Hammer's Fall (The Breakers’ Bad Boys, 1)(2)

By: Laurie Roma

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t seem to stay away from Kali for very long. Hammer usually visited her shop at least three or four times a week, but he really wished he could stop in everyday just to see her smile without her thinking he was stalking her or something. They remained friendly business owners, and in the months since Fight Hard had opened its doors, she had never come over to his gym, as if she wanted to keep her distance as well.

But she was here, now…

Turning slowly, Hammer braced himself for the sight of her, not that it did any good. Seeing her was always like a shock to his system. Kalista was a petite woman, with short red hair, highlighted with gold streaks, and she had the most startling green eyes he’d ever seen. She had delicate features, but her body was all woman with lush, full curves that made him want to grab hold of her and never let go.

God, she looked beautiful.

Even in jeans and a pretty purple v-neck shirt she looked like a little fairy princess, too beautiful to be real. She was holding a white, quilted coat folded over her arm, and the way she held her arm tight to her chest seemed to push up her breasts so he could see an intriguing hint of her cleavage in that small gap at the top of her shirt. The sight made his mouth water with the need to taste.

He wanted his hands and mouth on those breasts, wanted to suck on those tight, little nipples he could faintly see puckered beneath the thin material of her shirt. Damn, he figured she had no clue what the sight of her did to him, but she would if she chose to look down at his dick.

Christ, she took his fucking breath away.

He shifted his stance slightly to hide his reaction, and tried to think of anything that would help him gain some damn control over his body. He was a man of discipline, and he used his training to center himself enough to cage his raging lust back so he wouldn’t jump her and take her down like a lion would a gazelle.

Their eyes met briefly, then hers skittered away as they always did whenever she made eye contact with him. He fought the urge to grab his shirt and cover up his bare chest. He knew what he looked like. Covered in tattoos and rock-hard muscle, he looked like the dangerous predator he was. He shaved his head so it only showed a hint of dark hair that matched his dark-brown eyes. He knew he made her nervous. Of course she would be when he literally towered over her. Shit, he knew he made grown men nervous if he stared at them for too long.

At six foot four, Hammer was a big man, and he hunched his shoulders in a laughable attempt to make himself look smaller. Not that he could. Hell, he was built like a fucking tank. His size had always been an asset in the ring, but he cursed it whenever he was near Kali. She was small, delicate, and almost a good foot shorter than he was. She had no clue that he would never hurt her or that he would rather cut off his own arm than raise it to any woman in anger.

In fact, any violence against women made him sick.

Growing up, he had been forced to watch his father hit his mother and quickly learned how to take the brunt of the anger himself. For years he had suffered in silence…until he had hit puberty and grew. No longer able to use his family as his own personal punching bag, Hammer’s father had resorted to another type of violence. One fateful night, Edward Caufield had tried to kill his wife and son by shooting them both. Hammer had taken a bullet in his side before he had been able to get the gun away from his father. In the struggle, his father had been shot and killed.

And they had finally been set free.

After that fateful night, the people of Breakers swarmed in, giving them love and support. Breakers, Texas was a the sort of town where the citizens took care of one another, but he and his mother had always been too ashamed to reach out and ask for help. Once people found out what was going on, there was no more hiding allowed.

His mother had found her calling working at a local diner. She was sweet and kind, and everyone loved her. His father had refused to let her work for years, but with him gone, she seemed to blossom being around people. Still searching for his place in the world, Hammer had joined the Army when he turned eighteen. It gave him comfort knowing his mother was being looked after when he left, and it allowed him to focus on his future. For years he had found a home with the Rangers, but when he left the Army five years ago he found a new career fighting in the ring.

Long ago, he’d learned to channel his anger through his study of martial arts. As his studies continued, the smoldering rage that had always burned in his gut had eased. People often found it odd that fighting had taught him control and patience, but it did. It helped him focus, and he quickly learned that just because he could, it didn’t mean he should.

Proficient in several fighting styles, Hammer quickly became a fan-favorite in the ring and won several titles. He loved fighting, but the truth was, no matter who he fought in the ring, he was his own greatest opponent. For the first few months, he started out winning several of the smaller circuit championships, which got him noticed by the Cage Fighting League. The CFL was the number one mixed martial arts promotional companies in the world, and there was big money to be made fighting for them.

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