Behind the Iron Fist (MF)
[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance, HEA]
Emasculated by his father’s prejudicial behavior, Drew Walker lives an inward life, avoiding social situations as well as women. Boxing is an outlet for Drew, enabling him to vent his pent-up aggressions. When his father is injured in an accident, he becomes a bedridden liability, forcing Drew to care for a man he loathes.
Though dedicated to his fitness regimen, Drew battles the escape that alcohol provides. Mia Riley, a compassionate LPN who fled from her career after losing a patient, resorts to slinging beers in Troy’s Tavern. Drew looks the way she feels, empty. Her need to heal has her preoccupied with Drew.
Witnessing a bar brawl leads to their first encounter. As their relationship slowly evolves, Mia learns of Drew’s tumultuous childhood. Drew is confident that he can fight his way through any physical confrontation and win, but as his attraction to Mia grows, he questions whether he’ll ever have the confidence to emerge from behind the iron fist and be the man that Mia wants.
A Siren Erotic Romance
4 CUPS: "While caring for his invalid father, Drew Walker has put his own life on hold. Regardless of the man’s ridicule of him over the years, Drew knows he could never live with himself if he let his dad suffer. Guilt drives Mia Riley to leave a career in nursing that she loves. She cannot bear to think that an elderly lady died because of a mistake she should have caught. Drew can tell just by looking that Mia is way too smart to be slinging beers, yet if it had not been for her working in the bar he never would have met her. He makes a tentative first move, but with his father’s voice berating him in his head, he can hardly get past hello. Mia and Drew try to put their pasts behind them to be together, only to find that unless they face their fears, they will be haunted forever. This is a really lovely story which just happens to include an amazing romance. Drew is the kind of man whose heart way overpowers his muscles, yet he never comes across as weak or unmanly. Even his fumbling attempts at romance make him feel more honest and real. What I really like, and also think sets this story apart, is that Mia can step in and be the aggressor while maintaining her femininity and charm." -- Lototy, Coffee Time Romance & More
“Hey, look what’s come back, just like a stray cat.” Troy laughed. Drew avoided Troy’s iridescent blue eyes as he settled in on a stool, vowing to not drink as much tonight. Troy tipped his head back and whistled. The high shrill rang in Drew’s ears. “Mia, your pardoned patron has returned.” Troy chuckled.
Troy gestured to Drew’s usual choice of draft on tap. Drew nodded and leaned on the edge of the bar. Troy slid the mug across the glossy surface. Drew sipped from the cold, sudsy head, his throat tightening when the barmaid who’d saved him from his own stupidity came out from the back room.
Though he’d taken notice of her beauty amongst the darkness the night before, today a certain aura radiated around her. Drew blinked, thinking the glow that surrounded her like glitter would evaporate like some type of mythical fantasy. Her hair was loose, resting right at her shoulders. It moved when she did. It was a honey blonde, with a few sun-streaked strands woven through. It was swept to the side, framing her large, oval eyes. She grinned at him, sort of a playful smirk, and slid his keys across the bar. Drew lifted his hand, catching them in his palm.
“Nice save.” Her smile warmed him right down to his sneakers. He swallowed hard, his throat not allowing the beer to pass go.
“Thanks…I mean thanks for, you know…” He felt his lips pull into a smile.
“No problem.” She turned and poured some beer nuts into a wooden bowl and slid them toward him. Drew couldn’t help but stare when her eyes met his again. They were unique, a light brown, but blended with something else. It was like stirring different colors of paint together in a can, the shades swirling. There were streaks of a soft olive-green with almost a golden hue. Her easy, feminine voice jarred him out of his thoughts, thoughts he hadn’t had in a long time.
“You’re driving tonight, right?” Her pearly whites nipped at her lower lip. Drew stifled a groan as his eyes lowered down into his mug.
“Yes…yes, I am.” He smiled faintly, battling a wave of heat that he knew wasn’t due to any type of sickness.
* * * *
Mia chuckled nervously and then fled to the back to load the dishwasher. Good Lord. She fanned herself. The guy was gorgeous, but not in a pretentious way. Mia could always tell when a guy thought he was better than sliced bread, but not this guy. It almost seemed to be the other way around, his eye contact a bit skittish, his tone of voice shy and somewhat reserved.
Dark, wavy hair, trimmed around his ears, framed a narrow, angular face, his cheeks lightly dusted with a shadowy growth. He was built like Mr. Olympian, but in no way flaunted it. Last night she’d felt his iron-hard bicep, but the rest of his physique had been hidden under all of his baggy clothes. Today he’d gone lighter with his apparel. His arms were dense, his biceps sloped, his neck corded. His eyes looked black last night. Today they were just as dark, like strong coffee. There was intensity in his gaze, but that troubled look still lingered in the depths of his eyes.
Troy said he came in often. His name was Drew Walker. Mia had seen him a few times before, but he was always huddled in the corner of the bar, only speaking to Troy. Would she have noticed him last night if he hadn’t tried to leave drunk? The bar had been almost empty. She had to go back out there and put the wine glasses away. The fluttering feeling in her stomach had her laughing at herself. Who was this guy? She hadn’t felt this jittery since her eighth grade formal.
* * * *
He was tempted to wait for her, maybe offer to drive her home, but as fast as that idea came, it fled. What was a woman like her doing working in a place like this? She seemed too refined and educated. Drew wanted to know about this so-called blood on her hands because something didn’t fit. She was out of place, too good for the dark, seedy surroundings of Troy’s Tavern, which meant she wouldn’t want any part of him.
