All rights reserved, copyright by K.C. Blake.
Bruce whistled. “That’s it! Thank you for the demonstration. You are dismissed.” Nick shook his head. Jaw tight, his hostile gaze sought and found Bay-Lee among the spectators. Although he spoke to Bruce, his eyes were pinned to her. “I can’t leave. I’m supposed to train Van’s daughter today, his orders.” “I had her paired with Tessa,” Bruce said. “That will leave us with an odd number.” “I’ll take Tessa,” Mike said, giving Nick a dark look. “If you’re staying, so am I.” “Whatever.” Bruce shouted out names in pairs while Nick grabbed Bay-Lee by the wrist in a bruising grip and pulled her away from the others. As soon as they were out of earshot he said, “That was some dirty little trick you pulled, going over my head to daddy.” She squirmed beneath his steely gaze. “It’s your fault. If you didn’t want to train me, you shouldn’t have volunteered.” He bent forward at the waist instead of moving closer and spoke low, for her ears only. “Think you have me right where you want me, don’t you? You have no idea how sorry you’re going to be for making me mentor you.” “Are you threatening me?” “What if I am? What are you going to do about it, Micki?” His lips parted to reveal clenched teeth and a growl emanated from the back of his throat, reminding her of a werewolf. The shock of it threw her off balance. Bad memories surfaced. Caught off guard by the vicious sound, she lost control. Reacting to the imagined threat without thinking, her hand shot out. The flat of her palm slammed into his face. His head rocked back on his shoulders. A stunned expression replaced the angry snarl as he licked blood from his teeth. She didn’t know which of them was more stunned by the sudden act of violence. Several students stared at them, their own battles forgotten, Mike among them. Bruce watched from the sidelines with what appeared to be joyous approval. A bloodthirsty man, he encouraged the fight instead of stepping in to stop it. “Good hit, honey. Show no mercy.” A waterfall of apologies rushed to her lips, but she didn’t get a chance to voice a single one. Nick dropped down and grabbed her by the ankles. He yanked on her legs, and she fell backwards. The ground knocked the air from her lungs. “Did you see that?” Bruce asked the other students. “You have to be able to think fast and don’t be afraid to fight dirty.” She climbed to her feet, more embarrassed than hurt. Nick turned sideways and put his arm out. At least he was willing to start in fighting stance this time. Maybe he was actually going to teach her something. She stuck her arm out. They touched wrists. Lifting one eyebrow he said, “Tell me when you’ve had enough, princess.” She took a couple steps back before doing a flying kick. It was designed to catch Nick in the face, but he caught her leg around the ankle and held it tight. She hopped on the other foot. What was she supposed to do now? His eyes flashed in triumph. “Let me go.” “Make me.” He chuckled and his dimples deepened. “You can always go to daddy and ask him to make me let you go.” Anger surged to life inside her, adding to her strength. Using his hold on her as leverage, she jumped as high as she could and twisted her body in mid-air. Her other foot swung around and kicked him in the jaw. He released her ankle. She landed on all fours in the grass. His arms wrapped around her waist before she could erect herself and he lifted her high. The guy was going to body slam her on the ground. She saw it coming and a wave of fear held her immobile.