The Lunatic Hour Ch. 01

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This is not a quickie, dear readers. It is a purposefully slow burning; a slow building story that takes place between two human beings – not two sex dolls throwing themselves at each other at the drop of a hat. This first section is only build-up, but I would hope that you enjoy the development of the characters and the situation, so as to find sensual pleasure in the mutual attraction between two people.


It is the lunatic hour. The hours are creeping by and the night is slowly dying out, the day ready and willing to overcome its twin brother’s throne. Half of the gym is steeped in shadows, weights and machines lingering in the dark, just out of sight – as if they were the bones to the hulking beast that is this place. An occasional passing car on the road outside…when they would take the curve, headlights would slip away from the road, racing across the empty parking lot and leaping through the plate glass windows of the gym, briefly racing across the room, casting shadows and making the metal of the machines glisten like teeth in the darkness.

Dramatic much, Troy?

I put the weight down – let it thump to the floor with a resounding thud. I should have brought my iPod, should have brought something – anything – to fill my senses and let me forget why I was here. Too much thinking, lately…too much of everything. I should be at home. I should be sleeping.

But sleep lingers tantalizingly outside of my grasp. I could lie there in bed, eyes closed and feigning sleep…putting on a show for no one.

And why is that, Troy?

Well, so glad you asked…but you know already, don’t you? Because of her.

We can lie to our friends, we can lie to every around us – put on a brave face and pretend that it is all over and it was nothing…but here in the dark, talking to ourselves…we know the truth. Let us ignore the pain, the feeling of a heart removed – forget the absence in our chest and the cold around the soul. Let’s just pick up another weight and lift until our palms turn red and the blisters develop at the base of the fingers – the five finger proof that you are lifting more than you should.

I’m standing now, silencing the running commentary track in my mind…looking into the mirror and enjoying the sight of myself – not in a sort of narcissistic manner, but rather enjoying seeing my reflection half in shadow, half in light. It fits my mood.

Five years lost in the haze of training and fighting – six years ago I was behind the desk of a video store, my only exercise being the pressing of the buttons on a remote control. Then something happened…something that even escapes my understanding. A breaking, a twist of the soul…it got me up at five am, strapping on running shoes and pounding pavement until the sun came up. Sweets and fast food suddenly turned my stomach and salads became the only thing I desired to eat. Now here I was, training forboxing. The guy who never met a playground fight he would rather run from…the guy who made his bullies laugh in order to escape with his lunch money…the guy more at home in the library stacks then in the testosterone soaked atmosphere of the ring…ending uphere. At home living in his own sweat and finding sweet music in the sweet science.

Now here I am, looking at myself in mirror…hardly recognizable to myself. It hardly looks like me in the mirror…I have to admit, I enjoy it. The separation. I feel like a kid at the controls of a video game – and the man in the mirror is the game character I created for myself. It is strange how one’s form transforms only when you are no longer paying attention to it. To have gone from “husky” to “athletic” – I only noticed it when others commented upon it. Stranger still, how people react to your presence differently once your stomach turns from a “gut” to a “six pack” and your arms turn into “guns.” At first it was complimentary…now it seemed rather absurd.

Okay, get a grip. Sleep deprivation and heartbreak should never be a man’s choice of cocktail. At the bottom of that glass is a straitjacket.

I’m starting the feel the chill as the cold reaches my skin – the glistening sweat beads are no longer ignored as my body temperature rapidly cools off from the lack of exertion. Suddenly those little beads of sweat become tiny entrances for the cold of the room to slip into my skin, turning Adana Escort my blood into ice water.

The gym is empty – what the hell? I peel off the cheap “Party Till She’s Naked” t-shirt and let it slap the floor with a wet “thwack.” Going shirtless in the gym is a no-no (see the sign on the wall?) but at 2am, I cannot help but think the “Who Gives a Fuck?” rule goes into effect.

The sound is all I hear – the tell-tale electronic chirp…in my foggy, sleep deprived brain I recognize the sound but do not immediately process it….I know the sound, but it is out of place here. No, that’s a sound I hear over and over again during the six o’ clock rush hour…

It is the sound of a membership card getting read by the front desk scanner.

I spin around on the bench, looking over to the door – at first I see only a silhouette, an outline of a very small form walking from the desk and into the gym. It’s a she…I can tell that already from the way she carries herself and her petite frame. She has her gym bag in one hand, carrying it slung over her shoulder while her other hand turns the dial on her iPod. The soft glow of the LCD screen illuminates her face…

I could only describe her as being pixyish…she had the lucky of a fairy tale creature who had just escaped from the pages of a child’s fantasy book. Short blonde hair, cut into a bob – her face perfectly symmetrical, so flawless it seemed formed out of porcelain. She had the appearance of a living work of art…in grubby sweats. It was almost surreal to watch her walk across the empty room…

Apparently, my attention had been too focused – I heard the music coming from her headphones (Tori Amos, I do believe) in the deathly silence of the darkened room…she gasped when she finally looked up and saw me, startling us both.

