After three days of sharing the shower every morning, Ian and Angie had come to know each other a little better. On Thursday they met for lunch. Through this conversation they learned that, though they each lived in different neighborhoods, their bicycle routes into work overlapped at about halfway in.
Angie was careful not to disclose exactly where she lived. She was feeling a fondness for Ian but still kept a sense of caution. They agreed to meet at a convenience store from which they would finish the ride to downtown together.
Friendship grew between them over the next two weeks. In addition to bicycling, they found that they had a common passion for volleyball. Ian had a friend with whom he played two-on-two sand volley ball. He also managed the girls’ varsity team in high school. Angie had played varsity volleyball, while in high school, and she played intramural volleyball in college.
After several weeks, Angie began to wonder why the relationship between she and Ian was still so platonic. Though he was subtle, he clearly seemed to enjoy looking her over in the shower every morning. She kept a close enough eye on the red-haired soldier that she would know if it came up to parade rest. However, the pinked-tipped length of flesh simply hung at ease every morning.
Finally, Angie decided to take some initiative. The next morning, instead of putting one shower space between them, she took the shower next to Ian. He neither seemed uncomfortable with the closeness nor more interested in Angie.
One day while Angie was at lunch with her coworker, Lisa, she spotted Ian and another man when she and Lisa walked into O’Malley’s. Angie’s first instinct was to turn and leave. However, before she could think of an excuse to give Lisa for doing so, Ian spotted her.
He beckoned for Angie to join them. Angie knew what the buzz was going to be at the smokers’ table outside of the office this afternoon but there was no walking away now. Introductions went around. Ian’s friend, Justin, was also his roommate. They had known each other in high school, went their separate ways in college, and ended up back in Des Moines after college.
Lisa was unusually quiet during the lunch as she soaked up all of the information that she could. Justin was also Ian’s sand volleyball partner. They invited the women to watch them play a tournament on the coming Saturday. Much to Angie’s wish otherwise, Lisa enthusiastically accepted.
On the way back to the office Lisa was about to bust.
“Well what?” Angie kept her eyes straight ahead as they walked.
“You've been holding out on me. You didn't tell me that you've continued to ride your bicycle to work and shared the shower with that hunk for the last few weeks.”
Angie was keeping her panniers in large shopping bag and getting into the office earlier than Lisa everyday so the shopping bag, with its contents, went unnoticed. Lisa always left exactly on time so she didn't see Angie leave dressed out in bicycling wear.
“Well, Lisa, I’m not obligated to keep you informed of everything in my personal life.” She smiled at Lisa.
“Oh come on, Angie! Is he as good as he looks?”
“I don’t know what you mean, Lisa.”
“You are not going to tell me that you have been sharing the shower with him for over three weeks and you haven’t fucked him yet.”
“Okay, I won’t tell you that.”
The two women walked into their office building, up the elevators and Angie pushed the button. Two other people came to wait with them for the elevator. When Lisa saw them and she stopped her interrogation.
The elevator opened directly into the law office where Angie and Lisa worked. This kept Lisa quiet until she took her cigarette break. It wasn't long before a woman, who frequented the smoking table with Lisa, gave Angie a knowing look with a suppressed smile as she walked by.
Angie kept her nose into her work to avoid engaging in conversation with any more knowing coworkers who passed by her desk. Lisa didn't bother her for the rest of day and, as usual, she led the stampede to the elevator at five o’clock. Although Angie didn't go with the herd, she was consistent with her departure time in order to meet Ian for their ride home.
Angie had been changing into her bicycle gear in the handicapped stall of a public restroom on the ground level floor. She didn't see the need for it anymore. Thanks to Lisa, the word was out.
One man was on the elevator when it stopped at Angie’s floor. Another got on a couple of floors down. Though she didn't look directly at them, other than to exchange a greeting, she sensed that she was being watched. Then the second one of them engaged her in conversation.
“Do you ride to work every day?”
“I have been for almost three weeks now.”
Angie gave him a polite but slightly aloof smile. The man continued.
“How far is your ride?”
“I live about sixteen miles from here.”
“Wow! A hundred and sixty miles per week. That’s awesome! I take short rides a couple of evenings per week and I ride the trails on the weekends. I’d like to ride to work once in awhile but I’d be soaked in sweat and need a shower.”
The man looked awkward when he realized that what he said could have been taken wrong. The elevator door opened into the ground floor lobby.
“Nice talking to you.”
Angie hurried across the lobby to the exit before the conversation could continue. The man watched her well defined spandex-wrapped form exit the building as he walked casually across the lobby. Outside, he turned in the same direction as Angie did.
Feigning a check both ways for traffic as she turned to cross the street, Angie caught a quick look to confirm that the man was behind her. She didn't know if he was actually following her or if it was coincidence. Either way, her senses were on alert.
Angie was glad that she and Ian had started riding together. He was unlocking his bike when she arrived. She kissed him on the cheek, put her arms around his neck and whispered into his ear.
“Hug me back. I’ll explain in a minute.”
Ian put his arms about her waist and pulled her to him. The impromptu act looked very natural to the elevator man as he passed. This time Angie made eye contact with him, smiled and waved. He returned the gesture.
“Have a nice ride!”
“Thanks! Have a good evening!”
“Who is that?”
“He’s just some guy on the elevator. He may be harmless but I wanted to nip it in case it was going to blossom. Thanks for going along with me.”
“It’s okay. I like holding a pretty woman close.”
“Really? And to think that I've been so far out of reach for the last few weeks.”
Ian was clearly embarrassed by Angie’s touch of sarcasm. Angie left it at that. She turned away feeling awkward but unsure about what to say next.
As they mounted their bicycles, Angie didn't miss notice of the enhanced bulge at the crotch of Ian’s spandex shorts. At least, she knew that the soldier could rise to the call.