Fighting For Hope

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NINE

TYLER

Spontaneously, my body positioned in my fighting stance with tenacity as I observed him mirror my posture.

“No rules,” Ajax announced. I nodded briefly as my inhospitable stare spotted him as a target.

I tilted my head, giving him a head start because comparable to Hope, I did not require one. He seized the opportunity without reluctance, lurching forward to deliver a punch that I dodged with ease. The velocity of the blow was ludicrous in comparison to Hope’s, but the force in which he delivers his punches is exceptionally effective.

I threw a punch as well, but he caught my wrist and tried twisting it. With a scowl on my face, I swung my other hand, aiming for the side of his head, causing him to release his grip.

It took approximately two seconds for both of us to regain our composure before we got serious about the fight. This was no longer a match for pleasure because I am determined to win.

He ducked a fist thrown his way, stepping closer to swing his elbow on my waist. I stumbled back, letting a low growl escape my lips before charging towards him and delivering some formidable punches.

He blocked a few and then hurled some hefty punches that I had to withstand. In the midst of it all, I swung my leg, causing him to land on the ground with force on his back. I seized his hand then pull him up to punch him in the jaw.

Although Hailey was a year older compared to me, I am still a protective brother who cares and will protect her. I doubted this egocentric man could do the same.

I watched as he struggled to climb onto his feet. However, when he finally did, a fist made contact with my nose. I glared at him, kicking him in the abdomen and causing him to double over. Without missing a beat, I kneel him in the face, satisfied when I hear a crack. The impact of the punch could have broken his nose. Mine was still in a fitter state.

He did not resist his attacks, and I cannot either if I yearned to win.

He threw a punch, and I caught it, twisting his arm and locking it behind his back as Hope did to me. Taking advantage of being behind him, I performed the move she taught and placed my hand around his neck, choking him with my elbow and pushing his head forwards.

“Stay away from us,” I spat. I threw him on the ground and stood up, locking my eyes with Hope’s. The side of her lips quirked as she looked back at me, complacent. She seemed to be drowning in thoughts, nodding to herself before looking back at me.

“Take good care of my sister,” I added. I picked up my jacket and tie, reaching for Hope’s hand gently and leading her to my car.

“I’ll tell my father I’m not feeling well,” I said as we climbed into the vehicle.

My hand was numb, and I had an exceptionally bloody nose. I reached for a napkin to wipe it, and let a string of curses escape my lips when I discovered that I ran out. I raised an eyebrow when a hand extended in front of me, holding out a napkin for me. I shot Hope a grateful look before clutching it and pressing it against my nose. I then drove to Hope’s place.

She got out of the car once it came to a halt, and I trailed behind her. With a quirked eyebrow and suspiciously squinted eyes, she gazed at me.

“The night is still young.” I shrugged while entering the house through the large metal door. It was somewhat unreasonable. Unless she had someone determined to have her killed, the protection of such door was useless.

The first thing she did was excuse herself to her room to change out of the black dress she wore to my father’s event. I fished out my phone from my back pocket to claim I felt sick and needed to head home to my father.

I swiftly slide my phone back to where it previously was, looking around Hope’s place. It was nothing like I imagined, I could get lost exploring the area. My eyes then landed on the notebook, the first thing she would take out when in class.

I ambled towards it, inspecting the design. It was a dull white book that seemed ancient. In the corner were the words, ’my angel Hope’ written in cursive. Keeping my hands to myself is wisest, but inquisitiveness affected my actions. Perhaps it was a book she wrote, or where she took down all the notes for class. I reached out, flipping it to a random page.

I found myself scanning through the precise description of what seemed like plans to drug a man. I read through it again, meticulously. Attentiveness selected me as prey like a lion with a voracious appetite to a scrumptious deer.

I shut the book speedily just as Hope left her room to settle down on the couch with a tug in the corner of her lips. I returned the smile, joining her. I was urging to ask her about the book, but it might not be the best idea. She has been concealing something, and I was intent on finding out what it is.

“You want to watch a movie?” I asked, only to receive a shrug.

I grabbed the controller after receiving permission and turned the television on, exploring the channels.

