Let's Get Physical

Fitness World

Fitness World is filled with all kinds of equipment. Mirrors line the majority of walls, so people can ensure they're doing their workout correctly, or merely to admire their bodies. Atop a black exercise mat is a free weight area with several dumb-bell racks, exercise balls and specialized weight machines for each muscle group.

Stationary bicycles, treadmills, elliptical trainers, stair climbers and rowing machines sit along the outer edge of the workout area, but are still about ten feet from any wall. Televisions hang from the ceiling above the equipment, meant to provide some form of distraction for those busily training. Surrounding the entire area is a circular track, where people can jog or run if they don't feel like using a treadmill.

A large section of wall is void of mirrors. In their place, floor to ceiling glass enclosing an aerobics room. A large, raised platform sits to the rear of this room in front of another mirrored wall, obviously meant for the instructor. There are doors which lead from both the gym, and the locker rooms into a large area with a heated pool.

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Dancing isn't the only exercise Desiree gets, and dancing won't help her rebuild strength and muscle tone in her arm. At the moment, she's alone in the weight room, sitting at a table with a variety of half-, one and two pound weights. A one pound dumbbell is held firmly in her left hand, and she's doing curls. Her arm lifts slowly, and lowers, once, twice, five times, then she rests it. She has to work slowly because she doesn't want to over-stress that break. Not when the result would mean going back into a full arm cast.

Desiree's had enough of that to last a lifetime.

Her face is a mask of concentration, her eyes closed. The plain black workout clothes aren't decorative at all, but they show a body well-toned and maintained. A black bag sitting next to her bench reads "Dance Yer Ass Off." After about five minutes of inactivity, she begins the left-arm curl again, this time matching it with the right arm.


Arriving into the weight area is Alexander Savoy, carrying over his shoulder a camouflage duffel bag. After only a pair of steps into the facility, he casts his eyes around to gauge both the equipment and any sorts of individuals that might be present, but considering it's mostly empty save for one person, he smiles. A slow, gradual pace is set towards Desiree's area while the man walks towards the location, already dressed to work out with a sleeveless shirt displaying a Navy tattoo upon his bicep.


The sound of footsteps alerts Desiree to the arrival of another person. Finishing that set of arm curls, she sets aside the light weights and opens her eyes. Casting around the room, she takes as much notice of the man as he has her.

A smile curves her own lips upwards, and there's a nod as he passes where she sits. Certainly it's subconscious that she shields that scrawny, pale, obviously not normal left arm. Anyone who's ever broken a limb will recognize the signs of recent cast removal.

She gives a glance to his tattoo, apparently not surprised to see it's military. No adverse reaction, either. Maybe even a slightly heightened expression of interest.


Settling himself down at a nearby bench in order to do bench pressing type of work Alex casts his eyes over at the woman who is eying him. A small smile accompanied by a slight wink of his eye as he gets set up and puts some weight on the bar. After getting it all set he lays down and speaks quietly, "What'd you do?"


"I did nothing," Desiree answer wryly. "Someone else did." She doesn't explain, just watches him with an almost casual air. The smile and wink don't go unnoticed. They're filed away under "interesting" in the back of her mind.

"Didn't think you were supposed to do bench pressing without a spotter," she comments, shifting slightly in the chair to pick up the next set of weights: one-point-five pounds.

Again the curls begin. "Not meaning you look like you can't handle it, just saying." A pause. "Desiree." With her drawl, the name sounds like cool jazz on a hot summer night.


"You're not supposed to. It's very dangerous and risky to do it alone," Alex says as he pulls the bar and starts lifting. "But, then again, so am I. Alex." He introduces in response and begins to lift. "That isn't a full story, by the by."


"Nope, it's not," Desiree replies, keeping count of her curls. "You telling me you're dangerous and risky?" she asks, and he can probably hear the smile in her tone. "Is that supposed to scare me off or leave in awe?"

There's a soft chuckle to accompany the last, then she's quiet a few minutes. There's the sound of her setting weights aside. "Your bad luck if it's the former, 'cause danger and risk won't scare me an inch away. They're my guilty pleasure."


"Does it have to have a motivation? It can't simply be the truth of a matter?" Alex asks as he finishes his set of lifts and puts the bar back up, letting his arms cool down some.


"I suppose it doesn't," Desiree says, breathing slowly with the heavier weight in her hands, "but it's been my experience when a man tells me something like that about himself, he's got a reason." She counts slowly under her breath a moment.

"If it's the truth of the matter, then name your poison. What really gets your adrenaline pumping?"

He can hear her set aside those weights, unless, of course he's looking at her. She's standing, moving to one of those arm machines where you try to close your arms in front. It's closer to Alex, and she smiles at him. There's a grace to her walk, and she doesn't immediately sit down. "I'd offer to spot, but that really would be dangerous and risky. I couldn't lift half that weight."


