Home > Another One Bites the Dust (Freebirds #3)

Another One Bites the Dust (Freebirds #3)
Author: Lani Lynn Vale

Prologue


 No, I’m not on drugs. I’m like this all day, every day. You’re welcome!

 -T-shirt

 Payton

 Normally, the gym was torture for me. I had to go because my insurance required it if I wanted a better rate. Therefore, five out of every seven days I came and forced myself to work out. Then I steamed myself until I felt ten pounds lighter. Today, however, was entirely different. I was enjoying the day immensely. The reason for my enjoyment was the man that was currently in front of me.

 

 I watched as the muscles in his arms flexed and bunched, pulling himself up into an extremely controlled pull up. The mirror where he was doing the pull-ups in front of showed off his well-defined chest and abdomen. Each time he went into another pull up, the muscles of his abdomen would bunch, and the two lines, known as the “V” of the stomach, stood out in stark relief. Each revolution was done with such precise movements, motion, and time, that he almost looked inhuman.

 

 From my perch on the mountain climber machine, I watched as he stopped his pull-ups, readjusted his grip, and started the whole process all over again. This time, instead of his hands close together in the middle, they were wide and gripped at the very edge of the pull up bar. The muscles in his back worked out more this way, and I stared, mesmerized, as was every other woman in the gym today.

 

 I was the only one actually working out though. All the others had their hair down in long sleek sheets down their backs. Their cutesy little workout pants and tops made them stick out like a sore thumb. You could tell they weren’t serious about actually working out. If they were, they wouldn’t have had their hair down, nor would they be decked to the walls with makeup.

 

 I looked like a damn bag lady next to these women.

 

 Dressed in sweat pants and a t-shirt that I had cut the sleeves off, I left much to be desired. My hair was in a ponytail, but half of it was falling down into my eyes and sticking to my forehead. Sweat was pouring down my face, chest, and ass. I had a nice sweat stain going underneath my bra that showed half-moons where my boobs sat against the shirt.

 

 I was four feet, eleven and a half inches, of semi-toned muscle. I say semi, because I was really only working out so I could eat what I wanted. I was very serious when it came to food. If I didn’t work out, I would turn into an Oompa Loompa in no time.

 

 Another reason I was here, was that I had to be. If I didn’t work out, things didn’t work right on my body. I worked my ass off to get my body back into somewhat decent physical shape. My body still ached when the weather changed, my tummy was still slightly rounded, and my ass didn’t sit as perky as it used to, but I could get by.

 

 Just over a year and a half ago, I was attacked outside the restaurant that my ex-boyfriend had taken me to. While he was able to get away from the men, I wasn’t so lucky.

 

 Months of rehab, followed by my own strenuous workouts, got me back to being able to walk without a limp. It didn’t do anything for my mind though. I was still just as scared today as I was in that parking lot. Sirens didn’t normally produce a shot of happiness through my veins, but that night it did. I was never so happy to see an ambulance in my life.

 

 Max dropped down from his pull up bar, and walked across the gym in all his shirtless glory. He spotted me instantly and, of course, he couldn’t let an opportunity like this to go to waste. He sauntered up to me with his bulging muscles and cocky personality. The ass knew he looked good, and he made sure to smile at every single woman who was hanging out in the weight section of the gym. I gritted my teeth and tried to ignore him, but he just leaned against the wall and waited me out until I finally caved.

 

 “What do you want, Tremaine?” I panted.

 

 Max was a very hot, sexy biker. I say biker as a relative term. He wasn’t bad in any sense; well as long as you didn’t touch his bike, hurt his sister, or mess with his team, he was an all-around great guy. He didn’t do anything illegal. In fact, he was pretty much the exact opposite. He was in the military. An Army Ranger. A sexy Army Ranger with biceps that were the size of my thighs.

 

 Oh gosh, was he sexy. Tall, muscled, beautiful.

 

 Yum.

 

 I’d met Max through Cheyenne. Cheyenne and I had gone to nursing school together, and then we’d gotten a job in the same department following the passing of our nursing boards.

 

 Over the course of school, we’d had many study group sessions at her home; that’s where I’d met Max. Max was a man who worked with Cheyenne’s husband, Sam. He, and four other men, some with wives and some without, lived in what amounted to a compound of sorts on the grounds of Free. This included the duplexes for the families and their motorcycle repair and customization shop.

 

 I’d gotten to know them all well over the course of my school, and now my professional career. However, Max was the one that started my heart to racing, and the blood to course thickly though my veins. He was also the type of man that would set your panties on fire, and he knew it.

 

 “Nothing. You look a little hot there, Alvarez!” He countered.

 

 “I am hot. Isn’t that the point of the gym? These,” I said nodding to the women who still weren’t working out, “Fakers aren’t even here to workout. Hell, I don’t even know why they’re here. No, I take that back. Obviously, it’s to sit here and look pretty, to take up space, and to make all the uglies, like me, feel inferior next to their mile long legs, and tits that could put Dolly Parton to shame.”

 

 Max found me amusing, and burst out laughing; which, in turn, drew all of the ladies’ eyes again. They looked at me with disdain, and then turned their gazes back to their fake workouts. I mean, who the hell works out with only the bar while lifting weights? What’s the freakin’ point?

 

 Muscles burning, I stopped climbing and practically fell off the machine as I tried to step down on my left foot. My ankle gave out, but Max stopped me from toppling to the ground in a boneless heap.

 

 “Maybe you should stop a little earlier next time. You don’t want to overwork yourself.” He said in that annoyingly deep voice.

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