#18 Flirty fights
I’m ready for a fight. I’ve been ready for it all damn day. Dylan is on a date, so he can’t box with me tonight, but I’m pretty sure Aston is in, so I grab my bike and make my way to the gym. Since that night with Debby three months ago, I haven’t been with anyone else, and that’s not something I’m used to. Let’s just say my right hand has been plenty busy since I decided to stop dragging hot blondes into my bedroom. I’m not really feeling any of the girls in run into anyway, so why bother with any of them?
“That’s it, gimme three more,” Aton’s booming voice sounds through the gym when I walk in and head to the locker rooms. “Yeah, nice. Add a right hook at the end now, girl. One – two – thee. Nice. Again!”
I smile to myself, recognizing the basics of his boxing training. I’m way past that by now, but it’s always nice when new people learn to throw a few punches. Maybe I’ll have someone new to train with soon. I usually spar with Dylan or Aston, and there are three more guys who I can text when I need someone to work out with, but they’ve all got families at home demanding their attention. I could use a new workout partner with how often I’m in here.
“Elbow up!” Aston shouts, his voice making it all the way to the locker room. “One – two – thee. Okay, full combo now. One – two. Right hook… One – two – thee – slip… back. Again!”
Once I’m in my workout clothes, I grab my gloves and head out to the ring, eager to see who’s in there. I’m hoping for a huge, muscular dude who I can throw around today. I’m in the mood for a good fight. And if the new dude’s not up for it, hopefully Aston is up for a match.
Oh. I blink a few times when I see a tight little ass and long blonde hair. It’s a girl.
“Hey Thomas!” Aston calls, still moving so the girl can throw her practice punches.
Her footwork falters, and she lowers her gloves, turning around to meet my gaze.
“Tracy,” I say, trying to keep my voice level. I haven’t seen her in over two months, and she looks even better than I remember. Her face is red and sweaty, and her breasts are heaving underneath her green shirt. She looks fit as fuck.
“Thomas,” she says, eyes intent on mine.
“You know each other?” Aston asks, his gaze moving from her to me, his eyebrows raised.
“Yeah, we used to fuck,” Tracy says like it’s no big deal whatsoever.
I laugh, unable to help myself. She has this way of cutting through all the bullshit and making me feel right back at ease with her, even though I’m still hurt over how we left things.
“Nice,” Aston comments, winking at me. “I’ve gotta teach a spinning class in a few. Thom, you up to sparring with Tracy? She’s been boxing for a few weeks now, and she’s a natural.”
“You don’t have to,” she tells me, blowing an unruly strand of hair out of her face.
“Please, bitch, you were just telling me how you need to blow off some steam today,” Aston says, nudging her. “Or are you scared Thomas will charm your pants off in the middle of the gym?”
She grins and shakes her head at him. “Of course not.”
“I’m game if you are,” I tell her, already stepping into the ring. I’ve been wanting to talk to her for weeks now, and I’m not going to let this opportunity slip through my fingers. No way.
“Good man,” Aston says, handing me the pads so I can get ready for Tracy to start hitting me. He winks at me and mouths “go get some” before jumping over the ropes around the ring and heading to the spinning class he’s about to teach.
“Hey,” Tracy says, and for the first time since I laid eyes on her, I notice that she’s got that vulnerable look in her eyes that she’s trying to cover up by locking her jaw and furrowing her brow.
“Shit day?” I ask, holding up the pads and making sure I’m in a steady position. “I bet hitting me will help.”
“I think it might,” she agrees, going back to the combination she and Aston were practicing.
Just like Aston, I tell her what to do, and she shifts from one combo to the other with ease, making me suspect she’s been in here a lot. I don’t usually come in at this time, so it makes sense that I haven’t seen her in here. Dylan and I prefer late mornings in the gym, when the place is mostly empty. Right now, the spinning class is in full session and we can hear Aston yelling for everyone to push harder. There are also several guys in the weight room, and some older women on the treadmills. And then there is Tracy, looking like a sweaty goddess in her workout gear, her gloves advancing on me whenever I yell at her to start a new combo.
“How have you been?” I ask when we take a break so she can drink some water.
She runs the back of her arm across her forehead, wiping away some sweat. “I’m okay. How are you?”
I shrug. “Same old, same old. I guess. It’s been weird without you.”
Fuck, why did I just say that?
“Yeah, I’ve been wanting to call you,” she says, sounding like she’s not sure she should be telling me this. “I just wasn’t sure what to say.”
“What about… Hey Thomas, I miss your big dick and wish we could still fuck every day?”
She laughs and gives me a playful shove. “You wish.”
Hell yeah I do. But I can’t say that to her.
“You still with Michel?” I ask, praying to God they broke up already.
“Yeah, he sort of moved with me last week,” she says, not looking too happy about that.
“Congrats, I guess?” I search her expression, which seems to be void of any emotion whatsoever. Tracy, queen of the poker face, or so she’d like to think. “Is that why you’re boxing with Aston? To escape those close quarters with Michel?” It was only a joke, but the flash of panic in my eyes let sme know I’m right.
Very, very interesting.
“Are we gonna talk about our feelings like we’re 12-year-old girls, or are we gonna box?” she asks, pulling her gloves back on.
“Box,” I agree, getting ready too. Instead of the training pads, I put on my gloves and show her how to stand and how to move her shoulder when throwing a punch. I block her every single time with ease, and she gets frustrated, hitting me harder and faster with every blow, even thought she’s getting tired fast.
