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Fighting for Grace – Worth the Fight
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WARNING: This book does talk about physical abuse.
I’m down on my luck and out of patience.
If I can’t fight, who am I?
I still go to the gym every day to train and get better.
When I get talked into teaching self-defense lessons, I never expected to meet her.
She’s sweet, innocent… and in trouble.
Injured or not, I’m fighting for Grace.
I’m in it now, and it’s going to be the fight of my life.
This is a Steamy, Sweet, Short Story Romance. No Cliffhangers. This is the sixth story in the Worth the Fight Series. If you love short romances with insta love, hot love scenes, and a sweet story, then this one is for you.
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I lift the heavy weights off my chest with a grunt. God, it feels good to be back in the gym. Breathing in, I lower the weight. Breathing out, I push the weight. Repetitive, but something I yearn for. Each pull of my muscle as I work puts new life into me. I live for this. When it was taken away from me, well, I didn’t know who I was anymore. I feel good with the sweat pouring down my face and back. I drop the weight onto the bar over my head and sit up. Looking at the mirror in front of me, I can’t help but appreciate how far I’ve come. The veins are bulging in my neck and arms. I feel alive for the first time in a long time. Then I swing my leg over and stand up and my knee about buckles at the unexpected weight. FUCK! I grunt. My euphoria from only moments ago is now a distant memory, because even though my upper body is in tip top shape, my lower body, specifically my right knee, is still not back where it was.
I see the pitying looks of the guys around me. Most of them are my friends, even though I’ve been a dick to them the last several months. I can’t blame them if they hate me. But I can be pissed that they pity me.
And they all do. Well, except for Teddy. And I realize I’m in for it as I see him working his way over to me. He doesn’t have pity on his face… he has disgust. “Evan, let’s go. You ain’t going to get any better if you stand around daydreaming all day. You’re past the easy part. Surgery’s over. No more crutches, you can walk on it. No, now’s the hard part. Now you got to go to work and build muscle again. It may be a while before you’re back in the ring, but you ain’t going to get there if you stand here pissing and moaning.”
I stare back at him and want to argue. But I don’t. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever met a man stupid enough to argue with Teddy. He and his wife own the Alpha Dominant Gym. They’ve been here for over thirty years and I thank my good fortune that I met them ten years ago. My life was falling apart fast and Teddy helped me get back on the right track. He also made me a fighter. I had hoped to compete in the Ground and Pound Championship this year, but it isn’t in my favor. I’ll be lucky to compete in the underground matches as it is.
I nod my head at him and walk over to the empty mat, pick up a medicine ball and start doing carefully calculated squats. I do my best to not favor my right knee, but I still haven’t learned to fully trust the repair at this point. I see Teddy staring at me in the mirror, and I force myself to put more effort into it and squat lower. With a grunt of approval, Teddy walks away. I watch as Maria stands up from her desk and looks from me to Teddy. She smiles at me in the mirror before leaning in to peck Teddy on the cheek with a kiss. I look away then. They’ve been married for forty years now and could teach all of us something about marriage and relationships. Teddy is an ass most of the time. He’s always complaining about “generation pussy” and “people not having work ethic,” but as soon as Maria gets around, he goes all soft.
Shaking my head from my thoughts, I look in the mirror and watch my form as I squat. Each movement is controlled and takes more energy since I’m injured. But I’m determined to get better and to get back into the ring.
I stand outside the gym and look up at the sign on the window. Alpha Dominant Gym. Obviously, this place is not for me. I actually try to avoid all men, especially fighters, which by looking inside, that’s what this gym is all about. And alpha men, well, that doesn’t make me feel very comforted either. But it’s the only gym within walking distance of my new apartment. I look through the window and see men working out on varying machines. A big ring is in the middle and two men are fighting. Even from outside, I grunt and jerk with every punch the man gives the other. Sick to my stomach, I turn to walk away. Taking a few steps, I force myself to stop and turn around. You can do this, Gracie, I think, trying to make myself believe it.
I walk back toward the door and before I can talk myself out of it, I pull it open. The door jingles and a woman pulls out of an embrace from a man she’s standing with. “Hey there. Welcome!”