One again, my thanks to Mostera1 for his help. He always makes my stories better.
And now, Weaver.
From the corner of his eye, Weaver caught sight of the big fist thundering toward him. It had been years since he'd fought in the ring and maybe he wasn't as fast as he used to be, but he still knew how to react to a haymaker. He slipped under the wild punch and came up inside with a short, hammer-like left shot to the brute's ribcage.
Stumbling backward, the big man was surprised at the force of the blow from someone so much smaller than himself.
As Weaver plotted his next move, he recognized what he had seen so many times in the ring ... fear in the eyes of his opponent.
The large man lashed out again and again, desperately trying to make contact with the smaller man's jaw, but each time, found nothing but air.
Weaver played with his adversary, ducking and slipping punches with ease until the big man's arms became weary. Weaver had, had enough; it was time to put the big palooka away. With a flurry of lefts and rights he battered the man's face and midsection. Finally, with a strong right cross, he sent the bully's bloody carcass flying over a table and tumbling face down to the dirty floor.
Weaver didn't go to a neutral corner but instead stood guard and watched as the antagonist struggled to his feet.
Wanting no more punishment and thoroughly demoralized, the beaten man stumbled out the door.
Damn, thought Weaver, if I keep beating up customers Jerry won't let me come back here anymore. He sheepishly returned to his bar stool.
"Weaver," started Jerry, the owner of the bar. "I know that fight last week wasn't your fault, and I know you were protecting Susie just now, but damn it man, you've got to stop using my place as a boxing ring, it's starting to get a bad reputation."
"I know, Jerry, I'm sorry but Susie shouldn't have to put up with that kind of crap."
"Yeah, I know, you're right, it's just..." he let his words hang as he looked over Weaver's shoulder. "I should probably be thanking you but here comes Susie, I think I'll let her do it for me," said Jerry as he went to go pour Susie's protector a drink on the house.
His body stiffened and he flinched backward as the pretty blond in the skimpy barmaid's uniform planted a kiss on his lips. "My Hero," she said sincerely. "Thanks Weaver, that guy was really getting obnoxious. He offered me money to go out to the parking lot with him and when I refused ... well, you saw, he was starting to get physical."
"That's okay Susie, I'm just glad I could help." He spoke softly, then turned back to face the bar and soulfully started to nurse the free scotch and water left for him by the thankful bar owner.
Feeling a little slighted and a bit confused, Susie went back to waiting on her tables.
Sitting alone in the far corner of the bar, Arlene Reynolds witnessed the entire episode, including Weaver's reaction to the pretty girl's kiss.
Arlene had a very stressful job as an upper level executive at Peterson Industries, a private equity firm. Once in a while she'd come into Jerry's Place to take the edge off before going home to her empty apartment. She was a member of the new-age, up and coming power-women of the twenty-first century; the kind you read about in women's magazines. One look told you she knew exactly what she wanted out of life and was on her way to getting it.
Was she gorgeous? Most men would say no, but she knew exactly how to bring out her best features and look attractive. From the way she did her hair, to her make-up, to her attire; it all created the image of a strong, confident, intelligent woman who was well on her way up the corporate ladder. Some guys might even say she was ... intimidating.
Every day she worked with people of all sizes, shapes, and personalities; some smart, some extremely smart, and some not too smart at all. It was what made life interesting. Take the guy at the bar, for instance, she thought; she abhorred fighting but admired courage and he sure had that. She watched as he sat staring into his glass as if it were a crystal ball.
She sighed, he wasn't dressed very fancy, probably a blue collar worker, she thought; not really the kind of person that she would normally go out of her way to meet ... still, there was something fascinating about him. She couldn't help herself.
"So, what's going to happen next," she said with a friendly smile as she sat on the stool next to his.
"What?" again he spoke softly. "What do you mean?"
"The way you're staring into that glass you'd think it could tell the future, so what's going to happen next?' she repeated while motioning for Jerry to give her a drink.
He chuckled slightly then smirked. "Lady, if I want to see my future I just look at my past."
