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Let's Get Physical
|Edward, Mark, Tony and Jarod had been lunchtime workout buddies for
almost three years. They had been old college buddies who had stayed
in touch and now used their lunch hours to keep in shape and talk
shop. All the guys were Frat boy veterans who hadn't really left the
frat house mentality far behind them. Because as the old saying
goes "you can take the Boy out of the frat but...
Edward was a corporate shark and even though it had been a long time since he was the president of the Frat, he still took the lead around his old buddies. After graduation he became an investment banker his dark hair and boy next door good looks made it easy for him to charm his way into the hearts of his female clients. Edward had blue eyes set in a ruggedly handsome face, with the strongest jaw line you had ever seen. He was arrogant and commanding and had he believed his intelligence, good looks and connections gave him every right to behave that way.
Tony was most of the time a Latin lover straight from central casting spending as much time in numerous women's beds as he did at the uptown law firm he worked for. During college he had held the reputation for being able to bed any woman on campus and entire sorority houses used to line up to watch him play volleyball in the back yard. He could easily trade in his legal briefs for the Calvin Klien jockey variety and climb up on a billboard. His black hair and coffee and cream skin made him irresistible to woman and he was never in short supply of them.
Mark who was the most aggressive of them all had spent the majority of college as a wall of muscle line man on the football team and still seemed to have trouble leaving behind the bully mentality of his early twenties, he was brutally masculine and often didn't act his age. He was working in an advertising agency as a consultant on sports campaigns. He had kept his hair in a shoulder length mane since freshman year and it gave him a look that seemed to be Connan the executive. He still looked imposing with his 6'4 frame and massive shoulders and continued his big bad ass attitude even though he put on a suit and tie like the rest of them.
Finally Jarod was making a good living outside the city as a high paid contractor it was good old fashioned blood and sweat work and it showed in his tightly packed muscular frame. He was a nice unassuming salt of the earth kind of guy with dark brown hair and brown eyes. He really didn't need to invest in these workout sessions but he did so he could see his buddies.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday they met at the 64th street gym to catch up and work out. They all worked out mainly so they could make sure to be the primmest catch at the clubs and bars they went to together. All of them were pushing thirty and they were all painfully aware that they were soon going to have to settle down and leave the one nightstands to a younger crowd. None of them were very happy about that prospect.
They had maintained this routine without event until one Monday when they noticed that the 64th street gym had been sold to a new owner. They had thought nothing about it at first but began to be disturbed by the new element the new owners were welcoming in.
They were all sitting in the locker room changing out of their suits and into their sweats. When some strange guy walked passed in a pair of skintight yellow and blue striped biker shorts and nothing else. He was in great shape, he looked like one of the models out of a fitness magazine with a sculpted torso and box cut pecs however he had brightly died red hair and a two big hoops in his ears. He was very out of place in the locker room of the upward mobile 64th St gym. He was a sore thumb amongst its Abbercrombie and Finch clientele.
The four men sat staring at each other in their sweat pants and college sweatshirts, "who was that?" Tony asked confusedly.
"Some fruit." Mark grunted dismissively.
"What's he doing here don't they all stay downtown?" Edward tone was elitist with a definitive distaste.
Mark looked darkly and then stood up "Someone should tell him this is NOT that kind of gym."
Jarod put a hand on Mark's big arm "Let it go man. He ain't botherin' nobody."
"Yeah he better not." Mark said darkly.
"Forget the fairy man, how are things with you and Rachel?" Tony said changing the subject as he slid out of his Dockers and into a pair of blue sweat shorts.
"Things would be great, If she would quit hassling me all the time. She's always callin me and shit." Mark answered in a grumbling rumble. He always seemed to be in a perpetual state of pissed off. He always had something to be violently angry about. "And she's always talkin about how I should make a damn commitment to her. Like I want to cut off my sex life at 30. That bitch's getting her walking papers."
"Sorry I asked, you should do what I do find a new girlfriend every night. Variety is the spice of life man." Tony laughed.
"But haven't you been seeing Rachel for 4 months." Edward pointed out as he undid his tie.
"What's? Your point?" mark said blankly.
All four of them broke into a chorus of barking laughter.
"What's so funny guys?"
The four friends turned in unison to the new voice. Standing in front of them in nothing but a towel and a smile was the guy in the biker pants.
Tony cleared his throat and focused intently on putting on his sneakers. "Nothing man."
The new guy looked around questioningly and just smiled again. "Well, anyway, My Name's Kenny. I'm new here.'
"We noticed." Edward said as he slid his Duke sweatshirt over his head. The ice in his voice sent a chill through the locker room.
They all turned to leave as a group without even looking at Kenny.
