Joe and I didn’t talk about what happened in prison. It was like after I had sex with Gina, we just acted like it didn’t happen. But I did tell Sadie. I’m not sure why. I guess it just came out with the other stories we shared while hanging at The Well, after my release, while waiting for Joe’s. I told her about us while sitting on the bleachers one night at Loch Raven High. Sadie rode me there on her Harley.
We had been in the parking lot of The Well talking while she was adjusting her clutch cable. When she hopped on the seat and started it up, she told me to get on. I resisted at first but eventually got on. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust her, it was just the idea of riding on back of someone’s Harley. The back seat is the “bitch” seat, and to ride there was political suicide on the street. I couldn’t even justify it by saying I needed a ride to get parts for my Harley. I didn’t own one, and to pretend I did would be worse than riding on the bitch seat. To wear the patches, the hat and vest, and not own a Harley, made you a “sidewalk commando.” You couldn’t promote a Harley unless you owned one. It didn’t have to run, but you had to own it. And I didn’t own one, so I didn’t wear any patches. And because I didn’t own one, I had to ride on the back of Sadie’s, which put me on the bitch seat, which made me a bitch, but it made me Sadie’s bitch and I could risk that.
It was late at night on the football field and we were watching the stars over Cromwell Valley, sharing a pint of Jack. We were spending a lot of time together at The Well since I got out and she got to town, and I felt like Sadie was the only person I could talk to. I missed Joe a lot, but it wasn’t like we really talked much. We didn’t need to. We talked with our actions. And as far as Gina goes, she and I never really got close. We were together a lot, and we had sex once, but we never really bonded. And of course, I wrote her letters from prison, but she never responded.
With Sadie it was different. She was easy to talk to. I felt like she was listening, and I felt like she understood. And because she was so cool, and so hot, and such a badass to everyone else, that made it even easier to tell her things.
“Joe and I hooked up in prison.” I said it right out of the blue, just threw it out into the night air. I guess it was ready to come out.
“Oh.” Sadie pulled back a little. I caught her by surprise. But she quickly settled back and looked down at the pint bottle. “Oh,” she said again and handed the bottle to me. She was quiet for a moment and I got nervous. She nodded her head a few times to herself and I could tell she was piecing together an idea. I got really nervous and I was certain that I just said something I shouldn’t have. While she was quietly contemplating what I said, I was trying to figure out a way to retract it, or at least water it down some.
“Uhm… It was just once.” I couldn’t think of anything to say. I took a drink from the bottle.
Sadie reached over and squeezed my forearm. “It’s cool. Believe me, it’s cool.”
“Uhm.” As easy as I found it to tell her other things, this thing was caught in my throat, and I wasn’t sure why. Well, I knew why, but I didn’t know why that mattered so much.
Sadie sensed my uneasiness. “So, you and Joe hooked up in prison.., once? Ok. So what?” She reached for the pint and took another drink. “So, tell me about it.”
When I told her about Joe and me, she just sat and listened. We weren’t looking at each other. If we were, I wouldn’t have been able to say it. I felt comfortable talking to her, but looking into those incredible brown eyes still melted me and left me speechless. I could say anything to her so long as I didn’t have to look at her while saying it. I glanced at her for brief moments between words. I had to. I mean, she was Sadie. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. I looked at her every chance I got. But when I started talking again, I had to look away, either stare at the ground or into the darkness beyond the end zone.
When I told her about Joe, I was staring at the North Star. “It’s just lonely in there. I mean there’s a lot of people around, too many people, but there’s no privacy and I guess there’s no intimacy. It’s like a bunch of animals trying to survive. And I guess it feels cool and all, to be able to survive, but you have to shut down parts of yourself.” I glanced at Sadie and reached for the pint. I didn’t drink though, I just held it. “I guess I wasn’t so good at shutting down that part. And I thought about Joe. He’d been inside longer than me. He had these parts shut down far longer than me. And I guess I thought maybe I could help him with it a little. And just that feeling, before I even touched him, that feeling felt good. It all seemed right to me at the time. I was craving intimacy and there was Joe, my best friend. And I thought that he must be craving it too, and maybe I could give it to him.”
