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Don't belong here (Almaz)
Their car pulled up to a street that surprised Danika. She thought all the best clubs were downtown or near the Kremlin district. She had seen the lights glowing the street with sunlight. She knew which streets to avoid when she left the lab late at night. It made the commute home all the longer to weave in and out of the crowds. Such a place was where she assumed they were heading when Maria and Godric insisted she go out with them. She’d turned them down so many times, but the same old excuse of “I have to work late” simply couldn’t fly anymore.

“Where’s the club?” she asked from the back seat. Godric had pulled over along an otherwise empty curb, powered down the vehicle and climbed out. Maria just smiled and ticked her head toward the window. Danika just shook her head and followed.

Danika hugged her little beaded jacket around her shoulders. The dress she wore was short and the heels as high as she could handle without falling all over herself. “I knew I should have wore pants,” she said to Maria, voice low although she had no idea why she had the urge to whisper. Meanwhile, Godric approached a door that for all of Danika’s purposes seemed completely shut up and abandoned.

Maria chuckled, “We’ll be inside in a moment. And you look incredible, Danika. Toughen the fuck up a little, eh?”
Danika gasped at the impropriety, but a playful nudge in the ribs followed.

Somehow the door opened and the next thing Danika knew, they were ushered through a maze of hallways. “Where are we going?” she said to Maria.

Godric looked over one shoulder at the two girls. He was so excited, Danika barely recognized her technician. “This is a side-entrance into Almaz,” he said with all the expertise of one who had been here before.

Maria squeezed Danika’s arm as they emerged into an area with tables and a strange view. A flare of surprise widened her eyes, "I do not belong here," she declared as they pulled her in further.


((roc: This is a fluff piece. Anyone is welcome to join!))
Nox had never been to the Almaz before. The grit and grime of fighting men was never his thing. His father said it was not an Atharim thing to do. Betting on wounding men when there was plenty of other monsters to fight. But then again his father had taken him to a whore house the moment he thought he had a gay son. So his judgement wasn’t precisely the best thing in the world to go off of.

It was loud. There were too many people here. Lily was tucked away in a locker at the train station with the rest of his things. He didn’t trust leaving it in the tunnels, and he didn’t want to go back to the storage locker for it. The station was close and Lily would be safe for now, the sun had been good for the plant — had been good for him. But the darkness of the Almaz catered more to Nox’s mood.

The fight in the middle was nothing really but a show of two men fighting for money. It wasn’t even interesting. The crowd was even less interesting. There were no strange encounters, no power wielders, nothing of note on roster tonight. And definitely no sign of Kasun from the stands. And Nox didn’t know anyone here to get an in. Though he could push Oriena’s name, he did technically work for her, but there was no point. He’d done this thousands of times in the States. Fighting monsters wasn’t new. It would never go away, and it really was the Atharim’s bread and butter.

But Nox just walked around the place getting a feel for the energy. The place was crowded. Girls in high heels, men in high bred suits and here he was in jeans and a worn grey hoodie. He looked like he felt. And he didn’t have any shame in it. As long as he didn’t look like he’d been crying he was happy. And he hadn’t cried in his coffee since earlier that afternoon. His emotions were over the top.

The horde wanted a fight and the atmosphere boiled his blood. He needed a fight. It rolled through his blood. He fought his inner self as he walked around the club. He bumped into a man escorting two women with him. Nox pulled away. ”Sorry.”
Dani shook her head in disbelief. The club was so completely strange, she’d never imagined anything like it. Godric had wandered toward a bar, leaving her and Maria to stand together. There was no place to sit, all the tables in sight were already taken. But the majority of people were peering through windows. She still wasn’t sure what was there.

“Where’s the dance floor?” Danika asked Maria, who only shrugged. Neither one of them had a clue what they were getting into when Godric promised them a night on the town.
“This place is crazy,” she answered.
“And full of crazy scary people!” Dani replied, though she said it in Maria’s ear.

