Chapter 31: The Match

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"So when exactly does your match start and who are you fighting?" I asked, sitting on the bench watching Nathan attack the bag.

Despite Nathan's best efforts to get me out of the gym, I refused to go. After an hour of arguing, he finally caved and told me to sit on the bench and don't move or leave the room. Personally, I think he's being overdramatic. But at least I get to stay.

He paused for a moment and tilted his head, trying to remember the details of his upcoming fight. "It's at midnight and it's some guy from another gym. I don't remember his name."

"Why would you be fighting someone from another gym?" I scrunched my nose in confusion.

Nathan sighed and walked over to the bench I was sitting on and took a seat beside me. He looked down at the floor and fidgeted his right leg. "Because let's just say it isn't your typical match and he's not a typical guy - he likes to start problems, so I'm finishing them."

I looked at Nathan, my eyes wide with worry. "What do you mean 'not your typical match' and 'not your typical guy?'"

He only shook his head and muttered under his breath. "It doesn't matter because you aren't going to be here when it happens. Understood?"

I jumped to my feet and crossed my arms, trying to emphasize my point. "Like hell I'm not going to be here! And you can't tell me what to do, you're not my dad and I'm not your property!"

Nathan got on his feet and positioned his head so our eyes were meeting at the perfect height. "You may not be my property but in this gym, you are mine because those guys would jump on the chance to get with you - not caring about you or anyone in the process. As long as you are in this gym, you listen to me so nobody gets hurt."

I rolled my eyes. "Please, Nathan. They wouldn't do anything!"

"Oh yeah?" He licked his lips and I felt his breath on my face as he got even closer. "Then how did I know you were in this gym before I even saw you? Oh, it's because I could hear the whistles and the comments and all the guys trying to get a better view. If you were just some random girl stumbling in, you would be a goner. I've seen it."

I gulped and took a step back from him. "Did you ever try to stop it?"

"Of course!" Nathan responded quickly. "Every time I'm in this gym and I see that they're prying on some girl, I get her the hell out of here! It pisses the guys off but they get over it."

I nodded my head slowly and started walking back to the bench. Not meeting Nathan's gaze, I said, "I'm still staying. If something happens to you, someone has to take care of you or take you to the hospital."

Nathan chuckled and bent down to meet my gaze once again. And once again, I got immersed in his hazel eyes, entranced by the flakes of gold that floated about. "You really don't have much faith in me, princess. But I promise you, I never lose."

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A few hours later, the match was set to begin. Nathan stood with me, arms around my waist and holding me close as the announcer was talking. It was hard to hear what he was saying seeing as everyone was hooting and hollering but soon he managed to get the crowd quiet.

"Alright, alright," the man begun. He ran his hand through his greasy dark hair. His beady eyes scanned the room and he had a mischievous smile on his face. "Now you all know there's been a little trouble stirring between a few of our boys and the St. Claire boys."

The crowd booed and the announcer smiled cheekily. "But tonight, we are settling it once and for all!"

Everyone began to cheer and Nathan's grip on my waist tightened. I craned my neck to look at him and I saw his jaw tighten as his eyes scanned the crowd. His eyebrows creased in uncertainty and his eyes looked darker than usual - almost black.

Once the crowd settled again, the man in the ring continued on with his speech. "Now, tonight isn't our usual typical match. Tonight the rules are that there are no rules." The crowd cheered again and the announcer licked his lips while his upturned the right sight of his mouth into a smirk. "Except one - the first one to bleed loses."

My heart stopped in my chest and I turned to Nathan. He remained the same as the last time I looked at him. Stiff, distant, and focused. I opened my mouth to speak but I go cut off by the sleazy man on stage. "Give it up for our boy Nathan West!"

Nathan locked eyes with me briefly and proceeded to go on stage. As he walked, he glanced at everyone in the crowd - as if he were inspecting each and every one of them.

My stomach churned in uneasiness as the announcer proceeded to speak. "From St. Claire's, Reed Thomas!"

Reed was huge. Like Nathan, he wasnt wearing a shirt, instead, his toned chest was bare and his muscles were bulging as he prowled over to the ring. His eyes were a dark brown, almost black, and they were menacingly beady. He searched the crowd and once his eyes met mine, he gave me a challenging smirk.

I quickly shifted my gaze and focused on Nathan, who looked completely unfazed that this guy was the size of a gorilla. Instead, he was smirking, like he knew something I didn't.

I was so lost in my thoughts, I didn't hear the ring of the bell go off, indicating the match starting.

Nathan and Reed hovered around each other, blocking their faces but making no effort to hit one another. After a few minutes of their dance, Reed swung his right fist in efforts to hit Nathan square in the jaw, but instead he hit nothing but air.

I gasped and rushed closer to the ring. Sure, he didn't hit Nathan yet but he certainly will at some point. There's no way Nathan could avoid it. That man was ripped.

Reed attempted to take another swing but Nathan continued to dodge his hits. I looked at the clock and it read that five minutes had went by. Five minutes of Reed punching nothing but air and Nathan making no effort to hit him.

Nathan's opponent looked frustrated that the match was yet to be over. I guess causing people to bleed doesn't take that long for him. I heard him grunt in frustration as he tried to swing his fist again.

Nathan continued to taunt him by chuckling and I heard him murmur, "Nice try, dude. But the point is to hit me."

Reed yelled incoherent things as he whipped his knee upwards and it connected with Nathan's ribs. I brought my hands up to my face and let out a gasp. Nathan was doubled over and Reed hit Nathan again in the ribs.

"Do something!" I yelled at the announcer who was near the spot I was standing at.

The guys simply shrugged and gave me a sheepish grin. "No can do, little girl. First one to bleed wins."

The referee that I didn't even notice in the ring separated the two and I heard him tell Reed to give Nathan the time to catch his breath.

Nathan had his hands on his knees and he was panting heavily and Reed laughed at the sight of him. Sighing, I yelled, "FOR FUCK SAKE NATHAN, JUST HIT HIM!"

Nathan's head snapped upward and he smirked slightly. He studied Reed as he continued to chuckle about causing Nathan to get out of breath.

In a blink of an eye, Nathan bolted fully upward and his fist connected with Reed's jaw, hard. Reed flung backwards and could barely catch his balance when Nathan stalked over to him slowly and punched him again in the nose, causing blood to instantly flow.

The crowd erupted in cheers and the building shook as everyone celebrated Nathan's sneak attack and it dawned me that he had planned to get hit. Just so Reed could feel like he  won, only for a brief moment until Nate knocked him out.

I walked over to the side Reed was hunched over as he held his nose and blood spilled all down his chest and arm. He glared at me and muffled out, "What do you want?"

I smiled at him sweetly and said, "That was a good match. But between you and me, it may benefit you to actually pay attention during it, maybe next time you'll be successful."

Without waiting for a response, I turned on my heel and walked away to find Nathan.

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