Tough Enough(3)

By: M. Leighton

More gorgeous than words.

A rising star.

My first client of the day.

And the guy I just insulted.



I sit in the makeup chair listening to the conversation happening out in the hall. I don’t feel guilty. I’m not trying to eavesdrop. They brought that shit to my door. Literally. So of course I’m going to listen.

I’m curious to see what the two women who are talking look like. One is obviously very complimentary, while the other is anything but. I’m more used to flattery than dismissiveness, so I’m already working on a mental picture of the skeptic. I mean, yeah, I have an ass-ton of flaws, but I was lucky enough to be born with a decent face and a strong body, a combination that never leaves me without plenty of female attention. I’m not arrogant about it. It is what it is. I don’t try to be handsome. I guess I just am. I mean, hell, I make a living getting punched in the face. Well, not anymore really. There aren’t many who are good enough to land one on me these days. That’s the beauty of rising to the top in the mixed martial arts arena.

I’m surprised when the two women walk through the door into the room where I’ve been waiting. I’m even more surprised by the way they look. One is a tall, blond goddess, the kind of woman I love to spend my nights with. The other is shorter and darker, but no less appealing. In fact, something about her immediately snags my attention. Holds it pretty damn tight, too.

She’s staring at me with wide, midnight eyes, her deliciously lush mouth hanging open in shock. A long, thick rope of reddish hair is swept over one shoulder in a sexy wave and she’s wearing a prim little dress that’s the color of an apricot. What’s inside that dress is just as appealing as the rest of her—two plump, more-than-a-handful tits pressing rhythmically against that soft cotton. They make my palm tingle to touch them, to see if they’re as firm as they look.

When I make my way back to her face, I realize quickly enough that she was the one running me down. She doesn’t have to say a word. It’s all right there in her expression. The blonde looks dazzled. This one just looks . . . shocked.

Of course, me being the healthy guy that I am, she’s the one I want.

The one who doesn’t want me.



Even though Mona is still pressed flat against my back where she nearly ran me over because I stopped so quickly, I can’t seem to budge. All I can do is stare, open-mouthed and embarrassed.

“Mornin’, ladies,” Kiefer Rogan drawls, dropping his ankle from his knee and crossing two thick arms over his impressive chest. He looks like a man who has not a care in the world.

And why should he? Look at him! I think.

Sweet Mary! His pictures don’t do him justice. I knew he was a handsome guy. I mean, I’m not blind or dead. I’ve seen the tabloids. I’ve seen the news. But I had no idea just how handsome he would be. He’s stunning. Simply stunning. Practically perfect in every rugged, manly way.

His short hair is dirty blond and his brows are just a few shades darker. They hover in a dramatic slant over amazingly bright green eyes. They nearly glow in the tanned sea of skin that’s stretched tightly across his angular face. His mouth is chiseled perfection, and his jaw and chin might as well be carved from a chunk of granite. He’s not so perfect that he’s pretty, though. No, he has flaws. Well, at least one that I can see. It’s his nose. There’s a slight crook at the bridge. Obviously it’s been broken a few times, but it does nothing to detract from his looks. Not. One. Thing.

“Mr. Rogan,” I finally manage to mutter. “You’re early.”

“Just Rogan,” he instructs in a sandpaper voice. “I may not be that good-looking, but at least I’m a prompt selfish asshole.”

Ohgod ohgod ohgod! He heard me!

I can hear Mona’s soft whisper in my ear. “Shit!”

For far too long, that’s the only sound in the room aside from the pounding of my heart and the crackling of the fire that I’m certain has engulfed my face. Or is that just my imagination?

“I didn’t call you an asshole,” I defend weakly.

“You might as well have.”

“But I didn’t,” I maintain, starting to feel a bit prickly, like a cornered animal.

“Touché,” he says with an acknowledging nod. As I watch, one side of his mouth pulls up into a grin that’s so sexy, for a split second I worry about Mona’s panties bursting into flames and burning us all alive in this tiny little square of an office.

I don’t know how to respond, so I say nothing. I just stand here, sinking in the quicksand of his stare as the silence stretches between us like thick, stringy taffy. Unfortunately, that gives me too much time to notice how his smile makes my stomach feel shaky and how the sparkle in his jade eyes makes my skin feel warm. None of this helps my composure.