Hackers with(out) Remorse - (Book 4 of the Marvelous 3 Saga)

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18a. - Point of No Return Pt. 1

Hacker Rule #4: Learn lessons from the past before they catch up with you.

Tiana looked at her pruned fingers as the water fell past her face. She lost track of how much time she had spent in the shower, but she was appreciative that no one came to get her.

“Save some water for the fishes, T!” Tiana never missed her brother more than she did at that moment. She needed him to tell her how badly she was fucking up and that she needed to get her shit together.

“I told you not to mess with them white men.” Even the words of her best friend would provide more comfort, but she had never felt more distant from Shae. She hoped Joey was at least keeping her happy. She eventually turned off the water and allowed herself to air dry as she stood in the tub contemplating.

They were one step closer to apprehending the guy who killed her brother. The thought gave her a rush. She figured once this happened, she could finally go back to having somewhat of a normal life again. If she could see her life without them… Would they even let her go? After the way they yelled at her for sleeping with David, she wasn’t so sure. She had no idea what her life would look like once all this was over.

One thing was for certain: she needed to set the record straight with David. If her blunder was any indication of her feelings, it was that she didn’t know what she wanted. She didn’t feel David deserved her mess of a life. If she couldn’t even tell him that she was a hacker searching for her brother’s killer, then there was no point in trying to make things work. There was no point in living a lie. He deserved better.

She stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around her body. Looking at herself in the mirror, she wasn’t sure she liked what she saw. “I miss you so much, Dante...” she said quietly. She stepped out of the bathroom and tiptoed to her room to get dressed. After Darren saved her from the scolding of a lifetime, she was grateful he offered to give her a minute to collect herself before debriefing them on their final assignment.

~

Darren sat at his desk in the basement typing away. He slowly looked up to see Tyler leaning against a wall with his arms folded over his chest and his head down. His default mode of constant irritation. Owen was sitting in a chair right next to his brother, tapping away at his phone with a scowl Darren rarely saw on his face.

But it was Jason pacing like a lion that caught Darren’s attention the most. Jason who was always the most chill and relaxed of the group seemed to be unraveling at the moment. “Jason, would you calm the fuck down already,” Tyler snapped impatiently.

“We were too hard on her,” Jason said, running his fingers through his hair. “We shouldn’t have yelled at her like that.”

“She stayed at some asshole’s apartment without telling us and ignored all our calls. The yelling was warranted,” Owen said annoyed, his eyes not deviating from his phone.

Jason stopped pacing and looked at Owen and Tyler. “Just who the fuck is this David guy?”

“I don’t know, but I’m gonna fucking find out,” Owen muttered.

“Are you guys finally on the same page regarding how you feel about Tiana?” Darren interrupted. “Just assuming since you’re talking about her in front of me, which you don’t normally do.”

“Ty is still in denial, but pretty much,” Jason said, perching himself on the edge of Darren’s desk.

“Fuck you,” Tyler said, flipping him off.

“And... are you going to tell her?” Darren asked.

The three of them exchanged looks before Owen shook his head. “We have more important things to worry about, Darren,” Owen said.

“But...” Darren hesitated. “I really don’t think it’s fair to her that you guys-”

“So, about this connection,” Tyler said, cutting him off. “Where can we find him? Who is he?”

“I thought we were waiting for Tiana...” Darren sighed.

“It’s fine, Darren, you can start.” The guys looked up to see Tiana walking down the stairs. She stopped at the last step and sat down.

“Aren’t you going to come closer?” Darren asked.

“I can see from here...” she said quietly. Owen and Tyler exchanged concerned looks while Jason frowned.

“Okay,” Darren said, turning on a projector. “The matching account from the car wash comes from a guy named Lonnie Mars.” A picture popped up on the screen of an older man in a suit in a crowded building.

“That’s the guy who propositioned Anna and me,” Tiana said. “I thought he seemed shady.”

“Your gut feeling was correct,” Darren said. “Lonnie Mars is a close partner of Roger Peterson. He runs a conglomerate of gambling facilities and has direct access to Peterson. But he’s an active guy and not that easy to get to.”

“We caught him at the car wash,” Tyler said. “We can do it again. Do we know where his next sighting might be?”

“We do,” Darren said. “He owns one of the biggest fighting arenas in New Jersey. He stays in the VIP box suite and gets a portion of whatever bets go in.”

“Then that’s it,” Owen said. “We find a way into his suite and get details on Peterson.”

“I’m afraid it’s not that easy,” Darren said. “This arena is also one of the most exclusive in the nation, especially for the VIP box suite.”

“How exclusive?” Owen asked.

“You either pay a $20,000 entrance fee... or you enter a fight yourself,” Darren responded.

“Shit...” Jason muttered.

“Any other options?” Owen insisted. “Maybe we can catch him at his building again.”

Darren shook his head. “He’s leaving the country after tomorrow’s fight.”

“Dammit,” Owen groaned.

