Authors: Jayne Blue
Craddock got up and strutted back to his training station.
Cassidy struggled to remember what day it was after that little exchange. No
one she’d ever encountered affected her the way he did. She was determined not
to get sucked in, though. She didn’t know how she would accomplish that, but in
the deepest part of her, the part where logic or survival or life plans didn’t
reign supreme, she felt something unfamiliar stirring. Something she’d never
let see the light of day before. A strange warm feeling in her core, her chest,
She wanted Craddock. She wanted his finger to continue its
trail on her skin, to the top of her blouse, and beyond. The image of him doing
just that blossomed in her mind and she could still feel the hot trail of his
touch on her skin. This was bad, so very, very bad.
The phone rang. Good. Work. Distraction. Life.
“Great Wolf Gym,” she answered with a confidence she didn’t
feel, but she pulled it together to finish her first day on the job.
– Compliments of Jayne Blue!
Go on a romantic adventure with MMA
Fighter Mace Alois…
“Thank you, Mace,” She said it softly and then she did
something she had not done since college. She channeled the bold girl she used
to be and she made the first move. He had helped her and she decided a thank
you kiss was in order.
Raleigh leaned up and placed her lips on Mace’s cheek. It
tasted of blood, stubble, and salt. If she intended anything, she intended for
this to be a quick peck, a throwback to the flirty college girl she used to be,
who did not have to log every moment of the day.
She did not bargain on how powerfully her body would respond
to his. Mace’s hand on her arm the other day set her body thrumming and that
was nothing to the way her insides heated at the touch of her lips on his skin
just now. He made her hungry. She could not find a better word. Hungry.
Instead of pulling away, she lingered. Their faces touched.
She wanted more than the sweet little thank you kiss she blithely doled out.
Then Mace turned his head just enough, slowly, toward her, and their lips met.
The sweet kiss was so much more, so quickly Raleigh did not
think; her tongue darted out to taste his lip.
She worried for a second that she had been too forward,
hitting on a guy who was just trying to be polite to the epileptic girl? Then
Mace’s tongue met hers and it was a catalyst to something
she had never felt before. Mace took two powerful steps forward and she
backward. The pressure of his lips and his body propelled her up against the
brick wall of the alley. Mace’s hands were all over her. They were instantly
wild together. Unbidden her leg twisted around his.
This had so quickly turned into the most intense encounter
of her life.
Her skin reacted to his touch like a million fizzy Champagne
bubbles. She found herself wrapping her hands around his neck, rubbing her body
up against his.
It was as if the touch of his tongue on hers turned the
spark of attraction into an inferno. She felt his hands on the sides of her
hips up and up to the side of her breasts and down again. It was crazy, out of
control, and she wanted more. She would have let him take her there. She wanted
him to. More than anything else, she could think of.
But as quickly as it started Mace pulled back, an inch, two
inches. He flattened his hands on the wall on either side of her head.
Their kiss stopped and the only sound in the alley was the
sound of both of their breaths, heavy and fast. It was jarring, she felt like
separating from him was more unsettling than coming together the way they just
“What?” She did not want this to stop.
“Je Suis désolé.”
“I am sorry. I should not have done that.” Raleigh was
feeling increasingly mortified as she realized her dress was hiked up and she
was clearly being rejected. She had thrown herself at someone who responded and
now thought better of it.
“I started it. Don’t sweat it, Jean Claude.” It was more
biting than she meant to be. She wanted to ask what was wrong but decided the
answer could make this moment even worse.
“I got carried away. Please let me escort you back to your
friends.” Her rough and tough French neighbor had turned into an extremely
proper total stranger.
“Forget it. I’m fine. That’s for your help getting me out
here.” Raleigh could not find the door back to the bar fast enough.
She did not look back and left Mace standing in the alley.
She did not want him to see the hurt or embarrassment on her face. She just
wanted out of the situation. Fast. She could not remember a time when a man
rejected her, especially in a moment like that. It was humiliating. She knew
humiliation these days.
Raleigh’s friends were not ready to go home; both were still
having a ton of fun. She all of a sudden was not. She did not have the heart to
ask them to leave with her. She had done that too many times in the last year.
Her problems should not hold them back she thought.
She texted Alysha and Courtney and then waved when they
looked at her with concern. She told them a headache was coming on but nothing
She grabbed a cab and got out of there.
She thought the biggest risk of embarrassment tonight would
have been having a seizure at a cool club with her girlfriends. She could
almost see herself drooling on the dance floor or something. It was what kept
her home on countless other Fridays.
Instead, she was embarrassed and surprised at her current
predicament. Her face felt hot when she thought about the fact that her full on
assault of Mace Alois was soundly rejected.
Merde! That was the hottest fucking kiss Mace had ever had.
It was the hardest thing he had had to do in a long time stopping it in its
Raleigh’s lips, her legs, her body, everything about her had
him in knots and wanting more. But he could not have more.
He watched her leave, to his dismay, without her friends,
that was not safe he feared. He had hung back but kept her in his sights. She
made her way to a cab and he felt better and worse at the same time.
When you starve yourself and then have a taste of something
succulent, only a taste, it makes the hunger that much more. He had almost
forgotten to want. But Raleigh changed that in an instant. He was hungry for
He knew she was coming in for a kiss. He had sensed it and
he led her on. His stillness in the alley dared her to act. He had goaded her
into it in his way and she took him up on it. It was selfish of him. He just
lost his mind for a moment. But that moment was enough to cause the want. Wanting
was the worst feeling in the world, next to losing.
Getting involved with a woman could get them both killed. He
had to remember that. He had to remember the last time he felt so fucking
turned on it - the last time ended in tragedy and with him on the run.
He was not going to go through that again. It was bad enough
he was hiding. It was not fair to drag someone else into it. Even though all he
could think of was Raleigh’s lips.
He spent a restless night replaying what he had almost done.
What he should not have started.
Mace could not stop thinking about how Raleigh’s leg wrapped
around his, how her breasts felt against his chest, how he pressed into her hot
little center. He torturing himself for a full night as her image wouldn’t
leave his mind.
The next morning a knock on the door beat his alarm clock. Well,
screw it he hadn’t been sleeping anyway.
Mace looked in the peephole and there she was. Raleigh. As
if she had stepped out of his fevered dreams and right to his door.
Her sexy dress from last night had been exchanged for cutoff
shorts and a t-shirt with the letters GVSU on it. She looked sexy in everything
he decided. Her blonde hair was gathered at the top of her head in a floppy
What was she doing here? He opened the door without thinking
about the fact he was shirtless and in underwear.
“Nice outfit.” She looked him up and down.
“I wasn’t expecting visitors this early on a Saturday.”
“You may have forgotten our date but I haven’t.”
“Date?” Raleigh produced a paintbrush from her back pocket.
“Aha. Yes. Payment for services.”
“Yep, I don’t know how they do it in France, but we like to
get cracking early here when we’ve got chores.”
“Let me shower.”
“No need, you’ll get dirty. I guarantee it.” She was still
flirting with him. He had pushed her away, but she bounced right back. She was
quite the little fighter. Her double entendre woke up him up in more than one
way so he quickly turned his back to her.
Merde, she was going to test him, push him to the limit.
“Let me get some clothes at least.” He walked away shaking his
“I would hope so you brazen hussy. I have coffee going at my
place. Hurry up Mace, or is it, Jean Claude!” She left him to find clothes and
hide the evidence of his fierce attraction to her.