“Why is it not surprising that Tom is flirting with my gym members?” I laughed as Ray and I walked into my gym.
I watched in amusement as Tom increased the speed and inclination of the treadmill he was practically sprinting on as he grinned at the woman running on the treadmill next to him. Tom was a good looking guy. While, at first glance, the most domineering feature of Ray was his build and how sturdy he was, Tom’s domineering feature was his charismatic personality. It practically oozed off him as though he perspired charm instead of sweat and the woman on the treadmill was falling for it hook, line and sinker.
I was actually quite intrigued to see how this would turn out, so Ray and I stood to the side as we watched Tom run faster which only resulted in him sweating more and his defined muscles bulge as his arms swung back and forth. The woman’s eyes were flickered from the screen in front of her to Tom’s body and as soon as she looked up at his face he winked and smiled. That small gesture was enough to make the woman lose her footing on the treadmill and sent her flying back against the wall behind her.
My eyes widened and I was already starting to take a step forward to see if she okay when Tom caught me by surprise and purposely copied her. His fall was obviously premeditated as he was sent hurtling down against the wall next to her, effectively taking away some of the embarrassment from her. He landed with an ‘oomph!’ but looked over at her breathing hard and sent her a crooked smile. “So... come here often?”
I stuffed my fist in my mouth as I burst out laughing. I was practically choking on my laughter at how seriously he asked her without so much as a hint of embarrassment that they’re sprawled on the floor against a wall with their treadmills still whirring. “Smooth, isn’t he?” Ray chuckled shaking his head.
“I have to give him credit” I laughed wiping a tear from my eye as random shudders of laughter wracked my shoulders. “He’s good. I’m so glad he doesn’t affect me... that fall looked painful”
That made Ray finally burst out in laughter and he kissed the top of my head. His laughter caught Tom’s attention as he looked up to see us with a cheeky grin. He stood up and helped the woman up as well, but before walking over to us he flipped her hand over and kissed the back of it.
“Well, if it isn’t the love birds! How’s my godson or goddaughter coming along?” My smile dropped and I shot him a dead panned face before looking over to a blushing Ray who was glaring at his best friend.
“Shaw... my leg may have been shot and is recovering... but there is nothing wrong with my fists” He warned Tom. Tom raised his hands in defence but his smirk showed he was holding another comment back.
I simply watched them with an amused grin playing on my lips. “Boys, boys we have work to do” I playfully chastised them.
“Oh, already getting told off by the girlfriend. Looks like the Beauty has put the Beast on a leash” Tom laughed before making whipping noises. I rolled my eyes and Ray grumbled under his breath. Where does Tom seriously get these comments?
“You ready Ray?” I asked throwing my baggy tank top into my office so I stood in a sports bra, leggings and running shoes.
“Always” He replied stretching out his arms across his body.
I could tell that even though Ray was fit now, he used be even more fit before his injury. Having had to stay in shape for such a long period of time his muscle memory would help a lot to get him back into the same fitness level or maybe even better within a shorter time period. I instructed him and helped him throughout his training and most of the time he didn’t need it. I just liked hovering about him. Tom, who had ‘helped’ at the beginning, was now back to flirting with another woman seeing as the first one had already left. Probably from a bruised tailbone... and dignity.
“How’s your leg feeling?” I asked as I watched Ray holding a barbell across his broad shoulders and slowly doing squats. I had insisted that he do these at the end before warming down on the treadmill because it would help his thighs, especially his shot thigh, and I could tell it was still bothering him once he began to stand back up. Plus the sight of his buns of steel was swoon worthy.
“It’s getting better” He panted out, “Right now, yeah, it’s hurting but only because you’re trying to kill me with these slow squats”
I laughed and counted down his last squat before pulling it to the side onto the metal shelf. “Stop being a baby, it’s not that bad. Okay, ten minutes on the treadmill on a fast jog before walking for five minutes then you’re done”
He ran the fifteen minutes and by the time he stepped off I threw a cold water bottle at him and watched him gulp it down like a dying man in a desert. “You’d probably do better than a lot of other woman, and men, back in the military” He said after finishing the water. “You seem have no end to your endurance. I have good stamina... but damn, I might have to work on it to keep up with you”
I did a double take at Ray when his words registered into my brain. There was so much double meaning to that simple sentence and I found myself blushing at my dirty thoughts of us matching our stamina together. Damn.
