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Jade walked into the gym promptly at 7 am. She scanned her member id before heading to the treadmills. She and Kenya had a standing gym appointment on Tues, Thurs, and Sat, but as usual, she was the only one that honored their appointment. She’d learned to warm up while she waited for Kenya to arrive. Sticking to her normal routine, she took out her phone and shot Kenya a quick text.

To Kenya: 7:01 am Saturday
Are you on your way?

To Jade: 7:07 am
No, I’m tired. You go to early.

To Kenya: 7:07 am 
You’re so lazy! 
Guess I’ll just work out by myself

To Jade:7:10 am
Ok, Enjoy! Glad you understand! ?

“Unbelievable!!!! She knows damn well I don’t understand,” Jade said as she turned around and ran dead into a strong, firm six pack.

“Oh, excuse me,” she said to the man’s chest, “I was preoccupied and didn’t see you.” Her words trailed off as she finally looked up at 6 ft 5 inches of handsome, dark chocolateness.

“It’s all good. I’ll just be sure to watch out for you around the weights,” he smiled his Tyrese smile and Jade couldn’t help but smile back.

“That’s probably a smart idea because I’ve never lifted weights before,” she said laughing.

“That doesn’t surprise me. Most women are afraid they’ll end up looking like a man.”

“Are you saying that I won’t?”

He let out a confident laugh and then said, “I can guarantee you won’t end up looking like a man. Don’t take this the wrong way, but a woman with all your curves could never look like a man.”

Jade was flattered. It had been so long since Dominic paid her a compliment that she’d forgotten what it felt like to receive one.

“Well, thank you. But some of these curves are exactly what I came to the gym to get rid of.

“Do you want to get rid of them or accentuate them?”

“Well….I guess accentuating could be good.”

“Better than good. Building muscle will help you truly glorify your shape. Muscle is beautiful,” he said motioning for her to look around the gym.

Jade had to admit he was right. She focused on some of the women’s bodies and sure enough, they had defined muscle and minimal body fat. Some of them were too skinny, in Jade’s opinion, but they still had the one thing she craved—a slim waistline.

“Will lifting weights help me trim my waistline?” she asked.


The gentlemen looked around momentarily and then returned his focus to Jade.

“May I ask your name?”

“Yes. It’s Jade.”

“Nice to meet you, Ms. Jade. I’m Jamel.”

“Nice to meet you as well, Jamel,” Jade smiled.

“Are you here alone?”

“Yes, my sister was supposed to meet me here but, as usual, she stood me up.”

“Well, I can work out with you today if you like. I’m a personal trainer. I can show you how to use the free weights.”

Jade couldn’t ignore her eagerness to say yes. Is this inappropriate? Is it wrong for me to let him show me how to use the free weights? NO, of course not. It’s just like if I was paying him to be my trainer. But I’m not paying him….Man! He’s a good-looking trainer! Oh! God! I shouldn’t think that. I should tell him thanks but no thanks.

“So, Jade,” he said eagerly,” Free weights?”

“Sure, why not.”

That beautiful smile spread across Jamel’s face as he took a step backward to let Jade lead the way. He couldn’t help but notice how her black mesh leggings clung to her every curve, and he enjoyed watching her curves guide him to the free weights.

“Okay, first we need to see which weight is good for you.”

“Well, I can lift at least 30 pounds by myself,” Jade said, standing with her hands on her hips.

“Really? And you know this because?”

“Because at my bakery I lift heavy crates of stuff all the time.”

“You own your own bakery?”

“Yes, it’s called Delectables, you should check us out. I guarantee we’ll make your tummy smile.”

“Aw, man. I’ve got a huge sweet tooth. If you’re any good, you might have you a customer for life,” he said walking over to Jade with two 15-pound dumbbells.

“We’re going to try these first,” he said placing a dumbbell in each of her hands.

“Okay. And if I’m any good? It’s not called Delectables for nothing, “she laughed

“Okay, I see,” he smiled, grabbing two 25 lb dumbbells for himself.

“So, the first thing you want to do is wrap your fingers around the arm of the bell.“

“Okay, I’ve got it.”

“Now, place both of your arms down with your palms up.”

“Okay, like this?” Jade asked innocently.

