An American Muscleman in London 7
The First Full Moon – Continues
After stripping the bed of its sheets and putting them, and some other items, in the washer that was in a small room off of the kitchen, I got ready for my run. I was kneeling down to tie my shoes when it hit me that I wasn’t sore. My legs didn’t ache – they felt somewhat powerful. It was the damndest thing! Maybe the soreness would come tomorrow. I had feared what my legs would feel like after running so much – but there was a growing awareness in me tha told me they wouldn’t hurt – even tomorrow.
I was struggling to figure out what made my legs adjust to the running so well when a flashback moment from my dream of the night before hit me. I remembered being crouched down – with legs powerfully bent – and then leaping into the air. Somehow I knew it had been a powerful leap. But that was all I could remember. Just thinking of that jump into the air filled my body with more energy about my run. My legs were screaming that I should hurry and get out there run that would last as long as the day before. I grabbed my wallet, my keys, and my IPOD and took off. Once outside, I found the playlist that I had entitled “Get Up and Dance.” It was going to be a run fueled by loud party music. As the first song began, I ran south, again, towards the river. Today, though, I turned right at the Thames and pushed off for what I knew would be an easy – but fulfilling – two hour run.
This day’s journey took me by great London sights. I passed the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben. Each time my foot hit the pavement and pushed off, I felt a surge of energy in my legs that I had trouble describing. All I knew was that every now and then, when I felt no one was watching, I stopped, crouched down, and leapt into the air. It was a great feeling – as if I could jump much higher than the few feet or so that I actually did. I had another dream flashback during one of my leaps. As I landed I felt disappointed that there were no horses charging at me – to test me – to challenge me – to push me harder toward something. I didn’t know what that something was, but I ran as if I might get there.
As I got back to the area of town near my building, two hours later, I decided to try a new street – just so I could learn more of what was around my flat. As I turned onto the street I passed a building with a sign outside that said “Mark’s Body Shop – Personal Training Just for Men.” I slowed to a stop to look in the window of the place. I could see that the fitness studio (as it was called) took up half of the bottom floor of this building. It wasn’t a huge gym, but it looked clean and inviting. It also seemed not too crowded. A sign stood outside that advertised a “half off the regular membership fee” special. This caught my eye. My mind immediately started to question whether spending money on a gym that I’d probably visit twice and then stop was a good idea. But my body was saying something different, and I knew deep inside myself I wouldn’t quit if I joined. I also knew that running was not going to be enough to please the "need to train" that overpowered my body.
This thought made me stop. “Who are you Anthony?” I pondered. Who is this person you are becoming and what has caused it? Those thoughts disappeared quickly and were replaced with “Who the hell cares” and “Let’s take full advantage of this incredible desire!” My body said,” go for it, Anthony, push yourself more, prepare yourself more (for what, though), and enjoy this powerful energy pulsing through your body.” That was all the encouragement I needed. I stepped through the front door into a small, "doctor’s waiting room like", lobby. There was a woman standing behind a long counter at the back of the small room. She greeted me with a smile and said, “May I help you, sir?”
“Yes, please,” I said tentatively. “I’d like to become a member.”
“Sure,” said Melody (I read her nametag). “Please just fill out these forms and we’ll get you started. You can have a seat right over there,” she said pointing to a sitting area. “It’s going to take about an hour – this first visit – is that okay?”
“That’s fine,” I said taking the clipboard holding the forms. “I’m sorry, but are you from the states?" I asked and then added, "It’s the accent.” I suddenly felt more adjusted to London than ever – I was noticing accents, first thing.
“Yes, I am,” she said with a face that looked a little disappointed. “But I’m trying hard to develop a British accent – so I’m bummed you noticed.”
“Hey, I know what you mean,” I said. “The British accent is so sexy and sophisticated sounding – isn’t it? I have always been a little turned on by it. My name is Anthony and I am from Houston, Texas.”
“I’m Melody and I’m from Boise, Idaho. I know what you mean about the accents here. A guy could get me to do anything if he asks for it in a classic British voice,” she agreed laughing.
