#14: Peeling an Onion

"Your boobs are getting bigger."

"Yes, I know. That is why it has come to this," Krysta seethed through her teeth, as she wobbled through a set of back extensions atop a bright yellow exercise ball. She laid face down, legs extended behind her and toes on the ground. Tilting downward at the waist she pulled herself up again, struggling to straighten her body, before lowering back down. Despite the combined effort of two sports bras, her breasts hung like dead weight from her chest, compounding the already substantial difficulty of the exercise for someone who had not regularly exercised since she'd quit tennis in junior high.

"Pull your shoulder blades back and tighten your glutes." Alicia stood above Krysta, leaning against a basement pillar while casually thumbing through notifications on her mobile. Experience had taught her Krysta was not the type to respond well to Alicia's typical brand of hyper-enthusiastic encouragement. Alicia had initially met Krysta's request for bi-weekly fitness training with hesitation. She generally preferred not to offer fitness training, primarily because she lacked the discipline to buckle down and become licensed. She was also hesitant to add another layer to her and Krysta's already tenuous relationship and only agreed when Krysta sweetened the deal by offering a monthly rent discount.

"Eighteen, nineteen, and...twenty. All right, relax."

Krysta tilted forward onto the exercise ball and rolled onto her knees. If the workout mat were not so narrow, she would have gladly rolled sideways onto her back.

"That was wretched. I hate this ball. I hate my back. I especially hate my tits."

"Aw, come on. it wasn't that bad."

"I am stopping just short of hating you."

Alicia chuckled. "Well, lucky for both of us, that's all for today. You're gonna be crazy sore later, and tomorrow too."

"And I will be all better in time for the next session. How convenient," Krysta got to her feet and adjusted her gray workout pants. She allowed herself a minute to stretch, before heading to Alicia's side. "All right, show me the footage."

"Hold on, check this out!" Alicia held up her phone, which displayed a cartoonish depiction of herself. "Someone made fan art of me!"

Image by Bokuman

Krysta studied the image. "It is certainly you. Maybe a bit bulkier, but not much."

"I love it!" Alicia gushed, before tapping the screen. "And...favorited! I'm totally Instagramming this later." Alicia scrolled to the comments section.

"Aw, Alicia. Not the comments..." Krysta reached for the phone, and Alicia easily evaded her.

"Oooo, someone said I'm 'big and strong' while also 'feminine and girly.' I am big, strong, feminine, and girly!" Alicia flexed her other arm, posing for the mirror while pouting her lips.

Krysta peered at the phone over Alicia's shoulder. "Someone also wrote 'that's a huge bitch' in all caps."

"Meh, heard it before."

"What about 'my dick final boss'?"

"I guess that's kinda flattering. I mean, he'd still do me."

"It is like peeling an onion with you. Anyways, let me see the footage you posted."

Alicia switched to Instagram, displaying the posted video of Krysta confidently powering through her first set of back extensions. The angle provided a direct view of her cleavage as she raised and lowered her torso, her face frozen in focused exertion. Alicia used clever positioning, lighting, and background music to hide the fact they were in a home basement gym rather than a public gym. Krysta read the caption.

Gotta work the lower back. Gravity is not kind to the weak.

#fitness #workout #broughtmyownweights

"Really, Alicia? 'Gotta'? I told you about slang. I do not use slang. Not on Instagram, anyway."

"Well, ya' do now. Didja like the hashtag?"

"Cute, but none too subtle." Krysta peeled off her outer sports bra. Her breasts, freed from the confines of the double-layered spandex, settled into the gray cotton sports bra like a hammock. "Also, did you have to mention my back problems?"

"Why not? Isn't that why we're doing this?"

"Yes, but I do not need people thinking I am even considering a reduction."

"There's no such thing as bad publicity. You'll get a little more buzz, which would be great with that new girl on the scene. what's her name?"

"Alexis Cheer," Krysta said, visibly cringing. "Oh my God, I cannot stand that name. She actually named herself after what they called her on a web forum."

"So did you."

Krysta scrunched her face, embarrassed by her impulsive oversight. "Well...yes. That is true."

Alicia sipped from a protein shake while bouncing on the workout ball. "Either way, it's good marketing. Those high school cheerleading pictures are what got her on the map in the first place. She's fun too. I met her last year at Coastside Comic Con."

"Ugh, you would like her."

"She was dressed as Catwoman, and I was Sailor Scout Supergirl. I'd have taken a picture with her, but man did she have a crowd!"

