A/N: Mr. Perfect Ten makes his second and third appearances ! Hope you are charmed by him as I am...Such a hottie :)
Thanks to midnightstar0603, and I think we all have a bit of Bailey in all of us. I certainly do !
Enjoy the new and longer chapter ! ... If you prefer feisty characters, do take a look at That's not my name. (My other story).
'-and a hundred! You're one hell of a trooper, honey! How're you feeling?'
Bailey's trainer loomed over her as she completed her last set of sit-ups for the day. She got up gingerly and leaned on her elbows. She had been through physical hell and right back.
'Uh…Ow. Fine.' She winced as she got up to her feet, feeling just a bit woozy. Her trainer, Sheila, held her arm firmly. Goodness what sort of muscles did she have on her arm? The thirty-something year old blond beamed at her proudly. She was clad in a purple sports bra and uber short gym shorts. She could've been fifty, but Bailey would give anything for a butt and abs like that.
'I'm impressed! You have quite the drive there, under your shy surface. You'd probably be a hell of a martial arts student. We have that here, are you interested?' Sheila's dark brown eyes peered into hers.
'Um, not really. Uh, not that I don't want to..It's just um..I'm just sort of clumsy.' Why did it always sound like it took her three hours to form a simple sentence?
Sheila cackled. 'Really now? Honey, you should've seen me! I was hands-down the most awkward, the most overweight and zhe geekiest high-school girl there was back in the day!'
Bailey's interest peaked. 'Geek? Really?'
Sheila nodded and her long yellow ponytail bounced around. 'Yeah! I was a biology geek. Very much into dissecting and stuff. Not just the birds and the bees' part you know?' She cackled even louder and punched Bailey playfully.
'Anyway, what I mean is that you've got something. And I just want you to see the activities manager, I'll recommend you for the kickboxing or jujitsu or something. Alright?' Her talons clamped on Bailey's round shoulder.
'Great! Well I've gotta go. I really need a shower before the staff meeting. See you tomorrow 6 am sharp!' Sheila threw a last cackle over her shoulder and walked out. Bailey grunted as she picked up her water bottle and headed out of the gym as had told her that they'd work out every day from 6 to 9 am, doing different exercises, and then she'd have to go to therapy sessions at 10h30, after breakfast, and rest until 2 pm. They were supposed to enroll in some kind of activity after that...No rest at all.
Bailey trudged over to the beach before heading to her room to freshen up. She closed her eyes as the wind caressed her face. It was always so sunny in California. She opened her eyes slowly, and looked out at the sea. One day, soon, she would jump right in. She sighed as she turned around, and made her way up to her cabin. At least she'd have the room to herself, the other girls were in the Fitness program, so they'd be back only for lunch. Nothing like a nice, hot shower to-
'Watch where you're going.' Bailey's head whipped around instantly, causing her to stumble on the first step of her cabin's porch. She caught herself right in the nick of time, congratulating herself on not falling flat on her face, when she turned to see who had caused this mess. It was him. Perfect ten.
He was not smiling, but his eyes held a playful glint. 'I'm sorry. I just thought you'd fall what with your head up in the air. Counter-effective really. Truly sorry.' He walked over to her from the tree he'd been leaning against, and helped her stand up straight like a true gentleman. The contact raised the hairs on her neck and she didn't dare look him in the eyes as she brushed of invisible dust off her sweatpants.
'Um..it's alright.' She was about to duck into the cabin, unable to bear his searching gaze on her face anymore, and wanting to maintain a minimum of dignity. Who knew what she was capable of saying in his presence?
'First timer?' She faced him slowly.
'Um, yeah. You?'
He chuckled. 'No. It's my fifth time.' He paused to search her face again. What was he looking for, exactly? 'First time is the most difficult. But the most rewarding.'
She nodded slowly. 'Yeah, um I hope so.'
He smirked, but it was not an obnoxious smirk. More like a 'I know something you don't and it makes me so damn sexy' smirk. 'Well, I should get going. See you around…'
'Um, Bailey. It's Bailey.' He extended a large, calloused hand. She shook it tentatively.
'Nice to meet you, Bailey. Well, see you around.' He shot her a toothy grin and walked away suavely. She gathered her wits and walked back into the cabin, but not before banging her foot against a step again. Luckily she was wearing sneakers, but unluckily, she thought she'd heard a distant chuckle.
Bailey was sitting in the therapist's office as she replayed the scene in her head over and over again. She'd just realized that he had asked for her name, but hadn't given her his. Hmm. Well, she'd call him Mr. Perfect Ten. It just added to his mysterious aura. And why did he have to catch her when she was all sweaty and disgusting?
A petite Asian woman walked in the office suddenly and smiled at Bailey as she plopped down gracefully on the couch in front of her.
