Mace (Cocky Cage Fighter #4)(4)

By: Lane Hart

"Hello? Who is this?” The goddess’s melodic voice is the perfect mixture of husky sex phone operator and sweet southern belle, slowly stretching out all of her vowel sounds.

Realizing there hasn’t been ringing on the phone at my ear for several seconds, it's very possible that she caught me singing along with Frankie while I strained my eyes, hoping to develop x-ray vision. I need to know what kind of panties she’s got on underneath that tiny ass dress. Thong? Bikini? Lace? None? Oh fuck, the mystery of it all might just blow my goddamn mind.

I watch as a crease forms between her eyebrows that are a shade or two darker than her hair, making her face seem even more strikingly beautiful. Frowning harder, she says, “Hello? Is anyone there?" In her southern drawl, I imagine the question would be closed captioned to something along the lines of, “’Ello? Is Annie Juan thare?” Yeah, I know thare is not a word, but that’s how it comes out of her mouth, dripping slow and sweet like honey. I’m used to Linc’s country twang, even though at first I thought he was an unintelligent hick. Of course I now know he’s definitely not. But her accent on the other hand? Well, damn, if it’s not cute as a button, as they would say around here. Which really makes no fucking sense because there’s nothing cute about buttons, but I digress.

"Hey, um, this is Mason, your ride," I finally respond, and then wince when the words come out making me sound like an overexcited, fourteen-year-old boy, which I must say, nicely compliments my public boner.

Her sigh is so heavy, I can practically feel the warmth of her breath whooshing against my ear before she says, "You're late."

There's something about the weight in those two words and how her golden shoulders slump that have me feeling shittier than maybe ever before for being slack. Not just slack, I was fucking selfish, making this incredibly classy and gorgeous woman wait for me in a shitty airport coffee shop while I was dicking around. The southern beauty doesn't even sound pissed. She sounds...disappointed in me. Which is so much worse. And I know right then and there that my being late has actually hurt her feelings. In a rare moment of understanding how the crazy female brain works because I have—had— two older sisters, I even realize exactly why she's upset - I didn't think she was important enough to be on time for.

"I'm sorry," I say with as much conviction as possible, because I honestly mean it. If I had known about those fucking mile-long legs and her slow, sexy drawl, I would've been here at sunrise, waiting to worship her on my knees instead of having a threesome. That’s right, she equals the equivalent of two sexy women. Hell, maybe even four. "What can I do to make it up to you?” I ask, wanting, no, scratch that, needing to have her forgiveness. “Any fucking thing. Name it, and you've got it, sweetheart."

And that’s when it happens. Her face breaks into a smile that's so stunning it actually causes a hiccup in the space-time continuum. It's like in a movie when the entire room freezes. Everyone else around us disappeared, time stood still, and the single moment hung suspended in its progression, all because of her.

I pull the phone away from my ear to see what time it is because I never want to forget this monumental, historic event. Eleven-eleven on June sixth is the exact moment I fell in love with that smile. And now I’m absolutely sure that I'll not only keep my promise to do anything to make up for being late, but I'm also certain that I would do anything on God’s green Earth just to see her smile again.

Chapter Two

Hailey Abrams

Oh, he is good, wipin’ away the annoyance of an almost two-hour wait with a few smooth words.

After walkin’ about twenty laps around the entire airport, I stopped at the coffee counter, too wound up to sit down, and besides, standin’ burns more calories than sittin’. I was startin’ to wonder if my ride, Claire's younger brother Mason, was ever gonna show or if I was shit out of luck.

Since I can’t have a car or drive in New York, I let my North Carolina driver’s license expire. Now I can’t even rent a freakin’ car until I can go to the DMV next week. Last night I had a photo shoot, so today was the earliest I could fly in for the festivities. Everyone else is already at the beach. Linc told me that Claire’s brother could be somewhat flaky, but promised he wouldn’t forget something as important as pickin’ me up. Well, he was wrong. But honestly, it’s my own darn fault for not havin’ a license, not the guy who was suckered into goin’ out of his way to do a favor for my brother.