Fist To The Heart – Ch. 3
By Laura S. Fox
Copyright © 2019 Laura S. Fox
All Rights Reserved
Intended for Mature Audiences Only
This story will contain graphic depictions of sexual intercourse, strong language and it is not meant for readers who are less than 18 years of age.
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Chapter Three – My Main Squeeze
“Who’s that over there?”
Johnny turned to see who the hell was running his mouth while they should all be focused on training their butts off. He was busy scouting the other guys in the room, wondering who he was going to go against for his first bout.
He had a philosophy. Always fight his own way, without trying to adapt to his opponent’s style. It served to be efficient like he was, and that was one of his secrets. Too many guys around him were talking techniques, bragging about knowing this or that, as if fights in the ring were some frigging math test.
And now they were also in for some gossip, it seemed.
“That’s the guy in charge. He’s the guy’s son, actually,” another replied to the first man’s question.
This time, Johnny turned so fast that his neck made a funny noise. Leaning against the entrance, Ruslan was examining the room full of fighters, with what looked like detachment if he was reading the man’s body language right.
Great, Johnny thought. Distraction had arrived. He was pretty sure the rest of the guys were going to ogle Ruslan for as long as the pretty man stood there. And he didn’t like it.
“I heard he likes it up the ass,” the first guy spoke again. “That he’s sucking everyone off around here, even the drivers and bouncers.”
Johnny focused his entire attention on the speaker. The guy was a bit taller than him and sported an ugly unibrow. The scar that followed his misshapen nose down to his upper lip didn’t make him prettier, either.
“I don’t know, man,” the other shrugged. “Not my business. I’m only here to fight.”
The unibrow guy ignored his pal’s reply and moved to the punching bag closest to the door. Johnny followed him with his eyes. Pretending he needed to get some water, he walked toward the door, too, after precisely two beats.
“So, you’re the boss?” the unibrow asked Ruslan directly.
Ruslan’s eyes hovered to Johnny for a second. The guy was smiling, seemingly pleased with seeing him.
“Hey, I’m talking to you,” the unibrow intervened, seeing that he was ignored.
Ruslan cocked his head to one side and measured the man up and down.
“Seeing that you are fighting in one of the events I’m organizing personally, I would have expected you to be a little more informed.”
Johnny grabbed a bottle of water from the table and took a sip. This was going to be fun, he grinned.
“Informed? I’m informed that you’re a cocksucker.”
Johnny felt his smile freezing on his face. In auto mode, he took a step toward the guy, but Ruslan was quick to step up and practically block his way. Johnny stopped.
“And? What of it?” Ruslan asked, as he slowly moved one hand to his back to touch Johnny in passing.
“I want you to suck my dick,” the unibrow guy grinned.
“What makes you think you’re qualified for that?” Ruslan questioned.
“I have a dick,” the man made an obscene gesture to grab his junk, as he moved closer.
Johnny could feel his blood starting to boil. But Ruslan’s hand searched for his and grabbed it quickly. With all the frustration he felt, he decided to let the guy play this one as he wanted. For now.
“I hear you get on your knees for anyone,” the man added, with an ugly smile, not paying a smidge of attention to Johnny.
“Well, sorry to disappoint you,” Ruslan said airily, “but that is incorrect. And while you might have self-esteem issues, and like to think of yourself as ‘anyone’, I don’t have such personality problems.”
“Are you making fun of me?” the man moved even closer now, to tower over Ruslan.
“No. Are you?” Ruslan stood his ground. “I must remind you that here, you’re a guest in my house. I hope I’m not asking for too much if I demand a bit of common courtesy.”
“The fuck is that supposed to mean?” the man asked, with a scowl on his ugly face.
“It means,” Ruslan said in the same even, calm voice, “that if you prefer to be this rude, I can ask the bouncers to come and invite you out.”
“No way, I have to train,” the man said, now a bit unsure of himself.
“You would also be eliminated from the event,” Ruslan explained as if he was dealing with a hard-headed child.
The man’s face turned into something even uglier, as its owner was now clearly tormented with making a choice. Johnny was ready to push Ruslan aside and take care of the asshole when the guy backed down.
