By: Sam Crescent

“Stop worrying about how much I’m being charged. Anything new with you?”

“I think Eric may propose. He’s getting all serious.”

Eric was her serious boyfriend, who she completely adored, but refused to show it. This was what his friends ribbed him about every chance he got. Not only was he known for being a hit with the ladies, but he was also a nice guy, which made girls annoyed. They couldn’t hate him even if they wanted to, and also, he was a hot guy. He was tall, muscular, with messy blond hair that looked hot on a guy and ugly on girls, and blue eyes that made girls think of the ocean when he was screwing them. Not to mention he’d gotten some wicked ink during a trip to Vegas his dad took him on to see a game. It made him pretty badass, and his friends wanted to get one afterward.

It was damn good being Noah Stewart. He loved his life, and nothing was going to change that.

“You make sure I’m at the wedding.”

“Shut up, Noah. Oh, we had a newbie today. She joined via the phone, wants absolutely no help.”

“That’s not unusual.”

“Yeah? She looks like a fish out of water. I think she’s just hoping everything will fall into place for her,” Sarah said.

This was what he liked about Sarah, she didn’t judge anyone. At some of the gyms he’d visited there was a horrible feel to the place where people trying to lose weight were made to feel like shit. Bruce, he had a motto, you came to his gym for a reason. He’d leave you alone until you asked for help.

“You know, she looked close to your age. Maybe you know her?”

“Doubt it. I go across town to avoid the chicks in my area. You know that.”

“How could I forget the whole screaming girl incident, where one of your conquests tried to hit you with a weight?” Sarah asked, chuckling.

“Look, it’s not all my fault.”

“Yeah, yeah, being young and hot is a curse.”

“You should know. You’re hot.”

“Shut it, and I noticed you didn’t quote young.”

“I can’t lie.”

She threw a towel at him, laughing. “Go, before your body starts to go into withdrawal because you’re not working it.”

He gave her a wave and made his way toward the changing rooms. There he changed into his workout clothes before heading out. He did some light stretches on his way into lifting some weights. The definition on his arms helped him to catch the girls, but it also gave him the strength he needed while playing. Noah didn’t know what he’d do with his life if he didn’t have the option of playing ball. It gave him focus.

Several of the guys nodded at him as they made their way to different apparatus. This was what he liked about training here, he got left alone. The last thing he wanted was a scene. He’d been there, done that, and he wasn’t interested in the experience again.

After he was sufficiently warmed up, he started light on his arm reps, building up, alternating between each arm. When he was happy there, he started to do some squats, lifting the weights out either side of his body, and drawing them back in.

For the next hour, he worked the whole of his body, building up a sweat. He was warmed up, pumped, and ready to hit the treadmill. With a towel around his neck, he walked into the running room, and saw several people he recognized. Looking to his left, he froze when he caught sight of a chick he did recognize.

What the fuck was Elsa Quinn doing in a gym?

He paused, glancing around the room, and then back at the girl from his own high school. She didn’t look back at him, nor did she appear to care who was in the room. She wore one of the largest, ugliest shirts he’d ever seen. He saw the signs of perspiration under her armpits. Her thighs were also swallowed up.

She had interrupted his place of peace.

Was this the girl who Sarah was talking about? No, she was going to have to go. This was his place, his gym.

Moving toward the running machine closest to her, he started at a steady walk. “What the hell are you doing here?” he asked.

She tripped, and caught herself by holding onto either side of the machine, turning to look at him.

Her eyes were so dark as she stared at him. Noah forced himself to look right back at her. There was always something … inviting about her eyes. During high school, he’d noticed how dark they were, and how they stared at something, trying to figure it out. They were beautiful eyes.

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