Harry pushed the door open that was on the right of the boxing ring. He fumbled around in the darkness, running his large hands over the wall until he found the light switch. One bare light bulb hung alone from the ceiling, barely making a difference to the darkness. I stepped in, the strong scent of sweat flowing up my nostrils. Instinctively, I scrunched my nose up, holding my breath as I shuffled in. Tiles covered the floor beneath my feet and benches were in rows along the walls as we stepped into a changing room.
Harry followed me in silently, his senses clearly not bothered by the powerful smell of the changing room. But it was probably my sensitive senses causing me to smell this so strongly. My eyes wandered around the dim room before I slowly turned around to face Harry.
“So…” I started.
“So what?” he teased, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
“What is all of this?” I asked. “Why are we here?”
“God, you’re pushy,” he joked, flashing me one of his cheeky grins. He always loves being in control.
Before he answered me, he darted into a door on his left. I sighed heavily, waiting impatiently for him to come back. I sighed again, loud enough for him to here. I heard him laugh in the room before he appeared again. He tossed me a pair of trackies and an old shirt. I caught them before they fell to the ground. I stared down at the clothes in my hands before throwing the shirt onto my shoulder. I held the trackies up in front of me, giving Harry a quizzical look over them.
“Put them on and then I’ll tell you,” Harry teased.
I rolled my eyes but obeyed him, shuffling over to the nearest bench. I heard Harry dart back into the room again, getting himself his own clothes before appearing once again. I kept my back to him as I undid the belt on Harry’s jeans I was wearing. Heat rushed to my cheeks, feeling embarrassed about Harry seeing me change. I kept my head down as I watched my trembling hands try to unbutton my shirt. I quickly slipped it off, glancing over my shoulder to make sure Harry wasn’t looking. But I couldn’t pull my eyes away from him. He had his back to me, standing opposite just in his tight boxers. My jaw dropped as I stared at his back muscles, his long, slim legs exposed to me. I watched as he ruffled his hair, pushing it to one side before picking up his old t-shirt, stretching it before pulling it over his head. His prominent shoulder blades moved perfectly as he slipped his arms through before tugging the t-shirt down, covering his gorgeous body.
Suddenly Harry turned around, his mouth slowly turning up into a cheeky smile as he caught me watching. I lowered my gaze before spinning back around, my cheeks burning with embarrassment. I cursed myself for staring at him as I hastily pulled my t-shirt on, tugging my jeans down to my ankles after. I had another quick glance over my shoulder, but Harry was now fully dressed, his back to me again as he waited for me to change. I turned my head back around, stepping out of Harry’s jeans before grabbing the trackies, shoving my legs into them quickly.
Once I was done, I spun back around, coughing awkwardly. The old t-shirt was tight on my body, the elastic of the trackies clinging onto my stomach. Harry turned around, a seductive smirk plastered on his face as he stared at me. He stepped forward, not being able to take his eyes off of my body. I rubbed my neck awkwardly as he shuffled closer to me, his t-shirt clinging onto his wide torso perfectly. Harry let his fingers wander down my hips, shooting electric currents through my body. I watched as he slowly slid his fingers between mine, pulling me closer to him. But I could tell he was being hesitant, keeping a small distance between us just in case I’ll do what I did last time.
Harry stared deep into my eyes. I felt as though I would melt before him, my knees weakening under me. I’ve never had anyone make me feel like this before. I’ve had previous relationships, all ending with heart ache and loss, but Harry’s been the only man who’s made me feel weak at the knees, leaving me feeling dazed after just staring at me.
“Come on, sweetheart,” Harry spoke softly.
I finally nodded lazily in response before he led my overcome body back into the exercise room. He squeezed my hand before turning to face me, that usual teasing grin engraved on his lips. “You wanna know why we’re here?” he asked, knowing the answer really.
“Yes,” I said impatiently. There was a painfully long silence before a smile relaxed onto Harry’s face.
“Okay,” he said. “Remember when you said you wished you could control your abilities, to use them without becoming a vampire?” he asked, his usual devilish smile on his gorgeous face. I nodded slowly, still not understanding. “Well I thought that maybe I could train you.”
“Really?” I asked, my heart pounding in my chest just at the thought of it.
“Yeah. I believe that maybe if I train you then you’ll get stronger, you’ll be able to fight off this beast wanting to get out and grab your abilities to use them for good.”
I stared up at him, not sure what to say. Tears formed in my eyes suddenly, but I quickly blinked them away.
“So what do you say?” he asked after a pause, swinging our arms back and forth. He winked down to me, a jolt of excitement rushing through me.
“Let’s do it.”
“Come on, Rosie,” Harry laughed, holding his mitts up in front of himself as we stood in the middle of the boxing ring. I rolled my eyes before half-heartedly throwing a punch. My hands were clammy in the boxing gloves, beads of sweat lingering on my forehead. I sighed dramatically, flinging my head back before I groaned up to the ceiling. “Focus, Rosie. Never look away from you opponent.”
“If I knew you were gonna be this pushy then I would have stayed in bed today,” I replied, pulling my arm back and taking another swing. Harry jumped to the left of him, causing my fist to miss him completely. I stumbled forward, feeling my muscles ache all over. Another groan escaped my mouth as I turned to face him again.
