Chapter 7:

Anything For You

Love and Destruction

     For most of his life, Sylas lived alone. His parents were deadbeats, just like most other children in this recession plagued country. Technically, he was a bastard. Born from a prostitute mother and father unknown, he lived with his mom for only his early years and that was where he developed his uncanny skill in crime. Like most children his age, he became a kleptomaniac, just more skilled than the others.

After stealing something from the right (or wrong) person, they imprisoned him then employed his efforts for themselves. And from then on, Sylas made his name in crime. Starting with thievery and ranging to murder and whatever heinous deeds people had for him.

Sylas slept on the floor that evening. Taking the opportunity to cuddle with Actavio did cross his mind but he already pushed his sickly body to its limits with the intercourse and didn’t want to burden him with any more body heat than he already had.

The cold floorboards reminded him of the alley asphalt he once called home when he was far younger. Some things truly are inescapable.

     During the night he woke up several times to replace Actavio’s rag, and in the morning he did so one final time before leaving the apartment with a note beside the bed.

I’ll be back soon. Took your car, sorry.

Love, Sylas

If the underground ring wasn’t so far away he would’ve just walked like he did everywhere else.

He parked the car in the same northern alley then made his way inside. Since the sun was still up, the only people that occupied the ring were staff still tidying up from the previous night. And of course, Lorraine who called him here in the first place.

“Geez you look like a mess.”

Sylas heaved a long-restrained groan, popping a cigarette into his mouth. The sweet relief of nicotine filled his lungs; he didn’t even smoke outside the previous night out of fear that he’d track the smell into the apartment.

“It’s a fucking whole story not worth telling. So? What’d you find out?”

“Welllll, talk as we walk yeah?”

Lorraine led him down a series of corridors unbeknownst to the public descending further below; he could only recall a handful of times that he’d been down here.

“First off, how’s the champ? I didn’t know you guys are buddies.”

“That’s one way of putting it, but I don’t think he’d agree.”


“Yeah, yeah, he’s fine I suppose. Hanging in there, has a bad fever and he’s been out cold since yesterday night.”

“If that’s all then we shouldn’t have anything to worry about for the time being, I should get some results back on the knife that scrawny guy had in a few days for you.”

“A few days?!”

“If I really get on top of them then tomorrow night at the earliest, but that kind of stuff takes time.”

The delinquent pursed his lips. Who knows how Actavio could progress during that time, what if he reached the point of no return?

“What about the guy that attacked him?”

“Well, that’s what I wanted to show you.”

They stop in front of a steel door guarded by a pair of brawny bouncers. Without a word they open the door for them and they enter. The man that had attacked Actavio the other night was hanging motionless against the dilapidated brick walls covered in blood and bruises undeniably from being interrogated, maybe some as added punishment for breaking the rules.

“So, what’d you learn from him?”

“Fucking nothing! He was too out of it to even understand what we were saying, maybe he’s more sober now. Only thing we got was some basics, he’s got that tattoo on his chest, the ones all the Vultures have.”

The Vultures? What could they possibly have wanted with the champion? They were the second largest street gang, right after his own, and were much less well received, hence their name. While Sylas’s gang mostly kept their mischief to themselves, the Vultures made sure to wreak havoc anywhere and everywhere. A complete pain in the ass for the public and the Merids–

No, there’s no way they knew that Actavio was the champion. If that were the case, a slimy group like them would’ve leaked that information a long time ago. Not even Lorriane knew his true identity.

“The Vultures?”

“Don’t ask me, that’s what we were trying to figure out until he went and passed out on us.”

“You aren’t trying hard enough if you’re letting him sleep.”

“We’re just a fighting ring not the mob–Hey wait-!!”

Before Lorraine can finish his thought Sylas slams the man’s head against the wall, jolting him awake.

His eyes were bloodshot and dilated. Drugs.

“What the fuck do you want?!!! Let me out of here!!”

“What’d you coat the knife in?” Sylas asked calmly, but his gaze was dull and unsympathetic.

“Fuck you!” The man spat at Sylas, though it didn’t reach and pathetically fell to the floor instead.

“See?” Lorraine sighed. “Won’t get anything out of him.”

“Because you’re not trying hard enough.”

With the same deadpan tone, Sylas unsheathes a butterfly knife from his pocket then presses it against the man’s arm.


“I’m not gonna kill him.”

“I wasn’t worried about that it’s just–”

Barely digging the blade lower, he peels back the man’s skin, slicing down his arm as he screams in agony. Not even after peeling a fifth of his forearm does the man give in.


Sylas removes the knife.

“It’s—some fucking drug!! Weakens the body over the course of a week. I only used a low dosage because that shits expensive so even slower than that, like two weeks or some shit.”

