She was resistant, but he was insistent. A heart isn't safe when you fight dirty.
Leena Clark is independent, fierce, and most importantly, always in control. As an event planner those are excellent qualities to have. Carrying those into a personal life doesn't translate well, but that isn't something that concerns her. She's content living blissfully in her spinsterhood. However, when temptation and foolish curiosity clash, she allows the one man she shouldn't to get close to her. After insisting it was a mistake, she finds herself relying on the fighter for help out of a difficult situation. But his help comes with a price.
Gavril Alenin has been waiting for the opportunity to get close to the beautiful, self-assured, and guarded Leena, and her moment of weakness is his chance to fight for the future he wants. Now in his fifteenth year as a professional MMA fighter, he's ready to get out of the game, but not without a very specific plan: fight for the title one last time, then settle down with the reluctant Leena. But when he finally gets close to the girl of his dreams, everything else in his world falls apart.
When life turns their world on its head they have to decide if what they have is worth the fight, or will they lose it all because of fears and broken dreams?
Content Warning: contains graphic language, some violence, sex, and adult content
As their feet hit the last step, Gav charged Colin, which puzzled Leena. She held her ground. She wouldn't be intimidated by this caveman. It took no time at all for Leena to understand what had worked him up.
"What the hell, pal? Is there something going on with you and my girl? You better talk fast. I thought we were friends!" Gav growled.
Whoa. Leena was taken aback. "Your girl?" she asked, pushing her pointer finger deep into his firm chest. "Don't you just think you're God's gift to women? I saw you tonight pawing over all those trashy women. Go pick one of them to be your girl. As for Colin and I, there isn't anything going on…yet."
Oh crap. Where did that come from? Maybe she shouldn't have mentioned she'd noticed Gav hitting on other women. It seemed like a reasonable thing to say, but the way it came off might have him reading more into it. She couldn't help but notice what he'd been doing all night, at every turn Gav was right there chatting up some woman. Maybe to make her jealous? Leena was definitely not jealous.
Yeah, you are. She tried to push away the voice in her head saying she might be a little jealous. But only because she'd become used to being the center of his attention. She shook her head a couple of times, physically trying to remove the voice reminding her there were very few people in her life she could count on. And Gav could always be counted on for a nice flirt and some banter; showering her with attention, not necessarily unwanted, but unreciprocated.
Leena threw her arms up and stomped off, frustrated with Gav and herself. She tried to sort out what exactly irritated her. Was it Gav becoming possessive of her? Or was she upset he'd been flirting with other women? She was definitely irritated that he could ruin her plans for Vi.
Deciding she needed some air, she headed toward the side exit of the banquet hall. Leena had barely made her way through the crowd when a not so gentle pull on her arm spun her around and she fell into a warm body. His body. In her stilettos she stood almost eye to eye with the barbarian of a man. She hadn't noticed the green color of Gav's wild eyes until now. Her body betrayed her as it became aware of their closeness and reacted to his masculinity. Leena's nipples tightened and a sweet ache hit her low in the abdomen. She quickly jerked her arm out of his grip and looked away. She'd already put her foot in her mouth with her outburst, and she wasn't about to do it again.
"So you've been watching me all night? Want to explain that?" Gav said, pushing his hands into his pockets and rocking back on his heels.
The smug look on Gav's face only made Leena angrier. "Don't flatter yourself. I've been keeping tabs on all the fighters tonight. You do know I'm co-hosting this event, it's kind of my job." A half-truth. She was co-hosting and she was supposed to be keeping tabs on the fighters, but she couldn't explain why she saw him at every turn.
"I call bullshit on that," Gav challenged. "What's the deal with you and Colin? Are you trying to make me jealous?"
Ha! Leena rolled her eyes before turning to straighten the form-fitting, short red dress she'd bought for the evening. It had a deep V cut in the front that almost reached her navel. She'd fallen in love with the style bordering on trendy and trashy. The plunging neckline made her thankful she wasn't well-endowed in the breast department.
"I think you are trying to make me jealous." Gav's eyes raked over her form, eliciting a shudder up her spine. "You look unbelievably gorgeous, but if you plan on leaving the house half-dressed, I'd like it to be on my arm. There isn't another man in this room worthy of seeing your beauty."
Gav's husky words almost enthralled her, but then she remembered where she was and who she was dealing with. "Is this the part where I'm supposed to swoon and fall into your arms? Or do you prefer knocking me over the head with your club and dragging me back to your cave?"
"Ladies choice, моя любовь."