“Penny for your thoughts?”
Evan Matthews looked up from his computer screen to see Nick, his assistant, wander into the office and take a seat.
“You don’t have enough money,” Evan chuckled and set a piece of paper on the desk in front of Nick. “What do you think of this?”
Evan picked up the paper and shrugged. “I don’t think anyone would be interested in this, but the chick in the picture’s hot.”
“Well, I have to plan something. Fred’s on me about creating a healthy work environment, and from what this ad says, health starts with the right food choices.” Evan rolled his eyes. “You have to admit, half the people that work here could stand to lose a few pounds.”
“Well, when you work for a technology firm and spend all day sitting on your ass in front of a computer, you’re bound to get fat.”
“Speak for yourself.” Evan grinned. “I go to the gym every day.”
“Okay, guns. So, let’s hire her as a consultant to see if she can help the team. It can’t hurt, right?”
“Do me a favor. Call the number listed on the flier and see how much she charges for fifty people for one of her food prep courses.” Evan pushed the paper toward Nick.
“Right on it, boss.” Nick grabbed it and stood, raising his brows as he looked at the photo of the brunette smiling candidly in the ad. “This girl, Natasha, might be my next girlfriend if I have anything to say about it.”
“Be professional. She’s hot but remember we work in human resources.” Evan winked.
Nick responded with a grin and left for his own office.
Evan glanced at his desk phone. It was 4:59 PM on a Friday. He still had time to go to the gym, grab something quick to eat, and make it home in time for his guest to arrive at 7:30 PM. He hoped this woman looked half as hot as she did online, unlike the last woman he met. It’s incredible what Photoshop can do, he thought to himself. Once the clock hit 5:00 PM, Evan stood, grabbed his wallet and keys, and headed to his car.
“Goodnight, Mr. Matthews,” Christine, the lobby receptionist, smiled coyly at him as he walked past her.
Evan grinned. “Please, Christine, it’s Evan.”
Christine began working at the firm shortly after Evan started, six years earlier. She was about 5′4", slender, with short blonde hair and blue eyes. Evan was attracted to her but chose to remain professional and not ask her out, keeping in the back of his mind that his objective was to become HR Director. Now at just twenty-eight years old, he had achieved his goal, being promoted three weeks prior.
“Okay,” Christine smiled, “Evan.”
Evan strolled out the front entry doors and approached his brand new, white mustang. It was his second expensive purchase since receiving his big promotion.
Evan looked in the two voices’ direction and saw Beth and Joanne from accounting giggling and smiling his way.
“Enjoy your weekend, ladies,” Evan smirked and waved back as he climbed inside his car and took a deep breath, taking in the smell of the black leather seats. He glanced at his reflection in the rearview mirror and smoothed a strand of brown hair back into place with his fingertips before driving out of the parking lot toward the gym. Once he arrived, he changed into a pair of baggy shorts, white t-shirt and slipped on his sneakers.
Walking out from the locker room, Evan headed to the bench press and carefully considered what size weights to add to the barbell. He hadn’t been to the gym in a week and was ready to push himself back into a routine. I should go for it, Evan thought to himself before picking up a higher weight than usual. He placed the weights on the bar and laid on his back beneath it. Hesitating briefly, Evan lifted the bar up and slowly lowered it towards his chest. Breathing in deeply, he raised his arms, pushing the bar back up.
I might have gone too far, Evan thought before lowering the bar again and exhaling loudly. His arms were shaking as he slowly pressed it back up and carefully put it back into place on the bench press.
“That’s an impressive weight you got on there,” a deep voice called out.
Evan sat up and looked to his right. A guy about his age was lifting free weights beside him. Evan couldn’t help but notice the weights were more than what he could comfortably lift himself.
“Likewise,” Evan chuckled. “I think I might have pushed myself too far, though. I’ve been moving into a new house all week, so I haven’t been here. Got to get back into it.”
The guy smirked and nodded. “Did you buy?”
“A house? Yeah.”
“That’s cool. My girl’s in real estate, and she said it’s a buyer’s market right now.”
Evan nodded. “I got a hell of a deal.” He looked at himself in the mirror in front of him and considered decreasing his weight size. Glimpsing at the guy next to him doing bicep curls, he decided he didn’t want to look weak and laid back down.
“Here, let me spot you.” The guy next to Evan put his free weights back on the stand and walked behind Evan, prepared to grab the barbell if necessary.
“Thanks, man,” Evan grabbed the bar again and lowered it to his chest. After four reps, he put the bar back into place and sat up. “Thanks, man. I’m going to hit the treadmill.”
“Hey, no problem.” The guy grinned. “Just let me know if you need me to spot you again. I’ve dropped a bar on myself before, and it’s not fun.”
Evan chuckled. “Appreciate it, thanks. Name’s Evan Matthews.”
The man nodded. “Joe Russo. See you around, man.”