“You’re not worth it anyway,” the man faked disinterest as he walked away. “Fucking homo,” he hissed through his teeth.
Johnny took one step forward, but Ruslan turned quickly and grabbed him.
“Come with me,” Ruslan said shortly, and Johnny followed without a word.
They were out in the hallway when Ruslan began speaking.
“I don’t need anyone to step up for me. I can take care of myself. Okay?”
Johnny nodded and grinned. Ruslan was touching him, his hands on the shoulders, and Johnny was pretty damn sure, by how slowly the guy’s fingers were moving, that he was impatient to feel the muscles underneath.
“I mean it,” Ruslan stared him in the eyes. “I’m no damsel in distress. Plus, I don’t want to find myself forced to eliminate you from the tournament for misconduct outside the ring.”
“Misconduct?” Johnny snorted. “That guy’s asking for a kicking.”
“No fighting outside the ring. Ugh, I’m certain you didn’t bother reading the rules,” Ruslan pursed his lips in frustration.
“I’m all for you reading them to me,” Johnny said and pulled Ruslan close with one arm.
“Seriously? That would be so boring,” Ruslan grinned, too, and made himself busy with straightening an invisible crush on Johnny’s tank top.
“No, it won’t,” Johnny replied. “Because you will read them to me while I’m fucking your brains out.”
“That would be counter-productive. One, you wouldn’t pay attention, and two, it would be too late for explanations, seeing that the sex should follow at least your first victory in the ring. I’m your cookie, remember?”
“How could I forget?” Johnny teased and angled his head so that he could kiss Ruslan.
The man’s fingers flexed on his shoulders. And then gently, he pushed Johnny away.
“Hey, I barely had a taste,” he protested.
“You need to focus on your game,” Ruslan replied, placing both hands on Johnny’s chest, and looking up.
“I won’t be able to. You keep popping in the room where I’m supposed to train,” Johnny pretended to complain.
“That’s true,” Ruslan admitted with a small frown. “I will stay away from now on.”
“Good, do that,” Johnny hurried to encourage him.
Ruslan looked at him and blinked a few times. Johnny sustained the guy’s gaze, without showing the slightest sign of weakness.
“I usually visit to gauge the fighters’ condition, but, seeing that there is some hostility going on, I will make myself scarce for now,” Ruslan said.
“Um-hmm,” Johnny confirmed again, busy now with leaning in for another kiss.
Ruslan kissed him quickly and patted his cheek playfully.
“Fight well, and the reward will wait for you, as promised,” the guy said fondly. “Now just go train. I’m putting all my hopes in you.”
Johnny knew Ruslan was right. And it made his chest swell hearing the guy saying that he was counting on him. Also, if they were to kiss for real, they were just going to end up having sex in the hallway, like two horny rabbits. Maybe Ruslan wasn’t bothered that his reputation was making some hotheads think they had a chance with him, but Johnny needed the guy as far away from the other fighters as possible.
“C’mon, go,” he swatted the guy’s ass.
He could not resist, so he copped a feel. Ruslan was dressed impeccably in a casual suit, but the pants still hugged his gorgeous ass tightly. Johnny moved his hand slowly to follow the seam of the pants between the legs.
“Seriously, Snake,” Ruslan pushed his hand away, but he was grinning like he was seeing the Christmas lights for the first time in his life or something.
“Call me Johnny,” he pulled Ruslan close to him again.
“Really? I thought you liked being called Snake.”
“Nah, that’s for strangers. You’re the inner circle now,” he smiled.
Reluctantly, Ruslan moved away. But not without throwing a few all-knowing looks over his shoulder. Johnny waved and kept his relaxed stance until the guy disappeared behind a corner. The next second, his face was pulled so tight his jaw hurt. He needed to straighten up someone, and right now.
He entered the gym by slamming the door open. Everyone in the room stopped to look at him. Without looking at anyone else, he went straight to the unibrow guy.
“Listen to me carefully, ‘cause I ain’t gonna say it twice,” he spoke roughly, as he pointed the finger at the guy. “Address Mr. Kent respectfully, or you’re gonna have a problem with me.”
The guy gawked at him, seemingly at a loss for words. He regained his shitty confidence fast, though.
