The steel door bangs against the wall and I don't even look up, already well aware of the two annoying fucks who care nothing for my personal privacy.
"Woo, we are fucking it up tonight!" Eddie sings as he marches into the locker room.
I roll my eyes at this and reach into my bag for my T-shirt.
I wince when lifting up my arms.
That Gregg motherfucker was trying to break my ribs, I'm sure of it.
"Do you have any idea just how much sweet pussy I'm getting tonight if I walk in the bar with you tonight." Eddie continues executing himself.
Marc's less eccentric entrance is heard by the scuffling of his shoes on the dusty cement floor.
"You should come out with us tonight, Leo." He comments.
I shake my head and fling my bag over my shoulder on my way out the room.
"Do you have any idea just how awesome that shit was tonight? You fucking killed it!" Eddie yells, earning a glare from Monroe, the unofficial janitor of the underground.
The old man takes off his headphones as we pass him by, "You were great tonight, Little Woo." He raises a thumb to which I nod in response, grimacing a little at the nickname like I always do.
He smile slowly stretches on his face as he reaches for his broom.
I guess everyone started the party while I was still in the ring. I can smell the scotch on Eddie's breath.
When we exit the building Marc taps me on the back, "The Pit is free tonight, everyone's out celebrating Captain's girls birthday so there's no chance of us bumping into your brother." He states.
I take in the information and the ridiculous pleading look on Eddie's face and sigh in defeat.
"Fucking fine. But I'm only staying for 1 hour." I lift my finger for emphasis.
"That's all we need man," Eddie slaps my arm, "and if anyone asks I'm your hero." He winks.
I roll my eyes at his antics and search my back pocket for my keys.
"Mommy stop!" Lan laughs pushing her face away. She laughs too, puckering her lips.
When she can't get to him she reaches for my cheeks and kisses wet kisses on my head.
"Gross." Lan says, wiping his cheek.
"You won't think it's so gross one day when I'm gone." She says.
She pulls me on her lap and I smell her pink hair, "Where are you going Mommy?" I ask.
"Nowhere," Lan rolls his eyes, "Mommy's being silly."
"Leo," she squeezes my cheek, "One day you two will be all you have. Be good to one another."
I laugh when Mommy tries grabbing Lan again for kisses.
"Fuck." I shake my head to rid the random memory.
Why the fuck am I thinking about that? She's been dead fourteen years already and Lan died to me years after that.
The bar is five minutes away from the ring and I don’t spot any of my brother's employees in attendance tonight because the parking lot seems less congested than usual.
I find a spot behind Marc's Beemer and climb out.
Taking in the cool Summer air I read the light up sign I haven't seen in what must be a year now. There are two blown out bulbs in the 'I' of the The Pit sign.
Eddie clings to me even before we enter the bar.
"You boys better not cause any problems for me tonight. I've been itching to throw your asses out on the pavement." Isaac glares at the two assholes who look at him with mock innocents.
"It's been a minute, Little Woo." He nods at me before stepping aside to let us through.
When I take in the ageless rustic bar I spot something new.
Looks like April finally managed to get them to hire another bartender. As we approach the bar the blonde's eyes zero in on me.
The reason Eddie likes dragging me to places like this is because we never have to wait in line or pay for shit and the endless pussy that comes with being a fighter in the ring flows to those closely associated with one too. Hence it has nothing to do with my enjoyment at all. I don't want any of this shit , the only reason for the special treatment is because I'm the brother of the big bad Woo and nobody in the North would dare upset Lan.
"What're ya having boys?" The new bartender asks, leaning over the counter.
Her tits lay on the smooth wooden counter and when my eyes flick back to her crystal blues I see satisfaction in them.
"Maybe some professionalism please." Eddie quips.
She rolls her blue eyes and smiles up at him, "Your bartender is over there." She points to the right where April is chatting away on the other end of the counter.
Eddie clears his throat and messes with his hair before taking off.
I look up at Marc and am not surprised by the smirk on his face.
That fucking idiot is the one who came up with the one night rule ,that makes no sense at all, and yet Marc and I are well aware that he's been fucking April exclusively for a while now.
"Gin & tonic and a bourbon neat." Marc speaks.
Blondie nods and reaches under the counter.
Marc walks off somewhere and I'm left alone at the bar as usual.
"Never seen you around here before." She says.
I shrug, "Been a while."
"I'm Cooper." She smiles.
She places my drink down in front of me.
"I know." She smirks, strumming my inked hand.
If my bulky appearance ever falls short the fact that every visible inch of my body is covered in ink usually gets me laid. I got tattoos to other myself from my brother's clean cut appearance but I should've known in this town people are always gonna know about our relation.
"I break in 15." Her eyes are heavy with raw uncut lust.
I down my drink and rake her over before nodding in acceptance.
Her smirks grows when she saunters to the other end of the bar.
I turn around, elbows resting on the counter when I take in a small group of people obviously too young to be in this bar but I guess because it's a slow Wednesday and the usual infamous characters aren't hanging around, Isaac wasn't too bothered by their fake I.Ds.
