Release Date: July 1, 2015
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An underachieving college student with zero prospects and a ton of issues (hey, being the less-successful twin of a gorgeous supermodel would totally do that to you). She doesn’t do bad boys. Actually, she doesn’t do boys, like, at all. Not that she’s a lesbian. And not that there’s anything wrong with being one. It’s just that…well…she kind of needs to focus on graduating from college right now.
And she needs something from Ty. Badly.
Mixed Martial artist, soon-to-be Welterweight champion of the Xtreme Warrior League and the hottest guy in the Bay Area. He’s cocky, arrogant and completely off-limits to anyone with more than three working brain cells…but dude, HAVE YOU SEEN HIS BUTT?
On top of being a world-class player, Ty has a secret.
And Blaire? She can barely even handle his truths.
Life is about to throw a few knockout punches at both of them. Can they handle the pain?
What are you doing in the girls’ locker room?” I shriek again.
“Don’t worry. I won’t bite.” His eyes scan me head to toe. He shakes his head, eying my hand clutching the towel. “Unless you want me to.”
He is wearing a black suit, tailored perfectly to his wide shoulders and a crisp white shirt open at his throat, revealing a tiny sliver of tattoo.
“Why are you here?” I repeat, squeezing myself past his lethal body to my locker.
“Pussy patrol.” He doesn’t butt out of the way, even when he sees me squirming in an attempt to escape the unavoidable brush of our skin. Then he must notice my face paling, because he finally awards me with a serious answer. “Scott said you were looking for me.”
Let’s just hope both of them will fight clean, the commentator says from the screen.
I tug my underwear and jeans up my thighs under the towel, extra cautious not to show any skin.
As usual, Ty is staring. And as usual, he isn’t trying to hide it in any way.
“And did it not occur to you that it’s the girls’ locker room and that I might—shock, horror—be taking a shower?”
“It did. That’s why I came in.” He flashes me one of his signature, dimpled smiles.
Whoa, good shot by Wilder.
The more articles of clothing I put on, the more confident I feel. I get straight to the point before he bombards me with more reason to stutter. “I was looking for you because I want to interview you. Can you spare me ten minutes?”
“Nope.” He swivels to the door and starts marching.
“Wait!” I cry. My head drops when I realize how desperate I sound.
I hate him. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!
“It’s vital for my assignment,” I say quietly.
He comes to a halt, his body still angled toward the door. “I don’t do interviews, and even if I did, it’s not like the article will ever get published. It’s just a stupid school thing. Don’t have the time to waste on this shit. What’s in it for me?” He suddenly sounds half-interested.
Monrose is putting up a fight against Wilder, but Wilder is too loose and confident to make a mistake…
“Don’t be an ass,” I tell him.
This makes him turn around.
“I see feisty Barbie is back.” He takes a few steps closer, the right corner of his lips pulling into a crescent.
“Give me ten minutes with you.” I swallow. I watch the TV from behind him, and see how he throws a head kick, his opponent dropping to the floor. Ty wastes no time leaning down and squeezing his opponent’s head like a vicious snake, until the referee steps between them. Monrose taps the floor multiple times with his right hand, signaling his submission.
Ty takes a few long steps and stops when he is mere inches away from me. Face to face. Nose to nose. My pulse rate edges up three notches.
“Ask me,” he purrs, sending tremors down my spine. I swear those dark, demanding eyes are drinking my soul, emptying out every coherent thought I possess, burning my skin, his pupils feeding the flames.
I stare at the vee of his shirt and wonder how the tattoo on his chest looks like up close. Jesus Christ.
Stop being curious, Blaire. Focus.
“Ty, can you please do a ten minute interview for my journalism project?” I roll my eyes.
He puts his hands on my waist and yanks me closer. I’m melting into him, beyond excited, and judging by the huge bulge on my thigh, so is he.
“Only if you’ll go on a date with me,” he says into my forehead, his breath tickling my hairline.
Another shiver travels down my spine, and this time it’s bringing all of its friends.
His thumb is lifting the hem of my shirt and rubbing my waist in leisurely circles. It makes me giddy, and Hormones are clunking their champagne glasses as Brain, handcuffed in the far corner of the room, sarcastically exclaims, She still hasn’t answered him, ya’ know.
“No,” I hear myself saying.
“No?” His brow furrows.
“I’m sorry. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“And why’s that?” Amusement laces his voice.
Because I built up walls, high and strong, and I don’t let anyone through them. Ty wants in. But why should I open up to him? Because he’s hot? Because he’s used to getting his way? No, he needs to scale those long-ass walls, just like everyone else.
“I’m pretty busy this week.” God, how lame do I sound? Super-lame, that’s how much.
“Yeah? Well, so am I.” He turns around and starts walking.
Think about your assignment, Blaire. Think about shoving your degree in Mom’s and Dad’s faces. Think eyes on the prize.
“Wait! Do you have a girlfriend?” I hear myself asking. I don’t know what his current status is, but I’m not going to date someone who’s taken. No matter the reward.
“So who’s Nicole?”
If Ty is surprised, his face doesn’t betray him. He is as relaxed and self-assured as ever. He doesn’t even ask how I know about her. I bet he’s searching his brain to remember which one of them is the long-legged blonde.
“I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“I’m not going to be another notch on your train-long belt,” I warn. When I started high school, I made a rule never to chase after hard-to-get guys. Then again, judging by the last two years, apparently I also made a rule never to date any guys. Period.
Ty pauses the thumb action. He hovers close, gluing his luscious lips to my earlobe. Behind him, the crowd on the TV is cheering and chanting USA! USA! as his bloodied figure shakes hands with the opponent he just nearly killed.
“Trust me, Barbie, you’ll be begging to get some of this long before I touch you.”
“You’re touching me now.” I want to pull away, but instead I shift closer, craving his touch. Damn you, Hormones.
A young woman enters the locker room and squeals in shock when she sees Ty standing here. I know how bad it must look. He is leaning against me, fondling my midriff, his lips to my ear.
He turns around and commands, “Not now. Come back in five.” His gaze returns to mine, and Hormones whack Brain with the back of a semi-automatic rifle and take over my mouth.
“One date.” I cave in. Screw it. I need this interview.
“Say it like you mean it, Barbie.”
Pffffffft. He is so impossible. I never hated someone I like so much.
“Yes, Ty, I will go on a date with you.” I’m slanting my gaze sideways to avoid the satisfaction in his face.
Ty grins and crushes his hard body into mine, pressing my back against the wall. He raises his left hand, his palm roaming my face. His hand is warm, the pads of his fingers rough and calloused, and he leaves a tingling trail wherever he touches. First stop is my cheek.
Then he strokes across my jawline and to my mouth, a lazy smirk plastered on his face. He presses with his thumb against my primly clasped lips. And tugs.
I’m completely paralyzed.
“That’ll do…for now.”