'You must be Bailey.' She observed every inch of her face.
'Nice to meet you. I'm Dr. Wilson, and I'll be your therapist throughout your stay here at Evergreen.' She grinned confidently at her and Bailey nodded blankly. She honestly didn't see why she needed to see a psychiatrist.
'Well, Bailey, first things first, we have a full hour, from Monday to Friday. And everybody here sees a therapist, because people underestimate the power of the mind in weight loss and fitness. Most of our campers have certain issues linked to their body image, self-esteem or confidence, and I'm here to help each and every one of my patients to understand these issues and quite possibly enable them to resolve them.'
Bailey fiddled nervously with her hands. 'Okay.'
Dr. Wilson clicked her pen and scribbled a few things down on her notepad, making Bailey even more uneasy. She looked up and peered at Bailey through her stylish Versace glasses.
'Now, let me ask you a few questions so we can get a bit comfortable with each other. It says on your file that you're from Washington D.C?'
'Have you lived there your whole life?'
'Pretty much, yeah.'
'What do your parents do?'
'Both of them?'
'And would like to follow in their footsteps?'
'Uh, I really don't know.'
Dr. Wilson paused for a moment. 'You're going to be a senior, right?'
'It doesn't mean I have to know what I want to do.' The therapist smiled.
'Indeed. You should take as much time as you need to make such an important decision.'
Bailey looked up to check if there was any derision in her expression but found none.
'Any inklings? What are your favorite subjects?'
Bailey scratched her head. 'Uh…I guess I'm good at everything. Except, um, P.E.'
'Enjoying a subject and being good at it are two different things, Bailey.'
'Well…Um…I guess nothing really interests me then.'
'Any extracurricular activities?' Bailey shook her head. Her parents had been on her case because of it. 'Anything you like to do outside school?'
'Ah. You see! There is always something. What sort of books do you read?'
Bailey felt blood creeping slowly onto her cheeks. 'Um, magazines and uh…' She looked at the therapist hesitantly, who waved a hand to encourage her. 'Cookbooks.'
'I see… Do you cook then?'
Bailey shook her head vehemently. 'No. I've never even been in a kitchen more than five minutes.'
Dr. Wilson tilted her head. 'And why's that?'
'My parents have cooks. We, um..we just don't go in the kitchen.' The therapist quietly nodded.
'And who came up with the idea of sending you here?'
'Good, good. It means you have motivation.' Bailey almost scoffed. 'And what program did you apply for?'
Dr. Wilson straightened a bit, sensing she was approaching a sensitive subject.
'Do you find you need to lose weight, Bailey? Do you think you're overweight?'
Bailey looked down at her hands and spoke softly. 'I know so. The family doctor said I needed to lose weight to be healthy.'
'Do you feel healthy? I mean, spiritually?' Bailey cast her a confused glance. 'Let me rephrase. Do you feel good about yourself?'
Bailey looked up at the therapist who had a completely neutral expression. 'No.' She scribbled a few things on her notepad again.
'Alright. So I'm going to give you two exercises.' Bailey almost passed out at the word 'exercise'. 'First, I want you to write down the things you don't like about yourself that you'd like to change, and the things you're happy with. Then, I want you to take a good look at yourself in the mirror, for about ten minutes and make any necessary modifications to the list. Okay?'
Bailey walked slowly to the full-length mirror that hung on the wall, on the opposite side of her room. She hadn't looked at herself for quite some time, and was afraid of what she might discover. She had taken down the mirror in her room back in Washington, and had only kept a small one in her bathroom. But she never dwelled in front of mirrors; she never took time to observe herself. What was there to see?
She reached the fateful object, and held in a breath as she looked up at her reflection. She'd already written her list, now she only had to see. An average girl, on the chubby side, stared back at her. She noticed her mousy, long, brown hair, and how it covered her features ungracefully. She pulled it back and noticed a round face. Her chin was there, but barely; her tiny mouth was curved downwards in a thin line. She bared her teeth. Her teeth were perfectly fine and white. Four years of heavy orthodontia had seen to that. Her nose was small and regular, although her cat-like eyes redeemed her a bit. They were a sort of hazel, a blend of green and brown, as if her genes just couldn't decide on the color. Her eyebrows were rounded, like the rest of her features, but at least she didn't have to tweeze them. The skin that covered her features, luckily, was soft, although extremely pale.
She stepped back. She was wearing a tight tank top and shorts so she could get a better look at herself. Her thighs were a bit heavy and cellulite-ridden, but her backside was not extremely prominent. Her main problem was, and always had been her torso. Bailey touched and pinched her flabby stomach, willing it to go away. She cupped her breasts, which were considerably large as well. She'd always resorted to wearing oversized shirts and polos to cover her top-heavy figure.
