Worth the Fight # 2
October 28th, 2014
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How could she have been so stupid? When Jessica Cross decides to give her violently jealous boyfriend—the otherwise influential and charming Dennis Stavros—a second chance, she very nearly becomes a statistic. After weeks of healing from a broken rib and collapsed lung, and with Dennis behind bars, Jessica finally feels ready to come out of hiding. But will she ever be able to take a chance on love again with someone new?
Mixed martial arts fighter Slade Martin knows he has a bad reputation. Hell, he's probably earned it. So it won’t be easy to convince beautiful, vulnerable Jessica that she can trust him—that from the moment she walked into his life, she’s been the only one he’s wanted. Powerful and confident, Slade knows he can honor his vow to protect Jessica body and soul. Winning her heart will be another matter . . . but a woman like Jessica is worth the fight.
© 2014 Sidney Halston
Slade hadn’t moved from the hallway by the front door. He looked at Jessica as he gripped the back of his neck, seemingly concerned and apologetic. When their eyes locked, something bubbled up inside and suddenly she found herself trying to hold back a fit of laughter.
“What’s so funny?” he smiled at her.
She held her stomach as she began to cackle. “You know in school when kids trace their hands to draw a turkey?” He shrugged uncertainly and she continued. “You have five fingers perfectly imprinted in bright red on each cheek. It looks like one of those hand turkeys. They slapped you good, playboy.”
“I can’t believe they were ready to fight like that over you. I mean, really, you’re great to look at and all, but seriously? I mean, have some self-respect. And that smile. Oh, please. How could they fall for the world’s cheesiest, most insincere smile? You need better-quality women, Slade.”
“Don’t laugh, sweetheart. First, it was completely sincere. Second, I think you got a little jealous there and you’re using humor to deflect.”
“I am not jealous. You just got bitch-slapped and it was funny as hell.”
He rolled his eyes, ignoring her comment. “And third, if you’d had me, you’d fight for me too.” He cocked his scarred eyebrow.
Then he gave her the smile. The corners of his full lips tilted and curved up; his perfect white teeth sparkled. The amusement lit his face all the way to his blue eyes, which crinkled at the corners.
And . . . she went all gooey inside. He’s right. I’d totally slap a bitch right now. Damn him.
In an attempt to come out of her smile-induced trance, she shoved his shoulders. “I don’t know about that. No offense, but I couldn’t date someone who had a harem.”
“I don’t have a harem.”
“I beg to differ.”
“Well, I bet if you finally gave into what we both know you want, and went on a date with me, you’d be falling all over yourself if you thought another woman was sniffing around.”
Sidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “Just do it.” And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.