I've recently received terrible news.
This story might be finished!
Why is it terrible? Because if it's finished then Taylor won't be putting any more chapters up and we'll be waiting for her and Adam to get it together into a book!
I don't know if I can take it.
Oh, regarding the little event at the beginning of the chapter, and does it really happen?
Something was wrong.
As soon as Avan stumbled to his feet, he fell clumsily onto the canvas, holding his knee with both hands. I froze, half expecting the boy to set upon Avan and punch him until he passed out. But he didn't. He stared at Avan, expression caught between regret and sympathy. The boy crouched, tapping his fingers on the canvas.
Avan and I both knew this gesture.
He was ending the fight.
"What the Hell do you think you're doing?" Kaine called out, angrily.
The boy looked up, his face stern.
"I'm tapping out!" he called back, standing.
Kaine unlocked the cage door and walked into the octagon, enraged. He towered over the boy.
"Fights end by knockout," he snapped. "No exceptions!"
The boy, no, not a boy. The young man, maybe eighteen, and making the first significant decision of his life, shook his head and walked off, pushing past Kaine and making his way out. I ran to him. I threw my arms around his neck.
"Thank you," I sobbed, before I released him and hurried to Avan. He lay in the center of the octagon, watching, his eyes shining. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the men rush after the boy as he walked out of the wearhouse.
Avan's knee had already started to swell. I helped him up. He clenched his teeth, hobbling even after I'd put his arm over my shoulder. A loud crack stopped us in our tracks, making us both jump. It was the unmistakable sound of a gunshot.
My knees gave out. Avan and I dropped to the floor. Or at least, I thought that Avan was still beside me. I could feel his arms around me, my face against his shoulder. He was there with me, then he wasn't. My throat tightened. I couldn't feel him anymore. I could feel my bones inside my skin, feel the chill in the air, at the same time that reality faded in and out.
Avan brought me back, Avan whose voice was so full of rage I jerked in surprise.
"He was just a kid!"
The men returned, minus the boy. Kaine looked at us through the chain links of the octagon and growled, "So was my son."
The words meant nothing to me, but they meant something to Avan.
I felt him tense beside me. His breathing became harsher, more rapid. I looked at him, taking note of the wetness in his eyes, but he didn't say anything.
Not when Kaine led us out of the warehouse with our hoods off.
Not when we saw the boy in a pool of blood with a bullet through his skull. It was only when we got back to the house, back into the basement, Avan released his control. He stumbled to the nearest wall and sat against it. He curled up, buried his face into his hands and screamed.