Until You're Mine (Fighting for Her)(7)

By: Cindi Madsen

Figuring I might as well look fabulous while I was doing said sucking it up and dealing, I twisted my rearview mirror so I could apply my favorite fuchsia lipstick.

And promptly dropped the wand.

It hit my thigh, leaving a smear of pink as tribute to my awesome coordination skills, before bouncing off the console and landing somewhere in the passenger seat vicinity.

I leaned over and ran my hand over the floor, praying the expensive liquid wouldn’t pour out and stain my upholstery. It was the kind that lasted all day, too, which I loved for my lips but not so much for my car. It’s never going to come out of the fabric. All day probably translates to ten car-stain years.

“Jeez, buy me dinner first,” I said to my gear shifter, which had made itself at home between my boobs. Evidently, I was going to have to get out of the car and go around to find it. I stretched across the passenger seat to unlock that door, then sat up and shot my reflection a dirty look. My bottom lip was hot pink, making my top one look super pale in comparison.

I rounded my car, and when a quick glance didn’t reveal my lipstick, I dropped to my knees on the warm tarmac of the parking lot. Using the flashlight option on my phone, I illuminated the space underneath the seat.

“How’d you get so far back there?” I asked my lipstick, because apparently this day had already reached crazy-lady-who-talks-to-herself levels. I thought about opening the hatchback and going that way, but I was already sprawled out here, and if I could just stretch a little farther…

“Got you, you bastard.” I shifted myself into reverse, but a tug on my scalp made me freeze in place. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

I braced my hand on the top of the door and tried to tug again but couldn’t slide free. With a few contortionist-type moves, I managed to get my lipstick upright on the console, then I reached up to remove the clump of hair that’d caught on the wires under the seat.

“Having some trouble?”

The deep voice made me jump, and naturally, my head whacked the underside of the seat. If I hadn’t looked at the calendar this morning, I’d swear it was Monday, shitty Monday. “I’m fine.”

“Yes, yes you are. Don’t get me wrong, I could stand out here all day, watching your ass bob up and down, but I’m starting to feel sorry for you, and that just takes all the fun out of it.”

If I could shoot the guy a dirty look, I would. And that was still in the plans, I just had to free myself without leaving behind a bald patch. Finally, the last few strands came free and I sat back on my heels.

A large hand came into view, and I hesitated a moment before taking it. He pulled me to my feet, and I quickly let go and took a step back, trying to regain my bearings.

The guy who’d been doing striking drills in the cage yesterday stood across from me, an amused smile on his ridiculously handsome face.

My what nice eyes you have. Seemed appropriate to compare him to the Big Bad Wolf, considering the predatory look in his green eyes and wolfish grin, the better to short-circuit my brain with. I hadn’t gotten a good glimpse at much besides his torso and those jacked arms, so I’d missed details like his nearly-black hair worn short but slightly messy on top, the scruff dusting his jaw, and green eyes framed by dark eyebrows that arched as I finished my ocular pat down.

Realizing I was staring and way too close, and what the hell am I doing, I have a boyfriend, I went to take another step back. My car’s side mirror jabbed into my hip and I swore, which only added more amusement to his expression.

I rubbed the spot, even though that had never worked very well at easing pain. “I’m having an off day, okay?”

“Okay.” He jerked his chin toward my car. “Nice wheels, by the way.”

Despite the fact that it’d held me captive for a few minutes, I patted the turquoise hood of my 1967 Ford Mustang. “Thanks. He’s my baby.”

“Oh, it’s a he, is it?”

“For sure. He growls and acts real tough, but if I don’t give him the right fuel, or it’s been too long since I’ve taken him for a ride, he gets all whiney about it.”

Sexy Fighter Dude ran a couple of fingers over his nice mouth—so sue me, I noticed—and his laughter came out low. The swirl in my stomach was because I missed my boyfriend.

And maybe just a smidge because the guy standing across from me was crazy hot. Luckily I knew that in the long run, that wasn’t what was important. Fighters were moody and self-involved, completely aware of their hotness and often used that to charm their way into getting whatever they wanted, and being with them was like volunteering for a rollercoaster ride that dropped you off a cliff at the end. I wanted a steady guy who’d be there for me when I needed him, one who I could trust with my heart.

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