Winning the Legend

By: B. Kristin McMichael

Chapter 1

Arianna Grace looked up from the floor where she lay sprawled on the training mat. Her dark blond, sweat-soaked ponytail was hanging limply. It had been twenty-nine days of endless training, and she still couldn’t fight back well enough to defeat Andrew Lucan, even though he wasn’t even fighting at full power in his baku night human form. She had gained ground in fighting him in day human form, but once they were night humans, it was hopeless. Andrew had been through too much training. Arianna brushed back her sweaty bangs and pushed herself off the floor. Her muscles ached, but she wouldn’t quit. She couldn’t quit. The fate of everyone Arianna knew hung on her ability to win. Strength was the only ally she had at this point, and the only one that would save everyone. She had to get stronger.

“I think it’s about time to go over everything else one last time with Thomas,” Andrew replied. He was the picture of perfection. His wavy, almost black, shoulder-length hair wasn’t even messed up as he gazed at her with steel gray eyes. He didn’t take any pleasure in beating Arianna. He was probably one of the strongest opponents she would ever face, but even that didn’t deter her.

“One more time,” Arianna begged.

Andrew reluctantly stood back in his starting spot across the room from her. He hadn’t yet even broken a sweat, but Arianna was relentless in her effort. Arianna already knew she’d won that argument before he even moved. Her persuasiveness was actually her strongest trait. Andrew could never really say no to her.

“Fine, but after you promise to go straight to Thomas? No begging Molina next.” Unfortunately, Andrew was already two steps ahead of her.

Arianna grumbled at his suggestion. It was her plan to beg Molina next, but she wasn’t going to admit that. After a month of hapkido, jiu jitsu, jeet kune do, keysi, and street fighting training for eight hours a day between Molina and Andrew, Arianna was getting better. She could now fight in both night and day human form toe-to-toe with Molina. Arianna preferred to fight with Molina, who didn’t have to hold back. Andrew was much stronger and every fight showed how unequal their abilities still were.

Andrew mockingly bowed to Arianna and waited for her to make the first move. He was anxious to stop her overexertion, but it was best to use her skills against herself rather than attack first. Arianna moved, and Andrew countered the punch, deflecting her momentum. Arianna regained her footing momentarily, only to find that Andrew had a lock on her arm. Instantly he twisted her arms while swiping her feet. Arianna flipped to counter his move, but she exerted too much spin on her flip causing her to grab Andrew’s arm for support. Arianna let him flip her around to lessen the damage as she hit the floor, she knew that Andrew had the upper hand the moment she grabbed his arm. Andrew rested, pinning her on the floor beneath him.

“Fine,” she mumbled, tapping the floor. The full-grown baku pressing her to the floor made her belly flip, but she wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of not only beating her in less than two minutes, nor of making her go weak in her the knees just by his presence. Arianna closed her eyes to not have to look at him as she admitted her defeat.

Andrew smirked and leaned down to kiss her. He already knew his effect on her was the same as hers on him, but he was much more schooled in hiding his thoughts from others. Andrew’s lips gently touched hers. Arianna wanted to pout more but couldn’t. She eagerly returned his kiss, sliding her hands down the chiseled chest that was keeping her pinned to the ground

“Is this a new method of teaching?” Thomas asked from the corner of the room. He had watched Arianna get beat, and then watched it turn into a make-out session on the training floor mats. Most of the fights ended that way these days.

Arianna blushed as Andrew very deliberately stood slowly and pulled her up with him, keeping his hands on her exposed abdomen. Just his touch alone was enough to cause the blushing to escalate to a full-scale red face. Andrew chuckled as his hands skimmed the top of her shorts as she marched over to Thomas and ignored Andrew.

“So, what was the bet this time?” Thomas asked Andrew, trailing Arianna. In all her fighting with Andrew, she had only once actually put a scratch on him. After that, Andrew had beat her every day, though she didn’t give up trying.

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