Chapter 22 : Beat Down
For the Nth time, Hyuga Hinata found herself thrown off balance, flipping erratically through the air before coming to a crushing halt on the cold hard ground. Her long blue-black hair was matted onto her forehead, sticking to the rivulets of sweat that dripped past her delicate brows and salty on her dry cracked lips.
Even breathing had painfully ceased in her lungs for a split second at the burn of her ribs crushing major organs downwards from the hard fall.
Hinata gasped in a sharp intake of breath similar to a drowning person breaking through the surface of the vast ocean waters for the first time.
“Get up, Hinata.” Sasuke’s words were final, leaving no room for objection as he looked down at her from the tip of his tall nose with an intense gaze that made her want to stand back up.
But all of her muscles protested immensely, aching in several ways that she had never felt them ache before and her legs felt like a pile of mush stacked together on top of her ankles.
Moving seemed extremely painful but that didn’t stop her from pathetically trying to turn herself around and crawl up from the ground when his katana came down on her head by almost several inches. Hinata barely managed to dodge to the side. A small lock of her long mussed hair was effortlessly grazed off at just the initial touch against the exceedingly sharp blade.
Hinata rolled around off of her back, knee scraping onto the gravel and dirt when he knocked her off of her feet again with a proficient kick against her side that left a sickening crack on impact. She was sent flying back a couple of feet, dragging dirt and gravel up into the air all around until she finally skidded to a complete stop.
Her elbows and shins were completely scuffed up now from the rocks and gravel that grazed her soft delicate flesh.
"Get up.” His voice was low and gruff against her ears, pulling at her rampant emotions with the way he said the words.
Sasuke’s lips purse. His face was completely stiff and cold when he brought the katana down in swift and accurate swipes that could easily take off her head.
If she stood up and continued then that meant that he hadn’t been wrong about her. That there was still undiscovered potential in her that won’t be wrongly wasted under the Hyuga’s guidance and he was sure that under his tutelage, Hinata would be able to surpass any of her powerful predecessors.
“The enemy will not give you enough time to get up before killing you, Hinata.”
Sasuke stood impeccably organized in front of her disheveled and beaten form. He hadn’t even broken a sweat, yet here she was looking like she had been trampled over by a herd of vicious bulls or knocked off of a extremely rocky cliff only to realize that she had no way to climb back up.
Just the sound of Sasuke’s katana coming down was enough to spur Hinata into action again. She bit down hard on her bottom lip before flipping backwards and onto her feet in a wobbly stance, trying to gain enough distance away from him and his attacks until she could catch her breath.
But she knew that Sasuke wasn’t going to give her a break that easily.
There was no mercy.
Before she could jump back, his sword sharply cut through the air, moving towards her when she managed to sway entirely to the left, blocking shakily with a palm of steady chakra that was soon to dissipate from the strength of his powerful blow.
Throughout the fight, Hinata had managed to evade a majority of his fatal attacks. This was rather crucial in their training because there was not many who had managed to avoid just the might of Sasuke’s power without coming out dead or mentally and physically incapacitated.
She was improving.
And at a faster rate than he had thought, especially with a background that hindered more than helped her progress. Hinata relied on the Byakugan far more than was good for her and it was a crutch that she was rather dependent on. Without the Byakugan, her fighting was rather mediocre since she mainly fought in close range and hand to hand combat. Now that she was unable to use her crutch, it was actually helping her become more stronger in other aspects outside of close range attacks.
Hinata knew that.
Most of her fighting was done in close range so when Sasuke decided to test her limit, he fought with his sword, causing her to flounder to find ground these last couple of times when they had trained. She couldn’t get close enough to deploy any other strategy and was forced to change her fighting style to adapt in order to solidly combat his; although, it was mostly in defense and not attack.
It was rather pathetic.
After the first couple of sparring sessions, Hinata had left their training area beaten and bloody to the point that even breathing seemed almost impossible at the time.
She hadn’t even managed to land one hit on him, because every single attempt was easily thwarted and he didn’t mask how effortlessly he beat her down or blocked her off.
She mainly tried to evade his attacks and came to realize that her chakra control had become impeccable after all of the trouble working with it. Now, no one could possibly surpass her in this field.
Her chakra had fought with her still at the first initial fight before she was slowly given control again because Sasuke pushed her harder than her own chakra had.
And the only thing that she managed to beat Sasuke in was her chakra control. But even with that small advantage, he managed to beat it all out of her; even though, she had much more of it than he did.
Sasuke didn’t hold anything back.
And because of that, she was actually progressing way more than she ever had. In fact, she couldn’t think of anyone that had helped her improve in such short timing the way he had. He was always to the point, even when he was beating her down to a bloody pulp or pointing out simple things that she could do to find a viable attack on him.
Hinata was extremely grateful that Sasuke treated her like an actual nin instead of a porcelain vase like Neji or her team mates had.
