Friday comes faster than I would’ve wanted it to. But I have to say, the whole week was amazing. I couldn’t get enough of Lia, and I can tell for sure she felt the same as me. Our time together was great with no interruptions. We could finally enjoy ourselves. Usually we’re interrupted as soon as we get comfortable, whether it’s my friends or my parents.
“What time are we going to the Cage?” I ask as we enter Lia’s neighborhood.
“Eight, right before Flash’s fight. But why the hell are the guys coming with us?!” She whines a little with a cute frown on her gorgeous face. The guys decided to come with us as ‘security’. As if Lia needs it. She can easily kick anyone’s ass, so their excuse is bullshit.
But I, on the other hand, want them there. It will look less suspicious if we go there as a group rather than just Lia and me.
“You know why they’re coming, baby. I just don’t want you to be recognized and bringing a bunch of friends is the best way to keep you covered. Cage is not exactly a date venue, so if we go alone, it might look a bit strange.” Lia just sighs, not saying anything.
“Tank is bringing his squad, too.” I whip my head to her so fast I almost get a whiplash.
“I texted him that a bunch of friends are coming with me and he asked if his squad could join us, too. I said yes.” I don’t say anything about that. It’s up to Lia who she lets know about her identity. “We’ll be staying in Tank’s room in the VIP section. We could use mine, but then it would be obvious to everyone that I’m the Ghost.”
“I didn’t know you had a private room there. I actually wasn’t aware that there were rooms available.”
“They are strictly for the ranked fighters. Some of them use the rooms to rest after a fight or just for a quick fuck. I’ve rarely stayed in mine, since I don’t spend time at the Cage long enough to need it. I just fight and leave.” She shrugs. But out of all she said, only one thing caught my attention – she has her own private room.
“What do you say we christen your room?” I wiggle my brows suggestively, parking my car in front of Lia’s house. She snorts, turning her head away from me, but I just lean from my seat to face her, putting my arm on the door, caging her in.
“And you say I’m a beast. – she turns her head and kisses me before grinning teasingly – Pervy Cakey.”
“What? It’s not my fault you’re so sexy I can’t get enough of you.” I put my chin on her shoulder with my arms around her waist, holding her close to me.
“You’re so annoying.” She shakes her head mockingly. “You’re lucky you’re cute.” She pecks my lips over her shoulder.
“I’m not cute, I’m manly.” I defend.
“You’re the cutest thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on.” She teases. She sure knows how to push my buttons. “But you have to let go now, I have to get ready to leave.” She pats my arm. I release her from my embrace, leaning back in my seat.
“I’ll pick you up around 6.” I say as Lia opens her door. She just nods and gives me a quick kiss before getting out.
“You fucking freak!!! Was it that good?!” Tyler exclaims, punching my arm as we wait for Lia in front of her house.
“The fuck you’re talking about?” I ask, confused.
“Don’t play dumb, man. We all know you went to your parents’ cabin. But I did not expect you to stay there whole week!” He laughs. “You fucking beast. How the fuck did Lia manage to keep up with you?” I frown in distaste at him. I don’t want them to joke like that around Lia. After learning about her past, I don’t fucking appreciate sex jokes, especially when they involve her.
“Not another word. – I seethe – I don’t want to hear even one joke like that around Lia, got it?!” I can tell the guys are confused, but they nod nonetheless.
“Is it something about her past?” Nathan asks worriedly.
“Yeah. – I confirm – So drop it.”
“What time did she say she’ll be out?” Will asks, leaning against his car.
“She texted me she’s almost ready.” I answer, glancing at Lia’s front door.
“You poor oblivious thing. When a girl says she’s ‘almost ready’, it means she’s yet to start getting ready.” Damien jokes with a chuckle.
“Not Lia. When she says she’s ready, then she’s ready.” I point at Lia’s front door smugly right when she leaves her house, in the middle of putting on her leather jacket, making all the eyes turn to her.
“You’re one lucky son of a bitch!” Nathan growls lowly, ogling Lia as she locks her house.
She looks gorgeous. Her hair is pulled back, with tight French braids on the sides and the top raised, looking like a mohawk. She’s wearing a white tank top with a golden skull print on the front, those goddamn laced-up shorts that I bought her a while ago, black thigh-high socks and chained combat boots. Her look is finished with a leather jacket, a set of golden jewelry and black skull studded finger-less gloves . As she comes closer I notice her make-up. The gold and black eye shadow makes her hazel eyes pop out, and the dark red lipstick just calls out to me to taste her.
