“This bloody heat will be the death of me,” Aurore mumbled, wiping the sweat off her neck. She had had enough of the stifling summer, hoping to god to make the sun disappear; if that was possible.
She turned her attention back to the pudgy man who tried doing another set of push-ups, his muscle tank top was drenched in sweat as it clung onto him like a second skin.
“That’s enough for today. We’ll meet on Tuesday.”
The man looked up from his position, his hands trembling with exertion, “but that’s three days away.” he stood up, trying hard not to pass out, “I need more rest time.”
“You had a whole week off Tim, I can’t keep on cutting you slack.”
“But my daughter was sick.” he coughed out, grabbing for the cold water bottle.
“She had a common cold- all kids have a cold. Just be here on Tuesday or I am revoking the contract.”
“You can’t do that-’
“Yes I can.” she flicked her dark hair over her shoulder and marched away. Tim was a trouble maker, and loved defying her- she was sick of it.
Her sturdy legs took her towards the staff house, hoping that no one had occupied her favorite spot.
The staff house was a place where the trainers could relax and gossip- well mainly gossip about all the customers; it was a bad habit but the stuff told, was way juicy than any dramas Aurore watched.
She picked a bottle of energy drink from the refrigerator and made her way to the end of the room, where a large fan was situated- the perfect spot to enjoy a cool drink.
Aurore placed her butt on the sofa and sighed in content as the air blew her way.
“I knew I’ll find you here.” she turned her head, relaxing at the sight of Nova.
“It’s too hot.”
“Yeah, and I saw you with Tim.” Nova snickered, sitting right in front of her. Everyone knew what Tim was made of, and she was thrust his contract after all the trainers refused to work with him.
“He’s just lazy and I don’t want to talk about him.” Aurore sipped her drink, eyeing the ebony goddess in front of her. She was always jealous of Nova’s magnificent body- her slim figure had heads turning in her direction whenever they went out.
Aurore on the other hand was large around the hips and the breasts- most people never believed her when she told them she worked as a personal trainer.
“Are you free during the weekend?”
“Why? You have something in mind?” Aurore placed the bottle down and stretched her hands over her head.
“A get-together- with Ralphie.”
“Ralphie’s busy with the model- I don’t think he has time,” Aurore explained, a dark emotion flickering in Nova’s hazel eyes.
“I thought he was done with that woman.”
Aurore smiled giddily, knowing well that Nova had the hugest crush on Ralphie- a trainer and their friend, who was cute in a next-door boy type.
“Nop. She had asked him back, because and I quote, ‘that he was hung like a horse.’” Aurore laughed at the memory of Ralphie explaining why women couldn’t get enough of him.
Nova grimaced, expressively shuddering.
“That man is twisted in the head-”
“And you still like him.” there it was, out and about as she watched Nova’s expression turn into a horror.
“W-what? What are you spewing?”
“I am spewing facts, honey, I can see the passion- the desire burning in your eyes.” Aurore cheekily smiled, as she further riled her friend, “you just want to grab hold of him and smooch-”
“Okay! Shut up, Rory.” Nova groaned and stood up, “you need help.”
“And you, need Ralphie.” Aurore winked in return.
“I am not having this conversation with you.”
“I don’t understand why you can’t just ask him out?”
“Ask who out?” Aurore and Nova both turned to face the Eelco, his eyebrows scrunched in confusion.
Aurore wanted to slap Nova on the head with her bottle. Why would she bring up Eminem so abruptly?
“The rapper?” Eelco was thoroughly confused, his eyes bouncing from Nova to Aurore.
“Yeah, he’s my type.” One thing Nova was terrible at, was lying and she wasn’t doing a good job at the moment.
“Uh…okay.” Eelco coughed and switched his gave to Aurore, who was trying to ignore Nova’s frosty glare.
“I have another contract for you Aurore.”
“Another one- but I’m handling Tim-”
“You can drop him, but the new contract is way important for my business.” Eelco leaned against the wall, trying to drag the silence.
“Are they new?” Nova voiced.
“Yeah, but they need someone who knows what they’re doing and Aurore- you have the best track record.” Eelco complimenting was something that happened once in a blue moon and you had to soak it up nice and well.
“You have been with us longer than the rest of the trainers.”
Aurore narrowed her eyes, Eelco was smart, and right now he was using that to his advantage.
“Who are they exactly?” she leaned forward.
“Impossible! Are you for real?” Nova clapped excitedly, as the tension filled Aurore’s pores.