Tyler rubbed his thumb and finger together and took a deep breath. “Then we enter the fight,” he said.

Darren looked up at him surprised. “But who-”

“Me,” Tyler clarified. “Just register me.”

“NO!” Owen snapped.

“Fuck no!” Jason protested simultaneously.

“Guys, this is the only way,” Tyler insisted. “We don’t just have a spare 20 grand lying around, and we can’t afford to miss this guy. Not when we’re so close.”

“I SAID ‘NO’!” Owen growled. Tiana jumped startled. She had never seen nor heard Owen so stern before.

Tyler looked at Owen and took a deep breath. “Can you guys give me a minute to speak to Jason and Owen?”

“There’s nothing to fucking talk about because you’re not doing it,” Owen snapped.

“Darren? Tiana?” Tyler said, looking at the two of them insisting they leave. Tiana and Darren looked at each other before getting up to leave.

~

Tiana leaned against the wall upstairs waiting for the guys to finish. Tyler rarely ever said her actual name. She knew whatever they were discussing had to be serious. She looked over at Darren who seemed to be lost in his own thoughts as well. “Darren?”

Darren turned his head and looked at her. “Yea?”

“This fight... Is it really dangerous? People don’t die, do they?”

Darren twisted his mouth. “I don’t really know, Tiana... But Tyler’s a good fighter. He used to fight professionally before he stopped.”

“Really?”

“Yea,” Darren nodded. “And he was unbeatable. He had a Russian friend from Massachusetts that kind of coached him on it, and he got better. It was a good way to help him cope.”

“Help him cope with what?” she asked.

Darren sighed. “It’s not really my place to say...” Tiana frowned as she looked down. They heard the door open, and she quickly turned to see Tyler emerge with a frustrated Owen and a weary Jason behind him.

“Jason is going to be my coach,” Tyler said to Darren. “Is there anything I need to know regarding regulations?”

Darren shook his head. “Just no weapons. I’ll register you for the fight, but I need to take your specs. They set up participating fighters in an adjacent high-rise hotel. There’s even a prize, but you really just need to survive the first round.”

Survive?!” Tiana panicked.

Tyler glanced at her and smirked, amused by her concern. “I’ll send you my specs later, Darren,” Tyler said, walking past them. “Just let me know where we’re meeting.”

Jason watched Tyler walk away before he glanced at Tiana. She immediately averted her gaze, unable to look him in the eyes. “Don’t do me like that, babe,” Jason said, grabbing her chin. He leaned forward to kiss her, but she immediately pulled back.

“Jason,” she said anxiously. “Owen and Darren-”

“Already know,” Jason said. He wrapped his other hand around her waist and pulled her against him. Firmly pressing his lips to hers, he hungrily kissed her. He nearly sucked the life out of her as he felt her tremble in his arms. Tiana felt her entire body heat up, completely flabbergasted that Jason was kissing her in front of Owen and Darren. She clearly missed something.

Jason pulled back from her, tugging her bottom lip between his teeth before he smirked at her. “You and I still need to talk...” he said to her. He patted her ass before following after Tyler. Tiana stood there stunned before Owen walked into her line of sight. The look on his face revealed he didn’t necessarily approve of Jason’s unapologetic display of affection.

“T,” Owen said, shaking her out of her shocked state. “While Darren sets up registration, I need you to work with me on re-wiring our connection system.” She looked at him and nodded, not uttering a word.

~*~

Tiana stepped into the luxurious hotel suite carrying one of the bags of equipment. She looked up in awe at the high ceiling bordered by large glass windows that looked over the bustling city below. “Goddamn,” she said, looking around.

“I’ll take that,” Jason said, walking up behind her. He grabbed the bag from her hand. It felt good to see him smiling at her again. The dimples in his cheeks as he winked at her made her heart flutter. And she realized how much she hated him ever being upset with her. She never wanted to give him a reason to. “Ty and I are going to continue training in their expensive ass gym downstairs,” Jason said as Owen passed him.

“Cool. I’ll check up on you guys later,” Owen said, heading towards Tiana. “Darren will be covering us from home base while I intercept Lonnie Mars.”

Tiana leaned back against the table as she watched Owen sort through a bunch of cords. “...And... what do you want me to do?” she asked quietly.

Owen glanced up at her and sighed. “Why are you acting like that, T?”

“Like what?”

“Subdued,” he said. Tiana shrugged with her arms wrapped around her. She looked down, not knowing what to say. Owen glanced at her and sighed as he put the cords down. “Come here,” he said, motioning with his hands.

“Owen-”

“I said come here, Tiana,” he said more firmly. Tiana dropped her arms and cautiously walked over to him before he grabbed her and pulled her against him. “I’m not mad at you,” he said.

“Kinda find that hard to believe...” she muttered.

“I’m serious, T,” he said, lifting her chin so she met his gaze. “I’m not. I care about you. You know I do. And I’m going to be protective of you. That’s never going to change.”