“Oh, fuck me!” One hand went to her chest, where she was now breathing heavily.

The sentiment was a sharp cry of shock…but nevertheless, my brain chose to interpret the sentence quite differently, as you could imagine.

“Didn’t mean to startle you…” As openings go, it was not half bad considering the circumstances…especially considering my mouth was dry and I was feeling strangely guilty for having stalked her with my eyes since she had entered the place.

“No, no – it’s okay.” She laughed, and her smile raised the temperature of the room several degrees…there are some women in this world who possesses smiles so perfect, so enchanting, so utterly magnificent to behold that it should be the duty of civilization to constantly keep them entertained. This was quite obviously one of those smiles. “I usually have the place all to myself at this hour. Wasn’t expecting anyone.”

“Me neither.” I laugh, standing up – realizing I’m only wearing my black Starter gym shorts and nothing else.

Now, it may be the overly male brain beginning to stir and see things for what they are not…but I could have sworn she let her eyes drift over my abs and a small quirk of her lips formed at the edge of her smile before she caught herself.

I looked to my shirt…the “Shirts Must Always Be Worn” paper sign on the wall suddenly seemed to be edged in neon – bringing my infraction to light, condemning my partial nudity with no humor whatsoever.

She must have followed my gaze, for she let out a laugh just as I looked back down to my white puddle of sweat stained t-shirt.

“It’s okay. I won’t tell anybody.”

“I would be in your debt.”

We both laughed…and then the laughter trailed off into an awkward pause before she stuck out her hand. “My name’s Parker.”

“Troy.” I took her hand (delicate fingers with a surprisingly firm grip) and gave it a polite shake.

“Well…I won’t get in your way.”

Damn. Conversation ending too soon. The moment was rapidly approaching social exhaustion and this enchanting creature was about to depart from my life forever.

“It’s okay. I was just taking a break…I still have some rounds to go.”

“Are you…Troy Donahue?”

That one threw me for a spin. Why did she know my name?

“Yeah…” I let the word drag out, strangely suspicious and a bit paranoid. Had she heard things about me?

She laughed. “I just heard a couple of guys in here the other day talking about you…are you a fighter?”

“Sometimes,” I laughed – feeling Adana Escort Bayan slightly embarrassed. “I’m a week away from a match in Boston.”

“Yeah – these guys must come from your gym because they were talking about your training for the fight.”

“Makes sense. Most of the guys from our club train here…what did they say?” I was curious – sometimes the only way you hear honest opinions is when they are voiced without you around.

“I didn’t follow a lot of it….they used a lot of terms that were new to me…but it sounded like they thought you had a ‘damn good shot of taking that bitch out in the second round.'” She laughed…and I joined her, inwardly feeling a soft glow of pride that I had earned the respect of the guys in the club…but also feeling somewhat embarrassed at the way it must paint me as being some meathead.

“Well, I guess that’s good to hear.”

That silence again…I was desperate to think of something (anything!) to say…but the words did not come.

“Well, um…good luck to you!”


She turned and walked over to the rows of cardio, dropping her bag next to an elliptical.

Feeling more than a bit humiliated at what felt like a colossal social failure with the pixie beauty…I sat back down on the bench. Strange how the intoxicating cocktail that is a woman can stir up the passions of a man…I wanted to simultaneously pick up the hundred pounders and curl them until the grips snapped off and the weights crashed to the floor. I wanted to bolt out the door and run until my legs gave out. I wanted to run over there and pin her to wall and…

Let’s just stop right there, Troy. For one thing, you are wearing only shorts that hang very loose and an raging erection is going to be quite difficult to conceal.

Right. My back is to her now…and I hear an odd sound…craning my neck around is just in time to see her slowly slip off her sweatpants, revealing form fitting pink spandex workout shorts. Surely she did not mean for the act of slipping off grubby sweatpants to turn into a sensual tease the likes of which any stripper would admire in its execution…but it was. The pants hit the floor…and my eyes trailed upwards, gliding across the smooth flawless skin of her legs, up to the tight form of her ass.

It should be legal for certain women to wear clothing like this in public…it is cruel to men…especially those wearing jeans.

She next slipped off the sweat shirt, tossing it to the floor with her pants. She wore only a black sports bra underneath…and the effect of the two skin tight articles of clothing revealed her form perfectly. In the darkness of the gym, her silhouette teased me with its imaginary nudity…as she stretched in place in front of the machine; I found swallowing to be a very difficult endeavor. Her form was lithe, taunt – not a single ounce of fat – for some reason, it reminded me of a cat stretching…she was agile, almost balletic in her grace. In my minds eye, my rough hands are gliding across the smooth expanse of skin exposed between the bra and the shorts…I imagine her moving with my touch, responding with a purr of delight as she stretches out beneath me, looking up at me with bedroom eyes…

My trance is broken as she hops unto the machine, triggering the motion sensor on the column next to her…lighting up that section of the room, bathing her in light and bringing me back to reality.