Mark however turned around and loomed menacingly over the new member; "Since you're new here I think I should point out that the ladies locker room is across the hall. That's where you Queens should change." And then he pushed the towel clad other man like they were in 6th grade and on the recess yard.
"Screw you man." Kenny retorted as he prepared to swing.
Things might have gotten ugly, but Jarod was in between them and pushing Mark's big frame away, "Mark hod old are you man?"
Mark turned around but shot one last insult back, "You can't screw me bitch you ain't my type."
Edward was practically laughing his ass of by the time they got to the main weight room. His face was red with mirth, "Did you see that guys face I think you were gonna make him cry."
"You guys should just leave him alone, " Jarod said quietly
Edward shot him an irritated glance "Come on Jarod the minute you let one of them in the rest of them won't be able to wait to hang their purses right next to our gym bags."
"I guess you right," he relented good naturedly, giving into Edwards superior personality.
The 64th St Gym was a very utilitarian no fuss, no frills gym. It wasn't much more then a college weight room. It was bare walls, tiled floors and work out equipment. It was what Mark called a real mans gym. There wasn't a juice bar, there weren't personal trainers and there wasn't blaring music pumping out at you. It was perfect for the guys. This was their refuge the one place they could escape from all the hassles of their high pressure jobs and the outside world.
They were on the floor for about two minutes before a beautiful lithe woman in spandex hopped off her stare master and stormed passed Tony in a swirl of auburn hair. "Asshole."
Tony turned around "Puta." He called after her.
"What was that about" Edward asked from behind a butterfly curl.
"Just some stupid bitch." Tony spat.
Edward laughed again, "Tony is there ANYONE in this Gym you haven't slept with?"
"No, he's gone through all the chicks with memberships. He's gonna have to switch gyms." Jarod added laughing.
"She can't handle the fact that we had a one time thing."
"Man she was hot, you didn't keep going out with her?" Mark questioned as he followed the woman's escape with a leer of interest.
"Why would I take her out again, I got want I wanted the first time?" He answered matter of factly making Edward and Jarod laughed again.
The woman who must have been listening to their conversation turned around and gracefully through them the bird with a delicate gesture of her hand. "Maybe people wouldn't treat her like a WHORE if she didn't dress like one!" Tony yelled after her.
The guys continued the rest of their workout discussing business, how this boss was trying to get one over on them or how this client was trying to back out of a deal. Eventually the conversation switched to sex. Mark who was the only one in what could conceivably called a relationship just talked about how he was dumping his girlfriend. Tony regaled them with dirty tales of his sexual escapades with woman all over the East Side. Jarod admitted to being on a few dates but not really getting anywhere and of course Edward was far to busy with work to even pick some girl up at a bar and take her home for a quick lay. It was painfully apparent that the only things that filled their days were work and the occasional woman. But mostly work. They were power hungry mosagonists left over from Gloria Stienem's Cultural Revolution.
"I'm going to be late for a meeting," Tony complained as he toweled of his sweat-drenched forehead and pushed back his black hair out of his eyes.
"Damn do you think it's hot in here?" Jarod asked as he peeled his sweat-darkened sweatshirt off his head revealing his fur-covered torso. His well-proportioned chest was coated in a thick carpet of dark brown hair.
Edward chortled, "That's our gorilla boy."
They all laughed, except Jarod, at the old nickname.
"I didn't think that was funny when we were in school and I don't think it is now man." He complained as he wiped away the seat from his neck with the shirt.
"Why Jarod, It wasn't that bad." Mark said with a punctuated punch in his arm.
Tony laughed even harder, "He's still pissed from the time he got pass out drunk and we put all that electrical tape on his chest."
"I still have scars dickhead," Jarod mumbled under his breath.
The other three men were well into a second brawl of laughter when music began to blast at them from all sides of the room.
They stopped lifting and Edward looked around dumbfounded "What the hell?"
The music was a loud rap, filled with deep bass and pounding rhythms.
"Someone turn that shift off!" Tony yelled angrily.
A maintenance man at the other side of the room turned around quickly and apologized, "Sorry sir," he dropped a panel of circuitry in his hand and the loud vibrations stopped.
"Thanks." Tony sneered back. "When did this gym start blaring bad music?"
"Hey man aren't you homme boyz supposed to love that stuff?" Mark joked.
"Shut-up Mark you know I hate that thug bullshit. Everyone thinks just because I'm Puerto-Rican I must be in to all that Tommy Hillfiger, Rapper wanna be, ghetto bullshit. It's embarrassing." Tony complained with his nose upturned.
"Come on you must have at least own one Big Poppa CD." Mark teased.
