The Pits


Edited by Angel Love

Beads of sweat splattered across the floor like drops of blood. The grunts and gasps for breath echoed off the walls adding to the vast empty feel of the room. A long firm leg swung through the air only to be slapped away by the palm of a hand. The crack of flesh meeting flesh seemed to thunder through the room.

Feet pounded on the mats in continuous charges and retreats. The rush of running brought no relief from the hot thick air that hung heavy with the scent of determination and exertion.

A hand flew out and captured a wrist that was slick with sweat. A feminine yelp of pain was followed by silence as everyone held their breath. The wrist was pushed up behind her back in an attempt to coax further sounds of pain.

“Yield, Lena,” he growled into her ear.

A drop of sweat fell from his chin onto her shoulder, and her skin crawled at the sensation. Her eyes flicked up to the mirrored wall in front of her and she saw the smirk of triumph spreading across his lips. Not one shred of her being wanted to give him the satisfaction of conquering her.

She wasn’t through yet.

After drawing in a sharp breath, Lena dropped swiftly to her knees. The sickening pop of her shoulder was followed by the thud of her opponent hitting the mat. He had been tossed over her shoulder even as it had nearly slipped out of its socket. She gave him no time to recover from his shock as she straddled his chest and pinned his arms to the mat with her knees.

“Yield, Justin,” she whispered as her fingers closed around his throat.

Unseen eyes peered anxiously at them from behind the mirrored walls. Lena tightened her grip as Justin attempted to jerk his legs up. He laid there for a moment and seemed to ponder his situation as his eyes narrowed on Lena.

“I yield,” he whispered coldly.

The walls immediately opened up to the thunderous roar of the crowd. Cheers and jeers filled the air as money began flying between hands before the announcer was even able to speak.

“Newcomer, Lena, wins again! This time she has defeated the Pit favorite, Justin!” Lena eased her fingers from Justin’s throat and slowly stood up. Their eyes remained locked in case either decided to attack again. Only when they turned to their respective exits did they break eye contact.

Lena winced as people slapped her shoulders in congratulations. Her joints had popped and stretched to allow her to defeat Justin. The shoulder especially needed a lot of rest and attention tonight. She glanced at it and saw the skin already starting to change color. Within an hour it would be a deep purple.

She froze even as the crowd continued to writhe around her. Someone was watching her intently, and it definitely wasn’t Justin. She glanced around nonchalantly, but she felt the gaze lift from her almost immediately.

A tall muscle head of a man roughly pushed past her and headed for the mirrored room. The next fight was going to start in a few minutes. Lena was grateful for the shift of attention away from her as she slipped from the crowd and headed toward the locker rooms.

The roar of the crowd changed to a dull hum as she closed the door behind her and slumped heavily against it. Three fights in one night was enough to kill some people, and right now she just wanted to flop on one of the benches and go to sleep. She knew she shouldn’t though.

She grabbed a towel and opened her locker. Three or four envelopes toppled onto the floor, but she just disregarded them. At least a dozen people had asked to be her manager, but she knew they just wanted to get a hand in her money while she was still winning. Winners in the Fight Pits never lasted long. They were either challenged countless times every night until their bodies gave out, or they met up with opponents outside of the Pits. Those unfortunate people were rarely heard from again.

Lena peeled her sweat-soaked clothes off and tossed them into her locker before slamming it shut and heading for the shower. The cool floor soothed her aching feet as she padded silently across it.

She cranked on the cold water and thrust her head in first. The icy shock made her breath catch in her chest, and a shiver shook her entire body. Her hands smoothed her long brown hair back as the freezing water began to spill over her skin. She felt life returning to her limbs as the water refreshed her.

She soaped her breasts casually; loving the feel of the water making her nipples harden almost instantly. Part of her mind told her to not dawdle. She could savor a long bath at home. This was not the place to get distracted, even for a moment.

“Lena.” She stiffened instantly. Someone had come in without her knowing. “You know you look absolutely delicious in water.” It was Justin.

