Read The Fighter (The High Rise, Book 1) Online

Authors: Harper Bentley

Tags: #construction worker, #tattoos, #weight lifting, #alpha male, #hot guy

The Fighter (The High Rise, Book 1)

BOOK: The Fighter (The High Rise, Book 1)
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The
Fighter

 

The
High Rise, Book 1

 

Harper Bentley

 

Smashwords Edition

 

Copyright 2016 Harper
Bentley

 

Editors: Franca, Mel &
Sam

Cover image licensed by SC
Photography

Cover model: Lance Jones

Cover Photo design by Jada D’Lee
Designs

 

All rights
reserved.

No part of this
book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by
any information storage and retrieval system without the written
permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in
a book review. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, events, or locations is entirely
coincidental. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the
U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be
reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any
means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the
prior express, written consent of the author

 

 

Smashwords Edition,
License Notes

 

This ebook is licensed
for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or
given away to other people. If you would like to share this book
with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each
recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or
it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to
Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting
the hard work of this author.

Dedication

To TC & Amy

For your endless hours
of

support,

encouragement

and cheerleading

You’re the best!

Drinks on me soon!

<3

 

 

Table
of Contents

 

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Harper’s Hot
Recs

Acknowledgments

Gable—Chapter
1

About the Author

 

 

 

One

 

I step off my
treadmill and look across the weight room at the shirtless,
tattooed god holding huge dumbbells in his hands and lifting his
arms out to his sides. The striations in the muscles in his
shoulders bulge like they’re going to pop right out of his skin and
I mumble, “Holy hell.” I say this just before turning and running
smack dab into a pole which makes my best friend Dani Hanson snort.
“Shit!” I hiss moving my hand up to rub my aching nose then glance
back to see that Hot Tattooed Guy saw everything and is now looking
at me as if I’m totally the trainwreck that I am
.

Great.

“C’mon,
Laney,” Dani says grabbing my arm and leading me to the locker room
still snickering at my idiocy.

This is day
three that Dani and I have been training for the marathon my dad’s
company is sponsoring in May. He owns Kyle Properties, the company
for which I work as a leasing agent and that also owns The Estates,
the apartment building in which Dani and I live and have been
working out in the gym the past several mornings. Uncle Edward, who
is Dad’s half-brother and the superintendent of The Estates,
somehow talked me into representing the company in the godforsaken
run, and since Dani and I get a break on rent, I couldn’t turn him
down. Thankfully Dani feels the same and has agreed to accompany
me. It’s now early March so we’ve got about a month and a half to
train so yippee.

Since I’ve
never been very athletic—Dani disagrees that filing my nails should
count as exercising—I’ve been less than thrilled about our training
but if it means I get to see Hot Tattooed Guy every day, it’s all
good. He’s been here every morning working out which has made the
last two easier for me to get my ass out of bed in the expectation
of seeing him. Of course, every other woman in here has noticed him
too. How could they not? He’s handsome, built and brilliantly
tattooed. They’d have to be blind not to notice him.

I swear, if
they slapped his ass on a billboard, he’d definitely make a great
marketing tool because if every gym in America claimed they had
someone like him working out there, I guarantee their enrollment
would go
way
up. And not just for women. I’ve seen several
men watching him too, he’s
that
hot.

When she opens
the locker room door, Dani turns and says, “See you tomorrow,
Craig!” and waves to the trainer who runs the gym facility, who
from day one has given me the creeps. He gives her a head jerk with
a somewhat smarmy grin as he checks out her ass when she turns and
I make a gagging sound. “Stop,” she chides as we go inside to
shower and change.

“You know I
don’t like him,” I reply. “He—”

“I know, I
know. When you leased him his apartment he gave off a
rapist-slash-bad guy vibe. But I still think he’s cute.”

“Yeah, in a
rapist-slash-bad guy kinda way,” I retort as I check in the mirror
to make sure my nose hasn’t swollen to the size of a lemon which is
what it feels like. Once I’m assured I’m not going to be mistaken
for impersonating Owen Wilson any time too soon, I shake my head at
how dumb I am. “You’d think after all those years of ballet I’d
have a modicum of coordination.”

“Some people
just have two left feet,” she offers with a shrug as she grabs her
clothes and a towel before heading toward the shower cubicles.
“Besides, I would’ve wiped out too from gawking at Hot Tattooed Guy
if I hadn’t seen you bite it first.” She giggles as she closes the
stall door. She’s used to my lack of poise from hanging out with me
the last four years, the first two at UCLA as roommates our junior
and senior years and the last two rooming together here at The
Estates, so my gracelessness doesn’t even faze her anymore.

