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Authors: Quinn, Hadley

The fighter's block

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The Fighter’s Block


Copyright© 2012 by Hadley Quinn


Theeventsandcharactersportrayed in this work are entirely fictitiousand of the author’s imagination. Any similarity to real persons, living or deceased, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

A love worth fighting forleads toa life worth living…                                                                              



Chapter One




IndigoLoungewas bustling as usual on a Friday night. The location of the club assured that it always remainedlivelyon the weekends, and comfortable for the slower paced on the weekdays. It sat in the middle of2ndAvenue, neighbored by several other social establishments, and the area promised that there was something for everyone.

Donavan Kemp didn’t feel the promise of anything that night,not anymore,and he stepped out ofIndigosometime around midnight.He unbuttoned another button on his shirt, now with the top three to open his chest to more air. It had been hot as hell inside the club and he felt much better as he fanned himself with his shirt a few times.

He took a deep breath and slowly released it,makinghis wayinto the sidewalktraffic. He waited while a couple breezed by him,drunk andbarely noticing that they’d almost knocked into him. He watched them for a few seconds until he could feel his phone ringingin his pocket.

“Van, where’d you go, man?” Quincy shouted.

Van could hear that the club was still loud as ever, especially since he could hear the walls thumping from the sidewalk as he walked down the street.

“I’m heading home,” he replied, taking a left at the corner.

“What!?It’s only midnight!”

“I know, but I got stuff to do in the morning.”

“Bullshit! Get your ass back in here!”

Van chuckled. “I’ll see you Monday, Q. Make sureyougo hometo the right place this time, okay?”

Quincy laughed, but while he was offering more to the conversation, Van wasn’t listening any longer. He had pulled his keys out as he got closer to the parking lot, but something caught his eye and he slowed.

“Uh, Q, I gotta go,” he interruptedhis friend, and then hung up.

The girl had her back to him, but he could tell by her body language that something wasn’t right. She was sitting on a brick planter that ran along the side of the club,shouldersslumped with her slender arms wrapped around herself,and Van thought she might be crying.

“Uh, excuse me. Miss? Are you okay?”

She startled somewhatbuthardlyglanced his way. She seemed to turn her back to him even morewhen she stood, but not so she couldn’t see him in her peripheral.

Van looked her over quickly, recognizing her clothes. He’d seen thatskirt and those legsbefore, probably an hour ago, and from what he remembered of the moment, he got a bad feeling.

“Can I help you with anything?” he tried again. But this time he walked around her so they were facing each other, and even though the streetlight from the corner barely offered much, he could see enough.

“Jesus, what happened to you?” he asked, stepping closer to her.

He could tell she’d been hit in the face,and the mark that was left had weltedjust slightly. Van was all too familiar withbattle wounds, and whereas he normally wouldn’t have blinked an eye at her injury, it looked completely wrong against her otherwise flawless face.

“Nothing,” she finally replied. “It’s nothing—”

“That’s not nothing,” he said.

He triedtoapproach her, but she stepped awaydefensively.

“I’m not gonna hurt you; I want to make sure you’re okay.”He realized just his presence could intimidate someone, and this timewasn’t any different. His six-oneframewasn’t towering, especially over this girl, but he was awarethat she was already afraid of him.

“I’m- I’m fine,” she replied,touchingthe side of her cheek with the back of her hand.She barely looked at him except to keep an eye on his movements, but his voice was deep and gentle, and the way he kept his distance told her he was trying to be respectful. However, she wasn’t in the best state of mind to be approached by this stranger, helpful or not.

“Well whatare you doing out here by yourself?” Van asked her. “This isn’t exactly a safe place to be by yourself this time of night.”

She scoffed, almost laughing at the irony. It apparently wasn’t safe being with other people, either.But she decided against that particular retort and she turned somewhat to face him better. Her voice caught in her throat and the words wouldn’t come out. Something about him, his solid presence maybe, made her immobile. Maybe it was the way he was standing, casual yet totally in control of anything he wanted to be in control of.