Well this was starting to sound morbid, thought Arlene. Time to change tactics; I'll work on his ego, she told herself. "I saw you beat up that guy who was bothering the waitress. He was a monster, weren't you scared?"
It took Weaver a moment to answer. "Nah, he was just another guy. I'm not afraid of guys; it's women that terrify me."
"Women," she responded with surprise. "You're afraid of women?"
"Lady, a guy will break your nose, your jaw, maybe a rib or two, but a woman will break your heart ... a woman will break your spirit." With that he stood, threw a twenty on the bar and walked out without another word.
"Well, that was pretty rude," Arlene said to Jerry as he came over to collect the money.
"Yeah, that's Weaver for you. He's not much for conversation."
"Weaver; is that his first or last name?"
"Neither, it's a nickname. He used to be a prizefighter, a pretty good one too, from what I understand. A couple of my regulars who follow boxing got all excited when he started coming in here a while back. They tried to make friends with him, but as you just found out, he's not much of a conversationalist. Don't get me wrong, he's a nice enough guy, he just doesn't talk much."
"Well you can't prove it by me ... that he's a nice guy, I mean. I was just trying to be friendly."
"Oh, don't take it personally. I think it has something to do with the fact that you're a woman. Did you see him when Susie kissed him? Hell I thought he was going to run for the door."
"Yeah, I did see that," she replied. "And all that talk about a woman breaking his heart; what's that about?"
"I'm not really sure. Those guys I told you about, they said his wife ran off with another guy while he was training for some big fight. I guess she's the one that broke his heart, and to tell you the truth, I think it's still broken."
For the next couple of days Arlene couldn't get her mind off Weaver. Damn, she told herself, this is ridiculous. Why am I so obsessed with this guy? It wasn't that she thought of him romantically, no one had tickled her funny bone that way since college. No, it was the mystery behind the man.
She tried looking him up on the Internet. She found a hundred thousand ways to weave a rug, but nothing about a prizefighter by that name. Who was this guy? Did his wife really break his heart by running off with another man? Try as she did, Arlene just couldn't shake her curiosity.
"Arlene," Carolyn, her PA addressed her from the door to her office. "Don't forget you have that management meeting today at three."
"Oh that's right, thanks, Carolyn," she said glancing at the clock on her desk. It was already a little after two. She admonished herself for having her head in the clouds and got busy making sure she had everything she needed for the meeting.
As everyone filtered into the conference room Arlene had an idea; Bob Rawlings. She'd heard him talk about coaching kids in some kind of boxing program he was involved in. I wonder if he knows anything about Weaver, she thought.
Before going to her chair she leaned over and whispered in Bob's ear. "Bob, I wonder if you'd have time to discuss something with me after the meeting?"
Bob felt his pulse race. He looked around, checking to see if anyone noticed his heart pounding. Since Arlene started with the firm over three years prior, Bob had a massive crush on her. The problem was she didn't know he existed and he was too shy to really do anything about it.
She just seemed to be all business and not really interested in making friends. Once at a company picnic he took a chance and brought her a piece of cake, hoping to strike up a conversation as she ate it. Unfortunately, with a friendly smile she denied his approach saying she didn't care for cake. Bob took this as a rebuke of his efforts and retreated with his tail between his legs.
Since then, outside of a smile and nod of the head as they passed each other in the halls, the cake incident was Bob's last feeble attempt to win her heart.
"Sure," he said trying to keep his voice from cracking from nervousness. Bob could hardly keep focused on what was being said at the meeting; all he could think about was being able to sit down with Arlene and have an actual conversation. Of course he had no idea what she wanted to talk about and assumed it was work related, but that was okay, he'd take anything he could get.
The meeting ran over. It was nearly six o'clock by the time it adjourned. Bob figured he would have to wait until the following day before sitting down with his heartthrob, but was very pleasantly surprise.
"Bob, I didn't know the meeting was going be that long," she said as they walked out of the boardroom together. "I don't suppose you'd be interested in stopping off some place and having a drink, would you?"
