The only thing harder than Tristan Dreth’s right hook is Ashley Cole’s impact on him. She blind-sided him in a way that no one else ever could.
By the time they realized their relationship was forbidden, it was too late. They were both already seeing stars.
Will Ashley knock-out Tristan in the first round? Or, will his mysterious and dark past help them go the distance?
His eyes remained closed as he took a drink of his scotch, and he let out a barely noticeable wince every time he breathed. His trimmed eyebrows formed a smooth bow across stressed and weathered eyes. His chiseled jawline and high cheekbones were dotted with deep purple bruises, lightly hidden by the lighting. I glanced down at his all-too-well-fitting suit. It looked expensive, and…yup, obviously has been tailored, if not bespoke.
My eyes caught his hand as he lowered the glass, and his knuckles were also covered in bruises. Dear God, he’s a drug dealer, I thought to myself as I almost gasped in horror. Oh shit. My eyes darted back to his massive, bruised, hands. What if he’s an assassin?
“So what exactly is it that you do, Tristan?” I hesitantly asked, trying not to let him know how freaked out I was.
“Well, I recently took up a job in academia,” he responded, while staring me down with burning brown eyes, and a smug smirk traced across parted thin lips.
“Bullshit,” I responded, completely forgetting about the filter I had been trying to set up. His wolfishly smug expression had been replaced with an astonishingly boyish grin. His clean shaven cheeks had even gone a bit red.
“So far today, I have beaten the shit out of a man, watched two women fight, smoked some fine weed, and even managed to go above fifty in New York City traffic.” I stared at him, bewildered by the words coming out of his mouth. He let out one of those overconfident half-sigh, half-laugh things, and looked me dead in the eyes again. “But somehow, you are by far the most interesting part of my day.”
I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms and legs, attempting to pull off my best impression of Blaire Maldorf from my favorite television show, The Gossiping Gal. “That’s a hell of a line, Tristan. Do you use it on all of the girls?”
To my surprise he let out a laugh, and leaned back in his chair. “Yeah, that probably sounded corny as hell. But, it’s true.”
“Oh yeah?” I asked while releasing the tension in my eyebrows, and letting my face relax after a miserable attempt at a “bitch face.”
“Well”—I let out with a sigh—“you still haven’t actually answered my question. Or, well, you have, but you lied.”
“No lie,” he said, while still leaning back in his chair and sipping his scotch, unphased by anything I’d said. “I’m a teacher…however, I’m also a minor-pro MMA fighter.”
I stared at him with a dropped jaw, and let the stupid grin he had in response roll right off my back. Teaches little kids by day, and fights in the ring at night, I fantasized to myself while I changed my expression from a dropped jaw to biting my bottom lip. Talk about the living embodiment of “prince in the streets, and freak in the sheets.”