Changing Rooms

byPanzerFeck©

All characters are over the age of 18. Handled with care, this is not a lightning-speed fantasy, but a work of emotional investment and chemistry. Back out now if you want wall-to-wall porno-style fucking.

*****

1

Determination to succeed is half the battle and yet twice the effort is needed. The experienced body and mind both know this on an impulsive level. The desire to go all the way requires that you don't truly know what it will take to get there, so that therefore you will always be prepared to fight to hell AND back if you must.

Even at their physical peak, the seasoned cyclist isn't only fully physiologically and psychologically invested in reaching their destination. And then comes the long ride home again, which often proves the greatest struggle. Sometimes even the greatest sportsmen never make it back home...

Carl Russell's better years were far from over. At the age of thirty he felt like he was yet to reach his physical prime, because then began the greatest challenge - age.

But having spent the better part of half a year in the hospital, and six months since then trying to get the bones and muscles of his arms and legs to once again work for him, rather than against him, his struggle had gone from a mere uphill slope to a mountain.

Almost this time last year his superb physical conditioning was left shattered into pieces before him. Courtesy of some aggressive prick racer boy, he wound up broken and bleeding at the roadside. They said it was a miracle that he hadn't died, but then Carl was always made of denser stuff.

Amongst his cracks and breaks included a hairline skull fracture, a shattered eye-socket, a compound fracture to his left forearm, two ribs broken and one gouging his left lung, and a lower leg and ankle left resembling a sack of marbles. Though the physical memory of the torture that was his survival was now faded, the experience had changed him.

Having been diminished from a man of considerable fitness into an overgrown dependent baby brought unbearable hidden pain. He was never a drinker. His social circle all wore sports gear and spent their weekends pushing each other to the limit. Now he had none of that. Depressed he ruminated and contemplated life, desperate to be back on the road again and refusing to be left a cripple. But he did it alone, because nobody had the time for him anymore. When he would reclaim his life, he made no mistake; he would have only himself to thank.

All this time later he was in pretty good shape again, at least compared to what remained of him the day he was discharged from the hospital. Carl was now marred by scar tissue to the point that he looked seamed together like an action figure, if one looked closely enough - an ironic thought, considering that his recovery was as good as miraculous.

And though scar tissue was tougher than ordinary flesh, the rest of Carl was ordinary and struggled to adapt. There was no measuring the agony endured just to learn to walk straight again, on his own two feet, and at a confidently regular pace.

Now with the determination to overcome, to defy the damage done, and the crippling pain he'd been left with, he didn't resign to bitterness. It didn't serve him. That driver had never been caught, and so all that was left to punish was the machine that drove Carl to get on with his life. Possessed with the willpower to reclaim his health, there would be no improvement without pain, and lots of it.

In that there was an irony to fighting the challenges of a stationary training bicycle. He was so used to furiously defying the laws of physics on paths and roads, through cities, woods, and over rolling hills. At the gym he stared at a wall, or through a plate glass window facing a McDonalds Drive-Thru, of all things.

When the kilometres burned from beginning to end and the machine beneath him resisted his efforts, mimicking the rise of those slopes and hills, at least the real thing delivered blasts of fresh air directly to his lungs. The real thing provided obstacles to keep the mind sharp, and lush natural vistas to take the edge off the burn of mental and physical exhaustion.

In that fake environment of uniformly placed machines, sterile fluorescent overhead lights, headbutt-inducing dance music, and poor air conditioning, there was no substitute. Once in a while, maybe, he would chase a nice piece of tail, vacuum packed in yoga pants or compression shorts - like the proverbial donkey following a carrot on the end of a fishing pole.

By next summer he would be back out there, a finely-tuned machine of solid, defined muscle and dripping salty sweat. He would be back to his healthy tanned old self, soaring on the wind and eating up the miles, racing the devil himself; where he was happiest.

But when Laurie Palmer sauntered into his life, the wait didn't seem such a bad thing after all!

2

He had watched her for weeks and there was no denying that the pretty tall brunette was a picture of jaw-dropping fitness, not that she rippled with the muscle of a religious health fanatic. Every inch of her was like a preview of desirable flawlessness. Physically she was what Carl wanted in every way!

