Traditions Ch. 06byhoneyblood©
Ok so here is the chapter. Finally! I've had to submit and resubmit this thing over and over. BUT, it is finally here. I hope you enjoy.
Declan stared at himself as he stood in front of the mirror. He was alone. The other few fighters that had been in the locker room had gone out into the hall to wait for their names to be called. Declan didn't mind being alone though. It gave him a moment to mentally prepare himself for what was to come. Listening to the hum of the overhead lights, Declan could feel himself go into a mental fog that usually meant his body was in the zone. Each and every muscle was toned, amped up and ready for battle. Flexing his hands, the muscles in his arms rippled underneath the skin. He was ready for this fight. This was the fight that he was waiting for. The Cage Warriors Fighting Championship. A whole year and he was finally going to be that much closer to gaining a championship title.
Then why did he feel like something was missing.
It probably had to do with...
No. No, he was not going to think about that right now. He wasn't going to think about...her.
She had made herself very clear last Wednesday, and Declan still hadn't decided what to do now that their relationship was on pause. So he decided to do nothing. She was the one who ran out of the car that night and left him a mess. She was the one who made the decision to ignore him over the past couple of days. So she was going to be the one that decided there fate, and what ever happened after that happened. He wasn't going to worry about it anymore. He hadn't even though about it since that night. When he woke up the next day, he had shoved all those feelings aside and focused on the one thing that mattered to him. His championship fight.
And now here he was, in London, getting ready to kick his favorite jackass's butt. He was going to reveal in that victory, and the best part is he was going to be doing it with his family.
The thought of his family brought a small smile to his face. The first smile he's had in the past few days. They had all driven five hours from Liverpool to London to come see his fight. Knowing that he had there support made him feel that much more confident. Without them, he didn't know if he would have kept on competing after his first failed attempted. But they had convinced him otherwise, and the still rooted for him now.
He had left the night before to get to London ahead of time. Before leaving, his dad had a small talk with him.
"Now listen to me, son. I want ya ta know dat wha'ever happens in dat ring tomorrow, yar still mi son. Yar still apart of dis family and we love ya." Rapping his arm around Declan, he leaned in close. "I love ya. Ya understand."
Nodding his head, Declan brought his dad in for a more formal hug. "I know, da."
With one quick squeeze, Ducky pulled away. "Good." He leaned in a whispered. "And make sure ya fuck up da guy real good."
"With pleasure." Declan didn't even hesitate to answer.
"Good." Before turning from his son, Ducky made a quick comment. "Maybe wit his face so messed up, Darcy will stay away from him."
Thinking back on it, he doubted ruining Jagger's face would help. For whatever reason, his sister was hooked on the buffoon. Hopefully it wouldn't last long. One day soon, their dad was going to put his foot down and put an end to it. Something about that thought made Declan give a hollow laugh. Seemed like their dad was always in the middle of their relationship problems.
Declan shook his. Not now. He didn't need to think about that right now. Didn't need to dwell on it. He had to focus on one thing and one thing only. Winning.
Just then, Declan heard the door behind him open.
"McCarthy," Fergus quickly popped his head in. "You ready? Your match is up next."
"Yeah." Declan gave a quick nod. "Jus let me put on mi hand wraps."
Picking up the long cotton strips of fabric, Declan carefully took one and wrapped his right hand up, going through his fingers and around his palm. Picking up the other one, he began wrapping the other hand in just the same manner.
"Here." Fergus came over and took the other hand wrap. "Let me help you with that."
"Thanks." Extending his hand palm up, Fergus quickly went to work wrapping his hand in the cotton material.
Fergus lifted his eyes to look at his student. "So how are you feeling?"
Fergus raised his eyebrows at that. "Just fine?"
Declan shrugged. "Yeah."
"You're not feeling," Fergus lifted his shoulders and shook his head, "I don't know, nervous or excited or..."
"I feel fine." Declan answered quickly.
Declan's calm demeanor confused Fergus. Usually his student would be a bit more excited about this. On most occasions, Declan would be doing small exercises before the match to keep from bouncing off the walls. Sure Declan always remained calm, but never this calm.
