Traditions Ch. 06


"Declan." Fergus tried to get his attention one more time. He was concerned for his fighter.

Declan just ignored him.

"Declan..." he reached his hand out.

Declan smacked his hand away and stepped back. "Just leave me the fuck alone."

He didn't stand there long enough to see the shocked look on his mentor's face. He was too busy trying to get as far away from everyone as possible. Finally making it to the locker room he opened the door and slammed it shut. He was alone, so the loud thud of the door sounded fatal. Like the slamming of a prison door. Final. Absolute.

Declan twisted the towel in his hands.

She should have been there. Why didn't he let her come? Why?

"Damn it!" He threw the towel across the room.

All day he felt weak. Like something was missing. Now he knew why. He needed his woman. She made him complete. Made him feel whole. With her by his side he felt like he could do anything he wanted. If she were here today, she would have empowered him in the ring. That's how much her presence affected him.

That's how much he loved her.

In that moment nothing else mattered. Running to his assigned locker he took out his gym bag and unzipped it, pulling out his sweat pants and T-shirt to change into.

He had to get to her and tell her he made a mistake. She needed to know he cared. He didn't want to waste another day. One more hour couldn't go by without him telling her he loved her.

Slipping on his jacket, Declan dug through his pocket and grabbed his keys. Even if it took all night and day, he would get to her.


Cheyanne was beat from her day at work. Saturday nights were usually the worst. Every annoying teenager on the planet would come and occupy each table. They'd always come in and order the most elaborate coffee drink and then order a meal that they customize to fit their stupid diets. Most were horrible tippers, too.

It didn't help that she was in a foul mood either. She hadn't talked to Declan in two days.

After escaping from the confines of his car that night, Cheyanne had practically ran all the way back to her room, almost tripping through the doorway to get to her room. Hearing her friend come through the door, Hannah immediately began to babble on about her day.

"Oh my God, you are not going to believe this." Jumping up from her spot on the sofa Hannah walked right in front of Cheyanne, completely blocking the way to her room. "Victoria Barns, Ms. I'm-So-Perfect-And-Have-The-Best-Fashion-Sense, walked in to class today wearing the ugliest..."

At this point Cheyanne couldn't hold back the tears and was now silently sobbing.

"Oh my...Cheyanne what's wrong?"

She just shook her head. "Nothing, it's just..."

Noticing how distressed her friend was, Hannah placed a reassuring hand on her roommates shoulder. "You know you can tell me. What's wrong?"

Cheyanne just continued to shake her head. Her shoulders were quivering with silent sobs.

"Please Hannah, I just..." She raised her hands in frustration. "I don't want to talk about this right now." Side stepping around her friend, Cheyanne quickly made her way to her room.

"No, wait." Hannah tried to reach for her, but she quickly moved out her grasp.

She wasn't in the mood for talking about the horrible night she had just had. She just wanted some time to be only and think about things. That was hard to do with Hannah interrogating her all the way down the hall.

"Cheyanne, what's wrong? Did something happen to you tonight? Are you in trouble?"

Cheyanne had finally passed the threshold to her room, her temporary sanctuary. Gripping the door handle, she turned just in time to hear Hannah ask her final question. The worst question to ask.

"Does this have anything to do with Declan?"


Since that night, the two of them had avoided the subject of Declan and what happened that night. Thinking about him now, she realized that his match was supposed to be today. By now he and his family were probably celebrating together. Whatever! She was fine with working tonight. Who cares about the stupid teenagers? If Declan really cared he would have wanted her there.

Finally reaching her floor, she sighed and began shuffling in her purse for her dorm key. Walking to her room, she didn't notice the tall figure looming by her door.

"God!" Cheyanne clutched her chest. "Declan?"

He was leaning against the wall across from her dorm room. Half of him was shrouded by the darkness in the hallway. That was probably why she didn't notice him at first. She couldn't believe it but there he was, standing by her door, in his sweats and jacket...just standing there.

"Declan, what are you doing here? How did you get in here? How do you even know which floor I live on?"

He didn't answer her immediately. He just continued to stand there and stare at her.

"Hannah let me in." He said.

Hannah. That sneaky bitch. She would have to have a talk with her roommate later.

"Your not suppose to be here." She flipped her pony tail over her shoulder and crossed her arms. "I could get in trouble having visitors this late."

