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Home > Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)(38)

Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)(38)
Author: Katie Ashley

Bishop and his opponent entered the ring and went to their opposite corners. Boone appeared to be giving Bishop a pep talk as he massaged his shoulders. Bishop would nod from time to time.

The moment the match started, I couldn’t take my eyes off Bishop. He really was a force to be reckoned with. While some women might’ve ducked their heads at the punches and jabs, I was used to both seeing them and delivering them in my line of work.

In the eighth round, Bishop delivered a punch to the side of Alex’s head that sent him reeling back. He collapsed onto the mat. While the ref smacked the floor of the ring, Alex struggled to get up, but he couldn’t. The ref grabbed Bishop’s arm and raised it over his head, which sent me and the crowd onto our feet.

Bishop didn’t stay too long in the ring to enjoy his victory. Instead, he ducked under the ropes and came bounding over to me. Even though he was a sweaty mess, I happily dove into his arms. “Congratulations!”

Instead of replying, he just gave me a cocky grin that shot desire straight through me.

I grinned back at him. “What? You’re not going to say I told you so?”

“No need to rub it in.”

I gave him a playful smack on the arm. As we started out of the gym to the back rooms, Bishop draped a sweaty arm across my shoulder. “Did ya like it?”

I bobbed my head enthusiastically. “Although I probably shouldn’t like guys beating each other up, I loved it.”

Bishop laughed. “I’m glad to hear it. Of course, I don’t want you to get used to it.”

“Oh?”

“I’m only fighting now for the money for my bike shop. I would have quit a long time ago if it wasn’t for the money.”

My chest tightened a bit. “From the gambling?”

“Yeah.”

“I see.”

Lowering his voice, Bishop said, “We’re working on going legit. It isn’t an overnight process. It’s going to take time in some areas.” When I didn’t immediately respond, Bishop took my hand and squeezed it. “I need you to believe me, Sam. You have my word that I’m telling the truth about this.”

Since I desperately wanted to believe him, I nodded. I knew I would need to dig deeper to see just what areas had been legitimized if I was going to make a case for the Raiders’ innocence.

“We okay?” Bishop asked.

I smiled reassuringly at him. “Yeah. We’re fine.”

When we entered the training room where we’d been before, Boone took a towel and started wiping the sweat from Bishop’s chest and arms. I had to fight the urge to snatch the towel away from him and do it myself.

“You really nailed that one tonight, B. No stitches needed, no busted lip.” He winked at Bishop. “Nothing that will keep the ladies away.”

“I’m not worried about any of that.”

Boone glanced in my direction. “Yeah, I guess you don’t have to worry about that, since she looks at you like she wouldn’t care one way or the other if your face was busted up. Kinda a lovey-dovey look like you’ve been giving her.”

I could have sworn Bishop’s cheeks reddened a little. “It ain’t like that with Sam,” he quickly protested. “How about working on this shoulder?” Bishop asked as he plopped down on the massage table.

Boone took the hint and shut his mouth. As he focused his energy on massaging Bishop’s shoulder, the silence in the room was broken by Boone’s phone ringing. When he glanced down at it, he grimaced. “Shit. It’s Annie.”

With a grin, Bishop said, “You better take it, or your ass will be in hot water.”

“Shut up,” Boone grumbled before he ducked outside into the hallway.

After Bishop rolled his shoulder, he winced in pain.

“Want me to do it?” I asked.

Bishop’s eyes flared at my suggestion. “Sure. If you don’t mind.”

“It’s the least I can do for the man of the hour,” I teased as I walked over to the massage table.

My fingers tingled when they connected with Bishop’s warm flesh. Working my hands, I kneaded his taut muscles. Bishop groaned and let his head fall back, which caused a tightening between my legs. Simply touching him and giving him relief from the pain was making me hot.

When I glanced at him, he was looking at me through hooded eyes. “That feels amazing.”

“I’m glad.”

He had started to say something when Boone came back into the room. He glanced at the two of us and grinned. “I see I’ve been replaced by a newer and more attractive model.”

Bishop snorted. “Whatever.”

“Listen, I gotta get home. Crisis with the plumbing. You okay?”

“Fine,” Bishop replied.

“See ya later, then. Bye, Samantha.”

“Bye, Boone.”

After he was gone, Bishop and I stood in an awkward silence. “Guess I better get going, too,” I said. The truth was I wanted to stay there with him in that room until we recaptured what we’d had when we were interrupted.

“Let me walk you out,” Bishop said as he hopped down off the table.

“The rough-and-tumble boxer is a gentleman at heart, huh?”

He winked at me before pulling a T-shirt over his head. “We all have our secrets.”

As we started out the door, Bishop nodded at the beefy bouncer.

“Listen, there’s something I wanted to ask you,” he said to me.

“What is it?”

“Next Saturday night we’re having a birthday party for my brother, Rev. Since he’s our president, it’s going to be a pretty big party—one that lasts all weekend. Members are coming in from all over the state. I wondered if you might like to come.”

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