Nico’s eyes point downward, directing me to the scrap of lace material lying on the floor. “Think you dropped something.”

I quickly scoop up the lace at my feet and feel a tightening in my chest. It pisses me off that Nico’s seen anything that belongs to Liv. “Fuck off.”

Nico’s taken aback. “Since when are you protective of some GIMPs belongings?”

“It’s not some GIMPs.” Anger resonates from my every word as they’re spoken through my clenched teeth.

Nico looks confused for a minute, and then seems to come to some sort of understanding, even though I haven’t offered him an explanation. He slaps me on the back and walks with me to the door. “Glad to hear it. Now get out of here and go enjoy Liv.”

How does he know?


I stop on the way home and pick up lunch and the paper. It’s been years since I bought a freakin newspaper. The only time I even glance over at one is when I see a picture of myself, an ad for an upcoming fight. And then I read from the back page forward, stopping before I get to any real news. But it’s Liv’s paper, the one she works at, and I figure she probably reads it every day.

It’s quiet when I walk in. For a minute I think she might have left. Then I walk into my bedroom and catch sight of her. She’s lying in the middle of the bed wearing the shirt I had on last night. Her face is so peaceful as she sleeps, I almost pull the door closed and let her rest. Almost. But then she shifts in her sleep, one leg already bent at the knee lifts higher, taking the hem of my shirt with it revealing her porcelain, naked ass. And I just can’t resist.

I strip out of my clothes, my eyes never leaving the curve of her half naked ass. The way it rounds as it meets her thigh, toned muscle shaping the sides into a heart that leaves me salivating. There’s nothing I want to do more than turn that silky white skin a hot shade of red with my hand. It’s hard to resist as it peeks out at me, taunting me to slap it. Hard. So that she feels the sting on her ass as she sits down. So that she remembers me inside the hollow of her empty pu**y when I’m gone. Remembers who put it there. Who taught her to enjoy the pleasures of a little pain…

I’m two seconds away from waking her with the sting of my hand, followed by ramming myself into her for another round of hard, deep penetration, when her eyes flutter open and she looks up at me with a smile. It’s sweet and innocent, and an expression I’m not used to. One that I can’t remember seeing from another woman directed at me. Not ever. Not by any woman. I watch as her eyes come into focus and drift down to realize I’m naked. And hard. Her eyes look at my body with appreciation, but then our eyes meet again and she smiles even wider. Women usually don’t find my face again after their eyes drop below the neck. That works for me. Usually.


Pulling the sheet to the side, Liv rolls onto her back and reaches up her hand without words. So I take it, forgetting the pain I was so ready to inflict and following her lead instead. There’s always later…

Chapter 20


I split the paper in two offering Vinny the sports section as I delve into the business section. Sitting with my back against the arm of the couch, my legs lying over Vinny’s lap, he begins to rub my feet.

“Oh my god, that feels so good.” My voice drops, doing little to disguise the pleasure of his touch. My body instantly remembers the feel of his hands on other parts of my body. I close my eyes, releasing the paper I was intent on reading, completely forgetting the topic of the piece within seconds.

“I’m here to service.”

Vinny presses his thumb into the arch of my foot with one hand as the other kneads the ball of my foot, the part that carries my weight most days as I wear high heels to the office. “Mmmmmm.” The sound escapes me as my eyes roll into the back of my head. My shoulders slump, tension easing, even though his touch is at the other end of my body.

“Jesus, Liv. I can’t be responsible when you make that sound and you look like that.”

“Sorry, can’t help it. You have really good hands.”

“So I’ve been told.”

Like being plucked from a blissful dream as you sit on fluffy white clouds, my body tenses and I rip my feet from his grip. My voice hardens as I respond, “It really doesn’t interest me to hear about the opinions of your Krissys and Missys.”

Eyebrows drawn, Vinny has the audacity to look annoyed at my response, when it was his words that were a slap in the face. “I’m a fighter, Liv. Remember? I’ve been told I have good hands by trainers and opponents.” He drags a hand through his hair. “Nice to know you think so little of me that I’d brag to you about other women.”

“I, I...I’m sorry…I thought you meant…”

“Yeah, I know what you thought I meant.” Abruptly, he stands and it looks like he’s going to walk away, but then he stops and turns back to speak again. “How did it make you feel to think I was talking about being with other women?”

“I…I don’t understand, the question.”

Vinny leans down, his hands pressing into the couch on either side of my face, caging me in. “Simple question. Simple answer. You’re the smart one.”

Not wanting to admit the truth, I go for vague and deflection. “I thought it was rude. How would you feel if you thought I was talking about another man while I was touching you?”

I watch as the dark pupils in the middle of the pale blue grows wider and wider in his eyes, leaving only a thin shadow of color as the darkness takes over. Jaw clenching, the anger resonates from his body. “Like I want to rip someone’s head off. Answer the damn question, Liv.” His eyes narrow with anger.

“Jealous. Okay? Are you happy?” I yell my response.


“Good?” You’ve got to be kidding me. “You want me to be jealous?”

“I want you to stop finding reasons to run away from me every few hours. Jealous at least means you give a shit.”

I open my mouth twice to respond. But each time I realize I have nothing to throw back at him. Vinny’s eyes watch me and wait. They say so much. Dear Lord, they say everything as they blaze into me with so much intensity it takes my breath away. “You scare me, Vinny.” I pause. “We scare me,” I whisper, feeling embarrassed at what I feel. But I’m honest. Finally.

Vinny’s eyes close for a minute and I watch as his throat works as he swallows. When he opens his eyes, they’re different, less angry, yet still full of emotion. Lifting one of his hands from the side of my head as he still looms over me, he gently cups my jaw. “You scare me too, Liv.”

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