Tap Out-Bonus Epilogues
Btu Alumni, Book 2
How do a group of professional hockey players, a world famous rock star, and the guy who just won the UFC Heavyweight Championship belt for the fourth time, who also happened to propose to his girlfriend while still inside the cage and had every member of the local press corps clamoring for an interview, sneak off for a surprise elopement?
Would you be at all surprised to hear the answer came in the form of two precocious eight-year-olds?
When Gage told Rocky that Jordan had all the logistics worked out to get them out of their hotel suite and to an all-night wedding chapel without the press catching wind, he honestly couldn’t have cared less what the details were. The only thing that mattered to him was that Rocky would be his wife before he went to sleep that night.
As he stood at the altar, Elvis impersonator to his right, his cousin, future brother-in-law, his surprise new friend Jase, and all the guys from the gym to his left, it seemed fitting to be listening in on Sean and Carlee regaling them all with the tale.
“No way, dude.” Sean held out his sister’s iPhone as he talked to Tucker on FaceTime. Tucker was the only one whose game schedule didn’t work out for him to travel to Vegas for the fight. “It was a piece of cake.”
“Oh, yeah,” Carlee agreed. “It was just like that time at the boardwalk last summer.”
Tucker’s deep laugh rang out in the room. “I swear. Sometimes the press is too damn easy.”
Gage had to agree with the hockey player’s assessment. When he first heard the story, it all seemed too simple to be true, yet here they were and not a member of the press or paparazzi in sight.
The guys liked to talk a big game about The Coven being able to take over the world, but these two little dynamos, they could give them all a run for their money.
Due to the spontaneous nature of their elopement, Rocky wouldn’t be wearing the customary white dress, or pretty much any of the other typical things a bride would have for their wedding. In fact, the only thing he managed to have taken care of was the rings.
It wasn’t the most traditional ring for a wedding band—with the tiny sapphires making up the band—but he had to have the blue gemstones for his Blue. Even the tungsten ring he chose for himself had a vein of blue metal running through the middle.
One of the things he insisted on when planning with Jordan was for Vic to walk his daughter down the aisle, even if it was short, surrounded by cheap white pews decorated with fake flowers, and in a room with the overwhelming aroma of canned air freshener. The ambiance wasn’t important.
Hell, if Rocky wanted a big white wedding when they got home, he’d give it to her. As long as she was his wife while planning it, he’d give her anything her heart desired.
Yet as he stood waiting for the Dolly Parton impersonator to open the double doors at the other end of the short aisle, he was regretting the decision to forgo that particular tradition. He wanted his girl with him and he wanted her there now.
“Relax, man.” Wyatt clapped him on the back. “You’re more keyed up now than when you were about to step into the cage a few hours ago.”
He wasn’t wrong.
“I’m trying.” Gage shook out his hands to relieve some of the tension, cracking the slightly swollen knuckles—a bad habit. “I just want her to come out already.”
“What? Afraid she changed her mind?” The smirk on Vince’s face told him he was up to his usual trouble.
“No,” he growled, not amused in the least.
“Seriously. Chill,” Jase said, a similar mischievous expression on his face. “It’s not like she’s running away with someone else. I’m still here, aren’t I?”
“JASON!” his mother called out, scolding him. “Don’t be a dick.”
Ryan and Jake didn’t even attempt to hold back their guffaws as they fell to the side in their seats in the front pew, the toddlers in their arms screaming in delight at the movement.
“I see I’m not the only one you’re an ass to on their wedding day,” Jake managed to choke out once he caught his breath. “You should have heard the shit he said to me,” he told Gage. “But don’t listen to him. I’m sure the girls are just having their usual squirrel moments.”
“Yeah. Papa Steele will get them in line soon,” Ryan added.
That was the truth. He’d seen some of The Coven conversations that took place and they were a mess of chaotic ramblings, but in person, forget it. There was a reason the ladies went out without the guys once a week. They couldn’t handle their brand of crazy.
The tinny sounds of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major” being piped in, badly, through the speakers of the room brought all attention to the doors in the back. Dolly moved to open the double doors and down the aisle each member of The Coven appeared one after the other before taking their spots on Rocky’s side of the altar.
The music transitioned to “The Wedding March” and everything else faded as his eyes met Rocky’s blazing silver gaze from across the room.
It was a good thing both breathing and the pumping of his heart were things that happened without conscious thought, because the sight of her walking toward him, a cheap arrangement of fake flowers in one hand, the other hooked in the crook of her father’s elbow, was enough to make thinking impossible.
His brain chanted each step she took toward him.
She’d been his from the moment he'd spotted her using a submission move on a drunk.
Now it was time to make it official.
Time to tap out on being single.
ROCKY WAS STILL in a state of disbelief by the whirlwind of activity that had happened in such a short span of time and led her to waiting for a pair of doors to open so she could marry the man she loved. She was also having a hard time comprehending how Gage managed to get this entire scenario coordinated.
“Did you know this was going to happen?” she asked Jordan since she was the one to make all the arrangements.
“You mean before tonight?”
She nodded to her best friend.
