“Does it hurt when you get kicked in the face?” asked Holt, the man I was currently on a date with. I bit my lip trying to not just blurt out that he was an idiot. After mentally counting to ten, I felt like I could answer nicely.
“Yes, getting hit anywhere hurts, but you don’t really think about it much when you’re in the octagon.” I took a sip of my wine and prayed the waiter brought us the check soon.
It wasn’t that Holt wasn’t attractive, or that he was a bad guy; he was pretty nice, actually. He was around six foot, a little on the smaller than average size, and he wasn’t built, but you could tell he worked out. He had pretty brown eyes and sandy blond hair. He had opened doors for me, held out my chair, treated me with respect, and tried to engage in conversation with me. I should have been begging him to give me his babies, right?
Wrong. He was too sweet, and while I was sure he would make some librarian woman very happy, I, on the other hand, fought in the MMA for a living. I loved it; it was a passion. My friend Cammy had set me up with this guy, thinking he would sweep me off my feet, but as soon as I’d seen him I had called how the date would go. He just wasn’t man enough for me.
The sound of his cell phone ringing brought me back to reality. He reached down into his pocket to see who it was, then pushed it back into his slacks.
“Sorry, my mom was wondering how the date was going.” He smiled knowingly, like I knew the feeling of having a caring mother. I did, but she wasn’t involved in my love life. I tried to keep that information from her because she was a sex therapist, and she loved to try and help me in the love department. I smiled and sipped some more wine. I was going to have to pee really bad after this date.
“So, I’ve probably got a few more hours before she will wonder when I’m coming home; would you like to do something else? Maybe see a movie?”
I almost spit that sip of good wine all over the table. After swallowing, I couldn’t keep it in anymore.
“You live with your mom?”
He smiled and nodded.
“Yeah, she’s been going through a rough time. Got divorced from her second husband two years ago. She needs the company. It’s nice though, I rarely have to cook anything.” I could tell he was truly happy about his life.
“Well, good for you. I’m gonna go, this isn’t going to work out for me. I’m looking for something different. Have a good night.” I pulled a hundred out of my clutch and knew that would cover the bill and then some. I didn’t want to sit there anymore with the sweet mamma’s boy.
“Are you sure? I thought we had something. We could go get ice cream and walk in the park?” He was so sweet and sincere, it was almost painful.
“Unless you are going to lick the ice cream off my tits and fuck me hard in the park, then yeah, I’m sure.” The shocked look on his face told me he would not be doing that. Shame. I waved goodbye and turned to leave the restaurant. Some of the people looked at me as I walked by and I could see the recognition flare in them.
I smiled politely because that’s what I’d been told to do, and kept on walking. As soon as the valet saw me, he spoke into a walkie and called for my car.
“Hey you’re Rayne Jackson!” said one of a group of teens as they passed by and then stopped. I smiled seeing their faces. I did enjoy meeting people who supported me in the MMA world.
“Yep, it’s me!” I exclaimed. One kid looked nervous; taking a guess at what he wanted, I held my hand out.
“Hand it over.” The kids face paled. Oh no, that’s not what I was aiming for.
“Your phone. I wanna take a picture with you guys.” I smiled and the kid’s face beamed—all five of them did. I loved this. The one kid pulled out his phone and set it on camera mode before handing it over. We gathered together and I fit us all on the screen.
“Say cheesecake!” I smiled and clicked the button, then handed it back to the kid.
“Thank you for the picture. Make sure you tag me on Facebook and Twitter.” The looks on the kids’ faces were priceless. The boys had their chests puffed out like little badasses, and the two girls glowed.
“Thanks! We’re rooting for you. We hope you beat Tasha’s ass!” one of the boys said excitedly.
“Thanks guys,” I said just as the valet pulled my car up. I waved to them and they cheered then said bye. I tipped the valet, hopped into my little BMW sedan, and pulled out onto the street. I took a deep breath and cleared my thoughts. I was ready to get home, take a shower, and have a one-on-one session with B.O.B. I pulled into my apartment complex and waited for the gate to scan the little security bar code on my back window to allow me to enter the underground parking lot.
Before I even got out of the car I took off my heels; I wasn’t a big heels girl. I wore them, because even I liked to be pretty and wear dresses and killer heels, but man did they make my feet sore. With my heels in my hand, I got out of the car and headed up. The elevator ride to floor six was boring and I welcomed it. Once the doors opened, I shuffled to my apartment.
“Oh honey, didn’t go very well did it?” My neighbor Franny from across the hall opened the door. I gave her a shrug.