“Weakens how?”

“Starts with a fever and body aches, then vomiting, worse it gets is your bones get brittle and break easy. I just wanted to fucking beat him man!! Do you know how much money you’d make if you did?!!! I’d be set for life!!!”

It took everything Sylas had to not crush his head into the pavement.

Lighting another cigarette, he flipped the butterfly knife between his fingers, setting the scrawny man on edge as his pupils quivered while watching.

“And the cure?”

“I-In my apartment!” Rapidly he blurted out the address for them to take note of.

“This doesn’t have anything to do with the Vultures?”

“No I just wanted a quick buck man!”

From how panicked his shaky voice was, Sylas figured he was telling the truth. Snuffing out his cigarette under his heel, he seizes the pale man’s hand.

“What are you doing–?!! I told you everything I swear I’m telling the truth please–AHHHH!!!”

One by one Sylas carves out his fingernails, letting them fall to the floor with a saturated clack.

“Just for good measure. Because if you ever touch him again, you’ll be losing more than that.”

He uttered in the same monotone voice void of life and compassion, then in a slow turn he redirects his attention to the horrified observer Lorraine who jumps in their skin at the eye contact. “The same goes for you, Lorri. If you ever let some shit like that happen again,” Sylas stops, ending with a click of his tongue instead as he wipes the blood on his jacket.

Without saying anything else, he leaves the room, letting the man catch a glimpse of his hood. Fox ears. Sly Fox.

Lorraine exhaled his unknowingly held breath. Seeing Sylas like that…The only thing that crossed his mind was that saying: you think you know someone. And now he was left to wonder what could’ve brought that out of his friend.


     After retrieving the medicine from the man’s apartment that’s somehow filthier than his own, Sylas returned back to Actavio’s studio apartment where he remained unconscious but still breathing. When he cleaned up the previous night he redressed Actavio, leaving him in just his lower half of clothing. Part of him wanted to cover up his pecs somehow as just them laying there was taunting enough, but he didn’t.

Sighing, the delinquent set down the medicine and the food he bought on the kitchen counter. He wasn’t one for cooking, as much as he’d love to make his crush a home cooked meal in bed, but this was the best he could do.

Sylas sat beside the edge of the bed, watching the slow rise and fall of Actavio’s chest. He put a hand to his forehead; still the same fever if not a bit worse.

The blonde eyelashes suddenly fluttered slightly, revealing the hazel-blue eyes filled with fatigue that laid beneath.

Flustered, Sylas hurriedly retracts his hand and shoots up from the bed.

“Actavio you’re awake!”

With a harsh and heaved groan, Actavio gradually managed to mutter, “Lower….your voice.” He raises an arm across his head.

Sylas drops his voice to a whisper and kneels down. “How are you feeling?”

“Terrible. Everything hurts.”



For a second, he got worried that he’d get caught for last night’s affair. That was another stroke of luck on his side.

Holding back a relieved sigh, Sylas continues. “You should eat something, I got you some food.”


“And if you don’t wake up later?”

Actavio peeks from behind his arm with his usual glare coming out as more of a squint. Cute.

“Then I don’t.”

“Have this at least, it’ll help. Some guy tried to poison you to make the match easier, this’ll flush it out of your system.”

The mob boss looked like he wanted to ask further details but was too tired and ill to do so, let alone comprehend the entire situation that transpired; instead, he lowers his arm back over his eyes without responding.


He didn’t fall asleep again, did he?

Sylas tried again, “Acta–”

“I heard you the first time.”

“Then take it.”

No response again.

Then he remembered, Actavio said his body was in a lot of pain. Maybe it just hurt too much to sit up? Sylas wouldn’t doubt that he’d be too prideful to admit that. The delinquent took a deep breath, knowing that this could end very poorly for him if he’s wrong.

Swallowing his hesitation, Sylas lobbed some of the medicine into his mouth and leaned in, locking lips with Actavio. The deep violet liquid slipped past one orifice and into the other between the passing of their fluids, with only a few droplets leaking out of the corners of his crush.

Before he could get carried away Sylas pulled back and wiped his mouth hastily, creating distance between them as quickly as possible.

“If you’re not awake in the next few hours, I’m waking you up to eat.”


The sudden call of his name from those tantalizing lips stops him dead in his tracks, heart jumping hurdles around his frame.


Actavio removed his arm from his eyes, though it still hung on his forehead. He was staring at the blank ceiling.

“Why are you helping me?”

Because I’m madly in love with you. “Because you needed help?”



“Where are you going?”


Sylas threw the door open and slammed it shut, hoping his embarrassment would die with it.

This Novel Contains Mature Content

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