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“Eyes shut, Jenna. Straight ahead ten steps, then turn the corner. Halfway down the hall, then sidestep a photocopier. Smell that? That’s the coffee room. Turn right. Walk. Turn left. Skim your fingers along the reception desk. The sound of the air is changing. You’re approaching the doors. Hands out and push them open. Seven steps and you’re at the elevator. Push the ‘Down’ button.”
“Step inside. Turn around and press ‘G’.”
Jenna Song listened as the elevator doors shut and felt the floor lighten against her feet. Eyes still closed, her lips pulled to a coy smile. So far, so good.
Her knees buffered as the elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open.
She stepped out. As she walked, her slipper flats on the marble floor made a soft patting sound rather than a crisp tap had it been a weekday and she was in heels. On Sunday afternoons, though, she rarely wore anything uncomfortable on her feet.
“Twenty steps. It sounds like a cavern. You’re in the center of the atrium. Pivot to your left and walk straight ahead. Reach out and touch a glass door. Tap your fob against the panel.”
Jenna opened the door, stepped into the company gym and finally opened her eyes. She knew the layout of the space in general, but sometimes a stray workout bench or weights made the path unpredictable. Best not to risk tripping and hurting herself, not while she was alone.
It amused her to know that she could negotiate her way from her desk to the gym eyes shut. She was at her desk only to water her plant since she was at the office anyway. The impromptu blind concentration test came on a whim. Of course, it would have been much more challenging if it were a weekday with coworkers scurrying about like ants in a dirt mound.
She walked to the gym’s enclosed studio. This was nice, being at the office on a Sunday, even if it was a bright summer’s afternoon. The peace and quiet was in stark contrast to the clamor of office life during the week.
Inside the carpeted studio, Jenna, already in her yoga clothes, dropped her purse aside. Looking around, she pulled her slippers off her feet with her toes. The sunshine from outside glazed the room with a hazy glow reflecting off the mirrored walls. No lights were necessary. This would do just fine.
Softly she stepped, not quite to the middle of the room, but to her “spot” where she felt the most balance.
She tied her dark, auburn hair into a tidy ponytail. After a few stretches, she settled down onto the floor, facing towards the mirrors, crossing her legs, and resting the back of her hands on her knees. Steadying herself, she found her center. Her lids settled over her grey eyes, one… two… three.
Solitude surrounded her.
5 Weeks Ago…
Tyrone Briggs beat the crap out of the heavy punching bag; a flurry of furious blows bruised the leather with vicious thumps. Everyone else in the company gym gave the executive a wide berth, trying not to wince while listening to the resounding cracks of his fists and his stern grunts as he tore into his workout.
This was his way in the office as well, tearing through it, brandishing an air of angry confidence. His “scorched earth” methods took him very far in the company. He charged around the board rooms, challenged and dared everyone, and when he locked his sights on a client or a project, he was unstoppable. It earned him the notoriety and title of “The Bull” – dark, powerful, and driven.
As of late however, “The Bull” was feeling as if he had lost some of his vigor. His tactics and persona had seemed to be wearing thin… so he thought, anyway. To everyone else, the change was barely noticeable, if at all, but that meant squat to him. To Tyrone, it gnawed at him like maggots.
His recent workouts reflected his work. He was flailing, off balance and unfocused. His punches, though powerful, were ineffective, like hitting the bag with the handle of the hammer instead of the head. The more frustrated he grew, the less command he held, the less effective he became – a vicious cycle.
Tyrone erupted with a rampage of fists punctuated by a raging shout. He stepped back, huffing and puffing, sweat streaming down his face and along the deep lines of his rugged muscles, his dark mocha flesh glistening. His tank top was damp and stretched with perspiration. He scowled at the bag as if it was taunting him to blast through it.
He shook his head as he stripped off his gloves and tape. Not good. Pounding a bag didn’t help. Grabbing his bottle of water, he turned towards the windows of the gym’s studio. Normally, he wouldn’t have given the studio classes a second glance; they weren’t his style. Today however, as he guzzled the water, it caught his attention. He thought to himself for a long moment, then smirked and shook his head again.
“Yoga,” he muttered. “Right.”
Tyrone walked towards the studio.
