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Nicole Fights

Pain sparks through my cheekbone like a firecracker as my opponent’s gloved fist connects with my jaw. A murmur ripples through the crowd sitting in the seats surrounding the sparring mat. How long has the match lasted? Two seconds, two minutes? My heart thunders in my ears. Sweat drenches my body, and it’s an effort to keep my bruised arms up and moving. Hell, every muscle and joint are on fire. If I don’t finish this in the next few seconds, he will end me. I’ve fought too hard over the last three years to let this jerk snatch the title within my grasp. Nathan charges, attempting to wrap me up in a hold. I spin and punch left, missing his nose by a hair. Duck his roundhouse kick. Punch right, connecting with his temple. I barely evade his huge glove aimed for my jaw and throw my weight into a quick, solid left jab to his midsection. He grunts and folds forward.

With the last bit of oomph, I grab his arm and leap into the air, wrap my legs around his head, and drive my body forward. My weight forces him backward. I drive a solid right punch into the side of his temple as we fall. A sharp burst radiates through my fist and down my wrist, but I don’t register the pain, only relief, as he hits the mat with a satisfying smack; my feet land on either side of his head.

Game, set, match, motherfucker.

I plant my knee in the middle of his chest. Sweat drips off my chin onto the bare, glistening chest of my opponent. Perspiration saturates my black spandex shorts and tank top. Long wispy strands of hair escape my ponytail, and ruffle with each heavy pant of breath as I scrutinize every twitch of the meathead’s bulging muscle.

Agony creases his brow, but it’s the rage in his hazel eyes that stirs the aggressive nature I strive to control daily. He wants violence. I can oblige. I no longer care about the pain. I want blood as badly as he does.

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