Sure, he could work out at home, but there's a ton of great equipment at the beach. And of course, the babes don't just come waltzing into your apartment to work out in front of you.
"You're Coby Sheffield," she says with a happy squeal when he approaches to introduce himself, "I saw you rocking those big waves at Mavericks. I'm a huge fan."
"Yeah?" Coby says. This one is going to be easy. "You surf?"
"Oh, no," she blushes, "There's not much surfing in Wichita."
Coby cocks his head to one side, not knowing what a Wichita is.
"Wichita, Kansas," she continues, "That's where I'm from; there's no ocean there. My name is Hayley. Hayley Sanders."
"No beaches," Coby muses, "What do you all do with yourselves?" She giggles, and he doesn't wait for any further response, "You want to hang out at the beach? Like, now?"
Hayley eagerly agrees to spend the day with him. He could never do this with Ti, he thinks. She was allergic to the sun, and hated the beach. What was he even thinking, trying to be with her? It was never going to work.
Now, Hayley, she's perfect. She's a total fox, she loves the beach, she loves surfing, or at least, she loves surfers and is thinking about taking the sport up herself. Her game is volleyball, which is such a turn on.
This is the way it's supposed to be, Coby thinks. A girl like Hayley could totally make him forget about Ti.
As the afternoon grows late, they head into a local bar. Giggling, she orders a drink called 'Bad Cheerleader'. "I was a bad cheerleader in high school," she says, buzzed with the first sip, "Well, I was a good cheerleader. I'm very limber, and my splits are amazing. But, I was bad in other ways."
Coby can hear Ti's voice in his head, mocking Hayley and everything she stands for. He wishes he could make her shut up, already, and let him enjoy this hook up in peace.
Summer days are long and the sunsets seem to last forever. "Do you want to come back to my place?" Hayley offers, blushing.
It turns out that her place is an apartment in his building. That will make the booty calls all the more convenient, though it comes with the nuisance of having her close by even when he doesn't want her. Still, he's come this far, he's not turning back now.
If he does this enough times, he'll be able to forget that it's not Ti he's fucking.
Of course it would be easier to forget her if she didn't call him at really awkward moments.
"I just need someone to talk to," she says, her voice raw and desperate.
"You got me at a really bad time, Ti," he says, "Can we talk tomorrow?"
"Are you trying to avoid me?" Even over the phone, he can hear her pout. He loved her lips, he wishes she were here for him to kiss them.
"No," he sighs, "I said I'll talk to you tomorrow. 'K, Ti? I gotta go."
"Who was that?" Hayley asks.
"Just a friend," he answers, gathering up his clothes.
"Don't you want to stay?" she asks, her disappointment obvious in her tone.
"I've got to get up early tomorrow to catch the waves," he says, "And then I have this thing, a meeting, right after." Any excuse to get out and be by himself for awhile.
"You will call me, won't you?" she says, kissing him one more time before he goes.
"Sure, of course," he says. And he will, because he's got to do something to get over Ti.
When he gets back to his place, he stays up for a few hours distracting himself with games, knowing that if he tries to sleep, thoughts of Ti will keep him awake.
The meeting wasn't just some excuse to get away from Hayley. Coby meets with Dag Rosdahl for lunch at Las Bebidas Cantina to discuss a game his company is working on, a surfing simulation. They want to license Coby as one of the playable characters.
"Like SSX," Coby says, an avid player of the snowboard simulation.
"In part, yes," Dag says, "The game will have all those familiar elements, the competitions, freestyle surfing, equipment upgrades as you progress. But we are introducing a new element to the game as well. Between events, the characters will have to do things like work out to keep in shape. And there will be a social element as well, the characters can visit local hangouts or bars, mingle with their fans, and even get involved in romances."
It sounds a lot like something Ti once described to him, Coby thinks, "Do you have to send the character to the bathroom, too?" he asks.
Dag thinks about this for a moment, "No, I don't think anyone would be interested in that as a feature."
After the meeting, Coby heads back to his apartment to work out. Because you have to keep in shape between competitions. He's interrupted by a knock on his door. Probably Hayley, he thinks, and goes to answer it.
It isn't Hayley. "I'm not letting you avoid me," Ti says with a laugh, and grabbing him into a hug. "Oh," she gasps, "You're all sweaty."
"You caught me working out."
"Hmm," she hums, looking him over, "I know it's only been a few days, but, damn, I forgot what a god you are."
"So, what's up?" Coby asks, trying to steer the conversation away from the awkward place she's heading.
"I just needed someone to talk to," she says.
"Yeah, what about the French guy?" Coby says, a little irritated. It's bad enough she pushed him off for another man, but now she wants to be BFFs.
"He's not French, he's Belgian," Ti says, and then the tears start flowing, "He says I'm being a baby and I should grow up. I failed a bunch of my classes, and my parents are threatening to stop paying my rent and make me go back to Vermont."
"Well, you could get a job..." Coby suggests, which just causes a fresh wave of sobbing.
"Don't cry, Ti," he says gently, taking her in his arms, "They're giving you a chance to make it up, right? So don't worry about it until you given it another shot."
"I--I guess," she says with a big, wet sob. And then she does that pouty thing with her lips that drives him wild.
He shouldn't let this happen, he thinks, but the urge to kiss her is too strong for him to resist.
He lifts her up onto the counter, pulling her panties down with his free hand. She wraps her legs around him, moaning his name as he enters her. He tries to take it slow, to make it last forever, to stay tangled up in her, but her hips grind insistently, and he follows her rhythm, faster, harder, until they come together.
"Wow," she sighs, hopping off the counter, "I needed that," she says.
"The French guy doesn't do it for you?" Coby asks.
"I told you, Rainier is Belgian," she says.
"I don't give a fuck where he's from," Coby says, "You belong with me."
"This was really great, Coby. Awesome, even, but you know we don't belong together," she says, pulling away from him.
"I don't know that, Ti," he protests, "Everything was great, until Mr. French showed up."
Ti can't help but giggle at the appellation, "I'm sorry, Coby. But we can't go back." And with one last glance, she walks out his door.