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Fight Dirty
Bonus Scene


The familiar whap-whap-whap sound of someone going to town on the heavy bag greets me as I walk toward the door of our downstairs gym. Even before I step inside the room, I know who it is. Levi prefers lifting weights, and although Sloan uses the bag I set up in one corner of the gym fairly often, his form isn’t this precise. He’s more of a brawler. He hits hard enough the first time that he doesn’t plan to have to hit again.

Nah, this is someone smaller and lighter than Sloan. Someone who knows what the fuck she’s doing.

It’s Mercy.

For a split second, I consider going back upstairs and letting her finish her workout in peace. Okay, maybe it’s not even a split second, because my feet don’t hesitate as I near the door. I open it quietly and step inside, not surprised in the least when she doesn’t notice me at first.

She’s zeroed in on the heavy bag like it’s personally wronged her in some way, and I grin a little as I wonder which one of our faces she’s picturing as she beats the shit out of it.

Sloan’s, probably.

I love the guy, but he can be a fucking asshole sometimes. He’s got a shitload of pressure on his shoulders though, so I don’t begrudge him his moody-as-fuck attitude.

"You've got good form,” I finally say, when there’s a small break in the steady rhythm of her fists against the bag. “A little stiff around the shoulders though.”

“Fuck!” Mercy stops punching, pressing a hand to her chest as she spins around, like she’s trying to keep her heart from crashing through her sternum.

She stares at me for a moment, breathing hard. Little strands of her dark hair cling to the side of her face, slicked with sweat, and my cock twitches a little. Mercy is sexy as fuck all the time, but she looks even hotter like this. I like that she isn’t afraid to go hard, and that she doesn’t hold anything back. She’s tough as fuck. Braver than a lot of the men I know.

It occurs to me that I wish I could introduce Piper to her. My daughter is a miniature badass in her own right already, but I want her to have ladies like this in her life—ones who aren’t afraid to speak up or fight back, ones who value loyalty and protect the people they care about.

My brows draw together a little as I shake the thought away. It’s a weird thought to have, especially considering I make it a point to keep Black Roses shit separate from Piper and Jen. And Mercy definitely qualifies as “Black Roses shit.” This is just business, as hard as that is to remember sometimes with her walking around the house and sassing me back when I tease her.

She presses her lips together, her eyes flashing with annoyance, and I realize I’ve got no idea how long the silence has stretched out between us. I got totally distracted by the sight of her.

"I don't need your tips," she tells me, an edge of pride in her voice. "I'm doing fine without them."

She is. Oscar DeLeon is a great fighter. I’ve seen him in the ring before, and the guy knows his stuff—and obviously passed on those skills to his daughter.

Still, I can’t help abandoning my own planned workout and heading over to the wall where we keep some extra training equipment. I grab a pair of pads out and slip them on, then stride back into the center of the room. I drop my weight a little, holding up the pads as I grin at her.

"Show me what you've got then, princess.”

She narrows her eyes, and my grin widens. I can almost imagine her trying to decide whether to hit the pads or hit me. Fortunately for my face, she settles on the former.


She stalks closer to me, and I can see the fighter’s stance in the way she walks. When her fist flashes out and connects with the pad, I can feel the impact all the way down my arm. She’s got great power.

I let her throw several more hits, enjoying the way the force of them makes me brace a little harder. Then, after she connects with a heavy jab, I swipe out with my other arm, almost tagging her before she ducks out of the way.

"Keep your weight balanced better so you can avoid a punch after throwing your own," I say.

She scowls, but I can see the thoughtful look in her eye. I know she’s replaying the sequence of events and realizing she could’ve ducked faster if she’d had her weight more evenly balanced.

Without saying anything, she launches another series of punches, and this time, I can see her keeping a bit more weight on her back foot, ready to move in an instant if she needs to.

She’s smart as fuck as well as feisty. Damn, I like this girl.

I push her harder, swiping out with the pads, stepping into her space, or backing away to make her follow me. She keeps up really well, and even though I’m not exactly breaking a sweat, I find myself enjoying this a whole hell of a lot more than the workout I originally planned on doing.

"Ooh, there was some fire in that one.” I grin as her knuckles smack against the center of the pad.

"I was imagining it was your face," she pants, her face set in a look of determination.

I chuckle, stepping forward as she dances back, light on her feet. "Aw, you’re going to hurt my feelings. Here I am trying to be helpful, and you’re thinking about hitting me.” I tilt my head, catching her gaze with a broad smile. “But between you and me, I don't think punching would be the first thing you'd want to do with my face."

She looks incensed, but I think I see the flush on her cheeks deepen, and I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with the workout she’s getting right now.

“Think whatever you want,” she shoots back, renewing her assault on the pads. “Doesn’t change the truth.”

Damn, she’s way too much fun to mess with. I like getting under her skin—partly because that’s just what I do, I like to tease people. But there’s something about Mercy specifically that makes me want to get under her skin a little, to see how she’ll react. She’s got fire inside her, and she surprises me all the time. I like it.

We keep going, our sparring session continuing long enough that even I’m sweating a little. I fuck with her to keep her on her toes, mixing things as she adjusts her technique to keep pace with me.

"What would you do if you had to fight a guy so much taller than you?" I tease, lifting the pads higher until they’re above my face. The imaginary person I’m making her fight is some kind of giant now, but I want to see what she’ll do.

“I’d aim for his balls.”

Her deadpan reply is immediate. Honestly, I wouldn’t put it past her to kick a guy in the balls in a real fight—or even a practice one—but thankfully, she spares my family jewels this time. Instead, she surprises the fuck out of me by dropping her weight and sweeping my leg with hers. She catches me off-guard, but that’s only part of the reason I go down—her technique is solid, and even if I was expecting it, she still might’ve gotten me.