Bob could feel the perspiration building under his collar. He loosened his tie and undid the first button of his shirt. He wondered if his forehead was sweating as well.
"Easy there, big guy," she joked as they turned down the hall. "I didn't ask you to strip, just have a drink with me."
"Huh, oh no ... I mean, I wasn't ... I,"
Arlene noticed his embarrassment and thought it was cute. She gave him a big smile trying to put him at ease a little.
"Relax, Bob, I've heard you talk about coaching some kids in boxing and I just want to pick your brain about the sport a little," she told him.
Bob did relax. Hell he could talk about boxing all night. They took separate cars to a little bar right down the street. Bob held the chair for Arlene as she sat down. By the time he was taking his seat across the table the waitress was already there, ready to take their order. As soon as she left Bob started the conversation.
"I must confess, Arlene, I didn't think you liked boxing."
"Oh heavens, I don't. I think it's barbaric and stupid to have two guys beat the hell out of each other for money," she said without thinking.
Bob was visibly taken aback. Did she ask me out for a drink just to insult me, he wondered?
When she saw the anger in his face Arlene realized what she'd said. "Oh, Bob, I'm sorry, I didn't mean..." She wasn't really sure how to apologize, especially since that was exactly how she felt about the sport. Just then the waitress returned with their drinks and set them down with her assurance that she'd check back with them in a little while.
"So, if that's the way you feel, what is it you want to know?" Bob asked. Suddenly his little-boy shyness and charm disappeared. He was angry and wasn't hiding it very well.
"I really am sorry about what I said, Bob. Please forgive me."
He gave her only half a smile. Boxing had been a big part of his life. "So what is it you want to know?" he asked again.
Arlene really did feel bad. From what she knew about him, Bob was a nice guy and she had no intention of insulting him. I'll have to make it up to him sometime in the near future, thought Arlene, but right now she had to see if he could enlighten her.
"Have you ever heard of a fighter called Weaver?" she asked. "I don't think..."
"Weaver, of course I have," he answered curtly. "His real name was Chuck Adams. He was one hell of a middle weight, could have been champion; why?"
"Well, I met him the other night."
"Met him," Bob said surprised. "That's impossible; he disappeared years ago. Hell, I don't even know if he's still alive."
"Oh he's very much alive, Bob. I saw him clean the floor with some guy twice his size the other night at Jerry's Bar."
"Weaver? How do you know it was Weaver?" he asked.
"Well, that's what everyone calls him. I assume it's the same guy. I talked to Jerry, the guy who owns the bar, and he told me the guy was an ex prize fighter. He said his wife left him for another guy, is that true?"
"Ah, well that was the rumor but I don't know if it's true or not. There were all kinds of rumors floating around when they cancelled the fight. Weaver's manager said he got deathly ill, then he just disappeared ... never fought again; I figured maybe his manager was telling the truth and he died, although I never saw anything about it in the media."
Bob thought for a moment. "Come to think of it, he was from around here. I'm pretty sure he grew up on the north side."
"Why do they call him Weaver?" Arlene asked.
"Because he was always bobbing and weaving; that means his upper body was always in motion. It's harder to hit a moving target. He really was something to watch. He could slip under any punch or any combination of punches thrown at him. The sports writers gave him the nickname."
"Bob, it sounds like the same guy to me. You should have seen him beat this guy up in the bar the other night. That guy tried everything to hit him but I don't think he ever touched him, not once. Finally this Weaver guy started throwing punches left and right and knocked the other guy right over a table."
"Better watch it, Arlene, you sound like you almost enjoyed watching it," Bob said sarcastically.
Arlene knew she had that coming. She gave him a wry little smile. "Bob, I really am sorry for what I said, honest. Let me make up to you, let me buy you dinner."
He thought for a minute. Okay she insulted him, he'd been insulted before, and after all, he'd wanted to get to know her better since he first laid eyes on her.
"No thanks," he said, then smiled. "Dinner's on me."
"So," Arlene said while cutting into her fish dinner with her fork, "educate me. Why shouldn't I feel the way I do about boxing?"
