22. Bone-snapping Collision

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I watch the situation play out with alerted eyes and ears. I haven't decided if I'm scared or excited yet.

A third person comes pushing through the crowd and says something to each of the boys. Darius and the big guy exchange a few words and I see Darius snicker a few times. The third person makes an arm movement and then withdraws.

With that, the big guy lunges for Darius. He throws a punch but Darius dodges it. The crowd cheers them on, even Elias, Collins, and Grae.

Uncomfortable, I shift my weight onto my other leg. Darius looks consent and almost calm. It freaks me out. Big guy throws a punch and hits Darius in his cheek. Darius's head flies back and his body tumbles after.

I bite my lower lip long and hard until the familiar metallic taste of blood fills my mouth.

Darius regains his balance and shoots forward. Big guy throws out another punch. Darius ducks and then hits him right in his diaphragm. The hit knocks the wind out of the big guy and he's out of balance and breath for a split second. Darius takes the moment to hit him up in the jaw and sends the guy flying back.

The crowd part for him as big guy lands on the pavement a few meters away. When he gets up, his entire side is covered in cuts and scrapes - probably from the collision with the ground.

Big guy latches himself onto Darius again and throws punch after punch in Darius' ribs.

Darius is resting one hand on the guy's shoulder, and the other on the arm that's not used to punch him. In a weird way, it looks like he's hugging him, but then Darius turns around, holding the guy in place with the grip on his arm. I now understand that he was only taking swings so he could strike back harder. Darius jabs him in the throat with his elbow.

I always go for the jaw, it's the knockout spot. Darius' words ring in my ear as the fight continues.

The guy gasps for air. Darius mumbles something between his teeth, and when the guy is occupied regaining his breath, Darius throws another punch.

His fist meets big guy's jaw in a bone-snapping collision, and the impact sends big guy stooping to the ground.

"And down for the count," Elias mumbles next to me.

Cheering and hooting break out as people rush over to greet Darius, including his best friends. A few other people help the poor guy up.

It feels like I'm in some crazy action movie. I don't know how long it lasted. My veins are pulsing with adrenaline and my head is spinning, and my gaze unfocused.

I'm still standing where I've always stood when Darius comes over after a good few minutes.

"So? What do you think?" He asks. His breath is heavy and he wipes his forehead with his forearm.

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