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Posts : 2467
Join date : 2010-10-09
Location : London, England

PostSubject: Gym (Quick Role-play)   Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:47 am

The annex to the house was set away some 100 yards or so from the main building. Concealed for the most part behind a screen of tall evergreen trees, it was nonetheless an elegant and well proportioned building in its own right. It was made of the same mixture of stone and timber as the main house, and had the same rustic style about it; albeit on a less grand scale. Its upper sides were timber framed in way that resembled a barn. In actual fact, the building pre-dated the ranch house, as it had stood alongside the original farm property. Over the years it had been used as a hay barn, partly as a food storage area, and partly as the area in which the catch from hunting excursions had been hung and prepared. It would also have acted as an equipment store. Over the years, the use had been changed, and the interior remodelled, several times. However, no use for it had perhaps filled it so much and so expensively as its current one. One end had been converted to house a large sauna, and the remainder had been filled with all manner of exercise and fitness equipment – free weights, resistance machines, complex computer monitored mechanisms to develop every muscle in the human body. It was a room where limits were tested, where perfection was manifested, and where pain and glory danced together on the face of all who stepped inside.

This morning, as a weak and watery February sun rose over the Montana hills and a ground frost covered the grass in a coating like icing sugar on a cake, the building was quiet. But it wouldn’t be for long.

As he stepped from the main house and saw his breath clouding in front of him, he took a deep lungful of air and felt the cold invade his throat. It was a good day for a workout. His shoes cracked the frost under his foot as he jogged across to the gym and fumbled in his pocket for the key to the door. It was stiff in the lock from the cold, but the door gave and he stepped into the wood floored entrance, satisfied that the pre-programmed air-conditioning had at least kept it bearably warm in here.

Entering the code to disable the alarm, and switching on the lights, he pulled the hooded sweatshirt off over his head and threw it on a bench which sat on one side of the room. Now just dressed in a t-shirt and jogging bottoms, he walked over to the full length mirror, and began to stretch, warming the muscles up as he knew was necessary before a workout. His eyes kept moving to the weights on his right. He wanted to get to them, starting throwing some iron around, but he knew it would be a mistake. You had to warm up. You could do no end of damage lifting weights without being stretched out, and having the discipline to do the boring stuff was just as important as being able to lift more weight. So he kept stretching, working the muscles.

It was 20 minutes before he was ready to tackle the weights, and he stepped across to them with some degree of relish. He wanted to work his arms today, and so reached for a dumbbell before sitting on a bench and beginning a bicep curl. His teeth gritted as he flexed his arm, and a small grunt of effort escaped his lips as the weight was brought up and the arm fully bent. He relaxed and let the weight down before pulling it back again, feeling the muscle tense. Again he let it back down.

“Let it down more slowly, work the muscle in both directions”

The sudden voice behind him caused Luke Shand to drop the weight, where it crashed to the floor with a clatter. The boy jumped to his feet and spun around, wiping the blonde hair out of his face. Standing in the doorway, impossibly tall and impossibly wide, like a mobile oak tree, was his father, and he didn’t look happy.

David didn’t say anything immediately. He walked into the gym and dropped his towel and water bottle on a bench to Luke’s left. Unzipping the tracksuit top he was wearing, he removed it to reveal a black vest top which strained over his huge physique. Even with such a simple movement the muscles in his arms and shoulders flexed like they were trying to escape. Finally, as he tied his shoulder length hair back, he simply cast him a look, and then walked over to a mirror on the far side of the room and began his own stretching exercises.

Luke simply watched his father as he ran through his warm-up. He wasn’t sure what to do. Whether he should say anything, whether he should stay or go, or what was going to happen. Finally, he decided to break the moment.


Now David finally addressed his son. His voice was low, calm, and questioning. He didn’t even turn around.

“I though we’d agreed that you wouldn’t use my gym on your own. I thought that was an understanding between us?”

Luke looked shamefaced. They’d had this conversation last year, and he had promised to stay out.

“Yeah, it was Dad, but….”

David cut him off, talking directly across his. His voice was still low, but he was now deliberately over-emphasizing the questioning nature of his words.

“Maybe I didn’t explain it well enough, because I thought I was clear about how you could get hurt in here on your own, training without supervision?”

“I know, I know, but I do know what I’m doing and…”

David shook his head, and now he turned to face Luke.

“No, Luke. You think you know what you’re doing. Son, you are just a….”

Shand was amazed when his son cut him off this time. The boy was embarrassed, but he was also angry.

“No, I’m not just a kid, Dad, OK. I’m sixteen years old. Look at me. I know how to work out. I don’t need you treating me like I’m some sort of stupid child! I used to do it all the time when you were aw…..”

