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Authors: Ashley Johnson

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary Fiction, #Contemporary, #Literature & Fiction

One of the Guys

BOOK: One of the Guys
12.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
One Of The Guys


Published by Ashley Johnson

Copyright 2013

Ashley Johnson




Cover by

Robin Harper/Wicked By Design



This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold

or given away. If you would like to share this book with another person,

please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work
of this author.


All characters in this publication are purely fictious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

This book is dedicated to
all of you. I love ya’ll more than you could imagine and your support means the absolute world to me! I would never have the courage to do this if it weren’t for every single one of you!


Chapter 1



Two Months Earlier


Blaize’s voice broke through my thoughts again when I heard my name over the speakers. “Tonight, we have our own Sam Montgomery doing what very few females do. She will be going up against one of our male contenders. I love seeing women kick ass. Can I get a hell yeah?”


The crowd erupted into one big hell yeah and a few even hollered my name. I’ve become a bit of a favorite here. Blaize looked at the clipboard in front of his face and a big grin spread across his face. Shit, he sees who I’m up against. Rocky and I made our way closer to the ring so he could finish prepping me. When he was done he pulled me in for a quick hug.


“Good luck Sam. Just remember what we’ve practiced and keep your hands up. Don’t let the bastard get a shot in. You got this.”


I grinned and replied, “Don’t worry Rocky; he won’t know what hit him.”


The crowd suddenly got quiet as Blaize set the clipboard down and placed the microphone back to his mouth. My nerves took over shaking me to my core. I didn’t think that was possible. I knew what was coming, I agreed to this. I was already nervous to begin with but slowly this was becoming reality. My reality. “Ok, I’m super fucking stoked about this matchup and I think you guys will be too. We have the best of the best going at it tonight and for once, I’m not sure who to place my money on. So without further bullshit, our Sam Montgomery will be facing off against our own Cole Johnson. Fuck yeah, I can’t wait to see this one.”


The entire crowd began cheering and it was so loud I could hardly hear myself think. Did he really just say I was up against Cole tonight? No. I can’t do it. I can’t fight Cole. Who makes these lists? This has got to be a joke.


I felt my face turn pale as every ounce of blood evaporated from my pores and I looked to meet Cole’s eyes. His face was as pale as mine if not worse. I just kissed the guy last night and now, I would be getting ready to take him on in the ring. I’ve seen him in the ring, he’s the best there is around here and he’s fucking ruthless. I’ve never seen him lose a match.


Oh God, I can’t do this. I need a way out. Now. The walls are closing in as I hear our names being chanted throughout the building. I could handle fighting any other man in here, just not Cole. All eyes are on me and I suddenly feel as if I can’t move. Thank God we aren’t the first fight of the evening or I’m not sure I’d be able to escape and I’d have to face the inevitable. I know this because after Blaize called our names, he continued to call out every other pairing of the night and we were set to go last.


Jack Miller and Trey Jones just stepped into the ring and their fight had begun. I could easily take one of them on with nothing to hold me back. Jack used to train with us but he moved when his wife took a new job in Dallas and obviously joined a new gym. It was pretty crazy to see them actually fighting in the ring and not just playing around. Both of them were good and it was hard to predict who would come out on top. But with Cole, it was different. Cole liked me, he’d made that clear on more than one occasion and I just, I can’t do this.


I snapped out of my thoughts as Cole inched closer to me. Shit. What does he want? Does he just want to gloat about how he’s about to throw my little body across the ring? I’ll fucking drag him to the ground now; I’m not in the mood.


He reached out to touch my arm and I jerked it away trying my hardest to get away from him. Far away if possible. My breathing became ragged as I tried to figure out what I was going to do. Could I even beat him? Or would I become the laughing stock of this place?


“Sam, I’m freaked out about this too. I won’t go hard on you, ok?” Fucking unbelievable.


My blue eyes shot up to meet his and I scowled, “Are you serious Cole? Don’t fucking treat me like a porcelain doll. I’m not breakable ok?”


“Stop Sam, I don’t mean it like that. You know I don’t like the idea of you even wanting to fight a man in that damn ring. Why do you want to?”


“I’m sorry who are you? Don’t act like you can give me advice or tell me what to do. It’s my business not yours.”


Shit. What I said just hurt him. I can see it in his eyes. Those beautiful blue eyes that on any day would definitely be sparkling and full of life. “I care about you. You know that. I don’t want you getting hurt.”


Tears stung behind my eyes as I walked towards the door to get some fresh air. Trey just won his match and the next pair was getting ready to get in the ring. Cole followed closely behind me and I wished like hell he wouldn’t have. I’m not ready to face him; I just want to get away.


I leaned against the brick wall, breathing in the cool November air. A lone tear slid down my cheek and I quickly brushed it away as Cole stood in front of me with his arms crossed over his bare chest.


