SWOLLEN: A Secret Baby Sports Romance

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Book: Read SWOLLEN: A Secret Baby Sports Romance for Free Online
Authors: Stephanie Brother
    Jasmine turns the coffee cup around in her hands, the liquid still way too hot to drink.
    “ I didn’t know”, she says.
    “ Nobody knows”, I say. “I’m not proud of kicking the shit out of people. That’s why-.”
    It’s hard to continue but the look she gives me suggests I don’t need to anyway. “It’s good to see you”, I say instead.
    “ It’s good to see you too”, she says.
    “ If you don’t mind me asking, what exactly were you doing there?”
    Jasmine’s smile makes me think she’s been caught. “Research”, she says.
    “ Research? What are you like a female bare fist fighter or something? After that shit last year have you been training for a life in the ring?”
    Jasmine shakes her head. “Why would I need to do that with you to protect me?”
    “ I haven’t exactly been around much”, I confess.
    “ I’m a writer”, she says. “Or, at least, I want to be. That’s the idea.”
    “ A writer?”
    Jasmine nods. “When I’m not waitressing, of course. I majored in English, you know, so I keep pretending.”
    “ And that, what I do, how did you even know that exists?” I say.
    “ It’s not exactly a well-kept secret, not here in Brooklyn, at least. I read about it online and I’ve been wanting to write something all year about it. It’s an environment that fascinates me.”
    “ That’s one way to describe it.”
    “ Seriously. It’s so raw and animalistic, I don’t know, there’s a dichotomy there I wanted to explore, and finally I found someone who could get me in. Tonight was the first event I’ve been to.”
    “ The first event you go to, I’m on the roster. That’s a little weird”, I say.
    “ I think I’m to blame for that as well”, she says, nodding at my swollen eye.
    “ Got to let the crowd think the opponents have at least half a chance.”
    Silence falls between us momentarily, while Jasmine sips at her coffee. She looks older than when I saw here last, just as beautiful if not even more so, but more mature. It’s exciting for me to see her, I’ve thought about her a lot over the last year, but I guess a year is such a long time we’ve undoubtedly both moved on from where we were.
    “ So”, I say. “I can’t believe it’s been a year.”
    “ One night stands tend to be just that”, she says.
    “ I know, I’m sorry about that, I wanted to call. I just-. You see what I do for money, it’s not exactly everyone’s idea of wholesome recreation”, I say.
    “ I didn’t get the impression you wanted anything more.”
    “ Did you?”
    “ I think we had a connection.”
    “ Maybe we still do”, I say.
    “ Maybe it’s already too late for both of us”, she says.
    I feel like it's time for a confession. “I was scared of getting involved with you. In that short time we were together, I could feel myself falling for you.”
    “ Full disclosure”, she says with a smile.
    “ Full disclosure”, I repeat. “I didn’t want to mislead you. I’m a complicated person and I didn’t think it was fair involving you in that.”
    “ The boxing?” she asks.
    “ The fights, the shit that comes with it, the travel, I’m not exactly stable. Or, at least, I wasn’t then.”
    “ I’m a grown up”, she says. “And besides which, I like tough, dangerous men, as long as they are the right kind of tough and dangerous, but I guess you might remember that.”
    “ I remember that”, I say. “I’d never forget that night.”
    “ I was surprised”, she says.
    “ Why?”
    “ Because you came back to me and then disappeared. I tried to look for you for a while, kind of hoped that you’d come back into the restaurant, but you never did.”
    “ Yeah”, I say. “I was keeping myself away from you.”
    “ Protecting me from afar?”
    “ Something like that.”
    “ Are you that dangerous, Liam, that you have to keep yourself away from people?”
    “ You saw me tonight”, I say.
    “ I saw you fight tonight. I’ve also seen you make

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