She had the longest legs and these thick contoured thighs and a butt to die for. In the shiny black compression tights she most often favoured over shorts or baggy sweats, her tight curves shimmered invitingly. Carl could recall the last time a woman caused him heart palpitations. Now those rapid little misfires threatened to whack him out of gear every time he dared to steal a glance and wound up lingering too long.

The girl had strong, beautiful features all over. Yes, he was shameless when it came to admitting what he liked, but as a fitness buff himself his preference made perfect sense. Wanting a woman who could physically keep up was nice, if she liked the challenge. But a woman who provided the challenge had his full attention. She looked like she could have left him in the dust even before the accident. It proved impossible to tear his eyes away for very long.

It was on just an ordinary weekday evening that he had the pleasure of being introduced, though pleasure was the polar opposite sentiment initially. In fact the moment came about as the result of quite an ordeal.

When she came in at the usual time of 7pm he was immediately struck by her appearance. How besotted could a man be without knowing anything about a woman; without even talking to her? Deep down he humoured his own pettiness. Simple pleasures and all that...

Carl was slowing to a halt after finishing his ten mile ride and ready to collapse. Ever muscle fibre was burning and his mouth hung slack as rivulets of sweat ran down his face and added to the growing dark patch that now ran from neck to navel.

And there she was, her long hair flowing and cascading down over her shoulders. That day she wore tight cycling shorts that cut off mid-thigh, and a body-hugging neoprene vest which advertised every curve, from her strong hips and lithe waist, to her ample but tight bust.

Were those things real? Never mind, she had caught his eye as she passed by, heading for the rowing machine. Amiably, Carl offered a courteous smile and a nod as he cautiously dismounted the bike and felt his unsteady feet touch down on the floor.

The next thing he knew, searing white-hot pain shot up from his bad ankle and ended at the knee with a debilitating shock. It felt like he was being electrocuted. He lost control of his joints and muscles at once and went down with a startled cry.

Startled was the operative word. Carl's gym crush appeared like a deer in the headlights for a second before leaping into action and coming to his aid. The pain continued to grip him and to skewer him. He was caught in the spiked embrace of an iron maiden - only those spikes radiated red hot - and his bad leg was now curling up with terrible cramp.

'Ahhhh, fuck-fuck-fuuuuck,' Carl seethed from between clenched teeth. It took all his strength not to scream at the top of his voice.

'Oh my god, are you okay? What happened?' Laurie asked, kneeling down at his side and appearing deep in concern. Instinctively her hands moved to his knee and ankle, where Carl's also desperately and hopelessly grasped.

'No-no, careful,' he pleaded, fearing that her touch was going to suddenly bring back every ounce of agony of the past year. But her touch was gentle and soothing, despite how strong those hands appeared.

'Cramp,' she guessed. 'That looks awful. I'm going to try to ease it, okay?'

'Oh god, you're a saint,' Carl gushed through the tears now filling his eyes. Quickly but cautiously, her hands went to work, though she could barely get both hands around the thickly knotted calf-muscle as it spasmed and threatened to tear, as if to self-destruct.

'This is the worst cramp I've ever seen,' she said, her brow furrowed seriously in concentration as she worked to ease out the tension. 'Does it happen often?' Mercifully he noticed that her fingers worked around the obvious thick white scar tissue. Between those scars and the bone underneath was where it felt most tender and sore.

'No,' Carl groaned. 'Not for a while - since I was still in the hospital.'

'Getting hydrated? Eating properly?' Now her hands kneaded his tough flesh like she was working out a block of cold pastry. In the warmth of her hands, he slowly began to loosen and to yield. Carl just nodded and swallowed the urge to cry.

'This is all I need on top of the pain I already deal with,' he sighed and let out a long breath of relief and then another as the pain began to subside.

'What were you in the hospital for?' Laurie asked. Carl appreciated the small-talk, in spite of some judging looks from around the gym.

'Hit by a car - literally smashed me into pieces!' Carl could have told the pretty girl that she could stop tending to his leg at that point, but she seemed intent on carrying on regardless. Even as he sat there on the floor, no longer showing signs of injury, she smiled and carried on, using her thumbs to try to ball out the last of the stiffness around his ankles.

