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Elsa Quinn has been bullied for being fat all her life. On the start of her new year of school, she makes a decision. She is going to lose weight. Elsa joins a gym out of town to ensure it’s top secret.
Noah Stewart lives for exercise. When he wants to relax, he works out, pumps weights, and runs to clear his head. After an embarrassing scene by his crazed ex, Noah decides to exercise in a gym a town over. When he meets Elsa, it seems too good to be true. He can’t let her out of his life when he knows he can help her—even though she’s already perfect to him. Striking up a deal, he’ll help Elsa get in shape, and in return she will keep his new gym a secret.
Day after day, week after week, it’s hard for Noah to not see how beautiful Elsa is. He’s struggling to keep his hands to himself, and when he finally claims her, he doesn’t want to keep it a secret. Noah wants the world to know Elsa belongs to him.
What will happen when their peers find out? Will Elsa be too scared to stay with Noah? Will he let her go when he sees what his ex does to her?
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“Here comes chubby.”
“You’re going to break the chair, you’re so fat.”
Nearly everyone in Elsa Quinn’s life had judged her because of her weight. Her fellow pupils at school, her parents—even though they tried to be nicer about it, no matter how many times a person suggested a diet, it still hurt.
No, that was wrong. It was her mother, not her father, who cared about her weight.
Tapping the steering wheel of her car, Elsa stared up at the neon gym sign, and wished she was one of those natural beauties who didn’t have to be considering this on a Saturday. She wanted to be at home, in her bedroom studying, or even going over to her friend Kimberley’s house, but no, she had decided to make a change. It was the start of school, and she didn’t want to keep being known as “the fat girl”. She’d be going away to college next year, and the aim was for the new her to be gracing the halls of the college she picked.
First, she needed to get her ass out of the car and into the gym. She’d already paid for her membership over the phone. When she was asked if she’d like a personal trainer, she had declined. There was no way she was having some woman, or worse, some guy telling her she was too fat. If she needed that, she’d work out at school.
“I can do this. It’s just about going on inside, getting my pass, and hoping no one sees me.”
She had gone over to the next town in order to be covert about what she was doing. Blowing out a breath, she grabbed her bag, and just decided to go for it. She was going to go in there and start a whole new life for herself. There were a couple of cars in the parking lot, which was a good sign. Maybe everyone would stay at home, and she’d never meet another person. She’d be in and out before anyone even knew it.
I can do this.
Happy me here I come.
But she was happy, for the most part. Her father never judged her. He only went along with what her mother said, if he was even paying attention. Of course, her mom did love her, but she just wanted her to be better, thinner. God, she hated that.
“You’d be so happy, Elsa, if you just lost a little weight. You’d get invited to parties, and you may even have a boyfriend.”
Those were her mother’s words pretty much every week. Most parents wanted their daughters locked away so no guys came near them. Not her mother, no, she wanted her daughter to have a boyfriend, and maybe even go to a party.
Her father was a criminal lawyer, a really good one who made a shitload of money for his trouble. So her mother was part of some country club, and Elsa refused to participate in the games that other mothers did by entering their daughters in beauty pageants. If it wasn’t for her grandmother interfering when she was five years old, she’d still be fighting to try to win.
Elsa hated beauty competitions, and there were times she hated how her mother caved to pressure from other mothers.
Anyway, that was stress for another time. She was a good student, never caused trouble, and her one downfall: she was fat.
Up until a week ago, Elsa didn’t care about her weight. She liked to eat, and she liked to cook. Her paternal grandmother was an amazing cook, and had always told her that back in her day, she’d be considered a hot piece of ass, and full women would soon make a comeback. So Elsa had stayed happy in her own skin.
Then last week she’d left her bedroom to go and get a glass of milk, and heard her mother sob as she broke down in front of Bill, Elsa’s father.
“I don’t know what to do, Bill. I’m the complete laughingstock of the club. Elsa hates me, and all I want is what is best for her. I’ve seen her walking through town, and besides Kimberley, she has no real friends. No boys.”
“We should be happy she’s not coming home pregnant. I heard Gate’s daughter had been caught last week, and he had to handle it. Now there is a shotgun wedding. We don’t want that for Elsa.”
“I don’t want her to be miserable, Bill!”
Elsa had heard so much pain, so much fear that she had decided that enough was enough. She was going to make her mother proud of her, or at least stop stressing about her.
Entering the gym, she walked up to the main desk, where a chipper looking brunette was typing on the computer.
“Can I help you?” she asked. Her name badge read Sarah.
“I’m Elsa Quinn. I called the other day.”