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Born of Fire… Ending in Fire…
Sakima Mato is wealthy and highly respected within the ranks of Mixed Martial Arts. But his mysterious aura is the darling of tabloid fodder, and few know the real man behind the mask and fewer still could handle the brooding creature underneath the sensuous persona. If his dirty little secret is ever revealed, he will be hunted like the monster he’d become all those centuries before. After all, he is a vampire, scouring the streets for blood and sex, and for a human companion to ease the loneliness, what some call destiny. When he meets Caldre Parker his orderly life takes an unexpected turn.
Caldre Parker is a fireman by day, a martial arts fighter by night, hiding his penchant for violence from all who know him. He needs a new coach to help build his career and after meeting Sakima, he is intrigued by the seemingly haunted man. The attraction is instant and they fall into a heated tryst, one involving pain as well as discipline. As his fighting career becomes headlines news, Caldre is forced to learn the ugly details about his lover. But demons of his own haunt his every waking moment as an unknown illness plagues him, driving him into near madness. Suddenly, everything he respects and holds dear about human life is called into question and he is forced to choose—life or soulless immortality.
Is the attraction they feel real? Are they destined to be together? So many questions for both men, can they find the answers?
Publisher’s Note: This supernatural tale is for adults only and contains elements of paranormal activity, danger, suspense, sexual scenes, and adult language. If any of these themes offend you, please do not purchase.
*** Available exclusively at Amazon ***
Born of fire. Ending in fire…
For all that you think you are, you’re wrong. Your life is not what you know it to be. Embrace the inevitable or die. Become… Champion death as you have life and you’ll rule the world, one full of men who have no understanding of honor. This is your destiny.
“Shit!” Caldre Parker hissed as he ducked the falling piece of timber. Removing his mask, he sucked in air, claustrophobia strangling his breath. The blaze roared out of control, no matter how many hoses they’d pointed at the wall of fire. Sweat and soot continued to roll down his face, beads dripping into his eyes. He lifted the hose over his shoulder and motioned the firefighters behind him, barely able to see. They had to go deeper into the bowels of the building.
“Come on!” another fireman screamed, the sound just filtering above the thunderous howl.
After taking another breath, Caldre donned his mask and adjusted his equipment. Time to press on.
As the team maneuvered their way over a series of fallen beams, splitting into smaller groups, he finally knew he was in the most effective place and turned on the hose spigot. The full spray of water hit the flaming licks, creating instant steam.
He sucked in his breath and inched forward, holding the stance. He could hear the calls as others from his engine company swarmed the expansive space. His instinct told him the structure was a total loss. The only saving grace was the building was abandoned, the site positioned in the old warehouse district. Still, the danger was real to the men and women who worked with him. Panting, he pushed forward, determined to contain the burn.
Several minutes later he stopped the spray briefly, analyzing the remaining fire, then moved to the right. They were finally making real headway. As they continued their path stepping through piles of debris, mostly in place long before the fire started, he was careful to lead the team through and finally out into daylight. When they were in the clear, he jerked up his facemask and turned to face what was left of the already dilapidated brownstone. There was massive destruction not only to this building but the one adjacent as well. “Oh fuck.” The other space was in the process of being renovated. The owners would have to start from ground zero. This was another blow to the already downtrodden area.
“Could be worse.”
Eyeing his best friend, the first in Company 10 who’d welcomed him with open arms after his relocation, he shook his head. “How so, Draper?” He had a ringing in his ears, one that seemed to be there almost every day. Fulfill your destiny. Shaking his head, he was damn tired of thinking the words day and night. He had no destiny, at least one he could figure out. But shit, he’d been trying. Somehow, he thought saving lives would end the constant need, nagging at his very soul. There were days he felt like he was living in no man’s land.
“The fire coulda gotten that snazzy Ferrari over there,” Draper chortled as he pointed across the street. “Now, that would have been a pity.”
“What in the world is a Ferrari doing down here?” Caldre asked as he narrowed his eyes. “This area is full of abandoned buildings and little else.”
“Expensive real estate. I heard there’s a rich conglomerate looking at buying up the entire block for some big sports facility. They could sure get this crap down here for a song. Good area. Close to the interstate.”
“You need to sell real estate. You sound like a freakin’ commercial,” Caldre teased and glanced up and down the street. A sports facility would be a damn good idea. The gyms being used were run down and in need of refurbishing themselves. Still, Cleveland wasn’t the hot mecca for moguls dreaming to own a crime-ridden part of town.
Draper sniffed and gave him the finger. “Let’s just say I have interest in something other than fighting fires. Besides, it’s a great location and someone with attention to detail could really do something with this area.”
