Read Fighting for Control (Against the Cage Book 3) Online

Authors: Melynda Price

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Sports, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Military

Fighting for Control (Against the Cage Book 3)

BOOK: Fighting for Control (Against the Cage Book 3)
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ALSO BY MELYNDA PRICE

Against the Cage Series

Win by Submission

Passing His Guard

The Redemption Series

Until Darkness Comes

Shades of Darkness

Courting Darkness

Braving the Darkness

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imaginnation or are used ficttitiously.

Text copyright © 2016 Melynda Price

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a rettrieval system, or transsmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

Published by Montlake Romance, Seattle

www.apub.com

Amazon, the Amazon logo, and Montlake Romance are trademarks of
Amazon.com
, Inc., or its affiliates.

ISBN-13: 9781503933514

ISBN-10: 1503933512

Cover design by Kerrie Robertson

N
ikko “The Bull” Del Toro hated to fly. He hated to fly so much, that if he weren’t due back for a Cage Fighting Association press conference in sixteen hours, he’d rent a car and make the thirty-eight-hour drive from Manhattan to Las Vegas. He loathed everything about flying—breathing other people’s recycled air, the takeoffs, the landings, the turbulence . . . But what he particularly detested at the present moment was being crammed between a window and this crying woman. The only thing he could be thankful for right now was that she was a little slip of a thing, who was probably 120 pounds soaking wet. She wasn’t taking up a lot of room, nor did she seem to notice that he was consuming a fair portion of hers. Commercial airlines were just not built with heavyweight mixed martial arts fighters in mind. He would have flown first class if there had been any seats available. At least he could fit in those—barely. But this . . . this was pure fucking torture.

As the engines fired up and the cabin pressurized, that familiar feeling of dread fisting in his gut returned with a vengeance. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and gripped the armrests until they squeaked in protest. Pushing back the intrusion of old memories he wished to God he could forget, Nikko tried to picture himself in his happy place. Problem was, he didn’t have a happy place. That dream had been blown to shit two years ago in Afghanistan and then napalmed after returning to the States.

“Nervous flyer, huh?”

What? Was she talking to him? Nikko cracked an eye to look down at the red-eyed woman with blotchy tear-stained cheeks and a Rudolph nose. She was staring up at him with big doe eyes that were an arresting shade of violet. She gave him a halfhearted smile and wiped her nose with her wadded tissue.

“I’m not nervous,” he grumbled. And he wasn’t. He was fucking petrified—but not of dying. He couldn’t give a shit if this plane went down. It was the flashbacks of his past life clawing away at his sanity that had him ready to beat feet off this metal bird.

Damn, Disco owed him big-time for this. As if he didn’t have enough problems before. Now, after spending the last several weeks playing babysitter to his best friend’s girl, he got the pleasure of stuffing even more shit in his emotional closet.

“I see . . .” she said softly.

No, he doubted very much that she did, but he had no intention of explaining it to her, so . . . whatever. The thruster engaged, and the jet took off, rocketing down the runway. Nikko closed his eyes again and tipped his head back against the seat, fighting back the barrage of memories clawing their way to the surface of his consciousness.
Fuck
. . .

Just as the plane was catching air and that weightless feeling took hold of him, his heart plummeting from his throat into his gut, a small hand reached over and took his. Well, not took it, exactly. More like covered it, because his fingers were dug into the underside of his armrest in a death grip to beat all death grips. The jolt of contact from her soft, warm hand sucked him back from the dark hole into which his thoughts were dragging him.

As the jet smoothed out, he exhaled the breath he’d been holding, and when she didn’t remove her hand, he ventured another look at her. This time, she wasn’t staring at him. Hell, she wasn’t even looking at him. Eyes focused straight ahead, sitting perfectly erect, she sat there as if awaiting sentencing for a crime. She seemed completely unaware he was next to her, or that she was still holding his hand. Normally, he didn’t like being touched—by anyone—except in the cage. But MMA wasn’t touching—it was raw, physical aggression legitimized through the label of combat sports.

Hell, even during sex he avoided prolonged contact as much as possible. He only engaged in the activity when the physical demands of his body became so strong he couldn’t deny it any longer. It was something he did out of pure necessity, not because he particularly enjoyed it. Other than fighting, there wasn’t really anything in life he enjoyed anymore. So it surprised him that he wasn’t shaking off this woman’s touch. Instead, he took advantage of her distraction to get a better look at her.

She was kinda cute when she wasn’t blowing snot into her tissue—
high cheekbones, pixie nose, the perfect set of full, lush lips . . . perfect
for sucking co—

Who was he kidding? This woman was gorgeous with that long pale-blonde hair, those violet eyes, and flawless alabaster skin. Her bone structure was delicate and so undeniably feminine. This chick could not be any more his opposite if he’d handpicked his counterpart himself. Realizing he was staring, and probably for a hell of a lot longer than he’d thought because the it’s-okay-to-unfasten-your-seat-belt light had just clicked on, Nikko jerked his hand out from beneath hers and restlessly scrubbed it over his face, mindful for the first time in months of the jagged scar slashing down his cheek.

He resented the prickle of self-consciousness crawling over his flesh like a nest of fire ants. Muttering a curse, he turned his attention out the window, determined to ignore the woman for the remainder of this interminable flight. And he was doing a pretty good job of it, too, until she turned toward him, her slender shoulder brushing against his arm as she said, “Listen, I don’t do this sort of thing—umm . . . ever—but I have had one of the
worst
days of my life, and you don’t look like yours is going so hot, either. Do you umm . . . want to go into the bathroom with me?”

