Well, due to two looming deadlines for paid work and a monster headache, Mutable is going to have to wait a bit. I'm sorry, I hate to delay this late in the story game, but it's cold and I'm tired and I've got a pile of things to do reminding me they exist.
Instead of Mutable, have some of a story I'm subbing to Dreamspinner at the end of next month. Fight scene for the win!
She wrapped her free hand around the back of my neck, then smashed her forehead against my face. I felt my nose break, hot, salty blood gushing over my lips and into my mouth, and my eyes teared up so badly for a moment that I couldn’t see.
Corday followed her elbow up with a vicious knee to the balls, a strike that would have completely incapacitated me if I hadn’t already been reeling back out of her range thanks to the head butt. The impact was still enough to double me over, almost retching with the throbbing pain but not so far out of it that I wasn’t able to grab her leg before she could knee me again.
You wanna play rough? We’ll play rough. Gritting my teeth, I grabbed her behind both knees, lifted her up, and did a high double-leg takedown that put her straight through the glass-topped coffee table.
The noise was intense, way worse than the breaking glass of the door. I was on top now, exposed, not an impossible shot for her sniper to take, and yet no shot came. That meant whoever it was had changed targets, and was probably hunting for Mal. I needed to give him as much time as possible to get away from the hotel, away from both of them. As much as I wanted to turn around and run after him, I had to stay and fight it out.
Corday was stunned, spluttering, but holding onto my hips with her legs. I reared back and began to throw punches, simple, brutal hammerfists, down onto her head. Fuck being a gentleman, this woman was a better, definitely dirtier fighter than me. I needed to end it, fast.
She protected her head well, though, keeping her hands down by her face and leaving her elbows up to deflect my blows. Five strikes in she wrapped up my right arm with her left, looping around it like an eel and drawing me in close, then—crack! She brought her right elbow around for a vicious strike to my face. It hit my cheekbone and not my disaster of a nose, thank fuck, but it was still enough to knock me onto my side.
Glass crunched beneath me, shards glittering like diamonds against the cream-colored carpet, dotted with red splotches from my still-bleeding nose. Corday spun to put her feet between us, seemingly oblivious to the sharp glass beneath her, and lashed out with her foot, kicking me just below the sternum.
I exhaled hard and grabbed ahold of her ankle before she could reel it back in, clutched it to my stomach and twisted, hard, to the left. I wasn’t much of a grappler, never had been, but I was versed enough to know that if you could isolate a limb, it would be that much easier to break. I didn’t want to kill this woman—the thought made me feel sick—but I wouldn’t mind wrenching her tendons out of place so she couldn’t fucking kick me again.
She rolled with the movement of my twist, and ended up flat on her stomach and trying to stand. She was hurt, the plethora of cuts on her back welling with blood, but it wasn’t slowing her down at all. I kept my grip on her foot, got up onto my knees, and jerked her flat just as she was raising her other foot to strike at me.
She hit the floor with a smack, and I took the opportunity to get back onto my feet. I needed a weapon—where had my gun ended up? Hell, her gun would do too.
There. Three feet over, beneath the wall-mounted television. I dropped her foot so I could go after it, saw her hand move out of the corner of my eye—
And that's all you get, because I'm MEAN!