“Yep! Just like that,” he said smiling, “Next, you want to slowly bend your arm at the elbow and bring it all the way up until your palm is at your shoulder, then repeat this same motion with the other arm.”

Jade did as she was told and felt invigorated. Her body was relaxed and she felt a sensation, a burn, unlike anything she’d felt before. She liked it. Soon she’d completed ten reps on each arm.

“Can you give me two more reps on each arm?”

“I think so, “Jade strained.

Jamel walked over and stood behind her. Jade looked at their reflection in the mirror trying to pretend that she wasn’t impressed by his masculinity or how good they looked together. Y’all don’t look good together. He probably looks this good helping everyone. Besides! You’re married anyway. Remember, Dom? Hello? Your husband? Jamel gently placed a hand on Jades left hip. She felt a spark of excitement creep up her spine.

“Bring this leg in a little bit,” he said tapping her left quad, “Looks like you’ve widened your stance. You want your feet to be shoulder with apart when you’re lifting weights.”

“Okay,” Jade said sliding her left foot in.

Jamel slid to the right with her. He used his right palm to cuff her elbow for extra support as she completed the last two reps. She could feel his breath on her neck and it was giving her chills. She wanted him to move but only because she liked him being that close. She completed the final two reps and Jamel removed the weights from her hands.

“Good job, Jade. Not bad for a beginner.”

“Yeah, I actually enjoyed it. What’s next?”

“Oh, so you got you a taste and now you’re hooked, huh?”

Jade laughed.

“Something like that, I guess.”

“That’s not a bad thing,” he smiled.

“Why don’t I show you a few more exercise with the dumbbells and then show you how to use some of the machines. “

“Okay. Thanks. I’d like that.”

I’d like it a lot.

“Sure. I’m all about helping someone get in shape.”

In shape? Wow! He probably thinks I’m fat. Of course! That’s why he’s helping me. No! Wait! That’s not it! He already said that he liked my curves, and I swear I felt him watching me as we walked to the weights. Oh! My God! It doesn’t matter anyway! I have Dom. Dominic. His opinion is the only one that matters. I have to get out of here.



“Are you okay? You look lost in your thoughts.”

“Yes, I’m fine. I just remembered something I have to do.”

“Oh, okay. I hope everything is alright.”

“Yeah, it’s fine,” Jade said, looking around for her water bottle and towel, “It’s a work thing I just remembered I have to take care of.”

“Oh, okay. Well, here.”

He ran over to his bag and came back with his business card.

“Take my card just in case you want to work out again.”

Jade grabbed the black business card with gold trim. She read the gold lettering “Jamel Smith—Personal Trainer”

“Thank you, Mr. Smith. It was a pleasure to meet you.”

“You as well, Ms. Jade. Hopefully, I’ll see you again soon.”


Jade turned and headed towards the exit. She smiled all the way to her car. She felt guilty about enjoying Jamel’s company. She told herself she only enjoyed it because he taught her how to lift weights. It was just about the weightlifting. I’m not going to see him again. Yes, you are.

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

Jade removed her phone from her gym bag to find a text from Dominic. This was a surprise. They usually go the whole day without talking. Something must be wrong, or maybe he’s calling just to say he misses me.

From Dominic: 8:33 am
Hey, Jade. My boss is having a birthday dinner two nights from now.
She asked if you could make dessert?
She wants apple cobbler with cinnamon and the crumbly crust.”

Well, so much for romance.

To Dominic: 8:34 am
Sure. Just get the details.

Jade tossed her phone in the passenger’s seat and caught a glimpse of Jamel’s business card. She stared at it momentarily before picking her own phone back up.

I shouldn’t do this. She grabbed one of her business cards from the platinum case she kept them in and took a picture of it. She stared at the picture momentarily before typing Jamel’s number in.

To: Jamel 9:05pm Just in case you decide to feed your sweet tooth ?

                 From: Jamel 9:07 pm Don’t be surprised if I hit you up sooner than later.

I’ll be looking forward to it, Jade thought as she put her BMW SUV in reverse and headed towards her house. She tried to tell herself that it was a business courtesy for him to receive her business card too. But deep down she knew it was more than that. It doesn’t matter. Dom probably won’t care anyway.



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