Jaxson Hartfield has very specific desires, and they involve muscular men. Problem is, he hasn’t been able to make any of his relationships last. Thus he’s forty-one and single, but not for lack of trying. So Jaxson buries himself in work and late nights and admires Carter Daniels, the very buff eye-candy at his gym, without any hope for more.
Carter Daniels is a weightlifter whose biceps and triceps distract Jaxson to the point of tripping over his own feet. And it doesn’t get any better from there. Just a whiff of the man’s sweat turns Jaxson’s brain to mush, making conversation practically impossible.
Carter knows Jaxson is attracted to him. But getting the man to stop acting like a scared rabbit around him might take a lot of effort. Still, he may be just the muscleman for the job.
After an hour, my legs were screaming at me in protest, and my clothing was soaked. I stopped the machine and stepped onto the carpet, my legs wobbly and feeling a little light-headed.
“You okay, there, man?” a husky voice said, and I gulped as I realized he was talking to me. When had he walked over here? And ... so close ... and that sweat just running down his bare chest ... Oh man.
I kept one hand on the machine and used the other to place the towel against my navel, so it hung low enough, I hoped, as my nether regions stirred yet again. “Ah ... yeah. Sure, I’m okay. Uh, thanks for ... yeah.” Somebody shut me up.
He smiled and shrugged. “I guess we’re the only ones here, huh.” I tried to smile back, but the confused look on his face a moment later showed I had failed.
Try to articulate, moron. “Um, yeah, I guess we are. I don’t usually come here this late. I typically workout at lunchtime.” Okay, that was a little better.
“Yeah, I’ve seen you here before,” he said.
“You noticed me?” I blurted out like an overeager teenager. Age didn’t always mean maturity, apparently. God, bury me now.
“Well, yeah. You tripped that one time, and I would have helped but you were so embarrassed, I decided not to bother you.”
Crap. “Oh. I, well, thanks? For wanting to help ...” I swallowed and tried to look as if I wasn’t hot and bothered as I desperately drank water from the squeeze bottle I picked up from the floor.
“You sure you’re okay?” he asked. “Your face is red, though I suppose it could be from that workout. You seemed really intense.” He’d been watching me?
“I’m fine, really.” I just need to die of shame in a corner somewhere. Alone. I kept the towel in place as I asked, “You done for the night, then?”
“Yeah. I have a weightlifting competition coming up, so I’m pretty focused right now. Name’s Carter Daniels.”
“Jaxson Hartfield,” I replied, and we shook hands before walking together to the locker rooms, towel still in place. “When is the competition?”
“In two weeks.” Carter went to his locker, which was in the middle of the row. Mine was at the end. Small mercies.
“Well, I wish you luck, then, if I don’t see you.” I took out my bag and found the shower stuff, tucking the towel in my waist band since I was now harder than a pike.
“You know, you’re different,” Carter said.
I looked at him in surprise. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, I can tell you have a thing for me, but you don’t do --”
I cut him off because, damn. “Wait, what?” He knew? Motherfucker.
His eyes widened. “No! Well, yeah, I mean, I know you’re sporting wood, but it’s okay, and I --”
“Ah, fuck.” I decided right then and there to shower at home. To hell with going back to work. I threw everything back into my bag and left the room as quickly as possible.
“Jaxson, wait!” I heard Carter call out, but mortification was a bitch.