Chapter 17

It was a month or so after my last encounter with Riple. He really had stayed away this time. It was kind of funny how he had to explain to everyone about the cuts and bruises on his face, of course he never said that I had done it.

People were still weary around me but most of the tension had disappeared.

Lately Claire had been encouraging people to take part of combat training sessions that Carlos ran sometimes. He'd been doing it for a while but not many took actually did it. I never have but I liked to sit and 'watch'.

Kmart loved them, which was pretty much the only reason I even stayed. That and I can take the micky out of her.

Carlos walked up and down the small group that stretch out into a line.

I sat on the hood of the hummer, one knee tucked in to my chest with my arm around it and my other leg dangling off the hood.

"Alright, today we're going to have you actually face one another and you'll be focusing on defence, blocking your opponent or avoiding their attack" Carlos spoke loudly as he continues to stroll along the line. "You're going to take what you have learned and put it into practice" his voice seemed to echo around the spaced out convoy.

Kmart was probably grinning like normal. I could hear her bouncing on her toes, ready for action.

I smirked slightly as I rested my chin on top of my knee.

"Fox, why don't you join in?" I heard Kmart mutter under her breath, low enough that the others couldn't hear her.

I raised an eyebrow and shook my head a little. She chuckled slightly "you're so lazy…" she continued quietly, I smirked and shrugged. "How come you fight so well yet you're lazy?" she asked.

I mouthed "I'm a natural" while smirking still. She snorted holding back a laugh "you're a natural? Okay then?" I grinned then stuck my tongue out.

Carlos continued to walk up and down before he stopped in front of a snickering Kmart. "Kmart who you talking to?" he asked both puzzled and annoyed.

I hung my head slightly and scratched the back of my neck.

"Ha you're in for it now, jackass" Devon said.

"No one" Kmart answered with nerves shaking her voice. I listened to Carlos as he turned to face my way. "Really? Why do I find that hard to believe?" He turned back to Kmart "no talking when I'm talking, alright?" he spoke kindly.

She nodded, embarrassed, as Carlos started to walk towards me.

"Hey, Tweedle Dumb" he called over to me, I lifted my head off of my knee, "come here" he continued.

I dropped my leg and slid off the hood of the hummer, "why?" I asked, already sounding bored. He continued to walk closer to me then slung his arm around my shoulders and herded me towards the others. "Well considering you and Tweedle Dee were talking, you are going to help with a bit of a demonstration" He said with a hint of a smile in his voice.

"Oh crap" I moaned as he stood me in front of everyone else.

"Oh come on, it won't be that bad, you are going to attack me, I'll block" Carlos let go of my shoulders, took a few paces forwards then spun to face me.

I sighed "do I have to?" Carlos chuckled lightly as he prepared himself, "yes, now attack me."

I huffed and took a slow step forward and swung my fist to hit him in the side of the face, I felt him move his arm up and blocked my punch. I quickly jabbed him in the stomach with my other fist listened to the "uff" as he stumbled back.

I hopped back with my hands up ready to throw another punch "you alright…. Old man?" I smirked as he laughed, "alright it's been a while" he said as he stepped away from me.

One of the guys in the line spoke up "Carlos why are we even learning about defensive moves if we're fighting zombies, if we get too close to have to go hand to hand surely we're already dead." Carlos nodded "that's a good point Jordan but the fact is that you still need to learn this."

Jordan sighed "but it doesn't make sense…"

I intervened "it does though, if you learn to block and avoid it means they can't touch you, infect you or bite you, simple."

A woman said further away down the line "how is that simple? Only way to avoid a zombie is to run." I smirked, "that not strictly true, the way to avoid an opponent is just knowing the move before they make it,"

"how the hell do you know your opponents move before they make it?" someone questioned with frustration in their voice.

I sighed and turned to face the line, "alright stick your hand up if you're a good fighter."

Someone whispered down the line, "If we were, do you think we'd be here?" which was followed by a few snickers. I laughed dryly "you think you're just so funny," I started to walk down the line "but know I can hear you from half a mile away" I smile darkly then walked back to my original spot.

"Anyway just put your hand up" I heard the movement of clothing but realise it wasn't my smartest plan.

I leaned over to Carlos "they got their hands up?" he put his hand on my shoulder, "yeah some do kiddo?" I nodded and stood straight and folded my arms over my chest.

"Keep your hand up if you don't like me." I heard more movement and Carlos gave my shoulder a simple squeeze.

I pointed my finger lazily and move it left to right "fourth one along, come on down," I faked a grin.