“I’m a big girl Cole. I don’t need you to protect me. I’m good out there; you know it so quit giving me a hard time.”


“Sam, most twenty one year old women are in the bars, not fighting. I just want to know you, to figure you out. That’s all I’ve ever wanted but you won’t let me in. Come on, we need to get back in there soon; Rocky and Blaize are going to be looking for us.”


I swallowed the rest of the tears that threatened to come up.
I can’t break down in front of Cole, I refuse to.
“I’m not most twenty one year old women Cole. There’s nothing to get to know, what you see is what you get.”


“I won’t hurt you in there. I swear I won’t.” His sincere voice sends a chill down my spine because I know he’s being honest. For once I wish he would just lie.


I started removing my gloves and dropped them to the ground. Cole looked at me with a confused look on his face. “You’re right. You won’t be able to hurt me in there because you won’t have the chance. I’m not going back inside. I’m leaving.”


I bent down to grab my gloves and he still stood there not knowing what to say. I started to walk away and he grabbed my arm. I tried hard to ignore any tiny bit of electricity that his touch sent through me. This time when he grabbed my arm, I didn’t pull away.


“Sam, don’t go. We’ll tell them to pair you with someone else.”


I stood there offended by what he just said. Was he serious? “Yeah, so I can look like I can’t handle the great and mighty Cole Johnson?” I pushed his chest so hard, he actually moved back. Rocky was going to be pissed at me, no doubt about that. I was leaving though and not even Cole with his baby blue eyes could stop me. I was a fool for starting to fall for him, my brain clearly wasn’t thinking. He didn’t know how I felt and it needed to stay this way. Forever.


“Whatever Sam, have it your way. Run away from it all. You could just talk to me you know. Tell me why you’re so uptight all the time. Tell me what’s going on with you. Tell me how to fix you. I can do that you know. I can be there for you in whatever way you need me.”


His eyes were pleading with me but I couldn’t listen to them. Instead I chose to pull the worst out of the situation and insert my foot a little more.


“Stop trying to get in my pants Cole, it’s not going to happen. You can’t fix me either, so quit trying. Give it up, this is all you get.” I shoved past him and began walking. Home was a few blocks or so away but I didn’t care. The sooner I got home, the sooner I got away from Cole. The sooner I got away from Cole, the sooner I would be able to try to forget any of this happened tonight. I stop for a second remembering my truck is here, why the hell am I walking?


Cole wasn’t one to give up easily, I already know this. He’s had his eye on me since I walked into Lou’s. He made snide remarks about me being a girl wanting to learn to fight until my fist connected with his jaw. I didn’t have time for his stupid ass comments. Then he shut up and slowly began trying to make advances at me. I shot down every single one of them, well until we kissed. The last thing I heard before I walked away was him yelling to me, “Dammit Sam, you know it’s not like that. Come back and talk to me.”


But I didn’t go back and talk. I kept walking away from him and the ring. Walking away meant I made no money for the night, but at least I saved myself from possibly embarrassing myself or ruining things with him. Fuck it. I’ve had enough of this bullshit. I don’t need any of this anymore. I can get by; no I
get by without Rocky and most importantly without Cole.

Chapter 2





I can’t believe Brenda left. She has been the closest thing to a mother in my life for the past nineteen years. My birth mom’s name was Christy. I wish I could say I knew her but the only thing I knew of her was that she was an amazing caring woman. She put herself above others and was very well respected by everyone who knew her. My dad met her when they were in high school. Apparently they were inseparable and instantly fell in love. Every once in a while I like to look through the old pictures of the two of them and find some sort of happiness. Not that I mean I’m not happy right now, I couldn’t be more pleased with my life. I have two parents that love me and do everything possible to make sure I’m taken care of. What more could I want? I find that I get my blonde hair and my blue eyes from my birth mom. She was beautiful. Many times I’ve sat in my room looking at old pictures wishing I could have really met her. The stories didn’t do her justice, I wanted to be able to know her and been able to experience life with her. God had other plans though, and he needed her more than we did. One of the only things that keeps me smiling is the fact that I know one sweet day, I’ll finally get to see her. To hug her. To love her.


Mom and Dad dated for a few months and then he popped the question on the Ferris wheel at the county fair. How romantic? I bet she couldn’t wait to tell him yes. They were married for at least three years before she got pregnant for me. Her pregnancy was completely normal; there were no complications at all. When she went into labor though, something went wrong and I made it but she didn’t. Dad was stuck raising a baby all by himself for two years. From the looks of those pictures, I basically ran around in nothing but a diaper and my hair was a ratty mess. Can’t blame him, he knew nothing about having to take care of a baby girl. One day he met Brenda at the grocery store where I was supposedly raising hell while he was attempting to shop and he learned to tear his walls down and let her in. She treated me as if I were her own flesh and blood. I came first and I absolutely loved her and my dad to death.