Godric had returned by then, delivering each a drink. Danika’s was in a tall, skinny glass filled with bright blue liquid. She’d never seen anything like it!
“What is this place?” she asked Godric, who was about to say something when one of the scary guys stalking the room bumped into him.

“Sorry,” he said and pulled away, but Danika wasn’t sure he entirely meant it. He was dark haired and brooding in a way that reminded her of Marcus a little bit. Certainly he looked like nobody she worked with in the office. But what stood out was that he was dressed way down compared to the rest of those she saw. She was kind of jealous, actually. The heels had already started to rub a blister on her heel and the night had only begun. Getting dressed up was always fun for a while, but she would rather wear a hoodie.

“He’s so cute,” she said to Maria, but Godric easily overheard. He laughed a little, but Danika was horrified that the guy himself likely heard as well.

Godric looked the bump-guy up and down. Whatever he saw, it made him nod in agreement.
“He is!”
There was a dark spot on his soul. The darkness in the light. Nox could feel the anger rising. The need to fight. The men in the ring drew him to the edge of the cage to watch, but a feminine voice spoke a bit too loudly after he bumped into the guy, "He’s so cute."

Nox froze. His mind reeled the possible reactions. The horde pushed at his human mind. Their former instincts rolling from fight to fuck and back again. The instincts clashed with his feelings for Raffe, the promise he’d failed to keep.

The guy he’d bumped into agreed with the sentiment and Nox wanted to walk away. Needed to walk away but his feet were still frozen to the floor. His heart pounded in his chest. It was hard fighting the instincts. Hard fighting the mask he’d put on for so many years. That happy-go-lucky kid who was always getting himself into trouble with his mouth and good looks. Starting fights inadvertently when flirting with some random girl. Now he was just as likely to get a beat down for hitting on the wrong guy…

His mind flit to Raffe and the anger at himself boiled again. He lifted a foot to escape the admiration and fight the instincts alone in a dark corner, but the second girl’s voice cut through the din of the fighting around him, and the chaos of his own mind. "He could dress a little better for the place. I mean who even wears hoodies and Chucks anymore?"

The words meant nothing. Nox didn’t care what other people thought about him or his attire. He wasn’t going to dress up for these fuck heads, and sure as fuck didn’t care what some prissy little princess thought about his clothes. It was the tone that struck a chord. It turned all the inner fighting in one direction.

Nox turned on his heel in one slow motion, his index finger on his right hand pointing at the snarky little shithead. He glowered at her and the light in his eyes was not friendly.

The man she was with stepped between their gaze and Nox stood staring at the man’s Adam apple bobbing up and down. The pulse in his throat thudded against his skin and the horde thought food. Nox let slip a small growl for his lips as his eyes raised to meet the man’s. "She didn’t mean anything by it so back off." He said with all the confidence of a shaky tree. His voice wavered but he didn’t move.

Nox smirked. Brave.

Nox’s eyes drifted past the man to the women behind him. A familiar faced stared at him — her voice an echo on the winds of the past few moments but it was searing pain that he recalled the last time he’d seen her. "I remember you. Was a much fancier place than this. Much more dangerous if I recall."

Nox diverted his attention back to the man who’s chest puffed out even more as he stepped between him and the gala girl — one of the few faces etched into his mind after the Ijiraq seared his soul with pain — his own power used against him. The memory alone drew out another growl.

"Don’t test me."

"I’m not afraid of you." his voice warbled. Big men fall hard. Small men weren’t worth the fight. But he so wanted to fight. His hands balled up into fists as he fought the desire to punch him. His fingernails dug into his right hand, the small crescents would likely leave a mark. A small price to pay… blood. Food. Fight. A small growl left Nox’s throat again as he waited for the man to decide one way or another which way this went. It was in his court.
At first, Dani thought that the guy must have heard their embarrassing outburst, which was why he had stopped walking away. Oh my god if he turns around i’m going to die, she thought. But then Maria had to comment on the very outfit that Danika was lamenting. Dani just shrugged. Not thinking anything of it. She didn’t see anyone else in casual clothes, but Dani thought the idea was brilliant.