She spun around and glared at him. He was leaning casually against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest. For a fraction of a second, Lena wanted to cover her body, but that would leave gaziantep bayan escort her completely open and vulnerable. That and she did not want to give him the satisfaction of shaming her. A lewd smile crossed his lips as he took in this full view of her. Water spilled down the valley between her perfectly shaped breasts. Each was crowned with a hardened nipple. The water continued its path down over her stomach before disappearing in the thatch of dark curls between her firm thighs.

The look on his face told exactly what he was thinking. He wanted to shove her wet body up against the wall and take her like an animal. “Water definitely suits you best. I must remember to drown you someday. I’m sure you would look exquisite,” he chuckled before turning and walking away.

Lena fumed, but she knew better than to attack him in this situation. She had only won their match because he had been too confident. It was obvious that he had no intention of making that mistake again.

She angrily jerked her towel from its hook and pulled it tightly around her body. She turned and started to storm to her locker, but she stopped short when she saw someone standing right behind where Justin had been.

He was a tall imposing figure. Emotionless, yet somehow piercing crimson eyes stared hard at her. She had felt that gaze before. It made a twinge of heat rise into her cheeks even though her skin was still as cold as ice from the shower. She was unsure whether to move or not, but she would have to walk past him to exit the shower.

Had he been there the whole time? Had he seen her short moment of pleasure as she had soaped herself? Somehow she felt more naked under this man’s gaze than she did under Justin’s leer.

She decided to move. After a few tentative steps, she began to walk with more purpose toward him. He didn’t move a single muscle. Only his eyes moved with her as she approached. She finally reached him and flicked her eyes beyond him as she brushed past. The heady scent of him followed her. He smelled of leather. She was sure it was from his black coat that fell half way down his calves.

She heard him shift to continue watching her as she headed for her locker. For a moment, she hesitated as she gripped her street clothes. She didn’t dare make eye contact with him again, but could she remove her towel knowing full well that he was watching every movement? It would be a weakness to show him that she didn’t want him to see her naked.

After a breath, she pulled the towel off and began slipping her clothing on. She tried to keep her movements as casual as possible, but she knew she must have been giving him an interesting show. Her wet hair was tossed over one shoulder, and a few stray droplets of water trailed over her skin. Her breasts swayed gently as she leaned forward to slip her panties on.

Relief crept through her limbs as she put on each item of clothing. By the time she pulled her shoes on, she almost could have forgotten that he was even there. Out of the corner of her eye though, she kept watching him. The only sign he’d given of even being alive was when he had turned to keep watching her.

Now she straightened up and began to pull her hair back into a braid that hung down just above the curve of her rear. Finally she pulled her jacket from the locker and slammed it shut. She had to walk past him again to leave.

Her gaze lifted to his once again, and those crimson eyes burned into hers. There was no expression in those eyes. He could have just as easily been staring at a wall. However, there was a depth of knowledge that shown in those abyssal pools of blood.

She realized that she had stopped breathing, and quickly exhaled as she began to walk forward once again. Her eyes stared straight ahead and she strode past him, trying to pretend he wasn’t even there. The gaze followed her, and she soon heard his footsteps casually following her.

Seeing as she was being followed, she decided to exit out the front doors rather than the back alley she would normally use. There was no telling what this man wanted, and Lena would much rather not find out.

The air immediately became oppressive as she stepped out into the thick crowd. Dark bodies swirled around her. Everyone was pressing forward to get the best view possible of the mirrored room. Lena only glanced over to see two men glaring at each other in the room. It was always strange to be in the noisy crowd after the death like silence of the mirrored room.

She turned her focus back to weaving through the crowd. Bodies tried to push her forward as she fought to reach the back. There were never people all the way at the back, and she knew that she could get out of the building quickly that way.

The heat and humidity made her begin to sweat again, and she heaved a sigh of relief as she finally reached the back of the crowd.

The man with the red eyes was already standing there staring at her again. Had it been any other situation, Lena would have laughed and asked how the hell he got there so fast. His gaze made her turn cold, despite the heat of the room, and she continued on toward the exit.