Tiana bit her bottom lip. “You acted as if I cheated on you or something, Owen...”

Owen froze for a moment as he searched her eyes and his own mind on how to respond. “Because like I said... I don’t trust him,” he answered eventually. “Jason was a little hurt...”

Tiana looked up at him surprised as she felt her chest tighten. She looked down and let out a little whimper. “I didn’t mean to hurt him,” she said. “I’m just gonna stay single. I’m done with Jason. Done with David.”

“Done with Tyler?” Owen asked.

Tiana looked at Owen confused. “I was never with him.”

Owen chuckled as he wrapped his arms around her even tighter. “You don’t know my brother,” he smirked.

Tiana rested her head against Owen’s chest and felt his heat radiating from him. “Owen... what’s the deal with Tyler? Why is being in this fight such a big issue?”

She felt Owen’s jaw move on the top of her skull, and she could tell he was tensing again. “T...” he said softly. “There’s... a lot... I haven’t told you about our past...”

“Yea, I know,” she chuckled.

“No... you don’t know...”

Tiana could feel Owen’s embrace tighten around her as his heartbeat seemed to thump louder and harder in his chest. “There’s... something I should tell you...” Owen said.

~*~

“Again! Again! No, goddamn! Cut that bullshit out, Ty. You’re getting stuck in your damn head again!”

“I’m trying! Fuck!”

Jason dodged the large heavy bag swinging wildly from the force of Tyler’s punch. He looked at his friend to see him slide back against the wall until he was on the floor. “Hey,” Jason said, crouching down in front of Tyler. “Hey, hey, come on. Relax, bro.” Jason handed Tyler a bottle of water that Tyler eagerly took in his grasp before chugging it down. “You gotta stop this shit, Ty,” Jason said. “Seriously, bro, I... I hate seeing you like this. You gotta get past this.”

“I fucking can’t, Jason!” Tyler said, putting his face in his hands. “All I see is him! All I see is his fucking face!”

Jason deeply sighed with remorse when he heard a sound. He looked towards the door to see Tiana standing there with a duffel bag. “... Sorry to interrupt,” she said. “Owen said to bring this stuff down to you guys...”

Jason smiled as he stood up and strolled towards her. “Thanks, beautiful,” he said, grabbing the bag. He quickly wrapped a hand around her waist. “And you could never interrupt... in fact, you should join,” he winked. “We can get sweaty together.”

Tiana smirked as she pushed him back. “I’m not much of a fighter.”

“Oh really?” Jason said with a smirk. “Cause just the other day you looked like you were ready to throw hands when we were interrogating you about Drake.”

“We’re back to ‘Drake’ again?” she sighed.

“No, we’re not letting you go back to him ever again,” Jason said, kissing her cheek. She didn’t know how to feel about that sentiment. She noticed Tyler was watching them before he quickly turned his head.

“I can leave,” she said.

“Stay awhile, babe...” Jason said, kissing her neck. “Your fine ass might give Ty some motivation...”

“Jason!” Tiana and Tyler blurted at the same time. Jason chuckled as he let her go.

“At least let me do something to help if I’m going to stay down here,” she insisted.

Jason looked at Tyler, who sighed with resignation. Then, he looked back at Tiana. “You can set up the first aid station,” Jason said. “For after each round.” Tiana panicked when Jason put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “It’s just protocol, babe. Doesn’t mean something is going to happen to him.” She relaxed slightly when she caught Tyler’s gaze again. “Isn’t that sweet, Ty?” Jason smirked. “She cares about you.”

“Can you shut up?!” Tiana said, shoving him.

“Shut the fuck up!” Tyler snapped at Jason at the same time.

Tiana rolled her eyes as she headed to a small table and started unraveling the first aid kit. Tyler looked from her to Jason who lowered his hand to help him to his feet. “Ready to go again?” Jason asked.

“...yea...” Tyler said, putting his arms up. Tiana subtly looked up to watch them train. She had only seen Tyler fight once before, and it was brutal. His sweat trailed down his muscular biceps and underneath his shirt that clung to his defined torso.

Tyler caught the way Tiana was watching him, and it made him hot as his throat got dry. The last thing he needed was a rock hard erection, which was steadily growing beneath his shorts every time she looked his way. “Focus,” Jason said, holding the heavy bag. “You missed your block.”

Tyler shook his head and growled annoyed. “Can you send her ass somewhere? She’s fucking distracting.”

Jason looked at Tyler and gave a mischievous grin. “Oh sure. No problem, bro. I gotchu.” Jason turned and walked up to Tiana who stared up at him questioningly. “You’re doing a great job, babe. But, do you mind going to check on Owen instead? Your sexy ass is turning Ty on, and he can’t concentrate without thinking about how badly he wants to fuck you.”

“JASON!” Tyler growled. “That’s not what I fucking said!”