“Look, you were lonely, and there was Joe. And if touching him made you feel less lonely, what the fuck’s the problem?” Sadie was sitting on the bleacher with her boots propped on the railing below. She was leaning her elbows on her legs and staring out toward the end zone. “You and me, we need open space. That’s why you couldn’t stand jail, and that’s why I take off on my motorcycle all the time. But we also need to connect. And there you were, with someone you liked and the opportunity to connect. Sounds good to me.”
“I know. I hear you, but between dudes it’s different. Two chicks can hook up and no one cares. People think it’s cool. But two dudes?”
“Exactly. It’s no one’s fucking business. What do you care what anyone thinks?”
Sadie was right. Every time I thought about what happened between Joe and me, I thought about how other people would view it. I thought about how I would be treated because of it. I was worried about everyone thinking I was gay. And what Sadie was saying was, “So what.” And I agreed. But I wasn’t ready to show it. So, to change the subject, or at least to shift the focus away from me, I asked her about Gina.
“Did you guys ever hook up?”
“Yeah, for a little while,” she said. “But it was more of a friendship. Gina was out of her element in Florida. I could tell as soon as I saw her. I really just wanted to help her. The sex was just something that happened. And it was only a bit of fooling around. It got us closer together, but I think we both feel more of a sisterly connection now. It’s still fun to tease though.”
“Well, was there anyone special?”
“Jane.” Sadie said without hesitation. She nodded her head, “I knew with Jane.”
“Jane? Tell me about Jane.”
“Jane is a beautiful blond Amazon.”
“Amazon. She’s named after Jane Mansfield.”
“Wow…, wait…, what…? How’d her parents know…?”
“It’s her stage name.”
“You’ll see. Anyway…”
Sadie shared how they met down south at a boxing match in the back room of a country-western honky tonk, and before they knew it, they were the main event in a chick boxing line up that had the whole town excited. Both women had earned reputations. Jane had been fighting for money for a while and was now the star of the chick boxing circuit in the Southeast. She had the right mix of talent, toughness and tits. Sadie had never fought in the ring, but she had been in a couple of fights since getting into town recently. And since those fights coincided with the boxing matches they drew more attention than usual. Everyone thought Sadie’s fights were promotional stunts and when she wasn’t on the boxing lineup the first night, so many men asked about her that all the boxers went out the next night looking for her in the local bars.
Two boxers found her in a crowded dive on the edge of town. They knew it was her as soon as they walked in. She was shooting pool with a couple of old dudes and looked to be winning. The two women got drinks and sat at a table along the wall where they could watch. It didn’t take long to see her in action. After she won at pool she walked over to the bar to get a beer. As she approached the bar someone reached for her ass. He wasn’t even close before Sadie’s radar flashed. She swept his hand away with her right arm and followed through with a left hook to his nose. It didn’t knock him out, but it sure stunned him. He held his nose with one hand and picked up his beer with the other, then just walked away. Sadie ordered one and did the same.
She walked over to a table near the two women and sat down. They came over to her table.
“Mind if we join you?”
“Why not? You’ve been watching me long enough.” Sadie nodded to the chairs across from her.
“You a fighter?” One of the women asked.
“When I have to. Seems like I have to a lot this week.”
“They think you’re a fighter.”
“I don’t get it. What do you mean fighter?”
“A fighter, a chick boxer. There’s a bunch of us who fight. It’s a big event around here. We travel all over the south. It’s pretty good money.”
“I see. And they think I’m one of these chick boxers?”
“Yeah, they think it’s a promo. But listen, from what we hear, and what we just saw with that dude at the bar, you got the right moves. You could make some money if you want. You definitely got the looks.”
“What, fake fighting for a crowd of men? No thanks.”