“Why? What’s that homo to you?” the man asked, pushing his chin up and taking a step forward.
“What’s he to me?” Johnny smirked. “He’s my main squeeze, that’s what he is.”
It was clear as day that the guy wasn’t expecting something so in his face. He gaped like a fish.
“You a homo, too?” he asked, with an expression of confusion mixed with disgust on his face.
“Just pray that you don’t get to meet me in the ring,” Johnny said, and moved at his training station, starting right away to hit the bag.
“Oh yeah? You pray! I’ll destroy you!” the guy shouted.
“Guys, cut it out, or no one’s going to destroy anyone. We’ll all get thrown out,” another intervened in an anxious voice.
Johnny didn’t have to look to know the others were throwing curious looks in his direction. But no one dared to tell him a thing. Apparently, his reputation from the other side of the river was following him here, too.
“Hello, papa,” Ruslan kissed the old man’s cheek and sat across from him, at the restaurant table.
“I took the liberty to order something for you, as well,” the older Mr. Kent said affectionately. “You’ll get dessert, too, of course.”
“S’mores and hot fudge?” Ruslan asked, his eyes shining.
The old man nodded.
“God knows what you see in that stuff,” Mr. Kent shook his head with mirth. “But it’s your favorite, and seeing how you’re all bones, I’ll allow it.”
Ruslan laughed. The old man knew how to pull his leg. Also, asking for him to meet in the city, at a restaurant that didn’t belong to their chain, meant the old man wanted to talk something serious. And personal.
“So, what’s cooking?” he asked, as he took a glass from the table and sipped a bit of water slowly.
“I heard some rumors,” the old man looked at him, quirking both eyebrows and looking at Ruslan like a protective mother hawk.
“What rumors?” Ruslan blinked a few times.
He knew what the old man didn’t condone. Mr. Kent had no issues with Ruslan being gay, but he did have a problem with something else.
“That you were treated rather rudely in the gym the other day,” the old man said promptly.
Ruslan huffed in annoyance.
“Really? Do you have ears everywhere?”
“You know I do,” the man he called his father said matter-of-factly.
“I’m a grown-up. I’m 24,” Ruslan glared.
“And you’re still eating s’mores and hot fudge,” the old man smiled. “Russy, stop giving me the evil eye. It doesn’t become your handsome face.”
Ruslan relaxed and eased into his chair.
“You sure know how to treat me like a kid.”
“And what do you know about that?” the old man said, his eyes warm.
“Point taken,” Ruslan admitted.
He always indulged the old man in these bouts of overly protective behavior. It was just a game between the two of them. When Mr. Kent had picked two rather scrawny 16-year olds from the streets, given them food and shelter, Ruslan had also been taught humility. Yanis had called the old man a creep and a weirdo and had eventually run away.
But Ruslan had stayed. And if the old man wanted to treat him like he was 5, or 12, or 14, that be it. That had been how Mr. Kent had taught Ruslan what love, real love, was. And he was grateful for every second of it.
“But enough about you trying to change the subject,” the old man wagged the finger at him. “If anyone tries to pull something funny with you, I have to know.”
“Don’t worry, papa, I can fight my own battles,” Ruslan waved.
“Especially when you have a well-trained guard dog to do that for you, right?” the old man’s eyes were scrutinizing now. “Or should I say … a snake?”
Ruslan opened his mouth to protest, but then closed it fast. And he clenched his teeth. That guy.
“What did he do?” he pretended to be interested in an invisible spot on the rim of his glass, getting busy with the blunt nail of an index finger.
“Nothing bad so far, apparently,” the old man chuckled. “Russy, you know how much I want you to stop running wild. You’re such a good kid otherwise.”
“You want me to settle down? Buy a house? Raise a family?” Ruslan looked over his glass at the other.
“Don’t be a smartass,” the old man frowned.
The waiter interrupted their little argument, placing the filet mignon dishes in front of them and filling their wine glasses. Ruslan made a face.
“I don’t like this,” he murmured, as he slowly grabbed his fork and knife, and took a sad look at his plate.
“For someone raised in an orphanage, you sure are fussy,” the old man commented. “Well, if you want your s’mores, you’ll eat everything else first.”