“You look fucking hot. My badass kitten.” I pull her to me once she’s close enough, causing her to crash into my chest.
“I know.” I love her confidence. “You don’t look so bad yourself.” She runs her hand over my jacket, completely ignoring the rest of the guys, who just stand there gaping at her.
“I have to check something.” She says before kissing me passionately. I squeeze her tightly, devouring her hungrily. After a whole week of having her all for myself, every hour without her felt like fucking eternity.
She pulls away much too soon for my taste, but I don’t protest. I stand still with my arms around her as she inspects my face, looking for god knows what.
“Good. It didn’t smudge.”
“What??” I ask incredulously. What is she talking about?
“My lipstick. It’s supposed to be smudge-proof. I had to see if it’s true. I didn’t pay 50 dollars for it just to have it smear all over my face.” She shrugs casually, getting a laugh from the guys around us. Then she pulls away a little more before putting her wallet, phone and house keys in my jeans’ pockets.
“I have to use you, since those damn shorts have no pockets.” She tells me when I chuckle at her theatrics.
“Didn’t you bring a bag or, what’s its name, purse?” Ty jokes.
“No, why would I? I have all I need here – she points at my pockets – Keys, wallet and phone. Am I supposed to take something else with me?” Lia sounds slightly confused.
“Don’t girls usually bring a lot of stuff with them when they leave the house, like make-up and shit?” It’s Ty’s turn to sound lost.
“Maybe. But let me tell you, I did not spend 20 minutes on this look just to have to redo it later.” She tells him smugly, pointing at her face.
“Damn girl. You are something else.” Nathan laughs, the guys joining him soon after.
“She is, isn’t she?” I kiss her head before opening the car door for her.
We get to the Cage before the first fight of the evening starts. The bouncers do their mandatory check, and lucky for them, they don’t touch Lia for too long. I take Lia to our booth, not releasing her hand from my hold. Since the guys are here with us, there’s not much room on the couch, so I pull my girl onto my lap.
The MC announces the first fight, getting everyone’s attention. Lia watches Flash with critical look, analyzing his every move. She’s so concentrated on the fight she doesn’t notice Tank and his group take the booth next to ours. The men don’t seem to recognize her, even though they curiously glance at her every once in a while. But Lia remains completely oblivious to their stares, engrossed in the fight.
Flash wins pretty easily, making me worried. He’s really good and I don’t want Lia to go against him. He’s fucking fast, just like she said. No wonder he’s called Flash.
Once the next pair of fighters gets ready to get in the cage, we leave our booth, heading upstairs, where the private rooms are.
“You’re kidding me!” A shocked exclamation from behind us gets our attention. We all turn around, only to be met with Tank and his squad looking at us with shocked faces.
Lia smirks mockingly at them. “Hi Tank.” She greets with a small wave, making me chortle.
“Damn, woman, you’re fucking hot!” One of Tank’s friends openly checks her out, while Tank opens the door to his room.
The inside of it looks just like I imagined. A table in the center, with couches on three sides of it. Lia confidently walks inside, taking a seat at the head of the table and crossing her legs, earning an amused chuckle from Tank and his friends. I join her on the couch since she hasn’t let my hand go. Our friends sit on my side, while Tank and his squad settle on the couch on Lia’s left.
“You look surprised.” She addresses Tank and his guys.
“Of course I’m fucking surprised. I was sitting right next to you a while ago and I didn’t even recognize you.” Tank looks dumbfounded.
“That’s the point of my disguise, isn’t it?” Lia teases. I put my arm around her shoulders and she automatically snuggles into my side.
“By the way, don’t call me ‘Ghost’ in here. My name’s Lia. Lia Clarke.” My girl introduces herself to Tank with a handshake, much to my surprise.
We all follow Lia and John’s lead, introducing ourselves to each other. Kevin, Brandon and Michael watch Lia with curious look for a while, as if trying to figure her out.
A waitress brings out our beer, few bottles of whiskey and snacks, and we get more comfortable as we drink. I stick to my beer, not wanting to get too buzzed, since I have to drive later, but Lia is downing her drink at an alarming pace.
