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She turned away from the two women on the mat to watch the two who were starting to spar in the cage. Unlike boxing, MMA fighters fought in a cage rather than a ring. When DJ had opened this place, she could afford to have a regulation cage installed.

The cage could seem a bit barbaric looking when first confronted with it, although for this kind of fighting it was actually a lot safer than a boxing ring. In a ring, it was too easy to slip through the ropes during ground fighting.

“Move to your left Christie. And don’t just let her kick you. We all know how tough you are, but try to block those kicks!”

Mixed Martial Arts had proven to be the perfect sport for DJ. She had studied karate when she was young, and had taken some boxing lessons after that. The striking game in MMA combined punches, kicks, elbows and knees, like the Asian sport of Muay Thai. The difference with this sport was that MMA added ground fighting to the mix. To even be adequate in this game required a fighter to also be proficient in wrestling and jiu jitsu. It was difficult to master all the skills of a mixed martial artist, and that’s one of the things DJ appreciated most about the discipline.

“Excuse me. Are you DJ Brown?”

DJ turned around and saw what had to be the reporter. Who else would wear a skirt and heels to an MMA gym? Once she got past her choice of ensemble, however, DJ couldn’t help but notice what a strikingly attractive woman she was — long blond hair, green eyes, and that blouse she was wearing articulated her other assets very nicely.

Well, that was no excuse for keeping people waiting. She was probably used to getting away with a lot simply because she was so pretty.

“Hi, I’m Erin Ryan. Sorry I’m late, there was a traffic accident. The roads were a mess.”

“Uh huh,” DJ replied dismissively, as she turned back to the cage.

Erin tried to salvage the situation. “Look, really, I apologize. I hate to get off on the wrong foot. If you don’t have time for me right now we can reschedule, at your convenience of course.”

DJ turned back to the reporter. “You haven’t complained yet about the heat in here.”

“Well, I certainly noticed, but I figured there’s a good reason.”

There is, but the last reporter who came in here . . . well, let’s just say you get points for not bringing it up.”

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