There were other places to go to sit and drink, but Troy’s was cheap and close to home. It was also smack dab in the middle of his running route. He could find his way home blindfolded. She assaulted his thoughts. Drew wanted to know more, but didn’t want to creep her out by asking questions. It was at these times that Drew was allowing Blake to win. That old inadequacy came flooding back. Scenarios like this killed him.
Whenever he thought of talking to her, the words congealed in his throat, so he resorted to watching her, which most women would also consider creepy, but it was safer for him. His quick sideward glances went unnoticed by her, but he wasn’t fooling Troy. When Drew intercepted the third questioning glance from Troy, he decided it was time to leave. He slid off the stool and rummaged in his pocket to pay the tab. She plowed through the swinging doors carrying a rack of glasses. Here was his last chance, for tonight anyway.
He guided their bodies toward his room and kicked the door closed, shutting his father out of this precious consummation. Tonight Drew would make her his. He’d utilize every skill, no matter how tarnished he thought he was. He was determined to shine. Drew didn’t have to worry about fine-tuning his performance. His actions would be brought forth by his heart and emotions. They were both in sync and running at full throttle.
Drew yanked his shirt over his head and guided her hands to him, placing them on his chest, wanting to experience her touch. Her fingers strummed over his nipples. A welcoming chill spread over his flesh. Clothing rustled in the dark. He wanted to see her. As his eyes adjusted in the dark shadows, that wish was granted. Thin bars of light from a partial moon spilled into the room, adorning her skin with a frosty finish. Silky strands of gold spread over her shoulders.
Need had his body revving. Shapely lines of sleek flesh filled his eyes as more of her was revealed to him as they both disrobed.
Mia removed her blouse. Her lacy bra glinted in the pearly light. Her eyes smoldered into his, matching his desire. She unbuttoned her jeans and lowered them on her hips. The black trim of her panties had him biting his lip until it bled. Her slender fingers traced over her own flesh as they moved up and over her breasts. She taunted him with the front clasp of her bra. Drew was naked now, stroking his own cock as it reached for her, begging for her graceful fingers. Her heated gaze dripped over him, taking him in. Her fingers worked the clasp, spreading the delicate material, and all for his viewing pleasure. Drew sucked in a rush of air. His palms burned, itching to touch the perfect mounds. Her nipples beaded like dark berries that he couldn’t wait to eat.
“Mia.” Drew felt his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed hard. “You’re so beautiful.” She smiled, her expression warm, welcoming him. Her sleepy voice reached for him through the darkened haze of his room.
“Just take me. I won’t break.” Her voice was barely audible. “I’ve wanted you for so long now.” Drew took her into his arms. Her warm skin slid against his. Her fingers combed over his cock, making his entire body short-circuit. Her touch was light and gentle. His concentration was now hindered. His hands moved over her shoulders, learning her body, exploring. He traced the firm swell of her breast, lowering his head. Drew nuzzled his face into her pillowed flesh. Her pulse pounded under his mouth as he sampled her, his hunger mounting.
He pulled her nipple into his mouth, tonguing the hard peak. Her hands held his head, pressing him into her. She was so soft. His fingers wandered, dipping below the loose waistband of her jeans. He threaded through soft curls, parting her petite folds. The tips of his fingers glazed over with her liquid heat. Drew whimpered, releasing her from his mouth. He fell to his knees, praising her.
“Oh, God.” Mia’s anguished whisper filled the heated silence. Her breaths resounded in his ears. Drew’s cheek slipped down the expanse of her body. He licked her belly button, feeling the delicate piercing. He opened his eyes, taking in the glinting belly ring that accentuated her lovely navel. He slowly eased her jeans and panties down her legs, removing her shoes and socks with care. Drew petted her calves, smoothing his hands up and down her curved legs. Downy, dark hair lightly dusted her folds. He glided a finger through the slick creases of her pussy. She was so hot and wet, and all for him.
Drew breathed her in, her scent musky and spiced. His finger found the tiny jewel inside. He circled her clitoris slowly, looking up at her. Her head fell back, her eyes now closed. Her beautiful breasts lifted as her lungs dragged in additional air.
“Drew, please,” she hissed. He couldn’t speak, not yet. His eyes burned, his stare locked on her glorious nakedness. He leaned into her and kissed her pussy. Her hips rocked, arching for his mouth. He gently opened her and licked her wet walls. Her intimate flavor burst in his mouth. His tongue burrowed deeper, wanting to taste her richness. How he thirsted for her. He feasted on her, licking her lovingly.
“Oh, Drew, God.” Her words died on a gasping breath. The sound of his name on her lips made him crazy. “That’s wonderful.” Her hips began to rock against his mouth. Mia widened her stance, giving him more access. He licked down into her depths, gorging on her. Her pussy rained in response. He held her hips, steering her to the edge of the bed, and sat her down. When Mia leaned back and lifted her legs, Drew was catapulted into heaven. She anchored her heels on the edge of the bed, spreading herself for him.
Her taste grew thick and honeyed. He played with her clit, flicking his tongue against the hub of her pleasure. Her legs trembled. He stilled her with his hands as he held her thighs open. Her pussy flowered, opening more for him. Drew angled his mouth, dragging his tongue up and down her silken tissues. Her huffing words had him leaning back on his heels, his head spinning with a pent-up desire that was rushing fast.
“I want you, please. I’ve wanted you from the beginning.”
Her admission had his eyes pooling with emotion. Drew stood, waiting for his head to right itself. Mia yanked him out of his haze of ecstasy when she tugged on his arm, pulling him onto the bed.
“Lie down,” she whispered, brushing loose strands of hair out of her eyes.