“No. No. It ain’t like that,” the woman said. “It’s real. Granted the crowd is mostly men, but they want to see blood, not just tits.” She paused for a moment, “My name’s Celeste. This is Candy.”
“Listen, Sadie, don’t get me wrong, the better looking you are, and the better you can fight, the more money you’ll make.” Celeste scanned Sadie’s body. “And don’t take this the wrong way but you could make lots.” Candy nodded in agreement.
“I don’t know. I’ll think about it.” Sadie got up from the table with her beer in hand. “Thanks for the info.”
Celeste handed her a flyer, “Here. Just in case. There are some more fights this weekend. I’m fighting Friday night, if you can make it.”
“Thanks Girls.” Sadie knew she would go and check it out, but she didn’t tell them.
The venue was dark and musty, in the back room of a honky tonk south of Knoxville. The bar was noisy and smoke-filled by the time Sadie arrived. The smell of blood was in the air. It smelled like sweat, cigars, and stale beer. The room was dark except for a small makeshift boxing ring in the center. A few folding chairs surrounded the ring, but most had been pushed back to make room for standing and cheering. Sadie looked around at the people in the room. Almost all men. All rednecks, she thought. Then she corrected herself. No, all hard working men enjoying their well-earned time off. Yeah, right. Whatever.
Sadie crossed through the crowd toward the ring. The smoke got thicker the closer she got. All around her men exchanged bets and discussed odds, while commenting on the condition of the fighters. It sounded like they were discussing racehorses, until they commented on tit size and fuckability. She listened as bandied-legged men in overalls described the fighters, making hand gestures to suggest body curves or cupping their chests to indicate big tits, and commenting, “Yup, I’d like to mount that filly. Uh huh,” then smiling with big toothless smiles, while spitting tobacco juice into empty cups and expelling raspy horse laughs, all the while slapping their legs or their buddies’ backs. Then betting. A lot of money was going through a door in the back corner of the room. A couple of big dudes stood on either side, and a line was crowded between them waiting to place bets with the man inside. The House, Sadie figured. She turned back to face the ring, then moved up to ring side for a better view.
She missed the first bout, but evidently didn’t miss much. She overheard some talk nearby. It sounded like a mismatch, and it didn’t last long. According to them, some little Asian girl got a lesson in pain. They enjoyed describing how badly the girl was beaten. Sadie cringed at the thought of men getting joy from watching women get hurt. It sounded like the Asian girl was inexperienced, sounded like they should have matched her up better, Sadie thought. They were in such a rush to get the entertainment in the ring that there was no concern for safety, so long as the woman looked good.
Sadie sat listening and watching for a few minutes, as the noise increased and the crowd started pushing toward the ring. It was time for the next fight. The lights dimmed and a man stepped through the ropes into the ring. He was about forty and wore a red button down rodeo shirt with white trim. His tight jeans were pulled up high on his swollen stomach and clinched tightly by a belt with a silver bull head buckle. He chewed a cigar and looked out from under a wide black Stetson, which cast a shadow over his eyes. He had a notecard in one hand and a bullhorn in the other.
“All right. Who wants to see a fight?” He shouted into the bullhorn. The drunken men cheered and raised beer cans. “All right. All right,” he said turning in a circle to address the whole room. “These next two fighters are meeting for the first time, and I think there’s a little animosity between them. That means they’re pissed at each other. It seems that one of them stole the others’ boyfriend and now they’re gonna even the score.” The crowd cheered and shouted as the two women, a short buff blond and a tall black chick, entered through a door opposite Sadie and made their way down the aisle to the ring.
“Now I tried to talk to ‘em,” the announcer continued, “to straighten this whole thing out, but there was no reasoning with these ladies.” He leaned hard on the word ladies. Then he growled, “They want blood.” The boxers circled the ring and taunted the crowd and each other. Sadie laughed and mumbled, “Someone’s been watching pro wrestling.” Then the chicks turned to each other and made threats and pointed fingers. The announcer stepped between the fighters and shouted into the bullhorn, “Ok, ladies. Ok. Let’s wait for the bell.”
