Ken and Ayala Ch. 01byfyredreams©
Chapter 1: Discovery
I'm working out at the gym, late in the evening on a Friday, lifting weights and working on my upper body to try in vain to get as big as some of these other massive muscle-bound gym rats. I was already sort of mad because my two coworkers, Jim and Tasha, had cancelled on our night out downtown, Jim saying he was tired and Tasha saying that she had forgotten that she had to wake up really early the next morning for an appointment.
But I knew the truth was they had shafted me last-minute because they wanted time alone; I had noticed them becoming closer and closer over the past few weeks and I would have appreciated them being straight up with me instead of ditching me over other excuses. I was also sort of jealous of Jim, but couldn't blame Tasha for picking him to date over me; he was the more muscular guy, and although some girls though I looked charming with my golden-brown eyes and wavy black hair and thought I was sensitive and chivalrous, I guess it didn't really matter because Jim could put the moves on women much better than I ever could.
So, I was hitting the weights pretty hard trying to get my energy out, and I looked pretty focused and concentrated. Doing some hammer curls, I just about maxed out and groaned as I tried to do the last one, then dropped the weights on the floor and sat down on the bench next to me, breathing hard.
"Hey, you dropped this."
I was surprised by the voice and slightly but visibly jumped, then saw the person behind me, holding up my keys.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bother you or anything, I just noticed that you dropped your keys over by the weights over there," she explained in her soft, warbling voice.
I just sort of sat there and stared, like an idiot. I don't know if it was because I was so exhausted and out of it, or because the woman holding up my keys was absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous . . . or both. I just looked at the keys, then looked up at her standing next to the bench.
She had jet black hair, currently tied up but most probably long enough to reach just down just past her shoulders if she didn't have it up. She had on athletic sneakers and seemed to have long, slender legs and a firm butt underneath her tight, black sweatpants. Her midriff was pretty toned and with solid, visible abs, which I could see as she was wearing a black sports bra top. She had smooth, muscular but feminine arms and shoulders, and seemed to be blessed with a firm and beautiful size C chest. She had a somewhat darker, olive skin tone, making me think she was Italian or Greek, maybe Israeli, perhaps. Her soft hand held out the keys to me and the expression on her face looked sort of like mine probably did – tired from working out, but as if something of interest had just appeared in front of you and you were trying to discern whether or not it was real or just a mirage.
I felt like we were lost in each other's gaze for minutes (even though my watch timer was running and indicated afterwards that it couldn't have lasted more than ten or twenty seconds), before she broke my dumbfounded silence.
Slowly breaking into an incredulous smile, "You okay there, Mister? Cat got your tongue or something?"
I finally snapped out of it and shook my head as if I had been splashed with some cold water. "No, uh, I mean, I'm just out of it I guess. Sorry about that. Thanks so much for giving these back to me, that would have been an unpleasant surprise if I had gotten back home without them!" I smiled back and took the keys dangling off of her fingers.
Again, it seemed like we just looked at each other for a few minutes . . . and then, with a wink, "No problem, Mister," and she walked back to the weight machines.
I just watched her walk away, swaying her hips from side to side as she stepped lightly over to the machines with a typical girly walk. I grinned, wondering at how she was so girly and feminine but also so confident and powerful at the same time – I mean, against a mugger off the street, she could probably kick his butt, brush herself off, and then get back to a night out with the girls.
She looked so cute, standing there, regarding the machines with her arms folded, then with one hand stroking her chin as if she was in deep thought about how to change up her workout for the night. She, I, and two huge Schwarzenneger types were the only people in the gym at 9:45 on a Friday, and I for one was glad that she was there to brighten up the scenery!
I tried to get back to my workout, but I was completely distracted now. I didn't think I had a chance with this girl – I mean, she obviously had two much better physical specimens to pick from in the room already, and could probably pick out any hot guy she wanted at a club – but I was still caught up with her. I felt affected by her somehow, something that I hadn't felt before . . . well, actually something I had never felt before . . . with any of the women I had dated or checked out, even any of my old steady girlfriends. Heh, well, now ex-girlfriends, of course.
I couldn't tell, but I thought that I had seen the same feeling reflected in her own dark brown eyes. But, I was always a bad judge of other people when it came to things like that.
