Today’s the start of the High Octane Heroes Blog Tour! Be sure to check out the blog tour post for the list of prizes! You’re going to want to follow along for the next two weeks! In the meantime, we have two stops today:
I hope you’ve enjoyed all the excerpts we’ve shared, and that we’ve convinced you this book is something you can’t miss! Today, I’m sharing the last excerpt. This one’s from Christine D’Abo’s story. Her hero was a slight departure from the military/cop heroes we had, but I loved the story, and a UFC fighter is as super alpha a guy as you can get, right? Enjoy!
From “Pumping Iron” by Christine D’Abo
Lila adjusted her sports bra, unfolding the doubled-over band, and hoped she wasn’t about to make a huge mistake. Her recovery had been a long hard road, one she’d had to fight through inch by inch to be able to reclaim her body. But she’d made it and now stood on the other side, not simply back to her old self, but even better than before.
She only had one challenge left to conquer—Kyle.
Images of him kicking the asses of other UFC fighters were still fresh in her mind. She’d been intimidated as hell when she’d discovered he was going to be her trainer, having watched him beat and bloody men in the cage both on closed-circuit TV and at the gym. Kyle was vicious when he stepped in front of his opponent; any compassion he might have evaporated as the door locked.
Even in retirement he wasn’t soft or compassionate when it came to training. He didn’t give a shit about how much she hurt and kept pushing her to do things right. Harder, faster, more, goddammit! After a few sessions, she stopped being intimidated and really started hating him for making her work so fucking hard. It was a damn good thing her rehab was over and her body was in such good shape, otherwise she would have reamed him out for being an asshole.
Lila still might do that, right after she fucked his brains out.
Tightening the laces on her running shoes, she stepped out into the weight room and quickly found the object of her lust. Stretched out on the weight bench, Kyle was cranking out a series of bench presses with ease. From this angle Lila could see the sheen of sweat covering his biceps, his calves and thighs, the tremble in his body as he pushed himself past the limits of what most people would consider attempting. Typical Kyle. Never letting anyone, not even his body, tell him what he could do.
The clang of metal on metal filled the room as he dropped the weight bar back onto the rack and sat up. He lifted his tank top, wiping the sweat from his eyes with the material, exposing his hard abs to her. His face bore the scars of years in the cage. His nose was crooked from having been repeatedly broken. The long scar down his cheek wasn’t clearly visible from this distance, but she still knew it was there.
Shit, he was beautiful. Not that she’d ever say that to him. No frigging way.
She caught his attention as he stood. Lila swallowed down her nervousness and gave him a little wave. “Hi there.”
“What are you doing here?” No preamble, no pleasantries. “We finished your sessions last week.”
“Yeah, I know. Mike out front said it was okay. I know you’re probably getting ready to go home for the night.”
“I was doing my workout.” His black hair was cropped short against his head, a conservative look that didn’t quite mesh with his too-direct personality. “Mike closing up?”
His direct stare pierced her, making her squirm and her nipples harden. “I think so. The place is empty.” It was the main reason she’d come on a Monday night. She’d learned the ebb and flow of the client base over the past year, and this was the only time she figured would work. Neutral ground, but no distractions.
Bracing his hands on his hips, Kyle lowered his chin and narrowed his gaze. “Are you okay?”
The little confession she’d spent a week preparing evaporated from her memory. “Um, I wanted to talk to you about something.”
Kyle crossed the room, swallowing the distance in four wide strides. He was barefoot, but that didn’t make him any less intimidating. She’d seen the damage he could do with a roundhouse kick to someone’s face.
Lila knew she should be talking, explaining that no matter how hard she’d tried, she couldn’t get Kyle out of her dreams. No, dreams were too pedestrian a description. Those were hardcore erotic fantasies, starring her and a very dominant personal trainer.
Lila showering, surprised when Kyle would come in and fuck her. Lila finishing a workout, only to have Kyle demand she drop to her knees and suck his cock. Being at home, surprised when it was Kyle at her door, demanding to be let in.