The announcer addressed the crowd, “What do you guys think? Gonna be a hot one, huh?” The chicks pushed and swung at each other around the announcer still standing between them. “Whoa, ladies.” Someone came from each fighters’ corner to bring them back to wait for the bell.
“All right gentlemen, you see what we got here. Looks like there might be a little racial tension in the room tonight.” Then he took a deep breath, wound up his voice and said in a loud, long, rehearsed draw, “Let’s git this thing a goin’.”
When the bell rang the two boxers bound to the center of the ring and swung at each other like cornered cats. They mixed good punches with bitch slaps. They hissed and sneered. Sadie was impressed with their intensity, but more so with their acting. She could tell it was mostly a show. Either they didn’t really want to hurt each other, or they lacked the confidence to do it right. When you’ve been in as many fights as Sadie, you learn to read a fighter. And Sadie was convinced they were holding back. The more she watched the more she saw that parts of the bout were rehearsed. By the end it didn’t matter who won because next week would be the other chick’s turn.
Sadie watched the remaining bouts, each one increasing in talent and energy, and amount of betting. There was more commotion between the bouts, especially at the back door, and especially prior to the final bout. After the men placed their bets, they crowded to the front of the ring. Someone pushed past Sadie and rubbed up against her. She clipped him with her boot behind his knee. He tripped and fell. When he got up looking for a fight two bouncers were waiting. He tried to push past but they each grabbed an arm and lifted him off the ground. They carried him to the door and threw him out like the town drunk in an old spaghetti western.
The bell rang and the announcer stepped into the ring. “Well, well, gentlemen. The time has come: The Main Event. We’ve been trying to match these two lovely ladies up for months. Some of you men have followed us all over the south just for a chance to see these ladies fight. And fight they can. You’ve watched them fight their way to the top. And look good doing it. And tonight’s the night. Tonight we see who is the toughest, the fastest, the craziest. Tonight it’s Mama Celeste v. Amazon Jane.”
The crowd roared. Sadie was intrigued. The energy in the room changed. It was more serious, intense, believable. Before the women even entered the ring, before she could even see them, she knew it would be a real fight.
The first boxer climbed into the ring and took off her robe. Sadie saw it was Celeste, the woman from earlier in the week. She was impressed with her muscularity. Sadie watched her move around the ring, studying her with a warrior’s eye. Celeste was the real thing. Whoever went up against her had their work cut out. No sooner did Sadie think that than Celeste’s opponent stepped into the ring. Sadie was immediately drawn to her. Everyone in the room was, and she still had her robe on. Amazon Jane was a big girl. Big, Sadie thought, in all the right places. When she took off her robe, Sadie’s pussy tingled. Her eyes were glued to the disrobing blond and her thoughts were not on boxing. She squeezed her thighs together and thought, Uh oh, here we go again.
The bell rang and the fighters moved to the center of the ring, slowly, calculating each other. They quickly exchanged a few blows, testing distance, reflexes. Their jabs were clean and quick. They knew how to throw punches. They knew how to block and cover up. And apparently, they knew how to take pain. They weren’t scared or intimidated or angry. They were fighters. They jabbed. They hooked. They got hit. They were light on their feet, but solid on the canvas. If they hadn’t been beautiful chicks with big tits, Sadie would have thought she was watching two men fight. This was not a chick fight. It was a boxing match. For two rounds the women circled each other, delivering punches, blocking and countering. Sadie was impressed. About a minute into the third round Amazon Jane delivered an upper cut to Mama Celeste that dropped her to the mat. It was the kind of punch that would end any fight. And in this case, that’s exactly what it did. Mama Celeste didn’t even try to get up. She just lay there exhausted, defeated, and ready to get paid.
After the bout, Sadie flowed with the crowd into the main room of the honky tonk. Two of the fighters were already at the bar, either drowning their pain or just waiting to get paid, probably both. Sadie sat next to them. They were talking about their fight. Sadie assumed they were the chicks from the first bout. She overheard their conversation.