“Not in so many words,” Jason grinned. “We’ll see you at the arena, okay?” Tiana was completely caught off guard as she looked past Jason to see that Tyler was completely red. She tried to hold back a smirk as she nodded and quickly walked off.

~*~

A great deal of time had passed before it was nearly time for the match. Tyler sat on the edge of the bed of one of the bedrooms in their large suite when he heard footsteps. He looked up to see his brother at the door. “Owen... It’s too late to talk me out of-”

“I know that, Ty,” Owen said, walking up to him. Tyler watched his brother pace as he rubbed the back of his neck. “I care about you so much, Ty,” Owen said.

“...I care about you too, Owen,” Tyler said. “That’s why I’m doing this.”

“But, you didn’t have to do this,” Owen said with a bit of strain in his voice. “I can’t lose you to this shit. Not again.”

“You’re not going to lose me,” Tyler insisted. “I can stay in control.”

Owen looked at his brother for a moment, analyzing his face. “Maybe you should call Leo.”

“I don’t need to call-”

“Just call him, please. For my sake. Maybe he has some last-minute advice. Please, Ty.”

Tyler twisted his mouth and nodded. “Alright... alright, I’ll call him.”

Owen bit his bottom lip and sat down on the bed next to Tyler. “I told Tiana,” he said.

Tyler looked at him confused. “Told her what?”

“I told her about mom and dad.”

“YOU WHAT?!” Tyler blurted. “THE FUCK, OWEN?!”

“She needed to know, Ty.”

“Just because you’re fucking in love with her doesn’t mean you should be putting our shit out there like that!” Tyler snapped.

“I needed to let her know why you’re such a fucking dick to her,” Owen said quickly. “Because she fucking likes you.”

Tyler paused for a second as his anger quelled slightly. “She... she likes me?” he asked, surprised. “Why?”

“Bitch, I been trying to figure that out myself,” Owen smirked.

“Dick,” Tyler smirked as he playfully shoved him.

Owen’s grin softened. “You know I love her, Ty.”

“A blind man could see you love her, Owen,” Tyler said.

“So, then I need you to soften up with her. The closer we get to finding Dante’s killer, the more she’s going to need a support system to keep her from falling apart. And I don’t think I can do that myself, because I don’t even know if I’ll be able to handle it.”

Tyler sighed as he rubbed his bicep. “I’ll try...”

Owen smiled as he stood up. “That’s all I ask.” He strolled to the door before he looked back at his brother. “I love you, brother.”

Tyler grinned. “I love you too.”

~*~

Owen fixed the collar of his crisp black tux as he stared at himself in the mirror. “Fight starts in an hour and Lonnie is in the VIP box suite,” came Darren’s voice through the mic. “What are your positions?”

“Droid and Berserker are downstairs watching the first match,” Owen said. “Rogue and I are getting ready to head to the box suite.”

“Copy that,” Darren said.

Owen looked in the mirror until he saw Tiana’s reflection behind him. “Rogue.”

“Cyclops...”

Owen turned around and smiled at her as his hands sat deep in his pockets. He looked over her silk blue dress that complemented her rich dark skin tone. The design of the blouse showed enough provocative cleavage while holding up her large breasts and showcased a slit starting from mid-thigh. “You look beautiful,” he said.

Tiana flushed over. “...So do you.”

He walked up to her and gave her his arm. “Ready?” She nodded as she looped her hand around his arm. They walked out to the elevator and immediately headed up. “Rogue,” Owen said, turning her around to face him. She looked at him inquisitively. “Whatever happens... just remember we’re all here for each other. Okay?” he said.

She didn’t like how doomsday he sounded but she nodded her head. The door to the elevator opened as they both walked outside. The entire corridor was canvassed with velvet red curtains and a red carpet leading to the VIP box suite. “Cyber,” Owen said into his mic. “Rogue and I are at the box office suite. What do we need to do?”

“Give them the name Dean Beaumont,” Darren said.

“Who the fuck is Dean Beaumont?” Owen asked.

“He’s apparently a Son of the Elite who was supposed to attend but canceled at the last minute. It wasn’t hard to hack his credentials,” Darren said.

“Cyber! You got me impersonating a fucking Son of the Elite?! Are you fucking kidding me?!” Owen snapped.

“Just do it, Cyclops. You’re good. Trust me!” Darren insisted. Owen sighed as he walked up to the concierge.

“Name?” the man at the concierge asked.

“Dean Beaumont,” Owen smiled charmingly.

“Ah, oui!” the man said. “Bienvenu, Monsieur Beaumont!”

“Uh... Je ne sais quois...” Owen muttered.

The man looked at him strangely as he opened the curtain for them to pass through. “Merci,” Tiana said with a curtsy.

“DID THIS BITCH JUST SAY ‘JE NE SAIS QUOI’?!” Jason blurted from the mic.

“He really did,” Darren groaned.

“Shut up! It’s the only French I know!” Owen muttered as Tiana tried not to laugh. “Next time have me impersonate an Irish bitch. Shit.”

