Rage (Galactic Cage Fighters) (4 page)

Zara was standing next to the cage they had in the center of the room. The two men inside the cage stood still as they watched
Rachel walk into the training facility with the other women.

“You’re shitting me!
She’s a pure human,” a deep male voice exclaimed from inside the cage.

Zara snickered
. “That’s what I said exactly, Rage. But I have to admit, the little human can fight.”

“Fight what? A strong wind could
blow her over,” the second fighter in the cage commented. He didn’t seem impressed with the human female. Talon hadn’t been excited about anything in a long while. Not since Lindy had left him.

“Send her home
, Zara, before she gets her pretty face messed up,” Rage replied, but he kept his eyes on the human. He looked her up and down. He could feel his beast respond with interest.

“Can’t, the big bosses like her. They watched a taped copy of the tryouts. She lasted two rounds with me. They are already marketing her as the only
human fighter in the GCFA. It’s a done deal.”

Rage growled. The human was going to get herself killed. He watched as she pulled
off the large t-shirt that had been hiding her form. For her size she was more well-endowed than he had thought she would be. She had hips like a grown woman and large breasts on a slim, well-toned body. His heart beat faster as his beast struggled to break free. There were other growls going on around the facility as the other men caught sight of the human’s body. The little human was built for sex.

He felt a punch to his side which brought him back to his practice fight. “Sorry
, Talon, let’s go.”

Talon nodded his head. He didn’t look at the little human
. She reminded him of Lindy and that hurt too much. He threw himself into his fighting. The pain helped make him forget, at least for a little while.

Zara’s eyes narrowed
at the new girl, Rachel Starr. She sounded like a stripper. If it were up to her, she would send her weak human ass back to whatever puny planet she came from. She wasn’t surprised the males were all panting to get into her pants. Anyone with a body like that was bound to stir up trouble, and that worried Zara. After seeing Rage’s reaction to the little human, she was especially concerned. She and Rage were friends and she didn’t want to see the same thing happen to him that happened to Talon. She left Talon and Rage to practice.

“We are going to do a series of exercises. We need to see how strong each and every one of you
are. Let’s start with laps,” their trainer, a male named Clayton, ordered.

“How many laps?”
Rachel asked, bending and stretching.

Clayton looked pissed. While everyone else started to run immediately, the little human
stood there asking stupid questions. “Run until you drop. Then start giving me push-ups.” He saw that Rachel was about to ask how many push-ups. “You will do push-ups until I tell you to stop or until you pass out.”

Fuck! She was in training hell. Rachel took several deep breaths and started her laps.
Lesak had told her to expect resistance to her presence. He said that the other fighters would give her a hard time in an attempt to get her to quit early on. Due to the extreme violence associated with the GCFA sporting events, there was a clause in the contract allowing the fighters to quit at any time. Well, there was no way she was going to quit. She had a job to do, and she would do it, even if it killed her.

was the first to give out. Rachel thought she was holding her own. Zara and Alana were two laps ahead of everyone. Then there was Resa. Rachel was keeping pace with Sersan.

“Not bad
, human,” Sersan called out to her.

Rachel just nodded her head. She would not waste her breath by trying to carry on a conversation. She didn’t have super strong alien DNA. She had to pace herself and watch her every breath.

After another lap, her roommate dropped out. “I am done.” She just collapsed to the side. Rachel looked back to make sure she was still breathing. When Zara passed her again, it made Rachel refocus on her laps. She had to prove herself to them.

Alana and
Resa collapsed at the same time. Now it was just her and Zara. All the other fighters, including the males, gathered around to watch the little human. She had managed to outlast all the female fighters except Zara. It was impressive. The other woman had already proven she could run laps around Rachel, literally. She was continuing to run just to push Rachel, to see if she would break. Well, fuck that!

“Ready to give up yet?”
Zara teased her as she ran past her again.

She focused on what
Lesak had taught her. The first rule of Galactic Cage Fighting was anything goes. The next time Zara came around to pass her, Rachel kicked out her leg making the woman fall down. Rachel kept running to complete her last lap. Zara was glaring daggers at her but there was also a spark of respect there.

, okay, push-ups now!” the trainer yelled.

Rachel barely had time to catch her breath before she had to get to the floor and start her push
-ups. Her legs felt like rubber and her lungs burned. She hoped the healing implants were kicking in. Since everyone had been watching her run against Zara, no one had started their push-ups until now. The females all started at the same time. Rachel knew she wouldn’t last long. She had used up most of her strength and energy on the laps.

went out first. She was panting a lot to try to restore oxygen. Rachel was next. She lay on her stomach as she watched the other women doing their push-ups. It was clear that Alana was in her element. She had the lightest bone structure; it would be like pushing air for her.

a managed to keep pace with Alana. They finished at the same time. The trainer walked over their prone bodies on the mats. “Good. Now we’ll pair you up and see what fighting skills you have.” All the women moaned. “After lunch,” he laughed.

Rachel walked through
the buffet line, picking up items that were familiar to her. There were a variety of foods from different Regions, but Rachel did not find the green moving slugs from Zeta’s Eastern Quarter particularly appealing. She grabbed pizza and a small fruit platter. Her beverage of choice was a glass of orange juice.

“Go home
, human,” a deep male voice rumbled from behind her.

Rachel turned
around to find Rage glaring down at her. The man was taller than she had expected. Seven feet tall. His shoulders were wide and his muscles bulged underneath the tight shirt he wore. Just one of his thighs was bigger than her entire body.