I maneuvered myself over to the shoulder press, partially because I wanted to hit a new machine but also because it allowed me to see this girl in the gym's wall mirrors as I sat down. She was working out her abs on an inclined bench, and it was really an amazing sight – I could barely do my own workout, I was so absorbed in watching her. Her sweaty body glistened under the lights as her abs crunched and brought her taut form up close to her knees, her breath escaping her mouth and flared nostrils. As her muscles relaxed, she breathed back in and lay back down against the bench, her sports bra holding her magnificent cleavage and her sweatpants leaving to my imagination her strong thigh muscles straining against the material of her clothes.
I could watch this all day, I thought.
Well, I figured that I needed to stop being a jerk and staring at her while she worked out, so I finished up and decided to hit the showers before the place closed. As I was about to leave, however, I saw one of the musclemen walk up to the girl and start to taunt her.
"Hey there, buttercup, you done with your little workout? Want to come back to the men's locker room with me, where you belong?" he jeered.
"Buzz off, Greg," she said assertively, though I could see that her annoyed face betrayed a hint of fear. She obviously knew this guy from somewhere . . . but what was their history?
"Don't you tell me to buzz off, La-la. I oughta beat the crap out of you after what you pulled with me, you disgusting freak. In fact, maybe I should finish that job right now, I doubt any of these guys would care if they knew what you really were, you fre-"
She stood up and got in Greg's face.
"Don't call me La-la, you jerk! My name's Ayala, you never got it right when we were together, and you sure as hell have no right to call me by your nicknames anymore. And you know what? If you want to finish the job you started last time, then go ahead! I know it was unfair of me to not tell you, but it gave you no right . . . and it still doesn't give you a right to bother me all the time instead of just leaving me alone and letting me live my life! But go ahead, if it'll make you feel like a man. Go ahead, punch me!" She pointed to her chin. I started running across the gym towards the two of the – I couldn't let this go on any longer, I was worried that this guy would actually pummel her . . .
"Fine, you stupid freak!" Greg yelled at her and pulled back his meaty arm to strike at her, and just then, I threw myself in between them.
"Leave her alone, man!" I yelled, summoning up courage that I was pretty sure that I didn't really have.
"Dude, get out of my face, this is between us two, don't get in the way or you'll get hurt," Greg warned. I knew he was serious, too.
Ayala, standing behind me, put her hand on my shoulder. "Please, get out of here, I don't want you to get hurt," she whimpered.
"No, I can't just let this happen." In a softer voice to Ayala, I intoned, "I don't want you to get hurt either." Turning back to Greg, I said with a surprising edge to my voice, "I can't believe you're even thinking about hitting this woman. I can't just let you do that, buddy, so you had better back off or you'll have to take me on first."
"You're such an idiot. You don't even know what she is . . ." he said, as if I was making some huge mistake. "Well, it doesn't matter, I'll go right through you." He pushed me back, and I almost fell over, but stood my ground. At 5'9", I was at least six inches shorter than this guy, and Ayala was even shorter than me at around 5'6" (which made me marvel at how brave she was to have stood up to him a second ago).
The gym intercom buzzed. "The gym will be closing in 5 minutes. Please finish your workouts and exit the building; the showers have now been turned off."
Greg stood there, seeming to ponder whether going after me and Ayala was worth it or not. "Forget you two," he grumbled, as he picked up his bag and left the area.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief. "Oh wow, I thought that guy was going to kill me for sure!" I started laughing, then turned around.
Ayala was tearing up, immediately killing the smile on my face and replacing it with a look of worry. "I'm sorry you had to . . ." she whispered, then the tears started to fall, softly.
I tried to calm her. "Hey now, don't worry, that creep's gone, and you don't have to be sorry about anything. I can't believe that jerk was going to hurt you! Hey babe, c'mon, stop crying, it's okay." I wiped her tears away from her face with my hands, gently. She opened her eyes and looked up at me. We gazed into each other's eyes again, and this time, I was sure that there was some deeper, unspoken but mutually understood connection between us.
The intercom buzzed again. We both looked up as the lights dimmed. "The gym is now closed. Please take your belongings and proceed to the nearest exit, and have a wonderful night." Not even any time to change out of our clothes!
