Merry Christmas everyone! This chapter inspired by a certain kookoomonkeys, who is always dragging me to the stupid cardio classes.
It would be simple really. He could just walk in, tell them, and head off to his meeting.
"Esme, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice, Jasper, Edward, Bella," he called, raising his voice for the last two. Immediately seven figures appeared in front of him.
"As you know, I'm a member of the Forks Health Board. One of our goals has been to build a fitness facility, and to make a long story short, with some extra contributions, it was accomplished. Since we were one of the main benefactors, it was only natural that I get us all memberships." It was a simple thing really. Carlisle checked his watch, thinking that hopefully he could be out of here in the next ten minutes.
He didn't imagine the chaos.
"Do you honestly expect me to stand in a room with grunting, sweating, disgusting humans…?"
"Honey, you know I support you, but really, what are we supposed to do at a gym?"
"You should love it Alice. Great way to burn off those extra calories…"
"Gyms are some of the worst places ever! First there are the people hating every moment of exercise, and then BOOM! Endorphins and happiness!"
"People don't tend to think the most positive thoughts when exercising…"
Carlisle sighed. He held up his hand in silence. "I'm only asking you to go for a few months. Start off going frequently, and then slack off as time passes. From what I understand that's the normal behavior pattern." He turned. "Alice, I'm guessing you've already made arrangements?"
Alice smiled. "All taken care of!" As if by magic eight bags appeared in her hands. She began passing them out to the family. "They're the perfect combination of style and technology. Even better, they're monogrammed!" She clapped her hands and finished distributing the bags to the family, waiting for their reactions.
Emmett, who was the quickest to open his bag, was the first to respond. "It's….pink." And it was. In his hands he held a pair of workout pants and shirt, which had an "EC" embroidered in delicate font on the sleeve.
Alice shook her head. "No, it's maroon. Everyone's got their own color." She pulled out hers. "Mine's yellow!"
The rest of the family reluctantly opened their bags. Carlisle was relieved to find his black, a nice normal color. He quickly surveyed everyone else's —Rosalie had red, Jasper navy, Esme lilac, Edward brown, and Bella a light blue. Rosalie still had a sour expression on his face, and Jasper seemed to be cringing, probably anticipating an onslaught of emotions. But the rest of the family was agreeable. Glancing at his watch, Carlisle decided this would be a good time to leave. He didn't want to be here when the next round of insanity broke out.
"I'd love to try mine on, but I really have to be at a meeting. Maybe tomorrow all of you can go to the gym."
Although Alice had assured Bella she looked perfect Bella still felt awkward going into the gym. Her blue workout sweats, matching sweatband, and water bottle seemed so…fake. It was to perfect, as if Alice had constructed the look from those trendy advertisements at big city health clubs. Come to think of it, that had probably been exactly what she had done.
Behind her the rest of the family filed in, hoping to come once and be done with it. They had taken Carlisle's words a little too literally. About twenty other people were there, none in matching clothes, Bella noticed, and the entire place looked pretty large. Bella wondered exactly how much the Cullens had donated.
"So," Rosalie said breaking the silence as she looked around at the accumulation of machines and equipment that littered the floor, "what are we supposed to do?"
"I'm going to lift some weights." Emmett said smirking, and walked over to a section filled with barbells. Three men were there, looking tough as they hoisted huge weights into the air. Bella had a bad feeling that Emmett was about to begin one of his infamous contests. She watched as Jasper went after him, and after glancing quickly at Bella, Edward followed.
Esme looked at her watch. "Well, I signed up for a yoga class with some of the other ladies in my garden club. I had better get going. " She smiled. "Have fun!" Rosalie sniffed, then walked over to a treadmill and began jogging. Bella noticed mens' eyes turn to watch.
Bella faced Alice. "So, what are we doing?"
Alice smiled angelically. "We are going to aerobics." She pulled Bella along behind her as she made her way to the back of the gym. In the wall a small wooden door was set, and without another word Alice flung it open.
Inside a group of about seven middle-aged women were setting up small workout stations. Bella saw to her horror they included a board balanced on two blocks, an exercise ball, and a large black bar. This was a disaster waiting to happen. Hadn't someone informed Alice about Bella's infamous clumsiness?
