Chapter One Peter Wells had never been turned down for a job. He didn't have to work very often, thank God, but when he needed workand he desperately needed the receptionist job at the Metro Sports Clubhe always got hired. The interviewer, a musclehead named Jimmy, seemed like an asshole from the get-go. He told Peter to wait in his office because he was "in the middle of something." Meanwhile, Peter watched through the Plexiglas as Jimmy hung out by the front desk with another musclehead, the two of them hitting on practically every girl who passed by. Finally, maybe twenty minutes later, Jimmy came into the office and said, "Sorry about that, buddy, it's been crazy here today," and sat at his desk. "No, problem, man," Peter said, talking the way Jimmy talked, knowing it was a way to instantly connect with an employer. Jimmy squinted at the resume for several seconds, and then started looking at Peter's left ear. That was what Peter thought anyway; then he turned and saw what Jimmy was staring atthe skinny dark-haired girl in black bicycle shorts who was bending over doing a hamstring stretch. "Gotta love Nikki," Jimmy said. "Comes here two times a dayuses machines, does cardio, must spend an hour on the Stairmaster. Phenomenal body but, honestly, she's only average at this place. People say the best-looking girls are in the Village and the Meatpacking District, but I'll take the Upper East Side chicks any day. Watch the advanced step classes sometime. I mean, yeah, you got some girls who need to lose some poundage, but most of them are total babes. They all starve themselves, that's why. They eat salad and Tasti-Delight for dinner every night, then come here to work off the calories. But, trust me, these chicks could be eighty-five pounds and you'd still wanna fuck 'em." Peter knew Jimmy would be an absolute nightmare to work for, but keeping the act going he said, "Yeah, she's hot all right." Jimmy, looking at the resume again, said, "So let's see. You worked at Body Image in Santa Monica?" "That's right," Peter said. "How'd that go?" "It went well. It went really well. But then they closed down so I had to leave." Actually, Peter had never worked at a health club in Santa Monica. He'd never even been there. "And you worked in Mexico?" Jimmy asked. "Yeah," Peter said, "I was traveling a little bit, trying to figure out what to do, you know? I taught ESL." Another lie, although he'd lived in Mexico for a while. "At L'Escuela International de Guadalajara?" Jimmy asked. "Hablas espanol?" Peter said. "What?" Jimmy waited, then laughed and said, "Just kidding, man. I took it in high school and my dad's half Puerto Rican, but I can't talk for shit. But that's goodyou're bilingual. You should talk to Carlos, trainer works on weekends . . . So you got any more gym experience?" "Sure have,&amStarr, Jason is the author of 'Follower ', published 2007 under ISBN 9780312359744 and ISBN 0312359748.