If there were any problems, they didn’t let me see them. They never argued in front of me about anything, not even over what was for dinner. That may seem odd, but well not everyone argues. I considered myself extremely blessed to have them. It was like they were the perfect happy couple or at least they used to be.


Dad left for his evening shift with the department about thirty minutes ago. He made sure I knew he was leaving so I could make sure Brenda and I was locked safely inside the house. He was patrolling tonight but nowhere near the house and he tended to worry a little more than he needed to. We lived in a perfectly safe neighborhood and never had any problems. Guess that was the cop in him. Most of our neighbors have lived here since I can remember, it’s familiar and safe. We all pretty much know each other, even some secrets. Like for instance, once our neighbor next door leaves for work, his wife’s fling comes over. That’s been going on for a while now. I learned this the hard way when I went to go tan in the backyard only to have my eyes see way more than I wanted to thanks to a hole in the fence. I don’t think I’ve ever ran so fast inside the house in my life. There’s also the kid across the street that throws a party every time his parents go out of town. Dad’s never busted him, probably because it’s kept low-key and hasn’t gotten out of hand yet.


Brenda left a few minutes after he did. Apparently he already knew she was leaving and he didn’t tell me. He left that for her to do.


She had walked into my room and sat on my bed. I was on the phone with my boyfriend Marsh. I saw the tears in her eyes and told him I’d call him back. I’d never seen her cry and I knew something had to be wrong, either that or her allergies were acting up. My gut told me something was wrong.


“What’s wrong Brenda? Everything ok?” The look in her usually kind eyes clearly states everything isn’t but I can’t help but ask.


She grabbed my hand and held it between hers and just looked into my eyes before finally responding, “I’m leaving Samantha. Your dad knows. We’ve been having problems for a few weeks now and I can’t handle it anymore. He’s not the man I married. He’s been angry, he’s not talking to me or telling me what’s wrong. I can’t live this way anymore. I can’t continue to let him put his hands on me like that.”


I couldn’t be hearing her right. I’ve never noticed him coming home that way. He couldn’t do that. I just, I can’t imagine it. Wait, I wouldn’t notice any of this because I spent almost all of my time with Marsh. His parents were very lenient so I was always over there. They didn’t mind that his girlfriend was in his room. According to them we weren’t doing anything, yeah ok. My dad loved Marsh but if he were to even try to go near my room, he would flip his lid.


Tears immediately filled my eyes when I realized she was serious. “No. He can’t have done that.”


“Sweet girl, I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to have to tell you this. I love you so much, you know that. I love you like my own, but I can’t stay here and let it keep happening. Be there for him ok? Help him. He loves you Samantha.”


I didn’t want to listen to this. She couldn’t leave me here. My heart was shattering into a million pieces and I didn’t know how to fix it. I didn’t just want to fix myself; I wanted to fix her and my dad because they were my rock. I couldn’t imagine this house without her. She made this house run smoothly. They loved each other so much. This just didn’t make sense to me.


“I don’t want you to go. It’s not for good right? Ya’ll can work things out I know it.” I choked out.


She now had tears running down her face and I pulled her in and held her. I held onto the only motherly figure I’ve ever had in my life and I didn’t want to let her go.


“I don’t want to either Samantha, but this has to stop. You call me anytime you want to you hear me? I know it seems like I’m leaving you, but I’m only a phone call away if you need anything. I can’t say whether or not this is permanent or not. Only he can make that call.”


All I could do was nod my head yes. She pulled herself away from me and kissed my cheek. I couldn’t help but break into tears wishing this were nothing more than some sick dream. She gave my hand one last squeeze as she stood up.


“I love you Brenda.” I said in between sobs. Trying to hold myself together was easier said than done. I was falling apart at the seams.


“I love you too Samantha.” She smiled one last time at me with tears glistening in her eyes. And just like that, she walked out my door and was gone.


I sat there on my bed taking in the shock of it all staring at the open doorway wishing she was going to walk back through. But she didn’t. I wanted to call my dad and make him to tell me that none of that was true. There had to be some other reason why she left. He would never raise a hand at a woman. I know my dad well enough, I’d like to think. I don’t think I’ve ever even heard him raise his voice at me when I was younger. I wasn’t an angel as a child, but he never really fussed at me. Maybe it’s because I was all he had left over from mom and he had a hard time fussing at me, I don’t know but he never did anything like that. Hearing all this was like being spoken to in a foreign language, I didn’t understand it one freaking bit.


I reached for my phone and immediately called Marsh back. He answered after one ring and I just sat there still baffled and apparently at a loss for words.


“Sam? You there?” His soft voice drifted through the airwaves soothing my soul a little more than it was before. I loved this man with everything in me. Just hearing his voice made me go weak in the knees.


