Savage (Hellish) by Charity Parkerson

“Let me walk you to your car. This town is dangerous.”

“I don’t have a car.”

That one stumped Savage. “How are you getting home?”

Pip didn’t answer right away, as if he thought it over. “A cab, I suppose.”

Nope. He wasn’t. Savage couldn’t let the guy get ripped off by a cabbie. “I’ll drive you home.”

Again, Pip didn’t answer right away. After a moment, he smiled. “Are you sure? I live kind of deep in the woods.”

All the more reason Savage should drive him. “Good. That’ll give me more time to get to know you.”

With a little bounce in his step, Pip nodded and turned away. His smile and barely contained energy were infectious as hell. Savage couldn’t explain anything that happened so far tonight, but he craved Pip’s company. He made Savage feel young and light. Everyone else made Savage feel heavy with the weight of his title. He had to represent his brand every second of the day. Pip had come to see him tonight, but Pip didn’t act like he cared that Savage was the light heavyweight champion. It was freeing. Savage wanted to know everything about the guy.

“What do you do for a living?”

Pip always took his time answering questions. Savage loved that he obviously thought before speaking, even when it came to mundane things. It didn’t feel like anyone used their heads any longer. “I’m a home companion.”

That was sweet. Savage could feel the goodness radiating from Pip. “That sounds fitting. You seem like you’d be good at that.”

Pip flashed him a smile. “What do you do outside of boxing? What else is close to your heart?”

Savage shrugged. He liked talking to Pip. “It’s sad to admit, but nothing. The last few years, I’ve been training and dealing with sponsors. I haven’t felt like I’ve done anything else. That’s done for a while, though. I had already decided, after this fight—no matter the outcome—I would take some time off.”

Pip kept glancing Savage’s way, looking like he cared. It was nice. “What do you plan to do first with your new freedom?”

Savage led Pip to his truck before responding. The lights flashed as he neared. He opened the passenger side door for Pip. After Pip climbed inside, Savage met his stare. “First, I plan to take you home. That way, I’ll know where you live. Then I plan to show up tomorrow and take you to dinner.”

Pip dipped his chin and blushed.

Savage shut the door before Pip could shoot him down. He honestly had no clue what had gotten into him tonight. Savage should have been questioning his sanity. At the moment, he didn’t care about anything but spending more time with someone nice. Still, he half expected Pip to reject his dinner plans as he climbed behind the wheel. Savage had made a lot of assumptions tonight. It was only a matter of time before he stumbled onto a wrong one.

Pip didn’t say a word beyond giving Savage an address to type into his phone until they were ten minutes into their drive. “I never really thought about meeting you. If I had, I wouldn’t have expected you to be this nice.”

Savage quickly glanced Pip’s way before going back to watching the road. He felt the need to clear away that misconception before Pip found himself disappointed. “I’m not nice in the least. Truth be told, I wouldn’t be taking you home at all right now if I wasn’t trying to learn where you live. I’m pretty fucking selfish when I want what I want.”

Pip didn’t respond.

Savage glanced his way again, dying to know Pip’s thoughts. Pip was smiling. It was a sweet and secret smile—like he was happily surprised to learn Savage was interested in him.

“Mhmm. Damn.” The pleased curse escaped Savage without thought. He honestly couldn’t recall being this drawn to anyone. The more time he spent in Pip’s company, the more his hunger grew. His impatience made him greedy. It felt like it took forever to get to Pip’s place. He came to an iron gate and slowed. “Hellish?” The letters spelling out that single word twisted the arch of the gateway, confusing Savage.

“It’s a Scottish Clan. You can drop me off here, if you want. I can walk up the driveway.”

Savage snorted. “I’ll get you to the door.” He navigated up the long driveway. The flash of animal eyes captured Savage’s attention. “Did I just see a wolf?”

Pip made a humming sound. “They’re domesticated.”