His voice died in his throat, but it was too late. He’d already said it. A dark look crossed his father’s face.

“Finish that sentence”

Luke’s eyes suddenly found the floor in front of him fascinating. He refused to look up

“I’d rather not”

But he father was having none of it.

“You regularly used my private gym?”

Luke didn’t answer for a few seconds, but then when he finally looked up, his face was serious.

“Yes, I did. I have for ages. I work out just about every day”

“You defied me” It was a statement, not a question.

Luke looked his Dad square in the eye “I didn’t have much of a choice, did I? 3 months would have been a long time to wait for a workout, and it could have been forever for all I knew. You didn’t seem to give too much of shit what else I was doing during that time”

Luke knew even as he’d said the words that he’d gone too far. He wished he could reach into the air and draw the words back, but he couldn’t. He braced himself, expecting a torrent back from his father. He knew he deserved it.

But it didn’t come. For a second David’s nostrils flared, but then the huge figure before him simply nodded, and sat down on the workout bench across from him. He took a slow sip of the water he was holding, and the finally looked back at Luke.

“So we’re going to have this conversation then”

Luke didn’t say anything, so David continued

“Sit down, son”

“Look, Dad, I didn’t mean….”

David stopped him “Yes, you did. You meant it or you wouldn’t have said it. And Luke, you have every right to say it. I suppose when I came back we didn’t really talk enough about this, did we?”
Luke finally moved to sit down beside his father, wiping his face with a towel to remove the sweat which had sprung up in the last few seconds.

“I don’t know. To tell you the truth I didn’t really want to talk then, Dad. I just wanted you to stay, and I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardise that…like I did last time”

David actually seemed shocked by this “What are you talking about?”

“That time, back at Asterson House, when I told you how I thought you missed wrestling. That’s when this all started. The move out here, the meetings with Myron, the training, you being gone. That was what started it all. You going away was my fault”

David had had no idea his son had felt this way, and it hit him like a train. He sighed, reached out with his arms and turned his son toward him “Luke, don’t you ever think that. None of what happened was your fault and none of it has anything to do with anything you said. This was about me; about me needing to find myself again and find out who I am. Look, you’re young, you still have to go through the process of finding your own way in life, discovering who you are, who you really are; Its part of the process of becoming an adult. But sometimes, once you’re an adult and as you get older you can lose sight of that person. Other things come along in your life; other goals, other people, events both good and terrible, and they cloud the path you thought you were following. You can lose your way. That’s what happened with me, son. I lost sight of who I was and what I wanted, and I needed some time away to remember again”

Luke’s face was miserable. His eyes were wet

“I thought you didn’t want us anymore – Rachel and me”

David pulled his son to him “That will never, ever, happen”

Luke spoke now into his shoulder “I was so angry with you.”

“I know. I’m sorry. But I’m here now, and I’m never going away”

Luke pulled back from his father. His young face was serious

“You are going back into wrestling though?”

“Yes, you know I’m wrestling Chris”

“Can I be honest with you?”

“You’d better be”

“I wish you were fighting Matt”

If Luke’s previous words had surprised David, these shocked him. He stood immediately and walked to the free weights.

“Don’t say that, Luke”

Now Luke stood, once again defiant

“Why not, its true. After that bullshit he said about you. After everything you did for him and he’s talking like that about you. You need to shut his mouth if you ask me”

Now David turns, and this time he is angry. His eyes flare and he points an accusing finger “As I recall young man, I didn’t ask you”

“C’mon Dad, you’ve heard him. You gave him everything he’s had in his life and he’s thrown it back in your face. Do you know how many times we saw him while you were away? None, not once. Not so much as a phone call”

“That isn’t true Luke, don’t make up stories”

“It is true!! Your brother, my godfather. And not a word while Rachel and I sat here night after night crying our eyes out terrified something had happened to you, just wanting some reassuring word. Myron phoned, other guys phoned, by my own uncle couldn’t even pick the phone up and make sure we were OK”

David’s voice was ominously quiet

“That’s enough Luke”

But Luke ploughed on “So yes, I say I wish you were fighting him. I wish you were kicking his ass. So what if he’s your brother, I don’t care!!!”

In a flash, David moved. In a single movement he ripped one of the dumbbells from its wall mounting and hurled it across the room at his son.

“BUT I DO!!!!”

The heavily metal object whipped through the air, whistling as it went. Luke ducked at the last moment and it missed his head by inches, crashing into the door which lead to the sauna and knocking it flying off its hinges.

On the floor, Luke lay panting for a moment, unable to comprehend what had just happened, and then he slowly looked up.

His father was slumped against the far wall on his haunches, his hands clasped over his mouth, and a look of abject horror on his face.

I'm not climbing to the top of the mountain. I am the damn mountain!
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