The smell of sweat, stale beer, and tequila permeated the arena. Two men locked in mortal combat. Bodies writhing together. My beautiful Rey fought for pride, domination…and an enormous belt that Zeus himself would’ve envied.
This was La Lucha Libre. Mexican wrestling. Though it resembled no form of wrestling familiar to me. I quite enjoyed watching thick, masculine bodies, slick with baby oil grappling each other. The most striking feature of this art form—colorful, wicked masks which concealed the identities of each contestant.
We’d been through several rounds of amateurs and new contenders looking for their place in the glory and pageantry of it all. The last match of the night, the championship round, had just begun. Rey, clad in his silver and black ensemble, fought a beefy man sporting fuchsia and gold.
Spectators shouted encouragement and insults, depending on which man they’d placed a wager on. Not that Rey needed my divine intervention, but I toyed with the idea of weakening his opponent. In the end, I let the match play itself out. Rey won match with relative ease.
I waited in the arena as the crowd cleared out, one by one. The frenzy from earlier in the evening mellowed to groups of drunken revelers, flush with their winnings. Finally, Rey emerged, fresh from the shower an in plain clothes. Without the mask, no one recognized the god walking among them.
“There’s a party to celebrate the win, back at my ranch house. You up for a little fun?” he asked.
I ran my hand over his cheek. “I wish I could stay, but it’s time I get back to my home.”
“Come on, stay tonight and I’ll deliver you to your doorstep tomorrow, I promise.”
The temptation to stay tugged at me, but the responsibilities of a goddess were endless and I’d been away too long already. “I’m sorry, love, but I have to go.”
A wicked look twinkled in his eye just before he hoisted me over his shoulder and walked back to his hotel room. I squealed in protests to no avail. Of course, the protests were only half-hearted to begin with.
He heaved me onto his bed and kissed me passionately. We didn’t bother to disrobe, but simply freed ourselves enough to join our bodies together. Our love making climaxed in a flurry of kisses, caresses and waves of pleasures.
Afterward, I draped myself across his chest. Bruises had started to form on his arms and abdomen.
“Why do you put yourself through such physical trials?” I asked.
He shrugged. “It’s the only thing I’m good at.
“Not the only thing.”
“Ha. I’m glad you think so.” Rey smiled up at the ceiling. “Anyway, the payout is worth it. This way I can take care of my mother and mi abuelita. It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.”
Though I knew I shouldn’t, I couldn’t help but use my healing powers to alleviate the worst of his injuries. Soon his breathing evened out, his chest rose and fell with a gentle rhythm. Slipping from his embrace, I placed a single kiss on his forehead.
As I drew myself together, I listened to the powerful beat of his heart. It spoke to me of all the beauty this man possessed, inside and out. With one more kiss to his cheek, I bestowed upon him the gift of divine protection. No opponent would be able to best him—in the ring or in life. Then I left him one more memento and slipped quietly from his room to return to my emerald isle.
Rey’s been retired from the ring for several years now. A touch of gray crowns his temples and grandchildren play at his feet, the youngest bouncing on his knee. Around his neck he still wears a St. Brighid medal—given to him years ago by a mystery woman. Since the last night he spent with her, he’d lived a charmed life…as I’d always intended him to.