"Really, it's ok. I've soloed this much before regularly. I keep it light for that reason." Alex is, in fact, watching her walk, and as she settles down, he smiles again. "My poison? Faster cars? Getting shot at? Skydiving? All of them are pretty good. But honestly, I think the best rush is a good hunt."


Once Desiree settles on the seat, she places her arms in the appropriate position. "Mm." It's a soft sound, but it almost sounds like she's hearing something delicious. "I'd think that would depend on what you're hunting," she says, resting her head on one arm support. She's made no effort to begin working out.

"What do you like to hunt?" Desiree inquires, still not making any effort to close the apparatus. "I've done most of those — with the exception of getting shot at. I don't imagine I'd much care for it, but it would be a rush." No doubt of that!

Only now does she straighten and attempt to bring her arms together. A sudden intake of breath makes her stop. "No … that's not the kind of risk I want to take right now." Arms drop to her sides, but she doesn't move.


"The best kind of hunt? Well, this kind of course. The sort of dancing that goes on when two people are gauging each other, trying to decide if there's an interest, or if it's simple politeness," Alex responds while he gets ready to start lifting again. "This hunt."


That makes her smile. "Ah, I see …" Slow, drawn out. Throaty, sensual. Desiree regards him from her seat, perhaps enjoying the play of muscles beneath his skin, or maybe just regarding him because their talking. "Dancing in any form is always good, even when it's a verbal tango."

Another soft laugh, and then Desiree's standing up, moving to perch on a high stair-stepper. She's careful not to distract him. The gym is virtually deserted, and she couldn't do much to get the weight off his chest if it dropped. She's seen that happen here before. Not a pretty sight.

"So." One word, so many nuances. "What how do you gauge me? — interested, or just being polite?" There's a wry smile on her lips as she continues to watch and verbally dance.


"That's a toss up at this point," Alex says with a slight chuckle. "I mean, you do seem to enjoy a good adventure. So far so that is a definite plus. But, I don't know anything 'bout you other than your name, and you carry a duffel that seems to reflect a joy of dancing."


"Very true," Desiree says, resting her chin on her right hand, elbow on the railing of the machine. "I, on the other hand, know not only your name, but that you likely saw military service in a conflict. Possibly the Middle East, or somewhere closer to home. You're too young to have been in Angola or Somalia."

Her eyes watch him as he continues his work out. "Overseas. That's where you were shot at, I'd bet. You don't have a cop feel to you." A pause. "You like the rush of danger, the thrill of coming close to the edge. Cars, but not motorcycles? — the reverse for me, just so's you know.

Quiet another moment. "You like women, especially if they'll join you in verbal fencing." A pause. "Annnd, you like it when a woman admires you."

"Motorcycles over cars. South America. Shot at in both the military and in my job. Never set foot in the Middle East." Alex turns back to the weights, "I don' tmind if women admire me, that's their own thing. I do like women however, they're a fun pursuit."


This time her laugh is a little louder, and filled with mirth. "Well, I was close. I'm out of practice. I usually peg people pretty well." Desiree's eyes, if he happens to catch them, are sparkling with humor.

"Motorcycles. Crotch-rockets, racing bikes or something a little more solid, like a Harley. I prefer the later, my self. It's what I rode he on tonight."

He might have passed where it was parked. A customized bike, black with subtle purple flames on the tank, thin lines of silver and turquoise for accents. A nice machine.

"The same could be said of men, you know. That they're a fun pursuit, too — but I prefer to be the hunted, not the hunter. It's easier to lead the chase, and it's the prey who most often decides when they should be caught."


"Oh, so you like to be pursued? That's a shame, I prefer it when women have a little initiative, are willing to take a bite out of a man," Alex responds whilst setting the bar back down and sitting up off the bench.


"Ah. Well, to each their own," Desiree says, a touch of regret in her tone. "In my opinion, of course. But, women are more devious in their hunt than most men. We have to be in order to remain a mystery to you all.

There's another laugh.

Watching him are a pair of warm, green eyes full of wry humor and sly regard. "A shame, really. The bite I take out of a man once he's chased me till I have him right where I want him is really …" A beat. Two. "… really worth the effort expended."

Desiree stretches, moving with a languid grace any cat would envy. "And, I am a dancer, by the way. Hence the bag. I teach dancing, in fact. Let me know if you're ever interested in lessons."


"My sister keeps insisting I take dance lessons. I keep putting it off as best I can, simply because I'm stubborn. We used to watch 'Dirty Dancing' as children, and she still, to this day, thinks we can reenact it."