“Fucking hell,” she grunts, taking a step back before throwing her whole weight into the next punch, trying to hit me in the stomach.
I laugh and sidestep her, causing her to stumble. Before she can fall on her face, I grab her around the waist, hoisting her back to her feet. Our bodies collide and it feels so damn good to have her in my arms again that I have a hard time letting go.
“Okay, I’m done,” she decides, throwing her gloves at my head when we break apart. Instead of getting out of the ring, she sinks down onto the ground and frees her hair from her high ponytail, pulling her fingers through the tangles, sweaty mess.
I sit down across from her, close enough to touch without actually doing so. I put my gloves down and redo my bun, keeping my eyes on her the whole time.
“You look good,” she says, her eyes moving over my body. “I can tell you’ve been working out even more than you used to. Nice biceps.”
I grin. “Nice ass.”
She laughs and kicks at me with her foot, which I grab so I can pull her closer.
“Nice man-bun,” she says, pulling my hair out its bun and tossing the band to the side with a dangerous glint in her eyes.
“Nice tits,” I shoot back, letting my eyes travel south.
“My eyes are up here, Thom,” she says, but she doesn’t sound like she minds.
“Oh I know, but I wasn’t complimenting your eyes, now was I?”
She pulls away from me and gets up to pick up her gloves, getting out of the ring to throw them in the box in the corner of the gym. Unlike me, she doesn’t have her own gloves, apparently.
“Have you ever lived with someone?” she asks when I catch up with her. She steps onto a treadmill and even though I hate running, I get on the one right next to her, matching her strides.
“Nah, not really. Had a girlfriend after college who kinda moved in for three months or so, but she still had her own apartment to go back to when we broke up.” I glance at her, and I see that vulnerable look again, the one that makes me want to hold her close and never let go. “What’s it like living with Michel? What did he promise you to get you to agree to that, anyway? Hot threesomes every Friday night or something?”
A smile breaks out across her face and she rolls her eyes. She’s running way faster than I am, and she’s still able to talk like she’s taking a leisurely stroll. The girl’s got stamina. “Maybe. Why? Hoping for an invitation?”
“You wish, Packard.”
“No, I think you do, Riley.”
“Oh, I do,” I agree, winking at her. “I’m not into Michel, but if he wants to watch me fuck his girl, I’m game.” I’m only kidding, obviously, but the look of surprised arousal in her eyes is making me imagine doing just that. Fuck me, I want her. I’ve missed her wet cunt clamping around my cock, her soft moans, that soft warm skin under my fingertips, her flushed cheeks…
“Do you always run like a grandpa?” she asks, frowning at my speed while she dials it up on her own treadmill. “You’ve got muscles for days, but I guess you’re not all that fast, are you?”
“Guess you’ve just had more practice running away from people than I have,” I shoot back, regretting my words the moment I see the hurt register in her eyes. “It was just a joke,” I say when she turns away from me and starts running even faster, looking like she’s trying to outpace her own thoughts. “Tracy, slow down.”
Instead of listening, she presses the button to pick up her speed, and I get a little worried as I see her sprinting, chest heaving and sweat streaming down her body. Just when I think she’s going to fall the fuck off, she turns the pace back down to match mine, taking a moment to catch her breath.
“Damn,” I mumble. “Show-off.”
“I’m in here four times a week,” she says with a shrug, slowing down a little more so she can gulp down some water.
“Evenings?” I ask, smiling when she nods. “Guess I’ll have to switch my morning work-outs to evening ones then. You may run fast, but you could use someone to box with. And so could I, for that matter.”
“Don’t you spar with Dylan?” she asks, looking at me like she’s not sure what to do with me. Neither do I, so I can’t blame the girl.
“Yeah, and I bet he’d love to kick your ass too. We can take turns.”
“Take turns?” she asks teasingly, shutting off the treadmill so she can jump off and stretch, grunting when she feels the burn in her legs. “I thought that you liked it when everyone participated all at once, Mr. Threesome. Since when are you into taking turns?”
“Hey, I was only talking about boxing, Mrs. Dirty Mind,” I counter. It’s scary how easily we fall back into our old pattern of flirty banter.
“A dirty mind is a joy forever,” Tracy says, holding up her bottle of water in a strange toast. “Anyway, I’m gonna head home. I need a shower. Thanks for the workout.”
“Sure thing,” I watch her grab her stuff and head out. We smile at each other when she glances back over her shoulder, and while she still looks a little off, she doesn’t have that vulnerable vibe to her anymore. She seems in higher spirits, and I’m glad that I could help her have a better night.
On the downside, I didn’t actually talk to her. Sure, we flirted and laughed, but I didn’t tell her that I miss her, or ask her if she wants to hang out soon. Maybe that’s for the best. She’s got a boyfriend, and he moved in with her, for crying out loud. The look her eyes when she talked about living with him makes me feel like I might still have a shot with her, but I know better than to push Tracy. She’s not a girl you can push to do something she doesn’t want, and I learned from my mistakes with Franny. Timing is everything.
I like Tracy.
There, I’ve said it. I do. I really like her.
At the same time, I know she’s got all kinds of issues and I’m not about to take all of those on. Michel has been battling them for almost six years now, and it’s obviously so goddamn hard to be with her that he feels the needs to take a break from her every few months.
Still, I can’t help but wish I’d get a shot to at least see where things could go with her.
Who knows? Maybe he’ll drive her up the walls now that they’re living together, and she’ll tell him to take a hike in a few weeks. A guy can only hope.