Chapter 62: Workout

Noel opened the door to the weight room, letting me go in ahead of him. The smells of sweat, chalk, and body odor greeted us.. Looking around, I saw a couple football players at the free weights and some volleyball players were using the bench weights. Mirrors lines all of the walls, making the room look even bigger than it actually was. The equipment was all pretty standard; there was just more room than what I was used to at my old school. I saw the sign-in sheet on the counter where there was a student typing something on the computer.

The student had her long black hair pulled back into a ponytail, and she had glasses that were falling down her nose as she was reading something. Her eyes were squinting in concentration at whatever it was. She glanced up as we neared the desk and smiled, “Welcome. First timers?” she asked as she pushed her glasses back up her nose.
“How could you tell?” I chuckled as we reached the desk.

“By the way you were taking everything in,” the girl smiled. “People who come here a lot just go straight to the desk and then to the equipment.” Her eyes were brown and bright and so innocent. Probably how I looked before thoughts of demons plagued my every moment.

You’re still innocent, Eevie reminded me.

Not like I was, I told her.

Don’t compare yourself to someone else when your situations are completely different.

I didn’t reply to Eevie, but I realized I’d been quiet and hadn’t replied to the girl. Thankfully, Noel had me covered, “Good point. We were pretty obvious,” Noel said.

“If you guys have your student ID cards, just swipe them. Otherwise, if you forget, you can just sign-in on the sheet here. You both look like you’ve worked out before, so I’m sure you both know how to use the equipment, but if you have any questions, just flag me down. The room’s open from 6am to 11pm. So you can come in whenever between that time,” she explained. “There’s usually always someone here manning the desk if you need anything.”

“Thanks,” I nodded as I swiped my card and watched as my name popped up on the computer. I stepped aside to let Noel do the same. “Do you guys have any boxing bags?” I asked as I looked around.

“We do!” she nodded and stood up to come stand beside me, and I could see she was wearing yoga pants with a tight fitting T-shirt showing off the muscles in her arms and shoulders nicely. “They’re in the far back over there,” she pointed and I could see a couple bags hanging from the ceiling.

“What about some balance beams and such?” Noel asked.

“Well, the gymnastics team has their own room for that, which is just down the hall. I’m sure if you ask the captain, they’d give you permission to use it.”

“Thank you for your help!” Noel told her.

“We appreciate it,” I told her.

“You’re welcome!” Her smile was contagious, making me smile back at her before she turned to go back to her desk and whatever she had been working on before Noel and I had interrupted her.

I led Noel towards the back where the boxing bag was hanging. Thankfully, there was no one else around, so we didn’t have to worry about sharing it with anyone else. “I wanna give the bag a whirl for a little bit. But then I’d love to see you on the uneven bars or the balance beam or something,” I told him as I set down my towel and water bottle I had brought next to the wall out of the way,

Noel smiled, glad I’d taken an interest. “That’d be great. I need to stretch and loosen up first, so working out in here for a little bit sounds like a good idea.”

I nodded in agreement and watched him walk towards the wall where he started doing some warm ups out of the way of anyone. I looked around and found the hand wraps and began wrapping my hand and wrists, lunging a bit to stretch out my legs. Satisfied, I punched the bag tentatively, getting a feel for it.

Put some power into it,
Eevie told me.

I will. I promised her.

I did a series of punches: uppercut, jab, cross, hook. I got into a groove and started throwing my elbow a little bit. When I was getting comfortable doing that, I stepped back and started kicking the bag changing between a round kick and a front kick.

Pretend it’s an enemy. Do a series of punches and kicks as fast as you can to the center of the bag, Eevie instructed.

This was meant to be a fun, little excursion, and she’s deciding to turn it into a lesson. Typical Eevie. I didn’t actually mind too much. My training was important.

I did as I was told, executing several lightning fast moves. I was getting impressed with myself with how well I was getting at this. Just a few months ago, I would never have thought I’d be in this good of shape, let alone be able to hold my own against anything.


Punching. Kicking. I kept at it for several minutes, getting into a nice rhythm. Finally I took a step back and grabbed my towel to wipe the sweat from my face. Grabbing my water bottle, I glanced around for Noel as I chugged down some water. I saw him using some barbells to alternate between squats and lunges. His back was to me as he was watching himself in the mirror.

You can appreciate those calf muscles, huh? Eevie almost startled me. I hadn’t meant to stare. Or those biceps even. She sounded amused, and I was embarrassed at having been caught. I glanced around to see if anyone else had caught me, but the football and volleyball players were too engrossed with each other and their own workouts that no one was paying me any mind.

