A Hoale Lot of Trouble
A Hoale Construction Mystery - Building Romance, One Flip at a Time!
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Bobby’s was an old style gym that smelled like sweat and focused on the basics. There was a pool, but there were no yoga classes at Bobby’s and no spin classes. The closest Bobby’s got to spin was when Zeke the personal trainer decided you weren’t pedaling fast enough on one of the gym’s scarred and ancient stationary bikes and started screaming into your face like a drill sergeant.
Zeke was straight as the edge of an architect’s ruler but he treated Adam the same as everyone else. Brief and brusque. Zeke was even gruff when he smiled. The only softness he ever showed was directed at Walter.
For his part, Walter adored Zeke, which was why Adam knew Zeke was a good guy. Dogs had a great sense of people—much better than their human friends.
The gruff trainer was well over six feet tall and buff, with rock-hard abs and bulging biceps and thighs, and he wore his brown hair short and spiky. He ruled his roost with an iron fist and very little in the way of positive reinforcement. With Zeke you got negative reinforcement and nuclear level negative reinforcement.
He even yelled at Maddy.
Nobody yelled at Maddy.
As soon as Adam opened the door Walter trotted past him and headed straight for Zeke. The big man was all the way across the large, main room, “explaining” to Maddy that she needed to use the incline controls on the treadmill or she was gonna have cellulite bubbles the size of deer shot on her thighs. According to him, the event could occur at any moment because of her general lack of motivation.
He wondered if he could use the cellulite threat to get her to fill out her design planning forms more completely.
Adam glanced up, grinning at the man hailing him with a boxing-glove-covered hand from the ring that dominated the center of the gym. “Hey, Bobby! Lookin’ good. Nice ass.”
Bobby laughed, his ruddy face mostly hidden behind a helmet and his short, sturdy body glistening with sweat. Bobby’s boxing partner glanced at Adam, looking nervous behind his helmet. Adam winked at the man and kept moving, grinning at Bobby’s deep laughter behind him.
“He’s just tweakin’ ya, Peterson. Chill out.”
Bobby and Adam had been friends for years and Adam liked to tease him. Bobby showed every indication of enjoying the playful flirting, though he wasn’t gay. He seemed to genuinely like Adam and knew that Adam couldn’t help trying to get a rise out of the homophobes in the gym. No pun intended. There weren’t a lot of them. Bobby’s was generally a laid back, anything goes, kind of place. But it was one of few old-style gyms left so it still drew its share of testosterone drenched Neanderthals.
Adam had never been able to resist twisting the dicks of the cavemen types.
Zeke was bent over Walter, speaking softly to him to hide the fact that he was talking baby talk as he scratched his floppy ears. Walter’s thick fringe of a tail beat against Zeke’s massive thigh, his brown eyes narrowed in pleasure.
Zeke looked up at Adam as he approached. “I hope you’re ready to work a little harder this week, Hoale.”
Adam grinned. “You didn’t think an hour in the pool was a hard enough workout last time?”
A strange wheezing noise wafted over them and both men turned to Maddy. She’d attained a strange purple-puce color and Adam was pretty sure she was foaming at the mouth.
She tried to lift a hand in greeting but when she did she skidded backward, almost sliding all the way off the treadmill before she grabbed the handle and saved herself at the last second.
Zeke frowned. “Step it up, Rodgers. I’ve had Sunday afternoon strolls through the Arboretum that were faster than that.”
Adam felt he had to intervene. Maddy was way too competitive for her own good. She wouldn’t push back as long as Zeke pushed her forward. “I’m thinking, from the color of her face, she might be about a wheeze away from 9-1-1, man.”
Zeke snorted. “She’s fine. I’m tryin’ to put hair on her chest.” The poking digit found its way to Adam’s poor, bruised chest again, “Don’t infect her with your pansy-assed work-less ethic, Hoale.” Zeke headed toward the weight bench on the other side of the room.
Adam turned a look of stark terror on Maddy and she wheezed out a laugh, almost falling off the treadmill as she saluted him. Adam slashed a hand across his throat and trudged after the big man. The last time he’d let Zeke guide him in a weight bench workout, he’d barely been able to lift his arms for a week.
Behind him, the treadmill slowed and he heard the whir of the incline dropping back to level. Maddy’s wheezing lessened as she walked out her cool down.
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