12 Rounds (Knockout 1) - Page 63

My mood twists from anger to curiosity when I think of Hadlee and wonder if she’ll be watching my fight. I like to think there’s a good possibility in that. I assume most of America will be watching it.

The song on my ipod changes and Not Afraid swells in my ears at the same time Joe peeks through the door. “You had enough alone time?” he asks with a lifted brow.

I pull the ear buds out my ear and wrap them around my ipod. “Yeah.” I stare at the blank screen of the iPhone and think about Teagan. She texted me when she got back to school so I’d know she’s okay. And I know she’ll be the first person I call whether I win or lose this fight.

I asked her and Emerson if they wanted to come, and even though she said she wanted to, she said they couldn’t. Both of them had finals this week and I know they’ll be cramming. I smile at the thought of Tee in the library, studying.

Always the studious scholar, that one.

I follow Joe through the locker room door where my crew is waiting. Murph spots me, and with three steps is at my side, covering me with my black and red robe that has Right Hook silk screened on the back in bold, crimson lettering.

I sense a pun coming.

And a hard pat on the back.

Finally Murph smiles as I pull my hood up over my head. “Knock em dead.”

I laugh and fall in line as the traditional Irish folk song plays out, filling up the entire arena and everyone knows that’s my cue to make my grand entrance.

The roar of the crowd is deafening.

Yet welcoming.

It’s a sellout .

Not one empty seat in the house.

People chant my name as the group of us make are our way to the ring.

It’s euphoric.

An out of this world feeling.

As we enter the ring, I lock eyes with Avery Mullins. There’s hint of ferocity in his wide brown eyes, and a scowl on his tan colored lips. His trainer is rubbing Vaseline into his cappucino colored skin and a for a moment I get a flashback of the last time I knocked him out. I smile. Knocking this twat out two times in my life is going to be bittersweet.

Joe preps me by putting vaseline under my eyes, putting my mouth guard in, then pulling me down by the back of the neck, he places his forehead against mine and breathes out, “Kid, you’re not a scapper. You’re not a street rat anymore. You’re the champion of the world. Now go show this asshole what you’re famous for.”

With that I fist bump him with my gloves and walk toward the center of the ring.

The roaring crowd grows louder. Their chants spike inside of me, pumping adrenaline through me, and I’m so hyped that I’m taking deep, deep breaths and almost growling. I shrug my shoulders. Roll my head from side to side. And bounce right foot to left. Then I repeat the process.

I’m fidgety. Not because I’m nervous, but because when I feel like I have power that’s how I get. There’s some crazy thrill that stabs me right before a fight and there are times where feel like I could fly. There are times where I feel like I could just burst through the roof of the arena and touch the moon. This is one of those times.

Mullins lets out a haughty chuckle, muffled by the sound of his black mouth guard and the ref meets us in the center of the ring. The ref’s voice fades away as I tune him out and give Mullins the stare down. The cocky prick nods at me with confidence and right before the bell sounds, I picture him as the fucking pervert who attacked Hadlee. I think about how I wanted to kill that pervert. And when the bell finally dings, I lunge toward Mullins, gloves up, a muffled battle cry exiting my throat.

Then I wrench my right arm back and swing.

Chapter Twenty Eight


Right jab.


Left jab.


Tags: Lauren Hammond Knockout Romance
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