Hammer's Fall (The Breakers’ Bad Boys, 1)(6)

By: Laurie Roma



Every day women came into her bakery and stayed to sit at one of the small tables, sometimes fighting to see who could claim a seat near the windows so they could ogle the men coming and going from the gym. In addition, all the men who worked out at Fight Hard came to her shop for coffee and food.

About a week after the gym opened, Kalista had started making a variety of high protein sandwiches using the freshly baked bread they made every morning. Once the men found out, she had a hard time keeping up with the orders and had to have her two full-time assistants, Becca Nuria and Anna Cortez, make the sandwiches throughout the day so they could wrap and stock them in a separate open cooler. Since then, she had also started making a few selections of salads and soups to offer as lunch specials that she switched out depending on her mood.

David hadn’t believed her when she told him how successful this new stream of business was. Toward the end of their relationship, he had noticed her looking at Jared and had taken pleasure in telling her that a man like that would never be interested in a fat little nobody like her. She had grown up hearing those types of remarks from her mother, so it wasn’t anything new, but David’s comments had begun to wear on her. She knew she couldn’t pick her family, but she could choose boyfriends.

Obviously, she had chosen poorly.

She had started seeing David less and less, until she had been at dinner with Becca three weeks ago and saw him sitting across the room with a beautiful brunette with breasts the size of her head. Shocked, Kalista couldn’t believe her eyes when David had kissed the other woman with a passion they no longer had. Adding insult to injury, when he had turned his head and saw Kalista watching, he’d smirked. She hadn’t known what to say when they had come over to her and Becca’s table. He had introduced Kalista as his ex to his new girlfriend, and the other woman had laughed.

“You were dating this frumpy little thing?”

“Not so little. I mean, look at her,” David had whispered in his date’s ear, making her laugh. He had said it softly, but Kalista had still heard him. David had turned back to her and told her he expected his things he’d left at her place to be returned to him by the end of the week.

Unable to think of what to say, Kalista had simply sat there, gripping Becca’s hand in hers as David and his new girlfriend left the restaurant. Becca had called in her sister, Nikita, and their other friend, Zoe, who was a bartender at The Fox Hole and a frequent customer at the bakery. Nikita and Zoe had wanted to go kick his ass, but Kalista begged them not to. They helped her gather the few items that David had left at her place, but instead of boxing it up so she could return it, the three other women had thrown his stuff into a metal garbage can and lit it on fire in the alley behind her bakery. At first she had been shocked, but after a few minutes she couldn’t help but join in her friends’ laughter.

Since David had never really invited her to stay over at his apartment, she didn’t have to worry about him retaliating. Kalista hadn’t grown up in Breakers like David had, but she knew whatever he said about her around town, people liked her more than they did him so her reputation was safe.

It didn’t take her long to realize that she was better off without David. He had always complained about the smell of fresh bread and baked goods that floated up from the main floor when he stayed the night at the apartment she had over her shop, but it had always made more sense for them to stay at her place because she had to wake so early. It was when he started making snide remarks about how she must be sampling too much of what she made that allowed her to see the real, horrible man beneath the sophisticated veneer he presented to the public.

When her grandmother had died, she had left Kalista a sizeable trust. Kalista’s mother and father had tried to tell her she was too foolish to be in charge of the money herself and demanded she sign it over to them, but she had refused. She knew if she had done that she would never have seen another cent of it. That money had given her freedom to follow her dream, and it allowed her to purchase the building and start her business, which was something she would always be grateful for.

It was a new year, and Kalista was glad to be starting it off fresh without David in her life. Now, if she could just get a man like Jared interested in her that would really start her year off right. No, not a man like Jared. She wanted the real thing. An hour ago she would have thought there wasn’t a chance in hell of that happening, but now she wasn’t so sure.

As she and Jared walked up to the bar, the other big man stationed at the door waved them to the front of the line. She caught the glares of the people standing in the line waiting to gain entrance, and felt a little thrill when she saw the envious glances of several women.

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