Xavier (Cocky Cage Fighter Legacy, Book 1)
Xavier (Cocky Cage Fighter Legacy, Book 1)
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Xavier Malone returned to Maryland for his ten-year high school reunion to get away from all the drama in Seattle.
He never thought he would spend the week second-guessing every decision he’s ever made or seriously consider trading in his suit and tie for a chance to get in the cage.
Most of all, he wasn’t supposed to fall for Cassidy, his childhood best friend.
As Xavier makes plans to pursue his lifelong dream, following in the footsteps of his father Jax, a legend in the fighting world, he convinces himself that he needs Cass in his corner more than he needs her in his bed.
But Cass has longed for Xavier to see her as more than a friend for years and is tired of waiting. Now that he’s back, she’s not going to waste her chance to finally tell him how she feels.
There’s only one thing that can stand in the way of Xavier and Cass’s happiness, and that’s Xavier’s unfinished business with his estranged wife.
- Possessive Hero
- Opposites Attract
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CLICK HERE TO READ AN EXCERPT
My childhood friend kindly invited me to stay with her this week before our high school reunion next Saturday. I quickly took her up on it, because I haven’t seen her in what feels like forever, mostly because my wife Camilla wasn’t her biggest fan. No one ever understood why Cass and I were ever friends, much less the sleepover, tell each other everything, best friends when we were kids. And honestly, I never really did either. Her family moved into our neighborhood the summer before we both turned nine. From the second we met and found out we were going to be in the same class at school that fall, we just were inseparable. It didn’t matter that I was a rough and dirty, athletic boy and she was the polar opposite, a scrawny, little nerd, because Cass was also a tomboy. We bonded over roasting marshmallows in backyard campfires and fishing in the neighborhood pond during the summers. None of our many other differences mattered to us. We were soulmates, and not in the romantic sense because I thought of her like a sister, just much less annoying than my actual little sister Macy. When I roll up to twelve-oh-one Windsor Drive, there’s not even room for me to park in the driveway thanks to eight or so other vehicles piled in. Pulling over at the curb, I reach for my phone from inside my suit jacket to double check the address on her text message. Yep, this is definitely her place. The white, two-story Colonial with navy blue shutters and matching front door perfectly fits Cass the more I look at it. So, either she has a lot of visitors over or she has a ton of roommates. There’s honestly no telling with Cass. She’s always been sort of a wild child, risktaker, but she also goes after what she wants. When Cassidy was eighteen, she told her parents she wasn’t going to college like the majority of our class. Instead, she took out all the money in her college fund and used it to start her own outdoor sporting goods store. Everyone thought she was fucking insane at the time, but I thought she was brave. I envied her for knowing exactly what she wanted to do with her life, while I was clueless at eighteen. Hell, I’m still clueless at twenty-eight. Turning off the car, I climb out and grab my luggage from the trunk before walking through the freshly mowed grass to get to the front door. As I reach my finger out to press the button to ring the doorbell, I hear masculine hooting and hollering coming from inside, making me wonder if Cass texted me the wrong address after all. She was never the type of girl to talk to guys other than me. But then I hear a feminine voice yelling something about not spilling beer on her new sofa. The door is finally yanked open, and then the sweet face of the girl I’ve been friends with for twenty years is filling it. At least I think it’s the same girl. Cassidy’s blonde hair is pulled up in the usual messy ponytail; but after talking to her only on video chats for the last few years, I had forgotten how tall and skinny she was. And today, she’s wearing a tight, so, so tight, faded Baltimore Ravens tee that I’m certain was made for toddlers and not grown women, with a pair of snug blue jeans. There are two major differences from the woman before me and the girl I grew up with. One, her eyes look greener than usual because she’s wearing contacts, not her glasses, which were her staple in school and at night on the phone; and two, she has a really nice rack, like the kind of tits straight men dream of motorboating… And I immediately despise myself even more than usual for having such a thought about my childhood friend. “Xavier!” Cassidy exclaims before launching herself and her new boobs at me, pressing them against my chest and nearly knocking me backwards. “Ah, hi. I caught an earlier flight. Hope that’s okay,” I say as I drop the luggage in my hand to hug her back, inhaling the familiar strawberry scent of her hair. “Yay! It’s so good to see you in person. All of you! You’re not just a talking head!” she exclaims when she pulls away