Ho-ly shit
. . .

What in the hell was Violet thinking? Clearly she wasn’t, but that was the point, right? After signing her divorce papers and hopping on the first plane to Vegas, Vi decided she needed one crazy act, one insane, impetuous moment to mark the end of this painful chapter in her life. This was her chance to exert her independence as a strong, capable, single woman. So, naturally, that would mean becoming a member of the Mile High Club, right? Wrong. This was a mistake, and if she had any doubt, the gorgeous guy sitting beside her right now, looking at her like she’d lost her ever-loving mind, just confirmed it.

Great . . . the first and last time she would ever have the courage to do something wild and reckless, and it was a total bust. She’d seen him watching her from the corner of her eye as she sat there petrified, working up the courage to make her indecent proposal. She’d thought . . . just maybe there’d been a spark, a connection between them. She’d thought . . . well, she wasn’t thinking;
that
had already been established.

Violet, officially Summers once again, had come up with her stellar plan to banish Barry by bagging a hottie after downing one too many tequila shooters in the airport bar. This was supposed to be her ritual cleansing. No burning of photos or poking needles into a suited, blond-haired voodoo doll for her. Nope. She was going to get laid. So far Operation Dust Out the Cobwebs and Leave this Airplane a New Woman was a swing and a miss.

Why was this man still staring at her? Heat rose to her cheeks, shame and embarrassment making her want to crawl beneath the seat and spend the remainder of the flight hiding from him and licking old wounds. Stellar start she was getting off to here.
Bravo, I just freaked out a guy who looks like he could break me in half.
Way to go!

And he was still staring at her!

“Look, I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have—”

“Get up.”

“Excuse me?”

“Get up from your seat.”

Seriously? Now he wasn’t even going to let her sit by him? He was probably going to call the flight attendant over and demand she be moved to the desperate, slutty section of the plane. Everyone was going to stare at her and wonder what was going on. Was it possible to die from embarrassment?
Jesus, please take me now,
she silently begged with an upward glance at the ceiling as she rose from her seat and shimmied into the aisle.
I’m already partway there
. . .
Well, thirty thousand feet, anyway.

The man also stood. No, he crouched, actually. Wow . . . how tall was he?
Focus, Vi!
Right
. . . When he began to inch past their seats and into the aisle, she knew a whole new level of humiliation.
He
was the one moving! Maybe she could apologize one more time. Perhaps he’d change his mind and sit back down and they could pretend this whole thing never happened. “Listen, I’m really sor—”

Her apology was cut off when the man grabbed her hand and headed for the first-class bathroom, dragging Vi along behind him.

Oh, sweet Jesus, what have I gotten myself into?

Nikko was very much aware that he was probably scaring the shit out of the woman. But a little fear would probably do this chit some good. Who in their right mind propositions a stranger for sex—on an airplane? And to think, for a moment there, he’d thought she might actually be normal. Guess not. Oh, well . . . It wasn’t like he hadn’t fucked crazy before. Hell, he’d been married to it for twelve years.

On the plus side, she
had
helped to keep his memories at bay, and this was going to be a lengthy flight. He could use the distraction. It’d been a long damn time since he’d had a woman—so long it was messing with his good judgment. There was a certain redhead he was having trouble banishing from his thoughts—a fiery ginger who was hands-off.

Yeah, this blonde-haired, violet-eyed pixie might just do the trick. Though, he was starting to feel a little resistance tugging on his arm. Nikko stopped in the aisle and cast an impatient scowl over his shoulder. Arching his brow, he tossed her earlier question right back at her. “Nervous?”

She bit her bottom lip, those straight white teeth pressing deep into that lush pink pillow. The action was utterly adorable, and it surprised him when he found himself wondering what that full, ripe mouth would feel like against his. What would it taste like? He wanted to trap that bottom lip between his teeth as he . . .

Damn, he really did need to get laid.

“A little . . .” she confessed softly, a rosy hue staining her cheeks.

The woman hadn’t been lying. She really didn’t do this sort of thing. Nikko had been with enough women to know inexperience when he saw it, and this woman might as well be wearing a neon sign. Though rare as a four-leaf clover these days, it’d be just his unfortunate luck to find one, because Nikko was pretty sure this little sexcapade was not going to be what Clover here was bargaining for.

“It’s your call. You’re the one who propositioned me,” he said, giving her an out, though a part of him had to admit disappointment. Something about this woman sparked his curiosity, and the dull ache in his cock sure could use some relief.

She hesitated a moment longer.

Yeah
. . .
that’s what I thought.
He leaned close and whispered in her ear, “Let me give you some friendly advice, Clover. In the future, you should think twice before propositioning a man you don’t know for sex in a bathroom. Most guys wouldn’t take kindly to you getting cold feet.” She smelled good . . . He released her hand and continued down the aisle to the bathroom for a solo run. Definitely not his first choice, but he couldn’t very well stay like this. There was no way in hell he was going to be able to sit back down in that little seat with this cockstand—not without fracturing his dick. When he stopped outside the door, someone bumped into his back. He shot an irritated scowl behind him that darkened when he saw who it was.

BOOK: Fighting for Control (Against the Cage Book 3)
9.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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