Authors: Ty Langston
Tags: #Erotic Contemporary
she was checking me out? I thought she dug my ass.” He joked to his mother.
“Oh, Evan!” Edna laughed while she turned and watched Hayley talk.
“Mr. Bates, you certainly are your moniker. You come onto the scene several years ago, and you
tore through guys as if they were pieces of paper. 20 fights, 20 wins. As quick as the masses begin to catch onto you, you vanish for five years…That is until you showed up at Mason’s bar a month ago.
Your former teacher, Tucker Gray and I have tried to reach you several times. This was our final try. So Evan, if you or if there is someone out there that knows where to find you, please tell them to call Contact Sports and ask for me, Hayley Monroe. On that note, everyone have a great night; we’ll see you next week.”
Evan exhaled as he lay back on the couch; the color went out of his face. His mother Edna
looked at her son with pride; her smile was wide. She picked up the remote and turned off the TV.
“Someone it seems has an admirer.” She said.
“I guess so.” He told her.
“Are you going to call her?” Edna asked.
“Nope.” Evan replied.
Stunned by his response, his mother asked, “You’re kidding me, right?”
“That fight at Mason’s was a one time deal. We needed the money. I lucked out and won. End of
“20 undefeated bouts isn’t luck.” Edna retorted.
“Ma that was 5 years ago. I was younger and quicker. Could you see me now with Briggs? He’d
kill me. No way.”
“A million bucks could change your life, and Everly’s.” His mother told him.
“I wouldn’t have a chance in hell at winning.” Evan told her.
“I think you could win Daddy.” Everly said standing in the entrance.
He motioned for his daughter to come to him and sat her on his lap. “So, how much of that did
you hear?” he asked.
“The whole thing. You used to fight for money?” Everly asked her father, her eyes widened with
“Yeah, I used to compete against other guys when I was younger.” He told her.
“Like boxing?” she asked him. “Did you win a belt like they show on TV?”
“No, I didn’t. I guess I wasn’t around long enough to go for a belt.” He explained to her as he smoothed her hair down.
“Aww, that’s too bad. I bet you would have won.” Everly told him.
Evan grinned. “You do, huh?”
“We both do, Everly. Nana’s with you on that.” Edna said with a wink.
“Did you like it?” Everly asked.
Evan nodded to her. “I did. It was a lot of work, but I liked it a lot. It paid for this house; it paid for Grandpa’s medical bills when he got sick. All of that came from my fighting.”
“Wow. If you liked it, then why did you stop?” Everly asked.
It was the question he knew he’d have to answer, but had hoped it would have been when Everly
was much older. If he told her the truth, he’d have to tell her about her mother. Despite, Tamara’s actions, the last thing he wanted was for Everly to hate her mother. He and Tamara’s issues were theirs, not their daughters.
“For you. You came into our lives, and all I wanted to do was with be with you. To go and train
out of state at times for months was already hard enough, but to leave you would have been agony. You are the light of my life, the air that I breathe. When you were born those big blue eyes of yours took in everything. I couldn’t stay away from that. Not even if I wanted to.”
“Daddy, You silly. I’m always here. Remember what you told me when I started school? No
matter where you are. You are here.” And she pointed at his heart.
“So, what do you think I should do?” Evan asked.
“You should do what you like.” His daughter said
“That’s my girl.” Edna told her.
“If you like fighting, then fight. At least you won’t be stinky after being in that old mill.” Everly told him.
Edna let out a huge laugh.
“So it’s two against one.” Evan said.
“You can do it, Daddy. I’ll be ok. Nana will be here and so will cousin Mike. Aunt Lily and
Uncle Jake will be here too. You can call us everyday. I’ll teach you to use Skype. It’ll be fun like you never left.” The young girl insisted.
Evan closed his eyes. He couldn’t believe he was honestly thinking about doing this. “Guess, I
better learn how to Skype.” He told her.
Everly hugged her father. “Yay!!! Yay!!”
With the show now airing, Hayley spotlighted each one of the competitors weekly while they all
lived together in a rented beach house in the Pacific Palisades.
