Monday, January 4, 2016
Literary / Women's Fiction
Date Published: November 1, 2015
Did you ever wonder what it’s like to dare to fall in love with someone who literally isn’t on your level?
The Lightening Round is a fast-paced novel brimming with colorful characters, sinister plots of intrigue and revenge, and over-the-top antics.
Hannah More, a single mom with weight issues, assumes that her longtime boyfriend, Luke Havitt, is about to propose marriage to her. Instead, he proposes that in order for Hannah to take their relationship to the next level, that she needs to join a gym and to lose weight. Hannah soon finds herself entering the Ultimate Level, a highly controversial yet incredibly sought after San Francisco “fitness experience” known for not only having the latest in technology and fashion, but also segregating all of its members based solely on their weight and fitness levels.
This snappy novel ultimately questions whether true love can survive two individuals from different levels. Even if those levels are only found at a gym.
The Lightening Round by Bruce Stuart Excerpt from Chapter 3
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Tonight out with Luke, I ate like a bird.” Hannah and Levreece both dusted off her filthy pinksatin gown as they caught their breath on a bench fifty feet from where they had first started their journey.
“Aiya.” Levreece blurted out a Mandarin expression for Oh, My God. He looked straight into Hannah’s bloodshot eyes. “Hannah, LadyLove. Your To Go bag survived the crash—kinda like one of those black boxes they have on airplanes. And, you know, I took the liberty of poking around inside it. Well, let me tell you, girlfriend. From what I saw in that there bag, the only bird you ate like tonight was one of thoseRaptors hanging around inside the Jurassic Park. The ones that can polish off a whole cow in a single serving and then they’re on to the really big eats.”
“I’m going to lose him.” Hannah put her face in her hands.
“And that’s a bad thing? Losing Luke Havitt is like finding out that a swarm of locusts that had been camping out in your apartment hasfinally gotten pissed off ‘cause you didn’t feed
‘em well enough and decided to move in with your nasty nosy neighbor across the hall. This guy’s a complete user. He’d steal the goldfillings out of his own mother’s teeth and sell ‘em back to her. And as a man who likes other men, I can’t for the life of me see what turns you on about this whiter-than-white airbrushed airhead with literally no ass. I swear when I look at him
from behind I can’t tell where his back ends and his legs begin. Couldn’t you at least land a dude with some booty?” He jokingly stood up and wiggled his large behind.
The edges of Hannah’s mouth initially turned up from her friend’s humorous motions, but she quickly allowed her smile to fall to theground as reality set in. “You’re one of my best
friends in the whole world, Levreece. Please help me.”
“Can members on different levels interact inside the club?”
“Yes. And outside as well. But there are time limitations.” Missy smiled and looked at them both supportively. It was time to kick the sales into high-gear.
“And they are?” Levreece and Hannah couldn’t help but be completely awed by Dante as he strutted by the office in an outfit thatshowed off his incredible physique. Hannah was taken back when she realized that he was even better looking in person than he’d appeared on TV.
“Fifteen minutes for each individual who is on a different level every two weeks.” Missy gave Dante a passing glance. “It helpsincentivize you. Also, if you are only working on your own level you won’t be as distracted towards achieving your fitness goals.”
Levreece smiled at Missy’s rigid face. “Damned. Even the Little Mermaid got longer than that to land her prince.”
“But she didn’t have her voice. Now, did she?” It took Missy by surprise that he had alluded to one of her all time favorite movies. Sheoften cried at the end over Ursula, the Sea Witch’s, tragic demise.
“I guess you have to talk fast around here.” Hannah hadn’t been in sales for most of her adult life without realizing that Missy wassimply selling a dream that very few can obtain. Although she had heard a few of her friends say that if one was able to hold on through the grueling process, Ultimate Level got amazing results.
“If you both join today. I am prepared to give you a very attractive membership package.” Missy ignored their skepticism.
Levreece thought about Dante. “Well, I do like packages.”
“Both? I’m sorry, Miss.” Hannah could feel her chocolate buzz crashing.
Missy addressed Hannah as she would a first grader who lacked proper discipline. “The name’s Missy.”
“Okay, Missy. I’m sorry if you misunderstood. I’m just here to support Levreece. I am most certainly not joining a gym.” She tightenedthe head-to-toe black raincoat she had draped around her body.
Missy felt the blood boiling in her veins at the mention of the word “gym.” She held her seething anger inside as she spoke. “This is nota gym, Hannah. It is a health and fitness experience.”
“I’m not signing up for one of those near-death experiences either. Whatever you want to call it.”
“Enter.” Dante spoke with a deep, commanding voice that could mobilize an entire army as the first of three doors located on theopposite ends of his operational headquarters at Ultimate Level swung open. His bunker-like chamber housed a large conference table andchairs, several work stations, and his personal desk. As was often the case, he was the only one occupying his headquarters.
“How can I help you, Tessa?” Dante addressed Tessa Everett, the head of Ultimate
Level’s personal trainers.
Tessa pushed her flowing auburn hair away from her exotic face as she slowly entered Dante’s inner sanctuary. “I just wanted to talkabout the new updates on our Personal Training Portal for the Reveal.” ! !
“I hope you don’t mind, but I need to change for my workout.” Without the slightest hesitation, Dante began unbuttoning his crisp whiteoxford cloth shirt to expose the most magnificent male torso Tessa had ever seen. He watched her reviewing her notes and walked dangerously close to where she was standing. In a heartbeat, his lips were trailing down the back of Tessa’s neck.
“You know we shouldn’t be doing this. We work together—” Tessa folded her arms in front of herself in order to conceal her deep-cutworkout top. She knew full well about the man standing next to her who possessed the face and physique of a Roman god and the sexual appetite of ten men.
Dante stepped back and purposely positioned himself within inches of where she was standing. “I never want you to feeluncomfortable.” He glanced toward the door from which she had entered and graciously extended his arm for her to leave if that was what she truly wanted.
Tessa let her arms fall to her sides and slowly cradled herself inside Dante’s massive arms. “It feels so safe inside your arms. Which iskind of funny since being inside your arms is probably the most dangerous place I could possibly be.” She pulled his arms open like the grips to a vise and walked toward the door. Just as it appeared she was about to leave, she suddenly
turned around and pulled her sports top up over her head exposing her perfectly-formed breasts.
Dante slowly unzipped his form-fitted black pants which hugged his muscular legs. Tessa marveled at his manhood and cracked a half-smile. “You know, with an endowment like that, if you were a college, you’d sure as Hell would be Harvard.”
They used every flat surface and numerous rounded ones including an extra large polyvinyl chloride stability ball and two bosu balls tohave sex inside Dante’s War Room. What Lucy relished about her partner was his eagerness to use his exceptionally strong and flexible body to pleasure her. He was by far the most skilled lover she had ever been with in her life.
Tessa could barely catch her breath as she tried valiantly to keep up with Dante’s insatiable sexual appetite. “That was amazing.”!
“Does this mean you’re going to give me that complimentary training session, after all?” He broke into a hearty laugh catching Tessa by surprise.
“With a body like that, I don’t think anyone can give you training you don’t already have.” She smiled as she looked at his naked body.
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