*** antalya escort
Jenna often slipped into a mild trance as she sat in her meditative pose. The world could rattle around her yet she would remain floating in her own pocket of ease. Not that she was oblivious to her surroundings. She was just attuned to what her body and mind needed at the moment to remain balanced.
Today though, she couldn’t quite find that balance. There was a miniscule waver in her breath, her heartbeat off by a microsecond. Like a pin drop on a perfect sheet of ice, a tiny chip scarred her pristine sense of balance.
Eyes still closed, she heard the door of the studio open, heavy footsteps, and the thump of a gym bag on the floor. The scent of luxurious cologne wafted up her nose and fill her lungs. Most noticeably, she felt the energy swell around her, shove at her like a stiff breeze. It was a demanding presence.
She opened and rolled her eyes upward along the lengthy, solid body of Tyrone. He stood before her, the light from outside painting the muscles along his dark, mocha skin with strips of silvery-white. He was an imposing figure.
“Hey, Jenna,” he said, speaking through a handsomely devilish grin. “Ready to do this?”
As he stepped towards her, her brow twitched. She knew by his look that he caught that like the alpha predator catches a scent. Her eyes locked onto his and she steadied her breath.
The chip on the ice fractured in a dozen different directions…
5 weeks ago…
Jenna’s yoga class was just winding down. It wasn’t a formal class, per se; she wasn’t a certified teacher. A few weeks ago after work, she was alone in the studio just to practice some poses and free her spirit. Some onlookers asked if they could join her and she welcomed the company. Her placid nature was well-appreciated by the staff, weary and strung out after a stressful day at work. With a little encouragement, she agreed to offer a weekly after-work session.
Jenna guided everyone through a series of slow lunging poses. While not everyone did everything perfectly, the vibe in the room was relaxed and peaceful.
Just then, the door swung open and a tall, brooding man entered. Everyone other than Jenna turned their heads towards him as if on command. He glared back at them like they were prey.
Jenna could practically smell the intensity pervading the air, throwing everyone off. She finally glanced over towards him.
Tyrone shifted on his feet, his large frame swaying. After scanning the room, he leveled his sights on Jenna. Finally, he asked grudgingly, “Room for one more?”
With a passive blink, Jenna nodded. “Sure,” she replied, “We’re finishing for now, but you’re welcome to join.”
Hesitating momentarily, Tyrone made his way through the group -the Bull amongst the lambs- to the center of the room. A wide pocket formed around him.
“Let’s resume,” Jenna said.
She did her best to restore the balance in the room, but to no avail. The others were distracted, too aware of Tyrone’s intensity and his heavy, uneven grunts. His movements were gruff, like he was fighting to bust out from a cage. He would look at his feet then at the others, clucking his tongue whenever he stumbled off balance. Soon everyone barely followed along with Jenna.
The session came to an abrupt end.
While the others filed out of the room a little more quickly than usual, Jenna remained seated on the floor, legs crossed. Tyrone sat in front of her, still shifting uncomfortably, forcing his limbs and muscles into place, and fuming to himself. It was as if he hadn’t even noticed that everyone else had left.
“Center your core,” Jenna said.
He arched a dark brow and eyed her. “What?”
Flattening her palm gently against her belly, she said, “Open your heart above your hips and breathe.”
“I am breathing,” he muttered from the edge of his mouth.
“You’re pumping air in and out of your lungs,” she noted, teasing a gentle smile, “but you’re not breathing.”
Tyrone watched as her eyes closed. Her chest expanded and fell with a steady, yet strong, rhythm. She inhaled deeply and then rounded her glossy pink lips as she dispelled the air with an audible breath. Observing her for a few seconds more, it almost seemed like he could see the ease settling within her and a warm glow appearing on her light, creamy skin.
His instincts told him to scoff, shrug her damn breathing exercise off and stomp out of the studio. He shifted his jaw and thought about it for a moment, snorting once. She didn’t flinch. Finally, he took one long, deep breath, and closed his eyes.
Jenna felt the calm returning to the room. Her eyes drifted open. She smiled again when she saw the brute sitting there across from her, breathing as naturally as a sleeping infant… well, perhaps an infant bull.
“Keep breathing,” she said, her voice a caress. antalya rus escort “Imagine your space. Make it only as big as you need it to be, not tight but snug. Fall into it.”