She finally swallowed, unnoticeably she hoped.“I,uh… Well, do youhave a phone I could use?”

Van noticed her empty hands, thinking it unusual that she didn’t even have a purse.But the fact that she wasn’t holding anything might have been why he could tell her hands were shaking.

“Did you get mugged or something?” he asked, handing over his phone.He held it out to her for the taking so he didn’t make her feel uncomfortable by stepping towardsher.

“Um, no, not exactly,” she replied.

Her hands wereeven shakieras shetookthe phone, but before Van could offer to make the call for her, or call her a cab, another figure appeared from the parking lot. The scene was already played out in Van’s head before the guy even said, “Who thefuckare you? Get away frommy girlfriend!”

Van let the guyshove a forearm into his chestandhe took a step back.


“Brian,please don’t,” the girl saidbefore she could make a call.This was bad, really bad. And why was Brian still here? To make sure she had nowhere to go so she would be forced to need him?

“Did you do that?” Van askedthe guy, motioning to hercheek.

“Eat me, dickhead. Get out of my business.” The guy grabbedherarm, causing her to drop the phone,and said, “Get in the fucking car, Dani!”

“Hey, don’t talk to her like that,”Vanwarned him.

“Or what, asshole.Mind your own damnbusiness!” He went to grab her againbut Van stepped in his way. He shoved Van in the chest with both hands and said, “You’d better watch it, man!”


“I think you’re the one that needs to watch it,” Van told him. “Just turn around and leaveand you can save yourself a lot of trouble.”

Brian laughed. “Not a good night to play hero,shithead. I’m in apissymood, so don’t fuck with me.”

“You beat up on girls.You really think I’m gonna to let her go with you?”

“Do I think—?” Brian laughed bitterly, too arrogant to realize what he was up against. “Do I think she’s coming home with me? Yeah, she is. So get thefuckout of my way.”

Dani stepped around Van, feeling like she owed it to him to let him out of the bind he was in. She only wanted to find a different ride home, and now things had gotten way out of hand.She didn’t want this guy to be stuck in the middle of her mess.

“It’s okay,” she told Van. “You should leave.”

Brian gave Van quite the smirk, but Van shook his head at her. “You don’thave to go with him.In fact, why don’t you just take mytruckright now and leave.” He handed her his keys and said, “It’s the blackoneright there on the end.”

She wanted to say yes and just get the hell out of there, but she couldn’t do it. The guilt she felt for this poor guy trying to help her out made her pause.He was serious too, she could tell.

By then Brian snatched the keys out of her hand and chucked them across the street.

“Get in the car, Dani.Now.”

Van stepped in front of the girl againto keep her safe and faced the ridiculous fool that was just begging him for a beatdown. It was still count number two, right? He sighed andcalmlysaid, “Go get my keys.”

“Fuckyou!” Brian laughed. “Get ‘em yourself.”

He reached for Dani again, but Van blocked him oncemore.

“You know, I’m getting really pissed off right now,” Brian growled. He shoved his fists into Van’s chest once again.


“So am I,” Van replied, shoving him backtwice as hard.

Brianwassurprised at first, but then he smiled, ready for a fight.Perfect timing for his pent up rageand this asshole was going to regret this macho bullshit.

“Brian, don’t do this,” Dani said. “Just stop it, okay? I’m getting in the car.”

By then she’d come up to Brian to prove that she would comply,using seductive body language to initiate an idea. But Brian was way toowrapped upin his testosterone to even notice her. When sheput her hand on his arm to lead himto the car, he shoved heroffand she almost fell.

Jealousy had built in Van when she’d tried to lure her boyfriend away,but Brian’sreaction made himeven more upset.

“Here’s the deal,” he said to Brian. “I’mgonnabreak your hand, but I’ll let you choose which one.”

Brian laughed. “You’re a piece of work, faggot. I’m gonnalikekicking your ass.”

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