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Authors: Cathryn Williams

Stand Of Honor

BOOK: Stand Of Honor
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Stand Of Honor

(Stand, #1
)

by

Cathryn Williams

 

Young Ink Press Publication

YoungInkPress.com

 

Copyright © 2014 by
Cathryn Williams

 

Edited by C&D Editing

Cover Art by Young Ink Press

 

All rights reserved.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

This work of fiction is intended for mature audiences only. All sexually active characters portrayed in this
ebook are eighteen years of age or older. Please do not buy if strong sexual situations, moderate violence, and explicit language offends you.

 

Connect with Cathryn,

[email protected]

www.facebook.com/AuthorCathrynWilliams

@
AuthorCathrynW

 

Prologue

 

“Sweep, sweep!” Melanie screamed at her brother.
He was in the best position to take down his opponent and there was no time to spare. Of course, Nicholas could not hear his little sister, but he performed the command perfectly on cue. Nicholas had the stamina. He was known for being the best at wearing down his opponents. Once both fighters were on the ground, he was able to force a tap out by applying a choke hold.

The crowd erupted with cheers.
Nicholas had been the favorite in this match.

Melanie waited breathlessly until the referee raised her brother’s hand in victory.
Once his hand was in the air, she ran past the guards to be near her brother.

Both her father
and she reached Nicholas at the same time. Her father was beaming with pride, sweeping Nicholas into a bear hug. Melanie was jumping up and down, wanting to be included in the celebration.

“Dad, Nick, Dad!” She continued to yell until her dad finally put Nicholas down, picked her up, and spun her around.
They embraced in a family hug and had a brief moment of silence. This moment had been a long time coming.

Melanie’s father had been training Nicholas since he was
thirteen-years-old. Now nineteen, Nicholas was in the running to become the next champion in his weight division. He still had to prove himself by winning a few more matches against some formidable opponents, but he was well on his way to the coveted title.

As Melanie hugged both her brother and father, she couldn’t wait
to hear her father say that it was time for her training to begin.  She just turned thirteen and was finally old enough to start her journey towards becoming the next women’s champion.

*
  *  *

Zane felt something pop.
He was pretty sure he’d just cracked a rib, but it was worth it. He was about to defeat his biggest rival, Tobias. Zane had already lost to him once and he wasn’t going to let it happen again in this rematch. Even though he had just taken an elbow strike to his ribs, he was able to get his opponent into a leg lock.  Tobias had underestimated Zane’s toughness and left himself open to the submission after putting everything he had into the bone-breaking elbow to the ribs.  Zane had the lock in perfect position and knew Tobias would break with the pressure.  His tap out was inevitable.

After holding Tobias’ leg with everything he had, the impact he had been waiting for finally came as the ref jumped in between the two fighters a
nd separated them after the tap out.  Zane let go of Tobias and collapsed on the ground, exhausted and thrilled at the same time. The fight went until the very end and he hadn’t been sure if he was going to finally be able to pull out the win. He listened to the crowd scream with both cheers and boos, but didn’t care. This win was for him.

As he sat up, he noticed the crowd had become silent.
He looked around to see what could silence such a large crowd and then saw two officials with the mixed martial arts commission walking towards him.

“What’s wrong?” Zane asked as he struggled to his feet,
fighting from keeping his broken rib from dropping him back to the mat. 

“Mr. Phillips, it has been reported and confirmed that you purposefully threw your last fight.
We are aware that you received a large sum of cash for losing that fight. You are being stripped of all your wins and will no longer be permitted to fight in this league.”

Zane stared at them in shock.
He had absolutely no idea where they could have come up with these accusations.

As he started to speak, he saw his girlfriend
, Faye, standing in the crowd. Her expression silenced him. She was the first one to soak up all the glory from his wins, and the fact that she was keeping her distance let him know that she had something to do with this. He racked his brain to see how this could have happened, but couldn’t come up with anything.

He stared at her, waiting for her to come forward, but she
just mouthed
I’m sorry
and then turned to walk away. He felt the anger inside him rise at her betrayal, but didn’t want to go after her in front of the quiet crowd.

He looked back at the officials.
“I haven’t done shit. I love this sport and would never do anything to throw away all my hard work.  I don’t know how you were able to confirm something that isn’t true, but I’ll prove to you that you’re wrong. By then, though, my career will be ruined and that’s what whoever did this wanted!”

“Mr. Phillips, we saw the large deposit and withdrawal into and out of your account after that fight and have eye witnesses to confirm your actions.
You are welcome to appeal. Good luck.” With that statement, the official who didn’t give a fuck that he was destroying Zane’s chance to have a shot at the title, announced Tobias the winner of the fight.

Zane then turned to one of his closest friends and trainer, Rex.
Of all people, Rex would be on his side and would help him out of this mess. However, when he looked at Rex, all he could see was disappointment and accusation. It was obvious that everyone believed he was guilty.

Zane walked away from the cage
, not looking back at the man who had betrayed him or the cage he had fought half his life in to attain the reputation he had just lost. Both hadn’t seen the last of him.