He was pissed when he turned, though. Dani didn’t need help identifying that kind of emotion. His brows were low. His lips were a line. In that moment, Danika was afraid. Godric stepped up, but he seemed half the size of the other guy. One step was all it took for Godric to falter. At her side, Maria rolled her eyes and a tsk flicked from her tongue. Even Danika knew not to egg on a scary pissed off guy in a nightclub.

Then he turned the heat of his gaze upon Danika. He knew her! Her eyes flared wide, mouth parted with disbelief. He looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t place from where. He mentioned fancy places and danger, and it all came into focus. The ball! She had tried to block it out. That awful night. It was followed by a wonderful night, but the ball itself was the stuff of nightmares. He had been there, she remembered, and had witnessed some of what could be done.

“Godric, don’t,” she tried to tug on his arm and pull him away, but he only shook her off to make enough room that they could fight. He balled up a fist and took a swing.

Danika braced herself for the worst when a bouncer caught Godric’s arm in a much more forceful grasp than anything Danika might have attempted.
“You looking for a fight, go to the cages!” he said. The guy was enormous and spoke with a heavy Russian accent. His head was shaved but for a line of black hair that made a maze of a pattern around the back of his scalp.

Next he turned toward Lux or Lumos or Zenith - his name had something to do with lightwaves - she couldn’t quite remember. The bouncer turned toward him.
“You want to put that to better use?” he pointed at the man’s hands. “There’s an open slot in ten minutes” and he nodded his head at the nearest ring.

Danika's gaze followed the bouncer's line of sight.
"What does he mean by cages?" she asked still not quite sure what sort of nightclub this was.
The man wound up and from the sidelines one of the big burly Russian’s walked up and caught the man’s arm mid swing. Nox smirked but his eyes never left his would-be attacker’s. What Nox wouldn’t give to have let it land and give the man a return swing.

The bouncer turned to him with a not so calmer response. Though Nox wasn’t the one to make the first swing, he still got the invitation because he’d been involved. Right where he needed to be.

The gala girls naivete made Nox smirk. ”I don’t think you belong here. The blood and violence might turn your stomach.” There was no malice in his voice when he spoke to her, just mild concern. She didn’t seem like the violent type — naive and smart.

Nox gave the bouncer a nod. ”I think I might.”

The bouncer chuckled. ”You might change your mind once you see your opponent.”

Nox snickered. ”Doubtful. Oni don’t scare me, big men are nothing once you’ve faced one of those.”

The man paled a little at the mention of the Oni. So he knew what it was. Nox’s smile widened as he turned towards the cages. This was going to be fun. He’d look for Kasun. But first — he wanted a fight. Needed that fight.

The cages weren’t far. He’d been heading that way to ask questions. He rattled the cage and got the attention of the man standing near by. ”Big Russian guy back there said there’s an open spot in ten?”

The man looked Nox up and down and sneered. ”Aint’ ya a little small.”

”I’ll give you a good show. I promise.”

The big bouncer stopped behind him and opened the gate. ”He’s fought an Oni.”

”Several actually — mind you not all at the same time.” No he didn’t want to fight multiple Oni power or no power that was a fucking death sentence.

The man on the other side’s eyes went wide too. ”And you won?”

”Killed em dead. I’d rather not fight one today if you don’t mind. I want to fight, not die.”

”Another night you’d be game?”

Nox shrugged. ”Maybe.”

”I don’t believe it. In.”

Nox grinned. ”Thanks.”

Nox stepped through the gate and they shut it behind him. This was going to be fun. And hopefully not dead.