“Okay, then…” I mutter to myself…wondering if the rush of blood had deprived me of too much to continue the workout.

Standing up, I reached down and plucked up the pile of soaked t-shirt…walking away from the weights area and back towards the locker rooms. I pass by her –accidentally on purpose, of course – as she continues her workout. She is lost in the music of her iPod, giving me a casual, distracted nod of the head in passing…yes, that’s all for tonight folks.

Down the depressingly drab and empty hallways that wind back to the locker rooms, I cannot help but become lost in my thoughts. Strange how the switch is so easily flicked – from heartbroken to alive again…and merely the slight passing company of a beautiful stranger in the night…

“Strangers in the night…”

You have got to be kidding me. This exact moment – this exact song, playing over the gym’s speakers Escort Adana in the back rooms? Fate is a cruel, harsh trickster. After all, the Stones'”You Can’t Always Get What You Want”came on the radio at the exact moment I got into my car to drive home after April broke up with me…


Darkness swallowed the corridor, instantly silencing Sinatra. Everything went silent – even more so than before…the power cutting out and leaving me standing in pitch darkness.

I heard the crash echoing off the wall, hearing the dull thud of a body making contact with something that was not yielding to it…


I dropped my shirt and ran back into the main floor of the gym, using my hands to guide me along the wall to get back to where the streetlights provided some illumination through the front windows of the gym.

“Parker? You okay?”

A moment of silence. For a second, I was truly scared – was she hurt?


I almost laughed at the abrupt profanity – the frustrated and pissed sound relieved any fears of life threatening accidents.

“You okay?”

“Damn it…no…I just hopped on the treadmill and was going 5 miles an hour when the belt stopped.”

Out on the main floor, the place was still dark – it was hard to see around…in a moment of insane humor, I could not help but call out – “Marco!”

I heard her laughter – a musical sound that made me picture that perfect smile of hers. “Polo!”

In a moment I was next to her, crouching down beside her on the floor where she was sitting, rubbing her ankle. Thank God for small favors – the fear of her being truly hurt had allowed any obvious symptoms of arousal…a man coming to help a damsel in distress is noble. A man coming to a fallen damsel with a raging erection is closer to a crime than nobility.

“Twisted ankle?” I crouched down beside her, looking at ankle – I stopped short of touching her, for it felt a bit too invasive of her privacy.

“No…I think its okay, just sprained it when the belt stopped…I thought machines like this had emergency cut offs for moments just like this…”

“This section of the treadmills are older, a few of them don’t have that feature.”


We both laughed, that odd sort of shared chuckle at a rather absurd situation.

“Here, let me take a look…I’m no stranger to injuries.”

She nodded and I gingerly touched her leg, lifting it to examine the ankle…

She is so warm, so soft and delicate…my God, her skin is…


Mentally, I put a gun to the temple of my inner voice, threatening psychological homicide if he continued to plant those seeds of thought.

“Does it hurt when I do this?” I gently moved her foot in a few directions…at first she shook her head ‘no,’ until she winced and took in a sharp intake of air as I found the sore spot.

“Yeah, that hurts like a motherfucker.”

Strange, this little pixie with the mouth of a sailor – it was strangely arousing. A woman who has no fear to curse and swear has always been a strange turn-on for me. For some odd reason, I have always felt that fearless use of language speaks to an independent and developed mind.

“Well, good news is you’re not broken. It’s just sore and if you ice it down, you should be fine in a day or two.”

“Damn…that’s not good news.” She was chewing on her lower lip…looking seriously troubled.

“Why is that?”

“I’m a swimmer…at school, that is. I managed to get a partial ride out of it…and I have a meet this weekend. I had fallen behind with my training this week and I have got to make it up in the next few days or I’m going to get slaughtered at the meet…”

I thought about it for a moment…trying to think up some way of helping her…after all, I sympathized with the dilemma. Serious athletes need training and conditioning in the same way that others need oxygen or food…it is a critical part of your life.

“Okay, well…I might be able to help…it’s risky but…it’s worth a shot.”

She looked up at me, her doe eyes filled with such appreciation and hope that it simultaneously aroused me and touched me. For a moment, I felt as if I would do anything shy of murder to help her.

“Anything, Troy. I’m willing to do anything.”

Yes, it was a perfectly innocent comment devoid of any sexual overtones whatsoever. But tell that to my lower extremities, now suffering from blood loss as it was all diverted towards a certain organ…

“Well, even though you don’t know me…if you want me to help you, I have to ask – do you trust me?”

To be continued…

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