Krysta continued her post-workout stretches. "I cannot imagine she made the costume herself."

"No, she's only a model, but she's pretty up-front about that. She gave the designer lots of credit, and she looked amazing."

Krysta sat on Alicia's weight bench. "She does not even like comics! How does that not bug you?"

"Because she's a working model like we are."

Krysta sighed. "You are determined to be cool about her, aren't you?"

'She likes going, and the fans love her. I mean, check this out." Alicia brought her phone to her face. "Siri, show me that awesome gif of Alexis Cheer jumping on a trampoline topless." Seconds later, Alicia showed Krysta a looping GIF of a topless, smiling Alexis Cheer jumping on a trampoline with pompoms in her hands. Alexis was 5'9" with sports car curves and a sunny disposition. Her blonde ringlets bounced in sync with her astonishingly full and perky 32Gs. "Look how fun she is! How can you not love her.?

Krysta watched the animation a few times before a faint grin appeared at the edge of her mouth. "Okay, yes. That is pretty fun. Honestly, though. I have no issue with her. She is hardly my style, but she is a lovely girl. It is just that with people like her coming on the scene if I start griping about back pain, it makes me sound like the cranky old-timer."

"You're twenty-seven!"

"Exactly, and not getting any younger." Krysta scrutinized her body in the mirror. She pressed her fingers into her stomach, pinching her soft belly, before sliding her hands to the underside of her breasts. She hoisted them up and down, letting them undulate and jiggle in her hands. "...or firmer."

"They sure aren't getting any smaller." Alicia grinned mockingly at a glaring Krysta. "If you're afraid of gaining weight, you should probably do more cardio."

"I can not do cardio. Sports bras were not made to support the weight of two infants."

"Let me off the hook entirely for rent this month, and I'll make you a sports bra."

"Pay your already discounted rent this month, and maybe you will earn the right to propose such a deal."

Alicia scrunched her nose, looking like the world's largest angry bunny rabbit. "Rrrrgh! You are so mean! Anyways, don't blame the bra. You can totally do cardio. Use the elliptical or stationary bikes at the college gym." Alicia slapped her palm to her forehead. "Oh, wait! You won't go to the gym because everyone will stare at you." Alicia rolled her eyes dramatically.

"Really?" Krysta huffed. "You, of all people, are giving me a hard time about that? The girl who will not go to a public gym because she is afraid she will inadvertently kill the first douchebag who makes a crack about her 'manly' muscles?"

Alicia tightened her lips. "Don't, Krysta."

"I am simply pointing out if you are allowed to use social anxiety as an excuse for avoiding public gyms, then I should be allowed to as well." Krysta held her hand out to Alicia. "But that is all beside the point. Fair is fair. You said you wanted me to take pictures of your ass?"

"Abs first, while I'm benching," Alicia peeled off her t-shirt and, wearing only her sports bra, patted the dense, taut muscles of her abdomen. "Get a good angle too. I want people to be able to count them. Also, I'm upping my reps to 255 today, so I may need a spotter."

"Alicia, that is almost twice my weight. What the hell am I supposed to do, dive under it?"

"You'll figure something out." Alicia loaded two 45's and a 10lb weight on each side of the bar. "I've been doing three of twelve at 235 for a month, so I should have this in the bag," She rolled onto the bench, under the bar and gracefully placed each hand on the bar. After a long exhale, she lifted the weight from the rack. Her powerful arms and shoulders guided the bar down and pressed it up, pumping the substantial weight in steady, controlled motion like a machine. By the fourth rep, Alicia even cracked a smile, her face glowing with adrenal bliss.

Krysta captured it all on film from various angles, focusing mostly on Alicia's abs while also snapping occasional shots of Alicia's triceps, chest, and legs. She then took a few steps back for some wide shots. Alicia had completed nearly all of her reps when her final press stopped halfway, and she grunted with apparent frustration.

"Help! Too much! Too much!"

"Alicia!" Krysta yelled, reaching over to the bar to aid her, only to have the bar suddenly raise and rack, just before she could reach it. Alicia smiled at the camera and stuck her tongue out.

"Gotcha! O-M-G, you should have seen your face. I didn't know you cared!"

Krysta framed Alicia's face and snapped a close shot of her he impish grin, before setting the camera on Alicia's stomach and turning towards the stairs.

"You are so goddamned annoying."

"Thank you for the pictures!" Alicia yelled. Krysta responded with an extended middle finger. Snickering, Alicia gleefully replayed the video Krysta had taken.

That's gonna make such a great Vine.