And she found it thrilling because it was a true fight.
He didn’t go easy on her like everyone else had and he didn’t act like she was breakable like glass or porcelain.
At first when she asked him to train her, Sasuke had not even hesitated when he grunted out a reply that she could tell was of acceptance. He took her training rather seriously and she took his teaching to heart because Sasuke had way more experience than she did. One of Hinata’s affinities happened to be lightning but she had little to no knowledge on it compared to Sasuke.
It was interesting that they actually had the same affinity.
What are the odds of that?
Suddenly, a rather punishing round house kick sent her flying out of her thoughts when she fell onto a thick patch of grass, managing to regain her bearing rather belatedly this time.
She was starting to lose focus.
Sasuke glanced at her flushed face, noting the blood that dripped steadily from the corner of her mouth and decided to call it quits for now. With smooth and accurate precision, he finally sheathed his katana and reached a strong hand out towards her fallen form, crumpled on the green grass with a slightly unfocused and misty look in her opalescent eyes.
The only reason why Sasuke pushed her ruthlessly harder was because he knew that she could do it. The stronger she became was because of her own ardent determination. His words were solely there to spur her into action and it was only a small factor in her test of resolve.
It was all her doing.
Although Hinata may seem weak and docile, there was a lot more hidden underneath that exterior of elegance and grace. That coating of meek beauty hid her strong willed determination and fierce fighting power behind it in a layer of thin glass that could easily be shattered.
Hyuga Hinata was a raw diamond waiting to be polished. By him and for him.
Only then can she shine and exert out all that she had in an array of bright light that will blind everyone in its path.
Yet only for him.
Hinata wiped at the trail of blood on the corner of her mouth before setting her own dainty fingers in his own to which Sasuke easily pulled her to her feet with a slight tug. She could feel every callus on the inside of his palm roughly graze against her own softer skin like grains of sand against the delicate skin of her arms or legs, causing goosebumps to cover her skin in mass amounts.
Sasuke’s warmth had transferred just from that simple touch and she could feel his dark aura grazing along hers before merging together with her lighter aura in harmonious unity.
It was a realistic feeling and it make her come in terms with the fact that this wasn’t just a dream.
It was real.
Sasuke Uchiha was real.
Her tapered fingers tightly curled around his and she could feel a giggle bubble up her throat at a weird thought that had managed to worm its way into her head.
It was funny how one minute they were passionately kissing and the next, she would be flying into the air from a hard punch he sent her way.
That didn’t sound right.
The sentence made Sasuke seemed prominently abusive of her which isn’t the case.
Because, technically, she asked for it.
That didn’t sound quite right either.
Either way, Sasuke was helping her, not hurting her.
Not literally or physically but mentally. If that made any sense.
Hinata let out a slight frustrated huff, lips pouted slightly as she tried to think of a way to convey her feelings without making Sasuke out to be sadistic abuser and herself into an affirmed masochist.
It was almost impossible!
Sasuke’s dark eyes glanced at her self-absorbed pout, the corner of his mouth twitching lightly while watching her ever changing expressions that seemed more entertaining than anything. He picked up a container of clean water set underneath of their designated tree before popping the cap off to pour the cool liquid onto a piece of soft fabric.
The water was quick to wet the fabric, causing the creamy colored cloth to become tan in color once damp.
Satisfied, Sasuke handed the container to Hinata who was quick to take a small gulp of the cool water with her head tipped upwards.
Her long silken hair slid back down her petite shoulders like a shimmering waterfall, skimming the surface of her shirt to reveal an alabaster swan like neck that managed to captivate his dark and intense gaze at the first glance.
His Adam’s apple bobbed slightly in response.
It was odd that with small inadvertent actions, Hinata had managed to thoroughly hold him enthralled and intrigued by her. From the curl of her plump pouty lips to that flutter of her long and sooty lashes. He had come to realize that everything about Hinata seemed to hold him captive and arouse his desires like no other woman can.
And this theory had been tested and justified many times in the past.
Everything about Hinata seemed perfectly fit for him. And he took great pride in knowing that she was his, regardless of her lack in knowledge of his claim or not.
Sasuke’s gaze remained unwavering on her mesmerizing form, watching as a shimmering droplet of sweat trickled down from her hair line, grazing the fabric of her shirt before disappearing underneath the thick cloth that hid her well endowed body from view.
Hinata wasn’t very tall yet her body proportion was perhaps, by far, one of the best that he had seen. Sasuke knew what was hidden beneath all of her frumpy, baggy and over sized clothing. He reveled in the fact that he was, perhaps, the only one to ever know and he wanted it to remain that way.
Hinata was petite but not stick skinny like Sakura who, seemingly, was sometimes all skin and bones. Now that she had recuperated from their captivity and starvation from months ago, Hinata had filled out rather voluptuously.
Rounded breasts, tapered waist, and legs that were seemingly long yet attractive.
