Chapter 1 Ashley
I’m behind the front desk with my elbows holding up my head when the phone rings. “Thank you for calling World Fitness of Austin. How may I help you?”
“Ash, it’s Kelly,” she says.
“Your fucking late bitch,” I say quietly over the phone.
“I know. I over slept. I’m on my way,” she says.
“I’ll cover your ass, but you better hurry. If you want to make it up to me, you could buy me breakfast.”
“Thank you babe. I love you.”
“Yeah, just hurry your ass up,” as I hang up the phone. Sometimes I just want to kill her, but she’s my best friend since grade school. She and I have been through a lot. She was with me when I got married right after high school. She was even with me when I got divorced. Kelly and I are like peas and carrots, even to this day. Marriage to Kelly is just stupid. I loved the fact I was married. He was my high school sweetheart when I first met him in 9th grade. He was a grade ahead of me and a year older. Kelly on the other hand doesn’t want to be tied down. She likes playing the field as she calls it. Kelly made a joke a while back that said. If she takes all the good things from all the guys she sleeps with, she might get her knight in shining armor.
Ten minutes later Kelly comes running in and throws a bag at me. “About time,” I say as I look in the bag. “You bought me McDonald’s? Are you trying to get me fired?” I say laughing at her.
One of the big rules of the gym is no junk food. So I take a chair and sit behind the front desk and eat my breakfast. She got me the breakfast platter with everything on it. She really knows me. I like the fact I can eat junk food and it won’t go to my hips. My metabolism is so high, anything I eat, it burns off. Kelly hates the fact I can eat so much and still have this figure.
Kelly comes back from the lockers. “Brent wants to know who’s going to work the bar today?” She says. We call it the bar even though it’s a juice bar where we can make any protein shake and smoothie known to man. It’s like a little convenient store, but it’s all healthy. Kelly looks at me waiting for me to give her an answer.
“I’ll stay here today. If I smell another protein kale smoothie, somebody’s getting punched in the face.”
“Ok, chill chick. I’ll work the bar,” she says clapping her hands.
Later that day, the front desk was a little slow for a Friday afternoon. Couple members lost their ID’s. I did maybe a dozen new memberships, and answered the phone. I look over at the juice bar and see Kelly leaning on the bar staring at someone with her elbows on the bar holding her head up. She’s staring hard at someone and not blinking. I pick up the phone and page the bar. It took several rings before she snapped out of her trance.
“Juice bar, this is Kelly.”
“What the fuck are you staring at?” I say with a giggle.
“Rob, he’s on the row machine with his shirt off,” she says while waving her hand at her face. I look over at the row machine to see who Rob is. My eyes got big for a second. I hate to tell her, he’s gay. That and his roommate slash boyfriend come in at night and share the same locker. But, I let her have her fun and dream of having his babies. Brent walks up to me as I hang up the phone.
“You ready for your break?” He asks.
“Sure why not.” As I walk around the front desk and head toward the juice bar. I see Kelly is still starring at Rob. I step inside the juice bar to look for something to eat. I’m not in the mood for a smoothie or a protein shake. There are so many different kinds if protein bars, nothing looked appetizing to me. So I go to the vending machine in the cafeteria room where there’s a lot of tables and chairs. I walk up to the vending machine and find a decent salad in there. I find one with a real dressing, not the fat free ones. I like a thick dressing, like blue cheese. I swipe my card, put in the number of the selection, and down it falls. This vending machine is one of those that spin a wheel and the item falls down. What I don’t understand is why are the salads on top, and all the sandwiches are at the bottom? Never understood that. I push the door and pull out my tossed salad. I find a clean table and have a seat. I open the salad and squeeze the dressing in. Close the lid back and start shaking.
Halfway through my salad, a good-looking tall man sits down across from me. He puts his duffle bag on the table and starts to go through it. He pulls out workout clothes, wallet, keys, extra shoes, and a mask.
“You robbing a bank?” I ask him.
“Excuse me?” He says.
“The mask,” as I wave my hand over my face.
“Oh this. It’s for work,” he tells me.
“What kind of job makes you wear a mask? Bank robbers do,” I say with a small laugh. He looks around the room, then back at me.
“Do you mind if I sit with you?” He asks. I nod my head as he picks everything up and puts it all back in his bag. He takes a seat next to me. “Hi, I’m Dean. I work at the Logan estates,” he says.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Ashley,” as I shack his hand. I look at him like I’ve heard that name before. “I must be thinking of the swingers’ mansion called the L.S.” I say to him.
“It is,” he says with a smile.
“No shit! You work at a swingers’ mansion? You get paid to fuck other people?”
“No, it’s not like that. I’m a watcher,” he says while keeping a straight face.
“Well that’s kind of creepy. You’re watching others have sex,” I say with a half cocked smile.
“No, I mean yes. I watch others, but I’m watching to make sure the guests stay and stick to the rules of the house, or I ask them to leave. Depending on the level of what they did. When I talk to Mr. Logan about it, depends on if they can come back or be thrown out indefinitely.”
“Ok, now that you say it like that. Doesn’t make it sound so bad. I’ve always wanted to go see a swingers’ house,” I say as I shovel another fork of salad in my mouth.
“Would you like to join me this Saturday night?” He says with a questionable face. “We could use another set of eyes. Mr. Logan is expanding and would like to bring in another twenty couples,” he says.
“I don’t know.”
“Ok, just to let you know, its one Saturday every other week,” he says as he pulls out a protein bar out of his bag.
“So, it’s only two nights a month?” I ask.
“Yep. He pays well too. But I wouldn’t quit your day job just yet.”
“I think I might be able to pull that off every other week. What are the hours?”
“The party starts around 7 P.M. and ends sometime around 3 or 4 in the morning. If you’re interested?” He says as he hands me a business card with his name on it. “Call me, if you have any questions,” he says as he zips up his bag back up. “It was nice meeting you Ashley,” as he stands up, then waves and walks away.
I look at his card, and he owns his own landscaping business. A big smile hits my face as I finish eating my salad. I throw my trash away and look for Kelly. She’s at the bar making a pineapple and kale smoothie. I crinkle my nose to the smell of that.
“Hey, are we scheduled to work Sunday morning?” I ask her. Kelly looks up at me.
“I’m working. I think you’re off Sunday,” she says. I do a fist bump to the side. “What are you so excited about? You got a date tomorrow? I saw you talking to that tall stud in there.”
“I’ll let you know more about it later,” as I walk away and go back up front.