CHAPTER NINE - DUEL
I entered the training room and stopped dead in my tracks. The mats had been pulled down and on them, Raze and who was presumably Clay were in the middle of a mock duel.
He was exactly as Raze had described him. What he had failed to mention though, was how good he looked. I was transfixed, just like a rabbit caught in the path of a wolf. Good analogy. I think I stood there for around five minutes admiring how nice his messy blonde hair was and how nice his tanned, muscled body looked – not too bulky; but nice and perfect - as he blocked Raze's advances.
Alcide broke my trans-like state when he knocked my elbow and had a giant grin on his face. I realised that Raze and Clay had stopped fighting and were now standing there, looking at me with a slight grin on his face. Damn that body chemistry! I couldn't help blushing and even thought of turning around to run out but Alcide was behind me, blocking my escape route as if he had read my mind.
‘You must be Max.'
‘Uh huh... I guess you're Clay' I responded in a very small voice and laughed nervously. I almost wished I would die that moment; I was mortified. I started to back up because I hated being embarrassed, but Alcide put both hands on my shoulders and gave me a slight push. I glared at him but he just smiled and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. ‘You're dead' I uttered through clenched teeth.
I could hear Raze and Clay laughing quietly behind me so I turned round and glared at them, but it just made them laugh harder. Just great! If there is one thing I hate more than being embarrassed; it is being embarrassed with people finding me funny and laughing at me. ‘Stop it' I groaned. The laughing died down to a few chuckles and as Clay apologised he shot me a dazzling smile. Nice white teeth, I thought. I realised I was starting to drift off into dream world again so I stopped myself. Even though he still had laughter in hid eyes, at least he had stopped laughing.
‘Um... you fight' Clay asked.
‘What weapons?' I replied sharply. Hey, what can I say? When I get embarrassed I get all defensive and cranky. I'm only human aren't I? Second thoughts... don't go there.
‘Any, really. Want to duel?' I shot him a nefarious grin. ‘You can choose the weapon; or we could fight hand to hand if you want?'
‘You know how to use a Bokken or a Shinai?'
‘Sort of, but we don't have any here. How about Escrima Sticks?'
Clay walked over to the weapons cabinet on the far wall and picked up two. He threw me one which I caught one handed without really looking and started to twirl it around, to get the feel of it. I have good reflexes. ‘I'm actually wearing the wrong clothes for this, but never mind. Want to place a bet on who wins?'
‘Nah, not really. Raze? Alcide?'
‘Because you have never fought with each other before, there is no point.' Alcide replied which Raze agreed with.
‘Aw, come on!' I retorted exasperatedly.
‘Lets just test each other this time and then place a bet on the next duel. Ok?' suggested Clay.
‘If there is a next time, that is' I quipped with a predatory grin.