“That’s funny cause Dean actually is Irish,” Darren said.

“Bitch, what the fuck?” Owen said, confused. Tiana tugged on his jacket and quickly hid. Owen looked at her with confusion. “What?”

“I just realized that Lonnie will recognize me from the car wash,” she whispered. “I can’t be here. If he sees me, he’ll get suspicious.”

“Shit...” Owen muttered. “You’re right. Excuse yourself and go down to Berserker and Droid. I’ll handle this.”

“Are you sure?” she asked concerned.

“Yea, just be careful,” he said, nudging her to the door. She nodded before quickly leaving the room. Owen turned and glanced at Lonnie sitting in a velvet-laced chair surrounded by women. He casually approached him ready to work his magic.

~*~

“Hey, Leo... it’s ah... it’s me... Tyler...”

Tyler leaned against the wall in his boxing shorts. He gazed out at the large arena ahead of him, surrounded by cheering people. “I was just calling because... well, I could really use some of your advice, and... I miss you, man... All that shit you taught me, it’s... I can’t really fucking remember it, and I need it right now...”

Tyler rubbed at his forehead. He tried to control his breathing and his steadily creeping anxiety. “You’re probably busy... um... just call me back when you can...” He hung up and looked at the blank screen on his phone. He felt so alone.

“Evans.” Tyler looked to the side to see the referee signaling to him. “You’re up.”

~

Tyler stepped out onto the walkaway as people all around him cheered. The sound was almost deafening. He couldn’t recognize any faces as he started to walk forward. “You got this, bro,” Jason said, slapping Tyler on the back comfortingly. “Block out the noise.”

Tyler nodded as he punched his gloved fists together. He saw his opponent already at the center. He got to the ring and hopped in. He couldn’t remember the last time he was in a ring. The last time he was in a professional fight. Everything felt surreal.

Jason stepped into the ring after him and peeled Tyler’s jacket off. “The guy’s not as big as you. He’s slim. But that just means he’s probably faster,” Jason said, massaging Tyler’s shoulders. Tyler nodded as Jason slipped a mouth guard into his mouth.

“Droid,” Jason said seriously, looking Tyler in the eye. “You won’t kill him.” Tyler blinked at Jason. “Nod ‘yes’ that you understand,” Jason said. Tyler hesitated before he nodded. “Pull your punches. Stay light on your feet. Don’t aim for vital organs, just disarm. Don’t maim. Don’t kill. Just disarm. Okay?” Jason said. Tyler swallowed and nodded.

Tiana found her way through the crowd as she squeezed to the front. She saw Jason giving Tyler what seemed to be a pep talk before the ref pushed Jason away. “Fighters, get ready!” Tiana felt a nervous feeling at the pit of her stomach. She prayed that Tyler wouldn’t get hurt. She wished this whole thing was already over.

Jason jumped out of the ring, and his eyes widened when he spotted Tiana. “Baby girl,” he said surprised. “What are you doing here?”

“Cyclops told me to come down and assist,” she said.

Jason smiled an uncharacteristically nervous smile. “We might actually need you...”

The bell dinged and the fighters started their dance in the ring. Tyler eyed his opponent and took in his form. He was meaty but slimmer. About his height if the guy stood on his toes. He allowed his opponent to hop towards him and dodged when he tried to hit his face. Tyler jutted out his fist and decked him in the face. His opponent stumbled backward, clutching his nose that started to bleed.

“Shit...” Tyler muttered. “Pull your punches. Pull your punches.” He slacked his arms as his opponent encroached on him again. He threw a punch and then another punch that rocked Tyler’s jaw and the side of his face.

“No!” Tiana screamed, putting her fingers in her hair. Jason stroked the bottom of his chin as he kept his steady eye on his friend. Tyler danced around the ring with his opponent, each of them getting in a blow.

“You fucking piece of shit! You’re nothing but worthless scum!”

Tyler blinked erratically as he tried to shake his father’s voice out of his head. “No, come on,” Tyler said to himself. “Come on.” His opponent rounded him and kicked him in the face, sending him to the ground.

“I should have left you and your fucking faggot brother on the side of the damn road!”

Tyler received another harsh kick to his side, but it felt like nothing compared to the pain warring in his mind.

“DAMMIT, TY! GET THE FUCK UP!”

“TYLER!”

He could hear Tiana and Jason screaming his name on the side. He looked up and saw the worried expressions on both of their faces. He immediately thought back to his brother and pushed himself off of the floor. He hopped back on his feet and wiped a bit of blood from his eyebrow. His opponent came at him again, but he quickly dodged and decked him in the face. His opponent stumbled backward to catch himself and moved forward again when Tyler roundhouse kicked him in the head.

“Oh damn!” Tiana said, not knowing whether to cheer or cringe. His opponent continued to stumble, showing signs of disorientation. Tyler did a swift uppercut as the guy flew up in the air before landing hard on the ground.

“Fuck you and your cunt of a mother!”

