Willow awoke to the sun streaming into her face. "Oh man!" she complained, "I only just went to sleep!" she complained, pulling the pillow over her head and squeezing her eyes closed against the breaking day.
Despite her best efforts, she couldn't hide from the sun and threw her pillow at the window. "Ok, I'm up, stop being so bright already." she told the sun before swinging her legs over the edge of the bed and trying to focus on the alarm clock through heavy lidded eyes. Its neon display informed her cheerfully that it was 8am.
Tara and Julie were just leaving their apartment building, each one showered and ready for a good work out. As they arrived at the huge building that housed the school, Tara took a sharp intake of breath. Although she had been here many time previously, the size and scale of the Penso Academy never failed to take her breath away.
Pushing the doors open, Julie grinned at the receptionist and collected a couple of messages. "I'll be in TR4" Julie told the young woman before heading down a brightly lit corridor to the changing rooms, with Tara hot on her heels.
The phone burst into life at Willow's side and she looked at it disbelievingly. "You gotta be kidding me!" she mumbled as she reached for the receiver. "Hello?" her tone was gruff and less than friendly.
"Mornin' Red!" The ever cheerful voice of Riot caused her to pull the handset away from her face and stare at in.
"Joe. It's far too early." she told him, pausing as he replied. "Eugh. Why do I agree to these things?" she complained although the corners of her mouth rose into a grin. "Well I shouldn't have ideas then. See you there in an hour?" Willow laughed again and hung up the phone before forcing herself from the comfort of her bed and heading for a shower.
Julie and Tara made their way into the training room, both in sweat pants with Tara in a tight fitting black vest and Julie in white. Julie popped a cd into the player and together they began their warm up, each one stretching and bending away their remnants of sleep. As their warm up ran into an hour, a fine sweat had coated Tara's skin and she focused her mind on the movement of her muscles, each one stretching and contracting as she moved. On the wall in front of them was a huge mirror that ran the length of the room, Tara was always surprised at how muscular she had become, her well defined arms flexing with each movement.
Absently, she watched as the toned muscles of her stomach twitched and contracted as she moved. Suddenly the music stopped and Tara walked the length of the room while Julie changed the cd. Regarding her reflection, she frowned slightly, while working out, one could easily be forgiven for thinking that maybe Tara had joined the marines, her arms and torso rippling with muscle but when she stopped the bulging biceps and admirable abs were noticeable, yet she still retained her attractive feminine shape.
"Ready to get a sweat on?" Julie asked as she cranked up the volume and the large room filled with some unknown but heavy rock beat. Tara nodded and fetched her gloves and footpads and crossed the centre of the room. After thoroughly stretching her abs and back, she bent and rose into a handstand before swinging her body down and landing perfectly in the splits.
Returning to her feet, she saw Julie grinning at her. "What?" she asked as she secured her footpads and altered her gloves slightly. Julie shook her head and placed herself behind a large punch bag.
Taking a deep breath, Tara focused on the bag and began with a few swift punches, each one with a little more force behind it than Julie had anticipated. "Pissed about that redhead, uh?!" she said as Tara landed a perfect three punch combo.
Willow met up with Riot a block from the school. "I can't believe you don't come here more often!" he told her, shaking his head in disappointment. "They have some brilliant classes and great equipment." he added for at least the fifth time since they'd met up. Willow rolled her eyes at him, also for the fifth time. "I do come here." she said indignantly, "But my gym is nearer." She had agreed to use Penso Academy purely to shut Riot up. He had been going on and on for months about it and while she had to agree that the facilities and expertise on offer were considerably better than those at her usual gym, it was an hour from her house, an hour that she could spend sleeping.
They entered the bright foyer and paid their money at the desk. "Will you be requiring a trainer this morning, Mr. Mack?" the young woman asked him with a smile. Turning to Willow, he questioned her with his eyes.
"If that's what you normally do, don't change on account of me." she told him, and he nodded at the woman. "Ok, training room three." she said and reached out for the radio that was mounted on a charger next to her.
After showing Willow the general direction of the women's changing facilities, Riot vanished down a corridor, promising to wait for her in the foyer.
Willow found a locker and changed quickly, her work out shorts and sports bra weren't the sexiest ensemble she owned, but she was only getting sweaty in them and so didn't really care. The fact that she was working out at all should be praised, no one said she had to look good doing it!
