Note from the author: 18+ pleaseTo fight and win means the control is his and only his. The last man standing proves it all. Never again will he be on the losing end of the blow, the one lying broken and bloody wanting to die.
Control. Dominance. Aggression. Competition. Each represent a means to survival, a necessity to stay alive, and to suppress the demons that lie inside; the very ones clawing and attempting to break free from the bar that holds them at bay. Every day is a struggle to stay away from the darkness and evil that lurks deep within. Those are the things that it takes to keep those secrets in the realm of his mind in which they belong, forever buried so far there is no chance to break through the barrier he’s built.
Haddox Hayes has spent the last nine years getting by. He’s worked hard to forget that bloodthirsty night he left behind. The monster that exists within his veins will never be released again if he keeps a clear mind, and free from the debris he knows triggers his instinct to kill. He knows what can happen if it’s unlocked from its cage.
Fuck that. It can go to Hell along with the bastard that is the cause of his eternal torment. Eighteen years paid his sin, and at the age of twenty-seven the guilt still resides in his very core.
There is only one place he sets the monster free, but restricted: the ring. Playing by his rules has kept it on a leash for nine years and he doesn’t intend to break his rules now. The rage, the anger, the buildup, it’s all turned out in the confinement of the ropes against another traitor.
Stay in control. That’s the only thing that keeps his urge to annihilate smothered. Dominate the mind and the memories it holds. Fight aggression with fucking aggression. Be the best there is and lay his ass on the ground before the favor can be returned. Compete to win and to survive, or else the evil that is trying to consume will take over and turn him into the one thing he can’t become. If he becomes that, it has to be paid by death, the most ultimate rule.
A blackened heart isn’t allowed to partake in something as pure as love. He embraces the sweet nectar that a woman holds, sampling a little at a time. Never has he taken the same woman to bed twice. The only way to ensure he doesn’t harm another. A Dom in the ring and a Dom in the bed, his only way to cope within.
Then there’s Piper…the girl that could cause his control to evanesce. Will she be his downfall or his reparation? The entertainment is in the fight. Fight for love, fight for light, fight for her, or end in flight.
A girl with a ban against love, allowing men to bed her to numb her mind from the one that left her behind. Can the girl that won’t submit and the man that requires control find paradise in each other?
The first thing I notice is the hot, shirtless bartender making drinks as I push through the never ending people surrounding it. The bar is always more crowded than any other spot in the building. I love this place. It’s crawling with hot guys and they have the best music around, not to mention the staff is oozing sex appeal, because their uniform is jeans hanging low on the hips with the elastic brief band of underwear peeking out the top, spelling out the brand they represent.
This one, in particular, is yummy. His torso is chiseled to perfection and covered in tattoos placed perfectly against his skin. He’s definitely worth a second look. I want to nibble on that lip ring in the corner of his mouth. As I study each line of muscle, I find myself wondering if Haddox’s body looks like this.
What the hell, Piper?
Hot bartender notices me ogling him and walks over with a smirk, leaning forward on his forearms against the top of the bar in front of me. “What can I get you, beautiful?” His eyes rake down my body as if he’s already undressing me with his eyes.
I smile. This one’s in the bag. “Well, how about Pineapple and Vodka, light on the pineapple,” I say in my most flirtatious voice as I sit on the stool next to me that just became free. “Start me a tab,” I ask, biting my lip.
“Anything for you, gorgeous,” he says and reaches down for a glass, preparing to mix my concoction. Moments later, he sets it before me, smiling. “What you doing later?”
“I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me,” I say seductively as I press the rim of the glass to my mouth.
“She’ll be with me,” a sultry voice interrupts in a close range behind me.
The bartender looks over my head and starts to back away from the bar. “Sorry, man, I didn’t know she was taken. No disrespect.”
Pussy. I don’t need you anyway if you can’t even ask my relationship status to the one person that knows. Me!
I feel like banging my head against the bar. I’m going to need to be intoxicated for this. I press my lips to the glass and drain the contents. Goose bumps start to form as I can feel breathing on the side of my neck. I don’t need to look to know who it is. “I thought I had until midnight,” he barks outside my ear.
I can barely breathe with him this close to me. How am I supposed to speak? I don’t think I want to at risk of sounding like a crushing schoolgirl.
Put on your game face, Piper.
