Inside the Ring - Book cover

Inside the Ring

Arri Stone

Age Rating


Kitt’s a professional MMA trainer working with the best in the business. Lara’s on the rise and knows the handsome hunk can help her to reach the top. But training with Kitt means fighting her feelings, and soon, the temperature inside the ring starts to heat up… With temptation all around them, and with all this close contact pushing them together, it’s starting to become impossible for the two to keep their hands off each other. What starts as lust quickly leads to something more, but when business mixes with pleasure, there’s bound to be trouble. Unfortunately for Kitt and Lara, trouble’s just walked in. And signed up for a gym membership. And she’s now trying to weasel her way back in…

Age Rating: 18+

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Chapter 1


Being a fighter was all I dreamed of. I would sit and watch video after video, studying moves and trying to get the gist of MMA fighting.

When my brother Bobby got the opportunity to help run a gym in Denver, I told him to go.

My brother Bobby had always been my practice partner and biggest supporter, but now was his chance to go chase his dream.

“Go, I’ll be fine here,” my vision blurred as I held him in a hug. He was my best friend and all I had here, as real friends were rare in this town.

“When I’m settled, you are coming.” He promised me. Our fingers linked with a pinky promise one last time before he boarded the bus.

I hated him leaving, and when I faced my parents, their disappointment in me showed because I still wanted to chase my dream. They believed Bobby was doing it so that he could become a fighter, and not what he wanted to do.

The next week was awful at home. Mom was angry, and Dad just went along and agreed with Mom, so I got the cold shoulder because it was my fault that Bobby left.

Bobby called me every day, and once he got settled and found a place to live, he called to say to come; I jumped with excitement to get out of this place.

“Don’t come crawling back here when the stupid idea of becoming a woman fighter fails.” Mom rolled her eyes.

“It’s not stupid, mom. I am good enough. Bobby thinks I can make it with the right trainer.” He had raved on about the MMA fighter guys in the gym he worked at and about the trainer. Kitt Edwards, who would've believed it?

Growing up in my hometown of Hays in Kansas, there was nothing for me, no place to train or fight.

Bobby wanted to run his own gym, but helping to run this gym, which belonged to a retired MMA fighter, was the next best thing for him.

To walk alongside a fighter was more than he had dreamed about, and his thoughts fell to me. He believed in me, and he was eager to give me any opportunity he could.

The first time I stepped inside the gym, I felt out of place. I was the first woman to come in and kick some ass, and it felt good.

I loved the way it was laid out; the office perched high overlooking the gym, and the training ring at a far end out of the way of distractions.

Several guys pumped iron as if they were bodybuilders, but the sweaty atmosphere of normal gyms didn’t happen here as air conditioning units kept it cool.

“Hey there, sis, they are pretty good, huh?” Bobby came up to where I was watching the MMA champion fighter known as The Warrior practicing inside the ring. But it was someone else that stirred my heart; Kitt Edwards.

He had a short stint in the ring when he was younger, but because of a torn hamstring, it finished him as a professional fighter; now he was the best trainer around, and I wanted him.

He was ten years older than me, had short crew-cut hair, and supported a two-day-old stubble on his face. His arms bulged with muscles through the tight tee he had on.

I smiled at Bobby but kept my focus on Kitt. He stopped the practice and glanced at me.

“I’ve seen you practicing. Do you want to join me and show us what you have got?” Kitt came to the edge of the ropes.

Oh my god! I’m freaking out right now.

“You go, sis.” Bobby grinned and encouraged me.

We got talking, and Kitt showed an interest in my fighting. He ran through some tips for me, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

“Do you want to put some of those into practice?” His chest rose, and pupils dilated. “I have time.”

“I don’t want to take advantage of you.” I gulped as I imagined him on top of me.

The smirk which he tried to hide twitched at the corner of his lips. Oh boy, this was going to be heated.

I found myself a part-time job at a local bar and worked at night, which meant I had the days to work out at the gym. Some days I worked out on my own. Others I watched Kitt and Seth, aka The Warrior, training for a fight.

Today they were practicing in the ring. Seth was good—I’d watched all his matches since his comeback, and he was amazing.

I sat at the side sipping my water and trying to follow some of his movements, studying his attack moves.

They stopped for a breather, and Kitt glanced over at me. I had to suppress a moan as he licked his lips.

“Lara, would you like to go up against Seth?” He grinned at me. I was sure he saw me almost drop my bottle of water.

“Sorry?” I squeaked out, sure I’d wet my pants with excitement.

Holy shit, he just asked me to come into the ring with the Warrior!

I fumbled about with my gloves when Kitt appeared next to me.

“Here, let me help you.” He helped secure the gloves on. The way his fingers touched my wrists, a tingle shot right through me. The ball of nerves inside of me kicked in for two different reasons.

“Don’t worry, Seth won’t hurt you, but I want to see you move.” Kitt stood up. The way he held my gaze, I had to gulp down my dirty thoughts as he held the ropes apart for me to climb in, and I’m sure he groaned as I did.

