“You really mean that? You think the gym is a good idea?”
Amelia plays with the straw in her iced tea, uncertainly. “Yeah. Of course! Don’t you think so?”
“I think that it’s a goddamn insane idea of mine,” I say, breathing out hard. “I’ve seen some comments on social media about how the gym is tacky and gross. How it’s offensive and demeaning. It’s been a risk from the start, and I think it always will be, one way or another.”
“But you’ve got to go for it, because it’s yours?” she finishes.
I nod, my chest feeling tight. When I look into her beautiful green eyes, I know she understands.
She reaches out her hand and covers mine. “The people in the gym are so happy. I look around at everyone as I exercise and everyone’s working so hard. The members, the trainers. It’s got one of the best vibes I’ve felt in any room ever. I know, because I’ve been paying attention. First because of the article, and then…because of you. I think you’re amazing, too,” she squeaks, her cheeks turning pink.
A slow smile spreads over my face, and my heart feels very full. “Right back at you, peaches. I’ve wondered if we were doing something crazy, seeing each other like this. But maybe it’s…”
“Just crazy enough?”
I squeeze her hand. “Yeah. Just crazy enough.”
We grin at each other like silly teenagers.
“So, this is like our first date, then?” she asks, batting her lashes at me. “I’ve never really been on a proper date before.”
I look around at the cheap and cheerful décor. “Yeah. I guess it is. Makes me wish I’d chosen somewhere better.”
Amelia shakes her head and digs into her ramen. “It’s perfect. And this tastes so good after my workout. I’d like to keep coming to the gym, if that’s all right with you?”
“Are you kidding? I’d love you to. But that means me riding your ass several times a week, you realize that?”
She smiles at me, and her face turns a little pinker. “I kind of love that, though.”
I reach out and stroke my fingers across her peachy cheek. “Yeah. I kind of love that, too.”
“You really think it’s good? You really honestly truly think it’s good?” I ask Dom these questions as I hover at his shoulder. He’s looking at the work-in-progress on my easel.
He plants a kiss on my nose. “I think it’s incredible. You’re an amazing artist, peaches.”
I gaze at the painting. The canvas is three feet high by two feet, and shows a huge figure, dazzlingly beautiful, except that she’s made of porcelain and part of her skull has broken away, showing the smooth, hollow interior. Her gaze is as vacant as a doll’s. Ants are marching up her legs. Dozens of ants. Hundreds of ants. All tiny, but each one possessing the strength to walk right up this empty figure as if it’s nothing.
Dom gives me a hug and a kiss and sits down on the sofa.
“C’mere, you little minx.” He pulls me astride his lap, and we wrap our arms around each other. It’s been a month since we started dating, and everything has been amazing between us. We see each other several evenings a week, and most weekends, too. My ass is as toned as hell now, thanks to him. It’s also been as tanned as hell on more than a few occasions. Sometimes it’s just too much fun being bratty and having him get all daddy on me.
“Do you feel better about it now that you’ve got it down on canvas?” he asks me.
I consider my work, head on one side.
“I do. Plus, it feels amazing holding a brush again. I wish I had more time to paint. I like doing it in the morning when my mind is clear, but work gets in the way. Ah, I’ll figure it out.”
I smooth my hands up Dom’s strong chest, feeling the muscles beneath his t-shirt. Who wants to think about work when you’ve got a gorgeous man beneath your thighs? I’m wearing a sundress, and I wriggle out of my underwear, giving him a sort of lap dance as I do, and feel him grow hard beneath me. He unbuttons my dress and lets it slip from my shoulders, and then pulls my bra down and takes one of my nipples in his mouth.
I moan in pleasure, my head tipping back. I’m in the mood for lazy sex, right here on the couch. Dom put me through an intense workout last night at the gym, so I think I’ve earned it.
He unclasps my bra and throws it aside. “Get down on the floor, plank position.”
I stay where I am, still rubbing against his bulge, and purr, “But I want to make you come, daddy.”
“And you will. Let’s try the wheelbarrow.”
He’s shown me the wheelbarrow in a book of sex positions. It’s when the girl has her palms braced against the floor, and the man is behind her holding her legs as if he’s pushing a wheelbarrow. It’s one of those positions that looks like it would make your arms ache and tone your core.