She had it bad and she didn’t have a clue what to do about it.
Looking up into his brown gaze, Lila knew she only had one chance to do this right. Direct and to the point. It was the only thing he’d appreciate. Taking a deep breath, she straightened up, widened her stance slightly and steeled her nerve.
“I’m attracted to you.” There. That wasn’t so hard. “And I can’t seem to get you out of my mind.”
Kyle cocked an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Yeah. I’m sure that happens a lot to you. Clients developing a bit of a crush and all that. And I know you probably had groupies from the circuit. I kept telling myself that it’s normal to have a thing for the man who helped me recover my body. I mean, you deal with attractive people every day, and I know there are professional considerations too. You can’t sleep with a client and everything. But we finished our sessions, and I’ve actually switched gyms too. And even if nothing can happen between us, I wanted to let you know. That I’m attracted to you. So…yeah.”
At some point during her ramblings, Lila had dropped her gaze and was now staring at his chest. Sweat had soaked through the thin cotton, and she could see the contour of his pecs. His nipples were hard and his deep breathing pressed them against the fabric. She wanted to touch them, lick the salt off his skin. Beg him to touch her.
“Look at me.”
Lila complied without thinking, her gaze snapping back to his. Her lips parted and she fought a moan when she saw the raw hunger coming from him. He hadn’t shaved. The thick stubble accentuated his square jaw and cheeks, making the spidery scars on his face stand out.
Kyle stepped forward, and instinctively she retreated an equal distance. “Yes?”
Kyle stepped closer again, causing her retreat once more. Another two steps and Lila found her back pressed against the wall. The concrete blocks were cold against her bare back, but it did little to stem the rush of hot desire rolling through her. Kyle placed a hand on either side of her head, pinning her in place. The cords of muscles rippled as he flexed. Everything about him was rock hard—his body, demeanor, even the vibe he threw off. It didn’t matter; Lila wanted him.
“Say it again.” His voice was low, commanding in the same way he’d yell at her to do another five push-ups, uge her on to three more reps with the weights, push her to run another half mile. “Lila.”
“I’m attracted to you.” She wanted to swallow past the sudden dryness in her mouth, but she couldn’t make her body comply.
“Why did you choose me as your trainer?”
It was an odd question, but she saw that the answer was important to him. “You were recommended by my physiotherapist. He said that he couldn’t do anything else for me, and that I needed to build my muscle strength.”
The car accident had taken a lot out of her, both mentally and physically. She’d given up on herself for a very long time, gained weight, lived with the pain until Kyle came along and gave her the push she needed to reclaim her life.
“I’d wanted to give up on myself so much over the past year, but you kept me going.” She dropped his gaze once more, unable to handle the intensity any longer. “I didn’t want to disappoint you.”
Kyle took her chin in his hand and lifted it. “Not possible.”
Shit, there was no way she’d be able to be with someone like Kyle. He was the most attractive man she’d ever met. She’d seen the way the women at the gym would preen whenever he walked into the room, the way conversation brightened when he drew close. Hell, even the other men would work a little harder when he came close. Not that Kyle responded to any of it. Which was…odd. “Am I making a fool of myself? Of course I am. I should go.”
“You came here tonight to tell me you were attracted to me.” Kyle leaned in until his mouth hovered above her ear. “Did you think I was going to fuck you?”
Lila’s chest tightened as she sucked in a breath. The scent of sweat and Kyle’s soap filled her senses. It was familiar, equal parts comforting and arousing. Her pussy tingled and grew wet when he nipped at the top of her ear.
“Fuck?” She couldn’t manage more than a whisper. “I…”
“Did you want to see if you could get me out of your system? Scratch the itch?” He lowered his mouth so his lips brushed the side of her neck. “You want to touch my body the way you’ve wanted to for months? See if my muscles are as hard as they look?”
“Christ,” she muttered. “I don’t know.”