I stepped forward and ducked as he swung, I moved with him, not looking for an opening, just moving out of his reach. Each punch I dodged he began to swing more and more wildly. I had not even thought to strike back, yet, it was not time. But the time was coming soon. Focusing only on defense and evasion, I allowed him to back me up toward the nearest wall. I could sense it and I stopped, grabbed his hands and pulled him forward, as I did I planted my foot in his gut and shoved him backward. He toppled backward and smacked his head pretty hard on the ground. I put my hands back and steadied myself against the wall.
He sat up, his eyes wide with shock, “That was amazing!”
I laughed, “Thanks. The key is never aggress until you are sure to make the most of your strike. I am not as strong as you, so it was best to hold back until I saw what you would do. Once you realized I was difficult to attain, you redoubled your efforts, but not with any control. You paused to regroup and that’s when I struck.”
“I’m impressed. Who taught you?” he asked.
“I did.” I said much to his surprise. “I used what the trainers tried to teach me, and created my own scavenged version. I also rely heavily on my senses. The pulse on you neck had increased, suggesting you were feeling frustrated. You were making wrinkles in your forehead and you were moving more erratically all signs of someone dealing with something they didn’t understand.”
“I couldn’t understand why you weren’t fighting back.” he said honestly. “I kept thinking you were making fun of me.”
I laughed, “I was hoping you would feel that way. Anything I can do to knock you off balance is a fair fight to me. I just want to win.”
“Morgan said you were the best fighter here.” he said.
“Is that why you’re here? To test me?” I said.
“Morgan told me if I could handle you, I could stay.” he said.
I smiled, “Well, I think you are handling me quite fine. And you were also afraid to hurt me, I used that against you too. In all fairness, it wasn’t a fair fight. You walked into…”
“A lioness’ den.” he finished for me. “I never stood a chance.”
“Of course you did. But then you didn’t.” I admitted. “Because you became nervous.”
“I didn’t understand what Morgan wanted from me. Then when I came in here and you told me to come at you, I realized that you knew what Morgan wanted. And that was unnerving to say the least.” he said.
“Yes it is standard practice to test the mettle of anyone that may join our little group. You just have to handle me. I don’t always start a fight, it depends on the vibe I get.”
“What vibe did you get from me?” he asked, his handsome face full of interest.
Why had Morgan chosen this guy?
“Alpha Male.” I said with a smirk. “You are used to being in charge and we work as a team here. I could see it in the swagger with which you entered.”
“I’m not into joining your little group.” he said, his smile widening.
“Oh, that little smile works well for you doesn’t it? You are either going to join the group, or you are on your own. But running rogue and hoping you can count on us isn’t going to happen. Tell Morgan we’ll help, if you become one of us.”
“Tell…” he said and stopped.
I continued for him… “Morgan… we’ll help, if you… ”
“Become one of you…” he finished as if the understanding was finally sinking in. “So I’ll be under your control?” he said with a reasonable amount of suspicion in his tone.
I smiled again, he was very used to getting his way. “Not control, but you will be limited in the sense that you will have to learn our ways and confide in us. Plans are better laid with friends.”
His smile turned wry, “I don’t have many friends.”
I nodded, “I can see why.”
He kind of huffed and nodded, “I’ll go talk to Morgan.”
“Good lad.” I said and took that opportunity to exit the room without another word.