Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1) by Jamie McGuire Read Online (FREE)
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Everything in the room screamed that I didn’t belong. The stairs were crumbling, the
rowdy patrons were shoulder to shoulder, and the air was a medley of sweat, blood and
mold. Voices blurred as they yelled numbers and names back and forth, and arms flailed
about, exchanging money and gestures to communicate over the noise. I squeezed
through the crowd, following close behind my best friend.
“Keep your cash in your wallet, Abby!” America called to me. Her broad smile
gleamed even in the dim light.
“Stay close! It’ll get worse once it starts!” Shepley yelled over the noise. America
grabbed his hand, and then mine as Shepley led us through the sea of people.
The sharp bleating of a bull horn cut through the smoky air. The noise startled me, and
I jumped in reaction, looking for the source of the blast. A man stood on a wooden chair,
holding a wad of cash in one hand, the horn in the other. He held the plastic to his lips.
“Welcome to the blood bath! If you are looking for Economics one-oh-one…you are in
the wrong fucking place, my friend! If you seek The Circle, this is Mecca! My name is
Adam, I make the rules and I call the fight. Betting ends once the opponents are on the
floor. No touching the fighters, no assistance, no bet switching, and no encroachment of
the ring. If you break these rules, you will get the piss beat out of you and you will be
thrown out on your ass without your money! That includes you, ladies! So don’t use your
hoes to scam the system, boys!”
Shepley shook his head. “Jesus, Adam!” he yelled to the emcee over the noise, clearly
disapproving of his friend’s choice of words.
My heart pounded in my chest. With a pink cashmere cardigan and pearl earrings, I felt
like a school marm on the beaches of Normandy. I promised America that I could handle
whatever we happened upon, but at ground zero I felt the urge to grip her toothpick of an
arm with both hands. She wouldn’t put me in any danger, but being in a basement with
fifty or so drunken college boys intent on bloodshed and capital, I wasn’t exactly
confident of our chances to leave unscathed.
After America met Shepley at freshman orientation, she frequently accompanied him to
the secret fights held in different basements of Eastern University. Each event was held in a different spot, and kept secret until just an hour before the fight.
Because I ran in somewhat tamer circles, I was surprised to learn of an underground
world at Eastern; but Shepley knew about it before he had ever enrolled. Travis,
Shepley’s roommate and cousin, entered his first fight seven months before. As a
freshman, he was rumored to be the most lethal competitor Adam had seen in the three