The room was packed, so Pepper pushed her way to the bar and ordered a Ridgeport with a double shot.
What seemed like only a few drinks later, Pepper noticed that the room was empty, the sun was coming up, and that she’d been dancing on her own for quite a long time. With the buzz of the drink quickly dying down, Pepper’s embarrassment returned and she hastily got home and went straight to bed.
The following morning (or afternoon), Pepper felt horrific. A cold shower and a full plate of scrambled eggs certainly helped, but she still didn’t feel 100%. There was only one thing for it, the gym. Pepper knew that sweating it out and getting pumped would absolutely cure this hangover.
Pepper noticed a guy working out on the weight machine, and went over to ask about his technique.
“Hey, I’m Pepper, I was just doing some reps over there and noticed some of the stuff you’ve been doing. You seem to really know your stuff, are you a trainer?” Any part of her that usually got flustered and embarrassed was dampened by the fact that she knew it couldn’t get much worse than last night with Chase. Pepper had a new attitude – just go for it, she had nothing to lose.
“Hi there, my name’s J. Yeah, not J-A-Y, just J, dumb I know but blame my parents! I’m not a trainer, it’s all pretty much self taught. You look pretty fit yourself, wanna train together?”
Pepper liked this guy, he was funny. And cute too, but she’d learnt to not base everything on good looks and sweet nicknames. “Sure just J, let’s see what you’ve got!”
The next day was Sunday, and J rang her first thing in the morning.
“Sup Pepper! How are those muscles?”
“I’m dying!!” Pepper laughed, hoping that J didn’t hear the flush of the toilet in the background – she hadn’t wanted to miss his call! “Honestly, those leg curls killed me!”
“Haha! Well, how about I come round to your place later and I’ll show you some sports massage techniques? It’ll help you recover loads quicker so you can get back in the gym!”
“Sure, sounds great. Come over whenever!” Pepper said, not mentioning the lack of walls. She’d decided not to bring it up, she didn’t think it was a big deal, so why should anyone else?
J clearly didn’t think it was an issue either.
“Look Pepper, I’m fine, muscles are good to go, I’m so energetic – you must just be weak!”
“Yeah, yeah J, whatever!!” Pepper laughed. J was funny. Really funny. And Pepper just liked being around him.
“I’m not all brawn either! C’mon, bet I can beat you at chess.”
And he did. A few times. Pepper got so competitive, they played long into the night just so that she could say she beat him once.