Chapter TWENTY ONE
Attempting to evade the awkward moment, you keep your focus on Lacey as Jackson steps up beside you, nodding to Paxton..
"Axe.. Its good you're here, mind helping us out?" Jackson asks the loaded question almost as a challenge..
Paxton eyes you suspiciously.. You half shrug one shoulder and smile at him as he nods towards Ford in agreement.. "Alright.."
Jackson turns back to the class.. "Alright! Hunter Paxton here is going to demonstrate his techniques against Elleries.. We have two different styles.. Remember, watch Ellerie ladies, hers is the preferred style for women for a reason.."
Hunter let's out a confident scoff... Ford turns back to Paxton.. "Fight her.." Ford grins..
Paxton looks to you as if he's unsure whether Jackson is baiting him into some kind of trap.. Which he totally is.. Just not the one hunter thinks... "Uhh.. You mean--"
You step up now before Paxton with your hands on your hips.. "He means, fight me, Paxton.." You move to the centre of the mats..
Hunter, looking apprehensive, tries to backtrack.. "C'mon firecracker.. Don't make me hurt you.."
The fact that he thinks he stands a chance would make you laugh, if it didn't get you so fired up.. His arrogance only fueling your desire to kick his ass..
"Don't be scared you big baby.. Let's go.."
Your taunts ignite the glimmer of a challenge in his eyes.. He cracks his knuckles, then his neck, taking up his position.. You immediately recognise his perfectly postured stance, Brazilian Jujitsu..
But, not good enough..
"Okay.. But you asked for it.." He moves in on you swiftly but he's still to slow for your lightning reflexes, you can see his approach telegraphed like a waving red flag to a bull..
You twist side to side deflecting two swings before you drop low to your knees on the third, latching onto his forearm with both hands, you use the momentum of his own brutish swing to twist him over your head and lay him out, flat on his back with a heavy thud, winded..
You lean over and grin down at him.. "Oh, um, what was that about you hurting me?"
He heaves in a breath siting up as the class applaudes heartily.. You laugh and take a bow before offering Hunter your head and help to pull him to his feet.. He takes it, all the while grinning at you.. "Damn, woman.."
You pat his back consolingly looking over to see Lacey snickering at her brother behind her hand, clearly she enjoyed your little display.. You wink at her as Jackson calls out over the whistles and cheers.. "So what you've just witnessed is MCMAP vs Krav Magra.." He strides over to you and a breathless Paxton, clapping him on the back and laughing.. Ford smiles at you, and you beam.. Jackson knew Paxton didn't stand a chance against you.. He just wanted to make sure Paxton knew it.. "Ellerie here is a 10th dan red belt in Krav Magra.." It sounds almost as if he's boasting about you and your heart swells with pride..
You've worked hard for your accomplishments and it always feels good to have them recognised.. Hunters eyes widen as he looks at you, a new appreciation in his gaze.. He turns to Jackson with a grin now.. "Fair play.. Could've of warned me though, you bastard.."
They both laugh.. You look between the two of them.. Two guys, so different yet so similar.. Both with their own complications and their own endearing qualities.. To see them getting along makes you kind of happy..
And kind of nervous..
Somebody here is definitely going to get hurt..
You smile at them through your anxious guilt.. "Well, how would that be any fun?"