“Guinness
should be calling soon wanting to put me in their book as the
clumsiest person on the face of the planet,” I holler after her,
grabbing my own towel from the stack and a change of clothes from
my locker. “And of course, HTG just
had
to be looking!”

“You’re not
that bad. Besides, maybe he thought it was endearing,” Dani soothes
as she turns on her water.

“Ha! Fat
chance of that!” I say, reaching into my cubicle and turning on my
water too. I pull off my t-shirt and shorts then curse like a
sailor as I try to get my stupid sweaty sports bra off. Finally
disrobed, I step into the shower and turn the showerhead to the
hardest setting groaning when the hot water pounds against my sore
muscles.

“And he wasn’t
paying any attention until you screamed out ‘Shit’ after you
decided to make out with that pole!”

“Well, shit,”
I grumble as I turn to let the water blast my lower back and let
out a deep sigh. “He’s probably a player anyway. Guys who look like
him always are!” I call back to her.

“My, aren’t we
judgy today?” she answers.

I shrug
knowing she can’t see me. But since I’m pretty sure I’m right about
Craig the rapist-slash-bad guy and I’m definitely positive that the
last several men I’ve dated were total players, I think I have a
right to be a tad judgmental. And HTG appears to fit right in with
the lot of them. To prove my point (and expertise at my now finely
honed ability of spotting a jerk a mile away), I holler, “Riley
Jackson!”

“Fluke!” she
retorts.

“Brance
Cunningham!”

“Another
fluke!”

“Jimmy
Aaronson!”

I hear her
chuckle. “Okay. Player. But one out of three isn’t bad!”

I let out an
unbelieving huff as I lean back to get my hair wet. “Riley was
texting other women throughout our entire date! Then he asked for
another chance, which I gave, and nothing changed! I wanted to set
his phone on fire! Brance basically told me he had another date to
get to when he dropped me off after
our
date! Another second
chance, another date after dropping me off!”

She starts
laughing. Ugh.

“And Jimmy,
well, he was something else altogether!” I holler as I roll my
eyes.

“Hey, we’re
two attractive women, Lane. What guy wouldn’t want a threesome with
us?” She now lets out a cackle.

I’d dated
Jimmy for two weeks. We’d just had sex for the first time and after
I went to the bathroom, I come out to see him propositioning Dani
in the hallway asking if she wanted to join us.

After I
requested he leave, he’d called the next eleven days straight
begging for a second chance, which I stupidly gave. Things had
actually gone well on our next date, and just when I’d thought he
was a changed man, while we were making out on my sofa, he’d asked
that once we went to my bed if I’d call him Kanye and that was the
last straw. I’d kicked his ass out and told him to lose my
number.

I knew it’d be
the last second chance I’d ever give. And I’d told myself that from
now on, I was walking at the first sign of jerkiness. I also
decided that I was taking a timeout from men. I was now at six
months and counting.

Dani’s still
laughing and I can’t help but chuckle. Man, I’ve hooked up with
some total dogs. “Okay, okay, judge away,” she concedes after her
laughter dies down.

“Thank you,” I
mutter feeling somewhat validated.

I’m lost in
showerland having shampooed and rinsed twice before Dani calls from
the next stall, “I’ve gotta run! I’ll see you tonight!”

“Okay! Have
fun!” I reply knowing she’s already gone when I hear the locker
room door shut.

She works as a
personal assistant for Chastity Chastain, an up-and-coming TV
actress who thinks she’s already made it big. Although she’s only
made bit appearances on a couple sitcoms, which is pretty awesome,
she still isn’t “somebody” by Hollywood’s tough standards. I’ve met
her before and everything about her screamed “Star” including her
bossing Dani around, but Dani loves working for her and says the
pay is good, so more power to her, I guess. Oh, and the stories I
get to hear when she comes home are mega-interesting, so there’s
that too.

I stay in the
shower much too long recognizing this when I see my fingers are
starting to prune. I reluctantly get out, drying off and putting my
hair up in a towel. I then pull on shorts and the giant 49ers
hoodie I stole from Jimmy—it being the only halfway decent thing to
come out of our relationship—before gathering up my sweaty clothes
to leave, hoping I don’t run into anyone I know, which of course
means I will.

The minute I
open the locker room door I take a quick look around then make a
beeline to the elevators. Once there, I put my key in and push the
up button, impatiently waiting for the doors to open and humming a
few off-key bars of The Struts’ “Kiss This.” I’m actually singing,
horribly I might add, and shaking my hips a little to the silent
beat when I hear someone let out a deep chuckle from behind me.

BOOK: The Fighter (The High Rise, Book 1)
8.07Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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