I walked through the doors of the gym with my phone and car keys in hand, scanning the layout for Emory. I spotted her at the punching bag, repeatedly laying into it. Damn, with how much force that was behind those strikes, you'd think that she and the bag had some kind of beef.
Even though my nerves were all over the place, I stride over, gently tapping her on the shoulder. She jumps away, startled, her hand flying to her chest. But once she realizes it's me, she calms down and softly smiles.
I stifle a laugh. "Did I scare you?" I ask.
She shakes her head, "Scared? No. Startled? A bit, yes."
I frown. "I'm sorry."
"No, no. It's no big deal. I was wondering if you'd come today. I'm happy to see you."
She flashes me a smile, an I immediately feel myself blush. I smirk, "Glad to hear it. So, how does this work exactly?"
She looks me up and down before responding. "Well first, you might want to change into something a little more comfortable."
I glance down at myself, eyeing my ripped jeans and Timberland's. "I didn't bring anything with me." I say.
Now it's her turn to smirk. "It's okay. I've got you covered. Just follow me."
She gestures for me to go with her as she turns away, and I do. She leads me to the back, and into what I quickly recognise as the locker room.
There are a few rows of blue lockers, with a mirror covering one entire wall. She goes into an office of a sort, pulling out a few clothing pieces and hands them to me.
"I'm guessing these will probably fit you. You can keep these to use here if you want, or just bring your own next time." She explains, "I'll show you to your locker."
I follow her over to the very last row, and she points to a locker with the number 87 on it. "Most people don't have locks because as you've probably noticed by now, this place isn't very popular. But you can have one if you want it."
"I don't need one. Thank you for all this." I say, referring to the clothes, showing me around, being so kind, everything. It's just that I'm not very used to people being nice to me. I barely even know what it's like to be around someone who doesn't hate me, let alone try to help me.
Emory must've noticed my darkened mood, because she put a hand on my shoulder, causing me to snap out of my daze. "Are you okay?" She asks, her eyes full of concern. Those beautiful mossy green eyes that sparkle like jewels. Damn, she's gorgeous.
I blink, clearing my thought. "Yeah, yeah I'm fine. Just... thinking," I assure her. I usually have no trouble putting on a stable mask in front of people, but with her, I can basically feel my walls cracking. Those walls I fought to hard to put up. I'll be damned if I'll let some model-looking boxing chick that I just met literally fucking yesterday tear them down.
She smiled warmly at me, and my whole body tensed up when she squeezed my shoulder. "Do you want to talk about it?"
I take a step back, quickly shaking my head. "No. N-no thanks. I um... I better get dressed now." I say, turning away and setting the clothes she gave me on the bench. Before she can say anything, I take off my jacket, but don't bother putting on the shirt. I don't like to wear shirts. I guess I just enjoy showing off my body.
I slip out of my boots and slide my jeans off before stuffing them both in my new locker. "Do I need to wear shoes?" I ask without turning around.
When she doesn't answer I glance behind me. Shes gazing at me sort of longingly while biting her lip, her arms folded across her chest. I doubt she heard me. Heat rises up my collarbone when I realize she's literally staring at my half-naked body. "Um, Emory?" I question, louder this time.
She blinks before raising her eyebrows and meeting my eyes. "Hm?" She asks, unfazed.
I struggle to suppress an eye roll. "I asked if we needed shoes." I repeat.
"Oh, right. No, you can just go barefoot if you want."
"Okay." I return my attention to dressing. I pull on the black leggings that I was borrowing, then turn back to Emory, forgetting all the previous awkwardness and tension. I put my hands on my hips and smile broadly. "All set."
She seems a little confused by my sudden change in behavior, but she shows me out anyway. We end up in the boxing ring, where I first saw her the last time I was here.
"Okay," she starts, clasping her hands in front of her. "We should start with the proper stance, then some basic types of hits and work our way from there. Sound good?"
I nod my head, "yeah."
"First, you always have to make sure your feet are shoulder length apart and your knees are slightly bent. It makes it easier to dodge, put more power into strikes, and it's harder for your opponent to knock you down." She explains, while setting both hands on my shoulders, and gently moving my feet apart with hers, and pushing down so I'm forced to bend my knees slightly. It feels odd to have her so close, but not necessarily in a bad way.