She could smell the cool night air wafting into the stifling arena as she approached the exit. She filled her lungs as she pushed her way past the last few people and stepped out onto the pavement. The air carried the hint of leather, and her gaze flicked to the wall next to the door.

He was leaning against the wall gazing intently at her. In her dismay, she actually looked back into the arena and saw that the only conceivable way out was the way she had come. How the hell did he still get out here before she did?

She spun around, causing her heavy wet braid to swing around and hit someone behind her. She didn’t pay any attention to the person’s protests as she began marching home.

The cheers of the arena began to fade, and between the sounds of passing cars Lena heard the footsteps of the man following her. She shoved her hands deep into her pockets and wondered just what he wanted with her.

The night air was cool and refreshing. She actually shivered a little as the cold wetness of her hair chilled the back of her neck. Her shiver was also induced by the stare that seemed to almost bore into the back of her head.

If he wanted to kill her or rape her, all he needed to do was pull her into one of the many alleys that trailed off of the street. She would put up one hell of a fight, but she was quite sure this man would win in the end.

Suddenly, she stopped. This was ridiculous. She spun around and met the gaze of her new shadow. He was about ten steps behind her, and it didn’t seem to faze him at all that she had abruptly halted.

“What do you want?” She half expected him not to answer and to keep standing there staring at her. “I’m waiting for you to die,” his voice deep and smooth. With how quietly he spoke, it was a wonder that she could hear him so clearly.

“I beg your pardon?” she arched a questioning eyebrow at him, but he seemed to have no intention of repeating himself. “I’m currently in rather good health, so I don’t think I’ll just be dropping dead any time soon . . . “

“To be more specific,” he cut her off, “I’m waiting for someone to kill you. Then I will kill that person.”

She blinked at him several times. Her mouth opened and closed a few times as she tried to form her question, but all she could come up with was, “Why?”

He looked at her as if the answer were quite obvious, then he replied, “Because the bounty on the head of the one who kills you will be much higher than the bounty on your own head.”

Ah, bounty hunters. Pit bosses frequently put bounties on the heads of their rivals’ fighters. She thought she would be spared that since she didn’t work for anyone except herself. Apparently she was wrong.

She looked up at her own personal Grim Reaper and rolled her eyes. “I hate Pit politics. That’s why I’m a loner. Well, come on, I suppose you can sleep on the couch.” She started forward then stopped again and looked back at him. “Unless of course you intend on standing over me and staring all night as well.” She didn’t wait for an answer as she rounded the corner toward her apartment complex.

His footsteps hesitated a moment before she heard him following her again. Perhaps she had actually said something he wasn’t quite accustomed to.

They climbed the stairs up to the third floor, and she tore a note from her landlord off of her door. Ben had been after her since she moved in. He had even said she could stay here for free if she would sleep with him. She always managed to get rid of him though.

She shoved the key in the lock and pushed the door open. The apartment was modestly furnished. There was just one chair, a coffee table, and a sofa in the living room. Lena gingerly pulled her coat off and tossed it on the table.

Her shoulder was stiff and tender. She flicked on the lights and turned to her unexpected house guest. “Have a seat; make yourself comfortable.” His gaze held hers for a moment, and then his eyes finally moved from her to survey his surroundings.

She stepped to the kitchen unit and pulled an ice pack out of the freezer. The sound of him settling onto the couch made her relax instantly. She wrapped a hand towel around the ice pack and stepped back out into the living room. His gaze was back on her once again.

In this new light, she had a much better view of him. Black hair fell to his shoulders, and his leather coat was accompanied by leather pants. There was no real way of telling how old he was. At the very least, he was in his mid twenties. The depths of those eyes hinted that he was much older than that, or perhaps he had been forced to abandon the innocence of his youth. His whole being seemed to exist in those crimson eyes.

Lena leaned against the wall and undid the top two buttons of her blouse to slip the ice pack onto her shoulder. He didn’t even blink. She didn’t know why she was so shy about him seeing her naked. It did not seem as though he cared in the slightest.

