Finding Perseverance(7)

By: T. E. Black

“Tap gloves, boys,” Luke, my trainer, calls from the ropes.

I tap gloves with my opponent, who obviously has a death wish.

“Ready to get your ass kicked, Wallace?”

“In your dreams.” I chuckle.

He comes at me full force, but I’m prepared. I knew he’d come strong, but he’ll tire out. Guys like him always do. Using the technique Luke taught me, I block every jab with my forearm.

“This is supposed to be a spar,” he growls. “Stop dodging my hits.”

If he wants a fight; I'll give him one. They don't call me “The Reaper” for nothing. What I do in the cage is comparable to death by knockout.

While my opponent is busy staring off into space, I strike. With a quick but efficient jab to the jaw, I throw him back a step.

When I fight, I want my opponent to be the best he can be. That way, when I knock his ass out, I know he gave all he could. I need to know the guy doesn’t let me win. I need to know I worked for it.

“That was a cheap shot, Wallace.”

“Nah. You just don’t have your head in the game.” I laugh, taking position again.

Chris lunges, this time using every ounce of strength he has. He hits me above the waist, but it doesn’t faze me. Normally, I’d say it’s a good tactic, but not with me. Anyone who’s sparred or fought for any length of time knows that going for the waist is stupid. It makes it too easy for me to get you when you're wrapped around me.

I’m two hits in before my assault is interrupted. “All right. Enough. Rook, take it easy,” Luke bellows.

He should’ve known this shit-talking asshole would piss me off. I have no idea why he paired us together for a spar when he knows I can’t stand him even out of the ring.

Chris Allen is the definition of a fighter who got lucky. He’s one of those guys who wins because his PR team has made him look like he’s a hothead who flies off the handle over anything. Of course, I know who he really is. I can smell his fear from a mile away.

Standing at six-foot-three inches and weighing in at one hundred eighty-one pounds, I’m a force to be reckoned with. I’m pure muscle, and I like it that way. I work hard to keep myself in shape. I spend countless hours a day running through my training at the gym. I’m bulk, but I’m also speed, which is something most guys don’t have both of.

Chris moves his hands for a moment, and I go in for the kill, striking him in the face with a powerful jab. He stumbles back, his hands flying to his now bleeding mouth.

“Christ, Rook! Stop beating his ass. This is a spar!” Luke shouts. “The guy isn’t supposed to be bleeding.”

Since pansy-ass Chris is spitting blood on the mat, Luke calls the match and then escorts him out of the ring.

“What’d he do to piss you off?” asks a fighter who was watching.

“Who said he pissed me off? I went easy on him.” I laugh as I duck under the ropes.

Grabbing my towel and bottled water from my chair, I hightail it to the locker room for a shower. If I don’t do it now, I’ll still have Chris’s blood on me as I sit and listen to Luke’s lecture about how I shouldn’t beat down my sparring partners.

I take off my gloves before opening my locker and unwrapping my hands. The weight of the day evaporates with each layer of cloth I peel away. I love fighting, but it’s become a routine I can’t help but want to change.

I’ve been fighting mixed martial arts for going on ten years. I was picked up by Luke when I was twenty-one and trained and fought in amateur leagues for five years. Once I was recognized by the pros, it only took two years to get a heavyweight title. For the past three years, I’ve kept my title close and worked damn hard to keep it.

Stripping out of my shorts and boxers, I head to the showers. Some guys prefer to undress closer to them for privacy, but personally, I don’t care. I’ve got a great dick, and I’m not afraid to show it.

Twisting the knobs until I get the water to a perfect temperature, I relax. When the warmth cascades over my tight muscles, a loud moan slips from my lips.

I should feel loose after a spar, but between getting ready for my next fight and the woman I’ve been seeing, my nerves are shot. I’ve had to keep the woman part under wraps from Luke. It would just be another lecture, this one about how relationships or fuck buddies will screw with my training.