“Yeah, especially if the buildings keep burning down. Then the big wig has a blank canvas to work off of.” Caldre handed off the hose and jerked off his helmet. He was suspicious of anything that smelled of arson. Abatement of asbestos had been the single reason so many of the all but abandoned structures weren’t being snapped up. The cost was off the charts.
“Whew, buddy. You’re raring to go today. Save it for later when we go out today scoping for the ladies,” Draper howled as he tugged off his jacket. Shaking out his hair, he grabbed a towel, wiping his face.
Caldre gave him a look before turning back, admiring the car. He could just make out a person coming out of the building down the street, heading for the smokin’ car, his long dark hair flowing in the wind. For a second his pulse raced as the man turned. “Fuck me.” He could swear the man was studying him. His throat was suddenly dry, his stomach churning.
Come to me.
What the hell? Had the stranger spoken to him? Blinking furiously, Caldre sucked in his breath, every inch of his body tingling. Why in the hell was he having this strong of a reaction?
Soon? Soon for what? Christ. Maybe he was losing his flippin’ mind. He couldn’t help but watch as the man in the suit climbed into the car and could swear he heard the roar of the powerful engine. Maybe it was just wishful thinking, longing for finer things in life.
“Earth to big he-man fighter. You are coming out tonight, right?”
“Huh? Coming out where?” Why the car being in the neighborhood bothered him so much he wasn’t certain, but his hackles were raised.
Draper slapped him on the arm. “With the guys. You know going out and having a little fun since we’re off tomorrow?”
Turning quickly, the question broke the trance. He trailed behind Draper as he unbuttoned his jacket. “Can’t do it tonight.”
“And the excuse this go around?”
“What excuse? I just have stuff to do. You know I’ve been studying lately.” Caldre had to come up with better excuses. The single exam for the class he’d been taking shouldn’t create this much need to study, but he had no idea what else to say. He had no family and no other friends than the guys in the department. Ideas were getting slim.
“You’re pathetic. If you’re seeing a lovely lady, all you have to do is say so. We are guys. We get it. Fucking comes first if you ask me.” Shaking his head, Draper mumbled under his breath as he tugged off the rest of his protective gear.
“Draper, you’re truly a Neanderthal.”
Giving him a two-finger salute, he grinned. “I do try.”
“Uh-huh,” Caldre breathed. He wished he could tell his buddy the truth, but he wasn’t ready for the harsh scrutiny. “Hey, I’m sorry. Next time. Promise.”
Pointing his finger, Draper growled. “Gonna hold you to it.”
Caldre watched as his buddy walked off. Why he couldn’t tell his best friend what he was doing he’d never really know. Perhaps he didn’t think any of the guys would understand his desires. In fact, he didn’t want to get into the concept. Still, he wished he could share. He was proud of what he was trying to do, even if he sucked at it.
An hour later he was in his truck headed for the gym, his duffle bag nestled behind the seat. He loved the games as well as the competition, the harsh tactics blowing his mind. Caldre had figured out a long time ago he was an adrenaline junkie, preferring to ride a precipice of danger just long enough he was left wondering about breathing. In the kink world, he’d be called a pain monger. Chuckling, he pulled into the parking lot and was shocked to see there were very few parking spaces left.
For a Thursday night, he was impressed with the turn out. Then he remembered there was a top seed fighting tonight. No wonder. Thank God, it wasn’t his fight or he’d get creamed in the first round. He certainly didn’t want to look like a damn idiot right from the get go. The fighter known simply as “Stash” was considered brutal even in the ranks of the most hard-core fighters. Using tactics few could emulate; the man was nothing but a fighting machine. He was also considered to be an asshole out of the ring as well with questionable scruples. He’d heard all the rumors but chose not to care. There were enough stories floating around about gambling on the fights and the use of body enhancing drugs just like with any other sport as of late. Caldre kept to himself for this very reason. He didn’t need any negative shit floating around him, especially not when he was hoping for a promotion sometime in the next five years.
Caldre found a space at the very back of the lot and pulled in, cutting the engine. Sitting quietly for a few minutes he closed his eyes, mentally preparing. The fight was half psychological conditioning and half physical prowess. Every day he worked on both, his practice routines rigorous. That is when his schedule allowed. Firefighting came first. Saving lives meant everything to him. He jumped out and grabbed his bag, grinning like a kid. Caldre loved this as much as being a firefighter and fighting fires was all he’d talked about since he was about eight.