“I’m going to hit the showers. I’ll pick you up tonight?”
I nodded, “Yeah, sounds great. Come around, say nine o’clock, and we’ll grab something to eat before going into town” He nodded in reply and winked before heading into the men’s locker room.
I decided to get in a bit of training in myself seeing as I planned on drinking a little tonight and headed over to my office to grab my ipod before hopping onto a treadmill and running to my ‘Running’ album full of fast paced songs that pumped me up and kept up with my thundering heat beats.
Once again I was stumped on what to wear. Clubbing? I hadn’t gone clubbing in what seemed like years and had no idea what the women were wearing to the clubs nowadays. Ray had called before my shower apologising as he asked if Tom could come along as well. In the background I could hear Tom begging for me to say ‘yes’ and I couldn’t stop the fit of giggles that threatened to suffocate me. I’d told them that Tom was more than welcome to come along and Ray had thanked me though it was a cute mixture of relief and annoyance at Tom.
I’d braided my hair in thick braids after my shower and added a few spritz of sea salt mixed with water and gel over it while I was back to staring my closet. I really needed a new wardrobe but since shopping for clothes wasn’t really something I enjoyed I, once again, made do with what I had. I paired a khaki tube top that had cute golden buttons, which sort of reminded me of the military, with a simple high waisted black skirt. A thin belt would’ve gone nicely with the outfit, but seeing as I didn’t own one, I shrugged and added my only pair of black wedge heels that matched anything and was about as formal as I went.
I stared at my reflection and thought, oh, why the hell not, before adding mascara, and eye liner and slapping my cheeks for colour. I didn’t own any fancy lipsticks or eye shadows so I simply swiped on my lip balm and took out my braids letting my, now, wavy hair fall down my back in stylish beach waves. Simple and not-so-casual, that was me at my most dressed up.
I was reconsidering my top when I heard a knock against the door and I realised it was already nine o’clock. “Coming!” I shouted in the direction of the door as I rushed around my room grabbing my lip balm, phone, keys and tossing anything I might need from my wallet into a plain black clutch with a thick strap for my wrist.
I yanked my door open to see Ray looking down. His eyes took in my heeled feet and slowly grazed up my legs and up the curves of my body. By the time his eyes reached mine my cheeks were flushed and I felt as though he’d just completely undressed me with just his eyes. “You, Seychelles, are one beautiful woman” He breathed.
I bit my lip and tore my eyes from his gaze. They were just so penetrating. Instead I took in what he was wearing. He wore fitted, dark jeans and a black button down shirt with boots encasing his feet. He looked positively edible. “And you, Ray, make me one lucky woman” I didn’t miss the slight blush colouring his cheekbones.
“Come on! You have all night to stare at each other! I’m starving!” Tom yelled from the back seat. Tom seemed to be the epitome of ‘mood killer’ today and my poor eye sockets were getting a good work out from all the eye rolling I seemed to be doing today.
“I’m so sorry” Ray apologised with a shake of his head.
“There’s no need to apologise Ray honestly, it’s okay. I’m happy Tom’s coming along” I was pretty sure I was happy anyway.
I hopped into the front seat and greeted Tom who winked and had his ever present grin on his face. Ray drove us to a small Chinese restaurant that was overly decorated and smelt heavenly. The food was amazing and by the end of the meal all three of us were fighting over who was going to pay for the bill. I had been shut down for paying it by the two men and watching them like a tennis match over who was going to pay.
“Let’s just leave” Tom said.
“What... without paying?” Ray looked at him in confusion.
A waitress smiled as she reached our table and gave a card to Tom who was grinning from ear to ear. “I gave my card about half way through the meal and told them to pay the bill with it when we finished” He laughed popping his card back into his wallet.
My jaw dropped before I burst in laughter and was joined by Ray. “Why the hell were we arguing then?!” Tom shrugged.
“Gave us something to do, I guess”
I was in high spirits and by the time we walked up to the club and the line was long full of younger men and women. I walked right up to the bouncer with a smile, “Hey Carl, how’s that torn tendon treating you? I haven’t seen you in a while at the gym”
Carl was another frequent member at the gym and well, I might as well use my connections to get inside faster. “Getting better every day, Shell. I’ll probably get back to the gym in another few weeks. You heading in tonight?”
“Yep, we should there under Cole’s name” Carl nodded, already knowing Cole from the gym, and scanned his clipboard and nodded while crossing names off.