The place was not only convenient to Dynamex’s MMA gym, but literally on the beach. Full of
windows, the contemporary home had 360 views of the ocean. Tucker Gray and Billy Viele also had quarters in the home where they worked with all the men each day.
During their 3rd week on the air, Hayley had received information that Evan had called and gone
through the physical test and passed with flying colors. His mock promo on Jackson Briggs was so on point that Briggs took notice and complimented his old friend during one of the episodes.
The more Hayley spoke to all of the competitors; the fonder became of all of them. All were
decent, hard-working guys that paid their dues and deserved this opportunity.
It wasn’t a surprise when the Enigma finally arrived at the beach house, not only was there an
episode geared exclusively for it, but the other contenders became resentful of the attention Evan received.
The fans loved Evan. Hayley noticed that when the cameras were on him, he had a wicked sense
of humor. He knew the right things to say at the perfect time. Once the cameras were off, he was a loner.
Every morning, before training, he’d get up before the rest of the guys and run for 5 miles. During rankings, he scored just below Tunney and O’Malley, but above the other three competitors. When others took a break, he pushed on, polishing, reacquainting himself with the game. When training was over for everyone else, he’d either run for another 5 miles or be in his room, watching DVD’s of old Jackson Briggs matches from the Contact Sports vault.
One thing he did without fail was that at 5 pm each night, he’d stop whatever he was doing and
go into his room for an hour. He refused to say why and did it like clockwork.
With the exception of an occasional hello or a joke, Hayley didn’t know him like the others. The day before the 1st elimination bout, she decided to rectify the situation by joining him on his afternoon run.
Dressed in a pair of black sweats and matching tank, she seemed underdressed as Evan wore only
a pair of blue running shorts and sneakers.
“Hey.” She shouted as she caught up to him.
Annoyed, Evan, took out one of his ear pods while he continued to run. “What is it?” he asked.
“Just hasn’t had a chance to talk to you. Wanted to see how you were doing? We’ve never
formally met, I’m Hayley.”
“Hi, there. Good to meet ya.” He told her. “So, do you usually run with contestants?” he asked.
“Well, only ones I want to get to know.” she said.
She could feel him at looking her. His blue eyes glimmered with devilish intent. “Well, this is a five mile run. Think you can hang, pretty girl?” he asked.
Her eyes grew wide as she watched his shirtless torso. His broad shoulders already had beads of
sweat running down his arms and over his 6 pack abs.
“I’ll keep up as best as I can.” She told him.
He began to pick up the pace. She continued alongside him. “Your nickname matches you. Tell
me something, why does someone with a stellar fight record suddenly disappear without a trace for five years?”
“I had my reasons.” He replied.
“You were amazing at Mason’s that night.”
“Thanks, but it was luck. Everyone’s acting like it was more than what it was.” Evan explained.
“So, you’re saying it was a fluke?” Hayley asked.
“This whole thing is.” He told her. “Before that night, I haven’t fought anyone in years.”
“Anyone?” her eyes raised.
“Except for a spar here and there, I had no desire to anymore.”
“Kept yourself in good shape.” She told him, her eyes looked at his physique with approval.
“Going to the gym is like brushing teeth for me. If I don’t do something physical for a day, I get antsy. It’s a release.” he told her.
“It’s a vice.” She said.
“You could say that. There definitely are worse things to be addicted to.” He said now in full jog mode. Hayley’s legs pushed hard to keep up.
“True…True.” She said. “You said you had no desire to anymore to fight? How come?”
“Other priorities. Sometimes, regardless of how much you love something, you have to do the
“I take it that now your priorities have changed?” She asked
“Nope. I just have nothing to lose.” He said. “Ok, enough about me, because in all honesty,
there’s not much to tell other than the fact that I work, go to the gym, and play poker every Wednesday.
What brings an investigative journalist to a sports company like Contact Sports?”
Hayley’s eyes widened as Evan let out huge laugh. He continued his query. “Think that I didn’t
do my homework on you? Raised in New York, you and brother had a happy childhood with your
homemaker mother and an auto executive father. You chose journalism because you always needed an answer for the great unsolved mystery. You were top of your game in high school and at Syracuse where you even won an award for a documentary on the homeless.”