However, the sport allowed him to spell his increasing need for violence, a revelation that had surprised him these last few months. There were days the anger hindered his day job, a caustic trait he couldn’t afford to have happen. He’d taken up fighting as a method to rid himself of demons. Demons. There was a word that had only come into his vocabulary recently. Thoughts about his ex-lover had been filtering into his mind too often lately. No amount of pushing the ugly memories aside were doing anything but giving him heartburn and extreme nausea. Jesus, he’d been sick to his stomach lately. And still Michael’s memory and so many odd warnings he’d given Caldre before he’d… Jesus Christ. He couldn’t even think of the words without needing to retch. The night terrors were kicking his ass. Well tonight, he’d kick someone else’s.
Every day and every night he heard the lingering words about destiny. They’d been said by Michael in words of encouragement and often commanded by his parents as a young boy. All he’d dreamt about since his early boyhood days was the very notion, one that had become elusive. Every hobby and every job had led him to more violence, simply to satiate his dark needs. He knew he’d reached an end road. There were days he felt as if he were going insane.
He wondered what Michael would think of his latest hobby. Hobby. Yeah right. Prone to barbarity since Michael, fighting in the ring was the only thing that soothed the savage beast. He took long strides, passing several people who were coming either for support or maybe to find out what all the fuss was about. Either way, the energy level would be high, giving every one of the fighters a kick. Hell, he knew he fed off the energy in the room. His record was abysmal but he was working out hard, building muscles. Hopefully he’d get better soon enough or he had a bad feeling he’d be looking for another coach. Caldre waved to the man who flanked what he considered the real fighters on his team and walked to the bank of lockers. Tonight, was going to be brutal and he couldn’t wait.
“Ground and pound!”
Caldre heard the screams already coming from the audience and shivered. This was going to be a heated night. Tossing his duffel inside the assigned locker, he grabbed the tape as he studied the men stretching and performing calisthenics surrounding him. He recognized some of the long-term fighters, the ones who had techniques already named after them. What a joy being able to spend more time fighting. As he wrapped his hands with the specialized material, he thought about the first time he’d seen mixed martial arts on television. From that day, he’d been hooked. He thought his black belt in Karate would help. Not a chance. Mixed martial arts as a sport was about so much more. At least he’d taken to kick boxing with ease.
“You ready for tonight?”
Hearing David’s gruff voice reminded him tonight wasn’t just about a single fight but the hopes of him moving up in the ranks. The team needed the points. David Reynolds was highly respected and had been a coach for three years, his reputation as a savvy businessman proceeded him. He was none too thrilled Caldre wasn’t moving up in the ranks. “As I’ll ever be.”
“Not with that kind of attitude. You need to kick some ass tonight. Time to take submission grappling out for a swing,” David snarled as he slapped Caldre on the back and nodded to the other side of the gym. “From what I’ve seen, your opponent is climbing the charts. You can’t let him best you tonight. You got nothing to lose, kid. Nothing.”
The words were true enough and he watched David scanning the room, his eyes settling on the team’s best fighter. Caldre wasn’t even close. “Been working on the moves.” He studied his opponent. The wiry looks of the man were deceiving. If “The Butler” got you down to the mat, the match was over, period. Maybe Caldre’s problem was he didn’t have the verve yet or a signature move. Then again, he also didn’t have a moniker. He’d work on that this weekend. “You’re right. The fucker is goin’ down.”
“That’s the spirit,” David said haphazardly as he smiled to the approaching press member. He leaned closer to Caldre and spoke through clenched teeth. “Just whatever you do don’t make me look like a freaking asshole and for God’s sake, don’t get a TKO tonight. The cameras are rolling.”
He didn’t have a chance to say a thing in retort. Sighing, he watched as David strolled off, preening for the cameras. Granted, the sport hadn’t reached the upper echelon of rankings yet and he was actually glad for that. He hadn’t figured out how to tell his Captain about his extracurricular activities. There were some interesting clauses in his contract with the city as a firefighter and Mixed Martial Arts was riding the gray area big time. Looking away from the cameras, he headed toward the opposite side of the tattered gym. This was no glory sport, that’s for certain.
Caldre walked toward the fight roster and sighed. By the time his match started, half the people would be home in bed. That of course depended on the number of knockouts. Well, at least he’d get to watch, maybe learn a few moves. Positioning himself where he could see a play by play of the action, he folded his arms and studied.
First up was a man Caldre knew, but had never fought. Some of his moves were considered too close to the edge, but he was fast and furious and the match was won in two rounds. The kid was definitely up and coming, having only fought professionally for about a month. He had to give the man’s coach some credit.
“Pound ’em down. Way to go!”
