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The Boy Next Door

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Maya's life takes a turn when she moves to a new neighborhood with her abusive father and bedridden mother. On her first night there, she witnesses a violent brawl on the streets, and is shocked to discover that Liam Parker, her classmate, is her neighbor, and was the victim of the assault by his alcoholic father. Despite Liam's reputation as a strange and mysterious figure, Maya can't help but feel drawn to him. After accidentally seeing his vulnerable side, she begins to understand that there's more to him than meets the eye. However, Liam's response to Maya's concern is unexpected. Rather than opening up to her, he takes a disliking to her, making her feel like an unwelcome outsider. Despite his cold behavior towards her, Maya can't help but feel drawn to him, and she resolves to find out what's really going on behind his secretive demeanor. As she delves deeper into his world, she uncovers a series of dark secrets that threaten to tear them both apart.

Chapter 1: Liam 'The Savage' Parker

Night has descended upon the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, casting a shroud of darkness over the city. However, in a quiet corner of the city, away from the hustle and bustle, a shabby building bustles with activity. The dilapidated structure is surrounded by several motorcycles parked haphazardly; their engines still hot from use.

At first glance, the building looked abandoned, with the shadows of the trees and the darkness of the night hiding it from view. However, upon closer inspection, the true nature of the place became apparent. The sounds of hushed whispers and clinking glasses can be heard from inside, as well as the muffled thuds of a makeshift fighting ring.

Despite its unassuming exterior, this building is a hub of illegal activity, drawing in adrenaline junkies and high-stakes gamblers from all over the city. Inside, a ring was set up in the middle of the room, surrounded by rows of folding chairs and makeshift tables littered with betting slips and cash.

The air is thick with the scent of sweat, cigarettes, and cheap booze as people nervously shuffled around, placing their bets and sizing up the competition. This wasn’t the type of place that you would expect to find MMA fighters, but here they were, ready to battle it out for the title of champion.

The bets being placed tonight were on a highly anticipated MMA match between two undefeated champions: Liam "The Savage" Parker and Johnny "The Hammer" Hernandez.

The tension in the air was palpable as the gamblers furiously discussed the fighters' strengths and weaknesses. Some of them were unsure of Liam's chances, whispering, "He's good, but he's no match for The Hammer."

As the gamblers milled around the makeshift arena, anticipation hung heavy in the air. Johnny "The Hammer" Hernandez, the towering undefeated champion, was the first to enter the ring. He climbed the stairs, one step at a time, and stepped onto the rectangular platform, secured on all four sides with thick cables. The ring floor squeaked under his weight as he paced around, flexing his bulging muscles and shadowboxing, his sweat glistening in the dim light.

The gamblers grew louder, more excited, as they waited for Liam "The Savage" Parker to make his entrance. But the tension in the air was palpable; no one knew if he'd show up. Liam was known for his unpredictability, his tendency to drop out of fights at the last minute. Some of the gamblers were doubtful, whispering their doubts to each other.

***

Backstage, Liam sat on a wooden bench, his hands busily wrapping strips of cloth around his knuckles. His focus was unwavering, a look of determination etched onto his face. The dim lighting of the backstage area cast a shadow over his chiseled features. Liam took a deep breath and exhaled, steeling himself for the battle to come.

A sudden voice startled him out of his trance. "It's time for the fight, Liam. You need to get going," the gruff voice said, with a sense of urgency. Liam turned his head towards the voice and saw a figure partially immersed in darkness. As the figure stepped forward into the dim light, Liam could see that the man was wearing a loose printed shirt and baggy pants that looked a few sizes too large for him. The man's large, framed sunglasses obscured his eyes, and folds of skin at his chin jiggled slightly as he spoke, revealing a hint of stubble.

Liam stood up; his athletic structure packed with lean, mean muscles. The sound of the crowd's cheers and boos grew louder as he took a step forward, his eyes locked on the path ahead.

Liam reached down and picked up his mouthguard, inspecting it for a moment before popping it into his mouth. He took another deep breath, his chest expanding as he filled his lungs with air. The roar of the crowd was deafening as he stepped into the light, his silhouette imposing and dominant.

A ripple of excitement spread through the crowd. The entrance music began, and Liam strode confidently towards the ring, his eyes locked on his opponent. The gamblers erupted into cheers and jeers as Liam stepped into the ring, a compact frame packed with tough, tight muscles.

His muscles bulged beneath the tight-fitting black sleeveless top he wore, and his tracks were made of a breathable material that stretched with every movement.

The air was charged with electricity as the two undefeated champions faced each other, each sizing up to the other. It was clear that Liam was the underdog - smaller, less imposing - but he looked calm, collected, ready to take on the giant in front of him. Johnny looked confident, even arrogant, but there was a glint of uncertainty in his eyes. He knew he was facing a formidable opponent.

The bell sounded, and the fight began.

Johnny threw a powerful right cross, but Liam ducked and landed a sharp blow into Johnny's midriff. It didn't deter Johnny, though. He SMASHED his knee right up into Liam's jaw and sent him reeling back.

Liam is hurt. Fury boiled in his eyes as he curled up his fists. Johnny moved his huge, stocky frame in, but Liam grew nimble and quick on his feet, bouncing on his toes and moving back and forth.

The fight got ugly as Liam landed blow after blow on Johnny, anywhere and everywhere. Liam didn't give Johnny the chance to think, to recover. He was merciless, a savage. Blow after blow, bones cracked, teeth flew, joints shattered.

A HUGE UPPERCUT. Johnny went down. The fight hardly lasted for a round.

Loud cheers erupted. Those who bet on Liam tonight will take home a huge bounty, while the others? Sore, hanging faces and empty pockets.

"And the winner is...Liam 'The Savage' Parker!" The announcer’s voice boomed through the speakers.

Liam quickly headed backstage where his payment awaited.

"Ten thousand dollars, as promised," a shady guy handed out a stack of cash to Liam, who quietly took it and slipped it into his bag.

"There's a fight next week at the Staples Center. Twenty-five thousand guaranteed if you get through one round. Forty thousand if you win."

As he pulled on his long-sleeved T-shirt, Liam didn't even bother to look at him. "I'll consider it," he said nonchalantly before turning on his heels and striding away.

***

Chapter 2: The New Neighbor

A new family had moved into Rosewood Hills this morning, causing some curiosity among the neighbors. A big truck loaded with cheap plastic furniture was parked outside an old double-story house, signaling the arrival of the newcomers. As they peered through their windows, some of the neighbors bounced on their toes and craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the new residents.

Excitement built as rumors spread among the neighbors. "It looks like someone has finally bought that house!" they whisper to each other. One of the neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Bansal, a couple in their mid-50s, can't contain their curiosity any longer and decide to go meet the new family. They walk through the gate and find the owner of the new house instructing the movers on where to place the furniture.

Mr. Bansal greets the owner cheerfully, saying "Good morning".

The Bansals turned to the owner, and as he smiled, they realized he was the Security Head of a US securi

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