Bonus Scene: Fight Song, a bonus scene for Kill Song
Congratulations for hitting 200 reviews on Kill Song. So as promised (and as you voted on) here is your bonus Merrick PoV!
“Watch your left,” Vienna commented from where she sat on the mat watching me work out against the heavy bag. Today was a “training” day. She promised to spar with me, but first I had to work on my strikes.
“What’s wrong with it?” I did combination strikes, one-two punches. First the right, then the left.
“You’re favoring your right,” she offered, then leaned forward. She had her legs stretched out in horizontal splits and rested currently on her elbows as she observed me. “You have more force with it, and then you pull the punch with your left. You’re gonna hurt yourself if you do that too much in a real fight.”
A real fight.
The critique wasn’t criticism. But I studied my fists, then the bag. It didn’t feel different when I hit. As if reading my mind, Vienna rolled forward and then to her feet in one smooth motion. While I was in a loose tank top and sweats, she wore a pair of leggings and a tank that just hugged her figure. She was a thing of beauty as she sauntered over to me.
“Do you mind if I show you?” The fact she asked when I’d practically begged her to show me how she fought made me smile. While I might not have excelled in any kind of fight training, I had listened to those teachers.
More, I wanted to listen to her.
“You don’t fight like me?” While I added the question to the end, I was still curious. I wanted to soak up everything she shared.
“No,” she agreed easily, then bumped her hip to mine, nudging me to move to the side. “But I know how it’s done. The person who taught me knew multiple styles.” As light as those words were, something flashed across her tawny-eyed gaze too fast for me to capture. “And he also insisted that I train against others in different styles. Never the same teacher for all of them.”
“Except him,” I guessed.
She nodded once. “But I never had anything to fear from him.”
Everything in me sobered. “You had something to fear from the others?” Not for long if I had my say.
Vienna laughed softly. “No, because they never saw how I fought, only what they taught me.”
I considered that as she took up the position where I had been striking the bag. “And your primary instructor would have eliminated them if he thought they were a threat.” That wasn’t a total guess. “Or you would have.”
The very real smile she favored me might have held an element of sadness but it still ignited the pleasure within me. “Precisely. Even when we spar, never show me everything you can do. Never show anyone everything you can do.”
“You wouldn’t hurt me.” And I’d die before I hurt her.
“You’re too good for this world,” she commented, but the compliment added to the sense of pride and pleasure unfurling in me. I loved that she let me be a part of this world. Her world. “Now focus, because if you get hurt, I’m going to be cross.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I couldn’t help my warm smile because my safety mattered to her. Nor did I miss the flash of humor in her eyes. She bumped me with her hip again and I moved to brace the bag but also where I could see what she was doing.
“Left fist. Right fist.” She held them up, her fingers curled carefully without tucking her thumb. “You’re right hand dominant. Most people favor their dominant hand.” She mimed a strike. “You know just how much strength you have, you trust it, you lean into it, and you deliver.” Twice more, she demonstrated then she struck the bag.
Her hands weren’t wrapped but I didn’t interrupt. There was a kind of sexy focus to her instruction. The strike didn’t really move the heavy bag, but the force of it was clear.
“Your left hand can probably do everything your right hand can do—even write—if you took the time to train the muscle memory. Most people don’t.”
I would bet she could. Another fun fact I filed away.
“So you have to focus on training up this side. The benefits—you deliver even strikes and you can distribute the force. You also always have a hand for fighting even if someone stabs, shoots, or breaks your dominant hand.”
That was a thought.
“Merrick,” she murmured and I could barely suppress the full body shiver at the way her lips shaped my name. Right. Focus. She struck the bag with her left. The same even line she’d used with the right. Then she traded back and forth. There didn’t seem to be a discernible difference.
“Okay,” I said when she paused. “I see your point. How do you propose I work on my strikes?” It was exactly the right question. She beckoned me with a curl of her finger and I was in motion before she even completed the gesture.
“Right here,” she told me, as she maneuvered me in front of the bag, then she pressed herself up to my right side. Awareness of her curves and the warmth of her as she leaned into me kept my focus on her. “Put your arm around me.”
She did not have to tell me that twice. I gripped her hip, loving how neatly she slotted up against me. Even better, I loved the sight of her against me visible in the mirror. A smile stretched my mouth. She truly was a thing of real beauty.
“Focus,” she murmured, and I chuckled.
When she rolled her eyes, I grinned wider. Grasping my right hand she slid it down until I was damn near cupping her ass. That definitely took focus. I cut my gaze away from the mirror to look down at her. The knowing gleam in her tawny eyes held me captive. I rubbed my thumb against the curve of her ass, the taut muscle there a reminder of the strength housed in her frame.
“Now,” she said gently, touching two fingers to my jaw to turn my face toward the bag. “Hit with your left, don’t move your right, and don’t jostle me.”
It took every ounce of my concentration to land those left strikes. But I kept my hand on her ass and I kept my right arm still. Someone would have to break it off to get me to move it. As it was, my left biceps and forearm were burning within ten minutes. Every strike was deliberate, by the time she touched my left arm to halt me, I was panting.
“Do you feel the difference?”
Glancing down at her, I wanted to drown myself in her eyes. The soft plumpness of her lips invited me to kiss but she’d asked me a question. “I’m feeling a lot of things right now.”
Her smile lit me up. “We can practice more later.”
“Yeah?” The flare of her nostrils and the fact she turned more into me and wrapped her arms around my neck derailed any hope of getting my mind back on the task at hand. “I’m sweaty.”
The belated acknowledgment was a little late. The sweat dripping off me was already soaking her top and when she tilted her head as she arched up to meet me, I swooped in to claim the kiss she offered. When she hitched her thighs to my hips, I turned us away from the bag and headed for the mats.
Thank fuck I’d been cleaning this place every day.
It was gonna need a full treatment before we were done.
Fight training was the best.
But she was better.
©2021 Heather Long and Blake Blessing