Turning down onto Norton street, I noticed fewer houses and street lights lining the road. We pull down a long driveway leading up to an abandoned warehouse. Finn pulls the car around the building into a packed parking lot. “You ready firecracker?” Finn smiled up at me from underneath the shaggy curls of his hair.
I gave him a genuine smile with a hint of mischief in return. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”
We walked towards the double doors of the building just to be drowned into the noise of music, laughter, and the grunts of the fighters on stage in the middle. People were lined up all around the outside of the ring. I started to pull my shirt over my head and pull my hair up into a high ponytail. Finn turned to look at me, “You’re going up next. Honestly, it may be a tough one so don’t be bummed out if you don’t win. The girl has only been beaten a few times before.”
I leveled him with a smirk and an arched brow. “Trust me, Finn. I know how to handle myself.” Finn walked towards the announcer as I walked towards the now empty ring. I do a few stretches before I hear Finn’s voice ring out on the speakers above.
“Next up is a favorite of the venue, August Reid. Up against a newcomer, the dangerously beautiful, Kaia Jones.” I rolled my eyes at the name Finn gave me. I walked towards the ring and ducked between the barriers on the side.
I look up to see a fairly built girl maybe a few years older than me with dark red hair pulled back into a high ponytail. Both of us are dressed in a sports bra, gym shorts, and a pair of sneakers. No gloves are usually used when fighting in these kinds of places. I mean, they’re illegal for a reason. I take a look around the crowd and notice people already placing bets on a winner. I knew no one would bet on a newcomer but little did they know, I’m a lot tougher than I look.
I focus on the girl across from me, calculating her moves and figuring out her techniques. Right as the horn sounded, we both slowly circled each other, watching to see which one would move first. This girl was no idiot, she knew how to fight. She finally moved towards me and threw a punch towards my gut. I doubled over in pain which earned me a punch to the face. The crowd went wild with hollers and screams.
However, this is always my plan in these situations. Let people continue to bet on the other girl thinking she’ll be a clear winner until I make my move. I let her deliver another punch to my jaw where I then heard a popping noise. I stepped back and looked at the girl straight in the face as I moved my hand to my jaw and popped it back into place, eliciting another popping noise. I surprised her when I got into my formation and turned and kicked my foot right into her ribs. I didn’t slow down as I stepped up and gave her a hard throw right into her face. But I still didn’t let up. I continued throwing punch after punch until I had her on the ground. She tried to block my blows but I still kept coming. I punched her from her eye to her mouth, and to her stomach. I didn’t quit until I heard the bell that signaled a winner.
A guy in his late 20s came over to me and raised my arm up showing the crowd the clear winner. Most people were shouting, others were grumbling since they lost their bets, while I was smiling, a bloody smile at the crowd. I walked over to Finn who was counting the money that was collected from those who made a bet. I only get a partial cut since the fighting club gets a split. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount I made. $250 is not bad at all for the kind of fight I just had. Hell, I would have done it again for just $50.
I looked down at the money that I had just earned when a voice sounded from next to me. “You did great out there.” Oh, I know that voice from anywhere. The voice that immediately soaks my underwear just from the sound of it.
I look over to see Asher fucking Lodge standing right next to me. He had on the same outfit from school earlier. And can I just say, that his body looks like a sculpture underneath his tight t-shirt and jeans. I swallow the spit forming in my mouth from the sight of him. I reply in a calm and controlled tone, “Thanks. What are you doing here?” I asked him with a slightly confused look on my face.
He gave me one of his deep, throaty laughs that I love. “I’ve actually fought here before...Plus, Sebastian told me that you would be here tonight.” He bit his lip looking towards the ground.
“Oh, so you were looking for me, huh?” I replied teasingly with a flirty smile.
I watched him shift from foot to foot waiting for a response. However, I was not expecting him to say, “Uh, yeah. Hey, I was wondering if you may help me out in chemistry.” Uh, come again? “I’m not doing too well and I need to raise my grades up. I saw you looking at the teacher but you never took any notes and yet, you passed the pop quiz. So I figured you may be able to help me out.”
I can’t tell if he’s asking me for help in chemistry because he wants to fuck without being so blatantly obvious, or he actually is failing and needs help. I’m sort of hoping for both. “Um sure, I guess...I don’t know if I’ll have a lot of time to help you. And I’m not staying later at school to help you either. I’m not staying in that gateway to hell longer than necessary.”
He chuckled at my response and gave me the biggest smile that cracked open a fissure in my heart. What the hell is wrong with me? Why do the simplest gestures from him make me feel things that I have never felt before? “Sounds good. How about you come over to my place and we can study there?” The look he gave me was so affectionate that I thought I might be dreaming. I think I gave him a head nod that might have slightly resembled a mini seizure.
I watched him turn and walk away, not even bothering to cover the fact that I was watching his ass as he moved. I leaned my head against the wall and sighed. If it wasn’t for the fact of growing up and listening to other girls in my group homes talk about guys they’re into, I would have thought I was coming down with an illness. But no. I think...dare I say it…I might be feeling things for Asher Lodge.