"Oh, I don't think you want to get me started about boxing. I could talk all night about it. Let's talk about you, what do you for fun?"
"Well now, there's a subject I could talk about for at least two or three minutes," she said with a smile. "I really haven't had a lot of fun since moving to Chicago. My folks and my sister all live in Philly but there just weren't any opportunities out there; job wise, I mean. So, when I had an offer to move out here I jumped at it, but I haven't made many friends, not yet ... been too busy with work. What about you, I mean you don't really box in your spare time, do you?"
"I used to. If it wasn't for boxing I'm not sure what would have happened to me."
Arlene looked at him as if he had two heads. She just didn't understand how a barbaric and brutal form of entertainment like boxing could possibly help anyone with any intelligence ... except, of course, for the greedy slime ball promoters and others who prospered from the cruelty of having two Neanderthals beat the crap out of each other.
"Look," he said when he saw the expression on her face. "I grew up in a very tough part of the city. Between the gangs and drugs, there wasn't much opportunity for most kids in my neighborhood. Half of us ditched school because it was more dangerous there, than in the streets. A neighborhood cop, his name was Brian Samuelsson, saw me just roaming around looking for trouble one night and took me to the gym. He put a set of gloves on me and showed me how to stand and throw a jab. It changed my life," he said cutting off another piece of steak.
"All of a sudden I found I was good at something. I was only ten or eleven years old but it gave me hope; hope that maybe I could actually do something with my life besides grow up selling drugs on the street corner. I started to develop some self-confidence. I don't mean because I could beat someone up, I mean confidence in myself ... as a person. I joined the CYO boxing program. That stands for the Chicago Youth Organization. At the time it was run by Tony Zale. He was the middle weight champion of the world twice in his career. He was also a hell-of-a-great guy."
Bob looked up at Arlene. The expression on her face was now one of interest so he continued.
"I was a sophomore in high school when Tony showed me some scholarships available for collegiate boxing. Between him and Brian, they made sure my grades were up to par and I was keeping my nose clean. When it was time to apply, they both wrote letters of recommendation for me. Tony's name carried a lot of weight and I actually won two scholarships. Neither of them were full-boat, but between them I was able to graduate with a B.A. in business administration. From there I got some hands-on experience during a four year stint in the Navy. I was also the Armed Forces boxing champion for my division."
By now Arlene realized just how badly she had insulted her co-worker with her remarks. She was feeling about two feet tall when Bob shot her down even further with his coup-de-grace.
"After the Navy I came back home and got the job at Peterson Industries. Both Tony and Brian have passed away but I volunteer all the spare time I can at CYO to make sure the boxing program didn't die with them. I want to make sure it's still there so other kids can get the same break I did. So now you see why I'm a little touchy about the sport. If it wasn't for boxing I'd probably either be behind bars or in a pine box by now," he said with a chuckle.
Arlene was in awe. She was from Drexel Park, just outside of Philadelphia. It was a very upper middle class community with large homes and spoiled kids. She'd never known anyone like Bob. She was impressed.
"Bob, I'm so sorry ... really, I had no idea," she pleaded.
"Don't worry about it," he replied. "A lot of people have the same attitude."
"Anyway," he said taking a sip of wine. "Tell me more about this guy you think is Weaver."
"Well there's really not a lot more to tell ... except that he's afraid of women."
"He's afraid of women?" Bob asked knowing he shared a little of that fear himself.
"Yeah, he said a guy could break his nose or his jaw, but a woman could break his heart."
Bob thought for a moment. He had never been hurt by a woman like that before, but on some level he felt empathy. "Wow, that's kind of profound, isn't it. It certainly sounds like this guy, whoever he is, had his heart ripped out by a woman at one time."
"Yeah, I kind of feel sorry for him, especially if it really is this Weaver character. It sounds like he was at the top of his career and then just gave it all up."
Just then she had an idea. "Hey, according to Jerry, he comes into the bar fairly frequently. Why don't you and I stop in a few times after work? The least you can do is let me buy you a couple of drinks and maybe he'll come in while we're there. Would you recognize him if you saw him?"
