"You know the rules: no choking, no eye shots, no low blows, and release all holds when they tap. Keep it clean, boys." Valentine said lazily from the outside of the ring.
Jace nodded at his father and finished slipping on the fingerless gloves they used for kick boxing. Jonathan only stretched his long arms and looked at Jace with slightly narrowed eyes. Jace jumped in place and rolled his neck around a few times to prepare himself.
Sparing with his older brother Jonathan always ended up being personal. Jace always tried to keep the fight from becoming too heated but it usually always ended badly because neither boy would back down from the other willingly. Their father wouldn't even allow them to spar when he wasn't supervising because sever injuries were sustained in the past; things like broken wrists, arms, and ankles.
They were both wearing similar outfits; black athletic pants and tighter long sleeved shirts. The only difference was that Jace's shirt was black whereas Jonathan's was red.
Both boys stepped into the center if the ring and touched the knuckles of their gloves together; this was the one and only gentle exchange of the fight. Valentine strolled up to the ropes and leaned on them, looking bored but ready to intervene when things got too rough, which they inevitably would; the two brothers were like fire and gasoline together.
Jace and Jonathan raised their fists and began to circle each other, both looking for an opening to strike.
"Master Morganstern, pardon my interrupting, but something has come up that requires your attention." The butler said sa he opened the door of the large training room. Valentine huffed impatiently before turning to the butler.
"What is it now, Samuel?" He said as he sauntered over to the doorway.
Jace jerked his gaze away from the interruption as he saw Jonathan swing from his left. Jace ducked and punched Jonathan in the stomach while blocking with his right hand. The blow struck hard but it barely seemed to phase the other blonde boy. Jonathan danced up and began a complicated series of strikes that ended with a kick to the stomach. In the split second that it took Jonathan to prepare his kick, Jace slammed his fist into his jaw. Jonathan stumbled back and gave Jace a look of fury, his eyes bright with hate. Jace danced closer, trying to see a way past Jonathan's defenses.
"What do you mean you let him get away!" Valentine roared suddenly from the other end of the room. Jace jumped and glanced at his father and the terrified butler.
Suddenly Jonathan twined his leg through Jace's and shoved him backwards with both hands. Jace gasped in surprise as he fell hard to the mat. Jonathan fell with him but slightly to the side and out of reach of Jace's swings. Jonathan straddled Jace's hips and began punching viciously at his face. Jace covered his face behind his forearms and waited for an opening to strike at Jonathan's diaphragm. The opening never came. Jonathan grabbed Jace's wrists and slammed his arms down to the mat by his head. Then Jonathan leaned down with a malicious smile on his handsome face.
"Rule number one little brother," he said softly. " Never get distracted." Jace glared up at him angrily while trying to get his arms free. Jonathan chuckled softly. "When are you going to learn little angel boy? You just can't beat me." He said with a sinister grin. Jace stopped struggling.
"I don't know why you even try to impress him, Jonathan. It's pointless because Father's only ever been proud of me. We both know that…darling big brother." Jace said sweetly with hate burning in his eyes.
Jonathan's grin disappeared and was replaced by a snarl of fury. His hands released Jace's wrists and slipped up around his throat tightly. Jace choked and pulled at Jonathan's forearms. Jonathan squeezed tighter, his white blonde hair falling forward into his ink black eyes.
A cruel smile twisted his mouth when Jace gasped and slapped his hand once to the mat. He felt Jonathan dig his thumb mercilessly into the hollow at the base of his throat and felt his air disappear completely. He's trying to kill me…Jace thought unbelievingly as black spots dotted his vision. His lungs began to ache from the lack of air and his windpipe was screaming from the tight grip of Jonathan's strong hands.
Jace's last gasp was barely audible and Jonathan laughed softly before looking up to see where their father was; he was going to make sure to use his father's distraction to his utmost advantage…Jace took the opportunity to pull his leg up and knee him in the groin. The crushing hands slipped away from his throat as Jonathan groaned at the sudden pain.
Furious, Jace sat up and threw his arm around the back of Jonathan's neck and pulled him into a tight head lock. He then pushed himself up off the mat and rolled them so that he was on top of Jonathan. Breathing air heavily into his aching lungs and bruised and burning throat, Jace took a hold of Jonathan's left wrist so he couldn't block as well, while slamming his fist into his face as hard as he could. He hit him again and again, getting angrier with every punch.
Suddenly, a big hand grabbed him by the upper arm and yanked him up off of Jonathan. He was thrown backwards onto the mat so hard his teeth rattled. Jace looked up, panting, at his father's angry face.
"I said that's enough. When I say that's enough…" Valentine said loudly. "I mean, that's enough!" His voice echoed throughout the large room. Jonathan braced his hands on the mat and started to stand up. "Did I say you could get up?" Valentine said in a soft and dangerous voice. Jonathan's eyes lowered submissively, but Jace saw him clench his jaw before saying,
"No, sir." Jace rose up to his elbows as Jonathan wiped blood from his nose.
"Now who started it this time…no wait, let me guess. You're both going to say 'he did' aren't you." The boys stared at each other; Jonathan with a narrowed glare and Jace with an indignant anger. "So who wants to come clean and admit that they were the one that started fighting dirty?" Silence. "Disappointing. It just so happens that I saw who started it." Jace looked up at his father. "Get up. Both of you." Valentine said. They got to their feet. "Now I want you to apologize and shake hands like men." Valentine said while looking back and forth between his two sons. No one did anything. "Do not. Make me repeat myself." Valentine said in ringing tones. Reluctantly, Jace stepped forward.
"Sorry." He said as he offered his hand out to his brother, not meaning his apology in the slightest. Jonathan glanced down at his outstretched hand. When his eyes returned to Jace's face, they were lit with some emotion that Jace couldn't read. Jonathan stepped forward and closed his hand around Jace's.
"As am I, little brother." He said coldly. Then Jonathan pulled Jace towards him and punched him hard in the face. The impact sent Jace careening sideways. Blood filled his mouth as Valentine shoved Jonathan back towards the ropes.
"Go. I'll deal with your disobedience later, Jonathan." Jace caught Jonathan's eyes and spat a mouthful of blood at his brother's feet.
"You hit like a bitch." Jace said. Jonathan smirked arrogantly as he turned away and slipped under the ropes of the ring with his pit-like eyes sparkling.