Fit for the Job(10)

By: Darien Cox

“A phone? A computer? A life?”

He glanced back at her.

She turned away. “Didn’t think so. Get lost, Bodie.”

He left her room, then moved back down to the first floor, passing Tate, a tall, muscular black man who’d worked general security for Eben for years. Tate was an ex-marine—or rather he was a marine. Bodie had let that term slip once and Tate had scolded him, reminding him that ‘there was no such thing as an ex-marine’. Either way, they were both former military, and that, among other things had bonded them in a friendly, working relationship.

Handsome, with close cropped dark hair and a masculine appeal, Tate nearly always wore a smile, and let things roll off his back far more than Bodie did. Bodie appreciated his presence in the house, reminding him to lighten up, that things could be far worse. That their jobs were not dealing with life or death scenarios.

“Hey Bodie, what’s up?”

“Everything okay?” he asked.

“All quiet on the Eastern front,” Tate said. “How’s the kid?”

Bodie snorted, and shook his head.

Tate laughed. “Same, then.”

Bodie nodded. “She’s in her room, but keep your ears on her for a few minutes? I’m just gonna scoot into the computer room and check my email.”

Tate nodded. “No problem, I got it.”

Bodie unlocked the door to the computer room and stepped inside, closing and locking it behind him. Eben had moved all technology that could contact the outside world into this one room when they moved into the house, to be sure Sassy couldn’t get access. Bodie felt almost guilty as he sat down at the desk and opened his computer. Silly, really. It wasn’t like Sassy was really suffering due to a lack of technology, what with kids starving all over the world by comparison.

He checked his email, though he rarely heard from anyone these days. He’d lost all of what he’d called friends when he quit the military a year ago, and had as little use for his family as they had for him. He was stalling, pretending even to himself that he didn’t have a reason for going online.

But eventually he gave in and did a search for Jay Capello.

Crops of photos populated his browser, and he clicked through image after image of Jay. In most of them his hair was longer, tied back in a tight ponytail, giving a better view of his face. It was a nice face. Definitely easy on the eyes.

Bodie felt a bizarre wave of protectiveness blow through him. He’d never felt protective of a man before, not on an intimate level. He was self-aware enough to acknowledge that he’d always chosen men who were tough, physically and emotionally. Men who required nothing from him but his body. And he liked it that way. He didn’t want to feel responsible for anyone else’s feelings. He shouldn’t feel responsible for whatever might happen to Jay’s when he came to work here.

But still, that fist continued to twist in his gut, that deep place that told him he was on the wrong side of right, and no amount of rationalization could reason with it.

But he tried to reason with it anyway. So Jay had no idea he was walking into a shitty, dysfunctional job for the summer. What was the worst that could happen? Jay would either quit, or he wouldn’t. And like Bodie, the guy was getting paid. This wasn’t charity work.

As he continued his Internet search, Bodie stumbled upon a video clip, a sample of Jay’s fitness DVD. He hesitated a moment, then clicked on it.

He watched, somewhat mesmerized, as Jay, clad in a pale blue tank and black shorts, led a class of similarly dressed, fit followers in a routine that seemed to be made up of fast-paced resistance aerobics combined with strength training.

My God, that body.

Jay’s arms were cut with muscle, his legs long and strong, a hint of chiseled pectorals peeking out from the sides of the tank. It was as Bodie had suspected; the guy was way more impressive without so many clothes on. But it wasn’t just the impressiveness of Jay’s exposed flesh that gave him pause, making him raise his eyebrows in surprise. Jay was screaming.

Not a high-pitched, ‘a shark is attacking me’ scream. His voice was deep, commanding, confident as he shouted instruction and encouragement at the camera, expression fierce.

‘Stay with me!’

‘You know this part, come on, get those legs up!’

‘This is gonna get you what you want! Don’t quit on me, four more!’

‘You’ve got this! Can you feel it? I know it hurts. Do it again!’

Bodie huffed out a short laugh. “Wow,” he said softly. “Maybe not such a creampuff after all.”

Perhaps the guy would have more luck getting Sassy off her ass and prying her out of her room than he’d thought. He could only hope.

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