Of course Bob was not about to turn down an offer like that.
"Yeah, I think so," he responded. "That's a good idea. If it really is Weaver, I'd love to meet him. How about tomorrow night? I'll even let you buy."
Seldom did Arlene have any plans after work. She didn't even have to think about it. "Yeah, tomorrow night would be fine."
They had one more after dinner drink before saying their goodnights.
Bob's heart was fluttering. He'd finally gotten to meet Arlene outside of work. Other than the fact that she didn't like boxing, she seemed like a nice person. He was excited and couldn't wait to be with her again.
Arlene also thought of their evening together as she drove home that night. They had worked at the same place for years but she never took the time to talk to him about anything that wasn't job related. What a shame, she thought.
The following day they had not seen each other at work but just before five Carolyn buzzed, saying Bob Rawlings was on line one.
"Hello Bob," she answered in anything but a business like tone. "I was just thinking about calling you. Are we still on for tonight?"
"Yeah, that's why I was calling. Where are you parked? I'll meet you at your car. I'll have to follow you; I have no idea where this Jerry's place is."
"Oh, okay. I'm parked in the side lot, in the second row. I'll look for you when I get out there. I'm almost ready; I shouldn't be more than ten minutes."
"What can I get you?" asked Susie as Arlene and Bob sat at a table in the back of the bar.
"I'll take a white wine, please," replied Arlene.
"Make mine a light beer," Bob answered. "Thank you," he politely said as the pretty waitress walked away.
Arlene lowered her head and leaned toward her co-worker. "That's the girl Weaver helped out the other night; the one he had the fight over. He almost ran for the door when she thanked him with a kiss. It was so strange; he beat the crap out of a guy twice his size, then looked like he was scared to death of her," she commented lowering her voice so no one but Bob could hear her.
"Geez; are you sure this guy's all there? Maybe he's got a phobia or something."
"I don't think so, Bob. I think he's just been badly hurt. I don't know, maybe he hates women but I don't think there's anything really mentally wrong with him."
Susie brought their drinks and laid them on the table. "Would you like to start a tab?" she asked.
"Yeah, that would be..."
"Hey, drinks are on me, remember," said Arlene as she handed her credit card to the barmaid. "Start a tab with this, please. We'll probably be here for a little while," she told the pretty blond.
"Ah, before you go, how often does Weaver come in?" Bob asked.
"Oh, almost every night," she replied before walking back to the bar to run the credit card.
"Maybe we'll be lucky and he'll come in tonight," Arlene offered.
"I'm not so sure that would be luck," he replied to the confused looking female opposite him. "Then I don't have an excuse to meet you for drinks after work anymore."
A big smile broke across her face. "You don't need any excuses, Bob. I'd be happy to have a drink with you anytime."
Well, that was encouraging, thought Bob. He probed for more information about his lovely date and finally got her to open up. He learned their childhoods couldn't have been more different. She grew up as a privileged little girl. She got almost anything she wanted including a horse for her sixteenth birthday.
They were both so engrossed in conversation, neither noticed the wiry built man who came in and sat at the bar.
"Can I get you another round?" Susie asked.
"Yeah, one more," Bob told her.
"Oh, by the way," Susie interjected. "You were asking about Weaver; he's been sitting at the bar for the last fifteen minutes."
Arlene's face lit up. "Would you ask him to join us..."
"No, wait a minute," interrupted Bob. "I don't want to ask him to come to us, I'll go to him. Can you point him out to me?" he asked while getting up.
"He's the third one on the left," she responded.
"Mr. Adams," Bob said extending his hand toward the somber looking gentleman.
Weaver turned his head to look his greeter in the face. "Do I know you?"
As soon as they were eye to eye, Bob recognized him immediately. He had a little less hair, but it was still brown and cut short. He saw the scar over his left eye that he got in the third round of the Alexander fight and he had the same steely stare that intimidated so many of his challengers.
"No sir, but I know you. My name is Bob Rawlings; it's an honor to meet you."