“He was sweet, but a huge mamma’s boy. He wouldn’t even lick ice cream off me,” I whined. She shook her head. Franny was in her seventies and was a widow. She had sort of adopted me when I’d moved in across from her, and she was a firecracker.
“That’s a shame. Everyone loves a good ice cream body sundae.” She turned and went back into her apartment, then was back in a flash with a plate covered with foil.
“Here’s some brownies for you.” She handed them over and I balanced them with my free hand.
“Thank you, I definitely need these. We still good for American Ninja next week?” I asked. She winked and waved me off.
“Of course dear, now go take a shower. Wash that wimpy boy off you.” She turned and closed the door.
After unlocking mine, I dropped the brownies off on the counter and went to do exactly what she’d said. I stayed under the warmth of the water’s spray for quite a long time before getting out and drying off. I wiped off the mirror and took in my appearance. My straight black hair was hanging over my breasts and stopped just below them. I always felt like a mystical mermaid when it did that. My green eyes were a dramatic contrast to the dark hair and pale skin. I had a few light freckles that decorated my upturned nose. I looked down at my body and examined myself. I was proud of the body I had worked for. I trained every day for hours—striking, grappling, cardio, and weights.
I grabbed my lotion and lathered up. My fingers massaged over the scars on my right leg a little more, trying to break up any scar tissue. I had finally started to embrace my scars.
A year before I’d been twenty-eight and in my prime. I was defeating every opponent that was thrown at me, and signed with the UFC and everything. It was the highlight of my life—until my fight with Tasha Talon. She was a feisty woman who’d had it out for me since I’d gotten signed to the UFC before her. I didn’t have any ill will toward her; I never cared if someone didn’t like me. I wasn’t going to be everyone’s favorite person, but I never went out of my way to be a bitch to anyone. I was a very laid back chick and just did whatever made me happy. Tasha, however, just wanted me gone.
In the beginning of our match, everything was going perfect, until she had me up against the edge of the octagon. She strike kicked and nailed me in the shin. The crack of the bone was so loud it was all I heard in the arena. Tasha had heard it too, but wrapped her leg around my broken one and rolled me over to the ground. I was writhing in pain when they called the match. I was taken out immediately and went to get some x-rays. I had a shattered tibia, and a torn meniscus and ACL. I was in need of surgery, and just like that my career in MMA was on hold. I knew people came back from these injuries, but I also knew it was a long, hard road. I knew it would be tough, but I was willing. I had to do it—and I did. I’d worked my ass off, and now I was three months away from my rematch with Tasha. I was looking forward to it—not for revenge, but to show her and myself that nothing could stop me.
I looked back up at my reflection, gave myself the “you got this girl” wink, went to check that my door was locked, and turned off the lights. I rolled onto my queen sized bed and reached into my nightstand. Bingo.
I pulled out my beautiful blue B.O.B. He was the best battery operated boyfriend any girl could ask for. I settled myself against my pillows and set B.O.B. next to me. I wasn’t ready for him just yet but I wanted him to be close when I was. I closed my eyes and thought of my sexy man. He was the same faceless man I thought of all the time. My dream man. He was tall and had an air of confidence that swirled around him. He walked toward me like a lion about to pounce on his prey. I felt my body shiver from his determination to have me. Once he got to me, his hand wrapped around my waist and moved with precision to my ass. With ease he lifted me up and pressed me against the wall with force.
My dream man was the ultimate alpha man, not an asshole, just confident and strong, and when he knew what he wanted, he got it. My legs wrapped around him and pulled his hips flush with mine.
My breaths started to grow heavy and I moved my fingers down to my sex; just visualizing my dream man was getting me so wet and primed. I continued the thoughts of my man pressing his cock against my core, making me cry out. I pressed two fingers against my clit and started moving in little circles.
His lips crashed against mine and he devoured my mouth with purpose. He was dominating me and I was enjoying it—hell, I craved it.
I knew I was building up to an orgasm fairly quickly. It had been a solid week since my last session. My vision took a turn for desperation: frantically our clothes were scattered about, I bit his lip and he growled.
I grabbed B.O.B. and rubbed him along the seam of my entrance. Go time. In the same motions of my dream man, I was filled with cock and screaming my release in minutes. The vibrations and the clit stimulator had me shaking and crying out. When I was done, I lay there and basked in my post orgasmic bliss.
If only a real man could give me the same earth shattering release. I’d yet to find one real guy that could replace dream man, but I wasn’t giving up. I would find him. I rolled out off my bed to clean myself and B.O.B. up, then went back to my comfy sheets and passed out.
Time to go Cinderella
I woke up to a loud knocking sound on my door. I was going to beat somebody. My coach had actually given me the day to rest, and I wanted to take full advantage of that, starting with those brownies for breakfast. The knocking sound continued. I rolled over and looked at my clock on the nightstand: 7 AM!
