Authors: Susan Westwood
A BAD BOY FIGHTER ROMANCE By..
Brooklyn's Baddest © 2016, Susan Westwood
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Can the good girl change the bad boy?
– I see something in Jake Allen that no one else seems to. Most people will tell you he is a lost cause but I think differently. Sure, he is rude, arrogant, curses a lot and has a short temper like most fighters but underneath all that I see a decent man. A man worth helping. A man worth loving. If he can just stop frontin' for one moment then I feel I can help him to see that too...
- I am not sure who this Lisa Porter woman thinks she is but one thing is for sure. She is freakin' HOT! She tells me she has connections that could turn me into the greatest MMA fighter on the planet but we both know the real reason she is hanging around me. She wants to get into my bedroom and enjoy some of that Jakey-love like most women in Brooklyn. And if she can stop frontin' for just one moment then she is gonna get all of that and she is going to love every second...
This is a bad boy romance featuring scenes of an adult nature. Please only read if 18+.
Warm afternoon sun filtered through the filmy old checkerboard glass windows of the community gym. The windows were high and there weren’t many of them, but it was enough to light up the center of the big, wide-open room inside, when the sun was in the right place. The rest was lit by old circular tin shades, hanging from long cords every ten feet or so, directing light downward from a single bulb in each one.
The sunlight that made it into the building gave a sort of vintage glow to the room, as if the light was as weary and worn as the building. In one dimly lit corner, a punching bag hung from the ceiling by a chain, swinging slightly as a young man worked away at it, punching it and landing sidekicks on it. He was tall, standing at six foot two when he stood up straight. His skin was firm and taut, lightly tanned, and his back, arms and chest were covered with tattoos. His hair was the color of gold sand in the setting sun; it was a few inches long, just long enough to hang above his cool, steel blue eyes. He had a straight nose, though it had been hit many times, and a full mouth that was pursed in concentration as he glared at the bag before him, aiming every bit of energy he had at it.
His fists were bare and over his chest he wore a snug fitting tank top that outlined the solid wall of toned muscles. His sweats hung slightly loose and low around his hips, but held on over his rounded rear. His mind was trained on one thing; anger. It wasn’t anger at any particular thing, but rather on all of the things that had gone wrong in Jake Allen’s twenty-five years of life. He always trained with bitterness and resentment on his mind and the worse the memory or experience hurt him, the more he thought about it, letting it consume him until he was immersed in rage, and he felt that his power grew strong from it, making his body and fighting stronger as well.
Jake thought of his father leaving his mother and him when he was just four years old. His father had found a young woman he wanted more than his family, and he made no secret of it, showing her off to Jake and his mother before he threw some of his clothes into a suitcase while his mother begged and pleaded with him to stay, vowing her everlasting love to him, weeping as his father shoved her away so hard that she hit the floor.
Jake’s fist hit the bag in front of him with a thud.
He walked out of the house, slamming the screen door behind him, tossing his suitcase in the trunk of his beat-up old car, and climbed into the front seat of it with his new girl by his side. Jake had bolted from the house as his mother lay down on the floor, sobbing.
He ran after the old car and his father as fast as his small legs could carry him, determined to catch up to him and to try to make him come back home. The car sped up so fast that he was soon nothing more than a disappearing speck in the rearview mirror, though his father didn’t look back and see him.
He’d stood in the road until the sun went down and the sky turned dark, and his father stayed gone. He turned finally, and went back to his house. His mother was still lying on the floor. He saw her when he walked in and his heart broke.
He knew then that it was over for them as a family, and that from that day forward, it was just the two of them. He couldn’t stand to see her so devastated. Jake went to her and laid down beside her, looking at her as he pushed the hair back from her face and wiped at the tears running down her cheeks and over her nose.
He had promised her then that he would take care of them and never leave her. He would always be with her.
She had slowly put her arms around him and pulled him to her, holding him close, smelling his hair and kissing his forehead as she wept. She didn’t speak that night, she just held him, and he held her.
Thud… thud… thud.
