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Blue Moon -- January 4, 2012

"Blue Moon"

Daredevil wrestler Brad Fraser throws his body around the ring to the cheers of the crowd, but when the lights go dark, he throws it from bed to bed to alleviate the boredom of travel. It all comes crashing down one night at the hands of the resident bad guy, but Brad finds himself rescued by the cool, suave Scott O’Doul, and the two men make a pact based on the illusion of control.

Though their relationship begins as an arrangement of pleasure rather than commitment, over the course of a year on and off the road, Brad finds himself trusting Scott more and more. But Scott plays things close to the chest, and Brad isn't sure where he stands—until the night Scott nearly pushes him too far.

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Read an excerpt:


Meeting

PROGRESSIVE Championship Wrestling was a dream come true for Brad Fraser. From early days of pounding his brother to a pulp in the name of research to that first dive off the balcony onto a mattress, from the first tryout all the way through to making it up to the main roster, he was proud of his accomplishments. Wrestling was the one goal he’d relentlessly pursued.

In a word, Brad was beautiful, and he did not fit the mold of the typical wrestler. Blond haired and blue eyed, he had boyish good looks. He was slightly built, and in the early days, his stature had put him at a disadvantage. It had been insinuated to him by more than one promoter that he was too short to ever make it to the big leagues. He had happily proved them all wrong.

Things happened inside the pro-wrestling circuit that people outside never knew about. Brutality was a way of life for these men. Many people thought what they did was fake, but the wrestlers knew the difference. The mat was solid, and the ring was strung with steel ropes. Chair shots were performed with real chairs. In essence, these men made a living beating others and being beaten in return. Behind the cameras they were nothing more than a group of friends and enemies. In countless backstage areas around the country, they lived their lives with no off-season.

Brad embraced the life wholeheartedly and never complained about the pain. It wasn’t that he was a glutton for punishment; he just had a genuine love for the sport. The things that bothered him tended to be more of the creature comfort variety. He found he had to be creative in coming up with ways to balance the unending travel and inherent pain that came with tossing his body around, and the boredom of the nomadic life on the road. Many times this creativity bit him in the ass, and too much of a good thing turned bad in a heartbeat.

There is no crying in wrestling, and as much as Brad knew that, he still fought back tears as he struggled with the sugar packet. They were in some nameless arena in a town he had already forgotten the name of, but everything else was the same as it always was. Tonight hadn’t been a televised show, fortunate because he knew the cameras would have accentuated the bags under his eyes. All he wanted to do was get a coffee in catering and disappear into the woodwork. If he was honest with himself, he knew he got into these messes because of his incessant risk-taking behavior. Never content to read about the thrills, he felt he always had to experience them firsthand. Whether smoking a joint behind the dumpsters or falling from one bed to another, his next fix was always right around the corner. The excesses of the previous night were creeping up on him now with a vengeance.

Sugar exploded from the packet, spilling all over the table. “Shit,” he said, and as he reached for a napkin, his sleeve brushed against the Styrofoam cup and spilled coffee all over the table and the floor.

The tears spilled over as he knelt down to mop up the coffee, and his vision blurred as a pair of heavy boots stepped right into the mess.

“There you are.” The voice above him was low with menace. Without looking up, Brad knew that it was Bruiser, a veteran wrestler that all the men knew they could go to when they wanted to score drugs. Younger, pretty boys like Brad were expected to pay with sexual favors. Brad raised a hand to dash his tears away, and whispered, “Please.” Although he had expected to pay for the joint with a blow job, he hadn’t been expecting the rough treatment afterward.

Bruiser reached down and fisted his hand in Brad’s hair, hauling him upright. “Please,” he mimicked. “You weren’t this eager last night, but I told you that you’d come around.” He had the audacity to wink before he leaned in closer and said, “You ready for more?”

“No,” Brad said, “I just….”

“You just what?” Bruiser lifted his hand slightly, unmoved by Brad’s wince.

“Leave me alone,” Brad whispered, “please.”

“Ah, now see, it don’t work like that,” Bruiser said, his lips drawn back in a humorless grin. “Now take that sweet little ass down to my dressing room, and wait for me.”

Even with Bruiser’s hand tangled painfully in his hair, Brad sagged forward and didn’t care if he fell back to the floor when he was let go to carry out the command. In his peripheral vision he saw someone approach, and he closed his eyes in misery.

“I think he’s had enough,” said a cool voice.

“Stay out of this, O’Doul,” Bruiser snarled, “it don’t concern you.” And he released his hold on Brad’s hair, letting him tumble to the floor.

“Ah, but it does,” Scott said. “I distinctly heard him tell you no.” He stepped in front of Brad’s prone body.

Bruiser shifted his gaze from Scott down to the trembling Brad, and then straightened up to his full height. “This ain’t over,” he growled softly.

“I think perhaps it is,” Scott replied.

The encounter had not gone unnoticed, and several people watched surreptitiously. Bruiser clenched his hands into fists, not willing to let Scott get the better of him in front of a crowd.

“Listen, you little prick,” Bruiser said, his muscles rippling under his tight T-shirt. “Just because you dress in suits and gel your hair, don’t mean you own this joint.”

Scott tipped his head to the side and spoke softly enough that only Bruiser heard him. “Try me, but run the risk of me besting you in front of the rest of the boys. I won’t hold back the way I do in the ring.”

“Fuck you, asshole,” Bruiser growled.

Scott clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth, and raised his voice so that all heard. “Find someone else for that.”

Bruiser raised his hand, and Scott caught it neatly. With a growl of outrage, Bruiser tore away. “You ain’t seen the last of me, Scott O’Doul.” He turned and stalked down toward the row of dressing rooms.

Once he was gone, Scott bent down and helped Brad stand. Side by side, Scott was several inches taller than Brad. At a glance, Scott’s muscular build fit the mold of wrestler far better than Brad’s smaller frame.

“Are you okay?” he asked gently.

A bit of Brad’s natural spunkiness returned. He attempted a smile and said, “Fine, thanks.” But as he took a step, he stumbled and would have fallen had Scott not caught him.

“You’re not fine.” Scott put his arm around Brad, supporting him. Affixing a smile to his handsome features, he turned to those still idling about and said, “Nothing to see here, move along.” He then guided Brad out the back door of the small arena.