Feeling pissed that someone had woken me up early on an off day, I rolled out of bed and threw on a robe before stomping to the door. I looked in the peep hole and groaned.
“What do you want Hope? Today’s my day off!” I stared at my little blonde-haired agent with disappointment. She knew my schedule, so she was clearly there for a reason.
“The Gala is tonight, Rayne, so open the damn door.”
Reluctantly I opened the door. Hope had been my agent from the beginning, and even when I was out on injury, she’d still stayed be my side. She had become a friend, and she was the best agent I could ask for. She stood about four inches below my five-foot-seven frame, and her brown eyes were staring at me in shock.
“You’re not up and moving yet?”I turned and went to grab my brownie platter, then settled on the couch.
“It’s my day off,” I grumbled and unwrapped the plate.
“I hope you aren’t going to eat that! You’ve got to fit into the dress tonight.” She glared at the brownie in my hand. I glared right back.
“Seriously? One brownie isn’t going to make me gain fifteen pounds. I work out like crazy, I’m allowed.” I stuffed the brownie in my mouth, moaning at the pure chocolate deliciousness.
“You forgot about the gala didn’t you?” She sat down on the chair across from my couch. The Gala was a black tie formal event at the famous Ringling art and circus museum in Sarasota, Florida, where I lived, and was for a charity for the arts. There were a few select local artists even showing off their work. It would be a great night, and I was both excited and unenthusiastic about going. There would be other fighters, and a few movie stars who were big into the arts. Sometimes in that type of crowd I felt like I didn’t fit in; I wasn’t into partying or the drama of the high profile lifestyle. I was more of a hang out at home with cooked meals, sparring with my training partners and watching reruns of my favorite shows type of girl.
“I didn’t forget, I’m just dreading it.” I bit into a second little slice of brownie.
“This is a big night! Everyone will be there. It will be good to get out there and talk to people. It’ll make everyone see that you are back in business and ready to fight.” Hope was right; it would be a big debut of sorts. I had pretty much stuck to recovering and training since my last fight and I was ready to jump back in.
“Now, do you have a date for tonight or do I need to find you one?” Another date. I sighed wondering how this one was going to go.
“You can find me one. I just want to sit on my butt until it’s time to get ready. Cammy’s coming over in a few hours to help me.” My best friend Cammy was a makeup and hair genius. She could do no wrong.
“Good, good. Who knows? You could meet the man of your dreams tonight.” She beamed; I just rolled my eyes. I seriously doubted it.
“Well I’ll leave you to enjoy your day. I just wanted to drop this off for you and see if you were ready for The Gala.” She pulled a little envelope out of her purse and handed it to me. “Ok, enjoy your rest day because tonight will be one awesome night!” she sang as she walked out of my apartment.
I looked down at the envelope and opened it. Inside was my invitation to the event along with a little handwritten message that a driver would be picking me up at six. I looked at the clock on my microwave. Twenty minutes had passed since I’d woken up. I set the plate of brownies on the coffee table and went back to my bed, hoping that I would go back to sleep. After tossing and turning, I grabbed the remote and turned on the wall TV to Netflix.
I pulled up Lost and continued season three. I lay there in bed for a few episodes until I begrudgingly decided I couldn’t waste the whole day away in bed, even though I would have loved to do just that. I got up and went to make myself something good for breakfast besides brownies. I whipped up a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and devoured it quickly.
Feeling the need to run, I put on some running clothes and went for a short three-mile run. Since not being able to walk because of the surgery, even for the short time it had been, I didn’t ever want to take moving for granted. I loved running along the Sarasota Bay, seeing the water and the boats passing by. It was so serene and it calmed me down. As I made my way back to the apartment, I saw a few paparazzi hanging by the entrance to my building.
“Rayne Jackson!” They started to get excited. The paparazzi and I had a steady relationship. They were just people trying to do a job, and I could respect that. They also had the power to write really nasty things, so I found it worthwhile to talk to them. I had nothing to hide anyway. I always tried to live a life that was open and honest.
“Hi guys!” I waved politely.
“Do you have a comment on Tasha’s interview last night?” the taller blond man asked. I felt myself freeze at the mention of Tasha. What had she said now?
“I actually don’t know what you’re talking about,” I admitted.
“Are you and Arson Kade dating?” the baldheaded man asked. My eyes widened. Arson Kade was the best male MMA fighter in the business, a well-known player and bad boy of the league.
