Chapter 24: O Sanctissima
He said it. He said he loved me and left me no opportunity to answer back. Not that I would. I have never been told that words, not by my mother, not by the boys that shared my bed, not by anyone. And sure as hell never uttered them myself. And here he is, that beautiful man, that amazing warrior and without fear he said it. How my life has changed these last weeks. How fate has surprised me, giving me things I thought I never wanted. And all the coward me can do is pace, avoiding him.
I need to focus on these fights. I will get out of this unscathed, save Daniel. And when this will all be done, I will stand before Vik, me, just plain me, no masks, no defenses and I will tell him how I feel about him. Till then, the fights are my priority. I am the Cold Bitch.
I stop pacing when I hear the MC talk over the glass. The shit is starting but I am pretty sure that I won’t be the first to fight. If I had to guess, Jack is keeping me last and he is pairing me with someone good. 8 of us, I have seen the rooms when the curtain was pulled but other than that I have no idea who is behind them. Still, I can hear what’s going on to figure out who I am up against to. The MC says the usual bullshit but I focus on his announcement of the fighters.
“The first fight!” the MC is heard through the glass and curtain. “Please, welcome Kayla the Dark Lighting.”
I hiss through my teeth as a DMX song blasts through the arena. I know Kayla. She is as her name describes. A fast fighter with expertise to capoeira. She is lean and tall and when she starts her dancing, she is a whirling of killer kicks.
“Her opponent. The Green Devil, Riona,” the MC announces.
“Fuck,” I say audibly over some Irish folk song.
Of the fighters I knew before, this one I wished to hear has dropped out. A pure, stone-cold executioner, Riona could have been Rage’s twin, red-haired sister. Obviously mentally unstable, with her equally disturbing brother as a trainer – some imply that he is more than that – Riona is a ruthless killer. I have crossed paths once with her and I barely walked out alive. It took me months to recover.
The crowd erupts in loud screams and the fight is on. I am cursing this damn curtain for keeping me from seeing the fight. Never before have I cared to see how the other fighters fared. I was arrogant and challenged fate to throw me its worst. Back then I had only my life to lose. This time there too much at stake. A cry interrupts my thoughts. Kayla, I know. Riona never screams. The noise is frantic and I know blood was spilled. Men are reduced so easily to animals, the sight of blood erupting primal feelings in them.
The fight goes on for a few minutes more. I can’t see but I know Kayla is in trouble. I hear her cry out a few times and I know Riona has her bad. The Green Devil just likes to toy with her opponents and is even willing to take a punch to keep the spectacle going. When the guests go ballistic, I know Kayla is down.
“And the winner is Riona, the Green Devil.”
“Is that good?” Vik asks.
“It doesn’t fucking matter,” I snarl.
Music blasts for a while and I hear excited chatter. The rich fucks in Cisco have welcomed Jack’s endeavor. After a while, the MC is heard in the arena and I get up from the bed.
“For the second fight of the night we bring you Deadbolt Rosalyn,” her trademark Sepultura walkout song makes the arena shake.
“Goddamn it!” I hiss.
“What’s wrong, Lys?” Vik demands.
“He has brought the dream team for this,” I explain. “Rosalyn is a Cuban judo champion that got in the wrong crowd. She is good.”
“You fought her?”
“Never. There were a few of us that were too precious to fight amongst us. Bad for the bets or something. Plus, real damage would be done and we were valuable to Jack. Rosalyn was one.”
“Her opponent, The Tigress,” the MC announces.
I don’t know that nickname. This one is new, less than a year in the pit. Which means Rosalyn will eat her up and spit her out easily. Unless she is some prodigy like I was when I entered this shit. Her song is some beat pop song I know. I don’t like this. I can’t read this Tigress and that can be bad.
“What’s your walkout song?” Vik comes behind me and glues his body against mine.
“I have none.”
“Seriously? No song when you walk out bad-ass and shit?” Vik kisses me on the neck.
“No. I need none,” I say.
He pulls closer and pins me against the glass. Then he rubs his erection on my ass. I hear nothing else, not the shouts outside, nor the shrilling enthusiasm. Nothing. I just feel him.
“Seriously?” I tease him.
“I never joke when it comes to my dick, princess. You should know that by now,” he licks my earlobe.
“Vik, I am getting ready to fight in a freaking cage and you want to fuck me? This damn curtain could be pulled any minute.”
“So what?” his hand toys with the rubber band of my shorts. “They are here to see a spectacle. We’ll give them one. Make love not war shit right here,” he cups my breasts.
“I shouldn’t have expected anything less by a porn producer.”
“Ex-porn producer,” his thumb goes over my nipple through the elastic fabric.
