Leaning back into the office, he asked, “Is it the two guys by the punching bags?”
“No,” Jack said, stepping out and standing next to him. “That’s who you’ll be training.” He pointed at the two women he’d seen when he walked in.
Suddenly, Noah knew why the guys had been laughing. He turned back to Jack, wondering if this was a joke. Jack lifted a shoulder. “They’re here to be trained. So go train them.”
“Here he comes.” Nellie said, spreading her feet apart and reaching for the floor with her hands. “So what do you think of our trainer?”
Veronica looked up at her from where she was bending. “Huh?”
“Talk about sexy!” Nellie whispered as he neared.
“Nellie, he’s a kid.”
Half way to them, Noah dropped the mats and went back. Nellie and Veronica watched him from behind. His muscle shirt left nothing to the imagination. There wasn’t a muscle on him you couldn’t see or make out. And he had a lot of them. Typical trainer looking guy. Not an ounce of fat on him and whole lot of huge everything.
“Oh, C’mon where’s your sense of escapism? I’m a married woman and I’m enjoying the view. Who cares if he’s young. Nothing wrong with fantasizing—besides how many kidshave you seen with a body like that? He’s gotta be at least twenty-three, twenty-four.”
“Twenty-four? No way.” Veronica said, bending over again. “You’re just saying that because he’s so big. But he has a baby face.”
“One of the strongest jaws I’ve ever seen on a baby.” Nellie giggled. “And did you get a load of those lips? Umm umm. Talk about suckable lips.”
Veronica had to giggle now, too. “Will you stop? The guy can’t be more than twenty-one and I’m being generous.” She’d been around students enough when she worked at the college to be able to guess their age fairly accurately.
“Let’s ask him.”
“No!” Veronica stood up. “Don’t you dare.”
Nellie laughed. “Why not?”
“Because it’s none of our business. You better not.”
Nellie shook her head, her face still full of humor. “All right, all right. You’re no fun anymore. The old Roni would’ve already been flirting with him.”
Veronica rolled her eyes going down for one more stretch. “Yeah, well the old me didn’t weigh a hundred and sixty-seven freakin’ pounds!” She groaned disgusted in herself. How could she let herself go like this? She’d gained more than the forty pounds she thought she had.
Nellie was right about one thing. She’d almost forgotten what a flirt she could be. But she was wrong about the other. There was no way she’d ever think about going out with someone so much younger than her. It was hard enough to find a mature guy her age, she most certainly not taking her chances on the younger ones.
Teaser/Excerpt #3 Set up. Veronica has just learned she dropped another six pounds in two weeks of working out with her sexy trainer. After he starts to get personal about her life she changes the subject and finally works up the nerve to ask him out for a drink only to be shocked by his revelation. We’re in Noah’s POV here.:
She tilted her head. “I’d rather not now, but I wouldn’t mind going out for a celebratory drink if you’re up for it.”
“Okay before the lecture.” She he held her hand up, smiling. “Alcohol is not a part of my diet, but I’ve been really good about keeping it to only one or two glasses of wine a week since I started working out. And tonight would be the night. I haven’t had any all week.”
Had she really asked him to go for a drink with her? She’d grown on him in two weeks, and he’d never seen her out of her sweats, ponytail and no makeup. He knew so little about her except she was more determined than most girls her size to try and whip back into shape. And she was smart. That he definitely picked up on. “I’m not twenty-one.”
For the second time that night, her jaw fell open, only this time it didn’t feel good. “You’re not?”
“It’s not like I’ve never drank.” Hell him and the guys had been drinking for years. “I just can’t legally go into a bar and drink…yet.”
Her eyes were still big with and overly concerned. “How old are you?”
He knew she couldn’t be more than twenty-one or twenty-two. He towered over her and at times she seemed so small and delicate next to his six-foot two stature he felt her so young. “I’ll be twenty soon,” he said with confidence.
“Oh my God.” Her absolutely horrified reaction was not what he was expecting. “I’m so sorry. I had no—”
He had to laugh. “What? I’m legal!”
“I know,” she said, hurrying her step toward the exit of the gym. “I had no idea. I apologize.”
“Again, for what?”
“I just didn’t know.”
“So I’m not twenty-one. How old are you? Twenty-one, twenty-two?”
She glanced at him, her eyes still lit with bewilderment. Since she wasn’t slowing down, he took a step in front of her to make her stop. “How old are you?”
She hesitated for moment before answering turning away then finally looked back at him lifting an eyebrow. “I’m twenty-eight, Noah.”
It came as a surprise. She didn’t look it but by the way she was acting you’d think she was forty. “Alright so you’re twenty-eight. You don’t look it.” She didn’t. Not at all, especially now that she’d lost a few pounds. She tried to walk around him but he moved with her. “Don’t get all weird on me, Veronica. If there’s one thing I’ve learned my whole life, time and age are but an illusion.” The crease that suddenly made an appearance between here eyes again made him smile. “I’ll be twenty in a week, by the way. You lost eleven pounds in two weeks because of me—your nineteen year-old trainer.”
She stared at him for a moment the crease disappeared with her forced smile. “I know. And you’ll never know how much I appreciate it. I’ll see you Monday, okay?”
She walked around him and was almost out the door, but he had to ask. “Why never?”
Glancing back, she took a moment to answer. “I mean, I’ll just never be able to thank you enough.” She shrugged before waving at him and walked out the door.
Noah showered at the gym before leaving, thinking about Veronica the entire time—twenty-eight. She’d never mentioned a husband or boyfriend for that matter. But then their conversations had never gotten that personal. Now that she knew just how old he really was, he got the feeling they never would. In a weird way that bothered him. Maybe he’d just make sure things didn’t change. After all, he meant it when he said it. Age was just an illusion.