Jake thought of all of the years after that day and how his mother worked two jobs to be able to support them. He thought of how seldom he saw her, and how tired and sad she always was, and how the only thing that ever made her smile was him.
He thought of how hard it was to grow up without a father, to only have his mother, and how it seemed like all the other boys he knew were one up on him; their dads teaching them everything, taking care of them, loving them, making their lives good.
He thought of how many times he watched his mother walk through the door, exhausted, and how grateful she always was that he had cleaned the house for her and made her any kind of dinner he could create with the meager groceries they had.
He thought of the day that she didn’t come home. When he noticed that she was late, he watched and waited, and as the long minutes passed, his concern changed to worry, and then worry changed to panic, until two police officers came up the sidewalk of the house; their hats in their hands. Then he knew.
He knew what they were going to say before they said it.
She wasn’t coming home again. Ever. He was seventeen. There was a car accident. She had been coming home from one of her jobs.
She was exhausted and hadn’t seen the streetlight change.
She didn’t see the car coming too fast toward her. She probably hadn’t felt a thing.
They would need to take him into custody to become a ward of the state.
He had lied and said he would go to his grandmother’s. They told him to pack a bag, and he had packed one and then slipped silently out of his bedroom window and taken off.
He’d gone to his best friend’s house that night, but after that he was living on the streets for a few months before a friend of his mother, , owned an automotive repair shop, hired him to be a mechanic, on the condition that he graduate high school.
A quiet voice sounded near Jake’s shoulder. Jake was only seeing red at that moment, as rage burned through him like wildfire. He spun on the spot and pulled his fist back, glaring hotly. “Whoa! Whoa… buddy… just giving you a break,” said the other young man standing near him as he swiftly ducked out of the way with his hands in the air blocking his face. In one of his hands he held a filled water bottle.
Jake blinked and shook his head, looking at the young man. Evan Whittaker was his best friend. Only about four inches shorter than Jake, he was still tall and built like a pole; thin and wiry. Evan had light brown hair and medium brown eyes. He liked to play the drums and help Jake out with his fights. Evan seemed to always be tapping his foot or his fingers to some silent rhythm that only he could hear.
When they were both eight years old, Evan had been in a fight after school; a big bully two years older than him was beating the daylights out of him, but Jake had seen it and stepped in. Jake took on the bully and left him lying broken and bloody on the sidewalk. Evan and Jake had taken off together, and after becoming fast friends that day, had become chosen brothers.
Jake heaved a sigh and shook his head, taking the water bottle from Evan’s hand. “Sorry, bro. I guess I was zoned out.”
Evan nodded. “Thinking about your mom?” he asked quietly, his brown eyes checking Jake’s blue ones for a hint of truth.
With a shrug of one shoulder, Jake turned from him, tipping his head back and swallowing mouthfuls of cool water. He took another breath and shook his head again, as if to try to clear it. “Yeah… well… you know it puts me in the right mental space to fight, and I need to be ready for today.”
“Yeah, you do. It’s almost time to go. You better get showered and let’s get out of here,” Evan said seriously. “You’re ready for your fight, so let’s get to it.” Jake had agreed to a street fight that afternoon, and had been in the gym warming up for it. He preferred for the fires of fury to be blazing in him when he got to the fight, rather than building up to them at the fight. He felt that it gave him more strength and helped him to win faster, leaving his opponent in worse shape than if he had just shown up for the fight without channeling his rage earlier.
“Alright. I’ll be out in a few,” he said in a low voice. Jake headed to the shower and kept his thoughts on the darkness of his life. He told himself that he had to stay focused on the anger.
Growing up without a father around had given Jake a lot to be angry about, and all that anger was frequently channeled into fights. Fights with other boys. Fights with teachers. Fights with police. Fights with anyone who challenged him, who tried to take a position of authority over him, who tried to punish him, or force him to do anything.
