could have been so different!that was the thought that flooded into my mind. Gianni, Gianni, if only you had noticed meif only you had asked for my help at the start, when Renzo provoked you! It could have been Renzo kneeling in defeat now, Paolo fleeing in terror, and the two of us relishing together our victory over a thug and a coward!
But it was too late. Consciousness was at last draining from Gianni. Renzo,
looming above him, was still supporting his body. But his head was lolling to
one side. At last his pupils rolled upwards. (68)
Beauty had finally been vanquished. (69)
8. Darker delights in store
The three of us looked down at our victim. Then Renzo, grinning, turned his back and walked away. Paolo and I followed. But I couldnt stop myself from looking over my shoulder towards where Gianni lay. The star footballers battered body could have been a discarded mannequin. But then I saw the eyelids flicker one arm twitched I heard a soft moan
I made a supreme effort. I forced myself to face forward. I carried on on walking. My future lay with Renzo and Paolo now.
That was fun, huh? asked Renzo.
Yeah, that was fun! I answered.
You did good, Alberto! I have to say, I thought you were going easy on him at first. But later on you seemed to get a real fire in your belly, you smacked him around good and hard. I can tell youve got the makings of a good reliable enforcer, a dude wholl be feared and obeyed. Youll like that, huh?
Yeah, sure, if you think Im
Youre too modest, kiddo! Renzo slapped me on the shoulder. Believe me, youre gonna be respected around town! No one will want to mess with youand, as youll be working for me, Ill make sure youre rewarded
Oh, wow! A new sort of elation flooded my brain. In my minds eye I conjured up an image of myself as Renzos right-hand man, a brutal enforcer, someone to be dreaded. As I beat to his knees some poor shmuck who has earned Renzos displeasure, I will be cool and and businesslike .
It is only a job of work, after all. But then I will allow the guy to stagger to his feet again, babbling pathetically (Please, please, dont hit me any more, Ill do whatever Renzo wants!), and I will at last smileas I administer yet more punishment! .
Oh yes! As Renzos notorious hard man with the golden neckchain, I will enjoy my work. People will not like me. But what does that matter, so long as they dance to my tune?
And what will it matter if my arms never again feel Giannis weight, my
solid strength complementing his exquisite beauty?
The world is full of Adonises, just waiting to be punished