My Little Secret by Ember Leigh
Part of the Season of Seduction Collection
Focus is my middle name. But Sadie makes me forget why I’m in town, what I’m here to win, why it all matters. That alone should tell me to stay the hell away. But I need more of her, even though I know she’s hiding something from me.
I’ll do anything to keep her by my side. Just how far I’ll go will be my little secret.
I’ve had my eye on Hawk for a long time now. Let’s just call him my MMA celebrity dream lover. So when I find myself in Denver at the same time as him, at the same bar as him…I have to say hi. But I sure as hell shouldn’t take it any farther than that. Because he’s in town for one reason: to fight my brother in the biggest televised MMA match of the year.
I can be good… Except I can’t.
But maybe I can make Hawk my little secret.
I zoned out, checking my phone occasionally as social media alerts lit up the screen. Lots of new comments on the teaser promo we’d released in advance of my big interview with Brute, my opponent here in Denver. He and I had an infamous rivalry going, something that enthralled fans but also irritated the fuck out of me. He constantly took shots at my personal life, accusing me of bogus shit. He seemed like an insecure little corndog. I didn’t even know the guy, but he came after me as if I’d fucked his sister. Some of these guys just lived on drama. He was newer to the fight scene, so maybe he was trying to make a splash. Or maybe just trying to compensate for a tiny dick.
After I downed my last glass of water, I checked my phone again. Time for the sad truth. Sadie wasn’t here. Again. I fished my wallet out of my back pocket, so I could leave the bartender a nice tip for feeding me tap water all night. A hand slid over my shoulder, and I froze, goosebumps shivering up and down my back.
I blinked once, already knowing who it was. I turned slowly, hesitant to believe it. Sadie looked back at me, a wry smile on her face. I clenched my jaw to suppress the wave of relief that threatened my cool.
“Look who it is.” I abandoned the search for my wallet, leaning back into my bar chair. “Little Miss Runaway.”
She smirked, sliding onto the bar stool next to me. Her strawberry blonde hair was pulled into a loose bun, an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt visible beneath her parka. Like maybe she’d come here after the gym…or maybe after she’d thought better of it.
“I told you, I had to leave that morning.” She flagged down the bartender, and I gobbled up the sight of her. Being next to her was like a drug. Every nerve ending in my body lit up. “I hoped I might find you here.”
I bit my tongue before I could admit I’d been coming here exclusively hoping to see her. “Yeah, it’s my hangout now, I guess.”
“How was training the next day?” She nudged me with her shoulder.
“Hell.” I cracked a grin, trying not to let the memories of our night cloud my brain. I battled that enough already. “What about you? Did you make it to work?”
“Barely. I think everyone in a mile radius could sense the sex glow.” The bartender arrived, and she ordered a glass of red wine.
“Put it on my tab,” I said before the bartender walked away.
She grinned. “That’s sweet.”
“You better drink it fast,” I told her. “We don’t have much time.”
Sadie lifted a perfectly sculpted brow. Certain expressions reminded me of the glossy models in magazines. She was beautiful in a conventional way, but even more beautiful in a way that I couldn’t even explain. “Why’s that?”
“Bedtime’s coming soon.” I tapped a non-existent watch. “We’ve got a lot to do.”
She didn’t look away from me as the bartender poured her glass of wine right in front of her. “We can’t finish that list all in one night.”
“That’s okay. We’ve got plenty of nights left.” I draped my arm over the back of her chair. “Gotta use our time wisely. Might even have to start meeting up for dinner soon, too.”
Sadie smiled furtively behind the lip of her wine glass. “That seems quite serious.”
“It is.” I watched as she took a generous sip of wine. “I’m going to need your number.”
“I like how you asked that,” she said, pinching her lips into a curious little smile. “You didn’t even ask at all.”
“Should I rephrase?”
“No. It’ll work.” She jerked her chin toward me. “Get out your phone, stud.”
I couldn’t fight the grin as I fished out my phone. Already my cheeks hurt a little from smiling. Sadie had that effect on me, bigtime.
She gave me her number, and then said, “Don’t send me a million texts a day professing your love, okay? I have enough of those guys in my life.”
“Too many fans, huh?”
She scoffed. “You’d think I was the professional fighter on the top ten sexiest list instead of you.”
I ran my thumb over the bar top. I was desperate to touch her, but maybe I should stay away from the public displays. Negative press right now would be bad. “Those lists are rigged.”
“Actually, I think your looks are rigged,” she said with a pointed look. “You deserved to be number one, not number four.”
Somehow, it was touching that she knew my rank on those stupid things. “You mad about it? You could write to the editor, you know.”
“Already did.” She took a cool sip of wine.
“You gotta be up early tomorrow?” I leaned closer, so our arms brushed.
“Yeah, but not for work. Why, you have something in mind?”
“Thought you could come over to my place again,” I said.
She sipped at her wine before responding. “I could be convinced.”
“I doubt you need convincing.” I narrowed my eyes at her.
“You came looking for me tonight,” I reminded her.
She laughed low, leaning in to whisper hotly in my ear. “But you were here waiting for me.”
Goosebumps flared on my forearms. “Finish your wine.”
Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck. In addition to romance novels, Ember also writes travel memoirs and occasionally updates a couple of blogs. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, hops around the world, and eats lots of vegetables.