 

Chapter 1

 

Melanie didn’t know what she was doing wrong.
She had watched her father train her brother for most of her life and was applying all the same techniques, but it just wasn’t working for her. She managed to be taken to the mat continuously throughout the practice match. How in the hell she was going to win a real match was beyond her.

She heard some women talking and snickering in the background.
She hated those bitches. They had already won some real fights and walked around the mixed martial arts practice facility as if they owned the place.

The practice facility was for women only and was known for training some of the best women fighters.
One of those women, Macey Richards, was currently undefeated and was constantly rubbing it in to anyone who would listen. She was in the prime of her career and made sure she reminded everyone of that fact. All the stupid women in training hung on her every word and couldn’t see past her wins to realize just how rude and condescending she was to them. Plus, she had been offered a spot on the latest reality show as an assistant trainer for up and coming women fighters, giving her yet another reason to brag about herself.

Melanie couldn’t understand why Macey was always around during her trainings
. Melanie was no threat to Macey, but Macey seemed to get some type of sick enjoyment each time Melanie was knocked onto her ass.  Which had, unfortunately, been happening a lot lately.

Melanie had grown up in a family of mixed martial arts fighters and wanted to follow suit.
The only problem was that her father didn’t agree. He didn’t believe MMA was for women and refused to train Melanie, no matter how much she begged. He continued to train Nicholas, but completely ignored her. Even though she and Nicholas were very close, Melanie and her father no longer had the relationship they once had when she was a child. They only saw each other for their regularly scheduled meals that Nicholas insisted they have at least once a week. She could feel her eye swelling and could only imagine what her father would say this time.

Melanie had been a member of this club for the past two years.
She was about to turn twenty-two, and would have preferred to start training earlier, but without her father’s support, she had to save up money while in high school and then used any extra money from her grants and college scholarships to put towards training.

Even though she started late, she had been watching the sport f
or the majority of her life, so she was already familiar with the various moves. Now, it was just a matter of execution.

With that thought, her leg was swept out from under her and she fell back with a thud.
She looked up at her sparring partner and grimaced.

“That’s enough for today
, Melanie,” Tobias announced. “You really need to pay attention. You continue to make the same mistakes.” Tobias was a tough coach and had very little tolerance for careless mistakes. She understood why he was being hard on her.

He turned to the other girl
. “Nice take down, Penny.”

“Sorry
, Tobias. I’ll do better next time,” Melanie said. The problem was, Melanie didn’t know how to do better. She had been watching her brother train for years and knew exactly what it took to be successful in the cage. However, every time she would apply her knowledge to her actions, Tobias told her she was doing some aspect of it incorrectly.

She wanted this so badly, not only for herself, but to show her father he was wrong.
Women could compete in this sport. She was going to work on letting go of her past and focus solely on what Tobias told her to do.

She
was
going to prove her father wrong, even if she had to put up with bitches like Macey, and a body that was constantly bruised and battered. It would be worth it all when she was holding that trophy in her hand. She was putting all her faith in Tobias that he could make her into the fighter she needed to be in order to be successful in the cage.

She sucked up the pain coming from her cheekbone
, going to shower and then change before driving home.

As Melanie walked into her apartment, she heard a crash in the living room.
She immediately grabbed the taser she kept in her bag and ran into the living room.

As she pointed the
taser in the direction of the noise, she saw a man’s bare ass and her roommate’s purple glitter toenail polished feet on the floor beneath him.

Melanie laughed.
She never knew what she was going to walk in on with her roommate, Trish. It was the best remedy for the bad training session she’d just came from.

She dropped the
taser down to her side. “Hey guys, what’s up?” She asked casually as if it was no big deal to see two naked people lying on the floor between the couch and coffee table.

“Melanie!!
What the hell are you doing home so early?” Trish yelled as she looked around the man lying on top of her and saw the taser in Melanie’s hand. Trish rolled her eyes, she knew Melanie was always in attack mode.

“I’m having dinner with dad and Nick tonight
. I left practice early.” Melanie set the taser down on the table. She noticed the man on top of Trish was actually trying to be polite and keep Trish covered. She also noticed he had a very nice ass. She asked again, “What’s up with you?”

Once Trish realized Melanie was just messing with them, she laughed.
“Okay, you’ve seen enough. Turn around so we can get up!”

“Do I have to?
I’d like to see the front view, too,” she teased as she turned to walk into her bedroom. She picked up the bag she had dropped and the taser, dodging a throw pillow as she walked away.

Melanie was studying kinesiology with plans to apply to physical therapy school.
She would always be an athlete and this degree would keep her in the field she loved. She’d worked hard in high school to qualify for as many scholarships as she could get. That helped with being able to get an off campus apartment. She could have lived by herself, but Trish and her had hit it off immediately. Where Melanie tended to be focused on school and training, Trish lived for the moment. Melanie needed someone like Trish to keep her life balanced.

Trish had opened her eyes to a whole new world of parties and living on the wild side.
Melanie didn’t let herself get out of control, but it was nice to let loose sometimes, and Trish was the perfect best friend and roommate to pull her out of her shell.

