I studied his profile. His forehead was crinkled and his eyes seemed vacant. His sparkle and dirty humor had evaporated somewhere between falling asleep and our drive to the gym.

“What’s wrong then?”

“Just some stuff on my mind. It has nothing to do with us, Mia. Just some bullshit going on.”

“I’m a good listener, Michael.” I rubbed his arm, wanting him to share his worries with me.

Looking over at me, he exhaled and frowned. “I imagine you are, but some things are for me to deal with.”

I pulled my hand back, placing it in my lap. “Okay,” I said looking out the window. I didn’t have anything else to say.

We pulled into the gym parking lot after riding in silence. He could say whatever was on his mind had nothing to do with us, but I knew bullshit when I heard it.

He reached for my hand, giving it a small squeeze, as we walked into the gym.

“I’m going to run on the treadmill, want to come?” I asked.

“Nah, I need to lift some weights.” Bending down, he kissed my cheek. “I’ll catch you in a bit.”

It felt platonic and impersonal unlike the sex we had during the night.

“Don’t forget me, handsome.” I started to walk away and looked back at him with a smile. That just sounded needy and totally not me.

He scrambled my brains.

He grabbed my arm, drawing me to his body. “I could never forget about you, Mia. You need to stop that thought right there. There’s no other woman I think about.” He swatted my ass and whispered, “Off you go. No checking out anyone but me. Got it?”

Yes, the playful Michael was back!

As I walked away, I looked over my shoulder. “I can’t help if someone is in my line of vision. What are you going to do about it, big boy?” I smirked.

His mouth broke out in a drop dead, sinful grin. “I have my ways of making you pay.” He winked and I wanted to jump in his arms and capture his mouth in a kiss.

Whatever had been on his mind in the truck had vanished.

Butterflies filled my stomach as I walked a little bit faster before he sidetracked us both.

“You know where to find me.” Using my thumb, I pointed to the treadmills over my shoulder. I turned around, relived to have a few minutes to myself.

The man had seemed simple to read until today.

I jogged on the treadmill, catching up with my emails. I’d been trying to finish reading a book for a week with no luck and I used the time to read while I ran. After each page I watched him for a moment before continuing to read.

He started with free weights for his arms. He looked in the mirror studying his movement and our eyes met from time to time.

He was stunningly handsome, with rippling muscles and not a lick of fat on him. I know he worked out like a beast, but for god’s sake, couldn’t the man have on pinch of something somewhere. I loved the feel of his rock hard body against mine.

He put the bar behind his head, squatting slowly before standing with a grunt. His face turned red and a vein protruded from his forehead with each lift.

I licked my lips, my book no longer interesting as I kept my eyes glued to him.

That’s how he kept that rock hard ass and the tree trunk thighs.

I stared, mesmerized by his ass, watching it move up and down. Every muscle in his body rippled as he removed his shirt before lifting the weight again.

Holy fuck, he’s hot.

He grunted with each squat. It was different than the one I heard during sex. This was a grunt of exertion and strain, not of pleasure. The effect it had on me was the same. My face grew flush, as my core convulsed and my heart pounded against my chest. Grabbing the towel off the bar, I blotted the skin around my neck.

Our eyes were glued to each other as we moved around the gym. The air between us was thick and the lust evident to anyone paying attention. He placed the weights on the floor and dried off his damp flesh.

I wanted to lick the sweat off his body and I wasn’t a girl that usually enjoyed a sweaty man.

His smile grew larger the closer he came to me before stopping between my legs.

He stood between my legs; staring down at me as I lifted the weight, “Need some help?”

“Nope, I got this. Twenty-four,” I said, as I pushed the bar up, trying to ignore his eyes raking over my body. “Twenty-five,” I grunted, latching it in place trying to catch my breath. “You shouldn’t gawk, Michael.” I smiled up at him, breathing heavily.

“I’m not gawking, Mia. Undressing and fantasizing about all the dirty shit I’m going to do to you when I get you back to my place.”

My mouth gaped open as I sat up and stared. My attempt to slow my breathing was crushed by his words. The dull ache between my legs turned into a throb.

