Hammer's Fall (The Breakers' Bad Boys)By: Laurie Roma
“Umm, excuse me?”
Jared “The Hammer” Caufield froze in place just as he’d been bending over to grab a towel to wipe at the sweat rolling down his face. It was late, and most of the other men who frequented his gym had already gone home, leaving him in peace and quiet to finish his own workout. Unfortunately, the heavy muscles of his massive body that had relaxed during his cool down session tensed up again at the soft, timid whisper of sound.
He knew that sweet voice, and every time he heard it he went instantly hard as stone.
Hammer had opened the Fight Hard Training and Rehabilitation Center about two months ago. The facility was members only, although he had been surprised just how well it had done since he’d opened the doors and started signing people up. As an ex-Army Ranger and former professional MMA fighter, he had the means and knowhow to make it a success.
Created out of an old, gutted warehouse, the gym was a well lit, large space, with several separate areas sectioned off in the lower level for the practice of various disciplines. There were basic weight machines and treadmills located in the front of the gym, and an area with hanging boxing equipment off to the right. To the left was a set of tatami judo mats used for floor work and grappling. In the back were two full size boxing rings, which were frequently used for sparing matches between the members, and were even used to host a few local matches when needed. On the second level, they had created a treatment center for former athletes like him who had injuries or needed rehabilitation.
When Hammer’s career as a professional fighter ended due to a knee injury, he had been at a loss as to what he wanted to do with all his free time. After a few months of doing nothing, starting a gym seemed like the perfect plan to keep himself from going crazy. During his rehab, the more he had thought about the idea, the more he’d liked it. Now that Fight Hard was open, everything was exactly the way he wanted it. The only pitfall to his success was the Sinfully Sweet bakery across the street…for two very distinct reasons.
One was because he had a sweet tooth that went against all of his training, despite his being retired. And the other reason was currently standing right behind him.
Hammer finished bending over and grabbed the towel from the bench, wiping at his face and neck to buy himself time to calm his frantically beating heart and to will away the erection that had sprung to life just from hearing her sweet, siren’s voice. He wanted Kalista Redford, the owner of the bakery, more than he had ever wanted another woman in his entire life. From the first time he’d seen Kalista, or Kali as he thought of her, he’d known she was the woman for him.
And his hunger only grew every time he saw her.
Too bad she was already taken. No matter how much he wanted her, he didn’t poach… although he was pretty damn tempted. Kali was already dating someone else, some pencil-dick bank manager or something. Whenever Hammer saw the fuckhead, he wanted nothing more than to pound him into bloody dust, but he had a feeling that Kali would never forgive him if he did that. Much to his regret.
Hammer liked to tell himself that her relationship would have never stood in his way if he had truly wanted to claim her, but she was too sweet and innocent for him. She deserved far better than a roughneck fighter. Kali was the type of woman who needed candlelight and roses, not to be bent over, taken like an animal and fucked hard like he craved. No, he couldn’t do that with a woman like his Kali. She was like some sort of mythical fairy that no man should be allowed to possess. She always smelled of her creations, like vanilla and a hint of mystery that was her own natural scent. It made his mouth water and made him hard as hell.
He couldn’t count the number of times he imagined taking her down on the mats, ripping her clothes off and spreading her wide so he could feast on her. Since he had met her it had been a strain on his control. It was easier when he had been in the middle of rehabbing the warehouse, with the work crews constantly needing something, but seeing Kali everyday now that the gym was complete was like pure torture.
Hammer knew he should stay the hell away from her, but he found himself visiting her shop far too often for comfort. Whenever he saw her through the window of her shop or went into her bakery, it killed him to see her shy smile of welcome. She knew what his favorite flavors were, and sometimes she even had something new for him to try, as if she valued his opinion. Kali always served him a cup of black coffee that she flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, or some other spice depending on what kind of treat he got. It was always the perfect pairing, and when he was done, he worked both the sugar and lust out of his system until he felt like he was going to drop.