It would make sense that his training with Nori is getting him some results, I told her. He really did look more toned up, his muscles a little bit more prominent. Not that he hadn’t looked good before all of this training, but I wasn’t about to give Eevie more fuel for the fire.

We already know he’s been checking you out. It’s only fair to return the favor, Eevie reminded me, which caused me to blush. How could I forget the compliment Noel had given me in the cafeteria? I hadn’t been able to stop grinning like an idiot.

Clearing my throat, I approached Noel, grabbed a couple dumbbells for myself, and began doing some curls. Trying to get him to appreciate your biceps? Eevie laughed. Wondering if I was being too obvious, I changed to following what Noel was doing.

He saw me approach, and his face broke into a smile. My heart fluttered in my chest at the sight. I did that. He was that happy because of me. I unconsciously returned the smile. We kept at the reps in companionable silence, neither needing to talk. We were doing just fine keeping up with each other.

It was amusing to watch Elena and Noel dance around each other. Here were two people who were clearly infatuated with each other, yet neither were willing to take that extra step. Granted, Elena had shot him down weeks ago when she thought she wanted to experience college life a little more. I believed she was beginning to see that her college life consisted of mostly hanging out with Noel.

Sure, she had other friends. She was friendly and nice to everyone. It was easy to see why people liked her. I wondered if I’d have liked her if we hadn’t been thrust together. I doubted it. Most of my friends had a bad girl/boy streak in them that Elena didn’t have. I would have thought she was a goodie two shoes and overlooked her. It was wrong, but that’s just how I would have been.

Probably why I was so attracted to Nori. He had that bad boy vibe and risk taking streak I loved so much. Rarely could I find a guy that could keep up with me so well. As great as Nori was, his one flaw was keeping things from me. I was beginning to wonder how long it would take the boys to come clean about what had happened the previous night. Clearly they’d run into one of the exorcists. I could smell the burning flesh, and I had gotten a peek at mark around his neck, his sweater and high collared workout shirt be damned.

I was annoyed, but not so much so that I blew their cover to Elena. I didn’t need her worrying herself about something that the boys probably had under control. She had enough on her plate, and I didn’t want to make it worse. I knew Nori would have asked for our help if there was a bigger issue at hand going on. My curiosity was great, but I had to learn patience. They’d tell us in due time.

I had stopped paying much attention to what Elena and Noel were doing in regards to their workout. I had helped Elena with some one on one training, and decided to let her enjoy being with Noel without me interrupting and ruining anything for the two of them. Checking in, I found Elena watching Noel work on the gymnastic bars.

I knew next to nothing about gymnastics. I knew of it in passing, but I’d never watched anyone do it or taken the time to learn much else about it. That being so, even I knew Noel was a pretty good gymnist. He had that confidence, poise, and grace all athletes had in their natural habitats. It was no different than watching Nori and I fighting a demon. I wondered fleetingly what else Nori was good at doing.

He’s good, I commented to Elena. I realized I’d been quiet awhile and I didn’t want her thinking something was wrong.

It’s impressive, she agreed, her attention solely focused on Noel. She was sitting off to the side, out of the way, her legs crossed, her towel draped across one knee, and her water bottle sitting in front of her.

I wondered why he didn’t make onto the school’s team. I felt as though he would have been just as good as any of them. Of course, I hadn’t seen any of them doing this, but I could tell Noel had skill. It wasn’t my place to ask, so I stayed quiet.

I was fascinated with how flexible he seemed to be. Then I couldn’t help but wonder how flexible Nori was, and I stopped myself before my thoughts got too carried away. Think of something else, I told myself. But once my mind got going down that path, it was hard to stop it. Inappropriate thoughts flashed through my head, and it made me glad Elena couldn’t read my thoughts unless I wanted her to.

How long do you think he can keep going?
I asked Elena. I needed to talk about something to get my mind on a different track.

Probably a long time. I’m sure his demon training has only improved his stamina,
she replied.

I agreed. You should ask him to teach you a basic move. Let him play teacher.

I don’t want to make a total fool of myself! I couldn’t do any of the things he’s been doing, Elena protested.

That’s why I said a basic move. I bet he’ll be glad you’re taking an interest.

She didn’t seem too sure, but she also wasn’t arguing anymore. I took that as a good thing.

I’ll help you so you don’t embarrass yourself too much, though I doubt I’d be much help. I’m graceful on a battlefield. Not on bars.
I told her, which caused her to chuckle.

She got up and went to Noel to ask him to teach her a move. He obliged happily. I made a mental note to talk to Elena and readdress her feelings about him. I wondered if they were openly together how much better of a team they’d be. Later. I’d deal with that later.

For now, it was fun watching the two of them attempt to flirt.