Uncaged Love The Boxed Set #1-5(8)By: JJ Knight
It can’t be easy having a father so famous. I suddenly wonder if Colt has been successful at all. I don’t have a clue what MMA entails, how different it is from boxing. I wonder if going that direction was a good choice for Colt or if he is just defying his dad.
I glance around, but I don’t see any T-shirts or boxes that might hold them. They have to be in the office.
The gym is pretty quiet as I tiptoe over to Buster’s door. I stand beside it, trying to listen inside. I’m about to knock when I hear Colt’s voice.
And he’s yelling.
I can’t imagine how intimidating Colt must be when he’s pissed off. I lean closer to the door of Buster’s office.
Colt’s voice makes the wood vibrate. “Don’t do me any favors, Buster. I’m not exactly here by choice.”
“Colt, I’m the one stuck in the awkward position.”
“Then say no. Tell him to shove it.”
“We’ve already started construction.”
“This is his idiot ego, not mine.”
“Your dad has a lot of pull around here.”
“Not with me.”
The door handle starts to turn, so I bolt back to the front counter. My back is to the hallway as Colt storms out, but I can hear his angry footsteps. He doesn’t pause but crosses to the other side and through a door that I assume is the men’s locker room.
Thankfully he didn’t see this stupid shirt on me. Maybe Buster will come out now, and I can ask him for another one. I’ve spent three years avoiding attention and now every inch of me is screaming, “Look at these!”
I take my time breaking apart the boxes I’ve emptied and stacking them against the wall. But Buster never appears. After the argument, I’m not sure I want to knock on his door to talk about my shirt problem.
I might as well finish this work. I’m down to the last package. I know those are going to be big, heavy weights. I sigh and open the last box. Forty pounds. Damn. I grasp the edge of the disc, bending over the box.
“Hey, bend your knees first.” The girl from the weight room comes up. “You’re going to hurt your back.”
She squats down. “Lift with your legs to let it rest on your chest.”
I hold on to the bag and roll it into my body. With the bulk of the weight lying against me, it’s much easier to manage. “Thanks,” I say.
“You’re going to hurt tomorrow if you’re not used to lifting.” She pulls the next forty out. “I’ll take this one.”
She leads the way to the weight room, her high ponytail swinging.
We dump the forties at the end of the line of sandbags. She stretches out a hand. “I’m Lani. I’m kinda new here.”
I shake it. “Jo. I just started.”
“Glad to see more girls around.” She heads back to the doorway. “I was about to head out, but do you want help with those?”
I don’t think Buster would like me asking his customers to do my work. “I’ve got it. Thanks for the tip.”
She nods and turns away. The room is empty for the moment, so I feel comfortable looking around. The weights are scattered everywhere. I pick up the smaller dumbbells and arrange them on a set of shelves.
Buster is back in the doorway when I look up. “A self-starter,” he says. “I like that.” He glances at my shirt. “Good fit. I’ll dig out another tomorrow so you’ll have a couple.”
I groan inside. So I will have to wear this every day. I can’t bring myself to thank him.
“I’ve still got a few more sandbags to stack,” I say.
He nods. “After that you can head out. I’ll have a list of tasks for you for tomorrow. Come back around eight.”
“Okay.” I head up to the front. It’s eerily quiet now throughout the building.
I peer into the last box. Only three to go, all fifties.
“I can do this,” I mumble, arranging my legs the way Lani told me to.
I recognize the voice, the sexy rumble I felt in my chest yesterday.
I pop up and whip around. Colt stands by the front door, freshly showered, his hair damp. His eyes rove over my tight shirt, and my face grows hot.
“Just moving weights.” I gesture lamely toward the box.
He nods. He’s wearing jeans and a jacket like when I met him. His eyes sparkle with green and brown. “That’ll strengthen you up in a hurry.”
“If it doesn’t kill me first.”
He walks over. I know how upset he was a few minutes ago, but you can’t see it now.
“You’ll be having the guys here tripping over themselves to help.” He glances down at my chest again.
I’ve never wanted my hoodie so bad in my life. “I don’t think so.”
He huffs. “You’ll see. They’ll line up for any hot little gym girl in a tight shirt. Tomorrow you can add some tiny shorts and waltz out with any of them. Too bad you can’t work for tips.”
I want to punch him. Anger flares through me so hot and fast, it’s almost the hurricane feeling. But I’m ashamed too. I should have kept the hoodie on. I knew this would happen.