Dragon's Pride: BBW Paranormal Dragon Romance (2 page)

BOOK: Dragon's Pride: BBW Paranormal Dragon Romance
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Cerul

 

One hand on the door frame, I surveyed the girl who stood nervously in my hallway. She was pretty, if any human woman could be said to be pretty. Her features were symmetrical, at least, and her brown hair was tied back efficiently in a small ponytail. She was petite, but only in terms of her height. She was a chubby girl, although I could see she also had some muscle.

 

“Who is this?” I demanded. “What training?”

 

Jersey gave me a big smile. “Kale. She’s going to be your personal trainer. I thought you could use one. You don’t get any exercise these days.”

 

The trainer looked from me to Jersey. “I’m sorry. I seem to be missing something. I thought I was going to be training… well… you.”

 

“No, silly! I’m fine. It’s Cerul who needs it. He just stays in this house all the time. Hasn’t been out in months. He’s, you know.” She whispered to Kale, but not very quietly. “Depressed.”

 

I sighed, already fed up with this conversation. I wasn’t depressed – and if I was, I had every right to be. The things I had been through would make anyone a bit gloomy. In any case, the last thing I needed was a personal trainer.

 

“I still don’t quite understand. This is… your husband?”

 

“My nephew!” Jersey exclaimed.

 

“But you look the same age.”

 

Jersey beamed. “I’m forty-five.”

 

I cut off the exchange before this Kale girl could tell my aunt how young she looked. The pride on her face was just ridiculous. Who cared how young you looked? Who cared about anything?

 

“So you bring me this… Kale?” I asked. “What are you, some kind of vegetable?”

 

The girl shrugged, unfazed. “Like I’ve never heard that one before. My parents are health freaks, okay? And I happen to like my name.”

 

“I love your name!” Jersey said enthusiastically.

 

“Look,” I said, pressing one hand to my forehead. “I don’t care what kind of parents you have. I didn’t ask for a personal trainer, and I don’t want one. Now, kindly get out of my house.”

 

Kale moved toward the staircase. As if my aunt hadn’t already done enough, she stopped her before she could get far. “Don’t go, Kale! Cerul, just give it a try. If you agree to have Kale train you, I’ll be paying for it.”

 

“If I agree to train him,” Kale murmured.

 

I heaved another sigh, already exhausted by this debate. All of my emotions were dulled these days. I didn’t feel strongly about much of anything, and right now this personal trainer thing was making me more fatigued than angry.

 

If Kale was on the fence, my complete lack of enthusiasm might drive her away. I didn’t have the energy to push back any harder than that. I was sure she would give up once she saw how little I was participating.

 

Jersey said she would be paying as if she was doing me a favor. Surely she must know that was like pouring salt into the wound. A few months earlier, I’d had all the money I could have ever asked for. An endless, unlimited source of it. In all of my twenty-five years, I’d never needed to even think about money. That was no longer the case.

 

“Fine,” I said. “One session. That’s all.”

 

It wasn’t the first time Jersey had tried pulling this type of nonsense. Since everything had happened, she’d been visiting me once or twice a week. She kept saying how I was “too sad” and I “needed to get out more.”

 

So, with her misguided affection, she’d tried all sorts of things to make me feel better. First, she’d had my house cleaned. It wasn’t dirty, and the housekeepers vanished pretty quickly once I snarled at them to leave.

 

After that, she’d had a meal delivery service bring me healthier food than the take-out I’d been eating. I’d smiled at them all politely, and Jersey had been so happy. She wasn’t so pleased on her next visit a week later when she saw the healthy food still on the kitchen counter and the recycling bin piled with pizza boxes.

 

My aunt seemed to see me as her personal responsibility. I didn’t want her help. Even if my parents were no longer in the picture, I didn’t need it. My happiness, or lack of it, had nothing to do with her.

 

In time, maybe I would leave my house. Time was supposed to heal all wounds. For the moment, though, I was content to stay here and wallow in my misery.

 

“Get changed,” Jersey said, all smiles now.

 

I was more than willing to slam the door in their faces. In my last glimpse of her before it shut, Kale still looked dubious. There was something else on her face, though. Her eyebrows were furrowed, but her eyes were lit up. Curiosity, maybe. Or excitement.

 

I found a pair of shorts somewhere in one of the boxes I still hadn’t unpacked. A T-shirt was in another. The boxes had been sitting there for five months, untouched. I half-heartedly shook out the shirt’s wrinkles. It didn’t really matter if it didn’t look good.

 

My body actually had changed, I mused as I put the clothes on. I had never paid attention before, but the toned muscles I had always taken for granted were gone. I hadn’t been moving much, it was true. No flights under the cover of darkness had been keeping me limber.

 

That didn’t mean I needed a personal trainer. Jersey was still crazy, and I was still going to get rid of this Kale girl. I’d exercise again when I could stretch my wings and flap through the night sky – not before.

 

“You’re ready,” Jersey said as I opened the door.

 

I grunted, and she led us down the stairs. Her meddling hadn’t stopped at hiring Kale, I saw. I barely recognized the living room that we stepped into. It was still large and airy, with a small window looking out on the street and a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall. But the couch was gone, a variety of exercise machines having taken its place. Jersey had given me a full home gym.