"Tony's right," Edward interjected taking over the conversation, "what is going on around here, the fruit in the locker Room and now stereo's being installed. I wonder what else these new owners have planned." Edward could see big changes coming. Big changes he hadn't given permission for. He Excused himself from the work out and went looking or some answers.
Edward made a b-line for the manager's office but found it vacant except for a couple for boxes. "Can I help you?"
Edward turned around and came face to face with a hulking platinum blonde Italian who wore a suit with no tie. "I'm looking for the manager, Joel." Edward answered flatly, eyeing the obviously radically muscled pretending to be professional kid skeptically.
"Oh I'm sorry with the new owners of the gym and the renovation Joel's been replaced." The kid explained congenially.
"What? So who are you?"
The guy extended one ring-adorned hand and said, "I'm Gino, the replacement."
This man who was taking over his sanctuary was not only a trendy little muscle boy, he couldn't have been more then 22. "They got rid of Joel and hired you? And what did you say about renovations?"
Gino gave him a steady look that spoke volumes "why don't we discuss this in my office uh...?" he trailed of searching for the name of the impolite customer.
"My name is Edward Barnes" Came the answer through gritted teeth, "And isn't this your office?'
"Hell no," Gino laughed "this closet? I'm moving over into one of the store rooms, they're so much bigger."
As he followed the man who was barely more then a child to his new office, which was just another change that was rubbing Edward the wrong way, he noticed how drastically the clientele was changing. That fruit Kenny from the locker room wasn't the only new face walking around. There were all these gym rats running around who he had never met before, not to mention contractors and other workman. Just what was going around here?
When Gino was safely behind his desk He looked up at Edward looming over him irritably. "Now what exactly seems to be the problem Eddie?"
"My name is Edward and the problem is you are turning our gym into a gay bar with weights." He spat.
Gino's jaw set, and his fists began to itch to make contact with Edward's face, "Excuse me?"
"No I don't think I will, just what do the people you work for think they're doing kid?"
"The new owners have a lot of experience in running successful health club chains Edward, they have three downtown that..."
`"Downtown? I should have known. You're going to bring those people in here?" Edward raged.
"And what element would that be?" Again Gino was barely maintaining his hot Mediterranean temper.
Gino was now on his feet, "Listen here you..."
"No you listen, this is a nice respectable place where regular guys go to hang out and work out stress from their real jobs. Not watch themselves bench press in a ceiling mirror and then blow someone in the showers." Edward ran on "Me and my buddies have real jobs kid. We have to deal with all kinds of bullshit stress and pressure all week and our only way to let it off is to come here and take it out on the weights."
"I'm sure you'll find that after you get to some more of the clientele you'll find that you have a lot more in common then you know." Gino grated as he mentally took the 30 something by the neck and jacked him against a wall.
"You know what, I wish I could be like these fruits running around the city with nothing to worry them except their amount of body fat and their hair. Just another demoralized imbecile bouncing from bed to bed then to the gym. I wish that my friends and I could live the carefree life of these idiot queer bitches but you see kid, we're real men with actual jobs. It would be so much easier to forget the problems of the corporate world and let my libido and my dick do all my thinking for me" Edward said continuing his tirade. "But if you think your going to take away the only place we can relax you've got another think coming."
The blonde settled his bulging olive skinned body back into his chair with a calm expression, "I'm sorry you feel that way Edward but the contracts have been signed ownership has been transferred just what do you plan to do."
"I plan," he said in a mocking tone, "To tie this place up in litigation so long that no ones going to be lifting 5lbs in here for years. We all signed membership contracts with certain stipulations a hundred of which have been broken."
Gino remained calm, "I certainly hope it doesn't come to that."
"Then get you and all your pink wearin' buddies out of my gym." And with that he was out the slamming door.
Then he went and grabbed the other guys from their sets, "Come on guys we're getting the hell out of here."
"All right" Mark said.
And Tony nodded.
"Why" asked Jake confusedly.
"Because I said so that's why. Now move." Edward commanded.
Mark and Tony went and got their stuff and as they were leaving Tony asked Eddie what was going on, "I'm gonna call my lawyer and after that I'm pretty sure we won't have any more problems with this new owner."
They all high fived.
Gino watched the four quickly approaching middle age men slap each other five through the windows of his new office. And tapped his finger against the desktop. As they went on their separate ways he finally came to a difficult decision. He leaned over and dialed a familiar number from his office speakerphone. After numerous rings a tired impatient voice picked up, "It is ten o'clock in the morning on and I don't have a class until one...If someone isn't on fire I'm going to be real pissed."
"It's me Gino," he said out loud to the air.
"What's your point." The voice on the phone snapped.
"Stop being a cranky bitch...I need your help."
There was a pause on the other end of the phone and then "All right what seems to be the problem..."
""I need you to do me a favor."
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