Page 1 of Suited for Love

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Chapter 1


"Iwanttoseemore sweat!" The perky instructor screams like a banshee, thrusting her hips from side to side.

More sweat?I already look like I jumped into a swimming pool with my clothes on.

Glaring at her, I force my body to keep moving. Her smile hasn't slipped once as she sadistically demands perspiration.She can't be human.

I run through a list of monsters in my head, trying to decide what she is. I come up blank, unable to think of any rumored to look like Elle Woods with a jingle-bell belt.

AZumba belt, Briony explained before class as she fastened one around her own waist. Out of the corner of my eye, I see that she's shaking her hips with all she's got, like she's one of those hula-girl figurines truckers stick to their dashboards.

Somehow, Briony manages to look flawless despite the sheen of sweat coating her pale skin. Regular trips to the salon keep her fashionable silver bob looking perfect. She's quick to tell people she believes in aginggracefully, notnaturally.That means camouflaging her gray hair with stylish silver dye and frequent visits to the spa for Botox injections.

She catches my eye and shimmies in my direction. Nodding toward the instructor, she shouts, "I told you this class was the best!"

I'm too out of breath to respond, so I nod. Why did I let her drag me to her Advanced Zumba class?

Oh, right. Because she's the boss.

Briony Kelly may not sign the checks at Boutique Chrysalis, but she's the most powerful woman in the company. Boutique Chrysalis is known for having its finger on the pulse of the fashion industry. We don't chase trends; wesetthem. As Executive Buyer, nothing is sold in one of our stores without Briony's seal of approval. There's not a single designer in New York, London, or Paris who doesn't know her name.

As a junior buyer hoping to move up in the company, that means I jump when she says to jump.Or shake my hips, as the case may be.

As I clomp along with the music, trying my bestnot to die, I look around the room. It's filled with fit and wealthy New Yorkers in designer athleisure wear, shaking their hips with all their might, jingle-bell belts ringing. As they shimmy across the floor, they look like human tambourines.

And I'm a bass drum.I trip over my own feet as the instructor adds an extra step to an already complicated combination.

"You know what sweat is, right?" she shouts. "It's your fat cells crying. So, cry me a river!"

Feeling like I coulddrinka river, I flail around madly in an attempt to keep up with the steps. I give up on shaking my hips and settle for trying my best to keep moving. I silently pray that the class is almost over.

The song moves seamlessly into the next, and I try not to whimper. Have I stumbled into theHotel Californiaof gyms?

I am never leaving this class. Ever.

With a malevolent grin, the instructor makes another demand for sweat. I stare at her in disbelief. She can't be serious.I have no more sweat to give. I'm all out of sweat.

On the brink of heat exhaustion, I'm saved by an Ed Sheeran ballad. My heartbeat slows along with the tempo, and I'm no longer gasping for air. I could maybe even carry on a conversation if my mouth wasn't dry as chalk.

Mercifully, the class finally ends. I guzzle a bottle of water to replenish the liquid in my body. From the corner of my eye, I see the instructor speed-walking toward me. Her ponytail bounces with every step. I swear, this lady could give the Energizer Bunny a run for his money.

She opens her mouth and I flinch, expecting the banshee. Instead, her voice is sympathetic. "How are you?"

"Sweaty."Understatement.My XL t-shirt clings to my body like a suckerfish.

She laughs. "You did really well, considering this class is for advanced students. But next time, come to my beginners class. I promise you'll still get a great workout, but it'll be a lot more fun."

Okay, so maybe she'snota monster. Even the Winchester brothers get it wrong sometimes.Mental note: stop watching reruns of Supernatural.

"Thanks," I say, returning her smile. "I probably should incorporate more cardio into my exercise routine."

"What's your current routine?"

Heat creeps into my cheeks. "Um, I occasionally streamYoga by Adrienevideos."

She smiles kindly and plucks a business card out of the fanny pack at her waist and hands it to me. "Check my website for class times."