Fergus got to the end of the cotton strip and quickly tucked it and tied it off. Slapping Declan on the shoulder, Fergus gave his best fighter a warm smile. This was it. They were ready. No more time to waist.
Declan paused before answering. "As I'll ever be."
"Good." Fergus smiled and opened the door. "Let's go kick some ass."
Declan could feel strong vibrations move through the concrete walls of the stadium he was in. The grey hall they were walking down led straight to the ring in the center of the stadium. Small electric shocks were traveling down his spine. With each step that they took, the low hum of vibrations began to grow into a loud rumble. The arena must have been packed with people. At least two other fights had gone on today and about three more would go after him. But to Declan, the huge crowd was rooting for him.
Taking a right turn, the two men headed toward a large opening leading into the middle of the building where the ring was set up. From far away, Declan could see tons of people jumping up and down in their seats. Flashing lights meant that people were snapping pictures. Hopefully some were from big newspapers and sport magazines. When he won, his name would be plastered in them and then his fighting career would finally be taking off.
"Ok, They just called Jagger's name." Fergus turned him around and pulled him off to the side. "Now remember everything I taught you. Keep your head down and protect your sides. You've worked around this guy, so you know what he can do. He's a cocky son of a bitch, so knock him down a few times, show him who's boss, and he'll start fumbling around. But don't get to confident. You don't want to make the same mistake this year." Fergus laughed, knowing that the likely hood of that happening again were slim to none. Declan had worked too hard to slip up so easily. That's what made him a better fighter this time around.
Declan took a deep breath and nodded his head.
Fergus smiled. "Good." A guy with a head set on walked over time him from the arena opening and quickly whispered in his ear. Nodding his head, he turned back to Declan. "Get ready. Your up."
Deep from inside the arena, a man with an official voice began speaking over the crowd.
"All the way from Liverpool, weighing in at 13.3 stone..."
Declan took another deep breath and crossed himself, quickly sending up a silent prayer.
"This is his second attempt at making it to the finals and having a chance at the Cage Warriors Championship...."
Here goes nothing.
"Ladies and gentlemen...Introducing...Declan McCarthy!"
Declan strutted out into that area and the crowd went absolutely wild. The noise was almost deafening, and Declan could barely feel the ground beneath him as the crowd's roar of excitement shook the building. More cameras were flashing and even a few large cameras were pointed at him. Possibly a famous sports channel was filming this. The thought of having his fight televised gave him an extra rush of excitement. Turning to a large part of the crowd, Declan raised his arms up high and yelled along with them. The people went absolutely mad in their seats.
Yes, Declan thought. This was what I've been waiting for. This is what I want.
Fergus was enjoying himself as well. He was standing behind Declan rubbing his shoulders and yelling along with him. This was as big for him as it was for Declan. Fergus hadn't been at such a large fight competition in such a long time. To be in such a place probably brought back a few feelings of nostalgia, and Declan was happy to give it to him.
They had finally made it to the huge ring in the center and Jagger was already inside jumping around, waiting for his opponent to enter and start the match. Declan couldn't help but smirk at him as he climbed up the steps and walked into the gated circular stage. Deep down, he could help but feel sorry for the poor guy. He was about to get his ass handed to him.
Declan stood in the opposite side of the ring and waited for the official referee to start the match. Fergus was waiting outside the gated ring, as was Jagger's. They weren't allowed in. They had to coach from out there. But Declan didn't' need him anymore. Not today.
"Boys!" The referee called the two men into the middle of the ring and had them stand in front of each other. "Now I want a good clean fight. No illegal moves. No hanky panky. If your five seconds away from passing out, tap out. Got it?" he waited a moment for both men to nod their heads. "Good now shake hands."
It took him a moment, but eventually Declan had pushed down enough of his annoyance to lift his hand towards Jagger's. The dick head just stared at it. After a long minute and a loud snort, Jagger put his mouth plate in and stepped back, completely ignoring Declan's out stretched hand.
The entire crowd erupted into a series of 'OH's and 'Boo's.
Oh. This fucker was going down.
The referee just looked between the two guys and shook his head. Looks like it was going to be a long night.
And with that the fight was on.
