Sequel: Faith
Status: Complete.


"This'll sting."

Tommy tried to keep his grip gentle as he dragged Jade back to the locker room, but he was having trouble keeping his control. He was fucking pissed. Pissed at Jade's determination to fight someone else. Pissed at Jordan for losing his cool. Pissed at himself for letting it get as far as it did. Pissed at the world for breaking the beautiful woman next to him, for making her feel like she needed to fight in the first place.

"Everybody out!" he growled as they entered the locker room, sending a few men scurrying out into the gym. Tommy had to consciously keep from throwing her at the bench, launching a towel her way as she sat down. He needed an outlet for his anger or someone was going to pay. "Sit and fucking stay," he snarled as he tossed a towel at Jade.

The cement wall was the first thing he laid eyes on in the room, so that was what he attacked, punching over and over until his knuckles started to bleed. Even then he didn't stop. He watched as the blood started leaving patterns on the painted brick, secretly pleased as they grew larger with each punch. It was only Jade's soft call that halted his assault on the wall.

"Tommy, I'm okay, really."

He leaned his head against the wall, breathing deeply for a moment before turning back to face her. He didn't want to. He didn't want to turn and see that she was disappointed in him. Or worse, afraid. But face her he did; she only looked concerned. "Let's get you cleaned up," he sighed.



"You first. Bleeding's mostly stopped, see?" She pressed the towel to her forehead for a moment before pulling it back to show him.

Tommy sighed as he nodded, the anger subsiding as he grabbed a first aid kit. He sat next to Jade on the bench, taking supplies out one by one. He started working on his left hand in grim silence, all to aware of Jade's eyes on him. Her voice was quiet when she spoke. "Let me do that."

He surrendered the peroxide and gauze to her as she sat on the floor in front of him, slowly going to work on his knuckles. She worked in silence, her touch gentle and deliberate. Tommy took the opportunity to watch her, his heart racing. Not from exertion, not any more, but emotion.

Jade lifted her eyes to his, a small smile playing on her lips. "This'll sting."

"Just fucking get on with it, will ya?" he chuckled, that first morning playing in his head. She had grown and changed much since that fateful morning that had thrown them into each other's lives.

She worked in silence for a few more minutes before his knuckles were bandaged and done. "Your turn now, doll." Jade nodded and took his hand to stand, sitting next to him on the bench before turning to face him.

She stared at him as he worked, no hint of pain or apprehension in her eyes. Her glare was unwavering as Tommy continued his work on her eyebrow. It was as if something was starting to build between them, an electric charge in the air as he started to bandage her. "Done," he whispered, finally gathering the courage to meet her gaze as he did.

Neither moved as they stared at each other in silence. Jade glanced down for a moment before looking back up again, biting her lip as she did. Reality suspended for a moment then, anything and everything fading to the background as their eyes were locked. And then she lifted her chin just so as her teeth released her lip, an invitation that Tommy couldn't resist.

He leaned toward her slightly, giving her a chance to change her mind before they passed the point of no return. But Jade didn't move, just continued staring at him with those gorgeous hazel eyes of hers. Her breath was on his lips, her aroma in the air, smelling of honey and sweat and jasmine and promise and lust. He leaned into her, ready seal their fate with a kiss.


Whatever spell they were under popped in a heartbeat, both jumping apart at the sound of the voice. "Fuck," he murmured before turning to watch Jordan enter the room.

"Sorry, Tommy, some promoter is looking for you. Says he's got a big purse just begging for you to take it."

"I'll be out in a sec. And I still have to deal with you," he growled. "Don't think I'll forget." Jordan visibly swallowed and nodded before scurrying back out the door. Tommy turned back to Jade, half-ready to pick up where they had left off and half-scared to. "Look, doll-"

"Don't worry about it, Tommy." Jade shook her head no as she stood, tugging her ponytail as she did. "Let's go see how much money you're makin'."

She left the room before he did, leaving him to wonder if anything would ever happen between them.