“Wait a second! – Kevin suddenly exclaims, as if a sudden epiphany struck him – You said your name was Clarke?”
“Are you related to Tyson Clarke somehow?” He implores. Now I’m intrigued.
“Yeah, he’s my dad.” Lia answers casually, sipping on her whiskey.
“WHAT?! You’re Tyson Clarke’s daughter? Daaaamn, no wonder I couldn’t beat you.” John laughs, getting an amused giggle from my girl.
“You know him?” I question, slightly surprised.
“Yeah, he’s a fucking MMA legend. I was his fan before I enrolled in the army. I didn’t know he had a daughter though.” He frowns confused.
“I was adopted.”
“Oh…” Realization crosses the guys’ faces.
We keep talking and joking for the next hours. The guys are pretty cool and they have a lot of stories from their time in the army. We actually get along with them pretty well, despite the age difference.
“Do you have a boyfriend, beautiful?” Michael flirts, slightly drunk, making me clench my fists.
“Yes, I do. He’s right here.” Lia answers, giving me a kiss.
“Damn it! You lucky fucker.” Michael grumbles, giving me a glare. He actually looks jealous and I fucking enjoy it.
“You have no idea how many guys around here would kill to be you. Ghost’s fans are no joke.” Kevin warns, causing me to frown questioningly.
“What do you mean?” Damien questions, voicing my thoughts.
“Ghost is basically the only female fighter here that is not afraid to fight against guys. There’s a lot of men that want to know what’s beneath the mask, that want her.” John explains, gesturing at Lia with his head.
“Don’t scare him, John. It’s not that bad.” Lia just shrugs it off, leaning against my side.
“Yes it is, Lia. You just didn’t know, since you always leave right after the fight, never noticing the stares the guys give you.”
“Well I don’t care about that. They can stare all they want, as long as no one bothers me.”
“How are you so nonchalant about it?” Brandon finally speaks after staying quiet for the most of the evening. He actually sounds concerned.
“I guess that’s just how I am. And if anyone tries to mess with me, they’ll end up hurt. Everyone knows that. Why do you think I have my own security team assigned? You can't possibly think they're there to protect me.” She gets up suddenly and I grab her hand.
“Nothing, I’m gonna hit the ladies' room.” She steps on the couch and walks behind our backs, making us laugh.
“How the hell did you get a girl like that all for yourself?” Michael asks a while after Lia leaves the room.
“I just asked her out.” I shrug.
“Yeah, but where? She never stays behind after a fight.” He prods curiously.
“At school.” I say casually, making the guys sputter their drinks.
“SCHOOL?! How old are you?!” The guys and I laugh at the shocked looks we’re getting from John and his friends.
“We’re high school seniors.” They all gape at us with dumbfounded expressions.
“What the fuck?! You’re fucking kids!” That gets an offended ‘hey’ from someone on my side, but I don’t pay attention to who says that, checking my watch. Lia is taking awfully long and I’m starting to get worried.
“I’m going to check up on Lia, she’s been gone for too long.” I state, getting up from the couch.
“Whipped.” Ty mocks.
“Well excuse me for getting worried. I don’t have a good feeling about it, something’s definitely wrong.” The guys seem to realize I’m serious, so they let me leave with no objections.
I exit the room and, much to my surprise, John and Brandon follow me. I head towards the bathrooms and thankfully the hallway is empty, so we reach them quickly.
But I find the women’s bathroom’s door locked. What the fuck?!
“What the hell? Those doors don’t have locks.” Brandon says after he fails to open the door. Now I’m getting fucking worried and so do the guys.
“Something is fucking wrong! Shit! Lia?!” I bang on the door before pressing my ear to it, trying to hear what’s going on. I hear some thumping and grunting, causing my whole body to tense.
“Lia!” I kick the door, but it doesn’t budge. I feel a hand on my shoulder as John gently pushes me back.
“You were right, something’s wrong. Step back. Don, on three.” John instructs before he and Brandon get into a stance, ready to bust through the door.
“One, two, three.” They slam into the door, but it still doesn’t open. “Again! One. Two. Three.” They hit it again and this time it works. The door falls to the floor with a loud bang and the sight in front of me makes my blood run cold.
Lia is on top of some fat bald guy, furiously pummeling her fists into his face, causing his bones to crunch every time her hands connect to it. I push through the guys, who stand there shell-shocked.
