Authors: S. M. Donaldson
Marco’s MMA Boys
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Other Titles By S.M. Donaldson
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Gaining Gibbs is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places and events portrayed in this book are either from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, with exception to brand names, Artists named, and their song lyrics, and direct quotes from movies whose titles have been named. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, or events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
Copyright © 2015, SM Donaldson
Clay Gibbs is an up and coming MMA fighter, with a past. He’s witnessed more harsh brutality than any person should especially when he was such a young age. He’s tried to move on with his life, finding a career he enjoys, and fighting for things that are important. One of the most important things being his new family. They may not be blood, but they have a bond. In the center of that is the woman he feels he can’t live without. A fiery redhead that makes his heart beat wildly. He’s waited for her…now it’s time.
Jade Chambers is a Firecracker. A ball of fire that will burn through anything in her path to get the life she wants. After almost losing it all as soon as it began, she’ determined to never let that happen again. The one thing she didn’t count on was Clay Gibbs, not giving up on her. Will she love him or will she burn him?
To my redhead sister Judy and all of the fieriness you entail. Every day is interesting when you’re around.
“Red. It’s not just a hair color…It’s an Attitude.”
The phone rings and fumbling, I answer it. It was a long flight from Vegas after the fight last night and my body hurts. Normally I’d have a girl in bed with me that could help answer the phone, but I’m not even sure I could have performed last night. Finally swiping the green arrow, I put the phone to my ear. “Hmm. Ello.”
“I’m sorry to call so early but I need a little help.” Her voice sounds almost panicked and a little shaky.
“Jade, are you okay?” I say, trying to sit up in bed.
Fuck, my body is killing me.
“Um. Yeah, I’m fine. Can you come get me though?” she says nervously. I hear her sniffle. “I um...I just got kicked out of school.”
“What the hell?” I say, bolting up in the bed.
“Look, I don’t want to explain it over the phone and I can’t call Kara or Mom, so can you just please come get me?” she pleads.
“Yeah. I’ll be there as soon as I can,” I reassure her.
“I’m boxing up my things now…just don’t say anything about this to anyone yet. Okay?” She sounds so unsure of herself, not the Jade I know at all.
I pull a pair of jeans off my floor and start snatching them on. “I’m getting dressed now. I just have to stop for gas and I’ll be there.” I pause. “And Jade, we will talk when I get there.”
I hear her sigh, “Yeah, I know.”
“See you in a few hours.”
“Okay,” she says softly as she hangs up.
What in the ever loving fuck has she gotten herself into?
I grab a t-shirt from my closet and pull it over quickly. With a couple of sprays of deodorant and brushing my teeth, I touch the cross on the chain on my neck and take one last glance at the picture of my parents on my dresser, then I’m gone.
On the trip to Birmingham, I think about Jade and all of her fiery passion. She’s by far the best I’ve ever had in my bed, but for us, we are better friends. She needed to leave and find herself.
I trust her, though, and in some ways I even love her. She’s the only person besides the shrink and the cops that I ever told the details of the night my parents were murdered. How I was thirteen and escaped out my window like my father had told me to do several times before. Then I hid under the porch of our house. I heard them looking for me and giving up, saying I must not be there. They didn’t know I was supposed to be at a friend’s house, but I was running a fever so my mom wouldn’t let me go. When I felt like the coast was clear, I crawled from my hiding spot and came in through the back of the house to find my father’s neck sliced open and my mother’s body sliced almost beyond recognition. I live with those dreams every night, and she’s the only one who knows that part of me.
I just hope whatever she’s gotten herself into, it won’t stop her from following through with her dreams. She’s a force to be reckoned with, she doesn’t need some fighter with a price on his head weighing her down.
What in the fuck was I thinking? Oh yeah, I wasn’t. I was hormonal and irrational.
My thoughts race as I rush to pack up my side of the dorm room. I’d like to be out of here before my roommate gets back from her long weekend. There is no telling what the rumor mill will be saying within the next few days. Throwing the last years’ worth of crap in boxes, I stare at a picture of Brett and me at the winter sports banquet. My arm looped through his, in an emerald green dress that went great with my hair.
I didn’t really want to go, but since he’s a starter on the school’s baseball team we really didn’t have a choice. It reminded me way too much of shitty high school formals. I was trying to turn over a newer, softer leaf, not be the raging ginger with a short fuse everyone around home saw me as. So, like the dutiful girlfriend, I went.
Huh. Well, I sure blew that whole softer leaf thing.
A knock at the door brings me out of my trip down memory lane. It can’t be my ride, not yet anyway. Not unless he’s driving like a bat out of hell.
I swing open the door to find Brett leaning against the door frame, grinning and looking like a damn Abercrombie model. That whole messy-athlete-frat boy-ass kiss thing is working for him.
I let out an irritated sigh, “What do you want?”
He pushes off the door frame, “Just to apologize.”
I raise my eyebrows and step back into my room, allowing him to step in but leaving the door open as he does. “Really. I’m dying to hear this,” I say with all the sarcasm I intend it to hold.
“I’m sorry everything went down like it did,” he says all too casually.
My eyes go wide. “Oh, you’re sorry things went down like they did?” I throw my hands in the air. “Which part are you sorry about? The fact that I had a miscarriage? That I caught you cheating? That I got kicked out of school and you didn’t because you’re too much of an asset to lose?”
