Red: 2. A Little Test
Angel’s Gym was not only the gym which the company used, it also happened to be her first security assignment. Dante had called her earlier in the morning and told her of the assignment and when she needed to be there. He advised her that since she now worked for the company, she was welcome to show up early and work out if she wanted, mentioning that he was curious to see her in the ring. With a small smile she considered granting that wish as she checked her watch, dressed and grabbed her gym bag on the way out the door. Once at the gym, she parked and went inside.
Several of the men there sneered at her as she approached the ring in her tank, sorts and high top sneakers, all black against her lightly tanned white skin. She reached up and pulled her fiery hair into a ponytail as she circled the ring, watching the two sparing inside, coming to a stop next to Dante. “Anyone good,” she asked him quietly, her Irish accent thick today in her excitement.
Dante gave her a sideways glance, though his eyes stayed on the ring as he answered. “They are all good fighters, just some better than others. We’ll start you off with Sugah there,” he said as he nodded to the bigger man in the ring.
Red almost laughed out loud. She knew it was a test, to see if she scared easily. She didn’t. With a nod and a smile to Dante, she stepped into the ring, nodding to the big black man standing across the ring from her. Yeah, this is going to be fun, she thought. A good warm up then let’s see who she could get a workout from. Red danced and stretched, bouncing on the balls of her feet as she watched her opponent, waiting for him to make the first move. “Seems she’s a little afraid of me, Dante,” the man said as she stepped away from him when he approached. “Get me someone in here who can fight, man!” He advanced on her again, and when she didn’t back away he threw a series of jabs. Left, left, left, right, left, right, right, left. She ducked and dodged, watching his shoulders, his body movements for any signs, watching for his tells. “Well, we can see she can avoid a hit, but can she take one?” Sugah asked. His movements became more aggressive, left, right, right, left, left. She dodged them all, still holding back from throwing punches of her own, still watching.
“Looks like ye will nae be able to find out if ye can’t throw better punches. Maybe we should see if ye can take a punch, Sugah.” Red waited for him to come in close as he threw a punch, ducked under it, and slammed him with a left hook. He stood there and stared at her, a grin slowly curving his lips as he chuckled. “Stop looking at me as a rookie who does nae know how tae fight. I grew up scrappin on the streets. Now fight me, damnit!” With that, she came at him again, landing several hits, right, right, left, right, upper-cut, right. All of them hit. The rest of the men in the gym began gathering around the ring to watch the firebrand who was kicking the ass of one of the best fighters in the city.
Sugah stepped back from her, a little unsteady on his feet for a moment, then looked at her, the look in his eyes a cross between bewilderment and amusement. Finally, someone who knew how to fight! He laughed and came at her again, this time with more zeal. Red danced and ducked again, but not all of them. Unseen from his office, Ty watched from behind the mirrored glass window. He stood emotionless, watching his man with the firebrand for the time being. A few moments more of sparing and Dante finally called a stop to the fight, before they beat each other to a bloody pulp. He told Sugah to go shower as he stepped into the ring. “You can hold your own against Angel’s second best fighter; let’s see how you do against me, little one.”
Little one? He dared call her little? She’d show him little! Someone offered her a towel from the side of the ring, which she took without hesitation to wipe the sweat from her face then tossed it back out and moved toward the center. Before they could start, however, Ty stepped from his office. “Dante. Step out.” Several low whistles were heard as Mr. Jackson walked across the gym, people moving out of the huge man’s way as he walked to the ring and stepped inside. Oh damn, why did this man have such an effect on her? As she watched him come closer, she felt the moistness begin between her legs and silently cursed herself. No man had ever had this effect on her, why this one?
The two spared for almost an hour before Ty finally called a stop. Red looked at her watch and cursed silently. Late on the first day. As she stepped out of the ring and headed towards the shower, Dante told her not to worry about the tardiness, to go shower and put her jeans back on and come see him in the office. Shit, she thought, fired on the first day. She shook her head and growled at herself, quickly changing, wondering where this sudden lack of self-confidence had come from. When she came to the office, Dante showed her around the rest of the gym, then to the security room where she would spend the better part of the shift watching the cameras.