A spicy new enemies-to-lovers romance is out this week from Nikki Sloane—part of her Nashville Neighborhood series—and I have a sneak peek for you.
Madison stood in the doorway, looking at me like I’d ambushed her and not the other way around. Her gaze bounced from my sweaty, bare chest, to the t-shirt I’d tossed onto the weight bench nearby. It looked like she was thinking about turning around and bolting away, even though it was obvious she’d come here to work out. She had on a thin, white sports bra and black leggings, and a water bottle was clenched in one hand.
For a moment, she didn’t know what to do. I could see the thoughts turning in her head. If she’d known I was out here, she wouldn’t have come, but now if she backed out, she’d look weak.
She’d be letting me win—and Madison couldn’t stand that.
Her chest lifted with a deep breath and her shoulders rose, like she was trying to look bigger and confident. Her face was a mask of indifference as she marched to the treadmill and loudly slotted her water bottle into the cupholder.
I went back to curling the dumbbell. If she didn’t care about sharing the space with me, then I didn’t either.
The problem was the treadmill faced the mirror wall. So, if my gaze strayed at all from my form, it naturally went to the other person in the room. After her warmup of a few minutes of walking, she increased her pace to a jog. Her eyes were up and forward, probably purposefully not looking at me, and it was impossible not to notice how little help her sports bra was giving her.
Her tits bounced and swayed as she ran, and I pictured what she’d look like if it wasn’t there, covering her. She had such an amazing body, especially her tits, with tight, pink nipples I wanted to suck and bite and pinch.
My dick stirred inside my gray athletic shorts, which would do fuck-all to hide a hard-on. And then awareness pricked down my back.
Not only had I stopped lifting to look at her, but Madison had glanced down to find me in the mirror, meaning she’d caught me staring. Fuck. I blinked, snapped my attention back to myself, and resumed what I was supposed to be doing.
I had no idea how many reps I’d done, so I set one of the weights down on the bench and hoisted the other over my head, holding it with both hands. When I slowly lowered it behind me, back to my shoulder blades, my muscles whined about fatigue, but I pushed through.
Instead, I focused on the song blasting from my phone. It was one of my current favorites by some obscure band Spotify had turned me on to last month. It had a driving rhythm and a rock anthem feel that was perfect for working out. If it annoyed Madison that my music was playing and I wasn’t wearing headphones, well, too fucking bad.
I was here first.
Except when my gaze darted to her, I found her moving her lips along with the words. It wasn’t the chorus either—she knew the song well enough she’d memorized all the lyrics.
Yet another thing to remind me I didn’t have a clue who this girl really was.
I finished my set, and as I rested, I checked myself in the mirror. I wasn’t the type of guy to take swole selfies, but if I was, now would have been the perfect time. My muscles were swollen and extra defined, and I was glossy with sweat from the warm room.
The same awareness I’d had earlier prickled across my skin.
I’d been caught staring earlier, but now it was Madison’s turn. Her gaze was locked on my chest, and since she didn’t realize I was looking, I saw every inch of desire that filled her eyes.
When her gaze floated up to discover the smirk tilting my lips, her face went blank. Like what you see, don’t you? I wordlessly asked. She scowled and dropped her attention to the control panel of the treadmill.
At least it was good to know I wasn’t the only one battling the attraction between us.