“Yeah. I am.” I felt numb inside. I stopped crying right before I called him but I know he could tell in my voice. I’m not good at hiding when I’m upset about something and he was always able to figure me out.


“Baby, what’s wrong? You sound upset. Talk to me.”


I drew in a deep breath and then began to tell him while I tried to hold my tears at bay. “Brenda left.”


“Ok, where’d she go?” Poor thing sounded so clueless on the other end of the phone, I felt a semi-eye roll coming on.


He wasn’t getting it at all. She didn’t just go to the store for milk, she was never coming back. Or at least not anytime soon. She walked out that door a few minutes ago and I was here all alone.


“Marsh, she’s gone. She left for now.”


“What? Why?”


The tears began to silently fall down my cheeks as I searched for how to tell him. He wouldn’t believe it either, not in a million years.


“She said he hit her. I can’t believe it Marsh. He’s at work and now I’m alone.” Alone. I hate that word. It’s so ugh. I hate being alone.


“He did what? Are you sure?”


“That’s what she said.” I sniffled.


“Come over. Text him and tell him I rented some movies and come over. You don’t need to be there all alone tonight, it’s going to do nothing but upset you and plus I want to see you.”


I knew I loved him for a reason. He always knows what to do to make me feel better. Being with him was exactly what I needed right now to get my mind off things. He was the one happiness in my life I could always count on. He was everything that seemed to make me want to keep going and I was more than grateful for that.


“Ok, give me a minute and I’ll be over. I love you.”


“I love you too Sam.”


I hung up the phone and immediately texted my dad.


Me: Marsh rented some movies so I’m going over for a little. I’ll make sure everything is locked up. Love you Dad.


I made it look like I knew nothing although I’m sure he knows that I already know. Within five minutes he replied.


Dad: Sounds good. Be safe. Love you too.


That doesn’t sound like the text of a man who hits his wife, maybe she was simply over exaggerating things. Maybe they just argued one too many times and she just had enough? That had to be it because right now, I find no truth in what she said. I grabbed a change of clothes just incase and turned the bedroom light off behind me. I found my keys on the kitchen counter and immediately made my way to the door. I couldn’t be in this house anymore right now; it was too hard because of all the thoughts that kept swimming around unwelcome in my head.


I unlocked my black Toyota Tacoma and cranked it up. My Mumford and Sons CD that Marsh had burnt me was blaring through the speakers. I should have left the volume up so the music could drown out my thoughts, but I didn’t. Once I adjusted the volume, I backed out of the driveway. Marsh lived only a few roads over from me so within two minutes I was at his house. The elegant brick home sat shaded by two trees in the front yard. The only vehicle in the driveway was his and I was a little relieved. I didn’t want his parents to see me all upset, it’s bad enough he had to.


He must have seen me pull up because he was immediately outside and making his way to my truck. The minute I stepped out, he pulled me into his arms and held me. I just buried my head into his chest and let the last of my tears soak his t-shirt. Even though the sick feeling still resided in my stomach, a little of the pain I felt was eased just by his touch. A thousand weights were lifted off my shoulders within the few seconds I’ve been here. He slowly led me inside and into the kitchen to grab some chips and soda before going to his room. He really did have movies for us to watch, but I just didn’t feel like watching anything.


“I can’t believe she left Marsh.”


“I know me either. I’m here though, whatever you need Sam.” He leaned forward and kissed my forehead as we sat on his bed. The mattress felt extra soft today, maybe it’s because I’m so mentally exhausted, I don’t know. He opened the can of soda and handed it to me. The fizzy soda burned my throat a little as I drank it.


All my life I was Samantha. That’s just what everyone called me. No nicknames. That was until my freshman year of high school. Marshall Brice was the “it” guy. Total package. I mean he had the looks, the smile, and the personality. Damn, just one look at him and I was a goner, even now.


From the minute he called me Sam instead of Samantha, I was putty in those hands of his. He could nickname me anything he wanted and I’d be fine with it. To even it out, I called him Marsh. It just flowed a little better. But I remember that day like it was yesterday. He approached me walking all suave in the hallway. I was on my way to my AP English class to turn in a massive research paper I had written about Sylvia Plath. She completely intrigued me and no, not just because she stuck her head in the oven and killed herself. At least she was thoughtful and fixed her kids a sandwich before she did it. Her poetry was interesting to me, that’s why she seemed the perfect choice. I busted my ass on that paper and ultimately I was pretty thrilled about the way it turned out. It deserved nothing short of an A+. Marsh already knew my name which floored me. I didn’t expect him to but I sure as hell knew who he was. Who didn’t with those amazing brown eyes and the dimples that formed oh so perfectly when he smiled?

BOOK: One of the Guys
12.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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