Within the first five minutes, Declan was already wearing Jagger down. Jagger was huffing and puffing, But Declan hadn't even broken a sweat. That was a good thing. Once he had tried Jagger out enough, he could go in for the attack with all his saved energy. In the meantime, he would just have to dodge Jagger's attempts. So far, his opponent had been making quick jabs at his right side. He knew that Declan favored his right more, so it would be smart to aim for it. But Declan wasn't about to let him get anywhere close to his right flank.
Jagger charged at him again but Declan quickly moved out of the way, lightly smacking him on the head before padding away. The crowd laughed at that. Menacingly, Jagger turned around to give Declan a bone chilling look. Declan just blew him a kiss.
Come on, he thought. Show me what you got.
Jagger raised his fists. Declan caught him eyeing his right shoulder just before Jagger lunged at him again. The move was predictable, and he easily dodged it. He failed to see Jagger's keg come up from under him and hit him in his left side. A harsh pain began radiating from the left side of his chest, right over his ribs. Declan was so distracted by the pain, he was unable to block Jagger's second hit from the right side. The sheer force of the kick sent Declan falling to the floor.
He only had a second to lay there before Jagger began charging at him again. Rolling out of the way, he barely missed Jagger's knee slamming onto the floor of the ring. The hit was probably meant for his head. A hit like that, and it would have been lights out for him.
Quickly getting to his feet, Declan slammed into Jagger's waist before he had a chance to get up from the floor. Now that he had him on his back, Declan unleashed a flurry of hits to Jagger's face and head. He was bloodying his face up good until Jagger was able to free his arm and land a solid hit to Declan's sore right side.
"Ahh." Declan let out a loud cry, and Jagger was able to push himover and onto his back.
With the tables turned, Jagger tried landing a few hits of his own. He got a few harsh blows near his jaw and top of his head, but for the most part Declan was blocking most of them. He could tell Jagger was getting tired again as the blows started to slow down. Eventually his weariness will make him careless and leave an opening for Declan to get a shot in. And just as he predicted, he was given that opening. Jagger had raised his fist just a bit to high, leaving his left side open. Declan took advantage of the opportunity and nailed a right hook to his opponents rib cage.
"Oomf." All the air was pushed out of Jagger's lungs.
Quickly Declan pushed him off and got to his feet. He watched as Jagger rolled around for a bit on the floor. Pathetic loser was having trouble catching his breath.
Normally, Declan wouldn't wait for a man to get on his feet before charging at him again. But Jagger needed to be taught a lesson. Declan wanted him standing before knocking him back down again. For good.
"Come on, asshole! On yar feet!"
Jagger wobbled around for a bit before gaining enough footing to stand up. Just as Declan was about to go at him again, Jagger raised his hands toward the referee.
That gave Declan a reason to pause. Time out? Was he serious?
"Time out!" He shouted again before leaning over and resting his hands on his knees.
Oh no. Declan was not about to let this fucker get away. By before he could get anywhere near him the referee came in and called for a time out.
The crowd started booing, hating that the fight had momentarily been put on hold. Declan could sympathize. He was pissed too. But he would take advantage of this small break. He needed some water.
Off to the side, the gates had been opened to let the fighters quickly stick their heads out and grab a drink or talk to their coaches. Fergus was there handing Declan a bottle of water and a towel. Walking over to sit down at the edge of the ring, Declan was able to realize just how beat up he was. The sides of his chest were extremely sore and sensitive. His ribs were probably bruised, and his jaw was starting to ache from the multiple hits he'd received. They'd only been in the ring about ten or fifteen minutes, so Declan needed to bring Jagger down soon before he acquires anymore injuries.
"You're looking good out there boy. And you're doing even better." Fergus smiled at him before wiping some of the sweat off Declan's head and shoulders. "But I have to tell you that when you're out there you should..."
Declan didn't hear anything after that. He was looking out into the crowd now. Seating in the standing off to the side were the only people in the room that mattered. His lovely family members were all jumping up and down in the stand. Dad was standing on the far end next to his sister and cousin, Aidan. Jimmy was there along with him and Aidan's dad. His mom had to stay home to watch the other kids, but he knew that she would've wanted to be here if she could. Looking out at his family, his heart swelled knowing that they were all there to support him. To root for him.