Tyler got down on his knees and started violently punching his opponent in the face. “TY!” Jason shouted. Tiana started to panic as she saw more blood decorating the white floor of the ring with each punch. The referee went to pull Tyler off when Tyler threw his hands, sending the referee to the ground. A few more referees jumped into the ring once they realized Tyler was out of control.

Jason immediately ran out of the crowd and jumped into the ring. He hooked his arms underneath Tyler’s armpits and yanked him off. “Calm down! Calm down!” Jason said, struggling to subdue his friend. Tiana’s hands covered her mouth as she looked on in shock at the display before her. She watched as Jason dragged Tyler out of the ring. His poor opponent lay bloody and motionless on the mat.

~*~

Tyler heard the familiar sound of dishes breaking as he pulled up to his house on his skateboard from a skate session with Jason.

“DON’T YOU WALK AWAY FROM ME, BITCH!”

“Aaron, please! You’re drunk, again! You don’t-” Tyler heard a loud slap followed by a thump on the floor.

“STOP IT! STOP!” His father’s drunken laughter and mocking overwhelmed Owen’s shouting.

“You want some of this, you little faggot?!”

Another loud slap could be heard, but it sounded more like a punch followed by Owen’s groaning. Tyler walked through the living room, his heart beating fast in his chest as his anger increased with every scream and punch he heard. The place was a wreck, he assumed, from his father flinging his mother around like a rag doll. He walked into the kitchen that looked like a tornado hit it.

He saw his mother lying on the floor. She trembled as she covered half of her face that was dripping blood from her bleeding lip as her eye swole up like a balloon. He glanced at his brother slumped over the table, trying to protect his mother. Owen’s lip was a bloody mess. His shoulder looked bruised and dislocated and the entire left side of his face was steadily turning blue.

Tyler lifted his eyes to the bane of his existence standing in front of him. His father’s pants were half undone as he held his belt in his hands. His shirt was stained with the liquor he reeked from and his face was flushed red, most likely from beating the shit out of his mother and younger brother.

“What the fuck are you looking at, boy?” his father sneered at him. Tyler’s jaw tensed as he strolled up to his father. “You got something you wanna say to me, bitch?” his father slurred.

Tyler continued to walk up to him. He casually grabbed the heavy glass ashtray full of cigarette butts and immediately swung it at his father, clocking him in the head. His father stumbled backward as his head started bleeding.

“THE FUCK?!” his father growled as he charged at Tyler. His father was more than twice his size, but the young teen was much faster. He swung the ashtray again, smacking his father in the face and breaking his jaw as his father stumbled into the kitchen table. He watched his father slide to the floor bleeding.

“You- you piece of shit,” his father growled. Tyler crawled on top of him as his father punched him in the face, busting his lip. Blood splattered and Tyler felt his lip throb as he caught the terrified look in his mother and brother’s eyes. He picked up the ashtray and looked at his father before hitting him in the face again.

“Fucking-” His father thrashed his hands but Tyler dodged him as he smashed his father’s face with the ashtray again.

He hit him again.

“Tyler!” his mother screamed.

And again.

His father gurgled.

And again. Until there was a loud crack and copious amounts of blood splattered the kitchen floor and Tyler’s face. Tyler looked down at his father’s unrecognizable face. He dropped the bloody ashtray to the kitchen floor that still contained the remnants of his father’s brain matter and hair.

“T-Tyler.” His mother scrambled to her feet as she quickly ran for her son. “Tyler, look at me, sweetie!” she said, grabbing him by his arms. He looked at her and could see the fear in her eyes. “What have you done?!”

Tyler swallowed hard as he looked at her, confused by the question. “I... I was protecting you.”

His mother’s eyes brimmed with tears as she quickly wrapped her son into her arms. “What have I done?!” she cried. “What have I done?!”

A tear slipped down Tyler’s cheek and fell onto his hands painted with the blood that splattered when he knocked out his opponent. His heart felt tight. He felt like he couldn’t breathe. He didn’t want to breathe.

“Here,” Jason said, handing Tyler a glass of water.

Tyler reluctantly took the glass, unable to look at Jason. “I’m sorry...” Tyler muttered. “I’m sorry for-”

“Stop, Ty, shit,” Jason sighed. “Stop apologizing. You have nothing... NOTHING to apologize for. I need you to eventually get that.” When Tyler looked up at Jason, Jason could see the sadness in his best friend’s eyes. “Hydrate,” he said. “And clean yourself up. I’ll go handle the rest.”

Tiana peeked through the door frame. She watched Jason walk away from Tyler and out of the suite. Her heart hurt. Her mind swirled with everything Owen had told her about why Tyler had such an issue with violence. How Tyler killed his father to protect Owen and their mother. How their mother set herself up to take the fall for their father’s murder. They were both so young. And she didn’t want them to split up her boys. Tiana had no clue the harsh truth of Tyler and Owen’s story. She couldn’t imagine either of them going through such a horrible life. But it all made sense.