"You haven't been coming to the ring as often, Little Woo." A voice speaks from beside me.
I groan when turning to look at her.
"Thought you'd be at Sunset." I drawl.
"I'm not one for crowds." She takes a sip of her drink.
"Then by all means go home."
She laughs but I can hear it's forced and when she steps in front of me I can see the fire blazing in her dark brown eyes.
"We have a deal. If you don't come to the ring someone will pay that hold man of yours a visit." She smiles deviously.
I clench my fists, instantly on edge.
"Is Lan busy with some other bitch right now? Is that why you're over hearing running errands for him?" I scoff.
This seems to set her off and she kicks me in the gut.
I grunt when I stumble back but I find my balance again and reach for her arm and neck bending her over.
"No!" She screams at the men that come out of the shadows.
The next second I feel a pain in my knee and she escapes from my grasp. Glass breaks and Knives holds a broken bottle to my neck.
"You might be a great fighter in the ring, Little Woo but I'm crazy as hell and you don't wanna fuck with me." She growls in my ear.
Her brown skin is damp and her wild dyed black curls whip me in my face when she turns around.
I shoot up from the chair but common sense and the five guards that constantly follow behind her remind me to keep my anger at bay.
"Fuck, man. Are you okay?" Marc appears at my side again.
"Yeah." I roll my shoulders back.
"Someone needs to keep that wild bitch on a leash." Eddie comments.
I ignore their protests as I exit the bar.
I should've fucking stayed in and I should've known Lan would've sent someone by eventually.
The same reason I'm indebted to my brother is the same reason I stayed away, Luther hates the fucking ring and has been nagging me about it. So I ignore the messages and don't show up to give him some peace of mind. Lord knows he deserves it. I'm just as much indebted to him as I am Lan but the difference is the old man won't make me work it off.
Luther was the summer job I got at eighteen that turned into my actual job. After his wife, Linda, passed he's been swamped with both fixing the vehicles and managing the finances so I took it upon myself to do both and have him just deal with the clients. The shop has been the only constant in my life for a while now. They took me in at eighteen until I raked up enough money in the ring to get my own place in Dolton.
Lan runs the majority of this town and he uses small businesses like Luther's Auto & Repairs to flush his dirty money. Our deal is that as long as I'm making him money in the ring he won't touch the shop but the foolish old man still gets on my ass about my cuts and bruises not knowing I'm doing this for his damn livelihood.
I pull into the grocery store remembering that Eddie, who doesn't fucking live in my home, finished all my damn milk.
When I make it to the entrance a father in khaki shorts pulls his daughter closer to him and averts his eyes from me.
On this side of town I usually suspect it's because of my intimidating appearance rather than the fact that I'm a Woo.
I ignore his cowering figure and walk past the open doors.
While filling the cart my mind plays a trick on me. It has to be a trick because this can't be her. But her plump lips and large eyes are not something I could ever forget and when I see the mass of orange curls I know for sure I'm not delusional.
"Leo?" She calls when I whip around too fast causing something to fall to the floor.
Real smooth Woo.
I turn around not having anywhere to hide and not knowing why I tried in the first place.
My eyes rake over her several times not believing the sight.
Her bright white dress is a clear contrast to her rich brown skin and the way the material stretches at her hips make it clear that the seventeen year old girl I once knew is without a doubt a woman now. The way her dress tries holding in her surprising large tits also make that abundantly clear.
"Oh my goodness, it is you." She smiles and it reminds me of a time when I still had a heartbeat.
"You probably don't remember me.. gosh this is embarrassing... Nevermind." She turns around sharply and I enjoy the sway of her hips but my mouth opens, ending the pleasant view.
"Sunniva Wallace." I say.
She freezes and turns back around, those big dark brown eyes consuming me the way they used to.
How could she ever think I wouldn't remember her?
"Yes." She smiles and shakes her head, "That’s me."
A strange excitement grows in my stomach when she walks back to me.
"Are you in town visiting your parents?" I ask.
"Actually I'm finishing up my final year by subbing at Dolton Elementary. I am finding my own place soon though, with a friend. We're just leasing for the year. She's a lawyer, my friend, we met in college."
She's an over-sharer like I remember. Either that or she's nervous. We haven't seen each other in a while and I guess I look like the thing of nightmares and she looks like a fucking wet dream.
"I'm staying with my moms for the week though. Its almost the third anniversary of Neoma's passing and they always feel better when I'm around."
And just like that it's as if I've been slammed right back into reality.
How could I forget Sunniva's twin sister who died three years ago and who isn't actually dead but the sidekick of Lan Woo. How could I forget how fucked up this whole situation is?
"Anyway... I better.. I better get going." She smiles but it appears strained.
"Goodbye Leo." She says.
"Goodbye Sunniva." I nod.
For the hundredth time in my life I curse my brother for roping me into his mess.
As I watch her leave I think about how quite strange it is to have an angel land in a town currently going up in flames. And I think about what that means for me.
When the woman behind the register takes my things I look out the window and watch as Sunniva drives off. My nerves ease up as I watch her drive away, further away from the North. Further away from danger.