“Head on in”
“Take it easy, Carl!”
“Wow, your woman’s got connections, Beast. I like it!” Tom hollered.
As soon as we stepped inside the bass and music boomed in my ears. I was so used to the quiet whooshing of wind and splashing of the ocean waves that this was a shock to my system. I looked back and noticed Tom was already in flirt mode and heading off. Looks like he’s happily taking care of himself, I noted with a smile.
Apparently tonight was an old R’n’B night and the songs playing hit me in just the right way. The DJs played songs that just made everyone want to grab the person closest to them and dance dirty with them. There was just something about the era of these songs that made me feel so young and carefree and I could feel any bit of apprehension disappear as we squeezed deeper inside the thudding club.
Ray was yelling to me but the music drowned out so he acted out if I wanted a drink. I nodded and he slipped a possessive arm around my waist as we danced our way through the throng of people. The body heat of everyone was beginning to make my skin slick with sweat so that by the time we reached the bar a drink was very much needed already. I shouted at the bartender for a rum and coke and Ray asked for the same. As our drinks were being made I swung my hips from side to side letting the music thump through my body. I hadn’t really danced in a long time and it left my hips feeling a little stiff.
I looked through the people wondering where Cole could be. I recognised probably only half the people here which only made it harder to try and find him. Something cold was held against the side of my neck and I jumped realising that Ray had our drinks, he offered me mine and leaned forward so that his lips were brushing against the shell of my ear, “To letting loose and feeling free”
I repeated his toast and together we pulled our heads back and drank it all in one long gulp. His eyes were hypnotising and suddenly I felt courageous as the alcohol burnt through my system. I kept our eyes connected as I held his hand and pulled him towards the dance floor. As I walked, I swung my hips from side to side to the beat of the song. All of a sudden the song changed and it sounded so sexual I couldn’t help but line my back to the front of his body. I began rolling my body as I grinded my ass back to him and he didn’t hesitate to grip my hips as he began to dance along with me.
Our bodies moved in sync as heat enveloped us and I couldn’t help but think of another way that we could be moving in sync. Ray pulled me harder back against him and I gasped at the hardness that pressed against me. I tipped my head back and raised my arm up to wrap around his neck behind me which brought us even closer together. We danced for several songs, all sounding sexy and perfect for me to rub my body against Ray’s.
“Hey Shell! Glad you could make it!” The sound of Cole’s happy voice snapped me out of my sexual dream of being wrapped up with nothing but Ray around me. His smile was contagious and I grinned back thanking him for inviting us. “No problem! Ray, nice seeing you again!”
The two men shook hands but I noticed Ray kept one hand gripped to my hipbone and would squeeze them every once in a while which set off little jolts of pleasure straight to my core. We walked off the dance floor and to a booth Cole had hired for the night. “Will you be alright for a few minutes Seychelles?” Ray asked me intently.
“Yeah, of course. What’s wrong?”
“I saw Tom back there and let’s just say he doesn’t always realise when a woman is taken. I just need to make sure he’s not drunk off his face and looking at a broken nose any time soon. He chuckled and I shooed him off to look for his friend.
“Where’s your friend going?” Cole asked handing me a rum and coke.
“Boyfriend. And he’s looking for his friend in case his friend gets on the wrong side some woman’s jealous boyfriend” I laughed taking a sip from the cool glass. “I’m really surprised you managed to find us in here Cole, the place is packed!”
“Yeah, I guess. But I noticed you easily enough. After ten years I’m pretty sure I can recognise those legs of yours. You may be short Shell, but you’re pretty much all legs” I burst out laughing and half wondered why. It wasn’t really that funny but I guessed it had something to do with the alcohol. I never was one who could handle my liquor well.
“Well, I looked out for you and couldn’t see squat!” I finished off my drink and continued swaying to the music while I gazed round the club.
The girls, I noticed, wore much shorter skirts, shorts and dresses than I was and were much more revealing in their choice of clothing. It made me painfully aware how plain I actually dressed when I noticed how glittery, shiny and tight they all dressed with matching jewellery and sky high pumps with immaculate make up. I completely passed on wearing any sort of jewellery, even earrings, and my clothing began to look more like something they’d wear to the mall rather than out clubbing.
Cole finished his drink and pointed his thumb over at the dance floor again. “Want to dance? I don’t see Ray anymore and it looks like you want to keep dancing” I was actually surprised at how well I was able to hear now considering the thunderous bass and music.