Hearing the gruff voice, Caldre moved past several fighters in order to see the man more clearly. He only knew Sakima Mato by reputation. Known as a man who could make or break his players, his methods went beyond savage and several in the field wanted him and his entire team out of the league. As he studied the dark and dangerous looking man, he became intrigued, his curiosity getting the better of him. The American Indian was much better looking in person. His broad shoulders and long legs somehow seemed more powerful given his dark skin and chiseled features. Wow, was the only word he could think of. Trying to act nonchalant, he inched closer. Sakima was sexy in a sensuous way, his looks stunning in an industry that appreciated rough and tumble. Whew. He was shaking all over.
The closer Caldre moved toward Sakima the more he realized he was turned on, his cock pushing hard against his shorts. Taken aback, he shuddered and brushed a hand through his hair. This was a man’s sport and knowledge that he was a gay fighter would get his ass kicked outside of the ring. He sucked in his breath, yanked back his libido and studied the way Sakima was yelling at the fighter who’d just come off the mat as a winner. Talk about tough love.
The tactic was interesting to say the least. He’d heard through the rumor mills on the circuit Sakima was just as brutal in his hungers, preferring kink to anything else, but there wasn’t a single man or woman who’d had a personal experience—at least any who were willing to talk about it. Caldre smiled, imagining just what Sakima might desire.
His interest piqued higher as Stash strutted out from a back room, swinging a towel over his shoulder. Even from where Caldre stood, he could tell the fighter was full of the kind of self-confidence awarded to only the winners. His swagger stated clearly to all those around him ‘don’t fuck with me’. Swallowing hard, he felt honored to be in the same tournament with a man he considered to be a true legend in the sport.
Little was really known about Stash other than he was bloodthirsty, choosing moves hand selected for his opponents and to date, he’d never lost. In addition, ten fighters had ended up on the disabled list for extensive periods of time. He was the man to beat and there was no one rated in his league, or so the tabloids made certain and exploited as often as possible. The legend came with a bigger than life persona and from what Caldre had heard, Stash was dangerous in real life. Caldre had a feeling the rough-hewn man was hiding behind a mask. They all were.
Shuddering, he kept his eyes pinned on the fighter as he grabbed a bottle of water and walked closer. He knew Sakima was Stash’s coach and the very notion further fueled the celebrity for both men. From what he knew, the two were an explosive combination. And dear God, he wanted desperately to be the fighter standing in the wings, the one who was going to be beat Stash and become noteworthy, someone to admire. He was willing to do just about anything to achieve his lofty goals. No matter the wins Stash had under his belt, as soon as the fighter approached Coach Mato, the fighter was reduced to a nobody.
As he stood watching Sakima berating his own fighter, he suddenly had the feeling Sakima had noticed his possible intrusion. When Sakima pushed the man aside roughly and cursed, Caldre should have moved. Instead, he kept his ground, staring at the rough-hewn man, a wild myriad of thoughts and questions racing into the back of his mind. Out of the corner of his eye he watched as Stash gave Sakima the finger, then spit before walking away. Some match the man was going to have. Maybe the fire burning within the incredible fighter was nothing more than the kicking he received from his coach.
Slowly Sakima turned his head and while the distance was a solid two hundred yards, Caldre had no doubt the man was looking at him, concentrating on his actions. For a minute, he could swear the man was reading his mind. He swallowed hard and nodded in reverence. The grin crossing Sakima’s face was ominous. “Whew.” Formidable wasn’t the word.
Sakima seemed to be studying Caldre, as if sizing him up. Before turning away, Sakima’s eyes flashed. Caldre turned to look at the clock. He was now very ready to fight.
Two hours later he was on the mat, holding his own.
“Go on, get him in a submission hold!” David screamed from the sidelines.
“Go. Go!” The audience cheered.
Caldre jerked to his feet, pushing hard against his opponent. Raper was damn good, much better than he’d anticipated. Sucking in his breath, he turned in a full circle and kicked out, using both feet. As his opponent toppled to the ground, Caldre knew he had one chance for the grapple, possibly pinning Raper, but securing the move was going to take everything he had. Using the strength of his legs, he pushed off the mat and fell, smack on top of the fighter, instantly jerking both an arm and a leg into a tight hold and twisting.
“Ggggrrrr!” Raper screeched through clenched teeth.
“That’s it! You got it!” David encouraged from the sidelines as he pumped his fist and crawled forward on the floor, getting as close to the mat as he was allowed. “Take him down. You can do it!”
Closing his eyes, Caldre shifted and twisted again, tugging back on the man’s arm. Sucking in his breath, he held the stance, carefully grinding Raper’s arms back and forth. This time he heard a loud ‘pop’ then a sharp yelp.
“Yes!” David pumped his fist. “Way to fucking go!”
“Fuck!” Raper screamed out, his arm flailing.