“What?” she asked
, voice squeaking embarrassingly. She looked up and up until her eyes met his dark ones—black eyes of destruction. She shivered.

“This is not the place for a pure human. You should withdraw and go home.” He walked around her in the buffet line. She had no choice but to follow after him.

“I’m not going to do that.”

He shrugged
. “Your funeral.”



Chapter 5


“Not bad
, human,” the trainer called out to her as she pinned Alana on the mat.

“Thanks, and
it’s Rachel.” That was all she got out. Alana, being lighter in build, had managed to wedge her feet up and in between their bodies. She used all her force and pushed Rachel backwards. Wasting no time, Alana jumped onto Rachel’s chest, knocking the air out of her and pinning her to the mat. Damn, she had underestimated the smaller woman.

“Match over, take a seat on the sidelines
,” their trainer called out, looking disgusted at Rachel’s defeat. It was only a practice match with her teammate. What was the big deal?

“Don’t worry about it. I’ve been doing the circuit
four times now. When I first started, I couldn’t take a pure human if I wanted to,” Alana told her, patting her on the shoulder.

Was that supposed to make her feel better? Was that how they all saw her?
As a lowly, weak human? Determination grew within her like a fireball.

She looked around the training
facility at the different sparring matches taking place. There was a practice match going on inside the cage. She wondered when she would get to practice in the cage. Her gaze caught on a dark pair of eyes watching her from across the facility. Rage.

still hadn’t been introduced to any of the male fighters yet. She wondered how she would make contact with Talon. He was the key to her whole investigation. The first contact with Rage had been unpleasant and short. It had left her feeling disappointed. She had admired him ever since her uncle took her to watch a fight. It was right after she had been beat up and her uncle began training her. She had been fifteen years old. Rage had only been nineteen years old then. She had watched many of his fights over the years, until she went to the Academy. After she started classes, she had less and less time for watching the fights, though she still tried to catch some with her fellow law enforcers.

Rage was amazing to watch.
When he tapped into his Bestial DNA during a match, Rage would grow larger. His dark eyes turned completely back. He was the scariest thing she had ever seen, and the sexiest. Something about him exuded sex appeal. It made her shiver.

“Don’t worry, you’ll meet the men tonight
,” Sersan whispered to her as she finished her practice match with the Priman female, Gana.

“What?” Rachel looked at her questioningly.

“I sssaw you checking out the men. You’ll get to meet them tonight at the banquet. We alwaysss have a banquet to cccelebrate the beginning of the cccircuit.”

Rachel looked back over to where Rage stood with his arms crossed over his massive chest. He seemed to be watching her. Would he be
at the banquet? Would he speak with her again? Her Uncle Ted would have jumped up from his grave for that opportunity. Rage had been his favorite fighter. He always said,
“I never lose my bets because I always bet on Rage.”

dark eyes were hypnotic. She could lose herself within their depths, drown in them. It took all her effort to break eye contact with him. She shook her head. She needed to focus on her mission. She wasn’t here for Rage, she was here to find out what had happened to the missing women. The image of the lovely Lindy surfaced in her head. She would find the answers. She was good at what she did. Damn good.

watched the practice match between Zara and Resa. They looked to be evenly matched. Resa and her husband were both like Lesak, shape shifting Rasilians. That fact didn’t help Resa against Zara. No matter what species Resa shifted into, Zara was able to keep herself from being pinned. It was incredible. She watched, trying to learn all the moves and techniques that Zara used. Zara wasn’t the strongest fighter, but she was the most experienced. She dreaded going up against the tall woman again. She still felt the impact from the tryouts.

Rage could not stop himself from glancing
over at the pure human. What was it about her? She was an attractive female, sure. But he had bedded others just as attractive, and with more experience in pleasing a male. She screamed of innocence. Oh, he was sure she had allowed a man between her legs. What man could resist being with her? But she didn’t seem to realize that the men around her were panting after her. She had no sense of her appeal at all. It was, also, clear from her practice matches that she had never fought in a circuit before. The full species were going to eat her alive if she wasn’t ready. She needed to bow out now before she got damaged, or killed. Casualties and even deaths were not uncommon with the circuit.

She would probably quit after her first real sanctioned fight
, when she realized that it was all real. Real fighters, real punches, real pain, and real danger. They even had male fighters quit after their initial illusions had been popped. They had been glory seekers wanting the fame, riches, and adoring fans. Rachel Starr, if that was even her real name, would be no different.

“Are you done ogling the human?” Talon asked him with no emotion whatsoever.

Rage turned his attention to his best friend. The man had such blankness in his eyes. His heart broke for him. Rage had learned over the years to not allow himself to get close enough to anyone that the loss of them would take a part of his soul. The last person that had been close enough to hurt him had been his mother. She had abandoned him when he needed her the most. That kind of hurt had stuck with him throughout his life.

“Just observing ou
r weakest link, is all.” Rage noticed that Talon would look at Rachel periodically. He didn’t think Talon was attracted to her because he didn’t scent arousal on the other male, but there was curiosity in his eyes.

Talon nodded as they made their way to an open mat. “She’ll quit soon enough.”

For some reason he was relieved that Talon didn’t sound interested in the human. “Are you going to the banquet tonight?” he asked. Talon shook his head.

“Talon, you need to get back to the land of the living. I have some
… special guests coming to my suite later. Come and enjoy them with me, as we used to do.”

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