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Stand Up And Fight!
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It was getting hard to breathe. The arm round her throat restricted the much-needed oxygen from getting to her lungs. The noise of mocking laughter and jeering over the roaring in her ears felt like it was slowly drowning her. If she could only think what to do. It was just the longer his arm squeezed her and the air was cut from her brain the harder it was to string a coherent thought together. She could tap out, surrender, or wait till she passed out. At the moment that seemed the most likely outcome and there was no way she’d live that down. Not after the last time.

Last time Warren had fractured her ribs. It had been her fault she’d been too busy thinking as usual; about Tristan, Nimueh, her mother. There’d been too much noise in her head like usual and wham one solid blow later and she was out of training till they healed. Of course, Warren had singled her out once she was back. She was weak now, someone to pick on, prove his superiority over. He was a dick; and one she would have gladly ignored. Had ignored even. It wasn’t like she was that chatty with the rest of the squad anyway; maybe that made it easier. Whatever the reason he’d singled her out pretty damn quickly.

Saffron hadn’t wanted to fight him but the calmer she was and the more she tried to get out of it the more annoyed Warren had gotten. It had taken mentioning Nimueh to get her angry enough to throw a punch that had felt like it had broken her hand. After that he’d felt free to wail on her. Resulting in her current position, back against his chest, with his arm around her windpipe. She shouldn’t have got angry; it was her fault. If only she could burn the sucker but that was bad form resorting to her powers. Saffron wanted to beat him without them. But Warren was bigger, stronger… and oh no black dots were starting to swim in her vision.

There was noise through the chatter and laughter, a faint one, dull she could barely hear it. Warren though he could hear just fine and she felt his weight shifting. Finally, her brain stopped thinking and wriggling as he moved she twisted her head and neck into an almost impossible position and bit down hard on whatever she could get her teeth into. At the same time her foot lashed out hoping to quick a knee. Hand or arm she wasn’t sure but it was enough for Warren to curse and drop her. Tasting metal in her mouth her knees hit the floor hard. She was grinning though when she pushed herself back up onto her feet and stumbled away.

One hand was rubbing her neck but she kept a careful watch on the douche in case he went to grab her again. He wasn’t looking at her though, his eyes were focused downwards and he was holding his arm and cursing. Blinking away the dots her attention shifted to what had caused his distraction a small gasp coming out of her as Buddy skidded to a stop. Oh, gods what had they seen? Embarrassment crept up her neck and into her cheeks turning her red.

It was Cal. Oh if only the ground would swallow her whole. She couldn’t imagine being more embarrassed. Sure, she’d never met the guard but she knew of her, about her, admired her. Cal was a girl, and a guard and kind of awesome from everything she’d heard how could she not admire her? And she’d potentially just witnessed her failing… great. There’s a second where she wonders who she’s here for. Ugh if it’s Warren that smug bastard.

It takes a moment before she realises; Cal’s called her name out. Out loud in front of everyone. Oh gods. Was this happening? It was, wasn’t it? She swallowed and it hurt, coughed and it hurt more. “Me, Uh Saffron is me, I’m her,” her voice came out with an unusual rasp to it and if possible, she blushed more. Gods why was talking like a regular person so difficult. Casting a last wary glance at Warren she jogged over to Caldera. “Um hi, so I’m training today with you guys?” she rasped more and stared at them both trying not to gawk.

SAFFRON
Stand Up and Fight! Stand Up and See The Sky Turn Bright

photo by Shan Sheehanat flickr.com


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