The audience went nuts, half of them rising to their feet.
Cringing, Caldre rolled off Raper, panting and staring at the ceiling. He knew what had happened. Raper wouldn’t be fighting for a couple of months. As he rolled over, he blinked several times, wiping the beads of sweat before they fell into his eyes, and glanced into the audience. Instantly the look Sakima was giving him sent shivers racing down this back. The look wasn’t as much about fighting as the sensuous vibe was about raging hunger.
Sakima Mato had watched the stunning blond fight on three occasions, never learning his name or giving a shit until now. He’d also seen him at the warehouse earlier in the day. The man was a firefighter. Interesting. Fire. Such a fascinating killer. There was a connection between them, one he wasn’t certain of yet. He had a sixth sense about him and as the opponent, one who’d bested several of his top men, fell to the ground in agony, he was more than just intrigued.
Today the young man seemed to be burning with a fire in his belly. For a moment he closed his eyes, able to envision the fighter clearly. For a brief period, he was floating above the crowd, his inner eagle soaring. Seconds later he shook his head, wishing he was back in the days when his tribe and family were the only things he had to worry about. That had been two centuries before, when he believed in their culture, the way of the Indian. The way of our people. The thought may be truth, but he’d fought too long to become more white than red to turn back. Owning several businesses, including this one, meant more to him than anyone could understand. Turning back toward the fight, he smiled, thinking how he and his brothers used to fight in a similar fashion, all hell bent on winning. Now the brutal fighting was a sport.
He knew raw talent easily, having been in the business of Mixed Martial Arts for over six years. Even before that, his work with boxers and other athletes allowed him a keen insight into those who were winners and those who should simply find something else to do with their time. There was a growing pool of men and women who were good, but the majority would burn out quickly from either injuries or the very concept of just how brutal the sport truly was. While he accepted few into his fold that he was willing to train, he had a waiting list several months long.
He was proud of the fighters in his stable, as he enjoyed calling the group he trained and nurtured, but few had a true spark. Even Stash was getting too popular, too hyped up on his own image, choosing to frequent bars and sex shops for a bigger high. From the tabloids beginning to surface, the man was becoming a liability. He needed to find a new prize, one that might be able to keep his Board of Directors as well as the men supplying a significant portion of cash happy. There was no doubt in Sakima’s mind Stash was going to burn out soon. Neither his bank account nor the promises made to his investors could afford to lose the national champion, no matter what he had to do. The thought had been keeping him on the fringe, pushing Stash to the breaking point. And he didn’t give a shit.
Seeing the golden-haired boy brought him a delicious thought, a glimmer of the future. He closed his eyes, a vivid image filling his mind. Whether he was truly seeing into the future or hoping this fighter would further his growing stable, he wasn’t certain, but he was going to pay close attention to the fighter’s abilities. There was something else, a moment catching him off guard. A swift vision from his distant past stopped him cold. He breathed in and the chill from his own breath was enough to make him rake his nails down the length of his arm. There was something wrong.
Sakima was pulled into a vacuum and as memories flooded him he heard the creaking of his bones, the rush of what fluid remained in his body. Not now. This couldn’t happen now. The ancients’ prophesies and the curse had to be a myth told around campfires. He refused to believe the damning could be reality. Soon he would have to face facts. The Elders never lied. American Indians had fought the white and lost. Now they were fighting their ultimate demise, evil, those bent on stealing their very souls. Why was he thinking of this now?
For a few seconds, the utter crushing sounds of every human’s heartbeat pounded into his ears. He resisted pressing his hands over his ears to calm the quiet torture. Instead, he looked down at his hand, half expecting the blasphemy of transformation to be happening now, in front of unsuspecting humans. There was no change, merely a shaking hand, bluish colored skin. Unfortunately, he was going to have to feed soon and the match wouldn’t be over for at least two hours. This was odd and hadn’t happened since…
Sakima snapped his head up as the pounding stopped, replaced by screams from the audience. He’d worked too long and hard to become tops in a field that would allow him to be the man, the monster he really was. He certainly wasn’t going to fuck it up because of some curse. The thought made him chuckle. Every one of his kind feared finding the one, the very person they were most connected to and the single entity in which they had two choices to make, kill or be killed. He refused to take part in bullshit. Concentrate on your work. “Yes.”
Narrowing his eyes, he homed in on the fighter and could taste the raw emotions erupting from every pore in the man. My God, the young man was attractive and there was an increasing connection growing between them. He had such an intense feeling of knowing. Had they met before? No, that he would know. The blond was also fighting very well. Moving closer to the mat, he rubbed his finger back and forth across his mouth, his hunger growing. As the blond moved, felling his opponent in a surprising submission hold, he was mildly impressed. Raw talent was there, but unchained. Captivating.
