Authors: Sienna Valentine
He looked up at her, his eyes no longer misty.
"Can you come up for a minute?"
Joel told his mother he'd be right back and swung himself up into the ring again.
"These men over here want to talk to you."
Shawn Rock was over talking to the two of them when they approached.
"Hi Joel," said Shawn. "I want you to meet Nathan Zimmer and Umberto Bari. They work for Titan."
Both men were tall and slightly overweight, but all smiles as they reached forward and shook Joel's hand. "Great fight," said Nathan.
"Terrible decision," Umberto added. He had a slight Italian accent.
"You may or may not be aware that we've signed Carlos to fight with us," Nathan said.
Joel nodded. "I'd heard." His voice was flat as he said that, causing Nathan to laugh.
"You're not impressed? Well, we stand by that decision. Carlos is a good fighter."
"But maybe you're a bit better, yes?" Umberto added.
Joel shrugged, but allowed himself a little smile.
"Listen," said Nathan, "we want to sign you as well. Same deal that we gave to Carlos. Standard three fight contract, guaranteed to be at least on the televised undercard."
Amber's eyes rolled over to Joel and she saw his mouth open in shock. He didn't say anything, but luckily Shawn took over.
"Gentlemen, that is a very generous offer. I'll tell you what, why don't you leave us your card and we'll let Joel have a couple of days to think it over. We can call you from my office in a couple of days. Does that sound good?"
Both men nodded. "If you decide to sign with us, Umberto here will discuss the terms with you. He's also our sponsorship contact, and he can help set you up with the right sponsors for you who can help pay for the things you need while you train."
Shawn nodded and clapped Joel on the back, bringing some life back into the stunned fighter. "Um, thank you," he said, reaching forward to shake their hands again. They handed him a business card and then stepped out of the ring, leaving the three of them alone.
Amber's heart was fluttering in her chest, and she could only imagine how Joel must feel.
"You'll need a manager," Shawn said. "I can recommend someone if you'd like."
Shawn laughed. "You look like you're in shock. I think you need to take the night and let this all settle in. This is great news, Joel. You're going places. I knew it the first time I saw you. I hope you'll continue to train with us. Same deal as before. I know a big up and comer when I see one, and I know before long it'll be great for the club to have your name associated with us."
He clapped Joel on the shoulder one more time and said good night to the two of them.
Amber turned to Joel and leaned forward, giving him a soft kiss on the lips. His eyes seemed to focus again, oceans of blue that she would be happy to drown in.
"Come on," she said, grabbing his hand. "Let's go tell your mom the news."
The last few days had been a whirlwind of activity for Joel, and he was happy to lay in bed on Sunday with Amber, her bare leg draped over his waist and the sweaty sheets cast onto the floor. Their breathing was just beginning to settle back down, but knowing Amber she'd probably be back on top of him giving him another work out at any minute. As enjoyable as that thought was, he wanted to talk to her first.
"I haven't had a chance to tell you everything that happened yesterday with Shawn," he said. He'd met with his trainer and Louis Gagnon, the manager who he had introduced to Joel a couple of days ago. Joel had asked the man to represent him, and together the three of them called Nathan and Umberto to go over the details of the contract they were offering. He'd only really told Amber that he signed, but then they went out to dinner with his mother and got home late. The morning had been taken up with other, more pressing activities and his stomach was growling for breakfast already. But he was anxious to tell her about what he'd decided.
Amber kissed his shoulder blade where her head rested, her red hair tickling his chin as she moved. Her hand slid down along his body to trace the contours of his abdominals. He knew from experience he wouldn't be able to concentrate for very much longer.
"So like I said, we signed with Titan for three fights to begin with. Depending on how things go, they may opt to add additional fights, but I'd be paid more for those and I have the option to say no."
"Why would you?" she said, her fingertips still lightly gliding up and down his stomach, but inching lower with each pass.
"I probably wouldn't, I don't know. Point is it would be up to me." That was important to him, at least. "Anyway, the pay for those fights is only a couple grand each, but there is a bonus that doubles that if I win."
"Which you will," she said. Her hand slid below his belly button and her leg moved lower so that it only covered his thigh now, exposing the rest of him to the warm air of the room and, more importantly, her exploring hands.
"Hopefully. They said my first fight will likely be against Carlos."
"Hmph," she said, her fingers pausing for a split second before continuing their descent.
"Anyway, the money from those will be nice, but the bigger payday comes from sponsorships. Umberto already mentioned a couple who are interested in signing me. Louis is going over the details. Usually that money is used to pay for a fighter's training."
"I thought you were going to continue at Rock House?"
"Well that's great then! You'll get some savings together. Maybe we can finally move some place with better air conditioning."
"Maybe," he said. "But I was actually wondering if you thought you could handle the heat for a little bit longer," he said.
"Oh, sure. I guess so."
"It's not so bad at nights anyway, it's really only annoying during the day."
Her hand had stopped completely now. "Well, I know you're training during the day but I'm usually at home until I leave for work in the late afternoon. But yeah, I mean... we can stay here." He could hear the disappointment in her voice.
"About that," he continued, trying to keep the smile off of his face and from his voice. "I was thinking maybe you should change your schedule."