"Hey, Mister . . . let's go," she whispered, softly and tenderly. She slipped into the women's locker room to grab her bag, and I retrieved mine from the men's locker room. I waited for her at the door to the gym. She came running towards me, and we exited the gym together.
Outside, we started walking.
I heard Ayala say softly, "I . . . I want to thank you for what you did back there. You didn't have to, but you did, most guys would probably just walk away or wait until Greg actually hit me to do anything." We were walking down the street, she had thrown on a red jacket and I was still in my workout clothes. I don't think either of us had a clue where we were going, but it seemed we were just both glad not to be going anywhere alone tonight.
"Hey, no problem, I think I owed you that much after you found my keys for me." I flashed her a warm smile. She looked up at me and smiled back brightly.
"What's your name, Mister?" she asked, beginning to sound more cheerful. She paused and turned to face me.
"It's Ken." I stood next to her.
"Ken, nice to meet you, I'm Ayala." She held out her hand with a perky movement, and I shook it.
"Nice to meet you too! So, uh, what now? Where are we going?"
"I don't really know, I was just sort of wandering around, but I thought it was okay as long as I was next to you. I feel sort of shaken up . . ." she wrinkled her nose and gave me a cute little frown.
I smiled reassuringly. "Hey, don't worry, I figured I was going to walk you to your car and see you off at least so that creep couldn't change his mind or anything. I figured, if he came after us again, that I could let him use me as a punching bag while you ran to get help."
She laughed. "You dork! I'm sure you could put up a good fight. And besides, I'm sure the two of us could take him! We already scared him off once!" Ayala punched my shoulder jokingly.
Ayala continued. "Anyway, I don't have a car, I usually walk home from here, it's only about a half a mile out into the apartments over by 10th street. I usually stop over at this small diner on the way to grab some dinner. You don't have to walk me home, it would probably be out of your way." Then she looked right at me and gave me these puppy eyes to lay a guilt trip on me, you know, like that cat from the movie Shrek 2.
"Okay, okay! I'll walk you home! Just don't use the puppy eyes, that's my one weakness with women!" We both laughed. She locked her arm with mine and we both began walking towards her apartment building.
"Mmmm," she purred, "my knight in shining armor."
"Anytime, my lady." I half-bowed, and we both chuckled.
On the way, we stopped at this quaint little diner on the side of the street. Even though we were both still sweaty and had just finished a couple of tough workouts, and even got a weird stare from the waitress and some guests for our sweat-drenched clothes, we sat down and talked like there was no one else in the world to bother us. We talked about politics, sports, my job, her job, working out, traveling . . . pretty much everything. I learned that she was studying to become a school teacher, and she found out that I was a kids counselor and health educator with ambitions to go to professional school. It was great – we automatically hit it off since we both liked working with kids. We ordered blueberry pancakes heaped with maple syrup, which we split between the two of us.
Towards the end of the meal, Ayala told me that she was full and wanted me to finish off the rest of her half of the pancakes. I was pretty full too and told her I couldn't do it. To this, she responded by taking the last bit of pancakes, cutting them into bite-sized portions, placing them on her fork. Before I knew what she was doing, she picked up the fork and put it in front of my mouth. At first, I resisted, but then I eventually melted in the face of her entreaties and another puppy-dog face, and I let her feed me the last few pieces. She made airplane noises as she "flew" the last piece into my mouth, to which we both laughed again. She paid for the meal, saying that it was the least she could do for her "brave hero." I blushed. We had been at the diner for about two hours, eating pancakes and just enjoying each other's company. And honestly, I didn't mind the view from where I was sitting either.
We walked some more, talked and laughed, and finally made it to her apartment doorstep. I couldn't help thinking how cute she looked the entire time in her black sports bra and bright red jacket. She had let down her hair, and it was absolutely beautiful as it cascaded down her neck towards her shoulders.
In front of her elevator, we paused. Again, we stared into each other's eyes. I don't know how many times I had looked at her captivating eyes already tonight, but I just didn't get tired of getting lost in them.
"I guess I had better go," I told her, not wanting to outstay my welcome.
"Yeah," she replied, softly. "I had a great time tonight, Ken. You turned what could have been a really ugly Friday night into a nice time. Thanks, Mister."