His index finger touched my sternum, following the path the beads of sweat had traveled into my cleavage. “I want you this sweaty when you’re under me coming on my dick, screaming for me stop.” He kissed me, whisper light, before backing away with a grin.

Smug bastard.

Chapter 16

Pointing to the erection about to burst through my sweatpants, I said, “I can’t believe you’re going to leave me like this, Doc.”

“Yep.” She nodded. “You’ll survive, it’s not a life threatening affliction,” she said, laughing as she adjusted her shirt. “You have to go see your brother and I need to go home for a while.”

“I can’t call my mother or Suzy for help. This can only be fixed by you.” I grabbed myself, adjusting my dick.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” she said, pulling up her pants.

Standing, I walked toward her and she backed away. “Fuck my heart. It’s my dick that’s aching.” I smiled and tried to touch her, but she moved out of reach.

“Call me when you’re done at the hospital and I’ll see what I can do to help you out with that situation.” Grabbing her keys off my kitchen table, she moved quicker than I thought possible.

“Come here, woman.” I darted to the left, using the edge of the table for traction.

Squealing she ran the opposite direction. “You may be big, but I’m quicker, Mikey.”

I moved to the left and quickly to the right, trying to throw her off kilter. “Woman, what did I tell you about callin’ me Mikey?”

Stopping on the opposite side, she placed her hands on the table and leaned over with a huge smile. “I must have forgotten, but I remember there was talk of punishment, Mikey.”

Moving again, I reached for her arm, but she slipped from my grasp. “Fuck, this god damn hard-on is slowing me down. Rub it for me, please?” I pleaded.

“You’re a pig,” she said, laughing before sticking out her tongue and closing her eyes.

I moved as fast as I could to grab her. “Got ya. Come on, Mia. I can be quick.” Dragging my tongue across her neck, I nipped her earlobe. Her laughter grew quiet as her breasts pressed against me. “Please,” I whispered, sucking on her ear.

She moaned, squeezing my arm. “No,” she said in a breathy tone.

I palmed her breast, stroking her hard nipple with my thumb. “I’ll make it worth your while.” I pushed her backward toward the table.

“I don’t want quick. I want long and hard.” She bit my lip. “Call me when you’re done seeing Joe and if you’re good, I’ll make it worth your while,” she said against my lips, causing my dick to twitch.

“Cock block.” I released her from my grip and adjusted myself.

“I’d classify myself as more of a pussy hoarder than a cock block,” she said before kissing my cheek.

It took everything in me not to slam her to the table and rip her pants off her. “You’re maddening.”

Her laughter filled the room as she walked to the door. Following close on her heels, I turned her and pushed her back against the door. I placed both my hand on either side of her. “Are you sure I can’t convince you to stay?”

She grinned before rubbing

her nose against mine. “No. Go be a good brother. I’ll be home later. Hit me up then.” She kissed my lips and as she drew away, I pushed my body into hers and captured her mouth. “Still no,” she mumbled against my lips.

“I’ll call you. I’m going to need some serious help if I walk around with this hard-on all day.”

“Probably won’t be the first time in your life or the last.” She giggled.

We both jumped as my phone vibrated in my pocket. Sighing, I pulled it out and glanced at the screen.

“It’s my ma. I better get this.”

Nodding, she opened the door. “Talk to you mom. I’ll talk to you later,” she said as she waved and closed the door behind her.

“Hey Ma.”

“Where have you been all day, Michael?”

“I’m coming, Ma. I had to work out.”

“We have to be here for your brother while he’s in the hospital. No one likes to be alone.”

That’s the problem with an overbearing Italian family. Mine had a tendency to be up each other’s ass all day, every day.

Joe probably wanted some time alone with Suzy, but knowing my parents, his room had more people in and out all day than the Bunny Ranch is Vegas.

“Ma, you know my fight is coming up soon. I have to make sure I work out every day. I’ve slacked a bit and needed to blow off some steam. I’m jumping in the shower and I’ll be there. How is he, by the way?”

“He’s looking better and they moved him to a regular room. He’s out of the woods, thank god.”

“I’m glad to hear it. Anyone call Tommy yet?”

“No, I don’t think he needs to know about it. Joseph will be fine. No need to worry him, Michael.”

“Ma, he deserves to know.”

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