“Kitten.” I get behind her and get her off the guy. Almost as if she recognizes my touch, her body relaxes slightly and she lets me pull her away.
“'No' means 'no', you fucker!!!” She growls angrily at the unconscious man, breathing heavily, before she turns to the sink, leaning against the counter. Her whole body is coiled tightly, ready to attack at any moment.
“Jesus Christ! What the hell happened?!” John snaps out of his shock, taking in the scene in front of him.
Lia stays quiet for a moment and I wrap my arm around her waist as I stand beside her.
“Blake don’t, I’ll get the blood on your shirt.” She quietly says when I pull her closer to me.
“Lia? Are you alright?” Brandon asks worriedly.
“I’m fine.” She mutters, taking off her rings and washing the blood off her hands.
“Please tell me it’s not what I think it is.” I plead brokenly. She shouldn’t have to go through that again!
“It is.” She wipes her hands with a paper towel then cleans her rings and puts them back on.
“Jesus Christ.” I exhale a shaky breath, pulling her to me and engulfing her in a tight embrace, trying to shield her from the world. She puts her arms under my shirt and circles them around me, hiding her face in my chest. I press a firm kiss to the top of her head, ignoring the guys behind us, who watch us silently.
“We’ll get the fucker out. You don’t have to worry about the security, I’ll deal with them.” I hear John say from behind me and I turn my head to give him a nod, grateful that they don’t question further. I guess they already put two and two together; it’s not that hard to realize what happened here.
“Let’s go home, hmm?” I murmur into Lia’s hair, getting a quiet ‘okay’ in response. She releases her tight hold of me and I immediately take her hand, leading her out of the restroom. We’re met by our friends and Kevin and Michael in the alley as we exit the building.
“Are you alright?” Tyler is the first to ask.
“I’m okay.” Lia’s face is back into a hard cold mask, hiding her thoughts from the guys. “That fucker is not.” She shrugs indifferently.
John and Brandon come back from behind the building, their hands covered in blood. “He sure as fuck won’t be able to move for a while. You messed him up good, Lia.” John says with a proud look, getting a half-smile from my girl.
“I had to make sure he won’t be able to use his legs for a while, and especially what’s between them. – she seethes – Motherfucker. I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t the first time he’d done that. But it was his last, that’s for sure.” And just like that my kitten is back.
I kiss her head, happy to see she snapped out of her stupor already. I was worried she would shut down, that what just happened would take her back to when she was hurt as a child.
“How did you know something was wrong, by the way? Do you have, like, a sixth sense or something?” Kevin decides to dispel the tense atmosphere, turning to me.
“No. I just know my girl. She would tell me if she was going to be gone for that long.” I honestly tell him, slightly enjoying the disbelieving looks I’m getting.
“Well, how about we call it a night, kids? It was really nice to meet you, Lia. I’m sorry you had to go through that.” John says, wincing at the end.
“Don’t worry about it. It’s not like it’s your fault. – Lia shrugs before leaving my arms and coming up to John – It was nice meeting you, too. And I hope you know this, but you can’t tell anyone about me. Okay?”
“You have my word. We won’t say anything.” He states sternly, getting a pleased smile from my girl.
“Thanks. It means a lot. We’ll get going now, so have a good night, guys. Hope to see you on the ring sometime.” Lia takes my hand and waves at the guys as she pulls me to my car, getting a small laugh from them as they wave back.
“Bye!” They call out after us.
I take my girl home, while the rest of the guys go to their houses after Lia assures them she’s okay.
She’s quiet the whole way and I don’t say anything, knowing that what she needs right now are not comforting words, but a comforting touch. Which I’ll provide as soon as we’re at her place.
We walk inside Lia’s house hand in hand, going straight to her bedroom. Once we’re there, I shut the door and empty my pockets, leaving all my stuff on Lia’s dresser while she takes off her jacket and jewelry. I take her to the bathroom and start filling the bathtub, pouring in a rose oil that I know Lia likes. Once the tub is full and we’re both undressed, I pick Lia up and place her in the water then get in behind her.
"I really am fine, Blake. I won’t break down." Lia relaxes against my chest as I lather her sponge with soap and start washing her.
“I know. I just want to take care of you.” I kiss the top of her head.
We stay in the tub for almost an hour before we get ready for bed.