Ruslan liked that about the old man. He never sugarcoated the truth. He never pretended that everyone had to walk on eggshells around the subject of how Ruslan had lived before ending up on the streets with Yanis. Or what he had done at the time to survive. And Ruslan appreciated that. The old man hadn’t requested to be called ‘father’ or ‘dad’, either. But he had given Ruslan his name, and Ruslan had decided to call him ‘papa’ after his first French lesson. Amused, Mr. Kent had agreed that sounded slightly amusing and very much like something Ruslan would say.
“Now, eat your food, and listen to me scolding you,” Mr. Kent added.
“Do I really have to?” Ruslan mumbled, but he was acting like a kid on purpose.
The old man liked that.
“Yes, you have to. I was glad to see Yanis getting himself someone else to bother. Although I do know that you two are still sneaking around. But,” the old man put both his palms up, “he’s your buddy, your best pal, or whatever you youngsters call friends today. So I understand. But this good for nothing fighter? He’s talented. I give it to him. Strong like a bull, quick like a snake. And I want him in my ring. But in your bed? Russy, I have big plans for you.”
“Seriously,” Ruslan exhaled and looked at the large portion of the filet mignon, still uneaten. “It’s not like we’re going steady. We barely did it once,” he lied on purpose.
“Twice,” the old man corrected him right away.
Of course, he knew. That was no surprise, and Ruslan wasn’t bothered.
“We never did it in my bed,” he cared to point out.
“I assume it’s only a matter of time,” the old man replied, and his eyes never left Ruslan as he ate, with slow, studied gestures.
“Don’t let yourself bothered by insignificant things,” Ruslan said. “And Snake is certainly not one to be worried about. We’re just … you know.”
He had learned quite quickly not to use cuss words when talking to the man. If there was one thing he could not stand, that was to disappoint his adoptive father. Except for the times when, well, he did feel the need to run wild, as the old man had said. He could not exactly help that. Without it, he was guaranteed to go slightly insane. He knew. He had tried it.
“He claimed you loud and proud,” the old man shrugged as he took a sip from his glass of wine.
Ruslan froze. He knew his hearing was perfectly fine, but, right now, he was hoping that was not the case.
“What?” he stammered and reached for his glass.
“You mean, except for the fact that he promised the guy who insulted you a good thrashing in the ring if they get to meet there? Well, he called you, let me see if I can remember correctly what I was told,” the old man stared at the ceiling for a second, “his main squeeze.”
Ruslan tried to swallow the wine in his mouth and ended up sputtering and coughing. Quickly regaining his breathing and posture, he patted his lips with a napkin.
“So you didn’t know?” the old man laughed.
“How could I know such a thing?” Ruslan glared again. “I don’t have ears everywhere, as you do.”
“Well, Snake seems to be pretty serious about you,” the old man returned to his steak. “It looks to me like you’ll have to fend for yourself.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Ruslan waved.
“Russy, that man is nothing but trouble,” the old man insisted.
“I love trouble,” Ruslan shrugged.
“I have plans for you. At the right moment, I will present you with some excellent prospects.”
“Prospects? For what?” Ruslan looked at the old man, now very much confused. “Are you interested in branching out? Seek other venues? I like it here.”
“Don’t worry. I’m not sending you away. I had you homeschooled, only so that I don’t lose you out of my sight,” the old man said. “I’m talking about prospects, as in some very dashing young men that I hope you will consider.”
Ruslan placed the fork neatly on the napkin.
“Oh, god,” he managed. “Am I looking at an arranged marriage in the near future?” he leaned over the table to take a better look at the other, and see if the old man was suddenly in the mood for jokes.
“Not a marriage in a traditional sense,” the old man explained. “But a lucrative partnership. Plus, these ambitious young men …”
“I thought they were dashing,” Ruslan interrupted.
“Strapping even,” the old man added with a smile.
Ruslan rolled his eyes.
“You were saying …?”
“These handsome young men would very much like to make your acquaintance.”
“I don’t know them, and they don’t know me,” Ruslan pointed out.
“They are very entrepreneurial and industrious. While they might see you as an asset at first, given your position, I’m sure they will be smitten with you,” the old man said. “For all the reasons young men like you do feel so inclined,” he added with a vague gesture.