This time she lifted her head to look at him, annoyance forming creases in her brow. "You don't make money as a bartender during the day," she said. "It's just not practical. I thought you understood that."
"I do," he said. His smile leaked onto his face and it seemed to annoy her even more.
"So why would you suggest changing my schedule if you know I wouldn't make any tips?"
Joel put his arm over the side of the bed and reached under the mattress, pulling out a brochure. He sat up on his own arm, making a space between them and dropped it down onto the bed.
"I think you aren't going to have time to bartend anymore," he said.
Amber picked up the pamphlet, but her furrowed brow remained. "Huh? Why are you giving me this? This is for a nursing college."
"I know," he said. "Sign up starts next week. Shawn is going to advance me the first semester's tuition and I can pay him back after my first fight and I get paid."
"I don't understand." Amber was shaking her head, but her eyes were glued to the papers in front of her.
"Amber, I don't need the money. I've never had any, and I can go without for a while longer without missing it. This apartment is cheap, and from what I'm going to get between the fights and the sponsorships, even if I don't win, I can afford to pay for this place and your tuition."
"Joel, I don't-"
"Shhh," he said, putting his hands over her mouth to stop her from protesting. Her lips were soft and once she closed her mouth he let his fingers trail across her cheek and then glide through her long red hair.
"Please don't argue about this, Amber. I want to do this for you. After everything you've done for me... shit, everything good that's happened to me in the last couple months has been directly because of you. I would never have any of this if it wasn't for you. I wouldn't have ever spoken to my mother again. Never heard her side of the story..."
His hands traced along the nape of her neck. "I would have gone my whole life believing that my mother thought I was a piece of shit, and I would have continued to hate her until I died. I would have continued to believe that there was no one out there who could love me, that I wasn't worthy of it... I would never have realized that I could love someone as well. That not everyone is out to just take. Some people give.
"You've given me my dreams. The ones I've held in my mind for years, but also ones I never even dared to have when I slept. I can finally repay some of that. You have to let me. I want to give you your dreams."
Amber looked up at him, her eyes misted over in tears and she leaned forward. "You already have," she whispered, pressing her lips against his. It was all the answer he needed.
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(Part 1 of the Broken/Unbroken story)
Sometimes we pick our destiny, and sometimes our destiny picks us.
Joel Slater grew up learning to fight - not at school or in the streets, but at home. Against an abusive and alcoholic father that took out his own frustrations on his wife and only son. Fighting is all he's known since he was able to raise his own protective fists, and that knowledge is all he's left with when he's forced out of his house.
Amber Sinclair didn't expect to be working in a bar after college, but that's where she ended up and, for better or worse, her life was fairly simple and uncomplicated. Or it was, until she discovers some sort of street brawl happening in the alley next to her apartment.
efore she knows it, her life is mixed up in Joel's crazy world of fighting and negativity. He's a broken soul, filled with demons of his past she can't even imagine. Exactly the man her mother would tell her to stay as far away from as possible. So why is she so drawn towards him?
(Note that this is an
novel and much more hardcore than Broken)
After spending the first 19 years of her life living it safe at home with her parents, Madison couldn't take it anymore. She longed for excitement and thrills, and thus soon finds herself bartending at a biker bar, despite warnings from friends and family. But she knew what she was getting into, didn't she?
She soon meets
Dax, a high ranking member of the Desperados motorcycle club, and is pulled quickly into a dangerous world that both excites and terrifies her. But she's strangely attracted to this rough and tattooed biker. Can she stick around long enough to crack his tough exterior and get him to see her as more than just a naive young girl?
And if she does stick around, will she be able to survive the dangers that this life brings, despite an upbringing that has left her wholly unprepared for it?
When Cassandra Smythe goes missing after a fight with her parents, they turn to Alden, a mysterious hunter known for always finding what he's after. No one knows that his secret is that he is a Lycan, and to a wolf, hunting is child's play. But it's a race against time because Alden must find Cassandra before the full moon, otherwise the woods that she's lost in will become rife with werewolves and there will be no hope left for her. Confounding things further, though, is the strange attraction he has to this curvaceous girl's scent. Will she be drawn to his animal magnetism in the same way?
When Katrina books a couple of hours with professional MMA trainer Dana, she expects to get sweaty in the ring going a few rounds with the dark haired beauty. But when Dana realizes that Katrina's problem is that she is too easily distracted in the ring, her attempts to teach her to ignore everything but the fight ends up with the two of them getting sweaty for a whole other reason.
Sarah is not pleased about being dragged by her boyfriend to see a Monster Logic concert at a local venue, and she is even more unhappy when he urges her to go backstage and get him an autograph. But when she meets lead singer Chase Noble in his dressing room, will a combination of drugs and rock and roll lead to hot sex? That would be the last thing Sarah expected...
The strip club is abuzz with the fact that David Osborne, one of the richest men in the country was watching the girls from the back corner. When he chooses to take Amanda, aka Trixie, to the champagne room, she has no idea what is in store for her. While back there, Amanda gets a glimpse of what makes David such a powerful man, someone use to getting whatever it is he wants.