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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Another Bit

“…and I was like, I was totally on, man. You know? You know? I was, like…whoa.”

            Gym guys and their vocabularies. Beautiful. Lisa bit her lip against a sudden laugh and decided stopping by TKO had been a good idea, if for no other reason than it was a distraction. She threw a wave at Don as she passed the front desk – and the two twenty-something meatheads discussing their workouts – and headed straight for the back, where private lessons were held.

            Her hubby was in the ring with a student. Tyson, she guessed, based on what Drew had told her of his wannabe boxers. He was good – quick, efficient with his punches, light on his feet – but he wasn’t Drew. Drew made it look effortless.

            She looped her arms over the bottom rope and waited. Drew sent Tyson staggering back with a jab that a real fighter would have taken without flinching. Lisa didn’t know if he’d seen her, but Drew pulled off his gloves and turned to her immediately.

            “Take five,” he told Tyson, and then leaned on the ropes. “Hey, baby.”

            Lisa pulled herself up so she stood on the edge of the mat and leaned in for a kiss. It was fast, but it was sweet, and clinging; he could make her feel all wrapped up with just a kiss. “You need to shave,” she said as she pulled back. He was letting his stubble grow out, and she couldn’t decide if she liked the idea of him with a beard.

            “You like it,” he said, like he’d read her mind. And one big hand came up to gently push her sunglasses up onto her forehead. She knew he saw the redness in her eyes – the wetness – his gaze moving over her face and twitching with concern. “Mark?” he asked.

            She took a shaky breath. “He’s not doing well.”

            Drew’s thumb passed down her cheek, following the dry, shiny trail a tear had left. “I’m sorry,” he said, and she could see her sadness reflected in his face. He hadn’t had a family before they’d married, and he loved Mark like an uncle, the way she did. “Is anyone at the hospital with him?”

            “I’m on my way there,” she said. “I was coming by to tell you. Eddie’s there now. Layla” –she hated saying the name – “got taken to the police station for questioning. That bitch had better not – ”

            “Hey.” Drew tugged at a lock of her hair. “Give her a break, alright? This is hard on her too.”

            She made a face.

            “You’re the one who’s always preaching about family,” he reminded. His brows lifted. “She’s your family.”

            She hated when he made sense.

            “Yo, coach,” Tyson called. He was grinning, white teeth flashing in his dark face. “We gettin’ a cheerleader?”

            Drew gave her one last kiss and turned away, face going stern. “That’d be my wife,” he said. “So no.”

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