She moves around to my front, pulling my arms up so that my forearms are vertical and my fists slightly cover my face. She continues on with her instruction, "always have your forearms blocking your face unless your striking or attempting to block another area. It's the most common place your opponent is going to try to hit."
I smile at her, "Hey, this is pretty easy."
She smirks, "Yeah, until you get knocked out after taking dozens of blows to the head." Even though I'm pretty sure that was some kind of threat, I laugh it off while she rolls her eyes.
"Now we'll work on jabs. They're quicker, less powerful punches to a specific spot, usually the face." She walks back behind me, one hand on my right wrist, and the other on my waist. She brings my wrist close to my chest before pushing it away in a straight line towards what I suppose would be my opponents head if I had one. "It's the simplist strike. Just shoot out your fist to your target with as much force as you can, then quickly recoil back to your base position."
She did it with me a few more times before letting me get a feel for it on my own. It actually was surprisingly easy to do. "Your doing good," she praises. My face warms as I smile appreciatively.
"Now here's a more damaging one." She informs as she moves my wrist again. Instead of going straight forward, she curves it outward before landing it in the center. When she did this, she pressed on my waist, making me lean into the movement of my arm, which I'm guessing was her goal. Her touch gave me shivers, even though I hid it pretty well. After I repeated that until I got the hang of it, she let go.
She tilted her head as she looked at me, eyeing my toned body. "Do you work out regularly?"
"Yeah. I find it's quite relaxing," I smirk.
"Would you like to just do some basic exercises, then? You've gotten along pretty well with the technique so far, so I think we should see if you're strength matches that." She says.
"Sounds great," I reply. But I mostly just wanted to show off my muscles to her. I mean, I know I said I wasn't going to come onto her, but that doesn't mean I can't make her fall for me. Like, literally anything I do can make people want me, even if I don't try, so it's not a big deal if I do. At least that's what I tell myself as we walk over to the bench press.
It's funny how I have such good confidence with people when it's nothing serious, but as soon as them or I develop real feelings, I psych myself out into thinking I'm not good enough. Actually, that's not really funny. Kinda sad, if you think about it. I frown, and push away those thoughts.
"Okay, so I just want to get a good idea of exactly how strong you are. Do you know how much you can bench?" She queries.
"Not a clue. But I guess we're gonna find out." I lie back on the bench, sliding up until my shoulders are aligned with the bar.
"We'll start with fifty pounds. Think you can handle it?" She asks with an eyebrow raised.
"Yes ma'am. Think you can handle the view?" I tease.
She rolls her eyes, but with a small smile. "Cocky, are we?"
"Always," I assure with a wink.
She proceeds to add a twenty five pound weight to both sides of the bar, then moves to the top of the bench, resting her hands under the bar, but not yet touching it, so that she can catch it if something happens.
"I was born ready." I firmly grip the bar, and pull it down to my chest before pushing it back up. It's not very heavy, which isn't surprising considering all the time I spend working out.
"Wow, okay then, I think we should go ahead and move you up to a hundred pounds, seeing as that was so easy for you," she says after I do a few more reps.
And before you know it, I'm benching a hundred and seventy five pounds a little while later. "It's starting to get a little harder now." I admit as Emory adds twenty five more to each side.
"Are you sure you want to go to two hundred twenty five? We can always continue this some other time." She offers, her face pure concern.
I shake my head. "No, I'm fine. We should keep going." I insist.
"If you say so." I attempt to bench the bar, but my muscles strain under the weight. I can barely make it through on rep before I'm forced to set it back down. I sit up, angry at myself that I couldn't go further.
"To be honest, I can't believe you even made it as far as you did," she praises. She must have seen my disappointed expression. "Most professionals can't do that."
"Really?" I ask, my mood already lightening.
"Yeah." She put a hand on my shoulder, giving it a small squeeze while gazing down at me with a warm smile.
"Thanks." I mumble, looking away.
She removes her hand, scratching the back of her neck with it. "Well, I think that's probably enough for the day."
"Yeah, I should get going." I get up, walking back over to the locker rooms. I quickly change into my normal clothes, leaving the spare ones in my locker.
When I come out, I wave to Emory. "See you tomorrow."
"Bye, Blake. Have a nice evening."