Tyler looked up when he heard a creak come from the door and saw Tiana standing at the entrance. “As if you couldn’t be a bigger creep,” he said, wiping his face.

Tiana ignored his insult as she walked into the room holding the first aid kit. Tyler leaned against the counter as Tiana placed the kit next to him. She dug through the contents until she pulled out a bottle of rubbing alcohol and grabbed a cotton swab. She raised the alcohol-drenched cotton swab to his face and paused. “May I?” she asked.

Tyler just stared at her without saying anything. She shook her head and proceeded to tend to the injuries on his face. “Did Owen get what he needed?” Tyler asked with a bit of ice in his voice.

“He’s finishing up now,” she said, without looking at him. “Hold this,” she said, pressing an ice pack to the side of his face. He held the ice pack to his face as she started feeling around his abdomen. Tyler tried to feel indifferent to Tiana’s touch, but he couldn’t help that it excited him. “Does this hurt?” she asked, pressing into his ribs.

“No.” He was far too preoccupied with the desire building up inside of him to notice any pain if there was any.

Tiana briefly glanced up at Tyler and bit her lip before going back to his wounds. “...Owen... told me about... your parents...” she said softly.

Tyler’s jaw tensed as he averted his eyes away from her. “I know...”

Tiana twisted her mouth, trying to think of how to be tender about such a sensitive subject. “It’s okay to be angry, Tyler...” she said. “We all have our demons. It’s what makes us human.”

“Am I being charged for this fucking therapy session?” he snapped at her.

Tiana sighed. “I’m just saying that your anger is valid, and-”

“Valid?! I almost killed that man in the ring!”

“But you didn’t,” she said, rubbing ointment on a bruise.

Tyler roughly grabbed her hand to stop her. “Aren’t you scared of me?” he asked, searching her eyes.

She hesitated for a moment, feeling intimidated by his glare before she ripped her hand out of his grasp. “No, Tyler. Can you let me finish fixing you up now?”

He watched her as she pulled out another bandage. “You’re so fucking weird,” he said finally.

She turned to him and looked at him incredulously. “Weird because I’m trying to help your rude ass?”

“Weird because you’re still around after knowing the truth about me,” he said firmly.

Her eyes fell. “You were protecting your family.”

“I killed him.”

“He abused you.”

“Tiana, I killed him!” Tyler snapped. She swallowed as she kept her eyes down. His voice vibrated from the anger and hurt that he felt. “And the worst part is,” he said. “I’m the reason she’s in prison.”

Tiana looked at Tyler to see a range of emotions in his chestnut brown eyes. She felt her heart beating loudly in her chest. She didn’t understand why she felt him so strongly. His pain was practically palpable. She cautiously stepped up to him and brought the cloth to his naked chest, wiping the rest of the blood away. Her fingers grazed over some of his old scars that were thick with scar tissue. “...he...he gave these to you?” she asked. She gently ran her finger over a scar just above his nipple. Tyler sucked in his breath as her touch stirred him.

“...you should see Owen’s...” he said lowly.

Tiana looked at him nervously and swallowed. Her emotions were stuck in her throat. “I’m… I’m sorry, Tyler...” she said remorsefully as she looked into his eyes.

Tyler caught the look in her gaze and it got him so hot, it angered him. “Don’t look at me like that,” he said quickly.

Tiana’s brow furrowed in confusion. “Like what?”

“You know what,” he snapped.

“You’re so moody, Tyler,” she said, shaking her head. “I’m just trying to help.”

“This isn’t helping shit,” he said frustrated.

“Fine,” she snapped. She threw the towel on the table and turned away from him. “If I’m bothering you so much, I’ll just leave-”

Tyler quickly grabbed her by the waist and pulled her against him as his lips immediately attacked hers. His mouth moved furiously against hers, drinking her in as if she were a cup of water after wandering a dry desert. He slipped his hands between the slit of her dress and tore it open wider until her dark mocha thighs were completely exposed. His hands roamed down her hips touching her panties that he hooked with his fingers.

“Tyler-” she started until she heard the tearing and felt him pull the delicate cloth from her waist. A cool breeze hit her steadily dampening core. “Was that necessary?” she breathed out as his lips scoured her neck. Instead of answering her question, he tugged at the straps of her dress before she heard that tear too. “Tyler!” she blurted. “Why can’t you-”

He quickly silenced her with his lips as his hands wrapped underneath her thighs and lifted her onto his waist. Her torn dress flapped as his hands firmly gripped her bare ass, squeezing possessively. She moaned into his mouth as she felt herself starting to drip down her leg.

The ease with which Tyler held her up both startled and concerned Tiana. He shoved all the first aid contents onto the floor before sitting her on the counter. He quickly lowered his shorts and released his thick erection. She immediately received traumatizing flashbacks of Jason, but she had a feeling Tyler wouldn’t be as gentle.