My back hits the mat with a thud, and she’s on me a second later, straddling my hips with her knees on the floor on either side of me.

Oh, shit. I didn’t see this coming. But I gotta admit, I don’t hate it.

I grin up at her, breathing hard. “Whoa, Hurricane. That move definitely isn't regulation.”

"So? I fight dirty. What're you gonna do about it?" She narrows her eyes at me, looking like she’s ready to back up her words with her fists.

My cock twitches again. The sight of her on top of me, her chest slicked with sweat, rising and falling fast, and her cheeks flushed… it’s making me think of a whole bunch of other ways we could get sweaty.

I can’t help myself. Partly, I want to see if I can catch her off-guard the way she did to me, and partly, I just really want to feel her body beneath mine. I buck my hips quickly, throwing her off balance and flipping our positions so that she’s on her back on the mat.

Our bodies are pressed together, my weight pinning her down as I let a smile curve my lips. "I do everything dirty.”

She shivers beneath me at my words, and fuck, it makes my cock pulse again, hardening in my gym shorts as our gazes lock.

This isn’t what I came in here for. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about this—and about a dozen other filthy scenarios all involving me and Mercy—but I know it’s a stupid as hell idea to get involved with Oscar DeLeon’s daughter.

With the girl who’s meant to be just collateral.


Just business.

Try telling that to my dick though.

For a long second, we’re both quiet. I don’t throw out another teasing quip, and she doesn’t open her mouth to make a sassy comment. We just stare at each other, like we’re frozen.

Then I feel her legs tighten around my thigh just a little. As if she can’t stop herself, she shifts her hips almost imperceptibly beneath me, like she’s trying to keep herself from grinding against my cock.

The reaction in my body is so strong and sudden that it takes me by surprise. Just that slight tease of her hips moving against mine, the way her eyes darken as she stares up at me… fuck, I can’t take it.

I drop my head, forgetting for the moment what a dumb idea this is. If she thinks it’s stupid, she’s forgotten too, because our lips meet in a hard kiss that makes my cock throb against her. She kisses me back, her lips wild and hungry and so fucking sweet it drives me crazy.

I can taste the salt on her skin, mixed with the scent of her shampoo and body wash, and everything about it is addictive as fuck.

Her hands clutch at my shoulders, her grip tight as her body moves against mine almost like we’re still fighting. As if to prove that point, she pushes against the floor and lifts her hips, rolling us over so she’s on top again.

Of course she kisses just like she fights. I fucking love it.

I chuckle as I lick the seam of her lips, sliding my tongue inside as I grab her hips and lift my own, grinding against her. I’m hard as fuck, quickly forgetting about every other thing in the world except the feel of the girl in my arms. We roll again, and when I’m on top, I take advantage of it by deepening our kiss, rotating my hips against hers to let her feel how fucking hard I am for her.

I want to feel her skin against mine, but our gym clothes are thin enough that I can feel plenty already. I know she can feel every inch of my cock as I roll my hips, and I can feel the press of her nipples through her sports bra.

She likes this. And she makes no fucking secret of that fact, her lips demanding against mine as she makes the sexiest little noises.

Desire is growing inside me like a fire raging out of control. Maybe I thought when I first kissed her that I could just get it out of my system, break the tension a little—but I was dead fucking wrong.

Every taste of her just makes me want another one, and I laugh to myself at the realization that our first kiss was a goddamn gateway drug. I’m already well on the way to being addicted.

I bite down on her lower lip, wanting to hear more of her noises—wanting to taste more of her. She rewards me with a throaty groan, but then her body stiffens beneath me. Her eyes fly open, and she wedges her hands between us to push against my chest.

“Get off me.”

Her voice is rough and low, and the raspy quality of it makes my cock ache.

I don’t want this to end here, and I’m one hundred percent sure she doesn’t either.

But I can see the hint of fear in her eyes—fear that I’m equally sure she’d deny if I mentioned it. And I get it. She’s in a fucked up situation, and there are a dozen reasons why this is a bad idea. The reasons may not be the same for both of us, but the point still stands. Better to let it drop before it gets too fucking complicated.

Even though I really, really don’t want to.

I roll off her easily though, not letting her see the regret in my eyes. I grin at her as I offer a hand to help her up, which of course she ignores. My cock is still rock hard in my gym shorts, and I know they’re visibly tented. I don’t make any effort to disguise that fact though. It’s gonna take a sec for me to get myself back together, and Mercy already knows what she does to me. She felt it.

"I'll spar with you any time, Hurricane,” I say, because I can’t resist pushing her buttons again.

And, well, because it’s true. Bad idea or not, I’d fucking do that again in a heartbeat.

"You should be so lucky,” she shoots back, her gaze dropping down to my junk for half a second before she wrenches her focus away and steps around me to leave.

As she passes me, I lose the battle with my smarter half again and reach out to slap her ass. She freezes for a moment, and I swear I can practically feel the tension ratchet up in the room, the attraction that’s built up between us threatening to explode all over again. I think she might turn back toward me, and I’m bracing myself for either a kiss or a junk-punch.

But instead, she just flips me off and continues out the door. It shuts behind her with a quiet thud, and I stare after her, finally reaching down to adjust my cock in my shorts.

It hasn’t softened at all, and just the feel of my own hand makes a little shudder run down my spine.

Fuck. I’m not sure I can focus on a workout at all now. Might just have to abandon the idea and opt for a cold shower instead.

But the honest truth is, no matter how cold of a shower I take, it won’t be enough. Something has shifted between Mercy and me. I’ve been attracted to her since she came to the house, but I never planned to act on it at all.

I never thought anything would happen between us. Nothing was supposed to happen.

But now that it has?

No amount of ice water is going to erase the memory of it.

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