[[ ooc: give you time to react to before and then I can post a fight ]]
Danika gasped when Godric swung his arm. She couldn’t watch! Except there were no grunts or smacky sounds afterward. She tentatively looked up and found this huge Russian guy holding the two apart. Godric he basically lifted and put aside. Then he turned to lightwave guy and talked about getting him into a more profitable fight.

She’d heard the word ‘cages’ more times than she could count and started to get a weird feeling in the pit of her stomach.
Lightwave guy suggested she go elsewhere.

Danika’s eyes were saucers.
“Maybe he’s right. Maybe we should go somewhere else,” she said.

Godric was still pissed, although his gaze trailed after the guy that almost made him lunchmeat like he was relieved to be away from him.
“No way. I wanted to come here for reason. It’s awesome, and we can’t leave now. You kidding? I’ll look like a wimp,” he said and stalked off.

Danika was left with Maria in silence.
“Well that’s awkward,” she finally said.

“Yeah, that guy was hawt,” she replied.
“Are you serious? After what you said about him he turned super scary!”
“Exactly. Hawwwt,” she said in a sing-song voice.

Danika couldn’t help but chuckle.
“Wait you know him? Who is he?”

Danika looked around to make sure nobody was overtly listening. Then she whispered, “He was at the Ascendancy’s ball at the Kremlin,” she nodded. Maria hadn’t been invited. Danika only had by proxy of her position, and as a guest of Marcus. She wished he was there right then.

“Well come on!” she tugged Danika onward. There were seats surrounding a stage of sorts that was completely wrapped in fencing. The cage, she thought, stomach doing flip flops.

She sat, happy to take the pressure off her feet, next to Maria and Godric while the next match was lined up.
“Is this like wrestling or something?” she asked.
Nox followed the guy back to the staging area. There were other men sitting around. Some bleeding. Others not. A medic tended to one man who had come out on bottom of the last match. He cried out in pain as the medic wrenched his arm into place and started bandaging it up. Ouch, was all Nox could think about, but it didn’t change anything.

He asked as he followed the guy. ”I’m looking for a guy with golden eyes, kinda feral.” Nox chuckled. ”Probably describes a lot of guys around here. He’d probably be rather uncommunicative though, grunts and growls — doubt he spoke words at this stage.” At least most rogue wolfkin who went bad and attacked were far more wolf than man.

”The guy was taken by his handler. Pretty dame with a mean streak.”

”Know where she might have taken him?”

Guy shook his head. ”Not a clue.” He looked Nox up and down again and shook his head. ”Do whatever you are gonna do, but prepare to die. I won’t be putting any money on you.”

Nox laughed. ”Your loss. I don’t intend on dying tonight. Got a life I wanna live, even if it hurts like fuck.” He just wanted to make it hurt like fuck in a different way right now. Wanted to look how he felt then he’d have an excuse to lie around in bed broken and battered. He would be broken and battered.

The sounds of the bored crowd crept into the staging area. ”They are getting restless. I hope you don’t die.” The man said as he swung open the gate. ”What’s your name?”


”Just Nox?”

”Just Nox.” He said, there was no reason for falsities. No reason to scare the person.

Nox took off the hoodie and set it down in a corner of the cage under a wall of air. No one would steal it. His wallet sat on top and Nox turned his false arm and deposited it with the rest of his things and secured it all to the ground. Damaging his tools wasn’t an option. This was about him — and what he deserved nothing more.

The power raged inside of him. The smell of the blood and piss and shit from the prior matches permeated his nose and he nearly gaged with the onslaught — but it was nothing compared to the grime and ooze of the dead things he’d killed before. The memories rushing back. The searing pain, their flesh melting from their bodies. A tear slid down his cheek as he waited for the announcer to proclaim his entrance.

”Our latest trouble maker making his debut in the arena, Nox.”