“So they’re gay?” Ruslan whispered.
“As a daisy in May,” the old man said with a small smile.
“That was a little trite,” Ruslan remarked but smiled, too, while playing along.
“Hmm,” the old man’s smile broadened.
“All right,” he sighed, a bit too theatrically to have that taken at face value. “I will meet these strapping and dashing and ambitious young men. But I can’t guarantee that I will like them. Wait, do I have to sleep with them? Is that a requirement?”
The old man shook his head and smiled with mirth.
“Of course it is not a requirement. But I’d rather you deal with people who won’t judge you rather than some shmucks who think that calling you names somehow makes them men. You know I won’t tolerate having anyone throw such words in your face. Or behind your back.”
“Papa, you cannot prevent the entire world from being, you know, what it is,” Ruslan replied with a shrug.
He wasn’t as bothered as the old man. Unlike his adoptive father, he knew that guys too busy spouting homophobic shit were the most likely to be so deep in the closet that they had no idea what was really happening to them. The truly straight guys he had met, interacted with, and even been friends or friendly with, usually didn’t have a problem with him being gay.
Of course, that didn’t mean that assholes like the one at the gym weren’t dangerous. Tempted to act like cornered animals, the moment they felt their position threatened, they could be unpredictable and vicious.
And that was the kind of complication he wasn’t in the mood for. Guys who were ready and at least half-tempted to test their sexuality by screwing around were total game. Homophobes who wanted nothing more than to fuck a guy because that was their deepest, most secret wish, were not at all on his list.
“Well, I can at least try,” the old man spoke, interrupting the train of his thoughts.
Ruslan beamed at him. If there was someone in the whole world who meant the world to him, that was the old man. At first, he had thought that the man was interested in him, as a toy, the kind rich men liked to entertain themselves with. Snake’s remark from that first time hadn’t taken him by surprise.
But even when he had bluntly offered, the old man had said a simple ‘no’. Not even Yanis could believe that. His longtime friend had been adamant about not paying for the old man’s kindness with his ass.
That had proved not to be necessary.
“Russy,” the old man spoke with affection. “You know I only want what’s best for you. Keep Snake as side entertainment. I don’t mind. But be aware of what and who he truly is. These violent men have a tendency of behaving in their personal life just like in the ring. And already he thinks he is entitled to claim you.”
Ruslan waved, pretending that the old man’s words were not making him a little hot. Clearly, he had it a little bad for that uncouth fighter, just like, apparently, the guy had it for him.
“We’re just fooling around,” he said. “One of us is bound to get bored, sooner rather than later.”
“You may sound sure of yourself, but all I can sense is trouble,” the old man insisted. “Cut him loose now, instead of later.”
“After the tournament, when he signs with us,” Ruslan promised. “You still want him, right? This is just my way of hitting two birds with the same stone. Business mixed with pleasure.”
“You sound plenty certain that he’ll win,” his adoptive father replied.
“I saw him, remember?” Ruslan said with conviction. “He has the mold of a champion. I’m sure he won’t let us down. And you could use a new name up in lights,” he added.
The old man huffed but added nothing more. The waiter brought the dessert and placed it neatly in front of Ruslan, while his adoptive father settled for nothing but a coffee, black.
Ruslan sighed contently this time as he dug into his favorite sweet delight.
“If you ever get into trouble, just tell me,” the old man said, sipping his coffee slowly. “If you care about the mutt, let him know what could happen to him, should he decide to play rough. Understood?”
Ruslan knew when the old man meant business.
“Sure,” he replied. “But, really, papa, I can handle Snake. And I just find it ludicrous to think that he would try to hurt me, physically.”
“It’s not that I’m worried about,” the other replied.
“Oh, it’s not? Because I thought you were worried about his violent nature.”
“Yes. Not because I think he would try to hit you or anything like that. But I’ve lived a lot, and men like this one think they could shoot for the stars and not pay what’s due. He could get possessive, jealous. I bet you won’t find him as fun as you do now, once he starts thinking you’re truly, well, his main squeeze,” the man concluded.
“I’m sure he was just saying it to brag,” Ruslan grimaced.