I shrugged off Carlos's hand and stepped away from the others a little. "Err… Fox do you think this is a good idea?" Carlos said with a bit of worry in his voice.

A moan started to step out of the line, heavily built, rather large. "Don't worry Carlos. I won't do her much damage." I sneered as Carlos spoke "I wasn't worried about her."

I smiled sadistically and the man made a grunt that could have also been a laugh.

Kmart quickly walked over to me and gently grabbed my arm "Fox…" she spoke in a warning tone, I made a face that meant "really?" she sighed as if she'd already lost the unspoken argument.

"alright, just be careful" she said kindly as she gently squeezed my arm.

I felt my heart swell for a spilt second which I found weird.

Just nerves probably.

Kmart backed away and stood with Carlos, who seemed to be hovering, not sure if to step in and stop it now.

I stood in front of the bloke and put my hands in my pockets "so… dude, what's your name?" We slowly started to circle each other while the group began to crowd round us both.

"Benny…" he grunted while his arms hung by his sides, trying to act casual but his whole body was completely tense, waiting for the attack.

I smiled a little "cute name" he didn't respond. I shrugged "well then Benny… Try me" I leaned forward, baiting him, "Take your best shot."

He hesitated then held his fists ready as I kept mine in my pockets.

He through his right fist forwards at me as I leaned back in time to avoid the punch. I stood up straight as he brought his fist back.

He through his other fist across as he tried to knock my head clean off my shoulders while I ducked underneath, rotating my body to spin as I stood. He through so much in to his punch he spun himself so his back now faced me.

I debated whether to strike now or to wait and choose to press my back against his.

He tried to turn to face me but I moved with him, keeping our backs together. Benny growled in frustration as he tried to grab some part of me.

I smiled and moved with him then shoved my hips back into him, sending him stumbling forwards.

I twirled round still smiling with my hand still in my pockets, "see, if you know an opponent's moves they can't touch you."

Benny spun to face me, heavily breathing "I was going easy on you because you're a kid." I grinned, "I guess the kid just won" I mocked him.

He stormed over to me and through a few quick punches while he stepped towards me. I stepped back when he stepped forward and easily dodged his strikes.

I spun round him and kicked him behind the left knee then his leg gave way as he fell to the floor.

"Are you even trying?" I laughed as Carlos stepped forward and grabbed my arm "enough." I shrugged him off "I'm not doing anything wrong" I spoke sweetly.

"You're aggravating him" Carlos replied sternly.

I hide a smirk "I don't know what you mean" I continued in a sweet tone. Benny got to his feet "Don't worry Carlos, she's doing fine."

Carlos breathed deeply and shook his head, "no that's enough." I chuckled, "don't get your nickers in a twist" I patted his shoulder and turned to face Benny.

"Let's do this then" Benny grunted, I smirked "no holding back this time baby boy."

I chuckled as he said nothing in return.

We circled each other again while I slowly held my fists up, prepared as he held his fist up as well.

We continued to circle each other "you waiting for a written invitation? 'Cause I don't write so well" I teased. He breathed out steadily as he continued to move with me.

I felt his body weight shift from his back foot to his front as he swung his fist. I brought my arm up blocking his attack and struck him with my own punch in his jaw.

I felt his foot rise off the ground as he kicked me in the side.

We both stumbled but quickly regained ourselves.

He ran at me throwing punches left, right and centre.

I leapt over him, barely clearing his head and landed hands fist. I through my feet back while they were still in the air towards Benny and kicked him in the back, shoving him forward. He lost his balance and fell to the floor as I jumped off my hands and onto my feet.

"You must really love the floor, you're on it quite a bit" I snickered.

All of a sudden he swept my legs out from under me then got to his feet.

I winced as my back slammed onto the floor. He stormed over to me and kicked me in the face. I yelped in pain and felt blood start to gush from my nose.

He bent over me and through a punch at my face, luckily I grabbed his fist inches from me.

I kicked him in the side of his head as he stumbled to the side. I flipped onto my feet and spat some of the blood out of my mouth. It took a moment to notice the cheering from the crowd.

I smirked as I tried to pick out Kmart's voice but I couldn't hear her at all.

I frowned but it quickly disappeared as I felt Benny grabbed my throat and shoved his fist into my face. I felt my head spin for a moment only to come round to feel him head butt me.

I fell back onto the floor and felt him saddle my waist. My mind flashed for a second back to Riple on top of me and felt a scream bubble in my throat. It quickly vanished as another punch hit my face.

Benny grabbed the collar of my top and lifted it up so my head was raised off the floor as he hit me again.

"Where are your sarcastic comments now girly?" he growled in my ear. A laugh escaped my throat which was quickly taken away with another punch in the face.