“Yeah, me too!” I said smiling broadly. I could not believe how bold I was getting. A quick flash of comprehension crossed Melody’s face. She didn’t look shocked or anything – she just made a slight adjustment in her thinking. I just loved how England - well London, I guess – was so accepting! “I guess you were able to tell I was from the south by my “twang.”
“No, not really. You don’t sound southern,” Melody answered.
“Thanks,” I replied. “I take that as a compliment. I’ve worked hard to get rid of my southern accent – but I sure keep it handy because sometimes I know guys find it very sexy.”
Melody laughed. Her phone began ringing at that moment. “Just fill out the form and I’m going to assign you to Mark, the owner, himself. I think you’ll be pleased with him,” she said as she picked up the phone. I walked over, sat down, and began to fill out the forms.
Everything was pretty standard – when was your last check-up, what is your present exercise routine, do you smoke or drink – the basic stuff. I finished the forms and brought them back to Melody. She was on another call, took the form, and signaled for me to have a seat. After she hung up, I cold tell she was reviewing my paperwork. She finally said, “Okay, Anthony, can I get a copy of your U.S. license or passport and the credit card you’ve listed here?”
“Sure,” I said handing her my license and credit card. When she handed them back to me she picked up the phone. After dialing an extension she said, “Mark, I have a new client for you – Anthony Lance. All right, I’ll let him know.” She hung up the phone and said, “He’ll be right out.”
“Thanks, Melody,” I said.
A door to my right opened shortly after that and out stepped one of the most perfectly built men I had ever seen. This guy was not huge – but he was classically packaged. I would say he was about six feet tall – he had sandy brown hair that was cut almost in a buzz style and just oozed manliness. He wore some cotton shorts that did little to hide the muscle grooves along his quads – they were just as pronounced under the cloth as the bare skin. I swear those legs were one of the most beautiful things in the world. He had on a green polo shirt that highlighted his eyes. To say that the shirt hugged his body was an understatement. You could see every chiseled muscle that moved under the stretched material. I know if I had looked close I could have seen pimples on his chest (if they existed) because the shirt was so tight. He looked incredible. Wide shoulders, large biceps, a huge chest, a stomach that was “to die for,” and legs that made me weak at the knees. Well, I thought, Melody was right – I was pleased! I thought about what a friend had once told me – always make sure your trainer looks like he works out. I think this situation went beyond that advice. Mark not only looked like he worked out – he also looked like the one who trained all the other trainers. I knew his body was beyond my most dramatic dreams for myself – but he would certainly make working toward that goal a lot of fun. The only word that could come close to describing him was “yummy.” I knew right then and there that I would commit to, and stick to, a workout routine that would need one-on-one training many times a week.
Mark held out his hand and said, “Hello, Anthony.” There it was – the accent that could get me to do anything – just like Melody said. I forced my eyes to move from his extended bicep to his face.
I meekly grabbed his hand and said, “Hi.”
“Let me lead you to the studio,” he said pointing to the door he had just come through. He had grabbed my paperwork from Melody. He turned from me and walked back to the door. I began to move but immediately stopped when I saw the guy’s ass. Yes, I am an ass man – and Mark’s gorgeous butt matched the rest of him. As Jack McFarland was fond of saying, “You could have bounced a quarter on those cheeks.” Even though I wanted to just stand there and soak in the view I forced my legs to move. By this time Mark had opened the door, turned, and was holding it for me. I made a mental note to force him to show me that one nautilus machine where you lay on your stomach and raise weights with your calves. I had a feeling that when I saw Mark’s ass moving up in the air slightly, as he pulled the weight up with his legs, I would be using my best southern accent to say, “I’m not quite sure I have gotten how this machine works – could you show me that about 100 more times, please, Mark?”
Halfway through this initial interview I started drifting off – not listening to what Mark was asking. Instead I was thinking, “Damn, on top of everything he has to be a really nice guy!” If he had been an asshole – or, at least, a guy hung up on himself – it would have made it easy for me to write him off or view him only as a trainer. But, no, he had to be truly interested in helping me and incredibly charming, as well.