Damn, only the mention that the guy was claiming him so shamelessly, and in such a macho environment, was making Ruslan feel like there was a small fire burning in his veins. He could barely wait until Saturday when the man was going to win, and then Ruslan had to offer him the promised reward.
“You’re giddy like a schoolgirl over this bad boy,” the old man shook his head.
Ruslan stared at his plate. Was he really that transparent? Maybe only when the old man looked at him. But yeah, he was behaving like a teenager with stars in his eyes. And why? Over a good fuck? All right, he really needed to take control of the situation.
“Ah, I think you’re right,” he sighed, and this time the deep exhale was not some mise-en-scene.
So, tonight he was going to grab someone, anyone, and screw until morning. No matter what Snake was saying, they weren’t an item. And the best way to put a stop to silly delusions was to get laid.
Who to pick? Ruslan looked, a bit bored, over the men at the bar. Okay, so two were severely smashed, one didn’t look half interesting, and ... Ah, the one playing with his wedding ring. He had to do.
He should have just gone to a gay club or bar, but, for some reason, Ruslan was not one for the scene. The music was too loud, everybody there had already fucked everybody, and there was no thrill of the hunt.
Ruslan was all down for other things. For choosing a guy and convincing him to have a good time together. Places like this, where out-of-towners chose to chill or have a drink between flights or rides, were preferable. Not that he didn’t settle for locals when there was no one new who was interested in getting down and dirty with him. The fewer complications, the better.
But, save for very few exceptions, he preferred his trysts to be with guys he had no chance of stumbling upon the next week while shopping for groceries. Or worse, at his workplace.
Funny thing, he thought. He usually didn’t fool around with fighters, although there were plenty of them everywhere he looked. With bouncers, either. Until Snake, he had not had anyone like that in his bed. You don’t piss where you eat, or something like that. Yet, that fighter, that day, at the gym, had known a little too much about how Ruslan liked cock on his menu. Word flew around, it seemed.
All right, if he was going to start thinking of crap like that, he wasn’t going to get laid tonight. So gulping down his drink, he moved on to the stool next to the guy with the wedding ring. The man had a slightly haggard look on his face, but he was handsome enough to suit Ruslan’s tastes.
Somewhere in his mid-forties, the guy seemed like the perfect candidate for a mid-life crisis. By the way he was playing with his wedding ring as if he was debating whether he should take it out or not, he looked like he was up for a little adventure. If that adventure was going to involve some horizontal play with a stranger, a male on top of it all, was something that Ruslan was keen on finding out.
“Hey, man,” Ruslan addressed the guy. “Can I buy you a drink?”
The guy looked into his glass, took one last sip, and then turned to look at Ruslan, apparently a bit taken by surprise to be approached like this.
“Sure, why not?” he shrugged.
“Where are you from?” Ruslan asked as he gestured for the bartender.
The man didn’t seem interested in making conversation. That was fine by Ruslan. It was, after all, just a boring interlude to hopefully one at least half-decent sex escapade.
“Troubles with the missus?” he pointed at the man’s wedding ring.
The guy took a look at the golden band as if there were some crucial secrets to be found just by inspecting it. He grunted noncommittally instead of a reply.
“Tonight it’s rather slow,” Ruslan commented. “If you were hoping to meet some ladies, I’m afraid you’re out of luck.”
The man turned again to look at Ruslan, and this time his nostrils flared a little. So what was going to be? Either the guy was catching on the innuendo and went along, or he was going to flip Ruslan off, and that was it. He was just going to call it an unlucky night.
Maybe he was going to call Yanis, after all. Nah, the thought didn’t seem that appealing. He wasn’t one to get too much on Anya’s nerves, by calling Yanis over for a fuck right now. Since the need was not that great, and all.
“Not that out of luck,” the man said gruffly. “You bought me a drink,” he added, raising his glass. “Much needed if you ask me.”
“Glad to be of help,” Ruslan moved closer. “Anything else I could do for you?”
Now it was the time to see if this was going to sink or swim. Boldly, he placed one hand on the man’s knee. The guy didn’t move and didn’t seem bothered by it, either. He continued to drink, his grim expression fading a little.
