Authors: Emily Minton,Alexis Noelle
Ground & Pound
Copyright © 2016 Emily Minton & Alexis Noelle
Cover created by @ Cover Me Darling
Ground & Pound is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places and events portrayed in this book either are from the authors’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, establishments, events, or location is purely coincidental and not intended by the authors. Please don’t take offence to the content as it is FICTION.
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Ground & Pound
Kane Travis is one of the most successful fighters in the UFC. His name is known worldwide. Men want to be him, and women just want him. All Kane wants is the heavyweight title. Nothing else matters to him, not until he sees Emmy twirling around a pole.
Kane has one rule: never give anyone else control. He doesn’t let anyone in, especially women. The night he meets Emmy, he knows she is more dangerous than any opponent he has ever fought.
Emmy Sanders will do anything to care for her younger brother, even taking her clothes off at a seedy strip club. Ever since their parents’ deaths, she has been the sole provider for them both. All Emmy wants is to get her brother through college. Nothing else matters to her, until she sees Kane sitting at the end of the stage.
Emmy has to have control over every aspect of her life. There is a time and place for everything, and she never wavers from her plan. The night she meets Kane, she knows he is more dangerous than anyone she has ever met.
To my favorite Emmy.
Love you, Ms. Hamilton
Table Of Contents
Sneak Peek Of Alexis Noelle’s Corrupted
Eleven Years Old
I shake my head, smiling at Mom as she tries to show my little brother how to swing his bat for the third time. “He’s never gonna hit the ball if he keeps swinging like a girl.”
She cuts her eyes to me, her mouth in a tight line, letting me know she doesn’t need my opinion. “He’ll figure it out.”
Ignoring her, I walk over and pull the bat from his hand. “You just need to try harder, squirt,” I say, before grabbing him in a headlock and rubbing my knuckles across the top of his head.
“He’s doing just fine.” Mom pulls Ozzy away from me and places the bat back in his hands. “Just go sit on the porch and let me handle this.”
Giving him a pat on the back every time he misses the ball must be her idea of helping. She treats him like a big baby, and that’s not helping at all. “Fine. Let him keep hitting like a girl.”
“I said, go to the porch, Kane. Now,” she says in a voice that lets me know I’m about to get my mouth popped if I don’t listen.
I stomp my way to the porch and flop down on the step. Watching as he swings and misses again, I let out a sigh. He has been practicing for nearly an hour, and he still can’t hit the dang ball off the tee. Instead, he knocks the tee down every time he swings. If he doesn’t get better before his team starts real practices, everyone is going to make fun of him. Then I’ll have to kick their butts, and Mom will be ticked at me. It will be her fault, though. I refuse to let anyone pick on him but me, and she refuses to let me help him. “You can do it, bro. Just concentrate on the ball.”
Mom’s eyes narrow again as she looks from Ozzy to me. “Leave him alone. He’s doing just fine.”
If she would quit babying him, maybe he could hit the ball. I know he’s only five, but he can do it if he just tries harder. I’m about to tell her how bad he sucks, when the sound of a vehicle coming down our deserted road fills the air. My gaze jerks to Mom, and I see a flash of fear in her eyes. Standing up, I tell her something she already knows. “He’s home.” My stomach hurts when I see the beat up truck. I hate when he comes home. We are all so much happier when it’s just the three of us.
Mom grabs my brother’s hand, rushing to me with him in tow, as my Dad’s truck pulls into the driveway. Her eyes are wide with a mix of emotions. “Take Ozzy to your room.”
“Okay,” I agree immediately, hurrying to grab his hand. “Come on, Oz.”
He mumbles something about wanting to stay with Mom, but doesn’t fight me as I lead him through the front door. We’re inside the house before Dad even climbs from his truck. Once we are in our room and Ozzy is safely tucked into the closet, I grab a stuffed bear off his bed and toss it at him. “Stay here. I’m gonna go check on Mom.”
My little brother sniffles as he buries his head into his bear. “I’m scared, Kane.” I am, too, but there’s no way I’m telling him that. I know he wants me to stay with him, but I need to make sure Mom is okay.
I run my hand over his head and do my best to calm him down. “It’s okay, Oz. I’ll keep you safe.”