The crowd booed. Fitting…

The cages above rattled and a large hulking man came out from behind him. He glanced at Nox’s things on the ground went straight for the arm. The shield kept him from touching things, but Nox wove a quick zap before the man touched it. ”I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

The announcer didn’t even get the man’s name out before he charged at Nox full bore. The cage door clattered shut and the crowd cheered. But with a flourish Nox waved the rushing bull past him like a matador in a bull fight. ”Careful big guy.” Nox taunted.

Yulian, The Bull, crashed into the other side of the ring missing Nox with a large growl as he raged in anger. Nox planted his feet and held out his right hand and beckoned the man with his fingers. ”Bring it.”

Yulian rushed forward and landed the hit in Nox’s gut. He doubled over with the blow and the crowd cheered. He deserved that.

Nox swung his right arm and his fist planted in the mans face. Yulian sneered, the insult only made him angrier as he took both his meaty hands and grabbed Nox’s shoulders and head-butted him right in the nose. Blood poured down and Nox stumbled backwards propping himself with a weave of air before tumbling to the ground.

Yulian rushed Nox again, this time his shoulder catching his hips and plowed the two of them into the pillar of air Nox had used to keep himself upright. He grunted with the impact and Yulian stepped back in a daze. His planned action faltered as he looked around to see what happened.

The crowd went from boos and cheers to hushed whispers as the idea of magic in their mist was in play. The last time something like this happened, the ceiling came down. The Almaz had been destroyed, but Nox had no intention of destroying the one place he could come to have a real fight — a place to vent the horde’s frustration at being unable to fight to fuck. It was so tired of the feed. It wanted blood for the sake of blood and while Nox was ready to indulge its whims, he wasn’t going to kill this man to appease the fucking voice in his head that told him to kill. He’d die fighting that voice.

A few voices rose above the others as two objects clattered to the ring floor. ”Let’s even the odds.”

Yulian grabbed the sword first. And Nox glanced at the other object they’d slid under the fence. The sword, Aria had tried to teach him once upon a time. She’d been successful but Nox preferred his own tools. A small smile crossed his lips as flung his hand down towards the ground in a flourishing display. The gesture was hardly needed, but this was for them on the other side of the ring. A flaming sword erupted into his hand. The rush of heat at his side a familiar feeling, the flamed licking his hand unphased by the touch. He didn’t quite understand why it didn’t burn him, but it didn’t. He preferred the flaming whip but this was a show, and he had more control this way.

In a second weave Nox wove a solid block of air around his missing arm as an extension. He still forgot it wasn’t there and that could be detrimental in a fight with real weapons. A bad judgement call and that sword could be in his skull — not the outcome he wanted.

Nox made a tenative slash at his opponent and he jumped backwards more gracefully than Nox would have thought. The more distance the better — this was like fighting an Oni. Nox didn’t want to be in close range despite the melee weapons they both now held.

Yulian went for the second weapon, he brandished both and rushed Nox. First with the sword coming from the left, and the club coming from the right.

Both of them landed crashed into Nox. The sword sliced into his arm and Nox howled with pain. It was a glancing blow but the club smashed the flame sword and Nox dropped the blade and it disappeared into nothingness.

”Enough.” Nox said to Yulian and he made the motion to clap his hands together a thunderous boom echoed in the arena and the man flung backwards away from Nox. He stumbled and skid to a halt ten feet from Nox.

Yulian rushed at Nox again with the club full bore, it smashed into the flaming blade that had reappeared in Nox’s hand moments before, the second attack by the sword missed wildly as Nox danced underneath the man’s reach.

Nox extended his hand a flames appeared to shoot from it. The weave was simple and Nox wanted this guy to stay the fuck away. He hurt. His body was beaten and bruised and he wiped away blood that still dripped from his nose. He probably broke it.

Yulian didn’t dodge the flames with enough effort and the stench of smoke, burning hair and skin escaped the arena. Many of the watchers wafted away the stench.

