Sedulous (adj.)- (of a person or action) showing dedication or diligence
She lets out a grunt and delivers another jab to the punching bag. Better.
“Care to stop hiding behind that thing and spar with me like a man?” she says with sedulous eyes, her chin still tucked beneath her gloves the way I showed her.
“Only if you promise to start hitting like one,” I say. Another punch. Harder too. I must admit Jessica had me fooled when we met at Starbucks. The way she smiled as she ordered her coffee and the frivolity behind her words as she bantered with the barista. It was enough to save my world the time to know not every beautiful woman hated what the world had become. But now, watching her from behind this punching bag after asking her out on a date, one could only wonder how could I have been so oblivious as to think this woman was in anyway vulnerable to the universe around her. She is a fucking animal.
“Just because you showed me how to protect my button doesn’t mean I can’t push yours. Did you think me to be a helpless girl? A damsel in distress?” I scoff. Yeah.
“Of all things, a damsel in distress was the last thing I thought of.” A white lie. “As for thinking you of being incapable of taking care for yourself, don’t be so naive. Everybody, even me, knows the best thing for a woman to love is her own heart. However, I’m surprised to find you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty. These aren’t amateur punches you’re throwing. Care to come clean?” She scoffs this time.
“Everybody doesn’t know that,” she says. She punches the bag once more and puts her hands down. “I know who you are. You aren’t fooling me. Did you really think you could get away with taking advantage of women with your slick words and pretty face? I’ve come here to fight, not flirt. Put on some gloves pretty boy.”
My brows arch. Her words do more damage than her punches could ever do. Usually, I take great pride in choosing my victims, but I’ve read this one all wrong. Yet, she has piqued my competitive nature in such a way that I would feel foolish to skip over her challenge. If all of my world is what she wants, that’s exactly what she is going to get.
I walk from behind the punching bag over to the shelf where the gloves are.
When she suggested we go to the boxing gym for our first date, I just thought we were going to hit on each other playfully, figuring she wanted to learn how to protect herself. But now I see this was all a charade. She isn’t vulnerable. She isn’t weak. And now, she really wants a piece of me.
So be it.
If she really knows who I am, then she knows I’m a fighter at heart. She knows I’m not going to go easy on her. I have a reputation to uphold.
The gloves are firmly on my hands as we make our way to the ring.
I hope she is ready.