Kmart ran forward "stop it now!" Benny hit me against as I started to feel clouds of darkness filling everything "you're making her lose consciousness." Carlos stepped forward "Benny stop this, Kmart's right, she's had enough."

Benny hit me harder than Kmart ran forward grabbing his arm. Benny shoved her back and the crowd snapped into silence.

Benny slowly got off me and steadily walked over to Kmart, "if you're so keen maybe like to finish this off for her."

I lifted myself off the ground, gritting my teeth at the pain.

I stood up straight while swaying a little "If you… touch… her… I'll beat… you… to death" I slurred out. He laughed as he turned around "you can barely stand, let blonde finish it for you" he grabbed her upper arm as everyone watched in shock.

Everything came into focus as I charged at him.

He let go of Kmart's arm and held his hands up to block whatever I threw at him. I side stepped him and punched him in the head, sending him awkwardly away from Kmart.

Before he could recover I kicked him in the face then in between his legs, sending him tumbling down onto his knees as he held his crotch.

A growl escaped my throat as I smashed my fist into his face. I listened to him yell out in pain then kicked him in the stomach.

Two strong arms encircle my waist and lifted me off the ground and away from Benny.

I screamed in rage "get the fuck off me, I'm gonna kill that son of a bitch!" I kicked the air as Carlos carried me away.

He called over his shoulder "someone take him to Betty and tell her to come find us once she's done with him." I continued to struggle as we grow closer to the hummer while Kmart trailed behind us.

Carlos plopped me down harshly, "enough Fox! Stop acting like a child" I spun round and stood inches away from him.

"Don't dare do that to me again!" I screamed in his face, Carlos held his ground and grabbed my shoulders, pushing me against the hummer. "What the hell is the matter with you?" he spoke angrily, "you've been acting strange for months."

I stood frozen as he started to shake my shoulders, "well? What have you got to say for yourself?" Kmart gently put her hand on his shoulder, "Carlos go calm down."

She gently pulled his hand off my shoulder.

He sighed and let go of my other shoulder then walk away. Kmart and I stood in silence until Betty and Claire jogged over to us.

I opened the hummer door and sat on the back seat facing outside.

"What the fuck happened?" Claire yelled as she grew closer.

I shrugged and winced "I'm fine." Kmart laughed harshly "clearly you are" she paused "sorry." I smiled sadly "I deserve it."

Claire wrapped her arms around me "what the hell happened you idiot?" She squeezed me tightly as I bite back the scream wanting to tear out of my throat.

I heard Betty talk to Kmart while Claire hugged me. "Kmart, hold this for me" she said while handed Kmart a first aid kit, "Claire I'm going to need to take a look at Fox."

Claire let go of me and stepped to the side as Betty moved closer. She gently wiped the blood off of my face.

I listened as Claire lit a cigarette and deeply breathed it in.

Betty finished cleaning the blood and some of the muck off my face then taped up the larger cuts. I had a busted lip and eyebrow, a black eye and a possible broken cheek bone and a heavily bruised nose.

Betty checked my teeth and thankfully they were all still there. "What else hurts?" she asked.

I pointed at my ribs and flashed my knuckles. Betty nodded "alright shirt off."

I tugged my top off while wincing at the pain.

Even through privacy had gone out of the window a long time ago, I still felt myself blush a little while leaving my bra on.

I could sense the tension in the air before Kmart broke it by grabbing my t-shirt and slinging it over her shoulder.

I still had my bandanas around my wrist covering the old scars. Above that was the tattoo of a paw print that matches Claire's. Along with them I still had the scar from the bullet that almost killed me still there just above my stomach. They were all now accompanied by giant new bruises showing on the right side of my ribs another across my back and shoulders.

"I'm guessing it's bad?" Claire laughed slightly out of nerves "yeah just a bit."

Betty carefully felt my ribs as I winced out loud. She stopped and sighed "okay, turn around, let's have a look at your back."

I turned slightly and let her do the same thing.

"Nothing much I can do with bruises I'm afraid you will just have to be careful. The good thing is that we don't have any broken bones."

Claire sighed in relief and gently ran her fingers through my hair.

"Let's take a look at those knuckles then" Betty spoke as she gently took hold of my hands.

Sorry for the long wait. But I hope it's been worth the wait. I really love this chapter, it annoys me in films and tv shows how the main character has loads of fights but doesn't get hurt, so I finally figured out the perfect way. HEHE :D

And also sorry for any spelling mistakes, I'm not sure if I made any but anyway just saying :P

Any ideas for future charapter feel free to comment or PM me :)