The friendly fights between our staff escalated exponentially. The more that were held, the more guys wanted to be involved. It's probably a sexist thing to say that some of the women guards wanted to be involved too, but thankfully they were far and few between. My father was old school so hired mostly men for security work. The few women that were hired, were on the books simply to avoid any accusations of sexism. And when it came to the fights, I have to admit that women had no place in my fantasies!
He took it in his stride, treating the whole thing as nothing more than a laugh but in his first two months with us, I adjudicated seven wrestling matches that included him. And between you, me and the goalposts, each of them made me ache for him even more. For the most part, I had no doubts that Josh would win his fights. I knew our guards and rightly surmised that those who challenged Josh wouldn't stand a chance. He polished them off relatively quickly, even those bigger than him physically. In fact, since his grapple with Chaz, there were only two fights that were of any consequence where I couldn't be sure of the outcome.
Silvano carried a lot of Italian pride with him. He often spoke of his heritage and firmly believed that no other culture could ever surpass the quality, romance or passion of the Italians. So long as you didn't argue that point, he was okay company and another beautiful addition to my father's stable of helping hands.
When he heard about Josh's dominance in the wrestling arena, Silvano immediately sprouted the masculinity of Italian men like Andrea Minguzzi who won the gold medal in the 84kg division of the Greco-Roman wrestling at the Beijing Olympics.
It wasn't long before the other guards took exception and dared Silvano to put his money where his mouth was by facing Josh in the ring himself. With his own reputation and his national pride at stake, Silvano didn't hesitate to accept the challenge. Needless to say, it was one of the most watched matches to date. At least a dozen guys circled the ring hoping to see Silvano's downfall.
Stripped to the waist, the soft forest of fur on Silvano's chest did little to hide his well defined upper body. His arms looked massive when not hidden by ill-fitting uniform sleeves, and he proudly sported a centurion tattoo that hinted towards his past as a fighter. His pecs, though not swollen with too much muscle, looked firm enough to crush a coconut. Ironically, that imagery was exactly the kind of move he went for. The moment he faced Josh, Silvano twisted my hero's arms behind his back and crushed Josh against his rock hard chest.
Josh gasped as Silvano pressed into his body, squeezing the breath out of him and agonizing his shoulders by forcing both his arms up behind his back.
Unable to move, Josh winced in the wake of Silvano's unexpectedly vicious attack. To date, his opponents had started conservatively, so he hadn't expected Silvano to launch a full-on attack from the onset.
Overpowered by the onslaught, Josh hung helplessly in Silvano's grip. I felt myself go hard at the sight of Josh crushed in the Italian's grasp, even as I realised that Silvano had already taken the fight to an all-new level. Despite the intention to win, the fights so far had been in fun, but Silvano's ego and determination was leading him to take the fight seriously, causing pain to disarm his opponent. Suddenly I worried for Josh as his suffering took on a new edge. Silvano had no intention of easing up on the torture he was inflicting.
I watched horrified as Silvano leaned forward, arching Josh backwards, then released Josh, making him drop to the ground. Silvano wasted no time, extending an elbow and dropping it full-force into Josh's stomach.
Josh cried out as he doubled over, winded. Rising to his knees, Silvano grabbed Josh by the hair, lifting him up and grabbing him in a sleeper choke. Josh gagged, arms flailing as his face turned red then blue. He slapped at Silvano's arm and tried fruitlessly to pull Silvano's arm from his throat.
As Josh weakened, Silvano lowered him to the floor of the ring, laying on top of him as he finished the sleeper. I could see the whites of Josh's eyes as consciousness slipped away. I held my breath, shocked at witnessing Josh's first defeat.
Josh rammed an elbow back into Silvano's ribs. Silvano grunted but the blow was too weak to have any significant effect. Josh tried again, and then a third time and his legs kicked out in desperation. Silvano barely reacted.
Then suddenly Josh reached back to Silvano's ribs and grabbed a handful of flesh. Silvano yelped and jerked away, allowing Josh to break free and roll over. Silvano pounced on him, pinning Josh's arms above his head, eyes fueled with anger.
Josh arched up, but Silvano held him down.
"Clever!" Silvano said, "but it won't help you win!"
He slid Josh's arms together above his head and clasped them with one hand, then used his free arm to punch Josh in the ribs. Josh grunted. One arm broke free but Silvano quickly pinned it again and laid another punch to the ribs before pinning Josh's arms a third time.
Josh lay there panting, unable to throw Silvano off. As his torso collapsed to the ground again, Silvano lay on top of him and stretched Josh's arms out to a 90 degree angle from his body; placing them in the weakest vantage point possible. Josh couldn't move, other than squirm helplessly under Silvano's body pin.
"Are you ready to submit?" Silvano asked.
Josh grimaced and squirmed, refusing to answer.
Silvano smiled. I could see the enjoyment in his face as he felt Josh struggling underneath him. After all of his wins, I could barely comprehend Josh being defeated, let alone losing the match without once gaining the upper hand. I wanted to call a stop to the fight to save any further humiliation but I knew I couldn't. I had to witness the match until either man gave in, even if it was a one way humiliation of the guy I most admired…