Turning off the water, he toweled himself off and dressed. He had a few errands to run before the girls arrived. Shooting Cherry a quick text to check on her, he also texted Lyra an invitation to his fight.
C: I’m doing fine, bro! Thx for checking on me!
D: Good. Tell me if she starts shit with you again?
C: Yeah. I’ll be fine now that I have Lyra training me!
D: OK sis. Just looking out for you. Can’t let anything happen to my favorite girl!
C: Aw I love you too, bro! XOXO
D: Hello gorgeous! Got a fight Friday night. Would love to see you cheering in my corner.
L: Dude I would LOVE to come to your fight! Headed to English! See ya later!
D: I’ll give you a shirt when I see you. Want to see my name across your chest.
L: Down boy, lol.
D: did I make you smile?
L: ear to ear big man! 😊
Yeah, he was officially infatuated.
Lyra sat in class, smiling at her phone. Cherry poked her rib with her pen, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
“So what are you smiling at? A certain handsome fighter named Dante?” she winked at her blushing friend.
“Maybe,” Lyra giggled. “Ok yes. I’m sorry. I think I have a crush on your brother.” She had thought about him all day and quite frankly all night last night. His dark unruly hair, his chocolate melt your panties eyes, his lazy smile. Cherry burst out in giggles, hiding her mouth behind her hand.
“Oh my goodness, I think you’re smit!”
“Cherry, honey I hate to tell you but your brother puts smoking hot on a whole new level,” Lyra chuckled. “He invited me to watch his fight Friday.” Cherry squealed, clapping her hands.
“Oh I was hoping he would! We can go together! You can meet all the fighters and there’s always a wicked after party. Dante usually spends the whole party threatening the fighters not to touch his kid sister,” she said, rolling her eyes. “With you there, I might actually get to talk to one!”
“Oh yeah? I have a feeling there’s one in particular you’d like to talk to,” she winked at Cherry’s pink cheeks and shy smile.
“Yes but he probably just sees me as Dante’s kid sister. They all do. Are we training today?”
“Oh yeah we are. I’m starting you on a strength and endurance program too. I’ve got it all planned out. You will be one rocking badass fighter!” The girls laughed.
“I’d love to see you fight, beautiful.” Leo. Of course. Boy couldn’t handle being told no. Sonya walked in the room with him but when she laid her eyes on Lyra, she had hurried to the opposite side of the room. Leo however just had to say something. Leaning down, he caressed the end of her tie bow. “Especially naked.” Quick as lightning, she grabbed his wrist and twisted it back toward him and pushed him away.
“Oh sorry, my bad. Reflex,” she smiled sweetly. His whiskey eyes widened in surprise. “Look Leo. I’m not interested. I think I’ve made that pretty clear. We can be friends if you want but that’s it.” Her gaze didn’t waver from his. She could see the conflict flowing through him, that he wanted to push his agenda but was wrestling with himself because he’d never backed down before. “Come on,” she gently teased. “You know you want to be friends.” Finally, his features softened and he nodded his head with a chuckle.
“Sure Lyra. We can be friends. Might be fun to try,” he laughed. “I’ve never just been friends with a girl before. Can you show me that move?” She smiled back at him.
“Sure. I’ll be glad to teach you.” With a wink, Leo made his way to his seat. Cherry just stared at her wide eyed. Lyra giggled, shaking her head and sinking into the lesson.
The gym was crowded that afternoon when the girls pulled up. Dante met them at the door, hugging his sister and winking at Lyra. News of Lyra’s skill and connections to El Diablo had spread like wildfire. She hadn’t stopped smiling all day, waiting for 3 pm to roll around. Cherry bounced in front of her as they made their way back to a private training room. An older gentleman, a burly man with a beard and two red headed guys with cocky grins greeted them.
“Well hello angel,” the first redhead approached Lyra, taking her hand and kissing her knuckles. “I’m Rory.” Looking at Cherry, he winked at her making her blush. “Looking good there, Cherry.”
“Lyra Salvador,” she responded with a wary smile. Yeah these two were definite trouble. Gorgeous trouble but still trouble.
“I’m John Maxwell, Lyra. Welcome to my gym. I’ve heard amazing things about you.” Shaking his hand, Lyra could now see the family resemblance. “Let’s have you spar with Rory. I want to see what you’ve got.” Dropping her bag, she stripped out of her sweats.
“Holy shit,” Rory breathed. Dante had been telling the truth. This girl was smoking. He let his eyes take her in with obvious interest. Dante placed himself in front of her, blocking Rory’s view. He taped her hands. “Dante man you’re blocking my view!”
“I know dick. You’re drooling over her like a fucking pervert.” Lyra giggled. When he was finished, he turned back to Rory. “Don’t be trying to grab anything private either. She’s not one of the girls who hangs around here.”
“Aw, is little Dante jealous she might want me?” Rory batted his eyes and pouted.
“No you wanker. She’ll kill you and I don’t want to have to clean up after.” The boys laughed as Lyra rolled her eyes. Men, she thought. Overgrown kids. Stretching and warming up, she stepped into the ring with her opponent. John blew a whistle and they began to circle each other. Rory took a couple jabs at her. She dodged those easily.
“You plan on fighting anytime in this century, Red?” she taunted him. Rory just winked and circled her again. Finally, the punches began to fly. Lyra bobbed and weaved, striking in every open spot Rory left for her. Several minutes passed as they went at each other like wild animals.
“You’re right, Dante. She is very fast. Excellent technique. And she’s holding her own against an opponent twice her size and weight.” Dante couldn’t take his eyes off her. The sweat rolled off her face as she went full on against Rory. With a series of quick jabs, punches and kicks the bell went off, signaling the end of the round. Both fighters were worn, chests heaving with heavy breaths. Rory got down on one knee.
“Marry me woman! I’m in love!” Lyra laughed as she caught a cool water bottle from Dante.
“Get up you idiot,” she chuckled. She drained the bottle, tossing it in the waste bin.
“You are one hell of a fighter, Lyra,” he grinned at her.
“Lyra I am impressed,” John said with a wide smile. “I can definitely get you some bouts and would be honored to sponsor you. I want to pair you with Martin here as your coach.”
“Would be my pleasure, little girl,” Martin grinned, “but I think Dante would be a better match.” Lyra silently jumped up and down in her mind. Spend more time with Hottie McHot Pants? Yes please!