HURT (A Bad Boy MMA Romantic Suspense Novel) - London Casey

HURT

I’m a fighter at heart. And I just found something worth fighting for – the baby I never knew I had.

After spending months behind bars, I’m a free man and I’m on the move to make a name for myself. I’m sent to collect on a big debt, only to learn the woman I have to collect from is a curvy beauty that I hooked up with one night. What’s bigger than that is she has an infant son… my infant son.

The role of father hits me hard, especially since I didn’t know Ashlynn was pregnant. I’m used to breaking heads and hands, no changing diapers. The moment Ashlynn and I are alone, the ferocious attraction is back, but it’s a dangerous attraction to have. The more I learn about Ashlynn, the more I realize she’s not the one in debt to my boss. But my boss wants nothing to do with old romance or a secret baby. He wants to collect, by any means necessary. Suddenly, I’m facing off against the mob.

For the first time in my life I have something to lose besides my life. I have a family… and nobody is going to take that away from me.

1.

*THREE MONTHS AGO*

(Ashlynn)

It was everything I read and was warned about, but at the same time, it was completely different. In the middle of the night I woke up to an intense pain, enough to steal my breath. Somehow, someway, between that exact second of the first shot of pain and ten hours later, I had brought a child into the world.

Me. Myself.

My body had done everything it was meant to do, including a natural birth.

The pressure eased almost instantly and a crying baby was placed on my chest. His little arms flailed with fists and stiff joints. His little mouth opened wide, his little tongue shivering as he screamed. I saw all of it through my tears of pain, joy, and complete and total fear.

Some women would have been able to turn their heads and see their significant other standing there. Maybe that person would be too tough to cry, so they’d smile. But they’d be there. They would absorb some of the intense emotion. They’d go with the baby when it was taken off my chest for… what?

I was alone.

All alone.

One of the nurses wept as though she had just given birth. She had been my support system through the birthing process. I said to myself I’d send her flowers and a picture of the baby, but I never did.

I was alone.

All alone.

The chair placed next to the bed was like some kind of symbol.

Everyone I knew believed it was some kind of whoops. I had drank too much, fooled around foolishly, and here was my reward for that.

I loved the baby from the moment he was a black dot on a piece of paper. That would never change.

But I had my own dirty secret… something I could never tell anyone.

I knew exactly who the father was.

2.

*PRESENT DAY*

(Noah)

Sometimes they gave us baby wipes to clean ourselves with. Most of the time, we took showers. It had been a long goddamn year. The longest of my life. I spent all day and all night thinking. Thinking about life on the outside. Thinking about the taste of a woman’s body - a real woman, someone I cared about. Thinking about the night my life changed. How it had started so normal, so real, so damn good.

A few drinks before the fight some woman was giving me the eyes. But then she got all shy and started to hide from me. A