Another One Bites the Dust

By: Lani Lynn Vale
Prologue



No, I’m not on drugs. I’m like this all day, every day. Your welcome!

-T-shirt



Nine Months Prior

Payton



Normally the gym was torture for me. I had to go because my insurance required it if I wanted a better rate. So, every five out of seven days, I came here, forced myself to work out, and then steamed myself until I felt ten pounds lighter. Today, however, was entirely different. I was enjoying the day immensely. The reason for my enjoyment was the man that was currently in front of me.

I watched as the muscles in his arms flexed and bunched, pulling himself up into an extremely controlled pull up. The mirror he was doing said pull-ups in front of showed off his well-defined chest and abdomen. Each time he went up into another pull up, the muscles of his abdomen would bunch, and the two lines known as the “V” of the stomach stood out in stark relief. Each revolution was done with such precise movements, motion, and time that he almost looked inhuman.

I watched from my perch on the mountain climber machine as he stopped his pull-ups, readjusted his grip, and started the whole process all over again. This time, instead of his hands close together in the middle, they were wide and gripped at the very edge of the pull up bar. The muscles in his back worked out more this way, and I stared mesmerized, as was every other woman in the gym today.

I was the only one actually working out though. All the others had their hair down in long sleek sheets down their back, in their cutesy little workout pants and tops. You could tell they weren’t serious about actually working out. If they were, they wouldn’t have had their hair down, nor would they be decked to the walls with makeup.

I looked like a damn bag lady next to these women.

Dressed in sweat pants and a t-shirt that I cut the sleeves off, I stood out like a shining beacon compared to everyone else. My hair was in a ponytail, but half of it was falling down into my eyes and sticking to my forehead. Sweat was pouring down my face, chest, and ass. I had a nice sweat stain going underneath my bra that showed half-moons where my boobs sat against the shirt.

I was four feet eleven and a half inches of semi-toned muscle. I say semi because I was really only working out so I could eat what I want. I was very serious when it came to food. If I didn’t work out, then I would turn into an Oompa Loompa in no time.

Another reason I was here was that I had to be. If I didn’t, things didn’t work right on my body. I worked my ass off to get my body back into somewhat decent physical shape. My body still ached when the weather changed, my tummy was still slightly rounded, and my ass didn’t sit as perky as it used to, but I could get by. Just over a year and a half ago, I was attacked outside the restaurant that ex-boyfriend had taken me to for a night out on the town. While he was able to get away from the men, I wasn’t so lucky.

Months of rehab, followed by my own strenuous workouts, got me back to being able to walk without a limp. It didn’t do anything for my mind though. I was still as scared today as I was in that parking; gravel digging into my skin. Sirens didn’t normally produce a shot of happiness to launch through my veins, but that night it did. I was never so happy to see an ambulance in my life.

Max dropped down from his pull up bar, and walked across the gym in all his shirtless glory. He spotted me instantly, and of course, he couldn’t let an opportunity like this to go to waste. He sauntered up to me with his bulging muscles and cocky personality. The ass knew he looked good, and he made sure to smile at every single woman who was hanging out in the weight section of the gym. I gritted my teeth and tried to ignore him, but he just leaned against the wall and waited me out until I finally caved.

“What do you want, Tremaine?” I panted.

“Nothing. You look a little hot there, Alvarez!” He countered.

“I’m hot. Isn’t that the point of the gym? These,” I said nodding to the women who still weren’t working out, “Fakers aren’t even here to workout. Hell, I don’t even know why they’re here. No, I take that back. Obviously it’s to sit here and look pretty, to take up space, and to make all the uglies like me feel inferior next to their mile long legs, and tits that could put Dolly Parton to shame.”

Max found me amusing, and burst out laughing. Which in turn drew all of the women’s eyes again. They looked upon me with disdain, and then turned their gazes back to their fake workouts. I mean who the hell works out with only the bar while lifting weights? What’s the freakin’ point?

Muscles burning and trying not to cry, I stopped climbing and practically fell off the machine as I tried to step down on my left foot. My ankle gave out, but Max stopped me from toppling to the ground in a boneless heap.

“Maybe you should stop a little earlier next time. You don’t want to overwork yourself.” He said in that annoyingly deep voice.

Of course, he would think I’m inept. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. I disentangled myself reluctantly from his body, and started walking out of the weight area to the locker room. Just as I reached for the door handle, Max’s large hand slammed down above my head and boxed me in.

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