'Do you do First Aid?' he asked, attempting to draw out the small-talk. 'You know your stuff.' His eyes betrayed him once again. He caught himself gazing down the girl's vest into the bronzed fleshy valley between her sports bra-clad breasts. It was her thick thighs, however, that demanded the most attention.

'Physical therapist,' she said with a wink. 'You got lucky.' Gradually, Carl's leg had loosened up and fully straightened out in front of him. 'You'd best not do any more for tonight...'

Carl nodded an affirmative. That was a given. 'I was actually just headed for the swimming pool.'

'Not a good idea,' she cautioned. 'If this happens again, you'll sink like a brick.'

'Yeah...'

'Why don't you head for the jacuzzi for half an hour instead and relax there?' she suggested. With that her fine handiwork came to an end. Carl knew it would have been nothing less than crass to invite her to join him. That wasn't his style. There was no real flattery in it.

'That sounds like a good idea,' he agreed and sorely got up. But before he left he had to know. 'I didn't catch your name...'

'Laurie,' she said and took his extended hand.

'Thanks again, Laurie. You're a lifesaver,' he offered a pained smile. 'My name's Carl. People call me Rusty. Kinda fitting don't you think?'

She laughed without inhibition. His knees weakened immediately. With that he grinned with a little humility and limped off to the changing room.

And adding the labour of carefully showering and changing into his trunks, then the long hot soak in the bubbling waters, and getting showered and dressed again - because cleanliness was a religion in the business of physical exertion and bodily fluids - Carl was back in the cool Autumn night outside 'Unrivalled Fitness's front doors by the better part of an hour.

He called a taxi to come pick him up and ended up waiting another twenty minutes before the dark blue Vauxhall Astra arrived. Shortly before then, he had the pleasure of seeing Laurie Palmer one more time. He thanked her once again, and she stopped to chat.

'Hey, Rusty,' she said with a disarming smile, then, 'how's the leg?'

Her concern was still evident. Lifting his knee and wiggling his sneaker-clad foot from left to right, Carl had it in his mind that he just wanted to put her at ease, even though he was the injured party. 'Much better now - felt like I was stabbed though.'

'Ouch! Might be a good idea to visit the physician,' she suggested, while he investigated her dark hazel eyes.

'If it carries on I will.'

'Otherwise, I haven't had a cramp since I started investing in potassium supplements. That might help...'

'You're too young and healthy to get training cramps, surely.'

She appreciated the compliment with modesty, smiling and looking away temporarily, mouthing a cute little laugh. 'Ah, yes, flattery will get you everywhere,' she said.

'Not entirely true,' Carl replied.

'No?' Laurie asked, intrigued.

'No matter how much I compliment this guy's driving,' Carl explained as his taxi pulled up, 'I'm still going to have to pay the fare and listen to his football politics.' Laurie snickered, pursing her lips tightly in secrecy as the driver rolled down his window and asked for Carl.

'I'll see you,' he said finally. 'Thanks again and again.'

They became gym buddies after that - at first casually whenever they happened to bump into each other. And as the weeks turned into months, they began turning up to work out together, and a deeper friendship blossomed.

3

Gyms are a hunting ground fundamentally no different from any nightclub at the weekend, as Carl and Laurie both knew. Take away the alcohol, the evening wear, the sometimes psychotically happy pop music, and the human stew of uninhibited gangs of teenagers, and you still have a hive of horny alphas and questionable personalities just waiting for the opportunity to try anything on.

There are some dark corners for which there may never be enough chlorine. Even the trainers are fucking behind closed doors when the boss has gone home, and so it's perfect for a woman to have a man she can call a friend when some people run around acting like they're shopping at a meat market.

Carl loved the dynamic they had. He loved that even the natural ability to make Laurie laugh struck jealousy into the hearts of the artificially enhanced walking meatballs they affectionately referred to as beef-heads.

And the cherry on the cake, he loved the quiet intensity between them as they spotted each other. There was an unspoken chemistry - something that words could only spoil at times.

That worked wonders for his confidence, knowing that he didn't actively have to do anything to feel like the luckiest guy around Laurie, let alone to look like the luckiest guy in the eyes of others. All the while he held no expectations. They mutually loved their time together.

4

January was here in no time, along with the droves of "New Year, New Me" hopefuls who would probably quit somewhere in between two to six weeks. So much had changed in the time up until then that Carl now looked like a lifelong fitness fanatic.