As the match concluded, he raised his eyebrows and grew more curious regarding the identity of the fighter. Only the major players were given the accolades, either in or out of the ring. He glanced at the man’s coach and hissed under his breath. The jerk wasn’t what the blond needed. Not by a long shot. Exhaling, he walked toward the white board containing all the fights and the player’s names. Caldre Parker. Interesting the fighter had no handle yet. The very concept seemed to be important to Americans.
He walked closer to the mat and inhaled deeply. Caldre’s scent was rich in testosterone and excitement, as well as fear, and Sakima couldn’t help but smile. Caldre was inexperienced and still very eager. As he studied him, watching the way his body moved, he couldn’t help but desire to meet the young man who certainly had an intriguing vibe. The second he moved forward there was a wash of discernment sliding down the length of his body. The one. There was no way. This couldn’t be the case. Yet as he sniffed again, the rich scent was telling no lies. They were meant to be together.
Sakima rubbed his eyes and he stretched out his hand, curling his fingers. This was completely unexpected. He knew instinctively the young man had been fighting his true destiny his entire life, but something had happened to change the outcome of his very future. Something he was unable to pick up on. As the blond stepped off the mat, bowing to his opponent as well as the cheering audience, Sakima eased into the background, content to watch the way Caldre moved in real life. The mystery made him curious but there wasn’t any doubt their meeting was, in a sense, planned. Nothing happened in the world of his kind without reason and a sinful kind of Karma, one he’d fought for eons.
Sakima often told recruiters as well as fighters who were conflicted about their moves in the ring to be more concerned with every day, from their walk to their breathing. Few followed his directions, which led to so many of his fighters being fired after the first month. Smiling, he had a feeling about Caldre, a burning deep in his belly. The man could be a star. He was almost never wrong. Almost.
As Caldre walked to the back of the gym, grabbing a cup of water, he followed behind. No one congratulated him or even bothered to toss him a towel. Caldre was still a nobody. When he was barely six inches from the man, he finally spoke, every word calculated. “Your form is very good. Your stance is horrible. Your submission moves wretched. However, you do have talent but you have the wrong coach. The man has no clue.”
Caldre narrowed his eyes. “And what makes you the expert?”
“A few years of fighting in my own arena,” Sakima said quietly. Yes, he certainly had the young man thinking. “I used to fight with my brothers. They were much more unyielding than any man who’ll ever challenge you.”
“All right. I’m listening.”
“I’m not into poaching, but I can tell you that Coach Reynolds doesn’t have your best interests at heart and how do I know that? Because he only carries the top three fighters to playoffs and the rest he discards early on. If you’re simply in the sport for unrefined glory, perhaps showing off for family and friends, then by all means stay with the coach you have. If you’re looking to do something with the sport, perhaps actually rank for a year or two, then you’re going to need someone who can take you to new heights. You’re also going to require someone who doesn’t feed you lines of bullshit. Only you know what you need.”
“You think I’m worth the time?”
“You have some talent and I have an innate ability to weed out the best from a sea of mediocrity. You wouldn’t mind being the caliber of Stash, now would you?”
“If that’s possible. Yes, that’s an accomplishment I would relish in and work hard to achieve.”
He kept his eyes locked on Caldre’s for a full minute before handing him a business card. Yes, he was right that Caldre was searching to find the real man, one secured behind a creation that started long before Caldre had even been born. If he were right with his suspicions then Caldre would need his help soon enough. He would only know the truth after a physical connection was made. It was time to find out what he was dealing with. “Hard work is what you’d have to do, becoming completely committed to training. If you’re unable to do so, then this sport isn’t for you. You have to have heart and soul, as well an understanding of how much work it’s going to take.”
“I hope you really do.” The instant their fingers touched Sakima was taken aback. Dear God, he’d been right. No, the ugly truth was the Elders had seen the future, laying down their lives so the future warriors could live. Dreams of the Eagles can’t be denied. The saying was taught to him as a young boy, long before his village was destroyed by fire, his brothers slaughtered and his sister raped at the hands of the white man. He doubted his Elders would understand his growing need for blood. No. He fought to control his raging libido and had to take a step back, biting back a deep growl. This never happened. This connection was too damn strong. There was more to this story.
He could tell instantly Caldre sensed the odd tethering but to the man’s credit, Caldre remained steady, giving Sakima a curious look. Yet Sakima could read his mind, tell what he was thinking. Another wave of cold chills washed over him as thoughts about his past seemed to be right there, a terrible reminder of what he was and what he had been. He’d never had to fight for his sanity since leaving the old country. America was filled with promise, and not just for humans. Now this. Caldre seemed to have no idea who or what he was. Karma had intervened after all and Sakima was lost to the growing need. Suddenly, his head was aching. He needed blood soon—another bad sign.