"I had a great time too, Ayala."
We hugged, our arms holding each other tight. Neither of us wanted to let go. It was as if we had finally found something that we had been looking for all of our lives, even though there was still so much we didn't know about each other. She rested her head against my neck.
As we slowly withdrew from the embrace, I kissed her lightly on the cheek. She smiled that warm smile of hers again, and entranced me once more with her deep brown eyes. Slowly, she turned away, and stepped into the elevator as it opened.
The doors started closing . . .
Ayala slapped the side of the doors, making them pop open again. She came out, dropped her bag, and threw her arms around me again. This time, our lips met.
It was like a burst of fire. We buried ourselves in each other, and the touch of her lips to mine ignited me with a passion that I had never felt before. I kissed her deeply, our lips pressing tightly together, as tightly as our bodies were embracing one another. Her tongue escaped her lips, and my tongue rushed out to meet hers. They dance playfully in our mouths, as I probed her lips with my tongue, and she soon followed suit with hers. She pulled me back into the elevator, and I had barely had the presence of mind to pull both of our bags in with us. The elevator doors closed on our erupted, passionate embrace.
Ayala reached out with her right hand, as I continued to kiss her against the elevator wall, and blindly tried to press the 9th floor button. Our tongues wrestled as my arms wrapped around her waist, holding her near to me. I felt the heat from her body and she could feel mine. I leaned into her neck and started kissing softly down to her shoulders, and she closed her eyes and rolled her head back against the wall, enjoying the sensations and grasping at my back to keep me close to her. I could feel her heartbeat going faster, faster. Just as mine was.
The elevator opened up on the eight floor. An old woman was waiting there, and looked at us curiously. Ayala opened her eyes as I kissed her passionately on the cheek, then suddenly I realized that she had pulled herself away from me with a sudden and guilty movement.
"Ohh, uh, hi Mrs. Robinson! Uh, I'm just getting back from the gym . . . how are you?" Ayala said, panting.
"I'm fine dear, just leaving after a visit to Arnold. I can see that you're doing quite well also." Mrs. Robinson chuckled.
"Huh? Oh! Sorry, umm, this is Ken. He's a nice guy I met at the gym, he saved me from Greg 'cause he was having another fit," Ayala stammered, turning bright red.
"Uh, hello . . ." I said, sheepishly, as if I had just been caught by her parents or something.
With a knowing smile, Mrs. Robinson replied, "Oh, good for you Ken, it's about time someone stood up to that nasty man. Well . . . I think I will take the next elevator, dear. You two have a wonderful night."
The elevator door closed, saving Ayala and me any further embarrassment.
Ayala sighed. She turned around to look at me, with an expression of this-is-all-your-fault on her face, to which I burst out laughing. "Hey, it's not . . . funny . . ." Ayala could barely say that before she, too, started giggling.
The elevator door opened on the ninth floor. Ayala tried to feign an expression of disappointment, as if I had initiated the passion in the elevator and made her look bad in front of her neighbor Mrs. Robinson, and walked off with her bag and with her nose turned up in faked disgust. "Hmph!" she exclaimed, hardly able to hide the smile peeking out at the corners of her lips. I grinned and grabbed my bag to follow her.
We stepped inside her apartment, and she went to the kitchen after dropping her bag and jacket. "Want anything to drink? Water, juice?" Ayala asked.
"Yeah, I could use some juice actually. Don't worry babe, I'll pour us a couple of glasses." I dropped my bag next to hers in the living room, and followed her slowly into the kitchen.
She pulled out the juice carton and I started to pour a glass for her and for myself. As I stood there at the counter, I felt her hands snake around me, then come up symmetrically under my shirt to my chest, as she gently squeezed my pecs and stroked my chest. I put down the juice carton and leaned my head back, and she nuzzled against my face.
Then, she turned me around with the surprising strength of her arms, and we started kissing again. We couldn't get enough of each other, we had to taste each other's mouths and tongues and lips. I sucked her tongue into my mouth and we played with each other's lips. Ayala ripped off my shirt in the meantime, then pushed me back out into the living room and onto the couch. I was amazed at how strong and aggressive she was, I had never been with a woman that assertive before, and I found myself liking it immensely.