Tyrone lost his sense of time while sitting there. He felt a tingling sensation, like strands of energy threading through the pores of his skin. Jenna’s voice echoed in his head. Even with his eyes shut, he could feel her there in front of him.
Finally, he opened his eyes. The first thing he noticed was that his face felt tension free. That sensation trickled down right to his toes.
“Nice position,” Jenna said.
Tyrone looked past her into the studio mirrors. At some point, he somehow had settled his body into a poised, cross-legged position. He was in no way close to the pretzel configuration Jenna had wrapped her legs in, but he definitely felt the ease in his core as his knees rested towards the floor.
She nodded her head, rolled up onto her feet, and walked over to her towel and water.
Tyrone watched her with piqued curiosity. There was little wasted movement her actions, one fluidly leading to the next. Regarding her closely, he took a moment to admire how attractive she actually was with her enticing, blended Asian features. There was a fresh, quiet spirit cascading behind her honey-toned skin.
He finally stood up. “You do this every week?”
Patting her cheek with the towel, Jenna replied, “Yes, every Wednesday evening. Want to join us?”
Caught off guard by her invitation, he measured her quickly for any trepidation. She looked back at him patiently awaiting a reply.
“Yeah,” he said, bobbing his head, “sure. I think I can do this.”
Jenna chuckled, “I’m sure you can do this. You’re obviously in good shape. I also know that you can be very determined when you want something.”
He cocked his head back, narrowing an eye on her. “Yeah? Because you know who I am?” he asked knowing full well his notoriety in the company preceded him.
She smiled. “Because I can tell by observation.”
Tyrone paused. Not the answer he had been expecting. He grinned and nodded.
Jenna shrugged her shoulders. ” And I know who you are.”
He crossed his arms and waited.
Tyrone frowned. Few ever referenced his nickname to his face. “Oh? You know my rep, then?”
“I’ve heard you go after what you want like a beast,” Jenna replied as she bent down to gather the rest of her things.
Watching her, Tyrone had a renewed appreciation for how good yoga pants could look around the female bottom. What was really catching his attention, though, was her easy deliberateness with words and actions.
“It must be gratifying, possessing that sort of drive,” Jenna headed for the door, adding, “when you know what you want.”
It struck Tyrone how she spoke especially towards him and knowing his personality.
As she led him out of the room, she continued, “Are you having trouble deciding what you want?”
Tyrone smirked, yet he stopped short of scoffing. His penchant for railroading people who spoke to him like this seemed to fail him. “You can also tell that based on observation?” he replied. “It’s my aura or something?”
Jenna didn’t respond and continued walking ahead of him, seemingly unaffected by his cajoling.
He followed her through the gym, though he wasn’t sure why. His thoughts were suddenly and unexpectedly crowded again.
“Tyrone,” Jenna said, turning around suddenly.
He lurched to a halt, almost walking into her. “Yeah?”
“Are you going to follow me into the ladies’ showers?” she asked.
Tyrone looked up and around her as if slapped out of a haze. “Hmm?”
As Jenna turned around, she chuckled, “There are probably a few women in here who wouldn’t mind, but I’m a little bashful myself.”
He watched her disappear around the corner.
“Excuse me,” a woman suddenly said to him from behind, his large frame blocking the way.
Tyrone stepped aside and frowned. He wasn’t sure if it was the breathing exercise or what, but he knew he sure as hell wasn’t thinking straight. He shook his head, giving his brain a bit of a rattle, then turned around. He stopped, realizing he hadn’t even asked who she was.
“Tyrone?” a voice called out from behind, pulling his head back.
Jenna peeked around the corner. “Jenna Song,” she said, then she disappeared back into the shower room.
Once more he stood there staring back at an empty space. He nodded and smile as his eyes narrowed and gleamed. “Jenna Song,” he said.
Deep within, something finally seemed to shift into focus.
In the shower room, Jenna leaned forward, her fingertips and forehead touching the wet tile as warm water spilled over her back washing off the lather from her pristine skin. Once again, her eyes were closed, her thoughts swept away with the flow and rush of water.
Often while showering or bathing, she antalya ucuz escort envisioned herself emerging from the cleansing waters of the sea, her purified body shimmering as she stepped onto a secluded beach covered with soft, warm sand, a place of personal serenity.