Yulian was a one trick wonder — why fuck with what works. Nox was moving slowly now. He felt every inch of his body in pain and the next attack took more out of him that he’d have liked.

Nox extended his power into the earth and shook the area’s ground. The earth wobbled and Yulian teetered and shifted but never lost his balance. Small darts of earth and broken concrete battered his legs and body. The rest of the arena only felt the small aftershock of the waves sent into the ground. Control and mastery things Nox took pride in his ability. He wasn’t Ascendancy level — he’d never make monuments of buildings or raise floods and level mountains. Those weren’t his game. Killing monsters was all he ever wanted to do. That’s all he trained to do.

Debris and trash littered the arena floor now, but other than the remnants of the shards the floor remained unbroken, unblemished — possibly even a few broken crevices mended by the power that had flowed through it.

Yulian’s balance faltered and he he didn’t make it to Nox before he had time to mime another clap. The thunderous boom roared across the arena and Yulian flew backwards into the arena wall. The impact knocking him out cold and when the sound wave left, his body crumpled to the ground in a heap.

[[ ooc: I just want to say that I used a D&D Level 8 Barbarian vs a Level 8 Sorcerer to randomize the outcomes. I may have fudge 1 roll but the rest of it was purely the fall of the dice. ]]
The slow rise and fall of the man’s chest told Nox he was still alive. It would suck to go down for murder in an unauthorized fight just because he was lost in his own head.

The crowd waited for the medics to haul him away and Nox followed after. The darkness raged at his peripheral and the light inside thrashed in his grasp. They both wanted more, needed more but Nox let both go. The horde’s fight was stronger, the world was dimmer. And Nox’s own broken mind replayed every nightmare in his mind.

He didn’t need to sleep to feel the loss of his world. Images of his mother dying, of his father dead in a pool of his own vomit, Aurora’s lifeless body under a sheen of dirt after he’d found her body, Nova’s beautiful fur marred and mangled by the disease that over come him. But it was the loss of a man still living that tore at his heart and Nox reached through the sludge of his mind and pulled up on the power.

It would be so easy to just let it burn him alive. To pull it all through his body so that it seared his soul to a crisp.

The pain of the power coursing through his body when the Ijiraq feed upon him was nothing in comparison to what he’d done to Raffe. Words from a long past memory — though it wasn’t that long ago in the reality of things filtered through his mind. Ori’s voice telling him he’d fuck things up. Like he didn’t know.

A life he didn’t deserve was gone in one moment of failure. The successes before meant nothing. The days of travel alone with Jay meant nothing, the days afterward where Nox had beat himself up for his failure paled in comparison to the pain he’d put himself through now.

Nox wiped blood from his nose and the man fussing at him as he walked through the iron cage into the underground handed him an ice pack and tended to wounds Nox barely recognized. The blood and battered face and the slice on his arm were nothing to how he wanted to feel.

”Did not expect that.” A voice broke through Nox’s thoughts and he looked up at a man flipping money like a one of those flip books with the bouncing ball. He smiled at Nox. ”Made a nice profit. Though the small guy look won’t work for long — once people see you in action it’s an unfair advantage. Unless…”

Nox smirked. ”Unless you pit me against your monsters.” Nox shook his head. ”I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I’d only cost you your winnings, and the match would end in death each and every time. It’s my job to kill monsters. And there is only one monster I’ve come across that I don’t know how to kill.”

”After that display I don’t doubt it. But this monster?”

Nox laughed. ”If they wanted money you might convince one, but there is no way your idiots will capture one if well trained Atharim can’t kill them. I know of one person who’s killed one and he ain’t exactly sane — nor is he still alive. Lost a head if I recall.”

That had been another things Nox didn’t want to think about. He’d made a promise to Aria — he kept it. Killed her and buried her in the ground where no one would find the body. They’d have to dig up a city street just to begin to find her. There was no grave marker or even a mound of dirt for them to know. The power could do some wonderful things, but it held dark dark secrets too, and Dane had wielded them like a kid with cotton candy. He was glad the man was dead, but he hated that Aria’s love for the demented man caused her own demise.

