And In This Corner
Written by Spinner
"You don't want me to think you're a wuss, do you?" I taunted, yanking on
the ropes at the corner of the boxing ring. Laura watched me with a torn
look. On one hand, she was dying to see a little action in the ring, see me
strut my stuff. You know the ladies can't resist a boxer. But did she
wanna see me beat up Tim Bayliss in the process? Cause I know she has a
thing for him still, though I don't understand why. He's gay. What's the
matter with her? Doesn't she get it? Gay means gay. Bi means gay part
time. Gay part time is still gay. What does she think? If she sleeps with
him, he'll change his mind? Yeah, right.
"Falsonie," Tim intoned in that annoyingly soft and gentle voice of his.
"I'm not stepping into that ring with you. We're going to dinner."
"Why don't you want to step in the ring with me, Timmy? I wanna see if you
can last a couple rounds with a real man."
"Hey, Sugar Ray," Meldrick said as Tim arched a brow at me and curled his
lips into what was passing for a smile. I don't think he meant it though.
"That is not such a brilliant idea. Go get yourself a shower. We're hungry
and we want to eat," Lewis continued.
"Eh, eh, partner? Don't you think I could take him?" I taunted.
"Paulie, this is not about who can "take" whom? This is about appropriate
outlets for your anger, and your desire to participate in physical violence,
and your burning yet incomprehensible need to get the shit beat out of
yourself," Tim rasped at me.
"What's'a matter, Timmy? All that bi-curiousness suck the fight right out
of you?" I mocked. "You wouldn't want me to go the rest of my life thinking
you're nothing but a big candy ass, would you?"
"FALSONE!" Laura hollered sharply. What is she pissed off about? Tim must
have thought it was funny. He was laughing.
"Frankly, tough guy, I don't give a fuck what you think of me," Tim
murmured. I could tell he cared though. His eyes were beginning to glint.
He wanted to get in the ring with me. He wanted it badly.
"A couple rounds, Timmy. What's it going to hurt? I'll even let you have
the first punch."
"Aren't you afraid to get that close?" Tim said, stepping to the edge and
standing below me. Was he looking up my shorts? "What if this
bisexuality rubs off on you, and you get a sudden, overwhelming urge to
listen to Liza Minneli music? Wear silky undershorts? Part your hair on
the other side? Order rice and pasta instead of rare steak? You sure you
wanna risk it, macho man?"
"I'm willing to risk it. I completely confident in my masculinity," I said,
bumping my gloves together a couple times. "Maybe it will help you get in
touch with yours again."
"Tim, don't do this," Laura said, tugging on Tim's elbow to pull him back
from me. She glared at me, and stroked Tim's arm. "He's trying to piss you
off so you'll get in there with him. Ignore him, and let's go to dinner."
"Tim," I cajoled. "When are you ever going to get the chance to take a free
punch at Sugar Ray Falsone?" I teased, punching my gloves together again and
"I wouldn't want to take advantage of you, make a fool of you," Tim
"Admit it. You just worried I'll show you up," I laughed. "You think your
height or weight gives you an advantage? I can knock you out in two rounds.
Hell, two punches."
"Guess we'll never know," Tim smiled. Laura rubbed the middle of his back
as he turned away. Why was she touching him like that? She never touches
me like that in front of other people.
"I always suspected you were nothing but a big pussy," I sneered. Tim
froze, and tossed a glance over his shoulder at me. Laura gaped at me with
her mouth open. She wants me. I can tell.
"I'm more man than you'll ever be, and more woman than you'll ever have,"
Tim replied coldly. He slithered through the ropes and stood before me in
Hmmm. I never noticed before just how reeeeally tall he is up close.
"Be gentle with him," Lewis said, tugging on Tim's pant leg as Bayliss
slipped out of his overcoat and suit jacket, folding them neatly over the
"Don't worry. This will be over quickly," I bragged. Laura rolled her
"Yeah, where have I heard THAT before," she cracked. I danced around as Tim
undid his tie. Hey, what did Ballard mean by that wise crack? I am the
best thing that ever happened to her!
"You need help with the gloves?" I asked Tim as he picked them up off the
corner of the ring like they were going to bite him.
"These smell like twenty sweaty, smelly guys have worn them," he said,
dropping the gloves far his clothes.
"Little bit of manly sweat won't hurt you."
This made Tim smile, and he's got a real sinister looking smile. I never
realized that before. He rolled up his shirt sleeves one at a time, slowly.
"Be gentle," Meldrick repeated. "He's young, and he's stupid, and he
doesn't know what he's saying. Don't hurt him too bad."
"Who me?" Tim shrugged innocently.
"Aren't you going to take off your glasses?" I asked as Bayliss lifted his
hands and curled them into fists. Big, massive fists. Those hands are so
thin when he's messing with his tie or smoothing his hair down. How can
they be so big curled up?
"I don't think that's going to be a problem," Tim murmured.
"Well, s'up to you, you wanna buy new ones," I replied. "Come on, Wuss-Boy.
First punch is all yours. Give me your best shot."
"Paulie, are you sure you wouldn't rather have the first shot?"
"No, Timmy-Boy. It's all yours."
"Then let me take this opportunity to apologize in advance for any
unexpected dental work or facial reconstructive surgery that may be in your
near future," Tim said.
"Enough of the talk, pansy-ass. Let me see what you---"
Seconds later, a voice entered my head. Meldrick was in the ring. Was it
"He's coming around. Tim, get off his chest."
I didn't realize I was on the floor until I opened my eyes. When had I
wound up here? Why was I having trouble breathing? Oh God! Bayliss was
kneeling over me, his nose inches from mine. For a thin guy, he sure
weighed a lot. And he was straddling my chest and hips like he was trying
to hump me or something.
"Get off," I growled, pushing at his chest and shoulders. He was absolutely
massive from this perspective!
"Are you all right? Can we get you an aspirin or a glass of water? Are you
done with this riveting demonstration of your manliness?" he asked, feigning
concern while oozing glee.
"Get off," I repeated, pushing again.
"Let me give you a word of advice, tough guy," Tim said, not budging an
inch. He was liking this, I could tell, having me pinned down this way. He
wants me. "One, don't taunt any guy into a fight until you've seen what
he's capable of. Two---"
"Get off," I howled loudly.
"Two," Tim continued, "take the advice of your partner when he offers it to
you. Right, Meldrick?"
"Yeah. You better get up, Tim. He's turning blue."
Tim climbed off me. Meldrick covered my face with a towel. I yanked it
off and got to my knees. Tim stood up, rolled down his shirt sleeves, and
slowly pulled his suit jacket back on.
"Can we GO now?" Laura asked impatiently as she crossed her arms over her
"I demand a rematch!" I hollered, getting to my feet. Bayliss spun around
and made a grab for me, but Meldrick shoved me down out of the ring before I
could get at him.
"I'll be in the car," Laura muttered. "Tim, come unlock the door. You've
got the keys."
"Okay," Tim said meekly, following Laura out the door as Meldrick dragged me
to the showers.
*the end* (bwa-ha-ha-ha)