Chapter 1: Mr. Murdock

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Cassie Blackwood stared at her college lit book in boredom. This was her last semester of college and she was thrilled to finally be almost finished with school. Now all she had to think about was where to begin putting in job applications.

All through high school she'd helped her father out at the gym he owned, 'Henri's Gym', and she still did. She really hated to leave her dad, but he'd scrimped and saved to put her through college, to give her a good education. So, she really had no other choice but to get a job in her chosen field, unless she wanted to upset him. She loved her dad too much to just throw all the sacrifices he'd made back in his face, so applications and a new job it would be, soon.

Closing the school book and placing it under the counter, Cassie decided since things were slow, she'd go to the bathroom, then grab a drink from the soda machine. Once she'd done that, she was back at the counter just in time for the bell over the door to ring.

Glancing up, she grinned and greeted, "Mr. Murdock!"

Matt Murdock grinned when Cassie called out to him. He'd been coming to Henri's Gym for almost three years now, so she knew he recognized her voice even before he answered, "Good evening, Baby doll. How many times am I going to have to ask you to call me Matt?"

Cassie shivered, her heart speeding up, at Matt's use of the pet name he'd given her not long after they'd met. Then, quietly, she watched the handsome man as he walked over to the counter, not using the white cane he held in his hand since he knew exactly where he was going.

Matt had become special to her over the three years she'd known him. She was seventeen the first time he'd come into the gym and by the time she was eighteen she'd had the biggest crush on the handsome lawyer. When they'd first met, he'd been a bit of a flirt, still was, and he was always teasing her about something, but that was as far as it ever went. So, now she was twenty, and even though Matt never acted as if he were interested in anything more than friendship, it didn't stop her from wishing for more.

"I know Matt," Cassie answered, pushing her thoughts aside. "I just enjoy teasing you. So, how goes the lawyer business? Put anybody in jail this week?"

Matt shrugged, and Cassie placed his hand, which now held a pen, in the right spot for him to sign in. After writing his name, he told her, "It's going, and no I haven't."

"Mm... must have been a rough week so far though because you tend to only come when you want to beat up the punching bag."

Matt laughed and teased, "You have me all figured out, do you?"

"Not really, but I have noticed a pattern," she informed him. "It's okay though, I like to take my frustration out on the punching bag sometimes too. I figure it's better than taking it out on the men who annoy me."

Matt raised an eyebrow at her comment, then asked, "Oh, and who are these men who are annoying you?"

"Just the usual punks that come in here," she answered. "They think because they have a bit of muscle definition on their abs and some arm muscles, they can have any girl they want."

"Just the young men, or is it the old ones too?" Matt asked.

"Just the ones that are my age, no maturity yet I suppose," she murmured.

Matt leaned against the counter, not even looking her way, as he asked, "Cassie, when are you going to find a good boyfriend to run those idiots off?"

Cassie sighed and propped her chin in her hand as she took in Matt's profile. He had medium brown hair that tended to fall over his left eye when he let it get too long. A sharp jaw set off by a bit of a five-o'clock shadow and slightly pouty lips. He was also quite fit, she'd seen him shirtless, with a six-pack and muscular biceps. He also had a nice set of runner's legs on him along with a tight bum.

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