“Since I have no friends or family that I would share my involvement in the sport, I must be in this for more than my fifteen minutes of fame. Tell me, what makes me think you might be able to help me succeed?”
Sakima was never challenged and for a few seconds he considered retorting. Instead, he smiled. “Because I’ve taken twelve men and three women to the National Mixed Martial Art Championships. Stash may be a rare breed, but I’m hungry for more. Very hungry. I daresay your coach has yet to take one. This is your choice. As I said, I refuse to poach. But…” He held up his finger. “If you do decide to come talk with me, come prepared. I am known as a savage monster.”
A smile curled on Caldre’s mouth. “Duly noted.”
“Good. Then we have an understanding. Enjoy the rest of your evening.” As Sakima moved back into the shadows, he could hear what Caldre was thinking. The realization the fighter was interested in more than just becoming a top seed was fascinating indeed. Sakima would need some relief tonight as well as food.
Less than an hour later he was in his car, barely ten minutes from his estate. He’d called the only man he trusted and knew Tor would provide what he required without question. He remained on edge, angry at what was happening. Why now? Because of the timing or simply a course of finding the man that could be his mate? Yes, he was enraged, but as the Elders of his kind always reminded the younger vampires, creatures couldn’t run from destiny. Sakima laughed and slapped his hand on top of the steering wheel. Those who believed in creatures of the night thought them to be immortal. Sadly, Sakima knew better.
As he drove through the darkened night, his hunger sliding off the charts, he continued to think about Caldre and about the current coursing between then. He was unable to pull away from the need. Stepping on the gas pedal, he snarled and fisted his mouth, his eyes flashing in the darkness. This wasn’t to be expected, nor an occurrence that had happened to him in so many years. Years? He snorted as he jerked the steering wheel, savoring the screeching sound the tires made on the pavement. He was going to have to face the inevitable but not tonight.
Sakima shook his head and forced back the vivid images of Caldre, naked and tied to his bed, ready to do his bidding, ready to succumb. They were scintillating thoughts indeed, but not necessarily anything that could happen, at least during the beginning stages. Pushing his foot down on the pedal, he was shoved back hard into his seat. For so many years he’d fought to thwart his heritage, his spirituality, yet his visions were suddenly enthralling, enticing in a manner they hadn’t been in decades. The rush of adrenaline given his increasing speed had a calming effect. There was nothing like the power of his beloved Ferrari. He roared past the guardhouse, not bothering to look or wave at the guards.
Pulling down his street, he clicked the control panel located on the dashboard of his car and smiled as the heavy iron gates swung open. He raced the car inside, hitting the button again, and screeched up the long driveway. When he pulled into the garage and killed the engine, he sat quietly for a full minute before climbing out of the car. A single sniff told him his trusted minion had secured food and sex for the night. Thank God, for a decent friend he could trust implicitly.
He jerked off his gloves, tossing them into the car, and slammed the door. The moment he advanced toward the door, he licked his lips, dragging the tip across his gums. Almost instantly his canines began to erupt from the deep recesses of his tissue. Storming through the house, he didn’t need to be told where he was going. His playroom was the single location in his house he accepted men for his needs and the preparations were almost always the same.
Slapping his hand against the door, he shoved the hard wood inward until both hit the doorjamb. Even in the dim lighting of the wall sconces and the fire blazing in the stone fireplace, he could make out the fear on the young man’s face. The dark-haired boy couldn’t be more than twenty-five, his needs still evidenced by his hard cock standing at full attention, the cock ring keeping him nice and stiff. Growling, he allowed the guttural sound to filter into the room as he advanced, keeping his eyes pinned on the shimmering face of the boy.
“Delicious,” he whispered, the tone barely more than a savage hiss. Tonight, he was hungrier than usual, a concept the boy couldn’t have known when he’d ventured into the darkened club, one meant for all things kinky. Sakima was a businessman first, after all, and owned many corporations. His kink club was his favorite. Perhaps because he was easily able to secure men for his particular needs.
He concentrated on the way the chains sounded as the boy struggled. For him metal against metal was a powerful aphrodisiac. Moving further into the room, he held up his hand, twisting his wrist. Sighing, he nodded as the lights lowered. Sakima certainly didn’t need any light to indulge in his savage needs, his joyous proclivities.