Not wanting to be a complete asshole, Weaver shook hands before facing the bar again.
"Mr. Adams, I don't want to impose but I would sure be flattered if you would join us at our table."
Normally Weaver would have told the guy to take a flying leap but he sure didn't want to stir up any more trouble in the bar, besides there seemed to be something about Bob that he liked; maybe it was because he called him by his real name. Whatever it was, he decided to take him up on his offer.
"Well," he said sitting down to the right of a smiling Arlene. "If it isn't the lady who thinks you can see the future in a whiskey glass."
Arlene blushed and offered her apologies for bothering him the other day. When she was done humbling herself, Bob picked up the conversation.
"Call me Weaver, everybody else does."
"Okay Weaver; I just want to say how much I enjoyed watching you in the ring and what an honor it is to meet you. I've been involved with boxing most of my life. I enjoy watching a real technician and you were one of the best. I'm a director for the CYO boxing program. It's a great organization. Are you familiar with it?"
Weaver didn't answer. He just sat glaring into his glass again so Bob continued.
"Anyway, we get kids from all over Chicago-land that want to learn to box. I'm just one of many volunteers that work with these kids. We teach them the basics in the ring but more importantly, we get to spend time with them. It keeps them off the streets. Most of the kids we get have no real home life. That's why they come to us in the first place. We're able to teach them a lot more than how to box. We teach them about respect and fair play; about self-discipline and being true to themselves. In addition to the boxing, it's also a great mentoring program."
Bob was waiting for some kind of reaction from Weaver but it didn't come. What he didn't notice was Arlene watching the pride in his face as he spoke.
"I wonder if you've ever given any thought to volunteering for something like that, Weaver? The kids would be absolutely thrilled to have someone of your caliber teaching them."
Weaver took a slug of his scotch and water then spoke with a sigh. "No, I've never given any thought to it," he responded glumly.
"Well, it would also be a way of giving something back ... to the boxing game, I mean," Bob suggested.
Suddenly the sad figure of a man became animated. "Give something back! HELL, hasn't it taken enough? It took everything that ever meant anything to me. Respect, fair play, huh," he smirked with agitation. "What the hell could I teach kids about that stuff? I'm just a washed up pug who, at one time, thought he was something special."
He threw back the last of his drink. "Look," he said rising from his chair. "Thanks for the offer, but no; I'm not interested. Thanks for the drink," he said before walking out of the bar.
"Well that could have gone better," remarked Bob.
"You got more out of him than I did," Arlene responded.
"I see what you mean about him. I thought sure he'd jump at a chance to get back into boxing, even if it was just teaching kids. I wasn't expecting that reaction at all."
"I don't know what it is, Bob, but when I saw how he jerked away from that waitress after the fight, I just had to find out more about this guy. His reaction to your proposal just now, makes me even more intrigued."
"Arlene it's none of our business. We should leave the man alone. He obviously doesn't want us prying into his life."
"But, Bob, what if we could help him?"
"Help him ... how?"
"I don't know. That's why I'm trying to find out as much about him as I can. I won't know how to help him until I know his story."
"What makes you think you could help him, even then? Look, Arlene, the guy's obviously hurting big time. I kind of like him and I'd like to help him too, but by the way he's acting, I think bringing up the past would just mean more pain for the poor guy."
"I can't help it, Bob. I've got to see if there isn't something I can do for him."
Bob sighed. He really thought just leaving Weaver alone was the best thing they could do for him, but if she was determined to try and help he'd at least like to give her support.
"Have you talked to Derick Hoover?" he reluctantly asked her.
"Derick Hoover? No, why? What could he do?"
"He's a trained investigator, Arlene. Hell, he does all kinds of research for the company. He's uncovered shady business transactions, corporate cover-ups, tax fraud ... all kinds of things. Maybe he can find out more about what happened to Weaver."
Arlene's eyes lit up with a big smile.
"Bob you're a genius. I never thought of him."
"Just don't get him in to trouble; make sure he knows it isn't company business," he reminded her.
"Oh I will. I'll pay him to work on his own time if he'll do it."
