“Hunter?” Coach Andrew eyes were widened, like he staring at a ghost. I mean, I did cut my hair, well, more like butchered it, but it was long over due. It was always too long and frequently got in the way when I was training.
“I said I’m ready to train. The fight is just around the corner.” I was already going under the ropes, ready to take direction from Coach, but he still had a dumbfounded look on his face.
“Your hair?” He persisted on talking about my hair, did it look that bad?
“It’s nothing. Too long for me to handle, so I cut it off.” I chuckled at his widened expression as he looked at me like I was an exhibit at the zoo.
I ran my hand through my shortened locks, which only hit under my ear. I thought it suited me, and honestly, I really didn’t care what anyone else thought. I'll do whatever I want with my body, and no man will tell me otherwise.
“I like it, but I’m still surprised you’re here kid. It’s only been two weeks, so I'm going to guess your ribs are still broken. There’s NO way in hell I’m going to let you fight in the tournament like that.” He crossed his arms, and I knew we were at an impasse.
“I heal fast coach, trust me. I’m not going to let that get in the way. I have too much riding on this, and if you won’t train me, I’ll have enter the tournament by myself.” I wrapped my hands with fight tape, ignoring his protests. I was going to do this one way or another, and that was with or without his help.
“You’re crazy Hunter. I don't know what to do, I don't want you to get killed out there."
"I'm already dead." I locked eyes with him, and in that moment he knew I was serious.
I wasn't holding back anymore with anyone, and if he wanted to know that truth, that was it. I wasn't going to let a couple broken ribs pull me back from winning.
"I may regret this later, but I guess….” There was still hesitation in his voice, so I knew I would have to kick start this training session myself.
“Call in one of your girls, I’ll show you myself.” I smirked.
“I’m still skeptical, but if you insist…” He leaned over the ropes aiming his face towards the change rooms, “Rookie! Get out here, I got someone for you to spar with!” He yelled across the gym, which I thought was empty, but the changeroom doors suddenly swung open, and out walked a young girl. Her hands were already wrapped in black tape, like she was waiting for this moment. Very peculiar.
“So, do you always have rookies on call or what?” I joked.
“Excuse me?" He scoffed, “Oh her? She’s new, and well, there is a shortage of human fighters to spar with.” He glanced over to see her approaching the ring, “She’s hot headed like yourself, so I would say this is a good match up, don’t you say?”
“Oh really? I can agree to that.” I finally got a clear view of the young girl as she lunged into the ring. She wasn’t familiar in any way, and thankfully, similarly sized, maybe a couple inches taller than me?
“I’m ready Coach.” The girl muttered, already narrowing her gaze in my direction. She took the gloves hanging over her shoulder, and one by one slipped them on each hand. The pink colour caught me off guard, but I suppose it suited her blonde hair. I was tempted to call her a 'Barbie.'
“Bring it on.” I gritted through my teeth.
“You’re plain is my pleasure, HUNTER.” Barbie smiled through her mouth guard, and even know she had a nice body, she had a face of an ogre.
"We will see about that, BARBIE." I chuckled under my breathe.
I knew I was going to enjoy this. Who did she think she was, coming to my gym and insulting me?
As I placed my gloves on I started focusing in on what I needed to do. Not just regarding my fight, but my plan. It was already set-in motion, and no werewolf or person was going to stop me.
“Wow Hunter, I’ve never seen you so… Energetic?” Coach Andrew and I sat in his office while I toweled the sweat droplets off my face. Little Barbie had such an ass kicking, but let’s be honest, I was hell out of shape from being away from the gym for so long.
“I’m still a little sore, well I actually feel like I’m dying.” I chuckled.
“I’m impressed. You’re practically werewolf!”
“Yea, yea thanks. I’m flattered.” I slowly grazed the side of my rib cage, feeling the tenderness. Coach was right, I did heal faster than a normal human, but it’s was probably just good genetics.
“So, um, did you hear from your brother?” The tone of his voice lowered as he mentioned Troy's name.
“No. I don’t know where he ran off to. Usually, he would come home by now..” I scratched the back of my head as I thought of Troy and his whereabouts. For some odd reason I knew he was alive, it was unexplainable, like a connection to him. I couldn’t speak to him, but I knew his heart was beating strong. I could feel it pulse through me.
“Don’t worry Hunter, he’ll show up.”
“I know he will.” I sighed.
I padded down the last few sweat droplets off of my legs; unfortunately there was no time to shower. I hope I wouldn't stink up the Rogue too much tonight.
“You did good today; will you be back tomorrow? I’ll make sure you’re in the roster for the fight.” Coach's eyes studied his phone as he leaned back in his worn down office chair. His mind seemed elsewhere today as he was constantly checking his phone every few minutes.
That's when I suddenly realized, “Shit, what time is it!?” I stood up in a panic; how could I lose track of time so easily?
“5:36 why?” His forehead wrinkled as he peered up at the clock on the wall.
“I’m late for work! Gotta catch the bus!” I ran out of his office with no hesitation, my eyes heading straight for the exit.
“Don’t be late little werewolf!” His loud voice echoed through the entire building, and while I thought it was funny, there was no time to turn back.
I couldn’t be late today; not on my first day back. My boss Sam mentioned there was an important party to cater, but he also mentioned more unsettling details of the night.
I was working a werewolf function.