Chapter 21 (Zade's POV)
“I won’t fight her.” I seethed at my Uncle.
“I don’t want to fight him Maceo, please don’t make us fight against each other.” She begged, her eyes wide.
“The only way you can get out of this is if one of you forfeit the fight and when I say one of you I mean you Zade, you have to forfeit.” Maceo sighed heavily.
“That’s fine, I’ll forfeit.” I said, pulling my princess into my arms securely.
“It’s not that easy, she’ll move up and they want her to fight the best of the best.” Maceo said, his face in a pained manner.
I gritted my teeth.
“The people me and Chris work for, they want to see if you can fight your way to the top, they know she’ll take you out anyway Zade.” Maceo said, his tone serious.
“You take me out every day.” I whispered.
“With your beauty.” I added, grinning down at her.
“Very funny.” The shade of pink I’ve come to love coated the apples of her cheeks, her hand slapping my chest lightly.
“What’s going to happen since he’s forfeiting?” She asked, her tone soft.
“They want you to fight at The Pit, have you heard of it?” Maceo asked.
“NO, she’s not ready for that!!!” I growled immediately, tightening my arms around Ava.
“She has no choice, there’s no one left after you.” Maceo glared back.
“What the fuck is wrong with them, they want to put a 17-year-old girl in a ring with well-trained men.” I bit back.
“What are you talking about?” She asked, her hands squeezing mine, calming me immediately.
“Ava, the people I work for are very dangerous, they run big organizations, the bad kind.” Maceo said calmly, his voice soft when he spoke to her.
“How bad?” She asked.
I knew she was frustrated and mad but she always remained respectful to others, no matter whom you were, she always treated people nicely and equally, that’s one of the reasons that drew me to her.
“Bad, out of 10 they’ll be 100.” He said, guilt coated on his face.
She stayed silent.
“I promise they won’t harm you and your brother, all you have to do is fight like normal but these fighters are very experienced, they have no flaws just like you.” He said, proudness covering his words.
“Do you know who I’ll be fighting?” She asked after a long while.
“I don’t, fights at The Pit are different, and an opponent is picked by the highest paying, you find out once we arrive tonight.” He said nervously, not knowing how she was going to take it.
“Okay, how experienced are we talking?” Her eyes lit up.
She always had the look of disappointment in her eyes after every fight she’s had here, the way her eye’s lit up showed she liked the idea of a challenge but I could tell she was on edge about how bad Maceo and Chris’s employers were but she didn’t know Lucian was one of their employers.
Lucian was very confused when he met her, he expected Ava to be a girl who was mad at the world, someone who was disrespectful, someone who glared, someone who scowled at everyone, someone who had a lot of hate but instead he got the exact opposite. He met a girl who was sweet, kind, funny, soft-spoken, respectful, always smiling, laughed at things no one else did, enjoyed the company of everyone who interacted with her, and clueless to the stares.
He doubted Ava is Vee, heck I would have too if I hadn’t watched her fight before. How can you picture someone as sweet as Ava be a skilled fighter? He’d never doubt her again once he sees her fight but I wished she didn’t have to.
“Some of the fighters are guards of these men that will be there, specialized fighters, ex-cops and military, you name it but I have every faith in you.” Maceo said, smiling softly at the end of his sentence.
“You better.” She teased lightly.
“You’ll do great.” I said, planting a kiss on her forehead.
Maceo nodded agreeing with me.
Ava smiled warmly in reply.
“You guys will be there with me right?” She asked.
“Of course we will, the boys and Kenna included.” Maceo smiled.
“Is it okay if Kota comes? I’d feel more relaxed if he came, he’s never missed one of my fights.” She asked shyly.
“Of course, I’d like to formally meet him as well.” Maceo said, stepping away from his desk.
“He’d like that.” She laughed lightly.
“I’ll give you the details tonight and then you can send them to him but you two need to head off to school, I’m sure Nadia and Emma are waiting for you.” Maceo laughed lightly.
I groaned at the mention of Nadia and Emma not letting Ava ride with me to school.
“Thank you, Maceo.” Ava slipped from my arms and quickly hugged Maceo before rushing to the door.
“I’ll see you later.” I nodded at my Uncle before heading to the door.
“Learn heaps.” Maceo called out after us.
“Avaaa.” Beau yelled, her face bright and happy to see Ava.
We just arrived home from school, everyone was exhausted from gym class, we had a fitness test and it was tiring as fuck.
“Hi Beau.” Ava left my arms to rush towards Beau.
“Yummy.” Beau giggled, sniffing at Ava’s hair.
I think so too. I thought.
“How was your day? Did you play with all your toys today?” Ava cooed, disappearing into the kitchen with Beau in her arms.
Ava’s and Beau's laughter echoed throughout the house, it warmed my heart that she got along with my sisters so well.
“You’re nervous for her tonight.” Blaine stated the obvious.
“Can you tell?” I deadpanned.
Sure Ava was an incredible fighter but I still worried.
“We have her back if things go downhill.” Blaine said, hitting my back.
“Thanks bro.” I said nodding his way.
“Hey, I’m going to the gym, I need to stretch my muscles.” Ava said, placing Beau in the family room and making her way over to me.
“Okay, I’ll be here doing homework.” I huffed, taking a seat at the dining table where the rest of the guys sat.
Her warm eyes stared at me in amusement, “Don’t overdo it, you might hurt your little brain.” She winked.
“Oh? I see you have jokes.” I raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah, you’re one of them.” She kissed my cheek, her hair and hips swayed as she made her way out of the doors towards the gym.
