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|Hook Me(Men of Inked #2) by Chelle Bliss|
“Who’s Mia?” Joe asked.
“Girl I met at the gym. She’s a doctor here and we’ve been spending time together.” I rubbed my eyes and raked my hands through my hair. “I really like her and don’t want Tammy f**king it up.”
“A doctor? I’m impressed, Mike. Wait, why was Tammy here?”
“She works here too. I’m so screwed if she runs into Mia.”
Anthony looked up from his phone. “Oh, f**k. You better get it handled quick before the shit hits the fan.”
“Just once I’d like my dick not to cause problems,” I said looking up at the ceiling.
“Keep sticking that shit in any pu**y around town and your problems will never go away.”
“Just because you found Suzy doesn’t mean you’re the authority on relationships, Joe.”
“No, but I knew when I found something so damn good that I’d do anything in the world to make her mine.”
“Pussy whipped,” Anthony muttered under his breath before laughing.
I had to get control of the situation.
Why did her ass have to go off the hook as Mia came into my life?
Michael hadn’t seemed himself all week, distant and preoccupied. I asked him repeatedly to share whatever bothered him but he said no and I stopped trying to pry. Sometimes, there are things I don’t feel like sharing as I deal with the situation. I gave him his space and hoped he’d tell me in his own time.
My week had been busy, almost to the point of hectic. I worked at the hospital and the clinic every day. Michael trained, spent time with his family at the hospital, and kept the tattoo shop running.
His life was just as full as mine. We had to be creative when it came to seeing each other while his brother was at County. I met him early one morning to watch him train with Rob. There was a small ring that had been set up in the gym just for Michael and Rob to practice.
I was tempted to jump in the ring and take out some of my stress on the target or Rob, but I didn’t want to make a fool out myself. I used the time to run on the treadmill as I watched him kick Rob’s ass. It brought a smile to my face.
Saturday night Michael brought the DVD of his fight in New York to my house. He fought Victor ‘The Mauler’ Torrez.
Sliding the disc into the DVD player, he explained that the match wouldn’t be fought in a boxing ring and that he didn’t box. I was clueless to MMA rules. To me it was just a fancy name given to a sport where to men beat the shit out of each other.
As soon as the match started to play, I knew I was right with my first assumption about what he called a sport – it was barbaric.
There was something about watching Michael that had me shifting in my seat and made me feel flushed.
Fuck, he looked sexy and powerful as he jostled from leg to leg on the video.
“Look at this next hit,” he said, sitting next to me on the couch, punching the air.
His foot swept the other man’s legs out from underneath him. Michael struck him in the face. Sweat and blood flew through the air as he connected with his jaw. High definition television showed a little too much detail for me.
“That’s called a ground-and-pound move.” Staring at the television, he was transfixed with a smile on his face.
“Did you win?” I asked, covering my eyes to avoid seeing the man struggle.
He looked at me with a look of shock on his face. “You’ll have to watch to find out, but what do you think?” he said, laughing.
“You won or you wouldn’t be showing this to me,” I said with a smile before turning back to the television.
Although I knew the outcome, it made my stomach hurt to watch the footage. My heart beat in my throat as I sat on the edge of the couch watching the recording through my fingers.
Michael squeezed my knee, patting it gently. “I can’t wait to get back in the cage.”
“How long did you say until the next match?” I looked at his face, his happiness evident.
“Just a couple of weeks. I’ll be cutting way back on my schedule at the shop for final preparations.”
“Where is it?” I asked, praying it was far away.
How would I feel seeing him fighting with another man in the flesh instead of on a recording? The roar of the crowd with each blow was shocking and in person had to be almost deafening.
“Right here in Tampa. I wanted in because it’s close to home. You’re gonna come right?”
“Um, yeah, I guess I’ll be there.” I turned my attention back to the television as his fist made contact with the opponent’s jaw again. His head flew back and I could see the satisfaction on Michael’s face. “What made you travel to New York for this fight?”
“I want you there, Mia. You have to watch at least one in person. That was a huge fight. It was on Pay-Per-View and helped get my name out there. I want to make a name for myself in this industry.”
“Why would you do this when you’re a successful business owner?” I looked at him, totally confused by the man I knew and the one I saw on the screen. The fighter scared the hell out of me, but the man to my side made me feel safe and comfortable. I thought of him as a softy although I’d never tell him that.
“I do MMA for the thrill and the challenge. I’d give up working in the tattoo shop to fight full-time. Wait, here’s the end, you have to watch.” Touching my chin, he pushed my eyes back toward the television.
Michael had ‘The Mauler’ on the ground in a chokehold. Their legs were twisted together, their bodies entwined as he squeezed the man’s neck, cutting off his airway. I couldn’t look away no matter how much I wanted to – I was transfixed and then they released each other.