They stumbled toward the man’s hotel room. For two minutes, the guy struggled to find his key card. Ruslan was starting to get a little impatient. This wasn’t like him. Like he could barely wait to have this over with. Usually, he looked forward to bedding some new guy. But not right now.
Right now, he felt like it was a much better idea to turn on his heels and go home to sleep. But he had gotten the guy’s hopes high, and his, too.
“Allow me,” he took the key card from the man’s shaky hands and finally opened the door.
The guy’s room was nothing out of the ordinary. But it wasn’t dingy, either. His host went straight for the mini bar to get another drink.
“Hey,” Ruslan moved to grab the small bottle from the guy’s hand. “Don’t you think you have enough liquid courage in you?”
The man started laughing. Not like a drunkard, but as someone who felt dejected and desperate a little. He flopped down on the couch, his shoulders slumped. A bit hesitantly, Ruslan took a seat next to him.
“So,” he was the first to speak, seeing that the other was not talking. “What would you like to do?”
“Maybe not cheat on my wife,” the man finally replied.
Ruslan sighed. Oh, great.
“Come on, man, it’s not like anyone will know.”
His own words rang hollow in his ears. What the hell was wrong with him?
“I’ll know. That’s enough,” the man said. “I bet you think I’m some loser.”
“No,” Ruslan protested right away.
He was not in the business of judging people. God knew he had plenty to be judged for. So he wasn’t doing that kind of dance.
And the night was bust, he thought, looking at the guy’s hunched shoulders. He patted the guy on the back. The man turned and looked at him, his eyes red and tired.
“Maybe you should just go to sleep, and call your wife in the morning,” Ruslan suggested.
The man nodded, looking a bit relieved.
“Sorry about ...” he gestured, finding his words with difficulty. “I don’t usually pick up strangers in bars. I have no idea what came over me. Although you’re a very attractive young man,” the man added quickly. “And I would have ... You know. But I can’t.”
“No sweat, man. And if it’s any consolation, I picked you up, not the other way around.”
“I noticed you, the moment you walked in. And a little how you looked around, at the others. You wouldn’t have been my first guy, you know,” the man babbled.
“I thought you weren’t cheating on your wife,” Ruslan commented.
“I’m not,” the man replied. “But I did my part of fooling around when I was young. I may be too old for that, though. Your attention flattered me. So that you know.”
“I guess we all get there sooner or later,” the man continued.
“Where, exactly?” Ruslan questioned, a bit intrigued.
“You know, settled down, having to deal with all that crap that comes with that. Yeah, you’re right. I should call my wife. Sorry, man,” he offered again.
“No problem,” Ruslan raised his hands, feeling strangely relieved. “I wish you to have a good talk with the lady. And, you know, maybe ask her to peg you. Just so that you don’t have to live with regrets,” he joked.
The man laughed.
“That’s good advice.”
“I should get going,” Ruslan stood up.
The man wished him a safe trip. He probably thought Ruslan was in passing, just like him. Ruslan almost sprinted out of the room.
And he still had no idea why he felt so relieved.
“Sir, I was asked to give you this,” a bouncer stopped him on his way to his office.
A bit intrigued, he took the piece of paper from the man’s hand. Before he had the chance to ask for more information, the man had already left, seemingly his presence needed to solve some situation on the floor.
He could not stop a chuckle when he saw the scribbled numbers and letters. Snake’s writing was bulky, nervous like there was no time even to sit down and write a damn phone number. Of course, they hadn’t changed details, despite having sex twice. He didn’t usually do that with his casual sex partners, so this was a first in its right.
Taking out his phone, he pushed open the door to his office and plopped down on the comfy chair. With one hand, he pulled at his tie.
“Hey,” the fighter’s energetic voice came through. “Whatcha doing?” the next words were drawled, in a transparent attempt to be seductive and playful.
Ruslan rolled his eyes.
“How could you tell it was me?” he asked, as he threw his tie on the desk.
“Simple. You’re already in my address book, under Sexy AF,” Johnny laughed. “And it was easy to steal one of your business cards from your desk. And to hope that was your personal phone, too.”
Ruslan tried to will the corners of his mouth against going up. What was the old man running his mouth about? Snake was sweet and harmless like a little lamb.
