The rattle of the swing chains after they stung her arms upon collision made the humiliation of being shoved so easily even greater in the singer’s mind. She pushed herself halfway up on the swing seat when her aggressor tossed her to the ground again, followed by a kick to her left thigh.
“You touch my sister again and I’ll–”
“You’ll what?” Egeme said, facing Rum fearlessly. Although, Nuria’s older brother is held at bay by both of Egeme’s.
“Don’t worry, Rum,” Nuria said as she found the chance to stand, her leg trembling from the pain. “Baldie here’s just mad because I called him out on his Itchy voice.”
When Egeme rubbed his bald head and glared at Nuria with sharp hazel eyes as cold as ice picks, Nuria learned she’d zeroed in on his second insecurity to date. The bully removed his dark blazer and cracked his knuckles. “You don’t know when to shut up.”
Nuria bluffed confidence as she also removed her blazer from around her waist with a cocky grin. She recognized his inability to hold even a single note, hence the Itchy call out, but also recognized that he hits very hard. Having two older brothers probably had something to do with that. I’m at a disadvantage since I’ve only got the one.
“Think you’re man enough to make me shut up?” Nuria asked mockingly.
“I think I’ll break your leg this time! That oughta do it!” Egeme threatened.
“You break her leg and I’ll snap your ne–” Rum’s threat was cut off too late with a gut punch. Egeme wasn’t afraid of Nuria, but Rum was bigger, older, and faster.
“What now, baldie? You know your brothers won’t be able to protect you forever. So, you break my leg or wuss out like a little bitch?” Nuria knew his ego wouldn’t let him back down, especially with his brothers watching.
“Better a bitch than a cunt!” he barked as he advanced toward her.
The word “cunt” echoed in Nuria’s mind, but the echoes grew faint as her mind withdrew into a vacuum.
That same vacuum overrides Nuria’s common sense and she leaps at Evic with a shriek. She tackles him to the ground outside of Ibri House, but he rolls her off of him swiftly. He rises and reaches for his longsword, but the phoenix is on him again instantly, a hyperaggressive, one hundred and twenty-pound, scrappy phoenix on a mission. Each punch of Nuria’s gets closer to landing with every evasive maneuver Evic takes, culminating with a solid jab to his left shoulder- his sword arm.
The enraged phoenix finds better luck now that he stops reaching for his sword, landing punches all over, but it feels like she’s striking a tractor tire for as little as the blows slow him down.
“And here I thought you could actually throw a punch,” Evic taunts.
“I’ll show you a punch!”
Nuria slaps her palms together and rubs them faster than normal. She doesn’t stop even as they catch fire, continuing until the auburn glow reflected in her wintry eyes camouflages better. She leaps into the air to swing down with both fists coated in mezzo flames, prepared to teach Evic the same lesson as Egeme.
Never call me a cunt!
The wroth in Nuria’s heart melts the moment Reddic’s voice reaches her ears. She regrets her choice immediately and immensely. She’s been going on and on to herself and others about her control issues, and even after the progress of the last five years, she backtracks because of one word. And this time, she knows a burnt cheek won’t be all that Evic feels once her mezzo flames hit.
Shit! It’s too late to stop!
She shows Evic her regret with amplified terror in her gaze, even as he reaches for his sword.
The storm she believes to come from their clash is stopped by another storm. One sheathed sword, decorated with a hurricane decal, slams guard to guard with Evic’s to keep it in its scabbard. Nuria’s white-hot mezzo flames are extinguished by a powerful vertical gust summoned by a long white blade extending from Shuri’s hand.
“What the hell’s gotten into you two?” Shuri accosts them both. “Wasn’t this supposed to be a party?”
Nuria has a hard time regulating her breathing, staring at Shuri with a deflated spirit, unable to explain her actions. She inhales deeply and looks to Evic. She flinches under the scrutiny of his scowl, but the weight of his expression isn’t matched by the look in his eyes.
Is he trying to signal me back? Nuria huffs and lowers her shoulders. Not like I have the right to ask him anything anymore. I could’ve seriously killed him just now.
The young phoenix whirls and is skewered by the first look of disappointment on Reddic’s face.
“I’m sorry, Shuri. Party’s over.”