As she started getting ready
for dinner, she heard the headboard banging against the wall in the next room. Melanie sighed. It had been too long since her own headboard had hit the wall. Once she started doing better in training, she might have to take care of that bit of business…

*
  *  *

Melanie arrived at the local Italian restaurant and eagerly looked for her brother Nicholas.
Nicholas was everything to her and she was so proud of his accomplishments—he was currently ranked the light heavyweight champion.

She spotted him across the room
, sitting at a table in the corner talking to a waitress. When she walked towards him, she noticed he received several looks from the women in the restaurant. She was used to it. Her brother was tall and dark, with an athlete’s build. Once women knew he was her brother, they would beg for her to hook them up, but Nicholas was too busy for a meaningful relationship and she hated to throw any more women his way to use and discard.

The waitress seemed to be struggling with getting her feet to move away from the table.
When she saw Melanie, her smile disappeared.

“There’s my favorite sister!”

With that statement, t
he waitress was all smiles again, taking their drink order while they waited for their father. She damn sure needed a strong drink to numb her before she had to face him.

Nicholas
looked hard at Melanie. “Dammit, Melanie, when are you going to learn to protect your face? What are they teaching you, to stand still and learn how to take a beating?”

Melanie growled, “It was just one mistake.”
She didn’t want to tell him that she was making a lot of mistakes. He loved and supported her, but he was too busy with his own career and they both understood he didn’t have the time to train her at this point in his life.

“Where’s
Dad?” she asked to change the subject.

Nicholas gave her a knowing look with his piercing blue eyes
. Melanie always changed the subject when the conversation was too focused on her.

“He should be here in five
. He had to work late.”

Their dad owned a training facility.
Nicholas assisted in training other fighters when he could, but he spent the majority of his time preparing for his own fights.  He spent most of his time training with his father, but also spent a great deal of time working on more specialized techniques with various coaches he had encountered throughout his career. Nicholas was always trying to learn more, while perfecting what he already knew.  His desire and work ethic took him to the top and he wasn’t going to slow down just because he was the champion.  There was always going to be someone out there working hard to take his title, he knew he always had to be working harder.  His popularity resulted in him receiving plenty of money from both fights and endorsements. It provided a nice income, and lucky for her, he was very generous with his little sister.

The part that stung the most was that
her dad would not train anyone in the same weight class as Nicholas. Her dad always grew close to the men he trained and didn’t want to ever have to watch a fight between one of his students and his own son. Melanie had long ago buried the resentment of knowing her father could train and grow fond of strangers, but wouldn’t have anything to do with her dreams.

“So how’s your week been?” she asked.

“Still training for my next fight.
I’ve been watching Conner’s tapes.  I think it will be a good match, but I’ve seen weakness in some of his moves when he’s starting to feel fatigued. He’s also predictable when tired.  I think I’ll be able to wear him down and anticipate his next moves.” Nicholas exuded so much confidence in his abilities—not because he was cocky, but because he worked hard and knew what he was capable of in the cage. “I won’t be able to do dinner next week, I’m flying out to Denver to do a Hooter’s commercial.” Nicholas grinned. “It will probably take me several takes before I get it right.”

“Oh
, please.” Melanie rolled her eyes. “Their outfits aren’t even that cute; what does everyone see in them?”

“We see ass and we like it.
Most men do—if they tell you anything else, they’re lying, for your information. As your brother, I feel I should warn you about men’s weaknesses,” Nicholas taunted her. “Of course, since you have no ass, I can understand your hostility.”

“You can kiss my ass
,” Melanie snapped when she felt a presence behind her.

“Hey
, kids, sorry I’m late.” Her father gave her a disapproving look.

“Hi
Dad,” Melanie mumbled, trying unsuccessfully to keep her bad eye from his view and throw her brother a killing look at the same time. Her dad never missed a detail, but other than a patch, there was no hiding the damage to her eye.

“I see tr
aining is going well,” he said sarcastically. It had taken him all of two seconds.

R
esigned, Melanie straightened in her chair, no longer trying to avoid his direct gaze.

“Stop
. Don’t do this. Dad, I still don’t understand why you won’t train her. It’s in our blood. But we’re not talking about this tonight, we made a deal about these dinners.” Nick was tired of the animosity between Melanie and their dad.

“It’s not for women
. Your mother knew it was a man’s sport. She never would have wanted to watch Melanie get the hell beaten out of her,” their dad quietly replied, picking up his menu.

And didn’t that just say it all
, Melanie thought. He had no interest in her whatsoever.

Leave it to
Dad to use their mother to try and prove his point. He knew it was their weak spot.

Melanie decided to take the high road tonight.
“Let’s order.”

*
  *  *

Melanie let herself into the apartment.
Once again, she heard more noises. This time it was Trish screaming as she climaxed. This guy must have a dick that just kept on giving. She wondered if they had been going at it all evening. Yes, she definitely needed her own release. She didn’t need a man to give it to her, though.

S
he took off her clothes, grabbed her laptop, and climbed into bed. She put in a search for the video she was looking for, pushed play, and then let her hands slide down her body.

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