Kennedy drives us down to Rudy's and I can tell she's a bit nervous. She keeps fidgeting and chattering a mile a minute.
"Come on! Relax!" I say leading her through the noisy crowd to the bar. "Mel! Come here!" I shout leaning over the counter. I see the giant grin of the gorgeous latina bartender. She has a red wiggle dress clinging to her curves. Her dark curls are pulled back with a matching red bandana. She looks like she should be plastered on a 1950s billboard for sex appeal.
"Grace! Im so happy you're here!" She says bringing me into a hug. I watch her eyes roam over Kennedy. "Whos your friend?" She asks with interest.
"This is Kennedy. This is her first fight can she stay with you while I get ready later?" I ask already knowing the answer.
"Absolutely." Mel grins.
"Thank you! We'll be back." I wink at her.
"Be sure you do." She smiles at Kennedy as we walk off.
"Holy hell. I need to come here more often." Kennedy pants.
"I knew you'd like her. Shes good people." I smile.
"Ladies!" I hear Alek call out. I turn to see both him and Keir walking to us through the crowd.
"Grace!" I hear from behind me. I turn to see Rudy pushing some guy out of the way. "Good, you're here early! I need you to go on now. Someone just bailed."
"Ya. No biggie. Just let me get ready and I'll be out. Give me fifteen?"
"You got it." He grins. I turn to the guys and shrug.
"Guys, can you bring Kennedy to the bar?" I ask. They nod and I hurry to the locker room.
I blast Ivy Levan on my speakers as i get dressed. My black sports bra covers my tattoo so I dont have to worry about that as I tie my hair back into double french braids. My black shorts are tight to my body so I dont get taken down by my clothes. That would suck. I wrap my hands and feet and head out to the cage.
Im heading down the hall when I see Jai. Why?! I try to keep quiet so he doesn't see me but it seems like luck is not on my side.
"Grace! Youre up!" Rudy calls and Jai's dark eyes are on me in an instant. I jog past him as he calls to me. I wave an apology at him and climb into the cage. I would rather have the crap kicked out of me than have to deal with him... or any of the heirs right now.
My opponent is a god damn Amazon. Her dark hair is long and pulled up into a bun. Her dark eyes are hard with a bruise under her left eye. This isn't her first fight tonight. She'll be getting tired faster. Its a good thing I have shit to work out of my system tonight.
"Give it up for Grace!" Rudy shouts. I hear some familiar voices cheer for me. "And the returning Carmen!" I hear her cheerleaders holler for her. We bump fists and wait for Rudy to give us the signal to start.
Carmen charges towards me so I slide out of her way and land a hit to her side. She grunts at the impact and we circle eachother until she grabs a hold of my head and lands a knee to my ribs. I grab her hands and drop backwards tossing her over me with a kick to her chest. She flies into the side of the cage as I flip onto my feet. I watch her spit onto the floor before she charges at me again. I manage to land a solid punch to her chin knocking her out.
I back up as Rudy calls the match. I stay where I am because I still have some shit I need to work through. I can do another fight. I give Rudy a nod and he sends up another girl. Layla a tall thin woman with fire in her eyes.
This girl starts off strong with a punch to my jaw. Yes! This is what I wanted!
I grin viciously as I meet her hit for hit. We're bloody and panting when she charges in for a grapple and I lock my legs around her head and start landing blow after blow to her until she taps my thigh. I release her and help her up. I can tell she took a few solid hits her eyes look a bit glazed so I help her down to the medic.
"You good?" I ask. She nods.
"Good fight." She grins making me laugh.
"Hell ya it was." I agree.
"Grace!" I turn to see Jai moving towards me in the crowd but I make my eyes scan over him. I wave obnoxiously at the bar and head over there where Kennedy promptly throws herself at me.
"Oh my god! That was terrifying!" She cries. "Are you ok?"
"Im fine! That last girl was awesome though." I grin turning to show her the hit to my jaw. She hisses through her teeth.
"You harassing my girl?" Mel asks.
