He could feel her eyes in the back of his head. Those grey eyes, unnaturally enhanced by an overabundance of makeup. He could almost feel them caressing his body with their relentless gaze. The thought nearly made him sick.
Alex lowered the handles of the weight machine that he was using, slowly easing the plates back into place. He sat up straight, inhaling deeply through his nose and breathing out through pursed lips. His gym shirt was drenched in a wide ring of sweat around the neckline, and he could feel drips of perspiration trickling down through his dark brown hair.
Ignoring the flirty brunette on the machine behind him, Alex stood and made his way to his gym locker for a much-needed drink of water. He knew her eyes were following him; he could barely see her through his peripheral vision, but he refused to meet her gaze.
Alex grabbed his oversized water bottle and downed a third of the 8 ounce jug. Just as he was returning the bottle to its place, he felt someone walk up to the locker beside him. He was afraid to look.
“Hey, Alex.” Her voice flowed slow and sweet like honey.
Alex looked up just long enough to flash her a polite smile. “Hi, Destiny.” He shifted his attention to the tiny padlock on his locker.
“Ya know,” she leaned against the lockers and ran her finger along the crack between the metal doors. “It’s been a week since I first saw you working out here, and I don’t know any more about you than your first name.”
“Really?” He turned to her, arms crossed, ready to head back to the weight machines.
“Well,” Her eyes scanned him up and down once more. “That and the fact that you’re in incredibly good shape.”
Alex didn’t allow himself to return the compliment, but he maintained a patient grin. Lord, please help me to be polite but firm.
“I thought I told you another thing about me.”
Destiny’s voluptuous smile dyed for a moment. “Oh,” She shifted her feet and crossed her arms. “You’re seeing somebody, right?”
“Yes, ma’am.” Alex headed back toward the machines.
But the girl wouldn’t be dissuaded. She skipped in front of him like a playful fawn and placed her palm on his chest, leaning in close. “But that doesn’t mean that we can’t work out together.”
Alex was caught off guard by her bluntness, but he gently removed Destiny’s hand from his chest and stepped around her.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Destiny.”
“Why not?” She followed him to a weight bench. “I could be your spotter.”
Alex paused by the bench and before he knew what was happening, Destiny had his arm in her hands. “I love the way you weight train. You’re not majorly bulky like some guys, and yet you have just the perfect amount of muscle tone.” She walked two of her fingers along his upper arm. Once again he eased away.
“Thanks, but I uh ... don’t really need a spotter. I’m not powerlifting.”
“Right.” All her words were laced with velvet. With a swish of her mid-back-length hair, she rested her elbows on the barbell of the weight bench and lifted her leg at the knee behind her. “So tell me, tough guy ... what is it you look for in a girl?”
Alex looked down for a moment, leaning a hand on another machine. Pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
He took a deep breath, then stared straight into her alluring grey eyes – not with judgment, but with compassion. “I look for modesty. For character. For a love of God and a desire to serve Him.”
Destiny lifted her eyebrows and smirked, “Yeah, right. Like who has all that anymore?” For once her flirtatious grin was gone, though it had turned to scorn.
“It’s something worth striving for. And it’s something that can be learned.” He took his hand off the equipment and stood straight. “If you want, you can come to my young adults study group on Wednesday. We discuss those things often in detail.”
“Yeah,” Destiny stepped away from the bench and stared at the wall to her right. “I’ll, uh, keep that in mind. Gotta go. Keep up that weight training.”
And with that, she was out the door in seconds.
Alex shook his head. Well, Lord, she’s in Your hands now.
"Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." 2 Timothy 2:22 NASB
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