He shoved a larger man out of the way as he came down the stairs. She had seen him before. He was a regular during her nights in the fighting pit, but that was all she knew of him, she never paid much heed. Although he was more scarred up than most, he was just another face in the crowd. Tonight, wasn’t any different.

The place was packed. Rowdy, unsavory types everywhere, drinking, yelling and having a grand time, the air was heavy with smoke and liquor. It had only been a few days since her last fight, usually she wouldn’t take another this soon after, but Ivan had promised her it would be worth her while, so here she was. Still sore and bruised from the last one, but nonetheless getting ready, she could see the bookie through the curtains that separated the small room she was in from the main hall.

She was wrapping up her already bruised fists when she caught sight of him that night. After exchanging looks with the man he had shoved, he made his way over to Florian, the bookie. He slapped three ears onto the table. Florian looked at the ears in disgust and shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
“What the hell is this?!” He yammered in a high-pitched voice. Gren narrowed his eyes at him.
“Ivan said you’re handling payment tonight.” Florian swallowed.
“Oh-oh he did, so this.. this is..?”
“H-how much does he owe you?”
“Five hundred.”
“F-five?! That’s… a lot – okay, I can tell by your face you aren’t lying so five hundred it is.” He started counting out the coin. Florian wasn’t usually the squirmy type, but something about this man made him thoroughly uncomfortable. As he was near done Gren interrupted him.
“Put it on Locke.”
“L-Locke? Are you sure?” Florian seemed to consider the situation, he leaned towards the man and lowered his voice. “Given what you’ve done for Ivan, I’d assume he would have told you: Haven’t you heard who she is fighting tonight?” Gren looked at him. He leaned over the table, resting on his hands. He appeared to be considering what was being relayed to him. He turned his head and glanced towards the curtain and for a split second their eyes met. He had dark eyes, almost black, set in a heavily weathered and scarred face. His hair was pulled back in a mess of braids and tangles, held in place by odd trinkets and pieces of leather string. The sides were cropped short. She had pale blue eyes, set in an equally scarred face, with short cropped blonde hair. He gave a slight nod before he repeated himself.
“Put it on Locke.”
“You su-“
Gren’s brow lowered, his shoulders curving in, chin jutting forward, and the man leaned back in his chair slightly.
“I know a hard brawler when I see one, and your boy is about as hard as a lump of chalk. Get it, or am I gonna carve it into your hide?”
Jaw set, body still as stone, he made it clear there was going to be no more words after this.
Florian swallowed. “Whatever man, it’s your coin… She ain’t winning tonight.” He muttered under his breath as he wrote out a slip and handed it to the man. Locke, unable to hear what was being said over the noise of the crowd, gave a puzzled look. She fastened the end of the bandage. She rotated and stretched her arms. The well-trained muscles rippled under the skin. She stood up and glanced back at the scene just as the man turned around and vanished into the crowd.

Locke the Legend is a story in progress, that I am developing alongside my spouse: Alexander Leonard. We are in the very early stages of development so for now I’m just releasing little teasers to build interest. This story is for a mature audience.