Authors: Rebekah Weatherspoon
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Contemporary, #Multicultural, #Multicultural & Interracial, #Romance, #Erotica, #erotic romance, #Novella
(#1 in the Fit Trilogy)
Violet Ryan loves the delicious food she gets to eat on the reality shows she produces for The Food Channel. What she hates is her expanding waistline. Determined to drop the pounds, Violet hatches a plan to kick start a fitness regimen. But when her determination isn’t enough to get her through even one intense group class without breaking down into tears, she knows she needs a new approach and possibly a new trainer—one with a lighter touch.
Grant Gibson has always managed to mix business with pleasure, but now this trainer by day, and Dominant by night, is bored. Bored and lonely. Even though he owns one of L.A.’s hottest private gyms, his personal life is sorely lacking. After his last submissive tried to kidnap his dog and the contents of his bank account, he’s in no hurry to take a new lover under his wing. Not until the voluptuous Violet falls into his lap.
She may be wary of his unorthodox approach of using sexual gratification as a reward, but even before her initial weigh-in Violet can’t seem to stay away from the sexy fitness god. She may have to let Grant show her there’s more than one way to get in shape…
**This story contains light acts of bondage and a feisty submissive who gives her Dominant a run for his money.**
Violet nearly wheezed as she dropped her weights to the ground. She collapsed on all fours, a few drops of sweat beating her to the hard rubber surface. She stretched her hands out, shoulder-width apart. Her knees ached as she raised herself up in a modified push-up. Was it possible to die from push-ups? She didn’t know, but part of her wanted it to be true. Sweat ran down her face, between her breasts, and she wanted to die.
Actually, she wanted to kill her friend, Faye. And the people at sharepon.com. Faye had it coming for suggesting they take this all-ladies Pump Fit class together, and sharepon.com deserved a strongly worded letter for offering the class to Faye for free if she brought a friend along to join in the pain. Sure, in reality it was Violet’s own fault. She’d spent half their last season on
complaining about how much weight she needed to lose, while simultaneously shoving pound after pound of pulled pork into her pie hole.
Faye was a good friend and listened to Violet bitching about the long hours they worked and the high calorie foods they were “forced” to eat on set. Even though Faye seemed to manage the hours and the menus just fine, she listened when Violet confessed that she’d reached her breaking point. Her fat jeans barely buttoned over her stomach the night of the wrap party. It was time to get her body in order.
She’d heard it one hundred and a million times; it takes twenty-one days to create a new habit, and Violet had exactly
days before preproduction started up on their next show for Park Place Productions.
She loved her job as an associate producer. Her company’s primary focus was cooking and baking competition shows for The Food Channel. She worked hard and partied even harder, but enough was enough. She had twenty-three days to get on a healthy routine so she could go into the next show with a new diet, a new sleep schedule and, hopefully, a smaller waistline. She envisioned herself taking on this challenge head-on. She’d always been overweight. A chubby kid, turned fat teen, turned fatter adult, but she’d always been somewhat in shape. Pump Fit sounded tough. Still, if she put her mind to it, she could make it through the class. Or so she thought.
“One more minute! Keep going, ladies!” the instructor shouted. Her name was Margaret and even though she was the same height as Violet, she was about ten sizes smaller and carried about seventy-five more pounds of muscle, most of it in the area about the neck and shoulders. Instructor Margaret was from Australia, with an accent so thick her every command would have been hilarious if Violet could find the slightest bit of humor in the situation. Margaret was also a professional Pump Fit competitor. As soon as she offered that bit of information at the start of class, Violet should have run right back to her car.
“Up!” Margaret shouted. “I want twenty burpees! Go!”
Violet struggled to her feet, then dropped back down, extending her legs behind her butt before bringing her knees back up to her chest then springing back up to her feet.
Down again. She could barely breathe. Her lungs burned and that acidic taste, a mixture of burning fat, blood and embarrassment, filled her mouth. Beside her, Faye, with her flat stomach and tight butt, completed burpee three and four. Faye ate her pork too. It wasn’t fair.
“Come on, Violet! Keep going! We don’t move on until we all finish!”
Right. Great. No pressure there. Violet dropped to the floor one more time, and then again, as Margaret kept screaming.
The buzzer at the front of the room sounded, signaling the end of the timed rotation. Violet had completed six burpees. She’d attempted eight. Margaret frowned at her briefly, but let it go.
“Two hundred meter run! Claire knows the way!” Demon Instructor nodded to a slim redhead, who nodded back then bolted for the open gym door.
“Come on,” Faye said, patting Violet’s sweaty arm. “You’re doing great. Let’s go.”
Violet kept up as they sprinted down the stairs to the street, but once they hit the hill, the freaking hill that led from the gym plaza to Sunset Boulevard, she started lagging behind. When the second-to-last woman in the class lapped her on the way back, Violet started to cry.
It was gym class all over again. She was the last kid picked. The last kid to finish the mile. The fat-ass who caused the gym teacher’s eyebrows to sag down when she even attempted the sit-and-reach. Violet didn’t know who she was kidding. She needed more than twenty-three days and her wavering determination. She needed lipo and a miracle.
