“I don’t do well with half-truths, Nate.”
“Look, I’m sorry. I wanted to be here with you today. It’ll be fun. My dad owns the place, he was my trainer and my manager when I fought, so of course this is where I work out.” He shrugs and looks around the gym.
I eye him for a moment, enjoying the view. “Where do you want to start?” I ask.
“You still want to work out?”
“Yes, we’re here. Let’s go.”
“Okay, let’s warm up with the jump ropes and see what you can do.” He grins and leads me over to a matt, handing me a jump rope.
Should I mention to him that my brother Will used to make me train with him for football season?
Nate sets his watch timer for two minutes and I jump easily, using the form my brother taught me. Nate watches me, also jumping with ease. I’m hardly panting when the two minutes are up, and inside I’m smug. I keep a bored, bland look on my face.
“Next?” I ask.
“You’ve done this before,” he murmurs.
I shrug and drop the rope on the mat. “What’s next, ace?”
“Can you do a pull-up?” he asks, his eyebrow raised.
“I can do one or two,” I respond and smile. I have to call Will later and thank him profusely for being such a hard ass on me. Thanks to him, exercise comes easily to me, and my body is in excellent shape. I love to sweat.
Nate guides me over to the metal bars.
“Do you need a boost?” he asks.
I look up at the bar. It’s probably about seven feet off the ground. “I think I got it,” I respond.
“Ladies first.” He motions for me to go first. I rub my hands down my pants, then hop up, gripping the bar. I find the space between my hands that I like and begin to pull myself up, using a style Will taught me that he uses in Crossfit. As I come down, I push in an arc away from the bar, then swing back up, pulling the bar under my chin.
God, this feels fantastic! I manage twenty pull-ups, then drop to the mat, shaking my arms and panting.
“Your turn,” I plant my hands on my hips and look up at Nate, who is gazing at me with a huge smile plastered on his handsome face.
“What?” I ask, but I know I just shocked the shit out of him. I glance around to find all the men in the gym are watching me, their mouths dropped.
“Who trained you?” he asks.
“My brother.” I shrug like it’s no big deal. “Your turn, ace.”
“Okay,” he’s still smiling as he leaps up and easily begins raising and lowering that sexy body up and down on the bar. His arms – holy Moses, those arms – flex and bunch with each repetition. I wish he’d take his shirt off so I can watch his chest. He effortlessly executes forty pull-ups and then drops to the matt.
“Not bad,” I smirk and jump back up, gripping the bar. I begin the push and pull again, loving the burn that’s moving through my arms, shoulders and back. After twenty I drop back down to the mat.
Without speaking, Nate hops up and completes forty pull-ups.
“Warmed up?” he asks, panting and sweating and I just want to lick him.
“I want you in the ring.”
I raise an eyebrow at him. “There’s quite an audience here right now, Nate.”