Cherry = Ripe and Delicious. Too tempting.
Even though I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I built my own successful R&D company from scratch. I"m always looking for talent. That"s how I meet Cherry Bomb " underground MMA fighting princess. After watching one match, I"m hooked and sign her on as my newest investment.
Sweet, tart, and fresh, I want to do more than spar with her. I want her. And that"s a problem.
We have different priorities. Hers, to take care of her family, while I need to find mine.
But I"m quickly becoming addicted to her. It"s an addiction I need to kick. If she doesn"t KO me first.
*** This is a full length novel with a happily ever after, no cliffhanger, no cheating, and plenty of steam. ***Books by Author:Alice Ward Books
One, two, three"
I inhaled a deep breath, needing to clear my mind and concentrate.
This was it. The big day. After years of training and prep, I was finally facing my first cage match. I couldn"t believe it.
I needed to get in the right mind for the fight, but it was hard with all the random chatter echoing off the concrete walls.
The abandoned underground tunnels were much more crowded than usual as fans poured into the basement level of an old Louisville parking garage, spectators coming from all over the city to witness Cherry Bomb take out Andrew the Giant.
Goosebumps rose on my skin at the chant of my name, the crowd"s energy thrumming through me. It was a good sign that my name was being shouted evenly with my opponent"s. It meant that I was becoming known in the underworld of fights.
I breathed deeply again, but it did little to calm my nerves. I had been successful enough in my regular fights, but a caged gig was much more complicated. There were different rules and strategies that wouldn"t work tonight, and I needed to be mindful of all of them. All while trying not to be seriously maimed or killed.
There"d been nothing regular about any of my matches over the past two years. I was female, and few people knew how or why I even got involved in the world of fights.
Breaking what little concentration I"d gained as I stretched my hamstrings, a curly haired nerdy reporter entered and announced he was from the quirky local flavor magazine, LEO, then stuck his recorder in my face. I sighed and continued stretching as I remembered my trainer giving me a heads up about an interview.
Holding his arm outstretched as far as it would go, he wore a bug-eyed expression behind dark-framed glasses, as if he thought I was going to punch him and wanted to stare at my tits at the same time.
"Cherry Bomb, can you tell me a little bit about how you ended up where you are today""
I cleared my throat and focused on being professional. This was for my future, I reminded myself. More importantly, it was for my family"s future. Which also meant ignoring the googly eyes and leers instead of punching anyone who looked at me wrong.
At a lean five-foot-eleven and three-quarters, I was built like Wonder Woman without the armor. I was used to the attention, but it didn"t mean I liked it.
"In my first and only semester of college, I needed a physical education course," I repeated the story I"d memorized, making sure I sounded competent and friendly. "There was an Introduction to MMA offered. I took it on a lark, thinking I would just skip as many lessons as possible so I could go to my part-time job, but I ended up falling in love with the sport."
The reporter leaned in. "I can certainly tell that something about it clicks with you. What do you think that is""
My name being chanted on the other side of the wall washed over me in a wave, like a warm embrace, and I forgot that every word I said would be printed and circulated throughout the city. "I don"t know if it"s the adrenaline from facing down a foe, or the ability to work out all my anger. I love the sport."
"As a woman fighter, your fans are interested to know what drives you into the ring with each fight. Do you have a lot of anger to dispel""
I blinked at the question. It wasn"t that I was specifically an angry person" just had a lot of frustration to let out. "All of my life, my parents worked so hard on our farm in Pike County, Indiana, yet even after moving to Louisville, we still barely make ends meet."
I locked my jaw, images swirling through my head of all the nice things people had around me. How they could go out to eat when they wanted or see a movie on a whim while my teenage brother, Sage, wore the same pair of jeans down to threads. It didn"t feel right that we struggled so hard.
"And that motivated you," the reporter prompted, staring at my tits.
"Yeah. My dad"s passing away was an unrecoverable event for my family. So I started fighting to pay the bills."
"Fighting"s a great outlet. Do you still attend college and take MMA classes""
Heat rose to my cheeks as I admitted all the ways in which I"d failed. "I actually quit college." I shrugged as if it was no big deal. "It had just been way too time consuming and I needed to work to take care of my family. All the MMA classes within reach of the bus were so far out of my price range they might as well have been on another planet, and the boxing gyms weren"t much better. I knew I would never be able to swing their stratospheric costs and resigned myself to just training on my own."