Series: The Beat and the Pulse #1
Author: Amity Cross
Release Date: October 6, 2014
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Renee "Ren" Miller was five when her Dad left to go to the shops and never came back.
Left to grow up with a cancer riddled mother, things have never been easy for a teenager who had to be wise beyond her years. Then one day they lose the battle and she’s all alone.
Now twenty-two, Ren reluctantly goes to find her estranged father. He owns the down and out boxing studio, Beat, and Ren finds herself drawn to the ring. She thrives on learning a new way of fighting a life that kept kicking her down…instead of struggling against the current, she kicks it right between the legs.
Then one day, Ash Fuller, her Dad's star fighter comes back to town. Mysterious, handsome… Dangerous… Everything Ren doesn't need.
But he's got other ideas…
…and so does she.
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My fist slammed into the heavy leather bag, the impact jolting up my arm and absorbing into my torso.
The only light was from the back row of fluorescents I’d switched on over the ring. It was dark, murky and helped me pretend I was someplace else. The drama from the daylight hours was gone and it was just me and the darkness. Exactly the way I liked it.
I began another set of punches, hair sticking to the sweat beading across the back of my neck. Structure. This was the only thing that was predictable in my life and I needed predictable.
Stance. Guard. Punch. Guard. Repeat.
There was a loud cough behind me and I spun on my heel, heart thumping in my chest, and my gaze collided with Ash’s.
“Fuck,” I exclaimed, holding a hand over my heart. “Don’t fucking do that, Ash.” Typical. The creeper was being all creeper again.
“What are you doing?” He stared at me, his gaze hovering a little too long on my bare midriff.
I steadied the bag with one hand, taking deep breaths. “What does it look like?”
“I’ve never seen…” He trailed off and I wondered if I’d finally made the Golden Boy lost for words.
I turned my back so I didn’t have to look at him. “What? A woman in a sports bra? Highly doubt it.” I rolled my eyes and wiped my forehead with the back of my arm. Even though I couldn’t see, I felt his gaze burning into my skin and I suppressed the urge to squeeze my thighs together. Infuriating, self-absorbed, arrogant…
People say I have a problem with anger.
You could say a lot of things about me and they all wouldn’t be nice. I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of.
People looked at me and only saw what was on the surface.
Money. Power. Talent.
Cash was the driving factor. Mainly because I was winning it out from under everyone’s noses on a daily basis by just being good at punching the shit through people. It’s fucking great to ride high, but there’s always someone right at your heels, snapping like a rabid beast, waiting for the moment you stumble.
Yeah, that’s the thing about getting a little fame and money - it made everyone below you jealous and jealous people were willing to do whatever it took to bring you down. They all wanted the prize and not all of them were up for playing fair to get it. There were lines you never crossed and that line had been obliterated a long time ago.
You hurt the people I love to get to me and I will fucking kill you.
I would destroy myself to save them.
I’ve done it before and I will do it time and time again.
I will beat your ass until you beg for mercy.
Repent or die.
I didn’t feel the pain as much anymore.
My knuckles had hardened, my muscles had tightened, and my pain receptors were shot.
Duck. Feign. Punch. Guard.
My Mum would be totally horrified knowing what I made of my life after she was gone. I lived for her, to see her win her battle, but in the end she lost. I wasn’t losing this fight. The fight for my future. How could she argue with that? She always wanted the best for me, even when she was too sick to move and this is my best. It’s just that it involves pounding my fists into the flesh of my opponent until they drop.
The love of a man. The love of an estranged father. The love of a mother… What good did it do if they just abandoned you in the end?
Me and my fists. That’s what would get me through this battle. That’s what would get me onto that podium. Me.
It didn’t start out this way. I, least of all, didn’t see it coming until it hit me square in the face.
The day I stood outside the place that would change my life into something unrecognisable.
The sign over the roller door that was painted in red letters. Red - the same colour as the blood that I drew three nights a week in the cage.
The one word that had become my mantra.
Amity Cross isn’t my real name. That’s no secret.
I didn’t want my Mum and my workplace to find out I wrote about doodles and tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendo.
I live in a leafy suburb of Melbourne writing about screwed up relationships and kick ass female leads that don’t take s**t lying down.
Insert more pretentious c**p here.