“I love her.” Silas yelled, falling into a heap of laughter.
I stared at the space she just left, mouth wide. She always managed to surprise me. The only girl who caught my attention for more than a minute, it truly was a record. She paid me no attention when she started our school. She just simply didn’t care about me, didn’t mind me, and didn’t acknowledge me.
The boys laughed loudly, clapping their hands like seals.
“That girl is something.” Blaine said, his eyes danced with amusement.
“Indeed she is.” I grinned, shaking my head.
We studied until it was almost time to get ready for tonight’s fight, Maceo quickly filled in Ava how things worked at The Pit and what she should expect. Ava was calm and collected like always but I watched as questions swirled around in her eyes, to me she was like an open book when she didn’t have her guard up. Since she hasn’t had her guard up around us, I knew she trusted us very much. I wanted to answer all the questions her pretty head filled up with but how was I supposed to explain that the employers Maceo and Chris work for are big mafia bosses. Maceo and Chris promised me they’ll tell her who they really were, they owed her that much.
“Ready?” I asked, pulling her towards me.
“Yeah, I’ll go say goodnight to Beau and Nadia first.” She dashed off towards the family room.
“What is she wearing?” Kenna turned her nose up as Ava came back towards me.
Ava smiled at Kenna, looking over Kenna’s outfit. “I dress comfortable and warm, tell me how that dress is feeling? Tight, definitely uncomfortable and you do realize its raining outside right?” Ava said, her tone warm, not a trace of envy or nastiness.
Ava wore a brown leather jacket, blue jeans, black tank top and black knee-high boots. Her clothes clung to every curve of her luscious body, she looked stunning without even trying, and her smile and eyes were my favorite places to get lost in when she was around me.
“At least I look hot.” Kenna bit back at Ava.
“That you do.” Ava smiled.
Talk about killing them with kindness. I thought.
“You’re irresistibly perfect, words can’t describe you Ava Catia Vice.” I whispered truthfully, wrapping my arms around her waist.
“You get more charming by the minute Mr. Noels.” She smiled, pecking my lips lightly.
“Everyone ready? We’ll be meeting Chris there.” Maceo said, gesturing all of us to walk out of the house already.
“Here, let me grab that for you.” I said, taking Ava’s gym bag from her hands.
“Thank you.” Slipping her hand in mine.
We drove an hour to a familiar warehouse surrounded by forest, exotic cars scattered in a clearing. Ava was calm the whole ride and even calmer once the car stopped moving, once I helped her out of the back seat a short stubby man came rushing towards us, tackling her into a hug.
“I missed you too Kota.” She laughed.
“I was worried about you, why haven’t you rung me.” He rushed out.
“I have no excuse besides school, sorry I made you worried.” She said, kissing the old mans cheek.
“I’m glad you are safe, why are you with them?” He nodded our way.
“Kota I’d like you to meet Maceo and Zade, Maceo and Zade this is Kota.” She smiled, introducing us.
“Pleasure meeting you Kota.” Maceo shook Kota’s hand.
“Sure, you too.” He smiled.
I nodded at Kota and he smiled back.
“Promise to fill you in later, right now we got to get in there.” She said softly.
“Oh yes, I know who you will be fighting.” Kota said, I raised my eyebrow at my Uncle but we let Kota carry on, I wanted to know how he knew.
“Colin De’vore, eldest son of Gang leader Lucian De’vore, he’s ex-military/special-op, flawless performance, work him before advancing, he’s quick and muscle.” Kota said, his tone serious, Ava nodded in understanding, her persona still calm and collective.
Ava turned back at Maceo, silent questions in her eyes.
“What the fuck.” I whispered into my Uncle’s ear.
How the hell does Kota know all this, maybe we have to dig deeper into him. I thought.
“Let him be, he obviously helps Ava.” Maceo said dismissively.
I pulled Ava to my side, as we were about to enter, I didn’t want anyone inside of this place anywhere near her.
“You okay? You seem a bit tense.” She said, squeezing my hand that was linked in hers.
“Yeah I’m okay now.” I said, staring at our hands.
Everyone stared our way once we entered, we headed straight for the booth that sat up near the ring, it was filled with important people, they looked intimidating like always, their faces stoic and unreadable, the air around them held power. Chris and Jaylin sat next to Lucian and his two sons, Colin and Killian. The other half was filled with the Monrovian Family.
The Monrovian Family were a different kind of bad, they were ridiculously dangerous, everyone feared them, they had no conscious, nothing stopped these killing machines. No one actually knows who they are, the only thing we know about them are the rumors that float around the underground. I’ve never seen them fight or interact with anyone; they sit there and simply watch. There are 8 of them, nine including the wife. Their aura was overwhelming, almost like you’d choke if you even tried to breathe the same air as them, they put intimidating on a whole new level.
I wanted to pick Ava up and take her home as soon as my eyes zoned in on them, I didn’t know they’d be here tonight. The Monrovian Family never paid attention to us like everyone else did and I was thankful. Chris waved out and we all made our way over and sat in the empty seats. Me and Blaine sat on either side of Ava protectively, Maceo sat with Chris, the rest of the boys, Kenna and Kota sat below us and we all said our hellos to the De’vore family. They seemed very eager to get Ava’s attention but she was too busy checking out the warehouse.
“Ava, that old man over there keeps looking at you and Kenna’s jealous.” Drew winked.
“Kenna, the old mans all yours.” She laughed softly but it still caught the attention of many people around us.
The Monrovian Family especially, I snuck a look at them and they all watched her curiously, even the wife.