Whatever he is doing, it’s working. I forget all that ails me as his hands roam my body, claiming, teasing, rubbing, pinching. I press against the glass glad that his body covers me from the cameras. His lips fall on my neck and he leaves a trail of kisses that make me weak. His fingers slip through my shorts and caress my sensitive flesh.
“Vik,” I sigh.
“Let go, princess. You need to unwind,” Vik grinds against me. “I am your trainer, remember?”
Without warning, he slips one finger between my wet folds and his thumb works my clit. I throw my head back against his chest and he leans in for a scorching kiss that bruises me more than any fighter ever could. I ride his fingers urgently and he eats my mouth adding to my pleasure as I gallop faster to my climax.
“Oh, god, yes. Yes,” my knees jerk but he’s got me.
“Come for me, Lysa,” he orders.
I do as he asks me to, a loud cry leaving my mouth glad for once about the chaotic noise outside. He brings me down, slowly teasing my swollen bundle of nerves. He spreads kisses over my face and neck and I throw my arms to hug him over his neck.
“And the winner is...” the MC roars.
I am! I triumph. I am the fucking winner. I am getting out of this. All my life I kept being cold and away ’cause I thought that was the way to keep strong. Detached from all emotion, fully concentrated to survival. And I did. I fucking survived. Shit, I thrived. But what for? I am stronger now. Vik has made me stronger, the Riders made me tougher. I have shit to fight for and I am giving it all. Nothing will stop me.
I turn around and I dive into Vik’s arms that is still close. He searches my face but I don’t let him utter the question I see in his eyes. I just kiss him with all the unspoken emotions I hide inside. The MC says something and I vaguely know the next fight is about to begin but right now I am don’t give a fuck. As long as he is here, I am unstoppable.
Vik doesn’t stop to argue and he plunges his tongue into my mouth battling with my own as I lose my breath. His one hand grips my braided hair and his other goes over my waist, pushing for more, taking more, demanding more. I give what he asks for tenfold, getting lost in his sensation. And then I hear it.
“O Sanctisima...” the chant fills the arena eerily.
“No, no,” I break the kiss and turn to the glass.
This can’t be. She is dead. She died right before me. I killed her. I fucking killed her. I hit the glass with all my strength as the chant keeps on. I keep hitting the glass and I scream loudly. My mind goes back to that night and I close my eyes with pain as the memories flood in.
A tycoon from Russia wanted a “real” fight and was willing to pay Jack good cash for the loss of one of his best fighters. The Russian wanted to see me fight. Jack picked Salome to be my opponent.
Salome. I have never fought with her since we were both too precious to Jack. She was a tough nail and a stunning beauty with long blonde hair down her waist and big blue eyes. She was there when Jack brought me in and for some reason she got close to me, advising me, keeping my head level, my instincts sharp. We sparred almost every day and in the dark world we shared, we were what normal people might call friends. We had gotten close, as close as fighters in this shithole could be, and she has told me a few details of her life.
Her father was a crazed survivalist pastor somewhere in Mississippi that has taught her how to fight and survive in the wild. He believed in the end of the world or some shit, the second coming, the Antichrist, aliens, all mixed-up in his mind. And in his hazed mind, fucking your own daughter to re-populate the Earth was God’s work. Salome was 13. If he wanted to rape her, then he shouldn’t have taught her how to incapacitate a man. Which is what she did before running back to civilization. Till Jack found her.
That night we were surprised to hear that we were going up against each other but we shrugged it off. It was good sport and we would have fun. And we did. It was a good fight. Always good to go against a worthy opponent. Salome was a fierce fighter with a unique style and she made it hard for me. But it was me dominating her in the end, straddling her chest. She still smiled with swollen lips and I nodded looking down at her with my one good eye. The strength and joy she seemed to have in abundance in her heart despite the shitty life she had always surprised me.
Only when I saw Jack’s goons point guns at us, I realized what had happened. The Russian fucker was pointing his thumb down thinking he was a goddamn Roman emperor. I roared and yelled and threw my hands up.
“Finish her or you both die,” Jack ordered and the guards cocked their guns.
Salome looked up at me and nodded. I couldn’t do it. I kept my hands held high ready to prove that asshole that I was not killing the only goddamn friend I’d made in my miserable life. But she pleaded me, implored, begged me to live with her soft, angelic voice. A warning shot was fired grazing my thigh. We would both be dead.
“Do it!” Salome pleaded one last time.
So I did it. I pound on her with all my strength, tears mixing with sweat and blood. Her blood, smearing my face and body. When it was done, Jack was applauding and the Russian threw a packet of cash to me. I walked out that same night and went home to find my mother sick. I never went back in the cage.
O Sanctisima was Salome’s walk out song.