The fight started and I fell into what felt like an old habit. Like I’d been in a ring before, but yet I didn’t remember doing so. But it felt comfortable.
The big man with claws for fingers came at me and I easily dodged away from him, and as he passed behind me I brought a leg down on his back and he collapsed to the ground only to spring up with his nose bloodied from smashing his face into the concrete floor.
The bell rang and he sneered at me. First blood was the rule, and apparently smashing your face into the concrete counted.
The second guy choose himself – so much for my choice. But it didn’t matter as we danced around. I managed to dodge a few blows before I fell backwards and knocked my head against the floor. I saw stars but no blood – we kept going – dancing around each other and trying to fell the other.
I dodged another blow and as he flew past me I grabbed the back of his shirt and flung him into the beam. He came away with a bloodied lip and I was no worse for wear.
The third and fourth guy went pretty much the same, dance around each other, trade a few blows before I sent them into one object or another and they come away with blood. But me I was free of all injury – save for the bruises and knocks to the head I was taking.
By the fifth guy I was breathing hard, and the man howled at the ceiling with the throat of a man, but he sounded very much like the wolf he was. His teeth dripped saliva and I knew this time would be different.
He didn’t try to hit me, he tried to bite me – he went straight for the throat. My life felt in dire straights and in a moment of inspiration I pushed as hard as I could at the man’s chest on top of me while I lay on the ground. He flew up and away and I was able to roll away. Where there had been yelling and growling and rooting for the other man, now there was silence. He landed on his feet but everyone including that man stared at me.
The bell rang and Dom waved his hand with a hidden command and the room empty save for me and the men around him. “What are you?” He asked.
I stood there staring at him with a shake of my head. “What did I do?”
“It looked like something grabbed him and flung him off of you.” Another voice from the shadows said. I turned to look and saw Mr. Tall dark and handsome step out of them. “I’ve only ever seen Venatori do that.”
“Or a dragon.” Dom said, “Though they tend towards fireworks instead of air But they are capable I’m told.”
“Magnus have dragon blood.” Ant said. Alex had sent him. I was sure of it.
I growled, “Alex sent you to watch over me?”
Ant frowned, “He did. He doesn’t want you to die.”
Dom laughed, “He’s two of out three. If you want to count each battle here he’s only lost twice.” Dom held up a finger, “Pushed him down the stairs and he cracked his head wide open.” He held up the second finger, “And here he was taken off guard by an idiot of mine. Though I doubt he would have lost given his self preservation.”
Ant nodded, “Still Alex doesn’t want to lose him. Even if he insists on putting himself in danger.”
“So what, you are to be my body guard?” I growled again.
Ant shook his head, “No. I was only to intervene if you got hurt. You have not. But Alex won’t like any of this either way.”
“You follow him around like a dog on a leash. What happened to Del Figlio.” Dom retorted.
“I am still the son of the Hound, and I do not follow Alex lightly. We are a team. The three of us.”
Dom sighed, “It was one thing knowing your mother took more than one human as servant. But you take two powerful creatures.”
Ant laughed, “I’m sure Ryan would love to know he’s a powerful creature.”
I was lost. Completely and utterly lost. I had no idea what they were talking about. What was a Venatori? And how did that relate to what I had done. Ant grabbed my shoulder and steered me towards the shadows. I pulled out of his grasp. “I don’t think so.” I said and walked towards the exit. “Dom, I paid my debt?”
He nodded, “Abby and Will will not be troubled by my wolves. And if they are, you may call Liam and I will put a stop to it. Lest I sick you on them.” He beamed. “I don’t think anyone will bother them with that threat above them.”
I nodded and walked down the long empty hall. The metal door was unguarded and I pushed it open. I knew I had a shadow long before I got to the end of the block. “Why are you following me?” I asked.
“You aren’t even a little curious?”
Ant laughed, “Any of it.”
I shook my head. “No. It all feels familiar. None of it’s unnerving but none of it I know.” I sighed, “It’s like I lived another life.”
“You have lived many lives over.” Ant said, “We all have. Ryan could tell you all about the Umbra and the energy and the souls.”
“And soul mates.” I countered.
Ant nodded, “Yes.”
I shook my head, “I want to go to bed.”
I interrupted, “I’ll be fine. The long walk home will be good.”
“It’s a two hour walk.”
“Then I better get started.” I said and kept on walking.