“But, he’s gonna be mean to Mom again,” he cries as he runs one of his small hands over his eyes, wiping his tears away, just so others can take their place.
Yeah, he is, but that’s nothing new. He’s always mean to her. That’s why I need to go downstairs. I hate when he treats her like this. “Don’t worry about it. I promise, everything will be okay.”
“Daddy scares me,” he whimpers, holding his bear tight against his chest. “Does he scare you, too?”
It really sucks that he’s so scared all the time. Being six years older than him, it’s my job to protect him. I just wish I didn’t have to protect him from our dad. Not answering his question, I make him a promise. “I won’t let him hurt you. Just stay here and keep quiet.”
He finally nods his head and curls into a ball on the closet floor. Placing my finger to my lips, I remind him to be quiet before shutting the door. I start to walk back outside, but stop when I hear Dad’s voice.
“I told you to keep your ass at home.”
“I only went to the grocery store. There was nothing here for the boys to eat,” Mom explains, her voice nearly a whisper. She’s scared of him, just like my little brother and I. He causes all of us so much pain.
“I don’t give a damn what your excuse is. I told you to stay home, and that’s what I expected you to do!” he shouts as his boots hit the porch.
As soon as the words leave his mouth, Mom cries out. I freeze, my fists clenching so hard the nails dig into my skin. I know he’s hit her; he always hits her. I rush out the front door to see my mom trying to push herself onto her knees. Dad’s booted foot is about to come down on her ribs, when I scream at him. “Leave her alone!”
His foot stops in mid-air as he turns to look at me, a cruel smile covering his face, before he lets his foot crash into her ribs. I hear a loud snap, followed by another agonizing scream from Mom. My stomach drops at the sound. I feel like I’m going to be sick. I know instantly that he really hurt her this time. Rushing over, I throw myself on top of her. Fear is all I can feel as I shout, “Please, don’t hurt her anymore, Dad.”
“Get the fuck off her, Kane,” Dad shouts as he leans down to grab me by the back of my neck. He tosses me toward the door before kicking Mom again.
I land on my arm, causing it to bend backwards. I feel a snap just as a sharp pain shoots from my wrist to my shoulder, and I can’t help but let out a loud yelp when I pull my arm from beneath me. Tears fill my eyes as I use my good hand to push myself off the floor of the porch. “Leave her alone. Please, Daddy.”
He stops his assault and turns to look at me. Noticing the way I’m cradling my arm, he takes a step forward. His eyes narrow at me. “Is it broken?” He doesn’t ask like he is worried; he’s mad that I might be hurt.
I shake my head, knowing that another hospital visit will just make Dad angrier. “No, it’s all right. I’m okay. Just leave Mom alone. Please.”
He looks from my arm to my face. “Looks broken to me.”
There’s no regret in his voice; he doesn’t care that he hurt me. He’s only worried that if we need to see a doctor, they will ask questions like they did last time. I shake my head again and move to her. I don’t want to tell him it might be broken. It will make him even madder, and he’ll take it out on Mom. I try to suck up the pain, not wanting Dad to see that I really am hurt. “Are you okay?”
She wipes blood from her lip as she sits up. “I’m fine, sweetheart. Are you all right, baby?”
Tears stream down my face as I nod. “I’ll be okay.”
After getting to her feet, she grabs my good hand and looks over to Dad. “I’m going to go put something on his arm.”
Dad grunts out a response before walking inside. I can feel her body shaking as she leads me into the house. Braving a whisper, I ask, “Are you sure you’re not hurt?”
She nods and pastes on a smile that doesn’t quite look right. “Just a little sore.”
Before we can even get inside, Dad is shouting again. He kicks one of Ozzy’s toys at us, barely missing my head. “This place is a pig sty.”
Mom pushes me toward my room. “Go on to your room. I’ll be in there in just a second to check on your arm.”
I want to beg her to come with me, but I know he’ll only follow if she does. As much as I want to protect her, Ozzy is in there, and I don’t want Dad anywhere near him. The last time he was this pissed and Oz got in the way, he ended up punching my then four-year-old brother in the face. The bruises lasted for weeks, and Dad wouldn’t let Mom leave the house with us.