Tying her hair back in a ponytail, she made her way back to the foyer to await Riot.
Julie and Tara had moved on from the bag to hand pads and Julie was yelling instructions and moves. "Tara." she said, dropping her hands and regarding her friend. "If you keep leaving yourself open like that, someone's gonna take advantage!" Julie was commenting on the blondes stance and posture but a wicked grin spread over Tara's face and she waggled her eyebrows. "Really? You promise?" she asked with a grin, gesturing for Julie to raise the pads and continue. Julie shook her head and continued giving instructions as Tara ducked and weaved, throwing firm punches at the bright red pads.
Making their way down the hall, Willow and Riot looked at each other as they made their way past a room that was obviously in good use. The grunts and heavy thuds emerging from it signalling a workout was in full swing as the occupant punched and kicked either a bag or handpads.
Riot pushed open the door to training room three and stepped inside. The trainer who usually worked out with him stood by a large stereo and grinned as Riot entered. "Morning Jake." Riot greeted the other man cheerfully.
"Hey Riot." he grinned back, eying Willow with obvious joy. "Who's your friend?"
Introducing Willow, Riot dropped his things and began rummaging for his gloves and footpads. Willow, being the slightly more organised one had put hers on before leaving the changing room and had brought with her only a towel.
"You want a female trainer too?" Jake asked Willow as they watched Riot's search in amusement. Willow looked up at him. Standing well over six feet tall with muscles on his muscles, Willow could easily see this man breaking her like a toothpick with no effort at all. She could take care of herself and wasn't weak in any way but suddenly the idea of someone built a little more like herself seemed like a pretty good one. "Is there someone available?" she asked, trying not to sound too hopeful. "I'm not worried if there isn't, but I think you guys have a pretty set out routine already and I don't want to get in the way of Mr. Muscle over there." Willow replied, indicating Riot who was struggling with the Velcro fasteners on his gloves.
Jake grinned. "We'll get warmed up and I'll call someone in for you." he told her before pressing a button on the stereo and leading them into a warm up.
"Jake's in!" Tara said, stopping and staring at the wall as some unidentifiable noise emerged from the other room. Jake insisted it was music but, try as they might, no one could find a tune, lyrics, or anything other than screeching and random instruments that sounded as though they were being played by chimps.
Julie laughed heartily, tears streaking her cheeks as she watched Tara's face contort in displeasure at the interesting sounds emerging from the next training room.
Taking a momentary break for both women to get their breaths back, Tara and Julie turned their stereo off and drank deeply from the water bottles they had brought in with them.
"So, why so spazzy about that redhead?" Julie asked suddenly, catching Tara off her guard. "I don't know. It sounds cheesy but when I bumped into her, it was like something passed between us." Tara replied, her already flushed cheeks deepening in colour. Tara's blue eyes flickered for a moment before she spoke; "How do you know she works for the L.A.P.D anyway?" she asked, her hands coming to rest on her hips and an eyebrow arching accusingly.
Julie grinned, "Her partner works out with Jake, they're pretty good friends. She's been in here a few times too." she replied.
Tara stared in disbelief at the adjoining wall. The redheaded angel with the greenest eyes known to man could be on the other side of that wall and Julie had neglected to mention this. Tara's mind raced; she could be through there, all half naked and sweating, oh, she could be going to the showers, soaping herself down, water cascading over her slender shoulders and pert breasts.... "Tara!" Julie yelled snapping the blonde back to reality.
"What, don't yell!" Tara said, her cheeks burning from the images that were still racing through her mind.
"Is there a porno or something on the wall that I'm just not seeing?" Julie asked, regarding the wall with curiosity, "Coz if so, I'm gonna have to start charging more!" she finished with a giggle.
Tara grinned and threw a playful punch in her friends direction. Julie just rolled her eyes, stepping effortlessly out of arms reach. "No wonder you're not in any competitions. You punch like a girl!" she jibed.
Before Tara had a chance to respond, the PA system buzzed into life in the quiet room. "Can Julie go to training room three please, Julie to training room three."
Tara face lit up. She had been around the gym long enough to know that Julie was only ever called to a training room if there was a female client working with a male trainer, usually there were a few people in a group and Julie would be required to train the female half while someone, usually Jake took the guys through their paces.
Apparently oblivious to her friend's delight, Julie bounced towards the door. "Be right back, get your kit on for a sparring session." she said as she vanished out into the hallway.