She checked her watch; she still had four minutes to lose in front of the darned mirror. She sat down on the edge of Kim's bed, which happened to face the mirror, and kept on watching herself. Honestly, she could have looked much worse. She promised herself she would work on her tan, she really did have too much of a colorless skin tone. And now that she had scrutinized every inch of her body, she realized that she could lose the weight without too much difficulty as well. But she really needed to work on her facial expression. She tried to turn her drooping mouth upwards, but it looked like a grimace more than anything. She tried grinning, but it looked even phonier; nothing ever reached her eyes.
She closed her eyes and thought of Brazilian male models for five seconds, and peeked at her reflection. Ah, there was the smile. It was small, but it was there, and it was a start.
Bailey chewed her pen as she eyed the list of activities doubtfully. She had gone to the activities section of the camp after a solitary lunch. She realized how much her roommates had grown on her despite her constant lack of confidence around them.
Tennis, Yoga, Jujitsu, Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Gymnastics, Weight lifting, Swimming…Bleh. Nothing even peaked her interest at all. She read the rest of the page and sighed in defeat. She could never find anything that really grabbed her attention. She was about to throw the document back on the coffee table when she noticed writing on the back.
Intellectual activities. Hmm. Maybe she could find something here. Book Club, Acting, Music, Design, Creative Writing, Philosophy…World cuisine. World cuisine. She smiled to herself. Her mother would absolutely freak if she found out she'd been taking cooking lessons at a Fitness camp. Seriously, wasn't it ironic though? Well, at least she could finally stop fantasizing about cooking and could actually do it. Her mother wasn't here anyway, so she could deal with her when she got back. Bailey ticked the box next to her newfound activity happily.
'Hey.' She looked up slowly, hating being interrupted in her happy thoughts. But it was him. Mr. Perfect Ten. She almost choked in surprise.
'Uh hey.' He smiled a slow smile and sat down next to her. She almost died at the proximity, even if another person could've sat comfortably between them.
'World cuisine, huh?' She didn't dare look up at him again, afraid he'd notice her furious blush. Damn her pale face.
'That's it?' She tucked a strand of her unwashed brown hair behind a buzzing ear.
'Um, what do you mean?' He took the piece of paper from her hands and she felt a jolt at the contact. He underlined a sentence at the beginning of the activities listing.
'Says here you have to choose one sport-related activity and an intellectual one. And you alternate every day.'
Her eyes widened in surprise and she grabbed the paper more forcefully than intended. Awkward. 'Um sorry! I just want to, um, see.''
'Be my guest.' She could hear the smirk in his voice. She read it again.
'Damn do I have to?' she muttered to herself.
'I'm afraid you do.' She leaned back in her seat and could see his beautiful profile in her peripheral vision. No way was she looking outright at him. She considered the possibilities. She could just not choose the athletic activity. Or choose one so they wouldn't bother her , then hide out. She'd already located a few solitary spots in the camp.
'Don't even think about ditching.' She made the mistake of turning to look at him in astonishment. His eyes were ever so warm and she wished she could have a tan like his. 'Because I'm a trainer, and I manage all activities and I know where to find you.'
He was a trainer? Bailey swiftly looked down, hoping he hadn't noticed any disappointment. It also meant he had to be in his twenties, nineteen at least. What did it matter anyway? Did she think she even had a chance with him?
'So, do you want me to help you choose?' She shrugged in defeat. 'Oh, don't worry there are some great activities here.' At least he thought she was disappointed because he'd rat her out in case she ditched. He took the paper once more and Bailey thought she would faint if he initiated any more body contact, even a mere accidental touch.
'Hmm. Sheila already told me about you. She suggested martial arts.' Bailey frowned through her curtain of hair. No way was she doing any type of martial art. She'd just look ridiculous. Mr. Perfect Ten-I'mAlsoATrainer picked up on it. He chuckled softly and Bailey relished the sound. 'Alrighty then. No martial arts. You into running?'
Had Bailey not been so tense and ridiculously in awe of him, she'd have glared at him. 'No.'
'Swimming? The weather's wonderful.' Bailey scoffed. She'd rather eat a jar of chili than let anybody see her in a bathing suit.
'Look. Bailey, look at me.' She complied unwillingly, although he'd just given her an excuse to ogle him. His expression was serious. 'You have to choose something. Not just because of the regulations, but because you have to try something new. You can't hate something you haven't tried.'
His unwavering gaze made it hard for her to come up with some lame excuse. She nodded wordlessly.
'I'm signing you up for dance lessons. Tango. Silvio will most certainly loosen you up! You start at two, in one hour and tomorrow you'll take your cooking lessons. You alternate every day. This is going to be fun for you.'