Hinata was silk and satin under a layer of smooth moon kissed skin.She was toned but not hard and muscular to the touch like some woman he had fought and killed.
Just that firm jut of her rounded bosoms, swaying softly with every inhale and exhale of her breath, had made his throat feel bone dry. Without even a suggestive glance from her, his body had hardened in a rather instinctive response that he had no conscious control over.
Lately, his bodily reactions towards Hinata had increased to the point of confusion for him. She didn’t even have to do anything and he would become slightly aroused just by her mere presence comfortingly brushing along his own, rubbing against his sensitized flesh until his body burned at the seemingly pleasurable contact.
It was odd.
If any other woman were to strip down naked and walk around in front of him, he wouldn’t even bat a lash, because none of them could ever arouse him in that sense. Yet, with Hinata, he found himself out of control and instinctively driven with a passionate desire to mark all of her with his very essence until she was captive under him with no possible escape.
He wanted to consume her like a raging fire through a calm and peaceful forest. Like the rushing waves of a stormy sea crashing against the shores of a tall cliff, wearing away at the rocky edge until it came crumbling down into the waters depths never to be rebuilt in its entirety again.
Because Hinata was his sanity.
She was the very last thread that held him together at the frayed and abused seams. One sharp tug or pull would cause the darkness to completely enshroud him in a veil of death and destruction that could only wreak hell’s havoc on earth.
And he found that, somehow, he did not want to be without her.
Sasuke didn’t merely want to capture her light anymore.
He wanted to capture all of her.
He wanted to ensnare her into a trap so enthralling that she would refuse to escape him. And then, he would hide her away so that no other could ever lay their eyes on her again, save for him.
The obstacles in his way were gradually starting to increase in quantity; even though, he knew there to be far more hurdles to jump in the future than was necessary.
But Uchiha Sasuke was never one to back down from a challenge.
And two names, in particular, made his list. One was Hyuga Hiashi, head of the Hyuga clan, and the other was Hyuga Rennosuke, a soon to be unfortunate male who will end up six feet under once Sasuke Uchiha was through with him.
The night previous, Hinata had thoughtlessly rambled on about her father and the fact that she had lost her heiress title to her younger sister, Hanabi. Then, her dictator of a father wanted to toss her into an arranged marriage with a man that she didn’t love.
Her father wanted her to marry---he had narrowed his eyes at the thought---a perverted male relative.
The thought made his temper rise while rage, dark and lethal, bubbled up against his rib cage in a thrumming of rhythm at the thought of tearing the male who had dared to lay his grubby fingers onto her flesh.
Sasuke was a possessive man.
His unconscious need to control and possess was almost suffocating in its encompassing will when it came to Hinata. And he would have eradicated Hyuga Rennosuke off of the face of this earth had it not been for the fact that Hinata wanted to defeat the pathetic man herself.
He respected her wishes but the urge to trample all over the Hyuga male’s mangled body was almost unbearable, like the inevitable shadow of the night when the sun fell from its perch in the skies.
In the end, he had managed to refrain himself with just the thought of Hinata’s disappointed face if he had killed the male and left her without an opponent to destroy. And he was assured that after all this training, Hinata wouldn’t just leave the Hyuga male mangled beyond recognition anymore.
If fact, Hyuga Rennosuke would probably be begging for death after she was done with him and Sasuke couldn’t help but feel slightly vain at the idea that he had seemingly managed to taint her with his darkness. Sasuke liked the idea of corrupting her with his very essence.
But he couldn’t fathom the reason why he chose to back down.
Because he never backed down from a fight, yet her happy smile was enough to keep his dark and morbid thoughts astray.
It was unsettling to know that she affected him so immensely.
Sasuke breathed out a deep sigh and smoothly brushed her sweat matted bangs off of her forehead to reveal a rather ugly and appalling gash on her creamy skin. The blood had long dried but it did not make the wound any less gruesome.
It was odd that he could stomach much worse lacerations across his own flesh and uncaring of others, but just the sight of this mar on Hinata’s fragile skin made his stomach turn revoltingly.
Sasuke cautiously wiped off the dried blood on her temple with the damp cloth, dark eyes concentrating on the inflamed skin while clumsy fingers softly patted the fabric across the wound. Clumsy because of his lack of experience.
Yet, his touch was extremely delicate against the cut, careful and considerate of her in ways that Hinata had never thought possible in a man of his caliber.
His hands were strong enough to kill her with just a light touch, yet he handled her very delicately with such tenderness that it made her heart ache warmly in return.
Sasuke was not a man of many words, yet his actions spoke louder than anything that he could ever possibly say. She could feel his care and concern in every touch and every heated glance of his dark eyes against her skin.
And she knew that there was never any need for words between them because his every action spoke volumes. Just his mere presence was warm and palpable like a thick cotton blanket upon her chilled flesh in the midst of a freezing winter.
The silence that they basked in was comfortable and that was enough.
It was always enough.