“Emm, Anthony, are you with me?” Mark was saying. “I was asking if we could get some beginning measurements and other information.” I immediately stopped thinking about my hand sliding down his backside and re-focused.
“Why thank you, that would be fine with me if we took your measurements now,” I blurted out – forgetting to filter my thoughts. Sometimes what we think should definitely not make it to our mouth and this was definitely one of those moments. “I’m sorry – I mean it’s fine for you to do me now. Crap, I mean it’s fine for you to measure me now.” It was no use – I had turned every shade of red by this time and was a complete babbling idiot. I simply stood up straight and shut my mouth. It was much safer that way. Mark laughed and pulled a rolled-up measuring tape from his pocket. I immediately started fantasizing about him saying, “Hey, why don’t you pull that tape from my pocket and measure these arms, this chest, these legs. Yeah, just reach in that pocket and pull it out.” I forced my mind to stop and pay attention to Mark as he led me through the measuring process, and then took down my weight and height. He wrote everything on my chart.
I’m going to give you a copy of this,” Mark said, “plus some notes on eating and tips for doing some cardio. It says here that you run two hours a day. Wow. That’s pretty impressive.”
I was not going to tell this beautiful stud it was a routine that was only two days old. He continued, “Since your goal is to be healthy and only bulk up a little – it’s fine for you to do that much running.”
“That’s good,” I said smiling, “because I really like it.” I was trying to come up with –in my mind - some way to make him take his shirt off. Oh, if only I had a cup of coffee right now. My kingdom for a smoothie that I could “accidentally” spill on him. Then I would be able to say, “Here, let’s get that wet shirt off of you.” Mainly so I could see that perfectly carved upper-body really close.
“So you understand what I just said, right Anthony,” Mark was asking. And again I had drifted completely into my own little world.
No, I didn’t hear a single word you said because I was imagining my tongue licking every inch of you, is what I wanted to say. Filter your thoughts, Anthony. What we think does not always have to be voiced. I forced myself to say, “I’m sorry, Mark, I went away for a second. I was busy thinking of something else. Please forgive me.”
“No problem, mate,” Mark answered. He was just too damn nice! “I said I would like you to take these sheets home with you – and read them over. Place your chart somewhere you’ll see it each day – for encouragement. We can begin on Friday if that's a good day. I have a ten o’clock available. Does that work for you?”
“Yes, that works perfectly. Not too early for you, is it, though,” I asked trying to prolong our time together.
“No,” Mark said, lightly laughing. “I start my first client at five.” By the look on my face I knew he got that I would never be coming that early. “Ten is perfect for me. Anthony, feel free to stay and take advantage of any part of the studio you want to. I look forward to seeing you on Friday. Right now, I have another client. Cheers, Anthony.” And with that we shook hands.
“Thank you, Mark. This will be great,” I said – not moving. I stood there waiting for him to walk away. I wanted one last view of that incredible ass to keep me going for the rest of the day. Mark didn’t move. He just stared at me. We both became a little uncomfortable. I had become obsessed with seeing his butt – why wasn’t he leaving.
“Sorry, Anthony, was there anything more?” he asked.
“No, thank you Mark,” I said and then added in my head – not unless you’re going to turn around and drop your pants.
“Right, then, well Mr. Adams, behind you, is my next appointment.” I turned and saw the middle-aged man that Mark referred to. I simply smiled at him and nodded my head. I then turned back to Mark, smiled at him, nodded my head again, and turned away. I quickly walked toward the door to the lobby. All I thought was, “Don’t turn around. No matter what you do – don’t turn around. Just keep walking out the door and they’ll forget the idiot that had been standing there. Really, they will.”