My nerves were going haywire, excitement and fear pumping through my body. I wiped my forehead with the back of my glove. Seth bounced opposite me as Kitt approached us.

“Lara, I want you to go in and attack Seth.” He gave Seth a nod with his head. “Right, bump gloves.”

My throat was dry. I tried to think of what moves to pull. Kitt clapped his hands together and signaled us to fight.

Is he for real? I glanced at him and he encouraged me to go in at Seth. I threw a punch at Seth, which he pushed away.

“Come on, Lara, don’t pussy about—go for it! I’ve seen you do so much more,” Kitt shouted at me.

“I don’t want to hurt him,” I muttered, unsure of myself, and Seth chuckled.

“Lara, I can take you down in one move. Come at me, show me what you’ve got,” Seth encouraged me.

I took a deep breath and exhaled. He asked for it. I danced lightly on my feet around him, then went in for a jab, followed by a low kick to take his legs out. He blocked and dodged my legs.

“Faster—use your legs.” Kitt clapped his hands again.

I went in faster and let my instincts take over. I thought I got in a couple of good kicks—that is until Seth came at me and took me down.

“You hesitated still.” Seth let go of me.

“I’m just nervous. I’ve gone from practicing on my brother to fighting a champion.” My heart pumped from the adrenaline as I let out a nervous chuckle.

“You have great leg skills. Mix it up a bit—you’re too predictable.” Seth motioned me with his hand to come at him again.

My nerves slowly subsided as we fought. I went in with some punches and a high leg, catching him on his chin. I knew we weren’t going full force, but Seth gave me a raised eyebrow.

After a few more moves, Kitt called it and sent Seth off to warm down properly. We left the ring, and I wiped my face and body down.

“You relaxed toward the end. I could tell how much more easily your body flowed with your movements.

“You managed to hit a champion on his chin, and I bet if that was at full force you could have knocked him down.” He let his hand rest on my leg, and I had to stop a moan from coming out.

“I was so nervous at the beginning.” I pulled my gloves off, trying to take my mind off where I wanted his hand to be.

“It’s different when I’m just shouting moves at you from when you go up against someone.” He paused and studied me.

“With more practice, Lara, you have fantastic potential. I’ve worked behind the ropes now long enough to know when I see talent.”

His eyes lingered on mine before he patted my knee and got up.

“Thank you for today. I learned a lot from this.” I took a swig of my water so I wouldn’t stare at him too long.

“You are more than welcome to join in at the end so I can give you some more one-on-one practice.” He winked at me and I think I wet myself.

Holy shit. I chewed on my bottom lip as my body erupted into overdrive.

“Thank you. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I’m going to do some stretches before I head to cool off in the showers.”

I grabbed my towel and walked off, leaving him to check out my ass.

Yes, I caught him staring at it. I finished off and showered. My day was amazing, and I left on a complete high and headed home to get ready for work.


The night at the bar was busy. I preferred it this way. The final call had been made and all the punters were now filtering out.

Wiping down the bar and clearing the glasses away after a late night of drinkers, my thoughts flashed back to my meeting with Kitt.

Today he has given me the chance of a lifetime. My dream was coming true. I just needed to balance my time here at work with going to the gym to practice.

“Lara, will you check the back room for glasses once you have finished here? Then that will be us for the night,” Casey shouted from the cellar.

“Sure.” I flicked the cloth over my shoulder and headed through.

Some glasses remained, left on the side shelving around the pool table. With a quick clear away, I wiped them down and tidied up the pool cues for the night.

The bar was a lively bar with a mix of punters. I loved it. I think it helped me come out of my shell a bit.

Casey was a wild one, bright pink hair with several piercings on her face, but she and I got on like a house on fire.

Pete, who owned the bar, normally sat in the back room placing bets among the pool players. I was sure he held gambling sessions in the bar after hours with a few of the regular oldies.

“Right, that’s us.” Casey grabbed the set of keys, and with one last glance around the bar, we left out the back door and she locked up.

“See you tomorrow.” I gave her a wave as I walked back to mine and Bobby’s place.

The late evening blew a cool breeze against my face as I walked. The streetlights illuminated the path ahead, casting a warm yellow glow.

As I walked, I felt a sense of calm and contentment wash over me, making it a pleasant end to the day. I flicked through the media on my phone.

I had been following a couple of fighters anonymously, checking out their videos and clips of winning matches. Nat the Lightning had just beaten Rona the Hurricane.

A huge fight was coming up between Warrior and Jimmy The Machine Masons. I’d seen him fight, and he was mean, quick, and had dealt the fatal knockout blow in his last couple of fights.

He was a fighter I wouldn’t want to meet. There are some fighters who would put you six feet under outside the ring, and Jimmy was one of those men.

Now, I lie in bed running through things that had happened this week, and how my life was about to become complicated.

I came here hoping Kitt would see my potential; he has shown me things as a trainer would, even let me go up against Seth.

But he has said nothing about training me professionally. Do I come out and ask him?

I’m not sure if that is the right thing to do, or would he point blank refuse me because he is Seth’s trainer?

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