She was still mad. Declan could tell. Cheyanne had every right to be mad at him. He was upset with himself. He had to suppress a smile as he looked at her. She was incredibly sexy when she was angry.

The awkward silence was starting to annoy Cheyanne. Why the hell was he not talking? Did something go wrong at the match? He definitely wouldn't be acting like this if had just won.

"Did your fight go ok?" Cheyanne noticed when he tensed up.


"What happened?"

He shrugged. "I got my ass kicked."

"Oh...I'm sorry." Truth be told, she wasn't as sorry as she should have been. He had been a jerk to her earlier that week. But still, she knew how hard he had worked. Winning that match was everything to him.

He only shrugged at her apology. He clearly didn't want to talk about it. They just stood in companionable silence for a few moments. Cheyanne was at a loss as to what to do. Declan wasn't the type of person to be comforted. Glancing down at her wrist watch, she noted the time and sighed.

"Look it's kind of late, and we aren't suppose to have boys in our rooms after dark. Whatever it is you needed to say. It will just have to wait until..." She took a step towards her door at the same time Declan took a step towards her.

The dimness of the hall had hidden most of his face. Now that he was in the light, Cheyanne could clearly see the big black eye he was sporting.

"Oh my God! Declan did you get that from the fight." She reached up her hand to lightly cup his face but he stopped her hand in mid air.

"I need to talk to you."

"Yeah of course! Come in." Keys in hand, Cheyanne quickly opened the door and let them in.

Upon walking in, Declan quickly surveyed the small area she lived in. It wasn't that small of a space. Directly in front of him was a small sitting are with a couch and a TV on the opposite wall. Branching off to the side were two small hallways he assumed led to Cheyanne and Hannah's rooms.

"Sit down on the couch." Cheyanne directed him with authority in her voice. "I'll be right back." With that, Declan watched her walk down the hall to his right.

That must be her bedroom, he thought as he took a seat of the small couch. It was a bit weird for him, being in Cheyanne's dorm room. Technically, this was where she lived everyday, and slept every night. Immediately the image of Cheyanne asleep in bed popped into his head, her hair spread out like a halo across the pillow. The idea that he was in the same place suddenly seemed so...intimate.

On the way here, he had been to upset to notice any pain. Now his adrenaline had finally worm off and his head was killing him. Jagger had hit him pretty good. His jaw felt soft ad sore, and it hurt to blink his right eye. He was going to be hurting for weeks.

Light foot steps alerted him to Cheyanne's approach.

"Sorry I took so long." She said as she walked around the couch. "I couldn't remember where I put the first aid kit."

"That's fine." He looked her over. "You changed."

"Umm, yeah." She said as she looked down at herself. "Didn't want to stay in my work clothes. They smelled like food."

Declan nodded and checked out her new ensemble. She had changed into a light pink camisole and a pair of white cotton shorts. The clothes were obviously meant for leisure, but Declan thought that she looked sexy them. The shirt managed to reveal just enough chest to be distracting. Declan could tell that if he were to reach out and gently tug the top of her shirt Cheyanne's perky nipples would be exposed. And those shorts...those shorts just barely covered the tops of her thighs. He couldn't help but look at her bottom when she bent over to place the first aid kit on the coffee table.

Opening the lid, Cheyanne rummaged around inside before looking back up at him and examined his eye. "You'll have the black eye for a few days, so you probably shouldn't worry about that. You do have a small cut above your eye. It doesn't look like it needs stitches though." Reaching inside she pulled out the bottle of peroxide and a few cotton balls.

She looked back up at him. "I'm going to try and clean it, if that's ok?"

Declan couldn't really use words at the moment so he just nodded his head in consent.

With his silent approval, Cheyanne unscrewed the top off the peroxide bottle and poured a bit on the cotton ball. She took a step towards him and Declan opened his legs to give her better access.

"This might sting a bit." She said.

Declan simply nodded his head again, and Cheyanne proceeded to clean the cut on his eye.

The stinging pain was a bit annoying for him, but he barely registered the awkward sensation. He couldn't help but be highly aware of Cheyanne's close proximity to his manhood. Every time she leaned over to dab at his eye, her thighs would rub against the roughness of his jeans. God, this woman was putting him on edge. He could already start to feel a bulge growing in his pants. But he needed to calm down. He had come all this way to tell her something important, and he needed to be in the right mind to say it.