The more he fought, the more he won. He learned what worked and what didn’t, and when his mother saw that she wasn’t going to be able to stop him from fighting, she decided to go in the opposite direction and enroll him in karate classes at the local community center. He finally found something that fit him and a place where he felt that he belonged. He learned everything that the teachers there could teach him, and though it wasn’t much more than textbook form and style, he knew enough to get into trouble and win every time he got into a fight. His reputation for winning fights had pulled him into the dark and gritty scene of street fighting with other guys for money.
His best friend, Evan, would take the bets and hold the cash, and he’d circle his opponent until he found a weakness, and then dive in and destroy him, and earn some money. The old man who had hired him at the auto mechanic shop left the shop to him when he passed away of a heart attack. Jake had been working on cars and fighting nearly every chance he got since then.
It was easy to find fights living in Brooklyn. Guys were constantly out on the streets looking for trouble, looking for ways to prove themselves, looking to defend or attack. Brooklyn had an endless stream of guys just asking for it, and Jake was there at the head of the line, ready to take it to them and leave them lying in their own blood; bruised, broken, miserably defeated.
The hot water splashed across his solid form, rolling and cascading down his skin, easing his tension. He fought against that too; keeping his mind on the rage. Minutes later, he walked out of the gym with Evan near him.
“Talk to me,” he said quietly. He often asked Evan to talk with him about the things that infuriated him whenever he was going to a fight. It fed the flames in him, and he felt that he fought better.
Evan nodded, his shoulder length hair flapping behind his neck as he walked. “You were thinking about your mother dying in the car wreck weren’t you…” he replied with a frown.
“Yeah. Son of a bitch.” He grumbled malevolently as he thought back to the night. “I just… sometimes I get so angry at myself, I mean… she was working two jobs for me. She was tired because of me. She wouldn’t have been walking home like that if she hadn’t had to work two jobs. You know, if it wasn’t for me, she would still be here, and if it wasn’t for that bastard ex-husband of hers, she wouldn’t have been working two jobs. She’d still be here.” He could feel the bitterness and hatred overtaking him.
They drew near to the overpass bridge where they were meeting the other men for the fight. Rain had begun to fall and the sun that had shone earlier was hidden behind swift moving dark clouds that brought the promise of a storm. Jake looked up and felt the storm beginning to surge in him as well. It would come, and it would leave devastation in his wake.
People began to come almost as if out of the shadows; one by one, two or three, they walked to the space beneath the overpass where the fading light was obscured by the shadow of the bridge. They stood at slight distances from one another, but as more people came, they began to form a wide and quiet circle. Evan left Jake’s side and began making his way around the circle, collecting money from several of them who wished to place bets.
Four young men stepped through the thickening group of onlookers. One of them was a taller stocky man with a shaved head, who was covered with tattoos. He didn’t look too dissimilar from Jake. The other man was shorter and had a grittier look about him. His eyes were sharp and dark. He glanced around swiftly and saw Jake watching him.
Jake had seen them coming; he had been looking for them and he was ready for them both. The taller one, who looked a few years older, took a spot at the inner edge of the circle. He watched Jake with a piercing stare that other men might have shrunk back from, but Jake just turned his mounting fury and attention toward the shorter man, who walked near to him and watched him, lifting his chin defiantly.
Evan walked up beside Jake and looked at Jake’s opponent. “Jake, this is Kurt. That’s Patrick behind him there. Kurt asked for this fight. He thinks he can beat you down.”
“Bring it,” Jake said in a low steady tone. Evan stepped back to the inner ring of the circle.
Jake watched Kurt silently, waiting. The two of them each took a step in the opposite direction, beginning to circle one another slowly. Their eyes stayed locked together as they sized one another up. Jake watched and waited. Kurt began to twitch slightly, and Jake knew that he was feeling nervous, and that he would make a mistake. All Jake needed to do was to wait for it to happen.
They circled closer and Kurt began to make dark faces of frustration. Rain began to fall on the overpass above them, and on the sidewalks just at the edge of the circle, where the protection from the road overhead stopped. The light around them grew gray and pale as the clouds far above thickened. The two men drew nearer to each other and the rain began to fall faster and harder. Lightning streaked across the ashen sky, lighting up everything except the space beneath the bridge.