“Peaches,” Dom says sternly when I don’t move. “The bike.”
“Oh! Yes.” I put my bag down against the wall and clamber up on the bike. When I start to pedal—he’s already adjusted it for my height, that was thoughtful—he takes hold of the handlebars and the bike’s seat, which almost feels like he’s got his arms around me.
“How’s your week been?” he asks, his face close to mine.
He’s standing so close that I don’t know where to look. My eyes finally settle on his left hand, which is close to mine on the handlebars. No wedding ring, I notice.
“Um, good thank you.”
He raises his eyebrows expectantly.
“Good thank you, daddy.”
A slow, heated smile spreads over his face. He seems to like it when I call him that. God, he smells good. Like coconut body wash, Deep Heat and clean cotton. Fresh and fiery at the same time.
“Are you going to punish me for being late?” I ask, and I feel a tight clenching low in my belly. It’s almost like I want him to punish me. I hated my cold shower the other day, but damn, having him be sweet to me afterwards was all kinds of amazing.
“Of course,” he says, his eyes never leaving my face. “This is just like your workout at the gym.”
I suck my lower lip into my mouth, and then whisper, “Okay, daddy.”
Dom’s eyes drop to my mouth and then stay there. He really is standing so close. Still looking at my lips, he says, “Get down on the floor. Lay on your back.”
I do as I’m told, conscious of his eyes following my every movement. His huge body looms over me. I lay on the large, spongey matt that’s as big as a king-sized bed.
“Close your eyes. And raise your hands.”
I close my lashes and move my hands until they’re straight up in the air. My heart beats wildly, wondering what’s about to happen. A moment later, Dom drops something heavy into my hands. I open my eyes in surprise, and see that I’m holding… a basketball? No, wait, it’s really heavy. I remember these from physical education classes in high school. It’s a medicine ball.
A really unsexy medicine ball.
“Sit-ups,” Dom orders.
Ugh, I hate sit-ups, but I do as I’m told, holding the ball. I do three sets of ten, and then collapse onto my back with it on my chest, gasping for breath and my core on fire. Thank goodness that’s over.
“Ten more. Your punishment is to do an extra set of everything. No whining. No crying. Go.”
I squeeze my eyes shut and do as I’m told. Damn, I’m going to be so sore tomorrow.
Once I’m done with the sit-ups, Dom continues to name exercises for me to do. He alternates between encouraging me sweetly to barking orders at me like I’m a police dog. Harder! Higher! Again! When I’m fuming with irritation and exhaustion, he drops his voice to the sexiest rumble and starts referring to himself as daddy. You’re being such a good girl for daddy. I know you can do it for daddy. Daddy’s so pleased with you, peaches. And suddenly my core is blazing again, but in a very different sort of way, and I’m doing what he tells me to do.
I finish up the workout with twenty minutes on the bike. Dom stands with me the whole time, chatting to me about my work, my hobbies and my home. He’s relaxed now, and smiling, and I feel a warm buzz in my chest that he’s looking at me with a melted honey expression in his brown eyes. As if he… likes me?
“I was so sore after my last workout,” I say, easing myself off the bike. Dom holds my hand and helps me down as if I’m a lady in a fine dress getting out of a carriage, rather than the hot mess I am.
“That’s because you didn’t do any stretching. Because you threw a tantrum before we finished. Remember?”
I roll my eyes. Of course I remember.
“Peaches, roll your eyes at me again and I’ll dump you in an ice bath.”
I quickly rearrange my features into a more polite expression.
“Good girl. Now, get down on the mat and I’ll take you through some stretches.”
He manipulates my body into all sorts of positions, and then holds them, stretching my aching muscles. It feels so good that I can’t help the small moans of pleasure and release that escape me. He names each of the positions as we finish them, and his voice seems to get rougher by the minute.
I open my eyes after a hip flexor stretch and find that he’s kneeling between my knees and gazing down at me intently. We stare at each other for a moment. The gold flecks in his eyes are gleaming even brighter than usual.