01 – Another One Bites The Dust – Tobias

The clank of weights against metal fills the air, mixed with grunts and groans as each man tries to out lift the other. It’s the primal jungle of iron and sweat with all the glistening muscles on parade for the ever-watchful eyes of the treadmill bunnies. I am not immune to their pretty gazes, but I am here to workout, not to fornicate.

I don’t have time for all the complications of a treadmill bunny in my life. Between law school and work, I barely have time to get to the gym. Only one more year and I’m released to the wilds to practice law. My arm starts to tremble under the weight I am bench-pressing.

Of course, my asshole partner is busy with his virtual lovefest.

I roll my eyes and growl, “So glad I didn’t drop it.”

“Still alive, aren’t you?” He grins without even bothering to see if I’m okay.

“No thanks to you,” I grumble as I sit up.

One of the bunnies giggles and I ignore her, sucking in water from the bottle like it’s going out of style.

“You should get her number,” my spotter says.

“You know, Trent. Not all of us have free time.”

“I offered you the summer internship.”

“You damn well know I couldn’t let my old man down.”

“At some point, you’re not going to be there.”

“You’re an asshole.” Then I hear the melodious giggling through his phone. “Would you get off that already. We’re supposed to be working out, not phone fucking.”

“I’ll call you later, someone needs a Snickers.”

“Byeeeee,” the all too bubbly voice chirps and he disconnects.

We switch places after I wipe down the equipment and take the weight down by twenty pounds on each side.

“Hey, asshole, I can handle that weight!”

“You can handle that weight like I handled your mother last night.”

“I always knew you had a thing for her.”

I grunt as I let the weight free fall into his hands.

His eyes bulge, and he gasps as he gains control. He definitely can’t handle that extra twenty pounds.

I watch in silence as he works through his reps. He has this damn goofy grin on his face the entire time. “Have you popped the damn question yet?”

“Hell yeah, I did.”

“Did you go for all that theater school flash mob bullshit? Or did you take her to a nice dinner?”

“So, you know how Nicky has that helicopter business…”

“No! You didn’t?”

“Well, we started there.”

“Okay.” I raise a brow. Fourteen steps later he still hasn’t popped the question. I think they might have crossed the Atlantic at this point, but I can’t follow a damn word he is blabbering on about. I keep the smile plastered on my face and give him the appropriate “Uh-huh,” when he takes a breath.

I am distracted by one of the few women in this gym that I would be interested in. She’s not one of those vanilla treadmill bunnies. She’s tall, with curves, and with every down stroke on the elliptical she has every man entranced.

“Uh-huh,” I mutter again.

“Great! I knew you would come through for me. I’ll get you the card, and you make all the plans. No limits. Something swank, and romantic. Not in the States. Oh, by the way, you’ll be working with Roni’s best friend, Clara.”

“Wait, what?” I look down and frown at Trent.

“No takesies backsies, you already agreed! I don’t care whose tits you were looking at. You agreed.”

My eyes narrow and I have half a mind to let the bar drop again. Instead, he puts it on the rack and sits up. “You’re going to plan the wedding. You and Clara. You’ll love her. She’s Roni’s best friend.”

“You mentioned that. Why am I planning your wedding? With her?”

“Roni and I have no time.”

“And you think I do?”

“Yup! Which is why you both will be perfect. I texted you her flight info. She gets here Friday.” Trent then stands and clamps a meaty paw onto my shoulder. “Besides. If you don’t do this, my mother will.”

My shoulders drop in defeat. I couldn’t leave my best friend to the wolf that is his mother. Correction, stepmother.

“Fine. You know I have your back. Like I always do.”