"No way she's all yours!" I beam. "I dont know about you but im starving! Where's Keir and Alek?"
"I dont know. They just disappeared after your fight. I told them to wait here but..." she shrugs.
"Ok, well im going to go get changed and then we'll go get some grub." I say.
"Ok I'll wait for you here." She smiles her cheeks turning pink. Awe.
I make it just in time for Grace's last fight and holy shit. She can take a hit and still kick ass. I have to adjust myself to have a bit more room in my jeans.
I watch her leave the cage and help her opponent to the EMT. I see Tanaka calling after her. How does he know her?
Luckily she doesn't go to him. She heads to Kennedy at the bar instead. I make it over to her just in time for her to leave. Her ass looks mouth-watering in those tight little shorts.
"Hey Kennedy, where's Grace going?" I ask.
"Shes just getting dressed and then we're going for pizza. You wanna join us?" She asks.
"Id love to." I grin. At least with Kennedy as my wingwoman i can't go wrong. Hopefully.
"We'll find you before we go." Kennedy beams.
I wander around and find Grace in a hallway talking with some guy. I recognize him but I cant place him.
"Ok... I'll see you later!" She smiles before jogging off to what I'm guessing is the locker rooms. I watch him while I wait for her. I see him make a few deals and talk to a few more shady characters. Nathan Marconi being one of them. How well does Grace know this guy?
I must have missed her come out of the locker room because Kennedy is calling me.
"You better hurry up and get to the doors." She says. "Meet us at Theo's." And hangs up. I start making my way to the doors and see Kennedy's pink hair walking away down the road. I lose sight of them for a bit but find Theo's about a block away.
And there she is. Grace is sitting beside Kennedy and another girl and...Chekhov, and his second. I knew they ate lunch at school but I didn't know they were this close. I'm about to walk away when Kennedy sees me and starts waving like a maniac.
No escaping with my dignity anymore. I smile and walk up to the table.
"Liam! Im so glad you could make it!" Kennedy beams ignoring the confusion on Grace's face. She looks at the rockabilly girl beside her. "We go to school together. I saw him at the fight and figured he would want pizza too." She explains as she grabs a seat for me. She is up to something.
"Hey Grace. Do you mind if I sit with you guys?" I ask.
"Uh... I guess not. Kennedy, can I talk with you?" She says with a nervous smile. Well, im fucking this up again aren't I?
I am fucking brilliant!
My new best friend keeps rejecting these sweet guys left, right and center. I know she likes them all and I know she doesn't have a boyfriend. So I've taken matters into my own hands. She'll thank me later.
I see Christian enter the restaurant and wave him over too before getting dragged away by Grace.
"What are you doing?" She grinds out. Oh no, she looks actually scared.
"You deserve to be with someone. I get that youre all tough and don't need anyone but these guys really like you." I smile softly. "Just give them a chance." I plead.
"Im never bringing you anywhere ever again." She hisses.
"I'll live. Please, go enjoy yourself." I push her over towards the table.
"Grace?" Theres another guy! He's tall and muscled with colorful sleeves of tattoos. I may be gay but even I know he's hot. He has a hot Tokyo Drift thing going for him. And from her reaction she likes him. Yay! More Ships!
"Uh... hey Jai. How's it going?" She smiles awkwardly.
"Good. I saw your fights. You were amazing as usual." He gushes his cheeks tinging pink.
"Uh... thanks. Listen, I gotta go but it was nice seeing you again." She says moving away. Oh no you don't bitch!
"Why don't you join us for pizza!" I suggest. Jai looks at me with a grateful smile and I wink at him and direct them both to the table.
Im such a good friend.
Kennedy is going to get me killed!
All four heirs are sitting down for pizza with me. Im going to die. Its official.
What the fuck?
Im missing something aren't I?
She knows Jai too?
I can see Grace panicking behind her cool mask. I scan the other heirs and they are all looking at my Grace.
Oh. Oh! Oh fuck! No!
They like her too!
Shit! What can I do?
I could make her disappear. I can put her in a safe house. No way, she'd probably kill me.