Violet stopped slow jogging and wiped her face. When she made it back up the stairs, the whole class was waiting for her, jump ropes in hand. They all offered smiles of encouragement. She even got a few “good jobs”. When she glanced at herself in the mirror, she could see how red and blotchy her face was. It wasn’t the exertion. It was obvious that she had been crying. Violet took the rope Faye had grabbed for her. She fought tears for the rest of the class, but a few managed to trickle out, mixing with the sweat that poured down her face.
It was tempting to fall flat on the floor once Margaret called their final time, but Violet had to get out of there. She’d held up the whole class five separate times and actually cried in front of a group of skinny, in-shape strangers, as she tried to remember the proper way to get both feet over a jump rope. She couldn’t look at Faye as she wiped off her face and shoved her hand towel into her canvas tote bag. Faye knew Violet wasn’t ready for this, but she’d convinced to her to come anyway.
I get it
, Violet thought.
You proved your point. You take care of yourself. I don’t. You can handle the free production food in moderation. I can’t.
“You ready?” Faye asked. Violet simply nodded but, just as she started to follow Faye out the door, Muscle-Bound Margaret, the self-worth eater, called her name.
“Hey, Violet! Hold on one sec.”
Now a pep talk
. “I’ll meet you down at the car,” she told Faye, who took the hint and promptly disappeared out the door, leaving Violet alone with the trainer.
Margaret led her over to the counter at the front of the gym and, for the first time in over an hour, the woman seemed to unclench. She gave Violet a normal smile, full of understanding and lacking false encouragement. “This class isn’t for you.”
Or not. “Uh, thanks?”
“Sorry, love. I didn’t mean for you to take it that way. I’m supposed to tell you that you did awesome and you should come back, ’cause money and word of mouth, etcetera, but you need to scale it back. When was the last time you worked out?”
Violet felt like crying again. “Four months ago.”
“And you don’t like the yelling either, do you?”
“I fucking hate it, but I need something. I really do want to lose weight.”
“That’s great, but sometimes you need to start slowly. Your friend’s been to my class seven or eight times. Yeah, there’s a first time for everyone, but not everyone needs to start in the same place.”
Violet swallowed and fought back sudden tears of anger. Was she that far gone that a trainer was telling her she was a lost cause? She kept her mouth shut, confident that she would never set foot in Pinks Women’s Fitness ever again. Faye could drag someone else along to suffer through the humiliation.
“I know this guy. Grant. He’s a great personal trainer. He has a reputation of being a complete softy, but he gets results.”
Despite the fact that Violet kinda wanted to kick Margaret in her muscular shin, the idea of working with a
trainer, someone who would be patient with her, one on one, sounded pretty appealing. It would also be harder for her to be jealous of a guy’s body. She wouldn’t spend their time together constantly comparing her breasts or her ass to his.
“That might be cool,” she finally said.
“I’m going to see him later today actually. You signed in with your info, right?” Margaret looked down at the very sign-in sheet by her elbow. There was Violet’s name, right above Faye’s. They’d been the first to arrive.
“Yeah.” Violet pointed to her name, neatly printed in blue ink. She figured if the staff at Pinks flooded her inbox with class schedules and protein shake promotions, she’d force herself to come back. That was before the second two hundred meter run.
“So you don’t chicken out, I’ll have him call you. I don’t want you to give up, but you will if you’re not matched with some class or some trainer who’s right for you.”
“You’re right. Thanks.”
After a quick goodbye, Violet left the gym, feeling a little less hostile toward Margaret. But she still had to ride back to Culver City with Faye, who was a little too perky for Violet’s liking when she got into the car. Faye didn’t even ask what Margaret wanted. She knew. Pat the fat girl on the back. Keep her spirits high.
“We still on for lunch?” Faye asked.
Violet was starving, but she shook her head. “I don’t think so. Can you drop me off? I really want to shower and take a nap.” Faye looked disappointed, but she didn’t argue as she pulled her car out onto Santa Monica. Violet was quiet the whole way back to her apartment, while Faye gabbed cheerfully, refusing to acknowledge that she may have fucked up.
When they stopped in front of her place, Violet came to the conclusion that one workout shouldn’t be the end of their friendship. She just needed a little space and some time to feel like herself again.
“Let’s get lunch tomorrow and go see a movie or something,” she suggested.
“Sure. Let’s do it. And I’m sorry. I didn’t think it would be that bad. I didn’t want you to cry.”
“I know,” Violet replied. “I just need a few.” Faye smiled then offered Violet her signature air kiss before Violet hopped out of the car. By the time she made it upstairs, Violet wasn’t upset anymore. Just sweaty and exhausted, and fixated on inhaling everything in her fridge.
After Grant finished his second Beach Bootcamp class of the day, he headed back to Melrose Fitness, where he found Australian Pump Fit champ, Margaret White, waiting for him outside the gym doors.
“Well, if it isn’t my favorite Aussie. G’day, Marge.”
Margaret laughed, throwing back her head and showing off her chiseled chin.
“It’s scary how good you are at that accent. You sound just like my brother.”
Grant kept on with the thick impression a moment longer. “Just one of my many talents. What can I do ya for?” He held the front door open, then nodded toward the back office as he kept walking. Margaret followed. Armando was still on the floor, in room two, doing a private yoga session with two of his clients from Beverly Hills, so he and Margaret had the small space, cluttered with Melrose Fitness swag and protein bars, to themselves.