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Home > Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)(17)

Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)(17)
Author: Katie Ashley

I laughed. “Damn straight.”

“So, what’s something else—something that sets you apart from your MC brothers?”

After thinking for a moment, I answered, “Boxing.”

“Interesting.”

“I like to think so.”

“Do you do it as an amateur or professionally?”

“Professionally. Or I used to.”

“Why aren’t you doing it anymore?”

“Whoa, I thought this was a one-ball, one-question kinda thing?”

Samantha hopped up on the table edge as if she was settling in to hear a long story. Swinging her legs back and forth, she said, “I’ve never known any real-life boxers before, so you can’t fault me for being intrigued.”

I tapped the bottom of my cue stick on the floor. I had never talked to anyone outside the club or the gym about boxing. None of the women I had dated, or I guess I should say fucked, gave two shits about it. Mama Beth wanted nothing to do with it, considering that it was a blood sport that got her baby boy injured. But for reasons I couldn’t possibly imagine, Samantha seemed seriously interested.

“The main reason I’m not doing it so much anymore is I’m ready to do something else. It doesn’t hold the same excitement for me that it once did. I guess you could say I want to do more with my life than beat the shit out of dudes.”

“I think wanting to do something else besides fighting is totally understandable—if not commendable. I’m just not sure how you’ll be able to do that with the lifestyle you’re in.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Isn’t throwing punches all part of being in an MC?”

“Ah, I see you’re subscribing to the shitty image most people have of bikers.”

“I’m sorry if it sounded like I was stereotyping you. I guess I’m just ignorant when it comes to what real MC men are like.”

Leaning in closer to her, I said, “Since Marley is considering joining an MC, it’s probably a good idea if you take the time to really know what you’re talking about. We’re not all gun-wielding hell-raisers who terrorize towns.”

“You’re not?”

From her tone and expression, I didn’t know whether she was serious or teasing me. “Last time I checked, we get along pretty well with most of the people here in town—you know, the law-abiding ones.”

“Bishop—”

“As for a weapon, I would ask you to pat me down to check for one, but I don’t think that would be appropriate.”

“No. It wouldn’t.”

“At least I offered.”

With a genuinely apologetic look, Samantha said, “I’m sorry if I insulted you and your club.”

I shrugged. “It’s okay. It’s not like I’m not used to it by now. Even before I patched in to the club myself, I saw the way some people treated my dad. Then as soon as they heard I was John Malloy’s son, they treated me differently, too. That kinda shit happened from the time I was in school.”

“That was a really shitty thing to do to a kid just because of who his dad was.”

Staring down at the floor, I replied, “Yeah, when I was young, I got my feelings hurt easily. By the time I got to be a teenager, I probably gave them a reason to judge me by having a chip on my shoulder.” When I dared to look at Samantha, she was looking at me with respect.

“How did you get over it?”

“I finally decided that I didn’t give a shit what people thought about us, because deep down, I knew who we really were.” After Samantha and I stared at each other for a few seconds, I shook my head at her. “Damn, five minutes alone with you and I’m singing like a canary with all my secrets.”

Samantha chuckled. “I’d hardly say you’re giving away anything too revealing—like the club’s secret handshake.”

“True. It’s more like I don’t usually talk like this to women.”

“Let me guess. You don’t do a lot of talking period when you’re with a woman.”

“Pretty much.”

“I can’t say I’m too surprised by that.” She hopped down off the table. “So since you said you were always beating the shit out of guys, I guess it’s safe to say that you were pretty good at boxing, huh?”

“I won a lot of division titles back in the day.”

“Were you as good as José Legrá?”

I widened my eyes in surprise. “How the hell do you know who José Legrá is?”

“Don’t all women know their Cuban boxers?”

“Fuck no.”

“Truth is that I wouldn’t know my boxers if it hadn’t been for my father. He always watched the Friday-night fights. Even if he was working, he would tape them. He was a huge fan of Legrá as well as Luis Manuel Rodríguez, Kid Gavilán, Sugar Ramos—”

“The fourth greatest boxer named Sugar after Robinson, Leonard, and Mosley.”

Samantha smiled. “I’m not sure my father would have agreed with you on that one.”

“Give me a chance, and I would set him straight.”

Samantha’s expression darkened. “He passed away.”

Fuck. I had a special gift for being an insensitive asshole. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. You didn’t know.”

“Well, I sorta know what it feels like to lose your old man.” When she stared expectantly at me, I said, “My dad was killed six years ago.”

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