Then why did it feel like there was something missing.
Before he knew it, his short reprieve was over and he had to climb back into the ring.
If his jaw wasn't so sore, he would have let out a long whistle. Damn, Jagger's face was fucked up. The right eye was starting to swell shut, and the beings of dark bruises were starting to form on Jagger's face and chest. Declan was proud of his work.
A shrill bell resounded through the arena and the two fighters immediately ran at each other. Both men were clutching onto the other man's shoulders, desperately trying to throw them off balance. Although they were in the same weight class, Declan was clearly the bigger man. In no time flat, Declan overpowered Jagger and brought him down to his knees. He rammed his knee into his opponent's chest and once into his face. It was almost comical the way Jagger's head flew backwards. As soon as his body hit the floor, Declan was on him like white on rice. Straddling Jagger's waist, Declan unleashed another flurry of bunches to the weaker man's face.
One. Two. Three hits. Blood spewed from Jagger's lips.
Declan wasn't ashamed to smile down at the poor fellow. This was it. One more hit, and Jagger wouldn't think twice about getting up. Raising his fist above his head, Declan was prepared to unleash his final blow.
Then he heard it. A single call from the stands.
"Come on, Jagger, get up!"
"Darcy, wha the 'ell do ya t'ink yar doing?"
Declan looked up for a second to peer out into the crowd. His eyes immediately zeroed in on his family. His dad had his hand firmly wrapped around his sisters arm, blatantly reprimanding her. Darcy, being stubborn, wasn't listening. She just continued to shout out.
"Come on Jagger! Get back up!"
What? Was his sister...rooting for Jagger. Was his sister actually rooting for the asshole?
Noticing his opponent was momentarily distracted, Jagger put all of his remaining strength into his fist.
Declan never saw it coming.
The most excruciating, white hot pain erupted around the surrounding flesh of Declan's eye. His head snapped so face, he was looking at the light of God. It only took him a second to realize that it wasn't God but the flashing light of the cameras outside of the ring.
Declan's body felt weightless as he fell to the floor. All the noise began to melt away as one thought resonated in his mind.
Why did this happen to him?
How could his sister root for his enemy?
In the back ground, he barely registered anything. Only tid-bits of words and phrases. Things like "knock out," "get up", and "he's out" whispered past his ears.
From far away, someone was calling out to him.
"Get up McCarthy! Get up!"
"Come on, son!"
He couldn't get up. He didn't want to. He felt defeated. Utterly lost.
Why would any woman root for a scumbag like Jagger?
And it hit him.
It was because Darcy cared. Darcy cared enough to anger her father to root for him. She cared enough to root for his enemy, while Declan was so scared of disappointing everyone that he'd rather let his relationship with Cheyanne crumble then let his father know.
And he was jealous. Jealous that he didn't have a woman who cared rooting for him.
Had one though. Why wasn't she there?
"It's official. Declan is out for the count and Jagger is the winner!"
Declan heard the annooucer and something just snapped.
Nooooooo! No! No! Fuck no! He couldn't have lost! Not like this! Fuck!
Damn it why aren't you here Cheyanne!
Declan wasn't aware when he finally stood up, but he knew he was fully awake now. Lights were flashing in rapid succession. Dozens of reporters were now piling into the ring. Many wanted to interview the winner. A few wanted a word with Declan.
"McCarthy? McCarthy?" A reporter tried shoving a microphone in his face. "How do you feel about this tremendous loos?"
"McCarthy, what happened out there in the ring?"
Declan just walked passed them out of the ring. Fergus was right there with him.
"Declan," he tried to keep up with him. "Declan what happened out there?"
Declan ignored him and looked out into the stadium seats. His family was looking back at him. His cousins and uncle gave him a look of sympathy. His sister gave him an apologetic look while mouthing the words 'I'm sorry' over and over again. His dad...just looked at him.
He was in the hallway now, making his way back to the locker room with Fergus close behind.
"Declan. Declan you've got to talk to me."
Declan turned around to real quick and grabbed the towel that Fergus had in his hand. He tensely started to wipe himself down. Emotions were running high, and he tried taking deep breaths to calm himself. It wasn't working.