“Ah, really? How come I’m not listed as your ... Main squeeze?” he paused for a second, for dramatic effect.
“You heard about that, huh?”
“Well, words travel fast around here,” Ruslan stated, now busy opening the first buttons of his shirt.
“Great. That saves me some time,” Johnny said with satisfaction.
“Time? What do you mean?” Ruslan asked.
“To ask you. If you’d like that.”
Ruslan rubbed his forehead, trying again not to smile.
“What’s next? Are we going to move in together?” he asked, without hiding his amusement.
“Not until I get a nice place,” Johnny played along, chuckling. “I need to make myself a situation if I’m to bring you home. You know, have enough to make cash run on your ass.”
“Oh, no, you think I’m a stripper or something,” Ruslan snorted. “FYI, I have plenty of cash. That’s no issue.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Johnny replied, but he didn’t seem impressed with that. “So, you didn’t answer my question. What are you doing right now?”
“Really? That’s the only reason you called?” Ruslan put his feet up on the desk.
“Not the only one,” Johnny said back. “I want to know if you kept your promise.”
“What promise?” Ruslan grabbed a file from his desk and began browsing through it, just to pretend he wasn’t affected like a teenager talking to his crush over the phone.
“To keep away from dudes until we meet again,” Johnny said promptly.
“Seriously? I don’t recall such a promise,” Ruslan replied.
“Recall it,” Johnny said.
“Are you serious about this?” Ruslan paused his perusing of the document in his hand.
“One hundred and ten percent,” Johnny replied.
“Okay,” Ruslan sighed. “Only a couple of days until the first bouts. I suppose I can deal with a bit of abstinence for your sake. But if you lose ... Have you been training properly? Eaten right? Slept well? How about hydration?”
Johnny’s smug laugh on the other end irked him a little.
“See? You’re already bugging me like we’ve been married for ten years,” Johnny joked.
“Oh, don’t flatter yourself. You’re soon to become an investment. I should see to you. Plus, I’m not going to keep up with that silly promise after this weekend. Okay?”
“Hmm, nah, I can’t take such a condition. I told you. Your ass will know me enough. This weekend. After I win, I’ll be with you until Sunday night. I’ll make sure that you’ll barely manage to get out of the bed by Wednesday. Let’s say that you’ll fully recover on Thursday and Friday. And then it’s Saturday again. And then I win again. Rinse and repeat, sweet lips,” the man concluded with unhidden satisfaction.
“Wow, you really talk big,” Ruslan murmured, feeling his cheeks getting warm.
“That’s not the only big thing about me,” Johnny snickered.
“I should know,” Ruslan said with a small smile of his own.
“Yeah,” the other boasted shamelessly.
“All right, Snake, we have a deal. But if you’re a bore and I’m still horny after you leave on Sunday night ...”
“Let’s make it Monday morning,” Johnny intervened. “And call me Johnny. I told you. You’re my inner circle now.”
“Hmm, strange choice of words. Are you trying to tell me I’m your whole inner circle? Or just part of it?”
“I’m a loner, pretty,” Johnny replied. “There’s no one in my inner circle.”
“Yet, we just met, and I’m it,” Ruslan pointed out.
“What can I say, sexy. You’re under my skin.”
“Oh please. Don’t you think you’re trying a bit too hard?” Ruslan laughed.
“You’ve seen nothing. Trust me,” Johnny said with conviction.
“All right, then. Go wreck them, tiger, and we’ll see how much you live up to your boastful promises.”
“Deal. Don’t go screwing around, okay? I’ll take care of you.”
“Sure,” Ruslan said, and he would have liked to say that the short word sounded ironic.
It was really not like that. Not like that at all. Ah, well, he had to let things run their course. And the flame he had kindled by getting busy with this bad boy, as the old man had hurried to label Snake, was going to burn bright, then die, like any other before.
Johnny grinned, putting the phone down. The good doctor had just given him the green line. He was healthy as a bull. With satisfaction, he took a look at the papers the man had handed to him when he had left the doctor’s office, the day before. Yeah, he had green line, and not only for smashing heads in the ring. He was going to fuck that pretty man six ways from Sunday.
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