Title: Taking the Fight Series: Gloves Off – Next Generation Author: L.P. Dover
Romantic Suspense, Sports Romance; MMA Fighters, Female MMA Fighter Mafia Romance, Alpha Male, Dark, Edgy, Underground Fighting Ring, Sexy Friends to Lovers, Best Friend’s Sister
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Whenever Braden got close to me, I could feel the burn in my veins. Just watching him train put me on the brink of orgasm. What made it worse was when we would spar together. He’d always find a way to get me down on the mat with his body between my legs. That was why I refused to train with him alone. Then again, I’d never really gotten the chance to with so many people being at the gym.
Waving a hand in front of my face, I blew out a breath, hoping the heat on my cheeks would ebb. Once I had enough time to cool down, I grabbed the wedding portfolio on my bookshelf and quietly crept down the hall to see what Braden was doing. He’d turned his ball cap to the front, but I didn’t regret telling him that he looked stupid with it backward; it kept him on his toes. However, I honestly did think he was cute with it that way, but I wasn’t about to tell him that.
His focus was on a shelf on the wall lined with pictures, mainly of Peyton and me, but there was one of my mom and Braden’s mother together with their arms around each other’s shoulders. They were best friends.
“I bet my mom can’t wait for yours to get back in town. I don’t think they’ve seen each other in four months. That’s like a century in best friend years,” I called out.
Braden chuckled and turned around. “Is that how you are with my sister? It’s been a while since you’ve seen her.”
Peyton is my best friend, but I loved her like a sister. Nodding, I focused on the picture of Peyton and me on the beach, posing for the camera in our bikinis with the ocean behind us.
“I love her just as much as I love Emma,” I stated.
A smirk spread across his face. “Then what happened with me? Our mothers forced us together our entire lives and yet you hate me. What gives?”
Batting my eyelashes, I smiled back. “I don’t hate you, Braden. I just think you, my brother, and Ripp have the big-head syndrome. My cousin, Brooks, is excluded from this.” Brooks was the only one out of our group that was responsible. He chose to become an FBI agent instead of a fighter. Now he was away on an undercover mission, and I had no clue when I’d see him again.
“Big-head syndrome?” Braden asked, grinning slyly. “Are you saying I have a huge dick?”
I held up a hand, cutting him off. “I can’t with you right now. I’m talking about the disease you have where you think you’re all that.”
Braden thrust his head back and laughed. “And what? You think you’re not the same way? I’ve seen all the men who want you, Reagan. It’s hard not to when all they do is stare. You enjoy the attention.” He marched over and stood in front of me, his body so achingly close I could feel the heat radiating from him. “And don’t you dare say otherwise. We both know it’d be a lie.”
I did like the attention, even more so now that I’d won my title and had millions of followers. What I craved more, though, was his attention. There was never a lack of it, but I could never get enough. I wanted more than the verbal sparring that was common between us. My phone beeped with an incoming text, so I stepped back to distance us.
Emma: Where are you? Carter just put the burgers on the grill.
I quickly texted her back.
Me: On my way.
“We have to go,” I said, looking up at Braden. “What are we going to tell Emma when she asks why you’re with me?”
Braden’s lips tilted up. “She’s marrying my cousin, Reagan, and I’m the best man. We could always say we’re trying to conserve gas.” His gaze narrowed playfully. “You make it sound like there’s something secret going on between us. Am I missing something?”
“Nope. There will never be anything between us,” I claimed. “That’s wishful thinking on your part.”
Braden stared into my eyes and then down to my lips. “Whatever you say, sunshine. You know one day, you might regret not taking me up on my offers.”
I followed him out the door and locked it while he strolled down the stairs. “I’d rather be a nun,” I shouted.
He laughed the whole way to his car. Who was I kidding? I wouldn’t last a second as a nun.