I need more alcohol and fast. I choose to ignore the sexy as shit control freak next to me. Where is Alyvia when I need her? She was only supposed to have been going to the restroom, but knowing her she’s already in the middle of the dance floor, covered in sweat. The girl doesn’t even need alcohol. She usually sips beer, but comes for the music.
The Rumple Minze from earlier is calling out to me. “Rumple Minze, two shots,” I call out to the female bartender as she passes.
The girl is badass. Not even a minute and the shots are patiently waiting for me to consume them. “What can I get for you, sweetie,” she asks, but her line of vision is directly beside me. It doesn’t even seem to faze her that she is staring at the sexiest man alive. Hard-core is what that means, because even girls in the coffee shop had their eyes glued to him.
“Same as usual, Britt.” She smiles at the sound of her name.
Wait a minute. Hold up…they know each other? I come to this bar frequently and I’ve never seen him until the fashion show.
She grabs a bottle from the tub of ice, twists off the cap, and sits the bottle of Bud Light down in front of him. “My mistake, babe. How you been? Same ole broody Haddox, I’m guessing?”
“Something like that,” he replies, saying nothing more.
“And as vague as usual too. Maybe we can catch up once the bar slows down. Enjoy your night,” she winks and glances over at me.
I consume one shot, followed by the other. My nerves are going haywire. The alcohol is finally coursing through my veins, leaving me in a more relaxed state of mind, though not much.
I feel a hand wrap around my thigh, not far from my girly area. Oh my…
He spins me around on the stool until I’m facing him. He’s so close to my face that I reflexively lean against the edge of the bar. “Are you going to answer my question,” he asks, placing his free hand on my other thigh, now holding me in place.
He starts to rub my inner thighs with his thumbs and my muscles are flexing down below. How can I concentrate on anything he’s saying if he’s going to do that? He roughly pulls me to the edge so that he can align his body between my legs. It’s really a good thing that I’m not modest, because my dress is hiked up. If his body wasn’t pressed to mine, I would be flashing everyone.
In my hesitation he speaks again. “I don’t like to be toyed with, Piper, nor do I like to be kept waiting.”
He’s starting that controlling bullshit again, pulling me out of my hormonal haze. I press my palms against his chest and push, but he doesn’t budge. The alcohol is bringing out my bitchiness. “Maybe I don’t like to give myself to a man that hesitates when given the opportunity. I basically put my pussy on a platter and extended it to you, only for you to have to consider it. That’s not good enough for me. I may not be the girl to take home to mom, but I’m better than that.”
A growl sounds within his throat and he clamps down on my thighs, jerking me closer to him. His cock is bulging through his jeans, aligned between my legs. Fuck, does it feel marvelous. He grinds me against him, his body flush with mine, and his lips just outside my ear. “Does this answer your question?” His voice sounds angry. “Do you want to know how hard you make me? Huh? Do you want to know how much you push the limits of my control? Well, get ready baby, because tonight you’re all mine.”
I can’t think of anything but how much I want this. I don’t think I’ve wanted anything this much in a really long time, possibly ever. Something about him takes me out of my head, allowing me to escape into someplace else. I can’t explain it, because I don’t understand it myself. I feel like such a whore right now, but I don’t care. I’m never like this; given the fact that what happened last night did, but that’s also more reason I want to. I want to rid my body of the toxins it holds. I don’t want anything left behind of Cole tainting me.
“Okay,” I state in a breathy voice. “Where?”
“My place. Meet me outside and don’t tell Alyvia where you’re going. I’m not dealing with her shit tonight.”
He reaches down and adjusts himself, separating us. The distance makes me feel naked. I instantly hop off the stool, attempting to fix my dress. I look around, but no one is paying us any attention. They are too worried about getting laid themselves; the beauty of a bar. “Give me ten minutes?”
He nods and takes a step back before halting. “Oh and Piper?” I look at him, waiting on what he has to say. “I’ll give you what you want, but just remember darkness and light can’t coincide. You have to pick a side. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…”
He turns and walks in the direction of the exit. I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that, but I don’t care. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t fit in trying to be this girl that I am from day to day. Maybe I’m living a lie. When choosing either sinner or saint, I’m definitely not a saint, but I strive to be a decent person. Perhaps the darkness is where I belong.
I may not know many things about Haddox Hayes, but I know one thing: You can’t force someone in a place they aren’t already willing to go. Something is pulling me to him, making me want to explore whatever he has to offer. It’s just a hunch, but I get a feeling, I’d choose darkness with him every time.