The only thing he wasn't doing, and had no intention of doing, was visiting the sun beds and then covering himself in baby oil to pose in the mirror. The only time he did, was when Laurie was stood next to him taking an occasional photo, for the sake of looking back on progress now and again.

'Look at those legs,' she marvelled one night. They were standing looking in the wall mirror, side by side, when she gave his solid thigh a playful slap. She was more than impressed. She was proud of him. Though the same old scars remained now they took on a somewhat different meaning. If anything they had become markers for improvement.

Ever modest, Carl's eyes wandered to her reflecting and gave her the once over, and once again for the sake of being thorough. 'Well, don't give me all the credit. I've got nothing on you.'

'Oh you'd rather have a woman's legs?' Laurie kidded him, playfully turning to show off her curves.

'You do have some seriously impressive leg to show off,' Carl admitted freely. 'I could do with some of what you've got behind though...' He didn't think at all of how that could have come across. Casually, Laurie laughed it off and took a step back, viewing Carl's own up close.

'Oh don't sell yourself short,' she said, grappling with his strong, muscular buttocks, which had since filled-out nicely. Carl flinched and laughed defensively.

'Behave,' he scolded, red-faced and grinning like an adolescent.

Laurie winked. 'Count your blessings that it's not some roided-up gorilla molesting you in the shower.'

'I count my blessings every day,' he grinned as the double-entendre hung on the air.

'Shall we call it an evening then?'

'What?' Carl had sunk suddenly into his own little world. Even Laurie's last words somehow sounded like they meant something else. Call what an evening - where, when?

'Are we done eyeing each other up?'

'Oh!' His mind had raced to catch up but he got there in the end. 'Let's go...'

'I'll meet you in the sauna in ten minutes,' she whispered fleetingly and sauntered off. His eyes followed her incredible posterior all the way until she was gone. The long walk to the changing room and then to the sauna, after changing into his swimming trunks, all he could imagine was that tight body - considerably less clothed - glazed with perspiration.

5

The blinding heat scorched his lungs the moment he opened the screen door and stepped into the mist. It had been a long time since Carl had visited a sauna. He immediately forgot about trying to disguise his modesty, the swelling now making those small Speedo trunks feel considerably smaller.

Laurie's eyes, already used to the atmosphere, sat on the middle bench, a dainty little black bikini covering her modesty, and a white cotton towel in her lap. Her eyes flirted with Carl's body, now taking all of him in but not in that supportive gym-buddy way. She was consuming him, from top to bottom.

Carl had the body of a cyclist and swimmer, tight and strong but lightweight; but now he was a little thicker and better defined in the leg department, from his loins on downward. And of course, as he climbed the bottom bench to sit at Laurie's side, there was no denying that he was packing more muscle than she had given much consideration to.

'Jesus,' he winced, struggling for breath and pursed his lips to cool the air entering his throat. The moment he laid eyes on her, his heart started firing off in rapid short bursts. As good as his imagination was, her body cried out to be caressed, and groped, and so much more.

Laurie chuckled throatily in that slightly husky way of hers. 'So hot,' she gasped.

'Isn't it?' Carl agreed.

'Uh huh... the sauna's pretty intense too,' she teased. Carl grinned, blushed, and more boldly eyed her up. As he was usually so respectful and conservative around her, she welcomed his attention. If anything he deserved to see more of what he'd been so clearly fixated by ever since they met.

Well behaved as he was, Laurie never missed a beat. She was now willing to be flattered. In fact she invited it. She wasn't used to flirting so openly, not like she was with Carl after all these months. How obvious could she be?

'Pretty hot yourself too, lady,' he put across modestly. More importantly, he was honest. His eyes roamed from hers to the slight Adams Apple jutting at her throat, down over her defined shoulders, and then rested at her bikini-clad breasts, which stood perky and proud.

Laurie must have been late twenties at the most. She was a picture of both maturity and youth, but there was a mystery Carl couldn't make out. Was she all natural beauty, as flawless as a woman could be with her strong jaw, high cheekbones and finely arched eyes? Back down to those amazing boobs again - so tempting as they gleamed with perspiration, dewy with beading sweat - he had to wonder.

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