“So,” Lena almost flinched as her voice pierced the silence. “If you’re going to be my shadow until the moment of my death, can you at least tell me your name?”

He seemed to consider her for a moment before simply saying, “William.”

She shifted the ice pack and winced. “Well, William, I wish I could say I was pleased to meet you, but under the circumstances . . . “

“I would not expect it.” A hint of a smirk played on the corner of his mouth. It suited him.

Suddenly there was a shuffling noise from the apartment over head. “Shit,” Lena muttered. Ben had heard her. She pulled the ice pack off of her shoulder and glanced around. Her brain was working furiously trying to think of a way to get rid of him.

Half of her just wanted to kick his ass. It would be easy enough and would only take about two seconds, but finding another apartment so close to the Pits would take far longer than that.

Last night she had feigned illness, but tonight he knew that she was well because she had fought three matches. She made a grab for her coat thinking she could slip out the fire escape, and then her eyes fell on William.

Her mind churned, and she knew that the slightest gaze from this man could make anyone back down. She quickly unbuttoned her blouse completely and pulled at her tank top, stretching the material to reveal the edge of her bra.

She held up her hands as William finally showed a hint of emotion and looked at her quizzically. “I’m really sorry, but I need to borrow you for just a few minutes.” He didn’t budge an inch to prevent her from doing anything, and Lena drew in a quick breath. She couldn’t believe she was going to do this to a complete stranger.

His eyes widened in surprise as she climbed onto his lap, straddling him. She quickly started to pull his coat off, and he actually helped her. She silently thanked God that he was too stunned by her actions to do otherwise. Next she quickly unbuttoned his shirt and smoothed her hands over his skin to bare his chest.

His muscles tightened under her hurried touch, and for one last second, she looked into his eyes. “Sorry,” she said again before pressing her lips roughly to his. There was no response from him at first. She rubbed her lips furiously over his; trying to color his lips with what small amount of lipstick she wore on her own. Her eyes snapped open as his lips parted and he began to kiss her back. His hands gripped her thighs and pulled her up against him. She almost pulled back in surprise, but his hands held her firmly. Her head swam as their kiss softened to a mere brush of the lips. The world was lost to her as his lips trailed over her chin, and his hot insistent breath washed over her skin.

“Will . . . ,” she breathed softly as his lips caressed her neck.

One of his hands brushed up her side and stopped just below her breast. All she could do was hold onto his shoulders for dear life. It seemed like he was barely touching her, yet he was the one thing keeping her from losing herself in the abyss of her passion.

His skillful thumb found her nipple, hidden from him under her clothing. The gentle circling of his thumb and the friction of her bra quickly brought it to life. It strained against her clothing, begging to experience the feel of his fingers without this barrier between them.

Her fingers trembled slightly as she laced them through his silken hair. He quickly brought his lips back up to hers, and she felt herself melt into their soft touch. She wanted to stay like this forever.

She didn’t even know this man, how could his simplest touch ignite a fire in her that she thought she had lost long ago? For all of her strength and fighting skills, she suddenly found herself helpless in William’s arms.

Their lips finally parted, and Lena leaned her forehead against his. Her eyes fluttered open to see him gazing at her almost with a hint of wonder.

Suddenly, a knock came on the door. Lena bolted up in William’s lap as she suddenly remembered why she had clambered on top of him in the first place. Ben was here to try again for another night.

Since he had a key to every apartment in the place, she had expected him to just waltz right in like he usually did. If he had seen her on William’s arms like this he might have immediately gone away, but now she had to disengage herself from this embrace and try and get rid of Ben.

William reluctantly released her as a second knock sounded. She shook her head to clear her muddled thoughts, and felt her heavy braid. Her fingers worked quickly to undo it and tousle her hair.

After a third knock, she finally pulled the door open as she still struggled to even her breathing and slow the racing of her heart.

Her heavy set landlord stood there, drumming his fingers against the doorframe. She shuddered inwardly as his lustful eyes ate up every inch of her purposefully disheveled appearance.

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