“You want to show off, little girl? I’ll watch.” The thick Russian accent rolled off his tongue, his minty-fresh breath against her ear. Who the fuck had snuck up on her while she was training? Gennifer Rodriguez turned around swinging, only missing the tall white guy because he dodged her with a laugh. She narrowed her eyes and turned back to the punching bag, prepared to fully ignore him. Of course, he wasn’t going to play along.
“You have good form,” he said, amusement ringing in his voice. He chewed on gum, his jaw working.
“Fuck off, asshole.” Genny pounded on the bag, imagining his face where her fist landed. He chuckled.
“You fight angry.” He leaned against the brick wall a few feet away. The gym was empty except for the two of them, she noticed, scanning out of the corner of her eye. Great. Big Jimmy was no where to be seen. Maybe he was upstairs in the office? A tremor of fear ran down her spine, but she shook it off and punched the bag again. She used less power this time, wanting to conserve her strength, just in case the creep tried anything. Gennifer was used to being one of the only women in a boxing gym and all that came with it. She’d been accosted more times than she cared to remember. Usually Big Jimmy, the owner of the gym, or Hector, the manager, were around to mop up any dirt that she couldn’t take care of on her own.
Pivoting on her heel, she decided to face him head on. She crossed her arms over her C cups, keenly aware she was only wearing a sports bra and leggings, and glared at him. He smiled, revealing a missing incisor on his upper right side. From fighting, no doubt. A dentist by trade, her interest was piqued. She’d love to get him in the chair. He’d pay her way to a nice vacation. He swept his eyes from her feet to her face, the smile never wavering. Gennifer followed suit, taking in his broad shoulders and trim hips. He was tall, at least six two. His tank top revealed his muscular arms were covered in tattoos. He cracked the knuckles on his big hands, covered in white tape.
“You got a problem?” Gennifer asked, her voice Bronx tough.
“I do, actually.” He cocked his bald head, his grey eyes glittering. He was dangerous. Very dangerous. “I am in need of sparring partner.” He motioned around the big empty room. “No one here but you.”
“I have a solution. Find another gym.” She raised a sculpted eyebrow, then turned back to the bag, hoping he would take the hint and get lost.
“Spar with me,” he said, not asking, telling. Gennifer cast a look over her shoulder.
“Men sparring with women isn’t allowed here,” she said, even though it killed her to do so. She’d been fighting Big Jimmy’s dumb rule as long as she’d been coming to his gym, but here she was quoting it to the Russian. What a trip.
“But you like to break rules,” he said.
“Look, creep, you don’t know me,” Gennifer said, punctuating with a jab to the bag. “Who are you anyway? I know everybody that comes in here.”
“Mikhail,” he said, stepping closer. She felt her muscles tightening in response, not sure if it was fear or something else.
“Hmm.” Gennifer murmured, focusing on how close he was getting.
“Anything else you want to know?”
“No,” she said, punching the bag again.
“Your name?” he asked.
“Gennifer,” she said, grudgingly.
“Lovely. Spar with me, Gennifer. I go easy on you. I promise,” he said, his voice light and teasing. Gennifer took a breath. She’d been wanting to spar with a man for a long time. Hector would sometimes get in the ring with her, but he would never bring it. He would soften his blows, slow himself down to keep the playing field level. He made her feel weak. And she hated feeling weak. What Mikhail offered was terrifying, but also intriguing. A chance to go no holds barred with a guy in the ring? She couldn’t turn him down.
“Don’t go easy on me,” she said, turning to meet him, surprised to find him almost directly behind her. She stood glaring up at him, her five seven to his six something. “Bring it.”
He licked his lips, looking at her through his lashes. He mumbled something in Russian, his eyes never leaving hers. She blinked. Damn. She never knew the Russian language could sound so sexy. Usually she thought of Russians as tracksuit wearing mobsters on Brighton Beach, not hunks of muscle with killer arms and devilish smiles. A shiver ran down her spine. She shook off the feelings and pushed past him to the ring. She ignored the hand he offered, and pulled herself up on the ropes.
Gennifer watched him as he hopped into the ring, the muscles rippling in his shoulders and arms as he hauled himself up. She hopped from one foot to the other, averting her eyes from his distracting physique. He obviously took care of himself. Who was he? The question echoed in her mind. No one had mentioned a new Russian member of the club. But she hadn’t been to the gym in a few weeks, she reminded herself. After Big Jimmy refused to let her sign up for the yearly Bout It competition AGAIN, because no other women had signed up to fight. She’d been so pissed she’d grabbed her stuff and stalked out, slamming the door. A 32-year-old woman, acting like a teenager!
