Bigger and Badder by Jackson Kane
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
The elevator doors opened to a glassed-in foyer area with towels and an empty employee desk. Beyond the door and glass walls of the foyer were rows of free weights and exercise equipment. It was all right there and it went on forever. I thought the gym was going to be on floor twenty-four, but it turned out the entire floor was the gym.
Eerily, the floor seemed completely empty. It was the biggest hotel in our town, surely at least someone would've wanted to pop down for a quick jog. I walked past the foyer doors and picked up the subtle scents of chemical cleaners mixed with the bleach from the pool.
The weirdest thing by far was the music. Circle of Life wrapped up, then the song from Aladdin started playing, the “I will show you the world” one. Who the hell worked out to Disney music?
During the lull between the two songs, I heard a distant voice and made my way to it. As I rounded the enclosed pool, hot tub, and steam room areas, I realized the voice was that of a young, giggling girl and she was counting. There was also another sound that was out of place for a gym.
“Ten.” Bounce. “Eleven.” Bounce. “Twelve.” Bounce.
When I poked my head around the last corner I found that the noise came from a rubber ball, one you'd use as a kid to play dodge ball. The girl couldn't have been more than six or seven. The ball would land a few feet in front of her, bounce, she would catch it, then count and throw it back to—
Garrett Walker had his knees bent and was hanging upside down on a pull-up bar. He was shirtless with his arms stretched out toward his daughter. He caught the ball, then did a sit up. His abs tightened, his chest flexed and crushed together, and the muscles that ran up his sides bulged and heaved as he raised himself upright for another repetition. Once he tapped the ball on a bar high above his knees, he lowered himself back down and tossed the ball to his daughter.
He looked so much different than in my dream...
I remembered that he was in great shape from the interview I saw of him a long time ago, but seeing a professional football player in person was... Wow. All he wore, aside from thin Converse shoes, was a pair loose fitting fitness shorts that, due to him hanging upside down, rode up to where his legs came together. Although his cock was completely covered by the fabric, everything else was a feast for the eyes.
He was over two hundred pounds of sweet-dripping sexiness. I had to check a few times to make sure my tongue hadn't rolled out of my mouth.
I figured he had a few tattoos, but I'd never have guessed it was that many. He had two scythes across his chest, above an explosion of color and imagery that stretched down both arms and across his back.
It was beautiful; I could study both the art and the canvas for days.
“Eighteen!” The girl excitedly exclaimed. “Only three more!”
“Great job, baby!” Garrett smiled at her so sweetly that it immediately dissolved all my anger against him. When he wiped the sweat from his eyes, they sparkled, it was easy to see how proud he was of his little girl. “You're going to be the best little athlete ever, you know that?”
“Daaaad.” His daughter lit up with embarrassment. Oh good, it's not just me he can do that too.
“Eighteen,” She repeated, then threw him back the ball. He caught the ball easily in one of his large, strong hands.
“Are you trying to trick me?” He asked her, playfully stern. She laughed. “What number comes after eighteen? Twenty five?”
“No,” she smiled knowingly. Her breath whistled through a missing front tooth. “That's too high!”
“Five?” Garrett held out his other hand, opening his fingers one after the other until all five were stretched out.
I leaned against the wall, loving every second of this. The Grim Reaper of Wall Street playing catch, granted a more extreme version, with his daughter while Disney songs played over the gym speakers.
How friggin' cute was that?
Maybe he wasn't the man everyone thought he was. Maybe there was more to him...
I felt like I could've watched this all day, and maybe I would have, if he hadn't glanced in my direction. His smile faded as he raised an eyebrow at me, questioningly. The look put me back on my heels.
It abruptly occurred to me that I was intruding on a private moment with him and his daughter. He probably still gets stalkers all the time.
But I wasn't stalking him. I came here to yell at him!