Paradise Fought: Abel

By: L. B. Dunbar

“That’s a terrible pick up line,” she stated.

“Oh, well.” I paused as I felt my face heat. “I was being honest. Do you come to these parties often?”

Her face softened as she realized I wasn’t teasing.

“This year, yes.”

I stared at her, continuing to hold my body position.

“What’s special about this year?” I asked as my eyes roved her face. Her blue eyes dilated. Her pink lips were plump and moist. Her cheeks flushed rosy.


“Right.” I straightened pushing off the door and pulling back from her. I dropped her hand and replaced my glasses. I crossed my arms over my chest and stared. She remained plastered to the door behind her.

“What’s so great about him? Why do you think you need him?”

“I…I can’t tell you.” Her voice faltered.

“I see.” But I didn’t. I wanted to know her. What was her secret?

“Rule three,” I teased. “Let’s be honest...and friends.”

Her face slowly brightened and a smile crept across her lips, those tempting lips. I removed my glasses and fell against the door with a thump. I resumed my position over her, one arm braced on the door, the other hand reaching for her chin. My eyes traced the contour of her neck.

“Now, friend, tell me why he’s important?”

She was staring at me again, and I let my thumb caress over her lips. I had to feel the plumpness, the delicacy, the wetness. She opened partially and I leaned closer, letting her breath mingle with mine. My eyes were trained on the path my thumb traced over her bottom lip.

“Who?” she breathed. My own lips curled up on one side as I suppressed a laugh and relished the power of distracting her thoughts from another.

That’s my girl, I thought. I decided to take the risk and lean closer. I still didn’t allow my body to touch hers. I hovered over her, feeling the thin vibe between us. I imagined her nipples ripe, lower parts dripping, but that was too much. I would burst myself if my mind got carried away. I needed a sign from her that I could kiss her. Friends did that, right?

thump – thump –thump

The sudden noise made her jump and I stepped back. She covered her mouth to hide a giggle, and I smiled despite the interruption.

“Get the fuck out of my room!” an angered voice demanded, pounding again on the hollowed door. I stepped back and Elma spun to unlock it. She hardly had it released, when the door slammed inward, and there stood a very angry Thor.

It was Saturday night and the fight was on. I was energized. There was a girl I wanted, but she didn’t want me. I took that lack of reciprocated desire and used it to fuel me. I was tired of going unnoticed. I was tired of being put down. It was my turn to fight back. The ring was my answer.

I had a plan, a goal. I needed to break free of the confines of my world. I needed to break through the glass and prove my worth. It was me against the universe or at least the one that surrounded me. I couldn’t breathe under the constraints of my father. I couldn’t live in the shadow of my brother. I had to make a name for myself. I had to be myself. The me I knew I was inside. I was no longer content with second best. I had to be first.

You’ll never be like him. My father’s voice swam through my head. You’ll always be too small. Weak.

I’d been training for almost a year in secret. It was only me and my coach, who knew my strengths, my limits, and my weaknesses. I wasn’t an accomplished fighter, but I was practiced. This night would be my first underground fight. Everything else had been foreplay. Tonight was breaking my virginal seal. I had to work my way through this level of hell to rise to the top of the pyre: the main ring. The brass ring, the ring where I would prove I was worth something more.

She was going to be my inspiration, my motivation. Her distrust stopped my heart from feeling pain. Her interest in another boiled through my blood. I was pumped while I waited for the call to fight. The tunes in my ears matched the rhythm in my muscles. I practiced punches. Left hook. Right uppercut.

“You’re going to wear yourself out,” my coach warned me. Taking me on was a risk. It was practically unheard of to have a coach of this caliber: the lack of proven experience. We were both inexperienced, but I was assured I had skill. I was encouraged that I could do this. I was motivated to try.

“You got this,” Shepherd said. “You can take him.”

I listened and absorbed the words through every cell of my skin.

We walked the short hall. The warehouse was an abandoned factory where computers were once produced. In the heart of Silicon Valley, the number of computer producers and distributors were many. The abandoned places were few and far between, but this one was near campus. The last minute call went out. The place was packed. The energy echoed in the once empty space. Tonight would be original: a first time fighter against a favorite.

“Spider” had a reputation. He was an unpredictable fighter, earning his name from arms and legs that seemed uncontrolled in a fight. The arrangement was simple, someone toward the top against an unknown at the bottom. It would knock me out of this category and set me in a lower class, if he won. However, I would not let him have what I desired. I was at the low end of the middle weight. At 190 pounds, I just made the cut, but this was the class I wanted to be in. I was tall for a fighter, standing six-four, but I was fast. I could outmaneuver a smaller man who was solid, and Spider was lean like me.

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