There was not much to watch since I had seen almost all of them. Hope did not adore it either because, in a few minutes, she had her eyes closed in deep slumber. I gazed down at her. Even in her sleep, she looked troubled but gorgeous.

I decided to scoop her up and bring her to her room then take my leave. But before I could exit the room, I heard her whimper. I look around my shoulder, almost concerned to leave her on her own. She had a look of uncertainty etched in her features along with evident difficulty.

“Why did she do this?”

I froze at the sound of her voice. The very first time I heard her speak. Jolts of surprise zipped through my gut like the most vigorous thunder. Her words held a mix of emotions. I could sense distress, grief, and misery. But behind it all, she still managed to sound beautiful.

“Don’t leave me.” I wondered who her words were directed to with a frown. “Please don’t leave me.”

I return to her side, figuring it is best to awaken her, but opted against it when she quietened down. There must be a reason for her dreams, every word in the book, the unnecessary door and why she picked up fighting.

Moving out of her room, I glimpsed at the pictures she had with a man who I suppose is her father. I tilted my head in comprehension, realizing her mother was absent in all the images.

Perhaps that was the reason for everything.

I had the sudden inclination to stay the night to ensure she is alright though I know she is tough. I sauntered over to the couch and laid down. Exhaustion seeped into the depth of my consciousness. Consumed in the realm of comfortable darkness, I permitted it to bring me along for a ride of fantasies.

I ignored the first few taps of my shoulder and grew agitated as it continued. I stirred in my sleep, feeling the interruption stop. I heard footsteps and shuffling before I jolted awake, staring at Hope who wore an expression as if questioning why I stayed over.

I flashed her a sheepish smile. “I dozed off,” I lied.

She gestured for me to head for the bathroom to get ready for the morning. I nodded, leaving the living room and making my way to the washroom. Everything neatly placed, making it much simpler to obtain what I require. I was quite stunned to know she was this affluent. Is she also continually trying hard to please her parents just as I am?

I return to the living room soon after, looking at Hope scribble in her book. When she noticed my presence, the book was rapidly shut and push it away. I stole a glance at it before averting my gaze to Hope.

“Let’s go,” I said, causing her eyebrows to perk in confusion. “I promised to shop with you.”

She had a lack of clothes even though she appeared to have plenty of money. It caused me to wonder if she had liked to shop at all. I watched as an undecided look replaced the puzzled expression.

“It’s not far away. You can return home in an hour.” I led her outside and into my car after convincing her.

It was apparent that she had not been in a mall for a prolonged time. When we arrived, Hope strolled aimlessly around the crowded areas but never entered a shop. I reached for her hand, pulling her in the different stores and letting her try on new shoes and clothes. Unlike others, she was not fervent to choose anything she desired.

We did get a few which I think looks magnificent on her. She glowered when she realized I paid for the things but did not argue because she knew I could be persuasive.

“Try this on,” I said, handing her a casual bright blue dress that reached just below her knees. She pushed it away but accepted with a pout after I insisted. She had been avoiding to wear dresses, but I fail to comprehend why, since they look impeccable on her.

I ushered her into the changing room and paid for the dress before she came out, confident that it is flawless.

When she stepped out, I was almost sure perfection exists in a person. The dress looked as if it was made just for her. An uncertain expression was plastered onto her face as she stared back at me.

“You look angelic,” was the first thing I said when I looked at her. She smiled at the compliment, returning into the small room to change out of the dress.

I have only seen her legitimate, dazzling smile a few times, and I intend to see it again even if it takes effort.

We then headed for the nearest restaurant for a snack. I bit back from mentioning it had been well over an hour.

“How long have you not communicated?” I asked.

She showed me six fingers, and I learned from the last time that it was years. I was swift to realize that she started fighting six years ago, as well.

“Why don’t you talk?” I asked, eager to find out more about her. “You don’t want to?” I pushed to test the waters.

“Or you can’t?” I questioned while taking a sip of my drink.

I paused with my questions, welcoming the shock that crept into me as she opened her mouth. The purest and most euphonious voice then escaped her lips.

“I couldn’t.”

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