"'Dirty Dancing'? Which dance? — to reenact, I mean?" Desiree's interest has certainly perked up now. "I've seen that movie I can't tell you how many times. I was fortunate enough to have met Patrick Swayze once. Even got his autograph. Now I wish I'd begged him to dance with me."

She gives a soft laugh. "He was a great dancer, and all it takes is a little will power expended, a little discipline. The steps are easy enough, especially the mambo. The free-style rock? Fun to teach." Her smile gets a little wider. "The 'dirty dancing' is the most fun, though. Your sister's right about that."

Desiree rises at this point, and gives Alex a wink. The walk she uses to cross the floor to her bag could leave behind a trail of smoking footprints. A moment later and she's returning, a card held between her fingers. In an oddly sensual way, she retracts her hand, reaching behind herself. Her knee bends and her leg lifts up until she takes the card between her toes.

Then, ever so slowly, she maintains a perfect balance while bringing the leg forward and out-stretched toward him, card offered in such a manner. Should he take the card, she will release it, and give him a poke in the shoulder with her big toe. "Dancers do it with flexibility. Never forget that." And then she's turning back to her things.


Alex quirks an eyebrow at the words and the display, all of it winding up with a card in his hand and a slight smirk being tossed at Desiree. "Either you're truly interested in recruiting for some lessons, or you're definitely interested in former Seals. Either way, I think you're interested."


Desiree is busy putting away the weights she used. Her back is turned to him, but he probably knows she's smiling. She finishes her task, then pivots. Canting her head to one side, she regards him for a few minutes. The silence stretches, and then she finally purses her lips.

"Maybe yes, maybe no."

"Could all be an act 'cause I was bored being alone up here." She moves back to the table, picking up her black bag. "You figure it out while I change."

Desiree's off to the locker room without another word. About fifteen minutes pass and she reappears, still dressed in black from head to toe, only this time its black designer jeans, black leather boots with silver tipped spike heels, a black silk camisole. A black leather jacket is in the crook of her elbow, the bag dangling from the fingers of her right hand.

She regards Alex with smoky green eyes that seems to make promises. "Figured it out, yet?" Yes, that's a smirk, and the lift of her chin — could be a dare.


Alex has continued to work out while Desiree went to change. Finally, when she returns, he is mid-leg lifts, and he smiles over at her while holding the weight up. "Way I figure it, you'll either show up at the Lonesome Dove in three days at 8 PM, or you won't. Either way. It's up to you."


"Lonesome Dove?"

Apparently a place Desiree doesn't know, which is odd considering she was born and raised within thirty miles of Downtown Dallas. She gives Alex an almost skeptical look. "I don't do country. I'm a hard rock kind of woman." With emphasis on the hard, maybe.

There's a rear entrance to the gym, and it lies on the other side of the weight room. She has to pass Alex to reach the exit. Her approach is casually languid, like a sleek, black hunting cat. All legs and hips and well-toned muscles.

When she's even with him, she pauses, eyes going from his face down to his muscled arms and chest, farther down to his legs. There's a hint of some exotic perfume around her. She looks at him sideways, since they're practically shoulder to shoulder. Then she reaches out a well-manicured hand to smooth down the front of his sleeveless tee-shirt.

"Mm." A slow smile. "I might make an exception — with the right incentive."


Alex just grins a bit as Desiree moves past. "Look it up. It's up to you to take the risk, but country is exactly what it is. Exceptions, rules, all are meant to be made, then broken. I'll see you there, three days. Try not to be too late, and I'm sure I don't need to say this, but it's a rather fancy shindig. So, well, obvious."


Desiree gives him an amused smile. "You're awfully sure of yourself — but I like confidence in a man." She studies him, her lips curving upwards indulgently. The tip of her tongue moistens those lips before she adds, "Just don't let your ego write checks the rest of you can't cash."

A quirk of lips sideways now. "Some rules should always be broken — as long as it's not by the same, tired cliches." A pause. "There's fancy, and Fancy. Country fancy might be just a clean pair of jeans and a tee-shirt that doesn't have dirty words on it." She snickers.

Desiree shakes her head. Silky, black hair brushes his shoulder as she leans close to whisper in his ear, "If I show up, you'll be the envy of every man in the place." A beat. "Trust me." A bare whisper, that.

Then her hand leaves his chest, slowly dragging across the fabric. "Yes, we'll have to wait and see … won't we?" And then there's the echo of metal-tipped heels on the concrete floor as she makes her way to the exit.


Sitting up a bit, Alex glances at the departing woman, more than a little glance but a watch of her departure. Smiling some, he shakes his head and lays back down. "Darlin,' you have no idea at all what you're barkin' up at." The words are muttered to himself with a grin.


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