The problem was that all the old-timers like Big Jimmy, and the lifers like Hector, still saw her as the malnourished 14-year-old that collected towels while the big boys fought. Eventually, she’d convinced Hector, who was 16 at the time, to teach her to fight. Big Jimmy had not been pleased, especially when an uppercut to the face broke her nose. Big Jimmy was old-school, he didn’t like to see girls getting hit. And that was fine…but she wanted to fight. And she was tired of being told no. She was a grown-ass woman, who had paid her dues. She wasn’t small and vulnerable anymore. She could hold her own in the ring. At the very least, she wanted the opportunity to try. She watched Mikhail stitch up his boxing gloves.
“You ever go bare-knuckle?” he asked.
“Sure,” she shrugged.
“You have to show me some time.” He flashed that grin again, his dark eyes dancing. He held out his gloves, and she touched them with her own. The fight was on. They moved counterclockwise, a foot or so apart. She made the first move, jabbing at his face. He dodged, and returned with a jab of his own that barely missed her. “You are beautiful. You know that?” he said, jabbing again and connected with her ribcage. She felt the air leaving her lungs in a whoosh, but she didn’t fall back. He definitely wasn’t going easy on her. She jabbed at his face, and connected with his jaw this time. He grunted, falling back.
“You’re not the first to tell me that,” she said. “You won’t be the last.” She swung again, at his abs, connecting. She leaned in, uppercutting twice more. She loved the sound of the gloves against soft tissue, echoing across the gym. They were the only two around, no one was there to oogle them or cheer them or try and stop them. It was almost eerie, the quiet. Boom! Mikhail came back at her, with a hit to the face that had her seeing stars. She felt her lip split open. But she didn’t fall back. She uppercut to his jaw, connecting. Then she followed with a jab to his midsection. He hopped back, dancing around the edge of the ring. She was impressed by his footwork.
“Where did you train?” she asked, swiping her nose with her glove.
“Here and there.” He smiled that mischievous smile again.
“You have any big matches?” She darted in, jabbing. He dodged her, getting a shot in at her exposed side.
“This is merely hobby for me.” He punctuated the statement with another hit to her side. Gennifer felt the pain explode there, but the adrenaline wouldn’t let her stop. She would definitely be sore tomorrow.
“Me too,” she said, going for his face. She got in a few good hits before he threw his arms around her, hugging her to his chest.
“You live close to here?” he rasped into her ear. She could feel his heartbeat against her, his pulse racing. She took a deep breath. He smelled like sweat, and man, and a hint of cologne.
“None of your business,” she bit out, bringing a knee up to land a blow beneath his ribs. When his arms loosened around her, she ducked out of his grasp. He chuckled, circling her, lifting his sweaty tank top over his head and tossing it out of the ring. She blinked. His chest was a work of art, perfectly formed. His shorts hung low, revealing the deep V of his pelvis below his six pack. She licked her lips, unconsciously, and winced. Her lip was already swollen. She was going to look like shit tomorrow.
“If I win, you owe me a drink.” He moved in, and she dodged a blow.
“I don’t owe you anything.” She jabbed, and connected with his abs.
“No, you are right. I kick your ass, I owe you a drink.” He swung quick, hitting her twice in the gut. She doubled over, forcing breath back into her lungs. He moved toward her again, and she lunged at him, missing him. He grabbed her before she lost her footing and clinched her tight against him. She wrenched an arm free and went for his ribs, landing a blow on his right side.
“No drinks. No nothing,” she bit out. He laughed through his grimace. She hit him again for good measure, wanting to wipe that smile off his face for good. In a fast movement, he crossed her arms against her back, pinning them behind her. They both were breathing hard, their chests pressed together. And then she became aware of his hard erection, pressing against her thigh. She felt her pussy clench, involuntarily.
“You are right. No drinks.” He dropped his eyes to her cleavage, straining in the bright blue sports bra. “What about fucking?” he said, casually, his low voice sending a wave of arousal through her. She brought her head forward quickly and butted him in the forehead. Stars burst behind her eyelids as their skulls made contact with a satisfying crack. He made an “oof” sound as he was knocked off balance. They landed in a heap on the mat, Gennifer straddling him and his back to the ground. He raised his gloves to his face. And she swept her own glove across her face, trying to ignore the pain there.