“God, how the fuck do you get me like this every damn time,” he groaned as he stroked his manhood. He held her gaze as he rubbed his head dripping with precum against her center. “You drive me fucking nuts, you know that?” he said, searching her eyes.

She smirked at him. “Likewiii-oh god!” she gasped as he plunged himself deep inside of her. Tyler grunted in agony as her pussy enveloped him like a glove. He didn’t know if it was because he hadn’t had sex in forever or if she was truly that tight that made him want to fall apart as his knees grew weak.

Tiana breathlessly panted as he wrapped his hands underneath her thighs again to lift her off the counter. She could feel him throbbing inside of her as he started to move in and out of her. Stretching her out. Her head felt dizzy as he pushed her back against the wall and started pounding into her.

She tightened her arms around his neck. Her breasts slapped against his sweaty, bruised chest as her back hit the wall over and over again from the roughness of his thrusts. Tiana’s eyes rolled to the back of her head as Tyler hooked her leg over his arm. He drilled into her with such ferocity she was certain she’d break. His teeth grazed her collarbone and she tugged at his brown locks in desperation. The sound of his jewels slapping against her echoed around them.

“You have no fucking idea what you do to me,” he groaned. He pulled out almost fully before slamming into her again. “I can’t stand this fucking hold you have over me.” Tiana knew Tyler was upset because he was punishing the hell out of her pussy. She almost wanted to ask him to stop if it didn’t feel so good. Her nails raked down his back leaving red marks next to the ones he already had.

“I need you to be mine. Goddamn, I need you to be mine,” he groaned into her ear as he slammed her into the wall again. “Shit, you’ve got me fucking begging. Are you kidding me?!”

As one arm held her up on his waist, angling him to pump into her over and over again, the other scoured up her torn dress until he reached the top of her cleavage and pulled the side of it down. Her dark brown mounds spilled out and Tyler nearly came undone.

“Holy fuck...” he breathed out. He eagerly massaged one of her breasts in his hand. His stroke changed up as he went from quick rough pumps to long intense strides. He couldn’t remember the last time he was intimate with a woman, but Tiana made him feel like it was the first damn time.

Tiana panted as she watched Tyler pull one of her erect nipples between his lips. She winced as he bit down softly, eliciting an erotic moan from her.

“Tell me you hate me, baby,” he said, burying his face into her neck. He grabbed her hips with both hands and his stroke became more aggressive again. He slapped her ass hard causing her to yelp out loud. “Tell me you can’t stand my fucking guts,” he said, wrapping his arms around her possessively.

He roughly slapped her ass again, and she cried out. Her orgasm hit her before she even had a moment to process what was happening. “Oh god! Tyler! Shit!” she said, biting down on his shoulder as her orgasm hit her in waves.

“Fuck, that’s it, baby...” he said, moving her hips to help her ride out her climax. “I’m so addicted to you. Your voice. Your smell. Your taste. Fuck. What are you doing to me...”

Tiana was still dizzy from her orgasm as she felt Tyler finally slow down. He carried her to the bedroom while still deep inside her. She was mind-blown that he was able to hold out for so long. He gently lay her down on the bed. Tiana stared up at him as he pushed her braids aside. His eyes roamed her face as his manhood continued to throb inside of her.

“You still hate me...?” he said, running his thumb over her full lips.

“...I never stopped,” she said before he abruptly thrust deep enough to hit her cervix. She grunted as her body jolted.

With a smirk, he leaned down, taking her ear lobe between his teeth. “...Why...?” he said as he kissed her neck.

“Because you’re an- ahh!” she squealed as he firmly grabbed her thigh and pumped into her again.

“I’m a what?” he said, running his tongue along her collarbone. Tiana wrapped her long legs around Tyler’s waist, swallowing him in as his stroke picked up again.

“You’re an asshole!” she panted. She shrieked as he thrust deep. “Fuck!” she groaned. “How are you still going?”

She heard him chuckle in her ear. “Because I’ve been waiting to be inside you for so long... had to make the first time last...”

“First time?” she said, looking at him. “You’re assuming there’ll be a second...”

He grinned as he once again tightened his grasp. “And a third... a fourth... a fifth... a sixth...” Tyler rocked her body with each count as she grasped desperately around his wide back. He felt his balls tighten and knew he couldn’t hold out any longer. He pulled out and spilled his seed all over her stomach.

Tiana collapsed on the bed, trying to catch her breath. The blood rushing to her head was so loud, she didn’t even hear Tyler leave for the bathroom until she felt a towel wiping his semen off of her stomach and legs. She looked up at him as he leaned over the bed and tugged at her torn dress. “Think you can get rid of this,” he said, trying to pull the rest of the dress off of her.

Tiana shook her head. “I can get dressed in my own room, Tyler,” she said, trying to get up. But he quickly grabbed her shoulder and pushed her back down on his bed.

“You’re not going to your own room...” He hungrily pressed his lips to hers as his hand slipped between her thighs again.

~*~

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