Cheyanne could feel the weighted stare Declan had been giving her ever since she walked back into the room. She stopped fanning at his eye to look down at him. Over the past few months Declan had given her several looks, but the one he was giving her now was completely new. His face was stoic and gave nothing away. But the way his eyes looked, the glazed look over them made it seem like he was staring straight into her. Declan had never looked so intently at her and she didn't know what to make of it.

"Your eye looks fine now." She turned abruptly and the magic was gone. Walking quickly across the room, Cheyanne deposited the dirty cotton balls into the trash. "It looks like it will heal pretty quickly."

Declan lightly touched his head. "Thanks, but I t'ink mi pride is the one dat needs fixing."

Cheyanne snorted at that. "Don't think I know how to fix that." Looking through the kit again she pulled out a few butterfly band aids. "And even if I did I probably wouldn't want to."

Declan sighed and watched her as she placed the band aids above his eye. "Your mad."

"How could you tell?" Her voice was dripping with sarcasm.

"Look I'm sorry..." He started but she raised her hand to stop him.

"Don't bother." She waved off his apology. "You made the decision you thought was right for you."

"Excuse me?" That comment through him off a but. "What the hell does that mean?"

"What the hell do you think it means?"

"I don't know. Why don't you tell me, Cheyanne." Declan's voice took on a more commanding tone.

Cheyanne didn't like that one bit. "How do you expect me to feel, Declan? You told me before that you were going to try an be more open in our relationship, yet it seems that you've never even mentioned me to your parents. They don't even know your dating. Then you go and tell me a few days ago that your parents wouldn't be able to accept me as your girlfriend even if you decided to tell them. How do you think that makes me feel?"

Declan took a second to answer. "Pretty shitty."

Cheyanne could only shake her head. "I feel like...our entire relationship is just some fling to you."

"Now you know dat isn't true. You t'ink I don'a feel like shit right now."

"I don't care right now." Cheyanne crossed her arms and looked down at her feet. "I think you should go."

Like hell he was going to leave.

"No." he shook his head. "We need to talk."

"Well I don't want to talk.'

"Cheyanne." He ran a hand through his hair in frustration. "I really need ta talk ta you."

"And I just...can't listen right now. The last few things you've said weren't exactly pleasant, and I'm not interested in hearing anymore."

The look on her face spoke volumes to Declan. She was in no mood to talk. But he needed to talk to her. It took him to long to discover his feelings for her.

No. She was going to listen, damn it.

"Cheyanne, I've got something to tell you..."

"Well you just going to have to tell me later." She shook her head and turned from him to walk to the front door. "I don't want you here."

Damn it man. Just say it!

Cheyanne grabbed the door knob. "I need you to-"

"I love you."

"...leave." Her grip tightened on the door knob. Was she hearing things? She couldn't have possible heard those words come out of his mouth. Hesitantly she turned and looked over her shoulder to look at him. He hadn't moved from his hunched over position on the couch. The intense look he'd been giving her hadn't let up, not once.

"I love you, Cheyanne."

There it was again. The words were softer. Not as firm as before, but still strong.

Did he really mean it?

The look on her face told Declan that she was questioning his true feelings. The fact that she didn't believe him caused a small ache in his chest. Why would she believe him? As many times as he'd try to be open with her, he never actually opened up to her. Not about anything important anyway. Not like this. She had been to patient, too. So understanding about his situation. But he took advantage of that. He was going to start making up for that, starting right here, right now.

"Dove...," he extended his hand towards her. "Can ya come sit wit me."

Her gaze kept flicking back between his hand and his face. The internal debate she was having with herself was clearly visible on her face. Finally, after what seemed like forever to Declan, Cheyanne slowly came and sat down on the farthest end if the couch. The distance felt like miles to him, but he was determined to close the space.

"Chey, I...shit...," he rubbed a hand over his face. "I don't even know where to start."

His nerves were on over drive. So he took a big breath an attempted to continue.

"When I walked inta dat ring today, I was confident I would come out of there da winner. I mean." He sat up a bit. "I had been training all year, and I hadn't lost a match yet. Why wouldn't I win?"

Cheyanne just sat there and listened to him, desperately trying to make sense of his story.