“Nope.” Jordan shook her head. “The only people to know this was his plan were your dad—obvs because he asked permission—Wyatt, because he’s Gage’s person, and the one you won’t believe—Jase.”
“Yup. He helped Gage pick out the ring, if you can believe it.”
She was stunned. She knew Jase had gotten close to her man after Gage got past his unwarranted jealousy toward the hockey boy, but to have him help pick out an engagement ring for her—wow. Just wow.
“I know.” Jordan’s smile told her she also understood the significance of the development. “I tried to give Jase shit for not telling me—twins and all—but he only reminded me how I dated one of his best friends for months without telling him, so I backed off.”
“Screw that,” Beth chimed in. “If I wasn’t coming off my forced sex hiatus from childbirth, I’d be withholding on Wyatt for not telling me. I’m his wife, damn it. I should have been in the know.”
“Who knew Jase had such good taste?” Skye said, taking Rocky's left hand in hers, holding it up so the light reflected off the massive rock.
“I can’t believe you’re eloping,” Gemma said as the rest of the girls crowded around to get a better look at the bling.
“Well, I have to say, I approve of this plan,” Becky agreed. “Locking lover boy down as soon as possible. It’s the ultimate BFBB status.”
“Technically only hockey groupies are bunnies. But yeah, it’s true, the rock adds a little more weight.” Jordan held up her left hand and wiggled her fingers, the ice rink on her own finger blinding them.
“Yeah, well, with a rock like that, weight sure is the right word,” Skye quipped.
Maddey snorted while typing away on her phone.
“Whatcha doin’?” Gemma asked, looking over their friend’s shoulder.
“Taking notes,” Maddey said, still typing away. “This is romance novel gold. I’m making sure to get down every detail.” She looked up and met Rocky’s eye. “Shamelessly using you and your hunk as inspiration.”
“Use away,” she told her friend. “I loved what you did with this one’s story”—she hooked a thumb at Jordan—“so immortalize me in ink.”
“Girls.” Her father cleared his throat to get their attention. “I think it’s about time to get this show on the road.”
Oh, right. They weren’t here to hang out. They were here for her wedding.
Her wedding—hold on, take a moment to let those two words sink in, her wedding—might be quick and unconventional, but the moment her eyes met her favorite shade of cerulean blue, she knew this was where she was meant to be.
The aisle felt miles long, when in reality it was maybe thirty feet, as she walked toward the man about to be her husband. Her husband!
When Gage took her hands in his, looking into her eyes with the same love she felt for him shining in the crayon-bright irises, it didn’t matter that Elvis was the one officiating, or that she was wearing an octopus printed t-shirt and jeans. Nope, she was marrying the man she loved in a room filled with every person who was important to her watching.
And when Gage slipped a sapphire ring on her finger, whispering “My Blue,” only loud enough for her to hear, she had to blink back tears.
Her friends whistled and cheered as he lifted her in his arms for their first kiss as husband and wife, pulling her tight against his side once he set her down.
“Hey there, wife.” His smile was brighter than all the lights in Vegas.
“Hey there, husband.” She was sure hers matched it.
“Fuck, I love the way that sounds.”
Elvis and Dolly offered to play photographer, capturing shots of all their loved ones gathered around them—even Tucker’s smiling face was there, held up on Jordan’s phone by Sean.
She had a feeling this moment would be the biggest story coming out of Vegas in the morning, not Gage’s fight.
“Okay,” Gage said once they finished. “We have one more stop to make before we try to sneak back into the hotel.”
“We do?” she asked, unsure if she could handle any more surprises.
“Yup.” He made a popping sound with the p. “Now, come along, wife.”
Like he even had to ask.
She’d follow him anywhere.
Once again, their group piled inside the waiting limos, their friends heading with her and Gage while the other adults and minis took another back to the hotel.
She wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but it sure wasn’t the tattoo shop they pulled up to a few minutes later.
The rest of the group hung back while she followed Gage back to where a tattoo artist was waiting for them in a private room.
Gage sat down in the chair, rested his tattooed forearm on the padded bench, waiting for the artist to go through the prep process. His eyes never left hers while he was cleaned and shaved, only looking down once the artist arranged the stencil of the whatever he was having done on his arm.
She was dying to know what he was getting done, so when he held out his arm with the template in place, she rushed to his side to see.
There, now coiled in one of the octopus’ tentacles was one word—BLUE.
Her eyes snapped to his.
He gave her a look that said duh.
“You’re seriously getting my name inked on your body?”
“Yes.” His smile was tinged with amusement.
“You know that’s permanent, right?” She couldn’t help but ask.
He chuckled and held up his left hand, the light catching on the new black and blue band on his ring finger. “So is this, baby. When I said the words ‘til death do us part,’ I meant them.”
She swooned, and right there, in the middle of a tattoo shop, with way too many people waiting for them in the waiting room because their squad was so large, she fell even more in love with her new husband.
As the buzz from the tattoo gun filled the space, she allowed him to pull her onto his lap, so she could sit with him as he got her name immortalized on his body, while planning how to add an octopus to hers.
**If you enjoyed gage and rocky's story, the next book in the BTU Alumni series is vince's story sweet victory available now free in Kindle Unlimited.**