Alice bounded to a far corner, grabbing their supplies from a rack and proceeding to set up similar stations directly in front of the instructor. She was a small woman with her blond hair pulled up with a perfection that only comes from practice, and her body was perfect. She would have been very pretty if Alice had not been standing beside her.
At Alice's beckon Bella despondently made her way across the floor. Alice stood ready at her station, her smile never waning as she took in Bella's depressed expression.
"Oh Bella, don't be such a Debbie-downer! I know you'll just love it! The moment I read about this class I signed us up." Bella sighed.
"Fine Alice. But I don't know how good I'll be at this. Do you honestly think I'll survive for one moment on this…?" Her voice was drowned out as overhead a peppy beat began blasting through a dozen speakers. With a smile the instructor stepped up and adjusted her headset.
"Are you ladies ready for an invigorating workout?!" she said, pumping her fists. "Now just watch me and follow along. If you have trouble just keeping up just go with your own pace. Let's get started!"
She began stepping up and down onto the step. With a glance around, Bella followed suit. It actually wasn't that bad. They continued, up and down, varying their steps, and Bella began to think it might not be that bad after all.
"Okay," called the instructor over the blaring sound, "Now that we're done warming up, let's get working!" She began doubling the speed of her steps, her legs flying up and down with ease. Bella, gasping for breath, attempted to keep up. The instructor always seemed one step ahead of her, smiling as if the whole thing was easy. Struggling, she glanced over at Alice to find her working right alongside the instructor, her steps perfectly in sync. Stupid vampires who had everything easy….
The music shifted and the instructor signaled for them to pick up their bars. Holding them up in the air they began a series of lunges, one after the other. It was exhausting! Bella wasn't super active, but she wasn't out of shape either. Who stood a chance in this class? They were lunging faster now, and Bella wondered bitterly if Alice knew CPR.
Just as she began to seriously wonder if she might fain she glanced up to find an interesting thing. The instructor and Alice seemed to be in some sort of stare-off. They each kept picking up the pace, faster and faster, and had surpassed the beat of the music long ago. Bella looked around to find the other women struggling more than her to keep up. Most of them were staring balefully at the smiling Alice, the only one in the room happy with the pace.
They trudged on, ending the lunge series and beginning the steps again. Up and down, up and down, faster and faster. It was endless! Alice was continually driving the instructor's pace faster (apparently, being leader of the class meant you couldn't be outdone), and it was getting…so….tiring.
Bella decided it was time for drastic action.
"Own! I think I hurt my ankle!" Alice stopped, surprised, staring at Bella's unmoving figure on the floor. Overhead the music stopped.
Bella smiled embarrassingly. "I think I fell off." Alice rolled her eyes, then her face turned tense.
"Well, this was a great class, but I had better get Bella home and see if her ankle is okay." She grabbed Bella and dragged her to the door, mumbling something sounding like stupid, overprotective, boyfriend under her breath.
Edward was there the moment the left the studio. "Hand her over Alice," he growled angrily.
She sulked. "But I thought it would be such fun, a little girl time, and the aerobics class just seemed so exciting!"
"Alice," he sighed, "humans can't keep up with your vampire speed. Bella probably did you a favor—from what everyone else seemed to be thinking about you, I think an all-out attack on you was imminent." Alice stuck out her tongue, and Edward lead Bella away.
"You know I faked it," she whispered when she was absolutely sure Alice wouldn't hear. He smiled.
"Of course. But did you want out of just one class, or all of them." Bella smiled and leaned in for a quick kiss.
"Can we leave?" Edward smiled.
"Yes, but we'd better get the others. Things have been pretty interesting out here. Jasper," he began, pointing to where he now sat next to a woman on a treadmill, "has been having fun making people either really excited about their exercise regime, or really bored. Rosalie has been trying to see how many men she could distract at once. And Emmett," he shook his head before continuing, "has been challenging anyone to outlift him. One guy was a professional bodybuilder, and you should have seen his face when Emmett beat him." Bella laughed. She could imagine it already.
They managed to get everyone together just in time for Esme to come out from her yoga class. She surveyed her family.
"You guys didn't cause any trouble, right?"
They all shook their heads. "Of course not."
So, yeah, this story isn't dead, this has just been the busiest time of year. Things should pick up now. Got ideas? Tell me!
Like it? Hate it? Review!