Remember in Heated Match when Adam & Xander go to spar? Well, here is the scene where they fight. I deleted this scene VERY early in my drafting process, so there are some things in there that may not add up if you’ve read Heated Match. Enjoy
Adam eyed his friend in a side-long glance as they reached the gym’s steel doors. He shook off his maudlin thoughts and focused on his anger, his rage that they forcing him to match. Usually there was a choice or Shep went about it more stealthily. It was rumored he hacked the Red Cross and hospital files for blood type and DNA records then hired the women as cooks and shit. It was how his parents met. A part of him felt relief his mom was no longer living to see him strong-armed into matching.
“Ready?” Xander flung open the door, and gleam in his eye.
“Bring it on.”
“Let’s do it.” Xander jogged over to the far side of the room and perched on a metal bench to untie his shoe laces. Then he crossed over to a cabinet and threw it open. He pulled out some head gear and large rectangular pads with straps on the back. Adam headed for the locker room to pull on his sweats and cup. He knew Xander would go full contact. No sense in getting injured. Though at the moment, getting a few groin kicks seemed a good excuse as any to avoid kicking off the next generation of assassins. Even if he agreed to reproduce, there was no guarantee his kid would sign onto The Program at age eighteen. There was always a choice, unless Shep planned on removing that, too.
Xander joined him in the locker room and placed his arms at his waist, lifted a faded Jane’s Addiction T-shirt up over his head and dropped it where he stood. Then he pulled on a plain black t-shirt. “Let’s go.” He gestured with his head toward the door then headed out.
Adam followed suit and stepped onto the mat. Xander beckoned him closer onto the mat and began to say something. His comment got lost in the mill of voices entering the gym. The pool group had followed them hoping for some entertainment.
“You said it,” Xander agreed. “Be flattered, your fans love you. A little Krav Maga tonight? Or you want something else?” Xander was an expert in Krav Maga, an Israeli fighting self-defense technique designed to get in, take out the other guy, and get out without injury to yourself. Adam wanted to work on some of his disarming techniques.
“Krav Maga’s good. Let’s warm up. He set off in a few sprints around the gym. Xander caught up and the two ran, feet pounding the mats in unison. When he felt sufficiently sweaty, Adam jogged into the center of the mat. He grinned and gestured in a come hither motion to Xander.
“Ready? Fight.” Adam lunged at Xander, but Xander feinted with a quick motion to his right. Adam hissed as Xander’s shoulder made contact with his stomach. But it gave him a nice opportunity to grab a forearm and reciprocate with a kidney punch. Adam’s body went through the fight while his mind raced. Shep has some nerve asking me to volunteer myself as a lab rat. Mom and Dad already proved our family line has some defects. What if I had a kid like Rowan? Or one like me, who can’t even go on a job without having a panic attack after?
Xander took Adam’s hit and sidestepped fluidly then landed a well placed kick to Adam’s calf. Adam went down. Xander took advantage of the position to deliver an incapacitating knee to the groin, but pulled out the last second then stepped off.
“First point Xander!” Chase called out.
Xander and Adam grinned at each other then set up for the next scenario. His mind still raced. Who could be my genetic match? Will they test the daughters of other soldiers? An image of a Chase’s sister with her honey curls and defiant stare bounced in his mind like a popcorn kernel in the popper. Desire filled him, but he realized the impossibility of that match. How could I take her away from her life? What kind of reality could I offer her? Hi, I’m Adam. I want to impregnate you then take your child and train him as an assassin when he’s sixteen, provided he’s not missing a limb or anything. Oh, did I forget to mention my DNA lineage has some defects? So sorry. He shook off the mental demons gnawing away at him and refocused on Xander. Dreaming about a woman he’d never see again wasted brain matter.
Xander reached off the mat for a molded, plastic knife. Adam turned his back to him and waited for the touch. Xander played the role of attacker. His breath fell gently on the back of Adam’s head. He felt the graze of Xander’s hand on his shoulder ready to turn him to be stabbed. He spun and in one swift move pushed the heel of his left hand upward into Xander’s chin. His right hand twisted Xander’s wrist into an unnatural position. Adam stopped short of breaking it.
If I don’t agree to this, what will happen to The Program? For all its faults, Adam was a loyal soldier. God knows who the President would send if we weren’t here. It’ll be a giant CF. Is there serious harm in letting the testing go forward? I can always say no at the last minute. It’s not like they can easily get my sperm without my cooperation.
Xander shook the blow off his chin and wrist then tossed Adam the knife. Adam swiped it from midair with a deft grab. He paused for a split second then lunged at Xander. He stabbed out toward Xander’s abs then turned to the side and prepared to bring the hilt of the knife down on Xander’s skull. Xander anticipated the move and swung his head to the side. He lashed out with his leg, nailing Adam in the thigh. Adam maintained his balance, but his head shot glanced off Xander’s shoulder.
“Going for a head shot?” Xander huffed. “It’s on now.”
Gavin called from the sidelines, “Xander’s on assignment tomorrow. He needs all three of his brain cells in working order thank you very much.”
Xander threw a middle finger in Gavin’s direction then pummeled Adam in the back, stomach, and kidneys with punishing fists. Adam took the hits and returned several of his own. He heard mutters from the audience.
“They’re going to kill each other.”
“And they’re best friends. Imagine that fight with a target? A Reg target.”
Adam heard the comments and knew they were right. Xander headed off toEuropeon a tough job tomorrow. He didn’t need to go with a broken nose or bruised ribs. Adam pulled back abruptly. Xander landed a shoulder blow before he realized Adam had stopped fighting.
“Sorry man. Why’d you stop?”
“It’s okay. Gavin’s right. Don’t blow your mission on account of my brain-fuck.”
Xander stared at him in silence then snorted a laugh. “I’ll be fine. It’s you I’m worried about.”
“Thanks for the love, but I’m better now.” The pair started toward the locker room ignoring the calls from their comrades perched against the gym walls. “I think I’ll let them start the initial testing. What are the odds they find my perfect genetic match, and she wants me and to be part of this life? Things are slightly different then when our dads went through the program.”
“I’ll say,” Xander muttered. “But she’ll want you. Science and history say so. Supposedly they give you a few weeks off just to fuck your little brains out.”
He rolled his eyes at his friend’s crudity and continued talking. “I mean, it’s not like they can find some woman off the street and kidnap her so I can impregnate her only to take away the baby later.” Adam chuckled. “It’s ridiculous for me to get worked up over this.”
Xander clapped him on the back. “Okay, bud. You keep telling yourself that in a few weeks when you’re whacking off into a cup for the white coats up at the Lab.”