Chapter 127

Roy’s punch caught Stella in the sternum, lifting her off the ground and sending her hurtling back several feet. So far they’d just been dancing, a few light taps here and there. This hit, though, this signaled the beginning of the real match.

Stella rolled with the blow as she landed, doing a few spins across the hard dirt floor of the forest and flipping up onto her feet. Roy idly noted that if she’d weighed the same amount as a normal person his punch would have easily sent her all the way to the tree line. They were in a clearing about forty feet across, so that wasn’t saying a whole lot, but Roy felt he would have at least appreciated the satisfaction of such a sight.

“That all you got?” Stella taunted as she got her footing. Roy’s punch had taken some of the breath from her, a fact she was trying to hide by stalling. She’d been caught off guard; last time she’d seen him fight was at the beginning of the year. Back then he swung wide and blocked minimally. Things had clearly changed in the last few months.

“Not even close,” Roy replied with a smile. She was buying time to recover, he was well aware. Hell, he’d gotten more experience at that than any other aspect of fighting in the time he’d been sparring Chad. Roy had no qualms with letting her catch her breath. He wasn’t going to let her win, but that didn’t mean he felt the need to utterly crush her.

Stella steadied herself and regained control of her breathing. She also took the opportunity to fix the top of her suit slightly. Admittedly, challenging someone to a fight while wearing only a bikini might not have been the smartest move, however Stella Hawkins had never been one for a tremendous amount for forethought.

“Thank god, I was scared I’d get bored,” Stella shot back, moving toward him carefully. Roy began advancing as well, a series of small, careful steps with his eyes never swerving from her body.

In a flash of sunset glinting off steel, Stella dashed forward, faking a right before throwing her momentum in a slide. It carried her through Roy’s initial punching range before he could adjust to the shift. Taking advantage of the low position and the opportunity, Stella swept her legs around, striking the backs of Roy’s knees. They immediately buckled and sent him tumbling forward. Stella readied herself to nail Roy in the torso when he moved to catch himself. Instead she was caught off guard as Roy threw his right leg in front of him, stopping the descent in a move that would have easily broken the ankle of a normal combatant. Roy pushed off on his heel, reeling against the fall and spinning his body around in time to take a swing at Stella. The punch was too short, but it forced her on the defensive as she scrambled back to her feet. Seconds later they were circling each other once more.

“I make it a personal goal never to bore a lady,” Roy said, flashing Stella his patented smile.

“No, just to infer that we’re weaker, softer, and don’t belong on the battlefield,” Stella replied.

“Am I still inferring? I thought after a certain point it was considered speaking what you were thinking,” Roy said.

“That is fucking it,” Stella said, charging forward. This time she didn’t even bother with a fake blow, she just reared back and swung with a hard right. She was positive he’d be able to block it, she just wanted to make sure it would hurt. Roy caught her by surprise once more though. Rather than try and stop her blow he lowered his head and met it dead on. With his skull.

Stella winced at the unexpected pain, a movement that cost her the chance at seeing Roy’s next move. This was unfortunate, because Roy used his lowered frame and her open right side to catch her dead under the chin with an upward blow. Her eyes flashed with sparks as she was sent sprawling. There was no fancy roll this time, just coughing and clawing at the ground as she tried to regroup. To his credit, Roy made no move to come after her as she recovered, though this only served to agitate her more.

“So what,” Stella said, spitting on the ground and checking to see if she was bleeding. “You don’t press the attack if the opponent is a girl?”

“Could be, or maybe I’m just admiring how nice your ass looks when you’re crouched like that,” Roy responded.

Stella slammed her fist into the ground and pulled herself up. “You are one dead motherfucker.”

“Says the girl who has only landed glancing blows so far.”

“I’m warming up,” Stella lied.

“Sure you are, Sugar Dumpling,” Roy said. He spread his feet apart and readied for another charge. Stella wasn’t the type of opponent one wanted to let catch them off guard.

“Geez, your parents must have really done on a number on you,” she remarked as she looked for the best angle to attack from.

“That a fact?”

“Yeah, I mean, for you to hate girls as much as you do there must be some really messed up shit in your past,” Stella sniped.

Roy blinked in genuine surprise. “You think I hate girls?”

“Of course you do. You just see us as holes to fuck, not equals,” Stella said, her own rage boiling over and culminating in another charge. There was no good angle to come at, she could see that clearly. No matter what she did he’d be able to counter. His headbutt to her fist had inspired her, though. This wasn’t a fight in the gym, this was a brawl. She didn’t care if he got in some good licks as long as she gave them right back.

Stella slammed her shoulder into Roy’s abs, ignoring the two punches he landed on her shoulder when she came in range. She used her superior weight to drive him back, slamming him against a tree before dragging him to the ground. They crashed into the dirt together, immediately rolling around to get on top. Stella had more experience at groundwork, but the previous blows were muddling her head and Roy’s non-metallic frame gave him an advantage in speed. As a result they soon came to a rest with Roy perched on top of Stella, his knees pinning her chest to the ground.

“For the record,” Roy said, leaning back to avoid her hand that was clawing at his face, “I don’t hate women.”

“Sure, you’re a goddamn patriot of feminism,” Stella huffed from her prone position.

“Probably not,” Roy admitted. “But I don’t hate them.”

Stella stopped struggling for a moment to look up at him. The boy was interrupting a good fight to make this point, it was clearly pretty important in his eyes. And speaking of his eyes, they actually looked sincere at this particular moment. Stella didn’t think she could have ever guessed what sincerity would look like on Roy Daniels, but there it was, plain as day.

“Fine, I’ll concede that you don’t hate women. You don’t think of us as equals ,though.”

“Agreed. I think you’re kinder, smarter, and gentler than men can ever hope to be. And yes, physically weaker and softer. Paint me as an asshole all you want, but that’s just how I see it. So I prefer to see woman away from the battlefield, safe where they won’t get hurt. Because the world outside of combat needs them far more than it needs men, especially men like me,” Roy explained.

“You realize that’s still misogyny, right?” Stella asked.

“Realize it? I don’t even know what it means,” Roy said.

“And all the random sex?”

“I’m an adult, so are they. Everybody likes fucking. I’m not apologizing for that one.” With that he stood up, taking Stella’s hand and jerking her to her feet as well.

Stella accepted his help and brushed herself off. Much as she hated to admit it, her anger had all but completely ebbed away. Yeah, he was six feet and a few hundred pounds of pure dickbrain, but his motivations weren’t quite pigheaded as she’d thought.

Roy was feeling about the same way. “Guess we’re done with the fight, huh?”

Stella replied by socking him in the ribs. Roy doubled over and began coughing.

“Hell no,” she said. “I’m might not be mad but I’m still all worked up. Besides, I haven’t had a fight this good in a long time. So there is no way I’m letting you go already.”

“Fine by me,” Roy said, coming back up and rubbing his side tenderly. “I’m good to go all night long.”

“Boys and their empty promises,” Stella said, taking another swing at him as he stepped backward.

The remainder of the fight lasted about five minutes. The sex that followed lasted considerably longer.