Below her, he was shaking. She tightened her hips, squeezing his hips briefly. “Hey,” she said, slightly concerned. She hadn’t hit him that hard, had she? She realized he was laughing a second before he rolled his hips, knocking her off balance and reversing their positions. She grunted as she hit the mat. She heard the ripping of the velcro on his gloves. She opened her eyes in time to see him tossing his gloves across the ring. She took a feeble swing at him and tried to buck her hips to push him off. “Get off of me!” she hissed between gritted teeth. This man was on her last nerve, she decided. He grabbed her arms with his newly free hands and pinned them to the mat above her head. It was then that she realized how helpless she was. And that his hard cock, separated merely by two thin layers of fabric, was resting quite comfortably in between her legs.
“Gennifer,” he said, eyeing her. “You intrigue me.”
“I don’t give a fuck,” she said, arching her back in her attempt to struggle against his strength. All she ended up doing was rubbing her bare stomach against his muscled abs. Sparks rippled across the surface of her skin. He took in a hiss of air between his teeth. He bucked his hips, his cock straining against the layers of clothes between them. A stream of Russian followed, and he clenched his jaw.
“I win,” he bit out.
“I disagree,” she said, with effort.
“You fouled,” he said, simply, his dark eyes locked on her face.
“You cheated,” she said, trying to ignore the growing ache between her legs.
“I know what I want for my victory.” He dipped his head to whisper in her ear. “I want to watch you shower.”
“What?” She said, anger and something else, something more scary, flaring up in her.
“You are sweaty. You need a shower. I want to watch.”
“You’re out of your damn mind.” She tried in vain to shove him off again. He chuckled in her ear, his scent engulfing her. He smelled like pure unadulterated man, and her body’s reaction was out of her control. It had been two months since her last date, and the man’s performance in the bedroom had been nothing to write home about. Mikhail, however, looked like he could show her a thing or two. Her eyes wandered down his hard chest and she began to imagine him completely naked in the shower, water running down his body in rivulets. She pictured herself on her knees in front of the Russian, licking the drops off his big cock… she shook her head, trying to clear out the cobwebs.
“I want to see you wet,” he said. Gennifer let out an involuntary moan, her body reacting without her permission. Her nipples tightened painfully and her mouth went dry. She felt like her brain was filling up with steam. Suddenly, it was too damn hot in the gym. She licked her lips, tasting the salt from the sweat and the iron from the blood. She wondered, vaguely, what his come would taste like. Would it be salty, too? She clenched her legs around his hips again, unable to stop herself.
“I want to see you dripping,” he said, nuzzling his nose against her neck. “Can I?” Gennifer bit down on her sore lip, forgetting the injury, and winced at the pain. She let out a slight whimper, and she felt the muscles in his arms tighten. He pushed up and off of her. She furrowed her brow, immediately missing his weight.
“Did I hurt you?” he asked. She shook her head, her pride not letting her admit that her face and ribs throbbed. And her traitorous pussy, of course. She made no move to get up. She lay flat on her back on the mat, with her arms still raised above her head. She felt boneless all of a sudden, as the adrenaline faded. His dark eyes took her in, and she felt her heart began to beat hard against her chest. Her breathing quickened, her breasts swelling with each breath. She felt naked, as if he could see right through the little bit of clothes she had on.
“Hey! What the fuck?” A voice called out. Gennifer rolled her head toward the unwelcome noise. It was Hector, jogging down the stairs to the gym floor. “Genny, you alright?”
“She is fine.” Mikhail answered, standing. He held out his hand for hers, and she took it, letting him haul her to her feet. Hector stood at the edge of the ring, hands on hips.
“Chill, Hector,” Gennifer said as she stood, immediately putting distance between her and Mikhail. “We were just sparring.” Hector gave her a disapproving older brother look. She stared him down, noticing how attractive he was for the millionth time. Dimples when he smiled, mischievous-but-kind brown eyes, a body to die for, and perfect teeth (thanks to her), Hector was the whole package. Too bad he always treated her like a little sister he needed to protect.
“I’m going to put a sign on that ring. No girls allowed,” Hector said.
“Try it and see what happens,” she said, unfastening her gloves.