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|Hook Me(Men of Inked #2) by Chelle Bliss|
Sitting in my driveway I opened my text messages, my finger hovered over Michael’s name and his last message.
Michael: God damn it, Mia. I need you.
My resolve wavered until I thought about Tammy. I wanted no part in their crazy bullshit. I would’ve described him as romantic and an amazing lover, but f**k, there wasn’t a c**k in the world worth the hassle.
I wasn’t going to come between them.
My body felt heavy from a long shift on my feet, my mind was in a fog, and my heart ached. A small part of me wanted to see why he needed me, but I convinced myself it was a ploy.
The day had been emotionally draining already without opening my heart to him again and rubbing salt in the wound.
I pulled down the room darkening shades and closed the drapes. I tossed my clothes to the floor before I grabbed a glass of water and my sleeping pills. I needed for this day to be over.
I climbed into bed and closed my eyes, wishing the day away. Sleep didn’t come easy. Every time I drifted off a different nightmare would wake me up. Images of patients and their horrific injuries and the screams of the injured faceless people startled me awake. The last one dealt with Tammy waiting to slice my throat open in my car after work.
The sleeping pills were supposed to help knock my ass out, but tonight, they sure as hell weren’t doing the trick.
I turned on the television, giving up on sleep, and looked through the guide. There had to be something happy to watch to help replace my nightmares. “Sleepless In Seattle” had an hour left and I’d seen it a dozen times. I flipped to the channel and watched with stinging eyes. I needed the happily ever after.
I could recite the lines in the movie verbatim. When they meet on top of the Empire State Building at the end, it always brought me to tears.
I drifted off to thoughts of Sam and Annie.
“I hope your ass has been working out, man. Countdown is in single digits. What the f**k have you been doing?” Rob said as I landed another blow.
“I got this, Rob. Shit’s been going on in my personal life that I’ve had to deal with and I’m still dealing with it.” I stretched my shoulders, cracking my neck, readying myself for the next round. My heart hurt more than my muscled ached but I couldn’t stop.
“You need to get everything worked out before the fight. You need your head in the game. An hour here and there will not make you a champion.”
“Oh ye of little faith. I took down ‘The Mauler’ and I sure as f**k can handle ‘The Heat’. One problem will be taken care of today and then I just have to win Mia back,” I said as I grabbed a bottle of water, downing it, before crushing the plastic.
Mia walking away and shutting me out hurt more than any injury I’d even suffered in the cage. She gave me something good and pure to look forward to each day, but it was ripped from me by the devil.
His eyebrows shot up in surprise. “You hooked up with Mia, huh? You’re a lucky son of a bitch.” He shook his head but smiled. “She did ask me about you.”
“When?” I asked feeling hopeful.
“Weeks ago. Wanted to know who you were.” He shrugged.
“Oh. I’d say we more than ‘hooked up’. I really like her, man.”
“Before you grow a pu**y, can you at least train while you pour your heart out?”
“I’m done talking, dick. I’m going to make you pay for the pu**y comment.”
I spent the next hour doing just that. Cocky bastard talked a good game, but he wasn’t as fast as me. Rob knew the moves; his technical skills couldn’t be beat. He used to be part of the circuit but a nasty injury ended his fighting career.
I took my anger out on him. My jabs, kicks, and takedowns were aimed at him, but in my mind Tammy received each piercing blow. The bitch had crossed the line, making me miserable, and today I would call foul.
“Jesus, that’s the hardest you’ve hit me in a long time, man.” Rob huffed, grabbing his shoulder.
“I don’t have another outlet for my anger. You’re my personal punching bag,” I said, wiping the sweat from my eyes.
“Save some of it for the cage. Heat won’t know what hit’em. Maybe you shouldn’t straighten the shit out first.” He laughed.
“Fuck you, Rob.”
“Kidding, Mike.” He laughed. “Let’s call it a day. Be here tomorrow morning at five. We don’t have a moment to waste.”
I collapsed on the bench, every muscle screaming as I rubbed my thighs. “I’ll be here. Be ready for another ass kicking.” I smirked. I never hit him hard enough to hurt him. I had more power in me than I ever took out on him. “Today I get everything ironed out and I’ll be back on track. My mind will be focused.”
“I hope so. If you want to get another big match like New York, you can’t lose the next one.”
“Shut the f**k up. I got this. I’m not losing. He won’t be an issue.” I pulled the tape off my hands, squeezing them to get the blood to flow to my fingers.
“That’s the type of thinking that’ll get your ass knocked out.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be in my corner?” I looked at Rob as he stood in front of me.
He had a cocky grin on his face; the bastard was trying to get me riled up more than I already was with the Tammy bullshit. “I am. Just reminding you to get your shit straight.”
“Okay, Mom. I gotta go do just that. Now shut the f**k up and get outta my face.”