"This is so gross, Mia. I don't know how you can find those freaks attractive."

"On the contrary, Daisy, it just so happens I have such excellent taste in men."

A pair of young women sat on their apartment living room couch, watching the row of scantily clad bodybuilders posing on stage for the 2019 Mr. Olympia prize on their television monitor.

"Mia, they probably take tons of steroids to get that big." The woman on the left said, turning to her friend on the right.

"A strawman excuse, Daisy. One does not inherit throne of Mr. Olympia by injecting needles and consuming pills." Mia smirked at her roommate's naivety.

"You seriously think they naturally get that big?"

"It is a contest of diet, exercise, muscle definition, mass, symmetry, proportion, and genetic superiority. Many heroes traverse the road to heaven. Only the most alpha of alphas can hope to stand before Heaven's gate to receive its divine blessings." Mia's sly smile widened slightly as she continued watching on the bodybuilding spectacle.

"What the heck does that even mean?" Daisy pouted, slapping the sofa with her meaty palms.

"Open your eyes. You aren't going to be in your twenties forever. I've already passed it two years ago. It is time for both of us to choose a man soon." Mia said

"Wrong! Daddy had me when he was 35." Daisy pouted.

Mia rolled her eyes at her friend's stubbornness. "You don't want to be in your 50s and just starting to raise a child when all your friends have adult children, do you?" Mia gave Daisy a deadpan look. Daisy usually pouted and crossed her arms when she knew Mia had outwitted her, as she usually did. Today, she wasn't having it.

"What happened to that last man you dated?

"Carlo?" Mia's stare hardened.

"Why'd you stop seeing him? He always treated you to dinner at that Italian restaurant after school was out."

Mia often said something nasty when Daisy brought up her failed dates, but today she sighed and turned away.

"He moved."


"Reno's too cold."

"You sure?"

"I don't know, Daisy! How can I ask when he changed his phone number and left without a word?" Mia faced her friend, her voice rising in anger. Daisy cringed. Mia's gaze softened and she gave another sigh before massaging her temple.

"He's just a very troubled soul." Mia muttered softly, almost sadly. "More than was in my power to help him." She whispered under her breath.

Daisy heard, but said nothing as they sat in silence for a few seconds. She turned back to the bodybuilding spectacle on TV then back to her friend, who was staring out the window.

"Uhm… I'm sure you were nice to him and he didn't appreciate." Daisy sputtered an apology. Daisy turned back to the TV. "Can we watch something else?"

Mia nodded and turned back to the television just as Daisy changed the channel, but something caught her eye. "Wait. Go back."

"Huh, what?"

"Go back."


"Go back!" Mia said, louder.

"Mia, you're not even watching it!"

"I said, go back!" Mia's said, still louder.

"Why are you hogging the television anyway? You didn't want me to buy one at first!"

"GO BACK." Mia said through gritted teeth, her eyes narrowed. There was no arguing with Mia when she stared like that. Daisy sighed and switched back to the sports channel. Mia gasped.

"Who is that?"

"That guy?" Daisy pointed at a blonde Scandinavian looking bodybuilder.

Mia didn't answer. Daisy followed her friend's gaze then settled on a certain very statuesque, dark-skinned bodybuilder to the far right. Mia gasped. Daisy blinked.

"Oh my gosh." Mia said breathlessly.

"Wow. He's… really tall." Daisy said.

Easily over 6 feet 6 inches tall, this unknown giant towered head and shoulders over all his competitors on stage. He was not only massively built, but also symmetrical. His shoulders were broad. His pectorals bulged like a plate of armor, giving his body a 3D affect. His thighs were like tree trunks and his bulging calves looked like they could withstand blows from a baseball bat. His waist was rather slim compared to his huge upper and lower body, giving him that prized V-taper shape.

His handsome face had a chiseled jawline covered by a thick beard and mustache. It didn't help that his olive skin made his muscles stand out further compared to his fair skinned peers.

Daisy was looking more out of curiosity. But Mia was transfixed, staring wide-eyed at the bodybuilder in a way Daisy had never seen before.

A familiar voice snapped her out of her daze. The judge, former Mr. Olympia winner Arnold Schwarzenegger, called out the winner of the competition in his German accent. "And the winner is…." He gave a surprised look at the camera then turned back to the contestants. "Alexander Pappas! Hercules of Las Vegas! Congratulations!"

The crowd erupted in celebration. Hercules raised his arms in triumph, smiling broadly and flashing two rows of perfect white teeth as strode over to receive the golden trophy. Towering over the former California governor, he leaned down to shake his hand. Taking the trophy, he bowed to the crowd.

"THANK YOU!" He boomed in a bass voice that made Mia blush and sent her heart racing. "I COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT MY FANS!"

Mia's breathing grew labored as she got lost in her fantasy. She imagined herself being lifted off the ground, held against his broad chest by his powerful arms, his calloused hand cupping her chin, and his thick beard tingling her face as he leaned in for a passionate kiss.

Daisy gave up talking to her friend. A chill ran down her spine but she didn't know why. All she knew was this time that this time, her friend's obsession had reached a dangerous new high. Mia was truly and hopelessly in love.