“Damn, talk to Tucker and Billy much? She laughed.
“Actually, no. Ok, for some of it, yes. But, I’m friends with Ella Corbett.” Evan added. “She told me that she was such a huge fan of your documentary that she had to have you on her team. Ella used to cover my matches before she got her big promotion.”
“Oh, I forgot you knew her.” Hayley said.
“I know a lot of people in this biz. Some are good like her, Tucker and Billy. The rest are just sharks, the minute they smell new blood, they will eat you alive.” He said pointedly.
Hayley’s eyes narrowed. “That’s encouraging.”
“It’s the truth, though. Better for you to know now, than to get shit on later.” He added.
“Why the negativity all of a sudden?” she asked.
“Not negativity. I wish someone would have told me what I told you five years ago. Maybe I’d be
the one fighting these guys in an exhibition match instead of looking at a stack of legal bills from my ex-wife.”
Hayley and Evan stopped. She needed to take a breath. The conversation went from decent to
heavy in the course of 10 minutes.
Legal bills? Sharks? Maybe it was good he left the business when he
Placing his hand on his hips, the normal stone face was replaced with regret
Listen, I’m sorry about all that. I guess I just don’t want to you to make the same mistakes I did when I first started.”
“What was that?” Hayley asked in between taking a breath.
“Believing the bullshit, the hype. It’s easy to get caught up in. People start throwing money at you. Go to this movie premiere or to hang out with this celebrity at this industry party. All of that brings out certain people who will hang onto you for your name until it’s all gone. I guess what I’m saying is stay true to you. Because if you don’t, they’ll take you down.”
His words cut through her like a knife. They were filled with hurt, regret and at times anger.
They were the reasons why he left and returned rolled into one. For him, this was a re-telling of his story, some of the players were different, but the goal was the same. It was up to her at this point to make sure his story was told right.
“Are you having fun at the beach, Daddy?” Everly asked her father via Skype. For him, this was
the best part of his day.
“I am Everly but it’d be cooler if you and Nana were here too. You could make sand castles, and I could teach you how to swim in this really nice pool we have.” He told her with a smile.
“I’d make the biggest sand castle in the world then we’d live in it. It’d have room for me, you, Nana, and my new puppy.”
Evan’s eyes narrowed with confusion at the last thing his daughter said. “New puppy?”
Everly giggled. “Yep, Nana said that when this was all over, we could get one. Can we Daddy?
Evan put up his hands. “Whoa, your grandmother never said any of this to me. Puppies are a huge
responsibility. I don’t know, Everly. Daddy’s has to think about that one.” He told her.
“Nana told me to tell you that at least I’m not asking for a baby brother or a sister.”
Evan’s eyes rolled as he mumbled. “She would say that. By the way, where is Nana?”
“I’ll get her.” Everly said as she sprung up from her chair and grabbed her grandmother. “Nana, see Daddy?” Everly continued.
Edna waved and smiled. “Hey! How ya holding up?”
Evan smiled. “I’m doing better than I thought I would. These guys are kicking our asses. But it’s been fun so far. How’s everything back home?”
Tears of joy rolled down Edna’s cheeks. “Great. Everyone is proud of you. We’re watching you
every week, and it’s been fantastic seeing this all play out. The other guys doing ok? There are three of you left?”
Evan nodded. “Yeah, it’s down to me, Tunney and O’Malley. Aka the musketeers. I beat one
guy last week, and Tunney took out the other one last night. Oops. Spoiler alert on that one. I don’t think I was supposed to tell you about that because we film a week ahead.”
Edna giggled. “Your secret is safe with us.” She began to look around for a couple of minutes
before she leaned into the laptop. “Now that Everly’s gone to play with her cousins, there is something you need to know.”
Evan’s face turned to concern. “What is it?” He asked.
“Tamara came by for a visit.” Edna said
Evan was enraged. “What! Are you kidding me? What did you do? What did she say? She didn’t