As he inched closer to the boy, he inhaled the seductive scent of terror mixed with sweat. No matter the fear coursing through the boy, he was indeed sexually stimulated. “Very nice.” Closing the distance, he tilted his head as he raked his nails down the boy’s chest to his groin and wrapped his hand around the base of the boy’s cock. “What’s your name?”
“Well, Jeffrey. You’re going to make me very happy tonight as I assure you I will you.” Sakima jerked off his shirt as he walked toward the small bar nestled in the corner, tossing the material onto the floor. He lifted the decanter top, pouring the brandy and inhaling the rich aroma. As he poured a hefty amount in to a snifter, he gazed toward the fire, his thoughts drifting to Caldre. The man had spunk as well as good looks. He would make a fine fighter with nurturing and hard work.
He would also make an incredible mate. Swirling the glass, he growled, dragging his tongue across his sharp fangs. The very realization a human was this important was almost debilitating. Almost. He took a long drink of the fine cognac and closed his eyes, imagining days of the past. He swallowed, the burn in the back of his throat always giving him a slight taste of being human again. The moment was just enough to keep his emotions, as well as his needs, in check.
After another drink, he set the glass down and cut his eyes to the boy. On this night, he had no patience for frivolities. He simply wanted to fuck and feed quickly. Swaggering over to the boy, he brushed his hands up and down the boy’s chest to his groin, enjoying the feel of his warm skin, the way he smelled. Sakima glanced up at the chains holding him in place and wanted to be in total control tonight. Nothing less would do.
“Tell me, Jeffrey. Have you had a man before?”
“No, sir. I… No, sir,” Jeffrey whispered. His voice was strangled, breathless.
“Mmm. Well, I assure you after tonight you’re going to want more.” Chuckling, he unfastened the boy, pulling Jeffery’s tense frame into his chest. Lifting his body with ease, he moved Jeffrey toward the fire, positioning his stomach over the back of his favorite leather chair. “Now stay put while I ready myself.” He couldn’t help but purr as he unfastened his pants, freeing his thick and throbbing cock. Exhaling slowly, he rubbed his hand under his balls, cupping and squeezing. They were not nearly swollen enough. He needed to feed.
As he walked behind Jeffrey, kicking the boy’s legs apart, he grunted and continued rubbing and twisting his balls. The slip of pain felt good, damn good. Very gently he rubbed his other hand down the length of Jeffrey’s spine and smiled. There was nothing like indulging on a young man, one who wasn’t tainted by drugs or disease. They seemed so rare these days. Leaning over, he licked across the back of the boy’s neck. “You taste so sweet. So good to me. You’re going to be delicious to feed on.”
“Feed? I…” A strangled moan escaped his lips. He twisted his body, trying desperately to see what Sakima was doing.
Rolling his eyes into the back of his head, he shifted, hearing the delectable sound of his bones crunching as his body adjusted, transforming into the monster he truly was. As he lowered his head, watching the perfect licks of the fire, an element that could either be his salvation or his damnation, he allowed a low-slung guttural howl to escape his lips.
“What? What are you doing?” Real terror sounds escaped his lips and Jeffrey pushed up from the chair, his back slamming against Sakima.
Sakima threw his head back and roared as he wrapped one arm around Jeffrey’s neck and with the other hand pressed the tip of his cock to the boy’s asshole.
“No! What are you doing?”
He clamped around Jeffrey’s neck, jerking him back. The force of the pull thrust the entire length of his dick deep into Jeffrey’s ass.
Instantly he sunk his fangs into the boy’s neck, twisting his head until Jeffrey was completely immobilized.
“Argh…grrr…” His arms flailing for several seconds, Jeffrey struggled, slapping hard against Sakima.
Sakima grunted and pulled out his cock, shoving in again, the inertia pushing his fangs in deeper. The taste of the boy was unexpected, rich with an incredible flavor, and he closed his eyes, doing everything he could to control his intake. This wasn’t about killing but consuming.
Jeffrey’s body began to jerk involuntarily, bubbles of saliva dripping from his mouth. Strangled cries continued to slip past his lips for a full minute.
When the boy began to calm, his breathing ragged but much easier, he thrust in and out of the boy’s asshole in slow, deliberate moves, every move pushing the boy’s stomach hard against the back of the chair. The rhythm became orchestrated, almost perfect.
Sakima fell into his own heightened level of senses, his balls swelling with semen, his body filling with the blood he needed desperately. As the boy fell into his own level of pure rapture, finally succumbing to the monster who held his life in his hands, Sakima closed his eyes and savored the way the orgasm raced from his legs to the tip of his shaft. The second he exploded his load into the boy’s dark hole, he could do nothing but think about Caldre and the fact he would claim the man as his mate soon.