Once outside I glance down at my copy of the paperwork Mark had given me. I reviewed the measurements first:
Chest: 42 inches
Waist: 30 inches
Calves: 15 inches
Arms: 15 inches
Thighs: 21 inches
Height: 5’ 8’
Weight: 153 pounds
Mark had put everything in U.S. terms so I would understand them. The measurements didn’t look impressive, even a novice like me knew that. But I knew I was in good shape. I wasn’t a massive bodybuilder, but I was healthy and, deep down, I knew I was cute in a certain way.
I stopped abruptly on the sidewalk as I glanced down at the bottom of the sheet with my measurements. Mark had written across the bottom:
“You’re going to be fine. You have people looking out for you.”
I almost went back inside to ask him about it – but remembered how I had embarrassed myself. I decided to ask him on Friday. I was already looking forward to seeing him then. I was also starting to get very hungry, so I walked in the direction of my flat – satisfied with m morning.
Later that day I went to take a ride on the London Eye. It is a huge Ferris wheel that was built for the new millennium. There are pod-like, plexi-glass compartments that hold about 20 people in each. The wheel turns so slowly that people board by walking into these compartments as each one pass through the station. The full ride around takes about 30-45 minutes and you get an incredible view of the city. It is known as a great way to get your bearings – to see how the city is laid out from an aerial view. It is also a wild feeling to be able to look straight down - as well as straight out - over the city. I could see so much from those heights. I shared the car with a few other people – there were a bunch of college-aged rugby players from somewhere north of the city. They made the ride even more enjoyable. I had to constantly remind myself that I was supposed to be looking at the view outside. I promised that I would someday come back and ride the Eye at night – knowing that the view at that time must be spectacular.
Around 3:30pm I found myself back at “Halfway” – so much for trying not to become a permanent fixture in the place. Dominic wasn’t working. There was a guy tending bar who obviously didn’t like striking up conversations with new customers. It was clear that he had a group of local favorites who were hanging out at the end of the bar. It was not often that he would break away from them to help a guy wanting a beer or other drink. I ordered a Stella, of course, and went to sit along the counter under the window. I began watching people hurrying by to get to the tube station right down the block. Charing Cross station was a big site that was busy all the time, I had been told. Martin said that I could start a trip to practically anywhere in England from there. That was good to know since it was so close. I promised myself to get an annul tube pass tomorrow so I’d start using that mode of transportation more.
I had picked up another local gay magazine and was flipping through it when I heard a voice clearly say, “He is the one. He is the one.” I turned around quickly and no one was there. The closest person to me was about six feet away and no one was even looking in my direction. I looked around the place and could not figure out where the voice had come from – but it had been so loud and clear. The music stopped at that moment – transitioning to a new song. I laughed to myself – it had been the song. I was so edgy for some reason. My body felt uncomfortable in some way.
I was contemplating this fact when I glanced out the window. There was a crowd passing by right outside at that moment. When they had passed I looked across the street and saw a man’s chest, shoulders, and head high above the crowd on the sidewalk on the other side. My heart seemed to stop. It was Atol - the man who had approached me at the airport on the first day and tried to lure me outside. He was staring right at me from across the street. I immediately felt my body tense and I was thrown back to my dream from the night before – I was not tensed from fear – I was tensed in readiness. My instincts told me not to register recognition or even let him know I had seen him. I looked straight ahead – as if lost in thought – then let my eyes follow a man walking by. After watching the person disappear down the street I casually looked back down at my magazine – but lifted my eyes while my head stayed facing down. There was, again, a big crowd in front of the window and as soon as they passed I could see that Atol was no longer across the street. My heart started beating faster. Had he seen me? Did he know that I came here a lot? Was he following me? I glanced around the pub to see if he had come in – it would have been impossible for him to hide his giant presence. He was not there. There were only 15 to 20 people in the entire place. My body started to relax a little. I glanced back outside and looked across the street. All I saw were people walking down the sidewalk and the construction scaffolding around St. Martin in the Fields. My mind started searching for a reason Atol might have been there. I tried to convince myself it was just a coincidence – but it seemed like he had been looking right at me. I was still a little spooked when a hand rested on my shoulder.