I looked around and realised that Ray had disappeared. I mentally shook my head, Tom really was a force to be reckoned with. “Sure, you can keep me company while Ray’s looking for Tom”
He led us out to the dance floor with a hand on the small of my back and helped me push through the people when they got a little too grabby. Once we reached the floor I moved away slightly and began dancing to the beat again. Cole was a good dancer. He had the kind of body and moves where dancing came naturally for him. For any dances in high school he and I would always partner up and dance together so dancing with him now felt like old times.
I was shoved forward by some guy and flew straight into Cole’s chest. He wrapped his arms around my shoulders to stop us from falling over and steadied me on my feet. “Hey! Watch it!” He shouted at the group of men who were dancing behind me.
They turned at Cole’s shouting and scoffed but as their eyes landed on me they smirked and turned to give us more attention. Cole carefully pushed me behind him shielding me from their eyes. God, where was Ray? “Well aren’t you a pretty little thing” The closest guy slurred. They were all very obviously wasted if their swaying bodies and blood shot eyes had anything to say. “How ‘bout a dance good lookin’?”
I cringed, “No thanks”
Cole was still eyeing them and shielding me like a human barrier but the man who had bumped into me was walking closer. “Aw come on darlin’, just one dance. I bet your boyfriend here ain’t great company”
Was he serious?
“He’s not my boyfriend. And no, I don’t want to dance with you”
The guy looked back at his friends and laughed. “She’s playing hard to get! I like that! I like the chase!” Cole, I could tell even from behind him, was furious and began to walk us back to move away from the drunken group of men. “Hey, I said I want a dance!”
He no longer looked amused but looked angry now. “I believe she said ‘no’ man, so I’d let it drop if I were you” Cole threatened. I pulled at the back of his shirt, not wanting a fight and just to look for Ray and Tom.
“Oh look at that, the ‘not boyfriend’ is getting protective” He snorted. His laughter cut short when he suddenly moved forward and sloppily threw a punch at Cole in the stomach. It was so unexpected that it winded Cole and I literally heard all the wind get knocked out of him.
Drunk Man reached forward and grabbed my wrist pulling me forward from behind Cole. “I said, I want a dance” He growled angrily.
“F*ck off!” I heard Cole shout I was being yanked back and he threw a punch at Drunk Man across his jaw.
I screamed, but it was only drowned out by the changing of the song. “Cole! Stop! Come on let’s just go!”
Cole was suddenly held down three of Drunk Man’s friends while Drunk Man began throwing punch after punch. “Stop! STOP!” I screamed. By now they’d gotten the attention of the people around them and instead of stopping them, people just watched while others were insane enough to pull out their phones and record the fight!
I jumped forward and tried to shove Drunk Man away but, even though I worked out regularly, he was only put off balance momentarily before back handing me across the face and going back to Cole. Pain exploded behind my cheek but I ignored it as I watched as tears fell from my eyes at what was unfolding before me.
“Seychelles!” I turned and relief filled me when I saw Ray and Tom shoulder barging their way through the crowd. “Shaw get her out! Now!”
Ray looked like he was in airman mode now. His tone was sharp and stern and even Tom’s playful attitude was gone as he nodded once and pulled me away from the scuffle. “Tom! What are you doing! Let me go, you have to help Cole and Ray!”
Tom snorted, “Please Shell... Ray could probably kill all of them with one hand. I have no doubt this will be finished within a matter of minutes”
Tom dragged me through the doors and the cool air hit me like another slap to the face. He forced me to sit on the curb while he dashed into the corner store and bought me a bottle of water. He winced and held it to my cheek. With the adrenaline slowly leaving my system I began to notice the throbbing in my cheek and cringed at how hard Drunk Man actually hit me.
I stared back at the innocent looking doors and hope Ray and Cole was okay. Tom rolled his eyes, “They’ll be fine. Not sure about your little friend, but Ray for sure will come out feeling a little better after he’s had a few punches thrown around. Trust me!”
---> Song on the side is the song that inspired this chapter :) Your Body – Pretty Ricky. I used to love this song when I was in high school!
So here are the contestants for Cole Richards who fit the description and were my two favourite!!!
And hot diggity damn are they fine! ---> Pictures on the side to drool at/pick who you want to as Cole.
Let me know, let me know, let me know :)
Dedicated to @kansasbloom for helping me out!!!