“Keep your arms up in defence at all times.” He showed me with his mitts, urging me to copy him. He flashed me a grin once my arms were back up. His tousled curls were damp with sweat, his cheeks burning red. I couldn’t help smiling back at him even though the smell of sweat almost made me gag. “Try again,” he ordered.
“You love being in control, don’t you?” I asked with a wry grin. He winked at me, making a clicking noise with his mouth before stepping to the left. We both walked around in a circle facing each other. I tilted my head to the right, then left before pulling back quickly, slamming the glove into his mitt. The sound of plastic smacking against plastic echoed in the room. Harry grinned at me, nodding his head.
“That’s it. Quick stabs. Try again.” He held his boxing mitts back up, bouncing from one foot to the other. I shook my arms before raising them again, staring straight at Harry, trying to intimidate him. I narrowed my eyes, staring at him over my gloves as I held them up in front of my face. Harry suddenly smacked me on the stomach with his mitt, sniggering at me.
“Stop trying to flirt with me and focus,” he teased.
I grinned and pulled back my arm and slamming my glove forward. Harry bounced to the side, my glove narrowly missing his mitt. I turned to face him again, trying another blow but he moved out of the way again, laughing at my failed attempts.
“Will you stop moving around?” I whined, facing him again.
“What, and let you hit me? Now, what would be the point in that?”
“I’m getting dizzy,” I moaned.
Harry laughed softly before holding his mitts back up. I groaned, knowing he wasn’t going to give up.
“Now remember what I said, quick stabs. Don’t use so much of your energy. Save it for the next punch.”
I raised my arms once more, doing as he said. My glove connected with his mitt, pushing his arm back. He quickly snapped it forward again, giving me a proud smile.
“Well done. Again,” he ordered, smacking his mitts together before holding them back up in front of him. I grinned and tried again, punching his mitt a little harder than expected. “Good. Show me you’re in control now, Rosie,” he said, gesturing for me to attack him again.
I grinned before striking my glove into the opposite mitt, doing the same with the other hand. I could feel my muscles tensing, the urge building up inside of me. I punched again, the smacking noise sending a jolt of electricity through my body. My head pounded, but I didn’t stop. I could feel it growing inside of me. If I could just grab my abilities and fight off the beast wanting blood then I would be winning. I hissed through my teeth before whacking the mitt harder than I wanted too. Harry stumbled back, a concerned look spreading over his face.
“Keep it under control, Rosie. Don’t let it win.”
He stepped forward again. My muscles ripped inside of me, my jaw aching. A shadow was casting in my mind, that familiar scent of blood lingering in the air. I sent punches flying, not knowing what I was hitting, but I wanted more. More energy, more control.
“Rosie, calm it,” Harry ordered sternly, but his voice was faint.
That’s when I could see it, this figure emerging from the shadows of my mind. Samuel. I could sense he was smirking, laughing at me. I screamed out before sending my fist forward. I heard a grunt. I grinned, glad that I had finally given what Samuel deserved. But his laughter didn’t falter, that noise never ending in my mind.
Suddenly everything faded away. My strength, the burst of adrenaline I had been feeling slowly faded away, fizzling into nothing, my mind back in the boxing ring. Harry was on his knees in front of me, his arms wrapped around his stomach, pained groans falling from his lips. I ripped my gloves off before falling to my knees in front of him.
“Harry! I’m so sorry,” I said frantically.
Pained coughs burst through his lips before he slowly lifted his head, attempting a weak smile.
“N-no, it’s…it’s fine,” he croaked, trying to pull his mitts off. I helped him, throwing them to the side.
“I’m really sorry, Harry. I should’ve controlled it. I’m sorry.”
“Honestly, it’s fine. This is what the training’s for, for you to learn to control it. You just need some practise, that’s all.”
He gave me a smile before he slowly lowered himself onto his back, lying flat in the ring. I laid next to him, our arms pressed against each other. Our chests heaved as we stared up at the ceiling. But that picture of Samuel’s figure was still in my head, haunting me.
“What did you see?” Harry suddenly asked. My head shot to the side, giving him a quizzical look. “Before you hit me, your face went pale and you began to shake. You were looking at me, but I could tell you weren’t really looking me.”
His words left me fazed. I slowly turned my head again, staring up at the ceiling. With my bottom lip taken between my teeth, I felt Harry’s hand brush against mine, a simple reminder that he was here for me, that I wasn’t alone in this. So I told him.
“Samuel,” I muttered after a long pause. “He was in my head, laughing, mocking me.” My body suddenly grew cold even though sweat was still pouring out of me. I felt Harry slip his hand into mine, his eyes on the side of my head.
“You did well today, Rosie,” he said softly. “I think that’s enough for the day. Maybe tomorrow we’ll try with the punch bags first.”
I gazed back at him, letting a smile play on my lips. I nodded silently at him, my heart beating steadier in my chest.
“Let’s go home, yeah?” he asked, squeezing my clammy hand. I nodded again. He gradually pulled himself off of the floor, groaning softly as he clutched his stomach. He noticed me staring at him from the ground and flashed me his cheeky grin before offering me his hand. I smiled back, grabbing his hand and letting him help me up. Once we were on our feet, Harry led me out of the ring and back into the changing room.