Today, there was a shadow waiting for her on that shore, invading her space. Its masculine figure loomed over her, cast over her like a net. She knew she still had the opportunity to turn back towards the sea and swim away. Yet there she remained, on the cusp of dangerous temptation.
Jenna sighed and lifted her face toward the falling water.
For an hour, Jenna and Tyrone faced each other in the privacy of the studio.
She kept a close eye on him as they moved through the various positions. She was still quite impressed by how well he had taken to yoga. He lacked her flexibility, plus his bulky musculature presented some obstacles that her sleeker frame didn’t have to contend with. Yet he had a strong core and sense of balance. The poses he managed were powerful and solid, as impressive and as handsome as the man himself.
Still, she watched him carefully, as well, as the bird regards the cat below its nest. Tyrone never did or said anything overt that gave her reason to be wary, but there was something fierce in his eyes and the tone of his voice. The man was always “on”. Whether it was residuals from his work life or his personality in general, he was a force, stern and raw.
She also found it was something to admire, in many ways, and surprisingly tempting.
Jenna blinked and gave her head a subtle shake to bring her back from her thoughts. She said, “Your form is good, Tyrone. Control your breaths.”
Tyrone stood on his toes, chest forward, hands down by his waist, palms open. He squared his jaw and grimaced.
“Always with the breathing,” he muttered.
“Let it guide your body,” she assured him.
Tyrone dropped to his heels and sighed. “Not blowing you off,” he said, “Pissed about myself.”
He shook his head at the floor then looked toward Jenna. Her expression was, as usual, one of quiet encouragement.
“Let’s reset?” she said. “Whichever rest position you’re comfortable with.”
While Tyrone sat down in a crossed-leg position, Jenna settled onto her knees and then bowed down into the child’s pose: face close to the floor, arms stretched out over her head.
It inadvertently elicited a telling grin on Tyrone’s lips, seeing her bent over before him. Every minute they were together, he felt more and more sharply focused on her.
Jenna closed her eyes and breathed, centering herself as best she could. That encroaching vibe still persisted, embracing her. Despite telling herself not to look, she raised her head and peeked.
Tyrone sat in front of her, upright and strong. His eyes lingered steadily upon her. Through a curl in his mouth he said, “You look flushed.”
Jenna stiffened. “Hmm?”
“Not like you,” he continued, “You’re usually fresh as a daisy by the end of these sessions.”
She moved to a kneeling position, thinking for a moment, measuring her reply. “I must have some excess energy today.”
Tyrone smiled. “Want to burn it off?”
She cocked her head.
“Show me,” he said. “What would you do if I weren’t around holding you back?”
Jenna turned her head aside and grinned. “You’re not holding me back.”
“Come on, Jenna,” he said, “show me what you got.”
“I forgot. You’re ‘bashful’,” he said.
As she looked back at him, she said, “It’s not that…”
“Then show me,” Tyrone said.
Jenna paused. A commanding tone had slipped into his voice. It punctuated his unexpectedly simmering gaze.
Tyrone sat stone-faced. He also realized he had let a bit of ‘The Bull’ bust against the cage just then, yet he wasn’t going to turn tail. He wanted to see how she reacted and go from there.
Jenna slowly tilted her head to the other side, her eyes still linked on his.
“Stay or go, Jenna? It’s time to decide.”
She took a deep breath.
Tyrone held her under his stoic gaze as she stood up before him.
Over the next few weeks, Tyrone was front and center in the studio for the weekly yoga session. The other participants gave him a wide berth but Jenna was unfettered. She was quietly pleased with the man’s stalwart presence in the room and his impressive progress.
For Tyrone, he appreciated her subtle, yet resolute, guidance as she led the group. She never addressed anyone specifically, though he always suspected she was speaking to him.
More so than the words she spoke, it was the cadence of her voice, the soft tones, the easy breathing, that he focused on. It was like following the trickle of a gentle stream.
The pleasing effect of watching her lithe, supple body glide effortlessly through various stances couldn’t be underestimated either. No, Tyrone definitely had an appreciative eye for her physique and he admired her control over it.
“You’ve really improved,” Jenna said to him at the end of the session as the others left, “you’ve got the basic positions down pretty well.”
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