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Chapter Three

Cooper

She wants me. I’d have to be blind not to see it. Unfortunately, I can also tell that she’s intent on keeping me at arm’s length. That’s not going to work for me. I want her and I’m going to have her.

The fact that Coach is her uncle might be a slight hiccup, but it’s not enough to deter me. He wants my cooperation to save his gym? Then, even if I can’t fight, I’ll save his gym … I just may demand his sex kitten niece as payment.

I sign the papers she gave me and then slide them over the desk toward her. When she reaches out to get them, I capture one of her hands in mine. It’s smaller, so fucking tiny and soft that it brings to life the very male part of me like nothing ever has before. The man that says he is holding on to his property. Property he needs to protect, to care for… to keep.

It was a crazy thought, but it was there just the same.

I turn her hand over and brush my thumb against the inside of her palm. The differences between us are plain to see. Her skin is milky white, mine darker and bronzed by the sun. It is the texture that grabs me, though, and sinks deep inside. She is so soft, softer than anything I’ve ever felt in my life. My hands are scarred from years of training and beating the hell out of my opponents. She is definitely high class, just like I first thought. And here I am, as rough as my skin and in every single way you could think. I don’t deserve to touch her, but I am going to. I am going to do a fuck of a lot more than that. I’m going to dirty this little sex kitten up and it doesn’t matter that she is going to fight me—because I know she will. I can tell that in the way she jerks and tries to yank her hand away from me. I don’t let her, though. And when her hand curls against mine, I straighten it back out with the pressure of my thumb.

“What are you doing tonight, Jo?”

“Will you let go of my hand?” she huffs, her gaze shooting fire at me.

“If you’ll agree to meet me for dinner tonight,” I respond.

Those thick, plump lips of hers compress into a firm line as she glares at me.

“I don’t date boxers,” she mutters.

“Then I’ll retire.”

She rolls her eyes, clearly not believing I’m one hundred percent fucking serious. “Right. If you think I’m going to believe that, then you’re a bigger fool than I think you are,” she announces, looking annoyed as hell, which only turns me on even more.

“I’m serious, darlin’. You don’t date boxers, so as of today my comeback is officially canceled.”

Her eyes go wide with shock and I’m pretty sure she can read how deadly serious I am.

“You’re lying,” she denies, but I think I can hear the edge of panic in her voice. She must know Coach needs me to do this.

I’ve never had a reason to come into the office since I agreed to walk back into the ring, which now—seeing as Jo is in here—seems like a damn shame. Still, working in the office, she’d know how dire Coach’s financial situation is. She’d know he is on the verge of losing this club. Hell, it might even be why she’s working here instead of a library or a bookstore. Whatever the reason, she would know how important my comeback is to this gym … and how much it’ll ruin shit if I back out now.

“But you can’t do that! My uncle has everything riding on you,” she gasps, proving I was right.

“I might rethink my decision,” I murmur, staring at her. “If I had dinner with a pretty little blonde tonight.” Maybe I should feel like shit for all but making her go out with me, but I am desperate for her and willing to do anything for a little alone time.

I watch as understanding dawns over her face and her eyes narrow.

“That’s blackmail,” she accuses.

“That’s an awful dirty word out of your pretty little lips. I wonder what other dirty words I can make you say, Jo.”

“You are not going to blackmail me into sleeping with you, Cooper.”

“I won’t have to. That you will do on your own—but, just to say it out loud, we won’t be sleeping.”

Her cheeks turn a gorgeous shade of red and I feel my cock jerk behind my gym shorts.

“I won’t sleep with you,” she growls, looking sexy as fuck all puffed up and mad. When I start to interrupt her, she holds her hand up. “Or anything else,” she adds.

“Put your money where your mouth is,” I dare her.


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