Chapter 27: Devils Faced
After Jack “visited” us and after what I assumed would be a nice interval for the esteemed guests to eat before they see more women tear each other apart, it’s the time for the semi-finals. Lysa is keeping warm even though the intense yet brief fight with the guards kept her blood going.
“Who do you think you’ll be up against?”
“Riona,” she says shadow-boxing. “Last time I was in the cage with her, I barely got out. Jack would want me worn down for the finals.”
I curse through my lips. This is bad, this is so fucking bad and there must be something I can do about it. I walk up and down with long strides.
“Don’t worry,” she stops me. “It will be fine.”
“How the fuck is any of this fine? I should be the one fighting for you not the other way around.”
“I like how we take turns breaking down,” she says.
She’s got a point. There is no use in panicking. I look back at her through the mirror and she has a faint smile on her lips. I can’t lose her. If I lose her, I will be lost, alone in life. Alone. That was what I was before she came. Alone in the midst of my brothers, alone in the arms of all these women. There was a hole in me, a big, gaping hole that emptied me and never filled no matter how many bitches, guns and violence I threw in it. But she fills it, perfectly, utterly. My heart drops at the realization and the need to hold her overpowers me.
“Vik?” she frowns as I stride to her.
I don’t let her say anything more, I just turn her to face me and pin her against the mirror. She gasps at my attack but her instinct lets her arm fall on my shoulders. I look down to her eyes and push a strand of hair off her face. My finger trails around her eyes, on her nose, her cheeks, her lips. I swallow down my sudden need to cry before her beauty and my thundering emotions.
“I wasn’t fucking around, Lys. I do love you and you are mine.”
“I wasn’t fucking around either. I do love you and I am yours.”
“Good. Finish this cause I want to fuck you so bad it hurts.”
She smiles one of those smiles that, despite the fucked-up situation we are in, are coming more and more often. I lean in and I mold my lips against hers and keep caressing her with my mouth for a while, making her cheeks inflamed. Only then I touch her upper lip with my tongue demanding access and she does give it. And we keep kissing till we hear the MC announcing the start of the semifinals.
“For the first semi-final, welcome Rosalyn!”
Lysa concentrates at the drawn curtain. Her eyes are back to their icy disposition as she keeps her focus on the fight outside our cell. Not long after, “O Sanctissima” blasts through the speakers and the fight is on. The crowds are going wild. Surely, Jack’s precious Magda is keeping the show going for the fight lasts longer than the others and the crowd is reaching frenzy. One loud thud is heard and then over the loud shrills a wail of unbearable pain cuts the air.
“Rosalyn,” Lysa murmurs.
The crowd erupts in cries and more minutes pass. One more thud and the rattling of the cage. Lysa’s hands roll in fists and she takes in long breaths to keep as calm as she can. The guests clap in excitement and the MC takes the lead once more.
“The winner and contestant in the finals is Madgaleeeeene!”
Lysa is next. My back tightens and my muscles clench at the thought but Lysa just jumps on spot and loosens her neck. I hear a low growl coming from down her throat. She is far gone in the zone, ready to tear anyone standing in her way. The Irish folk song is heard as Riona is going in the cage and then the curtain is pulled. This time, not one sound accompanies Lysa as she walks out. The rich fucks look down at her with a mixture of awe and fear, watching Lysa loosening her shoulders with her eyes looking straight ahead.
I glance in the cage to be met with her opponent and I bite my jaw down. There is a beast in there, one deserving the name more than the Hungarian one. Riona is a red-haired bulge of pure muscles and a pulped face. She is seething through tight lips and looks at Lysa with absolute hate and murder in her eyes. The Irish Devil seems unable to stand still for more than a second and when Lysa stands before the door, she lets out an impatient roar.
“Rage,” I just say to Lysa and she nods.
Fuck, her admission makes my breaths coming in short. Lysa walks in and looks straight into Riona’s eyes.
“I will fucking kill you this time, bitch,” Riona spits but Lysa remains unmoved.
Cold Bitch, alright, I smile proudly at my warrior woman as she prepares for battle. The MC gives the signal and both women rush to the center of the cage with long strides. Riona clearly has a boxing background if one studies her stance and her reliance on her hands. And she is the first to attack, swinging a hammering cross to Lysa. But my girl is too quick and bobs out, waltzing away from Riona’s good hand.
“Handle her,” I hit the cage when I see the perfect opening for a choke handle.
But Lysa keeps her guard up and her feet light, resorting to her impeccable Muay Thai to take her down. I frown and I study her. Nothing comes through but sheer determination as she circles the Devil. Riona lets out a frustrated roar and falls on Lysa with ferocity. Lysa pulls her arms up but Riona’s fists connects with her ribs repeatedly.
“Throw her off!” I command.
Pain grasps my throat and I pace outside the ring. I look up to the balcony and Jack is smiling faintly upon seeing Lysa taking a few hits. I am going to murder that fucking asshole with my bare hands. And if that bitch keeps hurting my woman, she will not leave the cage alive.
The cage rattles and I see Lysa has freed herself from Riona’s onslaught, has thrown the red-haired against the cage and delivers a head-spinning blow. But all Riona does is turn back to Lysa with blood dripping down her split lip and smile with her teeth all drenched in blood. Fucking psycho. The Devil charges forth, takes Lysa with her on the other side of the cage and I hear the air pushed out of Lysa’s lungs by the sheer force of the impact. The crowd from above is screaming now that blood is shed and they want more.
“Death-lock!” the red-haired trainer across me orders.
I tense at the command and I turn to Riona that chuckles audibly. She pushes Lysa’s head and puts it under her armpit, locking it there with her other arm. Goddamn it! Lysa fights to free from the chokehold and pushes Riona to the cage but the Devil takes the hit laughing.