“No, I haven’t even met the guy.” I blushed. Such a strange question. I hadn’t ever met him before, but I’d seen him fight. A while back I’d been in a pre-big show fight where he was the main attraction. I’d stayed after a shower and watched him battle to keep his title. He was like a God in the octagon.
“Thanks guys! I’m gonna go shower.” I made my way through the door and up to my apartment. Once in the shower I shook my head and laughed at the question about Arson Kade. Really? I couldn’t help but laugh. He dated supermodels and movie stars. I had an awesome body, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t soft curves with porn star boobs like those women were. I was a fighter, and he was a player, which was definitely not on my list of guys to date.
Was he super hot? Hell yes.
Would he probably rock my world? I’d bet my next orgasm he would, but was I willing to risk my heart with him? Fuck no
. Even though we were in the same fighting world, our chances of actually being in the same room together were slim. I finished my shower and got dressed in a button-up shirt and panties. I found it was best to get your makeup done with something you could unbutton versus pulling over your head.
I had just sat down for lunch when I heard Cammy’s knock. She knocked a tune, and I knew I had to finish it or there would be hell to pay. I ran to the door and finished the tune just as I was supposed to do, then opened it wide for her. She was rocking a pink flowing sundress that was very her.
“Here, help me with this.” My sweet redheaded friend thrust a metal case, which I knew was full of makeup, at me. I grabbed it and helped her take it into my bathroom, the room with the best lighting.
“Ohh lunch time,” she sang as we finished setting up her ungodly amount of beauty supplies.
“Yep, your sandwich is on the counter.” I pointed toward the plate and went back to my own.
“You’re such a peach.” She blew me a kiss and grabbed her plate to join me at my little four-seat table. Cammy and I had been friends since high school. While I was taking muay thai classes, she was taking dance and singing lessons. We’d met in freshmen English class and had just connected. She was a quirky little blue-eyed chick and I loved her for it.
“So good.” She moaned through her full mouth. We ate in silence until we both patted our flat, full tummies.
“So here’s what I’m thinking. We hang out and watch Pride and Prejudice, then start your makeup. Sound good?” I pondered over her proposal. It did sound good. I smacked the table and stood up.
“Let’s do it!” We raced around the house and got ready. Cammy popped in the movie then grabbed the blankets and tea to drink. We both loved this movie. Although the first one was a classic, we loved the Kiera Knightley version the best. We spent the next few hours reciting lines and sighing at all the right romantic moments. Didn’t all girls dream of meeting their very own Mr. Darcy? After the movie was over, we went into the bathroom and got to work on my makeup and hair.
“There. All done. Now let’s go put on that pretty dress of yours.” Cammy never allowed me to see myself until I was the complete finished product. I never minded because I trusted her and knew she always did a fabulous job. She came back from my closet with my garment bag hanging from her arms.
I’d had this dress specially designed for this event. The event was a benefit for the arts, so I wanted my dress to be a work of art itself. She carefully unzipped the bag and a big smile grew on her face.
“You are going to be killer in this babe.” She slowly pulled it out, and even more slowly, she helped me get it on. Once the dress was in place, I slid on my heels and walked to the full length mirror by my closet.
“Wow.” I looked at myself and was stunned. The dress fit me perfectly. It was a golden sequined long gown, V neck with capped sleeves that wrapped around my shoulders back to front, leaving it completely backless. My simple nude stilettos added a little simplicity to the gown. The last part of the dress my eyes kept drifting toward was the slit that went from my toes to my upper thigh. I didn’t feel even the least bit uncomfortable that my scars were showing; they were art themselves, showing the struggles I had been though. I looked up to see that my makeup was flawless. Golden hues and pink lipstick made my green eyes pop with the contrast of the black hair, which was pulled into a low messy bun with little braids weaved through the design. Cammy had added two golden ribbons to look like head bands into the mixture. I looked like a glamorous Greek goddess.
“You are amazing.” I turned to Cammy to see she was all giddy, barely containing herself.
“I know!” she squealed. She bounced over to me and gave me a quick smack on the butt.
“Time to go Cinderella, get a move on or you’re going to be late!” She nicely pushed me toward the door and handed me my clutch.
“Geez, okay I’m going!” I was kicked out of my own apartment in seconds. I half expected to see Franny outside her door trying to take pictures of me like I was her only daughter going off to prom, but she wasn’t. I moved with haste down to the lobby and out the door, where a man was standing by a Mercedes waiting for me.
“Ms. Jackson.” He bowed his head and opened the door for me. I jumped in and in a moment we were on our way.
Flowers and Fucks
I could not wait to go home. The Gala had been in full swing since I’d arrived an hour before and I was dying to leave. I usually loved this museum; I could spend hours just walking around and taking it all in. That night’s event was out in the courtyard next to a giant naked statue of David—nothing like a giant naked man to keep conversations less awkward.