While Arlene took a moment to think about how to approach Derick, Bob took advantage of the silence to think about asking her out on a real date. What he said about boxing teaching him self-confidence was correct in almost every aspect of his life, except one ... women. They didn't hang around the boxing ring much. He never had any sisters, and except for a couple frat parties in college and few one-night-stands when he was in the Navy, he had no experience with the opposite sex.
He wanted Arlene to like him and wondered if he'd push her away by asking her out so soon; maybe I'll wait until next week to ask her, he thought, but just then...
"Bob, I want to thank you for all your help." She interlocked her fingers, placed her elbows on the table, and rested her chin on top of her hands as she looked into his eyes. "I like you, Bob. I don't know why I never noticed what a really nice guy you are before now, but I'd like to make up for lost time. Would you like to go out some time?"
"I would love that," he responded trying to hide his nervousness.
"You know where I'd like to go? She coyly asked.
"You name it," he responded.
"To the gym to watch you with the kids," she told him.
Out of all the places she could have named for their first date, the gym wasn't even on his list. He looked into her face. Was she kidding?
"The gym? That's where you want to go on our date ... really?"
Arlene gave him a large smile and rapidly nodded her head in the affirmative.
"Just now, when you were talking to Weaver, you looked so proud when you explained what the place meant to the kids. I want to see it for myself."
"Are you sure?" he asked again. "You know it smells in there and some of the kids are kind of rough around the edges."
"I want to watch," she confirmed. "I want to watch you. I want to see how you work with them. Do you ever get into the ring yourself?"
"Sure ... well, not to fight anymore. I'll do a little sparring with some of the kids but that's it."
"I want to watch."
He studied her smiling face. She was serious...
"Weren't you the one who said boxing was barbaric?"
"Yeah," she said lowering her eyes. "I did apologize for that. I ... I guess ... well, it's the way you talk about it. I guess you've made me see it from a different perspective. I'm not saying I've changed my mind completely but maybe I should learn a little more before condemning it."
Again he studied her face, looking for any sign of insincerity. If there was any, he couldn't find it.
"Okay, you got it; anytime you want. You just name it," he excitedly proclaimed.
"How about Friday night; can you pick me up?"
"Sure; seven o'clock okay?"
It always seemed a little strange to Bob. He could step into a ring with some guy he knew was going to try and beat him to a pulp and be cool as a cucumber, but never could he shake his anxiety in the company of a woman.
She probably didn't know it but as far as he was concerned, the gym was the best place in the world for their first date. As soon as they stepped inside he started to relax.
For Arlene it was just the opposite. The environment was way out of her comfort zone and she unconsciously tightened her grip on his arm at the sound of the first 'wolf' whistle.
"Hey, hey," Bob spoke loud enough to be heard over the usual noises. "What have I taught you guys about respect?"
"Sorry, coach!" came voices from several locations around the ring. "Sorry miss."
"Here," he said walking her over to some metal folding chairs. "Have a seat. I have to go change. I'll be back in a minute." With that he disappeared into another room.
Arlene nervously sat watching the boys working out when one of them approached her. She guessed him to be about twelve or thirteen. Sweat poured from his matted hair into his eyes and down his face.
"Are you Bob's old lady?" he asked.
"His old lady?" she enquired.
"Yeah, his dame, you know. Is he sweet on you?"
She couldn't help the smile that stretched across her face. She leaned forward and crooked her index finger in his direction.
The young boy leaned in to hear her reply.
"I'm working on it," she whispered. Then she put her finger to her lips with a, "Shhhhhh, but don't tell him."
The boy raised his head with a crooked smile and nodded showing his understanding. "Sure thing lady," he responded before returning to his workout.
Arlene had to catch her breath as her co-worker re-entered the gym. She had never seen him in anything but a suit before. He was always handsome but everyone wore suits in her world. The man now entering the room wore a dark grey, short sleeve sweat-suit. His black wavy hair was messed up and hanging down over his eyes from pulling the top over his head. His chest completely filled out the top of the fabric but hung loose around his midsection. The short sleeves fit snugly around his well-defined biceps.
