Long Beach, WA

April 18th, 2020

Mariah moved aside quickly as Clinton made his move, seeking to grab Aiden and take him down by hooking his left leg behind Aiden’s left. Clinton meant to hook his left arm around Aiden’s head in order to do this, but he never got that far. Calmly and with such precision that she couldn’t help but be amazed Aiden lifted his left leg, escaping the trap that Clinton was preparing, and ducked under the other man’s arm before performing a move that was so swift and so efficient that Mariah barely registered it.

The move was a variation on what was called the rear-naked choke. Aiden’s left arm came up to wrap and effectively pin Clinton’s left arm while he then snaked his right arm around and up under Clinton’s chin, grabbing onto his left wrist to secure the hold. He’d moved at almost the exact same time that Clinton had, displaying such mind-boggling speed that one could almost imagine that it was in some way supernatural. She knew the truth though, and it was something that Clinton hadn’t learned up until now. In fact if he got out of this hold he might still consider Aiden to be just extraordinarily lucky.

Aiden was an amateur MMA fighter. That wouldn’t have meant much if he specialized in one form of fighting, but Aiden had apparently been training for the last thirteen years of his life to become a cage fighter and had a current record of 6 and 1, with all of his wins coming by submission or TKO. What that meant quite simply was that Aiden was kind of a badass, and more to the point, he knew how to take people down in various ways with or without causing serious harm. As of now he was obviously trying to calm the situation without doing any real damage as he shifted his shoulders back, putting more pressure on Clinton’s neck and cutting off his air supply, and the flow of blood to his brain.

Normally in a match this would make someone tap as she’d seen it, but Clinton wasn’t having it, and was attempting to reach down and sweep Aiden’s legs out from under him. Unfortunately Aiden had thought of that and kept his legs well out of reach, thereby denying Clinton any leverage. People were already staring and muttering over the exchange as Aiden held on tightly, not willing to let go as Clinton’s face began to turn red, then an alarming shade of purple.

“And you’re going to sleep now,” Aiden said, loosening the hold ever so slightly as he laid Clinton down gently, finally releasing the hold before putting two fingers to the other man’s neck.

“Is he okay?” Mariah said with a grimace. Aiden looked up at her, nodding as he stood to his feet. They both knew she didn’t give a damn if Clinton was okay or not, but she didn’t want Aiden getting in trouble for killing a man.

“I think one of us should go and get the police though. Hopefully someone’s in the station today.”

Mariah nodded, “I’ll go, it’s just down the street after all. You make sure he stays down or at least keep him contained, I guess,” she said, making her way past Aiden. He stopped her for just a moment by gently grabbing her arm, pulling her to him as their foreheadds touched.

“I love you,” he said quietly. It was an odd moment for this, but she couldn’t help but smile as she leaned forward and kissed him soundly on the lips.

“Keep him here,” she said, chewing worriedly at her lower lip as she turned to make her way to the police station. The lingering touch of his fingertips on hers in that moment seemed ominous somehow, but she refused to dwell on it just then.

(to be continued)

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