“Those crab cakes were the shit,” my date brilliantly commented. He was a total bust and the main reason I wanted to leave. He was good-looking, which was probably why Hope had chosen him. He was an up-and-coming model—and twenty-four years old, I might add. He had blond hair and blue eyes, and he was built, but it was just for show. He was a cocky asshole who assumed I would be putting out and that I wore my pretty dress to tease him. I was tempted to just break a limb of his and be done.
“I hadn’t tried them,” I mumbled as I stood up from my seat at the table we were at.
“Excuse me, I’m going to go use the ladies’ room.” In reality I just needed a break. The table we had been placed at had four other guests: one movie star and her hunk of the week, and a famous chef and his wife of twenty years. I enjoyed talking to the chef, but the movie starlet would interrupt and our conversations would cease.
Instead of heading toward the bathrooms, I decided to walk to the rose garden. It wasn’t too much farther away, but it was quiet, and right then, that was what I wanted. The rose garden was in full bloom and there were little lantern lights lit up around the small maze of flowers. In the middle was an Italian iron and stone gazebo. Underneath the open metal roof I sat on the stone bench and looked above at the stars, taking my first real, deep breath since I’d arrived.
“Rough night?” A smooth voice startled me from my peaceful moment. I turned toward the voice and my mouth dropped.
Arson Kade was standing there leaning against the stone pillar, not even five feet from me. My eyes roamed over him. Seeing him in the ring was nothing compared to seeing him in person. His tux fit perfectly over his well-defined body. He was tall, and looked strong. So strong. His black hair was styled all over the place, giving him that bad boy vibe he was known for, and his green eyes were piercingly bright. Whereas mine were like emeralds, his were almost lime green. It was mesmerizing. His jaw line was sharp and his full lips were set in a smirk. Just like that, I felt blush creep onto my cheeks from staring at him.
“Sorry, um you could say that again?” I decided I needed to look away from him so I turned my head back up toward the stars.
“It’s quite beautiful here. Ever been to this place before?” I heard him move to the bench across from me.
“Yes, this is my hometown actually.” I smiled. I’d enjoyed growing up in Florida, and it also meant on Mondays I got into the museum for free because I was a resident. My eyes drifted back down to him and I didn’t want to be rude, so I let my head follow my eyes. He was looking at me with that same smirk.
“I’ve never been. I’ve wanted to come to this area for a year now but could never find the right opportunity.” His eyes fixed on mine. The scene was feeling quite intense and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out the question that was floating in my head.
“What are you doing here? Were you here already and I interrupted you?” Now that the words were out, I found myself dying to know the answer. I had never met this man, and I had no idea why he would be there talking to me.
“I wanted to meet you.” He continued to watch me, waiting to see my reaction. He wanted to meet me; that wasn’t so bad.
“Oh,” I said quietly. I could feel his heated gaze and noticed his eyes had moved from mine down my dress and back up. A little light bulb went off in my head, and once again, no-filter mouth opened.
“I’m not that type of girl you know.” I watched as the smirk turned into a beautiful smile, one I had never seen before. God it made me feel little tingles inside.
“I know.” Holy cryptic answer. Feeling a bit out of my league, I stood and smoothed my dress.
“Well it was nice meeting you. I better get back.” I smiled and started to walk away from the strange encounter with Mr. Cryptic.
“He’s a prick you know.” I turned to him to see what he was talking about. He took in my confused face, stood, and slowly walked toward me. His walk was much like the predatory one of my dream man. I felt my body start to hum with anticipation. This was not good.
“Your boyfriend. He’s a prick. You deserve better.” He stopped a foot away from me, my four inch heels bringing us to an even height. His breath mingled with mine. I was too stunned to move. This man who I found extremely attractive was in my space, making my body start to short-circuit, telling me my boyfriend was a prick. Boyfriend?
“He’s not my boyfriend. My agent sent him as my date.” I felt a strange need to let him know that I wasn’t attached. His eyes closed and he took a deep breath. When they opened again, I swore I could have orgasmed right there in the garden. The eye fucking he was giving me was so raw I found myself leaning in to get closer.
“Good. You deserve so much more.” I took a step back, trying to disconnect whatever this was. He was Arson fucking Kade, MMA’s notorious bad boy. I didn’t need that. He was not the man I was looking for. I tried to take another step, but his strong arms reached out and brought me flush with his hard body. I didn’t even think there were any words for how his body being pressed up against mine made me feel. Every part of me was alive and sensitive.
“Ask me what you deserve.” His breath danced acros