“Don’t fight the hold. Her arms are tied,” I scream at her.
Lysa hears me instantly and she quits her tries to draw breath. With all the power she has, she pounds on Riona’s exposed torso. But Riona keeps her locked still.
“Kidneys!” I roar ready to climb in the fucking cage.
Without hesitation Lysa raises her knee and gives a crushing blow on the Devil’s side. A loud groan leaves the red-haired’s lips and she takes a few steps back, releasing Lysa. My girl takes a few gulps of air before falling back on her opponent. A whirl of kicks come and Riona has the concentration to avoid only the last one. Her side is bruised already and I know Lysa’s kick did some real damage to that bitch. She is in pain but she doesn’t stop. She pulls Lysa down in pure street fight style, without finesse and technique but with pure rage.
“Head!” her trainer orders and Riona obeys with abandon.
She throws Lysa down and straddles her in the middle of wild cries from the fuckers enjoying this. It’s so easy for Lysa to get out of this with one of the dozen handles I have shown her but she still doesn’t. Her eyebrow is torn, her lips bleed and her blood is all over Riona’s knuckles. She struggles to get up but Riona has her pinned down good.
“Lysa!” I scream.
Why doesn’t she use any of the tricks I have taught her, damn it? I glance up to Jack and a relieved smile is on his face. Much as his wife wanted this, he was afraid to put her against the Cold Bitch. Seeing Lysa pinned down is good for Magdalene. I turn back to the fight and Riona stops her pounding to boast with raised fists. I turn to Lysa’s face and I snarl upon seeing her so badly wounded. And on her torn lips...a smile?
With one swift move, Lysa lifts her torso and her elbow hits Riona straight in the nose with such force that a thud is heard. Riona’s head swings violently back and her body follows. Lysa gets up but she doesn’t lunge at Riona, still trying to find her bearings. She just waits.
“Finish her, Lys!” I plead but she is far in the zone.
Riona is up on her feet though the hit shook her good but if she is anything close to Rage, the pain is fueling her. She tries a swing to Lysa but has no luck. Lysa circles her and Riona growls like a hurt animal and comes at her with force. Her trainer screams something at her and Riona tries an onslaught of punches. None hit their target. Lysa is moving easily away, toying with Riona. The crowd screams in absolute frenzy as the blood spatters on the mat.
Riona tries one more time to get a good hit through but Lysa is swift, twirls and a kick gets Riona straight in the jaw. Everyone yells in enthusiasm but the Devil’s trainer that shoots warnings to Riona. Too late. Riona staggers back and Lysa kicks her against the cage. And doesn’t stop. She moves closer and she pounds on Riona brutally. One punch makes the Devil’s head swing and tears the skin on Lysa’s knuckles but it’s just the beginning. Lysa steadies her opponent with one hand and with the other keeps at pulping Riona’s face.
Blood spatters on Lysa’s face but she doesn’t back down. A dark, malicious look has distorted my woman’s face and a shiver goes through me to see the demons she keeps deep in her emerge with such force. Her fists keep connecting with the Devil’s face again and again till it stops resembling a human anymore and looks more a beef ready to be thrown in the casserole.
The crowds are going berserk over my head but I shut them out. Finally, Riona’s hands fall lifelessly, her whole body giving up. Only then does Lysa takes a step back and lets Riona’s unconscious body to slide down. When she looks up with blood dripping down her chin on her chest as if she has been bathing in the shit, the guests erupt in loud cheers chanting her name.
“Cold Bitch! Cold Bitch! Cold Bitch!”
Showered with all that frenzy, with the unconscious opponent at her feet, she is formidable, awe-inspiring. I should be fucking disgusted, scared, troubled to see such complete disregard for compassion. But I am hard. Fucking hard for my warrior woman bloodied like a ferocious animal, her chest heaving by the effort. Lysa raises her arm and points at Jack. I follow her gesture and I see Jack is at the edge of the balcony, his hand fisting the rail till his knuckles go white.
When Lysa is out the cage, she comes staggering to me and I hiss upon seeing her like that. She won the fight and dominated the ring but at what cost. Riona has done a real number on her. I support her and take her to the cell, eager to tend her wounds. One more fight, I remind myself so that I stop from going in a slaughtering rampage.
“Lys,” I have her sit on the chair, “you could have locked her at any point.”
“Yeah. I know. I just didn’t want Jack to know,” she looks up and smiles.
I shake my head and start cleaning her wounds. But as I wipe blood off her, my good humor is gone. Each hit, each slash, each laceration, each slash I feel it on me with double the pain. That is my woman bleeding in the fucking cage.
“I am good,” she reads me. “After Rage, Riona seemed like a tame kitten.”
I try to smile but I know I am frowning as I press ice on her face. She throws her arm up and caresses my eyebrows as if trying to dispel the worry written over them. Her touch quenches the roaring fire for a while. She pulls me in and our foreheads meet.
“I am stronger than I’ve ever been,” she states. “Jack thought that having Daniel taken and shot, that having you here with me in this shithole would break me. Damn, I thought being alone made me stronger, unattached and unaffected. For a moment there, I regretted it all. Meeting Daniel, the Riders. Falling for you. But you brought me back. I am fucking stronger now. For Daniel. For you.”
Her lip is torn and there is a gash on her cheekbone and her eyebrow but I don’t give a fuck. I scatter kisses all over her face with unstoppable craving before I claim her mouth. I feel the metal taste of her blood but I don’t stop. I nest between her legs and I drive my fingers in her thigh, palming her hot skin, taking in the heat emanating in waves off her body.
“My beautiful Valkyrie,” I nuzzle into her neck. “Mine.”