His mere physical presence, every muscle pumped to its max, was enough to intimidate even a naturally cocky, thirty-something, under-insured, single mother such as myself.
"You're late, Mrs. Conroy," he said in a guttural tone that reminded me of his Cro-Magnon lineage. The late afternoon sun was hot, and perspiration already glistened on Gary's well defined musculature. Clasping his hands behind his head, he revealed sweat drenched armpits. Where's an air freshener when I need one?
"Actually, I think we just made it on--"
"Punctuality teaches boys respect." He paused.
Bell wasn't tall, in fact he was well shy of six feet, but he had made the most of what God (or the other guy) had given him. Every pec and glute was visible beneath the flimsy soccer shorts and tank top he invariably wore to practice.
He surveyed my insolently late arrival with a proudly hulking elegance. I smiled, teeth gritted beneath my lips. All that stood between me and insubordination was my personal belief that Gary's brain pan couldn't have progressed much past that of his Paleolithic ancestors.
"I'm very sorry," I said, ignoring the pits as best I could. Could I have been any more sincere? I didn't think so. It was no secret I didn't like his militaristic style. I'd even tried, ever so politely, to point this out early in the season. Maybe Gary's inner child was insecure...maybe he was just an asshole. Whatever; he had not appreciated my constructive criticism. Generally, Bell flat out avoided me and I gladly returned the favor.
Hope you enjoyed the peek. I promise more to come as we near publication!