Naked Choke (A Stepbrother MMA Romance)

A Stepbrother MMA Romance

 

By Celia Loren

 

 

 

Copyright
© 2015 Hearts Collective

All
rights reserved. This document may not be reproduced in any way without the
expressed written consent of the author. The ideas, characters, and situations
presented in this story are strictly fictional, and any unintentional likeness
to real people or real situations is completely coincidental.

 

 

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NAKED CHOKE

A
Stepbrother MMA Romance

 

 

By Celia
Loren

 

Chapter One

 

I let my hand dangle out of our old Taurus's window, feeling
the warm June breeze on my hand. The harsh Colorado winter has finally given way
to warm, dry temperatures, and I can even see greenery starting to bloom on the
distant mountains. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot my mom eyeing me
wistfully.

"On my eighteenth birthday, I was already pregnant with
you," she says with a shake of her head.

"That a suggestion?" I tease her as I check my
hair in the side view mirror.

"Oh, god, no," she laughs. "I mean…you know
what I mean. You're the best thing that ever happened to me, but I had no idea
what I was doing. Though maybe if things had gone differently, I never would
have met Duke. So you never know."

She stops at a light and I take the opportunity to poke her
playfully in the arm. "You should see your face right now."

"What?"

"You're blushing!"

"Am not!" she protests. A lot of people mistake my
mom and I for sisters because she had me so young and we have the same pale
skin, silky black hair, and green eyes. And she's always happy to play along.
"He is great, though, isn't he?"

"Yes, for the millionth time." I was initially
intimidated by Duke Riggens' size and gruffness, but it didn't take long for me
to see that he genuinely cared about my mom.

"So where is this place again?" I ask. It's my
birthday party, but I've always been content to hand the decision-making over
to my mom. It makes her happy, and she's had enough rough times in her life.
There have been times when I think I should be more assertive, but it's just
easier not to rock the boat.

"It's right there on the corner, see? It's a really
retro-feeling bowling alley. Don't worry, I checked it out. Half of the place
is rented out just for us. And everything's already set up."

"OK. And what are Duke's sons names again?"

"Austen is the older one, and Logan is the younger
one."

"And they both work at his gym?"

"No – I mean, they work
out
there," she
says distractedly as she turns into the bowling alley's parking lot. "Oh,
there's Maya!"

I smile and wave at my best friend as she gets out of her
car, her olive skin glowing in the sun. She runs over as my mom pulls into a
space, then wraps her arms around me in a big hug. I had a late growth spurt
this year and grew another inch, so now at 5'7'' I feel like I tower over my
petite friend.

"Caitlyn! Happy Birthday!" she squeals.

"Thanks," I reply. "People are coming
right?" I add worriedly.

"Of course!" she assures me. "Everyone's back
from the lake and wherever else and wants to hang out, plus everyone loves
you."

We just graduated from high school last week, so everyone
separated into their various cliques to blow off steam and celebrate in their
own way. Maya and I were always a team of two, just drifting around the various
groups as we pleased. Neither of us ever cared about being popular, so it
worked for us. But I'd still like my party to actually have people in
attendance.

The three of us walk into the bowling alley together, and my
mom's right. It's got a cute, vintage feel to it, and the manager heads over to
escort us to the reserved area. A couple of my mom's friends from the salon
where she works drift in, and then a few of the kids from school, and soon a
couple dozen people are spread out over the lanes.

"Told you," Maya says with a nudge as I return to
the chairs after knocking down a dismal five pins. "Look, even Stacy and
all of them came."

I look toward the door in surprise. I knew Maya spread the
word about the party, but I didn't honestly expect the most popular kids from
school to show up.

"Oh, that was nice of them."

"I bet it's because Vince has a crush on you."

"What? Seriously?" I ask, turning to her in shock.

"Yeah, that's what I heard." I glance over to the
hulking football player, and he is indeed looking at me.

"I thought he and Stacy were together."

"Ugh, don't you pay attention? They broke up like two
months ago. Well? Are you going to go talk to him?"

"Mm, he was in my English class last year, and he fell
asleep a lot. And snored."

"Oh," Maya replies, disappointed.

"Besides, isn't he playing college ball next year? I'm
sure he'll do just fine on campus," I add with a smile.

"Forget
him
," Maya says suddenly, looking
toward the door. "Who is
that
?" I follow her gaze to a tall,
gorgeous man walking in.

"No idea," I murmur, though I wish I did. I frown
as I see Duke walk in behind him, and the man turns to say something over his
shoulder. Duke is followed by another man in baggy sweats, with his gray hoodie
pulled up and obscuring his face. "Wait…"

"Caitlyn! Come meet Duke's kids," my mom says as
she hurries over and grabs my arm. I stand up and trail behind her.

"Those aren't kids…" I murmur quietly as I feel my
heartbeat quicken, and my stomach tighten.

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