“I know. But I wish I could’ve done better.”
“I told you, Mya. You done the best you could.”
“But you knocked me out so fast.”
“Look. Let’s not go through it again. You did ok.”
“I hope Travis thinks so. I really need the money.”
“Travis is an asshole. He’ll take advantage of you if you let him.”
The bar filled up as men continued to pour in from the back room, some counting money, some grumbling, some laughing and slapping their buddies on the backs.
“Did you see the tits on that last bitch?”
“I’d like to have her beat on me for a while.”
“Travis can probably set that up.”
“I liked that little colored girl. She was fast.”
The men walked by ogling, as the other boxers grabbed stools at the bar. Sadie recognized the women from the later bouts. Some looked beaten up. All looked tired. They were dressed in street clothes and had gym bags over their shoulders.
The fight announcer came out of the office and stood behind the bar.
“Here’s the asshole now,” said the woman talking to Mya. “Hey Travis, pay us.”
Travis held up some envelopes and started calling women’s names in a gravelly, deep voice, “Jane.” He handed an envelope to the big blond woman. “Celeste.” She reached over, took her envelope. She was holding an ice pack on her jaw and didn’t see Sadie sitting at the bar.
Travis continued calling names and handing out envelopes. Each woman opened hers and thumbed the money quickly. When he was done, he said, “Thanks, Ladies,” and tapped his Stetson. “See y’ all in two weeks.” He turned toward the door.
“Uh, Mr. Travis. Excuse me.” It was Mya, the Asian girl from the first bout. “Sir, you forgot me.”
Travis smirked at her. “You have to fight if you want to get paid, Missy.”
“I’m Mya, and I did fight.”
“Maybe next time, Toots.”
“But you promised. You promised that all the fighters would get at least two hundred dollars.”
“I also promised these men a fight. And what you did out there wasn’t fighting.”
“But I tried. At least I didn’t surrender.”
“You didn’t have time to. You were too busy hitting the mat. Come back when you toughen up, Sweetie.”
Mya bit back tears, “But I need that money.”
Travis turned toward the office door, “Fuck off.”
“Hey Asshole.” Sadie stood from the stool.
“Yeah.” Travis said, annoyed and turning back toward the bar.
“You owe her some money.”
“Yeah? Says who? Get the fuck out of my face, Bitch.”
Sadie threw a bottle at his face, just missing him, knocking off his Stetson and grazing his temple as it passed and smashed against the wall. She was halfway across the bar when two bouncers grabbed her, one on each arm, and pulled her back. She kicked one guy in the side of the knee and when he dropped, she punched the other guy in the throat. When she brought her arm back from the punch, she followed through and elbowed the dropped guy in the nose, then came forward with a knee to the chin of the kneeling guy holding his throat. Both men dropped to the floor. When Sadie turned back to Travis he had a shotgun pointed at her.
“You must be Sadie,” he said staring down the barrel.
Sadie glanced at Celeste, then back at Travis. “You owe Mya money,” She responded, rubbing her fist. Travis stared at her but didn’t respond. He kept the gun pointed at her but seemed to be thinking about something else.
“Come on, Travis, just give her the money.” It was Jane, the blond. She was sitting at the corner of the bar drinking tequila.
“Stay out of this, Jane,” he called over his shoulder, “or you won’t see any more money, either.”
“Yeah right. Whatever. You stop paying me. I stop fighting. Half the men in here stop coming.” Travis looked around the crowded bar. “All that,” she said, “over three hundred dollars?”
“Two hundred,” Travis corrected.
“Three,” Jane said in a threatening tone.
Travis contemplated for a moment. He scanned the room again. Everyone was watching him. He looked at Sadie, calm but ready to strike. He looked at Mya, then at Celeste, nodding toward Mya. “Jesus Christ,” he finally said, lowering the shotgun and opening the cash drawer. He tossed some money on the bar and muttered, “You girls are killing me.”
Sadie turned to leave.
“Hey,” called Travis, “Wanna make two grand?”