"But all day... hell, for da past t'ree days, I've felt off. I tried to write it off as jus' nerves, but I never was one to get nervous before a fight. So why was I feeling like dis now?"

He shook his head, and a small smile began to show. "I walked inta dat arena, and da crowd was jus'roaring. Mi family was just off ta da side cheering me on. Mi coach was there for support. It was da greatest hig I've ever felt. Me and mi opponent stood in the middle of the ring and the ref started da match."

His face fell. "About twenty minutes in, I get distracted by some'ting off stage. Some girl yells out 'Go Jagger! Go Jagger!' and it threw me off."

Cheyanne looked at him for a moment and shrugged. "I don't understand..."

"It was mi sister." He stated. "Mi sister was cheering him on. And the funny thing is, I wasn't even mad at her. I was jealous of Jagger. Da fucking asshole had done nothing but act like a prick all his life, and I was jealous because he had da one t'ing I wanted."

Cheyanne was almost hesitant to ask. "What did he have?"

"A woman cheering him on." He said simply. "He had a woman who cared enough to cheer him on, and I hated it. I got so distracted by it dat it gave jagger a chance to hit me wit a mean right hook."

"The funny t'ing is, all I could t'ink about was you. I didn't give a damn about da match. All dat mattered to me was dat I was lying on da floor of dat ring, bleeding, and you weren't there ta tall me ta get back up. Ya weren't there ta tell me I couldn't give up. Dat ruined me. It shouldn't have been like dat. I should have been like dat. I should have had ya standing off ta da side cheering for me. I hated da fact dat ya weren't there, and I hated mi self for telling ya not ta come."

Cheyanne didn't know how to interpret what Declan was telling her. Where was this man three days ago, she thought. He had completely changed his tune. He sounded sincere, could she know for sure.

"Declan," she took a deep breath and sighed. "Your just upset about the match."

He shook his head. "No I'm not." He tried to reach for her hand but she pulled away.


"You don'a believe me?" She didn't say anything back but her answer was clear. "Why not? Have I ever lied ta ya? Haven't I always been honest wit ya? Da truth might have been harsh at times, but it was always da truth. So why would I start lying now?"

That much was true. He was never the type to lie.

"But what about your parents?" She asked.

It was an excuse, an attempt to distract him. "My parents are my parent. They may not like us together at first, but once they grow ta know ya like I do...ta love ya like I do, everyt'ing will be fine." He took hold of her hand and she didn't pull away this time,

Cheyanne thought for a moment before asking. "What if they don' me?"

"They will. And if they don't, then fuck it. I don'a give a damn." He tugged at her hand and she moved forward a bit. "They'll jus' have ta get over it. Yar what I want."

She had crawled a bit closer on her knees but Declan couldn't wait any longer. Moving forward, he took his hand from hers and wrapped it around his waist while his other hand gently cupped the back of her knee. In one quick movement, he closed the distance between the two of them and had her straddling his hips. Cheyanne hissed when she felt the bulge in his pants rub against her core.

"Chey, look at me." He commanded softly. She looked up without hesitation. "Do ya believe me now? Do you believe dat I love you?"

Looking into his eyes, there was a childlike innocence there that Cheyanne had never seen before. He was relieved, happy to have finally told her his true feelings. But they were also afraid. He was afraid she would deny him. But after everything he said, how could she. She saw right into him and knew without a doubt that his feelings were true.

"Yes," she said. "I know you love me." She leaned her head forward and rested it on his.

Declan let out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "And do ya love me?"

She didn't take long to think up an answer. Never in her short life had she ever felt drawn to one boy. No one had ever caught her eye long enough. Then one day, by chance, she runs into the man sitting before her and her feelings just change completely. Never had she felt the need to talk to one person or be around one person every day. Never had she wanted to be held the way he was holding her now. All this time, Cheyanne had been falling hard for Declan, and she didn't even realize she was doing it. It was just that easy.

"Yes," the words came out so softly, Declan almost missed them. "Yes, I love you."

Cheyanne barely got the words out before Declan leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers. God, nothing had tasted so sweet to him. Her lips were like a drug, and he didn't want to let go. He just wanted more. He wanted to drown in her. Declan nipped at her bottom lip, causing her to gasp and open her mouth. He took her moment of distraction to press his tongue in her mouth and wrap it around hers.

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