There’s a crowd of people on the fitness floor when I get there and most of the machines are taken. I suspect that it’s due to it being rush hour and that in the next half hour most of these people will be back in their offices. But I don’t dwell on the thought, I resolve to look down at my watch. It’s 3:15 and I don’t have long before I have to be back at the apartment. I scowl down at the time, and make my way to the only elliptical machine left for a quick warm up. Placing my water bottle in the slot, I fumble with the buttons until the machine lights up. Then I take my iPod out of my pocket, and plug in my headphones and I start pumping my legs to the music. Warmed, I tighten my hands around the handlebars, and my gaze moves to where the fitness balls are stacked and I’m thinking about what I’m going to wear for my dinner date, later. I’m excited! I finally have my man back.
I stifle a smile, and I’m about to turn my head when this strange woman comes into view. She’s staring at me—and I feel a sudden trickle of discomfort. She’s about three feet away, on the other side of the room, and she has this intense look on her face. I stare back. She’s tall, with long dark hair that passes her shoulders and she’s wearing a light pink work out top that pushes up her boobs. Her matching booty shorts show off curvy legs. She has an amazing figure.
She grins, awkwardly before looking away. Then slowly, moves to another work out station. I’m left staring after her.
What was that about?
Confused, I tear my gaze away and finish the last twenty minutes on the elliptical machine, then I go into the weight area and grab ten-pound dumb bells and go to work on my bicep curls. I’m staring at the wall mirror, lost in the various people coming and going when I see her. The dark haired woman. She’s back again. This time, I zero in on her face. She looks to be around my age.
My scalp pricks as I take in every detail of her face, trying to think of where I’ve seen this woman. Wait…no! The image of the woman in the white Toyota flashes in my head. Shit. Could it be her?
I inhale deeply, slowly placing my dumb bells back on the rack. I’m not sure what I should do, and if it’s smart to go up to her. I’m still looking straight at the wall mirror, when a sense of paranoia starts to seep in. What if she’s in fact the woman from the airport and she’s toying with me? My gaze follows her; she is now sitting on the leg machine looking down at her magazine, immersed in what she’s reading.
Music blaring in my ears, I turn the volume off and I watch her get to her feet. I grab my towel and water bottle off the bench and follow her out the fitness floor.
A minute later, we’re in the women’s locker room. Nervously, I walk down the plushy carpet to the vanity stand across from where she’s standing. I take a peek around; there is no one else accept us, and I’m no longer feeling anxious. It makes approaching her far much easier.
Taking a deep breath, I look straight at her. She has a towel wrapped around her body and she’s gathering some hair toiletries out of her gym bag. I think she’s not even aware that I’m there, when suddenly she looks up and our eyes meet.
Her dark eyes hold mine. There’s nothing about her that comes across as friendly.
“Are you new to the gym?” She has a slight French accent which causes her to stress her words. I shift uncomfortably from where I’m standing, and I watch her straighten to her full height. She’s about an inch taller than me. I watch as she fingers the end of her hair. She’s waiting for me to speak.
I swallow hard.
“No. I’m just here on a day pass.“ I murmur. She smiles, but it looks more like a sneer. “I like your pants,” I say playing for time.
“Thanks. It’s Alo, they’re one of my favorite brands.” Her dark eyes take in every inch of me. It’s as if she is comparing her curves to mine, and I’m coming up lacking. She definitely wins in that department. She gives me a wry smile. “The athletic shop is in the building. You should check it out,” she says amused, and turns her back.
“Do I know you from somewhere?” I blurt out.
“I don’t think so,” she says and shakes her head. I can see her face in the mirror assessing me. There’s something cold about her eyes, even menacing. She turns again, this time looking down at my engagement ring. Her brow creases. “Are you engaged?”
Surprised, I look down at my hand. “Yes. I’m getting married in a month.”
Seemingly agitated, I watch as her eyes dilate into these black orbs. It’s unnerving the way she’s looking at me. “So who’s the lucky guy?”
“I’m sure you don’t know him,” I say with a shake of the head. “He’s into buying companies and that sort of thing.”
“You never know. Boston’s a small city. We might know the same people.” She raises her eyebrow, and I feel like she’s taunting me.
“I doubt it.”
She gives me a side look and grins. “Time will tell,” she says and grabs her belongings and walks off, flinging her hair back in the process.
My mouth drops as she strolls through a set of glass doors that leads to the showers. I stand static, realizing that I didn’t get her name.
Real stupid Kristen.
Twisting my engagement ring, I shift my weight. I’m still trying to understand what just happened. Apart from being a bitch, the woman sought to intimidate me, and I wasn’t sure why. I drop my hands to my side and decide to forget the entire thing. There’s no sense thinking about it. Maybe it wasn’t her in the Toyota, earlier.