His word was all he had. And now he didn’t even have that.

”You alright?”

Nox laughed. ”Do you usually get people in her with the intention of causing problems?”

”All the time. We have at least three open spots just for that purpose. You ain’t the first, and you won’t be the last tonight.”

Nox smirked. ”I didn’t come looking for a fight. I came looking for a man. The darkness always wants a fight.” Nox shook his head, Sage would be proud. ”David Banner said his secret was he was always angry — right? Three things fuel instincts in nature — protecting you and those you love, feeding them, and insuring your blood line lives on. The three Fs — feed, fight and fuck. Do what I do long enough and you get bit by the monsters, become them.”

Nox turned and headed for the exit. ”I’m sure I’ll be back.”

”Wait.” The man stopped Nox with a hand on his arm and handed Nox some cash. ”25% of the profit for your match. Your odds brought in a pretty penny. We won’t get that much again.”

Nox took the cash and stuffed it into his hoodie pocket and left through the gate he’d entered. He hadn’t found out anything new — Ori had been the last to see Kasun alive. He didn’t look forward to finding her.

Left to his own thoughts Nox found a dark corner in which to brood. He didn’t want to go home. He didn’t want a drink. He stared at the name in his call list and wanted desperately to hit the call button just to hear Raffe’s voice.

He stuffed his wallet into his pocket and dropped his head to his hands propped up on his elbows. He’d become the monster he’d fought and it had ruined his life. His nightmares were on permanent scrolling reel in the darkness of his mind. Everywhere he want he lost what he loved most.
The girls huddled close together as the lights changed. Godric leaned into his seat like he was only half-heartedly paying attention, but Danika watched the direction of his eyes. He was drinking in the anticipation like he didn’t want to appear over-eager.

Information flashed on a view screen, and Danika gaped. Two people were going to fight each other? The first guy that was profiled had a history there. Apparently he’d won a lot of fights in the past.

His name was Yulian the Bull. Anyone with a name like that was sure to win a fight, Danika thought. Godric thought the same and proudly placed a bet on him. Danika smirked and added some money to the pot just to play along. She’d never bet on anything before in her life. Not even a lottery ticket.

Then the second fighter was profiled. His picture made Godric outright curse, but it was with a tone that made Danika wonder if he was about to get up and leave or if he was angry at the outcome. Then just his name followed.

“NOX! That’s his name!”she exclaimed. Those closest glanced at her strangely. She knew his name had something to do with wavelengths of light. She just had it backward. Nox was the nadir of noctis, or night. She smiled when she put it all together. Maria was ignoring her and Godric was still fixated on the stage. Surely someone appreciated her epiphany! Guess not.

The fight was about the worst thing she’d ever seen. Danika cringed a lot. At one point, Maria was actually looking at her shoes for a really long time. Godric’s excitement over the fight shifted to horror to realize the guy he almost got into a fight with was trashing Yulian the Bull with his mind magic.

Danika stood up cheering despite herself when it was over. She was 1. excited that Nox won and 2. way more into it than she was embarrassed to admit. Even if they all lost money. She was ready to do it again. But Nox left the cage. Danika ignored the fact that Yulian was carried off on a gurney practically.

She nudged Maria on the shoulder. “Let’s go talk to him!” she said. He was well out of sight, but she figured they could just wander that direction and run into him.

“Are you freaking kidding me?” Maria grabbed her purse, eyes wide as saucers. “Didn’t you see what he did? Didn’t you feel the chairs shaking? We are all lucky he didn’t pull the building down on us.” She left after that. Godric, having a thing for Maria, used her escape as an excuse to chase after her.

That left Dani pretty much alone, but it was easier to find a single’s chair and she moved closer to get a better view of the next fight. [/i]

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