Hard Mated - Page 33

He touched her chest, flattening his hand between her br**sts. “You have strength of heart. You have the strength of a survivor.” He kissed her lips again, his mouth hot. “I want more than survival, and so do you. I say we come together—and live.”

Myka’s heart beat faster. “Yes.”

Spike touched the corners of her lips, opening her to him, slanting his mouth over hers. His tongue swept inside, heat and goodness, strength and caring. This man had so much caring in him, and it came to her through his touch.

Myka leaned into him. Spike let the kiss turn hard, his hands moving down to her br**sts, teasing the ni**les through her shirt.

“Myka,” he said, savoring her name. “Let me do what I need to do. And then . . .” He kissed her throat, licked her neck. “Then we’ll talk.”

“Fine by me.” Myka kissed his chin, loving the rough feel of the unshaved whiskers. “But you still haven’t told me what you plan to do.” She tightened her arms around him. “I’m not letting you out of this room until you do.”

Spike slanted her a wicked grin. “I was right. You are a little shit.” Then he kissed her again, lowered his voice, and told her.

Myka started smiling long before he finished. “No way am I staying behind and missing this. I want to help. Tell me what I can do.”

*** *** ***

The night was fully dark by the time Myka and Spike pulled up to the gigantic abandoned hay barn that housed the Shifter fight club. Spike climbed out of the truck to look around before he’d let Myka out, inhaling the air unclogged by city smells.

The rain that had graced them last night was long gone, the sky clear and thick with stars. Out here, away from the towns, the remoter constellations were visible, clustering in faint smudges of white.

Tonight’s matches must have been broadcast far and wide, because the dirt around the barn was packed with vehicles—cars, pickups, motorcycles. Shifters and humans mingled in the makeshift parking lot, either walking purposefully or strolling leisurely toward the barn. Those who saw Spike lifted hands, called out greetings, or told him he’d better kick some ass because they had a lot riding on him.

They didn’t know the half of it.

Spike had called in favors tonight. He’d asked Ronan and Nate to watch over the house and Jordan—Ronan because the bear was huge, formidable, and trustworthy, and Nate because he knew Gavan and could anticipate the kinds of things he’d pull. The Morrissey family was not to so much as set foot on the porch until everything was settled. Ronan and Nate, though they both worked for Liam too, understood.

A good chunk of the Morrissey family was here tonight anyway. Sean had come with Ellison to watch, Connor tagging along with them. Dylan was a regular fighter, already gearing up for his first match in the far ring, and his mate Glory had come to watch him.

Spike didn’t see Gavan yet, but there was no doubt he’d be there. He wasn’t one to put plans in motion from afar. He liked to sniff around, which meant he often got in his own way. So much the better.

Myka was excited, all smiles, easily laughing. The Shifters would think she was keyed up and turned on to watch her mate-to-be fight, and didn’t Spike want that to be true? Myka ready to celebrate with him when he won, fuss over him if he lost? She’d put her arms around him and comfort him after a lost bout, telling him she’d like him even if he couldn’t lift a bear over his head and throw him across the ring.

Spike had come to the fights every week up until now because nothing else had mattered to him. Now many other things mattered, and he saw that fighting was only something he’d been doing to fill the empty spaces in his life.

Those spaces were no longer empty. He’d found Jordan, and now Myka. Myka liked Spike the man, not Spike the fighting cat. She liked Eron.

After tonight, all would be settled. Time to start.

*** *** ***

Spike’s first opponent was a Lupine from San Antonio. He was big guy with shaggy black hair, but Myka saw in his eyes that he hadn’t expected to be pitted against Spike and didn’t think he’d win.

Spike turned his back on the Lupine and stripped off at the side of the ring, dropping his clothes on a stool. He stood up, six-feet-six of glorious naked male, the dragon tatt embracing his back, its tail curving around his bare bu**ocks and left hip.

He was a beautiful man. He curled one arm around Myka, drew her to him, and gave her an open-mouthed kiss. The Shifters nearby cheered.

Myka touched Spike’s face, wanting to tell him to be careful, but that seemed a silly thing to say. This was a fight. “Get him,” she whispered instead.

Spike flashed her a hot smile then stepped over the circle of cinder blocks, stretching his arms over his head then shaking them out.

The refs stood between Spike and the Lupine until each nodded that he was ready. Then the refs backed away, one yelling, “Fight!”

Chapter Fourteen

The Lupine’s Collar started sparking right away. Spike’s emitted one lone spark, then died as he growled and ran at his opponent. The guy shifted into a giant wolf, meeting Spike with teeth and claws, and the fight was on.

Dust flew, and fur. Spike morphed into the furious half beast, his skin changing to the pelt of a jaguar.

Spike’s Collar started sparking in earnest. The wolf tried to back off, but Spike let out a wild snarl and went for him. The wolf’s eyes, white-gray now, filled with sudden rage, and he met Spike with a wild leap.

Myka’s throat ached, and she realized she was shouting as hard as the Shifters around her. Ellison had taken off his hat, cupping it and his hand around his mouth to amplify his yells.

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