I was on the street, still in just his shirt as my brisk walk turned into a run. The cold wind and rain felt as if it was piercing tiny holes in my face. I’d never been this side of town before and didn’t know where I was going, but I didn’t care. I knew I couldn’t stay there anymore. I just had to get out. As I ran the emotion within me only grew. Did Luke keep this business thing a secret from me on purpose…and why couldn’t Chloe just tell me. Is it really that bad? What if it’s a repeat of my brother all over again? I can’t do this again. I just can’t.
I was still running. It was still raining. All of a sudden my feet just couldn’t carry me anymore and I just stopped. My weak body dropping onto the hard gravel of the pavement…and I was crying. Slumped, half naked on the soaking wet floor, shivering in the middle of somewhere, in the pouring rain, crying, alone.
“Hello, miss, are you ok?” I jumped sucking in a gasp of air in between sobs as I felt a person lightly touch my shoulder as he spoke. I didn’t respond. I don’t know why, I just didn’t, I couldn’t. I just kept crying.
“Well…I can’t just leave you here.” He spoke again and I felt two strong arms under my weak body lift me with ease from the ground. I don’t know why I still didn’t respond. A random guy literally picking me up off of the street and I didn’t say anything. The only difference from a few moments ago was being that now I was crying onto a warm chest, instead of the ground. I felt numb. I’d love to say that the numbness was from the cold, but no. I’d felt this before, a long time ago. When things were bad. This was the numbness that occurred from pure sadness, stress.
The man carried me for a short while but soon enough I couldn't feel the rain falling onto my skin anymore and goose bumps surfaced my body as a sudden temperature change arose. He had carried me inside and sat down with me still clinging to his chest.
"Hey..." He gently put his finger under my chin and lifted my face too look at his.
"Let's warm you up a bit, yea?" His voice was soft, calming, comforting. I looked at his face as he smiled down at me, taking in every detail. He had dark hair, longer on top than the sides with a blonde streak at the front. Big brown eyes and a kind smile. I gave him a little nod, a few tears still trickling over my cheeks but slowly fading. The man then lifted me slightly and placed me on the seat next to him, then got up. I looked around to try and see where we were. It was a hall; it was quite dark and had a few benches placed around the edges. In the centre of the room was a square platform... a stage maybe. I then looked back at the man who was now taking off the hoodie he had on.
"Put this on." He spoke handing me the gray jumper.
"What's a girl like you doing in the street wearing just a shirt anyway?" He chuckled slightly and then he looked at my bare legs. I just sat there in silence looking up at him.
"I'm sorry, I'd give you my trousers but-" He began to laugh as he noticed me start to smile.
"What's your name?" He asked me politely as he helped pull the hoodie over my frail body.
"Kasey." I replied quietly.
"I'm Calum." The guy replied holding his large hand towards me. I took it and politely shook it. His soft warm grip sending a fuzziness through my body.
"Where are we?" I asked breaking the silence that had fallen.
"The Ring." Calum replied and I looked at him blankly and he chuckled.
"It's where a lot of the guys this side of town work out. Like a gym." I nodded at his brief explanation.
"Why's it called the ring?" I questioned Calum. He then got up from his seat and held his hand out to me. I stood up, his big hoodie nearly to my knees and took his hand. He then walked me to the centre of the room to the square platform and pointed at it with is free hand.
"A few of the guys box here." He said.
"Eww, is that blood!?" I took a slight step backwards and Calum began to laugh.
"Yea, probably from one of Hemmo's fights." My face fell emotionless and I took a sudden short deep breath as the name was mentioned. Luke? No...it couldn't be...
"Oh of course you don't know him... Hemmo is one of the more serious fighters. He's kind of like the 'big-cheese' around here." Calum laughed and looked down to me. I just nodded.
"I wouldn't advise people to get on the wrong side of him though." He joked as he pulled his t-shirt sleeve up to reveal three scars. I gazed at the scars for a moment before raising my hand and running my finger tips across them as I thought. No, he definitely wasn't on about Luke. If he had got on the wrong side of him he would be dead.
"Came at me with a glass bottle. But it's alright, you get used to him after a while. It's kind of funny really. So many people are scared of him. But not me." Calum carried on talking and I thought to myself, he would definitely be scared of Luke.
"Ever boxed?" He interrupted my thoughts as he looked down at me. I shook my head.
"Wanna try?" I shook my head again when he asked but then he smiled a sweet smile that I couldn't refuse. So, I nodded. Calum then put both his hands on either side of my hips and lifted me up onto the platform. He lifted the ropes up so I could duck under and then joined me in the centre.
"Ok, so stand like this." He raised his arms to his chest, his hands in tight fists and I copied.
"Aren't you supposed to wear gloves in boxing?" I asked slightly confused.
"We do bare-knuckle fighting here. No gloves. And...a lot more blood." Suddenly I felt scared. I was stood in a boxing ring with a muscular, towering guy who had literally picked me off of the street.
"Don't worry. I'll go easy on you." Calum teased as he threw a wink at me catching my nervousness. I brought my eye brows together frowning at him. Then walked to the side of the ring, took the hoodie off and hung it over the ropes.
"I think you mean. I'LL go easy on YOU." I boasted then walked back to the centre and copied the way he was standing. Calum laughed at my comment.
"Ok, now throw a punch at me...like this." He punched the air his muscles tense, flexing and reflecting what little light filled the room. I then swung a hit into his stomach. And he didn't budge.
"Aaaahh noo, stop!" He sarcastically moaned as I continued to throw random punches into his stomach. Calum then began to bounce around the ring still with his fists up as I followed him. Until I tripped over...air. I screamed a little as I fell into him and he then fell over his own feet.
"TOLD YOU I'D WIN!" I shouted as I jumped off of him. He pretended to cry and then let out a laugh. He was still led on the floor as I carried out my own little victory dance and then said,
"Hey, I say that I win...because I can see right up that shirt you're wearing." Calum chuckled as he hopped up off of the ground.
"Oi!" I shouted as I threw a friendly punch at his arm and began to giggle.
"So, how do you feel about me becoming your trainer?" At first I laughed at his question until I realized he was being totally serious. I thought about it for a while. No...there's no way I could do this I don't even know him. But, then I changed my mind. Maybe this is what I need. A bit of fun in my life, a new friend and a new defence mechanism for when I'm around Luke.
"Ok." I replied smiling cheekily.