so that her new tits are no longer smashed against my body. “Um, yeah, you too,” I remark, trying to keep my eyes from lowering. Since when did Cass get so…pretty and grown up? As a kid, she was sort of gawky and clumsy with the longest, skinniest legs, reminding me of a cute baby giraffe or deer, which is why I called her Bambi. Now, though…did she look like this at my wedding? If so, that would explain why Camilla practically hissed whenever I even breathed Cass’s name these last few years. At the time, I must not have noticed her looks with my head so far up Camilla’s ass. But now? God, I don’t know how I missed it. “Come on in,” she says, stepping back to give me room to walk inside. “I love your place,” I tell her just as a deep voice within yells, “Chug it, you Washington pussy!” “Sounds like you have quite a crowd,” I remark after I pick up my luggage and then hesitate on the doorstep. “I didn’t mean to drop in early and interrupt if you’re busy. I can stay with my parents tonight.” No. Hell no. “Or at a hotel and come back tomorrow.” “Xavier Jackson Malone,” Cass says, using my full name and bracing a hand on one of her hips. “Yeah?” “Get your ass in here!” she shouts. “I haven’t seen you in, like, three years! You’re staying!” “Okay, if you’re sure.” Grabbing a handful of my lapel, she pulls me forward. “Yes! You’re not interrupting. It’s just my league.” “League?” I ask. “Yeah, our fantasy football league. We’re having our drafting party. The regular season starts next Thursday! Woo-hoo!” “Right,” I mutter, realizing that she’s talking about football and I’ve never really been a fan. “I would ask if you want to join us, but we’re already maxed out with twelve players,” she says as I follow her down the hallway. “Besides, it’s not like you could even name three NFL players.” “Do the Mannings still play quarterback?” I joke. “Haha. Funny, but you’re a few decades off,” she says, flashing me a smile over her shoulder before we walk into her living room…crammed full of men around a big white board. Big, hairy men who all shut up to stare at me. “Hey. What’s up?” I say when I sit down my luggage in the middle of the floor. “Everyone, this is my good friend, Xavier Malone,” Cassidy introduces us. “Xavier, these are a bunch of losers who let me take their money in fantasy football every year.” There’s a chorus of masculine curses and grumbling, but no one denies that she usually kicks their ass. “You know our roster is full, Cass,” one of the dickheads with floppy, blond hair and wearing a Patriots jersey says. “No room for the accountant.” “Lawyer,” I correct. “Oh, Xavier’s not playing fantasy with us,” Cassidy tells him. “He’s staying with me this week for our high school reunion.” I fight the urge to lower my head and duck when daggers are glared at me from all directions of the room. “Come on up. I’ll show you to the guest room,” Cass says before trekking up the staircase. When I realize my eyes are glued to the way the denim adheres to her round ass, I glance around and see that so are a dozen others. Jesus. Who are all these fuckers? “Ah, Cassidy,” I say when I jog up the steps after her with my luggage and follow her into a room with a bed and a dresser. “Yeah?” she asks, spinning around at the foot of the bed to face me. “Who are all those men? How do you know them?” I ask quietly as I toss my suitcase on the mattress. “Oh, well, most are guys I work with, and the rest are friends and neighbors.” “Married friends and neighbors?” “No, but some have girlfriends. Why do you ask?” she asks, blinking green eyes at me all innocently. “They obviously want in your panties,” I whisper to her. A burst of laughter flies out of her mouth. “That is so not true! I’ve known them all for years. We’re just friends who play fantasy together every football season.” “How many are single?” I ask. “Not an estimate but an actual number, Bambi.” She bites on her bottom lip as she considers it and then finally says, “Nine.” “Nine out of eleven? Wow. You are so…naïve.” “No, I’m not,” she huffs with a shove to my shoulder. “And this divorce is making you super grumpy. You’re better off without her, Xavier. You have to know that, right?” “Yeah, the divorce,” I repeat, not correcting her because I’m so close. Camilla and I have been separated for months but not long enough to make it official yet. “No, I know it’s for the best.” Rather than admit the truth about the specific wedge that came between us, I say, “We wanted different things. She wanted me to make more money, and I wanted her to stop spending every dime I earn.” “God, she’s such a bitch. I’m sorry,” Cass says, giving my bicep a supportive squeeze. “And wow. Someone’s been taking his anger out on the punching bag.” “Ah, yeah, I’ve been hitting up the gym more lately, trying to burn off frustration,” I admit while also withholding the fact that I live there now. “At least some good has come out of something bad,” she says with a warm smile that seems so bright it could make everything right in the world. “It’s good seeing you again, Cass,” I tell her honestly when I give her another quick hug. “It’s been too long.”
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