As soon as I step inside my room, I shut and lock the door behind me then make my way to the closet. When I reach it, I notice the door is cracked. Fear prickles my skin, causing me to forget the pain in my arm. Oz is gone.
Knowing there is only one place he can be, I head back out of our room. I quietly step into the living room, hoping Dad doesn’t see me and get even angrier. He’s still screaming at Mom; it seems like that’s all he does when he comes home. If he hates her so much, I don’t know why he just won’t stay away. I can take care of Oz and Mom. We don’t need him here.
My eyes move around the room in search of my brother, and I do my best not to look at Mom and Dad. Finally, I see his feet sticking out from under the coffee table, so I make my way over to him as quietly as possible. I’ve just reached the table when Dad shouts, “I never should have married your stupid ass. I should have known marrying you would bring me nothing but trouble. Women are only good for one thing, and you don’t even do that anymore.”
Mom’s words are coming out in gasps as she tries to fight her way from his grasp. “I’m sorry, Frankie.”
She’s always apologizing to him, even though she doesn’t do anything wrong. She tells him she’s sorry when he drinks too much, sorry when he brings other women to our house, sorry when he beats the crap out of her. Always sorry. I wish I could make him sorry.
“You’re such a stupid bitch,” Dad shouts, and I can’t stop myself from looking at them.
I watch as his fist slams into Mom’s face. Blood pours from her nose, and I have to bite my lip to keep from begging him to leave her alone. Instead, I grab my little brother’s hand and pull him out of the room.
“Come on, Oz. We need to hide.”
Ozzy looks up to me, tears falling down his face. “Daddy’s hurting Mama again.”
“Shhh…” I mutter, trying to drag him across the room. I try to block him from seeing what is going on in the other room.
The hits continue, as do Mom’s pain-filled cries, as I lead my brother back up to our closet and push him inside. Following him in, I shut the door and sit down, holding my hurt arm to my chest, and then I silently sit and wait. The sounds of my father’s abuse travel through the door, causing my stomach to hurt. The way my mom cries and begs repeatedly makes me furious. She shouldn’t have to go through this; we shouldn’t have to live this way. If I were bigger, I would save us all. Watching him do this to her makes me hate him. I want to hurt him the way he hurts Mom.
Taking a second to catch my breath, I lift my hand and wipe away the tears falling down my cheeks. Oz sits beside me, resting his head against my side. I wrap my good arm around him, holding him close while he silently cries. “It’ll be all right. He’ll leave soon, and then I’ll take care of Mom like I always do.”
“I don’t like it when he hurts her.” His small voice shakes as he whispers.
“Me neither,” I say as I try to comfort him.
I start to hum, just like Mom does. Within minutes, he’s asleep, his head resting in my lap. My arm is aching so bad I want to scream, but I close my eyes instead and try to think of something else: baseball, my friends, going to the beach. I can still hear my father shouting, but I try to block it all out. Letting my eyes close, I lean my head against the wall and try to sleep. Hopefully, he’ll be gone when I wake up.
Just as I’m about to fall asleep, I hear a loud bang and then something crashing to the floor. The sound of the front door being slammed shut fills the house. A few seconds later, Dad’s truck starts, and I hear it heading down the drive.
Ozzy squeezes my hand. “Can we see Mommy now?”
I stand up so quickly that my head spins. The pain in my arm is so bad now that I feel like I could pass out. Leaning against the wall, I say, “Yeah, let’s go see Mom.”
Clutching his hand in mine, we walk into the living room. The first thing I see is my mother lying on the floor. A sharp pain hits my chest when I notice blood covering her face. Letting go of Oz, I run toward her and drop to my knees. “Mom, are you okay?”
Her eyes open, and she slowly raises a hand to grab mine. “I’ll be okay. Just give me a minute to rest, sweetie.”
Ozzy takes his place on her other side, tears streaming down his face again. “Mommy, you’re bleeding.”
She rolls her head to look at him. “I know, honey. I’m fine, though. Mommy will be okay soon.”
Watching my mother lying there covered in blood, unable to even push herself off the floor, I make myself a promise. One day, I’m going to grow big and strong. When that happens, I will never let anyone hurt my family again.