Suddenly the room of about thirty boys turned as if they were his army and he was their general.
"Okay, guys. Before we get started I want to introduce you to a very special lady. Her name is Arlene and she's going to watch you train tonight so I want you all on your best behavior ... understood?"
"Yes coach," sung out his choir.
"Hey coach, does that mean we can't scratch our balls tonight?"
The crude remark brought nervous laughter from the group.
"No," he responded while repressing a chuckle. "But you have to keep them inside your pants while you do it."
Bob's retort brought even more laughter from everyone, including the lady in the metal chair.
He walked over to her. "I told you they were a rough bunch," he offered.
"I'm a big girl, Bob. I can take it. Now you go do your thing and don't worry about me."
For the next two hours, Arlene hadn't even noticed the discomfort of the hard metal supporting her. She watched as the man she admired more and more worked his magic. He cared about and respected the kids; in return they admired and respected him back.
"Okay guys," he yelled while clapping his hands in the air. "Time to call it a night."
His announcement yielded several groans of disapproval from his tired but inspired troops.
"Come on now, everyone hit the showers ... now!" he decreed.
As the kids headed for the showers, Bob walked over and sat down next to his guest. It was still early so she happily accepted his invite to go out for a drink when he was done closing up. He had to make sure the gloves and other equipment was picked up and put where it belonged, then grab a quick shower before they could leave.
The kids said goodnight one by one as they left. Bob locked the doors behind the last one.
"Let me grab a quick shower and I'll be right out," he told her.
Bob retreated to the locker room and quickly stripped. He was tired. He knew the kids were showing off in front of his guest; as a result they had given him a good workout. He turned on the shower, adjusted the water, and stepped inside the rising mist of steam.
"Oh God, there's nothing like a nice hot shower," he muttered to himself. He put a generous amount of shampoo in his hand, closed his eyes and vigorously worked it into his scalp. Thoughts of Arlene stirred a daydream and he smiled as the exhilarating water pummeled his muscular physique.
With eyes still shut, Bob stepped under shower head to rinse off, completely unaware of the nude woman who slipped in behind him.
The soft touch of femininity against his water-soaked skin quickened his pulse. He turned and looked into her smiling face.
"I thought you might need some help washing your back," she cooed.
Surprised, he hesitated for a second and watched as streams of water meandered down the hills and valleys of her magnificent figure. His body responded. His male member grew until the flesh was stretched almost to the point of pain. He put his hand around the back of her head and gently pulled her willing lips to his own.
Their bodies touched and Arlene felt his excitement rubbing against her stomach.
As they broke their kiss and gazed into each other's eyes, she reached down and delicately slid her slim fingers down his shaft and along his balls.
Bob closed his eyes and let out a small groan of erotic pleasure. He had wanted this for so long; he wondered if it was really true or just another day dream. Then he smiled knowing it was real this time.
Arlene grabbed a bar of soap and started rubbing it in circles around the hair on his chest. She worked it into a slippery lather before spreading her attentions to other areas of his upper torso.
Bob was in heaven as her smooth, silky hands massaged his tired muscles. Seductively she maneuvered around him, pressing her body to his, slipping and sliding in the lustrous soap suds.
Arlene laid the soap down and clasped her hands behind his head. Again their bodies slithered together in an enticing dance of sexual delight.
"I'm on the pill," she assured him.
Bob leaned against the shower wall for support and lifted Arlene by her waist. She wrapped her legs around him as he lowered her, impaling her womb with his inflamed cock. She moaned as he used his strong arms to move her in harmony with each thrust. Heightened by the slick luster of bubbly foam, their glossy smooth skin adjoined with slippery sensations of lust and passion.
Cries of euphoria echoed from the shower walls as they each erupted in ecstasy. Their naked flesh pressed together through the soapy froth as they held one another tightly, struggling for breath.
"Wow," wheezed Arlene. "It's been a long time but that was worth waiting for."
"Ditto," he replied still breathing hard.