“Sorry you got kicked out of school. Sorry the condom broke,” he says, looking at the floor.
Before I realize what I’m doing, my hand is stinging from the slap to his face.
“So you’re not sorry that your dick fell into some slut while I was still bleeding from losing your kid.” I shake my head. “Just get the fuck out.”
“Hey, I wasn’t ready to be a dad and we were moving too fast,” he says, moving closer to me. His size is intimidating me a little, but I won’t let on. I’m Jade Fucking Firecracker Chambers. I don’t let others intimidate me.
Before I can say anything, I hear, “I think she asked you to get out.” That voice, the voice that still haunts my dreams. The voice of
Brett spins around to see Clay Gibbs. “Just how is any of this your fucking business?”
Clay motions to me. “Because she’s my business.”
I grab my suitcase and hand it to Clay. “I’ve just got a few more things to pack and I’ll be ready to go.”
He knows I’m in control, I’ve got this. He just nods and takes the suitcase.
Brett stares at me. “So you were just going to leave without saying a word? Just call in the meatheads and leave?”
I step toward him. “Don’t call him a meathead, he’s very smart.” Stepping closer, I say in a quiet tone, “What did you expect me to do? Stay here and beg you for another chance, beg to be that girl on your arm, like some fake trophy bimbo?” Motioning around me frantically with my arms, I say, “Beg the Dean to let me have my scholarship back? Sorry, some of us don’t have a golden arm like you. We don’t have daddies who buy us everything, including our grades and a sports complex.”
“You don’t need to be such a bitch about it.” He raises his voice as I continue throwing shit in boxes.
Spinning around to face him, I glare at him. “Oh yes, I do, I should’ve been a bitch the entire time with you. Maybe then you wouldn’t have fucked me over like you did. For you, Brett, this is just some little scandal, you’ll have a million of them in your lifetime. For me, this was my future. I busted my ass for the scholarship to come here, just to throw it all away on some jerk. So yes, I get to be a bitch right now.”
He starts to speak but before he can, Clay comes back inside. Passing Clay a box, I say, “I just have these other two. I’m throwing the last of it in now. I should be ready soon.”
Clay nods, “Take your time.” He takes the box I handed him and heads back down.
Brett points at the door. “Who the fuck is he? He just comes up here to rescue you? No one would just do that for you.”
“Yes, he would
‘just do that for me
’,” I say using air quotes. “He’s my friend.”
“So you’ve fucked him. Because your tight little redheaded ass doesn’t just have male friends. I know that much about you,” he says, stepping toward me.
I step up to him, putting my finger on his chest and gritting my teeth. “I should’ve busted your face with that fucking bat instead of the room at the sports complex that didn’t do a thing to me. Unless you count me finding you screwing that damn sorority bitch in there.”
“Hey!” Gibbs says ever so seriously from the doorway. “I think you need to get your ass out of here.” Yep, he’s let me be in control long enough. Now he’s stepping in.
Brett looks at me. “Get your fuck buddy under control.”
Before I can lash out, Gibbs is in his face. “Look here, pretty boy. I suggest you shut that megawatt smile of yours, because one day you’re going to need it to get you elected to some office that you can screw over the general public in along with your bimbo secretary.”
Brett looks at me again. “So this is what you’ve been doing when you go home, fucking meathead fighters?”
I try to go around Gibbs but he wraps an arm around my waist to pull me back from Brett. Physically walking me back across the room, he looks me in the eyes, “Firecracker, let’s go. I don’t need Marco to have to come bail me out of jail. If you hit him and he puts his hands on you, I’m gonna kill him.”
He spins to Brett and points, “I’m gonna tell you one more time,
Get the hell out of here. Don’t contact her again. You read me?” He steps closer and drops his voice to a low octave. “Just for the record, I did fuck her a long time ago, didn’t work out so we are just friends. Not that we had any problems in that department, because she goes off like a fucking bottle rocket when someone is giving it to her right. Not that it’s any of your business but she’s never cheated on you at home. She’s not an insecure piece of shit like you who needs to cheat to feel fulfilled.”
With that, Brett is speechless and just storms out of the room, knocking a frame off the wall on the way out.
Gibbs takes me in his thick arms and hugs me tight. “Firecracker, you’ve got some explaining to do. Let’s get this shit loaded and get the hell out of here before
calls the cops or something.”
I nod and pull away to finish packing my things. Looking around the room one last time, I shake my head and wonder how my life will go now. This is the last time I’ll ever let a man choose my destiny.
A couple of hours after we’re on the road, I’ve finished telling him the entire saga. The broken condom, the pregnancy, the miscarriage, the sorority slut and Brett the bitch. I sigh, “But the Dean did tell me quietly that when I got home and applied to UF, he would call down personally for me. They’re blaming it on hormones so that they don’t have to press charges for the room I busted up. He also said they’re going to tell them that the money fell through on my scholarship, not that I was expelled for busting up an innocent sports complex.” I shrug. “Brett’s dad just wanted the problem to go away, and I was the problem. I think he and the Dean both felt a little grief for me. So I’m gonna go home and apply to UF and hope I get in, the fun part is going to be explaining this to everyone in my family. I have a feeling my sister and brother-in-law are going to want to hunt Brett down and kill him.”
Reaching over, he grabs my hand and gives it a reassuring squeeze. “Firecracker, you’re going to be okay. You tell them whatever you want and if they don’t like it, too bad.”