Underground fighter Remington Tate is a mystery, even to himself. His mind is dark and light, complex and enlightening. At times his actions and moods are carefully measured, and at others, they spin out of control.
Through it all, there's been one constant: wanting, needing, loving, and protecting Brooke Dumas. This is his story; from the first moment he laid eyes on her and knew, without a doubt, she would be the realest thing he's ever had to fight for.
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“Pete, you think I need a sports rehab specialist?” I ask.
“You’re an asshole, dude. You hardly let the masseuses massage you for more than twenty minutes.”
“I need one now.” Pushing my iPad over to him, I tap the screen and signal to the name below her image. “I need that one.”
Pete lifts an interested eyebrow. “You do. Do you?”
“I need a sports rehab specialist on my payroll. I want her to tend to me every day. In whatever ways they do.”
He smirks. “They don’t do blow jobs, I’ll tell you that.”
“If I wanted a blow job, I could have had three just now. What I want . . .” Once again, my finger taps over her name. “Is this sports rehab specialist.”
Pete’s eyebrows fly up to his hairline, and he leans back and crosses his arms. “What exactly do you want her for?”
I chomp down the rest of my food, then take a long gulp of water so I can speak. “I want her for me.”
“Rem . . .” he says in warning.
“Offer her a salary she can’t decline.”
Pete answers me with a puzzled silence. He seems taken aback and is trying to make sense of me. He’s looking into my eyes, and I can tell he’s observing whether they are black or blue.
I’m not black. So I wait quietly. He sighs, slowly jots down her name, and speaks cautiously. “All right, Remington, but let me say, this has Bad Idea written all over it.”
Shoving my plate aside, I lean back and cross my arms.
My head betrays me half the time. One day, it tells me I am god. The other, it tells me that I not only rule hell, but I invented it. Does Pete think I give one fuck about what his own head thinks about my idea? I don’t listen to my head anymore. I listen only to my gut.
“I want her watching me fight Saturday,” I remind him as I get up and shove my chair back under the table. And I want her watching from the bet seats in the house.”
“Remington . . .”
“Just do it, Pete,” I say as I cross the living room back to the master.
“I already have the tickets ready to go, dude, but it’s hard enough keeping Diane from knowing of your . . . er, issues . . . It’s going to be even harder to keep it from someone like this sports rehab specialist.”
I prop my shoulder at the threshold of my bedroom and think about that. I lower my voice. “Make her sign a contract, so I have guaranteed time with her. And stabilize me the instant I start losing my shit.”
“Remington, just let me get some other girls—”
“No, Pete. No other girls.”
I shut myself in my room and grab my headphones, then just lie there with my iPod in my hand, staring at it.
What will it be like if I make her mine?
I don’t delude myself into thinking that she will accept me, but what if she does? What if she can understand me? The way I am? The two parts of me? No. Not two parts. Every. Single. Fucking. Part. Of me.
My gut tightens as I remember the way her eyes shone when she looked at me. The way they softened after I kissed her and she looked into my eyes, wanting more of me.
I have never seen a look quite like that before. I have been wanted by thousands of women. Nobody has ever looked at me with such open, frightened longing as her.
She was not frightened of me. She was frightened of “it.” This same thing clenching my gut that has me all tangled up. Every cell in my body is buzzing with awareness. Every inch of my skin is awake. My muscles feel primed like they do when I’m ready to fight. Except I’m not ready to fight now. I’m ready to go get my mate.
God help her.