“Yeah, the manager called me today, saying they needed a personal trainer.” Aurore was not liking where this was going- she didn’t like training people with big names and the Koigrimsson’s were famous- extremely famous- and rich.
“Why didn’t they call the popular gyms? Why us?” Aurore’s tone had a slight edge. She hated dealing with these kinds of situations.
“They need us to keep everything in the down-low and popular gyms would use this opportunity as a publicity stunt,” Eelco replied.
“Listen Eelco, I respect that you have chosen me for this contract but I won’t- I can’t do it.” Aurore stood up, tying her hair in a ponytail.
“You know I don’t take high-end customers and the Koigrimsson’s- they are royalty. I don’t need more drama in my life.”
“I get where you’re coming from, but with this, you will be set and you don’t have to worry about money.” Nova pointed, but she was fixated on her decision of not training high-end customers.
Being a trainer was already hard work, and no one else hired her because she didn’t fit the specific category where all fitness trainers should be thin and slim.
Aurore was round and soft, but she was healthy and she could run for miles without having to worry about falling or breaking something- but being round classy, rich people it was like writing a death wish, they would criticize her over and over again.
“Nova, please. Don’ try and change my decision.” she had had enough of everyone telling her what was right and wrong- she was twenty-five years for God’s sake- she could take care of herself perfectly fine.
“Fine, calm down; think it through and let me know tomorrow.” she glared at Eelco, but the old man wouldn’t budge.
So begrudgingly, she nodded and sunk into the sofa, already imagining how she would tell Eelco no tomorrow.
“And while you’re thinking about it, go through the contract and let me know.” Eelco stood up, whipped out a stack of papers from behind him, and placed it on her lap.
Aurore opened her mouth to protest, but one look from the old man and she zipped it, knowing that the ball was not in her court.
Aurore’s apartment smelled like lavender as she walked in, closing the door behind her. Her stomach growled loudly in the confines of her space- one hand handling her gym bag and the other gripping the dumb contract.
She wanted to throw the contract on her stove and light it on fire- but Eelco would kill her if she dared.
The Koigrimsson’s name was written in bold, italic- right at the center of the page, mocking her. They were royalty, vaunted everywhere they went. Their main palace was located in the city she lived- Venta Belgarum- but the family was scattered all over the world, and she was thrust with the job of training one of them.
She could already imagine the amount of stress-pressure she was going to go through.
She should have never taken the contract- Aurore huffed and walked into the kitchen, hoping for a healthy meal and a slumber afterward- she was deadbeat.
Her landline rang loudly, disrupting the serene environment as she grunted and sluggishly made her way to the device.
“Rory! I missed you.” Ralphie’s cheery voice was soothing as she sighed.
“Hey Ralphie; I missed you too- when are you coming back?” she smiled, settling onto the sofa.
“After a few days.” he sounded tired, as she shook her head to his answer.
“Well, we are all missing you and please tell me you dumped that model.” she grimaced, remembering the face of the pretty model.
“I did- it wasn’t working out. Can you imagine that she wanted a relationship with me?” Ralphie snickered.
“Wow, I see you haven’t changed.” Aurore sighed.
“Everyone needs to have a piece of this hotness.”
She couldn’t understand for the life of her why would Nova have a crush on someone like Ralphie- he was loud, a playboy, and used girls- his motto was bang them and leave them.
“Anyway, I heard you got the Koigrimsson’s contract.” she wanted to reach through the phone and slap him senseless.
She groaned, standing up and stretching, “I didn’t get it. Eelco wants me to think about it.”
“You know Eelco- I know Eelco. That man would never back down. You have to take it.” Ralphie’s serious tone slipped in the conversation and made her pout.
“I am still saying no- it’s my choice.”
“Whatever. I will meet you soon. Lots of love from me.” he screamed and cut the line.
Aurore rubbed her forehead, throwing daggers at the contract. She knew she had no say in this after she had unwillingly taken the contract.
She bit her lip and contemplated on what to do- she would say no tomorrow and risk getting fired, even though she worked there for two years- or she could accept and earn a fortune, spending the rest of the days with ease.
It was simple as that, but she had no idea why a sinking feeling had settled in her gut. She sat on the floor and grabbed the contract, flipping through the pages one by one, her eyes skimming over the trainee’s name- Marian Koigrimsson- youngest of the Koigrimsson’s.
TWO DAYS LATER