 

“I’ll leave you two to it, then,” she smiled. She went into the kitchen, and I could hear her pour herself a glass of water. She had to be pretty satisfied with herself right now.

 

“Wow,” Kale said, looking around. “This is serious. You must be really interested in working out.”

 

“Not particularly. I’m guessing my aunt bought all of this. It wasn’t here yesterday.”

 

Undaunted, she set her bag down. “Let’s start with some stretches.”

 

“Or we could start with you leaving.” I crossed my arms and looked at her, waiting to see how she would react. She had already lasted longer than many people would. It took a certain backbone to stay in a house where the owner clearly didn’t want you there.

 

“This is a nice gym,” she said, “and your aunt wants me to use it with you. So I’m going to take advantage of it, whether you want to work out or not.”

 

It was hard not to look at her as she began to stretch. The poses she took on put her body on display. In her tight pants and fitted T-shirt, not much was left to the imagination. I could practically see her thick thighs, her soft belly. Muscle rippled underneath the flesh of her plump arms. She twisted her head from one side to the other, her ponytail moving behind it. Her lips opened slightly and she let out a puff.

 

“Are you sure you don’t want to stretch?” she asked, sitting back on one heel with the other leg thrust tantalizingly in front of her. “You might hurt yourself if you decide you want to work out later.”

 

“I won’t decide to work out. My aunt brought you here, so I’m not throwing you out, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to do what you tell me to. I’m just waiting until you give up and leave.”

 

“Do what you want, but I’m going to do the job Jersey hired me for.”

 

She smiled as she pulled herself into a standing position, her breasts bobbing in a completely unfair way. Weren’t girls supposed to wear sports bras or something? Even if I did want to work out, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate with her curves jiggling like that.

 

“We can do cardio next. I see your aunt has given you two ellipticals. I’m going to get on one, and whenever you feel like it, you can use the other.”

 

“Not going to happen.”

 

Kale climbed onto the machine and pressed some buttons. A second later, all four of her limbs were in motion. Vegetable girl seemed to know her way around this stuff pretty well. She bounced on the pedals. From my vantage point beside her, I had an excellent view of her profile. I could see the way her chest rose and fell, and the rotund curve of her ass.

 

Tearing my eyes away, I sat down on the couch. I shouldn’t be staring at her like that, even if she was in my house without my permission.

 

“So why aren’t you interested in exercise?” she asked, slightly out of breath. “You look like you used to work out.”

 

“Not that it’s any of your business, but I…” I searched for the words that would explain without giving anything away. “I haven’t felt like it lately.”

 

“You should start feeling like it, or you’ll lose that nice body you used to have.”

 

I grunted, unwilling to respond. Part of me was flattered by the comment. The larger part was too dulled to care.

 

“Does your aunt do yoga?” she asked, still expertly working the elliptical. Her legs went around in big circles that would have hypnotized me if I’d allowed myself to watch.

 

“No. Why would she?”

 

Kale laughed a little and brushed back a strand of her hair. “She seems quite strong, but she was pretty confused in my weight-lifting class. I thought maybe she was a yoga type.”

 

I fiddled with the TV remote, trying not to look at Kale’s jutting ass. “You seem to like making assumptions.”

 

“It was just a guess.” She jumped down, cheerful as ever. “Come on, let’s lift some weights.”

 

“I told you, it’s not going to happen.”

 

“What do you have to lose? We’ll just do it once, just to make your aunt happy. Then it’ll be over.” When I glared at her, she shrugged. “Your loss if you don’t want to.”

 

I let out a breath. Arguing with her was exhausting me. “Fine. You know what, fine.” I went to stand beside her, expecting her to give me a pair of the dumbbells she was holding.

 

Instead, she shook her hair loose of its ponytail. It fell around her face in a layered cut that softened her features. “Here,” she said. “Tie your hair back. It’ll be in your face otherwise.”

 

“Now yours will be in your face.”

 

“Just take the hair tie. Maybe I want to see what you look like.”

 

Reluctantly, I took it. I pulled back my hair, oily from lack of washing, and wondered why I cared if she wanted to see what I looked like. It wasn’t like I’d ever get involved with a human. Not after what had happened last time.

 

“That’s better,” Kale grinned. “Now, take these.”

 

“These are smaller than yours!” I complained. The weights she was gesturing at had to be half the size of the ones she was holding.

 

“Yes. I do this all the time, and you don’t. You’re going to start small and work your way up.”

 

Frowning, I took the small weights.

 

It wasn’t until the end of the hour, when Aunt Jersey swept in asking how everything had gone, that I realized what Kale had implied. If she thought I was going to put up with her coming in again, she was dead wrong.

 

My aunt flitted around the room, touching all of the exercise equipment as if she could glean information from it. “It looks like everything went splendidly,” she cooed. “Kale, I knew you would be the right person for my nephew. Are you ready to move in? I think Cerul could use an hour a day of exercise, maybe an hour and a half.”

 

What? I opened my mouth to interrupt, unsure of how this offer was getting made without my agreement. Before I could get a word in, though, Kale was already speaking.

 

“I’d love to!” she said just as enthusiastically.

 

BOOK: Dragon's Pride: BBW Paranormal Dragon Romance
10.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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