Reckless Love Page 46

“Sounds good.”

Chris headed back toward his room, and I slid the door closed so that I could get ready for bed. There was no lock. Not that I didn’t trust Chris, he was always a gentleman, but I needed a room that was just mine where I could lock out the rest of the world. One place that was safe from everything, and mine alone.

I didn’t have that.

Two more nights. I could get through this.

Couldn’t I?

Thirty-Eight

Ian

I was running on adrenaline and couldn’t sleep at all that night. If I wasn’t busy forcing thoughts of Kenzie out of my mind, I was rushing through fight scenarios. My brain absolutely refused to calm down enough to let me sleep.

The next day after weigh-in, I spent a good part of the evening rehydrating and carb-loading. Even after a huge meal, I still couldn’t find sleep, so I met Chris, Kenzie, and Jonah for drinks at the bar. Hell, even if I couldn’t drink, maybe I could catch a contact buzz.

At the bar, I felt instantly more at ease. It helped that Kenzie was looking better. She had some color in her cheeks, though part of that might have had to do with the fact that she was on her second glass of wine.

“How’s your room?” I asked Chris.

“It’s big,” he said. “We’ll need to throw you an after-party there when you win tomorrow.” He put his arm around Kenzie when he said “we” as if he owned her.

Possessive bastard. I tried not to let it get to me, but my shoulders tensed. She’s mine.

My eyes darted to Kenzie. She seemed sad, but she forced a smile when Chris looked at her, then took another sip of wine.

Chris flagged down a waitress. “Another round.”

A hand grabbed my shoulder, making me jump and look behind me. A tall, slender woman with long dark hair and wearing a skintight little black dress looked down at me.

“Hello, handsome.” Her hand trailed up my neck and lightly brushed through my hair. She stepped closer, arching her back so that her tits were only inches from my face.

Not subtle at all.

MacKenzie

There were prostitutes in my neighborhood back home. The bulk of them were addicts making money to feed their habit. The one who approached Ian was nothing like them. She was beautiful. Which shouldn’t have bothered me; after all, I’d been pushing him away so long that he had to think I wasn’t interested.

Still, I didn’t like anyone propositioning Ian. It made me so upset that I might have increased my wine consumption just a bit.

Ian looked up at her when she approached. “Hi,” he said in a low voice.

“You guys wanna party?” she asked.

Ian looked over at me. He seemed to be considering something, but I couldn’t read the look on his face. Finally, he turned back to her. “Sorry, not interested.”

She turned to Jonah. “I could find a friend if you wanna double-date.”

Jonah smiled, but didn’t say anything.

Next she turned to me. I was unable to hide my disapproval of her lifestyle choice, and she could see it in my face. She smirked at me and said, “Or we could all party if your girl here wants to join in.” Her gaze drifted to Chris.

I thought for a second that Chris was considering it, but he also said nothing.

“We’re not interested,” Ian said, his voice still low.

“You sure, honey? Because I’d give you a good deal.” Her focus flowed down Ian’s body as if undressing him with her eyes. I fought the urge to tell her to back off.

Ian smiled and shook his head. “Like I said. Not interested.”

She gave Ian one last look before chuckling to herself and walking away.

Chris watched her go. “You and your no-sex rule.” He shook his head. “You know it’s not proven that abstinence makes you a better fighter.”

I looked at Ian, wondering if what Chris was saying was true. I’d just assumed it was.

Ian took a swig of his water. “It hasn’t been disproven either. The no-sex thing works for me. That’s all that matters.”

Chris smiled. “I’m just saying, maybe you should have asked her how much the discount was before you sent her away.”

Ian forced a smile. He took a deep breath, finished his bottle of water, and said, “Well, guys, I think that’s it for me. I’ve gotta try to get some fuckin’ sleep.”

“Me too,” Jonah said, finishing off his beer in one gulp. “I’ll head up with you.”

I finished off my second glass of wine and ordered another. Chris and I spent another hour or so in the bar, and by the time we got up to head back to our room, I was definitely buzzed.

Buzzed enough to let Chris slip his arms around my waist and hold me close to him in the elevator. I let my head rest on his chest as we went up in silence. When the elevator pinged on our floor, I realized I’d been imagining Chris was Ian. Something which made me laugh for no apparent reason.

“What’s so funny?” Chris said as we headed down the hall. He stopped suddenly. “Oh, damn. Is that the prostitute?” He laughed into his fist like he was trying to hold back.

I followed his gaze down the hall. Sure enough, Ian was standing at the door of his room wearing nothing but his boxers, handing the prostitute from the bar a wad of bills. Tears welled in my eyes and my pulse raced. What the…? No way.

The prostitute brushed her fingertips down his bare chest, then patted him on the cheek.

My feet didn’t want to move, but Chris guided me to the door of our room. “Come on. They’re both consenting adults.” He pulled out the key card to our suite and opened the door.

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